Friday, July 30, 2010

Who Said Murky Was Bad?

Sometimes murky is good, and sometimes murky is bad.  Murky is good when you want to set up a scary scene or detail an environment that is precarious and dirty.  Murky could be the best way to explain your thoughts after you’ve polished off a couple of bottles of red wine at the neighbor’s house.   But when it comes to how you live or choose to react to something, murky is just plain and simply put-- bad!
Who, in their right mind, enjoys wading in a pool of murky sarcasm?  Or for that matter, allows their self definition to contain the word murky? 
What if someone approached you and said, ‘Hi So and So, could you please tell me your best attribute?’  You piped up and answered- “My murky belief system.”  I could be wrong, but I don’t think anybody wants to equate their entire existence on the times they were stuck in that thick negative blah of self loathing.  Even if, on days we can totally bathe in it, own it and drink it up. 
It’s time we let go of that murky conviction that ‘we’re not worthy’ and start seeing the crystal clear truth.  Worthiness doesn’t come from our bank accounts, the cars we drive or the houses we own.  It comes from the deep seeded question-- are we worth it? 
I truly believe it is never too late to change how we want to be looked upon.  We can make the choice to be defined in what we give in this world, instead of what we get. 
What would happen in our lives if we started seeing the good in people around us?  What if we kept searching until we found something positive in those people who caused us to throw up that burning ick in the back of our throats?  Or dealt with the rude customer service person on the other end of the phone with a smile on our face? 
I believe the greatest power we possess, as fully conscious beings, is the ability to choose. Our reactions, beliefs, and experiences all are shaped by the choices we’ve made. 

So today, I’m going to choose to be content with just being in the space I am in.  I’m going to revel in it, embrace it, and focus on the positive.  Because there will come a day when I will think back and remember, how grateful I was that my cup was half full.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Query, Query, Quite Contrary!

Alright, honestly now, I know I haven’t written anything for the blog in four days. Don’t rub it in… I’ve been really trying to focus my attention on writing a query letter for Wilson Mooney. HARDER THAN I THOUGHT! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but every turn I’m taking just doesn’t seem capture the whole picture.

How do I write about a seventeen year old girl stuck in a boarding school, who is so in love with her twenty-three year old, government teacher that she willing to lose her virginity to him? How do I get the fact across that he wants her just as bad, but not until she’s over eighteen? I can’t forget the tension of her narcissistic roommate. I have to make sure I push the blade of the knife deeper in the wound of Wilson’s non-existent family, while she cascades deeper in love with Max’s. All while keeping their relationship a secret… Whew! It’s tough to wrap a 91K word novel in 250 words or less. Trust me, nobody said it was easy.

There is something my dad used to say when I was a kid. “If it was easy, than everyone would do it.” Actually he used to say, “If it was easy, he’d get Trinity to do it.” (She was the neighbor down the street that was about 5 years younger than me.) When I wanted to give up or do a half-ass job, my dad would nudge me with the words of his parable wisdom. As much as I bitched about getting the job done, in the end, I knew he was right. (Thanks dad)

But you know what? That’s how life is. We get challenged because if we weren’t, what would drive us to get better? Walls exist for us fall from, attempt to climb and scale until we get over them. How else do we learn how far we are willing to go? If I spend my entire life trying to dig under it, or find a shortcut around it, one day I will look back and regret not trying. I don’t have time for regrets like that.

Writing a query is a speed bump on the road to being published. I know that, but now I need to decide if I want to slowly roll over it, or punch the gas. I wonder what Trinity would do?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Video Diary of My Book Boyfriend!

Talk about OCD’ing and getting side tracked from editing my book, Wilson Mooney.  I spent the morning creating this collage of beautiful guys that could be Max in my book.  (Is it really so bad to do that?) 
So, for those of you who have, or are reading Wilson Mooney, here is some visual motivation to make it through some of the more daunting (ha ha) chapters between Wilson and Max.  And for those of you, who haven’t read Wilson Mooney--yet, take a moment and enjoy this sexy eye candy I uploaded to youtube!  Either way you’ll be able to tell my two favorite candidates!
Oh yeah, and BTW, I put the video to one of my favorite bands, Ok Go . The song, End Love  (Official video), is off their album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Build Your Own Book Boyfriend!

Okay so one of best friends came across this on Tiffany Neal’s blog. She really wanted me to do this. So here it is… My perfect book boyfriend…

1. Hair Color and Style: My BBF (book boyfriend) has jet black hair. I like him to have enough to run fingers through. Well, let me just show you...

2. Eye Color and Facial Features: Hello, I love light eyes. Green is my favorite, but I wouldn’t kick out a guy with blue eyes. Most of my male characters have green eyes. Love strong facial features, good shaped eyebrows I could get lost in, facial expressions are a must, A MUST! Nice strong jaw lines with great lips are so important. Heck, let me just show you…

3. Height and Body Type: Tall, 6ft is always nice. Muscular but not bodybuilder huge.

4. Visible Age: Considering I have a high schooler, nobody that looks too young, come on- I'm not a cougar. That’s just gross. I tend to see sex appeal in guys in their late twenties to early forties. Love the eye candy that isn’t still into candy!

5. Human or Other: Okay I have to say, there is something sexy about someone who has super natural powers, however; with that being said~ with great power comes great responsibility. I think from a selfish POV, I would prefer human. (but it's up for debate. *biting my bottom lip*)

6. Paranormal Skills: I don’t know if I would like someone controlling my thoughts or reading my mind. I could see where this would be considered sexy,  however; I see that it's just giving way too much power away.

7. Interests: He would be interested in me! Then of course a love of music, cooking for me and literature.(notice I said cooking for me!)

8. Habitat: Anywhere I was. As long as I didn’t have to fear for my safety.

9. Special Skills: Chivalry, because I know it must exist. He needs to know what I need and just do it. Take care of my needs. (Come on this is My Book Boyfriend.)

Wow!  That was fun to go through and try and find the perfect book boyfriend. To add pictures, just sent it home. Enjoy ladies! And if you would like to link, and blog this challenge, feel free!

Here is one for our Max lovers! And thanks Beck for giving him green eyes!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Really, It’s a Pattern?

Okay so it was brought to my attention that I have this crazy habit of creating new characters for new books in the middle of second books I am writing. I know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so let me break it down for you. (Believe me I didn't recognize it until one of my dearest friend pointed it out. Besides the fact she keeps telling me she just holds on for the ride!)

I wrote Prototype in a year. I started the next book for Prototype, Hindsight's 20/20 right away. It was about 5 chapters into that book when Wilson Mooney decided to be born. Six and a half months later I have a completed manuscript for Wilson Mooney. And again as patterns repeat, I started immediately on the second book for Wilson Mooney titled, Almost 18. Now I know what you're thinking, what about Hindsight's 20/20? Well, it is frozen in chapter 7(just until I can get back to it). Okay, so I started Almost 18, eight pages into to it to be exact, when Ophelia's Promise introduced itself.

Do you see the pattern? Finish the first manuscript start the second one then start another story. A pattern I was totally unaware of. Now what causes that? Burn out of the characters I've just poured my soul into? A continuum of ideas that force you to tell the story of a character that isn't like any of the others? Different perspectives? You're inner voice that tells you every day, write something better? Who knows, all I can think of is that breath of fresh air when creating a new character. It invokes an unexplainable excitement to see what story is about to unfold from my mind.

You can call me crazy but when I get into a writing frenzy I lose track of time and space. I don't know where the characters come from, and I really don't care to know, as long as they continue to present themselves. It starts with a feeling that they need to be born and their stories have to be told. I don't dream them or outline their stories; instead they just come to me as my fingers type on the keys of my laptop. Maybe they are created from the feelings that lurk very shallow and extremely deep in the crevasses of my life experiences and serendipitous thoughts.

So I figured out what I need to do.

I have to take a mental step back from my pattern, finish my seconds, all while I keep editing my firsts, and just hold on firm to my third.

What kind of pattern is that called, Writer's ADD?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Creeper

Damn it, I woke up this morning in a panic. It just crept up on me. I was minding my own business when it blind-sided me into-- freaking out. Deep breaths, visualization, anything to get it to dissolve back into the place from where it came. Nothing a little sorcery, coffee, and a horoscope couldn’t fix.

Let me rewind, last night one of my good friends read my story, Wilson Mooney, to me. I like to hear it out loud, so I can experience how people read it. See if it makes sense, right? Well, she read the revised chapters 17 and 18. Now some of you haven’t seen the book, so let me just say it is a pivotal point in the story where Wilson and Max (her government teacher)... how do I say it…um, well… let me just put it out there- they hook up, but not in an all the way hook up (pretty darn close though).

I know, I know, but come on- He is this totally gorgeous guy, who’s older, smart, and sensitive to Wilson’s inexperience. How could I deny her someone like that? Anyway, work with me here.

So my good friend was reading the story to me, and I was feeling pretty good about the flow and timing. It was making sense, and with the exception of some awkward phrases and words that tend to be repeated, I think she was able to visualize what she was reading. I knew I wasn’t done with my edits, by any means, but I felt like I had made some progress. I came home pretty late and went to bed confident my book wasn’t crap.

Now let me fast-forward, I wake up this morning with a complete 180 of emotions. Suddenly, I wasn’t good enough and everyone who has read it must be lying to me, they just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Publishable? Not even! (Get my mood?)

**Disclosure** I know this is just a feeling I happen to be having at a particular moment in my life, and I’m not telling you this to get sympathy comments.

Negative creeper feelings suck! They thrive on bullying your positive emotions and beating them into submission. NCF’s (Negative Creeper Feelings) work to convince you that your positive flowing thoughts (PFT’s) of accomplishments are dirty little whores that only want one thing from you, space in your mind. I know NCF’s are born from all the doubts that pluck at you until you’re willing to hand over the belief in yourself on a golden platter of self doubt.

I write this today to convince myself and warn other positive self believers- we need understand where our NCF’s are and keep them at a safe distance. Don’t embrace and coddle them or feed their insatiable appetite for negative attention, but file them away in a safe place. There will be a time when they decide to creep into our consciousness and we will need to hammer them back with our dependable club of self-assurance. We need to tell them they have no place in our minds and to crawl back into the dark vacuous hole they came from. We need to keep our eyes on the prize.

*Note to self: Apple seeds- grow apple trees, tulip bulbs- grow tulips, facts that are undeniable and nobody can argue. So I ask myself, what am I planting in the garden of my mind? And where did I happen to leave that dependable club?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Healthy Competition

I never think of myself as a competitive person, until I race my husband in go carts. Yeah even at 40 I want to win at a kid’s play thing. I don’t like to lose. Now is that healthy? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I will bump, crunch and sacrifice future rides of the day to win. Do I knock out the cute little kid getting to drive for the first time, or the father/son team that is joy riding around the track? You bet! Something clicks in my head and I turn into Danica Patrick. My jaw clenches, hands tighten to a painful ache and my heart pounds to a racer’s rhythm. I love me some competition.

But is that healthy? Is it healthy to win at all costs? Hells Yeah! (Not really) because two days later, I am still paying for it. Yeah that’s right~ two whole days later. I hear my son in the backseat whispering to his friend, “My mom is a crazy driver. She tailgated me and my dad until we spun out, she cheated.”

Okay, maybe I took the race thing a little too far for them, but I didn’t cheat! Hey, we all have times in life when we need to make people notice that we are right behind them pushing them to do better. Giving them the little nudge to tell them, they need to speed up or pull over. Sh*t or get off the pot, right? OK, so I nudged them and they just happen to spin out. Was that my fault? Who am I to judge? Maybe at that particular moment they hit an oil slick and it wasn’t all about my bumper tapping theirs.

Point is I liked the adrenalin rush it gave me to push past them. It felt good to do something better than someone else. It felt good to win. But what I realized was I didn’t like what it brought up in my son, the excuses for not winning, the name calling it created. Instead of saying good job, it was all the excuses to why they didn’t win. Grant it, he is only 7 years old and highly competitive, (he gets it all from his father) but it makes me wonder if I am raising a poor loser. Am I doing everything in my power to teach my boys that a big part of being successful is learning how to handle defeat, failure, and loss? Was I the most humble winner? Did I win gracefully? Not really, I bounced high out of the tiny go cart and whooped my arm in the air. I pointed to the sky with my finger and made sure they knew I was number 1. I didn’t win gracefully that day; I was the prime example of a cocky winner that I really didn’t want my kids to ever be.

It’s the aftermath we leave in our paths that tell us if we handled our successes and failures with grace, fortitude and honor. That day I didn’t. But at least I can learn from my foibles and not repeat them. Teach my sons to succeed with humility and fail with dignity. That is my responsibility in raising respectful, conscientious people. It starts with me, so I guess the next time I race them, I’ll have to win with humility.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today I Was Me

Today I was me. No expectations, no needs or conversations. For the first time in a very, very long time, I was just me. I wasn’t mom, or wife, sister or daughter, friend or teacher. I was anonymous. Just a stranger that happened to walk down the sidewalks she has been hundreds of times before. It felt liberating. No deadlines or time constraints. I was able to admire the skyline without having to tell anyone. I didn’t have to hear my own voice. The sun soaked into my skin as I walked and my eyes saw vibrant colors like it was the first time. I couldn’t keep from smiling as I realized how fulfilling it was to just be.

Today I was rejuvenated. I realized who I was. I thought about my children and how their lives don’t have to revolve around me. I realized that there are other people in this world that love them, just as much as I do, and that was good. I realized they will grow up and I won’t be defined by them anymore. Today I realized I was me.

Today I was me. I was a mother to my children, a wife to my husband, a daughter to my mother and a friend to those who choose to share my life. Today I was rejuvenated. Today I was me.

(I jotted this down a couple of weeks ago after everyone left and I was truly alone for the first time in over 11 years. I just wanted to share this experience, thanks for reading.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cut and Paste

In the last couple of days I have cut and paste chapters of my book so I could chop them apart, change language that I didn't like, descriptions I wasn't happy with and conversations between characters that just didn't work.

Sometimes I wish I could do that to my life. Wouldn't that be great? Oh the things I could do with that ability!

Oh my, I started my day dog-tired; I'll cut and paste a better beginning. Hey, I didn't like the way my son talked to me earlier today. Here, let me just cut and paste what I would like to hear come from his mouth. Fight with my spouse? Not even, totally backspaced. Stubbing my toe on the boys' crap left on the floor? That wouldn't even exist in my world, deleted. Long days watching my boys do what they are passionate about, Heck yeah! Dates with my husband, dancing without my feet hurting, eating whatever my hearts desires and lose weight at the same time, my bank account so flush with funds, my only worries were how to spend it, I could live with that. Added details in my manuscript of life, just make sure to show don't tell.

But would life be really worth living if I could do that? Isn't it life experiences that make me who I am? What if I never experienced failure and pain or excitement and success? Could I truly write about it? I don't live in a bubble. Bubbles burst, wobble and as much as I hate to admit it, when people look into them, they magnify and extenuate every detail about your life.

So if I went around re-writing my life, deleting and adding, cutting and pasting, working dialogue into what I wanted to hear, I would never be who I am today. And I have to say, right now, my life isn't half bad!

I can't wait to write about how amazing it was to have the perfect agent who fell madly in love with my work and sold it to the perfect publishing house for the perfect book deal. (So magnify on that my iridescent bubble and act as if!)

Now it's time to go out, write your life and be okay with the typos.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Much is Too Much Sex?

Okay, so as most of you (All 6 followers) know, I’ve been editing Wilson Mooney. I’ve been working on grammar, flow, foreshadowing, character development, and such. In doing these edits, I reread the whole book all at once, and I have to say, Wilson is a very, very, lucky girl. Come on- she has a hot guy all over her making sure she was pleased through 4 different chapters. Now you ask yourself, who wouldn’t want that right? Well, let me be the one to answer that for you- ME! I don’t want it. Four major encounters in 90,000 words doesn’t seem like much and maybe it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t so descriptive.

Yeah I said it.

Now to honor my beta readers, I know you love the details, but maybe you don’t have to have every turn, stop sign, and speed bump mapped out for you. Maybe, leaving just a little to the imagination will give you the opportunity to put Wilson and Max into the scenarios that you might have had when you were 17 years old. Maybe living vicariously through them, doesn’t have to include a Google map with satellite images and driving directions.

I didn’t pull the “they fall into the water, fade to black,” scene or the, “they wake up to pillows torn and feathers all over the bed,” and I didn’t swing the descriptive pendulum completely to the other side with embarrassingly pornographic words that you’d find when you opened a dirty magazine. My words filled the gap between falling back on the bed and they cuddled afterward, in a tasteful descriptive way.

But even tastefully done descriptions can give the readers too much, so I planted my bum in the chair and revised, revised, revised. Now don’t get upset that you, my beta readers, will lose the mapped out descriptions to the tantalizing details of Wilson and Max together. Because I will make sure you don’t. But what I will give you are key words that will allow your mind to form your own pictures in your head. After all, the ultimate goal in writing those scenes was that they would be seductive enough for the reader to dog-ear the pages and reread them again. I can only hope I have achieved that and I didn’t let you down.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Sometimes I think back to the Seinfeld episode when Elaine tells Jerry she has faked it with him before. (Come on ladies, you know you had to at some point.) Jerry lists out different times they were together and Elaine points in the vacant air in front of her and tells him, ‘fake…fake…fake.’ Of course, Jerry becomes obsessed with getting Elaine to give him another chance. Elaine keeps trying to reassure him everyone fakes it, and it really isn't a big deal. Eventually Jerry convinces Elaine that they have to have sex to save the friendship.

You may be asking, what does a Seinfeld episode about faking it, has to do with writing or this blog. First, the writing for that show was just brilliant. But that fact that you could apply it to different areas of your life, and see where sometimes you had to ‘fake it’…makes it epic. You all know life can be that way. There are times when you have to ‘fake it til’ you make it’. You have to ‘act as if’ in order to bring to fruition what you want in your life, and yet sometimes you find yourself always trying to prove you can do it. If you ‘act as if’ enough, eventually; you start to embody the definition of what you want to be.

I want to be a successful published author, so I have to act as if. Because if I do it long enough and convince every cell in my body that I am, the world can't help but see me that way.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I ache to put the words, published author after my name. I want it so bad, I almost sent my half-edited manuscript and query letter to my top 5 agents. I was able to stop by asking myself, would a published author do that? Would they send something in without making sure it shined? I don’t think so, so I grabbed a pencil and kept polishing my manuscript. I needed to embody the feelings and ideas of a published author. Fake it til’ you make it. Because I know that there will be a day when published author is printed after my name and I'll sit in a coffee shop pointing out all the times I had to fake it.

Enjoy! Thanks-d0mag0j