Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tommy Starts Something Big given Honorable Mention in Eric Hoffer Awards

I've just been notified by my co-author, Chuck Gaidica, that our book, Tommy Starts Something Big, was been given an Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer 2011 Awards, Children's category. Here's the link to the site.

I am absolutely thrilled about this award. This is a great story to help kids and adults realize that simple things can have such a positive impact on those around you.

If you haven't been able to read the story, I urge you to get a copy. You can find it at Chuck's website or at Amazon.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Cover is being finalized for Saving Redwind

I'm so excited because the fabulous illustrator Jeff Covieo is done with the cover for my middle grade e-book, Saving Redwind: Book 1 in the Wallpaper Adventure series.

Woohoo!!! (Imagine my arms pumping in the air, but please look away from the jiggling that's going on - I really need to do some arm exercises!)

And because I'm so close, I'm going to share with you the back cover summary just to entice you into wanting more. Here it is:

All eleven-year-old Nick Stevenson wants is an adventure like his dad’s. Oh, and for the creepy ceiling in his new bedroom to stop storming and spinning. When he’s asked to help save a world that exists inside his bedroom’s wallpaper, Nick thinks he’s found his very own adventure. But he has no idea it will involve talking rocks, dream-stealing birds, and becoming friends with wizards. Can Nick save Redwind and his new friends before his mom calls him home for hockey practice?

Once I get the lettering done, the book will be uploaded to Amazon where you can download a sample chapter and hopefully decide you like it so much, you want it all to yourself!

If you like this blog, how about hoping over to my Facebook Author page and liking that as well. You can find it here


Monday, May 16, 2011

It's you know where your story is?

How many of you write every day?

I wish I had that luxury. I say luxury because right now, it's a luxury for me when I can set aside a good block of time to write. I have to say, "Today I'm writing. No working. No answering emails. No phone calls." I can't write for an hour and then go about other business. My brain does not work that way.

I can't write every day either. I have other obligations to attend to daily. Perhaps someday it will just be me and my writing. Oh, and housework. Ugh. But for now, I try to spend 1-2 days during the week writing. Once hockey is over (which is this week), my weekends are freer, so I can write on Saturdays.

When I don't write every day, I have to review what I've already written. This has its pros and cons. The biggest pro is that I'll edit what I've written. Usually by the time I'm done with a project, I'll only have to do one hard edit and one soft edit. (Hard edit is a printout, soft edit is after I've input all of my hard edits, then I do a re-read on screen.)

The biggest con is that I have to get myself back into the story. Most of the time that isn't hard for me to do. Occasionally, I have to work at it.

Those who have read this blog before will notice I use the phrase "word chunks" - that's when the words come out in fits and spurts, chunky. I sometimes experience word chunks in the beginning of a new writing day. If it continues, I stop. The words aren't flowing. I hate word chunks.

So...what about you write every day?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Do you know where your story starts?

I've recently agreed to a collaborative writing project. The screenwriter had a "treatment" (like an outline for us writer folk) completed and wanted me to write a book based off of the four pages. Okay, I said, shouldn't be too hard.

I started writing where he thought I should. I went along with it. But after writing seven pages of word chunks in a few days (bad, bad, bad!), rather than flowing words, I figured that I really wasn't were the story started. I felt like I was cramming in too much in that first chapter and losing all of the feeling that the main character is experiencing.

I began to write a revised first chapter. I sat down and wrote six pages. Guess I found my beginning.

Do you ever start a project, write a while, and then decide that what you wrote isn't really the beginning?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cover coming soon!

I've received a preliminary cover for my upcoming e-book, Saving Redwind, from the illustrator. I'm really excited about it. When it's ready, I'll be sure to post here, along with the link to buy it on Amazon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Can you believe that tomorrow is Mother's Day? I certainly can't. To share in the occasion, I thought I'd show you all the special mothers in my life. The day isn't just for people who gave birth to you, but to those special women who have made a difference in your life.

My mom.

 Me and Grandma at her 97th birthday celebration - 2007.

My step-mom, Julie (can't figure out why it's so small!)

My sister, Kim

My sister Karen.

My dear friend Kari and me in Chicago 2010.

There are a ton more Mothers I'd include here, but I don't have photos! They would include Aunt Clara, Aunt Evelyn, Aunt Dickie, Aunt Lois, Aunt Annie, Rose, Laura, Mary, Heather, Lisa, Diana, Kelly, Tracy, Marian, Mariann, Ann Marie, and last but not least, Christine. Love you all!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reflections on A to Z Challenge

I can't remember how I stumbled upon Alex Cavanaugh's blog and saw the A to Z Challenge. I saw the seemingly innocent A to Z badge and thought, this might be fun. I signed up. I was in the late 700's on the list and was shocked when the list grew to over 1,200 bloggers. How could I make it to each and everyone of them and still have time to blog, write, work, eat, sleep, motherly duties? I discovered the Surprise Me! button and started using that. What shocked me was that the Surprise Me! button would sometimes take me to that same blog over and over. I'd read, leave a comment, and then move on.

I know I didn't visit all 1200+ blogs. There was no way for me to considering that I only gave myself 15-20 minutes each day to visit the blogs. I don't have a lot of time and I had never gotten into the habit of blogging or visiting blogs. This challenge exposed me to a world of blogs I had no idea of, and I hope to be able to keep up with most of those that I've joined. I may not be able to visit every day, but I hope to at least once a week.

I have to admit that I visited many blogs that I didn't leave a comment. If the post was paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs long, I skipped it. There were other blogs that I visited that I had no clue what they were about - gaming-type sites, so I looked them over and then passed them by. Why join a site just to join? Sure, I'd love to have tons and tons of followers, but if they aren't really interested in what I'm talking about, well..I don't want to join a blog that doesn't interest me.

What I especially liked about the challenge was meeting other bloggers and my commitment to blog each day. I don't know that I can keep that up, especially since I'm now working on a new project. But, I will try. I have to admit that I'm a little addicted to blogging and visiting.

When's the next challenge? I think I might want to try again!

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Project, New Playlist

Well, folks, I'm starting a new project today. It's a collaboration, so it's a bit new for me. I'm really excited. It's YA and a bit darker than I normally write. You'll see by the songs I'll be jamming to as my fingers fly across the keyboard:

Lose Yourself - Eminem
8 Mile - Eminem
I Need a Doctor - Dr. Dre (featuring Eminem & Sklyar Grey)
F**kin' Perfect - Pink
Rabbit Run - Eminem
Bleed it Out - Linkin Park
Love the Way You Lie (featuring Rhianna)
What I've Done - Link Park
S&M - Rhianna
Not Afraid - Eminem
Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
Just Can't Get Enough - The Black Eyed Peas
Sing - My Chemical Romance
On the Floor (featuring Pitbull)
Written in the Stars - Tinie Tempah (featuring Eric Turney)
Airplanes - B.o. B. (featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore)
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Areosmith
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
In the End - Link Park
Is Anybody Out There - Maroon 5 (featuring PJ Morton)
For the First Time - The Script
Let it Rock - Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne

There it is. Hoping to have the first draft of this project completed by August 1st. It's only 65k words and completely doable by then.

I'll give you more information about the project as I go along. I'm working with a screenwriter, so I get to learn how to use Final Draft. Very cool!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Want to win a book?

My awesome CP is giving away a copy of her book. Check out Jenyfer Matthew's blog, leave a comment, and be entered to win. It's that easy!