Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Angels Book Deadline

So did I reach this deadline for the angels book?

Yes. There's definite celebrating going on in the Stevens' household. Here are the stats:
link to original here

Working Title, Novel One: Quiet Awakening
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Total word count: 83,080
Deadline: Finalized, Editing Beta and sending out queries

I'm working on a summary, and will update that here if you'd like to know more. Hopefully by the end of this weekend? I'll keep you updated on that update I'm sure.

Now on to novel two in the trilogy, the demons book. Denny's, here I come to write my outline.  

Meanwhile, NaNoWriMo, eh? Starts Thursday, my friends. Ooo, I'm so excited. I'm planning to use the month to hash out a very rough first draft of the demons book.What about you? You up for the challenge this year?

I feel like there should be a link up, or a write in, or something in the works. Let me massage some ideas and you do the same, then lend me your thoughts in the comments.

Moment of Magic:

A little bit of yum...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hummy Putterings

When I'm especially happy, I like to sing hummy little songs and putter. Sleepy Joe very much helps me be happy, so this post is my hummy jingle and my fingers are pittering and puttering because of her. Many thanks for nominating me for:

I love these things. I love that, unlike social gatherings of most kinds, the rules are clearly laid out and relatively straight forward. Here they are:

1. I need to nominate 15 blogs for this award.
2. I have to answer 10 questions that have been posed by the person who nominated me.
3. I have to ask 10 questions of those I nominate. So here we go...

Fulfillment of Rule One:

If you’re reading this and you want to play along, I appreciate you as a reader, so consider yourself officially nominated. If you answer my questions** I’d love to come visit and see what you say, so leave a link in the comments and I'll come find you.

Fulfillment of Rule Two:

1. Who is your favorite band or singer or song?

All-time top is Ani Difranco. MAK, my first roommate back in college, introduced me to her music and I remember laying on our respective beds, hands behind my head, eyes closed, feeling the lyrics from her mixed tape to my very bone. Ani’s music is part of pretty much every big event in my life since then. If I’m not able to mention her, because I mention her maybe too much? My second go-to singer is Enya. Third is the XX.

2. Describe yourself as the main character in your own fairytale.

I keep trying to do this one but with all the positive and negative voices going at each other in my mind, it’s becoming more of a battle than a descriptive fairytale piece. So we’ll just say, “Once upon a time, there was a seed…”

3. If you have a nickname, what is it and how did you come by it? If not what would you like your nick name to be and why?

‘Debz’ – my brother called me this when I was little, and it’s stuck ever since. I’ve adapted it to the more widely used ‘Deb’ for simplicity’s sake because I got tired of people leaning forward, tilting their heads at me and saying, “Whazat?” even after I’d said it two or three times.

4. What is your favorite word?

Depends on the day, the time, who I'm around, whether or not I've stubbed my toe. This word was my honest first thought:

5. Who are your favorite literary couple?

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Oh how I love their story. I was reflecting on them recently, in fact, and thinking about how funny it is that a certain part of our brains think of our favorite characters as real (or is this just me?). If Lizzy were to knock on my door this afternoon during naptime I wouldn’t at all be surprised. I’d turn on the kettle and ask her what kind of tea she preferred. “Cream and sugar?” Of course I keep both just in case.

6. What is your favorite Poem?

I’m somewhat sad to admit how little I know about poetry. Someday I hope to be able to drink poems and wine, and know how to taste the nuances. To swirl them in a crystal goblet and be a connoisseur. Until then, I’m going to say either e. e. cummings’ “i carry your heart with me,” or Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.”

7. Do you like having someone play with your hair?

Oh, how I preen and melt at the very thought.

8. What is your greatest ambition?

To be a really good mama. Embedded into that thought is 'to be a published writer,' because it's is my long-time dream and I want to teach my children to follow, and then work hard to accomplish, their dreams. No matter how big or small they may seem.

9. If you have time alone, where do you go to feel at peace?

Sometimes I feel like my only 'safe-zone' is in my bathroom, huddled on the floor, while little children pound on the other side of the door and shove toys through the slot underneath. But that's not my preferred place to find peace. When I can, I head to the trees.

10. What is your favorite film?

Hard to narrow it down to just one. My favorite three? City of Joy, Braveheart (edited, because I can’t handle the gore), and Sliding Doors. That last one I might interchange with Underworld, depending on what phase the moon is in.

**Fulfillment of Rule Three:

1. French Fries or French Toast?
2. What are your thoughts about ‘Time’?
3. Have you ever been motion sick?
4. Would you ever get a tattoo and if so, where would you put it?
5. Do you read magazines while standing in line at the grocery store and if so, which ones?
6. What are five things you keep in the drawer closest to where you’re sitting right now?
7. Have you ever sent/received a message in a bottle?
8. It’s funny to skip questions – do you agree or disagree?
10. When is it appropriate to bite someone?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Flip-side of the White Cat

I have this cupboard in my kitchen where I collect a hodge-podge assortment of ads, pictures, and quotes I love. I used to wonder if this bothered Hubs, until he changed a quote to say:

“Going without is better than worrying about how to pay for luxury warrior items you don’t need.”

Okay. No longer worried. If he personalizes the cupboard with warrior allusions, it’s the equivalent of putting his stamp of approval on the whole thing, right?

So here’s another piece I put up there:

[Is it fiction? Heh.]

This is especially relevant right now, because if you’ll remember from this post, I’m a little bit superstitious. Just enough to make me quirky, eh? 

Everyone loves a little quirk. 

In my head I continue this by saying, “Everyone loves a little quirk in their jerk.” 

And by ‘jerk’ do I mean, A) “a quick, sharp pull, thrust, twist, throw, or the like; a sudden movement: The train started with a jerk;” or B) “A contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person;” or C) “Meat, especially beef, that has been cut in strips and preserved by drying in the sun; jerked  meat.”? You decide. (Those quotes, by the way, are from dictionary.com, but I have no idea how to cite them in this moment and I don’t want to go look it up. So. Are we done yet with how my head has continued this?)

Right, so the black cat thing is relevant right now because last Monday I was cooling off and walking home pre-dawn from my run, when a cat walked across my path. Straight across, and I paused to watch it. This wasn’t a black cat, though, it was pure white. Not a spot of color on it.

Again in my head I thought, “What the…if a black cat walking across my path is supposedly bad luck, what’s a white cat walking across my path? Really good luck?”

*Cue giddy feeling in gut*

But things aren’t always so black and white. In fact, hardly ever is it that way, and yet it's strange how we seem to think so much in extremes. If it’s not one side of the spectrum, it’s the other. Things we perceive are good or evil. One candidate is wrong while the other is right. In my head I'm usually either failing or succeeding. But generally, life is lived somewhere in the middle.

So I saw White Cat Monday morning, and then Tuesday morning an unfortunate sequence of unrelated events kept my writing group from getting together. Bah.

And then Tuesday evening Beta fell down the last step on our stairs and couldn’t support weight on one of his legs. No good.

And then Wednesday we were in the hospital all day trying to figure out what was going on with Beta, because he didn’t seem like he was in pain at all, but he still couldn’t support his little baby weight. Double-no-good.

The week continued like this, until finally Sunday came around and we got to rest. Thank Heaven and Earth and the Faeries, and whoever else you give thanks to, for Sundays, huh? Literally.

Today there is peace in my heart, and I’m not sure if it’s because last week was so hard in comparison to the seemingly slow start of this week, or if it’s because I’m deciding to have a better attitude about all this stuff. Maybe both?

Probably both.

Today I am very grateful. 

I’ve decided I’m really glad White Cat crossed my path, because things could have generally gone a whole lot worse. What about y’all? Is there anything negative going on in your life right now that, if you figure out the flip-side, could actually be really positive?

Moment of Magic today:

October is winding to a close, as is my updated deadline. Go here to read the latest on that (as of last Monday, but I'm still keeping up).

And just cause y'all are fabulous, here's a little treat...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Guest Writer -- Brandon Ax

One of my favorite writers to follow of late has been Brandon Ax over at Writer's Storm. Many thanks to him for being willing to guest write for me today. He's well read, well written, and has many insightful things to say. Here are some of them: 

When Deb asked me if I would write a guest post on her blog, I realized I was tasked with coming up with something that was at least mildly interesting. I had a few ideas flit through my mind, but decided to settle on something I think of often.

For many writers I think one question plagues our minds as much if not more than anything else—What does it take to actually get published? I myself have sought an answer to this for years. It takes a lot to be a writer, there are things you must have in order to keep going in this sometimes cruel and calloused field. A hobby/ time wasting mechanism I find myself spending a lot of time on is watching/reading anything I can find on my favorite authors. I know I’m not alone on this, but in watching their interviews or reading their blogs, listening to their stories, I have come to a conclusion.

I would like to call this conclusion the three P's: Passion, Productivity, and Perseverance. I have come to feel without these three things it is unlikely you will find your way to that coveted spot where your book is sitting on the shelf (or in a list of online books).

link to original here

Passion. This one may seem easy, but I think I am not speaking for myself when I say that I feel very passionate about something as the idea is forming. I may even feel it through the first few chapters, but most times when writing I lose that feeling. This could be a lot of things, the story moved in a direction that caused a lull, the characters are not engaging anymore. Maybe I am just pushing myself too hard and need a break. To me the loss of passion is a clear indicator that something is wrong with the story. If you don’t feel passionate about your story, more than likely the agent/publisher/reader will not feel it as well.

Productivity. The work, the act of actually putting words on a page. If you have no product to send out then there is no way for you to be published. Finish things, don’t wait for that perfect moment, or for everything to line up in your mind. I learned more from finishing writing a novel than I did from any class or study on writing I have ever taken. Don’t stop at that. So you finished a book and you’re trying to get someone interested in it? Write another, don’t wait, maybe that next one is the story that will be picked up. The only way we can progress as a writer is by writing. Start a journal, write a blog, do what it takes to be writing every day. The more you put words on a page the better you become.

Perseverance. The hardest of the three. The words, “sorry,” “no,” “not at this time,” and so forth will be constant companions in this journey to be a published author. You will at times feel you are not worthy or lack something and maybe you should just give up. DON’T. We all get this no matter what stage you are in your witting. Self doubt is a staple of being a writer. I have said on my blog, I don’t like to think of getting published as a sprint where you finish your story and try to get it out as fast as you can. Instead think of it like a marathon, where you have to train yourself up and go the distance. That “yes” we all want is out there, maybe we need to work on our skill with writing or query letters. It is possible we need to find the right person for our particular story. No matter what the case is, the moment you give up is the only time you are truly defeated.

Anyway these are some of my thoughts hope they help and as always have fun and keep writing.

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