Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Have a Blog Tour!

 I was going to start by telling you how excited I am for my blog next week. Trouble is, it started on Monday. Holy Moly where does the time go these days? It started on the 26th...which I thought was NEXT week. So this week's blog is a day early.

I love bloggers who sign up for tours. LOVE. THEM. Because they work hard to give honest reviews and spread the word about an authors work. They are a great way to market, which is something I hate doing.

Thanks everyone! Cheers!
Image by: Vichaya
 Here's the ones that have been published since Monday. You can still enter the contests!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Suppose There are Contest Winners

Or suppose only three people entered the contest. Sigh...I think my next blog should be called "Why don't people enter my contests?"

Kathy Steinemann was completely awesome to give me a couple more e-book copies, so I didn't have to choose from the three people I know who were nice enough to comment last week.

In order of their comments:

Kevin Warren. Thanks for being my first fan, and for always sticking by me and my work.

jlotus, my sister. Thanks sweetie. You were actually supposed to say WHY you deserve one, but it's my blog, and I'm giving you one for supporting me.

And Colleen Sundby. She really is my oldest friend, as I've known her since I was three years old. And she's still in my corner. Thanks buddy <3

I'll be contacting all three of you shortly to get your e-mails to send your certificates. Thanks again for entering. That is all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

'Suppose' I Have a Contest?

This is the cover! Thanks Kathy!
Surprise! I wrote a short story for a collection. Believe me, it was an unexpected opportunity for me, and I'm surprised I managed to get it done.

Why? Because I found out about it shortly after Christmas, and also because I PANTSED it. I almost never do that, because I rarely finish when I try it. Also, I hadn't actually written a short story since high school! Uh-oh...

Am I crazy? Why did I say yes? Why did I willingly sign up for this?

Because Kathy Steinemann asked me to. Because I admire her work and was flattered she asked me to contribute. 

It was a little scary. I'd made a commitment to a story I wasn't sure I could write. But sometimes you have to go for it.

"Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it"--Bill Cosby. I never want fear to hold me back.

So I did it. And I'm glad. I just did two things I don't normally do. I wrote a short story AND I wrote it without a clear outline, off the top of my head. I also did it on a set deadline. It's called 'The Guardian's Angel.' It was named by contest winner Amanda Phillips.

Now I realize I'm doing something else. By contributing to this book, I'm getting more exposure for my work, my brand...Now THAT is free advertising.

So thank you, Kathy for the opportunity. I appreciate it very much <3 And thank you for the e-book copy of 'Suppose' I can give away!

All you have to do to win, is tell me here in the comment section, or here on my author page. (Feel free to join.) Why I should give it to you. :)

Contest winner will be published and notified next week.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Plotter or Pantser?

Photo By:
There's really only two types of writers...Plotters or Pantsers. We all have different ideas of what that means to us and different reasons for writing the way we do.

Pantsers are aptly named. They're the ones who compose by 'the seat of their pants'. My friend Tammy Kane, who wrote "Breath of Fire", is a pantser. When I asked her why, she said. "I like just writing with an idea in mind. It keeps me interested because I'm dying to know how it ends." Not a bad idea at all, I'd say. If you can stick with your manuscript day after day, typing away going who knows where with your story, I say run with it. It actually sounds like quite an adventure when you look at it that way.

Another way pantsing works is for murder mysteries. Jessica Frost (One of her pseudonyms) gave me fantastic advice...when writing a murder mystery, never decide who the killer is when you start. Just put out suspects with motives and decide whodunnit later. Genius!

I am a plotter. I jot down my beginning and my end, and make notes on the events that need to happen in between. I think I'm more comfortable doing it this way because I thoroughly enjoy writing essays. Yes. Essays. I like them. They are FUN.

I like the structure. For me it's quicker to take notes and flesh them out. It also makes writing a synopsis a little easier. You can just look at your notes and condense.Yes, it does happen where something else more exciting or more realistic pops up. That doesn't mean you can't throw it in and adjust your plot accordingly.

It's like cooking. If you have a basic recipe, but the dish needs a little something you throw it in and taste it to see if you need to add anything else. Did you throw in basil and now the sauce is too sweet? Add a little garlic powder, maybe. Did you add a romantic scene and it threw off your character arc? How about if the lovers have a fight that changes their opinion of one another? When you're done, it should be pleasing to a reader's palate.

Here's a secret: I rarely pants anything. If I do, I RARELY ever finish. Not due to lack of interest...I get lost. I miss important parts to the story. Then I throw up my hands in exasperation and spend hours trying to figure out where I was going in the first place. Then I toss the whole mess out without finishing it.

If you are a writer, or want to be, which one would you choose? Do you follow the recipe? Or throw in whatever you have in your cupboards? I'd love to know...

Now if you'll excuse me, I've made myself hungry. Maybe I'll just order Take-Out.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

One Year Later...

April 29th, 2013 Our first photo of Spartacus Jones
On April 29th, 2013 a little grey and white cat followed my husband and my best friend home from a cigarette run. I remember that it was raining and snowing, because that was the reason I didn't go with them.

They told me about him when they got home, and I could hear him crying outside the window, so I asked them to bring him in. I wasn't about to leave an animal out in weather I wasn't willing to go for a short walk in.

It turned out to be one of those really awesome decisions one makes in their lifetime. It's right up there with convincing the troll I would be a good girlfriend and buying a house when interest rates dropped to 5%. (3 or 4 months after we bought our house Edmonton housing prices skyrocketed)

I was soooo ticked at my best friend for bringing the responsibility of this stray cat upon me. I regret telling her that. Now I know that not only was it absolutely meant to be, but it was the right thing to do. And I would do it again. In half a heartbeat. No more questions asked.

The photo above is the one I took so I could put him on Petlynx and various 'found' posters. Poor baby looks so scared and so thin. What if Darci hadn't found him? What if we hadn't taken him in?

We wouldn't have experienced the pure love that is Spartacus Jones. He is loyal like a dog. When we go outside, he follows, staying within sight at all times.  When I cry, he cuddles close and comforts me. He makes us laugh everyday. I can't believe someone somewhere just let him go, not even caring what happened to him. It hurts to think how people discard innocent pets, family members. Where is the compassion?

Last Thursday, I found a receipt from my vet, pinned to my bulletin board, dated for May of 2013....I was like "What is it doing here? That's a decent chunk of change, what is it for?" I remember now.  I took Spartacus Jones to my vet, looking for a tattoo or a microchip. While I was there, I had his shots updated, including one for outside cats, just in case. I had his ear mite infection taken care of.

He sat as close to me as he could, as in rightbesideme. My vet said "Look how much he loves you already." I said, "The feeling is already mutual." I think I knew when I brought him to the veterinary clinic that I was going to keep him.

I could go on and on, I could tell you how he chirps with joy when I join him outside, or how he tosses his head when I goad him into a game of tag, as if to say, "Oh, it's on now!" I could tell you how he loves to nap on and under my broomstick skirts while I'm wearing them. I could go on and on. Rest assured this is his forever home, and there will be more stories to tell.
Spartacus Jones one year later.

So Happy First Anniversary to my boy Spartacus Jones, my cosmic gift. So happy here's here.