Thursday, September 30, 2010

Favorite Comic Character

Last night we watched Superman/Batman Apocalypse.  It was great!  While watching I was reminded, once again, why Batman is my favorite superhero.   A human with really cool toys!!!

I really like the darker version of Batman, not so much the campy one.  I like the raw emotion.  I like how it takes a lot to earn his trust, but once you have it, you have it.  I like how he will take big risks to accomplish his goals.

How about you? Whose your favorite superhero and why?

Upcoming Posts:
Recipe Friday
POV (Monday, I promise!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WCC Wednesday

Monday as I was driving to work, I was working out how I wanted to start my chapter for this week.  My characters have taken me off the path I started with (which is a good thing) and introduced me to Sabrina's (my leading lady) family.  When I got home from work I jotted down my ideas for the chapter.  I thought I'd share with you what my chapter looked like then, and next week post where it went. 

So, here is my outline for Chapter 7:

Sabrina goes into house. Smells of home envelope her in welcoming embrace. Large open room with large table, stairs to right (bedrooms), and door at back (kitchen). Mom comes through the kitchen door and sees her.

“Bas said you had a guest, where is he?”

Trevor walks in. Greets mother- kisses hand. Seth appears, dad is fishing. Seth takes Trevor out to him.

“What's wrong?”

“Nothing. Rough passage.”

“May not be your mother, but know you as well as all my children. Something else is wrong.”
Bas appears and informs of trip to Delphine. Sabrina gives him evil eye. Mom says she doesn't have to go. Sabrina looks at Trevor and says, yes, she does.

Trevor watches family interactions during dinner. Happy exchanges. Bas is to clear table and Seth do dishes. Seth complains, Trevor offers to do dishes with Sabrina if Bas and Seth clear. Objection made by father, overruled by Trevor and Sabrina. They wash dishes. She's surprised. He informs all soldiers know how to do dishes. Soap sud fight? Some kind of cliffhanger about who she is, or trip-- maybe something about traveling to Delphine in 1 day instead of 2.

Hmmm.  Where do I go from here?
Katie introduced a new character to me this week, and as always, left me wanting to know more.  Her characters are all so unique, with great traits to make them memorable.  Unfortunately, I was a bad critique partner this week and haven't gotten my comments back to her yet (I will do that today!  I promise!)

Her comments on TLP have been spot on and very helpful. 

Fiona's story is progressing nicely.  I can't tell you how amazed I am at her ability to describe things so perfectly with so few words.  I really feel for Lana and want to see how she grows as the story progresses.

Her comments have opened my eyes to how Americanized I write.  In one of my chapters I mentioned Fall-didn't think anything of it until Fiona mentioned it should be Autumn-- fall is an American saying.

How about you?  Are your fantasy stories "Americanized"?  Does your partner have an amazing talent you want to share?  Toast them in the comments!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Better Late than Never!

Today's post is late (and short) as I stayed up last night for the WriteOnCon chat and didn't get a chance to get a post together before work today.  The chat was very nice-- I learned a few things I didn't know.  You can find a transcript of it here.

Tomorrow I'll give an example of what my chapter for this week looks like (as of last night) and next week I'll show you where it went to.

Upcoming Posts:
WCC Wednesday
Recipe Friday

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy days and Mondays

There's something about rainy days that make me sleepy and not want to get moving. That was the case this rainy, Monday morning.  Fortunately, my son has school and I have to get up at a specific time.  Today I also had a walking partner I needed to meet up with, so needless to say, I had to get up.

Have you ever noticed that your bed is the most comfortable when it's time to get up in the morning?

Well, here's to another busy week.  Last week was filled with lots of cleaning and moving things around (we had central air installed).  Hopefully this week will be quieter!

I saw this link on Elana Johnson's site today and wanted to make sure you all saw it.  WriteOnCon is having a workshop tonight.  Details are here.

Hope you all have a happy Monday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recipe Friday!

Today's recipe is one I made just last week.  I had to test it on a friend to see if it was worth sharing.  She survived it, and enjoyed it, so here you are.  My impromptu, throw together recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake.

I lost the recipe I wanted to use, so I adapted the "Busy-Day Cake" recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens recipe book.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 margerine/butter, softened (I actual melt mine in the microwave)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (approx.) frozen blueberries

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup oats

Pre-heat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Stir.  Add milk, egg, vanilla, and butter. (I mix as I add the ingredients).  Stir completely.  Add blueberries (I actually didn't measure how much I put in.  You can add as many or few as you like.)  Mix. Batter should be on the think side.  Pour into greased 8x8 square pan.

Mix melted butter, brown sugar and oats together.  Spread over cake. Bake for 30-60 minutes.

I found it took closer to 60 minutes (due to the frozen blueberries and the topping) for it to firm up in the center.  I would start checking it after thirty minutes and see if it's ready, if not, let it bake longer.

Serve warm with coffee, or other favorite beverage.  It is good cold, too!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banned Book Week

I've been reading many posts on my blog reading list the week about banned books (follow the links on who I'm following to see them).  Banned book week runs from September 25- October 2 this year.

I remember sitting in a reading class in college (I have an Elementary Ed degree) and being shocked to learn that some of the books I loved reading as a child had been banned in schools.  And the reasons behind the bans!

Some were banned for witchcraft, not because they had anything to do with witchcraft, but because the colors the author mentioned had links and meaning in witchcraft (according to those opposing the book-- I can't recall the book we discussed at this time). 

The language in Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn was inappropriate-- it used words that are not acceptable now.  So, instead of using it as a teachable moment (why aren't these words used now-- why was it acceptable then?) they've been banned in schools.

As you can probably tell, I am against banning books.  I believe if a parent doesn't want their child to read a certain book or watch a certain movie, then they have the right to speak FOR THEIR CHILD, but not all the others in the class/school.

What's next, are we going to ban the dictionary because it defines words too graphically?  Oh, wait, that's already been done.*

What are your thoughts??  Have you read any banned books?  Check out the list of books that have been banned (or challenged) here.  I've read at least 14 books from this list--most of them in school.

*I tried to verify this link at other sites, but was unable to do so, so take it with a grain of salt, but given the books on the banned list, I would not be surprise it was true!

Upcoming Posts:
Recipe Friday
Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WCC Wednesday

This week I took a small break from my current WIP to work on a short story for a Writing Competition. (OK, I worked on both at the same time- I couldn't help it!)  Thank you Katie for you look at it and comments-- I will be working on them today (while listening to the Dark Knight soundtrack!) 

After the competition, I'll post the story here for all of you to read.

This week Katie noticed one of my characters was acting in a way they would not.  It is so nice knowing she understands my characters so well and can see when I've led them off path!

Katie has sent more of The Vampire Slave for me to look at and I must say I am so intrigued to see where she goes with it!  She has such depth to her characters, and puts them in unique situations so perfectly.

Fiona sent me more of The Path Through the Mist.  I must say I am so intrigued to see where she is taking her character.  It is as though Lana (her main character) is the teenager down the street, put into a miserable situation and reacting just as she should.  Can't wait for past and present to collide!

I've also been helping my dad with his WIP.  He is working on a political thriller and I have been helping him learn how to show instead of tell (as well as some grammar things!)

Hope all your critique partnerships are going well.  I am so glad I have my partners!  How about you?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back on Track

I've been trying to get back in the habit of blogging at least Monday through Friday, and so far it is going well.  All of you who are following and commenting are keeping me at it!  Thanks!!!

The other thing I am trying to get back into is walking 3-5 days a week.  I was doing this last year at this time, and noticed a big change in my breathing (I have asthma) and my waistline.  Unfortunately, I stopped during the holidays and fell out of the habit.

Yesterday, I got on the treadmill and did a half mile.  I know-- I wanted to do at least a mile, but I was waiting for my contractor to arrive (our deck is getting built! Yea!!) and didn't want him to think I wasn't home.

My goal is to walk Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (as I did last year.)  I am posting it here so you all can help encourage me to get back into the swing of things.  (If it works with writing, it must work with other things, too!)

What goals are you working to achieve?  Post in the comments.

Upcoming Posts:
WCC Wednesday
Recipe Friday

Monday, September 20, 2010

False Advertising

This weekend we went to the local apple festival (which I wouldn't have know about if it wasn't for friends of ours mentioning their daughter was singing there!)

We were excited!  Apple fest!  I couldn't wait to see the vendors thinking they'd be giving samples of the different types of apples in the area-- maybe we'd  try some new variety we hadn't had before.  I wanted to taste test the ciders and see whose is best this year.  See all the gadgets for apples-- peelers, corers, cutters.  Check out new recipe ideas.  Get some caramel apples, or apple crisp, or apple pie.

I walked down to meet up with my son (who had gone with friends).  After an enjoyable time listening to the kids sing (the group Brett spent the summer with for Alice in Wonderland) we wandered around the tents set up in the street to find...a street bazaar.

Now, I don't want you to think I didn't have a good time, because I did.  Spending time with family and friends is always good!  It's just that I was disappointed.  It was the apple fest, and there was one booth selling apples.  The theatre had candy apples, and a couple other places had apple inspired desserts, but it wasn't what I had concocted in my mind.  To me, it was false advertising.

I've had this happen with books, too.  You read the back cover and are really excited about the book, but what is on the back, doesn't happen until almost the end of the book, and you feel disappointed. (at least I do-- I thought that was what the story was going to be about.)

When I was working on my query letter, this was sitting in the back of my mind.  I could make an exciting letter if I focused on the quest Princess Kaylee has to go on, but that doesn't happen until half way through the book.  It's not the most important thing in the story, and I didn't want an agent to think I was falsely advertising my book.  Did I do the right thing by focusing on a different angle?  I don't know- I am still waiting to hear back from my queries.  But, in my heart, I know I did the right thing.  I didn't falsely advertise my story.

What about you?  Have you ever gotten excited about an event, book, movie (or anything else) only to be disappointed that it wasn't what was advertised?  Share in the comments.

Upcoming Posts:
Back on Track
WCC Wednesday
Recipe Friday

Friday, September 17, 2010

Recipe Friday

I love fresh baked cookies, but there are times I want cookies but don't want to go through the hassle of mixing the dough.  Well, when I discovered this three ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies I was certain they would never work.  They have since become my go to cookie.  (And if you are (or have friends who are) gluten intolerant-- you can eat these!)

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

350 degree oven
1 cup peanut butter (your choice crunchy or creamy-- I use creamy)
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 egg

(Yup.  Those are all the ingredients you need.)

Whisk egg in bowl.  Add sugar and mix.  Add peanut butter and mix.  Dough will be tacky, but not really stick to your fingers.  Scoop up by teaspoons and roll into ball.  Place on cookie sheet a couple inches apart (they don't spread much)  criss cross with a fork then bake for 10-12 minutes.

Mix as above and add about 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips.  Follow remainder of recipe.

Mix as above and press into 8x8 greased pan.  When removed from oven, pour half a bag of chocolate chips on top and let soften.  Spread the softened chocolate over the top, cut into squares when hardened.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe?  Share it in the comments!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So, you have a great story idea, and great outline, and are ready to write.  In fact, you've already put four chapters of the story onto paper (or in my case on the screen).

Then, all the momentum and excitement of these new characters and new story fades and you find that you are forcing yourself to write in an effort to get words on a page so you can get something down you can fix later.

That is where I am finding myself this week.  I found a new character last week (and was very excited about him) and this week I am struggling to make it work.

Fortunately I have a great critique partner I chat with and who can help me find my muse.  Yesterday I forced myself to write, knowing if it isn't written, it can't be fixed.  After doing that for a bit, I chatted with Katie about my problem and realized I am trying to make this chapter perfect from the get go, and not thinking of it as the draft it is.  With that in mind, I was able to take off and get a draft I am happy with, knowing I can go back and make any changes I need.

So, when you are writing, and you struggle with making it work, what do you do to motivate yourself?  Share your tips in the comments!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WCC Wednesday

Since joining the WCC, I have noticed a difference in the way I write.  Each week I write with Katie, my critique partner, in mind.  I try to catch my typos and grammar errors as well as make sure my story is flowing as smoothly as it should be.  I want Katie to really be able to focus on the story itself and give me good feedback on that (which she does each time!)

When I am reading Katie's work, I look for typos and grammar things, but also try to focus on flow and pacing.  She has a great writing style, with a penchant for long sentences.  As we've discussed several times-- long sentences are a good thing, but variety in lengths is even better.  Katie creates such intricate people-- its as if they are people you know from real life.

This week I began working with Fiona.  She has a story with an interesting concept-- a girl who lives in the past and has visits to the past.  So far I have met the girl (and am very anxious to read more about her) and have had a brief look at who I believe is the woman from the past.  I have found her descriptions absolutely amazing.  She has such a gift with words, using few to say much.

I am working on chapter 5 this week.  While procrastinating on my writing yesterday, I realized I need to modify the first thoughts I had for the chapter based on the timeline I gave myself in the first chapter.  This is a good thing--as I was beginning to over complicate with the introduction of several characters I am not sure we actually need to meet.

Upcoming Posts:
Showing vs telling
Recipe Friday

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Football Season

Well, football season is finally here again.  Sundays pigging out on cheese and cracker trays, bowls of chili, homemade pizza's, and company of family and friends.

With the three of us liking different teams (and the neighbor we usually watch with liking even a different one still) we do a lot of channel flipping while the games are on.  This week wasn't so bad, hubby's team (the Steelers) and my team (the Colts) were on at the same time--but, my Colts weren't looking so good, so we watched the Steelers.  My sons team (the Eagles) was the 4 o'clock game (and oddly he didn't watch hardly any of it!).  Then there was the night game where our neighbor's team (the Cowboys) played.

When my husband and I were talking about the scores this evening, I realized his was the only team out of all of ours that won yesterday.  Hmmm.  We'll have to see how the season goes.

How did your team(s) do?  Share in the comments.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy Weekend

This past weekend we took out a tree, a series of bushes, and a grotto in preparation for the new deck we are building.  It was A LOT of work, but will be well worth it in the end.  I was surprised by how much larger the backyard looks with those things gone.

Writing Update:
I sent chapter 4 of Th Lost Princess off to Katie yesterday for her thoughts and comments.  I am finding writing with the plot summary much easier than my usual way of writing.  I am still taking time to listen to my characters and see where they want to go-- in fact I just met a new character at their insistence!

While I am writing TLP, I am working through my thoughts for a third book in this setting.  I have my two lead characters and a villain, I am just trying to figure out my plot--it is not falling together well at this point, but I am sure one day I will have my "Ah-ha!" moment and rush to pen and paper to jot it down before I forget it!

Upcoming Posts:
WCC Wednesday
Recipe Friday
Showing vs Telling

Friday, September 10, 2010

Recipe Friday!

I love chocolate, but, I am quite picky about my chocolate.  So, on those days when I am craving fudge, but don't want to make it and am nowhere near any candy shops, I have a two ingredient recipe that takes about 1 minute to cook and about 30 minutes to set up.  It is a softer fudge that hardens as is sets.  Here it is:

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer to use Hershey Special Dark chips, but have used no names, and Nestle as well)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk.

Pour the milk into a microwavable bowl and add in the chocolate chips.  Put in the microwave for 1 minute.  Remove and stir.  If the chips aren't all melted, return to the microwave for 10-20 seconds more and stir again.  Pour into a greased 8x8 pan (I use a glass pan liberally sprayed with cooking spray- you can also coat it with butter).  Let it set.  After about 20-30 minutes it should be ready to cut and eat.  It will be soft but not runny--kind of firmer than spoon fudge--not fully hardening for a day or so.  If you find that the bottom is too soft, you can use a spatula to remove it from the pan and turn it upside down to dry.


One day, I went to make the fudge and grabbed a bag of butterscotch chips instead of chocolate.  I added chocolate chips to the mix and ended up with a toffee flavored fudge.

To make this fudge, follow the recipe above, but substitute 1/2 bag butterscotch chips and 3/4-1 bag chocolate chips.  (I find I need more chocolate to allow the fudge to set up, otherwise you get spoon fudge-- which is just as yummy!)

What is your favorite fudge recipe?  Share it in the comments!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Scary and exciting!

Yesterday morning, as my son got ready for his first day in fourth grade, I began my search for agent.  I agonized over the e-mail I was writing.  Did I spell the name correctly?  Did I include something persona; as to why I want to send to this agent?  Did I spell everything correctly?(this was actually a good check as I found a typo in my sample pages!)

When I had gone over my e-mail and query several times, I typed in the e-mail address and subject line, then sat staring at the send button.  My heart pounded and I waited.  And waited.  I knew if I clicked send, there was nothing more I could do but wait and see if the agent I was e-mailing liked my query enough to ask for sample pages.

Finally, after reading the e-mail again, I clicked send.  My stomach filled with butterflies and a huge grin filled my face. I had done it.  I had finally sent out a query for my YA fantasy Quest of the Hart.

As I prepared to send to two more agents, I thought I would become more at ease with the process, however, I was surprised to find that I was just as nervous with the third sending as I was with the first.

I heard back from one agent yesterday with a very pleasant thank you but no thank you, and this morning I received another pleasant thank you but no thank you in my inbox. 

As those agents said, I am not getting discouraged.  I have just begin my foray into this search.  I know there is an agent out there that is right for me.  I just have to find them.

I'll keep you posted on how the search goes.

What are your query experiences?  I look forward to seeing them in the comments!

Upcoming Posts:
Tomorrow is recipe Friday-- I'll share my recipe for easy fudge!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview with Katie Taylor

Today I am featuring an interview with my critique partner, Katie Taylor, from the Weekly Chapter Challenge group on Writer's Digest. Katie has been great to work with--she catches my grammar errors, and my issues with punctuation! More importantly, she understands my characters and can tell me if I am not being true to their personalities.

While Katie has been helping me polish up Quest of the Hart, she has been sending me her work in progress (WIP) Hunted. More recently she has been sending me sections of another WIP The Vampire Slave Both stories always leave me begging her for more pages. Without further ado, I give you Katie!

Tell us about yourself. Do you play any instruments? Have any pets? Children? Boyfriend/husband? Anything else you want to share??

One boyfriend and two furry children (four if you count the bunnies). “Real” children and I don’t mix well. I’ll stick with my Pap and GS/SB mix, thanks. No instruments, either. Fifth grade band and the flute proved how disastrous trying out new talents could be—it’s definitely not one of my hidden ones, that’s for sure. =). I do have a quirky sense of humor according to the sweetie, though, and am a little too sensitive when it comes to animals. I blog, I read, I write (obviously), I like zoos and museums, and I occasionally try new feats that end up nearly scaring me to death and a blush to creep on my face from all the obscenities falling from my mouth. Call me a pansy and I’d probably agree

How did you find out about the Weekly Challenge Chapter group?

Melissa Dean.

How has your experience been so far?
It’s been great. I’m really glad I joined.

How long have you been a writer/author? Have you had anything published? What types of things do you like to write? Why do you write? How do you write?

I’d say since I could hold a pencil and attempt to spell words, but that seems to be the popular answer. Can’t be too cliché, right? (Even though it would be accurate.) I enjoyed it when I was little, had a hiatus for a while after I was pretty sure my mom lied to me how to spell the word owner (children and their conspiracy theories) when I was writing about a story centering around a collie getting lost—yes, I liked Lassie, a lot. Then, after I moved and began turning into the introverted, anti-social, nearly recluse I am today, I took up writing again and found a deep love of books. Nothing published except a poem in the sixth grade about why the sky is blue, but I haven’t really tried. I’ll write anything, but I mostly love to write about things that suspend belief. I live in a beyond ordinary life—I don’t want to write about it too. So, enter the vampires and other mythological creatures I’ve loved since childhood and blame on my mother who has a fascination for the like too.

I write because I enjoy it, and prefer to on the computer. It comes over better to me than on paper.

What are some of your favorite books? Authors? Music to write to?

The Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and I enjoy the fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal genre the most. As far as music goes, it depends on the scene I’m writing. For THE VAMPIRE’S SLAVE: EVANESCENT TWILIGHT, I listen to Breathe Me by Sia mostly, with Delain coming in a close second. For HUNTED (working title) anything and everything, a lot of rock and alternative rock.

Tell us about your WIP. Care to share some of it?

Which one?

HUNTED is the one that has more of my heart, and it’s about a girl, Amberlyn Winters, who has a strong aversion to vampires, and with good cause. When one transfers to her school in her senior year and she’s forced to partner with him for a speech project, though, everything changes when he proves stubborn to her dislike and teenagers start showing up murdered around Greystin. Fighting against the emotions swelling inside her for the vampire whose kind she’s vowed to hate, and the suspicions screaming in her head, she has to uncover the mystery that is Kaleb Dantes before more kids end up dead or she does one, but the truth may just be more than she bargained for.


"Kaleb, don’t!"

As fast as I could, I hurried to my feet, stumbling to Kaleb. I grabbed his arm, the thick chords of muscles bulging and rock-hard, his hands—fingers—curved, rigid, and claw-like—slightly pointier than normal. Uh-oh, not good, not good at all. Heart pounding, but lacking any sort of the usual fear, I stood in front of him, willing him to look down at me, to come back to me.

"Kaleb, look at me. Look. At. Me!”

"He’s a killer, and he deserves—”

Kaleb snarled, going after him. I pushed back against him, digging my feet into the ground, dirt pushed back as my futile attempts did nothing to slow him. I was practically a doll in his hands. Not good, not good. If Kaleb so much as touched a hair on his head…Riggs would have him in one of the Death Chambers so quick…

"Kaleb, no! You can’t do this!” I grunted out, pushing back with all my might. He moved only a bit, but it was enough to get him to stop. He wasn’t breathing, only standing rim-rod straight, eyes pinning Riggs with a definiteness that screamed kill as I kept darting looks between the two over my shoulder. Riggs was stupid to still be here, to not be afraid.

"I think it’s best if you leave—now.”

Riggs smirked, ignoring me. “He’s a beast, Ms. Winters, and he’ll kill you. Mark my words. This isn’t the end.” Wiping his mouth where a spot of blood dotted the corner, he turned and walked away, disappearing in the trees.

Kaleb and I were left alone.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Anything else you want to share?

Write what you want and what you love no matter what anyone else says, other than that, it’s all a moot matter.

Where can we find you on the web? and then follow the links from there if you want to continue to stalk me.

Thank you Katie!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Look!

As you can see, I spent time over the weekend updating and changing the layout of my blog.  I included links (over to the right) that will take you to excerpts of my writing (as well as links that give you a brief synopsis of what the story is about).

Feel free to look around and explore!  Let me know if there's something I am missing that you would like to see!

I am going to try to get back to blogging at least 5 days a week- I am aiming for Monday-Friday. I am setting up Wednesdays as my Weekly Chapter Challenge (WCC) postings (to keep you up to date on my writing) Fridays as Recipe Exchange day (get the recipes ready!!)

Books I Read This Week:
Over the weekend, I raided my son's bookshelf and read Ranger's Apprentice- The Ruins of Gorlan  by John Flanagan.  I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the following books in the series.

Upcoming Posts:
Interview with my critique partner and fellow writer Katie Taylor (WCC Wednesday)
Recipe post (Recipe Friday)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trying a New Wrting Style

Everything I have always written I have always started with my main characters in mind and a setting and a loose plot.  Then I would sit down and write the story from start to finish.  Needless to say, when I got to the end I would have major re-writing to do.

I would find my characters were flat (something I am learning to correct- but that is a post for another day), or my plot had gaping holes or was unbelievable, and I would start all over again with the same process.   That is how I now have at least five versions (each one better than the next) of Quest of the Hart.

So, as I was finishing Quest of the Hart I was reading Lisa Shearin's blog about how she writes.  She mentioned using a detailed plot summary for her books.  Hmmm.  I had heard of plot summaries before, but had never considered writing from one.  Until now.

I knew who the characters I wanted to write about in The Lost Princess (working title) were and had thought out a decent plot (I have to tell myself stories at night so I can fall asleep, so I often use this time to plot and figure out characters, etc.)  With all this in mind, I sat down and wrote out (yes, with pen and paper) a plot summary-- complete with some comments I wanted my characters to make.  I could see the scenes as they unfolded and wanted to give myself enough to remind me when I came back to it after finishing up my edits from Katie (my wonderful critique partner!)

Now as I am starting TLP, I have my notes to guide me as I send my characters on their quest.  So far, I am finding the plot summary very useful.

What I Read this Week:
Last week I downloaded the Nook application for my netbook so I could quickly get (and start reading) a book on writing that had been suggested to me.  Can I tell you how much I love this app???  Barnes and Noble has some books in their free library that I have downloaded and been making my way through.  (Yes, I know I read a bunch of romance books, but I do like a good romance every now and then :) )

Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King  This was recommended by a friend at WD to help me with my query letter.  There is a lot of great information in this book.

Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by BJ Daniels  I was looking forward to this read, having read BJ's work before, but this one disappointed me.  Still, I finished it and found it an enjoyable read.

Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly  Very well written and lots of humor (and heat!)

Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child  Fun read- touching and exciting at the same time.

Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf  Excellent book-- I really enjoyed her twist on witches and vampires

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren  This was a fun read based in the NASCAR world.  I found it quite funny at times and filled with some interesting racing information.

Upcoming Posts:
-Writing one chapter at a time
-Writing distractions/procrastination