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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Critique give away

Lindsey Cummings is offering a free critique to help polish the first three chapters of your story!
She is willing to do Fiction of any genre for MG and YA. Great for querying agents!

Check it out and enter to win @

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lovely Blog

I was tagged by Author Amber Gilchrist in the One Lovely Blog Award.
For this blog hop, all you have to do it list seven random facts about yourself .... I can do that :)

Seven random facts about me:

1. I hate oatmeal! It makes me want to vomit! I have even tried it again recently just to see if perhaps I'm too prejudice - but nope, it's not me, it's definitely the oatmeal :)

2. I love babies! I love to hold them and smile at them and cuddle them, but the thought of having my own kind of scares me ...

3. I can speak Portuguese fluently (Brasilian Portuguese)

4. I have my own line of jewelry and hair accessories that I hand make myself and sold at Farmer's Markets for years before moving to Arizona. I still make them on occasion and always have a supply on hand for birthdays, holidays, random gifts, or when people request something special. And I'm also a MaryKay consultant.

5. I am a natural blonde, and my hair highlights itself during the summer months. I don't have to color or highlight my hair at all!

6. My favorite vitamins are the gummy bear kids vitamins. I hate swallowing pills.

7. My favorite animal is the Penguin and I have a huge collection! Currently we have a shelf that lines our entire front room and it has a line of penguins on it. We call it our March of Penguins! (Sadly this is not my entire penguin collection. I still have slippers, snow globes, paper weights, hand carved wooden penguins, glass penguins, etc, etc ....)

Ok now you can learn some fun facts about a couple of other friends of mine.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Importance of Editing

When my sister and I were younger we loved to read books together. We would go to the library, hit the YA section and leave with an armful of books. Then we would read them aloud to each other while we took turns cleaning our bedroom or late at night when we were supposed to be sleeping but were really laying awake in our bunkbeds with a small lamp for light (usually this was my time to read to her until she fell asleep). We found some books that have been part of my "favorite books" collection for many years since that first time we read them (and loved them so much we reread them several times.)

However, our zest for some of these books were quickly staunched when within the first couple of chapters there were so many mistakes that it became clear there had been a lack of editing to some of these books. When the inaccurasies and the mistakes became so entirely obvious that we could no longer follow the story line without rereading a paragraph several times over (in order to discover what the author meant to say) we generally had to give up reading that book - and usually resorted to using it as a source of amusement whenever we discussed badly written books.

Sadly this is too often the case and I have seen more books that seemed to have skipped the editing stage and went directly from draft to published without being polished in between the two steps. I'm not going to say I am an excellent editor and that my books are perfect. In fact, you will probably find mistakes in this post and several before. I am far from perfect in my writing. However, I feel that even a person, such as myself, who doesn't have the skills to write perfectly, aught to take the time to find people who can help them with that editing.

When I come across a book or piece of writing that is poorly edited, I wonder how much the writer cared about what was written vs. how much they cared about seeing it in print. Personally I believe that if I love my writing, (which I do!!) then I would not throw it out into the world without first making it the best I possibly can. I will first do everything I can to edit, clean, polish, and show the world how important my writing is to me. If I love my writing and want other's to love it also, I have to allow them to see the story and not the mistakes I made out of carelessness.

Someone on my Author's Think Tank group said "Write like nobody will read it, edit like everyone will" (Still trying to hunt down the actual source of the quote.) I think that basically sums up exactly how I feel about editing.

I have recently joined several writers/authors/critique groups that are amazing. It always helps to have fresh eyes on your manuscript. I have found that having a supportive group of people can be uplifting, enlightening, and dead helpful! Especially when they are so passionate about the same things that matter to me. My writing has improved dramatically, my character's are more coherent, and my book has never been so clean and polished.

So thank you to all family, friends, and groups who have helped me get my books to that point they are at today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Goals

I used to always set goals at New Years, but then I never stuck to them, and promptly forgot all of them by the end of the year. So I haven't done it for several years now.
But this year, I'm going to try again - why? Well, because this year I can post my goals here, on my Facebook, and on my fridge where I know I have the best support team in the world - ALL OF YOU!!

See, now if I don't strive for my goals, or I forget about them, I am more conscious of my failings due to the fact that lots and lots of people now know what my goals are. So here goes - in no particular order.

1 - Attend at least 2 writing conferences

2 - Get at least 1 novel published (agent represented if at all possible!)

3 - Complete/Win NANOWRIMO 2013

4 - Participate in my ANWA writing group meetings each month

5 - Attend the book club that I keep promising to attend each year and not doing (and read the books too!)

6 - Complete at least 2 more novels

7 - Manage my time better (you would think that being a full time author I would have a better concept of writing time vs time for everything else - but somehow everything else gets in the way so I think I had better start scheduling in writing time.)

8 - Keep up my blog and make new blog friends!

Well, there they are. Nothing fancy, nothing too over the top, but huge accomplishments for me! I think I have spent too long being afraid of what people will say about my writing. So this year I'm going to break out, participate in everything I can, share my stories for critiquing (and cry later when nobody can see me :) ), and learn what I need to in order to make my writing polished and beautiful! Then maybe an agent will love them so much they will want to represent me. Yup, I like this plan! Wish me luck!!

Just as a fun personal note: The best moment of 2012 was when I got sealed to my wonderful husband in the Manti Utah Temple!

What are your goals for 2013?