Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

McGee from NCIS
I'm saying "Happy Thanksgiving" a little early, because I am flying out early on Thursday, headed for vacation for a week and a half - spent on beaches and relaxing, doing some reading.  I can't wait! 

No Turkey for me, just some reading and relaxing
I hope you all enjoy your family time and too much turkey and pumpkin pie!  If you can't stand your relatives, enjoy some funnies!  He does several and they are all hilarious!!  I recommend this one, "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" ones.  I don't like Twilight and his trailers are so funny!

If you are working on your NaNo novel - keep writing!  You can finish it!  :) 

Some tips:
*Is your MC's best friend still alive?  Consider writing a wordy and moving death scene.
* Remember Godwin's law.  Have you referenced Hitler yet?  (I used this one!)
* I will not use contractions.  Do not use contractions.
* Does your hero have any friends still living?
* Have you made a reference to the traveling shovel of death yet?
* In the name of all that is pure and good, DON'T read your novel so far.

Good luck and have a great Thanksgiving!  I will be back on December 1st and do my best to catch up on everyone's blogs and leave some nice comments!   :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

If I Let You Go - A Review

Another lovely read from one of my blogging friends, Kyra Lennon

Title: If I Let You Go
Author: Kyra Lennon
Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: October 5, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Plot: First, here is the summary of "If I Let You Go" from Amazon - Madison Connor is about to lose it. Her job, that is. For three years, she’s taken care of Dominic Hartley’s five year old daughter, Tilly, but her world is flipped on its head when Dominic tells her his latest promotion is taking him to New York. With Tilly having a meltdown over the move, Madison and Dominic get into a fight that changes the entire nature of their relationship, causing Madison to ask herself a big question. Can she let him go?

Madison has been caring for Tilly for three years and Tilly is about to be ripped from her fingers.  She's grown to love the little girl as her own.  Dominic thinks he knows what is right for his daughter, but he hasn't been listening since he's been obsessed with his career.  He's about to find out what it means to finally raise his daughter.  If he doesn't change his mind, it isn't going to be pleasant.

Romantic Element: The relationship between Madison and Dominic is steamy and intense.  It's not cookie-cuter where a nanny has been in love with her employer for years.  She hasn't.  Madison even has steamy relations with Neil, the mysterious character I wanted to know a bit more about.  I love that the two of them have real fights!  They are passionate and Madison is not afraid to voice her opinions!  She's a strong character and I really enjoyed reading about her.

Overall:  The story did need a little more depth - I wanted to know a bit more about Dominic and his past.  The reader doesn't get a lot of background on Madison either and I'm not exactly sure how old she was.  The whole book was written very well!  The characters were fairly well-rounded and it was a book I couldn't put down!  I started it and found myself staying up until early in the morning to finish!  Also, I enjoyed Tilly's character - she's a spunky little girl and she knows what she wants.  Very typical of a five-year-old!

If I Let You Go is an entertaining story with passion, romance, and temper-tantrums on all sides.  I would recommend this to others as a short and sweet, contemporary romance!

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 days of craziness!

 Whew!  I am finished!  50,158 words and I am finished with my NaNoWriMo novel, Defiance.  I can finally get some good sleep tonight!  I've been staying up later to get more writing done and giving up sleep in exchange.  I've also been slacking on my exercising. 

Here's the final update of my progression:

NaNoWriMo Word Count - "Defiance"
Day Seven:  34,111
Day Eight: 36,202
Day Nine:  38,275
Day Ten:  41,414
Day Eleven:  46,284
Day Twelve:  50,158

I am done!  I would like to thank Cheryl for doing some #1k1hr sprints with me on Saturday!  It seriously helped!  I am not really sure I like the ending of the story, but that's okay.  There are several things I'd change, but I don't have to worry about that for a while since I am going to put it away until after the new year!
How I feel about my book ending
I am in shock.  I have written SIX novels!!  Wow, now that is an accomplishment!  I think I deserve some chocolate or something for that. :)

Here's a little excerpt from "Defiance":

How I imagine Anise to look

But there was another hiding behind the boys.  She was small, a little girl only five or six years old.  Her blond hair was pulled back and strands were braided.  Her eyes were grey, but not frightened.  They seemed curious.  A smile pulled at her red lips. 

“Who is this?” I asked, keeping my voice soft.

“Her name is Anise,” Liam said.  “She was the last one I freed.  Anise is a very special little girl, aren’t you, 

Anise smiled at Liam’s nickname and praise.  “Yes.”  Her voice was soft and musical, pure and untainted.

“What is your gift, Anise?” Declan inquired.

“I’m an illusionist.  I can make things appear to be there, but they really aren’t.  But they never let me use my gifts.  The men feared me because of the images I could show them.”

“Why did you show them those images?” I said, frowning.

Anise’s voice was sad.  “I just wanted them to feel sad because I was alone, but they still never let me go home.  I don’t even know what happened to my mommy.  We were at the mall when they took me.”

Liam must have noticed my confused expression.  “Illusionists are usually born to non-magical parents, ironically.  Her mother probably suspected, but she couldn’t tell anyone without Anise being taken away.  Apparently the Center stole her from a playground.  Her mother probably doesn’t even know where she went.”

“That’s horrible.  I’m so sorry, Anise.  If we get out of these, we will try to find your mommy.”

Anise smiled and I felt like my heart was melting from the sweetness of the little girl.  She lifted her hands and a ball of light appeared in her hands.  It quickly turned into blue, green, and yellow flames, and appeared to be burning in a round circle.  It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time.  Anise put her hands down and it disappeared.

“I like to make pictures,” she said.

“Would you like to help us?” I said, getting down on my knees in front of the little girl.  “We want to get out of here and save the rest of our friends.”

Anise nodded.  She was so full of trust and youth.  I didn’t want to taint her innocence, but we really didn’t have a choice in the matter.  Declan and I agreed to take her with us to confront Seth.  She would stay in the background and distract the Enforcers until Liam could release Effie to help knock out the rest of the men.  Then we would only have Trent and Seth to deal with.  Only, yeah I wish it wasn’t a big deal. 

“Good luck,” Liam said.  “I won’t leave without you this time.  I’m saving Mira and all of us are getting out of here, together.”

“I really hope this plan works out better than our last plan,” Declan laughed.  “The last one truly sucked.  I don’t think we could have done any worse.”

I frowned, turning back at him.  “We could have done worse; we could all be dead.  But instead, we are trapped here again and about to take on Trent and Seth.  Other than that, this place is quite charming.”

“I agree.  I think if we repaint the walls and erase the fact that this place has killed a good number of people like Hitler, we could maybe consider making this our summer home?”

It all seemed fairly well, but I had to ask the question.  “Who’s Hitler?”
Declan smacked his forehead with the palm of his head.  “I definitely think Godwin’s law applies in this situation.”

Hope you enjoyed the little sneak-peak!  Good luck to all of you still working on your NaNo novels!  You can do it - just keep writing! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG - Will anyone read my book?

It's time for another installation of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month.  Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

There are so many books out there and I'm afraid whatever I write will get lost out there and no one will read it.  I've seen self-published books absolutely tank and the same with professionally-published books.  Whichever way I go, I want people to enjoy my books. 

* I want my readers to be furious with Olivia for staying with her boyfriend abuser, as Ethan is beating her and threatening to kill her. (Down in the Creek)
* I want them to weep with Sophie as she sees the boy from the Missing Poster is before her and he's dying, tormented by the evil Everett.  (To Love Without Hope)
* I want them to gasp for air with Lydia as she beats her hands upon the trunk lid, desperate to get out and knowing if she doesn't, her unborn child will die with her.  (The Secret)
* I want them to plead with Edom to run as he clutches the newborn baby to his chest and fights to save the innocent while protecting his sister from an unjustified death.  (Nameless)
* I want them to feel the burn as the whip tears flesh from Princess Dalia's back as she is flogged for standing up to her father and demanding freedom for the innocent.  (Unless)
* I want them to feel the heat of the flames as Kaela sees innocent faeries and mermaids burned to death, and realizes she cannot save them.  (Defiance)

But, would anyone read them?  Do you ever feel like you are spending all this time writing and no one will ever read it?


In other news, NaNoWriMo is going so very well!  Here's my updated progress:

NaNoWriMo Word Count - "Defiance"
Day Four:  26,664
Day Five: 30,062
Day Six:  32,089

I better go get today's writing done! :)  How is NaNo going for you?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Write or Die

Happy 4th day of NaNoWriMo!  It's really early in the morning, but I wanted to write a quick post for you all.  NaNo is going extremely well!  I wanted to give you my little secret.

I'm using a website called "Write or Die".  It puts the 'prod' in productivity!  You simply enter your word count goal and give yourself a time limit.  It forces you to stay focused and not be distracted.  If you don't type for a certain amount of time, the screen starts to turn red and then a sound will go off to alert you.  There's also an extreme mode, where if you don't write fast enough, the program will start to erase your words.  That one is a little intense for me, but I love the other one.

I've been doing 15 minute sprints with a goal of 500 words.  As long as I stay focused, I can actually write a little over 500 words in 15 minutes.  It's very motivating and helps me see how much time I waste by visiting Twitter and Facebook or my email to procrastinate.

There's a web app (which is free), an iPad app, and a desktop version.  I use the web app and it's great!  You simply type in the box and copy/paste into your novel document when finished.  LOVE!

If you have trouble focusing, you should definitely check it out! 

NaNoWriMo Word Count - "Defiance"
Day Two:  15,612
Day Three:  22,635

I wrote 7,023 words yesterday!  That is the most I've ever written in a day.

Here's a little excerpt from yesterday:

"How did you know we were from the Center?" I asked, still in disbelief.

This time Declan motioned to the bracelet on my wrist and I wanted to slap my forehead.  I'd forgotten about it.  He stated he'd seen the bracelet before and it was well-known symbol in the mystical world.  I leaned back in the booth, feeling completely spent. Trent and I had only slept for about three hours before he woke me up.  It wasn't enough.  Trent pushed the cup of coffee closer to my hands and made a drinking motion.  I smiled at him, taking a sip.  It wasn’t actually bad, though I still didn’t have a taste for coffee.  I preferred tea or juice. 
“So, a warlock and a faerie, I’d love to hear how you met,” Declan said with a smirk.

Declan is my new character, who invited himself into the story today.  I really am loving "pantsing" this story.  I've got no idea where it is going and it's a lot of fun to write!

How is your NaNo novel coming?  You can do it; keep writing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Goals

It's time for turkey and some crazy-writing because NaNoWriMo 2012 has begun!

I'm already working hard on my novel and for anyone who sees my word count, I actually started a few days early because I am going on a cruise for the last 8 days of November with no computer.  I am not a super writer, though I wish I could write over 10,000 words in a day.  I wish.  I seriously wish.

Anyway, since it is a new month - it's time for new goals and to see how I did last month.

Here's my goals from October:
* Write to 45,000 words on "Unless"
FAIL.  My current word count is 34,803.  I fell quite a bit short, but that's okay!  I'll work on it when this month is over.

* Finish first round revisions of "Nameless" with my critique partner
We made it through!!  Now I've just got a lot of work to do to revise. :)

* Participate in IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group) on the first Wednesday of October
I remembered! :)

* Decide if I want to participate in NaNoWriMo in November

I've done it in years past, and I'm doing it again!!  Very excited!!

I completed three out my four goals.  That sounds like a good month to me! :)

Gosh, I love Jeremy Renner. :)

Goals for November:

* Write to 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel "Defiance"
I can do this!  I am super excited to write this story, even though I had no idea where it is going!  I don't even really know who the villain is. :)

* Enjoy my cruise
I'll be gone the last week of November on a cruise with my family.  I haven't been on a vacation in probably six years and I am very excited to chill on the boat deck and read some awesome books. :)  I'm already getting a list to read.  Also, I need a tan.  My skin is the color of bread dough before it is baked.  No joke. :)

What are your goals for November?  How did your October goals go?  

NaNoWriMo Word Count - "Defiance"
Day One :  12,610

Good luck to everyone doing NaNoWriMo!  We can do this! :)