Monday, December 28, 2009

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION CONTEST

Happy New Year everybody! Yes, I know it’s not yet, but I have a great contest for everyone!



I’ve never been one to make resolutions. For me it’s a surefire way to do the opposite of what I wanted-lol. But this year, I think I’ll make several resolutions.

My first two are to blog more often and to be more generous.

So with those two things in mind I came up with the New Year’s Resolution Contest!





The Rules:



  1. Post in the comments your top TWO resolutions for 2010 for ONE entry.

  2. Be a follower or become one for another entry.

  3. Mention this contest in a post on your blog, or link to it on your sidebar, or both for another entry.


So if you (1) post a comment with your resolutions, (2) are a follower or become one, (3) mention this in a post on your blog AND/OR (4) link to it you can get a whopping FOUR entries!

See, that’s easy.



The Prizes:

A brand new hardcover copy of Suzanne Collin’s Catching Fire!


AND


A $20 Visa Gift Card to buy whatever you want! (I like chocolate and I wear a size 8 1/2 shoe...just in case you were wondering.)




*Contest ends Sunday January 3, 2010 @ 11:59 EST.* I’ll have an impartial person (my mother) draw the name from a hat.

Have fun and I can’t wait to hear some of those resolutions for 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kissing Day Part Three




Okay, so I've milked this kissing day for as long as possible. So fear not dear readers, this will be the last scene posted-lol. This is part three of my kissing scene. I've cut it and it's still long, but it's mostly dialogue so it'll read fast--hopefully. The scene: Ryan and Heath have gone into the garage to meet with Mr. Webb, Ryan's father. He gave them both motorcycles for Christmas (I know, expensive right, but it makes sense in the context of the novel) Heath has gone in the house, leaving Ryan and Jeremiah to talk. Above is a pic of what Ryan's new bike looks like.

~*~

Ryan didn’t know if his father was looking at him, but he kept his head down and polished his new, beautiful motorcycle. He made sure to keep his mind shielded against his father’s thoughts. He didn’t want to hear that his father thought it was disgusting for him and Kalie to be together.

“Ry, do you remember when you were fifteen and walked in on your mom and me having an argument?’

Ryan looked up, baffled. Jeremiah was leaning against the black Impala with his arms folded over his chest, probably to keep finger prints off the vintage car.

“Um…yeah, I remember. I’d never seen you and Mom argue like that.”

Jeremiah nodded. “We never had before, or since. Did you ever find out what the argument was about?”

“No.” Ryan’s brows knitted as he wondered where his father was going with this. “I tried to see if Olivia knew, but the KGB couldn’t get a secret out of her.”

Jeremiah laughed. “True.” He cleared his throat. “We were arguing about Kalie.”

“Why?”

“Because your mom wanted to adopt her and I didn’t.”

Ryan jerked back like his father had just struck him in the chest. “Why not? Don't you--"

“I love her,” Jeremiah said intensely. “She’s my daughter in every way that matters. But…well, I guess I always knew that scene in the gazebo would happen and—”

“Whoa, Dad. If you’re about to tell me that divination is a part of our gift then I’m going to be so unbelievably pissed. I haven’t even gotten used to this mind reading crap.”

Jeremiah smiled. “No, we’re not gifted with the divine powers to see into the future. As I was saying, your mom came to me when Kalie was six and said we should adopt her.”

“Don’t tell me you saw something between us when she was six and I was eight.”

“No, I didn’t. Back then I felt it was too soon after the loss of her family to adopt. I didn’t want her to think we were trying to replace her parents. Patty agreed. After that, every time she brought it up, I put her off, or talked around it.” He sighed and rubbed a hand through his brownish-blond hair. “You and Kalie never really interacted like siblings. Yeah, you got on each others’ nerves like siblings sometimes, but it was more like an old married couple even when you were children. When I saw how you reacted to seeing her in that bikini at your going away part, I knew I’d made the right decision.”

Ryan’s face heated as he remembered Kalie in that bright orange two-piece. “But Dad, even if I had less that civilized thoughts about Kalie, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t have adopted her.”

“If she was legally your sister would you have kissed her like you just did in that gazebo?”

Ryan vehemently shook his head. “No way.”

“See.” Jeremiah stepped away from the car and clapped a hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “If there was even the slightest chance that Kalie could be the one for you, there was no way I was going to let a piece of paper stand in the way. I love Kalie and I don’t care how she’s a part of this family, be it as my daughter or your wife—”

“Wife!”

“Calm down, I’m not dusting off my tux yet. I’m just saying, if you want to be with Kalie, you have my blessing.”

Ryan swallowed. “I appreciate that, Dad. I really do. What about Mom?”

“Well, she’s a different story. She just doesn’t see this thing that's been between you and Kalie and probably won’t see it until you're having your first dance at your wedding.”

“Dad, enough with the wedding talk. You’re giving me palpitations.”

Jeremiah laughed, then he looked Ryan in the eyes. “Treat her with respect, Ryan. Don’t mess about with her because if things go to crap, I don’t want her to feel awkward around us. I want Kalie to know she’s always a member of this family.”

Ryan scoffed. “Trust me, Dad, if there's a vote on who to boot out the family, I'll be the one packing.”

“No, we’d work it out so you’d both feel comfortable. Just treat her right. No more groping her in public.”

Ryan smiled crookedly. "Yes, sir."

“Are you in love with her?”

He looked away from his father’s questioning eyes. “I should probably tell her before I tell you.”

Jeremiah pulled Ryan into a sideways hug. “You make me proud, son.”

A lump formed in Ryan’s throat, but he swallowed it down, and then remembered something. “Dad, what song did you sing for karaoke?”

The older man’s grin was both boyish and wicked. “A nice little tune by Sir Mix-A-Lot called, Baby Got Back…it’s a classic, you know.”

Ryan fell over laughing, hating that he’d missed that performance. But if given the choice between seeing his father sing about liking big butts or making out with Kalie, he would choose Kalie every time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FOLLOW UP TO KISSING DAY!

THANK YOU guys for all the lovely comments from yesterday’s Official Kissing Day Blog Fest. There were so many good kissing scenes! I LOVED it. I still haven’t read all the submissions so I’ll be working on them throughout the week. I think I got to about 33. I really want to read and comment on them all. So if I haven’t comment on yours yet, never fear, I will soon.

Since I had so much fun with the kissing scene, I wanted post the follow up scene because it’s one of my favorites. I had to cut the scene because it’s simply too long to post here, but it ends with a really sweet conversations between Ryan and his Dad.

This picture sort of captures the scene again, but not quiet. I just love this picture.So, a bit of background: It’s still Christmas night at Ryan’s parent’s house. Heath, Ryan’s partner at work, comes up from the basement in time to catch the show-lol.

~*~
Heath climbed the basement stairs under the guise of getting Jessica a drink. Truthfully, he’d had enough of the off-key karaoke and was wondering where Ryan had gone. He rounded the corner, cut through the great room, and headed into get to the kitchen. Mr. Webb stood at the bay window, staring out as if in a trance. Heath picked up a soda for Jessica.

"All right, Mr. Webb?”

Jeremiah turned slightly, without taking his eyes away from the window and said, “Su-sure. I’m…”

Heath stepped up on Mr. Webb’s right and saw why the man was staring out of the window. Ryan and Kalie were mauling each other in the gazebo like each held surviving breath for the other. Heath snorted as Ryan hoisted Kalie up on the railing and she wrapped her legs around his waist. Jeremiah looked like he had just swallowed something and it was lodged in his throat.

That, sir,”—Heath nodded toward the groping couple—“is the result of years of repressed sexual tension.”

“Do me a favor,” Jeremiah said, still watching the display, “go get my son off her before they conceive my next grandchild in the middle of Patty’s prize winning garden.”

Heath laughed. “Sure thing.”

“Hurry, before someone comes up stairs. And when you’re done, you and Ryan meet me in the garage.”

Heath nodded even though he was confused as to why he needed to go to the garage. Was Mr. Webb angry? The man had to see how gone his son was over Kalie. This can't be a surprise. Heath put down the soda and went outside. The snow fell silently, muffling his foot falls. He made it about three yards from the house and decided it was far too cold to go any further.

“Oi! Webb!”

They didn’t seem to hear him or if they did, they were ignoring him. Heath whistled and the sound split the air like a cracked whip. Nothing. He sighed and stepped closer, close enough to hear Ryan and Kalie moaning and slurping each other like melting ice creams. This’ll bloody scar me for life. He picked up a clump of snow, made it into a ball and hurled it at Ryan’s head.

“Ouch!” Ryan staggered back, holding his ear. “What the hell are you doing?”

“You’ve got an audience.” Heath gestured toward the wide kitchen window, which was now empty. “Well, you had an audience.”

Kalie gasped. “Who was it?” She jumped down from the railing, her face flushed from the cold and from kissing, and probably from embarrassment too.

“Mr. Webb.”

“Oh, God!” She dashed off of the gazebo and ran for the house.

“Kalie, wait.” Ryan made a move to go after her.

Heath stopped him. “You’re dad wants to see us in the garage.”

“He does? What for?”

“How should I know?”

Ryan took a deep breath, seemed to drum up his courage, and started toward the garage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Official Kissing Day Blog Fest




This picture sort of sets the scene. This is from the follow up to my novel Light Bringer, tentatively called Venators. Ryan kissed Kalie once last summer and they haven’t really spoken since. It’s Christmas night at Ryan’s family’s home, and the couple are in the gazebo talking.



~*~
Kalie broke eye contact and said, “You kissed me, Ryan, and then apologized for it. You kissed me and said you’d never do it again. How’s that supposed to make me feel? What’s so terrible about kissing me that you’d never want to do it again?”
Ryan gaped at her, watched her hazel eyes mist over and he finally understood. “Kal, I wasn’t apologizing for kissing you, but for how it happened. That I just pounced, forced myself on you.” He stepped closer. “I never meant to make you think that I didn’t want to…kissing you was like…I just…” His emotions took over and he slammed his mouth to hers.

Their teeth clanked, their noses bumped and Ryan thought he bit her. It was a terrible kiss, the worst he’d ever had.

He pulled back. “Sor—”

“Don’t apologize or I swear I’ll punch you.” Kalie sucked her bottom lip into her mouth, and he hoped it wasn’t to nurse a bite.

“Okay, I won’t ever apologize to you again.”

Holding back a smirk at her eye roll, Ryan licked his lips and closed the distance between them. His lips met hers in a much more civilized manner. He tasted her slowly, nibbling tenderly. Kalie’s hands moved up to his shoulders and around his neck. Ryan pulled her snuggly against him, deepening the kiss.

Hints of apple cider coated her tongue and he remembered the first time he’d kissed her she'd tasted like mango. Would she always taste like something sweet? His hands began to roam as they stumbled back against the railing. Swirling his tongue deeper into her mouth, he tried to learn as much as he could about how she liked to be kissed. But his brain rattled around in his head like a lone marble. He was kissing Kalie, again. And she wanted it. Awesome! Ryan didn’t care that snow was wetting his hair or that he was freezing. Nor did he care that he was kissing and groping Kalie in full view of anyone who may happen upon the kitchen window.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kissing Day Blog Fest Tomorrow

Head on over here and read the instructions for The Official Kissing Day Blog Fest!

Basically, if you want to participate you'll have to add your name to the link list and then tomorrow, December 21, 2009, post a kissing or near kiss scene from your WIP or completed novel, or your favorite scene from a movie or novel!

Hope some of my lovely followers post some scenes. I'd love to read your work!

The Great Digout!

HELLLLP!


Okay, so it wasn't that bad but I still feel like this...
See, all the shoveling turned me blue!

Man, I need a husband! Anyone out there know someone who enjoys reading, music, Food Network and dorky fantasy/Sci-fi movies, send him my way. Well, he'd need to have a strong back for shoveling, and not scream when squishing bugs.

Now, I'm off to lay on the sofa and take a nap!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SNOW DAY!!!

So what it's Saturday, a Snow Day is a Snow Day!!!


I finished my Christmas shopping last night. I'm good on milk, bread and toilet paper (what's the deal with that? Why those three things when facing a snow storm? Honestly, I only bought bread. I have six rolls of toilet paper and I live alone so I think I'm good. As for the milk...I'm lactose intolerate. I do not tolerate milk and all it's foolishness, damn it!)

Sorry about the mini-rant. I think the snow is getting to me already--LOL. They're calling for snow all day, ending somewhere around 12-18 inches. Now I know you mid-westerners will laugh yourself silly thinking that 12-18 inches is a lot of snow, but this place SHUTS DOWN with like 5 inches. They've been talking about it since Thursday on the news. They've been running the news broadcast all this morning. They've been out on the street talking to people at the gas station and Wal-Mart.

WTH?

With the exception of college and a little over a year in Miami, I've lived in Maryland all of my life and I still don't get why snow is such a big deal--why they have to send a reporter out to freeze their nads off just to ask people how the roads are. It's insanity!

I, for one, will not be venturing out. I have 2 WIP's I can work on, 1 completed novel to revise and several DVD's to watch. Not to mention, Hulu, Netflix and a fresh unopened bag of peanut M&M's! Can life get any better?

Here is the view out the back of my place.


Okay, so you don't think I live in a prison, here's a view without the blinds looking like bars-lol.


So tell me, is it snowing where you are? And if so, what are your snow day activities?










Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Drop The Needle

Today over at Miss Snark's First Victim's site, she had her Drop The Needle submission. My post is here. If you haven't gone over to comment, please do so. Most of these writers will love to have some feedback...including me! The theme this round was danger so feel free to comment on my submission either here or over there. And my skin is thin (well thickish-lol) so say what you think. I know I have a typo in there so do forgive me ;-)

Thanks!

Monday, December 14, 2009

THINGS I HATE ABOUT SHOPPING!

1. Shopping—period.

Okay, so I’m not one of those girls who can spend hours in a mall. If you ever want to torture me, forget bamboo shoots under the fingernails just send me to a crowded mall and make me shop for hours. I’ll give up all kinds secrets just to go home. Honestly, all malls aren’t medieval torture devices. I actually like Arundel Mills Mall. They have a gi-normus Books-A-Million and a 24 Theater Cineplex—my two favorite things.

2. Crowds.

I’ve never been one to tolerate a lot of people around me. Well, that’s not exactly true. When I was a teen and going to nightclubs, the more crowded, the better! But when I have to hold my purse like a baby, wait for people to get out of the way so I can get down the isle, or when I have to listen to what you and your boyfriend did last night because you’re WAY too close to me, then I HATE crowds.

3. The Toy Section/Store

What kind of place in hell is this? I mean, I don’t have kids so I don’t frequent the toy store/section. Does it normally look like a herd of buffalo have just stampeded it? Then you have the parents and their big shopping carts blocking the isle, snatching, grabbing, and shoving for those picked over shelves. The funny thing is I went down there to look for a toy for my mother. She loves Elmo and toys with animatronics so I wanted to get her the Elmo Live (the one where he tells jokes like a standup comedian—what can I say, my mother is 10x corny). First it was $60—which made me say, hell-to-the-no—and second, it was dirty and looked like it was on its last leg…ugh! It was the worst. What am I going to do when I have kids?

4. Traffic!

This bugs me at any time, but as someone who has a 7 minute commute to work, I’m not terribly plagued with traffic on a daily basis. I was nearly KILLED in the parking lot of Joann Fabrics. As I was crossing the road to my car, this woman, who had driven past me already, stopped and threw her car in reverse because she saw someone pulling out of a spot. SHE NEVER LOOKED BEHIND HER! I had to leap out of the way or she would’ve run me over!

I know what you’re thinking, Karen, you’re a writer and tend to be a tad dramatic. Nay I say, NAY! I would’ve been a fixture on her bumper if I hadn’t been quick on my feet. There isn’t much that’ll make me resort to violence, but I think about if I had my God children with me, or my mom who isn’t feeble by any means but she’s not so quick on her feet. This backward-driving-looking-forward woman would’ve hit them. I think I might’ve flipped her car over like the Incredible Hulk if that had happened.

Now, all I have to say is BA-HUMBUG!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet Lennox!

This is my sister’s dog. Isn’t he just the cutest? He’s two years old and I really want a dog just like him. I threaten to dog-nap every time I go visit my sister, but I haven’t found a purse big enough to smuggle him out. I plan to get one just like him when I have a yard big enough.

He reminds me of Fang from Harry Potter, except he doesn’t drool as much, but he is a coward like fang-lol. He’s a Japanese Tosa which is in the Mastiff family. I know this isn’t the normal post for me, but the last time I saw Lennox he was sick, had withered down to 118lbs. I know that sounds like a big ass dog, but he’s normally around 145lbs. And at 118lbs we could see his ribs and spine. As seen here on my Lennox Action Movie-lol.
video
We were very worried about him, but it turned out that he had food allergies. I was SO happy to see him fit and healthy with that shinny coat! He’s currently 137lbs, and still gaining. And that's why my blog has gone to the dogs today.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There’s a Smurf in Your Book!

Don’t ask me why I thought of this, but the Smurfs have been on my mind lately. I loved The Smurfs as a kid, and I started to think about how you can probably find a Smurf in most books. Let’s have a look, shall we?



Papa Smurf = The Old Wise One. This is the character who has all the answers, whose main purpose is to dispense information, usually after the hero has gone through hell and back. He/She has lived a long time and usually speaks slowly and in riddles that the hero will only understand after they see the light, or walk down a certain path, or reach the top of some mountain.



Smurfette = The Pretty Girl. You can find these girls in all books. They’re usually the source of envy, hate, or fear. Some Smurfettes don’t know they’re Smurfettes. They think they’re plain and dumpy and geeky, but there’s always a boy who sees the true Smurfette in them and it’s only through the eyes of this boy that they finally become one with their inner Smurfette.


Brainy Smurf = The Know-it-all. This is the character who thinks he/she knows it all! While they usually know a lot, they can be proven wrong at times, because as we all know sometimes it ain’t all about the brains. These characters make others feel stupid either intentionally or simply by knowing things that no one their age would probably want to know. Most times, someone in the book wants to punch this character in their know-it-all mouth, but this Brainy Smurf will more than likely figure out some vital information that’ll help the hero save the day.



Grouchy Smurf = The Meany. This is the character with an attitude. He/She hates everything and everyone and usually has a snarky comment at the ready. Grouchy Smurfs usually provide the hero with someone to strive to be better than, a bully, a jerk-jock, or a thug. Or Grouchy Smurf can be on the hero’s side, but they just don’t give a damn about the quest, the problem or whatever the conflict may be at the moment. Personally, I think a good Grouchy Smurf can be a great character. I like a bit of snark.

Vanity Smurf = The Pretty Boy. This is the character whose beauty and all around perfection defies the laws of physics and gravity. He can make the sun rise and set with just a smile. He can render girls incapable of thought and speech with just a single glance. He can make the opposite sex float on air and just plain lose their minds. Where would most books be without a good Vanity Smurf? Now, he may not stare in the mirror and cloud himself with perfume like Vanity, but the girls falling at his feet pretty much serve the same purpose. After all, who needs a mirror when there’s another character there to describe your perfection on every page?




And last but not least…Gargamel. = The Villain. Where would books be without a good villain? This is the character whose sole purpose is to create conflict for the hero. They usually have a diabolical plan, a deep-seeded hatred, or they’re simply mortal enemies because that’s just the way it’s always been. Gargamels spend every waking moment thinking of ways to ruin the life of the hero. They’ll destroy the entire world if it means they win and the hero loses. We need the villain however they are presented. I love a good Gargamel as long as he/she has three dimensions.

So, as there are practically 100 of these little blue creatures, tell me, what other Smurfs have you seen in books?





Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Dabble of Dialogue

I borrowed this idea from Buffy Andrews site, Buffy’s Write Zone. Go check out her page. She has some good info!

Below is a Dabble of Dialogue from Venators (the second in the the Light Bringer's Trilogy). In the comments, add a Dabble of Dialogue from something you’re working on, querying, or even if you shelved this work, but loved a particularly witty, deep, or emotional exchange, post it in the comments!

“I thought we could be mates,” Heath said.

“Mates? You mean friends?”

He nodded.

“But,”—Jessica swallowed—“I wanna be more than that.”

“I know,” he said softly.

“But you don’t wanna be more?” She didn’t let him answer. “I think it’s mean to come over here night after night, knowing I…I have feelings…”

Heath stared at the floor. “I’m sorry. I hadn’t thought of it like that.” He met her eyes. “I’ll leave you alone.”

“That’s not what I want. I want us to be—”

“I can’t offer you more than friends, Jessica. You’re right, it’s unfair of me to hang around, just because I like talking to you. I’ll just go then.” He backed up until he was against the wall. Before he could Faze through and leave her, possibly forever, Jessica rushed forward and hugged him. Heath paused for a shocked second, and then wrapped his arms around her and squeezed.

“If you ever need to talk…” Her voice quivered. She felt like she had just given her soldier boyfriend a Dear John letter.


Now it’s your turn…gimme some of that juicy dialogue!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Moon

Well, I went to see New Moon tonight and my plan worked—well, I wasn’t going to see at all because the graphics looked like they sucked with every preview I saw—I decided to go once the fangirls had their gasp and swoon session and it worked. It was nearly empty and only a scattering of fangirls.

My friend Bonita went with me as we couldn’t find any self-respecting guy to go with us. She’s read the books, well all but the last one. I’ve read the first two, started Eclipse and put it down more than a year ago and hadn’t had the desire to pick it up again.

There were some things that came to me while I was watching this movie. Here are just a few:


--Doesn’t anyone in that town think the Cullens look odd as hell? I mean, they’re supposed to be extra beautiful—which is something Stephenie Meyers really made impossible to create in real life—but if I saw the Cullens in my school, with their gold eyes and pale (very pale) skin, I’d be like, “Um…you people look a bit sick…perhaps you need a transfusion or some iron pills, or a B-12 shot?”

--Taylor Lautner NEVER needs a shirt. I mean, good lord! There were audible gasps when he took off his shirt for the first time and quite a few of those sharp inhales came from men—LOL.

--The guy playing the Volturi vampire, Marcus looked like he was knocking on death’s door (even for a dead guy). I get that he was supposed to be bored by the whole scene, but he look like someone made him run 20 miles then hid his inhaler. I got the worse case of the giggles when Bonita said, “He looks like he’s bout to die.” I don’t know why it was so funny, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Now I have a headache.

--The graphics weren’t as bad as I thought from the previews and they were certainly better than Twilight’s.

--And the final thing that came to me when I was watching New Moon was that, even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the books (the two that I read were pretty entertaining, but I wasn’t sucked in enough to finish the series), based on the movies and what I read, I’m team Jacob all the way! When I was reading the books, I wasn’t team Jacob only because I didn’t think Bella deserved him. I thought he was far too good for this girl who had the personality of drying paint. I still kinda think that, but I can connect more with the actress Bella than I can with the written Bella, and I wanted actress Bella with actor Jacob.

Or maybe I’ve just been hypnotized by Taylor Lautner’s chesticles! I’d serious do the May/December thing with him *wipes drool*


Tell me, what were your thoughts on New Moon? If you haven’t seen it, are you planning to? Are you going to wait until DVD? Are you going to wait until hell freezes over?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NaNo Fail and Honest Scrap Award!

So I didn’t make NaNo’s goal of 50k. I managed 35,006. That’s an average of 1166 words a day, and in my opinion, not too shabby for my first attempt. I was never one to write daily. I power write on weekends, holidays and sick days, but to come home from work, boot up the computer and sit to write…that wasn’t something I could do. Even though I sit at work and write in my head, by the time I got home I was just too tired.

Or at least that’s what I told myself. When NaNo came along, and I decided to do it, I made myself go home from work, boot up that computer and sit to write. Instead of turning on the television, I turned on the CD player and I wrote. I didn’t do this every day, but I’d say 4 out of the 5 work days. I lost a weekend early in the month because of family visits and this past 4 day weekend was completely lost with all the baking and cooking and family.

So there you have it…my NaNo Fail…or maybe, my NaNo near success. Yeah, I like that better.

Now on to fun things…

Tricia over at Talespinning nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award! THANKS! The rules are that I must tell 10 honest things about me and then nominate 10 other bloggers. I’m only going to do 7 because I can only think of 7 honest things about me…so here goes:

1. Bunny rabbits and Hillbillies creep me out. A Hillbilly holding a bunny rabbit—forget about it!

2. I wrote my first novel when I was 19. Then went back and read it when I was 23 and cringed. It was so immature, but at 19 I hadn’t been in love, hadn’t had my heart broken, but by 23, life didn’t seem so rosy-lol.

3. I used to sneak my boyfriend into the basement when my mother was asleep and then take her car to drive him home…she never knew!

4. I had my first kiss when I was 12 by a boy named William Jeffreys. His voice hadn’t changed yet so it was still kinda high. When he called, my mother would think he was a girl and hand me the phone—I wasn’t allowed calls from boys until I was 15—but then my sister ratted me out. Then I had a “girl” friend who called and she had a deep voice, my mother would grill her every time, thinking she was a boy—LOL.

5. A boyfriend of mine bought a sex toy as a gag gift. Then his parents came over unannounced and saw it lying on the sofa. I have NEVER been so embarrassed!!!

6. When I was little, my grandmother used to make me put on her curly red wig and sing Tomorrow from Annie…This is my childhood trauma!

7. When I was a correctional officer, I saw more naked men then the law should allow…this is my adult trauma!

Here are the Seven Blogs I’ve recommended:

Karen Amanda Hooper
Amanda The Semi-Published
Caroline Starr Rose
Carrie Harris
Nicole Green
Stephanie Jenkins
Tere Kirkland

And thanks to all my new followers! Welcome to the family.

Monday, November 30, 2009

No More Cakes

So I made it through THE WEEKEND OF CAKES, but just barely. I don’t want to see another egg, stick of butter or cake pan until after the New Year. I know that’s not going to happen because I’ll most likely have to make a cake for the family dinner. I also want to attempt a red velvet cake (mainly because my grandmother thinks I can only make lemon cake).

I made a black bottom cake for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the easiest cake I’ve ever made…well, that wasn’t from a box. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know-lol.

Next, I had to make little Sophie’s 1st birthday cake. Kids cakes always stress me out because I want to it to be cute as well as taste good. I left the bag of Sesame Street toys in my stepdad’s car and he went back to Delaware on Friday so I didn’t have all the things I wanted on the cake. I made her a lemon flavored cake with lemon filling in the middle.
Now, there's something about the color red that NEVER comes out right for me. I used an entire bottle and a half of red food coloring and that was the darkest I could get it. My mother said they have a paste food coloring that will work better. I think I’ll look to it because I don’t want to have a pink velvet cake for Christmas.

She's just as cute as can be. This picture cracks me up because she looks like she's crashing from her sugar high-lol
Then on Sunday my aunt got married. It was a small ceremony with a reception and my other aunt’s house. So I made the cake to reflect the fall colors from her bouquet.
Pay no mind to the mess. Those aren't balled up tissues around the cake-lol-it's parchment paper that I stick under the rim while I'm frosting the cake so there's nothing on the white base, just something to keep it looking neat.
The cake was lemon with a lemon filling (see why my grand mother thinks it’s the only kind of cake I can make, but it’s what the people ask for so you gotta give ‘em what they want!). I colored the frosting a pale orange but it doesn't show well on the pictures even though it matched the highlights in the flowers perfectly. The reverend at the reception kept asking if the cake was pink and even after I told him the cake was lemon FLAVORED with orange COLORED icing, he insisted that the cake was pink and therefore had to be strawberry…"breath in--breath out, Karen." Had to repeat that several times during the night. Especially when a seven year old brat turned her nose up at the cake and said, "This doens't look like anything I'd eat."Breath in--breath out, Karen.

So, of the cakes I made this weekend I used 22 sticks of butter, 12 cups of flour, 10 cups of sugar, 8 pounds of powdered sugar!!, and 5 cups of milk. And people want to know why I don’t do this for a living, pa-leeez! The main reason is because I’m not that good. I mean, I’m better than the average person baking a cake and smearing frosting on it, but I’m nowhere near good enough to stand with the Duffs of the world. I’ve never had a cake turn out exactly how I pictured it in my head. That’s not a good think for someone who might be expected to replicate a picture or something like that. I can’t take the stress! LOL. Give me a blank document any day and I can sit and write for hours!
So lets hope I don't wake in a cold sweat from a nightmare of a giant stick of butter trying to whip me into a nice fluffy cream.






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Day

So I’m sure we’re all gearing up for some family, food and fun…or is it family, food and fighting? I hope it’s not the latter. My parents will come to my apartment because their house is still being built. I wish I had a house, but I will someday, so for now, I’ll make due. My aunt and my cousins are coming as well, so it should be a fun time.

I’m cooking my first turkey! I got the recipe to brine it from my sister and I hope it turns out well. My other contributions will be dirty rice and a black bottom cake. Everything else is coming by way of my mother.

After that, I have to make a birthday cake for my one year old God daughter for Saturday, and then a wedding cake for my aunt on sunday.

I’m going to say this because I have to get it out. I DON’T WANT TO DO ANY OF IT! I only want to write! I know, I know, you don't have to say it, I'm a terrible person. I don’t think my family realizes how precious four days off is to a writer who has hot things just burning through her brain to be written. Man, I’d love nothing more than to go to someone else’s house on Thursday then come home and write, then write all day Friday (staying far away from the malls) then write some more on Saturday and Sunday…sounds like paradise.

Alas, I won’t be able to. My mother, bless her heart, tells me to go in my room and write while she cooks and she won’t bother me. She loves me and understands my need for writing better than most. But I live alone, so it’s hard for me to concentrate when other people are in the house, especially when it’s an apartment. Besides, I miss my mommy *pouts like a baby* She just moved closer to me and I like being with her. I’ll have plenty of weekends to write, so I’m going to suck it up, tuck it away, and maybe an opportunity to write will present itself. If not, I’ll just enjoy the time with my family. There, I just needed to have a minor vent session,

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and may the tryptophan give you pleasant dreams!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Boyfriend's Ever So Dreamy...

I read a lot of novels and watch a good amount of television. The one thing I like most is when I can visualize a male character as a great boyfriend/husband. It’s not easy because he can’t be just hot…actually, I’d like it if he wasn’t described in generalizations like hot, or gorgeous or—God help me—perfect. So here’s a list of fictional guys who I think will make an awesome boyfriend/husband…in no particular order:

Peeta Mellark
From Suzanne Collins’s bestselling novels The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I’ll admit that when I first starting reading Hunger Games, I was leaning more toward Gale, Katniss’s best friend, but the more I got to know Peeta, the more I started to fall. He’s selfless, smart, handsome and just an all around good guy. Sometimes that can be boring, but in the real world, it makes for a great boyfriend/husband, so he certainly makes the list of dream worthy guys.



Ron Weasley
Do I even need to explain where this character comes from? Well, for anyone living under a rock since the late nineties, he’s from the still bestselling J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. For me, I’m all for the underdog. Ron is self-conscious, has a heaping case of middle child syndrome (even though he’s next to the last child, he’s not the oldest, not one of the twins and not the baby so he gets a bit lost), has the uncanny ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and is just a typical boy. Still, he’s sweet, brave and loyal. But it was his sense of humor that made me fall for him. I love a funny guy so even though I’d probably want to thump him on the head most of the time, Ron definitely gets my vote for good catch…plus, I have a weird thing for redheads. What is that about?


Keenan: No real photo
From Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series. I know there are hordes of girls our there who think Seth is much better, but to me, Seth is a bit boring, a bit too understanding, a bit too perfect. Keenan has a dangerous side that makes me want to be the object of his desires. Maybe not the healthiest thing to want, but who cares. I mean, come on, he’s the Summer King! Who doesn’t love summer? All that warmth and frolicking and there’s something about a guy who’s so hot he can literally burn you-lol…I might be a bit sick, so pay me no mind.

Lenard Howard
From the Big Bang Theory…okay, I know I’ll get a lot of raised eyebrows on this but I really do like nerds. I love this show and I think Lenard is so cute (not in a rip your cloths off type of way, but a cuddly, stuffed animal way-lol). I like blue collar men, guys who can do things with their hands, BUT I also like thinkers, guys who can figure out how to do things with their hands because they’ve figured it out with their brains. I know, I know…this is why I’m still single-lol!

Ian McNab: No real photo
From J.D. Robb’s In Death Series. Now, McNab is described as skinny, about 5’ 8” with butt-length blond hair, lots of earrings in his ears, and a pretty face. He wears loud colors and he’s usually saying the wrong thing. Here’s another instance where not being the hot and powerful guy does something for more. He’s an electronics wiz so there’s the nerd factor, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of his clothes so there’s the confidence. He loves his girlfriend, Peabody, so it makes him all the more desirable. Plus, he’s funny, so me likey. In real life, I’d probably take one look at him and move on, because the way he’s physically described is pretty out there, but if I had to work with him and got to know him, I’d probably be in love eventually-lol.
Dean Winchester
From Supernatural. Do I even need to explain this? I mean, look at him! Dean is the funny one of the two brothers. He’s totally male…eating burgers, ogling women and kicking @ss, so what’s not to love!
Jim Halpert
From The Office. Again, it’s the funny man syndrome that has me loving him. He has that cute guy thing going where he’s not so handsome you feel intimidated, but cute enough that you can sit at Pam’s desk and stare dreamily at him. Plus, the pranks he pulls on Dwight are priceless…I need a man with a creative mind like that!
And last but not least...Roarke: No real photo, but I doubt anyone could capture the perfection that is him!
From J. D. Robb’s In Death Series. This man veto’s all that I said above. He’s not particularly funny, not a nerd even though he knows electronics inside and out, and he’s slick and polished to a fault. I don’t know where J. D. Robb pulled this character from but he is the stuff most dreams are made of. He’s tall, dark, and insanely handsome with piercing blue eyes and an Irish accent. He’s dangerous, richer than damn near anyone in the world and he’s devoted to his wife. Can it get any better than that? He doesn’t always do the right things, he has a temper and he can sometimes be a bit too perfect, but hell, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for any of that. He’s just a perfect specimen of a man.

So tell me, who are some of your favorite fictional guys?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Midweek Excerpt

This comes from chapter four of LIGHT BRINGERS. A brief summary of the scene: Ryan is with his girlfriend, Amber and they are “making up” after a minor disagreement. Ryan is a powerful Telekinetic, but something weird has been happening with his gift lately.

~*~

They laughed into each other’s mouths as the kiss intensified. Ryan sent a thought to the lamp, flipping off the light. He focused on the bedroom window and it opened wider, sending a warm breeze into the frilly bedroom. Another tingle through his frontal lobe turned on the stereo, filling the room with soft music. He smiled at the romantic scene he had just created as he dropped down to give more attention to Amber’s breasts.

God, can’t he ever do stuff like a normal person?

Ryan’s head jerked up. “What did you say?”

“Nothing, baby.” She pulled his head back to her breasts.

He broke away and stared at her.

“What?”

Ryan leaned back further. “You think I’m a freak or something?”

Amber’s eyes shot wide. She sat up on her elbows and shook her head. Her strawberry-blonde hair swished over her shoulder like fine threads of silk. “I don’t—I wouldn’t...”

He got up from the bed unsure what he was feeling, but certainly no longer in the mood for sex.

“Ryan, what are you doing? Come back to bed. My parents will be home in like, three hours.”

“Where are my clothes?”

“In the dryer…you’re leaving?”

He’d forgotten that he was soaked to the bone when he got there. He wriggled his toes into those emasculating flip-flops, thanking all things holy that her parents weren’t home to see him marching through their house stark naked. He didn’t know what disturbed him more, the fact that Amber didn’t like one of the most basic things about him, or that he had heard her think it. A lot of people without gifts hated those who had them, jealous really, but he never thought Amber would be one of them. Granted, he should’ve been suspicious when she went out of her way to tell him how much she loved his Telekinesis.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Over the NaNo Hump and Bon Jovi

Well, I’m at 31,588k words on my NaNo project! I’m still ahead of the game so I hope I can keep up at this pace. My two WIP’s are moving along nicely. I want them to be done already-lol! Sometime, when I write I want to be all consumed in what I’m creating. I’m like that with one of these projects, but my mind still gets cranked up thinking about it being done. It’s not like I want it to be over because I’m tired of writing it. I want it to be over because I’m anxious to see where it’s going. I’m eager to start the query process…I know, I know, I can’t do that until it’s sat for a while, edited, beta’d and then perfected to my satisfaction, but I’m still excited.

Part of me feels like I’ve turned my back on Light Bringers. I LOVE my story and I know I’ll never be able to shelve it. Maybe it won’t be my debut novel and it breaks my heart a bit just writing that, but I also know that I need to step back from it for a while, for the sake of the story and for my sanity. I’ll live in the current obsession of Dwellers and maybe that’ll let me see things clearly with Light Bringers.

On to other things…





Did anyone see Bon Jovi on Inside The Actors Studio last night? It was AWESOME! And maybe I’m dating myself—who cares—but the acoustic version of Wanted Dead or Alive gave me chills. I remembered watching that video and thinking Richie Sambora was the hottest thing on two legs. When all of my other friends thought I was crazy because they were loving LL Cool J or Run DMC. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Run DMC and LL, but I’ve always been one to explore all types of music, why limit myself? Now, I’ve added Bon Jovi to my playlist for Dwellers. It doesn’t fit perfectly, but it makes me think of desolation, of dusty roads and being tired to the point of insanity but pushing on anyway and THAT fits my new novel. I also have Kings of Leon’s new CD and most of the songs from Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight DC.

What’s on your playlist for your current WIP?




Monday, November 16, 2009

Things in YA Fiction That Will Make me Roll my Eyes

A few days ago, I read a great post here about what will make you put down a book… more specifically a YA book. As I read a lot of YA, I wanted to do my own list. Steph Bowe (the blogger from the post above) is 15 years old, and her list is pretty awesome so you YA writers out there take heed!

I don’t really want to say what’ll make me put down a book as I try really hard to finish everything I pick up. So I’ll just say:

Things That Will Make Me Roll My Eyes in YA Fiction:

1. When the hot new guy comes to school and he’s dark and dangerous for no other reason than to be dark and dangerous. (This does make me pause, because I have a new guy in my latest WIP, Platinum Diaries. He’s cute, but not really hot and he’s also weird, so I hope his odd behavior will make him less of the clichéd new kid, plus his hair is red…so we shall see-lol)

2. When everybody in the book is beautiful. Come on…I know in my high school, not only were there a lot of unattractive people, but some of them were even popular, some of them were even funny and athletic and had lots of friends. Some of them were even overweight and had lots of friends, boys/girls who wanted to date them and ‘til this day still get recognized from high school (okay, I’m speaking of myself here. But my point is, I wasn’t slim with the perfect figure and I was still very popular in high school. The pretty people didn’t rule at my school and that’s the way it is sometimes.)

3. To piggyback on number two…When everyone is the same ethnicity. Now, it depends on where the book takes place, but most places in the US are melting pots. When all the characters are of one ethnicity it makes me wonder if the author just didn’t feel like investing the time and effort into creating characters of other races—not that there is too much effort to put into that—still, it makes me roll my eyes.

4. To piggyback onto number three-lol…When characters of other ethnicities are stereotypes. Now, I know some people are just stereotypes, after all, the stereotype had to come from somewhere. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I know some walking, talking stereotypes, but when you have carte blanche to create people anyway you want, why not let the tall, athletic black kid be a skateboarder instead of a baller, or the emo kid think that his parents are awesome instead of hating the very air they breathe, or the Asian kid suck at math instead of being a wiz at all academics. It’ll make for much more interesting characters.

5. When the characters are Passive. Now I know that some people are just passive and sometimes, in order to represent the way the world is, you’ll have to create a character that will lie down and make a doormat of themselves. I understand this, but it still makes me roll my eyes. A book I just finished, which I’m not going to name, constantly had the main character saying things like, I wanted to say _____, but I didn’t...I wanted to do____, but I didn't. I wanted to scream after the fifth time this character’s internal dialogue expressed what she wanted to say/do but she never had the balls to carry through.

6. When people fall in love too fast. This bugs the ba-jesus out of me in ALL fiction, not just YA. I’m a bit more lenient on YA because I know what it was like to be a teen (it hasn’t been that long) so I know when you have a crush and those feelings are so intense you can’t breath, but when it’s in a book, it just seems lazy to me. Give us reasons for these people to love each other and not just because he’s gorgeous and she smells good. I want to be able to fall in love right along with the characters.

7. When girls are too giggly. I was not a silly, giggly girl in real life, and I’m not a silly giggly woman—okay, some would argue the silly part—but I just can’t stand reading about girls who would just die if they don’t get asked to the dance, or if they don’t get a certain pair of shoes, or heaven forbid, if someone else wore the same shirt that they had on. I don’t scream when I find a nice pair of shoes, I don’t squeal when a cute boy is near (never did…I played it cool-lol) and I don’t talk a mile a minute about purses and nail polish and lip gloss even though I love all of those things. Silly, giggly girls just plain get on my nerves and when I read them in books (especially if it’s the MC) it makes me roll my eyes and seriously consider putting that book down. This isn’t usually a problem because if it even seems like the character is going to be silly when I read the back summary, then I put it back on the shelf!

My list could go on, but tell me, what are some of the things that push your buttons in YA fiction?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Midweek Excerpt

This week's excerpt comes from my current work in progress: PLATINUM DIARIES. This is also my NaNo project (or one of them...see here).
To give you a bit of background...
Sayra Nieves has the ability to see the furture through her dreams. Her dreams have always been typical teen angst type dreams and they have ALWAYS come true. One night, she dreams of the violent murder of a man she does not know and the scene below is of her telling her best friends about it.

Hope you like it!

~*~

As usual, Ivan arrived first. He looked a question at me, but I only shook my head, knowing it would be easier to tell them both at the same time. I didn’t think I could repeat it anyway. He sat beside me on the steps and took my chin in his long fingers—ideal for stroking the keys of a computer. His thumb ran over the crusted scrap on my chin and the welt on my cheek.

“You fall off your bike?”

I nodded, unable to go into detail about how I’d been nearly mowed down by Chaz’s car. A few minutes later, Penelope zipped into her parking spot and hopped out with her usual bubbling energy. Her smile fell away the moment she saw me.

“Sayra, please tell me you aren’t still moping over that parking space.” Then her eyes narrowed. “No, this isn’t about the spot.” She stooped in front of me. “What happened?”

With both of them there, I simply opened my diary and handed it to her. She stood as did Ivan, curving his long torso over her back. As if sensing the seriousness of what he was about to read, Ivan didn’t make his usual joke about hoping I’d dreamed up a girlfriend for him. They both scrunched up their faces and I realized how sloppy my writing must’ve looked. Short, choppy, scribbles made by a frightened hand, but even if I’d decided to write it over again, my hands were no less shaky.

Penelope gasped and a second later, so did Ivan. She flipped the page and Ivan snatched it back, scowling as he read the last few lines, lagging behind Penelope. The headache ratcheted up the back of my head and stuck behind my eyes. I didn’t want to talk about the dream, but I knew I had to. I couldn’t just pretend it never happened, no matter how hard I prayed.

“Maybe,” Penelope began, holding the book in her palm like it might explode,” maybe…it was just a nightmare.”

I shook my head.

Ivan sat beside me again. “Haven’t you ever had a dream that was just a dream?”

Again, I shook my head.

“Maybe this is the first,” he said hopefully.

“Yeah,” Penelope added.

They were trying to make me feel better, and I loved them for it, but there was no denying it. I dreamed that man’s murder and it was going to happen. The diary was snatched out of Penelope’s hand before any of us knew what happened.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNo HIGHJACK!

This is not a post about losing my NaNo buzz. I don’t need a pep talk, even though I’ll never turn down encouragement. I was perfectly jazzed about my new WIP and was kicking away at full speed for the last week, cranking out twice the suggested amount needed to have 50k by the end of November.

But then something happened.

Another story highjacked my brain and I mean HIGHJACKED it. Friday morning, I woke up at 5am because my bladder demanded it (which pissed me off because my alarm goes off at 6am and so I was cheated out of sleep). As I lay in bed, cursing the bottle of water I drank too close to bed time and my bladder for not holding on for another measly hour, this scene popped into my head: A girl rigging a bomb while a guy stands guard. Then they are running, trying to out run the rising sun, trying to out run the mutated people climbing out of the burrow holes in the ground around them.

I tell you, it just kept growing and growing and I haven’t been able to think of anything else. I haven't even been able to write up another interview with the next character from LIGHT BRINGERS. (You can check out the other two Interviews here, and here).

I forced myself to go back to the NaNa WIP on Sunday and I still love that story, I’m just cheating on it for a little while. It’ll understand. I’ll bring it some flowers, maybe a diamond, take it out to dinner. We might need to go to counseling, but it’ll forgive me eventually.

This new story will be my NaNo story now. I don’t think NaNo cares, as long as I write daily and the words total 50k, that’s all that matters. I feel confident that I’ll meet that goal between the two stories. I’ve just never had anything like this happen to me before so I thought this could mean something and so I shouldn’t ignore it.

Tell me, ever have a story highjack your brain?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Midweek Excerpt

This excerpt is from Chapter Two of LIGHT BRINGERS:

Kalie dressed in a powder-blue bikini, ready for a day on the water, then slipped on a pair of denim cut-offs. It was still pretty early so the house was quiet. She headed down the hall to Ryan’s old bedroom and listened at the door, hearing his low snoring from inside. She opened the door a crack.

He lay sprawled like a starfish with his neck bent at an awkward angle. At six-foot-four, he took up the entire bed. His big feet hung off the end, and Kalie had to resist the urge to tickle them. Ryan hated being tickled. She crept inside, because to wake him before he was ready would be like poking a hungry bear with a short stick. His cell phone sat on his head by his temple. He had apparently fallen asleep while talking to someone. God help him if it was Amber. Kalie snickered, hoping that he had indeed drifted off on the bimbo he called a girlfriend.

Hugging his pillow, Ryan farted so loudly that he woke himself up with a snort. Kalie jumped back, clamping her hand over her mouth and nose. His unfocused eyes blinked angrily at her as if she was responsible for waking him. He grumbled “Shicken wings,” and then flopped back to the bed, fast asleep.

“So gross.” She rushed out of the room, holding her breath.

Quietly, she headed down to the library or study or whatever they were currently calling the room with the family computer and hundreds of books. She rooted through several bags filled with newly purchased books, and just then decided to have everything read before the start of her first semester at Lawrence State University. Evolution of Endowments: Effects of the Solstice was not on the required list for her courses, but Kalie wanted to read it first. She stuck an ink pen between her teeth, grabbed a legal pad, tucked the thick book under her arm, and made her way into the back yard.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Entertain Me!

I’ve been watching a lot of action-adventure movies lately and one thing I’ve noticed is the abundance of cheesy dialogue. Honestly, I’ve always noticed craptastic lines in movies, but what struck me this time was how it made me roll my eyes and almost stopped me from enjoying the movie all together. I’m really getting sick of cheesy movies. My friends think I’m overly critical of films, like I REALLY have to be entertained or else I’m pissed…well, DUH! These people are getting paid MILLIONS of dollars to entertain me, and damn it, I want to be entertained!

I don’t want cheesy lines delivered with all seriousness—just saw this on an episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, or is it called Terminator? Who knows—“Come with me if you want to live.”

Of course I want to live, dillhole!

Or my all-time favorite, “Stay alive, I’m going to get help!”

Oh, wow, thanks for telling me to stay alive, because I was going to die without that bit of instruction.

But I must say, the funniest 3 minutes in The Office history was when Dwight set a fire and panic ensued because he blocked all the exits. As Oscar climbed into the ceiling he shouted to Angela, “Stay alive, I’m going to get help!”
Priceless. I think I laughed until my stomach hurt at that episode. See, when it’s used mockingly it works.

My peeves aren’t only for cheesy dialogue, but also crappy graphics. I don’t want to know that I’m watching a CGI. I want to think that Keanu Reeves is really kicking the @ss of a hundred Agent Smiths (that scene SO pissed me off).
If Supernatural, a freain' tv show, can pull off excellent graphics than surely a big budget move can do better.

And I’m not sure if any of you have seen the previews of New Moon yet, but I saw a trailer in the movies as well as recently on tv and both times I was like…um, am I the only one who sees that big cartoon wolf? People around me in the theater were ooh-ing and aww-ing—okay, it was giggly fangirls—but I was looking at the graphics thinking, I’m SO not going to see this movie. Is it so hard to make a believable wolf? (So um…I don’t want to be flamed by graphic artist, please. My bro-in-law is a graphic cartoonist…I love you guys, but really, can we do better?)

I remember seeing An American Werewolf in London and being scared out of my MIND! The transformation scene was, and still is, one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Then, years later when they made An American Werewolf in Paris (when graphics/technology should have been and was much better) the wolves looked like cartoons and I was not at all scared.

I think about this when I’m writing. No matter how easy it is for my characters to say or do certain clichéd phrase/actions, I resist. There is nothing an author can do when their book has been optioned into a movie and then their wolves are turned into cartoons, but I guess what I’m saying is, as writers, let’s free the world of clichés. Be it novels, stage, film or the small screen. We owe it to the people reading, hearing, and seeing our work not to give them lazy dialogue. It’s not hard to do. I could tell you how to avoid clichés in your writing…but then I’d have to kill you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

In Interview with a Light Bringer

This is the second in my four week series to interview my characters from Light Bringers...hope you enjoy!


Article by Rosepddle of the Telling Point Gazette.

After my interview with Venator Ryan Webb, I was contacted by a young woman claiming to be a Light Bringer. (For those of you who have no idea what a Light Bringer is, your questions will be answered below). Obviously, I was skeptical. Light Bringers have been a rare—if not extinct—breed for as long as I can remember. With the assurance of Ryan Webb that this was not a hoax, I agreed to meet this young lady, because after all, I’m more than a little curious to see if she really is a Light Bringer.

The day before I was set to meet this supposed Light Bringer, I received a call from Ryan laying down the rules. Now, I’m no stranger to rules when interviewing someone. People are always trying to tell reporters what we can and can not ask, but these rules were a little odd. I am not allowed to know her full name. I am not to take any photos, or even bring a photographer, nor am I to describe her too completely. Also, I am not allowed to ask any questions that will lead to her identity. I have to admit, the rules only made me more interested.

I arrive at the designated area, but I am unable to get there first, like usual, and watch my interviewee arrive. We are in a national park on a beautiful fall day. Several Venators, in full combat gear, have created a perimeter. I’m not sure if they’re here to protect her or keep me in line. Her name is Kalie and she is seventeen. I can not tell you what she looks like, other than to say that she is petite and cute as a pixie in jeans and a light-weight blue jacket.

We walk down a path where the reddish-orange leave flutter from the trees. The Venators keep their distance, with the exception of Ryan who walks a few paces behind us.

Rosepddle: It’s nice to meet you, Kalie. This seems like a lot of fuss for a simple conversation.

Kalie: [Jerks her thumb over her shoulder with a smile] He’s a bit overprotective.

Rosepddle: It’s obvious that your safety is important to Ryan. Have you two known each other long?

Kalie: All of my life. I was raised by his— [Kalie is interrupted with a warning from Ryan not to go any further about her childhood information. She opens her mouth, possibly to argue, but then understanding sets in and she presses her lips together.]

Rosepddle: Tell me, Kalie, why did you want to speak with me?

Kalie: Because the Gazette is a respectable paper and I wanted to…well, I don’t really know what I hope to achieve with this interview. I just don’t want to hide any longer. I want to be free to shout out in a room full of strangers that I am a Light Bringer and not have to fear for my life.

Rosepddle: Explain that. Tell us about Light Bringers and why it’s so dangerous for you?

Kalie: Well, I’m endowed with the ability to heal others. And the reason I fear for my life is because people can be irrational when faced with death. I don’t believe the majority of the population wants to hurt Light Bringers. It would be counterproductive. But, imagine if you were sick or dying and knew there was someone out there who could heal you, wouldn’t you do anything and everything to get that person to help you? The problem comes in when people don’t understand the limits of my gift, don’t understand or care that I can be seriously harmed if I’m not strong enough to cure them. Our history has shown that the fear of death, especially when a cure is within reach, can make people do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s like the mob mentality.

Rosepddle: But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I’ve done some research and your gift can be deadly to people, correct?”

Kalie: Yes. If it’s not utilized correctly, or if it’s used malevolently, Light Bringers can kill.

Rosepddle: Can you show me? Explain to me how your gift works.
[Kalie glances back at Ryan and they communicate something silently. Then, she stretches her arms out in front of her, palms down. White Light rains from her palms and fingertips. The brown grass around our feet begins to grow, lush and vibrantly green. Instinctually, I step back and immediately see how my reaction upsets the young Light Bringer as she shuts down her rain of Light.]

Kalie: This can’t hurt you. There are two facets to my endowment. When I give Light—like what I just did—it heals wounds, regenerates tissue and replenishes living things. The other part of my gift is to cure. [Her hands glow white, no drizzling or pouring this time, just a blinding glove. She turns them, flexing her fingers.] Like this, I can touch you and extract disease, pain or any illness from you and take it into my body. I need water to get rid of any ailments I take from someone. Usually, I just rinse my hands, but any part of me in water will cause the sick energy to leave my body.
What makes the gift deadly is, in this state, I can simply absorb all of your energy, your life force and you will die.
[Her hands stop glowing and she folds them demurely in front of her. She seems painfully aware that she has frightened me.] We are misunderstood, ma’am. I’ve been taught to use my gift to help others, but because of the dangers I face from people who want to harm me—before I supposedly harm them—or people who would hurt me or the ones I love to force me to help them, I am forced to hide and I don’t want to any longer.

Rosepddle: Do you have any ideas on how you can be yourself and be safe?

Kalie: We need to make it illegal to threaten, coerce or blackmail Light Bringers into using their gifts. Crimes against Light Bringers should have harsh punishments. I’m not against helping people. In fact, I really want to. But it needs to be controlled and protected. Just like there are laws to protect doctors as well as patients, there should be the same with Light Bringers, but stronger. And just as you need to make an appointment to see a doctor, you should have to make one for me. [She shrugs.] I haven’t really thought it all out…

Rosepddle: Oh I’d say you’ve thought it out plenty and I hope you get all of that and more.

Kalie: Thank you.

Rosepddle: It was fascinating meeting you, Kalie. I hope to get a chance to speak with you again.

She thanks me again, shakes my hand. I am briskly escorted to my vehicle and all but forced out of the park. From my rearview mirror I see Ryan and Kalie embrace. He no longer looks like a soldier, but a comforting friend. Something tells me that there is more to their relationship than what meets the eye.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Midweek Excerpt

In an effort to keep Light Bringers fresh in my mind without over-editing, I’ve decided to post an excerpt every Wednesday. I’m not sure how well the Interview with a Venator went over, but it really helped me know my characters better. It was a good exercise and I still plan to post the remaining three on the next few Fridays.

The weekly excerpts will be roughly 300 words and hopefully give a glimpse of the characters and plot. This week’s scene is from chapter one. Ryan has been hurt at work and has come to his parent’s house so his best friend, Kalie, can heal him. Kalie lives with Ryan's parents because they took her in when she was five.

**~*~*~**

“I’m gonna be sick.” Ryan pushed away from the table.

Before he could rush to the sink Kalie yanked up his shirt and slapped her hand on his stomach. White Light covered her hand like a soft glove. She closed her eyes as a thin sheen of sweat broke out over her face. The need to vomit left Ryan almost instantly. He watched Kalie’s color fade from golden-brown to chalky and greenish.

She pulled her hand away and rushed to the sink. When she turned on the water Ryan thought she was going to be sick. Instead, she cupped her left hand under the flow, letting the water run over it for a minute. Her skin gradually regained its healthy luster until she looked as if none of it had happened. She shook away the excess water, shut off the faucet and turned to Ryan.

“Sit,” she said again, just as calmly as before. “You probably have a concussion.”

Kalie placed her right hand over his forehead and white Light poured from her palm and fingertips like steady rain. This was different than the glowing glove that covered her hand a minute ago. Ryan had to resist the urge to wipe his face as her Light drizzled down on him, but there wasn’t any wetness, just cool tingles.

The emotions pulsing through him felt like nothing he could ever muster on his own. He had the usual physical feelings—the itching and pulling of rapidly healing flesh that tickled his skin. But he also felt love, platonic and strong, at first and it made him smile. Then hot jabs of lust grabbed a hold of his gut, invigorating him, making him want to reach out and touch her. Lately, he felt that stirring more often when she healed him. Ryan shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Interview with a Venator

As promised, the first in a four week series of interviews with characters from my novel LIGHT BRINGERS.


Article by, Rosepddle of the Telling Point Gazette

I arrive at the trendy café, Vintage, in downtown Telling Point, before Ryan Webb. It’s something that I like to do with interviews, get a chance to watch people make an entrance when they aren’t aware they are being studied.

I sip caramel macchiato and only wait five minutes for my interviewee. Having only seen a file photo of Ryan Webb, I am not prepared for the utter power that radiates from him. Arguably one of the most powerful Telekinetics in the nation, perhaps the world—I believe he could level the café with a mere flicker of thought—and at only nineteen. His entry doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by the females. It’s impossible not to glance in his direction, standing at six-foot-four, lean, blond and tanned with sparkling green eyes, he certainly garners attention.

He swaggers toward me with the confidence of a much older man. There’s a smile in his eyes until they land on the recorder I’ve placed on the table. Apprehension passes over his face and now he looks his age.

He greets me with the respect of a well-mannered, well-trained soldier. He sits and we exchange pleasantries until the waitress arrives. Ryan smiles up at her and asks for a grape soda. She is flummoxed by his order, in this oh-so-trendy café, but the dreamy way she looks at him makes me wonder if she’d bring him all the money in the register if he asked.

Rosepddle: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, Mr. Webb.

Ryan Webb: You can call me Ryan. And my Chief ordered me to come.

R: Why’s that?

RW: [Shrugs] ‘Cause I had a few high profile, erm, incidents in the past few weeks and the PR department thought it would be good press for Caligatus Defense Unit and the Venators. Probably shouldn’t have told you that, though.

R: So let’s talk about your career. It’s very impressive that you’ve achieved the rank of sergeant at the age of nineteen.

RW: I’ll be twenty soon.

R: Explain to our readers just what a Venator does and how you became one at such a young age. What’s a typical day for you?

RW: Well, um, Venators are a special ops team of soldiers designed to police the endowed society. I’ve wanted to be one since I was seven, so I tested when I was seventeen and made it into the program. After two years on the job you can take the sergeants exam. [Shrugs again] I don’t think anyone expected me to pass, not even me. There really isn’t a typical day as a Venator. The job is a mix between the marines and police work. Like last month, we tracked down a serial rapist who had the ability to move through solid objects, making him impossible for standard police to catch since he could slip right through walls.

R: That’s a creepy endowment to have.

RW: [His eyes harden at my answer] My partner has that ability. It’s not the endowment that’s flawed, ma’am. It’s the person.

R: You’re right, I apologize. You were the youngest person ever to become a Venator, correct?

RW: Yes ma’am.

R: Did you find it difficult being so young?

RW: In some ways. Venator training is physically and mentally demanding, and being young gave me an advantage with energy and stamina. But then sometimes it’s hard for the older guys to take me seriously. Doing this interview isn’t going to make it any easier.

R: Sorry.

RW: Not your fault.

R: You’re a powerful Telekinetic, is that something that runs in your family? Do you find it helps a lot in your job?

RW: Everyone in my immediate family is a Telekinetic, just not as strong as I am. And yeah, I use my gift quite a bit in my duties as a Venator.

R: Could you demonstrate?
[Before I’ve finished my question, the items on our table are floating. He sits at ease, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I had just asked him, I wouldn’t have known he was responsible.]

R: Not to sound jaded, I really am impressed, but could you do something to demonstrate just how powerful you really are?
[Something nearly undetectable passes through his eyes as everything that isn’t nailed down in the café begins to rise. As squeals and yelps scatter around the establishment, my attention is drawn to the blaring horns and screams from outside. The parked cars lining the block have also risen several feet in the air.]

R: Wow, I stand impressed.
[His smile is quick and slightly embarrassed as everything lowers with quiet grace.]

R: Ryan, what would you like to see in your future?

RW: Well, I’d like to continue to move up the ladder. Maybe make it to Chief one day. And I’d like to make the world a safer place for those endowed people who have to hide their gifts. None of us should have to hide.
[He looks far away as he answers. When I questioned him further on that topic he shakes it off. But it’s obvious he has a deeper reason for wanting safety for all of the gifted society.]

R: Before I conclude this interview, once we add a photo of you to this article, my readers will string me up if I don’t ask if you’re single.
[He hesitates, blushing shyly and then he nods. Yes, he is single, but I doubt he’ll be that way for long.]

R: Thank you, Ryan. I enjoyed speaking with you.

RW: No problem. [He shakes my hand and is out of the café quickly, attracting the same attention as when he walked in.]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upcoming Posts

So this morning started rather funny. I’m not sure how many of you do this, but I’m hoping I’m not the only one. As I’m working on a novel, (editing, plotting, writing or revising) I often talk it out, especially dialogue. Most of this happens in the shower so I’m alone. Usually while I’m driving to work or walking to my office, I think out scenes in my head—silently. Every now and then I think of things and get so caught up in the scene that I need to speak/act it out.

That’s what happened this morning. I talked—to myself—the entire way to work this morning, mapping out a scene and I didn’t stop when I got on the hospital’s campus, or in the employee garage. I was parking my car, still talking through the scene when I felt someone looking at me. The woman in the car beside me was staring like she thought I should be checking into One-West (our psych ward-lol). I could see that she was wondering if I had a Bluetooth. “No lady, I’m not on the phone, I be a WRITER!” I proudly declared—to myself-lol.

Tell me I’m not alone. We quirky writers have to stick together.

So, anywho, I got this idea from a comment I read here and decided to borrow it for my blog. For the next four Fridays, I’ll be posting an interview with my characters from Light Bringers. The interviewer—my alter ego, Rosepddle, will conduct the interviews for the Telling Point Gazette, which is the fictional city in Light Bringers. The first interview will be with Ryan Webb, a 19 year old member of an elite group of soldiers known as Venators.

Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Accidental Plagiarism…Sort of

Plagiarizing someone isn’t something I worry too much about. First, I would never do that to someone, no matter how fantastic I thought their writing was. And second, between writing fanfiction, novels and short stories, I have yet to accidentally plagiarize someone’s work…until now. Dum-dum-duuuuuuuuum *rubs hands sinisterly*

Actually, I caught myself by the time I’d moved onto the next sentence. My current WIP (which I hope to actually finish by the end of NaNo) is about a girl who has psychic dreams. Well, she dreams of the Headmaster of her private school slipping in the cafeteria and falling in front of everyone. When I mentally wrote it, Headmaster Mannor slipped on mashed potatoes, but when I actually put it on paper, for some strange reason I wrote: I laughed, remembering my dream of Headmaster Mannor slipping on that banana peel. I mean, an actual banana peel!

I’d completed the next sentence after that, and then I stopped and said to myself, “Self, why does that sound familiar?” My self answered that it did not know. So I sat there, thinking about that, staring out of my terrace doors at the gloomy rain and then I was like, DOH!

The second sentence is nearly an exact sentence from Justine Larbalestier’s Liar. Now, I know it could be argued that the sentence in and of itself is pretty non-distinct and no court in the world would find be guilty of using it, but I knew where it came from, and that was enough for me. If I’d read that book years ago and had no real memory of reading that sentence, then I wouldn’t think twice about using it. But the combination of the scene originally being with mashed potatoes, then my changing it to a banana peel, and knowing exactly where I got it from felt too much like plagiarism to me.

Has this ever happened to you…even if it’s a small incident like this?

Monday, October 19, 2009

MEDIEVAL TIMES

It’s dinner AND a Tournament!

I’m not sure if any of you out there have ever been to Medieval Times or even live near one of the few locations in the country. Well, as it was my stepdad’s 64th birthday and he’s dorktastic like we all are, he wanted to go, so mom made it happen.

See, he's waaay too excited-lol


Now, I’m not too into the “Medieval” period, mainly because I have a problem with stinky people and just about everyone from that era looks like they stink-lol. Still, I love movies that have knights, and lords and ladies and DRAGONS!

There were no utensils to eat our food. We drank our soup—tomato bisque or as they say, dragon scale soup—in a pewter bowl with a handle. Then came our roasted baby dragon—or half of a rotisserie chicken. I heard a little kid ask if was really a baby dragon…too cute!

After that we had a small piece of rib and half a potato. Dessert was an apple pastry. Over all, it was a good meal and as close to what they served during that time as I’d want to get to—lol.

So they seat you in sections by the colors of the knights. They were, the Yellow Knight, the Red Knight, the Blue Knight, the Green Knight, the Black and White Knight and the Red and Yellow Knight. We are in the section for the Black and White Knight and he was the cutest knight out of the lot. Yes, this is how I chose my loyalty, by cuteness and overall lustability. I wasn’t able to get a really good picture of him. He was too busy prancing around, tossing roses into the crowd, or he had his back to me.


Although the final battle was a bit canned, the jousting was excellent. Those guys really know what they’re doing. It was a real and exciting. If you’re ever in the area, check it out. But be prepared, it costs a small fortune!

So that was part of my dorktastic weekend.

Yesterday was the first day since the 20th of September that I wrote close to 1000 words on my new wip…well, on anything. I write most on the weekends as my brain is fried when I come home after work. But since my parents moved back in town, I haven’t had a weekend to myself. I’m not complaining because I love having them near, but I NEED TO WRITE!

Now, I’m off to sleep or as I like to say, write in my head. Tell me about your dorktastic weekend.