So Three Guys Walk Into A Bar......

Happy Monday All,

I hope you guys and gals had a nice weekend. I'm slacking today and have to go sub for kindergarten this afternoon so this is a short and sweet post. I ran across these and thought you would appreciate some laughter on a Monday morning. Happy Writing.


An aspiring author comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.
“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--”
“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”


Changing a lightbulb the writer's way.

1st draft. Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft. Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft. Hero stops villain from changing light bulb. Villain falls to death.
4th draft. Lose the light bulb.
5th draft. Light bulb back in. Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft. Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's mentor.
7th draft. Fluorescent not working. Back to tungsten.
8th draft. Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft. Hero laments loss of light bulb. Doesn't change it.
10th draft. Hero changes light bulb.


Three guys are sitting at a bar
#1: "...Yeah, I make $75,000 a year after taxes."

#2: "What do you do for a living?"

#1: "I'm a stockbroker. How much do you make?

#2: "I should clear $60,000 this year."

#1: "What do you do?"

#2: "I'm an architect."

The third guy has been sitting there quietly, staring into his beer, when the others turn to him.
#2: "Hey, how much do you make per year?"
#3: "Gee... hmmm... I guess about $13,000."
#1: "Oh yeah? What kind of stories do you write?"

Character Arcs

A character arc is the status of the character as it unfolds throughout the story, the storyline or series of episodes. Characters begin the story with a certain viewpoint and, through events in the story, that viewpoint changes. Definition courtesy of Wikipedia.

No matter what genre or age group you read, you want to connect to the characters. These stories are the ones you reread and tell your friends about. You know what they share? Characters who have overcome their flaws and weaknesses to triumph in the end.

It doesn't have to be becoming the President or throwing Precious back into the fiery chasm of what was I saying? Oh, your characters can do something little like realize beauty is only skin deep or learn responsibilities. But they have to move the story forward.

Your arc needs to provide conflict to the character and story line. The changes your people go through can be either negative or positive. A good example is Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind. Scarlett starts out a spoiled young girl and develops into a strong mature woman. I like to think about how I want my characters to be at the end and then write them the opposite at the beginning. It's good to have your people flawed, it gives them somewhere to go and creates more situations for trouble.

Most of the time the character doesn't want to grow and learn. They think they are perfect just the way they are. Don't we all? So, then comes the challenges and obstacles of the character arc. The hard road to redemption your protag or antag must travel down. Hopefully in the end they've done a pretty fine job of it.

I recently came close enough to the end of my first draft to call it finished. Or, in other words, I'm tired of it and want to move on to revision. I skimmed over my characters flaws and weaknesses, sort of making a linear map of their growth through out the wip. I came to the conclusion that my main protag doesn't grow enough. She's not really a bad girl to begin with and by the end she's still the same girl. In revision I'm going to back the story up some and show more of a normal happy life. In the end she will have to mature and just maybe save the world. After all we do need more female super heroes.

Are your Character Arcs bright and loud or are they more subtle? Do you have a problem making a smooth transition to the end? Do you have any tips for others or great links about character arcs?

Wednesday's Words and other tidbits

I had a very busy night and morning so I didn't get a Wednesday's Word ready. HOWEVER ( I love that word) here are some words of interest and explanations.


These are the word verifications that I ran into this morning while commenting on blogs. What I found interesting is the amount of people who use these in their wips. If you're world building and need a name for a thingamabob that shoots stars out of the sky what are you going to call it? How about a yastid laser? Or maybe the favorite drink of the Yabieer ambassador? You can use these random lettered words to spice up your world. Next time you comment instead of growling because you can't tell if it's an "o" or an "a" try the name out in your story.

A quick side note:

Kari Marie at A Sideways Journey to Life Long Bliss gave me the versatile blogger award. ( I only paid her a small amount this time) She is also having a 50+ follwer giveway contest. Cool goodies to win!! Please go check out her blog. I will pass that award on in my next post.

Talli Roland is hosting an A-Z in April blogfest. See her button in the sidebar.

Happy Writing to all my fellow Juginefs.

Bernard Pivot Blogfest

First thing, I had several lovely comments about the first post of my critique. Thank you to all. You can read my entire critique here or click on the critique page in my page header. I will post more about what I learned and advice later this week. For now though Nicole Ducleroir is hosting the Bernard Pivot blogfest and it is FUN!! Please check it out and see what the other bloggers have answered.

Here's mine. Enjoy. ;)

1. What is your favorite word?
If you ask my kids it would be "STOP IT". But that's two words. Hhmm I have several and that's really hard for a writer to narrow down to one word. I'll list my top three.

a. Luscious---it just sounds pretty and reminds me of ripe fruit
b. tulips--it looks pretty and I love tulips
c. fantastic--because I can say it with the same inflection whether I'm being sarcastic or really mean it.

2. What is your least favorite word?

3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Colors, vibrant colors and alcohol. Vibrant colorful alcohol. Just kidding. The alcohol doesn't have to be colorful . ;)

4. What turns you off?
Being forced to believe one way.

5. What is your favorite curse word?
Damn it to hell on a shit stick.

6.What sound or noise do you love?
My boys giggling uncontrollably. You know that deep belly laugh they can't stop.

7. What sound do you hate?
Any metal grinding or squeaking when its coming from an appliance or motor vehicle that I still owe money on.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Since my family and friends would frown on me starting up my own Mafioso I guess I'll go with archeology.

9. What profession would you not like to do?
Maggot Farming. Although I hear its lucrative.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Well I'd like for him to say "welcome" but I have a feeling he would say any number of the below.

a. Are you the one who sent the query letter?

b. Slush pile is through the gates and to your left. Jump in, I promise we'll get to you.

c. May I help you? You seem lost.

d. Your restraining order said 1000 yards.

e. OK , I give up but go to the back so no one knows I let you in.

f. Do you remember your 3rd book ....when you took the devil's side....

Contests and Blogfests and Awards, Oh My!

I normally don't post on Tuesdays but there are a couple things I need to get out there before to much time has gone by.

First is this amazing contest by Nathan Bransford over at his amazingly informative blog. It's a first paragraph contest. AND LET ME TELL YOU!! The awards are amazing. Best first paragraph wins a partial consideration by Catherine Drayton and a signed ARC of "Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow. Even if you don't want to enter you can go read the other entrants and be amazed!

Second is a fun and easy blogfest by Nicole Ducleroir on Feb 16. See my sidebar for the link.

And last but not least Michelle Miller gave me the "Stylish Blogger " award.

Thank you so much to Michelle. Please go check out her blog it's really great. So I need to let you know seven things about me. Instead I think I'll let you know seven things I've done this morning. It's very boring.

1. Got the boys up and out for school.
2. Stomped around when I realized I was out of cappicino mix.
3. Tried some new smoked cheddar cheese with my breakfast. OMG it's delicous.
4. Watched the dogs go crazy when I ran a lazer pointer light all over the ground. hehehe
5. Found paper airplanes behind the microwave.
6. Raced the garbage truck to the road. (Will I ever learn?)
7. Sat on my black cat that was laying on my black covered bed. The cat is fine. My backside is not.
Now I would like to pass along the award to:

The In-Between and other scary places.

First thanks again to all of you who stopped by on the blogfest last week. It was WWAAYYY fun but exhausting. I didn't go near my computer all weekend. Welcome to all the new followers.

Well as with the title I am approaching the In-Between. You know what I'm talking about. The spot between your first draft and revision. Yeah that messy bed hair, unbrushed teeth, no deodorant stage of your novel. You've gotten it up out of bed and it's semi awake. Now you need to get it ready to go out and face the world. But it needs it's coffee first. But just how long of a coffee break do you take?

7-ish months ago I started this crazy business of seriously writing in an online novel course. I would like to say my first draft is almost finished but since I'm so new I'm still working on my writer's compass. Sometime around Feb-Mar I plan on beginning the revision course and take this baby through to the next level.
Here's my hang up and questions.
How long do you wait between first draft and revision? I know some people dive right in and some people take a few weeks off and don't look back. I'm waiting for a few weeks just because I have outside things that need to be taken care of first. I know revision will be an ugly blood bath of epic proportions. I'll probably come out the other side bald, toothless and permanently stuck in a hunched-over-the keyboard position. But I can't wait!!
How do you approach the In-Between of first draft and revision? Do you jump right in or give your wip some breathing time? Do you stock up on wine or double your yoga classes?

"Significant Other" blogfest is here!!

"Significant Other" blogfest ,hosted by D L Hammons over at Cruising Altitude and Talli Roland , is a really neat idea. It takes the pen out of the writer's hand and puts their spouse/partner/sister etc in charge. If you haven't already signed up jump on over and give it a look. Since my husband is still a couple states away ,not to mention he doesn't like to type, I held this interview over the phone. Since I'll be out of pocket tomorrow I'm posting this a bit early and will be delayed on answering comments and visiting other blogs tomorrow. BUT I promise I will get to it by tomorrow night. On to my husband's interview. DL and Talli were kind enough to put a few questions for us to ask.

1. What food or drink is guaranteed to return your loved one to a good mood, even after a bad day of writing?

Marty answered: chocolate..of any kind..or shape..or size. Lisa loves chocolate period. Oh and shrimp or any kind of seafood. Oh and a margarita. Should I tell them that? (he gets 5 points for a correct answer)

2.What one thing would you change about your other's writing habits?

Marty answered: Oh God. Um, Is there an answer to that? Can you people change? ( I like how he calls writers, "you people" like we're aliens or something) Well there is your annoying habit of daydreaming in the middle of a conversation. For instance if we're talking politics or about the news and you get that shiny look in your eye. I know your killing demons or growing some kind of mutant virus in an underground facility . (dang he caught that. minus 5 points for being observant)

3.How hard is it to sit by and watch someone you care for struggle to attain a dream...knowing there's very little you can do to help?

Marty answered: It's hard because I don't know much about the process and it seems so hard and long to get to the end. Writers seem to put so much effort into finishing something not knowing if they will be shot down at the end. That's perseverance.

I had to stop the interview at this point and tell him I can answer that for him. I'm one of the extremely lucky ones. My husband has been nothing BUT supportive of my dreams. He works long and very hard hours so I can stay at home with our children and write. He never fails to ask me everyday "how'd your writing go?". He follows my blog religiously. Marty knows if I have a new follower before I do and he always reads my post. He may not know WHY I want to do this or even how I'm doing it but his love and support have gotten me this far. Granted when I have piles of papers and notebooks scattered around he just scratches his head and walks away. But he pushes me on the days I feel like I can't do it. He applauds me on the days when I can and never ever tells me to give up my dream.

THANK YOU to all of the significant others who support your writer.

Whether it be with a cup of hot chocolate or a pat on the back. Writers need that love and support. Happy Writing.

Wednesday's Words

First off a huge thanks to Shallee for hosting a wonderful blogfest yesterday. I learned tons of info on writing process's and advice from other writers. Big blog hug to you all.

Now today is Wednesday's Words and I thought I would keep it about something writerly. Without further ado our words are:

Pen Name or Pseudonym

Pen Names or Pseudonyms are false identities people or groups adopt. Some times people use these alter egos for privacy or to escape persecution. Sometimes they just don't like their regular names. Female authors would use manly pen names during the 19th century when the profession was male dominated. Even today authors will use androgynous names to cross over into different genres. Some people use an abbreviated style of their own name. That's what I do with L.A. Colvin. But pen names and pseudonyms are not exclusive to writers. Here is a list of occupations that are known to have fake names:

Computer Users (avatars, screen name etc)
Disc Jockeys

Plus Royal family members are known by a different name than their birth names in a lot of instances.

Religions are very big in the false name game.
Catholics (nuns and popes)
Are just to name a few.

Then you have the political arenas. It was very popular during the 18-19th century for political articles to be signed with a pseudonym. What a coincidence I was about to forget the criminal rings too. ;) John aka Bob aka Steve. Last but not least, our brave soldiers who protect our land and freedom. Special forces always use different names while on assignment.
The next time someone gives you grief or laughs at you for using a pen name you can tell them humans have been doing this for hundreds of years.

On a side note I ran across this PEN NAME GENERATOR. Just type your name into the space and pick a gender. Try it out. It's a blast.

My pen name it generated for me was Star Noble.

I did my husbands and it was Sir William Pennybanks. hehehehe

Do you use a pen name or are you planning to do so? Will you use your own name or an abbreviated version?

"What's Your Process?" blogfest is here!!!

First off thanks to Shallee for hosting this creative blogfest. If you haven't checked out her blog yet please do.

I'm a newbie. REAL newbie. Like still screaming from the hospital newbie so please bear with me on my process. As a new writer I know that through the coming years I will change and swap and totally screw up my writing process. For right now I seem to have one that works well for me. I can only take you through the first draft since I have not yet had the wonderful experience of revision.

When I started writing I took an online writing course to help show me the way. One of the first things I learned was making a sweet spot map or SSM. That's where we'll start.

I have several sheets of paper, all with a different list. "I love....", "I hate....", "I fear...". On each one I list various things under the title. I spin off from one thing to another. "I Love....statues, angel statues, mazes, cemeteries, wind, creaking trees, moss, lakes, dragonflies and so on. With these sheets I can find any number of ideas for stories. But let's rewind a bit.

The first thing I do is figure out what sort of story my muse wants to tell. Horror. Paranormal Romance. Fantasy. Let's pick Horror for an example.

Then I go to my SSM (sweet spot map) . I go to my "I fear" page. Kidnapping is high on the list along with being buried alive. Maybe I'm feeling an idea take shape about being kidnapped and buried alive.

Now I need to make a sentence to sum up my idea. This is where I let my muse run free with several different avenues. I think of a couple sentences and write them down and pick one to go with.

1. A serial killer is burying his victims alive and the only person who can stop him is the one who got away.

2. Young girls are turning up dead and the only clue is the rare soil caked around their mouths.

Neither one of these are very good but I can now pull down more ideas for where I want this story to go. I pick one of the sentences and pull out my notebooks and index cards. I'll go through several ideas until I get one that feels right. Normally by now I have a feeling for the beginning and the middle. The end is just a murky shell. I do a lot of "what if's".

What if the story is being told by the killer?

What is the girls come back as zombies?

What if the one who escapes becomes a partner in crime?

And then I swap the answers and do a little more "what if's".

Now I need characters. Who would do this? Who could stop them? Who has the most to lose? I know HOW I want to characters to end up but not how they get there. I don't put too much pre-planing into my characters. I like them to evolve on their own. I get the basics like what makes them tick. What do they want in life? What makes them angry?

HUGE WAIT A MINUTE HERE: Sometimes I have a character and no story. BUT this is rare for me. I then build my story around my character. Example I have a princess space pirate that won't leave me alone so I work on that one in my head. Like I said I'm still evolving.

Next I think of some scenes I just HAVE to write and put a rough sentence on an index card for each scene. I try for around 30 scenes at this point. Some of these will disappear before I even get to them. Some will morph into more scenes.

Then I write. I pick a scene and go. After I get all my favorite scenes I go to the beginning of the story and write from there to the end. Filling in where I have gaps and thinning out when I am overloaded. Since I haven't reached revision yet this is where I stop.

Here are several pieces of advice I have gotten that I keep telling myself.

1. There is NOTHING that can't be fixed in revision.

2. You can't fix what you don't finish. SO WRITE!!

3. EVERY writer has a rough first draft. Some are slightly scarred while other are big steaming piles of mud. Most writers just don't want to tell you that.

My writing process is kinda skimpy right now but I can't wait to hear all the others. Happy Writing.

Blogfest ..check these out

Just a quick post today. Two awesome blogfest this week I will be taking part in and you need to go check out.

On Jan 18, Shallee Mcarthur is holding a What's Your Process blogfest. It will be a fantastic way to find and give advice,tips and just to talk about your writing process.

On Jan 21 DL Hammons is having a Significant Other . Time to turn your blog over to your wife/hubby/partner or even your kids. If they don't want to move around in your blogging world then you can interview them and do all the work. He even has a few questions to ask them.

So go check these out. Both will be tons of fun.

Awards and the second post for today! YAY!

OH MY GOSH! When I finished my earlier post I went browsing and found out I had won my FIRST TIME EVER BLOGGING AWARD. Yes it has one of those echos when I say it too. M.J.A. Ware over at was kind enough to give me the Stylish Blogger award. Thank you so much. So here are the seven things about me and congrats to the ones I am sending this on to.

1. I'm boring. No really, sorta like plain yogurt.

2. I was in an earthquake in CA and in a hurricane in FL within 8 days of each other.

3. I wanted to be Spock when I was a kid so I taped my fingers together for an entire summer to learn the Vulcan greeting thingy.

4. I skipped school in Kindergarten and would have got away with it but I didn't know how to tell time and came home at lunch.

5. I have double jointed thumbs.

6. I can whistle just like a cricket.

7. I'm a mom to teenage twins and a 10 yr old and a wife but if I read a scary book I can't look under the bed. ( I know something is under there ready to get me)

There were so many to pick!! Drum roll please. The awards go to:

Kari at

Shallee at

Rachael at

Rane and the ladies at

Texanne at

Marieke at

Su at

From what I understand you now post about your award with a link back to my blog and tell us 7 things about you and send this award along to 7 more people. Congratulations!!

Have Zombies Will Travel

I suckered you in on the title right? Well I couldn't help it. Sorry I've been out of pocket and was slow about returning comments but I'm back. So World's Greatest Hubby is a couple thousand miles away and the twins are away also. That left me and the 10 yr old to find as much trouble to get into as possible. Can you say ROAD TRIP. (that's the travel part)

The closest major bookstore is around 80 miles away so we set off this morning to spend the day smelling leather, acid free paper and caffeine. While we stalked the isles a fantastic thought popped into my head. I need to spy. No not really. Although I swear I would have been the best CIA agent around. I needed to listen politely to the innocent people strolling the store.

Cue spy music.

I wanted to hear what they had to say about the authors. I needed to see what they reached for first. The books turned out or the ones you could only see their spines. Did they even bother to look at the ones on the bottom shelf? And where the heck where the zombie books the 10 yr old was looking for? (that's the zombie part) What I heard was shocking. Ok maybe not shocking but certainly interesting.

Two older gentlemen having a conversation as I pretended to read "1001 Uses for Pork Fat".

G1: "I hate that."
G2: "What?"
G1: "When they change book jackets on you."
G2: "Huh?"
G1: " This is the second book this has happened with. I bought this one about 3 months ago and the front looked different. I picked this one up thinking it was a sequel and its the same book but they changed the jacket. This has happened to me twice now and both times with the same author."

At that moment I was totally confused and almost dropped my cover but my spybilities (real word honest ;) kicked in. Do publishers really change the cover art? I figured they might do that for re-releases but these guys where talking about books still in the stores. Have you ever heard of this? Is this something I have just overlooked? I know they do it with books made into movies. Do I see a sparkly vamp? But this was not one of those.

On a side note I worked a little good karma for new writers. When I wasn't spying I looked for first time authors and moved their books outward so maybe people would notice them first. Nothing wrong with returning to favorite authors. I do it all the time. However today I wanted to give the newbies a little boost if I could.

Oh and I picked up "Dead Beautiful" by Yvonne Woon. The cover is gorgeous!!!

Do you know of publishers changing cover art on books still in print? Do you think this guy had one too many vitamins and was talking crazy?

Wednesday's Word 3

I was talking with my children last night about today's post. Trying in vain to get an idea for a word that might prove interesting. Twin #2 asked if it could be more than one word and as usual I was stumped at his out of the box thinking. Of course it could be more than one word. The English language (and others) are full of phrases that we use everyday. So I believe I will start to sprinkle in phrases along with wonderful words to try to use. I decided I would try for something fun and unusual. This weeks phrase is"

"Mad as a Hatter"

I love this one. I've used it before but after watching Johhny Depps stellar performance in "Alice in Wonderland, " I use it more often.

According to some websites these few words mean crazy or delusional. Apparently people who made hats during and around the 19th century used Mercury in the hat making process. This could cause Mercury poisoning. People with Mercury poisoning are known to show anti-social behaviour, aggressiveness and wild mood swings.

Well if that's true than half the people I know are suffering from Mercury poisoning or have switched to decaf.

Today I will try to use "Mad as a Hatter".

Your name is WHAT?!

You know the feeling. You're getting a new dog or cat or kid and you can't wait to pick out the name. You spend hours pouring over name books. Days spent on the internet at random name generators. Weeks scouring through your family tree. Waiting, watching for that perfect moniker to jump out at you. Then it happens.

Rowena Marcella Robella Chihuahua Stapler Clementine E Coli Smith.

Ahhh now you can relax you've named your dog/cat/kid. But just how much thought did you put into it? What do other people think when they hear it?

Do you put more thought into naming your characters? I was about 5k into my current WIP and still had no names. Plenty of " blah blah blah" (insert hero's name here). I had a list of names I WANTED but when I tried to tie the characters into the names they just didn't fit. I've since settle of most of them but I won't be concrete about it.

Did you pick a name you LOVED and tried to make a character out of it? Only to find out Yoda already has a following?

I read a book where I couldn't pronounce the leads name. I wound up just calling her "J" but I couldn't relate to her. Maybe it was just the book but I had to conciously change her name everytime I saw it. Doing that would take me out of the story and I did NOT like that.

To me names hold a special essence. My characters' names hold that spark that makes them who they are. Strong feminine names for your heroine. Quiet small names for the maid. Testosterone fueled names for the hero. Exotic names for the dragon/sword/distant land where the jeweled crown is hidden....uuhh sorry, where was I? Oh yeah.

Then that leads into good vs. bad. You have to have balance right? Protag vs Antag. Strong Saintly name vs Almost as Strong Evil Name. One problem I'm having right now is I LIKE my antags name. It's a good strong sexy name. But I don't want him to be. So I may have to change it to Toilet Brush.

How do you pick your characters names? Do you find them before you start your story or as you go?

Writer's Heaven

I love to fold towels. ONLY. Which translates into I HATE laundry. But that's a whole other post. I just finished my last load of towels and put them away. In doing so I walked through my bedroom into my bathroom. Which also means I walked through my office and into my bathroom. YUP you got it. My work/office/meditation room/muse playroom is also my bedroom. My computer is shoved into the corner with my elliptical machine and bright pink filing cabinet. My notebooks are stacked under the desk and my papers/research/notes are scattered willy-nilly in my corner. This is not by choice. We live in a small home and just don't have the room for me to expand right now. We do have plans this year to start building a larger home but you know how that goes.

The point of this post is to explore your writer's heaven or cave or den or just plain 'ole office.
I imagine mine to be a small room set off to the side out of the way. With windows that look out into my imaginary garden. Although small my room is filled with off the wall art, sculptures and whimsical oddities. I would have a small desk and capable laptop with my pink filing cabinet. I would love to have exotic rugs and throws tossed around the room. The walls would be a mixture of texture and lovely colors. Plants and flowers would be lining the walls and falling over any surface not filled with strange knick-knacks. Masks from tribes around the world would stare down at me from high on the wall and my ceiling would be painted with clouds and tree tops.

That's my writing heaven. I would freak if (when) I ever have a room like that to myself.

So what's your writing heaven like? Do you already have your heaven or are you on your way to finding one? What one thing MUST you have in your office?

To Series or Not to Series

So I just finished the LAST (I pray to the book GODS) book in a series. It was the SIXTH one. No it's not HP and I won't mention the name because I may be a little snarky in this post.

I know your asking "then why did you hang on for six books". CUZ I'm a hopeless romantic and optimist. I wanted to give the author one more chance to give me closure. I want the hero to ride through on his white stallion and save the day. I want the heroine to realize she is with the one she wants. I want the villain to die a painful death. What I got was an urge to stick a fork in my eye. At the end there was no real resolution. I didn't find out what happened to most of the main characters and the ending was the definition of anti-climatic.

I like a good 3 novel series. It might be that they feel like a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. It just feels right. Now don't get me wrong I love stand alones too. I love the ability to sit down with one book and know before I start I won't have to wait 6 months to a year to see what happens next. Sometimes I wonder if you lose readers in that time frame. Do they move on to other books and forget you have a sequel coming out? Do some readers not buy a series because of the wait for the sequels?

Do you prefer to read a series or stand alones? Do you plan on writing a series or are you a stand alone kind of writer?

Two More Contests

Here are two more contest that are absolutely awesome. Skip on over to these blogs and check them out:

Sylvia Ney at ""
She has a 1,000 word critique for 5 people to give away. More eyes are always better

Rachael Harrie at ""
She has a "trilogy" contest with lots of different prizes.

Please go check out these awesome blogs and enter.

Happy Writing

Wednesday's Word

Hey all. Well it's Wednesday again. I swear wasn't it just Wednesday last week? Anywho the word for this week is actually a spelling word from my ten yr olds spelling list. I figure if 4th graders are using it we should too right?

Drum roll please:

a person with expert knowledge or training

Well I can tell you I am a Connoisseur of many things. I have them listed below so as not to intimidate you in my expertise.

Things Lisa is a Connoisseur in:

1. matching dirty socks to the guilty party that left them under the bed
2. scraping "our experiment" off the ceiling fan/dog/mother-in-law etc
3. turning one pound of hamburger meat into a meal to feed four picky eaters.
4. Beating the garbage truck to the road with the dumpster because someone forgot it was their turn.
5. Chocolate. Marguritas. OOHHHH what if we had Chocolate marguritas?? I'm sorry i digress.

So I will strive to use Connoisseur today. Will you or will you try another word?

Happy Writing

500 hundred word critique CONTEST!!!

Michelle Merrill over at Perfecting the Craft is holding a contest a "500 first word critique". Five people will win. Contest ends Jan 6th 2011. (

Awesome chance to have someone look over your work who doesn't fit into one of the below categories and therefore have a "favored view" towards you.

A. owes you money
B. gave birth to you or you painstakingly LOVINGLY gave birth TO.
C. is married/partnered/buying the groceries co-habitating with you
D. is your parole officer (really, mine is ALWAYS asking for something) ;)

Happy Writing

For Sale: A couple of slightly used characters.

In my online writing course that I have had the pleasure of taking, there is a lesson on hating your wip/characters. When I was on that lesson I was still in love with the story and all my peeps. Writing merrily along. Blissfully happy when my demons were causing chaos and killing innocents. Smiling when my protaganist had a backbone and honor. Swooning when my hero walked on set. Then it happened.

Last night my hubby was out of town and my junior demons where spending the night with grandma and I could get in some major writing time. I opened the door to my world and lo and behold the entire crew is just sitting around on the couch eating pizza. My muse is stuck. The demons won't fight the angels. The angels are giving the demons a second chance saying "maybe they just had a bad day when they slaughtered the priest" My protag is too worried about her hair and why she can't have the pretty knife and my hero is an a&&hole. What to do? (besides pull out my hair and reach for the remote)

I looked everywhere and I can't find a swap meet for characters. Not even a black market for unused fairies. Does everyone just tie a cinder block around their ankles and toss em in?

I didn't really want to murder my people. I had created them after all and deep down I still loved them. I just couldn't get them to behave.

I thought about an ad in the newspaper:
"swap your character"
I'll trade you one lazy, no fighting, scared of the dark demon for a overweight, can't ride a horse hero. (maybe I can at least put him on a diet)

But no such luck.

I have several avenues my class has provided me and I plan to do at least one. Maybe I'll kill off a major character or give one of them a really bad disease. OHH I could take away all their powers and see what happens. Whatever I do I know I WILL finish this wip and fix what's broken in revision. Crosses fingers,toes,eyes.

Have you ever wanted to shoot all your chracters or put them in the yard sale? If so what did you do to get over the hump?

Happy Writing