Children, I understand why animals sometimes eat their young.

Since I'm in between first draft and revision I still need to do some writing for practise. I thought I'd jot down some things everyone interested in motherhood should read.

First off, It's the BIGGEST conspiracy ever. Formed by all the conglomerates in the world. They get us to have a kid and they make billions off us. Every first-time momma needs things from butt powder to soothing music. And that's not counting what you need for the baby. I can just see Adam and Eve discussing the whole apple debacle.

"I dunno Eve. What is we get preggers."
"Well, Costco is having a sale on diapers and the cutest wooden cradle with real animal fur."

Children never sleep on your schedule. Once school starts you can't get them to open their eyes before 10 am. I've guided all my boys onto the bus and tucked their blankets around them. The bus driver and I have an understanding. She looks the other way and I don't mention the whiskey flask in her cup holder.

Come the weekend or summer my boys are up at 4:37 am or as I like to put it--the butt crack of dawn. Standing over my hiding place behind the dryer. Staring. Like stalkers.

"You wake her up"
"Uh-Uh, I got her last Saturday and had to listen to her cry about how she should have joined the navy seals so she could rest. Make the little one do it."
"What if she's dead?"
"She tried that yesterday, so I've got the cold water ready."

At this point there is no escape. They have found where I sleep and gotten too close to my secondary hideout. I give up for another morning.

"What do you want with me? I've already told you my rank and serial number. Please no more torture."

"We're hungry." That's the little one. He's an absolute garbage disposal.

"There's cereal in the cabinets. I'm not sure about the milk. If it comes out clumpy just mash the bits and pretend they're marshmallows."

They scurrying away like the varmits they are and I pull and prod myself from my nest. Sometimes it pays off to not bother with cleaning the vents out. I had a nice little pallet of lint to rest on. Of course that doesn't last long as I hear the screaming start. That's right children SCREAM. They come out of the womb screaming and they don't stop. All those pictures you see of pretty babes sleeping or children laughing? They've been drugged. I promise. Just another ploy by the conspiracy groups.

"You spilled it. You have to clean it up."
"Nuh-Uh, you spilled it. What does clean it up mean?"
"It means throw something over it and it will go away. Something really thick, like mom's new cashmere blanket."

Let me tell you there is nothing more fun than walking into your kitchen and your feet being stuck instantly to the floor. Super glue has NOTHING on the right milk and sugar mixture.

"How did you spill the milk? There was only about 2 spoonfuls left? You just built a rocket out of some gum, toothpicks and my electric razor. How can you spill milk? Here have a cracker and chew on this soup bone but bring it back."

At the price of meat I need to make that thing last all week.

Statistics and Other Lies.

I know, I know. Where is Wednesday's Words. I think someone stole them because when I opened my computer to type them up they weren't in their usual place in my brain. So for today you get a lot of nonsense. Something I'm amazing at.

I'm working on my crusader's list of people to follow. I'm 93% sure I have 52% followed. I think. Math was never my strong suit. I figured if I take a couple groups a day divided by the amount of tequila consumption and add the blogs with pretty colors. Carry the one. Yep I'll be done by the second Tuesday of next week.

BTW, Rachael, if you're reading this---I hope I never see the word BLOVIATE again. heheh Seriously though I loved the first challenge.

Here's some interesting info you'll forget as soon as you leave here:

146903 new books published this year to date
222096 blog posts today as of 9:22 am.

So I didn't totally waste your time here are some quotes I ran across and wanted to share:

"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. "
Andrew Jackson
I think I'm going to use that one as my own personal motivation quote. hehe

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing. "
Kingsley Amis

"The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way."
Richard Harding Davis

"When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer."
Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Truth and Part 3

If your looking for the #1 challenge for the crusade click here.

My lie was that I speak more than one language.

Other than a smattering of phrases in French (courtesy of an exchange student), Spanish (we live in the south so that's a must) and Korean (an employment opportunity that I despised and quit after 6 weeks). I only speak English although that's to be questioned on occasion. :)
I LOVE shark and I love to fish for shark. However, I refuse to eat shark fin soup because of the inhuman way they harvest it. I have double jointed thumbs and love every single kind of pink flamingo. The tackier the better. I do have a nice metal sculpture of a flamingo that's not tacky at all. I can trip on thin air and have had every color of rabbit's foot possible. This challenge was extremely fun!!!

Now on to today's post. This is my last part of my critique and you can find my other posts here and here. You can also click on the page above for the entire critique. I hope someone can find some valuable info and help. Here is my snippet and Marieke's advice in blue.


The pounding on my bedroom door startled me awake. Pulling a pillow over my ears, I rolled over and breathed deep, trying to calm my racing heart . At least the racket had pulled me from my nightmare. They where always the same. Feeling like I was being watched by a dark shadow. The flutter of wings and children screaming. Distorted bodies littering a barren mountain. No amount of "talking it out" with Dr. Shallen could dilute the images seared in my mind. My mom finally stopped making me go to the counselor, chalking the dreams up to teenage angst.

There's a rule that says never start
with your MC waking up, unless there's a very good reason you're
starting at exactly that moment. More often than not, waking up is too
Of course, waking up scenes - as well as dream scenes - have been done
to great effect. Nevertheless, I think you could do without here.

I don't think you have the YA voice down to a t yet. Comments like
'dilute the images', 'teenage angst', convince me the narrator is
older. The next few paragraphs have the same problem, although it does
get better. Voice is without doubt the hardest thing to learn. The
only way you can learn is by writing loads and reading loads and
continuing to improve on your craft :)


Voice is something I think I will be working on for a long time. I've been reading tons more YA than ususal, trying to get a better feel for it but just writing will probably help me more than anything.

Do you have problems finding your voice or do you have advice on how to get it right?

Crusader Challenge #1

For this challenge I thought I'd try to make it different cuz that's how I roll. ;) I thought about a personal ad but since I'd get so many responses I thought I'd skip that. *wink * hehe Then I thought about an epitaph and realized how cool it would be if we all got to write our own. So here is my entry. Enjoy and please go check out the other entrants.

"My Epitaph"
Here Lies L.A. Colvin,
Reader, Writer, Chocolate Hider,
Shark Eater But Not Fuliguline Diner,
Three Different Language Talker,
Plastic Flamingo Stalker,
Bad Movies Did Make Her Bloviate,
Her Double Jointed Thumbs Did Ache,
Slipped On A Blade Of Grass,
She Fell Flat On Her ..Ask
About Her Rabbit Foot Collection,
And Be Amazed At Her Speedy Recollection,
She Will Be Missed
But Don't be Blue
She may Have Revealed Something Not True!

Part 2 of My Critique

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the Bernard Pivot blogfest yesterday. It was so fun!! I had a lot of comments on the maggot farming so I thought I would share this. Now on to today's post.

If your looking for part 1 of my critique you can go here and if your looking for the whole thing you can go here or click on the page in my header. In this post I wanted to cover info dumps and resisting the urge to explain.

In my characters world I can see everything that's happening. The reader can't and that bothers me. I guess the difference between good writers (positive thinking) and great writers is the ability to make the reader "see" your world but not realize they are doing it. I get so excited by my story I want the reader to get the full experience and love it as much as I do. That means I struggle with letting go. Give the reader control of their imagination. Describe the scene at bare minimum and let the reader fill in the blanks. With info dumps I'm learning you need to spread out what you're trying to tell. Let some of the info come directly from a character or an outsiders observation. Make it so the reader needs to keep going to find out what they want to know. Below is a second snippet of my critique and Marieke's advice in blue. Enjoy.


Laughter floated down to my spot on the floor. "Of course you are. I have it on good authority that Denver is asking you to the dance." Denver St. James was the high school jock and the dream of every girls heart. Including mine. The thought of that muscled up Adonis asking me out was hilarious.
Here it's getting a bit too much
like info dump after all.

"Are you serious? Who told you that?" Snatching clothes from my closet I ran into the bathroom hoping to tame my wild hair. Maybe I should get a hair cut today. Seeing my reflection I had no idea why Denver would be interested in me. I was passably pretty but nothing to stare at. Freckles were scattered across my nose which was slightly crooked from a run in with tree. Coordinated I was not. Who was Emma kidding?
Same too. Something else, there are a lot
of very specific details in this. In one of my favorite writing books
- Self-editing for fiction writers - the writers talk about the 'urge
to explain'. If you don't tell your reader the main character is
opening the door and stepping over the threshold, they would never
know the MC has entered the room. Surprisingly enough - as readers, we
do. So resist the urge to explain :)

How do you resist the urge to explain and do you find yourself fighting info dump?

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....

My Critique is IN!!

I won a three page critique from the "Trilogy" contest held a few weeks ago. Marieke along with Rach and Tessa put this amazing give away together. I was lucky enough to win one of the prizes and Marieke was the one to do my critique. I was thrilled when I won but agonized over the prize. I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't want ANYONE to read my stuff. Especially since this is straight from my head to the paper. No revisions. I'm new and I know I have a long way to go. I asked her to rip it to shreds and although she was thorough, she did it in a way that encouraged me.

Back to the newbie part. One of the problems I've found with being new is not having anything to compare your work too. No one wants to show their beginner ramblings and who can blame them. But inexperienced writers need to see that. We need to know that every great writer started off with crap too. I'm crossing my fingers they did anyway. I thought how could I turn this into something we could all benefit from. Maybe I could pay it forward. Maybe I could show everyone....

I *gulp* plan to post my critique *with Marieke's blessing* for all to read. I know what some are you are saying. "Is she crazy? Off her meds? Too many meds? " No, not at all. Although the tequila bottle is looking empty.

Marieke's crit was insightful and eye opening . She has many helpful suggestions and ideas. More importantly, she came across as a fellow writer who genuinely wants me to succeed. This is not something you find outside of the writing community. Any other industry is a cut throat business but here you always have someone willing to help you out.

I'm going to post in a three part series over the next week or so. I'll have snippets in my post and the entire three page critique on a page located at the top of my blog. This is for any new writer who needs something to compare their own work too or any experienced writer who might be over looking something. I hope by baring something very dear and near to me I can help another fellow writer.

Thank you Marieke.

Here's the first snippet and a short description.

Resurrection is a YA fantasy. Olivia is the girl next door with everything going her way. Life's perfect until she has to trust two dangerous strangers. A demon with his own agenda and an angel who lies.


Dropping my toothbrush I felt my face flame up. "What did you say? Oh my God Emma what did you do?"

Giggling and handing me a towel she didn't even look ashamed. "Your welcome. He said he wanted to ask you to the dance. "

Tighten the dialogue :)

Try to prevent "-ing" verbs as much as
possible. They're not too bad if you use them sparsely, but they get
annoying if you use them a lot. It is a lot like "and then this
happened and then this and then this."

Tightening my dialogue is something that I will struggle with. It sounds good in my head (even with all the voices) but when you get it on paper it's too much.

How do you tighten your dialogue and do you struggle with this?

Share the Love

With Valentine's day tomorrow I thought I'd pass along some love to the blog-o-sphere. I follow well over 100 blogs and growing. I'm still amazed at the amount of topics covered and shared. From jokes to tutorials, none of you disappoint! Here are a few blogs I stalk er check on regularly. These are not the only ones but just a handful of the many, many wonderful people out there. If you don't see your blog, don't worry I stalk you too. I'll share more later. Some of these blogs are funny, some I like their titles and some go out of their way to link us together. But all contribute to the writing community in one form or another. Big writer hugs to all!! Please go check them out.

Happy Day Before V-Day!

Alexia Chamberlynn
Ellie Garratt
T.C. McKee
Iggi and Gabbi
Rachael Harrie
J.A. Souders

Once Upon a Time......

I love a great fairy tale. They really stand the test of time. From the very earliest known stories passed down from generation to generation to the new age tales. They incorporate the basic good vs. evil with great abandon. There is no way to improve on these classics. Right? Wellll, I thought what if we give them some new twists and maybe update them a little. Here are my takes on a few of my favs.

Snow White and the Seven Followers:
After fleeing the evil Queen of Blogland Snow White strikes out on her own. Finding a merry band of Seven Followers she learns to trust herself and find her true love in the Blogosphere.
List of the Seven Followers:
1. Happy
2. Grumpy
3. Stalker
4. Commenter
5. Pervert
6. Dead Link
7. Word Verification

Beauty and the Agent
After Beauty becomes lost in Manuscript Forest she must climb Query Mountain to find the lofty castle lair of the Agent. Through many e-mail encounters and pleasantries Beauty tames the Agent and falls in love with him thus shattering the rose curse of the slush pile.

Goldilocks and the Three Critiquers
While walking in Spellcheck Woods, Goldilocks stumbles upon the home of the Three Critiquers.
Momma Critiquer's advice was too simplistic
Papa Critiquer's advice was too eloquent.
Baby Critiquer's was just right......

Tune in next week when we go behind the scenes of the new reality show "Rapunzel, Revision's Mistress" and crack the mob ring better know as Brother's Grammar.

Do you have a twist you'd like to see in a fairy tale?

Sopt the Tpyos and Wednesday's Words a little early

Whose guilty of typos? I'm not. I have nevver had a typo in my life. HEHEH . Anyone reading my blog or comments will notice I have a few that always pop up.

great psot

I blame my keyboard. The poor thing just can't keep up with my brain power you know. Plus I hit the submit button before reading. Did I also tell you how patient I was? So I thought this Wednesday's words would be typos or typographical errors as they are actually called.

According to wikipedia:
A typographical error (often shortened to typo) is a mistake made in, originally, the manual type-setting (typography) of printed material, or more recently, the typing process.

You hit the wrong key or forget a letter. I'm bad about hitting the keys in the wrong order and tada..... a beautiful natural typo. It's pretty easy to fix these now with the back button, delete and spell check. Remember in the old days when you had to white out the error? Ghastly!!

I for one LOVE spell check. Mainly because I can read the same page over and over and still miss the typo. Let me tell you why. It's cuz we're real smart ya see. Our brains have developed so much in the language department that when we read the words our brain can tell what it is even if the letters are arranged incorrectly. Don't believe me? Check this out:

Aoccdrnig to rseerach at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

PS: Hwo'd yuo lkie to run tihs by yuor sepll ckehcer?

I found this at Brain Connection and they have a fantastic article on the power of the brain and language. According to this website this is part of the explanation:

"The point of this line of research is that proficient readers read most words (except very long ones) principally through the first and last letters and a rapid recognition of the general shape and content of the entire word. That's why we typically read misspelled words with no trouble."

Wired Science has a neat article on another brain phenomenon. Basically it states that our brain picks up on the typo when we are typing even if we consciously don't notice it. In their tests the researchers found our fingers will actually slow down after a typo although our active mind doesn't realize it. Now if I can just figure out how to get the Muse to do something with out me asking her too.

So the next time your hurrying along and make a mistake just blame it on your brain power. It noticed but didn't feel like bothering to tell you.

Do you make the same typos over and over? Do typos in blogs and comments bother you?

In the Moment.

I'm back. After four days of orange juice shots and tequila chasers, my cold-flu-thingy has almost gone. I can now speak coherently and make almost decent decisions. Thank you to all who left lovely comments hoping I'd get better. I kept my phone close and would pry one eye open to see check on you guys and gals.

I'm a person that is always in motion. If my body is still then my mind is racing. I can't stop it. It's just the way I am. When your body is sick and it affects your mind though you do calm down and sit still. In the few moments I wasn't convinced I was going to die, I tried to think of something to blog about. It was actually pretty easy. Being in the moment.
We should live life in the moment. Not worrying about tomorrow or yesterday but the now.

We need to do this with our books too. When you write the scene, BE IN the scene. Let it mature and fill the pages to busting. Stand in your scene and look around. See all the cracks in the concrete. Notice the yellow flowers in the shop keeper's hat. Do that with you characters too. They don't know what is happening on the next page. They only know the "now". Let them fully react to the situation at hand. BE your character. Feel the skin of your character. Imagine how it's hard for the old man to breathe. How the pain in his joints affect his walking. Feel the tone of you words. The way your plot moves. BE YOUR STORY.

I know I know. That's easier said than done. I run into that problem all the time. When I'm writing a scene and I feel like it's rushed , I'll sit back and play it out in my head. Like my own mini movie. Sometimes it helps a lot and shows me where I can plump it up.

Do you run into the "rushed" scene? How do you deal with it?


So I've got a lovely cold and am in a medicine induced fog. However I needed to get this out there. Rachael Harrrie at Rach Writes... is holding another Crusade. This is a great way to link people in the industry together and support one another. Please go check it out and join up.

Villains and Kick @$$ Baddies.

I was reading a blog the other day about the virtues of a great protag and sub-plots. It was a great post and had valuable info. I mean who doesn't love a fantastic hero. But you know what? The hero can't be a hero with out someone to bounce his shiny teeth, shiny hair, shiny eyed virtuous self off of right?

Cue the Villain. Or Antagonist, for the smart people.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot".

With out the villain everyone else is just that, everyone else. HHMM I do love a good villain. The ones that make you love to hate them and the ones that you hate to love. They want what the hero has and will stop at nothing to get it. Sometimes they are disfigured, the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera or beautiful (can't think of any right now but I know they exist). They are always there making mischief. Just when your knight in shining armor is set to rescue the princess the baddie sets fire to the castle. The villain is constantly out to thwart your hero's plans to save the little child from the runaway train. Heck, villains don't have to be someone. They can be the weather or Moby Dick from Moby Dick. They can be social standards like in Pride and Prejudice. You could have several villians. Maybe your story has a in your face villain or a more subtle one that keeps you guessing. You might not even know who you villain is until the very end of your story. You could have a book told BY the baddies pov.

My baddie in my wip is a narcissist and will stop at nothing to get rid of humanity. BUT he's hot so its easy to be duped by a pretty face you know. ;)

Either way, every single story MUST have a villain or baddie or antagonist if you want to sound intelligent. Here are some of my favorite baddies.

5. Sauron--LOTR tied with Satan --Paradise Lost
4. Dracula--Dracula
3. Magua--Last of the Mohicans (OMG I Love that movie and sound track)
2. Wicked Witch--The Wizard of Oz
1. Hannibal Lector--Silence of the Lambs (I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.)

So there you have my fav baddies. What are yours? What do you look for in a villain to make them believable but not over the top. Does your baddie have any must have traits?

50 Followers and Happy Shock

I know today is supposed to be Wednesday's Words but I reached 50 followers this week and had to say thank you. I can't believe I've gotten so many kind, supportive people to stop by my blog ,let alone follow me. When I started this blog (from the advice of my friend and fantastic writer Kari) I had no idea how much fun it would be. I read a couple months ago how important it was to build an online platform and just as quickly put the thought out of my head. When I finished a writing course and was almost finished with my first ROUGH draft I asked Kari about blogging. She had been blogging for a short time and gave me valuable advice and suggested I go ahead and start one. Which I did. In one month I have reached 50 followers. I set a goal of 20 for the month of January and squealed every time I saw the number change. I have now upped my goal to 100 by June and think I can get there.

I must say though that I did not expect to have so much advice and support from everyone. I have never met a community of people who are so willing to let new folks in with open arms. For that I give my humble thanks. On a slightly different note I never thought I'd feel so connected to people around the world. I've always kept up with the news and world events but somehow having blogging buddies throughout the world has caused me to perk up every time I hear something about their home country or anything that might be linked to them. From Egypt to Australia to Minnesota to Germany. I find myself cheering for the joyous news and concerned for the unfortunate happenings of these bloggers and their loved ones.

This finding has made me realize that no matter if I get my work published, I will forever cherish this chance to know the writing community a little better. I look forward to blogging with you all for a long time to come. A huge thank you to all who visit and a gigantic blogger hug to you all.

Now that the sappy mess is over come back tomorrow for some kick @$$ villians and some of my favorite baddies.