Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hiatus - Blog Under Construction till 2014

Hello wonderful followers!

I'm sure you all have noticed my lack of posting. Alas work and the likes keep me busy but I promise I've been working on writing and as usual at this time of year am getting ready for National Novel Writing Month. This year I'm going tamer than last year. My plan is to write a sequel to Tattle Tell so my hopes are to get a 75,000 words first draft done. Will be under 100k this year but that is okay. It will be fun to dive back into the mutant world and play around a bit.

I won't be adding much content but I do expect to come back with maybe a NaNo update in November and one update in December, but other than that, for 2013 there won't be any other content as I'm reorganizing and replanning this blog. Don't worry, no name change this time. I hope to come back with a better schedule and some new feature items for 2014 (and maybe some news of querying).

For now, this blog is on hiatus and under construction. See you in 2014.

Monday, September 9, 2013

the writing excuse

So, I haven't been bloggimg much and didn't even do a post at the beginning of the month with goals. But I have an excuse.

I've been writing.


That and work. I had a rough schedule the past couple of days (close, open, close open) and look forward to the next day off that is coming up.

Most of my writing is focused on the writing web site I frequent (as in I'm on it every single day). Writing.Com

I've got a novelette in progress for a contest on there. Deadline is coming up so I need to finish it. The story is about a teen who loses his father and decides to take up the list his dad had created of last things he wanted to do before dying. His friend helps him along as the list becomes harder to complete.  It's a work in progress at least and hope to keep it at about 15,000 words for this draft.

Other than that I've been dappling on other things. Hope to blog more later this month when I have any editing news to provide. Might do another topic about agents and the what not too. We'll see how the second half of September goes.

Have you been writing?

Friday, August 30, 2013

29 is the number

Yeah, I'm sharing that number. I'm now 29. It's interesting to reflect on things having turned another year older.

I started writing TT in 2007. That was 6 years ago... I now have an edited draft and test readers looking it over. So, the good news is I've made progress. Slow but still counts.

Health wise, my weight has fluctuated but not gone higher than it has ever been before, so in a way that is a plus but on the other hand it's not lower either at this point. Not close enough but as I get older need to focus even more on being healthier.

A few novels I have a finished draft of from the past few years. I don't have many plans for all of them. A couple are never going anywhere. However, I've started to divide things between the pen names I have chosen. I even got a secondary account on so I can have my romance/erotica on one account and fantasy/sci-fi/YA/MG and such on the other. Will be nice to separate the erotica from the YA and such. It's a good change. I also have a new blog under my other pen name for the romance/erotica stuff.

The rest of life right now is mostly work. I got a new car cause my old one died. Now I have to find a second job to help pay for things. It's hard but I still am focused on writing. I have actually searched and made a list of 10 agents to potentially query first, and I can't wait. After test readers and some adjustments, I get to submit. It's great to be at that stage with one book. Plus I have others I'm getting ready.

Right now my focus is:
TT results from test readers, potential fixes
Editing SG
Working on short stories
and reading, work, sleep, etc

So, 29 is here (though people still think I'm not old enough to sell them beer....) and life continues forward.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Wow, I haven't blogged in over a month. I keep meaning to put up a post then get distracted. Lot happened over the last month. Went to a funeral in Wyoming, worked, spent a lot of time on a writing web site, worked... a lot yet not much going on at the same time. I have a novel at the end of an editing round and others waiting to go. No progress so far on weight loss despite walking more but haven't given up either.

I haven't even posted goals since June, that's unusual. Better get back to work considering some of my goals the past month or so has been to blog more.

August Goals
Finish reading 2 books.
Write short story (10-15k).
Research agents and rewrite query letter.
Edit 2 chapters in SG.
Get car soon.

Also, today is once again the Insecure Writer's Support Group (check it out here). So, the topic of goals actually works because I make goals all the time and part of the time I don't reach them.  I made it a goal to finish reading 2 books last month on a different site and I didn't finish reading two. I almost had one finished and instead started another but haven't finished reading the first yet. The issue of not reaching a goal set is something I've seen elsewhere too.

On this writing web site I'm on, there is a forum where we can post on Monday with goals for the week, and we get points for posting goals then and on Friday if we post how we did. Well, one posted this last week goals but also made a comment about how she was tired at failing each week on the goals she set.

Which is understandable. Especially if you post and read so many other people posting and it seems they are almost always reaching their goals. It's hard to then look at yours and go, why didn't I succeed when others have. Sure, we should focus on ourselves and not what someone else did, but it's hard at times.

However, another post replying to the lament over failing made a good point. Maybe we need to reconsider the word "fail". Because there are many levels of not succeeding when it comes to a goal and while it's not a success not all of them are a complete fail.  Did you try at all in the goal?

I mean, really, unless you had many opportunities and instead went to bed all the time or decided to watch Jerry Springer or such instead often, then maybe it's not quite a "fail". Like my book reading goals that I often don't reach. Is it a complete fail if I didn't finish two books? No. Why? Because while I didn't finish books I am still reading and that's something. Sometimes we forget about the something.

That's my tip of the day: Don't forget the little somethings when reaching for your goals.

Do you make goals?
What do you think about ones you don't quite succeed on?
August goals anyone?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Yep. I forgot about Insecure Writer's Support Group. I knew two days ago that I had to do a post then but figured I didn't work today so no big deal. Well here it is, almost midnight my time and I'm late. So yeah, enjoy the little song from Alice in Wonderland.

Speaking of late. I can state "running out of time" as a fear because I have self imposed deadlines and oh so often I procrastinate. I am one of those. I will do things at the last minute almost every time. But it's even hard without a deadline because then I won't get anything done.

Do you worry about being late on deadlines?
Are they self imposed or did someone else make them?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Guest Post - Healthy Trails to You

Today we have a nice guest post from Mike Manning from
He has health tips for people who travel. Enjoy.

Healthy Trails To You

Traveling can be fun and exciting, and it's often tempting to throw all of your cares out the window for the duration of your trip. However, if you decide to skip the healthy habits you've worked so hard to establish, you're not doing yourself any favors. If you're able to get around the minor inconveniences and disruptions in routine presented by travel, you should make every effort to maintain physical activity. Here are some ways to facilitate that.

Pick a Healthy Hotel

You can make things a lot easier on yourself by being choosy about your accommodations. A lot of hotels available today cater extensively to the health and fitness crowd. Most hotels now boast fully-stocked gyms, indoor jogging tracks or even fitness classes. Make sure to do some research before booking a hotel. On a recent trip to San Francisco I used a travel site/app called Gogobot in order to get a list of hotels in the San Francisco area that I could scroll through and see what amenities were offered. There is sure to be something for everyone. Before you book your reservations, find out about their menu as well. While many serve a free breakfast, not all of them have healthy options. If the hotel offers a reasonably healthy menu on top of their exercise facilities, you can save a lot of time and effort.

Portable Workout

If there are no ideal health-friendly hotels in your location or price range, then consider bringing your own gear along. Some basic, portable items like resistance bands, yoga mats and small dumbbells enable you to work out at any place and time that's convenient. They're also great for when you just don't feel like leaving the hotel room. Items from around the room, such as chairs and tables, can also be useful.

En Route

If you're driving to your destination, you'll likely feel the need to get out and stretch occasionally. If you see any roadside rest stops, these can be a perfect fitness opportunity. Many of them possess hiking trails that run through appealing woodland areas. Besides getting some much-needed exercise, you'll also be able to enjoy the fresh air and beauty of nature.

Take Advantage of the Airport

With more airports recognizing the health needs of their customers, some have made impressive additions. San Francisco International's Zen room and Minneapolis International's walking paths provide those waiting for their flight with a healthful way to spend their time and pent-up energy. To get the most out of your workout, consider hauling your luggage with you.

Pack Some Good Shoes

To many people, the best piece of fitness equipment to have is a pair of dependable running or walking shoes. Even if there are no fitness facilities in your hotel and no hiking paths nearby, you can always use the sidewalk or a bike path. A twenty minute walk or a ten minute jog keeps your body and mind in good working order, plus it keeps the extra weight at bay.

Thank you Mike for the information.

How do you stay healthy when traveling?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beta Reader Edition of IWSG

Yep, it's that time of the month: Insecure Writer's Support Group bloghop time. Make sure to check out the others over at the blog hop. Blog Hop Link

For those that have followed by other blog, Dawn Embers, I had a post recently where I discussed beta readers. And I'm getting closer to needing a few. I'm finally on chapter 18 of the novel edit with the hopes of finishing the process by the end of the month. It's a challenge because with each chapter edited the novel gets a little longer (or in chapter 17's case, 1000 words longer). After I'm done I will take a break and focus on something else for a few weeks but the trouble is now I'm almost ready for some readers and I don't have any. Not for the huge favor I need to ask.

How does one get a few readers to read an entire book within a month or two and provide overall feedback for a 60,000 word novel? The word count is a guess, might end up a tad long though last draft was 51,000. But that's aside from my general point. It's bringing on a different level of uncertainty because I'm reaching a point I've never been at before. I've been working on this novel since 2007 and while I know it's not going to be perfect and I want to hear the truth, it's nerving wondering what anyone would say to reading it because the story makes perfect sense in my head. But what will a reader say? I don't know.

The novel is essentially about a young teen boy who has a genetic mutation and has to report to a government agency when he sees anyone who might have abilities from a mutation for identification. He starts to question his role of a tattle when one of his few friends turns out to be a mutant too. Then when the new kid in school befriends him, he becomes faced with a bigger struggle. As his life starts to crumble around him and he begins to question his own identity, he has to decide whether he should tattle on a rogue mutant boy hiding from the government or end his role as a tattle tale, risking his own freedom in the process. It's supposed to be YA but borders on MG.

So, I'm nervous about how to find the right beta readers who have the time and with what they will have to say if I find them. And while I know a fair number of writers, it's hard finding the ones for the exact role of beta reader. It's a challenge and I worry if it will affect my submission goal because I want to at least send to 1 person this year because I've never done that with a novel and it's time. Yep, got some insecurities going on in here.

How about you? Insecure this month or have a confidence to share?
Let us know. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Goals

Summer time has arrived. It's time for some new goals but first, how did May go. Well, it was quite the distracting month. Car troubles has lead to me not having a car and instead taking the bus or catching rides with coworkers. It added walking to my schedule but also turned to candy on occasion for some stress relief. Got promoted on a writing web site to a moderator, which is really cool and unexpected along with a few other things. Quite the month overall.

May Results
Read 1 book - finished reading 3 technically cause the library books were due before the car no longer was drivable so those were May 2nd & 3rd, but also finished The Thirteenth Chime. And started reading Paranormalcy.

Edit Tattle Tell - Stalled. Only finished editing chapter 16 by the end of the month. Have 17-25 left to do.

Write 5,000 words in novella - nope. This one fell due to distractions and I haven't written anything in the novella since March.

Don't sleep all morning on days off - Had a couple of them where I slept too much but now thanks to a 3-day weekend of 8 am shifts I have been getting up between 6 and 8:30 in the morning even without an alarm clock.

Lose 5lb - Well I gained a couple but am down again those lbs. Didn't quite make it but June will be better.

Current Weight: 218

June Goals

Finish reading 2 books
Come up with eating plan.
Lose 4 lbs.
Write 10,000 words in novella.
Finish editing Tattle Tell.
Blog in all 4 blogs at least once.
Get a car.

What are your goals for the month?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Bloghop

Howdy and welcome to my post for the Get Healthy bloghop. Make sure to check out the other entries:   blog hop link.

I had a hard time coming up with a topic, I must admit. It's partly because right now my weight isn't going down. I've been distracted with car troubles and money lacking so even with the walking and such not seeing much on the scale, but that's okay. I'm still working on getting things set in my life and it will fluctuate. So, I needed to pull deep to try and figure what to talk about for the bloghop on something that has affected my health in a positive way. And here it is...

I have found that it helps me to understand what equals a realistic goal.

Sounds easy enough but it's not always so. I used to be in Weight Watchers and lost 40 lbs there but it was hard in a way as I never made a final goal weight. We are supposed to do that near the beginning but even a year later I didn't really have a final goal. Trouble is that for my height (4'11.5") the top amount allowed (the higher weight for during older age) is listed in the lower 120's according to BMI, which is what WW follows. I just could never visualize myself at 125 even, let alone less than that. Not being able to visualize the goal made it difficult to see as possible. I have a pretty good imagination but it just wasn't working for me.

So, I have figured out some goals that are realistic for me. I'm not a marathon runner. I'm not a size 2 type of gal. And I think that's fine.

I am a fiction writer with fitness goals that will help with my fantasy writing.
I would like to be in a size 12-14.
I have a goal of weighing 160.

And I feel better.

What about you?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG Can't Keep Up

Okay, if you were looking for my post earlier. I forgot. I knew today was the first of the month but I forgot it was also the first Wednesday and thus meant Insecure Writer's Support Group. Though as long as I get it posted in the next 55 minutes it'll still be Wednesday my time. lol I will go and comment on posts tomorrow before work.

Bloghop Link:

Can't Keep Up

This is a concern of mine, not just with writing fiction, but with social networking. The struggle through A to Z challenge (using 2 blogs) along with the past year of sluggish blogging and slowed twitter exposure has heightened this concern. I wonder if I can keep up with the needed social networks along with work and my other online interactions, oh and there is that novel writing thing I need to make time for (still editing novel).

I have 3 blogs. This one, Dawn Embers and a book review blog. I need to add someone to the reading blog and search for another to add. I need to post book reviews. I need to remember to blog on Dawn Embers this month. Need to do posts later on this month on this one and not just forget about it. I need to finish editing that pesky little novel and find test readers. I have to work and make money....  So much to do.

Plus I'm not on twitter much anymore. I use it more to communicate with a co-host for a contest I run on WDC and on occasion my sister. I post maybe twice a week what I'm doing. And it will be less if I can't get the new tweetdeck to work.

I'm already getting offers and suggestions on this blog that I don't know how to answer. I need to figure out my ethical boundaries when it comes to who I will promote and what I will accept. I am also going to consider how to monetize the blogging but don't know enough about that in order to make any decisions.

There is so much to do that I wonder if I can keep up with it all.

Do you worry about keeping up with social networking?
Any tips on how you manage?

May Goals

April is over and I made it through the challenge. I still have some commenting to do and will try to get to some of the blogs that I wanted to read but ran out of time as I was working and such. However, I am glad it is over. I had fun posting at times, though it was hard other days. I like the challenge but am definitely ready to go back to a less strict blog schedule.

April I had a few goals. Here they are:

Finish reading 2 books
Edit 4 chapters
Write 10,000 words in novella
Lose 4 lbs 
No fast food

How did I do?
Finished reading 2 books.
Worked on editing one chapter but not done with it.
Made it through blog challenge (it wasn't up there but it was important)
Gained a couple of lbs.
Didn't eat any fast food.

Time to re-evaluate and get some goals up for this month.

May Goals
Edit rest of Tattle Tell (or as much as I can and get rest done early June)
Write 5,000 words for Novella
Lose 5 lbs by eating healthier and moving around more
Don't sleep all morning on days off
Read 1 book.

What are your goals?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zumba

I did this topic my first year taking part in the A to Z challenge but I think I'm going to re-talk about it here on this blog because it fits better now that I have added fitness to the topic. It's a fun form of exercise and I recommend most give it a try at least.

I don't do Zumba right now, haven't for a couple of years. I did it when I was living in my parent's house in Wyoming and now I live on my own in Oregon. If I had a little more money I wouldn't mind going to a place that had Zumba as an option. I am all for fun when it comes to exercise and this was a fun class. I didn't even feel that self conscious about how dorky I am with dancing (as I don't dance usually) but I was in a class where the average age was liked 30 years older than me. We all had fun with the different dances.

What is Zumba?
Zumba is a dance fitness program created by Alberto "Beto" Perez in the 1990s. It involves dance and aerobic elements choreographed to a variety of music that includes hip-hop, samba, salsa and bollywood with some athletic moves included. Zumba Fitness sells videos along with some really colorful creative merchandise and many fitness locations now include Zumba classes.

Check these out if you are interested.

Have you ever tried Zumba?
Do you like it?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yes

Back on day N I posted about No and how we need to be able to say No at times. However, today is the day for Yes.

While at times we need to learn to limit ourselves, to know what we are capable of and not put undue stress on our lives. The sames goes for the opposite. Sometimes we need to make the leap forward, to say yes, to commit to something and claim we shall do it.

I have to admit. I liked the movie Yes, Man. It was funny. The guy who always said no getting convinced that he had to say yes. While some funny things fell down on him he also learned a lot by saying yes instead of no. He got to enjoy life more instead of just sit by the side while others had fun.

There is a balance needed like many things in life. We can't say yes all the time, but at the same time we don't want to become a No person either. We need both.

Did you say Yes to anything recently?
What do you think about becoming a Yes person?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X Marks the Spot

X topic is a hard one and I struggled to find something else to write so this one is going to be on the short side. X marks the spot is a reference to a treasure hunt and is a good way to exercise, because there is a way to go on adventures now and find that X. It's also known as geocaching.


What is it?
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

Sites with more information:

Ever heard of geocaching?
Have you tried it yet?

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Water

Water is a good step when on the road to healthier living. One of the first suggestions people make when asked about steps towards losing weight or general health, often times that one suggestion is to drink more water.

Benefits of Water:
1. maintain body fluid levels - since our bodies are about 60% water. The liquid/molecules are used in many different processes such as digestion, circulation, nutrient transportation, and many more.
2. calorie control - replacing calorie filled drinks with a glass of water is an easy way to cut back on a daily intake.
3. energizes muscles - without liquid balance the cells in the muscle start to shrivel and leads to muscle fatigue. Drinking water when active, during and after exercising in particular, is recommended.
There are other benefits too. Check out this source for more information:

How much to drink per day:
These numbers are still debated even though there are some general recommendations. The numbers also vary based on the individual, along with different factors like location, humidity, gender and such. I still remember the 8 glasses with each one that is 8 oz per day. Other recommendations include 9 to 13.5 glasses of water a day.

I try to drink water but some days I don't get enough. But I'm going to try again in May to get enough per day.

Do you drink water?
How much do you drink on average?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Visitor

Visitor (aka Guest) Post by Melanie Bowen

 Social Interaction and Exercise Helps Cancer Patients

The U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Health Institutes reviews how a person is physically and emotionally affected by cancer, both during treatment stages and during remission stages.  In an online publication, the organization addresses the benefits exercise can have on people who are facing side effects of the disease and treatments for the disease.  Some of the most beneficial results exercise provides to people going through treatments for cancer include increased muscle use, stronger bones, healthier circulation, more energy and decreases in pain and inflammation.

Does Exercise Really Help Cancer Patients?

Because exercise can seem like such a simple solution to bring about so many positive health results for cancer patients, many people are skeptical if it really works.  Numerous universities and cancer research centers have found time and time again that physical activity does indeed play a significant role in helping to alleviate pain and improve a cancer patient’s health in a variety of ways.  The amount of results that are experienced will be greatly dependent on the stage and type of cancer a person has, the person’s current physical shape, how often the individual is able to exercise, and how rigorous the cancer treatments the person is going through.  

One thing that has been proven repeatedly in people who have cancer and who have chosen to adapt to a physical activity lifestyle is many of these people have experienced positive results almost right from the start.  The benefits of exercising while a person has cancer include being able to sleep better at night because the oxygen if flowing better in the blood stream due to exercise and higher energy levels.  When more energy is gained, fatigue is reduced and the person is able to gain enough physical strengthen to continue with important treatments that are vital in defeating the disease.

Combine Exercise and Socialization for Maximum Benefits

Socializing while exercising also provides intense emotional relief from mental and physical stress a person may experience when going through cancer treatment stages.  Socializing with family members or friends while visiting a park, playing badminton, or going for a walk on the beach, helps fight against depressed mood swings that numerous cancer patient’s experience.  Mingling with friends while getting exercise is also valuable to the person so he can unwind and connect with loved ones while having fun. So whether the battle is with breast cancer or mesothelioma, exercise is an essential part of the process and should be started as soon as possible.

- Thank you Melanie Bowen for the information. I appreciate the guest post.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Time Off

Sometimes it's necessary to take time off. It's always great when a day off from work is coming. Even the people who like where they work comment about how they are happy when they have a day off from work. But it's not just work that we need time off from in life.

And while we may feel guilty for taking the time off, every now and then that it is okay to take time away.

With writing, sometimes I need a little break. Even with editing. I made some great progress but then needed a little break as I had a number of commitments this month. But I won't just not go back and that's the important thing to remember when taking time off from something like editing, writing or even exercise. It shouldn't be forever.

Take a little time off then get back to the task.

Do you take time off?
Do you feel bad when you do?

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Swing

The childhood one, not that other one. Okay, the music type works too but not the... ugh, never mind. Here is the post about swings. ;-)

We had swings kind of like that, though I don't remember as much from a child. I know I liked to use the swings though. But the ones I remember were when I was in high school. After volleyball practice was over and we waited for our moms to come pick us up, me and a friend would sit on the swings (there was an elementary school next to the high school). We even went to the park sometimes and would mess around with the swings being our favorite spots.

Sure, it's not really a very active form of exercise and won't burn off many calories at all, but it's fun. That's the point of today's post. Childlike fun can be good to experience even as an adult, so don't be afraid to add those old pastimes in on occasion to break up a routine.

It might be easier if you have kids, but even if you don't, that's okay too. Just be careful about the playground interaction cause you don't want to be viewed as creepy, you want to go have fun for yourself. As children it's easy to have fun, to play, scamper across lawns, not care about dandelions being weeds and many other things. Imagination and make believe are more than acceptable. However, I don't want to lose any of that because I'm an adult. Sure, I do adult things most of the time, I have stress, bills, work and all that jazz (closely related to that other type of swing). I also have my imagination and want to find more time for play. Life is too short not to have fun.

What is your favorite playground toy?
Do you still do things from your childhood?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Revolution

I don't know what it is about a revolution but I seem to be attracted to the concept. I have more than one book that involves the form of conflict. In fact I have 2 series in the same world called "Rogues of Revolution". I'm not sure why, but these are some of the ideas that come to me. And I think partly relates to why people like certain genres like dystopia. Having even a small fight against a "system" can make for an interesting story.

Revolution definition:
1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
2. (sociology) a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.
3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something.

Though I will say I see many focus on the start of the revolution but it's hard to get the full monty in relation to 1, as in the full overthrow and replacement. There is more focus (that I have read though I'm sure there are others out there) on challenging the current system.

One question to ask is why fight against the system? Why speak out when chances are it won't make a difference? The characters need a reason for their actions and throughout a series, the question may need to come up. It's something I'm considering in my series. But it will have to wait, first need to finish editing the first book.

Ever read any books that involve revolution?
Write any books that has a plot involving a revolution?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quit

Quitting can be a good thing. Sure, sometimes it can be bad, quitting on things when we should have kept going. Like that novel that never got finished because you quit for no reason. But there are other times when it's good to quit and even though it takes different strengths on personal levels, we can in fact quit the things we don't need.

Smoking - one that people complain about all the time. First, I get why people should quit smoking. But I have to say all the anti-smoking commercials, billboards, pressure, just makes me want to smoke. It's so annoying at times. I have smoked from time to time when things got a little stressful, but I have stopped just as easily. But it was never because of one of the advertisements telling me to stop. And I could pick it up again if I felt so inclined, as it's easy to get started again doing that, but for right now, I don't smoke. I want ot be healthier and I didn't smoke much to begin with so there is that.

Excuses - This is one I am trying to figure out. How to quit making excuses and what constitutes as an "excuse" as opposed to a decent reason to struggle. I don't want to make any situation harder when that is unnecessary. Sure, there are some good reasons that get in the way of health or finishing novels, but a good part of it more is on personal decisions and priorities.

To me, I guess I see it as a difference between giving up and quitting. To quit is a stronger action, taking will power and self control to quit something. Giving up is more of a things got too hard or I'm too overwhelmed so I just give up.

Is there anything you want to quit?
What would you never give up on?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Progress

How does one mark progress? It's important to find a way to show your progress in both fiction and fitness because it's easy to get focused on the daily struggle and not see the bigger picture. There is a reason it's called a work in progress after all.

Some ways to mark progress:
Word Count Totals
Word of Mouth

There are many options. Just find the one that works best for you. I tried once to do a total year word count on anything I wrote just to see how much I would write in a year. I didn't make it past month 2 on that. It was a method that didn't work for me. I do use progress bars on specific projects, however, and seeing that little green bar helps to motivate me to keep working.

How do you keep track of progress?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Originality

Originality is a wish. Everyone says there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to writing and yet there is a desire for new and fresh approaches. It's a struggle at times.

But how much originality is necessary to make a great story? There are many stories that are popular that aren't new to a large degree. Just look at the different Cinderella and Snow White stories that have come out over the years. And they don't even hide the fact that it was inspired by a common story. They use the same title and characters, but there are changes made to the characters that are obvious if you see a few of them. They are not the same. Are they the most original pieces out? No way. But they had something special, something that made them appeal others beyond the first one.

I will admit I have a few ideas that may not be the most original. For those that have followed this blog a long time, back when it was It's In the Book DE and I took part in blogfests, you might remember I posted scenes for a "Cinderella" story. Well, a modern story inspired by parts of Cinderella with a male main character, but still. The reason I posted from that one is that it's not only not the most original but also one I don't see ever submitting for publication.

However, I have a couple other ideas that are similar in context, but are ones I hope to pursue in the future. Two of which I considered for NaNoWriMo 2012, though I ended up going with a different originality issue for that one (secret royalty main character). Here are the two others I have:

Snow White
Yeah, I have a Snow White idea despite there being recent movies done and possibly books, I don't keep track of all of them to be honest. I did see one of the movies, though I haven't seen all of the recent ones based off the story of Snow White. I have done a couple practice scenes to check out the story and character, both of which were well received on a peer review site. I do follow parts of the story, dwarves and such. But I also do much different than any others that I've seen. Well, like most of my stories, for one... the main character is male. Yep, Snow is male in my world. That and part of what is interesting about the world the story is creating in my head is it's one where the usual heir to the throne is the first born daughter. I also have some magic involved, but the story is still developing. But I like the idea, the character and his little servant love interest. I hope to write it some day.

Red Riding Hood
This one is a little different. It involves the main story line in the beginning of the story but things get all kinds of changed from there. There are some fun ones out there, I will admit. I kind of liked the animated one with the snowboarding grandma. That was amusing. My story, again, has a male character for the main one. The "wolf" isn't actually a wolf but he uses his powers to force Red to join him for a struggle going on in a different world. I have one scene with a little spider that becomes attached to Red too, that was very well liked. This one needs a lot of work but it's still very interesting to me.

So, those are just two of mine. I also have ideas inspired by the matrix(first one, never really cared about two or even bothered with the third), xmen (yeah I have mutant novels), and many others. And I'm okay with that.

What do you think about originality?
Do you have any ideas that might not be the most original that still excites you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for No

That is right. No! The powerful word that some of us struggle to say when it is needed.

This is one word I sometimes forget about. It's possible to say no to people. I often take on more things than I am capable of handling, though I'm not exactly sure why I don't want to say no. Maybe it's because I don't want it to reflect badly on me, saying no. Maybe it's a wanting to be liked thing. Or maybe it's just a liking to put myself through more stress than necessary, cause I could be weird like that.

Why is it so hard to admit we can't do everything?

Why is it hard to admit that we might have something else that we value to do?

Learn to say no. It's okay to say. Sometimes we just have to not do everything and give ourselves a little break. It's not the end of the world and it doesn't mean anything bad to say the little two letter word. So, let's try doing it.



Do you have trouble saying no?
Ever get the courage to say it and feel good afterwards?

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Music

I love music. Growing up I was in both band and choir. I listened to music when I could and have always enjoyed a plethora of genres. Music has many uses and can be helpful for both of my blog endeavors: fiction and fitness.

For fitness I love to listen to music when walking. I would walk as a teen on our dirt road (just under half a mile one way) and listen to music with a portable cd player, then eventually got an ipod when I was older. Whether it's outside, on the treadmill, or for a dance exercise program, music always helped keep me motivated to keep moving.

Aside from fitness, I am a big fan of music while I write. In fact, now for almost every novel I have (except maybe Thomas/Kyle) I have created a music playlist with songs that are for that novel only. After listening to the play list a few times I can easily associate those songs and that playlist to the specific novel to the point where hearing them makes me want to work on that story. I pick songs that remind me of either the main character, a second very important character, the novel as a whole, or a certain part of the novel. There are some posts where I've talked about my playlists in the past, but here are a few novels that are in progress and one song from each of their playlists.

Ottohahn in E Minor:
This novel is different. I have songs by Chopin, Seether, Adam Lambert, Stone Sour and Lifehouse. Quite the weird variety. But they all work with the story.

Aeon Fading:
This is my novel from NaNoWriMo 2012. Still not quite finished, just have the ending to write. This song I listened to a lot as it was focused on the main character and helped me stay in his mind set. I used listenonrepeat web site during November for writing sprints to hear the song over and over again.

Cloud 9:
New novella that I'm trying to get the first draft written soon. Has a female main character, which I have far less practice writing. Nice cause I can have female vocalists a bit more (yeah the gender is a little important for voice when I"m listening to songs, along with a few other factors) but also tough because I don't want love songs as it's more of a middle grade story about a young cloud-walker.

Do you ever make playlists?
What do you use music for in your life?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Live

Yep, it's that simple for today: Live!

This is something I've been thinking about recently. Maybe it's the impending age 30 (next year but I still see that thing coming), or the not being as far in my life as I thought I'd be by now, or if it's something else. But I've been thinking about life and death more nowadays. And I don't want to just sit and watch life pass me by while I work and try to pay bills.

That's why I'm working on writing because it's what I want to do. I am trying to lose weight because I want to be healthier and have kids, and I want to have them at some point in the next few years. I'm not going to just waste my days away expecting life to happen later. Life is something I have to make and that's my real goals for myself: to live.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Just Do It

That's right: Just Do It!

It's a great slogan. Nike got it right picking that one and while I don't really own anything Nike at this point, maybe in the future, I do like the little check mark logo and the slogan they use with it. And it's a simple point and yet has a lot of power behind it.

With health and fitness, there comes a point where we just need to do it. Leave those excuses behind and get to work. I have a hard time following this when it comes to exercise. Which is weird because I love to exercise when I'm doing it. Weight lifting, volleyball, swimming, treadmill, zumba and many other types of exercise are all awesome and I enjoy when I'm doing them. But I have a hard time with that whole, get started part. I need to work on just doing it.

Writing can benefit from this slogan as well. There is always a reason to not write, lack of motivation, muse on vacation, sleep, but in order to get anywhere with the story, we have to actually write it. With the novel that I'm editing now, the first draft I started writing in 2007 and finished the 23,000 word first draft in 2009. Most of that time I wasn't actually working on it, wrote a 50,000 word novel for 2008 NaNoWriMo. How did I finish? I just wrote. Even when I struggles, I sat down and just started writing and got it done.

So... Just Do It!

What do you think about the slogan?
Have you used it in your life?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Invest

Investment is an important concept and not just one for finances. There are many things we can invest and what we can invest with in our lives. We just have to take the opportunity and remember to invest in ourselves.

Writing takes investment. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes the creative energy to come up with stories. It also takes editing, working even when the muse isn't cooperative, and takes patience, lots of waiting and patience. Also it takes perseverance.

Fitness also takes similar investments. It takes time and effort. Creativeness comes in not getting bored and finding healthy alternatives in food choices.  It takes work and commitment, perseverance and patience.

These investments are all for things we want for ourselves. And in order to get them, we have to invest in ourselves.

I plan do make those investments.

What investments do you need to make?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Health

An important topic on varying levels. We have our own health to worry about, those close to us and even our characters health to take into consideration.

Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. It is sometimes viewed as the general condition of mind and body. Thus we all are striving to have a healthy life to one degree or another due to its impact on our daily lives.

I'm trying to live a healthier life. It's a hard adjustment because I have to agree with some comedian I don't remembers name, Taco Bell is delicious. I don't even care what is in the things they call food, it is just easy and tasty. And mmmm candy. I've done a pretty good job at cutting out soda but drink it on occasion, now to cut down the rest of the unhealthy stuff.

I need to work on my character's health too because while you don't want to add things to the story that doesn't move the plot forward, at the same time, if it's a long story over time how can someone not have a health issue at all during that time? Like really? Plus a little health issue can add conflict. Make it believable though and consistent. Don't have someone break an arm and then a few days later voila, it's all better because you accidentally forgot about the broken arm in reality. Unless it was by magic but even then, string it along a little. Make things complicated for the character so they have to struggle.

We take into consideration our health, so why not our characters too.

Sources involving health:

Do you use health as part of the character's conflicts?
What about your own health are you focused on?

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Go the Distance

This is one of my favorite Disney movie songs (though in all fairness my "favorite" list is really really long) and it has a great message showing someone who feels lost, looked down on but is willing to do the work to find where he belongs in life. I like a character with those qualities.

Does the hero character go the distance?
Can we go the distance in our own lives?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fun

One thing I look for in fiction and even food is a little factor that I liked to refer to as Fun. It's important to have a little fun because life doesn't last forever and there are enough not fun things. Losing weight and getting healthier isn't easy, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. Trying new things is one way I like to have fun. Other times I do something I already know I like and don't have to guess. Either way is great. So, let's have fun.

Food Fun

Food can be fun and it doesn't have to have thousands of calories to do so. Well, okay sometimes more calories and other unhealthy factors can be fun on the rare occasion, that's fine too as long as it's not a common occurrence. But healthy food can be fun too.

Colors can be fun. It's a good idea to get different colored vegetables/fruit because that allows for an intake of different vitamins and minerals during a week's time.

Cooking methods and recipes also add fun. Doing something different and cooking in different ways during the week can jazz the food up as well. Sure it's easy to do the same thing over and over with easy to repeat meals, but don't be afraid to get a little funky with them. That's my goal.

Fitness Fun

This is easy. Do what you like. It doesn't have to be running if you don't find that fun. Wanna know what is fun? Zumba. Man was that fun. They were mostly older women in the class I went to back in Wyoming but wowee did we have a good time doing it. Fitness classes can be fun but it can be something simple as just doing anything that gets you moving that you enjoy. Time at the park, playing the interactive video games, dancing at home for no reason, anything like that will work. Just have fun with it.

Fiction Fun

Do I need to explain? Fiction is fun. Writers, we have characters in our head doing things in worlds we create. It's all kinds of fun in a bottle.

What do you do to have fun?

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Edit

Writing topic time again. I started editing one of my novels back in December. In fact, the only reason I let myself take part in NaNoWriMo in November was because I promised that I would start editing in December. I only managed to do a a chapter or two at the most in December. Editing is... tedious.

We are in April now. Am I done editing the novel? hahaha... no. Yet I don't dislike editing. It's just taking me a long time.

I have made it all the way to chapter 15, which I'm editing right now. However, I still have to do the edit notes for chapters 16-25 before I can edit them. It's slow but I am over half way done editing the novel, which is a big step for me. This is my first novel edit. I've done rewrites and first drafts, but never an edit on my own work (have been an editor for others writing though). It is proving to be a different experience.

I have also noticed something strange with this edit. With each chapter I'm adding anywhere from 200-900 words. Yeah, my novel is getting longer with this edit. Sounds wrong doesn't it?

The reason for the increase is in part it's a rewrite. I'm changing the tense of the novel, from present tense to past along with fixing some wording. I do a lot of deleting, don't get me wrong. I delete sentences and even whole paragraphs. But I also rewrite things and add some details that were missing. But it's okay. The second draft of the novel was only 50,000 words (first draft was 23,000) so even if I add an average of 400 words a chapter, that will just make it a little longer and closer to the desired word count. Still it's a strange phenomenon when it comes to this first edit.

Next novel, the adult mutant one, however, I imagine it won't involve an increase in word count. Since it's already 90,000 words long, it'd better not get another 10,000+ words from an edit. It's my next edit focus, after I get this one done and of to a few beta readers, who I still have to find.

So, in short. I'm editing. It's going slow but I hope to have Tattle Tell ready this year and I can't wait for that day when it's done.

Who is editing?
Do you enjoy editing or find it difficult?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Diet

Yep, I said it. Diet!

It has become a scorned word these days as diet programs work to be called lifestyle changes in order to keep up with the preferred lingo as they try to peddle their plans to the masses, but is it necessary? Does diet really mean something that one does for short time then quits or fails? I'm not so sure. Why is it so bad to be on a diet? Let's look at the word and consider it.

Definition of Diet

1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
2. A legislative assembly in certain countries.
 1. Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
nutrition - nourishment - food - regimen - dietary

The verb is the one we most know. It's the one people talk about all the time. It's what makes people buy different products, join groups, or eat celery. Noun 1 is the second most common, I'd say, nowadays and I am certain Noun 2 is the least common. I hadn't even really known that little fact until I did my research for this post.

The term diet has become negative in connotation to a degree because of the number of products and programs people start, try, quit, retry and quit again all in the name of dieting to lose weight. They fail and become an obsession for many. Here is a list of diet plans by US News, (though as for quality of diet even though it lists them as the best I don't guarantee or recommend any of them), to see check out the link:

However, if you think about it, the word diet will always relate to our food consumption in the noun context. Even those not losing weight have a diet, the food they eat on a regular basis.

But here is my question: Does the verb have to pertain to only the restriction or type of food used to lose weight? Can't a diet contain the basic foods consumed to maintain loss? Seems like that would work considering the noun version, but I'm not the decider of the dictionary definitions.

My Point

Diet doesn't have to be that dirty word, something we quit and start in this ever persistent battle to lose weight. Diet has other purposes and can in fact just relate to the food we eat on a regular basis, whether healthy or not and the approach we take to the type of diet we maintain is more important than whether we use the terms "diet" or "lifestyle change".

Do you diet?
What is your diet like?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Confidence

I remembered at last minute but think this post will work for both A to Z and the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. Since every first Wednesday of the month is IWSG day, I decided to post C related to that aspect and came up with Confidence. Other times I've posted about struggling to finish novels or not getting distracted, and I think I've done something similar as this post but that's okay. It's a good topic.

Check out some of the other blogs with IWSG here:


Sounds like a topic for insecure writers, doesn't it? We need confidence, or in some cases maybe could go with a little less confidence, but it's a strange concept in general because of that. We need confidence and while a rare few have too much, many writer's tend to lack confidence. Why is that? Why are we such a shy group? That is the stereotype related to writers and I've been to a few conferences. Many writers are shy people and struggle with confidence and communicating. Yet in order to get published we need those very tools.

Quite the little situation we have isn't it?

I sometimes wonder if I have too much confidence in my writing.

Hear me out. I have nothing published yet. I haven't done much sending out at this point so that's understandable. I am rather shy in person (yep, I'm one of them). Yet when I am reading my own writing, while I see there is room for improvement, I don't ever have the "wow I suck. This is terrible. What the heck am I doing?" reactions ever. On occasion I will say to myself, "hmm that won't be going anywhere, oh well, but I like that part." That's it.

So many of my friends struggle to write because they will write something and then thing it's awful and not finish it. They read over the draft they wrote a few months ago and say how bad it is. I know many artists and writers who are their worst critics.

I don't do that. At the other time, I don't feel quite like I have a lot of confidence. I am not sitting here thinking "oh, I'm so awesome that people would be fools not to publish my stuff" so don't worry on that. But it still makes me wonder. Do I need more confidence? (To send work out and such.) Or do I need a little less confidence? (To say the draft is horrible and I suck before coming to terms and finding ways to rewrite and edit.)

I'm not sure.

Do you have enough confidence or too much?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Balance

This is a good day. It's all about balance, which is a good thing to consider after one makes lofty goals. While it's fun (crazy) to try and do everything, finding balance in ones life can help even things out and in order to get things done without becoming overwhelmed. So we need to find balance.

1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight amount, etc.
2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
4. a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.
5. an instrument for determining weight, typically by the equilibrium of a bar with a fulcrum at the center, from each end of which is suspended a scale or pan, one holding an object of known weight, and the other holding the object to be weighed.

I had a hard time learning balance when I was younger. I would get too involved in many different activities, which would then lead to becoming overwhelmed with too much to do. I ended up quitting an extra Shakespeare class (held outside of school on the weekends, yes I was nerdy enough to take a weekend class in high school for fun) because I had too many other things to do and I couldn't balance all my responsibilities. If I hadn't stepped away from something my mental steadiness might have been at risk after all.

When it comes to writing and reading, I'm still trying to find balance. I like to read but I also need to use some time to write and edit. Finding a balance between the two will help because one activity assists the other.

Diet and exercise requires a whole other type of balance. And I can work on my physical balance so I don't fall down and stuff.

Ah fun times this balance thing is, don't you think? I shall keep on trying at least, though my life goes up and down between the balanced equilibrium.

How do you find balance?
What kind of balance are you working on this month? Blogging I bet. ;-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Aim

Welcome to day 1 of the A to Z blogging challenge. And we are off to a great start with a post that  I picked for it's connection to goals since I like to post goals at the beginning of each month. So, today I'm writing about Aim. If you don't know about the challenge, and if you're here I'm surprised if you don't know, but here is the link:

Aim is important. Whether it's finishing a novel, shooting an arrow, or trying to lose weight, having aim can make a difference. And that's another way to say goals. We make goals in order to aim for them. Sometimes we miss, sometimes we hit the target but not quite the right spot and sometimes we get that bulls eye.

 I missed some goals from March, hit the target on others. Time for a new set of goals.

April Goals to Aim Toward

Finish reading 2 books
Edit 4 chapters
Write 10,000 words in novella
Lose 4 lbs
No fast food

What are your goals for April?
Do you have Aim?
Welcome to my Blog.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Romantic Friday - Driven to Murder

Yep, I didn't forget. See!  This is a piece that I wrote actually a couple years ago. I still need to work on the believability of the character. Chemist, sure, humans to mannequins, why not. Chemist becomes a clown to please a ballet dancer... wait, what? Yeah, I'm still pondering that part. However, want to give some friends scary thoughts, tell them to consider a clown serial killer who can take a body and turn it into a mannequin. Got serial killers, clowns and mannequins in one story. Creepy. hehehehe

Blog Hop Link


Budders the Clown waited outside The Slipper dance studio. His love, Celia, taught kids ballet there five days a week. While he waited, Budders adjusted his polka dotted bow tie. He was nervous because tonight was the night he was planning on taking the relationship further.

Celia followed a group of students out the front door while pulling her blonde hair out of it's tight bun. It flowed down past her shoulders in waves.

"Hi sweetheart." Budders held out the plastic white flowers that he'd been holding for almost fifteen minutes during his wait.

"Oh." Celia stopped and stared at the flowers for a minute before accepting them. "Thanks." She started to walk in the direction of her apartment.

Budders followed easily, taking long strides with his large clown shoes. He didn't speak until they were almost there. "Do you wanna go up and change? I've got big plans for tonight. I can wait downstairs till you are ready."

She stopped walking. "Listen," Celia turned to him and put her hand on his arm for a second. "You are a nice guy and all but I think we should see other people."

"How can you say that?" He was devastated. "After all I've done for you. All the hurdles you've made me jump through."

Celia shrugged. "You're a clown. You should be used to doing that."

"I'm a clown because as a chemist I wasn't fun enough for you." He tried to control his voice but it was starting to raise anyways. "You promised if I did all that for you..."

"I changed my mind."

Budders had to fight back tears. "Please don't do this. I can make things right again if you just give me another chance."

She shook her head. "No. I'm moving on. Goodbye." Finished, Celia walked away.

"You'll pay for this, you selfish bitch!" He yelled, no longer about to cry; his anger had taken over. He stormed away while cursing under his breath and promised himself that things would change. He wasn't going to let a woman trample him like that and get away with it.

As he fumbled around for his house key Budders noticed a grasshopper as it landed next to his foot. Without thinking he brought down his big right shoe, squashing it. With a tiny sense of relief he went inside but just as he closed the door an idea struck him.

He spent the next three hours tearing through every room in the upper portion of the house. "It's gotta be here some where," Budders muttered as he rummaged through fake flowers, wigs, rubber hammers, and bow ties. He was about to give up when he found the item in a small drawer in the kitchen. It was a perfectly preserved grasshopper in clear white glass. Celia had given it to him on their second date because she thought it would be an amusing, although a tad bit morbid, gift.

Budders took the domed grasshopper downstairs to his basement/laboratory. On one half of the room he had a chemistry lab set up for his own experiments. There was a dense table and cabinets full of compounds and elixirs. On the other side he kept his secret clown stash. It consisted of a special clown wardrobe, a makeup cabinet and a few different accessories. He went over to the lab side and began to do research.

The research took several weeks of reading and experimentations before he had a full working plan. A few chemicals and some equipment had to be ordered and in a manner that would not arouse any suspicion. He also kept careful tabs on Celia. It would be a while before he'd be able to carry out his plans and he didn't want her to disappear on him. He had many chances to grab her during those scouting adventures but he wasn't ready yet. First he needed to practice.

The first experimental stage consisted of testing on insects and small animals. He knew that the compounds and amounts wouldn't even be close to what he'd need on a human but they made good tests for the idea in general. Once he was confident enough from those he began the search for his human test subject.

This proved to be more difficult than he'd first imagined.

Budders had to find the right female test subject. She had to be close to Celia in body weight and structure though she didn't have to be exact. That would be easy for a normal woman, but a dancer was a different story. He monitored all the dance studies that were fifty to one hundred miles away. His same town was off limits for now.

After almost a month of search he found someone. Her name was Jessica and she was a beautiful brown haired ballerina. She looked to be about Celia's height and her waistline wasn't too far off either. Plus, she gave Budders that feeling; the feeling that she was the one.

One afternoon he finally got up the nerve to approach her. "Hello, pretty lady." Budders bowed and offered a fake flower to her.

Jessica looked surprised at first but then smiled. "Hello," she said in a shy voice. She had been on her way to dance rehearsal.

"Have a wonderful day." He smiled to show his almost white teeth and then gave her another bow. It wasn't a full conversation, but he'd made contact and that was all he needed. He watched her walk to the dance studio before going to the hotel room he'd reserved for that night. He had to prepare.

Later that night, when Jessica passed by the dark alley next to the dance studio, he was there waiting. In a quick motion he grabbed her, pulling her into the dark, and placed a soaked rag over her mouth and nose. Soon her body went limp. He carried her to his car in a hurry, making sure that no one saw them. Then he started the drive home.

As he laid her on the chem table, Budders felt a sense of excitement mixed with satisfaction. A woman lay before him, unconscious, with chemicals and tools in the background. He couldn't wait to get started. He started the experiment while thinking; it won't be long, Celia. You'll be mine.


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!