Thursday, May 31, 2012

1, 2, 3, GO!

1. Thanks to all of you who commented on my query + first 500 words of My Protector: The Calling for the Wilde's Fire Agent-Judged Contest entry. I enjoyed every one of the other entries I had the privilege of reading. Amazing class of writers out there! Good luck to all of you! And thank you Sharon Bayliss and Kristal Wade for putting this contest together!

2. For those of you where were/are interested in having another set of eyes on your first 20 pages of your WiP and have not sent them to me, I'm ready for them whenever you want to send them my way :)

Falling For Fiction

3. I'm over at Falling For Fiction today doing a critique for Sheena-kay's WiP Circa, go check out her way-cool idea out here!

GO have a great day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wilde's Fire Editor-Judged Contest

Curiosity Quills Press  + Krystal Wade + Sharon Bayliss =

Sharon Bayliss is hosting a contest with Krystal Wade from Curiosity Quills. Each entrant posts their query and first 500 words on 5/25, then we go around giving helpful suggestions to other brave contestants. On 5/28 we email our revised entries to Sharon for Krystal's consideration. Click HERE to find out more about how to enter. 

So... here goes it...

My Query:
Fourteen-year-old Eri sprints into the night seeking a beast that wants nothing more than to feast on her flesh. She knows this is suicide, but she can't deny the pull. The Calling is too strong. As the beast’s claws reach for her throat, a Protector slices off its head, saving Eri from a bloody death.

The Protectors are River Island’s only defense against the monsters roaming the darkness. The clandestine guardians use the Calling—the internal link to the man-eating beasts—to watch over the village. Being a Protector is an honorable, secretive position, and one only fit for men.

While the link grows within Eri, she finds herself repeatedly drawn beyond the safety borders, hoping to satiate the rage flooding her veins. But without proper training, the beasts will destroy her. And as a girl, Eri’s not allowed the education to become one of the Protectors.

Beast encounters increase. Villager deaths rise. Eri must secretly learn the skills to fight before there's nothing left to fight for.

MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING is a young adult post apocalyptic novel complete at 65,000 words. Readers of Kimberly Derting's THE BODY FINDER and Maggie Stiefvater's THE SCORPIO RACES will connect with Eri’s journey—a girl shunned from the only trade that can give her the tools to control her inexplicable connection to seek evil.

My First 500:
Going to the river was forbidden.
I knew this, yet I stepped of the gravel path and walked into the field. With teeth clenched, I sucked in rapid breaths, enough to nearly taste the crisp grass beneath my feet.
The thudding inside my ribcage screamed at me to turn around. Stop, Eri!
Early moonlight sparkled off the few remaining patches of snow. I should have paid attention to nature’s signal. Even the winter knew better than to dwell this close to the safety border.
A gong sang out across the village, ringing through my insides. The warning bell.
I glanced over my shoulder at the hazy silhouettes of people fleeing for refuge, their shouts dying in the distance. I should have turned back. But the charcoal sky and inky river pulled me forward.
Adrenaline flooded my veins, propelling my legs faster. My brain searched for one sane thought to stop my muscles from carrying me out there.
Suicide. This is suicide!
Conflicting thoughts swirled through my head. I squeezed my eyes shut against the confusion and pressed my hands over my ears, begging the pounding inside to leave me alone. “Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop—”
Something broke through the tree line, blurry with speed, eerily dark, features impossible to decipher.
Logic told me to turn and run for my life, but my feet rooted to the frosty ground. From somewhere deep inside the fibers of my being, I knew I belonged there. Waiting for it.
A blanket of anger draped over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. I crouched into an aggressive stance, primed and eager to spring forward. Ready.
The nightmare sped toward me, moving more like water than animal, swift and fluid in the gloom. Seconds separated us.
As if descending from flight, the beast crashed into the ground like a meteorite falling to Earth, digging an elongated hole as it slid to a halt inches from where I stood. The creature’s head no longer connected to its body, rolled past my dirt covered feet, coming to rest somewhere behind me. 
The it that only moments ago bore down on me with the sole intent of feeding on my flesh, lie dead before me.
How am I still alive?
My eyes devoured every feature of the evil at my feet, relishing each detail: its enormity, the dark sheen of its hide, the absence of fur, four powerful legs, thin tail, no wings though it seemed to fly a second ago.
I turned away from its body in search of the head and found the inside of its skull facing me. Blood and gore held together by a ring of thick, leathery skin. Its grisly expression fixed, eyes staring toward the village. I stepped over the beast’s crater to get a better look at the atrocity when I caught the whisper of movement.
Dread fluttered through me for the first time. 

What do you think? I am looking forward to any and ALL suggestions :) 

Congratulations to Krystal Wade on her May release of Wilde's Fire! And congratulations to Sharon Bayliss for signing a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills! Thank you both for putting this contest together!

Good luck to those of you who entered and I'll be stopping by your blog soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Falling For Fiction Mixer

Falling For Fiction started with my amazing group of writer friends, critique partners, all around hilarious and brilliant ladies that lift me up and cheer me on constantly. One of our ideas is to throw a CP/beta reader mixer over at Falling For Fiction to help others find the awesomesauce (channeling my inner Cassie) that we get to experience every day.

So, if you're in the market to hook up with fellow writers, hop over to FFF tomorrow to answer a few questions about what you're looking for and your current project. Then you can read other comments and hopefully find a good match :)

Falling For Fiction

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest

Thanks Alex J Cavanaugh for another excellent blogfest! This time around, you post your first loves--first movie, first song/band, first book, first person. I'm hoping I don't age myself too much with my choices :)

Movie--Die Hard--The first action movie I remember seeing. I can't believe my mom ever let me watch it since I clearly remember her freaking out when she found out I saw Splash at a friend's birthday party. I did see it on tv so there was plenty of dubbing going on. I still love this movie.


Band--New Kids on the Block--Ah, those boys were so cute! And they could sing so high! I remember a few of my friends got to see them perform at the fair the summer they came out, I was so jealous! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh...Oh, oh, oh, oh...Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh...The right stuff!


Book--Half Magic--I didn't read much as a kid besides Sweet Valley Twins, but this book is one I remember. Four children find a coin and make wishes, but the wishes only come true halfway. Needless to say lots of misadventures happen until they figure out how to wish for twice as much and twice as far as they intend. I read this to my class the first year I taught and they enjoyed it very much too :)                              

Love--Harlan--Totally cheating on this one and picking my husband :) We've known each other since we were 12, but were never really friends. We had all the same friends, but in 6 years of school together, we never once had the same class so we never clicked.  Anyhow, the year after our first year in college, our friend had a party at his house and Harlan was there. We danced. That was all it took :) Almost 17 years later, we're still married (happily most of the time) and have two wonderful kids. He may not have been my first love, but he's certainly my favorite!

What are some of your first loves? 

Click on the image at the top to read others' first loves :)


Friday, May 11, 2012

100th post + 200 followers


Thank you for sticking around and enduring my crazy brain! I appreciate your support and your comments and your blogs! You're all rad! So grab a balloon, a piece of cake, a party favor and celebrate with me :)


And for a lovely reward for following me and withstanding my nutso babble, I was thinking I could give 10 people a 20 page critique or 20 people a 10 page critique, depends on how many are interested :) So, if you're up for it and would like another set of eyes on whatever you're working on, leave a comment and I'd be happy to help :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homecoming, Tolo, Prom, OH MY!


Kelley and Emily are hosting this hilariously fun bloghop! The point behind this, I believe, was spurred by a debate about high school and if you'd go back and live through it again.

My choice: Heck no! Although there were plenty of good times, lots of growing up, and I'm still close with friends from high school (actually since elementary school), there's just too much stress and drama that I would never willingly repeat.

But scanning these pictures was hilarious! The hair--perms and mullets! The shoes--velvet pumps and boots! The nylons--do people even wear nylons anymore?! Anyhow, I hope you get a chuckle out of these cause I sure did :)

Freshman year Homecoming--first dance, first heels, first strapless dress. Wow, was that ever nerve wracking!

Freshman year Tolo--Phil ended up being a groomsmen in my wedding. My husband went to this dance with another girl (no biggie, like I've said before, I didn't like-like my husband in high school) and we all met up for pizza and to play whirlyball (think bumper cars meet la crosse--yeah it's crazy).

Freshman year Prom--fell asleep in the limo on the ride home, great date huh? I couldn't help it, we had a track meet in 90+ degree weather on the other side of the state that day, having to bust our butts to get home and attempt to look decent enough for my first ever Prom. I'm sure it wasn't how Jeff imagined it would go.

Sophomore year Homecoming, Tolo (can't find the pic), Prom--Ahhh, my first high school boyfriend, our first dance together made it "official". And I swear I am not an amazon woman :)

Junior year Homecoming, Tolo, Prom--I like the sitting down one, I don't look so humongous :) I was in a car wreck a few weeks before Homecoming this year. I broke the rear passenger window out with my head, not a pretty picture. Anyhow, I remember it being a big deal (what high school girl wouldn't think it was a big deal to get her face all jacked up just before Homecoming?) cause people were gossiping a ton about it and then having to get pictures taken, blah blah blah--the insecurities of high school, another reason to never go back.

Senior year Homecoming, Tolo, Prom--Yay, another sitting down picture! I dated the same dude for three years. We were a Ross and Rachel by this year, not even together by the time Prom rolled around so I'm not entirely sure why we went... I vow to convince my daughter not to date the same guy for all (most, too much) of high school. I know it's not the best motherly advice to tell a teenage girl to date lots of different guys, but spending all that time with the same one seems like a waste to me now. That part--for sure--I would not repeat.

Another Senior year Prom, different school--I worked with Mark at McDonalds and another guy from his school asked another girl from my school (both of them also worked at McDonalds) to the dance--just as friends, but the guys went all out and it was fun :)

So there's a snippet of my high school experience through dances. Hmmm... now wondering how much of this I should go back and delete cause I'm not painting a very nice picture of myself... there's probably a lesson in there somewhere... oh well. It is what it is and I am who I am, probably one of the most valuable lessons I finally learned by the end of high school ;)

Would you go back to high school again?

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z thoughts

YAY! I survived! I posted 26 times in April! The other half of the challenge, the commenting and following part, I feel like I'm still trying to catch up with. Maybe next year I will be successful at both...

I struggle with geography so doing Around the World in 26 Letters was a challenge for my anti-GPS brain. But it was fun and I now have an enormous list of places I want to go and things I must see!

 Italy                                  Spain                                 Greece

Bora Bora                                Mexico                                   Japan

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone who traveled the world with me during April! 

Anyone else have an itch to hop on a plane?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG--Claiming the Title

Morgan Shamy had a very intriguing post (read it here) last week about labeling yourself as a writer that still lingers in the confidence part of my brain because her words made me realize I still don't call myself a writer.

How can this be when I have proof to back up such a claim?

Proof #1: I write.
Proof #2: I've written a book (more than one).
Proof #3: I have a blog so I can write about writing.
Proof #4: I am involved on a daily basis with fellow writers in this amazing community.

Why do I still feel odd calling myself a writer?

I have children, therefore I am a mother. I say that without hesitation. I have a husband, therefore I am a wife. I am a daughter, a sister, and a friend, all of which I claim easily.

I've played soccer my entire life, continue to play regularly, have all the equipment, pay to play and hold a player's card, therefore I am a soccer player.

On the other hand, I've painted many paintings, have a space for my easel and supplies in my loft, even given paintings away as gifts and people hang them in their homes, yet I do not call myself a painter.

Maybe that's it. Maybe I need some margin of success that can be documented over time. Maybe I need to spend years writing to make me feel worthy of calling myself a writer.

Leigh Covington had a post about affirmations (read it here) during the A to Z challenge so I wrote one down. It says "I am a good writer. My story is good." I know it's not the most knock-your-socks-off affirmation, but I thought I'd start small.

Thanks to Morgan's wake-up blog post and Leigh's idea for having an affirmation, I will now read this aloud every day, practicing the idea of claiming my spot as a writer.

My name is Hope. I am a writer.

**click on the Insecure Writer's Support Group image at the top to  join and support other writers**