Thursday, April 12, 2012

News on the Writing Front!

I’ve been MIA from the internet the last couple of months.

Long story short, I was busy with a task that was important enough to warrant my full attention. You may be wondering what sort of thing that would be.

Drumroll, please...

Writing, of course!

I FINALLY finished my NaNo novel. Well, the first draft, at least. Next item on the to-do list is to edit the beast. We’ll see how that goes. I’m notorious for crumpling under the shame of poorly written manuscripts. The good news is that I’ve learned a lot this past year about editing and I'm happy to say I don’t fear it like I used to. I have a whole pack of red pens in my desk drawer to prove it.

After the whole debacle where my laptop ate a good chunk of my very first manuscript, and the other where my plot (and motivation) melted into a pile of goo about 60,000 words into my second manuscript, it feels pretty good to be able to say I’ve finally got a finished draft. Third time’s a charm, right?

And yes, I backed up my file this time.

Image Source

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Month of Letters Challenge

I just signed up for Mary Robinette Kowal’s A Month Of Letters Challenge where participants write a letter each day except Sundays and President’s Day for the month of February. The letter can be a postcard, fabric swatch, newspaper clipping, or whatever you want. You can even write a letter to the main character in Mary’s novel SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY and she will write back as Jane using a real quill and writing slope.

Personally, I’ll be sending out lots of postcards since I have more than I can count on my entire extended family’s fingers and toes. I also plan to send recipes to my mom on index cards so she can pop them right into her recipe box. It’s not like there’s any room left for more, but it can never hurt to have too many recipes.

I highly recommend joining in. It’s going to be a great way to practice penmanship, writing, etc. and get fun things in the mail.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I Learned About Editing

I don’t have much experience in the area of authoring, editing, and writing so I’m doing a post based on a bit of good advice I received once. (I’m probably the last person you’d want to pay attention to for advice on writing, but I’ve found this bit of info to be particularly useful.)

First, a fact about myself. I spend way too much time obsessing over details.

Who doesn’t, though? (If you don’t, put your hand down and play along.)

I’m not surprised I’ve had such a hard time breaking my habit of nitpicking through grammar and spelling issues. Extreme attention to detail is a huge aspect of graphic design so it makes sense that I’m naturally inclined to obsess.

At some point, somewhere between editing one draft and getting hung up on grammar errors halfway through another, and having a major case of stress-induced heart burn and gnashing of teeth, I realized my process wasn’t working. I pulled myself away from my work long enough to get some much-needed advice. After my graphic designer spent a few days having a small tantrum I came to terms with what needed to be done. It’s time to stop obsessing over details and MOVE on.

Write the book.

Then edit.

At least then I will have a finished manuscript.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dad Wrote A Story

My dad wrote a flash fiction piece inspired by the second challenge at Rachel Harrie’s Writer’s Campaign. He doesn’t have a blog so I told him I would post his story on mine.

It's actually quite good.

“Imago? Not Tonight!”

“No, dear brother. Not tonight, not today, not ever,” she said in "the voice" reserved for such times.

His response was spontaneous and predictable. “Why not? It’s in the dictionary, isn’t it?”

“It’s not in my dictionary, nor any dictionary,” was the reply. She knew what was coming next.

“But it is in Papa’s dictionary, and it is a good word,” he pleaded.

She well remembered the dictionary Papa had frequently referenced. Words like lacuna, synchronicity, miasma, and other obscure creations of his imagination. The dictionary they never got to actually see themselves which was stored on the top shelf, just out of reach.

The fire in the stove had burned down somewhat, but the room was uncomfortably warm. The kettle, once full of water, was beginning to make a low noise, a sign it would need to be refilled soon. Outside, the storm dragged on, a harbinger of many more winter nights to come.

The pair sat across the board from one another. Suddenly she grew tired, but staring down at her pieces, she felt the excitement. Starting with the "o" she slowly arranged her pieces downward.

“Oscitate. Double letter, triple word, and out. Just like Papa!” she exclaimed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoWriMo, Saved By The Bell, and a Giant Cat

My days as an absentee blogger are officially over.

For now, anyway.

Here’s the latest from my neck of the woods:

1) I won a flash fiction contest over at Rachel Harrie’s Writer’s Campaign. I placed twelfth out of 192 entries, which is, apparently, high enough to win a prize. Thanks to everyone who voted for my entry, by the way. It’s an honor.

2) I’m doing my first NaNoWriMo this year. My cousin managed to talk me into it a couple of months ago. My word count isn’t quite where I want it to be, but I’ve got an awesome idea that I can’t stop thinking about (sound familiar?) and I’m good at pumping out words in short amounts of time. I can’t wait to see what I have at the end of November.

3) A good friend of mine stopped by and photographed some drawings for my portfolio. I’m hoping to get them up on the Internet soon and score some new clients.

3) I went to a crafting retreat a few weekends ago outside of the city. A friend of mine, who happens to be an avid scrapbooker/crafter/graphic designer organized the retreat and invited her friends to come out. I’m not a crafter or a scrapbooker, but I figured it would be fun and, as it turns out, I had a great time.

While I was there I had every intention of writing at least 6,000 words for NaNoWriMo, but ended up knitting half a mitten, drawing a still life, and eating more food than I have in the last six months and partaking in more girl talk than a group middle school girls at a slumber party in 1991 arguing Zack vs. Slater.

4) Oh, and I turned 30 yesterday so I’m celebrating by posting a picture of my giant cat.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2nd Campaign Challenge

It's time for the second campaign challenge over at Rachael Harrie's Writer's Platform-Building Campaign.

This one was a doozy, but I enjoyed the challenge.

  • 200 words exactly, excluding the title: Yes
  • Flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, or poem: Got it
  • Include the word "imago" in the title: Uh huh
  • Include miasma, lacuna, oscitate, and synchronicity: Check
  • Make reference to a mirror in your post: Done!


The Battle of Imago

His fist ricocheted off the Opponent’s red armor.

The ligaments in his blue arms extended and retracted at lightning speed through the small lacuna of safety between them that flickered with shards of moonlight.

Though they wore the same type of armor, he knew it wasn’t uncommon to be unfairly matched.

For a brief moment, their arms became entangled and their movements mirrored each other in a synchronicity that frightened him.

The Opponent slammed his fist into his face and a wave of pain darted through his neck and skull. He returned the favor with a swift uppercut. The Opponent’s armor rattled and a mechanism in his left arm snapped.

He smiled. The Opponent was weaker.

The Opponent struggled to maintain his stance and faltered. Through the miasma of aggression he saw an opportunity and drove his fist straight into the Opponent’s jaw, causing his head to oscitate from his shoulders and pop into the air.

Before he could celebrate his victory he felt his body rise into the air and float some distance before settling on a shelf.

“If you ever want to see your Rock’em Sock’em again, you boys better turn the lights out and go to bed!”


If you liked my story take a moment to swing on over to the list of entries and vote for me (#53).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Award Time!

In the recent weeks I’ve received a few awards from some awesome bloggers. This has left me feeling quite honored and happy.

*Takes awards and pins to blog*

However, I’ve been so busy lately drawing, making tissue paper flowers, traipsing across the Midwest with my parents, and dodging tornadoes (imaginary) that I haven’t had time to post about it until today.


This is my very first Internet bloggy award ever. EVER. (Thanks, Randy Lindsay, for the award!) Once Randy let me know that he had given me the award, I promptly took a moment to squee to my husband, parents, and everyone else on speed dial.

And since the Liebster Award is all about spreading the love, I’m passing this award on to:

(drum roll)

Rachel Bean

Tania Walsh

Claire Marriott

Dawn Malone

Here are the rules:*

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 4 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or sending them a tweet.
3. Post the award on your blog.


I received the Versatile Blogger Award from Jocelyn Rish, Karen deBlieck, and Kristina Fugate. Thanks so much, you guys!

According to the rules I need to list seven things about myself. You can see my list here.

And the Versatile Blogger Award goes to:

Julie Farrar

Liz Hellebuyck

Betsy (The Everyday Warrior)

Jenny S. Morris


The rules are as follows:*

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass this Award along to 15 [I only picked four] recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!


*To my recipients: If you’ve already received one of these awards don't worry about passing it on or listing things about yourself, just bask in the glow of being loved and appreciated.