Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jesus & Bring on the Snow!

Can you imagine being an unwed, virgin teenage girl visited by an angel and asked to carry your god's child? Keep in mind the ridicule you'll endure, the possibility that your fiance may withdraw his proposal, and that no one will believe that you didn't give in to premarital sex. I admire Mary for the kind of faith it took to know what would happen, but to say anyway, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be as you have  said."

As a mother myself, I know that she didn't regret her choice. I also cannot imagine the pain she must have experienced as she watched him sacrificed for the souls of an ungrateful people.

As you celebrate Christmas with your family, give your own children an extra special hug and send up a prayer or two of thanks to a God who loves us so much as to provide salvation in Jesus to an unworthy people and for sending such an amazing example of a mother's love and strength in Mary.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


We have a huge snowstorm forcast for Christmas day here in Oklahoma, and while I doubt it looks quite as good as the picture above, I hope we have at least enough snow for the snowman! I look forward to being holed up with my beautiful little family, hot cocoa, and the new video game from Santa that my 5 year old will have to play all day. What are your plans for Christmas? Will you be enjoying the same snowstorm this Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Next Best Thing Blog Hop



The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was very kindly nominated a while back for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop by Melanie D. Sokol. It's taken me a bit, but I am finally getting this post up. I hope you enjoy learning about my newest WIP.

***
What is the working title of your book? Diomere's Prince

Where did the idea come from for the book? One of my very odd and detailed dreams after watching a documentary on Mermaids on the Discovery Channel, I believe.

What genre does your book fall under? Fantasy/YA

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A misplaced prince must discover his true heritage and find his way home to present himself before a magic gate by his 16th birthday to prevent the destruction of his people and an entire world.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?







Chris Hemsworth as my protagonist








 Mark Addy as my Antagonist








Angus T. Jones as my protagonists' brother.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? An agency, I think, though I'm not as determined on using this path as I once was.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Still working on the 1st draft and it is coming along very nicely.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Has a merman protagonist like The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova and separate worlds like Harry Potter. I'm sure I could find elements that other books have,but his is the best I could do off the top of my head.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? My main character was kidnapped at birth and raised as a different king's bastard.

For the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, I nominate: Erin York





I've recently discovered Whipped Cream Vodka. This may seem trivial until you think of what I thought of upon this discovery: Hot Cocoa. Enough said. *grin* Some days just require your hot cocoa, tea, or coffee to have a little something extra...just saying!

What do you think of my NaNo novel? Sound interesting? Like me, are your opinions of self-publishing changing? Have you tried whipped cream vodka hot chocolate?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest




Rules:

Ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year? You'd thank them for being such a RockStar, right?

If there's one person in the Blogosphere who you want to say cheers to, who would it be?

For us, it was a no-brainer. Alex "no hyperlink needed" Cavanaugh.

Alex is an awesome blogger who's helped hundreds of us via book releases, guest posts, guest interviews and always positive comments. While we can't have a live part-ay for the Ninja Captain, we can host a BlogFest:

Welcome to the "Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest."

Hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and Stephen Tremp, the BlogFest runs from December 10-12.


Two winners – chosen by Alex – will each win one prize:

FIRST PLACE: A signed copy of CassaStar.

GRAND PRIZE*: A picture of Alex and a download of him playing the guitar.

(*One caveat: Alex asks the picture or download NOT be shared online.)

In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?
Tall, dark, and handsome. What? He's my bloggy hero and as such, looks like any of my dream heroes.

In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
Christopher Reeve (see answer to question #3)

In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?
Superman. Science fiction loving, glasses wearing nerd by day, bloggy friend saving hero by night! If I need help finding out about something in the bloggy world, Alex saves my day.

In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

Dangerous Favors

Serena slid through the corridors of the Cavanaugh Caverns like a ninja in the night darting from shadow to shadow. Stopping at an intersection, she glanced left and right. Voices echoed from the left as she noticed the letters IWSG on the wall for the right corridor. She turned left. Better to face whoever those voices belonged to than to chance running into any of the Imperial Wards of Space Genetics. Genetically enhanced with superior reflexes and to be absolutely loyal to the emperor, the wards flew the imperial fleet of Cosbolt ships. Serena knew that if any of them spotted her red skinned face, they'd take her into custody without question. The voices coming toward her were more likely to be acolytes in the temple of the goddess. They'd ignore her if she was lucky. Sighing, she stood straighter and began to walk as if she belonged in the cool stone hallway of the temple. Next time Argo came begging a favor, she'd tell him to stuff it. She'd much rather be home playing her guitar.


For Bonus Points:

In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing

Thanks so much for allowing Alex to give so much of his time to the blogosphere. He is such an amazing fount of information to knew bloggers and writers. I know it must seem a huge sacrifice sometimes, but know that we truly appreciate you.

Join the Linky List
Be a follower.
Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.
Have Fun!


***
Someone asked me how to remove CAPTCHA or Word Verification from your blogger:

1) Go to Settings

2)Click Post and Comments
3)On the drop down menu beside 'Show word verification' select No

Any questions? Message me.


***


Anyone else think french fries in soft serve icecream is the best snack ever? Mmmmm...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Post-Erin York's Review of PRODIGY by Marie Lu

This week I have the honor of having writer, poet, editor, and friend Erin York as a guest on my blog.  She has a fabulous review to share with you AND a chance for you to win a copy of that same book. So without further ado, please welcome Erin. *wild applause & happy dancing*

Take it away, Erin!!!
***
Because I work at Full Circle Bookstore in OKC and because I met a wonderful YA (young adult) salesperson from Penguin Books there, I've come into many advanced reader's copies of books. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of PRODIGY, the second book in Marie Lu's dystopian series, Legend. 

Here's a quick synopsis of PRODIGY, which will come out in January 2013:


June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengence, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong? 


If you go to Marie Lu's WEBSITE, you can read the first chapter of the book there. If you follow my blog from now until the end of December, you will be entered in a raffle for this advanced reader's copy. But if I don't have twenty followers by then, the raffle will be canceled. So be sure to tell all your friends to stop by! 

As for my thoughts on PRODIGY, I just finished reading it this morning, and it left me in tears. Bittersweet, heart-wrenching tears. Marie Lu's writing has improved drastically from her first volume to this one. Her story-telling skills are much better as well. 

She tells the story once more from both Day's and June's points of views. And there are several twists in the story that I certainly didn't see coming. The love tangle gets far more tangled, as does the fight for loyalty and the Republic/the Colonies. 

I felt Lu developed this futuristic world much more fully in this story. We learn more about the plague, more about the world at large (not just the fragmented United States), and we delve deep into the corrupt governments and those who are trying to fight it. 

You will not be disappointed in this second volume. It's a terrifying, exhilerating, thrilling second volume. I can't wait for the third volume to come out. Really, I'm going to go nuts between now and the third one. I hope Lu's writing lots over this holiday season.

***
Thanks, Erin, for being my very 1st guest post! I appreciate you. 

Has anyone else read Marie Lu's 1st book? Know of a new book that you were so blown away by that you think I should read it? Anyone else feeling a bit rushed into the Christmas season this year? I have no problem with Jesus' birthday being here, but the pressure to get gifts is always stressful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

So much for knowing it all...

To prepare for a social media workshop I am co-hosting with writer friend, Erin York, on December 8th, I have been researching all the things I don't know. I didn't think it would be that long of a list.

I was wrong. So much for knowing it all... *laughs*

Just with Facebook, I have learned some really cool tips that I didn't not know, per se, but really just hadn't though of. For example, do you have an author or book page? Do you have it listed as a place your work on your personal profile? Thanks to Andrea Vahl at the Social Media Examiner I now have another way to link my page and my personal profile so that when people look me up, they can click right on that to find their way to my page.

It's such a small thing, but what a difference it could make for those readers who might try to look me up, wanting my author page. It also makes it more simple for my friends and family to find my author page.

Twitter is my weak link in social media. The point of it escaped me for so long, but now I am beginning to get it thanks in large part to KL Grady at Five Scribes. I thought at first it was just a chaotic stream of single thoughts with no purpose or direction. That began to clear a little as I got in and really paid attention to what was being said. But I didn't truly understand until I read this blog post from KL.
     "Tip 3: Social networking is about building relationships and extending your tribe. It's about community. Your content should reflect that."

I'm not sure exactly why I got this concept so easily with Facebook, but not Twitter, but I get it now. And I like Twitter much more for the realization. Thank KL.

I could go on with the things I've learned, but I won't. Suffice is to say, I am learning that there is a lot about social media I don't know. So, if you have some hard earned nuggets of wisdom that you think I should know to share with those that will be attending my workshop, please leave a comment. I would really appreciate being educated.


Anyone else looking forward to seeing this as much as I am? I've been trying to get through the first half of the book forever. I might just get through it with this as my reward in December. *grin*

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank You


This week is about being thankful. Thankful to God for all the blessings in my life. Thankful to my hub for being my rock. Thankful to my family for their love. Thankful to my friends, both near and far, who are only a phone call away.

But this post is especially for my writer friends who know exactly how to lift me up when this seemingly impossible dream overwhelms me. Today, I thank God for you. I know that I wouldn't have come as far as I have in my writing without you. I wouldn't have one MS ready for submission for the most part and another 2  in progress. Without you, I never would have believed that I CAN do this.


Who/What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Anyone else prefer ham over turkey?

 Anyone else eating(have already eaten *guilty grin*) a whole pumpkin pie themselves or is that just me?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Proud Veteran

Today is about appreciation. Appreciation for those men and women who sacrifice so much for freedoms so often taken for granted. Though many disagree with those in control, we all can appreciate those brave soldiers who sacrificed their time and in many cases their lives.

So this heartfelt thanks is from one veteran soldier to my fellow veterans and those still serving today.

Thank you!
(Me, 10 years ago, as a new U.S. Army basic training graduate. I looked so young.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNo-OhNo!

Why is it that as soon as you take on something as intensive as NaNoWriMo, everything else in your life explodes?

The orders coming in for the awards business I own were steady, but managable. My word count was over my goal for the first 3 days.

Then an explosion occurred. An explosion of orders.

November happens to be the end of fall cross country, fall soccer, and fast pitch softball seasons.

*typed as I stare crazy-eyed at the computer screen* 

Don't look too closely, you'll see the tired bags beginning to form, the fact that my eyebrows need tended too, and even a few lines that I swear showed up on my 30th birthday in September. *grin*

I've been so busy that it's Wednesday night and I am just getting to my Monday post. Yep, it's just one of those weeks. But you know what? I haven't missed one morning of getting up early to write. Sure, I don't always get as high in the word count as I would hope, but I am still up trying.

For that I MUST pat myself on the back!

Because I know that tomorrow morning I will get up again and try to make up some of my lost ground. But most importantly, I'll be writing.

Is your day job making you fall behind your NaNo goals? What are you doing to make up for it? Do you now star in your own blog images so as not to get caught in copyright infringement?

I'm Sabrina and I will be watching the final Twilight movie next weekend!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monstrous Monday Blogfest

Creepy crawly and all things shivery. Today you'll meet creatures that make you jittery!

Today is Monstrous Monday and I must give a huge shout out to the host of this fabulous blogfest, Tim Brannon. You can still signup by visiting his blog, here, and posting one of several fabulous buttons. The button below was my fave.

And now to introduce you to one of the monsters from my MS, I thought I'd post a bit of the scene that introduces her. The poor creature was made using the body of my MC's mother and another poor woman that had the misfortune of being a captive of a dark mage. I'm sure you can imagine poor Ruark's horror at seeing his beloved mother's face on such a ghastly creature.

***
Excerpt from The Severing by Sabrina A. Fish
Namur took the vial of blood and uncapped it. He tilted it over the woman’s slowing heart as he chanted softly to the dark flame.
            “Beating heart, powerful blood. Black flame might, head our call. With this we create, let nothing hide. Black power, white blood, Born of fire.”
            The queen’s blood hit the heart and black flames consumed the entire inside of the circle. Namur and Ril basked in the pain of the fire as they stepped back. Energy prickled painfully along Namur’s skin. Pressure built against his ears. Breathing became difficult. The roiling energies lifted the dead queen’s body into the air spinning it around faster and faster.
The winds buffeted them. Ril kneeled to the ground covering his head with his robe to protect himself. Namur braced himself against the wind, determined to not miss a single detail of this moment. A tearing sound and a piercing scream broke the sound of the wailing wind causing pain like a sharp knife. He rubbed at a trickling wetness and realized he bled from his ears, nose, and eyes.
As quickly as it began, the wind died. Silence reigned. Namur caught his breath. Where the two women and tables had been, sat a magnificent creature with the face and torso of the dead queen, and the body and wings of a wyrm. Her black hair floated around her head like a living curtain. Poison glistened from her teeth as she devoured the body of the other woman and from her spiny tail that swayed in contentment. Smoky gray scales glinted on the skin of her torso and hide. A forked tongue darted out as she ate.  He had done it. He had found his wyrm. Tears filled his eyes as the creature finished her meal with a last delicate lick of her lips, looked at him with chilling red eyes, and spoke into his mind.
            “I am the quingore, Lilra. What would you have of me, master?
***
There she is, the quingore, Lilra at the moment of her making. I hope you enjoyed this snipit into my current MS. Please let me know if you, too, are participating in Monstrous Monday.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Building a Fantasy/Sci-Fi World

My number one favorite thing to do as a writer is world building. Some people like building characters, but I find my imagination prefers creating a unique world all my own and then finding characters that fit in it. It's so complex, involved, and overwhelming. Non-fantasy/sci-fi writers tend to get big eyed when I tell them I write fantasy novels. The first question they usually ask me is, "How do you create a whole world like that and make it believable? Isn't it really hard?"

I admit, it's no walk in the park.

However, the challenge is part of the fun. I have learned so much about weather patterns, ore mining, environmentally based cultures & religions, and weather patterns over bodies of water versus large sections of land. Though much of the information I have learned hasn't made it into any of my writing, I had to know these things to make my world believable. Putting an ore mine in a place where ore couldn't possibly be found might make your reader question the author. Once a reader is pulled from your story enough to start asking questions about your validity, you've lost them.

And that, my friends, is bad. Very bad. Even for fantasy writers.

As a follow up of my post for my collaborative blog, FoF, I wanted to share one of the sites responsible for helping me learn so much about world building. I have learned a ton from other writers within this fabulous blogging community. So I wanted to give back.  If you haven't been to it and you are also a fantasy/sci-fi writer, I think you are going to love me a whole bunch! *grin*

Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds by Michael James Liljenberg

I hope you'll come back and tell me what you think about it.

Do you like creating your own worlds or does the idea of attempting such a fete scare you senseless?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sabrina's 'R'my

My writer buddy, Erin York, and I met the other day for dinner and of course had to open up the laptops and talk about our current WIPs. I'm not sure who(probably her as I'm known for being a bit oblivious *grin*), but one of us noticed that all 3 of my current writing projects have MC's with 'R' names.

We found it so funny, that we decided we needed to do something to immortalize this inclination of mine. So, I decided to dub my followers and fans:

I don't know about you, but this totally cracks me up. Especially as I spent the early years of my 20s in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

This got me to thinking about other fan community names. For example: Steve Berry calls his fans "Malone's Clones", our own Alex J. Cavanaugh calls his fans "Alex's Ninja Army", and then there are Star Trek fans, who prefer the term "Trekker" over "Trekkie", just to name a few off the top of my head.

What do you think, bloggy friends? Are we just two writing nerds loving our own silly ideas or does this strike you as genius an idea as it did us? What do you call your followers and fans?

Thanks for visiting and being such a fabulous member of my 'R'my!

Don't Forget!

Tim Brannan's Monstrous Monday Blogfest is coming up October 29th. Have you signed up?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Venturing into the world of Ipad and Scrivener

Technology and I aren't great friends. I don't feel the need to have the latest and greatest gadget, the most recent program, or the trending app. I don't care for the complication of changing programs and having to learn where everything I need is located. However, I know that to deny the usefulness of these things is akin to banging my head against the proverbial wall...a total waste of time.

My mom was a high school business/computer teacher. You'd think I'd have inherited some of her love for the infuriating machines, but I haven't. I loved my  mom as a teacher, but I hated her preferred subject. And my feelings haven't changed much. Thanks to my mom, I am familiar with Microsoft Office. And have felt no need to put out the effort to learn any other system.

I chose fantasy over science fiction for a reason. *grin*

But thanks to my friends constantly barraging me with how great the Ipad is, how fabulous Scrivener is, and showing me examples of what they are talking about on both, I now find myself reluctantly trying them.

I really hope I like them. I would hate to put this much effort and money into something only to have it be a total waste of time.

I'm giving you another chance, technology. Don't be too big of a pain in the butt...please!

Sound out, friends. Do you share my love/hate relationship with technology or are you a techno-junkie? What's the best Word processor app for Ipad? I am considering just using Google docs, but I am willing to hear any suggestions. How about Scrivener? Any advice for someone new to the program? And why isn't there an Ipad app for Scrivener?



In other news: Have you signed up for the Monstrous Monday Blogfest coming up on October 29th? Check it out. It is sure to be a frightfully fun time!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My favorite writing season is here!

It's cold here in Oklahoma. I'm talking, thick socks and hot cocoa while you curl up on the sofa with the lap top and write, cold. This bipolar state I live in will most likely get warm again before it decides to stay cold, but for now I am enjoying this glimpse of my favorite writing season. 

I don't mean that I can't write any time of the year, because of course I can. There is just something about the fall and winter that I feel gives me permission to hibernate. I love that NaNoWriMo occurs in November when the cold really settles in and the snow makes its appearance. Being trapped in the house by snow while other people are prevented from visiting... now that is perfect writing weather for this writer. *mischievous grin*


I'm working on the sequel to my first book(which is in the submission process right now). It is an intense challenge to figure out that perfect balance of telling just enough that a new reader would understand what's going on and not telling so much that you bore the reader who read the first book. My first critique group session for this WIP really helped me figure it out a little more, and it helped me see that I have a long way to go. I have a couple of new critique group members who haven't read anything from my first MS, so they are a huge help!

Do you have any advice for writing a sequel? Are you in a critique group? What's your favorite writing season? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? 

Don't forget that the Monstrous Monday Blogfest is on October 29th! I can't wait to read about your monster.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Turning 30 in Style!

I turn 30 this coming Friday. Eeeekkk! I remember when I used to think that was old, but truthfully, I don't feel old now that I am staring it in the face. I actually feel more confident, beautiful, and motivated than I ever did at 18.

This last weekend, I checked off another of the items I had on my list of things to do by 30. I went skydiving.  It was SO FUN!!! The hub and I went together.

And now we are thinking about working toward the 25 jumps for an A License. How cool would it be to take our gear to other places we visit on vacation and take advantage of their skydiving facilites?!!

What do you think? Are you ready to go jump from a perfectly good airplane?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Genre Favorites Blogfest



Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012
One blogfest, four favorites!
List your favorite genre of:
Movie
Music
Books
And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!

I thought I'd try an light hearted and fun blogfest being hosted by Ninja Captain Alex this time around. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about me. You can visit Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog here.

My favorite genre of movie: Fantasy, of course! I especially love all of THE NEVERENDING STORY movies. 

My favorite genre of Music: Modern Country! What?!! I grew up in Oklahoma. Give me some Reba, Travis Tritt, or Carrie Underwood any day and I'll belt it out at the top of my lungs. *grin*

My favorite genre of Books: Fantasy! Brandon Sanderson's MISTBORN Trilogy being my ab-so-lute favorite!

My guilty pleasure genre for books: Paranormal Romance...I love the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton or REJAR by Dara Joy. One word: Wowser! (Hey, I didn't say a word you can find in Webster's book. This one is straight from Sabrina's book of words.)

Upcoming Blogfests:

    Showcase your favorite monster facts or the monster from your novel during this blogfest.

WELCOME!!
I would like to give a huge welcome to my newest visitors and followers. Thank you so much for looking me up and coming by for a visit. I hope you'll say hello below. I appreciate you very much.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

WRiTE CLUB 2012

Feeling somewhat nostalgic tonight. The hub and I were driving with the windows down and Springsteen by Eric Church came on the radio. Suddenly, I was transported back over 6 years, to the passenger seat of that white Chevy, speeding down the interstate, my hair whipping in the wind as Billy & Shania sing 'Party for Two' and the boyfriend(now the hub) waves at me with his side mirror. 
The chorus for Springsteen came on and I looked over at the hub and smiled. When the 2nd verse started, I found myself transported back 2 years as I sway to the sound of Sugarland on stage at the Zoo Amphitheater, sticky with sweat from a hot summer evening, the hubs arms around my waist as I lean my head back against his chest. 

*sigh*

I love when a song can evoke such beautiful memories. While that one song played, I was once again living those memories. Do you have a song that does this for you?

In other news...BLOG CHALLENGES!


Last week I signed up for a new challenge. I am excited to see how my entry does. I really wish I could share my pen name...it cracks me up, but telling you would defeat the point, woudn't it?!

So visit DL Hammons here and check out the latest round of WRiTE CLUB. I look forward to seeing your comments on my entry...when it faces its first opponent!

Are you participating in WRiTE CLUB? You can still sign  up, if not!

1st Speaking Event Update:

I met with my fellow panel member today to make sure that between the two of us, we have all our material published. We have decided to have a friend video it for us so that we can share it. I am so excited nervous to start this part of my journey to being a published author. 1 week and counting!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Excising That Demon Named Doubt!

"What's the point of social media and building an author platform if you aren't published yet?" the girl in the third row said as she lowered her hand.

Heat climbed from my chest, up my neck, warming my cheeks. I cast a quick sidelong glance to my fellow panel members and could not think of a response. The audience watched me with growing skepticism. Many began to fidget. I wanted to sink into the floor.

******
This was the star attraction in my recent nightmares...as in, just last night. You see, I am to appear on my first panel as a writer, albeit unpublished, at a local small conference this month. I will be talking about building an author platform.

And I. Am. Terrified.

So I thought I'd excise this fear plaguing me and use you, my dear bloggy followers, to show myself that I can actually answer this question and do it well. *grin*

So what is the point of social media before you are published? Why bother wasting good time that you could be working on your manuscript?

The answer is simple really. It takes time to build an online following. Lots of time. If you can put yourself out there, build your 'brand', your followers will buy your book because they like you. When they read your well written book, they will then love your writing as well.

So what is an author platform? A platform is how well known you are...everywhere. It is your resume. It is your 'brand'. You are your brand.

An online platform is a large piece of that. If you can put yourself out there, make people like you for you, then they are going to want you to do well. Because they like you, they'll be curious of what you write. You'll have reached them on a personal level. The more people you can reach, the more books you are likely to sell, and the more attention you'll garner from a publisher.

Publishers want authors who have done much of the publicity themselves. Gone are the days when they would coach you through what to do. In this fast paced market, you are expected to figure it out on your own. And if  you don't? Well, you probably won't do so well. Publishers just do not have the money or time to do it for  you. With online publishing, a book is hot for a short time before it better produce numbers or disappear. Sad, but true.

If you can show a publisher that you are serious about making it, that you are willing to spend time on building your public image and have it ready to go when they are considering extending you that contract, then when the time comes for a publisher to choose between you and the poor Joe/Jane with work equally as good, but no platform...well, you can see where I am going with this. *wink*

Yes, writing a good book is extremely important! But if you don't have a platform with which to promote said good work, then you may find that publishers just pass you over for someone who has both.

Building a platform before you are published IS important. So take that, little doubting demon inside my dreams. I am so not afraid of you...

...anymore.

I would like to share with those attending my panel session the blog hops and challenges that will be coming up this last half of the year. I need your help, bloggy friends. IF you know of a blog hop or challenge, please leave the name of it and a link in the comments below. THANKS!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time to Celebrate!

Cue the fireworks! Pop the cork on the champagne! 

Thanks to Ciara Knight, I have reached 100 fabulous followers and as promised I have randomly selected one lucky follower to win a $10 Amazon Gift card. 


ELISE FALLSON

If you'll send me your address, I will get your $10 Amazon Gift Card in the mail! Thanks to all my fabulous followers who have been such great friends, taught me many wonderful new things, and been such great supporters as I travel down this bumpy road. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Overcoming My Writing Fears...One At A Time!

This weekend I enjoyed making fabulous progress on the sequel to my first novel. I figured that since I am waiting to hear back about whether I'll be accepted or rejected, I'd go ahead.

That was 3 months ago.

I am just now making any real progress on book 2. Why? Because when I looked at beginning the 2nd, I was assailed with self-doubt. Did I have another book in me? Could I really make a 2nd book as good as the 1st? What if the 1st was rejected?

These questions went on and on and on. So I continued tinkering with the first. You know, looking for spelling errors, typos, grammar mistakes. Anything to keep from having to figure out how to start the 2nd book. Then about 3 weeks ago, I sat down and wrote the prologue. I liked it, but I had known since the beginning of book two how the mini story of my prologue was going to go. I tried to start the actual 1st chapter, but I totally stalled out.

After the end of the 1st book, a different tone needed to be set. A lot happened in that first book. Some characters figured out who they were, others had their dreams shattered, and still others met untimely demise.

I. Was. Terrified.

However, after a few weeks of wallowing in this sense of helpless fear, I got fed up with myself. So this weekend, I sat down and finished chapter 1, and reached the final scene of chapter 2. It was AMAZING! I got my mojo back. I know you, my lovely writer friends, understand what I am talking about.

I am back in the swing. I am excited again. I feel this book and while some of the characters are the  same, there are new ones and I cannot wait to get to know them better. Great progress was made. Progress that I plan to continue tomorrow, the next day, and so on until I have another first draft. Then I am going to submit it to my critique group to tear apart. I love being a writer.

How about you? Did you have a hard time starting your 2nd book? Were you afraid you had used up all your good writing on the first? I'd love to hear your story.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I WON!!



There I was sitting in our workroom, cranking out another large order of name badges for my business, Award Solutions, when I noticed the little light on my cell phone blinking. Now I don't know about you, but when I am busy my cell phone can be forgotten for hours.

And so it was no different today. Imagine my surprise and thrill when I opened up a message from fellow blogger and "What If?" Fairytale Blogfest co-host and judge for the tragedy category of the challenge, Leigh Covington, left me a message on my Facebook page to tell me that I had won for my entry in the tragedy category.

How cool is that!!!

If you missed my entry, you can read it HERE.

If you missed the list of winners for the different categories, check them out on Leigh's blog HERE.

Now I am going to go do a happy dance and then crank out the medal order due this week.

Thanks to Leigh, Morgan, Cassie Mae, and Mark for an awesome blog challenge!

Monday, August 13, 2012

"What If?" Fairytale Blogfest


Today begins the "What If?" Fairytale Blogfest and I am excited to share my entry. I have had it picked out since Morgan Shamy first announced it, so imagine my surprise upon checking out her page to find that she had picked the same fairy tale. Great minds think alike! She went the way of the love story, but I am of a little darker bent and chose to join Team Tragedy. I hope you enjoy my little 300 word piece. 

What if the queen hadn't figured out Rumplestiltskin's name by the end of the 3rd day?

My Scene(exactly 300 words) 

 The ominous beat of the drums vibrated the ground beneath her feet as Queen Serena made her way toward the platform that floated amid the sea of silent spectators. Head high, she fought against the weight of her grief even as her tears made glistening tracks down her cheeks. She could feel the King’s gaze boring into her, his words at discovering the reason for their missing child imprinted in her mind forever.
          “What kind of woman barters her child to save her own life? You are a liar and a fraud, undeserving of being called queen or the mother of a prince.”
She reached the platform and turned to face the balcony overlooking the crowd.  
The drums stopped as the king stood. “Queen Serena, you are guilty of lying to your king, of false claims, and of arranging to have the heir to the kingdom kidnapped. The punishment for these charges is death by beheading. Have you any last words?” 
She met the cold eyes of her once beloved King and remembered when those same eyes filled with desire, amusement, and love for her. At her silence, the King gestured for the execution to commence. 
She knelt before the box and bent at the waist until the rough grain of the wood pressed into her cheek. As the sound of steel sliding free echoed around the courtyard, the queen broke her silence. “If I could go back, knowing where this would end, I would make the same choice.” The air whistled as the sword swung toward her, but she continued to speak. “Having you love me and having these few precious months with our son is worth the price.” 
            Her last thought was relief as the King surged to his feet, his grief and love written across his face.

So that's it! I hope you like my little "What if?" flash fiction.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Dance!

As some of you may know, my husband and I recently purchased a trophy and award company that we are running out of our home. My husband is continuing to work his regular job as a project manager out of our home as he as done that past 3 years. Which means that I have been responsible for a busy load with the company while he sees to that. Today begins week 4, and I finally feel like I am beginning to get into a rhythm.

I even managed to work on my WIP last week!

Seriously! Unbeknownst to us, we purchased the company a week before the 2nd most busy time of the year for our company. So not only have I been trying to learn how to do everything, but I have also been trying to crank out the load of orders that have come in. It was overwhelming the first week. My WIP was spared barely a thought. The second week I thought about it with nostalgia. This coming week, I might get to spend a couple hours on it each day if I manage my time well.

My non-writer friends don't understand how incredibly happy this makes me, so I thought I'd share it with you, bloggy friends and fellow writers. So picture for a minute my joy as I do a happy dance complete with a couple pirouettes, a fist pump(or two), and a tush wiggle. *grin*


The company that I hated the first week, doesn't seem so bad now that I get time once again for my beloved writing.

Do you have obligations and responsibilities that take away from your writing? Do you find yourself resenting them like I first did this new company of ours? How have you managed your time so that it all works?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inspiration

I lost track of time and forgot to post my Monday post yesterday, so it's a Tuesday post this week. *sheepish grin* Better late than never, right?!

The ugly fish man creature surged toward me through the eerie green water, a sharp coral knife in each hand. The portal, my only hope for returning home, stood on the other side of him. I pushed against the water to propel myself backwards in a vain attempt to dodge the bite of his weapon. He moved like the viper of my homeland, quick and without mercy. Time slowed as he loomed closer, his right hand arcing toward my chest. My heart thundered in my ears as my thoughts splintered. Part of me wondered how it was I breathed under water, another part wondered that mermen weren’t as handsome as I’d always imagined, and still another part continued to watch the knife move closer. My mind gathered itself as the tip of the knife sliced through the odd seaweed shirt I wore. Just as I braced to feel the sting of its bite, I woke up.
            I sat up in my bed, breathing hard. My hand shook as I pushed the hair out of my face.  My husband lay next to me, the soft rhythm of his breathing reassuring me that my death was only part of the dream. I reached over to the notebook lying on my bedside table and began to write.

This, my friends, is how inspiration for a new book comes to me. Is this a familiar scenario for you? I'd love to hear about how a story idea comes to you. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Imagination

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." 
~Albert Einstein

To me the fantasy genre is the epitome of what using your imagination is all about. Reading fantasy makes  you think 'what if' and encourages you to move past accepting what you are told. Would Einstein have received his Nobel Prize in Physics for developing his theory of general relativity without first using his imagination to 'think outside the box'? I very much doubt it. 

As a child, fantasy stories helped me learn to question the world around me. My mom might have told me that the wardrobe leading to Narnia was simply a figment of C.S. Lewis' imagination, but I still wondered if she could be wrong. This one is still up for debate. *grin*

 I firmly believe that when  your perceptions of reality are blurred as a child, that is the absolute best time for creativity to blossom. When creating my fantasy worlds, I feel the closest to that blurred reality of my childhood. 

What is your favorite quote? Why do you write the genre you write? 


How about that wardrobe? Where  do you think it could be hidden?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing Goals

I am a goal setter and have been since I was a child. I just work better if I have something I am working towards.

During high school my goal was getting into college. During college it was getting my degree. After college it was being a good wife and mommy. I have goals to complete by my 30th birthday, goals for my family, and goals for my writing group.

It only makes sense that I would make a list of goals when I started writing a year and a half ago. So I thought I'd share it with you.

Sabrina's Writer Goals
1. Get better at editing. 
2. Be offered a contract by a major publisher.
3. Win a contest.
4. Keynote a conference.
5. Sell my books worldwide.
6. Inspire new writers.
7. Teach new writers my hard won knowledge.
8. Learn to like editing. (Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either. *grin*)

I'm sure I'll add to this, but for now it's a good start. 

How about you? What are your goals as a writer? Have you completed any goals you had set for yourself?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: 90s Fantasy


Old episodes of one of my favorite shows, Xena Warrior Princess, made me a bit nostalgic, so I thought I'd theme this Friday post: Flashback Friday and post pics of some of my favorite shows that helped develop my love of the fantasy genre in which I write. 
Having Hercules and Xena team up was awesome!

I have always been a huge fan of Greek mythology, so this show was a big hit with me as a kid. I never missed a new episode and LOVED reruns...especially marathons! Having Xena be such an awesome and beautiful female hero was an added bonus. 

On the science fiction side of things, I can remember watching Star Trek Original and my favorite, Star Trek: The Next Generation, with my mom. I have never been one to become overly obsessed to the point that I ever wanted to learn Klingon or dress in a Trek uniform, but I still enjoyed the adventures of both Captain Picard and Captain Kirk. 

Space became even more interesting when the series ROSWELL came on air. Alien teen, Max Evans(Jason Behr) made my teenage heart beat all kinds of crazy. This series, full of teenage angst and heartbreak, was something I could identify with, while still feeding my love of fantasy.  Can anyone say, 'alien version of Dawson's Creek'?! 

How about Seaquest? I loved this show!

Then there was the original vampire show, Angel? How would you like to be a consciousless vampire enjoying an existence of self-gratification and then have gypsies punish you by forcing your soul back on you for killing one of them? This one sports no glitter, but Angel was still one beautiful vampire! Angel(David Boreanaz) might be the reason I initially began watching Bones...maybe. *wink*

I could probably go on and on down memory lane, but this post would never end. What do you think about these shows that I loved? Did I just date myself horribly? Share with me a flash back of your own. I have seen many posts about what books inspired so and so to write, but I want to know what shows contributed to the love of the genre you write in?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Exercise and Editing

Last night I struggled to find motivation for my usual evening walk. I just wasn't feeling it. I wanted to plant my rear on the couch, eat another bowl of the homemade butterfinger  icrecream I had made the night before, and play on Facebook or watch a show. Definitely not one of my more shining moments. *laughs*

You know you'd have a hard time choosing a walk over this, too!!
Then I started thinking about the domino effect that would commence if I skipped the walk. One night of skipping would lead to another and another until all the progress I've made would go out the window like waste from a medieval chamber pot.  


This struggle struck me as extremely familiar and I realized only a couple of weeks before, I had struggled with lack of motivation to write because I knew I had edits that needed done. 

I HATE editing. Finding all the places I've made some grammar mistake, become repetitive, contradicted myself, or basically forgotten how to spell, really irritates me. I know I have to do it, but it doesn't mean I have to like it and it definitely doesn't bode well for my motivation.

However, I also know from experience that if I skip a week of working on it, one week will lead to another and another until it's been a month and I have made no progress.


So as you can imagine, I got my rear up and walked, just as I made myself work on edits until they were done. Now I have a finished MS and am down 6 pounds. WOOT!

Life is good!

What is your fave kind of homemade icecream? Any accomplishments you'd like to brag about? I love handing out praise!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Parts In A Novel

One of my writer friends recently read my complete novel for the first time. She loved it, of course. *grin* However, like any great critique group buddy, she had suggestions for me. One of those suggested figuring a way to break up my novel into 'parts' to help the reader realize that years are passing.

 In theory, I understand what she meant, but I wasn't sure how to actually go about doing it. So I turned to my trusty Google and this is the very helpful site it found for me.

Anatomy of a Novel

So I thought I'd share it with others of my writers friends who might understand something in a theoretical way, but like me, might need more of an explanation.


In other news, my husband and I are in the process of becoming entrepreneurs. We are buying a company called Award Solutions. So beginning in about 2 weeks or so, if you are in Oklahoma and looking to purchase trophies, medals, certificates, name tags, plaques, or anything else listed on the website, give us a call and support this fun new venture.

What is your favorite writerly reference site? Are you up to anything new? Do you own your own business(aside from writing) and have any hard won nuggets of wisdom to share with us as we embark on this new adventure?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interview with Brandon Sanderson

If you're like me, you may be considering an afternoon nap to gear up for an evening of 4th of July festivities and fireworks at your local park. *wink* Before you seek out your pillow, head over to:


I interviewed best-selling author, Brandon Sanderson, about his follow up novel to the Mistborn Trilogy, The Alloy of Law, and I know you'll enjoy reading what he had to say.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Radical American

Stories have been created since the beginning of time to teach and entertain audiences. They have also been used to rally people for a cause. Since American's celebrate our country's independence day this week, I thought I'd focus my blog post on a writer that used his pen to support Independence in America: Thomas Paine.



Thomas Paine, one of the most radical of the founding fathers, wrote Common Sense, the best selling book in 1776. He believed so much in political, social, and economic equality about which he wrote that he never owned a slave and used his earning from the book to support the American Revolution and George Washington's army. When it seemed that the end was near and loss would be eminent, he wrote The American Crisis, in which those famous words, "These are the times that try men's souls." were penned.

So today, I'd like to salute Thomas Paine, who I believe would have liked to see how far our country has come, but who would still see many improvements we could make.

Happy Independence Day to the good old U. S. of A!