Saturday, March 31, 2012

~A~

Today is the 1st day for the A to Z Challenge and I am ready!

My theme: My W.I.P. and my 1st attempts at poetry.

I will post a poem based on some aspect of my current work in progress whether that be a character or an important theme. So here is my first entry, based on the letter 'A' for my main female character, Ailith. I hope you enjoy it.

                                       Ailith


Once human, blessed only to live a moment. 
She transforms, a glittering butterfly
Unfurling her wings. Appearing fragile
As she flutters about uncertain, impulsive
Thoughtlessness remaining within, obscuring
Her light, one wrong decision after another.

Darkness gathers, surrounding the butterfly.
Duty thrust aside
For love. She dooms her world,
Fails her god. Glitter fades as
Allusion is revealed. Divinely 
Chosen, imperfect, a caterpillar with broken wings.

I Placed 14th!!!

Just wanted to let those who were wondering know that I placed...

14th out of 110 entries

for the 2nd Challenge in Rachael Harries' Platform Building Campaign. This campaign was so fun and I cannot wait to do another one. Thanks to everyone who read and liked my entry. If you missed it and want to know what I am talking about. Here is the link to the 2nd Campaign Challenge details for what I had to do and here is the link to my 2nd campaign challenge entry. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Right now, I am going to go 


by taking my son to his Kung Fu class, which he is super excited about.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unsatisfying Endings

***SPOILER ALERT-If you have not read the last book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games Trilogy and do not want the end ruined for you, STOP***

As a reader, when I pick up a book I embark on a journey. I am sure my fellow readers can identify. I get to know the characters, love them, cry for them when they face seemingly insurmountable odds, and cheer for them when they overcome those odds. So when a book, or series, ends in a dissatisfying way...I want to violently rip the book to shreds. 

Don't hate. I never actually do worse than throw the book across the room, but oh how I long to obliterate it and then go after the author. *evil grin*

As you can guess, I recently finished reading a very popular trilogy. There I sat enjoying a glass of my favorite cheap wine*grin* and a hot bubble bath as I read the end of Mockingjay, book 3 in The Hunger Games trilogy. It was a divinely fabulous moment until I finished the end. 

I hated it. If I wanted to experience the disappointment of real life when I read, I would shut my book and open up the newspaper. 



Sure, Katniss is alive, gets to be with Peeta, and even has a safe life with her children, but she is shunned in District 12 by a people she motivated to overthrow an oppressive government and is so traumatized mentally that I didn't get the feeling she enjoyed her life at all. I closed the book and tossed it into the floor beside my bathtub with a loud thump. I hate feeling the hollow disappointment of an unsatisfactory ending.

So this got me to thinking about other endings that left me dissatisfied, or even angry. And books I have read from many different genre's came to mind. Beginning with some I read and disliked as a kid. You'll notice that I dislike anything where the hero/heroine dies at the end.

1)Charlotte's Web- I cried and cried when Charlotte died. She was my favorite character. To my 6 year old mind, Wilbur was just a pig. Charlotte with her soft, kind voice(that is how my mom read her) and beautiful webs won my young heart hands down. 

2)Old Yeller- I don't think I need to go into why the end of this sucked so bad. If you what to make yourself miserable, by all means, read it.

3)The Little Match Girl- I felt mixed on this one as a kid. I was happy she got to go to heaven with her grandma, but what a sad life she lived on earth. I still look to make sure there are no homeless children out in the cold when I go downtown in the winter. 

4)Gone with the Wind- Did anyone else but me think that Rett and Scarlet deserved to live happily ever after?


5)Message In A Bottle- Nicholas Sparks ticked me off so badly with this one that I am reluctant to read anymore of his stuff. Terrible ending!


6)The Horse Whisperer- And ending very similar to that of Message In A Bottle. What a terrible thing to do to someone when they have just learned to trust again. I hated this ending, too!!!


7)Romeo and Juliet- I realize this ending is what makes this play so memorable, but it still makes me so dang sad.

I am sure that you might not agree with me on some of these and that is fine. I also know that I did not name many of the other books I have read with bad endings. Do you have one that you particularly loath? One that left you feeling dissatisfied? Don't worry about spoilers, if they are that bad, I don't want to read them anyway.



Monday, March 19, 2012

This Win Belongs To Mommy

My 5 year old is obsessed with pirates, Star Wars, fighting, guns, knives, and all things that include beating up the bad guys. A few days ago while snuggling on the couch, he began to quiz me on other alternatives to being an American soldier.

"Mom?" Aidan tugged on my sleeve. "Mom."
I pushed his hand down in annoyance as my favorite show played on the television. "Quiet baby, mommy is trying to hear her show."
The silence lasted a whole minute before his little hand reached over and physically turned my face until I was looking directly at him. "Mom. This is important. Really."
I focused in on his serious little face and sighed in regret as I muted the t.v. and gave him my full attention. "Important, huh? Lay it on me, baby my love."
His little forehead scrunched up as he relaxed back against the couch pillows and snuggled his feet into my lap. His eyes met mine and he said, "Mom, is there a job that doesn't have to follow the rules all the time. A job where I can be the good guy and have as much fun as the bad guy? I want to be the good guy and the bad guy."
My mind went blank. There were any number of amazing, life lesson learning, answers I could have given, but I couldn't think of a single one. Knowing my son and his proclivity for action, battles, and defeating the bad guy, I settled with, "Well, if you want to be a good guy and a bad guy at the same time I guess you'd like being a vigilante or a bounty hunter. Since a vigilante would be shot on sight by the police, maybe you should think about being a bounty hunter. They have a little more leeway when it comes to rules, but they still take out the bad guys."
His eyes lit up as his imagination started picturing himself as a bounty hunter. Of course he thought of his weapons first. "Really? Being a bounty hunter sounds cool. Could I use swords AND guns if I was a bounty hunter?"
I smiled at his exuberance as love filled my chest with an overwhelming warmth. "I don't see why not, but you'd have to get really good at using them first."
"Yeah, I need to go to a sword and gun school," he said seriously.
"You'll need to learn how to disarm the bad guys, arrest them, and defend yourself as well."
"Wow, where can I learn all that?"
I thought a minute. Surely there was some way to turn this to my advantage. Getting one over on my hard headed little angel was always a plus. Then it hit me. "Well, karate could teach you most of those things."

His eyes widened in excitement as he rose to his knees and bounced on the couch. "You mean I could be a ninja, too?"
"Sure, but you would have to listen and work really hard."
Aidan jumped to his feet and did his version of Bruce Lee off the couch. He proceeded to karate chop the coffee table, sofa, and television as ninja sounds blasted out of his mouth at a very high volume. Then he froze and turned back toward me, running back toward me in his excitement as he said, "Mom, can we go to karate today? Please? I want to be a ninja now."
I laughed and shook my head. I guess I was going to be looking up karate lessons near our house this afternoon.

Aidan is now happily dreaming of karate chopping bad guys. We plan to attend our first lesson this next weekend. I am happy that he will begin training not only in learning to defend himself, but also in learning self-discipline, control, and respect. I wonder if he would be as excited if he knew that all of those lessons were part of the package? Probably not, but I don't plan to let him in on my little secret. This WIN belongs to mommy.

Now, I need your help. This post while meant to share a small piece of my life with my blog followers, was also meant to help me work on my dialogue. What do you think? If you see something I need to work on a bit more, I hope you'll leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Campaign Update

I have had a blast during my first campaign with Rachael Harrie. I never imagined how much fun it would be or how it would help me grow so much as a writer. To top it off, I received a post yesterday saying that my 2nd blog challenge entry has been shortlisted to move onto Stage Two. Now while I am not sure what that means, Lori M. Lee said congrats so I assume this is a very good thing. *grin*

Thank all of you who commented and voted. Your praise warms my heart.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a fabulous session with my critique group. Unfortunately, I am still working on the 'show don't tell' concept. It irks me to no end each time I see a sentence where I have failed in this. Granted, it isn't nearly as bad as when I first started writing. I just wish I could get it completely out of my system. On a positive note, they liked what they read and aside from that irritating technical issue, I have a fabulous dark fantasy just aching to be published and read.

Today, along with working on my WIP, I am also nailing down my theme for the A to Z challenge that starts April 1st and the main topic for each letter/post. I hope you will check back to give your opinion. I am going to totally break out of my comfort zone and try something new for me. I am nervous, excited, and a little overwhelmed at the same time.

Thanks again to all my loyal followers.

UPDATE: I just received word that I am in the semi-final round of judging for my 2nd blog challenge entry. Woot Woot! Thanks, Melodie Wright.

UPDATE #2: I made it to the finals!!!!! Thanks, Jodi Su.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blogging From A to Z

I had such a good time with Rachael Harrie's campaign challenge and the way it helped me move out of my comfort zone as a writer that I decided to try another challenge. So I am doing the Blogging from A to Z April 2012 Challenge. 

This one is a bit different from the last. Rather than random prompts, we are to post once everyday in April, except Sundays. (Since April 1st is a Sunday, it will be the only one we post on.) We are encouraged to choose a theme and then post based on the letters of the alphabet. So the first day is A and the last Z. 

I am already mulling over theme ideas in my mind, even as I sit here and type this blog. What do you think, dear blog followers? Shout out! Do these blog challenges add a little extra spice to my blogging? Do you enjoy reading the posts I create in answer to them? I hope so, because I am having a lot of fun. Gives me a nice little break from my WIP for a short period of each week.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Campaign Challenge #2

This 2nd challenge in Rach's campaign is tough, and I am determined to give it my best. I have decided to do numbers 1 and 2. I have used all of the prompts.
I will leave the theme for you to figure out.
Using a different genre than my own: Post Apocalyptic
I am something of a masochist, so bring on the critiques.
Here goes...

Do one or more of the following:
  1. Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
  2. Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
  3. Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)
  4. Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts
  5. Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.
For added difficulty/challenge:
  • Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)
  • Write in a genre that is not your own
  • Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I’ll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.)

Prompt 1: Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.
Prompt 2-5: The pictures I included below.


Reign of the Survivalists'

#1(100 words)- Fifty years after a mile wide asteroid hit the US, the atmosphere is still saturated with debris. The sun never shines. The Eastern half of the North American continent is unlivable. While the rest of the world wars over control of food and unpolluted drinking water, a new power controls all of North American. The Survivalists' used the desperation to gain power, instate a totalitarian government, and enslave the remaining population. They have now turned their eye toward the rest of the world. Dreaming of a place where children are once again allowed to play, Sonya plans to stop them.

#2 (199 words)- Sonya combed her fingers through her salty, wet hair then leaned her head back against the rusted support of the crumbling concrete bridge. Thirsty, she licked her dry, cracked lips with an equally dry tongue.  Dreia sat beside her rubbing at a new cut on her emaciated thigh, weariness creating lines in her fifteen year old face after a day spent sifting through the debris on the beach for anything of value like combs, shoes, or clothing. 
Seeing that wariness on her friend’s young face sparked resentment inside Sonya. Her grandmother whispered stories of a time when children had been allowed to play, kicking balls across the very bridge this rusted backrest used to support.
 A time when fruit was so ripe and plump it could quench one’s thirst as well as water.
Staring at the shapes in the flames of the fire at her feet, Sonya longed for the return of the world her grandmother told her about.
 She rubbed the scars on her arms from the slavemaster’s whip, glanced again at the wariness on her friend’s face, and vowed that one day she would find a way to free her people from the Survivorists’ rule. Or die trying.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

3am Idea


There I was snoozing, as comfortable as possible after my 5 year old climbs into my bed and presses his too hot body up against mine and totally hogs my pillow, when BAM! my brain came up with an idea for my WIP and my eyes snapped open. I ignored it. I wanted more sleep. I pushed my son a little closer to his father so I could have at least half of my pillow and shut my wide open eyes. I would just write it down in the morning.

Did my brain go along with this reasonable argument? Heck, no!

The idea circled round and round in my brain. I continued to ignore it. I tossed and turned for a good 20 minutes, but what choice was there really. Especially when my main character began to speak to me.

Ruark never raised his voice, but chastised me in his own stoic way. "You do realize my world is dying, do you not? It is bad enough that I am having a hard time coming to terms with this. Now you are letting laziness put the entire world you created in jeopardy? For shame, dear creator. I may not be able to see you, but I am beginning to see your work. I am beginning to have faith. Don't let me down now."

What else is a creator to do?

I got my rear up out of the bed, of course! I wrote Ruark's latest twist in the epic adventure that is his life. But did I go back to bed? Nope. I decided I needed to post in my blog about this 3am idea.

Does this happen to you? Not 3am ideas, because surely it happens to all writers. Do your characters chastise or mock you inside your own mind? Thank you, Lord Ruark, for the wake up call. I enjoyed it, really. It's a fabulous idea and I am glad you forced me to get up, but now that you've quieted down I think I'll get back to snoozing in my cozy bed AFTER I put a certain 5 year old back in his. *yawn*

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blogger Speaker?

A friend and fellow blogger messaged me today to ask about writer's groups for bloggers. My group is open to any kind of writer, so I invited her to join us at our next meeting. The reason I am blogging about this is because as president of my writing group I am always looking for new speakers and speaker topic ideas for our meetings.

Light Bulb!

Why not have a speaker come talk about blogging, how it can help writers, and how to be successful at it?

I read all kinds of posts filled with blogging do's and don'ts, how to grow your following, and how to get Google to pull up your blog during a search. The problem is, none of these great bloggers live in Oklahoma City.

So my question to all of you fabulous fellow bloggers is: How in the world do I find someone with tons of experience as a successful blogger, who likes to speak in front of people, speaks well before a group, and who is close enough to OKC that the $50 VISA gift card we pay our speakers won't make them roll their eyes at us?

I have not been blogging long enough to have local blogger friends yet. I would appreciate any suggestions.