Monthly Archives: April 2010

BIRDS FLY, EVEN IN THE RAIN

I stood on my back porch watching the rain sprinkle down. The clouds were dark, the air was cool, and the day was definitely dreary. I noticed a bird, then another, then another, then another. They were flying from tree to tree. They perched on the branches and puffed out their chests despite the fact that the rain was showering down on them. It was in this moment that I realized that writers have to be a lot like birds. Even when the thunderstorms loom over us we have to continue to do what we do in order to get to the sunny destination. Sometimes we are going to have to stand with our chests puffed out; our heads held high and allow the downpour to come.

The next time rejections and criticisms pour down on you, remember that birds fly even when it rains. If you take the time to nurture your writing, it will eventually take flight.

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Filed under constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Inspirational, life, meme, rejections, Uncategorized, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

Empowerment Giveaway


I am super excited. I found out earlier today that the comment I left on The Addicted2Novels blog was chosen as the winner for the giveaway contest. I will be receiving a copy of The Cinderella Society and my name and comment will be entered into an additional contest where I have the opportunity to win a signed copy and have $100.00 dollars donated to Girls, Inc in my name. Lena Beana as her friends call her asked fellow readers what it meant to be empowered as a teenage girl. My answer was…

“If you want to be empowered, you must first commit to being no one other than yourself.

The best advice I ever received was to be a Leader not a follower.

Being a teenager is not easy but it can be a lot less hard if you recognize that your actions can influence the path that others take.
Being a positive influence is sometimes tricky in the teenage world but if it is done well others will follow.

Never let another person make you feel less than what you are. Once you believe in yourself you will discover what it means to be empowered.”
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My father was the one who encouraged me to become a Leader. He believed in me which in return made ME believe in myself. In honor of my father (who passed away two years ago) I am paying it forward and offering my own giveaway. The prize is a secret. (Okay, let’s be honest, I’m not even sure what the prize will be.) It will be something that signifies empowerment.

You have until Monday, April 26th to leave a comment telling me about a time when you felt empowered. I love to be inspired. Whose ever comment inspires me the most will be the winner. By sharing your story, you might help someone else become empowered.

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Filed under constructing, contests, creating, dreaming, emotions, Giveaway, Inspirational, life, meme, Style, Uncategorized, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest

Who Needs Paper When…

Have you ever found yourself stuck in traffic or waiting to be called in for an appointment when all of the sudden BAM inspiration hits? You rummage around your car searching for that piece of paper to jot down what is now running laps in your head. You ransack your purse hoping that you remembered to throw in that small notebook you purchased for these exact moments only to discover that there is nothing of the sort.

A panic floods through your mind as you feel the perfect words that seconds ago danced delightfully through your thoughts are now slowly fading away. You repeat the words or idea out loud, hoping to remember them, when suddenly traffic begins to move, your name is called in for the appointment and the sudden change of momentum sends the words out the back door of your mind.

I have found myself in these exact situations more often than I’d like to admit. However, I have discovered that I can become very resourceful and creative when these moments arrive. My words have been jotted down on matchbooks with an eyeliner pencil. I have scribbled thoughts on the back of my Better Homes and Gardens magazine with a crayon, because those were the only things in the car. I have written a synopsis on an order pad while waitressing and yes I have even written dialogue on my arms so I would not forget.

Hey, when you have to get it out, you have to get it out. I know there are others out there like me. Surely there is someone who wrote a blog idea on a store receipt, a characters name on the back of an envelope, or an idea for a book in your child’s coloring book.

What do you do when inspiration hits?

Have you ever jotted down your thoughts on anything out of the ordinary?

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Filed under books, constructing, contests, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, routine, Style, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest

Can You Hear Me?

My voice is unforgettable. I have had people tell me that they remembered my voice before they remembered my face. Growing up, I hated my raspy, low in tone, tough girl sounding voice. I wanted a sweet, high pitched, girly voice. I didn’t want to be remembered for my voice. I wanted to blend in not stand out.

When I became a writer, one of the first things I was instructed to do was find my voice. I didn’t want to find my voice, I wanted to lose it or exchange it. I had no idea that your speaking voice and your writing voice were two different things.

Finding your voice as a writer is difficult. Like the speaking voice, it’s almost impossible to know how another person is hearing it. Your interpretation is usually different than how it actually sounds. The writing voice is yin to the speaking voice’s yang. In writing, you think your voice sounds good when you read it back. In speaking you think it sounds awful when it is played for you.

How can you tell if your voice is strong? Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is a clear answer. When an actor is auditioning for a role that requires an accent, he must study the dialect and practice every day until he perfects the speech. A writer must read voraciously so they can understand how a well received voice comes across. What about the writer makes the reader want to continue reading? It’s more than a good story. It’s about being able to tell that story in a way that engages the reader, and makes them feel as if they are part of the story.

Early on, I made the mistake of writing what I thought other people wanted to read. You know what happened? My writing came across flat and boring. I wasn’t being true to myself and therefore I was stifling my voice. I was exchanging my voice for someone else’s. What happens when you do that? You never live up to YOUR potential. A writer must try to comprehend what it is about another author’s voice that captivates readers, but a writer must never try to imitate that author. Mimicking someone else’s writing voice is like putting a voice altering device up to your larynx. It hides the voice that you were born to use.

Once upon a time, I wished for a different voice. I didn’t like that I was known as the girl whose voice was more recognizable than her face. It’s ironic now to think that is exactly what I want at this moment in life. I want you to remember my voice long after seeing my face. Once I accepted myself for who I was, I found my true voice. All that I can hope for is that readers remember the words I write.

How did you discover your voice? Do you have tips that may help another writer find theirs?

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, life, middle grade fiction, rejections, routine, Style, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

Lightning Strikes

I am bummed! Writing can be rewarding or it can be the pits. There is no worse feeling than feeling like your this close to something and then it ends up to be nothing.

A few weeks ago, I submitted a sample blog to the Writer’s Unboxed blog. They were looking for an unpublished author to become a part of their writing family. I was super excited when I got an e-mail requesting an additional blog sample. I was a contender. I was thrilled. It was a great opportunity that I really wanted to be given.

I just found out that though my submission came Very close they have chosen to go with another author. I am not a sore loser so first I would like to congratulate whom ever it is they chose (this has not been disclosed as of yet). Hooray for you, unknown author. I hope for you that this is the beginning of something big.

I have to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t my something big. Rejection is lightning that strikes the soul. Tonight my soul feels charred. I am not a quitter. I don’t believe in giving up. A few bolts to the ego has to make me stronger right? Have you ever felt like giving up on writing? What makes you keep going?

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Filed under constructing, contests, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, life, middle grade fiction, rejections, writer's life, writers, writing

I’m Going In

I was thrilled when I finally added the last word to my middle-grade novel D.I.G.G. I will never forget the moment. I had accomplished something I never thought I actually would. I wrote a book. It took a long few minutes for that realization to set in. “I wrote a book!” I repeated the words many times through a smile that couldn’t have been slapped off. I set the laptop down and picked up my journal only to write the words I wrote a book. It was thrilling. If you have written a book from start to finish you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have not yet completed your first book then you will eventually know what I am talking about.

The story was finished but the work was not done. Revisions were necessary and I began them right away. By the time I got through all of the wonderful comments given to me by a terrific group of writer extraordinaire, I had a manuscript ready to sell.

Because the whole process of trying to sell your book was still very new to me, I was quite naïve. I thought selling it would be much quicker than writing it, but after many months and many rejections I became disheartened. All of the encouraging words that initially waltzed through my mind were replaced by raving words of discouragement.

I thought it was ready. I really did. The rejections kept coming. My pride was rattled. My eyes were opened. Selling a book would not be easier than writing the book. Feedback from a close friend made me see what was missing. She pointed out that she wasn’t able to connect with the characters. The characters were so clear in my mind that I failed to see that they might not be so clear in the mind of my readers.

So, I have decided I’m going back in. My characters need me. If I let them down, I let myself down.
What advice do you have for character building? What makes you fall in love with a character? What makes you lose interest in a character?

All of your answers will help me develop stronger characters.

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Filed under books, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, life, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, routine, Uncategorized, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing