Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Winner of the $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Summer Break Giveaway!!

And the winner of the $50.00 Amazon gift card is:
Laura Campbell

You can check out her blog here, Writing Unleashed
and her twitter handle is: @LCWordsmith

Congrats Laura--spend well!

Friday, May 27, 2011

$50.00 Amazon Gift Card Summer Break Giveaway!

Today is my last day of dayjob work for almost 3 months! I'm so excited, I'm having another Amazon $50.00 gift card giveaway.

Have you been eying some hot new releases?

Have you been saving up for a shiny Mr. Kindle of your own?

Or maybe you've been coveting a FURminator! (I sometimes forget that Amazon is not just for books.)

Anyway, since I hate, hate, hate having to jump through hoops in order to enter a contest all you have to do is:

1. Follow my blog
2. Leave me a comment so I know of your intention to win
3 For 2 extra entries, Blog about my contest (please and thank you)
4. For 1 extra entries, tweet about my contest (up to 3 additional entries)

See, so simple.

Okay, I leave for vacation on Wednesday the 1st so let's wrap this whole thing up by Tuesday 5/31 at 12:00 pm (my time--Mountain.)

Happy book shopping!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Give me your book recommendations

So I just got super excited because I realize I will need to load up the Kindle with airplane/vacation reading material. Can you imagine, no day job work for almost 3 months. That's lots and lots and lots of reading time.

So, any recommendations? I'd like to stick to some recently released titles--let's say the last two years. If you could choose what books I'm going to buy, what would you pick? What are your favorite recent titles?

Vacation--Yeah Baby!

So in 1 week, 1 WEEK, I will be boarding an airplane with all my significants and freebirding off to Hawaii for 10 glorious, warm, saltwater and sandy days.

I. Can. Not. Wait.

I'm going to try to find a few pics to get you into the summer spirit.

aahh, here's one

And here's another

Oh and look, here's me in my bikini

What? I could so look like this. If only I didn't love food quite so much...

The kids have never been and are super excited. Heck, we're all excited and can't wait for this much, much, much needed break. I'll be sure to post some great pics of us relaxing, drinking fruity things in crazy glasses, eating pig. Isn't that what they serve at luaus? pig and poi? And just what is poi anyway?--I will find out

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Love Chime by Franny Billingsley!

I finished Chime today. I'm not sure words can express how much I love this book. It's so original, fun, emotional--can't put it down.

It's the kind of book I always hope for as a reader.

It's the kind of book that makes me a very, very jealous writer.

The voice is amazing, The characters distinct and original. I fell in love with Briony, Eldric, Rose...like every great book I read, I'm so sorry it's over.

Dark and swampy in character, plot and emotion--Chime is a wonderful read!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ah Insomnia, my old friend

So I'm awake. Not by choice--again. It's about 2:40 here in Colorado and I've been tossing around in bed for just about an hour.

Very, very annoying.

There are actually different kinds of insomnia. Generally I have zero problem falling asleep (unless my husband is out of town.) No, my problem is getting back to sleep after waking up. It's like I took a nap and the old brain says, "Okay, I'm good." But the body is like, "Umm...not sure how I'm going to feel come tomorrow. But, whatever. Let's get up!"

The brain spins and spins over the most annoying things. Usually stress related things. Work things. But, being the ever optimist, I figure at least I've got some great reading I'm in the middle of:

I just started Chime by Franny Billingsley last night and so far--Wow. I'm loving it.

So, I can't sleep...but at least I've got some good stuff loaded in my Kindle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day Fantastic

Do you ever have those day where everything is just soooo right? Like the universe has just set you along a path for the day that includes cool people, awesome conversations, and kids that are actually playing nicely with each other...ALL IN ONE DAY.

I've had one of those days today. PLUS, I get to meet with my critique group tonight and we haven't gotten together in like months.

Seriously, I'm feeling the love and wanting to spread it around a bit.

Are you feeling it? Huh?

--Are you feeling it now?

Publishing Trends in YA and MG via Mandy Hubbard

You must check out agent/author Mandy Hubbard's Epic Post on Trends YA and MG. She spoke with 37! publishers and was kind enough share.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Throw Aways

I've managed to hack out about 20% while working, raising kids, managing life, etc, etc. But I know once I can concentrate fully on it...much of what is already there will change.

I always do that. I start a book, get going, then at about 20% realize I'm either not happy or I see where we're going in a whole new light and end up scrapping a large chunk of what's already down. (Or at least it gets significantly rewritten!)

Sometimes those first 60 pages are just warm up or "getting out of my own way" to quote someone I read somewhere...I don't remember who. I wonder if I didn't stop writing while working if I would still need to do these throw away exercises--like an athlete whose stopped training. I have to stretch A LOT or else I'll blow something.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

About Submission

This is all I will say right now:

You spend a great amount of time feeling like a needle in a haystack. Then one morning, you wake up and think, "Damn...what if I'm the hay?"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Second Books

It could be because I'm staring at a blinking cursor hanging precariously between a block of text and an expanse of white, untouched virtual paper. Or it could be because summer is rapidly approaching and that means writing season's open for me. But whatever the cause, I've got second books on the brain.

The WIP right now is actually not my "2nd book" as in ever written. But it is the second in the series to the one currently out on submission. I've been spending a lot of my "writing time" thinking about where this next book goes. What parts from the first carry on and why are they important? What aspects are elaborated? And also, what gets left to die on the side of the road?

So here are my questions for you:

"What do you hate about some of the 2nds you've read?'
"What do you love about some of the 2nds you've read?"
"What series of books have disappointed you the most (i.e., you LOVED the first book and then lost the passion with the 2nd) and why?"

Actually, even if the author's next book was not a part of a series but you either loved/hated it more than the first--why?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Becky's Opinion

So I'm reading someone's work. I like it. I like the voice, the tone, and I'm mulling over this one specific question the writer has about the sample.

When I'm finished, I know exactly why they have this one specific question.

They're wondering about rewrites (and there are always those) and about making the beginning more obvious. Maybe stating more explicitly exactly what the MC is up to.

But I'm kind of thinking that the fact that I know the MC is up to something but I'm not sure exactly what, or rather, what the MC's motivation is, is what's making me turn pages. True, I don't want to put up with not knowing for long. But the intrigue is getting me invested.

So I'm emailing this writer and sharing my opinion that, "I like it. I'm curious about why exactly the MC is doing what they're doing. But if it was a book I just picked up, I would want to know the answer within the next five pages. In my opinion it doesn't need to be a huge back story kind of thing. Even a simple, but powerful, sentence that captures WHY she's doing this would be huge."

I always think around page 20 is your trigger point (for me anyway.) If I'm interested in the first few pages, you have until around page 20, give or take, to get me completely invested in what you're up to.

Working full time, having a family (and trying to write myself) I've been known to put a book down. If at page 20 I'm not invested, then I don't have time for you. Unless of course you've come with glowing reviews from sources I trust.

Time is a valuable thing.

But I so enjoyed reading this writer's first 15 pages that I'm wondering if there are others who might be interested in "Becky's Opinion." So would anyone like some feedback on their beginning? If so, let me know in the comments and send your first 10-15 pages to:


If there's any interest, I figure I could probably read about 10.