Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Being Wicked

So I have not exactly kept up even when I promised I would. I guess you could say I've been being wicked. So now I will play catch up again. A lot has been going on. M has had two soccer tournaments in a row both of which her team won. The first one she didn't even plan on playing in because my nephew was here from Pennsylvania and we were going to have family time. We did help out with the teams snow cone fundraiser which turned out to be a huge success. On the night before the final game the coach told M she was on the roster and if there was any way that she could come to play in just that one game he would love to have her. She went, she played wickedly, she scored both the goals which in turn made them the winners! Since she usually plays defense this was a sort of big deal!

This past weekend they went up and played in the Park City Extreme Cup. They ended up winning that with a shut out tournament. Over five games they made 38 goals and had no goals scored on them. It was needless to say very wicked.

Speaking of Wicked, last week I took both M and C to see Wicked up at the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake. It was amazing. I've seen it once before in LA a few years ago and this was very comparable. Defying Gravity was mine and M's favorite song, and of course, C loved Popular. It was a fun girls night out and much worth the 3 month wait (I got the tickets for Mother's Day).

As for my own wickedness, I am a little behind on my writing, but only a little. The tuition deadline is coming up at work and there just hasn't been much time to write there. I am going to have to start getting up early to get in my word count I think. But I can do it. I have about 30K more words to go, but I have the end scene planned and I pretty much know what I have to do to get there, so from now until August 26 when I want to be done, it is full steam ahead.

The good news is I got another request for a partial so I have two partials out right now on SKY. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Writing ROOM I see how much my writing has improved and I have realized that it is likely it may get out there before SKY does. But SKY is a fun story in a great setting (I love Southern Utah) and it has been holding its own. So if I could get an agent on it before I even start sending ROOM out, that would indeed be wickedly awesome.

Until next time: Have a wicked grand day and WRITE ON!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Falling Behind

It is always easy to make your goals those first few days or weeks. At the start of June I made a goal to blog once a week, send at least one query a week for Sky and write 15 minutes a day on Room. I was doing great for a while, but then as usual life hit. Even though school is done, I still have homework. I have to read in German everyday so when I start my class in the August I am not completely behind. I am working on my senior writing project so that I can defend my paper in October instead of at the end of the term when I am trying to deal with finals. So, its not really like I have any extra time.

I am also looking at a full time job, and so I am doing some applications and some online training to get up to speed. The kids soccer schedule is never ending. But on a high note my house is clean. With that being said, sometimes I look at everything I have to do and tell myself its okay to fall behind, and it is. I am a busy girl. The problem is, I want to be a writer, and so falling behind is unacceptable. So I will recommit. I will write a blog once a week. I will send out a query once a week (after I rewrite my query based on the awesome workshop I went to this week on writing queries by Elana Johnson, but that is a topic for another blog). And now that I have figured out what I want to do with Room and have edited the previous fifteen chapters to make the ending work I am going for an even loftier goal. I want to finish the first draft by the end of August.

Those are my new goals. That is what I am committed to and I will not allow myself to think that just because I am busy I can fall behind. I want to write. I want to be published and the more I do each day, the closer and faster I will get to that goal. So until then....WRITE ON... because I will be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Done with School

Friday I had my last History class for the summer. I am officially done until August where I will have my last or second to last semester. It all depends on if I get into the wait listed class I need. I like the whole block class they offer in the summer. It is nice to be able to take two seven week courses, even if I have to sit in a class twice as long each day. I like being able to look forward to some down time. Which in my world means time to clean the house and get caught up on the millions of projects that get pushed aside when I am in school. One of those is the novel.

It actually hasn't been pushed aside, more like placed on simmer while I decide just what needs to happen next. I realized that I was making things far too complicated so I have stopped my 2000 words a day this past week and took a step back to make sure that everything is going to work before I take the next seven week and pump out the last 40,000 words.

In order to graduate I need to take 4 classes in the Fall. German 2020, History of South Africa, Roman History, and my Senior Research Class. That means if I don't finish this draft by the 27th of August when school starts again I can pretty much count on it not seeing light again until 2013. I have a habit of being able to edit when I am swamped with other things, but not being able to produce new material. So I guess you can say the Race is On! Hope to see you on the other end!

Write On!

Monday, June 25, 2012


One of the greatest things about having a writers group is having someone to help you brainstorm. My ideas flow so much better when I can talk them out. On Saturday iChat I got to do three things I love...Girl's Night Out at a Real Soccer Game while brainstorming! The game was a bust...grrrrrr...but even though my boys didn't come through my characters made a huge break through! I have wrote over 4,000 words last week. Much of that was thanks to my awesome brainstorming session over chocolate covered strawberries from Zuppas after the Real game! Since I finished my math class last week, and am done with my history paper for this week my goal is to write 1,000 words a day until school starts. That may change if I get a new job I am looking at, but now that I know where E,J, and R need to be going I don't think it will be much of a problem.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kiss and Tell

This week has been crazy for writing. In addition to regular life, Minchkin has been sick. Her fever has sat around 103 for a few days and then down to the 101.5 range for several more. She is nauseous constantly and has lost 9 pounds which is fine when you are me, but when you already weigh next to nothing, not such a good thing. And although she is turning into a teenager before my very eyes, she needed her mommy, and I wasn't about to give that chance up. So we spent a lot of time watching shows together, talking, and just trying to get her to feel better.

I also had a job interview this week and a history test, a party for my church girls at my house (I teach the 10 and 11 year olds), and D was out of town for 3 days. The point is, writing got put on the back burner--the far far back burner. I hate it when that happens. I understand that sometimes it has to. My family comes first, which means right now school has to come first as well so I can finish this degree and have more time to spend with them, but it is still hard to neglect my characters for a whole week, even if I am thinking of them, and boy was I thinking of them. Mostly because I couldn't figure out where they needed to go.

I tried one thing, and then another, and then another. I rewrote the end of chapter eleven three times, and chapter twelve just wouldn't start. (Another reason I probably allowed myself to put writing on the side lines.) And in the midst of all this not writing, I remembered a piece of my own advice. My friend in writers group has been struggling to submit things as her life is just as crazy and possibly more so than mine. So two weeks ago I told her not to worry about anything, just write the scene where they kiss. And guess what? She turned in an assignment that week!

I took those pearls of wisdom and decided to see what would happen if I threw a kiss into the end of the chapter. It was a first kiss and technically a fake kiss, a kiss to cover up a lie, so I knew that when it ended I would have to deal with the whole awkwardness of the we-just-kissed situation. I didn't want to deal with that. I'd had enough awkward up until that point, another scene was just going to go over the top. But I had to write and so I did and guess what? In the middle of their kiss, out of the blue something happened that not only allowed me to hold off on the awkward talk moment (yes, I know it still needs to come, but not for awhile) and also changed the whole direction the book was going.

One small sentence in the middle of their kiss changed everything. There I am typing happily along and it just came out. I had to look at it three times, and I kept saying, "Why would I have written that?" And then it dawned on me, because it was perfect and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for E and J and even R. All it took was a kiss, not even a good swoon worthy kiss. But it was worth it.

My book is a YA novel, so there was bound to be a kiss in it. Your's might not have any kissing in it, but still, if you are struggling, wondering what comes next, why not try out something totally unexpected and see where it leads you? It might be horrible and you end up deleting the whole scene, but then again, maybe you won't.

Oh and since it is Father's Day, I better go upstairs and give a kiss to my favorite main character! Because our first kiss was another kiss that changed my whole world, and look how good that one turned out! Happy Father's Day and Write On!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Writers Groups

I love writers groups. I love them so much that I have two, three if you count Codex--the online writing community that I have the privilege to be a part of. If you want to write, more importantly if your goal of writing is to make it the best you possibly can, there is nothing much better than finding yourself a good writing group.

Each of my groups offers me a unique look at my writing. The first group started out as several of the writers that I attended Orson Scott Card's literary bootcamp. It has changed a bit over the years with a few great additions, but the quality of critiques I get have never changed. There are members of this group who have published their writing, there are members who are line editing pros, there are members who strive to make all my science fiction plausible. It is a great group and I wish our busy schedules allowed us to meet more than once a month.

Since I need more of a push to meet deadlines, I took a chance a little over a year ago when I was invited to joy a stay at home mom writers group. We meet once a week and while the kids run around crazy we talk writing. At first I wasn't so sure about this group (sorry girls). I only knew one member and not well. I wasn't sure how serious they were in their writing. I didn't know how to handle critique feedback because I didn't know the personalities of the other members. But I stuck with it, and over the past year these talented wonderful women have not only become my writing lifeline, they have become my dear friends.

In our short time as a group three of us have completed novels and our resident picture book author has put together three or four great story books. We have talked, laughed, cried, and learned. We have had lunches with published authors including, Dave Wolverton, Dan Wells and E.J. Patton. We have pushed each other, ripped apart whole chapters, and have all become better writers. This group keeps me writing. We meet once a week, and now that all the kids are out of school and getting together weekly with that many young ones is harder, we have been doing an online video chat instead, which has been awesome, with a once a month no kids allowed night planned.

So, if you love to write, and you want to get better, by all means write, go to workshops, read a ton, do what you are doing, and then find yourself a writers group. Hopefully you will find one as amazing as mine are!

Write On!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing New Stuff

I took an advanced fiction writing course this past spring at the University. A whole class where I didn't have to do anything but write? It sounded perfect, and for the most part it was. I wrote and edited a 35,000 word novella. A fairy tale I had been thinking about for a long time. It is rough and really needs to be made into a novel to get the complete story out, but it got good reviews from my writer's groups and from my peers in class. Someone even said, "This is the type of writing you were meant to do." Pretty high complement huh? But it wasn't what I wanted to be writing at the time. I struggled everyday writing on that when all I wanted to do was go back to my YA novel that I was 30,000 words into before the class started. I wrote my fairy tale because it was a cool story that I'd thought about. I have the setting down pretty good. When we were in Germany a couple of years ago we found this amazing castle called Hohentwiel. I know the ending because I have imagined it in my head for the past three years. I have a novella written that basically needs to be flushed out. But still the minute class ended and I got my A, I went back to my YA book (Room). It was a little rock at first, as time away had given me some insight on things I wanted to change, so the past month has been spent editing the first 38,000 words. It has been fun. I love my characters! It is no wonder why I couldn't wait to get back to them. But now I am at the end of the road I had set for them and today I need to step off into the unknown and give them knew problems, and insight, and romances. It is a little scary. So scary that I almsot want to go back to my safe well adjusted fairy tale. The problem with that is I know once I go back to the fairy tale those characters will find the same (well not the same, but similar) problems that I will not be sure how to solve, that will keep me up at night debating what comes next. So I am going to finish Room. I am going to step off the path into the darkness and see what will become of my characters lives. Hopefully by the end of summer (or should I say before Fall semester starts) I will have a completed first draft of Room. I'm excited. Writing new stuff can be scary, but I'll have my characters with me every step of the way! Unless of course I decided to kill them off :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Going to school takes a lot of time. Working takes a lot of time. Raising three children, managing a home, and being a wife takes a lot of time. Doing all of those things at the same time, well there isn't a lot of time left for anything else. I would love to be super organized and have cute chore charts for my kids, themed lunches, and arts and crafts time for them everyday. I would love to have a spotless house where I never had to worry who was knocking on the front door because I wouldn't be embarrassed to invite anyone in. I would love to get up at five everyday and start my morning off with a refreshing workout and a healthy breakfast. And I would love to write four or five hours a day and get all the thoughts that clammer around in my mind, out on paper. But let's face it. None of those things are going to happen. So I need to get better at juggling. I have a lot on my plate right now, and although the end is in sight (I graduate in December), it is still a ways off, so I will not do more than I can. Which means I need to be more realistic about my writing goals (its easy to tell myself I can't deep clean every room of the house everyday) but telling I have to be realistic about writing is hard, because I want to write. Besides being a mom and wife, it is all I want to do. But I have other obligations, and so my goals need to be tapered off. Luckily I have an awesome writing group, that keeps me in line. They tell me when my goals are too outrageous, and help me shoot for something I can do. This week it is to send one query and write 30 minute a day, plus blog once a week. I've sent my query. Here is my blog, so that just leaves the writing time. I didn't do anything yesterday. No really, I stayed in my PJ's all day and watched supernatural and made a cake. I should have written, but to be honest, I really needed that do nothing sort of day. So I will start today, and get my writing in. Hopefully next week I will be able to report that the new book is coming along. Until then, Happy Writing!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Winter Camping Fun

I don't think there will be many years where we can go camping at the property on the 30th of December and have it be close to 50 degrees! We had a great time (camping life is so much nicer when you get to sleep in a heated trailer). The kids had a blast running all over as usual. Out by their favorite rock (Turtle Rock) water had pooled into little ponds and they made their own ice skating rinks. D made us a huge fire in the pit late at night and we sat looking at the constellations for a long time. It is amazing what a walk in the middle of nowhere can do for my writer's block. A scene I've been hung up on for over a week totally resolved itself while I was out there. But it was Hertha who had the most fun of all. She was definitely in doggie paradise. 40 acres to roam and run made her one happy camper. She even found the perfect stick she was determined to carry all the way back to the trailer. Anyone who knew me five years ago would never believe that two of my favorite past times could be camping and hanging out with a puppy, but that just goes to show you that you should always give new things a try. You may find out something you were sure you hated could turn into memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy New Years Everyone! Hope you find new adventures in 2012!