Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Dragon*Con is approaching quickly, and I’m excited and nervous (a common state for me recently.). This is not my first big convention, but this is one of the very biggest fantasy conventions in the states, and it will be my first time attending. The con will be full of stars, writers, artists, and fans. There will be pirates, klingons, fairies, anime kids, and dozens of other fans stretching across the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Several writers I adore will be attending—which means I need to pack books to be signed (I must remember that this time, unlike when I went to concarolinas.) My editors will also be there.

I’m left unsure what roll I play—which will make packing a neat trick. I’m typically the type to dress up at cons. After all, any excuse to go in costume is a good excuse, right? But, I’ll be following the writers track, and I’m told most don’t dress up.

Do I dress up anyways?

I’m really not sure yet. I might not decide until I get there. The only thing I know for sure I’ll be bringing is my work—my revision letter came in and I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

Well, it is time to start packing. I’ll take pictures and actually post them this time. If you are going to be at Dragon*con, look me up.

Have a good Hump Day everyone.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Help me pick an author photo

I've been asked to provide an author photo which will first go on my publisher's website, and then will end up in the back of my book. I have the options I've narrowed it down to posted on my blogspot blog. Please vote!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Joy of... Research?

I met a guy named Joy actually... but that is probably a story for another time entirely.

Today my topic is research; that idea of going through mounds of general, sometimes random, information for that one piece of knowledge that will make your story come together, or so you hope. Or so I hope, to be perfectly honest.

Although I like the idea of making up my own world and my own society completely from scratch, I realize that there is no real point in re-creating the wheel unless I have tons of time on my hands. Which I do not. I have a story to tell, and it involves things that I really don't know much about.

So I am doing research. Reading books that, in my opinion shouldn't have been published, and reading books that are so old that the grammar rules aren't the same as they are today. I'm wading through history, with my net at the ready.

I already have two fish in a cooler; good color, firm flesh, no parasites in the gills. But the morning is still cool, and I'm not tired yet, so I'm continuing on.

Feel free to join me. The bugs aren't bad at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Call

Unpublished writers are always waiting with baited breath for THE CALL. Which call would that be? The call from an editor, of course. The call telling them someone wants to buy that doorstop they wrote.

My call finally came.

More details soon...^_^

Friday, August 8, 2008

The countdown begins

Less than three months lie between now and the world's biggest writing frenzy - National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as Nano (or "the month I stop existing in a conscious state"). The question is, since you can't officially write until the fated first day of November, what are you going to do for these remaining months of sanity?

Tie up loose ends: Several of the Tri Mus are working to finish up writing projects they started long ago. Kalayna has been working through a full rewrite of last year's Nano manuscript. Vikki is, as she announced in her recent post, trying to finish her work in progress before the Olympics are over in two weeks. Also, someone really ought to tie up the old Pass the Plot we had going...

Plot: I'm going to work on this one. I have several tools in my arsenal, including the fantastic tools from
Advanced Fiction Writing. The "Snowflake Method" has helped me in the past and I am definitely going to utilize the principles in "Writing the Perfect Scene" for plotting this Nano. I have never plotted a novel before - I usually fly by the seat of my pants (it's called being a pantser in Nano terminology). After pantsing my way through two Nanos only to realize I have no plot whatsoever, I think it's time to graduate tothe world of preplotting.

Develop Characters: This goes well beyond the basic physical characteristics for me. I have spreadsheets that list things like mental ability, character arc, motivation, worst fear, etc. I personally love personality tests. I like to get in my character's head and answer the questions for him or her. Not only do I discover what my character's Myer-Briggs code is, but I also learn something about how he or she react to circumstances by paying attention to the questions themselves. For online (free) tests,
Similar Minds is my favorite site. They have a bunch of different types of tests. Aslo, to determine your character's Hogwarts House (which could be interesting even if you're not writing fan fiction) go to Personality Lab's House Sorting Test for a very detailed exam.

Skive off: Another great way to spend the three months until Nano is to ignore it completely! There are plenty of things to do if you plan to wait until October 31 to start thinking about your novel. Here are a few suggestions: blog, knit a sweater, bake a pie, go skydiving, rope cattle, find the cure for cancer, learn Mandarin Chinese, scale Everest, etc. Be creative with your procrastination. I mean, come on, Nano is three months away!

So, how are you going to spend your countdown?

Olympic-sized Writing Challenge

I love the Olympics….The pageantry, the fanfare, the competition, the winners, the losers, and most importantly, the stories. There are some great stories this year. Dara Torres, a 41-year old mother, will be competing in her 5th Olympics (they weren’t even consecutive Olympics) as the world-record holder in the 50 meter freestyle swimming. Lopez Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, is carrying the American flag in the opening ceremony and is competing in track and field for his adopted country, the United States of America. I can’t wait to here more!!

For weeks now, I’ve been watching the Visa commercials. Olympians overcoming overwhelming odds to do extraordinary things. I have two favorites. In the Kerri Strugg commercial, Morgan Freeman’s voice talks about the vault and its difficulty and then ends with “and she did it all on one foot.” The other is about a track and field runner from Great Britain that tore his hamstring on the track and with his father’s help finished the race. I’m really not sure how these commercials relate to Visa, but I love them. They are soooo inspiring.

The commercials tell me…you’re going to stumble, you’re going to fall. Get up and keep going. Writing is like that. You’re going to face rejection. You’re going to face writer’s block. You just have to keep moving forward and improving and eventually, you’re going to cross that finish line and maybe if you’re lucky, stand on that gold medal podium of success.

With that in mind, I am challenging anyone who wants to join me to stretch your limits for the next 18 days. My "event" is to finish a skeletal first draft of my current WIP. Writing THE END will be my gold medal!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

TotW: The Aha Moment -- Tori

Like Kalayna, I don't remember what book made me go "Aha, I can do that." I wrote my first official story at seven although I'd been creating stories long before that. I had a long running saga that resembled a soap opera with my Barbies. I say soap opera because I only had two Ken dolls and like 20 Barbies. Let's just say Ken got around and leave it at that.

If I had to say, I would say the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I remember my elementary school librarian reading an excerpt from Little House in the Big Woods. I was fascinated by the vivid description. I started reading her books almost instantly. Then, I started reading about her and how she started writing. I was instantly fascinated because here was this ordinary person that just decided to start writing.

My tastes have changed of course since I was seven or eight years old, but I still love to read. I still love to write and create.

TotW: The Aha moment--Kalayna

What book gave me the biggest 'Aha' moment?

That is a tough one because I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but if I had to pick, I'd say the early Anita Blake books by Hamilton.


Because before I found these books when I was about 14, I only read high fantasy, and in turn, I only wrote high fantasy. I continued writing high fantasy for many years after discovering the Anita Blake books, but if I had to track my initial draw to the (then emerging) genre of urban fantasy, Hamilton would be it.