Friday, March 30, 2012

Gone moving...

Yesterday was my birthday *throws confetti for self* *provides beautifully frosted cupcakes for the class*, and it was also the first day in my new home.


If any of you are interested in the adoption story and seeing photos of the home just let me know. I'd be more than happy to blog about them! Anything to be able to share some of the struggles are inspiring people I've met alone the way.

That being said... I'm not really here (unless you count in spirit, then of course, I'm here). I'm unpacking, sitting on the brand new bed I got, and watching movies. However, for those of you who need something to do now that you can't spend all day here, I've got a special treat!!

Michele Gorman's new book Misfortune Cooke was released last Thursday! If it's anything like Single in the City you're going to love this new story!!! So stop in and check out her novel on Amazon. Grab it for your kindle and go find that beach hottie who can rub lotion on your back while you read by the ocean. I'll be back Monday!

Here's the adorable cover art:

About Misfortune Cookie:

"Following your heart will pay off in the near future"

The fortune cookie had spoken, affirming Hannah’s decision to move to Hong Kong to be with her boyfriend. She’s no stranger to rash decisions – after all she moved from the US to London on a dare, and that worked out, didn’t it? Ever the optimist, she’s determined to make a success of her move, no matter what anybody says.

Unfortunately, anybody seems to be everybody and her life isn’t going exactly to plan. Sure, she’s found a career in fashion that she loves, her best friend Stacy moved to be with her, and they’re exploring all that’s weird and wonderful about Hong Kong. It’s her love life that’s not quite living up to expectations. It isn’t easy having a relationship with a boyfriend who’s been posted to a job in another country. Particularly one who seems a bit too cosy with his new boss.

When things also start going wrong at work, Hannah begins to think her friends and family were right. Has she made the worst mistake of her life?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where you suck the least...

Your path as a writer has a beginning, middle, and end. It isn't want defines you. It's simply a set of rules you've put upon yourself to be met.

Write your first novel.
Get rejected.
Attempt not to humiliate yourself.
Write another novel.

Without those beginning, middle, and ends, there gives you no goals and no hope. If you have an open slate chances are you'll be that procrastinator we all love to hate that creeps in and takes over your writing life.

Part of a writers life is to be dedicated. JK Rowling didn't become a success because she half-assed the Harry Potter Series and only wrote four novels. No, she finished all seven, no matter how many blood, sweat, and tears went into it she knew she had to complete it. It was her goal, the end of one project so she could start the beginning of another.

Are we better at one stage? I'd say in the game of writer life I'm better at the beginning. It's that energy you get when you feel that the whole world has your back, you're going to be successful, and the end is going to zip by so fast you'll be waving all the way from project three. It's tough to pull yourself out of the beginning because it's so damn fun. There are no responsibilities. Just you and your pen taking on the world.

The same applies to the writing itself. A beginning, middle, and end. After all, if you never set the goal you'll just be the so-called-writer who lives in their grandparents basement still working on the comic book story you started when you were seven.

Don't be the so-called-writer. Set some goals. Decide where you're better at and strive to push through the one your the worst at.

In your writer life or writing in general, where do you stand? What's the most difficult stage for you?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cryptic Writer Messages

Writerhood - A place where writers ideas come in ghetto form until they're dissected from the pile of crap into something beautiful.
I find when an idea starts to weave it's way into my head it comes in these little cryptic messages.

- See's dead people

See what I mean? Now I have to iron out if they LITERALLY see dead people, as in, they work in a morgue or a funeral home. Or is there going to be some paranormal aspect to it? Instead of questioning too much I write the fact down and wait for more to come.

- Raven

Now I've got a first name. It also means I'm even more confused than I was to begin with. Will the name Raven have special meaning later? Or is it just dark because her family has a sense of humor.

- Unravel

Great, a title that doesn't go with anything in the two cryptic messages I received.

My novels come in pieces. Each getting me one step closer to a story, though I'm just not sure it's all going to be in the same 300+ pages. It's all a process and I believe that Stephen King was right when he said 'opening the flood gates to ideas means they'll never go away'. Even when I'm on a 'writers block' stint the ideas are still coming. Granted, I'm frustrated because I can't do anything with them, but they're there. Waiting to be read, written, and said aloud. Wanting me to breathe in their idea and take it on. I wait for them to drive the wheel and hope I don't get burned.

How do you receive your ideas? Are they coded?

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Games Have Begun

I'm out. Be back later. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Are you joining in on the trilogy that sweeping the nation?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Query Lovin

It's not every day one dives into the query pool. In fact, as writers we spend months perfecting our lists, knowing what to shoot for, when to send it out, and when the fear will subside just long enough to hit send.

When does one know the timing is right?

I get asked this a lot and the answer I'd like to give is, you just know. The same question arises when one asks "How did you know he was the one," and the answer remains the same "you just know."

Each round you're taking that leap of faith. There's hope, reluctance, and fear all combined. You want them to love your work as much as you do. You want them to notice how much work you put into the characters.

Sometimes agents/publishers don't get your story.

It's part of the world you're walking into. Going with your gut has been the best piece of advice I've ever been given. Your gut only holds you back when it's supposed to.

Tips to help get you ready:

1. Write the story.
2. Like it.
3. Send it to friends.
4. Re-write the story (edit).
5. Send it to crit/beta readers.
6. Re-write again.
7. Write your query.
8. Send it to friends.
9. Write your synopsis.
10. Send BOTH to crit/beta readers.
11. Create query list.
12. Dive in.

Rejections and Aceeptance will happen. I told myself when I first started that I wasn't in the writing game until I received my first rejection. Trust me... it hurt, a lot, however a lot less than if I would have gone in thinking I was going to be the next Suzanne Collins.

Any in depth tips you'd add? How did you know you were ready?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chapped lips and a suntan

I’ve started writing again. It’s been awhile since I’ve actually put pen to paper but last week when I was at the Rodeo here in Houston I had inspiration. The Band Perry was in concert and there songs were beautiful, leaving me with all these little quips that I was singing throughout the day.

I decided to take the inspiration and write. They’re lyrics are beautiful. Any who, I’m not looking to be anything like them. Here is just a poem about love and life.
Author note: I don’t claim to be an expert. Just writing because that’s what we as writers do… write what we feel.

Would you push me on the tire swing
Let the wind rush through my hair
Bare feet hanging in the air
Backyard filled with laughter
Would you take me to a picnic
Hopping to the finish line in the potato sack
Popsicle stains on my white t-shirt
Washing off in the cold lake water
Would you take me to the ocean
Splash the water as big drops fall
Sun kissed hair soaked
Leaving with chapped lips and tans

Would you take me to a country bar
Teach me how to two-step
Hold me tight and swing me round
Kissing me all the night

Have your own you’d like to add?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ryan Goslings thoughts on publishing

Today I don't need to speak.

Ryan Gosling has something to say.

We should listen.

Yeah... he's alright. HAPPY FRIDAY! Wan't more fun with Ryan? Check out this TUMBLR.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Embrace the Chaos...

This blog is… well… what some would call chaos. I call it my multi-functioning ‘writing’ blog. I like to keep my options open.
There are days I want to tell you that I carry a magnetic troll in my purse for entertainment purposes. Or that time where I admitted I despise it when people lick their fingers. How about the fact that I get a ton of klout points because ‘cupcake’ trends like no other on my twitter account.

I’ve been told that your blog defines you. If that’s the case, well, I’m in trouble.

I chose the title Unedited (to be fair my husband did), but it was because it best described what the blog’s purpose would be. It is an unedited guide in both my daily life and my writing life.

I’m not a bestselling author, I haven’t won a Pulitzer, and Ellen still does not know my name.

I’m Jen. A now, multi-published short story e-book author. A girl who is about to purchase her first home. A girl who is about to embark on a journey through adoption with her husband. I am a writer who decided one day to blog about the chaos. And trust me, I’m not the only one.

Here are a few who are definitely in the sauce... oh, and available for your entertainment.

The Bloggess
Jenny From The Blog
Like the Vodka

Embrace the chaos.

What are you favorite blogs? What's the reasoning?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scared to Shower

I think by now you all know I'm a freak. A cute one, of course, but nonetheless one who definitely has emotional issues. I figured by now if you had a problem with that you are no longer reading this.

Well the other day I think I let my freak flag fly a little too high that even my husband was worried. Actually, annoyed, yes that's what he was, annoyed.

Let me set the story up before I dive into the conversation. I have this thing where I can't shower unless someone is home. Yes. This is a true and embarrassing fact about myself. Trust me, it's more inconvenient for me, than anyone else.

I think that does it.

Hubs: Why can't I go into work early?

Me: You can, I just need you to wake me up earlier so I can shower before you go.

Hubs: Are you seriously not over the whole shower while I'm gone thing?

Me: It's not something you just get over. I can't help that there is potential for a serial killer to come in the house and surprise me by knife. Just wake me up a little earlier.

Hubs: If I do that, I still have to wait, defeating the whole purpose of getting caught up on my work. At that point I'm just irritated.

Me: Listen mister, I can't help the fact that there are serial killers loose in the world. What's ten minutes?

Hubs: Exactly. What could possibly happen in ten minutes?

Me: *mouth dropped to the floor* Are you insane? Everything. The man could pick the lock, pet the cats, walk to the shower, strangle me, and then stab me a gazillion times. Don't you watch those shows? These things have to be quick.

Hubs: *smiles, amused* He'd pet the cat?

Me: Well of course, he's not an animal hater. He's just there to kill me.

For the record, he did let me shower before he went to work. Just like he has the past six years we've been together.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Staying within Character lines

I know I have several seasoned writers who stop in and share their thoughts on writing. It’s very helpful for the newer writers who have just dipped their feet in the blogging pool to hear how others write.
Today I thought we’d talk characters. You know, those people who make your stories shine. Those people that intrigue readers and push them from chapter to chapter at lightning speed.

How does one keep a reader interested?

By staying truthful.

Staying in line with your Character ARC is most important when telling a story. If you have a mean girl at school handing the girl she’s been torturing a cupcake (rather than shoving the frosted goodness in her face) would break character arc. After all, mean girls don’t change overnight.

You want your girl to be believable as well as gaining the trust of the reader.

I find creating characters to be the most thrilling part of storytelling. You, as a writer get to take those deep moments and breathe life into them through a character.

Have you ever been beat up, abused, or made fun of? I find releasing the angst and frustration into the character to be therapeutic. You’re allowing yourself to heal as well as truly allowing the reader and the character to feel the emotion you once felt.

That’s not to say that if you’ve never been abused you can’t write about it. I’m merely saying that there are several things that happen throughout life we as writers can connect with. Most of the stories we write have a lot to do with our lives or those around us.

I use a lot of my own life experiences to be able to reach the sorrow or fear I’m not always in tune with. We as humans want to remain happy as much as possible, but in storytelling we all know that wouldn’t be near as fun.

How do you stay in line with your character arc? What’s a piece of advice you could share on characters?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writers Group

Hi *waves* this is my first post for the Insecure Writers Group and I'm so thankful to have found such a great concept to be apart of. Alex Cavanaugh is a genius with a heart of gold!

For those of you not a part of the Insecure Writers Group, please stop by, it's beneficial for all!

The first of every month you're able to post your thoughts and struggles you have as a writer. Whatever is on your mind is what you write... so here we go.

My confession (aka insecurity): I'm a scared writer.

You know the ones, they start writing something and afraid people will hate it so they toss it in the dumpster? In a day, week, month, I probably rewrite the same words over and over again. I've written several novels and yet the minute their finished I'm no longer confident that it's any good.

The solution I've found? Critique partners and beta readers.

I've realized the more I write the more I need a system. With each obstacle I come across I work hard to find a solution so I can get back in the game. I'll probably always be a scared writer... it's not easy putting your work out there to be judged so many times. It's hard to remember that agents base their thoughts on taste and it's not that your book sucks. You want the agent to fall in love with your book, you characters, the works. You want them to pass on it if they don't feel connected, the novel is what connects you to the agent and the reader.

I've been blessed to become a part of team Still Moments Publishing. They're an e-publisher and so far they've helped me perfect three beautiful short stories.

It's the small steps towards the big goal that keep me as a writer going. I'm not sure what my path will be, but isn't that half the fun?

Writers were born to be adventurous... even during those scared bouts. Do you ever find yourself to be a scared writer? How do you come out of your shell?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Musings

Welcome to Monday Madness! Or is it Musings? Who knows, I think that might as well go hand in hand. Here are the current things weighing on my mind.

1. Video recording one's self can be misconstrued as concieted. Like, I am merely telling you I'm video recording myself hanging out with 'Ellen', but secretly it's me trying to let the world know how awesome I am... Trust me when I say, making these videos was much harder than I anticipated. Also, add embarassing to the list, and yet I still produce.

2. I've recently fallen into a reading frenzy. It's the only thing that takes me outside of the house buying process and into someone else's problems. Current read: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender. Now, porcelain dolls have always creeped me out, but Alender takes it to a whole new level.

3. Our new girl at work ran out of post-its and though I have a drawer full of them I didn't have the heart to let go of them. I so rudely asked someone else for their post-its so that I could keep all my pretty colored ones. Sorry lady, yellow will have to be your color... pink, green, and blue... they're with me.

4. I have only managed to watch one show in the last two weeks and it was Jane By Design. I know, there are better choices, but it clearly states that I have quite the addiction. If you look at my DVR I have 68 recordings and that's the one I chose to watch. *my husband rolls his eyes*

5. I make up things so I can feel better about my situation. Our recent house dilemma can down to a man wanting to keep his refridgerator due to 'sentimental reasons'. I keep telling people that with this man being so crazy and such a weird thing to not want to let go of, it must mean we're getting the house. I do the same with statistics... Do you know the more books you read the more intellegent you become? This I say while reading Chelsea Handler's latest book. Clearly I left out what kind of books.

Anything to share? Join the crazy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reading to perfection

A person often says "I've wanted to be a writer myself, I just don't have the time," when you've shared with them that you, in fact, are a writer.

There is this misconception that writers have ALL THE TIME in the world. You, as a writer, know this is the farthest from the truth. Somehow we've just been given a gift of multi-tasking. However, that is not the topic I'm discussing today.

I'm discussing the next thing that said person would follow with, "How do you even begin to write a novel?" Now, as a newbie writer I was asking myself the same question. It was by change that I found Blue Willow Bookshop and attended SEVERAL book signings to find that the answer remained the same throughout all the authors.

You read, and then you write. Every one of them devoured books in the name of research. I took read each morsel for fun, but if I could read for fun AND call it research, wouldn't that be brilliant?

I picked up women's fiction, suspense, dystopian, adult, young adult, the works. Each piece I read was even more delectable then the last. I read until words spoke to me, characters started to form, a story erupted.

To gain more inspiration I read Stephen Kings, On Writing. He brought me more to life than ever... two things still resonate to this day.

One: Only you can decide when to truly call yourself a writer. Is it the day you put pen to paper, complete a novel, or become published? It's your call, after all, you're the one in the driver seat.

Two: First write for yourself, then write for the world.

I'm paraphrasing, but what I wrote is what I carry with me. I called myself a writer the day I finished a rough draft of my first novel. When I feel frustrated in a novel and realize I'm trying to keep up with the tides of publishing, I stop myself just to remind me that I'm not writing for me.

Question... what do you like to read? By chance is it the same thing you like to write? READING is the key to perfection. Opening up each page in your genre is what gets you to understand the inner workings of that said genre. Writing isn't easy... if it was, everyone would do it.

We are a special sadistic breed that simply cannot help harbor those feelings to be on the verge of insanity. We revel in it, love it when we're on a high, and loathe it when we're on a low. We don't give up just because a character had to be killed off, or because an agent told us that we should go back to the drawing board. No, we spent time perfecting our pieces and one persons opinion must be weighed on a scale.

Just remember... the beginning is to read, to devour, to simply get lost in the story.