Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zizzle

Add a little zizzle to your life.

Being it’s the last day of the challenge it’d be inappropriate if I didn’t shed at least a tear. This year has been a ton of fun. If I didn’t get to visit you please let me know and I’ll do my best to make my rounds. With so many participants I’m in awe of all the brilliance I got to witness through this journey. It has been a whole lot of fun putting my vocabulary (or lack thereof) to good use.

On to Z!

The word Zizzle sounds like a candy… you know like a mix between a razzle and a pop rock. Alas it’s not… apparently it’s a company out of Illinois who produces toys and electronics of some sort (yes that’s the only definition I could get for it – and yet scrabble counts it as a word, go figure). So I suppose that gives me the right to make it whatever I want!!!

Jen’s definition of Zizzle: a – flare or awesomeness to one’s self; b – a colorful fruit type candy that sizzles in your mouth.

Now to go and witness some Zizzle I'll be at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire today!!

Someone very special asked me to do a super fun interview and I can't just say no, she's like freaking awesome!!!!

Mindy McGinnis over at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire is interviewing me! ME?! Can you believe it?!

You know you want to know more about me (okay, at least pretend you do).

She recently interviewed the fabulous secret-agent over at Getting Past the Gatekeeper who has one awesome blog and I was flattered to be featured on the same blog as said genius.

So... enough gushing about the fabulous Mindy and her fabulous blog... GO VISIT!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yelling feels good


Oops, got a little carried away.

Bad days blow. Good day’s rock.

All days allow for yelling.

Find your inner yell and belt it – just not in public where they’ll institutionalize you. That would not be helpful to anyone.

What do you want to yell from the rooftops? Belt it in the comments… I wanna know!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for Xanthine

Definition: a family of chemicals that includes caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, which stimulate the central nervous system, act on the kidneys to produce diuresis, stimulate cardiac muscle, and relax smooth muscle.

Yeah I don’t care about what it means either. It had the word caffeine in it and it start with X I was just following challenge rules. I also don’t want to cheat and use what I used last year (which I still haven’t looked at) so I’m going original.

Since obviously I have no idea what this word means chances are you know that I’m not really speaking on the topic of Xanthine and what it means for you… because it means nothing for you.

Instead I’m talking CAFFEINE (and it counts since it’s part of the definition)!

Writers would be non-existent without the help of caffeine. That cappuccino in the morning and soda in the afternoon is what keeps us up long enough to get through a full day’s work, put the kids to bed and have just a few moments of solitude to check our email, tweet, lurk on faceplace and finally write a few words.

So what’s your drug of choice (Caffeine people… don’t be putting crack, heroine or copious amounts of alcohol… I don’t want to report you).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Whining is for sissies, sort of

So yesterday I may have talked about positive and negative vibes but we never touched on the whining aspect.

Life is full of choices and sometimes you make the wrong one and it’s too late to change it. Do you let it bother you or let it go?

Answer: You should let it go.

However that’s much easier said than done. When you’re fighting with family it’s hard to let it go, you take it personally. When you send out your query without the requested 5 pages and you KNOW they’ll delete because they said so but you’re unsure if you should re-send… yeah that’s hard to let go of.

So you whine.

I’m guilty. I want to stomp my feet and pull my dress up over my head to hide from my humiliation (yes I’m pretending I’m young enough to get away with that). I want to make everyone listen to how awful my life is and have them console me and tell me that in a week it won’t matter.

Here is the difference. I don’t let the WHOLE WORLD KNOW. You don’t want to come off as some whiny baby or people will think you’re a sissy and frankly annoying.
It’s okay to vent, talk it out, and whine a little but after you’re done you need to get over it. Don’t dwell on the bad, just whine a little.

Do you whine on your blog or just vent to your friends?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Victory is All Mine

There are two things I don’t like very much.

Negative Attitudes & Bugs

So today I’m claiming the positive vibes zone.

I’m a firm believer that if you send out positive vibes you’re going to receive a whole lot of love back. But if you’re sending out the negative feelings that’s all you’re going to get back. Who wants crap coming back to them?

Victory is something we’ve all experienced in life and in turn the positive feeling creeps up and takes a nap for hours. You never want the feeling to go away.

Those victories: The first completed draft. First painting sold. Potty training the little one. Teaching your cat to stay off the table (at least when you’re not around). Getting a full request for a manuscript.

Those are the moments to remember. So the next time you’re down push out those positive vibes in the universe. Chances are they were just waiting for you to call their name.

What’s your latest victory?

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Unleash the Beast

No I’m not talking about your husband or your little monsters at home. I’m talking about opening up your mind and letting your writing skills take over. Letting your subconscious allow for freedom to write whatever comes to mind.

Everyone has their own techniques while writing. Some are pansters and others are plotters.

I’m a punster and it gives you that sense of no boundaries. The place where you can write anything and everything that comes to mind. It may not pertain to the story but it might be an idea for story #2.

Sometimes it’s good to let go. Just let your freak flag fly and let any idea flow through your mind and straight to paper. You might be surprised at the awesome you produce.

I know a lot of people edit while they work, personally I commend them for it. The disaster I encounter after writing stream of consciousness is an absolute nightmare to control. However I also love that my voice is the same all throughout, I never lose my character relationship and in the end even if I see a disaster zone I can then become the plotter that I desire to be.

That’s right, I outline after the fact. For me it works. I already know the whole story, what my character is capable of, and how it ends. To me the post-it’s and index cards can be filled out immediately. No hidden blanks, no empty chapters, just a whole lot of fun.

How do you write? Have you unleashed the beast?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Timing Counts

Oh dear, this world is based on timing. Did you know? Well if you didn’t you must live a very luxurious life and for that I currently despise you.

How many weeks of vacation you get.
What time to eat lunch.
What time to pull the cookies out of the oven.
What time you get to write.
What times the kids should go to bed.
When to finish your first draft.
How long it takes you to finish.
When to send out your query letter.

I am a firm believer that in the writing world it comes down to a lot of hard work and a little luck. Timing is luck. Timing is everything.

Of course doing your research is also equally as important. As a whole you must take your time to make sure all your ducks are in a row. So be sure to take those cookies out of the oven… the warm gooey center is the best part.

What is your take on timing?

Friday, April 22, 2011

S if for Splitting Up

Some characters just don’t know when to stop. They’re yelling, screaming, doing their usual tantrum and it’s all because they don’t get along. In the real world one would tell them to suck it up. There are a lot of people in this world that don’t get along and they are still forced to work with one another. But what if the character doesn’t improve their behavior?

I guess the question would be is it hurting the story?

If the answer is yes then maybe you should take one of the characters out. Are they destined to be in the spot light? Do you have two main characters on your hands, are they being diva’s and have turned uncontrollable?

This has happened to me before. Two characters that don’t want to listen to what I’ve got to say. Problem is that I’m equally at fault, had I listened that they were both strong enough to be on their own I wouldn’t have ended up with a dead plot on my hands.

Characters are messy but they are also the best part of writing (IMO) and with that being said if they become a little divaish then I’m prepared to deal with it if they’ll make me a star.

How do your characters work?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Rose Cooper

I think it's a dead giveaway what I'm sharing today... the fabulous Rose Cooper! She's a bestie of mine and her debut novel Gossip from the Girl's Room was an adorable read that everyone should check out!!!

Today she's visited the blog to show some exclusive character pictures!
Have you fixed something that wasn’t broke? Written a story only to revise and then go back to the original? That’s exactly what I did to Sofia Becker, the main character in my MG Blogtastic! Novel series. For the first book, GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM, I started off with a basic idea of what she would look like, but then I put her through a lot of changes only to use the very first image. My editor and designer told me the same thing, “We want the first Sofia.” Looking back, I can totally see why!

Graphic Evolution of Sofia Becker

To see more graphic evolutions of other characters from GOSSIP FROM GIRLS’ ROOM, go to

They can also be found tweeting about Rose’s blog tour on @RandomHouseKids! (Follow the author: @RoseCooper)

To Follow more of the fun visit Rose on the rest of her blog tour:

Monday, April 18th Candyland
Tuesday, April 19th Matthew at the QQQE
Wednesday, April 20th Rambles & Randomness
Thursday, April 21st Unedited
Friday, April 22nd Talli Roland
Saturday, April 23rd Booking Mama
Monday, 25th Random Acts of Reading
Tuesday, April 26th Amie Borst

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quitting is for wimps

If you’re reading this I know you’re not a quitter.

Of course that is much easier done than said but you’ve at least taken the first step in saying you do not want to be a quitter (which I already know you’re not).

Writing isn’t for the faint of heart. For those who are not writers you could be artists, photographers, painters, the path is still NOT for the faint of heart. It’s hard work, dedication, and the occasional cry fest. However if you’re in the business then you already know it’s worth it. You have those moments of clarity that keep you going.

Blogging is a way I stay on the positive side of life. All the support I get from my blogger friends and writer friends keep me motivated to push on. I have moments of quit but they don’t stay for long. You’re reminded why you do it, the passion that carries you the whole way. Those moments that let you know you’re not in it just because, but for more than that!

Finishing your first draft – Step One
Revising until you want to die – Step Two thru One Hundred and Seventy
Writing a Query – We stopped counting steps
Sending the query to agents – Nerve-wrecking step
We get rejected (multiple times) – No one wants to count but they do
We get accepted – HOORAY!!! Dreaming this is step one.
We get published – HOORAY!!! Again hoping this is a quick and speedy process

Each one of those steps is an accomplishment. Yes, even the rejection part. It’s part of what the process is all about. With each rejection you are one step closer to finding the one. So take a little risk and you’ll reap a little reward.

So are you a quitter?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Picking up the pieces

When life gets you down you have to learn to pick up the pieces.

When your plot is falling apart you have to know when to pick up the pieces.

When your characters are fighting you have to know when to pick up the pieces.

I think you can see the theme. Learning when it's time to move on and allow yourself to either trash it all and begin again or work with what you got.

It always takes me longer to realize that my characters aren't working than it should. I guess I want them to fit so badly that I'll do anything to get there, even if that means putting them in a bikini in a snow storm because they like the sun (yes I want them to use their imagination).

For those who can't pick up the pieces themselves (I'm one that experiences this quite often), friends are awesome. That's right... blog friends. They are always there to remind you that you don't suck. You're just having a sucky day.

So when do you feel it's time to pick up the pieces?

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Own It

Happy Monday Besties!

As a writer when I first started this journey towards writing I didn’t own it. I wasn’t sure what to call myself. When does one call themselves a writer, a creator, an artist? There are moments where you must decide when you’ve taken the plunge and the fact that you’re never leaving.

I read Stephen King’s book On Writing and immediately I was hooked. He told me I had to decide when I called myself a writer. For me it was writing and completing my first draft. There, I had a goal, something to work towards. When I completed my first full draft I was over the moon. Officially a writer, someone who is going to write for the rest of their lives, I had unleashed the beast.

Own who you are, own who you wanna be, own the goals it takes to get there.

What stage are you at in owning it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Not a yellow brick road

Ever feel like your traveling through life at the speed of light? You can't catch up on anything?

Writing. Work. Family. Blogging.

How does one balance it all out? Is there an order in which you are to best level each section of your life out? It's so much easier on paper isn't it?

Well I'm not an expert and since every life is different there is no one answer as to how to make your life easier. After all this is not a yellow brick road to your freedom. I separate how I see fit.

This is normally how it works.

Work. Happens every day. As much as I'd love to let go it pays my bills. So 40 hours is dedicated to that. Not changing unless I win the lottery (for right now).

Family. This one is a little easier to maintain. With my husband in school I get extra time to myself and we dedicate the weekends to the fun zone!

Writing. I write every day, even if it's something as simple as fun and thought out email, a poem, or something in my journal. Every day you should write something. You are a writer after all.

Blogging. Posts are scheduled on Sundays. During the week I comment. Sometimes I just lurk. This is the one that so often takes the back burner. Though I hate to do it, my life is far to hectic sometimes and this must be downsized.

So how do you cope? What order is your life in?

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Mom's

Mom's are important.

In life and in stories.

Even as we grow older if there was a mom who always supported us growing up we still ask them for advice. It doesn't matter if we're 25 fresh out of college or 40 with kids. Mom's are always needed. They really are what makes this world tick.

The same applies when it comes to writing a story. Mom's have to be apart of it too. In young adult books often the parents are discarded, put to the side. There are still emotions that run high. Getting parents to disappear so a main character can take over the world is no easy task. You have to make them believable. The mother isn't going to let go of her only child that easy.

I love my mom, I love my mother-in-law, and I even enjoy the crazy mom's I've written in my stories. Just because they make a TON of mistakes doesn't mean they don't deserve your love.

So give your mom some love today.

How do you incorporate or leave out the parentals in your stories??

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Liquid

Happy Blogging Day Blog Buddies. No, there isn't some special blog fest or day just for bloggers that falls on today... I'm just being... ahem, I'm just being me :)

L is for Liquid. Yup... that was me daring to be different. That doesn't mean I came up with anything SUPER creative. In fact I was tempted to follow last years path and go with 'Leap of Faith' however something told me that wouldn't be fair. I want to play fair, be creative, live a little.

How's it going so far? Yeah I'm not really sure.

I love lemonade (hey! That's a liquid)... guess that covers me. All of my post will be dedicated to my love of lemonade, lemons and lemtasticness!

Raspberry Lemonade is the best lemonade ever (trust me, I know, I love lemonade).

Aren't you glad you stopped in today? Now you know I'm a hundred percent crazy.

What's your favorite liquid?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kite

BiG nEwS: I've been querying and last night I got my first full MS request! I'm over the moon!!! Here's hoping they love Jules as much as I do!!!

Back to the post at hand!

How flying a kite pertains to flying through life - sort of.

So I don't claim to be an expert at flying a kite... if you've seen me you'll know I spend more time running and watching it drag on the ground than having it in the air.

It's that embarrassing moment where the child next to you is giggling and had it up in seconds and you swear they're giggling because YOU can't fly a kite.

I'm on a tangent.

Flying a kite, writing, and life in general all have steps to follow.

1. Kite - Make it.
2. Writing - Write it.
3. Life - Live it.

Basic concept right? Seems easy enough. Then comes the obstacles.

1. Kite - Where in the hell is the wind?
2. Writing - Where has my character gone?
3. Life - Why isn't there any hot water?

So you're back to feeling somewhat defeated until the positive comes rolling in.

1. Kite - WIND!
2. Writing - WORDS!
3. Life - WATER!

So you can have good days and bad days it's all just part of flying the kite.

Is it a good day or a bad day for you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jen

Yup. That's right. I'm talking about me. Don't you wanna know what makes me tick? Yeah, I didn't think so. But I'm feeling it anyway and since this is my blog you get to learn all things Jen.

1. I is a girl.
2. I is a 25 years old.
3. I say I like cupcakes but I hardly ever eat them.
4. I love sour sweets.
5. I have a day job (I know I'm not happy about either).
6. I have unhealthy obsessions.
7. I have weird quirks (not I'm not sharing).

Did I share enough? Are you curious about anything? Now is the time to ask... if there is a question you want answered just ask.

Now it's your turn. Who are you? What are you about? SHARE!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Inspire

Today I've decided to make it all about you. The bloggers. Every day you inspire me to keep posting and attempting to come off as creative and fun (who knows if it's really working).

So here are a few bloggers that have truly inspired me and the reasons.

Candyland - For always posting what she's feeling. She can lay it all out on the line. She inspires me to do the same.

Elana Johnson - Her kickazz blogging skills leaves me begging for more. She is Queen Bee of these parts and I love her for it. She inspires us to always do better.

Matthew Rush - Mr. Query Man allows us to post our queries and have them critiqued. He allows us to share our pride and joy and is never harsh it the advice he offers. He inspires us to ban together.

Tahereh - This girl is truly something else. Her witty and imaginative posts always leaving me feel in awe of her awesome. Also a little inadequate, after all she's a goddess with words. She inspires me to be awesome.

Talli Roland - The girl who rocks my socks off. An avid poster like myself with the ability to write both non-fiction and fiction novels. She inspires me to always be greater.

Jillian - This Teenage Brides has the biggest heart and the best advice. She shares about her life and being married at such a young age. She shows the true meaning of life. She inspires you to enjoy life.

Jennifer Hillier - Is an absolute doll who shows that though she may be a sweetheart it doesn't mean she doesn't have a dark side... that's right people she writes some amazing thrillers. She inspires to step outside of the box.

Christina Lee - Between her writing life and her jewelery line she shows that it truly can all be done. She inspires me to run with all my ambitions.

So what bloggers inspire you? I'd love to know!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Happy

Simple Saturday...

Things that make me happy.






What makes you happy?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Gab

Announcement: My friend Jennifer Hillier has written the most fabulous novel titled: CREEP which will be debuting this year. Now the exciting news in that is that she is giving away not one but TWO ARC's away and trust me when I say you want your hands on this PRONTO! So hop on over and share your love, and follow, she wants to make 300followers and she deserves it! CONTEST ENDS APRIL 15th so what are you waiting for?!

So now that we've got that covered lets get down to the real gabby business.

I talk to much.

I consider it a strength most of the time but there are times where it's my weakness.

Girls Night Out - Strength
During a Movie - Weakness
Home Alone - Strength
While husbands doing homework - Weakness

See what I mean? I'm Gabby... Chatty Cathy... Suzie Talks A Lot.

So today I'm not going to talk that much. I'm going to leave it up to you.

Who are you? Talkative, silent, mysterious. Fun.

The sky's the limit! TELL ME WHO YOU ARE!

How would you describe me? Do I seem chatty to you?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Freakin' Awesome

Hi Besties!

This is a huge announcement for if you live in the Houston area or nearby cities!

Teen Book Con!
Day: Saturday April 9th
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Place: Alief Taylor High School
Admission: FREE!

Blue Willow Bookshop (best shop in Houston) is a sponsor of this fabulous event!

What's happening there?


Here are a few of the fun authors you'll meet:

Stephenie Perkins
Rachel Hawkins
Lindsey Leavitt

See?! That alone is made of awesome!!! I unfortunately will be in Houston but this is an event you shouldn't miss!!!!

What happens in your area??? Maybe you should apparate to Houston!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Eliana

I have a fabulous friend named Eliana and today is all about her and what she's done for me.

She's a fellow blogger and she also owns her own Etsy shop! She has fabulous shoes that she personally designs... which only means that I had to get my own personal shoes!!

I have a reason for getting these shoes. For all you newbies there I should explain! I wrote an Adult chick lit novel titled In The Mind of a Celebrity Stalker.

Short synopsis: Jules Ausborn prefers make believe than reality. When she begins journaling to celebrities it's a way to cope with all the drama and persistence her family brings on changing her dating life and life in general. What starts as a coping mechanism turns to an obsession that Jules just can't let go of. Mix in her hot next door neighbor and Jules has some real issues to work out.

Let's just say she's complicated... and a riot. So it only makes sense to have some funky shoes that are just like her! Here are some pictures! I had a ton of fun having them made!!! Should you want shoes of your own please stop by Eliana's!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Don't

1. Don't forget to brush your teeth.
2. Don't forget to be nice to your sisters (brothers are up for discussion).
3. Don't forget to undo your socks (nobody likes wet pairs).
4. Don't forget to eat your breakfast (best meal of the deal...Mmmm pancakes).
5. Don't forget to tie your shoes.

Yes. We've heard these a time or two... but what about more fun one's?

1. Don't forget to practice everyday (even if it's raining outside the drums must be played - on the inside).
2. Don't forget to be yourself (own who you are).
3. Don't forget to be dangerous (you're a kid - even if it's only at heart).
4. Don't forget to live life on the edge (sometimes).
5. Don't forget to be awesome.

Care to add anything extra?

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Creative Camp

Double word score!!! So if we were playing scattegories I'd be ahead of the game. However, since we're not I'll be moving on.

Creative Camp. We have the writer conferences and the blog conferences every year but what if as bloggers/writers we made up a placed called creative camp. Together we compile of lists of things we love to do at camps and incorporate them into the week long event where lack of sleep gains you brownie points.

We'd play scattegories and scrabble - though I should mention even though I'm a writer I hardly ever beat my husband at these games.

To make it more writerly we could play it so that only words that we could create a definition for would count. Made up words are the only one's that would pass.

Everything would have a fun writerly twist. If someone was having plot problems we'd have writers play pretend and step inside a character and see if we can't brainstorm new ideas.

Then of course chocolate, candy, pizza, and any caffeine that could be found would be added to the mix. That's right as writers we can have one week of bad foods and talking about writing all day long and feel guilt free.

So who's with me?! Let's get this Creative Camp running!

Where would you want it to be held? By the beach, river, mountains? And what game would you want to incorporate!

Spill! I want details people!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Blog

Call it cheating or call it creative but today I'm talking about Blogs.

For this challenge I know a lot of you will want to visit as many on the challenge board as you can.

Don't wear yourself out. Otherwise after the month of April you'll have to take a blog hiatus because you ran yourself ragged.

It comes down to pacing. Take a chunk a day. Try and visit everyone once. Don't be hard on yourself if you're finding it difficult to say hello. With over 600 entrants that's going to happen.

However there is a way you can make it easier on your fellow participants... here are some tips.

1. Short posts - The short & sweet one's we can stop in, say hello, get the message you're sending and comment.
2. Simplicity - Some blogs are crazy. The easier your blog is to navigate the easier it'll be to comment and read what you've written.
3. Blog look - Big headers and too many gadgets make the blog harder to load. If you want people to stop in again and again re-evaluate what's important to be housed on the front lines. Blogger has something known as pages. Use those for the stuff you still wanna chat about but are more important if the follower is in for the long hall.
4. Follow button - If you plan on following and wanting people to return the favor don't make it hard to find. People don't want to search on how to keep track of you. Study those you look up to in the blogging world. They have their blog set up a certain way for a reason. To make it accessible to newbies.

So there you have it. Ways to make the A to Z Challenge easier and to also make your blogging life a little easier!!! See my cheating (or not cheating) made this blog post shine!

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Attire - for your characters

Day one of the Challenge!

Can you feel the adrenaline pumping in your blood? The excitement that all 600 of us have to work together to have a ton of fun! I am lucky to be a participant two years in a row and this year a co-host.

What. an. honor.

So what am I waiting for? Let's dive in!

Attire- for your characters.


Is it important while writing to know what your character would wear? Short answer - yes (at least from my point of view).

If your main character is a fairy named Fina (yes I have a fairy named Fina) she'll have different clothing than a normal human. One has to be careful with her wings. Are her wings able to bend and form a sweater or are they soft enough to cover up?

What era do they live in? Is this a contemporary novel or a historical novel. If I dress my character as Marie Antoinette and she's going to the supermarket chances are others will notice and the reaction will not be what it should.

So make yourself a character arc. Properly learn not only about your character's personality but also what they should wear!

So how do you work with your characters?