Monday, October 31, 2011

Fight to Write

Blogging and writing go hand in hand for me. I for one couldn't imagine not blogging five days a week OR not being able to write when the moment strikes.

When you feel like your blocked the world crumbles all around you. I, personally, find it hard to bypass the stress to get to the de-stresser.

For the first time in a long time I started running last week. I never felt more alive. My feet hitting the pavement put life back into me. It put the fight back into me. The needed inspiration to get my butt in gear.

I'm still querying for 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS, and in doing so I lose the ability to write anything I like. It wasn't until a month ago I found that if I have faith in myself I can write anything.

Suddenly short stories have crept in my life. Little moments of heaven creeping in. I love writing about holidays and the small moments allow me to capture all my favorite parts!

I also love it because I don't feel pressure. I'm not having to submit to anyone. I do it for the love of writing.

I'm getting back my fight to write and those are the days that make me the happiest!

Have you dabbled in anything lately? How do you fight to write! Taking little moments to write a few words?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I is gonna be published

So, like, today is a big day. I'm still floating on the clouds that started carrying me on the 26th of October. I received my very first contract!

Still Moments Publishing is compiling short stories for the upcoming holidays and I've been accepted for a Valentines Anthology to debut in February 2012! I'm over joyed by the opportunity and can't say enough things about how sweet they are to work with.

It will be an e-book which means I need to kick my butt in gear and get a Kindle (FIRE) that is released in just a few weeks. I need to be making up for lost time!

Anywho rather than the original post I had scheduled I hijacked it to share my good news. I know you wanted to hear it.

So a big thank you for Still Moments Publishing taking a chance on me, and a big thanks to YOU for always keeping me on my toes, supporting me, and HECK for just listening.

Have any good news to share?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Quirky Bucket List

People have been fascinated by my make-shift bucket list so I thought I'd share today. Consider this my truth Thursday.

1. I want to own hand towels that have every day written on them (Mon, Tues, etc). I want to then place them in the guest bathroom when a visitor arrives and see if they'll keep up on the days.
2. Watching someone get lips tattooed on their ass. (This one has already been completed... which is why it made my list).
3. Every place I visit (state wise) try a new cupcake shop. (This will really be until I hit the bucket so it's ongoing for life!)
4. Getting back into in-line skating... (my version of being a safe and chicken shit roller derby girl).
5. Create a haven for writers/bloggers that I'll one day be able to open and we'll get to have a weekend retreat... (this one I'd obviously need all my besties to join in on, but I'd love to do it before I die).

So it's small for the moment, but it'll continue to grow.

What's on your quirky bucket list?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Temps make awesome writers...

As a temp you walk into a world of the unexpected. From dog walking, mental institutions, floral designer assistant, office receptionist, there really is everything in the world of temping.

How does it make you an awesome writer?

You see the world differently. I was a temp for years. When I got bored from one job I moved to the next. Something I've noticed in the world of the creative (singers, artists, painters, writers) we often say "I work four jobs" and I think it's because we don't want to feel tainted. Being stuck inside four white walls asked to push paper sounds depressing and the last thing you want to feel before writing a thousand words is depressed.

I temped for years and even though I now work in an office (for the past three years) I wouldn't change my life for anything. Those temp jobs were fabulous. They gave me great stories for the future, allowed me to learn a lot about people, and character quirks have never been a problem with all the people I've met.

Now that I've settled down I've noticed I chose a job where there are so many personalities that every day truly offers it's own individual story. It has never tainted my creativity, in fact, it is here that I first realized I wanted to be a writer.

Maybe settling down has it's positives too.

What route do you go? Do you that moving around a lot makes for better stories?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Special

Today I thought spookiness should be brought forth on this special week! My husband's birthday is Halloween and we'll be having a big costume bash this weekend (if you're in HOUSTON email me... I'd love for you to stop in)!

Enough about my awesome 'off the blog' life... let's get to the sentences.

1. Three months.
2. There was stillness in the September-morning air that was like stillness in the heart of a gliding submarine, engines extinguished to elude the enemy's listening devices.
3. Jones Cooper feared death.

1. Spooky #1
2. Spooky #2
3. Spooky #3

I'm so used to writing women's fiction that when I fell across amazon's choices this week I was already a little freaked out. Each of these I read a little further... one of which (#1 to be exact) I've read all the way through and loved. She's a blogger and she's fabulous.

So what order will it be this week?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Self-Pubbed: Scary or Inspiring

I know everyone's wondering. What's funny is I don't think as writers we ever used to consider it. So why now?

Lately a lot of my friends have gone the self-pub route. Several of them are chick lit authors just looking to make their mark in the world. Unfortunately a lot of them are having trouble interesting an agent with the current market not being well received because of the name.

So when do you call it quits in the agent world?

Simple answer: Go with your gut.

Hard time figuring out what your guts telling you? Gosh, if it were easy everyone would do it. For me I don't feel it's time. I'm still having fun writing, querying, and just trying to find out the perfect route for me. No method is a cake walk but I have to be honest, hearing my friends are self-publishing terrifies me. As if I'm in their shoes hoping not to drown.

I find them so inspiring. That might actually be the scariest part. Here I'm watching them take a leap of faith into a side of publishing that used to not be well received and I've yet to decide what's right for me. That's admirable, they're courageous and strong.

So what's your take on those who self-publish? Are you one stepping into the waters?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Short Story Endeavor

I'm going to attempt to write a short story. My humorous womens fiction novel 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS is still in the querying world and seeing as the novel ideas are still being perfected and I'm dreaming of a white christmas a short story was the perfect way to feel a void.

I might fail. Then again, I  might soar. The point is I'm going to try it. I see so many fabulous bloggers who write poetry, short stories, and novels. I commend you, it cannot be easy but with your talents I'm sure you'll go far.

I'm not looking to publish anything, this is actually just my chance to get to write the christmas story I've always dreamed of. It also allows me not to butcher it too much with a much smaller word count.

How do you start to write a short story? Yeah, you won't get that advice here... when I'm finished I'll share, but for the meantime I'm still learning.

What random writing projects have you started? Working on holiday projects? Any advice on what to do about this short story I'm writing?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muse it Up

So rather than bore you with another edition of my truths I figured I'd talk about something close to my heart... my muse.

Let's talk muses. I'm fascinated by who inspires people, what you do to keep the inspiration alive. Is your muse music, an individual, a book? I wanna get to know you.

I'm imagining that you'll want to know about mine... one of those "I'll tell you mine, if you tell me yours," sort of deal.

Julie Andrews. Sandra Bullock. Muse.

No not necessarily in that order. However they each serve their own purpose. I like to have them all around at my beckon call, and they all oblige.

Julie Andrews is up first. I love her singing and dancing ability. She really does warm the heart. I just imagine us sitting down for a spot of tea while she tells me the writing will come and not to worry.

Sandra Bullock is my go-to-idea-girl. When I'm feeling alone, sad, and pitiful I stock pile all her movies and watch them from start to finish. By the end I'm raring to write my next novel.

Muse are Gods. They're genius rock out music keeps me pumped in the novel. They're my in the moment Muse and they've never let me down. I love them. I mean like really LOVE them.

So what's yours? Do you have more than one?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ideas don't grow on trees

There needs to be a store that has packets of idea seeds in the backroom. What? You seriously thought it'd be out in the open... I still want to maintain my writer status and not have everyone stealing our ideas. No, this would be the elite (meaning any writer who reads this blog).

I'd go home, plant them, and watch my fabulous idea tree grow. It'd be marvelous on days I'd run low!

Too bad that's not realistic.

So how does one come back with ideas? What are your  little quirks that you do when saying good-bye to an old story and starting new?

I buy notebooks. The prettiest ones I can find so when inspiration strikes it gets the best of the best. I think drown myself in chick flicks, starting with the oldies (but goodies) like While You Were Sleeping and Sleepless in Seattle, then I move to more recent ones like The Proposal.

I then dive into new chick lits/women's fiction to see what the world of publishing is pushing on to it's fabulous and devoted readers. It is then the ideas normally flow... but during this season I'll drink apple cider for added inspiration.

What about you? What brings the ideas out in you? Is it all superstition?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Delicious Reads

I haven't done a Tuesday Twist in a while but I know that everyone really enjoys them. For those unaware I'll share three first sentences of novels I find interesting and see in what order you'd read (if any), all by just sharing the first sentence.

The Sentences
1. He was running for his life.
2. The end came quickly, and there wasn't any pain.
3. "Keep in Touch," I called, waving a not-so-tearful goodbye to my co-workers for the last time.

The Reveal
1. Contemporary Fiction
2. Young Adult
3. Chick Lit

I love number one. I haven't read it but already ordered it. She's a well known author and has everyone at her fingertips!

Number two I had the honor of not only reading and enjoying, but got to meet the author as well at the Austin Teen Book Festival.

Three is a new author whom I adore, she joins me as frequently as she can over at my new hashtag #chicklitchat on Thursday evenings and I adore her. Seriously get to know her, she's amazing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The many hats of a Writer

Oh the responsibilities of a writer. I've noticed the networking world is being overtaken by so many fabulous writers as a way to make sure their books are being taken seriously. It's here I wondered what part of the process they started first.

Most blogger will tell you that starting your blog BEFORE your novel is out is key. I agree with them. It's a lot of work to up keep, it's a lot of work to gather an audience and keep them captivated. Though your main goal is to sell your book you can't overflow them with BUY ME! SERIOUSLY BUY ME! In doing that you'll alienate yourself completely and no one will want to even look in that direction. Nope, you need to look for friendships, long term relationships for book number two even.

Then shows up Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. When does it end? How does one keep up with it all? For me, it's impossible. In fact, just last week I gave up watching my klout score, the battle of the up and down was intense, the pressure to stay connected was too tough.

I forgot what I loved to do most. Comment and visit other blogs. It's where I want to spend my time. As well as writing. It's not easy juggling all the hats of a writer but when you start to juggle them all no one notices your trying to reach perfection because you're drowning in your own need to be everywhere.

I guess what I'm saying is focus on the loves and let the others go.

How do you handle all the hats of a writer? What's your number two (since I know #1 is writing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thinking Outside the Laptop

Most of us use our laptop as our guide to the outside world and the stories we want to write, but how many of us take it outside the laptop?

As you all know I'm newest to the outlining world but rather than mapping it out on the computer I'm a notebook kind of girl.

I've heard of scrivener and several other places where you can map out chapters, sequences, the works, but for me the notebook does the same. Not to mention it's much easier access when sitting on the couch with ice cream in hand...  less distractions.

Right now I have six notebooks, each with their own story idea. I fill the notebook full, the ideas, the plots, the character development. Anything and everything that comes to mind is in that notebook.

Also, for me, once I've written the book on the computer (yeah, that's NOT happening in the notebook), I'll add the dedication and acknowledgements to let me know that I've completed the work and thanked everyone for all their hard work and thoughts!

So... do you ever think outside the laptop? If not TRY it also keeps you away from all the distractions you'll find online!

HAPPY WEEKEND PEEPETTES (I would have said peepers for the guys but that would have been weird)!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When All Things Random Fall Here

Happy Thursday, Happy People. It's been a while since I've done a truth post and seeing as I've needed a break from all things writing related what better than to dump some truth on you!

As you all know, if you read this, you must add your own truths. I hate to do it alone!

1. If I could have holiday decorations out all year round I would. My hubby already knows that when we buy a house half of the garage will need shelving for all the holiday decorations I already own... and plan to add.

2. I'm bummed knowing this weekend is the last Roller Derby Bout I'll see for several months. It's the championship and I hope my lovable team wins! And for kicks I'll show you just how addicted my husband and I are... This week we'll add red & black in our hair! (isn't my hubby the cutest!)

3. The Renaissance Festival began last weekend and we were there ALL DAY LONG. Oh the people you come across, it really is one of those disturbing, but you can't look away sort of events! If you ever visit Houston come in October or November to experience the fun!

4. This week my friend Rose Cooper's latest book Rumors from the Boys Room is out and she added me in  her ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS! Talk about being overwhelmed by all the awesome! She's a rockstar and I feel privileged enough to be included!

5. It rained! For those of you not living in Houston it's been AWFUL not having rain. Fires everywhere and as I write this post it's thundering, lightening, and yup, it's raining. Joy to the world. Now if only it'd cool off so I can enjoy some apple cider!

So what are all your truths? Set me up on some of the fun, awkward, and memorable truths!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Facebook and poetry, do they go hand in hand?

I have the fabulous Angela Felsted stopping in for a guest post on how facebook status updates can be like poetry! Why waste time with my blabbering... take it away Angela!

Five ways facebook status updates are like poetry:

1. A punch line is key.

“A transcript of the fight my girls had this morning.
Lainey: Look, Donna. My strawberry's bigger than yours.
Donna: No, it's not!
Me: Stop fighting girls. Size doesn't matter.”

2. Both are more effective if you leave a few things up to the imagination.

“You know you're a mom of little kids when you hear yourself saying stuff like this. ‘Keep your clothes on, please!’”

3. Sometimes the best stuff is the dirtiest.

“Took my kids to the pediatrician today. This is me, ‘Don't touch the equipment. No, stop, don't crawl on the floor. What are you doing? Don't ever play in the trash can!’”

4. Good things happen when you let your creative babies run free.

“Who knew the key to potty training my son was letting him run around naked? My eyes have been opened: naked children are happy children.”

5. Dialogue is good, but only if it has a purpose.

“Donna (age 6): Mom, can I have milk.
Me: You can have water.
Donna, stomping her foot: You're supposed to say yes or no!
Me: Just get your water and stop criticizing me.
Donna: Criticizing isn't even a real word!"

And just for fun, here’s a poem that makes use of my ‘status update’ guidlines:


some say a happy marriage is
based on patience . . . roses
diamonds, strawberries dipped
in warm gooey chocolate.
but I say the state of a
marriage rides on the utterance
of one simple sentence,
“honey, where are my socks?”

Now for the other fun part... her poetry chapbook is being released in January!!! So, if you love Angela and you love poetry you should pre-order it! Aren't they adorable on the cover? There is also a nice little book trailer/music video too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When comma's destroy you...

So all those who read my work know that my lack of comma usage can be annoying. I write run-on sentences like nobody's business. If you met me, you'd get it.

The good thing about avoiding comma's is that I don't make silly mistakes. Here are some of the fun one's I made it and came across while searching Google!

1. My interests include:
Cooking dogs, shopping, dancing, reading, and watching movies.

Yeah, not sure how I feel about cooking dogs.

2. Slow children crossing.

I don't think that's for us to decide.

3. Let's eat Grandpa.

Let's eat, Grandpa. <-- Correct punctuation can save a person's life.

Care to add any to the list?? I am still giggling.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kick A** Author Debut Spotlight - Lauren DeStefano

Christina Lee got a bunch of us together to participate in a Spotlight for 2011 Debut Authors!!! We were each to choose a delicious book that is easily devoured and share with our awesome bloggers!!!

What did I choose? Well, it was tough to choose one, and several pounced at some of the first one's that crossed my mind, BUT I beat them when choosing WITHER!


Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

Lauren DeStefano is brilliant! This is not a happy story but a story of survival! This wonderfully written tale is about a girl named Rhine, she is a deeply developed character that will leave you wanting more. Her raw emotions allows her to see the world for exactly what it is. She struggles not only what she wants to believe in but also with feelings she'd like to deny.

This dystopian novel was unique in every sense. Walking into a situation with sister wives in the adult world is definitely breaking molds so DeStefano using it in young adult was daring, but it paid off. Rhine is kidnapped and taken from her twin brother, she's forced to marry Linden Ashby. In doing so, she also finds Linden is wed to Jenna and Cecily. At the beginning their worlds collide, the only connection is Linden, but in time they create a very strong bond, leaving every reader to connect and understand them as they understand themselves. Throughout the story Rhine struggles against set­tling for future as a pam­pered but caged wife and escap­ing to her free­dom and return to her brother.

As a reader you'll struggle on what life you want for Rhine. Here she's created such a unique bond and friendship with Linden and her sister wives you don't want to see it broken a part. However, the life she lived before still exist, and with the connection to her brother you'll understand why she's torn, because you will be as well.

THIS IS A MUST READ! So why are you still at my blog? BUY IT! Or... since I loved it so much why not do a GIVEAWAY? That's right, one lucky winner (yes this is international) will walk away a winner! Add your email in the comments and I'll choose  winner this week!

Check out the other 2011 Debut Authors chosen!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Switching POV

Last week I was at a complete standstill in the writing world. I often find this problem when I begin querying. I feel like I've lost myself and it takes a bit to find me and get back to action.

Everyone knows I have an idea bucket. When a seed is planted in my head, I love to write it down and keep it safely tucked in my idea bucket for a later day. After all those ideas don't stay locked up in the brain forever.

Now most of you know I've written six novels in the year and a half I've been blogging. Four of them were young adult and the other two were Chick lit. Switching my genre showed me I'd finally found my place in the big world of writing and feel safe and secure in my choice.

However, it then got me wondering. When an agent represents you and you've made your money in one genre, they often like you to keep within that genre. Now, I know they're not against you switching, but if they don't rep it, chances are you'll be thrown back in agent waters all over again.

It got me thinking if switching point of views was the same way. What if one was used to reading your work in first person. Would they be open to you switching to third person? What if it remained in the same genre?

What? You expected me to answer? This one is really open to my fellow bloggers and writers. How big of a difference is it if you switching POV's because you  know it'll make the story that much stronger? Will agents still want that book? Are they more based on your story telling and personality versus how the story is actually told?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ten foot blow up... No, not a doll

It's thursday again and it's seeming like people love the days in which I talk about the crazy antics that happen in the Daiker household. Seeing as I'm such a giving person I graciously share my ridiculous antics.

This week my hubby and I were talking about Halloween decorations. This year we're going to be buying some fabulous stuff for the good old halloween party, it's tradition in our household. With the hubster a halloween baby it's only right.

Me: I really want that ten foot blow up door piece.

Hubs: No way is a door piece ten feet Jen. Are you talking about the thing we saw at Walmart? (Note to readers: This is Jen talk)

Me: Yup. The black and orange thing with like those things hanging down.

Hubs: We need to see what your mom already has before we start buying crap.

Me: It isn't crap and she most certainly doesn't own this, it's new. But she'll want to own it.

Hubs: I'm not buying it because you want it.

Me: Isn't that the only reason you buy stuff?

Hubs: *silent* (He knows I'm right)

Me: Besides I think we should buy everything, after all, options, options, options!

Hubs: Quit switching the realtors words around.

Me: She had a good point though.

Hubs: Yes about locations, that has nothing to do with halloween.

Me: Sure it does. That ten foot thing belongs at the front entrance. Location, location, location.

So I'm sure you'd like an update. That ten foot thing-a-ma-bob will be purchased by the time Halloween rolls around. I sold him the minute he said the word location. I think you saw it. It was all a setup. I take full responsibility for being completely unaware that he'd plant the seed that would allow me to sell him on the idea.

What weird conversations have you walked into lately?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stars, Trees, Sunset...

Today I have a new author, Lorena Bathey who wrote the novel Beatrice Munson!

You know the drill - I’ll ask some really random questions to get to know how the writer really thinks!

1. What was your favorite sitcom growing up?

One Day at a Time with Valerie Bertinelli

2. What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?

I'm a romantic...the eyes...then the wrists. I know, weird!

3. What famous landmark would you love to see in person?

Well, this isn't exactly a landmark but the leaves changing in the fall on the East Coast.

4. What’s your current obsession?

Photography and the jewelry on!

5. Describe your perfect evening.

It's a toss up between two. First, is with the whole family together, kids, grand kids having dinner and laughing. Second, spending the night with my busband (more than a boyfriend, more like a husband) at a new restaurant enjoying a delicious meal and even more delicious conversation.

Okay now on to our one word answers…

1. Climb a tree or the tire swing: Tire Swing
2. Lavish party or small get together: Small get together
3. Cosmo or Margarita: Okay..that's a tough one. Gonna say Cosmo!
4. Take the photo or be the star: I'm a Leo...gotta say Star!
5. Sunrise or Sunset:'s time for happy hour ;)
It's true, you really learn a lot about a person based on their answers! I love the LEO being brought out and her excuse to enjoy the sunset! She's one smart cookie! For more information on the fabulous Lorena visit the link at the top of the page!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Carrie Bradshaw minus the sex

Someone last week told me I reminded them of Carrie Bradshaw. Apparently my blog has a certain something laid on the table.

Since I'm, well, me, I decided I should disect the situation until I came to the truth.

For the record: I adore Carrie and the Sex and The City gang. It seems when writing this post I was in a snarkier mood therefore it may come off as.... snappish (yes I'm using Hannah's phrase from the comments). LONG LIVE THE COCKTAIL QUEENS!

In ways I'm like Carrie...

I'm blonde.
I can make bad decisions when picking out clothing.
Shoe hoarding would be possible if I was a fictional character with lots of money.

In ways I'm not like Carrie...

I don't sleep with every available guy (even if she claims it's 'research').
I don't get paid for my awesome posts.
I never cheated on Aidan.
I don't have uptight, overworked, sex addict friends.

Wow. This blogger is right. I am Carrie Bradshaw, minus the sex, the emotional instability, and the over the top friends.

Thank you avid follower for bringing this to my attention. Your flattery has gotten you everywhere. Keep on keepin' on.

Who do you remind people of? Dare I ask who you think I remind you of?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Twitter land Rocks

Let's just say I've become obsessed with social media. What can I say, it suits me.

My therapist says I lack attention in reality.

Hmm, probably true Dr. House, probably true.

Then again I'd say he lacks bedside manner, yet people still want him to solve problems.

I suppose there's something there. I'll have to disect the facts later.

I'm not here to talk about my therapy sessions at 8 o'clock on FOX, I'm here to talk about why Twitterland rocks. For those of you who aren't conforming, hop on this here bandwagon. You wanna learn the ropes? Well, I'm about to help you out.

Reasons Twitter Land Rocks.

1. Cutting in on conversations is not only allowed, it's encouraged.
2. Random becomes your middle name. (If you don't find yourself funny, nor does anyone else, do not attempt this alone. Use backup). My best tweets (most retweeted) last week were as follows:

*rides onto twitterland on my little pony* Oh, hello twitterland *adds princess wave*

Let the DRUNK TWEETING begin.

Who would tattoo the Japanese word for Fishy Smell on their body? Apparently someone if it's an option --> Right next to the word Prison

You know you're a writer when progress is putting clothes on before noon.

3. No one has time to get bored in a 140 characters (unless you just suck).
4. Stalking is legal.

There you have it, you're allowed to stalk, cut in on conversations, talk about weird ass crap, and everyone loves you because it's only in 140 characters. That's why it rocks. That's why people find people fascinating.

I worry about future generations. I really, really do. Have you conformed?

Join me --> @jenunedited