Monday, January 30, 2012

Always Anonymous, We Thank You

Fashion designers find inspiration in fabrics.

Chef's find inspiration in tasting foods.

Cyclists and marathon runners find inspiration in wide open spaces.

Photographers find inspiration in colors, architecture, and nature.

Writers find inspiration in everything. From fabrics to the people who are purchasing them, everything tells a story and we're the one's who were put in this world to share it. Isn't it an amazing thing to think about?

Question: When you tell someone you're a writer aren't they immediately open to sharing more with you?

I've never met a person who's shut down. In fact, if anything, they open up even more. Is it because we're more relatable? Something that makes these individuals safe to share their secrets with us? Do they realize we might find a story in what they're telling? Or is that what they want? For the story to be told, but they just don't have the heart to write it out themselves?

To those who will always remain anonymous... Thank you for sharing your story. It is because of you, we as writers will always carry the what if's of life. Thank you for breathing life into our words and making our characters more than just cardboard cut-outs.

Where do your ideas come from? Would you thank anyone?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Writing on the wall

Today I'm keeping it simple. There is so much happening in the blogging world, I want to know what you're all up too!

What are you writing?

Have you recently switched genres?

What are you reading?

Should I be adding anything delicious to my TBR pile?

I love to hear what everyone has going on. I think it pulls us closer together as a community! For me, personally, I'm working on a new short story for Still Moments Publishing, working on adoption (can you save a cupcake? Look at the sidebar), and house buying.

Trying to mix both worlds can be so TOUGH! Are you one that's struggling?

Write on the wall and tell me what's happening!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Swapping Lives with Authors

What if you had the opportunity to be on an episode of Author Swap (similar of Wife Swap <-- Yes, I watch a lot of TV). Who would you choose?

Lately after watching episodes of Celebrity Wife Swap it's had me thinking who I'd swap with. You ready? Here.We.Go.

Talli Roland. She's MADE OF AWESOME. Not to mention her blog posts are always whisking me off in the beautiful land she lives in. I'd be reading her non-fiction novels 24 Hours in London & 24 Hours in Paris running all about town seeing if her life really is as lavish as it seems.

Emily Giffin & Sophie Kinsella. Women's fiction geniuses, these ladies are! For Emily, it'd be all about her house and what it's like to have her book made into a movie (since Something Borrowed was just released). For Sophie Kinsella it'd be all about finding out what this Shopaholic's writer is all about.

J.K. Rowling. I think everyone would add this one to their list. There is just something magical about the world she'd created, it would just be interesting to see how life is AFTER Harry Potter. What does she do?
What would they look forward to swapping with me? Zumba and Kick Boxing classes. Eating out (BONUS... they wouldn't have to cook). Blogging and working on edits.

In all honesty, my life would be boring in comparison, I'd think.

Who would you swap with?

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Road to Publication is Pure Insanity

Today I have the fabulous Jolene Perry stopping in to share her road to publication. I find hearing others stories inspire others. It also shows that no TWO PEOPLE are the same!

Take it away, Jolene!

My first book, The Next Door Boys, went like this –

1. Submitted to the largest publisher in the niche market.

2. Rejection.

3. Found a killer awesome beta reader.

4. Did some revisions.

5. Re-submitted to another of the three large publishers in the niche market.

6. Got offer of publication.

7. The Next Door Boys was signed in January of 2011, and came out in October of 2011.

(Seems so simple, right? BUT at this time I didn’t have an agent to help with my contract or to push for a two-book deal, or to push for ebooks to follow the paperback in a timely manner, or, or, or… I don’t care who you publish with, it’s really, really nice to have someone deal with the business/sales end of things)

Next two seem more complicated, but have really been WAY less stressful (aside from maybe the query part) – ready??

1. Begin querying in December of 2010.

2. Don’t eat. Don’t sleep. Hit refresh on email an embarrassing amount per day, or hour, or minute, or you know, whatever.

3. Some requests, some rejections. Keep writing frantically to have new material. This goes on until June of 2011.

4. Offer of rep. from an agent I met on #yalitchat (never underestimate the awesomeness that is twitter)

5. Notify other agents who have one or two of my projects, and pull out hair wondering WHO to go with.

6. My agent goes through almost the same process for submission as I went through for querying – WAY less stressful than querying. I turned it over to her. All I have to do now is keep writing.

7. An editor I really wanted to work with loved Night Sky – I thought this is it! A done deal, but it’s NOT. The board at the publishing house passed. Was told that the writing is stellar, but not enough of a commercial hook.

8. We continue to search, and continue to have editors like my writing, but can’t sell to their pub house.

9. Tell my agent – we’ve talked about finding me an epublisher – find me someone who loves my book as much as I do because I want it OUT. I have other projects I want to focus on.

10. Lauren (my agent) finds an epublisher who loves my story. Sign a two-book deal for Night Sky and Knee Deep. I’m SO SO SO excited to be working with Tribute Books who is in the process of shifting their whole line to the YA market.

The point of this whole long rambling post is that there are a TON of ways to get published. Everyone finds what works best for them, and not just for them, but for each project.

This is what worked for me, and for these particular manuscripts. Well, and my writing career is and always will be a work in progress…

Thanks for having me Jen!!

You can find me HERE
And on goodreads HERE

Click over and see what Jolene's doing these days! Feel free to share your story in the comments! I love hearing how different we all are!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nancy's don't network... No, not you Nancy

My friend and I were talking about networking and marketing the other day. When to start, how to start, and when to say ‘I suck at this, will anyone notice if I stop sucking at it?’

Blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time… BUT… can be a whole lot of fun.

I'm down to blogging three times a week and so far it’s freed up quite a bit of time to devote to commenting (which I adore). But with life comes more… life. Babies show up, houses go for sale, and books still go on sale.

My first short story, Snowbanked, was released last week and it was then the chaos hit me. What's fabulous is that I've already networked my way around the worldwide web and all I needed to do was ask my lovely friends to allow me to blog hop a few rounds.

Turns out, positive polly walks away with a lot more than negative nancy.

All the friendships I made through the two years of blogging allowed me to have the experience of a lifetime when my ebook went on sale. The congrats, along with virtual hugs and cupcakes was amazing. Not to mention everyone who RUSHED off my blog to go purchase my book.

It just shows that my personality reaches people, and my positive polly nature keeps you all coming back, (or so I'm telling myself).

The piece of advice I leave you with? Blog because you love too, don't think of it as a chore, but more as a time to meet with friends. You're grabbing the cup of joe, or enjoying take-out, while spending time with all your buddies.

Have you met negative nancy's around the blog? How do you handle the attitude? Any good news... share in the comments!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Explaining world building to those who don't build worlds.

Explaining your story can get complicated. I’m talking golden-brown-marshmallows-over-a-fire-pit-because-you’re-the-only-one-who-doesn’t-like-them-burnt kind of complicated.

The horror writer. For those who write about serial killers, you don’t want to be viewed as the newest office stalker. Or, now that they know you how to murder someone without leaving evidence they tip toe around your cubicle, leaving you to be the one who feels uneasy.

The romance author. You want to promote your book but the office is filled with males and they think all already do is day dream about love and roses. They also think you’ll expect a man to sweep you off your feet and they’re not willing to take you out base on that fact alone… having to work from something.

The YA author. You write for kids therefore you use tiny words and still live in high school (which is probably half true).

I’m writing a dystopian YA and with that came this conversation.

“You world build?” Co-worker asked.

“Yup, it’s so much fun,” I said (with excitement).

“Well what world are you building?”

“It’s kind of hard to explain… but, there’s this world where there are three divisions, normals, recreated, and the elite. This girl uses her recreated leg to get her on a certain bus that rides into this place that has her sister.”

“Is this like Harry Potter?” <-- Everyone relates YA to Harry Potter.

“Not really.”

“But you said it was for kids.”

“Yeah, and I didn’t mention magic.”

“Magic might make it cooler,” they had to point out (clearly they know nothing).

*stares at co-worker with disgust*

“What, it would.”

“I’m just not explaining it well. It’s complicated and awesome, but you don’t have to read it.” <-- Unless I become famous of course, then you’ll want to know me and I’ll be like Ellen and NOT thank you when I win the People’s Choice Award.

*we stare at our respective computers and stay silent for the remainder of the day*

So yeah, I should probably get better at pitching. Or maybe stop telling people who don’t read. I choose the latter… for now. Any of your own encounters?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Plans to Adopt


This post is going to be a little on the serious side. For those of you who don't know, my husband and I are about to adopt our first child.

Long story short, we can't bear children.

So we decided, January 2012, was our month (and year) to start. Several of you have asked if I'd blog about adoption, as you'd find it interesting, and well, as you can see, I've decided to take you up on it.

Blogging could be very therapeutic (it works for my writing, anyway).

To give you an idea of what we're up against. The fee's are astronomical. Though I could never put a price on babies, the world has. That price is currently $20K. Not a walk in the park, that's for sure. That of course, doesn't count the birth mother fees.

My husband and I are not panicking. The world works in mysterious ways, and we're hoping that those mysterious ways are headed to Houston.

We are BEYOND excited at the opportunity to have children. We've already started creating our 'book'. It's this little gem that, once complete, will sit in front of the birth mother in hopes for us to be the perfect couple for her baby.

This will by no means be an easy process, and I'll keep you updated with what's happening. For now, you know all I know. If you have questions ask away in the comments, or shoot me an email. You've been the most amazing support system and I know this round will be no different.

AUTHOR NOTE: If there are any of you who'd like to help my husband and I adopt a child, please feel free to use the donate button below my About Me. Any amount would be splendid! I'm forgoing cupcakes and creating a 'baby jar' rather than my usual 'cupcake jar'.

What serious plans do you have for 2012?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm Published!!!!

I'm keeping it simple today! I'm visiting Talli's blog and talking about my first published works, Snowbanked (and exes)! Go on, read away!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Editing Your Vocabulary

We plot our ideas. Build our characters. Write our stories. We've spent time molding each chapter to our every specification.
Also known as the editing process.

Some find this portion an absolute disaster. No desire to flip through the notebook (or laptop) and make their manuscript shine. Not because they hate edits... but because they're scared.

I used to be one. I still have five novels untouched. Guess what... this is the first time I want to dig those broken pieces out of the invisible garbage and make them sparkle.

AJ Nuest... one of the editors at Still Moments Publishing showed me what fun editing can be. Yes, she pushed me farther than I probably wanted to be pushed. But every step of the way was worth it.

Who is my best friend while editing? AJ, definitely human wise... but I'm referring to the Thesaurus.

Words are fun! Us writers (misconstrued as geeks) have a love of words. I was forced (happily) to broaden my horizon in the writing world. I'm no longer writing simple sentences like - I ran through the forest. I allow myself to be more free and descriptive - I breathed deep, taking in the brisk air as the branches hit my ankles, my barefeet leaping across the leaves.

I stopped being afraid. I started to take chances. It's led me to three wonderful short stories being published in 2012. Sometimes believing in yourself is more powerful than others believing in us.

What's your favorite part about editing? How do you make it fun when it becomes daunting?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dreaming is for ROCKSTARS

So the other day I had a weird dream. For those of you in real life, who know me, know not only do I talk in my sleep but I have some vivid ass dreams.

My husband is SO LUCKY (yes, that's sarcasm). This is the kind of stuff he gets day in and day out...

Me: Damn, that was vivid.
Hubs: *rubs eyes* Huh?
Me: My dream, it was wicked. I lost a leg.
Hubs: Were you in the army?
Me: *giggles* That's absurd. I don't like war. It was in a doctor's office, or something like that. There was this bad guy, he drugged me with some weird stuff that makes you woozy and not feel pain. He cut off my left leg, only up to the knee cap, and then told me he was going to leave me there to bleed.
Hubs: Seriously?
Me: Yeah, but I wasn't scared. It was a trip, weird not feeling scared. There was a McDonald's out the window and a table that had my escape route planned out. It was wicked. There were two dead bodies, girls who looked just like me, no legs... wicked I tell you.
Hubs: I don't know how to respond.
Me: *ignores his comment* What's super weird was that was his profession. He made prosthetic legs... I don't know his plans for the real one's he was taking, but I was going to survive. I know I was.
Hubs: And then you woke.
Me: Yup. What's brilliant is it fits perfectly in with my young adult novel idea. Genius. I love weird dreams like that. They make my day.
Hubs: Cool (said in a dull tone, of course). You should shower or we'll be late.

Moral of the story: Don't go to bed hungry or McDonalds debuts (can't get away from them).

There you have it. I just proved dreaming is for rockstars (or the mentally unstable). How do you dream?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sexy and Shopping do not mix

Picture this.

Geez. Do I have to spell it out? Me trapsing through the supermarket with high heels, a southern bell gown, big blonde locks (purchased online... they're not natural), and plumped lip glossed lips (also paid for).

Yeah. Today I'm making a stand. Us woman, housewives, moms, any female with a man, have a lot to deal with. A lot of men expect a certain something special from their female (get your heads out of the gutter boys and girls).

They (as in male pigs... not my dear male bloggers) have this image in their brain that we as women have no problem wearing our best. While outside of the house (with something naughty underneath), watching the children (still looking incredibly sexy), cooking (with a chefs jacket - preferably nothing else), cleaning (in the provactive maid outfit we just so happened to have purchased from VS last week), and when the children are bathed and in bed, we're supposed to be ready to put on a damn show.

I'm here to put a stop to this madness. If I had children you'd be lucky for me to change the puke stained t-shirt I'm wearing after waking up at 3am to change a diaper, watching the little humans all day, (still getting blogging AND writing done), and putting them to bed, all while you finished an eight hour work day (with no screaming).

I've recently come across a few men and listened to how silly they're being with all the pressure they put on their wives. I couldn't help but share my thoughts (and most women's views in this world). It's a new year and it's about time these ridiculous images get out of the male head. Feel free to send them to Unedited, I think I've set the record straight... and if the words aren't working, here's a picture of what you'll actually get if you don't give your woman a break...

If you wanted a Victoria Secret model you should be a little taller, a little more chisled, and a little more famous (you don't see us complaining about your height or your recent weight gain...) You get what you get, so take it (and buy it - as in her - some flowers).

I should mention, my husband does none of the above. I clean (yes that's it, I'm not proud). The reason he married me was for my personality (at least I'd hope so or I remain clueless). This post has nothing to do with my personal life, and if it did it would no longer be my personal life... So really, this post is for anyone wanted to waste two minutes of your life. You're welcome.

Care to add any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome Back


Welcome to the new and improved (and by that I mean absolutely no change, whatsoever) UNEDITED.
I hope to bring you lots of random conversations in my life, quirky interviews, and reader twists. Yup, that's my New Years gift to you. Take it or leave it. Thank you for always stopping in and sharing your comments, I love EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

This post isn't just welcoming all of you back to the world of blogging... it's to remind you of two awesome ladies who were off the blogging grid for a bit. They've decided to start the new year right (with us, obvs).

Abby & Colene!! I'm so happy to have them back in the blogging world.

They're ROCKSTARS. Not to mention, having a ROCKSTAR giveaway because they're back in town. What are you waiting for... this screen isn't offering you anything, go on over and tell Abby & Colene just how awesome they are! And if you haven't met them... this is your opportunity.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Author note: Hermione didn't win... in fact, she was spanked by Clary. That being said it's been a WHOLE LOT OF FUN. Thank you to all who voted and helped me out. Look out for Wednesday's post... there is gonna be a link to a giveaway!

I thought, maybe if I said it out loud, it'd be true. Apparently that method hasn't worked... yet... I remain hopeful.

It's that time again! Hermione Granger made it to the FINAL FOUR! Now she needs your help to make it to the final two and this my friends, is NO JOKE! We're up against Cassandra Clare's Clary, and they've been walking away with upwards of THREE THOUSAND VOTES! I know our girl Hermione is a rockstar, I'm just going to hope we can get her close if not all the wayto the FINAL TWO.

How can you help? Vote, tweet, vote, facebook, did I mention vote? Yea, that'd be nice. And just to add a little more fuel the fire, here's me, making a fool of myself. Yup, a you tube sensation! To share the awesomeness find the linkage here!