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Showing posts from May, 2011

Crazy Fun Weekend (pics)

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Whew!  I had a long, crazy-busy weekend.  My baby bear had his first birthday, I can't believe he's already a year old :'(  We pretty much partied all weekend.  Here's the Finding Nemo cake . . . nothing is more adorable than watching a one year old try cake for the first time!



This smaller cake is the "SMASH" cake :)

He got spoiled--seriously spoiled--with all his presents.  My little ladybug got a bunch too (she was such a good sport).
After a long day of partying and playing we went to the drive in and saw Kung Fu Panda 2.  Which was cute.  Lady bug kept sticking her head out of the sun roof so she could watch the new Pirates movie playing on the screen behind us (that's my girl).  Then the kids fell asleep and I got to see Thor.  Which was pretty awesome.  I didn't get to see the ending though because it was about 1:30 am and the kids woke up and got cranky.  I'm a big fan of mythology and loved to see a creative take on it.  And Chris Hemsw…

Narritive Summary vs. Active Scenes

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"Show don't tell."  As writers this is a phrase that we've heard countless times over the years, but never have I heard it explained in such straight-forward language as in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.  The entire first chapter was devoted to a discussion about the differences. 

I always thought that I knew the difference and was actually quite good at showing. . .  Now I'm not so sure.

The authors say that a writer shouldn't give the reader information, they should give them an experience.  I find this to be such simple advice, but so brilliantly stated.  I want my readers to experience everything that my character does.

The example that they use is from The Great Gatsby.  First they show a narrative summary of the scene, which provides all the same information and is grammatically perfect but lacks interest.  Then the show the scene how it was written by Fitzgerald.  Huge difference.  The same information got across but in a much more interesting w…

Book Review: The First Test by Tamora Pierce

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First Test by Tamora Pierce


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Keladry, known as Kel, has always wanted to be a knight but must deal with the disapproval of some of her teachers and fellow students. But when her young servant is kidnapped on the day of the public exams, Kel has to choose . . . to follow her dreams, or her convictions.

Tamora Pierce did a beautiful job with this fantasy story. Kel was so well thought out that by the end of the book I felt like I knew her. Very rarely do I come across a book where the characters are as well written as the ones in this book.

I laughed with Keladry, sighed, and moaned with her. I couldn't stop rooting for her. Kel's journey showed growth and strength and was completely satisfying. I can't wait to read more of her triumphs.

The depiction of the castle and training field where very well executed but not to exhausting extent as many fantasy writers are guilty of.

The pacing was perfect. The theme was strong. The writing…

Momentum!

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Ready.  Set.  WRITE! 
For me momentum is key.  When I get in writing mode I'm like a freight train, there's no stopping me.  It's like a race to see if my fingers can keep up with my brain.  Luckily I'm having one of those days today!

For the last few weeks (since my vacation) I've found it terribly hard to get anything done.  I wouldn't call it writers block, more like lack of motivation and letting life get in the way of my writing.  Finally, finally, I'm having a good writing day. 

Maybe its the weather.  It's been raining a lot in Utah.  Or maybe its that I'm reading an amazing book (Paranormalcy by Kiersten White).  Reading something great always tickles my muse into action.  Or maybe its just that my little family has finally gotten over the flu and life is getting back to normal. 

Whatever it is I couldn't be happier!

My WIPs are all begging for attention, but I'm making myself focus on Smolder right now.  I have a big birthday com…

Book Review: Sweep (volume 1)

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Sorry this week's book review is a day late, I had the flu.  Eek.  I'm feeling much better now and promise to keep up on my posting.  I have a lot of blogs to read too, I want to get caught up with all you so I'll spend most of my day reading blogs . . . if the Bug and Bear cooperate.  They're both still a bit under the weather. 

I was going to post my review of Dean Koontz' Frankenstein #3 but well . . . it just wasn't my favorite, actually it totally disappointed me.  I gave it 3 stars but really it was 2.5, I just like to round up.  I decided to post a review of something else because I'm just tired of the negativity.  I'm ever the optimist and posting negative things just isn't my style.  If you're still interested in reading the review you can find it on Goodreads here.

I'd like to start doing something new with my book reviews. Since I'm writing them for the benefit of writers I think I'll start to focus more on what I've …

Sickly plus New Books and Zumba

I've been sick with some crazy strand of the flu.  Ugh.  My little ones got sick from a Mother's Day outing and infected me.  I thought I was going to resist but alas my immune system failed me. *insert overly dramatic sigh*

The only good thing that came out of yesterday was the mail.  I received my amazon order, yay! 

I got two new books on writing/editing.  The first one I'm going to read is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print.  So excited, it sounds like the perfect book to re-energize me about Smolder.  The second book is How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card.  This book was recommended to me by a friend, I'm curious if it will live up to their praise.  I'm hoping it will help me with the dystopia book I'm planning.

I'll post any tips that I find interesting or helpful as I come across them. 

Some of you might know that I'm a workout/nutrition freak.  Which means I was literally jumping up and d…

Thankful for Thursday: Real Life Heroes

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Over at the Oasis for YA they host a weekly meme called Thankful for Thursdays where we "share our gratitude" with the world.  Sending those good grateful vibes out into the world :)  This week's topic is Real Life Heroes.


I've been fortunate enough to have many real life heroes in my world.   

My kids are amazing.  They inspire me and help me to rediscover the magic in everyday things.  I love seeing things through their eyes.

My Mama is incredible.  She's my best friend and most trusted advisor :)  She's always been my first reader.  She's business smart, highly logical, and incredibly well read.  Her opinions are always constructive and helpful and she never sugar coats her thoughts.  I'm so grateful for her honesty and her patience and her willingness to help me.

My Great Grandma passed away when I was twelve, but she is who originally inspired me to write.  She was a master storyteller and poet.  On hot summer nights we'd lay under the stars…

For the Love of Monsters

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  Vampires in the vein of Anne Rice are one of my favorites.  I also love werewolves and ghosts and any number of other monsters that go bump in the night.  But the worst kind of monster is of the human variety.  They're that much more terrifying because they could be real people.  Hannibal Lector is one of the absolute most terrifying villains in my opinion.  He's highly intelligent, articulate, cool under pressure, and there's a method behind his madness.  Creepy. 

Another favorite villain category of mine is creepy children.  Honestly, how disturbing is a crazy little girl?  When I did theatre I often played this type of character and those parts where some of my favorite roles.  Speaking of Anne Rice, Claudia from Interview with the Vampire comes to mind.  Though technically she's not a villain.

Villains and Monsters can make or break a book for me.  They're every bit as important as the hero in my mind (and sometimes even more fun to write).  I'm readi…

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

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First and most importantly, Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mom's out there!  Being a mom is the hardest job I've ever had, and the most rewarding.  Cheers to you all!!

I usually only post reviews that I can give at least a 3 to, but I was just so disappointed in this one.  I resisted reading this book for a long time, but I saw it at the library before I left on a trip and figured why not?  I didn't want to read something I would be too engrossed in during my vacation.  In that respect this was the perfect book.

SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:  Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doe…

5 Faves Friday: Swoon Worthy Males

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For this weeks installment of 5 Faves Friday I'm posting my top 5 favorite male characters of all time.  Hold on to your hearts girls, these men will snatch them before you know what's happening!

#1) Rhett Butler (Gone With The Wind) - Need I say more?  He's so darn sexy and charming and smooth.  One of the things that makes him most sexy to me is his relentless pursuit of Scarlett.  He's a man who knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to possess it. 

#2) Dimitry (Vampire Academy Series) - I totally love the older teacher thing going on here.  Its a take on the whole forbidden romance thing that hasn't been over done.  I love it and love him.  He's so sexy to Rose, which makes him so sexy to us.  Jeez the chemistry between those two is combustible!

#3) Damon (Vampire Diaries Series) - Stefan is too good.  As you can probably already tell from my list, I like the bad boys.  The badder the better.  I liked him best in the books, but I have to admit Ian So…

Blog Award! And the importance of taking time off

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The awesome Miss Ashley Nixon awarded me the Blog on Fire Award!

Thank you Ashley!! 
 I'd like to pass the award on to: Ghenet Gabi Lindsay Lydia Rach
Time off isn't a luxury I often allow myself (I'm one of those people who always seem to be busy with something) this extended vacation forced me into it.  At first I resented it.  The internet connection was bad, I didn't like being away from my book, taking the kiddies out every single day was a ton of work--but it was fun.  A ton of fun.  It been quite sometime since I've allowed myself a true vacation and I think I needed it.
 I'm still trying to get back into the groove of things.  Tomorrow will be my first real day back at "work" (writing and teaching my chilli beans (aka Thing One and Thing Two) and household duties) so we'll see how it goes.  I'm hoping that these two weeks have given me some time and space away from my book and when I look at it again it will be with fresh and excited eyes.…

Lessons Learned on Vacation

I'm baaaack!  I'm so glad to be home.  We loved our time with our family in Cali and thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Vegas, but man its good to be home.  While vacationing I had plenty of time to think if not write.

One of the things I realized is that I'm a bit too much of a planner.  I sent my itinerary a week ahead to our relatives and had Disneyland completely mapped out.  I knew the rids we wanted to hit, the characters we wanted pictures with, and where we wanted to eat. 

The thing about planning everything out is that something is bound to go wrong and put a wrench in your plans--especially when you're with two young babies and a dozen other family members.

Right off the bat things started going wrong.  My mom got sick, the kids were cranky, the family wanted to ride the big people rides.  So I tossed out my plan and decided to wing it.  Thank heavens everything turned out fine and there was no blood shed.  We didn't get to do everything I wanted us too, but…