Tag Archives: Published

Sweet Treats for your brain

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Usually this day is not all that busy for me. I mean, I eat candy, I go out to dinner, the hubs and kids are extra sweet to me…but work-wise, not so much.

I’m making up for that this year!

I’ve got a story in two anthologies this V-day – both of which I volunteered to format. (So, if the formatting on your copy/copies sucks, let me know!!)

IN HIS EYES is an anthology from the Indelibles.

My short story in IHE is called Surprise, Surprise and it’s about Melody and Raleigh from the Zellie books and what happens when they go on their first real date. It’s cute and super romantic and I had a great time getting into the Zellie world again. All of the stories in IHE are written from a male character’s point of view, so you all get to know a bit more about what’s going on in Raleigh’s head.

I really dig writing these spin-off stories and you can expect more of them. The next full-length novel set in the Zellie world takes place more than a decade after where Glow left off – so I’ve got a lot of years to cover and a lot of short stories to tell.

You can get IN HIS EYES free at Smashwords and for 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (We were hoping it would go free everywhere by V-day, but alas, it hasn’t happened. Still, 16 stories for 99 cents ain’t so bad!)

The other anthology is Death By Chocolate.

The short story I have in DBC is called Back in Time and it’s actually pretty long – the length of a Day of Sacrifice story. Here’s the blurb:

Nothing in Aurelia Lemon’s life is turning out how she’d planned. She’s unemployed, unattached, and her family bakery is on the verge of closing. To make matters worse, the guy she dumped in high school is doing well and getting rich off of one of her departed mother’s recipes. It would take a miracle to right everything she’s done wrong. Or maybe just a phone call and the chance to go Back in Time.

It was such a fun story to write – so much so that it’s the first in a new short story series. I love time travel stories and characters getting to right past wrongs – the genre lends itself to many shenanigans. (If they’re written by me – not so many shenanigans in Time Traveller’s Wife.)

Death By Chocolate is available for $2.99 at Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

(Smashwords is being a PITA and not loading – I’ll add the links when it’s working again.)

Lastly, I wanted to tell y’all about a book NOT written by me!  My fellow PacNWYAer, Laura Elliott has a new book coming out soon!  She’s doing a little cover reveal and giveaway today to celebrate the holiday.

TWO WORLDS. TWO TEENS. ONE WISH.

TRANSFER STUDENT is a science fiction Freaky-Friday romance/adventure about two normal teenagers struggling to survive high school and deal with their parents… typical rites of passage. The twist? One teen is an alien from the planet Retha. In a galactic teleporting experiment gone wrong, Ashley, a Beverly Hills High surfing fashionista, and Rhoe, the biggest geek on planet Retha, swap lives. Only by surviving life as their biggest nightmare do Ashley & Rhoe discover their dreams. How far would you go for someone you love?

WIN TRANSFER STUDENT BOOKMARKS SIGNED BY AUTHOR LAURA A. H. ELLIOTT!

To enter to win all you need to do is tweet this & follow my blog Laurasmagicday: Nothing says #ValentinesDay like an alien #romance! TRANSFER STUDENT Cover Reveal! #TransferStudent #teenreads #kindle http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com/

The first 100 tweets/followers win!

TRANSFER STUDENT BLOG TOUR: LEAP DAY, 2012 – MARCH 20th

Giveaways include free ebooks of TRANSFER STUDENT, Amazon gift cards & weekly surprise gifts that are out of this world! TRANSFER STUDENT RELEASE DAY: MARCH 20th

Got all that? 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and at the very least eat too much chocolate and read some great books.

LUV,

Stacey

Advertisements

The Green

Karly Kirkpatrick and DarkSide Publishing are excited to announce the release of Kirkpatrick’s third novel, the edgy YA contemporary romance, THE GREEN.

Book Description:

 

How far would you go to save your dream?

 

Seventeen-year-old Ariceli Pisa is a senior at the prestigious Cambridge High School and has her sights set on Northwestern University. She’s a cheerleader, a member of the National Honor Society…and a drug dealer.That’s not the only secret she has to keep from her best friend Naomi–she’s also madly in love with Naomi’s ex-boyfriend, James Bartlett. Trying to balance her life at Cambridge High with her new demanding job keeps her teetering on the edge of disaster.

 

THE GREEN is available in ebook format at the following retailers for $3.99:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-ebook/dp/B006XZS16Q/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1326754697&sr=8-12

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-green-karly-kirkpatrick/1037769334?ean=2940013762183&itm=2&usri=karly+kirkpatrick

 

Also available on Amazon UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

 

For more info about Karly and her books, check out www.karlykirkpatrick.com andwww.darksidepublishing.com.

12 Days of Christmas Reading

The 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion starts today!  Go here to get a complete list of all the authors involved and comment on that page to enter to win copies of some or all of the books! If you enjoy this essay, be sure to enter to win a copy of The Toilet Business, my collection of humorous essays.

**********

You never realize how weird your family is until you’re an adult.

At least, I didn’t.

When I moved out to Oregon from Missouri in the early Nineties for college, I assumed most families who celebrated Christmas had similar traditions to mine.

Here’s how Christmas went down in the Wallace household in the Eighties:

My mom decorated the crap out of the house.  My sister and I had our own Christmas trees in our rooms.  There were wreath-shaped novelty soaps placed by the sink. (Under no circumstances were you to use those soaps!) The mantel was gussied up with silver and gold spray painted and glittered pinecones.  My dad’s recliner space was usurped by the enormous fake tree – always fake except for the year I was sixteen and I guilt tripped Mom into getting a real one. Those were my vegan-Birkenstock-patchouli-no showering days.

Tinsel. Garlands. Styrofoam egg carton ornaments my parents made when they were newlyweds. Bubble lights. Popcorn strings. Construction paper chains.

Lights in the bushes out front. Lights on the sliding glass door to the back porch. Luminaries lining the driveway.

It was awesome.  Christmas perfection.

On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would put on our white tights and our nearly matching dresses – often a variation on the theme of what my mom was wearing.  Lots of plaid taffeta and velvet and scratchy lace collars. Mom would put our hair in hot rollers and let us wear some of her pearlescent pink lipstick and lavender cream eyeshadow. Dad would wear a nice navy or grey suit and top it off with either his London Fog trench coat or his orange-tan leather jacket that made him look kind of like a pimp, so we never let him wear a hat as well.

We’d pile into the station wagon and slog through the snow to the midnight service at church.

Trinity Lutheran was always decorated beautifully, a lot like our house, but with more poinsettia and less glitter.  We’d all take our seats in a pew about halfway up the aisle and we sat: Dad, Stacey, Valerie, Mom. We’d wave to our friends and stage whisper to one another about how sparkly we all looked.

The organ music began up in the balcony, the choir practically blowing the doors off the church with Hark! the Herald Angels Sing and I’d get this rush, be so overwhelmed by the Christmas of it all that I’d want to cry.

That feeling would stay with me throughout the service. More singing, the sermon, the acolytes extinguishing the candles. Joy to the World! while Pastor Gerike walked down the aisle, a smile on his face, his Bible clutched to his chest.  We’d file out and meet in the lobby and wait in line to talk to  him. Back slapping and handshakes for the men, hugs for the women, boys pulling on their clip-on ties, us girls trying to walk with grace even though the crotches of our tights had stretched out and shimmied their way down to our knees.

Then we were back in the car, back home, putting out cookies and milk and beer for Santa and carrots tied with bows for his reindeer. My sister and I would put on our nearly matching flannel nightgowns – me navy or lavender, my sister red or pink – and we’d get a few hours of sleep before we’d sneak to our parents’ room and climb in bed with them, asking every few minutes if those were in fact reindeer hooves we heard on the roof.

At six a.m., we’d drag our parents from their bed and my sister and I would wait at the top of the stairs while my mom went down to see if Santa had visited.  The answer was always, “I think I see a few more presents than were here last night.”

We’d give ourselves rug burn on the backs of our thighs as we slid down the stairs. I’d run to my corner of the family room and my sister would run to hers. Wrapping paper thrown into the air. Pictures taken with Barbies and Walk-mans and telephones shaped like pianos and nearly matching sweaters.  Mom got earrings and a silky blouse, Dad got leather gloves and a Bill Cosby sweater.

My sister, on alternating years, got coal in her stocking or a clown figurine. Both made her cry, but she was soothed on that day only by maple candy. We’d tell her she was a good sport.

Mom made biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, bacon. We’d have tall glasses of orange juice and eat the gigantic apples we’d received in our stockings, while she cooked.

During breakfast, Mom started making lunch.

Lunch included a birthday cake for Jesus.

Four hours later: Ham, pea salad, ambrosia, scalloped potatoes, noodles, green beans, rolls with butter, dressing, steamed carrots, relish tray, sherbet and Sprite punch.

We were stuffed.

Mom would bring out the birthday cake. It had about a million lit candles on it – because GO BIG or get the heck out of my awesomely dramatic family’s  home – and we’d sing.

We’d blow the candles out and clap and say Happy Birthday Jesus to the ceiling. We’d force ourselves to eat a piece of cake. It would’ve been rude not to.

Then we’d retreat back to the family room and my sister and I would lie back under the Christmas tree and look up at the lights. I’d take my glasses off and brag about how much cooler a view I got due to my blurry vision. My sister would tattle on me for bragging.

And Christmas would be over for another year.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, when I talk about my Christmas memories, people do laugh at me for the Jesus birthday cake, but that’s not the tradition I assumed everyone had.

I assumed that everyone had a house full of Christmas, got to dress up nice, got a church rush, ate too much, received too many gifts. I thought that surely, on Christmas, everyone got to have a perfect day.

When I realized that wasn’t true, I also realized how lucky I was to have my weird family and the childhood that I had.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you have the best possible weird and wonderful holiday you can, whether you’re reliving old memories or making new ones.

In the Mood

Some days, I don’t want to write.

I know I should try to, that’s part of the reason I join anthologies like Death by Chocolate or writing challenges like ROW80, to have people hold me accountable, to get my butt in the chair day after day and put some words down.
But, some days, I’m just not in the mood.  On those occasions, here’s what I do to get myself motivated or to, at the very least, keep my head in the game.

 
1. Music – Dissent, the 5th Day of Sacrifice story, is stuck at about 1,200 words right now. I haven’t worked on it in weeks because I’ve been writing my anthology story and because I don’t know what I want to happen next.  This is a story I need to have out by the first of the year, so yesterday in order to get my brain thinking about it, I listened to my DoS playlist in the car while I was driving everyone to work and school.  It’s amazing how music can get you in the right frame of mind when you associate it with writing a similar story or a previous story in this case.  I had Halo and Bleeding Love on repeat all day. Just thinking about my characters in a video montage sort of way (does anyone else do that or am I a weirdo?) I jump started my enthusiasm for the series and came up with ideas for the end of the scene I’ve been stalled on.

 
2. Sexy New Ideas notebook – Again, I may be a weirdo, but I never have more new ideas for other stories than when I’m trying to complete the one I’m supposed to be focused on. I combat this by keeping an Idea Notebook.  If I can get the idea down on paper, my mind can let it go.  It’s like a promise to myself that I will come back to it later. Of course, there are always more ideas than there is time to write them, but I’ve also found that sometimes the ideas can be combined together – genre mixing at its finest!

 
3. More than one project – I’ve tried only working on one story at a time. It’s not my style.  I find that if I have multiple projects to work on – I usually have 3-4 going at once – and can add a new paragraph to one that is not my main focus, that it does two things: Like with the SNI’s I can get nagging conversations, scenes and descriptions out of my head and it gives me a confidence boost.  Nothing makes me feel better about myself than writing does, so it stands to reason that if I’m feeling crappy and distracted with my main WIP, getting some words down on something else I’m working on makes me feel like I’ve done something, made some progress in my own little world.

 
4. Read/watch TV – Sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing, doing either of these things can feel decadent and like I’m wasting time.  Really, though, they can help – if you stay on genre. I have a particularly hard time writing action/fight scenes – with the Zellie books, I often turned to reading the Vampire Academy books and to watching teen shows like Roswell, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Kyle XY – books and TV shows that are aimed at the same audience as the Zellie books are and contain both a paranormal romance aspect and a lot of action.  With the DoS stories, I can’t tell you how much Supernatural and Nikita have helped me come up with ideas for both characters and new ways to write fights.  So, yes, I’m being entertained and slacking off a bit, but I’m also consciously  studying the ways other writers do what I’m trying to do.

 
What sort of things do you do to get in the mood to write?

This blog is cross-posted on the Death by Chocolate blog and the PacNWYA blog.

Pantser 4-ever and #ROW80

Last Wednesday a few of us PacNWYA authors gave two talks at a middle school in Portland. Lisa Nowak spoke about writing rules, left brain vs. right brain and how to turn off your internal editor and let creativity come through. (Expect a lot more 8th graders to be participating in NaNoWriMo next year.) Then Angela Carlie and I led a writing exercise that involved writing dialogue and coming up with ideas on the fly.  Finally, we did a Q & A.

It’s been my experience that the first question people ask is, “How long did it take for you to get published?” This is when we all share that our first books took years.  We explain that most of us went the traditional route at first, why we got fed up with it and how we made the decision to self-publish.

The second question we get is, “Do you outline?” Some of us do and some of us don’t and we each speak a little bit about our writing process.

What I find most interesting about these two questions – that have been asked of us by kids, teens, teachers, other writers and book bloggers – is that they don’t hear what we say past “My first book took five years to finish and another two to publish” and “Yes, I meticulously outline before I write.”

I feel like the general consensus is that folks want authors to have suffered for their art. That the books we outlined for a year and took five years to write are somehow better because we worked harder on them.

So, as you can imagine, people stop listening to me when I tell them that after I published Glimpse, Glimmer was out eight months later and Glow was out eight months after that. They definitely stop hearing me when I explain that I have no use for outlines because I won’t follow them.

Now, there are a ton of writers and readers to defend the self-published, to rally behind those that put books out on their own schedule.

But who, I ask you, stands for the pantser?

Uh, I guess it will be me.

No one wants to admit to being a pantser, they will say they’re  “reformed” or a “hybrid.” I’ve used the hybrid term to describe myself, but I’ll come clean and admit that scribbling a page full of half sentences and characters names is not an outline. Writing down Epic Battle or Showdown or Then they get it on are not decisive plot points. I’ve been known to say that I “know what’s going to happen next” or “I have a solid beginning and ending.”

Nope. I don’t.

In fact, if I write down a plan I can almost guarantee that none of the things listed in the plan will end up in the manuscript.

The only thing that works for my pantserin’ self is to write a sentence, read it, and write another sentence. As far as I can tell, this method still requires creativity and perseverance.  I am still, a really real writer.

This method may be your writerly version of hell. I can respect that. Everyone works differently. My method isn’t better than yours and yours isn’t better than mine.  We’re all in the business of making stuff up for a living; we’ve all had our characters “speak” to us. We’ve all had those weird moments of inspiration that derailed and then bettered our books.

Those things happen because we’re writers, not because we’re pantsers or plotters. If the end product is awesome, who cares how we got there or who properly suffered more?

One final thought: Pantser is a weird name, but I think we should own it.  Let’s not be embarrassed anymore. It’s like the whole indie/self-published thing. Yeah, indie sounds cooler and it will make for a better tattoo, but there’s nothing wrong with saying you’re self-published either. I’m kind of over being embarrassed about how I write and publish.

Self-published pantser.

Cool.

#ROW80 update: My 300 words a day plan fell apart after the first day. Go figure. I wrote 306 words on Monday and 1,628 words on Friday – both days on the DBC anthology story.

This post is cross-posted to the Death By Chocolate blog.

Weekly #ROW80 goals

I’m back from the coast!  I had a great time despite being sick and missing out on Friday’s festivities.  No eight counts for me, but lots of good mama talk and a very animated reading of my pen name story by my friend Erica.  I was both mortified and proud.  She has a way with hand gestures that made my words come to life. 🙂

I also purchased every pair of pajamas that Carter’s makes and got my daughter the glitteriest (is too a word) Christmas ornament I’ve ever seen. The ornament is in a box in a bag and the dog stuck his head in the bag and ended up with glitter on his face.  I love me some shiny sparkly!!

Writing went to hell last week.  My son’s birthday is this weekend and it is usually the start of the MASS CRAZINESS at my house.  Like, the kid has his birthday and then sdflkjwe3rnl2k8i3!!!!! it’s January. So, instead of trying to stick to my original-ish writing goals, I think it’s best to go week by week. (I was kind of doing this already, but declaration is important!)

My goal this week is to write 300 words (great if it’s more) on the DBC anthology story every day. That’s it.

I hope you all have a spendid week and I’ll talk at ya later.

Spazmatron 5000 and #ROW80

Good morning! Okay, it’s 11, but I got to sleep in until 9, thus my morning is still new. I slept for ten hours last night and have maybe never needed it more. While I was jealous of all the Halloween parties my friends and family were attending, I woke up this morning refreshed and not hung over, so there is a plus to being a boring grown-up once in a while.

Have I mentioned that Glimpse is Free on Amazon?  (Like, EVERYWHERE.) Sorry for being so annoying, but I just can’t help it!  I’ve had over 5K downloads since Friday evening and it’s making me a spazmatron 5000. Right now it’s holding steady at #16 overall in Free and is #1 in both Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic.  Can you all frickity-frackin’ believe that?

Thank you SO much to everyone for tweeting about it and posting on Facebook and other places – www.woot.com – who knew?  I have no doubt that all of you made those 5K downloads happen.

If you’re over me and my spazziness, take heart, I’m sure someone will write a review on Goodreads soon calling me a no-talent fuck-up and then I’ll go back to being my normal, sedate self. 🙂

*snort* That is so not true.  Is this your first time reading this blog?

ROW80 Act-shun!:

Wrote the pants off of my pen name short story this week and got that puppy edited, beta read and published on Friday and Saturday. My alter ego is pleased that she’s already sold a handful of copies.

Added another 253 words to my Death by Chocolate story last night – mostly pumping up the description and adding more back story to the first scene.  Nothing on Dissent or the Glimpse pilot this week.

Worked on the pen name website, PacNWYA website and wrote a blog post for the DBC blog.

I’m taking the day off from writing today, because at this point I wouldn’t even let a hoarder into my house I’m so embarrassed by the state of it.  The kids laundry is done, but I haven’t done my own laundry since the beginning of October!

Thanks, Sarah, for the 8 new pairs of hand-me-down jeans. I couldn’t have survived or clothed my lower half without them.

I’ll talk at you all again on Wednesday, but will be missing next Sunday’s check-in as I’ll be at the beach with my ladies doing 8-counts, drinking cheap beer and eating Combos.

Happy Halloween and thank God October is almost over!

 

Happy Friday!

What started out as a kind of bummer day has really turned itself around!

I got edits and beta comments back on my pen name short story today and I think I’ll publish it tomorrow. Yay!

The Cardinals won the World Series. Yay!

I carved two most excellent jack-o-lanterns this evening. Yay!

AND Glimpse went free on Amazon! Double Yay!  If you all could help spread the word it would be much appreciated.  I have no idea how long this is going to last, but I’ve already “sold” as many books this evening as I did in the last week.

I doff my cap to the power of FREE. (Please tell me I’m not the only one watching 2 Broke Girls.)

Have a swell weekend, y’all.

Busy Bee and #ROW80

Such a busy week!  We had three RBR tour stops, our last at A Children’s Place Bookstore yesterday, I saw Footloose, took my kids to the pumpkin patch and ended the week last night at Billy’s bar with pizza and vodka tonics and my Cards kicking some World Series butt.

The YA author tour went so well that we’re planning another one in the spring – with even more local authors!  Cheri Lasota, Cidney Swanson, Craig Hansen and McKenzie McCann will hopefully be joining us next time around. (That’s a lot of C’s, people!! Just noticed that.)

If you’re a YA author and live in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line at: Pacific Northwest YA Authors and we’ll talk. Going on tour as a group makes the experience a little less daunting.  Plus, we have all kinds of fun – where else are you going to meet people IRL that geek out on e-book formatting and platform building? 🙂

Now that the tour is over and all I have to worry about are birthdays and holidays and cleaning my hole of a house, I’m going to try to write every day.  I’ve got three long short stories to write by the end of the year – one I hope to publish by the end of this month.  So, if you don’t see me around on the interwebs quite as often, you’ll know what I’m doing!

Word Count: I wrote 788 words on Thursday on my story for the Death By Chocolate anthology.  Right now, the story is called Do Over.  I totally hate that title and am sure it will eventually be called something awesome. 🙂

I’m off to write!  Have a splendiferous ( or glorgious as Kait Nolan would say) week!

Let’s hear it for #Row80

Yes, I’m going to see the new Footloose tonight.  My greatest hope is that it’s like Original Footloose and Step-up had a baby.

The only thing I’m conflicted about is that I find both Kevin Bacon and Kenny Wormald attractive.  Do I have enough room in my pop culture heart for two Ren’s?  I’m sure it will depend on how much wine I have with dinner. Pastini’s Summer Sangria certainly improved my overall enjoyment of Daniel Craig in Cowboys and Aliens, so Wormald’s got a chance. (He totally wants my approval.)

ROW80 – Monday – came up with my short story idea for the Death by Chocolate anthology and had a RBR event in the evening. Tuesday – worked on my pen name story for a couple of hours. I cut two paragraphs and wrote another scene, but I haven’t been keeping track of word count because I don’t work on it that often. Wednesday – 345 words on Dissent. Yes, DoS #5 has a title! I’ve yet to come up with a good subtitle. Ass-kicking Lesbian Angels just doesn’t seem like the right fit. 🙂 I might get a few more words in on it today, but the kids are being clingy monkey children at the moment and not letting me concentrate.

I’m hoping to get some work done on the Glimpse pilot tomorrow before doing the second to last RBR stop at the Beaverton Library.

On the marketing front, lowering Glimpse to 99 cents on Amazon and BN seems to have done what I wanted it to – get more people reading the Zellie books!  Glimpse got a nice new review, the first its had in three months, so that’s happy.

Later days…