Tag Archives: Sexer is a made up word

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.

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…

Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.  After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel. 

Dear Toy Manufacturers:  Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.  Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them) and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in. 

 I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.  My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. 🙂

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.  This is the time of year when I read a lot.  As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the second Outlander book.  I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.  I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.  I’d rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.  I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.  I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.  I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.  Great books, but YA and at $10, kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)  That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.  It was 99 cents.  Devoured it.  Loved it.  Needed more. 

But who published her books?  I couldn’t figure it out.  I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.  More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!  Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.  Query redo!  More submissions!  More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!  I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.  Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.  By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.  Really?  But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.  Damn.  I was inspired.  So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.  A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.  A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.  This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog and liked Glimpse-I geeked out on her books. I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.  It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.  I published two novels and a short story this year.  Wrote another short story that will be out next week.  Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.  Found a community.  And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.  Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.  (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

Title-y title

The winners of Forsaken by Shadow are: Reena Jacobs, Cricket, Scott Steele, Keri Wiley, Sarah Scott, and Grace Clark.  I just sent the books out!  Enjoy!

What to chat about today?  I’ve got a lot of bookiness buzzing around in my brain.  First up: Glimmer has received two reviews in the last two days that were vastly different, but both well written. One here from Liz of Planet Print and the other here from Mundie Moms.  I think the main point of contention with Glimmer is, “do you like sex in your YA or not?”  I maintain that I do and that is why I read all the Twilight books, only to be a little annoyed when the Bella/Edward sex scene was so tame.  But I’m an adult, right?  I can read whatever I want to.  Well, that’s always been true for me.  My parents forbade me from watching Little Angels, but didn’t give a crap that I read Danielle Steele when I was 10.  So, that’s who I turned out to be.  All books are good.  It’s reading. (My husband’s mom took him to see Apocalypse Now when he was like, 6, so my children are most likely never going to know from the censorship. 🙂 )

I finally finished The Passage by Justin Cronin last night. (You can read my totally inept review right there at the top.  Ha!)  I would definitely recommend this book to my serious reader friends.  People who like a challenge. If you mostly read romance, this book is not for you. I’m a fast reader and it took me nearly 3 months to get through.  The story is really interesting and at times hard to wrap your brain around, but worth it in the end.  You will cry and be pissed off and be surprised.

To cleanse the palate, I started Last Sacrifice, Vampire Academy #6 right after.  I’m barely into it-in the recapping stage at the moment.  I kind of hate the recapping stage of most books (even my own) but Richelle Mead usually doesn’t hang out there too long.  Again, who the hell is going to pick up the sixth book in a series and start from there?

Still working on Rebellion.  I thought I’d be done by now, but I’ve got a sick kid and copious Christmas festivities this weekend, so things are slow going.  I got lots of writing in two days this week.  It will still be out in January as promised!

OMG, I cannot wait to start on the A Round of Words in 80 Days challenge!  Glow is pestering me to be written and I have so many idears!  It’s going to be a blast.  All you writerly types should sign up and take the ride with me.

That’s it.  Happy Friday.  Enjoy your weekend!

2 giveaways and 15 authors walk into a bar

First things first, I have a couple of giveaways to announce. 

Over at Book Noise, I did an interview with Jennifer and there’s a nice giveaway attached. 

I also have a Glimmer giveaway going on at Goodreads. 🙂

Now for the meat of the post!  On Monday, Susan Bischoff posted her list of 15 authors that have been influential to her.  You may have seen the meme going around Facebook.  I put off doing it on there so that I could use it as a blog post just like Susan did.  Ha!  It isn’t easy to come up with things to say three times a week, I’ll tell you what.

You’re supposed to list the authors in a short amount of time, so here goes:

1. Katherine Dunn- I like her because her settings are in Missouri and Oregon and California-all places I’ve lived for an extended period of time.  Her writing style is also pretty experimental and I like that she does what she wants.

2. Diana Gabaldon- I credit her for getting me into reading romance.  Yes, there’s A LOT of adventure in her books, but romance is the core.

3. Tim Sandlin-He makes me laugh and his characters are genuine.

4. David Sedaris-Hearing him on NPR always cracked me up.  I made up a little rule for myself because of him:  If you’ve reached thirty and you’ve had 56 dead-end jobs, that probably means you were meant to be a writer.

5. Augusten Burroughs-Another funny guy.  I appreciate that he puts it all out there.

6. Jennifer Weiner-Love her stories.  Honestly, I like her books because the heroines are fat.

7. Stephenie Meyer-Whatever.  The lady can tell an engrossing story.  I whizzed through the Twilight books and was sad when they were over.

8. V.C. Andrews-This is what passed for YA when I was a YA.  Also why I don’t worry too much about putting sex in the books.  I read V.C. when I was 10-11 and totally knew what was going on.  Kids are not dumb.

9. Zoe Winters-Love her work!  She also spurred me on to become an indie, for which I’m eternally grateful.

10. Audrey Niffenegger-Not a writer first and then she wrote Time Traveler’s wife?  Creative people can be creative at more than one thing.

11.Elinor Lipman-Good storytelling plain and simple.

12. Shel Siverstein-I used to have all his poems memorized.  I could probably still recite a few today.

13. Barbara Kingsolver-I love all her books, but the Poisonwood Bible is one of my all time favorites.  I admire the research.  I hate to do research!

14. J.K. Rowling-Duh.

15. Amanda Hocking-She hasn’t put out a book I didn’t like yet and she’s put out a ton of books this year! 

*Kurt Vonnegut.

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I’m off to volunteer at the boys preschool again.  Fun times!

An intervention might be in order.

Hi, my name is Stacey and I have recently discovered that I’m a historical/western romance addict.  I’m not exactly sure how this happened.  I’m not a girly-girl.  I have lots of shoes, but they’re all orthopedic in nature and not cute.  I have lots of make-up because I do theatre, but I don’t wear it the rest of the year.  I have no desire to see Eat, Pray, Love.  But I cannot get enough of flowery prose about broad shouldered cowboys and Lords.  In the past three days I’ve read three Alexis Harrington books-Harper’s Bride, The Irish Bride, and Homeward Hearts.  They are $2.99 at Smashwords and Amazon and it is just too easy for me to download the next one onto my Kindle when I’ve finished one. 

I haven’t thought of myself as a person who reads romance novels until I got my kindle.  At first I’d read a paranormal every now and again, but then I read Outlander and discovered that I like historicals too.  When I saw a review for Harper’s Bride on Smartbitches I decided to check it out.  Well, guess I like Westerns as well.  Actually, Alexis Harrington is from the Portland area and still lives here and most of her books take place in Oregon.  Maybe that’s why I like them.  Kinda like when I see movies that were filmed by where I used to live in L.A.- the, “Hey I know where that is!” factor.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing with my days.  Sarah is almost done with her second round edits of Glimmer and then I will have some work to do!  Until then, I’ll just be sitting on my butt anticipating reading scenes in which sweaty well-muscled men cool off by sticking their heads underneath a water pump in the yard.

The luckiest park bench

Well, hell, since we’re all sitting around waiting for the DTP to publish our kindle books, (Oh, it’s just me and Susan?) why don’t we have a little discussion on sex in young adult novels?  Glimpse recently received a 4 star review on Goodreads from a woman who said she would have given it 5, but she was not comfortable with 12-year-olds reading the “park bench” scene and she thought Glimpse was geared for tweens because of the illustrated cover.

What say you?  Does Glimpse need a rating?  I tried to keep the bad language and the super sexer stuff to a minimum, but not so much in Glimmer.  The characters are older, they’ve been dating a while, there’s that whole supernatural trigger bond thing…MOM STOP READING NOW Listen, I was as churchy as they come in high school, but the park bench scene really happened to me when I was 15.  So, do I think that’s appropriate for a 15-year-old to read?  Yeah.  Do I think it’s appropriate for a 12-year-old to read? Some 12-year-olds, sure.  My parents didn’t give a flip what I read, but they wouldn’t let me watch the movie Little Darlings.  Is it worse to learn about sex from a book or from watching it on tv?

Since I got that review I toned a few things down in Glimmer, but probably do need to suggest that people under 13 have a parent check it out first.  As far as changing the cover?  I love the cover and want all the books in the trilogy to have a similar feel, so I don’t think I’ll be going in a new direction with that.  I think Glimpse would get even more lost in the shuffle if the cover looked like all the other Twilight and Vampire Diaries rip-offs, y’know?

I’d be especially interested in hearing what my friends with 10-12-year old daughters have to say on the subject.  I know a couple of you let them read Glimpse and they enjoyed it.  I gave it to my 10-year-old niece for her birthday, but told her her mom had to read it first. 🙂 I wonder if my test should be, “Did you read Breaking Dawn?  Did you notice that the characters had sex?”  If they were bummed by the scene, then Glimmer is for them, if not they might want to wait a couple of years.

From here to there

How do you find the time to write?  I have to squeeze it in between childcare, medical transcription, play rehearsals, grocery shopping, hanging out with my husband, and y’know regular life.  I rarely get hours to write, I’m lucky if I can spend an hour a day, but I do get something done nearly everyday.  It may be 200 words, or editing what I wrote the day before-I try to stay connected to my work in snippets and then once a week on Sunday evenings I do get hours to work.  The kids go to their grandparents for the evening, the hubby knows to leave me alone (he’s a poet) and apart from my old as dirt dog needing to be let outside every 15 minutes, I can be with my brain without distraction.

I’m looking forward to writing this evening, even though my characters are not cooperating with me at the moment.  I’m engaged in a big plotting fail right now.  I wrote great notes for the end, in fact I’ve written the end of *Glimmer* already, but I was vague in the middle and now I’m paying for it.  You see, I need to skip ahead by weeks and yet, everything keeps happening within this one week.  I’m in control of it all, right?  Well…yes and no.  If you set your book at two weeks before Christmas and talk about Christmas presents, then you better damn well have a Christmas scene, except I don’t really want to, it does nothing to further the plot.  Also, if someone is pregnant with a regular human baby and it’s going to be born after the usual 9 months, well you gotta account for 9 months.  I’ll figure it out, I’m not the first writer to have an easier time writing the beginning and end of a novel and then have trouble getting through the middle.  Getting your characters from here to there takes practice.

That’s all I’m thinking about today-how I’m going to get everyone to the next exciting plot point without having it occur right after the last exciting plot point. But then I think about books like The House of Night series and those like, 7 books now I think?, all take place over the course of maybe a month-if you think about it, which I’m guessing P.C. doesn’t really want you to because it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Vampire/witch/shaman hybrids I can get behind, but things have to happen in a logical amount of time.  Ha!  I could go the New Moon route and put dramatic nearly blank month pages in the book, but no one’s clinically depressed.  In fact, Zel doesn’t get depressed, Zel gets pissed and figures out how to break the rules with the minimum amount of Jesus guilt.  No, I’m just going to have to write it out and edit it later for boringoscity.

It sounds like the kids are occupied at the moment, I think I’m going to go sneak in a paragraph or two, warm up for this evenings writing session.

A serious discussion of hotties

I’ve been busy sending Glimpse all over the place for review.  I’ve sent out queries to 15 websites/blogs and so far 9 of them are going to read/review Glimpse!  I did have a small moment of terror yesterday when I realized that by reading and reviewing Glimpse there would be actual reviewing involved.

My terror quickly turned to extreme anger when I decided that I needed some swag for a giveaway and attempted to make bookmarks.  Does everything need to be so annoying and frustrating?  Must I order 5000 of something that I’m 90% certain is going to be lame?  Let me explain:  One of the bloggers I sent a review copy to, wanted to know if I had a book trailer and if I wanted to do a giveaway.  I said no to the book trailer-I have tried to make one and the end result was so mortifying it will never see the light of day.  But bookmarks, stickers, magnets, buttons?  How hard could that be?  Maybe not that hard if you are a graphic designer or a middle school student, but if you have my awesome skillz, you have the capacity to create many lame and expensive items that no one would want.  Times like these a girl wished she had an agent and a publisher.  I ended up with bookmarks and made some buttons, but haven’t bought them yet because I just keep feeling like there has got to be a better deal somewhere!  What I really wanted was pens, but they’re like the most expensive thing out there!  Your choices are 3 for $4 per pen or 1000 for $.27 per pen.  Well, thanks, but both of those choices suck.

After doing that all day while watching the kids, not getting any writing done or transcription and then having a play practice where only some of the actors chose to show up (again. always and forever.) I decided I needed to enjoy a large deli meat sandwich on white bread and do something fun.  On many of the YA blogs I’ve been perusing they “cast” the books as if they were movies or tv shows.  This is something that I love to do and decided to give Glimpse the casting treatment. I could not have gotten through the Outlander books if not for casting Jamie as Kevin McKidd.  I managed to cast all of the roles except for Avery, because I’m Becky (because I’m really Becky minus the crazy) and that left me with the dilemma of casting someone I think is hot as my son.  Sarah aided me in the Avery decision via a long ol’ FB chat while we were also playing Scrabble.  Multitaskers, we.  There was even looking up of boys on Teen beat or some such website-but all of the boys were determined to be too teenagery and it was decided that they needed to be at least 22 for us to not feel gross about them being hot. (Taylor Lautner is excluded from this rule due to super abs and his pretty mouth.)  Here’s what we came up with:

Zellie-Emma Stone

She always plays Zellie like characters and would look awesome in a floral print skirt.

Avery- Cory Monteith

Okay, I 1. have a massive crush on Cory as Finn on Glee 2. Sarah’s son is named Finn which makes me feel funny 3. Me playing his mom is just wrong, plus, I think I’m only like 9 years older than him.  Still, c’mon, he’s soooo Avery.

Claire-Selena Gomez

I enjoy that the picture I liked most of her is one of her talking on the phone.

Grace-Laura Leighton

Although she will always be Sydney from Melrose to me, she can be Grace from Glimpse to you.

Pastor Paul-Joel Gretsch

He’s already playing a priest on V, but I heart him from the 4400 days.

Melody-Elle Fanning

I think she just screams “leader of the rainbow and unicorn squad.”

Mike- Jeffery Donovan

Um, I maybe just wanna be fake married to Jeffery, here.  Also, he’s already used to being called Mike from Burn Notice.

Becky-Stacey Wallace Benefiel

I’m all about the drama as you can see from my Glimpse photo shoot.

Tee hee.  That was fun.  If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

I’m out of order! You’re out of order! This whole *Glimmer* is out of order!

In honor of Mother’s Day yesterday, I decided to write the very end of *Glimmer*, the scene in which I had promised my fan that Z and A would finally do it.  I’m super appropriate that way.  I listened to Taylor Swift the entire time I was writing just to up the creepiness I always feel when I write about teenagers making out.

The scene was one of the first I’d thought of when I was in the thinking it through stage with *Glimmer* and it’s been in my head for at least six months.  When I sat down to write a horror piece yesterday, the “losing it” scene is what I felt like writing instead.  I impose all of these rules on myself, rules that I don’t even know I’m imposing half of the time.  One of them would be that I have to write a novel chronologically.  But why?  I said to myself yesterday.  A novel is basically a bunch of scenes tied together, and if I use my plotting like I’ve been trying to do, it won’t hurt anything to write the scenes out-of-order.  Because, while making out scenes make me feel a little like a YA Larry Flynt, they’re also pretty fun to write.

I’m at the halfway point in *Glimmer*, trying to work on smooth transitions and I’ve been a bit stuck with regards to inspiration.  The enticement of writing a make out scene, or a showdown, or an accident scene is too great when you’ve been writing paragraphs about GED requirements, bed rest, and depression.  Those last three are topics that have to be written to further the story along, but they’re not fun, so I think I’ll write on the fun scenes for a while and then come back to the mundane to put it all together.

You don’t have to write a book in order.  I needed to learn that.  *Glimmer* is actually the first 250-300 page book I’ve ever tried to write.  Glimpse was a novella that got added on to, so in truth,  I wrote 125 pages twice, four years apart.  I’m learning how to pace, how to bring the plot together all at once on *Glimmer.*

Now I’m off to feed the kids and then perhaps write a few pages of mayhem, fire, and freaked out powers, not necessarily in that order.