My reality

blindersFor the past few weeks, I’ve had blinders on to everything else except what was absolutely necessary and my current WIP. I’ve struggled with writer’s block, tackled computer issues, and shouldered parental responsibilities.

When truthfully, sometimes I feel as if all I want to do is lock the door, shut off the phone, and become a hermit for the next few months.

But the reality is that’s not my reality. Life isn’t going to stop and I need to interact with people. I start to go a little batty if I spend too much time by myself or with my dog. :crazy eyes:

social-mediaI’m the kind of person who needs social interaction of some kind like some folks need cake, even if it’s based in the virtual world of social media. (Btw, thank goodness for my Twitter friends. They’ve helped me out a few times with writing tips and inspiring words to keep pushing forward.)

With that being said, I might forget to post a few entries on my blogs but in my head, I’ve posted witty and humorous blogs on a daily basis. So let’s pretend shall we?

We’ll say I did and go with it. I’m okay with a little white lie.

Cheers!

Saying No to Resolutions

It’s officially 2013 and time to reflect on the past year or make resolutions for the new one to come.

Eh, I might take time to reflect later. I have a daily word count goal to meet and editing to do. As for resolutions…well, I don’t believe in lying to myself unless it concerns my weight or age. I refuse to get caught up in the propaganda. It leads to broken promises and guilt. I’m over it.

For years, I swore I’d lose weight, learn a new language, stop cursing, etc. etc. I’m still on the yo-yo scale, speak only 2 languages, and can curse with the best of them. I could lie and say this year will be different.

But it won’t and you know what? I’m okay with it. I’ve got goals and aspirations.crossing fingers

My main goal isn’t only for the New Year. It’s for my life. I’m going to finish and publish my book this year. Yes, I’m saying it and putting it out in the universe.

All of the other stuff will happen in its own time. Losing weight requires a lifestyle change (boo). Learning another language isn’t priority right now, maybe in a few months. And cursing?

Sugar Honey Iced Tea, there’s always next year.

Cheers!

It’s only baring my soul, what’s the big deal?

For months, I’ve been hearing about the importance of joining a critique group. You’re not serious about your writing if you aren’t in a critique group. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, it is and it isn’t.

Yes, you should join a critique group, for the support, information, and the kick in the butt. It’s hard to take the first step and let someone else read your precious WIP. I’ve been avoiding it for awhile, kind of like making an appointment for a necessary check-up but don’t want to go to.

Critique-Group-300x300But I sucked it up and went to my first critique group meeting this past Sunday. My tummy was in knots and nerves made my voice quiver a little bit. When I first walked in, I glanced at the door wondering how silly I would look if I made a dash for it and ran out screaming. To make matters worse, I was late for the meeting. (Yes, I have my train wreck moments. Ugh I hate being late, it’s horribly rude.)

So much angst for nothing…sort of. After all, it isn’t easy baring your soul for others to critique with a (gasp) red pen. Fortunately for me, this group of writers are very kind, respectful, and talented. (score). They gave me some great tips and editing advice. They also asked questions about my character and plot that made me think about where I was going with my story.

All in all, I’m glad I finally took the leap to challenge myself and join a critique group. The suggestions and questions they offered were positive. I can already see how helpful joining a critique group will be to my novel. (Oi, apparently, I have some challenges with grammar I need to work on. Blasted commas and tenses, they get me all the time.)

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

He wasn’t wrong about the bleeding.

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The Next Big Thing

I was invited to participate in “The Next Big Thing” by the wonderful Charmaine Brackett http://charmainzbrackett.com/. 🙂 So here it goes…

What is the working title of your book? Innocent Labor (Maybe…)

Where did the idea come from for the book? From a dream or nightmare, depends on how I remember it.

What genre does your book fall under? I would say thriller. I never thought I would write under that genre but there you go.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Cote De Pablo, Karl Urban, Maximiliano Hernandez, and Queen Latifa to only name a few.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Elena, a survivor and no stranger to the cruelty that lurks in the shadows of society, must find the inner strength to face her past to search for a missing girl and hopefully, heal old wounds.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’ll be going self-published. I have too many control issues to go with an agency…um yeah, that’s the reason why I’m going indie.;-)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m still working on it. My main character isn’t finished telling her story yet.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I wouldn’t compare it to any other books. I’m nervous about doing things like that. I always think, “Oh, that writer is so much better!” No, you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I was hounded by a good friend and my husband, “You have all these great stories to tell. You need to put them on paper!” And this might sound cheesy but I’m also inspired by the writers I see who publish their work. When I read their updates and blogs about a new book that’s coming out, I know I can do it too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Human trafficking is much more than having your body taken into prostitution, it’s having your entire life torn away. It happens all over the world and it hits home in Innocent Labor, when a young Elena is kidnapped and years after her escape revisits the nightmarish events when one her students is reported missing. Elena is called to help find the missing teenage girl. This sets off a chain of events that leads Elena to the men who orchestrated her kidnapping so many years ago. Will she set aside her need for revenge or will she take advantage of her chance for retribution?

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Thanks for hanging out. 🙂 Also please be sure to take a moment to visit these other great writers and catch up on their latest news. You won’t be sorry. Cheers!

Paula L. Jones http://yourvervemagazine.weebly.com/pretty-words.html

Linda Bloodworth http://lindabloodworth.wordpress.com/

Tania L. Ramos http://newauthorpublishing.wordpress.com/

Rusty LaGrange http://aflairforwords.com

I had a moment but it’s okay.

It seems like it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Things have been kind of hectic lately. However, I do have some good news to share. I submitted an article to the Inkslinger editor and she accepted it. This means it’ll be published in the HDCWC October newsletter. Yay! :cheers for me:

Want to know something else? I forgot I had poetry published in the HDCWC newsletter September issue as well. (Tonta!) Yea, I know how in the heck does someone forget something like that? I don’t know. I’ve been asking myself the same question for over a week.

In moments such as this, I think it’s just easier to quote my hubby, “Eh, you’ll have that on big jobs.”

Links:

http://www.hdcwc.org/Pages/newsletter.aspx

HDBlogging

Last Saturday I attended my first meeting with High Desert Blogging (www.highdesertblogging.com) and let me just say I was a little nervous about what I could bring to the table. The purpose of High Desert blogging is to blog about the High Desert, pretty easy right?  I have lived in this area for almost ten years (Oh my GAWD has it been that long?!) I should be able to talk about the high desert. There are other bloggers on this website who discuss many subjects regarding the high desert (traveling, gardening, money saving tips, etc).

A new thing that is being added is bartering. Cool idea, huh? A page will be added where you can look up what services people are willing to trade and what people are looking for. It’s an old idea that is getting lots of publicity right now. With economics times being what they are, folks are looking for alternative ways to get the things they need.

For example, I needed angle iron for my fence. Instead of buying it, I called my Dad (love it, right) and he has it (of course). Now he won’t charge me for it because 1) He’s my Dad 2) I’ll buy him dinner or a 12pk of beer. It’s all part of the bartering process. My dad and uncle are famous for it.

They usually barter work. My uncle is a mechanic and my dad is a welder or plumber depending on the day or who is asking. I tease them about being the old school guys who know everyone and can get anything. And they do! I went with my hubby to have a few drinks with his co-workers. One of the guys, who I had just met, says “Tell your Dad I said Hi.” What the heck?  It was totally random and kind of cool. That pretty much sums up this area.  Even with all of the influx of people moving to the high desert area, it still has a small town feel to it. Everyone seems to know everyone in some way, shape or form.

So if you get a chance take a look at www.highdesertblogging.com you never know what you can learn or discover. I’m excited to join this blog and add my own perspective (Just a HD Mom) about living here. Thank goodness they embrace the kookiness that is desert living. I should fit right. 🙂

I’m feeling kinda chingona (bad ass)

It’s only been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged but it seems like so much has changed. Perhaps it’s my perspective rather than my world. I recently went on vacation and came back pumped to jump into the world of writing. Look out world, I’m here and I’m armed with a laptop, social media and registered for writing workshops!!! ( I would lift my laptop as if brandishing a sword but that would be just silly so I digress.)

I think I was allowing things (responsibilities, bleh) to stress me out when the truth is “they” aren’t the most important things in my life. My family, my writing, and I am. So there ::fist pump:: I know I have to be responsible but I don’t have to allow it all to overwhelm me and take over. I’m channeling my inner chingona (bad ass) and I’m going to work with it.

This weekend I attended the monthly meeting for the HD branch California Writers Club. I’ll admit when I got up that morning I really wanted to go back to sleep but I’m so glad I didn’t. It turns out there was a workshop that day. Alan Watt, author (The 90 day novel) and instructor presented a 2 hour workshop Unlock the story within. Oh my goodness, it really was awesome. There were some great writing exercises and ideas that helped get my creative juices going. I’ve had my protagonist sitting on my shoulder, whispering stuff in my ear since Saturday. I don’t know if it’s creepy or a good thing. Whatever it is, I’m going to go with it and just write the story she wants me to tell. If you would like more information about Alan Watt’s classes I’ll include the link at the bottom of the page.

I also volunteered to help out with this year’s writing conference Howling at the Moon 2012 (more details to come) put on by the HDCWC.  Then I agreed to consider blogging for High Desert blogging. I’ve already decided to do it. Ha, it took me about an hour after the meeting to think of some ideas.  On Sunday I sent some poetry to the HDCWC newsletter The Inkslinger for the editor’s review. ::slight cringe:: I hope she likes it.

Holy Moly I’m doing BIG THINGS!! What did I tell you? Creative juices overflow…eww sound like I have a plumbing issue, huh? Well, don’t take it that way silly sally because it’s all good.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that in addition to all that other stuff I signed up for Angela James Before You Hit Send online workshop last week. I’ve read really good things about her workshop and it looks like it is exactly what I need. I’ll include her link at the bottom of the page as well. It looks like lots of information on tips to help self-edit ::shudders::  and learning about pacing, show not tell, etc. Take a moment to click on the link and check it out.

I’m on a roll folks! Hmmm, I might need a theme song before this month is over.

Links:

Alan Watt  www.lawriterslab.com

Angela James  http://nicemommy-evileditor.com/before-you-hit-send/

High Desert Branch California Writers Club http://www.hdcwc.org/Pages/default.aspx

Zombies?

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Zombie attack?! Whatcha talken bout Willis? I know I’m not the only person freaking out about this. I read up on what happened in Miami. Authorities are saying that suspect was allegedly under the influence of bath salts. Are you freaking kidding me? He snorted bath salts and it caused him to eat some poor guys face and then get shot without hardly any reaction!!???

Now I’m not always the quickest horse in the stable but for real? Bath salts? What, the guy didn’t have any hand sanitizer to drink around? Geez, getting high these days is ridiculous. Kids just don’t do it; it’s not worth being laughed at and made fun of. Dare to be different!  Its hand cleaner and bath product for Gods sake!!

Ok, sure I know it’s not like I didn’t take allergy medicine as a young teenager and got a little buzzed. But then again you never heard news stories of someone eating some guys FACE OFF on national news because he or she was high on cold medicine. Sure they might have fell out of window or something but I’m thinking that’s Darwinism. Of course I’ve been accused of being a cold-hearted B*^%# so I could be wrong.

The scary thing is we have a pre-teen of our own. He’s a good kid, very intelligent but not too keen with common sense sometimes. (We see an engineer-based career in his future.) We try as best we can to give him “life lesson” advice but sometimes you can actually see the words go in one ear and out the other. He’s a pre-teen with all the sarcasm of a 25 year old (he’s ours so we expect no less) so I can’t even imagine his reaction when I tell him “Don’t drink the hand sanitizer and Don’t snort bath salts”. God, my kid is going to think I’m an idiot but what’s the alternative, Zombieland?

Just being silly

Last night I realized something about my relationship with my hubby. Here’s a little background info, I grew up in Southern California and he’s from Colorado. With that being said for me, as a teenager it was pretty much a rite of passage to watch movies like Zoot Suit, Blood In, Blood Out, Boulevard Nights, American Me; for him, not so much. In fact, he hadn’t even heard of some these movies until he moved to Southern California (gasp! I know, huh?).

So I’m having trouble sleeping and what else am I to do but harass my partner in life? He’s right next to me, don’t judge me…you know you would do the same. I start poking him in the armpit (mimicking a stabbing motion). I’m thinking of that movie Blood In, Blood Out for some reason. We had just watched Criminal Minds so I’m going to blame it on that.

Sigh… “Babe what are you doing?” He is facing away from me, laying on his side.

“Practicing,” I answer.

“What? To stab me in the armpit?!”

“Well…yea, under the armpit, right thru the lung. Bam! I watched Blood In, Blood Out when I was a teenager.”

“I didn’t see that one. Is that one of those movies like Zoot Suit or American Me?” he asks.

“Yea…Don’t look at me Little Puppet!” I poke him in the armpit again (mimicking a stabbing motion) laughing uproariously at my own joke.

“You got issues.”

After a brief moment, “Babe, are you worried I’m going to try to stab you?” (I have to ask him.)

“Naw, life insurance doesn’t pay you for that.” With those sweet loving words my husband goes to sleep.

For those who don’t know us this might seem strange and kind of crazy but I think that is the quintessential example of who we are as a couple. He accepts me for all my ridiculousness and I accept him for his (trust me he has his moments). I realized that laughter and our plain goofiness is going to be my foundation as I move forward as a writer. Even during those moments when I’m channeling my inner Greek tragedy, I’ll have memories like last night to make me smile and laugh. When it’s all said and done, who cares about movies when I got my man.

For Ginger

So many kisses I gotta give

I wanna play, I wanna play

Oh… this is the best part of the day

 

Look I can jump! Look I can dig!

You mean I’m not supposed to act this way?

It’s fine, I’ll just give momma more kisses

Oh…this is the best part of the day

 

The sun is hot, the wind is soft

Playtime is over but it’s okay

Sigh, now it’s naptime and

This… is the best part of the day