Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I'm currently working on a book about pirates.

One of my struggles has been describing their fictional world because, before now, I've never written a fantasy setting.

So, for the last couple months and I've been taking a pictures of otherworldly things. Like this:

And these:

And these too:

Pretty inspiring, no?

It's a lot easier for me to describe something I've seen rather than something I've only imagined. I love having pictures of the real world to inspire my pirate's fantasy world.

Do you get your settings straight from your imagination or do you base them off things you've seen?

Monday, July 25, 2011


I just picked the winner of Heather Dixon's ENTWINED using

And the winner is:

Alexandra Shostak!

Congratulations Alexandra! I'll email you soon.

We just got back from the Oregon Coast. It was AMAZING. We go every couple years, and it is my favorite vacation ever. I love everything about the Coast. The cool weather, the amazing landscape, the ocean. But mostly I love this:

We talked. We played. We rested. We made memories. And now we're refreshed and ready to get back to real life.

And revising.

How do you recharge?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Writing Community

I've been thinking a lot about social networking lately, and particularly about writers supporting writers through blogging, twitter and Facebook.

My husband started an experiment in January. He's an entrepreneur, so he thought it would be fun to blog business ideas. He'd never blogged before but, not one to do things half way, he decided to post every single day of 2011.

I told him how to make friends through blogging, (visit other similar blogs, follow, comment, start a conversation, etc.), but he hasn't had a lot of success. After 200 posts (more than I've written in the 2 years I've blogged), he still has less than 10 followers and rarely gets a comment.

I tell you this not because I want you to pity my hubby and follow his blog, (though you can if you want, it's here), but because I think his experience has shown me what a unique and supportive community we writers have.

It's easy to make friends in writer-land. I'm grateful for that.

Have you felt welcomed by the blogging writer community?

Have you left a comment on my Karen Book Deal Celebration post yet? I'll choose the winner of ENTWINED by Heather Dixon next Monday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Finally Guilt Free (Almost)

I have four little kids. Caring for them is a full-time (plus nights and weekends) job.

I write.

I don't do much else.

It's taken some time, but I think I've finally learned to let go of my guilt over not being a super-mom. I'm at peace with a not-immaculate house, piles of laundry that build until there's no clean underwear, and Costco lasagna for dinner. I probably won't ever be the mom who runs marathons, throws over-the-top birthday parties, or makes my girls prom dresses. But that's okay.

I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my family and friends. I love writing. And life is too short not to put my focus on the things I love.

Do you have to sacrifice some things so you can write?

Have you left a comment on my Celebrating Karen's Book Deal post yet? I'll choose the winner of ENTWINED by Heather Dixon next Monday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time to Celebrate! Win a copy of ENTWINED by Heather Dixon

It seems like I've had a ton of friends sign with agents, announce book deals, or have books come out in the last few months. Congratulations to all of them!

Today I wanted to honor my sweet friend and loyal critique partner, Karen Hooper, who sold her mermaid book, TANGLED TIDES, on Friday. YAY!!!

Karen is a master of fantasy. The world she builds in TANGLED TIDES is rich and magical, the story is brilliant, and the characters are deep and human (even though they aren't actually human). You will love this book.

To celebrate I'm going to give away my favorite debut so far this year, ENTWINED by Heather Dixon.


I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it, so I'm only going to say five things about it:

1. I hadn't heard about ENTWINED until my 17-year-old sister picked it up from the library.

2. She gushed as she read it multiple times, finally convincing me to pick up a copy.

3. It's a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (probably my favorite fairy tale ever).

4. I LOVED IT. The story is as gorgeous as the cover.

5. Heather Dixon has the most entertaining blog I have ever read (and I've read A LOT of blogs). Seriously. Check it out.

You can watch the book trailer here.

All you have to do to win the book is follow my blog and leave a comment. I'll announce the winner Monday, July 25.

And to make it easy to leave a comment I'll ask two questions: What's your favorite debut so far this year? And HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO READ KAREN'S BOOK!?!?

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Back!

After a very productive blogging break, I've decided to come out of my writing cave.

The break was wonderful. I think I've done more writing in the last three months than I'd done the whole year previous.

Still, I've missed my blog buddies and I've missed having a place to share my thoughts. Plus, there's been so much good news lately, and I was desperate for a blog celebration.

On Friday, one of my best friends and oldest writing buddies, Karen Hooper, announced her BOOK DEAL. This is huge, as she is the first one in my critique group to reach this step. I'm so proud of her and so excited for her. Her book, about mermaids, is titled TANGLED TIDES, and it is awesome. You're going to love it.

So on Wednesday, to celebrate Karen's big news, I'm going to give away a copy of my favorite debut this year. Trust me, you want it. It's REALLY good.

What have you all been up to?!?