Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Years a Little Early and a Saturday Check Out

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years. I'll be back later on to talk about...whatelse...goals for the new year. More than likely you'll be seeing this same topic on bunches of blogs. It's the new year though and that's what we do. Of course if you look in the tiny print you'll see the normal, must lose weight goal. :)

Anyway, check out this link. Phyllis Middleton is a pre-published author (her words,and I love them), who has great insight on how to write the crime scenes in your books. She is also has some great workshops coming up for any of us who are writing books with said crime scenes.

I'd tell you more about her and her life, but go check it out. I know, I'll be keeping her contact info. There are times when you just need to know about fingerprints, crime scene tape, and oh so much more. :D

Happy New Years to all of you,

Vicki

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope that each of you have a wonderful day. That you enjoy your gifts, and remember that the best gift of all is time spent with family and friends.

If I could send you a gift through the internet, it would be blessings for your home and lot's of words flowing from your fingers. :)

There are so many of you who I only know through our blog world and yet you've each become a special friend who means the world to me.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Vicki

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Gratitude Campaign

A friend sent this video to me and I thought it was worth sharing. Regardless of our views on war, it breaks my heart to think of the families who will be without their loved ones during the holidays (or any other time).

Our men and women who are there may or may not agree with our own individual view points of this war but one thing I pretty sure is it touches their hearts to have someone say, thank you. This is such a simple way to do it.

Again, not going political here at all, but this touched me and I thought it might touch you as well.



I'm busy working on edits and will up date the meter soon. I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful holiday season. Of course the gifts are fun and we love to rip the paper but my biggest wish is for you to enjoy your family and friends during this time. :)

WW's and PD's to all my friends in our amazing blog world. Each of you mean so much!

Vicki

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Not So Much Cold Here Now...

Our weather in Sunny Florida changes by the hour. Not the day or week but the hour. You could leave your home in the morning and it's cold (our cold)but by the time you get settled into your office and go outside for break you find you no longer need that long sleeve sweater. In fact, now you're wishing for the short sleeve blouse you eyed in the closet this morning. I really don't like this kind of weather. I. Want. Seasons. Not that I'm going to get them but still a girls gotta dream.

I found a great blog for writers. Edittorrent had wonderful advice on writing. Check it out and let me know what you think. As I have said before, you must continue to improve your craft. Just when you think you got it, that's when you'll read something and a little (or huge) nugget will be sitting there shinning bright, just for you.

The presents are wrapped. The ones that are being mailed today anyway. I've got fingers crossed they will make it by Christmas. The Post Office says yes so I'm praying they are correct. Next year? Present for out of town bought and mailed earlier or it's gift cards. :)

Gotta go do the work holiday lunch thing today so I'll be back later.

Let me know if you checked out the site.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside...

It’s finally cold here. I know, for all of you who are up north this isn’t considered cold, but us in the South 45 degrees is cold. We pull out the boots, long coats, gloves, and whatever we can to wear since we might be back in the 80’s in a couple of days.

However long it last I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest! Hot weather does not make me feel like Christmas even though I’ve lived here all my life.

Laurie K. and I had another mega shopping day on Saturday but I can honestly say, I’m done. Wrapping is a whole other story. Tonight I must wrap everything that has to go in the mail tomorrow. Remember wrapping is not my favorite thing to do. I mean I love them once there done. I don’t use store bought bows but make my own, so they pretty good once the product is finished. Hmmmm…maybe I should be using the store bought ones. Takes less time. Nah, I like them this way better. :)

I did manage to work on AT&B this weekend but not near enough. After reading Erica’s blog, I was reminded of setting my goal or deadline if you will.

This means I have tonight to wrap and then maybe finished the book I’m reading. Tomorrow everything will once again revolve around the book until I’ve shinned that baby as much as I possible can.

So how was your weekend? Are you finally finished like I am or still waiting to shop?

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Holidays are Here!!!

I saw this over on Alison Kent’s blog and since it is the season thought I’d put it here. No one has been tagged, but if you decide to put it up on yours let us know in the comments. We love to check stuff like this out. :)

I edited the questions to hopefully include everyone. :D

1. What is your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa romance to re-read each year?
This is a hard one since I can’t find the one I used to love. I don’t remember the name but there was a present that appeared under the tree and no one knew who placed it there. During the book they were trying to find what was needed in order to not lose their home (historical) and at the end it was in the present from…they never knew.

2. What is your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa movie/show?
I have two. It’s A Wonderful Life and The Christmas Story

3. What is your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa cookie?
Fruitcake cookies. I typically hate the actual fruitcake but the cookie recipe is yummy.

4. When do you start Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa shopping?
Normally I start very early, like September or October. This year, not so much. I did a mega shopping day last Sunday though and I’m almost done. Which is a good thing since Christmas is 13 days away (counting today).

5. Do you re-gift?
Nope. I do reuse gift bags though. That’s okay, right?

6. What is your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa song?
Okay, so I love them all. But I do love Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, and the video below is fun as well. :)

7. When do you get your Christmas tree? Or begin to decorate for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?
Since mine is artificial, it’s usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I miss having a real tree. Maybe when the doggies are older.

8. Wrapping presents: Love it or hate it?
If I wrap them as I buy them then I love it. If I wait and have to do them all at once, I hate it.

9. Who is the hardest person to buy for?
Hmmm…I had to think about this. I would say my son. He’s nineteen and that pretty much says it all.

10. Christmas tree: Real or artificial?
See number 7

And now for some holiday cheer in song. I thought this was fun since it captured so many of the songs.



So how about you? Are you finished shopping? Do you like it? What's your favorite things about it?

Oh and I revised the first 6 pages. Only 300 more to go. :D

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Do You Get Back To Work?

We all know that I finished my first draft of AT&B on Sunday, December 2nd at 4:01pm. That one I shouted from the roof top. In fact, I think Bill may have heard me over in Greenwich.

I wrote so many words that weekend (19k+) I couldn’t begin too start edits as my mind would not wrap around anything for several days.

It’s now been a week and I still have not begun them. My office is a wreck, the tree needs ornaments and…give me a second, I’m sure there is something else. I even have a great three chapter crit from Maven Lacey from the Manuscript Mavens. How much more can a girl ask for?

See what I mean. I’m finding excuses to not start on it. I didn’t actually realize that until this morning. I’ve made goals for this next part of the journey and still here I sit. Every time I pick it up ready to go, I sit there and decide not just yet. Or I think to myself, you really should clean out the fridge. Clean out the fridge??? Now who thinks that?

So, how about you? What do you do when you need to start your edits? How do you get yourself to go back to page one and begin?

Side note here: If you’re not reading the Mavens blog, you really should add it to your list of daily reads.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday - Weekends and Holidays, You Gotta Love Them

Wow, what a busy weekend I had. Friday, I did community service (the day job pays us to do two CS a year) with Hospice, wrapping presents at the mall. I didn’t think we would be very busy. Boy was I wrong. It’s still so much fun. People are pretty happy and love having their gifts wrapped and ready to go under their tree.

Saturday was our TARA Christmas/Holiday party. Talk about tons of fun. It’s the one time of the year you really get to mingle with everyone.

Then there is the gift exchange. Quick version here, the game has been around for ever and has many different names. You pick a number. Then the person with the first number starts. They pick a gift. The person brought the gift stands up, tells who they are, and what they write. The ornament usually has something to do with their wip or book. More often than not there are other goodies in the bag as well. Chocolate? Of course, all writers love chocolate. :) The person with number two has the option of opening a new gift or stealing the one that has been open. If they steal then that person gets a new gift. And so the game continues. The biggest rule we have is a person can only be stolen from three times. At that point their gift is off limits.

It usually takes about ten people before the stealing commences, or until the TARA Bear shows up. After the party a bunch of us went to, where else, Starbucks. Coffee or tea is the other things writer’s love/crave. Again, it was a great time to sit, chat, and catch up with each other.

Oh totally forgot…my Crit/Partner in crime, Laurie K. won the BC challenge. Everyone who finishes their manuscript, yes it can be in POS form, has to bring a copy of it with them to the party in order to receive a ticket. Once of those tickets are chosen and that person wins. I am so proud of her!! She did not think she would be finished in time and look at her now. She wrote the end before Thanksgiving and won. How cool is that? Very cool since her book is amazing.

This brings us to Sunday. Since I had not bought many presents I decided I should do some shopping. Apparently so did the rest of the town I live in. I found great deals and did manage to do most of the shopping. This started about 10:30 AM and lasted until 6:45 PM. Tired, you ask? Oh yeah, but very happy with my gifts.

I’m really picky about gifts. I can’t just buy something to buy it. I have to look and find the perfect gift for each person.

My yard is decorated and my house is done with the exception of the tree. It has lights (which I turn on at night) and an angel on top. The rest of the decorations are sitting in a box beside the tree. Hopefully tonight I’ll get them on. I mean it is only 16 days until Christmas, counting today. Oh lord, that means I need to get those presents wrapped and in the mail. Yikes!

Oh and start the revisions on the AT&B. I need to have it ready to send out by the middle of January. Major yikes!!! It was requested at conference so now I need to get it out to the agents. Side note here: I did not have an appointment, but was asked by them to pitch. I did tell them it was not finished at the time. Both of them (separate pitches) still said they were interested and would like to see it when it was finished. This is both exciting and scary. I know it could be rejected by both and while that’s not the happy place to be, the scariest part of all is…The Dreaded Synopsis. Yes, it’s time to write the real thing. If you noticed the sidebar then you’ll see I now have a revision meter. I figured I should put one up since it keeps me going.

So, how was your weekend? Did you shop? Write? Did you do anything fun? Have you finished your goals and started on new ones?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wednesday Funny

I changed the actual name of the bank in this story to Bank. While I thought it was funny, I didn't want to leave the name of the place of business in case this is not a true story. Unfortunately, I can so see/hear this happening.

Enjoy, and I promise I will be back in writing form next week. I'm trying to get my head around beginning edits and it's just not quite there yet.

Cancel your credit card before you die..........(hilarious!)

Now some people are really several fries short of their happy meal!!!! Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die.

This is so priceless, and so, so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today.
A lady died this past January, and Bank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Bank.

Here is the exchange:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'

Bank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

Bank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is
dead?'

Bank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her
to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Bank: 'Excuse me?'

Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part
about her being dead?'

Bank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January
with a $0 balance.'

Bank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges
still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Bank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

Bank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given )

After they get the fax:

Bank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what
more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Bank: 'Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.' (What is
wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Bank: 'That might help.'

Family Member: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Bank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???

(Priceless!!)

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Check In

I did it! I typed those two little words that cause you to sit back and laugh and cry at the same time. The End.

I had a crazy marathon writing weekend starting Saturday early and finishing Sunday at 4:00PM. I'm still amazed that I finished.

I could not have done it without some wonderful people who continue to encourage and also kick me in the rear when necessary.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. The brain is sort of mush. Tomorrow I'll be back with the contest winner from last week and a real post. :)

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday Check Outs

Just a quick hello and happy Saturday to everyone. I've added a couple of links on the side but thought I'd give them to you here as well.

The first one I found on Diana Peterfreund’s blog. It a great blog for all aspiring writers and any writers who haven't been recently published to read. Dear Agent Manners is a must read.

The second one I found through one of my chapters From The Heart Romance Writers and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her post. I'm sure you will too. Stephie Smith gives a great outlook on writing and glimpses into her own life.

So check them out and come back and leave your comments.

Hope your having a fab weekend.

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Fun

Happy Friday, Everyone!

I thought I'd put a couple of video's on the site today for you. The first one is from Britain's Got Talent and the second is from America's Got Talent. Two totally different types of talent, even though they both sing. Both of these men are amazing in their talents.

I hope you enjoy them! The first, Paul Potts is...well, I sat there stunned as I watched him. Now, I have his CD and I love playing it while I'm writing. :) It still brings tears when I watch it. This is someone who didn't give up on his talent and what within him. He sings, we write, and we don't give up either.



This is Terry from America's Got Talent. Again, if you didn't see this when it was on air I think you'll be quite surprised. I know I was. I totally agreed with the judges when he walked out on stage. My thoughts were, not another one. Then he began and I was wowed by his talent as well.



So, what did you think? I hope you enjoyed them and also came away with a little bit more I can do this attitude for your own talent as well.

Don't forget to check back on Sunday for this week's winner.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams for all of us,
Vicki

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Life From A to Z - in lieu of T13 This Week

I read this over at Pat’s blog, who found it on Gwyneth Bolton’s, who found it on…well, you’ll have to link back to all of them because I’m sure it continues on much like the “Song that will not end”.

Thought it was pretty cool, so instead of the normal T13 this week I’m doing this one. Feel free to use it on your own blog. If you do, link to it in the comments so we’ll know to go check it out.

My Life From A to Z

A - Age: Yeah, right. I’m older that 38 and younger than 60…you’ll have to guess on your own, unless you already know. Hee hee

B - Best Friend: Laurie K. and Willis (aka Dorothy)

C - Choice of Meat: Love a really great Steak but also love, love Fish, and of course chicken. Okay, so I like most meat.

D - Dream Date: Science Guy and I having a nice dinner and then walking on the beach watching the sunset. Really, I love that.

E - Exciting Adventure: Hmmmm…I had to think about this one. Of course I agree with Pat the journey to publication is amazing but one of the things I really want to do is go see the Whales. As far as an EA that I actually done, one of them would be going to New York and Canada. I loved everything about the snow and all the fun I had playing in it. :)

F - Favorite Food: Pizza – nuff said on that one. :)

G - Greatest Accomplishment: My kids would be first and coming back to writing after so many years. There are others but I’ll leave it at that.

H - Happiest Day of Your Life: There are several, of course the birth of my children. What mother wouldn’t say that, unless she’s not right. But seriously, meeting SG was a big one.

I - Interests: Writing, Reading, Painting, Singing, Acting, and hanging out with friends who usually like to talk about Writing. :)

J - Joke: Not on this one. I mean do you want me to tell you a joke or tell you about a joke played on someone?

K - Kool-Aid: Lime or purplesuresrex (I think that one was grape and lemonade mixed together actually) and neither are easy to find.

L - Love: giving of yourself to others. Putting their feelings before you own, being able to be quiet with each other and still know that it’s all good.

M - Most Valued Possession: My grandmothers sweater and homemade quilt, my fathers flag (although I don’t actually have that anymore), Cards my family and friends have given me. Things like that are valued. The rest is stuff. Don’t get me wrong I have stuff that I really like, maybe even love but it’s stuff nonetheless.

N - Name: Vicki, V once in a while from Laurie, Vic from several people, Leon from Willis

O - Outfit You Love: Black dress and the strappy sandals that go with it.

P - Pizza Toppings: Mushrooms, black olives, onions, maybe bacon or pepperoni, but I like the first three the most.

Q - Question Asked To You the Most: Is your book finished? Or how soon will it be on the shelves to buy? I love the thought of the second one, but have to explain to them the process of first being contracted and then how long it can actually take to hit the shelves once that happens.

R - Radio Station: 94.9, which doesn’t really tell you much, but they play a little bit of everything on there.

S - Sport: Nascar! Basketball and baseball. I watch football and hockey with SG sometimes but they’re not my favorite.

T - Television Show: Hero’s and in January 24. I like several others but those are my fav's. The writers on Hero's are amazing!!! So many plots, so many important characters.

U - Umbrella in the rain?: Yes, my hair has natural curl to it when I don’t blow it dry, so I try not to get it wet once I've blown and straightened it.

V - Video: We really don’t watch a lot of video’s so I’m not sure what to put here.

W - Winter: My winter consist of sometimes a chilly and sometimes pull out the shorts days. I would love to have actual seasons; I loved the snow when I was in New York a couple of years ago.

X - X-rays recently?: No

Y - Year Born: Ummm…hello, I may be blonde but this kinda goes back to the letter A and age thing.

Z - Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Your turn, any of these you'd like to tell us or are you going to do this on your blog? Link back to me so we can check it out.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Wednesday Fun

Okay, so this won't apply to everyone but I thought it was funny nonetheless. Sit back and enjoy. Oh and if you're not a baby boomer just yet then watch what you have to look forward too. :)

This is one of Walt Handelsman's cartoons. I tried to put the video on the site but it wouldn't let me, so click the link, watch it and then come back to comment. :)

Baby Boomers

Since I'm on major deadline to finish the first draft of my book by December 6th, the posts will be shorter than normal. When I get home from the day job I'm on the computer writing the word count needed to complete the book. I don't open the Internet at all until I've made that word count happen. Talk about control...not so much. It's killing me. I love to spend time on the blogs and so forth. Which is the reason I'm in deadline now. I had too many nights of playing instead of writing.

Looking back at all the nights I put a zero for my daily word count I now realize I would have been done weeks ago. Oh well, such is life and playing in the blog world. :)

So, do blogs, email, and general browsing the net stop you from making your deadlines? What do you do to avoid it?

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Check In and Contest and Winner (last weeks), Oh My...

Monday, and not only is it the beginning of the week, it’s the Monday after Thanksgiving. Food, maybe buying holiday gifts, and oh yes, eating more food. So what do we do today? We diet, of course. I mean hello, Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza (please excuse me if I missed one) is right around the corner and then it’s more food. Which means for the next few weeks, Science Guy and I will be dieting, or at least trying too. :)

Truly, I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends, counting the blessing we have be they small or large.

Last week’s contest winner is Erica!!! Congrats Miss E. I’ve got your info.

My word count for this week is 2142. Which doesn’t sound too bad for a holiday week and since I went out of town for basically five days (including travel). Trust me; this is not a good word count for me. I have to have a little over a 1000 words each day to meet my goal of December 6th.

This week’s contest is a continuation in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by
JR Ward. Lover Revealed is a marvelous book. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I say this about each of her books. And it’s true, I do. The thing here is by now I’m hoping you see the pattern. She is an amazing writer.



Here’s the back cover blurb:

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him...


If you’d like to read the excerpt: Lover Revealed Excerpt

So, how about you, are you meeting your goals? Do you have any deadlines before the end of 2007? How was your Thanksgiving? Did you stay home or travel? Leave your comments through out the week to be entered into this weeks contest.

Oh, I’m trying to get the sidebar slideshow working and then I’ll have pictures, not just flowers. :)

It's working, it's working!!! Whoo Hoo!!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Travel Day

Just a quick note to let you know I'll be traveling today so not much on the blog or visiting my online families. :)

Oh, and the plane I'm flying on...it only seats 19!!! I don't like the small planes but in order to not travel all day long and still be in Florida this is the only way to go. My family lives in Destin, Florida and I'm so excited to be going to see them.

In case I don't make it on tomorrow, I hope everyone has a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving. Take a moment to remember the little things you're thankful. Sometimes it those small things in our lives we forget about when they mean the world to us.

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Monday, November 19, 2007

Frogs and Miracles

Willis sent this to me and I thought I'd share it with you.

Frogs
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs…who arranged a running competition.

The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants....

The race began....

Honestly:

No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

You heard statements such as:

"Oh, WAY too difficult!!" "They will NEVER make it to the top."

or: "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one....

Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher..

The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up....

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....

This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out....

That the winner was DEAF!!!!


The wisdom of this story is:

Never listen to other people's tendencies to be

negative or pessimistic... because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. (There's life and death in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21.)

Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore:

ALWAYS be....

POSITIVE!

And above all:

Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

If you fall down 10 times,
Stand up 11 times.


In other words if you’re rejected 10 times you may need to submit something new but submit again you must. A great friend once told me never give up today because tomorrow might be your miracle. I realize that the miracle comes from hard work but you can achieve your dreams if you never, ever give up on them.

Funny thing, my Flavia calendar today said: What we've worked and hoped for doesn't show until one morning we wake to se a field of miracles.

One of the major key words there is worked. This writing journey takes work. It's not easy, but if this is your hearts desire never give up and never listen to those who say you can't do it. Be the frog, the deaf frog too them. :)

WW's and PD's,

Vicki




Monday Checking In and Contest - WhooHoo, It's good to be back in the swing of things :)

Ah Monday, time to check in with last weeks count and give the goal for this week. Can anyone say, thank god for Sunday? If I hadn’t written on Sunday the word count would have been very low. It’s not what I know I need to finish the book before the TARA Christmas party, but they’re new words add all the same.

Here you go: word count added – 1773. Sounds like a good year or something. :) Goal for this week is to write everyday even with the holiday. I’m going to Destin to see my family and I’m so excited but I will write.

The contest is back in full swing this week with the third JR Ward book. This weeks it’s Lover Awakened. That link will take you to the excerpt page.



And here’s the back cover blurb:

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…


My thoughts on one of the brothers:
Zsadist is a vamp/man who you will love and feel the fear at the same time. His past dictates who he is and why he’s become that person. Still as you read the books you know there is a man inside who cares deeply for the BDB. There is one thing though – if you’re out at night and see the scared man be careful. Unless he knows you he’ll not want to carry on a conversation or go have drinks. He’ll more than likely scare the crap out of you.

Take some time and visit the site. Get to know him and then jump into his world. I promise once you do you’d fight to the death with any Lesser for him.

So, you all know that I love this series and word up it’s not like any series I’ve ever read before. I know these guys and somehow even though they’re supposed to be characters in a book, coming from JR’s mind I think they know me. They’ll know you too once you begin.

Now it’s your turn. How was your week? Did you write? Meet your goals? What’s your goals for next week? Have you got your own personal deadline for finishing your book? And last, but certainly not least, have you read any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books? I’d love to hear what you think about them.

Leave your comments to be entered into the contest each day this week.

As always, Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm Back...

Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I'll be back in the swing of things on Monday. It's been weird to not be active in the blog world for the past week. Oh, I've visited a few and even left a comment here and there but not the normal spending time with my blog buddies. I've missed you guys. :)

Unless tomorrow proves to be a productive writing day I'm not going to have many words to post on Monday but post them I shall.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and I'll see you Monday morning.


WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Really Late Check In and a few Pics of the B-day Party

Missy and Aaron have went home. The goodbyes at the airport were filled with hugs and tears. When I came back home the house felt empty and it was hard to get back into the swing of things.

But I'm back now. Ready to post last weeks word count and begin working on the book again. I a little less than a month to finish the first draft of this wip so busy I will be. :)

Word count for last week is: 3593 and that's without writing once the family came in town. Needless to say I wrote hard and long for several days prior. Most of it is probably POS but I can fix it later.

Since I said I'd post a few pics of the party here you go. The party was a murder mystery so everyone came in their characters. I'd never done one of these and it turned out to be really fun.













Since it's so late in the week I'm not doing a contest this week. Next week I'll have the next book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

So, how was your week? Did you do anything crazy and fun? How was your writing week? Did you meet your goals?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Family, Parties, and Contest Winners - Pics to Follow

I’m having a wonderful time with my daughter and snl. It’s going to be very hard on Tuesday morning when I take them back to the airport. :(

Since they live in Arizona, we see each other once or twice a year and that’s just not enough when you’re as close as we are.

My actual b-day is Monday but they threw a party for me last night. It was so much fun. We did a murder mystery and everyone had a blast. Most came in costume according to their characters. I have to say that Holly and Les (character names) blew me away when they walked in the door. They came in as their characters and stayed that way until the very end. It was great. We laughed, ate, laughed more and just had a wonderful time.

I’ve got pictures to prove it and will post them later today or tomorrow.

The contest winner for this past week is none other than the fab Anne-Marie. I can’t wait for you to read this book. Since you’ve told me that you haven’t really read vampire books you are in for a major treat. JR Ward is definitely one of the best to begin with. I can’t wait to hear what you thought about the book. :)

Today Science Guy and I are taking the kids (they’re not actually kids but to me they probably always will be), to the beach for breakfast. Yummy place and it’s right on the beach. It’s a bit cool though but that’s okay. Jackets, food, beach sand, water hitting the edge, and of course a walk on said beach is in order.

Tomorrow is check in with your word count and a new contest.

So, what’s your weekend been like? Anything exciting or have you relaxed, getting yourself ready for the new workweek?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Friday, November 9, 2007

Major Congrats for CL Wilson

The kids are here and we're playing but I couldn't wait till next week for this. CL Wilson, Cheryl, has made the NYT best-sellers list. Whoo-hoo!!! In fact she is #26. Huge party going on right now! Lots of cyber snoopy dancing, chocolate, and wine going around. Of course the real thing is happening as well.

If you haven't read her books then what are you waiting for. They are amazing.

Anyway, I'm off to do things with the family but had too put thisup first.

Hope everyone's weekend is great. I'll announce this weeks winner on Sunday so be sure and check back.

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Family's Here So Today We Play

Hey everyone, just a quick note to let you know I won't be putting up a T13 this week. Since Melissa and Aaron just came in last night we'll be out playing today.

I'll post tomorrow but in the mean time I thought you might like to post in the comments three of your favorite things to do or places to go. All comments will be added to win the contest this week.

Hope everyone has a great day and yeah, it's weird to not be around my blog family and friends. :)

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What Do Your Characters Eat?

A friend sent this to me and I loved it. I thought I'd share it with you.



The Two Wolves
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all..

One is Evil.

It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"


The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


Not only does this apply to us it applies to our characters. What are you feeding them? Does your H/H struggle to be good or perhaps your Villain, does he/she feast on evil or struggles to maintain the evil inside?

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Check In and Contest

I totally forgot to announce last week’s contest winner! One of the girls at work drew the name and everything. So before I go forward, let’s go back in time pretending it’s Friday for a moment. :)

The winner is Anne!! Major congrats!! Email me your snail mail addy at vickilanewrites @ yahoo.com and I’ll mail out your book.

Also, I haven’t heard from Susanhalter, the winner of the weeks before. Please email me your information as well.

Time for check in: Word count for last week is 2552. Not a bad word count but not the amount that I need to finish on time. Which basically means my daily word count goal now becomes a bit higher.

I didn’t write at all yesterday. I read the 4th book in the JR Ward, Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I couldn’t put it down. Her world…hmmmm…really the brotherhoods world is amazing.

In fact, for the next several weeks I’m going to give away her books. Since I’ve already given away Dark Lover, this week we’ll begin with book two.



Lover Eternal is the second in the series. You can read an excerpt at the link above. This is Rhage’s book.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…


If you want to know which of the brothers I like better, I can’t give you that answer. It’s a bonding thing and when you become bonded to the brotherhood you love them all and their Shellans. No, there's not a spicy aroma emitting, that's between a male and his mate. Still you can be sure there is a bonding. That is unless you like the smell of baby powder discharging from your soul. Then the bond thing, not so much.

They each have different strengths and weakness. Ummm…don’t tell Zsadist I said anything about weaknesses. Okay, maybe you shouldn’t tell any of them I said that. They’re not so much down on the weakness thing.

I cannot actually visit the compound and let Wrath, the King, know I’m sharing their world with you, I can only hope he will read this blog. You see as a human once you’ve been there you can’t go back. Just ask Butch. But then, why would you want too? :)

Oh, and one more thing. Actually this is a very important thing. Should you meet the Scribe Virgin remember to keep your head lowered and DO NOT ask her any questions. No matter how badly you'd like to know the answers. None, not a one.

So, it’s your turn. Did any of the above wet your appetite? How did you do this week? Did you meet your goals? Have you read any of the Black Dagger books? Let us know.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Thursday, November 1, 2007

T13 - Halloween



Before I start the T13 I wanted to remind you one last time to check out the Maven’s blog. The story is over and oh yeah, I want more. The end was incredible. No one saw that twist. :) If you haven’t read them go now and read each one from the beginning. Then vote on the title. They’re listed on today’s blog and let me tell you it will be a hard decision. This has been so much fun. Thank you Mavens for doing it and I can’t wait until the next one happens. Big hint there.

Another Halloween has come and gone. These are just a few of things I enjoy on this day.

1. Decorating the house and the yard. I didn’t decorate this year which is odd for me. There are several homes around me that did though and they went all out. So much so that traffic slows down to look at them. Not that I mind since I’m part of the slow down traffic. It seems each time I see something new.

2. Dressing up. Oh yeah, I still like to dress up. At the ‘day job’ we can come in costume to work. This is always fun since it’s such a large company you see everything from an orange t-shirt w/ jeans to a full all out costume.

3. Candy or chocolate to be exact. All those bags of chocolate to give out to the kids. I love seeing their costumes and their faces as you put candy in their bags. I like to give out the good stuff. The kind that when they get home and their parents look through the bag I know they’ll want to keep it.

4. Apples – candy or caramel. Either one works for me. I don’t give those out but eating them are yummy.

5. Movies – Okay so I can’t really watch the scary movies. It something about my mind that wants to turn them in to reality. I mean I watched the first Jason movie way back in the day and still I can see the mask.

6. The day after Halloween sale – this is for candy, costumes for next year, and new decorations. Gotta love a sale.

7. Seeing the pictures of
Leslie Kelly’s house on the Plotmonkeys blog. She really knows how to do a haunted house.

8. HGTVWhat can I say? I love this channel and this time of year they show all sorts of homes that decorate for Halloween. It can takes months and months for some of these houses.

9. Fall is finally arriving down in the south. Not to say that it’s much cooler but at least you know it’s here.

10. This one goes along with 9 but for me it signals the time to begin in earnest with the rest of the year’s decorations and buying presents for Christmas. OMG, it’s really less than two months away!!!

11. Parties – friends and family getting together to laugh, eat, drink and relax.

12. Changing the decorations from spooky to turkeys. :) Yep, I have stuff that can be left out for the entire two months (October and November) but I also have some that needs to go back into their Rubbermaid homes and others that come out. (I know, I didn’t decorate for Halloween this year, but I’ll pull out the Thanksgiving stuff this weekend)

13. Friends, and blogs, and emails, Oh MY! I’m sure you’re like me and have friends who you’ve never actually met and this is one of those times of the year were you see pictures, hear about their family’s fun and send pictures back and forth.

So, how was your Halloween? Did you dress up? Do you have lots of candy left over or did you give it all out and have to look for something else to hand out as the last group came to your house?



WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wednesday Fun - Who Do You Look Like?

It's Wednesday and it's Halloween. What better day than to do a littling morphing. :)

I found this over on AM's blog. She did the one that shows several celeb look-alikes. When I checked out the site they had different ways to do that one and then...I found the one that morphs you into the celeb they think you look most like.

As you'll see, they think I look like Joley Richardson. Oh for that to be true. :D


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Anyway, check it out. See who you look like and let us know. Which one did you do? Morph? or the page with all your celeb look alikes?

Did you dress up for Halloween today? If so, who are you? What's your favorite part of Halloween? Dressing up? Giving out candy to the little kids and not so little kids?

Be sure and check out the Maven's as I think today may wrap up the story. If you haven't read them go back and read each installment. Leave your comment and give it a title. You could win prizes!!

Happy Hauntings,

Vicki

Every Had One of Those Mornings...

I understand just how he feels. :)
video

Don't forget to check out the Maven's blog. The story, yet to be titled is coming to a close. It's been great fun!!! Thank you Mavens and everyone else who has had a part in the telling of...wait, I'll not give it away. If you haven't read them head on over now and catch up. There's still time, but not much so go now. :)

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Check In and Yep, Contest Time

Good Monday morning (or afternoon). It’s getting closer to Halloween, my daughter coming to visit, and Thanksgiving. So Monday’s aren’t looming over me with the weeks just beginning feeling right now. Too much stuff is happening.

Before we check in and I announce this weeks contest I wanted to remind you to check out the Maven’s. Today’s installment is by Julie Leto. I’m pretty sure ‘A’ won out yesterday and if so than she’ll be writing a love scene. Who better than Julie to write a love scene between two half dead, or are they all dead??? You’ll have to check it out to know. :)

It’s time to check in and let us know how you did this week. I wrote 5494 words. Whoo-hoo!! I’m actually in last act of the book right now. I’ve got about 29,000 words left to go and I need it done prior to December 3rd.

After the fabulous CL Wilson released her first book, Lord of the Fading Lands, I, much like the rest of the reading world couldn’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. Thank goodness this was a quick release and it’s HERE!!!

This week’s contest is Lady of Light and Shadows. It promises to be another fabulous read. The reviews are awesome and I know you’re going to love it.



Man, does she have awesome covers or what? I love them. The covers alone would make me pick up the book.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Since her earliest memories, Ellysetta Baristani has feared magic, even as she has been inexorably drawn to all things Fey, especially the poetry and legends of Rain Tairen Soul. Now claimed as Rain’s truemate and no longer able to deny her own magic, Ellysetta is swept into the very center of a struggle filled with the magic and darkness she has always feared. The High Mage of Eld wants to capture her. The most murderous dahl’reisen who ever lived wants her dead. And her enemies will corrupt even the people she loves most in their quest to claim her magic for themselves.

To read an excerpt follow this link.

You know the drill, leave your comments through out the week to be entered into the contest.

So, how did you do this week? Did you meet your goals, come close, or go beyond? Are you working on a deadline to finish the wip or are you taking your time, writing as you can?

Tell us, we like to cheer you on and will even pull out the red stiletto’s if needed. :)

Hope your week is a great one!!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday Contest Winner - On Saturday

I totally forgot to announce the winner of this week’s contest on yesterday’s post.

Susanhalter is this week’s winner. Please email me at vickilanewrites at yahoo.com with your snail mail addy and I’ll send out your autographed book. I’m sure you’re going to love it. If you’d like to post a review of the book on your site after reading it, please let me know and I’ll link to it from here.

I know I’ve told you about the Maven’s blog, but just in case anyone missed it I wanted to tell you again. They are doing a really cool you pick the next installment of the story line. Tomorrow Diana Peterfreund will be posting the next part of the story.
So, head over, read the story thus far, and pick your choice for what comes next. It’s going to be great!!

Also, over on the Plotmonkeys Saturday Writing Craft, they have author Colleen Collins. She has a great blog on characters lying and cheating. Check it out.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. The weather here is beginning to cool off. Well, not too much but still it’s better than it was.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Friday, October 26, 2007

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How???

Who are you as an author? What made you decide to write? When and Where do you write? Why do you do it? How bad do you want it? The last question may well be the most important question you’ll ask yourself in your writing career.

The Encyclopedia, The Free Dictionary online has this to say concerning the definition of an author.

An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article, or the like, whether short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, technical or literary.

Who? As an author you are the one to pen/type your words, create your world, and introduce us to your characters. It’s your job to make them come to life for the reader. To so submerge them into this world you’ve created, the reader will sigh as they close the book not wanting to leave their new found friends.

So, what made you decide to write? Or this could simply say why do you write? You can read the post on why do you write, in its entirety here.

Or maybe it’s one of the ones below.
Is it because:
a. You’ve read 1000 books and decided, “Hey, I can do that.”
b. This years lineup on TV just aren’t doing it for you and your bored
c. Everybody’s writing something, besides it’s pretty cool to tell people you’re a writer
d. Because the damn muse will not shut up. You’re character won’t leave you alone. In fact they’re pretty much demanding you write their story or forfeit all thoughts of sleep and a normal life.

Depending on “Who” you are, you may pick any one of the above. For me, it’s definitely the last one. I go to sleep thinking about the book and wake up thinking about it. I have notepads everywhere in case they speak to me and I’m not near the computer. Trust me, if I don’t write it down I might just forget it. My muse knows this, but she a stubborn one. I pretty sure she feels like once she tells me it’s my job to get and remember it.

When and Where do you write? Are you a morning person, like C L Wilson, who loves to write at 4:00 AM or are you an late night person, like Anne Marie who prefers anywhere from 11:00 pm until the dreaded 4:00 AM? Me, I’m neither of those. I write when I get home from the day job. Regardless of when you write the importance is that you write. You will never see the end if you don’t have HOKBIC (hands on keyboard, butt in chair). Where you choose to write should be the place that most inspires you. If you need absolute quiet then sitting in front of the tube with the kids/dogs playing all around you probably won’t work. If that doesn’t bother you and your creative juices flow between commercials then by all means do that. Basically what I’m saying it pick what works best for you and to use Nike’s phrase Just Do It.

Okay, you’ve answered the who, what, when, where, and why’s. There’s just one more question to ask. This, in my humble opinion, may be the most important question to answer in your writing career.

How bad do you want it? Are you willing to give up television at night in order to write? If you work a day job are you willing to make this your second job to get it done? This is your career and it’s up to you how fast or long it takes to reach “The End”. But if you’re serious about wanting this as a career you must make time to write everyday or almost everyday. How much time you devote will differ from day to day and also depending on your life. But time devoted is the only way you’ll finish the book.

If this is to be a career then yes, it’s your second job until the day comes you can make it your one and only job. How long will it take you? That’s your decision and yours alone. For me, it’s working on it everyday when I come home from pay the bills job. I’ve heard that in order to achieve the things you want most you should act like it’s already a done deal. That means writing deadlines and finishing the book.

So your turn, do you have any Who, What, When, Where, Why and How’s going on in your world? Have you decided this is your career and created a career path for yourself? Or are you simply writing as you have time just for the joy of writing a story?

Oh, any by the way, if you haven’t been to the Maven’s this week for the Choose Your Own Adventure, what are you waiting for. You’ve got several days to read and then choose the next. It’s a writer’s Halloween party going on over there. :)

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Vicki

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Weird Things You Would Never Know



The pic is from last year. I was, in case you're not sure a spider woman. Not like spiderman. But with spiders and spider webs everywhere.

These are some Weird Things You Would Never Know!! (But do now) :)

1. No word in the English language rhymes with ‘Month’

2. All polar bears are left handed

3. The electric chair was invented by a dentist

4. TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

5. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match

6. The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building

7. Butterflies taste with their feet

8. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere

9. Most lipstick contains fish scales

10. It’s physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky

11. ‘Go’ is the shortest complete sentence in the English language

12. Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.

13. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand

Your turn, what weird facts do you know that we don’t?



WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Fun

For this week’s Wednesday Fun I’m sending you over to a couple of blogs.

AM has a great interactive story in which you get to participate in writing it. Read what’s written so far and then add your own next six lines. :)

Then make sure you check out the Manuscript Mavens blog where you’ll read the story thus far and then choose where the story is going from four possibilities. You don’t have to write this one. They got different guest bloggers coming in each day to add the next installment of the story from whichever one had the most votes on the previous day. Fun, Fun!!

It’s October and that means time to dress up the little ones and go get the candy. Or maybe you dress up as well. We do at the day job. It’s always fun to see who’s wearing what. :)

Your turn, do you dress up for Halloween? What’s your favorite costume?
Here's a Simpson Halloween if you want or have time to watch it. :)





WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Check In and New Contest

Monday has rolled in again. This time without the omg, it’s Monday theme plastered to it. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because my daughter and SnL will be here in a couple of weeks and I’m getting excited to see them. Maybe it’s because the day job should be a bit more normal this week. Maybe it’s cause I re-vamped my website. Check it out and let me know what you think of the colors and stuff. Regardless of the reason, I’m not feeling the five-more-days-until-the-weekend that I normally feel on Mondays.

Before I do the word count and the contest for this week I wanted remind you to check out Anne-Marie’s blog today on writing software. AM, as we call her, has a wonderfully sassy voice which comes through in her blog as well as her writing. So, go check it out and on Tuesday she’s starting an interactive writing week. Sounds like it’s going to tons of fun.

Also, I’m sure you’re all reading the Manuscript Mavens blog each day, but be sure and check it out this morning. Their having a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ and today is day 1. So many fun things happening this time of year in the blog world.

Now onto this weeks check in. Word count: 4042 and that’s with two days of zero writing. I’m finding that my best writing day is Sunday. I still try to write everyday but on Sunday’s I can leave the computer on and write for a while, do what I need or want to do for a bit and then come back and write some more.

It’s contest time!



This week’s contest is featuring Julie Leto, Rhonda Nelson, and Mia Zachary in their new book Witchy Business.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

CASE FILE #1:
Regina St. Lyon's powers have been waning. Maybe she did betray love, but what else could a duped girl do? At the time, banishing hotter-than-thou Brock Aegis to the Middle Realm seemed like a good idea. But now Brock is back...

CASE FILE #2: Benedict DeWin is practically wizard royalty--and as magically gifted as a stale loaf of bread. But then he meets Bryony Flynn, another magical "failure"- whose only gift is to make certain things grow. Not that Benedict is complaining...

CASE FILE #3:
Born to a family of seers and shamans, Siobhan Silverhawk has accepted her magicless lifestyle. But when she meets recent widower J. B. Pendleton, Siobhan figures she has magic enough to make a love potion--which seems to have worked a little too well!


Case File #1 is Julie Leto’s story and if you read Stripped you’re going to love this book. If you haven’t read Stripped then what are you waiting for. Go get the book, get both books. :)

Here’s where you can read an excerpt for Witchy Business Case File #1.

So, how was your week? Did you meet your goals? Did you write, plot, think about your current wip or spend time critiquing and polishing your baby? How close to writing ‘The End’ are you?

Leave your comments so we can cheer and encourage you for the last week and the new week ahead. Oh yeah, and it will also enter you into this week’s contest. All comments through out the week will enter you.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Vicki

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday - Check Out The Plotmonkeys

Over in the Plotmonkey's jungle today they have author Cindi Myers. She is giving fabulous tips for writing.

If you haven’t been reading the Plotmonkeys what are you waiting for? This is a must read blog IMVHO. It’s both fun and informative.

During the week you'll become family as you read about their daily lives. Friday's is contest day! WhooHoo!! Gotta love contest and they have one of the best around. On Saturday’s you’ll find mini writing workshops to strengthen your craft. And Sunday's they announce the Friday winner. :)

Also, on Monday be sure and check Anne-Marie Caroll’s blog on Writing Software. On Tuesday she’s doing an interactive writing blog. Anyone who knows AM, knows that she has a great sassy comical voice. This is one blog you’re going to love.

I’m off now to a “Writers in Residence” workshop. Always learning, always improving the craft, and always taking advice from well-known authors who’ve paved the path.

Happy Writing Everyone,
Vicki

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF and This Week's Contest Winner

Friday, Friday, Friday...Okay, so you get the drift of how I'm feeling this week. :)

It's been a crazy busy week at work. It will slow down in another month or so but 4th quarter in a 24/7 live TV broadcast for sales...well, the holiday seasons are coming so we're busy, busy, busy.

This week’s winner is none other than the wonderful Patricia!!!. WhooHoo Patricia!! Confetti flying through the air, horns going off and there's a celebration all around. Major congrats!!

Email me your snail mail addy to vickilanewrites at yahoo.com and I'll send Rita Herron’s book to you.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Relax, Read a great book, Write your great book...generally just enjoy yourselves.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Do's and Don'ts

I found this picture searching the web this morning. I believe it came from this site. I added the TT.



This week’s Thursday Thirteen is a few do’s and don’ts for writers. Keep in mind this is my list and may or may apply to how you write.

1. Do – your research, from the weather to local food and attractions. You may not need it all but it’s better to know than not.

2. Don’t – assume that it’s the rainy season in June because it is in your home town. Trust me on this. If you’re wrong someone(s) will point it out loud and clear leaving you to look silly for not doing number 1

3. Do – try to write everyday. While this is not always possible, try it as much as possible even for a short time each day.

4. Don’t – go weeks without looking at your wip unless you’ve written ‘The End’ and are letting it rest prior to revisions. The longer you go without writing the harder it is to get back into the story. Your character’s will have grown while you were away, causing you to have to get to know them all over again.

5. Do – find a critique partner. A trusted one. Big thing here. When you start with a new cp make sure both sides understand that it’s just that. Starting. If it doesn’t work out then either side should be able to say so. Without feeling being hurt. This is your career.

6. Don’t – try to go it alone. A fresh pair of trusted eyes is amazing. (See the trusted theme here)

7. Do – attend workshops via the internet or in person. There are tons of great ones out there.

8. Don’t – think you know it all and can’t learn anything from another ‘Show Don’t Tell’ workshop. (Insert the name of any workshop there). There is always some nugget to learn in a workshop. Of course some nuggets are tiny and some are boulders but learning and improving your craft is just that.

9. Do – join a local chapter or an online chapter and RWA

10. Don’t – think you don’t need what number 9 has to offer. The encouragement, help, and information you will find in being a member of a local and/or online chapter is amazing. While being a member of RWA is not required to be published it doesn’t hurt and the opportunities available to you are great.

11. Do – write your voice and style. Number 5 talked about a critique partner. That is not someone to write your book for you. Ummm...that’s called a ghost writer. Learn from their crits and know when you have to say no this is my voice.

12. Don’t – drive yourself crazy with writing styles. I must be a plotter or I must be a pantser. Find out what works for you or for the particular manuscript you’re working on and stick with it.

13. Do – to quote the beloved and much missed Miss Snark, Write Well and Query Widely

14. Don’t – forget to read. As Stephen King says in his book On Writing if you don’t have time to read you don’t have time to write.

I realize there are fourteen instead of thirteen this week but I had to end it with even do’s and don’ts. It’s one of those strange things about me. :)

As I stated above these are a few of my own personal do’s and don’ts. There are more, so many more, which could be added.

With that said, it’s your turn. What your own do and don’t when it comes to writing?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Vicki

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Fun - What Not To Do

After searching the internet for today's Wednesday Fun I stumbled across this. I've never heard of Mr. Safire or his book. While this is not one of the contest books I thought you might enjoy it.




William Safire's Fumblerules (4 November 1979, New York Times)

William Safire's "Fumblerules":

• No sentence fragments.

• Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.

• A writer must not shift your point of view.

• Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.

• Write all adverbial forms correct.

• In their writing, everyone should make sure that their pronouns agree with its antecedent.

• Use the semicolon properly, use it between complete but related thoughts; and not between an independent clause and a mere phrase.

• Don’t use no double negatives.

• Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

• If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.

• If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

• Avoid commas, that are not necessary.

• Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

• Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

• And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

• The passive voice should never be used.

• Writing carefully, dangling participles should be avoided.

• Unless you are quoting other people’s exclamations, kill all exclamation points!!!

• Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

• Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

• Use parallel structure when you write and in speaking.

• You should just avoid confusing readers with misplaced modifiers.

• Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences—such as those of ten or more words—to their antecedents.

• Eschew dialect, irregardless.

• Remember to never split an infinitive.

• Take the bull by the hand and don’t mix metaphors.

• Don’t verb nouns.

• Always pick on the correct idiom.

• Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

• "Avoid overuse of ‘quotation "marks."’"

• Never use prepositions to end a sentence with.

• Last but not least, avoid clich├ęs like the plague.

Check out Wikipedia,William Safire if you would like to read more about the author. You can find the book at Amazon if you’re interested.

So, have you read his work before? Is this type of humor with a learning curve something you like?

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Check In and Contest Time

Monday is here again. Have you ever noticed how long it takes for Friday to come around and yet Monday loves to zoom right on in? For some reason I think when God was creating seven days, Monday was his hyperactive child. Flying around the room, arms raised, hands waving wildly and with a loud voice screaming out, “Pick me, pick me.” While Friday sat back in the corner staring off into some unknown universe without a care in the world, not even thinking about being picked.

Okay, probably not one the best analogies of the weekdays but you get the idea of my thoughts on Monday verses Friday. :)

Check in time.

This week I wrote 3577 words. WhooHoo! I’ll gladly take them. At least until I’m in edit mode. Then who knows how many will stay and how many will be shipped off to the deleted scene/words folder. However, since I had three days this week I didn’t do any writing they’re great words right now. All I can say is, thank god for Sundays.

Contest time.



This past Saturday we had Rita Herron as our TARA workshop speaker. She was awesome. Rita has sold over 30 books to date and was one of the Sweet Valley writers when she started her career. From Sweet Valley to intrigue she made the jump with flying colors. I’ll blog about the workshop and dinner later this week.

Her book Anything For His Son is a fabulous read.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Boston blackout turned terrifying for Ethan and Rebecca Matalon when their five-year-old son was kidnapped. Rebecca suddenly forgot she'd been in town to finally get divorce papers signed. All she could focus on was little Jesse, her adorable boy who was afraid of the dark, taken by a vengeful madman.

Ethan had saved people all over the world on his secret missions, but could he save their son? His arms gave strength and comfort to Rebecca—the woman he'd never stopped loving—but their life together wouldn't be worth saving if they lost Jesse. Frantic, trapped in a nightmare, Ethan had to focus. But time was running out, as darkness was descending….


Check out the excerpt here.

At Rita’s website you’ll find great writing tips for the writer along with her other books.

So how was your week? Did you reach your writing goals? Have you set any new deadlines for yourself? What about new books? We love to hear about the books you’re reading and what you loved about them.

I’m wishing everyone a great week whether its writing, reading or whatever you love to do.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Friday, October 12, 2007

TGIF and This Week's Contest Winner

And The Winner Is (insert drum roll here)…Karen Lingefelt! Congratulations Karen, I know your going to love reading The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell. I’d say to email me your snail mail but I know how to get this one to you. :D

TGIF!!! I don’t know about you but it’s about time Friday rolled around! Seriously, this has been a long week.

It’s going to be a great weekend though, starting as soon as I leave the day job. Tonight I’m going to dinner with NY Best Seller Rita Herron along with several other members from TARA. I started to name everyone who is going tonight but then realized it looked more like I throwing out names. So suffice it to say their wonderful people who many of you love. :) I’m so excited we’ll be able to sit and chat with Rita.

We will also be toasting >, C L Wilson for her USA #127 listing and she's a debut author. How cool is that. I wasn't kidding when I told you to run and get her book. I still get excited for her when I think about it. Pardon me while I Snoopy dance around the room. :D

Whew..lot’s of dancing has been going on since the numbers released, but I’m back now.

Then tomorrow (Saturday, for anyone reading this blog late) Rita will be at our TARA meeting doing a members only workshop. I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell you about the meeting and all her wisdom that she’ll share with us.

There’s a book signing after that with Rita Herron, Julie Leto, Karen Rose,C L Wilson (Cheryl), Kimberly Llewellyn, Debby Mayne, and Ann Jacobs. How’s that for an author signing line up!

After the signing we’re taking Rita to dinner again. :)

Sunday will be spent writing and relaxing.

So what’s planned for your weekend? Are you crazy busy? Or is your time free to do anything you’d like to do?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Monday I’ll announce the new contest.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Thursday, October 11, 2007

CL Wilson on the USA Today List and a Book Meme

OMG!!! Debut author CL Wilson’s book, Lord of the Fading Lands is number 127 on the USA Today list!!! How awesome is that!!!

I honestly can't say that this surprises me since the book is one of the best I've read. Her world is incredible and you are sucked into it immediately.

In case your reading this and don’t know who I’m talking about (how could you not know?), check out the book on her site and then run to the nearest bookstore and BUY this book! It’s amazing. It's a must read. :)

I’m so excited for her. The next in the series, Lady of Light and Shadows, comes out October 30th. This is a must read series.

WhooHoo Cheryl!!! Lot’s of Snoopy dancing, cyber wine, and chocolates (all writers need chocolate) going around in your honor today!!

I was tagged with a meme by Jill James so instead of the normal Thursday Thirteen I’m going to do the meme.

Total Number of Books: I had a major change in my life six years ago. When I moved out of the house (my ex and I no longer together)I got rid of most my books. I know, how can you do that? I really didn’t have a choice. Being a reader and a writer this quickly changed. I realized I can’t live without books!! Now I have around 25 hardbacks and 275 paperbacks.


Last Book Read: Hearts of Gold by Jessica Bird (aka JR Ward). This was written prior to the Blackdagger books. Now I’m trying to find all of the books written under Jessica Bird. This is no easy feat as my cp, Laurie K. and I found out this past weekend.

Last Book Bought: JR Ward’s Lover Unbound and Leaping Hearts by Jessica Bird. The list could be much longer actually.

Five Meaningful Books: I’m right there with Jill on The Diary of Anne Frank. The Five Love Languages, The Bible, The writer in my must say Bird by Bird and Stephen Kings, On Writing.

So, I will tag Danika, Diana P., and December Quinn

Next week back to the regularly scheduled T13. :)

It’s your turn now. Join the meme or leave a comment and let us know what’s the last book you read, or bought, or meaningful to you.

And don’t forget to go get CL Wilson’s book.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Fun - What Superhero Are You

Happy Wednesday Everybody! Since it's the middle of the week I thought it would be fun to find out what superhero you are deep down. :) As you can see, I'm Buffy. The tag line pretty much sums it up for me. Saved the world time to party. :D




You Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer



"We saved the world. I say we have to party."



So, who are you? How's your week going?

WW's and PD's
Vicki

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Eight Things You Might Not Know about my CP, Laurie K.

Last week, CL Wilson tagged me for the 8 Things about You meme and I then tagged others. It’s been great reading their memes and learning new things about them.

One of the people that I tagged is my cp, Laurie K. and since she doesn’t have a blog of her own I’m posting it here.


Well here goes. That is if I can think of eight things about me that would be found interesting. Bare with me as I think it through my tangled mind and dig deep to find these things.

1) I was a licensed cosmetologist – although not any longer since moving to Florida. Only because I needed a paycheck and couldn’t wait for it to come to me, ‘cause I really miss that creativity.

2) We use to own a ranch. Yes, I said ranch. We had 12 head of horses that we trained, bred and would rodeo with. I didn’t compete, but my husband and daughter did. Although I would barrel race and rope for the fun of it. You haven’t lived until you’ve baled hay and cleaned stalls out!

3) I gave up writing for 12 years. I was a stay at home mom and would write when my daughter was in school. After my husband was in a car accident I had to go back to work and didn’t start again until Vicki and I got close and I forgot how much I missed it.

4) I was part owner in my parent’s jewelry business (after I was 18 of course). I did everything from N.Y, Rhode Island buying trips, road sales, paperwork and all the packing and shipping. I learned a lot about life and how a business works from the time I was 13 until I was about 25.

5) I have six dogs. Yep 6!!! They range from 3lbs to 135 lbs. Each one is so unique and different I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Most are dogs I have rescued in one way or another and the furthest away was from St. Marteen. He was a stray and if you’ve ever been, you know dogs are all over the place. I couldn’t handle it so I went to a rescue hospital and brought a puppy home. He’s the best souvenir I could ever have!

6) Okay, here is a compulsive piece of myself. If you know me you already know this. If I like an author I will purchase their books in hard and soft cover and collect everything ever written by them. Most of my books if I purchased them look like I’ve never read them. This is because I have such a respect for the written word and what it takes to go into it. I feel like I’m ruining a painting or something if I crease the spine and don’t even think about writing in them or turning a corner down. That is the ultimate sin in my mind. My husband thinks it’s funny to hold my books hostage because he knows how anal I am. He also knows what will happen if he even accidentally bends a page too. ;-)

7) All of my tattoos are characters in my book.

8) Last, but certainly not least. I have been married for 21 years and have a 19 year old daughter in college. This use to be a surprise to people, but I think age is starting to creep up on me so it’s not such a shocker anymore. Well, maybe the married that long part ;-)


Laurie K.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Monday Check In and New Contest

Monday. Yep, it’s here. Time to go back to the day job and start another week. It’s not so bad since I really like where I work but I’d so much rather be home typing in my pj’s. :)

I took last Friday off and it was great. I wrote in the morning, ran some errands, and read in the afternoon. I loved it. But alas, since I’m not a full time writer as of yet and the bills want to be paid…to the day job I go.

It’s also time to check in. I had several days last week that I didn’t write. At all. Zero, nada, zip. The scene that I’m doing right now just wouldn’t come. I knew exactly where it was going to end up but getting it there. Finally Sunday night I just sat down and decided I was writing it. It might all be cut but I was going to write the scene.

You know what? I’m thinking it turned out pretty good. Would it have turned out as good if I’d done it earlier in the week? I don’t know, it might not have been the same scene at all.

All that to say, this past week I wrote 2733 words and trust me most of those were written on Sunday. Next weeks goals are to write every night except Tuesday (I have a meeting to attend).

Okay, for the fun part. You may have noticed I’m trying to hit most genres in these contest. Something for everyone and if you haven’t read a great historical in awhile then this is the one you want to read.



This weeks contest is by New York Times best selling author Samantha James. Her book The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell is a fabulous historical romance.

Isn’t the cover georgous? I love the colors and her dress is sexy. Flip open the cover and oh yeah, he’s hot.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

A cruel twist of fate changed Simon Blackwell’s life forever. A man of intense passions, he resolved to deny his emotions and desires forever—taking refuge in the wilds of the moorlands and shutting himself off from the world. But on one extraordinary night, on a rare trip to London, the unthinkable occurs. An intoxicatingly beautiful stranger stirs the sensuous hunger he has sworn to resist. Simon Blackwell believed that no woman could tempt him.

No woman…save Annabel McBride.

Annabel knows nothing of Simon’s secret pain. But one irresistible kiss plunges her into marriage with a man she scarcely knows, a man who hides a shattered past. She can feel the blistering heat of the fire that burns within this exquisitely handsome man, making her yearn for much more than the union in name only he has promised her.

But Simon dares not love again--for fragile love can be lost in an instant. And now Annabel must find a way to open his heart to the most glorious risk of all…

You can go here to read an excerpt. The excerpt is chapter two, how fun is that.

It’s your turn now. How was your week? Did you meet your goals? Did you read any great books or discover a new author? What are your goals for next week?

Oh, and just in case you didn’t see it I announced last weeks winner on Sunday’s blog.

As always, Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki