Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Favorite TV Shows

Thirteen Things about Favorite TV Shows

1. Hero’s – I’ve said this before but the writers on this show amaze me. Anyone who is writing should watch this program. The way they weave the conflicts are great. Each main characters internal and external conflict is shown along with how it ties into the main plot. The pacing is quick and the hooks always leave you wanting more.

2. 24 – So this wasn’t my favorite season but I love the show. Jack is always making it happen. My only problem with the show is some of my favorite characters were killed. I totally get it. They had done all they could to move the plot along but I miss them.

3. Big Brother – This is a show that every season I say I’m not going to watch. Then someone at work starts telling me about who’s on and what’s going on and yep, I get sucked in. It becomes really interesting to see who is playing the game and how well they play. I know we all get mad at the way some play but it’s a game and they’re all on there to win.

4. American Idol – It’s all about singing. What can I say? I love singing, really good singing that is. I do wish the rules would change at least until it’s down to the final twelve. I think the judges should have more of an actual impute on who stays and who goes until it gets to the ones who will be on the tour.

5. Hell’s Kitchen – Love this show. Anyone who has ever worked as a wait staff can tell you that the kitchen is the crazy place to be. The head chef will curse you out, tell you how horrible you are, and then go have drinks with you after work. Since Chef Ramsey has been on my day job I also know that he really is a great person. Some I’m sure don’t like him on the show but hey he’s giving the winner a chance of a lifetime and they’ve got to have it all in order to make the place work once they win.

6. So You Think You Can Dance – the people on this show amaze me with their talents. I’d love to be able to dance like them. Okay, so that’s not going to happen, instead I dance vicariously through them. One of the best things about the show is the judges impute into who stays and who goes. They know so much more about this than most of the voters so I say absolutely be a part of the vote.

7. Ugly Betty – What can I say. This is just plain fun. You’ve got your girl that everyone is rooting for, the boss that’s great, and the boss that wants to take over everything. Lot’s of conflict and yet lot’s of laughs.

8. House Hunters – I like to see the houses their looking at and pick the one I think they’ll buy. Of course it’s usually the one that I would buy if it was me. Also I just love seeing how people decorate their homes. Can you say ideas?

9. Rachelle Ray – She’s funny in a down-home kinda way. Her meals always rock and I love hearing her talk about her family.

10. Rock Star – Love this show. There has been some great talent come across it. I guess you have to like rock music to get it but then I like all kinds of music. Hearing the band who is looking for the next lead singer’s take each week is fun. And then there’s Dave Navarro. I know some of you will think I’m crazy but he’s hot in his own right.

11. That 70’s Show – I didn’t watch this show when it was first on so I’ve had fun catching up on all the espiodes. Since I was in high school in the 70’s so much of this rings true that it’s just plain fun.

12. Malcolm In The Middle – The show is just plain funny to me.

13. Seinfeld – Love the characters and how they interact with each other. I still want to see the “ugly baby” though.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. Sarah M
2. Openchannel
3. Alyssa
4. Julie S

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged - 8 Things About Me

Ava Rose tagged me so here goes.

Here are the rules:
A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. The love of my life is Science Guy (nope not Bill Nye).

2. I have two puppies, both 9 months old, one is a Chihuahua (5 ½ lbs) and one is a Shih-Tzu (16 lbs). They think they are the same size and the same breed.

3. I love, love, love to act on stage.

4. I am addicted to Starbuck Chai Tea Frappucino.

5. The last concert I saw was Chris Daughtry, not only was he amazing so were the two bands before him!

6. I work for the .com side of a live 24/7 shopping channel.

7. I love to paint.

8. My favorite place to go for vacation is the beach.

Okay, I think I’ll tag:
Gena and

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Guest Blogger - Laurie Kapkowski

Before I introduce my guest I want to make sure everyone knows that Diana Peterfreund’s Under The Rose comes out today. Go out and get your copy today. On Friday I'll be having a give away as well.

I’m so excited to welcome my critique partner and excellent writer Laurie Kapowski to Writing with Vicki.

Laurie writes paranormal and long contemporary romance. Currently she is working on a paranormal that totally rocks. Since I’m her cp I get the honor to read (and critique) this wip. Trust me you are going to love this book when it’s published. Her characters are amazing and yep I’ve become vested in each and every one of them. I know you will too, especially since I see each of them having their own stories in the future. Yes Tru that means you too. He really wants his story now and Laurie has to tell him repeatedly to wait his turn.

Without further ado I turn it over to Laurie. Please welcome her in your comments at the end.

Thanks for joining Vicki and I as I guest blog on her sight. I had no idea what to write or who would want to read what I had to say, but here goes anyway.

I’ve pondered on the subject that I know all of us have gone through at one time or another in our lives. You’re asked to go somewhere and you want to go, but it’s not at the top of our list, but you love your friend so you go.

This is what happened to me when Vicki offered an extra ticket to see Chris Daughtry at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Oh don’t get me wrong – who wouldn’t want to see him – I mean really he is the hottest 20 something I’ve seen in a long time (scary that he’s closer to my daughters age than mine) so here I was feeling a bit old to be going to a concert where I was sure a bunch of screaming teenagers would look at the ‘old’ lady and wonder why she was there and trying to look young, but really who cares it was all about having fun, right?

Now here is the in interesting part. Once I started really loosening up I realized I had the stage for a scene in my book and a soundtrack to go with it. The funny thing is it had nothing to do with Mr. Hottness, but the opening acts that really influenced me and my writing. I am a huge music person and my tastes are extremely eclectic so it didn’t surprise me to be enjoying where I was, who I was with and the atmosphere surrounding me, but was pleasantly surprised that I loved both bands almost more than Daughtry. So far two of the tracks on the Eve to Adam CD have sparked ideas for my characters and talk about HOT – the lead singer needs to be on the cover of a book (hopefully mine) ;-)

So the moral here is open up your mind and all of your senses to every experience because you never know what you will get out of it.

Happy Writing
Laurie Kapkowski

Monday, June 25, 2007

100 Words for 100 Days Monday Check In

I love this 100 words for 100 days thing. I know, I know I‘ve said that before but it’s true. I love the fact that I don’t feel the pressure to make X amount of pages each day right now but words. And for anyone out there who has not read this blog before trust me 100 words is not all that much, about a half a page really.

Although I would have liked more words I’ll take what I did this past week with no problems. It means that I’m writing everyday. Some more than others but still it’s everyday. That’s a great thing.

Just in case you didn’t read last Monday’s blog I’m doing the 100 words for 100 days along with my TARA Chapter. I’ll report on Monday’s what I’ve done for the past week in word count. Oh and this word count is what I’ve done since starting this not including the words written prior (or any blog words). I’ll give that total at the end of the 100 days.

Here you go:

Last Sunday’s ending word count: 3087
Ending word count for the week: 6872
Total new words added this week: 3785

So have you joined me? Are you already doing this through your own local chapter? If you have leave your word counts in the comments. If you haven’t then hopefully you’ll decide to hop on board this week and join those of us who are doing it.

Oh I know I said in last Monday's blog that my critique partner Laurie Kapkowski would be here today to guest blog but it's tomorrow so be sure to come back and check it out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh The Places I've Been and Want to Go To

Thursday Thirteen - All About Places

1. Rocky Mountain National Park – The rugged beauty of this place amazed me.
Every turn of the car brought another ooh and aww from everyone.

2. Sedona, AZ – Who knew cactus, is so beautiful. The red of the mountains is something that pictures cannot capture. The blue sky as the backdrop only accentuated the color.

3. Smokey Mountains in Tennessee – So there seems to be a mountain theme going on here. The mornings in the Smokey’s are awesome. To see the mist rising on them is magical in its own right.

4. Chicago – Pizza and Garrett’s Popcorn!!! It’s the best pizza and popcorn I’ve ever had. The Museum of Science and Industry is huge (or at least it was when I went). Then there is the zoo. I’m from Florida we don’t have zoo’s like that.

5. Destin, FL – My family lives there so that makes it special in its own right. The beaches are unbelievable. The water is that beautiful turquoise blue and the sand is like powdered sugar along with the dunes.

6. Buffalo, NY – Okay, so Buffalo is not the Big Apple but when I was there I went sledding (my first time ever) and had a blast. This may sound strange to some but cemeteries – well I had to take pictures of them. They are so old and the monuments are so cool. And then there’s Beef on Whack. Yummy!

7. Key West, FL – So the beaches are not all that, not really. The town is full of history (you know the fun kind that even if you’re not a history buff you’ll enjoy). When we went out on a fishing boat the dolphins racing along side us was a sight to remember. And then there are the sunsets – nothing like them. Of course the nightlife is pretty fun as well.

8. New Orleans – Say or think what you will this is one of my favorite towns. The city is both laid back and energized at the same time. It breaks my heart that there is so much of it still not put back to rights.

9. Ireland – I’d love to see the green of the land. To visit the local pubs and in general people watch.

10. Greece – OMG this is a place that every time I see the beaches on TV I want to be there.

11. New York, NY – I’ve never been, it’s hard to believe but I haven’t. I want to go to Broadway, take a carriage ride in Central Park, and go to Broadway again.

12. Hollywood, CA – Stars!! I want to see them. Anyone who really knows me knows that I’m not star-struck. I’ve worked along side many famous people and it’s not like I’m going to run up to them asking for autographs. I’d just like to see where they hang, shop, and go out to eat. See them in their normal life (as normal as their lives can be).

13. Hawaii – Beaches, mountains, and basically no bugs (or at least not the yucky ones we have here). I want to go to an authentic Luau.

Side note here: My CP, Laurie K. will be guest blogging on Monday. Be sure to come back and leave her a comment.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, June 18, 2007

100 Words - 100 Days -

Every year my TARA chapter does this Book Challenge. You sign up for in January (through March) and it cost $10.00.

We check in each week through our loop with the pages we’ve written for the past week. Checking in is a must. Even if you have no pages to report. Of course being the TARA sisters that we are you receive congrats on pages written and encouragement for those who have not written that week.

The premise is you will finish your book before the annual Christmas party in December. At that time you’ll bring the book, yes it must be printed out and brought to the party. For everyone who has signed up for the challenge and brings their book they will receive a ticket and the at the end of the party one ticket is drawn. The winner receives half of the money that was required to join the challenge.

I love it. It gives you that motivation needed to write when life gets you bogged down. At least it does for me. Okay it does for several months and then I find that it’s easy to let other things get in the way.

So what do writers do when things start to bog down? We add a new twist. Don’t all writers want new twist? Of course we do. It’s what moves things along for us.

We started the 100 words in 100 days. This means to write at least 100 words everyday for 100 days. I Love This!!!

One hundred words are extremely easy to do. It takes maybe a half a page to get your word count in. However, what I’ve found is once you start typing those 100 words more seem to flow. This is probably due to the fact that I’m not feeling pressured to write x-amount of pages.

I tried to find out who stared this since I know other chapters and writers have used this method and this is what I found.

The first person that google shows to have done this was Jeff Koyen who began this back in 2001.

At any rate I’m not sure which romance author actually started the challenge. I googled and while I found quiet a few who blog on it I couldn’t find where it started in the romance world. If you know add it in the comment section. It’s that enquiring minds want to know thing.

What I do know is this. It works. I’m on day 7. As of yesterday (day six I’ve added over 3000 words.) Of course I would love to say it was a much higher word count but the thing is I’m writing everyday. That’s the most important thing about this new challenge.

Writing Everyday. It becomes a habit. You have to sit down a write. You want to sit down and write. I know Kelly R. this goes right along with the 15 minutes a day. And like I said on our loop, you told me to do this months and months ago.

Oh wait…you thought all writers had to write everyday? That it was something they just had to do. Their fingers itched to play on the keyboard watching the words fly across the screen? Not so much. We are no different than anyone else in any other field. We hit roadblocks, our minds go blank, and yes, sometimes we just don’t feel like it.

So I’ve rambled on enough about this. To sum it up this is a great way to keep your writing going. Really all of us can write 100 words a day. If you’re not doing this then jump on the wagon and write along for the ride. I promise you’ll be happy when we reach the end of the road.

I’ll report on Mondays how I’m doing. Feel free to do the same. So for this week I’ve added a 3482. That doesn’t include writing the blog.

If you’re doing this on your own or through your local chapter tell me how it’s working or not working for you. Let’s keep each other motivated.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Favorite Things – These are not listed in any particular order or my family would be at the top.

Thirteen Things about My Favorite Things

1. Flowers – any kind really but I love Tulips, Calla Lilies, Gerber Daisy’s the best.

2. My puppies – their almost dogs now at 9 months old. One 16 pound Shih-Tzu and one 5 pound Chihuahua.

3. Reading – love to read but I don’t always get the time. I kinda use the reading as a reward for accomplishing some of my writing goals. Okay unless it’s the Raintree Trilogy. Those I’m reading as they come out. I got hooked what can I say.

4. Painting – I don’t have time to do it much now though.

5. Singing – Again, I don’t really do it much now except in the shower. But I have sung since I was very young and do love it. Except karaoke. I have sung in front of hundreds, a few times it was thousands (2) and that doesn’t bother me or at least it didn’t use to but karaoke. OMG, it scares the crap out of me. Why? I have no idea.

6. Acting – I love acting and if I could do anything other than write it would be acting on stage. To me there is nothing like opening night. The butterflies waiting until it’s time to go on is – I know it sounds crazy but great! They’re not the I’m so scared I can’t go on kind but the I’m so excited I can’t wait to get on.

7. The beach – To me there is nothing like the sound of the water hitting the shore. I can sit and watch the water for hours. Well I could if I had the time to do it. Not so much.

8. The mountains – They just plain amaze me. They’re so big. And the beauty of them is awe inspiring. The first time I went to the Rocky Mountains it was unbelievable. Every turn the car took winding around the mountain was more beautiful than the last. Those mountains are much rockier (thus the name, I know) then the Blue Ridge mountains. But the beauty is still the amazing.

9. Time with Friends – Just sitting around laughing and talking. It’s the best. Sometimes you get so silly that you laugh for days at what would only be funny to the group of girls or girlfriend that you spent time with. Case in point. “And the he died.” Not so funny to you reading this but to my CP it’s really funny. I guess you had to be there.

10. Family – I don’t get to see them much but we talk on the phone a lot. Thank god for cell phones and no roaming. We’ve become spread out in the country but they are still my most treasured and favorite thing.

11. My car – Yeah!! I’ve wanted an SUV for a long time. I know gas is high but I really wanted one. About 4 months ago I got a Ford Escape LTD. So it’s not to big but not to small. I love this car. I had to get used to an automatic again, picture every time I stop right going for the clutch.

12. Fashion Jewelry – Yep, I love it. I can’t seem to get enough of it. Don’t get me wrong I love the real thing as much but I change my jewelry everyday to match my outfit.

13. Shoes/clothes – I know, I know but it’s the truth. I don’t need any more clothes or shoes but I love them. And shopping with Laurie (who’s going to guest blog soon) is great. Of course her muse always shows up when we go shopping. It’s her muse retail therapy.

14. Bonus this week – I know it’s only supposed to be 13 but I had to add this one. My favorite thing is when a scene I’m thinking about just pours out when I sit down at the computer. And the best is when I go back a read it and it’s not even to bad of POS.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Erica Ridley
2. Alyssa Goodnight
3. Ava Rose Johnson

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Week in Paradise

There’s not much to tell this week. No pages written, the contest (I know will it ever end), is basically over and the office move it complete. Well, except for the carpenter ants crawling around. Ewe bugs!!! I hate bugs of any kind.

Our TARA meeting was awesome. Karen Rose’s husband, Martin, spoke on mental illness. Yes, you read correctly the one and only Karen Rose , master of suspense, don’t read the book before bed, author. She has wonderful resources within her own home. :)

My RS even has a new and better twist now. It’s really good and creepy at the same time. Fun, Fun!!!

Sunday was spent entering the contest scores into the category I coordinated, reading over the comments to make sure they were pc enough. We don’t ever tell someone something that would hurt them only help them. Of course I didn’t have to worry about any of my judges. After Julie Leto and Anne-Marie Carroll training they did awesome

Anyway, after that I read. I’m currently reading Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones. The book is great. I read the first one Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard (I can't find a link for Linda)close to the end of May so that meant I didn’t have to wait long for the second one but now I have to wait until July for Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton , which is the last one in the trilogy. I know July is not that far away but when the series is this good waiting is just so…hard. This is a series that I strongly suggest you read. Three different authors, each of them are writing one of the books in the series. They’re the type of book you can’t put them down – read in a day (no more than two) kind of books.

On our book challenge loop we are also doing the 100 words – 100 days. Doesn’t sound too hard. 100 words are really not that much. Right now I’m at 318 words.

All in all it was a great weekend and now I must write since this started on Sunday and I have to catch up. Just so you know in my defense I thought it started on Wednesday after our normal weekly check in. Insert big sheepish grin here.

So, how was your weekend? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to do? Or did you have a long lazy weekend, napping, reading, and swimming?

Oh and come back on Thursday for the Thursday Thirteen. Anyone have anything they’d like me to do for this weeks?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Did you notice for someone with not much to tell this went a bit long. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Since this is my first Thursday Thirteen I thought I’d start with something easy.
Thirteen Ways to Avoid Writing

1. Reading emails from all the loops I belong to.

2. Responding to all the emails from the same loops

3. Reading blogs

4. The day job

5. Favorite TV shows – yes, I have TV but couldn’t miss Hero’s, could I?

6. Discovered J R Ward – can I say OMG…love her books

7. Contest Coordinator for my local chapter

8. Contest Judge for my local chapter

9. Okay, judging extra packets from my local chapter since one of my judges had to cancel.

10. Doing a quick recheck of the blogs – I might have missed something really important.

11. Checking my chapter loop – again. We have such a great chapter loop.

12. Must call a few people and talk about how I can’t find enough time to write.

13. Shopping – so I really was going to just pick up one thing but hey Nationals is almost here. I need stuff.

Got your own Thursday Thirteen?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pitch That Book

Creating the perfect pitch. Sounds easy right? Wrong. I’ve been working on the pitch for my current wip for days now. Every time I think I might be close I realize that it really doesn’t tell enough about the book. The hooks that I want are not there.

To create the pitch you need to condense your book down to several sentences. How do you do that? Great question. Kathy Carmichael has an awesome pitch generator. It’s a starting off point though. You then have to do the same as you would with you wip. You have to flesh it out.

Now you can’t add to many words or it’s no longer a pitch. No one wants to pitch their work to an agent or editor only to see said agent/editors eyes glaze over when your in the middle of it.

I do not have an appointment this year at Nationals but I am doing the Agent/Editor appointments as a volunteer. Side note here: It’s a good thing to volunteer at Nationals. People learn who you are and you are giving back your time to our “Mother Chapter”.

Back to the non-appointment but still need that pitch concern. I’ve been told by several that while I may not have the actual appointment since I’ll be there for quite a few hours directing appointment traffic that more often than not the volunteers are asked what they write and what it’s about.

Again, several friends who did this the past several years were asked for partials just by volunteering and talking with the agents and editors.

Of course I realize that this may not happen to me. But if it does I don’t want to stand there fumbling over my words. Looking like I have no idea what I write how long it will be and what the conflict and hook is.

And then there’s the sitting in the bar, riding the elevator, and just general conversation that could lead to someone asking: Tell me about your book question.

So, here I sit working on the all important pitch. Trying to make it a back cover blurb in fewer words yet still giving what the book is about all the while making the person asking feel like “I’ve just got to read this.”

How about you? Do you have your pitch polished, shined to perfection? Are you ready to give it at a moments notice?