Thursday, February 28, 2008

Characters: Conforming or Rebelling? And Exciting Contest Update

Before I begin, I have some exciting news about this weeks contest at the end. Go ahead, scroll down and read it and then come back. I’ll wait. :)

I was sent an email this morning about an older woman, who I’ll call Mary, goes to lunch with several much younger women. When it’s time to order, the younger women order healthy food, while the Mary orders dessert and adds chocolate ice cream to it.

Funny thing about this story is the YW’s didn’t actually enjoy their lunch as they watched the Mary eat her dessert. They wished they had done the same thing, but knew in their hearts they couldn’t, wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t be right. Not at all what you should do.

After a second lunch, with much the same effect, one of the women asks Mary why she does this.

Come on, you know that answer to this. She older and doesn’t want to miss out on what she wants in life. Mary also decides to do some of the things she used to love and never takes the time to do them anymore. She says if she dies, then she knows she did what she wanted.

Of course I had to check it out and no, I can’t find that it is a true story, however, that didn’t stop me from thinking about my characters in my book.

What is it they want to do? And do they care what others think of them for doing or not doing such. Now, I’m not talking about murder (okay, maybe I could be), I’m talking about the daily life stuff. The stuff that makes them real in our heads and our hearts.

Do they have to conform to the rules? Is that what makes them tick? If they do, then is it okay with them deep down, or would they really like to (take a deep breath all of you writers) wake up and eat chocolate for breakfast even if that is not consider a meal.

Or maybe simpler still, would they call into work sick, when their not and enjoy the day at the amusement park, or would they go and not eat the corn dog or ride that killer roller coaster because they just plain felt to guilty to be there.

I don’t know about you, but I have both types of characters in my book. Having them and realizing that you have them are two different things. If the one, who conforms to all the ‘expected’ rules, breaks one, then she is miserable. But her friend is totally the opposite. She believes in live and let live, enjoy the ride because you only get one ticket.

Biggest question is this. Am I writing them as such? Do I find that emotion within each of them to convey that to the reader? Will the reader say to herself, ‘OMG, I know just what (insert character name) feel, I want to do that too, but can’t let myself. Or (again insert character name), ‘I’m with you, I say do it, enjoy it, and who cares what others think.’

Knowing this will give your characters more depth and your readers more sympathetic feelings for them either way.

So your turn, do you show this side of your characters? Do you think it makes a difference if do or do not show it?

And remember to leave your comments for this week’s contest. And the big news is this: Diana has linked to the contest on her site. She has also said that rather than make the winner wait until June as soon as she has the ARC’s she’s going to send one to me to give to the winner. How cool is that??? But then, Diana Rocks Big Time!

One last question. Which did you do? Did you read the blog from the top to the bottom even though you wanted to scroll down and read the exciting news first?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Checking In - Pay It Forward (Ellie's) Winner Announced

Ellie's winner for her Pay It Forward contest is Jill James. Jill please email Ellie at sauble @
She will then coordinate your prize.

Also, I haven't heard from Flick yet. You won my contest last week. Email me with your info and I'll send your prize.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

This past weekend I worked at getting all the handwritten edits into the manuscript, which added another 1914 words. I swear I’m cutting words along the way as well. It just keeps growing.

I’m finding things that I mentioned once and either need to cut them out completely or add them again somewhere else.

My goal for next week is to have the remainder of the hardcopy edited. I’d like to have them entered or cut from the remainder of the manuscript, but with the day job that’s not likely to happen. At any rate, in two weeks, I should be through with this first pass. Then it’s print it out and start again. If I’m lucky the second pass through will be it and then it’s on to the synopsis, query letter and submitting.

I can’t wait for that first rejection. :) Sound weird? Yes, but it’s bound to happen and it means I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. Insert major props to my local chapter, TARA for teaching us that rejection happens, take 24 hours, and have a pity party if you need it and then pick yourself up and continue on. It’s the name of the game so to speak.

With my other manuscripts, I’ve never went all the way. I wrote them and stuck them under the proverbial bed. No query or synopsis. I knew they weren’t going anywhere. But this one…this ones different. I love to hate this book. Okay, I truly don’t hate it, but there are moments in the revision process that I think, ‘If I read that scene one more time—’ Then I get a grip and read it again.

How about you? Did you write this week? Delete scenes? What is the hardest or best part of the revisions for you?

WW’s and PD’s,

Monday, February 25, 2008

Contest Time

It’ Monday and time to start a new contest! But before I do, there are a couple of things I wanted to tell you.

First check out Sarai’s blog today. She has Michele Lang guest blogging about her book Netherwood, which releases tomorrow!! On Tuesday Sarai will also post a review of the book.

Secondly, I haven’t heard from Ellie yet on her winner for the PIF contest, but as soon as I do I’ll add it today’s post.

I am so excited about this weeks contest and the book doesn’t even come out until June!! Don't you love the cover!!! Makes me want to grab a beach chair, this book, a long cool drink, and yes sunscreen, and just read till the end.

Diana Peterfreund, is the author of Secret Society Girl, Under The Rose, and now the third in the series Rites of Spring(Break).

If you haven’t read the first two, then now is the time to go get them and devour them. :)

Since the book is not out yet, I’ll pre-order it for the winner to arrive on the release date. How cool is that!!!

So, what do you need to do? Leave comments this week. On Sunday I’ll post the winner. Oh, and in case you are not the lucky one this time around, I’ll be giving it away several times, prior to the release date.

Now for a video that I would have loved to be a part of. This is so cool!!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We Have A Winner!

The winner for my contest giveaway of Stacey Kayne's fabulous book Maverick Wild is...(insert the drum roll here), Flick.

Email me your information at vickilanewrites at and I'll get the book out to you.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the winner of Ellie's Pay It Forward contest. Once I post her winner, I'll give you her contact info for the prize.

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday doing what you love best. Me, I'm working edits, but it's getting closer! Woot!

WW's and PD's,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Check Outs

Check out the The Plotmonkeys today. They have HelenKay Dimon in the jungle and she’s posting about Recycling, Reusing and Any Other R You Can Think Of (her title). The post rocks and every aspiring or published author should read it.

Come back and tell me what you think? Have you recyled or reused a wip before? Did you have cut it all and start over or could you use most of it.

Tomorrow I’ll post the winner of Stacey Kayne’s book Maverick Wild.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Check Out Stacey On Bookends

Stacey Kayne is blogging over on Bookends about promoting yourself and your book. The post is great, go check it out.

She is also the author of this week’s book contest, Maverick Wild. Don't you just love this cover!!!

Don’t forget the Ellie is running her Pay It Forward contest through my blog until Monday the 25th. Cool prizes and so forth. Leave your comments for her. :)

WW's & PD's,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Checking In

Yep, it’s that time again. Time to check in with the past weeks writing. I love this journey. Don’t get me wrong there are moments, especially during the edit process that I don’t like at all. When all I really want to do is open a new document and type Chapter One, hit the enter key and let my mind and fingers have fun. I just keep reminding myself this too shall pass and the new world is waiting for you.

I’m two-thirds completed with the revision process. One third left to go. At least for the first pass. Hopefully the second one will not be as brutal, since I’ve been pretty hard on it this go round.

I did add 1413 words to it this week. I was in a couple of major dialogue driven scenes which needed a little more depth sprinkled in.

And I entered the Bookends contest for paranormal, along with what I am sure will be half the world. It was already at 80 entries and the thing goes until tomorrow morning at 9:00 EST.

Next week I hope to have three or four more chapters completed. Synopsis??? Yeah, not so much. I’m thinking about it.

Little reminder: This week I’m giving away a copy of Stacey Kayne’s book, Maverick Wild and Ellie is running her Pay It Forward contest. Leave your comments to be entered.

So, how about you? Did you write this past week? Are you doing edits? Reading? If so, what are you reading right now that is blowing you away?

WW’s and PD’s,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Contest, Blog Check Outs and Retirement Homes

It’ Monday and President’s day, which for some of us means time off from the day job. WhooHoo, I’m one of those people. :) Since I have a little more time on my hands than normal, the blog is long today, but well worth the read. Lot’s of good things happening.

It also means it is time for a new contest. Actually I’m going to announce two contest. Yay, I love to have contest, especially when I’ve just finished reading a great book!

The first one is for Ellie, who won on my Pay It Forward contest. Since she doesn’t have a blog, she is going to do her PIF contest through mine. Her PIF runs from today through next Monday, February 25th. All you need to do is leave comments to her each day in order to be entered. Once she announces the winner I’ll post her email contact and she’ll take it from there.

Prizes for her contest include books, chocolate or a cute item. Ellie tell us what the cute item is.

This week I’ll be giving away a copy of Stacey Kayne’s book Maverick Wild.

This is the second book in the Wild series and I could not put it down. Now I’m waiting (not patiently mind you, but waiting) for the last in the series to come out. And no, I’m not giving away mine, it’s signed by Stacey to me. Who ever wins will receive a brand new shiny one. Stacey is also blogging over on Writers at Play today. Another great blog, where she and other authors or very soon be authors blog.

Here’s the back cover blurb:
Chance Morgan had locked away his heart. Until Cora Mae Tindale crossed half the country to find him. The beguiling creature who insisted on turning his serviceable ranch into a home was hiding something—and Chance was hell-bent on finding out her secrets!

Cora Mae only wanted a place to hide, but her youthful protector had grown into a war-hardened rancher with looks that could tempt a saint. Yet his dark glances were filled with distrust…and unmistakable desire. Cora Mae's childhood crush was rapidly becoming a much more adult craving!

I’ve mentioned Bruce’s blog before and if you didn’t go check it out and make it a daily read then, you should now. He’s Leslie Kelly, from the Plotmonkey’s husband and his blog rocks.

Reading his blog I found, stumbled, or whatever you want to call it, onto Malicious Intents blog. Love this blog. And it’s where I found the clock. Props to you MI.

The other day she posted this post from her father-in-law and I told her I was going to post it here. So, just when you thought you knew everything for retirement…think again, my friend.

From MI’s blog:


Guess what, Holiday Inn offers 24 hour service 7 days a week around the clock!!!!!
How is that compared to Nursing Homes rip off??????
No nursing home for us. We are checking into the Holiday Inn!
With the average cost for a nursing home care costing $188.00 per day, there is a better way when we get old & feeble. We have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long term stay discount, plus senior discount, it's $49.23 per night. That leaves $138.77 a day for: Breakfast, lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies. Plus, they provide a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap. $5 worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling to help you. They treat you like a customer, not a patient.

There is a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp). To meet other nice people, call a church bus on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there. While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise, the cash keeps building up. It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever, you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.

Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there too.
TV broken?
Light bulbs need changing?
Need a mattress replaced?
No problem!
They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life. And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation. The grand kids can use the pool.

What more can you ask for?

See what I mean, love this. What a concept.

As always leave comments through out the week to be entered. Just make sure if you’re entering Ellie’s you let us know.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Friday, February 15, 2008

Contest You Don't Want To Miss Out On

Really exciting happenings over at Bookends. They are running a contest of the first 100 words of your manuscript. However make sure you read the post. You will only be able to submit when it’s your genre, otherwise it will not count.
Yesterday was mystery and I believe next will be paranormal. When it’s your genre you have about 24 hours in which to post your 100 words (absolutely no more than 100) and then they announce the winner within a couple of days and go on to the next genre.

This is not only a great opportunity to get your work in front of a fabulous agency, but when you look at posting 100 words, you realize how much you have to tighten those words. At least I did. :)

Also today is the day to choose a title for the Manuscript Mavens CYOA story. You can also read the past chapters of the mini book. And there are prizes to be given away. Prizes, people, you know we all love prizes. :D

Hope your weekend is great and remember to write, research, or plot that book. Check back on Monday for the first book contest of the year (not counting the PIF contest).

WW’s and PD’s,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Two Days Left at the Maven's and Sara's PIF Contest

Two days, that's it and the story over on the Manuscript Mavens will be over. If you haven't been reading them, go over and check it out. Vote for the next installment and you could win prizes. As with the last time they did this, after tomorrow we'll start voting on the title. You can still read each days 'chapter' and catch up with the rest of us. Sexy agents, 1000 face woman, heart shaped box and a poodle are just a few of the things you'll read about. Trust me on this, you will laugh out loud. So go check it out.

Sara was one of the winners on my Pay It Forward contest and now she is doing hers over on her blog. Check it out. Leave a comment to be entered.

WW's and PD's,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Check In

It’s time to check in. New words added 632, words deleted, I really don’t know. I start with the word count and work forward. What I end up with is either more words or less. What I do know is I am cutting words as well as adding some. That’s good, right? :)

Edits on hard copy, through chapter 13. Synopsis, still at 5 paragraphs. Query, hmmmm….just beginning to work on that.

Goals for this coming week. Since I have Monday off, I’m hoping to have all the line edits done on the hard copy and maybe on the screen as well. After that? The Query and Synopsis. Then it’s time to send the baby out into the world. Fingers crossed. Oh heck, fingers, toes, arms, legs, anything I can cross, I’m crossing with the exception of the eyes. Can’t write or read with them crossed.

Now for some fun. I honestly can’t remember whose site I saw this on, so if anyone knows, then put it in the comments so we can link back to it. Here’s my fairy name.

Your fairy is called Juniper Icetree
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in clear-headed pine forests.
She is only seen when the first leaves fall from the trees.
She wears purple juniper colours. She has icy blue butterfly wings.
Get your free fairy name here!

Don’t forget to go to the Mavens. Only a couple of days left to read the story and vote. The line up of authors has been great!

Your turn. How was your week? Did you accomplish your goals? What are you doing this week and what’s your fairy name?

WW’s and PD’s,

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pay It Forward Winners, Saturday Check Out, and a Meme

I'm so excited!!! It's Saturday and I get to announce the Pay It Forward winners. :D

Sarai and Ellie (I did not have a link for Ellie). WhooHoo!!! Yay and congrats to you both.

The link above will take you back to the orginal post. I loved this idea and when I won I could not wait to do it on my blog.

So, Sarai and Ellie, in order to accept your prizes you will now need to also Pay It Forward.

The prizes you can choose from are:

1. One book and an author goody bag
2. Two books
3. Author goody bag – this one has more stuff in it than the one with the book

Please email me at vickilanewrites at and let me know which you would like. Please give me two choices as the first person to respond will have their first pick.

Now for a Saturday Check Out: Alison Kent is blogging over on the Plotmonkeys today. She is talking about Plotting and Braiding Hair. You'll have to go read it to know what I/She means. Trust me it is worth the read.

Also, don't forget the Manuscript Maven's story is continuing on. If you haven't read them, today is a great day to read the past ones and catch up. The story is great and you can vote on what is going to happen next. And, there are prizes to be given away when the story is completed. Hunk, and suspense, and comedy, oh my…

I was tagged so here you go:

Like Karen I was tagged twice. First by Sarah and then Karen.

So here goes, six unimportant things about me.

They say the rules of this meme are simple:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.

4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.

5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.


1. I have curly hair, starts about two inches from the top of my head. Although most people never see it any way but straight.

2. Although Rock is my favorite music, I love Opera too.

3. My real name is Vicki, not Victoria, which I wish my mom had named me. I'd still go by Vicki, but I like Victoria. :)

4. I had to give away my bestest dog, Teddy, in the world in order to keep a very close friend from losing her condo.

5. When I was young I always held my nose if we drove over bridges.

6. I can't sleep with socks on my feet at night.

And as per the rules I am linking back to Karen Lingefelt and Sarah Makela. For my tags…hmmmm…, I know how much you all love to do these things, hee hee, so here is who I shall tag. Stephie, Patricia, Danika, Bill, Ava Rose, and last but never ever least, Tawny

Wow, that was a lot for a Saturday! Hope you are having a great weekend doing what you love best.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Friday, February 8, 2008

TGIF and Last Day for Pay It Forward Contest

Happy Friday Everyone! Today is the last day of the Pay It Forward contest. To be entered all you need to do is leave your comments. Tomorrow, I'll pick two winners and those winners will choose their prize. You can check out the post with the prize listing here.

I was one of the winners over on Carolyn's blog and now it's my turn. Hopefully the winners here will pay it forward on their own blogs. Cool idea.

Don't forget to check out the Manuscript Mavens for today's installment. If you haven't read the past ones, you can go back and read them up to date. This is another great story they are doing, along with some fabulous authors.
At the end of each days 'chapter' you get to vote on what happens next. So much fun, and there are prizes to be won.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Checking In and Trying to Get Back in the Swing of Things

The Pay It Forward contest is still going on. Leave a comment to be entered and on Feb. 8th I’ll pick two winners.

If you haven't been reading the Maven's blog, then you are missing the new CYOA. The line of authors writing each day's mini chapters is amazing and this is a fun story. Each day you read the new installment and then vote on what happens next. Fun, Fun!!! :D

I know it seems I have been MIA for the past week and in truth, I have. I've read/lurked, but my schedule has been way too crazy to post or even leave comments for the most part.

The retreat was great! Michael Hauge gave us much to work on in our current and future wip. His Identity to Essence is amazing. Funny thing is, I vacillated between my characters and myself.

If you have not heard him teach this, then his DVD is something I highly recommend. I was there, took tons of notes, and still bought them.

We had a full agenda starting with a TARA mixer on Friday night, which was so much fun. Having the time to talk with other members that you don't always have the chance to at the monthly meetings was fun. We learned things about each other and heard of new sells, (Yay Ellisa!!!). There was also some down time for those who did not want to participate in the Saturday afternoon functions. Time to walk on the beach or go shopping. A girls gotta love that. :)

Saturday night we had the pj party and watched the movie Sideways. Michael was speaking on it on Sunday morning. Most of us had not seen the movie, and truth be known, we couldn't really see this as a romantic comedy. Yes, there was laugh out loud moments, but the romance as we romance writers think of romance wasn't really there for most people.

Still, for me the movie was great. The dialogue was funny, yet there was depth to the words. More often than not with a much deeper and different meaning than what was actually said. Favorite part??? Okay, I'm with everyone else, when she hit the guy with the helmet, over and over again. He so deserved it.

Anyway, we had prizes, fun, food, drinks, and a great time. Hopefully this is something we will do again next year.

Now to check in. Not so much writing this past week. I did do edits on the hard copy. I'm in chapter 11 right now. The synopsis has 3 more paragraphs in it, all or most of which will probably be tossed, but I'm writing it. :)

The rest of last week was final prep for the retreat.

This week, finish edits on the hard copy and finish the first draft of the synopsis.

So, how was your week? Did you meet your writing goals, or come close? Oh, the new pic is from the retreat.

WW's and PD's,