Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Fun - Can You Pass??

Last week at the day job, one of the girls stated she was going this week to take her citizenship test. While we were all talking she said studying for the test was hard and she wasn't sure if we could pass the test. To which one of the guys said, we learned all that stuff in school, but hey we're older now and don't remember all of it. :)

It got me to thinking about the things that we/I learned in order to pass a class and make the grades, but really didn't retain all of it.

When I was looking for a Wednesday Fun to put up today, I saw this one and decided to take the test. Yay, I passed. Okay, I guessed on two of them, but I got them right. :)

Anyway, there are very few questions to compare to the huge number of questions she'll be taking on her test, but go ahead, take it and let us know how you did.

If you're a teacher, then you should do really well. Hint, hint, Missy. :)

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 8 out of 10 correct!

WW's and PD's,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Snakes - Yes Again

Okay, in all fairness after yesterdays post about me not liking snakes, I thought I should give you the link to MI’s post on her blog about their new pet. Meet Kashmir the snake. On her blog you'll see another picture and read all about him. I really do think he is beautiful. And yes, if I was at MI’s house I might even pet him. I didn’t say hold him, but pet him. Oh and in the picture…it’s her son holding him, with no fear I might add.

The thing is not all of us like the same things and that goes for pets. I’m really not sure how you can tell that your snake loves you. But I had a fish once, that I’m sure loved me and there was never any contact with that pet.

I really don’t like mice either, yet when my son was young and had his hamsters (they are in the same family), I grew to love those little things. And I know that Chip loved my son. There was no doubt about it. We had Chip for almost three years, which is a long time in hamster life, and when he died, I was holding him. I did everything I could for him for three days, including giving him water with a dropper, putting meal type food on my finger so he could lick it off, and keeping him warm. Not much sleep during those three days and it was heart breaking when he took his last breath.

Now my mom doesn’t get it at all. In fact she never really did understand why we could love what she called a rat. But we did.

So, yes, I’m very afraid of snakes in my yard, but then I’m also leery of stray animals if they come in my yard.

I guess what I’m saying on what I didn’t realize would be a two day post is this. We are all different in our likes and dislikes and that includes our pets. Which I’m here to say, thank goodness we are. It would be a really boring world if we all were the same.

WW's and PD's,

Monday, April 28, 2008

I So Don't Do Snakes

If you read my blog friend Malicious Intently , you know she and her family very much do. Me? Not so much. They scare me. I can’t help it, they just do.

That said, when I go to a zoo, I always go to the reptile house. The different type of reptiles fascinates me and they are BEHIND glass. I can look all I want and know they can’t get me. Silly? Probably, but it’s true.

So, why am I talking about snakes? Well, yesterday I took a nap and when I woke up Science Guy asked me this question. “If I said to you, ‘I was talking to Ray and you’ll never believe what I saw’, would you want to know the rest?” I said, “Yes, although I’m probably not going to like it.”

Yeah, I didn’t. It seems we had a very large black snake (at least I hope it was a black snake), curled up on our patio. SG said it was a good 3” in diameter and long. The snake was only a couple of feet away from the chair he sat in while talking with Ray. He first saw only a part of it and wondered what in the world he’d brought out and forgot to put away. Of course when he went to see what it was, the snake (MI, I’m being really good and not calling it a thing here just for you:), it slithered across the grass and through the fence into the neighbors yard.

Okay, so there is the fairly large snake, but it went to the neighbor’s yard. Yes, I know it can come back, but let a scared woman have her dreams. I felt immensely better knowing it was not in my yard for the time being.

At least that was what I thought the first time I went outside and looked around. It was the second time I went in the backyard and watched as a much thinner (very small in diameter) snake fell from the tangerine tree and went into the scrubs.

Snakes!!! Not one snake. Oh no, that would be scary enough for me. Now in the same day there have been two snakes in my yard.

The only funny thing is in AT&B the dagger that I designed has two snakes on it and their fangs are extremely sharp. And the dagger is very important in the book.

Maybe the snakes wanted to pay homage to the fact I used them in the book. Who knows. All I know is now every time I go outside I have to check around the area before I let the doggies out and before I blindly sit down in the early morning when it’s still dark.

So, what about you? Are you afraid of snakes? Do you love them or are you like me and like them best when they’re behind glass?

WW’s and PD’s,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm back, no Really I am & David Cook- Music of the Night

I know I’ve been MIA for the last week, however it was for a very good reason. The first pass on AT&B is finished!! WhooHoo! As it stands right now, it is 109,000 words and I’m still in chapter six of the last pass. I’m working on the synopsis for real this time. I’ve made plot points from each chapter and I’ll write it from that. Of course, then I’ll write it again, shortening it. :)

Last week’s winner is jilljames!! Email me at vickilanewrites at with your snail mail addy and I’ll get it out to you.

Now, for those of you watching AI, you saw this last night. I thought David Cook was amazing. He is definitely one of my favorites. I’ve loved how he’s taken each genre and did it rock. So naturally when they were doing Andrew Lloyd Weber last night, I was wondering how he would do that. Guess what? He didn’t. He sang the song just as it was written. Well as they change it to make the time work.

At any rate, I was completely blown away by it and thought you might like to hear the rocker dude sing the Music of the Night. Enjoy.

Your turn. Are you watching AI or any other show that you’re rooting for someone whether you vote or not? How was your writing week? Reading week?

The contest will be back on next week.

WW’s and PD’s,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday? Are you Sure???

Tuesday’s come around very fast, when I don’t write everyday. If I’m doing what I know I need to do then not so much.

Needless to say, I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted last week. I still have around 10 pages to hit the end for the first pass. Some of you are probably asking, “Will she ever stop talking about the first pass?” The answer is yes, I promise. I’d better if I’m going to send this baby out there.

I am on chapter six of the second pass though and it is going much faster the second time around.

So, what did I do last week? Lot’s of stuff deleted, reworded, and some new words added. When the week was said and done, I had a total of 498 new words. I’m not really sure what the deleted count is. I don’t keep track of them. It’s hard enough to wipe out several pages of words to know actually have a count. :)

Annie’s book is itching to be written. She visits me several times a day and reminds me, she is waiting. Patiently waiting for now, but how long will she hold out? I did make her happy when I typed out a 5 page outline. Her book is darker than AT&B. Since she knows the outcome, she doesn’t seem to mind the things she’ll be very tempted to do and tells me she may just do a few of them whether I want her to or not. Gotta love it when the characters tell you what their going to do.

So, how was your week? Read anything new? Meet your goals this week, writing or others?

Remember to leave your comments all this week to be entered to win Roxanne St. Claire’s newest Bullet Catcher book, First You Run.

WW’s and PD’s,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Contest, and Winner's, and So Many Great Books, Oh My!

This past weekend was our TARA meeting and it was fantastic! At least the morning session was. Karen Rose spoke on Getting Into Characters. It was great. The afternoon session we had to go over bylaws with the membership and then vote on said bylaws. After only a couple of changes the vote was unanimous. Yay! Now, I’ll make the necessary changes and send them back to RWA. WhooHoo, bylaws done!

Time to announce last week’s winner and this week’s contest. There are so many great books coming out over the next several months. I’m very excited to bring them to you through the contest.

Last week’s winners for Julie Leto’s signed Phantom Pleasures are: Carolyn Jean and Jenna. Please email me your snail mail address at vickilanewrites

The contest this week is for Roxanne St. Claire’s newest Bullet Catcher book, First You Run. This is the first book in a new trilogy, continuing the Bullet Catchers line.

Here’s the blurb:
Bullet Catcher Adrien Fletcher is on a mission to track down a baby given up in a black market adoption thirty years ago. He has a list of possible names and one tantalizing clue: the infant girl had been marked with a tiny tattoo. And since tattoo-hunting will mean getting up close and personal with the women on his list, he's the perfect man for the job. But when Fletch meets Miranda Lang, he knows she can never be just a name on his list. If she's not his target, he should move on and find the right woman, despite their electrifying attraction. But Miranda is on her own mission, and every step takes her closer to a deadly trap. Fletch may be the only man who can protect her...forcing him to choose between duty and desire.

What? You need more and right now? Have no fear, I’m here to assist. First You Run excerpt page is here.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough. Here you can even take a peek at Fletch. OMG, is he yummy or what!

I know, you can’t wait to get your hands on this book. Trust me, it’s worth making time to read. And I do mean make yourself some time. This is another ‘Honey, want to order out tonight, cause I can’t cook’, must read book.

Since I really loved reading what you thought of the excerpts of last week’s contest, let’s do it again. You don’t have as much to read this time, but go the site, read the excerpt or read Fletch’s page. Come back and leave a comment about it and you’ll be entered into the drawing. You can leave comments on any day this week and I’ll include them all.

One last thing. Roxie’s has signed the book for the winner!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Checking In Time

How can it be time to check in again??? This past week has flown by and though I did manage to get some revisions done, I’m still 20 pages away from finishing this first pass.

I’ve already started the second pass through. Yay! I’m starting chapter five. Double Yay!!

In my spare time, (don’t laugh, I know there really isn’t anything such as spare time), I’m working on the query and synopsis. Okay, so I’m not really enjoying the synopsis writing. But this two shall pass. :D

So, how did you do this week? Did read anything new? Share, share!! How about your own writing goals? Or maybe you have other goals you’re working on that don’t include writing. How did you do on those?

Don’t forget about the contest. Each time you leave a comment you will be entered. Read yesterday’s post and then anyone of the excerpts and leave a comment about it.

WW’s and PD’s,

Monday, April 7, 2008

Phantom Pleasures Contest

Phantom Pleasures is out! Over at the Plotmonkey’s, Julie Leto gave us a full week of excerpts. Each day she put up a chapter on the blog and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. If you haven’t already bought the book, you can click on the link above and begin with the prologue.

This book weaves a tale of old and new. Historical and present, along with paranormal. Julie has once again, giving the readers everything and more they could ask for. Just make sure you’re ready to sit and read for a long time, because you won’t want to put this one down.

So, in honor of this release and my friend, I’m giving away a not one, but two copies of Phantom Pleasures this week. And they’ll be signed to the winners.

All you need to do is go to the Plotmonkey’s, read anyone of the seven entries and then come back and leave a comment about it. The link will take you to the prologue, but you can comment on any of the chapters. You can enter as many times as you like and yes, each entry will put your name in the preverbal hat. So the more comments the more chances you’ll have.

Then come back on Sunday to see who the winners are. :)

WW’s and PD’s,

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I love words. Okay, that’s not a big surprise, but really I do. An email comes to me each day with a new word and its meaning. Sometimes they’re normal, everyday words. More often than not, they’re obscure words and those are the ones I love the most.

The funny thing is as much as I love words, I found in the editing process, I was using some words way to much. How many times can you ‘look, gaze, or peer’? Or better yet, the words ‘as she’ and ‘as he’. I’m not saying you don’t need those words, because you do. Just not tons of them.

Action words are some of my favorite. Slammed, bounced, tickled, kissed, and so many more with or without the ‘ed’ or adding ‘ing’. Going back through AT&B, I’ve found places to add action rather than the normal ‘as she/he’ or ‘she turned’ or ‘he looked’. For me it makes the pacing so much better and keeps the dreaded ‘TELLING’ out of the book.

Yes, for those of you who know me well, I do have a spreadsheet. I love spreadsheets, what can I say. It’s a little OCD of me, but it works. It’s simply called, are you ready for this? Words To Start Paragraphs With.

In all honesty, I rarely glance at anymore. In fact, I forgot it was hanging on my bulletin board, until last night. I needed a word. Yep, it was there. Just what I needed and so the ‘Unexpected’ the paragraph took on new life.

See that’s the thing. Words are the life force to our books. If they’re too weak our characters will have problems breathing. Everything slows down and for a book that would be its heart. You can’t live long with a heart that doesn’t beat. The same thing happens but to the other side of the spectrum if they’re too strong for to long. The characters begin racing through the book and without warning they’ll plop down and won’t move. Okay, that sure doesn’t work in the book.

Long blog, short. I’ll spend the time to find the right word when needed. Because when that happens, you’ve hit gold. The reader no longer realizes he or she is reading. The words have breathed the correct amount of life into the book at the right time. The readers breathing will match the books, slowing down and speeding up as they are then immersed within your world.

Yep, I love words.

How about you? Do you find you have words you have change as you go back through your wip? Or as a reader, do find words that slow your reading down, making it hard to get through? What about the books where after the fist paragraph you no longer realized you were reading words, but now lived inside the pages of the book?

WW’s and PD’s,

Oh and just on a side note, Julie Leto is guest blogging over on Diana Peterfreund’s blog today. Go read it, leave a comment, and you may win a copy of Phantom Pleasures.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday Fun and an Award

First things first, I am honored to have received the MI - You Caught and Kept My Attention award. Thank you! I love it. Malicious Intent’s blog is fabulous. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. I love her truth spiced with humor.

Now for some Wednesday Fun. A friend sent this to me and I loved it. Yes, I do believe I heard everyone of those from my mom. Alright, I probably used them on my kids too. Trust me, if they read the blog, they’ll tell you. In fact, knowing my wonderful kids, they’ll more than likely have one or two to add. :)


1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper.."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are mil lions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do"

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOUR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door be hind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you

What about you? Did your mom use these or have you used any of them? Hey, telling you cat or dog counts, because they’re kids too. Hope your hump day is going smoothly. Don’t forget Monday starts a new contest. Yay!!! It’s time.

WW’s and PD’s,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tuesday Checking In

It seems like forever since I’ve checked in with writing updates and goals, even though I only missed a week.

Last week I cut words and added others with the total for the week being 413 new words. I have about 30 pages left to finish the first pass. Then it’s back through one more time. Hopefully, that one will be a bit quicker. :)

Since I’m considering entering a couple of contest, I spent most of the week going over the prologue and first three chapters.

Goals for next week: Finish the first pass. Yes, I will have it done by the next check in. Critique AM’s chapters and hopefully read “L’s” new beginning…hint, hint.

How about you? Did you write last week? Think about? Plot out the next book? Tell us what’s going on in your world.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,