Tag Archives: WIP

Ok, so, I’ve been a delinquent

I know I haven’t been posting much lately.  I put insane deadlines on myself that no human could possible keep up with… and then I go and meet those deadlines.  But it does keep me writing, which at least is good.

So, What have you been up to?

I finished the first draft of my WIP, and then set it aside to spruce up the novel I am querying.  Then I took that baby out for a few pitches at a writer’s conference.

Have you ever been to a writer’s conference?  This was my first, and I must say it was a great experience.  I only wish that they duplicated some of the sessions, because many that I wanted to go to were running at the same time as others so I had to miss out.

It’s also great to talk to people in the business and get their perspectives on the industry.

Anyway, I think I learned a few things, and of course, once I get some time to digest, I will spit it all back out here for your enjoyment.  Yuck, that was a really gross visual, but hey, it works.

Anyone else been to a good conference lately?



Sunday Snippets Blog Hop #7 – A scene from Fire in the Woods

Sunday_SnippetsOh Yeah! It’s the Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop!

In this hop, participants post 250 words of their work in progress to be critiqued.  Then everyone hops around to critique others.  Don’t have a post of your own?  We’d love a critique anyway!  And next time you can sign up yourself (see below)

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I think if I look at this passage one more time I’m gonna puke… so I’m going to make YOU GUYS look at it.  This is a scene from “Fire in the Woods” that I’ve edited to death this week.  What do you think?

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The underbrush shuffled.  I gasped as fingers dug into my flesh.  My body lifted into the air, and my lungs struggled against an overwhelming pressure against my ribs. The moon sank behind the clouds, darkening the forest and hiding my captor.  Held from behind, I struggled and kicked.  “Let go!”

I twisted and tugged.  My feet dragged across the forest floor as someone pulled me further from David’s shivering form.  Another set of arms shot out of the dark and clutched my hands, tying my wrists together with a coarse rope before drawing me into the air.

The pressure against my sides subsided, and I drew in a deep breath.  My shoulders burned and screamed from the strain as they maneuvered my hands over a tree branch and hung me like a Christmas ornament.  “What are you doing? Let me down!”

I trembled as the cloud cover shifted.  The trees, like sharp shadows, seemed to lean towards me, watching.  A large broad man walked away, his gait somewhat familiar. A woman adjusted my bindings, her face partially covered by a fuzzy-edged hood.

“What do you want?”  I asked.

Her silence hung in the air like a veil.  She either didn’t hear me, or didn’t care that I spoke.   Sweat ran down my temples as she turned and joined her friend.  I writhed in my bindings.

My captors brushed the dirt with their hands before gathering something from the woods, stacking it on the ground.

“Please, let me go.  I didn’t do anything.”

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The Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop is on!

Want to join up? Click here for the rules, and leave a comment to have your name added to the list.  The more the merrier!swish swivel squiggle 2

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!

Note:  Those who have not been participating have been removed.














Ugh! What a week coming up! And Sunday Snippets Blog Hop

Hey guys, I am bowing out of the Sunday Snippets Blog hop this week because I am piled high with tax paperwork, and I have some pesky deadlines to deal with… All that means I won’t have time to hop around anyone’s sites to critique this week.


But that doesn’t mean everyone else can’t play.  The list is below.

Have a ball, and I’ll see you next week!

swish swivel squiggle 2

The Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop is on!

Want to join up? Click here for the rules, and leave a comment to have your name added to the list.  The more the merrier!swish swivel squiggle 2

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!

Note:  Those who have not been participating have been removed to save on critiquer’s “click” time.













250 Word Critique Blog Hop – This is what we’re gonna do.

Have you ever just had “one of those weeks”?

Yeah, well, I’m there.  I had all these plans, but they went NO WHERE. I need three of me, I swear.

Anyway… There were enough people interested last week to start up a Critique Blog Hop.  Every day I sat down to contact everyone to start this week, but, well, you know how life gets in the way.  Sorry about that.

I even had all the rules typed out, but they are stuck in a “cloud” that is spiraling forever and not opening when I click on it, so I can’t post them now all pretty like.

So, for next Sunday, if you want to join up, comment below and leave your blog address in your comment.  I will paste them all together in a blog hop list that everyone can paste into their own posts if they like.

Next Sunday, be prepared to post your first 250-ish words from your current work in progress on your blog (250 and until the end of that sentence)

We will all hop around and critique.  I’ll post a rules page (all about being nice and stuff) as soon as I can get into that stupid cloud.

Oh!  I’ll also create a button that you can place in your widgets or somewhere easy to find so we can click on it and easily find your post if we don’t get to you on Sunday and you post something else.

Sound good?

Oh, also, if you can think of a catchy name for the blog hop, let me know.  If no one can come up with something by Sunday afternoon, I’ll make up a button that says “Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop” but I’m totally open if someone can come up with something catchy-er.

Join up and let’s get critiquing!


Six Sentence Sunday – From my Work in Progress

Yep… Gonna give ya a sneak peek at my latest little swarray (is that how you spell that?) into the world of Romance.  I’m still writing the Explosion novel Fire In the Woods, but so I don’t get stagnant, I’m mixing things up with some shorts for those days when I just need a break from it.

This is from my current WIP “A Test of Faith”.  It starts out with a line stated by our hero, Jack. He is driving, and Jill is in the passenger seat with her daughter Nicole in the rear.

“If I didn’t get drunk last night, I wouldn’t have woken up under your Christmas tree … I wouldn’t have had the guts to finally tell you how I feel.”

Nicole leaned up between our seats. “You woke up under our tree because God put you there, Uncle Jack. You were Mom’s Christmas present.”

His hand slipped back to my knee. “I’m not sure that I was her present. I think she was mine.”

Hmmm.  Okay so that was more than six sentences.  Sorry Counting Gods!  I’m a writer, not a mathematician!

So, Whattya think?

Work in Progress Challenge Part Three. Yep… Still being honest

If you are wondering about the title, I don’t want to get into it again.  Check out the previous posts part one and part two

And without further ado… on with the riveting questions…

1.       Is your WIP Published or Represented?

This is a really weird question.  A WIP is, by definition, is IN PROGRESS.  So, obviously it is not published.  Represented?  Kind of an odd question as well.

I guess I can tell you that no, I do not have an agent hanging over my head asking me to finish fast so they (we) can get our paycheck.  This is the first of a possible series, so I do not have a publisher in line waiting for it, although I do have one that has expressed interest.

2.       How long did it take you to write?

Oh!  Actually an easy question to answer!  I started this novel with a vow to myself to finish it by a certain time.  I took two weeks and did nothing but plot it out.  I decided what was going to happen before it happened.  This greatly speeded up my writing time because I didn’t have to fix, rewrite, or add scenes to fix plot holes.  From the actual start of writing the first page, to finishing the first draft….   I started on May 9th, 2012 and finished on July 27, 2012.  I don’t write on weekends (with the exception of a writer’s retreat.)

So, that’s 58 writing days… during which I also completed line-edits for my publisher on “Last Winter Red”, and I took the idea for “Connect the Dots” (a 9,000 word short story) from idea, outline, completion, beta and submission to the publisher – before I got back to (and was able to complete) Fire in the woods.

All that to say… looking back at my writing log, it looks like I actually worked on Fire in the Woods exclusively between 35 and 40 days. (That’s first draft, though.  I’m still editing… and I think I want to add a few more action scenes and make it longer. — I feel a few more explosions coming on 🙂 )

3.       What other WIP’s in your genre would you compare it to?

Here’s another really wacky question.  Comparing to other people’s WIPs?  Even if I could do this, I would be comparing to beta-manuscripts I have read, and none of you would have read those, so comparing would be futile.  This question really does not make sense to me.

I suppose I could try to compare it to published work.  Ummmm.  Geeze.  I don’t think I could to that either.  Imagine “When Harry Met Sally” meets “Die Hard”.  Sweet Romance intermingled with lots of explosions.  ***sigh***   Yup.  Just good old-fashioned fun.

4.       Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?

Honestly, none that I could directly relate to this work.  I suppose everything you read can sub-consciously mold you in a certain direction.  Lately, I have been taking notes on good and bad things I have seen, but actual inspiration?  I can only give that credit to the Big Guy upstairs.

5.       Tell us anything else that might pique our interest about this WIP.

I just love this story, so everybody else will, too.  So there! Tee Hee.  🙂

Seriously, I think there is a little bit for everyone in Fire in the Woods.  Jess is a kid struggling with a bad relationship with her dad.  It’s a story about a father struggling to raise a teenage daughter on his own, while protecting the planet at the same time.  It’s about a boy trying to overcome past demons while proving his own self-worth to himself and others.

And best of all there are lots and lots of explosions!  What’s not fun about that?

6.  Finally:  Tag three other Authors and ask them to complete the above interview.

I’m going to jump out of the box and shoot this over to the three most recent novelists that I’ve read.  I’d love to hear a little about what they are working on now.

Olivia Devereaux – Of that little western “Mended Hearts” Fame

Claire Gillian – Of that annoyingly good mystery with the great voice “The P.U.R.E.”

Rebecca Hart – Author of “Call of the Sea”  Ahoy Me hearties!

And just because I’m a rebel… I’m gonna also give it to J.M.McDowell ’cause she’s an archaeologist and I just find that incredibly COOL!

How’s that for mixing it up?  A Western, an Office Mystery, and a Pirate book, and an archaeologist/Author.  How well-rounded is that?

Work in Progress Challenge Part two. And I Promise to be honest

Okay… here we go.  If you are wondering about the title, I don’t want to get into it again.  Check out my post from yesterday (or click here)

First, Thanks to Roger Colby at Writing is Hard Work for forcing me to do this giving me this opportunity.  Roger’s novel “This Broken Earth (The U.S. Of After)” is available now.  Please check it out.

Without further ado… Here is the Work In Progress Challenge.

1.        What is the Title of you Work In Progress?

Oh yay!  That’s an easy one.  Well, Maybe not.  The novel I am polishing up right now it is tentatively called Fire in the Woods.  But I am also considering “115 Degrees of Perfect”  I could explain either title, but if I did, I’d have to kill ya, ‘cause it’s top secret stuff at the moment.

2.       Where did the idea for the WIP come from?

Oddly enough, I got this idea over a weekend while considering another project.  Jenny Keller Ford cued me in on an anthology.  At the time, all she knew was it needed to be a HEA or HFN (Happily ever after, or Happy for Now) and under 10,000 words.  My brain stewed on this over the weekend, and what I came up with was the premise of Fire in the Woods.

However, I was unable to use it because when I actually saw the writing prompt (it was a picture of a woman in red standing in the snow) it just wasn’t a fit (Which is okay, because Last Winter Red, the story I did write to fit that picture – is being published)

Anyway… This original idea was squiggling and poking me for a few months until I had to write it or give up my sanity.  I’m glad I didn’t try to write this in 10,000 words, though.  The story is too complex.

3.       What Genre would your WIP fall under?

Hmmm.  This could be a tough question.  I want to say Sci-Fi, but when people think of Sci-Fi they drum up images of Star Trek and Star Wars.  That’s not what this really is.

I think it is really more like a Contemporary Urban Fantasy.  It takes place in present-day New Jersey (in the USA)  The main character is a seventeen year old girl, who gets taken on a roller coaster ride when she meets a mysterious boy in the woods.

4.       Which actors would you choose to play characters in a movie rendition?

This is a question that I usually try to avoid.  One reason is that I do watch movies, but I don’t pay attention to actors/actresses names as much as I used to.  In this case, though, I can answer it for at least one character.  The character of David could definitely be played by Taylor Lautner.  Jess and Maggie (two characters) actually mention how much he looks like Taylor.

Maggie is a bouncy haired-pretty blonde eighteen year old.  Anyone want to fill in the blanks?

Jess, the main character, is a little conservative, but I purposely gave her the “any girl” appeal.  The reason is, that Fire in the Woods is written in first person (that means she refers to herself as “I”)  Since I was using this POV, I wanted anyone reading to be able to fit themselves in her shoes.  So, in answer to this question… she would have to be a no-name actress so people could look at the screen and see “anonymous”.  This would help keep them in the story as the “I” character (Did that even remotely make sense?)

5.       What is a one-sentence synopsis of your WIP?

ERGHHH.  Admitting to skipping this and coming back to it later.


Okay, I’m back.  One sentence, huh? ERGH!  I hate things like this, but everyone really should do this.  You need to be able to spit out your plot in one sentence if anyone asks you in passing.  Especially for that random publisher you might meet in line at the grocery store – Don’t laugh… it does happen.  Why not be ready?

Okay, yes, I’m stalling.  **sigh** okay, here we go…

Fire in the Woods is about a teenage girl who meets a boy in the woods, and ends up on a roller coaster ride chase across New Jersey to save the boy, and ultimately, the world.

Hey!  That actually sounded pretty good.  Yay for me!

At this point, I am going to stop because I know that I frequently don’t have time to read really long posts.  So in honor of your time, I will finish this up tomorrow, when I’ll answer some really odd questions.  And maybe you can help me with a few.  ???

Until then …

Six Sentence Sunday

It’s Six sentence Sunday!

This is something I stumbled over while trolling through blogs one day.  What a fun idea!  You can post six sentences of whatever you want.  I thought of doing my fifth grade report on butterflies, but I couldn’t get to the box in the attic.  (It’s 101 degrees where I am, and I’m not going NEAR that attic.

So, instead, you are stuck with six sentences from the first page of my new WIP … FIRE IN THE WOODS.  This is the very first sneak peek at my new novel.  Enjoy!

The ground shook, and a soda can shimmied off my dresser.  I tried to cover my ears as an explosion rattled the walls, and my brain. 

Three more jets screamed overhead.  What the…

I ran to the window and gasped, shielding my eyes from the unexpected inferno blazing deep within the woods that encircled the Air Force base.  Flames shot up over the trees, billowing and flaring—lighting up the afternoon sky with an eerie glow.

If you want to find out more, or check out some other great sets of six sentences, check out the site:  http://www.sixsunday.com/

What stupid writing error did your Beta point out this week? Beam me up, Scotty!

You need to find a balance.  Really, you do.

While working on my “Writing to a Deadline” piece, I was trying very hard in the first draft not to make any of the mistakes I made in my larger manuscript.

I may have over done it, though.

In trying to make sure that my characters don’t “step” too much, and after hearing feedback from a beta that said “we don’t have to know about every move”—Now at times, my characters don’t move at all.

A new beta pointed out that my characters magically disappear from one spot, and appear in another, with no explanation whatsoever.  Well, obviously they walked.   (There are no Star Trek transporters in my current WIP)

The problem is, I tried to write this story in a way that inferred that they walked… but it didn’t always work.

Now back to editing, and make sure to make them move without stepping around a lot.


Lucky Seven Meme

Okay, here is a new one.  It’s really an Authors game, and this is kind of fun.  I was tagged by my buddy, amazing soon-to-be published author Jenny Keller Ford.

Here’s the rules of engagement:

1.  Go to page 77 of your current manuscript or WIP

2.  Go to line 7.  Copy down the next seven  sentences as they are written.  No Cheating!

3.  Tag 7 authors and pass on the Lucky Seven Meme

Well, My current Whirlwind WIP is a 35 page novelette, so I will defer to my first love, HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.  Here is an excerpt, fitting the parameters above.  You are about to enter the demented mind of my villain, as he decides to murder my beloved Main Character:

It was an odd sensation, being warmed by the sudden dark of a freak storm, but he welcomed it.  His father always said that the weather reacted to Castillia’s mood.  The sudden exhilaration must be her touch.  She was calling him, and he answered.  The darkness was not to be feared; it made him stronger.  It gave him the final strength to do what he knew must be done for the greater good.

Outside the window, Magellan and Meagan took shelter from the storm under a tree, huddling closely beneath its branches.  Stephen grimaced in disgust as Meagan rested her head on the snit’s shoulder.  The anger inside him boiled. 

First of all, be sure to hop on over to read  Jenny Keller Ford‘s brilliant excerpt from “In the Shadow of the Dragon King”.

I am officially tagging a few people just to see what their WIP’s look like.

Gloria Richards http://gloriarichard.wordpress.com/ No!  You cannot let Brinda do it for you!

Brinda Berry (Okay, so– you just released your second novel.  I know you must have book three drafted.  Give us a sliver!)

Tristan http://sanguinestream.wordpress.com/

Cara Olsen http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/

Florence http://ramblingsfromtheleft.wordpress.com/

Sherry Isaac http://sherryisaac.com/

Dianne Wilson http://diannejwilson.wordpress.com/