Monday, October 31, 2011

Guess My Current WIP

http://julianalbrandt.com/blog/

Ugh, well I guess I missed the boat for the first week on this blog fest! There I was standing at the pier. Little did I know that ship had done sailed. 

I just entered my post, and the contest ended last Friday *she types smiling*.  Y'all can still read it here on my blog if you'd like. It has a motivating message at the end. Oh well, on to this week's contest!

This week, we’ll cater to those of us who are completely possessive over our WIPs and don’t want to give anything too telling away. Instead of posting something intimate about our writing, post a picture or piece of music that describes your WIP.
What do you look to when you write? What inspires you? How else do you use your creativity? Music? Pictures? Art?

Some of you may know, I write many things all at once. I'm a writer with ADD. Big time. I've selected the YA book I'm working on since the non-fiction about roses would be too simple to guess. Here is a photo that teeters on the verge of tipping the bucket about my WIP. For me and my writing, this image speaks volumes.


Can you guess? What does this image say to you?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pull the Covers Over Your Head--My Top 5 Scariest Books Ever

 My Absolute Favorite Scary Books



There is no doubt about it. I like a good scary book. One that keeps me on my toes, peeking around the dark corners of my house, sleeping with the lights on. But, there have been a few that still haunt me, even years after reading them. In order of scary to the most wet-your-pants-frightening, I'll list my top 5 favs. 









1.) Tommyknockers by Stephen King
~As if living in the woods alone wasn't creepy enough, King had to go and add aliens.


  2.) Kiss the Girls by James Patterson 
~Serial-girl-stalking-abducting-hide-you-in-an-underground-hole-scary! 









  3.) Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
~White creepy van + moth larvae = can't sleep at night frightening. 









4.) The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
~Flies & evil spirits? 









Drum roll please...

  5.) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
~Uh, uh...no way. I'm even having a difficult time looking at the cover of this one. Possession is my absolute nightmare from hell. This one keeps me bed-bound, even 25 years after I've read it. Yes, folks, that made me 15 when I read this book. I had to sneak it in my bedroom, and I read it under the covers with a flashlight. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much after this one.




What is the scariest book you've ever read? What makes you pull the covers over your head? Ghosts? Vampires? Psycho killers? Aliens?

BOO!




Thursday, October 27, 2011

So You Think You're a Writer?

Yeah, I do.


Writer: One who writes, especially as an occupation. ~American Heritage Dictionary

A writer is a person who produces literary content, including but not limited to stories, poetry, music and other literary art, advertising, procedures, and books. Writers are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to Development Executives. ~Wikipedia

Definition of WRITER: one that writes. ~Merriam Webster
  
Writer - Definition
Though anyone who creates a written work may be called a writer, the term is usually reserved for those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ~WordIQ.com

(Monday, October 31st) ~Interestingly enough, Rachael Harrie's 
Rachael Harrie's Blog Building Campaign has come to an end. I read on another campaigner's blog Jessica Therrien that she was joining Juliana Brandt's Warm Fuzzies Blog Fest It seems appropriate (and much needed!) to join in the fun, seeing as I just had my writer's cheek slapped something awful. The blog fest begins with telling a story about telling someone you're a writer and their reaction, good or bad. I hope this suffices...

So, You Think You're a Writer?
 
Recently, I was literally punched in the gut by something a family member said about my writing. It was second-hand information, but it hurt nonetheless. She said she was disappointed that I'd decided to pursue my writing career, because I wouldn't ever really do anything with it anyhow. I was always picking up new projects, procrastinating, and then never finishing the job. She also said it was a complete waste of my time.

I've always wanted to be a writer. Always. A couple of years back, I made the decision to do something with a few pieces I'd written. This particular person seemed genuinely sincere as she cheered me on. Little did I know she was mocking me behind my back.


Knowing I made myself vulnerable to her and looked to her for support is what hurts the most.

After I heard this, I fought to choke back the nail-studded lump in my throat. The tears flowed despite the fact that my eyes were squeezed shut. My heart shattered in a thousand pieces.

The harsh words came from someone who claims to love me. Obviously, not. After my crying fit, I dried my tears, blew my nose, and promised myself to not let her get me down. The interesting thing, is I've always written something since she and I met over 20 years ago. I guess in her opinion, if I'm not on the bestseller list, I'm not a success. 

Clearly, from the definitions of a "writer" above, I am a writer. How do I know this? Well, to put it simply, I write.

To all of you out there, struggling day to day to find the encouragement to keep writing, this post is for you. It doesn't matter what anyone else in the world says, even if it is a family member. If you put a pen to paper, you are a writer. Remember to stay true to who and what you are. 
True success is in the heart and mind of the beholder.

Big Hugs & Write on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sucker Literary Magazine Acceptance

YA Short Story Accepted

Holy cow! Just received word that SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE has accepted one of my YA short stories!!!


Here's me shouting the news from the rooftops:
(Okay, obviously not me, but this is how I feel!)










Here's me dancing a wee, "I'm ecstatic gig!"





(Okay, again not me. But funny picture, right?)








Now, here's me wearing cheese on my head:
(Yes, it's me, and has nothing to do with my story acceptance. It's just funny.)








But seriously, I'm completely psyched about having my story appear in the first edition of Sucker Literary Magazine. The Editor, Hannah Goodman is quite the success herself. Take a peek at her website & blog. Not to mention, she rocks as an Editor!


Thanks for celebrating with me!


http://www.hannahrgoodman.com/
http://www.hannahrgoodman.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fishing Stinks

Rachael Harrie's 3rd Campainger Challenge- Show Not Tell

 I've been having a blast with Rachael Harrie's Campaigner Challenges. It's time for the 3rd challenge. Here are the rules:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).
My entry is exactly 300 words, and I've incorporated all three made up words. All five parts of the challenge above have been met, I think! At least I tried.
 



Fishing Stinks

Frankie wakes up on her foldout lawn chair. Cranky, sweaty, and damn sick of smelling trash, she jerks her head up. On the horizon, a rosy glow stretches wide as the sun peeks over. Now, maybe they can leave this retched place. Nothing worse than sand in your panties, sticky saltwater, and grit on your skin.

"Oh, baby, you're up. Wanna fish for a while?" Jed says.

Not no, but hell no. "I'm tired of fishing. We've been here all weekend," says Frankie.

"Just a bit longer, darlin', I promise," Jed says.

That's what he said last night.

Synbatec, the sanitation department several hundred yards from the coast, explodes into action. Banging, clanking, men hollering, and giant dump trucks line up to dump their loads.

Didn't anyone recycle in Texas anymore? Damn wastopaneers is what they are. Shoving trash into landfills, mucking up the state, they oughta be ashamed of themselves.

The Gulf heat boxes in the nauseating Dumpster stench around Frankie. She gags, tasting trash on her tongue. She yanks her t-shirt up over her mouth. A churning in her empty stomach makes her thankful she didn't eat last night.

"Oooh, wee! I got myself anotha one, baby!" Jed says. He pops up, reeling in his line. He's hootin' and hollerin' and carrying on about his big one.

Big one. He thinks he's got a big one.

Frankie spills off her chair when sirens blare behind her. Jed is still wrangling with his big one, as a muscled beach patrol officer struts up. Flashy mirrored glasses conceal his eyes.

"Y'all have to evacuate the area. There's been a sanitation tacise in the water. We're closing the beaches," he says, spitting a brown patch in the sand.

"Awe, man!" Jed says, throwing down his pole.

"Oh well," Frankie says, smirking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Little Acorn's Big Fall

It is that time of year when at any given moment you can be knocked on the head with an acorn. Tumbling, bumbling down from the trees, fall is the time when oaks release their seeds. It is also time for the squirrels to gather all the acorns they can find and stash them away in their nests for food during the upcoming winter.

My first complete picture book I ever wrote was Little Acorn's Big Fall. When I thought the manuscript was ready, I sent out a few queries to agents looking for picture books. I caught the interest of one Literary Agent, but haven't heard a peep from her yet. I'm thinking it may be time to move on and send it elsewhere.

The sweet story has a special place in my heart, and I hope to see it in print one day. My main character is Little Acorn who struggles with the weight of his responsibilities of becoming a tree. What he's really worried about now that he's forced from his father's branch, are hungry squirrels or even worse, rolling away and getting lost! Little Acorn wonders if he'll be the successful 1 out of 10,000 acorns to survive.

Written in a flowing AABB rhyme scheme, Little Acorn's Big Fall is on the hunt to find the perfect literary agency or publishing house, where together, they can create harmony in the world of children's books.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Her Way to Somewhere...A Wink of Fiction

Here's another Wink of Fiction. The theme for this week's Wink of Fiction is, there's a story around every corner. Literally, in this case. I decided to write about a photo taken from my husband's smart phone while he was in town one day last week. He emailed it to me. As an artist, I look at this photo and see character & story. Many stories. Here is what comes to mind as I first glanced at this photo. Hope you enjoy!






On Her Way to Somewhere

She is just passing through on her way to nowhere, somewhere, everywhere. Hundreds of people see her everyday, but she sees no one. Hears no one, except the voices in her head, telling her this and that. There are so many voices now, she cannot name them all. They come and go freely, like a crowded mental expressway.


She feels content when the good ones are around, but the bad ones, they make her do mean things. Like spitting on the sidewalk, throwing her cigarette butts on the ground, stealing from others, breaking into buildings to pee or even peeing in the street. The bad ones tell her not to care what others think. There is a young one who sings her a sweet lullaby every night when she closes her eyes.

She puffs on the cigarette she stole from the construction worker.  Finders keepers. He shouldn't have left his pack on the bench.

She pops a squat in the middle of a parking lot. This is a fine place to read a bit of Sparks. Oh, how I love me a good love story. The Notebook. Could of been me, except my husband walked out on me all because I was sick. Dirtbag.

Hmph! Well, I will sit right here and smoke my stolen cigarettes until the police kick me out of here. I will put up a stinky fight though. I sure will. Hadn't showered in over two weeks. And, I wish this dern hospital wristband would come off.

What's that? Hush now, child. The mean one's coming, and you know how she likes to boss us around. You rest, I'll wake you later.

"Excuse me, ma'am? You can't sit here. This is a parking lot. You'll get yourself run over," the policeman says, bending down closer to the woman. "C'mon now." He put an arm out to help her up.

She lunges for him, hissing, her eyes wild. "Leave us alone!" she screams. She crouches back down on her haunches and reads.

The police officer backs away, talking into his hand-held radio. He calls for backup. Sheila, his partner was good at handling these kind. She'd know exactly what to do. While he waits, he directs traffic around the woman. His good deed for the day.

He observes the peculiar woman who's hunched over a book. A cigarette dangles from her mumbling lips. He can't make out what she's saying. Maybe she's reading out loud to her herself. She's filthy and grungy and looks like she's been in the same teal dress for weeks. Her tangled hair is wrapped in a lavender bandanna. He can't help but stare as he wonders who she is and how she became this way. He wishes Sheila would put a move on it.

Thinks he's gonna tell us what to do! He better think again. Dern cop try and bully us.  See how he backed off, girls? I showed him!

Now, who picked this soppy love story anyways? Fine! Where were we? Oh yes, the wife just woke up and remembered who she was again...