Saturday, December 31, 2011

NEW YEAR WISHES

The time has finally come again and in a few hours we will be welcoming a New Year, whether we are ready for it or not. Personally, I no longer give myself any new years resolutions. I just ask myself very nicely to not go all crazy and try and control every aspect of life again. I just try to deal with one situation at a time.

Because the New Year is immanent, I want to wish all of you a Happy New year! I hope that 2012 is the year that a lot of dreams come true, no matter how big or small they might be.

Please be safe and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

HERE IT IS...FINALY

ello everyone! I hope you all had an awesome Christmas. Mine was great.

I have the kitchen renovation pictures. But, before I reveal them to you, let me just say that we had no money left for decorating, thanks to the unforeseen building expenses and we ended up having to re-purpose some of our old stuff. So we have yet to do the final kitchen decorating, which might end up being a long way off.

Kitchen Before






Kitchen After





This is actually the kitchen style we wanted.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Hi every one! I just want to wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. Thank you for all your love and support through the year, it is very much appreciated, as always.

Please be safe during this festive time and be especially careful, when you are out, driving on the busy roads.

I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of you next year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

CHECKING IN...AGAIN

Hey everyone! I am back safely from my trip. Thank you so much for all the well wishes and you guys were all very right. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and even the whole weekend was awesome. I do not have any pictures of Johannesburg, because just think city living, a lot of buildings, no mountains in sight and a very fast paced way of living and then you are there.

It is back to work for me today, but maybe I can sneak in a few blog posts this week before Christmas.

If there is anyone who is taking this week off from blogging, then MERRY CHRISTMAS in advance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

WEDDING TIME AGAIN

It is that time again, meaning that I have to attend another family wedding, which just so happens to be in Johannesburg this weekend. This will be my first time travelling there, so that should be quite an experience. I will tell you guys how it went.

But there is definitely something going on, because 3 of my cousins got married this year and now the 4Th one this weekend. There is a lot of love going around.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WHAT IF?

Keeping true to the Insecure Writers Support Group theme, which was started by the fabulous blogger and writer, Alex J. Cavanaugh, I am actually writing about a real fear today.

I have been thinking for a while now about how we writers put a lot of love, effort and dedication into our stories, whether it is novels, novellas or even short stories. With every piece we write, we share a part of us, or at least with me that is what happens.

I have had this terrifying haunting feeling that…what if nobody, aside for my critique partners, ever reads any of my stories? What if nobody ever wants to publish them? What if I never find a literary agent who believes in me and my writing enough, to represent me? What if I only ever end up writing for myself?

When I started I was more than happy to write for myself, but now that I have actually finished a book and created these amazing characters, call me naïve, but I really wish to share them with the whole world by getting them published. So what if I believe so much in myself and my book and then…my dream never comes true? What if I have just been kidding myself all along?

Monday, December 5, 2011

THE ANSWER POST

Better is possible over at (http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com), wanted to know if there is anything that she needs to know before renovating her kitchen as well?

I would say that you should definitely know what you want done. Do you merely want a facelift done to your kitchen, meaning just the cabinets and the décor changing, or would you like to gut your kitchen and possibly also make changes to the structure?

Then the other thing would be, to have people do the work for you that actually knows what they are doing. It is worth spending the extra few dollars on someone that you know is definitely a professional. We ended up having to do a lot of the laborious work ourselves and now I just wish we could have hired a professional, as it would have saved us a lot of time and the work would have been done properly the first time.

The third thing would to be know exactly what you want, because we made changes to the kitchen, including changes to the structure and now we do not have enough storage space, so we have to come up with another plan.

Other than that, I would say just try and find a way to make this whole renovation process easier on you and your family, because it is quite a big thing. Hope I could help.

Thank you so much for the question.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

JUST FOR THE SAKE OF BEING INTERESTING

I cannot wait for this whole renovation thing to be over. We just discovered that there is not enough storage space if we want to start putting the cabinets back up, so yeah, it might be a while before I show you the finished pictures, sorry.

So, because I have been working very hard, I feel like my brain is melting...I got this idea...do not judge me...that I will let you guys ask me all sorts of questions about me, in the comments space below of course, and then I will post my answers for you.

I don't know if there is anything anyone wants to ask me or know about me, but now is the time to find out a few more things, if you want.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

LIEBSTER AWARD



Thank you so much to Annalisa Crawford for giving me this award. It is very much appreciated. You can visit her over at http://annalisacrawford.blogspot.com. Annalisa can really do with more followers, just saying. Thank you again.

Ok, so how this award works is, you have to do the following:

Copy this award onto your blog.

Thank and link to the person that gave it to you.

Forward it to 5 bloggers that have less than 200 followers.

Comment on those 5 peoples blogs, to share the good news.

Sounds simple enough, that even I can do it, so here goes...I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers.






What can I say? All these ladies are just fantastic and you should definitely pay them a visit.


Monday, November 28, 2011

SHE IS JUST AMAZING

I recently got back in touch with my best friend Jo, who I have been out of touch with for years, and honestly, it felt like no time went by at all.

Jo and I have known each other since we were children and she has been a great comfort and pillar of support for me, with regards to my life and writing. Jo has kind of taken me under her wing and has taught me that nothing is more important than loving what you write and having confidence in what you write. She has also shown me how to enjoy life.

Jo is also a writer, but she simply has a wonderful attitude that is just so inspiring and just wonderfully awesome. You cannot help but love her to pieces. I think everyone needs a friend like her. So thank you Jo, for being you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

JUST NEEDS A LITTLE LOVE

I thought that I will be a bit adventurous and show everyone, what the state of our current kitchen is, due to the renovations. Please, bare in mind it is not pretty. Sensitive viewers, avert your eyes.



One end of the kitchen




Other end of the kitchen




Same view, minus the dog , of course




Our two dogs, gossiping amongst themselves
about the terrible state of the kitchen, so typical



We already bough the tiles and chose the wall colours, so now it is just a matter of getting it all done. When it looks better, or should I say if, I will share those pictures with you guys too. But a tip for anyone thinking of doing any kind of renovations. Make sure you get the right people for the job and try to be calm and patient, as everything always takes longer than first planned.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A SMILE TODAY

I finished my short story today. Well, in reality it is more a flash fiction story, as it only consists of 643 words. It was a lot of fun to write, considering that it was my first attempt at a short story and it was my first time writing in the third person too, so I am very proud of myself. Though, it was a horror story. My paranormal romance stories tend to be a bit on the dark side anyway, so maybe I can play around between the two genres.

How is everyone else doing? I would love to know.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BLAH, BLAH...BLAH

On days like today, I rather wish that I kept my whole writing life a secret from my family (even though it would be impossible). If only I could have kept my querying a secret from them too, then I would feel so much better. But we as writers have to believe in ourselves, no matter who says what. We have to stay strong and keep at it.

Thank you to all my blogging friends for all your invaluable support.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TIME TO BREATHE

Hi everyone! My crazy week is turning out to be a lot crazier than anticipated, but do you know what? I am completely fine with that. Thanks to Carole Anne Carr's (http://caroleannecarr.blogspot.com) wonderful suggestion to use my zombie feeling for inspiration, I am suddenly feeling ridiculously inspired and the new ideas just keep on coming. Nothing like laborious work and sleep deprivation to get the creative juices flowing.

I have an idea for a short story. Bare in mind that I have never written a short story, ever. My work always tends to be novels. But I really think I can do it. Unlike my other work, it will not be written with a first person point of view, which is also new for me.

My cousin let me borrow Stephen King's book On Writing and I absolutely love it. I definitely have to get me a copy as well. He has such an honest voice and there is nothing pretentious about his words at all. He tells you things like it is, even if it hurts, which I love.

Hope everything is well with everyone. Have a great week and as always, thank you so much for stopping by and stepping into my crazy world. Your comments always gives me strength.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CRAZY WEEK AHEAD!

Firstly I want to apologize if I came across as whiny and ungrateful in my previous post. I do love my job, which is writing.

On to today's post. We are finally renovating our kitchen, which has been on my families to do list for about 15 years now. It is a full renovation people which starts with the levelling and tiling of the floors. Installing actual horizontal support beams for the one wall as well as re-plastering the walls. The kitchen cupboards will be removed and after all the work has been done the old ones will be reused or something like that I guess.

It is going to be a crazy week people. Amongst supervising the contractors I will have to fit in my writing and still work out an actual schedule for all my writing and blogging as well as how I will go about to fit in reading and personal time. So I apologize if I will be absent for a few days again. I am doing a lot of apologizing today hah?

Oh and the best part is that I will have to keep my mom calm too while the whole renovation project goes on. She hates having strange people in her house, which I completely understand and she hates a dirty house. Right now the kitchen's content has flooded into most of our house. It is amazing how much stuff you accumulate over the years.

Right now I am feeling like a zombie...without the craving for human flesh of course, but I truly do feel out of it. Reality seems like a big joke right about now.

I hope everyone has a super fantastic week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

THERE IS A DIFFERANCE FOLKS!

I have always wondered how my life would change if I became a paid writer. I had this romantic idea that nothing would change and that I would still be giving just as much time to my works in progress as I did before.

I have been a full time freelance writer for almost three months now and I am sad to say it, but there is a huge difference between writing for yourself and getting paid for it. For instance, if you get paid for your writing you suddenly have deadlines and you have to give those assignments your full attention. When you do it for yourself you write when you want and as many times as you want. If you didn’t complete a certain word count for the day then there is always tomorrow. With paid writing you do not have that luxury.

I still love my job, don’t get me wrong. I feel happy that I can do what I love. But now I have to become one of those many organized writers who have a writing schedule and posting schedule, as many of you will have noticed, I do not get to blog as often anymore. Sorry about that.

Another thing I realized is that freelance writing does not pay a lot at all or at least the company I work for does not pay me a lot. You do a lot of research and effort for a small fee. I am not complaining or anything but just to help some of you aspiring freelance writers out with some information...I get paid 38 cents (R3) for every 150 word article I write. I write about 300 articles a month, each consisting of 150 words which gives me a grand total of $114 (R906) a month. So as you know I have to write a lot of articles if I want to make ends meet. But I figure at least I get to add some writing credits to my query letter. Plus I get to work from home.

I just thought I would tell everyone about what I just realized. It is a good thing I am not just doing the writing for money. I just so happen to love it, but the money is a realistic plus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ANOTHER AWARD!

So I won another award. The Versatile Blogger award, but I have already received it before and because I am such an award hoarder I will accept it anyway. I mean you don't see people say no thank you to another grammy do you? I didn't think so.

Moving on...

This award does come with rules so here goes.

1. Thank and link to the person that nominated you.

Thank you so much Nicole, http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com, for this award. I am very grateful. You are just awesome.

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.

I have a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist.
I just love animals.

My eyes are sensitive to bright light.

I can't eat meat.
I get car sick.

I am afraid of heights.

I am a very picky reader.

3. Because I am such a natural rebel, I am going to simply post this award and whoever hasn't received it yet is free to take this award. Yes, I am serious.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TRUST IS IMPORTANT

I think that it is essential for all writers to trust themselves and their work. Believe that your work has potential. How can you make others believe that if you do not? I know many times we feel unworthy of that kind of assurance, but always doubting yourself and your writing is just too exhausting on the long run. I am not always as confident as I would like to be, but I try to remind myself that my creative efforts are a huge achievement. At least and I can always improve and correct most errors through editing. As a writer self-belief is essential. You need to believe and trust in yourself and your talent. You just have to.

Thank you, Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating the Insecure Writers Support Group. You guys can visit Alex over at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com.

Friday, October 28, 2011

ROAD TRIP

Last week my family and I went to Struisbaai to attend my cousins wedding. It was a three hour drive that really tested my health, as I tend to get car sick. But it was a great journey. We stayed for a few days and the wedding was just beautiful. I even got in touch with some of my cousins I had not been in contact with for a while. It was nice to catch up again. Thank you guys.

While we were there we took a drive to Cape Agulhas, the most southern point of the Africa continent. I even took pictures for you guys.

Enjoy!

Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas

The most southern point in Africa
(Cape Agulhas)

Struisbaai

Struisbaai

Struisbaai

Monday, October 24, 2011

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD

I have been out of town for a few days and guess what I find when I come back? My blog has won another award. Yay!

So here it is:




And like all awards it comes with rules. So…


1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.

Thank you so much Bailey (http://overyonderlit.blogspot.com). I am really grateful.


2. Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers and here they are.

(Bob) http://bobscotney.blogspot.com

(Better is possible) http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com

(Carole) http://caroleannecarr.blogspot.com

(Renee) http://reneesilvana.blogspot.com

(The golden Eagle) http://thegoldeneaglesblog.blogspot.com

(Heather) http://hmgardner.blogspot.com

(Tonja) http://tonjasmusings.blogspot.com

(Lea) http://wantonredheadwriting.blogspot.com

(Reina) http://reina2000.blogspot.com

(Donna) http://donna-realworldwriting.blogspot.com/

(John) http://writepirate.blogspot.com

(Melissa) http://fictiontoolbox.blogspot.com

(Judie) http://judiequayle.blogspot.com/

(Nancy) http://introverted-writer.blogspot.com/

(Tasha) http://tashaseegmiller.blogspot.com/



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

IT DOES GET EASIER

I have officially 33 rejection letters behind my name. I got one this morning and you know what? I didn't fall apart or anything. I just took the rejection in my stride and thought about what I could do to change my luck.

So it does get better after a while or at least for me it does.

My latest rejection letter mentioned that there was nothing in my query that made her feel that my paranormal romance novel was different from all the others out there at the moment. So perhaps I should write for a different market. But that is just a thought.

Hope everyone is still doing well.



Monday, October 10, 2011

A LITTLE TASTE OF ADVENTURE

Last week I accompanied my two sisters to Cape Town. It is just about 50 minutes away from my small town by car, but what made it really awesome was the fact that I took the public train for the first time in my entire life.

My oldest sister commutes by train to Cape Town for work every single day. I got a little taste of what her life is like and it was amazing, scary, but amazing. If she wasn't with me though I wouldn't know which train to take when. I know most of you are thinking that I am weird for never having been on a train, but people have always told me scary stories about riding the train and so I never tried. I am glad I did though. I will definitely cut my sister a bit more slack now that I know what she has to go through every day.

My other sister took me out on the town and I saw Cape Town like I never saw it before. It is a very beautiful and lively city and if you want that constant movement around you then it is perfect for you. It was a bit overwhelming for me, because personally I can't handle too many people around me, but it was a fantastic experience. I can see why so many people prefer city life. In the end though, I guess I am just a small town girl at heart.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

THAT IS WHY

I took a look at my posts from last year and I used a lot of pictures in my posts. But I stopped doing that when I found out that it is illegal to use pictures from Google on your blog, unless it is a free picture.

I didn't know that then and that is why I had to remove them all. So if you guys read an old post and see no pictures, you now know why. But there are great websites out there who do have free pictures and clip art which I am using now.

All you have to do is type in free pictures into Google search and you are set. I personally haven't found one website I would recommend yet, this whole free picture thing is still new to me, just saying.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A BIT OF NEWS

I just want to thank Melissa Sugar at http://fictiontoolbox.blogspot.com for being my 100Th follower. You are awesome. Thank you. Melissa can really do with some more followers guys so please show her some support. Thanks.

Two months ago I applied for two freelance jobs. One overseas and one in South Africa. Well, last month I got offered a job by the South African company, writing articles. I immediately accepted the job. On the 4Th of October I received my first payment which made it official. I am now a Freelance Writer.

I wanted to wait till it was official first before telling you guys. I am just happy that I can now stop job hunting. I am now a full time writer, yay. I am still pursuing publication for my Paranormal Romance novel too while my freelancing job pays the bills. I am really learning so much.

My sentence structuring is improving and believe it or not it is hard work. But I get to work from the comfort of my home. So if anybody wants to pursue freelancing, it is great, but be prepared to work hard. The plus side is that you get to do that thing you love for a living, which is writing. Also be aware that the money is not so great, but I am sure things will improve in the long run.

Friday, October 7, 2011

100 FOLLOWERS!


I can not believe it! I have 100 followers! Woo! Hoo!

Thank you to all of my wonderful followers. This is a really special milestone for me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

YOU NEED SUPPORT

I think the most important thing we need as writers/aspiring writers is support. Whether it is family, friends like fellow bloggers that know what you are going through or just a friends in general that will listen to your whining and ranting. A support base is very important because those people are the ones that stop you from hitting rock bottom. They encourage you when you feel like you can no longer go on. They believe in you when you hit a weak point and don't believe in yourself.

Thank you to all my blogger friends that always show up to encourage and advise me in the best ways to proceed. You guys are invaluable to me.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I AM SATISFIED

I recently received a very nice rejection letter. It was addressed to me personally and the agent even gave me like a little pep talk, so to speak. I was really impressed and truly grateful. After so many form rejection letters I get a personal one. I don't know why but somehow it feels like mission accomplished.

What I mean by that is I wanted to try and get my book out there to be published. I wanted to really give my all and just maybe I would land my dream agent. Well I didn't do that, but somehow just trying and now getting some real feedback makes me feel that just by trying I already won most of the battle.

I know I am crazy, but this one agent really truly gave me more guts to try even harder. Yes, I might get more rejection letters but right now I am in the mindset of "GO BIG OR GO HOME."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WE'VE BEEN HIT

It has been a crazy month for me this far. No matter what I try there just does not appear to be enough hours in the day for me. It is Rugby World Cup time and two of my sibling are in New Zealand for 4 of the games where South Africa is playing. As a lover of rugby this is the one event you just can't miss. It is what we live for, regardless of the awkward hours of broadcasting.

While my two sibling are away, me, my sister and my Mom are left with guard duty. We live in a high crime neighbourhood and we constantly need to be on alert. Yesterday was a horrible day. They broke in by three of our neighbours and attempted to do so by us. I must say this whole adrenaline and feeling vulnerable thing...I am not liking it.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE ANY GOOD?

I am ashamed to admit this but I am still extremely insecure about my writing. I don't really know why. I still worry about my writing not being good enough. So how can I expect others to like it or even love it when I am not even sure about it?

So how do you guys know if you are any good? Do you just trust that little inner voice?

Just so that I don't seem completely whiny, here is an inspirational quote, after all, we can always do with inspiration right?

A coward gets scared and quits. A hero gets scared, but still goes on.
- Anonymous

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP


This is such a brilliant idea! Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh. What it is about is...that on the first Wednesday of each month you post what insecurities you have as a writer or the progress you have made with your writing or any writing problems or questions you have and then other writers who have been through the same thing or that knows the answer will leave comments. And if you just need a little encouragement, someone will help with that too.

So head over here: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/insecure-writers-support-group.html to sign up or to read more about the insecure writers support group. Hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THANKFUL AND RICE PUDDING!

I am so thankful that all my blogger fiends safely made it through hurricane Irene. I was really worried for you guys. Wish you all the best during the hurricane clean-up and that you guys haven't suffered much loss due to this whole ordeal.

Last night I had the strangest craving for rice pudding, which is weird because I have never eaten rice pudding and I don't cook or bake. So, I decided to go whip myself up a batch.

The dummy that I am decided to cook 1/4 cup of uncooked rice in some milk with sugar and cinnamon, on a low heat. And let me tell you, I had been stirring at that damn rice for more than an hour and in the end I still ended up with crunchy raw rice, a tooth achingly sweet paste and having used about 1 litre of milk.

So next time I am definitely using cooked rice and just adding it to the milk, sugar and cinnamon mix.

Thankfully I liked it and the sauce actually tasted awesome. Shame about the raw rice in it though. Once I perfect the recipe I will share it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

PLEASE BE SAFE

To everyone touched or affected by hurricane Irene. I hope you, your families and friends stay safe. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CALLING ALL PARANORMAL ROMANCE WRITERS!

Just letting you know that Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management is looking for great paranormal romance stories. Here is the link

Good Luck to everyone who is going to submit their manuscript.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

JUST NEEDED SOME INSPIRATION

I needed some inspiration today and stumbled upon this article by the wonderful Stephen King and thought I might share it with everyone. Oh, and I am seriously saving to buy me his book on writing.

Here's the link: http://oldsite.greatwriting.co.uk/content/view/312/74

Monday, August 15, 2011

LIEBSTER AWARD AND YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!


I would like to thank all my bloggy friends who took the time to comment on my latest post. Your feedback was very useful and is invaluable. Thank you!

I got another award! They really do make me smile and act all hysterical, but it means a lot to me because it comes from my fellow bloggers. It is called the Sweetheart Blog Award!

1. Thank the person who gave the award to you.

Thank you so much Tonja!

You guys who don’t know Tonja, she is a truly awesome lady with a lot of guts and determination and you guys can find her over at http://tonjasmusings.blogspot.com . Thanks again.

2. Pass on the award to 5 other blogs with less than 200 followers

So now I have to pass it onto 5 other blogger friends with less than 200 followers. I chose the following people because they have less than 100 followers and they could really do with some more followers. Please pay them a visit.

Renee – http://reneesilvana.blogspot.com

Better is possible - http://clpcs-betterispossible.blogspot.com/

John - http://writepirate.blogspot.com

Tanyakschua - http://claustrophobicminds.blogspot.com

Reina - http://reina2000.blogspot.com

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog (check).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

YOUR HONESTY IS DESPERATLY NEEDED

I think I might be a little crazy or at least have masochistic tendencies. You know how people always tell you that when one of your W.I.P’s is unsuccessful with agents that you should query another project? Well, I can’t let go of this one. I truly believe that this is my best work to date even though I have written other completed manuscripts as well.

I know it is really stupid to keep querying a manuscript that keeps getting rejected, but my heart is truly invested in this one. It is the first book in a series and that might also be what puts off agents.

I just keep thinking, what if I wrote a bad hook or what if I didn’t do justice to the first chapter, because the hardest part about writing for me is the first chapter. I just can’t seem to get it right.

So I keep rewriting the first chapter and my query letter hoping I will finally get it right and impress an agent. I am aware I am wasting a lot of time with just one manuscript, but isn’t it worth the trouble if you really truly believe in your work? I naively think so.

So to torture myself further, here is the hook from my query letter. Please, do not be afraid to be brutal. Your honesty is what I am yearning for.

What would you do if you were told you had the potential to be an immortal? That was an offer Claire could not refuse. But could everything be so easy? Not if Alex, an Amaranthine, could help it. He constantly makes Claire’s journey into the world of immortals difficult, at times resulting in moments of laughter and tears. But is Alex simply obnoxious or is he trying to prevent Claire from understanding the true meaning of their relationship.

Did you like it? Did you hate it? Please, leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FREELANCING NOT FOR ME

I am giving up on freelancing. Firstly, I had two possible employment opportunities. The one guy offered me a job and after I accepted I never heard from him again. The other was a lady, writing 150 word posts for a ridiculous low pay rate, anyway I wrote my first three posts for her and never heard from her again either. She just picked my brain. Luckily for me those three posts were terrible. Hahaha! (Imagine evil laugh).

Secondly, freelancing takes a lot of time for research, querying for jobs and writing. It was hard for me to fit in novel writing as well. I guess it works if you are just a freelancer. Maybe I was just stupid and unable to multi task (Gasp).

I haven't been blogging or writing as much as I would like lately. I have just been feeling really tired and unable to focus.

Still no real job, but I will be temping for the next two days again.

Still no bites from any agents (sigh). But I am persevering and fully intent to keep on querying.

So...what have you guys been up to?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MY BEAN BURGER RECIPE

I worked on this recipe last week and perfected it to my taste. Renee (http://reneesilvana.blogspot.com) asked me to share it with everyone, so here it is...

Bean Burgers

Ingredients

1 Can of beans (The choice of beans is yours)
1 Onion
1 Large carrot
1 Pepper
½ tin of Sweet Corn (optional)
1 tsp of Garlic
½ Cup of pulsed oats
1 Egg (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
30 ml Olive oil

Method

Throw oil into a pan. Add the chopped onion, finely grated carrot and chopped pepper. Fry together till onion is soft. Add the garlic and the salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Throw the oats into a blender and pulse. Remove oats and put to the side. Drain the beans and toss them into the blender. Pulse till smooth. Throw the smooth mix into a bowl. Add the cooled onion, carrot and pepper mix. Also add the oats. Mix together.

Taste for seasoning. You can add more salt and pepper if you need to. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

All that is left to do is to shape them into burgers.

I also use this recipe for my vegetarian cottage pie and vegetarian meatballs as well. I personally like the taste because it has clean flavors and simple seasonings of salt and pepper. Feel free to jazz it up anyway you like.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

COOKING TOO? WHAT'S NEXT?

A few weeks ago I started exercising regularly and yesterday I spent two and half hours in the kitchen perfecting my own veggie burger recipe. Now I must admit, I can't really cook so me spending that much time in the kitchen is weird. But I created the perfect veggie burger to replace all those soy products, which I am allergic to. The secret to a great veggie burger is using rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs and getting the seasoning just right, which I did, finally.

Lately I keep surprising myself because yesterday I finished two chapters of the work in progress I told myself I wasn't going to write about any more. So I never know what I am going to be up to next and that is kinda fun.

Also, I applied for a job at a local media business who is looking for freelance writers. You have to write 150 word paragraphs about random topics, which I think I can do. I just hope it is a legitimate thing because there are a lot of people trying to scam freelance writers. That goes for locally and internationally, so be aware.

On another note, I am going to spend most of the day sending out more query letters.

Friday, July 22, 2011

UPDATE YOUR BROWSER

I have been having a problem reading some of your blogs lately and because I am addicted to your blogs (I might not always comment but I do read them) I went in search of a way to fix this problem myself.

What did I come up with? I switched my normal Google browser to Google chrome. Since doing that my problem has been solved and there is not a blog out there that I can't read. If anyone else is having the same problem, then your browser just needs to be updated.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

YAY! I GOT MAIL

I decided to put my current work in progress on hold for a while. Mentally I am just not focused concerning this one and will complete another, older work in progress instead.

Got a few more rejection letters and I must say, I have never been so happy to get query responses, even if it is rejections. At least now all I read is "We are not taking on new clients at this time," Instead of "Your project is just not right for this agency."

Talking about queries. I have a specific binder in which I put all my printed out email rejections. I keep it in view when I write. I don't know why. Maybe I just like torturing myself. I didn't even intend to keep any of my rejections but now I can't seem to part with them.

What have you guys been up to these days?

Monday, July 18, 2011

CHECKING IN

Creepy guy was at my house again this morning. Thankfully my mom was home and she told me she would take care of it this time. The creep rather left in a hurry when he noticed that I didn't answer the door this time. Thank goodness.

My mom and I are renovating our living room and let me tell you it was difficult picking up the almost 17 year old carpet, thanks to the carpet installers who had nailed down the carpet into the wooden floors. We have come halfway so far which is a relief.

I am also currently a little stuck on my current work in progress. I am 50 000 words in and now I am just stuck. Why? Because without me realising it this book is a lot more serious than my other work and I had not intended it to be at all. Now I am wondering if I really want to finish this book or just press delete and start over again.

I found a few more agents I can query, thanks to the 2011 Writers Market Book. Haven't heard back from the other agents yet, but it has been two weeks. So I am just going to keep querying agents till someone requests more material or something. I am seriously considering deleting the first two chapters of my book and rewriting the third chapter so that the novel can start with it instead. Right now my first chapter is letting me down with the querying I think. Because I don't think my query letter is that bad...but maybe I will post it on my blog and you guys can tell me if it scares you off too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SOMETIMES INSPIRATION IS JUST SCARY!

I am always in favor of inspiration and the wonderful ways it affects my life. Although lately I have been having second thoughts.

I am an aspiring romance writer and my favorite sub-genre would be paranormal romance. So naturally I relish any opportunity to use life’s experiences as an idea for a scene. All the emotional experiences I pick up along the way are useful too of course.

But a few days ago I was struck with a situation I do not ever want to be placed in again. There is a man who walks around in my neighborhood who is well known for coming onto your private property to unlawfully lay claim upon your possessions. Well, not only that but he is just creepy. He pretends to be crazy but I don’t think he is. He is just shifty.

Anyway, while I was alone on Thursday he came to my house. He was demanding I give him something to eat and when I refused (because if I do he just keeps coming back everyday) he kept bringing up something else and then something else, just to keep me outdoors and talking to him while his eyes roamed over my fully dressed body. I felt so vulnerable and so violated by the way he was staring at me. Something about him just screams danger. Anyway after asking him to leave numerous times and after the dogs were tired of barking at him, he finally left.

Even though he was gone I did not feel relieved. Because this was not the first time he showed up at my house. The last time I was in the street and he just approached me and started telling me how good I looked and before I knew it he was right there next to me, almost taking hold of me. Luckily I rushed behind my gate and I locked it before he could follow me in.

He always just shows up and refuses to leave. The police don’t really arrest him because I always see him prowling the neighborhood again soon, even though he behaves like a criminal. I have this fear that one day I will run into him when I am out and about and alone or that he might break into the house while I am alone or something and I don’t even want to think about what could happen if he does.

Maybe I am just being paranoid. All I know is that I don’t like feeling like a victim or like prey. This kind of fear is intolerable. I suppose I could use it to describe how defenseless a human feels in the presence of an immortal, but using him and his horrid creepiness as inspiration…would just taint my novel. I would not dare give him that much credit.

I am mean I know, but I don’t like it when someone makes me uncomfortable or scares me to the point that I am afraid to stick my head out of the front door.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OK...REALY?

Never thought I would say this but exercise is really important for me, as a writer, to relax and keep fit. Because I usually just sit on my butt and not do much when writing, I have been feeling a bit rundown lately and I noticed that when I get in a workout somewhere in the day I write better and somehow feel more focused.

Me…saying I like exercise? What is happening to the world?

And a little tip for people who might also recently have started on a vegetarian diet or have adapted to a new vegetarian lifestyle…Please make sure you are not allergic to soy before spending a lot of money restocking your refrigerator with soy products and only finding out later that you are actually allergic to it. True story…

Sunday, July 10, 2011

BAD GIRL!

The title of this post makes me think of leather outfits and a whip cracking in the background. Fortunately...I have not been that kind of bad girl...yet. Moving on...

I have spent the last of my money on three books, which were on sale. They are, The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I have never read any of them before but I always wanted to. So instead of spending my money on something more productive or useful, I bought books. Stupid I know, but you only live once.

Also, I have been very whiny lately and for that I apologize. I will truly try and make a conscious effort to be less whiny, though I must warn you, at times I tend to break my own rules, so I might just be whining again pretty soon. Though, I am really truly going to try and stop.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WRITING FREELANCE

I woke up yesterday thinking “Why don’t I write freelance to get an income and still work as a fiction writer in my spare time?” I know I didn’t really think this through, but if it is possible it would be great for me, working from home and all that.

Though I am thinking that if it was that simple as getting paid for writing than all writers would be doing that right? So have any of you thought of freelancing before?

Monday, July 4, 2011

FIRST CHAPTER RESEARCH DONE

I must admit, I cheated a little with this research and only read the first few pages of each chapter because I only wanted to see what it was that made you as a writer want to keep reading for more and surely enough, I found what I was looking for.

I also used authors from different genre’s to get a better look at the different ways first chapters are started. The main thing I noticed was that the first paragraph of each first chapter was used as a hook for the rest of the chapter and book. The first paragraph sets you up, as the reader, for wanting to find out more, which I guess I am not doing with my own first chapter.

So here is the first chapter techniques I have picked up that could help with the writing of a better first chapter.

Using a dramatic scene in the start of the novel to lure the reader to want to know more.
Stephen King
accomplished this successfully in Desperation, when a couple discovered a dead cat nailed to a road sign. So I wanted to keep reading to find out why someone would do such a thing.
Peter James also favored this kind of start to both his novels Prophecy and Sweet Heart. In Sweet Heart a woman’s dog runs into an old abandoned building, but everyone is too afraid to go anywhere near it, even the dog used to be scared of approaching it and yet today it had run into that building, which made me want to keep reading to find out why the dog suddenly got the courage to go inside.

Creating characters that you can’t help but like or even love from the beginning.
Janet Evanovich demonstrated this fantastically in both her novels Seven Up and Fearless Fourteen. She uses a wonderful sense of humor to give you a first person point of view of the leading character Stephanie Plum and you can’t help but just love her.
John Grisham also started his books The Client and The last Juror in a similar way. In The Client I am introduced to Mark, an 11 year old boy who likes to smoke and there’s just something about him that makes me want to keep reading to find out more about this boy. You can’t help but wanting to know more of his story.
Gena Showalter’s Darkest Night and Darkest Kiss made me fall in love with The Lords of the Underworld because of how she just makes each and everyone of them so tough and tortured but also so very like able at the same time. You feel their pain and she makes you want to climb into those books and sooth those men yourself.
J.R.R. Tolkien did this in the Lord of the Rings. He introduced me to Bilbo Baggins and The Shire and I fell in love with that world he created and the characters.

A wonderful piece of description
Christine Feehan, who is dubbed the queen of paranormal romance, did this in both her novels Darkest Guardian and Dark Legend. Her powerful talent of describing a scene pulled me in since word one.
Johanna Lindsay did the same thing in Fires of Winter. She takes you to that place and you can really see it in your minds eye.
J.R.R. Tolkien probably does it the best. He really had a wonderful imagination.

The leading character finds himself/herself in some kind of predicament.
Jacqueline Frank excellently demonstrated this in both her books Drink of me and Ecstasy. I kept reading to find out why and to know what happened next.
Christine Feehan also used this approach in her books Darkest Guardian and Dark Legend. So she used two different techniques in her first chapters alone. Awesome!

These are only a few authors and I am sure if I read more books and studied more authors I would have seen even more different techniques. But technique aside, I also realized that it is all about the words themselves too. Just because I am going to use a similar technique, doesn’t mean my first chapter will be awesome. There is still the odd chance that my grammar and spelling, not to mention storytelling could make my first chapter sink. Each and every one of us will find a different way of writing and thus our formulas will change from writer to writer. So no luck in using somebody else’s.

Though I didn’t get a magic formula, I definitely learned a lot and have a wonderful starting off point. I could see why my first chapter doesn’t work and am urgently going to fix it. I just have to remember that the first chapter needs to be strong and unique.

Hope some of this was useful to you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

YOU GUYS ROCK!

As many of you know I have been having a very difficult time with my writing and I have been feeling like quitting. But after reading all the comments this morning, telling me to keep going and telling me not to get disheartened, I feel so much better.

The blogging world is really a fantastic place and each and everyone of you is completely awesome. You guys are so supportive and provide so much encouragement that I was literally in tears this morning. I felt so lucky and special to be part of such a fantastic community that refuse to let me quit, no matter how sad I was. At times you guys believe more in me than I do myself and for that I am very grateful. Thank you!

So thank you everyone! You know who you are. You guys rock!! Yes, you heard me, YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!

“You don’t know what you are talking about!” That’s a comment that came up in a discussion today, when having to answer why I haven’t gotten a request for more material. This heated discussion came up after receiving a rejection letter that simply said “Pass.”

The person, who shall remain nameless, could not have chosen a worse time to start spreading seeds of doubt in my head. I already feel as if I have no writing talent and then he even says that my work is terrible. That my grammar is totally wrong and from a writers point of view I don’t know what I am talking about.

Wouldn’t you feel bad if most agents don’t even bother to send you a rejection letter, they just ignore you? Or if they do they just give you one word, “Pass?” I mean you would feel crappy too right?

I can take constructive criticism, but someone constantly telling you everything you are doing is wrong or that you’re not talented enough to be a writer is heartbreaking. I think there is a difference between tougher skin and being emotionally numb. I am leaning more towards the numb feeling today.

Am I naïve to believe that finding a literary agent is possible? Is it really all just about luck? I hope not because I have the worst luck ever. I feel like a complete hypocrite because I always believe in other writers potential and I always encourage others to keep going. After a month of mostly silence and only 2 rejections out of 15, I am starting to think maybe I don’t have what it takes. Maybe the person above is right and I don’t have a drop of talent and is just too blind to see it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN WAITING FOR A QUERY RESPONSE

Many of us have been at this fragile point in our writing careers while in pursuit of publication. Where is that exactly? At the point where you send out query letter after query letter to potential Literary Agents and Publishing houses, politely asking (actually almost begging) them to represent you.

I am actually busy with my second round of querying (the first one was brutal) and I thought why not share a few of my personal don’ts while waiting for a query response.

Do not check your email every 5 minutes.
This one is very hard I know. I am still guilty of doing it but truthfully, every time that inbox is empty you get depressed.

Do not go into a junk food binge.
Ooohhh! This one is really tough too, but just think of what all that junk food is going to do to your waistline. I gained a few kilos and it was not pretty…trust me.

Do not pout and walk around in your pajamas for days on end.
Yep, this is me too. It actually contributes to that low and sad feeling. Resulting in the do not point mentioned above.

Do not quit your writing.
Ding, Ding, Ding, bells of familiarity are ringing. I always consider quitting after I get a rejection or whenever I do not even get an email back at all. Everyone knows that the one’s who persevere are the one’s getting want they want in the end…or so I am told.

Do not harass or stalk the queried parties.
I know this is very tempting, but unless you want to be blacklisted or thought of as a psycho, please avoid this step entirely.

Do not get disheartened.
Ridiculous I know, but if it helps, know that all the great writers before us have gone through the same crap. When a rejection letter arrives, look at it purely as a professional letter and not like a personal “You suck” attack. I still find it hard to process at times, but I am trying really hard not to take everything to heart.

Good luck with all the queries everyone and remember not to give up.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MY FIRST TAG! (REPOSTED!)

I was tagged by the wonderful Sarah McCabe over at http://subcreator.blogspot.com, The Aspiring Sub- Creator. If you want an original approach to writing, then please check out Sarah's blog.

Do you think you're hot?

Not really…no, but I would like to be.

Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using.



This is a picture I took myself and it is just so relaxing to me. I use it as my desktop.








When was the last time you ate chicken?

A month ago, because I currently have this weird meat intolerance thing going.

What were you thinking while doing this?

What would be a cool answer for these questions?

What song/songs have you listened to recently?

Oohhh. This is a toughie. I have listened to a ton of music today. Leave Out All the Rest by Linkin Park, Eyes On Fire by Blue Foundation, My Love by Sia…and many more. My music taste is very diverse so I listen to a lot of different things. Like today alone I listened to at least 10 different artists…that’s why this one is hard to explain. I might list at least 2 pages if I write everything out.

Do you have any nicknames? What are they?

Drama Queen, little baby…chicken…the list goes on.

Tag 5 Blogger friends.

I am not sure who has not done this yet…so I am going to break the rules here…Yes me, don’t look so shocked and I am going to ask, whoever feels up to it, to please complete this little questionnaire. I hate picking favorites because there is just so many of you that I just adore!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CRAPPY ATTITUDE

I have been sitting in front of my computer for days trying to get myself to write but I am stuck...yet again. I am suffering from Crappy Attitude Syndrome unfortunately and as you can see...I diagnosed myself.

I guess everyone has good days and bad days but lately I have had a lot more bad ones. Especially when it comes to my writing. Is anyone else feeling the writing blues?

It is so bad that I am asking myself repeatedly whether or not I should pursue my writing further. I know I want to keep writing but this little demon of doubt on my shoulder is playing havoc with my brain.

Anyone got the cure for Crappy Attitude Syndrome?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

IT TAKES AS LONG AS IT TAKES

I am one of those crazy people who like to plan ahead so that I am never surprised by anything unexpected. But do you know what? One can never plan or foresee everything.

That is one lesson I have learned recently and yes, sometimes planning ahead helps but other times it is just impossible. Take the writing of my latest novel as an example. I can't think so far ahead with this leading character. Things just happen to her as we go along. All my other novels were planned ahead, the skeleton if you will and then I would add the meat or flesh later. But this one I got to add a toe or a limb at a time. Ok, now I sound creepy.

I can't tell you if she will get hit by a bus or when it will happen. So now I can't stop writing because I constantly want to know what will happen to her next.

I lack that kind of trust and passion in my own life. I am too afraid most times to find out what is going to happen to me. So I always want to know what will happen to me in advance or in the future. That's why I read my horoscopes regularly and read the tarot cards.

But I need more patience and trust I suppose. Which brings me to my point. Everything happens in its own time, so things will happen when it happens and I have to stop trying to figure everything out all the time. Sometimes I just have to go with the flow.

Friday, June 10, 2011

NO MEAT...BUT THERE'S CAKE

The latest news with me is that I can't eat meat. I have been getting really sick whenever I do and my doctor can't find a medical answer as to why that is. So I have not been eating meat the past few weeks. Though, I am currently keeping to a vegetarian diet, I do not wish to refer to myself as a vegetarian because what if this meat intolerance thing passes and I eat meat again? I will not be able to handle all the hate mail I will be receiving.

Don't get me wrong, I have a huge amount of respect for vegetarians, but I grew up eating meat. It is a very important part of a meal in my country. But so far I am not missing meat. I do get to have an extra helping of dessert though.

Is anyone else perhaps getting this message when they access blogger?

Message: 'window.google.csi' is null or not an object

I can't access the blog Giggles and Guns, it simply refuses to load and I can't find a solution on the google forum. Just thought I might ask.

The writing is going slow. The querying is not going so well, but that is the way it goes. I just have to keep at it. Hopefully someone will request more material.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MANUSCRIPT ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone! Just letting you know that Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency http://lperkinsagency.com/ is looking for Young Adult Horror, Teen Sci-Fi and Paranormal Romance Novels. But check out her website http://louisefury.blogspot.com.

I am a free woman again. Another temporary job ended today so now the whole ''seeking employment'' things starts again. But oh well.

I don't know why but strangely enough I feel rather excited. Still working on the first chapter research thing and I started on a new novel. The writing is going a bit slow at the moment, but honestly, I didn't really have much time for writing.

That's all from me for now.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE DESK

Inspiration has been missing lately. No matter what I did, I just could not focus. But...thanks to my mother's wonderful suggestion, I changed the location of where I write.

I have moved Oscar, my trusty personal computer, to my writing desk in my room and now we are quietly tucked away at the back of the house, away from all the noise and endless interruptions.

I even got a new idea for a book, of which I have already completed the first chapter. So At least June is beginning well for me. Thanks to a new desk.

On Wednesday my temporary contract will be expiring at the cellar and I will once again be unemployed. Though, I have already started applying for other jobs.

Oh! And I started querying again today. Got a knot in my stomach but I know it needed to be done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MENTAL FATIGUE

After the A-Z challenge I told myself that I was going to take a little time off and I guess I did, from blogging at least. My job is so mentally demanding and now also physically demanding that I am still feeling drained.

I have not written anything in weeks and I am so scared that all my creativity has been used up. Silly I know…but that’s me.

One piece of good news is that all my editing is done. 9 drafts later and this will be the manuscript I will query. I will not be editing again, unless an agent or publisher asks me to. So this is Immortal: New Beginning’s last shot at getting me an agent and after at least 50 rejections I will put it away.

I have written one or two other stories during this year and last year but I truly think this one is my best work to date. So at least I am going to start querying again.

I don’t know what is going on with me but I feel so out of touch with the whole blogging world. I apologize that I have not been stopping by anyone’s blogs. I really hope to get out of this slump soon. I need to write and more importantly, I want to write.

Friday, May 20, 2011

VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD




I received this awesome award from Lea at http://wantonredheadwriting.blogspot.com/

Ok, so this award comes with rules...


1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

Thank you Lea at http://wantonredheadwriting.blogspot.com/. I am really happy to receive this award and I am also very surprised. I am doing my happy dance as I type.

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.


- I love bubblegum milkshakes.


- My favourite food is burgers and potatoes.


- I have a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist.


- I prefer having my hair short (as in pixie style short).


- I love history.


- I never back down from an argument.


- I am an animal person.


3. Pass this award on to 5 deserving bloggers.


I don't like this part because I always feel bad that I couldn't pass it on to everyone. But rules are rules so here goes...










Mary http://gigglesandguns.blogspot.com

4. Congratulate the above mentioned people on receiving their award.


I will go do so immediately. Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

PLEASE LET THE END BE IN SIGHT

Today I am feeling a bit disheartened. Why? Well I have been editing my first novel for a while now. A Year and a half to be exact. The funny thing is that it only took me 3 months to write it. It currently feels as if I won't ever get past the editing process. I know editing is necessary but 9 drafts of the same book? No, I think it is time to stop editing already. At least that is how I feel. My brother who wasn't very enthusiastic about my writing, read my book and has recently joined my personal cheer section and wants nothing more than for me to be published. He believes I am that good. He, like me, is a perfectionist and reminds me constantly to make my manuscript perfect. It can be a bit tiresome wanting to be perfect all the time.

The other reason I am a bit bummed is that I completely missed my 1 year blog anniversary! The horror! I don't know how the 17Th of May passed me by. I only realized that today is the 18Th. And the sad part is that you only have your first blog birthday once...

So... A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS. I APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS BEING THERE FOR ME AND CATCHING ME WHEN AT TIMES I KEPT FALLING. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME. AN EXTRA BIG THANK YOU TO HEATHER GARDNER. WE BOTH STARTED IN THE SAME MONTH BUT YOU HAVE ENCOURAGED AND HELPED ME ALONG SINCE THE BEGINNING. THANK YOU. I COULDN'T HAVE REACHED THIS MILESTONE WITHOUT YOU.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Nothing really awful happened to me today, which is a first and I am grateful for it. The only thing I find very weird is that some of my comments on my blog has been removed. Has anybody had a similar problem? I know for a fact I didn't remove it and it was there before I went to bed last night.

My mom seriously has a thing about Friday the 13Th. She doesn't leave the house. But this has been one of our better Friday the 13Th's.

Hope everyone survived it and that nothing bad happened to anyone.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

LOVE LETTERS

The ancient form of communication, which many loved ones used to stay in touch. Though, I must admit in modern day times have gone into disuse. Now it is love letters by email or even text messages.

I embarrassingly must admit I have written my fair share of love letters, much to my own agony. I hate remembering all the memories of rejection, but if only it had deterred me completely from making an ass of myself. My last love letter was sent 2 years ago to a guy I had had a crush on in college. I had never had the nerve to say anything to him then, but with the possible prospect of going oversees, I thought I had nothing to lose.

The body of the letter was not much of a love letter in the end but more or a confessional. Needless to say, I did not get a response. Just silence. I have wondered all this time what he had thought of that letter. That was 2 years ago.

A few days ago a mutual friend told me that he was married, which made me blush a deep red at the possibility of sending such a letter to a married man. I would of course not have sent it had I known. I just hope I never see him ever again. How awkward would that be?

So how about you? Have you written love letters to someone you deeply regretted afterwards or did yours have the desired outcome?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS!

Well Everyone we did it! Congratulations! We completed the A-Z challenge and man was it a fun but a bit of an exhausting ride. Thank you Arlee and the Whole A-Z team for this great challenge.

I also received an awesome award from Elizabeth Mueller at http://elizabethmueller.blogspot.com. Thank you so much.

The A-Z challenge has definitely shown me how important social networking is. You meet new and inspiring people daily. It was fantastic. I also learned to give a little more consideration to my posts before I put it out there for the whole world to read.

It was absolutely amazing meeting all of you. This is not Good-Bye, because I will still be stopping by your blogs from time to time. But I think most of us will probably be taking a few days off to rest and catch up on some much needed sleep. Well I am off to bed. Thank you very much for the fun time.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

ZEAL

This is my last post for the A-Z challenge 2011 and I just wish to thank all my new followers for following me through this tough journey. Thank you to each and every one of the visitors to my blog. A big and special thank you to the whole A-Z team for having made this wonderful event possible.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am truly filled with a zeal for writing. I thought I would be tired but I am filled with a renewed energy and passion to want to get all my untold stories out.

Perhaps it has something to do with the love of my life and writing partner being back to his original form. Oscar, has been my companion since the first novel. Now that he is repaired and working like a well oiled machine I am happy. Oh, if I did not mention it before...Oscar is my computer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

YOU

You are talented.

You are beautiful.

You are unique.

You are wonderful.

You are loved.

You are respected.

You are brave.

You are a friend.

You are my inspiration.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

XAVIER

Xavier (pronounced zavier) is of Spanish, Arabic and Basque origin, according to www.thinkbabynames.com.

Xavier means: bright, splendid or new house.

It is a name that to me sounds very unique. It is a name that I don’t hear or read about often and I guess that you have noticed that I like this name. It is the name I am thinking of using for one of my new male characters.

Here is a little something I thought up.
Xavier’s naked muscular chest glistened in the bright sunlight. Droplets of sweat running down his strong biceps. I could not help but lick my lips as I saw rope after rope of his muscles flex and bulge.

So everyone, that is Xavier.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WEREWOLVES

It is only natural for me to like werewolves as well. I write paranormal romance so that is like a given. Though, I must admit I had to put my werewolf story on ice for a while. After New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, nobody seems to think my werewolves are original. Instead I get comments like “Oh, another Stephenie Meyer wanne be”.

I mean no disrespect to Ms Meyer, but for an aspiring paranormal romance author to not be able to touch on the werewolf or vampire subject is kind of torture, or at least for me it is. Guess I will just have to hang out with the nymphs and gnomes.

But, being the rebel that I am I think I will just write my werewolf novel and just stash it somewhere till it is safe to say the word werewolf again. Man, I have a long wait ahead of me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

VAMPIRES

When all the other girls my age were playing with Barbie and dreaming about boys, I was watching vampire movies and begging my older siblings to tell me more about vampires.

In high school everyone was so focused on fitting in, while I was thinking of how to become a vampire. At the age of 16 I felt like my whole world came crashing down when I discovered that vampires did not really exist. Though, my love for all things vampire did not die with my search to become one of the un-dead. No, instead my love for vampires and almost all things supernatural survived and a few years later I wrote my first paranormal romance novel.

I still love reading vampire novels and watching vampire movies to this day, though I have heard many people say the paranormal romance market is over saturated with vampire books. I on the other hand believe I can never get enough.

Monday, April 25, 2011

UNWRITTEN

This is the last week of the A-Z challenge and most of us are probably relieved. But I think all of us are thankful for all the wonderful people we have met. I certainly know I am.

Believe it or not I was completely at a blank for the letter U. It took me two days to remember that some of the best stories and characters are yet to be written. I know for a fact that I have quite a few characters waiting for me to tell their story.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

TREES

I love trees. I think they are just beautiful and mysterious. I love looking at them and taking photographs. I especially have a thing about oak trees. Don’t ask me why.

So, here are a few photographs that I have taken. Enjoy.







Friday, April 22, 2011

SEX AND SEDUCTION

Sorry people, I am not sharing any personal secrets from my bedroom, but I am acknowledging how damn hard it is to write about sex and seduction.

I use to think that romance was easy to write. Man was I wrong! Those ladies are brilliantly talented and creative. It takes a lot of skill to seduce the reader and make them experience each scene the way the characters do. Yes, everyone can write romance novel but not everyone can write it well. As I have found out first hand.

I have come to love and adore the romance genre. At first it was very awkward for me because I grew up in a very conservative household, so you can just imagine what I mean. But I have learnt to embrace my inner seductress, though I am not comfortable with people reading my romance scenes yet. Guess I will get there.

So thank you to all the wonderful romance authors that write about sex and seduction and who do it so brilliantly that they keep us coming back for more.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

READING LIST

This is my reading list of authors whom I will be using for my first chapter research project. For those who did not read my F post, I am planning to read as many first chapters by bestselling authors to see if I can come up with some magic formula to help myself write the best first chapter that I can.

So basically, I have taken all the books from either my own or my sisters bookcases. I am starting off with these and I will include more as time goes on. I don’t think I can make a proper study in just a few days. It might take some time. Sorry if anyone is disappointed. The authors are also from different genres because I like diversity, even though I write romance.

Johanna Lindsay – Historical Romance

Madeline Baker – Historical Romance

Christine Feehan – Paranormal Romance

Gena Showalter – Paranormal Romance

Linsay Sands – Historical and Paranormal Romance

Jacquelyn Frank – Paranormal Romance

Janet Evanovich – Mystery

John Grisham – Legal Thriller

Peter James – Crime Fiction

Steven King – Horror

J.K. Rowling – Children’s Literature

Stephenie Meyer – Young Adult

J.R.R. Tolkien - Fantasy

So that is it for now. I will probably be adding more as I go along, but I have a ton of books at my disposal so I should learn something from this. I will be sharing whatever I learn, but it may take a while. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

QUOTES

I love quotes, so I have gathered a few inspiring quotes about writing and life. Enjoy!

WRITING

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good.
- William Faulkner

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
- Ernest Hemingway

Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately -- many people will help you unintentionally.
- Santha Rama Rau

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
- Ayn Rand

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
- Ray Bradbury

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Sylvia Plath

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.
- Vladimir Nabakov

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.
- Truman Capote

LIFE

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
William Wallace

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Buddha

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
Cary Grant

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Marcus Aurelius

Your life is what your thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PUNCTUATION PROBLEMS

Do not worry, I will not be giving any grammar lessons, but what I will do is tell you of a few punctuation mistakes I have been making just in case there is someone out there doing the same thing.

I have had my novel edited by someone who is very technical about grammar and well, I made a few very stupid mistakes and I am sort of ashamed to share them, but here goes.

I now know that I should open Dialogue with “(66) and close dialogue with” (99). I Thought any quotation marks would do, which is not true.

I have also been putting a normal hyphen at the end of an interrupted sentence, which is also not correct. The proper symbol is achieved my pressing Alt 0151 (—). “What do you mean—”

Another thing that I am guilty of is putting my full stops and comas outside the quotation marks such as this “I am so hungry”. Instead of writing it like this “I am so hungry.” To me it was so insignificant but I suppose to the trained eye of a literary agent or editors it just screams amateur.

It might all be little things but in the end it creates the wrong impression and I am now working hard to fix it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

OBSESSION

I have never watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, but I had wished to watch it ever since it came out. So, 2 nights ago it was on the movie channel and I finally got the chance to watch it.

Basically it is about this guy who is obsessed with capturing the scent of beautiful women, because he wants to embody the smell of love. He goes on an absolute murderous rampage all so that he could accomplish his goal. Well in the end I was horrified by the movie, so much so that I rather wished I hadn’t watched it at all. Can anyone say freaky ass movie?

So I started wondering about us humans and obsession. It is everywhere we look and it is emphasized in our daily lives. Everyone has an obsession with something. Whether it is the search for true love, perfect health, perfect weight or whether it is being a successfully published author.

There is always something to worry about or strive for. Obsession can be dangerous but it can also be a kind of driving mechanism I guess. As long as we are not hurting ourselves or anybody else and obsessing for the right reasons I suppose it is safe. I should be the last one to talk. I am obsessed with writing and achieving success in everything I attempt.

So please everyone, don’t turn out to be the next Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Be safe, take care of yourself and don’t try and kill anyone. See, no more watching hyped up movies either. I just know how to pick them.