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Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Celebrations

Oh Friday, how I love thee.  Participating in the Celebrate Small Thing Blog Hop really gives me a better perspective.  Maybe you can relate to the simple truth that sometimes it's easy to focus on negativity or forget how much we have to be thankful for.  I get caught in that trap more often than I should.

Anyway, before I turn today's post into a rant, let me share what I am celebrating today:

1. Revisions are going well.  I wish I was done, but I believe I will get there.
2. One of my best friends and I have gotten back into a walking routine.  Exercise is always a plus!
3. I am settling into a new routine.  Adjusting to my new job took some time (doesn't it always?), but I am feeling much better.  I work weekends, catch up on household chores on Monday, and write the rest of the week.  It's a good schedule.

So what are you celebrating today?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blind Date With A Ventriloquist ~ Feb. Blog Chain

Time for the Absolute Write Blog Chain.  This month's theme includes a wonderful variety.  Instead of sticking to one topic, each poster decides the topic for the following poster.  The prompt chosen for me is: Blind Date With A Ventriloquist.  Such a fun topic!

You know the drill.  The links/topics for my fellow AWers are listed at the end.  Check them out for some fun reading.  They'll entertain you, I promise!

Camryn pushed the bangs from her eyes as she walked out to the car waiting for her.  Nerves tingling and heart racing, she opened the door to get in.  The man behind the wheel smiled setting her at ease.  As soon as she was fastened in, he took off.  She smoothed her skirt.

"It was so great of you to agree to this," the man driving said.

Oh shoot! In her nervousness, Camryn had forgotten his name.  What was it? She tapped her finger on her leg.  Marcus! That was it.  "I could say the same for you."

Camryn had been on several blind dates over the past two months, but this one sounded much more promising.  She didn't know Marcus well, but her brother insisted she'd enjoy his...what had he said? Quirks.  That's right.  Marcus had quirks.  Camryn pressed her palms together to hide their shaking.  If quirky was the best she could find, she was doomed already.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"Tell her guys."

Camryn looked at Marcus, confused.  Who was he talking to? Hearing a voice but not seeing Marcus's mouth move, she turned her head.  "What!" Two pairs of eyes stared back at her.  She hadn't agreed to children.  Wait. They weren't moving.  Weren't even breathing.  Air rattled in her chest.

"Meet Maxine and Buddy.  Friends of mine."

Camryn shook her head, certain she was seeing things.  Then she realized they were puppets.  She suppressed a laugh.  "Are you a ventriloquist?" she asked.

His fingers tapped against the steering wheel. "I don't really like that term.  These two are my oldest friends.  They go everywhere with me.  You won't mind helping one of them into the restaurant, will you?"

He had to be kidding.  "You're taking them inside with us?"

"We can't talk to them if they have to stay in the car."

Quirky? This was eery.  "They're not real."

He jerked the car to the shoulder of the road.  The car skid to a halt. 

"She doesn't like us."

"Who is this chick?"

Marcus faced her.  "You'll have to get out now."

"Excuse me?" Camryn stared at him, then at the stuffed passengers in the back.

"They don't take kindly to prejudiced people.  Buddy carries a knife."

"And I'm always packing!"

Unsure whether she should laugh or be scared, she opened the door and then got out.  Marcus drove off, the tires kicking rocks at her shins.

Some date.  Camryn slid out of her heels, thankful for her skirt.  She could hitch a ride home.

Prompt for the next participant: EVIL CUPID

UPDATE: For another take on this prompt, take a look at  You won't be disappointed.  So funny!

orion_mk3 Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business
ConnieBDowell Unexpected Library Encounter
bmadsen Cupcake Disaster
MsLaylaCakes Unfortunate Sports
HistorySleuth Less Than Fortunate Foods
writingismypassion Blind Date With A Ventriloquist (you are here)
katci13 Evil Cupid
KitCat Hunting With Hounds
Angyl78 A Ghost's Bad Day
randi.lee The Wrong Bar
Lady Cat Visitors
pyrosama What the Leprechaun Said
Ralph Pines Under the Bed
more to come...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Liebster Award Acceptance Speech

Okay, this really isn't a speech, but it is rather long.  I hope you don't mind! I had intended today's post for last Friday's Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop, but my internet was not cooperating.  Therefore, I missed all the fun from last week's round of celebrations.  Anyway, I'm excited to announce I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful J. A. Ward.  Please check out her blog; it's amazing!

The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to that person's blog.
2. Answer eleven questions posted by the presenter, ask your nominees eleven questions, and list eleven random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate eleven bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers.
4. Post the award on your blog.

So let's get to it!

Eleven random facts:
1. I don't like my belly button being touched (not sure why that pops into my head first).
2. My need for coffee is strong enough that my husband will insist I drink it.
3. I love my fictional characters almost as much as my friends.
4. I have a list of favorite names that I browse through when creating new characters.
5. I've always wanted to learn to play piano.  I began teaching myself long ago and hope to get back to it.
6. When I first read Gone With the Wind, I cried for days.
7. I believe there's no such thing as too many books.
8. I keep my writing space clean; clutter makes me anxious and is too distracting.
9. I hate roses.  My husband was instructed many years ago not to buy them for me.  Purple or blue flowers I will accept, though.
10. My husband and I are in the process of adopting and hope to have a baby by the end of this year.
11. I love purple.  Even people who hardly know me catch on to this.

Now to answer some questions:
1. Who is your favorite author and why? Wait, I can only pick one? So not fair! :)  I'll say C. S. Lewis.  I love the Chronicles of Narnia.  The characters are great, and the stories are so fun.  Plus, I enjoy the Christian elements added to the books.  Lewis also writes great non-fiction.
2. If you could hang out with a character from a book or from TV for one day, who would it be and why? Marty McFly from the Back To the Future movies.  I like his character, and traveling through time would be exciting, especially going back to the old west.  I love that era!
3. Edward or Jacob? Or neither? Or both? Jacob all the way! Edward is too controlling and cold.  I hate being cold.  Jacob could keep me warm all day long.  Plus, he's a loyal and honest friend.
4. What was your favorite book series you've ever read that wasn't Harry Potter? Since I already mentioned Narnia, my answer for this question will be the North and South trilogy by John Jakes.  The stories revolve around the Civil War, which has always been a fascination of mine.  There are so many characters I love and love to hate.  Additionally, the books tug at all my emotions.  I laugh, cry, fall in love, have my heart broken, mourn.  Great books!
5. Do you have any pets? If so, what do you have? I have a beagle/shepard (I think) mix named Chip.  He was found at a park and was going to be shot.  We took him in with the intent of finding him a good home.  He's still here.  We fell in love with the little, rambunctious guy!
6. What aspect of writing do you find the hardest? Showing more and telling less.
7. If you could live anywhere for a year - all expenses paid- where would you live and why? Scotland.  It's a beautiful country, I'd love to get wrapped up in its history, and I have family that came from there in the early 1900's.
8. Who is your favorite band/singer? One of my all time favorites is Reba.  The first album I ever owned was For My Broken Heart.  It was on tape and given to me as a birthday present when I was in grade school.
9. Name a celebrity crush.  Easton Corbin.  I'm a big Country fan.  I love his music and he's dang good lookin'!
10. If you could go back and change your name at birth, would you do it? Nope.  I love my name and its rarity.  Charity isn't one heard often, although I know there are many others out there.
11. Favorite vice or addiction? Coffee! Lots and lots of coffee!

That was fun.  Here are my nominees:
Nancy LaRonda Johnson
Sandie Docker
Paige Lollie
Randi Lee
Christina Jean Michaels
Diane Carlisle

In case you're wondering, I can count despite the fact that it's after 4am.  The late (or should I say early?) hour is why I am breaking the rules and nominating seven rather than eleven bloggers.  My internet connection has been slow, I've been sitting here for hours, and my eyes are burning.  But it's all good.  :)

Here are the questions for my nominees:

1. What's your favorite day of the week and why?
2. What inspired you to become a writer?
3. Where is your favorite place? Why is it your favorite?
4. If you could have only one story published, what would it be about?
5. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what?
6. What item can you not live without and why?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve and why?
8. What color describes you most and why?
9. What is your favorite number and why?
10. If you could choose one genre to define your life, what would it be?
11. If you could change one event from your past, what would it be? Why?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank you, honest critique partners.

Mondays have become my catch-up days.  Mostly I catch up on sleep, but I try to be productive with other things too.  I began a new job last month, and I'm currently working weekend nights, 12 hour shifts.  This means I'm about worthless on weekends! But I accomplish so much during the week, the new job is worth it.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you all a response I received from a good writing friend of mine.  He read SHARDS OF GLASS and gave me some good and not so good news.  Isn't that the way it goes sometimes? Hey, truth hurts, but we need to hear it.  And I'm glad he gave me an honest critique. 

So here's the good news.  The emotional element is strong.  Evoking a reader's emotions can be difficult, but that connection is what bonds the reader with the character.  Mission accomplished!

Here's the bad news.  My ending doesn't work. 

Now here's the thing.  Critiques should be reviewed and thoughtfully considered.  However, the writer is the one to make the final decision.  Therefore, I could totally ignore the critique because I love my ending.  I absolutely love it; it makes my romantic heart melt.  But since I respect my writing friend, and since I recently had another critique say the same thing, I've given it a lot of thought.  And I'm afraid they are right.  The ending is almost too good to be true.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining that makes this more bearable.  I can revise the ending to make it more realistic, and the final outcome (for the characters) will eventually be the same.  That outcome just won't be shown in SHARDS. 

So that's my news for today.  Now please excuse me while I catch up on other things....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

It's a Friday celebration! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  Today I am celebrating more revisions to SHARDS OF GLASS.  I've made some pretty big changes, and I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants, which is fine since I don't usually do a lot of planning.  I'm also celebrating the fact that I've accomplished any writing at all considering I've been sick.  I finally caught that nasty little bug that's been going around, though I don't think I've had it as bad as some. 

So what have you accomplished this week? Share below! And check out what everyone else has done this week. :)