Monday, March 25, 2013

Fun With Anagrams and #writemotivation Update

One of the people I follow on twitter is the awesome, talented, and beautiful Delilah S. Dawson. She's the author of the book Wicked as They Come, a paranormal steampunk romance book. She's an all around awesome person who probably rivals me in the weird department. Anyway, she's a fun person to talk to in ye old twitter-verse. In addition to awesome insights and stuff, she also tweets random funny things.

Today was no different. Delilah, it seems, had found an anagram site and was playing around.

For those who don't know, an anagram is:


A word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another, such as cinema, formed from iceman.
Anagrams are fun.

Probably the most famous of anagrams is from the book Harry Potter when you find out that "Tom Marvolo Riddle" is an anagram for "I Am Lord Voldemort".

Because anagrams are so fun, I decided to find one and see what my name pulled up.

The first site I visited was Anagram Genius. I typed in my full name and got "Damnation! Cheap wrestler!" If you abbreviate my first name (as I do in writing), you get: Pawn torments dear. Random. Goofy and lots of fun.

Another site I visited had an interesting anagram generator that would generate names. Very handy if you want a pen name, you think? Anyway, one of the cooler names it generated for me was: Damon Stewart Pren. If I ever need a pen name, I might have to use that one.

So on to my #writemotivation goals.

Not much going on except revisions and more revisions. In some ways, not making it into PitchMadness is a good thing because it lets me do more revisions. I've been doing cheering and blogging stuff, so that's all good.

At the moment, my view on revisions is this. I'm married to the story more than the words. The words are only the vehicle and can be upgraded and changed in order to make the story the best it can be. Some people have a very adversarial relationship with revisions. For the moment, I don't. My friend, Star, has pointed out to me that this may change when someone tries to make me change the story, but for the moment, life is beautiful.

Although goats have creepy eyes, this is a seriously cute picture.
Picture via
'Till Next Time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving Forward, Never Backward

For those of you following me on twitter, you should know by now that I didn't make it into PitchMadness.

Am I sad? Yes.
Am I disappointed? Definitely.
Am I mad? No.

I refuse to get angry. Because...why? Why get mad that I didn't make it and others did? Seriously. There is no point. Pitchmadness is an awesome competition that draws a lot of writers and agents. I've seen some of the pitches and they are amazing. I can't wait to read the ones that made it once they are posted.

I want to personally thank Brenda Drake for setting this up. She is an awesome person with a lot of amazing insights. Follow her. Read her blog. Also, included in thanks are the awesome people hosting things: Shelly, Sharon, Summer, Erica, Marieke, Fiona, and Dee.

And let's not forget the legion slush readers who spent hours agonizing over the immense number of entries. You can view them here. I know, and follow several of them and they are wonderful and awesome people. I've done slush reading before and I know it isn't easy. So thank you tall the slush zombies. You guys are wonderful and I love you all.

So, what happened? Well, probably a lot of things. I don't have an insider's knowledge about why I didn't get picked and to be honest, that's fine. I did get some feedback and it got me thinking.

From what I've heard, some of it may have to do with language. Hate Jacket is, technically, a YA book as Julius, the main character, is 17. However, some of the language that he, and others use throughout the book may be a little much for some people. As the writer, I actually struggled with the language. It wasn't easy to write and I'm guessing, it might not be easy to sell because of it.

There may have been other reasons besides the language, but I haven't heard.

So here is what I sent.

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 64,000 words

Log line:
Abandoned by his mother, Julius Moore hates everything about his life, but if he wants a chance at happiness he must fight for love or lose it all to his father's rage.


I should have my own chair in here with bright neon letters that say, “This seat belongs to Julius Monroe, asshole.” Ms. Stevens. Sorry, Dr. Stevens, vice-principal extraordinaire, is staring at me with her usual bitchy, disapproving look. Word has it she was supposed to be the principal. Guess the good ‘ol boys found someone they liked better and now she’s stuck at low woman on the totem pole. So she takes it out on me and anyone else with the misfortune of screwing up.

She stops talking because I’m not paying attention. She glares at me, the lines around her mouth deepening.

“What?” I ask in my best I don’t give a fuck voice.

If I push it enough, I wonder if I’ll get a vein to pop out of her head. That would be so awesome. Maybe breakup the monotony of staring at the pictures of her kids on her desk while she rambles on about appropriate behavior and attire. I could have my ass exposed and my pants around my thighs and nobody would care, but wear a jacket that expresses the hatred in the world, and I get shit on. Hell, turn on the TV and you’ll see it. Kids getting murdered and raped on the way to school. Bombs blowing up families in war-torn countries. Guess people don’t want to be reminded that hatred is well and alive in the world.

“Mr. Monroe, that jacket is simply unacceptable.”

“It’s a personal expression.”

I try to keep my face calm as she presses her lips into a thin white line.

So what do you think?

'Till Next Time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday's Children: Dream-spiration

It's one of those days when you just need a little extra coffee...also, I like to show off my self stirring mug. It's really handy and cuts down on spoons. Which is a good thing because the number of spoon trees in the world are dwindling.

Anyway, a while back, I rambled about dream inspired story ideas. See it here.

I've had several dream inspired story ideas since that post, and I have dutifully entered them into my ever expanding word document titled, appropriately, "Story Ideas". It's now four pages long and has blurbs on 26 stories (three of them are part of a trilogy idea) and three of them I've written first drafts for. In reality, I probably won't write all of them, but they popped into my head and I wrote them down.

Anyway, Tuesday night was another one of those cool dreams that decided to turn into a plot-bunny. And yes, I had to write it down.

The dream was pretty weird, and at one point I was saving the life of someone who was supposed to be some sort of savior person. As with all dreams, it was convoluted, but here is what popped out with later pondering.

It has a title, but I still need to build the world. Not sure if it is paranormal, fantasy, scifi, dystopian, or a combination of those. It's pretty loud, but I'm still in the middle of Hate Jacket and can't do anything else until I finish that.

What if your best friend was destined to save the world?
What if you were destined to destroy it?
What if you were in love with your best friend?

'Till Next Time

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are We There Yet?

For those of you who follow my every move on Twitter and FB, you'll know that I recently packed up the family and took a train to Chicago. After spending several days visiting several museums there, we returned home (also via train).

A couple things I learned:
  1. Driving in Chicago during the week is insane. Rush hour starts at 7 in the morning and goes until 7 at night (except for weekends).
  2. Despite the insane traffic, the drivers there are fairly polite.
  3. Speed limits are more like speed "guidelines".
  4. If you buy the Chicago City Pass, it's a LOT cheaper to see all their Museums.
  5. Parking at the museums is very expensive.
  6. Only see one museum a day.
  7. The Shedd Aquarium is awesome but at times repetitive. By the time we were done it was "Oh look, more fish". That being said, there are some awesome exhibits.
  8. The Museum of Science and Industry has the only captured German U-Boat. It also has the best exhibits with lots of interactive stuff, like a giant hamster wheel and relaxation thing where you compete against someone else to move a ball to the other person's "goal" with your mind. (which I somehow won every I don't know how). We could have easily spent several days there. As it was, we got there at open and left half an hour before close and we still missed a large chunk of it.
  9. The Field Museum is really cool and has some amazing things in it. For example Sue the T-Rex. They also have over 20 mummies on display. Like the MSI, we couldn't see all of it before we got too tired to continue. The only disappointment was the Creatures of Light exhibit. It sounded like we were going to be able to see lots of cool bioluminescent critters, but it was all models and flashing lights. It did not live up to the hype.
  10. The Adler Planetarium has some amazing astronomy presentations, but the floor plan was confusing (even with a map!) and it was a little sparse on the exhibits. However, it did have a huge play area which we let loose the rampaging monkey boy loose in for a while. He and the angsty tween really enjoyed it.
  11. Food at the museums and even on the train is REALLY expensive except for Field Museum (which has a McDonald's).
We had a chance to go up in the Willis Tower Sky-Deck, but ran out of time (it was also included in the City Pass).

Sue, the T-Rex
Now on to #writemotivation update

  • I woke up early Friday morning and fired off my submission email to Brenda Drake's pitchmadness competition. I have been desperately trying to not pay attention to my twitter feed until the Round 2 results have been posted. I don't know if I made it in or not. If I did, GREAT! If not, it happens. I'm sure there were a ton of awesome stories that were submitted. I just appreciate that she's doing all of this.
  • Because I was on vacation, I didn't get on twitter much except at night and sometimes on my phone, so I didn't get much cheering on for my #writemotivation tweeps. My dino pompom waving will commence now that I am back.
  • I got a lot of revisions done while on the train and at night when everyone fell asleep. I don't have accurate statistics, but I'm in ch. 22 of 30.
  • Oh, and here's the blog post for the week!
'Till Next Time.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Inspired by Typos

So this is my first Thursday's children post. My friend, Rhiann Wynn-Nolet, does these each week. The rules are simple. Just post something about inspiration and writing. The rest, is up to the blogger.

Sounds simple enough.

Which is why she's been bugging me about it for weeks and this is the first time I've done it. In my defense, I've been hard at work with revisions and goofing off on Guild Wars 2.

Yes, I know the second one really isn't an excuse, but it does seem to eat up time.

Anyway, my inspiration that I will be talking about comes from a typo. I used to have a document with the info about who said it, but I can' find it. *pouts*

Anyway, here's what happened. It was during a Pitch Madness event, organized by Brenda Drake. The theme was paint ball and the blog hosts were talking about the comments on their site from the various agents. The posts were along the lines of "Lots of Paint Splatters" here. My feed was full of them and I was only partly paying attention, until I saw the typo.

"Lots of Pain Splatter over here".

Then it hit me. Pain Splatter. That would make an awesome band name for my MC, Julius. It could be his favorite band! Yes! I asked if I could have it, and the tweeter agreed.

So, the band Pain Splatter was born. In my first draft, Julius only mentions them once. I decided they needed more book time so I added in a scene where you get to meet the whole band.

They are:
  • Kray - Lead singer
  • Clot – Drums
  • Puddle – Bass Guitar
  • Mucus – Lead Guitar/Backup Vocals
The band is a mixture Punk/Heavy Metal/Thrash band. Think wall of noise kind of "music" which is perfect for grumpy, outcast teen like Julius.

Also, since it's March 14th.


'Till Next Time.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March #writemotivation Week 2 update

Just a quick update on my progress for the month.

The major goal for this month is to get HJ ready for Pitch Madness (which happens on Friday!).

Anyway, I've got my email ready to send Friday morning. All I have to do is click send. I've got the first 250 words looking all spiffy and I just need to clean up the log line.

Revisions on the whole novel are going well. I've added two new chapters and cleaned up a lot of the prose in others. I'm about halfway done and I'm up 2500 words despite chopping the last chapter, so I should hit 65K total when all is said and done.

All in all a good month so far.

The other goals are going well too. Lots of cheering and pompoms for all my #writemotivation friends.

Since this is a short post, I'll leave you with this random picture:

George, the Uber Dust/Hair Bunny-zilla
Scary isn't it? I should probably sweep more under and behind things as I have two dogs and three cats...

'Till Next Time

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

Today is a special treat. I have, on my blog for the very first time, the beautiful, and talented Rachel Harris. I missed the cover for her debut novel, My Sweet Sixteenth Century which is the first book in the series. I love the cover of that one and this one is just as awesome.

But first, a little about the awesome Ms. Harris.

Rachel Harris

As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.

When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate. A Tale of Two Centuries is her second novel.

And now for the cover...

Did I mention I really liked this one?

Oh yes, I did.

Guess you want to see it, don't you.

Ok, here it is.
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

And here's an excerpt!
Glaring sunlight permeates the thin veil of my eyelids. Even though it is noonday, the light is exceptionally bright, at least in comparison to the shelter of the tent. I shield my brow with a curved hand and force my protesting eyes open…then at the sight before me, promptly shut them again.

Sounds become crisper in the darkness. Rumbles, shrieks, wails, and hums. Unfamiliar chirps and impossible beeps. Piecing together my tattered, wilting courage, I take another peek and find nothing is as it should be.

Where my palazzo usually sits is an enormous structure with golden doors and red columns, a metallic roof, and a massive mounted dragon. A pair of terrifying, sculpted beasts guards the entrance. The ground is no longer one of cracked stone or even the damp earth of my garden, but assorted gray blocks etched with handprints, slipper prints, and a series of strange markings.

I stare at the mysterious shapes on the stone before me and gasp as they all at once become clear: Harry Potter, 7-9-07. Rupert Grint. Daniel Radcliffe. Emma Watson.

While a few of the letters are different than I am used to, it is as if my mind is faster than I, readily making sense of it all. Stooping to see the words closer, I place my hands in the indentations below the word Emma and marvel at the fit.

I twist my neck around, hands still pressed into the cool hollows, wanting to share the astonishing news with Reyna. But she and the tent are gone. In their place, an overwhelming crowd in varying degrees of scandalous dress swarms the square, each costume more shocking than the last.

Exposed ankles, exposed legs, exposed stomachs

I avert my eyes heavenward, twin flames of heat burning up my throat and into my hairline. Clutching the note, I press my hands against my knees and prepare to stand. The rough texture beneath my palms causes me to freeze.

A horrible, unimaginable truth tries to be acknowledged, and I reluctantly run my hands along my thighs, hoping, praying my fingers will brush against the soft, cool silk of my surcoat. But when they follow the curve of my lap and meet in the middle, mortification demands a glance down.

Gentleman’s trousers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Till Next Time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cover Reveal: Game, Set, Match by Jennifer Iacopelli

If you've followed me for a while, you know I love cover reveals. It isn't because they are easier than coming up with my own stuff, but I just love to help out other authors. Also, I like seeing things before everyone else and lording it over them.

Cause that's how I roll.

Ok, Seriously.

Today we are joined by the fabulous Jennifer Iacopelli and her gorgeous cover for her novel Game, Set, Match which is the first book in her Outerbanks Tennis Academy series.

Not only do we have the awesome cover...we also have a giveaway (rafflecopter at the end of the post).

So, here's a little bit about Ms. Iacopelli

Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.

And now for the cover. You'll like it. I know it's not the usual fare of Paranormal romances that I seem to do a lot of covers for, but it's still a good cover and the story sounds interesting.

And yes, I do plan on reading it.

And here's the cover.
Game. Set. Match. on Goodreads

Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game's biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He's hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships between them and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall?

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH., is a 'new adult' novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Till Next Time!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March #writemotivation Post Number 1

So, it's the first Monday of March.

Yeah. Monday.


Ok, enough angsty stuff. On to the less angsty stuff.

Yeah, I'm talking #writemotivation. I slacked on this a couple months ago, but I'm back with more tacky things to toss at my friends as they fight through the mess of words in their heads in an attempt to make them into a coherent story.

Or is that just how I view it?

Since this is my first post of the month, I'll list my goals. This months goals are significantly different than previous months. The difference being, I finished my first draft. So, the number of words I'm writing is not as important as my progress with revisions.

Yup. The dreaded revisions.

Leading scientists believe this is the leading cause of head explosions.

Or maybe that's just something that happens in cheesy scifi/horror movies.

But enough of that.

  1. Do revisions on HJ
  2. Submit HJ to #PitchMadness (end of March)
  3. Cheer on my #writemotivation tweeps
  4. Blog at least once a week.
Yup. That's right. HJ will be submitted to #PitchMaddness. What's PitchMadness?

Glad you asked.

This is PitchMadness. It's the brain-child of the epically awesome Brenda Drake. Click on the link for info. If you want to join, do it, but make sure your ready for submission because if an agent likes your stuff you'll need to have it ready to go.

'Till Next Time

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Violet Dawn by Lynn Rush

Today we are joined by the lovely Lynn Rush to show off the cover to her newest novel, Violet Dawn, the second book in her Violet Night Trilogy. The cover is awesome. Hope you enjoy it!

Lynn Rush 
New Adult Paranormal Romance Author

Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake, and a portion of the proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness.

Catch the Rush™:

So here's the cover...

Violet Dawn (Violet Night Trilogy, #2)—Release Date April 1st, 2013 from Crescent Moon Press

In the darkest place, the Light shines brightest.
Emma’s love saved Jake from life as a vampire. But their happily ever after is threatened by a savage Vamp seeking retribution for destroying the Avenos Trinity of Evil.

A mysterious stranger enters the mix, coinciding with the first Vamp attack in months. Emma’s new friendship, and the suspicion and deceit surrounding it, further drives a wedge between her and Jake.

To complicate things, Emma is bitten by a Vamp with abilities no one has ever seen before, and that bite has left its mark.

A mark that might tear Jake and Emma apart forever…

What people are already saying about Violet Dawn:
"Fast-paced, action-packed, Violet Dawn is basically everything you'd want from a vampire hunter novel and then some. Emma has kick-ass written all over her." ~Kate Evangelista, author of Taste
"Rush knocked this sequel out of the park." ~Carrie Butler, author of Strength