Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Stars Die

So, I promised you something special today, and here it is!

This is the cover reveal for a fellow author, friend, and member of our critique group, Amber Skye Forbes! Her book is going to be published! Due to be released October 2013 by AEC Stellar Publishing The title is When Stars Die. It is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. Viola Estrella of Estrella Cover Art is responsible for the beautiful cover. Way to go Amber!
Synopsis: Amelia Gareth's brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims in the snowy city of Malva. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.
Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They're searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch's signature. The shadows are after witches.
Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?
Where Amber Can be Found:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Revision *twitch*

Well, after the second edit of my novel (I'm still calling it Murder at the Primrose Inn), I sent it out to a number of betas. One came back with preliminary thoughts, two had partial thoughts, my Dad says he has "nits to pick with me" once he's finished reading it. One beta received it just the other day so I don't expect to hear back from him for a few days at least. Anyway, my friend Allison used to work in forensics and she told me that I had a serious problem with the discovery of my victim's cause of death. *gasp* So, now what?

Revision. Or re-envision. Rearrange. Re-research. Yes, it's time to correct the GLARING error by rearranging some of the events in the story. No big deal really. *twitch* That and I need to play up the sub-plot a little more and build tighter tension. Okay. *twitch* All of which can be done with the story I have simply by revising. (yeah, right, simple)
Courtesy of

Building blocks. Right now I have a big pile of blocks that are good colors, sizes and shapes. I've managed to stack them into what is some sort of structure, but it teeters. My goal is to rearrange the stack into a towering castle. It's like the movie Premonition, all out of order. Put it in the correct order and it will make more sense. *twitch*

I'm okay, *twitch* really. It's my first novel and I didn't expect to get it perfect right off the bat. I didn't expect to get it right the second round of edits or even the third without having to do revisions. The important thing is that it will eventually be right and good! And I am grateful for all of these people who are helping me to get it that way. *twitch*

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's a New Year

schoolhouse by
Little Man started school yesterday. It's his second year in "school." Last year he was in nursery school only a couple of mornings each week. This year he's 3 so his school is called early pre-school. It's only 3 mornings per week but they have more structure and actual lessons.

He was so excited taking off in the morning with his backpack and his lunchbox. I was so nervous wondering if he'd have an accident and if he'd actually eat his lunch. See, this year he has to be potty trained and even though we've been working on it since his birthday in July, he still doesn't quite get it on his own. When I picked him up, he had eaten his entire lunch and had had 3 accidents. He was wearing clothes that didn't belong to him. Sigh, oh well. He had a great time and was so excited to have been there.

I am taking the opportunity of his absence to go through his toys and organize them, getting them off the floor and into containers that can be put away into his cabinet. Today, I will tackle the toys in his room and rearrange his closet. Some of his beloved toys will be donated for the church yard sale. Some, will go into his "memory box" I have started for him and be kept for his children.

It's difficult to decide exactly what to eliminate and what to keep. In many ways, Little Man is fast changing from a baby to a little boy. He is so much more independent and capable than he was even just a couple of months ago. Yet, in almost surprising ways, the baby will show up and something I think he should be able to do on his own will completely flummox him. And a toy that has been idle for months will suddenly become interesting again.

But, it's a new year and he has new clothes, new hair cut, new backpack, new shoes, new classroom, and new friends. He can have new toys and a new organization of them too.

I guess I'm in editing mode since I just finished editing (for the third time) my novel. I need to hone my query letter blurb and start in the dreaded synopsis so I can begin soliciting to publishers and agents. The blurb has almost gotten as good as it's going to get. And I don't know why I feel intimidated by writing the synopsis. Maybe I'm worried I'll find another GAPING hole in my plot, or that when it's boiled down, my story won't be as good as I hope it is. Well, it can only be as good as it's going to be. In the mean time, I have to get Little Man ready for school and hope he doesn't have an accident today.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Do It And I Do It

Image courtesy of
I used to teach 7th grade (I know, right?). Actually, I enjoyed the teaching part and the kids part (I know, right?) but the rest of it was just... not so much. One of the things I found humorous and annoying and worthy of an eye roll, was the response "I don't know." Former students, you know who you are. Now, don't get me wrong, "I don't know" is a perfectly reasonable response to some questions.

Teacher (me): Which word is the subject of this sentence?
Student: I don't know.

I was okay with that. It let me know that A) I had not yet reached that student and B) the student had not been paying attention.

Where the answer "I don't know" bothers me is in a completely different context.

Teacher (me): Why did you break your friend's pencil?
Student: I don't know.

Image courtesy of
See to me, that is unacceptable, and I'd tell them so. If you have performed an action, then you should have had some reason for doing it. I found most of the time, the boys would reply with "I don't know" more often than the girls. It's even more bothersome when it comes from an adult - like my husband. He does it to pick on me and it is usually followed by a look (and a smile and wink).

Me: Honey, why did you stop mowing the lawn?
Hubby (dripping with sweat gulping Gatorade): I don't know (look).

My husband tells me it is a common young male response because most boys are so engrossed in what they are doing they aren't paying attention to what they are thinking, and visa versa. I
didn't believe him until the other day.

We are in the process of potty training the Little Man. (GEEZ!) We've made progress, but for every 2 steps forward, there seems to be 1 step back. I'm comforted by the fact that there are no 4-year-olds I know who wear diapers and Little Man will be 4 in 11 months. Anyway, after a day of wonderful progress and cooperation, I left my Little Man watching TV while I went to cook dinner. A few minutes later I returned to check on him only to find him staring at the TV, standing in a puddle.

Image courtesy of
Me: What's this?
Little Man: Peepee.
Me: Where does peepee go?
Little Man: In the potty.
Me: Why did you put the peepee on the floor?
Little Man (with a shrug!): I do it and I do it.

That has been his newest phrase for EVERYTHING! Why did you pour your juice on the table? I do it and I do it. Why did you throw your toy down the stairs? I do it and I do it. The precursor for "I don't know." Sigh, eye roll.

So, I wondered if there were things that I do just because I do. I really can't think of anything I do that doesn't have an underlying motivation or reason. Even though the answer is "because it makes me happy" that is still better than "I don't know." Writing is one of those things for me. What things do you do just because "I do it and I do it?"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I See!

Rest Time by Michelle Meiklejohn
I was in my mid-thirties, not so long ago, and teaching 7th grade, when I realized admitted I needed reading glasses. No big deal, I went to the corner drug store and bought a pair. These served me well for a few number of years, at least until after Little Man was born. Then, I discovered the world was just a little out of focus.

The ophthalmologist confirmed I had hyperopia. Technically, that meant my arms were too short to hold things or books or the baby out to where they were in focus. To correct this he prescribed glasses with progressive lenses. The glasses would make up for the shortness of my arms. It worked! And I'm pleased to tell you that the Little Man is as handsome as I thought he was.

Recently, due to the fact I am doing more things that require more
Sweater vest I knitted for my husband
up-close work like writing, editing, reading, knitting, and needlepoint; I've found that the progressive lenses just aren't as comfortable as reading glasses. The are great for driving, reading menus, playing with the toddler, gardening, and anything active. Focused activities, not so much. So I returned to the drug store and recently purchased a new pair of reading glasses.

I love them because I can use them on the computer and anytime I'm doing work that requires rapt attention up close. Just don't look up, it makes you dizzy! Not that I notice really, I wore them half a day the other day and thought I just had a headache. Anyway, with my new glasses and a new red pen, I'm looking forward to finishing my edits!!

And now that we are on the topic of my novel, I had chosen the title Poison. I was excited but now I'm not so much. I'm considering posting a blurb (a mini synopsis) about it and running a title contest. The winner will get a free copy on my novel! Are you up for that? Leave me a comment!!