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All eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton

Posted by dressca881 in dressca881's Blog, 22 October 2014 · 0 views
Kate Middleton

All eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, as she stepped out in a pastel blue bespoke Jenny Packham full-length gown on Tuesday night.

But it's not the first time that the royal has dazzled in a floor-sweeping dress and glamorous accessories – HELLO! Fashion takes a look back at her best ever evening looks


Posted Image (Img: evening dresses uk online )


In Print Book Fair October 25

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 22 October 2014 · 13 views

This Saturday, October 25, I will be one of 25 authors present at the In Print Book Fair in Rockford. There will be family events, speakers, food and poetry readings, too.Filed under: Events



Memory Lane

Posted by JordanTheNinja in JordanTheNinja's Blog, 22 October 2014 · 46 views
writing, publishing, english

I sit, staring off into space during ninth grade English. It’s October, leaves falling and cold air nipping at me as I go through the courtyards to reach my other classes. I was young, incredibly naïve, but with a dream that still has yet to vanish. We talk about literature and I find myself becoming excited at the idea, that, maybe one day, I could rank myself up there with The Greats –J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, all of those people that seemed to grace their way up the NY Times list. But this is merely a daydream, a fantasy, and I immediately stop imagining this kind of life because, realistically, it wasn’t likely to happen. But I still imagined; still dreamed. I’d caught the writing bug, and there was no way I was going to cure myself of it—I couldn’t even if I’d wanted to. Being young, I still knew that rooted inside me was the seed of determination. That, even if the likelihood of me becoming this “legendary writer” was just a far off daydream, I still strived, still would keep going. It’s hard, when you’re 14 with this forced pressure of being good, of trying to perfect your writing, of constantly going back to the drawing board. I was so cocky, but at the same time so scared: how in the hell was I going to pull this off? Was it just an impossible feat for someone as young as myself to write something that would affect a reader in the same ways The Greats have affected me?

My teacher continues onto Shakespeare and poetry and I find myself zoning out again, reliving another daydream filled with interviews and book signings, movie deals and money. This is where I learned that you won’t get anywhere without working hard. To me, this meant constant revision, constant changes. I knew virtually nothing about what “markets” are into; I just figured that if someone liked the things I wrote, they could publish them. It was almost as if I lacked any fear, but the real answer was I lacked knowledge. I didn’t know anything about the publishing word really. All I had to go one was some vague ideas and misconceptions. I was currently finishing up my first novel that year. I was proud of that, because I’d really put work into it and created something that would be my own. But I was biased; in reality, the writing was nowhere near as good as what that same novel is today. But I loved it because I’d made it.

I used to get so annoyed, so frustrated with this whole thing. I was impatient (still am), I was confused as to why an agent wasn’t responding or that I didn’t already have a book deal. I figured this thing would be so easy. My character flaw was pride, and that had taken several blows over the course of it all. When you’re young, it’s easy to feel trapped. It’s easy to feel afraid. Easy to be manipulated by what you see or read or hear.

Then I came across AQC. And you guys really put me in check. You put a stop to my cockiness and shredded my queries to bits (for that, I’m eternally grateful; I wouldn’t have been steered in the right direction had you not) and I came to know a community that was just as driven and determined as I was. We all rejoice the good news, and lend a helping hand when things aren’t going so well.
I know I’ve come a long way since my pompous, gangly, 14 year old self, and I know I still have a lot to go from here, but I’m glad that I’ve made some friends and have made some changes along the way. I’m curious to know what the future holds for me.

One thing though, I’m still channeling my 14 year old phantom, because that was when I started to be determined, to enjoy the beginnings of an adventure through writing.

That is one thing that will never change.


What a two-headed calf says about story, and a poet to admire

Posted by Selene Bell in Confessions of a Binge Reader, 22 October 2014 · 21 views

Stick with me for a moment. For the past couple of months, I’ve been really enjoying poetry. One of my favorite things is how you can read the same poem at two different points in your life and get different things out of it. That’s cool, and being the author of something like that—where you provide your reader with a specific prism to see different things about the world—is really cool. I especially love reading poems where I can find something in them about the story I’m writing. Today I came across this one, by a poet I hadn’t heard of named Laura Gilpin:

The Two-Headed Calf

Tomorrow when the farm boys find this

freak of nature, they will wrap his body

in newspaper and carry him to the museum.

But tonight he is alive and in the north

field with his mother. It is a perfect

summer evening: the moon rising over

the orchard, the wind in the grass. And

as he stares into the sky, there are

twice as many stars as usual.

I love this on so many levels. It makes me question what caused the poor/lucky calf’s death. It leaves me sad and yet thankful for getting a bit of the wondrous out of something so strange. And it crystalizes what I want to do with my story—give readers something a little weird, a little tragic, and yet show the beauty that comes through that character. That’s my writing goal, and Laura Gilpin did it in 68 words. I’m impressed, and I wanted to know more about her.

As it turns out, she’s kind of hard to learn about. She is not the Laura Gilpin who photographed Native Americans and died in 1979, who also is the Laura Gilpin who comes up when you Google the name. It took me a little work to find out more about the poet, Laura Crafton Gilpin. She published just two books of poetry in her 57 years of life—The Hocus-Pocus of the Universe, which includes “The Two-Headed Calf” and whose creation was helped when she won the Walt Whitman Award in 1976; and The Weight of a Soul. She died just after completing that one in 2007, of multiple, aggressive brain tumors.

In the meantime, she wasn’t making her living as a writer. After getting her MFA from Columbia in New York and spending a few years writing and teaching, Laura Gilpin changed careers and became a registered nurse. She also became a leader in pushing for humanizing patient care in hospitals. She co-wrote a book about putting patients first.

That the poet who wrote “The Two-Headed Calf” became a nurse makes perfect sense to me. How many people would just look at such a freaky thing and shudder, or look away, or cart it to a museum to get some recognition? Especially with Ebola out there, how many people wouldn’t see a patient’s disease before the human underneath? It’s the same thing, and I admire the poet nurse who looked harder.

Her obituary in part said this: “Laura's indomitable spirit, zest for life, and sense of compassion never failed her.” And this: “Laura was a legend among her family and friends, for her kindness, her humor, her intellect, her passions, and her celebrations of birthdays and holidays.” And the obit noted another of her poems that starts like this:

These things I know:

How the living go on living

and the dead go on living with them

so in a forest

even a dead tree casts a shadow.

I’ll be looking to purchase both of her books of poetry, and hoping to emulate the way she looked at life.



Cover Reveal: Dahlia Adler’s LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Chasing The Crazies , 22 October 2014 · 16 views

There are many intelligent writers on Twitter who offer up common sense advice on the publishing business as a whole, but none of them are as funny and insightful as the Recing-Ball herself, Dahlia Adler. Now, I’m not going to mince words here, I SIMPLY LOVE DAHLIA. When I was a writer first starting out, […]



Getting the Call with Heather Van Fleet

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 22 October 2014 · 14 views

For everyone suffering through the doubt and disappointment of not making an internet contest, hold your chin up. Keep pushing on. Hold the faith. Here's some words of wisdom for you from Heather.

Three years ago, if someone would've told me I'd be writing this blog post, then I probably would've laughed in their faces before calling them insane. I mean, seriously. I was Heather: The two-spaces-after-a-period, girl. The girl who didn't believe in the power of awesome dialogue. The girl who head hopped and wrote in first person present tense, with two points of view that sounded IDENTICAL to one another. *GASP* I know. I. Know.

But now, here I sit at my kitchen table, typing this blog through my happy tears, wanting nothing more than to hug my past self. And this is exactly what'd I'd say, too...

You'll get better, just keep writing. Don't stop, no matter the icky hand you're dealt. No matter if you've encountered three failed publishing houses (one in which stole all your royalties from your debut book.) Your skin will thicken over time, and those bad reviews are just opinions. People WILL buy your books. People WILL fan girl over Jack and Mason and David. Those three nights a week Starbucks trips and the 25 extra pounds you've put on? It'll all be worth it in the end, too, so quit your crying. Quit thinking you've failed because your first book didn't draw the agent love like you'd hoped. Quit saying you're going to give up because the fifty million Twitter contests you entered never went in your favor. And lastly, that idea in your head? The one about the single daddy and the half-Filipino girl? Put it aside, finish it later. Because THAT will be your book.

Through all of my crazy ups and downs, my heartbreak and tears, too, I am ridiculously ecstatic to announce that I. Have. An agent. A fabulous agent at that.

The agent that I accepted the offer from was actually not my first offer. In fact, my first offer was sent to me on September 22nd by a very nice agent with whom I'd submitted to over the summer. I was super happy with her. She said all the right things on the phone, was extremely professional and made me feel like I'd be a very welcome part of their literary home. I was set to say yes, had emailed a lot of other authors repped by her, too. All of which had very positive things to say. But I knew I had quite a few queries out still, (even a couple of fulls) so I did what was right: told her I'd like two weeks to think it over. That way I could contact the other agents first to be courteous.

So imagine my surprise when I sent off those emails and immediately had some responses. A few were very nice step asides, and then there were four of them that said they would definitely like to read the full and would get back to me by my date. I nodded to myself, and said 'Hey, that's cool."  But I was honestly thinking I had my mind made up already.

But then it happened. A week and a half later I received an email from an agent...one of my DREAM agents, mind you. I'd been following her for months now on Twitter, always thinking to myself "Now this lady knows her stuff." I admired her deeply, her work ethics, and her straight forwardness. Heck, as far as amazing goes, she was that, and then some. She'd had my full for a month and a half already, (give or take a few days) so I was ready for the big R. *shivers* Heck, at first I didn't even want to open her email because my four year old had just used black nail polish to decorate her My Little Ponies and the mess. Was. Horrific. But then I said, "Eh, why not add a little more yuck to my day all at once and open it? Get it over with so to speak."

So I did.

And then I blinked. Fifty times in a row. (well, kinda, sorta...) Because right there in the very email I was sure said thanks, but no thanks, was something entirely different. She said she loved my new adult story, and wanted to see if I'd like to be represented by DLG

Needless to say the fingernail polish was long forgotten because heck, nothing at this point could bring me down. Seriously. Two agents wanted ME? Was I dreaming? I mean, I had to be. But, like all things in publishing, I had to wait until my given due date to email my Y-E-S because I still hadn't heard from the other two agents reading my full.

I figured I 'd be okay waiting, because heck...I'd been waiting for so long as it was. I had a book releasing, too, and blog tours to prepare for. Not to mention a 13 year wedding anniversary to celebrate, and books to review for my blog. I could totally handle this. Totally.

But, hey...reality and thoughts are two entirely different things, lemme tell ya. Heck, if it weren't for some very important writerly friends in my life, I probably would've gone insane during my wait. But I didn't. And I made it. And the day I hit send on that acceptance email to Stacey Donaghy of DLG Literary I knew that wait had definitely been worth it.

Publishing is hard. (Possibly harder than child birth and parenting, but that debate is still being had) But now I can breathe knowing I finally have someone in my corner to support me; that loves my work like I do.

There are four people I need to credit first for giving me the strength to get through this whole process.

1. The amazing Katrina Emmel. My CP. My friend. My confidant. The one person who helped me pretty The Imperfect Try up enough to garner agent attention at all. She's amazing, and one of THE best things that's ever happened to me.

2. Karen Bynum is quite possibly the best cheerleader in the world. She's been with me since the beginning. Heck, she's the one who encouraged me to find an agent in the first place. (Even if she never outright said so.) She's a girl who can make even the darkest days seem sunny.

3. Angela McPherson. One of my first authorly friends. She's IS the best friend a girl can have, even though she lives so terribly far away.

4. Finally, Kathleen Palm. Gah!! I have't known her for too long, but dang it, she's amazing. Always making me laugh through my tears. Always giving me Twitter hugs and sending me happy thoughts. I love this girl. SO much.

Okay, enough with the mush. I'm done crying. I'm, in fact, ready to party!!! (In my sweats, with my adult beverage in hand, of course.) 

Because I'm officially agented.

By Stacey Donaghy.

Holy. Crap.


Young adult and new adult author Heather Van Fleet lives in a small town on the Iowa/Illinois border. She’s a wife to her hubby and high school sweet heart, Chris, as well as a mom to her three little girls, Kelsey, Emma and Bella. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, cooking dinner, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they're water.


Website: www.heathervanfleet.com



E.B. Wheeler - Become an Agent SUCCESS STORY!

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 22 October 2014 · 20 views

I always get so so excited when I receive a success story from my querypalooza (as we're calling it now, instead of the too-harsh word of 'contest'), "Become an Agent." Since BanA doesn't involve agents (it's all about critiques and revising), it's harder to receive success stories from it since there isn't a direct "this contest got me this request which got me this off" relationship. And yet, BanA is one of my favorite events that I host on this blog :)

Thank you SO MUCH E.B. Wheeler for sending me this! The post is all yours. Take it away!

My Become an Agent success story with The Haunting of Springett Hall started when I realized I needed a break from the YA fantasy I'd been tinkering with for years. I decided to try something different and do NaNoWriMo in 2013. I wrote a Victorian ghost story—from the ghost's point of view—on a dare. After November, I added about 20,000 words to the manuscript and polished it up to enter Pitch Slam: Battle of the Bands. I was so excited when it got picked for Team Magenta, and even more thrilled when an agent requested the manuscript.

The agent ultimately said no, but I felt like the story had promise. I went back to work on it, taking it to critique groups and beta readers and strengthening the plot and characters. I decided I'd try another pitch contest with it—this time Pitch Wars. I liked the pitch that got me into Pitch Slam, but I wanted it to be as strong as possible, so I entered Become an Agent to get feedback from fellow writers.

The comments were very constructive, and I learned my pitch was giving the wrong impression of the book. It turned some people off and set up false expectations for others. With the advice I got in Become an Agent, I crafted a much stronger pitch that better reflected my story. That pitch got me into Pitch Wars as an alternate with Molly Lee as my mentor.

Since I was an alternate, I was still allowed to pitch my manuscript, and I had a mentor to coach me. With a refined version of the pitch I created through Become an Agent, I presented my book to an editor from Cedar Fort Publishing at the League of Utah Writers' annual conference, and she requested the full manuscript. A few weeks later she called to offer me a contract!

I've been on a high since I got over the shock. I'm so grateful to the people who host and participate in all these pitch contests (thank you, thank you, thank you!), because they helped make my pitch and my manuscript strong enough to get the attention of the editor.

There's no one path to getting published—and I think luck and timing play their roles along with talent, hard work, and persistence—but I would tell anyone who's on the journey to keep going. Keep entering contests and considering feedback to decide what will make your story stronger, and keep writing and keep trying. Even if you don't get the results you want this time, you never know what doors will open for you at each new turn.

E.B. Wheeler

I'm an historian and writer, wife, mom, gardener, knitter, and enthusiastic amateur folk musician. I currently write historical fiction and historical fantasy. My debut novel, The Haunting of Springett Hall, a YA Victorian paranormal mystery, will be available in print and ebook from Cedar Fort Publishing July 14, 2015.

Now, go visit/like/follow her blog, Facebook, and Twitter! Make sure to congratulate her as well.

CONGRATS!!!! Good luck with all your future successes :)



Bravest Warriors Presents: Catbug’s Treasure Book Review

  Posted by Sakura Eries in Sakura Eries' Blog: Keeping It In Canon …mostly, 21 October 2014 · 15 views

If you’re a fan of the Bravest Warriors animated series, chances are you’re also a fan of the cutest member of its cast, Catbug! Absolutely adorable with his squeaky voice and somewhat ADD personality, he now reveals all his secrets in Bravest Warriors Presents: Catbug’s Treasure Book!

Back Cover Blurb

Four teenage travelers traverse the universe saving those in need…though not always in the way you’d expect…in fact…never! Along the way they meet aliens, phantoms and other interdimensionals—including everyone’s favorite, Catbug. Sometimes…they even meet themselves!

In Catbug’s Treasure Book we see the world from his perspective. A kind of scrapbook, the pages are filled with memories and souvenirs of his adventures with the Bravest Warriors, along with his playtime imaginings. There are also allusions to past episodes (Danny’s eyebrows taped to a page, for example), and hints at secrets not yet revealed.

The Review

If you do not know who Catbug is, can’t identify all four Bravest Warriors, and haven’t the foggiest what an Impossibear is, do yourself a favor, and do NOT buy Catbug’s Treasure Book. At least not until you’ve acquainted yourself with Cartoon Hangover’s Bravest Warriors animated series. Prior to my taking this book off the Fandom Post review pile, my only exposure to Bravest Warriors was seeing my 21-year-old cousin in Catbug cosplay at Fanime 2013, and I can personally attest that giving a Bravest Warriors noob Catbug’s Treasure Book will only result in mass confusion. However, if you are a Catbug fan and enjoy his playful hijinks, silly interjections, and wild imagination, you can get plenty more in his treasure book.

The hardcover design of the book is very similar to a child’s storybook but don’t be fooled. If you’re expecting a single cohesive story with beginning, middle, and end, you won’t get it. Catbug’s Treasure Book is actually a kind of journal, the written record that would result if a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence transcribed all of Catbug’s thoughts. And since Catbug has the intelligence and attention span of a 7-year-old boy chugging Mountain Dew, the content of the book goes all over the place. Then again, it’s the sort of randomness that’s typical for Bravest Warriors.

Most of the book is presented as a dialogue between Catbug and the journal, the Futuristic Electromagnetic and Enigmatic Learning Encyclopedia X, (a.k.a. Feelex). Feelex does have a personality though it does take things a little too literally and seriously. As mentioned earlier, there is no plot per se, but over the course of their conversations, we get a few anecdotes about the Courageous Battlers and Bravest Warriors, the origins of Feelex, and a couple ramblings that go absolutely nowhere. The book is illustrated throughout and includes a few two-page spreads.

As you might guess from the title, Catbug is the star of this book. The four Bravest Warriors are relegated to supporting roles. Interestingly, Impossibear features predominantly and not just in the illustrations and Catbug’s stories. On nearly every page of the journal are “handwritten” comments from Impossibear (ostensibly jotted down when Catbug had him fill in the blanks for some Mad Lib style pages), and for me, Impossibear’s snarky remarks are the most entertaining part of the book.

In summary

Catbug’s Treasure Book contains pictures, anecdotes, and other Bravest Warriors-styled flights of fancy you won’t find anywhere else. However, be warned that it does not contain an overarching plot, and the four Bravest Warriors have relatively minor parts. But if you’re a big Catbug (or Impossibear) fan, this will probably be up your alley.

First published in The Fandom Post.



Express Yourself: Halloween Costumes

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 21 October 2014 · 18 views

Welcome back to Express Yourself, a bloghop created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to get to know their followers!

This week, they ask us to name a Halloween costume we wore as a child.

I'm guessing I asked for these costumes myself, and I wish I had pictures of these, but in the 1st Grade, I went as Myrtle Urkel, Steve Urkel's cousin. I wore one of my mom's curly wigs, a pair of her old glasses, and one of my Sunday dresses. Being a big year for Steve, one of my friends was actually Steve, so we walked together in the parade. lol I probably just looked like an old church lady, but eh.

The year after, I was Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman. I can't believe they had a tiny version of that thing. lol And of course, one of my friends was Batman, which was interesting, because that was Heather lol.



Successful Author Talk With Elissa Sussman

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 21 October 2014 · 29 views

<a href="http://elissa.dreamh...sman_author.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://elissa.dreamhosters.com/media/Elissa-Sussman_author.jpg" height="320" width="216" /></a>I'm lucky (or cunning) enough to have lured yet another successful writer over to my blog for an SAT- Successful Author Talk. Today's guest is&nbsp;<a href="http://elissasussman.com/" target="_blank">Elissa Sussman</a>. She's a writer, a reader and a pumpkin pie eater. Her debut novel, STRAY (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins), is a YA fantasy about fairy godmothers, magic and food. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, &nbsp;Disney, &nbsp;Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks. You can see her name in the credits of THE CROODS, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and TANGLED. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue mutt, Basil.<br /><br />SAT authors have conquered the query, slain the synopsis and attained the pinnacle of published. How'd they do it? Let's ask 'em!<br /><br /><b>Are you a Planner or Pantster?</b><br /><br /><i>Definitely a planner, though all my outlines and chapter breakdowns usually go out the window once I start writing. Any planning I do is under the illusion that I know what I’m doing, which is never actually the case. </i><br /><br /><b>How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m hoping this won’t be typical, but STRAY took about four years from rough draft to final galleys. Nine years if you count the five years I took to “plan” it. Oy.</i><br /><br /><b>Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi tasker?</b><br /><br /><i>So far just one at a time, though I’m planning on exercising my multi tasking muscle in the near future.</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?</b><br /><br /><i>I always have about four days where I feel like everything I write is just awful. Powering through that isn’t always easy – especially for a champion procrastinator like myself – but if I can, I usually get into a pretty satisfying groove that can carry me through a draft or batch of rewrites.</i><br /><br /><b>How many trunked books (if any) did you have before you were agented?</b><br /><br /><i>None really. There was an alternate version of STRAY (with dragons!) that I consider a very rough draft since there is a scene or two that still made it into the final manuscript.</i><br /><br /><b>Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them? &nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>My agent is the fabulous Samantha Shea of Georges Borchardt, Inc. and I grabbed her attention through a traditional query.</i><br /><br /><b>How many queries did you send?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>I sent about 60 queries over five months before getting my first offer.</i><br /><br /><b>Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?</b><br /><br /><i>It’s twofold: don’t give up, but be aware of the response you’re getting. If you’re not getting any bites – re-examine your query. If you’re not getting interest on requested pages – re-examine your pages. Polish your query, polish your pages and keep trying!</i>

<a href="http://writerwriterp...ith-elissa.html" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


THE PL Newsletter VII

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 20 October 2014 · 16 views


Punchy Proverbs

I. It’s fun in the dark; that’s where the fireflies are. ~ Smiles Riot

II. You haven’t made your bed until you lay in it. ~ John W. Howell

III. Walk to get your water—it stays fresher that way. ~ Merlin

Have an original proverb? Comment below and Shnodgrate might include in next week’s issue!


Breaking News
by J. Freedwoppen

A new type of wine has been shipped into France for Napoleon to try. Some say Schwarz Tauptinker made it.

Which is warmer: a beaver fur or a mink fur? This discussion took place in Daddy Salami’s hut, not too long ago.


Punchy Conversations

DR. ZAUBERER: I’m an indian.PConversations
BUD PARKER: Really, Bud?
DR. ZAUBERER: Oh, yes, an indian who practices dastardly schemes on non-suspecting civilians.
BUD PARKER: Sounds like the majority of people out there. See, Bud? Not so special after all.


Punchy Connections

Connect with the professor on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProfessorVJDuke
Friend the professor on Facebook: http://goo.gl/TYB2Jw
Subscribe to MicP Studios: http://goo.gl/Kn0Rcf


Punchy Poetry
by Dick Hercules (agented by Walt Walker)

Walt says, “Professor, I bumped into Mr. Hercules at a pancake house this morning. We had speaks, and throughout them and throughin [a great word] them he was scribbling on the back of his napkin. When he got up to go, I discovered this verse he’d left behind.”

This cup of coffee
Which I call Nigel
Is so black that
When I ask him
How much more black
Could you be?
He whispers, “None.”
None more black?
Nigel nods wisely,
And takes a sip
Of Walt’s cup,


Punchy Questions?

Have any questions about the Punchy Lands? From ‘What is it?’ to in-depth Punchy questions? Contact the professor here: micpencilpoint@gmail.com. (He uses Mic’s email, because he wishes to remain an enigma.)


PWoftheweekPunchy Word of the Week


And it is an interest, you know.


PLNewsletter Copyright



Amy Ruttan & Signing with an Agent

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 20 October 2014 · 32 views

(If you're looking for a post about the fabulous Lenny Lee, scroll down to the one below this one (or click here) ... after you've visited with Amy that is!!)

Please welcome Amy Ruttan to the blog today!


Why an agent was right for me.

First off I want to thank  Jemi Fraser for having me here today!

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been getting lately is why I decided to sign with an agent.
Before Harlequin, I published via eBook publishers. There was no need for an agent and then when I sold to Harlequin, I did that on my own without an agent.

In May 2014 I decided to pursue an agent. One I admired and had been following for some time. He knows Harlequin, he’s professional and I admire several of the authors he represents.

So again, why did I query him? I don’t technically need an agent for Harlequin. I had signed two contracts with Harlequin without an agent, but when I made the decision in May to query my agent it’s because I wanted my career path to go further.

I love Harlequin and I love writing for Medicals, but I have a specific career path in my head that I want to take. I still plan on writing for Medicals as long as they’ll have me, but I wanted more and the path I wanted to take …well I wanted an agent to help me down that path.

Signing with my agent was not a spur of the moment thing. I researched for a long time to see who might be the right fit. I say right fit because honestly you don’t know until you talk to them over the phone or meet them face-to-face.

I queried him and he requested partials from me, which he read and then we talked on the phone. He wanted to make sure that this is what I wanted from my writing career and he wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We were!

Publishing is a constantly moving and changing beast. I wanted someone to advocate for me, someone to help navigate me on the right path for my career and the brand I’ve been building for myself and I wanted an agent who loved my work.

I think an agent who believes in your work and really gets your voice will advocate the best for you.

And that’s basically why I signed with my agent. It really depends on you. Think about why you want to sign with an agent, because an agent can’t guarantee you sales, but they do open doors to some house who only take agented submissions.

Make sure you don’t sign with just any agent. Make sure you and your potential agent work well together and that the agent is reputable meaning that they’re a part of the AAR’s or follow their code of ethics (they don’t charge you for reading fees).

And an agent who is right for author A may not be right for author B. Make the decision and do the research yourself. Don’t let anyone else decide for you.

It all depends on the choices you want to make in your writing career, because each writer has a different road to walk. Not all paths are the same.


Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she's not furiously typing away at her computer, she's a mom to three children.
Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

Find her here:
Website       Twitter        Facebook

To love again…? 

Single mom and paramedic Samantha Doxtator has been living with a broken heart after losing her husband years ago. Now she's finally back on track and following her dream to become an air ambulance pilot…after training one last student—George Atavik!

Since nearly losing his life in a plane crash, George will not waste the second chance he's been given, and he won't deny the sparks flying between him and his new mentor. Does Samantha dare risk her own carefully guarded heart for another opportunity at happiness?

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links

Mills & Boon UK      Harlequin US     Dare She Date Again?http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwwnasdeanblo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JZFL5QOon Amazon Kindle      Mills & Boon Aust
Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies!
 Enter this to win!
 Thanks so much, Amy! I love how you really researched and planned out your writing path. A great example for the rest of us! 
How about you, are you good at planning out your path?



Lakers Reversed Jazz, Kobe Bryant 26 Points for Coming Back

Posted by oolorres in oolorres' Blog, 20 October 2014 · 32 views

Lakers Reversed Jazz, Kobe Bryant 26 Points for Coming Back Oct. 20 NBA preseason, the Lakers vs. Jazz, results in 98-91 reversal opponent, ending three-game losing streak. The Lakers trailed by 22 points in the second quarter, but Bryant led the team to 31-5 wave of attacks hit the go-ahead score, and ultimately difficult to win. Bryant shot 7 of 22 contribute 26 points, five assists and four rebounds, Jeremy Lin (microblogging) and Nash injury continued truce.

Game review: Jazz end the Lakers with 22 points reversed three-game losing streak

Opening, Bryant feel bad, before three shots were wide of the basket, but the Lakers rely Price and Hill scored, the first gain an advantage. Since then, the Jazz back attack feeling, Hayward pointers and free throws to help the team go-ahead score. Bryant promptly force, consecutive field goal, the Lakers biting score. But before the end of the first, Bryant end, the Jazz took the opportunity to play a 10-5 wave of attacks, will expand the advantage to double digits, a single to lead the Lakers 32-20.

Second section, the Lakers lineup rotation poor performance, was jazz played 11-2 offensive. See the team behind as many as 21 points, Kobe Bryant can go it alone, he forced two consecutive third shot hit, three-point play and later succeeded in his marker. Under section 9 points Bryant single stimulus, the Lakers finally play some improvement, Boozer storm and free throws. Before the end of this section, the Lakers answered with a 8-2 offensive half to 38-54 behind the Jazz.

Ex situ battles, Jazz let Hayward, Favors two main early break, the Lakers continued the second last paragraph of section excellent condition. Bryant free throws, three and CIC quickly scored six points, Carlos Boozer and Johnson, who also lend a helping hand. Only 6 minutes, the Lakers finished 23-3 offensive surge, in one fell swoop to 61-57 go-ahead score. Since then, the Jazz finally found the feeling, the use of long shot and breakthroughs up points, to stabilize the situation. Three kick, jazz advantage almost gone, only the Lakers leading 72-69.

Distal, the Lakers up is a 7-0 attack wave, again ahead score. Since then, both teams refused to give the Jazz hit two three-pointers, the Lakers will rely on rookie Randall cut points, his scoring range jumper in the rapidly contributed 8 points. Call of Duty, Bryant played again, and assists Davis layup after Ellington hit third, the Lakers lead six minutes. Since then, the Jazz offense sluggish, Bryant made ​​two free throws to seal the victory. The Lakers defeated after three consecutive games, finally ushered in returning to the victory.


Zoe Kravitz rocks out wearing skimpy black hotpants on stage at intimate Sydney gig

Posted by pennydress in pennydress' Blog, 18 October 2014 · 62 views

Posted Image

Image: wedding dresses

As an actress and singer Zoe Kravitz has mingled with an array of stars on the job, including Jennifer Lawrence and Will Smith.

But it looks like there's one A-lister the 25-year-old has her heart set on meeting, after revealing her desire to be introduced to British pop star Lily Allen.

The daughter of Lenny Kravitz has a lot in common with the songstress, after proving her own musical talent during a performance with her band Lolawolf at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, Australia on Friday.

During an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Saturday Zoe revealed how her band scored the opening slot on Miley Cyrus' Bangerz tour Down Under.

Bizarrely, the gig didn't come from the screen stars desire to work with the 21-year-old Wrecking Ball singer.

She instead had intentions of working with another controversial songstress, telling the publication: 'I asked Miley if she could put us in touch with Lily Allen because we wanted to get on her tour.'

Twenty-nine-year-old Lily supported the former Disney poster child on her US leg of the Bangerz tour earlier this year.

The request turned into a job offer after Miley said 'she would do it' but wanted Lolawolf to open for her in Oz as a trade off.

Zoe accepted the offer and is currently in Australia for the action packed concerts, which of course involve twerking.

It looks like the deal paid off with Lolawolf performing alongside Lily earlier this month in Portland, America.

Clearly excited by the experience, the bands front woman took to Instagram to share a shot of her cuddling up to the Smile singer two weeks ago.

She took to the social media app again on Sunday to upload a polaroid image of the pair, writing: '@lilyallen, miss you already!'

On Friday Zoe took to the stage at Miley's Sydney concert at Allphones Arena with Lolawolf, which also consists of James Levy and Jimmy Giaonnopoulus.

After that gig the trio headed to the Oxford Art Factory where Zoe showed off her dance moves in a white T-shirt and black short shorts.

The intimate crowd responded well, cheering on the American-born star as she swayed from side to side.

Zoe is the daughter of Grammy Award winning artist Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, who separated in 1993.

Over the years the rising star has proved she's not just another pretty face by scoring various roles in big budget movies.

She starred in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class as mutant Angel alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

Extending her already lengthy resume, Zoe then appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth with Will Smith and 2014 action fiction flick Divergent.

She's set to appear in the sequel Insurgent as well as Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015.

(More info: one shoulder wedding dress)


Exactly about Sports Gambling Traces

Posted by haiiroe in haiiroe's Blog, 16 October 2014 · 51 views

Individuals who have recently been followers regarding sports would certainly are planning to help make the ability regarding observing the particular game titles a lot more advantageous. Quite often, they are going to check into the particular sports gambling traces for your newest media in terms of their particular clubs and also participants. Getting up to date will be everything that is made for these. At times, if they are misplaced inside the dialogue of these close friends, they might lookup the net when they go back home. The net is a superb destination for a remain up to outlet sale date in terms of sports. It is possible to head to legitimate sporting activities sites and even the state internet site with the clubs to learn just what they are carrying out. When you can find virtually any revelations in regards to the method or perhaps the particular enjoy, there exists a possibility you will initial examine that right now there. It really is really great to stay the particular realize regarding existing activities, specifically if it is in regards to the sports activity you adore.

Folks can question an individual regarding media and will also be capable of offer that in their mind. Sports gambling traces are usually constantly available in order to guess normally when you need. Way more, you can even guess although game titles remain continuous. Contact friends and family to assist you using this to enable you to determine correctly.

Which is aware, friends and family furthermore desire to guess. The harder gamble, themerrier. When possible, an individual also also can separated the particular payout between her and also head out to get a handle. That is one thing you may not arrive at carry out each day. Besides gambling, you can even make an effort to study about making the gambling a lot more successful. Folks will get trapped with all the current pleasure at times in which they cannot also look at the probabilities should they can acquire or perhaps not necessarily. Provided that they will guess, which is that for the kids. They should be mindful also, due to the fact gambling also can result in these several problems making use of their funds occasionally. Sports gambling traces are usually definitely the following to keep. They've got produced any indicate inside the lifestyles of men and women as well as the sporting activities planet at the same time. Remember to own entertaining observing the particular game titles and possess several helpful gamble together with several the best close friends. In case an individual drop, usually do not sense negative. Right now there can constantly appear an occasion which you will have to become around the shedding conclusion. Which is aware, within your subsequent guess, you may come out the winner following your extended hold out. More visit http://outletsalecheap.wordpress.com/



Posted by jadah in The Query Faerie, 13 October 2014 · 49 views



A Tale of, Er, Um, Mermaids and Centaurs?

Hey, hey, Lords and Ladies of the written word! Happy Monday to ye all. It’s been a while since I’ve done a query critique, and I have to say I am out of practice! Nothing better than taking a break from Doctor Who on a lazy, rainy Monday night to fire up the ole lasers.

I would like to make one announcement before we get down to business, if you’ll pardon the interruption. I’d just like to say that my short story, Letters to Jennifer, was published in this month’s edition of Blue Lake Review. It was inspired by a family member’s death this past summer, and it’s only 1,500 words, so I’d love if you took a moment to read it! You can find it at bluelakereview.weebly.com.

Anyway, enough of that!

Without further ado, off we go to Query Faerie land:


Dear Agent:

They were gods once. Gifted with magic and long life, thousands of Sapiens walked our world. But that which was, no longer is. And that which now is has only come to be because of their downfall.

I am Alexys Elizabeth Rothschild. Five ancient codices scribed in three lost languages, I was the key to unlocking their secrets. The translated result of my efforts is OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS.

Another world existed before the one you now know, but we humans in our native, virgin skin have been too blind to find it. We are so clever in so many ways, yet are clueless as to the true nature of our ‘myths’. Nearly everyone knows of grand creatures such as mystic Sapiens, Centaurs, Arachna Majora, Mermaids, and Gryphons, but know nothing of how they came to be, the lives they lived, their heroes and heroines, villains and villainesses, some obvious, most not, who ensured that each misstep of the East down a perilous staircase carved by the West brought Terra Australis ever closer to war.

A Mermaid Queen and Gryphon King seeking to dominate all, a Witch Queen hoping to break free the ‘mythical’ gem that is the Soul of Terra Australis from its haunted prison, and with it, unleash the ancient prophecy to transform all, a Centaur Chiron and Arachna King doing their best to withstand all; amidst this subtle chaos, a Centaur polymath named Adamarcus fights to keep the malice festering deep inside his forbidden love, Evagoria – young daughter of Queen Diedrika and the ‘Gift from Poseidon’ – from beating everyone to the punch and destroying all.

Script and hieroglyphs upon copper plates deciphered, a select few of us deserving enough to hear them gathered; I stand ready to tell the tale. Terra Australis at its peak – our story will begin but twenty years from its end. Will it begin without you? A simple, sweeping choice is now yours to make: Hurry with great haste to West Antarctica and embark on a great discovery or keep firm your blissful ignorance.

A completed historical fantasy at 297,000 words, OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS is a departure from most fantasy works. Similar to the movie TITANIC, the novel uses a present day timeline to set up the historical one. In addition, it introduces major characters with a variety of ethnicities such as Nubian, Huaxia, and Olmec. OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS is gender balanced and contains as many female as male characters.


Dr. Alexys Elizabeth Rothschild
P.S. Please direct all correspondence to my liaison in the States, REDACTED

My critiques:

Dear Agent:

They were gods once. Gifted with magic and long life, thousands of Sapiens walked our world. But that which was, no longer is. And that which now is has only come to be because of their downfall.

Right away this is very vague. You’ll need a stronger hook to draw an agent in. This opener leads to a lot of questions, and not necessarily the good kind. Who were gods? What was? What is now? What downfall? This paragraph confuses more than it intrigues. You’re better off starting with specifics, such as the main character and introducing us to the conflict right away.

I am Alexys Elizabeth Rothschild. Five ancient codices scribed in three lost languages, I was the key to unlocking their secrets. The translated result of my efforts is OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS.

So, is Alexys the main character? First person queries can be done, but this doesn’t work for me. The main character talking to the reader feels a bit gimmicky. Also, this paragraph leads to more questions. Ancient codices? What secrets? Why is she the key? If OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS is what she’s transcribed, is this a book within a book? Bookception?

Another world existed before the one you now know, but we humans in our native, virgin skin have been too blind to find it. What purpose does this sentence serve? Does it introduce any plot to the reader? I’m keen to say that it doesn’t. Let me keep reading. We are so clever in so many ways, yet are clueless as to the true nature of our ‘myths’. Nearly everyone knows of grand creatures such as mystic Sapiens, Centaurs, Arachna Majora, Mermaids, and Gryphons, but know nothing of how they came to be, the lives they lived, their heroes and heroines, villains and villainesses, some obvious, most not, who ensured that each misstep of the East down a perilous staircase carved by the West brought Terra Australis ever closer to war.

Okay, now that I’ve read it I can say that whole entire paragraph is fluff. It’s unnecessary. It can be cut and I won’t miss it, and good thing too, because this query is heavy by about 100-150 words. That paragraph is cumbersome to read, and almost ambling. As in, if you read it to yourself, does it tell us anything about the plot? You used 100+ words to tell us mankind is clueless and name off a few races.

A Mermaid Queen and Gryphon King seeking to dominate all, a Witch Queen hoping to break free the ‘mythical’ gem that is the Soul of Terra Australis from its haunted prison, and with it, unleash the ancient prophecy to transform all, a Centaur Chiron and Arachna King doing their best to withstand all; amidst this subtle chaos, a Centaur polymath named Adamarcus fights to keep the malice festering deep inside his forbidden love, Evagoria – young daughter of Queen Diedrika and the ‘Gift from Poseidon’ – from beating everyone to the punch and destroying all.

This is information overload. I forgot it as soon as I read it. It’s a general rule to mention no more than three characters to avoid turning a query into character soup. It seems like you’re naming off all the characters of the book…without even giving them names. Who are these people? How will I know which ones are the MOST important? There is a hint of plot in this paragraph: a witch queen breaking free a gem from a haunted prison. But for what? What’s the plot here?

Script and hieroglyphs upon copper plates deciphered, a select few of us deserving enough to hear them gathered; I stand ready to tell the tale. Terra Australis at its peak – our story will begin but twenty years from its end. Will it begin without you? A simple, sweeping choice is now yours to make: Hurry with great haste to West Antarctica and embark on a great discovery or keep firm your blissful ignorance.

Please cut that entire paragraph. It doesn’t make any sense to me and adds nothing to the query.

A completed Is this adult, YA, MG, etc? historical fantasy at 297,000 Holy Jesus. You do realize that’s three long novels, right? And by reading the query, I’d imagine a good one third of it could be pared away. words, OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS is a departure from most fantasy works. Similar to the movie TITANIC, It’s not really typical or advised to use a movie as a comparison for a novel. the novel uses a present day timeline to set up the historical one. In addition, it introduces major characters with a variety of ethnicities such as Nubian, Huaxia, and Olmec. OF MERMAIDS AND CENTAURS is gender balanced and contains as many female as male characters. Pointing out the balance of ethnicities and ratio of men to women character seems like a really strange thing to showcase. They’re interested in the merit of the plot and writing, not the balance of men to women.


Dr. Alexys Elizabeth Rothschild
P.S. Please direct all correspondence to my liaison in the States, REDACTED

By your closing I can now tell that you’ve written the entire query in the first person POV of your main character. I encourage you not to do this. In some cases it does work, but not this case. This reads as gimmicky.

I’ve read approximately 400 words and I have no idea where the plot is in these 300,000 words. Let me take a moment to comment on the word count. Novels with high word counts like this need to be spectacular, especially for a breakout novel. I’ll tell you why. More words means more ink and paper. More ink and paper means it costs more money to print the novel. Being published is already an exception to the rule. Don’t try to make yourself an exception to the exception to the rule.

I’d say you’re better off starting over and telling me 1) Who the main character is 2) What the main character wants 3) What stands in the MC’s way 4) What must the MC do to overcome that obstacle, and 5) What are the stakes for the MC if they cannot overcome it? This last one is very important. Why should I care about this person? Why should I read THEIR story when there are millions of other stories I could read?

From reading the query it seems like the story may focus around several story arcs, several characters. Pick a similar BOOK to use as a comparison.

Hope this has helped, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

The Query Faerie

P.S. Damn folks, I still got it! ;)

Thanks for reading!

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Tribute to My Father

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 13 October 2014 · 41 views

I haven’t been posting much — life has gotten in the way and made me focus on some things rather more essential than blogging. The truth is, my dad passed away on Sept. 29th. This was not unexpected, as his health had been declining over the last few years, and he had been moved to […]



5 Tips for Fleshing it Out

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 13 October 2014 · 34 views

by Jemi Fraser

Last month, my post talked about 5 Tips to Trim Your Writing. This month, I'm tackling the opposite. With my current rewrite, I attempted to plot (kaboom!) and ended up with a shorter story than I expected (15k shorter).

So, now I'm focusing on how to flesh out a story without padding it. Some of the things I've discovered:

Fleshing it Out Tip #1 -- Emotions

This one I'm having a blast with. I write contemporary romance, so it's all about the emotion, but I think that's true for most stories. It's the emotions that pull me in and make me gobble up those pages, no matter what the genre is.

Delving into the character's emotions helps the reader connect and makes the writing much more interesting. For me, plot is obviously important, but it's how the characters respond to the plot that intrigues me. So, show that!

Fleshing it Out Tip #2 -- Show, Don't Tell

Another fun one, and very connected to #1. Telling removes the emotion. Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "Don't tell me the old lady screamed, bring her on stage and let her scream"? Looking for those telling words/sentences in the draft helps me find places I can strengthen my story and make it longer/more compelling at the same time.

Fleshing it Out Tip #3 -- Dialogue

Connected to #2! I love dialogue and tend to include a lot of it in my writing naturally, but there are still places I find where I can have my characters really showing...by telling. Dialogue infuses the story with life and lets the readers hear your characters talking. It also gives the reader a visual--and mental--break from narration, thus increasing the pace of your story.

Fleshing it Out Tip #4 -- Description

Blech. I'm not an especially visual person or writer. My descriptions tend to be focused around the emotions of the characters. And I'm not a fan of reading paragraphs of description either, so I tread very, very carefully when I do this.

For people, I sprinkle in the description. A mention of hair colour by another character here, a comment about height there. Nothing obvious, certainly no looking in the mirror and offering up a self-evaluation. For example, rather than saying my character is short, I'll have her drag a chair over to reach something off a high shelf.

For places, I don't mind stringing a sentence or two together to anchor the reader in the setting, especially when it's a new place. I try to focus on what the character would notice, and only on what is relevant to the story.

I'd rather leave most description up to my readers, but I'm learning I need to include those anchors and let the readers fill in the rest.

Fleshing it Out Tip #5 -- Character Arcs

This one is more complex than the first four. Here, I'm looking for the pace of how my characters are growing. I want them to slowly learn to change, have strategically placed AHA! moments, and obstacles tossed in their paths to have them second guessing their realizations. This is another instance where I find Scrivener invaluable. I can colour code, or use the side bar, or make another file to put side by side in order to track the arcs. Then I can spot where the arc needs some help, tweak a scene here, add a scene there, throw in another obstacle, or three.

There are many more ways to flesh out a story (adding in a subplot and looking for plot holes to fill in come to mind), but these are the 5 I'm working with. Any tips to add? Do you like fleshing it out or do you prefer to trim?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs  and tweets while searching for those HEAs.



Lessons from George Bailey

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 12 October 2014 · 32 views

One of my favorite movies of all time is It's a Wonderful Life. I love it for a lot of reasons, including that it stars Jimmy Stewart, one of the great treasures of Hollywood. Additionally, the message of true riches not being found in a bank account is such a beautiful theme that, I must admit, was lost on me for a long time.

There's a pivotal scene in which Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey and Mary Hatch (eventually Mary Bailey), played by Donna Reed in the best role of her career, are going home from a dance in which everyone falls in the pool when the dance floor atop it is opened. They're dressed ridiculously in whatever dry clothes they could find and singing, loudly and off key. At one point, things get quite serious and it seems like he's going to kiss her for the first time, but he falters. From a nearby porch, an old man who's been watching the scene in silence asks if he's ever going to kiss her instead of talking her to death. George says, "You want me to kiss her, huh?" The old man's reply is perfection: "Awww, youth is wasted on the wrong people!"

I've always adored that line, even when I was young and didn't fully understand why it was so apt. Now that I'm getting older, it makes more sense than it ever did before. I realize now that there's a major irony of life when it comes to what we want when we're young and what we want when we get older.

When I was younger, I wanted so much. New cars, a big house, a camper, vacations, a boat--so many toys! But I had no money. This was partly because I spent too much on little things that didn't matter, like going out to eat instead of cooking at home, and new computers and new cars that I really couldn't afford, although they weren't the new cars I really wanted. But it was also partly because I just didn't make as much money as I do now that I've been at my job a long time and have come close to maximizing my earning potential in my chosen field.

So now I'm still not rich, but I make so much more money than I did when I was younger. I'm nearly debt free, soon to be completely debt free if I'm careful, so I could probably soon afford some of those toys I so longed for when I was young. Now comes the ironic part: I don't really care about them anymore. A new car? Ellie, my aging beauty, is fine with me. We know each other. Boats? Campers? Lots of time and effort for too little enjoyment. A big house? Big bills, big time cleaning and maintaining. No thanks.

What do I want? Mostly things that don't cost much. God, friends, family, good health, love, and laughter. I want to be comfortable, but a cozy little house or even a small apartment would meet my needs. A quiet place to read, pray, write, cook (now that I could probably afford to eat out a little more, I love nothing more than to cook a nice pot of chili and eat at home), and spend time with people I love is plenty for me.

Sure, vacations are still nice, but the parts I love about them are the times spent with family and friends, not the exotic destination. Though I will admit that I am never more content than when looking out at the ocean, I can't imagine I would feel the same if I didn't have loved ones with me there to enjoy it.

This Christmas when It's a Wonderful Life comes on, I'll watch it again, like I do every year. And I'll love every minute of it--even the part where the daft Uncle Billy loses the money. But when that old man makes his declaration, his words will make more sense to me than ever before.

In case you want to see it, here's the scene in question:



Surreal For-real

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 05 October 2014 · 34 views

The day before I left for vacation with my family to Disney World I received an email from my editor with my copy-edits, due two days after the end of our vacation. This meant I either got to mush all my edits into two days (there were almost 3,000 edits soooo that wasn’t going to happen) or I needed to find time to work on the copy-edits at night and early in the morning DURING vacation while the kids were sleeping. No biggie. I actually enjoyed the quiet time every night and morning, rereading WRECKAGE for what I calculated was the 27th time.


Then, one night as I typed along in my hotel room, kids snoring on either side of me, as I stumbled upon a fun surprise. WRECKAGE on Amazon. It’s already available for pre-order! WHAT?

I shared the news on my Facebook page and Twitter and over the past week my friends, family and even some new readers have taken the plunge to pre-order. And that, my friends, is when it got real. All this work, all the time and effort into writing the story, revising, editing, querying, submitting, editing again and again and now, in a few short months, people are going to read this thing!

Soon after returning from my trip I was introduced to my Lake Union author team. They’ll be helping me through the next phase in the publishing process. My wonderful author’s relations manager already emailed me about personalizing my Amazon author page and filling out a questionnaire for the audiobook. Wait, let me say that again *clears throat*. The AUDIOBOOK. Ah! See what I mean?

I know there will be a lot more of these times ahead of me. They make me nervous and excited at the same time. There is still work to be done on this book and plenty of books still to be written but I’ve decided to just enjoy these “it’s really happening” moments as they come because they are awesome. Really awesome.



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