"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pirates

I can't believe we've reached the end of yet another week! The best part? It's time for another round of Five Sentence Fiction. This week's prompt is pirates. If you'd like to find out more about what it's all about, or try it yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Enjoy!

Most people only worry about pirates when they're out at sea, but not us. Every full moon when the clock strikes midnight, we huddle, shivering with terror in our beds. 
It starts in the living room, the sounds of cannon fire and whoops of glee echoing up through the floor, the splashing of salty waves against their old wooden ship rumbling below. 
They patrol the hallways, ghostly waves rolling in beneath the doors as they whisper and beckon for us to join them.
They only have an hour before the sounds begin to fade and the waves recede, as we breathe a collective sigh of relief that we're safe for another month. 

Well everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I welcome all of your comments below in the comments section, and cherish every one. If you're still jonesing for more Five Sentence Fiction, just check out the links below. Thanks and have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Harvest
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Faeries
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Medicine
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange

The Upside of Nightmares

I woke up this morning after a restless night full of nightmares. I don't know what set it off, but I'm not lying when I say I spent the entire night fighting off murderers, tornadoes and even a bear. I don't mind though. As unpleasant as they may be, I find that nightmares offer great inspiration for stories.

Sometimes, when you feel the urge to write something a little darker, or a scene in which a character is truly frightened, it helps to know what that feels like. I'd prefer not to be chased by a murderer or attempt to escape a city full of tornadoes in real life, so if I want to write about it and realistically capture what it would feel like, I lean on my dreams.

It's the same reason I can't watch zombie movies too often. I love them, but whenever I watch them I have zombie nightmares all night. And I have to say, watching them on the screen is a lot less scary than actually being chased by them. So I try to limit my exposure. But having those nightmares makes it possible for me to write a piece of zombie fiction, if I so choose. I already know exactly how it feels to be chased by hoards of zombies. I know the feeling of despair when you realize you're trapped in a corner. And yet, as awful as that night's sleep was, I'm perfectly safe and able to write from a new perspective.

Where else do you find your inspiration? How do you make your own writing realistic? Have you ever found it in an unexpected place?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Reading List

I don't know if it's just because I've been so busy lately, or if it's because the book I've been trying to read is as boring as a three hour lecture on geometry given in Greek, but I really haven't been reading much. Which is a problem for several reasons. First of all, I love reading. I love the way books can take you away, the way they can captivate you. Second, one of the most frequently given pieces of advice to blossoming writers is to read, and read as much as they possibly can. It's the best teacher available.

So, I'm taking a stand. This summer, I want to read at least a book a week. I've drafted a list of books I'd like to read this summer and I'm sharing them with you, just in case you'd like to join me. These are all books that have been calling to me from the book shelves, books that promise delightful adventures within their covers. As I finish each one, I promise to post a review and let you know if it's worthwhile. In the meantime, here is the list. Happy reading everyone!

1. These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

I love Sarah Pekkanen. I read The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat. They were both utterly dazzling. I honestly believe she is one of the great writers of our time. I can't wait to dig in to her latest work!

2. The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

I read The Birth House and adored it. Ami is an expert at beautifully crafted stories and settings. She brings history alive with characters you can really make a connection to. Can't wait for this one.

3. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

I've been a big fan of The Bloggess for a long time. I love her quirky humor and completely unique personality. Her blog posts have me laughing out loud every time. Her memoir is sure to be an utter delight.

4. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

I read the book jacket on this one and became instantly intrigued. I'm honestly not usually into historical fiction, but I just can't resist. I must read it!

5. Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore

My love affair with Christopher Moore started a few years ago when I read A Dirty Job. I love books that are strange and make me laugh. They're not always great, I didn't care for Fluke or any of his vampire ones, but I have high hopes for this one.

6. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

I read the first fourteen pages of this one on amazon and was hooked! I love the writing style, and the plot promises intrigue and delicious cupcakes. It's win/win!

7. The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick

Same story as the last book, I read the first few pages on amazon and I have to find out what happens next. I'm a huge dog person, so combining them and a great plot makes me pretty happy! I don't normally read dog books because the dogs always die, but this is one is not your usual tear jerker sob fest. Perfection.

8. Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis

I loved Good Enough to Eat, so much so that I forced everyone in my inner circle to read it. I could not pass up the chance to read her newest cuisine infused fiction.

9. Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster

I've been following Jen Lancaster since her first book, Bitter is the New Black. It was the first book to ever make me laugh out loud, leaving my husband to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. It's still my favourite, my second being Such a Pretty Fat. I can't wait to read her latest exploits.

10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I want to read this book for one simple reason: it was recommended to me. That's pretty much the only reason, but I think sharing great reads with one another is a very important practice, so I intend to give it a whirl.

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Harvest

Welcome to the end of yet another week. I hope this summer weekend holds plenty of sunshine and good times for all of you, perhaps with a daquiri or pina colada thrown in for good measure. To start you off on the best possible foot, here is this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. If you'd like to learn more about what it's all about, or better yet, give it a try for yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. This week's prompt is Harvest. Enjoy!

It's not the best job I've ever had, although it suits me well. It certainly beats working below deck, that's for sure.
I spend my nights prowling the streets, looking for prey and carefully guiding them into my net. They don't fight me, that comes later with tearful pleading for second chances. No, for now, they follow me gleefully, stepping over the edge and plunging into darkness, ripe for the harvest.

There we have it! Hopefully you enjoyed it, as I had fun writing it. As always, I welcome your comments in the comment section below (and love reading every single one). If you liked this post, please feel free to share it with your friends! And don't forget to come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. If your taste for Five Sentence Fiction isn't quite sated, just follow the links below and check out past editions. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Faeries
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Medicine
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silence

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top Ten Things You Should Not Say to a Writer

I don't know if any of you have been following the hashtag #ThingsNotToSayToAWriter on twitter, but I have, and it's hilarious. I wrote a few of my own as well, but I thought you might get a kick out of some of my favourites. Here are my top ten picks of Things You Should Not Say to a Writer. I've included the twitter handles of the authors, so feel free to check them out. Enjoy!

1. "You should read that Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, that's good writing." @SteveHuff

2. "You know that box you had under the bed, with all those random papers in it? I threw it out." @ShenizJ

3. "So, uh, would I have heard of you?" @AliceKuipers

4. "Of course you can come. You're just writing. You can finish that later." @jenniferbrozek

5. "I'm sorry, but there's no way to recover your files from this hard drive." @EvanJGregory

6. "That's cool, but what do you really do?" @SteveHuff

7. "It's nice to have something to keep you busy while the kids are in school." @natashasinel

8. "I'd kill for a job as easy as yours." @vpeanuts

9. "I read your book... (silence)" @leahcstewart

10. "I could write a novel if only I had the time." @susanhillwriter

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tornado Warning

Life has been rather hectic for the past five days or so. On Thursday afternoon, the internet went out at work, and they were unable to get it up and going until four thirty today. That made life especially stressful and difficult for my coworkers and myself, as about half our work requires an internet connection.

On Friday morning I woke up with a truly hideous cold (that I'm still fighting) that required me to go home early and forced me to publish my Five Sentence Fiction a day late. It also set me a day behind in Camp NaNoWriMo. The weekend was spent trying to catch up on all my writing, my housework and my responsibilities to my two bunnies and my darling dog, Maddie.

I've been unable to tweet much or make use of social media, so I'm still rather behind on that, but I was at least able to catch up on all my work at the office (even though it required staying two extra hours today). To top it off? Severe thunderstorms and a tornado warning tonight. At least life isn't boring.

In conclusion, I'm exhausted. I've been trying to get back on top of my workload for almost a week now, and it was good to finally make some headway on at least the office front. I've appreciated your patience, and I assure you, I will be far more entertaining from here on out. (Just as soon as I can kick this damn cold!)

*One last fun tip for you, if you're ever plagued with terrible sinus congestion and sinus pain, Extra Spicy Clamato Juice is your best friend. Seriously. Warm it up in the microwave and drink it hot. You'll thank God. It's amazing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another Piece of Flash Fiction

Hello all!

I'm recovering nicely from my monstrous cold, and in celebration I thought I'd share with you a piece of flash fiction I wrote for the Wattpad Workshop Series, hosted by Alice Kuipers. This week's writing prompt was to imagine that you walk into a room you know well, only to discover a trap door hidden in the floor. Here's my attempt, I hope you enjoy it!

I suppose it was boredom more than anything that made me do it. 

The rain was pouring down outside for the fifth day in a row and my skin was crawling. The power had been out for over an hour and I'd run out of things to do, which I suppose is why I was cleaning my office.

I'd lit a single candle, its trembling flame casting shadows on the walls. The room had become a dumping ground for all the things I didn't want to deal with, and after five days of rain I was finally willing to give it a go. 

Part of me believes that it wasn't there before, that the rain and boredom and mess called it into being. However it got there, it was indeed there. I was pulling a dusty, old armchair across the floor when a leg caught the carpet and tore it, pulling it cleanly up and away from the floor. 

"Shit!" I fell to my knees, clutching the torn carpet in my hands.

Beneath the carpet, in the flickering light of the candle, something caught my eye. I lifted the carpet higher, wincing as it tore even more. It was a handle, a small, flat little handle that appeared to be attached to a trap door.

Curiosity piqued, I abandoned all hope of fixing the carpet and tore it back. I was right. It was a trap door. I lifted the handle, opening the lid with a loud creak.

A small, wooden staircase disappeared down into the darkness. I stood, considering it, even attempting to talk myself out of it, before I picked up the candle and carefully made my way down the stairs.

If I'd know I could never come back, I wonder if I still would have done it. But then, decisions are easier when you don't know the consequences.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed it, I had fun writing it. I hope you've all had a great weekend, and as always, I encourage you to leave comments, questions and feedback below in the comments section. Feel free to follow this blog, as well as find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. Have a great night!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - A Day Late

I know, I'm late. Five Sentence Fiction Friday was yesterday, but it did not appear. Yesterday, I woke up with the worst cold I've had in a long time. I tried to be strong and go to work anyway, but I ended up having to go home early. I spent the night with hideous sinus pain, a headache, sore throat, congestion and joints that ached like fire. So, hopefully you understand why the thought of posting on my blog did not enter my drug addled head. I was mostly concerned with praying to God that He kill me quickly. But here it is, one day late. If you'd like to learn more, visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. This week's prompt is Faeries. I had a real tough time with this one, so please be kind. Enjoy!

I'd never believed in faeries before, let alone that I might be seduced by one, but time makes fools of us all. We met in the woods on the darkest night, when I was lost and he was searching. It's impossible to look upon a faery and not be ensnared by their beauty. I was caught in his trap, but I didn't mind. Not all faeries are good, you know. Some can be quite wicked. 

There we have it! I apologize again that this was a day late, but hopefully you understand why. As always I welcome your comments in the comments section. If you'd like to read the previous weeks' attempts, just follow the links below.

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Medicine
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silence
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Foggy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm not Stupid, Just Unobservant

Sometimes it takes a near death experiences to figure out what's really important to you. For example, a few weeks ago I was driving to work when I came across some train tracks. Now, I pass these train tracks every day, and lately, the red, blinking warning lights have been going off at random, blinking when the train is stopped or when there is no train at all. Just a couple of days before I'd sat at those lights for a full ten minutes, waiting for a train that never came.

So, on this particular morning, when I saw the lights flashing and the other drivers gliding over the tracks as though nothing were happening, I just did a quick cautionary pause before continuing. Now, this was a good idea. One can never be too careful, despite what everyone else is doing. However, it would have worked a lot better if I'd actually looked for the train, as opposed to taking a quick glance and driving on. As I crossed the tracks, I looked over, and there was the train lumbering towards me. I hit the gas and went over the tracks in record time, which was unnecessary, as it was moving at the speed of snail. I was several blocks away before it got to the place I'd crossed, but still, I couldn't help but picture the headlines if I'd died. I bet they'd have thought I tried to race the train, I realized. They would say I was an impatient idiot who thought she could beat the train, who couldn't bear to wait. How unfair! I wasn't impatient! I was just unobservant!

The whole way to work I berated myself for not paying more attention, angry that I'd almost wound up with an untrue euology. "Oh, if only she'd been a little more patient! Why did she think she could beat the train?" Ugh. Perish the thought. And that's when it hit me. I wasn't worried about nearly being hit by a train. I was worried that if I was, they wouldn't know why. I was more concerned with my reputation than my own life. Clearly, my priorities are a little messed up. Although on the bright side, now I always look both ways before crossing the train tracks. So there's that.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summertime Blue Rhubarb Pie

First off, an apology. I know I was supposed to post yesterday, but by the time I remembered I was climbing into bed and was just too damn tired to climb back out. I was running around all weekend, trying to catch up on yard work on Saturday when there was a break from the rain, exercising my poor, bored doggie, cleaning my house, catching up on laundry and surprise: baking. I know, it's weird to hear me say that (or more correctly, it's weird to see me write that), but it's true.

During my frenzied fit of yardwork, I harvested my rhubarb plant. I should explain now that I hate rhubarb. When I moved into my house, the previous owner had planted one along my back fence, and I always forgot to dig it up before it took over that particular portion of my yard. This year, I'd planned to finally get rid of it, but an endless stream of rain caused it to grow gigantic before I got the opportunity to dig it up. I wasn't going to let this year stop me, but when I told my husband my plans to hack the plant to bits, he very sweetly asked if I could pretty please bake him a rhubarb pie. He was so cute, in fact, that I agreed. So, instead I found myself harvesting instead of destroying.

I'd never made a rhubarb pie before, so I turned to my old friend the internet for a solution. I know a lot of us love pinterest when it comes to finding great recipes, but my old stand by is Food TV. I always go to their website when I have a single ingredient and no idea what to do with it. I scrolled through the recipes, immediately turning away from strawberry rhubarb. I loved strawberries too much to throw them in a pie. Instead, I found a very simple and appealing recipe for Rhubarb and Blueberry Pie. After sending my husband out for the missing ingredients, the two of us got to work in the kitchen and made not one, not two but three pies. The result? Delicious.

I hate rhubarb, and I don't like blueberries very much either, but I LOVE this pie. It was so simple and it is so good. I highly suggest you all give it a try, although I should warn you, it's sweet not tart. That makes it a winner in my book (I hate tart, I won't use tart apples to make apple pie either), but I know some of you out there might find it too sweet. But so far, everyone I've shared it with has loved it as much as I have, so if you have a monstrous rhubarb plant mocking you from your yard, just follow the link below. Enjoy!

Summertime Blue Rhubarb Pie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Medicine

Welcome one and all to another beautiful Friday! I hope everyone has smashing plans for this weekend, and the weather turns out lovely. To start you off on the right foot, here is this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction! If you'd like to learn more about what it's all about and maybe give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. This week's prompt is Medicine. Enjoy!

I held the glass above my head, examining the way the amber liquid glowed in the dim light. I took a deep, steadying breath and threw it down my throat, feeling it burn and sizzle all the way down. The effect was immediate, my bones breaking, my skin tearing, my entire body shifting and changing as I fell back into the dark abyss of my subconscious and disappeared.
Some medicines make you well. Mine releases the monsters.

I hope you enjoyed it, because I had a lot of fun writing this one. As always, I welcome all your thoughts, questions and comments below in the comments section (and greatly appreciate them!). Please feel free to follow this blog, or share this post with your friends. Don't forget to come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. If you're still jonesing for Five Sentence Fiction just check out the links below. Have a great weekend everyone!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silence
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Foggy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bless You!

I don't know if this is just me or not, but have you noticed a pronounced decline in the frequency of 'bless you's in response to sneezing? I started noticing about a week ago, probably because my allergies were really bad. No one in my office said bless you. Once. And it wasn't just with me. The more I paid attention, the more I realized that no one was saying bless you to anyone.

Except me. I say bless you all the time. Even if someone is a multiple sneezer. Why? Because it's polite. I think it's a nice gesture. Not only are you acknowledging their existence, but you're throwing a free blessing their way. What's not to like?

What's extra strange is that the people I bless never return the favour. Despite their pleased expression of surprise and delight whenever I bless them, when I sneeze they don't reciprocate.They remain completely silent. At first, I was just mildly put off. But it's become rather creepy. No one but myself says it. I feel like I'm in some kind of body snatcher movie, where the only sign that someone's been taken is their inability to say 'bless you' when someone sneezes. Did I miss a meeting? Did every come to a general consensus that 'bless you' was outdated or no longer necessary? If so, I didn't get the memo.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Forbidden Love Blog Hop

There is a contest going on right now, called the Forbidden Love Blog Hop. Basically, you write a piece of flash fiction up to 300 words on two star crossed lovers and link to Lillie Mcferrin's website, Ruth Long's website or Janelle's website.  Here is my entry. I hope you like it!

 (picture from piccsy)

He'd never believed in love at first sight. It was a stupid, childish notion, a concept that occurred only in myths and legends told by bored old men. The only thing akin to love at first sight in the real world was lust, and he believed in lust. He'd seen it plain as day on the faces of beautiful, young women, flaunting their artistic forms, their beckoning curves, baiting him like fishermen with nets. 
Oh, and he'd partaken of their pleasures, absorbed in the sensations they could give him. But never did he feel anything outside the aching of his loins, the pleasure of his body. There was no tightening in his chest, no pull on his heart. He did not love any of them. 
By the time he was a young man, he'd grown quite disillusioned with love and the flirtations of young women. They'd given him all the sensation, all the experience, that they could. He pushed them aside like a book read too many times. He knew too well what he'd find on their pages. 
If he'd been a more contemplative man, he probably would have guessed that what happened next was his punishment for his dismissal of love. But those thoughts did not occur to him. All he knew was that he saw his true love, and lightning struck. Immediately enamored, he could not bear to turn his gaze away. No amount of cajoling or pleading by his family and friends could make them part. He grew sick and weary but would not leave, not until death came to claim him. Narcissus had finally found his true love, and it was his own reflection.
(Word Count 278)

I hope you liked it! Don't forget to visit Lillie McFerrin, Ruth Long and Janelle's websites (links at the top) and read everyone else's entry. I welcome all feedback in the comments section below. Have a great day and good luck to all the other entries!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Week One

As you probably know, I signed up for June's Camp NaNoWriMo. So far, it's been going really well. I've managed to hit my targets every day and I'm really impressed with how my story is progressing. As it turns out, going in with a story line already in mind is a lot more effective than winging it.

I think what I like best about NaNoWriMo is the motivation that being part of an online community gives you. Without that little word counter showing my progress for all the world to see, I'd have no reason to finish. I'd probably peter out after the first couple of weeks, if I made it there at all. But here I am, 15,000 words in after just nine short days. And it feels pretty good! I'm also a big fan of the weekly pep talk emails and message boards. I have yet to attend an actual, physical function, but I like the sense of community.

What are your writing goals for June? The summer can be the perfect time for catching up on your writing. The world is bursting with colour and inspiration, not to mention the enjoyment of basking in the outdoors with a notebook and pen. That's what this weekend is all about for me, the writing. I'm working hard on my novel for NaNoWriMo as well as a few other projects in between. The only thing getting neglected this weekend is my yard, but luckily the rain's taken care of that problem.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost

Wow, I'm so glad it's Friday. Work has been crazy busy lately, and Camp NaNoWriMo has got me beat! (still having fun though!) I've got to say, there's nothing like writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days to really make you appreciate Five Sentence Fiction. If you'd like to find out more, or participate (which you should, cause it's a blast!), just check out Lillie McFerrin's website. This week's prompt is Lost, and as a special bonus, I've written not one but two Five Sentence Fiction stories for the occasion. So enjoy!

"It finds things, lost things," he told her, smiling at the way she stared.
It wasn't much to look at, just a beat up old ring with a turqoise stone, but she couldn't help picking it up and slipping it on her finger.
"You see? It's already found you."
She couldn't tell if he was joking or serious, so she just smiled as she fished out the cash from her wallet and handed it over.
It was a stupid purchase, she knew that, but she needed answers and she'd take all the help she could get in finding them.

And here's number two!

Not many people do it on purpose; get lost I mean. The connotations of it are too negative. But they don't know the liberation of it, of having no reason to choose a direction except your gut instinct. If they knew the doors it opened, the places I've seen when I had no idea where I was or which way I was going, they'd put on a blindfold and march into the wilderness right now.
Because it's only when you give up all sense of direction, all sense of control, that the true fun can begin.

Now get lost! (Just kidding!) But seriously, I hope you all have a terrific weekend, and if your taste for Five Sentence Fiction is not yet sated, just follow the links below. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback below in the comments section. Please feel free to follow this blog and come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. Happy weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silence
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Foggy
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Sombrero
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Candy

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Be Inspired Blog Hop

I've been tagged by Ruth Long of Bullish Ink in the Vicki Orians Be Inspired Blog Hop! Basically, it's all about writers talking about what inspires them and divulging a few tasty details about their works in progress.

The rules are as follows: 1) Answer the following ten questions about your work in progress and 2) Tag 5 other writers and link to their blogs so that we can all read their answers as well. Sounds simple enough, yes? Let's begin!

1) What is the title of your book? PROMISES TO KEEP

2) Where did the idea for the book come from? It actually came from a Your Story prompt in Writers Digest. The prompt was to write a 750 word story where you visit your childhood home and find that it's been condemned. I don't know why, but that small prompt triggered this story in a big way. It was like a lightning bolt. I wrote the 750 word story and submitted it, but I always knew there was so much more to tell. It didn't win, but continued to percolate under the surface for several months until I saw the link for Camp NaNoWriMo. I'd done it in November and loved it, what a perfect excuse to tell that story!

3) What genre would your book fall under? It's hard to label it at this point, but I'm going to say mainstream fiction.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is a really hard question because I don't really think about those things and I'm terrible with movie star names! I think I'd want to go with slightly more undiscovered people. I find the big names often take away from the story. You end up looking at the actor instead of the character they're playing. I know, I know, weak answer - but what can I say? You stumped me!

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? A teenage girl is brought back from the afterlife to deal with a promise she made before her death.

6) Is your book published or represented? No.

7) How long did it take you to write? Don't know, still writing it! I decided to give it a go for the June Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm hoping to finish the rough (ROUGH) draft by the end of 'Camp' and then the editing begins!

8) What other books within your genre would you compare it to? That's a tough one! It's not as funny as TWENTIES GIRL by Sophie Kinsella, but the subject matter is similar.

9) Which authors inspired you to write this book? Just one. Alice Kuipers. As always I name my Wizard of Oz when it comes to my inspiration. She was the first person in the writing world to take me seriously, and she's always held me to a high standard. She's made me hold myself to a higher standard and I'll always appreciate that.

10) Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book. It's the story of a family that has lost their way and the eternal hope that they can bring it around again. The truth is there, sometimes it's just hidden in a clever place.

Now for the final piece of the puzzle. Here are my five tags:

1) Lindsey Fairleigh
2) Claudine Jaboro
3) Veronica Roth
4) Sopphey Vance
5) Rose Woods

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

200th Post!

Yes, as the title declares, this is my two hundredth post. I feel like I should do something special to mark the occasion, but what can I say? I've got nothing.

I will admit, that I feel rather proud. When I started this blog, I had no real clue what I was doing. I didn't know what it was about or who my target audience was. I didn't know a thing about content or social media or how to promote myself, and honestly, I'm still learning. I'm not an expert by any means (far from it!), and I still get stumped when I read articles and other blogs and see how effortlessly they bring it all together, how they seem to just know their way around HTML code and the like. I still haven't got the foggiest when it comes to all the technical jargon.

But I'm so happy I did it, and that I'm still doing it. And I'm so grateful that I have all of you, my beloved readers, to share the ride with. I love our conversations. Reading all your feedback brightens my day. You wouldn't believe how often I log on just to check and see if one of you has left a new comment for me. (Yes, you have become my angry birds). I hope I make all of you as happy as you make me, although I doubt that's possible. But as we continue down this road, I thought my two hundredth post was the perfect opportunity to let you all know how much I appreciate you. (And like I said, I've got nothing).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo

Some of my newer readers might not know this, but in November of last year I took part in the NaNoWriMo challenge... and failed. At least, according to them. My word counter showed that I was well over 50,000 words, but theirs however, did not. Which sadly, left me without a shiny badge of completion. Not that I'm complaining or anything...

Sorry, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Allow me to explain. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. And let me to tell you, it is quite the challenge. Especially for someone as concise as myself. But, I wanted to try it. I thought it would shake up my writing routine and challenge me to just free flow write. It sounded like a great opportunity to shut off my inner critic and write like a fiend for thirty days.

And it was! Despite the difficulty, I loved it! As it turns out, having an online display of my word count is a powerful motivator. There was something so utterly divine about logging on and updating that number. Ah, the delicious feeling of accomplishment. Of course, it's also incredibly high stress (especially if you already have a full time job). Did I always handle it like a champ? No. (Let's just say there was a lot of complaining. To my husband, my family, this blog and anyone else that would listen). But would I do it again? Absolutely! And guess what? I am!

That's right! I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo! This is the first time they're doing it in the summer, and they're doing it in both June and August. So, if you can't make it this time, you can always do it in August. I'm so excited about this round. I think I really have a chance of completing it this time. For one thing, I have a much more solid plot idea. And now that I already know how much time and effort it entails, I'm more prepared than last time. And I swear, this time I will not complain nearly as much to you guys. I'll put it all on my husband, don't worry. (Honey, if you're reading this, I apologize profusely in advance for how bad it'll get near the end. You know what stress does to my mood).

So hopefully by the end of this month I'll have a completed rough draft of a novel, a shiny badge of honour from Camp NaNoWriMo and a husband that still loves me. (I kid! Don't worry honey, I won't get that bad... probably). What about the rest of you? Are there any other Camp NaNoWriMo contenders out there?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Orange

Could it be Friday already? Indeed, it is! And you know what that means... it's Five Sentence Fiction Friday! That special day every week when I try to tell a story in only five sentences, based on a word prompt given on Lillie McFerrin Writes. (If you'd like to give it a try yourself, just click the link and find out what it's all about!) This week's prompt was actually based on a vote. Lillie gave five options and we all voted on the one we'd like to do. And the winner was.... orange. I'd voted for zombies, so I decided I'd combine the two. But officially, the prompt is orange. Enjoy!

The world seemed to blur around her into a giant haze of neon orange haz-mat suits and frantic bodies. The cacophony of screaming and shouting seemed to shrink to a dull roar, a barely audible buzzing. It was just her, her and the hoards of hungry, mindless dead. They staggered towards her in endless waves, arms reaching out, mouths hanging open in silent screams.
She lost herself, her terror, in the rhythm of her swinging ax, refusing to acknowledge the futility of her fight.

There we have it. An orange zombie prompt. Hopefully it starts your weekend off on the right start, perhaps you'll even take in a classic zombie flick. As always I welcome your comments below in the comments section. If you're still itching for more five sentence fiction, check out the links below to my previous attempts. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silence
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Foggy
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Sombrero
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Candy
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Explosive
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Wicked
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Armor
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Tears