Thursday, December 31, 2009

0 Days Left of 2009...My Top 5 Writer'y Moments...In Book Title Form

My Top 5 Writer'y Moments...In Book Title Form

Today is one of those magical lazy days. Curled up on the sofa with my kids watching 4 episodes in a row of Ghost Lab on Discovery Channel. No pressure. Still in pj's. Ahhh.

But Ghost Lab grows old and my blog calls me from the other room...

"Kaaaatttteeee, today's the laaaassttt day. You just can't not write a post today. Get off of the sofa and get in here. Right now. Yes, I said now."

I think, "Wow, when did you get so bossy? Haven't you ever heard of doing nothing?"

Blog calls back, "Yeah, I've heard of doing nothing, that's what I'M doing right now! Nothing! Let's go, little lady. You created me. You pumped me up with all of your, "Top 5" nonsense. You think you can just leave the readers hanging on the last day? Oh no. Up and adam!"

I think, "Relax, Blogtator I'm coming."

So, the creative pressure is on. I think I've come up with a fairly interesting way to end my Top 5 posts. End the year with a bang, so to speak.

Here are my top five Writer'y Moments, but not in boring old plain'ness, oh no, I'd like to present them in Book Title form (adapted from my Top 5 reads of 2009).

Take that, Blog.

5. Many Queries, Many Rejections (Many Lives, Many Masters)
I queried quite a bit this year with some requests still "out there" but no offers...yet. But, this is a list of my top 5 writer moments. I had to include querying because of the enormous ah-ha moment I experienced while Query Ninja'ing my query letters. If you are a writer, check it out.

4. Sandra's Key (Sarah's Key)
At the SCBWI conference in NYC I met many interesting people. Perhaps one of the most delightful and helpful was the chance meeting of Sandra. She sat next to me at my first writer's intensive group where each writer read aloud their first 500 words. And a real, live Harper Collins editor ran the group. Intense, helpful and oh-so-full-of-positive-feedback. I'm pretty sure I floated out of the ballroom. But see, Sandra took her helpfulness 1000 steps further when she offered to read the rest of my book. We communicated back and forth via email and she gave me incredible feedback. She actually got signed by Barry Goldblatt last spring. Go Sandra!

3. The Writer (The Alchemist)
Revisiting one of my picture book manuscripts with a fresh eye. A real writer's eye. Reading it and realizing it had no conflict, no problem. It was just a cute little story. After listening to Lee Harper at the SCBWI Fall Philly conference, I learned that even picture books need conflict. So, I revised the heck out of the manuscript and have just sent out my first query. We'll see. This experience made me realize a crucial reality - I am a writer.

2. The Absolutely True Story of an Ah-ha Moment (The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian)
At the SCBWI Pocono Writer's Retreat I had a true ah-ha moment. I realized my middle grade novel needed a prologue. What did I do about that? I wrote myself a kickin' prologue - if I do say so myself.

1. MY Corner of the Universe (Corner of the Universe)
There were so many people in my universe this past year that tried to help me, encourage me and guide me. You know who you are. Thank you for cheering me on, telling me to keep writing, giving me critique advice, reaching out to your contacts, talking about my writing, giving me new ideas, advising me and most importantly believing in me and my writing.

2010 will be my year.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

4 Days Left of 2009...My Top 5 Movies of the Year

My Top 5 Movies of 2009

I love going to the movies almost as much as I love diving into a new book. The whole experience excites me from the previews right down to the bite of Raisinettes followed immediately by a bite of salty popcorn.

*I decided to "go big" with the you feel like you're at the movies.

5. Star Trek
I loved this movie for the obvious big screen moments of thrill and jaw dropping effects. It was highly entertaining. And it was directed by LOST director, J. J. Abrams. If you follow my blog you know how deeply fanatical I am about LOST.

4. Avatar
I just saw this yesterday in 3D. In my opinion, the special effects in this movie blow Star Trek away. But that's not why it is up one notch on my movie scale. The real reason, well, it was the "human" story behind the effects that made me love it so much.

3. The Proposal
I saw this movie 4 times in the theater. Each time I'd say to whoever I was with, "No, it's okay, I want to see it again. Really." And I meant it. I love a good romantic comedy and this movie nails both the romance and the comedy.

2. UP
I love movies (and books) where I can put myself in the character's shoes. I've done that since I was a little girl. Watching The Wizard of Oz and imagining being Dorothy. I don't know. It always makes the movie or the book so real to much better...more intense. Anyway. I had no idea the emotional wallop I would receive from the beginning of UP. I'm talking sobbing here. I kept putting my husband and I in the shoes of Carl and Ellie. Whoa. Crying. A lot. I absolutely loved every single thing about this movie and plan to watch it again and again.

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Oh come on, it's Harry-freakin'-Potter! The books are my number 1 favorite. Even though this movie paled in comparison to the book (as usual) it's still the best story ever told and the movie is dang good. Again, see, I've always put myself in Harry's shoes and tried to imagine how insane it would be to find out you're a wizard, and not just any wizard, the most powerful wizard ever. How cool would that be?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

8 Days of 2009 Left...My Top 5 Spectacular Moments of 2009

My Top 5 Spectacular Moments of 2009

I have to say, 2009 was a pretty decent year. Definitely filled with changes and frustration yet sprinkled with super-high-highs. I quit teaching in 09 which was a really big deal. Quit the job I left teaching for and then landed another new job. Changes deluxe. My goals morphed and then morphed again. As I said before, I'm feeling like 2010 will be my year.

Drum roll top 5 spectacular moments of 2009.

5. Telling the birthday wish fairy to suck it.

4. Having 45 of my 2008-2009 students get published in a poetry anthology. The particularly satisfying "wins" are my reluctant writers, the boys who "hated writing" or the girls who had zero writing confidence. And they won. And they're published.

3. Affording my inner writer time to mingle and write during the SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC and the SCBWI Pocono Writer's Retreat. Both juiced me up as a writer. I can't wait for NYC this year...

2. Realizing I'm a writer and I'll always be a writer. No matter what.

1. This one was a no brainer. My number one moment of 2009 was definitely flying half way around the world to meet my newest niece, Scarlett Jane...aka the Australian Wonder. And seeing my treasured sister Christina and her equally treasured husband Iain. What a trip it was.

Monday, December 21, 2009

11 Days Left of 2009...My Top 5 Books of 09

My Top 5 Books of 2009

I did a fair amount of reading in 09. Some good and some not so good. Since I plan to be in the publishing business someday, preferably sooner than later, I'm going to keep the "not so good" reads all to myself. I'm sticking with the positive here.
*these are books I've read this year and some were not published in 09

5. Corner of the Universe by: Ann M. Martin
A former student passed this off to me as a good read last winter and let me tell you, I agree. It is a middle grade realistic fiction with a very memorable MC and a mentally challenged uncle as a side character.

4. Sarah's Key by: Tatiana de Rosnay
Adult fiction dually set in 1940's Paris and modern day Paris. The book alternates between Sarah's POV during the French round up of Parisian Jewish families and a modern day American woman married to a French man. Their lives are seriously intertwined and they don't find out till mid-way through the novel. It will haunt you for days.

3. The Alchemist by: Paulo Coelho
A simple story of a shephard boy following his dreams. The inspirational power of this book is in Coelho's thinking, told through the character of The Alchemist. It is a must read.

2. Many Lives, Many Masters by: Dr. Brian Weiss
Non-fiction that will stay with you, toying with all you believe, challenge all you know and make you think deeply about just about everything. Yeah, it's one of those books that will never leave your psyche. One hell of a read.

1. The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie
This was, hands down, up and sideways, the best book of the year for me; and it's YA. I don't think I've ever laughed harder with a character than I did with Junior. Alexie's writing is brilliant and endearing and I LOVED this book.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12 Days Left of 2009...My Top 5 Dreams of the Year

My Top 5 Dreams of 2009

This'll be a well-duh post. A, yeah, I figured as much post. An obviously-obvious post.

5. My number 5 dream of 2009: Have one of my queries be completely fruitful and land me an agent.

4. My number 4 dream of 2009: Have my query stats end with a big happy bang (aka an agent).

3. My number 3 dream of 2009: Have my book trailer end up impressing an agent.

2. My number 2 dream of 2009: To "stop looking at the warts," and just believe I'll get an agent.

1. My number 1 dream of 2009: To never stop being inspired by life. And get an agent.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

14 Days left of 2009: My Top 5 Things I Learned This Year as a Writer...

My Top 5 Things I've Learned as a Writer

5. It is nearly impossible for me to write when I don't have large chunks of time. I'm not a late-nighter. I'm a 'write like a maniac till I have a first draft' kind of writer and that requires hours and quiet. Looks like summer is my time to write, being in education and all.

4. Just because readers, who are not agents, read your manuscripts and freaking love them, doesn't mean donkey doo in the real world of publishing. Hard lesson to learn. Real hard lesson. But valuable.

3. I can wish and pray and "Secret" and meditate and every other spiritual thing out there all I want. The only way I'll land an agent is when an agent reads my manuscript and loves it, like a whole lot. I'm done with wishing.

2. My journey towards publication has been one hell of a fight. My nails hurt from the scratching and clawing I've done. My brain hurts from all of the research and research and research and research. I am sick to death of revising my manuscripts, and if I look at them one more time I may commit harry carry. So, I shall let them be for now.

1. I have grown to,, wish evil, hate more than bathing suit shopping, the words, 'this is a subjective business.'

Monday, December 14, 2009

17 Days left of 2009

My Top 5 WORST Songs of 2009
*Disclaimer: Now, don't go being offended if you happen to like a song or artist that ended up on this here list. These are MY top 5 worst...not yours. I'm just sayin' And, just in case you do like any of these songs, I went ahead and linked some of them to their youtube music videos, for your viewing pleasure. Not mine. What can I say? I'm a giver.

5. Blame It by Jamie Foxx
I say, blame it on your irresponsibility, not the innocent alcohol.

4. Waking Up In Vegas by Katie Perry
I say, shut up and put your...oh how 'bout you just shut up?

3. Good Girls Go Bad by Cobra Starship
I say, just be good already. Enough with the bad.

2. I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
I say, I gotta feeling, whoo-hooo, that this song runs through my nauseum.

1. Don't Trust Me by 3 Oh! 3
I say, I don't like this song the most'est.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

19 Days Left of 2009

Since there are only 19 days left of the year I call 2000-WANT ("want" because all I wanted in 2009 was an agent - blah, blah, blah). Boy did I do everything in my writerly power to make that happen. Alas, I am, at present moment still agentless. Again, blah, blah, blah.

Back to my, "Since there are only 19 days left of the year I call..."focus. In honor of the upcoming 2010 or as I like to call, The Year of Kate. Yeah, I said it. 2010 is all about me and me getting everything I ever dreamed of. And I mean everything. I think 2010 is going down in the history books as the year of years...for me. My brain tells me so. My heart tells me so. And my soul tells me so. I have no secret news -- nothing to reveal -- just a feeling.

2010, I welcome you, fine year, welcome to my life. Come on in and make yourself comfortable, Best-Year-Ev-Ah. I have a feeling we'll be tighter than peanut butter and jelly.

I HEART 2010.

Now to properly close out 2009 and bid it a decent farewell, I thought I'd jump back into the blog-O-sphere with a plan. My big plan is to share my top 5 "stuff" with you on a variety of life, book, and me related topics. I am going to try to blog as much as I can over the next 19 days.

Here are some of my planned topics:
~ My top 5 books of 2009
~ My top 5 songs of 2009
~ My top 5 super spectacular moments of 2009
~ My top 5 ultimate CRAPtacular moments of 2009 - I should probably enlarge this category to 10 and call it a day
~ My top 5 dreams of 2009
~ My top 5 bloggie moments of 2009
~ My top 5 videos of 2009
~ My top 5 movies of 2009
~ My top 5 things I learned as a writer in 2009
~ My top 5 online moments of 2009
~ My top 5 moments of travel in 2009
~ My top 5 writing ideas of 2009
~ My top 5 worst songs of 2009
~ Mt top 5 cool things I overheard in 2009

And to start it all off...

Drum roll please...

My Top 5 Moments of HOPE in 2009

5. Back on November 17, 2009 I came to a personal crossroads and then on November 18, 2009 came the sweet nugget of HOPE by way of a partial request. It ended up in a rejection, but HOPE is HOPE in my book. And I needed some HOPE at that moment and the universe listened.

4. About two weeks ago I walked without wrapping my ankle. Not an aircast, not an ace bandage, not a nothing. It gave me HOPE that I was on the way to a full recovery. I love HOPE.

3. Realizing that the reason my youngest sister, Christina and her cool husband Iain, had to move to Australia. Sure, Iain's from there and all, but the real reason they had to move there was revealed to me one evening in the month of April, 2009. I was hanging out in my dining room, listening to tunes with my husband, when it dawned on me. My youngest sister had to move SO-FREAKING-FAR-AWAY because my other younger sister was going to need me. And I mean need the ever loving hell out of me. This other sister and I needed this moment actually, because we needed to realize that beyond loving each other like good sisters do...we really did like each other. As in we thought the other was cool and fun to hang around with. And we spent inordinate amounts of time on the phone -- me listening -- and her sharing, etc... She started coming over to hang out, have some drinks...and enjoy being together.

Now, I know what you're wondering. I can hear it now, "Alright, yeah, I get it, you got close to your one sister. But what does that have to do with your youngest sister moving to Australia with her cool husband? I don't get it. Come on, K.M. keep it together here. You've lost me."

Relax. I'm gonna tell you now.

See, Christina and Iain were always at our house before they moved to Australia. If you didn't click on dining room up there then you don't have a proper picture of the fun we used to have. It's worth the read.

So, she moves away and guess who I end up spending a ton more time with? Oh, you're good. Yep, my other sister. You follow me now? Can you feel the HOPE?

2. When, after watching the brilliantly written JUNO, I understood that I am a good writer too. And that I am worth the time it takes to write. HOPE was severely undernourished at that moment, and JUNO was a big steaming plate of, "Keep Writing."

1. On December 10, 2009, from an agent I queried on December 9, 2009: Dear Kate, This sounds great; we’d love to take a look. Please email me the manuscript as one Word doc attachment and we’ll be in touch soon. (aka H. O. P. E.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gotta Say it Again

I honestly can't say enough "good" about, From the Query to the Call by Elana Johnson...aka the Query Ninja. Why the second post of kudos? Well, I went back and Query Ninja'd my first query for THE END OF NORMAL (my first-ever novel). Wow did my query miss the mark on so many levels.

I was over at Literary Rambles and saw that Susan Hawk just joined Jenny Bent Agency, and she's looking for MG science fiction. And that's what THE END OF NORMAL is!!!!

I just hit send on my Query-Ninja-revised query to Ms. Hawk. You never know...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Thankful Post

This will be brief.

I am really thankful for encouragement, kind words, pushes, good thoughts, nice comments, and people still believing in me and my dream. If you've ever provided any of those things, well, then, I'm thankful for you. Cool huh?

Thank you for helping me keep keepin' on. I will achieve in 2010. I will.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great E-book

I finished reading Elana Johnson's From the Query to the Call. An e-book that is beyond helpful if you are crafting your query letter or if your letter is in need of a serious revision (like I was).

She breaks down the query letter into critical parts, shows you real life query examples and explains the how and why of querying.

Great book. Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Old Soul

If you didn't read yesterday's post, I think you may need to or this will mean nothing.

Got a partial request today for the first 50 pages of EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST and I had to get myself to Staples. Gathered the kids and my flashdrive and took care of business. Ended up going to dinner with my boys. Amidst the warm bread and butter I ran my cross-roads-scenario by them for their opinions.

Lil' son says, "Mom, you can NOT quit writing! You love to write. Just make time, you can do that."


Big son says, "Mom, I saw this on a t-shirt recently and I think it fits here, You never know how far you have to go when you're chasing a dream. Think about it, Mom. If you stop writing, your dream will never come true."

I'm pretty sure my salad dressing dribbled down my chin. This kid is only twelve, but he's one old soul.

I ain't quitting. Won't do it. No matter if new business takes off or not. Writing make me happy and I like happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If You Were Wondering...

I've sort of fallen off the face of the earth lately from this blog and all subsequent reading of my blog-friends' blogs. Sorry 'bout that. I'm sort of at a weird cross roads in my life. I'm in a strange, confused place. And I am not a confused person. I usually know what I want to do and then I do everything in my power to not only do it, but do it to the best of my ability. But I'm a wee bit lost at the moment.

See, I started up that new job. The one where I'm an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to be highly effective in their instructional practice. It's intellectually stimulating and professionally exciting on many, many levels. The teachers at the middle school where I'm currently coaching are beyond receptive to what I've been saying. I really like the job. That's not what I'm confused about.

Well, let me keep going with the story. This new job has spurred my former teaching colleague and instructional coaching colleague, Margie (I've included her in a few of my posts) and I to start writing an educational book. We meet on Sundays and write. It is pretty cool. We also started planning out professional development presentations that we could do for schools...that coincides with this educational book we're currently writing. That spurred me to start a new blog and new Twitter account and new Ning account...sort of a new business.

I read this book called Now is the Time to Crush It! Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. The dude's a social networking wizard and has mastered how to spread the word on just about anything. Hence my new blogs and new Twitter account.

I'm finally getting to my inner battle. All of this "new business" stuff is steering me away from my writing and this blog and querying. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not. I seriously feel verklempt every time I sit down at my laptop. For the first time since I wrote my virgin novel two summer ago I feel lost. Off point. Lost the path. I continue to read of other writers landing agents. I continue to read of other writers selling their first novels. I continue to wonder (and I do mean think very deeply about) if it will ever happen to me.
*I'm not looking for any sympathy here, I swear. I'm just saying how I feel lately.

So, I stopped querying. I stopped NaNo'ing. I stopped torturing myself with other writer's good news. I stopped blogging (this blog). I stopped reading others' blogs & commenting. I stopped anything writer'y. I just stopped it all.

And it felt awful. It felt wrong. It still feels wrong and awful.

See? I don't know what to do. I can't do it all. I can't work full time, write an educational book, start a new business, continue writing my YA novel, query, revise, blog, read others' blogs, etc... My head is going to explode, and see, I need my head to do stuff.

I thought this post would clear my head. Not so much. I need an espresso martini and a hot bath.

Oh, and if you're interested, or happen to know ANYONE connected with education in any way. I'd be all sorts of grateful if you passed along my new blog:

or my new Twitter feed:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NaNo Write-Off

I had a slow start to my very first NaNo, so I decided to challenge fellow blogger, Mercedes, to a friendly NaNo Write-Off this weekend.

The Challenge was simple. Whoever wrote the most words by 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday would be declared the winner. Loser will have to post of the winner's wonderful'ness either in written or song form.

At the start I was at 996 words. Now, at challenge end, I'm at 4,587 words.

We'll see who will be singing...

p.s. I'm liking this new book - it's another realistic YA. I really like the MC and her best friend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Write if I Want To

So me and the super funny Carrie Harris share a birthday... Sunday. This year I decided to simplify and ask for nothing except time to write. That and handmade cards from my two boys and husband telling me why they love me so much. I ask for little.

My husband is granting my birthday wish and giving me all of Sunday to write. My NaNo number will finally squeak up and out from the abyss.

Birthday wishes are a funny thing. Not snort chocolate milk out of your nose funny, but funny nonetheless. Why funny, you ask? Well, you see, I can't recall a single birthday wish that's ever come true for me. Wait, are they violins I hear?

Behold the ghosts of Kate's past birthday wishes...

Concerning my very first boyfriend in 8th grade: "I wish he would just kiss me like three seconds longer. Just three."

Concerning my abhorrent loathing of exercise: "I wish, I wish, I wish I would wake up and have a burning desire to exercise."

Concerning query hell: "I wish an agent would call, breathless and teary-eyed, because they love my book."

Now, I'm not complaining here, I promise. What kind of birthday post would that be? Whiny, that's what kind.

Alright, back to my pile unfulfilled birthday wishes. I'm thinking I'm due for one of my flippin' wishes to pan out. I'm picturing the Birthday-Wish-Fairy all bogged down with my wishes, pissed off that she's gotta schlep them around in her wish bag, cursing me and my unrelenting wishes and wishing I would just STOP WISHING ALREADY.

Ahhh, she thinks she so intimidating with her sparkly wings and pointy ears. But she forgets, you can't keep a good Scorpio down. Oh no. We're the perpetual dreamers in the zodiac. Unlike blind wishing, you know like wishing you'd hit the lottery, my wish of publication is one I've spent countless (let me repeat that...countless) hours/days researching, revising, scouring, blogging, querying, blah-blah-blah'ing about -- like so many of you out there! So when that wish comes true it's going to feel more satisfying than chocolate on a bad day.

Anyone want to share something you fought for and achieved?

P.S. Last February I thought deeply about getting older. Yeah right.
P.S.S. Lisa & Laura are holding a contest and the prize is a Kindle. Sweet. Check it out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNo Day 1.5

I'm at 559 words, but I've got some reeeeeaaallllly good excuses. I swear. Yesterday, the first day of NaNo I met a whole group of teachers that I used to teach with for breakfast. We laughed and laughed and relished all being together. And that took me all the way till 1:45. Then my oldest son decided to whittle, that's right I said whittle, and the knife decided to slice his finger wide open. Husband rushed him to hospital and after 4.5 hours he ended up with five stitches.

So I've socialized and dramatized my way through the day so far. No writing yet.

At 2:30 I had to go to my cousins Cash for Gold party. I didn't have any gold to bring, but I had a piece of warm chocolate chip banana bread that was the bomb. Made it home in just enough time to relieve husband so he could go to the World Series game and watch our beloved Phillies lose.

No writing yet.

Kids fed and bandages changed. Ahhh. It was 7:00 p.m. I hour before the game starts.

That's where the 559 words came from. That measly little hour. I better get my act together.

Friday, October 30, 2009

2010 SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC

Uh-huh, I'm going. And I registered for the writer's intensive the Friday before, much to the chagrin of my wallet.

My husband may even accompany me this time and sight see during the day.

Anybody out there going? Come on. It's fun. And you're in NYC.

p.s. I can not wait till November 1st and NaNo. This new book is scratching to be released.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another New Job & Another New Book via NaNoWriMo

I haven't blogged about my old new job for a number of reasons. I guess the biggest reason is because I quit two days after I fell. The fall had nothing to do with it. I'll be cordial and say it wasn't working out for me.

Don't shed any tears for me because I got another new job the very same day I quit. I start tomorrow. I'm a wee bit nervous to begin on crutches, but I don't have a choice. Shoot me some good vibes tomorrow would ya?

As you can see from my public declaration to your right, I'm doing NaNo this year. I spent yesterday perusing my idea file and I didn't like any of my ideas. So I broadened my perusing to include other writing files, and I came to a brief piece I wrote the year after my dad died, called Secret Lesson. It was me justifying why I save life's memorabilia and why the relationship with my dad, when he was alive, was empty. I go pretty deep in six pages flat.

I re-read it.

Whammo. The recipe emerged.

I've spent today cooking up the characters and plot in my head. As in all day. I can't stop thinking about it.

I can't wait for November 1st!

Anyone else out there doing NaNo?

Even if you've never heard of it - check it out - that's for all of you non-commenter followers. You know who you are. If you've ever had the dream of writing a novel, well, NaNo just may be the thing you need to go ahead and, DO IT.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Makes a Great Story?

Since Time and I have been so cozy lately, I'm able to intelligently wrestle with life's big questions.

Who invented fat cells?

What is the attraction of eating one's boogers? I'll never understand it.

Why do young people from California elongate the end of their words and up-talk? Like thissssss? Like whyyyyyy? What-everrrrrrrrr.

Why does wearing Chaptsick only create the overwhelming need to re-apply more Chapstick?

Why do LOST fans have to endure such a painful wait until its premier? Why, god of TV, why?

And then, yesterday, I received an email from my brother-in-law's sister, which effectively stopped all of my cavernous thinking. Hey Alison!

It's a funny little video. Watch and then come back to me...


You know how us blogger/writer types process.

I immediately thought to myself, "Hey, self. How's it going today with your fine self?"

Then, I thought,"Self, you know what? That video would be a great post on your blog!"

Myself said to...myself, "Damn, that's a good idea."

What makes a great story? What makes a grrrrrrrrreat story? Obvious answer, duh, the writing. It all goes back to the writing. Which points a big ol' finger at the writer. The writer makes a great story.

I'm of the ilk that great stories possess great characters, great events and great chapter endings.

I know what I know, but I'd also like to know what you know. And, share...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Bit of Inspiration ~ Thanks Diablo Cody

Like any good woman, I'm an emotional being. I have days where I know I'm smart or funny or going to land an agent. My cells know it. You know?

And then I have days like yesterday. Doubt, ick, boo-stinkin'-hoo, and it's never gonna happen thinking. My cells then sabotage me and torture each thought I have. You know?

I guess it's the ol' ying & yang thing. The good angel and the devil on my shoulders. The good vs. evil plot line.

I love, when in those low moments, Inspiration crawls under the blanket with me, snuggles up and whispers in my ear, "See this, Kate? Watch it. It's good, right? Well, she started out unknown. Come on now, cut the crap, you can do this too. You can. I promise. This movie is freakin' brilliant isn't it? Okay, I'll stop whispering now."

What movie you ask? Only a brilliantly written movie would be able to inspire me on a doubt-filled day. Only a movie with a wicked sense of humor could fit the bill. Only a tear-inducing movie would cut the mustard.

Behold the movie that inspired me yesterday. As a writer. I love it. I felt like I could land an agent after the credits rolled. Why? Because I am a good writer too. I just have to find one agent that agrees with me.

Just one.


Friday, October 16, 2009


We all have them. Firsts are just a part of life. Even plants have firsts. The first time they sprouted. The first time they felt sun. The first time they were pruned.

If you follow my blog you know I have some time on my hands, and time = thinking. I started to think about some of my firsts. The obvious ones pushed to the front of the line and occupied some of my thinking. First kiss with a red headed boy in my driveway in 8th grade. First public vomit in Sister Katherine's 5th grade (first and last, thank god. It was Campbell's Chunky Sirloin Soup. All over my math test. Yah, ick.) First car accident in my baby blue Pontiac T-1000 hatchback and it wasn't my fault. All the people in McDonald's told me so.

Some more sentimental and sweet moments crept in line. First time I laid eyes on my husband. He sheepishly walked past my dorm room and my cousin/roommate shouted, "Hey! Who are you? Get in here!" He did. I liked him immediately. And I told all of my friends not to like him, because I was going to make him my boyfriend. They all obeyed. Turned out he liked me back. We've been together 22.5 years and counting.

First time I held each of my boys. If you're a parent you know the magical moment that is. Perfection and happiness and holy-crap-I'm-in-charge-of-this-creature'ness and the purest love on the planet. Two freakishly fabulous firsts.

First time I sent a query letter out. I'll take you back in time. Waaaayyyyy back. I ditched my home state of PA, packed up and went on an adventure. I lived in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Year, 1994. I wrote my very first children's book called Theodora's Dream. Apparently I had my own personal renaissance down there because I wrote two more books, started painting, making crafts and flower arranging. If only they were real flowers. Ahhh, the 90's and the height of the silk flower's popularity.

I'm in a sharing mood today, lucky you. So, here are two golden nuggets for your entertainment. My very first query written by a 25 year old me. I didn't know anything about anything back then.

And of course, my very first rejection. But, let me brag a bit. I got a request, from the VP of Harper Collins. And yeah, I know, I got a rejection from that same VP.

Aww, heck, my letter is funny, request or not. Enjoy.

And, it's a no...

I'd love to hear about your favorite first. Share away in your comments...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On The Bright Side

I've cooled down since my hissy fit over the weekend. What can I say, I'm saucy. I am going to look at my critique papers today and see if I feel any differently, we'll see. I'm a Scorpio, and that means I am one stubborn chick if I feel strongly about something. My passion has always done me justice and I'm not saying I'm unconvinceable, it's just that I trust my gut a lot and it takes a lot more than an opinion to sway me. No matter who you are.

I believe in myself on one hand. And then I have this other part of me that whispers things like, "You can't do that. You can't write another book. You can't sing in front of people. You can't..." It's quite an annoying part of me. It tends to get me when I think I can do something new, something different and exciting. Each tiny thought nibbles away at my Scorpion bravado, reducing it to a pile of mouse crumbs.

A funny thing usually happens though. That other hand, the one that believes in me, the one that stays clenched tight not allowing the doubting rat to gnaw its way inside, well, that hand opens wide. It flicks the rat away, scoops up the pile of doubt, tucks my hair behind my ear and gets me going.

I'm not alone in this phenomenon. I know other people out there feel doubt or fear. Let's all make a pact right here, right now, to trap the rat, silence the doubt, and do what we KNOW we are capable of doing. No matter what it is.

Now, I caught up on my music this morning over coffee. I heard this little ditty today. When you watch the video, put yourself in there, insert your dream, your goal, your hope into the lyrics. It'll make you feel good.

Now get to tackling, people. Go on...

On The Bright Side

By: Never Shout Never

I met a man of two feet tall
This man was quite ambitious
In a world that is so vicious to us all
I said, \"Hi,\" as he replied
He said, \"Listen to these words
That I have lived by my whole life

\"You're only as tall as your heart will let you be
And you're only as small as the world will make you seem
When the going gets rough and you feel like you may fall
Just look on the bright side - you're roughly six feet tall\"

I met a man of 12 feet tall
He towered like a giant
In a world that was defiant of his height
I said, \"Hi,\" as he replied
He said, \"Listen to these words
That I have dreaded my whole life

\"You're only as tall as your heart will let you be
And you're only as small as the world will make you seem
When the going gets rough and you feel like you may fall
Just look on the bright side - you're roughly six feet tall.\"

I am a man of six feet tall
Just looking for some answers
In a world that answers none of them at all
I'll say, \"Hi,\" but not reply
To the letters that you write
Because I found some peace of mind

Cause I'm only as tall as my heart will let me be
And I'm only as small as the world will make me seem
When the going gets rough and I feel like I may fall
I'll look on the bright side - I'm roughly six feet tall

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SCBWI's Fall Philly Conference

I never hated this injury more than I did today. I struggled to find comfort in my banquet chair. Comfort never came for a few reasons.

Had a manuscript review first thing. I silently and respectfully disagreed with most of what the reviewer said. I won't bore you with the nitty gritty. I crutched back to my table to catch the opening speaker, illustrator/picture book author, Lee Harper and his editor. It was -- oh, I was having trouble concentrating on his lovely family of dogs in a snowstorm illustrations, because my ankle was throbbing and so was my ego.

Next came the author of Dairy Queen, Catherine Gilbert Murdock. She was honest and funny; I paid attention, sort of. One thing I learned from her talk is that it helps to be sisters with the chick who wrote Eat, Pray, Love because it can get you a BIG agent and a BIG deal.

I sense bitterness in my typing. I choose to blame it on my injury.

Now, her book is great. Her book is really great. But, the crazy thing is, I think my books are really great too. I sense frustration bubbling up. Must. Squash. Down.

Moving on.

I crutched my way out to the lobby, bought a few Bailey Kids books for my third grader, and listened to Debbie Dadey share her journey towards publication. Fascinating. Great. So happy for her. (I really am)

Then I called my husband and said, "I'm done here. Please come get me."

He did.

I left.

I came home and made a new book trailer for my new book, EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST.

In your stupid face, Frustration and Bitterness!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Zoom Zoom

Hey everyone, how's it going out there? Good. Good. Glad to hear it.

Me? Oh, well, you know, the regular stuff. Yeah, just the regular. Today? Well, let's see, today I went to Target with my super-cool-super-fantabulous mother-in-law (and I'm serious here, she rules). And I rode around Target in one of those electric cart thingies.

Zoom Zoom. Uh-huh, yep, yes I did. I got looks from just about every human being in the store. I found out that some of the aisles in Target are definitely not big enough for the electric cart. Yeah, I crashed a few times.

Funniest thing, when I put the cart into reverse, it beeped like I was a trash truck backing up.




We laughed so hard that I snorted. I kept putting it in reverse just so I could hear the beeping noise.

I mastered that baby in five minutes flat, and I whipped around Target like I was a professional 97 year old.

Speaking of whipping around, tomorrow is the Fall Philly SCBWI Conference and I've been signed up since summer. I'm gonna have to crutch-it, and I am not looking forward to that aspect of the day. My upper body is already killing me from carting myself around.

Click here to read about how much I love exercise...not.

Anyway, I'm also signed up for a manuscript review/critique. I am actually looking forward to that part of the day.

Wish me luck. I'll post details and any interesting information I gather, soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009


It ain't easy being an aspiring writer. Can I get an, "Amen!' from my colleagues? If you were in the room with me, I'd high-five you. But, you'll have to settle for a virtual high-five...

It takes guts to write the book, ask people to read the book, hear critiques about beloved book, revise the book - like a zillion times, edit the book, research agents to query the book, write query letter (aka beloved book effectively shrunk down into two or three teeny tiny paragraphs), put query letter out there, hear critiques about query letter, revise query letter - like a zillion times, finally get enough courage to send query letter out to researched agents, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, each chocolate, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, cry, wait, wait, wait, talk incessantly about getting published, wait, wait, wait, wait, check email as if you suffer from worst case of OCD, wait, wait, wait, wait, send a few more queries out because you're tired of waiting, get some requests, dance/jump/scream/dream, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, get some rejections, cry/doubt self/re-read book and convince self it's complete crap, wait, wait,wait, wait, wait, continue checking email - considering talking to psychologist for this obsession, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, read fellow writers' blogs - everyone is getting signed - selling books - you cry, wait, wait, wait, write another book, start whole process over again.

My guts hurt just reading that. I know a lot of you feel the same.

Well, you know I like to laugh. And I have a pretty cool story to share, a courageous story. See, my sister Nikole has a dear friend named, Jennifer. Jennifer had found a great guy, fell in love, got engaged and then some little tid-bits of info made that all go away. For one, he was still married, as in still living with his family. Two, he was a compulsive liar.

What did Jennifer do? Did she shrink into the black hole of despair? Hell no. She took a comedy class and just debuted at a Philly comedy club on Friday night. To me, that's courage at it's finest. Go get 'em Jennifer. p.s. if the video below doesn't cooperate, click on this post's title and it'll take you directly to the youtube posting. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

...With All of My Free Time

I've been able to unwrap the sprains on my right leg and put pressure on my leg, fairly pain-free pressure I might add. My left ankle is still mangled. But, I'm choosing to look at it through optimistic eyes and I say, "At least half of me is partially healed."

I officially had had enough of my bedroom, so I decided to try and make it downstairs. The way my staircase is laid out is actually very conducive to a 41 year old woman trying to navigate down with an aircast on her left ankle. Weird. I hobble-jumped down to the bottom. My boys cheered when I made it down and my husband was waiting walker. True love.

With all of my free time, I've been furiously revising the query for my latest YA. Fellow writers helped critique it on Absolute Write, and I'm still in the queue on Evil Editor. I'm on draft 5 right now.

Aren't query letters so hard to nail? I mean, writing the dang book was nothing compared to shrinking it down, effectively, into one interesting, captivating, request-producing, page. I never liked summarizing when I was little, and I guess I still don't. I always think I've written a killer query letter and then when the feedback rolls in it tells me different.

Plug away I will.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Ugliness Collides with Ugliness


Did you hear that? It was me falling on my front lawn two afternoons ago. I fell hard, and I'm not a slight woman. Story goes something like this...

An enormous tree collapsed on my front lawn. It looks as if an alien ray was shot down from above and the whole tree splayed outwards. Sort of like a a giant thumb squashed it down from above. Bizarro to see. So, I'm walking up there with my eight year old son to see the crazy site, checking it out, oooohing and aaahhhing and calculating how much it is going to cost my husband and I to have the sucker removed. I'm walking back towards my house when my left foot enters some sort of concealed animal hole.

And down I go. My right leg twists at a disturbing/non-human angle and I land in a heap. Instant, white-hot pain rips through my left ankle and right knee. I scream and I scream loud. My son is instructed through the tears and panting to go get his older brother. He dashes off. I immediately try to get my bearings. I know there is no way I will make it back up to my house - it is about 1,500 feet away from where I am. I decide to start crawling across my front lawn. Yeah, crawling.

Down come the two sons, running like their lives depended on it and I lean hard on my 127 pound, 5 foot 3 inch, twelve year old son (he's a big guy - thank god) and I somehow make it up the twenty front steps to my house. I seriously do not know how I made it up there.

I will equal the pain with labor; it was that intense and unforgiving. My husband works an hour away. My mother couldn't leave work. I had to call an ambulance.

Picture this.

Two male paramedics (they really looked like they were small/skinny high school juniors) and one small female paramedic have to get ALL of me back down those twenty steps and onto the awaiting stretcher. I closed my eyes and said about ten Hail Mary's on the journey back down. I made it onto the stretcher and off we went to the hospital; it was the first time all three of us were ever in an ambulance. One kid in the front seat and one kid in the back with me - what an adventure - what a memory.

After a six hour stint in the ER I made it back home. No brakes. One severely sprained left ankle. One sprained right ankle. One sprained right knee.

And a walker.
Yep, you read right, a walker. Check it out.


Friday, September 25, 2009

My 100th Post. Can't Believe It. My Fav's...

I can't believe I haven't blogged since September 10th. Life has been IN. SANE. My new job is a slew more demanding than I anticipated, but I am really liking many parts of it, especially the coaching part.

I also can't believe this is my 100th post. Wow. And then, I can't believe I'm still slogging away trying to land an agent. Wow. It seems nearly every blog I visit lately has links to friends who just landed this agent or that agent. Wow. I don't know. Each one I read is like a fist to the gut.

Boo hoo for me, right? That doesn't sound like a 100th post sort of celebration, now does it??

Anyway, I thought about having some fancy contest to celebrate my 100th post. Nah. Don't have the energy.

I thought about having some fancy giveaway. Nah. Couldn't think of anything cool to give away.

I thought about trying to find someone to interview. Nah. Don't know anyone famous. Yet.

So, I thought and I thought and then I thought some more. I came up with a celebration of sorts. Celebrating this blog and all of its previous 99 posts. I've listed my top five posts of all time in order. Some are happy, some sad, some emotional, some funny.

1. I did it...I wrote a novel
My favorite because it was my first post, about my first novel and my healing from a crap time. Plus, it is me full of hope, tons and tons of hope.

2. Life's Messages. Be Ready, I'm Going Deep Here
My second favorite because I'm all philosophical.

3. Welcome to the Funny...Laughter Anyone?
Third fav simply because I'm wearing the infamous Christmas Sweater and a Napoleon Dynomite wig in one photo. Go on, check it out. It's real funny.

4. Communication is the KEY to Life, I swear
Numero four-o because I really believe this statement, like infinity%.

5. Blen + Ding = Blending
Fifth and final fav because of the video. Gets me every time.

To anyone who reads this blog, I say thank you. A big, big thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Remember My Contest? Here Are Photos of the Prizes!

Remember my first contest? Ah the newness, the virgin contest, the freshness, the first born'ness, the...oh, you remember.

But, If you don't you can click HERE for the info and HERE for the winners, so you feel like you're in the know?

Well, my sister, Christina, the one who lives in Australia and just had her first (and completely perfect) first baby, Scarlett Jane, emailed me the photos of the incredible, custom made prizes she created.

She is a wonder, and a gifted/talented wonder at that. If you haven't done so, check out her site - her stuff is crazy-good. Uniquely Noted.

Here is the front & back of BPV's FIRST PRIZE, 25 custom made business cards. I know, WOW.

I smudged out his phone number and email as a courtesy.

If you haven't ever been to his blog, why, go on. Good, witty read.

And here are some photos of the runner-up prizes. She custom made Thank You note cards for all of the runners up - and I didn't even ask her to. Thanks Chrissy - U Rock.
Sara J. Henry
Lisa & Laura
How wildly amazing are these?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Alchemist is a MUST READ for any Aspiring Writer or Human Being Who Longs...Dreams...Wishes

I have been meaning to blog about this since the end of June but summer seems to have gotten in the way.

My good friend, Margie, told me The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is her all time favorite book. I had tried to get through one of his other books called The Witch of Portobello, but I couldn't it. And I seriously tried, for like over a year. I guess you could say I'm not a quitter, because I went back to that dang book 20+ times, trudging through, always ending up putting it back down, because I didn't like it. At all.

But no so with The Alchemist. Oh no.

This book is magical - and I don't say that lightly or flippantly. I'm completely serious. It's a fable about a shepard boy named Santiago who ends up on a whirl wind journey in a long a time. It is a simple story, an endearing simple story that continues to haunt my thoughts in my moments of quiet.

Now, for all you Naysayers and Whatever'ers and Oh-please'ers I say, read it and then go about your naysaying lives. But read it.

For all you fellow writers reaching for the elusive agent/publishing stars this book will uplift you, make you realize your dreams will come true - only if you work your tail off and NEVER, EVER, NEVER-EVER give up the dream.

One of the people Santiago encounters is an old man who calls himself The King of Salem. He tells Santiago of his Personal Legend and he goes on to say:

"It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth."

I actually put a box around this line in my book and then highlighted it and then put stars around it. It speaks to me, deeply. If you are a follower of this blog then you know what I agent, a book deal, and to see my book on a real bookshelf, and live the rest of my life as a real author. Lofty, I know, but, I figure if other writers can make that happen, well then, so can I. I'm bold in my thinking, always have been.

The other part of the book that completely fascinated me was something else The King of Salem described to Santiago. He described 'Beginner's Luck"

"It's called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner's Luck. There is a force that wants you to realize your Personal Legend; it whets your appetite with a taste of success."

Jump with me to this past June, when I read The Alchemist and I got to that quote on page 29. Chills, yelps, punches to husband's shoulder and shouting, "LISTEN TO THIS!!!!" Yes, my husband thinks I'm dramatic; what can I say? He loves me anyway.

The universe was enticing me into wanting this writing thing to work out. Sneaky universe.

Go back and think about your own quest, whatever it may be. What is that you've always wanted? How has the universe enticed you? Made you think it was going happen...quickly?

Finally, my last most favorite quote is also a perfect way to end this post. Santiago finally encounters The Alchemist and he tells him about the one thing that can prevent a person from living out their Personal Legend...can make a dream impossible to achieve...


Kick fear to the curb dear readers, to the curb.

*each time you see The Alchemist highlighted it'll take you to a different/cool site about it :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Run This Town

I have a few things to blog about - forgive me if this post feels scattered.

First, I'd like to share a few of my favorite songs of the moment, complete with links to the videos. I will list them in order of love:

1. Run This Town: Rhianna, Jay-Z & Kanye
I can not get enough of this song and I like to play it (and sing it) at full, ear-bleeding the car. It's just so good. And the video, well, unbelievably cool. Jay-Z couldn't get any more cool. I don't know what it is about this song that makes me feel powerful. Maybe it's the lyrics. Or the video. All I do know is, I love it.

2. All the Above: Manio & T-Pain
Now, I am not a T-Pain fan per say, but I really like the lyrics to this song...sort of inspiring...and funky, all the same time. I like that. I also like the hook and it gets embedded in my brain for hours. Beware.

3. Language: Regular John
My brother in law, from Australia, turned me on to these dudes - they're Australian too. We've been playing them a lot 'round here. They rock, and they are fun to blast loud.

Second, I finally started my new job and let's just say, LOVE IT. I had to do a two day workshop, with 36 4th and 5th grade teachers...alone, just me and them. Needless to say, I was beyond nervous. But, I work with the 10 most supportive and brilliant women around and they lifted me up, told me I could do, and I did. Once I got up there and started talking, and making them laugh, all was well - really well. All 36 of them clapped for me at the end of the first day (unsolicited of course) and then, the best part, at the end of my second day, I got a standing ovation and cheers like I was Elvis reincarnated. I nearly cried.

Happy. Love new job. Happy.

Third, I sent my first query for my new book. I sent it to an agent that still has the first 50 of my first book. We actually exchanged some fairly personable emails this past spring - so I'm trying to entice said agent. We'll see. I actually just got a partial request for my first book today, which took me by surprise. Again, we'll see.

I will never give up.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I. Am. Done. until revisions, that is...

Back on August 19th, five days ago to be exact, I made a bold public pledge over on Literary Rambles. I pledged to write 15,000 words by next Tuesday, the 25th.

Good news friends; here are my stats...

Day 1 - 3,002 words written
Day 2 - 4, 131 words written
Day 3 - 4, 506 words written
Day 4 (yesterday) - 4, 976 words written

Let me do the math for you. That's 16, 615 total words in...FOUR DAYS... can I get a "What-What?"

And the best news of all is that I finished my latest YA book. Finished draft one!! I love this book so much, and I can't stop thinking about it and my characters. I may have a problem. No I don't, I'm just kidding. But, I seriously adore this book. Maybe even more than my first and second books from my sci-fi trilogy. That's big news, for me anyway.

I can't wait to get some feedback and get knee-deep into revision. I love revising. Then, comes the querying of agents, and I am actually excited about it.

One step at a time. One step at a time...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Me & Coldplay Are Best Friends Now

I know it's been a good day writing because my butt hurts from sitting so much. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm not kidding either, I have been in this chair for the past four days nearly non-stop. I am smack in the middle of writing the big ending climax and...yeah, I'm blogging. Go figure.

To say I love this book would not be strong enough. To say I love my two MC's would not be enough either. But, well, I guess love is the highest right? How about I LOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE them? Better.

Let me tell you a little bit about it. I know you didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. It's called, Everything's Not Lost. For any of you long-time readers, you know how much I heart Coldplay and this is the theme song for the book. I have wild dreams of that song ending the movie version of this book and meeting the band, having a cappuccino with Gweneth - we'd laugh at how crazy-popular the book and movie are, and then Chris Martin would tell me he cried when he read the book, and I'd swoon and tell him I cry every time I hear him sing Trouble because it makes me think of my sister in Australia and he'd tell me he loves Australia, then Gwen (I can call her that now because we're tight) would invite me and my family over to England for the movie premier over there, like, to stay in their mansion, I'd tell her we'd love to and then...

What can I say? I'm a writer; I have an overactive imagination. a total casual sort of way. Don't worry, I'll clean it all up for my query, when I'm ready.

Everything's Not Lost

It has two 16 year old boy MC's and the book alternates back and forth between their voices. Its written in first person, which is a new thing for me, and I like it. A lot. I really got into their heads.

The one boy, Victor, is a tortured dweeb of a kid who has the most self-absorbed parents alive. They ride him about everything. Like when he only gets a perfect SAT score on the math, they lose their minds and uninvite him from their upcoming European vacation, so he can stay back with a tutor to get his reading and verbal parts up to, you guessed it, perfect. His life sucks.

The other boy, Bull, gets the crap beat out of him by his alcoholic grandfather. His mother had him when she was only 17 and is still just as clueless. He likes to take out his anger on Victor. Always has. He's brutal. And yeah, His life sucks, too.

Insane circumstances throw them together and it gets ugly before it gets better, trust me. But, there's love and hope and tears and light in both boys. They just don't know who they are...yet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Online Crit Group?

Before I left for Australia I asked if anyone would be interested in starting an online crit group. So...anyone interested?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Carrie Harris Blogoversary Contest

Carrie Harris, one funny person/writer/blogger, is celebrating her Blogoversary by having a contest over on her blog.

If you want to laugh out loud, have the occasional moment of crossing your legs to avoid wetting your pants, call people over to read her hilarious posts, well, then, visit The Wonder That Is My Blog.

Trust me, you'll like it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ten Pictures of Whateva. BPV Told Me To Do It.

So, my blog friend, Big Plain V had Ten-Pictures-of-Whateva over on his blog. He challenged his readers to post ten pictures of whateva from their computer. The rules were that the pictures had to already be on the computer and they could be of anything and you're not allowed to explain the photos. He put up photos that represented his current WIP.

Here are my ten Photos of Whateva. I took every single one of them.

Try and guess where these were taken from?????

Come on, you are so good at guessing...

Oh, and I'm doing 11 Pictures of Whateva, because I couldn't leave this one out...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We leave Australia tomorrow and my heart is very heavy. Tears are ready to escape at any moment. I can't believe I've got to leave my sister, my brother in law and Scarlett, my new niece. I won't see them in person till next summer.

The tears have arrived.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Australia 09

We made it - that is one heck of a flight. We've been having a fantastic time - as you can see from the photo I took on the Sydney ferry, on our way to Sydney.
My new niece, Scarlett, is precious and perfect. Sister, Christina is doing very well too.
**I wrote a bit on the plane and am on page 124 for my new WIP - my sister Nikole printed out the first 120 pages and read it on her LA to Sydney leg...and loved it. She can be a tough critic and she had nothing but good praise. That makes me really excited to keep writing. I can't wait to finish it and see how it all ends.