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Monday, June 28, 2010

Sleep Typing

Have you ever been writing when you're tired, and you fall asleep typing? I have. Most of the time it ends up a jumble of letters, but I've found a couple of doozies that make sense. Sorta. I left in the typos.

In this first one the main character just found dead bodies from a mining accident that happened 100 years ago.

Several died right here itand un usually normal level of bathroom tissue.

Unusually normal level of bathroom tissue? I have no idea. I don't even say "bathroom tissue"; I say "toilet paper".

In this second one the bad guy is in the middle of threatening the good guy and he says:

everyone needs someonnn to cut thema cookie
Now that's the way I want to be threatened.

So how about you? Any crazy things you've written and want to fess up to?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are You a Bird in the Vent?

We've had a bird trying to build a nest in our dryer vent. Quite a capable bird, to lift the outside vent while carrying twigs into dryer hose. A week ago it knocked the hose free and was trapped in our laundry room. I went in there and saw it had flown behind the curtain. It was trying to get out the closed window. It fluttered back and forth, hitting the window then the curtain. It didn't give up.

This event got me thinking about writing. When we start out we struggle to get that first draft down. Often writers find it too hard and give up. If we're like the bird we make it into the hose. Sometimes we go off on different story paths or find dead ends, leaving us trapped in unfamiliar places like the dreaded laundry room. Then there are those of us who have worked hard, built our nest, done our editing and we get stuck at the submission phase. Maybe it's a problem with a query, or synopsis, or endless rejections. We can see the publishing world through the window, but don't quite know how to get there.

Sometimes we need help from someone like a critique group, sometimes we have to try something new, and sometimes we need to find a new window until we find the right agent or publisher.

Good luck on your journey through the dryer hose. (Oh, you might be wondering the fate of the poor bird. My DH opened the window and let it out.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
3 very ripe bananas (abt. 1 1/2 C)
1/2 C water
1/4 C margarine or butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C chocolate chips (mini or regular)

Preheat oven to 375
Mix everything but the chocolate chips for three minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Carrot cake cupcakes: Change the bananas to grated carrots, either use a spice cake mix or add 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (or 1 C cinnamon chips and omit chocolate chips) to the yellow cake mix. The chocolate chips are optional.

These are great with or without cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To write or not to write

For a while last month I toyed with the idea of giving up writing. Even the thought of doing it scared me. I thought about what my life would be without writing and didn't like it.

I took some time off from writing, read 12 books, and took a ton of pictures with my new camera. Now I'm ready to get back to writing.

Why would I consider it?
  • It's hard
  • Time consuming
  • Thankless
  • My work will never be perfect
  • I may never get published
  • Rejection stinks

Why won't I give it up?
  • I love the new worlds and people I meet
  • I love the process
  • I may get published
  • I think about writing even when I'm not
  • There is always something to write
  • The excitement of a new story
  • The joy of a finished story

How about you? What makes you keep writing or do anything that's hard?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Chuck has announced a contest on Guide to Literary Agents. It is for completed book length MG and YA. Here are the rules:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kidlit Writing Contest

If you write MG or YA, is having a contest. Yipee!

If you don't frequent the website you are missing out. Mary Kole is an agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and her site is filled with great advice.

CONTEST LINK: Kidlit Contest

PRIZES: The winners will receive a 1-15 page critique.

HOW TO ENTER: Submit the first 500 words of your YA or MG novel.

Email your entry with the subject "Kidlit contest"

And put a link to the contest page in two places (provide the links in your email so she can verify them)

Get editing and good luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010


This makes a ton of filling. I usually get 4 packages of flour tortillas and cook up all the chimis and put them in freezer zipper bags for quick lunches and dinners. You could also freeze the filling in several zipper bags to make fresh chimis each time.

Chimichanga Filling:

1 lb hamburger or other ground meat
1 can sliced mushrooms (or fresh chopped and sautéed--I use fresh because I think the canned ones stink)
1 can green chilies
1 can refried beans
1 can chili
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped and sautéed
1 package taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and season meat. Add all other ingredients; simmer for 20 minutes.

Place 1/3-1/2 cup filling at the center top of each tortilla. Fold over the sides. Roll from top to bottom. Use a toothpick to keep it from unrolling. Deep fry in oil until golden brown.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It's resolution time again. I find each year I tend to set several dozen grandiose goals, ones I could only attain if I were perfect and didn't have a regular life to live. Instead of setting the same goals I've set every year, I'm going to be realistic by setting goals that don't overwhelm me.

I'm going to share them here. I encourage you to do the same. The first Wednesday of each month we'll evaluate how we're doing and help each other.

  1. Do something nice for someone (outside my family) 2x a month.

  2. Continue to work out with my trainer 3x a week; add 45 min. cardio at least 1x a week.

  3. Write 3x a week and send one query a month.

  4. Practice speaking and reading Thai 2x a month.

That's it. That is my focus. Each one I had to go back and simplify, and had to stop myself from writing the endless list of unattainable goals.

What are your goals for the year, and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wii, Writing, and Mii

For Christmas our family gift was a Wii. I set up my Mii character (you create a player for yourself, choose gender, hair, skin and eye color, and all sorts of other things). Some of the characteristics were like me and some were ones I wish were me. Through this creation I play games and perform various tasks.

Thinking of my character and the make believe world that didn't exist until a week ago, made me think of writing. With the Wii I see that character as me. As a writer I'm a voyeur into others lives. Even though bits of my personality leak into my main characters, it's not me. I talk with my husband about these people and tell him what is happening in their world. Sometimes he says, "You know they're not real, right?" Of course I do, but as I write a story the characters do seem real. They surprise me with things they've gone through or how they deal with their problems.

Now my confession: some ideas for my stories come from real life, but more often then not ideas pop in my head from who knows where. As I write their story I'm hearing it for the first time. Often I don't feel like the creator but rather the scribe.

How do you feel when you write or daydream? Are you in charge or are you more of a bystander?