Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo finish line!!!

Crossed over into 50,000+ word territory Saturday night/very early Sunday morning! The story isn't quite finished yet, but I had a good day yesterday and I'm almost at 54,000 words. I'm really curious to see exactly what I've got when I finish and I can go back and read it straight through, since it's had zero editing. Could be scary.

But it was a lot of fun and a great experience and I FINISHED! Even if the writing is crap, the fact that I did it is still amazing to me because I'm not a fast writer. It truly is an experiment of just focusing on spitting out lots of words that hopefully develop into a story somewhere along the way.

So... would I recommend NaNoWriMo to anyone who was undecided this year? Heck yes! And may I offer one piece of advice as a seasoned veteran? (ha ha) Tell everyone you know that you're doing it. Tell your family, (like they wouldn't notice when they don't see you for a month, right?) tell your friends, blog/Facebook/Twitter about it, brag to checkout person at the grocery store. Because when you hit the wall at 18,000 words, you're a lot less likely to punk out since EVERYONE YOU KNOW keeps asking how it's going. Unless you want to admit crushing defeat to your entire social network, you will finish.

So, there it is. Tune in tomorrow for info on a super cool Christmas giveaway you won't want to miss!

Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo update #2- The Downhill Slide

I crossed the 40,000 word mark last night. (And yes, it's still about pudding.)

I'm having a really good time with this book, although I highly doubt it's going to be anything that anyone will want to publish. Who knows-- maybe once it goes through some major editing, it might be marketable. But maybe that wasn't the point. **Epiphany alert** Maybe this book was meant to help me remember that writing is supposed to be FUN.

Went into the Sandy Barnes & Noble this weekend and actually found Santa Maybe out on a New Fiction table-- I almost had a heart attack! It was a major milestone for me, and I'm sure that there were several customers wondering why I was doing the Snoopy happy dance in the middle of the store. I'm lucky they didn't call security and have me taken down with a tranquilizer gun.

Gearing up for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing like spending two days cooking a meal that will be devoured in thirty minutes or less, right? Seriously, couldn't the NaNoWriMo people have picked a less hectic month? How about February or March?

Also, watch for more info next week on a giveaway that I am co-hosting with the lovely Sarah Eden! We're still working out the specifics, but with the two of us involved, it should be nothing short of spectacular. (Or at least mildly entertaining.) She has a short story included in the new book Stolen Christmas, a collection of stories from the LDS Publisher blog, and I can't wait to get my copy. Hopefully, you'll win one in our contest, but if you just can't wait, go here.

Hopefully, I'll be blogging again between now and the 30th, but with Thanksgiving and the deadline for NaNoWriMo looming, I can't guarantee anything. I might get too caught up making a thousand pies. Okay, six pies, but seriously. It's been scientifically proven that if you're going to make six pies, you might as well make a thousand. Or maybe it was six pies feels like a thousand? I forget. There was some kind of mathematical equation involved. But just to be on the safe side, everyone have a very happy holiday and if you're doing NaNoWriMo and you want to maintain that tentative hold on your sanity, just order your pies this year, okay? :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book review-- "The Ball's in Her Court"

First of all, can I just say how nice Heather Justesen is?

I finally met her (after much emailing) at a booksigning we did at Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago, and she was such a down-to-earth, genuinely sweet person...with a new novel that you romance fans should definitely put on your to-read list.

Here's the blurb:

She's got a great job, a loving group of family and friends and basketball skills like you wouldn't believe, but Denise DeWalt's life is far from perfect, and she's about to come face-to-face with a past she hoped to leave behind forever.

Twenty-six-year-old Denise thinks she's come to terms with her childhood in the foster care system, but when her old nightmares return, Denise realizes that she must deal with her past once and for all if she ever wants to move on to a brighter future with Rich, the only man who can see past her former life. As Denise's search moves her closer and closer to the one person she hoped she'd never have to face again, she begins to realize that her future depends on just one person-- herself.

This emotional and inspirational love story proves that life is full of unexpected twists and turns-- especially when it comes to facing your demons, fighting for love, and finding happiness for the future.

Just so you know, this is not a romance for people who want the course of love to run smoothly. (But if there wasn't a little conflict and heartache getting our main characters together, really, what fun would that be?) Denise has survived what can only be described as a miserable childhood. She has made a life for herself, but it isn't hard to see that she's broken. Enter Rich. :)

I found myself rooting for Denise and Rich, struggling to succeed in what seemed like an impossible relationship. And Rich definitely qualifies for the Hall of Fame in the category of Persistent, Caring Boyfriend-- watching him pursue Denise despite her hangups and reservations gave me hope that there might actually be such a man in existence. My only complaint was the mystery surrounding Denise's roommate, Lily, which was never fully explained. But when I met Heather, she reassured me that all would be revealed in her new book, Rebound, which is due to be released next summer.

So, if you like a little meat to your romance, give this one a try!

If you want to learn more about Heather or watch her book trailer, check out her website:

*I agreed to be on Heather's blog tour, and she kindly provided me with a copy of her book to review, which did not influence my review in any way. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo update (very short and amusing)

I had a blinding realization yesterday while trying to meet my nightly NaNoWriMo quota. But before I let you in on my very humorous secret, let me give you a short overview.

16,335 words so far, which is awesome except I've gone COMPLETELY off the reservation. Don't know how it happened, but I guess that's what I get for writing without an outline. I was seriously considering bagging the whole thing except it's too late to start something new and, despite my better judgment, I can't help being curious about what's going to happen next.

I may, in fact, be writing a book about pudding.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Saturday is a special day :)

Saturday is going to be awesome, almost more fun than any one person has a right to expect out of life. It's a day I've been anticipating for YEARS.

Did I mention that I'm very excited for this signing? Well, I'm excited for every signing, but this one is a little different. This is my first signing at the Sandy Barnes and Noble (10180 S State St.). What is so special about this particular Barnes and Noble, you might ask?

This is not just any Barnes and Noble-- it's MY Barnes and Noble. Every writer/reader has a bookstore that's theirs, and this one is mine. It's the place where I went at least once a week and discovered treasures; new authors and books that would become hugely important in shaping me into the person I am today. It's the store where I went to dream, to find the place where my hypothetical book would be on the shelf one day, and it's also the place I went when I felt discouraged and bitter, just sure that the day would never come when I would hold a book with my name on the cover. In short, it's the place where I grew up and became a writer. No matter where I end up in the world, it will always be MY bookstore.

So I hope you'll stop by if you have a minute. I'm signing with Heather Justesen (The Ball's in Her Court), Linda Chadwick (Second Chances), and Ronda Hinrichsen (Missing) from 2-4 p.m. There will be a drawing for prizes and, just in case you didn't get enough sugar on Halloween, there will also be chocolate. :) Believe me when I say that I will be over the moon to see your happy, smiling faces.

Also, here is another review for Santa Maybe. Love you long time, Alison!

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo... or the Beginning of the End?

So, I decided to do NaNoWriMo at the last minute... on Halloween. When you've eaten your Recommended Yearly Allowance of sugar in one day and you're so buzzed that you really shouldn't make any important decisions or operate heavy machinery. I think that maybe there should be a three-day waiting period when you sign up for it-- you know, like buying a hand gun? I've never done it before. I've never even heard of it before this year, and then suddenly, it's ALL I've heard about nonstop for the last month. In retrospect, I think maybe I ended up doing it because of peer pressure.

(whine) But, Mom, everybody's doing it!

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea, but I can't help wondering if it isn't tempting fate a little. There's nothing like committing to write 50,000 words in the next month to guarantee that every other area of your life is going to suddenly require some major renovations.

But I am excited. Hopeful. Giddy, in fact.

I wrote 3,200 words yesterday, which is more than I've written in the last seven months combined. Granted, there is no plot and I have no idea where it's going, but I'm putting words on a page again, dangit!

So, right now I'm not focused on writing the great American novel. I'm not even writing a mediocre novel. My goal is to finish. To keep putting more and more words on the page every day, even if it is total and utter crap.

Oh, and here are a couple of great reviews for Santa Maybe. Thanks to everybody! :) -