Thursday, January 27, 2011

Learning to Speak Tweet

I don’t know about you, but when I first started learning to use Twitter, I was dumbfounded by all the acronyms. A small few were obvious. LOL. Laughing out loud. Thnx. Thanks. But that was about where my understanding stopped. Months later, I have a far better grasp of twitter language. Or perhaps its called Twinglish now? Anyway, for all those just learning to Tweet, here’s a fairly comprehensive list of acronyms, both to use and decipher others Tweets.

ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing

LMAO – Laughing my a** off

ROFLMAO – Combo of the above two

BTW- By the way

IMO – In my opinion

IMHO – In my humble/honest opinion

BRB – Be right back

FTW – For the win

FTL – For the loss

FTF – Face to face

YMMV – Your mileage may vary (Or your experience may be different than mine.)

JV – Joint venture

JK – Just kidding

LMK – Let me know

OH –Overheard

VO- Very obviously

YW or YVW – Your welcome/ Your very welcome

TIA – Thanks in advance

WTH – What the hell?

WTF – What the f ***?

IRL – In real life

ASFAIK – As far as I know

B4 – before

BFN – Bye for now

HT – Hat tip

JSYK - Just so you know

Phew! And that’s only the ones I know or could find out about. I’m sure there are more as the language seems to be added to daily. What are your favorite acronyms that you use all the time? Or are there some not on the list that you can add on with? Either way, I hope this helps you navigate Twitter but more than that, helps you to better understand your Tweeps. ; -)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Social Media, Here I come!

Getting onto all the social media sites in preparation for the day that my books are published is like treading some very deep water when I've only just learned how to swim.

But slowly, I'm figuring it out. Facebook, Twitter and Blogger came fairly easily. And now I can be found in Goodreads and LinkedIn as well. But the one I am really learning the most with is Digg. This is supposed to help with traffic to your blog and is also the newest social media to me. I'll let you know how that goes! So wish me luck swimming in the deep end, but more than that, come join me. It's much more fun to drown laughing with a friend than crying by yourself. :)

And if you like, post a comment about the social media tool you've found most effective.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Loving your WIP a little TOO Much

The idea for this post came to me in a flash of inspiration late last night. A good friend has given me a small calendar of daily inspirational quotes and the one for today is -

"He who is not impatient is not in love." Italian proverb.

This is how I feel about my writing. I want so badly for others to be able to pick it up in the bookstore, because I'm in love with the story, that I get impatient. I want to rush through the stages, write the books as fast as possible and allow the masses to have at them.

But while impatience can drive you, it can also screw you up. Let me give you an example. My husband asked me to marry him on our first date. It almost ended the date and our relationship right there. It freaked me out. Was he serious? He was sure I was the one, so he saw no need to wait. I needed a little more time. We worked it out, but it was a little dicey.

It's the same with our writing. In our impatience, we send out queries too early, minus editing, minus revisions, because we love our manuscript, why wouldn't an agent see how great it is?

Love your WIP, but take your time. Don't let your impatience end what could be a beautiful, long lasting relationship cause you pop the "Will you agent me?" question too early. In the end, it will make for a far better manuscript and from there, a far better contract.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review- Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Forget the fairy-tale, hocus-pocus, wave a wand and bling-o, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gives as good as it gets. In modern day Portland Oregon, magic is the newest natural resource everyone can use. The only catch? The price for using magic is pain. Allie is the strong-willed daughter of a wealthy business man who made his fortune patenting technology to make magic available to the masses. But Allie doesn’t want anything to do with the family’s dirty fortune. She instead goes into business as a Hound–tracking illegal spells back to their caster, even though using magic sometimes costs her a second price–the loss of her memories.

When Allie discovers there is a organization of secret magic users in the city who are on the brink of war, and that those people are her powerful father’s enemies, she must fight not only for her life and lives of those she loves, but also for magic itself. Unfortunately for her enemies, Allie isn’t the kind of woman to back down–no matter the price to pay.

Devon Monk writes a lovely, fast paced novel that I very much enjoyed. Her main character, Allie Beckstrom is very quirky and strong yet vulnerable at the same time. I appreciated that none of the usual characters within Urban Fantasy showed up (no vampires or werewolves), it seemed a world very much plausible which made it all the more fun to read. A little more depth would have been great, but overall I would give this a 4 out of 5.

And many thanks to Annassa from whom I received this book in the form of a contest prize.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Writers Indigestion

Do you ever feel like your plate is beyond full? Like going to a smorgasbord and having some rotten friend load your dish with everything they know you love but couldn’t possibly finish in one sitting? Or that if you do eat it all in one sitting, you'll have a major case of indigestion? Something no amount of Tums or Rolaids can cure.

Seeing everything that is at this moment on my plate, it’s all good. There are very few proverbial peas. That doesn’t make it any easier to see the pile that is in front of me, or the fact that I have to tackle it all myself. And if I’m being totally honest, there are days that I feel completely overwhelmed at what I have on my plate. I’m not complaining, but this is a truth I didn’t expect once I got an agent.

I get the feeling that this is common issue for writers. We want to write, we want to be published, known and loved for the passion we put into each novel. Each rewrite of our current manuscript, query or synopsis brings us that much closer to the holy grail of writers.

The Contract.

As if the Contract will make our live better, easier, the words we once stumbled on will now flow like smooth warm chocolate onto the pages of our work in progress. I think that is a fallacy that needs to be debunked.

I still struggle with writing, the dreaded block visits me still from time to time, I panic when I think I haven’t met my personal quota and I wonder if the day will come that a publisher will give me the bigger CONTRACT, despite my belief in my own work. Perhaps this is too much honesty, perhaps all of my fellow writers only want to hear about how great it is to take that step, to have an agent, to be able to say you’re represented. It is great to be able to say that. But I think that would be a statement that would be obvious. What doesn’t get talked about often enough is the hard part of the journey.

I read a blog sometime ago, and I wish I could link to it to more clearly define what it is I’m trying to say. Writers (myself included) can get totally caught up in the next big step, forgetting that there is always going to be another step. Agent, publishing house, debut novel, bestseller list. There will always be something that we reach for and if we don’t appreciate the journey, we end up no longer loving the path we tread, nor appreciating what it is we have. That is my goal, the whole point to this post. I vow to more fully enjoy each step, to remember why I write, the root of my passion and the reasons I put pen to paper.

And I hope you do the same.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blog Award!

This has been an exciting week for me and my blog! First of all, I have broken through the 100 followers mark. Welcome to all my new followers, hope you like to comment, win stuff and laugh a lot ;). If not, well, you won't like me so much.

Now, not only have I hit a milestone when it comes to blog followers, I won my first blog award!!

JJ from Writer's Block NZ has awarded me a Stylish Blogger Award. Good thing she hasn't seen me try to dress myself, the award would be snatched back in a split second.

So, a HUGE THANK YOU, to JJ for this honour, its my first and hopefully not my last :) Now just to figure out how to attach the dang button . . .

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Books that Actually HELP Writers

We, as writers, try to learn not only from the books we read for enjoyment, but also the books that are written to help us breakthrough in the publishing world. There are literally thousands of books out there about writing, publishing and editing. Not to mention the magazines, workshops and conferences. How to write, how to fix your writing, how to edit, copy edit, line edit. How to write a scene, how to outline. How to write a novel in 30 days, 60 says, 90 days, 3 days. The list can go on and on and on. So for that reason, I want to share with you the two books I have actually found helpful for different times in my writing career thus far.

For Inspiration

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within- Barbara DeMarco-Barrett.

This book is for the boys too! I liked it because it was engaging, not dry at all, it had great ideas for getting started, dealing with writers block as well as finding the time to write. There are real life examples from well known authors and best of all, it’s not a huge book. The chapters are small enough that you can read one in a ten-fifteen minute sitting and spread out over a week or two the suggestions are easy to implement.

For Rejections & Editing

Thanks but this isn't for us. A (Sort of) Compassionate guide to why your Writing is being rejected- Jessica Page Morrell

This book is great once you are in the trenches, sending out queries and manuscripts and getting the rejection slips back. But it is also a great book on how to start doing your own editing. There are the common mistakes all writers make at the beginning of their careers and there are the not so common mistakes that can stop you from getting that all important contract. This book is also at times laugh out loud funny, which is surprising considering the subject matter.

There are a number of writing books that I’m looking forward to reading to help me out. Books like, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler , Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer just to name a couple. Reading books on writing is all part of the process of not only being a writer, but being the best writer you can and using the tools and resources that can help you get to that point.

I would love to know, what books have helped you in your writing? Were they serious, funny or only informative? Should I add them to my list of books to read? Did they actually help or just irritate you with repetitive messages?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge 2011

First off, let me define Speculative fiction for any who might not be too sure about the genre.

Actually, let me let Wikipedia do it for you.

Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more highly imaginative fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.

So that pretty much covers it. This challenge is being hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books
and if you want to join in on the challenge, that's where you sign up :) You have to read and review a minimum of 12 books during 2011 and there is the chance to win prizes as you go along. So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New YA Fantasy Reviewer

No this reviewer isn't me. I read YA fantasy and have quite a few books in the genre that I will read over and over. But who cares what I think about the books? I thought it would be much more fun to have someone, who actually fits into the YA category do a review for me.

So here he is. My 9 year old, reads at a grade eleven level, nephew, Nathan. He will read books of his choice and books that I send him (Or any ARC's out there that need a review he will be happy to do so. ;)

His first review will be of THE LOST HERO by RICK RIORDAN. (This is the author of the Lightening Thief which was turned into the movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief)

The books will be rated 1-5 as follows-

1- Stinks as bad as my baby brother's diaper.
2-Better than the diaper, worse than taking care of my sisters.
3-Like watching a grown up movie in order to stay up late. Worth it. Barely.
4-Worth every minute hiding from mom with the flashlight under the covers.
5-The next Harry Potter. Can't wait to see it in a movie.

So if you are wanting an honest review, this boy will give it to you, ready or not. Nathan will be reviewing one book a month, and if you'd like to be on his schedule, you can contact me at and I'll get the books to him.