Archive for May, 2013

Another month has ended and so has another blogging year. To thank you all for being such awesome bloggy friends these past 3 years, I held my Blogaversary Giveaway Contest.  And now I get to announce the lucky winners.

Congratulations to these three winners!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 EMILY MOIR, you’ve won a SIGNED copy of Garth Nix’s and Sean William’s Troubletwisters: Book 1
.

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CRYSTAL COLLIER, you’ll be receiving a SIGNED copy of Michael Scott’s The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
.

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And finally, DESNICA KUMAR you’ll be getting a SIGNED copy of Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess (The infernal Devices)
.

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Again, Congratulations to the three of you.  I’ll be emailing you soon to give you instructions on how to claim your awesome prizes.

In other equally exciting news,  bloggy buddy MILO JAMES FOWLER has just released his first novella called IMMATERIAL EVIDENCE with Musa Publishing! (Yay, Milo!)

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A detective with a price on his head. An invisible criminal with nothing to lose…

The vault door never opened. The bank went into lockdown in less than a minute. Yet the security footage was unmistakable: a hundred silver bars had simply vanished.

Ever since the city’s most dangerous crime boss put a price on his head, private investigator Charlie Madison has lived as an exile in Little Tokyo. But now an old friend and police sergeant has lured Madison back into the city to hunt down an invisible criminal—if he can.

As Madison makes his clandestine return, high-profile people start disappearing. And when federal agents swoop onto the scene to take matters into their own hands, they offer Madison a deal he can’t refuse—as long as he agrees to work with them. With Japanese freedom fighters and refurbished killing machines threatening to take the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust, the United World government needs all the help it can get.

Embroiled in an unimaginable mystery, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a case where the evidence is immaterial, and the odds are stacked high against him at every turn.

 

Congrats, Milo!

Head on over to Musa Publishing to purchase a copy of Milo James Fowler’s IMMATERIAL EVIDENCE.

 

 

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Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Arlee Bird

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Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Arlee Bird, creator of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge and author of that fun blog Tossing It Out.

Welcome  Arlee   !

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

Arlee_promo

Blogging Guru Arlee Bird

I was born Robert Lee Jackson in Cleveland, Ohio.   After a number of moves when I was growing up, I ended up in East Tennessee for high school.  That’s where I’m homesick for in some ways, but I happily reside for now in the Los Angeles area.  I retired in 2009 after eighteen years managing a wholesale costume business.   Currently I blog like a madman, but hope to be published before too many more years.   When I do sit down to write something other than blog posts, I like to focus on adult fiction and memoir.   When I’m not writing I enjoy watching movies and reading.  Having spent many years as a professional juggler, I’m still interested in juggling and show business.   I also can play violin and have a fair aptitude for music.

 I_dropped_the_clubs modifiedMe at about age 1 or 2 frustrated with juggling.

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I write almost exclusively in my home office.  After my daughters moved out, that left empty bedrooms for my wife to set up as our individual offices.  Ah, the luxury!

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

The desk I use is one of those modern wrap-around affairs that I bought at Staples when my youngest daughter still lived at home.  She was into a sort of goth décor at the time and picked out a black desk.  I like it.   After I took over the office I set up one portion entirely for the computer and associated components.  On the other side I keep a CD player/radio and stacks of CD’s.  There are usually books and papers stacked up there as well.

My writing space

Arlee’s workspace

 

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

The main thing that I need on my desk is my computer and I’ve got to have my music for when I feel like listening to something.   I also always keep a thesaurus, a dictionary, and a Bible in front of me in case I need to look up something.

 

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

I like that I have everything I need for writing basically within reach.  I have a couple of bookshelves in my office that are well-stocked with good-reading and books of reference, but usually I look up most things online these days.

 office_library modified I don’t watch much TV but it’s nice to have one in my office just in case. 

I particularly like my bookshelf.  This is one of many we have in our house

 

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

I usually don’t have a beverage on my desk other than in the mornings if I have a cup of coffee there.   On rare occasions I enjoy a glass of brandy and Amaretto at night.   But that’s not very often at all.

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Sunrise from my office window

 

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

My favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy.  I discovered them when I was in college.   As for who inspired me to write, I guess I’d have to give credit to Rod Serling.   I was a huge “Twilight Zone” fan when I was a kid.

 

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

Typically my writing day for now mostly consists of blogging activities.  I’ll start the day checking my email and then my blog comments.  Off and on throughout the day I will read and comment on blogs or prepare my own posts.   Since my wife works full time, I also do housework, fix meals, and run errands when needed.  I usually can’t stay at my desk for more than an hour before I have to get up to do some sort of activity so I try to space my chores to coincide with my breaks from the computer.

 

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

Unfortunately I don’t write what I need to be writing much at all of late.  I write a lot of blog posts, but I’ve put my writerly writing on hold.  Blogging has become my big distraction from writing the books or articles I should be working on.

 

4. Why do you write?

I write because I have stuff to say and writing is a good way to say it.

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

The best thing I can think of is that if you want to be a writer then just keep writing.  I think I’ve seen a quote related to that somewhere, but I can’t think of the exact quote.   I guess my advice is my quote.

 

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Thanks  Arlee , for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

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Memorial Day

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image from nationalharbor.com

 

It’s always nice to have a three day weekend. And since Memorial Day always falls on a Monday, this is one of the holidays I always look forward to.

But Memorial Day isn’t just about having one more day of freedom from work. It’s about freedom itself. More importantly, it’s about the people who’ve fought and continue to fight for our freedom.

My father and mother were both part of the Philippine military, my grandfather fought in World War II as part of the USAFFE and my grandmother was part of the rebels who fought against the Japanese invasion in World War II. Thankfully none of them were injured in battle, but others were not so lucky.

So this Memorial Day, I remember and give thanks to the men and women who have died while serving in the armed forces, not just of the US, but of every country as well.

War is a costly affair paid with the lives of soldiers. And while we cannot bring back the dead, we can at least remember what they died for and be thankful for their sacrifice.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow caught the very essence of their sacrifice when he wrote a poem about Memorial Day (then called Decoration Day).

 

Decoration Day

 

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest

On this Field of the Grounded Arms,

Where foes no more molest,

Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

 

Ye have slept on the ground before,

And started to your feet

At the cannon’s sudden roar,

Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

 

But in this camp of Death

No sound your slumber breaks;

Here is no fevered breath,

No wound that bleeds and aches.

 

All is repose and peace,

Untrampled lies the sod;

The shouts of battle cease,

It is the Truce of God!

 

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!

The thoughts of men shall be

As sentinels to keep

Your rest from danger free.

 

Your silent tents of green

We deck with fragrant flowers

Yours has the suffering been,

The memory shall be ours.

 

                              — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

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Spotlight Week Shadow & Bone Giveaway Winner

This month I featured awesome YA Author LEIGH BARDUGO and her equally awesome Tsarpunk fantasy book SHADOW & BONE.

If you haven’t heard of Shadow & Bone, check out my review. And if you want to know more about the fabulous Leigh Bardugo, have a peek at her author interview.

And now I get to award the winner of this month’s Spotlight Week Giveaway

shadow and bone

Here’s what our winner says about why she’d like a copy of Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy)
:

Leigh is an amazing author, and I’m a really big sucker for signed books. This book is one of my ALL TIME favorites, and I would love a chance to stare at it on my bookshelf.
My tweet: https://twitter.com/heyhaihelllo/status/330887340413304833
Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/christine.ho.31105/posts/138559216334288

Congratulations, Christine H!

I’ll be emailing you shortly for instructions on how to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, I still have three fabulous books to giveaway:

TROUBLETWISTERS by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

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Michael Scott’s THE ENCHANTRESS, Book 6 of  The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel Series

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And finally, a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of Cassandra Clare’s CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, Book Three of the Infernal Devices Series.

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This contest will run until May 29, 2013.  

To join, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below. 

And YES, all my giveaways are INTERNATIONAL. :)

Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome magazine editor and author Katie O’Sullivan.

Katie’s latest book SON OF A MERMAID by Crescent Moon Press is now out in the world and ready for your reading pleasure.

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You can also find Katie blogging at katieosullivan.blogspot.com.

Welcome Katie!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

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 Author Katie O’ Sullivan

 

I live year-round on Cape Cod with my family and two big dogs, and have a “day job” as the editor of a local online magazine, CapeWomenOnline.com.

We originally bought this house as a summer cottage, and several years back moved in full-time, thinking we’d expand it. (We’re finally getting around to that this year.)

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

As I mentioned, we’ve been planning to renovate the house, so my “temporary” office is in the middle of the living room. For the last four years. Really. Before that, I sat with my laptop at the kitchen counter. Closer to the coffee pot, but not good for my back.

My desk currently sits between the dining room table and the sofa. It works well while the kids are asleep or at school, not so much the rest of the time. Hopefully that all changes this year!

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Katie’s Workspace

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

My desk and chair were Christmas gifts from my husband in 2009, the year I published my first book. The chair is fabulous – a Herman Miller Aeron chair that’s fully and completely adjustable. The desk I chose myself at Staples – it’s made of glass, and my thinking was that it wouldn’t take up too much visual space that way. (The only problem is the dust. And I hate to dust.)

 

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

Coffee. I need coffee to work. I have a set of Longaberger coffee cups that I love and use on a daily basis

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Katie’s must have: Coffee!

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

As much as I hate to dust, I love to have little objects to daydream on – my current favorites are a tiny pewter mermaid, a mermaid crafted from a clothespin, a china swan I’ve had since childhood and a blue glass heart that my son bought for me on a visit to Nantucket last summer.

 

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

Coffee. Lots of coffee.

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Katie’s puppy: all grown up!

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, reading absolutely everything I could get my hands on. The works of Tolkien introduced me to fantasy, and Marion Zimmer Bradley got me hooked on Arthurian legends, but I also read a lot of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Agatha Christie. Good thing I was an English lit major in college, because it gave me a good excuse to indulge in my book fetish!

But I don’t have a “favorite” author, only current favs. One of my current crushes is Erin Morgenstern, author of THE NIGHT CIRCUS. I so love that book!

 

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

I don’t have a “typical” writing day – I have three busy teens who keep my days pretty atypical. I do like to get up early (before their alarms go off for school) and check my email and such. I can’t settle down into writing or editing (or anything) if I think there’s an email waiting to be opened.

 

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I do write every day – if only to write blog posts or future columns for CapeWomenOnline. The best days are the ones where I get immersed in a WIP and suddenly the kids are home and where did the day go? I love those days.

As for distractions, did I mention that I share the house with teenagers?

 

4. Why do you write?

I enjoy telling stories, but I express myself better on the page. Maybe that’s because writing gives me the chance to edit my remarks into something sharper and wittier than I could ever come up with on the spot.

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

One of my favorite sayings is “Writers write.” Someone said it at a writers’ conference, and the phrase stuck with me (even if I can’t remember who said it.)

It reminds me that if I want to be a writer, I need to get my butt into that chair and do the work.

 

 

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense, and works as the Editor for CapeWomenOnline.com magazine. Her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will be making a splash from Crescent Moon Press in May 2013.

Find her online:

Katie’s blog: http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kt.osullivan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OkatieO

 

Like romantic suspense? Read UNFOLDING THE SHADOWS – available now in ebook and paperback at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Unfolding-Shadows-Katie-OSullivan/dp/1419966723/ref=sr_1_2_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353944949&sr=1-2&keywords=unfolding+the+shadows

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Workshop with the Beach Cities Writing Group

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of doing a workshop with another writing group in L.A.’s South Bay area. Their organizer Eric, invited me through Monika—one of his members, who also happens to be a part of my own CBW-LA as well.

This was my first ever invitation to do a workshop with another writing group, and naturally I pounced on the opportunity. I wouldn’t be getting paid, but I would have the opportunity to meet new writers, tell them about CBW-LA, promote our upcoming workshops, and even do a bit of self-promotion (which might help when I eventually launch my book).

I was a bit nervous to be speaking outside of my own group, but also ecstatic that I would be meeting new writers. I was afraid, too, that I might forget some parts of my workshop, even with a powerpoint presentation to guide me, but as soon as I stepped in front of the crowd, my Teacher Mode kicked in and words just flowed easily.

I modified the Kickstarting Workshop which I always do at the beginning of the year for my own group, shortening it to fit my allotted 1 hour and 30 minutes. Despite the shorter time I was still able to cover all the topics I had wanted to cover.

I divided my workshop with the Beach Cities Writing Group into 4 parts:

I. REFLECTION: HOW FAR ARE YOU ON THE WRITE PATH?

Before we achieve the kind of future we want, we must take a good look at our past and present. 

The first part of the workshop will help you reflect on your writing journey so far, and help you see how far you’ve come along the “write” path.  I’ve designed questions which will help you uncover your real motivation for writing, your inspirations for writing, your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and questions that will help you figure out what kind of writer you’ve set out to be.

 

II. REFLECTION: WHAT DO WE SEE AT THE END OF THE “WRITE” PATH?

Now that we have an idea of how far along we’ve traveled on our writing journey, we can look ahead into the future.

In this portion of the workshop, we will discuss the power of visualization, and how you can use this in your mental training as a writer. You will also visualize your writing dreams and determine the kind of writing career you want for yourself. 

 

III. REALITY: PUBLISHING 101

In order for us to make our dreams come true, we must first come to terms with the reality around us. Before we even begin to figure out our writing goals, we need to first know what publishing options we have.

In this portion of the workshop, we will talk about Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing. We’ll learn about how a book is published traditionally, including the 7 processes that transform your manuscript into a published book.

We will also discuss various self-publishing options, as well as the pros and cons for both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing.

 

IV. YOUR WRITING CAREER

The first step to getting published is to make a commitment to writing.

In this final part of the workshop, you will be given a chance to make a commitment to your writing career, by signing a contract between you and your writing dreams.  

We will also figure out how to translate the writing dreams you visualized into SMART writing goals.

 

I mixed in writing inspiration with writing education—encouraging writers to dream big, but also giving them the necessary dose of reality to help turn their dreams into workable goals. I ended the workshop by asking them to sign a writing contract between themselves and their writing dreams and to have fellow writers witness these contracts by signing the page as well.

I love teaching so this workshop was really fun for me. I had a great time meeting new writers and sharing whatever knowledge I had gleaned from my own research and experience. Hopefully, this experience will open more doors and allow me to do more workshops and speaking engagements with other writing organizations.

 

**My special thanks to Eric and Monica and all the members of Beach Cities Writing Group for giving me this opportunity!**

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The Best and Worst Remakes Blogfest

Welcome to the Best and Worst Remakes Blogfest, hosted by amazing ninja bloggers Alex CavanaughStephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz.

There’s only one rule to this blogfest:

List the best (movie) remake you’ve ever seen and the worst.

Here are my choices:

BEST

Batman movies have been remade several times, but my all time favorite version would have to be The Dark Knight.

 

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WORST

I haven’t watched too many of the originals to know if the remakes were bad, so I had a hard time thinking about the worst remake.Here’s what I came up with:

Karate_kid_ver2

 

 

It’s not that I thought the movie was bad. I actually love Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. I picked this simply because I liked the original better.

Thanks for hosting this fun blogfest, Alex, Stephen, Livia and Al!

See what movies other bloggers picked for their best and worst:


 

61.

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Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Rebekah Loper

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Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Rebekah Loper, author of numerous fun blogs. You can find a list of them at blackanddarknight.wordpress.com.

Welcome Rebekah!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

Spring 2013 Author Pic

Rebekah Loper

Well, I consider myself a “Jill of All Trades”, but also joke around that I should hire myself out as a “freelance organizer”, because my two most recent jobs have involved organizing offices.

I write fantasy almost exclusively. I get bored with real-life (or intensely frustrated) and making up worlds is my outlet.

Interests besides writing? Uh…. What else is there? Okay, slightly kidding. I’m a budding urban farmer, and this is smack dab in the middle of planting season in my part of the world. I have chickens living in my backyard, and am planning to convert the front yard into a mini-orchard (eventually). Otherwise, I also read and sew.

And my husband and I also celebrated our fifth anniversary this past January :D.

Also, I just won an award last weekend! My first big writing award 😀

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Rebeka’s OWFI Award Certificate

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

In my house. The exact location within the house varies a couple times a day – I usually rotate between the living room sofa and the bedroom, rarely the dining room table or my actual “writing corner” (see the pink chair with the white cat? That’s my writing corner, and one of the reasons I rarely use it).

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Rebekah’s Workspace

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

I don’t actually have a desk, currently. There’s a couple of reasons for this – the main one being there just hasn’t been money for one yet. The second being that I can’t actually figure out what type of desk I want. There’s so many to choose from! Do I want the tidy containment a secretary’s desk offers, or a traditional writing desk? A computer desk, and if that one, do I want a standing desk since those are so much better for you in the long-run? Decisions, decisions! Gah!

My current work area was arranged by elimination of space. IE: what was leftover to work with after everything that we had to get in the house got in it. So, currently I have a bookshelf with all my writing books and projects scattered all over it. I try to organize it at least once a month. Doesn’t usually happen.

 

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

Pens, paper, and index cards. I do most of my actual drafting on the computer, but all of my character creation and plotting is done by hand with a pen. Not a pencil. I despise pencils. (I don’t know why, I’ve just never liked them.)

 

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

I like that it’s in a central part of my house. The only place I can’t easily access everything from is the bedroom, but if I’m in the living or dining room, everything is just a few steps away.

 

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

TEA. I love tea. My current favorite is Harney & Son’s ‘Hot Cinnamon Spice’. It’s delicious. I blame The Barenaked Critic (http://barenakedcritic.wordpress.com) for getting me addicted to it.

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An unexpected quiet moment at the wedding.

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

I have several favorite authors, in all honesty. I will read just about anything by CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Kathy Tyers, Dean Koontz, and Terry Goodkind.

Tolkien was who inspired me to write, though, when I realized that (at least for some people) making up complete, complex worlds was absolutely normal.

 

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

I have no idea. I’m still trying to figure all of these out. It would be easier if I had a ‘typical day’ even without the writing. So I pretty much write when I have the time and am not too exhausted. Rituals and quirks are, sadly, a waste of what little time I do have. I wish I had more time, because I think I’d actually be more productive if I could have a set ritual to get me ready to write. Oh well.

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I attempt to, but this rarely goes as planned. On days that I do write, I can typically spend anywhere from an hour to five hours, depending on what I’m working on, and how many interruptions I have.

Worst writing distractions? The cats. The chickens making odd noises in the backyard. The telephone (that I sadly can’t ignore currently, because of some long-term health issues going on with another family member). Reading.

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One of Rebekah’s distractions

4. Why do you write?

Because there are characters and worlds in my head demanding to have their stories told. I rarely create a story completely from scratch – usually the characters dictate to me. Their stories have already happened, and I’m the scribe recording it for ‘history’.

If I don’t write it down, it feels to me like there are hundreds of histories that will be lost. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

If you’re going to call yourself a writer, make absolutely sure that you want to be a writer. It’s not glamorous at all. It’s grueling, heart-breaking work at times, interspersed with the most thrilling highs. But if the stories won’t shut up, even if you don’t write them down? Then the work is so very worth it for the few moments of peace you can find.

As for a favorite writing quote, it’s probably overused, but still captures how I feel about writing perfectly:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

 

 

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Thanks Rebekah, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

 

 

 

 

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So What’s Keeping You Busy These Days?

I’ve been busy these past few months, that’s for sure.

My normal list of activities include:

–          Working a 9am -6pm job

–          Making time for family and friends

–          Running my non-profit writing group CBW-LA (www.cbw-la.org)

–          Fulfilling my duties for SCBWI

–          Blogging

–          Preparing for next month’s martial art belt test (going from my Brown belt)

I’m also currently preparing from my first ever speaking engagement outside of my CBWLA group. One of the writing groups in our area had heard about my Kickstarting Your Writing Career workshop last January, so they invited me to give a similar talk to their group this coming week. I love teaching so I’m really looking forward to this event.

When do I have time for writing? It’s hard, let me tell you that. But it’s definitely doable if you love it enough. I’m happy to report that I’ve been writing almost every day for the past two months.

And I’m two chapters away from finishing rewriting URTH, the novel I wrote two years ago. Wohoo! I’m hoping to finish today.

I’ll have to set it aside and let it marinade before I dive into revisions. And while I’m gaining distance from my manuscript, I’ll be catching up on critiques for my critique partners and continuing my self-publishing research/planning.

Yup, I’m one of those people who like to do a lot of research before they jump into any new venture. And since  I’ve been thinking about self-publishing, I’ve been reading up on the subject.

So far, I’ve finished the following books:

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Scott Welch

Make a Killing on Kindle: The Guerilla Marketer’s Guide to Selling Your Ebooks on Amazon by Michael Alvear

The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier

The Self-Publishing Manual Volume 1 by Dan Poynter

The Self-Publishing Manual Volume 2 by Dan Poynter

Although most of these books say the same things, each of them still have nuggets information that are unique and equally valuable. I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing, that’s for sure, but I still have at least five other books/ebooks that I plan to finish reading (because I’m a nerd). J

Well those are my updates so far. It’s a bit overwhelming when I list it all down like this, but I still do find time to sleep and watch a few favorite shows here and there.

So what about you? What have you been working oh these past few months? What’s keeping you busy these days?

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2013 Summer Movies I’m Looking Forward to Seeing

I’m juggling so many things right now I don’t know when I’ll find time for everything. Still, I think it’s important to squeeze in a little time to watch shows or movies. It’s a good way to relax, stretch the imagination and hopefully gain more story ideas.

Here’s a list of the movies I’m looking forward to seeing (at some point):

Already out:

Iron Man 3

iron man 3

 

May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby

great gatsby

May 17, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

star trek

May 24, 2013

EPIC

Epic

May 31, 2013

After Earth

After Earth

Now You See Me

now you see me

 

June 14, 2013

Man of Steel

man of steel

June 21, 2013

Monsters University

monsters u

World War Z

world war z

June 28, 2013

The Heat

the heat

 

July 3, 2013

Despicable Me 2

despicable me 2

Lone Ranger

 lone ranger

 

July 17, 2013

Turbo

turbo

 

July 19, 2013

R.I.P.D.

RIPD

July 26, 2013

The Wolverine

wolverine

 

 

July 31, 2013

The Smurfs 2

smurfs2

 

August 2, 2013

300: Rise of An Empire

300 rise of an empire

 

 

August 7, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Percy_Jackson_Sea_of_Monsters_teaser_poster

 

August 9, 2013

Elysium

elysium

 

August 16, 2013

Kick Ass 2

kick ass 2

 

August 23, 2013

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

mortal instruments

 

 

The Grandmaster

The_Grandmaster_poster

 

What movies are you looking forward to watching this summer?

 

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