Feb 27, 2012

Writing With Reckless Abandon!

If you’re like me, always in the back of my head, there is a tiny little voice saying:
“Is this like so and so?”
“Is this too far over the top?”
“Is this publishable?” 
What if for one moment we could write like this:

Now, in the blocks, this runner looks like everyone else. He starts like everyone else, but after the second hurdle, we KNOW he’s not like everyone else.
I’m sure he’s probably having a bad day.
I mean, really, hurdles?
I can barely walk down the stairs without falling headfirst and bouncing down the suckers. Props to hurdle thrower for even being able to squat in the same blocks with the others.   
What I really like is that by hurdle number four, well, we all know he’s NOT gonna win this race so why not finish with a bang. 
Queue the hurdle toss. 
He finished, he took his teammate out with him, but who needs a medal when you’ve got a gazillion views on YouTube? 
I’m sure hurdle thrower didn’t start the morning saying: “I think I’ll just try running through the hurdles.”
He probably woke up thinking he had a decent shot at winning.
A great shot at conforming.  Just look at those snazzy red shorts if you think different.
But come along hurdle number four, when it’s obvious he’s not conforming, he’s not ‘winning’, HT has a choice:  Finish his way or don’t finish. 
I’m not saying if you know your WIP is a pile of shredded hurdles you should rush out and query it, but what I am saying is don’t be afraid to throw few hurdle rules around. 
Write for the passion, not for the commercial success. 
Write the story the way it NEEDS to be told, not the way that is gonna be easy. 
Vampires never sparkled before Stephenie Meyers.
Wizards never played cribbage before J.K. Rowling
And hurdlers never ran like that before. 

Feb 24, 2012

How Plants Can Help Your Writing! They can... I promise...

I have a confession:
I’m a plant killer.
I don’t wanna be … but I am.

Every spring I buy an ungodly amount of flowers and hope, nay, pray, beg and promise to the flower gods that I will remember to water these new bulbs of life.  Sadly, without fail, I kill them three or four weeks later.  I over water them, under water them, forget to water them and ,only once, accidently water them with sudsy water. 
I promise.
My reign of flower carnage was so epic, the eldest mini-me asked the granny, aka my mom, if she could come over and plant the flowers because, “Mommy’s flowers always die…"
"I think all flowers are afraid of mommy.” 
Fruit of my womb right there!  Turned traitor on me for a few petals of pink and chocolate chip cookie.  
So why would this spring be any different?
Because, the flowers I bought last year for my writing room are still BLOOMING!!!!!
I have three plants.  Yes, THREE PLANTS that have survived the curse of my brown thumb and declared an end to the rein of houseplant terror that has plagued me for YEARS….
I spend soooo much time in my writing room.  Sometimes there’s just the mad click of fingers on a keyboard, but often—more frequent than I’ll ever admit— there are times where I just need a sounding board, an ear if you will, that will just sit there and take whatever I dish out. 
Let me introduce you to my cheerleaders:

This is my inspiration plant: 
When I’m feeling full of self-doubt.  This is the plant I turn to: 
It was given to me, not on Mother’s Day, put on an ordinary day by middle-me.  MM came into my room and said, “Momma, Daddy said you weren’t feeling very good so I asked him if we could buy you this.”  Hands me the plant. I weep and give the petals their initial assault of salt watering.  “I know this will make you feel better momma.” 

Now don’t laugh, but this next plant is my whipping plant.  It’s gangly and ugly and really should be shoveled somewhere!  When the WIP or revisions aren’t going as planned… well, just look at this thing! Scrawny little thing needs some love, but when I tell those beany barbs how pretty they look … we both know I’m lying. 

Finally, my OMG-holycow-how is this even existing in the same space as me- plant.

Take a minute.

This beauty’s been with me for almost THIRTEEN MONTHS!!!!!!

I named this plant HR.  This orchid is where I turn to when I think one day, just one day I may sign with the agent of my dreams.  It’s for every book I read that made my head shake in awe; for every passage I’ve written that could be as awesome as those before me.  I talk to THIS plant: 

HR sits right next to the whipping plant to remind me that every line that looked like this…
 could one day look like THIS!

I really do think every writer should have at least one plant in their writing space.  If for no other reason to hold you accountable.  It's easy to let an hour slip into a day.  A day to slip into a week. A week to... well, you know where I'm going with this.  Three very different plants on different watering schedules require my toosh to walk by my computer when I'm in a funk.  If those plants are dying... then so are my dreams of being an author and that's just not acceptable.
Now go water your WIP plant!

Feb 23, 2012

BEA-U-TIFUL Cover Reveal of DEFIANCE!!!

Prepare the edible confetti and champagne! 
The cover reveal of DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine is ....
wait for it ...
and the AMAZING C.J. is hosting a fantastic giveaway ....
This woman is quite amazing...
and I really can't wait to read her debut novel!
I don't want to steal any thunder from C.J or YABC
 so be sure to click the links and check out the loveliness!!!

Feb 13, 2012

My Favorite Things Monday! A royal, A naughty and A favorite!

Living in So. Cal, a glass slipper's throw from LA LA Land, you can only imagine how many friends I have that are aspiring singers, actors, models and/or directors.
You can also imagine how many of the "Amazing Wedding Entrance" videos I see. 
I've narrowed it down to my two favorite.
One you'll remember...

And one includes my favorite bad boy, Harry!

Feb 6, 2012

My Favorite Things = Queries ... yep, it's a Monday! Query???

Like most writers, I hate querying!
HATE. Querying.
Querying is like a giant word problem with variables like: X is to Y like cat is to? 
And the cursor on the screen blinks at you like some psychotic math teacher who KNOWS you have no idea that the answer is Mount Everest.
I hated querying.
Yep, used the past tense on that sucker.
Come closer and I’ll introduce you to the ninja master of Query letters.
First, do you solemnly swear to scream all of the awesomeness about the author from who you are about to learn?
~nod your head and eat this piece of lemon bar~
Second, do you promise to never glare at your screen when asked to write a one-page query?
~nod and put on these stilettos~
TR-uuuu-St me!
Finally, Do you  *insert pen name*  pinky promise that you will tweet, +, Facebook and all other forms of crazy social media this author’s name and book to all of those floundering, query zombified writers who aimlessly bang there head on their desk when attempting to write a query?
~nod and spin three times~
Alright. *glances suspiciously over shoulder while reaching into my Johnny Depp fan club tote bag*
Here it is:
C.J. Redwine’s, QUERY: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. 
I was privileged enough to take C.J.’s weeklong query course of awesomeness. 

The woman takes the word problem of queries and gives you what X is, tells you why you need to have Y and –here’s the best part, after reading QUERY— you will always see why cats are equal to Mount Everest and dogs are likened to underwater basket weaving.

C.J. takes the quandary out of the Query and makes you feel confident when hitting that send button.  At the end of her weeklong class, I had a shiny query letter that I couldn't WAIT to share.
C.J.’s YA debut, DEFIANCE, comes out 8/28/12 from Balzer & Bray, so the girl has some serious success when it comes to the query question.
Still not sold?
You can follow C.J. on Twitter
And I HIGHLY recommend you follow her blog 
I’m so thrilled that C.J. put her Query class into e-book format I’ve already bought one AND I’m going to be giving away a copy of QUERY: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. 
To enter, fill out the form below and if it isn't working, this is my first time using Rafflecopter, shoot me a comment and I'll be sure to beat  fix the problem. Sign in with your name and email so I can notify you if you're the WINNER!

And the winner is......


Stephanie, email me mindyruiz1(at)yahoo(dot)com for your Query book by C.J. Redwine!!!!

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