Tuesday, September 27, 2011


My eight year old is beginning to use words he shouldn't know. I don't mean swearing. Last week, he pointed to a book and said: "This is probably a good fiction book." I know they mentioned fiction last year in grade two, but it took me back - I was proud! For that reason, I've decided to add a small line at the beginning of my blogs with a word of the day and a small explanation of what it is. I find new sounds, synonyms, and words fascinating. Perhaps a word can inspire someone, or give them an idea. So, here it is:

Innocuous: having little or no adverse or harmful effect; harmless

Having said, that my main inspiration comes from my kids and the excitement I see in their eyes that mommy is writing a book. And I wish I could say that's how it all started. That's how TWO HALVES came to be - but it's not.

March 2009: My husband rented Twilight. Oblivious to the world around me and what the title meant, I asked him if it's any good. He said I got it for you because you liked Buffy and Angel and this one is about vampires. I think you'll like it. Then he went to work. I put the kids to sleep, turned on the DVD and watched the movie.

Right after I searched the internet. I have never done this before after watching a movie. I found out about Stephenie Meyer, read her biography, went to sleep, woke up in the morning, sat down to my computer and started writing. From the first word, I knew I would finish. Never doubted that I would finish a book.

Wrote two pages.
Re-read them.
Decided I sucked.

Next day: bought the Twilight box set, read the first book same day (until 1am I believe), next morning I sat down to my computer and wrote ten pages. I re-read them and decided I sucked. But, I had an idea for the story and that must have counted for something. My next fear was that I didn't want to copy anyone's work. What if Stephenie Meyer's other three books had the same ideas as I did. I had to make sure I didn't use them. Now that I think about it, it was probably an excuse to continue reading instead of writing.

Ahh, a writer's worst enemy - a book he/she just has to read.

Read New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn in four days. Cried, because I thought some ideas overlapped, like me using to describe the sound of cicadas in my first pages and the same description being in the books. Deleted the sound of cicadas from my first ten pages.(That's how little I knew about writing. Just because someone else said something smells like pumpkin pie or falling rain, it does not mean you can't use it in your description. I'm sure there are plenty of novels that describe ideas in similar ways so that the reader can feel these, but I learned later on there are even better ways to describe a setting or a character - how? Through reading.)

Sat down and continued writing. I wasn't sure if it was good, actually, it sucked, but I continued writing. Researched sites on writing, became a member of Orson Scott's writer's workshop where I was introduced to "show don't tell" and other good stuff about writing. Got a great critique from one of the members on why my writing sucked - in a nice way - I appreciate it until today! The critique also pointed to strengths: I drew on that - sucking gained a new meaning, because I didn't think I could get any worse.

I read more novels and wrote in between.
Then I read some more novels, and wrote in between, editing, correcting, developing, toying with different ideas. I began to get excited.

I read more novels and wrote some more. Read a great site on how to write a novel in 100 days. Didn't follow its instructions day by day, but read through all 100 days and wrote more.

Took an eight week course on writing at: http://scripta-word-services.com/
Edited, edited, edited, edited..... ......still edited.
After getting few opinions as well as an evaluation, I had to agree my ending left the reader unsatisfied.

I added three more chapters to change the ending. Now everything worked! From page 1 to page 341 everything was tied together.

Edited more, hired a great editor without whom TWO HALVES would never be as good as it is now. I can honestly say I read it more than one hundred times. Each time I find something to change and have to force myself not to. But each time I read it, I get the same jitters in my body as if I was reading it for the first time. I laugh, I cry, I surprise myself with what's on the pages. I no longer think it sucks. Now, I have a hard time parting with the work, letting go, letting others read it. But the more people proof-read it for me, the more confidence I have.

So I guess if someone dreams about my characters, the settings and wonders where this could lead, it says something. The market may be dying for what I've written, saturated with vampire novels - but mine is different. It's more than just a vampire novel; but it is still a vampire novel.

I will probably never be able to thank Stephenie Meyer for making me a writer and opening a door to worlds I now understand can be created anytime. But, I would like to thank to all of those who inspire everyday without knowing. Those who take a chance and follow through. Those who support, encourage, motivate, influence and inspire. THANK YOU! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Write or not to write...

Kids are in bed, laundry drying, dishes washed. I know I should be researching stuff for TWO HALVES as I'm torn between self-publishing and going the traditional route. Yet, my other book is calling! I don't have a title, but it rocks. So far my goal is to have it done by end of October, but things always come up, and it will probably be end of November when it's complete. (Like my computer dying on me last week to the point that I had to get a new one! But the other one was old already. It was its time.)
So, how can I not write, when I hear voices in my head having a dialogue? The characters are so awesome, it's unbelievable. When done, this one will also be young adult fiction novel, but set around 70 years in the future - don't think the future is brighter though, with technology, gadgets etc... Nope, none of that. But I can't spill the secrets just yet, because I myself don't know how it's going to end.

In the meantime, I will continue struggling between being pulled away from my responsibilities and actually fulfilling them.
Having said that, the synopsis for TWO HALVES is ready and kicking. Only the query left and then a last minute decision (that's a line taken from Eclipse). I will probably go with my gut and look for an agent, see where that gets me and keep my options open for self publishing.
For now, I'd like to share a translation with you from a friend of mine who agreed I can use. I'm posting it here, because it's very relevant to TWO HALVES.

"Love is like a rose, friendship a willow tree. When the storm's winds blow, blossoms fall but the willow tree will stand tall. R.Z."

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's done! TWO HALVES is in good shape. Why only a good shape you ask? Because I know I will find something to change as soon as I start reading through it again. I already have a list! I think that's one of the bigger challenges writers face... ... letting go. And I will, as soon as I make the changes ;) I will let go. I will let someone else read it, rip it apart and reject it, because in my heart, I know, that one day it will be perfect and everyone will fall in love with Sarah and William and their unique friends and family. Since the changes seem pretty minor at this time, I can finally say that I will begin querying literary agents very soon. And none of this could of happened without my great editor! I will cherish this work forever.

THIS IS EXCITING: it probably compares pretty close to seeing my first born after 26 long hours of labour.  Now, imagine how many hours of labour TWO HALVES took (just kidding). Maybe better comparison is the first kiss, or even its mere expectation. I cannot wait to share this adventure with the world! Having said that, I have been asked by some people: "What's the book about?" Fair question, and again, I'm having a hard time letting go... ... so for now I will leave you with this: There is a prophecy, vampires and humans work together to save their race from extinction by demons. But there is a twist! I will blog about it soon, I promise, if I can let go...

By the way, I hope to have this photo on the cover.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It was 1995 when I first tried to explain to my father what e-mail was and his response to my shocked face that he had no clue what I was talking about was "Wait until you're my age. Technology advances so quickly, we cannot catch up."  Was he right? I think so. Ok, so I know how to work my email accounts, browse, download pictures and keep them pretty organized, but I have to say I think my dad was right.  Email is becoming ancient. With everyone, texting, BBM-ing, SMS-ing, tweeting, blogging etc, etc.. how do we keep up? Setting up a blog is an adventure of its own and I keep promising myself that I'll make it more appealing with more info and some cool graphics, but who's got the time? But the reality is, I enjoy other people's blogs much more than mine. I know, I've just started, and everything you do takes nurturing and caring... ....blah, blah, blah, you get my point. I wish I could snap my fingers and it would be done- but I'm not Moses. Although I think with today's technology you should be able to tell the computer what you want done and it should do it! Here's a challenge for future generations: come up with a computer that can get done what you tell it to do. But with me so familiar with what's available, that already exists and I've fallen behind...