Monday, January 30, 2012

A Giveaway

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Gnostic (adj): 1.pertaining to knowledge.2.possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.3.( initial capital letter ) pertaining to or characteristic of the Gnostics.

Some things happening in the next few weeks:

Today: Sign-up for the A-Z Challenge begins
February 1st: Insecure Writer's Support Group
February 13th: Origin's Blogfest
February 14th: Kissing Scene Blogfest

Oh yes, almost forgot (not). To celebrate Two Halves and its paperback format, on the link above you will find information on a Giveaway of 5 signed copies of  Two Halves.

The promotion will run from Feb 1st-Feb 10th and the 5 winners will be announced on this blog on Feb 11th.  I will ship internationally.


Feel Free to spread the word!


February will be my "NaNo" month as I will try to finish a half-done novel and catch up on my words. Since we are in the leap year, that gives me 1 extra day this month. I spent most of January editing and now that I'm done it's time get some words on the computer. 


What are your plans this month?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Featured Blog and A Surprise...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Languor (n):  1. lack of energy or vitality; sluggishness. 2. lack of spirit or interest; listlessness; stagnation. 3. physical weakness or faintness. 4. emotional softness or tenderness.

This word is for those who asked me this week - you know who you are ;)

The featured blog for this Friday is:
Bob Mayer's Writing forward at: http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/

I don't get involved in publishing politics, but I do like reading about the "World of Publishing" from both traditional and indie sides. In my opinion the more information, the better. If you scroll down to Jan 24th post, the Day 1 recap of the Digital Book World is there along with some information on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Now for some exciting news, I received this in mail on Monday from Lightning Source! I didn't share it earlier, because I was in big time editing mode and couldn't break away. But, here it is (picture me jumping up and down and squeaking!)



Those fingertips you see all over the book are my kids. According to them I made them famous because their names are on the dedication page and in acknowledgements. It was the cutest and most honest excitement I've seen in a long time. Both wanted to take it to school to brag. I didn't let them, as that's my only copy for now, but maybe for a show and tell in the future - we'll see.

The best part: I think they realized that if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish it. I could see it in their eyes. The hope of achieving what they want was awesome!

It still seems surreal that my novel is in print.

Now where can you buy it? Here, so far and it will begin trickling in to the rest of the world as well, but slowly as the catalogs are updated.

To celebrate this, I will be doing a giveaway of 5 signed copies of Two Halves. Details will be posted on Monday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A-Z Video Challenge

I know this is an unscheduled post, but it's not too long:)
As you will notice at the A-Z April Challenge site, my first video is up:)
Yay!
I'm very proud of it, as before January 17th I never even opened Windows Movie Maker. With some playing around, this was the result.


video

Now, with some great stock photos I'm pretty sure I'd be able to make trailers for my books so I'm very happy I did this challenge. Not that I'll do the trailers now (in full editing mode now), but certainly in the future.

Learning every day!

Are you joining the Challenge?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Finding My Muse...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Xenophobia (n)an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.

Warning: This post will contain information on how my mind can have very twisted ideas :)

No, not a writing Muse. A different kind of Muse. One that will motivate me to do something I really want but don't have the will to do it.

Last April I was getting ready for my son's communion and I lost 15 pound in one month. Yes, I ate, but it was a very strict diet, one I don't want to repeat.

Since then, I've gained 8 of those pounds back, which is not too bad. I don't consider myself overweight, but I do lack cardio exercises. If I was more active (instead of sitting on my but, typing), I would be less fatigued, perhaps in better shape and happier. Extra cardio could get rid of those 8 pounds I don't like on me and make my heart stronger. Yes, I know it does not sound like a lot, but if it's the last 8 you want to shed for your ideal weight, then it is.

I used to do Pilates (in fact got certified in it) and I still do some exercises when my body needs it, so I am active, but activities such as Pilates or skiing don't get my heart pumping the way it should. Skiing to me is relaxing and I don't do Pilates long enough to get the heart going (did I mention I don't like cardio?)

So, here's where I'm going with this and where my Muse comes in. Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) is one of my favorite shows, but in addition to wanting to see professional dancers, I watch it for one person only:


Derek Hough (otherwise known as "Yummy"). I don't know the source of this photo. I received it from my hubby last Valentine. He pretended he was Derek and invited me to a date (nice one for the hubby)!. Yes, the date was hot, because in my mind I was on a date with the hunk above (kidding).

So, in order to find motivation I allowed myself to think "Big" and let my imagination fly away.

Ready?

What if my book was sooooo big and sooooo successful, I would become soooo famous and get invited to DWTS! It's possible right? (at least hide your chuckles people!)
Better yet, the book is soooo good, that Derek wants to star in a movie making of the book, but let's go with the first idea, since it is more likely to happen than the second (I'm hearing the sound of laughing muppets in the background, don't know why).
If I ever get invited to dance with Derek, I have to be able to pull it off and that's where the cardio comes in. I need to prepare my heart (no, not so it does not leap out of my chest) to dance all night long.

And that's how my twisted mind works. I will only do cardio, not because it's better for my health, but because there's a possibility (when pigs fly) that one day, my Muse will dance with me at DWTS.

OK, better get that dust off the treadmill...

p.s. I'm serious though about the weight loss and the cardio

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Writer's Block Party!

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Kratos (n) (mythology): the son of Pallas and Styx, and the personification of strength and power.

I know it's an odd word for today, but I'm reading "The Red Pyramid" by Rick Riordan and it reminded me of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, hence the word.

Today I have the pleasure of being interviewed at the Writer's Block Party. I always feel so giggly inside when I think about being interviewed.Like a little kid who just got some candy.

In the works this week: second novel, some reading, a video for A-Z Challenge (how did I get myself into this again?), and finally caught up on outstanding marketing. If I pull this video off, I will graciously call myself a genius. Believe me, it's not a big deal for all the wizards of the youtube and video-making, but I just opened my Windows Live Movie Maker yesterday and I may as well have been reading Chinese (no, I don't speak Chinese).

On top of that, trying to figure out which stock photos I can use and not infringe on any rights, because my "original" idea of music bands isn't going too well. I was hoping to "Dance, hop, pop and rock" that challenge, but don't think I can. We'll see. I will have to do more research on that.

Hope you visit me at the Party and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I killed a character...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Firth (n): (From Websters dictionary):  an indentation of the seacoast.

Since kids returned to school after Christmas Break I've been able to catch up on my writing. "Marked" is officially set aside and I plant to return to it to begin my edits next week. Then it goes off to my editor.

In the meantime I've been working on two other novels and guess what?
I just killed a character.
I will not go into the details of the project so I don't spoil it for anyone, but I must say I cried when killing him off (talking about the book now).

Why did I do it?

I really liked him and he played a large part in the story, but it was necessary. I have a weakness for writing stories with "perfect endings" and "perfect characters", but that does not explore all human emotions.

This person (whom readers will like because of his innocence and hate because of betrayal), redeemed himself through sacrifice. I didn't want to kill him because he had a cool personality and wicked traits, that complemented the MC.

Killing him was the only way out (I tried playing with different scenarios and none would fit). Because of his sacrifice, the MC was able to triumph aver the "bad guys".


Have you killed any of your characters? How did you come to the conclusion to do so? How do you feel when fictional and likable characters die in a novel?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blogger Friday and Skiing Video...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Gerrymander (n): 1. U.S. Politics . the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

As every Friday I post a new blog and today it's Kat's turn. Visit her at The Aussie Zombie. I've been following Kat for a while and she's a book reviewer and a big-time reader.

I also stumbled upon http://www.copyblogger.com/. Check it out for some internet marketing information.

In the spirit of the A-Z Video Challenge I am posting my first video.

Note: The video has nothing to do with the Challenge, but I just wanted to see if I can do it. Once I pass this hurdle, I will move on to animation and making a video without a camera.


Why is this a big deal? Because I've never done anything like this before and I'm very excited.

This video was taken in March 2011. This is my younger one (six at the time) skiing at Mt. Tremblant, Quebec. The voice you hear is my hubby and he's speaking half-polish, half-english which is very common at our house (and sometimes very funny).

I can't tell you how many times I reply in the wrong language to people who don't know me. It gets even funnier when they don't know I speak another language as I don't have an accent (most of the time, unless I get nervous, then I don't guarantee which language will come out of my mouth). I used to speak French as well - still understand it, but difficult to speak it when you don't use it.

Anyway, here's the video:
video

I guess it would have been easier to find if my videos were not sorted under pictures.
Did it work?
Can you believe it took 45 minutes to load this?
Phew, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be... ...off to animation :) Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview, Blog Hop, Guest Posts...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Passion (n):1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate. 2.strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor. 3. strong sexual desire; lust. 4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire. 5.a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

*Today I have the privilege of  being interviewed by Gabby from What's Beyond Forks.
In the interview I share some information I have never shared before, not even on this blog so check it out! Thank you for your time Gabby!

*Mark your calendars for a 1 day blog hop! What a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day.


Is it Getting HOT in Here?  blog hop
  
February 14th

with Cassie Mae (writer extraordinaire and blogmaster guru) at Reading, Writing, and Lovin' it!
Those kissy scenes are hard to write sometimes, but I love reading one when it's crafted so well it feels like I'm standing beside the characters, watching with inflamed cheeks as sparks fly between the two lovebirds.

Please share one of your favorite kissing scenes from a book you've read, from your own WiP, make one up, or write about one of your own memorable kisses. Then hop around to feel how sweet, romantic, or downright steamy other characters are getting smooched!
visit here to sign up.

Feel free to spread the word!
*I recently received an email from someone asking me to do a book review or a guest post for that individual. While I do not review books (I just think all books are awesome and always find something nice to say, so I wouldn't be a good reviewer), I would be more than happy to have someone do a guest post or an author interview. (See here).

I replied to that individual (by hitting the reply button), but the email bounced back. Then, I created a new email, sent it, but it bounced back again. (???) I visited his blog, tried to comment, couldn't. Is it Karma?

Now I feel bad. I don't want him to think I didn't reply. I reply to ALL my emails and I try to do it as quickly as possible, so if you did not receive a reply from me, it's not because I'm mean or ignoring you (I'm actually very nice, I promise, I'll even bake you oatmeal chocolate chip muffins when you visit.)




So, if you are interested in doing a guest post or author interview, shoot me an email. I will always reply if you don't bounce back.


Hey, I thought that was funny!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cover Reveal...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

We all know "cover" has many definitions, but did you know it has as many as 30. Click on the link to find out what they are. I'm listing only the first one.
Cover (verb - used with object): 1.to be or serve as a covering for; extend over; rest on the surface of: Snow covered the fields.

It's the big day! This is the cover for my upcoming novella available in Spring of 2012 "Marked: A Two Halves Novella". Yes, there is resemblance to the novel. This is done on purpose. With time I will post more information in the tab above.






Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.
Portfolio: http://coversbyrobin.deviantart.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What do you think? 
 

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Blogs Featured...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Autodidact (n): a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.

If you watch Live with Kelly, you'll know exactly why I used this word today :)  It's my new favorite word, right after "apprehensive".

I've been following two different blogs over time of two different authors who from my observation seem to have a completely different approaches to marketing their work. I found this fascinating, because as any author I try to market my novel as well (seems like all the time). 

What's even cooler is that I use both their approaches and I'm curious to see the end result for each one at the end of the year. Of course there are other variables such as they write in different genres, but it will be interesting to follow and compare their results. One common denominator: they're both self-published.


I'm always a big fan of bloggers who share information and these two don't fail. They're both honest and open about their experiences whether positive or negative.

Here they are:



1. Lindsay Buroker: At Savvy Self-Publishing has a few educational podcasts and quite a few educational posts. She introduced me to a cool new site I'm exploring: www.copyblogger.com


2. Neil Ostroff: At Always Writing, I've been able to "bump" into Neil in a few places on the internet (although he may not know it). This tells me he's doing his share of marketing as well.


For Some exciting news:
On Monday: cover reveal for "Marked: A Two Halves Novella" so tune in.


Have you had the experience of bumping into the same people in the blogosphere? Seeing them where you'd least expect it? 

This reminds me of a story when I reunited with friends after not having seen them for 10 years in the exact spot I met them (and it was in a different country). Perhaps I'll share that story next week! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Wednesday...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Quanta (n): 1. quantity or amount: the least quantum of evidence. 2. a particular amount. 3. a share or portion. 4. a large quantity; bulk. 5. Physics (a) the smallest quantity of radiant energy, equal to Planck's constant times the frequency of the associated radiation.(b) the fundamental unit of a quantized physical magnitude, as angular momentum.

I'm posting this word only for one reason. In high school I wrote a physics paper on Max Planck's Quantum Theory and stumbled upon it the other day. I couldn't believe what I wrote and it's quality. Could I explain the theory today? No way! I'd have to read my own paper first.

Today is the first wednesday of the month so it's time for a post for Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you have not heard of it before, click on the link above and join in. But before I get to that, those of you that follow my blog will notice a couple of changes.

1. New Background: the image was used to create the cover for Two Halves. I'm usually not a big fan of dark backgrounds, but if well done, I find they work. So please be honest - does it bother your eyes when reading? Do you have suggestions for changes?

2. A new page on the top bar called Guest Posts. This year I will strive for my blog to be more informative, fun, supportive and helpful to other writers and authors. This includes promoting others on my own blog as it grows throughout the year (hopefully it grows). It's been steady so far and I'm very happy with that. My personal goal is to have 250 followers by the end of the year. I think that's reasonable.

3. New word counter for 2012 on the side bar. Instead of listing all my projects, it's cleaner to have one word count. A WIP (work in progress) page will be added soon to the top to keep you updated on the exciting projects I have lined up for 2012 and beyond. And boy, are there many!

Now, you'll notice that the counter is low. Well, that's because it's January 4th and I'm already behind! By the end of the day I should be at 2000 words. I know I can catch up on that within a couple of hours and I will today. 

But, that's where my insecurity comes in this month. Can I attain what I planned? It's not a big insecurity, but an important one. I've set such goals a few days ago so that I may support myself and my family with writing by the end of the year. I know my goals are achievable. I know I will do what I set out to do. I never fail to complete something I started. I think I'm beginning to understand what I'm doing, but honestly, business is changing constantly and I hope I can keep up with the change. 

Since I have huge control issues, that which is beyond my control frustrates me. I'm not afraid to work, especially doing something I love, but when I can't control things around me I must adapt to them. Adapting to changes is not a problem, but finding out how to adapt is. It's time consuming and time is precious, ask Justin Timberlake (that was for movie buffs - if you haven't seen "In Time" see it).

So my insecurity this month would be finding the strength to adapt to change. 

My solution which I bet is common among authors and writers. Following my instinct.
Inside, I'm very excited about this year, specifically the upcoming projects. For those authors who live, dream and breathe your stories, you know what I mean. Those tingles you get inside when you speak about your characters. The passages you write down in the middle of the night because they perfectly fit into the novel. The great review you get from someone who's read your work for the first time and loved it. My kids smiles when they want me to talk about my work. Those feelings keep me going, imagining, writing, exploring and sharing my work.

Do you have these feelings? Do you follow your instinct? Does it work?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vacation Rundown...

WORD FOR THIS POST:

Interface (n): 1. a surface regarded as the common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases. 2.the facts, problems, considerations, theories, practices, etc., shared by two or more disciplines, procedures, or fields of study: the interface between chemistry and physics. 3. a common boundary or interconnection between systems, equipment, concepts, or human beings.


As many of you know I've been away since Christmas in Florida on a Family vacation. I must say, I love Florida, but there's no place like home, or your own bed. After a 23 hour drive I'm exhausted but we had a wonderful time while away! Why? Here are my reasons:


1. It's warm! The weather was great, but great weather makes me feel lazy so I fell behind on what I planned to do. The warm weather actually forced me to have a proper vacation!


2. The dolphins swim in Gulf of Mexico every day, not far away from you.  That part was awesome. We tapped our palms on the water (I heard that somewhere on TV) so they would come closer and they did! I think it's because dolphins think there could be a stranded fish on the surface. Whatever the reason, they were not more than 25 feet away from us. 


3. NASA: For the first time in my life I visited the Kennedy Space Center. What made an impression beyond is the size of the rockets is what human beings have achieved in the past century. Space! Wow! The IMAX hubble 3D experience was beautiful. The bravery of the astronauts is beyond me. As you know I have a fear of flying and could not imagine doing what they've done. It's still unbelievable that people actually go up into space. I loved every minute of it.


4. After 20 years of not seeing one another, my husband found his uncle (whom he call cousin, but that's another story). It was great to meet his kids and family. It amazed me how much information they had about their ancestry, the photos, letters, world war stories - awesome! Creating a family tree is on my to do list now. Oh! And they had an orange tree in the backyard (we don't have those here). Absolutely beautiful!


5. The street lanes in the US are so well lit, I wish we had that up here in Canada. It makes a huge difference in driving with the reflecting lights in the pavement. No need to strain your eyes at night.


The rest of the time was spent on the beach and a little bit of shopping of course. I was able to compose my thoughts with new story ideas and organizing for the new year. Now it`s time to implement it all. I must say this was one of the better vacations in a while. 


Do you have special vacation stories, memories? Feel free to share them in the comments :)