Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What the F*ck is Going On?!

Normally I blog about things to do with writing. You know; tips, links, inspiration, etc. Sorry to say, today I'm going to be on a soap box.

Another news report came out today about a 24 year old man raping, slapping and burning a one year old girl with cigarettes. He then persuaded a 15 year old to have sex with him. Just last week a mother beat her thirteen month old son to death because he wouldn't stop crying and go back to sleep. She was hung over and wanted to sleep in. Then, the infamous case of Casey Anthony murdering her beautiful little girl, Caylee.

Why?! Why is this happening? I asked my husband his opinion and he thinks it's because of all the instant sources of news. It just gets more attention. I don't think that's the case. I think it's way more prevalent.

I have never given birth to a child, yet I'm the mother of three beautiful kids. Never would I even think about beating one of my kids. Have I slapped them on the behind? You bet I have. Have I ever closed my fist and punched one of my kids because I was hung over and wanted to sleep? HELL NO!

I keep going over these atrocities in my head. Is it from the easy access of pornography? No longer to you have to hide your face and go into an adult book store. A few clinks on the Internet, and viola! You got yourself some porn.

Maybe it's because of the whole 'you're okay, I'm okay' mentality. Or perhaps because society as a whole refuses to make children accountable for their actions or give them any responsibilities. Maybe it's because of the entitlement mentality. 'I deserve this!'

I'm sure the ACLU's habit of protecting criminals isn't helping. There was a story I read of the ACLU claiming death by lethal injection was cruel because the man in question would feel the discomfort of the needle going into his arm. This same man was sentenced to death for brutally raping and murdering a three old girl. In my opinion, the death penalty was entirely too easy.

Why isn't society as a whole demanded more from our government as far as protecting the children? Why aren't we beating on doors and demanding they severely punish anyone who would not only molest or rape a child, but abuse them in any manner. If a human being is capable of beating a baby to death, or raping a child, is this really someone we want breathing the same air as the rest of us?

And here's another thought; where are the vigilantes we always here about? I'm not saying I condone murder, but I have to admit...I wouldn't shed a tear if some piece of shit baby raper was beat to within an inch of his life on some city street.

I know you all have opinions on what is happening. And I'm sure there's more than one of you who will say I'm evil or a sinner for wanting these monsters to suffer. Here's you chance to sound off....the comment board is all yours!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name....

Wouldn't be a rose now, would it?! Seriously, though, what is in a name? At least, what's in a character's name? I've written and completed four novels, all of whom have names that I'm very happy with. Each of the characters came by their names in different ways; a name of a friend, heard the name on TV, or (my favorite) derived from a candy bar. However, recently one of my characters decided that he no longer wanted to be a Choctaw with long black hair and black eyes. Nope, now he wants to be a white male with short brown hair and dark blue eyes (think Sam Worthington). What?! I made you, you can't change your mind. Oh no, it doesn't stop there. Nope, he no longer wants the name Jason.

So here's the point of the story....I'm having a hell of a time naming him. I posed the question on Facebook and have received over thirty names. Yet none of them are good enough for the hero of my book. Christy, the characters aren't real, honey. They're just a figment of your imagination. Oh, yeah, try telling that to them.

How do you come up with names for your characters? Do you have a list of your favorites? Do you pick from baby name books? Maybe the websites? Or do you let them tell you their name? I'm dying to know how other authors "develop" their characters. And not just the main ones, but the secondary ones, as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Best Internet Time Wasters.....

Those of us who write full time (no, I don't make a living doing it, yet. I'm a stay at home mom, so I write a majority of the day) always have ways to waste time instead of writing. Following is a list of some of my favorite sites where I waste time. Having said that, I should also mention I have found some of the best writing information and advice at some of these site, so I guess they weren't a complete waste of time.

1. facebook - Of course, I linked you to my fan page, but obviously that's not where I spend the most time. However, I'm an opportunist...head over, like my page, then hang out for a while. This site is where I connect with friends, family, fans, and of course, fellow writers.
2. Twitter - Here's another place where I get some info from fellow writers, editors, agents, publishers, and of course, celebrities. I don't find this site as engrossing as others, but I can see how people can become hooked on it.
3. Absolute Write Water Cooler - This site is nothing but a HUGE source of info! Any question you can imagine writing related can be answered by people in this forum. There's categories for everything. I tend to spend a lot of time in these threads!

4. Writers Digest - If you pay for a subscription you'll get lists constantly of pubs, agents, etc who are currently accepting submissions. I subscribed once, but now I just traipse through the forum. Another place with gobs of info.

5. The Writers Cave - Who doesn't like looking into other people's windows? Okay, that sounded creepy. What I mean is, who wouldn't want to see the work space of their favorite author. Paige Cuccaro has compiled dozens of authors' caves; I can spend a lot of time, and have in the past, just flipping through the pics, comparing work spaces of successfully published authors.
6. Nathan Bransford's blog - This former agent turned writer has a great blog. Everything from How to Write A Query, to his take on books. Mr. Bransford's blog is another site I find myself spending hours reading.
7. Query Shark - This site is just all around fun. Sure, it's informative, but I get a kick out of reading some of the really bad queries. Oh come know we've all written a query to make you cringe! But don't worry; this site isn't just the bad American Idol auditions. She has very helpful info, as well as great critiques. She'll show you what works, what doesn't work, and why for both on all things query.

Well, that'll do for now. Don't want y'all to spend all day playing instead of working. You gotta keep your AIS, but that's not just to play on the Internet. Have a great day, and make it productive. The end of the month isn't that far away for you participating in NaNoWriMo!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guest Blog: A.E. Mableson "What is This Mysterious Process Called Writing?"

In keeping with writing blogs I present my next guest blog in the series. He was a little concerned about guest blogging as he isn't traditionally published...yet. Oh, don't worry. You'll see Mr. Mableson around soon. Until then, I've attached his website at the end of his post so you can read some of his short stories. Make sure you take a second to pop over and read a couple.

Without further adieu, A.E. Mableson...

What is this mysterious process called writing?

The question was prompted by a colleague who, upon reading one of my short stories, glanced up and asked, “How do you do it?”

My face, usually blank, must have been blanker.

With a flourish, she indicated the paper in her hand. “This writing? How do you do it? I couldn’t do it. How do you come up with a story like this?”

My answer was a shrug and a stammer. “I don’t know,” I said, “I just write. The stories come.”

This incident happened several months ago and I have yet to come up with a good answer to her question.

In the wee hours of the morning when the sun and the moon are still eyeing each other across opposite horizons the question still flits across my mind. How do we do it? How do we writers take pieces of this mosaic of words that we call a language and assemble them into a story?

I have done many different things in my life and building a story is like none of these things. I have built a house. With a house, you start with a plan. Using the plan, you assemble the lumber, plywood, doors, windows, pipes, wiring and shingles into this cohesive thing we call a house.

A story is different, though. I have no plan. I start with an idea, usually only a title or even a beginning sentence. My first novel, The Magic Pipe, had its infancy in smoke curling about my face as I enjoyed a cigar.

From this idea, the story flows. I tack words together into sentences, solder sentences together to form paragraphs, splice paragraphs into scenes and glue the scenes together to form chapters. A story emerges from this mass of thought and words. If a carpenter tried to build a house like this, he might end up with a boat or an airplane.

I am still at a loss. How does this process work? How do we writers do it?

As writers I am sure we all ponder this question. Are the stories just floating around in the air about us and our minds just latch onto them pull them in and we write them down?

Maybe the stories are just lurking within us, waiting for us to sit down and release them from their captivity in our brains.

In my case, stories have always surrounded me. My father and grandfather were inveterate storytellers. Family stories, passed from generation to generation, caressed my ears from infancy to adulthood. We lived on a farm near a small town. This town should have been too small for a library, but it had one. My mother took me to this library when I was small and soon tales like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham captivated me. Later on the librarian guided me to the stories of Tom Swift, Jr. The Bobsey Twins and the Poppy Ott stories.

As I grew, so did my taste in fiction. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Ray Bradbury, James Michener, J. R. R. Tolkien and more all line my bookshelves.

All writers, if they want to succeed, are readers. We read voraciously. Is this the source of our stories?

Do these stories that we read just float around inside our minds, forming and reforming themselves, until they finally spew out of our fingers in a new form? Could they be the fusion of our life experiences and our reading, the result of which surge out into the stories we write?

As I ponder the question I realize that it doesn’t really matter. What matters are the stories that we write. They are kind of like the flowers that grow in my garden. I don’t care how the plant took the sunlight from the sky, carbon dioxide from the air, nutrients in the soil and water from the rain which falls and use them to produce the flower. I just enjoy its color and fragrance.

Upon reflection, I guess I don’t care how or where the stories come from. I just enjoy writing them and I hope that people enjoy reading them.

You can read short stories by A.E. Mableson here.
Thank you to Mr. Mableson for joining me on my blog. You're absolutely brilliant!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Guest Post by Katie Salidas - How many more words do you have until you’re done writing that book?

For my first guest post, I'm joined by the incredibly talented, and beautiful Katie Salidas. Katie, thank you so much for participating. You can find her books and the many ways to stalk her at the end of the post. Without further adieu, Katie...

So my dad comes over the other day. He pokes his head into my makeshift office. He sees me typing away in a MSWord doc and asks, “How many more words do you have left until you’re done writing that book?”

“Oh probably 30k or so more words,” I said with a bit of a groan. I’d been working through a particularly hard scene and the words were not coming fast enough for my liking.

To that, my dad responded with, “Great. Can I get you to help me with some typing when you’re done?”

Dad’s question got me thinking. An author’s view of a word count is different than most people. Non-authors don’t really know what it’s like to write a book. It’s a creative process which is a very abstract concept to non-creative types. It’s not a matter of just hitting a word count. You can’t take my average words per minute typed and use that to estimate how long it would take to write an 80k novel. If that were the case, I’d be churning out stories by the truckload monthly! That would be pretty awesome though, wouldn’t it?

A lot of “writing time” (and I’m using myself as an example here) is spent staring at a blinking cursor, making odd faces at it while you work through a plot issue in your head. There are also many hours of research that need to be done for some stories. Distractions like: Email, Facebook, Twitter, and Message boards might have something to do with that too, but we’ll just ignore their influence for now. =p

For me, an average writing session can last anywhere from 1-3 hours, and in that time I may not get more than 1k words down on the paper.

Of course, some stories take longer than others to write. My first novel took 5 years. The second, only 6 months, but by the time I got to the fourth one, I was back up to taking a year to write it. Each story is like a living, breathing thing, which requires its own amount of time to grow and mature.

So, while I’m stating a word count goal to my dad, it’s really not a measure of how long it will take me, just an end result. Which means I won’t be getting out of helping him with his typing project any time soon. =p

Alas, a writer’s work is never done.

Thanks for reading, and if you want to check out my work, you can find me at

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Book 1)

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging, twenty-five year old Alyssa is rescued by the most unlikely hero: the handsome and aloof vampire, Lysander.

His gift of immortal blood initiates Alyssa into a frightening, eternally dark world filled with: bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas.

With Lysander as her guide, Alyssa will have to learn what it takes to survive in the immortal world. She'll have to find the strength to accept her new reality and carpe noctem; or give in, and submit to final death.

Hunters & Prey (Book 2)

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Pandora’s Box (Book 3)

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.

Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?

When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.

Powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?

And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being?


To purchase the Immortalis books (In print and ebook):

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon DE (Germany)

Barnes & Noble


About the Author:


Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…

Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How NOT to Succeed as an Author

How many articles have you seen on how to become a successful writer? Ten? Twenty? One hundred? I know I've personally scoured through the Internet trying to find every article on how to become a successful author, how to find an agent, how to schedule a successful book release party. Yet, here I sit, unpublished (with a traditional house, anyway), and still completely obscure and unknown.

So, I've decided to write an article on How NOT to Become a Successful Author.

Tip 1-Don't bother editing your work....that's what in-house editors are for.
Why should I bother editing anything win the publishin hows will due it fore me? I mean, isn't that watt they git paid four?

Tip 2-The second you finish your manuscript, write a query and start searching for an agent. Any agent will do, so just pick a name out of a hat and hit send.

You finished the book, why not go ahead and shop it? I mean, I know you spent at least a good week or so, why waste anymore time on educating yourself about specific agencies, or even revising and perfecting your manuscript?!

Tip 3-When you receive a rejection, email the agent/s immediately and demand they give you a legitimate reason as to why they aren't interested in your masterpiece. They obviously couldn't see past the hastily written, typo laden query to see just how very brilliant you and your story really are.

Tip 4-Instead of querying through email, why not send all queries through mail whether the agent asks for snail mail or not? In fact, make sure you send something along...say, maybe a bouquet of flowers, or a box of candy, and send it certified. That way, if they have to sign for it at least you know they received it.

Tip 5-Don't bother with writer's groups, or online networking. You don't have time to talk to other people. You need to live the life of a writer, so lock yourself away and write. Other writers will just be jealous of your talent and drag you down. In fact, if you let anyone critique you, they may steal your work and make a lot of money.