#SonofaPitch…Welcome to #TeamDarkSide

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Son of a Pitch has begun. This week the peer critiques are happening. Those participating have linked their blogs with their query and first 250 words to our fearless leader and creator of Son of a Pitch Katie’s blog here.

Read about the contest here. Read about the authors critiquing in the next round here. Read about the publishers jumping in for the final round here.

And yes, I am one of the lucky authors who gets to read and critique all (or as many as I can) the queries and first 250s then vote on my favorites. As well as being a critiquer, I am a host! On Monday I will post ten entries. Please do not comment unless you are a critiquing author! But feel free to read! Find the author on Twitter, tell them good luck! Follow #sonofapitch on Twitter for all the fun.

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The theme for this event is Star Wars…I might have suggested that…maybe.

So I am choosing to be #TeamDarkSide.

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And no one is shocked, I see. If you know me, you know I like dark.

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I like creepy.

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I like scary.

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I like evil.

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Give me a great villain and I’ll follow you anywhere. The most powerful emotions come from our fears and uncertainties. The darkness will show you the light. The white is brighter because of the black. Staring into the shadows, wondering what lurks in their depths, is pure joy. What good are fears, if we can’t face them? Words can bring all this to life, infuse us with power.

So hopefully there will be plenty of fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror entries to grace the screen of my little blog.

Give me the dark words!

I write YA fantasy and horror. I am a YA type of girl, though I will read adult and a good MG is always welcome. I am a fantasy and horror girl, hold the kissing, please…but I read all sorts of things and realize that kissing is hard to avoid.

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I am an honest critiquer, pointing out what doesn’t work for me as well as what does work. And remember, my comments are my opinions. That’s it. Opinions. Things to digest. If what I say sparks some grand idea, GREAT! Run with what your creative brain tells you. If my comment makes you shrug…move on and forget it. For in the end, this is YOUR story. Go with your gut. Follow your heart…all those cliches.

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What I look for…well, that’s hard to define. I want the characters and setting to come to life. I want to melt into the words and never come out. I want the world and characters to invade my brain.

Voting? Well, when it comes to that, I will mostly choose based on the first 250, on what taste those opening words leave on my mind. Let’s be honest, queries are weird.

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Good luck to all participating. And welcome to the fun. Critiques for everyone and new friends will be made.

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If you’re lucky you’ll get to be on #TeamDarkSide and I’ll see you all next week! Can’t wait to read all the words! When writer’s unite magic happens.

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#Magicday…Movies

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Last week I took myself to see RINGS. Samara is back! I like all The Ring movies and really enjoyed the newest one.

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Yesterday the family and I went to see The Lego Batman Movie. I SMILED AND LAUGHED THE ENTIRE TIME.

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I would go see a movie everyday in the theater. I love seeing the stories on the big screen, watching the characters and plot unfold…it’s magic.

Movies share stories of adventure, of terror, of fun, of emotion. They can make us smile or cry or scream. They can leave impressions, images in our minds that can change us.

Getting lost in a story, staring at the visual magic on a screen, is one of my favorite things. I always have a list of the ones I want to see…horror, comedy, action, sci-fi, fantasy, super hero, thought-provoking, visually stunning, or just plain fun. I love them. Even kissing movies…well, some of them (let’s not go crazy).

I love sitting in the dark theater. I love popcorn and M&Ms. I love going with people or by myself. I love the way movies add magic to life.

What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?

What’s the next movie you’ll see?

 

Release Day… A Pizza My Heart

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Today is a great day for those who love pizza.

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Today this is now mine. This is on my phone and hot and ready to eat…I mean read.

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What a fabulous idea the wonderful Jolene Haley had…a book full of stories celebrating pizza!

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I know so many of the talented writers who were chosen that I couldn’t wait to own it! TO READ ALL THE STORIES CENTERED AROUND MY FAVORITE FOOD! *smells the cover*

You can buy it now for only $.99 here! THAT’S RIGHT $.99!!!!!

Should be a super fun read with stories in all genres! I can’t wait to take a bite.

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Happy release day to Jolene and all the authors!

You can't hear, but he is obviously screaming "PIZZAAAAAAAAA"!

You can’t hear, but he is obviously screaming “PIZZAAAAAAAAA”!

 

 

 

#Magicday…Thank You

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Two little words. But they mean so much.

A simple “Thank you” can lift spirits, can let someone know that they matter, that what they do doesn’t go unnoticed.

No one wants to be unnoticed.

People want and need to be appreciated for doing the littlest of things.

Two words. So much magic.

Thank you for all you do. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for taking the time. Thank you for sharing a smile. Thank you for understanding.

Thank you for being you. You are magic.drwhohello_sweetieriversong

 

#Magicday…Pizza and a Movie

When I was a kid, Sunday night was pizza night. Every Sunday. My mom made pizza and we were allowed to eat in the living room! The whole family would gather around the TV and we would watch a show…anyone remember Wonderworks on PBS or the Wonderful World of Disney (wasn’t that what it was called?) that played a movie on Sundays?

And there was pop!

This was a special night. Our favorite night.

So, of course, when I got to be the mom, we have pizza night. When my husband would work a four on and two off schedule, there was no set night, but now that he has weekends off?

Sunday night is pizza night! The four of us choose a movie and all sit around together…unless the chosen movie doesn’t suit one of us *cough*14yodaughter*cough*…

We all love pizza night. We have a great time together. And leftovers mean I know what’s for lunch today.

Memories to keep.

Traditions to pass on.

It’s magic.

Add a Dragon

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Today I’m taking myself to see a movie. The Bye Bye Man…yes, it’s a scary movie. And no, I won’t make you go. But I will post about it on The Midnight Society blog tomorrow.

I’m treating myself because last night DOORS, book 3 hit 20,000 words.

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I mean only like 70,000 more to go, BUT LET’S NOT THINK ABOUT THAT! Those thoughts never lead anywhere good.

I have added words nearly everyday. I took Sunday off (I can do that if I want!). I write my word count on my calendar everyday, which helps me see my progress as well as gives me a reason to write…just to write a bigger number, how much bigger doen’t matter. Hitting 10,000 words always feels good, but 20,000…means I’ve really sunk my claws into the mess that is writing. I’m heading to the middle of the manuscript where things get jumbled and that’s fine. I’m through the beginning. However, I am not through with the struggle.

Yesterday, I wrote and wrote and wrote and felt like I was getting nowhere. (hello pacing problems I will fix later)So I whined to Sarah about it and thought of what Rena would do and…I added a dragon.

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And maybe mine is a real dragon, because fantasy book, but for those not writing in made up worlds, it means throw something big and weird and crazy at your character. So…I made something happen. Just added it. And it worked magical magic! This odd creature I magicked into existence made my character remember something…something she hadn’t thought of in a long while, which linked to this ability she forgot she had, which then LINKED TO THE ABILITY I NEED HER TO HAVE IN ORDER TO GET THIS MANUSCRIPT GOING.

And Sarah had major breakthroughs last night as well! GO GO GO!!!! I’m so proud of her!

I’ve never felt in control of manuscripts. I don’t want control. I want to evolve with the characters and the story. I am a pantser. I have a big messy pile of notes that make sense every second Tuesday of each month. I have a jumbled knot of ideas in my head that unravels as I write.

And when I get stuck…I’ll add a dragon. WHY NOT? Join me. The world needs more dragons.

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#Magicday…Decluttering

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The day to celebrate all that is magic.

I suppose my kids would say that a day off of school is magic. AND IT IS!

Happy Martin Luther King day! A great man and certainly a reason to have a day off to remember and celebrate the best of humanity. How far we have come in our ability to accept and in our journey to true equality. How far we have left to go…

But today I also want to share the magic of getting rid of the unnecessary stuff, of organization. My husband has built a shelving unit along one wall of our bedroom. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling, this Oak structure has replaced a few mismatched cabinets and bookshelves and piles of belongings on the floor…15 years of collecting, people. It allowed us to clean out the closet, giving room for clothes that had been shoved in overstuffed shelves (and had been spilling onto the floor for years. We cleaned out the bookshelves where we had been putting things for as many years. I brought books and collectibles up from the overfull shelves downstairs. I have so much stuff…trinkets from my childhood, pictures from long ago, souvenirs from so many places.

We got rid of a lot. The question always… WHY ARE WE KEEPING THIS? WHAT IS THIS?

But I kept a lot too. But now I can spread it out.

But our room feels…lighter. Better. Like a real room. The cabinet still needs doors and drawers and trim, but what a difference! Of course, this sets up a chain reaction…

I want a new rug. The windows need molding. The mismatched, broken blinds need to go. I want to repaint the ceiling. I might want to paint something cool on the wall behind our bed. The blank walls scream for art. Our bedside tables, well, aren’t tables…so hubs might have another project.

Clearing away the old dusty past and organizing the things that matter creates a magic.

It’s been fifteen years of working on this old house. We’ve torn down almost every wall. We’ve redone every room. I barely recognize the pictures of it when we first bought it. My kids looked at old pictures and said, “That’s not our house.” And well, it wasn’t. But now it is, or getting close anyway.

 

#Magicday… Writers Uniting in #sonofapitch

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When writers come together it’s amazing! We support each other. We help each other in so many ways, like cheering on a friend who has a deadline and so many words left to write. *cough*GORENAAAAAAAA*cough* Get the words written and I’ll send you my little story to read and Theo gifs.

Theo believes in YOU!

Theo believes in YOU!

And moving on…

Another way to help is through feedback, commenting in such a way that those words can spark all the ideas of what might be missing to make the story the best it can be.

I have had the honor of reading and commenting on so many words. It is one of my favorite things to do.

So I am helping in the #sonofapitch event! Again! You might remember this writing extravaganza from last summer when I had eleven entries on my blog that was drenched in Maleficent gifs. I had a great time!

#sonofapitch returns in February! All the details can be found here on Katie Teller’s (the creator of the event) blog. So if you have a ms, consider submitting!

This year’s theme is Star Wars. I might have suggested it, no idea why…I didn’t go see the new movie or anything. *cough*YESIDIDITWASWONDERFUL*cough* Can’t wait to pick all the gifs for my blog! You know I will chose the dark side. Mwahahahaha!

So many authors have offered to help. So many people to read and comment. We’re going to have a great time.

Stay tuned for the fun to begin next month! I will read so many queries and first pages, my mind will explode from the awesomeness.

Magic will happen. MAGIC.

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#Magicday…A New Year

Happy 2017!

What is it about a new year? Magically on January 1st, we reset. All the goals we didn’t quite achieve for whatever reasons, all the bad moments, and all the struggles get pushed aside. We carry all the good memories, all the things we did achieve, and all the strength we’re made of and walk off into the days full of possibilities.

Whether we set resolutions or not, whether we go off full steam ahead or simply dip our toe in the water, we step out of the shadows and into the light of what if.

What if we can conquer our fear…

What if we can do the thing…

What if we can grab onto our happiness and never let it go…

What if we can be everything we are meant to be…

Except there is no what if, not really.

We can and we will be our best. We can and we will have new beginnings, even if it is working on things from last year.

This year promises bright, shiny stars ready for us to reach up and snag them, put them in our pockets and let their light seep into our very beings. Maybe we make all our wishes and dreams come true…or maybe not quite. But we will try.

Trying matters. Doing matters.

You matter.

*raises my glass of chocolate milk* To you! To us! Happy New Year!

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Wait… DO I REMEMBER HOW?

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I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange this year and got a VERY cool present! I am excited and nervous and OH MY GOODNESS CAN I EVEN DO THIS ANYMORE?

I received this…

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That is my sketchbook, my very own, to fill with all my drawings of the images in my head. A whole bunch of blank pages waiting for me to participate in The Sketchbook Project. Go find out more here

I have until about the middle of February to fill this so I can send to the Brooklyn Art Library, where it can join who knows how many other sketchbooks and people can see it! AH!

I haven’t drawn in a long time. But I used to. I used to sit in front of a piece of paper and create. I loved it. I sat down to do it again, and failed. Didn’t draw a line. Why? I FORGOT HOW? Out of practice? Overthinking? Fear? Indecision? Well…mostly FEAR.

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Time to let go. Time to find all the images in my head and draw…for the love of drawing, of creating. I think I’ll bug the person who gifted it to me and pull her into the fun, get us both going. For she has a similar art background to me. For she misses the process as I do. And it’s much more fun to do things with friends, and easier to let go and draw if someone is cheering for you. So, Kisa, if you read this, beware. I need a friend in this adventure and YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE. We shall art together.

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I am going to do this. I will keep you all in the loop as I head on this journey. Time to have faith in my talent and quit being afraid. (My motto for the upcoming year!)