Thursday, March 28, 2013

Say it Again?

I'm over at Revising & Editing today talking about Redundancies. I hope you'll pop over to join the discussion!

This is something I have a problem with in First Draft Writing. I had great difficulty recognizing this as a problem when I first started writing a few years ago. I felt more like I was reinforcing the idea rather than irritating the reader. Thankfully I'm finding it easier to spot in my drafts these days.

How about you? What's something you've gotten better at?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

JL Campbell with a Giveaway!

The always lovely JL Campbell has some exciting things going on! She's releasing her first MG novel today!

Howdy. I’m glad you’ve stopped in. My name is Christine and although I’m only eleven, I’m what some adults might call precocious. A lot has happened in my life, some of it bad, but like my dad used to say, good things can result from the bad stuff that happens to us.

To help me celebrate overcoming my challenges, a great gang of authors have teamed up and will be giving away copies of their books. Sweet, yes?

For a chance to win a pair of the books listed, you can do anything included on the Rafflecopter below or on Facebook. However, for those who’d like to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Voucher, hop on over to the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog to enter for that.

Anyway, I tend to talk a lot, so before I carried away, here’s my story:

Raised in a hotbed of arguments and fights, eleven-year-old Christine Simms is the victim of her mother's cruelty. A domestic dispute ends in tragedy, sending the family into a tailspin.

A shocking discovery sends Christine on a quest to find the stranger who left her behind in Jamaica. Determined to unravel the mystery of her birth, Christine uses every tool at her disposal and treads with courage where no child should.

Thanks so much for dropping in! I hope you win the novels of your choice. I should tell you that you get to choose books based on how the Rafflecopter does the drawing of the winners. So, if your name comes up first, you get to say which pack you want.

Available in ebook format at AmazonUS

J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican, who is always on the hunt for story-making material. She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the also the author of Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Giving up the Dream, Retribution and Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson).

Visit her on the web at

Congrats JL! Good luck to everyone on the draw!!

Monday, March 25, 2013


This is my back yard...

This is my front yard...
Come on Spring!!!
How's your Spring so far?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

To This Day

I rarely post videos, but I think this one is a must see for everyone.

I could tie it to writing. I could talk about the beautiful way Shane Koyczan blends words together, the cadence and the power of his voice. How to build a character in just a few words. The pace of the story as it ebbs and flows, yet constantly builds to a climax. The way the illustrator finds the heart of the story and showcases that heart with incredible imagery. The power of the combination of words, music, graphics and pauses.

But I won't.

It's much more powerful than that.

I know it's 7 minutes, but it might just change you. Trust me - it's worth it.

Get a better mirror.
They were wrong.

Thanks Shane.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Ten Movies

The Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh is at it again! I think his original Dirty Dozen Blogfest was the 1st blogfest I participated in, so I'm happy to do this one again!! :)

Favourite movies are hard! There are sooooo many great ones out there!
Okay - for a movie to have made my list I decided I'd have to have watched it several times and still want to watch it when it comes on late night TV. I could make my whole list from the SciFi genre, but I forced myself to take 4 from other places.
From WAY back...
The Wizard of Oz - I remember waiting desperately for this to come on once a year when I was a kid. The moment when Dorothy opens the door and the movie changes from black and white to colour is pure magic! And the characters are awesome ... the flying monkeys, the lion and most of all the scarecrow! Almost a perfect movie!
The Sound of Music - another one I waited for every year. (Never did figure out why these 2 were considered Christmas movies though.) We even had a record of the songs. I think I can still sing them all word for word!
Regular Movies
Bourne Identity - love the premise and the character and the discovering of layers and layers of deception. Amazing stuff. The books were better than the movies, but I still really enjoyed it!
Blindside - Such a powerful movie! Sandra Bullock is fantastic!
And SF & Fantasy
Star Trek - Wrath of Khan - KHAN!!! Love, love that movie, although when he puts the thing in his ear, I still turn away. :)
Star Trek - Voyage Home - Ridiculous I know, but I love that scene with Spock on the bus and the punk with the stereo. Spock makes that whole movie for me!
Star Trek - the new one. I was so nervous/excited when they decided to start the series in a new direction. Brilliant. Can't wait for #2!
Star Wars - cheating here - counting the original trilogy as one movie! So many great characters, so many great scenes. Love it!

Serenity - It's such a shame Firefly was discontinued before it really had a chance. Such fabulous characters and setting! I could watch this series over and over and over!

LotR - cheating again! I watch these movies several times a year. These are my #1 favourites. It's not only the story line that shines, it's the incredible play of light and shadow, the camera angles, the pauses and silences. Total beauty.
As I read over the list, I realize there's not one single movie on here anyone else in my family would put on their lists! Not one! I do tend to be a little different...
How about you - do you like any of these movies?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wormhole Travel

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday and in honour of that Stephen Tremp & several blog buddies have created the National Wormhole Day bloghop!

So, if I had access to a wormhole, where would I go? Past, future, present?

I might to choose to go to the Moon a few hundred years in the future. That way, we'd probably have a colony there, and I'd get to see Earth from space - I'd love that. Or if it's a really smart wormhole, I'd ask it to take me to the second star to the right and straight on till morning - because that's obviously the very technical instruction set to take me to the nearest planet with alien life. I'd love to encounter an alien civilization - finding our differences and commonalities would be incredible!

Where would you go?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Carla Caruso & What Ifs

Carla Caruso is here on the blog today. Please make her feel welcome!

Carla will be giving away an e-book copy of her new release Second Chance to one lucky commenter! I really enjoyed the story. Flora's a great character!

What ifs

Anyone who’s human – or breathing – would have experienced “what ifs” in their life. I have many times.
One particular incident that sticks out in my mind is when I moved from Adelaide to Sydney with my husband. Being a journalist, I was offered a job as a subeditor at a kids’ magazine at a big publisher. I ended up not taking the job, considering it beneath my skills and pay level, having previously worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper in Adelaide. I didn’t realise that, while in Adelaide I was a big fish in a little pond, the opposite was true in Sydney. I had to start again – prove myself.
I’d always dreamed of working at one of the big women’s glossies and that opportunity would have been the perfect stepping stone, but now I’ll never know. After turning down the offer, the GFC happened and jobs dried up. I’ve since freelanced for many of the big guns, but never worked in their pristine, manicured offices during my three-year stint in Sydney. And it’s something I’ll always wonder about…

Similarly, everyone would have a war story about The One Who Got Away. Like many women, I’ve spent too many hours fretting about relationships gone sour, wondering if only I’d said this or done that…
I recently interviewed life and business coach Lisa Phillips, behind Amazing Coaching, and she had some good advice for keeping the “past in the past”. She told me: “Let it go and instead of concentrating on someone else, concentrate on being fabulous. We can spend too long on ‘if onlys’.”

It’s so true. My heroine, Flora, in my latest novel, Second Chance (Destiny Romance), has a serious case of what-if-itis. On the night of her 36th birthday, she’s full of regrets and the celebrations have turned sour. She wishes she could be 20 again. Then she finds herself zapped back in time, landing in the summer of 1998 when she was, indeed, 20. The Spice Girls are at the top of the charts and The X-Files is the hit TV show. It’s also the week Flora’s life unravelled.
For Flora, this is a chance to change her future: win back the love of her life, stay friends with her former best mate and succeed in landing her dream job. It should be easy. But her ex’s best friend, Lance Devic, who she never really noticed before, keeps popping up and messing with her head. 

And, after a while, Flora begins to wonder if living in the past really will deliver her the happiness she seeks... It’s a good lesson. Check out more here:
Carla around the web:

Website       Author Page          Twitter
Awesome story and I LOVE the phrase 'what-if-itis' - I'm definitely going to have to borrow that!

I tend to use my What if... questions to flesh out my plots and my future, rather than looking back to the past.

What about you? Are you a forward or a backward What-iffer?

Monday, March 4, 2013


I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about what my students think makes a great book. If you check it out, you'll see it ends up looking like a checklist for writers.

So, I started thinking about checklists. I'm not a list person - but everyone else in my family is. Every last one of them. They do think I'm a bit of a nut.

Do you use lists or checklists in your writing?

As part of my ongoing attempt to plot/outline/organize my writing, I've created a chart to make sure my scenes on track. My chart headings are: chapter & scene #, pov character, setting/main event, internal conflict & external conflict.

I don't know if it's helping me write at all, but it does give me more confidence after the fact that I'm still on track - and it's helping me tweak the scenes with that focus in mind. At least I think it is... :)

Are you a list person? Wht kinds of checklists do you use?