Fun with names

So I may have way too many possible stories I could be working on while I wait to hear back about the fate of Carnival Ink, but you know how an author’s mind works, don’t you? Bright and shiny ideas are always around waiting to displace your current story plans.  So while I was planning on starting my mad scientists story, I think I might be writing about falconers who may or may not be changelings. And it’s all the fault of my writing group.

Yesterday they had this fun game where you wrote a character name and then someone else came in and gave a character description based on only the name. Well….that was where I met Kathleen Moncton Heibam (Kathy to those who know her).  And thanks to one lady named Molly and myself, I know she’s 4 years old. She likes to say hi to dock workers as they walk past her house. She has an imaginary friend named George. She likes to keep real fairies in glass jars under her bed. She has the darkest black hair anyone has ever seen before. People in town think she might be a changeling, but are too scared to find out.

I mean, don’t you want to read a story about her? She won’t be the main character, but she’ll be important for sure. Anyone who can manage to catch fairies should be important.  And now I have to figure out if this is the story that gets written next or if I push ahead with my mad scientist. Because she’s pretty cool too. Ugh, decisions decisions.  Either way, i’ll be writing about strong girls and that’s just what I love to do.


PitMad madness

If you are not a writer, or not on Twitter, you might not know what Pitmad is. It stands for Pitch Madness and it is a way for un-agented writers to maybe land an agent or publisher.  In the last two years I have participated in Pitmad 6 or 7 times and it was only this most recent time that I actually got a any hits from agents. You see I’ve been through a small publisher, and it didn’t end well. I’m okay self publishing (even though I suck at marketing) but an agent would hopefully allow me to get a big publisher that would help me be better seen. And that is the dream.

I’m thinking that it appears that maybe pitching a picture book wasn’t in the cards for me, because the pitch I finally got likes on was a middle grade, Carnival Ink. So I have my queries sent out and am waiting to hear back from the two agents who liked my tweets. It’s not guaranteed that either of them will sign me, but I am cautiously optimistic. And I have a plan B, well, I guess it’s plan A, cause my original plan was to query agents with this story anyway.

I believe in this story. I’m proud of my first few forays into middle grade fiction, but I really believe this is my best work. I want people to read. I want people to love it. And I really believe an agent can help me with that. So, if you would, cross your fingers for me that I get good feedback? And since it’s out of my hands for now, time to start on the next story. But which one?


So it’s summer and that means less writing and more lazing around the house, reading all the books and trips to the creek.

This is my last summer before both my girls are in school. So once school starts at the end of august, both of my girls will be gone and it’ll just be me in the house with the dogs. I’m still not sure how I feel about this, but because of this, I’m actively forgoing any type of writing in order to spend more time with them. Being silly. All of us napping on my bed. Answering “would you rather” questions, or “what is your favorite” questions, or “what would you do if” questions.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not going forward with Carnival Ink. It is the one thing I am working on. Revisions are hard and going deep but I still hope to have it ready to query by the end of the month. I have my trusty beta reader/critique partner all ready to go forth once I finish the rewrites, which I have admittedly been avoiding because I know just how hard it is going to be. I will persevere though. I will.

So that’s it really. Not much more to report. It’s summertime and the living is easy, as they say.  So to make up for what is clearly a lackluster blog, here’s a pic of my Ash at the creek. She may be tiny but she is certainly a water dog 🙂


Carnival Ink

In my last blog I talked about the new story I was working on, tentatively titled Carnival Ink. It was going to be a depression era, kinda bleak story about traveling carnivals. Well…now it’s a play on the Robin Hood mythos. And there are pirates. And magic. It’s interesting how a story evolves, isn’t it?

I wanted the magic. It was important to me to have it, and I had to make it work.  We all know that readers don’t really like a story to go, “because magic” so I had to weave it into the story in a believable way, that made it an actual part of the world, not just a mcguffin.

So I took a look at our world, the unrest and the worry and the division, and had an “ah ha” moment. So now my story is alternative history with some pretty major big guys of our past in a whole new light, pushing the story to a reality that isn’t completely out of reach. If magic were alive within us, that is.

The words are flowing and I really, really love the story. It has all of my favorite things. A strong young girl, a sassy pirate, magic and cool steampunk clothes. My goal is to have the story written this month, so I can work on edits and polish it. I want to query this one. Having an agent is the goal, and something about this story makes me feel it might be possible.


I’ve never kept a dream journal. I wonder now if that was a huge mistake. I’ve always had crazy vivid dreams. When I was young I used to have a reoccurring dream about a vampire that tried to get me in my friends front yard. I had that same dream so many times that I still remember it in great detail, even though ti’s been about 20 years since I last had it. The same goes for the nightmare I used to have about the guy who hid in my closet all night, only coming out to get my after my mom had gone to bed.  For years I had that nightmare after watching one of those, To Catch A Predator type shows (thanks for that mom).

Even now as an a adult I have these crazy dreams. I wake with whole worlds built in my head, characters that are evil, those that are good, and a few in between. Worlds were things don’t work they way they do now, but oh, what if they did. And just this morning, for the first time ever, I wrote down my dream, because man will it make a good book. I haven’t yet decided how to flesh it out, what age range I should write it in, but the base is there, and it’s going to be fun.

Do you keep a dream journal? I may just start now. I have a fairly good stack of empty notebooks, I’m sure I can find one that will be perfect for this new purpose.

Happy Mad Hatter Day!

I am a day late for my normal #mondayblogs but I think it was meant to be, I truly do. Because yesterday wasn’t Mad Hatter day, though in a way it was for my alter ego (the main name I write under). However, today will be #tuesdayblogs for me, and I’m cool with that. Any time I get to wax poetic about my love for this book, the amazing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a happy day. You see, I am a full on Alice fangirl. I love this book. It is without a doubt, my FAVORITE book of all time. I know people think I’m crazy for even being able to pick a favorite, but I can and I have, since I read it ages and ages ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it here before, that is how much I love it. I have like 5 copies of it, that’s how much I love it. Seriously, do you get how much I love it yet?

And of all the characters in the book(s), my favorite has always been the Mad Hatter. He was always so silly when I was a child, and as an adult, I fully understand the madness.  For years now, I’ve been using him as a yardstick for all other characters. When I was a child he was my first book boyfriend, way before I even knew that was a thing. The book, and him, were what inspired me to be a writer. My whole life I wanted to write a character as cool as Hatter, in a story that would be as loved as Alice. I’m even going so far as to have a scene from the book tattooed on me, that is how important it is to me. It has and always will be a part of my journey as a reader and now as a writer.

So Happy Mad Hatter Day. Hope you fit a bit of tea into your day, I think I’ll put on the movie and have a tea party with my youngest today.

Short and sweet.

Today I’m mainly popping in to say that I think *fingers crossed* that we have a release date set for Dragon Boy, which is really exciting.  We’re aiming for Sept 22nd, which is getting closer everyday, which means, more work to do. We have a cover, and I hope to be doing a cover release soon, and when I do, y’all (my 5 followers) will be the first to see it!

That’s it really for today. It’s a dreary rainy day so I’m trying to get some writing in, and then it’s preparing for launch 🙂

Hope you have a happy Monday.

Writing is good.

I’m a writer. Or at least that is what I call myself. So when the real world butts into my imaginary one and I can’t write, I feel awful. But I am not the kind of writer who can write THROUGH the stress. I have to wait for it to pass and then hope that my muse hasn’t deserted me. And most times, quite luckily, the muse comes backs with a quickness. I never really stop writing though. I’m always plotting, or building worlds in my head, but sometimes when the world starts closing in I stop being able to put it on paper (or computer screen as it were).

This happens more than I would like. In reality I probably only get to write about 15 days out of the month. Between house stuff, kid stuff, and then stress, sometimes spending an hour in front o the computer just isn’t realistic. And sometimes that hour when hard won is spent surfing pinterest for inspiration. I love the idea of the old school writer, spending the days drinking and pounding out words on a type writer (I have no idea why i go straight to Hemingway, i’m not even a fan). But in my reality as a writer, I write a few words then go make popcorn for the kids. Write a few more words then break to play don’t let the balloon touch the floor. Write a few more words then clean out the kitty litter (yep I’m the writer with a house full of cats.and I don’t even like most of them). And so it goes. So when I do get a chance to write, I have to remind myself that any writing is good. So long as I don’t ever stop fighting for that time to get the words that are in my head down.

I’ve been super stressed the past week. Zero writing, until yesterday. Yesterday I amazingly managed to get out an entire story for a picture book. Yet another story I’ll sit on cause I don’t know what to do with it. Here’s a few lines. It’s bittersweet, or as my 7 yr old daughter says, sad.

From all around, bees flocked to the proud privet tree.

Buzzing around in numbers too high to count.

They buzzed and danced among the limbs.

Drinking the nectar from the tiny white buds.

During those months the tree wasn’t lonely.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

A dragonfly on the creek, a dragon game my kid plays, the way the sunlight filters through the trees in my backyard, inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes it hits me over the head like that azure dragonfly did last week, and sometimes it’s a slow burn and I don’t realize the seed has even been planted.  Either way it happens, I am grateful for it.

I’ve not yet been asked where I get my ideas from, though I can’t wait for someone to ask. Cause then I can tell them the story of how we picked blackberries one year and I got attacked by bees. That is totally going into a story. Or how watching clouds one day with my kids I got an idea about little sprites living in the clouds. That story is written and waiting to be used, somehow.

It’s funny to me how writers, and any other artist really, see the world in a totally different place. Where one person sees a sunflower bent at the stalk, an artist sees it through their medium. I want to write about how that stalk is bent, a cartoonist may draw the troop of ants that walked up it and then fell when it’s strength wouldn’t hold their weight. Inspiration is a funny, but beautiful thing. And every day I am grateful that I have it in my life. Writing would be so boring if I couldn’t pull random things from my world into the worlds I write 🙂