Help my friend win!


My friend and fellow author, Shannon Winslow entered a short story contest for Jane Austen lovers. There are currently 86 short stories competing in a popularity contest to make it to the top 10. The top 10 are then judged for possible inclusion in an anthology!

If you can spare a moment, please vote for #16 in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It contest:

Voting continues till the end of the month, but only one vote per person, so please tell your friends too!


Just a brief note to inform you…



Just got word from PI that my sis is alive, and pinned down to at least one country. (Yeah, I know that sounds weird. Long story. >_> )

It’s not much, but it is so much better than picturing a corpse in a field somewhere. ^^

There will now be much dancing and celebrating. Sorry for the interruption of your expected schedule. Have a good day!

Beware Writers: A Good Book Can Kill You.


I found another one of those books today. No, not the kind you may be thinking of. It isn’t badly written. It doesn’t make me groan. I am not being forced to read it. Quite the opposite. These books don’t kill you. They’re just really annoying to get through.

I’m talking about the kind of book that seems to attach itself to your fingers like it was cemented there. Sleep? What sleep? It’s only 2AM. You can fit in one more chapter. Well, maybe another one. And another.

Unfortunately, there are 6 of these horrible books in a row. I have 4 of them. I’ve read 3.5 so far. I was in the bathroom at 3AM last night hiding so I wouldn’t wake anybody while I read just one more chapter.

God help me if someone buys me another from this series. I need to know what happens, but at the same time, I gotta sleep sometime.


On the other hand, I only have 200 pages to go in the 4th book…at this rate, I could have rest of series finished in a couple of days.

Woof Wednesday


OMG! I'm not ready for my close-up yet!

Since my sister disappeared, my mother and I have spoken almost daily on the phone. I’m surprised how much I enjoy these conversations, since most of the time I keep phone calls down to once every 3 months. I don’t mean to be anti-social. I just hate phones. Unfortunately, phone is the only way to reach my parents these days.

There is no new news on my sister, but my mother is doing something new. She started writing for Associated Content. The economy has been tough on everyone, and my mother is currently unemployed. I’m not doing so well with my job either. She proudly told me she’d made $120 this month.

“$120 isn’t that much,” I pointed out.

“It’s $120 more than I had before,” she shot back.

She had a point. So, bowing to my mother’s advice, I spent the weekend working on dog related articles to submit to Associated Content. My assistant, Rocco the Chihuahua, was glad to help. ^^ Together we wrote and got pictures for an article on tooth brushing and ear cleaning for dogs. We had a blast, and Rocco was soooo proud he could help mom do anything.

Because I had so much fun doing it, I’m going to keep doing it, and post the links as/if they get published every Wednesday. ^^ I hope some of you will consider reading my articles, and passing them on to anyone you know who has dogs. I’d really love to try my hand at becoming a full-time freelancer, even if it does mean mom was right…

The divide between life and writing


My sister disappeared on 01/13/11. Her last words to me, filled with all the heat and passion of someone who knows they’re doing wrong, “I’ll call you when I’m state side.” She never did. The past few weeks have been a never ending roller coaster of stress and panic as a private detective, FBI, and police in two different countries search for my sister. To raise the stakes, she flat out told me the name of the person she was going to go visit, a person with five rape convictions.

Yeah. They can’t find him either.

I try to keep my personal life out of this blog, but every now and again my personal life and writing collide. The truth is that through all this, a small little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering, “If you ever find her, this would make such a great book.”

It doesn’t help that when I share the full story of what has happened so far, most people mention that you couldn’t come up with a better novel. I know that, but at the same time it is right at my limit for how personal I’m willing to make my writing.

I think we all have our limits. How much of our inner-selves we are willing to reveal to the public. The problem with that is that the story closest to your soul is the one most likely to touch your readers. Powerful fiction isn’t just a story with a plot and theme and characters. It’s the inner workings of another person’s heart, and that’s what people are buying when they hit the bookstores.

I don’t know whether I’m going to turn this into a story or not. I keep a notebook full of thoughts I have related to my sister, and I stay on the phone with my parents as they tell me what the police are trying next. I don’t know if writing this story would be healing, or harmful. I just don’t know.

I am quite sure none of you have had an experience quite like this one in your life, but perhaps you’ve got an epic story of your own. Have you told it? Fictionalized it? How did it impact your writing?

I’d love to know.

Outlining Part II – Thanks for your help!


I got a ton of great responses to my post, “Someone give me a kick in the pants. >.<“

For those who haven’t read it, it’s about my attempt at outlining an already completed manuscript, so that I can fix the plot holes without rewriting the entire novel 978 times. It seemed like the entire writing community gathered together to respond, covering every angle of outlining from seat-of-the-pants-never-done-it to 10 step programs on how to outline in style.

I loved all of your responses. In fact, I actually grabbed one of them for my own use. ^^ Today is show and tell: My rendition of Ellie’s sticky note project. Check it out:

First we get our poster board. Hello Mr. Poster board!

Then we add marker, and make it all pretty and girly, cause we’re silly like that. ^^

Then we get serious with…post-it notes!

Wait, does that character really appear in that chapter? Rearrange.

I’m only to chapter 7 in fixing stuff, so I didn’t bother preparing the rest. This is what my project looks like as of now. ^^ I can read the whole thing easily from my desk, which tells me it’s going to be awesome for beating things out while I’m working on the novel itself…don’t have to keep flipping back and forth between pages/documents!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. This is wonderful!