Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's Up Wednesday (speed blogging addition)

Its time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm Reading  I didn't post last week so in the past two weeks I have finished Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate.  I'm currently reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth and The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles.  My kids and I are still reading On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
What I'm Writing  I'm still revising Slumber and drafting my fairytale story. I'm working at snail speed but I'm making progress.
What Inspires Me Right Now IndieReCon, which is why this post is brief... lots to learn.
What Else I've Been Up To  I've been primarily hanging out with my kids, taking them to lessons, playing at parks and getting a craft together for our homeschool group.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

Its time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm Reading  I'm reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to get to this book as I enjoyed the first one quite a lot   My chapter a day classic is Anna Karenina.  The kids and I are reading On the Banks of Plum Creek.

What I'm Writing  I've been revising Slumber.  It feels a bit like rewriting at this point.  It is the first novel I wrote and my writing grew so much while drafting it that the first parts and latter parts of the book are vastly different in style.  I'm weaving in descriptions, adding dialogue (I apparently didn't use much back when I was starting lol) and making sure my facts match up.  
  I made progress on the story that resists all titles.  Eventually it will have a good one.  For now I'll still call it Mirra.  My MC is still an inanimate object but she is getting sick of it and is about to try to break the spell...  We will see how that goes.  I predict that it won't go well.  Not at first, anyway.  You know, that whole make your protagonist suffer and all that :)

What Inspires Me Right Now  Sleeping in on a rainy day.  It was one of those mornings where you wake up and wonder if your house was transported to the foot of a waterfall while you were asleep.  The sound lulled my two year old into a deep enough sleep that he didn't wake up at his usually 6 A.M. and since he is the one that hauls the older kids out of bed, well it was bliss :)  I am not nearly as desperate for coffee as I normally am.
  I've also been inspired by #WriterRecharge.  It has helped me form some concrete goals for the month and I've made tangible progress in the past few days.  Love it!

What Else I've Been Up To
I don't even know.  After being sick for over a week I've been trying to catch up on all the household things that didn't get done.  Doing school with the kids was about all I managed last week.  This week has been much better.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Writer Recharge Update, Week One

 It's time for Writer's Recharge update one!  Find more details HERE about this month-long motivational writing challenge co-hosted by Sara Biren and Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz Parker, and Elodie Nowodazkij

This is going to be a brief post.  Why? Cause I didn't make my goals and I have time to get at em right now if I don't waste it!  My goals for the month are:
  • Finish the first draft of my fairytale inspired WIP
  • Find a better name for the afore mentioned WIP.  I've been calling it Mirra but it needs something a bit more imagination grabbing.
  • Revise two scenes a week on Slumber
  • Write 6 days a week.  
I stared at my WIP.  I don't think that counts.  I've been brainstorming themes and ideas for a name and I don't have one yet but I'm not in a rush.  I revised part of two scenes... (which is what I'm going to work on as soon as this is posted!) and I didn't write six days.  I'm not sure how many I did...   I have excuses of course but there are always excuses so I'm not going to even get into that.  I'm going to get to work!

Before I go, this weeks goals:
  • write/revise six days even if I only have minutes at a time.
  • Finish revising the two scenes I'm working on and revise two more.
  • Keep track of my progress (word count ect.) and how many days I write.
Happy writing everyone!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and IWSG

           It is time for What's Up Wednesday and IWSG!

What I'm Reading  I slowed down a bit this week.  I did read Cinder by Marissa Meyer though.  I really wasn't sure if I'd like it.  I loved it!  It is such a fun twist on Cinderella.  I am now reading Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

What I'm Writing  I made a barely measurably amount of progress on my revisions of Slumber.  It didn't take me a barely measurable amount of time either which was a bit depressing.  I need to stop obsessing and push forward somehow. I also added some words to my fairy tale WIP.  I joined #WriterRecharge and have every intention of having a great writing month, slow revisions or not!

What Inspires Me Right Now  #WriterRecharge!!!  My goals are posted here and to sign up go here.  I'm also inspired by Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine.  I'm still working though it and I love how much more intentional my life has become.

What Else I've Been Up To  Sneezing.  Yay.  We can't seem to stay healthy at my house lately.  I did manage to squeeze some crocheting in between sneezes (and sneezy kids) and I made my Kindle a new home :)  It still needs a button but I want to find a unique vintage one if I can.

Insecure Writer's Support Group
My insecurities this month seem to be focused around my fumbling attempts at revisions.  I tend to want to fix everything that I find wrong all at once and I paralyze myself with all the faults I find.  I suppose it will just take practice.  Lots of practice.  I have 2 (almost 3) manuscripts to revise so practicing shouldn't be an issue lol.  

I hope that everyone has a great week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

#Writer Recharge

From the awesome organizers of this event:

 January is in the books and you've had to deal with:
a) polar vortices
b) ice storms
c) mountains of snow
d) gray skies and general malaise
e) all of the above

We thought our writer friends might be in need of a little boost. A jump start, if you will. A recharge.

We'd like to invite you to join us for Writer Recharge 2014, a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer's Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, hey, let's do it again! Whether you're delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and a sleepy puppy at your feet or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let's get this party started!

Writer Recharge 2014

Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkijand Sara Biren

The timeline:

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post here (below)
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on myMonday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • February 28: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win one of five query or 3-chapter critiques.
My goals for February:

  • Finish the first draft of my fairytale inspired WIP
  • Find a better name for the afore mentioned WIP.  I've been calling it Mirra but it needs something a bit more imagination grabbing.
  • Revise two scenes a week on Slumber
  • Write 6 days a week.  
Do you have goals you want to meet this month? Need some motivation?  Feel free to join in the fun!

Steampunk with Heart

I find steampunk intriguing and I love that there is so much of it right now.  I am excited to be able to share Steampunk with Heart and I hope that you enjoy all of the great reading options to check out!

What is Steampunk with Heart?
8 Authors, 5 Blog Posts, and an Abundance of Steampunk Giveaways
**see bottom of post for steampunk giveaways**
**see Steampunk With Heart Page for Facebook Party schedule**
MONDAY: What is Steampunk with Heart?
TUESDAY: Steampunk IS Romance (Susan K. Quinn, Scott Tarbet)
WEDNESDAY: Things We Love About Steampunk - Multicultural, Adventure, and More (Jay Noel, SM Blooding)
THURSDAY: Steampunk FAQ (Rie Sheridan Rose, Cindy Spencer Pape)
FRIDAY: The Heartbeat of Steampunk: Romancing the Machine (Jacqueline Garlick, MeiLin Miranda)
Below is an introduction to each of our eight authors, a peek at one of their steampunk books (many of our authors have several), and what "Steampunk with Heart" means to them.

"Steampunk with Heart is a romantic look backward at a bygone Victorian era (or entirely fictional analogue of one), where we alleviate some of the oppressive ideas of the past while keeping the lush aesthetics and romantic ideals about relationships and love."
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. It's possible she's easily distracted. Her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can subscribe to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!) or stop by her blog to see what she's up to.
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
Kindle | Nook | Print
The Third Daughter of the Queen wants to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon force her to accept a barbarian princeís proposal of a peace-brokering marriage.

"Steampunk With Heart is for those whose steampunk tastes lean more to the romantic than the gadgetry." Scott Tarbet is the author of A Midsummer Nightís Steampunk from Xchyler Publishing, Tombstone, in the paranormal anthology Shades & Shadows, and the forthcoming Lakshmi, Dragon Moon, and Nautilus Redux. He writes enthusiastically in several genres, sings opera, was married in full Elizabethan regalia, loves steampunk waltzes, and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of Texas-style barbeque. An avid skier, hiker, golfer, and tandem kayaker, he makes his home in the mountains of Utah. Follow Scott E. Tarbet online at his website or on Twitter A Midsummer Night's Steampunk  Kindle | Nook | Print
Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of Shakespeareís classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoriaís Diamond Jubilee.

"Steampunk is all about questioning authority and challenging conventions. That's where the PUNK aspect of Steampunk comes from." Jay Noel: After doing some freelance writing and editing for more than a dozen years, Jay decided to stop procrastinating and pursue his dream of being a novelist. He's been blogging since 2005. Jay spends his days working in medical sales, but he can be found toiling over his laptop late at night when all is quiet. He draws inspiration from all over: H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, and Isaac Asimov. You can find Jay at his website.
Dragonfly Warrior
Kindle | Nook | Print
The tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

"Steampunk is the genre where the oober nerd is the hero, and the athletic type gets to be the laughed-at sidekick. LMAO! Science geek trumps the strong brute. How could you not love that?" SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Ms. Bird who is really a bird. The guitar and piano have temporarily been set aside. She's learning to play the harmonica. The bird is less than thrilled. Her real name is Stephanie Marie (aka SM), but only family and coworkers call her that, usually when theyíre screaming at her. Friends call her Frankie. You can find out more about her and her writing at her website.
Fall of Sky City (Devices of War)
When Synn ElíAsim is captured, his Mark is brutally awakened. He finds himself the most powerful Mark, and quickly becomes a coveted weapon in the war between the Great Families and the Hands of Tarot. However, only he can decide how he will be used to shape the lives of all the tribes.

"To me, Steampunk is an alternate look at a period of history that fascinates almost everyone. What would have been different if technology had taken a slightly different direction? And it is fun to play with the gadgets." Rie Sheridan Rose's short stories currently appear in numerous anthologies. She has authored five poetry chapbooks, and collaborated with Marc Gunn on lyrics for his ìDonít Go Drinking With Hobbitsî CD. Yard Dog Press is home to humorous horror chapbooks Tales from the Home for Wayward Spirits and Bar-B-Que Grill and Bruce and Roxanne Save the World...Again. Mocha Memoirs published the individual short stories "Drink My Soul...Please," and ìBloody Rainî as e-downloads. Melange Books carries her romantic fantasy Sidhe Moved Through the Faire. Zumaya Books is home to The Luckless Prince as well as her newest novel, The Marvelous Mechanical Man. You can find her at her website.
The Marvelous Mechanical Man (A Conn-Mann Adventure)
Kindle | Nook | Print
Josephine Mann is down to her last two dollars when Professor Alistair Conn hires her to work on a wonder--a 9-foot-tall automaton Jo dubs Phaeton. When an evil villain steals the marvelous mechanical man, Jo's longing for adventure suddenly becomes much too real...and deadly.

"Steampunk is being able to mix together all the things you love from the Victorian, modern and all eras in between, along with the addition of future tech and fantasy." Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 18 novels and more than 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, two sons and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book. You can find her on her website.
Ashes and Alchemy (The Gaslight Chronicles)
Kindle | Nook | Audio
London, 1860
Police inspector Sebastian Brown served Queen and country in India before returning to England to investigate supernatural crimes. Minerva Shaw is desperately seeking a doctor for her daughter Ivy who has fallen gravely ill with a mysterious illness when she mistakenly lands on Sebastian's doorstep. Seb sniffs a case and musters every magickal and technological resource he can to uncover the source of the deadly plague, but it's he who will need protectingófrom emotions he'd thought buried long ago.

"Steampunk with Heart is all about freedom of expression. The opportunity to create unique and diverse characters in unprecedented and unusual worlds. It's about adventure and inventions and romance...oh my..." I'm Jacqueline Garlick. Author of YA, New Adult, and Women's Fiction. I love strong heroines, despise whiny sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog. I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper) and plan cool writing events for cool writers (check out niagarawritersretreatandconference (dot) com.) I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology.You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (perhaps even a door) and a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you wonít find a hidden passageway but a girl can dream, canít she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea. I love specialty teas...and collecting special teacups from which to drink them. (See website for collection, plus Facebook and Goodreads.)
In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don't ask) and more recently, I've been a graduate of Ellen Hopkinís Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from LumiËre earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship. LumiËreóA Romantic Steampunk Fantasyóis my debut novel, Book One in my young adult The Illumination Paradox Series.
Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox)
Kindle | Nook | Print
One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything. After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her fatherís prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures, but just as Eyelet locates the Illuminator, itís whisked away by an alluring thief. She follows the boy, enduring deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the Illuminator, only to discover the miracle machine they both hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all. 

"Steampunk is at least in part a yearning for technology on a more human, intimate scale--handmade, ornate and wondrous." MeiLin Miranda writes literary fantasy and science fiction set in Victorian worlds. Her love of all things 19th century (except for the pesky parts like cholera, child labor, slavery and no rights for women) has consumed her since childhood, when she fell in a stack of Louisa May Alcott and never got up.
MeiLin wrote nonfiction for thirty years, in radio, television, print and the web. She always wanted to write fiction, but figured she had time. She discovered she didn't when a series of unfortunate events resulted in a cardiac arrest complete with electric paddles ("clear!") and a near-death experience. She has since decided she came back from the dead to write books. MeiLin lives in a 130-year-old house in Portland, Oregon with a husband, two teens, two black cats, a floppy dog and far, far too much yarn. You can find her at her website.

The Machine God (The Drifting Isle Chronicles)
Kindle | Nook | Print
Folklore Professor Oladel Adewole leaves his homeland for the University of Eisenstadt to pursue his all-consuming interest: the mysterious island floating a mile above the city. The first survey team finds civilization, and Adewole finds a powerful, forbidden fusion of magic and metal: the Machine God. The government wants it. So does a sociopath bent on ruling Eisenstadt. But when Adewole discovers who the mechanical creature is--and what it can do--he risks his heart and his life to protect the Machine God from the world, and the world from the Machine God.