Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog FAIL Days... with gifs ;)

So, here we are... February 22. Fifty-three days into the New Year. Have I blogged like I planned? Have I even come close. Um.... NO!

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Now, don't get me wrong... I've got some excuses... I ALWAYS got some excuses.





                  Everyday, I start out in serious need of coffee.
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It's hard to get going.

Until I get the coffee brewed. Then I'm all
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Hurry up and gimme the damned coffee already!

But once I down some java....
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I start feeling a little better about the day.
So I try to jump in the ring...
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Again... fail.

Then all day, as I try to accomplish my goals, I'm like

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No matter how hard I work to get it all done, trying to type all the letters and words.... you know,

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'the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' and all that...

Yeah, well... it doesn't always get done. 

Even when I tell myself to get off my ass and
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     Some days, I look at my computer screen so long, I'm all
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But there are those days, when I get to CP some of #TheOffBeats

awesome work and then I'm all...

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               and happy-n-shit. Because my CPs are amazing authors! 

Of course, there are the parts of the day when I have to deal with my children... I have two... teens.... girls. It kinda looks like this most of the time.

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     Because, as many of you know, I live on Teenage Drama Island.

               On the days when they're at each other like this

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                             I seriously wish someone would....
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So.... those are a few reasons I've not been blogging like I wanted to this year. Not sure it will get any better in the near future. Sorry, guys, you get what you get, so don't throw a fit. ;)

What keeps you from getting done the things you want to do? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you to several of my Tweeps who've inspired me lately to dive into using gifs... it was way more work than I thought it'd be, finding what I wanted, but still a ton of fun. I need to know more places to get cool gifs. If you know of some, leave it in the comments.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Critiques: Giving and Receiving, Why BOTH Are Important


The word strikes fear in the hearts of many authors. For someone to critique your work you're opening yourself to the possibility that your masterpiece, your work of art, maybe even your 'Magnum Opus' might not be perfect. If you need someone to critique it, that suggests there might be flaws. *audible gasps* "Say it ain't so!"

You've read your manuscript three-hundred and forty-six times. You've edited the living shit out of it. Therefore, you're convinced it must be perfect by now. Plus, if someone critiques it, that means you may have to go through it again, giving you the strong urge to pluck out your own eyes.

Well, folks, I'm here to tell you, unless you've had at least two or three people critique your work, it's mostly likely not ready to be published.

'But. But. But my mom read it and tells me it's perfect. Plus, my best friend read it; she loves it. So it must be ready,' you may be thinking. STOP.

Just stop. Stop. Ptss... stop. Be still and listen.

There's something else you probably need to do before your own work is ready for publication. You need to critique another's work. That right... YOUR OWN work may not be ready, until you've not only read tons of other books, but have actively critiqued other peoples' writing.

"WAIT!" you may be thinking. "What does someone else's work have to do with how ready MY work is?"

Hear me out, even though you may think I've lost my freakin' mind. I haven't. I promise.

The amazing Kelley Lynn was the first to give a true line-by-line edit and critique of my manuscript, DEVASTATION. I contacted her after running across her blog, because I'm brazen like that. She was very gracious, when I asked if she'd like to read my book. This was one of the best things to happen to my book. For two reasons.

First off, she gave me wonderful feed back, telling me what worked, what didn't work, and why. THANK YOU, KELLEY, I needed that. Secondly, (here's the point of this blog, so don't miss it) she asked me to critique one of her friend's MS as a return favor. So I did. Critiquing that manuscript turned out to help my own book. Did you get that? It was after I critiqued another author's work I began to really see flaws in my own writing.

Sometimes what that author did right stood out to me. However, it was also some of the mistakes I ran across, which made me more aware of them when I read back through my own manuscript. By actively looking for flaws in another's work, the same types of blunders in DEVASTATION became more apparent.

Kelley Lynn and her friend (now my friend, too) helped me learn how to be critiqued and how to critique. These are two of the most valuable lessons I've learned on this journey to publication. At least, that's where I hope this is all leading; I'll get back to you when that happens.

Many of you know I'm a member of The Off Beats, a group of seven critique partners. When The Off Beats formed, I had no idea how invaluable these ladies would become to me. They've become not only my 'writer friends', but my confidants, my shoulders to cry on, and my support through this tumultuous odyssey.

Thank you to all my CPs, past and present, without you, I'd  be lost.

Do you have a critique partner(s)? If so, what are some of the valuable things you've learned from critiquing their work? What are some lessons you've learned from the RIGHT things they do in their manuscripts? Share your CP experiences in the comments section. Here's your chance to give those shout outs and kudos to your CPs.