“HOOKED” by Les Edgerton is getting my vote for another great writing resource. The book concentrates on the all important start of a story, and really identifying those key elements required to hook your reader and keep them reading all the way through. Three distinct aspects every writer should be able to identify in his/her mss is the Inciting Incident, … Read More

GUTGAA Week 4 Novel Critique Contest

For the final week of the Gearin’ Up To Get An Agent Blog-o-Rama on Deana Barnhart’s Blog, writers are to post their first 200 words of a completed YA, MG or PB manuscript and hop around to each other’s blogs to give feedback. After using that feedback, we all submit our final versions for review, and a chance to win … Read More

SCBWI Summer Workshop

I attended the 4 day writers workshop hosted by SCBWI this past weekend at the beautiful Dominican University in San Rafael. The wonderful Abigail Samoun, literary agent at Red Fox Literary, and author Suzanne Morgan Williams taught the workshops. With so many talented writers in attendance, it was fantastic to hear read-alouds and verbal critiques. Each attendee got a one-on-one … Read More

Auntie B’s Book Club Blogfest Contest

Brenda Drake Writes is hosting a blogfest where 4 awesome YA readers will be critiquing our work. Before we send in our “official” submissions, we post a log line and the first 250 words of our mss for other writers in the contest to critique. Entries for the contest are accepted until June 20th. Title: Arrow of the MistGenre: YA … Read More

Gearin’ Up to Get an Agent Blog O Rama–Week 2

Week 2 of the Blog O Rama hosted by Deana Barnhart is under way with a Story Chain. We are given assignments and times to post by, basing our post on the excerpt(s) before ours, and each person has to come up with something in as little as 15 min. With the creative juices of so many writers, the final … Read More

Gearin’ Up to Get an Agent–Week 1

Oooh, getting this post in a bit late in the day, but here’s my “greatest, dumbest, weirdest…just whatever kind of writing question you have” question for the Gearin’ Up to Get an Agent Blog O Rama (see widget in sidebar): I still get a bit perplexed by the difference between Fantasy and Magical Realism. I believe fantasy has lots of magical … Read More

Pottermore Excitement

Wow, I just found this site: POTTERMORE which is an online Harry Potter “experience” due out in October for everyone (and some gaining entry beforehand). With the last movie coming up, I was becoming a bit wistful. The Harry Potter saga can’t be finished, I thought. And then, in a random suggestion by twitter, I found Pottermore. Yessss, the magic isn’t … Read More

Pixar’s movie "Brave"

Check out this trailor for Pixar’s new movie “BRAVE”, due out in 2012. Boy-oh-boy, is this right up my alley. ;-))

Mister Deep Blue Sea…of Writing

Mister Deep Blue Sea is quite analogous to where my writing takes me. I don’t know if it’s the same for other writers, but the more I write, the deeper the waters become. I tread the shallows for awhile, drawing from the most memorable experiences/feelings, and then once I’ve swam those till my fingers are good and pruned, I delve … Read More

Rachel A. Dillon

Rachel A. Dillon, writing buddy and author/illustrator Extraordinaire, wrote and illustrated her first book Through Endangered Eyes, published in 2009, and is working on her second book Through Desert Eyes, due for release in 2012. For a full interview with Rachel, hosted by another writing buddy Extraordinaire, head on over to Angelic Muse.

Preston Castle, Spooky Field Trip!

Us writing gals took a field trip to Ione, Ca. and toured one of the oldest reform schools in America. Built in 1894, Preston Castle housed boys as young as 12 (these ‘wards’ were taken from the Folsom and San Quentin prison systems) and some orphans as young as 7. The place was highly self sufficient. The boys grew their … Read More

Juggling Manuscripts

So, are you working on more than one manuscript at a time, or do you focus on one until it’s “finished” (at least the first full draft)? For me, a little juggling is okay. As ideas spark, I muse about their possibilities for a story and jot them down for future reference. Or when I need a break from the … Read More

The Breakout Novelist–Donald Maass Interview

Wonderful Donald Maass interview here. My new mantra: Make your novel bigger, deeper, and more powerful. The Breakout Novelist expounds on his other 2 books and workbook. I’ve gained extraordinary insights from all of his books, his day-long Fire in Fiction seminar, and his week-long Breakout Novel workshop. Don Maass is not only a successful agent, but a truly wonderful … Read More


I was lucky enough this past week to explore the beautiful region of southern Utah. I’d seen parts of it before, but not nearly to the extent of this trip. Words cannot express the beauty and awe-inspiring sights with every turn of the road and/or trail. If you haven’t done so, put it on your bucket list. Include it right … Read More

SCBWI CA/North Central Spring Spirit Conference

I volunteered for the first time at the SCBWI Conference on Saturday, and was oh-so glad I did! A looong day beginning at 4:30am and ending after 9:00pm, but well worth it with the helpful workshops, fun with my crit. buds, and dinner afterward with fellow volunteers and fantabulous conference faculty. I sat right beside author Bruce Coville, and enjoyed … Read More

Video Pitch…Take 50! And remember the "Dom, Dom, Dom Rule"

So, my friend and fellow writer Angelica R. Jackson was kind enough to offer her video skills to film my video pitch. I honestly don’t know how actors manage their nerves and then get through a zillion takes of the same material without tearing their hair out. After numerous attempts, I finally got it right…only to find out I was … Read More

Show Me The Voice Blogfest/Contest

Submitting the first 250 words of my completed manuscript to the Show Me The Voice Blogest/Contest I can either submit as-is, or take comments from fellow bloggers and revise before I submit final version. Any opinions? Name: Christina MercerTitle: Arrow of the MistGenre: Young Adult Fantasy (traditional) Chapter 1 A pair of horses charged toward Lia’s cottage. She recognized Da’s … Read More

Operation Awesome

Another fabulous blog for pitching your work. In fact, one of my crit partners, Nancy Herman, landed her agent posting to this blog ;-D The current contest required a “twitter sized” pitch (short!!) Mine is: Lia must decipher an elixir and defeat the demon who poisoned her da via enchanted tree roots, before she’s convinced to serve the demon.

Pitch University

I’m really enjoying a fellow Donald Maass Workshop attendee’s blog Pitch University. During the blog’s most recent Pitch Fest, one of my crit. partners, Angelica R. Jackson, got a full mss request from the participating agent!! :-)) Currently, Ms. Lorin Oberweger of Free Expressions (and coordinator for the Donald Maass workshops) is teaching an Expert Pitch Class and giving feedback … Read More

Kindle Kraze

This is for all those “late birds” like me, just getting an electronic reading device… I love and adore my “library” of paper books. They provide the perfect ambience for writing and relaxation, and I will forever hoard them like treasures (as well as all my adorable book marks I’ve collected over the years). But I must say, I am … Read More