Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Famous! One of My Photographs Landed on a Magazine!

One of my photos is featured on the cover on the latest issue of

This has become one of my more popular shots, and I'm working on figuring out how to sell prints of it, as well as a few others deemed worthy!

Please check out this special magazine and show it some love!

There's even a mini bio about me in there! Squee!

Thanks so much to Heather, the editor, for this opportunity and for all your kind words! I am confident great things are in store for The Basilica Review!

Awards! And Blogs You Should Be Following!

Yes I've been hoarding, again! I thought I'd be so organized with these lovely prizes but the blogging love has gotten out of control!
I am so thankful for faithful and giving readers.

So I'll just run right through them. PLEASE forgive me if I missed anyone who gave me an award. I tried my best to keep up with them, but I'm almost positive something is getting looked over. Please don't think I'm not thankful!

The Prolific Blogger award given to me by
Nicole Ducleroir at One Significant Moment at a Time!


The Beautiful Blogger award given to me by
Amber Skye at Reading Addict!



The Sunshine Award given to me by
E. Elle at The Writer's Funhouse!


The From Me to You award given to me by
Kimberly Franklin at Confessions: The Secret Life of a Writer!
Lisa at Confessions of a Writing Mama!
Kayeleen at Kayeleen's Creation Corner!
Star Child at Views of a Star Child!


The Humane award given to me by
Amber Skye at Reading Addict!
Elizabeth at Swords for Fighting!


The Creative Writer award given to me by
Corra McFeydon at From the Desk of a Writer!
Kimberly Franklin at Confessions: The Secret Life of a Writer!


The Happy 101 award given to me by
Roxy at A Woman's Write!
SB at Not Too Serious I Hope!


It's Like We're Soulmates given to me by
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude!
Jen at Unedited!
Kristi Chestnutt at Random Daily Thoughts!



WHEEW! That made me sweat. Thank y'all SO MUCH.

Now, I'm certainly not going to follow the rules for all of these, so I'll post some little known facts about myself tomorrow. A little insight into my insanity. Just for funsies.

Please check into the above listed blogs, they are all incredible people that I'm thrilled to have met in this blogging world.

Here are some other great blogs that you should be following! These are certainly not ALL that I follow and enjoy, but ones you should definitely check out!

Bookish In A Box
Falen Formulates Fiction
Elana Johnson
Cleverly Inked
Christine's Journey
Spunk on a Stick
The Book Butterfly
A Good Addiction
Southern City Mysteries
Under the Umbrella
This Is Not My Day Job
Stephanie's Blog
Benedictions
Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog
HOLLYWOOD SPY
Prophetic Pictures
Writer's Butt Does Not Apply To Me
Dangerous With A Pen
Silver Lining
Me, My Muse, and I
Anissa Off The Record
Another Gray Day
Tiffany Neal
Constantly Risking Absurdity
Novels During Naptime

Ohhhh there are SO many more of you, but this is a LOT of work!!!
Please know I love all my blogging buddies!!

To all of you who have given me an award, and to those I've highlighted here, please take one of these awards you don't already have and display it proudly!
Please don't feel obligated to follow all the rules or use a blog post to pass them along unless you really want to. I KNOW how they can pile up and overwhelm!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

***removed for revisions. thanks for reading!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rough Day at the Vet!

I was going to work on a nice BIG Blog Award post (because I have many to say thank you for, and to pass around), but that will have to wait, because I have other things on my mind.

My poor baby girl had a rough day at the vet this afternoon...

I won't tell you how many times I teared up hearing her cry, but it was more than twice.

Poor baby has a pretty bad ear infection in one of her ears. I was a proud mommy though, because the vet and the other lady helping kept saying what a good girl she was being. She let them do everything they needed to do to help her, even though it made her cry. They said the last dog they had in with an ear issue had to be sedated just so they could look at it.


Mylie's such a good girl!
Here she is now, feeling down in the dumps... and medicated. She's been leaving her ear alone though, so that's good! It must be feeling a little better already!


Concerned little brother, Duke:


And here's Mylie when she's feeling good!


I'm going to go snuggle with her and veg out for the evening.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Something To Look at Sunday

Spring is officially here!
And my sneezing and sinus pressure is proof!
And so are these lovely flowers!

Enjoy!


The biggest bee I've ever seen. I was a bit too close to him for comfort to get these shots, but I figured he was more interested in the flowers.








Snapdragons!


I hope everyone has a fabulous Sunday!
I am staring longingly out my window to a sunny and breezy day, but I know to stay outside for too long will mean watery, puffy eyes and an even worse headache.
Why is it the two times of year with the nicest weather makes me miserable???

I hope your allergies are being nice to you this year!
And if you don't have allergies, well, I don't want to know.

*All photographs are property of Kristin Rae and may not be used or duplicated without written permission.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Down!!

I just finished my FIRST MAJOR REVISION of Between the Letters!!

WHEEEEEEEW!

Of course, this is by no means the second draft... after four years of working on this novel, it's been gutted and rebuilt and gutted again. But this was the MOTHER of overhauls!

I couldn't have gotten through it without my good friends Kristi Chestnutt and Kimberly Franklin, so thank you SO VERY MUCH. I kiss your feet! Erm... you know what I mean!
Ladies, your enthusiasm and love for this story has surpassed my own at times, and for this, I thank you... REALLY thank you. Y'all have encouraged me so much... I don't even know what to say. Sniffle.

I still have a lot to fix per their suggestions, but I think I'm going to take a good solid week and step back from it to give it fresh eyes!

To all my blog followers, old and new, thank you for the encouragement to never quit this writing thing... I hear you. Thank you, too. :)

Driving Myself Crazy

I'm pouring myself into reading lately, mostly for research purposes. I'm trying to learn what styles of writing/storylines are getting published these days. There's no pattern. Every single person writes differently. They use different grammar rules, different POVs... there's no rhyme or reason. Further evidence that getting published is greatly determined by who gets their hands on your manuscript, and when.
I hereby refuse to be discouraged by my own writing--what's the point??
There's a bigger benefit in being determined.
And now I'm addicted to checking books out at the library.
They make it too easy!! All I have to do is go online, search for a book I want to read, click REQUEST FIRST AVAILABLE COPY, and they email me when they set it aside. I mean, how sweet is that?
I think their system is just a bit wonky though, because often I will be #14 on the waiting list, but 3 days later I get an email that it's ready... and I never learn. Because I keep lining up all these books thinking I'll be covered over the next month with maybe a book a week. No. No. They are all ready at the same time, and now I have 6 books. How can I read 6 books before they are due???
I probably can't. But they look pretty stacked up on my table!
Are you also overwhelmed by your "to be read" pile? (Goodreads shows I have 153 books on my list... Since I average 5 a month, that ought to take me, oh, several YEARS to get through those plus all the new ones that come out)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not Another Funk!?!

:::Insert picture of hair pulling here:::
You write and write, you get criticism, you revise, you write some more, you get more positive critiques, you revise again, you get even MORE positive critiques and are assured your story even has FANS waiting anxiously for the next chapter...
You submit the first chapter and a query letter to someone involved in the publishing industry for critique, they give you some interesting suggestions, some you agree with, some you might agree with tomorrow, some you might never, and while they think your writing is okay, you may have to write a few more novels before you get anywhere...
As writers, we KNOW this happens. We hear about it every day. We EXPECT it to happen to us. But when it does, it's a kick backwards. You tug at your hair, you picture yourself pursuing an alternate career, remind yourself that you don't want to, and go buy a couple of lottery tickets for the off-chance you win millions, can quite your job, and actually spend the amount of time necessary on writing that it will take to get published.
It's just frustrating when you think your writing is really getting strong, only to be told you have a long way to to go. But, it was only one person, and I need to treat it like I do any critique. Look at it seriously, understand why certain things were pointed out, and figure out which changes to make for the story to be as solid as possible.
And as agent Kristin Nelson said on her blog today, "Just remember that no matter how an agent responds to your pages today, this is not the make or break moment of your career. The greatest thing about writing is that you can grow and mature in your ability."
I really want to be that writer that's undeterred by harsh criticisms... I really do. And I think on the whole, I am. But the initial blow does make me lose my footing for a day or two (and pout).
What about you? Have any of you been met with the fangs of the forces that be?
Did you abandon your project to work on something else, or channel that adversity into becoming a revising machine?!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Something To Look At Sunday - Maui

I almost ignored that today was Something To Look At Sunday so that I could vent. But then I thought better of it. I need a day to completely work thoughts through my head and approach a plan of attack rationally. So I'll share my plight tomorrow... possibly.

What I do need, is to calm my nerves. And what's more relaxing than waves crashing on the shore? Enjoy these pictures from a trip to Maui, Hawaii.











Felice Domenica!

*All photographs are property of Kristin Rae and may not be used or duplicated without written permission.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I've Been Tagged! It's Boyfriend Book Time!

Jen at Unedited has tagged me to build my own book boyfriend! The tag button is a little too naughty for my taste (and I'm sure you've all seen it by now), so we will move right along to the book making!

I will describe these features as if I were choosing for characters in my book... what are some options I look for??

Hair color and style:

I'm always a fan of the messy, rockstar, hair-in-the-face look. But come to think of it, I don't think I've ever written any characters with this... must ammend that.

Being blonde myself (well, I used to be really really blonde, so I still identify as one), I tend to gravitate toward the lighter shades, especially for the nicer, angelic characters.
And for the darker, edgier characters, it seems natural to make them with jet-black hair. I don't know why this is... I should work on that, too. lol.


Obviously it changes for each character, and I make it up as I go. haha.

Eye color and facial features:

I like the chiseled facial structure (my hubs has this! :),
and blue eyes are always good.
Align Center
But so is green:


When I'm writing a character, I often start with one eye color for them, but then find a really neat way to describe a different color, then maybe another... it's sometimes a very difficult thing to decide on!

Height and body type:

I generally write main characters in the average/tall skinny range. But definition is always a plus.


Visible age:

Well, this strictly depends on the character. In my WIP, one of my main men is around 40, and I like to think he has aged as well as these fine fellows.


Human or other:

Human form on a regular basis, I'd say.

Paranormal skills:

Immortality, immeasurable strength, flying...

Interests:

Must love dogs! Especially Boxers!

Must love music!


Habitat:

Hmmm... they can come from anywhere really...

Special skills:

Must be handy!!


Nerdy hunk?

Sure! What a great hero a nerd makes!!


And I'm adding my own section...

They don't make em like they used to:




Most of you have already been tagged for this, so I'll pass it along to anyone who wants to participate!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Does Your Manuscript Have Lice?

A woman in one of my critique groups once told me that editing and revising a manuscript is like combing out the tangles in your hair. You keep combing and combing through, until all the kinks are worked out and it's silky smooth.

Well, once I really dug in to the revision stage of my MS, I realized I didn't have tangles... I had lice. Little passive bugs, bugs that have eaten all correct forms of punctuation, repetitive bugs, bugs that said the most hokey things!, bugs that dug their little teeth into sentences they didn't belong in. Time to pull out that head lice comb! (I looked for a picture to display, but they were nasty... )

At first, I thought my comb savior was the find and replace tool, but with a 250+ page MS, searching for the word "was"... well, I don't even want to know how long that would have taken me to finish. That's when I had the brilliant idea of going through one chapter at a time. Comb, comb, comb, goodbye litte bugs. Send to critique group for them to use their combs. They found a few little bugs I missed! Lather, rinse, and repeat if necessary, and that's a darn clean head of hair... I mean, manuscript!

What's the process like for you? Do you take it a chapter at a time? One lice, I mean line at a time? One particular error at a time?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Offer Your Writing Chocolate?

Being the Kristin that I am, I can rationalize anything in my favor... perhaps most writers can do this? I'm willing to blindly follow anyone who says we should offer our writing CHOCOLATE.

"As has been said of writing, to write one must always be a little in love. Chocolate triggers endorphins that can make you feel infatuated." - Sheila Bender

Why didn't I think of that?!


Do any of you reach for food for a writing pick-me-up? Sweets? Salt? What's your flavor?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Answers!

1. Sometimes my baby toenail falls off. I mean, there's not much to the thing anyway, and it doesn't hurt... much. It grows back eventually.
FALSE: This doesn't happen to me, but one of my best friends does have this issue...

2. One trip to Disney World, I got sick on Space Mountain and it landed on people waiting in line below the ride.
FALSE: But I came VERY close. And it would have hit the people waiting in line... I checked.

3. I am mentioned in the acknowledgments section of a published novel.
TRUE! The great and powerful Kristi Chestnutt mentioned me in her debut novel The Wolf Within! She SO rocks my face off! Buy it HERE!

4. While we were in Italy, hubs got his wallet pick-pocketed at the Trevi Fountain.
FALSE: But he really really really tried to get his wallet stolen there. It was empty except for a slip of paper that said "get a job" in Italian.

5. I was in a friend's wedding, and my car got broken into during the reception. They busted my window, stole $1000 worth of stuff, and threw it all in the dumpster of a church.
TRUE: The hoodrats stole our overnight bag, my wallet (because I was IN the wedding and had no purse, so I "hid" it in the car... pah), my case with all my GOOD makeup, and other various items. They busted the back passenger window (which has since been fixed but lately decided not to roll down anymore), and those ain't cheap! They stole about $10 cash from my wallet, checked all our pockets in all our clothes (they were inside out), and threw it all in the dumpster of a church. The pastor called the police and we got all our stuff back after a nice dumpster dive... it took me about 5 washings to get the smell out of the clothes.

6. I used to be in a band, and we once had a gig at a club in Nashville.
FALSE: But ALMOST true... I was in a band, and we did play in Nashville, but it was at a battle of the bands thing and not in a club.

7. When I was 12, I broke my arm rollerblading in my friend's driveway. It was summer, and I HAD to swim, so I tied a grocery sack over my cast. It smelled really bad.
FALSE: I've never broken a bone in my body. This happened to a friend of mine, and I always felt like it was my fault because we were rollerblading to another of my friend's houses, and she tripped on a rock in the driveway. Months of her life spent in a cast (a stinky, itchy one!). She was killed in a car accident a week or two before 9/11, and I still sometimes feel bad that she had to wear a cast that one time when she was 12.

8. I know all the words to every Monkees song.
FALSE: I know MOST of them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Playing Catch Up... and an Award.

Wa gwan? is the Jamaican way to ask, "What's goin on?!" Some of you got it!!

Wow. Four days out can sure put you behind. I missed so many great blog entries, awards, I even won TWO contests!!!

Thank you to Girl With One Eye at A Squirrel Amongst Lions for the $20 Amazon Gift Card, and to Jami at YA Addict for the book The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson!!

AND I just got an email requesting that one of my photographs be used on the cover of an online poetry magazine (more details as I get them). How pumped am I right now? This couldn't come at a better time, because I've been seriously contemplating selling some of my work and this is just added exposure!!

I feel so empowered right now, I'm going to enter the super fun Twilight contest AND giveaway hosted by my affiliates, Kimberly Franklin and Kristi Chestnutt! Check out their blogs for the official rules. It's definitely too much fun for the closet Twilight fan in all of us to pass up!!


Well, I have yet again been hoarding the awards, so I think I may just do one at a time here and there and everywhere once in again great while what? for my sanity's sake. I also probably won't follow all the rules because I'm afraid I haven't been keeping THAT good of track of them.

Today's award of choice, because it's fun, is the Creative Writer Award, given to me by DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude and Julie at Silver Lining! Check out their blogs!


I'm going the 6 lies and 2 truths route:

1. Sometimes my baby toenail falls off. I mean, there's not much to the thing anyway, and it doesn't hurt... much. It grows back eventually.

2. One trip to Disney World, I got sick on Space Mountain and it landed on people waiting in line below the ride.

3. I am mentioned in the acknowledgments section of a published novel.

4. While we were in Italy, hubs got his wallet pick-pocketed at the Trevi Fountain.

5. I was in a friend's wedding, and my car got broken into during the reception. They busted my window, stole $1000 worth of stuff, and threw it all in the dumpster of a church.

6. I used to be in a band, and we once had a gig at a club in Nashville.

7. When I was 12, I broke my arm rollerblading in my friend's driveway. It was summer, and I HAD to swim, so I tied a grocery sack over my cast. It smelled really bad.

8. I know all the words to every Monkees song.

Now, which two are TRUE?!

I'm passing this along to Katie at Prophetic Pictures and Stephanie at Stephanie's Blog.
I follow both of these creative blogs, and you should, too!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Something to Look at Sunday?! Ya, mon!

Wa gwan?!

As some of you may or may not have noticed, I've been absent from the blogs (though I was everso sneaky by scheduling a few posts--still catching up on those great comments from the post about writing on a schedule... good stuff!).

I have good reason for my absence!

This morning, I was here:
Jamaica!


Hubs was a groomsman in a destination wedding! (Yes, he's a foot taller than me... when we took the group picture, the photographer said I couldn't stand next to him, and he moved me to the other side next to people I didn't know! haha)

So sweet...

Instead of rice, we threw flower petals!

The water of the Caribbean is unlike any other place. Pictures can't even capture the true color.

Last night's sunset.

Another photo of last night's sunset.

We had a great time in Negril. The weather was hot and humid (nothing I'm not used to, being from Houston), but the breeze made it just right. Our Jamaican hosts were wonderful, the wedding went off with only one repeated hitch... during the reception, the power to the resort was knocked out several times! The band was jammin'! (And also pulled too much electricity!)

It was a great experience... I have the sunburn on my nose and shoulders to prove it!

So what does "Wa gwan?" mean? Any guesses?

*All photographs are property of Kristin Rae and may not be used or duplicated without written permission.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Writing on a Schedule?

Say wha??

Some people set a schedule for themselves, just to get something written. The idea sounds good on paper, doesn't it? Maybe an hour a day, or every other day, that you know you will get writing done, no matter what? How feasible is this? How many times do we think we have a free hour, sit down to write, and are pulled away by this, that or the other (darn them!)?

I look at my own life schedule... and it's different every day. And a lot of it depends on when I get up in the morning. Sometimes I'm able to get off work at 2, some days I don't get off until 4, some days I have piano lessons, some days a friend might call up wanting to meet for dinner, some nights I just really want to watch Lost or Ugly Betty (or The Vampire Diaries), some nights I just really want to read, some nights I have errands to run, meals to cook, a house to clean, and EVERY day my dogs pester pester pester "take me outside", "put water in our bowl", "FEED US!"... And those are just two dogs (and yes, I love them dearly). How do those of you with children manage?!

If I really sat down and made myself a writing schedule, would it work? Would I stick to it? Is it really so wrong to "write when you feel like it"?

What's your take? Do any of you schedule in your writing? Are any of you thinking about it?

"You might write crap, but you can edit crap. You can't edit a blank page." - Kelly L. Stone

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

I was fortunate to win a signed copy of this book in a contest at Cleverly Inked. Thank you, again! My copy has the controversial cover that most of you have no doubt read about, but I'm showing you the cover to look for now, as Bloomsbury has apologized and re-released with this lovely one.

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Description from Goodreads:


Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.


My thoughts:

This was a quick yet fascinating read. Nim is a young girl, stuck in a life she knows she's above, and takes the opportunity Hollin offers her--to sing along with an automation he's aquired. But it's not just an automation wound by a key, it's a trapped fairy prince named Erris. He finds a clever way of communicating with the brave Nim, and she is determined to set things right, and set him free, if possible.

But Nim doesn't know who to trust, because if she reveals too much of what she knows, she might get sent right back where she came from, or worse, Erris could be destroyed. The connection built between Erris and Nim was so unique. And the protectiveness Erris developed for Nim was heartbreaking, considering he was bound by his clockwork automation limits. I couldn't help but root for Nim's impossible-seeming task of learning how to set him free. I also kept going back and forth about Hollin--is he good? is he bad? what happened to his wife? does he love Nim now? Does she like him at all? The questions!

Dolamore keeps to the point with her writing. She doesn't explain more than you need to know to keep the story going, and doesn't introduce many characters that don't have a vital role in the outcome. I was sucked in from the beginning, having forgotten how much I love stories told in different time periods! Then slowly, magic elements, fairies and sorcerers were brought into the mix, leading up to quite an exciting and one-of-a-kind climax.

Critique:

Toward the end, there seemed to be quite a few names to keep up with. I understand that the situation is complicated, but I had to read some parts a few times, and I'm still not sure I completely understand some of the "political" stuff going on. But mostly I do.

I truly enjoyed this, and I'm crossing my fingers for a sequel because Dolamore left it wide open for one, and I have to know what happens next.

4/5 - Really Liked It