Monday, February 28, 2011


I'm back after a fabulous weekend away, and it was quite refreshing!  Now it's Monday and I'm stressed all over again.  My mentoring session went quite well last Friday... she had so much to teach me and my eyes have been opened to quite a few things. So, yet again, I'm researching, restructuring, etc. It's both emotionally and mentally taxing, so I apologize if I say something stupid.  hahaha.

On a happier writing related note, I had so many brainstorming breakthroughs over the weekend for Anemone!! I'd already had the first 12 chapters, and a few random pages written in the middle and some further in, but my brick wall has been the dead space between the beginning and the climax (one of them), and most of it came to me yesterday!! I wrote pages and pages of notes and bits of dialogue that I want to include, and I'm pumped to finally make some progress.

I'm actually thinking about outlining now.  I usually have a rough idea of what I want to happen written out, but I'm interested to hear what y'all do about outlining.  Is there a template or basic structure you like to follow? What sort of things do you include in the outline?  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Five

So I've seen this meme around the blogs where you post five random things, and I'm really not sure who to give the credit to on that.  So THANKS to whoever thought it up :)

1) Wasn't Adele's first CD called 19, and the new one is 21?? Is this how old she is when she records them??  Either way, girl can SING!

2) After finishing Anna and the French Kiss (omg, best book I've read in a LONG time...swoooooon), I sat down to write, and everything came out present tense.  I am now in the process of changing my MS from past to present (so far it's only 13k words I think, so it shouldn't be too terribly awful).  Wish me luck.

3) I'm such a Gleek... and I could listen to every song Darren Criss sings over and over again. Oh wait, I do. (currently obsessed with "When I Get You Alone", and "Bills, Bills, Bills" :)

4) I just finished week one of the couch to 5k program.  Do I have to move on to week two, or can I just keep doing week one over and over again? ;)

5) I'm meeting with a photographer today for a mentoring session! I'm nervous/excited. I'm sure our time together will FLY by, and I hope I can soak up all the info she throws at me without getting too confused or discouraged (as I'm known to do).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red Riding Hood and I am Number Four

I'm posting over at booKrushed today with a review of the book Red Riding Hood and a blurb about the movie I am Number Four. CHECK IT OUT!

And don't forget to enter my Birthday Bash!

Yesterday was a great birthday! My mom and I grabbed lunch and went to see I am Number Four, then spent an hour or two in Borders (mine is NOT closing, thank goodness), and I picked up Candor and Anna and the French Kiss as birthday gifts to myself! And I may or may not have been up until 3am last night reading AatFK.... I had to get to a stopping point. Which apparently didn't come until page 219. Words cannot express how much I love this book. Sigh. must. finish. today!

Hubs got me the Bruno Mars CD I've been asking for! I could swim around in the stream that is his voice.... it's beautiful. He also got me a $25 gift certificate to Borders, so it seems I have even MORE books in my future!!!! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birthday Banner/Button Bash!!

28 years ago today I came into the world, already curious--eyes wide, not even crying.  (Happy Birthing Day, Mom! ;) 

For my birthday festivities here at Kristin Creative, I'm hosting a the


The selected winner will get a new blog header, Etsy banner, or blog button designed by yours truly!
Here is a sampling of some I've made:

Blog headers

Yes, I took the picture of this book myself--it took FOREVER!!

Yes, I drew this flower by hand on my Bamboo tablet--it took FOREVER hahaha. Not sure I will try something this intricate again!

Etsy banner


To Enter:

Comment here with your email address (or email it to me if you don't want yours floating around), which you'd like to win, and a short description of what you want it to look like.  Link your blog if you want a header to your existing design so I can get an idea of the colors/vibe.  If you plan on redoing the whole thing in conjunction with a new header, we'll talk colors/vibe later.

Since I am a photographer, I am willing to take some photos and do effects to them to incorporate (books, architecture, plants, whatever), so if you have any neat ideas for yours if you win, tell me now!!

I'm going to pick a winner based off the descriptions of what you're looking for (to see what sounds fun, and also what I can handle!!) so be realistic and creative!

Deadline: March 6th

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's probably wishful thinking...

I'm so so so close to having 200 fans on my photography FB page.  If you have FB, and you're not a fan yet, please LIKE Kristin Rae Photography's Facebook Page :)

I feel like I'm begging, but I had a sort of unspoken goal of hitting 200 fans by my birthday (which is TOMORROW!!). I only need 7 more!!!

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for my Birthday Banner/Button Bash announcement!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh, the Humidity! And Something is Creeping...

Just came back from a morning run, aka interval training.  I'm covered in a nice layer of wetness.  Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago I mentioned snow flurries and ice storms? Now we're pushing upper 70's and it's hard to breathe out there. Don't get me started on the pollen. I'm already sniffing Nasonex, or whatever it is.    I'm all for springtime and tan skin, but please leave the extra moisture and pollen where it came from.

So, my already low confidence level took quite the hit this weekend, and I'm slowly trying to recover.  How common is it to feel just mediocre at every thing you try to do?  It's really wearing on me.  If only I were independently wealthy and I could afford photography workshops and writing workshops and a personal trainer/chef. But then I suppose that I'd be complaining about everything being too easy. Grrr. I hate to think my funk is creeping back into my life, but I really think it's trying. It's discovered where I'm vulnerable and is sneaking in for the kill (of joy).

But I push on. Because what else is there to do? Certainly not give up. No. Just keep learning, just keep taking pictures, just keep writing. Just keep trying to get better. Grrr. It doesn't help that my birthday is this week and I'm another year closer to 30.  Birthdays just come faster and faster every year, don't they? I'm telling myself to just make the most of it--so I'm planning a Birthday Banner Bash! Watch for that announcement on Wednesday.

On a happy note, I wrote almost 1k words this weekend on my WIP.  So that's something. I've definitely been inspired to keep going with it.  I also had a couple of model sessions this weekend.  One was for a boutique's advertisement and omg, the son of the boutique owner has a crush on one of the models and he wanted all of his pictures to be with her. Someone talked the girl into kissing his cheek and here is how that went:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kristin the Windows Slayer

I am my own Geek Squad! Well... that's not entirely true. I have to give props to friends Tanner (do him a favor and "Like" his FB fan page--he's ONE away from 200!!) and Heather without whom I surely would have dipped a wooden stake in holy water and stabbed that computer in the heart. 

After a near 12 hour surgery, Handy's (for you newcomers, that's my blog nickname for hubby) old laptop is now in working order and I have a laptop to write on in places besides the house!!! And can I just give major props to my iMac for a minute?  I got Honeycrisp in October and while we had a shaky start, she's really what all other computers dream of being. She's fast, she's smart, she's got a LOT of memory. I've been taking her for granted, and I'm sorry.  I appreciate her so much more after yesterday's trudge through the slosh that is Windows.  I resolved numerous conflicts and erased quite a few programs that had rendered ol' Deller completely useless.  I reinstalled and repaired and felt quite tech-like by the end of the day. 

Sigh.  It's not a MacBook, but it works, and all I need it for is MS Word :)

:::cracks knuckles:::

Now it's time to write that bestseller from the extremely trendy writing location of my local Starbucks or Borders. Bwahahahaha.

And on a side note, be sure to check out my review of Clarity by Kim Harrington over HERE!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Bernard Pivot Blogfest

The Bernard Pivot Blogfest today is hosted by the lovely Nicole of One Significant Moment at a Time.  Here is the famous questionnaire created by Bernard Pivot, answered by yours truly.

  • What is your favorite word?

  • Currently: Rubbish (and Brilly, thanks to Beth Revis ;)

  • What is your least favorite word?

  • The F bomb--tacky tacky, especially out in public when people can hear you. Please.  Spare us.  You're not nearly as cool as you think you are. 
    I also don't love when people use the names "God" and "Jesus" for curse words--how did that happen anyway? And why those religious names? Why doesn't anyone yell out Buddha or the guy who came up with scientology? 

  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

  • Music, weather, books

  • What turns you off?

  • Ignorance

  • What is your favorite curse word?

  • Crap

  • What sound or noise do you love?

  • Laughter--deep from the gut

  • What sound or noise do you hate?

  • I try not to "hate" anything--it's a waste of emotion ;) . But some sounds I dislike are nails on a chalkboard, screaming children, and yappy dogs. 

  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

  • I always thought it would be fun to run a restaurant/bakery.  I'd love to decorate cakes and cookies!
    I also have this secret desire to be an archaeologist and dig up the past--especially in Pompeii, Italy. 

  • What profession would you not like to do?

  • Window washing on sky scrapers.

  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

  • Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome home. 

    Click HERE for the list of everyone else participating and check out their answers!

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    In Which I Sing Penguin's Praises - And ATU Review!

    Last month, some of you may recall my post highlighting the 1-11-11 release of a debut called Across the Universe by Beth Revis.  If you don't, check it out, because it's filled with awesome.

    Anyway, the lovely people at Penguin who had provided me with all that info and video goodness to share said I'd be getting something a little special in February--something Across the Universe themed.  Hey, that's cool, I thought. I could always use a new bookmark or some stickers!

    Well, today I get home from errand running, and there is a little package on my doorstep from Penguin. "Oh yeah!" I said with a smile. "My Across the Universe gear!"

    I opened the package... and GASP!

    I opened the book... and SQUEE!!

    All I can say is, Penguin rocks my face off, and I surely hope when I get published one day (notice I said WHEN because I'm an optimist this week) that Penguin wants me because their marketing is made of awesome. 

    I read the ARC as part of the blog tour started by fellow Texan Cinnamon who passed it on to the lovely Abby at Above Water who passed it to the always hilarious Kim Franklin who then passed it to me! I passed it on to another special blogging gal already (Kristi Chestnutt!), but I have a feeling that one of YOU may have a chance to score it next! Wink! Wink!  And if you aren't already following those ladies, do yourself a favor and clicky clicky!

    Goodreads is being a brat at the moment and won't let me grab the synopsis, so you'll just have to go back to my previous ATU themed post and get the skinny if you've been living under a rock and don't know what it's about yet!!

    My Thoughts:

    I L-O-V-E-D every bit of this book.  The writing was fresh, the characters were INTERESTING, the storyline had such momentum throughout it was nearly impossible to put down. 

    By the end of the first chapter, I was so engrossed that I kept on going... and going.. and gasping... and cringing... Amy's situation is heartbreaking and her emotions feel so real, I couldn't help but get attached to her right away.  Then comes Elder who struggles with what he's been told vs. what he's learning to be true, and I really felt for him/rooted for him.  I enjoyed the alternating POV between these two. Not only was it necessary since Amy is frozen part of the time (this isn't a spoiler... don't worry), but it lets us really feel the interaction between Amy and Elder from both sides--the culture shock, the curiosity, the attraction...

    Even the secondary characters were developed well and interesting! AH I could go on forever. If you even remotely enjoy science fiction/young adult/really well written stories, READ THIS!

    *I realize (fully) that a lot of my posts lately have been about books I've won in contests/random lovely things that have happened to me, and I'm getting a bit of a reputation as "lucky girl!" from some of you.  I just want you to know, that I don't take any of this for granted and that I fully anticipate my winning streak to come to a screeching halt very soon.  I'm just hoping there's no really huge let down involved somehow... you know when things are just going so good you start to worry... yes. That's where I'm at.    

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    I won?! GET OUT!

    Well, what a great way to start the week!  I just got today's Alice Marvels, and I won Alex Flinn's latest book, Cloaked!  I see that the reviews are so so, but her books read super fast, and it's free :) 

    After my friend Heather (check out her blog if you haven't yet!) won Delirium from Alice Marvels the week before, I decided to give it a shot last week.  She really does choose by your answers and not randomly, so that sort of makes it even more fun--both in coming up with your answer, and with validation of your writing skills by winning :) 

    The Question:
    What fairy tale character would you most like to be and why?

    My Answer:

    Maybe it's the Sociology major in me, but Cinderella is one of my favorite classic fairy tales. The story really demonstrates that you can rise above your circumstances. She worked hard her entire young life, desperate for change but stuck in a loveless home. Enter the fairy godmother, who represents anyone in our life that encourages and inspire us to take risks. Our lives are what we make of them, and while our efforts might not earn us an actual prince, they will earn us a better life.  I'd want to be Cinderella because she has perspective. Often people who come from virtually nothing and become successful have a stronger outlook--they don't take anything for granted because they know what went into getting that success. They might even be kinder to those less fortunate, and who knows? They might be a fairy godmother for someone else.

    Again I say, if you aren't entering anything, you definitely WON'T win ;)

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Any plans? None here. We certainly don't need any little stuffed animals laying around the house, and I don't need the calories in the candy. We may go out to a nice lunch though (because we both work from home, and we don't like the evening crowd)! 

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    The Book or the Movie?

    It's not a new thing for books to be made into movies, but look how much more often it's being done since the success of Harry Potter and Twilight.  In the YA genre alone, we know The Hunger Games movies are in the works, The Mortal Instruments series, and Incarceron just to name a few.

    What do you think about this sudden rise in books to movies?  Do the movies help bring life to the characters you already love, or does it take away from the magic of the story for you?  Can you enjoy them separately from each other?

    The author of P.S. I Love You, Cecelia Ahern, addressed the creative liberties movie-makers take when her book was turned into a blockbuster.  She said she had to get it in her head that the book was her baby, and the movie wasn't.  Certainly if the AUTHOR can come to terms with it like that, we, as readers and viewers, could too.

    But what if the cast is off? What if the acting is bad? Will it ruin it??

    What if the cast is perfect, and the acting is incredible? Will it make us forget about the book and watch the movie instead?

    I've been thinking about books vs. their movie counterparts, and came up with a little list.

    Title:                                                  Preference:

    The Harry Potters                              Love them both
    Confessions of a Shopaholic             Movie
    The Time Traveler's Wife                 Movie (sorry, folks!)
    A Walk to Remember                       Book
    Twilight                                            meh... I like that the movies have live boys, but... meh
    Love Story                                        Book
    The Count of Monte Cristo               Book was good! Movie was better!
    Pride and Prejudice                           Movie(s)
    Marley and Me                                  Movie was surprisingly good! Book is still better!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    My 2011 Reading Challenge List

    Today my post is at BooKrushed!

    Check out my reading list for the 2011 Reading Challenge we're hosting!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Answers to your Questions Part 2!

    Wow so this is a LONG time coming. I didn't completely forget about it... I just never finished answering all your lovely questions (from like, August)!! Silly blonde girl!

    Okay, DL Hammons asked:

    1) When was the first time somebody made a fuss over something you had written.

    2) Which position do you prefer? Writing at a desk or splayed out somewhere with a laptop?

    My Answers:

    1)  Of course mother's are always our biggest supporters right?  I was always writing silly stories and drawing pictures growing up that she gushed over and hung on the fridge.  But one thing that sticks out in my mind is when I first started really taking writing seriously. I just wanted to give it a shot and see what came out of my brain. I don't even think I told anyone (I still don't tell too many people in my day to day world), but when my grandma was visiting I chanced it and showed her what I had written so far. It was only two chapters, which have since almost COMPLETELY changed, but she read through them as she was laying in bed one night during her visit. She knocked on my door and came flying to my bedside demanding more right away. I didn't have any more to give her at the time, but she pretty much talked me into making a go of it.

    2) When my laptop was functioning, I actually liked writing on the couch with my computer on my lap.  But now that I have a desktop monster, I pretty much have to sit at a desk, unless I write by hand in a notebook. In that case, I like to sit outside or sprawl out on a blanket in the sunshine.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    I Encouraged!! And the Blog World has a Newbie!

    I'm all a buzz right now because I actually encouraged a friend of mine to write and she took me seriously!  Heather has been a reading buddy of mine for a while now. We can often be seen together taking a long lunch at our local Borders, and when an author comes to town, we must go meet and greet.  She says the most hilariously random things and definitely has a way with words, so after Miss Alice Marvels (if you don't get your daily Marvel, you SHOULD) chose Heather's entry as one of last week's winners of Delirium, I said, "THAT'S IT! YOU ARE WRITING A BOOK! I KNOW YOU HAVE ONE IN YOU!"

    For the Delirium contest, you had to be creative and write your favorite forbidden love. Here was Heather's winning answer:

    This is a very tough one, as it seem that every series has a love story that has some sense of forbidden love. I am torn between two couples, both created by Carrie Ryan. There is of course, Mary and Travis, from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I can only imagine watching the only person you've ever loved be promised to someone else. Then as you get close to being together, well...if you've read, you know. Then there is Gabry and Catcher, from The Dead-Tossed Waves. I love you, you're dead. Wait, you're not dead, and you're going to be a zombie. Wait, you're not going to be a zombie? But if we are together, I might be a zombie?
    Seems like in most series, the author allows them to be together eventually. I like that Carrie Ryan likes to work outside the box, or in her cases, outside of the fences :)
    Heather is now a member of our lovely blogging community, so pop on over, give her a big WELCOME and follow her! Let's show her that same loving support you've all shown me on my blogging journey. 
    I even made her blog header! ;)  
    I love making those... would anyone be interested in winning a blog header in a giveaway???

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    If I may Redirect Your Attention...

    Today is LAUNCH DAY for!  Head on over and check out our reading challenge!  And for the rest of this week, the girls and I will all post our own reading challenge lists.

    And you've got until this weekend to sign up for our contest too!

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Well, bummer! But....

    Thanks to the snowstorm that took over the globe this week, Lauren Oliver was stuck in Chicago, which meant her Houston trip will have to be made up, possibly in April.

    But I did get to meet the author of Dreaming Anastasia, Joy Preble, at her launch party for the second book in the series, Haunted.  She was super nice, and she lives right here in my community, too, which is pretty cool.  Be on the lookout for an interview with her coming to!  And when I read these two new SIGNED books (oh how I love my growing collection of those), I'll be sure to review them.

    This week, Sourcebooks is offering the E-version and PDF of Dreaming Anastasia for FREEBIES. So if you check it out and love it, consider supporting her and buy the sequel. :)

    Something about meeting authors... gets me on a writing high!  Off to open Scrivener!!

    Happy Weekend!

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    My Bookshelf is Featured!!

    Hey everyone! The lovely Stephanie is featuring my bookshelf today on her blog! 


    Just Invisible Danger

    Sometimes I think the weather people know that Houstonions are anxious for slow flurries, so they build it up... they build US up. We were supposed to get 1-2 inches!  Snow showers from 5pm yesterday to 10am this morning.  Then they moved it to 10pm last night to 10am this morning.  Then I stopped paying attention to what "they" said.

    I set my alarm for about 6am so that I could check outside, because if everything was going to be white, I'd definitely go out to take pictures of that.  When the alarm went off, the first thing I heard was, " snow, but there is plenty of that dangerous black ice. Don't attempt to drive anywhere if you don't have to."  Then I turned my alarm off and tried to go back to sleep, but all I could think about was "BUMMER!" and "How did the lady on the radio get to work then?" (and I actually used to know that DJ because her daughter ice skated when I coached it back in the day)

    Anyway... no prettiness. Just the danger. Invisible danger (sounds like book fodder....). Be safe out there.

    Happy weekend.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    It's not that exciting to most of you

    but I might actually see some snow overnight and through tomorrow morning around ten. Now... a lot of you are stuck in your houses because of this frozen fluffiness (I've seen the blog posts), but here in Houston, we don't see it too often.  Even if we do get some, it probably won't stick, but I'm itching to try to get some pictures of it!! Here's hoping!!

    Is it snowing where you live?? Are you sick of it? Does it still bring out the kid in you?

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    O Where, O Where... (And The King's Speech)

    O where, o where did January go?

    The first month of the year is already done. Gone. Not to be repeated. Does this seem odd to anyone else? I mean, weren't we JUST sitting down for Christmas dinner?

    So what exactly did I accomplish this month? Good question. Despite being up to my elbows in learning this photography biz, I managed to read four books:

    Twenty Boy Summer The Role of a Lifetime Vampire Academy Signature Edition: A Vampire Academy Novel Across the Universe

    I enjoyed ALL of them, so this has been a great start to a new reading year! I've reviewed them on Goodreads--link on my sidebar.

    Also this month, I jumped into the world of boutique photography. *update-->boutique photography is basically where a model is sent products in exchange for photos of said products being worn. It's usually up to the parent of the model to find a photographer and get the images back to the boutique within a week or two, and some boutiques have certain models and photographers they prefer.  I didn't know what it was until a couple week ago either, but it's OH so fun! And, that's probably not the official name for it, but that's what I'm calling it!*

    Check out my precious first client modeling a hair clip from Cleverly Cute. 

    She's one busy little model, and I'm happy to say she's bringing me more business from other boutiques requesting that she model their products and that I take the pictures. Very exciting! 

    As far as writing goes, I definitely haven't written 1k words a week, but I have made some progress! And I have some "writing dates" lined up where we will do that 1 hour timed writing exercise, so I'm looking forward to that!

    February promises great things, even though I will be turning yet another year closer to 30.  Maybe if you're all good bloggers, a birthday giveaway could be in your future.... 

    Just saw The King's Speech. If you haven't, GO SEE IT... RIGHT NOW!  Colin Firth is INCREDIBLE.  The Oscar most definitely goes to him.  Well. Done.