Monday, October 29, 2007

I Made It To Round Three!

Woo-hoo! I made it to round 3 in Karin Tabke's First Line Contest! I've been doing the Snoopy Dance all afternoon. Another whole week of waiting to look forward to.

My entry is #5 if you want to take a look.

Wish me luck - again!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Okay - I give up. I changed the format setting on this blog and now not only is this post goofed up, but ALL my posts are goofed up. No matter what I do, the posts are not coming out like they are supposed to - Ahhhhh! Alright, I'm finished now. I just had to get that off my chest. You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled program. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rachelle Chase's Mini-Critique

Today Rachelle Chase posted her mini-critique of Dangerous Desires on the Chase the Dream Contest site. Like Leah Michaels did yesterday, Rachelle Chase made my day. She gave me a treasure trove of advice, as did Leah, and I absolutely appreciate every bit. Here are some of the very nice things she said:
"You’re very welcome, Carol. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your entry - the writing is smooth, with a nice balance of narrative and action, which gave it just the right pacing. And, I love forced marriage stories. In fact, in my first class with Leigh, I wrote a modern day forced marriage story, and she pointed out the many ways it was not believable. (She was correct). LOL Well, you obviously do not have this problem, as yours is believable."
I loved this. Rachelle went on to explain the reason she'd have my opening scene in the heroines POV and WHY. And that's the best part. She explained why and how it would make the reader more sympathetic with my heroine. The biggest problem (and ONLY problem) both Leah and Rachelle had with my entry was the opening character POV. Needless to say, I took their suggestions to heart and I will absolutely apply them to my WIP. Here's what else Rachelle had to say in addition to the very nice comment below: "this was a well written scene":
"At any rate, much success to you with this story. You’re a talented writer with a great story idea and I’d love to find out what happens to Mairin at Don Garcia’s house. "
I've been doing the Snoopy Dance since yesterday. My DH is beginning to think I'm going crazy. Do you blame me? If you'd like to see Rachelle's (and Leah's) critique, click here. I'm off to apply my changes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm A Chase the Dream Contest Mini-Critique Winner!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I entered Leah Michaels CHASE THE DREAM CONTEST. In this contest, if your entry isn't chosen, you can re-submit as long as you haven't been picked as a finalist or mini-critique winner. I've entered every week since they began accepting submissions six weeks ago and I've finally been chosen! Not as a finalist, but as a mini-critique winner! Yes, Yes, Yes! I'm so excited! Leah Michaels gave a great critique of Dangerous Desires. She said, "And this is a delightful piece of writing – it’s well-constructed, and it gives us a wonderful portrait of a character." How nice is that? What a great boost to the ego, ay? I'm a very happy camper, to say the least. The comments and suggestions she provided were a HUGE help and what's even better is she answered some questions I've been struggling with. I just wish I'd have been picked a week earlier, before I entered Karin Table's First Line Contest, then I could have made changes to my entry before I submitted. Oh well, it's done and I made it to the second round in that contest, so my entry can't be all that bad. :) If you'd like to see Leah's critique of my 1,000 word entry (actually, it's more like around 750 words), click here. And if you'd like to add any suggestions of your own, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment. :) Now, I'm off to read Leah's writers guide CREATING ROMANTIC CHARACTERS and WRITING THE ROMANCE NOVEL (maybe I should have done that before entering her contest) and apply her suggestions to my WIP. Happy Writing!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Made It To Round Two!

I made it to round two in Karin Tabke's First Line Contest. Now I have to post the second line in my opening paragraph and wait until Monday to see if my second line make's it through this round. My entry is #34 on her blog. Below is my first line: " can't be serious!" Here is the second line I will post to see if it will get me through the next round: Calvin O'Donnell watched his daughter jump to her feet, knocking the chair to the floor. So, here' is the whole entry:
" can't be serious!" Calvin O' Donnell watched his daughter jump to her feet, knocking the chair to the floor.
The final judge for Karin Tabke's contest is Hilary Teeman of St. Martin's Press. What makes this contest so exciting is, I read on the Bookends, LLC blog that an editor from St. Martin's would "love to find a really great Western Historical romance".
So, if you write Historical Romance like me, that's a good thing. And, Hilary Teeman is an editor at St. Martins...see where I'm going with this?
Here's a link to the Bookends post:
Now all I have to do is check Leah Michaels Chase the Dream Contest tomorrow to see if I made it as a finalist or mini-critique finalist on that contest! Wish me Luck!

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is running a pretty decent contest for those of you who have a completed manuscript. Information below. Good Luck! Are you a writer longing to be discovered? Submit your manuscript for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It’s the perfect opportunity to become the next great novelist: the winning author will receive a publishing contract from Penguin Group, including promotional support for their book on, and a media suite from Hewlett-Packard. All entrants are eligible to self-publish their novel with CreateSpace and sell it on Enter your manuscript for consideration by November 5, 2007! Contest Process and Timeline is accepting unpublished English language works of fiction for entry in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award through November 5, 2007. Once the submission period ends, Amazon editors and top Amazon customer reviewers will read submissions and select authors for the semi-final round, beginning January 15, 2008. Each semi-finalist will receive a full review of their manuscript by Publishers Weekly and a book page on featuring a short excerpt from their novel that customers can download, read, and review. Penguin will select manuscripts to read from the semi-final round based on customer feedback and Publishers Weekly reviews and announce the Top Ten finalists on March 3, 2008. customers will then select the winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Award, to be announced on April 7, 2008. Register now and break through! Only the first 5,000 submissions will be accepted. The registration deadline is November 5, 2007.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mr. Romance Training

I ran across this YouTube video and thought I'd share. It's a Mr. Romance training session presented by Tony Renauldo. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Karin Tabke's First Line Contest - I Made It Through Round #1!

Woo-hoo! I made it through the first round in Karin Tabke's FIRST LINE CONTEST!! YES, YES, YES!

I almost didn't, though.

Because of the fact that I've been so busy with The Muse Online Writers Conference, preparing for NaNo and other things lately, I'd almost darn near forgot about it.
I'd been keeping an eye on Karen's blog off and on for the past month, because I knew the contest was coming up, but I didn't know when.
It was originally scheduled to launch October 1st, but the contest was postponed and all the blog said was to keep checking back. So, that's what I did (when I remembered to). The last time I checked was about three weeks ago and at that time there hadn't been anything new. I'd almost forgot about the whole thing, but then yesterday, for some reason, I decided to take a look.
Lucky for me that I did because it was scheduled to begin accepting first round submissions in two hours!
Needless to say, I was the very 1st entry LOL!
I'm number 37, if anyone would like to take a look. Not much, I know - only four words, but, hey, it got me through round #1!
Next, they'll pick 19 entries from the 74 first round entries, and those 19 will advance to round 2, where they'll post the next line in their ms., then so on and so forth until they whittle it down to five finalists, and then those five finalists will have the opportunity to send the first 10 pages of their First Line Contest entry to St. Martin's editor Hilary Teeman and she will pick the winner and hopefully request the full ms, which, hopefully will result in a sale.
Wish me luck!
REPOSTED from Karen Tabke's Blog The five finalists will have the opportunity to send 10 pages of their story beginning with their original first line to St. Martin's editor Hilary Teeman. The Rules*First of all I will accept only 75 entries. The first 75 first lines that adhere to these rules: *Rule number one: Each entry must be one line. One line meaning one sentence, statement or dialogue line with dialogue tag. I know last time many of you used semi colons and colons and that's ok, but remember, in many ways, less is more. My advice? Make a quick hard hitting punch then pull back and watch the reader fall for the next line. *Which brings me to rule number two: The line you begin with is the line you stay with, along with each subsequent line. No adding, subtracting or changing words. This will be strictly enforced. Please don't make more work for me. Last time it was brought to my attention that there were some changes, and while unintentional, if any this time around are changed the entry will be dropped. *If you make it to the next round and don't post your subsequent line you will not be notified, and you will be dropped. No exceptions. We had an excellent entry last year that most likely would have finaled, but because of an electrical hiccough the person was unable to post her line by the deadline at the end of the week. My suggestion? Post it asap to avoid freaky things like that. *The following round will be posted some time each Monday, each entrant has until midnight Friday (of the same week) to post their next line. I will enforce this. My judge needs the weekend at the very least to make their picks. And be sure when you post your subsequent line you also post the lines that got you there. *For the first two rounds, 10 lines will be culled each week, when we hit 55 entries, I will go back to 5 a week. If all entrants don't post, I will only have the judges cull the amount necessary to get to the next multiple of five. Example: if we are at 40 and five are culled making the next round 35 and only 32 of those entrants post, only two will be culled to keep the next round at 30. I will not allow previously culled lines to reenter. It's too confusing, too much work, and causes too much strife. And I'm grumpier this time around. *I will open the contest 7 p.m. PACIFIC time Monday October 15th. *Let's be fair. One entry per person. *To avoid the problems we had last year with entrants posting early and thus being dropped for doing so, I will post a commencement blog at 7 p.m. PACIFIC time Monday October 15th titled Game On, when you see it go for it. Any lines posted before that post will be kicked out, and it will be up to you to pay attention and get back into the hunt. After the 75 legitimate first lines are posted the contest will be closed to new entries. I'll post a blog announcing the contest is closed. I'll be monitoring closely. There will be many comments along with the first lines so it can get confusing. But I will make the cut at the correct entry, it just may take me a bit to figure it out. Last year the first 75 spots were filled in less than 30 minutes, I expect it will go sooner this year. *Again, the five finalists will have the opportunity to send the first 10 pages of their first line story to St. Martin's editor Hilary Teeman. She will pick the winner and hopefully ask to see fulls, which I hope will result in a sale. *As with the previous contests, I will have a different anonymous judge (a New York multi-published author) cull five entries a week, 10 each the first two weeks. I will be keeping better records this year, and let me just say thanks again to my judges. While they thoroughly enjoyed the job, they found it very difficult and asked me on several occasions to be the tie breaker. I passed. I know too many of you, and could not in good conscience do it. So, all I can say, is put your best line forward every week. And good luck! Karin Tabke's First Line Contest

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Welcome To My World

It occurred to me the other day that I haven't been posting much about what's going on with me. After all, this blog is supposed to be about the trials and tribulations of an aspiring romance writer. *grin* So, below is a little about what I've been up to-besides the normal, every day things like, cleaning the house, making dinner, doing the laundry, attending the occasional job interview, picking up the grand kids from school and watching them from 3:00 to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. Welcome to my world... First and foremost on my list is the upcoming MUSE ONLINE WRITERS CONFERENCE. I've been getting ready for it all week long. It begins this Monday, October 8th and I'm sooo excited! Since I registered for a LOT of courses (I hope I didn't over-do it), I have a lot of preparing to do. I've been to the website several times to learn my way around to get a feel for the different forums. It looks a bit confusing at first, but it isn't, really. Ever the good little student, I've already downloaded my course handouts, printed them out and have been going over them as suggested by Lea Schiza. I picked up a binder at The Family Dollar store the other day, and organized all the handouts by day, time and course. You can't be too prepared, I always say. Lea Schiza also runs The MuseItUp Club, an online critique group, which is a spin-off from the conference (or the conference is a spin-off from the critique group, I'm not sure which). I've been toying with the idea of joining, but I still haven't made up my mind yet. I think I'll wait until after the conference to decide. I broke down and joined NaNoWriMo, which starts November 1st. This will be my first attempt at NaNo. They suggest that you buddy-up with other NaNo participants, so, I would like to find a few partners for support. If you're registered and looking for someone to partner up with, I'm your huckleberry. Just leave me a comment with your email and/or buddy name and I'll contact you and add you to my list or you can add me, which ever works. I'm wondering how it will go. I hope it goes better than my attempt at Candace Haven's Fast Draft class. What a disaster that was. Actually, it started off pretty good, but before long I fizzled out. And speaking of the FAST DRAFT class... Revision Hell, which is the second part of Candace Haven's FAST DRAFT class, is going on just as we speak, over at the Write-Workshop loop. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't even read one post or revised one word. Makes me wonder how I'll do in NaNoWriMo next month. I realized that I've been spending WAY too much time online reading blogs, and that's not good. It's become an even greater diversion from writing than reading emails. So, as much as I hate to, I'm afraid I'm going to have to limit my daily blog visits to three or four a day. I will surely miss them. But, it's not forever. I will be back! Also, I'm contemplating getting my laptop (or maybe my AlphaSmart) out after the conference is over, and using that when I write instead of my desktop. My desktop has way too many diversions. It's a procrastinators (me) dream. Since my laptop isn't live (it could be, but I won't go there) and my AlphaSmart isn't designed to go online, I won't have access to my emails and blogs, therefore, I won't waste my writing time reading them (although, it's not a waste. I love all my blogs and I look forward to reading them every single day). The more I think about it, the better it sounds. Maybe I'll try it out for a couple of days and see how it goes. One more thing that will have to wait until after the conference. I have been trying to keep up with a few other online classes that I've been attending this past week. The first one, which I just recently discovered, is on the eroticromanceworkshop loop. This is a loop for free romance writing courses, something like the old WRITERS CRAFT eLoop. Boy, what a great writer's resource that was. I was devastated when it folded and I've never found another like it. Author's like Lucy Monroe, Laurie Campbell, Kate Walker (she did her 12 Point Plan, if I remember correctly) and other published authors presented classes there-it was a wealth of information. This week on the eroticromanceworkshop loop, Kristan Higgans gave her IDEA TO OUTLINE workshop and next week Sharon Bidwell will present the POV/SETTINGS WORKSHOP. I'm especially looking forward to that one. I need all the help I can get with POV. I've got first person down, and third person. In fact, I have most of them just about figured out, however, I still get confused on the sub-types. For instance, 3rd person omniscient. What is that? Limited third person. Another good question. Why can't it just be simple and straight forward. First person, second person and third person ONLY? I guess that'd be too easy. While writing this post, I was prompted to look through my writer's library for a reference book on POV, and, to my horror, I realized I don't have one! How could that be (I wonder if this is a form of self-sabotage)? However, just for the record, I'd like to add that I DO have CHARACTERS & VIEWPOINT by Orson Scott Card, and it talks a lot about POV. Hopefully, between the book and the workshop and the upcoming conference, I will learn the differences. Just FYI, I've entered Leah Michaels CHASE THE DREAM Contest faithfully every week since it started and I still have not finaled. Guess I'll keep submitting. All I can do is try. On another note... I signed up for a free 7 week Meditation Class here in my home town. It meets every Tuesday from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to learn about meditation, since it's been on my 'TO DO LIST" forever. However, I missed the first class because I was forced to drive my son home when his car decided to take a crap (that day of all days) a half an hour before the class started. His house is a thirty minute drive from mine, so, it couldn't be helped. No matter, I will make next weeks class - come hell or high water! I just finished reading Deborah MacGillivray's IN HER BED and I'm about half way through RISING WIND by Cindy Holby. Next on my TBR list is THE IRISH DEVIL by Diane Whiteside. Actually, it's a toss up between that and THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER by Cheryl St. John. Either way, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I've added a link for you to subscribe to my blog through email. It's posted on the right side of the blog and way down at the bottom of the page. I've subscribed to a few blogs who use the mailing list and I really like it. The new post is delivered right to your mailbox. Pretty nifty tool. That's just about all the things I can think of at the moment. The timer just went off in my kitchen-time to check on my country style BBQ ribs. So, how about you? What have you been up to lately? If you have a moment, leave a comment and tell me what's on your agenda. Happy writing (and reading)!

A Diversion

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine. A backward poet writes inverse. A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking. Dijon vu, the same mustard as before. Practice safe eating, always use condiments. Shotgun wedding. A case of wife or death. A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy. A hangover is the wrath of grapes. Dancing cheek to cheek is really a form of floor play. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion. Reading while sunbathing makes you well red. When two egoists meet, it's an I for an I. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway). Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes. She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress. When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it. :Local Area Network in Australia; the LAN down under. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key. Every calendar's days are numbered. A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat. He had a photographic memory that was never developed. A plateau is a high form of flattery. A midget fortuneteller who escapes from prison is a small medium atlarge. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall. Bakers trade recipes on a knead to know basis. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses. Acupuncture is a jab well done.