Signed Cover Art

If you'd like to receive a signed cover art postcard, email me at isobael at gmail dot com. Include your name and mailing address and I'll get them in the mail to you.

May 27, 2009

You can almost see how my thought processes work. Scary, isn't it?

Let's start with this:

He noted her shiver with a masculine amusement.

Would be better written as:

He felt a sense of amusement when he saw her shiver.


He felt a sense of amusement when he saw her shiver caused by his fingers caressing the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw.

Although that does seem a bit wordy and redundant because in the previous sentence it does state that he traced his fingers along her skin. It doesn't say exactly where though (ie jaw, cheek) however, and the third example does give more detail, more explanation as to where on her face he's caressing.

It just doesn't feel as though the...cadence...or rhythm of the third sentence flows very well.

So, I went with...

His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and she shivered. It amused him.

There's that IT word!!! Lazy word...

It became this...

His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw causing her to shiver and he found himself smiling in amusement.

OOOO....I like that one. Maybe break it up does seem wordy/run on.

His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw causing her to shiver. He found himself smiling in amusement.

Do you smile in amusement or with amusement? LOL. I think 'with'.

His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw causing her to shiver. He found himself smiling with amusement.

Except now I have a moment where I second guess myself. Cause and effect/past and present tense...

His fingers CARESSED.../...CAUSING her...

Is that proper grammar? I've been told so many times that I tend to mix past and present tenses up that now I'm almost (actually, I AM) paranoid about it.

Should it be:

His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and it caused her to shiver. He found himself smiling with amusement.

And IT again!! LOL.


His fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and she shivered. He found himself smiling with amusement.

Or better yet...

She shivered as his fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and he found himself smiling with amusement.


She shivered as his fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw. He found himself smiling with amusement.

Or is it already obvious that when he smiles it's from amusement so adding that would be redundant?

She shivered as his fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw. He found himself smiling.

She shivered as his fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and he found himself smiling.

I ended up with this...

She shivered as his fingers caressed the smooth skin along the curve of her jaw and he smiled.

Although I'm not entirely happy with it as it doesn't explain WHAT he was smiling about/from. I guess it could be explained after. I don't have to include it all in the same sentence.


May 26, 2009

Writing and CPL

I need a shower and will take one when the washing machine is done. In the meantime, I'm working through some writing issues.

One issue being my main character, the Alpha Male is actually preferring a secondary character. THAT was totally unintentional and I'm not even sure how it happened. I just sat down to write and suddenly I'm noticing that while he thinks he prefers the main female character, his actions indicate otherwise. Of course, this is only in chapter two, but still...

I'm going to go with it though and see where it ends up. It just might mean who I thought was the main character of the story will become a secondary in the end. This means my four days of blood, sweat, and tears (the outline) meant nothing and I can't even STICK with an outline. Amusing as that may be, it's also frustrating because I *NEED* the outline, or I thought so, at least. This *WILL* be a novel, 100,000 *WILL*!! (I hope.)

Was at my brother and sister in law's since Wednesday, to babysit their brood while they were playing in Vegas. It was great to spend some time with the kiddies as I rarely see them. They live two hours north of me so it's pretty much only around the holidays I see them. Got home last night and had to reacquaint myself with the house and where everything was. I couldn't find the garbage disposal switch in my house! LOL.

Got a letter from the Puyallup Police department stating they rejected my fingerprints and I need to have them redone. *Boggle* Ok...

According to the Police department, I get three fingerprint attempts. After the third fail, they just notate it on the file and send it in. Barring my background check failure, they'll issue a CPL without fingerprints. Puyallup PD still use ink when fingerprinting for CPL's although in their jail, they use fingerprint scanning. I ought to suggest they use the scanning on the third attempt to make sure, but hey, if it fails the third time, it won't matter if they aren't legible prints, right? *Grin*

I have no problem with my background that I'm aware of. I got my falconry license without problems and that's a federal process. I would imagine Spike should have no problems as he had a high security clearance when in the military and hasn't been in trouble since.

May 21, 2009

First person POV...

So I read the article written by Toni Andrews. (Refer to my last post for the link.)

It made so much sense...

So, I'm looking at my stuff and I realize I'm still telling more than showing. I'm not entirely sure how to fix it or if I did fix it. I need to sit down and put myself in the characters shoes and be the character. So, I'm rewriting what I have and putting it in first person's POV.'s interesting.

I know, I know...I'm suppose to be writing, JUST writing.

*Grin* But this is FUN...even if writing in first person is odd.


Check this out...

I wanted to post this link for people to check out.

Author Toni Andrews wrote an seven part article entitled, "Confessions of a Contest Judge: The Five Most Common Problems Found in Beginning Writers’ Submissions and How to Fix Them."

You can find it here:

It's a well written article, engaging, and easy to understand, especially for beginning writers, like me.

I encourage people to check it out. =)

May 16, 2009

Just write.

Lesson learned: Do not read critiquing sites.

My mind is like a sponge when it comes to something that interests me. Unfortunately, I also have the habit of applying it to myself in the harshest way.

Take my writing. I'm writing my story. I have my outline and referring to it often to make sure I'm keeping to the outline.

When I'm not writing, I'm trying to learn about the writing business and how to improve myself. I was already instructed NOT to edit as I write. I was researching about critique groups and how to critique effectively. I found a list of terminology and started applying it to my writing in order to "improve" my writing.

All of a sudden, I'm second guessing my own work. Is this part considered an infodump? Is that part telling not showing?

Now I'm starting from page one and rereading, rewording...and sinking into despair.



May 13, 2009

Updating...writing, critique groups

Working hard on the new novel. I've finished the outline and so far it's 18 chapters long. That number will more than likely fluctuate as I'm actually writing the story. I finished the prologue and chapter one last night and will be starting chapter two today. I've had to rearrange some of the chapter ideas around already. My biggest issue right now is changing the POV. Lilian had the first POV but in order to further the story, introduce the goals and plotline, I need to change the POV to the other major characters. I either need to do this by jumping into their heads, or change the scenery in the chapter...OR...add chapters, but then they'll be shorter chapters JUST for that.

HMMmmmm...this is when I need a writing group.

I'm very happy that I lost an auction to [info]lovely_thistle . I'm not happy that I lost the auction, of course, but I AM happy that someone who won it deserves the pleasure and honor of the prize. PLUS, I'll get to meet her in person later, as a result of her winning this auction. (Selfish of me, but I do want to meet her in person!) LOL.

Actually, I was having anxiety and restless dreams when the auction was open. I wanted to win, BUT I was scared to death of winning. One of my depression/social anxiety "side effects" is lack of self confidence and self esteem, so the idea of having a professional, published author critique my work was a bit stressful. I kept having nightmares of being told I sucked and to give up on my writing, that I'd never make it to publishing.

Having confessed all that, I'm doing a 180 and saying that I want to join a critiquing circle. A small one. A post made by [info]lovely_thistle reminded me that I needed to write down what I want in a group.

I want constructive criticism. I don't want someone to pat me on the back and tell me they loved it. Alternatively, I don't want to be told it sucked and I'm a crappy writer. (I already think that. That's why I'm trying to improve, duh.)

I want honesty. If a part of the story sucked, I want to know. I want to know WHY the critic thought it sucked so I can improve it. The critic is being given the chance to be harsh YET positive. Along those lines, I like the sandwich method of critiquing. Alternate between the negative and the positive.

I suck at the whole grammar aspect of writing. I need someone who can point it out to me where I need to fix. I don't need someone to tell me HOW to fix, only WHERE. Let me figure it out on my own as to the how. I also have trouble with the showing versus the telling, so again, pointing out where would help.

What I want is someone/a group to read the work and identify the weakness(es) of my writing, point it out, and NOT write it for me to better it, but identify what's wrong so that I can look it up myself, look up the problem and learn how to correct it. If s/he/they could tell me the issue (you're telling, not showing...mixing present with past tense...etc), I'd be able to find the resources I need to learn how to correct it. If s/he/they knew resources to help me, then I wouldn't mind the help there.

I want someone/a group that will commit. I'm tired of people who say they will and don't...or only wanted to join so it becomes a social group. If I wanted a social group, I'd have joined a social group not a writer's group. If this is a face to face group, I don't mind SOME socializing, but the purpose of meeting isn't to gossip, or catch up on the latest who-did-what's and who-wore-what-when's.

Whew! That almost turned into a rant! LOL.

May 6, 2009


I just can't add to the one novella I have. I just can't. I've tried and tried and tried, but it's not going together well. My fingers rebel, my mind blanks out.

So, I'm taking the general elements of the story and creating a new story. It'll have the basic premise of the original novella, but be expanded, with more detail, different setting, added features. I'll also be using some of the story in the new one, so if it looks familiar that's why.

I have the plot summary written and printed off.

Note to self: Buy a 3 ring binder to keep info orderly and easy to refer to.

I also have a platform: Depression and Social Anxiety, as it's something I deal with in my own life.

When I'm not writing, I'll be working on my webpage.

May 4, 2009

I'm trying...

One of the things I've started to do is become more brave about my writing.

Normally, I'd write a novella (too many words to be considered a short story, not enough words to be a novel!) and then let them sit on the HD of my computer without sharing them, or I might share them with a few people...and if they think it's good enough, I post them on a site like Literotica or StoryOnline.

Why, yes, I know those sites also post porn, but not all the stories there are porn. There are some very talented writers that I follow on Literotica and even one has gone on to be published in books.

Anyway, I'm now at the point where I'm looking to be published. Not because I think my stories are ready to be published in books, or book, but because I want to learn everything I can so that when I am ready to send that all important query letter, I know that my story is ready for the "big time".

To do this, I have recently bitten the bullet and have entered in a contest. I'm not going to say which contest or where, but it's a good contest and it'll at least give me some exposure. Hopefully, if I do not make it to the finalist round, they'll have notated why and where I need to improve.

I'm nervous, yes. When I sit down and think about it, my stomach gets all queasy. It's a step out of my comfort zone because now my stories are "personal". They've been put out there to be judged in a contest.

Could they be improved upon? Hell, yes. In fact, two of them are being added to to try and make them into novels, by adding more details, more backstory, to flesh out the plot. One of them, in fact, I'm tempted to put away and rewrite it from scratch because I'm learning SO MUCH in my research about becoming published, that I'm not sure adding to the original story will do any good.

I have a story to tell. I write it. My mind is like a camera. When an idea for a story comes, it runs from my mind, through my fingers, and into the computer. I know, in my head, where the characters came from, what world/city/etc they live in, what major conflict they need to overcome in order to reach happily ever after, but what about the other little conflicts, backstory, characters that would help round out the story? THAT is the difficult part for me.

And so, I am studying and researching...and asking questions. LOTS of questions. Sometimes I get answers, and luckily they're from trusted people, already published authors, and sometimes the answers come from my heart, my gut, and more often than not, a search through the internet.

I WANT this...I WANT to be published. Am I ready? Maybe. No, I take that back. Yes, yes, I'm ready. At least, in my mind, I am. At least, ready to take the next step toward my lifelong goal. I'm ready to face the trials and tribulations. I'm ready to learn more, to do more.