Friday, March 30, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

"She kicks it and GOOOOAAAALLL!"

Sometimes, things just fall into place.  Okay, so they may tumble a bit, a corner knicking your head or another something crashing into your shins...but the pieces eventually fit, mostly, sort of.

Well, that's been March 2012 for me.  Here were my goals:
Goals for March 2012:
1: Complete revision of MINGLED and get it to beta readers MINGLED is now in the hands of beta readers YAY!!!
2: Post 3 blogs a week Accomplished this each week.
3: Read 3 books Actually, I got about 4 books read: Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca, Nowhere Girl by A. J. Paquette and a hot one by Nadja Notariani coming out very soon titled The Third Fate.  Definitely be on the lookout for THAT one.  It is for a mature audience though.  Just so you know.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week. Pretty sure this was done times like two or three or something.
5. Participate in A Picture Paints 1000 Words blogfest at Unicorn Bell I did and you can read my story here.  I didn't make the cut but heck, the ones who did are fracking outstanding!!!  Check them out here so you can vote for your fave.
6. Get at least 14 of my A to Z blogging challenge blogs scheduled.I've got A through N scheduled.  Phew!

That's all folks.  Have a great weekend and let's have loads of fun with the A to Z blogging challenge :-)
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Revision City

It is a city of many.  Characters all around.  Revisions to do.  A goal to meet.  Understanding and patient betas ready to receive.
Thank you, in advance, to my betas.  You can spend your time doing anything but you've offered or agreed to my begging - erm - request to provide feedback for MINGLED.  I truly appreciate it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

What Did You See?

Here is the picture for my short story.

I wanted to have you read the story, form your own picture in your mind instead of providing my source picture right away.

I think the one great thing about the A Picture Paints a 1000 Words blogfest is that the story didn't have to be a perfect reflection of the picture.  That was cool.

So please, do tell me, what did you see when you read this?
Monday, March 26, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

A Picture Paints 1000 Words Blogfest - Fallen

Details, pictures and linky
Today is the day to share our short stories.  So, here we go:  Fallen

The new moon hid in the sky.  An object swallowed by the midnight ocean and diamond sparkles littered across its vast waves.  Darkness never embraced me as it had this evening.  I stared lazily from my hut’s window, nothing more than a candle lit in my room, no artificial lights outside to dull the seeing as I, too, hid from the world in this primitive paradise.

A tremor beneath my feet.  A hum in the air.

I sat straight up, looking across the horizon.  Maybe a volcano?  I saw nothing but treetops.  The nearest active one had so little left in its magma chamber, most scientists hinged on changing its status.  Its cone rose to a flat peak.  No burps or smoke of any kind.  Just a quiet mountain on a sleepy island.

Tremor and a hum, again.

Spooked birds chirped, squawked and called to each other.  Flocks ascended from the treetops, inky bands of wing spans flapping.  They knew something I didn’t.  Their instincts sent them on flight.  My heart quickened.  So did my curiosity.  I turned about, grabbed my candle and slipped into my sandals.  After tightening my sarong, I stepped out for a better view.

Another inquisitive tourist loped over to join me.

“Name’s Doyle.  And yours?”  His accent hung in the air, Scottish, strong and proud.

“I’m Riley.  Nice to meet you.”  My American accent paled compared to his.

Exchanging greetings hadn’t prompted us outside the comfort of shelter and proper mosquito nets.  A stronger roll of the ground forced my hands out to my sides, balancing myself and my candle.  Doyle gripped my waist to help.  When the tremor passed, he let go.  I hadn’t long to linger on the moment when a line of red cut through the stars above.  Bleeding clouds, billowing and fiery, broke through the line.  Our darkened world turned blinding bright in seconds as the rolling clouds mushroomed, blossoming, fanning out across the sky like a pyroclastic flow.

The ground rolled and rumbled underfoot.  I turned three hundred and sixty degrees to see the source.  The volcanoe slept soundly, ignorant some other disaster aimed to steal its thunder.

And thunder it did!

Whatever set the sky on fire moaned in agony, like metal shifting, bending, breaking.  Warm air blasted us, nearly knocking me to my feet.  Again, Doyle saved the day.

He kept one hand on my shoulder and pointed with the other as he whispered, “Sweet Mary, mother of – would you look at that?”  I followed his finger, straining against the reds and oranges erupting across the sky.  The front of something silver peeked through.  As more of the object cleared the sky-fire-flow, the sounds made sense.

A ship.

Not like the shuttles blasted from our NASA centers.  Several of those tiny things could dock on the piece breaking through.  And more followed.

I splayed my fingers across my chest, breaths coming in fits and starts.  All the work I’d done at NASA, all the times spent at observatories staring at the sky, charting the stars, chasing parsecs to discover something new, all that time netted me a pink slip, thanking me for my years of service.  Luckily, I’d wisely saved, lived the frugal lifestyle and took this chance to escape from civilization.  I ran from everything I knew, everyone I knew.  In the middle of nowhere, my dream came true.  There were others.  They’d made it here.  But now, they’d fallen.

Amid the groans and moans of metal warping and shifting, several wires snapped.  A few hung from the ship’s belly, caught in the firestorm, dangling like blazing tentacles.

Like a child, the full ship finally broke free of the atmosphere’s angry reaction to the forced entry.  But unlike that same child, the ship had nothing and no one to keep it from falling.  It was too far away to see if there were windows to view the beings within, but they worked hard against the pending doom, kicking the engines to repeated failed starts, firing thrusters with little more than puffs of smoke as a result.

It roared overhead with another failed start, front part of its massive, circular form pointed toward the ground.  A fiery trail of embers lay in its wake.  It disappeared beyond the canopy, roosting any remaining birds from their slumber.  Their calls filled the sky in a painful harmony to the dying engines.

The boom of the crash thrust the ground up and down so fast both Doyle and I lost our footing.  We landed, a tangle of khakis, sarong and puffed out candle.  Its light hadn’t been needed.  The blazing explosion of ship and earth colliding replaced the dulling fire in the sky.

My excitement of first contact dwindled with a pained realization.  Their unfortunate fall from the sky dropped them on land.  People were sure to be dead.  We humans aren’t the most forgiving.  But maybe, just maybe if one of the beings survived…

Doyle rushed back to his hut, a manic shine in his eyes.  No goodbye.  Moments later his Jeep skittered away, headlights bouncing in the direction of the crash.  Racing to the scene entered my mind, forced out by the memory of a pink slip, a reminder it was no longer my job, joy or problem.

I picked up my candle, re-entered my hut.  Lit and set back in its place, the candle’s flame shimmied with the wind as I pulled out my journal.  On the first page, I placed the date.  A tear splashed on my hand as I wrote:

Some peers may not have been kind.  Some downright ugly.  Demeaned my work and doubted the one truth I held dear:  We are not alone.  Their words turned into my frustration when my fifteen years of service warranted a two-week notice at best.  But here, on this sleepy island, I’ve been vindicated.  They are the fallen, crashing into our world.  But they have come, proving, once and for all, that we are NOT alone.

*** added note, I'll reveal the source picture tomorrow so please do come back :-)***
Friday, March 23, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

A Short Post

So, this isn't an insult or an ode to those of us who are "height-challenged".

This is me looking at Friday.
Friday looking at me.
Both of us shaking our heads, like, "Yeah...Maybe...uhhhhh...NO."


Do come back Monday to see if I make my goal of posting a short story for the A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words blogfest.  Heck, it's a mystery to me still lol!!!

Have a great weekend everyone :-)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

What is Your Beginning?

Though I'm doing revisions, my mind still ambles about, looking at things it probably shouldn't since it SHOULD be focused on adding words, deleting words, cutting phrases, fixing broken paragraphs.  You know, the stuff it wants to avoid.

Enter shiny new idea.
Chase that baby down!

Is this the beginning?  Would you consider the beginning the moment you spot this comet hurtling along the fringe of your mind?  Or would it be when you reach out and grab it by its sparkling tail, wrangling it in with fits and starts until you're worn out but grinning from ear to ear because you've claimed it?

I pondered this as I considered what the beginning would be for MINGLED.  It came to me as a shiny new idea during early fall, around September 2011.  Inspired by The Hunger Games, I thought I'd write up something sort of like it, except, I have a thing for the paranormal so I figured I could go with the post-apocalyptic scene, weave in my paranormal element(s) and go from there.


I didn't start writing story details down until a week or two before NaNoWriMo.  Then in November, I banged out 20-25k words before hitting life's brick wall and getting a little too ill to work it out to 50k like I wanted.

I'm looking at NaNoWriMo 2011 as the beginning of my story.  What do you consider as the beginning for yours?
Monday, March 19, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

No Sleeping While Writing

I suppose that should be no sleeping while trying to do anything that requires brain power of any kind.  Thankfully, before I spent the weekend draining away my brain power, I did a little bit of revising on MINGLED, my YA paranormal novel.  I hoped to have the revisions done by now but, well, yeah.  No excuses.  Just didn't happen lol!!!

Here are my March 2012 goals #writemotivation - also aligned with Birth of a Novel
Name: Angela L Brown 
Twitter: @neostateofmind
Goals for March 2012:
1: Complete revision of MINGLED and get it to beta readers - Had a mid-month goal in mind but I feel comfortable that this one will be completed *crosses fingers and toes*
2: Post 3 blogs a week - Keeping steady
3: Read 3 books - Two books in on completing this goal, one YA sci-fi, YA paranormal, and working on reading a MG novel.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week. - Keeping steady
5. Participate in A Picture Paints 1000 Words blogfest at Unicorn Bell - Uh, see.  Um...okay, so I better get this started lol!!!
6. Get at lest 14 of my A to Z blogging challenge blogs scheduled. - Got 6 done.  Slow and steady.

I wasn't big into setting goals.  I just told myself I needed to do something so I just pantsed it.  I can honestly say that setting these monthly goals and holding myself accountable by posting them here has been such a wonderful thing.

Holding my own feet to the fire.

Having a chance to adjust as life tends to throw things at us at the most inconvenient times.

Seeing the progress made:  Priceless.

How are things going in your world or perhaps the world your characters call home?
Friday, March 16, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Friday Free Day and Don't Forget Your Green :-)

Monday we had horror that made me shudder.
Tuesday angels and demons took over and left me breathless.
Me, Myself and I shared our recommendation of Lacrimosa on Wednesday.  Triple duty.  Fun and exhausting :-)
Thursday - No lol!!!
Today, relax.

Don't forget St. Patrick's Day is round yon corner.  Don't do anything I wouldn't do.  Wait.  Scratch that.  Reverse it.  Just have a blast.

Have a Beary Fun Holiday!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Me, Myself and I Book Club Meeting - Lacrimosa

Me:  Welcome, Myself and I, to our first meeting to discuss some thoughts on our book club selection, Lacrimosa.  Who wants to go first?
I: *sniffles* (then slurps loudly from her tea)  Sorry.
Myself: *rolls eyes heavenward*  I'll go.  First, I have to say that I was taken with the cover.  Look at that gorgeous angelic wing.  And she looks like how she's described.  Always throws me off when the character is described one way, like a blonde, then some raven haired beauty graces the cover.  Not cool.  This cover?  Very cool.
Me: I agree.  Cover definitely worked to attract my attention.  I, what about you?
I: *sniffles again then nods*
Myself: Okay, we'll take that as a yes.  Anywho, I have to get to the content.  I mean, wow, what an emotional roller coaster ride.
I: *moans, sniffles and excuses herself*
Me and Myself wait patiently, sipping from their drinks while waiting for I.  Two minutes later, I returns with tissue in hand.
Me: Should we reschedule?  Is everything okay, I?
I: *tears bubble over her eyelids, a spit bubble bursts as she opens her mouth to speak*  I loved it.  So many emotions!!!  Whydididhavetobethatway?
Me and Myself: Uh...wah?
I: Aydan!  Nesy!  And we read Dies Irae so come on Mikayel! (Get David Powers King's thoughts on Dies Irae here)
Me: I, we're in a public establishment.  People are looking at us.  Maybe you should calm down.
I: *eyes bulging but whispers*  I'll calm down when this story settles. A whole day has passed and I can't get Nesy and Aydan out of my head.  I don't know where Christine Fonseca found that pain and heartache, but she did and she stuffed it into this novel, that and hope.  But...whydidithaveotbethatway?  *sniffles*
Me:  I get it.  You were hooked by Nesy and Aydan's story.  I rather enjoyed the back and forth first person POV usage tagging each chapter with the character name so you knew who was talking.
Myself:  Definite page turner.  Very engaging.
Me:  Okay, so we know we're not big on star rankings or any other rankings.  So by a show of hands, would you recommend this book to a friend?
Me and Myself raise their hands
I does not.
Me:  So since you wouldn't recommend it, could you share your objection?
I:  Oh, you misunderstood.  I wouldn't just recommend it.  I'd buy a few copies and give them to people.
Me and Myself:  Ohhhh.
Conversation drifts off into items that would be spoiler(s) for this post.  Suffice it to say, Me, Myself and I thoroughly enjoyed Lacrimosa.

ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)
Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers.

Are you a part of a book club?  If so, how are your meetings?  Interesting?  Talkative?  A group of wallflowers waving at each other in silent smiles?
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

LACRIMOSA blog tour - Christine Fonseca

My blog is being taken over today by angels and demons.  Why?  Because the ever-fabulous Christine Fonseca is here to discuss LACRIMOSA.  You don't want to miss it.  I've got my lemonade.  Grab your sip of choice and let's enjoy!  Take it away, Christine :-)

First, thank you Angela, for hosting another leg of the tour for the launch of my debut novel, LACRIMOSA. Before we get started with the tour post, here is a little blurb about the story:

It’s been three thousand years since the fall of Azzaziel and the rebirth of evil; three thousand years since the Sentinal Order, an elite group of warrior angels, returned to Celestium. Their job—rid Earth of the dark creatures, the UnHoly. And with luck, end Azza’s rule. 
As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan. 
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel. 
Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself. And her choice may cost her, and Celestium, far more than anyone realizes.
Today I am continuing with Nesy's chapter, bringing you part 2 of my reading of the first chapter of LACRIMOSA:

Miss part 1 of the chapter? You can catch it on Rebecca Enzor's blog from Monday.

You'll have to wait until Thursday for the final part of the chapter. Until then, check out tomorrow's post on Laura Diamond's blog for a special interview with Nesy. And be certain to check out the entire schedule for the tour here - there are special giveaways throughout the tour...

including the EPIC Nesy Prize pack filled with her favorite things:

Just complete the form below.

You can enter up to twice daily (through the tour and my blog).

And there's more - collect the daily clues to enter the EPIC grand prize giveaway that includes books, swag and a special surprise.

Today's clue - MIKAYEL

Author Endorcement(s):
“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.”
~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION


ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)
Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers.

Additional Titles in the series include DIES IRAE (a Requiem Novella), LIBERA ME (Oct 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013).

LACRIMOSA book trailer

About Christine Fonseca
School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. Her nonfiction titles include 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – or her blog

~Folks, I don't know about you, but I'm so excited, I could dance a jig*!!!!
*anyone caught videotaping said jig will receive more than just my evil eye.  And if you somehow get to put it on Youtube, don't put it under the heading, Whales Gone Wild lol!!!!!!

Anywho, there's lots many of us have done for love.  There was a short time my friends didn't recognize me, I was so far gone in love.  What of you?  How much would you sacrifice for love?
Monday, March 12, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Days with the Undead: Book One blog tour

"Our hope is that we will be safe tonight and many more nights to come. Some of you out there - those untouched by the reality that we are living first hand - might think this is a joke, a prank or some sick and twisted hoax. I can certainly attest that it is not. What’s happening is real and this is our record of it. I do hope that my frantic typing isn’t garbled and that I don’t repeat myself too often. PLEASE forgive me if I do. My intent is only to give the world a glimpse into our survival until the very last possible moment.

I hope this communication finds you in a safe place where the Undead have yet to proliferate. Pray for Us. Pray for life. Just pray… Please."

If you're anything like me, that excerpt just quickened your heartbeat.  Lucky for you, and me, there's more where that came from.

Days with the Undead: Book One has a wonderfully eerie premise:
It’s a journal of survival.
Five people set out to escape the Undead who have risen too close to home. Join the emotional and physical struggle as they began on the third day after the awakening of Brooks VanReit, as they are recorded from the point of view of Julie, a former pathologist and part-time survivalist.
Each entry is geared toward helping those who want to help themselves and maybe give a few that don’t a swift kick in the ass. Join our group of survivors on their journey through these Days with the Undead.

I tend toward the "scaredy cat" side of the playground, so I couldn't help wondering, as my heart tripped over itself, how does an author write a horror novel?  Is it, dare I say, easy?  Please grab a glass of lemonade, or sprinkle some holy water around you if need be (though I'm not sure if that works for zombies), and join me as I am honored to have Days with the Undead author, Julianne Snow, address this question.  Take it away, Julianne.

I want to thank Angela for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself to her readers. My name is Julianne Snow and I am a science fiction and horror writer who is trying to get the word out about my book Days with the Undead: Book One. One of the most difficult things about writing in the genres that I do is this:

How Easy Is It To Write Unease?

To write? Or not to write? That really isn’t a question for me. I have to write. It’s a feeling that consumes me. There are times when I should be sleeping or catching up with friends… Where can you find me instead? Either furiously typing on my computer or at my desk, scribing out a story longhand.

There have been some stories that end up being tedious to get out. You start off with a great idea, only to have it disintegrate as you lay the words down.

Others come together so beautifully that you sit back and wonder where a particular phrase came from. Sometimes you are just able to hit the emotions and imagery on the head and it reads exactly how you saw it happening in your head.

There is an interesting facet of writing that deserves some consideration - how does an author write stellar horror without scaring themselves? How do they evoke the reactions of fear and unease without falling victim to their own words?

I’d bet there are authors out there writing in the genre that would maintain they are immune to their own words. I can’t help but wonder if that is a good thing - how can you hope to scare, to evoke feeling, if you cannot even scare yourself?

It’s a benchmark that I strive to attain each and every time that I craft a story. I know that I’ve hit the mark when I can sit back and let the shudder course through my body. Emotion is a universal concept; we all feel. Injecting your writing with emotion is the best way, in my experience as both a writer and as a reader, to engage your audience.

As I was writing my first book, Days with the Undead: Book One, there were times when I genuinely had to sit back and take a break. The living dead are some of the most sinister monsters that anyone can imagine - if you look into their slack faces, what stares back at you?

A reflection of humanity in its afterlife.
Add to that the situations that are just as likely to arise in a rolling Apocalypse as in any other. In some cases, it’s the element of surprise that gets you; and in others, the gentle, sustained build of tension and fright that makes it hard to swallow.

If I were being honest, I want all of my readers to feel the same emotions that I do as I write. I want the tense moments to quicken your desire to devour my words. I want each page turned to make you pause for that moment, if only just to catch your breath before the next scene. When you are finished reading a scene in its entirety, I want it to stick with you for long moments after; to take up residence in your psyche and for you to mention it at the oddest moment in unrelated conversation. I want to take the things that you think are unimaginable in the horror realm and creep you out to the utmost level. Those are the emotions that I want you to feel, but I don’t want to simply do it in the most graphic way. Simplicity and subtlety are the tools that I prefer to use. That, and just a little touch of poignant creepiness. When you read my words, I want you to feel uneasy, the same way that I did while writing it.
I just had a shudder run through me reading that last line.  Talk about emotional engagement!  Thank you so very much.

Now, where can you get your copy of Days with the Undead: Book One?

Days with the Undead

It is available in print format at CreateSpace and Amazon.
Or digital format: Amazon US

Here's a bit more about the Author - Julianne Snow
It was while watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead.
As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own. The horror and forensic/crime thriller genres top her list of favourites, but she can never turn down a good science fiction, fantasy or mystery read.
Julianne appears in the anthology Women of the Living Dead with a story entitled The Living Dead at Penderghast Manor. Look for her short stories in future anthologies. Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name.

Feel free to use the comments to say "Hello", 'Howdy" or "Fracking A that scared the dirt out of me."  Okay, so maybe I'm the one who'd say that last one :-)
Friday, March 9, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Lucky 7 Meme, After These Important Messages

Before I get into the meme, I wanted to share something interesting.  Has to do with YA book covers and a not-so-thrilling trend Ellen Oh noticed and blogged about it here.  Thanks to Adam over at Author's Echo for bringing this to my attention.  Check out his giveaway, too.

Also, thanks to the ever-wonderful Angela Cothran at Live to Write...Edit when Necessary for the Sunshine Award.  You can check my answers here.  If you haven't checked out her blog, well, whatd'ya waitin' for?  :-)

Going to try something here.  I got tagged by Tracey Joseph and Cherie Colyer with the Lucky 7 Meme.  I kind of like this one.

Here's what I'm supposed to do:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.

I'm supposed to tag and let others know but...naw, just leaving it open to anyone that wants to share a snippet of their work to share your 7 lines from your 77th page of your MS.  WOOT!

Here are my lines:

“Beacon?  Beacon?  Have you come back?”  It felt as if she were trying to turn her vision inward to look for me.  Her eyes never once lifted from the yarn and needles.
“Please, wake up,” that voice called again, filled with worry.  This time, I closed my eyes to the old woman’s mind and followed the sound.  When I opened them, I saw a point of light.  I raced for it, fearful of what I’d done, how I’d done it.
I jerked awake.  My body shot straight up with the force of a spring board.  I threw my hands over my face, the sun a blinding orb overhead.

Yeah, so this was done before revisions.  I can see some words that will have to kick the bucket when I make it to this page.

Ah, well.  That was fun.  Off to see if the weekend will slow down just a bit so I can relish in every second.  Have a good one.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

IWSG - Grow a Pair Already!

Visit others
Yeah.  "Grow a pair, already!" is what I told myself when I sat down to work revisions on my current WiP, MINGLED, a couple of days ago.

My excitement stirred when I finished the first draft of the query.  That's what really helped me finish the first draft of the MS.  Then I got some great advice on how to improve the query from a couple of fantastic folks like Elana Johnson - as part of NiNoCon - and David Powers King.  So I'm hoping I've made things better as far as the query is concerned.  Still have to review the suggestions against the changes I've made.

Then I got even more excited when the desire to revise kicked in full gear, after a much needed breather, and I started work, cutting here, adding there.  I was making slow but steady progress when I saw something interesting.

Brenda Drake does some of the most wonderful, awesome, fantastic activities at her blog.  Did I mention she does some awesome stuff at her blog?  Some things are worth repeating.  Anyway, she and a couple of other lovely dames go and do this March Madness contest that I almost entered.  Almost.  I even worked up a pitch for it:

MINGLED, YA paranormal set in a post-apocalyptic America-
In the Collective, blood is the price for peace.  For seventeen year old Macie, blood is nothing but trouble as she discovers there are those within the government who would kill to possess hers.

I'd tried to convince myself that since I'd finished the first draft that hey, I could probably give it a go.  I read the instructions.  I should have known better.  But then reality hit.  I couldn't participate because the agents are looking for MS-ready-to-query.  And as she often does with Charlie Brown, Lucy yanked the football from me at the last moment and I landed on my bottom.  One of the few times it pays to have a round-about-figure.
Gets him every time.
It isn't the contest's fault that my MS isn't finished with revisions.  That's up to me.  And I chose not to rush the revisions just to go for the Pitch contest.  So when I sat down the other day to do a few revisions, I stared at it a bit.  Blew out an exasperated sigh.  Hopped on the internet to procrastinate then came back to stare at it again.  I felt bothered by the missed opportunity.  I kept thinking I should have had it done already.  Then I had that brief, one-sentence conversation with myself.  I didn't snap out of my little self-pity party and into a revision rage, but it did make me giggle and remember that there will be other chances, other opportunities.  That I had to get to work or I WOULD keep missing one chance after another...nothing that I could blame on anyone but myself.  Me.  Not Lucy and that stupid football of hers :-)

I'm still revising.  Can't wait to get it out to betas when I'm done.  I'll look forward to getting their feedback and making the MS better, improve it.  And I look forward to fewer moments of Lucy yanking the football at the last moment since I hope to be in a better place with my MS should another opportunity arise.

Here's to hoping none of you are suffering a Lucy moment.
Monday, March 5, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Goals + Hurdles = Girdles

I'd like to imagine my trek along this writing path is one that is as beautiful as this racing horse, long form stretched perfectly over a hurdle, aiming to reach a goal of victory.
photo credit
Except, here's my reality:
photo credit
The one in the yellow-gold-dress-looking-thing, head tilted as if about to fall (I think that's Washington lol!!!) - yeah, that's more along the lines of what things feel like for me.  But, at least there's a lot of laughter :-)

I've got some goals set for March 2012 and with some work, I hope to achieve them.  Each month, I've gotten a bit more aggressive, re-evaluating and adjusting as needed.  So far, I've mainly upped the ante with my goals.  But I like having the ability to adjust down a bit if needed.

Name: Angela L Brown 
Twitter: @neostateofmind
Goals for March 2012:
1: Complete revision of MINGLED and get it to beta readers
2: Post 3 blogs a week
3: Read 3 books
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week.
5. Participate in A Picture Paints 1000 Words blogfest at Unicorn Bell
6. Get at lest 14 of my A to Z blogging challenge blogs scheduled.

As a reminder, Insecure Writer's Support Group is the first Wednesday of the month so it's sneaking up on us quick, fast and in a hurry.  Should be this Wednesday, I believe.  Someone do correct me please if I'm looking at this wrong :-)  Whether you'll be participating or not, is there something in particular you'd like to improve, maybe drink more water, eat fewer doughnuts, drive the car in purposeless circles a few less times a week?
Friday, March 2, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

A Picture Paints 1000 Words and I'm It

I happen to enjoy blogfests, but I don't get to participate in very many.  I AM participating in Unicorn Bell's A Picture Paints 1000 Words blogfest.
Get the details.  Check out the pix!
Go check it out, if for nothing more than the gorgeous pictures you get to choose from.  I've been looking them over again and again and I'm still cheesing, trying to decide which one to go with.


I'm It :-)  Thank you to Brianna at Kindling the Fire for the tag.

Here are her questions and my answers:

1. What's your favorite YA Heroine?  It's a tough fight between Hermione and Katniss, the wand or the bow.  Hmmmm....
2. Have you ever tried to write your own novel? Yes.  I've written a few completed manuscripts, one that I self-pubbed for fun and the other two that may not see light of day, well, at least one for sure since I got rid of   everything but my memory of it.
3. How many hours a day do you read on average? I average about 30 minutes a day during the weekdays.  Weekends have no average, just steal what I can.
4. What is your favorite book to movie so far?  So far, I 'd have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It was a tremendous undertaking to even try and put such an epic to screen.  I knew there would be much that just wouldn't be able to translate exactly how I thought it would but when I saw each movie, I was blown away with how much descriptions remained true, characters, setting, so much was done to keep it as close as humanly possible and I appreciated that from the entire assembly that brought the production to fantastic fruition.
5. Do you own an ereader? If so what one? No e-reader.  However, I make wonderful use of my kindle for PC app.  Building a hefty e-book collection from some wonderful authors.  Speaking of which, I need to go buy Channeler's Choice by Heather McCorkle.  Hold on.  Okay, sorry about that.  It's in my library now :-)
6. How many books do you plan to read this year? My goal is 30 books.
7. Where are you most comfortable reading? Snuggled in the corner of my couch with my daughter's Princess throw warming my legs.
8. Sometimes I love to snack while I read. What's you're favorite book snack?  My favorite snack period is chocolate chip cookies.  They are the devil to my hips and other over-jolly places that need quite a bit of reshaping into something less circular.
9. What genre do you absolutely hate?  No absolute hate.  I'm just a bit scared of horror.
10. Do you enjoy book blogging? Why or why not?  Well, my blog isn't specifically a book blog, but more about all things books, from writing, reading, loving and supporting books and authors, and making my own way on this winding road to publication.  And I love it because it's an extension of my passion for reading and writing.

That's pretty much it about me.  How about you my fellow writers, bloggers, readers and lovers of words?  Feel free to choose a question and answer it in the comments below which will shed a tiny light into the window of your world for me.  Thank you and have a wonderful weekend :-)