Friday, November 30, 2012


I have a long awaited date with a Wizard. So consider me on vacation. While I dream of a beachfront bungaloo, I'll settle for a long weekend at home reading COLD DAYS the 14th book in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series and reaquainting my family with my presence since I've virtually abandoned them this month.

To everyone who is still NaNoWriMoing... V live long and prosper.

I'll be back with regular blog posts once I decompress. I still have an amazing story to finish so stay tuned for more FIXED updates.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


THE WALKING DEAD comic book fans rejoice.

Chad Coleman will be playing my favorite character from THE WALKING DEAD comic by Robert Kirkman. Tyreese is an icon. Those who've read the scene--you know the one--view him with awe and reverence. Okay, so maybe the character is a bit of a horn dog, but that's what makes the comic and the television series fun. Characters who are so realistic that we can identify with them. Care about whether the live or die. It's the realism which makes this show great.


So what if comic book Tyreese sometimes has the feel of a superhero, he's still a hero I can't wait to see on the screen. And can I say, Chad Coleman playing him. Wow, they even look alike. Hotness!

I'll leave it at that before I accidently drop spoilers.


Monday, November 26, 2012


It's the final countdown.

For those of you who have made it to the finish line--congrats.

To those of us still limping along. We still have five days. We CAN bring this home!

With an illness then holiday drama, I thought NaNo would be a bust again this year. Granted the month isn’t over. I still have time to crash and burn, but I’m more hopeful about finishing than I was three days ago.


On day 23, I was at 31,000 words. If I wanted to a have any chance of finishing on time, I had to write 10,000 words by Monday. I spent 12 hours on the story on Saturday. Sunday, I edited my critique partner’s story during the day. That night I wrote another 4k. I’m officially caught up. If I can write the necessary 1700 words a day, I’ll finish on time.
Okay, enough with the statistical data. Boring, right?

Last week, I asked about POV, and I received a lot of advice. My thanks go to those of you who took the time to share your views and encouragement.

Terri Bruce, author of HEREAFTER, gave the answer which made my decision.

Hmmmm...I have seen the use of two different tenses, I think, but I can't think of any of the book titles. However, keep in mind with the tense change, what you're saying to the reader is that the first person character is telling the reader what happened AS IT HAPPENS, while the 3rd person character is telling the reader what happened AFTER THE FACT. If that's what you mean, then it should be fine (the examples I'm thinking of are usually suspense/mystery/thrillers, where one person is telling the story after the fact (like the detective/cop) and one is telling it as it happens (usually the bad guy), but I've also seen it in mother/daughter women's fic - with the grown up daughter explaining the present day problems in the past tense and then the book switches to the mom's PoV in present tense as she relates her life story). I'd have to check but Paulo Coelho may have used two different tenses in The Witch of Portobello and I think possibly Amy Tan in The Bonesetter's Daughter. But if you mean for your characters to both be telling the same story at the same time (e.g. as it happens), then you'd really need to use the same tense I think.

I wrote the second POV character, Landry’s chapter in Present/1st person, and his whole personality flowered upon the page. He had his own voice, his own views and interpretation of his world which was totally separate from Mala’s. He allowed me to explore an otherwise closed part of the story, and in turn, made the story deeper and richer than it was with the single point-of-view.

I’m 150 pages into a story that I find to be even more thrilling than the original.

I think I always worried about that. I’ve read a few sequels that couldn’t stand up to the original. As if some essential spark which infused the first is missing from the second. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this story (of course, I'm biased, lol.) I think it's because I know the characters and their world so well now that I’m able to build up on it with layers and depth.

It feels pretty cool.

So this question is for those of you who have written sequels or read sequels. Was your sequel difficult to write or easier? Do you often enjoy reading about the same characters and what would you suggest makes the sequel better than the original? Or is it even possible in your view to recapture the magic of the first book?

Monday, November 19, 2012

NaNo UPDATE, Day 19

There are only two more days until my vacation. I’ll be able to enjoy five days of uninterrupted writing time. Well, maybe a few interruptions, like turkey, stuffing, pie, black Friday, my sister coming in from San Diego, entertaining the kiddies who are out of school, and…the list goes on.

But I should have some NaNo time.

My work-in-progress, FIXED, is shaping up now that I’m editing as I write it. For those who followed my NaNo journey last year, you know I like to experiment.
This time, I added in a new POV character, Landry, to the story. I wondered how he felt about all the crazy happenings in Mala’s world.

His chapter…wow, it felt wonderful to write. It got my mojo flowing again. After I wrote his chapter, Mala’s chapters wrote themselves with little effort from me. I love when that happens, but I was afraid it wouldn’t with story after the rocky beginning.

I’m now on Chapter 8, which will be a Landry chapter. I wrote the first one in 3rd person, past tense. I didn’t want it to be confused with Mala’s 1st person, present tense.
I’m not sure whether it’s too jarring of a change. If necessary, I can always go back and convert it after I’m finished. I won’t worry about it until I get feedback from my critique partners.

I need your opinion. Do you find books with dual POV’s that are written in different POV’s distracting or is it better to have such a distinct separation?

Friday, November 16, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- WEEK 16- Blossoming

This week has be extremely unproductive. The first half I spent in bed recovering from a cold. This last half has been spent trying to get caught up. I’m behind in my NaNo goals. I’m okay with that. I was having a hard time connecting with the characters, which I find is odd since I know them so well.

For some reason, the story wasn’t blossoming (Isn't this is a weird looking word, blossoming?).

I’m going to try and explain how story blossoming feels for me. There comes a moment in the story when my conscious mind disconnects and the subconscious takes over. It’s the moment when the characters become real. They take control and I simply transcribe what they tell me.

Heck, half the time I’m astonished by the places the story goes. It’s like magic. What I mean is this particular writing stage feels magical—trance-like.

I’m guessing it feels similar to what one experiences when meditating, but I’ve never meditated so I don’t know. Anyone?

Anyway, I haven’t had that spark with this story. I think it’s because I broke my usual process. I tried to write it straight through without going back and editing. In my first drafts I have a lot of narrative. My characters are talkers. They’re all—blah, blah, blah.

When I go back through after writing the chapter, I flesh it out. I add description. Fix plot holes. This leads to a deeper awareness of where I want the story to go, and I’m able to foreshadow later twists. The story solidifies in my mind and isn’t as nebulous.

I’ve spent this week editing. My word count hasn’t moved much, but I have a better sense of the story now. Hopefully, I’ll be writing new material this weekend. Plus, we have a super holiday next week and I don’t have to work. I should have some uninterrupted writing time after coming out of my tryptophan coma.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I want to thank Dean C. Rich for inviting me to participate in “The Next Big Thing.” I was a little afraid I wouldn’t get this written. I’ve been sick with a cold for the last four days. It’s a minor cold, but it kept me in a loopy, cold medicine induced fog, and I didn’t touch the computer. Thankfully, I’m feeling better. So here you go.

1- What is the working title of your book?

I’m currently working on FIXED, the sequel to JUJU’S CHILD since it’s NaNo. I’ve never written a sequel before, and I didn’t know how tricky it would be to sum up the last story without info dumping. I want the readers who have read Juju’s Child to get a refresher but not be inundated with old material, but also, have new readers caught up.

2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

My father’s family is from Louisiana, and I lived there for three years (8th-10th grades). I enjoyed going “Down South” to visit my relatives in St. Martins Parish. My aunts can cook like nobody’s business. I also watched Swamp People, and my main character, Malaise “Mala” Lacroix evolved from there. Add in hoodoo, a riled up spirit, and a murder mystery for the character to solve and there you go.

Since this is a sequel, I’m continuing to show Mala’s evolution. She was a character who loved and trusted easily. Not anymore. Life has made her colder, but it hasn’t broken her. She’s older, wiser, and hopefully more mature.
If you're interested in some of the images I used for inspiration, I have storyboards on PINTEREST.

3- What genre does your book fall under?

It’s Southern Gothic.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t have particular actors in mind. I’d want someone who could pull off a Creole accent without sounding fake. I think the accent is beautiful. My grandfather spoke French, and I’ve wanted to learn. Someday.

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m not finished writing the book yet. I’m a panster, so I have no idea where this is going to go. I have a rough outline, but my characters are willful. They tend to go their own way.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary, LLC. She's awesome, and I love her to pieces.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m not sure how long this will take me, but typically about three months. I write two or three chapters a week. After writing a chapter, before moving to the next, I edit it. Then, I send it off to my critique partners. By the time I’m finished, it has already gone through a couple of rounds of edits. After that, I let the story sit while I start writing the next book.

I now firmly believe in letting a story sit without being touched for a few months prior to editing. It’s amazing what fresh eyes will find.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I compared Mala to an African-American Sookie Stackhouse with a little Veronica Mars thrown in for spice.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
See #2

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I’m enthralled with the beauty of the bayou, the people and culture of Louisiana. It’s unique unto itself. I wanted to write a book which entertains, but also celebrates this culture. I wrote what I like to read: a mystery which puts the main character in a dangerous situation, with a touch of horror. I like to be scared for the characters. I want to be emotionally invested in their journey. That’s what I like to read and what I write.

It turns out most of my AQC friends have already been tagged. If anyone is interested in being tagged for next week (Week 25), please let me know in the comment section.

Friday, November 9, 2012


The first letter I ever received was a huge deal for me. I was ten. I had just moved from Kansas to Maryland, and I didn’t know anyone. So holding an envelope with my name on it felt like a big deal.

Little did I know it would spawn a lifetime of hate!

My hands shook as I opened it up to find this …

… okay, maybe not exactly this, but something similar. Only a whole lot worse. At the end of the one I received it said if I didn’t pass it on I WOULD DIE!

Yes, the exclamation point is warranted.

Needless to say, ten-year-old Angie almost pissed her pants in her rush to grab the phone book and pass the on the chain letter to 10 random strangers. Whew, it was a close call, but I survived.

I grew up.

Chain letters evolved. Now they come by email. They still end with the similar doom and gloom prediction. I delete them. I’m pretty sure God will forgive me and won’t send me to hell.

When I started blogging, I found another form of chain letter. The Blog Awards. I’ve “won” a few. I appreciate my friends for thinking of me when they need 5 people to pass it on to. However, I’ve kept my policy so far by not participating.

Only next week, I’ll make an exception. Why? NaNo screwed with my mind. Kidding. I agreed because I said I’d be more open to new experiences this year and this looks like fun. I also promised the person linking to me.

If anyone is interested in watching me squirm my way through it, I’ll be answering questions in THE NEXT BIG THING (Week 24) on November 14th.

Will I pass it on? Only if someone agrees to play in advance. I promise I won’t spring this on anyone. My friend asked for my permission before he linked to me. He didn’t just announce I’m the “winner” on his blog as if I’m his meat puppet. Thanks, DC Rich.

So, if you’re interested, please leave a comment below and you’ll be one of my five.


Monday, November 5, 2012


First let me say a big hearty thank you to Angie for allowing me to partake in SOV on her blog.

What inspired me to become a writer? One thing I have noticed about myself is the things I loved as a child or teenager seem to have gotten lost because life happens.  Let me clarify by giving a little of my back story.

I attended Cosmetology school at  age 18, I obtained a license to be a Nail Technician before I completed because school didn't pay and I already had a son to provide for. Once in the field I was very good at it and made a very good living, needless to say cosmetology school would sit on the back burner for 5 years before I returned because the industry was changing and I knew I had to change with it. I completed Cosmetology school and this has been my profession now for more than 20 years.

I now own The Lotus Salon Boutique. I sell upscale women clothes on one side and perform hair services on the other side. I also sell my own label of an all Natural Bath and Body line, The Natural You.

Is this a plug for my business or does this have something to do with my inspiration as a writer.....YESSSS!

My reason for sharing that story is when Life happens we tend to forget those things we are passionate about  and do what we must do to provide for those we love. By the time I was 19, I was a single mother of 2 and a caregiver to my mother, as well as working 16 hour days.  The things I loved to do and were passionate about were soon  forgotten.

I was good at doing hair and nails (really good) then someone would ask me how did I learn(everyone knows cosmo school teaches the book work not the actual technique) or they might ask if I always wanted to be a hairstylist. These questions made me think back to when I was eight years old and all of my barbie dolls and doll heads (you know the ones without a body) were line up along a wall in my bedroom. Each with their hair completely styled and on display. So my answer became yes I did; although, I forgot. Somehow, God made a way for me to end up here in spite of.

The same was true for my passion of nail artistry. After being asked the same question, I would think back to a time I would sit on my back porch making nail extension out of clay. I would walk around with my fingers spread out before me until my sister slammed a door in my face, causing them to bend back, like the wicked witch of OZ's feet curled up after the house landed on her (my sister was a mean child).

I stumbled on another passion of mine about 2 years ago- writing. After I joined a local writing group someone asked those questions again. I thought back to a time when I had a poetry book I wrote in daily, or when I would sit outside looking at the sky wondering if there were other worlds out there, or what it would be like if I had magic powers. I would make up stories of make believe people and places. I didn't write them all down. Some were just the friends in my head.

The point I'm trying to make is when you can't see the forest for the trees, and you are truly passionate about something, yeah, life may happen.  It may alter your  path, but I believe inevitably we all find our way back to what's in our hearts. Writing is in my heart, a passion that has come back to me. I am inspired to write because it's who I've always been. It's who I am, and who I will continue to be.

Staying true to myself and my passion!
If you're so inclined to seek me out you may find me lurking around these places:
The Blog-O-Sphere
Tweeting Away
Face-Booking It

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Random Post

Yes, this is a random post.

It is to check to see if I fixed the problem of dual posting of my blog on Twitter and Facebook.

Other than that, I don't have much else to say.

Oh, my daughter signed up for the National Novel Writing Month Young Adult Program. So she's NaNoing with me this year. Go, Kiwi!

Friday, November 2, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 14, FALL

You may be wondering why I'm showing pictures as a 40 weeks post. Well, I'm sharing my love of nature and my love for photography. Autumn is my favorite season. I took these pictures last Sunday during my bike ride. My father-in-law later complained to my hubby that I stopped to take a picture of every tree in the park. Not true.

As you can see, fall has taken its sweet time arriving in Northern California. Not that I'm complaining. That would be foolish.

5 Mile

This is one of the stops on my bike ride where I get some water and stare out over the creek. Today the Tai Chi group were already gone, so I was able to get a picture. Peaceful.

This is one of the many redwood groves in the park. The branches brush the ground so when you're beneath its cover you're in a secluded hideaway that is infested with mosquitos. Enter at your own risk or spray on insect repellant. Pretty though, so in my opinion a little itchiness is worth it.

The last three pictures I have returned to my favorite Teichert Ponds. I took pictures of the area in July. I wanted to show it to you in the fall. Next week will probably be prettier, but who knows what the weather will be like at that time.

Aren't the colors beautiful? I think this last picture is my favorite.

With this being NaNo month, I won't have time for in-depth posts. I'm pretty determined to get my 50k this year. I'll try to keep up with my blog posting since I'm getting better at not going MIA. If I do disappear for a while, it's because I'm lost in my wip. I apologize in advance.
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