Friday, December 31, 2010

What a way to start the New Year!

I opened up my mailbox today to find not one, but TWO ARCs!!! The Girl Who Became A Beetle by Greg Taylor and (the one I'm looking forward to the most and will start as soon as I type the last period on this post) is Death Cloud: Young Sherlock Holmes The Legend Begins but Andrew Lane. 

I'm so excited, I can hardly contain it! (The caffeine from the two large cups of coffee I had at my local coffee shop is probably helping with that...)


Thursday, December 30, 2010


That's me to a "T", and a procrastinator. So, I spent four whole days counting down until Tron came to the theaters, and guess what? I haven't even gone to go see it yet! I know. I'm a sorry excuse for a human being. It's just that...I've heard so many mixed reviews about it. Now I'm not sure I want to spend $10 to go and see it. I might as well just wait until it comes to Netflix...

I still haven't seen Harry Potter yet, and that's PATHETIC. There's no excuse. I love the books and the movies. I can't believe I haven't see it yet. Maybe I'll have Hubby take me to go and see it this weekend...Try to to think too poorly of me.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Well, another year has almost finished. It's amazing how fast that happens. Just a friendly reminder of what Christmas is really about. I hope you all have a wonderful time with your family on this joyous day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


At 12:01 tonight (or Friday morning for those of you who like to get technical), Tron will come and dwell among us. Let us acknowledge this with a moment of silence.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Report for Vixen by Jillian Larkin

See it here.


Strike a match, a flame has been rekindled

After seven LONG weeks, my love affair with Starbucks (Sbux) has been rekindled. No doubt Sbux had long ago given up hope of ever seeing me again, but I knew the day would one day revisit us. Let me recount to you our reunion (content has been edited suitable for all audiences):

I squeezed my car into a tight parking spot between a Navigator and a Lexus. Killing the engine, I waited, watching rain drops patter on my windshield. The parking lot was filled today, even the handicapped spots were taken. I delayed my entry by organizing my purse. Then I took everything out, unsatisfied, and organized it again. I filled my lungs with a deep breath. You have to go in there eventually, I scolded. If I waited any longer, I would start getting awkward stares from the exiting patrons. But it wasn’t about them. It was about me. And Sbux.

I stepped out into the rain and threw the hood of my coat over my head, tucking my purse tighter to my body. The day was cold, winter was here, and clouds covered the sky. I peeked under the brim of my hood, scrutinizing the content of the clouds—it looked like snow. I nodded at a guy who passed me by, holding out his Venti cup of hot goodness as he dashed to his car. The rain had picked up.

When I finally reached the door, I hesitated—but only for a second. Pulling it open, I stepped inside. The buzz of dozens of conversations; grinding coffee; “I’ve got a….” drink calls echoing through the air; instant warmth; and the intoxicating fumes of coffee. It all reminded me I was at home. I scanned the sitting areas and tables, and saw that ‘my’ booth. It was a pristine location—with two tables, two outlets, a window and an undisturbed view of the coffee shop itself. And it was free. I set my bag on the tabletop and walked up to the counter.

“The usual?” the barista asked when I approached.

“Yes, please.” I smiled, flattered he remembered.

“One Venti Caramel Brulee Late!”

“And a bagel—toasted,” I added.

“Of course.”

Even though I had been gone, Sbux hadn’t forgotten about me or my undying love for something so perfect. I settled down in my booth, set up my laptop and pulled out a book, already sliding back into our familiar routine. Sbux is a forgiving affair.

HA! It’s a bit romanticized, I know. But good for a chuckle. In reality it went something more like this:

I passed by the Starbucks parking lot as I drove down the main road, my eyes quickly scanning for an open spot in the already overcrowded parking lot. There! I crossed my fingers and hoped it would still be empty when I finally pulled in. I turned left on a yield only green light through heavy 4 o’clock traffic, ran the gauntlet of the national Hunting Store parking lot, and made it through a stop sign. Just as I pulled into the parking lot, a zippy little sports car with a teenage driver cut me off and stole my parking spot. I muttered some choice four—and possibly five—letter words and pulled into another, less desirable, parking spot further away from the front door (I would have to play Frogger and cross the drive-thru line and navigate a jungle of untamed landscaping to get to the door).

I killed the engine and leaned to the passenger side of my car, reaching for my overstuffed purse. The safety lock on my seatbelt jerked me back, spilling the contents of my bag all over the floor. I punched at the red button until it released me, muttering while I re-filled my bag. Once everything was in place, I opened my car door and stepped outside, into a lake of a puddle and the pelting rain. I had forgotten my umbrella—again, and had to run across the parking lot, using my purse to shield my head. Needless to say, It didn’t work very well.

When I finally reached the door, I jerked it open, glad to be out of the cold and the rain and into a warm building. The buzz of dozens of conversations going on at once; grinding coffee; “I’ve got a….” drink calls echoing through the air; instant warmth; and the intoxicating fumes of coffee reminded me I was at home. Seven weeks had been entirely too long. I scanned the sitting areas and tables, and saw ‘my’ booth. It was a pristine location—with two tables, two outlets, a view out a window and an undisturbed view of the coffee shop itself. Which is why—of course—it was occupied by someone other than myself. The teenager in the sports car, to be exact.

I grumbled more and searched for a secondary location. The small table next to the bathrooms. It was either that, or a table in the middle of the store where everyone could stare at me, and with no outlets to boot! I walked over to the restroom table and set down my bag. Then it was up to the counter to stand in line and order my drink—the barista didn’t actually remember what I normally ordered.

Finally, drink and bagel in hand, I went back to my table to write. I pulled out my laptop and dug around for my power cord. It wasn’t there. I sighed and reached for my book, instead. Forgotten. My shoulders fell and I couldn’t help but let a little crazy laugh escape. It felt good to be back at Sbux again.


Countdown to Tron

FOUR  more days 'til Tron!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yay, yay, yay!!

Just got an ARC in the mail today and I am SUPER excited about this one!!!

Vixen by Jillian Larkin. I'm going to get started on this one right away for review!


Saturday, December 4, 2010


It's one of those weekends where I will be writing until my fingers bleed. :) So, as an added bonus, I thought I'd include an adorable picture of Sass the Machine when she was but a wee pup.


Friday, December 3, 2010

To Break Addictions or to Enable Them?

I’ve decided to try decaffeinated coffee.

I think that would technically make me certifiable, but at Hubby’s suggestion I’m giving it a shot. Why, you ask? Simple. I drink A LOT of coffee. I mean, a lot. I go through about four bottles of creamer in a month and a few pounds of ground coffee. No joke. All that caffeine can’t be good for you (long term side effects are similar to OCD). This is day three of virtually no coffee (because decaffeinated does NOT count, imo), and people, I am suffering. I’m wasting away. I sleep on the carpool ride into work and I don’t have my normal, loveable zip. I don’t talk everyone’s head off at work, and my typing speed has dramatically suffered (well, not really, but since my only real complaint is “I miss my coffee” and it isn’t that convincing, I felt a little spice was needed. Feel free to call it prose.).

Screw decaffeinated coffee. I’m going to Costco this afternoon and picking up a five pound of coffee beans and making a big ’ol cup of Joe when I get home. Then I’m going to snuggle down in the couch in my reading room and devour Mockingjay, hoping and praying to God that Peeta and Katniss both come around and stop being so gosh darn selfish! How many times do I have to tell you, it’s about me!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The End of NaNo

NaNo was officially over yesterday. It says so on my NaNo home page which makes it official. I have mixed emotions about December starting. The 50,000 word bump to Atlantis brings it up officially to 84,000 and I'm about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through. I think that another 20,000 is a good round number to shoot for so that I have plenty of wiggle room for the editing stage (which I'm planning on beginning around the second half of December.), which is one of my favorite parts.

So, why does NaNo ending make me sad and happy at the same time? I'm glad to get a break from the non-stop tippity-tapping of pounding away on my keyboard. I have to admit that for the rest of this week I probably won't get much writing done because I'm so spent. It feels like I'm dry for ideas. Which I know is not true. I'm sad that it's over because I don't have any "official" excuse to punch out 1,700 words each day (no certificate to print, anyway). But overall, this has been one of the best NaNo experiences I've had.

I think where I need to go next with Atlantis is figure out the order in which the ending happens. I plan on this being a stand alone book, so everything needs to be answered, and quite frankly, I'm not sure what questions I've raised in writing the past couple of months to make sure I answer them. So, I'm going to go back and skim my book thus far (red pen securely locked away tight in a far away drawer) to see what I've covered and what I need to still do. Plot holes I always fill in during the editing stage. Hopefully I will be more secure by then to know how to finish my book and have it some-what polished before February turns around.

Two months. That's it. I can do it. I think.

Number of times I used the word "official": 5 (including the one in this line). Apparently, I need to invest in a thesaurus.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Did Not Okay a Winter Wonderland

But apparently Mother Nature doesn't need permission. I woke up this morning to about 8" of fresh snow. Grrr. A 30 minute car ride on the freeway took Hubby and I an hour and 10 minutes. The only thing making this horrid weather bearable right now is Florence + the Machine. :-) There is always an upside to every situation. Here's the one for this one: Driving through big fluffy flakes in the dark makes me feel like I'm traveling at warp speed on the USS Enterprise instead of the snail's pace of 20 MPH that I'm actually going.

I got my first ARC in the mail yesterday! So excited. The Athena Project by Brad Thor. I'm finishing up Mockingjay now (O.M.G!!!). I'll do a Book Report on that one and then dive into Athena and let you know what I think! Enjoy the day. Hopefully it's not snowing where you are. :(


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best Books EVER!!!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been so engrossed in a book that I’ve lost sleep at night trying to read as much as I could, and being simultaneously eager to get to the end to find out what happens, and sad at realizing that the closer I do, the closer I am to the end of the story. I know I’m behind the times, but I have just started to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I have one word:


You can believe your bottom dollar that my next book report will be on this series. I started reading book one on Friday night (during the BSU Nevada game, but am glad I didn’t see us blow our National Championship and BCS bid out of the water) and finished it Sunday afternoon. Where I promptly drove—in the cold/wind/rain/snow—to fight the crowds at Costco to pick up books 2 (Catching Fire) and 3 (Mockingjay). I am two thirds of the way through it and am just in love. There’s not a page that does not go bye that I’m not laughing, crying out about injustice, rooting for someone’s death, or holding my breath and scanning my eyes across the words fast enough at some “on the edge of your seat” factor.

I guess the bottom line is, I can’t recommend this book enough.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Keep on a Truckin'

So it’s a little over half way through NaNoWriMo and I am ahead of schedule! I can’t believe it myself. I’m hoping the trend lasts, so I keep plugging along. I’m at a point where I’m really excited to write. There’s a specific character that I’m working with right now and he’s so entertaining. Very much an “act now, think later” sort of chap. I can pretty much do anything I want with him.

Hubby is getting sick, and I’m hoping that I steer clear of it, but I’m afraid that things will not go as planned in that arena. And so close to the holidays, too! We’re doing Thanksgiving at Hubby’s parent’s house this year. I’m in charge of the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and I am oober excited. I love to cook, so I say, “bring it!”. I have this recipe for mashed potatoes that calls for two heads of roasted garlic, a pound of butter and two cups of heavy whipping cream. They are to die for! I kid you not, I gain ten pounds just looking at them. And for the main course, I’m doing a rum glazed turkey with buttery chestnut and apple stuffing. You’re mouth is watering, isn’t it? Don’t lie.

Sunday is Mom’s birthday so Sister and I are going to take her to movie (Morning Glory -- I love Harrison Ford) and lunch on Saturday, just the three of us. No husbands, no kids. It’s going to be a good time. Got my haircut yesterday and am loving it! It’s a little shorter than before and edgier. Now for a little more blonde…

The Bronco’s play against Fresno tomorrow. GO BRONCOS! And I know we’re going to kick major Bulldog butt. Hubby and I have season tickets, but with the weather (cold and rain) and Hubby’s cold, we’ve passed the tickets along to his dad. We’ll be watching it from the comfort of our couch on our big screen.

The struggle of trying to get an agent's interest is ongoing—I just submitted to 22 more this past weekend. But I just have to trust that the right one is fast approaching. I am also hoping that I have more asking for partials. The gal before, Agent A came back and told me no. Which is totally okay. She was very nice, polite, and professional about it. Which made me even more bummed that she won’t be my agent.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rainy Sundays

Today is shaping up to be a pretty great day. Not only did I get to sleep in after a hard, long, awesome night of dancing in our yearly Irish dance show, Celtic Holiday, but I woke up to it being an hour earlier than it really was! I love Daylight Savings.

I also woke to the amazing aromas of COFFEE, hash browns, eggs and sausage. Hubby had gotten up early and gone above and beyond the call of duty by deciding to surprise me with breakfast. It was so amazing. Now, I'm sitting out here on my front patio, writing notes for my blog, working on a book review, drinking COFFEE and listening to the snapping and pattering of rain on the fallen leaves of our front yard. The day is dark, dreary, overcast and rainy. Just the way I like it. Sometimes it's nice not to have the blue skies, puffy white clouds and shining sun.

Today is also the first day of the second week of NaNoWriMo! How are all of you holding up? I've heard the second week is the hardest, but with everything else always going on this time of year, I never really noticed that this week is any harder than the rest. I purposefully wrote ahead of schedule on Friday because I knew Saturday would be unproductive for writing, but fruitful in dancing. Today I get back to ATLANTIS and see where Lexi and Seth end up and who they meet along the way. So far I have about 12k words on the second part of ATLANTIS and am really excited about the writer's conference I'm taking it to in February.

I sent off that partial for THE HEIR on Wednesday and am waiting patiently to hear back. I hope she at least comes back and asks for the entire ms. to review, but I am preparing myself for the "thanks, but this isn't my thing after all." One great thing--well, actually two great things--this request for a partial tells me that vampire novels ARE NOT dead--if you're original and do it right, and two--something must be right about my query. :) This one little 'yes' will get me through another dozen 'no's'.

Training for Robie Creek has been put on hold for a little bit. I still plan on running it in April, but with my hour changes at work, I can only run before and it's not nice of me to subject my fellow co-workers to early morning sweat.

Anyone watch the Breeder's Cup on Friday or the Breeder's Cup Classic on Saturday? I saw my favorite jockey get in a fight and rooted him on the entire way. Zenyatta's winning streak ended, and it was so close! If she had just stretched her neck out a little further...

Oh! The BSU Broncos kicked butt by schooling Hawai'i. But really? Was there ever really any doubt?

That's it for now. Back to reading The Replacement so I can get started on a book review for you guys!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


So I know this isn't a super-huge deal, but I am still SOOO excited about it! I got my first request for a partial from an agent! It is such a breath of fresh air to go to my inbox and see a short, sweet, and to the point: "Yes, please send me more."

She asked for the first three chapters, and I'm trying not to get too excited in case my novel isn't for her, but for now, I'm going to LIVE IN THE MOMENT!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goal for the End of October!

There's been a lull in my submitting to agents and as a result, a lull in their responses (funny how that works). So, here's my goal: by the end of October, before NaNoWriMo starts, I will have submitted to five publishers I have found that want my genre and are accepting open submissions, as well as ten new literary agents. And of course, there's the overall goal of getting Atlantis worked on and Escaping the Night finished (almost done with that one!). Oh, and there's busy, so busy. :-)


Thursday, October 21, 2010


I was reading through my posts and thought most of them were pretty amusing/funny. Then I got to these most recent ones. Too serious. I vow to add humor back to my posts!


Sunday, October 17, 2010


How about that? Two posts in just as many days. Don't start expecting that.

I think it is important for everyone (especially readers and writers) to have a place of their own. A sanctuary. A sacred and private space they can go to to read and write, decompress. A place that is their own that they don’t have to share with anyone. I’m lucky to have three such places, well, four, actually.

My husband and I don’t have any kids, unless you count Sass, so that means that we have two extra bedrooms in our house to play with. For a long time, they were empty, filled with junk. Then Hubby and I got hobbies and the rooms evolved.

 Hubby’s room was transformed to a workout slash reloading room (also storage) and my room was transformed into the reading and purse room (Yes, those are some of my purses hanging on the wall). Hubby has no desire to enter that domain, but it is none-the-less understood that it is my sanctuary. There’s a large window, a loveseat I snuggle into the corner of, and bookcases (which I need to get more of).
This is where I go on lazy Sunday afternoons or any evening and read. I randomly pick a book off a shelf and dive right in. The door is always open, so both Hubby and Sass come wondering in from time to time; but for the most part it is my own, and I have to say, my most favorite room in the house.

My other places are just as special, but not as private. We have a patio set on our front porch, and I have to say that is my second most favorite spot to read and edit my current novel (I never write out there). Right now, Fall is coming, so it’s crisp and cool outside. The leaves are turning and falling and my cats like to snuggle up next to me. I look forward to Saturday and Sunday mornings because I get to pour an over-sized cup of coffee and sit out on the patio and just read. Sometimes Hubby will join me, but for the most part, it’s just me and the cats (and the annoying yips of my neighbor’s dog).

The corner of our couch is a good spot, too, but I often have to fight Hubby for that one, especially during football season. One of the MANY local Starbucks is where I usually go to write. That’s kind of cliché now a days, but I think that's because it works. There’s something about the atmosphere that Starbucks creates—busy, loud, a hub of activity, just constantly moving. I grab my coffee, bagel and usual seat, plug in my HP mini and iPod and get to typing. I also get a lot of work done (the most, actually) at work during my lunches. It’s amazing how little I write in the quietness of my home—I think there are too many distractions.

But, whatever the place—whether you have different ones for reading or writing or working out your zen, or they are the same—keep it your sanctuary. Make it your own so you can have a place to relax and get in “the zone” of whatever it is you’re going to be doing. It’s the best feeling in the world.


Hi, My Name's RaeLynn & I'm a Book-a-holic

I have bibliophilia. Look it up. I think a lot of us have it. And it's the best "condition" out there. I love buying, collecting and reading books. In fact, I’m involved in many official and unofficial book clubs because—let’s face it—I love books.

I have two bookCASES filled with books I have yet to read, plus a pile behind the couch in my reading room, and yet another bookcase filled with books I have read and kept. There’s the book club that girls and I have going on in my dance class, one with a couple other readers at work, one called 3rd@3 at my local bookstore (where I also have my writing group), the Target book club and my two favorites—Costco and Amazon. I’m a sucker for books.

It’s easy for me to spend the day reading and writing, so I thought I would combine the two and start reviewing and posting my thoughts about books I have recently read. I’m also going to keep a growing list of books that I’ve read, a quick blurb about them and rate them, hopefully to help you out. I think this will also help me to post more on my blog.

My husband has disappeared all weekend to hunt, which is fine with me. I’ve been reading, working on a new YA novel and spending time with Sass. It’s been a good weekend and hopefully by next week I will have finished an AMAZING book and will have a book review ready for you. :-) We’ll see how that goes. I aim high and sometimes hit my target.

The marathon training is trudging along. I have to admit that I am not as devoted as I was when I first started. It’s easy to run a mile a day for five days, but it’s a lot harder to run three miles a day for five days. I can imagine how hard it’s going to be to do 13.1 miles a day for five days. I’m hoping I can make it. I really want to do Robie Creek in April.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Another, 'Nother Day

I’ve been rubbing it in Husband’s face all weekend that I have the next two days off. He doesn’t find it as exciting as I do. I’m sitting here at 7:30 in the morning, preparing to make my day full and productive, although, I admit, it’s going to be hard with the TV here and Sassafras (That’s her below with Bite-size Bob, her favorite toy at the moment).

What will I do? Well, since I’ve been sick for the past week, my marathon training has been put off, so I’m a week behind. That means, as soon as it gets light out, I will be out running two miles with Sass pulling at my arm the entire way. Joy.

After that, it’s time for household chores—laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, etc. Never fun tasks. But when that is done, it’s my favorite part of the day! I check email, get updated on all my favorite blogs, update my tally sheet on rejections from agents, contribute to my online writing/critique community, register for a killer writing conference, and then write!

There are things I NEED to get done, but I am forever the procrastinator, so they have been at the bottom of my “to do” list. I need to perfect my query letter and synopsis for The Heir, and fast. There are a couple of agents and one publishing house I want to submit to that require a synopsis, and I’m coming up against their deadlines.

When those are done (or not), I’m going to work on a few other works I have in the mix—all of which I am oober excited about! Atlantis (YAUF), Sadie & Allie (Chic Lit) and The Broken (YAUF). I want to have at least one of those finished by the time the writing conference rolls around in February. I can do it. I really can. I just have to buckle down and say no to all fun things in my life. If I write 3,500 words a week on all of these (which, is totally doable, btw), I will have theoretically have three finished, 70,000 word novels. Now, getting them spit-polished and shining is another thing entirely. I will have to take more time off the beginning of next year for that.

And, to fuel me through the day, is the breakfast of champions (coffee), a supplement (all the rest), and my beloved, apple green iPod (not pictured).

Time to crack the whip and get started!



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Day

So I started week three of my marathon training. I am now running two miles a day for ten days. And guess what? Yesterday was also the first day of getting sick. This sucks.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Speak Loudly

This is a poem author Laurie Halse Anderson wrote in response to all the feedback she got in regards to her book, SPEAK, about a young girl who is raped but never reports it.

Now there is a criticizer out there trying to get it banned because he considers it "soft porn". There is nothing pornographic about rape. It is a destructive and cruel thing, for the victim and their family.

There are many people out there blogging about this. Check it out and form your own opinion. Be educated and have a voice. I, personally, agree with everything they say. Censorship/banishment--whatever you want to call it--on this book, this topic, is outrageous. And to think that rape is pornography will ensure that even fewer women come forward to report it and to seek help.


First, what the criticizer says here.
The author, Laurie Halse Anderson, here.
Janet Reid, Query Shark here.
Author Myra McEntire, here.
Author C.J. Redwine, here.
Author Veronica Roth, here.

Information on Banned Book Week, here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Things

Training for my half-marathon is going great (though it's only going into the second week and I'm only running one mile at a time for now). I found that each day, the mile is getting easier and faster. Already I've cut my time down by about six minutes and increased the speed I'm running at by two and a half MPH. I want to cut my time down further by a couple more minutes. I did the math, and the way that I'm training, I will have run 910 miles by the time Robie Creek hits. If I haven't lost a bajillion pounds by then, I'm giving up on losing weight entirely!

I am celebrating my 4th wedding anniversary this month (yay!) with a great guy (an even bigger yay!) and gave him his gift this past weekend. Some things you should know about me: I love giving gifts to people and making them happy. When I have said gift, it's REALLY hard for me to hang onto it for when I'm supposed to give it. I want them to have it right away. So I gave it to my husband on Saturday. :-) But, I had a very good reason to. They were season tickets to the college football team here. We are diehard fans and he was so excited! National we come!

I heard back last week from another agent I queried. Alas, it was a no, but it wasn't a form rejections, so that is good. I'm still waiting on hearing back from the main one I wanted. Her blog had said that she was approached by a publisher looking for the two books that I am trying to push. So, I'm crossing my fingers and praying that she asks for a partial or a full. And then that she comes back and asks for more.

I've only queried six agents so far. I'm working on making my query letter better, typing out a stupid synopsis (which is harder than the entire book and the query letter put together), and then I have two other agents I want to query and a publisher that's accepting open submissions right now. I think that I have to finally just bite the bullet and get 'er done.

Life is so busy right now that I don't have time for anything. I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I have a little too much on my plate, but I'm not convinced just yet. I think I'll wait until I burn out before I come to that conclusion. As long as I have my coffee and my iPod, I will be okay.

Since I've finished the final draft of The Heir, I'm working on a few other book ideas right now. I'm testing the waters to find out which Muse I'm being visited by and which one I will work on getting done. I'm going to a writing conference in February, and I want to have multiple pieces of work to offer the agents there. There are three YA books (one of which is the next part to The Heir), one literary humor piece, and another literary piece that I haven't quite figured out which genre to place it in. Anyways, must go and finish that blasted synopsis that is the bane of my existence. Have a great day, y'all!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Training for a Half-Marathon

So I've finally bit the bullet and started training for Robie Creek, the most difficult half-marathon around. That's what I'm saying anyway, it makes me feel better about this whole process. Today is Day 4, and I'm going strong. Despite the shin splints, calf cramps and tight hamstrings that curse me violently if I even dare to look at a treadmill, I am running my mile a day. And I can already notice a difference. The first day was the hardest, obviously. It took me about thirty minutes to complete my mile, and I didn't even attempt to run the whole distance. The second day was much easier. It took me about fifteen minutes to run the mile--granted it was only at 4.5 MPH, but only I know that. The third day (yesterday) was the easiest so far. I picked up my speed to 6 MPH and decreased my time to ten-and-a-half minutes. My goal is to get back down to the 6 -7 minute mile of my youth! Wish me luck. When all is said in done, with the training schedule I'm following, I will have ran 910 miles in 26 weeks. Rock on, rock on. That's 10 pairs of running shoes I will have gone through. Can't wait!

This was their poster in 2006. I think it sums it up pretty well. 13.1 miles of Hell uphill.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Self Imposed Torture

I've decided to do a marathon. Well, a mini maration, really. But at 13.1 miles it's anything but "mini". I'll keep you posted on how it's going. So far I have three people joining me. Woot-woot!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sending out Queries

I've sent out six queries since last week and I received my first response today. Rejection! But it's okay and I'm good with it, because it means she at least read it. Five more to go...


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Update 8.4.10

Since my last post, I have completely rearranged my last three-quarters of my novel. I changed the timeline as far as when one of the main characters finds out a big piece of information and I've killed off a character. I feel better.

With those changes, it was smooth sailing, and everything made so much more sense. I wish I would have figured it out sooner. But, now I have finished my fifth and final draft of my first novel ever. It has taken fourteen months in total and was worth every second. I sent my ms to an online publisher so I could have a physical copy in my fat little fingers and am eagerly awaiting it.

I am working now on my query letter (which is looking to be harder than writing a 130,000 novel) and scouring the internet, magazines, books, and organizations for potential agents. I’ve purchased a day planner to keep track of my progress and whom I’ve submitted to and when I hear back from them.

I think that when I get my rejections, I will be oh so original and decorate the walls of my office with them. To prepare for the rejections I know will come; I have drawn up some positive index cards. Whenever I get a “yeah right!” email or letter, I will whip one of those babies out and all will be right in with the world again. Here are some examples of what I have put together.

“Congratulations. If you’ve reached this card and received at least five rejections, go and get a new pair of shoes.” (Haven’t told my hubby about that one yet).

“Steven King had his first four novels rejected.”

“Way to go! Another agent gave you the time of day. Now go eat that pint of Hagan-daas.”

And my personal favorite,

“Who cares what he thinks. You’re pretty.”

Through this whole adventure, my husband has been amazing and supportive. More than I thought he would. He’s actually taking this seriously, sat down, and read the first chapter of my novel. He thought it was wonderful, as was expected. But went a step beyond. He’s actually taking an interest and part in this process, giving tips, talking to his author friends and relaying to me the most important part of this whole process is the query letter. It’s sweet.

The other night, I read to him the first five or so chapters. When I finished, I asked him, "Honestly, what'd ya think?"

He looked at me with wide eyes and awe and said, "Wow. That sounded like a real book!" Thanks, Hubby.

I think his main motivation for me making it, is so he doesn’t have to work anymore.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Progress Report

I finally got back the last copy of my MS that was floating around out there from the last of my alpha readers (thank you Katie!). She had the third draft, and since then I had done a 4th draft which included all of my grammar, POV, passive/active, and tense corrections. What she gave me was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to make everything snap into place.

She pointed out plot issues, which I knew I had, but had a hard time pinpointing because in my head, I knew how everything was supposed to go. With her observations, I realized I had to rearrange the last half of my book, and the disaster that happened in Act 2 is now happening in Act 3 and so on.

Eek! But it works. The story flows much better now and has more tension. The other small problems she pointed out are now fixed because I moved one scene to later on in the book. I’m glad I didn’t adhere to my July 1st deadline, because my submission wouldn’t have been as good as it is today.

Now that the scenes are all arranged in the new order, I have to go through and make minor changes to make sure everything flows. But that shouldn’t take long at all.

I’ve been working on my query letter a little, so once I’m done with the storyline ironing, then I will get to polish the letter and send out queries. Hopefully by August 1st, but we all know about my empty promises and nasty procrastination habit.

During NaNoWriMo this past November, I threw together the first half of the second book in the series and then packed it away to work on polishing the first one. I am so excited to get back to it. I dare say I will have more fun writing the second one (Escaping the Night) than I did the first one (The Heir), but I think that’s only because I’m beating a dead horse with The Heir.

I gave the first five chapters—very rough and very much a first draft—of Escaping the night to another one of my alpha readers the other day. I got the feedback and am happy she enjoyed it so much. The things she brought up that she’d like to see were useful. It lets me know I’m on the right track heading in the right direction with the story. All the suggestions she made she will see in copious amounts...which I don’t know if she’s ready for. Mwahaha!

I’ve posted the first chapter to The Heir. Go take a look.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Irony at My Local B&N

Since I am taking this whole writing “thing” seriously now (I’ve invested time, money, highlighters and red pens into SEVERAL books on writing), I decided it’s about time to buy that big book that every writer and agent and website has told me to get to increase my odds of getting an agent and of getting published. I must remind myself that this doesn’t guarantee anything, but it increases my odds, and since I have never even won at Bingo, I need all the help I can get.

I went to my local B&N (Barnes and Noble for those who are not obsessed fans) and reserved the book, Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2010 by Jeff Herman. I flipped through it (which is roughly the size of an encyclopedia at 1,094 pages) and found it so far very useful and fun; and all for just $29.99 plus tax.

I can’t wait to get started with my sticky notes, more highlighters and the never ceasing usage of red pens.

I reserved it online and stopped by the store to pick it up after work yesterday. I go to the counter, tell the young guy there my last name, and he comes back with this behemoth. Our conversation is as follows (to the best of my memory that is):

ME: “That’s HUGE!”

Guy: “Yeah,” laughs, “It is pretty big. You a writer?”

ME: “Yup. I’ve completed one already and am working on a few others.”

Guy: “That’s awesome. What do you write?”

ME: “The one I’ve completed is a Young Adult Fantasy. The others vary.”

Guy: Nods, scans the day planner that goes all the way to the end of 2011 that I also purchased, tells me my total. “Is it a vampire one?”

ME: I know my face probably turned red, as it always does in situations like these. I am not ashamed of what I wrote, just self-conscious. There’s so much hype and crap out there, that all vampire books are automatically lumped into the same pile? But what about Ann Rice, I ask?! So, I stalled only seconds and answered with a convincing smile and laugh, “No.” I know, I am ashamed.

Guy: “Good for you.” Which made me feel all the worse for denying my true self and my novel!!!

ME: “I’m more original than that.” Oh dear. What am I doing? Stop talking now, RaeLynn, just stop.

Guy: Laughter. “Have a good day.”


Monday, June 28, 2010

Crackin' the Whip

A year ago I started to write my very first book. Finally it is ready for the agent!

Sort of. I just have to put all of my paper edits onto my computer files and then it's off to the agent!

Well, there is the matter of the dreaded query letter. But then, it's off to the agent!

Bottom line, it had better be ready by the first of July, cuz that's what I have written on my calendar and by golly, once it's written there, there's no going back! :)

What is my book about, you ask? Let me tell you. The Heir is the first of four in the Dark Moon Series. It is a Young Adult Fantasy of about 127,000 and it is about vampires.

Yes, vampires.

And no gasping or groaning or eye rolls. Yes, you in the back there, I can see you.

This isn’t your typical Twilight. It is darker and more detailed and I dare say more in-depth. (crosses fingers and holds breath) I shall post a synopsis and you can take a gander for yourself.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Writing is a Writer's Dream

I tell myself that I’m a writer. And in the classical sense, that is whole-heartedly true. What I want to be is a published writer. An author. That would be my cherry on the sundae of life. I am working hard at it, having completed my first young adult fantasy novel (127,000 about vampires, but, please don’t groan and roll your eyes, it’s not another Twilight).

I am in the various stages of editing now, having gone through it myself three different times and done two re-writes (nothing is ever perfect enough, but my author friend who is published tells me it never will be), but the time has to come where I say, “ENOUGH! No more changing, submit already.”

So I am going to…right after I get good, constructive feedback from the online and physical writers groups I’ve joined and go through those self-editing books I’ve purchased.

So maybe it will be ready sometime next week or month…after I read through it one more time with my trusty red pen in hand…


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Wild Frontier

Our backyard, I have come to believe, is an aviary. I only say this because of the copious amounts of birds that inhabit our backyard as well as our neighbors'. I guess it’s a suitable habitat, with a canal and numerous mature trees, but I would think that the many outdoor cats would be a deterrent. Not so! Apparently we have the Indiana Jones of birds flying around.

Both of my neighbors are retired and having nothing to do but feed said birds, and I get to reap the benefits. Because of the free meal, we get woodpeckers, sparrows, red-winged black birds, mallards, wood ducks, domesticated ducks, doves, quail and a slew of others I can’t begin to name (Wait, I lied. We also get hawks. We actually were witness to a Discovery Channel moment when we saw a red-tailed hawk take down a dove in front of us and then proceed to devour it right next to our patio).

Anyways…I was beginning to feel that I wasn’t doing my part to help sustain the circle of life in our little subdivision, so I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a cheap, bell bird feeder and hung it from the tree in our back yard.

Days I waited, looking out my kitchen window for signs that the birds were eating away at that little bell. They weren’t and I was starting to feel a little offended and left out. Why wasn’t my bird feeder as good as the other two? Just because there wasn’t a little, wooden house…

The days wore on and I was getting ticked off, until I spotted the reason why they weren’t taking my offering. I was sitting on my back patio, reading a book, when I looked up and saw one of those cats (my cat) perched on the branch the bird feeder hung from, waiting patiently for any dumb bird to come and partake. I had to laugh at that, and suddenly I was glad that the bird feeder was still there.

I have a picture that I was going to post with this, it’s quite comical, of my cat perched right above the bell, but my stupid online album for my cell isn’t working. Dumb Verizon….so I will post it when I can, along with a shot of the hawk.

We really do live in the wild, it feels like. Coyotes, nutria and all manner of birds go through our neighborhood. In fact, we have two mallards nesting in my front flower garden.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Never Blogged Before in my Life... here it goes. I hope you're all gracious. So, I've journaled or written in diaries or whatever for a good majority of my life, but those always got me in trouble. I always wrote about things that parents shouldn't see or shouldn't have been shared...oops, so I ended up tossing them all in the garbage.

Here I will add thoughts, funny things, pics or whatever pleases me at the moment. This is going to be be fun...or so I'm telling myself.

Welcome to the twenty-first century, RaeLynn...people blog!