Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RWA Nationals or Bust!

Romance Writers of America logo

So, my journey has begun.  I'm sitting in the airport, waiting for my 10:55 am flight, and screwing around on my laptop because I'm an addict. 

I laughed when I checked in my bag - it was 49.97 lbs - the weight limit for my free bag was 50 lbs.  Do I know how to pack or what? I used to do the same thing when I would buy our school supplies with our $100 budget our principal would give us from our warehouse every year - maximize my purchases down to within $.03 of the max. 

Looking forward to meeting my CP Victoria H. Smith in person - we often talk on Skype.  

Hope everyone has a great week!  I may post here and there, but I promise to report when I return. 

If you aren't already following me on FB, come check out my page.  I'll be making updates on there of any cool news I find out.  

Ta-ta for now!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Are your images legal? Important! Links and more.

Bloggers, if you haven't read this post by Roni Loren yet, you need to right now:  Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story

Now, most of us can say we've been guilty of posting images on our blogs that we were aware we're copyrighted.  (Hello, can you say my IAN?!) Since reading this, I have scrubbed my blog clean of many images, not wanting to suffer the same consequences.

There is hope, though, and still a way to keep our blogs looking pretty and eye-catching.  I've done some searching this morning for links on where to legally obtain images with Common Creative licenses, most of which only require attribution (credit) to the photographer.

As always, you should make sure you've read the licenses yourself, to be sure you are allowed to use this image, and I've even included a link at the bottom of this post that has a quick and easy breakdown on what these licenses mean for you. 

Places to obtain free stock images:

Public Domain Photos:

Want fun glitters?  Try:


Bad Neighborhood has a great meta search option which will search for CC images from many of the stock sites I listed above.  (You'll still want to read the licenses)

On Licenses:

As for licenses, I know many of our eyes roll into our head trying figure out what these licenses mean for us as bloggers.   

In general, you want a straight attribution license, but what does that mean?

© Vasilkova | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photo

Famous Bloggers has a breakdown on the type of Creative Commons license information on this page that many of you will find helpful:

Hope this helps everyone and keeps us out of trouble!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sorry for being such a bad blogger...

I'm sorry I've been absent for a while.  I've been busy writing/editing and getting ready for RWA Nationals.  I've read some of your blogs from my phone, but replying on the phone takes a long time, and if you have your spam filter turned on, it makes my phone go wonky. 

On top of all the writing stuff, we've been refinancing our home to get a lower interest rate, and the bank is making us jump through all kind of ridiculous hoops to do so.  We finally got approval yesterday and will go sign the closing paperwork tomorrow, so I'm happy about that. 

Of course, we've got some other news too, which makes the whole re-fi thing seem kind of ironic.  My husband has been put on the short list for interviews for a position at Penn State, which means if he get's the job (which would be huge, since Penn State is the number one college for his field, which is Family Studies and Human Development)  there's a chance we may be moving to Pennsylvania in the next month.  We would rent out the house here, but at the same time, the whole thing kind of freaks me out a bit.  I'm not sure how I feel about it and it would be a really sudden.  Of course, he says the money would have to be right to make it worth it, and he doesn't know if it would be.  Either way, my life may be making a huge change soon.

I've also been doing my graphic work and had to get my business cards ready.  I've posted screen-shots of the PDF's I made for the printer (and the bleed lines are included, so the edges look a little wonky) and am going to pick them up on Monday.

Anyway, I'll be leaving for Nationals on Wednesday of next week, so posts may be spotty until I get back (and I have to return to work the next day, but I can blog from work since I have nothing to do for the first few weeks of school except testing here and there, and I don't have to decorate my classroom, since I'm sharing one this year - blech!)

You will find posts of mine the 26th-29th on NA Alley (they're already written) featuring authors for the All's Fair in Blogs and War Book Fair being hosted by Kayla Curry:

I've interviewed and written 5 features (another thing that's taken up my time) a few weeks back, and they're giving away a great stash of New Adult books as part of the feature, so come check it out.

Hope everyone is doing well!  :D

Friday, July 6, 2012

Introducing my version of the Magic 8 Ball - Writer's Style

Since my Lucky 7 Meme pretty much went viral in the blogosphere, I knew I wanted to do another one - this one with my name on it!  Hey, you live and learn, right?  Call this my campaign to get more exposure and followers. And once I reach 250 followers, anyone who follows me will be entered to win a $20 gift card from or a $25 credit to any of the design services I provide at Sweet 'N Spicy Designs.

Most of us have shaken a Magic 8 ball at one time or another while pondering a vital question such as: "Does so-and-so like me?" or "Am I going to win the lottery?" or, maybe as writers: "Will I ever get a publishing contract?" 

Short, unfulfilling answers popped up into the view finder: "Outlook not so good," or "My reply is no." And, if you're at all like me (it's been 20+ years) you shook that baby again until you got an answer you liked.

In the spirit of this fun novelty, I have created the The Magic 8 meme.  And while it won't tell us our fortunes, it will hopefully provide some valuable advice. 

With so many blog fests and memes we post excerpts we're proud of, work that has been polished within an inch of its life and really shines.  But what about the work we're not so sure about?  A line that feels clunky and awkward? A paragraph where we just convey what we want to say?

That's what this meme is all about.  Post a paragraph or excerpt from a current WIP, or maybe a query you just can't nail, and ask your blog readers to be your Magic 8 Balls.  Hopefully, they'll be willing to give you some advice  - something more fulfilling than a "yes" or "no."

In short, here are the rules:

1. Post the button and link to (following would be nice, but not required).2.  Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."
3.  Ask a question about your excerpt.  It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"
4.  Tag 8 people.

To kick things off, I'm going to post my query/blurb from my The Truths About Dating and Mating tab.  I received a lot of positive responses to it and felt pretty solid that I'd done good, but that was when it was written in third person and hopped back and forth between Ivy and Ian's POV's.  Now that it's in first person from only Ivy's POV, I'm not sure if the second paragraph works.  Can I still use it, even though we're never in his head?  Or are there just small changes I can make so that I can keep it in there?  Help!

Spunky Italian girl Ivy Rossini loves to talk and push the boundaries. She gets to do both alongside her best friend, reputed bad boy, Ian Hollister, as they host The Truths about Dating and Mating, a sex-edutainment program for Riordan College's radio station. For Ivy, Ian has always been like an overprotective big brother - but that's about to change with a near kiss. With the memory of the moment fresh in her mind, she finds herself aroused by his slightest touch and fantasizing about finding out for herself what those girls on campus mean when they say he's an "intense lover." 

Ivy has always been Ian's one ray of sunshine, the only girl who really sees beyond his bad boy reputation. It's only fair he protect her from the typical jerks around campus, or so he tells himself. But when he sees her in a steamy embrace with another guy, he's forced to reconcile the sexy, confident woman she's become, with the "little-sister" he's always looked out for. 

With their friendship hanging in the balance, can they follow the advice they give their listeners to communicate, be honest, and trust in themselves - and each other - or will foolish pride ruin their fledgling relationship before it even gets off the ground?

Advice is much appreciated!

I'm gonna tag more than eight people to get this in motion - and no one is under any obligation to participate.

Victoria Smith
Juliana Haygert
Summer Lane
Carrie A. Butler
L.G. Kelso
Bailey Kelsey
Cassie Mae
Hope Roberson
Jaye Robin Brown
Kelley Lynn 
Emily R. King
Danielle B
Tara Tyler
Kyra Lennon
A.J. Locke
Theresa Paolo
Scribbles From Jenn
Miranda Hardy
Courtney Pearson
Elizabeth Seckman
Catherine Stein
and I better stop before I tag everyone I follow...:D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Thirteen - Strange-But-True Facts + funnies!

I haven't done this in quite a while and I'm a little late with it today, but I thought I'd throw up some strange-but-true facts like I used to, with some (very) loosely-related demotivationals b/c they made me laugh.

It would take 1,200,000 mosquitoes, each sucking once, to completely drain the average human of blood.

If you go blind in one eye, you'll only lose about one-fifth of your vision (but all your depth perception.)

The letters in "Listen" are the same ones as in "Silent"

About 75 acres of pizza are eaten in in the U.S. Everyday.

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.

40 percent of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals. 

The average person spends two weeks waiting for a traffic light to change.

The focusing muscles of the eye move about 100,000 times a day. To give the leg muscles the same exercise would involve walking 80km (50 miles) a day.

 Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to slow a film down so you could see his moves. That's the opposite of the norm.

Bamboo can grow up to 3 ft in 24 hours.

 According to German researchers, the risk of heart attack is higher on Monday than any other day of the week.

The Statue of Liberty's index finger is eight feet and one inch long.
If you ate too many carrots, you'd turn orange.

Read some more Thursday Thirteens at:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Th Of July Flowers image

Hope all my fellow Americans have a safe and happy holiday!

And to all my non-American friends, I still hope you have a great day!  :D

It's raining here so I had to post a few fireworks - they may be the only ones we get to see today.  :D