RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Marcy Kennedy

Friday Favorites – The Weekend Edition

image from freedigitalphotos.net

I don’t know where my head was this week. I thought about writing this post Thursday night, but it fell to the wayside. Then, we went to the beach on Friday and it was a perfect day for the beach. Don’t be jealous 😉  Anyway, better late than never:

Misa Ramirez and Anna Destefano over on The Naked Hero Blog discuss what knid of hero is better: the good guy or the bad good guy. Although I’ve always loved a good bad boy, my latest reading has been in the good guy camp. Really, though, I like a little bit of everything.

Asrai Devin has an excellent post about things she’s learned from romance that apply to real life. These are some real words to live by.

Emma Burcart writes about how we’re all daddy’s girls. She has some interesting thoughts about the old adage that women will marry someone like their father. I don’t know that I necessarily believe that. For me, it’s hard to say since my dad died when I was 4. Without a doubt my stepfather had some influence there (namely all the mistakes I made regarding men), but I don’t remember enough of my dad to know if my husband is like him.

Marcy Kennedy gives 4 reasons we should all be more like the Mandalorians in Star Wars. I love Star Wars references because Star Wars is  a big deal in our house. It’s so bad that when we went bowling as a family for Father’s Day, my husband put in our names as Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Chewy (I got to be Chewy).

If you want more Dallas discussion, Tiffany White wrote about the return of Dallas the day before I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t see her post before I wrote mine, or I probably would’ve stolen some of her ideas. It’s pure coincidence that we used some of the same pictures.

Over on Pink Chocolate Break this week, some awesome quotes on following your intuition.

And finally, I saw this earlier this week over on Dear Author. It’s just an amazing video.

What are you doing for fun this weekend?

Advertisements

Friday Favorites – the Quick Edition

I’m writing this Thursday night with a bit of a migraine hangover (at least I hope it’s totally gone) because I’m going to be busy all day tomorrow at my chapter’s conference Chicago Spring Fling. It’s going to be amazing, assuming I can keep the migraine at bay.

Speaking of migraines, Marianne Hansen has a post about migraines and superstitions. I totally get what she’s saying and I think most migraine sufferers do the same. If we think a migraine is coming, we try to do whatever we can that might stop it. Unfortunately, I’ve found that most of it doesn’t work.

Emma Burcart has a great post about trying things even if you’re not good at them. I have a particular fondness for this post because she talks about singing karaoke even if she’s not a great singer. I like this because although I would never sing in front of an audience (I use my singing to torment my kids), I do make the heroine of my novel sing karaoke as one of her summer adventures.

Marcy Kennedy writes about the fear we all have as writers – What if we don’t succeed? I think for all of us, regardless of where we are on the path to publishing, we have this worry. The what ifs can kill all motivation, so I do my best to ignore them all.

Kat Latham offers suggestions for culling repetitious words from your writing. I like Wordle. It’s fun, but I’ve never used it for my books. I think I’ll give it a shot and see what happens.

Elena Aitken offers her insight into what she’s learned about indie publishing. Although I have an agent and publisher now, I have to admit that self-publishing crossed my mind. For me, it was a matter of not wanting to be in control of everything (weird for someone who’s usually a control freak).

Jennifer Jensen shares her story about landing an agent in an unusual way. The agent contacted her because of her blog. Congrats Jen!

Jillian Dodd offers up eye candy every Monday with her Man Day posts. Right now she has a challenge going with author CJ West. If he can get 5,000 comments on his blog, he’ll pose for Jillian’s Man Day post. Read Jillian’s challenge and then hop over to CJ’s blog to leave a message.

Finally, for anyone still looking for some inspiration… Pink Chocolate Break has a list of 10 self-improvement quotes and a selection of quotes on creativity.

Have a great weekend and I hope to bring more information to you from our conference.

Friday Favorites – The Saturday Edition

Believe it or not, I had my mashup links selected yesterday, but I got sidetracked getting ready for my daughter’s birthday party. So I’m running a day behind, but the posts are still worth reading.

The other day, I revisited the idea of the anti-hero. As it turns out, I’m not the only one thinking about anti-heroes.

Elisabeth Naughton talks about her latest novel, Enraptured, which stars an anti-hero.

Then, Sonia Medeiros focuses on Dexter Morgan as an anti-hero. I mentioned Dexter in both of my posts on the topic because I think he’s a perfect example.

Both of these posts support what I said in that an anti-hero has to be more than just likable; he has to have some kind of moral code. (And for the record, I see no moral code in Marty Kaan.)

Marcy Kennedy has an excellent post on how to keep strong female characters likable. She outlines three simple things: Explain what made her that way, let us see that she loves something, and show that someone loves her. She uses Katniss from The Hunger Games and Kara Thrace from Battlestar Gallactica as examples and nails it. Great advice.

Over at Writers in the Storm, Rob Preece talks about the difference in writing men and women. I think this is a tough thing to tackle, especially if you write in both a male and female POV. It’s hard to make yourself sound convincing as a member of the opposite sex.

Ingrid Schaffenburg has a post about finding “the one” and realizing it might not be who you’d expect. Personally, I thank my lucky stars that I’m not in the dating world. I have a lot of friends who are and I hear the horror stories. For me, I don’t know that I had a type when I was younger. I would go on a date with almost anyone, but I did tend to be most attracted to bad boys – not sexy, rough around the edges, heart-of-gold one either. I did marry a man who is my opposite in pretty much every way. It’s one of those things where we have people question how we got together because we are so very different, but for the most part, it works for us.

Finally, Larry Brooks posted over at Storyfix what he learned from a room full of romance writers. I appreciate that Larry wrote this because of the misconceptions people have about writing romance. His experience in the world of romance writers echoes much of my own. The romance community is definitely one of support, even if you don’t write romance.

Next week, I plan to attend a couple of days of the RT Booklovers Convention since it’s pretty local for me. I hope to come back with a wealth of information to share.

Friday Favorites – Yoda, Ferris, & Writing

After more than a week of fabulous warmer than normal weather here in Chicago, it’s a rainy, miserable day. But, I do have some great posts for you to click through:

Fun Stuff:

taken from Google images

Marcy Kennedy writes about how Yoda was wrong. Now, I’ve mentioned before how Yoda is huge at our house, so my gut wanted to scream, “Never!” but then I read the post. Marcy is referring to Yoda’s famous quote, “Do or do not. There is no try.” This is something I’ve often quoted to my children (and they have of course spit back at me). Marcy points out that trying isn’t always enough. While she has very valid points, I think I’ll stick to the spirit of what Yoda teaches because I believe perseverance can take you pretty far.

It’s March madness all over this time of year, and it’s not all about basketball. Dabwaha is run by Dear Author and Smart Bitches an is all about books. March Movie Madness (MMM) is all about pitting movies heroes against one another.

Renee Schuls-Jacobson makes a plea for Ferris Bueller. Not only do I love this movie and Ferris, but I even have it in my book that’s coming out later this year. Even if you’re not voting, check out all the reasons she loves Ferris.

Photomontage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiffany White has a great round-up of midseason replacement shows. Check them out.

The Romance Man has a ton of fun with his post Chicks with Dicks (no, not that kind). He’s talking about why girls fall for guys who treat them like shit. The post is great, but you also have to read the comments. You’ll have plenty of laughs. As a girl who fell for many assholes, I can’t explain it. It’s not that I didn’t date any nice guys; there were a few. One guy I broke up with because he was so nice. What did I know? I was 16. I still know this guy and I also know that I wasn’t ready for him at 16. If I had met him when I was 30 and looking to settle down, I totally would’ve snapped him up.

Writing Links:

I have two different posts about the rules of romance. Both are interesting, especially if you read through the comments.

Greta van der Rol normally doesn’t write romance and she’s struggling with some of the “rules.”

Merry Farmer lists some of the expected rules of the romance genre, but points out that rules can be broken.

Jenny Hansen invited Margie Lawson to write a guest post for her blog. Margie is great. If you’ve never taken a class with her, I urge you to do so. You will learn so much from both Margie and your classmates. Your writing will improve and you’ll learn skills to carry into your next MS. In this post, Margie talks about writing smiles fresh and new.

Shelli Johnson has a post about how to know if you’re stretching yourself as a writer. She suggests that when you feel like you’re in over your head, it’s a good thing.

Jody Hedlund writes about why it’s important to put our books to bed. It’s important to give ourselves breathing room after we finish writing so we can look at the book with fresh eyes. A lot of people will attempt to plow through without giving themselves a break when they go from first to final draft. The problem with that is that you’re too close to the book and you can’t see problems.

Kvetch Mom, Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, writes about the importance of having a writer’s group. I personally wouldn’t want to have to start one, but I’m lucky enough to belong to my local RWA chapter. It’s not just about finding people to critique your work, but about finding like-minded people who can understand you. My group is a critique chapter. Someone reads for critique at every single meeting. I haven’t read in over 2 years, but I still get so much out of going. It’s a group of friends who understand the process and frustrations of being a writer.

Emma Burcart had a revelation that the bathroom is her think tank. It’s a good about when and where we have time to let our stories develop. I’m like Emma, shower time is my plotting time (and I use the word plotting very loosely). It’s the one time and place where I’m least likely to get interrupted by the kids.

Finally, Jenny Hansen offers some great advice on getting organized as a blogger.

Have a great weekend and I hope your weather is better than what I’m looking at.

Friday Favorites – Fun & Beauty

This is going to be a relatively short Friday Favorites post because there is something so cool going on in the blogosphere today that I’m going to send you off to check it out.

But first, a couple of fun posts that had me grinning:

Myndi Shafer struggled with writing log lines and decided to have a little fun with it.

image from denimtherapy.com

Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, the Kvetch Mom, has a great post on shopping for jeans after giving birth to 3 kids. I can totally relate.

Tiffany White does a great job as usual talking about TV. This week she talks about the return of Breakout Kings. I watched the first season and enjoyed it enough to keep watching, but like Tiffany, I don’t have to see it the moment it’s finished recording. I use it as filler whenever I have spare time.

I only have 2 writing related posts:

Marcy Kennedy made my heart swell with her post on grammar mistakes that will cost you readers. As an English teacher, I cringe at these kinds of mistakes.

Jenny Hansen has the 4th post of a great series of posts on using Triberr. I know nothing about Triberr, other than it’s supposed to help you simplify social media and networking. I’m not sure I totally believe that claim, but Jenny is certainly convincing.

Beauty of a Woman Blogfest

That’s all I’m going to link to today because over on August McLaughlin’s blog, she is hosting a Beauty of a Woman blogfest. All of the posts are about what beauty means to different people.

I managed to see a few of the posts by people I know and they are simply amazing. The whole concept is fantastic and inspiring and I thank August for dreaming it up. Go to her blog now for the list of participating writers, but be prepared: You will get lost for a long time in excellent reading 🙂

Oh, yeah — there are prizes too.

Friday Favorites – A Little Night Magic and Writing Links

Before I get to my mash-up of awesome links this week, I want to tell you about a book I just finished: A Little Night Magic by Lucy March. If any of you have read my Friday Favorites posts, you know that I’ve talked about Lucy March (AKA Lani Diane Rich) before. She’s a great writer and an excellent teacher. I was intrigued by this book when Lucy posted an excerpt of an earlier draft on her blog.

Here’s the blurb, taken from Lucy’s web site:

Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, NY, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias the cook for the last four years; he’s never made a move. Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends – Peach, Millie, and Stacy – and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories. Intent on changing her life, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends… but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical southern woman who shows Olivia that there is more to her small town life than she ever dreamed. As her latent magical powers come to the surface, Olivia discovers that having an interesting life is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. The dark side of someone else’s magic is taking over good people in town, and changing them into vessels of malevolence… including Millie, who has been a shining example of sweetness for Liv since they were kids. Unwilling to cede her home to darkness, she battles the demons of her familial past and her magical present, and learns that the important things in life – friendship, love, magic and waffles – can get a girl through almost anything the Universe can throw at her.

I really like this book. It is phenomenally crafted and will keep you involved every step of the way. There are no parts to skip here. As you can tell by the blurb, the book is about Liv. This story is all about her growing and changing. It is also a romance and you do get the requisite HEA.

I have a small confession to make: I fell in love with Tobias long before this book was near publication. As I said, Lucy posted an excerpt and I was gone.(FYI – the scenes are still up on her blog and they’re NOT in the book. It’s like the out takes from a really good movie) Anyway, my one and only complaint about this book, and it’s not even really about the book, is that there’s not enough Tobias in it.

The book is told in first person and I love Liv’s voice, but in general, I’m a third person kind of gal. Being in first person fits with Liv’s journey, but I wanted more time with Liv and Tobias. Granted, there’s a lot of bad shit going on in the story that needs to be dealt with, but the romance lover in me wanted more time with them. Don’t get me wrong, the scenes between Liv and Tobias are unbelievably emotional and charged with tension (the good kind). I just personally wanted to get inside Tobias’s head.

That’s enough blathering on about Tobias. Go get the book; you won’t be disappointed. And I’m obviously not the only one that feels that way since it went for its second printing after only being out for a day.

On to my weekly mash-up. This week all of my links are writing related, but even if you’re not a writer, you’ll enjoy them:

Music as inspiration:

Catie Rhodes did a great post about how music can inspire us. I listen to the radio all the time and the lyrics to songs have helped me create many characters.

Lucy March is back with Jennifer Crusie and Anne Stuart and they talk about using a soundtrack and creating a collage for your novel. I never did either of these things until I took a Discovery writing class with Lucy (Isn’t it weird how when we know people on line, we refer to them as friends, even if we’ve never really met?). First, don’t get discouraged by looking at Jennifer Crusie’s collages. They are works of art. You don’t need to be that talented. I struggled with doing both the collage and the soundtrack, but I’m really glad I did. Now, when I’m away from my WIP because I’m revising and editing other projects, I have the collage and music to pull me back into the story. At some point, I’ll post my stuff that I did for the class. I really wish I’d made them for the book I’m revising now. I have no doubt it would help the whole process.

On perseverance:

Tawna Fenske talks about pushing through the crap to find success in her post “Taking One Mouthful at a Time

Over on the Wordbitches site, Elena Aitken talks about finding the time to write. It’s a question that a lot of people ask writers, especially those with small children. My answer: write when the kids are busy. I am the master of pounding out 1000 words during any practice for any sport or activity. You’d be surprised at how quickly those words add up.

Kristen Lamb talks about what it takes to become a career author, which is the ultimate goal for most of us. It’s more than just pounding out the words, but we have to maintain a balance or it won’t work.

Finally, just for fun, Marcy Kennedy has a post for the Geek in all of us. What Star Trek Race Are You? I thought I would’ve been Spock, but it turns out, I’m Borg, like Seven of Nine (if only I could look that good too 🙂  )

Who are you most like?

Friday Favorites – Writing and the Holidays

You know, given that the holidays are this weekend, you’d think that the blogosphere would’ve slowed down some. Not the case. I still found gobs of great posts to share.

TV

Surprisingly, I only have a few TV post to mention. Of course the first up is Tiffany White again. I swear, we’re not related, but we might as well be with as much TV time as we share. This week, she talks about female cops we love.

Then Tiffany has a post about Leverage and White Collar. I’ve never watched White Collar, but I like the premise. Leverage, on the other hand, is a show I really like. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen way behind on watching episodes. I have most of the last season waiting on the DVR and the new stuff has started again. I guess it’s good that it’s rerun season. 🙂

Amber West talks about watching reruns and she covers one of my favoritesCastle.

Fun

Elena Aitken has a post that works as a companion to mine from earlier in the week about holiday music. She chose some great ones to listen to. Like me, she reached back to childhood to find favorites.

Writing Advice

Writing around the holidays is really hard for a number of reasons. For me, the in-laws usually come to visit, so I’m expected to not disappear into my room to huddle over a computer. Also, the kids are home. Two. Whole. Weeks. I love my kids and I love spending time with them, but it usually means giving up writing time. And then there’s the questions from friends and family about your writing. Unless you have a book in hand, these conversations suck.  Lucky for you, I have some great advice from people who put it much more brilliantly than I:

Jeff Goins has a post about becoming a writer. He talks about the dreaded word “aspiring,” and why it’s important to call yourself a writer.

Kristen Lamb takes it one step further and points out that “Aspiring is for Pansies.” Writers write. If that’s what you do, claim it. This post reminds me a lot of what Lani Diane Rich says in the classes and workshops she teaches. If you’re already writing, you are a writer. She ends each class by having every student proclaim, “I AM A GREAT WRITER!” She goes by the philosophy that if you say it, you will believe it, and you will live it.

Marcy Kennedy’s post addresses how loved ones can crush our dreams and what you can do to stop them from getting you down.

A last bit of writing advice comes from Kelly Lyman who compares writing to baking cookies with two small children. As someone who loves to bake and is a mother of 3, I think the analogy is fabulous.

Before signing off to enjoy the holidays with friends and family, enjoy a couple of clips of Christmas lights set to music. I love the way these look, but I personally never have any outdoor lights. I refuse to do anything outside on the house, plus I hate the cold. And did I mention I live in Chicago? Nothing is getting me outside to hang lights, no matter how pretty they are. I’ll enjoy from the comfort of my couch and Youtube.

Have a happy and safe holiday!