Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolutions and Book Resolutions

I love the goals you've been posting!! Keep it up! Here's mine: Get back to a regular writing/blogging/reading schedule while handling the kiddos. 

NOW as to book resolutions. I'm sure you've read as many series as I have if you read YA. I love them because if I care about a character, I don't want that character to disappear after one book. But I also can't deny that there's a beauty to a complete book. I'm thinking of ones like THE REPLACEMENT for example. As a matter of fact there have been many books lately - beautifully written books that I absolutely adore - that frustrate me at the end because I'm supposed to wait for the next installment, like the old Buck Rogers series. I like my books, even those within a series, to have a good wrap up. A nice finished feeling that leaves me wanting to visit the world again. What do you think? What examples can you think of? 

My best to you in the coming year! Let's enjoy it together *clinks glass*.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wind Down

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it! 

You've all done a great workout with me! Thanks. And if you didn't squeeze it in, that's okay - you can go back and do it when you're ready. I hope you found some inspiration in there. Today we stretch and wind down so we can spend time with family.

So all I want you to do is write down your next goal. Be specific and positive. Like, "I will write ten chapters by February." Or whatever applies to your situation. Then put it in a place you'll see it often. On the fridge, cork-board, computer background, whatever. 

And one more thing...


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pete the Elf

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa's NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I've been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that's right...I found part of Santa's missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:

NAME: Martina Boone

LOCATION: Adventures in YA and Childrens publishing



OBSERVATIONS: Martina is super talented, intelligent, sweet, funny, honest friend/writer/critique partner/blogger. Could loosen up a bit and drink more prosecco. 

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa's missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Martina, I feel so blessed to know you! Enjoy the card I sent to your inbox and have a wonderful Christmas!

How about you, Readers? Is there someone you'd like to say Happy Holidays to, or tell them how much they mean to you? JOIN US! There's plenty of days left until Christmas, and sometimes a kind word can lift people up in a way that they really need. It's as easy as sending a free ecard or email note, posting on a Facebook wall or sending out a tweet. So go ahead and spread some kindness and cheer!
Photo credit:
assorted gold baubles ( / CC BY 3.0

Monday, December 17, 2012

Do the Unexpected

How are you all fairing with our workout? The holidays are in high gear right now, and we're physically working out getting in that last minute shopping, but we can't ignore our writing muscles. 
Last week we wrote the scene that grabbed us. Now we're going to do the scary thing and throw something in the mix. Take whatever part of the book you're working on and add one of the following, then see what happens. Remember you don't have to keep it, but it's a great exercise to test out your characters. We love to torture them!

  • Your character finds out someone close has just died.
  • Your character is injured.
  • The antagonist shows up unexpectedly. 
  • Severe weather interferes (e.g, storm, earthquake, heatwave)
You have to do this exercise the first half of the week, because we're doing double time now that we have our heart rates up. The second exercise is this:

Take another character from the same book and put them in the same situation to see what happens. 

Did you learn something about the other character you didn't know? What did that do to your perspective? I'd love to hear if you found anything interesting from this! Don't be afraid to email me. Good luck!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cardio for Writers

Today and tomorrow JOURNEYS OF WONDER VOLUME 2 is free on Kindle! Merry Holidays!

So we're all warmed up and stretched! The holidays are approaching. In fact, Chanukah is already here. So let's jump into the meat of it, shall we? If you've done your homework then you have your brain working on different scenarios and hopefully that wonderful imagination of yours is rearing to go. 

Now it's time to work on something that will keep you focused on your story even when visiting Santa at the mall. Whatever your book is - whether you're just starting it or revising - take your favorite scene, you know the one, it's the one that keeps playing in your head, that you know you have to write for this book or work your way to or polish till it shines. That one. Take it and write it. Right now. Out of context, out of order. Just write.

It feels naughty doesn't it? To dive into the whipped cream before the main course? But why not? You can always redo it. In fact, that's your homework. Redo it every day a different way. OR write another favorite scene you see coming. Even if you end up not using it, it will get you in the mood so to speak. It won't take long, and you'll enjoy it. Heck, you might even find yourself working the whole book around it. That's happened to me believe it or not. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Warm Up

If you read the blog last week (and did your homework) you're well prepared to get going! Got comfy clothes? Kidding! Any good workout has to start with some stretching and warm up so we don't jump in and hurt ourselves. Writing is no exception. So I want you to do the following exercise. You can do it each day and use a different outcome or you can do it once and jump into something you're dying to start. Think of it as a game. 

 Take the character you created last week and pick one from each of the following categories then write a couple pages. Just write. You don't have to show anyone, just see where it takes you.


  • Deep space
  • Kentucky
  • The Amazon
  • an apartment in New York
  • An animal
  • A rival at work/school
  • The weather/world itself
  • A psychopath
  • Safety
  • Love
  • To retrieve something of value
  • Save a relative
Okay now here's the fun part - don't make it obvious! Mix it up. Have her fight the world itself in an apartment in New York in hopes of retrieving something of value for example. You can mix these up and add your own as the week goes on so you try something new each day. OR you can use the first try to help you in whatever project you're working on now. Your choice. 

Ready? Set. Go!