Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sometimes I just need to ramble

I may have hurt some feelings when I complained about people who ask me about the status of my book. Upon reflection, there is only one or two people I wish I'd never told I was writing a book. On further reflection, only one of those people is a smart ass about it, and he's a smart ass as a rule, anyway. Someone I work for to those who might know me. The only men in our office are the bosses. So I apologize to anyone who thinks my comments suggested for them to shut-up already. Ask away.

I'm looking forward to the ROW80 challenge goal. If this goes well, I might be on the track to becoming a certified goal-maker. I feel like once I get started, the thirty minutes will grow to sixty and so on.

Aw, the weekend. Like some of you, I live for them. It's the most productive time for me. I wake up and start writing. It's a joy, and I would throw a complete hissy if someone tried to take them away from me. It's also the only time during the week that I can spend with my husband doing special things. I would hope he would throw a hissy if someone tried to take those away from him. There's talk that my bosses have other plans for my weekends. Retirement might be closer than I thought.

I'm glad the holidays are almost over. A lot of us have gotten off subject, become like normal people for a short time. My boss suggested I get out and live. Huh? He thinks if you're not outside mowing the yard or shoveling the snow, you're not living. Okay, how many people who shovel the snow drop dead from a heart attach. That's not living.

So, until next time, cheers.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals, yuk

When did I stop with the New Years resolutions? About the same time I stopped making goals. Unless I'm passionate about something, I rarely stick to it. Will, I'm passionate about not spending another five years finishing my two manuscripts. I took the Row-80 pledge. It can be any goal that is doable to you. It's designed to give the writer an excuse to write and have a life too. My goal is to work thirty minutes every day on one of my MSs. I can knock out, say, five hundred words a day if all I'm doing is writing. But there's much more to writing than writing, isn't there? There's the rewrite, the editing, the cutting, the proofing, the research. Yes, research is part of the process as well. Then there's the sweating, the frustration, the blocks, anxiety, fear, and just plain craziness. This part doesn't need a goal, it just comes naturally.

But I really, really just want to get to the end as fast as possible, but at my own pace. Does that make sense? I think I'm just going to write, write, write. If I see I'm making good progress, that's all the incentive I need. You know, if you're busy writing, you're not looking at the clock anyway and thirty-minutes stretches into forty, then an hour . . . it's limitless. Now, if I could only achieve the weight loss like this.

What about you? Are you goal makers, or do you feel you have the discipline to stay with it without goals and actually make progress. The world is full of both.

See ya next time
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who do you write for?

Is there such a thing as too much praise? Probably, but I've never reached the peak. Some people think only one compliment is necessary. It's all psychology, you know. Maybe I grew up unappreciated. One compliment should suffice.

As writers every word is agonizing. To put thoughts on paper and make them flow so future readers can be wowed by them . . . Oh wait, that's not why we write, is it?

In the back of your minds, who are you thinking about when you write? Are you trying to impress or do you do it for the shear joy of writing? Dig deep.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts. So you've been writing for awhile, learned a lot from critique partners, wrote a first, second, and third draft. It's almost done. One more read through and you're done. So you put the MS down for a month and do something else. You come back, now as a reader, not a writer and you begin to read. It's working great. You are enjoying the read as a reader, and then, there it is again. There's that section that every time you edited it, you paused. But the writing is so amazing. People will think you're a literary genius when they read this.

NOT, and your subconscious knows this. For me, there's usually several scenes that could use a rewrite or a cut. Put your subconscious to rest. It's not going to hurt too bad and you can copy that profound piece of literature into a file for use at a more appropriate time. Maybe in the next MS.

What usually happens, if you are me, anyway, is you forget about it or when you read it again, you wonder why you thought it was so exceptional.

You can fight any emotion, but you must satisfy your subconscious. It will send you ulcers otherwise.

Those are my profound words of wisdom. Just trust your instincts and you won't get ulcers. As a byproduct you might produce a bestselling novel. Who knew?
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finding those unclosed quotation marks

In the world of Microsoft Word you must find some little tricks. In doing so, you may actually learn a thing of two without having to read the help menu. So I'm trying to get by cheaply without having to spend an arm and a leg for proofreading. Better to fix it now, than later, right? Talking to my hubby, who seems to have a good grasp on Word, I got the idea to find and replace all the quotation marks with, say, a, "%." sign, then highlighting the "%" sign with color. Here's how I did it.

1. Copy/Paste your completed document into a blank, new document and save that as something else.(Edit/select all, Edit/copy, Edit/paste) Psst . . . there are those who don't know how to do this.

2. Go to Edit/Find

3. In the "Find What" box, type in, Shift-', which equates to quotation marks

4. Click on the "Replace" tab and in the "Replace with" box, type "%" (Shift-5)

5. Click on the "More" button,

6. Click on the "Format" button

7. Highlight and click on "Font,"

8. Highlight "Text Font, Font Style, Font Size," you are using in your document, then click on the pull-down menu under "Font Color," select a color.

9. "OK" out and do a "Replace All"

Now scroll down and count, "One, Two, one, two" If you get off count, you've found a missing quotation mark.

Reverse the above to put the quotation marks back into the document. I wouldn't replace the original document with this one. That's just my fail safe way of always having a back-up copy. Just rename it and this will be your new submit doc. You could even name it that.

You might think this is time consuming. It's really not so bad. I had over three- thousand quotation marks. I had missed twenty-three closing or beginning quotation marks. It took an hour or so, but it was worth it. I wish I had figured this out a long time ago.

There are a lot of little secrets inside the "Find" option. Check them out.

Of course, there is always more than one way to perform the same operation. If you have a little trick you'd like the share, put it in the comments. Someone will appreciate the tip.

As always, God Bless and see you next time.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting out of my rut

If you've read my two blurbs up top, you've probably noticed similarities. I tend to enjoy writing about top corporate businessmen. Maybe it's time for a change. In Dancing in the Stars everything is different. I enjoy writing from the man's pov. I like men. I like getting into their heads, but DITS is from a woman's perspective, it's a YA genre, and for the moment, no one gets killed or maimed. It's also a love story of sorts. I like a good love story, but I usually don't make it the focus of my stories and you'll never see a sex scene in my books. I get off on the passion and emotions leading up to love, not sex. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against sex.

DITS is a coming of age story about a former prom queen who doesn't want to move on past high school. She works in a dance studio in her small hometown while her friends have moved on with their lives. Her mother ran out on her and her father, leaving her father bitter towards love and he discourages my MC from pursuing anything but the most casual of relationship. Nice parent, huh?

Then she goes to a five year class reunion. Really? who has a class reunion after just five years. Any more years than that and she'd be too flippin' old for this story, so it's five years. She hangs with her old crowd, the "in crowd," and after awhile they start talking about their successful careers, yada, yada, yada. My MC, her name for now is Halle, like Halle Berry, gets depressed and drinks too much. She gets so drunk she spends the rest of the evening in the john. When she comes out, most everyone has left.

Well, I don't want to give too much away. Suffice it to say,she runs into a classmate who has always had a crush on her. She and her snooty friends used to call him owl because of his big magnification glasses. He takes her home, she tries to seduce him, but all she gets is a nice kiss. When he's gone she realizes she doesn't even know where he lives or what he does, but she remembers the kiss they shared. Now you think they will get together doncha?

I might post an excerp from Bum's Rush in the next little while. You don't want to miss that.

Hugs and good wishes to you all.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Self Doubts

Some days I wish I had never told anyone I was writing a novel. Why? Some of you already know the answer to that one. People want to keep asking, "When can I read it," "When's it going to be done?" "Aren't you finished with that yet?" "What are you doing, working on your book?"

I admit, it's taken me forever to write this dang novel. Thankfully, some people have forgotten I'm writing one. I really don't mind the occasional question. I'm a little shy about it, is all. I shouldn't be so sensitive. After all, I've posted it on my Facebook profile that I'm writing a novel. It's only natural people would be curious about it. Well, it's so close to being done. I'm back to formatting it and actually making progress.

I think, sometimes, I'm the one holding myself back.Questions like, "What if its a piece of crap?" "What if people don't like it?" "Will anyone buy it?" "What if its a piece of crap?" I'm not one to blow my own horn, so promoting it will be grueling for me, yet none of these questions will be answered if I don't tell people about it. Only one person, besides my husband, has read. She said she liked it, especially the surprise ending, but she's one of my BFFs, would she have said it was a piece of crap?

Do all writers go through this self doubt? I've read other writers say similar things. I wonder if Dean Koontz, or Robert Crais, or John Grisham have these doubts? If they do, do they care, really? All the way to the bank. I'm not writing to get rich. I guess I ought to remember that I'm writing because I love to write and not worry about what people think. But then I wouldn't be human, would I?

See ya next time. Until then have a great week.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dancing In the Stars

The thing about rewriting a novel you've finished twice, six years ago? It's impossible to keep a running tally of the word count. The reason? Well, because it's constantly evolving. I find I'm doing more adding than rewriting. Still, it's coming along a little at a time. So my meter is really off by several thousand words at any given time. That's okay. As long as I can write a couple thousand words a week, I'm happy. I'd be able to write a thousand words a day if I didn't have to work. By the time I get home, my eyes are at half mast and my brain is mush.

The good news is, I've started, yet another novel. This one, since I don't have to think too much, I can write between patients and sometimes there's a long lull between them. For those who don't know, I pretest for an optometrist. Anyway, I'll post the cover, which I've already designed, with this post. It's titled, "Dancing in the Stars." That may be a working title, I haven't decided yet. It's about a former prom queen, out of school five years. She can't get her head out of high school and into the real world. She's a wannabe dancer who works in a small town (completely made up town) at a dance studio teaching classical dance at night and kindergarteners during the day. It's a rite of passage with a love story. I don't think I've completely found my genre yet. Still experimenting. Or maybe I have more than one.

See ya next time. Until then have a great week.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Hating Game

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.

Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at


When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't throw the baby away with the bathwater

As you can see, I've got my word-count meter up for my upcoming novel. Don't be overly impressed with the quick rise in word count. Though in the last two days I've written three thousand new words, the rest was cut and paste. It's amazing how much my perception of my MC has changed. When I started this novel six years ago, I had him escalated to super stud. He begged to be taken off the pedestal and given human qualities. Its been fun reacquainting myself with him and the others characters. I'm not quite sure where it's going, but I am overcoming my fear of conflict to some degree. I'm putting him into situations where he might be, dare I say it, embarrassed and unsure of himself.

Quite honestly, I had written this novel off as a great learning experience. I put it through the critiquing process, a humbling experience. I rejected a lot of critiquer's suggestions. I wanted raving reviews instead of constructive criticism. In an attempt to live up to their expectations, I changed the nature of the novel in such a way that it no longer resembled my original idea. So, in frustration, I set it aside and started anew. Now, looking back and re-reading and writing, I understand a little better what they were trying to tell me. I recommend critique groups, especially for beginners, but grow a thick skin and keep in mind, some people's perspectives are a little off.

So that's my two cents for the day. Hope this day brings you blessings and refreshment. The party's over, time to get back to work--crocodile tears, sniff, sniff.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Need Help?

It's not very often someone gets to help someone else. Part of the reason is, someone else forgets to ask for help. I'm offering up my help to anyone who wants to promote something author or book related. Do you have an upcoming release you'd like to advertise? Send me the info and whatever prevalent links, and if it's legal, tasteful, and easy, I'd be happy to help. I'm offering on a trial basis. If it looks like something that will benefit everyone concerned, I may make it permanent depending on the response I get. Make it easy though. I have limited knowledge of html and no knowledge of programming. What I don't know, I can teach myself, that is if it's something I am able to learn.

As you can see, I'm working on a new book. Actually, it's a complete rewrite of a book I started six years ago or so. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm up to 40,000 words give or take. That will change as I add and delete scenes. I'm so excited about it, I designed the artwork for it already. Hope you like it.

That's about it for today. I really am going to post more often and try and keep with you guys. I'm thrilled to have so many peeps who like my blog well enough to follow. Very flattering. Have a great holiday to those who celebrate, and God bless.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I need a good splash

I've been trying to think of a way to release my book with a splash. I don't just want to post that it's been published, and, oh, by the way, you can find it here, here, and here. Yeah, that should get people excited. I may put out some excepts, I'll certainly offer some free ones. I'll be seeking some reviews later in the process. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to offer them.

On another, note, I am putting together my first book, the one I finished, but became to discouraged to mess with anymore. I have several versions, you get why I became discouraged. The writing is solid, the story plot good, or should I say plots and it has slipped into place fairly easily so far. It's kind of like shuffling cards. You take the two to three different versions and shuffle them together. I keep thinking this is going to be a piece of cake. I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall. Wouldn't it be fun to have two books out in a short time frame?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you all.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Things you must know

Smashwords has a wonderful free ebook, Style Guide by Mark Coker on, click here. you guessed it, styling your manuscript. I recommend you read it before you type one word of your MS. It's absolutely a must if you want to avoid a huge formatting mess at the end. You really can conquer Microsoft word. This book is written in complete and understandable detail. It can be used for any form of general formatting for submission to anyone, anywhere. You may have to tweak a bit depending on submission requirements, but only a bit.

For those of you who are struggling with editing your WIP, I have a suggestion that works, and you don't have to spend a cent. When you begin your proofreading, resize your MS to book size, such as 5.5 x 8.5. Go into edit, page setup and click on the paper tab. I swear it's as affective as pointing your toes to keep your leg straight. (how many of you just tried that?) Reading in this manner will turn you from writer to reader and those errors will fly off the page. Try it and let me know how well it works.

On that subject, I'm almost done with my proofing. It's taken a long time and a lot of work and a lot of cutting, but, as a result, I have a good book, so it's worth it. I'm hoping to get it published before Christmas, but if I don't, soon after. Oh, I'll be so glad to put this one to bed.

You all have wonderful weekends and God bless.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Finally, a decision

I'm sorry I've been absent, in case you noticed. I trimmed another 5,000 words off Bum's Rush. I'm proud of myself. Here's a lesson, one I've preached before, when you write something you don't feel 100% about, do something about it, especially if every time you stumble across it, you get that same gut feeling. Also, another lesson, one we all know, if it doesn't move the story forward, leave it out, no matter how beautifully written it is. I took a deep breath, and cut, cut, cut. It felt so good, I almost got carried away.

As soon I get the thing done, I'll let you all know, because I feel like you've all been behind me and I love you for it.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

The power of words

It's funny how one word or a sentence can inspire. Sometimes when I'm reading, a single word can bring a whole story idea to mind. I always read just before going to sleep, so sometimes it's not the most opportune time to be having a big idea. But you gotta do what you gotta do, after all.

The other night I wrote a whole synopsis off a single sentence I read in whatever I was reading at the time. I had to delay my bedtime to write it. I guess the subconscious is always on the alert. It knows what you're interested in and seeks it out without caring weather it's an appropriate time of day, or where you are, or what you're doing. If you don't write it down as soon as is convenient, it's gone, at least it's gone for me. Age is a lovely thing. It does things to one's memory.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Have a great weekend everyone.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm almost ready for an agent

But where do I look for one? I've so busy writing my books, I don't know where to go next. I guess I'm asking for suggestions. I know there are websites with loads of agents listed, I might even have some listed on my own blog, but I don't know what they're called. Can anyone give me a website or a name.

Thanks, I know you won't let me down.

In other news, Bum's Rush is on it's final edit. I shopped around for a cheep proofreader. There aren't any. .01 cents per word at 80,000 words is 800 dollars. I'm really naive about this step, and nervous for some reason. My query letter and synopsis suck, and I'm into my next book. Self-publishing is looking better every day.

You all have a great week and God bless.
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I'm almost ready for an agent

But where do I look for one? I've so busy writing my books, I don't know where to go next. I guess I'm asking for suggestions. I know there are websites with loads of agents listed, I might even have some listed on my own blog, but I don't know what they're called. Can anyone give me a website or a name.

Thanks, I know you won't let me down.

In other news, Bum's Rush is on it's final edit. I shopped around for a cheep proofreader. There aren't any. .01 cents per word at 80,000 words is 800 dollars. I'm really naive about this step, and nervous for some reason. My query letter and synopsis suck, and I'm into my next book. Self-publishing is looking better every day.

You all have a great week and God bless.
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Friday, September 17, 2010


I got my blog back up. I still don't know why Google gave me that message and wouldn't let me in. Seems like everyone else was able to get in okay. I removed some sidebar widgets from the code, and it came back. I put them back in, and it went away, took them away and it came back. I don't miss the widgets. I can't even remember what they were.

So now we know, GOOGLE IS WATCHING.

Thanks for all the comments. You guys are great.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Testing, Testing

Google is messing with my blog. I can't use any template but this stupid classic one and it won't let me "Design." I don't know if any of my followers can see my posts because I can no longer see my followers, this the test. If you see this, please comment. Thank you. This really upsets me.
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Avoiding discomfort

It's not what you write, it's what you don't or find hard to write. As authors, it's our job to cause conflict, cause the reader to feel emotions. We can make our characters do whatever we want them to. We can also harm them, fix them, cure them, bring them back to live, perform miracles on them,etc. Easy? No, not for me, anyway.

How to get passed my own conflict and discomforts? What aren't I writing? If I put my character in an embarrassing position, it's hard to push through because it might be a situation I'd never find myself in and avoid. Personally, I'm a peaceful person who dislikes confrontation, so putting my characters in a situations I'd avoid is particularly hard for me, yet it's necessary. Every story needs conflict, and sometimes it's at the expense of the character. I think I must block out anything uncomfortable. What I'm saying, yet not writing, is conflict is a personal thing.

An exercise I could try would be to write about every avoidable conflict I can think of without offering my character a hand. No help from this author, no siree.

How about anyone else? How do you overcome avoidance due to your own personality?
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I feel stifled lately. I don't know what to do now that my book is completed. Is it kind of a let down? What do you think. Also, I can't get my synopsis to work. If it doesn't thrill me, how much more will it not thrill an agent.

I'm having doubts. Is my book good enough? Will I handle rejection well? Actually, on that subject, rejection, I wouldn't mind getting a rejection notice. At least I will have gotten that far.

Where do I go to find an agent? Does anyone know? Should I self publish? If I do that, then I can put this book to bed and concentrate on the next one. Such a quandary I'm in. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brain Stormin'

Hi everyone,

I need to brainstorm. Okay, lets say a married couple have separate, but identical guns. The wife shoots someone. Ballistics shows the bullet from the victim came from her gun. But she throws her gloves away and gets her coat cleaned, so there's no gunpowder residue. Then she says her husband used her gun and shot the guy. There were no witnesses. I thought about the police finding powder residue in her car, which is possible according to everything I've read. But she could say her husband drove it. I've got the cops trying to trick her by saying they have a video of her with the gun, but she wasn't buying it. I need suggestions. Lets brainstorm.
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