Friday, May 28, 2010

ya highway contest

Authonomy Update: I'm taking a break this weekend from Authonomy, so I can spend some more time with the family and maybe get some writing done.

contest • contest • contest

So, YA Highway is celebrating their one year anniversary with a cool contest. They have fun giveaways, including some critiques (can't have too many of those, I say!) :) Check it out!

If you want to enter, go to:

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

adventures in critiques: part deux

Authonomy Update: 69. Annnnnnd....361 comments. Wahoo!

Another critique opp! Another critique opp!

I'm entering Pearl in a contest put on by Writer's Digest. Chuck Sambuchino (who writes their Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog) posted the contest recently and Pearl fits the category!

He's asking for the first 200 words, so I've honed and revised. (It's hard to get the gist of a story into 200 words. Hopefully, I did it.)

Then, if he and the agent judge like it, they are offering the top 3 entries a ten page critique and a year's subscription to WritersMarket Online. Woot! Woot!

Chuck has some great insights and tips on finding agents, the business of writing, querying, writing...and so much more on his blog.

Check it out at:

Or you can click on the Guide to Literary Agents link under Blogs I Like.

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

adventures in critiques

Authonomy Update: 71 :)

The last couple weeks were adventurous for Pearl. I promised I would blog about it earlier, and now here it is, Sunday night, two weeks later....

My family is watching the last episode of Lost (after a busy day of church, parties and a piano recital), and I'm revising and editing, oh, and blogging. :)

Cool Adventure #1:

I know this seems like my blog is turning into a Nathan Bransford marathon, but this is really cool. He is doing a 1st page critique on Mondays and last week, Pearl got in. Basically, he allowed his blog followers to critique my first page, and after awhile, he chimed in with a red letter critique.

There was a lot of banter about the writing, especially about dream sequences (should a book start with one or not). People seemed to be somewhat divided, but most said no to the dream (although they seemed to like the writing).

You can check out the comments, if you want, by heading over to his blog and clicking on last Monday's post.

What I learned...

Writing is totally subjective. Who knew? :) What one person likes, another hates. What one person says to scratch, another says to keep.

I, as the author, have to be willing to listen to my peers, while at the same time, listening to my gut. Sometimes that's hard to do.


Pearl got some exposure. Wahoo!!!

Nathan has over 3600 blog followers, and he is well respected as an agent. I'm still thinking about whether or not to query him.

And...I got a couple new followers here (Hello! and Welcome!).

Not a bad day's work, I say!!

Cool Adventure #2:

The SCWBI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Montana chapter had a workshop in Bozeman on Sat. At the last minute, the head of the chapter called me and said there was an opening for the agent who was presenting to do a critique on the first 10 pages of Pearl.

I quickly whipped up a query and sent the first pages. My mom (bless her) drove over to Bozeman and sat in on a couple hours of the workshop and paid for my critique.

The agent will contact me and hold a Skype conference call with me soon.

Cool Adventure #3

I met with an editor friend of mine a couple weeks ago. He doesn't edit my genre, but he has read a significant portion, and he had some great pointers and insights.

So that is two Agents and one editor in the last couple weeks who have seen Pearl and critiqued it. Pretty exciting stuff!!!

Cool Adventure #4:

Pearl is on Facebook and Twitter. Look for the links on the side of the blog.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Authonomy Update: 74. Woot! Woot! Seriously, I am super stoked. Pray that an agent spots it soon.

So, Nathan Bransford's blog today talks about the importance of condensing your plot into three short pitches.

First, the one sentence stripped down, rattle it off to save your life pitch.

Next, the one paragraph with just a little bit of wiggle room teaser.

Finally, the two paragraph, breathe a little but don't completely exhale the plot summary.

I've whittled Pearl's pitch into the following:

One Sentence:

When the Norse god world collides with a Montana cowboy community, four teens discover that more than just the fate of Yellowstone National Park is at stake.

One Paragraph:

When twins Iven and Olivia Taylor show up at Mia Holden’s Montana high school near Yellowstone National Park, they set loose the turbulent world of Norse mythology -- a place where gods reign, giants destroy, best friends lie, and worlds end. Oh, and where love between humans and gods is forbidden. Which is a problem. Especially when Mia discovers what her best friend has known his entire life.

Two Paragraph:

When twins Iven and Olivia Taylor move to Mia Holden’s Montana cowboy community, not only is the turbulent world of Norse mythology set loose, but Iven and Mia are thrown into a relationship hindered by murderous Frost Giants, jealous Norse gods, and, perhaps scariest of all, High School.

As the end of the Norse god world looms and Frost Giants threaten to destroy Yellowstone National Park, Iven and Mia find that risking their lives is nothing compared to risking their hearts in a place where love between humans and gods is forbidden. Especially as Mia discovers what her best friend, Tait, has known his entire life.

And "still my favorite" one sentence:
Mia’s prince is really a Norse god, and the end of the world is ruining her happily ever after.

In other news....
Pearl Edda 2 (which totally needs a real title) is coming along nicely. Those Frost Giants just don't know when to quit....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Of Blogs and Tortoises

Authonomy Update: 82 Yea!

You know what I really like about blogging?

All the cool blogs there are to read out there.

I just found another new one: Hot Diggity! by Jenna Glatzer. She is totally laugh-out-loud hilarious...

And...she's promoting this cool book that she co-wrote:

Unthinkable by Scott Rigsby.

It's about a double leg amputee who "on October 13, 2007, after arduous training, he became the first double-leg amputee using prosthetics ever to cross the finish line in the sporting world’s most grueling and prestigious event, the Ford Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii."

Talk about an inspirational story! Check it out! She is giving away an autographed copy of his book. The contest rules are stated on her blog.

Another thing I like...

Our two Russian Tortoises.


I know, I know. When we first got them, I was totally like ewww...

Now I think they're pretty cool.

Except the other day, when one of them disappeared in the yard and we couldn't find her. We looked for four days, and then yesterday, she appeared. Happily munching on the dandelions that have pervaded our grass. Whew!!

We were telling one of Annika's friends about chasing the turtles, and he said, "C'mon, do you really chase turtles?"

I guess I'm pathetically slow. Really. Those buggers are quick!

Maybe I'll slap a video of them up here and you can see for yourself how fast they are...

Oh, by the way, things I don't like:

Spiders. Definitely spiders.