Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Jae at told me about writing The Next Big Thing blog chain post. It is to answer a few questions about the book that I am currently working on. By doing this, it gives some sort of insight on what my book is about…hopefully. So, if you have a question that isn’t listed here, please feel free to ask it and I will try to the best of my ability to answer it for you.

Thank you Jae for the help and for the idea!!

What is the working title of your book?

Into the Realm of the Supernatural: Chaos This is the first book in a series.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I had a dream about it, then started writing the ideas down in a notebook and piecing them together. I think a lot of authors book ideas come from dreams, look at Stephen King.

As soon as I figured out how I wanted my story to begin, I start writing it. I use a large dry erase board to write down key information to help me write. Later I will add chapters that need attention on the dry erase board.

Whenever I am away from the computer I am always scribbling notes in my notebook. When I get home, I’ll type up my notes and piece the story together, adding to it as I go along.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Usually authors don’t have a say in who plays whom. I would pick Channing Tatum as the role for the Sheriff James Bailey. I think he would play a good uncle role for Anya and Noelle. As for Noelle, I would pick, Jennifer Lawrence. You might remember her from the lead role as Katniss from the Hunger Games. Noelle, is an independent, athletic young woman. She’s an avid runner and a great role model for her younger sister Anya. For Anya, I would pick, Scout-Taylor Compton. Anya tries to be a good teenager, but sometimes trouble finds her. She has a love for classic movies and even sneaks out late at night to watch a good black and white film at the cinema.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(I honestly couldn’t think of a one sentence synopsis, so I came up with two short paragraphs)

Not much goes on in the little farming town of Pratt, Arkansas.  At least that’s what most of the 282 people who live here think.  Noelle Bailey, a local high school graduate, is one of those people who believe that nothing out of the ordinary or abnormal exists, especially in Pratt.  However, she soon learns that she is part of the abnormal.

James, Noelle’s uncle and Pratt’s sheriff, is trying to solve a chain of murders as a secret from his past begins to unravel.  His two nieces, Noelle and Anya, quickly notice changes in themselves as they get caught up in the events that occur, surrounding his investigation.  One thing leads to another as a doorway to their future opens, pulling them inside.  To complicate matters, the FBI arrive and request James’ to help in the unsolved mysteries.  He soon discovers that he has a more important unsolved mystery requiring specifically his attention most of all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will definitely use an agency. Self-publishing will be the last resort.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Almost three years. I’ll be starting on my second draft very soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I am not sure as most books are usually all vampires, or all werewolves, or all faeries, or a huge mix of all three. I don’t have any vampires in my book. I have a mix of mostly weres and shifters and a few faeries.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My Grandmother inspired me to keep working on this novel. I would put it down as I had to deal with real life and then she would ask if I was done with my book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I actually did my homework on particular things for the book; for example the sheriff’s job, Sheriff’s sub stations, forensics, types of hunting rifles, etc. I also used real towns, just renamed the businesses; I added a few buildings and rebuilt some old buildings that were once there, like the school. I kept most of the actual street names; though I added a few.

I find it important for the reader to see that the author knows what they’re writing about, instead of just adding words to a page.


Almost done with this semester

I have two more weeks left of this semester; I couldn’t be more elated for a much needed mental break. It’s tough being a writer and a college student at the same time. I’m looking forward to getting back into writing.

I’ve completed my first rough draft I’m certain. (my Young Adult novel/ manuscript) Now I know what really needs to be worked on. Hopefully it won’t take me nearly as long as it did to edit the first draft. I already have over 40K words, so adding more words is a bonus to me. It’s a young adult novel, so really anything over 40K is acceptable. If it were a novel the word count would have to be 100K. Since I only write young adult and children’s books I wouldn’t be worrying about writing that many words anyway. My time is already limited enough and it’s taken me three years just to write this one young adult novel. I couldn’t even imagine how long it’ll take me to write an actual novel.

I’ve had the love to write since I can remember. I didn’t start to get serious until my mid-twenties. Though I’ve had many distractions, I’ve never given up. At times we, ourselves, can be our toughest critics. My friend Jeff could attest to this, as I would tell him how I didn’t think something I’ve written was great at all. He would tell me otherwise. Though I would say this, I would still never give up. What happened was that I had lost my passion for writing; all I had to do was find it again. I did.

I continued to use that passion and my love for writing and wrote a children’s book this past summer; which I turned into a publishing company. It’s currently going through illustrations right now. I enjoy receiving emails from someone at that company telling me what process is next and what all they will do. I still get giddy each time someone emails me; like I did the first time my manuscript was accepted for publication.

Next semester I’ll be taking Creative Writing and English Comp 2 in hopes to better my writing skills and to also bring out my creativeness. Sometimes I can get the ideas to flow and sometimes, well, it’s like they’re stuck in my brain somewhere…if that makes sense. But when I can get it to flow, it flows; sometimes never ending and I love that.

Somewhat a lottery winner

Yesterday was the first time I purchased a lottery ticket. I bought four scratch tickets to go along with my lottery ticket just for a little fun. I, like many, wanted to win that large jackpot, to be a part of the somewhat rich and the fifteen minutes of famous.

Several ideas of what I would do with that money popped into my mind. I wouldn’t need much, just a nice little house for my daughter and me; nothing big or fancy. I don’t need a new car as I already have one. I could put money in a savings account for my lil girl as a way to start her a college fund, then put the rest in the bank for me.

I rarely gamble and hardly ever buy lottery tickets. It’s just something that doesn’t lure my interest. It’s like throwing away money if you lose. I’ve been lucky a few times that I have gone to casinos and have been unlucky a few other times. All and all I can count on one hand the times I’ve gambled, the times that I’ve bought scratch tickets, and the times that I’ve gone to the casino.

I went home anticipating the draw of the powerball numbers; in the meantime I had homework to do. Time had flown because by the time I looked at the clock it was already pass 10 o’clock PM; I had missed the powerball draw on TV. No worries, I found the numbers off the local news station website since they keep up with such matters. I didn’t even have one number right. Then I remember I had scratch tickets. I scratched all four of them; two were winners. I ended up winning back all of my money that I had used to purchase my powerball ticket and scratch tickets. In a small way, I’m sort of a winner. It’s like I played for free.

Boo boo vs elbow

I enjoy teaching my little girl everything, even things that I shouldn’t. Though I don’t teach her everything that I shouldn’t; just like the other day she learned to blow bubbles in her milk without my help. Oh yeah, I did NOT teach her this, she learned this on her own. (She’ll be three in a few weeks.) Last night she woke up crying; she had gotten too hot. I had put her into some cooler clothes and re-arranged her blankets on her bed; they had gotten bundled up from her wiggling.

In the meantime she was lying in my bed…for a short time. I wanted to confirm she didn’t have a fever and had gotten sick again. Nothing worse than being in your room while your child is sick and throwing up in her room.

She began babbling away at me, so I rolled over to check her forehead again; it was cooler than it was earlier. She ran her hand down my arm, to my elbow and said, “Boo boo?” I said quietly, “No, that’s my elbow.” (boo boo is one of the first words she’s learned from falling and getting a scratch on her leg. I told her it was a boo boo, so now everything is a boo boo.) She and I both repeated the word a few times, pointing to her elbow. She then brought her legs up, putting her hands on her knees and says, “Elbows!” I laugh and say, “No, silly girl, those are your knees.” She repeats after me. Then I point to her elbows and say elbows and then the same to her knees.

It’s great to see the expression on her face when she’s learning something new. She smiles and her eyes light up. Children are God’s greatest gifts.

Computer dissecting in Biology

Two weeks ago, I went to Biology class hoping I would be dissecting…something. My lab sheet for that week had diagrams drawn for a clam, frog, crayfish, cow eye, and a rat. Sounds gross, I know. It started to take me back to the tenth grade. I can still remember my group of girlfriends and I crushing on our Science teacher, Mr. Nash; isn’t that just like teenage girls? We would send notes back and forth, even though we all sat at the same table. We would gossip about the latest things, or mostly gossip about Mr. Nash’s hair, his smile, then giggle.

We weren’t paying attention to what Mr. Nash was saying; we should have. He came around to each table, passing out what looked like a baking pan with this wax stuff inside of it about an inch thick. One of us asked what it was for and he said, “This is the tray you’re going to use to dissect your frog on.” There weren’t any giggles, more like a few gulps and a few ewws. I snarled up my nose, thinking this is going to be so disgusting! It actually turned out to be quite fun! A couple of girls got sick, not from my table.

I sat there, reminiscing about those days back in high school, but my college teacher pointed to the ‘white board’, which read something about googeling our dissections anatomy on the internet. I was kind of bummed, but elated at the same time. I know I wouldn’t have a hard time dissecting clams, crayfish, and eyes. I wouldn’t have a problem dissecting a frog. There may be a problem with the rats. That’s where I would say, “Eww!” I’m not scared of them, just don’t prefer them is all. Mice are cute, I don’t mind them. I just don’t like rats.

Yesterday, I spent several hours trying to find pictures that even came close to the diagrams given to us on the lab sheets.The eye was a piece of cake, as I already knew most of it. The clam and crayfish were pretty simple, but the frog was a little tough. I’m still missing a few key terms as the diagram looks computer drawn, compared to the images I’m looking at on the internet. Some of the organs looks inaccurate, or out of place. Maybe dissection would’ve been a lot easier, tough we only have a few weeks left of school and this class is only a once a week class.

My daughter, ‘The Prepared and Ready’

ImageMy daughter was ready to go this morning, I however, was not. It’s definitely Monday and I had six days off from school, I was not prepared nor willing to go back. She had four days off from school and she was more than ready.

She stood there by the door, smiling, and waiting for me. I had already put her jacket on. While I was walking around the house looking for my things, she had gone to her room and got a pair of knit gloves out of her dresser drawers and put them on, then got a bucket and put some of her toys in it.

You would think I would have everything sorted last night before I went to bed, I would think I would too, but she was not willing to go to bed last night. It was late by the time I even found my pillow. By then sleep was the only thing I was thinking of. The only thing I had taken care of last night was my backpack. I put all of my books, paper, pencils, and all into my bag and sat it on the couch.

The only thing I had trouble finding this morning was my sunglasses, keys, and put my wallet in my backpack. Then I realized I needed to cash a check and had to go grab it. I found my glasses and wallet, but couldn’t find my keys. I searched and searched, then EUREKA! I turn and look, my little girl is still standing by the door, smiling, still waiting on me. I had to take a picture.

Happy Monday everyone!

Another Black Friday shopping story

I was curiously looking through the Black Friday ads when my eye caught something I’ve wanted to get for a while now. An Xbox and a Kinect, except it was being sold as a single console, an Xbox Kinect. I had already told my sister Jaci last year that I wasn’t going to do Black Friday again. People just get too crazy over sale items. I got ran into countless times with a buggy, I got elbowed from two people fighting over an item; I was just walking by, trying to make it to the registers. I couldn’t believe how rude people were being to one another. This one lady kept pushing me, from behind, with her buggy, I couldn’t move because of the crowd of people in front of me; we were in somewhat of a line for a register. I finally turned around and told her to knock it off, I can’t possibly move up any further. She just gave me a hateful look, and then said she was trying to get to the check out. I said, so are all these other people standing in front of us.

I kept staring at the sale paper, the time of the sale in big bold letters. It was like a giant beacon, shouting out at me. Finally, I looked at my watch and saw that I had two and a half hours before the sale started. It was just one item, I told myself, that’s all I needed. No buggy intended this time. I could walk around everyone else who has a buggy.

I asked Gram’s if she could watch mini me and of course she could, then I was off to Target. I’m such a procrastinator. I stopped at Starbucks and got myself a coffee as a just in case, I didn’t know how long I was going to be standing in line outside. I was pleased to see there were plenty of parking spots available and the line was very short. There must have been twenty people in front of me when I showed up. I sat down on the sidewalk, drank my coffee, and looked at the rest of the sale paper.

Suddenly it began to rain. Great! I looked at my watch and saw I had a whole hour left before the doors opened, I’ll be soaked, but I’ll get my one item. I watched as more and more people started to show up, then Target employees came by with maps, showing where the sale items were located. This thoroughly impressed me, really it did! Walmart has nothing on this at all! Walmart is so unorganized and so badly managed, I could see why it’s such a cluster!

There were policemen standing guard telling us to calmly walk inside, no running, and no pushing. All the items were unwrapped and stacked neatly here and there where people could get to them. Buggies where placed throughout the store, another useful tip.

I briskly walked back to where the map said my Xbox Kinect would be and picked it up. I also picked out a few kids games and proceeded towards to check out. Hey, I didn’t just get it for me, I got it for my daughter to play with to, well when she gets a little bit older.

What shocked me when I got to the registers was that there were no lines, no waiting, did I mention no lines? I was the first person to check out! Everything was well organized; there was no craziness, no fighting, and no arguing. I’m not sure if this means I’m going to do this next year or not, well, certainly not shopping at Walmart on Black Friday.

Friends and cookies

My friend Steaven and I spent most of the day yesterday baking and being crafty. One of our friends had an operation, so he and I decided to make a gift basket for her.

One of the greatest things I’ve gotten out of going back to school is meeting some really amazing people and making friends with them. These are the people that can really make you laugh and smile, especially when you need it most. And when they’re not there, it’s noticeable, the day seems to drag on and everything feels dull and depressing.

Though she was only going to be gone a few days, it felt like months to us. We also had a five day weekend to add onto that due to Thanksgiving holiday. Steaven, and I and another friend got together the week before Thanksgiving. We were trying to figure out when we could all get together, but we couldn’t find a day where one of us didn’t have a conflict. It ended up just being me and Steaven, but we included our other friend spiritually.

Even though we had fruit in the fruit basket, we added her favorite chocolates. We then made chocolate chip cookies and Hershey kiss cookies and put a mixture in a small tin to add to the gift basket. While the cookies were baking, Steaven and I made her a card from scratch. I have a nice size collection of stickers, construction paper, stamps and colored ink pads, which I have collected over the years and still use now and then for times such as these.

When we got to her house she looked shocked and almost ready to cry when we gave her the gift basket. We just wanted her to know we care about her and that she is missed.

Today is Thanksgiving

Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving ON Thanksgiving, I can relate to this. I think there was only one time I was ever in port on Thanksgiving when I was in the Navy, but the other Thanksgivings I was out to sea. My ship is the only one that I know of so far that moved Thanksgiving to the day before or the day after as we usually had to work all day on Thanksgiving day.

Usually I hear civilians complain about working on holidays, but I’m sure they don’t think of the military men and woman who are far from home, instead of being with their families during those days. I’ll never forget my first Christmas away from home and I’m sure other service members won’t forget each holiday, anniversary, and birthday they’ve missed too.

I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving today as one of my sisters had to work. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Finally, she uses the potty

This morning my lil girl woke up with a dry diaper; this is normal for her. I stripped her down and sat her on her potty, all the while singing and coaching her to pee pee in the potty; normal for me. After about ten minutes of the two of us just sitting in the bathroom, I decided to leave her there to do her business, while I finished making breakfast.

I’m in the kitchen putting everything on the table, when I noticed lil miss running around the living room still naked as the day she came into this world. I then hear my grandmother yell from the bathroom, “She used her potty!” I immediately dropped everything I’m doing and poked my head around the kitchen door frame and said, “What?!” I thought I heard what she said, but I wanted to make sure. Grandma repeated herself. I ran into the bathroom to see this for myself. I started jumping and cheering. My little girl came running into the bathroom to see what we’re doing. I immediately congratulate and hug her, then said how proud I am of her. I clapped and said, “You went pee pee in the potty!” She’s clapped and smiled and jumped up and down with me with just as much excitement; though I’m sure she probably thought Mommy was just being silly again.

I dumped her little potty into the big potty, rinsed and dumped again, then allowed her the honors of flushing the toilet. She flushed and watched it go down. She clapped and said, “All gone.”

Too some it may not seem such a big deal, but to me it is a job well paid off. It’s the constant daily battle to get your child to sit on the potty, then the struggle to get them to stay there long enough to do something. I kept thinking to myself, “Does she even understand what her potty is used for?” When she finally used her potty, it became the highlight of my day! More like, the highlight of my week! This was the first time for her to use the potty without me there to coach her, without anyone in the bathroom with her. I couldn’t be happier for my lil girl. Now, for her to keep this up.

Potty Training

I love reading stories about other parent’s potty training their lil ones. I not only get tips and/ or ideas, but I also get entertained too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not laughing at the parent(s) and their potty training blues, I’m laughing along with the parent; though I’m sure they weren’t laughing until they posted their blog or story, where ever I read it.

You see, I am trying to potty train my lil girl; she’ll be three in a month. I’ve been working on this for over a year now. So far she’s peed once, and went poo twice. She can tell me when she goes poo poo, but only after she’s done so. I playfully tell her that she needs to tell mommy before she goes poo poo in her diaper, so she can be a big girl and go poo poo in the potty. This only starts her singing the little jingle I’ve been singing to her all year long while she’s on the potty. “Pee pee in the potty, poo poo in the potty!”

When I first started potty training her she had to carry a bucket full of toys with her, thinking it was playtime in the bathroom. At first I tried to tell her no, but that didn’t turn out so well. It was a full on tantrum to which she won. As the months went by the number of toys started to dwindle. Now she carries one or two if not any to the potty with her.

While she sits on her little pink Princess potty, I’ll sit on the big potty and actually pee and say, “Listen, mommy is peeing in the potty like a big girl. Can you go pee pee in your potty too?” This doesn’t work either. You’re probably thinking, ‘how awkward.’ Honestly, I’ll try anything if it’ll help. If her seeing how the potty works helps, then I’ll try it. I’ve even allowed her to flush the toilet a few times, which to a child is entertainment. Though, I tell her that if she goes potty in the potty for me, then she can flush the toilet. She doesn’t quite understand the sticker chart or getting snacks for using the potty, so those are out…for now.

Do you have any tips or ideas that may be useful? Or a potty training story you would like to share?