“Z” is for Zenith

Yay, I did it!  This is the last day of the A-Z Challenge.  The culmination: the zenith, if you will. I actually had most of the letters planned out before I started the A-Z Challenge, but most of them changed in the process, and always for the better.  Some of the topics I'd originally planned were downright boring to be honest.  But, Z was always blank.  I wasn't sure what to do for the last letter.  I mean, I like zebras, but not enough to write a whole blog post on them. So, zenith it is.  The end of this wonderful madness.  I've had a great time doing this challenge.  I've met so many wonderful people, both through them coming to check out this newbie's blog and through working my way through the master list and reading theirs. And the comments.  The comments.  My favorite part.  I loved going through each post and reading every single one, and every time I...
Read More

“Y” is for Yes

Yes.This second-to-last post for the A-Z Challenge is a little convoluted, but bear with me.  I have a stormy relationship with this word, and it's partner, No. Yes is something we like to hear.  We like it when people agree with us, and when they will do things for us.  It can make us feel good."Yes, we loved your novella and would like to offer you a contract." "Yes, I can give you a ride because your car is in the shop.""Yes, I will marry you."You get the idea. Yes is also a word that we dread hearing. "Yes, I lost my job.""Yes, our accounts are overdrawn." No one likes to hear bad news, even with a yes attached, because in this case, the yes confirms something we don't want to hear. Saying yes a lot can also feel good.  If you say yes a lot, you're someone people can count on to be there for them.  You're someone who can be depended...
Read More

“X” is for Xhaustion

I'm taking a little literary license with the letter for today for a variety of reasons: there aren't many words that begin with X, and I didn't want to waste an entry on how I've had dental x-rays done on schedule since I've had teeth; also, I'm a writer and can strategically manipulate the English language any way I damn well please. As a new blogger, I've found the A-Z Blogging Challenge to be life-changing.  Well, blog-wise, at least.  I've made so many new friends and checked out the blogs of some amazing people, including other writers like me.  I've had some great comments on my own posts and honed my craft by writing these miniature subject essays every day.  But, I'm xhausted.  There's no possible way I will be able to keep up this daily posting schedule after the challenge is over.  Being so new to the blogging world, I didn't have an established pattern of "I post on...
Read More

Bonus post! This rant brought to you by the letter “E”

Okay, not to go all Ranty McRantypants on you, but one thing (okay, a few things, really) that sets me off is bullying.  This is for a variety of reasons that I'm not going into, but here's what's up. You all probably remember that my "E" entry was for "Erotica," right?  If you haven't read it, click here.  Okay, so you know writing smexy stories isn't anything to be ashamed of, but apparently, normal people aren't supposed to do that, or they get crucified in the media. Here's the article: http://snydercounty.wnep.com/news/news/parents-english-teacher-writes-racy-novels/58743In a nutshell, Judy Buranich has been a high school English teacher for 25 years in Pennsylvania.  She's also an author of erotic romance (again, read my "E" entry) with Ellora's Cave under the name Judy Mays.  One of her students' parents "somehow" came across her on the internet, and "outed" her to the community, calling what she does "disgusting."  This seasoned educator, who, by the way, is even called a...
Read More

“W” is for Words With Friends

Seriously?  She's writing an A-Z challenge entry about an iPhone/Android app?Yep. Bear with me.Words With Friends.  After watching people tweet for the past month or so and keep mentioning this app, I had to see what it was.  From what I could gather, it was basically Scrabble, but you could play with anyone online.  I was right; you can even link the game to your Facebook profile and find friends to play with that way, too. As a kid, I really enjoyed playing Scrabble.  Everything about it was awesome for someone who loved to read and write: I could show off my impressive vocabulary, expand said vocabulary, and even show up the adults around me.  I think the only thing I hated was how the tiles would always be off-center whenever anyone bumped the board, setting off the OCD anal retentiveness in me that insisted that I played better when they were lined up.  This unfortunate aspect of playing was...
Read More

“V” is for Verbosity

Ah, verbosity.  A situation in which a writer, or author, if you will, expresses himself or herself in such a way that there may be a profound number of thoughts and representations throughout his or her work, and though it may be deemed eloquent, it may also, in some instances, but not all, be determined by some readers, but, as I mentioned, not all, to be distracting.Did I lose you?  Sorry about that.  I think I gave myself a brain cramp.Verbosity, in case you couldn't tell, refers to speech or writing with an excess of words.It's true that, as a writer, word count is something that I am concerned with.  Each type of work, such as a novel or novella, has a word range that's more or less a sweet spot to strive for.  I need to reach these word counts, or at least the minimum required, to feel secure that the story will stand a good chance of being published in the...
Read More

“U” is for Urban Dictionary

Ever walk by a group of teenagers (or anybody, really) and hear words that sound like English, but you know can't be, leaving you to wonder, "What the hell are they even talking about?  And get off my lawn, damn kids!"Or ever hear someone use common words in a totally new and unusual way, making their original meaning irrelevant? Or hearing someone use an acronym and wondering if repeating it in front of your boss will get you fired or a promotion? Yeah, it happens to all of us. Enter Urban Dictionary, the every-person's personal Rosetta Stone for slang.  Just type in the word you're curious about (providing you know how to spell it, and have nerves of steel to find out what it actually means), and search. Take nom for instance.  You might have heard someone say they were going to get noms or that they were in the middle of nomming when someone called them.  Curious, you'd just search, and find out...
Read More

“T” is for Technology

Writing technology, you are my friend.  You let me write, research, edit, and communicate with an ease that past writers never knew existed. Let me back up a bit.  Writing technology varies from state-of-the-art to any-idiot-can-use-it.  And I use it all. My least used bits of writing technology are, sadly, the pen and paper, but that's because I have terrible handwriting and waste more time trying to decipher the hieroglyphs on the page that are meant to be English words than proves to be useful.  But, I do use them. I carry a notebook around with me, or at the very least have scrap paper and a (working) pen somewhere within reach so I can jot down notes, a line of dialogue, or a short scene idea and not risk forgetting it later on.  I know some writers also use their phones to record messages to themselves if they don't have paper available.  I know the iPhone and most likely other smart phones have...
Read More

“S” is for Subconscious

When I write, I usually have an outline of some sort.  Sometimes it's detailed; sometimes it's vague and just gives me a rough idea of what will happen. So, when I get down to actually writing a piece, I have a good path to get from point A to point B.  But, often my subconscious takes over, and I've learned to let it do its thing.Let me explain. I'll be writing a scene, and then I'll be having a character or characters interact in a certain way or say something that won't make sense.  Maybe the action or information will seem unnecessary (to me), but then, later on, it will make perfect sense. Like, "Of course having Bob leave his car behind now in Chapter 2 was a good idea.  Because in eight chapters, Bob's car will be wired with a bomb because of those mafia guys chasing him, so if he took his car in Ch.2, they couldn't wire...
Read More

“R” is for RWA

RWA, for those of you who don't know, is the Romance Writers of America.  It's a professional organization which can be found at http://www.rwa.org/ and boasts over 10,000 members, including myself.  The RWA has local chapters in major cities where groups of writers meet, and there are even specialized chapters like Passionate Ink (I've mentioned them before...they're the chapter for erotic romance writers), Gothic Romance Writers, Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal, and Hearts through History, just to name a few. Their mission is to help the professional interests of romance writers by assisting with networking and advocacy.  As with any profession, I think it's beneficial to have a professional organization to help you with whatever you're doing. What I'm super excited about is going to their conference in New York City at the end of June and early July.  I'll be meeting the lovely Shelley, my critique partner, there, and we'll be exploring all that the writing world has to offer.  We've had a great time going over...
Read More