Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Writing Prompt...Dialogue Between Exes

Breaking up or bumping into an ex is fodder for DRAMA! I want to see what you guys come up with. Write a scene that captures a break up or a run in with an ex. Use a known character from a book or movie -or- make up your own.
What would a breakup scene between Wonder Woman and Rhett Butler look like???
Rhett: "Frankly My dear, I don't give a--"
WW : BAM!!

Corny, I know. But have fun with it. It can be funny or dramatic.

*Sign up on the link list below and post the scene on your blog with a link back to Shoveling in a Jo Storm.
 I will visit your blog if you sign up and  in the next week or two (however long it takes to get a decent amount of participants) I will pick a winner for the most compelling or entertaining scene. The winner will get a copy of the book, I Never Fancied Him Anyway by the delightful Claudia Carroll.
Here is a little snippet of a larger scene from my book. (still in editing stage)

“Where’s your ring?” He looked up and searched Karma face, his brown eyes intense.

Karma gulped, now focused on what was happening. “Manny . . .” She considered saying she’d taken it off to do the dishes and forgotten to put it back on, but she was tired of everything.

“I can’t marry you,” she said.

Manny flinched and dropped her hand. His face looked like a faded black and white picture.

“I just don’t think it would work. I’m not ready,” Karma forced her voice through the shrinking hole in her throat.

“But, you have a whole year to get ready.” He said low and controlled, but with eyes like punctured steel.

“Even in a year ... I just … will never be ready to marry you. I’m sorry. You’ve been a good friend.” Karma put her hands in her hair, hating the what she had said.

Manny’s lips twitched. “Do you have any idea how foolish you sound?” he asked. His face became sharp and hard like a bronze statue.

His reaction only reaffirmed her decision. Karma straightened and looked him in the eyes. “If by that you mean-- I’m a fool for passing up the opportunity to marry someone so far above me, or that I may never get such a chance again, then I guess you underestimate my worth.”

“I chose you. I know your worth. I want you to be my wife,” Manny answered, his voice robotic.

“I don’t love you. And you only love yourself,” Karma said, recoiling from the building negative force she felt coming from him. She blinked hard against the sting.

“But ... this will look ridiculous,” Manny whispered.

“I’m sorry. I never wanted to make you look bad. I know how important looking good is to you.” Karma meant it sincerely, but as soon as she said it she knew it was a mistake. She opened her mouth to fix it. Too late.

Manny’s eyes crackled with anger and his nose flared. “Shut up,” he growled.

Karma’s heart jumped. “Sorry.” She stepped back, instinctively raising her hands.
Manny seemed taller and darker than normal, looking down at her with so much anger.

“You ... little ... ungrateful--” Veins bulged on the back of the fists he dropped to his sides and he moved away from her breathing hard.

Karma needed to leave. He was a volcano about to erupt. She tried to walk around him. “I need to find my mom.”

“Don’t walk away from me.” He ordered in a low ragged voice.

*Dun, dun, duuuun!
Sign up below to join the drama for a chance to win the prize and because it will be fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

What doesn't kill us...

This morning I babysat a friend's little boy while she went to the doctor. Her little boy and my youngest son played together just fine and it was easy breezy.
 My son asked "Where's Lisa?" 
 Usually she's here with her son and we all hang out. I answered that we were babysitting her little guy while she was at the doctor.
 My son, said, "Oh." His face looked worried.
"What does a doctor do?" I asked, hoping for an answer like, they help you or make you better.
"They hurt my mouth," he answered with a quiet voice--staring into the the space in front of him.
My son has had so much surgery. His most recent one closed his cleft palate. It was rough.
I told him that the doctor had fixed the hole in the roof of his mouth and had helped him. My little boy looked unconvinced. He hates hospitals--they are torture chambers to him.

It made me think.
There are so many things in my life that have been painful or difficult. Things that broke my heart or challenged me beyond what I thought I could handle. But as I look back with new perspective I can see a purpose to it. I have seen good come of it.
The hardest things I have gone through have made me stronger. If nothing else they have given me more understanding and compassion for others who struggle with similar trials. And even more, they increase my confidence as I overcome them--less fear of small things because I survived bigger ones.It makes me more aware of when things are good. Gratitude.
As I center myself and look back on things I honestly would not change what I have gained. Even if it meant sparing myself grief. I think one of my deepest concerns is that I will become complacent, or shallow or --perish the thought--clueless. So I would rather go through hard things than float, pass through the refiner's fire to make me stronger.

The operation on my boy gave him speech. Now he has words. Much like my struggles have given me words... understanding. Some day, I know my little boy will look back and realize that some of the things that hurt him most, did him the best good. And that's great to know.

* Have you ever suffered through something that made you a better person? Share!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Winners!!! And a few thoughts...

Call me old school...but I wrote down all the entries and put them in a hat. I closed my eyes, scattered and stirred the  scraps of paper and picked out three winners.

The winner of the $70 CSN GIVEAWAY is ... Mark and Kiss  Enjoy!!

The winner of both of Erin Kellisons books Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall is... Lola Sharp.

And th second winner to recieve Erin's first book Shadow Bound is... Talli Roland.

Thanks guys! I will be doing more giveaways soon. (=

Speaking of winners...
 My 12 year old son has been experimenting with recipes. In our house the challenge is to make food as yummy as possible while still trying to keep it on the healthy side. He successfully made whole grain, sugar free cream puffs using agave as the sweetener and whole white wheat flour. (We grind it ourselves and I prefer the white to the red wheat--it is lighter in flavor and body).

The dusting on top is powdered fructose (with a little corn starch added) we ground up in my awesome Blendtec blender. The chocolate on top is made of grain sweetened chocolate chips melted with a little cream. Not gonna lie-- it was a delicious success and even my junk foodie friends liked them! (=

Comfort foooood.
It is important to have food like this on hand sometimes. Like right now when I'm getting a mountain of corrections from my very talented and insightful editor...who will stop at nothing to help me get my get book into tip top shape.
 It can really be discouraging to see all of the things that need work. And if I didn't LOVE writing and if I didn't believe in my characters and story I might just question--What was  I thinking? What made me think I could write at all?
At this point it is just work...but I have to see it through. Not finishing and giving my story the attention it deserves is not an option. Too much invested now. So pass the cream puffs...I'm goin' in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Piece of my book...

Here is a ROUGH segment from my book. Still mulling it over in my mind.
Sometimes the people we care about just aren't any good for us. In this scene Karma faces that. Out of context there might be some stuff that makes no sense...but here it is anyway.

When Karma saw Bram she knew he had been drinking. He teetered by her bed and leered down at her.

“I thought you said that getting drunk was for losers.” Karma gulped. Her mouth went dry as she looked up at him in the darkness of her room.

Bram grimaced and hovered over her. He seemed to fade in and out like a bad broadcast. When he spoke he slurred and his voice rasped.

“Shut up. You think you’re better than me all of a sudden? Like hell.”

“What do you want?” Karma pulled the covers up to her chin in fists.

“Calm down. I won’t touch you. I can’t even stand you. I miss you—damn you. But I’m getting outta here.” He groaned and grabbed a handful of his messy, dark bangs.

“Bram.” Karma did not know what to say. Her heart burned.

“Don’t say my name. You haven’t even given me a second thought–have you? You little . . .”
Karma stared as his mouth continued to move but she could no longer hear him and he disappeared and then reappeared. She rubbed her eyes.

“What’s happening?” Karma whispered.

“You’re having a nightmare. And I’m trying to apologize.” Bram laughed without humor.

Karma blinked. Was this a dream? Well if it was then she could fly . . . or drop kick Bram. Or at least say whatever she wanted.

“I’m sorry things are weird with us. I  do miss you. But I don’t want to be with someone like you.” Karma shivered and let out a sharp breath.

Bram shook his head. “Self righteous hypocrite. You’re no different than I am. I want you and you want me back—even if you are ashamed of it.” A crooked smile grew on his face. “I’m still right, you know... about stuff--what we can do. Should do. When you figure that out I won’t be far. You won’t fight it forever.”

Karma stared at Bram feeling pity and some fear. His handsome face was tight with anger.She would not argue with him while he was like his. She needed to cry, but he would want her to.

“Goodbye, Karma. For now. I left it here when you were out. Under your pillow.” Bram flickered and then he was gone.

Karma gasped. Her mind whirred as she stared at where he had been. It was as if the dark room had closed its mouth on him. He was gone.

What a realistic and weird dream. Karma squirmed under the covers, waiting for her heart to slow down and her dream to change. She turned over to get more comfortable and realized her neck felt stiff. She reached one hand under her pillow. When she touched it she knew it was Edward Smythe’s journal.

In the morning when she was sure she was awake, Karma pulled out that book from under the covers. The journal. Her stromach flip-flopped. It wasn’t a dream!

Stuck to the front was a yellow sticky note with two words on it in capital letters: AS PROMISED.

 These songs always remind me of Bram and Karma.

The origianl version of this song really rocks. But the acoustic is interesting.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


My friend, Amy grows raspberries. The other day I went out there with my sister, neice and a few of the little ones.
There is something about picking raspberries....There is no fast way to do it. One at a time, gently pulling each berry--forced to slow down to the rhythm of nature.The sun warmed my skin and lit up the berries like Christmas lights as I moved the leafy branches aside to find the edible rubies where they hid.

I got the sense that I was doing something good and natural and that connection to the earth that modern life blurs or obliterates, hummed in me. The children delighted in the process and my quiet introspection was only now and then interrupted by pleasant conversation.

Raspberries are so pretty in their plainness. And when you pop them into your mouth their sweet tangy-ness tastes like sunny days, popsicles and tree climbing while hinting at something classier somehow--rich desserts and wedding cakes...Mmmmm...
At $2 per pound it is a bargain to pick them yourself (around $8 per pound at the store). I made a pie and a batch of jam after we snacked on some fresh. Delicious. Can't wait to do it again.

I will be drawing the winners for the $70 CSN giveaway and Erin Kellison's books on FRIDAY the 17th so enter now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


As my friends know, I am all about the food! So I keep my kitchen stocked with healthy, yummy options.Having the right equipment makes a huge difference! A rainy day like today makes me think of  rich, beef stews, or  tangy peach cobbler bubbling in  dutch ovens-- like the one used in the movie Julia and Julie.

I have an awesome apple peeler/corer/slicer thingy that makes apple pie a snap! I have a deli slicer, a wok, sandwich press, and all sorts of gadgets to make my kitchen run smoother...and sometimes the equipment inspires the meal!
Who likes getting cool stuff for free? Raise your hand. Well, I found out a great way to offer that to my Followers! CSN Stores has SUCH great stuff. I'm super excited to give one of YOU, my precious followers, a $70 shopping spree on their site. There are so many great products you could get for $70 or less--and not just housewares! They have baby stuff, school supplies, shoes, luggage...on and on. It's very cool.

SO, all you have to do to enter ONCE for the $70 giveaway is FOLLOW me, and leave a comment!
To enter TWICE also mention this giveaway in your BLOG or Tweet it.

Let me know if you tweet or blog it! Easy, peasy!!!

The other cool thing I recently discovered...if you want more exposure for your giveaways there are great sites like GiveawayScouts.com and OnlineSweepstakes.com.They are search engines that will widely publish your giveaways to a large network online! Cool, huh?
Anyway...enter here for the $70!!! You deserve it! This is my way of saying--THANKS for following my little blog!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Awesome interview with author, Erin Kellison and GIVEAWAY

I'm excited to post my interview with author, Erin Kellison. I have read her books and they are exciting and way cool... Dark fantasy with a generous dash of sexy. She uses rich descriptions to weave an original and riveting story. There's a lot of action and interesting characters. Real page turners.
I appreciate the time she took to be interviewed. Without further blah-blah here she is:

A huge thanks to Jo for inviting me to guest on her blog. I am happy to donate a copy of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, my summer releases, to a happy commenter, chosen at random by Jo. She sent me a list of interview questions, so I’ll just dig in…
How long have you been writing?
I started (never remotely finished) my first novel in sixth grade (a contemporary fantasy), but had attempted stories before that. When I was about twenty I took a couple courses on fiction writing and joined my first critique group, but I wasn’t really serious about writing until my first child was born about seven years ago. At first I had to juggle school and writing, but now I try to write six days a week.

What inspired you to write your first book? And what is it about?
My sister and I co-wrote a mystery-suspense, The Letter Thief. She called me up and suggested “on a whim” that we write a book together. It took us about five years from idea through final draft, and told the story of two sisters who get embroiled in a murder mystery that spans two continents and a thousand years of history. It was a blast to work with my sis on the project.

Shadow Bound is my first solo effort. It’s a paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I love both fantasy and romance, particularly in a contemporary setting, and decided to try my hand at it. Vampires and shifters are already so well-done, so I went with a banshee. Here’s the back cover blurb from Shadow Bound:
Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.
Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.
Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.
This is the place between life and what comes after - a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.

Do any of your characters embody you?
Not wholly, no. Some have aspects of me though: Talia, the heroine of Shadow Bound, comes from an academic background. She’s quiet and research-minded. I pursued academia for a while. Got my masters in Anthropology and intended to go on for a PhD. Kids and writing intervened. Annabella, the heroine of Shadow Fall, is a ballerina. I similarly took ballet for years and performed in the corps of Giselle, which is featured in that book. But her personality is very different from mine. Actually, it’s a very cool feeling to put on someone else’s head for a time and live the story through their eyes.

What was your journey like from query to publication?
As I was writing Shadow Bound, I entered the first chapters into contests frequently. Via those contests, I received requests, which led to an offer. My contract was for two books, to be released back-to-back, so I set about writing the second book. I turned in Shadow Fall about five months later. Both books were revised the following fall and spring. While they were going through copy-edits, etc, I was working on Shadowman, which sold in a three-book deal. The first two books released at the same time the third book was due, so I had quite a whirlwind for a couple months.

How much did you freak out when you held your first book in your hands?
Holding the book was surreal. Actually, each milestone has been surreal. I haven’t had a jump-up-and-down-squealing moment. Mine are more the room-tilting-as-I-go-cold variety. Even now, the printed books astonish me. I have not read one though. I tried to crack one open once, but had to quickly put it down. It seemed like it was written in a foreign language, all jumbled and strange.

Do you have a support group or are you a lone literary wolf?
I have a fantastic support group that I meet with regularly. They’re a lifeline in what is largely a lonely pursuit. Our main activity is to critique each other’s ongoing projects, but we also celebrate successes and give hugs and cookies when things aren’t going well. I love those ladies. Speaking of successes, one of my crit peeps was just named a finalist in the Romantic Times/Kensington Brava Writing with the Stars contest. There were ten finalists out of five hundred. You can check her out at http://www.kckleinbooks.com./

Any advice for aspiring authors on how to deal with rejection?
Start your next book. Be super excited about your next book.
What are your current projects?
I’ve turned in book three in my Shadow series, Shadowman, to my editor, and I’m hard at work on book four.
Where can we get our hands on your books?
My books are available in print and e-formats at book retailers and online.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
First and favorite, kill your darlings (a quote I attribute to Stephen King, but have seen it attributed to others as well). If an element doesn’t serve your story, delete it. Don’t try to make it work because you love this or that tidbit. Don’t write around it. Get rid of it. The story always comes first. This was a pitfall for me, and one I sometimes recognize in others. The minute I realize something is a darling, I have a tremendous sense of relief. I can move forward, usually by getting rid of it.
Second, in the midst of queries, rejection, promotion, networking—all the biz side of publishing—locate yourself in your stories. Your writing should be where your passion and energy reside. Write regularly, adding word count daily. It’s very easy to be distracted by the business end.

Thanks, Erin! You rock!

Check out her blog Erin Kellison.
Erin will be giving away two of her books and I have one to giveaway too. *To enter once leave an awesome comment.
*To enter 3 times comment and mention this giveaway on your blog or twitter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Immersed in it...

As you can see I have been vacationing away from the blog for a while.  I have had a huge influx of family visitors in and out...classes, meetings, then a big trip out of state for a massive family reunion which I will mention in a future post... and I have been otherwise  busy and or unavailable.
 I think I have read a zillion novels in the last few months. Which has been a substitute for getting back to writing the sequel to the novel I am currently going through the query quagmire with. Help!
I'm having trouble getting back into writing. I was soooo good for so long about keeping it up. Then I stopped and getting back into it is hard to do. Made harder by the fact that recent activities and interactions with family and travel have sparked too many ideas for an array of new story ideas. But I must finish what I started... right?
I also realize that I have yet to follow through with the Iron Man mask giveaway...my husband has been so busy. He is currently finishing up a film and going over an offer for a new SyFy pilot.
Also the interview with author Erin Kellison is still pending. She had deadlines--and her new book is being released soon.
The kids are now back in school. Hopefully I will get back into the groove and write. Been reading ebooks lately...I still prefer paper, but you can't stop the horseless carriage.

Last night I went to a great concert with two of my Writers Cubed buddies. Owl City opened for John Mayer. A fun show.
John Mayer is a true musician--almost to the point that you want him to stop jamming between songs and get to the next one. But I appreciate his skill and passion. He has been through a lot since being in the spot light. It used to get him down when he could not please everyone or when negative things are said about him in the media. But he said all hating starts with self hate. So he decided to love himself and not worry about it. His advice was that if people put you down or say that people are saying stuff just say..." I want names. Give me names." He said it is likely they won't come up with a name or will mention someone who doesn't matter. So who cares. (= So the message is love yourself--because if you do nobody can make you feel unloveable or bad about yourself. Nice thought.
 I love to get into music and think how a musician's process is probably not that different than the writer. Music really inspires me. And I need inspiration right now!
So...I ask my bloggy friends to leave an inspiring comment below.
And anyone else been to any concerts lately? What did you get from it?