Like a Virgin Blog Hop

Considering I’d been driving nearly 20 hours when this photo was taken, I think it’s one of my better ones.

I’ll be entering the Like A Virgin Contest this July. One of the events is the official “Getting to Know You” blog hop, where we’re hoping to meet some other contestants, potential beta readers and critique partners. If you’re interested in becoming writing buds, let me know in the comments! Admission to the contest is still open, so if you’re interested (and you have a contest-virgin up your sleeve), come check out the contest and join in the blog hop!

  1. How do you remember your first kiss? I like to think of it as bold. So far my experience with romance had been reading and writing romantic fanfic… and as it turns out, it’s not entirely realistic. When Boxy moved in to kiss me (yes, my husband was also my first kiss), I did exactly what the heroines in all my favorite steamy fics did: I turned it into a full-on make-out session. Maybe it’s not conventional, but we both had a lot of fun.
  2. What was your first favorite love song? I’m guessing somewhere around 90% of songs are love songs in one way or another. My first favorite that I thought of as a love song, though, was Desert Rose by Sting. It’s not a love song to any one person– it’s more about the enchantment of being in love. I used to call the local radio station constantly begging them to play it, but the only times I ever heard it on the radio were completely by accident. How’s that for a metaphor?
  3. What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day? These days, I start by making a to-do list of all the stuff I need to get done by the time I get to bed, and my #nifty350 is always at the top of that list, and it’s the first thing I cross off. Sometimes I only get 350 words written, and sometimes I get really into it and write a couple thousand.
  4. Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer? Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She wrote her first book when she was thirteen, and it wasn’t about the sort of stuff I was used to– instead it was about pretty much everything my teenage self wanted to be. Atwater-Rhodes could do it, and she didn’t need a Hemmingway-esque alcohol problem alcohol or drugs or grad school (which includes alcohol and drugs with the cost of tuition) or even “life experience” to get there. She just had a story to tell, and she told it. So why couldn’t I?
  5. Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with? Excuse me while I peel myself off the floor, I’m laughing too hard. I’m actually torn between what I’d call my “first” book. DREAMKEEPER is the first story I started writing with any serious intentions… but even then, it was just a fanfiction at the time. So the original first chapter was about a poorly disguised fictionalized version of myself crawling through a secret door in my her closet door and coming out just outside of Rivendell, and then met an orc who remembered being an elf before the whole Silmarillion deal went down. I didn’t even get to chapter five before it wasn’t even recognizably associated with The Lord of the Rings anymore. At least two dozen redrafts, rewrites and re-imaginings later, only a few accidental details bear any resemblance to the original fanfic. Hell, even the tech level got nudged forward by a few hundred years. Someday I’d love to host a contest to see who can figure out which of my characters started out as which LotR characters. I think the truth might surprise you.
  6. For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting? The first book I finished writing (my other first), started with a name: Chicago. I had a very clear mental image of this character– blond, quick and scrawny, wearing oversized clothes and shingle tiles for bracers– and immediately I knew all Chicago’s friends and family would also be named for cities, and that this would be a post-apocalyptic story. What I didn’t know was Chicago’s gender. I ended up having to consult my little sister to decide whether Chicago was a masculine or feminine name. The rest fell into place from there.
  7. What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing? I don’t want a word– I want a laugh, or a squeal, or a gasp, or one of those tumblr-famous keyboard mashes. What I want more than anything is for my writing to leave somebody speechless.



Search Term Bingo!

If you’re not familiar, popular author and awesome blogger Chuck Wendig does a little ditty known as Search Term Bingo. The deal is thus:

WordPress includes a feature where it tells us what search terms led people to our site. Some of them make perfect sense. Others, however, can get downright silly. So what Chuck does (and what I’ll be doing today) is post the latest search terms and add commentary. Some of these are variations on the same theme, so I’ll be combining them.

So without further ado, here we go:


Seriously, this is the single most searched-for thing that gets people here, in one way or another. Personally, I’m curious how many of you lovely readers are video game fans, and if you’d like more stuff in that particular direction. I’m also quite pleased with how good the writing has gotten in video games in recent years.


That would be Rubeus Hagrid: a half-giant and animal lover from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, who once delivered a baby on a motorcycle. True story, yo.

On that subject, someone asked for a TIELINE OF HARRY POTTER BOOKS

I don’t have a tieline, but here’s a picture of my husband’s tie-hangar. Three guesses who gave him the fish tie~



I happen to use Scrivener a lot– it’s probably tied with Microsoft Word for my favorite word processing program. However, if you’re thinking about getting it, I recommend going for NaNoWriMo first: one of the prizes for winning is a heavy discount for the software.


I did write a post on warding off the return of depression, though this isn’t usually the stuff that works when you’re in the depths of it. At a time like that, sometimes you just need to find your corn.


Bilbo is the Reluctant Hero. Gandalf is the Wise Old Mentor who has to vanish in order for the Reluctant Hero to actually do any heroic stuff. I’ll actually be doing a post on the subject later on this month.


Dammit, how’s you figure out I live in Indiana? Now I’ll never be able to warsh my car in peace!


Act 1, Scene 2. Now let me point you to my dear friend No Fear Shakespeare, who got me through entirely too much of my high school career.


Here you go. This is St. Fork, the made-up patron saint of tableware. He is standing on the road.



That’s usually a Mother archetype, also frequently associated with the moon and water, thanks to the monthly nature of moon phases, tides, and menstruation.

Didn’t think I’d actually say it, didja?

31 Day Blogging Challenge

Laptop: check. Snack: check. Dragon: check.
Laptop: check.
Snack: check.
Dragon: check.

In lieu of participating in Camp Nanowrimo this year, I’ll be honing my blogging skills by partaking in Lesa Townsend’s 31 Day Blogging Challenge.

I’ve got a notebook of ideas for blog posts on hand, but I fully expect my posts to get rather eclectic by the end of the month.

But before then, I have a request for all of you, dear readers: Let me know what’s on your mind, what you want to hear about, what’s been bugging you. And if you have a post of your own that could relate (or you saw one on another writing blog), please include a link to let us know about it.

Because you can only learn so much by reading the opinions of a single person, no matter how awesome their hats may be.

Borrowed inspiration

The weirdest thing happened this week. I was reading a blog post, when this person named SugarOpal invited me to give the subject of the post a shot.

In case you haven’t decided to follow the delectable links, it goes like this:

An older– now mostly defunct– therapy technique involved showing the subject a series of images, and having the patient tell a story based on the images. In the words of Rhiann Wynn-Nolet: “The pictures are often morally ambiguous and some suggest strong emotional content. The client is shown an image and narrates a story to go with it. In theory, the client’s narrative will reveal unresolved issues, fears, pathology, etc.”

Ms. Wynn-Nolet had her MC describe the pictures; now I’m going to have my MC do the same– and I invite you to do the same with your characters and post a link. Let’s see if we can’t make this a meme! Continue reading “Borrowed inspiration”

Moving to a new host

For the last few years, I’ve been having some trouble with Blogger, which used to host my blog. For the most part it’s been standard stuff– foibles that arose when I tried to change the layout, awkward deviations from the old WYSIWYG format, etc– and I’d been assuming that it had more to do with my own unfamiliarity with coding and web design.

In the past week, however, Blogspot had a bug which prevented me from posting at all, or editing the posts that I had already made. My investigations turned up that  Blogspot’s bug reporting and troubleshooting features weren’t up to the task of reporting the issue, and that not a lot of people had my problem… which meant it was low on the to-do list of issues that needed to be fixed.

Upon further investigation, I found people talking about why they’d chosen not to use Blogspot for their professional blogs. Their logic made sense to me, and their testimonials sounded pretty strong. So I’m relocating to the host they recommended.

My old posts will still be there, and I’ll link to them when relevant, but my new posts will all be here.

In the meantime, please excuse the mess while I get acquainted with the new software.