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The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

      Okay, I know I haven’t been posting much, so this meme is a big of a cop-out, but it looked fun and when my friend Nicole Storey tagged me, I couldn’t help but join in the Wacky Wednesday fun!
      Technically, I am supposed to tag five writer friends and make them do it. But… well, I think most of my writer friends were already tagged in this challenge (darn it!). C’est la vie! Read on to find out my oh-so-fascinating answers to these ten questions, and feel free to comment at the end.
      Also, if you want to be tagged – link back to this page and fill the questions in on your blog! I would so love to read them!

What is the working title of your book?
The working title is “Incandescence”. At this point, I’m sort of married to that title in my brain, but there’s always a chance it’ll change. Who knows?

Where did the idea for your book come from?
*scratches head* A random thought occurred to me while I was sitting on the couch at my bestie’s house. I texted it to Jack (and my own email account, as I am wont to do) and the rest is history. If it hadn’t struck so hard, I might not have ended up using it for NaNo two months later, but gosh I am glad I did. I’ve grown so much as a writer and social media maven (in training) this past year. More on that later.

What genre does your book fall under?
Modern-day Fantasy. Possibly young adult – due to the age of the protagonists – but I’m not really sure. I didn’t write it with a target audience in mind. I wrote it because the story had to come out. You know? Anyway. Hannah is 14/15, Michael is 20, Alexander is in his 20s, and then great-great-grandmother Torovaldi is 102. So… does that ‘qualify’ as young adult?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is so hard for me. Previously, I mentioned that the girl who plays Alexis Castle on “Castle” could have played Hannah a couple of years ago (probably too old now), with her lovely red hair and bright eyes. But who could match the image of Mike, in my mind? 20, fit, olive-skinned with dark brown hair and eyes, and a smile that makes chickadees melt. I’m sure my future readers will have great ideas, but I just don’t know!

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?
While the foundations of civilization crumble around them, mageborn siblings Hannah & Michael find themselves thrown into a coming war they never dreamed of and up against an ancient enemy with powers beyond imagining.

…er… maybe?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Good question. Probably self-published. At this point, I admit it, I am too disillusioned by the whole process of BIG SIX publishing to even think about pursuing that and although I am totally open to smaller presses, I’m still a little leery of legalities. If I do it myself… maybe it won’t be so… scary? Or will it be scarier? AAAAAHHH!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
For “Incandescence”, I started on November 1st with NaNoWriMo and the first draft was complete in March. The second draft, well… Jack’s whole medical issue threw our world into chaos for three or so months, so I’m really just now getting back on track with editing. I had originally hoped to have it released by September. *sniff*

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn’t. I don’t. Honestly, I’m still not sure what this genre is

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Well, I’ve written all my life. But I think between Jack and my best friend both PUSHING me to get back to writing and following my passion for words… its their fault. That’s all. They inspired me to write it and finish it.

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interests?
It features magic and mayhem! What’s not to love?

There’s a teenage girl confronting adolescence, her birthright as a magess, dealing with death and loss, with boy-trouble and with the creepy, stalkerish attention of the villain.

There’s a twenty-ish guy trying to find his footing in the adult world, coming out of the closet as a mage, thrust into position as a leader, trying to figure out how to build a future while the world he knows comes to an end.

There’s a 102-year-old matriarch with more secrets than even she knows, there’s the pair of villains, an an ancient enemy, there’s magic and natural disaster, and just when things can’t get any worse – they do!

Don’t you want to read it?

* * *
      So there it is! My Ten Questions for the Next Big Thing! (Lots of Caps for No Reason! Yay!)
      If you want to participate, snag the questions below and blog it up!

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

VBT: Interview with the Glampires

VBT: Interview with the Glampires

      Welcome to Week Thirteen of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!

      Please excuse the silly title – it just occurred to me when I was titling the post and well… I can’t help myself! Anyway… It is interview week and — lucky me! — I got to exchange interviews with the dynamic duo responsible for “What She Knew”, a what-if novel that follows an alternate history while answering the question: what if Marilyn Monroe had lived? TL Burns & KR Hughes are my very first interview EVER and I am so honored that they appear here on the pages of my humble blog!

———————–
PP: Alright ladies, first off, let me thank you deeply for gracing the pages of PP.net with your presence! I am tickled pink to be hosting you this week AND to be conducting my first author interview with you.
      Yes, it’s my first time! Please be gentle.
      So, to kick this off, give me a little bit of basic background. Where are you two from, individually, and how did you come to know each other?

Both: Thank you so much for having us here. You’ll do great we just know it.
KRH:I’m an English major from Amarillo, Texas and now reside near Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy writing with my co-author T. We are currently working on the sequel to “What She Knew,” the fast paced novel that continues telling the story.
      I enjoy working with budding writers and tutoring English. I have a passion for at-risk teens. I have two grown children, Justin and Kayti, and two four legged girls, May-Zee and Ruthie (they bark at me occasionally but don’t bite like the children did).
      You can find my other works in the Historical Romance section, my pen name is Kymber Lee. “Treasured Love” is a fun romp written in Regency England in 1811. I wrote this novel for my grandmother as she is my biggest supporter.
TLB: As my co-author puts it “She is the foremost researcher and historical guru” for our novel “What She Knew.” The novel was just released March of 2012 and we are busily working on the sequel, “What She Knew Too, the saga continues.” You can learn more about them at our website www.WhatSheKnew.com.
      I’m originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in the Panhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains) and now reside near Atlanta, Georgia. In my own words “Trees and flowers everywhere!! Even the weeds are green and lush! I feel like I’m living in a postcard!! And, no wind! The desert regions are sooooo windy.”
      My true passion is for at-risk families. I volunteer my time to help the needy, not with a hand-out but with a hand-up. I’m married and have two grown sons (best sons in the whole world) and one 4 legged son, Binford!
      Kim and I have been best friends for years and are really more like sisters. Our friendship started with our boys becoming friends during middle school.

PP: That’s cool! I’m from a desert-y mountainous region too. Love it! I really admire your passion for helping at-risk families, Tamy. It takes a special kind of person to give that much.
      Sorry – I diverged from the topic at hand. So tell me… What inspired you to write “What She Knew”? I mean, how did it go from a conversation about Marilyn to a whole book based on this what-if/alternative history timeline?

TLB: Kim has always loved writing and journalism. She has written five historical novels set in the Regency Era of 1811. One has been published and is currently available on Amazon (mentioned above.) I was drug into the business after Kim had taken a class with a well-known published author. The assignment was to write about something that has never been written about. So, after brainstorming ‘what if’ ideas, we came upon the premise of “What if Marilyn had lived and saved JFK from assassination?” She and I wrote the first chapter together with me researching (which I have always loved) and her doing the actual writing. The teacher loved it and persuaded us to write the full novel.

PP: Well, I for one am so glad that the instructor stepped in and coaxed you guys into writing the whole thing! This interview reminds me that I have a review to write and publish! Eek!
      You know, I love that there is going to be a sequel. Tell me how it’s coming along – is there a release date yet? Some of us are simply salivating!

TLB: Thank you so much for your support. That is awesome.
      Kim and I have finished what we thought was going to be the sequel of a two part series, but has turned into a trilogy. LOL! We are hoping to be done with the edits soon and that the book will be out this fall.

PP: Don’t you just love it when a well-planned story takes on a life of its own? My current WIP was a stand-alone that got out of hand. Its now got a sequel underway.
      You know, Jack and I sometimes write together. It sort of comes naturally since we live together and, you know, sit side-by-side in our office.
      How does that work for you two? What’s your process for writing? Does one of you write a section and send it to the other? Do you write in rounds or just sit down together and compose?

KRH: We simply sit down together. Tamy does the lion’s share of the research and we talk it over. We then plot out how things will progress for the next several chapters and I go to it! We are both flexible and have no problem with reworking any section to make sure we have a story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. We like that element of writing – keep the reader turning the pages and guessing what is going to happen next.

PP: Team-work for the win! I dig that you guys have it down to an art! But do either of you write solo? If so, how difficult is it to switch between co-authoring and solo-authoring?
KRH: No, we primarily write together now. I do have the other books but has not written any more of those at present. So, “What She Knew” is taking up all of our time at the moment. Interesting side note, we’ve written the screenplay for this novel but Tamy did the writing for it. It’s hard for an author to go from third person to the here and now.

PP: Tell me about it, sheesh! I don’t even know how you manage it. Tell me then ladies, what’s next on the horizon? You mentioned a third Marilyn novel, but is there something fresh and new?
TLB: Yes, as we were approaching the finish of book two, we both realized that there was still too much ground to cover and there would have to be a third book. So, after we get book two out, we will get to it. There has also been some talk of writing book two (then book three) into a screenplay like we did for book one. Our manager wants to offer this as a packaged set and is shopping movie companies as we speak.

PP: Sweet. I am so in awe of this – I am interviewing published authors who are shopping movie treatments of their novel! Pardon me if I SQUEE a little bit.
      Okay, back on track! “What She Knew” is a period piece, really, as it takes place in the past. Do you find it difficult to write ‘authentically’ to the period? Is it hard to omit the convenience that we deal with in our daily lives – no cell phones, no internet, no celebrity blogs – while putting fresh eyes on the past?

KRH: You would think so, but no, it’s not hard for us. We have immersed ourselves completely into Marilyn’s time (1960’s) that we find ourselves in everyday life referring to her as though she were an old friend. It’s very fun writing in a different time and easier life style, we love seeking out what was popular back then and what kind of conveniences they did have. One thing that we have had some grief over was the Peter Lawford ‘scar phone. This was actually true and the Kennedys’ had them as well. We research things thoroughly to make the story as true to life as possible.

PP: Its funny you mention that car phone. I didn’t blink an eye when I read about it – because I’ve read a bunch of other books that take place in the 60s and several of them have instances of phones in car. Including a Jackie Collins novel or two, I think. Ahem.
      ANYway…. Let’s try a fun question. If you could hand-pick the cast of the movie version (which — bonus question, is it true that there are talks in progress?!) who would you place in the roles?

TLB: Oh, yes, there are movie talks. For Marilyn, we would love for Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore to play her. For John F. Kennedy it would be Greg Kinnear or Matt Damon or even Matthew Perry. Frank Sinatra we would love Harry Connick Jr. We have some other main characters that we have already made a wish list for as well.

PP: I am a fan of Drew and I can totally imagine that she could capture the hard-boiled innocence (er… that’s a heckuva oxymoron isn’t it?) of Marilyn, especially as she appears in “What She Knew”. You guys definitely have a good eye for talent with that list.
      Here’s another fun question. What is your one weirdest writing quirk?

KRH: We have this awesome office but we can’t write in it. So we usually end up leaving to work at a restaurant with wi-fi. There are too many distractions at our home office. The dogs want our attention or the dishes need doing or the doorbell rings. We find that if we go out to a busy place the background noise helps us work and it sort of sets the rhythm. We can get our groove on…lol!

PP: Haha! I totally know that feeling. With the exception of when I had a dedicated “red room” office a few years ago, I have had zero luck writing in my actual writing area! I tend to end up on the porch, on the bed, at a table at Sheetz or the library… and so on!
      Hmm. What else? Oh! I know. Are you reading anything right now? If so, what and by whom?

TLB: Other than research books for the series, we are both reading books from the Master Koda group. Kim has read “Bertha Size Your Life” by Jane Carroll and I’ve read “Armed and Outrageous” by Madison Johns. We are both going to get our reviews for these two ladies by the end of the week!!

PP: I picked up “Bertha Size Your Life” recently and I can’t wait to read it. I’m working on a review for “Cedar Woman” right now, too, by another MasterKoda member – Debra Shiveley Welch. Blogging is taking a backseat to other stuff right now though. Ugh!
      I guess I should wrap this up, eh? How about sharing with us – what is the biggest piece of advice you have for other writers, especially those of us just starting out?

Both: Write, write, and oh yes, write some more! It doesn’t matter what you write just WRITE! Then blog, journal, write short stories, and WRITE. Yes, and read all you can too!

PP: Damn tootin’! Good answer!
      I have a bonus question. Hope its okay to ask, but where did you commission those great bookmarks and other swag from for the “What She Knew” book tour and book launch party?

KRH: We ordered our book marks and business cards from Overnight Prints. They offer really great quality for a very low price. And, they are easy to work with. The custom book bags we made ourselves, and what fun we had. We bought the bags and either ironed on ‘What She Knew’ or put our business cards on the front. Then, we adorned them with all sorts of girlie ribbons, flowers, etc. We have such a fun time when we make them too! We also made the table cover we use for book signings and other fun black and pink items to really make our table or booth stand out. Many book store managers have commented that they wish all authors who come in to do a signing would take as much care with presentation as we do.

PP: Thanks for the info. I’ll definitely remember that advice for when I do some signings and what not. Thanks so much, ladies!
Both: Thank you so much for having us. We really loved being with you today!
————————
      K.R. Hughes: Hughes is an English majorfrom Amarillo, Texas. She now resides near Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys writing with her co-author T.L. Burns. They are currently working on the sequel to”What She Knew,” the fast paced novel that finishes telling the story.
      Hughes enjoys working withbudding writers and tutoring English. Her passion is for at-risk teens. She volunteers to help teens realize their potential and find their passion. Hugheshas two grown children, Justin and Kayti, and two four legged girls, MayZee andRuthie.
      Find other works by thisauthor in the Historical Romance section, pen name is Kymber Lee,”Treasured Love” is a fun romp written in Regency England in 1811.Lee (Hughes) wrote this novel for her grandmother who is a huge supporter ofher work.

      T.L. Burns: As Burns’ co-author puts it”She is the foremost researcher and historical guru for our novel”What She Knew.” The novel was just released March of 2012 and theyare busily working on the sequel, “What She Knew Too, The saga continues.” You can learn more about them at their website www.whatsheknew.com.
      Burns is originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in thepanhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains) and nowresides near Atlanta, Georgia. In her words “Trees and flowers everywhere!! Even the weeds are green and lush! I feel like I’m living in apostcard!! And, no wind! The desert regions are sooooo windy.”
      Burns passion is for at-risk families. She volunteers her time to help the needy, not wih a hand-outbut with a hand-up. She is married andhas two grown sons (best sons in the whole world) and one 4 legged son, Binford!

You can find the ladies online at:
Facebook
www.WhatSheKnew.com
Their Blog
On Twitter
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Another big THANK YOU to the WhatSheKnew crew for this amazing interview experience. I can’t wait to link you to my own interview on their blog. Do you have any questions for the ladies? Let ’em know in the comments below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[Editor’s Note: My guest post will be over at the ladies’ blog this week. As soon as I have the link, you’ll find it here!]

Liebster Blog Award!

Liebster Blog Award!

      So, I’m a total fun-killer because although I am totally going to fill-in the questions and post them… I don’t think I’ll be tagging 11 people just because… um… I’m lazy and I don’t want to admit that I probably don’t have 11 blogger-friends to tag.
      This is what I know about the Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

The rules are:
      1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award. Add the award logo to your blog.
      2. Answer the eleven questions posted for the nominees.
      3. Share eleven random facts about yourself.
      4. Write eleven questions for your nominees and then…
      5. Nominate eleven worthy blogs and contact those bloggers so they know about it! (No tag backs.)

      Without further ado, here are my answers to the 11 questions the sassy, witty, sexy Ellie Mack sent me!

1. Which genres do you read and write? Why?
      Technically, that’s two questions, but since I love Ellie so dearly, I’ll overlook her clever ploy.
      I read fantasy, horror, thrillers, historical fiction, sci-fi, blah blah blah. Basically, anything I stumble upon and like. Despite my huge issue with infidelity, I am not a single-genre woman. I’m open to the world of words and will likely try anything once – literature-wise. Recent reads have been “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith, “What She Knew” by TL Burns & KR Hughes, and a re-read of “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. I’ve got Catrina Taylor’s “Xarrok” coming up next, and a whole slew of other things after that.
      I write fantasy. Usually, fantasy of a political/low magic/epic variety, though I have drifted toward standard high-fantasy (yes, I wrote about Elves) occasionally. Right now, I am writing modern-day fantasy, which is a major deviation for me. But let it not be said that I cannot or do not write in other genres. I have a sci-fi WIP simmering on a back burner, a historical fiction, and in the past I’ve written paranormal, crime, romance, erotica, comedy… I do it all! And some of it, very well.
      Why? Because I love words, I love how other people put them together to create different feelings and moods. I read everything because I think that if you limit your writing to being ‘just’ fantasy or ‘just’ thriller – it will suffer. I like to think that even in a ‘fantasy’ novel, I can bring elements of romance or horror or comedy or tragedy. And the best way, in my experience, to write better (regardless of genre) is to read more. Thus, I have a book at hand at all times.

2. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter”?
      Ah, the eternal question!
      Both.
      “Incandescence” was begun on a whim, but in my determination to FINISH it, I decided I needed an Outline. It was rough, but it was definitely more than I had done for any of the dozen unfinished WIPs I began during the tumultuous Aughts (er… is that what we’re calling the decade between 2000-2009?).
      I always do a lot of research, but historically, I have not always done a lot of plotting. I feel like, for me, a lot of the story just needs to come out organically. It will be sliced and diced and chopped and chipped in the edits and rewrite, but during the initial draft – I tend heavily toward “pantser”.
      After the success of finishing “Incandescence” though (and with the addition of Scrivener to my daily life) I may have to start changing my game. Time will tell. I am definitely plotting the outline for “Inferno”.

3. Is there a writer who inspires you?
      Yes.
      Several, really. Even though I believe I identified as a writer long before I read anything by the following authors, these names have inspired me to do more, do write better, to keep going.

  • Timothy Fields
  • Victor Hugo
  • Melanie Rawn
  • Raymond Frazee

4. If you could talk to any three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
      In no particular order, and assuming language would not be a barrier:

  • My Dad
  • Naoko Takeuchi
  • …um. I’ll get back to you on this one.

5. Describe your work space
      Hmm. Presently, my work space doubles as my office cubicle. I have a small workstation on which rests my work laptop, monitor, keyboard, reference junk, et cetera. When I twist my chair to the left, I am facing the fold-out table Jack and I use as a computer desk.
      Nothing fancy here. Just a worn-out old Dell, my external hard drive, a bottle of Jergens Ultra-Healing (for my über-dry hands), a lamp, an alarm clock with extra-big numbers so I can see the time without my glasses, a Himalayan Pink Salt grinder (why is it out here?), assorted nail polishes & products, vitamins, Clorox disinfectant wipes, my spare glasses, some junk mail…
      I do a lot of my writing on the bed in a notebook these days, just because this is not the most creativity-enhancing spot in the world. When we move, Jack & I intend to really go all-out in putting together a writing space. I want red walls. I wrote some GREAT freaking stuff when I had a red office…
      With handcuffs on the wall.
      …*ahem*

6. Who is your favorite author?
      That’s pretty much impossible to qualify these days. In addition to those listed above, I adore or have been positively-influenced by so many writers (pubbed or no). Call this answer a cop-out if you must, but I simply cannot choose.

7. If your book were made into a movie, who would play your main character(s)?
      Oh gosh. I have five characters for “Incandescence” whom I would call main. Can I dream up actors/faces for all of them? No wait! I hate to put faces to them now and color the reader’s imaginations.
      I do have a couple ‘potential’ Hannahs picked-out, and a Luke. And an Alexander, in fact. But I never have found a face that really screams out Michael to me. I’d be more interested to read what the readers think about who should play who…

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
      Married. A baby. A dog. About seven more novels under my belt. Possibly published traditionally. Definitely published electronically. Writing and finding happiness in all the small things that I am blessed to have in my life.

9. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
      Mealworms.
      Yes…Mealworms.

10. What foods coax your muse into productivity?
      Although I like to describe the food in my character’s world with detail and invisible drool on my chin, I don’t generally eat while I am writing (because I’m too busy eating to type). I do find that when my creativity seems drained, however, some lovely potato chips and a break to chomp on them while reading, tends to to get the muse jumping again.
      It might have more to do with the reading than the food though.
      Plus, I’m trying to avoid chips, so its best I don’t associate them with productivity. Tee-hee.

11. Coffee or Tea? What’s your favorite, how do you like it, and in what quantity?
      Tea. I am drinking a lot of green tea, iced, lately. I’ve always preferred tea to coffee, though in the past year or so… I have found it pleasant to spend a chilly morning on the porch with Jack and a steaming mug o’ joe. We banter back and forth, talk about plots and characters and generally just be awesome.

—————–

      Well, that’s done. I hope you know me a little better after this adventure into Liebster-dom. I hope I didn’t scare anyone away with that photo of mealworms. I would have directly placed it into the post, but alas – I’m getting paranoid about copyright law in the wake of this article.
      So – what did you find out about me that you didn’t know before? Do you think I should try to tag 11 people? Should I tag YOU?

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Stress, Strain, Straps & Sookie

Stress, Strain, Straps & Sookie

      Sookie may well be the worst name I have come across in television, movies or literature since… since… ever. Not the musical Japanese “Suki”. But Sookie. Like Book, or Look, or Cook. Cookie. But not Kooky.
      If it were a nickname, I might not object to its ugly sound and weird spelling as much. Or at all. But it is not (apparently, I make no claim to be an expert on the cannon). And the name bugs me.
      Why am I ranting about the name of a character whose author has made a helluva name for herself with a bunch of successful books and a super-popular premium cable TV series? No, its not because I’m a jealous b*tch.
      I mean, I sort of am. But that’s not why, not today.

Mmm.

Admit it, this is really all you’re looking at when he’s on screen…

      The subject of character names came up recently while I was having a discussion with a writer friend. I have another post in ‘draft’ status about that whole debate, but its not finished. Anyway, this topic came up and then *blink* Jack and I started watching True Blood. We are apparently very, very late to the party – I hear that season five (featuring Joe Manganiello’s abs) is returning or recently did return. I’m not sure which, I’m out of the loop.
      It was just fortuitous timing, I suppose. But I felt upon hearing “Bill” say her name, that I was totally justified in my insistence that names are powerful and important and can’t just be tossed around.
      Except for tertiary or throw-away characters. Or as part of some awesome promotional event. *wink*
      The name “Sookie” makes me crazy. I think I dislike the character even more than I would normally, were her name “Beth” or “Jenny” or “Amber” or “Quinivarisia”. She is supposed to be this beautiful (well, physically attractive enough to have three-to-five supernatural beings and any number or mortal men & women swooning after her) but quirky, creature of light. Yet the name is so heavy. So, hard. So grating. Sookie. Rhymes with Bookie. Why not Shelby Stackhouse, if alliteration was the goal? Shelby is a light name, isn’t it?
      Anyway. I promise to one day post my rant about names.
      Today, other than acting an excuse for posting Joe Manganiello’s abs for my lovely friend, Ellie Mack, the name Sookie is a catalyst for the real topic of today’s post.
      Stress (and strain, and feeling strapped).
      I am fortunate, as I mentioned previously, to work from home. And it is generally a blessing. But there are downsides. And one of those is that when I am stressed out, I don’t get to just close down the computer and leave the hellish workplace to retreat to the wonderful refuge of my home. My wonderful refuge is 6 inches from my hellish workplace! Its horrible. There is no commute home with the music blaring so I can head-bang and fist-pound all my frustrations out before I walk in the door. Instead, I’m already there.
      Poor Jack. He ends up having to take my daily trials and tribulations a lot more often than would be necessary if I left the house to work. Because he spends a lot of time at his computer, mere feet from where I am doing my day job, he is forced to endure hours of me making small talk with strangers while I fix their computers, repair documents, blah blah blah. And when something stressful happens (as has been the case every single freaking day this week), he is forced to listen to my (mute-button engaged, of course) tirades. My cursing. My wishes to quit this damn job and write full-time. And so on.
Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård)

Much, much more to my liking than “Vampire Bill”

      I didn’t realize how stressful my poor little day job really could be until I started working from home and no longer had my commute rituals to banish them. It puts a strain on our relationship, I think, and it makes me feel terrible. I would ADORE suggestions about how to diffuse the stress before ‘coming home’ to him. So if you have any ideas, please comment below.
      Worse still, my writing is suffering this week. I found myself slashing (BRUTALLY) some stuff that really just needed to be tweaked, not omitted. I know I was just letting my frustrations color my writing and that’s not good.
      Fortunately, I have found a temporary cure. The antidote to anger and helplessness and worry because you haven’t money to pay bills without the day job but you are pretty sure the day job is killing you… apparently, is True Blood (the show, not the uh ‘beverage’).
      Jack & I are both big horror fans. Vampire books & shows are generally our ‘genre’ – but we’re picky. We like old school (real) vampires. Not glittery emo romantic ones. Still, we’ve found plenty to enjoy about the show despite having many long discussions about all the things we would have done differently. And talking about writing with Jack made the day job stresses just fall away. I think there’s a vampire project in my future! Muahaha!
      But we’re already on Season 4, and gosh! Whatever will I do then? *sob*
      Well… I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

The Top 12 Reasons for This Crappy Post’s Existence

The Top 12 Reasons for This Crappy Post's Existence

      Today has been one of those days.
      Its only noon-thirty.
      That does NOT bode well for the rest of the day. And yes, I did in fact just use the term ‘noon thirty’ with a straight face. I like it. Don’t judge me!
      So, without any further ado, I present unto you … a list.
      This may well be the first list on PP.net. Well, the first list-post, anyway. Maybe. I’d have to check. And since I don’t have time to shower, I certainly don’t have time for that kind of research. So.
      Here are the top twelve reasons why I do not have a new post today.

  1. Slept in until 6:07 a.m. Work starts at 7 a.m. You do the math.
  2. Editing Incandescence. Half-way done. Broke the mental block and am kicking its @$$.
  3. Writing posts for the VBT – just to keep up with the schedule.
  4. Work. Usually, the first hour is slow. Today, it was insanity.
  5. Doctor appointments. Jack and I are running medical errands all afternoon.
  6. Camp NaNoWriMo. I am 10k words behind already.
  7. PB: The Legend of Mim. I am 5 days overdue on Installment number two.
  8. Fizzy Water. I’m out of the caffeine-free, sugar-free, carbonated water that keeps me going.
  9. Jogging. Last night I jogged three short sections of our nightly circuit. I’m sore.
  10. Creativity. I don’t gots it.
  11. Proper Grammar. Apparently ^^^ I don’t HAVE it either.
  12. Jack. LoTRO. Facebook. Life. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Leaving on a Jet Plane

      That’s right folks! The TTC VBT, in conjunction with MasterKoda, kicks off tomorrow, May 27th, 2012! This blog tour runs for sixteen weeks – can you believe it? This summer PP.net will be featuring a whole slew of amazing, talented folk and – lucky me – those same wonderful folk will be letting me guest post on their blogs.
      I’m one psyched Tangerine, let me tell you!
      To start the journey, I will be guest posting at jenniferstarks, the lovely blog belonging to Jennifer Starks – she of such books as “Messy Death” and the forthcoming “Prowling for Demons”. I feel so fortunate that she is letting little ol’ Work-in-Progress-Penelope post on her blog. So please, stop by and check out her blog and my guest post (link TBD! Update! Link here: WHEE!).
      And hopefully tomorrow, in lieu of a new Snippet, we will be featuring the first ever PP.net guest post, written by Khloe Kamalis, author of “V.A.M.P.S. ~ ATL ~ The Young Immortals ~ A Southern Gothic Trilogy” which was just released in April! I’ve got that one on my “To Be Read” list, for sure!
      Anyway – its going to be an exciting summer here at PP.net. Aside from the awesome Blog Tour, glittering guest stars, and traipsing all over the web – Jack and I are doing Camp NaNoWriMo in June PLUS the release date for my WIP, Incandescence is currently slated for the end of August! Whee!
      Life just doesn’t get any better than this. Lots of great things on the horizon, good friends, and Cheesecake in the refrigerator for ‘cheat’ day!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

The Power of Four, a meme

The Power of Four, a meme

      My dear, sweet, talented friend, Ellie Mack had the brazen audacity to tag me in a blog meme! That hussy! Just kidding. I adore Ellie and, truth be told, I sort of dig on these blog meme lists. They’re a fun way to learn about each other without all that hassle of like, talking and interacting and junk.
      Tee-hee!
      Anyway, below you’ll find “The Power of Four” filled in with my answers. At the end, I’ll tag four bloggers (and pray they fill in the blanks, too!). Its fun when people carry on the chain.
      Peer pressure, people. Its what the interwebs are built on!

——————–

      Meme Time: The Power of Four was created to start something fun in updating our blogs. It also gives our readers a chance to get to know us better. Here’s just a bit about me. I copy and pasted the list, put it my own answers, and now I shall tag four other people.

Four Places I’ve Worked/Jobs I’ve Had:
a. IT HD Analyst
b. Pizza Queen
c. Freelance Baker’s Assistant
d. Truck Driver’s Map-Reader (unpaid, but awesome)

Four Places I’ve Lived:
a. Anchorage, AK
b. Seattle, WA
c. Spokane, WA
d. Harrisburg, PA

Four Movies I Could Watch Again & Again:
a. A Knight’s Tale
b. Shaun of the Dead
c. The Lonely Island, Jenna Marbles, Jon La Joie, Meghan Tonjes (YouTube Channels count, right?)
d. Red
e. Pete’s Dragon
f. Gleaming the Cube
g. This question isn’t fair because I could go on all day and still keep finding movies I love and adore and want to watch RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE.

Four Television Shows I Watch:
a. Chopped
b. Castle
c. Glee
d. Doctor Who
d. NetFlix, entire series (Cheers, Roseanne, Bones, Star Trek: TNG, Doctor Who, Farscape, and so on, and so on, and so on…)

Four Authors I Enjoy:
a. Melanie Rawn
b. GRRM
c. Paula Volsky
d. JV Jones

Four Places I Have Travelled To:
a. Vancouver, BC, Canada (because you can drink when you’re 19… yes.)
b. Reno, NV (childhood road-trip)
c. Ocean Shores, WA
d. 42/50 States, mostly while doing Job D listed above. 😀

Four Websites I Visit Daily:
a. Facebook
b. Gmail
c. …
d. ???

(Gee, I don’t really visit many sites daily. Weekly or sporadically or when there is a new post, then yes. But not exactly ‘daily’.)

Four of My Favorite Foods:
a. Cheesecake
b. Chicken Sausage & Lentils
c. BBQ/Grilled anything
d. Hummus

Four Places I’d Rather Be:
a. The ZONE (writing!)
b. A cruise ship in the Caribbean
c. Hanging out with my Mom, Sister, Bro-in-Law and Nephew in WA
d. Gaming

Four People I Want to Tag:
Jack Morgan
Raymond Frazee
Jennifer Don
Nicola Jeffrey

If you’ve been tagged, make your own list and link back to this post. Have fun with it and have a great day!
————

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, if you were tagged, its your turn. And if you were not, well…feel free to do it anyway and link back!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

(The Power of Four on Ellie’s Blog)

Quiet as a Klaxon

Quiet as a Klaxon

      Its been a quiet week here at PP.net – at least as far as blogging is concerned. Away from the pretty little domain that is my home on the interwebs, life has been anything but quiet. Not just because Jack and I are preparing to adopt a puppy (which, YAY) but because there is so much drama collecting around his day-job and my day-job and his hospital stay three weeks ago and so on and so forth.
      So, life is not quiet, but the domain is.
      I gotta fix that, right? Can’t have too many postless days in a row, lest my blogging muscles become atrophied. And we can’t let that happen. Oh no.
      Don’t worry though – even when I fail to get a whole new blog post written for PP.net, I’ve got other irons in the fire. The writing is still getting done. I’ve got some stuff written ahead for the blog tour this summer. I’m still editing Incandescence, with a goal of having it 100% ready for publication by the end of the summer. I’m working on another (paying) blog gig, so wish me luck on that, if you would. I’ve started mapping out the sequel to my WIP, which I believe we’re calling Inferno, but that is subject to change.
      And, I’m working on a totally irrelevant, purposefully campy side-project for our weekly gaming session. Previously, I had written up and emailed (to the gaming group) a bunch of ‘journal’ entries from the POV of my character, a druidess named Estelle. Before each session, I mailed out her personal diary recounting what had happened, what she thought about it, and so forth. It was a cool way to remind everyone what we had done so we’d be ready for the upcoming game (two weeks is a long time between sessions – its too easy to forget the details) and to take a break from ‘serious’ writing. I really enjoyed trying to capture Telly’s not-that-bright-but-determined-and-wise voice in first person diary-style prose.
      Fast forward to the present. We’ve switched to another DM’s game for a bit, as poor Jack recouperates, and in doing such, I’ve created a new character. She’s going to be interesting; a little more ‘alpha’ than any one I’ve roleplayed before. Now she’s not the type to keep a journal or a diary, so I’m trying to come up with a creative way to recap the previous adventure while staying true to the character.
      I may have a way in mind – something to do with her pirate papa’s love of intrigue, secret codes, and knots – but only time will tell how that plays out. (Actually, I really should get cracking on that, since the game is tomorrow!) But in the meantime, I’ve been working on writing up a background for her. The kind of ‘story’ I like to call a Character Sketch. Which is odd, because most people think of a list of facts and details about a character a character sketch. Anyway.
      If it gets the Jack Morgan stamp of approval, I’ll post it here for Snippet Sunday.
      If not, you’ll get something else.
      Either way – see you Sunday for a new Snippet!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Zum Geburtstag!

Zum Geburtstag!

      PP.net may still be a babe in arms, but her mistress, ME, begins another year of life today. For those counting, that makes me a Taurus. An old cow. Nice.
      This year is going to bring a a lot of changes to my world. Its going to be mean a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And a lot of posting here, I suspect. Although I am trying to keep this blog ‘writing centric’, it will inevitably contain some personal things and I ask that you bear with me. I’m just trying to get my bearings in this new and ever-evolving world of publishing/marketing/et cetera.
      Anyway.
      Today marks a re-birth of sorts, and as I mentioned previously, its a continuation of a theme that started in January with the commencement of the Year of Tangerine Tango. Like a phoenix I will rise from the ashes of my procrastinating life before and soar into the skies of… uh… well, I’m going to finish Incandescence and its sequel, Inferno. That’s my primary writing goal this year. I’ve set some new, hopefully hard-but-doable deadlines for myself. The first of which is to complete the edits on Incandescence and get it out to my betas. I’m just about half-way through right now, but I need to really get cranking.
      Despite the powerful urge to open the document and WERK! (Yes, that is ‘werk’ ala RuPaul) Today is my birthday and Jack is taking me out to get his blood drawn (grrrrreat), then a Jason-Statham-better-take-off-his-shirt movie, and lunch with his mother.
      After that, we’re going to drive all around this bloody town until I find an amazing piece of cheesecake! This area seems to be experiencing a dearth of good cheesecake and I don’t know why, but I absolutely Do. Not. Approve.
      A world without Cheesecake is like… inconceivable.
      Wish me luck!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

P.S. Oh! I did get a birthday present from the interwebs today. Someone in my Facebook feed posted Only1Noah‘s cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” and I found a new musical love. I have a well-known penchant for folksy covers of pop & rock music (also – punk covers of the same) and while I did enjoy the cover – it was his catalogue of other covers (Billie Jean, Set Fire To The Rain, Your Song, Crazy) that blew my mind. Check him out!

P.P.S. I’ve “pinned” most of my archives to my Pinterest page for easy browsing. So if you’re interested, follow me on Pinterest >>> Penelope Price.

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Cheesecake Birthday Cake Image from http://www.birthdaymore.com

Lamentation

Lamentation

      Its Friday. And in my world, Fridays are back to being my Fridays again. Darn it.
      A few months back, I had switched to a work schedule that gave me three days off (Thursday, Friday & Saturday). It was pretty much a perfect fit. I had a ‘weekend’ with Jack on F&S, but Thursday was my own.
      Usually, I spent it editing, writing, and Facebooking, but it was ME time and if I wanted to wile away an hour with nail polish and DVR’d episodes of Chopped or Castle – so be it. This all changed, again, this past week. I’m back to the standard Monday through Friday grind, but at least, as I mentioned previously, I am working from home full-time.
      What does all this have to do with writing?
      Nothing, except that I’ve found I am having more difficulty getting editing done. I hope that work will calm down in the coming weeks, now that we’re a (mostly) complete team again. But this week, it seems that every time I turn my chair to face Incandescence, something comes up. ARGH!
      Plus, I admit it, I’m a little frustrated by a loss I suffered in the catastrophic computer failure I experienced recently. The good news is that I was able to recover a recent back-up. The bad news is that I lost the part I had been working on the day before the crash and – pardon the caps – IT WAS MY FAVORITE BIT!
      Deep breaths, P.P. Deep breaths…
      *ahem*
      Yes, I lost a big chunk of a chapter that I had been rewriting and was really, really happy with. I’m working on recapturing it, but somehow it just isn’t quite as ‘right’ this time through. C’est la vie. With luck, I’ll spontaneously remember how the changes were supposed to go.
      I am suddenly reminded of a quote (mostly because I feel this post is getting a little bit whiny):

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

      Well, obviously that’s not true for me. I’d rather not hear the lamentation of any women. In fact, I suspect you all would rather not read the lamentation of any women. Not even this woman. And so, I shall stop sobbing about the lost material and move on, full of joy, to the next section!
      …
      Yay?
      Okay. Moving on.
      Today, as I mentioned, is Friday and I’ve got a meeting with the boss in a few hours. Hopefully, it is a painless affair and when I get back, the afternoon will be d.e.a.d. so that I can finish Part Two and move on to Part Three. The sooner I get the second draft done, the sooner my beta readers can get their grubby little hands on it.
      Have I ever mentioned that I could really use a volunteer or two as beta readers?      I have two men I trust dearly, but a third and fourth set of eyes would be very welcome.
      If you’re interested, keep your eyes on the blog, because I’ll announce when its ready and officially ask for your help in making Incandescence the best it can be.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.