Monday, April 28, 2014

My weapon of choice

My Weapon of Choice

Love flows from my heart
and through my hand
for the world to read.

write on!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Welcome to the blog hop!

Welcome to the next leg (and my first!) blog hop where writers share a glimpse into their current works in progress in honor of SUCKER LITERARY'S Vol 3 release available now.

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Many thanks to Justine Manzano who tagged me for this hop. Justine is a writer of many genres who lives in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction appears in the anthology Things You Can Create and Sliver of Stone Magazine and will appear in the upcoming inaugural issue of The Greenwich Village Literary Review. She maintains a semi-monthly blog at and works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine. Her twitter account is at @justine_manzano, where she shares all of her news and views on writing and life.

And now, here's a sneak peek into my current project and writing process:

Q. What am I working on?
A ton of stuff in different stages (from a quirky picture book to a humorous middle grade to an adult horror short story), but my main focus now is finishing up a final (fingers crossed) revision for my young adult fantasy, In Search of Joy. 

One word can sum up 17 year old Tori's entire life. Why. Why is she a freak? Thanks to cryptic visions that knock her out and the voices in her head. But there's only one question that makes living unbearable. The only thing Tori can do with her raging grief: find out why her twin sister Joy committed suicide. 

Q. How does my work differ from other works in its genre?
The main character Tori is bi-racial growing up in a small white Florida town (something I'm intimately familiar with). The novel introduces her Yoruba culture and her own mystic beliefs with tons of fantastical fun, including mystic rituals, astral projection, and soul hitchhiking, along with suspenseful plot twists. Although the theme is dark, Tori's sarcastic wit lightens it up. 

Q. Why do I write what I do?
Short answer: because I LOVE to write.

Longer answer: It's my favorite way to express myself. I love to inspire, cause conversation, entertain, educate, empower, cause laughter, expose fears...provide an escape into a new reality.

Q. How does my writing process work?
A new story always starts with some vague idea -- inciting incident, main character, a general concept/theme -- which can pop in my mind at any time and inspired by so many different things (a song, book, I let the story play out in my subconscious and jot down notes. Then when there's room in my schedule, I write. 

I've learned the hard way to allow the first draft to just flow (my preference with paper and pen). No censoring, no revising until I've reached 'the end'. Then it's revision time, sharing it with my critique group, and more and more revising until the story is 'as good as its gonna get' and I move on to the next.

And finally, introducing other AH-mazing writers on the blog hop:

A champion of NaNoWriMo, Vanessa MacLellan is an avid reader of anything with pizazz. Words have been her companions since she was ten, forcing atrocious adverbs upon her mother. Her fantasy novel, THREE GREAT LIES, has recently been accepted by Hadley Rille Books and is scheduled for release in early 2015. She's had three short stories published by online magazines. When not in the office or writing, she bird watches and hikes. Vanessa can be found at Check out her post on Monday, April 28.

Christina Mercer author of Award-Winning Tween/Teen Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST and its sequel ARMS OF ANU, writes fiction for children and young adults. She was a Semi-Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, took Writer's Best of Show at the SCBWI California North/Central Regional Conference and won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing visit Check out her post today!

hopping animated bunny photo: hopping bunny animated hoppingrabbit_zpse6fdcf74.gif

hoppity hop hop, a blog hoppin' we will go!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring is here!

Animated hydrant in Alberta District, PDX

Spring is finally here! Sunny skies, vibrant flowers and a delicious 60 degree temperature. Even the fire hydrants are waking up from their 'winter blues' hibernation and soaking in all the Portland beauty. Get outside and don't you dare blink...before you know it, summer will take reign.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Zip-a-Dee-Day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Attention young adult writers!

Do you have an unpublished, completed book-length work of young adult fiction?

Then submit the first 150 to 200 words to the "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest. Submissions are due Wednesday, April 9, 2014. See details at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog on the Writer's Digest website.

The top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by the agent judge Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc and 2) A free one-year subscription to

best of luck!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Doing my happy dance

That day I've been holding my breath so long for...has finally arrived. Picture it:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Doing my usual social networking morning routine (tweets, Google+ posts, and the like) before diving into my real work of playing with words. Email a friend the current status of my writing life: waiting to hear back on submissions for a picture book and two short stories, revising YA novel, and starting another short story.

Oh look - another email in my inbox that must be taken care of before I write (always the procrastinator). OMG. The subject line is Dark Heart Volume 2. The UK anthology I'd submitted my YA fantasy short story to back in March. Heart pounds, hands sweaty. Open message:

"We would be absolutely delighted to accept your short story 'Mirror Image' for Volume 2 of Dark Heart."

Heart still pounding, eyes zero in on "absolutely delighted" and, of course, I do my "I rule, yes, yes, y'all" happy dance jam at my desk.

Finally, I exhale. And then call my mom.

celebrate good times, c'mon! let's celebrate!