Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Liebster Award

Thanks again to the lovely Wendy Knight for tagging me in this blog. I love blog hops! This one is for blogs with fewer than 200 followers. I am to come up with 11 questions for 11 other bloggers. I don't know if I know that many writers well enough to ask them to blog. ;) But I'll try! Now to answer Wendy's 11 questions.

1. Writing. Why do you do it?
Because I can't NOT do it. I originally started writing when I was 14 because I wanted to read a story about a group of teenagers who tried to stop a weird Satanic cult from killing townspeople in a small North Carolina town. I wanted to picture the main characters as my favorite group (then and now) New Kids on the Block. #fangirl I couldn't find anything like that at the library so I decided to write it. I like to think of it as original fanfic. ;) As I've mentioned in previous blogs, that first book took on a life of its own and I wrote a series based on that original story from 1990-1996 - five books altogether. Over the past couple of years, I've written an updated version of that first book and also, a reunion story I started in 2009 based on those characters getting back together as adults to fight the same evil again. So that's why I write: to read the stories I've always wanted to read. I like Toni Morrison's quote: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” 

2. What's your biggest fear? (Mine is spiders. In case you were wondering.)
Snakes. :( And please don't send me snake pictures, thinking it's going to cure me or that one day I might touch them and get over it. NOOOO. I picked up one when I was a little girl, thinking it was a stick and it scarred me for life. I had a full-blown panic attack when my cat brought one up on the porch and it was dead. I just can't handle snakes. *shudder*

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is always a tricky question because I am never right! LOL Ideally, I will be a published author by then. I know I will still be writing, whether or not I'm published. I don't know for sure if we will be living in the same place, but part of me hopes so, although I like changing things up every few years. I also kinda hope I've found a significant other to spend the rest of my life with. I doubt it but you never know what's going to happen! I would like to be in love again someday...

4. What is your biggest obstacle standing in the way of your dreams?
Fear. I think I get in my own way. Fear of failure, not being good enough, etc. I'm slowly becoming more confident in myself and my writing. I genuinely love what I have done over the past few days with my thriller A SCARRED MIND. I always thought it was good but now I think it's pretty awesome, if I do say so, and am proud of my work. This really could be The One after all. *prays*

5. If you could write anything - without worrying about the market saturation or whether it was your genre, what would you write?
I would write the same things I do now. ;) I don't worry about what's in the market right now. I just write what I want, what I want to read and hope that others will like it too. 

6. Favorite hobby, besides writing. Go.
My favorite hobby other than writing (and reading since that's part of writing) is probably all the fun I have being a Blockhead (NKOTB fan) from going to the concerts, making new friends among their fans, Twitter, etc. It's a fun ride that started more than 25 years ago and is still going. I also love watching movies but am not as into the film world as I used to be. Now, more often that not, I will read a book before I'll watch a movie.

7. What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
This probably goes back to something I did for NKOTB. I'll have to think about it...People always say their fans are so crazy (we're not that bad really) but we're just loyal. Maybe flying to Vegas to see my favorite guy, Joey McIntyre, do a show at midnight (3 a.m. my time). I'd never been to Vegas and went by myself, all the way across the country. I met some friends there and we got about three hours of sleep the whole weekend. But it was SO much fun! I'd love to do it again.

8. Nature vs. Nurture - what's your opinion?
Hmm...I think Nurture is stronger than Nature. I base this on the fact that my daughter has never known her father and the only thing I see of him in her is her looks. She doesn't act anything like he did but she is a lot like me and very attached to me. Therefore I'd say Nurture. 

9. Do you believe people can change?
It depends on the person, but yes. They have to want to change. I've learned you can't force it on anyone. Some people never change and it's because they don't want to or don't think they have to. 

10. Where would you like to visit more than anywhere else? Why?
New Zealand because they have everything -- beautiful beaches and mountains and hobbit holes!! And best of all - no snakes! 

11. Name one thing you are determined to accomplish this year. And do it!
Get an agent! I really hope it happens for me this year. I have faith that it will, especially now that I believe in my book more than ever. Here's hoping!

And now for my tagged friends:

Abby Cavenaugh

Lizzy  Froehle

Katrina Sincek

Fiona McLaren

Kelley Harvey

Cat Scully

J.M. Bray

Cynthia Hill

PS - You guys may have more than 200 followers but I broke the rules to include my CP's!

My 11 questions for you guys:

1. What was the first book you wrote and at what age?

2. Favorite celebrity crush and why?

3.  Is your favorite genre to write the same as your favorite to read? Why or why not?

4. I'm going to steal one of Wendy's: Where do you see yourself in five years?

5. If you could live one day of your life over, what would it be?

6. If you could live in a fictional world, what would it be? (Thanks to Fiona for that one!)

7. Favorite author?

8. Do you write better with music/noise or silence?

9. If you could see a genre mash-up of two movies, which would you choose? (Thanks again Fiona! You ROCK)

10. Are you spiritual or religious or agnostic or atheist? (No offense intended to anyone. I'm just curious)

11. Do you have a designated writing space? If so, describe it.

Thanks everybody! :) Happy blogging!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One Lovely Blog Award

So the awesomely fun and talented Wendy Knight tagged me in the One Lovely Blog award. I LOVE doing these type of things so send 'em my way, guys! :)

For this blog hop, you list seven random facts about yourself. I'm going to try to go for things not everyone knows. Like to hear it, here it go! (I'm in a goofy mood today)

1. I have fallen in love with HGTV. Even though we rent our house and can't make renovations or really decorate the way I want, I have always LOVED watching shows about house renovations, like Love It Or List It. If you're not familiar, a family is usually torn on whether to renovate their home or find a new place. The show brings in an interior designer, Hillary, who works miracles and with a predetermined budget, tries to fix the problems so that the family will stay. A real estate agent, David, also meets with the family and tries to find them their perfect dream home and get them to move. Hillary and her team do the renovations while David looks for a new house. At the end of the show they decide whether they're going to love it and stay or list it and move. I'm addicted. I started watching this show on New Year's Eve so it's set the precedent for 2013 apparently. I've always enjoyed watching House Hunters, which is also on HGTV.

2. Related to #1, I've always loved looking at houses, studying their architecture and history. I remember my grandmother, Grandma White, had a subscription to HOME magazine, which probably doesn't exist anymore. The magazine had a lot of stuff about home renovation and design and at the end, there were always home plans/blueprints. I would pore over those magazines every time we visited Grandma. Sometimes she'd let me have an old issue or two and I'd be so excited! Maybe I should have become an architect or interior designer. I think I got a lot from Grandma White since she was a writer, too. She wrote poems and short stories but was never published, except in a magazine here and there. I hope to do her proud by becoming a published author. Anyway, as a child, I often took a house plan and built the house in my mind and decorated and came up with stories for the families who lived there. I didn't write them down but that definitely inspired the writer in me. I'm also really fond of Tudor-style homes. This is what my dream house would look like:

Also, as a teenager, I used to pick up the free real estate books when we went to Wilmington, and pick out houses for the characters in my books. Wait, I still do that! Actually, now I look at online real estate listings. And sometimes I house shop in Boston and New York. Actually the house above is in Brookline, MA. I hope it stays for sale until I can afford it. Haha! I'm a dreamer.

3. I'm an Off Beat! :) Maybe not everyone knows about this but I recently joined an awesome critique group called The Off Beats. There are seven of us and although my manuscript has been completed for a while, these lovely ladies have still managed to find ways to make it even better. Plus, we have some really great chats, supporting each other and our writing. I can't wait until all of us have agents and our own end cap at Barnes & Noble. Hey, it could happen. Aren't we cute?

4. Another off beat thing (see what I did there?) about me is that I wore glasses when I was young. I think I was four years old when I got them and wore them through kindergarten. The story goes my parents didn't know I had a vision problem until I asked Mom why there were three phones on the wall. Then I said "There are three of you!" I actually had surgery on my eye (Mom doesn't even remember which eye) when I was three or four, but thank God I don't remember anything about it. I always forget to tell doctors about that. I remember the glasses very well, though. It was how people told my twin sister and I apart but then I got them off before first grade and oh no! No one knows who I am anymore. Ha ha! Anyway, I think the surgery is why I have a freckle on my eye. Most people don't notice it but my friend Jolene thought it was the coolest thing. ;)

5. I love the ocean but am deathly afraid of my head going underwater. I know, it's weird. I have been drawn to the ocean since I was a little girl, even though our family never went on vacation or even to the beach until I was twelve. And we only live half an hour from the beach. Once we went that first time, I was hooked. I would live at the beach if it wasn't so expensive. But like I said, I can't go under. I freak out. I sincerely think I drowned in a past life and that's why I'm so afraid of it. I can dunk my head under for a few seconds and I'm usually okay in a pool but out in the ocean, forget it. I panic. Every time. At the same time, I'm at peace in the ocean and can float for hours and just enjoy listening to the waves. I'm an enigma.

6. I don't believe in marriage but secretly plan my wedding. Haha! That makes me sound so lame. Seriously, I believe marriage can work but too often people rush into it just so they don't have to be alone when in reality, being single is awesome. This is probably because my first marriage was a disaster. The first year or two were nice but we did not communicate the way we should have and basically, I married the wrong person for me. I won't go into all the details but I have pretty much been single since the divorce. I like it that way. But part of me does want the wedding I never got the chance to have. I don't really plan it but I do think about what I would like to have, should I ever meet The One and he has to be The One or I'd never consider marriage. Pinterest constantly shows me wedding cakes, no matter what I search for. I swear I type in Supernatural and a wedding cake will pop up. So in that sense, I plan it but not seriously planning a wedding. ;) I do dream of having the wedding I didn't have with my first husband. I can already tell you the them will be butterflies. ;) My cake will look something like this, only even prettier!

7. OK most everyone knows this about me but I'll make it number 7 anyway. I am a huge fan of New Kids on the Block and I'm very proud of it. I HATE HATE HATE the negative misconceptions out there about them: that they were a manufactured group, that they don't have any real talent, that there were auditions of 1000 kids, blah blah blah. Ugh. It drives me nuts. The truth is I didn't buy into the boy band hype. NK are the only "boy band" I really like. I became a fan way back in the late summer of 1988 when I first heard "Please Don't Go Girl" on the "black" radio station. I was listening to a lot of R&B at the time and that's why the song appealed to me. I didn't even know what they looked like when I became a fan. So yes, the looks are incredible but I'm honestly more into it for their music. They also inspired me to become a writer, the first people to tell me I could go for my dreams. That's why I take the negativity about them so personally. I think they're looking better than ever these days...

By the way, a grand total of eight people auditioned for the group. Joe McIntyre and Jordan Knight are two of the best singers I've ever heard. Give them a chance. Yes, their songs back in the day were cheesy but the talent was still there. They're even better now. I wish I could make everyone a fan, or at least respect them for the extremely talented great, sweet guys they are. I could go on forever about them, but that's probably another blog post. :)

Yay! I wrote seven things. :) I'm tagging three of my fellow Off Beats because they are awesome and lovely people I want to know more about. Well, obviously I already know everything about my first one since she's my twin but I'd love to see what she'll write.

1. Abby Cavenaugh @abs1399
2. Kelley Harvey @KHarveyWrites
3. Fiona McLaren@BookOmnivore