Category Archives: crazy

NaNoWriMo 11/6 Excuses

Okay, so I didn’t get a chance to write on my camping trip, but we had a wonderful time.

As for Monday and Tuesday…well, very little writing got done as I tried to clean the house– including getting my son’s room straight. Soon, it will be time to sell it so I can get my own house and land.

Today I go to court to get the executor-ship turned over to my brother and I. Please revise your wills once the minors on it reach age. I’m 37 and my brother is 35. I am actually the only child listed by name in the wills. In fact, the appointed executor in the will stopped practicing law 7 years ago… in his late 60’s. It has made things a bit difficult in trying to sell things and pay bills. At least that will be fixed today.

So, as far as writing is concerned–

I WILL write today, and hopefully catch up a bit. My actual goal for this year’s NaNoWriMo is to get back to writing everyday. If I can get 50K done, awesome. I just want to fall back into the habit of writing again. That is the most important thing to me.

So, how are you doing with NaNoWriMo?

What are the challenges you have to push through?

What do you hope to get out of this year’s November?

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under author, conflict, crazy, feeling, growing, learning, NaNoWriMo, novel, White Darkness, work in progress

Where have I been? What have I been doing?

Well, life has a tendency to get in my way, and, unfortunately, the blog is the first thing that gets slighted.

I have been working quite a bit at Babies R Us and may be in line for a promotion.

I have been writing, and rewriting, and editing.

INFECTED us getting rewritten from the beginning now that I know a bit more about writing than I used to. This time it is in 1st person past. I have chapter 1 fully outlined in my new formula of writing and it should be written by Wed night.

PROPHECY is also getting a do-over, switching to past tense. Seven full chapters are completed.

A QUESTION OF CHANGE is in the researching part of writing as I learn more about zoology and a specific park that is near me. Although under a different name, Maymont Park in Richmond, VA is the setting in the novel, with some small modifications.

WHITE DARKNESS also known by the name RAFTER MONSTER is still in the brain storming stage.

June 1st begins the Speculative Fiction Marathon where INFECTED and PROPHECY will be undergoing critiques. For 12 weeks, one chapter a week will be critiqued by other spec-fic members. It is a thrilling and exhausting time.

I am also a contributing blogger for dragons and aliens and wraiths oh my a blog for speculative fiction authors, by speculative fiction authors. My first post is live.

After Marathon I will be publishing serials from authors I know. A chapter a week is the goal right now. Hopefully my fellow spec-fic members come through like they said they would! Thanks for already having segments done TJ!

So I will be better on letting you guys know where everything stands in the future. At least things are getting back under control.

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under Agent Query Connect, author, crazy, crit, critique, critiquing, story, thinking process, work in progress, writing process

FLASH FICTION CONTEST OPEN!

Today is December 1st, an though it is not a normal day for me to post, I just have to.

EXCITING NEWS!!!

I am holding my first ever flash fiction contest!

Okay so the rules are simple.

1) Must be flash fiction 1000 words or less

2) Must have paranormal elements – Now, I prefer non-stock paranormals, however, in this case go ahead and use your vampires or whatever as long as they have a neat new twist! (no sparkling vampires, please)

3) Entries are due to me by midnight EST January 15, 2012

4) Any kind of paranormal is welcome : Kid Lit, Horror, Romance, ect

Okay, then I will go through the entries, put up a few of the best, which will then be voted on by the public at large!

The prize  is a book and a metal bookmark (it’s cool, I promise) and all the fame you can garner from the contest!

Any questions? put them in comments.

Now, send the flash fiction to me at

dawnsparrowflashcontest@gmail.com

Include your name, email, all other accounts you wish to publicized when you win!

I will not include your name or information for the voting stage.

I will not, unless specifically asked to, publish your email for any reason.

Get writing!

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under author, award, contest, crazy, flash fiction, ideas, inspiration, paranormal, story

Character Journals

… and we’re back!

Okay, so I have been reading quite a bit recently about writing books. I know I mentioned in an earlier post how a writer should always keep learning and that books on the craft are a great way to do so.

Well here is one of the best ideas I have learned.

Sounds crazy. Well maybe not to you, but it did to me.

Write a journal entry for each of your major characters.

Crazy right? Actually, no.

A lot of authors get discouraged at their inability to find an agent or a publisher (if they are going the direct to publish route). They have no idea why their book(s) fail to engage someone else.

Has this happened to you? Don’t despair. I may have the reason right here, and if not in this post hopefully in one of the ones coming up in this series.

Many, many, many times, a writer makes their characters (especially their antagonist) too one-dimensional.

Makes sense if you think about it, though. I mean, the bad guy is supposed to be really bad, right?

Well yes, and no.

Agents and readers want an antagonist who is bad/evil/manipulative/etc, but he/she/it has to also be well-rounded. In other words, the character needs to live and breathe, have flesh.

Yikes! How?

The journal. It has helped me get deeper into my characters’ heads than anything else.

For instance, my bad guy is pretty bad. He wants to do a blood sacrifice on a child. He is evil, manipulative, larger than life.

He also had a very messed up life before the thing which changed him into a thing. (that is as specific as I am going with that, so deal with it!) 🙂

I had no idea before I wrote his journal that he had a wife who killed herself after their daughter died, or that he was blamed for a number of things out of his control, or that the reason he went to the place that changed him was to get spiritual guidance to take back with him to his people.

Wow. I really didn’t know my antagonist at all!

The journal helps.

One thing that I do is to use a different font for each character. I go through Microsoft’s fonts in Word and find the one that looks like the character’s writing. Then I just write away (*grin*) in that character’s perspective about his or her life up until the moment the story takes place. I suppose you could do it for the whole story too, but that is enough for me to know my character and understand what motivates him.

Will you put this journal in your story? No.

Will you use everything you learned about your character in the story (i.e. that his wife died)? probably not.

This is a tool for you, as the writer, to get to know your characters. Afterward you can see how they would react to certain situations because you know their deeper motivations.

So, what are you waiting for? Write those journals!

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under author, character traits, characters, conflict, crazy, editing, feeling, growing, ideas, learning, novel, paranormal, story, thinking process, voice, Writer, writing, Writing a Paranormal Novel, writing novels, writing process

Interview With Kacey Vanderkarr @kacimari

This Friday we have the fabulous Kacey Vanderkarr….a fabulous writer and a beautiful person all the way through. Take it away kaci!!

1)   What genre(s) do you write? And why?

 I write YA.  I can’t imagine a more interesting or dynamic period in someone’s life than the teenage years.  It’s fun as an adult to put yourself in their shoes and then pull all the strings.  With YA, it’s all about the drama.  Relationships, emotions, and hormones are all elevated.  It’s acceptable to go on murderous rages, to scream, kick and fight.  You can love with your whole heart and hurt with your entire being. The beauty is in the intensity of it all. Let the crazy begin!

 

2)   Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.

 My latest project is also technically my first.  I’ve written a series of four books without looking back or doing much editing.  When I got to the end and realized that I wanted to get them published, reality hit—hard.  I’ve spent the last few months trimming my first manuscript, Stepping Stones, a YA Fantasy Romance, from 125,000 words to 80,000.  I expect to start querying by the end of August, if everything goes as planned.  Of course, nothing ever does, but I’m hopeful!

 

3)   Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?

 I pretty much live four lives at any given time.  First off, I’m a mother and wife.  My husband actually complains about the amount of time I spend writing.  It’s a good thing he’s not in my head—because he’d really hate how much I think about it!  Aside from that, I coach a winterguard team at my local high school.  From October to April, I immerse myself in teenage drama.  It’s awesome!  I love coaching.  It really gives you the opportunity to change someone’s life.  My third life is Ultrasound.  I work at a hospital in the Diagnostic Imaging Department.  I know that most people think that ultrasound is just for pregnant women, but that’s not the case.  We pretty much do it all—abdomens, thyroids, veins, arteries, testicles…well, you get the picture.  My fourth life is my writing—enough said.

 

 4)   Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?

 I have five tattoos with detailed plans for a sixth.  I have the Pure Romance heart on my foot.  Yes, that’s right.  I used to sell sex toys.  It was one of the most exciting jobs I’ve ever had, not to mention the most fun.  I have a nautical star on each hip.  On my back I have a star with a tribal design.  On my left shoulder I have a matching cat tattoo with my sister.  My plans for the sixth are pretty intense.  It’s going to be a naked tree with visible roots.  Skeleton keys will hang from the branches.  It will also have a crow or a raven sitting in it.  Above the tree will be stars, below it will be the quote “Without the dark we’d never see the stars.”  Kudos if you know where the quote comes from. 

 5)   What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

 The last book I read was Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  I enjoyed it to an extent, but overall was disappointed.  I absolutely loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, so I expected it to capture me just as much.  However, after 300 pages of waiting for something to happen, it didn’t.  The book did have a lot of creepiness, intricate characters, and some not to subtle maliciousness.  Long story short, I probably won’t read it again.

 6)   What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)

 Get as much information as possible BEFORE you start writing.  Sadly, in the end, writing is the easy part.  The editing, the late nights spent crying over cut scenes, and the harsh critiques are NOT the easy part.  Find a support network.  Meet new people and use their advice.  We are all human and we all react differently to things.  There is a wealth of knowledge, information, and opinions in others.  Use it!  Also, believe in yourself.  A lot of people are going to cut your work down and say things you don’t like.  But if you have a story to tell, you have a right to not listen!  You are your best advocate and worst enemy.  Trust yourself.

 7)   Tell us one thing no one knows about you

 I have a teddy bear.  I’ve had him for 24 years.  I can’t part with him.  I keep telling my husband that I’d settle for a small pillow, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Gah!  I can’t believe I’m telling this to the world.  At least it’s not a crack addiction. 🙂

 Follow me on Twitter:   http://twitter.com/#!/kacimari

            Blog: http://kacimari.blogspot.com/

 Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Kacey-Vanderkarr/128956043852072

Isn’t it great to know more abot your favorite people?

OKay guys, I don’t know how next week is going to go, we are expecting a lot of downed power lines in the area this weekend from Hurricane Irene. I will try and keep up the blog, but without power it will be difficult!

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under Agent Query Connect, author, characters, crazy, feeling, growing, ideas, inspiration, interview, learning, novel, Writer, writing, writing novels, writing process

Interview with Jennifer Merritt

Here is another wonderful author who was so kind as to let me interview her! Thanks Jennifer!

1)   What genre(s) do you write? And why?

I write science fiction romance. I love books that take place in our

world with one difference. It’s easier to believe the fantastical if

everything else is familiar. I like fast, fun, quirky stories, and I

write what I like to read. I also work as a freelance journalist for an

agriculture newspaper. Playing with aliens is a nice foil to the cows

and chickens. Although when you look at the world it isn’t hard to

imagine that the aliens are already here. All you have to do is spend

some time watching the sloths at the zoo to believe.

 

2) Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.

My current work in progress, Electric Impulses, is about woman named

Stella Morgan. When Stella gets upset she emits electrical pulses

strong enough to fry small appliances. She hasn’t had a working coffee

maker in years. Stella has to choose between her yummy neighbor and her

ruggedly handsome boss only one of whom is human. At the same time

she’s dodging unwanted advances from a race of particularly nasty

aliens. She’ll be lucky to avoid alien abduction and a broken heart.

I’m hoping the book and its sequel will be available in the fall.

 

3)   Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?

I love to read, paint and throw pottery ( the malleable clay kind not

the shattered plate kind.) I also like to garden, but given the current

weed infestation I’m embarrassed to mention it.

 

4)   Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?

Boy howdy, I wish I did. I would be so much cooler with a tattoo. I

flirted with the idea a couple of decades ago, but I’m too scared of

needles.

5)   What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich I love Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger, and Grandma Mazur and Lulu make me laugh out loud. I enjoyed the book, but without giving too much away, the sex scenes were disappointing.

6)   What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)

Write a lot and never ever stop reading. I think the best writers are readers, too.

 

7)Tell us one thing no one knows about you.

I really like to go to the movies by myself.

 

I am a freelance writer and the often harried mother of three young boys. I live in southwest Virginia with a smattering of animals who have me well-trained.  I blog at http://thedemeterdiaries.blogspot.com/ and tweet at @jenwmerritt

Awesome huh? Yeah, she’s great, thanks again Jennifer

Always

Dawn

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Filed under author, characters, crazy, feeling, growing, inspiration, interview, learning, novel, story, thinking process, voice, Writer, writing, writing novels

Two Awards, Two Books, and Monday Musings

Okay, today being Monday, i have lots to talk about. If you follow this blog you may have noticed a decided lack of interviews last week. To this I can only apologize and say that there were personal issues in the way. So this week I will be posting interviews on Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri. I am also working on a list of interviewees and when their interviews will go up on the blog. This will be found in its own tab on the site.  It should be up today.

First off I would like to thank Suzanne Payne for awarding me these two awards! So check out her blog!

Suzanne Payne

 

“I give the Blog on Fire and Leibster Blog Award to Dawn G. Sparrow at  Write Away.  She’s just beginning to stretch her ‘writerly’ wings in public, which is a H-U-G-E step.  She’s got the support of the #goatposse behind her, so there’s no way she can fail.  Love ya’ Dawn! 🙂  She also tweets @DawnGSparrow  Follow her and all the rest of my award-winning peeps!  You can’t go wrong with this crew. ” 

Now I am, supposed to give these awards out myself, but I honestly have no idea who to give them to! So the first 5 people who contact me via email, DM, or comment can have these awards! I will do a write-up for each one of them and post it later.

Next item on the agenda today– 2 Books.

This week I have read EATS, SHOOT & LEAVES by Lynne Truss.

Finally I am starting to get a handle on my arch-nemesis, the comma. I have been fighting the comma since I started writing. It seems the rules I grew up with have completely changed over the course of time. Suddenly, I am left staring at the tadpole shaped mark and wondering  ‘Do I put it in, or do I take it out?’ It will be a slow process, but now I have some rules to guide me. So this is definitely a good book for me.

I am about half-way through Steven Harper’s WRITING A PARANORMAL NOVEL. It is a good book, especially for people who are writing ‘traditional’ paranormal characters. i.e. vampires, werewolves, fairies (faeries) and the like. However, my paranormal is completely different from what is traditional for this genre. I am still finding useful and helpful information. Best of all, there are exercises that can help you to develop your protagonist and antagonist into more well-rounded and realistic creatures/people. So I would definitely look this book up if you are in need of learning how to develop a character, deciding what powers your character should or should not have, as well as learning about world building.

I definitely recommend you add these two books to your list of reads.

Now, finally, some Monday Musings.

The last week has taught me a lot about who my friends are, and who they aren’t. I went through a very bad situation  and lost some friends. The ones who are sticking by me in spite of my life are the ones I treasure. I want to spend a moment and thank just a few people for being there for me. Thank you.

Jen Martin

April Williams

Reid Undant

Lela Gwenn

Imran Siddiq

thank you guys, very much.

Now all I have to say, is that I can’t wait until Labor Day! Right after that holiday my son goes back to school and I can finally concentrate on getting my second novel down on paper. I enjoy working in peace and quiet. I rarely even listen to music, instead I hear only my characters’ thought and voices. This is extremely hard to do when all day you hear “Momma, are you done yet?” “Can you help me find something to do?” “I’m bored.”

Soon, very soon.

Always,

Dawn

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Filed under Agent Query Connect, author, award, character traits, characters, conflict, crazy, editing, growing, ideas, inspiration, learning, Lynne Truss, novel, paranormal, punctuation, rules, Shoots and Leaves, Steven Harper, thinking process, Thriller, voice, Writer, writing, Writing a Paranormal Novel, writing novels, writing process