Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Funny for Writers 4/30/12

As I slave away at the computer editing my WIP, Time Changes Everything, I have to wonder when will this ever end? At what point do we stop editing and move on? My goal is to have Time Changes Everything off to my intended publisher (the normal route as opposed to the challenge I previously entered) by the end of May. I'm pacing myself... but I am so ready to move on. My new WIP, Frequent Flyer, is screaming to come out.

As I edit, I remembered the poem by Taylor Mali called "The The Impotence of Proofreading" and wanted to share it with you. It is quite funny. I always wished I could share with my students, but it's a bit inappropriate. So, for you adult-minded editors out there...ENJOY!

And here is a print version of his poem. I hope you listen to it, because he is hilarious!

The the impotence of proofreadingBy Taylor Mali
Has this ever happened to you?
You work very horde on a paper for English clash
And then get a very glow raid (like a D or even a D=)
and all because you are the word’s liverwurst spoiler.
Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the the utmost impotence.
This is a problem that affects manly, manly students.
I myself was such a bed spiller once upon a term
that my English teacher in my sophomoric year,
Mrs. Myth, said I would never get into a good colleague.
And that’s all I wanted, just to get into a good colleague.
Not just anal community colleague,
because I wouldn’t be happy at anal community colleague.
I needed a place that would offer me intellectual simulation,
I really need to be challenged, challenged dentally.
I know this makes me sound like a stereo,
but I really wanted to go to an ivory legal collegue.
So I needed to improvement
or gone would be my dream of going to Harvard, Jail, or Prison
(in Prison, New Jersey).
So I got myself a spell checker
and figured I was on Sleazy Street.
But there are several missed aches
that a spell chukker can’t can’t catch catch.
For instant, if you accidentally leave a word
your spell exchequer won’t put it in you.
And God for billing purposes only
you should have serial problems with Tori Spelling
your spell Chekhov might replace a word
with one you had absolutely no detention of using.
Because what do you want it to douch?
It only does what you tell it to douche.
You’re the one with your hand on the mouth going clit, clit, clit.
It just goes to show you how embargo
one careless clit of the mouth can be.
Which reminds me of this one time during my Junior Mint.
The teacher read my entire paper on A Sale of Two Titties
out loud to all of my assmates.
I’m not joking, I’m totally cereal.
It was the most humidifying experience of my life,
being laughed at pubically.
So do yourself a flavor and follow these two Pisces of advice:
One: There is no prostitute for careful editing.
And three: When it comes to proofreading,
the red penis your friend.
Happy Writing and don't forget to PROOFREAD!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 4/29/12

Today is #sixsunday where published and non published writers share six sentences from a current WIP. Again, I will share from my Work in Progress, Time Changes Everything.

Amanda and Jake return home for Christmas. However, Amanda persuades Jake into keeping their relationship a secret. Now, both thier mothers are asking Amanda about her new boyfriend. Little do they know it's Jake. Amanda, baffled, tries to get out of saying the truth. At that precise moment, Jake steps in and questions what Amanda was doing.

“I wasn’t about to tell them!” Amanda found herself almost screaming.  “I said I wasn’t ready to talk about it.” 
Jake strutted over to the counter, grabbed a cookie and took a bite. He leaned back, crossed his ankles, and smiled. 
“Well, if she tells you, I’ll tell you.” He sent a wink her way. 

More from this scene next week! Stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh My Hero! Blog Hop

This blog hop is hosted by Jaycee DeLorenzo and Victoria Smith. Participants are asked to post a picture of their hero and interview him. Then we hop around and read everyone's interviews. Click the link above if you would like to participate.

I am lucky enough to introduce you to Jake Edwards, every girl's teenage crush and now a man of many talents, from my WIP, Time Changes Everything.

Welcome Jake!
Me: We are happy to have you here, Jake. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule.

Jake: No problem, Melinda. Mandy told me all about your blog and it's a pleasure to be here.

Me: Such a gentleman! ***sigh***. Now on to our first question. Since this interview is about heroes, who is your hero?

Jake: Wow! That's a tough question. ** draws brows together** I would have to say my stepfather, Gil, is a hero for me. He stepped into our family after my biological father left when I was only five years old. Gil has been a role model for me. He raised me like I was his own. Then when I started high school, Gil was right there with me, since he was the high school track coach. He led me in the right direction in my life.

Me: **gasp** Are you tearing up, Jake?

Jake: Nah, just got something in my eye. **wipes eyes with sleeve**

Me: Of course. If you need to lean on someone, you know I'm here.

Jake: Thanks. I'm okay. **wink, wink**

Me: You and Amanda are engaged now, right? How would you describe her?

Jake: ** smiles ear to ear ** We are engaged.... finally! She never ceases to surprise me. She's a go-getter, independent, and strong. She always knows what she wants and isn't scared to let me know about it. I love that she can make me laugh and that we have such a history together. **blue eyes simmer** I love her.

Me: She's one lucky lady.

Jake: **smirks **  I hope she thinks that.

Me: Let's change the subject. What do you do to relax?

Jake: Well, I don't think it's a secret that I like to run. Keeping in shape is important to me and it is also a time to be outside, free of thought, and to live the moment. Amanda and I still run a few times a week in Central Park.

Me: I think we have a picture of you enjoying the outdoors. **uh, um *** We definately see that you like to stay fit. We thank you for that.

Jake: Uh.... okay. ** looks at his watch **

Me: Just one more question. We know you need to get home to Amanda.

Jake: Sure. Take your time.

Me: Are you happy now?

Jake: **Thinks for a moment*** My life has really changed... for the better. **deep breath** After moving to New York and meeting up with Amanda, my life took a step forward. **laughs** Amanda would say that - moving forward is her motto. Now that we are engaged and living together, I realized that I can be happy with an adorable woman in my life. **shrugs**  I know the title of your book is Time Changes Everything, and I have to agree with you. Now that Amanda and I have grown up and moved on, we are ready for our changes. Those changes include each other and I couldn't be happier.

Me: **sigh** Thank you Jake for taking the time to speak with me today.

Jake: ** standing** no problem, Melinda. Any time. **shakes my hand and kisses it** I left another photo with my signature for your visitors. I hope you like it.

Me: Oh, Jake! Thank you! You ARE my hero!

For other interviews, please click the link listed at the top. Hope you have a nice day!

Sweet dreams,


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Booking Through Thursday 4/26/12

Today is Booking Through Thursday. Each week a question related to reading is posted and bloggers answer on Thursdays. Click the link above to participate!

This week's question:

Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?

I wear many hats in my life, so I will answer this question in regards to each hat.

Me, Myself and I
The first book that completely changed my personal life was (and is) A Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. Yeah, I'm sure you've heard of it. Some may think that it's just another religious book. My sister gave it to me and I thought, "Okay, I can read it." I didn't think it would change my life. I was looking for answers and God gave them to me through this book.

Me, the Mother
My favorite role has been MOTHER. God has been so good to me. He has provided me the task of being a mother, a guide, a friend to three lovely boys. I am so thankful to have them. One thing I wish to pass on is the love of reading. This has been a very hard task, especially when video games vies for attention. My favorite children's book to read to them has been Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. When they were all toddlers, I loved snuggling with them and reading this board book. I have such fond memories that will never go away.

Me, the Writer
Being a reader is what helps me as a writer. My alltime favorite romance authors lead me to write (or try) like them. Here are my favorite category and contemporary books by these authors. There are so many! (By the way, this category helps me as my role of WIFE.)

Jill Shalvis is hilarious!
Fun, sexy, real
My favorite line ever!
Funny, excellent dialogue!

Me, the Teacher
As a teacher, I try to read great books with my students and hopefully change their lives.  How do I want to change their lives? Make them into readers. Make them think. Hopefully I have done this! The two latest books that I use in class do this.... The Hunger Games and The Lightning Thief.

All of these books have changed me in some way. Be it as a teacher, as a mother, as a wife or just me personally. I love talking about books. They are my life! Now off to read!

Goodnight readers!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Writing Journey Part 1

Submitting Journey Part #1

I began writing my first completed novel, Time Changes Everything, when I was pregnant with my third child (2005). I have always written and loved writing romance in high school, but this particular story was written to be published, not just for fun. Of course, It's been fun, but you know what I mean. Little did I know, that it would take me ... oh.... six years to complete it and send it off. :)

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh

Please, don't roll your eyes. Yes! I am a serious writer. But, as any mom knows, once you have your kid (third one by the way) life gets in the way. So, the book was put on hold. I finished about 70% and then went on with life for two years without looking at it.

Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. ~Victor Kiam 
I'd pick up my novel every now and then and add a chapter when I had a chance. When I arrived to the end, I just couldn't finish. There was something there... more than writer's block.... it was as if I was scared to finish my book. THE END just seemed so final. Then what? I had been attached to these characters for so many years, I didn't want to say goodbye.

Finally, around Thanksgiving last year, my hubby asked why I didn't finish my book. I think he saw what an avid reader I am and always heard me say "one day I will be published." My baby was five already. My two oldest kids were in the double digits, so they understood.

I started my adventure again. Over my Christmas vacation, I actually finished my novel. What a whirlwind of feelings. I FINISHED A NOVEL! WOO HOO!

but....I finished my novel....sigh.

I was both happy and sad. However, I did not know that I really was not finished. Writing is only the first step. Next came the never-ending editing stage.

And that's a whole other story. Come back next week for more .

Part 2 coming!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Funny for Writers 4/23/12

Monday Funny for Writers

I ran across this video on Youtube and it's perfect for my new Work in Progress, Frequent Flyer. In Frequent Flyer, Hope is a "hopeless" clutz. Luckily she meets Dr. Colin Calaway, an orthopedic surgeon, who happens to remove a foot cast. Check out this video to see how it relates to my story.

And here is an excerpt from my WIP. Hope is the new principal in town who meets Dr. Colin Calaway the day before at school. Now she arrives at his clinic to remove her cast.
                With a sigh, she sat on the examining table and looked at her watch. Her lunch break just finished, but she had informed her secretary that she’d come back late. She had to meet with the Athletic Department to finalize the Family Sports Day plans, plus she had an administrators meeting at five. Since she received her Principal Certification six months ago, her dream had been to work as a middle school principal. Now that she obtained her first principal position in a new town, she didn’t want to let anyone down. First she had to take care of her foot.
She waited for Dr. Patel to come in and remove the beast that held her down. As she entered the clinic twenty minutes ago, she saw Dr. Calaway’s name on the clinic door and remembered the concerned father from the day before. Her cheeks blushed as she recalled Dr. Calaway saying goodbye. Did she hold it together enough for him to think she was a good principal? Hopefully he didn’t notice her rapid pulse and sweaty palms when she touched his arm to comfort him. Although he had been obviously nervous, she found his broad shoulders and smoldering green eyes extremely attractive. It had alarmed her so much, that she had to give herself pep talks in between their conversation. It had been a long time since she felt an immediate attraction to someone. She was a little P.O’d that it had to be with a student’s father, who was officially off limits.
 The door to the room opened and a familiar voice said, “Hello, Ms. Robinson.”
              Hope had to blink twice. Speak of the devil. “Dr. Calaway. What a surprise. Where’s Dr. Patel?”
                He smiled, scooted his wheeled-chair up to the table, and sat down. “To be honest, I looked up when you were coming so I could attend you.” 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 4/22/12

Today is #sixsunday where published and non published writers share six sentences from a current WIP. Again, I will share from my Work in Progress, Time Changes Everything.

Since Amanda and Jake have a past, as childhood next-door neighbors, I wanted to share some reminiscing on their part. Jake and Amanda have just shared Thanksgiving lunch together and now will spend some quality time watching football together.

     Memories flooded back. Ten years ago, Amanda sat on the bleachers with her friend Shannon and pretended to watch a game. Wrapped in a warm jacket, the frigid air beat against her face and her eyes locked on jersey 68, Jake the quarterback. Girls chanted his name all around her as he passed the ball. 
     “You don’t have any friends to watch the game with?” She asked, shaking the memory from her mind.
     “I’d rather sit right here next to you.” He patted the sofa next to him. “Do you mind?” 
Hope you enjoyed today's sentences. I've had a lot of fun sharing. Check out the website for more entries.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

I've always loved winning an award! It hasn't happened very often. Thanks to Kimberly Sullivan who nominated my blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Warm fuzzies!

Thanks so much, Kimberly! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog as much as I’ve been enjoying yours.

According to the rules for those nominated, I have to:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated me for the award and provide a link.
  2. List 7 things about myself that readers might find interesting.
  3. Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links and let them know
7 things about myself that readers might find interesting:
  1. Guatemala is the place I call home. I am an ex-pat American who married my Guatemalan college sweetheart. 
  2. Even though I live in Central America, I have never taken a Spanish class. I have learned all my Spanish just by being around it. In fact, I studied French for eight years (High School and all four years of college).
  3. I've taught Middle School English for 16 years at the American School and I love it! It's so fun to be silly with pre-teens, even if they think I'm crazy. I also love to share the love of reading and writing - and hope that I make a difference in a small way.
  4. Acting used to be a creative outlet for me. Some may find this shocking as I tend to be shy around people.  :) In addition to that, I have played piano since I was seven.
  5. I was Vice President of Moral Advancement in my college sorority, Pi Beta Phi. I will always remember my "sisters" laughing at me for reading my romance books. One roomate in particular would say, "You're reading another one?" Sometimes, we would recite the "dirty" scenes aloud. Mind you, I was responsible of "Moral Advancement"  - keeping my sisters in line and here I was reading naughty paragraphs.
  6. I was born in Louisiana and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now that my parents live back in Louisiana, I consider that my "settling spot." However, New Mexico will always be what I remember as home. I haven't been back since I graduated college... a long, long time ago. :(
  7. Coffee is one of my addictions. Yeah, I know it's cliche for a writer, but it's true! Anyway, I live in Guatemala where great coffee is always available. Lucky me!
7 other bloggers I'd like to nominate:

  1. Rachelle Ayala - Author Rachelle shares writing tips, author interviews and self-publishing advice.
  2. Chantel Rhondeau - Romantic suspense author with weekly writing tips, publishing insight and book reviews.
  3. Angela Quarles - A self proclaimed geeky Historical and Time Travel romance writer. My favorite posts are her Monday Hunks Who Read!
  4. Moodywriting - Author with amazing writing tips, publishing insights, and marketing ideas.
  5. Evanne Lorraine - Sexy erotica romance author provides daily tips, book reviews, writing insights, funnies and more.
  6. Lacey Devlin -  a new friend who has guest bloggers, writing workshop information, and writing tips.
  7. Harlequin Junkie Romance Reviews - Reviews of my favorite, Harlequin romance books. Plus, giveaways, blog visits, author interviews and more.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Booking Through Thursday 4/19/12

Today is Booking Through Thursday. Each week a question related to reading is posted and bloggers answer on Thursdays. Click the link above to participate!

This week's question:

What are your literary “pet peeves”?

I love this question! Everyone has a pet peeve, but I never thought of them in terms of literature. But, of course I have some. I would say that I hate it when people assume I am not a "real" reader or writer because I read and write romance. Romance is a real genre, people!

When I was 13, I picked up my first Harlequin Superromance novel in Krogers supermarket. I can't even remember the title, but the author was Dawn Stewardson. I thought, "What the heck." I had never been introduced to the romance genre and usually just read what was assigned at school. But, this book rocked my world and turned my reading life around. How can that not be real literature? If it changes someone's life.... it is!

This was one of the first Superromance books I read and loved as a teenager.
And by the way, since I'm ranting, just because I write romance, doesn't mean I'm not a real writer. It is just as hard as any other type of writing. We still have to build our characters, build romantic suspense or tension and have those inner and outer conflicts. I am proud to be a romance author and know I work hard!

So, why don't you go and pick up a good romance book and enjoy the reading. It was damn hard writing! (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Tea - Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis 4/18/12

Wednesday's Tea - Grab a cup of tea (or coffee, or heck - a milkshake) and join me in book discussions or reviews.

Jill Shalvis has been added to my favorite author's list. As an aspiring published romance author, I crave reading books by authors who I want to write like. Well, this one is it! Head Over Heels is a character-driven love story between Chloe and Sawyer, two past "outcasts" who don't want love, but find it anyway.

Sawyer is a man to drool over. Who wouldn't find a bad-boy turned sheriff enticing? He is the town hero who always saves people from harm or just steps in when needed.  Not only that, but he is a caring son, a good friend and a hardworking man. Ah! Be still my heart!

"He was in uniform, gun at his hip, expression dialed to Dirty Harry, and just looking at him had something pinging low in Chloe’s belly."

Chloe is a free-spirit who doesn't like to be tied down. But, for some reason, Lucky Harbor and the people in it make her to want to stay. Getting to know her stepsisters, opening their B & B, and helping solve crimes keeps her busy, but slowly Sawyer incorporates her body and soul.

"If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.” - Chloe Traeger"

The sexual tension between good cop Sawyer and trouble maker Chloe is hot! Jill Shalvis does an excellent job at adding those yummy, never thought of love scenes, that make your heart pitter patter or at least want an extra-long morning in bed with your hubby! Even when there isn't sex, the tension between the two is palpable.

"Smile. it's the second best thing you can do with your lips." – Chloe Traeger

If you want to read a sexy, funny, heart-warming story, Head over Heels is the right choice. I look forward to reading more from the Lucky Harbor series. I hope you do, too!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Funny for Romance Writers 4/16/12

After spending the weekend in "edit mode," this is how I feel:

But, I promise, I will be nice. How about this instead?

That's better!

Have a happy Monday!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 4/15/12

Today is #sixsunday where published and non-published writers share six sentences from their work.  I will share 6 sentences from my finished Work-In-Progress Time Changes Everything. It's mighty hard to pick out six sentences, but here it goes.

Jake looked at her and fire lit his eyes. “You’ve grown up, Mandy. You’ve turned into a beautiful woman instead of that awkward teenager. I guess time changes everything.”
Amanda took a big sip of her drink. She smiled at his handsome face, remembering how in love she had been with him when they were growing up. “I don’t know, Jake, sometimes time stands still.”

Thanks for reading!

To read Six Sentence Sunday from other writer's, click  the picture link at the top. Come back for more next week. See ya then!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday Funny for Romance Writers

I know it's not Monday, but it sure feels like one to me. After 10 days off work and a fabulous vacation, I am having a hard time getting back into the groove. So my psuedo-Monday funny is below. Gotta love this hilarious Liquid Plumr Commercial as it reminds me how I see "romance" in everything I do. LOL!

Have a nice "Monday" or rest of the week!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Back home... now to work!

Home at last! Now if I could just get back "to work." My head is not in it, but my heart is.

I was disconnected from the internet for a few days, and it felt weird. I didn't realize how much I have either a laptop, my Kindle, or Blackberry attached to my hip. No matter where I am, I can check my email, or even work on writing. But, this time around... nope! It was new to me... and fabulous. I really did have an excuse as to why I wasn't working. I did feel an immense wave of guilt as returning home today, I saw my critique partners worked like crazy on my chapters, while I was sitting on the beach drinking piƱa coladas. Sorry guys! I won't let you down. My query is out at the end of this week! That is my goal. So, late nights, early morns, I am going to write my butt off this week.

In case you wanted to see how our vacation went (and even if you didn't) here are some pictures of our trip to Panama.

My Middle and Little
My big and middle on the beach

Panama City reminds me of a mini-Miami

My prince charming and I at the Panama Canal

There it is! I probably won't be around much this week, but will share my perils next weekend once I send my work to the publishing house. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Query Time

Peanut Butter Query Time!

After so many years, I am ready to pitch my first novel. Exciting, right? Frightening is more like it. After working hard, I will hand over my baby to an editor in hopes of becoming published. The editor I am aiming for, Harlequin Romance, is accepting "Fasttrack Submissions." Woo hoo! There is a deadline of April 23 and authors will hear back by May 15. How do the editors do it? I don't know, but God bless them! Now, I am working on the dreaded query letter, synopses (2 pages only? How in the heck....) and my first chapter. Of course, I am still in the editing stage and my best critique partners have stepped up a notch at Thanks go out to Brittney, Linda, Judester, Jennifer, Kimberly, Rachelle!

Of course, in the middle of this news, I have a vacation planned for Easter. So, I'm heading out the door and leaving on a jetplane to the beautiful country of Panama. The small metropolian city and white sand beaches await, but I have this query on my mind! I hope I can enjoy my vacation.


or this? 

I choose the beach vacation! However, when I come back, I will be in super editor/writer mode. I probably won't be the nicest person to talk to, and maybe my kids will starve. All humor aside, I look forward to getting closer to my dream. I think you all for your support!

Ironically, one of my favorite blogs, Romance University, published an article today perfect for me. Funny how it works out that way, huh? Check it out when you ar ready to query: Four Key Elements Every Pitch Needs.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 4/1/12

Happy April Fool's Day!

Today is #sixsunday where published and non-published writers share six sentences from their work.  I will share 6 sentences from my finished Work-In-Progress Time Changes Everything.

Every Sunday I think it gets harder and harder to choose just 6 lines. I cheated a bit and have 8 sentences. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. Hopefully you enjoy today's pick.

To hell with it, she thought, with kisses like that, what could one night as Jake’s real date be like? It was time to find out.
She cleared her throat, leaned into his muscular body, and wiped her lipstick off his lips. “Not bad, smooth talker. But,  you may be in for a surprise tonight, too, Jake Edwards.” She walked ahead of him, swaying her hips more than usual. After a few steps, she stopped, peaked across her shoulder and said, “If you play your cards right.” She heard a growl behind her as she moved towards the boat, feeling Jake’s eyes on her.