Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween all my family and friends!
Whether it's getting ready to take the kids out for trick or treating tonight, or all the fun parties over this last weekend, I hope it's a joyous one for all of you! My grand kids and Jon carved pumpkins, including Madison doing her own this year, and my daughter has been baking her famous muffins and some cookies too! Plus the decorations are up, so she is ready for the spooky day!

But this is another joyous day in our family, it's my parents wedding anniversary!! Happy memories come flooding back to me on this day! My parents got married in my grandfather's office in 1969. I will never forget it, and yes, I was there! My father adopted my sister and I when we were about 8 and 7 yrs old. He is my mother's second husband. Our birth father (or at least my sister's, I'm adopted to them too) had disappeared, so when my mother remarried, he gave us his name!

Anyway, back to the wedding, it was in my grandfather's office at Central Christian Church, in Lexington Kentucky, and I will never forget my dad saying, "Look I went trick of treating and brought home a wife and two daughters".

They have been married for 42 years now and we had some great times! Unfortunately my father has Dementia and is in a nursing home, but I keep the memories safe in my mind of the wonderful and funny man he was!! He was and is a great man! I do miss the times we had together though! The trips every summer to either visit family back east, or to sight see, or the BBQ's at their house with all the kids, and not to mention the holiday parties, usually at my house. He was always the life of the party!

My Mom used to jump right in and help set up everything. She seemed to love getting together and really enjoyed the kids! I know that she is going through a lot right now, but I have enjoyed the hikes we go on, or trips to see dad,(he's on the other side of Denver) or even going out to breakfast with Sonny Boy in tow.

I just wanted to take a little trip back down memory lane and to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary! I thought sharing this with all of you would bring it all back for me and I hope that today is fun and full of chocolate for all of you!!

Have a wonderful Halloween and I love you Mom and Dad!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Queries, Synopsis, and Publishing

For the last two days my mind has been filled with articles, blogs, and comments about queries and synopsis' and it is now spinning. I ask myself, why are you letting yourself be worried about this right now? I guess my answer is, I went to the conference and met with an agent and he asked for them.

I know I am have a long way to go before I really need to worry about these things, especially since I am still in revisions, but they are still playing with my self-esteem and confidence. I am so grateful for the people in my life that keep encouraging me, actually I don't know what I would do without all of you, but I would really love to hear more comments from you about my book-honest ones at that-and just know that I am a little scared of it all!

I thought maybe this would be a good time to put in a little exert from my book to get your opinions. I did first think that maybe a recipe would be good for today, but personally I think something from my book is just what the blog ordered...okay a silly play on words. Please give me your feed back and know that this is another hint into my world of the Djen and Stevie's journey.

The terrain around the house gave Colten an excellent advantage for surveillance. An advantage he had used wisely for nearly two decades. Summer or winter, the variety of foliage provided by the ponderosa pine, spruces, aspens, cotton woods, and other species offered Colten an assortment of hiding places in the trees, allowing him to remain virtually undetectable either from the ground or higher elevations. From an early age, his only purpose for existing was protecting his charge from detection by the rebel forces on their home plane.
            Colten was trying to be patient, but for the first time in eighteen years he had lost track of Stevie. He listened for anything that would signal someone or something coming up the driveway, a change in the wind, some sound or smell (he could follow Stevie’s trail just by the scent of her shampoo). Nothing. Nervously jumping from tree to tree, anxious as a caged animal, he wished she would come home and again be under his protection.

So, give me feedback, I am curious as to what you think. Don't be shy, and don't hold back. It's the only way sometimes for me to see what I need to work on or if it is great the way it is. I look forward to your comments!

Thanks and love, Lisa 

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Survived

It's Monday, finally, and I survived a very busy weekend! First the conference, I had a wonderful time. It was great having my critique partner and new friend with me to support each other through our first pitch. I think she had a good time too! We both pitched to Jim McCarthy, an agent from New York, and both of us were asked for the first 50 pages of our books (after our revisions are done of course) and a synopsis. Then I was lucky enough to win a free query and synopsis help from Mary Buckham, co-author of Breaking into Fiction, because I knew when that time comes I will need all the help I can get!

Also, the food was good and it was great to see Lizzie and to meet some new writers and talk about their experiences and books they are writing. After the conference, we worked on Robin's blog and I think successfully got her's where she wants it to be and had chili (that my daughter made) for dinner. All and all, a full day, but a good day!

Next, Sunday, my son's 28th birthday! I was up and running, cleaning, shopping, laundry and getting ready to host the family and friends invited to celebrate his day. WOW, I was pooped by last night! I fell asleep early, woke back up and read, and then back to sleep by 11:00. I am actually glad that it's Monday!

Back to the norm and grateful for it! I have to say that this journey of writing a novel is exhausting, and exhilarating! It leads you through so many changes, in yourself and in your book. I do love it though and I look forward to the next workshop or conference, or my classes with my writing coach. I also enjoy meeting some wonderful people, and the amazing thing is they are so supportive and non-judgmental!  Thanks to all the great people I have met on the road to writing a novel, and thanks to my family and friends! I could not do this without all of you there cheering me on and giving me advice! I love all of you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Holidays

Well, can you believe's almost Halloween?? I don't know about you, but this is my favorite time of year, it's cooler out, the colors of the leaves invite walks in the park, and of course the most important part...chocolate time!

Okay, any time is chocolate time! But that's beside the point, the point is, it's the holidays! My grand kids are getting their costumes all set for the big walk of candy next weekend, my daughter has bought 5 big pumpkins, some for carving, and some for making her wonderful bread and muffins (I can feel the pounds adding on now!) and the decorations are itching to get out and spread out onto the walls and front door, with witches and ghosts, and vampires! I love it, and I love the kids excitement because that's what it's all about to me...the kids!

I have had the privilege to live with my grandchildren for the last year and a half, and sometimes it's great fun! Other times, not so fun, but kids are kids, and the best part is to be a part of their joy when trying on their new costume, or opening a gift, and even getting a new outfit and modeling it for us.

Next it's my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I love this holiday the most because it's not all about gifts that you need to buy, it's about getting together with family and eating the best meal ever! My husband and I have a tradition of cooking for the entire family, and some friends, and we have such a great time! I always look forward to it. Maybe I will post some of our favorite recipes next month, believe me they are tasty too.

And the last holiday, which I love too, Christmas! Now we have a new person that has joined our family and he is Jewish, so we get the honor of celebrating both holiday's, and I am learning about their traditions. Welcome Jon and know that we love you! Okay, back to Christmas. What I love about this holiday are the lights and decorations, and of course, all the delightful sweets. Cookies, breads, chocolate (there goes that sinful word again) and candy. I love getting cozy on the couch with hot chocolate in hand and gazing at the Christmas tree all shiny and yet soft. And then the kids eyes when they see new gifts piling up under the tree and they are so excited that they can't sleep and need to count down the days till they get to open them...what fun!!!

Yes, the holiday's have always been my favorite time of year. I also know that there are those who won't have the joy that our family does during the holidays, so I pray for them and that miracles come their way. Everyone deserves to celebrate the holidays and I want my family and friends this year to reach out and either volunteer to one of our many organizations that help make sure that the less fortunate people find comfort during this time of year, or to at least give money to support their cause.

I know that all of you have big hearts and want to help and I know I can count on everyone to do their part. I work for the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and I pledge to bake goods and help in whatever way I can to gather donations.

What ever it is you decide to do I am sure that it will help. Let me know what your family does and maybe it will give ideas for those who don't know what they could do to help. Leave your comments for others to share in this time of great need. Love you all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Welcome to my Djen Den! What is a Djen Den? Well, Djen are the people in another dimension who protect us from total earth destruction!  Yes, those are the people in my world, the world of Stevie, my heroine, and her long time friends, Alyssa and Jack.

Aside from my novel, I will post other insights into my "real" world, such as introducing other author's and their platforms, recipes, short stories, news that I want to share, contests, and yes, even pictures! Hopefully one day I will even post a book trailer about my published novels!! Thinking positive!!

Although I am new to all of this, I hope I can inspire, aspire, and humble myself and others through this new journey of blogging! I welcome any suggestions, thoughts, and comments and will probably want help now and then to questions about my book, so feel free to offer ideas and even answers to some of my troubling questions.

I have been inspired by awesome family and friends and I love all of you and appreciate all of you!

150 Words

Well, I am off to the Denver Romance Writers mini-conference this Saturday, with hopes and my learning cap firmly on! I am so looking forward to this, especially since I had such a great time last year, and this time my critique partner is going with me, it should be fun!

Not only will I learn about Query letters, but also I am to pitch my first agent (little nervous) and I have to present my first 150 words of my novel to see if they would capture an agent or publisher. They need to grab you and making you want more, and it needs to be good pressure there.

The thing is, your first chapter is so critical that it will literally drive you crazy! I have re-worked my first chapter so many times that it is now not the same--at all!

When I first began this little venture of writing a novel I had no idea of what it all involved. The hours of writing sure, but not the YEARS of revisions, classes, workshops, conferences, facebook, blogs, well you get it... It takes a lot of effort, nerves, and not to mention, learning!

I am not the computer type for one. I was never raised in front of a keyboard having to learn all the new jargon, fit in with the teens and young adults, and communicate within 140 words! I will easily stress out over what are the simplest things and want to scream!!  I think my husband wanted to lock me up last night!

After all of this I am sure it will be worth it, at least that is what I am told, and I pray my novel is a success. My friends, co-workers, family and even people that barely know me, have been so supportive and very appreciated. I am posting my first 150 words to get my blog followers to let me know what they think. Please be honest (I don't want to look like I write like a kid in junior high) and please comment. I need input and of course, reassurance that I am not doing this all for not...if you get my meaning...

The tremor was so intense it shook the bed chamber, knocking a vase off the side table, sending shattered porcelain, lilies, and water sliding across the polished wood floor. The heavy oak door rattled violently as if something unseen desperately wanted to gain entrance. Combined with a distant war cry, the uproar jolted Carlynn awake, nearly tumbling her from the window seat. She jerked her head this way and that trying to discern the cause of the commotion.
Fear gripped her and she protectively enfolded her arms around her swollen belly. Squinting, she could barely distinguish the prone form of her husband on the bed, three long strides from where she sat. Goose bumps prickled her arms. Light filtered through the window from below, eerily illuminating the landscape. It was followed by a thunderous noise which became deafening as she opened the window outward to get a better view.

Well, there you go...let me know what you think. Love you all and can't wait to hear your views!