Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween: Dean Style

I want to wish you all a spookalicious, horrifying, shivers up your spine, agonizing torture, goosebumps on your arms, screaming coming from the forest, hook dangling from your car door handle, blood splattered on the wall, nails scrapping on the chalkboard, crow eating your eyes out, psycho knife killing, zombie gnawing at your leg, ghost haunting, shrieking, pumpkin on fire, trick-or-treating, Edward sucking your blood, and Jacob turning into a wolf Happy Halloween!

Here's one of my favorite scenes from the TV show Supernatural to bring the scariness of Halloween into your day. Pardon it's French! haha (When you click the play button below, you'll have to click watch on YouTube)


Friday, October 28, 2011

Typos: The TerribleTerrors

As I go through my writing (WIP, Blog Posts), I find the silliest typos. Sometimes it takes a CP/Beta to catch them. Thank the heavens for editing! Huh?

Here are my most common:
  • YOU when I meant YOUR or vice versa
  • HE when I meant SHE or vice versa
  • AN when I meant AND or vice versa
  • ON when I meant IN or vice versa
  • HOW when I meant WHO or vice versa
  • And, I’ll be honest, an occasional mix up on the THERE when
    I meant THEIR or vice versa (I know the difference, though. Haha)
Spell check doesn’t always catch them because they’re spelled right. *shakes head repeatedly*

I guess my fingers have a mind of their own. I blame it on those blasted synapses. They flood from my brain to my phalanges, resulting in the loss or addition of some letters in the process.

I wonder how writers handled these circumstances in the past when technology wasn’t available. All they had was a quill and parchment. They’d have to rewrite a whole page if they fell prey to an evil typo. By hand. Ugh! It makes me respect authors from ages past all the more. Talk about dedication.

I’m glad I have technology and great CP’s to help me with these issues. I don’t think I’ll ever become a typo free author, but I can sure try to excel at my craft by writing wicked good stories.

What typos are your arch-nemeses? How would you have felt being an author from hundreds of years ago?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bigger and Better

The other day, I was tweeting back and forth with one of my good friends, author Jack Flacco. Our witty banter turned into us making up a bigger and better story.
The tale began with a panda bear and a monkey eating sushi. Soon the story included pirates carrying around Barbie and Ken dolls. The ship was being stalked by a poisonous anaconda, but with great luck, the boat’s parrot saved the vessel from devastating destruction.

However, the ship was haunted by a monkey (not the monkey that was eating sushi with the panda or the other monkey that got onto the ship without a passport and really needed deodorant). At the next port, the pirates had to find a priest to exorcise the ghostly monkey. Johnny Depp was an option, but the Ken dolls would have been jealous. With the help of a witchdoctor and the Ghostbusters, the Barbie and Ken dolls attacked the monkey until there was nothing left.
Then they all lived happily ever after.
We came up with something quirky and over-the-top during a twenty minute period of time. Regardless of how strange the plot was, it pumped my creativity in to overdrive.
This could be a useful and successful way to pull you out of a bit of writer’s block or just get you in the writing mindset. Plus, it’ll bring some giggles into your day. Take it from me; I was in a laughing fit the whole time.
Next time you need some writing help, call up, tweet, or message a writing buddy and make up a silly story together. In the end, you’ll be super happy and ready to write.
How bout we start a bigger and better story via comments to this post! I’ll start then the first person to comment add onto what I write. Then the next person to comment continue with what was written before and so forth.
  • A fish flopped up to a haunted house and knocked it’s head on the front door. The heavy entrance into the home creaked open and . . .
Now it’s your turn to add onto the story . . .

Friday, October 21, 2011


As I watch the leaves changing colors on the mountains surrounding the valley where I live and see the leaves piling up on the grass in the yard, I ponder the seasons. 

It brings to mind the different seasons of my life. I’ve gone through my formative years all the way up to high school graduation. Lots of stamps reside in my passport. A university diploma has been obtained. And now I’m in the author season—one in which will swirl throughout the coming seasons of my life.

At the beginning of this ongoing chapter of my life, all I had under my writing belt was the endless research papers I had to write during college. Uh, that certainly wasn’t the most entertaining time of my life. But when I was inspired to write my book Félicité Found and amazingly started plucking away at the keyboard, I started the journey of a life time.

These are some things I’ve learned during this part of my life:

  • Actually finishing something that I never thought I’d be able to do
  • Having complete adoration for my book
  • Learning patience
  • Feeling comfortable using the technical elements of writing (grammar and punctuation)
  • Being able to craft a story that people really like
  • Developing characters to the point where you feel they’re your best friend
  • Utilizing dialogue to make the story real
  • Editing
  • Becoming a social networking-ista (like a fashionista but for social networking)
  • Developing and maintaining a blog that I’m proud of
  • Becoming good friends with other writers
  • Showing, not telling
  • Writing a great query letter and synopsis
  • Did I mention patience? :) 
  • Gaining confidence in my writing skills
  • And accepting constructive criticism and rejection

With all these things in mind, I look back over the past two years and see just how far I’ve come. I’ve fallen in love with the written word, if not by writing it, reading it. I’m so grateful I’ve found this excellent skill in my life. It has altered my existence forever. I will never be the same for it. And I like who I’ve become because of it.

Next time you look at the crisp autumnal colors brightening the trees, think about just how far you’ve come in the joyous adventures in your life and the season you’re experiencing now. Embrace them and never, ever let them slip out of your hands.  They are priceless!

How have you grown throughout your present season? Writers, how has becoming an author enriched your life?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finding THE Name

So, two nights ago, I was struggling to fall asleep. What typically happens when I’m tossing and turning in bed is I begin thinking about writing. During that period of time, I decided to find a name for my WIP. For a couple minutes, I threw around ideas and thought about the essence of my book.

Suddenly, a name popped into my mind. Then the names for the following two books in the trilogy cascaded into existence. I played around with them until they were perfect. Soon, they stuck in my mind like super glue.

A huge smile exploded on my face. I wanted to tell the world because of the joy of finding the name of something so precious to me, something that gives my life meaning. It’s bound to me.

I’m thrilled that it’s no longer called my WIP or the book I’m writing, but it’s called . . .

Sorry, guys, I’m not releasing it out or the last two book’s names quite yet. I’ll leave you in intense suspense. Now, you all must comment telling me to kick my butt into gear to bring my book “. . .” into reality.

Do it! I dare you.

Anyway, how did you find the name of your book(s), short stories, or even your dog’s name? Was it in the thick of the night? On your drive home from work? Or while you were writing?

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Funny for Your Friday

I went to see the play My Fair Lady last night at the Hale Center Theatre in West Valley City, Utah. Great play! Go see it if you live in Utah! Well worth it! By the time I got home I was super tired. Totally forgot to prepare a blog post for today. Due to that, I'm posting a YouTube video that one of my coworkers shared with me a few days ago. It made me laugh so hard I snorted. Yes, I do that! Embarrassingly endearing.

Seriously, what are the chances of this cyclist crash happening? Crazy! I do apologize to the man who the terrible occurrence happened to. I'm sorry I laughed at your misfortune. I hope you're okay! See this is why people must wear helmets.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend! Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? You gonna be typing away at your WIP? Editing? Revising? Or relaxing? I will be watching a scary movie with friends tonight. Tomorrow will be dedicated to my WIP! Woot Woot!

Any who, see you next week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pantser or Plotter?

When you write a book, do you fly by the seat of your pants or plot it out play by play ?

I’ve experienced both now.

With my first book, I pants it all the way. This means creating the story along the way with only an idea of where the book should go. Honestly, I wrote the end first, then the beginning. After that I filled in the middle one chapter at a time. Occasionally, it was difficult because I’d finish a chapter and have to ponder what I should do next to have the plot progress to the ending I’d already written.

With my WIP, I decided I’d try my hand at being a plotter. Of course, I didn’t do a major huge outline the length of 20 pages. All I did was write a brief sentence or two about what I wanted to have happen in each chapter to get it to the ending I’d imagined. So far, it’s turned out to be successful. I like how quickly writing is going due to this method.

However, with my first book, I sort of didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning stage. It took learning more about the writing industry and a lot of great advice from critique partners and writing friends to help me get my book, Félicité Found, to where it is now—a query-able book.
This time around, I know the foundation of how to write a story well from chapter one. I feel like plotting it out has been a useful and beneficial technique.
Yet, maybe Félicité Found took longer to write because of not knowing where to go once I finished a chapter, but the creativity flowed just as easily. Only a couple times did I suffer from writer’s block.
I like both methods, but am partial to plotting now. Who knows what system I’ll use with my next project or those that follow, but they’re both ways in which a story can come to life.
So, as I asked before, are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you have a preference? And, why?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ideas for Stories

I attended a writing conference today at a university near my home. Dan Wells was the keynote speaker; author of I Am Not a Serial Killer; Mr. Monster; I Don't Want To Kill You; and to-be-released in 2012, Partials

He spoke about how authors get their ideas. Dan said, "It's not about ideas, it's about turning ideas into stories."

I'm going to let you in on his secret to getting ideasall the time! You need to Pay Attention! 

Simple, right? Right! Anything, even the ring on your finger or a piece of peppermint candy can inspire you. Look everywhere for your ideas, if it be on the History channel, a dog barking outside, or the bowl of soup I'm eating even though it's getting too cold. 

Dan taught us to take something normal and combine it with something strange to develop it into an idea for a story. 

For example: a pocket watch and a crazed chicken.

Here's what I came up with:

A teenage farm boy finds an old pocket watch in pristine condition under his bedroom floor boards. When he picks it up, he hears it ticking; no, clucking loudly. He stuffs it in his pocket thinking its cool. As he works on the farm the next day, the chickens appear to be going crazy, practically biting each others heads off. And they are growing bigger at an alarming rate. He takes his family to hide, fearing they will be killed. Over the next months, the world is taken over by these huge chickens. No longer is chicken the poultry of choice, but humans are. It's not until the boy realizes the pocket watch was the catalyst for the chickens dominating the world that he destroys the watch. The chickens die instantly, leaving the world free from their reign of terror.  

Now, it's your turn to practice. Comment with an idea using the example above. Let's see what awesome ideas spring to mind.   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Adventures in Wyoming

Last week I was on a trip doing recruitment for the place I work at. I took some pics along the way for you all to enjoy! Well, I enjoyed seeing them first hand! For the duration of the trip, I drove a whopping 1300 miles and was able to listen to two full audio books. They're definitely what kept me awake, especially during the 5 1/2 hour drive home. 

Me with a pretty view of the Grand Tetons in the background (just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming). They are my favorite mountain range and I've backpacked a couple times there; once a 40 mile trip. 

Grand Tetons again. Sigh!

They're a little difficult to see, but if you look closely enough,  you'll get a view of some cute dear. FYI: I didn't zoom in at all. They were right there by my car. Super cool! The deer were probably wondering what the giggling sound was coming from the car. Uh . . . it was me. You can't blame me, I was excited.

Lets play "Where's Waldo?" Or should I say, "Where's the Plane?" Did you find it?

I had fun! Haven't taken a real vacation for a couple years, so this will have to suffice till I can do something not work related. 

Now I'm back to the regular routine. Oddly enough, last night I could hardly sleep for excitement to be back at work. It was like Christmas. Yep, I'm crazy. A good crazy, though. 

Photography Copyright Julia King 2011