Thursday, May 26, 2011

El Comicon del Phoenix

First of all, I'm sorry for not having posted recently. But I'm happy to explain why: it's time for the PHOENIX COMICON! No, I haven't been busy preparing a costume - though if I did it would be something Hobbity - but gearing up for volunteering. I'll be attending all three days, Fri, Sat, Sun, as both spectator and volunteer, and needed something business casual. As a stay-at-home mom, my idea of business casual is slippers and a cup of coffee.  Needless to say, this requires something, well, more. A good excuse as any to shop. So outfit in hand, I am ready. This is my second year volunteering and I must say, I look forward to it all year. It's an exciting, fast-paced, stressful experience that I wouldn't miss for anything. Not as big as San Diego (yet), the Phoenix Comicon offers a chance to meet and mingle with icons like Stan Lee and Leonard Nimoy while still allowing you enough personal space to breath :)

This year I'm most excited about the authors. Especially Az home grown YA writers like Janni Lee Simner (BONES OF FAERIE), Aprilynne Pike (WINGS), Lisa McMann (WAKE trilogy), James A Owens (HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS), Tom Leveen (PARTY), and Jon Lewis (INVASION) to name a few.

If you're in the Phoenix area, come downtown and say hi! We'll leave a light on :)

For more info, click on PHOENIX COMICON. May the force be with you. Live long and prosper. Journey well. Namárië (If you know that one, you have my utmost respect!). And, coming soon, ¡Buen Provecho!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

¡El Libro Fantástico! DOGGIRL by Robin Brande

Love animals? Love reading? Love Young Adult books? Even if you answered just one yes, you will love DOGGIRL by the wonderful Robin Brande. Part Dog Whisperer (Cesar Millan, not Pet Psychic), part High School Drama Department, and a pinch of Mean Girls, DOGGIRL showcases the magic that happens when a young girl finds her niche in high school, and the rough road she took to get there.

Fourteen-year-old Ryle Case has always had a special relationship with animals, both wild and domestic. She understands their needs and what it takes to bring out the best in them, especially her three dogs. It's her peers she doesn't understand, and has resigned herself to staying as unnoticed as possible. But when she learns the high school's drama director wants to use animals in his newest production, she can't help but come out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Doing what she does best - dog training -  not only elevates the play, but her high school experience as well.

Having pet allergies myself, DOGGIRL was a wonderful way for me to experience the love and acceptance that comes with being part of a pack and having that unexplainable connection with a pet. Robin Brande also captures all the coming-of-age ups and downs, from the anxiety and depression from not fitting in and getting bullied, to the triumphant joy of finding that special group, and even that one cute guy, who likes you just the way you are. I adored it and especially appreciated that while true to the high school experience, its also something that all my kids can read. (no explicit profanity or sex, thank you very much!) Highly, highly recommend - a wonderful summer read!

DOGGIRL is available now for e-readers. The print edition will be available the end of May 2011. Check out Robin Brande's website for more details. Then be sure to pick up her other titles: FAT CAT and EVOLUTION, ME & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Every month, Miss Snark’s First Victim (Writers Digest winner “101 Best Websites for Writers”) runs a Secret Agent contest. Each contest includes a maximum of 50 entries, which will be posted on the opening day of the contest and critiqued by her blog community and a Secret Agent whose identity will not be revealed until the contest closes. Click here for rules and submission guidelines. This month’s contest will open next Monday and is for the first 250 words of your completed Young Adult or Middle Grade manuscript, including science fiction/fantasy. Like mine. But I haven’t decided to enter. My MS is not agent ready, but it’s close.
I hit a major milestone last week. After two years – yes, years – I finally condensed my monstrous 167,000-word (think roughly 800 pages) novel down to a more manageable 85,000. Now to smooth out the rough edges. This will be the last edit, for good or for ill. The good news is that with all the leftovers, the next two books are already half written J
Buena suerte to all who enter. And for the rest of us, ¡Buen Provecho!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Welcome to Writings, Workouts, and Were-Jaguars! Let me begin by explaining what we'll be doing here. And my crazy title.

Why Writings? I'm a writer on my publishing journey and will share every stupid (and not-so-stupid) move I make. Hopefully, you'll keep from repeating the bad and follow the good. In addition to my embarrassing wanna-be-writer blunders, you'll also get loads of info on agents, writing contests, query (book pitch) help, critique groups, book giveaways and reviews. If you're on this journey with me, I'll hook you up with everything I can get my virtual fingers on. For today, check out the first four chapters of the very talented Robin Brande's newest YA novel, DOGGIRL (<click). If you're an animal lover or simply a lover well-written stories about high school awkwardness and not fitting in, you'll be glad you did!

Why Workouts?  I spend most of my day, well, writing. So the only part of me getting worked-out are my fingers. And sometimes my brain, but I'm not sold on how many calories that burns. We should all get some physical activity, if only to stimulate blood flow to our imaginations. Today, I'll play tennis. And golf. And practice hitting home runs. How does a mother of four very busy kids do this? One word: wii! It may be virtual but it gets me off my actual cushion. And it doesn't bother my allergies.

And finally, why Were-Jaguars? Were-Jaguars are the obstacles keeping us from getting what we want. In my case, they really are were-jags. Were-jags, or Balam, are my novel's antagonists, keeping the heroine from her goal. I've had a few agents critique my query, and they all stopped reading the moment they hit the term were-jaguars. Thus keeping me from my goal. I'm still working on that one. What are your were-jaguars and how do you get over them?

Thanks again for stopping by! I promise next time, there will be more to see and do. In the mean time, ¡buen provecho! (bon appetit)