Sunday, May 31, 2009

Something realy funny. had a contest to celebrate thier second year on the web. The last contest called for people to create the worst query they could. I couldnt resist and sat down this afternoon to write it. If only real querys were this easy to write. LOL

Dear agent who I forget your name,
I am sending this letter to reveal my previously unrecognized writing genious to you. You are touching the same paper that your next blockbuster author has previously handled. Consider yourself privlidged. As you will see, my mother and all of the neighbors that I have wrangled into reading my manuscript (by force or bribery) thinks it is the greatest thing since. . . the invention of the printing press.
Alana Dove is a newely divorced young woman witha dream. A child of hippies, she picks herself up after her white collar doctor husband leaves her for someone with a brain. Determined to make it on her own after swearing off men she opens a "water yoga" studio only to find no one else can hold thier breath as long as she can.
Forlorn and homeless she meets up with "Mikey", a biker dude that gives her a ratty couch to sleep on untill she either gets her feet under her or some common sense. Will it be love at first ride? Or will she find the intelligence to make a comeback on her own? Only the reader will know.
"Dove's Dude" is a fiction novel of 53,546 words. And if you dont pick it up you will be kicking yourself like the agents who didnt sign JK Rowling or Stephehie Meyer.
I have been writing for the last 6 months and am pleased to find that my inborn tallent surpasses those of Nora Roberts and Stephen King.
I am the "mother" of 4 birds, one quaker parakeet named Archie who plucks her feathers, I think it is from lack of attantion, proper light and nutrition. My two finches named after the main characters in my favorite anime are so sweet all they do is mate and sing. My Cocatiel is the nicest hissing bird I know, i'll bring her to our meetings in the future. She only bites if you hold her and she is getting better at not pooping all over. Oh, and I have a turtle, and I had a salamander but he disapeared and I havnt found him yet. Probably under the couch again.
I still live in my parents basement but plan on moving out when i get that really huge advance you are goiing to give me for my amazinf novel.
I'll be waiting for your hurried response by sitting on the front lawn by the mailbox. I'll be the one in the cutoffs and tube top in the pink and duck tape lawn chair with a margarita and my lap top.
Have an awesome "Dove's Dude" day.
(Please hurry with my acceptance letter. My mom is on my case again about getting a real job.)
Sally Scribner

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A new theme song?

I know that "Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield is very much a writers theme song. In fact I have often wondered if who ever wrote the song had any idea the impact it has on those of us who are writers.

However my daughter pointed out this song and I believe, at least for me, the lyrics have more impact on me than "Unwritten".

The Climb by Miley Cyrus

I can almost see it.
That dream I'm dreaming, but
There's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it
Every step I'm takin'
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin'
But I gotta keep tryin'
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I'm not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most
I've just gotta keep goin', and
I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, but

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb

Keep on movin'
Keep climbin'
Keep faith baby
It's all about, it's all about
The climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, woah

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's been a day. I have a headache as the adversary again tries to tell me I'm no good at writing. I promise I will finish the story of how I became a writer perhaps tomorrow. But today I am soothing my own soul with music that calms me and makes me feel good. So here it is: Breath by Breaking Benjamin.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How I Became a Writer. Part 3

With one manuscript finished I opened another short story called Foxproof and started re-writing it. This one was more my style with agents and bad/good guys. (not that I didn't love Amalathea, still do and will definately rework it at a later date.) I started to write it and as I would hit a wall or get bored with it I started more stories. Within a few months I had a few completed rough drafts and a few more stories started.

After a few months I decided to pull out my old MS, (Dominion Day)the one I wrote in High School. This was definately a favorite of mine. But a challenge since the origional storyline was actually very simple. With the other story's finished, I sat down with the origional MS and the partial rewrite I did after HS and began to write the story out.

Now, the origional story was supposed to be two books a present the problem and solve the problem set of books. I couldn't immagine something longer than that. The first story was of a guy and girl who are agents they marry and have kids. The second about thier kids after the couple die.

Well, about halfway through the book, a scene appeared in my head where my main character got religion. This scene literally turned the book upside down. It went from a 2 book set to a 5 book series. With the change in my character the story became much more complex. Scenes popped in my head like popcorn and there were a few days where I wrote 20 + pages a day.

About this time I was in church and they started asking if anyone had good news. I kept feeling I should tell them about my finished manuscripts. So after battling with my inner voice that was insisting that I say something I did. After Relief Society, (a church meeting) A woman aproached me as I waited to leave the classroom. she introdouced herself and said that she was interested in writing and wanted to talk sometime. It took a few months to actually talk but we hit it off on New Years Eve. We have been best friends ever since. We exchange writing talk about plot, and characters. We found out about the LDStorymakers conference and went to it together.

She was the first validation that what I had, inspite of the grammar problems, was good work. She also worked with me on those grammar problems and helped me develop a thick skin for critiquing.

So as my friend and I continued our writing careers together, the MS's I was working on began to evolve and become pieces of work that were slowly becoming better.

Friday, May 22, 2009

How I Became a Writer. Part 2

Okay, so while all of my writer ideas were collecting dust on a shelf in my brain. (no I don't dust, too many allergies) I was telling my children stories and thinking I should dabble in the realm of childrens books. I wrote a few but they would be shelved as soon as they were finished.

One morning I was watching an early morning news show. They were interviewing an author and the author said that if you want to be a writer every sentence must be completely new and have never been read before. Talk about a load of mind blowing discouragement. It was those words that rattled in my brain everytime I had an idea come up or the desire to write. I basically talked myself out of ever writing again.

I was busy with a family and volunteering work so the writing bug was sated for a while. (This is the part where Harry Potter comes in) We moved from Provo to Tooele and I was left w/o any volunteer work to do, and no friends. I found the library and dove into the world of reading to pass my time. I hit a point that there were no more books that were appealing to me and I had just finished Harry Potter #5 and was waiting on pins and needles for #6 to come out.

There were no books in the house or Library that I hadn't read. (that I wanted to read, I didn't read the whole library) So I pulled out my two old folders and bag of my old writing and began to read them to pass the time. I pulled out a 12 page story called "The Secret of Amalathea" and read it. As I finished the small exerpt that I had written a long time ago the world of Amalathea opened up in my mind and I thought "I can work on this, I can finish the story." So I sat at the old computer and with my limited four finger typing I wrote 101,000 words before I typed "The End". Thus a very ameturish writer was born again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How I Became a Writer.

It actually started in fifth grade when I found a collection of short science fiction stories in ny school library. I checked them out over and over again. I decided, at that time, I wanted to write stories just like that myself. Add to that a really old annime called "Battle of the Planets" and I was sold on the scifi genre.

I was enamored by what I now know as the character based sci fi so much so I created my own scenes with the established characters in my head. When I was in high school I met a freind who had written a 300 page novel. (Loved the book still do.) I decided if she could do it I could too and a writer was born. I started as a sophomore and finished the 189 page handwritten book just a few days before summer break my junior year. The book was based LOOSELY on the anime I loved so much as a kid.

Forward a few years and I began to re-write that book in my extreemely rare free time. I learned many things as I re-wrote it. Still not enough to really write a publishable book but I was begining to really be a writer.

Then I got married and had three kids in seven years. Writing was put on hold as I raised my kids. Add two more kids in that span of fifteen years and needless to say I read a ton of books but did not work on my own writing at all.

Everything changed about five years ago. I blame Harry Potter, but I'll let you decide.

Priorities. . .

I have had my eyes opened, so to speak. I have been spending so much time on the internet just surfing that I am not writing. Yet to efficently market your book and make yourself appealing to publishers you should be well connected. This is quite a quandry, and in the wake of it, I have decided to do a few things. One, I will not leave my blog, (the last time I closed it I lost TONS of readers). Two, I will still remain on Facebook and Twitter. Just not as much. Third I will still read the blogs and hit the sites I deem important but again not as much.

Why? You ask? Because I am a writer. I need time to write, or edit, or market. I have dropped the ball and my other MS's are just sitting there. I am also planning on making it a priority to post here Monday's Wednesday's and Friday's. You'll still hear from me I promise. I'd like to have a theme on the days but I am afraid that if I pidgeon hole myself I will dry out the Muse. So we'll see. But rest asured I will talk more about why I write and what I am doing with my current works. I also have a STACK of books I need to review and I think I'll do those on Fridays.

So, look for me but assume if i'm not here I am writing. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The waiting game

So you all know about the requested manuscript, and the three chapter review, right?
Well these last few weeks have been insane. I sent emails to two readers and my editor to ask if they could um. . . Hurry? I recieved the two readers comments back for the MS, and have reworked the MS acording to thier suggestions. I re-wrote the first three chapters of the romance I was working on taking it from first person to third my preferred person. Then posted it on my crit board.

So now I wait, the edit should be here any day, it is finished and in the process of being snail mailed. And I am waiting for the crit board to get back to me on the romance. So I wait, and play with a YA paranormal that I had an idea for. And I wait, and I deep clean my kitchen, and I wait and I update my facebook status and I wait. . . . . Sigh. (this post is in no way meant to pressure those I am waiting on. . . )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ten Things I Need. . .

To write.
Yeah, I got this idea from my friend Karen, and I am copying her. (she said I could)

So in true top ten style I will start with #10

10) Music. I don't always need it but on certain days I do. My first choice is my playlist HERE. second my plethra of CD's and even GASP cassette tapes. I do have some interesting things on my playlist so don't immediately write it off if you get something by Shirou Sagisu.

9)Dove Chocolates. MMMM the caramel ones are the best.

8)Spiral notebooks. I love the pastel ones with email icons on them. :),{}, <3, ;). I carry at least one in my bag at all times sometimes three.

7)Places to store paper. Filing cabinets, book shelves, acordian files, need I say more?

6)Writing books. Dictionaly, thesarus, Strunk and White Elements of Style, Grammar books etc. etc. etc.

5)Printer. I kill my printers, they fear me when I am near. My BFF says they have coronary events and die.I prefer HP but will take just about anything. I also have to have ink cartrridges and ink refills too.

4)Reams of paper. Ask me what I got for christmas, comeon, its not hard to figure out. My hubby bought me a case of paper. (I got an SD card last year for Mother's day.)

3)Pens, I was converted to the RSVP pen by my best friend years ago. I love them and have a couple of unopened packages just incase.

2)My new Alphasmart Dana LOVE IT!!!!! Amazing tool great option for those who cant afford a laptop.

1)My laptop. I love it too. the poor thing is used and abused. But when it comes to hardcore writing or editing I prefer a computer.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I just recieved rejection #17.

While the rest of the letter is really nice and positive, this phrase hit me like a brick in the head, and I'm still laying on the ground bleeding over it.

While there is no easy way to say this, I am afraid that we will have to pass on your manuscript. It's not quite right for us, considering we strictly publish sci-fi/horror/fantasy. Emergence doesn't really fit into any of those categories, seems to be more of a suspense thriller.

Emergence is not science fiction?????? Oookkkaaaayyyy????? What is it then? Granted there's a bit of steampunk, but my character likes old things. Theres not enough to call it steampunk either.

Somehow it will find its place in the world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Question. . .

I sent a grammar and spelling fixed, rough draft, first chapter through the Virtual Editor. (See writing links in my sidebar.) I am happy to report that my passive voice is at 2.45% in rough draft stage. That is something I am extreemly proud of. I've worked hard training myself to write in active voice.

The question is how do you raise the "Reading Level" of your wirting? I'm not extreemely worried. I write at the level most people read but I wonder. What does it take to write at that higher level?

Opinions? Advise?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Very Tristi Contest!

My wonderful friend Tristi is releasing a new series of mysteries, and to kick the whole thing off she is playing a game of online Clue. So follow the instructions below to find out who done it, where they did it, and with what. The prize is awesome so follow the clues to find out what happened and get entered in the drawing!

To celebrate the release of my new book, "Agent in Old Lace," I'm holding the coolest contest I've ever held! Because the book is a mystery novel, I'm sending you on a scavenger hunt all over the Internet. There are three sets of clues on sixteen websites. First, you must find them all. Then, you must arrange them into groups (they are labeled 1, 2, and 3 - that part's not so mysterious). Then you must decide what they are referring to. Remember the game "Clue," where you discovered that the culprit was Miss Scarlet, in the library, with the rope? You, too, must figure out who did it, where, and with what.

After you have obtained these clues, send me your answer at tristi AT with "contest" in the subject line. All correct answers will be entered into a drawing. And what does the lucky winner receive for all their hard work? A pretty cool prize!

This package contains a popcorn bowl, three flavors of popcorn, a $25.00 gift card to Blockbuster, and a copy of "Agent in Old Lace."

Are you all set to go? Are you rarin' to get ready?

Here are your clues. Each of the bloggers listed below can be found in the sidebar of my blog, either under the "If I'm Not Home, You Can Find Me Here" heading, or the "Or You Might Find Me Here" heading. You may need to do a little clicking and scrolling, but hey, to the victor go the spoils ... or, to the victor goes the cool prize.

"Who" Clues:

1. This blogger raises chickens and wrote "Lemon Tart."

2. This blogger runs marathons and wrote "Parenting the Ephraim's Child."

3. This blogger is a political activist and wrote "Out of the Shadows ... Into the Light."

4. This blogger makes pottery and wrote "False Pretenses."

5. This blogger was raised in a drug store and wrote "The Forgotten Warrior."

"Where" Clues:

1. This blogger was born overseas and wrote "Reasonable Doubt."

2. This blogger used to live in England and wrote "Please, No Zits."

3. This blogger wrote a darling picture book about Down Syndrome and is the author of "Heaven Scent."

4. This blogger is a former publisher and is the assistant manager at Provident Book.

5. This blogger feels like toast and wrote "The Santa Letters."

"With What" Clues:

1. This blogger founded ANWA and wrote "Trail of Storms."

2. This blogger is a seminary teacher and wrote "Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers."

3. This blogger is addicted to peanut butter cups and wrote "Shadow of the Crown."

4. This blogger is a Whitney Award winner and wrote "Counting Stars."

5. This blogger is a nurse and wrote "Sharing Through Song."

6. This blogger is the Utah Best in State Award winner for Fiction, 2007, and wrote "Tower of Strength."

Okay! You've been given your directions. Visit the designated blogs and look for your clues. Your clues will be marked with this symbol:

You may need all the clues in that category to pinpoint the information you need. You have until May 30th at midnight send me an e-mail with your guess as to who, where, and with what. You can piece it all together by using the Internet as your guide. A hint ... on the "what," the first two clues tell you what brand, the second two clues tell you what kind, and the last clues tell you what item.

Good luck!!

And if all that wasn't cool enough ... check this out. I'm doing the launch party for my book at Provident Book in Pleasant Grove on June 6th. Come hang out with me!

If you would like to preorder a copy of "Agent in Old Lace," click here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More good news?!?!?!

This saturday my dear husband drove me two hours to a writing workshop. (He is so supportive of me!) I saw friends and learned alot most of the clases were about marketing. There was a drawing for door prizes the grand prize being a three chapter review by Kirk Shaw of Covenant publishing. (BTW Kirk Rocks! He is so personable and friendly.)

Guess What?????

I WON!!!!

I can't believe the blessings I have recieved lately. I also got a Alphasmart Dana from my dear friend Karen.

So if I am scarce for a few days, weeks I am working on my MS and my three chapters!

Thank you everyone, I love you all.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Good news. . .

I know this is late but I HAD to thank my friends before I shared this with you. While I was having a wonderful/emotional time at the LDStorymakers conference something amazing happened.

Just a few weeks ago I sent ten pages of my MS to an editor for a free review. Then at the conference I was able to give my elevator pitch to a publisher.

At the conference the editor who gave me my review asked to see more of it. Then the publisher that I gave the pitch to asked me to send her my full MS. So in one afternoon, I recieved two requests for my MS!!!!!!!

Now this doesn't mean that they will accept it or even like the rest of the book, But it was afirming that at least my first ten pages and my elevator pitch, garnered some attention.

Hard work pays off guys, write the best work you can and work on your public presence as well. Toughen that skin so you can make your work shine, and learn to present yourself in a positive and professional way. Memorize that pitch so when someone asks you about it, it's there on the tip of your tongue. Don't be afraid of talking to people you admire, it can take you far. :) Blogs, websites, and social networks definately help too.

Just thought you'd like to know.