Friday, February 26, 2010

Emotional response, and the power of our writing.

I participate in a number of social avenues for my writing. I am in a critique group and also talk about my writing occasionally on Facebook. I also work with my local library teaching and encouraging new and teen writers.

To get a point across in the writing group, I will use small snippets of my current story to make what I am talking about clear. I have often posted on Facebook a small idea of what I am writing. My crit group gets three chapters twice a month to crit and my friends, who all know I am a writer, hear all about my story.

Every time I tell someone about my story I get eavesdroppers tellimg me that they want to read it. I guess either the story is really good or my enthusiasm rubs off on them.

At the library monday, I was using Emergence to illustrate the peroid of time between the introdouction with the first plot point and then the second stage of the story until the mid point. The cleaning lady at the library overheard me and asked where she could get the book. I had to tell her it wasn't published yet. I was talking to a reader at a baby shower and the lady next to her asked to read it too. I get this alot.

I was at the local store months ago and I told a friend I figured out the ending of the book and was so excited about it. She'd never read it, and after we talked I gave her the finished MS. She started reading it and loved it. Every time I'd see her, she'd tell me where she was and how much she was enjoying it.

To be honest, I was loving the admiration and compliments. Talk about stoking my ego. LOL

However, about three quarters throgh the book she stopped reading it, TWICE! In the same place. I was frustrated and kept wondering if my story dropped at that point or I became a terible writer between the begining and the end.

Then she told me that she had become so emotionally involved in the story and so invested in the characters lives that she had to stop because she couldn't bear to read what happened to the characters in the end of the book. See if you remember, I told her the whole plot line and what happens at the end. Stupid me. :) I also had a friend who's husband had serious surgery and couldnt bring the MS to the hospital as it was too stressful to read at that point in time.

It was pretty frustrating because she had given me, up untill that time, really good feedback that I allways used for revisions. She even asked me if one character was too good to be real, what an eye opener that comment was, and more but much better revisions.

As I have thought about this dear friend of mine I have come to realize that when something is written well you elicit an emotional response. Whether good or bad. If this story gets published I am going to have people who love it or hate it. I am probably going to have people hate me for the ending of this book. I have joked with my good friends that I'm going to get hate mail for this one, and that I'm going to need a PO box.

I have had to accept that it's okay for her to not finish the book, a thought that had never crossed my mind before now. That as a writer I can't please everyone and that's okay.

That perhaps if I want everyone to love what I write, I should write something fuzzy with fluffy bunnies and butterflies. That I should abandon the high action and plot twisting story with the deeply conflicted MC . . . .


Monday, February 22, 2010

Hesitation, epithany, and the gift of inspiration

As many of you guys know I am a green stripe in Tang Soo Do testing to be a green #2 in a few weeks. I am also LDS.

A couple of days ago my hubby found a discussion on a very conservative LDS board about how evil martial arts are. He forwarded the discussion to me because he knew I would be interested. I read it and for a few minutes sat in shock. How could something that has been amazingly wonderful for me be seen as so evil by some.

I can see some of their points, some people who become involved in the art become disillusioned and tend to fall away from the church. That they begin to substitute the adversary's power for the priesthood and open themselves up to the bad influences that come with it.

This train of thought came to a dreadful realization for me, if people can think that this is bad, then the magic system (or power system) I have set up for my world and characters can be also perceived as evil by some. That is definately not what I want. Like I said I am LDS and live in Utah, I don't want something I write to be constrewed wrong. Granted some people are going to think badly of it inspite of every precaution I make. I can't controll that. But I can make sure that what I write is positive and good.

I spent many hours that morning in quiet contemplation over what I had read, what I had created in my book, and what I believe. Curtains drawn I sat at my computer and contemplated changing my entire second book. Then quietly in the silence of serious meditation it came to me as it always does.

In every magic system you create there has to be rules and consequences. Both good and bad. You can't have somebody just storming through your book creating either unending good or unending chaos. The reader is not going to buy it or your next book for that matter.

AND just like real life if there's a an evil side to something there has to be a good. God's laws are like that. So If my main character uses good powers. There must be a dark and bad side to emphasize the good. So if my MC is good, then I should give the opposite to my antagonist.

I sat back as a wave of relief washed over me and I realized that I had just recieved my answer. All I needed to do, is make my bad guy the opposite of my good guy and make the reader aware of how evil what my bad guy believes and practices is. (for those who are interested in what I am talking about, on the bad side, look up De' mauk.)

Simple and easy, at least the thought is.

Now I need to revise the whole book.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Secret Sisters is almost here!

Tristi Pinkston has a new book coming out in March called "Secret Sisters". The series is called "The Secret Sisters Mystery Series". I am pleased to help her promote her book and announce the contest she is holding. Check out her blog here.

Ida Mae Babbitt, president of the Omni 2nd ward Relief Society, didn't mean to become a spy. But when visiting teaching stats are low and she learns that one family under her care is in financial trouble, she'll do whatever it takes to make sure they have what they need. If that includes planting surveillance cameras in their home and watching them from a parked car in the woods, well, isn't that what any caring Relief Society president would do?

With the help of her counselors Arlette and Tansy, Ida Mae soon learns that there's more to the situation than meets the eye. It's all in a day's work for the Relief Society.

The book will be launched on March 16th up at the Gateway Barnes and Noble, and to count down the days, we're going to have a little fun!

First of all, there's an awesome prize. The winner of my contest will receive:

A bag of lavender-scented potpourri

A white lace doily

A copy of "Secret Sisters," autographed to them

A $25.00 gift certificate to

And ... and ...

The chance to read the sequel before anyone else on earth, except for my editor and critique group

How amazing is that??

What do you have to do to be entered?

1. If you have a Facebook account, click here and friend Ida Mae. Value: One point

2. If you have a Blogger account, go here and follow Ida Mae. Value: One point

3. If you have a Twitter account, follow Ida Mae @IdaMaeBabbitt. Value: One point

4. Go to my website and sign up for my newsletter. Value: Two points Note: If you have trouble getting on to the newsletter page, e-mail me at tristipinkston AT and I can add you on directly.

5. Send Ida Mae a question to be featured in her weekly "Ask Ida Mae" segment. She will answer any question from politics to religion to cooking. Reach her at Value: Two points

6. Blog, retweet, or post this contest on Facebook. Value: Two points each. Do all three - triple points.

7. Tell your friends about this awesome new series. Value: One point for each friend you tell.

Add up all your points and send them to me at You will receive one entry per point. The more things you do on the above list, the more chances you have to win! The winner will be drawn the night before the launch party, so set your sights on March 15th. If the winner happens to come to the launch party, I will bring the prize to the event, have my picture taken with you, and I'll post that picture on my blog and Facebook accounts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Try Your Hand . . . Author Taglines.

Okay! time for another attempt at "try your hand". This time we're talking about author taglines. Taglines are the one sentence lines that follow your name, that tell the world about you. You put them on your business cards, put them in your email signatures, and other things to let the world know you write this or that.

While I am good at short things, this one line thing really tried my patience and creativity. How am I supposed to describe ME in one line. I had a hard enough time with the short author bio. So after hours and hours, I found something that EVERYONE but me HATED. So I trashed that one and moved on.

Finally I came up with one that I love and others seemed to like too.

"Science Fiction, secret agents, and bad boys gone good."

What do you think?

What is your author tagline?

I am having so much fun making these homemade book marks, I will draw a random commenter and send them one!

Come on you know you want to. Tell us your tagline and win a cute velentines themed book mark!

P. S. Thanks to Rebecca Talley for the tagline inspiration!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Winners!!!!!

So my DD and I wrote out every name and then proceeded to cut them in little squares and after shaking the crap out of the little pieces of paper My daughter drew out two names.

Elizabeth Mueller is the winner of the Signed copy of "Devils Food Cake by Josi Killpack

Kimberly Job is the winner of a really cool hand made ribbon book mark.

If the winners will email me at cmichellejefferies at g mail dot com with thir addresses I will get these in the mail ASAP.

thanks guys and I look forward to even more follower contests in the future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm such a geek. . .

This is my "Chapter Editing Countdown Chain"

Yeah you can tell me how much of a geek I am. Go ahead.

When I saw that I was over halfway done with my edit on Emergence with my editor. I got a silly idea to make a chain to count down. So I cut SEVENTEEN strips of paper and wrote the chapter titles on them and stapled them together. Then I hung it on my wall where I have my chapter editing calendars.

Everytime I finish a chapter, I will tear or ceremoniously cut a link off. :)

GEEK! Sigh!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You get what you ask for. . . . . .

Post 294!

I am such a dolt sometimes. While I may be a story teller, the English language and English grammar are not my friends. It is not second nature to me and when I write something, anything, for that matter it needs to see a red pen. I have tried to find someone who would trade me red-line edits for content and plot edits for years now.

In desperation I went to an online group and asked for a red-line edit for a short story I needed an edit for. I sent it off and then a few days later I got it back in all its red lined glory. I thanked the editor and went to work on it. Through the edit I was sometimes feeling confused. Some of the comments they made made me say huh? But still thinking that I was the one who knew much less then they did I believed that the edits were what I needed. So last night after the edit was finished I printed the seven page story off and took a second look.

Boy was I wrong. The story acording to the editor is a mess. There is punctuation where I know it doesn't belong. They removed words that were needed, and added things that let me know that the editor didn't have a clue about the "story". I was disapointed but I know that I can go back and fix what is wrong with the story before the deadline. I will be fine and I have definately learned my lesson.

I will trust my friends before I send domething to a stranger again. Lesson leanred.
Life experience: 1 Story: 0

Monday, February 1, 2010

Post 293! Almost to 300!

I have let Janurary slip through my fingers like sand. I totally blew off my writing goal and meandered around the WWW like a zombie. Granted, December was hectic and my life has changed in some tremendous ways. But it's no excuse to ignore my friends and my blogs.

First of all thanks to those of you who are my followers. Both the old timers and the newbies. I am excited for this new year of blogging and hope that this is the year I can add a count down date for my book on my sidebar.

As for editing I am still madly plugging along and hope to be done soon. I am over halfway now. :) I love my editor and they know it although I owe them some serious cookies! ( might have to post the recipie for serious cookies sometime.)

Well I am going out on a limb and telling everyone that I will be writing this month not just sitting in front of a computer like the undead. My muse is shriveling within me and needs to be fed. Maybe I should put an update thingie on the sidebar to keep me accountable. Think it will work? Maybe.

Either way, the followers contest runs through the seventh, and I will post the winners on my blog on that day or the next. I am also almost on my 300th post and that deserves another game/drawing. I'll see what I come up with. To my readers, thanks for hanging on while I meander through life.

Have a good day everyone.