Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research!

Yes, ma'm! It's my favorite time of year!! It's time to shop for a very worthy cause. Starting in 2005, Brenda Novak created an online auction to benefit diabetes research. It's a personal vendetta for help fund research for a disease that struck close to her heart. Her son. I began following the auction a couple of years ago through word of mouth at We were so tight with our budget in order for me to stay home and write, that I was unable to bid. I so wanted to though. Last year...I took the plunge and actually set a budget and bid as much as possible on some incredible opportunities. There were quite a few editor and author critique and ms evaluations offered for auction. I was quickly outbid above my budget. I slunk away disappointed but made a local donation in my father's name because of his medical history with diabetes.

This year...while surfing through the awesome offerings, I found several auction buttons strictly for donations only. I have my wish list set and plan to bid, and bid often;) But this year...if I'm outbid, I won't slink off in disappointment...because it means that someone cares just as much as I do about her cause and the auction is still making money. Even more than what I can offer. So I'll proudly donate what I can, even without a reward. After all, the money could actually help someones child.

Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Research

Have a great weekend!!

What?! You're kidding me, right?

Today is Thursday? Then why does it feel so much like Friday. *sigh* Crud. That means today is laundry day. I could put it off until this weekend so hubby could help. Can't do that though, all of our beach clothes are starting to smell. Ugh. I got off easy for dinner last night cause the guys wanted my homemade pizza which is super easy and quick. But I didn't even get a chance to open any files to work...played on Facebook talking with an old friend for a bit. Then I was soooo sleepy that we were in bed by 9:00. Do I feel rested this morning....noooooo. Why can't it just be Friday. *insert whiny voice*

I thought todays blog might be a good time to talk about character development. When I first started writing I had the basic concept down. I usually had a specific character and situation in mind. Got the looks and personality traits down on paper. Then I found a romance writing tips website that had link to a psychology site describing certain types and how it showed through behavior. I went back recently and the MSN group was closed. I've heard some people use astrology and signs. Using the traits normal for a certain sign.

My next step is to sit down and interview my main character. I usually have a certain conflict in mind and most of the time it's tweaked throughout the ms due to problems presented. Maybe the conflict isn't strong enough to keep the plot going to the end of the book. But I will try to find out what made my character interesting. Their childhood and environment. And I start asking why. Why is he/she angry? Why is he/she so down on marriage? What kind of woman/man does he/she despise?

That usually leads to more questions. And it also helps me form my next character. What kind of woman would cause the main character the most angst. And why. Alot of times he/she will be the exact opposite of what the MC wants. What kind of personality would compliment my MC to bring about the happily-ever-after. We often seem to be drawn to our opposite which can make life quite interesting.

Character charts can be great to keep track of details. I'm not that organized. I'll do research like I'm doing now. I'll look up a certain occupation and see what types of personalitites usually fall within that group. Then I just open a file and start typing a really rough synopsis, which comes in handy later. And I'll add to it as I develop my characters. How do you develop your characters? Do you keep detailed notes?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moving forward:)

Rise and shine. I'm doing much, much better at this blogging thing. I LOVE blog hopping in the mornings when I wake up to see what everyone is up to. I feel good with what I accomplished yesterday. And my support staff deserves a bow. Little man did his schoolwork and played quietly (well not really so quiet as much as out of my focus) in his room after I bribed him with a game of soccer later. I took a break as promised and ran his little tush off outside to wear him out. It worked and allowed me more time with my research. Hubby was so supportive when he came home last night and dinner was cold...well...raw. He offered to help but I felt so bad I jumped up and pushed him toward the shower so I could fry up some chicken for him. I threw together some corn and garlic-chive mashed potatoes. Honey went to bed with a full tummy and was happy.

I actually had a good talk with my hero yesterday. He revealed a few things, but to tell the was what he DIDN'T say that spoke the loudest. He's very angry. Like...needs therapy angry. He was robbed as a child. Neither one of his parents showed any type of emotion. His family life was non-existent. The housekeeper raised him and thank God for that. She's a sassy, southern woman (think Paula Deen) and he developed a dry southern sense of humor because of her. She'll also play a pivotal role in smacking him on the back of his head when it comes to making nice with the heroine. *sigh* I'll try to dig a little deeper today and then start on HER. Heroine is a southern good girl that reminds him of the mouthy housekeeper. So he'll try to keep his distance because the last thing he wants is another loud woman telling him what to do. But he won't be able to resist that sexy, swinging walk and slow, southern drawl.

Back to being nosy...hope you guys have a happy, productive day!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Going on a date;)

If I can keep my 6 yo holed up in his room for a bit. LOL. I'm trying to flesh out my characters for my new story and really need to interview my hero. I need to know why he's so lost. He doesn't want to care about anything and hasn't for a long time. Until SHE walks into his life bringing a baby that he doesn't want, and feelings for living a life he never thought he could have. So maybe I can entice him to spill his thoughts with a warm strawberry cake, fresh from the oven. And a sassy blonde southern girl as the heroine can be a bit tempting.

Today will be a good day. I love creating characters and figuring out what makes them tick. Because the conflict has to be strong enough to make it to the end. On the other don't want it to be so complicated that it confuses the reader. It's the perfect balance I'm working to find. *sigh* I love my job.

I wonder if I can bribe little man to take a nap so I can be alone with Cash;)

Monday, April 27, 2009


It felt so good to shower and get into my own bed last night. Not that I've been getting into anyone's elses...I just love coming home from vacation. We made triple sure little man had plenty of sunscreen and only his cheeks got a wee bit pink. Which is REALLY good for a strawberry blonde kiddo with fair skin. Hubby and I are crispy fried. I even reapplied sunscreen 3 times. *sigh* I definitely didn't get the Native American skin from my family. The beaches aren't nearly as pretty as they are in Florida and hopefully we'll be able to go there next time. Little man had fun so that's what matters the most. The concerts made the entire trip worth it. Super crowded, hot and muggy...but we loved every sweaty minute!! My tummy is a little mad at me because of all the crap I shoveled into it. But I promised I would be good this week and started my morning out with All Bran cereal and yogurt. *Ugh*

And although the weekend was fabulous...I am soooooo ready to get back to work. I've talked with crit partners and I've decided to put my current WIP aside and work on another story I have outlined. they believe that I would have a better chance with my ms at a later date due to the current release that is similar to my plot. A friend/crit partner has read the published book and agreed that the plot is too similar to mine. At this point if I were going to submit within a few would be easy for the editor to have the pubbed book fresh in mind and reject mine.

So this brings up a good question. Do you write the story of your heart or do you write geared toward the market? I love writing, but I also look at this as a career. A job. If the boss wants a particular story...then I'll do my best to give her what she wants. I've talked with several author friends who have editors request a certain story or twist in the plot. I hate shifting gears away from current characters I've grown to love...but my fun begins with creating another conflict filled story. Call me crazy. My favorite exercise in school was when the professor wrote a paragraph on the board and we had to write a story based off of the blurb. eHarlequin has done this several times and it's called Pass the Plot. I'd love to participate but I feel guilty enough taking time away from my work to blog;)

Have a very productive day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good Night

Yep. We had a pretty nice evening. We grilled steaks out on the patio and talked with a few long distance friends we hadn't heard from in awhile. A new baby in the works for dear ol' Auntie Chelle.

And to top it all favorite shows came on and did not disappoint me. I was able to catch the tail end of last weeks Grey's Anatomy that the network ran again before the new episode. I need to go to the network website and watch them both again. It was another night that proved why I love the writers so much. I wondered how they would have McDreamy propose in Meredith style. It was perfect.

I was drifting off to sleep tonight and my hero started whispering in my ear. I'm sure hubby would've been a little upset if he knew, but it meant a breakthrough for my chapter. I should've gotten up and put it down on paper. But I'm up and about and ready to work on it today. Then we're off to the beach again.

Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No plot is a new plot.

I wanted to touch on something that several of us have faced recently. I've heard this said before and even offered the advice. But there's a sickening gut reaction that can't be explained when you come across a book that has a familiar plot or elements to the manuscript you are pouring your heart into.

I was looking at the new releases in the category romance line I am currently targeting. I saw a western book which immediately caught my eye because most of the books tend to be about CEO's and often have international settings. But after reading the blurb on the face got hot and I thought I was going to be sick. Every single element of her book matched my plot. It's easy to see how a few elements might be similiar because...get plot is new. But I've had this book outlined for TWO years and put it aside when I didn't get a response for an editor pitch contest the line had offered online. I was like my book twisted to fit her characters. My first thought was I'm wasting my time. Now it will look as if I took her idea after reading her book and twisted it with my voice and characters. Why would an editor take my ms seriously when she published one with the EXACT same plot? I've often heard of ed's passing on a ms because they'd recently pubbed one similiar to the submission.


So I started reading. I could barely get through the first chapter. It starts out with three cousins meeting on an airport tarmac...all three have private jets...and they're making a bet as to who can increase their net worth the most within a certain time limit... My book does include a bet in the beginning, but my character has a competitive quirk.

I didn't like it. Not because I was upset at the similiarities...but I genuinely did not like the heroine. She supposedly hates the hero, yet she agrees to having dinner with him just so she can tell him no. She would NEVER even consider selling her ranch to him. But she shows a private dinner on a a designer gown. She's hiding a secret...the man is her baby's daddy and she doesn't want him to find out...yet she gives in to have dinner with the man the first time he asks.


I can do this. If the editor turns it down...I'll try to send it somewhere else. I LOVE my story. It's easy to see the differences but with the plot being almost exactly the same, I'm afraid that even with the different voices it will be too similiar. Maybe if I wait awhile before submitting it'll put enough distance between books. At least I know the ed likes the plot premise;) Voices are different which can make our characters and reactions unique. So I'm off to work on my next chapter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am sooo loving this weather!! I am definitely not a winter baby. Give me a mild 80's temperature and a light breeze...I'm all set. I'm getting so excited about our weekend. The weather is supposed to be beautiful. We've decided to take little man back down to the beach in Biloxi and made our hotel reservations. They told us we were lucky that we made them in advance...because...because...

JASON ALDEAN will be in concert at the arena two blocks away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It'll be an outdoor concert and the cheap tickets are only $23 for all three of us. Little man is so excited. A very sweet added bonus? Blake Shelton is another country singer that we love, and he'll be in concert Saturday night. We love his music...and not just because he's a fellow Okie. In fact, he's from a small town just South of where we live. But he has a great sense of humor and it shows in his music. He's also very giving and active in promoting hometown concerts to benefit Oklahoma wildfire victims.

Anyhew...I'm working on my chapter today. Hopefully I can at least get the basic outline done and go back to layer in action/reactions. But first I'm reading a partial for one of my crit partners. She's had a request on this thing for awhile but life got in the way. It's a very promising situation so hopefully she'll get it in the mail today and get the rest of the story down on paper.

Have a warm and sunny day!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Hmmmm. My inspiration for today was an early morning drive. The weather is absolutely beautiful and warm. Little man and I had to run out to get the 5th wheel trailer propane tanks filled. I thought the guys might want to eat tonight. LOL. Anyhew...

I waited until around 10ish so we'd miss most of the morning commuters. Traffic was light and we didn't really have far to go, maybe 15 miles. I turned our new Jason Aldean CD on and watched little man rock out. I loved how JA sang about wanting to be a better man. I know that's where my hero needs to be by the time I wind up typing The End. It's the journey there that I need to pound out and polish. Right's torture time. Bwahaha.

Have you listened to music today?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Thank God it's Monday. *sigh* I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start the week out buried in my story. We had an uneventful weekend. Just glad it's over. We splurged and bought the new Jason Aldean CD. We've been waiting for it because we love just about everything he sings. It's VERY rare that I've been able to sit/drive and listen to an entire CD without skipping to the next song. Jason Aldean is just one of those artists that I can listen to over and over again. The last time I felt this way about a singer...George Strait. I love Tim McGraw and several other artists...but too many times we've bought a CD and was disappointed because we really only listened to a couple of songs. It's been too easy to just buy a favorite song off of iTunes and burn a CD. But George Strait and Jason Aldean have turned out to be musthaves for our household.

So I was browsing the new book releases this weekend and was determined to buy just one. I was looking at the back cover blurbs...and I came across a book that sounded almost exactly like the plot in my current WIP. I was a little upset. Even worse...she's an Oklahoma writer. *sigh* I know that no plot is a new plot. It's VERY hard to write something somebody hasn't already used in some manner. But I'm talking the same exact plot outline. So I bought the book. As much as it pained me to spend my hard earned money on a book that could possibly be what keeps an editor from taking my story seriously...I had to see how she twisted the storyline. I can happily say I didn't like it. So back to work. Hopefully the editors or independent reader will have had time to distance themselves between plots and will see enough in my storyline to see promise.

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brain fried...

After the week I've brain is in fried mode. So I'll leave you guys with something to think about from my favorite life guru.

The wisdom of Larry the Cable Guy......

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

14. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

15. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

16. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

17. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

18. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

19. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?

20. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, 'What the heck happened?'

21. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

22. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

23. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos.. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Monday morning my friends!!

Hope everyone had a beautiful and very blessed Easter weekend. Ours was different but nice. Little man got to hunt Easter eggs on the beach this year. Weather wasn't what he hoped for...the important thing was that he had a blast. I missed the big family get together and didn't miss having to cook a big meal.

Back to reality. Today is going to be a productive one if I have to pull teeth to do it. Well...not mine anyways...little man still has a few he can afford to lose. Anyhoo. I am determined to finish revising my chapter today. I need to finish and get it sent off to a few contests next month. I think I'll actually try the Golden Hearts this year. My short term goal is to finish making the changes and complete the manuscript.

Have you ever heard a song that inspired you? Not necessarily as a writer, maybe just on some personal level. I've had struggles, as I'm sure many of you have had, in my personal life when it comes to letting go. I heard a song this morning by LeAnn Rimes that made me tear up. What I Cannot Change was beautifully written from her heart. She tells the song history about how she was venting with a songwriting friend and he took notes. She thought it was strange at first...but understood as the song emerged from her words. It struck a chord with me this morning as I work on layering internal emotion with my heroine. But the words went far deeper for me on a personal level. Not that I needed anymore emotional layering of my own right now, thank you very much.

Okay...back to work. Have a productive day everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Hello. My name is Chelle, and I'm a stress addict.

I had a long drawn out post griping about my life. But I will spare you guys the whining. Long story short...I'm logging off and will work on some crits and then finish editing my chapter. I'm going to shut up and put up.

We're finally settled in Louisiana...part of that long story. Here are some pictures of our ventures from this last weekend while walking the streets in the French Quarter. We got some great shots of the interesting people we came across...but the pictures and details are hard to see in these smaller images. I absolutely loved the unique atmosphere and architecture. The walled courtyards and iron balconies were so intimate and incredibly romantic. We're definitely going back for the annual Jazz Festival. Little man loved eating alligator and even got to have his picture taken with the famous pirate...Captain Jack Sparrow.