All About the Hunger Games!


Oh yes... the Hunger Games movie is FINALLY here! The entire Moriarty gang is EXCITED! And yes, we are going to the movie today after school. I just hope, REALLY HOPE, it doesn't disappoint. 

Case in point, I LOVED the Percy Jackson books. My entire family devoured them. And then when we saw that a movie was being made, we were thrilled! I still remember sitting in the theater and seeing the trailer for the first time. Cute Percy Jackson, in the elevator, the numbers blinking so fast because he was going to the top of the elevator at lightning speed-- WOW! My body covered in goose bumps!

And then came the movie. Okay, I admit, I did like the movie. But COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW DIFFERENT IT WAS FROM THE BOOK!!! UGH!!!  I'm not talking a few changes here and there, I'm talking way different.

You know what I mean.

So tonight, as I stand in line with my husband, my kids, and their friends, I will pray the movie doesn't disappoint. And that Katniss and Peeta are as awesome as I always hoped they'd be!

The Year of the Dragon!

There's a lot of exciting things going on in my life right now. I can almost feel the positive energy surrounding me. Could it be because it's the year of the dragon? Who knows... But I do know this, 2012 is going to be great! It already is!

As for what's up in particular? Well, I've been meeting weekly with my crit partner and friend, Rachel Harris. SHE'S AMAZING!!! Seriously. She gives the best crit ever and is helping to keep me on track of my goals. I am so thankful for her!!

I have also recently joined the WHRWA. Talk about a great group! Tomorrow is the Emily breakfast. I'll be pitching to the very awesome Laura Bradford, and I can't wait to meet her!

The other thing that has me SO excited is my new WIP. One day you'll see what I mean! In the meantime, I'll be checking in here more frequently. And, of course, you can always follow me on twitter. (@roseonprose)

Until next time!

What? It's December?

Anyone else out there shocked that it's December already? As for me, I still can't believe it! As much as I LOVE the holidays, they totally stress me out. And for once, I'd like to just enjoy this month. So, here's my plan...

* Today we are decorating the house. (inside and out). Whatever doesn't get done, will NOT get done. Period. I'm not stretching out this whole decorating thing.

*Crazy but true, I've completed almost ALL my holiday shopping!! Hooray for me!! I will, I must, no matter what, finish my holiday shopping THIS WEEKEND. This is non-negotiable.

*I'm not sure how much writing I'll get done this month, but to keep my creative juices flowing, I've decided to make a writing plan. This is something I should've done a long time age, but because this will be a busy month with parties, luncheons, etc, I need to do it! And there's no time like the present!

*I will not over-extend myself this month. I cannot go to all the parties, luncheons, dinners, happy hours that I've been invited to. I just can't! Instead, I will choose to spend time with the people who REALLY matter to me; the friends that I love and who love me back.

So... that's all I can think of right now!! Now back to the decorations...

The Universe is Messing with Me!


(Note: the above is not my kitchen, but may as well have been!)

I love my house, but hate my kitchen! So, I decided to remodel. The job was supposed to have started and finished last month. But alas, the universe found out that I had signed up for NaNoWriMo and decided to mess with me.

Instead of starting on my kitchen last month, the builder couldn't start until this month. And then, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I will spare you the gory details on that one, but will say that not having a kitchen sink for over a week really bites. Really, really, bites. But it seems like the worst is over, and if all goes well, my kitchen should be finished tomorrow!! Hooray! 

So what to do with Nano? Even though I won't meet my goal, I'm NOT throwing in the towel. My plan is to write full steam ahead as soon as I'm able. (Looks like I can focus on writing Friday!)

What about you? Did you sign up for Nano? If so, how's it going?

Pitch U and the Write Lawyer

I subscribe to and read tons of blogs. They keep me up to date on writers, publishers, agents and more. One blog I regularly read is the Pitch University blog.

Last week I noticed the Pitch U blog featured a column by Jeffrey V. Mehalic of the Write Lawyer. It was to be a featured column in which Mr. Mehalic would review and give his legal opinion on various publishing contracts.

As a lawyer, this really caught my interest, and so I read his review of the contracts from Sourcebooks, Crescent Moon Press, and Entangled Publishing. The rating for each? Sourcebooks: SHRED IT; Crescent Moon Press: BURN IT; Entangled Publishing: SHRED IT.

Today, as I review my RSS feeds, I find that Mr. Mehalic has announced the following: "Starting Monday, September 19, 2011, I will be posting my column on publishing contracts on this blog, rather than on Pitch University. I had my posts removed from PU (appropriate, eh?) after my post was altered by the owner of the site."

WOW.

First, let me say that contracts are ALWAYS skewed to favor the interest of the party who is presenting the contract. Which is, a no-brainer. That's why one must always have a contract evaluated and negotiated before signing. Plain and simple.

As a writer in search of a dream agent who will sooner than later be reviewing my own contract, I appreciated the advice and the heads up by Mr. Mehalic on some of the issues I will soon face. On the other hand, I can see how publishers might not appreciate their contracts on display without having a chance to first address the issues in the post.

But the question is: what do you think of Pitch U allegedly altering the posts? What does that say to you?

The Emily Contest is Open!

Calling all writers! The Emily contest is open!

The Emily is sponsored by the West Houston Chapter of the RWA. According to their website, the contest started back in 1990 to promote publication of previously unpublished writers of romance.

The contest evolved and is open to published and unpublished writers. (You do not need to be a member to enter.) Unpublished authors may enter in any category not contracted in (book-length) by September 30, 2011. Published authors may enter in any category not published (book-length) in the past three years. For a full list of categories, please visit the website. NOTE: there IS a YA category!

The Emily is a highly respected contest. In fact, many Emily winners and finalists have gone on to be published. The contest is capped at 300 entries, and multiple entries are allowed. The contest asks for your first 7000 words. And, there is no synopsis requirement! (Hooray!) The deadline is September 30th, but because of the cap you don't want to wait!

For more info, and to enter, go to the website link above. Good luck!

Back in the Saddle

Hey everyone! I'm officially back in the saddle again! And glad to be back! For those of you who don't know, I lost my mother-in-law to cancer. We were very close, and it was a very difficult time in my life that one day I will most definitely write about. Although I miss her dearly, I know she's up in heaven shaking her first at me and telling me to GET ON WITH IT! So that's what I'm doing.

Then, of course, I had the regular craziness associated with kids and summer. Now that my lovely darlings are back at school, I'm back at my desk and moving forward with finding my dream agent.

My plan is to be more active here on my blog, and to focus on my goals because I know that this is my time. I can feel it!

Until next time!

Not a Regular Blogger

Hey guys! I have a confession to make...I'm not a regular blogger. Which, you probably knew already. Why? Because my first order of business is to find an agent. So...that's what I've been doing...in addition to working on a new WIP.

That being said, I'll come on here from time to time, but mostly I'm completely focused on finding my dream agent. And when I do, because I will, then you better believe I'll be blogging!!

Until then!

Top Agent Blogs

The GLA Blog, authored by super awesome Chuck Sambuchino, listed the top 5 Agent Blogs for 2010. I subscribe to all of them, and I absolutely agree that they rock. Click here to read his blog, and see below for his list.

1. Chip MacGregor
2. Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
3. KidLit
4. Nathan Bransford
5. Rachelle Gardner

Not only do I get good tips and advice from these blogs, but they also keep me in the know. If you want to be a writer, you gotta do more than just sit at the computer and type. You need to know the industry, know the trends, see what's up with your peers.

Today I went to the book fair at my kids' school. It was so cool to see some of those books and say, "Hey, I know the agent for that book, I read their blog." It makes me feel one step closer to finding my own agent.

Below are some other agent blogs that I absolutely love. Check em out!

1. Scott Eagan
2. Jessica Faust
3. Jill Corcoran
4. Kristin Nelson
5. Kate Shafer Testerman

What agent blogs do you read?

Dear-Editor.com Giveaway!

To celebrate the one month anniversary of Dear-Editor.com, former Harcourt Children's Books editor, Deborah Halverson, is giving away one substantive edit of a YA/MG fiction manuscript. For more details, you can click here.

According to Alice Pope's blog, Deborah has recently edited the work of four writers who've recently landed lucrative 2-book deals with major publishers. The deadline for this giveaway is April 14th.

I don't know about you, but I'm on it!!

Writing Contests

Hello Writer Friends! There are some cool contests out there you should know about. Here they are:

Writer's Digest is having another "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest. They want your logline and the first 150-200 words of your YA/MG unpublished book-length work. The judge is Regina Brooks, founder of Serendipity Literary Agent. For more details, click here. The deadline for this contest is Wednesday, April 14th.

The awesome Hilary Wagner is having a contest via her blog. All you have to do is go to her blog, subscribe, and enter a comment. Her agent, Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency, will pick three winners. For more details, click here. Please note that the deadline for this contest is TODAY, April 8th.

If I hear of anything else, I'll be sure to let you know! Good luck!

What I'm Reading Now- The Other Lands

I've finally finished all the Percy Jackson books, and LOVED them! They were fast and fun, and made me feel like a kid again! Thank you Rick Riordan!

Now, I'm reading The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham. It's the second book of the Acacia Trilogy. This book is the exact opposite of the Percy Jackson books. Instead of fast and fun, this book, like the first one, is intricate and moving. I'm completely caught up in the characters, the setting, and the plot development. It's like a slow moving catastrophe that takes your breath away and leaves you on the edge of your seat. (And I say that with the utmost admiration for the story.)

What will happen to the heirs of Acacia? I have no idea, but I'm DYING to find out. I think I know what's going to happen, and I think I know how Aliver will return, but I don't want to get my hopes up, especially since David might throw me for a loop like he did in Acacia.

As a writer, I'm also learning a lot from David's books. First and foremost, how to show and not tell. The other thing I'm learning is character development. To me, these are the two most important parts of a book. And to say I'm inspired by David is an understatement.

That being said, I'm signing off to return to my WIP. See you next time!

Boys Gone Wild

Today is my son's 9th bday, and this weekend was his party. When I say it was crazy, I'm not even kidding.

He had a bowling party with 19 of his closest friends. (the kid likes to socialize) Then, a handful came over after for a sleepover. I had to limit it to a handful for my own sanity, and thank the Lord I did! Those boys were monsters! We had decided to 'wrap' or 'TP' some houses. Of course, I alerted the moms just so they'd know and not freak out.

Here's what I learned from the experience: throwing toilet paper in the air is like a drug to boys. They went nuts, especially the oldest boy who happened to also be the tallest with the longest arms. They threw those rolls with all their strength. The higher, the better. I had to practically tear them away from each house. And then, when we got home, they were wired. I don't even know what time they went to bed, if they did at all.

So, was the party a success? According to my son and his friends, it was the best party ever. The only drawback will be the payback. I know we're gonna get it, and get it big time!

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. And, for those of you who don't know, Lent is the observation of the 40 days before Easter. This is the time where Jesus wandered alone in the desert in preparation of his crucifixion. During this time, he was plagued by temptation from the Devil.

During lent, many people "give up" things. I don't really have any vices to give up, but I do like to improve myself as person. Sometimes I tell myself I'll eat better, exercise, go to church instead of sleeping in--stuff like that.

Not sure yet what I'll be doing in observation of Lent. Traditionally, we sit around at the table and come up with ideas. It's a good exercise for the kids. So tonight I'll figure it out, and then I'll let you know!

More Contests!

Right Now: Listening to Daylight by Coldplay. Sending out queries.

One of my writing buddies just told me about two agent contests! Wanted to pass along the info for those wanting to jump on the bandwagon.

First, agent Nephele Tempest of the Knight Agency is having an "I'm in the Mood for Love" pitch contest. The guidelines can be found here on her Live Journal.

Second, the GLA blog is having their second "Dear Lucky Agent Contest." You'll want to visit the blog for the guidelines. Judging the contest this go-around is Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Any contest that gets you in front of an agent is good. Just be sure your manuscript is finished and in tip-top shape. In other words, don't rush if you're not ready. If you do, you'll end up shooting yourself in the foot. Anywho, good luck everyone on your submissions!

kidlit.com contest TODAY!

Mary Kole, literary agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, is having a contest! And the deadline is today, January 30th!! She's had contests before, but this time around she's doing something different. She's asking for novel beginnings. Specifically, the first 500 words of your YA or MG finished novel.

For more info, go here. So hurry up with those submissions and good luck!

What I'm Working On

Right Now: Thinking of having Mexican food for lunch. It's gorgeous and sunny outside. Listening to Viva La Vida by Coldplay

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, been busy with a million things. I promise to be more consistent! Anyhow, here's what's going on with me:

1. I'm back to making some edits to my YA paranormal romance. I plan on finishing this week. Then, back to queries.

2. I've hooked up with three awesome Houston writers. One agented, me and the other two not agented as of yet. We are forming a local YA/MG writers group. I'm so psyched! It's going to be a great group. Stay tuned for more details.

3. I've started a new book. (on the back burner right now, though) It's a YA mystery with a supernatural undertone. I'm really excited about this one. It's got a lot of suspense, and several twists and turns.

I promise to post more frequently. That's it for now!

A Look Back on 2009

Right Now: The Arctic blast is moving into Houston. So windy and cold outside! Listening to Let Go by Frou Frou.

I've always been the kind of person who looks at my circumstances and my experiences for a message--a lesson if you will. In order to keep moving forward, it's necessary to make such reflections. And so, that's what this post is all about, a look back at 2009. Here we go...

1. The biggest part of 2009 was, for me, spent on writing. I love my story, my characters, my setting. It was such an incredible experience for me, living in another world that was so vivid that I even dreamed about it. And even though the experience was positive, I learned something...see below.

2. As good as I thought my writing was, I needed help. Enter the critique group. Having your "baby" critiqued isn't easy, but boy was it good for me. Show, don't tell. Add some sensory perception to your story. Less dialogue please, more action. These are just a few of the things I learned, and I'm so grateful!!

3. Revisions are just as important as the initial writing. I've got some more to do before I plunge back into the hunt for an agent, and I'm cool with that. It's all about producing the best possible story, right? Revisions are just part of the game.

4. Another important lesson I've learned is to NOT put all your eggs in one basket. To that end, I've written a PB and I'm currently writing another YA book that I'm really crazy about based on a short story I wrote for a competition. I'm only on the first chapter, but my brain is busily plotting out the entire book.

I'm sure I could say more, but that's really the most important things I learned in 2009. As for 2010? All I have to say is this, 2010 is going to be MY YEAR. You just wait!

Writing for Contests

Right Now: Listening to One Time by Justin Bieber. Heating up some chicken noodle soup for a late lunch.

With the holidays upon us, and literary agents either playing catch-up or taking time off, I've decided to put my query sending on hold. I'll be back in the hunt mid-January.

Until then, I've decided to enter some contests. Here's why:

1. Writing a short story is a great way to hone your craft.
2. If my story is good enough to get published, it might catch the attention of an agent. (crossing my fingers here)
3. Success will add to my bio. (crossing my fingers again)
4. You can win a nice chunk of change.
5. The most important reason? I repeat, you get to hone your craft and really develop as a writer.

The first contest I entered (last night) was the Writer's Digest Short Short Story Contest. Yes, I said short twice. What does that mean? Simple: the contest is for super short stories. After completing an almost 100K book, writing a super short story (1500 words) was way hard for me. But, I learned a lot from it. I was forced to be really concise with my writing, and to the point. All in all, I think I did a good job. In fact, I love my story and characters so much that I can seriously see myself writing an entire book about them. A series even.

The second contest I'm going to enter is the Boulevard Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers. All entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2009. Note: there is no online submission process for this contest.

Boulevard is a very well-respected magazine, and I'm looking forward to writing for them. I have an idea for a story, and since I don't have a lot of time, I'm just going to plunge right into it. If I hear of any more contests, I'll be sure to post them here. Until then!

I LOVE BOOK FAIRS!

RIGHT NOW: It's nice and cold outside! Listening to Meet Me Halfway by the Black-Eyed Peas.

This week is the Scholastic Book Fair at my kids' school. I'm not sure who's more excited, me or them! I seriously LOVE books! And so do they! We even braved the cold and wet weather to attend family night last night. We spent about $80.00. Not bad really considering there was a whole lot more that we all wanted! In fact, I'm thinking we may need to go back before it's over!!