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Writer-All-Nighter (2)

6 Jan

Wonder what  happens when an author (writer)  pulls an all nighter. Well here’s a list of my favorite all nighter activities:

#1. Write: This is probably a given, but I thought I’d better mention it to avoid confusion.

#2. Visit Blogs: Comment on the blogs in the blogroll for two reasons. First off because this is a great all nighter intermission activity. And second, it’s always nice to take time out for others when your otherwise busy.

#3. Read: That’s right. During my all nighters it’s essential that I keep a book close (that’s not my own) and read five pages here and there. I find this helps me to pull back from what I’m attempting to write so that when I revisit my work ten minutes later it’s like looking at it with fresher eyes.

#4. Chat on Skype: This works especially well with a friend in another time zone who’s impressed when you say, “Oh yeah, I’m still awake at 2 am. What time is it there? Oh, only 9? What’s that, you need to go to bed?” I find this activity tends to revive me for the big finish.

And finally, the  activity to do when pulling an all nighter…


How do you handle an all nighter?


Teenage Letter To Santa

20 Dec

Dear Santa,

Mom says if I don’t believe in you I don’t get crap for Christmas. So rather than risk it, I’m writing you this letter. Okay, so here goes: If you get me what I want for Christmas, I swear I’ll be awesome-good next year. Like I won’t lie about texting in school or fight with my brother—actually I still might—but I’ll be nice to him too. And when it’s my turn to do dishes, I’ll do them without complaining, probably.

And here’s the list of what I would like: Kindle, Gift cards for music and books, a laptop, a 19inch flat screen tv for my bedroom (the one I have is reeeeeeeally old), a digital camera, an Ipod touch, clothes, store cards so I can buy my own clothes (no offense, but you’ve worn the same suit forever now) and maybe get yourself something nice.

I pledge to believe in you for as long as I live at home.


p.s. If you really want kids to believe in you, maybe consider a website and provide an e-mail address for us to contact you directly. Sorry, but everything is techy now. And while I know kids aren’t supposed to see you, maybe you could start a blog and post pics of your wife, house, reindeer and elves.  Also, maybe you could change your name to Cyber Santa, just a thought.

Merry Christmas!

Soooo Crazy Week With BG

1 Oct

So let’s see here, it’s Finally Friday again, and are we glad!!!

BG: I am. *yawn*

This week has been a test of academic capability to the 3rd power. (You’ll understand this after BG explains how her teachers conspired to push the minds of all 6th graders and their parents to the brink of mental meltdown.)

BG: It’s true…Hours upon hours of studying vocabulary words like exponential form, standard form, and coefficient. And almost bursting my brain to memorize the continents, oceans and all the invisible lines on the map and what they mean and do, and turning around to face more torture studying what the difference is between Abiotic and Biotic components and ecosystems. Just a memo, if you got any of this, I had a math quiz, geography quiz and science quiz all in one day. So I’m tired.

But okay. The worlds most AWESOME thing about studying hard is the SUPER A’s that come with it. YAY ME!!! (oh and I had a little help). *smiles at mom*

Aww. A shining moment between Mom and daughter. Quickly snuffed out by daughter teasing mom for mentioning the shining moment…

Anyway, in honor of quiz week, I think I’ll give a quiz…

BG: Noooooo.

To our readers.

BG: Yes! I have questions: Can you solve these?

7(6+5) – 3(8) + 4 to the 3 power

Name all seven continents?

Define Abiotic Components  <–that’ll be hard. <–insert evil daughter laughter.

Yikes, okay, maybe I’ll ask the questions.

1. In last Friday’s blog post what grade did BG say she is in?

2. BG is now featured on my sidebar, what color is her hair?

3. How many more days until BG’s next post?

If you can answer these, we’ll give you one of BG’s SUPER A’s to put on your blog.

You can chose to answer my questions OR BG’s. Personally, I’d answer mine, because they’re a bit easier.

BG: But if you do mine, be sure to show your work. 🙂 And EVERYONE who gets mine (or mom’s) right gets a SUPER A for their blog.

Remember NO cheating.

BG: That’s right or your grounded and we’ll take everything you love away from you. At least that’s what mom tells me.

Happy Friday readers. And good luck with this very short quiz.

YAFF Muse: Toothfairy

4 Aug

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

kozarevets story 2 by: pstoev


By: R.M.Gilbert

“I can’t believe you rode that bike to school. It’s sort of lame,” Taylor says, sticking me in the ribs with her elbow.

“Mom needed the car and I missed the bus,” I mumble while my lockers slammed shut by a couple of guys screwing off in the hallway.

“Yeah, but that bike is so…old.” Her nose wrinkles.

Taylor’s idea of ‘going without’ is taking her dad’s Hummer to school instead of the vintage Mustang. So there’s no point in explaining to her that Mom is on the verge of losing her job at the bar and grill, since her cars left her stranded three times in the last two weeks. Taylor would shrug and say, your mom can get a new job. And move on like it’s that simple. And for some people life is, but for others…

“Are you coming to my party Saturday?” she asks and gives a wave to a few of her other friends.

“I don’t think I’m gonna make it.”

She pouts. “Why not?”

“Mom’s gotta work behind the bar until two, so I’m babysitting Johnny.”

“Can’t she find someone else?”

There is no one else, I want to tell her, but instead I shrug and we head for our first period class. “I’ll see if I can find somebody.”

“You always say that.”

She’s right, I do always say that, but it’s the best I can do since Mom can’t afford a sitter.



“So what’ll it be tonight Johnny, Spongebob or Scooby?” I ask holding up two DVD’s. We’ve practically worn them out; they’ve been watched so many times.

He smiles, a big toothless grin and points at Scooby. And when I settle in next to him on the couch, he whispers, “Do you think the toothfairy will come tonight?”

“Sure she will.”

“But she didn’t come last night. Or the night before that.”

“She’s busy, kiddo.” I try to smile, but it is difficult knowing that after paying rent and the electric, mom needed to barrow twenty-five dollars from a friend at work for gas money. And next week’s check is needed to cover more of Johnny’s hospital bills. I sigh. Whoever thought a bit of change from the toothfairy would be so hard to come by?

I stand and go to the kitchen. “You hungry?”

“Yep.” He hops like a bunny across the floor.

“How about peanut butter sandwiches?”

“Can we have jelly?”

“We’re out of jelly,” I say.


I nod.

He frowns and curls his tiny hands over the countertop and stretches to his tippy-toes, when a knock sounds on the front door. “I’ll get it.” He pushes away from the cupboard and races through the house.

“Hey, is your sister home?”

“Taylor’s here,” he shouts when I’m a foot from him.

“I see that.” I glance up at her. “Weren’t you having a party tonight?”

“It canceled.” She hands Johnny a pizza box.

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I have this friend that needs me and whether she knows it or not, I need her too.” Taylor kicks her shoes off and bends at the knee in front of Johnny. “It looks to me like someone’s had a few visits from the toothfairy.”

He shakes his head. “Nope, she’s been busy.”

“Johnny,” I say, clearing my throat. “How about you go put the pizza on the table?”

“K.” He toddles off and Taylor comes to her full height again.

“I’m sorry,” she says, “I didn’t know things were this bad.”

I choke back the tears.

She leans in and whispers, “I’m going to be a better friend.”

“You’re my bestfriend.” I hug her.

“No,” she says, “tonight I’m the toothfairy.”

© 2010, August 3, rmg.

Had a bit of a rough week, trying to explain to our kids how ‘good’ they have it. And how there are others out there that are not as fortunate as they are. You could say this was inspired by these discussions. Thanks for coming by. Please drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Cambria Dillon

Mindy Buchanan

R.L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Jennifer Fischetto

Mad State

16 Jul

I’m compelled to write this post because of all the nuts from Michigan making the headlines lately. The state I love seems to be teeming with extortionists, murderers, authors who shoot their fathers… the list goes on and on. Okay, so teeming may be a bit over kill, but my home state hasn’t exactly been making national headlines for the ‘good stuff’ it’s got going for it.

Contrary to what some may believe there are normal, average, sane (emphasis on sane) people who live here. And hopefully soon we’ll see someone in Michigan making the news for something better than extorting money from a celebrity. Maybe a writer getting a book published and donating to local charities. 😉

Hope to see things turn around. Soon.

What’s your state doing in the news lately?

In the wee hours of morning.

7 Jun

Our house becomes my writing haven. A dark, quiet place where my dreams metamorphose into the reality of a manuscript. My laptop hums, singing a writers lullaby. And out of the shadows new worlds come to life. Home is no longer at home. It’s a farm in the 1940’s. A school. A forest. A place characters laugh, cry, love, fear. Where their souls come alive, breathing life into the story. Yep. All during those wee hours.

On Review

26 May

Current Read:

Going Bovine Written by: Libba Bray

WHY I WANT TO READ IT: The cover. I can’t help it the cover is too much. 😛  Also, it was  mentioned in the threads at YA Fiction Fanatics (crit group). And finally, I want to read something written in the male POV–though I’ll likely never write in it. lol.

WHAT‘S IT ABOUT: Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family’s attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease. Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonzo (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World. Bray’s surreal humor may surprise fans of her historical fantasies about Gemma Doyle, as she trains her satirical eye on modern education, American materialism and religious cults (the smoothie-drinking members of the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack ‘N’ Bowl). Offer this to fans of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy seeking more inspired lunacy. (***Description from Goodreads)

~Other Books I’ve read recently and their mini reviews~

The Hunger Games* (Genre-YA Fiction) Written by: Susanne Collins

Catching Fire* (Genre-YA Fiction) Written by: Susanne Collins

*These books are a part of a series. Susanne Collins captured my attention from the start and kept it until the end with both books.Definitely on my favorites list. Her 3rd book in the series coming soon: Mockingjay have to admit I’m flying my Team Peeta Banner on this one.

Silk and Stone** (Genre- Adult Romance Fiction) Written by: Lisa Dane

**A book my husbands grandma gave me some time ago to read. The characters were believable and the setting good. Overall the book was a little predictable, but I enjoyed it.

Circle Star***(Genre- Steamy Adult Fiction- Not for those under 18) Written by: Tatiana March

***This was a great book, with wonderful descriptions. A lot like getting two stories in one. Thumbs up here.

So that’s what’s “On Review”. Click  in with me again when I’m mini reviewing Going Bovine. And find out why I’ve picked my next book…or maybe leave a ‘book suggestion’ for me in the comments section. 😉

Unrealistic Much?

14 May are, I guess.

At YA Fiction Fanatics (YAFF – an on-line critique group consisting of myself and other aspiring authors) one of our members posted a link to a teen blog, where the girl went on about how ‘unrealistic’ YA novels are today. And how writers don’t realistically capture the high school experience.

The girl’s spunky, which was great, but the blog prompted thoughts from several of us in the group. After all, no matter our age now (and I’m pretty far from old) we did each go to high school. lol. Even if high school didn’t include a hundred cells in every class.

Basically her thoughts were this. Cliques are not as apparent as novels like to suggest, high school kids tend to be very stressed about school, not just the opposite sex, and college plans exhaust them to NO END. Added on that, sports, work, and texting and she’s down right wiped out. OMG. (Makes me tired just thinking about. J/k. Like I said I’m not that old). In her post she went on to say that the YA novels don’t focus on the truth of 5 hours of homework a night and constant collage plans. (I’m paraphrasing here, these are not her exact words. Well the 5 hours of homework is…maybe that should be in quotations?)

Well anyway, her thoughts prompted a discussion within the group and here’s what we came up with: that it may be possible ‘cliques’ seem less noticeable when your popular. (The fact that the girl had well over 700 subscribers to her blog and over 28 comments on this one post alone, tells me she’s doing okay in that department.) And then there’s the whole how BIG is your school? We, out-of-touch-writers–once students ourselves–have determined that the social cliques might be a bit more obvious in the smaller schools. But since I don’t plan on cyber-stalking to find out what school said teen goes to, I’ll just assume it’s average–whatever average is. lol. (Yes, I know my research efforts are very focused).

Lastly, we writers thought, hmmm, YA FICTION. I’m not sure the girl would be reading so much if we all wrote books about 5 hours of homework a night and college apps. I think maybe some teens prefer unrealistic cliques, love interests, and making the grade with minimal effort. I do have to say though, I don’t think I ever went to school with any werewolves, vampires, mind readers, or the like.

Still, the girls post was fantastic. Most times I don’t think YA writers get across the pressures on teens today, but I think instead we try to offer time away from that stress, if only for 250-300 pages. (TA4N–oh, for those who don’t read text: That’s all for now).

Romantic Reasoning!

15 Feb

Valentines Day tends to bring out the romantic side in even the most rational prosaic person. (I prefer a little irrationality on Valentines Day).  While I fully understand flowers die, a box of chocolates is fattening, and an extra “I love you” comes just because its expected. I can’t help but rejoice in a day that celebrates that we love one another. After all, everyday should be a day of love and so few are.

Many days are spent with our real life blinders on. Homes to tend to, kids to care for, work, co-workers, long drives, bills, groceries, pets…the list goes on forever it seems like. In all of this, our focus on love-romance gets pushed to the way-side. Sure, we may share an occasional hug or other affection. We’ll remember an ‘I love you’ as we head out the door or before we go to bed. But  do we remind ourselves daily that those words mean something.

I think it would be wonderful if we worked to keep love alive everyday. And remember why we enjoy our romance books so much. One reason I like to write them so well: love is… (we each get to fill in this blank and writing allows me to fill in the blank several times over).

What is love to you? Who do you love and what do you love that they do?

Writing a book is a journey, not a trip to the corner store.

11 Feb

The Journey Ahead

You’ll get the following advice: start a manuscript with action, make motivation clear from the start, hook the reader in the first line, don’t leave the reader with unanswered questions in the first chapter. The list goes on, and on, and on. For some books, these ideas work. For others, not so much. And others still, apply all of them.

The fact is, writing isn’t and shouldn’t be cookie cutter.

Yes, there are rules in writing. Sure, there are ideas out there that work great for the multitudes. On the other hand, we need to remember that while we live in a fast paced world of information, where how-to-do-just-about-anything is at a touch of a button. We also need to know when to apply what applies to us. With so many suggestions out there, it is difficult to sift through them. And if not careful, you might very well end up with a one page, thrill-a-minute story, that lasted literally a minute.

Writing is a journey.

I’m not saying don’t start with a hook. In my opinion you need to. However, will that hook be in the first line, first page, first chapter? You decide. I’m not saying ignore character motivation. Honestly, you shouldn’t, it’s essential. But, does that motivation need to be addressed in the first three words? Usually not.

The best suggestion I’ve ever read was simply this, write!

I’m adding a bit to it, because so much out there tells us to make it to the corner store. I suggest writing a journey. One that starts with a Title, a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter. Applying only the suggestions you need to get you through to the end. You see, a journey takes you from one place to another and doesn’t tell you how to get there. A trip to the corner store shouldn’t be everyone’s destination.

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