Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.


Book Networks

I've discovered a kind of social network I think I like better than all the others, but only because it centers around BOOKS!

Have you heard of Goodreads, or Shelfari, or Book Thing?

On these networks, I've met some new and interesting people, plus received a bunch of great book recommendations as well as been able to share reviews. I also like these places because they help me keep track of what I've already read.

So if you're in a book network, be sure to friend me. Or if you love to get book recommendations and want to join one, let me know so I can see what you've been reading; a girl always needs to plump up her TBR pile, after all!

Here are a couple other Climbing Rose authors who are also members of Goodreads if you want to share what you've been reading lately with us:

Christine Marciniak

Beth Shriver

Kimberlee R. Mendoza

Dara Edmondson

Linda Kage

Great Review for Confessions


Great review for Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson over at VenusBookluvr ("Book Reviews and musings from a Super Sexy Roman Goddess" how fun is that?) Here's what Venus had to say:

I loved the fact that it was such a realistic representation of juvenile life. The setting was solid, it was nice to experience the location through the eyes of someone who has just moved there. The entire cast of characters were compelling because they were typical and also easy to connect to. I highly recommend you pick up this book and be sure to get a copy for any young woman in your life. This was such a poignant novel that I just know I will read it again and again. This author is going on my must-read list.


Pretty cool, huh? Check out Confessions in the Climbing Rose bookstore--print and eBook--and Amazon.

Writing Advice - word count

For those of you interested in writing, maybe this will answer a few questions about...word count.

Ever since we’ve been able to string our first sentence together—See Jane run—and instructors have been handing out writing assignments, we’ve asked the age old question… How long? How long does the sentence have to be? The paragraph? The term paper? The thesis? The chapter? The book?

Some people want their answer to be straightforward, as my English teacher from high school would like to assign her lessons. “It needs to be 2,000 words long with ten paragraphs and a maximum of five auxiliary verbs.” Yeah, those were some tough papers to write… or as I should say without the auxiliary verb… That teacher possessed a strict guideline despite the fact I fondly remember her as one of the greatest grammarians ever. But my favorite answer to the question HOW LONG came from my middle school English teacher. “It’s like a mini skirt. Make sure it’s long enough to cover the topic, but short enough to stay interesting.” Yes, he was a male teacher, if you were curious!

I’m by no means an authority on the length question, but today I’m going to share what knowledge I do have on the subject...How long.

Sentence:
We’ll start with sentences. Sounds like a good place to me.

I’d always heard a sentence was a subject and a verb containing a complete thought. “Jane ran.” Subject, verb, complete thought. There’s our sentence. Sounds simple enough. So, let’s make it a little more complex.

As Jane ran barefoot between the towering oaks in the woods next to the house where she grew up.” Yes, it still has the subject—Jane—and the verb—ran—but we lost our complete thought after adding “As” to the beginning. As Jane’s running wherever she’s going to run, we need to follow that thought up with what happened while she was running. Or… we could simply delete “AS” to give the sentence a complete thought and make it grammatically correct.

Am I making any sense yet?

A sentence needs to be long enough to contain a subject (even if it’s only implied), verb, and complete thought.

Paragraph:
Okay, I had to go to a dictionary to get the correct definition of a paragraph. So, according to dictionary.com, a paragraph is “a basic unit of prose. It is usually composed of several sentences that together develop one central idea. The main sentence in a paragraph is called the topic sentence.”

I have a bad habit of falling into a rut over paragraph length. I get to thinking,this paragraph is way too long, no reader is gonna want to read such a long paragraph.” So, I’ll press enter and indent, starting a new one… whether that’s right or wrong. But we should always remember to keep sentences with one central idea together.

Here’s one trick you could do to cut a paragraph shorter if you’re getting nervous about its length. Say you’re writing a scene where the hero just laid eyes on the woman who’ll end up being his heroine. He’s probably going to describe what she looks like. If he likes what he sees, he might have a lot of description, which would most likely make a lengthy paragraph. So, if he’s just described her hair, and eyes, and legs, and said how soft her skin looked, you could break the paragraph and make a short new one by making a side note—or rather internal monologue if you will—like, “He was such a leg man.” That sentence doesn’t go with the central idea of the paragraph; it really needs its own paragraph all by itself. Ergo, you’d have a nice little break there before starting a new paragraph to describe more traits of your amazing heroine. Plus, it makes the story more interesting to read it in that conversational way.


Chapter:
I’m letting Noah Lukeman take care of my chapter length discussion. Author of The First Five Pages (which is a book EVERY writer should own), Lukeman says on Page 172 of his book:
"Each chapter must be thought of as its own complete unit, ready to excerpt should a magazine want it (indeed, this very chapter was excerpted prior to publication); the same holds true for paragraphs and sentences. Do you resolve in the end of the chapter what you establish in the beginning? Many writers don't; they just plug along, inserting chapter breaks wherever they feel their text can use one—sometimes completely arbitrarily. Writers often ask me: How long should my chapters be? Is five pages too short: Is forty too long? The fact that they're even asking this question indicates they're thinking of the chapters in the wrong way—merely as dividers for a greater whole. Of course, a chapter needs to be part of a greaterwhole, but it also needs to be its own unit. The appropriate length is whatever length is necessary to accomplish whatever that individual chapters sets out to do. "

Book:
After reading that great piece of spectacular advice, I probably don’t even need to go into book length. A story, of course, should be as long as it needs to be to set up a conflict and then unravel a resolution for that conflict. The problem with that answer occurs when we’ve finished our story and begin looking for a publisher who’ll actually buy a book within the limits of your word count. In the romance industry, you’ll probably notice if you’ve ever done any publisher research that most places want stories to be around 100,000 words long. Harlequin and Silhouette like stories between 50,000 words and 65,000 for a majority of their category lines. So, if you’ve written a 75,000 word story, you might think you’re stuck in a no-man’s land. The uprising of e-publishers saved the day there, because a good portion of them will accept a story anywhere from 15,000 words to 125,000 words. Thanks guys!

A couple vices to help you control word count are subplots, secondary characters, and added conflicts. If you need to shrink your word count to pursue a certain line, try taking out a couple minor characters. You might be amazed how much that’ll lighten the load. Or in the opposite case, you need to make the story just 10,000 words longer, add another character. Each person in a story has their own agenda and mindset, and the more people your novel contains, the more complex and longer it’ll be.

So, okay, there’s my writing advice for the day. Since I’m definitely not a professional on the topic, any additional comments and tips are always appreciated. Thanks!

Valentine Mad Lib

Happy almost Valentine's Day!! I thought I'd celebrate by playing a Valentine Mad Lib. Feel free to join in. Here's what we need to do.

1) Fill in a word for the prompts below.
2) Slot your words into the story below that!

PROMPTS:

1. Adjective
2. Adjective
3. Holiday
4. Verb/s
5. Person
6. Verb
7. Verb
8. Noun
9. Noun
10. Number




STORY:

He sits across from me. He is so ____(1)____ and ____(2)____. I helped him with his ____(3)____ mailbox. I hope he ____(4)____ one in mine. Mrs. ____(5)____ announces that it is time to ____(6)____ our cards. I watch and ____(7)____. Will he put a ____(8)____ in my mailbox? I can't wait to see tomorrow if one is from him. I made a beautiful ____(9)____ for him yesterday. Wow, to my surprise there are ____(10)____ from in in there!





Here were my answers: 1. hairy, 2. round, 3. Veteran's Day, 4. jumps, 5. Rumpelstiltskin, 6. sit on, 7. gallop, 8. door, 9. cat, 10 ten.

Attractive

Click to get cool Animations for your MySpace profile

So I went to one of my nephew's high school basketball tournaments a while back. And I'm really getting into watching the game, right. His team is playing their heart out, when one of his friends makes this huge leaping dive to save the ball from going out of bounds.

Momentum keeps the guy hurtling forward until he flies up into the stands and pretty much tackles some cheerleader that had been sitting there with her friends, waiting for their own team to play next.

The player does everything he can not to actually land on the poor girl and flatten her like a pancake. By the time he comes to a stop, he looks like he's doing some kind of crab impersonation with his arms and legs at all these weird angles in an attempt not to hurt the cheerleader.

Immediately, before he can even climb off her, he starts asking if she's okay.

[Insert dreamy sigh here]

It my made my big 'ol romantic-loving heart give a great big thump of adoration. He risked hurting himself even more in his attempt to save the girl from as much harm as possible. And as soon as he landed, he was more concerned about her welfare than his own.

Now this kid didn't have the prettiest face on the team. My own nephew was much cuter (not that I'm biased). He had cheeks, arms, and legs full of freckles and shocking red hair. But after that heroic act, I saw him as the most beautiful boy on the planet. I had to be twelve years older than the boy (and married to a wonderful man) but I think a grew a crush on him at that moment.

Has this happened to any of you before? You see someone do something great, or say something wonderful, and suddenly everything about them is attractive? Made me realize beauty isn't skin deep. Actually, it has nothing to do with skin it all.

It's character, gallantry, and thoughtfulness, and it outshines outer appearance every time.

Merry Christmas Fun and Trivia

Time to celebrate Christmas (I can't believe it's only 13 days away). I'm starting off my season with a couple of corny jokes.

Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
So he can hoe, hoe, hoe…


What Christmas Carol is a favorite of parents?
Silent Night…


What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Frosted Flakes...


Knock Knock
Who's there ?
Donut
Donut who ?
Donut open till Christmas…

What do you get if Santa goes down the chimney when a fire is lit?
Crisp Cringle...


How do sheep in Mexico say Merry Christmas?
Fleece Navidad...


What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Claustrophobic...


What does a cat on the beach have in common with Christmas?
Sandy Claws...


Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
He had low elf-esteem...


What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas ?
Thanks, I'll never part with it…

How long does it take to burn a Christmas candle down ?
About a wick…

Why are Christmas trees like bad knitters ?
They both drop their needles…

Knock Knock

Who's there?
Rudolph
Rudolph who?
Money is the Rudolph of all evil…



Hope you didn't spit milk out your nose laughing too hard??

But now that all the laughs are exhausted, it's time to get down to thinking. So, how well do you know Christmas?

Tis the season to see how festive you are. I found a trivia quiz on the website http://www.internetfamilyfun.com/christmas.htm and just had to test myself. I got a C+ on my Christmas intelligence with 11 out of 14 correct. What about you guys? Did you know all these? (Psst: Answers are at the bottom!)

1: What country did the tradition of having a Christmas tree come from?

  • England
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • France


2: Every year most homes in the United States bring something from the outdoors into their homes and decorate it. This object is:


  • A Fir or Evergreen Tree
  • A Palm Tree
  • A log
  • A bush


3: What is the name of the head elf in the movie, "The Santa Clause"?


  • Scott
  • Judy
  • Bernard
  • Larry


4: In the poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore what creature is mentioned?


  • Fly
  • Mouse
  • Cat
  • Dog


5: What is dressed in "holiday style" in the song, "Silver Bells"?


  • Streets
  • Store Windows
  • Sidewalks
  • Train Station


6: In what city did the story, "Miracle on 34th Street", take place?


  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Buffalo


7: In "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" the elf named Hermey wanted to be a


  • Dentist
  • Toy Painter
  • Doctor
  • Prospector


8: In the song, "12 Days of Christmas", how many Lords a-leaping are there?


  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11


9: The biggest selling Christmas song of all time is:


  • Bing Crosby's White Christmas
  • Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  • Connie Francis's Winter Wonderland
  • Pat Boone's I'll Be Home For Christmas


10: In the Christmas classic, "Home Alone," where did the family go?


  • England
  • Scotland
  • France
  • Germany


11: In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" what is the angel's first name?


  • Sidney
  • Oliver
  • Clarence
  • George


12: Other names for Santa Claus do not include:


  • St. Nick
  • Sint Klaas
  • Father Christmas
  • Feliz Navidad


13: The name of the girl that asked if there is a Santa in the famous editorial that answered that question.


  • Sally
  • Samantha
  • Betty
  • Virginia


14: In the movie "The Christmas Story", what did Ralphie want for Christmas?


  • Go Cart
  • Bike
  • BB Gun
  • Lamp



ANSWERS:
1)Germany, 2)A Fir or Evergreen, 3)Bernard, 4)Mouse, 5) Sidewalks, 6)New York, 7)Dentist, 8)10, 9)Bing Crosby's White Christmas, 10)France, 11)Clarence, 12)Feliz Navidad, 13)Virginia, 14)BB Gun


HOPE EVERYONE HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

A School Paper Interview

I never wrote for my high school newspaper. I'm pretty sure we had one.

I did write for my college newspaper. I remember a fascinating story about elevators and I did a series of columns about my experience as an exchange student in London.

But I never interviewed an author. Maybe I should have.

Because I've been interviewed for a school paper.

Jillian, a high school student who edits the The Panther Press read When Mike Kissed Emma and wanted to interview me for her school paper. How cool is that? You can go here to read the interview!