Monday, September 5, 2011


There are changes afoot!!  Not only in the seasons, my writing but also in my private life.  Summer is finally beginning to fade from view.  It was nice while it lasted but alas, all good things must come to an end!  My daughter is pretty much potty trained so we all know what that means......Preschool!!!  She will be attending a couple of mornings a week, but am I ready??  She will be fine, but will I??  I get a bit of a heavy heart when I think about her toddling off into her Preschool room to learn about sharing, and playing nice with friends!!  She is also starting a ballet class.  We bought her tights and leotard, and had to go to the local dance store for some ballet slippers, we were in there for an hour!!  She was looking at all the tutu's and ballets skirt, she thought it was fab.  Oh my, she is growing up, but do I want her too??  Of course I do but my baby turned into a toddler and now she is a preschooler, next thing I know she will be going off to College!!!

So I have been adding as much to my book as I can, which I have to say isn't alot at all.  I think about it all the time but when it comes down to it and I sit at my computer my mind goes blank.  I haven't been doing my 'Penned Pages' for a reason, I don't have any, but I think it is time for me to revive that part of my blog, partly because I think it was makes me own up to my writing.  So from here on out, you will see the previously viewed 'Penned Pages' added into my blog.  It will be pretty lame this week but hey it is a start!!  So without further ado:

'Penned Pages'

Monday (Labour Day):  Zip!!  Oh well, I didn't say they were going to be great did I??

Happy Penning!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reading or Writing??

So my goal, obviously, is to get my books published.  I love writing, sometimes it frustrates me, but most of the time I really enjoy the process.  I don't particularly enjoy the Query letter writing process, but hey-ho, it goes with the territory!  To figure out my writing a little better I decided to read some middle grade and YA fiction, the problem now is that I am a little suckered into my reading to get to my writing!!  Catch-22 right??  Do I read the books to get a better understanding of what MG and YA fiction should truly be? or do I just bang on with my writing?  Thoughts, questions, comments are all welcome!!!

Now for something completely different!!!!

Why is it that my apple tree lost all of it's apples this year???  Last year we had a huge haul of yummy apples, but this year, although we had a ton on the tree, they never grew and in fact all seemed to fall off before harvesting time!??!  Any thoughts? 

Well, I hope everyone has been having or has had, depending on where you live, a very lovely summer.  Ours is not over yet, so there is still alot of summer fun to be had.

Happy Penning!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Baaaaaccccckkkkk!!!!!!!!!


Wow, I can't believe it has been almost a month since I last posted!  Life has been busy, wonderful but busy.  I have been potty training my toddler, and we are finally getting it....I thought for a few weeks that she was going to bypass toilet training til she was in Kindergarden!!!  Thankfully that is not the case, and we are on our way to being fully trained :)

We have also been searching for just the right Preschool for the aforementioned toddler!!  Living in the city our options are plentiful but at a price, a large one!  Anyway, we have finally found what we hope will be a good fit, although you never know until your child begins attending.  So that has been checked off the list.

I also decided to add some of my book reviews on my blog.  I review alot on, a great site to keep track of the books you have read and would like to read.  Also, you can meet some great people on there who have the same interests as you....reading!!!!  I am an active member of a couple of groups on goodreads, and over the last few months have been taking up reading challenges, usually I read and then review the book, and so I thought I would include some of my reviews here too.  If you have reviewed some of your favourite books and would like to contribute, you are more than welcome to guest post.  Just let me know and we will get that going!

So, let's get to my writing.  For a while I was a little perturbed that every time I sat in front of my laptop and opened my novel I would sit and sit and sit.  Absolutely nothing came to me.  I had no idea how to get my characters from one point to the next.  I had storybooked the main bullets of the story, but I was stuck on the inbetween bits!!  I decided to give it and myself a break.  I started a couple of other storyboards for ideas that I have, and that seemed to do the trick.  I have written an additional 10 pages in the last week or so.  So here is a tip from me....take it with a pinch of salt, I may have no idea what I am talking about....If you find yourself blocked, writers block that is, give yourself a break.  Sit back, save what you have so far, and click out of your document.  Give yourself a break, that may be a couple of hours it may be a couple of weeks.  Start putting other ideas you have down on paper or computer screen, and you will be surprised when you go back to your blocked story that things may come flooding back.  Try it, you never know!!

Happy Penning!!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Since my last post on Wednesday, I have received two rejections.  They were different manuscripts, one was a picture book and one was an early middle grade fiction.  The picture book rejection told me "You may want to consider looking at the SCBWI website for tips and info on how to write children's books"!!!  Do you think that is a hint for, you cannot write for children!??!

I am trying to be all optomistic and postitive and I will go to their website, I am actually affiliated with them, and look at their tips etc, maybe it can help me in the long run....who knows!

SCBWI stands for Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, for those who wanted to know!!  I check their website alot to look for trends and whats hot.  It is so difficult to write a book when you know what is in right now, but that given another 6 months will be pushed aside for a new 'hot' topic.  Agents and Publishers vary alot in their likes or wants, some would like to see furry critters frolicking in the meadow, others are dead against the talking animal lead book.  So, what do you do?  If you write what they want now, in a month when it is completed and polished, you go back to their websites and low and behold, their wishlist has changed!

For me, I think I will just continue writing what I feel, and if the book fits into one of the numerous agents or publishers list then great and if not.....oh well!!!

Happy Penning!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

It may have been a while since I last posted but I can tell you, I have been a busy bee.  Not only have I been writing, yes you read me correctly, I have been writing, but I have also been researching literary agents.  My list of potential agents is rather long, but I am excited because they are in many different genres, ie. picture books, chapter books, middle grade fiction and YA, also memiors, parenting and blogs.  I have alot ahead of me, but feel as though I am taking the bull fully by the horns and making a move in the right direction.

Since I last posted I have written about 8 pages of work.  Now, they were not all on my Blog Book 'B'.  I am writing a narrative of my experiences attempting to potty train my daughter.  This is a 'journey' we have been on now for several months, and from the look of things will be continuing on that journey for another few months!  I decided to journal my thoughts and feelings in hopes that I may be able to inspire or at least commiserate with other parents going through the same 'joyous' event!

Blog Book 'B' is now a little heftier, which is a good thing, but I am still further behind than I hoped I would be by this stage in our gorgeous summer.  The days still drag me outside when I should be inside writing but as I have said before, how can I say no to my beautiful baby girl when she wants me to splash about in her paddling pool?  I just can't.  Joy of joys though, some new motivation came my way in the shape of a 'wish list' from an agent.  In her blog she describes some books she would love to see, and as yet hasn't.  My Blog Book 'B' would fall into one of the categories on her wish list....fate?  So I have a new fire under my backside, and with some luck and a whole lot of typing, I may make the agent stand up and take notice of me.

Speaking of agents, I have sent out my manuscripts, yes I have more than one, to some literary agents.  Their average response time is about 4-6 weeks, so don't expect to hear from me in the next day or two with news of an acceptance!  Nothing came of my Blog Book 'A' going off to the agent, but hopefully this time may be different, keep those fingers crossed!

Happy Summer!!

Happy Penning!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Plan!!

I have devised a new plan for myself during the beautiful summer that is upon us.  I am having a very difficult time focusing my efforts sitting indoors and writing.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flies are being obnoxious but the creativity within me is waning...quickly!  For some reason my brain is telling me to enjoy the out of doors, play in the paddling pool with my daughter, go to the park, the zoo, anywhere that being outside is necessary.  Needless to say my writing is pretty much non-existant at the moment, so I have decided to concentrate my efforts on using my 'Writers Market' to make a list of potential literary agents and publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts.

The Writers Market is a wonderful tool for aspiring authors.  It houses pages upon pages of agents and publishers, including their contact information and websites, useful to find agents that specialise in your genre.  It also gives tips on how to write that eye catching query letter, so go pick one up today if you are in need of a literary agent!

I don't like to take my laptop outside with me, in case you were wondering why I can't get myself motivated indoors, I can see it now, my laptop will be forgotten outside and will be fried in the heat, or worse yet, we will get a summer storm, which we are experiencing alot lately and my laptop will be drowned.  At least if I take my pen and notebook with my Writers Market out with me they will not be sizzling if forgotten and will be able to dry out if soaked!  New Plan.....I like it!!!

Happy Summer everyone, and....

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


In a few previous posts I have mentioned storyboarding.  This is something that many writers do,whether they are writing a novel or a script.  Many directors use storyboards to sequence the action in a movie, they use drawings or cartoons to show the flow of the story.  Writers take a different approach though, still the same concept but without the drawings!

There are several different ways to storyboard, and just like anything in life, what works for one author may not work for another.  Some people prefer notecards.  Each card has a scene that the writer wants to be in the novel.  They are then sequenced as to how the writer sees the story progressing.  Once that is done, more cards can be added to 'fill in the blanks' of the story.  Others may opt for the poster board and sticky note option.  Similar to the note cards, the sticky notes are used to write down key scenes and then put into a timeline on the poster board, this way you can move around the stickies and add/subtract any that you wish to make a coherent story.  There are also programs you can download to help with the storyboard process.  WriteItNow and yWriter are just two of many that I have downloaded, but as yet have not used.  I am rather illiterate when it comes to the computer and so am still trying to navigate my way through them!! 

What I decided to do was storyboard in my notebook.  I bulleted everything that I felt would be important to the story, in chronological order, this way I have a direction to go but can still be spontaneous with my ideas.  So far it is working well, and helping me be a little more active in my writing since I know the next stage I need to get to.  With this being the first draft of Book 'B' I allow myself to be a little messy, this way I am able to just regurgitate whatever is in my brain without having to worry about it being perfect.

'Penned Pages'
Since I last posted, I think I have about 6 additional pages, now bare in mind it has been about a week or so since my last post!!!!  Still, it is an addition so can't be too hard on myself!

'Week In Writing'
Since I decided to write a storyboard I have had a lot more free flowing story ideas, there have been a few times where I have wondered how to get from point A to point B, but overall the storyboard is working pretty well.  It is very difficult to juggle home, work, play etc. however, and have chosen to put everything before my writing!!  I know I shouldn't do this but hey.....IT'S SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!  My daughter and I have been enjoying the sun alot, with trips to the pool, to the Zoo and having lovely picnics at the farm.  It is wonderful to see the summertime through her eyes!

Enjoy the Season is truly special.

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book 'A' Submission

Okay, so I have officially sent out my first query to a Literary Agency!!  I have to say I am a little nervous about it zipping off electronically through cyber space to end up in somebody's 'in-box'.  I am sure they will be totally bogged down with manuscripts, but hope and pray they read and enjoy the book, or at least the first 10 pages of it!!  Book 'A' is now out in the world, how many submissions do we think it will take until someone picks it up......I should start a wager with you all!

I found writing the main query letter was extrememly difficult.  In fact it may have been harder than writing the manuscript!  Okay, maybe not but there was alot of anxiety and re-writing that occured just for it to be emailed.  I do understand that the query is equally important as the manuscript itself but why?  The book is speaking for itself, the query is just you, nothing but you and your accomplishments, so why does it need to be so perfect?  I understand the need for good spelling, punctuation and grammar but perfection?  I hope perfection shines through in my query, I followed all guidelines to a tee, or at least I think I I am doubting myself!!  See, sheer anxiety over this submission, please let them love it so I don't have more queries to write.

'Penned Pages'

So, as we discussed in a previous post, it is summertime, and I have been enjoying it to the fullest so far.  I am not going to beat around the bush......I have written NOTHING!!!!!!!!  That's right, zip, zilch, zero!!!

Too much fun has been infiltrating my writing time.  Swimming, gardening, trips to the Zoo and farm, all these have taken priority the last few weeks.  I know I need to prioritize a little better, and I will, I promise....this Fall!!!!!!  No, no, no...I am sorry, that was a bad joke!  Seriously I will take more time and finish my Book 'B' by later this Summer/Fall.

Happy Penning!!

Monday, June 13, 2011


So summer is officially here.  The sun is shining, the grass is green, kind of, and the BBQs are being fired up!  We grilled yesterday at our house, kebabs and watermelon were on the menu....yummy!  There are certain things that you only have or do in the summertime, grilling and eating outside is one of them.  We grill in the winter too but eat inside, so to be able to sit outside on the patio is just wonderful.  All the delicious fruits that are indicitive of summer are also something we enjoy.  Watermelon, cherries, plums, peaches and blackberries, oh how my taste buds water just writing about you all!!

What is it that you enjoy about summer?  Are there specific things that you look forward to?  I was thinking of how inspiring this amazing time year can be, and thought I would put together a collection of thoughts, poems and short stories all about this one season...summer!!  If I can get it completed by August, I will self-publish on smashwords for all to enjoy.

I know making this new goal is taking me away from my Book 'B' that is not yet complete, okay, so it is still in single digit number of pages but, I will not be pushing it to the side, my summer compilation will be in addition to Book 'B'.  So have no fear my loyal readers, I am still motivated and will still give you my 'Penned Pages' and 'Week In Writing', in fact why don't I segway into that right now!!

'Penned Pages'

In the last week I have only written 2 and a smidge pages, but I say to myself, 2 are better than none and so am happy with that.

'Week In Writing'

This past week has been busy, busy, busy.  I have been working more than usual, and have been attending some rather fun events......including a work event through my husbands office with the employees and their families, it was a great afternoon and we all enjoyed it.  I also attended a Debutante Ball, that is right people, a Debutante Ball!!!!  Super Posh I know, and what a night!!  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and anyone who has an 18 year old Debutante please let me know as I would love to attend another ball!! 

Anyway, I am going to try and spend more time at the laptop, get inspired and write my little tail off, probably won't happen but no-one can say I don't have the drive!  Enjoy your summer, wherever you are.

Happy Penning!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Knocking out Book 'B'

So my heart has returned back to normal, and now reality is once again a cloud above!  I have begun to add to Book 'B' and sat for a while today and knocked out about 3 pages.  Later, I may sit in my scent filled garden under my wasp infested umbrella sipping a flavoured water and add a few more pages to it, although I am not sure because the deliciousness of my water may entice the pesky wasps to come and take a dip, so maybe not after all!!

It is definitely summer here in Denver.  The lilacs are blossoming as are the lilies and irises.  The grass is slowly beginning to scorch if not watered on an almost daily basis and the water bill will be ever expanding the further we get into summer.   The smell of sunscreen on my daughter is heaven, that is when you know the pool is open and beckoning you to come and splash about.  As yet we haven't graced the pool with my pasty white chubby thighs but give me time and I will clear the place out. 

I live in a relatively dry climate but for some reason it is sticky, sticky, sticky.  I don't so well in humidity, even though I grew up in England, rather humid, I am now so used to the dryness of Colorado that one bead of humid sweat sends me running into air conditioning.  I have a hard time concentrating when I am hot and can get kind of crabby, just ask my family.  So, I am hoping that although I know I should, I am not too sure if I will, get alot of work on my manuscript done this summer.  Between the pull of the pool and other outdoorsy fun, and without air conditioning in my house, we do have a swamp cooler but not the same, I am not sure about the level of productivity.

An indication of my lack of writing may also be seen in the decreased amount of posts on this blog.  So, if you haven't seen some spew of words here for a while, just know that I am probably still alive and well, just out at the pool scaring folk off or wrestling my water from a band of wasps, either way I will try to be as creative as I can.

'Penned Pages'

This weekend was so busy for me that I haven't touched my manuscript since about Wed of last week, however, today I got it back onto my lap and banged out 3 pages!

'Week In Writing'

I haven't begun a storyboard yet, I am thinking about it but in the mean time I am writing.  So far no storyboard has been necessary.  I was sitting today with my laptop on my lap (surprise), and found that 3 pages just came from within.  Now, I am not saying one will never be necessary, I am just saying for now, one is not needed. 

Today was the first day in almost a week that I sat down to add anything to my book.  I wasn't sure if I would remember where my train of thought was going from last time but I did.  Could it be that a story 'speaks' to you so to speak? (no pun intended).  I listened to an interview with Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert the other day and she said that she actually speaks to her stories, the ones in her head or that have just been penned.  Bizarre? or should we all admit to speaking to inanimate objects or in some cases fantastical ideas?  Would our souls be cleansed and more open to new ideas and story lines if we spoke to them?  I don't know the answer to that just as I don't know the answer to 'If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound??'

Happy Penning!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Revisions complete!!

I have spent the last week revising Book 'A'.  My wonderful husband printed it off and I was able to make notes and corrections, which was so much easier than trying to do it on the computer.  So now I have a completed manuscript!!  What next?  Well, I am going to get some query letters and submission letters sorted out and send Book 'A' to literary agents and publishers, and hopefully get a bite :)

The most difficult thing about revising was sorting through what was necessary to the story and what wasn't, also how to tie everything together or at least make it flow and not end up choppy with information here, there and everywhere.  But for the most part I think it is decent, and ready to go to agents.

Since I have my e-book up and running, and Book 'A' is complete, I can now focus on Book 'B'.  I have sent the first few pages to a friend of mine whose opinion I respect, so she can give me an honest first look.  I am not sure about how the middle part of the book will turn out, but I have the beginning and I know how it will end, but what about the stuff in the centre, which is pretty important don't you think??  I could do a fill in the blank book, wouldn't that be fun?  I also need to figure out the age group I am writing this book for, defintely kids but should it be middle grade or older?  Once I have that sorted out then my language and content will hopefully make its way from my mind to the laptop!!

I was thinking about storyboarding Book 'B', I don't usually do a storyboard, or map out where the story is going, I usually sit in front of my computer and let it happen.  Maybe having a difinitive path to follow would make it easier, I will let you know!

Well, that's it for now, have a fun weekend everyone.

Happy Penning!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I am an author!

Well, it is true.....I am an author!!  Okay, so an e-book author but still published.  Although it is not the manuscript I have been working on and revising till the cows come home, I still wanted to share with you my accomplishment, I am rather proud of myself I have to admit!

So, I won a summer writing contest for short stories.  I was picked with several others to have my work published as an e-book by Trestle Press Publishing.  I have gone through the editing process, and the cover process, and now it is up online for purchase!!  I am still a little flabbergasted at it all.  I went to the sites it is available on, which I will share later, and got a little teary-eyed seeing my name Samantha Weiler, and next to it, author.  Even now I am a little emotional, excuse me while I wipe my eyes....okay, better now!!

Anyway, what else can I say?  Oh yeah, I am still editing Book 'A' and writing Book 'B' but am not going to be posting 'Penned Pages' or 'Week in Writing' today, becasue today is all about my short story 'Beyond the Garden Gate' by Samantha Weiler (author)!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the sites it is available on......... (kindle) (nook) (all e-books including pdf)

Search.....Beyond the Garden Gate by Samantha Weiler, and it should pop up!!

Thanks to all of my family and friends for their support without whom I would not be where I am today, I love you all.

Only one more thing to say.......

Happy Penning!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Book

So I have started, and not discarded, a new story.  Like many of my other stories I have a burst of inspiration, and then.......nothing.  But, unlike other tales I have attempted to tell, this is one I am going to blog about and complete.  I will share, as usual, my penned pages, and my week in writing.  So lets begin another journey with each other, not forgetting that our first adventure is not yet complete, as my book has not been picked up for publication yet, so I will keep you up to date with Book 'A', and here we are beginning Book 'B'.

'Penned Pages'

Monday: 2 pages
Tuesday: 1 page
Wednesday: nothing yet, but give me time!!

'Week In Writing'

This week I decided to begin a new story.  I had my usual burst of excitement and got that down on paper, then inspriation went out the window when I was summoned to play 'picnic time' with my daughter, but do not dispair, I shall get back to it and hopefully have some interesting twists and turns to place in my book.

I think quite alot about the starting out authors who have young children and how they did it.  How they managed to put their thoughts down on paper with a toddler running rampant through the house!  And not feeling guilty when the kids want to play a game or go outside and play.  I haven't been able to have a decent relationship with my laptop and my thoughts when my daughter is up and awake!!  I usually wait til she is resting in bed or if she is having a TV addiciton day!  But even then, the dog and the doorbell always seem to bark/ring at the most inopportune times!  Oh well, I am sure all those other female writers are having similar experiences as I am.  As a Mom we just have to push through it and get it done!  Right Moms??

Happy Penning!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kinda Crazy!!!

Well, I received an email yesterday congratulating me on being chosen for a digital short e-book publishing contract! 

I am still in a state of shock, I really don't know what to say except I will give out all the info on when and where it will be published very soon.  Stunned is beyond what I feel right now. 

I have to ask myself too, am I stunned because it is the most fabulous thing to happen or is it because I am stunned someone chose my work?  I flip-flop between the two I guess.  I am very excited that this is happening, could it be the beginning of something amazing?  I hope so.

Just wanted to let you all know my exciting news, and like I said I will give more info on when/where soon as I know more too.

Happy Penning!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am waiting as patiently as I can for some feedback about my manuscript. I have handed it out to several family members and a couple of friends, but as yet......nothing!

Should I worry? Are they not emailing with critique because it is so bad that they don't want to upset me? Or are they just really busy and have not yet fully looked at it? I like the second option the best!

Well, with my first finished manuscript waiting for some critique, I am beginning to write another book. The only thing is, I write the first few pages and then either get bored, or have no idea where to go from there. So what ends up happening is I save it and move onto another one. I have done this three times since I finished my manuscript, and I have to say, I am angry with myself about it.

The reason behind starting this blog was for motivation and accountability while writing a book....this I have accomplished, but now I am back to my old habits.  So, as I am waiting for valuable suggestions, I am going to pick up one of the recently started books and will keep going until it is finished.  I, again, will write down my penned pages, and give you a run down of my week in writing.  We, or more I, will start again and complete a manuscript.  I just have to pick which one to go with!!

Maybe I should blame all of my anxiety over critiques, and my lack of motivation while writing on the 'End of the world'.....'Armageddon'.....'Judgement Day'?  However, since May 21st 2011 6pm came and went without a hitch, I really can't blame life as we know it ending, so, here I am safe and sound, and ready to write....again!!

Happy Penning!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who Wants It?

I have gone round and round thinking about who I will give my manuscript to for review. I have passed it on to a couple of my family members, but feel that maybe some friends could give some great insight too. Now, I do have to say that if all your review is going to consist of is one word like 'crap' or 'rubbish' then you can keep your thoughts to yourself, but if you are willing to review and give constructive criticism then I am looking for you.

The manuscript is not polished and this is the reason why I need some reviews. If I wasn't ready to gouge my eyes out with a dessert spoon when reading it I could edit some more, but as it is I need help!
So, my next question is......who wants it?

Happy Penning!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Editing - Round Three

Well, so far I have revised my manuscript about 3 times. Every time I go through it I start to go cross eyed. I am thinking I am at the point where I need a new pair of eyes to read it and give a critique. Hubby? Mom? or maybe a complete stranger? I am not sure if I want constructive, or possibly horrendous criticism from a stranger, then again my Hubby will tell me how fab it is, and Mom will be all about the grammar!

Why do I feel so wary about someone reading what I have written?  Part of it is the possibility of negative feedback.  I once gave a short story to someone to read, and their response when I asked them what they thought was a nod of the head, fake smile, and barely audible 'yeah'.  So, obviously they thought it was crap, but instead of no response, perhaps a pat on the shoulder, a pitiful smile, and maybe 'the concept was great, the writing was okay.  Keep trying, I would love to read more for you.'  That I could have dealt with, but as it is, I am a bit freaked out with letting my manuscript be read, even by my family.

There are no 'Penned Pages' today, and no 'Week in Writing' either!!!  This week has been wonderful and weird all at the same time.  I didn't write at all, I just revised, and that ended up mushing my brain!  But, today I am going to begin a new book.  I feel it is time to start something totally new.  I know, I know, last post I had written a few pages of a new manuscript but somehow whenever I sit to write, I just get a huge block.  So I thought I would start something new and see where it gets me....good idea?  Who knows, probably not but oh well!!

Happy Penning!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Editing - Round 2

I am finished with the first edit of my manuscript. At first the revision process was a little more difficult than anticipated, but as I went along, I truly found it to be cathartic. I was erasing the demons of the book and opening the doors for the heroes! Well, not literally as then I wouldn't have a very engrossing book!

I am not sure how many revisions this book will have but I am sure I am not quite finished yet! During editing I have started another book, not quite sure what the echelon is about editing/writing....Is it acceptable for me to be editing one and writing another?

I wonder if the second edit is faster than the first, and the third faster then the second. On the first edit I did alot of erasing and re-writing as well as grammar and spelling mistakes, althoug their r not manny of thowse as I thunk I am a grate speler!!!!!! But if I have already done alot of the grammatical errors etc.. then it is just the story to revise right? So, will it be easier? quicker? I will have see when I get to the second revision.
'Penned Pages'
Monday: 0
Tuesday: 2
Wednesday: Erased 2 pages, so am back where I first started at 0!!
Thursday: 1 page of story line ideas, and geographical places for the book.

'Week In Writing'
As I began a story, I got to the second page and realised I hated it...if I hated it after 2 pages then I wasn't going to enjoy writing it right? So, I erased the whole thing, which took me forever, just kidding. I then began some background writing for a new book. I don't usually do alot of background work or research, but for this next book, I think I will need it. So, aside from writing I will have an atlas in front of me to make sure all my mapping is correct.

'Author's Authority'
Is it safe to begin another book before finishing with the revision process on a previous book? I am not sure if one can keep on track editing while attempting to write. If your mind is trying to polish a fantasy story and you begin writing a romance, how can you be sure that your fantasy doesn't turn a bit sordid?? Maybe I will research how other authors combat to edit/to write.
Happy Penning!

Monday, May 2, 2011


So here I am reading through my finished manuscript.  Well, I am changing so much I wonder if it was even worth writing it in the first place.....Okay, so YES IT WAS!!!!!  However, why am I changing so much of it?  Was the beginning of a different writing calibre than that of the end?  Guess I can't ask that yet as I haven't made it to the end quite yet!  But does our writing style/voice become stronger as we go on?

Maybe that is just something for new writers to ask themselves.  Once you get fully immersed into a story does it become easier to write?  And does the quality of our written word improve?  I know alot of writers say to write every day no matter what it is that you are writing, I guess that is just like anything else, practice, practice, practice!!!!

'Revisions Penned Pages'

Friday: 2
Saturday: 1
Sunday: 0
Monday: So far, 1 but I have big plans to spend my daughters nap time revising!

Only 57 more pages to edit!

'Week In Writing - Revision'

It is quite difficult to see my words previously typed out erased within a split second.  What I thought worked in the beginning actually didn't, at least not in my opinion at this moment in time!
So far I have erased almost the entire first page!  yet added a page or two with more descriptive sentences.  Why didn't I think of this before?  Add in a few bits and bobs and there you go!!  DONE!!  Well, not that easy because in the moment it seems to flow, the words fly from my fingertips and I get caught up in the story.  Now I am going back through it, I am realising that what I have written is sometimes a little too basic, that more back story is needed, which I wasn't thinking about when in the first stages of putting it all down.  Will I enjoy this editing process as much as the writing process??  Only time will tell, and I will tell you too!!!

'Author's Authority'

How many times do you edit until you are satisfied with the manuscript?  How do you know when to stop?  And how do you not change everything about the book?  These are questions I have about my ability to edit self-critically.  I am not sure I will know when to say....'Ah, there it is, my finished book.'  I may go too far and think....'Ugh, totally not worth sending out now!'  However, I hope I am critical enough to know when a sentence or paragraph needs pulling or embellishing, let's just hope I don't feel that way about all of them!

Happy Penning!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Stunned Disbelief!!

I am stunned, totally gob-smacked.....why I hear you ask??  Well, I have finished my first draft!!  WooHoo.  Now, I have a ton of revising to do, it is not as long as I intended and I will probably add some further description but I have a start, a middle and an end!!  How cool is that??

So here is what happened.....

Yesterday during kid naps, I sat banging away and before I knew it I had my ending in sight, I thought I had been writing for hours, but the kids were still in bed, asleep!  Anyway, I hadn't been writing as long as I thought and so decided to finish it all......this I did, and I can't believe it!

So from here on out, I will be editing, revisions, and changing many things I am sure.  I have already begun work on another unfinished manuscript, do I juggle both editing one and writing another simultaneously?

'Penned Pages'

Thursday: Wait for it........9 pages!!!!!!  9!!!!  Can you believe that????  Phew, my fingeres are blistered and sore, just kidding!

So, I now have a first draft with 61 pages of completed work.  Not sure how many this will be when I am finished with the revisions but will let you know.

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To edit or not to edit

As I write I edit.  I go back over the pages I have recently or not so recently written.  I spell check, grammar check, I embellish, take out distractions, add little bits and pieces I think are necessary.  But what I am asking myself now editing during writing necessary?

I received some advice from a former literary agent, tip number one was 'no correcting until the first draft is finished.'  No matter how amazing we think our manuscript is, it will always need correcting, so do it after the draft is finished.  This was like a 'light bulb moment' as Oprah would say, I guess I never thought of it as unnecessary during the initial writing process.  I thought I was on the ball, getting the revision done before actual completion.....I guess I was wrong!

With many revisions of my manuscript on my horizon I am quitting my 'edit as I write' mentality.  No longer is it necessary for me to go through my work, when I will be doing that several times before it is ready for submission anyway.  I can already feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders, and I envision a faster completion for my book.

'Penned Pages'

Monday: 1 page (better than nothing I guess!)
Tuesday: 3 pages
Wednesday: 3 pages

'Week in Writing'

These last few days have been rather fun for me.  I have enjoyed writing more since I was advised not to edit as I go.  Instead of re-reading passages or chapters when I have been stuck, I have just gone and made a cup of tea or grabbed a snack, come back to my laptop and continued where I left off, so I have been alot more productive.

I also feel because I am writing on a consistent basis, writing this blog, and continuing with the same manuscript, that my writing may be improving.....I certainly hope so, but I guess I am biased in that department huh?

'Author's Authority'

I have been advised to join a critique group.  I am a little hesitant about this, mainly due to the possibility of being told to give it all up, that my writing is not up to snuff.  So, how do I get over my insecurities about joining a group?  Should I have friends and family read my drafts?  Or is it easier to hear from strangers about whether or not I have a voice in writing?  This is my dilemma, plus there are not many groups here in Denver, I have been checking but there doesn't seem to be alot of choices.  I will keep searching, and see what is available and then I can make a decision.

Happy Penning!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


So I am having a problem being consistent with my writing.  As you saw from my last post I managed to write 6 pages in one day, however since them I have wrote zip!!  That's right absolutely nothing.  Why I asked myself.  The answer that came to me was 'well you do procrastinate'.  I am a huge procrastinator....if I can wait to do it I will, yet when whatever it is that I have procrastinated about gets done it is equally as good as it would have been had I done it when I was supposed to.....confused???  Good God I am !!!!

So anyway.  Not only am I a procrastinator but I try to do 10 things as once, okay slight exaggeration there, maybe 3 things as once!!  I will put laundry in, then go on my laptop to write only to go into my email and start checking things, maybe pop onto Facebook, then I will have to go and sort out the laundry put in earlier, after that is done, I will have to get my daughter from 'nap' and writing is impossible with her up and at 'em!  So in the space of 2 hours I have done laundry, checked every website I am affiliated with but have done no writing!  Do we think maybe having specific times to write will help?  Should I give myself an hour per naptime where I MUST sit and write, because I will jump around doing this and that otherwise.  Then this is what I will do.....from 1pm to 2pm, I will sit and write, even if I get in half a page, that is my writing time ONLY!!  Let's see how this goal goes huh??

'Penned Pages'

Friday: 0
Saturday: 0
Sunday: 0 (It was Easter, and so I had ham and potatoes and veggies to cook for 7 people!!)

Excuses will get me nowhere...I know this but still have to have one!!

'Week In Writing'

Have nothing to tell really, no words were put down so no writing!!  Yawn!! 

'Author's Authority'

So I have a question to pose to you all.........If one sits down to write but gets distracted is he/she a true writer?

I read somewhere that when you are a born writer you can think of nothing else.  You fall asleep thinking of your novels, wake in the night just having to jot things down so you don't forget.  If this does not happen to you, if you are a distracted writer, is it in your blood? and can you ever be as good as those who claim to be born with writing in their blood?

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, just wanted to update my 'Penned Pages' for today.......

Thursday: 6 pages!!!!!!!  Yes, you have read correctly, that says 6!  In one day I have accomplished the same amount of pages as I have written over the last three days combined!!

Well, just thought you all would be excited to see that maybe 5 pages per day is not impossible after all, and I may keep my goal intact.

Happy Penning!


It has been three days since I gave myself a goal.  A goal of writing 5 pages per day, and I know you are wondering how I have been doing!!  Yes, I have been wondering myself!  Well, I can tell you this....I may have been a little ambitious to set a goal of 5 pages.  I know, I know, it has only been 3 days but still, ask me how many pages I have answer would be 6!  That averages out to 2 pages per day, I am rather good at arithmatic, should I change my goal, or try to work my way up to 5 pages?  That is a difficult question, so here are my daily 'Penned Pages':

Monday: 2 pages
Tuesday: 4 pages
Wednesday: 0, yes that's right a big fat 0!!
Thursday (today): nothing so far but I am at least on my laptop, so that's a good sign....I hope!

So, my question I re-evealuate my ability to write 5 pages per day?  Do I work up to it or should I change the amount to 2 or 3?  I will hold off on a decision to see how it goes over the next few days.

"Week in Writing'

Well, I have to say that when sitting with the laptop comfortably on my lap, my thighs roasting hot because I forgot to use my lap desk, but can't be bothered to get up and find it, I can get into quite a good writing groove.  When the blisters start to appear is when I have to stop for a break and actually find the lap desk!!

Now, I am not one to sit in a silent room to write, I need other things going on around me.  I usually have the TV on and sit on the couch.  More often than not my daughter is resting in her room so I have an hour or two to write.  But when I have an idea or am really in a groove, which was obviously not this week, then I will continue while she is up and playing.  That doesn't last too long as I have to play with playdoh or have a pretend picnic with her!

I haven't actually tried to write in a quiet room.  I am not a quiet person by nature....yes, I know those of you who know me are actually laughing out loud right now saying 'no shit Sherlock!' the idea of a quiet room has never appealed to me.  Maybe this is something I should try.  It could render me incapable of writing due to insanity but it is worth a try.  I will let you know when I am going to start it, so that if you haven't heard from me for a couple of days you know to call in the sniffer dogs!

'Author's Authority'

So, I posed a question on my last post that asked how many pages the highly published authors write per day.  Well, I found out several things, first of all, I couldn't find out anything about specific page amounts written or word counts written for many authors...however I did find out that Jodi Picoult writes for about 7 hours per day, writing or editing, maybe researching but she is at her desk for the majority of the day taking weekends off.  Nora Roberts however writes 8 hours a day every day.  While Nicholas Sparks has a goal of 2000 words per day, averaging about 5 hours, and he writes 5-6 days per week.  By the way, 2000 words is approx 6-8 double spaced pages using size 12 font.

So this info poses another question....knowing how many pages people write and how many hours they write for, is my 5 page goal too much?  With a family to take care of and 2-3 hours a day in which to write, is it possible to write good pages in that amount of time?

Well, thanks for reading.  Ponder my dilemma, and let me know what you think.

Happy Penning!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Goal

Today I am setting a goal for myself, with it being written down and on display I am more likely to complete it than not!  Anyway, my to write 5 pages per day, without going back and re-reading previous pages, because that is very time consuming. I will leave editing until the manuscript is finished.  Now I know you are thinking '5 pages? that's all?' but for me that is an attainable goal, for others that could be half an hour of putting fingers to keys.  With a house to run, a daughter to raise, a PT job, evening classes to attend, I am happy to get 1 page down on the screen per day!  So, starting today I will log my page count.  Here goes:

Penned Pages:  I have 33 pages written so far.

Pages Goal:  I am hoping for a manuscript of approx 100-120 pages.

Week in Writing:  So far, I have written NOTHING!!!!!  Well, I did only start my blog yesterday to be fair to myself!! 

Author's Authority:  What is the average daily penned pages?  For instance, how many pages can Stephen King write per day? or Jodi Picoult?  Are they so accustomed to the writing process that it becomes easier with time?  Can they sit at their computer and bang out pages and pages of literary goodness, or is 5 pages a day their goal too!!  Maybe they handwrite their manuscripts or dictate for someone else to type out?  Questions I would love to answer for myself and for you.  I think I may have to do a little research and let you know what I find out.

Happy Penning!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Beginning

This is the beginning of my writing career, well at least I hope so.  I love to write, and have been writing for many years, but have not done anything about it.  This blog is to help me through the writing process.  It is for me to vent if need be about...well everything!  It is to keep me honest and have ownership of my penning ability.  For all I know I may be a terrible writer.  I will be 100% truthful about any and all hurdles I come up against, either from myself or others.

I am currently writing a middle grade fiction chapter book, it is not yet finished, in fact I am probably only about a third of the way through writing it, but with the help of this blog, and you, if you follow me, I can track my penned pages.  I can hopefully come to a place where I have completed the book and then we will see if I can convince an agent or publisher to read it and say "amazing, I want it!".  So, let's dream together about the completion of my book, and about the publishing that will, I am remaining positive, come to fruition.

Each week I will update my 'penned pages', the amount of pages I have written, and how many remain to my goal of a finished book, or at least close enough! 
I will give an honest review of my 'week in writing', the good, the bad and the ugly of my journey to become an author.
I will also pose questions and thoughts in my 'author's authority', a place to share, converse, inform, and think outside the box.

So, without further ado.....let us begin the journey of 'Penning with Purpose'.