Monday, January 30, 2012


Thanks to all those who support this blog. Today I have a winner to announce!

Congratulations to Juliemybird! 

Feel free to email me your first chapter anytime!

michelle m merrill (at) hotmail (dot) com

I'll be having more giveaways so be sure to stop by in the future! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Query Advice.

I've researched and read a lot of query advice, but now I want to ask what you think. If you could tell someone three things before they query, what would it be? 

I'd love to hear anything! I've read books, written books, revised, edited, critiqued, all that. But I've never queried. And I want to make sure I have all the pieces before I attack the puzzle.

So, what would you tell me either from your own experience or maybe something priceless that you've learned from someone else? I'd hate to be missing that one piece :) 

Also, don't forget to enter my first chapter critique giveaway in my last post. It closes Sunday night.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cel-e-brate good times, Come ON!

Here are my reasons to celebrate.

First, I finished my WIP! Yay! It's not as long as I'd like, but that can definitely change during revisions. And the best part? I wrote it in exactly three weeks. That's a record that was only possible through outlining. Not to mention the fact that I can think and type much faster than when I started writing two years ago. 

Here are my final stats...

Final word count: 56,605.

Brains status: I'm not going to lie. It's a little fried.

Conflict level: Awesome.

Character's: Unforgettable.

At least I feel that way right now. I'm sure my eyes will be opened to the truth when I do my first read through :) 

What's up next? Query time! Another reason to celebrate. It's not for this project, but for the one I wrote in January 2011.

And the last reason to celebrate is kind of a sad celebration. I've decided that until I have my baby, I won't be able to do Aspiring Author interviews.

Sad day.

I probably love doing them more than anyone else likes to read them. But I have the hardest time remembering to do everything in my life. So this is my way of simplifying. I hope to start back up in May or June. And then I'll have so many more friends to get to know!

Instead of doing interviews, I want to do more giveaway's! 

That's fair, right? Well, maybe a little :)

So to celebrate these good times and start my giveaway spree, I want to offer a first chapter critique!

Leave a comment on this post and tell me if you want to be in the drawing. It closes midnight on Sunday, January 29th and is open to anyone, although I'm better at Young Adult. I'll announce the winner on Monday or Tuesday next week :)

And just to give you a glance at what my life looks like, here are some pictures of yours truly taken by my lovely friend Mandie Briggs. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

JaNo 2012 Check-in Week 3!!!

Yeah, this is a little late, but I've spent the whole day getting ready for my daughter's seventh birthday party! I can't believe she's that old. 

But late is better than never, right? 


Here's my report.

Word count: 51,022

Brain status: Still going

Conflict: Raging in the climax.

Characters: Rockin' in their own ways.

I love this book more and more each day, even if it is an awful first draft. I've learned one great thing about writing a book so quickly, though. It's so much easier to remember the things that are foreshadowed or tie ins from the beginning to end. Maybe that's never a problem for any of you, but sometimes it is for me. And this time, I've written it so fast, I think I've remembered everything. But, I may be wrong. Between late nights and preggo brain, I could definitely be stuck in hopeful thinking!

How was your week? What do you have planned for writing goals next week? 

I'm going to finish my book and start on getting my other one tightened for querying! Eek!

Have a great weekend :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

JaNo 2011 update #2 and Book Review

I just finished my writing for the week. I usually don't write on the weekends, but sometimes I squeeze it in. This weekend is busy, though, so it's unlikely.

As far as my JaNo is going, it's great! I'm surprised at how much I'm getting done. Here is my current progress.

Word Count: 34,468.

Conflict level: Awesome!

Character Development: The same.

Brain Power: Surprisingly high! Even with the growing baby inside. 

Hopefully I can keep it up until I finish! 

And I even read a book this week, which is something I usually don't allow during my JaNo.

In fact, I've finished three books this month. The first two weren't worth mentioning because I couldn't stand them. But the third one was awesome! It's been so long since I've gotten sucked into a book enough that I didn't want to put it down. And this one was like a black hole. 

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)

The character's are fantastic, the pace is steady, the conflict is great, and the romance is totally there.

I know, really vague, but that's because I think you should read it. Find out what it's like for yourself!

How did your week go? What have you read lately? I need more good book suggestions :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mid-week writing update.

How is everyone? I hope you're all having a fabulous week.

I just finished another chapter on my JaNo WIP, and I wanted to tell you a few things I've learned in the last couple of days.

#1. I sing when finish a chapter. Nothing fantastic, more like whatever's on my mind. And usually not at the beginning of a song, just the middle of a chorus or something. Like my brain can switch out of writing mode long enough to remember what it was focused on before. My hubby gives me a look and I sing a little more. Then I keep writing. It's weird.

#2. I've never had this happen before, so I'm thinking it's a pregnancy thing. All this writing is making me swell up. I actually think it's the writing and sitting. By the end of the night, my feet hurt to walk on and my fingers feel like sausages. It's gross. 

#3. Have you heard of The Piano Guys? They're awesome! Go here and listen to these guys play. I love their music! Some of my favorites are Coldplay's Paradise (African style), The Cello Song, Adele's Rolling in the Deep (just piano and cello), The Harry Potter piano piece, and the Pirates of the Caribbean piano piece. Kind of a long list, but if you like instrumentals it's worth watching!

So, what have you discovered lately? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A little encouragement!

How many of you made new year's resolutions? How about some recent writing goals? How are those goals coming? Do you need something to inspire you to either get you back on track or keep you on the right path? 

I read the most awesome article yesterday by Thomas S. Monson. Yes, he is the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and despite what you may think of him or the church, you should read this thing. It will only take a moment of your time and you won't regret it! And no, it doesn't talk about religion, just basic things to help you on your way.

After reading it, I decided that there is nothing and no one that can stand in the way of me and my goals, especially my writing ones. It's so easy to get discouraged but as long as I have the right attitude, believe in myself, and have courage, my possibilities are endless. 

So, go! Right now. Read it, love it, apply it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Week #1 JaNo 2011

It's been a great writing week for me! Who knew it would help to have an outline? Go figure :)

Unfortunately, I'm zippin' through my outline faster than I wanted. Which means that my MS might be shorter than I'd planned. But I can tweak a few things and add more detail later. Besides, my story is far from finished so much can happen before the end. I love when my character's surprise me!

I started my book Tuesday night and I've been going pretty strong all week. I did take a break last night to watch a movie and eat ice cream with the hubby, but taking breaks is part of being a successful writer. At least I think so.

Here's my progress.

Word count: 13, 156.

Conflict level: Good.

Character development: Medium.

Brain power: High.

And I'm proud to announce that I haven't done much editing. I love writing first drafts. There's something about letting your mind free and not worrying about the little details. 

How has your week been?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What else does JaNo mean?

JaNo means that I won't have much time to blog. Which is really sad since I took most of the holiday's off as well.

JaNo means that I'll be posting my progress every Friday instead of an interview. So those who are also working on a novel this month can see how good (or bad) I'm doing with my goal. 

JaNo means that my brain will be fried in February, but I can do a lot with a fried brain :)

Oh, one more thing. Since it's January, that also means that it's 2012! Happy New Year! And today is my two year anniversary from the day I started writing!

Want to know my writing goals for this year?

Write two novels.
Revise those two and one more from last year.
Get an agent!

What goals do you have for this month? How about for the whole year?