Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Voice...again.

I know. Believe me...I know. Every time another season of The Voice starts, I post about it. That's because it relates so much to having the voice in writing. While watching the show's premiere, I heard a phrase I just loved. Adam said something along the lines of,

"Your voice is not like anyone else's."

Uniqueness. It's key. You could write another story about vampires but you'll never get it anywhere near a publisher unless it's completely different than every other blood sucking story. Make your story unique, make your voice stand out, and then make it happen. Never give up. 

And never stop writing :) 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Never Give Up.

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and it really hit home. 

"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional."

She didn't know who said it, but if you do, I'd love it if you'd tell me so I can give credit.

Let's face it. Every writer has down days. It happens. And if you haven't, well...don't tell me about it today. Maybe next week :)

But I will not be defeated. I will persevere, I will improve, I will endure, I will overcome!

How about you?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


It's official. I decided to flap my wings and join twitter. Not sure what I'm doing and kind of really lost...any and all tips would be appreciated. 

Come find me:  @merrillwrites

See you in the tweeting world.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Distraction Choice Awards

Since I'm now in the querying trenches, I need distractions in order to stop me from checking my email a million times...an hour. 

One distraction I wasn't expecting was a slight pressure in my chest that brought a funky cold and a voice that resembles something between a braying donkey and screechy car brakes. Yeah, I tried singing this morning and it wasn't pretty. Speaking of not pretty, my grown out pixie haircut that is pushing a fullet (female mullet) and is flying every which way. It's suuuuper hot. 

But right now, I could care less. I'm just glad my kids made it to school and have food in their tummies and clean clothes on their backs.

As for the distractions I do enjoy, here are my choices!

The first two go along with my current sickness. That would be choice award for clothing:  pajamas. And choice award for healthy remedies: doTERRA Oils.

Basically, I live off OnGuard all winter long. It's awesome.

My choice award for book to read right now is:

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

My choice award for Netflix show definitely goes to:


My choice award for hulu show is:

My writing contest of choice is:

And tomorrow's the last day to post your pitch so get on over!

And my writing of choice is my current YA Contemporary project. Here's the first page.

Most people think the devil has spiked-shaped horns, holds a pitch fork, and has an obsession with everything red. What they really don’t know is that he’s much more normal. About five feet, ten inches, completely bald head, compensating dark goatee, pin striped suit, and wears pennyloafers. No joke. 

And just happens to have a daughter who stands tall at five foot, two inches with cropped red hair that may or may not flame when she gets upset. 

Okay, so not all that is true. My dad isn’t the devil and I only stand tall when I’m standing on something else. The hair part…well, let’s just say things heat up when someone contradicts me. Especially Dad. And even though he isn’t really the devil, I get the two confused more often than not. Especially when he strikes a hard deal—which is what happened my senior year. 

This is how the conversation went. “Kal-bell,” he said. Yes, a lame nick-name for a normal person named Kalli, but he’d called me that since I was a child. Somehow that negates any hard feelings. Anyway… “Kal-bell,” he said. 

I looked up from the calculator in my hand, frustrated that he probably ruined the ten minute equation I was about to crack. “Yes father?” He had a certain look in his eye—the same look he gave me before we had made the deal that got him more date nights with mom while I babysat my twin little brothers for free. Not cool. 

I dropped the calculator and put my hands behind my head. His eyes narrowed on me and he leaned against the counter, mirroring my relaxed position. Somehow the person most relaxed always won the deal.

And that's how I distract myself! I'd say they are great things to keep my mind busy. 

What would your choices be?

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Yes, I just used the eight letter word. Shhh, don't tell anyone. It tends to make people shiver, shake, roll their eyes, get nauseous, anxious, or otherwise lose control of all thoughts and sanity. 

Not really.

But it does make some people nervous. For me, it's kind of a mixture of all the above adding to that a dash of excitement. I'll tell you the reason why.

Just over a year ago, I queried my novel to about ten agents. It was right before the birth of my child, but I decided I was ready, my book was ready, and that it was time.

Ten rejections later, one baby, extreme postpartum, crazy colic, selling a house, moving across state lines...basically it was a hectic year. 

Was I upset about the rejections? Maybe a little. But it didn't take me long to realize I was more relieved than anything. And here's what I'm getting to.

Things will happen when they're supposed to happen. 

Had I gotten an agent last year, they probably would've dropped me within two months. No joke. My life was absolutely crazy and things wouldn't have worked out.

Which brings me to the present time. Since those ten rejections, I have gone through my novel two more times, enhanced key emotions, and added another level to the conflict and characters. My book is one hundred times better than it was a year ago. And I thought for sure it had been perfect.

Now I'm certain beyond any doubt that it's ready. I'm ready. Life has settled and it feels right. Hopefully my premise and voice can catch the eye of a few agents, but I also understand that it's a subjective kind of business. If they don't love my book, I wouldn't want them to rep me. 

To be honest, we don't all like the same books. We have different tastes, styles, interests. If I can't find the right agent for my book right away, I'm determined not to get discouraged. 

Because it will happen when it's supposed to with the agent who will love it the most. I love my story and my characters and I want the most for my book.

So here's to another waiting game!

Time to continue writing my current YA Contemporary. In a nutshell...it's AWESOME!