Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Unspoken VW Code

Well, the Volkswagen Family Reunion is next weekend, and I was going to to make some spiffy decals for Herbie (a totally original name for my white '72 Super Beetle), but on way to the art store to get supplies for said decals (and for some art commissions too!) a texting teenager smashed my decal dreams, as well as my poor car. Herb is 42-years-old and has never been in a wreck before now as far as I know.

Anyway, as I heal my achy body and await the verdict on Herbie, I will write down some of the unspoken rules collectively adhered to by Volkswagen owners. My mom passed Herbie on to me about six years ago, and in that time I have learned much of the unspoken code, but I am sure there is still much more for me to learn. If I've missed anything in my list, please let me know in the comments!

ASIDE: Surprisingly, it is hard to find animated VW .gifs (I must make some I guess), so I apologize for the static appearance of this post!

The proud coat of arms of the VW brother/sisterhood!

The Unspoken Rules of owning an older VW model:

1: You must always wave, or otherwise acknowledge another VW driver

2: You must be more enthusiastic if they are driving the same type of car as you (example: 2 buses passing, or 2 bugs).

3: If you come to a stop near a VW of the same type, you must roll down your windows, and make small talk until the light forces you to leave.

4: If you happen to talk to another VW owner, you must start the conversation with: "What year?"

5. If you meet someone who owns a similar car, you must compare lists of recent repairs to see how many are the same.

6: If you are talking to a Super Beetle owner you must ask if they have experienced the "Super Beetle Shake".

7: If you see a VW in a parking lot you MUST park as near to it as possible. Since VW drivers prefer to stay away from the fray, there is usually a space adjacent.

8: If you are about to leave a parking lot, and you notice another VW has parked next to you, you must leave a love note on their windshield.

9:You must wave at children who wave at you (as long as it is safe to do so, and your attention on the road is uncompromised).

10: If a New Bug owner waves at you, you must wave at them, and encourage them, for they will be joining your ranks eventually. If they ignore you, it is alright to ignore them. They must not want to be true Beetle owners.

11: You must have fun driving your VW at all times!

Well, that's all for my list at the moment! Being a part of the club and owning an old VW really is a fun experience. One that I hope to continue for many years. Please keep your fingers crossed for my Herbie!

I'm adding this picture because it is the most glorious thing I have ever seen!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

Today I’m posting my first ever blog tour post, and since I’m out of town, I had to figure out how to schedule posts. WHICH I DID! Go, me! EDIT: My scheduled post didn't work, and now this post is a day late, so BAD ME! Anyway, this blog tour is all about individual writing processes. Pretty cool, right? My friend Holli posted hers last week, so first things first. I will tell you a bit about her, then you go check out her blog, okay?  Okay!

Holli is a novelist, a world traveling journalist, a kick-butt kickboxing writer, and an all around cool person. You will love her, and her writing style, so go check out her writing process here: A Life Less Ordinary

I was also tagged by my wonderful fairy friend Kathleen about a month ago, but I didn’t see it! *Hangs head in shame.* It's pretty impossible not to love her, so check out her wonderfully whimsical blog here: Finding Faeries

Okay! On to the questions!

Yes, I do have an amazing Gryffindor scarf!

What am I working on?

I am still tightening up the writing in LOGIN (which is my excuse for not sending out any more queries just yet!). Hopefully my debut, LOGIN is a YA speculative fiction in which children are manufactured and purchased like commodities in an internet addicted future.

Editing feels like a never ending process, but I know the story gets better with each pass, so I guess I will keep going through! Aside from that, I'm working on RESTART, which is the sequel to LOGIN! I haven't worked on it in a few months, but I'm really excited to finish that story, and complete the journeys of those particular characters.

The Dead and the Dying is a YA Paranormal. It was my NaNoWriMo project, and although I didn't get very far in it during NaNo, I'm going to finish fleshing out ideas so I can get back to work on it. It's about a ghost who haunts the Hotel De'Tour in the New Orleans French Quarter, and finds someone worth un-dying for.

Simulated Silence is my newest project, and I am really excited about it! I've had a blank spell for months this winter--the cold-weather blues, or maybe I was just concentrating more on my owl shop? Whatever it was, it lasted a long time, and I was beginning to think I'd never be able to write again. ...Is that a violin I hear?  Anywho, the idea for Simulated Silence came to me a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to bang out the first chapter pretty quickly, and ideas keep coming to me about it. It will be a YA spec-fic, that blends together science fiction fantasy (like: The Matrix, Inception, .hack//, and Sword Art Online), and current affairs. I'm still deciding on characters, names, and trying to come up with a basic structure to follow. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I've been an artist for as long as I can remember (linklink!), and I'm also a huge fan of graphic novels. I think that translates into my writing. The artist in me likes to first and foremost approach stories as a visual progression through scenes, rather than relying so heavily on dialogue or narration.

Why do I write what I do?

I write YA because I love reading YA. Original answer? No. But everyone says that because it's true. YA is amazing. I don't think anyone really escapes those awkward teenage years (especially us writers! *wink*), so the situations our YA heroes/heroines find themselves in, are easy to empathize with, and relate to. That aside, there are just so many good ideas in YA!

How does your writing process work? 

I have to admit, I'm a sporadic writer. I can't get myself to write all the time, but when I'm inspired, or motivated, or an idea hits me, I can't be stopped.

I'm a discovery writer. Once I get an idea that jolts me, or a specific picture stuck in my head, I just go with it. I write a chapter or two based on that idea, then I brainstorm and try to come up with some building blocks for the world of the story, for the characters,  where the story will go, and what it will actually be about. I always have a vague idea of how I want the story to end, but it changes as I go along; characters I thought would be important slip out of the story, while others appear from nowhere; old ideas are forgotten, or new ones take their places.

Discovery writing is a very strange thing. I always get the feeling that I'm not really the one in control; that my characters only find out about their next task at the same time I do. It's a very weird feeling, seeing twists come out of my keyboard, and not knowing they were going to be there. I'm sure my writing friends know what I'm talking about. I feel like I'm just an observer in the process!

I'm a discovery writer, but I'm trying to awaken the outliner that must exist somewhere deep within me. I want to be a better writer, and although I doubt I will ever be a complete outliner, I really want to work on plotting out the endings to my books. The best piece of advice I ever stumbled upon was from Brandon Sanderson's online class videos ( I'm going to paraphrase, but basically he said that: "discovery writers know how to end each chapter with an explosion, and make it interesting, but plotters know how to end their books well."

So, as much as I love the journey of discovery writing, I'm trying to incorporate more planning, to make sure the overall endings are more satisfying.

The End!=)

See what I mean about planning out the endings?
Was that really a satisfying ending to this post?

Okay, well, that's the end of my first blog tour! I hope any visitors enjoyed their stay here! Make sure you check out the ladies I tagged. Their posts go up next week.

NEXT WEEK: May 19th Posts!

Rachel Scott: Rachel is an amazing person, and I am so lucky to have gotten to be her friend. I love her like my cat loves naps. ...Oh, should I be talking about her writing? Well, Rachel is just leaping into the query trenches for her first series, a YA historical fantasy that takes place in ancient Rome! Already sounds cool, right? She is also writing a steamy YA romance based off of her time as a lifeguard. She has a Pinterest board for that particular project, which is awesome to check out (if you love shirtless guys and puppies)!

Debey : Debey is a writer of fairy tales, which you can find here! Her 3 stories all connect to one another, so you're going to have to read all three! They are constantly going on sale too! Debey also writes MG, with some really neat ideas for contemporary boys! What little boy doesn't want to read about video games?

Folks who already did this tour!

Rena Olsen: Follow her on Twitter (that's how we met!) @OriginallyRena. She is totally original, and absolutely hilarious! She is one of the coolest people I've never met, and she is also the CP who whipped the beginning of LOGIN into shape (I'm sure she will find some errors in this post too! ";;;"). She writes just about anything you could ever imagine being interested in: from Above Eden (a  beautifully written YA sci-fi with some totally cool concepts)--to Remembering Diana, about a woman rescued from a human trafficking ring, trying to overcome stockholm syndrome to remember who she once was. Rena is like a kindly ice-cream vendor. You don't need to pick just one flavor. She will give you a scoop of everything!

FiFi the Ninja: An amazing ninja writer I met on Twitter! I will update this once I'm back in town! =-)

Paula: Paula is a super talented fellow Louisianian who also runs a blog for the fictional high school in which her debut science fiction series takes place. Check it out for her characters' views on the latest gossip! Paula has a very humorous voice, and she loves exclamation marks! So you are going to laugh, and be excited at the same time! You are going to love checking her work out!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blogger hates me, and BEEKEEPER EGGLET!=)

Okay, so I have a lot to post on lately, but I never feel like it, since Blogger hates me like Voldemort hates Boys Who Live. I have more issues with Blogger, than old Zoobooks in my closet (and I have a lot of old Zoobooks!), but the thing that's been bugging me the most? 


 I keep trying to add blogs to my "reading list" but Blogger won't let me. Worse than that, Blogger DELETED all the blogs I WAS following, and it won't let me re-add them. I feel like a total jerk, since a lot of the blogs I was following were contest runners' blogs, and I owe them follows for all they've done (not to mention I like to read their posts!)! Ugh. To everyone I was following, I'm sorry! I don't know how to get it to work again. It's all so frustrating. I'm thinking I should switch to WordPress? I'm never going to really get into the blogging if Blogger keeps being a jerk. =-(

Blogger pictured above.

Any opinions on WordPress?

Any advice on HOW to get the follow thing to work again on Blogger? I don't appear to have anything blocking or messing with it.=-(

Not cool, Blogger. Not cool!

Beekeeper Egglet!

To end on something that makes it look like this post isn't just a complaint about Blogger, here is the newest Egglet from my shop! If you followed along with the giveaway contest (which you should have done! There were literally, dozens of awesome puns going on at Fairies & Finds!), you will have noticed that BEEKEEPER Egglet came in second behind the Mad Hatter!
Luckily, someone awesome ordered him anyway, so I got to make him in spite of him losing the contest!=)
I have more pictures, but I need to edit them. He has cute, drippy honey feather ears!=-)

2nd place? I don't think so!
Oh! I have another fun thing to post about too! I'm doing an illustration for a REUTS fairytale compilation! I am so excited to be working on the story I picked (it is amazing), and to be comparing sketches with other artists--oh yeah, and about GETTING PUBLISHED! AHHH!! I need to make a different post about that though, when I have images edited and blogs to tag (which is much that Blogger won't let me have a blog list....)!=-/


Thursday, March 13, 2014

"What is the Use of a Book Without Pictures" in NYC!!!!

Today is my unbirthday! 
Well, it is almost my birthday (Again! How does this keep happening?), which means it is almost the anniversary of the first query letter I sent... which means I need to hurry and send out more queries before my birthday, so I don't feel bad that I sent out less queries in a whole year, than most writers sent out in an afternoon! 
I did enter every contest I could, but I guess I dilly-dallied a lot on the query front? Ah, well, as Lewis Carroll would say: "I can't go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." I will just have to try and do better this coming year.  :-)

"Dilly-Dallying" pictured above.
Anywho! Enough with the "lack of query sending" guilt! On to what I wanted to talk about!

Okay, so I might have mentioned before that I have a slight obsession with "Alice in Wonderland"...and that might have been lie. Yes, it was definitely a lie.
I don't have a slight obsession, I have a huge obsession with "Alice in Wonderland"! (See "portfolio" for madness references.)

"Alice" is just such a great story, and I love it for many reasons (which I will not bore you with here). 

Anyway, so a few years ago, I was contacted about a super cool project called: "What is the Use of a Book without Pictures?" which, as you might have guessed, was/is an "Alice in Wonderland" project.

The premise of the project was to replace every single paragraph of "Alice" with a full page illustration, and to do so in as many styles as possible. As you might have guessed, I was immediately intrigued by the idea, and leapt right in! It's an international collaboration, and there are hundreds of participating artists! The photo below shows some of the artwork from the project.

All artwork (c) respective owners.

Anyway, I did five illustrations for the project, and after flipping through the digital albums a thousand times, I sort of forgot about it. Now, as it turns out, WITUOABWP is getting its own website, a possible print form, and it will be shown this April at the Lewis Carroll Society Spring Conference in New York City!

I'm not sure if any of my illustrations will be shown in the presentation, but I am still super excited! If you are in New York City late April, please consider stopping by the conference! Here is some of the event info from Facebook!
If you click "Event Photos," one of my drawings is # 4! "Alice Crying.";-)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Luna Lovegood Egglet!

Luna Lovegood Egglet! Or, Luna Lovegglet! Luna is one of my all time favorite characters, so I was so excited that someone commissioned a Luna owl!
This was so much fun to make!
The owl came with: turnip earrings, a wand, Spectrespecs, a mini Quibbler I designed, and of course, Luna's Epic LION HAT!=D

Luna Lovegood, Quibbler, Spectrespecs all (c) my hero, J.K. Rowling!

ASIDE: Posting photos on here is ridiculously complicated.=-/

Monday, January 27, 2014

Computer repairs!

Getting computer repairs done today! Hopefully will be able to get back online in a couple of days!=)

My newest Egglet! Luna Lovegood!! More photos coming soon, now that my computer is back! Click the "Fairies&Finds"' tab for more Egglets!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Contest Finalists!

Ok, so I really want to finish this post about how much I appreciate the multiple layers of artistry behind Breaking Bad, but I can't stop watching it long enough to do it. Instead, here are some promo flyers for my Egglet theme pitch contest finalists! Pick a team and comment here (or anywhere here: to vote for your favorite Egglet theme idea! Thanks for all the votes so far! It seems to be a  race between the Mad Hatters, and the Beekeepers! Voting ends Friday!





May the best owl win!

Make sure to "like" my facebook page for more Egglet giveaways!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Egglet Theme Pitch Finalists

Peacock (winner of first prize!).
Vampire (A.K.A. DracuOwl).
Kickboxer Owl!
Click to full view!
Cowboy, FisherOwl, Doctor Egglet

Ok, I am super sorry it has taken me so long to do this, but after considering many possible ways to allow people to vote on all the pitches entered in my Egglet Giveaway, I realized that there were just too many, and it might be difficult to get votes to narrow the field. Instead I decided to pick my top 4, and let voting commence from there! To see a full list of pitches, go here. To see what "Egglets" are, go here (basically they are egg-shaped, hand-painted owlets in various themes! Hello little hats!!)!

So drumroll please? Thank you. These are the top pitches!

Honorable mentions: Gamer, Rockette, Geisha, Sally the Ragdoll, Scuba Diver, Minion, Planet Earth, Marie Owltoinette.

4: Fairy

3: Pirate

2: Mad Hatter

1: Beekeeper

Let me know in the comments which Egglet you want to see made the most!=-) Who should win?
Also, thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway, and thanks for entering so many amazing pitches! Let's get this second winner picked!=)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Breaking Bad Fanart WIP

Fanart time!!!
I'm still working on the faces, and I still have a TON of stuff to do on this, but I wanted to post it so far! I HAVE NEVER tried to draw real-ish people before, and I am surprised I did a decent enough job that Facebook wants to tag them!!!!!!!!! If you check out my portfolio, it is ALL cartoony illustration, so this is new territory. Haha, anyway, I have this artist pride/masochist thing, where I don't like to look at reference photos, so I drew the first draft of this without looking at any. Now that I am looking at ref photos, it's hard to find Jesse facing this particular way. I know I don't have his face right, but ah,  I will keep plugging away, and my awesome friend is helping me find photos of him, so I will keep working on it. I am really excited about finishing this! :-)

I just realized I FORGOT Heisenberg's mole! To the Photoshop!

This morning I was staring at my sister's hoodie, wondering if I should redraw this one. It totally freaked her out. The artist stare is freaky, I suppose.

When this is done I will write a post about my new obsession. Breaking Bad is seriously the most artistic show I have ever seen (especially the last seasons). It makes me want to drop everything, move to LA, and try and become a prop acquirer (how does one get a job like that anyway?), or a set dresser/designer/decorator or...I don't know! Anything in the art department! Or a grip! A coffee person! Anything! I'm not picky! Something!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Wrap Up!

Highlights of the year!

  • Sat in the Iron Throne.
  • Saw a BFF get married!
  • Did at least two good one-armed handstands.
  • Opened my shop FairiesAndFinds and made my first sales!
  • Learned how to put on eye makeup. Shaboom!

Oh...this is supposed to be about writing? Ok, well, I also sent out my first query.
What? That isn't a good enough wrap up? Well okay then, I will try a little harder.

This has been a year of firsts, and I haven't exactly let this blog live up to its title, so it's time for a Writing Revelations winter wrap up! Since this is my first year trying to get my writing out there, I thought I should post my year end stats! :-)
I also really wanted to post this:
I swear, "Winter Wrap Up"  is as good as a 90s' Disney song!
Writing stats:

Went to first writer conference: SCBWI in Boise.

Started querying: March 20th (my birthday!).
Number of queries sent in 2013: 12: 3 from Twitter Pitches, 3 from feedback opportunities, 1 from a contest, 5 regular queries.
   Responses: 8 rejections, 1 partial/rejection (That was before I got rid of the italics! So embarassed I sent it like that! Thank you CP for kicking my butt into getting rid of those!), 2 fulls (Both still out!), 1 open query.

 I was feeling bad about my queries, but putting them in a list like this, hey! That's not so bad! Not as bad as I thought at any rate! I know 12 is usually what people send out in one day, not 12 in 9 months...but I can't help it that I am slow to query! I like to research first.=)

Regrets: 1: I still haven't sent in a request from PitMad. The second I was about to send the query, I got an email that made me think some revisions were in order. Those revisions took a lot longer than I expected. I am so glad I made the changes, but I feel too embarrassed to send a months late request. I still want to send. I just...uh, maybe it will just be a regular query now.=-\

Contests: From PitMad on I tried to enter as many as I could: Successful contests: 2 twitter pitches (PitMad and PichMas), finalist in NightmareQuery, and Secret Agent.

Discovered Twitter: I love the writing community!
Found my CP: THE BEST PERSON I COULD HAVE EVER FOUND! A brutal critiquer who is ALWAYS right. A beautiful person/awesome friend!=)

I want to thank everyone who made 2013 amazing. So glad to have found writing friends, both online, and in real life.

Resolutions: I hope to be a little less uptight about sending out queries next year, and I really want to get back to writing as soon as possible. For my own sanity I need to finish Restart, Login's sequel!