Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A To Z Blog Challenge: The Letter Z


The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

The last winner will receive a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 

(If you already have one this, I'll figure something else out!)BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.

Earl53


Mystery Blogger Z’s 2013 theme: “My theme for the challenge this year is Alaska, the setting of my novel. . . ."

Z is for Zarnowksy

A Russian, Zarnowsky has a dubious claim to fame, as he is known for unwittingly selling half of the richest gold claim on the richest gold creek in the Alaskan Far North for a sack of flour and a side of bacon.

Zarnowsky believed he was too late to strike it rich with his claim, which was along a small stream known as "Bonanza's Pup." That small stream would eventually become known as Eldorado Creek, which was the most valuable placer discovery in history.

Alex McDonald, who bought Zarnowsky's claim for that bacon and flour in 1896, later became known as the "The King of the Klondike," and made a fortune during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898.

Who is it? HINT: I already gave you one. Take a look at the theme.


SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:



Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter Y




The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

The last winner will receive a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 

(If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!)


BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.


Y is for Yeth Hound

Mystery Blogger Y’s 2013 theme: “This year will be all things supernatural.... those beings and creatures we all know and love/hate. And, because I'm a glutton for punishment, there'll be a poem added to each post as well.

"Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."
HINT: This blogger's a book seller by day. A book writer by night.

Who was it? 

SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:



Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post


Monday, April 28, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter X + A Special Hop I Almost Forgot



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 
2013 A to Z Challenge 


WINNER WEEK FOUR
TA DA

 THE CAPTAIN WINS THIS ROUND. ALEX GUESSED EVERY ONE OF THE MYSTERY BLOGGERS THIS WEEK, AND, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE DAY, DID IT FIRST. NINJAS ARE NOT ONLY STEALTHY, THEY NEVER  SLEEP.

email me and the ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas  is yours.
http://www.cleemckenziebooks.com/contact.html
Week Four Answers: 
U: Mooderino 

All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

Week 4) a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 

(If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!) 

BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.

I loved this motivating post last year. Hope you love it in this deja vu 2014.

Mystery Blogger X’s 2013 theme: "Promo and other tips for writers"

X is for Xtra Mile



(Yes, extra begins with an E - just go with me on this one!)

What is the xtra mile?

It’s doing more than what’s required.

It’s going out of your way.

It’s taking the initiative.

It’s stepping past the masses.

It’s being your best toward others.

It’s doing what others are not willing to do to succeed!

Are you going the xtra mile to fulfill your writing dreams? 

Hint: This blogger is always full of spunk.


Who is it?

SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post


Pardon My Process


My Writing Process. 

Look out! It's another HOP.




I was tagged by BETH FEHLBAUM for this post, so here 'tis. 

1) What am I working on? 

I can’t believe it, but I’ve just wrapped up a sequel to my middle grade book, Alligators Overhead. And I was sure I didn’t have a sequel in me. I’m calling this second book The Great Time Lock Disaster. 

I just wrote The End to two young adult stories and am starting to think how I’ll get them out into the world. Double Negative and Secrets have been in the works for a couple of years, so I’m glad to see them done.

So I guess the answer to this question is almost nothing right now, but I’m kind of glad. I need a short break after managing three projects at the same time. 


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

While my protagonists are the usual age (sixteen or seventeen) I always love to include an older character who acts as someone for my teen to oppose or bounce off of. 

  • In Sliding on the Edge, the grandmother takes this role and I let the reader see that while teens struggle to find their own path, so do adults. Adults have made mistake. They’ve often lost their direction and need help, too. 
  • With The Princess of Las Pulgas, Carlie’s mom has as many problems adjusting to her new lifestyle as Carlie does. I wanted readers to see the two women searching for ways to heal and start a new life. Each do things differently, but both have a difficult time of it. 
  • Double Negative has a teenaged boy who is headed for disaster unless he grabs the lifeline a retired school teacher tosses him. But as this teacher tries to save Hutch, she slowly loses her battle with Alzheimers. The question becomes who will need more help? 
  • Secrets is a story about a young girl who is supposed to keep her baby sister safe and doesn’t. When the child dies, Cleo can’t forgive herself. The older character in this story is Beleza, a high fashion model from the sixties whose secret has driven her into seclusion. When these two come together, they change each others lives dramatically.
3) Why do I write what I do? 

I write contemporary, realistic YA because I used to look for characters in books that I could relate to, someone who floundered around, trying to sort out who they were and where they were going. I went to adult books because when I was a teen there were few books with teen characters as protagonists. Those that did have teens as lead roles, were outdated, and those kids didn’t deal with the same issues I was dealing with. As for writing middle grade, I love to write fantasy adventure stories for that age. And these give me a break from my young adult topics of suicide, loss and abuse. I treat my middle grade stories as my sorbet.


4) How does my writing process work? 
I get ideas from music, or a news article or a conversation. I often tuck these at the back of my head until I hear a character. They pretty much come full born, kind of like Venus from the froth. I see them, their voice is clear and they can be downright bossy unless I start writing their story. The most I do as far as planning is concerned is to write a sentence summary—never more than two sentences. That summary I put in the header, so it appears on each page. I tweak it as I go or I tweak the story so it stays true to that summary. Then I write as long as the words come. When they stop, I take a break or print out and go outside to read what I’ve put down. I don’t always do that right away. I often let the day’s work alone until the next day.  
One thing I’ve found helpful for starting again is to write a sentence or two that describes where I think the story should go next. Sometimes I even list things I want in the next scene. When I come back to the story, I have a place to start.

I’ve tagged DONNA MCDINE to post on May 1. Donna is an award winning author of so many great books for young reader. You must check her out.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter W



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

Two visitors (one each week) can win: 
Week 3) an ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
Week 4) a $10 gift certificate from Amazon
 (If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!)

BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.
Cover of The Shining [Blu-ray]



Mystery Blogger W’s 2013 theme: "The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy."

W is for Writers In Movies: Here are some of this bloggers favorite movies about writers. It made a great list of TO SEE MOVIES

8 1/2 (1963)--Okay, I know I already used this film in my post Movies about Making Movies, but that's how much I like this film.  This is one of my top ten films.  If you are a serious writer you should see this film and take it to heart.  A masterpiece of the genre of thinkers' films.  Forget this one if you're an action fan unless you're in the mood to just sit, listen, and learn.  I'll warn you that it's in Italian and you'll have to read the subtitles if you don't know the language.  I just can't rave enough about this film.  Oh, and did I say it's good?

The Shining (1980)-- Jack Nicholson stars as a writer who gets more than he bargains for when he secludes himself and his family so he can get some writing done.  Chalk up another hit for Stephen King.  One writer's nightmare is another writer's dream. A shot of Red Rum anybody?

Misery (1990)--Famous novelist crashes car and is rescued by his "number one fan".   Fans like this we don't need.   Stephen King strikes again.

Shadowlands (1993)-- Based on the true relationship between author C.S. Lewis and poet Joy Davidson, this one's a weeper.  Grab the popcorn and the Kleenex.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)-- A liberal dose of poetic license results in a lot of fun with one of the most famous writers of all time.  This film won a few awards as well.

Adaptation (2002)--Great cast of actors in a curious tale.  This is one of those films that I rewatched as soon as I had watched it the first time.  Great film.

Secret Window (2004)--Johnny Depp as a writer suffering from writer's block.  But it doesn't end there. Now he's being accused of plagiarism and it only gets worse.  Oh yeah, and Stephen King is in on this one too.

Sideways (2004)--If the writing career is not working, you can always go get drunk.  The focus of this film is wine, but it's really about a writer and writing.


Freedom Writers (2007)--Brand new idealistic English teacher gets assigned to tough class of inner city students.  She gets them involved in journaling and they in turn fall into the writing life.  Inspirational film about teaching and the power of words.


Midnight in Paris (2011) -- In one of the best films directed by Woody Allen, a writer vacationing in Paris time travels back to the 1920's and meets famous authors and others.   Doesn't matter if it's a dream, a fantasy, or what--it's fun.



Hint: This blogger juggles a lot of online activities.


Who is it?

SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post

Friday, April 25, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter V To Celebrate



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

One visitor (one each week) can win: 
Week 3) an ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
Week 4) a $10 gift certificate from Amazon
 (If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!)

BY


1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 


TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.

Mystery Blogger V's 2013 theme: "I'm posting on my favorite villains and/or settings. . ."

V is for VILLAIN

"And I've been pushing them at you all week. What makes a good villain? We've seen they need purpose,sympathetic credibility, and to believe they're doing the right thing. Add in some troubled backgrounds to explain their villainy, and of course, throw in a side of charisma to keep them intriguing.

From what I've gathered from your comments, readers and movie-goers LOVE to HATE great villains. And I'm no different. Many of my favorite characters ARE villains. They're so much fun to live vicariously through.

Speaking of villainous V characters, here's one of my faves:


                                        photo credit fanpop.com



Hint: This blogger has silent letter in the last name. 


Who is it?

SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post

Thanks VIKLIT
V for Victory. 
I only have 4 letters to go and then I can forget how to spell anything for a while. 

  • I've loved doing this. 
  • I've been exhausted doing this. 
  • I celebrate doing this.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter U



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge 
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

One visitors (one each week) can win: 
Week 4) an ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
Week 5, almost) a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas


(If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!)


BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 


TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.


Mystery Blogger U’s 2013 theme: "Unified Theory of Writing"

U is for a Unified Theory of Writing

"It's important to know that no matter how obvious and sensible a piece of writing advice might be, there are always going to be circumstances when it won't hold true. Or when there are other, equally as effective ways to tell the story. . .An unmitigated disaster in the hands of one writer may be an unqualified success in the hands of another."

Who is it?  This blogger has some moods, but regardless of those moods always informs the readers.




SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter T



The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

Now we're at the last week + for winners.

Week 4) an ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
Week 5, almost) A signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
(If you already have one of the prizes, I'll figure something else out!) 

BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 

Take a Break

Mystery Blogger T’s 2013 theme: "Writing your first novel."

T is for Take a Break.

"Once you get to the end of your first draft, you'll fall into one of two camps.

The "OMG THIS IS AWESOME WRITING!!!" Perky Writers and

The "HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS" Emo Writers.

If you're lucky, you'll be on an island in the middle. And friendly with campers on both sides. Actually, I think this situation is by far more preferable to either of the above camps.Come chill out away from the terrible over-confidence or the negativity. How? By taking a break. Catch up on t.v. Write something else. Paint. Take that non-writing holiday you sort of planned."


I took this advice.

Who is it? This blogger has bravely committed to a five year project.


SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A to Z Blog Challenge: The Letter S




The Write Game's Theme 
AtoZ Blog Challenge
2014

Stuff I Learned or Laughed at from Bloggers in the 2013 A to Z Challenge .
All you gots to do is identify the Mystery Blogger each day. I’ll give you hints when I can. I'll post the answers and the winner each Monday.

Okay we're down to the last two weeks, well week+. 

Week 4) an ebook of The Princess of Las Pulgas 
Week 5, almost) a signed copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas 

BY

1) identifying the most bloggers correctly=2 points.  
2) leaving witty comments=1 point or more depending on glibness
3) adding to the information and making it more valuable=2 points 


TIES WILL BE BROKEN BY MY CAT. SHE'S FAIR AND IMPARTIAL.UNLESS CATNIP IS INVOLVED, THEN SHE GOES WITH THE BEST SUPPLIER.


Mystery Blogger S’s 2013 theme: All about science. 

S is for "Seismologists and Scientist Convicted of Manslaugher." 

Seismology is a branch of earth science that studies earthquakes. It's a relatively new field due to the fact scientists have only been capable of truly measuring the entire scope of earthquakes for around 100 years, though different societies have had their methods of detecting shifts in the ground for far longer that that--the first seismograph was built in 132 CE in China."




fWho is it? HINT: This blogger is soars high as an eagle.



SIGN UP or VISIT the others who are on this AtoZ Challenge and check out the HOSTS:



Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post