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Sunday, December 18, 2011

3rd Sunday Sweet: Suprise!

Because it's the holidays and vacation, I'm most likely going to be away from my desk and computer next Sunday so I won't be posting anything. Normally today I would be posting a book review what I've read recently, however everything I've read in the last month have been books that won't be published till next year so I can't talk about them yet. (One of the perks of being a writer/blogger!) Since next Sunday is Christmas, I'm going to do my 4th Sunday Surprise today which is: Owls!

Yesterday my husband and I drove 3 1/2 hours up to Ocean Shores, WA to see a snowy owl invasion. I had never seen any owls in the wild before and needed ocean inspiration for my mermaid story I'm working on. It was a perfect mix. So without farther ado here are some great shots hubby got with his new camera lens. Click on the picture to enlarge.

No, this is not an owl, but you can't go to the beach and not take a picture of gulls.

First owls spotted.
Lonely owl hanging out.
I must have sat and watched this guy watching me for at least a half hour. Of course I named him Hedwig.
Yours truly taking notes and jotting ideas between watching Hedwig.
The cutest little sandpiper in the world.

The beautiful Olympic Mountains, home of Twilight.

Owls are such beautiful fascinating creatures. If you want to see more pictures, check out etriky flickr. Hope you enjoyed these snapshots of a perfect lovely day spent in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for reading and supporting my little blog. Merry Christmas! And I'll see you in the New Year.

Cheers,

Melania

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WINNERS!

The Winners for "Tis the Season for Giving" Contest are:




*drum roll*




Monica Everdeen. Monica suggested "If had to give a loved one a book? I would probably choose "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton because a) I really loved it! b) Who hasn't read it? I mean, come on! I'm practically doing you a favor! and c) Because it teaches a valuable lesson with real emotion and situation. It made me cry (twice!) :) I just tweeted, facebooked, and highly irritated my mom by yelling! :D" Thanks for your participation, Monica. And tell your mom your yelling won you a signed copy of Wicked Lovely and Wings.

Second winner is Kara, who suggested "I would give You Are The Only One to my mom because I think she would love it." That is a very sweet gift and I believe your mother would love it too. You'll be getting a signed copy of Wings and Awakening.

Third and "Grand Prize" winner is Robin Weeks. Robin said "Hmmm. So many awesome books to choose from! Still, if we're talking wish fulfillment, I'm picking one that isn't available yet: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton. Because, selfishly, I want my loved one to always have to include me in the oft-told story of the first time they read it. :)" Yes, you are selfish, but I adore you nonetheless. *wink* You've won the multiple signed anthology Enthralled, stuffed with lots of swag and other goodies. 

Winners, please email me your mailing addresses to melania (dot) tolan (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get your prizes to you ASAP! If I don't hear from you in one week, I'm going to draw another winner.

All winners were chosen by RANDOM.ORG and those of you that had entered two posts were only counted once. Thank you everyone that participated in the contest. You rock!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: Just Write It!

Multnomah Falls (upper part) Oregon

Every so often I mention in a conversation with a stranger or an acquaintance that I'm a writer. Usually the first response is "Oh that's cool" and then we continue the conversation. Or they say "Oh really? What have you published? I've always wanted to be a writer..." and that is the end of whatever topic we were discussing prior to my mention of my night job.

You know the saying, "if I had a dollar for every time I've heard (insert desired phrase)?" Well, I would probably have managed to fund my writing career by now from hearing "I've got a great idea for a story." Guess what? Many people do have great ideas, because humans generally are creative at some level. So we all have ideas. If you want to write a book based off your idea: my advice is to Just Write It. The only way you'll ever become an author is to finish a complete book. Sorry, I haven't discovered any other magical way of reaching authorship, that is legal I might add.

How? You ask. It's pretty simple. You sit down at your computer, open a Word Document, and start typing. If you keep talking about writing it, the book will never get written. And if you keep making excuses that you are so busy or the timing isn't write, well it STILL won't get written.

My other advice is READ. If you don't know how to write a book, read ALOT.  I started writing three years ago and since then I've read over a 100 novels of the genre I wrote in. That is double the amount of books I've read in my entire life prior.

Yes, taking writing classes are helpful too, but be careful not to be so caught up in the techniques and rules that you forget to JUST WRITE IT. How are you going to apply the knowledge and skills you've leavened if you're not writing? I've taken lots of classes this last year from conferences and workshops put on my local RWA chapter and Willamette Writers, but the most important thing I've learned is to write. That is the best way I've improved my skills. It's true practice does make prefect. And I SO have a long way to go, with each new book I write or edit my writing gets better and better.  No, I'm not published yet, but with each round I get closer to having a publishable book.

Which brings me to another point. Don't expect your first rough draft to be best-seller ready, because it's not. You will need to edit it many times and revise a lot, but the biggest step is to finish it the first time so you have something to edit and revise.

I'm sure you've heard everything I've just said before, but trust me, it never hurts to hear it again. Even I need to be told so sit my butt down and start typing. Best of luck to you all whether you are new writers or seasoned ones.

And don't forget: Tis the Season for Giving Giveaway is going on till Wednesday. Spread the word!

Cheers,

Melania

Sunday, December 4, 2011

1st Sunday Snippets: $5 Amazon Winner






And the WINNER for the $5 Amazon.com GC is using RANDOM.ORG:

Laura H.

She said: "I am often inspired by George Winston."

Congrats! Check you're email within the next hour, Laura. ;)  Thank you so much everyone who participated in the giveaway. Remember that Tis the Season For Giving is still going on till Dec 14. I have 5 paranormal YA books to give away plus swag.

It is 1st Sunday Snippets so I will give you a sneak-peak into my fantasy short story "Wish Upon a Starfish." Adrianna, the MC, is laying on a hidden rock she swims to sunbath in the nude (hey no one can see her, so why not?), when she feels someone is watching her. She opens her eyes to discover she as company-a mermaid. It's written in 3rd person. I know-shocking! Anyways, enjoy.


She slapped her tail against the rock. “Have you gone mute?” 

Her voice reached Adrianna’s ears like tendrils of misty spray. She could sit there and listen to the mermaid speak for the rest of her life and would have been quite content. 

“I am sorry.” She tried to pry her gaze away from the ethereal body. But her eyes had trailed up creature’s torso. Her bare breasts stood atop her chest like two perky mounds jeweled with crimson gems for nipples. Her gaze continued up to the petite round face. 

“No worries.” Her soft pink lips moved with the angelic choral-like voice. It was as if she spoke in four part harmony.  “I am here to offer you a gift.”

Adrianna stared into the green eyes matching her tail. “Am I dreaming?”

“Are you?”

“I do not know. Mermaids are part of stories.”

“Do you believe I exist?” The mermaid lowered herself to one elbow as if bored.

“I do not know. I think this a dream. I can believe that.”

“Do you believe dreams come true?”

“Only in faerie tales.” 

 Thanks for reading,

Melania