Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Give Up

Happy Monday.

I am writing today as a self motivator. I am telling myself not to give up as my edits seem overwhelming. As a writer, each new book you write becomes a teacher. It teaches you how to become better at your craft and at the same time, it can really drive you crazy when you are editing. However, each book does get easier as you build your knowledge of how to write, and when you learn what mistakes not to make again in your next book. :-)

Stay focused. Take a few days off if you need to, but don't give up. I think of all the hours I really enjoyed creating this story, and now I need to work through the edits and make it shine.
As Winston Churchhill once said, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!" How true!!!!

Stay focused and finish the your WIP. It will be worth it when you are offered a contract.

Ingrid :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009


My hubby and I went to see our local university theater department's production of Rent, the musical. I had seen the movie version, which is awesome! So I was excited to see the live stage version.

I was amazed at the talent available here in West Michigan. The quality of the singing voices were great, but unfortunately poor sound mixing took away from some of my enjoyment. The volume of the band drowned out the volume of the vocals. And I didn't think the actors enunciated very clearly on the songs.

Nearly the entire story is told through the lyrics of the songs, so I was glad I already knew the story, otherwise I would have been lost during the show. My hubby didn't remember the story as well as I did from the movie version, so he enjoyed the stage version even less than I did.

Overall, it was great to see the local talent enjoying themselves on stage, and it made me want to buy the movie version so I could enjoy the songs over and over again. It's a great story full of love, heartbreak and hope. A true romance. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for reading our blog!

Thanksgiving is a great time of year. One of my favorite recipies is from Rachel Ray. It is her version of a pumpkin role but in a fantastic little cream cheese filled individual cake. Really, they are easy to make and take a short period of time. I have made them several times and highly recommend them.

Go to and type in Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. You won't regreat it. They will become a favorite!!!!!!


Monday, November 23, 2009


I've really been struggling (or avoiding) for about a month to write my synopsis for my current manuscript. I feel like I've been hitting my head against a brick wall every time I sit down in front of the page that says Synopsis at the top. I'm getting bogged down in the scene details, and I'm struggling to step back and view the story from a distant perspective.

So, what's my problem? Why can't I get this thing written? How did I write the synopsis for my past stories?

Then I came across a blurb about an upcoming class on how to write a synopsis in fifteen minutes. In the blurb it mentioned "characters, goals, motivations, and conflict, how to create a satisfying ending, and how to develop and summarize the middle of the book." That was my eureka moment. I'd forgotten to go back through my library of writing books for a reminder of what to include in my synopsis.

According to Leigh Michaels in her book, On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel that Sells, an effective synopsis will address six specific points:

1. Hook - What's going to appear on the back cover of the book? What element in your story is going to grab the readers and make them say, "This is so different, so unusual, so intriguing that I have to read this book"?

2. Heroine - What makes her interesting? Physical description is usually a waste of space, as is most of the character's history. The editor is more interested in what kind of person the character is now and - only if it's crucial to the story - how she got that way.

3. Hero - Why is he in opposition to the heroine? What does he want, or why does he not want the heroine to succeed?

4. Conflict - What is the main character's difficulty at or near the start of the story? What is the problem that will keep the characters apart, force them to work together, and change their entire future?

5. Story - How is the conflict shown to the readers? How does it intensify? How does each event affect the main characters? What twists and turns in the plot will keep the readers fascinated and unable to put the book down? Sketch the beginning, middle, and end of the story in skeletal form, while still being as specific as possible.

6. Resolution - How is the conflict resolved? How does the ending come about? What makes the ending satisfying for the readers?

Easy peasy, right? :(
I'll let you know when I get it done.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Soup's On!

The winter is a great time to make homemade soup. And when you make your own, you can make it healthier by reducing salt and using fresh vegetables. Here's a healthy and delicious recipe for Minestrone.

1/4 lb turkey bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 sliced carrot
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped turnip
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 cups vegetable stock or low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 cup cooked white beans

Saute vegetables and then add broth and spices; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add beans. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here is an easy recipe for a cold day.


Fry up a pound of ground beef or turkey and season with salt, pepper and onion flakes.
While cooking meat, boil a half a box of macaroni noodles with salt to season. Boil for about ten minutes. Drain.

Add noodles to meat mixture along with two cans of tomato soup. Stir, simmer and enjoy. Sometimes, I put a little white sugar in it to sweeten it up. Either way, yummy.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chapter 1, Scene 1, Take 4

Yesterday at critique group, Ingrid read my first chapter aloud to us. It was fascinating to hear my words spoken with a different voice. Her inflections and emphasis on different words made the scene feel new again. And it was new in this particular formulation.

It's taken at least four major revisions, but I think I've finally found the right combination of characters, action and dialogue for chapter one.

First chapters are so hard for me to write, and I'm sure for many writers. It's so important to get the first five pages just right to attract an agent's attention, so they'll want to read more. What really adds to my difficulties is that after working with my characters for so long, it's hard to go back and read chapter one with fresh eyes. It's hard to read it as a first-time reader who doesn't already know these characters, their backstories, and what is in store for their futures. It's hard to step back with clear eyes and feel the emotions for the first time.

And that's why I love my critique partners. Because their eyes are fresher than mine when it comes to reading my work. Thanks, ladies!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Love Happens

Happy Friday.

This week I went to see Love Happens. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart. I have to admit, I saw the movie preview when I was at the theater about a month ago. It looked good. I thought I was going to see a love story.

Well, it was a little misleading. I thought the story would be more about the way they fell in love. It was more focused on Aaron's character, Burke, and his journey. Yes, they did fall in love in the end, but I was left with a feeling of wanting more. I kind of felt mislead. I went to see two people fall in love and instead, I saw a man's journey to heal himself from past hurt. Not exciting when you are looking to find love at the movies. It's a bummer to feel that way.

In my WIP, it is my goal to make sure I tell the story of Jackson and Micaella and how they fell in love. Even though each character grows as a person and changes, their love is still the main focus of the story. Since I've been writing, I find that I tend to analyze books and movies unlike I did before. This has good points and bad points. Either way, it as made me really focus on the story I want to tell and how I want to tell it.

Hope you have a great week.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Easy Peasy Pizza

My kids love pizza. Whose don't? This recipe is a great way to make pizzas without a lot of work, and you can make them healthy by adding a little veggie matter to the toppings.

Easy Peasy Pizza
4 pitas
8 oz. can of Pastorelli's pizza sauce (yummy!)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella (shred it yourself and skip the potato starch in the pre-shredded bags)
Your favorite toppings - pepperoni, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, mushrooms, olives, red pepper, go crazy!

Place pitas on cookie trays, spread evenly with sauce, then cheese and toppings. Cook at 400 degrees until cheese starts to brown, about 15 minutes.