Monday, April 30, 2012

Counting Down and Downton Abbey!

The Count down begins!!

Get your pitches ready for the Dust It Off Bloghop! And if you haven't signed up don't worry there is still time.

We've all had those manuscripts that we poured our heart into, fell in love with the characters and still think of them at random, but unfortunately had to shelf. Now it's time for a little spring cleaning. Take out those manuscripts and Dust It Off!

May 3rd starts us off:
We want you to post a 1-2 sentence pitch (Great way to practice pitches) about the shelved WIP.

The Dust It Off Bloghop will be three days, May 3rd, 5th and 7th. Hope to see you there.

Now that is out of the way, let's talk Downton Abbey. Did I just see a few of you sit up straighter in your chairs? Rightfully so. This is a show to talk about. Have you seen it?

I'm halfway through season two and it's taking all my will power not to leave my desk, park my rear on my couch and finish out the season. First off I'm a huge history buff so combine that with forbidden love affairs, manipulative servants, and family drama and you have my dream show.

I don't want to give much away for those who have yet to watch it, but I will say it was a show I picked up on DVD after hearing all the buzz and while buzz tends to let me down this time it didn't. The first episode of the first season starts with the sinking of the Titanic and how it affects the family of Downton Abbey. As the season moves on the fear of War becomes a pressing issue and in season 2 we step into WWI. Again you see the effects this event has, but not just on the family but on the servants as well.

The thing I love the most about the show is that they don't focus just on the family of the house or just on the servants that make the house run smoothly. It focuses on both. It is the perfect combination and when I watch the scenes with the servants I feel like I'm getting a peek behind the scenes. I get to see what the family doesn't. With so many characters it's a wonder to keep track of them, but after the first episode you will know everyone and have strong opinions about them.

So in the comments let's talk Downton Abbey. First lesson for those that have not had the chance to watch, it is DownTON Abbey not Downtown- I made that mistake. We all did, right?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oh, My Hero! Blog Hop!!!!

Okay it's time for the Oh, My Hero! Blog Hop. Technically it was time yesterday, I'm a little late. 

What the hop is all about: What's your hero like?  Is he the strong and silent type?  The wounded bad boy?  A man on a mission, not looking for love, but captivated by your heroine?  Whoever he is, we're sure he's swoonworthy, and we want to learn more about him! 

Here's what you do:
1)  Follow my blog (Jaycee DeLorenzo) and Victoria's Blog.
2)  Sign up for the linky at the bottom of the page.
3)  Post our snazzy button on your blog.
 4)  On April 27th, post a picture of your hero with a character interview that has at least 5 questions.  You can check out the sample questions below, or come up with your own, since you know your hero best and what you'd like to reveal about him

So let's get started:

Sorry to keep you all waiting, but we're here. We as in me and my special guest Braydon from my newest WIP Halls of Hell. If you want to know a little about the story you can check out my WIP tab :)

Hi Braydon, thanks for stopping by. 

Anytime. I always have time for a beautiful woman. 

Such the charmer. Moving on. You and Kylie are pretty close so I want to know how would you describe her? 

Beautiful, stubborn and stronger than she ever gives herself credit for. 

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

I never did, but then I met a girl having a screaming match with herself outside the mall and I became a believer. 

You like them crazy got it. Next question. What's your favorite pastime? 

A movie of my choice of course. Kylie's collection is seriously outdated. A half gallon of chocolate ice cream 2 spoons and Kylie. 

How would you describe yourself in one word? 

Hmm... There are over a quarter of a million words in the English language and I can only choose one. That's hard. 

Only you would know that. 

Wait! Got it! Nonconformist.

Interesting. Now what words would your friends use to describe you?

That's easy. Fun. Except for Kylie she'd probably say Annoying. 

That's definitely in my top five, but I was thinking more like guarded. 

Kylie this is my interview what are you doing here?

Oh you can pop up on me anytime you want, but not the other way around? Typical.

Guys, please I have one question left. 

Sorry I'll wait over here. *Takes book out of pocket book* 

 Braydon, if you had three wishes what would they be? 

All three would be to turn back time. 
First to kiss Kylie before Drew O'Malley did, that slime bag! *Kylie rolls her eyes*
Second to talk to Jack and see if there was something we could have done. 
And third. *pause* To have taken a different route home last summer.

*Kylie puts her book back in her bag and walks over and takes Braydon's hand in hers, a purple band slides down her wrist as she gives him a reassuring squeeze*

Thanks, Braydon for the interview. 

*Clears throat* Anytime.  I could use some ice cream, want to come to Sprinkles with us? 

Don't have to ask me twice. But real fast I need to reveal to the world what you look like. I typed Braydon's looks into Google three different ways and all three times the same person popped up:

Jackson Rathbone:

Seriously the creepy looking dude from Twilight? Really!

It's the eyes.

Don't worry Bray he can't hold a candle to you. 

Is that a compliment, Ky?

Um. Let's not dwell on it, okay. How about that ice cream?

No, let's dwell on it.

I'd rather not. Come on, I'll let you choose the toppings this time. *Kylie walks away* 

Wait! I never get toppings. Ky! This isn't over!

Well this has been fun. Time for some ice cream. Wish me luck with these two. And if you haven't already, stop by Jaycee and Victoria's blog.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm a little behind so please, stop back tomorrow for my Oh, My Hero! Blogpost!! I can't wait to hop around and read everyone's! I'll be late to the game, but I will be there :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living to Write

I don't know about you guys, but this new layout is making my head hurt. I would have posted sooner, I was just so mad at Blogger for changing the layout. But you guys know I can't stay away from you all for too long.

Now I have to think of a post. I'm still researching books on tape. Anybody have any more info on them?

My posting has been a little less frequent because as most of you all know I got a job. A real job, that is actually making use of the degree I spent five and a half years of my life working towards. So far it's been great. It hasn't even been three weeks yet, but I'm just so happy to be up and out. Being unemployed is fun for the first month, after that it's awful. The best part about it was being able to spend my days writing, blogging and tweeting and while I miss it dearly, probably too much, I'm happy to be back to work.

Sitting home day after day in front of my computer, forcing myself to open a Word document and write was probably the worst thing for me. The ideas weren't flowing. At all! It came to a point where the idea of writing and even reading made me wrinkle my nose and walk in the other direction. Since I've been back to work, my notebook that is always in my bag, is halfway filled with ideas, quotes and character descriptions. My reading slump is officially over. I have read 23 (about to be 24) books between March and April. And my desire to keep reading is only growing with each book I finish.

I realized you can't force yourself to write because that's when it loses its appeal. Writing is my escape from the every day, as well as a way to translate my experiences and other people's experiences. In order to write you need to live, or at least for me that is how it works. My best writing days always come after a hectic week. I have so many new ideas fighting it out in my head, begging me to write them down first. It's the best part of my week.

Sorry to cut it short, but I have to get ready for work tomorrow and pack clothes for my softball game, another double header. We won our first game 28 or 32 to 0! Once it hit 20 to 0 it didn't really matter anymore. Hopefully it wasn't just beginners luck. I'll post about my first softball practice and how the girl who talked me into joining wound up with the balls stitches in her forehead and a black eye, another day :)

So in the comments I want to know, when do you do your best writing. Are you like me and need to go out and experience life in order for the ideas to really flow? Or can you force yourself to sit in front of your computer and just write?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I have so much to talk about, but being my first post in over a week I don't want to bore you with my life. I'll save that for another day. Today I want to talk about books on tape. If that's what they're still called? Do any of you listen to them?

My drive to work is anywhere between forty minutes and an hour and I figured it is the perfect time to catch up on all the books I want to read, but haven't got around to. It couldn't be more perfect, right? But then I realized I know absolutely nothing about books on tape. Are they still on cassette tapes because they can't be on a CD because doesn't it reset itself when you turn the car off? See totally clueless. Then there's the iPod. Can you download books onto your iPod? I have a Nook is there a way to get books on tape on your Nook?

Any info you guys can give me would be awesome. I could probably Google this, but I trust you guys more :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

You Will Because You Can!

Last week I went to lunch with an old coworker and dear friend. She's the type of person who you can guarantee to get a birthday card in the mail on the exact date, a Halloween card just because and a random text just to check in. So of course for our lunch date she came with a bottle of wine and a card to wish me luck at my new job. (She's awesome) What I loved was what she wrote in the card. "You'll be great! Remember...You will because you can!"

And she's right. So right. The only thing keeping you from greatness is yourself. Insecurities can chip away at your confidence and can get you lost in self doubt and if you succumb to it, you only have yourself to blame. I've been on edge since I found out I got the position. Every negative thought flooding my mind. What if I don't live up to their expectations? What if I can't figure it out? And so on and so on. Then I read the card and I realized I got the job because I can, because I am qualified and there is no reason for all this negative awfulness. It helped put it in perspective.

So whether it is a new job, querying, writing a new WIP, or anything for that matter, rise above the negative thoughts and be fabulous. Because you can.

And if you haven't signed up yet for the Dust it Off Bloghop click the link over there ---> then click and sign up for the Oh Those High School Dances Bloghop and Oh, My Hero! Bloghop :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Characters and Real Life

Yesterday I talked about Nora Roberts and her characters. Today I'm sticking with the theme of characters. Next week I go back to work for the first time in four months. Scary? Yes. I worked the same job for ten years so going into a new job is terrifying. However, I'm excited. I worked with the same personalities for ten years. I didn't get to interact with new people unless you count talking on the phone which to me isn't the same as talking one on one in person. Now I'm going to meet new people, pick up on new quirks and possibly find inspiration for my writing.

There are so many different types of people in the world, but when you are caught up in the bubble of your life, sometimes you miss out on them. The more people you know, the more people you come across, the more likely you will be able to create distinct characters. I'm always afraid of having cardboard cutout characters, or even worse not being able to tell the difference between my characters. So I am taking this new job as not only a step in the right direction in regards to my degree, but also as a step in the right direction for my writing.

When you create characters, do you infuse them with quirks from people you have come across? Or do you make it all up? Have you ever met a person with such a strong personality you knew you had to turn them into a character in one of your WIP's?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Can't Come Up With A Title!

I've been reading a great deal lately. I have taken a break from YA and have been reading my other favorite genre, contemporary romance. I can devour those books in one sitting. Most of the time they are predictable, but sometimes I like predictable. Going into these books I know I will be satisfied with the ending and I'll be left with a smile.

The three authors I have been devouring these last few weeks are Nora Roberts, Kristan Higgins and Susan Mallery. I love all three of them. I just have to say if you want to laugh out loud read Kristan Higgins Too Good To Be True. I still crack up thinking about it. Anywho I'm going to turn my attention to Nora Roberts.

I don't think there is any reader in the world who hasn't heard of Nora Roberts. She's been around for a long time. She doesn't write beautiful, literary fiction, she's a storyteller and a darn good one if you ask me. What amazes me about her is the number of books she has written. In two weeks she will be releasing her 200th book! 200th!!! To me whether you like her or not this is a huge accomplishment. For an aspiring writer trying to get published this blows my mind. Not only did she get published, she has gotten published two hundred times! Could you imagine?

I've read a ton of her books and I notice sometimes they have the same layout, but the characters are always different and I think that is what draws me in. I just finished the Stanislaski series and I fell in love with the family she created. They were so real I could picture the family sitting down for one of their big family dinners laughing and yelling. Each character had their own traits, their own quirks something that set them apart from the others. I think this is why she has been so successful. She has a way with her characters and she is able to make them jump off the page.

I'm taking a page in her book and trying to make my characters as real as possible. You can lose those little things that make your characters come to life when you are so focused on getting words on the page. As I edit I'm going in and adding the little things. Things that seem so unimportant are the things that will make your story and your characters stand out among the rest.

Have you read Nora Roberts? Do you think you have it in you to write 200 books? And what about characters. Do you believe it's the little things that make them standout?