Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moving, 100 RPM and Nik Kershaw

“Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

       I’m moving this weekend.  Actually, I feel like I’ve been moving for months.  We began cleaning out old stuff many weeks ago.  We’ve been packing for over a month.  We’ve been shuttling boxes and unpacking for 2 weeks.  This weekend is the final move.

I’m exhausted.

       Buying the house has been wonderful and stressful.  When my kids worry, I feel terrible.  Knowing our monthly mortgage will be higher than before gives both my husband and me anxiety.  He feels the burden as practically the sole financial partner in our relationship.  I feel the guilt as practically a zero financial partner in our relationship. 

And the job hunt continues, so I hope to soon be a better financial contributor.

       Unless any agents/publishers reading this want to get/send me that big advance, so I can start living the writing life.  I have all these new sunny rooms in which to write.  I’m getting a desk too.  This is serious commitment to a writing space.

       While I’ve been busy with moving, working, and job searching, I’ve let blogging slide a little in favor of writing. (Sorry!)  Last Friday, I completed a 70k YA manuscript.  And the manuscript that didn’t make it to the quarterfinals of ABNA is about to be queried. 

Oh, and I have little piece of fiction being e-published. 

 Caroline Smailes  is the brainchild of 100 RPM, a collection of 100 flash fiction stories inspired by music.  My piece is called “Violet’s Hill”, which is inspired by the song Violet Hill by Coldplay.

And guess what?

THE Nik Kershaw has written the introduction.  Yeah, THAT Nik Kershaw. 

Best of all the $ (after Amazon's cut) will be going to the charity  One in Four!

This organization is a registered charity, which provides support and resources to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence.

You can support a worthy cause. 

P.S.  Old Kitty has a story included too.  She’s the one who told me about the call for stories.  Thanks, Old Kitty! 

How do you find balance?
How do you keep moving forward?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fabric of Poetry

I once heard the quote: Poetry is the celebration of language.  How true.  The beats, alliterations, and rhymes poets create from the words of their language are not easily translated.

Poetry used to intimidate me. How was I qualified to decide what was “good”?  I took a poetry course this spring, which taught me techniques poets use.  Here’s a definition the instructor provided:

Poetry is
The considered, deliberate use of
            Their rhymes,
even their arrangement on the
                             to create intellectual and
            emotional effects
in the reader/listener.

He said a good poem should need to be read more than once to cull meaning, but one should get something from the initial reading.  Poets should strike a balance between packing a lot of meaning versus being too vague. 

The course introduced me to many styles of and much wonderful poetry.  I’ve become more comfortable reading, appreciating, and even writing poems. 

The internet and self-publishing have made it easier for poets to get their work out there (as poetry is a hard sell to traditional publishers).  Today I have musician, author, cool gal, and poet—

Jessica Bell!

Jessica says:
My poetry will not baffle you with phrasing that scholars award for academic genius and that can only be understood by those who wrote it. My poetry is for the everyday reader. In fact, it is even for those who don’t like to read poetry at all. Because it is real, stark and simple.
The poems in Fabric are no different. They explore specific moments in different people’s lives that are significant to whom they have become, the choices they’ve made. It’s about how they perceive the world around them, and how each and every one of their thoughts and actions contributes to the fabric of society. Perhaps you will even learn something new about yourself.

Are you still here? I hope so!

Please support the life of poetry today by spreading the news about Fabric. Hey, perhaps you might even like to purchase a copy for yourself? The e-book is only $1.99 and the paperback $5.50.

Here are the links:

Let's keep poetry alive! 

About Jessica Bell:

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. And not because she currently lives in Greece, either. The Australian-native author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist has her roots firmly planted in music, and admits inspiration often stems from lyrics she’s written.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fracture and Fortitude

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover?

       A subject many women don’t talk about, but have experienced, is a miscarriage.  Susan Oloier has written a novel, Fractured, which tackles this difficult and painful topic.

       Even if you miscarry after knowing about your pregnancy for only a week or two, it’s still devastating.  For those who want to have a baby, that wonderful potential to bring a human being into the world is lost in an instant.  All that hope… vanished.  And if the pregnancy lasts longer—near the second trimester—women experience labor and heavy bleeding.  Many wind up in the emergency room.  That’s what happened to me. 

       I’ve never written publically about my miscarriage.  I don’t think I’m ready to provide the details even though it was 11 years ago.  A year later, almost to the day, I gave birth to my daughter, who’s about to turn 10.  I know that I wouldn’t have her.  The lovely girl I know wouldn’t exist if I’d had that baby.  But it doesn’t take away the physical and mental anguish of that day, which I still remember in vivid detail.  I’d never been so alone. 

Someday I’ll be brave enough to share my story.

Like Susan was brave enough to use her losses to write her novel.

But her book is about more than miscarriage:

"When Anna Kincaid has a miscarriage, her world comes crashing to a halt. Grief overwhelms her life, and she combats it with prescription medication. Her husband Lloyd does not see the event as tragic. In fact, not ready to be a father, he is relieved at the news. This creates a chasm in their marriage and splits them apart. Both Anna and Lloyd find themselves moving in different directions. Anna finds hope in a young, male colleague named Ben and comfort in her narcotics. Lloyd loses himself in work. Will their marriage survive the miscarriage, or will it always remain fractured?"

Susan Oloier’s book is available:


Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of the ebook Fractured.  Leave a link about where you shared it (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and you’ll be receive extra entries.

Good luck!

You can visit Susan at her  BLOG. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


How cool is this graphic?

       Michael Offutt is a good blogging friend of mine.  I enjoy reading every word of his posts.  Besides being an engaging writer, he’s a talented artist.  His debut book, Slipstream, has just been released by Double Dragon, which might be the coolest name for a publisher.  Michael has taken over my blog to give marketing/Photoshop tips.

Because writers need to do so much of their own marketing, I feel that investing in a little program called Adobe Photoshop Elements can really pay off. This program is less than $100, and I’ve been able to make my own gifs, make my blog look nice, and draw some of the characters that I have running around in my head.

Embedded with this post is my first attempt at making a gif. I think it turned out pretty good. The boy is how I picture Jordan looking in my head (random trivia…Theresa also likes the name ‘Jordan’) , and I tried really hard to make him look seventeen and not like the actors who are 27 years old playing teenagers on Glee.

All I did was watch a YouTube tutorial and it was simple. I made three layers in Photoshop, simplified them with a right click, and then saved it for the web which automatically launches a gif panel where you can view it.

It really is that easy. We may be writers, but we are also artists. The right tools can make all the difference.

I have a contest for the release of my book.  I will pick one random person who comments on this post to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and a SLIPSTREAM jeweled spider (the same person wins both prizes). The jeweled spider really sparkles in the sunlight. I hope whoever wins it really likes it. Also, please make sure that your email is linked to your signature in some way J. And yes, the crystal spiders play an important role in my book.


1)     Mark my book “To Read” on Goodreads.
2)     Comment on this post.
3)     Tweet this post if you have twitter. You don’t have to sign-up for twitter. It’s the “honor” system. J
That’s it. I will choose a winner on Saturday, May 19th.  And thank you, Theresa, for having me on your fine blog.


Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Reflections

What possessed me?

This was what April looked like when I signed up for A to Z:

Grad class on Mondays
Poetry class on Thursdays
Full time job
Critiquing 2 manuscripts for the NE-SCBWI conference
Facilitate a SIG on blogging for the NE-SCBWI
Packing for move
Looking for jobs

       I was already blogging once a week because I knew that if I wanted to write, I had to make time for it.  This has meant writing during lunch and sometimes in the morning.  I knew A to Z meant I’d be setting up my posts and commenting on as many blogs as possible daily.

It was all because of a shiny idea: 80s music.

Well, when I like an idea, I can’t NOT do it.

       So I signed up.  I wrote the posts in March.  My plan was to write them leisurely.  After all, I had plenty of time and it wasn’t like I was writing War and Peace.  Yet, somehow I found myself rushing to write those last posts at the end of March.

Bright spots:

Lots of new blogging friends.  I have about 40 new followers.  YaY!

It was good camaraderie.  And sometimes, commiserating. 

       I’ve thought of fun ideas for 2013.  But I already have a few people who will remind me NOT to do it next year.

       I miss my blogging buddies from March.  Some of them didn’t visit much or at all.  I didn’t have much time for bloggers outside of the A to Z Challenge if they didn’t find me.  I felt bad, but it was the only way I could keep up. 

       I’m happy to report that I did write all but five days in April.  Though a couple of days I had to skip fiction in favor of writing responsibilities that were conference related  and job search related (like taking 3 ½ hours to set up my application on

And now that it’s been a week, I’m no longer burned out and I’m ready to write posts and visit blogs again.

Have a happy week!

Love, Theresa

P.S. Thank you to the host   Arlee Bird 

 and  Alex Cavanaugh

for co-hosting and visiting my blog.