Showing posts from August, 2010

The Hidden Meaning of Words

There is a commerical for a new television show. At the end it displays the word BELIEVE and all the letters fade out except for the word LIE.

That commerical got me thinking about THE MUSIC MAN, one of my favorite musicals. In it, is a song sung by a quartet, that says, "How can there be any SIN in sincere?", "Where is the GOOD in goodbye?", "How can there be any FAIR in farewell?" To that I'll also add, why is there HELL in hello? It makes me wonder about these words and their "hidden" meanings. Should we really read into the fact that these smaller words are opposite of what the actual word intends?

I wonder, too, why dieting always makes me feel like I'm going to DIE. And why there are always MEN involved in being menstrual and menopausal. Really, they should just make themselves useful by getting us chocolate and then staying far away (except maybe to do the dishes or something).

Have any of you ever noticed these hidden words…

Query Process

We all know that during the query/submission process we're supposed to write. It helps us be productive, gives us motivation and best of all, we'll have completed another project during those long, drawn-out months of waiting.

But I can't write when I'm waiting. I can't. Maybe my personality is too anxious - but I seem to be able to focus ONLY on one thing. It's almost as if I'm afraid to move on. Like if I do, I'll be forgetting those other characters, forgetting their story. But we all know, that's not really true. All we need do is read the manuscript again and we're right there with them!

Thankfully, I do eventually end up writing again. Like this week. I worked on LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD. It felt so good to add to her story! She was thanking me - but she was nice enough not to ask where I'd been.

And soon, her story will be complete and then I'll have another story to query/submit. Which will start the waiting process all o…

AHHHHHH!! (add inflection variations as necessary)

That's how I've felt this week. Here's why:

*My girls went back to school
*Blessed "me" time has found its way back into my life
*Early mornings + Night owl = not a happy camper
*Word counts are increasing
*Manuscript critiquing for friends
*My kids found my chocolate stash!

What have you been up to? Anything make you go, "AHHHH" lately?

OH - and BTW - for many days now blogger has said I'm not following any blogs. That's just crazy talk! So if you're wondering why I'm not commenting, it's because I"m not getting my update feed! AHHHH!!

Interview and Giveaway

This is it! My much anticipated 50 followers contest! As promised, since I've exceeded 75 followers, I've sweetened the deal. It's also MY BIRTHDAY TODAY and one of my favorite things is to give! So I'm totally stoked I get to share this day – and all its prizes and awesomeness - with you!

My dear friend and neighbor, Shelena Shorts, has joined us for an interview! I’m so excited to have her with us. She's the author of two YA fantasy/sci-fi books, THE PACE and its sequel (which was just released yesterday - yay for book birthdays!) THE BROKEN LAKE. Thanks for walking all the way across the cul-de-sac for this, Shelena!

Me: What made you decide to write YA? I mean, why not MG or even adult novels?

Shelena: I’ve taught 11th grade English for a long time and I’m always reading what they’re reading and ALWAYS thinking of ways I can entertain them, either through a non-boring lesson or a book. So it was natural. I wouldn’t ever have thought to write a book they…

Pay It Forward

I've been having a pretty crappy week (thankfully, this time it has nothing to do with the writing process) but unfortunately, it's nothing that I can really discuss here. However, there was some light in my day yesterday and that is what I'd like to share with you.

I was taking my three lovely daughters (ages 12, 10 and 6) to my neighborhood pool when I was stopped by a woman I've never spoken to but have seen there often over the last three years. She took my hand and said, "I know we don't know each other, but I just wanted you to know that you have beautiful children. I've never seen kinder, sweeter girls than yours. Any parent would be proud to have children like that."

Thank goodness I had sunglasses on or else I would have looked like a complete idiot when my eyes welled-up with tears. I thanked her for her kind remarks and how they were perfect timing for my miserable day.

I don't know why she decided to tell me that at that exact moment…

You've Won An Award!

Yes. You. I'm looking at you. Yes, you with the coffee/tea/cereal/chocolate in your hands. Yes you reading this blog right now. I'm talking to you. You've won an award. Um, yeah, let's try that again. YOU'VE WON AN AWARD!!

"What?" you say. "Is she crazy? There's 77 of us."

Yep. I know. And yeah, I know I'm breaking the rules. So what if I'm really only supposed to give the award to five of my closest friends? I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a trendsetter and I like breaking the rules.

Besides, when I tried to think of five recipients, my brain went into adult ADHD mode.

Here's a sample of my neurotic thinking:

Karen Krueger - she's the one that gave me the award (thanks Karen! *waves), and I'd like to give it back to her. But that would be cheesy like one of those chain emails that says, "forward this to 10 friends and send it back to me." So, I better not do that.

Katie Bor…

Drum Roll Please...

Will the fabulous CHERSTI NIEVEEN please step forward? You've just won a QUERY CRITIQUE, a bag of smooth and creamy DOVE PROMISES (you can even choose milk or dark chocolate), and a brand new copy of MOCKING JAY by Suzanne Collins!!

Chersti had an astounding 23 points! And I know (because I follow her on twitter) that she tweeted the contest like a gazillion times. Thanks Chersti! I hope you enjoy your prizes!

Send me an email at amiegr8tstuff -@- aol - (dot) com so I can get your address information!

And for the rest of you, thank you all for entering, sending your friends, tweeting, blogging and sharing the joy of this contest!

If you're bummed that you didn't win....NEVER FAIL! I have the most EPIC contest ever planned for August 20th. There will be a guest author, 3 books, a query critique, and a first chapter critique! I also promised that if I reached 75 followers before the next contest that I'd up the anty. SoOoOoo...if you've noticed, I've got 75…

No Rain

I'm probably dating myself here, but one of my favorite songs of all time is No Rain by Blind Melon. In fact, I listened to it (and watched the you tube video) so often while writing my first book, I think I pretty much drove my family insane. How many of you did that to your family and friends while writing a manuscript?

I think the song, in essence, defines me. I've always been a bit of a loner, despite my friendships. And I've always walked to the beat of my own drummer. Following the crowd went against something deep in the core of me, even if it was unpopular. I was, and still am, totally cool with being different.

In the words of the late, great Shannon Hoon:
All I can do is read a book to stay awake and it rips my life away but it's a great escape....

So often I journied to other worlds while growing up. And I didn't rely on anything except the written word and my own imagination to get me there. Books (and music) have always been my escape.


50 Followers CONTEST

I'm crazy. Or amazing. Or both. But I have THE most epic contest ever - EVER -planned for August 20th!! Seriously folks, this contest will include multiple books, critiques and the most awesome cookies you'll ever eat in your lifetime. No joke. And if I reach 75 followers by the contest, I'll sweeten the deal! Plus, this contest will be the easiest ever to enter. No confusing points to calculate. Just an entry. So srsly, you won't want to miss this!

In the meantime, while you anxiously await my Epic 50 Followers Contest, you still have my Awesome New Blog Contest to enter! If you haven't already entered, you only have two more days! So read about it here, then enter, share, tweet and blog about it. Contest ends on Friday the 13th, then return on Saturday to see who the lucky winner is!

Back on Track

Have you found that the summer has caused you to get off track with your writing? I know I feel that way for sure. In fact, I'm not just off track, I'm completely derailed.

But it's time to get back on track! Right? Who's with me?

Can I get a "Woot, Woot!" C'mon. You know you want to.

I guess getting back on track will be a good thing for me in more ways than one. Not only will I finally write some new words, but, since I'm one of those parents that still cries when her kids go back to school, writing will help get my mind off of missing them!

So it's back to work. Back to being creative, inspired and working my butt off. And maybe, before long there will be that cherished reward of typing those final words of a manuscript, "THE END".

But then there's query letters....hmmm...on second thought, maybe I'll just enjoy summer a little longer.

PS - Don't forget to enter my contest!


I hadn't ever really listened to the words of this song until my friend posted it on facebook. And I thought - have I let my story go unwritten? I hope you haven't.

In the words of Natasha Bedingfield:
Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window, let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.

So, open up that window. Clear your mind of clutter and the things which distract you from putting your words on paper. And write that story! The one that you've been longing to write. Do it for you. Do it for everyone who believes in you. Do it because it's what gives you breath.

Elizabeth Draffin

I'm out of town, visiting with family and friends in New York (but I'm still blogging because, well I love you all THAT much!). I hope to visit my cherished reservoir in the next few days. I don't know what it is about that place, but it's so haunting I can't help but feel mesmerized by it.

I'm also going to try to meet with the local historian so I can finally hear the details of a folktale I read when I wrote my first book, The Reservoir.

While writing that book, I spent countless hours pouring over local history and found a folktale like none other. I tried to speak with the historian at that time, but he was unavailable. So I walked through the cemetary myself trying to locate the woman's true identity. That's when I stumbled upon a family plat from the 1700's (which was around the same period as this folktale) and the name on the family headstone was DRAFFIN.

Since that time, I've associated the folktale and the name together, re…