Thursday, November 23, 2017

Notes from NaNo: Week 4

Since I post here on Thursdays, I decided to use my November (aka NaNovember) posts to give all you NaNo writers some fun plot points, characters, and other to incorporate into your works-in-progress if you get stuck or fall into a writing slump. For Week Four, find the meal associated with your horoscope sign* and incorporate it into your book!


Aries: An all-vegetarian dinner with a bottle of root beer.

Taurus: Cheeseburgers, french fries, and avocado milkshakes.

Gemini: Spaghetti with ketchup instead of marinara sauce.

Cancer: Three bottles of wine.

Leo: Steak, potatoes, and 100-year-old scotch.

Virgo: Fried fish, coleslaw, and champagne.

Libra: Cereal and unpasteurized milk.

Scorpio: Banana bread, chili con carne, and oysters.

Sagittarius: Cans of beer, ice cream, and edible flowers.

Capricorn: Thanksgiving dinner, but with quail instead of turkey.

Aquarius: Hot tea and basil sorbet.

Pisces: Hummus and pita, tomato juice, and Boston Cream Pie.


*Note: I have no training or expertise with astrology. This is purely for fun!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Blast From the Past #3

It's November. It's NaNoWriMo. I'm an ML this year. I got revision notes back from my agent last month that I'm still working on. My husband is completely renovating our living room, right before we have a bunch of family in town for Thanksgiving. Something's gotta give, and this month it's new content for Operation Awesome. So I've picked through some of my old posts and picked out a few to feature this month.

Today I'm revisiting one of my favorite topics: Query letters! This post isn't about how to write query letters, but when to write query letters.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lockwood & Co. TV Series!



I am so excited to find out that my favorite series, Lockwood & Co., is hopefully going to be turned into a TV series!!! Which always brings about all the questions of how well it will be done. Will they stay true to character descriptions?

Take Lucy, our main character. She's described as a bit thick about the hips, and not exactly pretty. So will a blond, skinny starlet then be cast? I hope not! Lockwood is tall and slim. George is chubby, and really likes cake (me too).

Then there's the world-building, which is fabulous. Will we see that woven into the series? Will there be references to how the Problem (ghosts after dark) has affected the entire country, and to the earliest agents (ghost hunters) that fought them? And the profitable industries that have bloomed because of the Problem (iron & lavender- ghosts can't stand either of them)?

Will we see the different agencies that employ children to fight what adults can't see? Will they be in their snazzy uniforms (I need those snazzy uniforms, I really do).

And how will the ghosts be portrayed? Truly creepy, or cheesy?

So lots of questions!! If you haven't heard of Lockwood & Co., I encourage you to check them out! Right away! Go do it!

(You know how we bookish people are about pushing their favorite books on people...) ;)


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Notes from NaNo: Week 3

Since I post here on Thursdays, I decided to use my November (aka NaNovember) posts to give all you NaNo writers some fun plot points, characters, and other to incorporate into your works-in-progress if you get stuck or fall into a writing slump. For Week Three, find the cliche associated with your horoscope sign*, flip it or subvert it or do something entirely unexpected with it, and go to town!


Aries: A prince saves a princess from a dragon.

Taurus: Your main character is 'the chosen one.'

Gemini: Your antagonist is a mustache-twirling, cardboard villain.

Cancer: Your main character is lamenting 'the one who got away.'

Leo: One of your female characters is different from 'all the other girls.'

Virgo: Your book starts with your main character waking up.

Libra: Your main character described themselves while looking in a mirror.

Scorpio: Your main character succeeds at everything they try.

Sagittarius: Every person your main character encounters falls in love with them.

Capricorn: Your main characters has at least one absent or neglectful parent.

Aquarius: Your main character has a dream with clear symbols that guide them through the rest of the plot.

Pisces: Your main character has no flaws and makes no mistakes.


*Note: I have no training or expertise with astrology. This is purely for fun!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blast From the Past #2

It's November. It's NaNoWriMo. I'm an ML this year. I got revision notes back from my agent last month that I'm still working on. My husband is completely renovating our living room, right before we have a bunch of family in town for Thanksgiving. Something's gotta give, and this month it's new content for Operation Awesome. So I've picked through some of my old posts and picked out a few to feature this month.

If you are stuck while doing NaNo (or just stuck at all, whatever), get the brain juices flowing by doing personality tests for your characters.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest #37



Today is National Vanilla Cupcake Day! Are you planning on indulging in a vanilla cupcake? ;) (I actually had donuts for breakfast, so I think I've had my quota of sweets today...)

Submit your flash fiction piece about a vanilla cupcake in 150 words or less for a chance to win! Rules found here.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Notes from NaNo: Week Two

Since I post here on Thursdays, I decided to use my November (aka NaNovember) posts to give all you NaNo writers some fun plot points, characters, and other to incorporate into your works-in-progress if you get stuck or fall into a writing slump. For Week Two, find the new character associated with your horoscope sign* and go to town!


Aries: A young child with a too-large backpack.

Taurus: An elderly couple who finish each others' sentences.

Gemini: A woman who's the president of her company.

Cancer: A middle-aged man with an unusual hobby.

Leo: A teenage boy with a talent he's often mocked for.

Virgo: A dog who has a favorite person.

Libra: A cat who's traveled the world.

Scorpio: A teenage girl who's planning to run away from home.

Sagittarius: A baby who learns to talk way too early.

Capricorn: A hamster that gets lost in the house.

Aquarius: A cranky old man with a secret.

Pisces: A four-year-old girl who changes the world.


*Note: I have no training or expertise with astrology. This is purely for fun!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Meet Karen Osman in this Debut Author Spotlight

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

The Good Mother


1- Have you ever had a penpal?

I had so many pen pals growing up - it was an amazing way to experience the world before social media. I had penfriends in Canada, Germany, Ghana, France, and loved receiving their letters every month.

2- What five words represent your most notable characteristic or values? #In5Words

Hard-working, focused, determined, empathetic, and slightly obsessive!

3- Living in Dubai, have you been at the top (level 148) of the Burj Khalifa?

I have! My husband took me there and it was an incredible sight from the top.

4- Can you share a story from your life that shows who you are as a person and why you are a writer?

It doesn’t explain why I’m a writer but feedback is so important to me. I had one reader message me to say that she hadn't read for so long as she was so busy working and looking after her children. She told me that she enjoyed The Good Mother so much that she's now determined to get back into reading again and making a little time for herself again. It’s stories like this, that make all the hard work worthwhile.

5- What ignited your passion for writing?

I'd love to be able to tell you the answer to that - there's never been one moment or incident. Since I was a child, I have always written; diaries, stories, letters....it's more of a need. It doesn't quite make sense to me either!

6- Do you ever get recognized/identified in public as being on the "Ahlan’s Hot 100 People" 2017 edition?

No, however, that was a great moment and the photo shoot was a lot of fun. To be recognised as contributing to the UAE's cultural landscape was a great honour.

7- Would you share a picture with us of your book surrounded by luxury?
Meet Karen Osman in this Debut Author Spotlight

8- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?

I currently have a three-book deal with Head of Zeus and currently working on my second book. I have a goal to have a first rough draft written before Christmas and ready to send to my editor early 2018.

9- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

That person is my husband. When I asked him this question, he replied: "Knowing the circumstances in which you wrote it." He is referring to the fact that I was pregnant with my second son and very tired looking after my toddler!

10- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

The theme of motherhood is present throughout the book and I'm sure some of the scenes will resonate with mothers everywhere. But for me, books have always provided an escape - a chance to relax from work or obligations and I hope The Good Mother does this as well.

11- In your opinion, is it better for the average person with a small budget to engage in experiential travel or transformational travel, and why?

Any type of travel in my opinion is worth doing – you can always discover something new about yourself.

12- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?

My editor, Sarah Ritherdon – she’s fantastic and I really admire how she can take a manuscript and improve it.

13- Did you have other titles in mind for the book before it went to publication?

Yes, the original submission for The Good Mother was called Dear Michael.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

The colour red is mentioned a few times in The Good Mother for different characters and is a symbol of danger.

15- #DiversityBingo2017 What's your favorite book that covers a square on the card?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts


16- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?

All three characters – Catherine, Alison, and Kate have personality contradictions and it’s difficult to choose one. Probably Kate though – she loves her children and wants to be a good mother but feels frustrated at the same time.

17- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?

It’s not a small change but using libraries regularly and supporting book shops is my way.

18- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

It depends on the situation but usually the description on the back of the book is the deciding factor for me.

19- How will you measure your publishing performance?

As a debut novelist, I have had tremendous support from my agent and publishing house, not just writing the book but also promoting it. I will measure commercial success mainly by book sales and feedback in the market.

20- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

This was mainly taken out of my hands as I won the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Writing Award. As part of that prize, I had the support of an agent who helped me go down the traditional route of publishing as opposed to self-publishing.

21- What is one question (or discussion topic) which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?

22- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

http://www.karenosman.com
https://www.karenosman.com/bio
Buy The Book

Meet Karen Osman in this Debut Author Spotlight
Hello@karenosman.com
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The Good Mother

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blast From the Past #1

It's November. It's NaNoWriMo. I'm an ML this year. I got revision notes back from my agent last month that I'm still working on. My husband is completely renovating our living room, right before we have a bunch of family in town for Thanksgiving. Something's gotta give, and this month it's new content for Operation Awesome. So I've picked through some of my old posts and picked out a few to feature this month.

Today, I invite you to read one of my first posts for OA, which was on beta readers.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Notes from NaNo: Week One

Since I post here on Thursdays, I decided to use my November (aka NaNovember) posts to give all you NaNo writers some fun plot points, characters, and other to incorporate into your works-in-progress if you get stuck or fall into a writing slump. For Week One, find the plot idea associated with your horoscope sign* and go to town!


Aries: A tall, dark, and handsome stranger arrives in town. When he removes his hat and coat, your main character realizes he's a [fill in the blank].

Taurus: Your main character cannot live without [fill in the blank]... until they have to.

Gemini: Your main character gets into a friendly, yet competitive, game of [fill in the blank] with your antagonist.

Cancer: No one understands your main character better than [fill in the blank], so when that person goes missing, your main character has to take action.

Leo: A fair/carnival/circus comes to town. Your main character goes, accompanied by [fill in the blank].

Virgo: Your antagonist always wanted to [fill in the blank], but couldn't make it happen. This explains a lot about their motivations.

Libra: Your main character looks up [fill in the blank] in the dictionary, and it guides their actions through the next several scenes.

Scorpio: Your main character finds an abandoned animal at the side of the road. So your main character [fill in the blank].

Sagittarius: One of your characters slips and falls. Your main character reacts by [fill in the blank].

Capricorn: Your antagonist has a soft spot. It's [fill in the blank].

Aquarius: Someone deeply insults your main character, saying [fill in the blank].

Pisces: Your main character falls ill. Their symptoms include [fill in the blank].

*Note: I have no training or expertise with astrology. This is purely for fun!