Very Unplugged

I know what you're all thinking:  "Who is this strange 'Karen' girl?  Vague recollections of a girl who used to blog,, it's gone."

That's right.  I've been unplugged.  And I have 30K to show for it, so I can't apologize.  But I do miss all my blog buddies.  I just wanted you to know that.

And scary, scary, scary...I'm headed to Atlanta this weekend (not the scary part), and I'm not even taking my laptop (the scary part).  I'm penning it old school in an adorable journal I found at Barnes & Noble.

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations, Sarahjayne Smythe!

You won my 101 Followers Giveaway! Just e-mail me your address, and you will be my new bracelet buddy (which was a reference from "Friends", by the way, when Joey buys Chandler the ugliest bracelet ever as a token of his friendship.)

What's In a Name?

This morning, for some inexplicable reason, I found myself thinking about my characters' names.  Some are chosen with great care, others with a little cheekiness.  Some characters' names are clues to the story to which I'm paying homage.

So that got me thinking about some of my favorite character names of all time...Severus Snape, Scout Finch, Anastasia Krupnik.

And my all-time favorite character name?  Nurse Ratched.  I mean, how could she not have been evil?  What words pop to mind when you hear the name "Ratched"?  For me, wretched and hatchet.  It's perfect.

How about you?  What are your favorite character names?

Thousand Word Wednesday Winner

Congratulations, Abby Annis!  You won!  Yay for Abby!

Of course, 1,000 words is reward in itself, but hopefully she'll enjoy her little movie night on me.

Thousand Word Wednesday

Yes, it's that time of the week again.  When everyone clambers to squeeze in their 1,000 words by midnight and win a fantabulous prize!  (Okay, it's a DVD rental code, but, hey, free is free.)

It could be you!

Want to win something a little more...ahem...substantive?  Head over to to win a critique from a former Harcourt editor.  

And don't forget to enter my 101 Followers Giveaway!

That Was Unexpected.

I just realized I've written almost 15,000 words this week.  Fifteen.  Thousand.

(FYI, that's a lot for me.)

On a not completely unrelated side note, I think I've developed a wee crush on my MC's love interest. not to tell Hubbykins.  :)

Just Curious....

For you novel writers out there, do you tend to write chapters that are fairly uniform in length or are you all over the place?  In the past, I've been pretty consistent, but with this current WIP, it's a lot more variable.

Just curious.

Thousand Word Winner!

Congrats, Kayeleen Hamblin!  I'll send you your code promptly.  :)

On a complete side note, I had this e-mail conversation with my friend Mandy yesterday, and she gave me the idea to use it as a blog post, so I'm going to just cut and paste our conversation to save time and effort.  I'll color code our parts to make it easier for you.

Karen:  In the last 48 hours, I've written all of a page and a half.  It's just the scene.  When I get her back with [the love interest], there are a few pages at least that will just fly out of me, I know.  (Because I've already written them 3 times in my head.)  But I have to get the MC there. 

Mandy:  I hate the getting to the good stuff parts. That’s when poopy first draft rears its ugly head the most.

Karen:  lol...I was thinking about the slower versus fun parts this morning.  It's like a cupcake.  The good parts (the kisses, the chases, the fights) are the frosting, but you can't just sit down and eat a tub of frosting (okay, I sometimes do, but I shouldn't, and it makes me feel ill.)  You have to have the cake part, too.  I'm wallowing around in batter right now.

Mandy:  That is the best analogy I’ve ever heard. (except for the kisses part, that’s like the burned bottom that gets stuck in the paper thingy) You totally should blog that.

Karen:  Shut up!  I love the kisses.  At least in my head.  

Kristin jumped in at this point:  Yes. Very good analogy.  Makes me hungry.

Karen:  Me, too.  This weather is insanely nice, and I think the Pea just woke up.  I'm going to have to go for a walk and work up my cupcake appetite.  Did you guys hear that there's a gourmet cupcake bakery in Fayetteville?  I hereby put in my vote to meet there (or at least pick up snacks) for an upcoming meeting.

And the conversation spiraled down from there.

FYI, I found this pic on GoogleImages, and I have no idea where it came from.  
My apologies to the creator.  It's adorable, isn't it?

Thousand Word Wednesday

Time for another one, folks.  I've been on a roll on my WIP, then yesterday because of LOST, horrible allergies, and my whiny, whiny nature, I got less than 400 words done.

So I need some motivation.  And if you're anything like me, you need some to.

Up for grabs?  A free DVD rental code to a Red box kiosk.

To win it?  Just write 1,000 words by midnight tonight, Google Standard Time (i.e. Pacific....I just like to put Google Standard time because they're taking over the world one megabyte at a time, and if I lost access to my Google account for more than one day, my head might explode.)  Fill in this form when you're done.  And tell friends!  The more, the merrier.

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

My little sister is currently looking for a job (and if you live in the Tacoma/Seattle area and have any fabulous leads, please let me know...)  Thinking about it this weekend, I realized that those early 20's are the worst possible time to decide on a career path, in my humble opinion.  I, for one, had no idea what I wanted to do.

I distinctly remember one conversation I had with my older sister when I was a sophomore in college, and she, a wise college graduate asked me, "What do you really want to do with your life?"

Blank stare.

"No, I mean, what's your passion?"

And I, in a fit of honesty, admitted, "I'm not that passionate about anything."  I loved being a camp counselor.  I was still kicking around the idea of going pre-med (that's right...a little Karen trivia there).  I ended up in the field of adoption.

I don't regret any of that.

But when she asked me again the other day, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", I answered without a millisecond of hesitation.

"I want to be a writer."

And then, I stopped and corrected myself.  "I am a writer."

But I wouldn't mind being published.

Edited: NOT The Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

[ETA:  Sorry, everyone!  My head isn't screwed on straight today.  This is NOT the last day to enter my Giveaway.  The last day is in two weeks, April 17th.  Mea culpa.]

Okay, who had a blast yesterday reading all the first pages?  Raises hand.
And who has a fire lit under them to finish their WIP?  Raises hand slightly higher. 
Now who hasn't entered my 101 Followers Giveaway yet?  Looks around with narrowed eyes.

Come on, peeps! This is the last day.  Somebody's becoming my bracelet buddy next week soon...very soon.

First Page Blogfest

I am super excited about today's blogfest.  It's hosted by Kelly Lyman over at Kelly's Compositions.  I know you're excited, too.  Admit it!  Admit it!

The following is the first page of my YA romantic sci-fi WIP:
            Hitting the ground was the hardest part.  Nine times out of ten, it was dirt or sand.  But all it took was that one time to be concrete, or worse, asphalt, to send even the most experienced into a panic.
            Bree’s feet slammed into cobblestone.  The crack of muskets reverberated through the alley where she’d landed.  The smell of gunpowder stung her nostrils.
            Are you serious?  1976, I can handle.  1776?  Not so much.
            Dang transporter had missed the target by over two centuries.  This was a new record.  Someone would pay for this when she got back.
            A fresh round of gunfire volleyed down the street.
            If she got back.
            Bree slipped behind an empty barrel and pulled out her com unit.  It flickered to life.  An address popped up.
            “3471 Woodman Way Estates
            Chincoteague Island, Virginia
            Deposit contents of package on Muffy Van Sloot’s grave with following message:  You shall never be forgotten.”
            So help me, if this is for a dead cat, heads will roll. 
            Bree was not taking a musket ball to the head for anyone’s precious purr baby.  At least she knew what state she was probably in.  Unless her transporter had flubbed that up, too.
            Without a sound, she pushed herself up to a crouch, preparing to dash to the entrance of the alley to get a better look at the battle raging around her.  Bree gripped her com and leaned forward, ready to lunge.  A digital beeping stopped her in her tracks.  It wasn’t her com unit.
            She peeked around the corner of the barrel.  Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, had slipped into the alley.  The girl held her cell phone up.
            “It’s mine,” she said to the boy.
            Bree glanced at her com unit as it registered and analyzed the cell phone’s ring tone.  Early twenty-first century.  Okay, so maybe the transporter wasn’t a complete idiot after all.
            So what the blazes was going on?

And don't forget to sign up for my 101 Followers Giveaway.  I'm giving this away: