Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Seventh Inning Stretch

The "Pitch it to us" has closed. As of five hours ago really. So we will now deliberate and pronounce the winner on Monday!! Good luck to all those who entered. You are brave and wise. To have a professional editor look over and coach you on pitching is not something you get everyday and you have seen the value in sharing your work. Kudos to you!! The pitches are great and we are going to have a tough time picking a favorite, but we will find a way. If Steven Tyler and J-Lo can pick winners then we can too!

Stay tuned and enjoy the weekend posts while we deliberate.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It is My daY to pOst Again

Holy Moley.  I can't believe another week has flown by and I still don't have much to say.  Last Wednesday (if you were keeping track) I said I might come back for words later, and I never did.  And here we are, a week later, and all I am babbling about is a whole lot of nothing.

However, I will say this:

My daughter's 6th grade class is doing Taming of the Shrew.  I've been helping and its very fun. (As I type I can hear her practicing her lines in the background.)  It is funny to watch 6th graders try to create romantic feelings.  When Petrucio, who in real life can hardly stand girls, says repeatedly, "Kiss me, Kate" its pretty funny.  He can't hardly look at her.  After each time he practices a scene I ask him where his eyes should be, he tells me and then I ask him where his eyes were.  Not where they should be!!

My sweet Katheryn plays Kate and its funny to watch her be nasty.  She can really do it.  She's never been that nasty with anyone in our house.  She told me she bottles it all up for the play.  WOW!

One of my favorite parts is that each part is double cast.  And each performance will have different actors.  (My Kate is shouting now in her room.)  One Katherine is short (mine) and one is tall.  One Petrucio is short and one is tall.  Its very funny to see the tall Katherine and the short Petrucio paired up.  Especially when Petrucio is pulling Kate around and I have to force the tall Kate to act weak and remember that she should be shorter than the boy.  :)

Oh the fun of young actors.

So, the question of the day is:
A) What hidden personalities do you have bottled up?
B) What mismatched pairs do you see around you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Time to get in the Game

I have a feeling that many of you fabulous friends are in the warm up area perfecting your pitching. Just remember that you have until 5 pm on Thursday to get in the game!

Go HERE to throw us a fast ball, curve ball, or cotton ball. We look forward to them all.
It is so fun to see what everyone is working on. For those who may fear too much exposure for your story, I just want to say, 'fear not' this elevator pitch should be the line you give everyone who asks what you're writing.

Here is a little scenario:
Let's say two fabulous aspiring authors are at a conference. Writer 1 (aka Bard) and Writer 2 (aka Mouse) run smack into a New York editor (aka Thor). Thor benevolently grants them each 20 seconds of his precious time to tell him what they are working on.

Mouse: "Squee! I'm working on a history of spark plugs. (Forgets to mention that in the story the spark plugs have become self actualized and taken over the planet.)
Thor: So it's non-fiction how nice.

Bard: "In my YA urban fantasy, Cassie is kidnapped by demonic zombie nuns and imprisoned in the catacombs of Rome."
Thor: "I've been looking for a good zombie nun story. Go ahead and send it over and put the conference in the subject line."

Practice makes perfect. Go ahead and Pitch it to us!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sad Headline

I saw this article yesterday and it made me very sad. I understand why they're asking the question, but it still made me sad.

It also made me think of Mildred Montag in Farenheit 451. Maybe I'm just feeling dramatic today, but I hope we're not headed in that direction.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Contest: Pitch it to us!

We are all gearing up for our pitch sessions at LDS Storymakers and wanted to share the fun with our writer friends. So we here at INKING CAP are holding our 1st ever contest!!

Step up to the Pitching mound and throw us a fast ball. The Inkers want to hear your best elevator pitch. The more the merrier so don't be shy, send this contest to all of your friends. It's a great way to prepare for a meeting with an agent or editor or future queries.

The contest goes something like this:
Step 1: Become a follower.
Step 2: In the comments leave your elevator pitch (30 seconds or less to read out loud. For tips on writing a good pitch check out Kristen Nelson's workshop.)
Step 3: The Inkers will review all of the pitches and pick our favorite 3.

1st Place
An exclusive, highly coveted invitation to attend our April writer's group meeting (tentatively planned for April 26th. Lots of treats involved). You will get to practice your full pitch with all of us, including Sir-Kirk-a-lot!(He's a Senior Editor in case you didn't know. We have 3 professionals in the fields of publishing, PR, and writing and 3 genius critiquers in our group, for those who don't know us personally.) If you live out of state or too far away to join us, we will work out a conference call or google video feed. Ask Inker Arlene from Reno how well that works out. (She's still with us after 2 1/2 years.)
Also if you choose, we will review your first 10 pages. (Not all Inkers may be available for critiquing and feedback depending on scheduling, but we will give you at least 3 reviews.)

2nd Place
You win a review of your first 5 pages. (If we pick your pitch, then it must be a story we want to know more about so we'll critique it and give you our best feedback.)

3rd Place
Wins a first page review and critique.

It's all for fun. You have until 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 31,2011 (MST)to submit your pitch and get in the running.

Winners will be announced on Monday, April 4th!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Just realized that today is my day to post.  I'll come back and give a real post later tonight.

In the meantime, just know that Writers' Group last night rocked.  We all shared and it was great.

More later . . . maybe.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Remake Me OVer

Recently my husband and I watched the cult phenomenon Twin Peaks. I enjoyed it, thought it lost a little steam toward the end, but liked the main character so much that it was definitely worth watching.

So, why am I talking about a twenty-year-old television show?

Because I saw a preview for a new show coming to AMC called The Killing. I'm always interested in a good show, and this one looks like it could be interesting. The thing that caught my eye, however, is that it looks a lot like Twin Peaks. Go read about it here and see for yourself.

While this isn't claiming to be a remake of Twin Peaks, there are some definite similarities. I think we find that to be true in writing a lot. Someone (who I am too lazy to go through my notes and find out exactly who, but I have a sneaking suspicion it might be Brandon Sanderson) once said at a writers conference that there are no new ideas. It's how we tell a story that defines us as a writer.

There's a lot to talk about here. First of all, did you watch Twin Peaks? What did you think of it? Can you help me attribute the quote about no new ideas? What is your favorite remake? Will you be watching The Killing? How do you take an old idea and make it fresh and new?

As an interesting side note, one of the stars of The Killing is LDS. Here is Mireille Enos' biography on IMDB.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Gaga Challenge

Hubby and I are headed downtown today (SLC that is) for dinner, the Lady Gaga concert, and - wait for overnight stay at a hotel that is neither a Best Western nor Holiday Inn. It's the first time in six years we have been away sans enfants, and I am beyond excited.

Although I will be out of work mode, I always try to be in writer mode when it comes to observing the folks around me, and I would wager there will be some very interesting people at the Gaga concert. I'm hoping it will inspire a scene in my current WIP or maybe even a premise for a new story.

So, I'd like to put out a challenge to everyone to make a point to closely observe those around you this week and put in the comments here a brief description of someone you encounter.

I will add mine after I return from my weekend escape.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Fear Factor of St. Patrick's Day!!

I love St. Patrick's Day. My Irish Grandma taught me well to wear my green proudly. However, this morning getting my children dressed was less about getting into the spirit of the day and more about avoiding pain. It went something like this!
Me (wet hair and running late): "Everyone put on something green or the kids at school will pinch you."
Two elementary ages kids rush to find green shirts and change. My littlest sat adamantly refusing to change his brown shirt. Then it became a family effort to find green things we could tie, stick or pin to him to keep him from suffering.
He went to preschool with a brown shirt and I'm pretty sure he will be learning his lesson today.
I learned a new rule from elementary school today. Apparently if you pinch someone by mistake (because they are hiding their green etc) then you get pinched 10 times. Ouch!
I decided to do my part in warning others about this painful tradition by telling my babysitter she better put on something green or she'll get pinched and she said, "That's okay I could use a little excitement."

So please be careful out there today and enjoy St. Patrick's Day. Tell us what is the best St. Patrick's Day Green tradition you know?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Missing In Action

I know you all are wondering where your fabulous Inkers have disappeared.  Its been several days with no new post.  So, I will take it upon myself to fill you in.

Debbie just finished her WIP and is onto the editing stage.

{Can I just get a shout out to Deb, she did it!  WooHoo!!}

Arlene is trying to excavate a mountain of boxes while still maintaining the family routine.  I don't envy her, but can't wait to visit her new digs.

Sir Kirk-A-Lot is buried between a Hungarian tome, his story (which he is ON FIRE with), and a new video game.

Donna is plugging away and making good progress on her WIP and juggling the spring season at her job.

Linda is mysterious as always, but she never misses a post.  How close are you to being done, Linda?

As for me, I'm trying to decide if I have a stomach ache or if I did too many crunches.  If it goes away with the Motrin, then its the workout.  (And I'm trying to figure out how a cactus pod can have an adventure.)

We are all trying to write at least 200 words a day until our next writers' group (Tuesday).  Although, I think Debbie may be exempt from that--she just needs to keep editing.

So, dear reader, where have you been?

Saturday, March 12, 2011


We have a leaky refrigerator at my house. Since we don't want to put out the money to fix it or buy a new one at the moment, we catch the leaks in small plastic containers that eventually freeze up into blocks of ice. The other day I was dumping the ice blocks into the sink and realized I couldn't walk away until I had turned on the hot water and completely melted the ice down the drain, something I do every time I dump out the ice.

My husband cannot stand to hear anything rattling in the car when he's driving. If something fits too loosely in the cup holder or the stroller is not firmly tucked into the back storage compartment, he stops to fix it as soon as possible before driving further.

These are just a couple of examples of what makes hubby and I distinctly who we are.

Some of you may be saying, "Wow, those two need to get on some OCD medication right away." However, I would assert that we all have our quirks. I've been thinking about how quirks make characters feel more real and easier to relate to, whether its Indiana Jones's fear of snakes, Bridget Jones routinely eating an entire box of chocolates in one sitting, or "Boo" Radley's reclusive nature.

I found a website that lists 1001 character quirks, which I thought you might get a kick out of.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My version of March Madness

Every year around this time I begin to dream of getting away, taking a break, and regrouping. What does your March Madness look like? This is what mine looks like.

The Dream:

The Reality:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some advice and some mention of the Mafia

Last night at writers' group I looked up Shannon Hale's blog to see if there was any mention of "Writing For Charity" for 2011.  I really want to go, since I have/will miss(ed) all the other local and semi local conferences this year.

What I did find was a little piece of advice.  Find it here.  Read down to the advice.  I thought it was interesting.

Her mention of the mafia made me giggle.  Especially removing of the fedora.  I hang out with people who frequently threaten the use of zombies or ninjas to accomplish their needs (for example, any who failed to attend writers' group would have ninjas sicked on them--watch out Linda).  I am not in the regular habit of talking of ninjas or zombies, but I am guilty by association.  However last night as I was described to a guest that I am rainbows and flowers, I was a bit offended.  I'm not that weak.  Come on! 

So, what nefarious deeds have you done in the last time/space continuum?

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Million Dollar Idea

I was reading Nathan Bransford's blog the other day and followed one of his links to this eBay listing. Much hilarity ensued.

To those who don't want to follow the link (or are just too lazy) it's a listing for an idea, "A story to topple Star Wars, Harry Potter." The starting bid for said idea? $3,000,000.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, as proven by the LTUE workshop, "How to get and develop killer story ideas" by John Brown and Larry Correia. In a one hour class period, they took random words and thoughts, combining them into potential stories. Piece. Of. Cake.

The eBay lister says, "If George Lucas offered to sell his idea of Star Wars, would you have bought it?"

Would I? Probably not.

Just because two people have the same idea doesn't mean they'll write the same story. For example, if -say- inker DJ were to write Indiana Jones, the good doctor would choose the girl over the treasure. And let's say inker Kirk wrote Star Wars, he would have had more awesome weaponry and a killer weapon transport - game changer. And if I were to write Twilight, Bella would have filed restraining orders against both Jacob and Edward, and moved on to find someone less obsessive.

Different stories in the hands of different people.

Anyone who writes knows that the idea and outlining is only a minuscule part of what needs to get done. The real challenge comes when it's time to sit down and actually work. One of the phrases I quote rather frequently comes from author Aprilynne Pike. She said, "Writing is work, even when it's fun. What separates a writer from an author is the person that keeps writing, even when it stops being fun."


The eBay lister promises, "This story will bring in endless fame and money to anyone who takes it."

So what's your take? Worth the $3,000,000? Or worth a good laugh?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

You Blankety-Blank

I saw a story this week about the film "The King's Speech" being edited in order to have its rating changed from "R" to "PG-13." I loved the movie and, although not a fan of the "F" word, it did not turn me off in the context that it was used in the film. In fact, I think it is kind of silly that changing the number of uses of the word from 15 to, let's say 6 or 7 should make the difference in whether or not it gets an "R" rating.

It brought to mind the old argument for those of us who think cursing should not be part of one's conduct - is it ok to use cursing in your writing if it is necessary for the story? Is it ever really necessary for the story?

I recently finished reading "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner, a dystopian tale of a group of young boys forced to live in a place called The Glade, an enclosed structure with no way out except perhaps through a maze with boundaries that change daily. Mr. Dashner took an interesting approach to the language dilemma by inventing a new slang language for the boys, with some terms very similar to contemporary curse words. This artistic choice still led to some controversy.

When it comes to swearing, one of my favorite characters is one who wouldn't curse, but was even more frightening because of it - Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's "Misery." The words "dirty bird", "Mr. Man," and "cockadoodie" may not seem too bad in isolation, but just wait till you hear them coming at you from a frumpy middle-aged woman who is holding you captive and wielding a sledgehammer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Phineas and Ferb and Writing lessons

My children have discovered Phineas and Ferb, a wacky fun witty cartoon with quirky characters and fine writing. I get glimpses of the show as they are watching on Netflix. So the other day I was reading(I should have been writing), when I caught just part of a scene played out on the show between the bad guy, Dr. Doofenschmirtz,
and his arch nemesis the lovable and capable, Perry the Platypus.

In this scene, Perry is captured on the new hover barge built by Doofenschmirtz (never get tired of that wacky name btw). Perry is captured and in true villain fashion Doofenschmirtz is gloating. Here is how it went:
Doofenschmirtz: "Ah yes my new hover barge has more hidden traps than...(snap fingers)...(Um,snap again)...what has a lot of hidden traps?" Dr. Doofenschmirtz looks off into the sky unable to finish the metaphor. "Wow and I felt so confident when I started that sentence...okay anyway..."

How often have I felt like a total Doofenschmirtz while writing? Thinking I had a great line that either fizzled or in some cases died suddenly and inexplicably mid breath?
About five minutes into the action of getting caught in his own traps the Dr. says, "A golf course has lots of traps. That's what I should have said before."

If I'm lucky the metaphor, or description or perfect witty dialogue will come to me when I least expect it and the pressure is off. Sometimes however I have to just say, 'Okay, anyway' and get on with the evil plot and come back later.

Have you ever felt like Doofenschmirtz?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Some of my fellow Inkers are feeling under the gun the get their WIP's (out of respect for me, we try to use WIP instead of MS, since I have the disease MS) finished in a short amount of time.

So we talked about priorities via email.

Sleep is easy to drop, but chocolate is quintessential to a productive life.

What do you give up to get your Works In Progress checked off your list?  (Whatever your WIP's may be--laundry, lessons, GNO, etc.)