Mermaid Nails and a Creepy Story

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! There’s no #WriteMotivation this month, so there isn’t a whole lot to update you on. I finished that awesome Erie scene that I talked about last week, and am working on the next Finn chapter, although I can already tell there isn’t enough tension and I’ll need to re-write it. So I took yesterday off from writing to a) paint my nails mermaid color, b) shop for new living-room lamps, and c) read a tension-filled short story called THE DEMON BARKER OF WHEAT STREET, which is in the (now on sale) Anthology CARNIEPUNK. There’s another short story in the book called “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea” which is what I’m reading next, because DUH.

Mermaid's Tale nail polish - I'm obsessed!
Mermaid’s Tale nail polish – I’m obsessed!

I’ve been a little bit obsessed with the new mermaid nail polish this week, and since I’m REALLY bad at painting my nails and not screwing them up I’ve had to redo it a couple times. But it looks so good now. I put Mermaid’s Tale over a shimmery green and now I just want to stare at my nails all day long. Which is funny, because up until two months ago I went out of my way to hide my nails from the world.

So yeah, with all the wet nail polish, lunch-time shopping trips, and good short stories, I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do, but now that the nails are dry, the lamps shining, and the short story that I’ve been dying to read is read, it’s time to start writing again! Especially since my little sister finally caught up with StO and is bugging me to finish :)

Have a good weekend, Aledans, and I’ll see you on Sunday for a glow-in-the-dark custom pony!

The Final July #WriteMotivation Update

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! As you may have seen in my Custom of the Week post, I had food poisoning on Saturday, so I spent the day reading through everything I’ve already written for StO. I found a lot of weak spots, and it helped me figure out what needed to come next, so I was able to start writing again. I’m about to hit a REALLY BIG SCENE in which my mermaid gives my humans a giant middle finger, and then it should all be very fast-paced, downhill writing from there :D

Erie the mermaid practices a naughty gesture Finn taught her.
Erie the mermaid practices a naughty gesture Finn taught her (this is why I don’t draw).

In an effort to make sure these scenes are as accurate as possible I had to contact PETA, which was kind of fun. I emailed them that I was writing a book about [it’s a surprise!] but didn’t mention the mermaids. They wrote back and said they’d need more info in order to help, so then I had to tell them about the mermaids. I’m sure they spent a good several minutes laughing when they received that email, but they wrote back with a very detailed response full of helpful advice! They even listed a couple things I hadn’t thought of, so I’m glad I emailed them even though I sounded like an idiot :)

#WriteMotivation is taking a break next month, but let’s see how I did on the final day of July:

  1. Actually finish the first draft of StO this month. For reals. Yeah, that didn’t happen. BUT, I’m very close! I’m hoping to finish the first draft by WriteOnCon.
  2. Start switching Erie’s POV in the first half of StO. This didn’t happen either. I’ll start once I finish the first draft (and most of the weak spots I noticed on my read-through were Erie parts, so this will help).
  3. Catch up on Science Tuesdays because I still haven’t done that… Hahahahahahahaha >.<
  4. Morning Swims! I’ve actually done really well with this one! I even went to yoga yesterday for the first time in months… which is why I didn’t swim this morning – I can barely move my arms :P
  5. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. How is this seriously the hardest goal?

So not great, but not too terrible either. And honestly, the morning swims/getting healthy thing is probably the most pressing order of business, because it’s still beach season and this tummy needs to take a hike.

I also just realized that tomorrow is August, and I need to get everything ready for PonyFest14! I learned a lot last year, so there’ll be some changes coming to this year’s contest. And, of course, even more prizes! Get ready for the blog-takeover, Aledans :)

A Hectic Month (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been a while since I last updated you on my life, because life went a little nutso for a while. The beginning of the month had a trip to the grandfolks and a staycation, and last week my computer was down all week with the Blue Screen of Death. It was sad. And annoying. Mostly annoying.

I have been writing steadily, but I’ve also read a crap-ton in the past month. Starting with SHATTERED by Kevin Hearne, which I loved! It’s definitely my favorite book of the Iron Druid Chronicles so far. Then OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks, which was ok, but didn’t leave me wanting to read the rest of the series. Then THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA by Zoraida Cordova *finally* released, and I devoured it. Such a good end to a great mermaid series. Then I finished JUST BREATHE by Tamara Mataya, which was interesting because the MC has synthasia (she could feel sounds). I topped it all with TAMING FATE by Amalia Dillin, which was a nice little novella that tied into her FATE OF THE GODS series. I’m now reading THE RED QUEEN by Phillipa Gregory as a beach book, and HALE MAREE by Misty Provencher as my pool book (yes, I have separate beach and pool reads).

All that creativity in such a short time left me dying to stretch my analytical brain muscles, so last week I put out a call on Twitter for new WiPs to CP. I lined up three, and then my computer broke >.< But I did finish the first one and get it back to the author, and I’m waiting on a version of the second that I can open (for some reason my computer didn’t recognize the file as a word doc, so the author is re-sending). I’m still waiting on the third author to send theirs, but I don’t expect to get it until August. All the CPing worked, though – my analytical brain stopped being so pushy and let the creative side back out.


See? I made that with my creative side :) It was a pain in the ass.

This is my first #WriteMotivation update for the month, so let’s see what’s going on:

  1. Actually finish the first draft of StO this month. For reals. With the broken computer this isn’t going to be quite finished by the end of the month, but I’m hoping to have it done by the time WriteOnCon comes around.
  2. Start switching Erie’s POV in the first half of StO. This isn’t going to happen until August.
  3. Catch up on Science Tuesdays because I still haven’t done that… Yep, still haven’t done that…
  4. Morning Swims! I’ve been pretty good with this! Although when I tried to go to the pool this week it rained :( I took the dogs for an extra-long walk that night instead.
  5. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. With a broken computer I haven’t been very good at this, but now that the computer’s back, I’m hopping back on the cheer wagon!

Not too bad, I think, although I was really hoping I’d be further along with StO by now. But hey, life happens. It’s not like I’m under any deadline that isn’t self-imposed.

Have a good weekend, Aledans, and I’ll see you on Sunday for an awesome Custom Pony!

Cover Reveal Take 2: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by @CNHolmberg

Happy Wednesday, Aledan Merfolk! I know I’ve been mysteriously absent so far this month, but that’s because I was taking a staycation and reading, reading, reading! But you’ll hear more about that tomorrow – today I’m here with a Cover Reveal. You might recognize the title, because I did a cover reveal for the same book in May :) But the cover has changed, and I wanted to show you the updated version!


I loved the old cover, but this one is so clean looking that I adore it too! Can’t remember what THE PAPER MAGICIAN is about? Have a blurb:

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the TagisPraff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

You can add THE PAPER MAGICIAN to your Goodreads shelf here. Or learn more about Charlie at her website.

CharliePic1.1Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. The Paper Magician is her debut novel and the first in a whimsical series exploring a world of magicians who animate manmade materials. She currently lives with her family in Utah.

Braindead (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’m still a bit brain-dead from training my ducklings, and not sleeping well last night, so don’t expect much out of me today. This will be my final #WriteMotivation update for the month, but I’ve already signed up for next month, since I failed this month’s goals.

This is totally me today. No wonder Bou is such a momma dog :)
This is totally me today. No wonder Bou is such a momma dog :)

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. I’m almost ¾ finished with StO! I’ve been working steadily on it, just not quickly. I thought I’d have this entire week to work on it, but Hubs’ trip ended up being postponed, so I don’t have all the alone-time I thought I would (trust me: I’m NOT complaining! I’d rather have him home :))

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays. There are so many emails that I’m scared to look at them right now. I’ll try to put up one giant “all of June” post on Tuesday.

3. Morning Swims! Last week I completely bombed on this, but this week I swam a few laps on Sunday, and a decent number the past two mornings. I plan to do it again tomorrow.

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. Bombed this again >.< How can cheering people on be the hardest part?

Next month I should actually finish StO and start working on switching Erie’s POV over to first person in the first half of the book. I’m disappointed, because there’s no way in hell I’ll have it ready for #PitchWars, but ah well, there will be other contests.

If you missed last week’s return of Custom of the Week, you should definitely check out the amazing (posable!) merpony: Mandarin. And check back this Sunday for another stunning custom! Have a good weekend :)

My Little Ducklings (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! This is going to be a short update, because my brain is fried from training two new people at work this week. I feel like a momma duck with her ducklings following in a line behind me, quacking their questions.

It’s a #WriteMotivation month, so let’s get right to it:

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. I’m steadily plodding along on finishing the first draft. I wrote my favorite couple of chapters this week, despite my mushy brain, so things are going well with this goal.

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays.

3. Morning Swims! I did swim once this week, but there’s been a cold going around the lab, and I think I’ve been fighting it off, so I’ve been too exhausted to wake up early and work out the past couple days.

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. I started out strong early this week, but I haven’t had time to do much in the cheering realm the past few days. I’ve barely been able to hop on Twitter, much less read blogs. I should have more time next week.

And that’s it for this week – time for me to get back to my little ducklings. Have a good weekend, Aledans!


Two-thirds Done with StO! (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’m happy to say I reached the 2/3 mark of StO this week, and I’m currently writing my favorite scene. It’s Finn’s happiest-ever moment, followed right away by his worst-ever moment (until the next worst moment, and the next one, and…this book is about to get really dark). The sex scene that I spent three weeks trying to get right is finally finished, and it made my boss blush, so it must be good ;) It also led to some excellent CP comments, my favorite being: “if they’re small & perky, there’s gonna be pinching.”


I think I just realized I’ll never be a YA author.

June is also a #WriteMotivation month for me, so here are my goals:

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. Working on finishing StO before I go back and fix Erie’s POV. I’m still trying to figure her out.

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays. Oh gosh, I haven’t posted these since February. It’s going to be scary.

3. Morning Swims! I did this twice last week, but this week Hubs left for a business trip and took the pool fob with him, so I couldn’t open the gate (it’s a neighborhood pool). He’s back, so I’m going to try to swim tomorrow morning. I DID buy a new bathing suit that fits, so I can swim without flashing the world :P

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. *cheers* I haven’t gone to any blogs yet, but I’m going to work on it next week :)

So far, so good-ish. Now back to destroying Finn and Erie’s lives! (It’s ok, StO isn’t a tragedy)

P.S. if you missed the #MyWritingProcess Blog Tour on Monday, you can find it here.