New e-book on Highly Effective Scrapbooking

I’m so excited to share my latest project! It’s an e-book called “Eight Habits for Highly Effective Scrapbooking.” I posted a detailed description page on my scrapbooking blog Eight Habits is currently available on (more sites will come later).

In this ebook, you will learn how to:

* manage your scrapbooking time
* integrate your busy life and relationships with your hobby
* nurture your personal scrapbooking style
* set (and meet!) scrapbooking goals
* sustain creativity
* and more!

Check it out, and don’t forget to let me know what you think!

post Question of the Month

Hyperink’s question of the month, “What makes a compelling character in a book or movie?” ties in nicely with my current focus on improving my fiction writing.

Here is my answer to that question:

A compelling character is someone who comes alive on the page through believable personality traits, motivation, reactions and growth. He must have both strengths and weaknesses, including at least one major flaw that hinders him from initially reaching his goals in the story.

His strengths make him worthy of the reader/moviegoer’s cheerleading. We might want to root for the underdog, but that underdog must have something going for him too. On the other hand, the character has to have a flaw that allows us to identify with and feel sympathy for him as he goes through challenges.

This major flaw is also instrumental in the most important aspect of a compelling character: emotional growth, commonly known as the character arc. The character must change as a result of what happens to him in the story. In fiction, we are drawn to an imperfect hero who, by overcoming his flaw, learns something about himself or the world around him.


It’s NaNoWriMo Time!


It’s that time again! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is only two days away. And I’m jumping in!

I attempted NaNo a few years ago, when it wasn’t the behemoth it is now. I don’t even remember when it was, but I know I gave up less than halfway through the month. Since then, I’ve blogged thousands of words, finished and revised one novel, and plotted a second one.

I think I’m ready to attempt a NaNo novel again. The timing couldn’t be better. A few weeks ago, I set a goal of drafting my second novel by the end of the year. If I win NaNo, 50K words will get me a long way toward my goal. I even have a carrot at the end of the month. The developers of Scrivener are offering a 50% off coupon for NaNo Winners. :)

Are you a NaNo participant? Good luck, and may the words flow for all of us!


Bad, Bad Writing

So, I’ve been called out of my hiding (hello, Christine! LOL). I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging, to my family’s general benefit. We now live in a cleaner and more organized home, I think. Well, it hasn’t been all cleaning and cooking and laundry that have taken up my time.

I’ve been neck-deep in revisions. See, I finished my first novel back in January. Now I’m revising heavily. I’ve rewritten whole chunks and chapters of it. I now realize how true it is that first drafts are always sucky. Here’s an example of something in my first draft, that happily has now been hacked out of my manuscript:

She crouched down and, with her hands, felt the object she had stumbled into.

“With her hands”!?!?! Oh, because she’s also been known to use her nose and her big toe to feel things. NOT!

And also, “her eyes followed…” LOL. So now I have an image of a pair of eyeballs rolling and jumping after somebody. Permission to chop away, granted.

Yeah, my first draft was bad that way.

And that is why I need to do revisions and blogging had to take a back seat. Don’t worry, I’m still around. ;)


My Project 52

MrsG, my friend from the lovely land of New Zealand, initiated Project 365 Days of 2010, where participants will capture “daily snippets of our lives in 2010 through the use of words and/or photos.”

A bunch of our friends are joining in, and I cheer them on! As I already told some of them in our email group, there’s no way I’ll be able to keep up a post/photo a day for 365 days. I know I’ll skip one, or two, or seven days and end up just throwing in the towel altogether. So, I’m not even starting.

But one of my plans for 2010 is to blog more for myself, here in my own little blog. So, I will shoot not for 365 posts, but for the more doable (for me, at least) 52. One for each week. That’s the goal – to have a post per week in this blog. If I happen to do more, then great. If not, it’s OK too. For now, I’m right on schedule, since my last post was last week! :)

Project 52 coincides with my scrapbooking goals this year. And that is to spend at least 30 minutes every week, preferably on Saturday night, to scrapbook. It’s a Saturday, so I’m off to play with some paper and glue, right about now.