Monday, February 8, 2010

Short Story Contest Call

Well, girls, LDSP is asking for more entries in the contest! If she doesn't have enough, there will be no book, so if you are rolling around any ideas in those creative minds of your, you have 2 weeks to refine them and submit! For link, see previous post. I know you can do it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LDSP Contest

I thought you might be interested in this YA book of Mormon short story contest. I keep thinking about it and have an idea, but I am procrastinating. Today I will work on a short outline, then begin. There, now I've written it down and you two get after me about it when we meet tomorrow in the gassy library (ha).
Here is the link:

Friday, December 11, 2009

1. What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

On November 30th of this year, I finished National Novel Writing Month with a 50,000 word plus, literary novel, called "nice". It's got lots of potential, but will probably stay on my shelf for months before I can face it again. I dug deep for much of it, which was good for me.

I wrote poetry in HS, but the first thing I wrote (and still have) was a novel called "Runaway". Much of that novel has shown up in other books, including a version of the main characters who star in "A Little Bit of Spirit".

2. Write poetry?
Not since high school. My stuff was always discussed in creative writing class because it was more upbeat than most and rarely mentioned death and bleakness.

3. Angsty poetry?
Not really. One I remember was called "Newborn" which I wrote for my 16 year old best friend, who was pregnant. I read it at YW thing and it made her cry.

4. Favorite genre of writing?
I have to say romance - real love, happy ever after stuff. I also like humor in my stories, so you might consider that romantic comedy. I also love pure regency -the Jane Austen comedy of manners type stuff where respectable people weren't sleazy and sleaze wasn't respected.

5. Most annoying character you've ever created?
Little Tommy Green, just back from his mission in Ireland. He's determined to marry Janne (he's had inspiration for both of them, and if she were living right, she'd get the same whisperings.) He also excels at putting down and being rude to Clint, the non-member man, she actually loves. (From "A Heart's Delivery) I mostly wanted to slap him.

6. Best Plot you've ever created?
No one has really read this, but I really like "Star Quality". It's about best friends falling in love, except he falls much sooner than she does and has to spend a year slaying dragons and remaining loyal until she comes around.

I also liked this one because my goal was to have the reader fall in love with the hero(Luke) and the villain (Michael) as the heroine (Jessica) does. I think it works.

7.For Nanowrimo a couple of years ago, I decided to write a book just for myself, so I put in all the things that I wanted to, didn't worry about plot or conflict, just wrote a fantasy for myself. About halfway through, I realized that the two in my story (she's America's Sweetheart and he's Britain's Mysterious Bad Boy) actually meet as they're cast in a movie being made of a book I'd written the year before. It ended up being called "On the Way to Driving Kate", "Driving Kate" being the earlier manuscript. It was cool.

8. How often do you get writer's block?
I've had a terrible struggle until recently - not really with block, but as completely losing my desire to write. It's back now, though and when I'm writing, I rarely get blocked, just need more time and less distractions so I can get the stories out.

9. Write fan fiction?

10. Do you type or write by hand?
My first novel was typed over and over on an electric typewriter. Computers are much better. Also love my AlphaSmart that I can take anywhere or just lie on the couch with and type away. Then plug in the USB and watch the words "type" into my manuscript. It's kind of therapeutic.

11. Do you save everything you write?
Yes. On computer and hard copy.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?
You never know when something one character said that didn't fit, will be just the thing for another character in another book. So, yes, I go back. What frustrates me though is when I go back and read something, really getting into it and realize a few pages from the end that I never finished it (and usually can't remember how I planned to finish it)

13. What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
I really love the story of "Star Quality", really love the character's I created for Kelli's Promise (because they show up in the rest of the series).

I love when I read something I've written a few days before and think "wow, that's pretty good" but I don't remember writing it. That's when writing is really fun.

14. What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written?
I haven't had anyone read anything for a long time. When I first wrote them, I had a group of young women who loved my Promise Ranch Series, but the stories have changed so much through editing that I don't know.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Romance for sure. I stay away from the teen stuff, but "nice" actually has some remembering by a pre-teen boy sent to a private boarding school by his parents. It's written in a stream-of-consciousness style and explores his feelings of abandonment, bewilderment, and vulnerability.

I didn't enjoy it though and don't plan to write more.

16. What's your favorite setting for your characters?
The Promise Ranch is an artist's retreat/celebrity shopping get away, run by Tio Tanner (one of my favorite characters - and a retired movie star) It is situated on the Montana/Wyoming border - hypothetically in the Red Lodge area, although I don't say that. All of the books in that series take place there or are centered there, except "Hurricane in His Heart" - which surprisingly, happens on the Hurricane Ranch! "Kelli's Promise, A Heart's Delivery, Star Quality, In Service of A Soul, Secret Blizzard, Turnaround, and Angel's Near". Also possibly, "Moosehead Falls"

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Hoping to get Kelli's Promise ready to submit after Christmas, but to give to my two daughters for Christmas.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Only in my dreams.

19. What are your five favorite words?
don't really have any, but like words like fresh, content, unsettled, eternal, devoted, etc. In my writing I also tend to have lots of eyebrows raising and foreheads wrinkling? Also the smell of pine and sage seem to work their way in.

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?
I've thought about this before and I think that there's a little of me in every heroine and a little of my husband in all of my heroes, but I think Kelli from "Kelli's Promise" and Jessica from "Star Quality" are closest.

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?
I usually get an idea for a story and then wonder - who could tell this story best - or whose story is this? Then the character starts coming out.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?
I wish it happened more, but several of my books have started with just a fleeting memory of a dream as I woke up. More often, it is a strong emotion that I wake up with and a bit of a story that I run with.

23. Do you favor happy endings?
I laughed at Krista's answer because I actually tore a book-sale book into pieces and threw it away as I read it because halfway through I knew it could not end happily (but of course I had to stick with it!) HEA is the goal of all of my stories. Just like the fairy tales.

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
No, unless it's really bad. Spelling is pretty easy for me, typing as fast as my brain dictates is not. And I type pretty fast.

25. Does music help you write?
Music tends to get stuck in my head and I can't get it out, so I rarely listen to it. I need absolute quiet, which is why I try to write from 4-7:30 am. Maybe I'm ADD?

26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.

Sorry, it's kind of long, but it shows my style.
In "Star Quality" Actress, Jessica David has just started dating superstar Michael Zane.

"I brought you a present," he handed her his new CD.
"Thanks, Michael," she plopped on the couch and he sank next to her. The picture was different than she'd seen before. He always wore his leather jacket, but in this one he had a black muscle shirt on and his elbow leaned against the tattered knee of his jeans. A tattoo started at his elbow and ended at his shoulder. She moved the case closer to study it, thinking that it was just painted on for the photo.
She looked up to find Michael studying her.
"You haven't seen it, have you?"
She shook her head, realizing that her date did, indeed, have a tattoo. He slipped his jacket off and laid it over the arm of the couch. When he put his elbow on his knee it looked just like the CD cover, except that his jeans weren't torn.
Without thinking, she reached out, the warmth of his skin shocking her fingertips along the embedded ink. A black line started with a curl on his shoulder, straight to a curl at his elbow. Small hearts and vines twisted around the line. An off centered red heart with a scrolled blue outline of another heart was drawn just above the center. A thin halo dotted with stars circled around his upper arm.
"Do you like it?" he asked.
"It's very," she struggled for the word, "symmetrical."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You're It!

I am tagging Norma and Carla! Go to my website, copy the questions, paste them here into a new post box, and answer them! Now! Do it! You know you want to. Ha ha.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We'll Have To Make Do

I came across this place. I thought of us and our Wapiti Room. And how it is not this place. Ah, well. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Just a post to cheer on my favorite Nanowrimo writers!

What do we eat? What do we eat?
Novel meat! Novel Meat!
How do we like it? How do we like it?
Raw Raw Raw!

Two words, Four words, Six words, and counting!
All for Fifty-thousand, Continue Writing!

Go Nano go Nano go Nano go! Go Nano go Nano go Nano GO!
Enter to the left, Tab to the right,
Open up your laptop and Write Write Write!

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies and Cream
What is wrong with the plot and theme?
Nothing, Nothing, Nothing at all...
Just push push push on through that wall!

N-A-N-O-W-R-I, we ain't got no alibi, We're writing, hey-hey, we're writing!
N-A-N-O-W-R-I, lack of grammar makes us cry, We're writing, hey-hey, we're writing!

Woooohooo! Yea! Clap clap!
Okay, that's enough. Just for the record, I was NEVER a cheerleader.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Learning To Treasure The Joy

Frustration is something I experience regularly in my life. Sometimes, specific events or people may add to those feelings, either on purpose or innocently. Over the years, I’ve played the juggler, precariously balancing the duties that have fallen to me and struggling to keep all of the balls in motion. I’ll admit, that many of those balls are of my own making, because of choices I’ve made.
Most frustrating, is the tendency of my duties to come before my passion. The need to write doesn’t complain if it doesn’t have clean socks. The muse never asks “what’s for dinner?” My characters rarely have voices louder than the ringing phone. And yet, that part of my soul demands to be expressed. The result of ignoring my voice manifests itself in depression, headaches, and other health problems.
I must write.
I came across a quote from Ernest Hemingway yesterday that has helped me put my writing life in perspective. Maybe I’m not the first frustrated writer.
“In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it to the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused.” 
So, with that in mind, I plan to welcome things that dull and blunt the instrument I write with. Posted here are the first lines of a novel I’m writing for Nanowrimo 2009. I normally write happy-ever-after books. This isn’t one of those, but I feel compelled to sharpen the rough blade caused by a horrific experience I had last December. I welcome any comments and apologize in advance for putting a damper on your mood.
From nice, by Carla Parsons
The man had been asleep in his chair for a long time. Longer than any other time. Maybe this was it. The day he’d feared.
He was so still, but then a bottle of vodka mixed with cranberry juice can do that. Make a person still, that is.
The boy leaned over him, listening for any slight sound. Air. Food gurgling. He tried to remember if the man had eaten. The plate next to his recliner was food encrusted.
But then he had been still a long time. Too long.

I can only take so much of that whetstone in a day, so I’m off to dull the instrument, and in the process, fill my pitcher. And having known the sorrow, I’m learning to treasure the joy.
Post by Carla P.