Super Chuffed! Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nominee.

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inspiring image 2First up – to all American’s blogging around the world – Happy 4th of July!
Creator, curator, writer, and blogging superstar Vikki from The View Outside has nominated my blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
Please pop-on-over and visit The View Outside – Vikki Thompson’s Tales of a Writer are always packed full of delicious writing gems.
The last time I received an award was…nope can’t remember!
In appreciation I think I should write something inspiring. Ok here goes…Thank you Vikki! I’m chuffed. Scratch that…I’m super-chuffed.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules
1. Display the logo on your blog – ♥
2. Link back to the person who nominated you – ♥
3. State 7 things about yourself
♥ I’m a cat lady in training
♥ Running helps keep me sane
♥ Nothing beats a good glass of red wine
♥ I don’t like Brussel Sprouts. At all.
♥ Writing is my happy place
♥ Pessimism annoys me
♥ Where there’s a will. There is definitely a way.
♥ BONUS! Sometimes I think I’m funny ha ha.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award (15? Really? Wow!)
5. Notify your nominees

Here’s my top15 nominees for the Very Inspiring Bloggers Award:
Celebrating Authors 
The Intrinsic Writer
Texas, A Cat in New York
Creative Inside Out
Planting Happiness
Nhan Fiction
Runner Sami
Joanna Penn
Richard Stephenson
Amelia Curzon
Smart Blog on Social Media
The Jenny Mac Book Blog
Make a Living Writing
Dogdaz
Brad Stanton

New Editor Needed. Stat. Recommendations Welcome.

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To Rewrite or Not? That is the Question.

dog and laptop textTo rewrite Love in the Vines, or not? That is the question. I’m fishing for your opinion.
Last year I wrote and self published my first e-book Love in the Vines.
Set in the intoxicating world of wine and food, Love in the Vines is pure contemporary romance escapism. A smorgasbord of food, wine, love and betrayal.
“Like wine, love begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.”
Not blessed with the patience gene, I feigned nonchalance while anxiously waiting for the book reviews to coming rolling in (…oh the naivety!).
Reviews can be as rare as hen’s teeth and it wasn’t until a month or so after I had published that one landed. Thankfully, it was a good one.
A few months later I had garnered more than a handful.
A couple of the reviewers delved deeper to expose technical flaws that had distracted them from enjoying the story. The two frustrating, and sometimes confusing issues they shared was; the inconsistency of writing from the first person point of view. The shallow development of one of my main characters didn’t help my cause.
When a trusted friend who had also read my book shared the same feedback I knew something was off kilter…
Being slightly obsessive, and not happy to leave anything that needs fixing broken, I don’t want to sit back and listen, and learn “for next time.”
As hard as some of it is to swallow – there’s no denying feedback is worth its weight in gold, and I want to do something positive with it.
I’d drive myself around the bend if I thought I had to do this every time someone wrote a negative review. But, in this instance there is a trend…the story is great, but technically it needs a little work.
This gave me the idea to take my book off sale, iron out the technical kinks, and make some necessary changes. To me, doing this is a no brainer.
I’m sure if I’m honest, and explain what I’m doing I won’t annoy anyone who has already read Love in the Vines. After all, I’m not reinventing the words or changing the plot, but just giving my book some editing TLC.
By the time the revised version of Love in the Vines is back on sale, I hope the nagging voice inside my head of “come on, you’ve got to do something” will be silenced.
Have you, or do you know a writer who has published a book, only to take it off sale to make editing changes before putting it back on sale? Is this common, or a total no-no?
I look forward to hearing from you.

First Draft Edit. Five Things to Ponder.

A worn down building in Mexico sporting a "For Rent" notice in spanish.Oh, the joys of reading through the first draft of your next book.
It’s a little like looking through a dilapidated old fixer upper of a house, then laying out your hard-earned dosh (that’s kiwi speak for dollars) to buy it, before kissing goodbye the next chunk of your life to the mistress of renovations.
Despite some seriously cringe-worthy moments of “did I really write that” – the first draft of my NaNoWriMo inspired “Love Entwined” is not what I would call truly awful. But, there is no denying, it is definitely in need of a truck load of love and attention.
That’s my way of saying it needs work. And lots of it.
Turning the pages, I find myself thinking…“well, the bones of the story is there – yep at least it’s got good bones.”
How many times have you heard a designer, architect or a “move that bus” TV guy talk about the good bones theory? For some reason, if a house, castle, shed, or whatever else is left standing, isn’t derelict and destined for doomsville, it’s all down to its “good bones.”
With that theory in mind, there is hope for my first draft.
It doesn’t need to be knocked down, totally demolished, and rebuilt into a fantastically spectacular book. Rather, it’s crying out for a good old-fashioned dose of lots of hard out editing work.
With careful and constructive renovations, along with what I hope could only be termed creative flair, the good bones will get meat on them while morphing into a story worth telling. And worthy of my reader’s valuable outlay and time.
Along with the never ending search for spelling mistakes, here’s a list of the top five things I’m paying particular attention to while reading/editing my way through the first draft of Love Entwined.

  1. The Characters. Their development, and the cultivation of their personalities and roles, along with their introduction into the story.
  2. Two timing adjectives. To quote The View Outside blog “they don’t need to travel around in pairs.”
  3. Stripping and peeling back the scenes and dialogue to get to the heart of the matter. That’s a nice way of saying “less is more.” Cut, slash, and toss out what’s not needed.
  4. Emotional connection. Does the emotion and tension resonate and strike a chord without going overboard and sounding too cheesy?
  5. Pace. Is the story crawling along at a snail’s pace, or is it sprinting faster than Usain Bolt blitz’s the 100m?

Magdalena’s e-book Love in the Vines is now available on Amazon Kindle. Love Entwined is the sequel, and is due out early-mid 2013.
Love in the Vines
is a contemporary romance novel set in the intoxicating world of wine and food. Food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, love begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.

 

Words. Words. More Words.


Sorry for my blogging absence.
I’ve been glued to my screen and chair while doing the final edit of my second e-book, Love in the Vines.
Now well and truly down the road of my 5th edit, I can happily say, it’s shaping up to be a great read.
As a reader I know how irritating editing gaffes can be, so I figure it pays to spend a lot of time poring over every word.
I’m on a tight, correct that, very tight budget. My mother and sister (the wonderful Coby) are proving to be worth their weight in editing gold. Their combined editing skills shine.
The other week I emailed the rough draft to a couple of friends to read. And, without giving them any leading questions or pointers, all my message said was – “If you have time, please read and let me know what you think. The kicker is, I’d love to have your feedback in three days time. So that leaves you the weekend, plus one day.”
Well to my surprise they read it and shared incredible feedback, sending me back to re-work, edit, and make the changes suggested.
Tomorrow is my final word for word read through…..hopefully by the weekend or early next week, Love in the Vines will be in the safe hands of Amazon Kindle.
That is, if I can master and survive the Kindle file conversion and upload.

PS. The cover design is still in progress. It looks like the words Food | Wine | Love | Betrayal outside of the heart won the most Facebook and Blog votes.