Giveaway Winners Re-Draw — June 22, 2012

Giveaway Winners Re-Draw

Okay, since I had only one person acknowledge that they saw they won I’ve re-drawn for three of the four prizes.

2nd prize of a 50 page/5 chapter (whichever comes last) critique goes to: JEM

1st prize of a full manuscript critique and $10 gift card to Amazon, B&N or iTunes goes to: Michelle Davidson Argyle

Grand Prize of a four-book package and a full manuscript critique goes to: Laura Diamond

Okay, ladies. The critiques are good for any time in the year 2012. Just email me your partial or full when you’re ready for me to have a go. My email is novicewriteranonymous (at) gmail (dot) com.

Laura, email me your mailing address for the books. Michelle, I have your email so I’ll send that gift card along today. Thanks for reading my blog!

(Ladies, if you could acknowledge by email or comment to this post that you’ve seen you’re the winners, I’d appreciate it. If I don’t hear within a week I’ll re-draw.)

A Time for Reflection, I Suppose — May 8, 2012

A Time for Reflection, I Suppose

It’s been three years since I started blogging regularly.  Three years since I started really taking writing seriously. Well, it’s not that I didn’t take it seriously. I just decided that it was important enough to make time for it. Prior to that point, I’d written when I felt like it. Granted, I’d been in high school, university, and graduate school to that point in my writing life. But three years ago, I decided to make the time for writing. I wanted to be published, and I wanted to be serious about it.

This blog began in October 2008, the reason escapes me at the moment. It may have been for a class I was taking in graduate school at the time. I posted a couple of times, but I was timidly tapping the water’s surface with my big toe. In June of the following year, I was out of school, out of work, and out of sanity. So I jumped into blogging.

Some of you reading this (imagining hordes of people reading but not commenting) have been around since those early days. Some of you may have only just discovered my blog. I remember that thrill of excitement when I signed on to the computer one morning to discover I had a follower! Someone was reading my blog! Then I had two, and it’s grown quietly from there.

Is blogging on its way out? Maybe. I know that my reading habits have slacked off in that regard. Comments have certainly dropped here on the blog. But that’s okay. I think there’s really an ebb and flow to everything. This blog will stay put, riding those flows and currents. (How many cliches can I pack in to this paragraph, eh?)

With this post, I reach 500 total on the blog. To honor that, and thank all of you who have kept this tiny little blog on your reader, on your radar, I’m having a giveaway. Yep, a giveaway. It’s been a while.

Don’t worry, it’s totally easy to enter. You just have to comment on this post. I’ll draw random winners at the end of May. There are four prizes.

Grand Prize (1 Winner):

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
A full manuscript beta read

First Prize (2 Winners):

A full manuscript beta read
A $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (or iTunes, if you want to use the card for ebooks)

Third Prize (1 Winner):
A partial manuscript read (50 pages or 5 chapters, whichever is longer. Also, round up if 50 is mid-chapter)

Thanks for being here, friends.

Contest rules: One entry per person. Leave a comment to enter. Please spread the word about this. If you’re not a writer please don’t hesitate to enter. Just let me know in your comment and I’ll re-award the manuscript critique from your prize package. Contest not necessarily limited to four winners. Manuscripts submitted for critique must not be erotic or overly steamy. Otherwise any genre is allowed.

WiP Wednesday 6/1 — June 1, 2011

WiP Wednesday 6/1

Hello, my lovelies!  This has been a very interesting week.  Last Friday evening, my muse took a 2×4 on steroids to my head and whacked me so hard with an idea that I haven’t been able to do anything writing-related but work on this idea.

It’s shiny and pretty and new.  And I adore it.  This story might be a challenge to pull off but so far it’s looking less and less so.

Oh, the genre, you ask?  Epic fantasy.  Yes, epic.  Sigh.  What can I say, I’ll always find my way back to my literary roots.

So that’s been the focus of my week.  How are your WiPs going?

And now on to the more important item of the day!  Today marks my unofficial 2-year blog anniversary.  While this blog began in October of 2008, it wasn’t until June of 2009 that I began to blog with seriousness and regularity.  In those first weeks of blogging I spoke only to the internet at large.

Then one day I logged on and discovered I had a follower.  Then more followers came.  And followers became friends while the blog grew and blossomed.

2 years later, here we are.  And now it’s time to announce the contest winners.

*drum roll*

Congratulations to Nisa and Kayeleen!  Go ahead and e-mail that MS whenever you’re ready for that feedback.  This is open-ended so no deadline or anything.  novicewriteranonymous(at)gmail(dot)com

Nisa’s mashup was “Lord of the Terrier” and Kayeleen’s qualifying entry (though she sent in several mashups after) was “A Tree Grows Across the Universe.”

Congratulations again ladies!

"Sacred Places" by Angie Lofthouse: Blog Contest Tour Stop — May 20, 2011

"Sacred Places" by Angie Lofthouse: Blog Contest Tour Stop

It’s my pleasure today to host my friend, Angie’s, Out of This World Blog Tour and Contest.  Angie has been around my blog almost since its beginnings.  We’ve met in person and I can honestly say she’s among the sweetest and kindest people you’ll ever meet.  She’s a prolific writer and an editor to boot.  (And be sure to check out her book Defenders of the Covenant from Walnut Springs Press, due later this year.)

Sacred Places” first appeared in Irreantum Magazine’s Winter 2003/Spring 2004 issue, after receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2003 Irreantum Fiction Contest.

Life on a distant planet with her archeologist husband is not all that Rachael Murray had hoped it would be. With two small children, a busy husband, and neighbors she’s not sure she wants to meet, Rachael feels homesick and neglected. But if she opens herself up to the possibilities, she may find more to love in her new home that she ever imagined.
To enter The Out of This World Adventure giveaway, click on the story title to read the story, then come back here and answer the following question in the comments:
Have you ever learned to get along with someone you didn’t think you’d get along with?
Your comment will give you one entry in the grand prize drawing (includes an Amazon gift card, free book and other fun stuff!), plus one commenter on this post will win a Milky War bar. Mmmm. Include your email address, if it isn’t on your profile, so we can contact the winners.
Be sure to visit the other stops on the Adventure and good luck!
Follower Giveaway Winners! — March 8, 2010

Follower Giveaway Winners!

Thanks, everyone, for being here.  If I had more funds I’d give more prizes.  I hope to keep entertaining you for a long time to come, but if I ever lose your interest I wish you all the best.

And on to the winners.  I used a random number generator to do the selection so there was no favoritism.

Drumroll please!

Congratulations to Susan Mills and Embee!  Send me an e-mail to novicewriteranonymous@gmail.com and I’ll get you your gift certificates.

Have a great day everyone!

WiP Wednesday and a Giveaway! — March 3, 2010

WiP Wednesday and a Giveaway!

OK, so first the update.

I was sick.  (In case you didn’t know.)  I didn’t get much done by way of revising.

On to the giveaway!

I’ve reached 100 followers (hi Danyelle!) and 200 blog posts.

All on the same day.

In honor of that, I will be giving away two $10 Barnes & Noble gift certificates.

The rules: You must be a follower by midnight Saturday, March 6.  (New followers count, too.)

I’ll be using random.org to do this.  Each follower gets an entry.

You can gain extra entries via the following:

1- Tweet or Facebook (1 entry each)
2- Blog about the contest (leave a link in the comments)
3- Friend me on Facebook (search Stephanie L. McGee and I’ll come up)
4- Follow me on Twitter (I’m @StephanieLMcGee)
5- Old followers get +1
6- New followers get +2

Let me know in the comments what your tally is.  I’ll do the drawing over the weekend and announce the winners on Monday.

Grand Prize Drawing Winners! — December 11, 2009

Grand Prize Drawing Winners!

It is time now for the grand prize drawing.


Congratulations to Stephanie Thornton and Windy A!


Here’s a rundown of what you’ve won, just as a reminder.  E-mail me an e-mail addy where I can send your prizes.  Also be sure to let me know the topic you want me to write about for the poem and which WiP you would like a peek at.


Thank you everyone for participating this week!


Grand prize: (2 awarded)
A $15 gift certificate to Amazon
A poem of their choosing
A peek at any one of my projects listed below

WiPs:

Oracles Promise (YA fantasy)- in progress
Lodestar (Paranormal)- in progress
A Rose by Any Other Name (romance)- First draft done
Jack and Caitlin (short story)- in progress
…Futile (poetry)- in progress
Musings (poetry)- in progress
Migrations (poetry)- in progress
Milestone (poetry)- in progress
Painted Silence (poetry)- in progress

Footloose and Fancy-free Friday 12/11 —

Footloose and Fancy-free Friday 12/11

First order of business?  Tamika is the winner of Thursday’s prize!  Wahoo!  Let me know what sort of image you’re looking for in the banner image and I’ll start working on it.  (I make no guarantees of speed on delivery, however, as I’m still getting accustomed to my Mac.)

Our grand prize drawing will be at 4 p.m. MST today.  That should allow people to get some last comments in so they can up their chances of winning.  I want to be fair.  I’ll be pulling names from a hat.  (And you might even get video of it!)
On to other news.  How many of you dream of reading this sort of biography about yourself?  “Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Circle Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor, and has received over 40 honorary degrees?  Respected [insert whatever here], loved by millions, spent five weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list, etc.”
Yeah, got me a little emotional last night.  A biography along this line was given for David McCullough last night at a concert I attended.  He was one of two guests appearing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their annual Christmas concert.  (Natalie Cole was the other.)  Totally got emotional.
And, yes, I’m LDS.  Deal with it.
But, I must admit, the thought crossed my mind a time or two, “That could be me someday.  I could be the guest narrator with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I just have to write a killer book or ten and then I can do it.”
Yeah, I can dream, right?
December is rapidly passing me by.  Fortunately I’ve most of my Christmas shopping done.  I don’t know if I’ll finish draft 1 before my birthday.  (Which is a week from tomorrow.)  Sigh.  I feel so old sometimes.
Oh well.  If I don’t hit my birthday goal, it’s going to be bumped to Christmas.  That’d give me 6 extra days and I could still make the draft be my gift to myself.
Fingers crossed.
Until 4 p.m. my friends.

Creating satisfying endings — December 8, 2009

Creating satisfying endings

So, we all know that the beginnings to our books have to be stellar.  They have to grab the reader and throw them into the car for the ride.  But how much do you think about your ending?  There are so many ways to fail an ending.

I took a creative writing class in high school.  It was my junior year and the year was full of drama that I won’t go into.  But, of all the instructions we ever had on requirements for our projects in creative writing, there were only 2 “hard and fast” rules.  1- Don’t kill your hero.  2- Don’t make it all a dream.

Now, I am a firm believer in rules in certain areas of life.  But writing?  I just want to throw “rules” out the window.

Let’s take an example.  Newhart and The Bob Newhart Show.  I’m far too young to have watched these in their original runs.  (Thank you Nick at Nite.)  I’ve never watched much of the former, but I remember watching the latter in its reruns.

The latter ended by making the entire show into a dream on the former.  Why did this work when the “rule” is not to make things a dream?  It worked because it brought together loved characters, and it gave a satisfying end to two different shows.  Viewers loved the twist, they loved seeing the old set an the old characters.  But they’d also gotten this wonderful ride with very different, yet equally real, characters.

As for the killing of your hero, well, my mom and I both thought that would happen with the Monk finale.  It was a two-part finale and a very satisfying end to the show.

I don’t want to give away anything, but let’s just say that the overriding plot of the entire 8 seasons was wrapped up and a certain amount of normalcy returned to everyone’s lives.  Each character that we’ve come to know and love over the years got their own HEA ending.  How did they do it?  Monk solved his wife’s murder, other characters got their own normal relationships, the monkey on the back was taken away, and all characters have now lived happily ever after.

So, how to make a satisfying ending?  Make it make sense with everything you’ve written.  Monk wouldn’t have been a satisfying ending if he hadn’t solved his wife’s murder.  That had been hanging over him for the entire 8 seasons of the show.  Now it’s done.  He can move on with his life.

Whatever your ending, it has to make sense with how things go.  I’ve found myself in a J.K. Rowling scenario as I plan out all three books of the Sunstone trilogy.  And it’s hard, but for the immediate now I can’t foresee a way of making it turn out any differently.  I’ve gone through many different possible endings to the trilogy in my head, but they just don’t gel with how I’ve got things planned.  Characters don’t feel right in the scenarios I’ve imagined and I have to be true to that.

In the end, if you remain true to the characters you’ve created the ending will be satisfying, regardless of how happy or tragic it may be.

Now, on to other news.  This week I am celebrating (belatedly) the one-year anniversary of my blog.  Yesterday we had a really great contest.  There were quite a few entries.  The winner was incredibly hard to select.  I can’t ever do a merit-based one again!  Seriously you guys are amazing!

Without further ado, the winner is….

Embee with her sonnet to golly gee dingoes!  (Hope you don’t mind me posting it here!)  Of all the entries, hers made me laugh the absolute most.  To the point where I might have gotten my keyboard wet.  All the entries were fabulous.  Please don’t be discouraged if you didn’t win in this one.  There are four (five) other chances to win this week!

Here is Embee’s sonnet.

Golly Gee Dingoes

Golly gee, dingoes, you’re yellow brown dogs.

Your cousins are foxes, wolves, and jackals.

You’re roughly a household pooch analog,

And yet you’re nothing but wild animals.

Your home is down under, outback of course.

Being good carnivores you like to eat meat,

And you’re rarely picky about its source.

Even livestock, pets, small people you’d eat.

Those Aussies they find you an awful pest,

But truly I think you’re just misunderstood.

As wild pests go, you must be the best,

After all you eat other pests, isn’t that good?

So golly gee dingoes, you got a bad rap,

Perhaps they would like you elsewhere on the map.

Today’s prize is a collection of up to three poems on topics of your choosing.  I promise to get these written as soon as possible, but I will take the time necessary to make sure they’re quality and something I can be proud of.  To win today, all you have to do is comment with your most groan-inducing pirate joke.  Then I’ll put all the jokes into random.org and pick a winner that way.

Embee, e-mail me an address I can send those to and I’ll get them off post-haste.

Enjoy!

It’s time to party! — December 7, 2009

It’s time to party!

Woohoo!  Party time!

So, it’s weird to think that this blog’s been around for a whole year.  I really only started blogging regularly once I was out of school and basically had nothing else to do all day.  But, the official start date of this blog is October 30, 2009.

Check out the very first Chronicles post.

Or don’t.  It’s not very pretty.  Kind of makes me cringe.  I was still trying to find a direction for this blog at that point.  And no one even knew it existed back then.  *wipes tear*

OK, moving on.  Time to celebrate!  (Conga line starts in the corner.  But look out for the macarena dancers.)

Which brings us to our first contest!  Remember, today’s prize is a set of pristine-condition Alexandre Dumas books.  (Check out all the prizes here.)  You’ll get a copy of The Man in the Iron Mask and an unabridged copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Here’s what you have to do.

Write me the best thing you can around the phrase “Golly gee dingoes.”

Got that?  Done laughing?  Keyboard dry?

Winner earns it on merit.  What are my criteria?

The winner will be the one I deem most worthy of the warning, “Swallow all liquids.”  In other words, whichever one makes me laugh so hard I’d spew whatever I was drinking if I didn’t swallow first.

Yeah, great image.  Now you’re all fleeing for cover.

Anyways.  I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow morning’s post.  And a reminder that all comments this week garner an entry in our random drawing for the two grand prizes on Friday.

*Update: Max 1-2K words on today’s entry.  You can post it here in the comments or e-mail it to me.  novicewriteranonymous@gmail.com