Jun 28, 2013

Official Giveaway Post

Ok, so I'm tired of directing people to the post about the giveaway with all the clutter in it, so I'm going to make an Official Giveaway Post. Yes, this is two posts in one day. You're welcome.

Here is the original post, for those of you interested.

The reason:

I'll be attending my first ever writer's conference on August 2-3. The keynote speaker will be Jeff Gerke, so I'm giving away a copy of one of his books.

The prize:

Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke

"What's more important to a story: a gripping plot or compelling characters? Literary-minded novelists argue in favor of character-based novels while commercial novelists argue in favor of plot-based stories, but the truth of the matter is this: The best fiction is rich in both.
Enter Plot Versus Character. This hands-on guide to creating a well-rounded novel embraces both of these crucial story components. You'll learn to:
  • Create layered characters by considering personality traits, natural attributes, and backgrounds
  • Develop your character's emotional journey and tie it to your plot's inciting incident
  • Construct a three-act story structure that can complement and sustain your character arc
  • Expose character backstory in a manner that accentuates plot points
  • Seamlessly intertwine plot and character to create a compelling page-turner filled with characters to whom readers can't help but relate
  • And much more
Filled with helpful examples and friendly instruction, Plot Versus Character takes the guesswork out of creating great fiction by giving you the tools you need to inject life into your characters and momentum into your plots." (That's from Amazon, by the way. No need to thank me. ;))

Each participant will also receive an optional critique from me on the entry of their choice.

The rulez:

You may enter up to five stories (fiction, prose), as long as they are inspired by pictures from my Pinterest boards Waiting For My Pen or Souls.
Lower limit is 100 words, upper limit is whatever you like (just so long as it's not a novel. Yipe.)
You can write in any genre or even in no discernible genre at all.
Send your story/ies and attached picture/s to elizabeth liberty (at) hotmail (dot) com by Friday, August 2nd.
Include "Contest Entry" as your subject line.

The winners:
I will choose the three stories I like best (criteria are good writing, good characters, originality, uniqueness, and all that jazz) but I will also randomly pick three stories to go in with them. I will then randomly choose the final winner from that pool. The three best stories will go on the blog.

I got my first two entries today. YES! There are 35 days left, guys - plenty of time to pick out a picture (or two or three or five), write, and polish a little. And if you're tired of hearing about this already, well, too bad. ;)

Setting: Ballroom

Hey there guys! Today I'm going to do something a little different, something I've not done before but have been wanting to do for a while. I'm sure most of you writers have heard of The Bookshelf Muse (and if you haven't go check it out - it's an amazing resource.) Over there, they have a Setting Thesaurus I've been using extensively. (See this post if you're wondering exactly what a Setting Thesaurus is and what it's for.) They have a ton of locations - some of the ones I use most frequently are woods at night, mountains, and medieval marketplace. But soon, those weren't enough for me. I wanted more - especially fantasy-tailored settings, since they have a few but not that many. So I started making my own.

This is a ballroom setting  I thought up last night, with some help from my friend Meaghan over at Within the Writer's Wardrobe.

rich fabric, embroidery, jeweled shoes, ladies laughing, gloves on elegant hands, curls of elaborate hairdos, band or orchestra playing, chandelier, flickering candles around the room, food laid out elegantly on side tables, balcony, bottles of wine, flowers, moonlight through open windows, ornamental knives or swords at men's waists, bead-encrusted dresses, filigree on walls and ceiling, gold-trimmed dishes, whirls of movement, made-up faces, sparkling jewelry, plants real or fake, musicians swaying, rows of tables, elegantly presented food, trickling fountain, stone steps or staircases, couples flirting or kissing in corners, benches in out-of-the-way places to rest

drums, fiddles, violins, singing, people laughing and talking, clapping, feet tapping on the floor, skirts swishing, familiar rhythms of songs, one-two-three beat of a waltz, music thrumming through the walls, murmured words in your ear, pouring wine, trickling water from fountain, tinkling chimes or bells, blowing curtains, chewing, doors opening and closing, welcome speach by host/hostess, tuning instruments, scrape of chairs, clinking of beads, soft breeze through stifling room, nervous tittering laughter, flames guttering, melting wax, clink of wineglasses

sweat, perfume, herbs, food, soup, wine, soap, starchy clean fabric, night air from the windows, warm earthy stone, fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, steam from various dishes, meat, pie, pastries, smoke, water, dust, oiled leather, fur

hors d'ouvres, sweat trickling onto your lips, cool night air, expensive wine, cool water, fruit, punch, flaky pastries, spices

skirts swishing against your legs, swaying to the music, hand of your partner on your waist, bumping shoulders with people, toes stamped on, belly aching from laughter or too much food, wiping lips daintily with napkin, mincing along in expensive clothes, leaning against wall or railing, clothes scratching skin, finger of cool air from windows, dry mouth, nervousness in your stomach, clammy hands, prick of pins in hair, brushing along railing or door handle, being elbowed, colliding with someone in the crowd, serving yourself from dainty dishes, holding a gloved hand to your mouth to cover a laugh or yawn, blinking tired eyes, bracelet/necklace/other jewelry cool against your skin, tired legs, bowing/curtsying, thin stem of a glass in your fingers

So what about you? Have you used any of these setting thesaurus entries, and if so, which is your favorite? Can you think of anything else to add to this list? And what fantasy-themed location should I visit next?

Jun 24, 2013

Music for Monday: Character Theme 2

I had a hard time finding a theme for Aaron, but then I remembered that I had a song for him, 'long many years ago as my mom would say.

Sweet Revenge ~ BarlowGirl

You live on so unaware
While I thought somehow this hate would heal me
But this hate is never ending
And it's only killing me

I probably should have made his ear pointed. Oh well.

This was the struggle that motivated Aaron for so long. He and Iri, his friend since childhood, had a...disagreement. It was a teeny bit more serious than that, since Iri threatened to kill him. Pretty serious, actually.

Iri, driven by bad decisions and emotional insecurity, broke his loyalties to the human army and sided with their worst enemy. Horrified, Aaron threatened to tell his father. That was where the death threat came in.

I find I can't get free
Till I release this vengeance that I seek
Forgive you, the only thing
I want to live...I'm ready to be free
Maybe you've been wounded too
Maybe all this is your self protection
All the hurts you thought were hidden
Are the one now hurting me
So who will make the pattern end?

A few months later, Iri waited in a remote mountain cave where he knew Aaron was going. Before the two parted again, Iri shot and killed Aaron's dragon and life companion, Blazeheart. Aaron was supposed to die with him, but instead he lived. In his grief he retreated behind a shell, letting no one get close to him. Fifteen years later, Wyn begins to break through that shell...

This is most of his character arc. As a matter of fact, is was so intrinsic to his character I wondered whether he would even be interesting when it was resolved (NO SPOILERS.) He was.

Expect one for Iri next Monday. I love his and can't wait to share it with you.

Jun 15, 2013

Two upcoming books in my to-read stack! PLUS giveaway update

Hey guys! Today I'm promoting a couple of upcoming books that are in my to-read list on Goodreads.
(Here's proof! They're down at the bottom. Meaning they're quite recent adds. ;) One by my crazy buddy Mirriam Neal, the other by fellow fantasy-goer Brian McBride.

Incidentally, the public release of Monster is today. Yep! You heard me! She's having a book blitz to boost her ratings, so go over there and buy it. Pronto, because I'm late posting this.

I had the pleasure of reading this book while it was being written, and let me tell ya, it is well worth the $15. It's clean but gripping sci-fi with characters that'll tear your heart out.
The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from a Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own human Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject’s cell wall. "I still have a soul." Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure, and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself.

Link to her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/mirriamelinneal?fref=ts
Link to her book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18076372-monster
Link to her main character's fan page:https://www.facebook.com/subjectmir 

Paradox by Brian McBride is a Christian fantasy novel aimed at the young adult audience (14-18).

Four troubled teens, two worlds, one God, one goal: to defeat the Darkness before it's too late. When David, his twin sister Alicia, and their two best friends, Jake and Hannah, stumble through a portal and into another world, Paragon, they discover that they are not who they thought they were... they are descendants of an ancient race known as Starcrafters, and they've been endowed with God-given abilities - impossible abilities.

They train and learn to harness their abilities. Now, they are ready to take on the Dark Prince.
Their attack on the prince is interrupted, however, when they are taken by a group known as the Renegades who are after universal domination by means of an artifact known as the Paradox Stone.
They must escape the Renegades, retrieve the stone, and defeat the Darkness; all while learning to trust one another and work as a team, and to put their faith in the one true God.

Paradox is soon to be released by Outskirts Press and is the debut novel of seventeen-year-old author Brian McBride.

Link to his Facebook author page - www.facebook.com/authorbrianmcbride
Link to his blog - www.jointhestarcrafters.blogspot.com
Link to his Goodreads - www.goodreads.com/author/show/6917973.Brian_McBride
Link to the book on Goodreads - www.goodreads.com/book/show/17315275-paradox---the-starcrafters-saga-book-one

Now, in case you were wondering what the "giveaway update" was all about, I realized that in my last post where I announced said giveaway, I made a typo. It said you needed to turn in your entries by Tuesday, August 2. I meant Tuesday, July 2, but I had August on the brain. So after some thought, I have extended the deadline another month to Friday, August 2, which is the day I'll be at the conference (YAY). Perhaps I can even get the book signed for you. Perrrrhaps.

Also, if you can't find anything of interest on my Waiting for My Pen board, I may be persuaded to allow a few entries using pictures of people from my Souls board. Best of luck, and I'm still eagerly waiting to see what is sent my way. ;)


Jun 2, 2013


Yes, you heard me. After deliberations and exhortations and affirmations and quite a few confrontations....I am going to the conference.

I never in a million years expected everyone to be so supportive. Nevah-evah. And then things started happening...like my dad never even questioned that I should go, when I expected to have to explain things favorably to him. And it turned out that I wasn't going alone after all. And God kind of intervened.

I debated about posting this here, but I finally decided to. It's an excerpt from a notepad file I spill all my guts into when I feel like I can't hold them in any longer or I'll yell at someone. So I go yell in text. It works.

    So here I am again, because I need to think.
    Play the heroic music. Type whatever comes to mind. I would do this more often, if it didn't depress me so much.
    So. The conference.
    There's so much tied up in it. So many emotions, so much promise.
    There's not really anything to be afraid of. There isn't.
    Oh, that feels good. There's nothing to be afraid of, Elizabeth. E. My beloved.
    Is this my answer?
    Oh, God. Before I even ask. I'm going to cry. Before I can even bring out all my fears, untangle them and leave them in neat piles, You comfort me. I guess You don't need things neat and tidy, do You? Look at me. I'm a mess. And You love me.
That was when I really did start to cry. This is copied directly from that file, where I typed it as it came to me. It's not been touched by my red pen.
        My hands are shaking. I can't see the screen now but I touch-type, instinct guiding me. Instinct. My first instinct was to go. Isn't that what You gave them to me for? Trust your gut. Trust Me.
    My face is slick, tears and sweat. I wipe the dust off my keys in one shaky motion and reach for a kleenex, then almost laugh. I'm out of kleenexes.
    Let not your heart be troubled.
    That sounds like a choice.
    I choose. I choose.
    I choose not to worry about this. I choose to trust.
    What if the peace leaves me? I can remember. I can still remember.
    Even this could be a message. This gift I have for putting things into words, neat black characters across a neat white page, with all my emotions spilled across them like a shimmer you can see if you tilt it the right way. I have a talent. And I'm pretty sure I'm using it right. But this could be - this could be big.
    A decision here seems so final. I can't write it out. I can't.
    Can't I?
    I'll go.
    I'll go to Realm Makers.
    Don't think about it any more. Don't stew or fret or worry. Dinna fash yourself.
    I'll go.
As for not going alone...not only do I get to go with THIS lovely person (Kaitlyn/Airianna from The Rainbow in the Storm:

But THIS amazing person is coming as well (Meaghan from over at Within the Writer's Wardrobe, formerly from The Patriot's Call)!

So I'm still alternating between terror and feverish excitement, but since it's all set and final now, I'm going to celebrate with my first giveaway. Yes! A real one! With a real book you can hold in your hands! None of that e-book garbage. ;)

Turns out Jeff Gerke is going to be the keynote speaker at said dreaded and highly anticipated conference. In honor, I decided to give away a copy of his writing book, Plot versus Character, sure to appeal to any fellow writer. But this isn't any lazybones giveaway - you'll have to work for it.

I have here a link to a Pinterest board. Not just any Pinterest board - my Pinterest board, with all my writing prompts on it.

To enter, go to the board and choose a picture. It can be anything on the board. You don't even have to follow me (though you might get extra points if you do. Then again, maybe not.) Then write about it. It can be as short as 100 words or as long as 1,000. Even longer if you like. It should be prose, fiction, and can be any genre, as long as it's about that picture. You may enter up to five times, using five different pictures.

Now before you protest that you're not a very good writer, let me say that won't be the only criteria. For the final pick, I will choose three stories I like best - I'll be looking for good writing, good characters, originality, uniqueness, and all that jazz - but I will also randomly pick three stories to go in with them. I will then choose the final winner out of that pool.

But wait! There's more! Each entree will also get a critique from me on an entry of his or her choice, and the three best will have their stories published right here on this blog.

Just send your story/ies and attached picture/s to elizabeth liberty (at) hotmail (dot) com - no spaces - by Friday, August 2nd. Please include "Contest Entry" in your subject line and your name (or pen name) in the email.

I cannot wait to see what you all come up with!