Category Archives: Award

ABNA is Back!

Amazon has announced it’s 2014 Breakthrough Novel Award contest! It’s a little late, compared to years past, and everyone was starting to worry! I have to admit, it was a pretty good way to get us all amped up… whether or not that was their intention. 🙂

Here’s a link for all the info! You can also go to Createspace.com to register!

So, we have about one month until the entry period begins (February 16). My only dilemma this year is what to enter. I have my tried and not-so-true TERRA INCOGNITA, which I have entered three years in a row, or my recently finished CREEPING SLOWLY & EVAPORATING, which still needs some major editing and rewriting… not to mention a pitch. 🙂  Can I finish it in time? Well, I’m gonna try! If I don’t, at least I’ll have a back-up!

So, are you going to enter ABNA 2014? Check out the rules and give it a try! There’s nothing to lose… and possibly $50,000 and a publishing contract to win! 😀

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And it’s over before it even started…

Booted at the pitch stage once again… For me, ABNA 2013 is done. I’m out. I must admit I am a bit disappointed. I felt my pitch was good enough this time around… and maybe it was (I don’t know) as everyone keeps saying the pitch round is basically a crapshoot. And that’s fine. Really. It is. I am very happy for all of those writers who made it through. I’m glad they will continue to get a shot for publication and possibly that grand prize of $50,000. 😀

Anyway, as the disappointment sunk in, part of me was saying, “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this… But what else is there for me to do? I have a degree in Art with little experience in graphic design and none in web design… What’s a girl to do?” Then the more rational part of me said, “But it’s what you love. It’s who you are. You couldn’t stop if you wanted to… Sure, you might have a dry spell every once in a while where you just can’t write a goshdarned thing… but that comes with the territory… and none of this means you should quit.” Once I’d given myself a little pep talk, I thought maybe I should get back to querying… but I’m not quite so confident in TERRA INCOGNITA at the moment (maybe that will pass, I don’t know) so (for now) I think I might actually shelf it… focus on something else before I come back to it… I’ve been working on it for so long, editing for so long, it needs a break. I need a break. I have other works-in-progress to complete… maybe one of them will be “The One.” And I’m so close to ending one of them… focus. That’s what I need to do. Focus.

Besides, I have more important things to worry about… I’ll be 25 weeks pregnant on Friday and have a lot to do. Sheesh, I’m due, like, the week before the ABNA Finalists travel to accept their prizes… that would have been an interesting trip, for sure… Traveling across country about a week (or so) after giving birth, newborn in tow. 🙂  Yeah… but it would have been totally worth it.

So, to wrap it all up… Good luck to all who remain in the contest! AND good luck to all who were cut. You shouldn’t give up either… Being cut this early is absolutely no indication of your (or your book’s) worth (yeah, I know, we need to make it a mantra).

Good luck with all of your writing careers! I hope to see you on the other side.

Edit/Update/What-have-you: I just wanted to say that I’m not really discouraged when it comes to writing… I can’t give it up, it isn’t possible… My main reaction/emotion is one of exhaustion, more than anything. This has just been a very trying week… 🙂  I’m already tired, in general, but have a very sick hubby this week and a 3-year old to contend with, so… ha ha. Bad timing, perhaps…?

Oh, Wow… My First Blog Award!

A sincere thank you to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet at A Nest of Words for presenting me with the Leibster Blog Award!  That’s so awesome!

Rules:
-Answer the presenter’s 11 questions
-Choose 11 lucky recipients (who have fewer than 200 followers)
-Formulate 11 questions for them to answer
-Plaster the award on your blog

Now, please bear with me… I’m not very good at any of this… answering questions, choosing people to do the same (especially), or creating my own questions…

Here are Rhiann’s questions to me: 

1. If you were to choose a Nom de Plume, what would it be?  I already have! While my real name is Heather, Riffle is my maiden name… 😉

2. What is your favorite flower?  Oh, tough one… Um, I would have to say the day lily – it’s the flower that keeps on giving!

3. If you had to live prior to 1900, what century would you choose, and why?  Hm, another tough one… I think the 18th century… the Age of Enlightenment… We could definitely use another one of those right about now… 🙂

4. What is your motto?  Do I even have a motto? …Okay. Never judge, because you never know the circumstances that lead to a person’s actions… at least wait until you’ve heard all the facts…  I know, I know – easier said than done… even for me sometimes. 🙂

5. Lake or ocean, and why?  Ocean… there’s nothing that compares to the sound of the waves crashing against sand and rock, the salty-fresh air, the wind blowing in your hair, and the look of a storm brewing on the horizon…

6. Tell us three things about a favorite character you’ve created.   I have a few… so I’ll go with someone only I have “met.”  Trudy hates when people call her Gertrude.  She inherited three things from her grandfather: a set of skeleton keys, a 200-year old book, and an old candle. She is determined to do the right thing, no matter what.

7. You’re in a car and this song comes on the radio – you can’t change the station fast enough.  When it comes to music, my tastes are pretty (very) eclectic… so I’m really not sure about this… can’t think of anything specific right now, but some rap and some pop songs make me change the station… but not always immediately.

8. Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way?  Currently, I’m not sure… but I have been influenced by many. One past writer by whom I have felt influenced is Louisa May Alcott. I don’t write anything like her (genre or style) but felt she was an inspiring influence because of her determination and passion.  Most of the time, I feel I’m more inspired by the writer indirectly through the characters they create.  Jo March, for instance, Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), etc. Oh! And, completely at the other end of the spectrum (if he’s even on this spectrum at all) Edgar Allan Poe… I loved his writing almost my entire life.  This is such a difficult question for me to answer… sorry if it’s all over the place and/or seems contrived… or something.  Eh.

9. When you get writer’s block, doing this helps. (If you never get writer’s block I’m blowing raspberries at you).  Sometimes, just pushing through helps, but music helps a lot too… I’ll listen to it in the shower and, sometimes, that block just disintegrates, like it’s being washed down the drain.

10. What movie scared you (and maybe scarred you)?  This might sound ridiculous, but I watched A Watership Down (just because it’s animated, people, doesn’t mean it’s for kids!) when I was VERY young… it scared me to death, gave me nightmares… all those rabbits (particularly once battered and dying) and blood and death and running.  I finally made myself watch it again as an adult… but still shudder when I think of my original viewing.

11. What’s your favorite Halloween candy?  Oh, man, I love Halloween (and lots of different kinds of candy) and don’t know if I can choose just one… Hm… I just like getting the mini versions of all the regular candy, like Baby Ruth, Snickers, and Nerds… to name a few.

Here are the next Lucky Eleven (well, Six, in my case…):

1. Diana

2. Virginia – though I’m not sure how many followers she has…

3. Kristen & Julie

4. Liz

5. Mary

6. Shiela

– P.S. You are all welcome to ignore this, if you wish… I’m just trying to do my part. 😉

And here are my 11 Questions:

1. Does music ever inspire your writing?

2. What is your favorite season?

3. What is your favorite holiday?

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?  And why?

5. Cats or dogs? Why?

6. Favorite color?  What do you think it says about your personality?

7. Favorite movie? Why?

8. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why?

9. If you could time-travel, would you? Where/When would you go? And for what reason?

10. Favorite food?

11. Who/what is your favorite character (movie, book, TV) of all time?