Friday, April 30, 2010

Let's Talk About Words, Baby, Let's Talk You and Me...

I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil .~Truman Capote

Yes, I'm STILL working on the edits/revisions of my current novel. Still pruning my bonsai.
Controlling my prose is a constant battle. 

I also find myself making the same, tired word offenses I've been making for years. 
I just cannot seem to break up with my bad-boy lover: 'THAT'. No matter how many time he breaks my heart.
That's That is on the left, 'me' on the right.

We all have our repeat offenders. 
They must be KILLED. 


  1. Make a list of words you know you abuse. (If you need a fun visual, try Keep your list handy and add to it as needed.
  2. Go on a Search and Destroy mission!  Windows: Press [Ctrl] + [F
    Macintosh: Press [command] + [F]

Check out the following links on trimming the word fat:

Ten Words You Should Cut…to Improve Your Writing Style, Bright Hub
Plague Words and Phrases, Guide to Grammar and Writing
51 Overused Adverbs, Nouns and Cliches in Writing ,Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

Before I head off for my Weekend Frolicking,  let's really talk about words!

Here are a few of my favorite words today:

succulent--a juicy melon of a word
rutabaga --isn't it fun to say?
cul-de-sac -- and its plural, culs-de-sac 
luminesce and luminescent 


On the fence:
prurient-- I like what it means, but dislike pronouncing it...the 'r''s get funky in my mouth.

Goiter-- yuck! 

Words are things; and a small drop of ink
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
~ Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

Which words do YOU love? Hate?

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Humpday Hodgepodge: Linkage, Pimpin', Swag, Wolfpack, Writing 'those' Scenes

I know. It's true. I'm a slacker.

I am behind on posting all the awards you have graciously given me in the last week or so.

 So before we get into my 'regular' (?) post, allow me to catch-up and do some linkage first:

 Alexandra Crocodile,  Shelley at Stories of the OrdinaryE. Elle Susan Fields and Tara (my fellow alt-rocking writer 'twin'), all gifted me with this Blogger Buddie (<--this spelling freaks me out) Award:
(Thank you, buddy's!)
If you have never been to their blogs, please go visit them!

Go spread some sunshine on her!

The always clever  V.R. Barkowski kindly gave me this award:

Stop by her place and say hello!

I hope you'll stop in to pay her a visit!

My young (she just turned 18!) friend, LEXA at Cardiac Outbursts gave me this awesome Laughing Raptor Award:
(she thinks OLD me is funny! Swear. Ask her.)
Please go wish her a happy 18th birthday!

 Dudes, guess what? 
I WON a contest!
Roxy at A Woman's Write had a contest and I won!!
 A $50 gift certificate!
That is some real swag, yo!
Thank you, Roxy. I'm excited.
I can't wait until I receive it, so I can spend it. :)

Also, yesterday I hit 200+ wolves in our Wolfpack!

Welcome to the pack new wolves!
(Watch out for the tiger!)

And finally, since it IS do you feel about writing and/or reading sex scenes in fiction?

I likes both, if they're written well and organically [orgasmically?] part of the story.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Writing Mechanics Monday

This is what my WiP feels like to me right now.

I am in the revision stage of my current novel.
I have this story and characters I love, but after ripping out a couple chapters (and still needing to do that pesky research) and moving things around...well, I have my work cut out for me.

It's my job during the revision process to pull it all together. Seamlessly.
(right now there are lots of messy seams and ragged holes)

Because we NEVER want to pull a reader out of the story with bad mechanics. 
Haven't we all been a couple chapters in and thrown a book across the room, because the errors were so annoying?

Here are just a few common mechanical errors you (I) do not want to make:

 Clunky or buried dialogue
Or worse, not being able to figure out which character is speaking
Every character has the same speech pattern
Unrealistic dialogue: people RARELY speak in monologues
Characters suddenly doing something out of character for no reason
Slow pacing: info dumps, lengthy exposition/description/flashbacks, nothing HAPPENING
Telling instead of Showing
Saggy Middles
Ending that ruin an otherwise great book
Clunky, confusing sentence structure. 
Gaping plot holes
Continuity mistakes--for example,  the truck was described as teal and suddenly it is described as black

The list could go on and on.
I need to get back to fixing my messy wip.

Which mechanical errors bother you most as a reader?


Friday, April 23, 2010

Critique Group Update...

Hello Friends- 

Happy Friday!

First, THANK YOU for the wonderful, overwhelming response to my critique group request!! 
As of this hour I have received over 80 emails! I am honored and deeply grateful.

I have chosen our kickass critique group, and we are full (overflowing!) to (beyond) capacity

(They are some badass writers, and I am excited to be part of their journey!)

Thank you so much for all the offers. 
(If I have not responded to your email, I am working on it. I will get back to you individually.)

This tells me that a LOT of you are looking for critique partners!! For those of you that emailed me, may I suggest you make a similar post and form a group...there will be plenty of takers! (Choose carefully.)
You will get the best results out of your writer's group if they're a similar level of talent and dedication as you. If you are working with a group of hobbyists, or someone who is just starting out, and you want to pursue writing as your professional career, you are probably not going to be challenged and constructively critiqued enough to improve. If you are lucky enough to pull together a really great group, as I know I am, take advantage of it!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Manuscript Revision: Write Fast, Edit Slow


I'm up to my elbows in it.

When I'm sitting quietly with my thoughts, I imagine revisions not unlike performing surgery. Or pruning bonsai. Any growth that does not belong gets eliminated. Every word must be justified, or snipped. Every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter edited to its most honest, authentic shape. 

  I will be limiting my time online for the next few weeks, posting and commenting only sporadically (once or twice a week). I need to retreat into my writing self for a little while. 

One last note, I am looking for 2-ish serious critique partners/beta readers, in which I will give the same in return. If you are interested, please contact me via e-mail to further discuss: authorlolasharp at gmail dot com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Friday, I'm in Love...Link Love, Wolfpack Love

And the Winner of my Wolf Pack CONTEST is...


CONGRATS Summer! (her link is below...go check it)

Thank you everyone for joining in on the fun!

In truth, I am the winner. The warmth, humor, support, understanding, fellowship, kindness, intelligence, talent, vulnerability, community, honesty, praise, successes, mistakes, joy you have all shared with me are more beautiful, valuable, and fabulous to me than I shall ever find words to properly express my gratitude for. I am blessed to have a lot of Real Life Friends, but they aren't writers.
YOU, my gorgeous Writer Friends, feel me. True that.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for being.

And thus, I have again been the honored recipient of another shiny batch of Blog Awards this week...and I hope you will take the time to follow the linkage to visit their yummy blogs.

As always, these are NO PRESSURE Awards. If you are tired of receiving awards, or just plain tired, that's okay. No worries, no rules, no pressure to pass these along, comment or link back. I'm just spreading the love people, spreading the link love.

Anne at Piedmont Writer kindly bestowed me with:
Go jump in Anne's pool (naked!). She won't mind.  Thank you Anne, always.

I'm passing Super Comments along to:
~Fellow Pack Rat/Wolf Pack member, Jon Paul at Sky Meets Ground ...
~ the most sunshiny wolf of all Summer @ ...And This Time, Concentrate
~a wonderfully consistant commenter Aubrie @ Flutey Words
~ and the lovely Portia @ Portia Sisco

Stephanie at Hatshepsut Novel awarded me with the Butterfly Award:
Isn't the butterfly pretty? Merci Stephanie...your blog is cool too!

(Has anyone noticed the grammatically incorrect-ness of this pretty award?)

I'm passing it along to:
Courtney Barr at Southern Princess, because I think she'll think it's pretty too, because she's our resident sparkly, princess wolf and because her blog is always positive and fun...

~and to Wendy Ramer @ On' n' On' n 'On - Because a Writer Always has Something to Say (and she cracks me up. Her post on cockroaches was pure gold.)

~and to Chrisi Goddard @ A Torch in the Tempest because Christie needs some cheerful, pretty, butterfly love!  

The lovely Laura Marcella at gifted me with:
Laura has a wonderful and prolific blog and indeed deserved receiving this award. Thanks Laura for passing it on to me.

I'm passing it along to:
~ the very prolific B. Miller @ B. Miller Fiction
~Sarah @ Falen Formulates Fiction
~Hannah @ Musings of a Palindrome

Nicole at One Significant Moment in Time gave me this yummy hunk of awesomeness:

 which happens to be my first time receiving, and makes me crave spicy BBQ! Thanks Nicole! Mwah!

I'd like to pass it on to the two people who consistently make me LAUGH:

~Elliot Grace @ So Close, But...  ...not at the table Carlos!

~Kirsten @ Disobedient Writer I'll just say this: Frito Toenail (I think the Scoops version;)

and one new friend who recently made me laugh:

~Zoe @ No Letters On My Keyboard  She had me at: 'A tree, man. A TREE!'

The witty and wonderful Wendy Ramer gave me the Sweet Blog Award:
Thank you  Wendy! :o)

I'm passing it on to these sweet bloggy friends:

~DL @ Cruising Altitude
~Jen at Unedited
~Roxy at A Woman’s Write
~Nicole at One Significant Moment at a Time
~Sarah at Folding Fields
~Susan at Susan Fields 
~Talli at Talli Roland

Okay, I adore ALL OF YOU, truth, you all deserve an award... if you want one of these, by all means GRAB IT! But I just cannot link anymore today! 
I also wanted to mention, lest you believe me shallow, that I think this lady is absolutely beautiful. 

Her sweet face makes my heart get squishy and melt. I love this photo. She makes me happy.
(I wish I knew who she is and to whom I owe photo credit. Unfortunately it came from a kid's tumblr and had no credit.) 

Lastly, I AM going to be working on the research and revisions this weekend. I promise, besties, I promise.

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double Tap, and Droolage!

Send the Writer's Hitman after me, because I am being a bad, bad girl.

 I'm now in Advanced Procrastinating mode. 

(*A couple posts down you will find that I am in Revision Hell and have been employing a few all of my Famous Procrastinating Techniques. The comments are worth reading. Apparently YOU all have some creative Justifiable Procrastinating Techniques in your arsenal as well!)

Gone are the Justifiable Procrastination Methods of washing the baseboards, scrubbing all 3 toilettes twice a day, alphabetizing my (thousands of) books, cleaning out the silverware drawer.

That is SO last week.

Monday, I swear, I really did open that ugly 20 pound, 5" thick tome (tomb!) on the PATRIOT Act, took one look at a page full Acronyms From Hell (AFH), written by Satan himself, and promptly fell asleep on page one.
The drool pooling under my cheek woke me up. 
Dude, this sh*t is BO-RING.

Advanced DEFCON 1 Procrastination!
(DEFCON, FYI, stands for DEFense CONdition for the USNF, er, the United States Nuclear Forces)

Whereby I release myself of all guilt and surf the web for Eye Candy! 

(maybe we can justify this as potential character sketch material? research?)

Squeee...Mad Men Hotness! (MMH?), oh man...damn, the things I'd...

...he was so handsome. And these don't even show his best feature.

His blue eyes.

Danny Boy!! (Roxy...are you with me? Your muse has never looked more tasty!)

(I hope the Writer's Hitman, when he comes for me, looks like Danny here.)
These don't show Dan's lovely blue eyes either.

Not the best picture of Ryan, but I just adore him.


Oh Johnny...this is one of my favorite photos of you.

Brandon Boyd! (Tara, you with me, girl?!)

I don't know who this beautiful man is, nor do I know who took this gorgeous photograph.

I found all these photos on random fan or kids tumblr sights, none of them, sadly, had any photo credits.

And for the gentlemen who prefer woman...





Okay, friends, I promise to get back to something literary and intellectual SOON. 
Thanks for being a part of my procrastinating.
If only researching laws on privacy acts was as fun as finding pretty pictures of pretty people!

Tomorrow the WINNER of my WOLF PACK CONTEST (link on my sidebar) shall be announced!!
You still have a few hours left to enter!

Lola Out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Love Note to my Husband

On These Kinds Of Days 

On these kinds of days, grey misty days, I count each breath, one, two, three, until the hour I see you next. Every breath, every word I write, slowly takes me closer to 5 o'clock, closer to you. I imagine you sitting at your desk in your office, similarly working your way toward me. Time tick-tocking, inhaled, exhaled.
I find reasons, any reason, to say your name, the feel of it in my mouth, on my tongue, lips.
On these kinds of days I still feel the warmth of your hand in my hand, your lips on my cheek, kissing me goodbye. I'm left with the scent of your skin on mine, haunting me throughout my day, distracting me from my work. I hear your laughter in my mind, its initial burst, its melodious finish, and I cannot help but smile. The want of you singing in my veins, making it impossible to concentrate on anything except the thought of you. 
Every day, the sound of the garage door opening is a pitch-perfect sonata, the imminent promise of you. 
Always, always, I see the love in your eyes when you look at me. Overwhelmed, I am filled with emotions that feel too big for my skin. I worry I am unworthy.
I delight with the knowing of your love for me; I am beautiful, smart, light on my feet. Colors are more vibrant because of you. Life is magical and ripe with possibility. 
My body seems made to fit around yours, inviting you to rest yourself in me. Your body responds and I find peace.
Our embrace, your radiant smile, turn these kinds of days, the grey days, luminous and bright.
Every day with you is a gift and I am grateful beyond measure. (I love you, Husband.)

 I'm sappy today. 


**Have you entered my CONTEST YET??** 
Friday, April 9, 2010

Tangled Up In Plot Knots and My Famous Procrastinating Techniques

Have you ever noticed how tasks you usually loathe doing, suddenly become rather appealing when there is something you really, REALLY don't want to do?

I'm in Revision Hell, friends, and I am employing every Procrastinating Technique in my vast arsenal to avoid what I know amounts to ripping out about 10-15,000 words and rewriting it.

Not so bad, right?
I can knock out 10,000 words in a day or two if I need to.


To do so will mean I have to do more (boring) research about privacy acts, technology, and the Patriot Act to make sure everything is accurate. 

This novel is a fast paced thriller, but, the research for it is
dry, acronym laden, worse than a root canal. 

Plus, you know when you change something, you have to go back through the entire manuscript AGAIN and see the damage ripple effect it has on everything else, and make those changes.

Devil, details... HELL.

Yeah, so I've been Avoiding.

For example, I made a real dinner last night complete with homemade mashed potatoes (granted, the gravy still came from a jar, and the cranberry sauce came from a can, but still...). For that to happen I even had to grocery shop. Hate grocery shopping. It's evil. 

This morning, cleaning the tracks to the sliding doors (the shower, the back door) felt critically important, so I did a most thorough job. 

 Mt. Washmore is gone; washed and dried and even put way.

The junk drawer is apparently in crisis, it's calling my name, even as I type this.

So, it's like being on a diet and working out living a healthy lifestyle.
We know what we have to do, and how to do it.
We just don't wanna.
(Mmmm, I haven't had my breakfast dessert yet. I'll get on that as soon as I'm done here.)

So, today, I shall tackle the mess I made, untangle the knot.

I LOVE this song.
I always loved Ben's voice over Ric's.
I was sad when Ben died so young and fast from cancer.

Am I still rambling? Avoiding? Procrastinating? Typing this blog post?

Yeah, fine, fine...

By Monday, I hope to report that my revision is complete-ish.

Lola out.

Happy weekend!

PS--Don't forget to enter my Wolfpack Contest (below)!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola GIVES! So Tonight I Make a Toast..

Whatever Lola wants Lola gets
And my friends, little Lola wants you!
Make up your mind to have no regrets
Recline yourself, resign yourself
You're through
I always get what I aim for
Your heart and soul is what I came for...

I'd like to say something that I prepared ... 

Hello. You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner 
(not really, but go with it). 
I tend to think of myself as a one girl wolfpack. 
But my wolfpack grew, it grew by two 
(and Lola wants YOU TOO! Yep, I just referred to 
myself in the third person, keep going with it.)
I was alone in the pack, and then you joined in later
and I thought, wait a second, could it be? 
and now I know for sure I just added 111 wolves to my wolfpack 
and now 111 of us wolves running around the blogosphere together, 
writing, and looking for agents and/or to be NYT best sellers! 
So tonight I make a toast...

Here's to YOU, friends!

Are you ready?

**THE Lola's Wolfpack CONTEST BEGINS NOW!!**

The winner will receive a copy of The Hangover (dvd) or a $20 gift card to Barnes &
Noble (your choice) and whatever crazy-Lola-thing I want to throw in the envelope!

How to Play/Win:

*You must leave a Comment in THIS Post with your point tally, and you must be a follower to win (no purchase necessary).

1) Comment here--1 pt.
2) 'Old' Follower (everyone up to 111, Kat is 'old')--2 pts
3) New Follower (everyone after 111/Kat/this minute)--1pt
4) Link to this post on your sidebar--2 pts
5) Mention, with link, in a blog post--2 pts
6) Tweet/facebook etc.--1 pt
7) Extra Credit--tell us, in the comments, about the best bachelor or bachelorette party you've ever participated in. We want the juicy deets!--3 pts.

This contest will remain up until Tax Day, Thursday April 15th, by 6pm EST. I will announce the winner on Friday April 16th.

For the ladies, I give you the HOTTEST honorary member of our wolfpack, 
Mr. Bradley Cooper! *drool*

And, for the gentlemen, I give you Ms. Heather Graham...

Thanks for being the 111 best friends anyone has ever had!


PS--BLOGGER IS TWEAKING MY TEXT!! Wazzup? Sorry about my sidebar Contest Linkage vanishing temporarily. Yesterday ( and today) Blogger was taken over by Satan, or something. I went in to my sidebar contest spot to remove Tawna's contest info and link (she announced her winner) and the whole thing, the entire gadget just disappeared! I was beyond frustrated! I also had my comments get eaten by Satan's Buggy Blogger Gremlin. Grrrr.

Sorry about the weird formatting...I can't figure out what Blogger's damage is.

PPS-- OH MAN, I can see that for some of my readers that have never seen the movie, this post seems very...silly, with the worst writing and grammar ever! If this is your first time here, AND you've never seen the movie? I promise, I'm not a dolt. Well, okay, yeah, maybe I am.
But, with regard to this wolfpack and speech, it's an (awesome) not-so-inside joke. You'd have to see the movie to understand.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

About Me

My Photo
Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
View my complete profile



Create the MAGIC

Create the MAGIC

"Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth."

~Vladimir Nabokov

Pure Imagination

Pure Imagination

not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

drink the wild air!

drink the wild air!



coffee & doodle art love

coffee & doodle art love

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

Badass Ms. Parker

Badass Ms. Parker

my zen

my zen

I write therefore I am

I write therefore I am



Nano '12 Winner

Nano '12 Winner

music inspires me

music inspires me

Depeche Mode Inspires

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