Monday, December 12, 2011

Into the Etsy Foray: First Item - Robot Figurine

I've been thinking about creating an Etsy account for several months now, selling only items I can make with things I already have. So this morning, I started a store and listed my first item: Robot Figurine Made from Spare Parts

I wonder if people are interested in tiny robot figurines? Anyway, I'm excited to see what happens, and if anything, I'll have had fun creating adorable artwork. See the Etsy listing HERE.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Break Event for Young Writers

Thanks to the brainstorming help of some talented (albiet easily distracted) Inkaholics I know, we are planning a special young writers event over Christmas break. If you or a young writer you know is interested in doing something creative over break, this could be a perfect opportunity. Here are details:

Eight Players:
Character RPG

3 Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
December 21, 28, 2011
& January 4, 2012

Dream up characters together, set the the stage, then send them on an unforgettable adventure of our own creation. Participants will receive a FREE professionally designed and published copy of the final story. Illustrations by writers are welcome!

Ages: 13-18
Cost: $40 per person
Participants: 8-10 total


It will be an amazingly fun, fast-paced project that will leave young writers with a sense of having accomplished something grand over their break from school--besides getting to level 100 on a video game or watching three dozen movies. ;-)

If you have any questions about the Eight Players Event, please feel free to contact me.

UPDATE: Only 2 spots left! (12-8-11, 8:00 PM)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inkaholics Books on Sale!

For those of you who have been waiting to purchase Inkaholics Group books for Christmas, this is a great sale to get a few ordered! This offer is only good through December 7, so act quickly to get the deal.

If you're seeing this late and missed the deadline, you can still use this coupon code through December 14:

25% off any of your books
Coupon Code: BUYMYBOOK305
Coupon expires December 14, 2011
$50 Max Savings

Just go to to find all the selections, then use the coupon code when you get to the checkout. NOTE: Lulu only allows one coupon per order.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 30 - WON

NaNoWriMo 2011 is in the books! I finished this afternoon with a validated word count of 50,830. And guess what? I STILL love the story. (That's something that has never happened in my NaNo history; I usually despise everything about my novel by the last day.)

I am totally smitten by Beckon, and I can hardly wait to start editing it. This is most definitely something special, and I have a publisher in mind already.

I leave you with a final excerpt from this novel that I love:

My eyes scanned the landscape. The village was in a shambles. The buildings, even though they were on fire, were very unlike the buildings in my world. I wondered what had started the fires, and automatically looked to the skies for dragons.

Soaring high above, through white rain clouds and black soot columns, giant stiff birds with strange wings and noses flew in a V-formation.

I touched Beck's shoulder, where he crouched on the dirt. "What are those birds? Did they start the fire?"

He looked up and squinted at the shapes. "Those aren't birds." His eyes widened.

I turned back and saw that the birds were dropping what looked like little dots from where we stood.

"Chan, we have to go." He grabbed my hand.

"Where are we going?"

"Away from here!" He pulled on my arm, urging me to run.

I lifted one side of my dress and ran after him.

Oh yes. This is something special indeed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 9

Writing days have been up and down lately, squeezing in just a few hundred words here and there. It's been a weird week, and I've found myself behind. Tonight, I've got to get some serious noveling done!

'Round about chapter 7, I decided that it was time to change POVs (point of view) to the secondary main character, Beck. He's from a contemporary world (ours) and, as I discovered surprisingly, a total geek. He even wears glasses. I love, love, love his voice. Some great lines have come out from Beck's third person POV.

He had no idea the the old doorframe from the antique shop would take him to a distant realm of fantasy where there was no indoor plumbing and certainly no wi-fi to speak of. If he had known, he wasn’t sure if he would have walked though that shimmering portal at all. But standing here, even freezing to death in the stables, talking to Chan, he wondered if maybe she was the reason he was here.

Back in his world, a techie geek was sexy in theory, but in practice? Perhaps not so much. Not many cute girls liked to hang out in the computer data server room at corporate offices. It was dusty. And hot. And there was always the possibility of breaking something just by turning around. Or getting electrocuted.

And here's an awesome, comical scene from today's writing:

Beck stared at the ground from atop the enormous horse. He really didn’t want to meet the dirt any faster than necessary, but Chan was already too far off the road to call. No, he didn’t need help to get off of a horse. How hard could it be?

Fingers gripping the saddle horn, Beck leaned forward and brought one leg up. He rested it atop the horse. While adjusting his other shoe for balance, he lost track of his higher leg, and his body twisted. He reached out for something--anything--to grab. Finding nothing but air, he peeled backward off the side of the stallion and fell on his face.

The horse whinnied and sidestepped away.

Beck spat gravel from his mouth and tried to stand. His every sinew ached. “Thanks for nothing, Lester,” he muttered to the animal, who whinnied at him once more. Funny, he sounded like he was laughing at him. Or was that his pride turning into a cherry slushie?

I'm having a ton of fun writing both of these characters. So far, I still love the story. Here's hoping it lasts at least another 21 days.

In other news, the next episode of Month of the Novel was released today. Check it out!


Day 9 Word Count: 12,580 (pre-noveling tonight)
Words Remaining: 37,420

Friday, November 4, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 3

Didn't get a whole lot of writing done today--about 1,000 words. But I'm still a bit ahead, so there's no cause for alarm just yet. This excerpt is actually from yesterday's writing, but I still like it, and it shows the main character's personality very well.

"Stay alert, Princess.”

“Yes, indeed I will, Sir Joshue.”

It was the burly man’s turn to blush. “Please, Princess. You embarrass me.”

“Precisely what I intended then.”

ON A RELATED NOTE: A handful of my young writer friends from the east side of the country and their cohorts have started a series about a writer who is attempting to write a NaNo novel, but she's...running into some creativity issues. This is hilarious and done completely by teens and young adults.


I just discovered that they were working on this project and had to share. Enjoy!

Day 3 Word Count: 6,211
Words Remaining: 43,789

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 2

I didn't get any noveling done during the day today, but my friend MightiMidget and I squeezed in three 10-minute Word Wars in the wee hours of the night. Here's an excerpt from tonight's writing.

Now that I looked closer, I could see that he wore some kind of decoration on his face. Two circles of metal with glass windows in them, perched on his nose and affixed to his head by two metal bars that wrapped around his ears. “This is curious,” I said, reaching for the adornment.

I didn't realize Beck wore glasses until this moment. Love surprises like that!

Day 2 Word Count: 5,212
Words Remaining: 44,788

As a side note, I entered a short story into a contest at It required putting that short story in eBook format to submit it, so here it is if you're interested in taking a look: The Question: A Short Story

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 1

Today, NaNoWriMo 2011 began. Having taken the day off of work, I went to the all-day write in in the morning. It was quite a productive handful of hours. The novel got off the ground, and my final word count after leaving the write-in was around 2,700. Each day, we need to write at least 1,667 words in order to make the 50K goal by November 30. I've still got some writing I want to do tonight, but I've got a great head start.

Here's an excerpt from today that I particularly enjoyed writing. It's a description of the view outside Princess Chan's window.

I gulped down the lukewarm tea, staring out the stained glass window into the fields around the castle. The forest spread out to the west, nestled up against the slate rock of the mountains. Snowy peaks whispered misty secrets to one another high in the light blue sky. Royal dragon riders circled the formations as they scouted the borders for signs of invasion by Westonia’s sworn enemy across the sea.

Day 1 Word Count: 3,764
Words Remaining: 46,236

The Dark Side of White by Inkaholics VI

The latest book from the Inkaholics Collaborative Writers Groups is now available! We tried something totally new with this story, which ended up making this our longest book yet. Another first is that the cover art was commissioned by my dear friend Rachael Selk. She did a fantastic job capturing our characters! (Check out the preview below to see the wraparound art on the back.)

Kevin, Parker, and Mŭshi Rū are all running—from the past, the present, the future. Curiously odd circumstances thrust them together when Kevin’s adversaries come to kidnap him. The adverse allies are compelled to unite, but differing opinions and peculiar secrets keep them from fully becoming one.

Meanwhile, the beginning of a terrible penguin reign is about to befall the earth. Kevin, Parker, and Mŭshi are forced into battle. Will they learn to trust and lean upon one another as they face a common enemy? Or will their own fears tear apart the fragile friendships?

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Young Wrimos: The Plan for Write-Ins

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and it's time to start making plans about how we're going to reach that word count by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. To make 50,000 words, that's 1,667 words per day. Now, if 50K is a bit too high, check out NaNo's Young Writers Program, where you can set your own goal at a grade-appropriate level.

Colorado Springs Young Wrimos are invited to join me for several FUN, FREE write-ins throughout the month of November. Let's cheer each other on and most importantly--WIN CANDY. Check it out:

  • Tuesday, November 1
    Official NaNoWriMo All-Day Write In: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Official NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party: 7:00-8:30 p.m.

    Panera Bread (Powers & S. Carefree)
    Day 1 events are open to all ages, adults & young writers alike.
  • Saturday, November 5
    The Lost Hour YW Write-In: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
    Panera Bread (Powers & S. Carefree)
    Mourn the loss of the hour we'll lose to Daylight Savings Time on 11/6 by writing 2K in one day. Everyone who comes to the first YW write-in will receive an Epic Pen for scribbling down those novel-related thoughts on napkins, toilet paper, or whatever's convenient.
  • Friday, November 11
    Costume Party YW Write-In! 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    Starbucks (Powers & Stetson Hills)

    Get the most out of your Halloween costume, and wear it to the write-in! In celebration of 11-11-11, we'll try to reach 11,111 words as a group.
  • Wednesday, November 16
    Pens & Pancakes YW Write-In: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    Village Inn (Powers & S. Carefree)

    They have outlets and wi-fi! Bring your laptops, some cash for pancakes or drinks, and join us at the booths for a mid-month catch up session.
  • Monday, November 21
    Drive In YW Write-In: 4:00-6:00 p.m.
    Kangaroo Coffee (434 W. Fillmore)

    Bring your laptop fully-charged or a good, old-fashioned spiral and your Epic Pen. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate and park with us for some outside/in-car Word Wars. (You might want to bring a blanket or a jacket if it's a little chilly that day!)
  • Sunday, November 27
    Last Minute Dash YW Write-In: 3:00-6:00 p.m.
    Panera Bread (Powers & S. Carefree)

    Try to reach your word count before the weekend ends, then you can gloat to your fellow Wrimos. Or catch up on all that homework you neglected...
  • Wednesday, November 30
    Midnight Cram YW Write-In: 8:00 p.m. - Midnight
    Old Chicago (Powers & S. Carefree)

    It's the last day to get your last words in! Join us and cram those final words into your novel before 11:59 p.m.
It's going to be a crazy month, young Wrimos. Brace yourselves. But you CAN do it! Make 2011 your year to win NaNoWriMo! See you at the write-ins!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: Dude. It's ON.

National Novel Writing Month. A.K.A. NaNoWriMo. A challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Been there, done that. Five times. Even got the t-shirt. Thrice.

But this year, I've kind of got it in my head that I want to lead out the local young writers who are attempting to do NaNoWriMo--whether through the Young Writers Program or on their own, with a mission to reach 50K.

This idea has been stirring in my head over the last couple months, and it has finally reared its sparkly head. Hopefully there are some young writers out there who are interested in doing some write-ins. I will most definitely be hosting some writing events for all writers 18 and under! (And anyone who is brave enough to come support some borderline-insane, creative teenagers.)

Young Writers Write-Ins:

Bribery is not above me. No, not at all...

If you're 18 or under and you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please sign up either on the NaNo YWP site or the main NaNoWriMo site. If you do the latter (that means you use the main site), then GO HERE to visit the forum and introduce yourself. Include your personal word count goal (if you're in the YWP) and/or share what crazy lengths you plan to go to in order to hit that 50K mark.

As for me--yes, I do plan on writing a novel. There has been an entire series simmering in the back corner of my brain, tucked under the silk slippers and wrapped with a tangle of copper wiring. Perhaps NaNo is just the thing to get the dust blown off and breathe some life into those tiny, trembling ideas.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Undead Sparkles by Inkaholics V

I am thrilled to announce that Undead Sparkles, the book composed by the Inkaholics V Writers Group last August, is now published! This was an extra special group where my dear friend MightiMidget assisted in writing and leading while on an extended visit to Colorado. Having her in one of my writers live groups was wonderful. She had a great time with us, and with my awesome local young writers, who wouldn't?

Paclo’s simple life as a Flor-Mart greeter is interrupted when a co-worker slips him the zombie virus as a joke. Rejected by the public and his parents, Paclo takes refuge at a mortuary. His only friends are his brother Smith, a vainless alien blob named Phyl, and a duct tape-obsessed robot called Mac.

Before Paclo can even accept his new undead fate, the Earth is attacked by a scintillating foe riding upon clouds of delectable depravity. Against all sensibility, the misfit friends garner up the courage to squelch the sparkly adversaries. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First: a serial audio novella

I've got an idea to serialize the novel I am currently writing in audio format. If this is interesting to you, please let me know, and I'll begin posting the chapters when the story gets off the ramp.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Watch for Magic by Inkaholics IV Writers Group

The long-awaited Inkaholics IV Writers Group book just completed production. With five fun and creative young writers, we put together a fantastic steampunk adventure called Watch for Magic last July. Here's the back cover copy for you:

He can’t hide forever.

Javian is an orphaned boy living as a hunter in a magical forest outside of Ducal, with a flying llama as his only companion. Rumors abound in the city about how magic is disappearing, but Javian is unconcerned until he accidentally traps a mythical dragon named Airimyth.

The giant cogs of his life are set in motion when a run-in with Eylec the gryphon gets them captured by migrating dwarves. Escape is paramount, but Javian’s convoluted past tick-tocks to the present, putting all their lives at risk.

Will the new friends discover the power of three and restore magic to the world? Or will the dwarves and the Duke pilfer everything they have ever loved?

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

This novella was written as a part of a 6-session Collaborative Writers Group.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Ink Club Learns "Show, Don't Tell"

We're been having a grand time on Wednesday nights at The Red Ink Club. A few weeks ago, we were talking about one of the great writers' mantras: SHOW, DON'T TELL.

Telling is like shaking the reader and saying, “Here’s what’s happening.” Example: When the dragon approached, she felt scared.

Showing is giving the reader a visual of what’s going on, letting them picture it well. Example: The dragon stalked forward, smoke curling from its nostrils. The young princess’s eyes grew wide, and a tiny whimper escaped her lips.

See how the second example paints a more vivid picture? Now we have physical cues that help the reader deduce emotions or actions without TELLING that fact. If you’re telling the reader what to see or feel, they aren’t going to enjoy the story or get the point of what you’re trying to say. Replace the “tells” with “shows” and enhance your story and the reader’s experience in your world.

Here's the prompt we tackled: Write a story about Amelie waiting in a public place, about to meet someone for the first time. (You choose who it is.) She’s very nervous about meeting this person. Show her waiting, then meeting the someone. Do not use the following words in any form: Nervous, Scared, Upset, Anxious, Worried, Hopeful.

Show, don’t tell! Use visuals, any or all of the five senses, plus the setting to enhance Amelie’s emotions. Time: 12-15 minutes

First Meeting
By MangyCat

Amelie tapped the bench with her long, manicured nails. A lump sat heavy in the pit of her stomach. Her heart had been racing since she got here. This would be the first meeting. The only chance she would have to get to know him before she took him home.

Would they like each other? Would she be able to live with him and trust him completely?

The scent of rain carried on the wind that rustled through her hair. Amelie shivered and ran her fingers over her chilly arms. Goosebumps rose on her skin when she heard the shuffling footsteps and the jingling of chains.

"Miss Amelie Tortan?" came a woman's voice to her left.

Amelie stood and extended her hand into the darkness. "That's me. You must be Jennifer."

A warm hand wrapped around hers. "It's nice to see you in person."

Amelie nodded and blinked, then adjusted her sunglasses. The pleasant odor of dog shampoo drifted up to her. She stooped and held out her palms.

Soft fur brushed her fingertips. A wet kiss ran across her wrist.

"And you must be Rusty." Amelie breathed deeply and smiled. "We're going to be great friends, aren't we?"

The dog barked and kissed her face. The weight in Amelie's stomach disappeared as she welcomed her new seeing-eye dog into her arms.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Astounding Kids' Book On iPad

Wowza. Like I needed another reason to covet the iPad. Here's a HUGE one.

Here's the whole story on this Pixar animator's new interactive children's book, designed exclusively for iPad.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Attack of T.G.B. by the Inkaholics III Writers Group

I am thrilled to announce that the Inkaholics III Writers Group has finished their novella and production is now complete. With six incredibly crazy and creative young writers, this was quite the ride, let me tell you! Attack of T.G.B. is now available on Here's the back cover copy for you:

In a plague-stricken world, trapped in a quarantine zone, Zeke faces the hard questions of life: What does the future hold? Will mankind survive the epidemic? Will he ever find another couch?

After insane, infected victims set fire to the hospital, Zeke and his new friends, Dr. Jo Trishton and her brother Cole, embark on a dangerous mission to find a cure. Instead, they uncover a beary beastly plot by a sweet but malevolent force.

Will the trio overcome their fears and defeat the bizarre battalions? Or will the Rainbow King succeed in his evil plan to rule supreme over Liberty City and then the world?

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

This novella was written as a part of a 6-session Collaborative Writers Group.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Epic Quest of the Nodut Islands

Our Inkaholics II Writers Group has officially published their finished book! This novella was written by three guys over the course of 6 sessions in spring 2011 as a collaborative workshop. Between three crazy guys and one crazy cat, it's quite a tale, let me tell you! Here's the back cover copy:

Willy Pete, a hunter of magical creatures, is on a mission to right his wrongs. He'll need the help of a famous mercenary named Quince and his arch-nemesis, the legendary Magical Narwhal Zelda. 

Together, they must defeat the villainous Mr. Whiskers, a mutant catfish pirate captain with a league of sinister shipmates! 

Can Willy pull off his plan in time to destroy the nefarious fish, or will his weakness for donuts become his ultimate downfall?

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Stuff is ON!

Just as soon as the last Collaborative Writers Group, Inkaholics II, ended, we have another group starting. On June 6, the Inkaholics III group had their first session. Looks like this one is going to be something special indeed! More details on that later.

The Inkaholics II group novella is currently in the editing/production phase, but we have a cover ready to go. The title is The Epic Quest of the Nodut Islands. I'll tell you more about it once we have the final up on Lulu.

The Red Ink Club kicks off this Wednesday evening, June 8. I can't wait to meet up with the members of this awesome young writers critique group. We're going to do a short writing lesson and 12-minute writing prompt, then we'll delve into each other's stories with personal critiques.

If you or a young writer you know are interested in joining, contact me, and I'll give you all the details.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Summer Offerings for Young Writers

With the school year wrapping up in the next month or so, it's time to start thinking about how to keep your young writers busy this summer. We have a host of great stuff planned, including workshops, groups, seminars, and even a 10-day Creative Writing Conference. Here's a quick list of upcoming opportunities:

May 28: How to Start a Writers Group (1-1.75 hrs.) 
Discover the elements of a good, useful critique group; how to be a good crit partner (without tearing a heart out);  and how to take constructive criticism well (without crying!) Participants will have the opportunity to form new groups or join The Red Ink Club. Optional: Experience a live critique group afterward--with your writing on the table!

June 4: The Art of Journaling (1.5 hrs.) 
Learn how journaling is done--and done right--so you can make writing a daily practice of your own. Personalized journal included.

June 6-23: Collaborative Writers Group 
(JUNE Fast Track; meets 2x/week for 3 weeks; 2-hr. sessions) 
Together, the group brainstorms and writes a novella over the course of 6 sessions. Participants learn to work together to craft a story and contribute their own ideas and writing to the finished product. 

June 7: The Red Ink Critique Group begins (2 hrs./weekly)
Weekly critique group designed for young writers. Meetings open with a short writing exercise before individual critiques begin. New writing applications will be practiced and learned each week.

June 13-24: Inception Syndicate:
Creative Writing Conference

(meets 5x/week for 2 weeks; 2.5 hrs/day)
An incredible experience of building a world with strangers and new friends in this 10-day conworld adventure. We will create a foundation and genesis of a new world's deep history, economy, religion, art, culture, and more, and explore the lives of the people who live in our imagined universe. Includes conference instruction booklet and one free copy of our created world's printed, final, professionally-designed "abridged encyclopedia" and the collection of native stories we write.

June 25: How to Write Flash Fiction (2 hrs.)
Learn how to write dynamic, marketable flash fiction in this hands-on, informative workshop.

July 8-26: Collaborative Writers Group 
(JULY Fast Track; meets 2x/week for 3 weeks; 2-hr. sessions) 
Together, the group brainstorms and writes a novella over the course of 6 sessions. Participants learn to work together to craft a story and contribute their own ideas and writing to the finished product. 

July 10: Teen Writers Survival Guide (3 hours)
First presented at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in 2009, this seminar is a series of three mini-workshops: The 12 Red Flags of Editing, How to Look Like You Know What You're Doing (even if you don't), and Prompting the Muse.

For details on age ranges and cost of any of these summer opportunities, please visit

If you have questions, feel free to send me an email or use the contact form on the website.

Thank you for investing in your young writer's life and creativity!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thai Eats Website

My mom is opening a Thai grocery, take-out, and workshops business here in town, so naturally, she asked me to create a website for her. Her signage is almost done, thus making time of the essence in finishing the site.

I opted to design through WordPress, as opposed to creating a full-blown, Photoshop-spiffified design. Her website needs were small, and the main content was to be an informational blog. WordPress fits that prospectus perfectly.

With so many incredible WordPress theme developers out there, I chose to simply modify an existing theme. I found this one by Eric Ulous and customized some of the key background and logo graphics. I rather like the result, and so does my mom. :o) Check it out:

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Red Ink Club: Weekly Writers Group

Critique groups are essential for the creative development of every writer. Encouragement and insights from fellow members can make all the difference when we're faced with the next blank page.

The Red Ink Club is a weekly critique group designed for young writers, facilitated by an experienced, published author. We'll delve into each piece, line-by-line, to correct, encourage, and spur one another on to even better writing.

Group meetings open with a short writing exercise before individual critiques begin. Our time will be conducted with an attitude of respect for one another in the midst of a fun environment.

Ages: 13-20
Duration: 2 hours per week
Dues: $20 per month (also see Commitment Pricing below)
Participants: 5-7 total

Commitment Pricing:
* 3 months in advance: $49 (2 weeks free)
* 6 months in advance: $99 (1 month free)
* 1 year in advance: $199 (2 months free)

FINE PRINT: Dues are non-refundable, but $5 per missed session may be applied toward future group sessions.

Contact me if you or a young writer you know are interested in getting in on The Red Ink Club.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google Doodles

I love the look of an old Houdini poster that was created for today's Google Doodle, honoring Harry Houdini's birthday. If you've never seen or heard of a Google Doodle, here's an explanation.

They are usually quite clever, and my artist's heart thrills when I see a new, unexpected Google Doodle. You can find the entire archive of doodles from all countries around the world HERE.

Monday, March 7, 2011

First In Flame by The Inkaholics I Writers Group

We are so excited to announce that First in Flame, the book the first Inkaholics Writers Group wrote together over the course of 6 weeks, is now available.

The Inkaholics I girls worked so hard and had some incredible ideas to contribute to this fantastic story. There are even some surprise illustrations inside--these girls are talented! Here's the official description of First in Flame:

Torren, an awkward 13-year old kid with a penchant for superstition, is about to have the strangest first day of school in his life. When his best friend Kyle, the high school quarterback, falls for the weird new girl, things are looking bad enough. But when they witness Kyle inexplicably transform into a little black housecat in the middle of lunch period, the situation spirals into an odd series of events that takes the three unlikely friends on an adventure no one expected.

If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so for a mere $7.00 (plus shipping). is a print-on-demand company, but they do amazing work. Thanks for supporting the Inkaholics!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Call for 3 Volunteer Writers: Online Workshop

I've almost got a system worked out to start an online collaborative writers workshop. The final elements will fall into place soon, after which I will need 3-4 writers *coughguineapigscough* to volunteer their participation in an ONLINE 3-week collaborative short story workshop--just to test out the system.

Volunteer Writers would commit to:
  • Meet online once a week for 3 weeks (First session, 90 minutes; following sessions, 60 minutes) 
  • Collaborate story ideas with other writers
  • Contribute creative writing to a group document on a weekly basis
  • Give feedback on the process and direction for improvement
Volunteer writers must be 16 years of age or older. They will also need to be able to communicate via email and have a reliable internet connection.

We can talk about different meeting days, but I'm initially thinking Wednesday evenings, around 7:30 MST.

If you're interested in volunteering, post a comment here or email me at mangycat (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Looking forward to writing with you!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Upcoming Young Writers Workshops: April 2011

I'm thrilled to announce the next set of Young Writers Collaborative Workshops! We're going to start them right after spring break, so hopefully your young writers will have clear schedules. Here are the date/time details for each group:

Ages 9-12, Beginners
Wednesday afternoons, Location TBD
April 6-May 11, 2011
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Ages 13-18, Intermediate-Advanced
Saturday mornings, Location TBD
April 2-May 7, 2011
9:00-11:00 a.m.

If you're interested in registering for one or both of these workshops, you may do so online HERE, or if you have questions, feel free to contact me. More details about how the workshops work, plus pictures from our last on on my website.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hidden in the Eye

I love stock photography, especially really good, high quality stuff. Our church gets a lot of our stock images from DesignPics--it's a Christian-owned company, so doing random searches on their site does not bring up inappropriate images. Bonus! Today, I used this little boy's image for another worship service slide, and I noticed that he had something in his eye.

It's always fascinating to me when the photographer gets caught in the model's eyes. Seeing that glimpse opens a tiny window into what the model saw the day the picture was taken.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have a new website:

Is that cool or what? I've been working hard and obsessively on this website for the last few days, ignoring eating, sleeping, or paying attention to any lifeforms that were not too utterly adorable to ignore. (read:children)

All the pages are at least up now, and all the forms appear to be working. I'm super excited about this site because, not only does it reflect my personality as a near-pièce de résistance, but it is also going to be an excellent marketing tool as I continue to follow God's will for my life this year.

Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Break Writers Games!

Take a day of your Spring Break to hang out with other awesome young writers in the area. Play games, win prizes, and challenge your mad writing skills! We have two age levels and lots of different games, so there's a game day for everyone.

We Awesome Writers Spring Break Games is for ages 13-18. Games on the menu are Speed Writing, Pass the Plot, Story Scavenger Hunt, and Picture a Quest. Lots of fun and yummy prizes will be won!

2 "Awesome Writers" Dates - Come to one or both!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Time: 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Panera Bread, 7344 North Academy Boulevard, Colorado Springs 80920
Cost: $20 per person


Saturday, March 26
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: Agia Sophia Coffee Shop, 2902 W Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs 80904
Cost: $23 per person, includes a specialty drink from Agia Sophia!

Super Writers Spring Break Games is for ages 8-12. Games on the menu are Word Wars and The One-Word Story Game. Plus we'll create blank books for you to write stories in later. Lots of fun and yummy prizes will be won!

"Super Writers" Date & Time

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Panera Bread, 3120 New Center Point, Colorado Springs 80922
Cost: $10 per person

Hope you can make to the games!
Questions? Email mangycat (at) gmail (dot) com or make your reservation online below:

Good Reads Review: Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi

Kenny & the DragonKenny & the Dragon
by Tony DiTerlizzi

What a wonderful story of friendship between two unlikely friends! DiTerlizzi's illustrations add so much to the story. Quick read for an adult, appropriately challenging read for a young reader. Nicely paced and thoroughly enchanting. My rating: 5 of 5 stars

More Mangy GoodReads Reviews

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Young Writers Workshops

These young writers workshops run for 6 weeks with 2-hour sessions each week, held at a local coffee shop or cafe. Together, the group brainstorms and writes a novella over the course of 6 weeks. Details on each group:

Ages 9-12, Beginners
Wednesday mornings, time/location varies

Ages 13-18, Intermediate-Advanced
Saturday mornings, time/location varies

Cost is $65 for the entire 6-week workshop. Students have the option of purchasing a final, printed copy of the novella through after the workshop ends.

If you have any questions, or if you're interested in attending a workshop--great! Shoot me an email (mangycat (at) gmail (dot) com) to let me know. I'll answer your questions, let you know about the next workshop dates, and/or we can talk about forms of payment at that time.

You may also want to keep an eye on this blog, as I will be posting all the details on upcoming workshops. Online workshops are in the planning stages, so if you live outside the Colorado Springs area, we may still have an option for you!

Thank you for taking the time to consider these workshops for you or the young writers in your life.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Free Church Wi-Fi

One of our pastors recently made this request: Can we make a Sunday morning announcement slide that has the following message on it: Connect your wireless device using the "[network name]” wireless access point. The logon is: “[password]”

I love how I can always assume that "we" actually means "you." XD We must learn how to be perceptive in this job.

Anyway, I had way too much fun with this and delivered a snarky and non-snarky version of the requested slide.



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inkaholics Workshop I, Day 1

We had our first session of the first incarnation of the Young Writers Workshops last Saturday. The three girls in attendance were brilliant and had a great time. Much laughter was had, and the creativity was flowing in full force.

We decided to write a contemporary fantasy about three teens who all go to the same school. The two boys are best friends and meet the new girl on the first day of school. As it turns out, she's a duchess from another realm. Sounds intriguing, eh? Chapter 1 is written, and chapter 2 is homework for the week. I can't wait to read what everyone writes this week!

Parting Shot
Isn't it against against the law NOT to take a goofy picture when a group is posing?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Novel Written on Twitter

An absolutely fascinating writing project is going on right now--on Twitter. Adam Palmer is writing a novel called Space Available for Marcher Lord Press this year, which will be composed completely on Twitter. He isn't writing it in Word and copy-pasting it into the status bar. No, he is actually composing every line in Twitter, within the parameters of 140 characters per post.

This is going to call for some seriously tight writing--of which I am a huge fan. I read through the entirety of his novel-in-progress tonight. It's a science fiction, and right off the bat, an Artificial Intelligence lifeform is a part of the dialogue. Oh my. Could it get any better?

I'm going to have a lot of fun following this project through the year. What a novel idea! If you want to follow Adam Palmer's Space Available as it is being composed, you can do so as well @AdamAuthor.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Live Sketch App

There's a drawing app for the iPhone (and iPod Touch, which I have) called LiveSketch. I was able to download it for free and have been having quite a fun time with it! It's unlike any other drawing app I have ever tried. The images it creates are quite unique. Here are a couple of mine:

Below is a Japanese artist drawing an anime character on an iPad with the same app. (Obviously he's a lot more talented at this than I am!)