Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Saturday, February 26, 2011


February sucks for teachers, let me just say! Why? In Texas, our Fourth Grade Students get to take their Writing TAKS test, but that is not why it stinks the big one. Teachers during this month are zapped of all energy and are staying at work until 6 or 7 o'clock (not to mention bringing home mounds and mounds of compositions to read and critique).  During February, I kinda feel like an agent.

Needless to say, I haven't written, blogged, tweeted, or anything else for a couple of weeks.  I need some INSPIRATION.  Maybe you do, too, at times like this one when things are crazy in your life. So, I want to challenge you to think of four things that inspire you to write. Post it on your blog and link us in the comment box.  I think we can all use some ideas to get going again.


1.  Barbra Streisand: (I'm a singer and there is no one better than her!) When I pop on one of her albums, her voice feeds my soul.  I don't know what it is about her talent, but every time I listen to her, I want to write automatically.  Her songs are relaxing, calming, and whoosh away all of my excuses.  So, Babs, THANKS!

2. Other Writers: We all should have writerly friends who inspire us, either with words of encouragement, work to critique, funny stories, or that much needed kick in the pants.  I love my writer friends.  One of them (My Writer BFF) has been begging me to send her some words, and although she may not know it, she is really encouraging me to keep writing.  That way I have something to send to her soon.  You know who you are...Love and hugs!!

3. An IDEA: Nothing gets me more pumped than an exciting new idea.  My adrenaline pumps and subplot ideas swirl around in my head.  I bet I have about five notebooks going right now just itching for me to plot.  Right now, I am rewriting for the third time one of my books (and I mean a total rewrite), and those new ideas are screaming at me to hurry up.

4. Family and Friends: Just for simply asking, "How's the writing going?", "When can I read the next one?", or "You need to get out of the school building, Melissa, and go home to write.  I'm watching the security cameras and you better be out in five minutes!" (That one was my principal and good friend). I couldn't do what I love to do without each of you encouraging me.

Now, I could go on forever, but I need to stop this post to write a scene for that lovely writer friend who loves to email me for more work.  *Smiles*

So, what inspires you?  Tell us in the comment box or post a blog and link it in comments.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Here is my entry for the Just Kiss Already Blogfest.  We are supposed to post 250 words of a scene where two characters are about to kiss and the reader is frustrated. Thanks to The Write Brained Blog for hosting.  I love blogfests, especially kissing scene blogfests. Enjoy!

Scene: This is a scene from my novel, SOLSTICE, where the main male character, Leo, has been missing a few days and has just been reunited with the main female character, Grace. He has always been very guarded with his emotions because he is angelic and knows that falling for a human to land him in the fiery pit. 

His hands came up slowly and gently to grasp at the tops of my shoulders. His intense stare captured my eyes and held them there.

“You are the one,” Leo said in a whisper.

He brushed alongside my arms until his hands met my waist. I could barely breathe. My palms felt clammy and my throat was dry as I mentally tried to figure out what was happening. He never acted like this, so human. It was like he was throwing caution to the wind. Leo smiled a brilliant smile that lit up his whole face. He wrapped his arms around me, placing them on the small of my back, and pulled me firmly to his chest.

“I’ve wanted to do something for some time now, but I was too afraid.”

“You afraid?” It was unimaginable.

“Yes, well, I knew it would be the point of no return, and I’ve resisted it much too long.” His eyes drifted down my body.

“Just spit it out already,” I urged, giggling to hide my anticipation. “I’m dying here!”

“I hope not. That would ruin my perfect record,” he stated with chagrin. Then, his face went very serious, like he was gearing up for something big.

He leaned his head down and stopped so close to my face that our noses touched. He breathed in a catch of breath and brushed his lips across mine.

“Mmm,” his lips vibrated.

Oh for the love of all that is holy!

“Would it be alright if I kissed you?” he asked, while he continued to stare into my eyes.

I nodded once, not believing I was finally getting my wish.

His lips pressed into mine, soft yet strong. I felt breathless in that moment and closed my eyes. All I wanted, in the world, I had in that instant. His warmth, caring, passion, and unmistakable beauty fulfilled my desire so perfectly. My blood rushed in my veins as the kiss intensified. My hands tugged on the waistband of his hoodie, drawing his body closer. His hands were everywhere; in my hair, then my shoulders, and caressing the sides of my face. Our lips moved together like thread sewing a stitch. I reached my hands up to grip his tousled hair and he moaned against my lips, making me light-headed. I swayed into his arms as their strength surrounded me.

I wanted so badly to look at his face, but his lips left mine and caressed my cheekbone, giving me little kisses that made my skin tingle in pleasure. He held me closer still but started to breathe raggedly in my ear.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the scene.  I would love to hear any comments.  Thanks.

Monday, February 7, 2011


As many of you know, I love Blogfest.  They are a great way to meet other writers and get feedback on your work.  I found this one over at Brenda Drake's blog (click here for details), and I knew I had to join in on the party.

It's a FIRST LINES blogfest contest.  Now I love first lines that grab you by the seat of the pants and don't let go.  One of my favorite first line authors is Joshlyn Jackson.  If you don't know her or have never read any of her books, you should.  Her first lines will make you want to have her babies. *grins*

I have recently been doing a study of YA first lines and have also been working on my own.  So today, I offer two samplings.  Please let me know what you think.  I would appreciate the comments.

First Line #1:

I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested at eight. Apparently having imaginary friends at that age was cause for concern. (The italics part is the next two lines)

First Line #2:

Asking a girl to prom seemed easy until I puked all over her shoes.
What do you think?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Over at the YA Highway Blog, It's road trip Wednesday.  That means we (those of us in the blogosphere) write ona  specific topic.

This Week's Topic:

Happy Groundhog Day! If the groundhog sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter (and we're hoping he doesn't, since 2/3 of the US is covered in blizzard right now). In the movie "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray has to relive the same day over and over. What books would you pick to read over and over for the rest of your life?

This is such a hard topic for me because there are so many books right now that I'm fascinated with on a regular basis.  So, I'm going to make a list for you.  Have your pencils ready:

  1. Perfect Chemistry: by Simone Elkeles  I have read this book about ten times.  It's on my cell phone, my iPad, and bookshelf.  I love the banter between Alex and Brittany.  I have a soft spot for the Fuentes boys!!
  2. The DUFF: by Kody Keplinger  LOVE THIS BOOK! Again, I have this one on my cell phone, iPad, bookshelf, and audio.  I have the love scenes bookmarked! Bianca is so real and Wesley (sa-woon!) is such a contrast.  It's rare to find a novel where the female protag is stronger than the male protag!
  3. Twilight: by Stephenie Meyer I am addicted to this book and read it every couple of months.  I love that Edward and Bella's romance is so taboo, but they try to make it work. 
  4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare  I adore Jace and his snarky jokes!  Read this one on a regular basis also!

Now, I could mention that I read Harry Potter every year with my students, and I have lost count of the number of times I have read the series.  Let's just say, Harry Potter is my most read book EVER!

What books have found their way into your heart?