Today I found this cool site: wordle.net. What I love about their tool is that you can play around with it and gather some information about your blog at the same time. The word clouds it generates are from the text you provide. It goes without saying that the more frequently you use a certain word the bigger it will appear in the cloud.

My favorite part is that after you had your fun, the picture is all yours and can do with it whatever you like. I, for one, set it as my cover image on my Facebook page. Now, isn't this neat?

Go and have some fun! Then, if you please, come back and tell me all about it!

Baby shower

So, last Saturday my mom and Laura, my sister threw me the single most awesome baby shower. I've never actually been on one before, since me and my hubby are the first ones among our friends to have a baby. Add to this that I'm your typical cutesy-loving gal, and you can imagine my excitement and how much I was looking forward to the whole thing.

In the end, the baby shoes on top of the yummy-est strawberry cake really ate themselves into my soul. I felt touched by both the dinosaurs on the balloons (see the picture below) and my friends, who came to celebrate with us. And I was so happy I smiled like a Cheshire cat all afternoon.

Since last May my hubby and I have been living a little farther away from town, so staying in touch with the girls was a little harder than before. Well, there's not a single difficulty the word wide web cannot fix, but it's just not the same. So, at the shower even though we didn't play any particular games, we had so much fun just catching up. The hours flew by and the afternoon party ended around 10 PM. The cake wasn't only gorgeous, but my mom literally had to take away my little spoon from me. Fruit cakes are my absolute weak points.

So, how is it with you guys? Have you ever been on a baby shower? Or did you have one of your own? Tell me all about it.

Comment issue fixed

I dedicate this post to two lovely girls, who were so kind to warn me about the little technical glitch my blog had. It is all fixed now, so comment away, people!

Both Alicia and Shay have wonderful blogs that I can only recommend for every book-lover around the globe. Attention all authors out there, Alicia writes fabulous reviews on Book A World, her blog's design is very unique, and not too stuffed. The simple elegance it radiates amazes me. Shay is on blogger, just like moi, and you can find anything book-related on 365 Books A Year from the hottest upcoming releases to the "Meh" Books section, which is definitely a must-follow.

Thank you girls for helping me out! To show you my appreciation I'll put here a picture of Raspberry, the cutest and loudest Yorkie that ever lived on the face of Earth.

Writing book blurbs 101

A couple of weeks ago Amanda Hocking blogged on the subject (check out her post) saying she didn't like reading them. I sort of see her point there. I mean, it gives you some sort of orientation, but I'm more of a review type of reader. And that is why I love buying books online. Although reading the blurb is still the first thing I do, that alone won't convince me to click any buttons. Let alone turn on WIFI on my Kindle. That thing eats battery like crazy. Especially if you're like me and always forget to turn it off.

No matter how much I whine about it, as an author I know I have to make an effort and write one for my upcoming book. It's just a short story, a short short story for that matter. Nevertheless both the text and my future readers deserve a full-fledged product. Anyways, I came to the point where I can no longer avoid writing a decent book description. So, I roamed the world wide web and came up with a checklist of few simple rules.

First: Keep it short! You don't need to write an essay. People want to read books, not their descriptions. Instead, introduce the hero/heroine, the setting, give a simple plot set up and that should cut it. You can spice it up with a few hints of interior/exterior conflicts or stating the hero's goal. One or two paragraphs should be enough, depending on the length of the book.

Second: Keep it simple! With all the movie trailers in the air this one is harder than it sounds. Don't use words or phrases that you hear in those. Bits like "the adventure of her life" are no good. Because people will know that you wanted to say something big, but ended up not saying anything at all. The blurbs I liked the most were always from the main character's point of view. That way you can set the tone without giving away too much information. And, for heaven's sake, don't ever put "must-read" or "great-read" into a book description. For me, personally, that is the lamest excuse of advertising, ever. Come on, you wrote the thing, of course you and/or your publisher think it's good, or else it wouldn't be published in the first place. Let's just leave this one for the reviewers.

Third: Follow the genre's lead! Knowing what your readers want to know about your book is essential. Pick up a few pieces of your book's genre and look for the clues and buzz words that convinced you to buy them. (Reading the same genre you write in is something everyone should be/and probably is doing.) This rule is about the best one you can abide by, since you'll be familiar with the readers' expectations of said genre.

And now, nothing has left for me, just to bury myself into the story and come up with a few convincing sentences. Easy-peasy, right?

Does any of you out there have experience with writing blurbs? What do you think of my rules?

Pregnancy and publishing go hand in hand this May

Maybe you haven't (but probably have) heard of it, that unexpected pregnancy tends to mess up peoples' lives. So, last November (in the middle of my first NaNoWriMo challenge) when I realized my husband and I were going to have a baby I experienced a minor panic attack. And, boy, it was the first of many. (I still won NaNoWriMo, though, just sayin'.) Don't get me wrong. I'm not afraid of kids. On the contrary, I'm great with them, always have been. The issue here was pregnancy itself. I was 24 (still am) and I wasn't prepared, not to mention I didn't have a clue of what was waiting for me. So, naturally, I turned to men's best friend, the world wide web. During my little research I completely forgot about writing. Suddenly, it didin't seem so important anymore.

After spending a few nights of reading about all the horrors, I realized having a baby is a little more complicated than F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (yes, the series) claimed it to be. I'm not going to go into details here, but believe me, these past seven months taught me to respect motherhood. And just when I got used to the whole thing, read about ten books on the subject and started to feel confident, shit hit the fan with a force so strong even master Yoda hadn't encountered. My doctor informed me that I was going to be bedridden for the remaining three months.

Doing nothing is boring, unpleasant even. But being unable to do anything simply drives you mad. I spent a couple of weeks lying in my bed and waiting for time to pass, literally. Of course, I would do anything if it was for the sake of my baby boy, but loosing my sanity surely wasn't going to win me the mom of the year trophy. As the days slid through my hands depression started to take over me. I felt like a helpless, useless fool, while my husband worked his ass off. And that wasn't good for either of us. So, I decided there had to be something even I could do. The answer was quite simple: I could still write. I found my way back to an old passion that I'd abandoned for the last few months.

Here's the deal: to re-evoke some sense of accomplishment I am going to publish the first short story I had ever written. I just need a couple of weeks to make it presentable and then I'm going down the self-pubbing slide. Wish me luck and see you in a few weeks.

This is the cover you'll want to look for to take a peek into a forgotten world. Follow Kurjak, the wolf to his last hunt and watch him unite with his long lost family. Stay tuned for more details and a decent blurb.

Oh, and one more thing, a wish that I truly mean: Happy Mother's Day to every mom!

What do you think of the cover? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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