Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rewriting and Re-visualizing

I am a visual person. I can get inspired really quickly, but then I have to conceptualize my characters and world before I can move on.

For instance, I went to a Writer's Conference in May (Hoot Hoot!!!) and in one of my WIP's, I reworked the beginning chapter, and the character grew up three years. Suddenly, she wasn't thirteen. She was going on sixteen. Bugger. That meant all the characterization I'd done on her was changing. The new idea I had of her was different. She was older, she had a bit more pizzazz to her, and had a handicap she didn't have when she was thirteen. So, I've been working on changing her story, and I came up with a scene, probably near the end, that described her quite well:

(Forgive the off-centeredness - I took this picture with my awesome phone, but I was askew a bit when I clicked. Whoopsy!)

She looks young, sort of unsure about herself, but at the same time she seems confident that she'll be able to accomplish what she needs to do. Once I got this picture down, I suddenly had a plot twist that was going to make the story amazing. Plus, I knew more or less how my character was going to look, and what sort of style she'd be sporting. Both were super important to me.

I like to collect pictures that remind me of the stories I'm working on, as well. Things that my character might use, clothes she might wear, the way her town might look, I look for all that kind of stuff. I like to pin things to Pinterest (a fabulous way to "collect" ideas, by the way) but I also use the awesome FantaMorph to create photos of people. I like black and white illustrations (done by me, of course!), but I also like an actual photo. I posted about FantaMorph before, but I have recently used it to "update" my photo of my character.

On the left we have the main character's mum, alas deceased. (She might not be alive, but she's integral to the story, so I needed to visualize her.) On the right we have the new and improved MC, age sixteen, looking a bit uncertain of herself, yet glowing with promise. I like how they turned out similar, yet different.

FantaMorph is cool, because you can use more than one face to morph. For the main character and her mom, I used the same two people for the first, morph, then I used a different face for the final morph. A younger face for the main character, and an older one for her mum.

Do you need to visualize as you're writing? What sort of writing journal, or character journal do you keep? Any tricks you use to keep yourself excited about a project? I'd love to hear them!

Until next time, God bless.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I was thinking about overused phrases today... mostly because I was editing my novel, and I stumbled across the words cold as ice in one chapter. Instantly I thought, "Ugh! Change it!"

Free image courtesy of
Sometimes it's really hard trying to be original with descriptions. There are so many spot-on descriptions I use when I'm writing my first draft, just because I want to get the meaning down on paper, but when I go back and revise the manuscript those spot-on descriptions tend to be clichés. So, I'll sit and try to think of a way to make it non-cliché. Say in my first draft I wrote, "She was smart as a whip." During revision I try to come up with a phrase that means the same thing, but is original. (FYI, I did think of replacing that phrase with "She was clever as a British crossword puzzle," except my story is a fantasy, so Britain doesn't exist!) After a bit of thinking, I decided to go with "She was as brilliant as a thread-line of magic." It's rough, and I'm not in love with it yet, but it fits my world and it's definitely not cliché. Bonus.

I hate it when I'm reading a book and I hit something so formulaic I wince. Here are some phrases I hate:

You know what I mean? (Uh, maybe.)
It's for the children. (*insert gagging emoticon*)
Like a ton of bricks. (You speak from experience?)
It is what it is. (Mmm, I see. What is IT, exactly?)
Think outside the box. (Why? Is my vision not fitting yours yet?)
White elephant. (Yup. Okay. If you say so. Looks like a house to me.)
Raining cats and dogs. (Kids! Come take a video of THIS rainstorm!)
Reach for the sky. (You realise I'll never touch it, and this is a futile gesture, right?)
Dog tired. (I guess so! Wait, you were a dog? I totally missed that!)

Do you have any truisms to add to the list? I'm sure you do!

Other things I hate are the cliché descriptions. Example:

Hard-boiled detective
Handsome stranger
Femme fatale
Evil genius
Worthy opponent
Dashing hero
Absent-minded professor

What are some clichés you abhor? Add them to the list! And for kicks, enjoy these absolutely phenomenal videos, Animator vs. Animation, 1, 2, and 3.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Six-Sentence Saturday 08/11/2012

Aaaaaaaaaaaand....'s another Saturday for Cat! Here's what I'm thinking today:

1.) You can get addicted to shows like Cake Boss
2.) Also, Cupcake Wars.
3.) Did you know the craft store Michael's sells little jeweler's anvils?
4.) It's amazing that it's almost the middle of August already.
5.) Did you know boo-boos go to sleep at night? I didn't.
6.) Raise your hand if those verification words you have to type in when commenting on a blog post drive you CRAZY!

Also, I don't know if you are familiar with this song:

It's actually a pretty song, and I rather like it. For some reason, though, it lends itself beautifully to parodies.
I hope you enjoy the two songs posted below... and above, for that matter. God bless!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thanks For Being You Award

All righty! I was tagged by Treskie over at Occasional Randomness for the THANKS FOR BEING YOU award. Of course, I never try to be anyone else but me. However, it's nice to be thanked for being me. Thanks, Treskie! ;-)

Here are the rules for this award:

1.) Thank the person who gave the award to you. (Done, both here and on her blog.)
2.) Post eleven facts about yourself. (Um, what?!?!)
3.) Answer eleven questions I will make up for you, and make up eleven of your own for the people you tag. (Again, whaaat?!?!?)
4.) Tell seven more things about yourself. (For the final time, whaaaaaaat?!?!?)
5.) Last, you apparently tag as many people as you want, which is sort of nice. Sometimes it's hard finding those ten or twelve people, you know? (Once you tag them, please let them know on their blogs. Otherwise, it may take awhile for them to discover they were tagged.)

There are a LOT of questions to answer! :-)

Oh well, here goes.

First, the eleven facts you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about Katrina DeLallo:

1.) I'm the kind of person who will not exchange anything. Ever. If it doesn't fit, oh well! Too scary to go back to the store and say, "Um, I don't want this. Take it back."

2.) I'm much chattier online than in real life.

3.) If possible, I would spend all my time either in my own little corner in my own little chair, being whatever I wanted to be, or at a bookstore. (Did I just hear someone groan?)

4.) Okay, maybe I'd spend some time at Hobby Lobby or Michael's too, or any other craft store available. (Heavens, I think I'm haunted by restless spirits. Someone else just groaned!)

5.) I like fantasy writers who know how to write beautiful sentences. Think Patricia McKillip, Elizabeth Bunce, some of Robin McKinley, and Tolkien.

6.) I will read fantasy over pretty much every other type of book ever written.

7.) I think the three biggest differences between Science Fiction and Fantasy is this: Science Fiction takes place in high-tech settings, contains steel and rivets, and their amazing creatures are dinosaurs. Fantasy takes place in medieval settings, contains woodlands and castles, and their amazing beasts are dragons. 

8.) Big families are the best.

9.) Good music is the language of the soul.

10.) A home is not a home without a room full of books, or a crucifix above (nearly) every door.

11.) I think my parents are the best ones God could ever have given me. They've done something wonderful with my family. Most people who meet us want to be just like us. (Wait. That's not weird. I mean, who wouldn't want to be just like us? We're pretty freaking amazing!)

Dum dum dum! Now for Treskie's questions:

1.) Favorite book?
Um, um, um... only one? Can't do it. Primarily fantasies, though. Tolkien. Elizabeth Bunce. Patricia McKillip.

2.) Opinion on fantasy? (No bashing J. R. R. Tolkien, KAY?) Awesomeness. Period. There is NOTHING like fantasy. I read it all the time. Seriously. And Tolkien is amazing.

3.) Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I am a coffee monster. (Whole family nods in agreement.)

4.) Ice cream: Vanilla or chocolate? Are you kidding me? Chocolate, of course. Vanilla should not be allowed. Unless you're serving it with a brownie. And whipped cream. And coffee. ;-)

5.) Do you think baseball is awesome or boring? ( I love baseball.) Live baseball is fun. Watching baseball on TV... not so much fun. Men's Olympic beach volleyball, however...

6.) Do you call this:
 ...a soccer ball or football? Silly! That's a foo'ball, of course! (No "T" in that word, people. Just insert a glottal stop. FOO'(glottal stop)ball. Like that.)

7.) Do you like action, romance, comedy, or drama? (You can pick more than one...) Probably action, like the Bourne Series, though I do like a good drama. Think THE KING'S SPEECH, or the TV show 24 (Hoot hoot! Jack Bauer!! Oh yeah.)

8.) When you go out in public, do you tend to dress up a little bit or do you not care? I tend to be dressed up most of the time anyway, but if I'm in the mood, I will apply makeup. A little eyeliner, a little eyeshadow, some curled lashes... that sort of thing.

9.) Who's a better hero, Sir Percy Blakeney or Captain America? Well, I think I'd have to say Captain America... just 'cause I LOVE my Avengers. :-) Especially the man in the suit that's not exactly iron.
10.) Favorite movie/s? Heavens! Lots and lots. The Bourne trilogy, the Lord of the Ring trilogy, every Pixar movie created, Ghost Protocol, Ip Man 1 and 2, Inception, Despicable Me, Executive Decision, The King's Speech, For Greater Glory... the list will go on much longer, so I'll stop there.

11.) State, in five words or less, your life story. (merherherherher.) Fifth child, writer, singer, mama-wannabe!

Okay, now for my eleven questions for the poor souls I shall tag. **rubs hands semi-evilly**

1.) What's the first book you ever read?
2.) What's a movie you saw as a little ikkle kid, forgot about, and when you saw it again as an adult you remembered the whole plot in a sort of gosh-I-know-what's-going-to-happen-next kind of way?
3.) If you weren't what you were now (such as a writer, mother, accountant) what would you want to be?
4.) What's your favourite hobby?
5.) What looks greyer to you? THIS spelling of gray, or this spelling of grey?
6.) How do you pronounce tomato? Toe-mah-toe, or toe-may-toe?
7.) Do you secretly wish you were a hobbit?
8.) Would you rather be an elf?
9.) Do you prefer British or American spellings of the words honour/honor, colour/color, tyre/tire, laser/lazer, aluminium/aluminum?
10.) What's your idea of fun?
11.) How many times can you say the words, "Irish wristwatch?" (Bet you can't even say it once. Not fast, anyway.)

Almost done! Seven MORE facts about me!

1.) I love technology!

2.) I aspire to be a children's picture book illustrator one day.

3.) I have never ever ever been drunk. Ever. Not once.

4.) I have an interest in learning pretty much everything. I simply lack the courage to try.

5.) In my current work-in-progress, my protagonist is ending up a lot like me. I can empathize with her really well.

6.) I can get depressed really easily. On the flip side, I can be amazingly funny. At least, judging by the laughter, I think I can be amazingly funny. Maybe it's just my hair. Lay flat, darn it!

7.) My current motto: have GPS, will travel.

Now, for the final part. Tag time! For this award, I tag:
1.) The amazing Kelly Hashway
2.) The fabulous Anne E. Johnson
3.) The inspiring Katie Clark
4.) The wonderful Ruth Schiffmann

That's all for now. Until Saturday, God bless!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Six-Sentence Sunday 08/04/2012

I wonder why it's so much easier to miss Wednesday's blog posts than Saturday's? When I'm busy, I guess weekdays just feel like... weekdays. Whereas weekends are ALWAYS weekends, and therefore impossible to miss.


Anyway, here's what's on my mind this morning.

1.) Dangerous places for me are bookstores and craft stores.

2.) Hobby Lobby is especially dangerous.

3.) As is Half-Priced Books.

4.) But, my bookshelves are filling up nicely!

5.) And that new easel in the corner... well, it wouldn't have been on sale forever, would it?

6.) There's also a secretary desk at Hobby Lobby, currently on sale. Hmmm...

LOL. That's all for now. Hope to catch up with youse all on Wednesday. **Note to self. BLOG ON WEDNESDAY!**

God bless!


My easel. Isn't it PURTY???! I need to get a stool, now. :-)
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