Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Year in the Life of Petit Fours and Hot Tamales

by Nicki Salcedo

I wish you knew all of us. We are a diverse group of women brought together by a common goal. The love of writing. Since words are our passion read what we say to find out all you need to know about us.

Ana Aragón Thursday, October 15, 2009 Taking a Machete to your WIP
So when the editor I pitched to asked me to send the full manuscript, I knew what I had to do...yeah, get rid of the prologue and start the book with Chapter 3. If you need to get rid of 20,000 words, that's a good place to start.

Anna Steffl Tuesday, May 5, 2009 Having Cake and Eating It, Too
I do labor to find occasional metaphors and similes that match my characters’ ways of seeing the world. I like to think that when I do use them, they really sparkle, are my characters’ north stars.

Carol Burnside Monday, November 9, 2009 Subtext and an invitation
As we get to know each other, we compartmentalize our personal lives from business less and less. Some are more cautious than others, but eventually we expose tiny bits of ourselves.

Cici Barnes Tuesday, June 30, 2009 Now that the honeymoon is over . . .
So goes the way of entering into the wedded bliss of writing. You cross the threshold into the world of words, pecking out ideas that have sprouted in your mind.

Cinthia Hamer Wednesday, December 2, 2009 Looking Backward . . . Looking Inward
There are times in life when you must take leaps of faith; times when you just gracefully accept whatever gifts are given. . . .And to think, I almost let it slip through my fingers.

Darcy Crowder Thursday, August 13, 2009 The Little Things
It’s the small details that can have the biggest impact, show us who a character is, make us care. From the clothing choices they make, to the kind of art they have hanging on their wall. . . .The answers to these types of questions are what make characters come alive; relatable in their similarities, fascinating in their differences.

Debbie Kaufman Wednesday, May 20, 2009 SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER
By the time the time Captain Kirk started his famous “Space the Final Frontier” voice-over, I would be sitting cross-legged on my sofa within reaching distance of the TV dial. . . .Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty, and assorted others faithfully kept me company once a week.

J Perry Stone Wednesday, October 14, 2009 Why EQ Is More Important Than IQ
Even before an author can bang out a scene, she must observe interaction around her and participate in it if she ever has a hope of expressing genuine emotion through her words.

Monday, April 20, 2009 Making The Writing Muse Your Bitch
Try to write as best you can, of course, but don’t crucify yourself when you don’t. If you do, in the long run you’ll be hurting yourself far more than if you just shrugged and chalked it up to a crap writing day. Everyone writes crap. EVERYONE who writes, writes crap.

Linsey Lanier Tuesday, March 3, 2009 Beware the Smiling One
It might be an indication that I need therapy, but I love creating villains. I love getting into their heads and figuring out what makes them tick. The villains in my books have included a sadistic son of a Nazi, a psychotic wife abuser, and in my current WIP, a Chicago Outfit mob boss who's something of a cross between Tony Soprano and Hannibal Lechter.

Marilyn Baron Thursday, April 23, 2009 Would a Rose by any other Name Smell as Sweet?
I was born without a sense of smell, a trait I inherited from my grandmother. I think that puts me at a disadvantage. In writing workshops I learned the importance of capturing all of the five senses. How can my writing describe the hero’s “pungent aftershave,” or the fact that the heroine “carries the scent of cinnamon,” when I have no personal experience in that area?

Maxine Davis Monday, July 20, 2009 Conflict in Fiction
Conflict is what makes us want to read the story. Conflict creates suspense. It hooks the reader. Conflict makes us love or hate the characters. It is the plot, the reason we read the book. There must be a struggle that we fear will end the relationship, yet we must keep reading to see how the struggle will be resolved and that resolve can leave us laughing, crying, or sighing.

Michelle Newcome Monday, April 27, 2009 Faded Glory Stretch – The Way America Lives
Our glory has certainly faded a bit, both as a nation and as individuals. I could look at this through any number of lenses – political, economic, inventive – but I use words so I’m going to stick with the world of words.

Nicki Salcedo Wednesday, January 14, 2009 Some Dance to Remember
Why do we write (or read for that matter)? . . . . Some write to remember. Some write to forget.

Sally Kilpatrick Tuesday, April 28, 2009 It's All About the Story
Hi. My name is Sally, (Hi, Sally) and I’m addicted to playing with words. I’m addicted to letting my ability to turn a phrase distract me from crafting deep, heart-felt conflicts.

Sandra Elzie Tuesday, August 11, 2009 FICTION WRITERS ARE PROFESSIONAL LIARS
Your character must stay the course and your story must move with “singleness of mind” toward a conclusion, not straying down rabbit trails or getting bogged down with useless chatter.

Susan May Wednesday, May 6, 2009 Graduating
Graduating is a step forward to the next challenge. Enjoy your accomplishments but don’t stop what you are doing instead make the next step forward to where you want out of your writing life.

Tamara DeStefano Sunday, May 10, 2009 Aspen Exposé -- Group Novel -- Chapter Two
Kissing her left something to be desired—the rest of her.

Thursday, May 26, 2009
Tamara and the Three Critique Partners
As Tamara looks back on that fateful day five years ago, she doesn't remember a noisy tavern, a trio of witches, or their unending chatter. What she does recall are three irreplaceable women, Novel Knights, The Triple F's, who smiled warmly, welcomed her into their midst and taught her to believe in her talent.

Tami Brothers Tuesday, April 14, 2009 A Blessing in Disguise
I’m a full-time college student, a wife, a mother, and a writer. Add to that my recent addition of full-time employment in Corporate America and it’s easy to see how there isn’t time or room for a whole lot of extra in my life right now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009 Writing Challenge
Monday, October 5, 2009 PF&HTs Treasure Hunt Kickoff!

Tammy Schubert Monday, November 30, 2009 Pay it Back by Paying It Forward
Once his words of wisdom were conveyed, he promptly got up, waved and headed off. . . .How many of us would have done the same? How many of us would take a little bit of risk on without expecting anything in return?

Thanks for learning about my blog sisters through their words this year. Whose words have impacted you most in 2009? What did you write that you are most proud of? We hope to see you again in 2010. Happy Writing and Happy New Year.


Carol Burnside said...

Well, what a cool thing you've done here. This is a terrific way to take us through the year. Kudos to you, Nicki.

I can't think of one body of work that impacted me, but several lines here and there that stuck. Lines I keep coming back to that helped me see something in my writing or that caused me to look at something differently. Oh, the power of words!

This year I'm most proud of finishing a work I'd started some time ago. One that at one point I thought might never have an end. LOL However, it's languishing on an editor's desk now.

Happy Writing and a Happy New Year to you too, Nicki.

Sandy Elzie said...

What a fun...and Gee, we all sounded so good this year!
We blog for others to read, but we blog for ourselves...for the chance to get our thoughts and feelings "out there" for others to read.

Kudos to all of us who blogged and to all who have left (or will in the future) leave comments. We risk sharing our inner selves when we do, but it also allows others a glimpse of us that they would probably never see otherwise.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Nicki, once again your creativity amazes me. What a great summarizing post idea. Here's looking forward to many great lines in 2010!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Nicki--this is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to put together a sampler platter of Petit Fours and Hot Tamales.

It's hard for me to say which posts I have liked most. All I can say is that I am constantly impressed by the writing of my fellow bloggers, and that's hard to do considering I know what talent surrounds me at this point.

Dianna Love said...

Nicki - Always coming up with a new look at something. I love seeing snapshots of everyone from this past year. And what a year you've all had!

Marilyn Baron said...


I loved this post. You're so creative. It is neat to take a look back and remember the wonderful year we've had. I've really enjoyed being part of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog and getting to know my blogging sisters. They are all so talented.

I've been recovering from surgery and so have had a chance to read a lot. That has reinforced what I've always known. I love books. Where would be be without them? They are such a blessing. Just a few I've read in the past week --
"Sarah's Key" by Tatiana De Rosnay, "The Help," by Kathryn Stockett, "Rainwater" by Sandra Brown, "Olive Kitteredge" by Elizabeth Strout and "The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder," by Rebecca Wells (Ya-Ya Sisterhood). The genres are different but I enjoyed them all. Each time I pick up a book I think, one day I will write a book that people will read and enjoy. That keeps me going.
I'm most proud of "The Edger," a book I just finished that I co-wrote with my sister. I can't wait for 2010.

Thanks Nicki and thanks to all my blogging sisters for your friendship, your wisdom and your words.

Marilyn Baron

Maxine Davis said...


Absolutely loved it. Fantastic idea for end of year! There are some awesome words of wisdom there. I'm going to print it out and hang it on the wall!

Thank you ladies, one and all. And thank you Nicki.

Darcy Crowder said...


What a fabulous tribute to our first year of blogging. Thanks.

I'm so inspired to be a part of such a talented group of ladies. I'm looking forward to another amazing and surprising year ahead.

Ana Aragón said...


What a wonderful way to showcase our PFHT sisters! You are so damned creative!

Joining this blog has been one of a very few positives in 2009 for me. I am so thankful I had the opportunity.

Bless you!


Linsey Lanier said...

Wow, Nicki. You've blown me away with your presentation of these memories.

Hasn't it been a wonderful, enriching year for our blog? There is a treasure trove in our archives. I hope our readers will plumb it's depth when looking for inspiration.

Yes, being a member of this group is inspiring, challenging, and intimidating, all at the same time. What a talented ensemble. I'm so thrilled to be among you.


Nicki Salcedo said...

Carol, I also remember that you did a great deal to help at RWA Nationals this year. That is something else to be proud of! Glad to know you.

Sandy, I couldn't find it, but didn't you also have a story about your grandfather and an alligator? It is funny when you think back on the year and think, what most reminds me of Sandy Elzie. :) Shouldn't you mention your awesome NaNo word count as part of 2009 accomplishments? I'm really proud of you for that.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Debbie, you had a fabulous contest year and new grand baby. I picked that particular blog of yours because I was hoping he was going to be named Mr. Spock.

Sally, you also had a wonderful "rant" blog post which captured your smarts, but I love the posts when you are funny!

Dianna, you've had a grand slam year. Lots of writing, books, and mentoring. We are lucky to know you.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Marilyn, glad you are recovering by reading. I liked "The Help" and wish I had more time to read. I hope you make "The Edger" a reality in 2010.

Maxine, I'm still thinking of the library truck. I think the idea of it has fully formed a story in my mind. Thank you for all of your insights into past and present.

Darcy, I also really liked your post about your husband's proposal on your 15th anniversary. Memorable words and sentiment. I'm extra glad that I know you and you didn't let anyone stop you this year!

Nicki Salcedo said...

Ana, for shame. Here are your positives. Beautiful daughter, soon to be world famous son. Lovely October story. Helping the blog and making the pitch workshop at M&M a super success. I've been taking notes!

Linsey, when I wear pretty dresses, I think "This would make Linsey proud" :-) My very favorite from you is from your October story: "muffled shouts snapped like the twigs on the blaze as they tossed wood on the fire and skipped gleefully around the flames. Cruel boys." Nice.

J Perry Stone said...

I feel like crying. You remind me--as you usually do, Nicki--of the power of a writer's words.

Yours always affect me.

I forget mine may affect you.

Love your guts,

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Nicki! This was such a nice surprise to see. Thank you so much for a recap of our year. I know this took a ton of work and I appreciate what you have done...

I actually had to click on mine to remind myself what I had written. Funny how I remembered most of the other posts, but mine I couldn't quite recall.

This was fun!!!


Nicki Salcedo said...

JP, you don't know how hard it was to pick one memory, so for your I had to pick two! I could remember one thing from everyone, but finding the date it was posted was a whole other drama. Thank you for sharing your words and helping us improve our EQs.

Tami, same for you. You not only wrote inspiring and honest posts, but you also motivated us. Group novel, treasure hunt, writing exercises. I agree about remembering my own posts. I couldn't think of one thing I wrote all year, so I cheated and picked something from my first post.

And yes, JP and Tami. Your words do affect people.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Sandy, thank you for mentioning those who have stopped by and commented throughout the year. "We risk sharing our inner selves when we do, but it also allows others a glimpse of us that they would probably never see otherwise." You should put this in a blog. Well said.

Thank you, Sandy. And thank you to our readers!

Anna Steffl said...

As always, a day late and a dollar short...where was I yesterday?

That was really generous devoting your blog day to everyone else.