Life experiences · Writer · YA Author · YA Book · YA contemporary science fiction · young adult · young adult novel

New Year’s Resolutions and Other Stupid Ideas

Everywhere I look, people are blogging and posting about their New Year’s resolutions and goals. Through some unforeseen alien force, even I was sucked into the Twitterverse and brainwashed into tweeting my 2017 writing goals. And I must admit—it looks super sparkly all typed out and pretty like that. But overall, my general feelers about making New Year’s resos are… blah, blah, blah.  Not because I think it’s stupid, but because I know me.

I make ‘em.img_4478

I break ‘em.

Every. Dang. Time.

I  have good intentions—I want to accomplish my goals—but life always gets in the way. And life can be stupid.

Whoever said being an adult is awesome should be shot.

No matter how much I juggle or rearrange responsibilities, or cut out sleep, there just isn’t enough time in the day. And in the next few weeks I’ll be adding more to my overflowing plate of responsibilities–a  college class (maybe I’m the stupid one).

So why make New Year’s resos?

Why set myself up to fail?

Because setting goals isn’t stupid, it’s a worthy investment in myself and helps me to focus on priorities. Regardless of whether or not I meet the goals—at least I’m trying. And honestly, sometimes the process is more important than the product—the journey than the destination. Because whether or not I reach that “big pot of goal” at the end of the rainbow, I’m developing habits along the way which will last a lifetime.

Maybe I won’t finish a book this year (don’t worry Butterfly Bones readers, it’s just an analogy). But If I’m writing daily, whether ten words or ten thousand,  I’m honing my skills, practicing craft, becoming a stronger writer, and I will eventually complete the story.

So will I meet all my goals for 2017?

Probably not. But I sure the heck am going to enjoy the journey.

So buckle up, 2017. Let’s go for a ride!

Butterfly Bones, available at and Barnes & Noble.

Author Page for Rebecca Carpenter


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new release · science fiction · Uncategorized · Writer · YA Author · YA Book · YA contemporary science fiction · young adult · young adult novel

The Birth of a Novel: Butterfly Bones

The Birth of a Novel: Butterfly Bones


Five years ago, while listening to The Cure, a song called “Caterpillar” came on.Eating Caterpillar I’d heard this song a million times. But for some reason, this time the music and lyrics spoke to me. The title of a book emerged: THE CATERPILLAR GIRL. Before I knew it, the idea for a short story revealed itself.

The earliest version depicted a bullied teen girl with a rare bone disease getting revenge on her tormentors. Blood and gore were at the forefront. So I grabbed a notebook and jotted down my ideas. BETHANY KEATLEY, the MC, crawled from the ashes of my imagination and evolved into a 3-D character. And it wasn’t long before I molded and breathed life into JEREMIAH WRIGHT, Bethany’s best friend and love interest. Along with many other characters, the story flickered to life.

scary pics

I characterized and plotted until I knew every detail about my characters and the story I wanted to tell. Time to write the novel.


But something strange happened.


No matter how hard I tried, Bethany refused to star in a horror novel. Instead, she pushed me to pen her story—a journey through great loss, tremendous change, and the harsh reality that Mother Nature and Father Time can’t be cheated.mother nature

About a month later, I finished the short story. But Bethany still wasn’t happy. I hadn’t told her whole story—not the way she wanted me to. So I set the story aside and listened to my character.

Her wants. Her needs. Her weaknesses. Her strengths. Her story.

Soon, the short story morphed into a full novel, just over eighty thousand words. But that wasn’t the end.

After suggestions from contest mentors, I rewrote the beginning, switched the POV from third to first person, and changed the tense from past to present. The changes allowed me to see holes in the story where I hadn’t before and to make Bethany’s journey even stronger. Like my MC, my story experienced metamorphosis.butterfly1.jpg

Fast forward to signing with Lakewater Press; the editor, Kate Foster, asked me how I felt about a title change. My heart dropped and a lump formed in my throat. No way. The title had always been The Caterpillar Girl—the title had inspired the book.

But as Kate threw out ideas and BUTTERFLY BONES was born, I replayed the suggested title over and over in my head, as well as reciting it out loud—growing fonder of the change with every pass over my tongue.

And then it hit me. BUTTERFLY BONES had a double meaning.MP900444860

  1. Butterflies are fragile, yet tough as hell, and so is my MC.
  2. Since her bones are strengthened from butterfly DNA, Bethany literally has “butterfly bones.”

And that was it. I agreed to the title change and haven’t looked back.

And how does Bethany feel about the change?

She thinks it’s the shizz—freaking shizz-tastic!image


Writer · writing, grammar, and punctuation

Oh, Comma!

imageFor the past three months, I’ve had the privilege of interning as an assistant editor for a small press. I’d like to say that most writers understand and correctly use grammar and punctuation, but they don’t. The most common mistake I see is the incorrect use of commas. So for the next few weeks I’m going to focus on correct comma usage, starting with the most basic.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a comma is a punctuation mark indicating a pause between parts of a sentence. It is also used to separate items in a list and to mark the place of thousands in a large numeral. This post will focus on the pause between parts of a sentence, as this seems to be most difficult for writers to learn.

An independent clause is a sentence that stands alone as a simple sentence. It contains a subject and a predicate and makes sense by itself.

Independent clauses can be joined by using a comma when separated by a coordinating conjunction, such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet, however, etc.

A conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, sentences, clauses, or phrases, and a coordinating conjunction is a conjunction placed between words, phrases, etc.

In the most basic of descriptions, a subject is the person or thing that is being discussed or described.

The predicate is the part of a sentence that expresses what is said about the subject.

Now that definitions are out of the way, let’s take a few examples of sentences that are independent.

Example: Mark shifted from one foot to the other. The sentence makes complete sense alone and contains a subject and a predicate.

Example: He couldn’t ease the tension building in his gut. Again, this sentence stands alone and contains a subject and predicate.

If I were to join these two sentences by using a coordinating conjunction, a comma must be used.

Example: Mark shifted from one foot to the other, but he couldn’t ease the tension building in his gut.

Since both sentences are independent, a comma is inserted before the conjunction.

Exceptions to the rule: Do not use a comma in between two independent sentences when the conjunction as is used, because as indicates both are happening at the same time and negates the need for the pause. Also, a comma may be omitted if both independent sentences are short (four words or less) or at least one is four words or less.

Example: He screamed and he cried.

Although both phrases are independent, since they are less than four words, a comma does not need to be used.

But if one sentence is short but longer than four words, while the other is long, a comma should be used.

Example: Cindy cowered on the floor, and it wasn’t long before the entire school surrounded her with thunderous laughter.

The most common mistake I see is people using the Oxford comma, but not the first comma in a sentence.

Example: Mallory clenched her hand into a fist and she swung with all her might, but she missed her mark and spun to the ground.

Because the sentence has three independent clauses, the comma must be used to separate the first two (before the first and), and the third is optional. I prefer the Oxford comma and think the sentence flows better with it, but many people are opting not to use it. Either way it is a stylistic choice, so whichever you decide, be consistent.

The last mistake I’d like to mention for the comma is using them when the writer feels there should be a pause in the sentence, but the sentence doesn’t actually call for one.

Example: Brett struggled, for a breath, and slumped over the steering wheel.

While the commas before and after “for a breath” are for emphasis, the correct way to write it would be:

Example: Brett struggled for a breath and slumped over the steering wheel.

If the writer wanted a stronger visual, he/she might write:

Example: Brett gasped, struggling for a breath, and slumped over the steering wheel.

That’s the comma lesson for this week. Next week we’ll tackle dependent clauses and why one should not use a comma with them.



Dear Rejection

Dear Rejection,                                      I seem to be hearing from you a lot lately. Your mocking laughter says, “You’re not good enough.”             “Give up!” “You’re no writer.” And while your tone is laced with failure, I’ve found that you bolster my resolve to become a better writer. As I dig deep and question whether or not I’m good enough and if I really want to be a writer, the same answer pops up; “Hell, yes!” So gather your ammunition and pull out the big guns. But understand that no matter how many times you knock me down, I will get back up. I may not defeat you today, and maybe not even tomorrow, but eventually I will conquer. Each rejection letter makes me even more determined to become a published author. Within the dark abyss of despair burns the refiner’s fire—purifying me—strengthening me—sculpting me into a great writer. The process is my own revision, and I’m really close to the final draft. So bring it on Rejection! I AM A WRITER, and I will write you out of my life.  Sincerely, Rebecca Carpenter rejected

Teen Pregnancy · Writer

Looking for The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson?

If you are looking for The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson, the referral to this blog in the Daily Sentinel as a place to buy the book was incorrect.  Please go to and type in The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson, and the book will pull up. Or, for quicker access, click the link on the bottom of my book. It is available in paperback and for Kindle download. Be Strong. Be Educated. Be Heard.

Life experiences · Uncategorized · Writer

Marketing Blues

I created a FaceBook page for my book.                                                                                             I set up an author’s website.                                                                                                                  I made a YouTube video.                                                                                                                       I became a Twit on Twitter. And I’m still having a difficult time of reaching my target audience–teen girls.

Writing a book is easy. Marketing and selling the book is the hard part. How frustrating it is to have a valuable tool for teen girls (and their mothers) but not be able to get that tool into their hands.

I have the marketing blues 😦The_Total_Deconstruc_Cover_for_Kindle








Life experiences · Writer

The First Time I Saw My Dad Cry

Since Father’s Day is celebrated in June, I thought this would be a great time to re-post this blog. My father is my hero. A man of integrity and honesty. He is a man who believes in the value of work and responsibility. He is funny and fun. And I love him and respect him more than he could ever know. IMG_1753

There have been only two times that I witnessed my father break down and cry. The latter transpired as he spoke at his father’s funeral service. The first time happened while he read a book to my siblings and I. The book was Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner.
I still remember my dad’s quavering tone as the protagonist, Little Willy, picked up his dead dog, Searchlight, and carried her across the finish line. Consumed in emotion, Dad became too choked up to continue. The powerful ending swallowed my entire family in loud sobs. It was at that moment that I realized books were magical. If a story could make the strongest man I knew cry, there was no limit to what a good book could do. Reading has been an integral part of my life ever since that defining moment.

Thanks, Dad, for being man enough to cry and for introducing me to the wonderful world of books.
If you have a child, I would highly recommend Stone Fox.