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Thursday, October 29, 2009

never mind race, let's talk food

as in what yummy foods match your characters' skins? I think it's a fun question that could really bring some hunger and creativity into the writing process. I take a kitchen tour at erotic muses.

But golly, I can't read that Dear Author thread any more. It's just too familiar. Too much BTDT, hear the rants already. The passions and dismissals and the angers and the stunned hurt. Yup.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good news! Diane Farr will have another book out
Bad news**! It'll be in March.

**because I don't like waiting.

Scenes from the life of the Overcommitted Teenager

Repeat daily for at least a week. Add dramatic symptoms of cold when needed.


me: Go to bed, it's midnight
kid: I can't. I have to finish this essay.

**

me: Go to bed, it's 1 am.
kid: I can't. I have to study for the test tomorrow.

**

me: Bed. It's 3. BED!
kid: All right, all right. Jeez.

**

**

me: Wake up, it's 6 am
kid: brrboidfhwl'sjghls

**

me: Wake up, it's 6:30 am
kid: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

**

me: Wake up, it's 7. You missed the bus. I'll give you a ride to school. WAKE UP.
kid: All right, all right. Jeez.

me: Don't you mean thanks for the ride, mom?

kid: brrboidfhwl'sjghls ::hack::hack::

me: That's a nasty cough. Maybe you should stay home.
kid: I have two tests today ::hack:: ::hack:: and rehearsal and the play's next week ::hack:: ::hack:: I already missed most of a day and I can't miss any more. And I don't have a fever. ::hack:: ::hack::::choke:: gack::

Monday, October 26, 2009

visitors galore

Every now and again I need to a new, more creative way to avoid work. When facebook or twitter fails to amuse, I check my stat thingy, see how many people are visiting this blog and why. And erg, dang, look the numbers are up. Erg, dang because I figure it's because of Irrational Arousal's major reaming over at SBTB (Just the thought of it makes me want to lunge for more chocolate. Shit. We're out of cookies.)

Sure, sure some of you are coming from over there**. But listen, it's not all linked to that. I found another link to another bloggy thing as well, and I like this one.

* * *

It's Monday, which means SBD which I'll do later, I think. Except it's kind of a "I didn't like this book at all" report and it's too Mary Sunshine around here for that.....

Yah, and with increased traffic, I really should put up a Best Of This Blog note. Except I'm too lazy and what do I know from the good posts.

Hey, any of you doing NaNoWriMo? That thing is practically corporate--I drove across the river and met my ML last night.

"Municipal Leader." Sounds Soviet.

___________________

**Hi, hi, hello, and if you email me, I might send you a copy of Irrational Arousal. One of you anyway. Come on, YOU know you're curious. Is it really that bad? Here's your chance to find out.

Nothing is free in this life and you will pay a penalty: I'll put you on my mailing list which I only use when I have new releases. And which you will be able to escape....eventually.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

working

I've been doing exercises for scene setting lately, just because enough with the talking heads. Scene! Setting!

So for this exercise I draw on memories of specific spots and listing the sensory details from my memories.

So far I've got: tropical beach at night (St Barts mmmm), outside the Washington Cathedral on a Wednesday evening listening to the bagpipes, sitting on a porch at a lake, walking up a steep hill, driving on the NJ Turnpike, drinking tea in the garden of Dairy Cottage. Just a list of the words of what I saw, felt, smelled, yada yada....

and here's what I'm learning.

--Memories established alone are more powerful. Apparently when someone else is there, I don't do much in the way of observation.

--Memories evoke far too much emotion to be entirely useful. I get sucked into the regrets and the sense of loss instead of What Was Happening. Every one of them has sorrow attached which is kind of ....odd. After all, I got to live through pleasant experiences. That should be enough for anyone. But it stops being about that time and all about how I'll never see those places again. Which is useless.

--I'm apparently much clearer on the sensory details of the memories from when I was a teenager than the more recent stuff.

IN other words, I'm sucking at this exercise. Maybe I'll go outside and write the details of what I'm feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting in the front yard. My guess is "Wet" will be emphasized in the description.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A couple of entries back? when I said think of the bunnies? There are two at the local pet store and I suddenly Want a Rabbit.

I had one for a while -- a mentally negligible number (named Bertie of course). It didn't require much to keep it entertained and happy, and its nose action alone was worth the price of bunny chunks.

The husband has announced that a kitten is out. And no puppies. He stamped his little foot about it.

But more furry things in this house would be good. The mice that are moving in for the winter don't count because I rarely spot them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

feel free to comment about what an awesome, damn fine rioter I am

I'm going to go find another cookie and really, stack that firewood. And wait for inspiration to strike.

ooommmm

advice to self after a SBTB DNF review

1. go find chocolate
2. reread my previous advice, and gaze upon the happy hippos (mostly because it's a cool picture)
3. think of the bunnies.
4. hope there are lots of comments, because it's good to get a lot of comments
5. for fuck's sake do NOT go read the comments.
6. get to work.
7. or stack firewood.
8. chocolate
9. bunnies.
10 reread this nice review of the same book a few times.
11, remind myself that just because SBTB is an incredibly popular site, and I happen to lurve Ms. Sarah. ..umm....just because. Wait, how is this number 11 going to help again?

it helps that if I'm clever or creative enough I might get some real work.

It also helps that I don't agree with a lot of what she wrote--the very worst reviews, the ones that stick around like a bad crabcake, are the negative ones that make you go Oh. Shit. She's right.

* * *

on an unrelated topic, those ads from Cancer Centers of America give me the willies. I think it's the whole Marriotization of cancer treatment. Ergh.

Also the ads against taxing soda.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Revenge of the spammers

Well, hell.
So do NOT OPEN ANY EMAIL FROM MY COMCAST ACCOUNT WITH THE SUBJECT LINE "hi"

IT will take over your account and cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth and lots of spam going out. You don't have to open the thing for it to cause trouble. I didn't open attachments and BAM there I am, a spammer.
Sorry

poetry

the spam box collection...various lines lifted from about 200 letters

1.

I brush my hair
Have you brushed your hair this morning?
I thought about you
Important that you reply
I googled you today....
trouble
viewing this email?
Urgent news!
I'm sorry I'm late again.
We have not received your reply Billy was not satisfied.
Your wife will not be satisfied.
You will be satisfied.
She will love you more
Urgent
News!


2
Replica Rolex
Cheers. Sheaf Wizard
Over the dying summer I have known. Now....
Replica they'll never know isn't real
I was excluded
I was excluded from parties and celebrations.
Never satisfied with your tool.
Bigger better tool
Never satisfied.
You will be glad.

Universal decision for men who want to stay men
It's easy. For you.
We have not received your reply
Trouble
Viewing this email?
Can you say timely
I miss you

3.
We have not received your reply
We are awaiting your reply
wistful

hey! I forgot to load up this nice review! Look. They like the book!

SBD sort of

For a moment I thought, OmG, I haven't read a book this week? Really?
AND I've never gone so long without reading a book.....

.... except yeah, I did read one. It was a PG Wodehouse first published in 1921. Not nearly as sappy as some of those early wodehouses. It did feature the brave young heroine. It was missing a lot of the comic bits and the voice isn't there yet.

On the other hand, it had schticks he might have cut in a later novel-- or maybe skipped over lightly. He tended to abbreviate scenes once he got more polished.

There's a longish bit where the heroine shows up as a penniless wretch at her dreary penny-pinching uncle's dreary house on Long Island. She starts out an honored guest and once the family figures out she has no money, she's gradually given jobs to do. The scenes where she and her dreary little cousin exchange looks as they're dragooned into jobs is pretty great.

Oh, and the theater language is fantastic. Silly, of course, and sappy. But fun.

I'd go look up the title but this SBD is hardly worth the effort. I'm glad I read the book. I'm glad it was free. I won't erase it from my Kindle because it's just the thing for the middle of the night again. Also. It has turn of the century New Yawk and I haven't given up on that place yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

yikes, I don't think I've gone so long without blogging before. Maybe because I've been digging up excerpts and posting them on a loop and I've had more than enough of me.

I'd say I haven't written because I have nothing to say but that hasn't stopped me for how freaking long? I've been blogging for years and years and years. I passed ancient and am a fossil in the blogosphere.

I've stopped reading a lot of blogs too. The quicky check in with facebook and twitter means I can tell if anything BIG is going on. BIG as in a book sale, an illness, a birth, an argument, a divorce.

I'm such a girl. (Mike just read Gene Weingarten to me and....... yeah, so?)

There's a sea change coming.

I love that phrase even if I don't know WT exact F it means***. I'm just waiting to find out what it is exactly. No one's told me, but I can feel it in the air. For all I know, it could be the inspiration to finally clean the basement hits.
______
*** now I do. Bless you internet and double bless you Willie. and yeah, I got the gist right all these years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

yes, okay....


Dammit, all right. YES. The cover does illustrate the story. It does. Okay? Great, got that settled.








ON the other hand, it also beautifully illustrates Genie of the Butt Hole.

SBD and promo---but separate for once

I just finished listening to Neverwhere and I do like Gaiman's voice, but I'm not sure I loved the story. I think it would be better as a comic book--it would fit that format. And of course I mean a good comic book, although that's an unnecessary amendment. These days no one thinks that saying that writer's work should be in the comix is an insult.**

I thought that even before I (consciously, anyway) remembered that's what Gaiman's famous for. The story had a kind of "and then" feel to it, the down-the-rabbit hole-and-what-comes-next adventure feel. Not really a character driven thing, but that's the way that particular world worked.

Is that SBD enough to be considered an SBD? I want to stick to tradition. Dammit.

* * *

Mostly what I'm doing today is putting up excerpts in a yahoo group, sexydelights (sound like a kind of candy--something with nougat). I'll try to put up a link, but I'm having miserable luck with those. Just go to yahoo and find it there.

You should go join the group because that's where Marie Treanor hangs out. I joined so I could find out when she had releases.

and now I get to do promo there too--by special invitation, as the loop says. And if you join there, and join my mailing list, you might get win of my ebooks.

Hey, that email loop thing and the book give-away sounds familiar. . . . This again?

Yes. This. Again.


________

**and if comix can be redeemed then so can romance, eh?


Saturday, October 10, 2009

I've actually grown fond of that cover. If you go over to my new Summer page, part of it is featured prominently.

I had to fill some space and it didn't blur out when I made it big...So very big.

Friday, October 09, 2009

laughing, a lot.


I still like the ones you guys sent but some of these snarkola comments are excellent.

I'd say whomever wins gets a copy of my book, whether she wants it or not.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

also

my boys are freaking awesome.....even when they're not.

If I'm going to complain. . .

I should also show the happy side, right?
1. I finished writing a story I like. A short one, but any length is good.

2. A pleasant person at godaddy** told me how to use my guest book at the site I made.

2a. The fact that the site is working is amazing--I also found this nice note there.

3. I do like critiquing with people. Nothing in the world is more fun than brainstorming. NOTHING. . . . . Thanks, Toni and Corey.
_____

** I have always gotten fabu help from godaddy. The people who answer the phone are unfailingly polite and helpful. Funky.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hmmm

I'm doing research for a book, reading fun articles about life in NYC including this one about the Tombs I can't help but notice how many of the murdered wives were named Margaret.


Monday, October 05, 2009

SBD--Ruth Glick's Love Hate Relationship with the page

Time to hear from someone who really, truly knows the process and the industry. One hundred and twenty five books.

New York Times, USA Today best-selling, award-winning novelist, Ruth Glick (aka Rebecca York) is the author of 125 books. She writes paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her many awards include a PRISM Award for "Second Chance" in MIDNIGHT MAGIC (Tor, May 2006). She has received two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOK REVIEW magazine.

One thing I know about myself--the least favorite part of writing for me is the first draft and the galleys. I hate facing a blank page. So I write my first draft as fast as I can. Once I get that draft, I can edit it within an inch of its life. Every book I write goes through four or five edits. One on the screen and then three or four on paper. Or more, if you count the editing I do of the previous text when I start work for the day. That’s just the way I have to do it. I envy people who can sit down and write a first draft that’s very polished. I can’t get the story and the characters all at once. I can’t even write THIS blog post in one sitting. I always have second thoughts. And in a novel, I have to layer my way into a good story. The good part is that doing those layers is incredibly satisfying to me.

Then–months later--I get the galleys, and I see lots of places where I have word repetitions or sentences that seem awkward. And I feel like–at the galley stage, I shouldn’t be finding so many things that make me cringe.


Sigh. Maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist. I tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right.


To be brutally honest, the best part for me is when I’ve sold a book–and I don’t have to start writing it yet!


The good news is that my editor just sent me an advanced copy of DRAGON MOON (out from Berkley on October 6)–and I enjoyed reading it.


The heroine is Kenna, a slave from my alternate universe, sent here to help her ruthless dragon-shifter master invade our world. She meets werewolf Talon Marshall and desperately wants to tell him her frightening secret. But every time she tries to reveal her plight, excruciating pains stab into her head. Even as Kenna and Talon fall in love, he can’t trust her. And she struggles to break through the barriers that control her mind. It’s classic romantic suspense, with the paranormal twists I love.


It’s a very emotional story, with what I hope is a wham-bang big finish. The action climax is always hard for me. In fact, I usually stop writing text and go back to flesh out a detailed outline of what has to happen at the end. That was especially true for DRAGON MOON. There was a lot going on at the end of the book, and I had to get it in the right order to make it work. But I think I pulled it off–which is very satisfying to me.


Writing’s hard work. I spend a lot of time each day avoiding getting started. Then I get into it, and I can usually write ten pages. Sometimes more. But if I go over 15, I probably can’t write more than eight the next day. Of course those pages will have to be edited later. But knowing I’ve another chunk finished always makes me feel good.


If you’re a writer, what do you like best about the writing process? And what do you like least? And if you’re a reader, what’s the best part of the book for you?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

she might have a point

Huh. This all seems familiar. I'd search for other times she's slapped me cross the face on this, but eh, living and learning is reserved for characters in books. We real types live, learn, forget, learn again, ignore, learn, learn, forget. What I really want is a good television show to watch and someone else to make dinner.

Published Friend: Why on earth do you want to advertise the fact that you're not getting sales?

me: Why not?

PF: It's a bad business decision. No one wants to be associated with a loser. No one wants to know what a loser has to say.

me: I didn't say I was a loser, I said I wasn't getting fabu sales. That's not the same thing. I didn't say anything about my writing. I like my writing.

PF: Your writing is fine. I'd buy it. But you know that sales of books is the one way the rest of the world can mark how well or how badly you're doing. It's a super-big-ass mistake to put out the fact that you're not selling books because you'll just sell FEWER books.

me: Well. I hope not. I mean I hope what I do or say won't affect my sales that much. Unless I murder nuns or something. Or save the world.

PF: Don't be so sure. You'll write this stuff on your blog and then you'll look for a new agent--

me: snickers.

PF: --You'll look for a new agent or maybe some editor you sub to will google you and find out you're whining about lack of sales and that is NOT going to endear her to you as someone to take a risk on. Idiot. Go back and delete that.

me: Eh. I'll just write a lot of new entries and hope that one gets pushed off the page.

PF: That's a dumb plan.

me: I'll go into a new profession. Pizza delivery person.

PF: That's an even dumber plan.

me: No blogging at all?

PF: That might be better. Not saying anything at all might be better than setting yourself up as a sad sack.

me: Hey come on. Maybe I can set myself up as an under-appreciated artist, how's that?

PF: rude noise.

huh

I'm about to go to a writing event, a day long seminar, and I was just forcibly struck with the feeling of why the bother? I'm not going to keep trying to make money at this, why bother with the time and effort of becoming better? Don't I have other things I could do?

I wonder if this feeling will dissipate--BTDT with this discouraging business--or if it will sink in at last. People say that for most life-changing events there's a moment you feel like you hit the wall and you shout to the world enough! For me, these events are non-events. Usually when I stop, it's much more of a whimper than a BAM! thing. I drift away rather than run. So this is probably not significant. I'm probably still going to write/submit/etc but more and more halfassedly. Until I don't. I'm Prufrock and always have been.

There's another thing: a nice guy called me to talk about a letter I wrote for a refugee and basically told me that if I wanted to get some work, I should stop by.

And when he sent me a note, he included business cards. As in someone actually might want to have me rather than me begging and begging and begging. Well, that's a nice feeling.

But I better get my ass in gear because I said I'd go to this event and CORW has paid for it.

I feel like the dog's used breakfast though. Seriously.