Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering When

A few years ago, I was at my dad's and his wife pulled out a present she'd bought him. It was a shadow box with a picture and metal insde. It turns out my dad's dad had served in the Army during World War I. Yes. The first one not the second. He'd been wounded during the war and received the Purple Heart. I can't remember the details of the wound but I do remember hearing his lungs had been damaged by mustard gas. From the pictures I've seen of him, it's hard to believe he had any problems. He was a well-figured man.

So here's in memory to my dad's dad and all of those who served to protect me and my country. God bless you.

[Side note: I remember when I was in elementary school and told a classmate that my granddad had been in World War I, she'd said, "No Way!" And then perceded to tell me I couldn't have a grandfather old enough to be in that war. Obviously her grandparents had been younger than mine. I found out later that my granddad had been 15 years older that my grandmother. So there...pffff!]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bumps In the Manuscript

I've hit another bump in manuscript. It's all in my head. LOL! I guess you could say figuratively and literally. I'm only around 80 pages away from completing my book, but I'm afraid it has become boring. I've thrown in a twist or two and even found out a good guy is actually a bad guy. My favorite type of twist. Most likely my concern stems from writing another book no one will want.

Sorry. My usual pity party here. At least, they're getting a little further apart. Maybe I need a little break from the book. I've been writing on it hard for a couple months. But I really want it finished by the time I go to Orlando in July. It would be nice to have a new paranormal to pitch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Wise

Every day on the way to work and back, I think of some great wisdom. When I arrive home, I take care of a few household chores and then open the computer and...nothing. I can't think of anything or I realize what I wanted to say was dumb.

Oh, I thought of something. This morning I was reading a new urban fantasy that I was struggling to finish. Then I realized what she was doing wrong. She wrote scenes that wouldn't move the story forward. If she was feeding us informaton to set up the big picture, I wasn't getting it. It was really a shame because the story had great potential. Realizing this boo-boo made me understand that at times I do the same thing. I worked too slow in giving the reader hints of what would happen next, they become bored. So off to my book. Time to correct some scenes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great First One Liners

It's so true the first line can hook you into buying/reading a book. Raelene Gorlinsky at Ellora's Cave gave some great examples.

I'm working on my most recent paranormal. When I first started writing it, I used the first line of "It sucks to be me." As I wrote on it (3/4 finished), I've changed it several times. I had for a while "Crap! I'm in trouble again." Then I decided that wasn't really the message I wanted to come across starting off. So I settled for the following. For now.

There was nothing like standing in front of your soul mate, while he gave you a lecture. Soul mate? Yeah. Triton Aleron was my soul mate. And it sucks. Why? Because nothing in the cosmic joke book of the universe promised he would know I was his soul mate.

Yeah, I know. It's more than one sentence, but what the heck?

Monday, May 24, 2010

To Be Or Not To Be First Person

The first person paranormal romance I’m writing and about to complete (again...cut/save ending I didn’t like), I wrote the synopsis two ways. One in present tense third person. The other in present tense first person. I believe the present tense first person is the strongest of the two, but I recently read in an agent’s blog (can’t remember whose), the synopsis should still be in present tense third person, even if the manuscript is in first person. I know it’s only one person’s opinion, but it threw me for a loop. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poor, Poor Characters

You know it's hard to write a book you believe won't sell. Not that it's bad or unmarketable. I've written several books I was CERTAIN would sell and didn't.

A large part of why I feel this way has to do with my ego, but there's another important part in play too. My characters. Being rejected means their voices would never be heard. Their story never to be told. I love my characters, even the villians, and when they're not published, I feel sorry for them more than I do for myself. So that's a lot, folks. LOL!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Want To Go!

My buddy, Peggy Webb, has the best time at the Elvis Festival in Tupelo, MS signing her latest Southern Cousins Mystery Series. I want to go. She was kind enough to invite me to stay with her. I want to go. *whiny voice* Guess you can tell I want to go! Check it out at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stormy Weather

I love storms. Not the ones with hurricanes and tornados but nice rainstorms even with some lightning are beautiful. I love it when I'm driving down the road and I can see a line of rain up ahead. Amazing. The best part of a rainstorm is staying home and reading and writing all day. That's what I did last Sunday.

Today, another storm came through and I was driving from having my hair done. It takes about thirty minutes to get home. The lightning was so active, it looked like a strobe light in the dark sky. Scary but beautiful.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things My Co-Workers Say

I just read that Sh*t That My Dad Says debuted at number 8 on the New York Times. Amazing. I glanced through the book last weekend. It was cute but #8?

Anyway, a friend of mine and I were teasing one of our co-workers about being gripey (complainer) and he said, "All it takes to make a man happy is for a naked woman to bring him a beer."

LOL! I couldn't help but believe that said it all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Love That Betty White

Be sure to watch it to the end. The last thing Betty White says is a hoot!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Education Is The Key To Not Look Stupid

I got comments and scores back from another contest. And I did really well on three of the four scores-near perfect on two. The one who gave me the lowest obviously didn't know what Kensington/Brava published. She kept saying it read like erotica (with pure distaste in her tone) and she didn't believe the book needed to be in the single title romantic suspense category.

Considering the contest didn't have a erotica category and my book is a romantic suspense, of course, I placed it in the right spot. I had BRAVA written beneath the entry title to sorta warn judges. How obvious could I be? Also she kept adding commas in sentences that didn't need them. She made a couple of remarks that were her personal opinion and nothing to do with the writing and those were not only unnecessary but not nice. Will I tell the coordinator? Nah. Not worth it.

But I can tell you the judge proved she doesn't know her market as she didn't know what was published under Brava. Just because I don't read or write inspirational, if someone had written "Steeple Hill" or "Tyndale" on their entry, I would automatically known it was an inspirational. And if I felt uncomfortable readying those type of books--I'm not--I would've told the coordinator and let another person judge it.

So if you're helping to judge a contest, be sure to keep those things in mind.


Otherwise, you'll look stupid (FYI - I said look stupid, not that she/he was stupid) when you say " could wind blow water that's four stories below her in the window..." I guess she never heard of a wet windowsill.

When she said, "Whatever water you're talking about, from the set up a reader thinks it means ocean and that seems unbelievable that a shot would knock him flying over the boardwalk rail and several feet of sand to land in the ocean." Sorry, hon, you're wrong. First, it's not the ocean. It's part of the Puget Sound. Second, there's no sand along the boardwalk. I know. I looked. And no, you're the only judge that thought it was the ocean because you didn't take a second and think Seattle equals Puget Sound. It does to most people. One thing about the shore around the Sound, it's rocky, no sand unless they haul it in. And, oh, the sniper rifle I talked about could certainly throw you back quite a few feet. Anyway, it's called fiction! ::smirk::

Another comment she made was about how the heroine dressed sexy while waiting for the hero to show up. "...more hooker than a randy assassin." And she knows that many randy assassins?

Then she mistyped character. Yeah. I know. That's petty of me to enjoy her boo-boo.

One judge had a hard time with my heroine's blunt thoughts and even told me she disagreed with her thinking. LOL! Sorry, lady, but it's fiction and that's just the way the heroine thinks. For example, when my heroine thinks, "Death by sex? Now that would be the way to go." The judge remarks, "But not at all realistic." Huh? I say tell it to the guy who had a heart attack while getting it on with his trophy wife or young mistress or both. To me that would be death by sex.

Then she had the gall to say on my manuscript, "Not believable," after I had written, "She'd never been as turned on in her life." Obviously this judge is jealous of my heroine. LOL! I believe from other nice comments she said, I would've made a even better score than she gave me --she took 10 points off total from 123 -- if not for the parts she disagreed with. If she'd read my whole book she'd realized the heroine grows on you. There's reasons she's the way she is.

[Whew! I feel better. It really helps to move on if you can air a little of your thoughts about the crazy comments they make.]


Okay, now to talk about the good comments I received from the smart judges (yes. I did say smart...and not "look smart" as they are smart. LOL!) This is all part of thinking on the positive. The other stuff above was to get it out of my system and educate people in blog-land.

On this one I missed a perfect score by two points. She said, "Good erotic start to the story." This judge had a sense of humor, when she said, "Sucks you right in -- no pun intended and in a good way." And then she marked an X next to "This manuscript is superb-masterfully written." I need to send this woman chocolate.

The second one said, "Superb beginning - writing and plot." And in regards to Narrative and Dialogue, she said, "All excellent." She said, "Great first sentence," and several other compliments. I need to send this one a whole box of chocolate. Oh, she scored me 122 out of 123.

You're probably noticing I wrote a lot more about the negatives than the positives. I've learned if the judge likes your entry, she's less likely to tear it apart and make comments, good or bad. Thus, the good ones have fewer comments.

I'm sending emails to the two judges who scored me near perfect. I like how that sounds. NEAR PERFECT. Though I didn't final, those two judges made my day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Watch Out Mickey Here I Come

Well, it's been decided. I'm going to Orlando for sure. Now to finish up my latest Paranormal. Who knows this may be the one. Or one of the other eight I've finished.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Isn't It Funny

When we're kids, we tell people we're 12 and a half, or I'm about to be 16. We always push that date out by one year. For most people, they hit thirty and they decide their age is a national secret. Well, it took me until I was over forty before I felt that way and now I rarely share my age. Maybe it's my own denial of how old I had gotten.

No, it's not my birthday. Just was thinking about it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mickey Trumps Country Music

Well, with the hotel in Nashville being nearly washed away and now closed, we're off down the yellow brick road to Orlando and Mickey Mouse for the RWA National conference this July. Not totally sure if I going. I'd liked the idea of Nashville because it was only a three hour drive. Orlando is nine hours. I'll probably decide this weekend.

Sure wish I had a really good reason to go. Like to meet my new editor or agent. No. I didn't get the call. Just dreaming.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shame, Shame, Shame

If you're a writer, come to Jennifer Echol's blog . It's her PUBLIC SHAME WRITING CHALLENGE and post a goal for the month of May. You will be surprised how it keeps you writing every day. See you there!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Working On My Latest Paranormal

Using SAVE THE CAT! THE LAST BOOK ON SCREENWRITING THAT YOU'LL EVER NEED, I set up the following outline for a book instead. Let's see how it goes.

Page 18
“Be careful what you wish for.”

Pages 1-35
Present character(s) tics and flaws.
Six things that need fixing.

Page 40
Need to find what?
Protect who?
Go where?

Pages 40-85
Go or not go.
Save or not save.

Page 85
Leave old world

Also Page 85
Breather – introduce new characters
Opposite types of main characters.
Introduce Theme.
Internal story

Pages 100-200
Time for action and clashes

Page 200
Start false peak or collapse;
All is lost or Is this really I want

Pages 200-300
Bad guys temporary defeated.
Dissent. Old way dies.

Page 300
Hero thinks to die or part of
Of him/her does. Whiff of death.

Pages 300-360
The dark before the storm.
all forsake the hero/heroine.

Page 360
A way to solve the problem comes up

Pages 360-400
Lessons learned