Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2008

Featured Post

Grief in Storytelling

I'm hard at work on STEALING THUNDER. The number 2 book in the Darkness Paranormal series that I'm writing. As in STEALING DARKNESS, this book deals considerably with grief. It's a recurring theme for most of my work, mostly because of the truth of the emotion. InSTEALING DARKNESS, the grief is over an unseen loss and how it relates to her own inability to save someone. But in STEALING THUNDER, the grief has several avenues. The first is Graham's coming to terms with the loss of his mother, a loss he thought he dealt with long ago. For Grace, it's watching a friend slowing fading away. And for a little girl, it's dealing with the grief of watching her mother die and knowing there's no way to stop it.

People automatically think that grief is something that happens after death. But in fact, from the moment we realize the finality of a situation we are forced to deal with our own mortality, and the inevitability of loss. I've often heard people say that i…

Resolutions versus Goals

Resolutions on New Year's Eve? I don't do them.
I do, however, set goals for the New Year and I usually set those over the first week of said year. I try to be as specific as possible and I write them all down where I can go back and look at them. Sometimes, on this blog. Sometimes, the goals are written before January, after the crush of Christmas is over. But this year Maine has had a bunch of snow storms in a row and work has been unusually crazy, leaving me and my goals until New Years Day. So, tomorrow I'll be posting goals.

Got any you'd like to share?

GMC: It's not just for our characters

It's the end of the year. You're looking back at what you did or did not accomplish over the last twelve months and you are trying to figure out just how to get what you want. A manuscript published... or in my case... the next manuscript published.

For me, this was the year of rejection slips. Tough when you've sold before, but certainly not a new story. There are plenty of us facing the same fate after one, two or even twelve books.

So...
Our Goal? To be published (again). To see a return on a major investment of heart, soul and time.

Our Motivation? Well, duh! We've worked really hard on our stories. They are our lives transposed onto sheets of paper and computer screens. Of course we want to see them published. And along with that goes the unspoken rewards. Money is good. I'd certainly not turn any down if they wanted to offer it to me for a book or books. Money is not the dirty word that every writer secretly covets, but some refuse to acknowledge. Money can be a …

Inspiration...

For some unexplainable reason there is something about Sunday evenings that makes me think of Paris. I've never been, but there are times when I feel an ache to walk the streets and roam through the cathedrals de Paris. It's snowing here in Maine... a lot! And I have a vague image of snow gracing the streets along the canals of Paris that makes me think I must have lived there in another life. So, I googled Paris in the snow and came up with a site that had the most beautiful photos, some panoramic and some time lapsed and all beautiful. They are from Arnaud Frich and I would suggest that you take a few moments to enjoy his photos. I've included the link for you all. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did. And... thank you Arnaud.

http://www.arnaudfrichphoto.com/english-version/main-menu.htm

Quote of the week...

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
--Mark Twain

One for the holidays...

I'm not known for my cooking. In fact, usually my family will shy away from anything that I deem an "experiment". But this recipe is one of my mom's and that guarantees two things. 1. It will be inexpensive to make and 2. It will be easy to make. These are both and they make a good a take along for get togethers.

Chocolate Cherry Bars
350 Degree Oven
Cooking time: 25-39 Minutes

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Preheat oven.
Mix by hand: 1 pkg Chocolate Cake Mix
1 21oz. Can Cherry Pie Filling
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Five minutes before pulling the cake out of the oven combine the following in a saucepan.
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Milk
5 tbsp. butter

As soon as you pull out the cake you can set the heat under the saucepan medium heat. Stir with a whisk until it comes to a full boil and then keep stirring for …

Life at my house...

I worked late last night and returned home to find a very grumpy husband. You see, every morning my husband gets up while it's still dark and he does his best not to wake up the household. He gets dressed in the dark and apparently, sometime when the laundry was folded, the DH got a shirt that was actually mine. He was well into his work day when realized he was wearing a tee with a giant frog with a crown and the saying "Romance Writers, turning frogs into Princes on a daily basis"! When I asked him what he did when he found out he told me he just buttoned up his over shirt and refused to take it off... no matter how warm it got!

So, from now on... whenever I see a frog Prince (and in my line of work I see quite a few) then I'm sure I'll be thinking of my husband... and laundry.

The finalists have been chosen

I have been to numerous workshops, all detailing the best way to come up with the most engaging openings for your book. I've seen charts, I've heard lectures and I've judged contests... but up until now I haven't found a better way to judge the worthiness of a first paragraph then to read the entries that Literary Agent Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown received in his 2nd-Sort-of-Annual-Stupendously-Ultimate-First-Paragraph Challenge. I would challenge you to read them all. I argue that it's worth the effort if only to see what works and what doesn't. I wasn't a finalist, but I did enter and found the effort worthy. Want to know what my entry was? You've got to read through them to find it... and while you're there you can check out the others and see if you can see why he chose the ones he did... I must admit... they are all wonderful and had I picked them up off the shelf and read the first page I would have bought the books.

Challenge yourself. Is…

Begging the question...

With all the news this week from the publishing world, I have to wonder if this will mean an increase in the ebook market? After all, since the cost of printing books is so prohibitive (said by someone who used to work for a non-fiction company), it only stands to reason that they are going to focus their efforts on getting the biggest bang for their bucks. Does this mean they are going to be cutting the advances for the large names in the industry? Maybe they won't increase them, but I don't believe they'll be cutting them. They'll be looking for ways to utilize their back inventory and not taking as many chances on an unknown.

Now, don't stop breathing out there just because you're a new author. This doesn't mean the doors are closed to you, but it would behoove you (egad! Did I really just use that word?) to produce tight books with highly intriguing plots and an eye to the future. Does anyone really know what the next hot thing is going to be? Probably n…

Phew!

It's been a particularly rough week in the Publishing world. Random House, Simon & Schuster, Thomas Nelson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have all announced that they are reacting to the tough economy. Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Thomas Nelson are laying off. Random House is reorganizing. And even Penguin and Harper Collins have been affected. It's that damned trickle down effect that the economist talk about. Higher production costs, less expendable income and a truly rough economic forecast have everyone worried.

But according to Nathan Branford, an agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. (http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/) , the reports are not all bad. Some of the publishing houses are doing okay and those that are looking to the future and possible new venues are betting on coming out the other end of this recession looking good.

So, where as authors do we stand with this kind of news? Pretty much the same. It's my guess that the publishing houses are…

I'm waiting patiently....

well certainly as patient as I am capable of being. Anyone who has known me for any amount of time will tell you that patience is NOT one of my virtues to live by. So, what has me in an uproar today? Transferring domains. Yup, I've decided to move my domain to another host and of course the process can't be easy. If it were easy people would do it all time... wouldn't they? But they make the process more difficult just because they hope that people will give up and stay where they are. And that involves waiting patiently for all the processes to go through as they should... still waiting!

Goals and the holidays. Do they Mix?

It's that time of the year. The time when I start thinking about goals.

It's guaranteed that whenever I am short of time or resources, that's when I want to write the most. And the holiday season is the greatest example of this. Usually, by the time the presents are opened and the wrappings picked up, I'm ready to sit down with my computer and do some writing. It comes down to the things we have to do... and the things that we want to do. The writer's balance. Especially, if you have a full-time outside job, kids, and in my case, other responsibilities. I don't know of a writer out there who doesn't struggle with the writer's balance. Luckily, I've got a family that understands this delicate balance.

So, since I'm in the initial phase of my goals I'll not list them yet. But don't discount the quiet, I'm still there thinking about them...

chuckle for the day

Want a chuckle? This one is thanks to one of my shiftleaders, Derek. It was very slow last night and he told me not to worry, if he got bored he would just reinstate the Roman Empire... aparently, he's read this list of 474 things to do when you're bored. I had to come home and Google it, then spent 45 minutes rolling in laughter over the list with my daughter. Some of the references are such that most kids would not get it today, but obviously the list was created by someone around my age.

Enjoy.
Most people gear up for the day-after-turkey-day shopping. Me? I'm gearing up for the day-before -frantic-rush-to-find-all-the-stuff-for-your-dinner rush. I work in a grocery store.

So while you're out there pushing your way through the crush of the people looking for the stuffing and cranberry sauce (aisle 5 and 7 respectively), be sure to be nice to your grocery store associates. We're doing our best to get your on your way.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

I'm leading a double life...

No.
Make that a triple life.

By day, I'm a mild mannered mom (well, not always so mild-mannered as my kids will attest to) and an assistant manager of customer service for a grocery chain. I'm also a writer. Have been for a very long time. But then, if you didn't know that you probably wouldn't be at my blog. And, occasionally at night, I'm a ghost hunter.

This new life is not so new... but the title is new. Before that I was just some chick roaming cemeteries and talking to people who weren't visible to most.

Sounds confusing, doesn't it?

Sometimes, it is. But the more that I do each of these things the more that I realize how well they mesh together. And how each serves the other well. The daytime job is not something that I will probably ever be able to do without. The pay is needed. But the job offers something else to my psychy. I get to talk to people. During the week before Thanksgiving... I get to talk to a lot of people. That connection is something tha…

Lessons Learned...

I was watching one of those Sunday Morning Preachers on the television. I am not someone who will normally discuss my belief systems with others. I have them. I'm just not the type of person to discuss them with others. But on this particular Sunday, the preacher was talking about Joseph and his "loyalty". That one words struck me more than others. And, as it always does, my mind moves as to how this builds characters? How does this create a belief system?

Dianna Love gave a workshop at the KOD Retreat in Portland on World Building. The questions that she asked were unusual and geared toward creating an entire society... complete with belief systems. So, when I heard this lecture on the television I began to look at it and ask myself... what is it that my hero is so loyal to that he would never walk away from? What is it that forms his belief system?

I'm going to add this to my list of questions that I use to create my characters. What is the question that you believe …

Off the Bookshelf...

I had the very distinct pleasure of sitting next to Dianna Love at the booksigning for the KOD Retreat in Portland, Maine this last October. She, along with Mary Buckham, gave great workshops that had us all mesmerized and urgent to get home to work on our own books. It was at the signing that I picked up her latest release, Phantom in the Night. I'd had a chance to talk with her a bit about the experience of working with Sherrilyn Kenyon on this project, but nothing compared to reading the book. I admit. I was saving it until I had finished a project I was working on. I'd put it aside as sort of a reward for when I had more time (yes, I know that crazy talk). You see, between writing and paranormal investigating, a full time job and two kids and very patient hubby I have to restrict myself to lunch time reading. But once I started reading Phantom I couldn't put it down. I read it on lunches, regular breaks, my few spare moments at night and even waiting in the car for my …

Things to do instead of writing...

The research answers you can't get just anywhere...

I've been working on my non-fiction book, but there are some elements that are taken directly from my family, some experiences that come from my family's background. I was working on a particular instance with my maternal Grandfather who was, among other things, a fisherman off Harpswell. I needed to know what kind of boat he was using at the time between WWI and WWII. Now, I could just Google and find the answers, but there were too many different factors to take into account. What was used in Harpswell at that time? Even, what kind of boat would my grandfather have actually had access to at that time? This things can just not be Googled.

So I went to my next best reference... my dad. He is a great source of reference for anything that had an engine, boat or otherwise, during this time. Did you know that it was common during that time for fishermen to have either a Hampton style boat? Or a boat called a Peapod, which was shaped like the vegetable? I didn't. He even went on…

Confession time....

I hate SYNOPSIS...

Okay, so there are a lot of writers out there who will sympathize with me. We take our hearts and spill them out into stories, only to have to condense those hearts into ten pages or less in order to sell the stories to the editors.

But these synopsis do serve a purpose other than to torture us. They let the editor know at a quick glance that all the required elements are available within the story. The editor can see that the story progresses at a logical pace and that the growth of the characters and the advancement of the storyline is enough to make it a satisfying read.

For years, I've been judging synopsis contests. In fact, I coordinated one for Maine RWA. And I continue to see the same things represented in synopsis time and again...

1.) If the story is a romance, then the focus of the story (whether it is a suspense, paranormal, futuristic, etc...) should focus on the growth of the relationship. It seems simple enough, but the concept of condensing a storyli…

TOT... or Totally Off Topic

If you haven't seen the Dirty Jobs episode on the Fainting Goats you should really check it out. In the meantime, check out the IFGA site here. I really like the t-shirts!
Looking for a little help with your writing? According to CrystalsandJewelry.com these stones will help enhance your writing...

writing: agate, amazonite, barite, blue topaz, diopside, fire agate, graphite, kyanite, lapis lazuli, sodalite, variscite, zincite

unfortunately... I don't see any that are good for stopping procrastination.
I haven't written on this blog for awhile. Not because I'm losing interest, but because my writing has taken a turn and I've been working furiously on a new project. This is a non-fiction regional book that I'm not going to say more out other than this. It requires a lot of research and so I've found myself doing a lot of internet and even leg work. Today, since school was out I took my son along with me and he helped me some. It's not that I'm not going to write romance anymore it's that I seem to be going through a growth stage and this is a very busy time for that change. I still have a book proposal, partial and rework of a short story to get out, but for some reason I've been unreasonably restless lately. Unable to focus and let my mind go to the purely creative side. This is where the non-fiction project has helped me by keeping me working.

I hope everyone is well and got the chance to get out and vote today. Me? I was at the polls when they op…

It's that time again...

2008 Put Your Heart in a Book Conference
October 24-25thThe Woodbridge Hotel & Conference Center Iselin, New Jersey

Re-Release Day for Obsidian!

Obsidian is being rereleased today from Thorndike Press as part of their large print program!

Shelby Teague stood barefoot in the grass, watching him, and for the second time that day, Jamie found he was incapable of forming an intelligent greeting. "What are you doing here, Mr. Rivard? Come to insult me some more?" High, green blades of grass covered her feet. Her hair hung down, curling softly against her shoulders. She took a few steps, stopping just a few feet in front of him. Jamie held tight to his bag, not daring to move a muscle for fear he would say or do something that would scare her off and prove to her that he really was a complete idiot.
"John Case sent me, he told me you had a room for rent." "And I’m supposed to rent to a total stranger?" She brushed at a wisp of hair that fell forward into her eyes.
"Look, I know we didn’t hit it off well at our last meeting, but I would appreciate the chance to change your opini…
"Sabrina, the full time observation of David Larrabee is not a recognized profession. Get down from that tree."

It's on tonight, another of my favorites. Sabrina, the new version, not the old one. This is the one with with Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear. The original with Humphry Bogart is great, too! But the newer one is my favorite.
This movie is filled with great lines. Way too many for me to put in here. There is a sharp, but heartfilled wit about the movie. The relationships are wonderful and the character's motivations are subtle, but real. The movie also has fantastic scenery of Paris and Cape Cod.
"I don't expect you to think of me when I'm gone. You didn't think of me when I was here." Sabrina confesses when she thinks she's talking to David and it's really Lineus.
Sabrina is a ghost of a girl who only wants to be loved. In this case, she wants the love of David. David is the perpetual goof off. He wants to play all…

I'm off visiting...

I've been visiting with Nina Pierce this weekend at the KOD Retreat in Portland, Maine. A good time was had by all and the best part was that I could actually come home and sleep in my own bed. That was a definite plus.

Anyway, Nina has posted an interview that she was kind enough to do with me. If you get a moment, go on and check it out @ http://www.ninapierce.com/romanceblog

Thanks to Nina for letting me chat with her! It is always fun when we get together.

Well, I'm off...

I've got a huge weekend ahead of me with two different events back to back. Looking for me? I'll be in Portland, Maine at the KOD Suspense Retreat at the Portland Regency Hotel. Maybe I'll remember to take my camera and get pictures. Something to post here after. If you are in the area on Saturday be sure to drop by the booksigning from 4-5:30. I'll be the one running on massive amounts of caffeine since I haven't slept for a few nights. If you see me, stop me and make me take a breath. I'll be sure to post when I get back! If you are headed to Portland for the Retreat, I'll see you there!
Looking for a good read? Come meet the wonderful writers who will signing at the KOD Suspense Retreat Portland Regency Hotel 20 Milk Street Saturday, October 4th from 4-5:30 Psst... this includes me! I'll be signing Obsidian and Three Truths!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month... when was the last time you truthfully checked? Do you know your family history? Did you know that cancer has to start somewhere in a family? Did you know that it is a myth that only certain types of breast size and density can affect your chances of getting cancer?

Know the facts and have a mamogram. Do the right thing.
When I opened up my email from Borders this morning one of the first things that caught my eye was a new release, THE GIVEN DAY, by Dennis Lehane.

Now, there are a few things that will always suck me into a story. The first is that "catch your eye" thing. Very vague, I know. But it can be any number of things that will bring me to the point where I investigate a book further, especially since it has to be something quite intriguing to get me read outside romance. Usually, it's something that has a bit of history that I'm interested in, and if it includes a bit of Boston history, all the better.

In the case of THE GIVEN DAY, it's set in 1919 in Boston. Around that time, my family was living in Medford, Mass. So, I was hooked when I read the following blurb:

Set in Boston, the book revolves around the police strike of 1919 and its ramifications for two very different main characters. Capturing the maelstrom of a city—and a nation—at the crossroads, the book is a fas…

Inspiration...

We had dinner tonight at a diner up the street from my home. They have old 45's (think compact disk before compact disk) hanging on the wall. One of them was for Electric Light Orchestra's All Over the World. And in one moment I was a teenager again.In 1980, I was 13 (again, please don't do the math) and I was a wanna be writer with a huge imagination and a teenager's thirst for the romantics and a quest for identity. Along came the movie Xanadu, featuring the beautiful Olivia Newton John (shortly after her fame with Grease) and the movie highlighted all the things that my 13 year old self loved.It was the 80's and there were an awful lot of us roller skating. Even my mom took up roller skating. There was great music, lots of fun and cool guys who knew how to do all the fancy tricks. (But I digress). I was never an expert at skating, but I could go forward and backward and earned myself quite a few blisters. I never looked as cool as Olivia did in those long flowy …
I visited Paulo Coehelo's blog and was amazed at the amount of time and effort he puts into both his writing and his promotion. The man is incredible (not to mention he's a international jetsetter and bestselling author). Anyway, he mentioned that he posts regularly on his Amazon blog and this shamed me into going back to post something on mine.

Want to read it? Check it out here! And I'm making a promise to be much better about keeping up with it. I even went and updated my BookTour page. Of course, I just sent out my postcards for Obsidian's upcoming rerelease!
I was part of a workshop this past week given through Paranormal Workshops, a yahoo group. This months workshop was from Jennifer Dunne and the topic was Abundance Thinking. It talked about clearing your blockages to change your thinking and to attract those things you desire to your life. Though I didn't participate much, I did read the entries with interest. And they got me to thinking about attracting those things in our life that we need most. Notice that I didn't say "the things we WANT most". Because frankly, a lot of the things we think we need we really don't. I really want a new car and enough money to do all the things that I'd like. What I need is a healthy body and a to feel confident in my abilities enough to attract those around me who can help me. Does this make sense? Want and need. Those are concepts that so many people confuse. We tend to obsess on the things we want. I want to win the lottery. I'm going to buy tons of tickets with the h…

Did you know?

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,960 deaths (24,260 men and 25,700 women) during 2008.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_1X_What_are_the_key_statistics_for_colon_and_rectum_cancer.asp
or the Tiny url...

http://tinyurl.com/6f8jow


In 2004 (the most recent statistics available)
 73,997 men and 71,086 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer
 26,881 men and 26,699 women died from colorectal cancer

http://www.cdc.gov/CANCER/colorectal/statistics/

 Each year, more than 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer.

 Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer for men and women combined. (Lung cancer is the first.)

 Someone dies from colorectal cancer every 9.3 minutes.

 More lives are lost each year to colorectal cancer than to breast cancer and AIDS combined.
Color…

Plebes vs Patrician

Ann DeFee did an interesting blog over on Tote Bags and Blogs on Plebes and Patricians. (http://authorsoundrelations.blogspot.com/2008/09/plebe-or-patrician.html) These terms caught my eye as I haven't thought about those particular terms since I took a college history course. But the idea intrigued me. They talked about the differences in our personalities. The more refined of our traits versus... shall we say... our more earthier tendencies. Ann admitted to a fetish for fancy china and it being offset by her love of reality shows. To me, she's found a great way to balance out the two. But this had me thinking about how I balance my own plebe and patrician sides.

Patrician side: Believe it or not, I actually come from a couple of rather well distinguished shipping families. PelegMerriman, and yes, that was his name, was a Captain who managed to accrue himself a nice home and a lovely family. His descendants had one of the first cars in Harpswell an had done quite well for the…

Twilight No More?

Stephenie Meyers has a real dilema. One that could affect all writers. Her work was stolen before publication and put out on the internet for all to see.

Any writer who reads this should be afraid. Not just the ones that garner the huge amount of marketing dollars that a book as popular as the Twilight series. Any author who is working toward publication should be watching the way this plays out. Unfortunately for Stephenie this is a saga that is playing out to national attention. Want to know more about it? Check out this link:


http://tiny.cc/m8WSi



As a writer, I can only imagine what it feels like to know that something that you've worked so hard on, something that has taken two other books to get to... has been pulled away from her. I don't know about any other writers, but if it were me I'd be heartbroken. The choices she has in front of her must seem impossible. I know that when I work on a book, the idea that I might have to change it in it's entirety, a manuscript …
The last few days have been busy with the few remaining things that we had to do before school started. My son got off to school fine on Tuesday and is already into the swing of things. My daughter had an extra day, but already I can see that some of the habits are continuing. It looks like it's going to be another sleepless year.
Anyway, my daughter had a project to do for school over the summer that required her to do a family tree. The great part is that I'd done a lot of the genealogy for it years ago. I've got boxes of the stuff. But it had never really been organized. She took on the task of putting it all together and actually putting the information on the family tree chart that I bought years ago. The project was interesting and it netted a few things that surprised us both and some that truly didn't.
Didn't: I knew that my family for the most part came from the British Isles. Not a big surprise when the majority of them immigrated from England, Scotland a…

Lessons Learned...

So, I took the challenge of posting every day for the month of August. I actually started early by posting in the few days leading up to the challenge and today, marks the end of the challenge.

Some things I learned...

1. I do have something to say every day. It's not always the most brilliant and sometimes it's simply just a thought for the day. Whatever it was that I posted I hope someone got some enjoyment out of it. I enjoyed writing them.

2. Preparation makes all the difference. I learned to post ahead if I knew that the next day was going to be a zoo. Thank goodness for preposting. It saved me. I also knew that weekends were going to be my worst time to blog so I wrote Saturdays blog on Friday and Sundays were great quotes that I found along the way.

3. While my hits on my blog did pick up they were never "over the top" I didn't quite have the success that some of the participants had. But I had more than I've ever had. It has also increased the amount of t…

Now, back to the Journey...

Last time I talked about the trials and tribulations part of the hero's or mythic journey. But since I was tired I'm not sure how clear I was about how important it is that these trials and tribulations increase so as to increase the tension of the scenes and ultimately leave the hero/heroine in a place where their ideas are changed and they are put in a place where they need to sink or swim. At the end of this they should be on their knees begging for it to come out okay, or swords drawn slashing their way toward the tower to save the princess from the dragon.

Achieving the Quest and Receiving special powers.
This is the pinacle of the black moment and the downside of it. The aftermath directly after the fight. This is the point where the hero/heroine would give up all the things that are dear to them in order to get through the challenge. And realize that by doing so they are getting so much more in return. This is that perfect moment of clarity when they realize just what is…

Question for the day...

Okay, so I am now completely off track with the journey thing. But I was working on my newest project, the dark paranormal suspense set in New Orleans and I began to wonder something...

Should authors who write two very different genres use two different names to publish under?

Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle comes to mind. 3 different genres, three different pseudonyms. I've also got a friend who writes erotica and a few other things and she has at least three names she pubs under. I'm never quite sure what I'm supposed to call her.
I have a hard time remembering if I'm supposed to call myself by my real name or my pseudonym whenever I send out an email. I can't imagine adding another pseudonym to the mix.
And that follows that if I've built up the little following that I have already with Obsidian and Three Truths (one sweet paranormal, the other romantic mystery)... should I have a different persona for the dark paranormals that I'm writing now?
My…

Help Restore Maine's Pemaquid Lighthouse

I'm taking a break from my promised posts about the Hero's Journey to talk about something very important. My daughter has gotten behind the cause and wants to get as many people as possible to vote for Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Be sure to look for the "vote" button on the page to take you to the list to vote. The following, is from my daughter....
Recently while watching the news a story came up. It was about a contest in which 12 lighthouses had been chosen from an original 49 nominees from all over the United States. The winning lighthouse will receive new windows and doors.

In the running for this prize is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Maine. In the past few years, people have raised enough money to give the outside of the lighthouse a renovation. They are hoping to win this contest in order to finish the outside with all new windows and doors. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is behind in votes and would need a surge of new votes to catch up. By clicking on the link …

"Ah, the force is strong within you"

We all know that Yoda's role to Luke was as the wise one. The keeper of the knowledge. Even when Luke didn't want his advice, Yoda knew how to get Luke's attention. He took him from an unpolished, untested fighter to a Jedi Knight. That's what the Wise one does.

Okay, so let's recap again, shall we?
This time we'll use Harry as an example:

Inciting Incident/Call to Adventure: Harry Potter, ordinary boy, living with people who say they are relatives, but have no resemblance to him and treat him horribly. One day, Harry decides that pain-in-neck cousin has done just about enough and magically conjures him behind the glass in the zoo. Thus begins the grand adventure that nets several movies, tons of readers and lots of admiration for Ms. Rowling. Harry doesn't do too bad himself. He is suddenly whisked off to a castle where he learns that he is the legendary child prophecy to fight evil.

Trials and Tribulations: Hmm, way too many to count. Certainly more than a b…

Oh the Trials and Tribulations...

Yesterday, we talked about theCall to Adventure. Today, we're on to the Trials and Tribulations that plague us on our Journey to Campbell's mythic story structure.

We've already set the stage with our hero/heroine by creating an inciting incident that introduces them as well as illustrating to the reader just how far they willing to go for what they want. The Call to Adventure is that event that brings them to the point where they know they can no longer avoid what needs to be done. Their need is so great that they will do whatever it takes to get it.

But, oh, those Trials and Tribulations!
You know... those pesky little things that get in the way of what your characters want most. I went to see the new Clone Wars movie with my son on Friday. Before my eyes glazed over from having to watch what is basically a good movie (but, still a cartoon), I was able to identify that mythic story structure the Star Wars stories are so famous for following. Anaken and Obi Wan (please forgi…

Campbell's Journey

Awhile ago I wrote a blog on the Journey where I talked about Joseph Campbell and his mythic story structure that he based on Jung's work. Since I'm going to be giving my workshop in October on Creating Believeable Anti-Heroes at New Jersey RWA's Put Your Heart in a Book Conference, I thought I would take this opportunity to go over my interpretation of Campbell's Hero's Journey.

The Inciting Incident followed closely by the Call to Adventure...

Every good book starts with one. It's that initial incidient that sets the ball rolling and gives the reader an idea of what it is that the hero... or heroine want most at the beginning of the story. Usually, this comes around the same time that we meet the main hero/heroine and we find out if they are up to the challenge at hand. A lot of writers tend to think of the Inciting incident as the same thing as the call to adventure, but in my mind they are two very different things. The inciting incident is the place where we…

Signs...

Under the Tuscan Sun is on again. I admitted to the kids that I've already seen this movie three times before. Twice in one night when I actually rented it. I like this movie a lot. Not because it has a dashing romance, in fact very little of the story is romance. Nor do I watch it for the beautiful scenery. And yes, the scenery is breathtaking. But it's more for the characters and the simple lines of the movie that translate into scenes that steal your heart.

There's a moment at the beginning of the movie when she sees the flyer for the Villa for sale. She's just come out a bad divorce, lost most of her personal identity and she is floundering. A stranger observes her looking at the flyer and asks her if she is going to buy it and she tells her that she is just a visitor. Basically, that it would be a crazy idea for her to buy a Villa. On the bus leaving town they are stopped in front of a high wall and she looks out the window to see the name of the Villa on a sign se…

Thought for the day...

(Since I'm finishing up my manuscript to send out I am going to post this is an article that I wrote earlier this year for Maine RWA's newsletter. I hope you enjoy it. It applies to all writers, not just romance writers.)

Dear New Romance Writer:
You are now on a path limited only by your imagination. You have undertaken a task that many endeavor to, but few ever undertake. You have thrown your hopes and dreams onto the table for everyone to inspect, encourage and even, at times criticize. And by doing so, you will learn and grow and find yourself treading paths few even know exist.

In this open letter to you I hope that you will take this advice in the manner in which it is offered, from someone who has been writing for a very long time and traversed the pothole-filled road to publication.

Know that what you undertake is not a crazy lark. There will be those who would tear you down. Call what you want to do crazy. Even suggest that you will most likely fail. They are wrong. The …

In the name of research... New Orleans

I love New Orleans. I had a chance to go there just pre-Katrina. Maybe two years before. I've talked about it before because for me, it was one of those places that you go and feel and instant connection. I'd wanted to go since I was about 14, so when I finally got the chance to go to the RWA National Conference I grabbed it.


New Orleans is exactly everything you've ever heard about the city. The good and the bad. There has never been a city that had more of an apocalyptic, party-til-the-end-of-our-days, kind of feel quite like New Orleans. And I wasn't even there during MardiGras.


They call it the Crescent City because of the way it curves, caressing the edges of the Mississippi river. Flying into the airport is an experience. The plane descends endlessly over trailing bayous, crisscrossed by intersections of sparking river roadways. Here and there you can spot houses dotted among the dense foliage, stacked on poles and seeming far from civilization.


Once the plane lan…

Question for the day...

How much is too much socializing when it comes to promoting yourself?

So far, I'm on Shelfari, booktour, eharlequin forums, and Twitter. I'm sure there are some that I've forgotten. I do know I'm not on myspace, but that has more to do with the fact that I don't allow my daughter on there, so it would be a bad example if I set up a myspace myself.

Now, I realize that this is a small amount compared to the sheer number of these online communities that exist out there. But how much of the time spent is a value and how much of it is time that should be spent writing? I'm already spending time writing two blogs, GhostGirl. and this one. I'm updating two websites, mine and Maine RWA as well as keeping up with email and working a full time job. There are also the writer and reader yahoo listserves and, if I'm really honest there is another time sucker Puzzle Pirate (note: I added links to the other ones, but I won't contribute to anyone elses addiction by a…

Two of my favorite things...

Good, Kick-butt books and... Free, Kick-butt books
I got a package in the mail today! At first, I looked at the mailer and thought "figures, second rejection in as many days", but I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that Chris Marie Greenhad sent me a copy of her latest book Midnight Reign!
I won the book by commenting on her post on the Ninc blog. Truly, it wasn't my intention to vye for a book. However, (and all you blogbooktour challengers take note) I just couldn't help myself when I read the post. It's titled Crossing Overand it was all about her foray at Comic-Con in San Diego recently. She also has one of the hottest book trailers I've seen yet.
Want to learn how to hook a blog reader? Check it out and tell me what you think. Maybe you know the answer to the question that was asked of her. Personally, I spent quite a bit of time pondering it with my daughter and we didn't have an answer. In the meantime, check out Chris Marie Green's Vamp…

Today's topic? Rejection

Yup, I got one yesterday. I didn't have to wait long for this one, but then, that's okay with me. Usually, I write my blog a day ahead. That gives me time during the day to reflect on the next topic at hand. But frankly, after I got the R I just wasn't up to it.

Now, 24 hours later, I have a bit of a distance on it. I actually didn't stop for long. Soon after getting the rejection I was emailing my Maine RWA cohorts about possible places to send my much loved story. They came through with flying colors and sympathy and encouragement. All the things that I needed at that time. I've said it before, "writing" can be a solitary profession. But it takes many people to be a "published" writer.

I've never been one to reach out and ask of others. It's not truly in my nature. I tend to be the one who wants to give to others. And I do mean "want". Sometimes, the difficulty is in asking help. But there's nothing wrong with it and it doe…

Where did the time go?

WARNING! BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION AHEAD!

I was working the day job today when I looked at the calendar... I mean REALLY looked at the calendar... and froze.OBSIDIAN's large print edition is coming out from Five Star in less than 2 months!




Five Star markets primarily to the library market. So, when they emailed and said they wanted to re-release OBSIDIAN as part of their Clean Reads, Large Print program I was excited. This could give the story that I love so much another chance to get out to those who really like romantic mysteries set on the coast of Maine.



This one has special place in my heart because the setting is based on the place that I grew up. For those of you who are worrying about all the dead bodies? Nope, those are made up...



So far, Borders is the only online bookseller that I know of that has the large print edition listed. You can check it out here (Borders) Anyway, I'll be posting a few shorts on the book over the next couple of weeks as I gear up for the release…