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Showing posts from November, 2008

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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

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…