Monthly Archives: September 2008

Dare I mention Christmas?

‘Tis the season for holiday reading & writing, Christmas and otherwise. I’m still working on the Halloween free read I started this time LAST year. It probably won’t be finished in time this year either. 🙂

Are you writing anything holiday-oriented yet? (Any holiday. Halloween, Samhain, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashana…)

I’m going to be working on the Halloween story at Christmas so I’m sort of glad I have last year’s holiday story to fall back on (in the DREAM BY THE FIRE anthology at Freya’s Bower, if anybody’s interested).

In another three or four weeks, all the publishers’ Christmas books will start hitting the shelves. I don’t really read them – my holiday reading is limited to THE HOGFATHER by Terry Pratchett – but I’m sure somebody does. Do you?

Confession: the holidays inspire me to shop, not to write holiday-themed stories.

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Filed under Emily, writing

So, how demented am I?

So, as soon as this blog is written and I get to work I’ll be writing the scene where I use hynotherapy to regress my hero to eight years old where I’ll make him relive his parents really violent murder and the fire their bodies got incinerated in.  Cause I’m nice like that.

It suddenly occured to me that writers are always talking about how they might be taken as insane because they hear voices in their head.  But is it more insane to hear voices in your head telling you to kill fictional people?  It’s like a bizarre literary Son of Sam but instead of a dog it’s a person who doesn’t even really exist telling me, “This is how I like to kill people.”  Does this sound like it should concern anyone but me?  Actually, it doesn’t even concern me but somehow it feels like it should.

I tried to pull up my Google searches for the last year to see what the cops would see if they ever checked because in the movies and books they are always looking to see what people have been Googling so that they can find out if they are psycho or something.  I know they’d be concerned if they could see some of the stuff that I Google.  Some of my searches in the last couple of days include these, “mammalogist or mammalogy, bats” “hair shirt” “religious torture” “religious self torture” and “post traumatic stress disorder.”  That’s the last few days.

So is there something demented about that?  I’m just asking.  Here’s my theory.  Killing people on paper makes you LESS psycho.  Right?  Because then you get your aggressions out harmlessly.  Right?  😉

AJ

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Filed under writing

4 Question Friday

Answer as many questions as you want.

1.  What are your main characters’ greatest fears?

2.  What is your greatest writing fear?

3.  Do your main characters have any phobias?  What are they?

4.  If your main characters were on Fear Factor, which challenge would they pick to participate?

a) Lie down in tank and be covered with 400 rats
b) Eat two bull testicles in four minutes
c) Swim in a tank filled with 10,000 pounds of dead squid looking for 5 pound weights
d) Retrieve flags from buoys while hanging upside on from a helicopter

***Bonus Question****
Which stunt would you do?

I’ll post my answers in the comment section.

4 Comments

Filed under Kimberly, writing

HEART SONGS

I write romance but it doesn’t mean I am a hearts and flowers, giggly pink type of girl. I’m not. I have never in my life used a glitter pen, worn a shirt with cute kittens on it or dotted my i-s with hearts. Nope, not a gushy Saccharine Sweetheart. If you are, great, buy my books some day. I write with as much tender emotion as I can dig out of my soul with a grapefruit spoon. It’s just not me.

But I recognize the appeal. Seriously, what romance writer doesn’t? I’d love for the world to be permenantly viewed through rose colored glasses by everyone. It would be a nicer place. But it isn’t.

My Father-in-law had heart surgery this morning and I couldn’t be beside my husband for a couple reasons. One, we have three school age children and live no where near family. Two, the hospitial is over 4 hours away. Three, me spending a week with hubby’s kinfolk…not a good combination.

But as I wrote this morning, eyes flicking to the phone waiting on an update call, I switched manuscripts. I went to a WIP I am slowly writing because it is difficult. It is not romance although, to me, it has exceptionally strong roots in romance.

One MC is a cardiac surgeon and as I pulled out my notes to formulate his words, something happened. I put rose colored glasses on him. Why? I wrote his wedding vows.

I share them with you now:

Alex:

I’ve seen the human heart, held it in my hand, felt its beat and its warmth. It doesn’t look like a valentine. It’s not even pretty. But it is a miracle. I’ve seen hearts so badly damaged, with holes and deformities and injury from hate or neglect. I’ve seen it defy all odds and keep beating when everything says it shouldn’t. I’ve seen perfect hearts stop for reason I can’t explain and never beat again. The heart is a magnificent creation. It embodies love, feeds the soul and has a song. My heart sings for you. With one look, you became my heartbeat, something warm and real and alive inside me that l can’t let go. I love you.

Why does Alex, this scientific-minded, atheist brainiac, say such tender words? He is desperately in love and pledging his life. He heard a song that made him stop and listen.

Isn’t that the way of the world with many of us? We put out heads down, barrel through life, do our job and hope to sleep at night. But sometimes, something makes you pause, look up and hear the music. For Alex, and me, it was love. He heard it and I wrote it.

Thinking of Ron and hoping his heart carries a song for many many more years.

12 Comments

Filed under Inez, writing

Satisfaction

Finishing a project is a reward in and of itself—one that I highly recommend. Ignoring the fact that you can’t submit what you haven’t written, there’s an emotional high to writing the words The End, followed closely by a glow of pride.

I finished. I completed a task. Me. All by myself. I had an idea, followed through, and finished the race.

Yeah, baby! What a rush!

Next comes the fear of sending your pride and joy to first readers. What if they don’t like it? What if they say it sucks, that you should shelve this one and try again? For me, the answer has always been, “Better friends than editors and agents!”

I can count on my friends to deliver criticism with care. Editors and agents will simply send a form rejection. So I trust my first readers to bring on the crits in the hope that I can polish off enough rough edges to avoid the rejection.

I’ve just completed this cycle with The Silver Casket. I made it to The End, basked in a contented glow for a couple of days, and then ran through my first polishing pass. I liked it…always a good thing.

Next I sent it off to three trusted friends, each with a unique perspective. One is a fellow romance writer, not yet published but whose recent manuscripts have been requested by editors; one is a science fiction and screenplay writer with a keen eye for story; and the third is an avid romance reader—she represents my target audience.

The story was significantly over the required word budget. My CPs helped me see where I could trim without mangling the storyline. My reader friend gave me valuable insight as to what was and was not of interest. I slashed and hacked my way through what I hoped would be my final revision. Once the story was within the required word count and I was satisfied I had done my best, I printed out a copy and handed it to my final reader…my DH.

DH is a stickler for detail and not a romance fan. Admirable qualities for a final reader looking for copy-edit errors. I’m thrilled to say he found only one discrepancy which had remained in place after all other references had been slashed. AND, he gave me a much appreciated male perspective on the ending.

I reworked the final paragraphs (because his comments were absolutely correct) and saved a version worthy of submittal. Sigh.

The Silver Casket went out to its target market late Sunday night, and I am at peace. Whether or not the editor buys is not within my control, but I have done my job…and done it to the best of my current ability.

I’m enjoying a moment of satisfaction…before I begin the process anew!

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Filed under writing

It’s the second day of fall –

Forget writing, what are you doing to enjoy the season?

My husband seems to react differently than me. Different timing. I spring clean, he fall cleans. Tonight I officially transferred my things from the summer straw tote to the fuschia patent leather handbag. Yesterday I wore my pink plaid bermuda shorts for the last time this year. And I have some of the first turn of apples. Yum.

What about you?

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Filed under Emily

A big hello

Today’s post won’t be long because I’m writing it from the lobby of a super 8 motel in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  You know, the home of the big caverns.  My husband and I have plotted out a horror novel involving the caverns, Texas and…well, I won’t give it away.  But maybe we’ll be the next Stephen King.  Obviously I am on vacation so I’ll see all of you soon.

AJ

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Filed under AJ