Monthly Archives: November 2009

Read a Book – Inez

Magic bites… and its name is Myla.

Created at Prince Taric’s birth, Myla is a spell, an enchantment designed to appear and protect him when he needs it most. She has always been content to do her duty…until one night of forbidden passion leaves her longing to experience life—and love—as a mortal woman. Yet the risk is too great. Even if her blood runs as red as his, she can never give him the one thing he needs: a child.

Taric’s blessing—and his curse—is knowing the kingdom’s future depends on his producing an heir to continue the bloodline. His bond with Myla has always been that of protector and protected. When it suddenly becomes something much more, he unwittingly sentences his people to certain death.

An old enemy is plotting to destroy all he holds dear: his lands, his people, his father, and his lover. And this time, even if they fight tooth and blade, their shared magic may not be enough to save them…

Click here or here to read an excerpt.
Click here or on the cover to purchase.


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Filed under Inez, reading, Relax with a book!

Getting To Know All About You

Earlier in the year, a writing buddy and I planned to Fast Draft (FD) in the summer.  My plan was to FD the women’s fiction wip I’d been working on since fall 2008.   Finish it up finally.   Well, a month or so before the scheduled FD, I got an idea for an urban fantasy.  One of those ideas that stalks you during your waking hours and also  disturbs your sleep time.  I couldn’t wait to start writing it.

When the FD start date came, I was ready.  I’d done a quite a bit of research and had started doing a little world building.  I had my heroine’s name and I knew what her did for a ‘living’.  I also had a vague idea of how the story would to go and list of things I wanted to happen (I’m a pantster with a weakness for plotting).  But most important,  I had a song to keep my inspiration level at maximum.  I was set to crank out this story.

Fast forward to today.  The UF is sitting at 25,000 words.  And I won’t be touching it again until next summer.

So what happened?

I didn’t know my heroine as well as I thought.  Knowing her current and previous job was fine and dandy, but did little to help me discover the whys and whats of her life.  Like why is being honorable so important to her?  Or why she wanted to be a warrior?  Or what is she trying to prove through her current job?  If I had known the answers to these questions and a few others, I would have a rough draft of the story now.

Since putting the story aside, I have spent time getting to know my heroine.   For me, that’s opening a blank document and free writing  the answers to my why and what questions.   When I finish, I have a good idea of  the character and what motivates her.

So how do you get to know your characters?

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Filed under Kimberly, writing

NaNoWriMo: Day 25

I’m not even going to pretend I’m still thinking NaNoWriMo. Not even on the behalf of folks who are participating. In a way I’m glad I decided at the last minute to forego this year because I’ve had some unexpected medical issues (not major) crop up along with some different writing opportunities that I’m glad I’m able to take advantage of.

I’m currently pursuing audiobook editions of a few of my old titles (exciting!) and have revisions on my plate for one publisher while writing a freebie short for another publisher and Elise Logan and I are working on a holiday free read – things I might not’ve been able to get into if I’d obligated myself otherwise.

Opportunities are important to me. I like knowing I have the freedom to pursue them if I decide I want to pursue them. If you’ve ever heard someone say “I’m not interested in NY publishing,” you might be hearing it from the mouth of a person who’s flighty and interested in last-minute opportunities – like me. To this day the idea of a contracted deadline sets me on edge. I’m afraid I won’t be able to meet it, I’m afraid meeting it will make me miserable, I’m afraid I’ll hate what I’m writing if I have to write it with that sort of pressure. Plus, there’s that opportunities thing.

So my long rambling goal is to get to a point where I can ask  you: what have you been doing in November if you haven’t been writing like the mad for NaNoWriMo? Have you had any opportunities you were able to take advantage of?

And let’s not forget: Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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Filed under Emily, writing

How to Handle It When Your Crit Partner Misplaces Her Mind and You Must Talk Her Down From the High, High Ledge

I’d like to start by saying how sorry I am for not answering comments on last week’s post in a more timely fashion. I have no excuse. I’m a loser. Ask anybody.

Actually, what I am is a creature of habit, and I haven’t yet incorporated the habit of checking Tales for comments after I post.

But I promise to try to do better from now on.

ANYway. Both of the following email exchanges have been cleansed of bad language and iffy grammar, and made more generally palatable for public consumption. Rest assured the spirit of both conversations remains true.

***

Me: So… it’s been over a week. I’m dying out here with nothing to read. Wordage?

Her (otherwise known as the brilliant and fabulously stylish Barbara Caridad Ferrer): Shut up.

Me: But–

Her: I wrote a scene. It sucks. The dialogue is wrong. There’s too much introspection and info dump. Nothing happens. It’s all worthless. What am I doing? I can’t write this book. Why did I ever think I could write this book??

Me: Because you’ve written and sold three other books, one of which won the RITA and several other important awards? You know… just off the top of my head.

Her: That was then. This is different.

Me: I’m sure it’s fine. But I can’t tell for certain until I read it.

Her: You’ll just lie to me.

Me: That’s true. I’m universally known for my utter inability to give an honest critique. It’s my greatest failing. But send the file anyway. You know you want to.

Her: You’re mocking me, aren’t you?

Me: A little bit, yeah.

Her: *grumbles, sends file*

*** the following day ***

Her: Okay, your turn.

Me: Huh?

Her: You haven’t sent me anything in literally weeks. You’re not writing?

Me: A little. But it’s bad. It’s not ready. It needs… more. Or less. Plus, I think it’s in the wrong POV.

Her: Send it.

Me: Maybe later.

Her: SEND. IT.

Me: Make me.

Her: You think I won’t? You think I won’t fly up there and thwack you senseless? Bertha (her infamous baseball bat o’ doom) fits in an overhead compartment, you know.

Me: Yeah, I’m trembling in fear over here.

Her: You should be. Send the damned file.

Me: *grumbles, sends file*

***

Why do we do this to each other? More to the point, why do we do it to ourselves? It’s a ritual we’ve perfected over our several years’ worth of friendship and crit partnership. Almost a full decade, in fact. Barbara critiqued my Buffy/Spike fanfiction, for Joss’s sake.

We attended our first Romantic Times convention together. We joined RWA together. I held her hand through her first agent search, and she held mine as I explored this new “epublishing” thing.

We’ve only laid eyes on each other once, back in 2003, but ask me about her children — go ahead, ask me. Or let me tell you about her childhood as the daughter of Cuban immigrants. Or I could give you a few pages on her experiences as a competitive ice skater, a musician, and a teacher.

My point? We KNOW each other.  We know each other in a way that allows affectionate abuse and brutal honesty — sometimes in the same sentence. I trust her to tell me when my character’s behavior makes no ever-lovin’ sense in the context of a scene, and I know she trusts me to let her know when she’s over-thinking that five lines of dialogue from two chapters ago. AGAIN. Some MORE, even.

As we prepare to give thanks, my wish for all writers everywhere is the gift of such a partnership. It’s been invaluable to me. I have no doubt that without it, I’d have thrown in the towel years ago.

I’m very, very grateful.

And now I need to brine the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!   🙂

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Filed under Humor, misc., rambling, writing

Read a Book – Emily

Einmal nach a Modresnach by Emily Ryan-Davis

Sophie Anderson’s ladies-only holiday vacation in Germany yields unexpected gifts when her grandmother’s German nurse, David, shares his belief in the goddess Freya. Can a future dreamt once upon a modranicht come true?

And other winter holiday tales by various authors.

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Filed under Emily, Relax with a book!

Are You A Chicken Or An Owl?

This year, all of my kids are in school, which means I have about six hours to myself.  My plan was to write during the day while I was home alone and then be available to my family for stalking in the evenings.   The day writing has sucked for me big time.  I’ve tried setting daily word goals, BICHOK for a certain amount of time everyday and varying the time of day I write.  I even started working on  another wip.  None of these things helped increase my word production.   I was becoming discouraged.

Then I was out buying feed for our chickens earlier this week and I had an Aha! moment– I’m an owl trying to be chicken.

Before this school year, I did most of my writing at night.  After the kids were in bed.  Some nights I’d be up until 2 am writing even though my alarm would be going off in a few hours.  A few nights I’d pull an allnighter.  I’d be a zombie when the sun was out, but lots of words were added to my wip.

The first time I sat down to write at night, I added over 800 words to a scene I’d been stuck on for a week.   I am a night owl hear me hoot!

So are you a chicken or owl?  Or when do you do write?

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Filed under Kimberly, writing

NaNoWriMo: Day 18

I have no idea what your word count should be. Honestly, despite the recent weeks’ posts? I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Instead, my focus has been on working on the insane number of projects I have in progress. If you’re still going at NaNoWriMo, terrific for you – I’m really proud and happy for you. If you’re not…well, just know you’re not some sort of writing pariah. 🙂

Instead of word count, I have a little other success to brag about –

1, my critique partner didn’t totally hate my full-length. She did give the crit from hell, though, brutally honest and a little sharp (while also being generous with the praise). The lack of hate? That’s success for me.

2, a couple weeks ago I submitted a story that’s been rejected a few times and today received word that the editor’s interested provided I can work in some revisions. They’re not “change your whole story to be a different story” revisions, so – success!

But the real goal is not yet guaranteed, so I have to actually perform those revisions. And hope my critique partner is feeling a little less snarky when I send the revision her way.

Back to the NaNoWriMo participants: have faith and keep up the numbers. In 15 days, it’ll be your turn to start soliciting critiques.

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Filed under Emily, writing