Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't hate the muse

Writers are always lamenting the inopportune time ideas come. The shower, while in bed, out running. We blame it on our muse being evil. Our muses have wicket senses of humor and love nothing more than hitting us with a great idea or the prefect scene to our story when there's NOTHING to write with. But really, is the blame solely on our muse? Should be blame the characters for picking bad times to start talking?

Or maybe blame should be placed on something entirely different.

When I thought about it, while lying in bed trying to sleep, I realized something. All those prime moments of inspiration, are moments of peace. You're in bed, trying to relax and unwind in order to fall asleep. You're mind clears ups as you drift away, stress and worries faded. In the shower, the hot water soothes muscles as you wash dirt away and all your cares go down the drain. You're not in front of a computer, stressing out over trying to get the words out. In those moments, you become relaxed and your mind clear. There's no worry about bills or your job and you can hear your characters loud and clear.

Naturally, they take the opportunity to start telling you how the story needs to go. It doesn't matter to them you don't have paper or pen at hand, you're finally listening and they aren't passing the moment up.

So next time that great idea comes in the shower, don't blame your muse for playing a prank on you. Don't lament that your characters only like to talk to you while you're trying to sleep. They're always talking, their voices just get lost in the stress and worry of the day. Take the chance to listen and find ways to write or record what they're telling you. There's no one else to tell their story, don't get mad at them when they feel the only time they have your undivided attention while you're butt naked and in covered in soap.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tough Questions

So I declared I was going indie. I'm going to self publish my stories. Yay! Go me! Right? Yeah, I'm excited, I'm pumped but it's not all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Right now, I'm standing on the edge of the indie cliff and I need to get across to the land of published authors. I have no idea how to do this.

This is where the really hard work is. Writing the first draft is easy, editing the second draft is easy, so is the third and fourth and so on. Having beta readers and critiques is a little more difficult. It's not easy to see all that red tearing into your baby. Even then, it's something I slogged through and came out on the other side for the better. What's before me now... I'm sure I'll get through it but it's not going to be anywhere near as easy.

I've stated many times, anyone who believes self publishing is easy is wrong. Not only do you need an awesome cover and MS that shines brighter than a diamond but you need ISBNs for the book. Multiple ones! From what I've discovered, you need one for print books and each ebook formats. Fortunately, Kindle and Nook help out with that. Through them, you don't need an ISBN, they will assign a number for you. It's not an ISBN but close because it IDs the book. Another plus is some of the sites like CreateSpace offer a free ISBN for your book. I am still a bit confused though. Should I buy a bunch of ISBNs? I'm having a little trouble finding the answer.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I suppose it's time

Well, I suppose this is my official announcement. Before when I talked about publishing I was wishy-washy. I said I was thinking of indie publishing but still considering traditional. (Sorry folks, I'm not saying legacy. I like traditional better. =P) But given the emails I've been sending lately and the people I've been talking to, I might as well admit it.

I'm going indie.

I can already hear the nay-sayers bemoaning my mistakes and the hardcore indies rejoicing. Both of you need to hold up. My reasons for going indie aren't as black and white as you might think. I am not an either/or person on this subject. I see both indie and trad as options. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people will thrive going the indie route and others are content with going trad. It's up to each person to decide. I decided indie.

When I first started looking into publishing I was going to go trad. I hadn't even known indie existed! But as I learned more, indie started to appeal to me. I am a do-it-yourself-er. While I have no Photoshop (or Gimp) skills, the idea of finding a graphic designer to do my cover art excited me. I wanted to be in control of that and I knew with trad publishing, I would lose that control. I could make suggestions but the final decision was someone else's. Same with the title. I wasn't comfortable with that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting to know your MC Blogfest

This lovely blogfest is brought to you by Jeannie Campbell and hosted by Elizabeth Mueller. So go check out both their lovely blogs. Don't forget to check out the list of participants here as well. Now, on to the good stuff. There are three questions for the main character of one of my stories to answer. I decided Tommy, from Being Human would be perfect for this. (He's glaring at me because he thinks this is pointless.)

Tommy: This IS pointless. There is absolutely no reason for me to do this. It doesn't help me survive.
Yes, it does.
Tommy: How?
One word: Delete.
Tommy: Fine, I'll do it. What are the questions?
What is your greatest fear?
Tommy: I'm not going to answer that one.
Glares.
Tommy: I'm not telling you my fears, that would be stupid. Another vampire could read this and use that fear against me. I'm not risking my survival on a stupid question by some human I'd have for dinner.
What are the chances of another vampire reading this blog? And don't threaten the hosts of this blogfest, that's just bad manners.
Tommy refuses to speak.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Let's talk about sex Part Two

Are you ready for Let's talk about: sex part two? Want to read Part one first. Go ahead, I'll wait. Okay, here we go.

When I started writing I was terrified of writing a sex scene. If I did, I couldn't show my friends the story, right? What would they think? OMG, the horror! Despite that, a few scenes slipped into some of my earlier stories. They weren't very good mind you, but they were there. One in particular, I added a bit of humor. I couldn't write the scene without adding something funny, like the humor made it less horrible to think about others reading it. Now, I realize it made the scene more cringe-worthy.

Thankfully, I mostly got over that fear. There's still some nervousness that bubbles when I think about some current WIPs that have sex in them, a little jitter that wonders what will my friends think if I let them read the story. I know better than to let that jitter get to me. My friends are adults, they've read romances and novels with sex scenes. They aren't going to think different of me. Hell, they might even give me a hi-five. (We can be an immature lot.) Still, the small fear is there and I don't see it going away no matter how many times I write a sex scene. My mind will always wonder, What will someone think?

Fortunately, I'm not about to let that worry stop me. My writing partner in crime CJ, is my sex scene cheerleader (and fact checker for the M/M ones.) It's the truth when I say if not for him, I probably would still be shying away from the scenes - all of them.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Let's talk about sex Part One

This is going to be two parts to this topic. This part focuses on YA novels and sex. Part two is about books for adults that go into more details. Enjoy and discuss.

Sex can be a pretty big deal. Especially in YA novels. There's the debate of what is too much or if it should even be in YA at all. A lot of people agree that teens know about sex. They know it, have done it and talk about it. That in mind, when I write a YA story, I won't have sex in. Some non-descriptive petting or groping but I don't go into details. The main reason for that isn't because of the age group I'm writing for. It's for their parents.

Let's face it, the parents are the ones whose pants get twisted in a knot over sex in YA. They're the ones that protest. Remember when someone got on a soapbox about LA Anderson's Speak? It wasn't a kid that was outraged, it was an adult. Honestly, I didn't see what the deal was. The act wasn't described, it wasn't about the rape either. It about Melinda's fear and how that one moment stole her voice.

I can understand a parent's concern though. Every parents wants to believe their child isn't out having sex. Every parent believes their child is a good child. They want to believe their children will wait until they say I do to someone they love. Maybe in an ideal world. In this world, well, I remember saying I was going to wait until I was married... then I got a boyfriend and there went that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unanswered questions

While going through suggestions and red ink from my beta readers, a question popped up. And I'm sure the question will pop up when MB gets back to me with her opinion. With beta readers and critiques, when a question is brought up by more than one person that usually means there's a problem. Something needs to be changed. The thing is, the question I'm talking about isn't supposed to be answered in Being Human.

The question I'm talking about has to do with how my vampires turn a human. In one scene, Tommy, while trying not to kill a human, accidentally turns the human. Another vampire, Amy, helps him deal with the new vampire. Afterwards, she asks him if he knew how he turned the human. He says no. At that point, my betas wonder, why doesn't Tommy know? How can he turn someone and not know? Vampires always know how to turn a human! I'm not making sense!

Why the hell did I write it this way?

The real simple answer is at the time I was writing the scene, I had NO idea how it happened. I kid you not. Tommy had no idea so I had no idea. It wasn't until I was fiddling with what's going to be some what of a squeal, Drew's story - Being Vampire, that I figured out how to turn a human into a vampire and I only figured it out because Drew is faced with that decision.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fears

Today, it started out as a small jitter. Was chatting with a friend and something was said and I got scared and wanted to take my words back. Over the day, it grew, turning into a bit of irritation then fading away. I was in the clear. Or so I thought.

As I lay in bed everything started rushing up on me. It started with the small jitter then added another jitter about a IM I sent complaining to a new friend. I kept thinking, about both the jitters. Should I have kept my mouth shut? Did I annoy? Irritate? Royally piss off. Silly and I knew it deep down. Still, it propelled me out of bed to send off an apology. Which only added to the jitters because the person was still online (and probably knows who he is once he reads this.) What got added to my jitters? Well, I laid back down after sending the message anyways and this pops in my head: What if he sees my name pops up and closes it before he reads????????

And the jitters grow.

They grow so bad that they start to encompass more. Man, I haven't gotten much writing done, not even 1000 words! But I've been editing. Not writing though, the jitters say. What if, the jitters add, you've lost the ability to write? What if you can't write another story? Can't finish the ones you have? Are your characters even talking anymore? I stare at the darkness in my bedroom, eyes wide, nerves buzzing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Writing is like.... playing God

(The overly religious people will probably get mad at me for that title.) Think about it. It's very true. As a writer, it's my job to create a world and fill it with people, animals and life. I have to get every detail down and make each character as diverse as snowflakes. I have to create history and people's pasts. What pets did they have as a child? Who was their favorite relative? Did she get her heart broken in high school? I need all these details to breath life into my characters so they can survive and build a future.

It's not easy either! It takes me multiple attempts to get my writing world perfect. Did I give this character correct features? Is the timeline right? Oops! Plot hole!

Then I have to be silent. Listening to my characters speak and sometimes plead for help. I have to look out of the corner of my eye as they go through trials and torture. Loss of a loved one. Family moving away from the life they've know. I'm not a very benevolent creator to my characters. I torture them and have a certain fondness for ripping my characters' hearts out... literally. It's not all blood and tears though. I love giving my characters happy endings. Hopeful ones I find even better. There's just something about hope, I think it's more powerful than plain old happiness.

I don't dictate every move of my characters, in fact, I give them freedom to take hold of their world and shape it. They surprise me on a daily basis. Where did this character come from? I had no idea this one was such a softie. Wait! That's not what I wanted you to do!

Without me, my characters wouldn't come to life. They'd sit in my head, not given the chance to thrive. I love my characters and will gladly let them free into the world. I just hope everyone else loves my creations as much. I can't wait for what creations spring to mind next!

********************************
This post was brought to you via Melanie McCullough. She tagged me for this meme and it is up to me to pass it on to three more bloggers.
1) MaryBeth Keystrokes and Word Counts
2)Rebecca Bradley Life in Clarity
3) Chris... you should have seen this coming, that's all I have to say. =P

So there you go, my three peeps, I choose you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Get your follow on!

Alright! I reached my goal in terms of one of my follower badges. So that means three people are going to win a book. Winners were chosen randomly by my hubby who I told to pick three numbers. So we have Commenter number 2, commenter number 6 and commenter number 3. So Krissy, Awful Licks07 and Danielle, you guys win. Pop me your snail mail addresses and I'll pick a book to send off to you (if you have one you were eyeballing, mention it.) Thanks everyone.

Been looking at my follower count and realized, I'm getting up there! 95 on FB network blogs and 175 on Google Friend Connect. Almost 300 followers! I should totally do something when I reach that number! I should give away something, like a book... or maybe a few. I do have some books that could use good homes.

Let's see what I have. Oh, Uninvited by Amanda Moore.
Jordan's life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.
Jordan can't understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life — once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn't relate to — now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.
Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words....


Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.



 Fallen By Lauren Kate
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her

 


Comment and follow to enter and winners will be picked when I reach 200 followers on Google Friend connect or 100 on FB Networked Blogs. So go forth and spread the word! And thanks for putting up with me

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pucker Up - Another book review

It amazes me how long a book I really want to read will stay on my shelf because I'm trying to get writing in and I know if I pick up the book I will not get a single thing done until I turn the last page. That being said, I finally read a book I've been longing to read. Pucker by Melanie Gideon.

Thomas Quicksilver, known to his classmates as "Pucker," has always been an outsider. His crazy mother, the secret of his family's strange origins, and above all, the terrible scars on his face from a childhood fire these things have kept Thomas isolated and lonely. But now, at seventeen, Thomas is suddenly given the chance to change all that.To be magically healed, even beautiful; to have girls throwing themselves at him.To fit in.
The question is, what is he willing to sacrifice? His home? His personality? His mother s life?



First off, yup, I read this in one sitting. I felt like it started off a bit slow but curiosity for the story is strong motivation to keep going. The pace does pick up quickly. You learn about Thomas aka Pucker, the world he is from and the events that lead to his mother and his exile. Then he goes back. I was nervous the whole time. Will he be discovered? I knew it was a matter of time but not when or how it would unfold and that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To all the editors out there, I applaud you

Well, I'm getting close people, I can feel it. After putting Being Human in the hands of a few beta readers and doing more rewrites, I have a feeling that maybe I should start thinking publication. That means time to start looking for an editor to give my story a once over to try to make it as error free as possible.

I researched and googled, went through the sites I had bookmark and narrowed down my options. I asked other authors on twitter to get an idea on cost or recommendations. Then I looked up comma usage and printed out one site that detailed a few rules and gave examples. I read it over a few times to make sure I understood. I figured I'd give editing a go, see if I can figure out where to put punctuation marks. My thoughts were either give an editor less work or do it myself and forgo an editor. It's not required I hire an editor after all. I opened my WIP and started reading.

I didn't get very far.

Wow, can you say boring? Seriously, I have a new and profound awe for editors. I can't fathom doing that job. I can't look at my WIP line by line, examine and analyze each sentence or spot where a comma is needed. I don't have the patience. Of course, maybe this is something that takes practice and experience. Or college. College might definitely help.


I don't know, all I know is I have no desire to do that. I'll stick to writing and let others tell me where to put punctuation. Of course this means once I have a WIP done, I either need to become really good friends with an editor or hire one. Thankfully, there are lots of editors out there. I just need to find a good one. And one I can afford. Any editors want to be my friend?

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's all fun and games blogfest

I almost forgot about this. I put the badge on my blog so I wouldn't forget. Alex Cavanaugh posted a comment reminding me. Still, I almost forgot.

Okay, lemme think, three games I love and why. This is actually pretty easy. First is Scrabble. It reminds me of home. My family used to gather at the dinner table and play it, when relatives visit, we play it. Sometimes I'd win, sometimes I'd lose. Was everyone else annoyed when they were stuck with a Q or Z and there was NO place to play it? Ten points those tiles were worth! A goldmine or deathtrap rolled into a tiny, wooden square. Why don't I own this game??? Hubby and I obviously need to make a trip to Walmart.

Second game, piece of cake. Chrono Cross. Not Chrono Trigger, Chrono CROSS. Serge is HAWT! It was one of the first PS1 games I played, the sound the PS made when it turned on forever embedded into my memory because of that game. I beat it, I played it again, I beat it again and then I played it again. I loved the cut scenes. (Also Kid ROXS) I still have that game somewhere and if I ever want to not write for long periods of time, all I need to do is put that game in. I own the soundtrack to this game and it is full of awesome.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Some days just suck

Today is turning into an off writing day. I opened up one of my manuscripts, read through it, fixed a few wrong words and then nothing. The start of the next part of the story churned but any solid direction fizzled. I saved and closed then looked at other stories that need work. Nothing really clicked, my mind feels too full of static to hear my characters tell me what happens next. I can't concentrate or focus on what needs to be written. It's hot and humid, my hands keep getting sweaty and even with a fan on my laptop it's still hot. On top of it all, a headache is trying to brew, causing more noise to drown out my characters. It's just one of those days were I feel like a dried up husk.

I also want to break out Being Human but there's nothing I can do with that. I'm waiting for one more beta to get back and Erin to email me any mistakes she found on the current draft I sent her. I'm dying to do something with it too, contract one of the editors I have bookmarked, email the one graphic site about book covers. But I don't want to jump the gun, I want to get all opinions back in, make sure my MS is nice and shiny then get the ball rolling on that leg of the journey.

I'm starting to get annoyed. The desire to write is there, it's urging me to open up that MS, crank out those words. But as soon as I do, nothing. I stare at the document and barely see the words I've already written. The words I do see make me cringe. They don't flow, or they feel flat. I'm not liking my writing today.

Maybe I need to get away from this computer. Go outside, do some errands or housework. The kitchen floor does need to be mopped. I could pamper my feet after the torture I gave them yesterday, walking all over the fairgrounds in flipflops for the car show. I'd like to make some more jewelry. 4th of July is coming up and I need to be ready for that but the heat makes it hard to deal with beads. They stick to my skin then fall on the floor and I have to go searching.

I guess there's nothing for it. Some days just suck. Today sucks for me. Maybe now, after a bit of griping and bitching, this day will look up, the clouds will part (wait, they've already done that and that's why it's so hot!) the static will clear from my mind and I'll get something productive writing-wise done. I can be hopeful, hope is good, right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lake's Realisation

Path of Angels only had four parts but CJ had five poems. I guess maybe I'll give some insight to the series, see if I can sum it up.

They are the four chosen, sent to be born in this world to send the fallen back to hell.


Michael and his brothers, Zadekiel, Jophiel and Gabriel are sure of the path set before them by God. Night after night they head into the darkness, seeking the cold. With a touch of Michael's sword, they banish fallen and their half breed offspring back to the fires of hell.


Lake, Alexander and Charlie are nephims - the children of a human and angel. Their lives have never been easy but both are determined not to fall prey to the hate surrounding them. Zephyr is an atheist struggling with a gift that allows her to write the future. Mariangela is a fallen angel hiding and praying to make amends for her part in the rebellion against God and protect the baby she carries. Their paths are destined to cross with Michael and his brothers.


Together they face a difficult path as the fallen plot to free the most dangerous of them all: Morning Star. Down is the only way forward, death the only gate to hell for the four angels. Their only hope for of surviving and stopping their fallen brothers are the ones their hearts belong to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing quirks

I am at the end of a critique on Being Human, the draft for that saved into its own file. I've ranted and raved about the roller coaster of emotions this has put me through on this blog and to a few friends. What might surprise you is what bugs me the most.

A few times Marni suggested I put in a break for a time lapse and another time she wondered why I put in a break that wasn't needed. This may not seem a big deal to you and in fact you might agree but let me tell you, it is to me. I have this thing about consistency with my chapters and I've touched on it but this will be a full blown rant. Not at anyone who suggested I put a break here or there mind you.

I am a bit OCD about chapter breaks and lengths to the point of near ridiculousness. It's not so bad that I can't have my chapters or breaks be different lengths but it's pretty damn close. It just rubs me the wrong way and I obsessive over it. I know I don't need to, a reader isn't going to look at my chapters and go, "OMG This chapter is shorter than the one before! This book SUXS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I know that but if I can't get my chapters or breaks to nearly all the same length I get a little nuts.

Example. In my short stories, Path of Angels the first three books go like this. Two chapters in one character's POV, two in another and then at the end it alternates chapters. When this first happened I was upset with switching to alternate chapters for character POV but I calmed on the second and third stories. Then I started on the last story. Right off the back, a few chapters in, I had to switch back to Michael's POV for three or four paragraphs at the end of the chapter. Then towards the end I had to abandon switching POV for a new chapter.

This is driving me nuts thinking about it as I write.