Archive for November, 2006

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
What has happened to the day?

I blinked and it was two in the afternoon. I haven’t managed to do anything other than write my RTB entry that’s due next week. I really don’t know what has happened to the day. I think it’s time to demand a do-over.

Well I’d better scoot. I have Japanese to do and rowing to complete. Then there’s that little rewrite known as chapter 2. Sigh. At least I managed to get a rough draft of chapter one done yesterday.

As an aside, I received the most magnificent surprise in the mail yesterday. It is the little things, the sudden outpouring of kindness, the scrap of encouragement, the phantom touch of souls, that makes life worth living. Thank you, for the most thoughtful of gifts…your friendship. May our wolves always howl at the same moon. 🙂

Monday, November 20th, 2006
Trying To Decide

My car decided to stop running last week. I think it’s the battery, but I’m not sure. If it is, then Ford has to replace it for free. If it’s not, it could cost me. 🙁 What I’m trying to decide is whether to phone them today or tomorrow or next week. Not sure how the Thanksgiving holiday will affect their service.

If I do it today, it won’t be until after I finish my workout and language lessons. I figure it’s going to wipe out a day waiting around for them…even if it’s just a battery. Sigh. The question is which day do I want to waste at the car dealership? Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

The Japanese and the exercise is coming along nicely. I’ve added the Japanese to my iPod so that I can do them both at the same time. 😀

I decided to rewrite the opening chapter of my urban fantasy…and quite possibly the rest of the book. I’ve finally picked up on the ‘feel’ of urban fantasies, but it’ll require rewriting/changing most of the chapters. Sometimes it just has to be done, but I don’t have to look forward to it. :-/

I don’t know if you all have noticed the sudden influx of contests, but I have. I think I’ve received at least four emails notifying me of contests that are looking for entrants. I have also seen several contests that have had to drop categories because they haven’t received enough entrants. I wonder if it’s that people are tired of contests or if money is tighter. What do you all think about contests for published authors? Unpublished authors? Do you enter them all/ignore them/or select specific ones?

Friday, November 17th, 2006
Bond, James Bond

Okay, I was one of the outraged when I heard that they’d replaced Pierce Brosnan with Daniel Craig. Not because DC has blonde hair (although that was part of it), but because I could never picture him in the role of leading man. I knew he was a helluva an actor. I’d seen his work enough to realize that. I just couldn’t mentally elevate him to leading man status. Well, I’m here to say that I was WRONG.

We went to see the new Bond today (and will go again). Daniel Craig rocked as James Bond. He played the part very different, using some of his ‘bad guy’ casting to bring a grittier side to Bond. And it worked beautifully. He humanized the character. The man may not have a pin-up type face, but there is something about him that screams–sex. And I’m not just talking about his pretty blue eyes. He practically sizzles in every shot. Speaking of shots, the ones coming out of the water aren’t the only ones of Craig’s body we see. He’s actually ‘naked’ in one scene. Craig is the first Bond (since Connery) that looks like he can kick some ass.

Actually, what struck me most about this particular Bond was the writing. Whoever wrote this moved away from the ‘silly’ Bond-isms and made the flirty dialogue smart. It made the sexual tension between him and the ‘Bond girls’ enjoyable. It helped that the ‘girls’ weren’t stupid. In fact, they were both very smart and completely onto him. They ‘chose’ to play along. Another nice change from the other movies.

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this movie. If you’re a James Bond fan, then you must go see Casino Royale. Period. You will not be sorry. I can’t wait to see it again.

Thursday, November 16th, 2006
By George, I think she’s got it.

I wrote a scene yesterday that may turn out to be my prologue in the urban fantasy. Why is that exciting? Because it actually came out like the urban fantasies that I’ve been reading. Woo Hoo!!! What does this mean? That I’m finally starting to get the structure of these books. YAH!!!

That said, it doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop my writing exercises. Obviously, they are helping tremendously. I know it seems trivial, but you have no idea what a relief this is for me. I’ve been stressing bullets over the last several days because I knew something was ‘off’ in my book that had nothing to do with the plot. I don’t want to get too excited about this breakthrough, but I am grateful. I was beginning to think that I wouldn’t be able to pick this up and that thought was both frightening and frustrating as hell.

Dh says that I’m too hard on myself. (ie I expect to pick things up immediately and have very little patience when I don’t.) I’m not saying he’s right…but he might be. (wg)

This of course got me thinking about learning patterns. I wondered how other writers/artists handle these things. Are you the type to get impatient when you don’t pick things up right away? Or do you give yourself time to learn? If you’re in the latter camp, bless your heart, how do you do it?

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
A Taste of Things to Come

I know I’ve talked about how different my new stuff is compared to my previous releases. I thought I’d give you a little taste of what I’m talking about. RED is written in both first and third POV. This is part of the opening scene.:)

Not many people can handle the pain of being ripped apart. Of having your limbs twisted and morphed until you are convinced your mind will shatter into a thousand tiny shards.

I can.

And I’m tired of hiding my true nature so that humans can sleep better at night. Convinced they’re actually in control of this tiny blue-brown planet. They need to know the truth. Realize that they are not at the top of the food chain.

Far from it.

A permanent shift in power is necessary and I intend to bring about that change one body at a time.

Starting now.

Pain sears my flesh, flaying it from the bone. I scream, throwing my head back as blood sprays across the inside of the car, painting the dirty windshield crimson. Pressure explodes beneath my gums, ejecting my teeth to make room for a row of fangs. My arms and legs snap, breaking bone, tearing sinew, only to reshape and mend.

The change feels like it is taking an eternity as I drown in a flaming river of agony, but I know it’s only been seconds. One last strangled cry rips from my raw throat, and then suddenly I am reborn.

Lungs heaving, I sit up and gaze around. The coppery odor of blood assails my senses, along with something feminine and delicate. Memory evades me. The once familiar vehicle appears alien in origin. The urge to escape its confines is great. A twig snaps in the distance and my ears perk. Naturally curious, I exit the car.

It only takes a moment to remember where I am and why I’m here. I raise my nose in the air and inhale deeply. The world comes alive around me as if blinders have been ripped from my eyes. I scent a distant rain wafting on the breeze, along with the sweet, musky aroma of a woman in the throes of heat. The latter draws my attention and holds it.

Ah, that’s right. I’d forgotten all about my guest. Where are my manners? I must remember to thank her for accepting my invitation…once I catch her.

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
Differing…Sometimes that’s a bad thing

I’ve finished my rowing for today. I have to tell you, this exercise is kicking my butt…BIG TIME! I can only row for about 10 to 12 minutes at time. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I’m setting a pretty fast pace. (Rowing to eighties rock music helps.;) My goal is to row five days a week, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day. Eventually, I want to build up to thirty minutes to an hour. For now, I have to settle for my ten to twelve. Sigh.

The Japanese lessons are going slower than I’d like. I’m going to have to double them up to twice a day so that I can at least get through all thirty-eight levels of lesson one. Sadly, I think that by the time I’m done, I will actually know more Japanese than I do Spanish.

After spending the last couple of days typing in sections of various urban fantasies, I’ve decided to rip apart the first two chapters of my urban fantasy to see if changing the opening makes a difference. Keep in mind, I really do like the opening to my book, but I want to see if I can make it better. (ie read more like an urban fantasy)

I am hacking my way through a MASSIVE learning curve at the moment. Between the Japanese lessons and the urban fantasy lessons, I’m waiting for steam to come out of my ears. My dh keeps reminding me of what Stephen King says about writing well, “If you aren’t ready to work your ass off, then settle back into mediocrity and be grateful.” I’m not quite ready to settle back yet. How about you? What are you actively doing to make your writing better? (Beyond the obvious of writing more books.)

Monday, November 13th, 2006
Million Things To Do

Yesterday, I spent a couple of ours typing in paragraphs from several different urban fantasies. (ie I glanced at a few sentences at a time, then tried to remember them enough to type them into a blank document.) I discovered a few things from doing this. The first is that I don’t write enough short sentences. The second is that I need to be pickier when it comes to the word choices I make. (ie floor vs concrete) And the third is that I tend to go for the obvious cliches when it comes to creating secondary characters. NOT GOOD! I’ve actually gotten so much out of this little exercise that I intend to continue it for the rest of the month. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I’ll be able to recognize the shortcomings in my work and correct them immediately.

Busy, busy day today. I have an hours worth of Japanese lessons because I didn’t manage to do them this weekend. I also need to workout and get to the grocery store. I’m then going to work on the urban fantasy to see if I can apply what I learned from yesterday’s exercise.

A lot of authors have been writing up lists of the things they wish they’d known when starting out in this business. I have done this before, but I’ve been giving it more thought as of late. What would I have found helpful, when I first started? Feel free to add to the list. 🙂

1. Online writing classes like the ones Gotham Writer’s Workshop gives. (I wish I would’ve found these sooner. They helped me a LOT!)
2. Join Romance Writer’s of America. (Wish I wouldn’t have been so intimidated about joining them. I would’ve gotten a lot further in my career had I joined when I first found them.)
3. Taking more time to figure out what I wanted to write before I started submitting. Would’ve spent less time playing catchup had I done so.
4. Read books from every genre, before deciding on romance. I think I would’ve been a better writer overall had I been well-read.
5. I should’ve avoided critique groups until I understood my writing better. It’s too easy to be influenced if you’re unsure about your work. It also would’ve saved a promising friendship.

What would you all add?