Archive for June, 2011

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Playing Somewhere Else Today

You can find me HERE today. I’ve written up an article about shortcuts to publishing.

Friday, June 24th, 2011

I started a new book a couple of weeks ago. It’s taken me a while to get to the writing part since I’ve been doing a lot of charting out, character development, etc. I’ve written twenty-five pages and have probably another twenty-five charted out, so it shouldn’t take long to write them. I think the story is strong. I like the characters and the overall series idea, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m working on the ‘wrong’ thing. Let me explain…or at least try to. My plan from the beginning of this year was to try to get as much new material together as I possibly could before I approached New York publishing again. It’s why I wrote a YA at the end of last year. It’s also why I put a list together of potential projects. That list included at least one more YA, an urban fantasy, and an urban fantasy romance. I put the latter on the list because I knew it was something I could write without difficulty. By that I don’t mean that the book would be ‘easy’ to write per se, more that it was a genre that I’m familiar with and wouldn’t have any challenges writing. If that makes sense.

Every writer has areas that challenge them. It may be specific POV’s or specific genres or craft issues. I’ve been slowly working on building my craft. Still have a long way to go. To be honest, I won’t ever be done learning how to make my work better. No writer will be, if they’re honest with themselves. A lot of times writers will avoid those areas that challenge them. It’s human nature to stick to your comfort zone and frankly, it’s easier. Twenty-five pages into my current book, I realized that’s what I was doing. I was sticking to my comfort zone, using it as security blanket because I’ve been afraid to face the work that truly scares me, the work that I’m not at all sure I can write. The whole situation has been rather sobering. I find myself at a crossroads. Do I continue on and finish the book that lies smack in the middle of my comfort zone or do I finish the partial and move onto one of the many projects that scare me? The decision is not nearly as easy as you might think.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
My First Urban Fantasy

Like I said yesterday, some of you found my other pen name and were able to pick up this book. For those not familiar with the other name, I am now releasing the same book, my full-length novel, under my Jordan Summers’ name. May I present SOLOMON’S SEALS: THE GHOST HUNTER CHRONICLES:

BLURB: Welcome to Los Angeles. They call it the City of Angels. They got it half right. In a town where demons masquerade as children in order to protect humanity, while angels gain power by destroying the souls of the dearly departed. Good and evil is determined by whoever has the better P.R. firm.

Humans remain blissfully unaware that a struggle is taking place, unless they make the mistake of inviting one of these creatures into their homes—or they happen to be one of their offspring.

Meet Alexa Dawn, the Ghost Hunter.

She doesn’t try to coax, whisper, or talk to the dearly departed. She’s not there to help them crossover. She’s there for one reason, and one reason only, to make sure the dead—stay dead.

Alexa Dawn has spent her entire adult life chasing the shade that killed her parents, leaving a trail of dead spirits in her wake. When her latest house cleansing goes terribly awry, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Suddenly her clients start dying at an alarming rate. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that she’s next, unless Alexa can find a way to stop the creature that wants her dead.

Monday, June 20th, 2011
Changes Ahead

I had a long talk with dh this weekend. It was a good talk because it put quite a few things into perspective for me. As many of you know, I launched another pen name to handle my urban fantasy work and my YA work. Along with the pen name, I created a crude website. I don’t visit the other site often, which is bad given that there’s a blog on it. I was trying to keep the work separate from my romance novels. I feel like I’ve confused readers enough. Plus, I don’t want my erotic romance work crossing paths with my young adult work. Anyhow, what I realized after the discussion was that the only work I really need to keep separate is the YA stories. So with that said, starting this week I will be slowly making changes to this site and my other site to accommodate the new structure. Hopefully those of you who’ve enjoyed my work to date will also enjoy my non-romance novels. Some of you have already found them–thanks for picking them up. 🙂 I plan to change the name on the cover/s and bring them over to this site. I’m removing the blog from the other site. Until I’ve sold one of my YA books, there’s no point in having it. I will keep the site itself up because I think it’s important to have a web presence and because I still have a book on the site. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Thursday, June 16th, 2011
15.5 Pounds–Gone In Sixty Seconds

Okay, the last part of that header is wishful thinking on my part. It has taken me MONTHS to lose 15.5 pounds. Almost five to be exact. Yes, I lose weight at a snail’s pace. Believe me, I know. I see all these authors who’ve lost a 100 pounds in 9 months to a year and it bums me out. I don’t have a hundred pounds to lose–never did, but I have enough that it’s going to take me well over a year (at this rate) to hit my goal weight. If I was dieting, the weight might come off quicker, but frankly diets have never worked for me. EVER. This is the most weight I’ve ever lost without starvation tactics. For those curious, I’ve mentioned it before, but dh and I started eating off smaller plates a few months back. We are not slave drivers about the plates. If we happen to need a bigger plate for something, we use it and don’t beat ourselves up over it. I make the same dinners I’ve always made (ie meatloaf, chicken, fish, soup, etc.), but we try not to have a lot of potatoes or bread. In fact, other than one lonely slice of gluten free bread in the freezer, we don’t have bread in the house. If we’re craving bread, I’ll go out and buy some, but we won’t keep it for long. I do have potatoes, again, in case there are any cravings. We try to avoid those and most of the time don’t have them in the house either. I do keep sweet potatoes in the house because they’re better for you. We also have spinach and berry protein shakes for breakfast. It’s strange how quickly those have become a habit. (Probably because we love them so much.) I drink 64 fl oz. of water a day, but I really like water, so that’s not a hardship for me. Oh, and we exercise 4-6 days a week. You thought I wasn’t going to mention the dreaded ‘E’ word, didn’t you? Four days of exercise a week is okay, but normally a bad week for us. Five is average and six is a good week. I’m not a fan of exercise. I don’t mind ‘fun’ activities, but exercise in general bores me to tears. I do it anyway. I like the mental clarity it gives me. I couldn’t do it if it was only to get into shape. I need more of a reason. Right now, I’m only exercising 30 minutes a day. Not great, but better than nothing. I need to get that time up and I think I just figured out how. I’m going to break the exercise up into two sessions. I’ll let you know if it works.

Now after all this talk of exercise and plate sizes, I’m going to get ready to go grocery shopping. *ggg 😉

Monday, June 13th, 2011
Bye, Bye Cooler Weather

I’m back. I left a pretty cool (ie 62 degree) San Francisco behind, only to return to squelching heat. It was nice to get out of it for a few days anyway. San Fran is a pretty cool (pardon the pun) city. I’ve been to it many times. Lots of pretty architecture, great restaurants, and fascinating cultures. It’s definitely the most ‘European-like’ city I’ve ever visited. That said, I could never live there. The street hassle/hustle is too much for me. These days I’m also not a fan of crowds. Period. When I was younger, they didn’t bother me as much. (I never particularly liked them, but I could hang a lot longer than I can these days.) Spent a wonderful day visiting with one of my dearest friends. I admit there were tears when we said our goodbyes. But like always, it was like we’d never been apart. Those are the kind of friends you keep. Those are the kind of friends you cherish. And I really do cherish her. It made me realize how much I miss my girlfriends.

I did manage to write the opening to the new manuscript. I think once I get past the first three/four chapters the book will start to flow smoothly. It’s just that those scenes in particular are pivotal. You meet the characters and discover the obstacles. I’m taking my time to make sure I get them right.

Somehow while I was gone my to-do list decided to double. I’m slowly working my way through it. So if I owe you an email, a call, a blog, books, etc. I will get back to you this week.

Went to see Super 8 yesterday. My dh described it best when he said the movie was ‘charming’. Think updated ET with a twist and not for the new generation. Yep, you read that last part right. This movie was definitely aimed at the generation that saw the original E.T. and loved it. I think my only disappointment was I’d hoped the movie would be ‘bigger’, especially considering that J.J. Abrams wrote and directed it. Spielberg’s influence is heavily felt. Again, only those familiar with the first film will recognize his touches. There are a few scary bits that might upset younger kids, but all and all it’s a pretty kid safe movie. If you’re feeling nostalgic, then Super 8 will definitely hit the right spot.

Tonight we’re going to see either Kung Fu Panda 2 or X-Men reboot. Can’t quite decide which one I’m more in the mood for. Any thoughts?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011
Sunday Panels and Upcoming Trips

I only had two panels on Sunday, which is probably a good thing since by then I was truly exhausted. The first panel was ‘The Future’s Not So Bright’, which sounds like a publishing panel when in fact it was about dystopian and post apocalyptic stories. The panel consisted of Janni Lee Simner, Me, Lisa McMann, and Weston Ochse. The one truly interesting thing that came out of this panel was the discussion about the difference between dystopian fiction and post apocalyptic fiction. After many rounds of input, the panel decided that dystopian fiction is something that happens gradually. It starts off seemingly harmless, but before you know it the world has changed and people are being controlled by a ruling power. (Think 1984 by George Orwell.) While a post apocalyptic world tends to be created by something large and destructive. The panel’s over all thoughts were that we are currently slipping into a dystopian society. Cheery right? *ggg

The last panel, which consisted of Allyson James, Gini Koch, J.S. Lewis, Me and Marcy Rockwell was called, ‘Advice for Beginning Writers’. Basically we opened the room up for questions and tried to answer as many as we could. People wanted to know everything from how to get rid of backstory to how to fix flat characterization. There were questions about pacing and show vs tell. I personally recommended a few books such as: On Writing by Stephen King, Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver, Scene and Structure by Jack Bickman, Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card, and Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. If you’re wanting to write romance (erotic or not), then Passionate Ink by Angela Knight is a fabulous book. I got a tremendous amount out of it, since Angela started out as a journalist and wrote comic books before coming to romance. Her suggestions will make ANY writing stronger.

I’m heading off to San Francisco to see one of my dear friends, while dh attends the Apple Conference. Will catch you guys once I get back. Play nice while I’m gone. 🙂