Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to the jungle

We don't really have fun and games.

Well, sometimes we have fun. 

I have fun anyway, I really shouldn't speak for all of you.

Speaking of all of you...welcome and hello to my new friends that have joined the blog. I appreciate that you clicked follow and hope you stay a while and enjoy the writing. 

It's weird but wonderful.

So, here are a few words about the blogfest/hop that I just participated in.

Holy crap.

It's tough putting yourself out there but I did get wonderful comments and some suggestions for my 99th page. 

Thank you very much.

No matter what it feels good that people, people that I don't even know, want to read my work. They don't have to write that. They don't have to tell me they like it because they are related or have known me so long they think they have to.

That means a lot.

On the other side, I enjoyed going to the other 40 or so blogs to read their pages. They were all so different. Some I enjoyed, some I didn't. I tried to leave fair comments, as I would expect.

You can learn a lot from visiting other blogs. It's an interesting study of people. I like reading what they write just before they post their entry. Some explain their post, some apologize for it, others just post.

I'm glad I joined and I'm glad I got to 'meet' some fellow bloggers and writers. for writing...I have been thinking about the werewolf story but not writing. Really I have been busy with the blogfest thang and haven't even looked at the pages lately. 

I'm trying to think about what I want to do with Caine.

Hey! Get your heads out of the gutter...maybe that's just me.

There has to be something big, a goal, a destiny, but I haven't come up with it yet.

Until I do Caine will just have to play by himself. ;)

PSA-As I'm posting this the other laptop in the house just took a nosedive into the dreaded blue screen of death. Please back-up and save your work.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Men should be like tissues... -- The 99th Page Blogfest/Hop Entry below

...soft, strong and disposable.

Yeah, I stole that, and changed it a bit, from Clue. Madeline Kahn, we are not worthy.

Trying to write about the new idea I had that I used in the blogfest the other day.

It's slow going.

I find I'm too caught up in the now and can't think big picture. I may have had the idea about a guy who is a werewolf but that is about it. There was no story in my head yet.

Not the best way to start out I suppose but I never meant for it to mean anything.

But, I like Caine. I like his scars. I like his pain. I pictured him right away as a wolf, his size, his coloring, his eyes.

I guess he got under my skin a bit and now I feel I owe it to him to get him on paper.

I'll keep trying.

On another note... 

Another interesting blogfest. [I think I may have a problem.] This idea was inspired from this web page, Page99Test, which I didn't know existed but very cool concept.

Post page 99 of your manuscript and see if anyone would want to turn the page.

Here is page 99 from my current (well, it was) work in progress Maguire's Corner.


“Where’s the stuff from the fridge?”
“I put it out in the garbage cans.”
“You just went out the side door there?” Jack asked pointing to the door off the kitchen.
“Do you not get that someone broke in to your house today and that they could still be lurking around?”
“Maggie, we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know if the break in had something to do with Mr. Harris or if it had something to do with you. What if you went out the door and there was someone waiting for you?”
“What do you want me to do, Jack? Never go outside again?”
“How about you use some common sense?” he snapped.
“Common sense? Just who do you think you are talking to?”
“Apparently to the girl who forgot someone tried to kill her the other day.”
“I didn’t forget. I can never forget. I now have the scars to remind me every day,” Maggie shot back.
“Then what are you doing?”
“Living! I’m not going to just hide inside my apartment for the rest of my days because some asshole missed."


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge! --- *headdesk*

Wow. I just don't know what I was thinking but I signed up for this Blogfest today.
Luckily it's not until April. 
1 month - 26 blog posts - 1 for each letter of the alphabet.
I'll see if I can pull it off.
Arlee Bird from Tossing it Out is hoping to get 300 entries in. He is close to 100 now.

How does the Challenge work? 
The premise of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays.  In doing this you will have 26 blog posts--one for each letter of the alphabet.   Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet.
You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge.  There is an unlimited universe of possibilities.  You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about.  You don't have to be a writer to do this.  You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork.    Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Went 'n done something...stupid

Glutton for punishment? My picture should be right next to the definition in ...well... if they made a book about the those kinds of phrases and such.

See what happens when you give me a compliment!

I had such a wonderful reaction to all the positive comments I received from my blogfest entry. Some of you may know it as -- joy. It felt so good to hear nice things about my writing that I wanted it to go on and on.

I was just about to start posting sections of my book on this here blog when I got an email reminding me that the CreateSpace/Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award contest started today. They are accepting 5000 entries in general fiction and 5000 in YA fiction.

So, I got this crazy idea to enter, and I did this morning.

I really have to say it wasn't a smart move though. If you check out the previous winners they seem like those 'thinking' books. The kind that makes you think when you read them. Mine is certainly not that. In fact it's more of an escapism type book. 

At least it won't take long to find out if I made the next level. Before the end of February I'll know if they liked my 'pitch' and if they are going to read my 'excerpt' or not.

Silly is as silly does.

Again, I can't thank you guys enough for all the nice compliments. I'm not sure where the Caine story idea came from, but I like it and I may have to work with it some more. Of course that would make it my third idea in the works. 

I was speaking with a friend about the fear of starting a paranormal book. It really is a daunting subject. Unless you want to stand on the shoulders of others you must create your own believable world in and around your characters and their abilities.

That can be very complicated.

I mean there are some universal truths about werewolves and vampires. At least there used to be. I wouldn't mind bringing some of them back.

Caught this blog this morning if anyone is interested in a chance to win query critiques! Mega-Awesome Query Contest from Roni Loren at Fiction Groupie.

It couldn't hurt, right?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tessa's Birthday Bash Blogfest

Found this Blogfest this morning and worked on my story all day in between wiping the kid's nose and shoveling snow and fetching coffee for the husband. Needs some polishing, I admit it, but I wanted to get mine in before time was up!

“Happy birthday, Caine,” the bartender said and set down another full glass of beer in front of him.
He had yet to finish his second and now he was two behind.
“What’s so happy about it?”
“You’re breathing, right?”
“For the moment.”
“There you go, glass half full.”
Caine didn’t argue the point further. He knew better. Frank had truck loads of bartenderisms and optimism that he loved to share with his customers. Caine sipped his beer wondering what the second half of his day might bring. Something bad always happened on his birthday.
His mother would say that was the day she had been cursed with him. He didn’t know what his father would say. He had never met him. He wasn’t sure his mother would know the guys name or even what he looked like. Apparently he had been conceived in a drunken haze in the back seat of an abandoned car.
Being a cop Caine had seen his fair share of misery. Being a werewolf he had seen just about everything else. But his birthday never failed to bring him more grief. Sometimes the weather went all crazy. Sometimes it was people. Sometimes it was the whole universe.
It seemed to be worse on the sevens. His seventh birthday a tornado ripped through the trailer park where he lived with his mother and destroyed every home. On his fourteenth birthday the principal of his high school set the school on fire with all the kids still inside. On his twenty-first, a solar eclipse changed him for the first time from human to werewolf.
Today was his twentieth-eighth. So far, it had been quiet but when his cell phone rang he had a feeling that was about to change.
“Shaw,” he answered.
“It’s Douglas. I need to see you.”
“Captain, it’s my day off.”
“I know that. Just come down to my office.”
“I’ve had a few rounds.”
“Get a cab.”
The line went dead in his ear and he slid his phone shut. The other beers waiting for him silently mocked him. If he had turned off his phone he would be enjoying those instead of leaving them behind.
In twenty minutes he was across town and knocking on his boss’s door. He opened it to find Captain Douglas sitting at his desk across from a very large man.
“Sorry Captain, I’ll come back,” Caine said.
“Come in Lieutenant. This gentleman has come to see you.”
“Why? What’s up?”
The man stood and towered over the Captain but he wasn’t much bigger than Caine himself. When he turned Caine tried to hide his shock. If he had ever wanted to see himself ten years in the future this was his opportunity.
“Because, I’m your uncle, Ian McGrath.”
“I’m going to give you guys a few minutes to talk,” Captain Douglas said and walked out of the office closing the door behind him.
“Don’t you want to know why I’m here, Lieutenant?”
“Because it’s my birthday," Caine said.
“Twenty-eight today, yes?”
“It’s time to bring you home to your family.”
“I don’t have a family.”
“I understand your mother passed on a few years ago. I’m sorry.”
“She drank herself to death. No one was sorry.”
“There is no doubt that you and your mother were served a raw deal. But, now it’s time to bring you home. There are people you need to meet. Things you need to be told.”
“You’re a few years late.”
“We just found out about you.”
“Really? How?”
“There is a lot we need to talk about.”
Caine sighed. “Look, you don’t have to be all mysterious. I already know what I am.”
“Maybe what, but not who. Or, is it whom? I never get that right.”
“Is that your opinion or fact?”
“Fine. Your father is dying.”
“Don’t care,” Caine said and turned towards the office door.
“When he does, you will be the next in line.”
“For what?”
“Pack leader.”
“Not interested.”
“That’s fine, but I have to warn you. While you are still alive no one else will be allowed to be pack leader. And a group without a leader is very dangerous.”
“While I’m still alive?”
“Let’s just say that anyone who wants the job will be coming here to kill you.”
“Great. Best birthday ever.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

To share or not to share...

Erggg. Arggg.

So, feeling better today. Well, mentally, not physically. My son decided to share his cold with me so I am busy trying to fight that off. So far just annoying not evil.
But, I'm feeling better about writing. Mostly because of the blogfest I ran into the other day. Just when I thought I had run out of writing mojo I felt compelled to write that paragraph.
I'm not sure it's enough mojo to write a whole chapter right now but it was enough to remind me that I didn't choose to write stories, I just write them.
I didn't say to myself one day 'hey, I want to be a writer and get rejected all the time on my quest to be published', I just felt the need to write.
I'm not an amazing writer but I think that I am a good writer.
I may never be a best-selling author but that was never my intention anyway.
Getting published just seemed like the next step.
Self publishing is always an option but it could be really complicated.
I have been thinking about posting chapters of the book on this blog. I could go through each chapter again, read it, edit it and then post it.
It's a risk. Opening myself to criticism but also to helpful comments.
I mean what is the purpose of continuing in any way if I don't share? What is the purpose of having that damn book if no one reads it?

So, what do you guys think? Would you like to read about Colin and Riley?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Now Showing Blogfest

Ran across the Now Showing Blogfest this morning.

I chose: S/he cried. 

Her eyes were hot, her unshed tears making them heavy, but not before she was finally alone did she allow herself to fold. Sinking to the cold basement floor, her black satin dress pooling around her legs, her sorrow spilled forth on silent sobs. Wrapping her arms around her body she waited for the pain to stop, so engulfed in her grief, she never heard him come in.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

[insert sad dramatic music here]

Bad week all around.

Carina Press responded by email today.

Thanks but no thanks.

I find it slightly disturbing that I heard from both HQN and Carina in the same week and neither branch wants my little story.


Yes, my ego is completely deflated.
Yes, I'm feeling like a complete hack.
Yes, my life sucketh.

No, I don't know what I'm going to do next. 
No, I don't think I will send this book out again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A glitch in the matrix.

True story:
I walk to the mailbox yesterday and find my own SASE sitting on top of the other mail.
It takes me a moment to recall where I might have sent one that I would be expecting one back.
Well, really, the only one I sent was with my submission to HQN Blaze back in June of 2010. 
But, here is the rub...I already received a 'no thanks' letter back from them in October of 2010.

Confused? Let's see if I can clear it up some.

I'm not sure where my submission has been all this time but I originally mailed it to NYC but never heard from anyone. I called NYC and they told me to call Canada. I called Canada they didn't know where it was and asked me to email my submission. I got a letter back saying no thank you and now my original submission has just come back from Canada.

To make a long story short...too late...they don't want my book either.

I get that I'm supposed to be 'pleased' that someone took the time to write me a letter with some personal feedback, but not when it couldn't possibly pertain to my story.

I'm not trying to be evil here, but how can they write that my story doesn't have a 'sexy hook' when all they read was a two page synopsis?

[pause for effect]
I just went back to read my synopsis. They're right, I didn't write a sexy synopsis.

But that doesn't mean the book isn't sexy!

In fact, I'm starting to wonder if my book is even a romance novel.
It's got romance. It's got sex. It's got drama and tension and humor. But it also has a little violence and a hostage situation.

I don't freakin' know. I just don't know.

On another this post yesterday.
Very funny and true and rude and blunt. Not for the faint of heart.

I did write briefly the other day. It felt pretty good. Hopefully there is a break in my future. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anything but writing...

First blog of 2011. Let's see. I should write something inspiring. Full of hope and renewed optimism. Something worthy of that crisp white page.


I got nothing.

Nothing for either of my two current books I should be working on either.

I am so blank. Blankety, blankety blank.

No words, no thoughts, no ideas, no plots = no romance.

I know it's just temporary. I know it will come back. Probably just burned out from the end of 2010. 

Need a brain refresh and some iron supplements. STAT!

"Here, take a cookie. I promise, by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain.(Matrix)

So, I just need to keep moving forward and hope for the best. 

If Carina Press is still working on time, even with all the holidays, I should be getting word within the next two weeks. 

Really wish I had won that Mega Millions Jackpot so I had something to fall back on if I hear bad news.

It would be great if they sent me some feedback but we will just have to wait it out.

Anyone want to share an picture of their Christmas tree?
2010 Christmas Tree