Tuesday, January 15, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

This is another in my 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it) series.

 Readers. The most amazing people on the planet. New writers quail in their shoes when they hand over their babies to readers for the first time. They cheer when the readers respond positively.

That doesn't change. No matter how often you publish, an author will always want to throw a ticker-tape parade for each and every reader who loves her writing.

It's wonderful! The best feeling in the world. But you still have more work to do. As an author, you need to go further.

You want readers to tell you how much they love your writing? Take it to the next level.

Write stories to inspire readers to tell others how much they love your writing.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits. Click here to see all 25 Ways You're Losing Readers

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

Taking up the (Unreasonable Obsession) Challenge--my Cool Stuff--originally posted August 29, 2015.

Leisha began this, and Zoe challenged us to continue it--whether it's a '68 Mustang or the perfect summer day, we all get a twinkle of delight at really cool stuff. Here are a few of mine.

1. GEMSTONES. Yeah, the shinier the better. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds...we toured the gems room at the Natural History Museum and I might have drooled a time or two. Strangely, I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I think I like to look at it more than I like to be weighed down by it.

2. MYSTERIES. Detective books like Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, a seventh-of-a-ton, orchid-growing, beer-swilling genius, and Elizabeth Peters's feisty 1900s archeologist Amelia Peabody; smart crime dramas with great characters like NCIS and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Sherlock (Holmes), who is so popular, he is in books, television, movies, and more!

3. SCENTS. Good smells, like roses, lilacs, perfume, soap, author Leigh Morgan's candles. New-mown grass and hay. Incense. Bakeries. Ooh, donuts...mmm. Bacon sizzling, even though I'm a vegetarian. Coffee...hmm, must be dinner time, lol.

4. PUZZLES. I do CrossSums every day and enjoy variety puzzles so much I bought a box of 40. The trick is getting the mechanical pencil to run out of lead at the same time the eraser is worn away to nothing.

5. Whose Line Is It Anyway? Scenes from a Hat. Colin doing his dinosaur imitation. Wayne singing anything. Other humor too, Stephanie Plum, DragonBall Z Abridged, Weird Al, Marx Brothers, Simon's Cat, xkcd.

6. SCIENCE FICTION. Again, from books to television to movies: Asimov, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel's Avengers. Many science fiction stories are about friendship and solid teamwork, which I adore. Others rejoice in grand adventure. Some have both! Who doesn't love the way Sarah Jane and the Doctor constantly rescued each other?

My niece knitted her own Tom Baker scarf and I'm just tickled every time I see it.

7. VISTAS. Not just on earth, but anything I can gaze at and breathe freer. Lakes, fields, forests, mountains. Even a big backyard satisfies something deep inside.

India Gala 2014 (32)8. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. If it bangs, blows, or bows, I love it! My earliest memories are of banging on a toy piano, and I loved visiting my aunt, thinking she was the coolest because she had a real one!

What's your coolest stuff?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

1T Status Update

Happy New Year! Have any of you made resolutions for 2019? I don't usually, but this year I have two: Eat More Protein (it's amazing how much better I feel) and Relax More (also amazing how much more energy I have for work if I've done some serious relaxing first).

What about you? What are you doing differently this year?

Oh, and I'm working on Soul Mates, the final book of the Pull of the Moon series. Just at the beginning stages right now, but the characters are developing nicely.

The big news is that I'm expecting second round edits shortly for Night's Kiss (the Ancients, book 2). I don't have a release date yet, but I figured with 10 books in the Biting Love Universe (14 if you count the Short Bites), a countdown reread would probably stretch until release day. *grin*

The Biting Love Universe. A cup of high-octane, steamy UF romance, a dollop of small-town mayhem and two (or three) lumps of sarcasm and geek culture references. Start from the beginning with Bite My Fire.

Get in on my giveaway! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of Bite My Fire. Steamy and sweary. Adults only, please.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

Conflicts. Stories are all about em. But an early writing seminar I attended claimed there's one conflict romances can't have--the romance itself.

I still don't understand that. I think it's something to do with, "They want each other. So she'll have him, and he'll have her." End of story. Or rather, no story.

But there is one thing I do understand. The main question in romance is "Why can't we be together?"

It took me years to codify, but there are four groups of reasons. You're welcome to comment if I've missed one.

Why can't we be together?

  • Her problem.
  • His problem.
  • A couple problem.
  • A problem outside the couple.

How about some simple examples?

Why can't we be together?

Her problem: She was burned by Mr. Wrong cheating on her, so she doesn't trust Mr. Right when he comes along.

His problem: He's from the rough side of town and doesn't think he's good enough for a classy woman like her.

A couple problem: They're pretending to be married, but they aren't.

A problem outside the couple: Her father follows him around with a shotgun.

These are pretty stock situations, You'd have to dress them up with something new to actually use them. (For example, with the couple problem: They're pretending to be married, but they aren't. The only person who knows is their mutual best friend Frieda who is also the only person who believes these two are perfect for each other. Every chance she can, Frieda snarks at the "married" couple, how romantic they look together, how the husband got her ring exactly right, how the wife actually thinks his jokes are funny, etc.)

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

photo credit:
USPS Ford Cargo
Neither Rain Nor Sleet...--originally posted July 22, 2015.

Working on an edit deadline, I decided to wait until I had the time to properly put together a post for today. I even had a topic, I just wanted to have a clear schedule to find the right words.

Then I got sick. Not bad, but my throat and stomach are not very happy with me right now and I'm soooo sleepy.

But as any entertainer knows, the Post Must Go On. Or, as is inscribed in the James Farley Post Office in New York City (and it turns out is a lot older than that):
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

(From Wikipedia)
It reminds me of the book I'm releasing in September. A complete re-edit of the first novel I completed, Hot Chips and Sand rose out of my struggle to be both mother and successful career woman. Its a romantic comedy, but in it, I explore what it means to be a professional.

Some things have changed in the years since I first wrote the book. We no longer have stewardesses and the pile of greenbar reports I had my heroine tumble off the desk to distract the hero are so last century. But one thing that hasn't changed is the struggle to be professional in one's career. Is it dress for success? Being hungry to reach the top? Working eighty hour weeks?

I don't know. That's the lovely thing about a novel: I get to explore many of these from different points of view. But as far as being sick and still having to work, my hero sums it up nicely. "The client says, 'How are you today'? And you say, 'Not so good. But what can I do for you anyway?'"

Neither rain nor snow nor throat of sore can keep me from my appointed posts :)

More on Hot Chips and Sand coming soon, but I'm thrilled to share this gorgeous cover by EJR Digital Art!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

1T Status Update

Happy December!

Winding down the semester means winding up the projects. I'm hip-deep in schoolwork, good for my website, bad for writing.

I've been mentally working on Soul Mates, however. Some juicy twists coming. Once this semester ends, I'll have several weeks of straight writing. I'm also going to ask when second round edits for Night's Kiss are coming. Hopefully they won't collide with New Years.

If you haven't seen it, there's a special currently going on Hunt Mates. "Tired of the same old paranormal story? Love magic and mystery, humor and heart, steamy shifters and witty wizards? Give Hunt Mates a try." Check it out at your favorite store.