Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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 the last of those posts. (Addendum: I found a guest post I'd done before joining the team. See that next month.)

What day is today?--originally posted November 9, 2016.

Back in my IT days, I was known as the Volvo Goddess. I worked with a marketing database of a famous car company who shall remain nameless, but whose cars regularly passed the 100K mile mark even back in the bad old 80s (when cars were just starting to come out of the rustbucket gas-guzzling phase).

Now you may not know this, but car model years actually start in fall of the year before. So 2017 models will have released already, and 2018 is on the drawing board. For marketing, since we had to get ahead of the selling curve, this often mean I was dealing with the next year in June.

Sometimes I dated my checks that way.  You remember checks, the paper things we used instead of cash before debit cards, lol.

It was always a relief when January finally came. On the plus side, I never made a mistake dating checks with the old year.

Writing is a lot like that. I sit here on a rainy September day, the window open to 68 F temps, writing a post that will go live in November when it will almost certainly be 30s or low 40s. Working on a book that won't be due until December, and will probably release in 2017 but maybe as late as 2018. A book that's set in October. Still marketing a book that released in August of 2016.Thinking about plots for an April Fools short story.

I am in such trouble if I ever get in an accident. When the EMT asks, "What day is today?" I won't know.

ADDENDUM: This is the last of the old Magical Musings posts, and the issue is even more true than ever. I'm putting these together in February of 2017, gearing up to launch a box set next week that contains a book I wrote in 2013, waiting for edits on a book I wrote in 2016 that I think is coming out late 2017, working on a set of stories for release in 2017 that I originally wrote 20 years ago. Fun!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

3T Writing Tidbit

One of the things you may have to do is show a character not liking, then learning to like, another character.

This is hard to do right, because if you create too big an antagonism in the beginning, you may never overcome it. Say main character M doesn't like and doesn't trust secondary character S--really upsettingly doesn't like--that may be a hole too deep to dig out of.

Some children still don't like Snape...just sayin'.

Here's one way to handle it (works best with adults).
  • Start: M thinks: We have nothing in common. I'm not sure I like S.
  • Move to: Oh, it'd be wrong to dismiss S as _____. (Some characteristic M doesn't like, say a forthright M might not want to dismiss S as sly).
  • Turning point: Find an important (hidden) thing where M can think: Oh, what a surprise! In this way, we're the same.

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, July 14, 2020

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.

I'm just a big cat--originally posted October 12, 2016.

The internet is a source of amazing information. Apparently, according to one study (http://www.cnet.com/news/scientist-cats-think-you-are-just-a-big-stupid-cat), my son’s cats think I’m just another big (and slightly stupid) cat.

I believe this. It would explain why they cuddle and take the pets sometimes and not others. Why they steal my chair. And why they lay on papers...specifically, bills and manuscripts. They’re saying “Life’s too short to work all the time. Come play with me!”

Although, with all respect to the researcher, there's another explanation.

Cats think they're human! I have pictures to prove it.

[caption id="attachment_28943" align="aligncenter" width="340"]carpetlayercats Carpet Layer Cats: “Nap break!”[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_28944" align="aligncenter" width="434"]editorcat Editor Cat: “I’m sorry, these thirty pages have to go.”[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_28946" align="aligncenter" width="415"]fashioncat Fashion Cat: “Tie one more thing on me, and you’ll see how good my pedicure is.”[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_28945" align="aligncenter" width="500"]princesscat Princess Cat: “Bring me my tuna!”[/caption]

What about you? Do your cats think they’re human, or do they think you’re a cat?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

3T Writing Tidbit

Last month I introduced Bruce Campbell's brilliantly simple three-act structure.

Let's complicate it with one simple truth: there is more than one solution to any problem.

Let that sink in. There is one solution to the problem...and another solution which may be better or worse overall, or better for some and worse for others,  or mostly better but with one big drawback...and yet another solution that fits the same puzzle in a different way...and, and, and.

We're taught to think beyond the obvious for the final solution to the main character's problem. Well and good. But don't throw those intermediate solutions away! The great thing about books is that you can explore alternate possibilities.

Paint those alternate solutions via other characters, and use them to compare and contrast--and so heighten--the main character's solution.


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, June 9, 2020

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.

Just how do I market this thing...?--originally posted September 14, 2016.


On to the topic of today's post. I think I've mentioned before that I write steamy, wickedly funny urban fantasy/paranormal romance with plenty of action. It's an olio that's hard to pin down. Like with the movie The Princess Bride, that means it's hard to market.

Too much action for a simple romance. Too much romance for an action book. Too much humor for a gritty paranormal. Too much grit for a hilarious romcom. Too much sex for a romcom too.

So when it came to ordering a trailer for paranormal romance Mind Mates, well, I was expecting a mishmash.

Instead, I got this breathtaking video.


The humor is utterly missing from the trailer. But wow, I'd buy the book just from the beauty of it. I did wonder if I should ask for changes to the trailer, to add the humor, but my husband said, "Let readers discover that as a bonus."

What do you think? Was he right?

Mind Mates: When a powerful wizard prince comes out of hiding to save his sister, he is forced to team with a pretty shifter—one with ugly, dangerous powers of her own. As vengeful enemies close in, a forbidden attraction flaming between them, the two race to find a mysterious key.

AB SmKAREG AppleAUK

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

1T Status Update - June

Is there a customer service department for years? Seriously, someone needs to cash 2020 in for a refund or exchange it for a better year.

In the interest of staying upbeat and positive... (grits teeth and makes with the happy face)

I did finish my final two final projects for my associate degree in software development, one of which was a challenging capstone project with big presentation. So, hooray! On the other hand, I should have been done by now except another class was a lab class so we had to wait until June to return to campus. So there's that. But I have an internship which is the last piece before graduation.

The first draft of Night's Bliss is done except for the denouement. Final school projects and various 2020 pressures means that draft is a little rough, but I have a week now to smooth it out. Then I'll have my usual personal edit passes. On track to send to my editor by end of August.

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