Sunday, May 30, 2010

Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf

I received this book because I won a contest over at VampChix. I had no idea the author, Michele Hauf would include it with the other 4 books, autographed by her, but that was really a special gift. So, I'm thanking Michele here for that.

Now, to be honest, I do not read paranormal romances. I've said before when these came out it was hard for me to discern the paranormal romances from those I wanted to read, which are the urban fantasy novels, Kim Harrison being my number one author in that genre that I so enjoy.

However, I did get into the bantering dialogue between the characters, Blu and Creed, and I think this is what carried me through the book and liked their characters enough to care what happened to them.

The main premise is interesting. A werewolf princes is married to a vampire master in order to bring some sort of peace. But peace is not what either side really wants. And while each side plots to go to war, this couple who would never be able to even stand each other's company if they were chained up in the same room together, actually begin to find that they are more than compatible, and that there are redeeming qualities in each other they are attracted to--not to mention they are attracted physically as well. Which helps, of course.

I felt it was well written. I wanted to see how the solution to their dilemma was solved, and thought that Hauf's details and explanations of the vampires and werewolves worked as to why they didn't get along, and the added bit about a vampire being able to hold magic was interesting, unusual, and a new idea that I'd never seen before.

This one gets a 9 out of 10 points for me. It was hard for me to be pulled in, for the first few pages, however, once I got into the second chapter, I felt that it carried me along well enough, and had to get back to it every chance I could (while driving the bus, I have 5-8 minutes to spare and find myself a corner and read).

Next on my list:: "Lucinda, Darkly" by Sunny.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Carrot Before the Nose Syndrome

I had a great day. The sun came out, it wasn't too hot, didn't have too many problems driving the bus. Oh, and Editor A. wants me to do corrections on the 3 1/4 pages that she made edits on. So, I'm still alive and kicking here.

Now, before you all get huffy about me doing this w/o a contract, I'm only doing what she'd sent me and no more. She asks for more, I'm just going to have to set my feet and do a mule-thing.

This is a first for me. I've never gotten more than a rejection for any book I've ever sent into anyone. Never. There was a time when one agent seemed interested in a vampire book I'd written about 10 years ago, and I shaved that thing down from the huge monstrosity it was, and it wasn't good enough. *shrug* She'd told me at that time that--and I quote: "Vampire novels are hard to sell, anyway", when she gave me the old heave-ho. Um, Anne Rice was doing a pretty good business at it. Plus, I think there were nearly a thousand vampire novels out at the time, and Buffy was just beginning to get up steam.

If you read my last post, I said that the vampire novel will never die. Nor will the interest in the movies and anything vampire. Ever since the first book was written by
Dr. John Polidori The Vampire: A Tale, people have had an interest in vampire tales.

I drive transit, I talk to people and if I can get them to tell me what they read, it's a plus for me, because if they are interested in fantasy, and vampire fiction, there is a future sale.

Meanwhile I'm reading over the first book, and half-way done with second one. I know where I'm going, it's just getting there is taking me a while, because I do go back and redo plot twists when I see that they aren't working. I don't outline. I'm just not an outline sort of person. I usually get scenes and dialogue in my head and I like to write so much, heck, I really don't care if I have to redo it all.

So, this has been my week, so far. Looks like a lot of you out there are having similar weeks, getting prepared for upcoming conferences and having a book half done. "It's a good thing" as Martha Stewart would say.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Call of the Vampire

My favorite thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night when I was a teenager--since I had no dates--was to watch the late night movies on "Creature Features" and "Svengoolie". They showed the old black and white horror flicks we now call classics. "Dracula" was my favorite--whoever played Dracula, be it Bela Lagosi, or any of the others, I watched it. When I discovered the Hammer films starring Christopher Lee, my heart just went into overdrive. His portrayal, at that time, of Dracula was it. But I never liked seeing him get killed at the end. I always liked when he "rose" from the dead and fought back.

Then, Frank Langella starred in the 1979 John Bedham version of Dracula, in which Van Helsing's men are the villains, the women are victims--not of vampirism, but of patriarchy--and Dracula is the hero. I remember going to see this at the theater, and fell madly in love with Dracula all over again.

It's no wonder my favorite holiday is Halloween and I so loved dressing up for it and being the "tricker" as well as the treater.

And if my friends (or anyone who I went to school with), thought I was weird, then so be it. I was my own person. I loved walking around in the dark at night in our small town, and my fantasies took hold. Believe me, I've wanted to write a vampire book since age 16.

I recall that once a guy I knew had stopped by. He was interested in me and I was not interested in him. In order to keep him at bay I'd told him a far-fetched story that I was dating a vampire. Even gave him a name. This guy, who was older than me actually pretended he believed me and acted like he knew exactly who I meant! He just wanted to get to first base with me, I know that now.

Over at VampChix blog today the question was "Vampire Appeal: What makes them so irresistible?"

If we go with the old-world belief that vampires are "undead" or the risen corps of someone, then you have to wonder what would be so appealing about some cold, dead guy wanting to bite your neck. Right. Not much for the cold, dead guy in the coffin.

On the other hand, the sexuality, no one can dismiss. Ever been bitten--I mean nibbled--on the neck? The Ear? The inner arm? All erogenous zones, for sure.

I can get past his drinking a little of my blood, if he's going to send me into next week. Which I expect what would happen, since vampires must have developed something supernatural, like making us think we've just had the best sex ever. Why not?

Just as the film versions, Dracula--and the vampire--has been re-written, and re-invented. What are we trying to say? Or is it some political barameter, we're all dissatisfied with everything?

In books, I think as paranormal/fantasy writers we want to re-invent the vampire to some degree and give us a hunk we really would like to get to know. We want to find the vampire's best attributes and put those forward, and maybe play down the not so favorable ones, or change them a little, or find very good reasons for them.

The blood? Is it what makes them Immortal? Or, is it what makes them supernatural, and able to bend steel, and even take a bullet, as long as it isn't made of silver and goes through the heart? I don't know. Is it important? I think it is. It's part of their dark mystery. We all like a dark mystery to ponder during a dark, quiet night.

I think the wooden stake through the heart thing is over-rated too. Something so simple, yet could you put a stake through a vampire's chest? In those old movies, we see Dracula, or one of his babes asleep in the coffin (another fable we modernists have shucked--I mean really? A coffin with dirt in it? I don't think so!) Jonathan Harker or Van Helsing taking a stake and hammering it through the chest of a vampire while it's asleep like it was easy. Poppy cock! What vampire could sleep while someone has ripped off the lid of their coffin holding a stake and hammer to their chest? A stupid one, that's who.

The call of the vampire, it's all around. Those of us who claim we can't get enough can catch them on TV, at the bookstores, and even at our favorite blogs.

Whatever it is that has captured every one's attention, it might be a mystery to some people. But not to me. I've been a vampire devotee for over 40 years. There's a reason that the vampire comes into vogue every 20 years, like a locust.

Every age embraces the vampire it needs. The amber-eyed Edward, who won't bite Bella, Bella who demands he does. Did anyone notice that roll reversal?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Sky and the Prairie

Freed from my job--the constant noise of conversations, either on cell phones, or with one another, the traffic, my necessary stops, eating while waiting to leave--I get home, glance and open mail, do dishes, switch into my rugged jeans, and get out into the sun and 70 degree day.

My husband and I live at a prairie/wetlands preserve. My most favorite thing to do is go out where there are no people and listen to the gentle breezes, the bird calls, and just walk until I've cleared my mind and my lungs.

I spot lupine along the way, which surprises me. I didn't know lupine could grow here in Illinois, but they planted seed two years ago, and these, if I'm not mistaken are biannual. I liked seeing these spikes of violet flowers--which are poisonous to cattle, and perhaps it's why it isn't grown in the wild here.

Geese bark and honk at my approach as I follow the--well, there is no trail, really. But I go out for 15 min. and stand out there in the breezes happy that I have this quiet retreat to go to. No one anywhere near me. No voice to intrude upon my thoughts which are in discord right now. Wondering. Hoping. My emotions slightly raw.

I didn't open my e-mail when I came in. I went right to work. I have to go on-line to do it and I just refused. I wanted to read more through my book.

I'd posted a portion of the first chapter over on Author Nation (and is on my sister blog Archives). Asked a buddy to take a look at it--or anyone there--I later saw his reply, there, and the PM to me from him. He said he liked it and didn't, as a rule, like vampires. So, wow.

I had no devastating news.


I'll go back to work now.

Thank you prairie, wind, birds, sunshine, flowers . . . You are my solace.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Review of First Drop of Crimson

I nearly bought this paranormal romance when I went looking for something interesting to read two months ago. A good thing I didn't buy it, since this was one of the books I'd won in contest at VampChix about 4 weeks back.

You have to admit the cover catches your eye. I had this book sitting at my table next to my computer trying to work, and the hot guy on the cover, half undressed, clutching the woman who is also half undressed, just made me pick it up and I read the first line and kept reading it, and before I knew it I'd gone through the prologue and into the first chapter. I was hooked, you might say, on Frost's plunging you into the danger, the action and you automatically like Denise MacGregor and relate to her troubles, and terrible death of her husband, and then her relatives. Then the demon's sly way of getting her to open the door to him and letting him in, that was well done.

The writing is compelling enough to keep you reading, that was one of the things I noticed about author Jeaniene Frost's style. Even knowing this was a paranormal romance, I found myself unable to put down this stand-alone novel in which her two “favorite characters” from her prior novels are drawn together in a fairly dramatic tale of vampire male and human female deadly attraction sort of story.

The handsome master vampire, Spade, kept Denise MacGregor on her toes--and more than interested. There was that sexual tension working on both sides. Witty dialogue was a plus. The plot had enough twists in it to keep my attention and want to go back to it. I wanted to see how it all was resolved, and was done in a way I had hoped it would go, and with the heroine solving her own problem. I didn't feel that the usual ploy of keeping them guessing at each other's emotional commitment went over board--I hate that. I don't want someone brooding about what the other person is thinking, or what they intend on doing as far as their relationship in a novel more than maybe a few pages out of the whole thing. This one gets an A+ on that.

I knew that the first portion of the book was working toward the ultimate love scene. It was a while in coming. I felt that if I'd read one more scene where they haven't screwed each others eyes out I was going to scream. Finally (I won't tell you it's in chapter 23), they did, and it was very well done, and erotic enough to make me halt in reading it, because I was on the bus—I needed to put it down and read it later—in private!

I did like the shower scene, very unique and I wonder if there is such a room in a hotel in Vegas. Probably.

I liked the characters and long before I'd gotten to the hot love scene, I'd decided to check out Frost's other books of the Night Huntress series, and will probably buy the first one in that series.

I liked how she sketched out each character, Denise and Spade, their backgrounds and histories and incorporated this into the story. And the very reason he can't bite her was a rather unique reason, I thought. One that's never been used yet.

As a rule I don't run out and buy a romance-anything novel. It took me a couple of mistakes before I realized what these novels were--I've read Lynsay Sands'"Vampire Interrupted" and Sherrilyn Kenyon's "One Silent Night". I don't like how these authors had re-invented the vampire, or changed something about how they can or can't go into sunlight (that's one thing I don't like about Frost's vampires, but I'm forgiving her this one thing), I'm a purist when it comes to certain things vampires should and shouldn't be able to do. I think they need some weaknesses. I couldn't even get through Kenyon's book. I don't like the Male vs. Female who are both wanting to murder each other, and at the same time jump in the sack. I'm not down with that. Everyone has their likes and dislikes. That's just me, I guess.

As far as Frost is concerned, I'll be looking for her next one “Eternal Kiss of Darkness” coming out this summer, and want to look into the other ones with her characters Cat and Crispin. They sound like interesting characters, and I'd like to get to know them better.

Next up: Michele Hauf's Her Vampire Husband

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What Happens When They Say "Maybe"?

I had checked my e-mail when I got home on Friday afternoon, like always. Nothing important, which is usually the case. I had to make dinner, and came back to things after dishes. I waited for my Internet connection to go through, just doing something mindless in my gallery, checking out some of the cool stuff I've down-loaded recently.

Something told me to peek at the e-mail window and see what was there.

I kept on thinking, “what if the editor has sent an e-mail to me, now?” No, that's stupid. Quit thinking like that, my inner voice told me.
I looked on my Peoplepc page the e-mail showed something from Crescent Moon Publishing's editor getting back to me!

My heart stopped inside my chest. I got up out of my chair and had to calm myself.

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I don't ever win. I don't get breaks, I only get rejections from most editors, agents (especially agents), and I was only half-way hopeful when I went into this with e-book publishers. Crescent Moon hadn't been the first one I've contacted, but is the first one I did send a query to, and followed through with as far as sending them anything (a first chapter of Vampire Ascending).

So, I sat back down and nervously open the e-mail. This is what it said:

Lorelei: First of all, I did a short critique of your work and thought what I read held promise. But you need a lot of revisions. Next, vampire books are all around us. Right now, there are so many on the desks of the NY publishers they aren't even opening the manuscripts (I heard this myself at the Romantic Times Convention just a few weeks ago) but CMP gets books we take on out fairly quickly, so this one could work.
Point three: Please don't ever publish your own books. No one will read them and they're impossible to sell. They tell the professionals “hey, she had to publish the book herself. That means it was so bad nobody in the business wanted it.”

That being said, I have questions: Do you belong to RWA or any professional writing organization that could help you hone your skills? Are you willing to revise? Work hard? Take suggestions?

Get back to me after you read the critique and can answer what I need to know.

I can answer yes to all of the questions but one. The part about belonging to any "professional writing organization". I don't know what would qualify as professional. Is anyone out there that knows that can help me figure this out. I know that many organizations have requirements, and/or want you to pay a fee. I can't answer this question until I know for sure. I've got a lot of places I can name that I am a member--critique sites, you know, but those require you to critique others, and before long you are so bogged down critiquing their work, you've hardly got time to work on your own--or, you get no help at all. Which burns me. I do know that there is a very good one out there, can't remember the name of it. But the same thing applies.

Well, beyond that little problem, I'm stumped as to how I should feel. Do I feel elated? Well, sure, but with a measure of caution. Thing is she has not seen the rest of the book. She could look at it and say "no". I saw what she did to my first few pages--I didn't feel terrible about it. She's a professional. Plus, I remember how I'd get my work back from my English teachers with all the red marks in it. In other words, I'm not surprised.

I want to have a book that people will want to read. I want to have a book that I can be proud of. I'm willing and able to do these things, improving my writing is only a natural course of a writer's career--should I have one.

So, I'm at this point. I felt that this was my year. The stars seem to be aligned. I won a contest, never did that before. Maybe I should try the lottery (yeah, right).

What I tell her when I do contact her will have to be the truth. I want to do everything I possibly can to attain this one goal I've been desiring, going after--it has been my main quest in my adult life, since I first thought about becoming an author when I was 17--and I'm not saying how long ago that was, but it's been a life-time.

A quick little side story. I think I may have mentioned this, in an earlier blog. My mother-in-law had gone to New York and had audience with the editor of a major publisher, many years ago--before I knew Dennis. He told her to write something other than what she'd given him. Why she didn't follow through, I don't know. She writes very well, and she could have become a published author. Possibly the whole idea of it scared her. I don't know.

Change is scary, a lot of people don't like change. A lot of writers don't like their words to be re-arranged, or deleted, or have someone suggest that you do something different here, and there.

On my blog "Something Nebulous Within", I have my words below the header which says:
"When you hit the wall, the only way left to go is up."

I've hit the wall too many times, and tried to scramble up to the top. I'm ready to climb over that wall. Now. No matter what. I'm willing to do it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Updates on Flicker's home

Unfortunately, after the male flicker worked so hard at making their hole in the tree, the damned starlings came back and took it over. We saw them in the hole. No flickers around. We both work and so couldn't shoo them away, so that was the situation last night. I said to Dennis we can't let them have something they didn't work for. We need to cover it, or somehow keep them from going inside.

So my husband went outside found the right sized rock and shoved it into the hole.

Sure enough the starling was gathering nesting material, and they tried to get into the hole, but now it was covered up. They were stumped.

We figured that was that. If the flickers couldn't claim it, then no one would. Especially those rascals who merely stole it from them.

Now, today, I came home and saw that the flickers were back. I saw that Mr. Flicker had begun to peck a new hole beside the rock. So, my husband went out and yanked the rock out.

My husband came in to report that the Mr. and Mrs. are back. They seemed to be puzzled that the hole was suddenly open. Or, perhaps Mrs. FLicker said "Oh, honey, you really worked hard in getting that huge rock out of the way. Good job!"

"Thank's dear. We got any left over ants in the fridge? I'm starved."

Now to wait and see what drama will unfold. Will the flickers finally make a nest and keep the hole in the tree? Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Act of Writing

Lately I've been writing my scenes out in long-hand. I feel that the act of writing it out like this has been nurturing something possibly nostalgic need in me.

Of course years ago I did write everything long hand first and second draft and then the typewriter was used. Later on, I had a used computer, as my first one, and found that the editing process was soooo much faster.

But somehow, right now, writing some of these scenes out in this fashion has allowed me to think and ponder what I'll write next. Usually when I'm writing I've got it all up in my head and can't wait to get it out, and so typing it is so much quicker.

Why this is happening now, I think it's because I'm trying out a scene that isn't quite put together in my head. All the details are sort of distant. I work all day, and coming here and trying to write is sometimes difficult. Since I drive a bus, I can't even have the luxury of thinking on my writing too much, or I'll be dazing off not noticing that the light's changed. So, I wait.

The pen in hand is sometimes mightier than the typing pad. And I've had some good ideas already.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Writing the Sex Scene--tricky, but fun

Today is Tuesday. I've begun my new schedule for the summer, which means I'm off Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays now.

Over at "Archive" it's Poetry day.
I've taken a day off from posting at "Something Nebulous Within", and I'm getting visits all the time. Can't wait to see my first followers at either one of these blogs, but keep on stopping by.

I'm about three quarters done in the second book of my vampire series. Being that this is an Urban Fantasy, I can do a number of things with it. Including taking Sabrina places she's never gone before--or would hope to go. Thus, I've created a place--another world, perhaps a paralell world?--called Dark Realm, this is where the real fantasy comes into play and I'm busy working on the differences of that world and this one.

And because I wanted to write ahead, get into a section of the book where I was thinking about all this last week, I skipped the sex scene midway through chapter 20. Strangely enough, I've gotta be in the mood. Pun can be intended, if you wish.

Writing a sex scene would seem like it would be easy, but it isn't for a lot of us writers. I've read about some who avoid it at all cost in their novels. Reason being is that they feel embarrased about writing one, or feel it won't come off as sounding right, or it might even sound awkward. Shiness over writing one might be addressed by simply writing one, and not intend to be read by anyone.

But I digress. There are a few things you have to address, such as relationships between the two people, their own code of ethics, also their view on casual sex, romantic sex, premarital sex, etc. all must be considered when you work a sex scene into a book or short story.

In this case Sabrina is with a perfect stranger, she isn't likely to have sex with a guy she hardly knows. But I've placed her in a strange new world, and Jacob is offering to bathe her--she's in an exotic bath, and suddenly he comes in sans robe and allyummy male and in the mood. Yikes! And when she refuses him, he offers to wash her hair, and then well, the soap thing--highly erotic!

So, what's the problem? The problem is I've got my main character about to do something she doesn't normally do. In the first book she's only known one man before Dante (who tells her there is a very good reason they need to do it--to get his shiftchanger scent all over her so that the vampires don't want her so much). Well, she was okay with it, since she was really attracted to him, and he her, and it wound up that they began to see each between the first and second book. Then they broke up. A new relationship is on the horizon and it is with a master vampire who has claimed her, and they are getting hitched soon. So, I've debated on this scene, but considering Sabrina is technically free, and in a strange world, she finds the whole thing unusual, but caves due to her own raging desires.

But placing Sabrina into this situation where she simply has to give into it because she just can't resist his touch and Jacob is persistant had me wondering how to bring this about. The masage thing was out, because I just couldn't pull it together. When I decided on an exoticly scented private bath, it just gave me the best opportunity to have them together. If she doesn't give into it, then it would be rape. So, being careful, showing that she is into this, is where I'm at right about now.

Holding off writing this until I had a chance to think about how to go about this was the best thing. It's like any other scene. An action scene needs a lot of thought, as does dialogue. Dialogue moves your characters, and the story along, gives information to the reader. Action shows what your character is made of. Sex, also, determines a lot as far as what your character is willing to do, or how far they will go, or not go. The who they are is what you're trying to develop.

What does the sex scene do? In certain cases, and I'm thinking of the books I've read, we want to see the heroine choose the hot guy and go to bed with him. When I read a book I don't want to be led on and on and on until some later chapter in the book where the two get together--finally. I think Charlaine Harris is good at giving her character, Sookie, hunks to drool over and have sex with--sometimes multiple times. In some cases the mere mention of the guy's intention is enough to keep us interested, wanting to see (I was hoping she would get Sookie and Eric back together, and finally does in Dead and Gone). And she never has multiple lovers in any one book. She's seeing one guy at any one time, but when she isn't seeing a guy, she's given an array to choose from.

As far as writing the scene, we have to work in the details and find a way to make it "interesting". And if we want, we can make it funny, too. Depending upon how much detail we want to give it, I'd say a page or two is plenty. Unless you're Laurell K. Hamilton where half your book is errotic sex, about every 50 pages there has to be a sex scene, and usually goes on and on for pages. (I guess that's why I don't write erotica).

In my self-published book there is a short sex scene in early chapters with my main character, Zofia, and a man she was dating. I had her break up with him because after all he was a mortal and she was a sorceress--plus he was a cop, how do you tell a cop you can do magic? Then her husband returns (she thought he was dead), but he isn't exactly alive either, he's a vampire. I had male readers tell me they liked the hot sex scene in that chapter (I think it was 24), between the two. My husband and at least one other guy I know, said that was a hot scene,(smirk in place). I'd added red panties, a red bra and red high heals. No big deal. But it might have been different enough.

As my character, Sabrina Strong, grows in these vampire novels, her ideas about sex become a little different. Where once she couldn't even get a date--because she was thought of as wierd, because she wears gloves, as she is a touch clairvoyant, and of course the gloves can't come off during sex, or she gets emotional over-load from him. So, when she discovers that she can't "get a read" from vampires, because they can block her, and her telepathic lover, Dante can also block her, she's finding more and more how much fun sex can be. So,I didn't want her to repress her own sexual needs. Since becoming a were-creature, it seems to be more prominant a need. Especially during the full moon--and that leads me off in a few other directions with her in this book, as well.

I think I need to get back to this scene. Let me see. . . where did that bar of soap go? Oh, hell with it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I'm not a lucky woman who has children that would bring her flowers, a card and take her out for breakfast, or some other meal today.

That's okay. I've survived this long. I'll take the devotion of my loving husband and that's enough.

However I think a pair of nesting flickers (birds) are about to become parents.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, my husband was watching a flicker pecking away at an old dead tree stump that stands about 12 high. Eventually he made a hole. We watched his continuous work, from sunup to sundown. He was a tired bird at the end of his first day, just hung on with his claws, had his wings spread out, resting. That first day went on into the week while he carved out that hole with his strong beak. We wondered if he'd got himself a lady and was trying to interest her in the mating game.

Yep. Sure enough, the female alighted on a branch above the carved out hole that "Chipper" (my husband's name for him) had made. And they worked on having a family.

My husband felt especially fond of Chipper, and his dedication to such hard exhaustive work. I mean he made that hole large enough for the both of them to go into plus a place for eventual youngsters.

Then, one evening he saw the dark form of a starling sitting inside the hole as though he were going to take over that newly made home Chipper had made for his wife Priscilla.

"Oh no you don't!" My husband ran outside slapped his hand on the trunk of the tree and the starling flew away.

We worried when we didn't see either of the flickers return for, it seemed like days, but maybe it was only one. We, of course had to go to work and couldn't watch it for them.

That night, once more the starling returned and went inside. My husband went out again, certain this was the end of our flicker's home. But when he went out to the trunk, he heard quite a commotion. Suddenly the starling shot out of the hole. The flicker--we think it was the male, but not sure--had taken back what he'd worked so hard for!

This weekend we've watched the male sit at the hole inside. The female hasn't been around and I told Dennis that she may be on the nest. She might have laid her eggs and is trying to hatch them.

Hopefully we will see a nice flicker family being fed continuously by both parents. For those who don't know, flickers eat ants, mainly. So I think they'll be busy gobbling up a pile of ants this summer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My newest Blogs

I've just added two new things to my post. Two new blogs that hold more of my writings.

The first one is called "Lorelei's Archives". Find it on the side a black & white picture of three of Dracula's women down in the bowels of the castle.

The third one is called "Something Nebulous Within" this is about my experiences, my journey as a writer from when I began to present. I plan on having some of my published pieces here, and my memoirs from a time that was really trying as a writer.

This can be found at either this blog or Archives by clicking on the house with the sunset behind it.

Of course being a write-oholic I just can't do one blog. Doing three separate blogs, here on blogspot was just the easiest way for me to go. These will host different writings for different reasons. The last one is more journal than anything.

Come take a look and if you wish, become a follower. I will add more to each as I have time.

If you don't know how to become a follower, all you have to do is click on the FOLLOWER window. If you have g-mail address, it will be simple.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Issue of Writer's Digest just came!!!

I knew I had been waiting an awful long time for my Writer's Digest. I thought it should have come sooner than this, but I got it today.

I'm gonna do a spoiler, so if you haven't gotten yours yet . . . look away. Or read on (:

It has 101 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS, in this one, and I always look forward to see what they have in there. This year it's a pretty good one. They've begun separating them into categories like this year "Writing Advice" is there with Grammar Blog, and Predators & Editors. There's General Resources, Online Writing Communities--a number of these I know about or have been on. Agents, Publishing/Marketing Resources, and so on.

Usually I thumb through this magazine to see what there is inside before I actually do any in-depth reading. The WORKBOOK is what I hit first.

Ladies and gentlemen, writers of every genre should get something out of this section of WD. This one has Genre Fiction--4 story structures for Sci-fi, Fantasy & More.

There is also 5 Tips for Creating Characters for Kids--Hey, there you go, for those of you who are working on children's books.

Ooo, Here is one I'd read: 3 Techniques for Crafting Your Villain! And they've got a worksheet here. I'm sure they have one on-line, but my computer has been shuffling things, and deleting some things, so I haven't had anything from them lately. I may have to go and re-sign up.

Well, that's my post for today.

Happy writing!

Monday, May 3, 2010

When Writing Sucks--well, never!

But when I get ideas coming at me like a herd of buffalo, I have to do something to corral these ideas, write them down, of course, but where are they going to go?

I do write these ideas down, sometimes it's basic bones, but a lot of times it's dialogue, or it's a whole scene. I wish I had an eternity to just work on this. But I have to wait until the weekend, and then when I'm able I jump into it.

I had these ideas or scenes and they were a mish mash of things and so I had to work on them. But I wasn't ready to write these scenes down into the novel itself. I have to go with the "notes" document. That way, no matter in what sequence I write the scene, I just insert a manual break at the end and go on to the next scene.

But how to organize them?

I'm a visual person. I have to see it sort of in front of me to get an idea of where I want it. If the scenes are such that they won't follow one another, I use the index card thing.

But if it's a chapter with several scenes, or two chapters, and I want to see where each of them will land, I take a sheet of legal sized paper, draw a line down the center of it's length and somewhere at the top, if there's going to be one or two chapters these scenes are covering, I leave a space for those chapter headings.

Using the Sharpie is best. It's bold and keeps me focused on where things have to be.

I keep my scene descriptions brief, but they can be longer than the note cards, so I work on this. Writing each scene on either side of the line. And then, when I'm done, if it's a little out of whack, I draw arrows from one scene to the one that needs to come next.

Sometimes only the note card works when the scenes are so far ahead of what you are working on now.

And at the moment, that's what I'm facing. I have some scenes that will be coming up next but I'm not certain where to place them, or if they will fit into this book, or must come next.

Anyone working on a series, or a trillogy, (or have done so), you have any ideas or posts I can look at give me a yell. I could use a little advice.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Review: Dead and Gone

I've been following Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series for maybe three or four years, now, and I have to admit she seems to have a knack for mixing the paranormal romance, a very interesting murder mystery, and her more than interesting characters ranging from a telepath, to vampires, werewolves, weretigers, shapeshifters, fairies, and a whole host of others that might take more than one paragraph to mention.
I know that when I began reading her books I feel like when I open a new one I've stopped in to visit an old friend.

Harris is a mystery writer who has found her own niche in the paranormal fantasy genre. It is no mystery to me why her books have become popular and that HBO has based a show on her books, which is popular as well.

At the onset of Dead and Gone, Harris' ninth book in the series, you know that something will happen to someone soon—a mysterious murder—and it will keep you wondering who done it throughout. This one will not disappoint readers. Sookie's relationships with Bill and Eric are always on the brink of being re-established. Bill has broken her heart, and she's been angry at him for several books, now. Eric, the sheriff of his own area, has survived a vampire war, and now is claiming his right to take the telepathic bar maid to his bed. Yes, we get a hot love scene in this one, maybe more than one.

I happen to prefer Eric to Bill, I don't know why exactly, I think he's just a tad more aloof, a bit more dangerous and more intrigued with Sookie than Bill. Plus he's pursued her a little longer and I felt it was time that they get down to it—after having sex and not knowing it Eric's memory of it has partially come back. So, why not?

If it were the 1950's, Harris would make a superb cozy murder mystery novelist, and possibly a Gothic romance writer. She is not a horror fiction writer. She tends to gloss over the more horrific details of her books, and certain action sequences. And this bothers me somewhat, but that's just me. At times I'm feeling that the narrator's voice shows a bit more than it should in these passages of what is happening around her, or that we're into the character's mind a little more than we need to be to get across what is happening.

The torture scene in the end I have issues with, but I'm not going to go into detail, as I'd rather not give away the ending, or ruin it for anyone who has not read even one of Harris' books, because they are worth the read. You'll definitely be catapulted into Sookie Stackhouse's world once you open up any of her books. But definitely, if you haven't read this one, go and buy it, it's well worth the read, and it was well worth the wait for me, as I can't buy hard-bounds all the time and have to wait a year before the soft bounds are out.

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