Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interview With Anita E. Viljoen!




From the publisher:
Feeders is set in brooding, yet beautiful British Columbia, where Sir Robert McKay's coven of vampires is known for their benevolence. Instead of hunting humans, they believe in humans voluntarily “donating” their blood. The humans they seek—called Feeders—have a rare blood disorder that enables them to regenerate their blood quickly when first drained. Feeders then need frequent draining to survive. After a woman is attacked by a rogue vampire and left bleeding and broken on the roadside, she becomes a feeder. Thus begins this runaway thriller/romance that has a real bite to it.

Available though my website: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/feeders.html
Or at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com using the ISBN # 978-1-60911-754-2
Retail Price $18.50
It will be available on Ebook, Kindle, Nook and other portable electronic devised shortly.

LORELEI: I welcome first-time author Anita E. Viljoen to my blog. I'm excited to have you as my very first author interview to my site!

Anita: Thank you Lorelei for having me over, it’s a honour.

LORELEI: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, and any little interesting tidbits about you that you'd like to share.

Anita: I was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. I have always been interested in the arts, I started ballet at the age of four, painted in various mediums and love to embroider (Candle wicking). I met my husband at the young age of sixteen, married at twenty and fourteen years ago we decided to immigrate to Canada and now make Maple Ridge, beautiful British Columbia our home with our two children and dogs.

LORELEI: I want to say right away when I discovered what you'd written, it sounded very interesting to me, and thought this was really a different idea for a vampire novel. Explain to our audience what this blood disorder—polysythemia versa--is, and how you discovered it?

Anita: I had a nagging question in the back of my mind until one early one morning I woke up with the urge to finally answer it – What if humans can have too much blood? So I got up and decided to Google it and Polysythemia versa came up. Although I tweaked it a bit in my novel, it’s a very real but unknown disorder. Simply put its when our bone marrow overproduces too much blood for the body to handle. To treat this, bloodletting is often done by doctors to prevent the worst case scenario - death. The sad thing about it is, very little research has been done on this and only the families that have a member with this disorder knows about it. The blood that is tapped cannot be used for blood banks either, because it may be contaminated. On the flip side of that, what if they do decided to do so – would they solve the blood shortage? Scary thought....

LORELEI: Yes, it is. Awesome cover! Did you have any say in what it would look like? Or were you pleasantly surprised?

Anita: Thank you, at least I can take credit for the idea but not on the design itself. My publishers art’s department put my vision into reality. The reason I went for the Feeders dripping into the cup, was because in my novel the modern vampires don’t feed directly off their feeders as they did centuries ago. However there are a few evil vamps that still do....

LORELEI: When did you become interested in vampires?

Anita: As I love to read, read and read some more and I always go for folklore, legends and historical mysteries with the odd romance. However, the vampire intrigued me the most. Every culture in the world has some kind of vampire roaming into their mythology.

LORELEI: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer? What got you excited about writing, who, or what, inspired you?

Anita: I know this sounds crazy, but I didn’t chose to write this story, this story chose me.. I am dyslectic and grammar or spelling is certainly not my strong point, so writing never interested me. Over time and a healthy imagination, this story took shape, night after night, I would wake up, as if still in a dream and write down whatever came to me. I wrote the ideas down like a diary and thank goodness for spell check, the events and characters took shape and in time I realized I had over 300 pages in my laptop. The adrenaline pumped, the creative juice flowed and as I wrote, I fell in love with it....and haven’t looked back.

LORELEI: What's it like to finally have a book out there?

Anita: Surreal – if this is a dream, don’t under any circumstances wake me up!!

LORELEI: What does your family think? Have they read it? How was their reaction?

Anita: At first they thought I was going through some sort of mid life crises, but supported me all the way. The kids are too young to read it as it has quite a few sensual “adult” bits. My husband, well let’s put it this way, he’s a realist and so fantasy is not his cup of tea. LOL. However, friends that have read it, thoroughly enjoyed it and inspired me to have it published.

LORELEI: What's on tap, now that you have your first book out? When, and where is your first book signing?

Anita: Now that my book is out the hard work of marketing begins. I’m working with local and national book store to securing my first book signing date.

LORELEI: What are you working on now? Anything interesting? Will there be a sequel?

Anita: I’m working on two simultaneously, if you can believe this, and they coming together quite nicely. One is a sequel to Feeders called Hybrid.

LORELEI: Very cool! I wish you the best of luck with Feeders!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Updates


What a long summer it has been. If it seems I've been quiet lately it's because of my mother-in-law's health, and having to travel 300 miles to visit her in the hospital. Not sure what will happen next.

Seems health issues have been the main theme for my family all around this summer.

I've been reading Karen Chance's thrilling book Embrace the Night. Unfortunately I didn't read the second one. I guess I thought this was the second one. But it's very good, once I figured out what was happening.



At some point this week, I will be interviewing Anita E. Viljoen whose book Feeders has just been released. I'm very excited that she has been kind enough to allow me to introduce her to all of you. So be looking for that.

J.L. Jackson and I have been swapping chapters, thanks to our Weekly Chapter Guru, E.J. Wesley, who has posted that our group over at Writer's Digest is now 60 members strong!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thick Skinned Writer Needed--I Mean REALLY Thick-skinned

Actually in this business it's not "thick skin" you need. I think you'd have to have armadillo skin. However, they're prone to getting squished by semis (which is how I felt last night). So . . . maybe something on the level of Superman? Sure. You can stop a bullet cold. But would Clark Kent be able to take criticism of his writing?

I've never been under the impression that I write very well. I mean, hey, agents have rejected me on the first sentence, I'm sure.

I write because I can't help myself. I think all of us who write can admit that they need to put their stories down on paper or whatever. Getting feed back is fine too. Usually we go to someone (hopefully) won't run us into the ground too much, won't wound us with their barbs. They make suggestions in a nice way, and you go back and take these suggestions into consideration.

What I did was I actually put my hand in the flame, into the lions mouth, I tried to stop a bullet.

I went to Evil Editor with the first 200 words of the next novel.

If you are faint of heart, I do not recommend this. I found it excruciating. And the follow up comments, some of them were less than nice, or cordial. Others were helpful, but merely a reiterating about what was already covered.

When I went to check this last night, before bed--to see if it had been posted--it was probably not a good idea for me to do that. But I'm okay. Really. I just didn't like what was written right below what I'd sent him in blue.I mean is Evil Editor actually a frustrated writer? I couldn't understand what it was or why it had been tagged onto what I'd sent in.

After I'd thought about it a while, I could see that he put this up there for his cronies to laugh at. Ha ha ha. My mistakes were made into a joke. Wow. Lame. Another person might have been in tears at viewing this, but I refused to allow that. It would only make me feel as though I were a victim. I placed my work there to have some critique, tell me what I did wrong. Apparently everything was wrong, right down to the fact the character noticed the constellations at some point, and she knew they had changed in the sky from the time she was out to when she woke up.


Fortunately this was a second draft. I didn't expect anyone to cuff me on the back and offer me a gold star. Help is all I wanted. I didn't need the barbs and I sure as heck didn't like someone calling me "Sparky". The name's Lorelei.

I don't know if a lot of people who send their writing (also synopses) to be critiqued here. I found this site in Writer's Digest Best Websites and thought that maybe I'd try it. Well, never again. In the description it says "A straight-talking--and humorous--editor dispenses tough-love advice . . ." I felt no love, I felt only just a nameless, faceless editor who was able to tell me what was wrong--which was fine. Getting a dozen more people in on the act was counter productive. It was like being stoned by strangers for something I didn't do.

My advice. Stay away from Evil Editor, stick with critique buddies, or places where you can swap critiques so that you don't get dragged over the coals.

If you want to see this post go to http://evileditor.blogspot.com Read "New Beginning 768". Read the various comments, too. Some merely validated what EE said, that's about it. (I couldn't' believe some of them were stuck on the star-thing.)

That's my post for Wednesday.

I'm going to do some rewrites.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Creating New Worlds for Your Fiction



Let's face it. Writing is hard work. It's a daunting task of getting your scenes and dialogue just right to be believable. It's not a matter of just writing words. People who are not writers don't understand this. We are in an exclusive group, ladies and gentlemen, and I'd like to say right here that I'm so happy to be part of this group of writers I've found out here on blogspot as well at Writer's Digest, and Author Nation. And I love to share what I know, what I've learned through these 3decades of learning how to write. Still learning, thanks to everyone out there!

So, my last post dealt with making up a list of things that we need to know about our new worlds we create for our novels. When I had the beginnings of my first fantasy novel in mind about 8 years ago, I knew once I got into the novel that I needed my sorceress and her family--who came from another planet (I didn't plan it that way, but Zofia Trickenbod had her mind set on who she was, and where she was from from the very start), so I had to figure out everything about her planet, even certain words, phrases and so forth.

The book I bought above, The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference from Writer's Digest Books was the one I ordered and boy, does it cover a lot of ground.

All of us need a little help to come up with some of this stuff. Things that we may not have even thought about, or know enough about. Believe me, I did a lot of research into unicorns for the book, as well as figuring out what my sorceresses could and couldn't do and why. You have to decide if this is going to be an actual separate world, or one that coexist with the one we know, or, as in the case of Charlaine Harris, and Kim Harrison's novels, Earth which has changed a lot since you last knew it.

Plus, it has to be believable. Suspension of belief is a hard sell for those of us who write fantasy. For me, I liked it because I could let my imagination just go. No matter what, if I wanted a tree to fly--it could. If I wanted Zofia to "transvect" she did (a very old word I found in an encyclopedia about witchcraft and demons, which means to fly--usually on a broomstick).

And because when you deal in a totally different world, there is always that pinch of sci/fi going on in it. I mean, my characters had to get from their world to Earth, so I came up with a solution to that. And a few little inventions her husband, Dorian, could always have at his disposal. (By the way, the sorcerers needed a wand, but the ladies did not. I wanted to make a difference in that).

The end result was worth the five years of working on that book. I won't look back at the fact that I had to self-publish. I don't care what the publishing world "thinks" about a self-published work. People who read it loved it, and the question "When is the next one coming out?" was my biggest ego booster (as was the book signings). My husband and another man I know who do not read books said they liked it and it was the only fiction book they'd picked up since. That tells me that I did my job of suspension of belief, that my characters were believable, and the story engaging. It proved was right in feeling so devoted to that book.

Now, any of you who want to order the book above, Writer's Digest has a great price on this one, and the one on Science Fiction as well.

Happy Writing, Everyone!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

At Two A.M.-- Letting Out Your Writing Genie

Last week I posted about beginning a new book. Other authors and writers get excited hearing that a fellow writer is beginning that next book. I posted that I'd heard the characters in my head at 2 a.m., and excited, I had to write this all down the next morning. I had one writer comment who was really relieved to know this was perfectly normal behavior for a writer, and that characters begin talking inside your head--at about 2 a.m.--just like her.

I wanted to explain this phenomenon today, I tried my darnedest to find the article which explained it, but I couldn't find it. I ever do find it, I'll have to post on it further.

But the whole thing is, your brain during the day is so taxed, and full with all the mundane stuff--getting the kids off to work, maybe you have to go to work, what will you feed everyone when you get home. Bills, taking kids to and from athletics, and so on. When can you think about a book idea? Or characters, or plot?

Two a.m. That's when the writer genie (a.k.a. muse) comes out. Many times I've woke up with the idea in the morning. Maybe an hour or so before I'm supposed to get up. But it doesn't matter when, or what time. It's when our brain is relaxed enough so that that creative part of the brain can come out and play.

The ideas are crystal clear, voices, characters, even the place they're in seem real. Stephanie Meyer said, when she bean work on Twilight, that she would hear these voices inside her head in the middle of the night and would go down to her computer and begin writing this dialogue out. This worked out well for her.

Writers are not the only creative beings who find the creative juices flow when they are most relaxed. Dreams can bring on the best in all those people, from poets, to musicians to inventors.

"The Devil's Trill" by Giuseppe Tartini was dubbed his greatest work, and he'd written it after a dream in which he heard the devil play the violin. Of course, Tartini's attempt to recapture what he'd heard, he admitted, could not compare.

Inventors, musicians, poets, and so on all rely on that moment when our brain is most relaxed, and nothing else is there to bother us. That's probably why we all like to work at night, or very early in the morning, while the mind is refreshed.

So, if you are a writer and you're finding yourself "hearing voices" at two a.m., no, you're not going crazy. You are a notch above the norm. You are a creative person, and you should rejoice that you have this ability. And if you are in the midst of a book, and don't know what is to come next, don't push yourself. Let the writing genie come out, because he will, and you'll have your answer after you quit worrying about it, and you're relaxed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Building a World for Fantasy

You know by my post yesterday that I've just gotten ideas for a brand new book. And being that this book will take place in another world almost exclusively, I know that I will have to take time to create that new world.

Those of you who write fantasy know that you need to know your character's world very intimately before you get too far down the road with it. If you write science fiction, especially, you have to do the homework and work on every little aspect of that world.

With me so far?

My world has a name, I call it Darkland. I have a few characters and I know where they originated from, and I'm working out why they came to be where they are, and what they are. I've decided that there will be no sun. But there will be moons. Their intelligence is extraordinary and they are highly magical, as well as the majority are vampires. The vampires are the higher echelon of other beings. But there are different kinds of vampires. They don't all need blood to survive.
Demons, werewolves and humans also make up a portion of their population.

Now you might just be posed with this very delema yourself, one day, so how does it all work and where do you start? Rome, they say, wasn't built in a day!

It would be helpful that you have some sort of reference book. Mine is "The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference" from Writer's Digest. This is a necessary tool to help you get the basics down, help fill in some of the gaps, and you won't have to take repeated trips to the library, unless you need something more specific. But we'll do the very basics here.

So, this afternoon I wrote on note cards the basic things I need to know about this world.

Social Order (Upper, middle, lower classes)
Economy (money, trades etc.)
Military/Police (as well as judicial system)
Government (Feudalism, manorialism [medieval Europe], religious order? Or something else?)
Religion
Architecture/Art, etc.
Clothing/style (what do they wear is important! How/where do they get the materials to make clothing)
Energy source (electricity? or something else?)
Food (what do they eat, if there is no sunlight?)
Light (If there is not sunlight, then there must be moons for light, but if there is no electricity, could there be something else? Like some sort of glowing animal, bird or bug?)

So, you see there is a lot to think about if you must create a whole new world, should you not be using Mother Earth. Even if you are, and the story takes place in a different time period, you must know what that time period used for each of these things.

Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ideas . . . they never stop . . . until the END

I've posted that I finished the first draft of the second book in here about a week or so ago. So, naturally, I'm editing and going through to smooth things out and make it all work. Ho hum. Reading, making notes, correcting, la,la,la. . .

Then, along comes a scene. I hear two characters talking. You know, your characters that you've known and they've been shacked up in your brain for maybe a year, two, or three. Yeah, those people who only exist inside your head, and on the page and in cyber space. Wherever!

Oh, wait. I see this one character is new. Hummmm. Very interesting. I'm intregued. Male. All black clothing, long black hair, except for the blond streak on one side of his face. Okay . . . and Sabrina has actually gone from one place to another in one swift weird moment. Oh, I see. She's on another plane. Not on earth. Not even in Dark Realm--another existing world along side Earth. Huh, what do I call this place? Between the veils? I like that. Oh, it has a name. Darkland. Even better. I like the idea that it was once Atlantis, or the people of Atlantis have somehow gotten here. . .and they're all vampires????

Anyway, so there I am supposed to be asleep, but NOT! The scene, the two talking, in my head--yes, we writers are a weird lot!--talking. Sabrina Strong, my main character and the one I decide to call Jett. Interesting. Oh, really? Yada, yada. It might be 2am, going on 3:00. I should be sleeping, but there I have the scene all tracked out in my head.

Morning comes. Oh, goddess . . . coffee. Yes! Notebook. Yes! Write, write write.
Good ideas. Don't bother me, PLEASE!

The next day, I begin typing these written pages out. These ideas transpose, change, take a turn, a twist. Hahah! I know what's going on. I realize--ohmygod--this is a brand new book!

It gets later in the morning (today), I discover recordings of an old show I taped from a favorite of mine from two years ago. I listen. I know why I taped the conversation. This is gold! This gets my plot ideas rolling. I'm loving being a writer all over again.

So, I make more notes and suddenly I've got a whole chapter and the beginning of a new book called Necromancer's Dreams. Working Title.

Will have to allow the lava to cool, need to sleep because I have to drive the bus tomorrow.

Happy writing everyone!

Monday, July 12, 2010

One Chapter Challenge

I belong to several groups over at Writer's Digest.
Today I thought I would check in and see what's going on.
Well EJ Wesley, who is site manager of One Chapter Challange a Week suggested we blog about our experiences doing the one-chapter-a-week experience.

I've yet to find a partner. So, if you're out there, you like what you see, let me know you'd like to partner with me. I've already gotten my first draft finished, save for some edits, which I'm doing now. This is a second book, so if that might put you off, fine. But I'm waiting on an editor for the first book, so I don't know if I want to go to all the trouble of having someone read/edit it, if an editor is going to be doing this anyway.

However, I am posting my chapters over on my sister blog Lorelei's Archives.
The first book's title is Vampire Ascending this second book is Vampire's Trill.

The description of Vampire Ascending is on my side page here--whoever might be interested in the story. I could offer a synopsis if that would help get you up to speed?

Anyway, I've just placed my blog site down on this today. Hope to hear from someone soon who is into fantasy of this type.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Embrace the Vampire Within


Are you, or someone you know a Vampire? Well, okay, don't laugh. I don't mean the kind that is immortal, or that explodes into dust when sunlight touches them, or that they can turn into a bat or a wolf at the drop of a hat. These are everyday real people who have very special needs. I'm talking about real-life vampires. Some people aren't even aware of it, but they might be in the two categories: PSI—or psychic vampires (those who need life force), and the sanguinarius (those who need blood). Modern Day vampires can be your next door neighbor, your work mate, the grocery clerk, life-mate, friend. Many vampires aren't even aware of their true nature, until they have “awakened”. Vampires have special needs that others do not.


It's difficult to know if one is, or not, and there are lists as to what to look for. Still, not everything may apply, and even if all or many of these things do, it still doesn't suggest that someone is a vampire. There could be other medical conditions to consider. Here is a partial list of things to consider for awakening:


~Do people find you highly appealing and fascinating, but then their fixations quickly fades to avoidance?


~People tell you that you are too intense/ an enigma/ dark hole / other?


~You often prefer isolation without really knowing why. Vampires are often loners, because they feel different from those around them, and because they have to control the amount of contact they have with sources of energy.


~You are empathic. Vampires—although this isn't exclusive to vampires—tend to be empaths, absorbing vibrations from everywhere.


~You experience astral dreams, and frequent deja vu.


~You love rain, thunderstorms, and fog.


~You easily “trance out” or find yourself detached from the world. ~You feel you should have been born in another century.


~You are somewhat psychic or intuitive. ~You are drawn to more unorthodox beliefs. Often the occult feels natural to you.


~Electrical appliances, cell phones, watches, computers malfunction for no reason.


~You often feel weak, shaky, and very thirsty when you don't obtain or consume some form of energy.


~You frequently suffer from Migraines.


~Fibromyalgia


~Allergies


~Severe problems dealing with weather extremes (particularly cold and low pressure systems) (For a full list please see sites below)


Having some of these, or all characteristics doesn't mean that you are a real modern day vampire. However, if you are wondering, here are some things to consider. Take note if people notice that you are different. They might even tell you that. You may feel perfectly fine most of the time, but if you are not in contact with other people after a while you, tend to feel depressed, and weak, and seek out those who are energetic, and fun to be with.


This is only one of my characteristics. I tend to feed off the attention, or their energy. This makes me a Psi. After a while of such contact, I have to get away, because it becomes too much for me. Above all, I mostly like being alone. Some people might think that a vampire needs to avoid the sun, but it isn't always the case. In my case I don't avoid the sun, and tan easily, however I've noticed that I do have sensitivity to sunlight (wearing sunglasses even for a moment of going outside, and over exposure usually brings on a headache). My sister avoids the sunlight completely, and wears dark glasses indoors because of her sensitivity to light.


I love the moonlight, but when I'm trying to sleep, I can't tolerate it, or any other light in the room. I do feel more focused at night, and can do my writing during the hours of darkness best, or very early morning. I can site nearly all the things listed above, plus many more. Otherwise I'm fidgety, have lack of focus, daydream. Hey, that's partly why I'm a writer! I'm very psychic, I'll know that I'm about to see someone I haven't seen in a long time.


I drive a transit bus and I've seen so many near accidents--which should have been accidents, but weren't--I think I also have some sort of kinetic energy as well, which is brought on by higher, emotionally-charged moments. Remember that the primary, universal characteristic is the need to feed on either blood, or life energy from others.



Even if you do identify with any of these things, and still wonder, research it yourself. Take notes on things you feel might be true of you. Perhaps many perplexing things about you can now be explained as you come to the understanding of who you are, and “Embrace The Vampire Within”. The important thing is to be happy with who you are, and be yourself—because everyone else is taken. To find out more go to Darkness Embraced. And read the article on Modern Vampires here.

New Troubling Trend Among Teens




With the popularity of the “Twilight” series, and the latest movie, “Eclipse”, there is a troubling new trend among teens and that's biting.

Some teens are going beyond the hickey, and actually biting their dates to show their love and devotion to each other. This raises a lot of concerns. Two main ones, which are emotional and physical abuse, and infections.

It's said that there is more bacteria in the average human mouth than most animal feces. This can cause both physical and mental side affects that go beyond the usual problems parents may face when their teens date.

With the popularity of Twilight, the series, Eclipse (movie) has earned more than $175 million in the first week of showing—and the every growing in the popular HBO series “True Blood”, it's natural for everyone to be curious, and that's harmless fun when we keep in mind this is all fantasy. Make believe.

It's when fantasy crosses over from make believe into the darker side of reality when teens need to emulate what they consider “cool” and this needs to be not only watched for, but addressed when teens exhibit bite marks. These can become very serious skin infections. It is suggested to have it checked out and stay away from betadine or peroxide to treat it.

To see more on this:

http://www.cbsnews.com/storeis/2010/07/ Vampire Obsession Sinks Teeth Into Real Life. . . .CBS Medical Correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton July7 7, 2010 – article & video

Monday, July 5, 2010

Set the Scene

Today's post is about writing your scenes, what you need to ask yourself before you get into it. You need to set the scene.

You need to know who is your POV character--who will tell the scene the best.(unless you write in first person).

Who is there in this scene? If the POV character is alone, something has to happen to carry the character, and the story, and the plot along.

How much time has passed since the last scene? Two minutes or two hours? This has to be addressed as you open the scene. Some writers who don't want to make that one line skip, and keep things flowing will start out with a sentence: Two hours later . . . so as to not loose the reader, who has found an excuse to pause. This is a good idea if you're in the middle of a chapter, but more things are happening, and you don't want to loose a reader.

Props. Props are great, especially if the character might use them somehow. Anything from weapons to chairs. I invent some of my weapons in my stories. One young man's father happened to have invented a laser at the end of a long device that cuts through just about anything, and it was handy for cutting off the heads of demons whose blood just happens to burn. So, my main character is given this for added security, and I wasn't going to have her carry it around without her putting it to good use.

Conflict. Conflict is great between characters. You get to know them a little better, what makes them tick, ring and go off like a rocket. Even a little tension between two people who like one another is a good ploy to keep things a little uneven, so that readers don't fall asleep. They can argue about something they don't quite agree on. Or, one wants to do something the other doesn't want to do. Or, you can have the full-blown they-hate-each-other type of tension, yet are thrown together. I love the way Michele Hauf put the tension between her two characters Blu and Creed in Her Vampire Husband going with the tense, and sometimes funny dialogue between the werewolf princess and vampire king.

The next thing you need to ask yourself is Does this scene advance the action? How?

I hope this helps you. Have fun writing those scenes!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Plot Thickens

I used to go to a writing critique class where the teacher liked to twist this one saying to: "The plot sickens" because he wrote horror. He had a twisted sense of humor.

But whatever way you want to say it, the plot must do something to keep reader's nose in your book. If you see that something isn't working in your plot, and can't quite figure out why, I think this site might help you out.

I visited a blog by Martha Alderson, called "The Plot Whisperer for writers" plotwhisperer.blogspot.com last night. I found it very helpful. This isn't to say I don't have lots of other plot helping devices, but I have to say this one had some good visual templates. I joined the E-zine, because this author had some really good blogs on her site, and I don't mind admitting, I can always use an expert's advice.

I like her template for the plot planner--showing the "End of the Beginning" (first quarter of the book), then the line angles up to the "Crisis" at midway in the book, then you have a lull, less action, some more character development and information which draws the main character into the "Climax" of the book, then you have the "Resolution" at the end.

It's good to have visuals like this. There are different thoughts on this sort of plotting steps. But everyone agrees the first portion of the book is 1/4 of the book, the middle is 1/2, and the end is 1/4. The Crises and Climax pull the book along to the end.

I'm going to draw this on a sheet of white printing paper we got from a local printing company that comes on rolls. I like using this paper because I can make it as long as I want, when I'm done I can toss it.

To go and check this out the link is: http://www.blockbusterplots.com/resc/PP.himl

Alderson has many other templates there as well. And she has a Test to see if you lean toward character-driven plots,or action-driven plots, and if you are lean in one of those areas she gives clues as to how to work on it. She has books and DVD's for sale to help you if you're new at this plotting stuff, or just can't get the hang of it.

I'm glad I finally went to her site. Go check it out if only for good solid advice on plotting.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Trying to Relax/ Riiiiiight

Last Tuesday was the last time I posted. I had been feeling overly anxious, and I had trouble getting a breath, and my heart was palpitating. And it wasn't over pics of hunks in my files, either.

That night I just took my pulse and realized every few beats, my heart skipped a beat.

Well, sure, that had me and my husband concerned. So on Wed. morning he drove me to the local clinic and I had an exam. I hadn't been to the doctors for a while. Funny how not having insurance sort of puts you off on such things, but the visit alone was $140. I have no idea what the rest will cost.

The young lady who took my ekg promised to take only 2 minutes. That was fast. Right there in the office. This was amazing.

The doctor came in. Nice middle-aged man white hair and glasses. (Yes, notes for anything later, believe me I keep this stuff in my head for characters/scenes)

I had heart palpitations alright. That's what it's called. The Doctor said he didn't see anything serious in the read, or when he listened to my chest. Thus, he gave me instructions--both verbal and written. Gave me a prescription for a sleep aide--very nice, I slept very well that night--and suggested I could try cutting down on the caffeine. Sure. I don't drink that much, but yes I think it would be a good idea.

I drive a bus for a living. You get behind the wheel of your car, you take it for granted. Maybe. You have children. I hope you're careful. I could fill a book with what I see on a daily basis. The buss is about 32 ft. and weighs approx. 12 tons. Okay, if I'm going 30-35 mph, and I hit something, that's going to leave a huge dent. Believe me. And the bus may not even get more than a scratch on the bumper. But besides this--I don't care about the bus. I care about the people on my bus and yeah, even the stupid idiot on the road that did one stupid thing that nearly causes an accident.

This morning--wouldn't you know it, my day back and I get this:

I pull away from a stop, it's in a turn lane into a grocery store, so I have to wait for traffic to clear. But Also I have to watch what's going on in front of me, not just behind me.

I pull out into the lane of traffic. I see the guy in the black Jeep Cherokee trying to make a left off a side road just ahead of me. Well, I'm going slow so that in case he does pull out, I can stop. I wasn't going slow to *let* him pull out. This is a 4-lane road with a left hand turn lane.

So, he does exactly as I knew he would--pulls out in front of me. There might be about 50 before I hit him. My foot was on the breaks before he did this, and I had to stop. Why? Because someone was suddenly in that left hand turn lane BLOCKING HIM!!!

So he has to stop! He's still blocking me so I can't move.

What does the guy in the left hand turn lane do? Well, everyone stopped, so of course he takes that as his cue to go right ahead and make that left hand turn IN FRONT OF ME.

Then the guy in the Jeep proceeds. I remain motionless because I simply can't believe what one dumb jerks mistake could have cost had I not been the seasoned driver I am, and practically predicted he would do something so stupid.

What does the guy do when I'm sitting there? I've got my window open. He pulls along aside me in that left hand turn and says "Why are you yelling at me?"

I totally ignore him. What a jerk. I wanted to call him every name in the book. I wanted to take him by the neck like a vampire and shake him until his teeth rattled and explained exactly what he did wrong. And by the way, I may have yelled something, but he must have been reading my lips, because he sure didn't hear it.

My passengers all wished me a good day once they got off at their stops. They see what happened.

I don't just drive a bus for a living. What I do is I drive for every other person on the road--or is behind a wheel. Last week some guy pulled half-way out of McD's making me either slam on my breaks, or swerve into the next lane. Thank goodness I had a clear path to move over, because I didn't want to throw my passengers just for someone who had to go get his family a meal.

So. Any of you who drive anything--I don't care if it is a moped. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY. DRIVE CAREFULLY. WATCH OUT FOR SEMIS BECAUSE THEY WILL GO THROUGH RED LIGHTS.

Have a happy and safe 4th of JULY!!!!

Just My Crazy Side (Halloween)

Since I took care of business the other day about "Requiem" being out, I need to do my Halloween posts, starting with my visit to ...