Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jewels of the Summer

I can't think of any fruit I love more than raspberries. I love picking them, despite the possible snags and pokes of the sharp thorns. Not to mention mosquitoes, and other nasty bugs. But I'm determined to get to my FREE fruit when it's in season.

I've been working on keeping a small, wild growth of raspberry canes in our backyard, over the past dozen or more years we've lived here, and it has grown thick and lush.

Armed with bug spray, wearing jeans and a heavy sweatshirt as well as a straw hat, these wise choice in garments will keep you relatively safe from donating blood to either the mosquito or the raspberry bush.

I also take along a pair of clippers my first times out to snip off the new growth canes. These will be the next season's canes. You want to continue to clip them every year, because old ones die out. When you do this you can use gloves, and I recommend taking the clipped cane by the leaf, as you may be speared, if you don't know where to handle the cane.

This morning I managed to get about a cup and a half of sweet berries. Enough to put on anything from ice cream to cereal. I washed them and made sure they were free of grass bits and whatever bugs might be crawling on them--there were no bugs this morning. I put about 3 t. of sugar on them once I get them into a glass container. Right now we should be seeing black bugs, but I think it has been too cool and wet for them. But they tend to come out in July. I'm hopeful that I can get my raspberries before they do come and start to make my berry picking worthless.

Any of you have a berry patch, or some other fruit you like to pick?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How To Interrupt a Vampire's Good Time

I can remember that one night, at my place, when we nearly . . .” Tremayne's sultry voice purred in my ear over the phone.
Yeah,” I said, squirming in my seat.
We should take a road trip, somewhere. Just you and me. Get the hell away,” he suggested.
Mmmm. Not gonna happen,” I said.
That reminded me of the time he pulled me out of that house, rescuing me on his big Harley, and sped off into the night. We wound up at his private place, which is now his new headquarters. He almost took my blood.
But that reminds me of something else. Something important. The vampires are now allowed to hunt humans. I kid you not. So be aware of that, please, when you go out at night.
Sabrina Strong here. I'm filling in for Lorelei today. I think she's gone off with her hubby, for a little get away day. Cool.
I didn't start out as a vampire slayer. I still don't think of myself as a sibyl, or anything but me, Sabrina Strong, a touch clairvoyant who just happens to have been bitten by a werewolf. Oh, and you'll find out what happened to that guy in the second book of my adventures.
But, I got off my original track. I thought I'd discuss with you the basics of vampire lore and the confusion that people have about them.
Like you can't tell a human from a vampire by using the mirror/reflection technique. That won't work, like in all the Dracula movies. Vampires have a reflection. They have physical bodies; why shouldn't they have a reflection?
I wouldn't recommend slaying a vampire yourself. Vampires don't sleep in coffins and believe me they are completely dead to the world as some would have you believe. In other words, you wouldn't be able to sneak up on one and put a stake through his heard. And Buffy, she is The Slayer, so she can do it one-handed, which is cool.
I, on the other hand, have this cool dagger. Well, I can't tell you too much about it, it might spoil the next book for you, so I won't say anything else about it.
But if you do wish to sharpen a couple of stakes, just in case, be sure it's the right kind of wood. oak, hawthorn, ash, rowan are all good to use.
Crucifixes are good too to thwart a vampire's thrall, but only if that vampire was a Christian in their human life. And a believer. All important things to know.
But, if you aren't really up to staking a vampire—gak, who is?--just go for the old reliable; holy water in a water pistol. Works every time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peeling Eggs

You know how when you get a hard boiled egg and you go to peel it, you are wondering if it will come off easily, or stick like someone glued it?

Sort of how I feel right now. I'm the hard boiled egg.

Don't get me wrong. I have this week off, and it's great not having to rush through breakfast, make a lunch, get dress and fly out of here to go drive a damned transit bus and see all the same faces that get on every single day--maybe 3x in my 6 hour shift.

I'm working on my WIP, hoping to get into the climax. I've gotten this thing up to 82K words, and 223 pages so far. I've had several ideas hit me the past few weeks for the climax, scenes leading up to the climax and even the resolution that threw me so much I just wonder where the heck I get these ideas. I must have gotten on the Idea Train and it just treats me really well.

I don't get HBO, and even if I did, I'd probably not be able to stay up and watch True Blood. But there was a choice of magazine covers, this one was my favorite. I think this picture is the most duplicated, aside from The Mona Lisa for magazine covers.

Wild life around the house--since it's smack dab in the middle of our wild life/prairie/wetland park--has offered us glimpses of the usual parade of momma and baby raccoons going to her tree den, and one up in the old wooden water tower up by the house. But Dennis sighting takes first prize of momma deer and her little off spring. He said it was like a chihuahua with long legs, jumping around, and running in and out of the woods, trying out it's legs. I missed seeing it by an hour. Maybe I'll get to see them this week, if I'm lucky.

I am working on a post for Shelly of "The Life of a Novice Writer", for this week, I'm trying to not be so wordy. Wondering also if what I say will actually help anyone out there struggling, and wondering if they'll ever become good enough for an agent to grab them. Well, it's not that you're "good enough". It's more like the luck of the draw and your writing, or something about it hits an agent just right. I think you're better off playing the lottery, myself. And since I don't, well . . . here I am. We should all have nice juicy contracts with big houses, have our books on the shelves along side the likes of our favorite authors. And I'm going to tell you a quick tale of someone I knew who did just that.

Sabrina will be back--I'm not sure when, or what she'll post, but I'm sure it will be interesting. She's more interesting than me, by far. I mean, working for vampires, you know? So, she'll be in some time this week. I hope to get away a couple of days here and go and do something, go out to the White Pines State Park and maybe make reservations for a one-night stay in August before we have to go back to fall semester driving. I hoped to not have to do this again, but hey, Hollywood hasn't called yet, so I'm stuck in my "real life" job.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WORDSMITHING 101 : Damn You, Conflict!

Again, I wasn't able to comment at another blogger's post because of some glitch. T.C. Mckee, I would have had something to say at your blog about your conflict post. And the fact that you were reading until the ungodly hours of the morning. Oh, to be the writer who has held your attention that long. Would we give blood for this? Gold? I wonder.

The question posted was "Is there enough conflict in my WIP?"

How do we, as the writer, know? Unless you have some people who can read your WIP and give you honest feedback, you really don't know. So, how do you know?

This is from my story checklist the main two questions you ask as you do your read through:
1). Were the characters plunged into rising conflicts? - Did the action lag or conflicts become static or jumping?

I also always ask myself  "are the conflicts believable?"AND "have I built up to them enough?"

Jealousy is a good one to work with. It is universal. Everyone knows how it feels. And it doesn't have to be about jealousy over another woman or man. It could be over a pet, a car--anything that the other person is paying a lot of attention to.

Conflict isn't just two people not getting along, or they hate each other for whatever reason. You can have two people who like one another, but disagree at some point about some pivotal thing that is important. Two brothers argue over money, a woman, land, who is going to mind the store, politics etc. But it has to be something important to the story.

What is the main problem in the story? What carries the story along? Is there a mystery to be solved? Who is in the way of that problem or mystery being solved? Could something else also get in the way of the hero/heroine solving the problem or mystery? This is where the conflicts come from.

Also, if the characters aren't likable the conflict doesn't have enough grist to pull the reader along. Who will care what happens to them? I remember not being able to get through the book, A Lovely Bones. I found myself distracted by the writing, and I really didn't care enough about the characters to find out who murdered the girl. To this day I don't have any idea who murdered her, nor do I even care.

So, the next thing you ask is :

2). Are all the conflicts resolved?

If you have a few conflicts that aren't resolved, that's okay, there's always book #2 to resolve them, or attempt to, and bring in new ones!

You might resolve a lover's triangle with a death of one of the players. Jealousy can create all sorts of interesting plots and sub-plots. But having a jealous husband or wife simply kill off the offending other person is sort of crapping out. You gotta make it interesting make it fresh; wow me!

You also want to ask: Does your climax have impact? Was there a surprise? Was the emotional impact powerful enough that the reader either cries, or feels some emotional response that has her wanting more? Does someone die, someone who is likable, someone who the heroine has had a relationship with?

Another question to ask: Have you avoided working up a conflict for some reason where maybe you should have? It might be that you have two characters getting along and you don't want them to be in conflict, but maybe the conflict will work in favor of the plot.

And finally: does each scene have a conflict? What is the objective of the scene and who holds it as though they own it? Is someone holding back the truth? Do they know something that is important to the story and if they told it would ruin the ending? Dialogue is a huge key. It pulls the reader along. Leave somethings unsaid. Have someone lie. Have someone hold a grudge, and it comes out later. Have someone secretly plotting to do ill toward your hero.

All important questions to think on.

Here is an example from something been working on my own WIP, just today. This is an example of one scene in one chapter that I've been working on which has some sort of small conflict. It hampers Sabrina's need to do what she came here to do.

Set up: Sabrina is on another world, where vampires rule, but humans are treated well enough. However there are some creatures called "Dreadfuls" who cause people to become sick and die. No one can kill these things. . . until Sabrina came along. The people she is speaking to are all humans. She's at a ball. She is trying to find her cousin Lindee, and take her home.

Ali floated in. "It's true! I saw her kill one in my room!"

Suddenly I was surrounded by excited faces. Gasps circulated around the crowd of on-lookers.

"How did you do it?" a woman in a pink taffeta gown surged toward me and I had to lean back a little because she was in my space.

"She has a dagger. Don't you?" Ali said.

"Well, yes--"

"But anyone who has ever tried to kill one with any weapon has never been able to kill it!" a man argued heatedly.

"It must be a special dagger," the woman in the ruffled pink taffeta dress, who was still standing in front of me said. She held her champagne in a gloved hand, in an awkward way--this was how everyone held their glass, around the rim--and took a slug. Her face was flushed. I thought that she'd had enough o f the bubbly.


"Magical! That's what it is!" Ali exclaimed.

"Well, then, she must help rid us of these things!" a woman in blue said. I noticed the ruffles of her off-the-shoulder dress had beads threaded throughout. Her fan hung from one wrist, and a matching velvet bag hung from the other. "You know that Dedra has two at her place!"

"Two!" came the other woman's gasp, eyes wide.

Wonderful. I'd never have a chance to find Lindee, and then leave for my world if I was busy placating these people.
Now, get to work!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Hodgepodge

Just in case you needed telling.
For me, it was a Last-day-of-work-for-9-days Friday, and I go back on the 4th (my husband reminds me) and make time and a half. Hopefully I won't have to wait to get paid for it like the last time. But I doubt it, since it probably really embarrassed the payroll guy. I was happy to see Retro on my pay check today for that blunder and a half.

Anyway, going to take a few days off to write and a few to go have a little fun, go for a few little get-away days to a few of our favorite haunts. Have lunch and do a few other things.

This picture is the one that I've chosen to represent a character in my third book. Her name is Penelope. Penelope is not everything she seems, but the big blue eyes and blond hair, pretty--yes. This is her, what I picture her to look like. She is one of the major players in the third book. I won't go into it here, since the third book is a ways off, yet, and the second one is yet to come out. So I won't tease you too much.

Well, maybe a little.

I have some places you might like to pop in to check out.

First up. Our little Buffy has grown up. Sarah Michelle Gellar is going to be in a new show called Ringers. She plays a twin--well she plays both rolls obviously. She gets to play her "evil" twin. Cool. Catch the short but to the point bit on this, plus some other Buffy stuff, here at Vampire Wire.

Let's see. What else do I have in my bag of tricks? You'll forgive me, but I've been collecting these for a while, so if they sound familiar, just pass them up.

This one I just ran across today, thanks to blogger friend, Shelly. If you are thinking of Indi Publishing, read this and be sure to always copyright your writing! There has been news of people pirating other people's books off of Amazon, and Amazon doesn't seem to give a flying fig. Check this out HERE.

Oh and if you have not checked out The Blog Entourage, you should do that too. Some great people there. You can find them on facebook too! You can do some promotion there. In fact this weekend is a freebee weekend and I'm going to promo my ass off!

And finally, if you are a Stalker--I love you, stalk all you want here, I won't stop you--here's where I do my shameless promo here {-;

If you've not yet read Vampire Ascending, you should. How do I convince you you need to read this book? I've had one young lady who is a Twilight fan tell me she read it in one day and could NOT PUT IT DOWN! I've had a lot of good reviews on it, too. This one is my all time favorite to date at Shelly's Novice Writings. And if you intend to buy it soon (either eBook, or book) you can do so at the link, just hit the title and you will find reviews and a synopsis, and a first chapter, even a little bit about me. But if you're a stalker, you already know quite a bit about me, don't you??? Anyway, you don't want to be left behind, as I'm on my third book now, and the second one is with my publisher. Sabrina's escapades are just going to get crazier, and always, ALWAYS will have HOT GUYS vying for her attentions.

Don't be left out! I'm just saying.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Buffy Second Season: Spike & Drusilla

Spike and Drusilla are introduced in the second season. The definitely add a bit of spice to the series.
Spike and Drusilla are a happy couple who have come to Sunnydale to find the Hellmouth—it tends to be the siren call to all evil creatures. Their hope is that they might find a cure for Drusilla's weakness. Eventually they do, and find it in a book that was taken from Giles' library. I'm not sure how they knew what to look for, but they do have one of their minions purloin the book.
It culminates in episodes 9 and 10 “What's My Line” Part One and Part Two.
Within the book is the incantation and rite to bring back a vampire's strength. Thing is, it's difficult to translate unless you have a key. Thus, during the next few episodes, they eventually figure out where to look. Eventually, through Drusilla's ability to read Tarot cards that seem to have figures and such that tell her what exactly she needs to know, they go to a mausoleum and find this key. It is actually a reliquary where religious items were kept of the very author of this book they found. Odd that this author would be found right there in Sunnydale California, but we'll give the writer a break on this.
When they figure out that she needs her maker, who is Angel, then we get to the nitty gritty on this. They are help;ed out by Slayer #2, Kendra, who shows up in town sent because her Watcher has been notified that the last Slayer was dead (Buffy: “I died, just a little bit”), and was sent to the hot spot of Sunnydale because of the Hellmouth activity. And together they join forces to save Angel from Spike and Drusilla who initiate the deadly ritual which will bring Drusilla's strength back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Romance of The Victorian Age

Since my third book is taking shape--and I had originally decided that this world's styles are somewhere in the late 1870's--the Victorian Age--I thought I would go and see what I could find on Victorian dress.

I put in a search and found at least two that were easy to navagate for me. One was

But my vavorite was Recollections. Both places you can shop for dresses and go back to the Victorian era. I went crazy snagging a number of the pictures for the dresses and suits my characters wear. I've been able to save them into another document and when I get time I'll enter the description of the fabric. Taffita was usually the fabric used.

There's a number of ball gowns, and even the more risque saloon dresses that I'll be using in the book. Like this one. The murdered woman worked in a salloon, and I thought this dress was a good choice. Notice the fringe and lace as well as the three tired ruffles.

Friday I'll share with you the ball gowns I thought were just beautiful, and a little bit more about some of the things they wore back then.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Hate To Burst Your Bubble, But Vampires Have Reflections & Don't Sparkle In Sunlight

Hi there, Sabrina Strong here stepping in for Lorelei. Lorelei is taking a little break from posting while she works on the third novel about my adventures as a sibyl among the world of vampires, werewolves, shift changers, demons and elves. I look nothing like this picture, by the way, but it's sort of cool, don't you think? I sort of came across it and it is called “The Sibyl” by Jason Juta. You can see more of his work at

Anyway, I thought I would start out talking about vampire basics. You might think you know everything there is to know about vampires because maybe you saw Twilight a hundred times. Gakkk! Or you've read Anne Rice's books The Vampire Chronicles. Uhuh.
Well, I must admit I didn't know much more about vampires until I began working for them. I'm still learning things, but I'm getting there.

First of all just know that vampires don't sparkle and if they go out into the sun they could get a really bad sunburn—the really old ones do—or if they're younger than a hundred years, they burn up entirely in a very short time. That could put a damper on a nice picnic lunch at the beach!
And just to put the falsehood that vampires could ever sparkle to rest, I gotta tell you they don't. Although I did see Tremayne glow like a light bulb once when he feasted on two or three of his blood dolls—but it lasted a short time. It was really weird and I'm still not sure if what I saw was something he put in my head at the time, or not. But the ladies all had a great time, that's for sure.
Some people are confused about the reflection thing, and I've gotta end that right here. Vampires that have physical bodies are able to see themselves in the mirror. How do you explain their being able to shave and dress like they're going to be in a fashion show? I think some people got the idea that vampires were evil and thus have no soul and that's why they didn't have a reflexion. Give me a break! Vampires are physical energy, and mirrors reflect dense physical objects. Although, I'm just finding out there are some vampires which cannot be seen, and the mirror can be used like a dimensional doorway through which those non-physical vampires can be seen.
I know. It seems confusing. But each week I'll come by and do another post about vampires so that you aren't in the dark like I was.
I'm going through some rough times right now, but I can't talk about them here, because—well, I don't want to be a spoiler for the second book. A lot of ground was covered in this next book, but I'm sworn to secrecy. Just be patient and in a few months I'm sure it will be out.
In the meantime I will post more about vampires. Next week I'll take a look at three different types of vampires in my next post: The psi-vamps, and the sanguinarians . . . the third one I'm going to leave as a surprise.
Oops. Almost forgot. If you're a newbie and don't want to be left behind, check out the first book in the series, Vampire Ascending.
See you next week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Which Character On Buffy the Vampire Slayer Are YOU?

Hi, everyone! How are you this Saturday? I had a busy morning, buying a few things at Bed Bath & Beyond for my kitchen.

As you may know I recently bought a second series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really liked when they were all in school. And you are allowed to hate the principal! Nasty folliclly challenged creature that he is.

I'm watching through the episodes again--I just need my Buffy fix, I guess--and I see that we have teenage types. I was wondering which type I would be. Do you have a type? Not one you would want to be, but the one you would be in school.

You have your ne'er-do-well, Cordelia, who is all about her self/make-up/finding the rich kid she needs to impress, etc. She is rather quick witted when the need arises.

Then There is Willow who is shy, but not exactly a wall flower, and she's a computer geek. She's has a crush on Xander, but he only has eyes for Buffy--and later for Cordelia, and let's face it, his hormones are in control.

Buffy, is your typical teenage hottie, but with a twist. She can kill vampires. Has a vampire boy friend which is on/off for most of the second season.

Angel, is of course your good vampire hot guy--until he loses his soul and then all hell breaks loose.

Spike is the all-time bad-boy vampire guy, likable in his nasty ways, and he really cares about Drusilla.

Drusilla  . . . okay. She's wacko, but damned funny to watch.

And we have Giles. Tweed wearing, bespectacled Watcher who is full of knowledge and really not bad looking, and I love his place--all those stained glass lamps, and he has a whole library to look up incredibly old stuff. Who wouldn't want that? (Okay, I'm the geek here!)

I would have to say I am a Willow. I was painfully shy in high school, had crushes and heart breaks aplenty and I am still quite the geek. Although I'm part Giles because of the book-loving thing. I couldn't be a Buffy because I'm not so brave, although I would love to trade places with her when she's smooching it up with Angel. Grrrrrrr!

So, which character are you most like? You can be two characters, blended, if that helps.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Want a Forever Day

Boy, do I need a vacation!

Well, I'll have a week off, soon, and I so just need to do my thing. And a day that is perfect in every way, weather, things that I get done, places I might go, perhaps a nice little lunch. I want it to last forever. Do I want too much?

Well, I've been unsuccessful in figuring out my problems here, but I have updated some things, such as posting. This is a little new, but not that much different really.

The kitchen is done, save for getting handles on the cupboards, and drawers. Who knows when that will happen. When you aren't in charge of when things get done, you just sort of stand back and wait for things to happen. But we did get a new door on the outside basement door. It's a nice solid metal one. They're going to try to improve the conditions down there. I complained about the problems with mold and mildew in my letter. So, things are going to go in that direction. After this is done, the porch will be the focus. And then a new door and landing for the west door--which we have not been able to use in years. The original door is still on it, and it was oak and in bad repair and also we've had creatures gnawing their way through the threshold. They at least covered the holes where the siding had fallen off (again, years ago). Boy, I guess my letter did the trick! I think after they're all done (who knows, I'll looking at this fall) much of this place will be brand spanking new!

And we have a new "guard cat". My husband reports spotting a tiger cat that made itself very comfortable under our truck today, and then scoped out the area for rodents. We've had chipmunks move in this past year. Not what you want, believe me. So, "Chipper", Dennis named him, may be a new resident wild cat in the area. There's plenty for him to hunt around the house, the barn, and other wilder areas around here. He won't go hungry, believe me.
--Oh! Dennis just called me to come and see. It might be a female. She has white front toes, and looks like a gold mixed in, so she might be a calico mix. She was sniffing around the foundation of the house when I saw her. We haven't had a dog in a long while, so we hope she'll stick around. We've had cats come and go, but they're usually wild.

I'm itching to work on a scene I've been thinking about the last few days. This involves a vampire that revealed that he has a foot fetish. I made mention of this over on Lorelei's Writing Journal, just yesterday. I thought it would be a bit funny, a vampire with a foot fetish.

So, I'm off to try and get something done later this afternoon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

RANT: I Can't Leave Comments At My Favorite Blogs!!!

Yesterday, I went to T.C. McKee's blog, and wanted to leave a comment that I loved her new writing space. I would have made a nice comment, say some encouraging words and so forth.

But NOOOOOOoooo!

I can't leave comments any more on places I used to come to. The only way I can is to use the Anonymous button, and leave my name inside the comment. If there is no Anonymous button, I can't leave any comment. This is very frustrating. This has been on-going for more than a month now.

Not only that, but I can't FOLLOW anyone new. I also can't SEE my own followers. So, I don't know who you are. I've waited for a few months and this hasn't straightened out at all. I'm just frustrated that I can't leave comments mostly.

So, if you wonder what happened to me, why I haven't been by and you actually miss me, I'll leave a comment to your post weekly, HERE and try to do it on Thursday. I'll place your name or name of your blog in the label list below.

T.C. McKee: I wanted to tell you that I love your new writing space. That desk is great. I don't know what to do about the dog, however. it was funny about the slobber trails.

Carole Gill of Bloody Good Vampires: I'm sorry I have not been able to make any comments over on your blog any more. I think I agree with you pretty much all the time on your rants. I just can't comment. I feel like I'm looking in on a party going on and no one is able to let me in. ]=

Ranting about this problem hopefully will get every ones attention, because there are other people I used to leave comments on their blogs, and they probably think I'm just no longer stopping by. I can't think of all of them, but as the weeks pass I'll write my comments right here and post them and put your blog/name in the label line.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting Dirt Under the Fingernails

There is always something relaxing for me to go out and plant flowers in black dirt. My whiskey barrels were looking rather forlorn and weedy. Plus, I had some re-seeded marigolds in one that needed to be redistributed.

So, yesterday we went and bought me some flowers. I didn't need many because the marigolds would help fill it out. My passion is the color violet to orchid, and petunias are one of my all time favorites. Along with the gold of marigolds, it would be eye-catching.

I was able to take the day off, called a woman who was more than happy to take my run, so that was no problem. Somehow the knowledge you don't have to get up for work relaxes you and you can concentrate on other things. Getting outside in the sunshine helps too.

I've been working on my WIP, of course. There's a certain excitement for a writer when a minor character rears his ugly head and lets you know he can fill the order of villain. I usually have a couple of bad people in my books--as some of you may know. I usually save revealing the real nasty villain toward the end, at the climax (which is what some writers do when you don't reveal them in the beginning). I like people to wonder who is going to turn out to be the deadliest person. So, I'm working on this today.

What are you doing today?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review for Dead In The Family

Dead In the Family, the tenth (I think it's # 10) in the Sookie Stackhouse series I found was better than the last book which seemed to spin my head a little, and there were other issues with it I won't go into here. I believe I made a post about it back when.

This book seemed to be the one that's put us on notice that the author is about to end this series and she needs to place her characters into the place that puts them all on that course.

I remember finding Charlaine Harris' books just as a matter of trying to find something different, and the cover of “Dead Until Dark” and I think there might have been three or four of her next books. I had to grab them, they looked kookie and promising with the vampire romance with humor. And they were. It's like visiting with someone you know well, and even when she does some aggravating things—like tell you every little bitty detail of her evening—it still pays off.

So, Sookie is “married” to Eric, now, but Sookie was railroaded into that—we all know. And in this book she's not real happy when Eric's family stops by—which is his maker, and his makers younger “son”, which happens to be a member of Russia's royal family who was saved at the last moment after being shot.

I'm not sure why it had to be someone famous. But it worked. It worked that he was somewhat mad, and if you didn't get from the beginning this would come down to a big climax, you would be wrong.

After the fairy war, only a few fairies remained. Claude being one, and he seems to have changed for the better. But there are others who didn't get through before the door closed on fairy land, and one of them, it seems, is out for revenge.

It was interesting seeing how she pulled this together and solved it.

There is an interesting interview HERE with author, Charlaine Harris on her series coming to an end. (Hopefully the link works).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hello to my friends and fans . . . here are my updates:

It's been quite an up and down week--weather was up and down, definitely. Went from the 90's down to the 50's, had to drive in the most torrential rain I've ever driven in--along with lightning. Ah, the exciting moments of a bus driver. I had to apologise for not having towels, and welcomed them to Seattle as they got on rather soppy.

And my book's eBook sales went from the basement back up, and sort of hovered there for a few days, momentarily hitting an all-time high at # 31,940--for a brief few hours yesterday, and then dropped off. But that's expected. I just was a bit thrilled that a bunch of people are showing they are very interested in my book. If it gets to #1 I might just pass out, but it's a long ways from that.

As some of you may know, I've sent in my second book to my publisher. I got word back that they are aiming for a late summer release. I told him that's fine with me, but my fans wanted it last week.

Sorry. But you know, if it were one of your big house publishers, you'd all have to wait a full year for the hard-bound copy to come out, and then another year after that for the softbound. I'm guessing you won't mind to wait just a few more months to get your hands on an eBook of my next installment of Sabrina Strong's escapades with the vampires, werewolves and shape shifters.

I've been posting little tidbits to do with the next book, little hints, and helpful background into sibyls, and something called the Dagger of Delphi, over at Vampire Writer's Retreat and there's a bit on the mystic ring, which has something called the Seal of Solomon, and such on it. The above are coins with the Seal of Solomon on them. Sort of a little thing I thought I'd put up here today.

I'm, of course, working on the third book, so I'm only getting out once in a while to post and make comments. Any of the work I am doing on the third book can be viewed over at Lorelei's Writing Journal. I may have portions of chapters, or just notes on what I'm doing. This third book is going to be somewhat different, taking Sabrina into a different world almost right away. This is my "steampunk" novel with all the delicious hunks to drool over, and a couple of mysteries to solve, and danger. Plus, if you have an avad interest in Dracula, you'll be pleased to know I've got him in this as well. You'll want to see how I've done this, I'm sure.

I'm also happy, I want to say, for my longest friend here on blogspot, Heather McCorkle of Heather's Oddessey. She has made a tough, but I think, good decision, after much work, on her book, "Secret of Spruce Knoll" and at trying very, very hard to find an agent to take it, and having to come to a very tough decision over self-publishing, or going with a small publisher.

I have been a follower of Heather's for four years, now, and she mine, and we've been supportive of each other this whole while, and I wouldn't think of stopping my support of her. I think if there were a nice award for friendship, I would give it to her. But being blogging friends is enough. I wish her the best of luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inspiration Comes From All Angles

As you may all know I've just recently snagged the second season of Buffy and have been watching the shows every night, getting my fix. I enjoy the shows, like to remember them, or see ones that are new to me. But I definitely am getting some good pointers from Josh Whedon, the creator of the show. You can watched those special segments where there's an interview with Josh, and he explains something about why he did something in a particular show. He spoke about the Pivotal Moment when Angel lost his soul, and became evil again.

Pivotal moments are what make a story, and you want to know where to put them. I've often wondered if I put too many in, but a story needs a moment which feels of paramount importance. Something happens that maybe your characters can't return to the way things were before. They have to go forward.

This week, work on my third book continues. I knew that some back-tracking was in order. I had to create a Pivotal Moment, and reveal something early on. I usually like Sabrina to face two problems almost simultaneously. One is something that will involve her personally, and another one will draw her into a quagmire. In Beyond The Black Veil, Sabrina learns early on that her cousin, Lindee, is missing. The how is the interesting part, because while everyone else is thinking she's been abducted, Sabrina learns otherwise. Well, she's been abducted, but not by a human, but rather by a portal that sucks her into another world.

The second problem involves the two characters she meets right away when she pops in (for the second time), and a murdered woman is practically under her feet. Sabrina is sucked into this because she's a clairvoyant and speaks to the woman's ghost. She provides the clues to her murder, but as the story progresses and she tries to find Lindee, a whole lot of other things prevents her from going on with this, and before she knows it, she's too involved to not plunge on, only to be in a great deal of danger.

I love when a story comes together.

Have you been working on your Pivotal Moments in your book?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Satisfied Readers Speak Up about Vampire Ascending

Two more very satisfied customers of Vampire Ascending:

I met you and bought your book “Vampire Ascending” when you were at DeKalb Borders . . . I was not able to read it during the school year, but I just read it yesterday. I could NOT put it down. I loved it! PLEASE tell me you are writing a sequel. Keep up the good work!

~ I just got this message over on my facebook, from Kimberly Shemonia Lutz, who wants to be friends.

Also, yesterday or the day before I had this one:

I've just finished Vampire Ascending and I LOVED IT!!! GREAT JOB LORELEI. When is the sequel coming out???” ~ from Dora D'agostino

So, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moving Refrigerators, and Other Such Stunts

We had a very busy morning. Began very early with park checks. We have 4 shelter rentals today, and about 200 people showing up, so we wanted to get everything prepared for that, and get out of there before the dog walkers came out.

As we did this, dark clouds with rain sort of made an appearance, but mainly skirted us, and so we were able to get back with nary a few drops to contend with.

Today was moving the refrigerator back into the kitchen.

Yesterday we bought new curtains and hung them. I'll tell you something, you might not think so, but putting up curtains in a room, just makes it feel like home. Every time I went into the kitchen I was stunned thinking, "Is this my kitchen now?" Dennis said he keeps thinking it was someone else's kitchen.

We've been "living" basically in the dining room for two months. The kitchen table has been in there for more than a year--because, I kid you not, the way the kitchen was before was just not the place we wanted to eat in. Bad enough we had to cook in it.

So, we got the dolly out of the shop, brought it up and still wondered how we were going to get the refrigerator up over the now 3" hump that they put on the threshold. I'm not sure why they did it this way, but they put in a piece of wood as a threshold. Looks nice, but we're trying not to stub our toes. Getting the refrigerator over this became a problem, we soon learned, because the dolly wheels were rather small, they were not going to go up over it.

We thought about this for a while. I suggested we turn the refrigerator around, and get it over the threshold, instead.

But, we needed the dolly in the kitchen, or we'd scratch up the new floor.

Meanwhile water drained out of the reservoir in the back of the refrigerator. Yuck. We used an old towel, an older mop and paper towels to clean it up, eventually.

Dennis had an idea. He measured the laundry room window. The dolly would fit through, and so we did what we planned, got the refrigerator up over the hump. Me inside the kitchen. I went to the laundry room window and opened it. Dennis lifted the heavy dolly in, and it just squeaked through. Then, Dennis had to climb up on a ladder, and got in, with just a few scrapes, but we had the dolly in the kitchen. I sort of felt like we were two thirds of The Stooges trying to figure this stuff out. But it worked.

We got the refrigerator leveled, plugged it in. We didn't hear it go on.

Dennis said he remembered that when we'd moved it before, it had to go through some defrost stage, probably because it had been moved, so we didn't panic too much. Eventually it did go on.

I mopped the rest of the floor.

We cleaned the inside of the refrigerator before we moved it, then we got the food all back into it.

After this, we cleaned off our table and chairs and moved those in--a much easier move, believe me!

We're about to have lunch and our first dinner in our new kitchen!

I don't know how many times Dennis kept going into the dining room to get something out of the refrigerator. Ha, ha. It's in the kitchen now!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Memory of James Arness of "Gunsmoke"

James Arness of Gunsmoke fame died, I found out, at age of 88. I don't know the details. I have just come on here to write this.

My husband and I remember the show "Gunsmoke" as we grew up watching it, and other TV westerns. I want to say it was on Saturday night.

Before the hour long show came along, the half-hour show called "Marshall Dillon" was on with the same characters, Doc, Kitty and Chester Good played by Dennis Weaver. And James Arness was Marshall Dillon.

We now watch the reruns of Marshall Dillon, and I find the shows well put together, the writers were able to set up a mystery and keep you guessing all the way to the end.

I was informed by my husband that James Arness started out as John Wayne's stunt double. Well, at 6'7" I think it was a good match up. He was recommended for the show, and I guess he never looked back. He seems to have been born to the role that made him famous. You gotta love his even-tone delivery, the fact he can look a killer straight in the eye and not back down, and yet he did he job. But every now and then, if there was a good reason to bend the rules a bit, he did, out of human compassion. Even his sound-alike brother, Peter Graves of "Mission: Impossible", you'd swear they were drenched with the air of inborn authority. He kept his character alive and interesting across five decades, and that is quite a feat, if you ask me.

Not in every show there is a show-down, and in fact the Marshall tries to avoid it. Sometimes his big fist punches someone who really deserves it. I think the punch hurt just as much.

Well, I just wanted to write this up as my small effort in memory of a great actor.

More tomorrow, as I give an up-date on the kitchen. I promise I'll get pictures in here as soon as I can.

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going Up?

I sometimes feel like I'm climbing stairs like this. In life and in my head.

But I wanted to report that my eBook is still selling. I get nervous when I visit Author Central on Amazon and see the stats going down. Wow, that's scary! The book had a two week sag and I thought, well that's it then. But it went back up and it has these jumps in sales, goes down for a few days, then it will go back up. Right now it's at #87,712. Not great, but not bad either.

So I want to thank everyone out there who has bought Vampire Ascending, and have told other people about it, or have had me as a guest on your blog, or have made a comment about the book. Thank you!

Also another thing I want to let everyone know--and it might sound like a broken record--but I cannot see my FOLLOWERS on any of my blogs. I lost being able to see those who have joined Muse, and now I have one new follower--my first follower--on Lorelei's Writing Journal--and I don't even know who it is. So, if you know who you are, let me know. Silly that I have this problem, but it began about 2 months ago. I can't bring it up either in my dashboard. What a mess, but I'll live. But I want people to know about it because they might be a little miffed that I'm not returning the favor and following them. I can't if I don't know who you are and don't have your link--so leave that too, if you want me to know.

In other news. They put in the new window in the kitchen yesterday, and today they put the finish on the cabinets and drawers. We're having trouble with the vent/light over the stove. It goes off. We are insisting they get a "professional" in here (like an electrician who has the know how/tools, etc.) to discover the problem. We think its old wiring.

Oh, and I see that my follower number on Muse is nearly reaching my age--wow. Muse is middle aged now. LOL! A Baby Boomer! Woohoo! Well, not really. But you get the drift.

I hope to do a little writing in the next few days, so if I'm not around, you'll know why.

All for now, everyone have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy June 1st!

I wanted to put up a bright picture of something June like, well, I like this photo of the lilacs.

I've been busy, but you knew this. I've just finished up with an interview with a starlett named Veronica Backhams and you can catch it here. Believe me this was an unusual interview given by someone who has never read a book in her life. (Supposed to be funny, ha ha)

I saw a car crash today. My first ever to witness it right in front of me. Sort of jarred me. Involved someone going through a red light, and the car in front of me went because he had the green. Again, look both ways even when you have a green light. I see people going through red lights all day long, turning in front of me--yeah! BIG BUS COMING! DUH!!!!

Those of you who have followed me know that I'm on my thrid book, second book is on its way to publisher's (yeay). I'm in the first draft of this thing. Began it while still working on second, and also having just sent first one off to Copperhill Media, back in August, I believe. I don't know why, but my brain doesn't stop working on something with my stories. While working on the second book I worked on ideas for the third one. Got scenes, dialogue and wrote them down. Didn't know where it would head. I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer. I'm never without an idea, or if I am, the idea will hit me usually in the worst places--like while I'm driving, or taking a bath, or sleeping (and I wake up with it and have to write it down).

Today was no different. I was working on how my ending would go. Just mulling things around. Sort of letting it take shape. There's a type of "think outside the box" sort of way with how my plots come together. The "A-hah!" factor sort of splats me in the face. I let it settle a little, after, think on how it will work. I do not outline. Outlining is not fun. I'm a girl and girls just wanna have fun. Right? 'Kay.

Having finished the second book, and now onto the third in a series, there must be a moment in every writer who writes a series that goes: "Huh. Now what?" In the second book you have to introduce more characters, and more problems--or portential problems. And hold back all sorts of secrets. Secrets even you don't know about. You have your villains. Oh, villains who might not be the main one, but dirty, lying bastards, and nasty bitches because you need your heroine to shine. If you've done a good job in the second book, introducing those new characters who may, at a moment's notice come to your heroine's aid, this is good.

But in my third book Sabrina is no longer on Earth, but has been sucked into a whole new world where vampires rule and even the elves can't go and help her because they would loose thier powers, and I've made it so that Sabrina is the onlyone who can travel back and forth through the ley lines to and from this world--so no one else can help her.

So, I've set this up so that she is alone, she has to find her cousin who was sucked through this portal, and she has to find her before it's too late. . . but it might already be too late. Hmmm...

Chickens lay eggs, and so do Turtles

For those of you who don't know my husband is park ranger and one of his main jobs is mowing. He has a large deck (72") Toro Zero T...