Monday, January 31, 2011

BLIZZARD WARNING!!!

I don't normally get hyper over the threat of weather, unless it's a tornado that's just down the road. Hail is not fun. Thunderstorms are oh so interesting and gives me goosebumps all over.

I hate ice storms.

Blizzards on the other hand, as long as I don't have to go out in them are the icing on the cake so to speak. I'm a naturalist. Weather is exciting for me to watch develop. If I were able to I would go chase a tornado. I'm about that crazy.

Living in the mid-west I grew up when winter was not mild as it has been around here, as of late (last 20 years). I lived through the Blizzard of '79-'80. Now, if you want to know how bad that was, look at what they are getting out east. Yeah. It was that bad. There was no place to put the snow, except in the center of the roads down town, and everyone began putting little things on their car antennas so that people would see them coming. My father drove semi and he was stuck out east for a whole month. That was crazy. He couldn't get home. I remember it was New Years Eve when the amounts of snow came down so quickly, that I had relatives unable to get home, on the other side of town, sleeping in my father's living room (when I still lived there)

So, when I hear this blizzard warning--the very least will be 14" of snow. But the amount of snow is not the hazard. The hazard is the blowing. A blizzard occurs when sustainable winds are at least 35 m.p.h. That's what will happen and this is coming in on Tuesday night into Wednesday. At one point the snow--they predict--will be coming down at 1-2" per hour. Add this to the blowing this equals white-out conditions.

My husband and I live in a rural area. A country road that is somewhat hilly. Our driveway is situated in a way that I've seen anything from 3 to 4 to 5 foot drifts created by the blowing winds off the field across from us. Even though my husband's other job is working for the forest preserve, and there is a truck with a plow on it, we won't be able to dig out and venture out on the morning of the blizzard. That would be crazy.

Since our jobs of driving the bus is in conjunction with NIU, and we believe they will shut down that day anyway, we are not going to be going to work. We've learned our lesson the hard way and almost didn't get back about 3 or 4 years ago. In fact it was insanity driving into town on a day when the snow was so bad we had to stop 3 times to clear the windshield wipers of snow. And get to work only to learn that NIU had closed down. (We at least got payed 2 hours for showing up).

So, it's quite possible we will be staying home on Wednesday. I will be working on the third book. I've got a gob of ideas to flesh it out. Not good that we loose pay, but you don't want to be driving in a blizzard. I don't even think we'll be able to get out of the house, in fact. I've seen where the drifts have accumulated up against the door!

Well, I hope the rest of you have better weather than we will. I'll be checking in later.

Ciao

Sunday, January 30, 2011

WORDSMITHING 101 ~ SUSPENSE

Suspense: 1). a state of uncertainty 2). the growing excitement felt while waiting for the climax of a novel, play etc.

Do you put suspense in your novel/stories? Suspense writers are best at knowing how to milk a scene, or put you on the edge of your seat throughout the book.

You don't have to be a suspense writer to add suspense and tension to your scenes. In fact your work will become more well-rounded if you do. If you have not quite grasped the theory as to how to bring suspense to a scene I've got it all here in just a few key words:

Action
Thoughts
Dialogue
Description
Emotions


When I know that I've got a scene that I want to milk, or any scene where I want to pull and hold the reader, the above sequence is what I like to use.

Action of the players: What is happening, and why.

Thoughts of the character you have chosen to be in their head: what are they thinking, show the process.
Dialogue: This can be between two people who are in danger, or it can be between two people who are at odds, the villain and the hero.

Description: the scene, and other aspects surrounding your character(s). You can put in here the tension, what their inner worries and concerns are. What are they going through?

Emotions also play a roll, as well as the physical aspects. Is their pulse hammering? Just saying they're frightened isn't enough. Make the sweat roll off their brow. If they've run away from danger, they should be breathing heavily, trying to catch their breath.


When you go into the scene you'll decide which to lead off with, and then you take each aspect and you use each in turn, or mixing it up when you need to.

This can also work in scenes which have nothing, or very little to do with life and death situations. I've used it in a scene where my sexual vampire is after a kiss from my protagonist. Sabrina is enthralled by Jett, unable to resist him, even though he isn't a sanguine (traditional) vampire, but he's quite charming and alluring. I wanted the scene to last, mostly because this moment was important to set things up between Sabrina (heroine), and the main character for the rest of this book. I saw the potential here to give the two some tension, demonstrate what sort of pull Jett has on her, why or how she is attracted to him, and why he could be potentially dangerous to her, if she falls for his charms.

By milking the scene with dialogue, thoughts, action, description ect., I was able to work up a full page, maybe a page and a half before she realizes the danger she is in.

Try this tecnique the next time you think you have a scene that seems flat, and you need the tension to escalate things a little bit.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Week In Review

I don't often have such a week that I need to review it. Plus, since being busy writing the third book, I've relied on Sumiko and interviews to sort of fill in the gaps here. So, here it goes.

Earlier this week my husband and I went to the grocery store to pick up some things we needed. We went through a cashier's line who I don't often see, remember speaking to her and was pretty sure she liked vampire books. So, I was eager to tell her about my book coming out.

She isn't 21 (couldn't check out our wine and beer), has very dark, long hair, wears false eyelashes with a lot of eye-liner. One of the first things she says to me is "Have you ever had a bird fly and hit you in the head?"

We laugh. "No," I said. "Where did it hit you?"

"Right here, in the back." She pointed. "I've never had that happen before."

"I'll have to use that in a book," I said and when she gave me the "What?" look, I said, "You didn't know I'm a writer? My vampire novel just came out, and I had a book signing at Borders. . ."

The girl--I learn later her name is Jeni--was quite excited. She asked me where my book was, and I told her, then she tore off a sheet of the receipt paper and asked for my autograph. I told her the books I have left are all autographed, as far as I knew.

"Well, I'm going there tonight!" she said. "I'm taking my friend too."

So, I also told her that the book had a facebook page and to please join it. Which she did, and that was great!

The very next day, because I drive the bus that goes through this grocery store's parking lot, I like to hop off and take a little break. When I came back out of washroom, one of the managers stopped me.

"Didn't you write a vampire book?" she asked me.

"Yes," I told her. She'd seen the article in the paper. She told me she wanted to pick it up for her granddaughters. When I realized they were only 10, I did caution her it had adult themes in it. Well, she said she'd still buy it for her daughter to read.

This showed me that people do still read papers (ha-ha), and books--which is good. I'm still waiting for anyone who has bought my book to finish it and tell me what they think. One person I work with had just begun an on-line class and wasn't able to continue reading it. Saying to me it was "a bit spicy", but I knew that was a good thing to him. "I think I'll give it to my wife to read," he said. Hummm. That might be a plan.

The young man who works for the Northern Star said he would be checking out the information I gave him this week, so, this is still in the works. I know that he has the entertainment column, and when he needs something to fill in--when there isn't something more entertaining in DeKalb--he'll use it. I'm looking forward to seeing this story hit a 3rd paper in the area.

Meanwhile I've finished the second book in Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz and have begun the third. I'm enjoying these books. There's the strong sense of Koontz tongue-in-cheek style, and this series offers him to really take advantage of speculative fiction, science fiction and alternate history, combine them into a story that is spell binding and give us characters to cheer for and really despise or hate, and some are innocents that you want to see have their day. I love that the megalomaniac, Victor Helios aka Frankenstein, has no idea how things are flying out of control while he thinks he has his army of pre-programed tank-made humans poised to take over the world.

I've also been approached by a reviewer at another writing post to review my book, but I have no way of sending him an electronic copy myself. I'm on dial up. I'll have to see if my publisher wants to mess with this. I'm still waiting on something he is setting up for me as well--a review and interview???

I've been able to get back into the 3rd novel of this series I'm writing, and am working into a character's emotional arc--I guess this is what it's called. All I know is that emotions of two characters over lost loves must be addressed in order to strengthen their bond of friendship. Although the man, Jett, is a vampire, he is not a sanguine vampire, however must stay out of sunlight, but he needs to feed from emotions induced by sex. Something Sabrina needs to avoid doing with him, and she well knows it.

That's it for my week in review. I really didn't expect people to approach me about my book, but that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sumiko's Reads ~ Potato Chip Books



These are real potato chip books: You can't have just one. There are three so far with a fourth book due out in March. (Thank goodness – I don't want to wait too long!)by Seanan McGwire

They are (so far):
Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night


The titles all come from Shakespeare and we are entering a modern version of the world of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  October Daye is a changeling - in Seanan McGuire's books a changeling is of mixed human and faerie parentage.  When the time came for her to choose worlds - she chose her mother's people.  Her mother is pureblood Daoine Sidhe.  As a halfblood, October (nickname:  Toby) has some of their gifts - the main gift of the Daoine Sidhe is for blood magic. You meet a lot of different faerie folk in these books and even when the names of the races of faerie are familiar, I do not know enough about them to judge how much is traditional and how much McGuire has changed for her own versions.

When we meet Toby she is on a stake-out. She has used her blood magic gifts to become a successful p.i.  She is also a knight in the court of her local faerie lord Sylvester Torquill.  I started the book and there she is on a stake out and her husband calls and she talks to her daughter and I thought, "how nice, a p.i. with a normal family life." Of course, this was doomed. And the rest of the book deals with her dealing with the results of that first chapter.  (See - trying not to spoil!)

Having read the books in quick succession, I noticed that Toby seems to become more and more entrenched in the world of faerie in each book.  And we learn a little bit more about her background in each book. There are things about her life that even Toby doesn't know the whole truth about and based on the little sneak peek chapter at the end of An Artificial Night - it appears that we are going to go deeper into it soon.

I love the mixture of magic and detective fiction. That's why I love the Dresden Files - both the books and the tv show (oh how I miss Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden - sigh) and this is a nice mixture of the two genres.   If you enjoy that mix: definitely try these books.



Seanan McGuire is an urban fatasy writer, and also writes modern horror under pen name of Mira Grant

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Please Welcome Vic Jones to Lorelei's Muse


Vic is a fellow writer who likes to write poetry, fantasy, science fiction, and pretty much anything. He has been working his craft pretty much like the rest of us, in between moments when we are not working. I've been able to nail him down for a few questions today so we can get to know him better.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from, and where you live.

I live in Redding California. I grew up in a small town that is about 110 miles north of Redding but it is still in California. When I left home I spent several years in Phoenix Arizona and six years in the US Army.

How and when did you become interested in writing?

I first started writing poetry about 31 years ago. I was in my teens but never saw any market for poetry so didn’t try to do much with it.

What were your first stories like?

I first attempted a novel after reading a Zebra (I think the company is now defunct) book (Romance) and deciding that if something that poorly written had been published by a commercial publisher I could do at least that well.

I tried my hand at a Sci-Fi story that is still sitting in parts on my hard drive. I then took a hiatus from all writing until I found Author Nation.
Actually I started a Blog at Blogspot in 2006 (it can be read at http://aethernotespolyblog.blogspot.com/

Did you have encouragement by a teacher, or friends to continue?

When I was a sophomore in high school one of my teachers noticed what I referred to as a doodle with words. She said it was an interesting poem. Until then I thought poetry had to be lyrical or at least have a meter. She encouraged me to write and that year I did several haiku style poems and a few others (all lost in the dust of time…) I continued to write poetry on and off even now.

Have you had obstacles in the way of publishing?

I honestly have never thought I had any chance at being published by what is now considered to be the traditional route. I’m not much of a salesman so I don’t know how I’m going to do on a nontraditional publishing route but I decided that I want to hold a book that I have written.

What is your inspiration to keep writing?

Self-defense! I read huge volumes of writing and cannot afford to buy as much reading material as I would like to, so I write new stuff for my own entertainment.

What genre do you write mostly?

I write eclectically the same way I read. If it interests me then I have at least given it a whirl. My current projects are a medieval style fantasy and an urban fantasy. I have a hard Sci-Fi project started but don’t have time to do the research necessary for it. I also have been working on and off over the past two years on a collection of quips and quotes. They are all what might be considered short wisdom sayings. The title of this one is Lessons from The Hard Knocks School of Life and I consider each quote or quip to be a lesson.

I understand you have a book about to be published, can you give us a synopsis of it?

The project that I have closest to completion is Castlebound which is a medieval fantasy. It is not set on Earth or if it is earth it is earth as it never existed. Magic works in Castlebound and the heroine is bound by magic to a castle because she is the princess.

How long did it take you to write it?

Approximately two years though that was the first draft. The bulk of it was done in 2008 when I experienced a layoff from my regular job. During that time I wrote up to 1000 words a day. Therefore in 40 days I had approximately 38,000 unedited words in a loose novel that just needed to be fleshed out and have an ending. I spent the next 20 months adding to the story and polishing bits of it.

Did it take a while for you to find a publisher for it, and how hard or easy was that for you?

I am not intending to even try to sell this one to a traditional publisher. I am working with Letting The Ink Dry www.lettingtheinkdry.com/ to get an edit done so that I feel that the book is as good as it can be.

What are your writing aspirations for the next year/what do you hope to accomplish in that time?

Hopefully Dana at Letting The Ink Dry and I will feel that we are ready to go to the presses with Castlebound. I would also like to find some markets for my poetry and to that end I’m going to be entering some competitions. Beyond that I have an outline started for a sequel to Castlebound that is not yet titled that I have been working on.

What is Vic Jones’ typical day like?

Like most aspiring authors I have a day job. I do enjoy what I do and barring winning the publishing lottery will probably continue to work as long as I’m able to work.

How many hours on an average do you write in a week/day?

I try to do a little writing every day but as it is a hobby I don’t worry too much about a production schedule.

What is it about writing you like the most?

I like discovering other worlds and the way that characters come alive for me.

I understand you have a blog?

My blog is at http://aethernotespolyblog.blogspot.com/ mostly I’m posting poetry and an expanded version of Lessons from The Hard Knocks School of Life. I also post short pieces on any other subject I find interesting. It is a eclectic collection of my writing about what interests me from moment to moment.

Where can people find out about your book, and when is it's publishing date?
The website for my novel(s) will be www.author-vicjones.com/ I don’t have a firm date for Castlebound but have every hope that an e-book or other format will be available sometime this year.

Thank you, Vic. And I wish to put in that Vic's niece is his artist who has done the rendition of the book's cover above. She's very good, and I think the cover conveys the main plot of the story line.

We will be checking in with you from time to time.

Bloging In A Black Hole

I really had no good title, but this morning I was writing about black holes, and it sort of stuck with me. Although black holes are quite fascinating, and I bring it up in my third book.

If you're reading this today, that means you are not a Packer or Bears fan, or a football fan in general. I'm not a huge fan, and frankly I don't give a hoot who wins. Someone will go on to the Super Bowl--Oh, can I say that without being sued???--and get a big ring. My husband will be watching it. I will be working on my book(s).

Anyway, here is the week's up-coming posts: I've got a new interview to bring to you this week, and Sumiko has been busy reading, what with having a few weeks off, and I have a new post from her. I know she's read several books and thus I'll be getting her reviews in like clock work on a weekly bases for a while.

My interview this week is with Vic Jones. I came to know Vic from being on a writer's site called Author Nation. He writes fantasy, sometimes he dabbles in science fiction, and has been working on his book Castlebound for a few years, and hopes that it will be published in some form this year.

I discovered Author Nation when I first got on-line back in 2008. This writing community gave me a chance to connect with other writers who also were working on their books and poetry, and I began to gain readers/friends there, which now number at about 56 or 57 I think. Vic, a platinum border, has always been there to help me, and others, with anything we had trouble with. Sometimes we merely sent quick PM's to one another on things dealing with our craft. He was sometimes the only one who would give me feedback on something I may have posted. I liked the very easy way of posting even whole chapters there at Author Nation without someone snarling at me that it was too long. It is merely advised that you make note of it being long.

At any rate, I wanted to give Vic some exposure here at my blog, introduce him to everyone, and hope some of you leave a short message to welcome him and wish him luck. I'm sure you'll find the interview interesting. I will post the interview later on tonight. I hope you'll stop in throughout your busy week to check it out.

Friday, January 21, 2011

IT'S FRIGGING COLD!!!


It was minus 8 when we got to work, this morning around 6:30 am! My bus was only 17 degrees, and it had been running maybe a half hour. I had to wear a coat--yes I had tights on under my jeans, and had layers on, thick glove, hat, scarf. . .
By 7:30 I think my bus' interior temp was up to 37 degrees. The sun came up and that did very little good, but at least it was no longer minus, but single digits.

I'm sure you'll excuse me while I go jump in a hot tub of water! BRRRRR!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cryoburn & Bards of Bone Plain ~ Sumiko's Reads



It's been a long winter's nap, and Sumiko is raring to go on giving us a look at two author's books!

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (lots of info on Bujold and the Vorkosigan Saga online)
Her blog:http://www.myspace.com/loismcmasterbujold/blog/540756904
Cryoburn is the latest addition to the Vorkosigan Saga. In this case we are treated to the further adventures of Miles Vorkosigan in his position as Imperial Auditor rather than as his alter-ego Admiral Naismith. The Vorkosigan books are excellent space adventures with interesting characters who you care about. They follow the adventures first of Cordelia Naismith and Lord Aral Vorkosigan and then later of their son Miles. They live in a future where humans have spread out across the galaxies and thrived devising all manners of systems of living/governance.

The first book is Cordelia's Honor which is about Cordelia and Lord Aral. I love the character of Cordelia so much and yet, she is actually a supporting character in the series which is really about her son Miles. The saga traces Miles life from his birth onward. In Cryoburn, Miles arrives at Kibou-daini (a planet) ostensibly as part of a diplomatic trip but actually to investigate a "cryo-corp" that is trying to expand into Barrayan territory. The book is fast paced and fun to read. I am trying to decide if it is something that you could read without earlier introduction to the Vorkosigan Saga but really, Bujold is such a wonderful storyteller that I encourage anyone who hasn't read the Vorkosigan books to at least try to dive in with this one or go find the earlier ones. The publishers of Cryoburn have made this delightfully easy by including a CD that has all of the Vorkosigan books on it including this one. They encourage their readers to burn the disk and give it to friends - which I thought was an interesting plan on their part.

In contrast, the Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia McKillip is very much a fantasy. The author has been a favorite of mine since I read the Forgotten Beasts of Eld and the Riddle of Stars Trilogy in high school. Actually, the trilogy was still coming out and I'm not sure that the final book didn't come out until I was in college. It is possible that the Riddle of Stars is in my mind because this book reminds me of those ones. It could be the setting, the importance of music and language in this world. It is the story of a[Scholar] Phelan Cle a young man who is researching Bone Plain as his final project prior to graduating the bard school, his father Jonah Cle an archaeologist who is excavating sites around the city and Princess Beatrice who is assisting him. To me it felt as though this was a world similar to that of The Riddle Master books but much further along in time. The lives that people lived were an interesting mix of contemporary and fantasy/medieval. I really loved the setting, the characters and the language.

Of course, reminding me of the earlier books didn't hurt but I felt like these characters and this story was much more memorable to me than most of what she has written in between. I love the way she writes families and schools and I love her use of language.

Sumiko

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steam Punk Me


After a day driving around in the slush around NIU, and dealing with the whole Students Are BACK-AHHHH! thing I'm home, wondering if there's a piece of chocolate that's large enough to just make me feel better. Probably not. I need a bubble bath, but all out of that. Need champagne--ooo, got that. But waiting for a better ocassion.

So, the whole 7 hours of driving my #2 bus from campus, downtown and doing the complete circle it does 14 times a day, I"ve been thinking about my third book. Yeah. The reason being is that the minor characters are now introducing themselves to me. Not only that, because I write fantasy and can do just about anything I want
I'm seeing some potential here. My character, Sabrina Strong, has accepted (grudgingly) that she is a sibyl and has responsibilities--not all, but the part about ridding the earth of certain dangers is okay, as long as she doesn't get blood on her new coat.

So, she is able to go into other worlds. The thing is she has gone to this other world to find her cousin who has been sucked through a portal. That's the mystery part. The other part was that this world also has one certain historical character--he was both historical and fictitious. Okay, I'll tell you. I've put Dracula, the Impaler in this, and he is a vampire. I wanted to hold this world at a point where modern technology has not yet happened. But by my own logic, if people from Earth keep on disappearing and are sucked into this world, the knowledge could also be there. Thus, I'm considering doing a bit of Steam Punk with this one.

I do know that there is one book I'd like to check out at B&N, but I can't think of the title and I know it came out maybe over the summer, I don't know. I remember the book's cover, and it seemed there was a lot of blue, a couple of people on the front. I'll have to go back to check it out, I hope to at some point. But if anyone out there has any good Steam punk titles to throw at me, I wouldn't mind taking them into consideration.

I already know I'm going to have a character who is considered an inventor by his siblings. He's young adult and just this past week he has been coming into focus more and more. His name is Joha. He is one of Dracula's sons. I know that we, as writers, all have someone we pattern a character after, in looks or personality. It's fun to do this. Joha has been always sort of dower, quiet. At first he played the guitar, but now I'm seeing him in a new light. He is quite the inventor.

So, as I sit here trying to get my brain back into place--some day they may discover that bus driving causes minor concussions and brain damage results. I'll use it as my excuse, anyway.

Now that I'm busy, I'm not able to post as much. A lot of my focus will be on the WIP's. I won't get around to everyone that I'd like and I hope you'll all forgive me. I'll do a little more on the weekends.

Tomorrow I will be posting a new Sumiko REads. I think these might interest those of you out there who like these incredibly imaginative fantasies.

Next week I hope to put up an interview of someone I've come to know on another writer's site, and he is not yet published, but he works very hard at it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Interview With James Garcia Jr.



I'd like to welcome to my blog James Garcia Jr., author of Dance on Fire. James is a super guy to take time out to do this interview and I really think all of you will glean something from it.

What do you mostly write, or what genre?

First of all, let me thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to reach a new audience. I really appreciate getting to know both you and your audience.

I cut my teeth reading books like “The Amityville Horror”, “The Exorcist”, “The Entity” and “Headhunter” by Michael Slade, so naturally I began writing horror. Later, after I began going to church, I went through a phase where I thought I should write more for God. Eventually, I realized that, although I was a Christian, I liked reading books and watching movies that kept me on the proverbial edge of my seat. With that in mind, at least with this vampire series that I am writing, I backed off some with the sex, violence and profanity, aiming more for a PG-13 rating. That may not always be the case, however. There are some real tear-jerkers within me that want to come out, but there are some darker things, too. I think with sex, often less is more, perhaps with the violence as well. With the language, one must realize that, were we to be chased by a crazed killer, we wouldn’t exactly be yelling “shoot” and “darn it”. Lol.

How many hours on an average do you write in a week/day?

I’m a terrible example right now for writers, because I am not writing every day the way we should. I have spent the past year doing PR for my debut novel. During the time that I was looking for representation, I managed to write the sequel very quickly. On the other hand, I am writing. I write for my blog; I write twice a month for the Wicked Writers blog and sometimes for others; I write once or twice a month for a local on-line magazine where I live called Kings River Life Magazine. Were it not for my day job, I would be writing every day.

Do you have a blog?

Yes. Like many of us, all that we want to do is write. Unfortunately, we have to help sell what we have created. My publisher was kind enough to build one for me, since I knew nothing about the subject before I began. Then she handed me the keys, as it were. Now I have to keep it going. I try to use it as my platform, not only for my writing, but for my life as well. You won’t find out a lot about my kids and home life, but you will read reviews if I stumble across a superb film or novel or CD. I try to keep it interesting the best that I know how. http://jamesgarciajr.blogspot.com/

What are your writing aspirations for the next year/what do you hope to accomplish in that time?

Well, I am 42 years old and started this entirely too late. Were I 19, I would quit my day job and simply write. With one novel ready and another in the wings, I felt that I should push the PR machine in order to see what might happen. If little did, at least I would have no regrets because I had achieved the dream, which was to simply see a novel finished. Seeing it published has been a dream come true and a wonderful miracle. I will have the second novel in the series, Dance on Fire: Flashpoint, published in early 2011. After that, we’ll see. The series will extend at least one more novel, but there is the beginning of a haunted house story within me that has really begun to bubble to the surface. Yet, if 2011 ends up being a real busy year with little success, then I may have to back off. You will see why that is with the next answer…

What is James Garcia's typical day like?

Well, here’s the reason why I may be so unorthodox. I am a supervisor at Sun-Maid Raisin Growers of California. I am up at 3:00 am and in the office by 4:00 am. I work nearly eleven hours, five days a week. This leaves very little time for everything else. I have about 5 hours each day to spent time with my wife, my two sons, run errands, keep up with the house, keep my blog active and keep up with the blogs of others, write posts for others, write articles for the magazine I work for, etc. It isn’t easy. On the other hand, I really am living the dream. Yet, I cannot keep up this pace for long. In one more year, I will be making some serious decisions as to the value of pushing myself as hard as I have.

How and when did you become interested in writing?

I discovered hard rock music about the same time that I discovered horror novels. When I realized that writing song lyrics (thinking that I might want to pursue music) was too restricting, I moved over to much longer works. I suppose one might say it must have been part of the grand scheme of things.

What is it about writing you like the most?

Being creative has always been easy for me. I have told others that it is simply as if there are movies playing within my head, and all that I have to do is write down what I see. There’s also that part of me that seems to crave being artistic or creative. It’s just what I do. My mind is pretty quick when it comes to making things up.

How did you choose your publisher?

I spent about 18 months combing the Internet for an agent or publisher. The first place that I queried loved the novel and offered me a contract. Hours later I found out that it was fraudulent and I got out. It was very disheartening, as one might expect. It is very important that authors vet out who they query. There’s a lot of lying, cheating and stealing going on out there, so one must be cautious. Next came the months of anguish. Actually, with my novel being a crossover horror/Christian story, I can well imagine that it isn’t an easy sell. Eventually, I found Vamplit Publishing. They were a new house just getting started that loved anything vampire (hence the name). My publisher wasn’t scared off by the religious overtones.

Is this an eBook, or POD publisher?

Vamplit is an e-book publisher, primarily, because that is the future. However, knowing that not everyone has yet to embrace the notion, we are just beginning to produce paperbacks, too. My novel, Dance on Fire, is the first. As e-books continue to take off, we hope to be ahead of that. We have a rapidly growing stable of writers and their novels in our second year of existence, and should find ourselves in a good place very soon.

Do you have any up-coming events?

Hopefully before the summer is here I will be holding signings. In the meantime I am simply casting the net out further. I just created some press kits and am getting in contact with newspapers and magazines in my area. At the same time I am talking to retailers about partnering up. It is very new right now with more details to follow.

What is your Work In Progress? And when do you hope to get it out there?

My third novel in the series is only an outline at the moment. As I said before, I want to see what this year has to offer before I begin clearing what little time I have now in order to schedule time to write. Since this whole writing career is a work in progress, perhaps events will shape what things will come. I really don’t want to quit writing, but something will definitely have to give in order for me to keep up this pace.

What advice would you give beginning/struggling writers?

We have to ask ourselves why we are doing this. Is it merely a hobby and simply for the creative enjoyment for ourselves? Or is it a deep desire that will strangle us if we do not let the stories out? We should be reading and writing daily. Now, If only I had the time to take my own advice…



I saw that you said that it took you 20 years to write this book and get it published. What kept you from writing?

I have fun telling people that Dance on Fire took 20 years to write. I love to see their facial expressions. The truth is I was in school when I began writing this piece. Soon I was married and beginning my Sun-Maid career. Our two sons followed as did home ownership. My wife quit working and went back to school in order to begin a teaching career. We sold our first home and then built another. I went from being a regular worker to becoming an Administrative Supervisor. Perhaps more importantly, there was some maturing that needed to happen as well. After several failed attempts at jump starting the novel, I finally came to a place in time where I realized the magnitude of the regret that I was going to have. It was then that I was able to dust the novel off and see it completed.

Thank you Jimmy for coming to my blog. I think we can all related to many of the things you've said here.

Thank you once again for offering me this platform, Lorelei. If your readers take nothing else from this interview, I hope it is this: have no regrets. Thankfully, my novel has been read by many and they seem to like it. If I end up being only a minor local celebrity, then so be it! I will go to my maker with a few regrets in life, but none will have anything to do with not chasing the one dream that I have had since my youth. I’m an author now and no one can take that away.
I hope that you all see your dreams come true as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I've Lost My Days!


Is it Sunday, or Saturday?

Well, I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday to me. I go back to work next week. I actually have to finish off the break service tomorrow, and Monday, since it is a holiday which the University observes. I have a 6-day work week coming up. But I will also make OT. That will help bring our money back up quickly, after the lay-off. We would have been scraping the barrel, if it weren't for taking the Unemployment. As much as we hate the job, the money will get caught back up.

As I begin back to work, I'm going to have to do less posts in here, since I've been working on edits on the next book, but this doesn't mean I'm not going to be around.
I've been working on interviews with other writers. And not just authors, but those who are not yet published, struggling to get there.

Why would I interview those of you who are not yet published? Or, even those who have had some short stories, poems, or whatever, published--the things that we all work at while working on the novel we want to get out there. You are all Writers In Progress. You are learning your craft, you all share the ups and downs, the frustrations, having to work to make a living, married and have children, or single. It matters not, your voice is important. I've been there more years than I care to mention. The lows were really low. But the highs have been terrific. I had always wondered why writing magazines didn't want to publish stories of struggling writers. The only place I've seen come close was By Line. It was more open to struggling writers back in the '80's but I suppose they needed to compete with The Writer and Writer's Digest, etc., and changed their "friendly to wanna bee's" format and became tougher to get into. I have not checked them out in years. They probably still have something called "First Sales" which is a nice way to earn a little something, get the by line and be in print again.

Those of you I have met around me--my neighbors in Blogspot--have the blog going and you pour out your heart and souls and triumphs and so on at your blogs. But I've always felt that we all need to come together somewhere at one place, tell a little something about ourselves, our desires, and sort of like a gathering of friends. I'm going to call it The Coffee Klatch. Here we all get a chance to air our stories. Each week I will host a new writer interview on my blog--hopefully I will get enough of you brave enough to do this.

So, this is what I'm doing for the next few weeks and months, see how this goes. I'll have the Author In Progress banner to display the announcement. Because that is what we all are, whether we are in print or not. Even after that first book the writer does not stop learning the craft, does not stop wanting to master something in writing that perhaps they feel that they could do better at.

My first interview will be with author, James Garcia Jr. I will announce when it will be posted. I will use the picture above to announce it and then the next day post it. (Until I find a better picture, that is)

My hope is to get to everyone out there who wants to do this. I'll come around and ask, or if you wish you may leave a message at this or any of the interviews, that you'd like to have your moment at the Coffee Klatch (I may find a suitable picture for this instead), and I'll place it on my sidebar so that I can place the name of the writer for that week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit--Jump into the New Year


Chinese New Year is Feb. 3. Year of the Rabbit. I am not going to try and rearrange your belief in the zodiac's 12 signs. Hey, we have 12 months. There is no 13th month, so do not despair.

The Chinese have a different way of working the zodiac, it's the year you were born in, rather than the month. So, if you were born in 1939, 1951, 1975, 1987, or 1999, you are a lucky Rabbit! You are talented, articulate, affectionate, yet shy, you seek peace throughout your life. Your ideal mate would be a Sheep or Boar. Stay clear of the Cock. (yeah...knock it off back there!)

I've just found a post on the good old zodiac for writers, today, and I'm willing to share it here.<a

There's some good news for all of us, here at this post, so go head on over and read yours. I did. Virgos, we're finally on the up-swing. We'll see more stability in my writing and life! I know without a doubt I must hone my marketing skills.

Happy New Year!

Margo Kelly: WHAT'S YOUR SIGN? ... Root of Personality Disorder...

Margo Kelly: WHAT'S YOUR SIGN? ... Root of Personality Disorder...: "**disclaimer: please read this post with the jest (aka sarcasm) intended; if you're offended, please mention this post on your blog and on t..."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photos From Book Signing



Pictures courtesy of John Zingale, my "photographer".
It was a fun afternoon. I met a lot of people and saw a number of old friends too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

23 BOOKS SOLD!

People were out shopping Saturday afternoon in droves, as we drove through the shopping area where Borders is situated. Just as I'd thought, the bookstore had a good crowd milling through as my husband and I swung into Borders at 2:20, a little before I was expected for the book signing. I sighted the table with the red table covering with the Borders logo on past the middle of the store.

Julie Morsh, manager of the DeKalb Borders, must have known something about the draw the news article would have, the number of friends and family who would come out to buy a book. And going by my very first book signing three years ago—in which I sold 17 our of 24 books—she must have known to order an extra dozen—36 books—for this event. A very good thing she did. I would have sold out!

Julie greeted us, and while I was in the washroom prepping myself, she went and got us both huge cups of decadent coffee with a bit of chocolate stuck into the cloud of whipping cream. On the house. She also gave me a pen for signing—also mine to keep. I love to be catered to. She also said thank you to me! I think she knew I'd sell a lot of books.

I ran into old friends who had seen the article. One friend, Connie, had said she came by because she'd seen the article in the MidWeek. I've not seen her in ages! I worked with her more than a dozen years ago, and hadn't seen her in at least that long. She wasn't a vampire novel fan, she merely came by to say hi and tell me how excited she was, and thought it was great that I finally had a book published. She, like all who knew me that long ago, knew my fervent dream was always to have a book published. Right after she left another woman who I had worked with in the same place had brought two daughters with her, and I believe I sold 3 to her.

Another old and dear friend, John R. (who also on occasion does the John's Corner of Horror posts at my blog), brought his daughter and, as promised, they each bought a copy and wished me the best. They are both vampire enthusiasts.

After this, things began happening pretty quickly, and I was signing books, and having pictures taken and talking to people about the book. Dennis also gave his two thumbs up and told people about the book, and how he felt this was my very best work.

Various relatives showed up; my sister came with her husband—and I was so happy that she could finally come to one of these, the very reason I made sure it was in the afternoon—and then my husband's niece strolled in and bought 3!

A few more relatives showed up and bought at least one each. Strangers who are into vampire novels couldn't help but buy a copy. Julie had set me up right next to the vampire section; exactly where I wanted to be in order to catch the eye of more vampire novel enthusiast.

My photographer, John Zeningale made it, after having driven all the way from New Jersey from a business deal—through snow, no less. He hadn't expected to make it at first, but he had text messaged me on facebook the night before that he was on his way, and would be there. These are his pictures I've posted here, and have more at facebook. Thank you John!

Others I know through work came and bought a copy. And my pile of 36 books were really dwindling. I'd lost count at some point and as it was getting toward the end, we counted and came up with 23 books.

The surprise of the evening was a reporter from the DeKalb Chronicle came in to interview me. I'd met this young man, Michael Brown, from when he worked for the NIU paper, The Northern Star. He had interviewed me two years ago—not about my book at the time, but he knew I had published before. It was nice to see him. I found out that it was the news release that my editor, Yolanda, at Copperhill Media had sent out that had caught the editor's eye, and he sent Michael to get the full story. Michael said that because I'm a local person, this might get front page (Ill have to see how this comes out).

Afterwards, my husband, his sister, my sister and her husband and I, all went out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. That was great. We toasted to the incredibly great book signing. I couldn't have wished for it to turn out better. And we joked about getting a stretch limo to take us all to the first showing of the movie version of my book. (I wish!)

Sorry about the delay, when I got home from a celebratory dinner on Saturday, I found that may phone was dead! It took until today for the wires to be fixed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kindle - Review - Interview


My Book is on KINDLE!

Wow, did I sound justlike Oprah, or what?

And while you're at Amazon another review is up by “Sandpiper”. Here is a portion of what he had to say, and then you can go ahead and take a look for yourself.

“Let me say up front that I do NOT read vampire novels. . . My wife has read and enjoyed Stephanie Myer's “Twilight” series and even “forced” me to watch the movies with her. Still, I do not read vampire novels. . .

“However. . .I (reluctantly) agreed to review Lorelei Bell's “Vampire Ascending” and now you can call me “converted”. Maybe it was Bells' captivating writing style that drew me in more and more into the story, which made it difficult for me to put the book aside. Bell's greatest talent is writing like she speaks while still maintaining a high level style, which contributes to an enjoyable and fluent reading.”
read more here.
Sandpiper gave me 5 stars. Very generous. I don't know. I'm modest about my writing abilities. Some days I feel more like a monkey in sweats mindlessly hitting the keys, checking facebook and my blogs, etc.

My other news is there is another interview up on me, and book with J.L. Jackson at her blog today. You can go to see this here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion


This is picture with me holding my book in Borders where I'll be at this Saturday, 3-5

The article came out today in Midweek you can read it here--hopefully I got the link right.

My husband and I went to town to do some errands, and popped into the bookstore, mainly to find out if my books have come in. The young lady wasn't sure. She said they'd had a shipment come in, and it might be in, but she was the only one on the floor right then, and so offered to check later, and give me a call.

You know that hitting the panic button too early would be foolish. It's only Wednesday. So we picked up the latest MidWeek--3 copies--found my article and went to a bar and grill to have a small lunch to celebrate.

When we came home message on our phone was from Borders telling me that the books were in. All 36 of them! Wow. A dozen more than my first book signing with my first book. Julie must have big hopes on me to sell this book. Boy, I hope so.

Things seem to be working out. The books came, my story hit the paper at the right time. Oh, and Publisher's Clearing House sent me that special envelope they told me to watch for. I might win a million dollars a year, every year. Shoot, one million is all I could handle or even need right now. Sure would make last year disappear real quick.

Well, my new year is working out so far. Angels have a way of helping out on their end too.

Thanks Mom.

I guess I'd better not rest on my laurels and get back to work. I've only so many free days left!

Middles - Of Stories, that is . . . And Endings of my three weeks off


Hey! We got through the holidays! My husband and I got through the lay-off okay. Every cent going to bills with a little bit left over--in case of over-drafts. The good news is we won't be put out on the street. Yeay!

My three weeks off allowed me to work on my books--both second and third--and toward promoting the first one. I'm told it will be on Amazon Kindle soon. Probably the end of this week, in fact. So, all you Kindle people, get ready.

It's amazing what one can do when they have the time to do it. I'd love to do this for the rest of my life if only I could make money at it. But, hey, I keep on getting mailings from Publisher's Clearing House, so you never know. Right?

To the middle part of my post.

Everyone of you writers out there knows that the middle of your books could have the potential to sag if you don't do something exciting to keep things going. You need the Idea Train to be fed. (Idea Train is my word for it, I don't know what any of you like to call it, but I call it a train because once that train begins to move, it chugs along up and down mountains, no matter what.) If we relax our mind, not worry about finding that one or two things that would shock, or make the middle exciting, then, when you least expect it, it will happen. Like I've posted before, it's like a bolt of lightning when it hits.

When I'm writing, this is how it works. I write as much as I know--like driving at night with the lights on, you see only so far ahead. When I get what I can down, I quit. I may make notes because there are tidbits there, I just don't know how to connect them.

Usually while in the bath/shower--and some of you know that's when things hit you--or during the night, the idea will jell and solidify and become the full, or at least a portion of an idea. That's the exciting part of being a writer, when this happens.

And this is where I am, at this point with the third novel. Dark, scary things happen, and just when you allow your readers to relax, you spring a whopper on them.

Yesterday I wrote two new chapters. Nearly 4,000 words, but not quite. And later on, I went to my notes for the book and wrote some things down and this morning POW, BAM, WHAM! It was there.

All things must come to an end.
Not that I'm thinking too much about going back to work, but it's a niggling thought, I even had a dream about my boss last night--oooo, I hate those--even though I like my boss. But I'm capping off my 3 weeks in a wonderful way, I couldn't have planned it better--but actually I did!

My book signing is this coming Saturday. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be popping into the bookstore to make sure the books are in (if they're not we're gonna have problems selling no books!)

Its a good idea to go and get to know your book sellers, the people in the bookstore are there to help you, because you are there to sell some books--hopefully a LOT of them. So, if you do get a book signing, it's a good idea to go to the store, get to know the manager and people who work there. It's sort of nice to be treated like a celebrity. Because you are.

And, last but not least, my friend Jen Jackson, has agreed to post an interview on her post. I will make a separate post announcing it on Friday, when she has it up, and give her link on it then.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WORDS!


I love the odd words, the ones that are in our vocabulary which are considered colloquials. We don't think about them too much, until we need to use them in our writing and then wonder if we've spelled them correctly. I find mine in other books, and hopefully I've jotted them down correctly.

When you need a cold one at a bar & grill, it's called a
brewski or if you want two, brewskis
and the guy next to you tells you about his neighbor who
siccedhis dog on the paperboy just because he was in a bad mood. But then the dog chased a squirrel, which wasn't a squirrel, but turned out to be a skunk and they had to wash the dog several times, and Sudsed him up
and you really thought this guy was a dufus anyway because you can't wash skunk off a dog's fur. You turn back to your brewski and find the foam is really sudsy and ask for a new one.

You see how we use such words all the time because they are convenient and this post was easy-peasy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Dracula Film to begin shooting in Hungary


I realized I have not done any posts on vampires or Dracula in a while. Here's something news worthy.

Dario Argento's Dracula 3D fillm begins shooting in February

Italian director, Dario Argento, is promising his remake of the classic tale "Dracula" will be a "bloody, strong film."

Filming will begin in Hungary in February, then move to Italy. The Balsorano Castle has been scouted as a possible location.

This same castle has appeared in films such as "Bloody Pit of Horror, and Crypt of the Vampire--both Italian films.

Antonio Tentori has written the screen play for this version of Dracula and I read that he explores the more romantic as well as psycho dramatic elements of Bram Stokers story. The Bleeding Cool News reports that he doesn't hold back on the "allegedly inventive" gore scenes--one which apparently features wolves.

One thing that stands out is that the movie is set in the modern era.

No cast is announce as yet.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Re-e-e Jected!


Author's foreword: This post is not meant to discourage anyone. This is merely to give those of you who come to my blog and are part of the writing community, a look into a portion—just a portion—of what I have gone through (like every writer out there), trying to get a publisher, or an agent.

After so many years after, and now after having self-publishing my first book, Spell of the Black Unicorn, then having now published with a micro publisher, Vampire Ascending (2010), and Vampire's Trill (2011), I can look back remember and it doesn't hurt any more. Plus, I can now poke fun at them. Come along and laugh with me!


RE-E-E JECTED

Please Note: All queries/rejections were for my first fantasy book in the new millennium: Spell of the Black Unicorn I have no idea how many books I have written over the 30+ years to this point, but I still have boxes of mss., and have destroyed countless others from my very first years of trying to write.
All comments in italics are mine, and I take complete and total responsibility of them, and had a damned good time in doing it too.

#1 Rejection—Dated January of 2006
“Dear Ms. Bell,

“I very much appreciate your thinking of my agency with your recent query. Alas, however, my current plate is completely overflowing and I'm not able to take on any new clients at the present time.

“I'm very sorry and wish you all the best.” Susan Herner Rights Agency Inc. {I hate being passed up for gravy and mashed potatoes}

#2 Rejection—2/11/06: Stamped on the bottom of my query letter:
“I'm afraid your material doesn't suit our current needs and/or interests. STERNIG & BYRNE LITERARY AGENCY Written in ink: Sorry. My client list is currently quiet full JB” {I wondered how much they paid someone to stamp this on query letters and wondered if they had openings}

#3 Rejection—2-11-06:form letter“I was delighted to receive your query, and I have given it my most careful attention.

“Alas – and much as I hate to relay the news thru {yes, this is how it was spelled, if I had misspelled something on my letter, it would have been thrown away} this form response – the query was not quite intriguing enough to inspire me to offer representation or further consideration of your project.

“I am grateful that you have afforded me this opportunity to find out about you and your work, and I wish you the best of success with your current and future writing endeavors.”

Sincerely,
Joshua Bilmes, Proprietor {Nicely done. I smiled after, but was disappointed}

#4 Rejection—February of 2007: Scribbled across my query letter in blue ink: Not for me—thanks anyway from Paul S. Levine Lit. Agency {And you're definitely not for me, either, thanks for nothing}

#5 Rejection—February 9, 2006: very short letter I was surprised they used a whole sheet of paper!“Thank you for your query, but we are not interested.” Scribe Agency
{That's it pull it off quickly so as not to hurt sooo much}

#6 Rejection—Dated March 2006: form letter

"Dear Author,
We apologize for this form letter. We have been busy reading and evaluating numerous queries and manuscripts and we have no choice but to reply in this manner. We have received and read your query, and we have concluded that your material is simply not suited to our needs at this time. {when would be a better time? Tell me and I'll resend!!}

“Please, do not let this discourage you from your chosen art.” {as if it could. Please!}
“We wish you luck with your writing career. {What career? I need to make money before I can have one!}
Sincerely, Sedgeband Literary Associates, Inc.

#7 Rejection 5-4-06 form letter:
“Thank you for submitting your work to the Gislason Agency. I apologize for this form letter, which we adopted due to the volume of submissions we receive. After careful consideration, we have decided not to pursue this project. As I am sure you are aware, we receive many more submissions than we can possibly take on, and our process of selecting work is subject to the personal taste of our editors, and their subjective estimation of the commercial viability of the work. Since we did not receive a SASE with adequate postage for the return of your work, it was destroyed.

I appreciate having the opportunity to consider this, and wish you all the best in securing representation for your work.

Very truly yours,

Barbara J. Gislason
Literary Agent

{I liked #5 better. I didn't need a dictionary for it. Got to the point. Not painless but, I'm just saying . . .}

This is only a cross section of the queries I sent out for Spell of the Black Unicorn beginning in 2006. I had actually made queries in 03, 04, took 05 off to re-evaluate and rewrite the mss.

(Rejections from Daw Books, Roc, Imajinn Books, Forge forced me to concentrate on agents.)

During this time the rejections made me look simultaneously into POD. Author House sounded a bit shaky, from things I'd seen on-line at warning sites. Xlibris sent me a full-color magazine designed to confuse and befuddle with all the “extras” you could get. I did not like the fact that I potentially could spent $1,000 or more on having them basically print a book for me. I did not get back to them; they still call me leaving messages about 3-4 times a year.

So, there you have it in all it's glory, my own rejections for a book which I have had 4 book signings for. I have no regrets. None at all.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

To A New Year


This new year for me is about moving on, realizing a dream, and hopefully things will improve somehow.

2010 was a rough one on Dennis and I. Too many things to even go into, but if you've followed my blog, you know what I'm talking about. There was also sickness, ailments, backs going out, and a growth on a tongue that really had us worried. And don't even get me started on the phone company who yanked the cord on my Internet. You don't do that to a writer who's life-line is connected directly to the Internet.

Sure there were up times. We went on vacation, and that was wonderful, although feeling guilty for doing so since Dennis' mother was very ill.

Went and enjoyed a winter get away in a nice rustic cabin, wonderful food and a winter wonderland for us. We didn't know that we would have a lay-off, and we could have used the money from that, but I think that the getting away from things was more important.

Another up-side: My first vampire novel, Vampire Ascending has been published and I'm about to go to its first book signing. I hope a lot of people show up for this, I don't care if they don't buy a book. Showing up to support a writer is just as important. I was unable to afford to buy any books to sell hand-to-hand because of the lay off. I'm sure that I'm not the only struggling writer out there, from the blogs I visit on a weekly bases. We have to work to pay our bills. We don't have the option of quitting our day jobs. Many of you have families and that takes a big chunk of time out of your day as well. So, you find the quiet times during the night or early morning to write. We've all done it.

I've done it for so long, I'm quite used to the dialogues and scenes playing out in my head while at work--whatever job I had at the time. We're a unique group, creative people need our space. Mozart and Beethoven didn't create their wonderful masterpieces with people standing around them in a factory. I think Beethoven would have poked someones eye out with that baton.

I'd like to let it be known for those of you who may be new to this blog, that I've struggled for decades, trying to become published. My efforts often came to a screeching halt with one deadly rejection from one magazine, or an agent. The emotional break down of such rejections can really ruin ones day, week, month, whatever. I remember all of mine before I took the plunge into self-publishing. I may share a few of the rejections I've had at some point. Some may not be horrible, but the way they hit you, because you're so hopeful, is what stuns you. There was one black moment where I had been crying so hard upstairs that my husband came up to console me. I told him I'd given up. I didn't want to go through with it any more. What he told me to this day, I'm simply amazed at his ability to pick me up and then support me however he could. He said simply write because you want to. Don't worry about what anyone says, just write.

The message here is DON'T GIVE UP! If you give up, they have won.

In this new year I'm thinking of doing a few new interviews. I'd like to invite all my writer friends out there--unpublished or not--to allow me into your life as a working person, mother, writer, and get your thoughts, hopes, and whatever else you want to share. I was always amazed at how no magazine I approached thought that the lonely life of a writer who is struggling is not worth bothering with. Let me know if you think it is. Leave a message if you like the idea and would like to be part of this in the coming year.

I'm hoping to interview Ruth Brookshire of Indiana, who runs a small publication called Weed's Corner. She was the first publisher to take any of my poems, and then stories, articles and so forth, followed in the three years, I believe I was published in this quarterly. It wasn't my first published pieces, but the first place where I did get my poetry published, and after that I felt more confident. That's what it's all about. Someone gives you that grain of hope, being published anywhere tells you that you're actually "good enough".

So, on to 2011. I'd like to make more new friends and keep those of you who enjoy my interviews, quirky insights and my writing advice coming back for more.

I hope to see all of you in this coming year!

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 ...