Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holy Writing Cave, Batman!

Okay, yeah. I'm in a silly mood.
I've been not posting because I've been bizzzzzzy. 'Kay? Been in my Writin' Cave, this past ten days. I have not gone anywhere and have not seen anyone, except my huzzie for 4 days! I've become a hermit for sure.

Aside from working on 3 separate books all at once. (Yes I am deranged, but the doctor says that this won't hurt me a bit--so much for doctors.) These would be Sabrina Strong books #4 & 5, plus my Spell of the Black Unicorn which I hope to turn into an ebook in the coming year--Indie, of course.

During the second pass through of my fifth novel in the Sabrina Strong Series, I'm getting ideas for #6. I had the title: Vampire Requiem (tres cool?) Wellllll, you know. I always leave a dog-gone cliff hanger at the end of my books (at least lately).  And it works the same on me as it does the readers: I WANT TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT!!!

I've been making notes, just jotting them down on paper as well as in a word doc.--called #6 Notes. Then, last night I was about to open the 8th (and last one I have) in the House of Night series books, and these lines comes to me and I write them down:

Here's the original:

Vasyl shifted in the kitchen chair.
"Wait," Lindee said. "If you're gonna move, I'm gonna take off your ear." She stood with sharp scissors in her hand.

That's what I wrote down last night.
This original line (above), had my speaker in it. I took it out. Why spoil it for the reader? Make them get past that first line, get them into the scene and then you can identify the speaker. Am I wrong? Plus I rearranged things.

Then this morning I typed it up on my Notes, and saw how it could sound much better.(Revised):
"Look. I'll take an ear off if you move again."
I gaped at my cousin, Lindee, who wielded the scissors over Vasyl's head.
Vasyl made a little growl of annoyance. He sat in my kitchen blinking under bright overhead bulbs with a bath towel arranged over his shoulders. Clippings of his wavy hair on the floor looked like a black rug that ten cats had clawed and a dog had chewed for good measure. I had managed to gather a thick, wavy tail from the drastic cutting Lindee had done to my husband's hair for a keepsake.

So, this morning, with this first line glaring at me, I broke down and made a brand new document called Vampire Requiem. I don't do this--make a book document--unless I feel that something is flowing. I definitely felt it this morning.

I remember working on book #4. Feeling like I always do, asking myself will there be a "next book"? I never know. And then while I'm either working on edits or something, ideas begin to take form. I write them down, get thse scenes/dialogue writting out. And then BLAM! Like someone hit me over the head, I've got scene after scene just rushing out of me... I have to have a small hand-held recorder at times so that I can simply talk into it and get this crap down because it comes to me like lightning strikes and I know if I don't get it down it WILL BE GONE!

Yes. My next few books are a ways away from being published. But I don't wait to write them if they are there. I just came across a post I did on my other blog Lorelei's Writing Journal, and found something I'd written back in May of 2011 about Drakulya, who is in my third novel. This was almost two years ago, and I already had my scenes going for that third one--and this novel isn't even out yet. Gak!

So, that's my report coming up on the end of this year. Hope you all have a grand time ringing in the New Year! I'll catch you up later, my pretties.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Past

I've got a lot of Christmas past to remember. The fun times as a child. I'm not sure why my parents began the Christmas Eve of gift-giving. Maybe they didn't want to be awoken by us so early in the morning making noises opening gifts, as their bedroom was downstairs. But I remember somehow they made a production of Santa coming to the front porch and leaving the wrapped presents and going "HO-HO-HO!" as "he" left. My thought was that one of the older brothers was "Santa" doing the HOHOHO-ing. The presents were probably already out there before we even knew it.
Photo: Merry Christmas!
I remember a lot of snow in those days when I was a kid. There was a hill next to the church in our little town of 500 people, and they didn't have a plow, no one salted streets or sidewalks back then (yeah. I'm that old). We kids would take our sleds and we had a toboggan, and we'd have a blast sliding down that street!

On one Christmas Eve (I think), we were caught in a snow storm. I think it was in 1965 or something. Anyway we were coming back from visiting relatives in Aurora, and we couldn't make it home. I don't know where we wound up, but a family warmly allowed us to stay. Funny how my selective memory only remembers having gone into this house. Probably I was half-awake. I remember a grandfather clock. I remember it specifically because I thought that we walked into it. This may have been my creative imagination at work at such a tender age.

Later, after I married, my Christmases became super busy. There was a Christmas Eve with his family, mine, and then the next morning, we had our Christmas and then drove to Rockford to his grandmothers--a tiny house that somehow fit about 50-60 relatives--they had two hams, two turkeys, and lost of food. Gak! I was sick of all that celebrating and squeezing into the small attic at the tables they set up. It was so tight that once you got seated, you couldn't leave until all the ones in front of the door got up and left.

Eventually those days died out. One gathering of the family is now the norm. This year we couldn't go because of Dennis' back. Oh well. There's always next year.

But I do have lots of memories and pictures. I may have to pull those out and just reminisce.

I want to end this by saying THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS COME TO MY BLOG THIS YEAR!! Merry Christmas and I hope to see you in the New Year (2013!)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cat Agents & Me

I have to admit I've been in a funk (That's F-U-N-K, for all you  wisenhimers out there) for the past couple of months. My finances have been in the toilet lately, which is like worse than just tight. I'm now (husband included, bc we both work at same place) are laid off for 2 weeks. Christmas is not gonna happen in this house. It has been years since we put up a tree. Usually we've waited until the after Chirstmas sales to buy anything. Not this year.

Before I get someone to play the violin and get a weeping clown in here, I don't want anyone to leave a "you poor schmuck" message. This was going to be an up-beat post. And it will be. I promise. Just indulge me a little further if you will, this has a happy ending... sorta.

Photo: If I  were to get an agent, they would probably look something like this...
For the longest time I thought agents were human and come to find out they are not. I tried to get one for maybe a dozen years. Each time I wound up crying for about 4 days and then I quit querying all together. You can't keep on getting your face bashed in and like it and want to do it all over again. (and sure they say it's not personal, but seriously, it feels personal).

had to share ...
And this was me for aprox. 30 years of trying to get somewhere. I eventually began publishing in a small market, and I mean small, but I got paid $10 or so for things I sent in to a sweet lady editor of what was known as Weeds Corner magazine. It helped me get over the feeling I was a lousy writer. I had my first poem published with them, and everything I sent to them after that for 4 years.

I have been writing novels for my whole adult life--let's go with more than 35 years. That's a long time to keep trying to sell a novel--to ANYONE. I've seen publishers fade. I've known other writers around me being published and thought one day I'd be scooping up a book deal.

Photo: Thought this was cute...

When I finished my first novel in the Sabrina Strong Series--yet again--I began looking around. I thought I had a publisher, only to find out they were going to charge an arm, leg, my left eye and my first born to edit it. I said no thank you (scumbag). I went to an ebook publisher which I won't name, and thought they were interested only to have the editor give me the runaround as to whether she wanted the rest of the book or not (for 3 months). At this point my Internet went out, and I never did find out if she ever answered my last email... I'm pretty sure she didn't.

Then I posted my first chapter on an author site I used to belong to, and someone responded. This someone happened to be a publisher. And ta-da, he became my present publisher, Wlfired Voss of Copperhill Media. I didn't know how this would play out. I mean I read their contract and could find nothing in it that gave me pause, and so I signed. I didn't get an advance, this is not one of your BIG 6... or 8 or whatever it was in 2009-2010. They were small, but they would take care of everything, right down to the cover and edits.

By this time I had already self-published my Spell of the Black Unicorn book. I'd paid $400, but couldn't go through that again just to get something else published (for what those other creeps were going to charge, I could have had five books published by them). At this time we didn't see a lot of people putting any faith in those people who'd self-published (wow has times changed). Only a lucky few got "discovered" by agents or publishers. Well, that didn't happen to me, and it really doesn't happen to a whole lot of people either.

But I did find out that people loved what I wrote. I got a taste of what it was like to have a book signing, have my very first physical copy of my own book in my hands and got to snot all over myself with happy tears. I did what I had been trying to do all my life, and I should not shove that all under the rug like it doesn't matter. It matters, and I have to remember how it felt before the publisher, and after.

To me having my work out there, I realized just yesterday, was something I had wanted for a very, VERY long time. I would have sold my soul to the same devil that Steve Jobs did, but he never did show up at my door. So, here I was sitting at my computer working on the edits of my 5th novel in series, waiting for the edits from my publisher, knowing that at some point next year I would have a third book out and had to plunk myself in the head and say "You stupid dummy! Look at where you were and where you are now!"

The Good News:
I'm working on the next two novels, have at least three out, and have 3 short stories out and hope to turn SOTBU into an ebook so that more people can enjoy it, because I had a lot of fun writing it. Ten years ago I couldn't say that. I can now. I can also say I DID NOT GIVE UP! That says a lot about the character of someone who had a dream, and didn't give up no matter how impossible it looked.

So, I'm not exactly rolling in the bucks having three novels out right now, but I have three novels out right now with the third in my series pending. Am I happy? Sure. I'm happy where I am. Do I want more. Damn tooten I do. But I should just keep on taking baby steps.

Just as a side note, I don't work the Internet like a goon until my fingers fall off and bug everyone to buy-buy-buy my books, because that's annoying as hell to me, so I'm sure it is to eveyone else. I really don't have time to toot my horn all that much. I've got writing to do and my publisher wants me to work on the novels instead of trying to push the book like a hopped up car salesman on a commercial.

So, I've had to realize that I have no control over people buying or not buying my books. I do know that when the 3rd one comes out the sales will jump. That's enough to make me smile and feel a sense of accomplishment, aside from all the stuff I've mentioned.

Until next time, my pretties!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mayans, What Do They Know?

I know, I know. You're seeing all these posts going up about the end of the world, well, here's another one. For many of us it will be another Friday. And for those of you (raise hands), who are either maxing out your credit cards, or went the opposite way and are waiting to see what does happen and have not bought your Christmas presents yet, well... as my character Rick the leprechaun would say, "you're a bunch of loosers".

So, when I first heard this dooms day prediction, back in the Fall, I got a little goose-bumpy. Back when I was a young adult (too long ago to even say), I'd had these end of world scenarios, I wrote some stories stemming from these ideas and had thought that it might be possible that Earth as we know it might come to some sort of disaster where some people may die in floods, or fire or whatever.

Let's see. There's been killer floods, killer tornadoes, and we can't rule out terroist attacks like 9-11 either, because it was a horrible disaster. And some people like to twist things to agree with the way the world is going. The next thing in line should be the "big one", the earth quake that will take out half of California. All those scientists have been predicting that one.

Of course, reading up on what the Mayan calendar (end of the 5,125 years) meant is merely an end of a cycle. What up with that? Native Americans would agree that a new world is at hand, when the white buffalo was born, and now there are something like three in Jamestown, North Dakota (went there, didn't get to see the white buffalo, bummer).

I don't think that any date will signify an end to our world as we know it. I don't think the Aliens will take over the world, nor do I think zombies will either. I do believe that we are in a transition. That's all. If I'm wrong and I don't wake up on Saturday morning, then there shouldn't be anyone around to say "I told you so."

And we, in the mid-west are about to have our first snow storm, with 50-60 mile an hour winds so, Friday I might not be on line because of power outages. So you all have a good time without me.
There might be some people who won't mind the heat when the earth burns us up on Friday 21st

Sunday, December 16, 2012

End of The World - Hogwash! But, Just In Case...

Okay, if you are the last person who has not come across this end of world crud that's been "predicted" by people who believe the Mayan 5,125- year calendar end means the end is nigh, then you've had your head in the vertual sand.

Religious people are getting on the band waggon, and so are the UFO sighters who want to go on top of high mountains and be lifted out of here. Actually, in retrospect of all the terrible things (shootings in schools and shopping malls), that are happening, I'd like to see how another world would work things out. In China they report that there has been a run on candles, Russains are buying up kerosene and other supplies.

People all over the world are stock-piling candles and other things, and I've learned it's because of a 3-day long darkness (oh, I thought the world was going to come to an end. My bad). Um, and, oh, yeah, Ron Hubard, who sells hi-tec for underground survival shelters, boasts that sales are up. Boy, I guess I'm in the wrong busness!

But, maybe not. If we do have 3 days of night, or whatever, and you've gone out and bought a butt load of candles and whatnot to get you through it, it stands to reason you might need something to do! Afterall, if electricity will be out, and probaly all the satellites will fall from the sky (because that's what happens in these apocolyptic things, don't you know), you need a BOOK TO READ! 
Vampire AscendingYes, this papback book can be delivered to you by the 18th. Go HERE on Amazon. Or to your local bookstore to order it, and it's companion (below)

And if you finish that one in one day--as so often I'm told people have not been able to put this book down--you will want to pick up the second one in the series which continues with Sabrina Strong's adventures.
Vampire's TrillAnd to order that one you may go HERE.
As for me, I'm going to be working on the next two books, and awaiting the 3rd one coming out in January. Will you be prepared? You will be if you've got the first two books!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Man Down ~ My husband's back went out this week

H:i, my friends.
Well, this was one hell of a week. My husband has back problems. And I mean his back will go out just like that. And it did. This happened on Sunday morning. He was putting on his shoes. He told me later that it felt tight. Not always a big warning sign. But his back (actually it's his hip) went out. He couldn't stand or sit comfortably. He could lay down. It was pretty obvious he would not be going to work for a few days.

On Monday morning, I found him holding himself up on a chair. When I asked if I could help, he told me not to touch him. I went to the bathroom, listening to him groaning and grunting in pain. He described to me much later that he'd somehow gotten on his hands and knees, and crawled into the living room onto the mat he had there. At the point when I found him standing, he said he knew what it was like for someone who may be suddenly paralized, at the moment before that. He was pretty certain that if he did not do what he did, that possibly he might have damaged his spine to the point where he might have been crippled, that's how bad it was.

He did everything he was supposed to do for healing (he's had this for years). Ice/heat/ice, ending with ice to the lower back. One day, he said he did nothing but walk around the house for hours. He took naps, trying to relax, in order to heal. One day he had to repeatedly put small pillows under his right hip in order to put it (gently) back into place. This takes up to 10-15 minutes.

As a result, it cause me lots of stress. I had to do a lot of things he usually does. Plus, I was the only one going in to work.

But finally, he was back to work today. He's healed his back again. He told me this was the worse he's ever had. That's a little scary.

It's hard for us to be apart--we work at the same job. We commiserate throughout the day (driving buses for a college). It's hard to break up a team like ours, we each think about the other when we're apart. I worry about him, he worries about me.

Well, this all wasn't conducive to my getting a whole lot done this week too, so I've been not around as much as usual. I would come home stressed out, I had to make meals (Dennis cooks about 80% of the time), and had to make sure he had the chair he needed in whatever room we were in (a lawn chair). I had to plug in the heating pad and so forth. I didn't mind this, as I say, it was all part of getting him back to normal. I would do anything for the man I love. Wouldn't we all? But it was a tough week. But now it's over and things are back to normal for now.

Hopefully, I'll have more to report in the coming weeks. My third book is in line for publication in January 2013. Have a good weekend everyone. I've got a house to clean--sheesh!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday~With A Twist

Hello, my pretties, you know I've been meaning to post a teaser today, but thought I would do something a little different. The following teaser is from one of my first two books. I want to see if any of you can tell me which one it is from: Vampire Ascending, or Vampire's Trill.


Then those flecks of ocean fell on me. His smile grew broader as he rose--and kept rising. I suddenly had to revise my first assumption--he was impossibly tall, possibly seven foot tall, with a powerful chest, as though he had swung a broadsword at some point in his very distant past, or, as a hunter, carried a huge carcass home on his shoulders when he was a living man. As an undead, he was possibly the largest vampire I'd ever seen. Even without his superhuman powers, he could throw any one of us across the room.

Okay, there you go. This was just for fun, but I hope some of you will play along who've read my books. And if you've never read any... I'll have to sick my seven foot vampire on you! Shame on you!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

And You Are?....

Hello, my pretties. So, it's Monday. Blah, Blah... but wait! I just found this And You Are ? Blog hop, and I thought I would do it. This is hosted by Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault There are 10 questions. Some are pretty funny, but I thought that instead of myself answering these, I'd give myself an extra challenge and have one of my characters in my book answer them. So, I thought Bjorn Tremayne would be the best one to pick on—er, I mean let answer these. Since he is a master vampire who once was a Viking (not that he lived in Minnesota or such, but an actual Viking who sailed a ship, etc.) it would be a little different from his p.o.v.

  1. . How many speeding tickets have you gotten?
None. Doesn't matter how fast I go either. There's an advantage to being a vampire.

2. Can you pitch a tent?

Can I pitch a tent? [scratching head] Well, I used to be a Viking and I may have put up a lean-to now and then, and so I don't think it couldn't be any harder than that.

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

Vacation? I can't even remember when I last had one. [laughs]

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?

My tie, I guess.

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

You mean today? Oh, I think I'll take the super snake cobra Mustang out today.
6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?

I don't cook, darling. I'm a vampire, remember?

7. Fill in the blank: “Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so BIG. She looks like...”

[laughs] [more laughing] [still laughing waving you off] Really. You don't want me to answer that one.

8. What was your first car?

It was a horse, actually.

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she is okay or laugh first?

I would definitely laugh. I don't have a best friend.

10. What is the worst song ever?

“Tip-Toe Through the Tulips”

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sabrina Strong on Sabrina Strong

Photo Hi, everyone.Sabrina Strong, here and I'm in for Lorelei today, and I'm totally unprepared, but here it goes. Just bare with me.

Let me start from the beginning. If someone told me I would be working for vampires in Chicago a year ago, I'd have laughed my head off. But there I was answering an ad for a clairvoyant in the paper. Yeah. I'm a Touch Clairvoyant. You don't meet very many of those, I bet, do ya?

So, I get an interview with a guy with an accent. It wasn't the accent that tipped me off he was a vampire, I just knew he was. See? I'm pretty good at the clairvoyant stuff.

So, I manage to get Mr. Paduraru to meet me at a local place near me, and what the hell? I get out of my Jeep and a wolf attacks me. Not just any wolf, it's like I should have known right away it was a werewolf. But Nicolas Paduraru chases the wolf off by changing into one himself. I thought I was going nuts, really. And this cute guy came running out, calling my name. I never met him before, and he knew my name. It so happens Steve was working with Nicolas, so he knew who I was. Still with me?

Well, Nicolas returns as a man--er a vampire. They decide I need to have the wound sucked of werewolf venom. So, Nicolas does this for me. From that moment on I'm imprinted on him. I thought he was the most handsome man I'd seen. Until I met Bjorn Tremayne, of course.

While Nicolas definitely wants to have something with me in a human-vampire way--and me too, by the way--Bjorn won't allow it, because he's his sire. You don't do things behind your sire's back unless you want a quick death.

When I met Tremayne, there was no question about his abilities as a vampire. He could thrawl me from across the room and he never had even a drop of my blood. To say I would have been attracted to him without all the vampire pheramones going around is an understatement. Standing at seven foot tall, you'd think he was an ex-football player. Broad shoulders, buttery blond hair, and aqua eyes, he had an easy way about him, but he could be deadly, and I caught that right away too.

Then there was Dante Badheart. Native American scion to Tremayne. He's also a shift-changer, shaman, and was assigned to be with me 24/7. To say we sort of were attracted to one another is another understatement.

So, juggling three guys who are total hunks was only one of my problems. I also had to figure out who had murdered Tremayne's wife. And this wasn't easy because I had become a target for whoever it was. Dodging bullets and arrows is not fun, believe me.

I would have quit my first night on the job, because it was really scary being among all the vampires, and trying to stay calm enough that I wouldn't pee my pants, especially when I meet several other vampires and have a vision to boot! But then my boss, Mr. Tremayne hands me a huge bonus check, promising me a much larger sum, AND a car, that I let the idea of danger just vanish--for at least an hour or so.

This in the beginning of my adventures from the first book Vampire Ascending I'd like to tell you more, but I've run out of time. Maybe you can check it out on Amazon, by clicking on the book's title. They would make great gifts--ebook or paperbacks. There's also the second book Vampire's Trill. Lorelei would love to see more "Like"s there as well. Eventually there'll be a third book, and hopefully it will be out there soon.

Well, until next time, this is Sabrina Strong--oh! I see that my friend Rick text messaged me. He's working for Tremayne these days. Oh, he wants to talk to me. I'll tell him to pop on over. He can do that, you know, since he's a leprechaun.

Have a great day!

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...