Saturday, May 30, 2009

You Write the Ending

Victim. Victor.

Both words begin with "vict--", but it's the letters afterwards that determine their meanings. It's how those words end that make them what they are.

That was so powerful to me. It was one of those "Wow!" moments and the revelation touched my heart as well as my head. As I wait to hear back from an editor about my submission, I know that whatever the reply is I decide if I'm going to be a victor...or a victim.

All writers--whether they are unpublished, newly published or multi-published--have faced the same trials and storms. We've all been rejected, criticized, disappointed and sometimes even crushed. Every one of us at some point have felt like giving up. These times would be "vict--". But, it's our actions after those "Black Moments" that determine if we are "--im" or "--or".

A victim walks away, giving up the dream because the road is too hard. Victims cower from the storm instead of ride it. Rejection crushes them instead of makes them stronger and more determined. A victim does not understand that success is birthed in failure.

A victor, however, soars above the storm, using the rejection and disappointments to buoy them up. Instead of quitting, they use the lessons, advice and criticisms to hone them and their craft. They turn the "Black Moment" around to make them better. They don't despise those moments because without them they wouldn't have learned fortitude, perseverance and strength. Victors understand that out of the ashes of failure rises the phoenix of success.

I am a victor. Oh, yes, there are times when I feel more like a victim than a victor, but every time I sit back in front of my computer and forge ahead in spite of my feelings, I choose to walk in victory. I may not have control over the events that happen in life, but the power over my reactions is all mine. I claim my ending and determine if I burn in the ashes or rise like the phoenix.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book to Music Video

I've gotten into the habit of associating music with my stories, and I’m curious how many other writers do this. When I start a book, I have a general idea, the big plot points, etc. I can see it in my head almost like a music video. Somewhere along the line, I’ll hear a song that goes perfectly with my plot and then I’m stuck with thinking of this plot every time I hear that song.

This can be maddening, but it’s also convenient if I need to get back into the story after stepping away from it for awhile. I only need to play the song and it immediately puts me back into those characters’ heads.

Do you do this as well? If so, what story are you currently working on and what song do you associate with it?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Judging Contests

I've been on the PRO loop for a few months now. And lately there have been a lot of pleas for judges to help various writing chapters judge their writing contests. I never responded. Why? I didn't know if I had the necessary qualifications to judge another person's writing. 

Yesterday I decided to ask about the process to become a judge. Obviously, there is a need for judges. I've benefited (most of the time) from entering contests. I decided to investigate and learn for myself if I could become a judge. It's time to give back a little to my writing community.

The floodgates opened. I learned I could judge NOW as an unpublished author with PRO credentials and a desire to apply the basic premises of judging to an author's work. I also learned I could take training on-line through another writing chapter's on-line courses as of, well, now.

I'm glad, but I'm also a bit nervous. After all, my own writing isn't perfection. Also,  I know grammar and punctuation are not my greatest forte (that's for line editing later on). But I've been a member of a Critique Group, had my own work judged and evaluated, and I believe I could be a fair minded judge. One, I hope, that brings along encouragement to a writer brave enough to send in his/her own work to a contest.

Remember the first time you sent in a contest entry? I know I was scared. It was a big, huge, monumental step. But I am glad I did send it in. I've only placed in one contest, but each one I've entered has given me valuable input about my strengths and my weaknesses as a writer. 

How do you feel about contests? How do you feel about the judging?  What's the worst/best critique stories in your contest history? 

Do you judge contests? If so, are you trained? Finally, if you are a judge, what advice do you have for me as I foray into this arena of writing? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Love Affair

When I was young, my mother used to read to me. My sister and I would hurry through our nightly ritual of baths and teeth brushing, especially if there was a good book to read. We'd settle down in bed, blankets tucked around us and my mother would sit next to the bed and open the book. I can still hear her voice and cadence as she read. In moments my mind would soar, envisioning far lands and great adventure. I'd beg my mother to finish "Just one more chapter!", sometimes she would, sometimes not. She'd read books like Bed Knobs and Broomsticks (based on the movie), and Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.

Thus, began my love affair.

I don't remember when my first visit to the library was. I do remember the feel of a book in my hands. The hard cover, the smell of the musty pages. Some picture books I loved were Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Curious George by H.A. Ray, and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. At that time my adoration was instinctive.

The exhilaration of reading my first chapter book clinched it. I read, Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now, my mother no longer read to me, instead she took me to the library. To this day, my heart leaps when I walk into a library, the quiet atmosphere, the rustle of pages, the smell of leather, and old paper. I sense now, what I sensed then...possibilities, opportunity, and the search for the good story. I was and still am never disappointed.

As I grew, so did my taste in books. I was captivated with Dragons of Pern series by Anne MacCaffery (Especially, Dragon Song & Dragon Singer), Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. (Yes, I did read contemporary books, but as you can see these really flavored my writing path.)

As I grew and hit my adolescence, I discovered Romance. Ah, the joy. Books, I'd never would have picked up before, I found enthralling. Would you believe I read Barbara Cartland? I read a lot of Harlequin Historicals- and for awhile that's all I focused on. The more I read the more I wanted. I discovered other books by authors such as Jude Deveraux, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Johanna Lindsey. (Can you see how my taste matured as I did?)

New authors have come on the scene for me: Charlaine Harris, Susan Sizemore, Anne Bishop, Garth Nix....I could go on and on.

My love affair of books and stories has never faltered, but only strengthened. It has never let me down. I get excited every time I open up a new book for the first time--it's like that first kiss! It is that love that has pulled me into writing to share the stories that have been inspired by a life time of reading.

Tell me, when do you remember the beginning of your own love affair with books? What were your favorite stories and authors as children? Adolescent? Adult?

What do you love the most about the books?

I love it ALL.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Writing the love scene

I know that love scenes vary depending on the type of story. Obviously, an erotic romance is going to have LOTS of love scenes. A romantic suspense might have less because you don't have a lot of time for sex while running from a killer. A good old homespun yarn about a small town school marm and the local sheriff might not focus too much on the love scene either. Not that I know this for sure, not being the sort of reader who typically reads the small town stories. :)

It also depends, at least in category, which line you write for. Blaze will have a high level of sensuality, of course. Desire seems to indicate in the title of the line that you can have a lot of sensuality. Romance, edited out of the UK, closes the bedroom door.

My line, Modern/Presents, has a wide range of sensuality levels. My editor has never, ever told me to tone it down. Heck, I even got away with what I considered a taboo naughty word in my last accepted manuscript. I thought: no way will this fly. This is a Blaze word, not a Presents word. (You'll have to read CAVELLI'S LOST HEIR to find out the word! It's out in the UK in December, but I still don't have a North American date yet.)

As you can guess by this post, I am currently writing the love scene for my 3rd Presents. And it's gotten quite long. I'm shocked, actually, by the pages and pages of sensuality here. I think it's necessary, though. I have two people who are mortal enemies from birth, a situation in which they might not make it out alive, and the heroine is a virgin. Yeah, takes time to resolve all that.

I also spend a lot of time worrying over every word choice and every nuance. Love scenes should be easy to write, and they kind of are because you know what MUST happen, but they are also tough for me because I don't want to say the same thing the same way, and I want to show beyond a doubt the growth of these characters as they engage in the most intimate of acts. It's not simply a Tab A Slot B performance. (No romance novel really is, is it?)

I don't do anything special when writing these scenes. I don't light candles or play music or any of that. (Some people do, I hear.) I just sit and write and agonize and surf the web and return to the WIP and type some more, etc.

What about you? Do you do anything special when it's time to write that scene? If you write erotica, I want to know how you can keep in the moment for each scene. I love the love scene, but I find it emotionally draining too. Because the characters' emotions are at their most vulnerable then. How do you keep it fresh and original? And if you don't write love scenes, if you write sweet, how do you convey all that tension and angst and how do you resolve it without the sexual release?

I'm curious!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

She Came Through The Bathroom Window

The other day I was reading over my newest book and realized my contemporary heroine who’s all woman mentioned something about makeup only once. That got me to thinking how in books that I read (not chick lit) rarely do the women wonder how their makeup looks or worry about it wearing off during a date, having torrid love affair or saving the world. I don’t know about you, but no way would I ever let a man who I haven’t been married to for at least a year or more see me without some makeup. How often have we read a contemporary novel and the hero say something about her having a “natural” look? In other words, no makeup. Yes, I know most of the heroines are in their twenties, but I can promise you even with the beautiful skin I had at the time, I wore at least blush and mascara.

Then let’s talk about heroines enhancing their attributes. Women love to highlight, bleach, or color their hair and men notice. They like those extra miles we go through to look better. Sure they’ll tease you about hiding the gray, but they’ll look long and hard at the blonde with the oversized plastic boobs. Do you really believe them when they say, “Honey, I rather have the real thing in my bed”? Right. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. More and more women are coloring their hair and having breast enlargements because it makes them feel better about their body and the men don’t complain. None that I know of, that is. So instead of just having spies change hair color when they’re undercover, include the woman who works in the office and falls in love with her boss or manages the ranch and goes into town to meet her sweetie. Hey, she can have a boob job too.

Okay, there are some aspects of what humans do that I prefer not reading about especially if it has to do with the bathroom. Yeah, there will be times in comedies it can be used, but the only scenes I’m interested in that include a bathroom are when they’re sharing a shower/bath, using the room/countertop for privacy to satisfy their unexpected heat during a party, or by showing tenderness as they tend to cuts and bruises.

Well, anyway, these things make me think of ways to make my heroine more believable, real. I already pointed out flaws such as her face being a little long (THE PREACHER’S SON) or her hips being a little wide (A SHERIFF TO CALL HER OWN) or her “defect” being hidden with makeup and a sexy gown (OUT OF THE SHADOWS). Yet each hero knows in his eyes, no matter her faults, she’s beautiful.

What do you like to add to make it real?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grammar & Editing Tidbit

Our friend and colleague Carla made quite a name for herself with her History Tidbits column. So I've decided to jump on the tidbit bandwagon (who even knew tidbits had a bandwagon!), and parlay my copyediting skills into Grammar & Editing Tidbits. 

Today's Tidbit: it's vs. its

it's is a contraction for "it is" or sometimes used colloquially for "it has."

its, like his and hers, is the possessive form of it.

(Note: I know I am preaching to the choir. You guys already know this stuff, but right now I'm swamped with my day job -- copyediting -- and it's on my mind.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just how bad is your villain?

I have made no secret of the fact that I HATE my job. For those of you who don't know, I manage the bakery at our local Wal-Mart. Now don't get me wrong. I like the girls on my crew. They're a great bunch and they work really hard. We try to have a good time and get the job done too.

No, the reason I HATE my job is that it has become a mind-numbing, soul-sucking trial of apocalyptic proportions. The reason? The villain of the piece - the store co-manager over my area. His name is Tony and he is the most arrogant, insufferable, self-righteous, know it all bully who has NO respect for women on the planet. We are contemplating taking up a collection to send a sympathy gift to his wife!

So, Tony the Bully got me thinking about villains. What sort of villain do you like to write? What sort of villain do you like to read?

Do you prefer the over-the-top obvious villain, like the man whose voodoo doll hangs from my rear view mirror? (Tony keeps complaining of back pain. I need to jab those needles a little lower!)

Do you like the subtle villain - the one you know is going to hurt someone, you just can't figure out how?

Do you like the psycho, unpredictable villain? The one you watch unravel while everyone around him has no clue - including your hero and heroine.

Do you like the villain who MIGHT be able to be redeemed in a future book?

Come on. We want to know your deepest darkest secrets when it comes to the villains you envision.

How much is too much, when it comes to villains? How do you write them and are the easier or harder than a hero or heroine to create?

And finally does anyone else have a really obnoxious boss they want bumped off? My buddy at the alligator farm is running a two for one special on body disposals. Alligators are one of the most efficient ways to dispose of a dead body. Don't ask me how I know that!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Brother-in-law, The Writer

My brother-in-law is retiring this year. He is a superior court judge in a rural county in California who has always been good with the written word. Up to now, his hobbies have always been fairly limited in scope. He's always wanted to be a cowboy. This fascination, with all things pertaining to the old West, came about in the 50's when his parents gave him a coon skin cap and Davey Crockett flannel pajamas. Most of us grow out of our childhood passions--not David. Recently, he and his wife purchased a cattle ranch on 145 acres in New Mexico, near the Apache Indian reservation. When their house sells they intend to relocate to this place. He graciously informed us that they have plenty of land if we ever want to move there. I considered it for a couple of nano seconds, but declined once he mentioned that the post office was in the back of a tractor trailer rig, taken off its axels, in the nearest town, 58 miles away.

He has been very supportive of my efforts to become published so I have tried to be happy for him. After all, he is going to be living his dream. In one of our recent conversations about his new life I asked him what he expected to do to take up all his new found free time. Without missing a beat, he informed me that he intended to "do some writing". It seems he has an idea or two for a couple of courtroom thrillers. I have to admit that I am pleased. It will be nice to have someone in the family who understands what writers go through before being published. I suggested that he get involved with a writer's group as soon as he begins the process. I pointed out that it will save him some time down the road. Although he did agree that it was a good idea, he said he wanted to wait until later because he didn't want anything to keep him from writing his book, his way. Boy, does he have a lot to learn!

I look at writing differently than I did when I first started. I have less stars in my eyes and a wider butt. I am not jaded, just pragmatic. Although there is a creative aspect to the business of writing, it is indeed a business.

How have your ideas changed about writing and the writing process? What has changed in the way you view the industry?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Romance Is Going Strong

For those who haven't seen this...check it out. Plus it has men reading sections of romance novels. Paul Rudd and Carl Edwards! Oh, my gawd! Yum!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ketchup & Critiques

I stared in horror at the red ketchup stain. It was centered on the white pants of the woman's bottom like a bulls eye. There I sat, frozen, with the incriminating ketchup packet clutched in my hands, in the middle of a crowded McDonald's. All eyes were on me.

It was unintentional. Bored, I'd been fiddling with the ketchup packet, as I waited for the rest of my family to finish their meal. The Laws of Physics was not my concern as I tried to squeeze a small hole in this tiny unopened package. Who knew it could fly across a crowded room? It nearly clipped my grandfather in the ear as he leaned over to pick up a napkin.

I was 13, and I still remember the abject humiliation of everyone staring. My mother made sure I apologized. I don't even remember the words, but I do remember the stuttering. The woman laughed, said she had kids my age and made her son stand behind her.

The woman forgave me, but to this day- I do not fiddle with ketchup packets and I bet she doesn't wear white pants.

We all have those extreme moments of humiliation. Things we wish we had not said or done. Words, that many of us would pay good money to never have uttered--or in some cases written.

I find I've had more than a few as I started writing. One of them is critiquing another person's manuscript, especially someone you do not know very well. I have been blessed with a very honest, frank, and challenging critique partner who lives a continent away. I've known her for 20 yrs and she is the only one I allow to tear apart my manuscript. She does this, because I trust her and she knows how to push me. The key word here...she knows me.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to read and critique a new friend's writing. I'd just recently met her and I was quite honored that someone would let me-a nobody- read a story and then critique it! So I jumped in with two feet. I loved the story, but like a bull in a china shop, I added my comments, suggestions, and opinions.

Can you see the train wreck approaching?

Like that moment when I squirted that damned ketchup, unable to bring back the red liquid that would forevermore stain that woman's pants, I unthinkingly critiqued that manuscript. In a matter of minutes I offended a new friend, with words I could not take back.

My new friend was so very gracious about it, but let me know I had over stepped my bounds. I apologized profusely, horrified I'd done that. It was never my intention to hurt or in anyway offend someone. Still, I could not change what I had done.

I still squirm about that moment and it has affected how I critique from now on. I am much more careful about what I say, and I am learning what works for some, does not work for others. I really wish I could go back and slap my "younger" self up side the head, but I cannot. I just have to move on. It takes trust to let someone critique your manuscript and I broke that trust. I work very hard not to do that again. Worse, I know many writers who have stopped writing for a time because of a horrid think I was the cause of someone's block makes my skin crawl. (As a side note--my terrible critique did not cripple the writer...thank goodness!)

Writing wise, what kind of humilation have you encountered? Have you ever unintentionally hurt someone? What did you do to rectify it? Did it change how you do things?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother’s Day

I’m so thrilled about the gift I gave my mom today and I just had to share. I sent her a signed copy of Christy Reece’s debut novel, Rescue Me. I was so proud to send her this book, not only because my mom is an avid romance reader and I know she’ll love Christy’s book, but because this is my friend’s first published novel and I was MORE than excited to share this wonderful moment with my mother.

I started thinking today how lucky I am. I met so many of Southern Magic’s published authors when they were exactly where I’m at in the writing process, I was fortunate enough to witness their CALL , and now I get to share in their triumphs and sometimes their anxiety as they continue on with incredible writing careers. Sharing in these stepping stones, no matter how small or large … it’s just an awesome feeling and experience. I’m so thankful to be a part of such a great group. Makes me want to twirl around on a mountain top and sing The Sound of Music at the top of my lungs. Badly, of course, because I can't hold a tune.

I know … I’m just being a big sentimental mound of mush today.

I love you guys! Have a wonderful Mother's Day, everyone! :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Blame it on the deadline

Yikes! I forgot I was supposed to post until this morning! I even wrote it in my calendar and forgot. But that's what deadline brain does. I'm rolling along fine, with about 4 weeks to go, but I'm also being very focused and worrying about each and every little thing. I didn't have second book syndrome, thankfully.

But I may be having 3rd book syndrome. This is the first book in a new contract, and I'm so worried about not disappointing my editor, about not shaking her faith in me. HMB has given me a wonderful opportunity, and I don't want to disappoint anyone there.

And yet I know I always feel this way at a certain point in the book. I always have that sinking feeling that it's not working, that I suck, and that I'll never pull this off. And then, somehow, it comes together. Somehow, I write through the hard part, and it goes smoother and I suddenly see the pattern I'd been missing, the piece that makes it all fall together.

It's an amazing and frightening process, especially when I know someone is waiting for this book, that it no doubt has a tentative slot on the schedule, and that I must deliver a quality product. It's just my process, though, and I'm learning to accept it for what it is.

So blame it on the deadline for the short post, but I have to get back to work. Let's talk process, though. What is yours? Do you see yourself adapting it, if you aren't published yet, for when you do sell a book? Or do you think your process works so well you can't imagine changing a thing? Plotter or Pantser or Hybrid? I'm a pantser all the way.....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sisterhood of Writers

I spent several minutes (well too many minutes) trying to put a YouTube Video into this blog, but the video had embedding disabled. The song I wanted to show was "Sisters are Doing It for Themselves" with Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. It's a great video--if you want to see it--go look at it on YouTube because I am still technologically challenged.

So now to the actual point of the song. I wanted to illustrate the way we, as writers, empower each other.  And we do! I see it in the congratulations flying around the Southern Magic loop, and I see it in the welcomes to new members. I also see it in the interactions we have with each other at the meetings as well as the most recent Readers Luncheon hosted by the Heart of Dixie.

And to think I started this writing journey alone. Oh, how much better it is with my writing sisters cheering me along the way. 

My first writing sisters found me. I had been writing for two years, had been a member of RWA for one, and had not joined a local writing chapter. One of the moms at my daughter's school said she knew another writer, a gal I knew from Britain only a little as she had a boy and well, I had a girl. Any rate, I was told she was published and more and so I thought, oh, I am not in that lady's league at all. 

Fortunately, Karen thought otherwise. She came up to me after our children graduated from 6th Grade and asked about my writing. I was, I know you'll not believe this, very shy about responding. I said, "I'm not published. I just write romances." Well, she just swept me up with her enthusiastic response, saying, "Oh me either and I write women's fiction. Let's meet over the summer and talk about our writing." 

I've learned not to say "I just write romances." Now I say, with pride, "I write contemporary romance novels with a whole lot of spice." Even that was a step for me. Somehow, writing solitary books about women finding love with strong, handsome guys who look like Viggo Mortenson, Hugh Jackman and Eric Dane seemed frivolous. But not anymore. Now it is the best part of who I am (besides being my darling daughter's mom). And I am very proud of my hard work and efforts. 

Fast forward a few months. Now Karen has introduced me to her Critique Partner, Sharon. We meet at Starbucks and they kindly pour over my contest results for my second book (which seriously will be properly revised and pitched at some point). Then they took me to my first chapter meeting and I joined the Washington Romance Writers. Finally, they asked me to join their critique group.

I was terrified! What if I was really, you know, a horrible writer and who was I to join this elite group of novelists who were so far ahead of me? And what could I possibly offer them in return?

It turns out they had plenty to share with me, but I also learned I was very good at coming up with ideas and plot solutions. I fit in. Along the way, the four of us pounded out my third MS. I learned about GMC, Scene & Sequel, and the PRO Loop. They helped me hash out queries and my synopsis for countless contests. I would not be the writer I am today without this fabulous support group.

Now I am here, in the South, and a member of two fabulous writing chapters who have made me feel so welcome. And they've brought me more information and support via blogs, emails, and the meetings (these two groups are really great--trust me--you are all very lucky to have each other). 

Besides the faces and names I have personally connected with as a writer, there are countless other sisters in this profession who make my writing world grow bigger and expand my knowledge with their generosity of time. There are the judges of the competitions I've entered who have written encouraging words, given great critique, and at one time, even placed me! There are the on-line teachers who have helped me hone my craft and been generous with answering questions and critiquing my work. And there are the published authors who have read my work, judged it, given me feedback (positive and constructive) about how to improve my writing.

And there are those published authors I meet in passing who with a few words give advice about how to fine tune my pitch or query for a particular publishing house. I appreciate their time and, here's that word again, generosity.

I am fortunate I met Karen 4 years ago. She is still my first person I go to for input about my writing. And her queries are AWESOME. I appreciate her support tremendously. Sharon is still my go-to gal when I flesh out my synopsis. 

Now I am here and I've met a few people who are on the journey. Slowly and steadily I am getting to know my new southern chapter writing sisters and I am so glad to be part of these wonderful groups. Since I have joined here, I have learned more about the publishing industry and getting to the next level: being published. There is real support here and I am glad I found it. 

This writing obsession is a fabulous passion. But it is made all the better by having amazing women by my side, encouraging my efforts and cheering even the smallest successes. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Can't Help But Smile

Thought I would share this. Busy writing and thought we could all use a smile. So many wonderful movies and shows. I'll promise you'll have a smile on your face by the end.

And then something for the published authors...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Maybe we're doing this the wrong way...

I just heard that the so-called OctoMom is looking at a book deal. And that impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has signed a six-figure book deal. Did you know that Pamela Anderson has written a "semi-autobiographical" novel?

Hmm. Getting published would be a lot easier, I think, if I were a celebrity. 

But here's the problem. No way I'm having even one more child, let alone eight. No way I'm running for political office just so I can get kicked out for committing a felony. And Pamela? Well, let's just say I don't have the same set of assets that she has.

This book should help me. I hope it has a chapter on dealing with the paparazzi.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dear Editor, Have I Got a Book for You !

Have you seen the recent explosion of YA vampire books on the market lately? They're multiplying like ... well, vampire sailors on a three day pass! Twilight started it and it seems to me that ever since every YA author is trying to match wits with a Utah housewife who hit the jackpot with her first book. Stephen King might have said she wasn't a very good writer, but even he said she tells a heckuva story.

The same thing happened after J.K. Rowling finally encountered an editor bright enough to see what a gem a book about an awkward, bullied wizard truly is. Suddenly the shelves were full of stories of young wizards and witches thwarting evil demons and boring schoolmasters.

The phenomena isn't limited to YA novels either. The romance genre is rife with people who saw something that worked and tried their dead level best to improve on it. Of course mainstream media seems to think that is all we do. However, I refuse to be insulted by a bunch of people who live to discover the next big scandal and thrive on exploiting the misery of their fellow man. I don't write for cynics and bullies. I write for dreamers, the people who hold the world together, do the work of saving the world and the people who keep believing in all that is good and wondrous about the human race.

Still, all of this meandering does have a point. I wondered - Do you write the stories you want to tell, the stories you want to read, the stories you feel compelled to tell OR do you try to write stories that are marketable? What does worrying about marketability do to the creative process? Is it something you consciously think about? Why or why not? Inquiring minds want to know !!

If you get the chance, check out this link and the thought-provoking post by Allison Brennan, romantic suspense author.

I did, and it really got me thinking. A dangerous thing to be sure !!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to work on my newest book. It's about a teenaged Amish vampire who discovers he's a wizard and has to go to school at Buggywarts to learn to control his powers. Should be a bestseller!