Monday, June 28, 2010

SABOTAGE: To Undermine a Cause

Angela James, Senior Editor of Carina Press, launched on June 7, 2010 spoke at the Southern Magic meeting on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 about E-pubs. It was an enlightening and motivational talk that made me truly look at E-pubs in a whole new light. I walked away with a new sense of purpose, and motivation to write and get things done.

Then I woke up on Sunday. Instead of writing, I did the dishes.

Why?

I have two capable minions (children) who have very little responsibility except to complete the few chores I give them, study, and get along without screaming (hmm, the last one is harder to manage). They could have done it.

I told myself I was being nice.

That's not true. I was sabotaging myself. I could have asked my children to do the dishes, and I could have sat down and worked on my revisions, but I did not.

Think about the times you took a class, saw a speaker, or went to a workshop or conference that motivated and inspired you. What did you do the next day?

Did you sabotage yourself? It's easy to spot, you have a few moments to write, but instead you do ANYTHING else but write. You do chores you could put off another day, or give to someone else .

Take a look at the list below. See if you did any of these things, or even thought about it:
  • Organize the junk drawer
  • Tackled that soap scum on the bathroom walls
  • Called someone you haven't spoken with in a month, or heck, just saw yesterday.
  • Picked up that book you are dying to read--or worse the one you put down three weeks ago.
  • You find watching grass grow absorbing
  • You follow all 250 twitters you belong to.
  • Find you need to update that face book page, each minute for an hour.
  • Then, you find your email, oh look, its that chain letter Aunt Maude sent, the one saying you must send to twelve others or the world will end and its up to you to stop it! And now you want to save the world.
  • Yesterday there was not a movie you wanted to see, and now you have to go see all of them!
  • Flipping through channels becomes something you desperately want to do.
  • You fold laundry
  • Nap
  • Think about going into the day job instead.
  • Do your nails (and you did them only a day ago)
  • OTHER: (Put your activity here)

Does this sound familiar? Than by stars, you are sabotaging yourself.

WHY?

FEAR

There are only two fears a writer has, both shape us in ways that define how we write:
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Success

Fear of Failure: No one likes to be rejected, or told our lovely story is awful. But as a writer we know that WE have to face this. J.K. Rowling had dozens of rejections. Still she pressed on.

Still, getting that nasty critique from your contest entry can paralyze you. You start thinking, WHY do I do this to myself? Why not give up?

You can stop if you want, but do you really, really want to live your life with the "What if?"

I don't.

Fear of Sucess: This is far more nebulous. Here, you drag your feet querying, or submitting. You are not afraid of the rejection. You fear the success. Questions you ask yourself: What if I only have one story in me? What if I can't make the deadline? How do I work my life around it? What if they like it?

This to me, is far more insiduous. This is one we don't voice, even though we quickly admit our fear of failure.

Problem is, you won't be able to answer those questions if you don't step forward and take the chance. Look around, there are successful authors working hard on a wing a prayer.

It's not easy, but it can be done.

Do you want to never have these questions to face? Instead only having the "what if?"

Success is not about ignoring fear, but facing it again and again.

There is a choice to make, do you want to constantly undermine your cause (writing)? Or do you want to face it head on?

I know my answer. What is yours?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is This You Reading An Amazon Review?

Thanks, Heather, for the link. Cute! Enjoy.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unlikely Bed Partners

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

HEAVING BOSOMS AND THROBBING MEMBERS

I love romance.

I love to read it. I love to write it.

Most of the time.

I love my heroes and my heroines. I love getting inside their minds and hearing what they’re thinking. I love it when they surprise me with the things they say and do. I enjoy creating dialogue and I LOVE the sometimes zany secondary characters that appear out of nowhere on the page and the unexpected twists and turns the story can take.

I enjoy building the sexual tension.

And then . . .

It. The sex scene.

I will tell you my dirty little secret. One of my favorite things about reading romance novels is the sex.

Unlike Billy Crystal’s character in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, I do not read the last page first to see how the story ends. But when I start reading a new romance, I ALWAYS thumb through the book and find the culminating moment. I don’t read it, mind you. But I know what page it’s on.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It’s supposed to be about the romance and the glorious, all-conquering, life-changing love between the H and H. And that’s great too.

But me, I like a steaming hot sex scene.

And knowing where Tab A meets Slot B in the book gives me something to anticipate.

But WRITING a love scene? That’s different.

How to make it romantic and sensual but not purple? You know what I’m talking about. ‘His magnificent scepter’ or ‘her steaming tunnel of love.’

Ew.

It’s a quandary. Euphemisms are tricky. And as for the medical terms . . . .

Penis? Forget it.

If I were a guy, I’d be picketing Washington or NIH or wherever demanding a better word.

And I’m not crazy about the anatomically correct term for the girl part either. You know the one. It rhymes with Regina with a long ‘i.'

Nothing romantic or hot about either one of those words.

So what’s a romance writing girl to do?

Erection works. It’s simple and straight forward. Not sissy and wimpy like penis. But ‘erection’ is a relatively modern term and the guys in my books haven’t been to Earth in centuries.

You see my problem.

So, sometimes you just have to call it what it is. Or, rather, what you character would call it.

And, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about: Being true to you characters.

The last love scene I wrote took me the better part of four days to write. It also required a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and several glasses of wine. But I did it.

Or, rather, THEY did it.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate writing sex scenes. But I pull my hair out trying to get it right, because love scenes are important.

Evocative.

Emotionally satisfying.

And darn hard to write.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Could See It In A Book...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reminder: E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

Callie asked me to post this for her...

Come to Southern Magic's June 26 meeting at the Homewood Publc Library to hear Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press, talk about e-publishing.

It doesn't matter if you're published or not, or if you ever plan to be e-published, you need to listen to what she has to say. This is the future and you need to be informed and aware of what's happening around you.

What: E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

When: June 26, 2010, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Where: Round Auditorium at the Homewood Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama

Southern Magic will provide a dessert table and coffee.

Registration is mandatory by contacting Callie James at calliejamesbooks@bham.rr.com. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee you a seat.

Attendance is free for Southern Magic members, $5 for other RWA chapter members, and $10 for the public. Pay at the door.

PROGRAM: Angela James discusses the ins and outs of e-publishing, including what to expect from an epublisher, how to distinguish between unfunded or under-funded epubs, the real sales figures, what constitutes good distribution, covers, promotion, and more. We will have Q&A time available throughout the program.

More about Angela James:
Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's digital-first press, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied publishing career that has included ownership of an independent editorial services business, work as a copy editor for electronic book and small press publisher, Ellora’s Cave, and executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

Carina Press is a new digital-first publisher that combines editorial and marketing expertise with the freedom of digital publishing. With a long history of digital marketing and editorial experience, the Carina Press team is committed to bringing readers fresh voices and new, unique editorial.

Our philosophy is: no great story should go untold!

Carina Press will publish a broad range of fiction with an emphasis on romance and its subgenres. We will also acquire voices in mystery, suspense and thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, gay/lesbian, and more!

Check out their blog.

************************************************
Southern Magic is the Birmingham, Alabama, chapter of the Romance Writers of America.
Meetings held at Homewood Public Library
1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Podcasts

I adore podcasts.  Love them. Can’t get enough of them.  Next to books, they are my favorite form of entertainment.  What is a podcast you ask?  One of the greatest things to be invented since chocolate chip cookies, I respond.  But, if you want the boring definition, Wikipedia defines podcasts as “a series of digital media files (either audio  or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.” Oh, yes, that was helpful.  Let me try.  Basically, podcasts are audio (or video) broadcasts that have been converted to an MP3 file or other audio file format for playback in a digital music player and/or your computer.  

There are great podcasts on every topic you could imagine.  I gravitate toward podcasts on writing.  Whenever I have a long drive (or some crazy urge to exercise grips me - trust me, that is rare), I load up my iPod with several podcasts to pass the time.

My favorite podcasts on writing are:

I Should Be Writing - Mur Lafferty, author, podcast pioneer and producer and general director of Escape Pod, puts out a regular podcast on the craft of writing.  It is excellent.  No, it is better than excellent.  No, it is better than better than excellent.  Each episode is about an hour and typically includes interviews with authors, agents, and editors as well as a feedback section.  She has recently started a "Good Cop/Bad Cop" segment where she and another author provide feedback (supportive and harsh) in response to listener questions.  This is a fantastic resource.  If you aren't a follower, stop reading this, go to the website, and start listening (and then come back and comment, please :)).  You will be happy you did.

Writing Excuses - Authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and Howard Tayler put out weekly fifteen minute podcasts (their motto is "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart") focused on specific topics relating to writing.  This is a great resource.  They have covered everything from conference etiquette to the use of violence in telling a story.  With humor and intelligence, they deliver three rich view points on the various aspects of writing.  I run through these podcasts faster than a bag of Cheetos (and if you know me, I LOVE my Cheetos).

Southern Voices - Southern Voices, a four-day conference sponsored by the Hoover Public Library exploring Southern culture in contemporary arts, make available the video and audio podcasts of the panels and presentations from the writers, editors, musicians, performers and public figures featured at the conference.

Odyssey  - The Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop podcast features excerpts from lectures by writers, editors and agents during the Odyssey Writing Workshop.  New podcasts are updated every month or two.  

If you are a fan of audio books, many authors are beginning to serialize their novels, making parts (and sometimes even the entire work) available in podcast format.  New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler gained so many followers for his novels through making them available on the internet as podcasts, he caught the attention of his publisher and the rest is history.

The potential use for podcasts is limitless.  They are great tools for education, marketing and entertainment.  I would love to hear what everyone’s experience with podcasts has been.  If you have a favorite, please share!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name - (Cliché Alert)

The other day I was walking by a table of books in Books-a-Million and Russell Brand's memoir called MY BOOKY WOOK caught my eye. Funny, funny title! I'm not crazy about all of his humor, but he has his moments and to me the title of his book told me he didn't take himself too seriously. I also saw him interviewed the other night. He was so sweet when he said about his fiancée, "I love her you know" and not in an inane tone.

Anyway, titles tell a lot about a book and, like most authors, I struggle with mine. The book I'm working on now was originally called THE ONES, and then DEADLY TEMPTATION, and lately THE ONES: BLOOD WARS. I changed it the first time because a judge and a CP told me the title wasn't romantic enough. Then in another contest I had a judge tell me the book wasn't a romance. Funny, isn't it? The first page is about how much the heroine has a crush on the hero. I figured the judge said it wasn't a romance because the book is in first person. Now I've thrown out the ending and added tons of words, working on the new ending. I decided it's closer to urban fantasy with romance in it. So I gave it back the old title with a modifier.

Some titles come easy to me. Like my two books I wrote for Silhouette Romantic Suspense: A SHERIFF TO CALL HER OWN and PREACHER'S SON. Since I finaled in the Maggies with both of them, they ended up on Wanda Ottewell's (Harlequin SuperRomance) desk. She later rejected them. So after some major revisions, I retitled them and sent them to RS as WATCH MOLLY RUN and PROTECTING MARY. Rejected again. Ho-hum.

I've found I have a thing for the word shadow. My first romantic suspense (and the second book I wrote) was called CRYSTAL SHADOWS. Presently, I have three more books with that word in it: SHADOW HEALER, OUT OF THE SHADOWS and IN THE SHADOWS. The first is a paranorml romance and the other two are romantic suspense.

One title that was rather controversial was my romance (not paranormal or suspense) THE FEMALE CHAUVINIST. The heroine wasn't a bitch. She loved men but being a successful business woman, she didn't have time for romance or love. She treated men like men treat women all the time. They were sex objects to her. To help her scratch an itch and then to go on her way, taking care of business until she met the man who swept her off her feet. Love that book. I'll probably rewrite it one day since my voice has changed so much, but I'll keep the plot the same.

I like twists for titles. One of my favorites (I didn't write) is THE TAMING by Jude Deveraux. Back in 1989 (whoa!), I thought the title was referring to the hero taming the heroine, but suprise! it was the opposite. So I was thinking of that title when I named another paranormal of mine called THE CHAMPION. It wasn't named for the hero, though he was a champion in his own right, it was the heroine who wanted to be a champion for helpless children.

I have so many more titles for books I've finished or started, such as THE AIR SHE BREATHES, THE BILLIONAIRE'S REVENGE, TREASURE, WEEKEND LOVER, FOR AN ETERNITY (short story - ironic, isn't it?), GOOD BAD LUCK, FULL MOON, DARK DESIRE (doesn't everyone have a book named this? Or the next one here...), DARK BETRAYAL, CONVICT, BLOOD PROTECTOR (this will probably be the second book in the BLOOD WAR series - thinking positive), THE CAGED HEART, THE RICH MAN'S SON and last but not least, THE PRINCE, THE WARRIOR & THE QUEEN (this one is pure erotica, let your imagination run free). I think I have a few more I need to move over from a floppy disc. Yep, they're that old. LOL!

Tell us some of your titles and why you picked them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

I'm in the middle of a four-book marathon to meet my deadlines for 2011's books, and it's a grind. My day job has been uncooperative in terms of allowing me a full lunch hour in which to work, and it can be hard to write at home with a mother, a sister, two nieces, and various dogs, cats and kittens vying for your attention while you're trying to take a little time to just meet your daily page goals.

I was starting to wish I could just take a break, do nothing but lie around and sleep for a few days.

Bad move.

On Sunday, out of the blue, two ailments struck at the same time: stomach flu and cellulitis in my left leg. The next four days were a blur. I wasn't able to eat the first three days and ended up losing 12 pounds. (Have since gained back some weight, which I'm fine with, because sheesh, that's a lot to lose in three days). And after the stomach ailment passed, I still had a red-splotched, painful and swollen legs (not to mention a boatload of antibiotics to take).

At least I got my days of lying around and sleeping.

Yay?

Writing is a job. It's a joy sometimes, and it's a pain sometimes. It's frustrating, exhilarating, scary and rewarding. But you never quite appreciate just how much it's a part of you until you're lying flat on your back, sick as a dog and chained to a barf bucket, and one of your first glum thoughts is, "All this downtime and I'm too sick to write."

Do you ever take writing for granted?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The MLS and the slush pile

Sorry for posting this so late, but I've been super busy. We just arrived in northern Virginia last night, and we spent most of today trudging through depressingly horrible houses, hoping to find a gem.

I'm sad to say we didn't. Maybe this is what agents and editors feel like when reading submissions. The query letters (MLS listings) showed the houses to their best advantage with glowing praise for updated kitchens and great schools, and photos that cut out the ugly abandoned house next door.

Sometimes the first few rooms showed really well. Just like many of us clean up our first three chapters and leave the rest of the MS for later, many homeowners spent money/time on the entry, living room, and kitchen, but ignored the nasty basement, cracked asphalt, and dog smell.

We even saw a few that had been listed incorrectly as having a finished basement or garage. It's like sending the query to an agent who doesn't represent your genre. Unprofessional.

Today we rejected every house in the area we were hoping to live (of those that met our price range and minimum requirements). Tomorrow, we're expanding our search farther from DC, to another area we like that should provide nicer homes for the price.

An agent looking for an author to represent wants more than just a good writer. She's looking for someone great, who really speaks to her. In the same vein, I'm looking for a great house that can meet all of our needs, where I can see my family living for the next four to six years. A house that calls to me.

A home.

Tomorrow, I'll be plowing through more of the slush pile in search of a prize. Wish me luck!

P.S. I want to thank all of my Southern Magic friends for being so good to me over this last year. I've learned so much from you, and enjoyed our time together. I will miss you and look forward to reuniting at Nationals, or somewhere else along the way. Thanks!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Deep POV, Setting & Me

I love to write. I do. I love working out the plot points and solving the trickier turning points. I love fleshing out GMC and developing my characters. I love hammering out the timeline, coming up with funny snippets and watching the movie reel unwind in my mind as my characters interact.

But I often have one piece missing--setting. I don't want to get bogged down in descriptions that are out of place, pull the reader out of the story, or worse, bore the heck out of people. But I know that I need setting if I am going to ground my readers into a world.

Ah, world building. Isn't that supposed to be for paranormal, sci-fi, historical or science fiction? I'm writing contemporary romances, right? I can skim over the details of setting. No. And the more I write, the more I realize that I need effectively weave in setting and backstory so that it is truly part of my characters' lives.

I know this tapestry, rich and filled with many threads, will deepen my characters' POV.

I've struggled with Deep POV. How can I become better at giving my characters a deep POV. One explanation I read really helped me understand this better. I can't remember where I picked this one up-- a Twitter Post leading me to a blog which led me to another blog--who knows. But here it is:


Deep POV is also referred to as Limited Third Person. It takes you deep inside your character, showing not only what he feels in response to a situation, but why he feels that way. It adds a depth of emotion to a scene. In order to achieve deep POV a writer must dig deep into their characters' personalities and motivations. In a sense they become the character, allowing the reader to view the inner workings of the POV character's mind and thus experience the scene as the POV character does. The reader does more than read a story they live it. 

Wow. Another way of understanding how to achieve Deep POV is through writing the story in first person, then shifting the work into third person. Tricky! Yup. Now I've never written on the fly as far as fiction goes when it comes to blogging, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. 

Disclaimer: I do not do online fiction prompts because my first drafts often consist of words like "insert @@ here" or "Fix later" --get the sad and sorry picture? And grammar is not my ultimate forte--that is why I have CPs LOL (Bless them).

So here goes:

Sometimes when she drove along the small country roads in Northern Alabama during a cloudy day, she was drawn back to when she was a child visiting her Oma in Holland. The Dutch low clouds, gray and billowy, almost touched the ground and made her feel like she was driving through a pillow. The windshield wiper slapped against the glass in a steady cadence, back and forth, mesmerizing her as she rested her head in her Oma's lap while she sucked on a snoopje. The salty, black licorice calmed her carsickness as Oma snuggled her close to her ample bosum.  But today, as she drove through the misty rain, the wipers sounded like gongs, and upped the pain throbbing in her temples. The low clouds touching the swampy land were like a suffocating blanket ready to smother her. She pulled into her driveway, opened her garage door and drove inside. No one was waiting inside her house to hold her, or to comfort her with a stolen piece of candy. But she still tasted salt as her tears tracked down her cheeks and moistened her taut lips. She'd always said she'd never die in Alabama. Today she learned she might break that promise.

Disclaimer: this work is a piece of fiction. Please don't start sending me flowers or begin my funeral arrangements.

So what do you think? Am I getting there? I don't know, but I am enjoying the journey.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Learning from Great Books

When I read a book that makes me fall in love with it, I want to learn from it. I want to know exactly what about that book makes it great; I want to figure out how that author achieved such amazing success with words. My standard procedure is to buy a second copy of the book to mark up. My intent is to go through and underline sentences and passages that speak to me, to make notes in the margin about characters and dialog, to analyze and dissect.

Here's what always happens: By page 2, I am so caught up in the story that I completely forget about making notes and underlining.

This is happening to me right now. I have always loved Jennifer Echols's The Boys Next Door. And when the sequel, Endless Summer, came out a few weeks ago, I re-read TBND and fell in love with it all over again. And now I want to figure out how Jennifer does it. How she creates such a compelling story. But I can't! I keep getting caught up in the wonderful, funny characters; the amazing sexual tension; and the right-on-the-nail-head dialog. And I guess that's one definition of writer's voice: the intangible, indecipherable magic that makes a book great.

How about you? How do you learn from great books?

Friday, June 04, 2010

HOOK 'EM

Its no secret, I love Lost. When I first started watching (Season Two), I was immediately drawn to the story and never missed an episode. Over the past couple of seasons, I found myself asking what exactly it was about this show that I loved. Why did I faithfully watch it unlike any other?

To me, the answer was simple: the writers knew how to hook 'em. The scenes, I mean. Every week added another layer to the story and a new facet to a beloved character that created constant tension and intrigue. Long after an episode aired, the show made a viewer think about what happened and wonder what would happen next. By the time the season finale arrived, I was sad to see the story end and for the characters to say goodbye.

Though my writers' group has discussed "hooks" in the past, I don't think I quite grasped how effective subtle hooks worked until examining the layers of my favorite show. I began to realize and recognize that some of my favorite authors use this very technique to keep readers turning the page.

More aware now when I write, I've found some scenes easily lend themselves to creating a "hook" and increasing the underlying tension of the story. But I'm struggles with other scenes. What about you? Is this something you're conscious of when writing? If so, do you plot it out in advance or (like me) do you go back to fill in some holes?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

Come to Southern Magic's June 26 meeting at the Homewood Publc Library to hear Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press, talk about e-publishing.

What: E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

When: June 26, 2010, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Where: Round Auditorium at the Homewood Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama

Southern Magic will provide a dessert table and coffee.

Registration is mandatory by contacting Callie James at calliejamesbooks@bham.rr.com. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee you a seat.

Attendance is free for Southern Magic members, $5 for other RWA chapter members, and $10 for the public. Pay at the door.

PROGRAM: Angela James discusses the ins and outs of e-publishing, including what to expect from an epublisher, how to distinguish between unfunded or under-funded epubs, the real sales figures, what constitutes good distribution, covers, promotion, and more. We will have Q&A time available throughout the program.

More about Angela James:
Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's digital-first press, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied publishing career that has included ownership of an independent editorial services business, work as a copy editor for electronic book and small press publisher, Ellora’s Cave, and executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

Carina Press is a new digital-first publisher that combines editorial and marketing expertise with the freedom of digital publishing. With a long history of digital marketing and editorial experience, the Carina Press team is committed to bringing readers fresh voices and new, unique editorial.

Our philosophy is: no great story should go untold!

Carina Press will publish a broad range of fiction with an emphasis on romance and its subgenres. We will also acquire voices in mystery, suspense and thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, gay/lesbian, and more!

Check out their blog.

************************************************
Southern Magic is the Birmingham, Alabama, chapter of the Romance Writers of America.
Meetings held at Homewood Public Library
1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Writing a Book is Like Washing a Dog

I have dogs. Anyone who knows me knows that much. I have quite a few dogs. I have inside dogs and outside dogs. I even have a couple of cats who THINK they are dogs. As a result, I know a lot about washing dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, long haired dogs and short haired dogs - you name it, I can wash it. The key to washing any dog is submission. You have to convince him (or her) that he WANTS a bath. And failing that, you have to wrestle him into submission.

My writing these days is a lot like washing a reluctant dog. I have all of my supplies in order, everything is lined up - hose, nozzle, buckets, soap, flea shampoo, towels. In writing once you have your basic plot, your characters, your setting and an idea of how the story goes you're as ready as a dog washer with a full tub and a handful of soap. And THAT is where the trouble begins. Because, horror of horror, your book has become A RELUCTANT DOG !

No matter what you do, no matter how hard you coax, wheedle, wrestle and demand your story simply refuses to get in the tub! Worse, sometimes it shimmies and shakes like a Vegas show girl until you lose your grip on it and end up chasing it from one end of the dog run to the other while the hose snakes around and soaks you and everything else in sight EXCEPT what you want it to soak - the DOG! Your words and ideas and plot threads scatter and roll around like bottles of shampoo after two large dogs decide to chase each other all over your bathing equipment splashing muddy water all over you AND the heretofore clean towels.

What do you do? You clean up, turn off the water, give the two large dogs (AKA The Idiot Brothers) your most ferocious glare and decide to start over. This time with something a bit smaller.

Lets say you can't wrestle the entire book at once. Lets say you decide to tackle something smaller, like a scene, aka a small dog. Seems simple, right? What could possibly go wrong? You're a writer. You can handle one small scene. Yeah, right. I'm a former veterinary technician (five years experience in an animal ER) and I even ran a humane society shelter for a year. And all it takes to whoop my butt and leave me a wet sopping mess spitting out flea shampoo suds and chasing a small dog all over the house with a towel is the IDEA that I can take on one twelve pound chihuahua. Wrong! I'd rather wrestle a ticked off alligator in a Louisiana swamp than bathe the "Dog from Hell" as my brothers call my chihuahua, Frodo.

The only thing that can whoop my butt faster is trying to write a scene when nothing and nobody in the entire scenario wants to cooperate. I mean, it is bad when the furniture in the scene refuses to cooperate. I put my hero and my heroine in a room together, furnish it and...NOTHING. They stand there like a couple of dachshunds looking at a tub full of nice warm water and say "You want me to go in THERE?" My hero and heroine stare at the bed with those same pitiful expressions and nothing I do can convince them to cooperate.


So, what do you do when your story turns into a reluctant dog? What happens when your carefully plotted out story turns on you and runs like a big blond retriever mix with the IQ of a block of wood the minute you turn on the hose? How do you wrestle it into submission? And once you do are you so worn out you forgot why you wanted it in the tub in the first place?

Any and all suggestions, war stories and just plain horror stories are appreciated. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm either going to wash my hero with flea soap or put my heroine alone in a room with a twelve pound chihuahua and a hose and see what happens.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hot New Summer Reads!

June 1st brings three new hot summer releases from Southern Magic authors, Lynn Raye Harris, Giselle Carmichael and Janice Lynn. From the lush tropics to high school reunions the urban city. From a crown princess to a doctor to a police detective. Be carried away by The Prince's Royal Concubine , Stilettos and Handcuffs and Dr. Di Angelo's Baby Bombshell, three wonderful releases available today, June 1, 2010!
`

The Prince's Royal Concubine by Lynn Raye Harris

Two glittering royal houses…

Prince Cristiano di Savaré hunts his prey by ruthless means. Tonight’s pickings…Antonella Romanelli, crown princess of a rival country and part of a dynasty he has every reason to despise…

…one majestic seduction

Antonella is rocked by Cristiano’s unexpected magnetism. But there’s ice in his wolfish smile… She’s far from the promiscuous, spoiled socialite he believes her to be, but Cristiano is here to persuade her into compliance. If bedding her is what it takes, then it will make his mission all the more pleasurable…


Stilettos and Handcuffs by Giselle Carmichael

Police Detective Taylor Warner is on the trail of four masked men responsible for a string of bank robberies, but it’s the handsome FBI agent working beside her that keeps her awake at night. His masculine good looks reflecting his biracial heritage appeal to her like no man before, but will her love of being a cop prevent her from having the happily ever after she desires?
Special Agent Stone Patrick wants only one woman, but in order to possess her, he’ll have to get past her defense of masculine suits and sensible shoes to reveal the passionate woman that she tries to hide from the world. And with a string of robberies yet to be solved, he’ll have his hands full.

But as the case progresses and the trail heats up, so does the bedroom. Detective Warner is a woman determined to get her man and to do so; she’ll fulfill his greatest fantasy in Stilettos and Handcuffs.

Dr. Di Angelo's Baby Bombshell by Janice Lynn

Dr. Darby Phillips is horrified to open the invitation to her high-school reunion! She was the shy, studious girl boys never looked twice at. Her heart won't survive the humiliation if she turns up without a date!

Enter her colleague, the delicious Dr. Blake Di Angelo. His Italian charm wins over every girl he flashes his twinkling smile at—including Darby! But her proposition is strictly business.

She never imagined playing the happy couple could lead to bona fide romance. Reality hits hard, though, when Darby must tell Blake that his playboy penthouse will soon be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet….


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