Archives for the month of: July, 2015

Hanging out with writers as I do, I hear about stories that are going on in other writers’ heads. I’m used to that, but the ones that make me grit my teeth are the ones I hear from non-wirters who probably will not give me permission to use it. Sometimes I just don’t know enough of the details. Of course, I am a writer and I can make things up. Read the rest of this entry »

I devote one post every month to health issues for writers, but I certainly hope you take time to be healthy every day. A quick tip on ways to not sit for too long: I’ll set a timer for 30 minutes and write whatever comes to mind. Doesn’t matter the grammar or the sentence structure or worry about ‘will the reader get what I’m trying to say here.’ Then when the timer goes off, I’ll set another timer for 10 minutes and go wash dishes or pick up toys, or vacuum; anything that gets me away from the computer. But, once the 10 minutes are up, even if I’m right in the middle of X activity, I stop and go write for another half hour. – Bren K. from Scribophile. Read the rest of this entry »

Tragedy strikes everyone. Sometimes it is a huge event, like losing a loved one in a shooting rampage. Sometimes it’s as small as the whisper of wings when you lose a pet. Each person endures the pain in different ways. Read the rest of this entry »

All writing is about relationships. Maybe between friends, maybe between a kid and a pet, maybe between military personnel, maybe between business partners. When it comes to relationships between men and women, or even two men or two women, the mythology abounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Good News!

Happy Authors Guild

Last April, an amazing thing happened. Five of my writer friends and I published an anthology of hot, somewhat paranormal romances. Here’s what the blurb says:

In the city of Anteros, you might find yourself at the Bowman’s Inn. You could be lonely, hurting, or lost more than you know. The bartender, Valentine Archer, will know just what you need. He not only looks like a Greek god, he used to be one. Cupid prefers to be called Val these days. But he still knows how to mend a broken heart.

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When I take a break from writing, I do an awful lot of reading. I read a lot of romances because it’s market research. God, I love that excuse. And I read some science fiction that my husband recommends because I am a Trekker, for many decades now. I read funny books because I love laughing, and I read whatever they have at the used book store on CD. I hate being on the road, even if it’s just a few blocks to the store, without the comfort and joy of imagination going on.

I find so many Gems while listening or reading, so I thought I would share a few of them with you. I don’t know if you will get the same impact as I did, but hopefully you will.

From The Villa by Nora Roberts, I picked up the older couple (out of three, and the most touching to me) knowing each other so well. Still the woman told her husband, “I don’t need you in my life, but I want you here.” That’s the key to a great relationship. I feel the same way about my husband, and I want my heroines to be strong women who can stand on their own two feet. They have room in their lives for a love interest because they want that person there. It’s so freeing to not be stuck somewhere without a choice to leave or stay. Financially, religiously, or whatever reason. Stay because you love them and you want to be there.

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From Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Jacob can’t remember exactly how old he is. It’s not a matter of a lack of documentation, it’s just that he’s 90. Or 93. The character explains that when you are a kid, you know exactly how old you are, and how long until your next birthday. Then eventually you start to dread the arrival of another birthday. Finally, you can’t really remember. The years pass by without our awareness. I’m at an age where I feel so much younger than I am, and I am motivated to stay at least as healthy as I am now, and improve as much as possible. But the years are certainly rolling by at a fast pace. I want this realism in my characters, and it’s so very important for Regency Romances where the women became “on the shelf,” unwanted goods, at an age when modern women are just starting to live independently. It’s chilling to think time could move any faster due to circumstances like that.

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Sir Terry Pratchett, much beloved and missed author of the Discworld books, had a character, and I apologize for not remembering the book or her name, who had not been a pretty child, had looked awkward as a young woman, but now in her golden years, she attained a measure of beauty beyond other women her age. I think I am like that, in many ways. I am happier at this age than I have been at any other time. That must be reflected in my face or my smile, in my walk and my social skills. I never hesitate to talk to anyone, especially if I can think of a funny like. Usually, my efforts are appreciated.

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I highly recommend Christopher Moore and any of his series or stand alone books. He’s taken a stab at Shakespeare that is so worth the read. The book is titled Fool, after the main character. And it has a beautiful Happily Ever After. But can Mr. Moore leave well enough alone? Of course not. He wrote another Shakespeare adaptaion, The Serpent of Venice, and while very humorous and fun, there’s a unhappy in it that makes me want to write him a letter. But the gem that has me laughing enough to include in this post makes up for it. You see, Pocket is a Fool, in motley with bells on. He has a monkey. The monkey does occasionally do something for which monkeys are well known. It involves body waste products. And just when you are least expecting it, Pocket tells his star-crossed friend to go start flinging woo. I wish I could steal that, but without the monkey, it loses a lot in the translation.

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

Have you ever started to write something and by the time you finished, it was something entirely different than you expected? Please say yes. Somebody say yes. Okay, my parrot said yes. Whew!

On Sunday I posted about hobbies, and I wanted to look at what people in Regency England would do to pass the no-TV-no-movies time. But my characters took over the computer, and I wrote more about The Bowman’s Inn Anthology than my original concept. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes you write a character and you can see the person. You can hear their voice. You can have long, meaningful conversations with this person. You know their favorite color. You know what they studied in school. You know who they are going to vote for in the next election. You have created a well-rounded person whom your readers will enjoy and want to read all about.

Or did you forget something? Besides making love to your other main character, does this person have a hobby? What do they do in their free time? Are they good at it, or just learning?

My nutritionist suggests hobbies like knitting and painting to keep me from overeating. If my hands are busy, I won’t be reaching for the Double Stuff Oreos. Not that I like Double Stuff Oreos. Just saying. Even better are hobbies that keep a person moving and not sitting very long at a time.

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When you read the Summer edition of The Bowman’s Inn Anthology, you’ll meet a character named Rusty who is hired to tend bar. In passing, we learn that Rusty drives a restored Classic Chevy. That’s all I say about it, but for Rusty, restoring cars is his hobby. He also works out at the gym every day, and donates time to help kids at the Y train to be physically fit. None of this has come out yet, but it will. Over the next year or so, more of his hobbies and lifestyle will be revealed. I thought when I first created Rusty that he would be gay. I wanted something for everyone in the pub. But turns out, he’s not. He fell in love with another character, and insisted on getting together with her. So I reduced my cast by one and had Rusty put the moves on Pepper. That’s how it works when you know your characters.

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You’ll also meet Nate and Charlene in the Anthology. Nate is a werewolf. Charlene is an office worker who daydreams about finding Mr. Right. She’s going to school but it’s summer, so she’s making use of the extra hours to stop in at the pub for coffee, and enjoy the beautiful day. Nate is a detective working undercover with a group of criminals. This group has been getting away with bank robbery after bank robbery. Nate got into the group and is determined to stop their winning streak. And Charlene happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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These two really haven’t been telling me much about themselves. But I plan to write more about them, and hopefully they will talk to me about their hobbies and interests. For Char, this is her first serious relationship, and for Nate, this is his first relationship with a non-shifter. He can’t find the right way to tell her. Maybe if she dresses as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween?

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

Twenty some years ago when I first threw my writing hat into the ring, I knew a number of writers who had been published. I met them through Romance Writers of America. We were acquaintances, not really close friends. My close friends were in my critique group, and not one of them had yet been published. Read the rest of this entry »

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