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Showing posts from December, 2011

If The World Ends 12/21/12, At Least I Can Say I Got Something Done In 2011

Good year, bad year. Good year, bad year. Mediocre year?

In review, here are things I set out to do:

In January, I decided to start editing The Treasure Hunter's Lady. And for some crazy reason, add 30,000 words, which I finished (adding, not editing) around the end of June/beginning of July. Worse still, I decided to pitch to a real-live agent in person. And I sent out maybe a dozen query letters. Of which all were rejected. I was sad a lot during the summer. In fact, I almost broke down crying in an automotive store on  a Friday evening when I received a reject. I soldiered on.

I also entered THL in two contests. I did very poorly in one and got an honorable mention in the other. Up and down. I entered a short story in another contest and scraped by with a second runner up people's choice majigger award because my network is awesome. Thank you, network. Without you-all, I'd be in sorry shape indeed.

Need I mention I kind of felt bad about bugging everyone to vote? I thr…

All I Got For Christmas Was...

A totally awesome e-reader, y'all. Okay, that's not all I got for Christmas because I got a super-cute purse, a sweat shirt and new jeans and an impending trip to Arkansas (that hopefully includes cheese because I want to ring in the New Year by eating fancy cheese. I ♥cheese). But I'm obsessed with the e-reader, of course. It's a Pandigital novel e-reader with a 7" screen in black. I need to get a cover or skin for it because I've already go fingerprints all over it.

This is how the cover of THL will look on in the gallery. That's not the cover I'm using for the book, but I just wanted to see how it would look. The verdict is in: amazing. Of course.
The photo isn't much to go by. It makes the top of the cover look sepia and the bottom very blue. It's just the angle. I haven't decided whether my hand is large and the reader is small or if that's the camera. Going with the camera.

So far I've downloaded four books to the ereader. I …

A Different Road Altogether

Doing things I never thought I'd do. I've often avoided writing short stories because I didn't know what to do with them once they were finished. Even after listening to indie authors rave about their self-publishing experiences on Amazon, Nook and elsewhere, I hesitated to join the fun.

There's formatting to consider, editing (which I've been up to my eyeballs in since January), cover images, marketing, on and on. It's whole 'nother barrel of apples compared to trying to make it in the traditional publishing world.

I tentatively stuck my toe in the indie author world by reading Mark Coker's e-book about publishing to Smashwords. I thought, I am tech-challeged, I will never be able to figure this out. But I sat down one evening at home and plunged into his book and I swear, if you plan to self-publish, even if you don't want to put your stuff on Smashwords, read Coker's book. Formatting made easy, even I understood it. Even if you don't wan…

A Little Bit About RETURN

In an effort to boost my sales, which are quite low on this story, I thought I'd share a little bit about it. Obviously as it's short, this won't take long and might even be harmless.

RETURN is the short story I'm most proud of, so I'll tell you about it today.

I wrote this story in... erm, the late nineties. I could probably hunt up a specific year, but let's go with I was in high school. I was on that western kick, where I couldn't get my hands on enough Louis L'Amour. I watched Silverado about 7 million times and Tombstone about 2 million times. No wonder my VCR is worn out. It was western, western, western on top of historical romance, historical romance, historical romance.

One day my English teacher announces that we're hosting the Mark Twain Conference Creative Writing Contest. I was super-thrilled because I loved to write. I entered every category except unrhymed poetry because I didn't write poetry that didn't rhyme. Most angsty tee…

The Friday Five - Christmas Gift!

Back in the swing of things with The Friday Five. Woohoo!

Saying 'Christmas gift' when you walk into the home of a relative on Christmas, by the way, is a Southern thing. The first person who says it gets the first gift. Today I thought I'd talk about five things I wish I had the gall to buy and give away as Christmas presents.

#1) Taxidermied animals that are stuffed and preserved for the purpose of staring at you with lifeless glass eyes. But I never want want to receive, say, my dog. "Well, look at it this way, sweetie, Fluffy doesn't eat, poop, need walks or get fleas. He's the perfect pet!"
Apparently putting dead rodents on hats is all the rage. I'll take the one with the moose, please. Better yet, I can just make the moose head a hat.

#2) Luncheon loaf. Nothing says 'I couldn't think of anything to get you, so I got you fake Spam' like 3 for $1 luncheon loaf from the dollar store. It also says, 'I'm not terribly fond of you&…

Why I'm In Love With Friends With Benefits

Do you feel like I'm copping out on you? I already did a movie review. But this one is a romantic comedy, so that's different!

I think I saw the preview for Friends With Benefits when I rented Something Borrowed. Husband groaned because he's not a Justin Timberlake fan. Me neither. But I rented this because they highlighted the funny scenes in the movie trailer.

I can't tell if JT is just a bad actor or what is going on with him. His character, Dylan, well... he reminded me of me. A little indecisive. Not alpha male in any way. Let's just say I don't know anything about LA, but his character made me think the people who live there are a little nutty. Very first part of the movie is a scene where the two main characters are shown being dumped by their current love interests.

Anyway, Mila Kunis' character, Jamie, is a headhunter who wants Dylan to interview and take a position with GQ. He gets an offer from them, but isn't sure New York is really his city…

So... I Published With Smashwords

I had these short stories just sitting there, right? And Return even won an award, it deserves to be seen. Actually, back in the day (2009 was so long ago, you know) it was called For Everything A Time, but that's almost as long as the story and kind of awkward. I like the shorter title better. It's about a cowboy who goes to the place where was born and raised, the place he left in a fit of anger and how he tries to redeem himself by dying there. You can get it here.

The other (more cheerful story) is a contemporary romance short story about an event they have at my alma mater, but I modified it to become a charity event: MudFest. It's about two people who know each other and compete every year for the covered MudFest trophy. It's also about good sportsmanship. Learn something, will ya? You can download it here.

Coupla little ninety-nine centers, good for right before bed if you don't need to do anything heavy thinking.

Happy writing!

It's Christmas Time

Like you can't get enough Christmas everywhere else, I'm bringing it too.

I'm kind of torn about holidays. I don't really like them (gasp!) but I do like getting extra time off. The whole Christmas thing seems to start earlier and earlier and that gets old. I do not want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Ugh. In fact, I don't think radio stations should devote their entire music list to Christmas tunes either. Maybe I'm a Scrooge, but I don't care.

In spite of my anti-holiday feelings, I bring you Christmas wonders from around the stores. This is one of the trees at Bass Pro Shops. Wouldn't every lucky little boy like to wake up with a four-wheeler under his tree? I couldn't care less about four-wheelers, but I thought the lights were pretty. The Christmas Wonderland behind the tree reminds me of what hell is probably like: screaming kids, "elves" on cell phones, and taxidermied caribou surrounded by fake snow. De-light-ful. Not…

The Backburner

I have stuff on the backburner. I'm still working on edits for THL and I haven't done anything except take my NaNo project to my local critique group for some poking and prodding. I'm a little bit burned out. But, heck, it's the holidays and I'm pretty burned out all around. In a past life I must've been a bear because there is nothing I would love more than to sleep through winter.

I have two projects waiting on me to finish writing them. I have three others that need endings and/or edits. But as I look into the next year, I'm wondering what kinds of writing I'll get done in the coming months. I love writing steampunk/adventure romances. But my mind is wandering in the direction of other genres. Like a romance set during/after World War II. I love that time period. The fashion and the mannerisms, the way things were rapidly evolving to shape the world as we know it.

Steampunk romance: 1 finished in edits. One half-finished. One semi-plotted to complete…

Why I'm Not Sure If I Loved Conan Or Not

It's too cold lately to be SIFWIWing, so I'm scouring other venues for something exciting to do. We rented a couple of movies Friday night, so I thought I could talk about a movie instead, as I sometimes do. We got Crazy, Stupid Love (B+), Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (A++) and Conan the Barbarian (A-/B+?)

I wish I had gotten Crazy, Stupid Love from Redbox, to be honest. It was okay (you'd think I'd be a little more enthusiastic about a romance movie, right?) but I don't know if it was $2.75 good. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had me laughing so hard I was crying and couldn't breathe. Husband and I agreed that we need to own that movie. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that Conan offered us a hairy Ron Perlman. Love me some Ron Perlman. I mean, classic 1987 Beauty and the Beast on TV, what's not to love?

So Conan. With voice-over by Morgan Freeman, I mean, how cool is that? I had trouble getting my mind around the time period. Where were the ancient civilizati…

My Final WriMo Woe (Or Another Swan Song, Or Die, November, Die!)

I gave it my best shot. Okay, I tried. It wasn't anywhere close to "best shot", but it's hard to complain about 38,320 words in 23 days. No, I haven't written another single word on it since the 23rd. Bite me.

To recap: I was extremely excited about the prospect of writing this second version of The Sky Pirate's Wife because I finally figured out the paranormal elements in it. I think the second and third chapters are excellent, much different than I anticipated (because let's face it, I went into this blind and didn't anticipate anything).

Somewhere along the way the FMC and MMC got into this habit of really ripping each other up when they weren't making love (which was just an added bonus because I was out of plot so I substituted sex instead of dialogue). It stopped being fun. Now I'm thinking I might just take some of the stuff from the first version, combine it with the second and stir in those paranormal elements. Eventually.

I'm a l…