Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Two Fer Tuesday

On June 5, I begin a new posting schedule.

And a proposition.

Be the first two that comment and receive a crit of your choice.

Need a fresh eye to scan your first page? Your query? I will critique two, 250 – 300 word submissions.

It can be one-on-one comments, just between us. Or I can post it for others to critique as well. Your choice.

Next Tuesday, the 5th of June, leave a comment on my Two Fer post and receive opinions on style, grammar, flow, and hook.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mangled Manuscript Monday

It happened again. My deer-in-the-headlights reaction to *the* question.

“So what are you doing now?”

“I’m retired,” I muttered.

I could have said, “I’m a writer of fantasy with three manuscripts under my belt, a fourth started, and numerous short stories hovering in my documents.”

But as soon as the words leave my mouth, ‘I am a writer’, I know the questions that come next. And the ‘face’ of the speaker. They don’t quite roll their eyes. At least, not right away.

“Oh? You write books? Like Tom Clancy?” –raised eyebrows
“Um, no.”
“Like Louis L’Amour?”
“Stephen King?”
“No. I write fantasy. Like Patricia Briggs.”
“Like Jim Butcher.”
*crickets chirping* “Well, good luck with that. Hey, what about Desperate Housewives on TV, why not write that stuff instead.”


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Songs Sunday

The day I spring my newest sounds on the world.

Writing to music has become a necessity. Certain rhythms set the scene, fueling the inner muse.

Or for exercise. Tunes: the powerful motivator. 

Gotta have music that kicks me into gear.

The movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou, features the Soggy Bottom Boys (aka Dan Tyminski) rendition of The Man of Constant Sorrows. After listening to this bluegrass tune, I didn’t think improvement was possible.

I was wrong.

Charm City Devils slows their version to give time for the bass to vibrate. Sweet, like molasses, but with a dark flavor, so different from the movie version but not so much that I can't enjoy both. Like choosing between a premium chocolate bar and the same brand with nuts. 

Both are excellent

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fabulous Friday Funnies

Decipher This

"C M snakes?"

"M R not snakes."

"O S M R! C D E D B D iis?"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Profound Confusion

When I began this writing journey, those already in the business offered much advice. A lot of it contradictory.

Some of the 'help' came from people who appear a bit touched in the head. Or Laughing Their Collective A** Off at the muck they caused.

“There is no such thing as a ‘query letter’,” snarled one literary agent.

“Here is a sample of a query letter,” said another literary agent.


A published author advised the following in a query:

BOOK TITLE, urban fantasy.

Another published author sniffed and suggested:

Book Title, an urban fantasy


Agents have their preferences. They are people too. Or so I’ve heard. But what about the agent who doesn’t detail exactly how they like their query?

It’s up to the lame-brained writer to decide; does the agent like their query shaken or stirred?

To personalize or not to personalize; that is the question. Actually, how in hell’s name do we write a personalized note to an agent who has no website? Or one whose last post was two years ago? Not much marketing going on there. And not someone who is high on my list.

Conspiracy. Sometimes I wonder if there is an industry-wide scheme to cause confusion. Just for entertainment purposes. 

Agents, laughing uncontrollable, switching, and deleting information like format issues, rich text, HTML, page heading, title page, summary vs synopsis.

There is no such thing as ‘contemporary fantasy’. This came from a fellow writer even though I was submitting to an agent who wanted…yeah you guessed it, Contemporary Fantasy.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, agents rolled their collective eyes at self-pub. With the success of so many in the industry, Amanda Hocking aside, I believe they see it a little differently. And we adjust even as the industry shakes like a dog emerging soaked from a pond.

Confused by sensory overload? TMI? Or are the little voices in your head laughing at you. pipe down, I told you not to say anything!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Query Smack Down

Queries need some lovin’ just like everything else.

Aimee Salter posted my query for review on her blog.

Here’s your chance for payback.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Journey of Four Writers

At Unicorn Bell, a critique site I share with seven other writers, we are a smorgasbord of Different, varying stages of careers, tastes, and outlook.

Heck, three time zones alone are enough to give different perspectives.

Three writers are published or soon-to-be:

Jeffrey Beesler’s Spell of Entrapment - a tale of magic, knights, and attraction - came out in February.

Sendek: The Magic Wakes byCharity Bradford, SciFi/Fantasy. To be publishes in 2013 by Wido Publishing.

Sharon Bayliss has a novel exploding onto the scene this year through Curiosity Quills Press. Called, The Charge, it is sci-fi book about an alternate future of Texas.

The fourth writer highlighted today isn’t a part of our team but a regular commentator. Michael Offutt’s debut novel, Slipstream, has sci-fi geeks raving.

Four writers following their dreams and ambitions.

Four writers I admire greatly.

Best of Luck to all. Check out their websites for more and cheer them on their journey.

Update: Who can forget Alex Cavanaugh's CassaFire and CassaStar. Me, apparently *sheepishgrin*

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Funnies

The Bass Boat

A good ol Missouri boy won a bass boat in a raffle drawing.

When he brought it home, his wife rolled her eyes. "What you gonna do with that. There ain't no water deep enough to float a boat within 100 miles of here."

"I won it,” he said, “and I'm a-gonna keep it."

His brother came over several days later and asked the wife
where his brother was.

"That damn fool is out there in his bass boat.” She pointed to the field behind the house.

The brother walked behind the house and saw his brother in the middle of a big field sitting in a bass boat with a fishing rod in his hand.

He yelled out to him, "What are you doin'?"

"I'm fishin'. What does it look like I'm a doin'?"

"It's idiots like you that give people from Missouri a bad name,” he yelled, “makin' everybody think we're stupid. If I could swim, I'd come out there and whip your ass."

Monday, May 7, 2012


For participants of the Writer’s Voice, go here.

A to Z was enjoyable, frustrating, informative, time consuming, and enlightening.

Enjoyable and informative because I met:

And a big thanks to Alex for the shout out. Talk about absolutely humbling.

Frustrating because so many bloggers didn’t let me follow back. Or even edit their settings to allow public viewing.

Time consuming because this year, April was a busy month around the farm and I did not anticipate a few of the emergencies.

My theme made posting simple. I actually had a lot of fun finding the movies and quotes I liked. Scheduling the posts days ahead of time was like buttering bread, an uncomplicated no-brainer.

Some blogs kept the highly irritating word verifications. While others did not allow access, a definite head-scratcher. I visited many blogs and left comments. If the new blog was interesting or about writing, I followed.

Some blogs were too political. I passed on those. Occasionally, a posting made me jump back in my chair. I stumbled away from those as well.

All in all a good experience. But like childbirth, we forget the hard parts.

As Ahhhnold said, will I ‘be baaaack’?

Color me undecided. It was a difficult month. My WIP suffered like a stray dog left by the roadside.

Summary: I loved doing it; glad I did the 2012 A to Z Challenge.
Next year? Unsure. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Writer's Voice

Cupid's Literary Connection is conducting an interesting contest this month.

As one of the participants, here is my entry:

Title: The Adamant
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

No one tells Shamira Kelley how to live her life. Not the parents who abandoned her. Or the ancient relic that seeks to bond with her.

First 250 words:
His lazy strides across the mall caught my attention. Like he had time to kill and everyone else could wait at his leisure. Most galling was how people moved out of his way. No glares. No commotion.

He appeared to be about my age, early twenties with black hair that curled just below the collar of his white shirt. With the body and gliding walk of a dancer, his physique should have been drawing stares.  But that wasn’t what piqued my interest. What set me off was his arrogance. Not his looks. Totally secondary. I barely noticed. Really.

Glances from the people in the crowded mall slid off, went around him like light bending around the source.

“Look, the gods have blessed us with one of their own,” I said to Olive, my former guardian.

She turned away from matching towels and shot a glance around us. At forty-two, Olive still has the body of a model but a fluff head she was not. Like me, she is wary of crowds.

“What?” she said.

I gestured. “That guy. The one walking like he thinks no one will touch him. He’s the picture of arrogance, isn’t he?”

Olive’s brow gathered as she focused on the area where the black-haired man paced unimpeded. He moved like a king among his subjects.


I gaped at her. “Him. That man. Strutting across the mall.”

I pointed.

Her gaze sharpened but then shifted to me again.

“I don’t see what you’re dithering about.” Olive shrugged.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sometimes I Feel like a Slinky

But doesn't everyone from time to time?

For the Rocker-Inclined such as myself, check out The Veer Union. I was a teeny bit startled by their pics so I'm happy I *heard* them before I saw them.

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