Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Right Here! And I'm late announcing it!
That's because I've been busy investigating the mystery surrounding the second story Urania has charged me with writing. The Second Song of the Muses is in the works. The Muses are at it again! Laughter, tears, and drama.
In the meantime, I'm also creating avatars for the Muses, who have their own blog. They haven't been very busy yet, but then Halloween happened, and they've been otherwise occupied. All those mischievous spirits loose at this time of year keep them running.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Websites 202 Workshop
Begins November 9
(That's next Sunday!)
Get inside a Web Page
Learn the Basics of HTML
How to add an Image
How to Add a Link
How to Edit a Template
Lots of Practice!
Registration Open Now
Duration: 2 weeks
for more information
You can also click on the link below
or copy and paste the URL into your web browser:
Follow the directions in the email you will receive
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'm always looking forward to new challenges, and I still feel like I'm growing up, not growing old.
The downside of it, is that I tend to forget my own age, too. So sometimes, it's a good thing to look back and compare who you were to who you are. And it's not a bad thing to learn from your own life in order to infuse your characters with the potential for change.
In no particular order:
- Lessons Learned. In a very practical and material fashion: degrees, grades, or certifications. Or just courses or workshops you took. "Remember, that was the year we got together and plotted 9 books in one weekend." Now that's a milestone. And yes, it happened, and what fun it was!
- Children. "The year when.." or "The time when..." Children offer dozens of milestones. First day of school ever. First graduation. First, er, disciplinary action.
- Movies. How did seeing a certain movie change your way of looking at storytelling, or your perception of a certain book, actor, or even an entire genre? Was that the summer when you started reading (or writing) a new type of novels?
- Music. Did you go to a concert? Did you discover a new artist? Did you meet someone the month when a certain song was playing on the radio all the time?
- Celebrations at work. It's a good time to see how your attitude towards people has changed, and how co-workers have become close friends. How you once saw the very place where you spend your days, and how you see it now. Even your daily commute: how was it when you prepared for the Christmas (or whatever) party last year? How is it now? What's changed?
- Holidays at home. They never seem to change. That's the whole point of holidays. It's the comfort of continuity. But it's also the knowledge that we can maintain this continuity while we change. What are the small differences that we admit within the sameness of our traditions?
- Changing bodies. Changing health. From infant children to elderly parents, and diabetic needs, and everything in-between.
- Birthdays and candles on the cake. That was rather obvious.
- The tree in the front yard planted the first year you moved into your new house.
- Old photographs of things you see every day.
- Schools your youngest children, or your friends' youngest children, don't go to anymore.
- A growing library and books stacking two and three deep on your shelves. Moving because you need room for books.
- Learning something new you never thought you'd be interested in.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
We were wrong.
I ought to have known there was a reason my inner procrastinator bulked at posting the issue resolved, and the saga ended.
The A/C is still on the fritz.
Fortunately, we're not under a F100+ heatwave, and we can actually enjoy cool morning temperatures.
I just wish they would discover WHAT the problem is, so my husband can finally settle down and enjoy life, instead of worrying about the house crumbling down around him.
He worries enough for all of us.
In other news...
I have a date!
I mean... I have a release date for The Joining.
February 11, 2009.
Mark your calendars!
It's been in the works for a while. It's a fun little story, sci-fi, of course. Coming out at The Wild Rose Press.
In the meantime, you can visit my website to watch the trailer (it's the first trailer I ever made).
If that wasn't enough news, I spend most of the day yesterday at a workshop organized by our local RWA chapter, SARA. It was the first of our Build-A-Book workshops, and I had so much fun giving a talk on "plotting as pantser," or how do you keep your wits about you when all the plotting schemes seem to go awry? Or something like that.
And I'm still offering online workshops, so check out my website: Otter Creations for more information. There's one coming in October for those who are brand new to the Internet: I'll help you get comfortable with all the terminology, figure out where to start with your web presence, and get you ready to start on the basics of HTML, which comes...
The November workshop!
It's all about image tags and links and colors... Just to give you a taste and get you started. Nothing scary. Nothing major.
Finally, when you're ready to put something up, you'll need to write up something quick to grab your visitors. That's when you'll want to try the December Blurb Workshop. It's short, it's intense, it's hands-on.
And yes, I'm still writing. I just have to finish something. I've had a problem with attention span lately...
Monday, September 1, 2008
After a quick trip to visit our longtime friends, we came back yesterday to a house that felt too warm. In South Texas, that's a Very Bad Sign. The good side: it was late in the day, and the house wasn't TOO hot yet. The bad side: yep, you guessed it, the A/C wasn't working.
Now, anyone who hasn't lived in a hot climate might think that it's no big deal. Just open the windows and turn on the fans. Eat some ice cream and drink cold drinks.
Not when the night temperatures don't drop below the mid-seventies, the morning is humid, and the daytime heat flirts with the 100 mark. There's just no time for the house to cool down. And you never know when the 100-mark will be reached or passed. Don't count on the official reports to give you an accurate estimate of the temperature in your neighborhood.
I mean, official readings in the shade at the airport?? Come on! How about off the roof of my house? I'll even take a reading in the shade on the northern side of my house.
So, all right, I've weathered heat. I've camped in heat. I can take it for the day or so it will take for the A/C guys to come and fix it.
The real problem is my 82-year-old oh-so-European mother, who is still baffled by the South Texas climate, even after 10 years of living in it. She really doesn't do well in the heat.
I guess this won't be a good writing day for me.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
What did you do?
If you're a nice person (and I have no reason to doubt it), you didn't spread any malicious rumors. But did you walk away when you heard juicy ones? Did you look the other way when you noticed body language that contradicted what was commonly known -- or belied the way things should have been?
Of course not. Because whatever your age was, you were a writer. And everyone, and everything around you told a story.
One of the most common questions authors are asked is "where do you get your ideas?"
We might as well answer -- where do we not?
Anyone takes a look at the grumpy expression of a neighbor--co-worker--classmate, and most people will think: "what's her (his) deal today?"
A writer will think: "I wonder what his (her) story is? What drove this person to such a bad mood that she (or he) can't hide it from the world? What traits of character make up someone who feels the need to spread their mood around? How would I show that in a story?"
If you're a visual artist, you walk around noticing details of shape and color and line. If you're a fashion designer, you notice draping and color and, again, line, but with a different emphasis. If you're a writer, you notice all of that, but instead of thinking how to render it all in pencil, color, or the drape of cloth, you start looking for the one word that will convey the essence of that single instant when you experienced the precise and fleeting emotion that stopped you.
Is it harder? I don't know. Easier? I don't know either. Is it like being a poet? I still don't know!
Everything is a story for me. It's the story of the teller as much as the story of the told. It's the story of the artist as much as the tale in the image. It's Vermeer painting the image, it's the brush that touched the canvas and the hand that held the brush, as much as the colors and the light and the shadows. It's the wealthy patron commissioning the work as much as the subject of the painting. It's the person who sat for the portrait as much as the image in the frame.
A trip through time. A passage into a different world. A glimpse into another person's mind.
A story. A tale. A marvel.
And going home to write a story of my own.
Friday, August 8, 2008
What? My workshops.
To date, I have two set up, and one more in the works.
- A basic introduction to the Web
- A workshop on writing blurbs
- An upcoming second-level workshop on editing Web pages
After years and years of struggling to communicate with my husband about our websites on the same advanced level as we do when it comes to our lectures, to literature, and to everything else, I realized that some people can think computers, and some people can't. It's just the way you organize your thoughts. And no, it doesn't make you a machine-like zombie. Just odd in a different way. But then all writers are a bit odd, right?
I'm geeky. I love computers. I love to play with them. Using the computer to write is as much delight as composing sentences and finding the right word.
Strange isn't it? When the story flows, the act of typing the words gives me as much pleasure as seeing the resulting text align itself on the page. Doing it with pen and paper just isn't the same.
I wonder how it would work with pen and quill...
Nah. Too messy.
Anyway. Too many projects happening at once, as always. But if you're curious, check out Otter Creations for the next upcoming workshop and join me for the fun. The more participants the merrier. And if you do join in, don't hesitate to ask questions! That's what I'm doing this for. How do I know what you really want to know if you don't ask?
Oh, and if you have any ideas for future workshops, I'm listening. I'm not saying I'll do them (assuming I can do them), but I'll surely think on it.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thank you to all for stopping by and for leaving comments, thank you for visiting my site and taking a look at my trailer! I had fun making it.
Please come back to check on my random postings here and on LiveJournal (although they're usually cross-posted).
If you want more contests, stay tuned! Because now that mine is over, another one begins!
Dancing with Fate, the newest story of the Song of the Muses, just came out, and Hywela Lyn, the author, is offering her own prize to a lucky winner:
I love water and we (Hywela Lyn and I) thought it would be a nice idea to give a pendant as a prize. It's a water droplet on a silvery chain, with a tiny heart. I think it's beautiful and all you have to do to win it is leave a comment here, with the answer to this simple question: What is the name of my 'golden horse' ? You'll find the answer on the same side of my My Space as the video. Look for the picture of me riding her, and the answer is close by.
Look for the answer on Terpsichore's MySpace.
Check up on the other Muses on the Muse MySpace.
And come back to visit, right!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Win a copy of my story!
Post a comment between today and July 31st to enter the drawing for a PDF of my novella (don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you!). One winner, random drawing, no purchase necessary.
The Brightest Heaven
(Book II of The Song of the Muses Anthology)
Read an Exerpt
Watch the Trailer
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Brightest Heaven
(Book II of The Song of the Muses Anthology)
Read an Exerpt
Watch the Trailer
Urania, muse of Astronomy, is disconsolate: technology flourishes, but true creativity seems lost. Then she meets Daniel Kettering, an astrophysicist who shines with inspiration. But he's about to make a discovery which will threaten time, space, and every existing world.
The Olympians order Urania to carry an ultimatum for Daniel: forget your research and get eternal life. Or else. But first, Urania and Daniel have to figure out who stole Daniel's research, save the universe, and defeat Chaos. And maybe find happiness.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Websites 101 Workshop
Begins July 13
Registration Starts June 23
Duration: 2 weeks
for more information
Click to join the Websites 101
Follow the directions in the email
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Isn't it grand being a writer? You can commit acts of utter destruction on a whim, without the bother and expense of accomplices and supplies, or the exhaustion of planning and effort.
And if it doesn't work? Well, you just scrap the scene and start over. Or if you like the plot and the action too much, you adjust the setting to the act instead of the act to the situation.
Yeah, writing is so much better than doing the actual thing.
Well, not always. No, really. Think about it. On a good day, there are many things I'd rather be doing than writing about...
Yeah. Umm. Well, never mind.
So back to writing on not so nice days.
Sometimes, even a scene of destruction won't do, because the words won't align themselves. The images won't appear, and the story-film won't roll.
I had a thought. Should I write reviews of books I hated?
There's something cathartic about saying what you think when you really can't be nice. Because I actually like to be nice. I enjoy making people happy. But sometimes, I just want to have fun.
Yes? No? ... ::sigh:: Nah. I don't think so.
For one thing, I can't think of a book I really hated.
Oh. Not true. I had to read something by Gorky in graduate school. I truly, deeply, absolutely hated and despised that.
But to write about it would involved a socio-politico-cultural rant you surely don't want to hear.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I absolutely hate them.
Mostly, I hate writing them. The best transitions are those that disappear under a scene change (you know, when you see the mysterious *** or ### or even a singe * in the middle of a page).
But even then, you have to start the next scene with a smooth introduction. If it were a movie instead of a written story, you would have to be sure to have a well-crafted camera movement. No jerks, no broken film. No discontinuity where your character is suddenly wearing a purple dress instead of a Marine uniform.
But transitions happen in life, too, and I hate them with just as much passion. You're motoring along, everything is fine and dandy, and then something hits you. You have to slam on the brakes on the highway, or you have to get up in the middle of a fine dinner, or you have to interrupt your TV watching right at the best scene...
Or you're trying to start a new story after you've finished a marathon session on the previous one.
It's not like I don't know where I'm going.
It's all planned out. I have met my characters and I like them. I even like my villain (as much as one can like a villain).
So I keep procrastinating.
Someone kick me. Or something. Not too painful.
Of course, getting sick for a whole weekend extended weekend didn't help.
Where is my Muse when I need her?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
... for the stories I've been talking about...
It's not an excerpt! Not a
tidbit! It's a Whole Story!!
The Long and Short Reviews
is publishing my short-short story (1,000 words) "Unexpected Bounty"
After that, it will go into the Archives, so you'll still be
able to find it if you miss it.
It's short. It's fun. It's
science-fiction. It's still a romance.
And I still have no idea how I
pulled it off. The shortest story I ever wrote!
The Writing Life
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Whether you're a reader or a writer, you're sure to find something to entertain you. Check out what they have this month! Click on the banner:
Try your luck!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Agent Kristin Nelson has been in New York this last week, and meeting with editors. Her posts have been interesting, educational, and witty, as usual.
There is one thing many writers tend to do: get hung up on market trends. Read her post and mark her words:
Pub Rants: The Year Delay
I think what you should take away from all these posts of mine lately is that it’s good to know the market but ultimately don’t get overwhelmingly caught up into it.
Remember to tell your story well. That's the first and last thing that matters. The rest, in the long run, is the publishing lottery.
Hurry up slowly is the game.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
by Layla Chase
Amber Quill Press
(A spicy novella.)
You don't fall in love with your best buddy. Especially not when you've been pouring your heart out to him about everything, including your boyfriends.
No, it can't happen. Especially when your best buddy is just like your father, one of those unreliable rodeo-riding, glory-chasing cowboys.
At least, that's what Lacy Durant thinks. And Clint Merrick is out to prove her wrong. On all counts. And with style.
Sit back and enjoy a delightful tale that will make you smile and wish you could travel to Texas to meet Clint and Lacy.
Layla Chase knows how to evoke emotion and bring to life her characters. Nor does she hesitate throwing in heartbreak into their paradise when everything seems perfect. Her writing is rich and smooth, and her descriptions invite you into vivid settings. You can always count on humor, sensuality, and a good time in a story by Layla Chase.
Originally published in The Love Letter, the newsletter of the San Antonio Romance Authors, Chapter 41 of the Romance Writers of America.
Monday, February 11, 2008
But the real highlight was the SARA (San Antonio Romance Authors) booksigning at B&N. For one thing, I brought Daughter #2 because one of our members is Tara West, and I knew my kid would love her book. I was right, Sonia devoured it, and can't wait for the sequel. She also got a kick out of meeting real authors who are "mom's friends". And to hold a book she bought in a store whose author she knew personally and about whom she knew a lot, too.
Well, I got to hang out with friends, and read their books (I shouldn't have, I meant to keep them as treats, but I couldn't resist). I love to hear their voices tell me their stories -- sometimes it's like sitting in a cozy living room listening to gossip (oh my, what gossip), and sometimes, it's a completely different persona taking over the storytelling.
Never a dull moment.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Pub Rants: Research Is Free
...says Agent Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
Don't spend you money on search services that may not be as good as they advertise. Remember that agents are looking for the next Nora or Stephen King or... me? you? They will advertise what they can about themselves, as much as they can and dare, and as much as they can handle. Because the good agents will think of their clients first, and of their own ability to handle even one more author.
You can let your own fingers do the walking.
Powered by ScribeFire.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The Dragon of Croatia
by Valerie Everhart
Available from The Wild Rose Press (a Miniature Rose).
Sun, sea... and damp caves?
If you know anything about Europe, you'll understand that the combination isn't that unusual. Calie Stewart is determined to enjoy all three throughout her vacation on the Adriatic Sea. Sunbathing, sea-fishing, and exploring ancient caves. Far away from manipulative agencies and controlling ex-lovers.
But when she discovers the one cave she hoped to find, she also realizes that some jobs are more than professions. They are destinies. And overbearing males are unavoidable. As are ancient secrets, true love, and heartbreak.
Take a trip to the sun-heated shores of Croatia and go on a roller-coaster ride with Valerie Everhart as we dodge smugglers, free a dragon, and cheer for Calie. Can a dragon bound to visit a little village for ten days once a century find true love with an ordinary woman? Let Valerie Everhart tell you in The Dragon of Croatia.
Valerie Everhart is also working on her part of the Song of the Muses anthology, coming out this spring in e-book format, and this fall in print, from The Wild Rose Press.
Monday, January 21, 2008
At The Wild Rose Press, Where Romance Blooms
Announcing the special release of On The Run All proceeds from this fabulous romantic suspense novel will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Show your support today!
More from the Editor of The Wild Rose Press:
"We don't usually release books on Mondays but I asked RJ to give this book its own day of the week and she agreed. "On the Run", by Judith Rochelle is a Crimson Rose full length novel and is available today in electronic format and will be in print in a couple weeks.
This project deserves your attention because every dime will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. As writers we have been blessed with a talent that not just anyone has. We can say things that others read and understand and possibly learn about. We can spread information to our writing loops and organizations that reaches far across the country and into other nations. I hope that this is one time when you will take this and truly spread the word as only writers can. I've been very very blessed to have not only three very healthy sons, but cousins and nephews and nieces and children in my life who have been healthy and happy and strong.
Sometimes we all have to take a reality check and realize that there are families out there truly suffering due to their children's long term illnesses. Maybe some of these children are in your family and circle of friends. St. Jude's is an amazing hospital in Memphis, TN that supports and helps families and children of long term illnesses. I ask all of you to please copy the following information which is going to be posted on our web site tomorrow and foward to your loops everywhere. Together, all of us can raise some amazing money to help St. Jude's continue their work. Romance review sites, romance magazines and pretty much any web site we spoke to agreed to publicize this project.
Judith Rochelle, is one of our multipublished authors at The Wild Rose Press as well as a personal friend. In late summer, 2007 I approached her with an idea of a project that would enable RJ and me to give something back for all the wonderful things that had happened to us since we opened in May 2006. I wanted to find an organization that I felt everyone, everywhere would care about and really embrace. While many qualified, the one that kept coming back to my mind was St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
A few days later, Judith created a synopsis and a proposal for a book incorporating romance, suspense and St. Jude's. It took my breath away at what she'd come up with. Judith wrote the book, RJ and I edited it, and Kim Mendoza did the beautiful cover.
None of us, including the publishing company, will receive any compensation; every penny will go to St. Jude's. Children's Hospital The result of this, is the amazing Crimson Rose book called "On the Run" by Judith Rochelle. The book will be offered in both print and electronic format. The amount raised will be announced on our web site twice a year. The first report to be posted at the end of June 2008. If you've purchased this book, thank you for your contribution to St. Jude's, if you haven't purchased it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. The download is $5.00 and will go into a special fund to be donated to St. Jude's twice a year. If you would like more information on this project, you may contact Rhonda Penders at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the author, please visit www.judithrochelle.com. To see the amazing work St. Jude's does, please visit their web site at www.stjude.org. Thank you for your support of this important project. Rhonda Penders
I don't think I need to add anything to this.
Powered by ScribeFire.