Monday, September 27, 2010

Sage Advice

How do the very young become so very wise? My six year old granddaughter and I sat on the porch swing, enjoying the refreshing autumn breeze on a Sunday afternoon. She'd found a wondrous rock, all smooth and shining with the most interesting indentations around the circumference of its egg-shaped surface. This special rock exuded magical properties.  It was a wishing rock. She informed me we needed to hold this lucky rock against our foreheads, close our eyes and make our wishes. The rock allowed us each three wishes. I didn't know how she knew this, but such sincerity shone in her clear blue eyes, I didn't doubt her a bit.


She held the rock to her forehead, closed her eyes and made her wishes. Then she pressed the cool stone of promise against my brow so that I could make mine. I made my wishes. Who wouldn't take a chance at a little extra luck? I opened my eyes and asked her what else we should do to make certain our wishes came true? Did we need to keep them a secret? What were the wishing rock's rules?

Her eyes widened and she stared at me. "YaYa, don't you know the secret to making all your wishes come true?"

I squirmed a bit beneath such scrutiny, reluctant to admit the truth. "No. What's the secret?"

"It's easy," she said. "All you have to do is believe in yourself."

My heart swelled at the sincerity in her tone.  Such wise advice coming from one so young. She knew the secret and I didn't. I thanked her for teaching me such a simple lesson that I wish I'd learned long ago.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You might be a writer if...

(Image: Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

While getting ready for work this morning, the strange little idiosyncrasies attributed to the writing life started whirring through my head.  So, I decided to take a moment to jot them down.  See if you agree.

You might be a writer if:

1.  When you open your eyes in the morning and look at the pillow beside you, there's a synonym finder, a dictionary, The Chicago Manual of Style and a sleeping laptop instead of your husband.  He ended up sleeping in the recliner (again) because there wasn't any room in the bed for him.

2.  The acronyms GMC and POV have nothing to do with a car manufacturer or a privately owned vehicle.

3.  When your friends see "that" look on your face, they beg you not to write them into one of your books.

4.  When you come across a particularly musical name, a character complete with an enthralling personality pops into your head and starts chatting about their life.

5.  Music, pictures, a funny ad on T.V. --anything can jolt free a herd of plot bunnies hippity-hopping through your mind.

6.  You drive past your exit on the way to your destination because a story is live-streaming in 3D Technicolor through your head.

7.  Coffee and chocolate are two MAJOR food groups.

8.  Your heart jumps into your throat whenever you receive an email with the word "Query" in the subject line along with the title of your manuscript.

9.  Your inbox averages hundreds of emails at any given time because of all the writer's loops you subscribe to--and you've got most of them set to digest.

10.  On Twitter you stalk...er...follow every editor, publisher, and agent interested in your genre so you can catch those golden tidbits of industry news.

11.  You have to set time limits on Facebook, Twitter, and reading other writer's fascinating blogs or your work in progress suffers from neglect.

And that said, my time is almost up!  Do any of these writer's traits fit you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eternity's Mark - Kensington Brava / RT Book Reviews Writing With the Stars Finalist

*Sigh* Don't you just love this pic I found while making the book trailer for Eternity's Mark?

*Shakes head to break reverie*  Anyway, while working on the web yesterday, I ran across this link that renewed my excitement about finaling in the Kensington Brava / RT Book Reviews Writing With the Stars contest:

Writing With the Stars - Meet the Finalists

My heart fluttered into my throat when I noticed the voting starts on October 11th.  That date just happens to be my husband's birthday.  I'm hoping that's a positive sign.

Since the starting date isn't that far away, I thought I'd unveil Eternity's book trailer and post a short excerpt. I've also posted the youtube version in a "permanent" slot on the side of my blog.



video

The following excerpt is where Taggart has just arrived in Hannah's hometown and is trying to win her trust.  She doesn't realize he's been sent not only to return her to the ancestral home of the Draecna's but it's Taggart's duty to protect her.  Rather than hit her with her heritage and the magic of his race, he's trying to convince her to come to Scotland under the pretense that she's inherited an estate in the Highlands.  However, Taggart's been followed by Sloan's vicious minions.  Wicked entities sent to detroy Hannah and bring back her blood. 

Excerpt:

“What doesn’t make sense?” Taggart mumbled, scanning the uppermost branches of the treetops and dropping his gaze to the darkest shadows beneath the bushes. He did his best to keep his voice low; to keep her calm, something neared, something meaning them both ill will. Had a minion followed them? Where the hell was it?


Hannah frowned down at Taggart’s hand on her arm then huffed as she slid out from under his grasp. “If the Guild of Barac’Nairn has watched over Taroc Na Mor for untold centuries and you’ve known all about my family, then why didn’t my grandmother or mother hear anything about this wondrous Scottish Disneyland and inherit Taroc Na Mor before either of them died? That’s the part about your little story that doesn’t make any sense.”

With a warning growl exploding from his chest, Taggart lunged, grabbed Hannah by the shoulders and dove over the railing of the bridge. He folded Hannah up against his chest and rolled with her underneath the structure. He cradled her head just above the water as she spit and sputtered against his chest.

“What the hell are you doing? Are you out of your fuc− are you insane?” Hannah clawed and kicked against him as the water rushed between their bodies.

“Shut up woman, so I can hear them!” Taggart jerked her hard against his chest, pressing his back tight against the base of the bridge. He reached out with his senses and listened across the dimensions, strained to hear the slightest sound. They had disappeared into the wind. Attack and leave, like they always did. A quick strike and then fade into the wind or the rain to ensure no one detected the destruction was their magic. They couldn’t risk those on this side of the threshold discovering their existence.

Taggart hauled them out from under the bridge and unrolled Hannah out of his embrace. He patted her arms, felt the top of head, then finally tucked a finger under her chin and tilted her face up for a closer look. “Are ye hurt? Did I scrape ye when I yanked ye over the railing?”

Blinking the water out of her eyes, Hannah hissed from between gritted teeth. “Bend down here.”

“What?” Taggart asked, bending closer to peer into her dripping face.

Hannah wadded up her fist and punched him right in the mouth, giving a satisfied huff as blood spurted from the split welting in his lower lip.

With a yelp of surprise, Taggart clapped his thumb to his mouth as he backed a few wary steps away. “Now what did I do to deserve that, ye wicked little beast?”

“What did you do to deserve that?” Hannah’s chin dropped to her chest as she paused from wringing out her ponytail. “You drag me off the bridge, yank me into the creek, tell me to shut up and then you ask me what you did to deserve a punch in the mouth? Are you kidding me? You’re lucky that’s all I did. And then you call me a wicked little beast?”

“Look over there!” Taggart pointed just beyond the bridge to the stand of trees just even with the height of her throat. Several good-sized oaks stood twisted off as though they’d been the size of toothpicks and now their splintered trunks lay scattered across the path like over-sized stalks of harvested broccoli.

Hannah stared at the downed trees. Her fingers traveled to the base of her throat as she caught her lower lip between her teeth. She turned and scanned the surrounding area, searching for the source of the destruction. “We just walked down that path.”

Taggart nodded. “Aye. We did. That very same path.”

Hannah looked back at the trees. “Those trees weren’t down then.”

Taggart shook his head. “No. They were not.”

Hannah wrapped her hand in the hem of her wet tee shirt and stretched on tiptoe to blot at Taggart’s bloody lip. “Bend down here. I’m sorry. I guess.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

I won this award from Gale Stanley at http://galestanley.blogspot.com/ . Thank you so very much, Gale!  It really means a lot.

I pass this lovely award to:

Michael Radcliffe
Victoria Roberts
Sarah Hoss
Rebecca Lynn
Miriam Newman
Donna Goode
Lisa Campbell
Jeannene Walker
Beth Trissel
Andrea Snider

This is how the award works:

Accept the award, post it on your blog along with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you enjoy and contact the bloggers to notify them of your choice!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bond of Words...

There are those who say this business of writing is a lonely, solitary choice.  I  beg to differ with those misinformed folks.  I've discovered the world of writing to be a delightful place filled with kind, supportive friends.

As a member of Romance Writers of America, two online special interest chapters of RWA, and several writer's loops, I've met people from all over the world and every walk of life.  We all share a common thread: the wondrous bond of words.

When one of our group suffers disappointment or loss, Twitter tweets, Facebook posts and emails fly.  Everyone rushes to console our friend and spread the word for help and support.

When someone conquers an elusive publishing quest and shouts they've won the battle, the collective congratulations and resounding whoo hoo's set the cyber world on fire.

No matter the level of experience or success in the writer's struggle, I've found the brotherhood of words warm and welcoming to all.  Knowledge and tips are openly shared.  If you're stumped, all you need do is ask. 

Like all families, there's an occasional heated discussion.  But everyone strives to treat each other with respect and ruffled feathers are quickly smoothed.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could teach this comraderie to the confused, angry people trapped in the "real" world?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

She finally showed her face!

I captured her! My elusive muse finally showed her face. Though she's usually the voice jolting me from a sound sleep, this time she allowed me a glimpse of her "physical" form.


I ignored it at first. This nagging image picking away at the back of my mind. But then I finally had to listen to her. She's never been one to settle for being ignored.

I grabbed a pencil and my granddaughter's crayons and said, "Fine. You want everyone to see the face behind the whispers? Put your image on this page and I'll post it on my blog."

And then we drew. And erased. And sketched some more until she stopped saying, "Don't make me look so old. Erase that line. You've given me a double chin!" She's such a bossy muse.

Have you ever envisioned your muse?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, I screamed...

If your windows rattled from an ear-splitting WHOO HOO from Kentucky, I admit it.  It was me.  I was so thrilled when I received the news, my happiness exploded.

Out of five hundred entries in the Kensington Brava / Romantic Times "Writing with the Stars" contest, I'M ONE OF THE TEN FINALISTS! At first, I couldn't breathe and I have to confess my heart still revs up a notch when I replay the editor's call in my head. 

The contest will be launched in their November issue where our intros and photos will appear.  Then my paranormal romance, Eternity's Mark will compete in five rounds of competition starting with the December issue of Romantic Times.

The winner will be announced at the Romantic Times convention and in their May issue.  This could mean a publishing contract for Eternity's Mark if the judges like it and if the readers show their approval with a supportive vote.

I just have to remember to breathe...