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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I don't read a whole lot. I spend too much time writing my own. But I do try to read one or two books a month. This month I'm playing catch up with a couple of authors that are new to me. One a friend turned me on to: Frank Peretti. I'm in the middle of one of his novels now. I bought the three book series. They're healthy tombs. I'm in the middle of 'This Present Darkness' right now. It's very good.

Another 'new for me' author is Lynn Viehl and her Darken series. I bought two of them to read this month: 'If Angels Burn', and 'Private Demon'. I came across her blog, and over a month or so really got to liking her style, and decided to check out her books on Amazon. Read the first chapter of 'If Angels Burn' on the Amazon site and was really caught. Had to buy that, and take a chance on another.

What's on your reading list?

Friday, January 20, 2006


The glorious Miss Snark had a comment on a website in one of her posts yesterday and it really brought the stark realities of writer's desperation to the forefront of my mind.

There are so many of these types of sites online that I won't even bother to mention which site she mentioned. It's just a clone of a million others. It really doesn't even matter which exact one it is. It's the idea of it, and them, that riles.

It's a sad fact that hopeful writers are a desperate bunch as a group. It's an uncomfortable position to be in. At the mercy of the powers-that-be, and when you're struggling for notice, EVERYONE seems like a member of the 'big boys' club but you.

You just need an in, you think. If you could just get that one person to see your work for what it is, you'd be in gravy. Well, that's true, of course. But that's the trick of the mind that these sites prey on like a hungry group of swarming vultures.

Submit your manuscript for the low, low price of $40.00 (whatever, the price varies) and get reviewed by our large group of writers, or staff, or small group of top lit agents (like they'd be bothered to add to their slush any more than it is if they were really top agents). The gimmick is slightly different for each, yet disgustingly the same. The bottom line is the $40.00. That's all it's about for them. Face it there are millions of hungry writers out there, and if they can hook even 1% of them, they're making out like a bandit.

Regardless of any claims to the contrary, these types of sites (or emails, or letters by snail mail--they are inventive in their marketing approach) are worthless to the writer. The only one that benefits is the receipient of the $40.00.


Don't fall for it. Stick with the tried and true, and as of this moment ONLY way to really get the recognition you need. Submit to legit agents via their guidelines, or publishing houses via theirs. No ifs, ands, or buts, on this one. Don't be fooled into thinking there's got to be an easier way, there isn't. And remember always the mantra~money flows TO the author.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


No, this isn't about MY ego. LOL. Mine is rather large and doesn't require stroking.

It's about a phenomenon I've seen plenty of, but have just had another experience with, and it galls me.

Writers that use imaginary, or at least un-verifiable 'credits' to appear bigger than what they are. Now notice here that I didn't say authors, because by and large many of these writers have never had anything actually published. They just want others to think they have.

I joined a small, cozy group just recently, and realized after awhile what the leader was doing. Not to me--been around that block a time or two on the horse I rode in on... and the horse is tired. Several newer writers however considered this 'big-timer' with great awe, and reverence. Okay, whatever. Maybe they really were as big time as they were saying they were... little red flags of impossible verification were popping up, but oh well, no skin off my nose, I couldn't care less if they did, or didn't do the things they said. Then one day in a live chat they said something that was so blatently obvious (to someone who knows it couldn't/wouldn't/never has happened).

Why do people feel the need to do this? Eventually their big mouth is going to spout off something someone is going to instantly know is wrong, and they will be 'outted'. So why do it?

I just wish these writers would understand it's not necessary to have bukuu credits, and glamorous backgrounds in order to have commrades in this silly game of writing.

Then again, if commrades is not what they want... but devotees, and worshipers... that's a different thing altogether, and they had better go about getting those real credits that can be verified.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


What's the beef? I've read some of the lists I'm on lately, and a common thread occurs with many writers: I have hit a wall. I can't find my story. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I think every writer hits one or even sometimes more of these walls during the course of time. Sometimes evenone or more versions of it on everybook (glances from side to side to be sure no one's looking in my direction). In Big Money, I realized actually at about the 3/4 point that my secondary characters were just hanging around whistling... I was totally stumped. It took a sit-down, long indepth converstation with my hubby(God Bless him he's good for something, lol) to clear that roadblock. It just popped up in a conversationand I was off and running with a new and exciting little twist.

That was actually an unusual one for me personally. Middle blues usually come for me in the form of the what if I've taken a path that the readerswill not like. It's the path 'I' see, but maybe they won't like it. In my third novel I killed the main male character -won't call him the 'hero' although in some ways he was, but it wasn't a romance per say, and he wasn't typically heroic - still readers fell in love with him (can't blame them, i sure did too). Most of the responses I got from readers were really up beat and positive, and in general loved the story... one reader- I swear I will remember this forever because it was so cute, funny, and serious at the same time, wrote to me when she got to that part - YOU KILLED HIM! I CAN'TBELIEVE YOU DID THAT! -- I'd never heard from her before, and I never heard from her again. LOL, but I often wonder what she thought of the actually positive ending for the main character, it was a story of growth, and 'coming of age' if you will for the MC, it wasn't 'his' story at all except that he was the impetus for her.

What I learned from that, is that you are absolutely never going to please everyone. Still,in spite of the lesson, it's a nagging worry nevertheless.

For Hell's Bells, in the middle conundrum now, it is not a where the hell is my plot. I know the plot, it's is this the way I should go with it? Did I make the right move? Will this say it best, or should I have done something different? By now, you'd think I'd trust my characters to lead me in the right direction as long as their road is clear (they know what they're supposed to be doing plot wise, which they do --they've all read the outline, good little demons and humans that they are). But no... sometimes characters get a little carried away with themselves, and you have to whip them back into line. *Feeling a little bit of a power trip going on here, and Alexander is looking over my shoulder shaking his head wondering ifhe wasn't better off with Satan after all.*

Sometimes, one of the best remedies for brickwallitisis a good long sit down with the characters themselves. Looking over shoulder and giving Alexander a glance that suggests we need to talk.--His return glance suggests something else, and I'm not sure if he's hungry (in which case, I think I'll hide for awhile), or has other desires, which could be more fun than talking, I'll admit that, but it doesn't do much for helping the brick wall problem. I did realize that one of my 'sagging middle' problems in this book is that I missed the addition of a subplot. I started it by adding a mention of a certain organization in the book, but never gave them anythingto do...bad me. Now if I could just get a few days off work so that I could sit down and really hash out their role in this, I'd be good to go.

What this all comes down to is that EVERY writer gets this. The common problem for newer writers is thinking that they have a 'problem' because it's happening. The problem is something that can be fixed, it's not YOU, it happens to everyone, just roll youreyes, roll up your sleeves, and have sex with,...oops, I mean talk to your characters.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Hi there. Yes, I'm a little late on the wishes for the new year. I've been bad. Perhaps my new year's resolution should have been, 'I will keep up with my blog'. I've been a busy beaver though.

The end of the old year has seen a huge switch. I've taken a headlong dive into a new genre. It was a bit frightening at first, but I'm really enjoying it now. I've submitted two fantasty shorts, and one horror to periodicals, and driven home the better part of 3/4's of my first fantasy novel (borders on religious thriller/horror--yes, there I go again, blurring those danged genre lines.)

I'm still waiting to hear back on several romance submissions to agents, and have had a partial request on the above fantasy novel. (Okay, flog me now, but I know I'll finish it, I've been around this block a time or two. And it will definately be finished before this agent gets back to me, one way or the other.)

Anyway, there are so many great blogs to read out here in cyberspace that when I take a break I spend more of my time reading them, than coming here to say hello.

Sorry about that. Oh, and HELLO.

May you all find the power that speeds your writing during this new year, and may all your responses be 'yes'.