Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old...

We are just moments from a brand spanking new year!

So, what are you going to do with it?

I hope you don't have every moment planned. I know I don't. I have all sorts of goals: personal and career, but not every moment is on a list of to dos. Isn't it more exciting that way?

Well, at least I think so.

No matter what you have planned for the upcoming year, I hope that you will take a little time to enjoy: family, friends, lovers, today, tomorrow, and being you!

Now, let's bring the year in with a little style!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Voices from the Heart

Don't forget to drop by Voices From the Heart on the 27th to read my latest post.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All Romance

My short story, My Son, is a best seller at All Romance!

Sex, liquor, and men are not always a good thing. Kelly Ann Mitchell discovers this the hard way. One night of confusion, and misplaced trust result in a mistake she can’t take back. Forced to make a choice, she chooses the only thing she can live with which changes her life, and the lives of everyone around her forever.

Charles Mitchell failed his family, his daughter, once. He’s determined not to do it again. Jerry Harte must pay for what he’s done, and Charles will be the one to make sure he does.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Character Inspiration

Shemar Moore "Derek Morgan" Criminal Minds

Monday, December 13, 2010

Year End, Year Begin

Year End, Year Begin

What kind of year-ender (yes, I invented the word year-ender) are you? Do you run around like crazy trying to do things you promised you’d do last year? Cramming everything in before December 31st. Or, do you shrug your shoulders, and say “Oh, well, next year”?

I think I might be some weird combination of the two. I may have said this before, but I never considered myself a superstitious person until I found myself doing some of the crazy things my mother or other members of my family did when I was a child. Honestly, they’re too embarrassing to list here. Let’s just say one involves socks and shoes. But, one I will mention is to bring the New Year in with your house in order. I apply this to everything: finances, my house (literally), family, relationships, friends, etc.

December 27th, I will be discussing some of my goals, not resolutions, in my post at Voices from the Heart.

So, please drop by and share some of your thoughts with me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Internal Rhyme

Chance O'Malley is the hero in my novella, Love's Chance. He's not a man who talks a lot. Until he met Sinclair Mosley, he wasn't even a man who wanted to least not to women. He could think of so many other things to do with them that, in his opinion, were much more fun.

But, Sinclair Mosley made him want to do a lot of things. One of them was to face what happened to his father, and how it affected him.

Drop by Internal Rhyme to read what Chance feels and thinks about the passing of his father.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rules for writing fiction

Over the next several months, I'll post tips from various authors featured in an old article by The Guardian.

I love pieces of all of these tips. As I reread them for this series of posts, it makes me want to take a quick peek at everything I've written, again.

This first post is from Elmore Leonard, novelist and screenwriter.

1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a charac­ter's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead look­ing for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2 Avoid prologues: they can be ­annoying, especially a prologue ­following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, but it's OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: "I like a lot of talk in a book and I don't like to have nobody tell me what the guy that's talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks."

3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.

4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances "full of rape and adverbs".

5 Keep your exclamation points ­under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6 Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose". This rule doesn't require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use "suddenly" tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apos­trophes, you won't be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavour of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.

8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants", what do the "Ameri­can and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story.

9 Don't go into great detail describing places and things, unless you're ­Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. You don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What motivates you as a writer?

Motivation defined by Merriam-Websters: a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : incentive, drive

Not what inspires you, but what motivates you as a writer? As a young writer, doodling away in my diary, then at short stories, and then at motivation was simple--to become a published author.

I've accomplished that goal. And it still excites me everyday!

But, now, I've got a new one. To be able to continue to write fresh, interesting, and different stories. Stories that keep readers coming back for more. Where do these ideas come from, and when they're not flowing like do you keep pushing through?

For me, one thing I love is to meet up with other writers. Surrounding myself with others who are doing what I'm doing, and just simply talking over a cup of coffee or tea gives me a jump start.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspirational Romance

I've always wanted to step out on a limb, and write an inspirational romance. But, I know absolutely nothing about writing in that genre. However, recently, an idea jumped into the front of my mind that I can't shake.

I'll have to do a little studying and reading in preparation for this new undertaking. It's a little nerve-wrecking, but I love this idea so much that I can't let it go.

Has anyone ever jumped out of their comfort zone, and tried something completely different?