Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Voices from the Heart

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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Talk With Author, Writing Coach, and Editor Smoky Trudeau Zeidel

When it comes to writing, is it better to study it, try it, dream of doing it...what?

I think you feel it, dream of it, want it, study it, and try it. I've always loved all things creative. There are many days, as a child, I sat mesmerized by music, TV, theatre, or just stared into a painting trying to find every subtle nuance I could.

I read everything put in front of me as a child. I wrote poetry, and entered contests. I never won anything, and I think it dissuaded me a little. Somewhere along the line, I made the decision to jump back into it again, and entered college with a strong desire to study theatre. That led me to a few bit parts (non-credited) on television shows. Quickly, I decided that maybe I was more the radio/TV person, and I pursued and obtained a degree in communications.

I loved every moment I spent in radio and television, but my desires changes and so my direction changed, and again I pursued another degree...this time in marketing. After accomplishing that goal, I worked in the business world for years.

Only after being laid-off did I really begin to take a look at all the twists and turns in my life, and wonder...why I never went after a degree in writing. Why had I stopped writing? -- my first love.

Join me at Romancing the Pen, as I discuss writing with Smoky Trudeau Zeidel.

Here's more about Smoky...

Smoky Trudeau Zeidel is the author of two novels:On the Choptank Shores and The Cabin; short stories, and two nonfiction books especially for writers: Front-Word, Back-Word, Insight Out and Left Brain, Write Brain, 366 Writing Prompts and Exercises; and a photo/essay collection about the beauty of the natural world, Observations of an Earth Mage, all from Vanilla Heart PublishingShe has published short stories and poetry in literary journals such as CALYX and online e-zines such as The Foundling Review, and was a 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee. She was the lead editor for Vanilla Heart Publishing’s 2010 Nature’s Gifts anthology.

Finally succumbing to her bohemian spirit and need to live near the mountains and the ocean, Smoky moved to Southern California in 2008, where she lives with her husband and daughter in a ramshackle cottage in the woods overlooking the San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond. An ardent outdoorswoman with a deep reverence for nature, when she isn’t writing, she spendsher time hiking in the mountains, camping in the Sierras, splashing in tidepools, and fighting the urge to speak in haiku.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Character Inspiration

Idris Elba, movie and television actor

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From Volunteer to Author

Over the past week, more and more, the news has shown us the images and sounds of 9/11.  Sights and sounds that created fear, anger, and sadness in me 10 years ago.  But, now, those images have begun to dim in my mind.

Old movies started my love affair with New York, I attended college in DC, and I lived in Pennsylvania.  So, 9/11 touched my life on many many sides.

As I sit here, in a local coffee shop in TN, and count the number of police cars passing by my window, I can not begin to imagine the levels of heightened security elsewhere in the country.  And the sights and sounds that had dimmed are fresh and vivid.  The paranoia that consumed so many of us feels almost as strangling, now.

What would we do without the men and women who walk invisibly beside us every day protecting our ability to let the images we don't want to remember fade?

This week, my guest at Romancing the Pen, Nancy Lennea discusses a little bit about volunteering and how she worked as a 9-1-1 operator on 9/11 (maybe I can get her to visit again, and tell us more.)

Visit Romancing the Pen to read more about how Nancy's experiences as a volunteer shaped her new release from Red Rose Publishing - Love to the Rescue.

Here's more about Love to the Rescue:

The clashing relationship between tomboy Josie Miller and fellow paramedic-firefighter, Pete Thayer, escalates after he realizes Joe is not just one-of-the-boys. Pete has a sketchy history and has earned a reputation for one-night stands in the small town of Parmenter, New Hampshire nestled between the Mercy River, the mountains, and the state college. Since he arrived a year ago, Josie suspects he is hiding something. Something too horrible to share, even with her. Working side by side, Joe loves her job, and Pete.

They respond to accident calls, medical emergencies, and fast-moving forest fires amid sparks of another kind. Joe’s clumsiness and baggy uniform work against her when she yearns to be the kind of woman Pete wants like the pretty blonde they must rescue after her car hits a moose.

Outside influences come to play when the sister of Pete’s alleged victim shows up and accuses him of something even worse…her sister’s recent death. Once on track to be a doctor, the sister’s betrayal and lies caused Pete to run far away and keep women at a distance unless they agreed to share his bed…and nothing more.

Pete plans to skip town while Josie worries she has given her heart to a monster. His boss and the local police back off and he professes his innocence to Joe. After kissing her senseless, she lets him into her bed until her bothers intervene. Both keep an eye on Pete. A suicide note, some well-landed fists, stolen moments of love, and a desire to listen to their hearts lead these two heroes toward a climax filled with tension, pain, bloodshed, and atonement.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Esther Freud, novelist.

1 Cut out the metaphors and similes. In my first book I promised myself I wouldn't use any and I slipped up ­during a sunset in chapter 11. I still blush when I come across it.

2 A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn't spin a bit of magic, it's missing something.

3 Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.

4 Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don't let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won't matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.

5 Don't wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key.

6 Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they'll know it too.

7 Never forget, even your own rules are there to be broken.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I miss this type of story being told in Hollywood

Okay, I know I'm late, but OMG The Help. This movie reminded me of why I first fell in love with story telling.

The ability to evoke emotion. To bring someone into your world. To have someone care about the characters in your story.

There aren't many stories that have moved me like this one: Imitation of Life, Children of Men, Rosewood, Passion of Christ are a few.

I was born and raised in Tennessee. As I watched the story, I remembered all of the reasons why I left Tennessee. As a child, although not to the degree captured in The Help, Tennessee was divided. What as white was white, and what was black was black. And everyone else had to pick.

I remember my mother pointing out walled up doors or fountains in the back of stores as she told me of how there was a time when blacks had to use them.

When I left Tennessee, I wasn't sure if I'd ever come back, but for all it's faults, I have to admit, I love the south. The majority of the people I've met in the south are kind and generous.

But, like anything, there are still a few small minded folks out there who strongly hold onto old world thoughts. This story: Mississippi hate killing is an extremely sad example.

Movies like The Help remind us of our past, and hopefully will stop us from making the same mistakes again. People, in so many small ways, can be quietly strong. And their strength can help power change.

I absolutely loved this movie, and the song "The Living Proof" was a beautiful way to end the movie.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Truly, Madly, Deeply Romance Authors

Don't forget to drop by Truly, Madly, Deeply Romance Authors for the chance to read FREE romance stories by some of your favorite authors! Every Saturday!

And of course, for the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes!!!