Category Archives: Aces Down
As of this date in 2015, Aces Down has been officially launched upon the world.
Solitary witch Norah Cartwright settled in Colorado’s silver country, seeking protection from vengeful werewolves and a place to rebuild her life. When her former boyfriend, Tristan Byrnes, shows up at her bar, Aces Down, it seems there’s not enough silver in them hills after all. At least, not for a werewolf determined to win back his mate. Instead of flowers, Tristan brings proof that the pack has been called off, but he never guessed that his proof was more time-bomb than peace-offering. When her past blows up in her face, is Norah strong enough to trust Tristan and defeat an attack from beyond the grave?
Aces Down evolved from a writing exercise given to our critique group, led by Bud Webster. I enjoyed meeting Norah and Tristan and their story captured me. With that famous line from Casablanca running through my brain – Of all the gin joints in all the towns…, I began to build on the short story in hopes of arriving at a longer, salable length story. ACES DOWN is the result – a romance where a betrayed witch must decide if she can trust her heart and her magic to save her.
I’ll be posting tidbits and promotion over on my facebook page and hope that you’ll join in the fun by posting and sharing, and perhaps buying, ACES DOWN!
As I settled down into my chair to write this blog, I was trying to think of something to write about and a memory snuck up on me.
Back when dirt was new, I dreamed of being a writer. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when this dream took hold, but I remember commandeering the family’s card table, a folding chair, and my parent’s portable manual typewriter. Yep, old school. Not even electric. Just push keys and a return bar you grabbed and hauled back to advance to the next line.
My first opus was a Christmas play. My father was an actor for the local children’s theater and I wanted to write a children’s play about the true meaning of Christmas as told by Santa Claus. I remember assembling my tools – paper and typing eraser – and I had my reference material – our family Bible. Then, focused on my goal, I pounded away on that typewriter until my play was complete. I remember thumbing back and forth through that Bible to find the various aspects of the story, determined to keep the story accurate and factual, but entertaining. I’ve no idea how long it took, but I remember I did finish it and read it to my parents who praised me for my effort. I don’t think they believed I’d finish it; I was young enough to believe that I’d always finish my writing. Ah, the optimism of youth.
Fast forward to today where I’m in the midst of a triple move. Yeah, we sold our house in December and had to move in with my Mom temporarily while we looked for a new house to purchase–Move One. Last month, we bought our dream home and moved everything into it except me–Move Two. Now we’re working to pack Mom’s things so we can move her and me into the house this month–Move Three. Yeah, life has been a little crazy.
Anywho, staying at Mom’s means I don’t have an office, so once more I’m writing on a card table and today it hit me. I’d come full circle to that girl with a dream. Thanks to technology, I don’t need paper OR erasers and any reference material I need is as close as a Google search, but I did it.
I AM A WRITER!
I’m looking forward to the release of my third book, ACES DOWN, courtesy of The Wild Rose Press and I’m old enough to realize that finishing the book isn’t all that easy. But it’s still just as exciting as it was that day I pulled the last sheet of paper from the platen, tapped it into alignment with the other sheets, and carried it in to show to my parents.
Yeah, that moment when I type “The End” is a thrill that will never get old. And every time, I celebrate with as much joy and pride as that little girl seated at the rickety card table in front of that old portable typewriter.
Do you have a full circle type story to share? I’d love to hear it.
Writers are always asking themselves and each other, repeatedly, “when do you know you’re done?” with the draft, the edits, the book! It’s a hard question to answer. Even those far greater than I seem to have struggled with this question – why even Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
I usually make the call when the thought of reading through my current WIP makes me green about the gills. If I’m that tired of it, it’s time to set it free! Hmm, something about that doesn’t quite sound right, but it’s in the ballpark.
Anyway, I was reviewing my galley for ACES DOWN and while I had a definite deadline to turn it around, I was pushing it to get another run through, just in case. So, when I tripped UP the stairs at my office while carrying my galley and a full cup of morning nirvana, i.e. coffee, this is what happened.
Yep, just call me Grace! After the massive clean up, fortunately we did not have to call in professional assistance, I was draping the coffee-soaked pages all over an empty office and I realized it was a sign. Time to set it free.
Writers, crafters, artists, poets, et al – when do you know that it’s time to let go?
I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover for my next book – ACES DOWN! Galley has been returned to my editor at The Wild Rose Press (that’s a topic for another post LOL) and ACES is in the queue for a Release Date.
And in case you’re wondering what ACES DOWN is all about:
Solitary witch, Norah Cartwright, settled in Colorado’s silver country, seeking protection from vengeful werewolves and a place to rebuild her life. When former boyfriend, Tristan Byrnes, shows up at her bar, Aces Down, it seems there’s not enough silver in them hills after all. At least, not for a werewolf determined to win back his mate.
Instead of flowers, Tristan brings irrefutable proof the pack has been called off her trail, but he never guessed his proof was more time-bomb than peace-offering. When her past blows up in her face, is Norah strong enough to trust Tristan and defeat an attack from beyond the grave?
Happy Dancin’ – oh yeah!
The only constant in life is change.
You know, blogging is a lot like standing in a Super Bowl stadium and trying to get the TV cameras to zoom in on your hand-made sign. A lot of effort into goes into that sign, but the chances of getting that cameraman to swing the lens your way are pretty slim. But you know, you pays your money and you takes your chance.
So I’m gonna be trying out some stuff here on Golinowski’s Gambol and we’ll see what sticks.
Something Old/Aces Down – just sent my first round edits on Aces Down to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. Yep, I SOLD Aces Down to The Wild Rose Press! Yipee! My third release through The Wild Rose Press. And I get to work with Callie Lynn Wolfe again!
Something New/Editing trick – Every time you edit your writing, you (should) learn a new trick or hone an old one to make the process easier. This time, I did a search on “ly” in an adverb search and destroy mission. In almost every instance, there was a stronger way to phrase it. So I did.
“She moved away slowly” became “She eased away” or
“He turned quickly” became “He spun”
I was happy to discover that I had fewer adverbs than I expected – thanks to the efforts of my wonderful critique groups. And, as some folks would be quick to point out, in some instances I kept the adverb because it worked for me. We’ll see what my editor thinks.
ALL YOUR HARD WORK WILL SOON BE PAID OFF
SNARKY RESPONSE: Yeah, and the check is in the mail, right?
Talk about hard work!
Anyone who says writing isn’t hard, hasn’t been doing it right. At least that’s what I’ve been told and, frankly, that’s also been my experience.
Oh sure the first draft is a breeze! Caught up in the moment. Chasing that brilliant story idea down the pathways of your imagination…and over the cliff.
That’s the moment when you begin to realize that you have to worry about characterization, plot development, voice, theme, and grammar. All the fine details of continuity – names, physical characteristics, verbal tics. Is the setting easy to visualize and the world-building both invisible and convincing? Does the dialogue flow easily through the mind or off the tongue? No one can ignore the rules without paying the cost.
You have to make a solid effort to provide your reader with the best story told in the best way that you know how. And that takes work. Time invested in choosing the words, the phrases, and the action. Time putting it down on paper and then reading it over and over as you fine-tune it. Then time re-reading it and revising it some more. Words in/words out/rinse/repeat.
And from my perspective, while it might get easier as you become more experienced, it never becomes automatic.
I’ve just pushed the SEND button on a submission to my editor. It’s a terrifying moment knowing that it’s gone out of my hands, and I’m not going to be there when it arrives to help clear up any mistakes or misunderstandings. Will that cold read by my editor be all I hope it will be?
I just know that there’s gonna be something I missed. Something I didn’t quite nail. Heck, on that final read through, after having read Aces Down until I was green around the gills, I still discovered some continuity issues, missing words, and unclear situations. I fixed all I could find and now I have to hope it was enough. Enough to help my editor fall in love with Norah and Tristan, and the rest of the gang at Aces Down.
Well, only time will tell. Fingers crossed.
You’re a practical person with your feet on the ground.
SNARKY RESPONSE: Talk about damning with faint praise. I’m a fantasy writer, dang it. We’re supposed to walk around with our heads in the clouds. And as for “practical,” well, that’s just mean.
Actually, as a writer, you absolutely MUST be practical. Only the lucky few get rich doing this, so it’s a matter of juggling priorities and desires. Scheduling writing time in the midst of family, work, and friends. Learning your craft with books, classes, or workshops. Tracking your hours, receipts, characters, and plots. Organization is as much a key to one’s success as that fickle creature, your muse.
In my constant search for a better mousetrap, I’ve acquired Scrivener and am trying to work on my current WIP, Aces Down. It’s loaded with ideas and ways to organize your first draft and works for a variety of project types, from novels to screenplays to non-fiction.
I imagine that many of my forthcoming blog posts will be about my efforts at flattening my learning curve. Consider yourself warned.
In the meantime, why not share with me and “the rest of the class” your favorite writing program or method for organizing your writing. As I said, I’m always on the hunt for the better mousetrap.