Category Archives: Writing
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?
TIME MAY FLY BY, BUT MEMORIES DON’T.
SNARKY RESPONSE #1: I’ve got a few I’d like to see take off!
SNARKY RESPONSE #2: They both do at my age!
April didn’t used to be a busy month for me. January’s the birthday biggie in our family – yep, I’m a fish (Pisces) surrounded by Capricorns. What’s my lesson there you think?
However, now, April’s climbing the charts. Got a new birthday to celebrate in there – Grand-daughter – awesomely cute! And one of my first and favorite local conventions – RavenCon – this year, April 25-27.
If you write science fiction, fantasy, horror, or mystery you need to shuffle your calendar for this weekend!
Author Guest of Honor with be Elizabeth Bear and Artist Guest of Honor will be Ed Beard Jr. My main delight with this Con is the heavy line-up of writing-related programs. From genre discussions to fandom to actually hands-on, it’s always a shot in the arm for me as a writer. I am particularly enamored with Allen Wold’s writing workshops – hands-on writing sessions with immediate and insightful feed-back. Ain’t nothin‘ better!
Visually, it’s a real treat! There are so many talented costumers in attendance, strutting their stuff! Anime, Klingons, Stormtroopers, the possibilities are endless. You haven’t lived until you’ve rounded a corner and nearly collided with a six foot tall Klingon in full gear! Or a platoon of Stormtroopers!
Board Gamers can get their game on with gaming 24/7 in the Game Room. Every time I pass the doorway, I see heads bent over boards and pieces. I’ve even been privy, albeit unintentionally, to intense strategizing in the hallway outside at some cons. You might encounter one yourself.
And for the shopper, there’s the Vendor Area. Crafty entrepreneurs offer everything from vintage paperbacks to light sabers, pithy saying emblazoned t-shirts to leather corsets, pet dragons to airy sprites and enough jewelry options to fill a Queen’s coffers.
I’ve yet to brave the costuming rage, but I’ll be there snapping pics, making notes, and hopefully writing a little opening that might lead to something big! For me. Hope to see you in a program or in the halls! If you see me first, say HI!
See the light at the end of the tunnel.
SNARKY RESPONSE: Just hope it’s not a freakin‘ locomotive.
I am right at that point where the sense of anticipation is finely balanced with a sense of dread.
|Let the fun begin!|
My revisions to ACES DOWN have been fleshed out, and I believe I’ve feathered the plot and character changes into the original text pretty well. I’ve read it through on the screen, and now I’ve printed it out to read, marking out timeline, plot twists, romance points.
|Aces Down Before Norah|
It’s the final push to my personal revise&resubmit deadline, and now’s when it gets truly real.
- Did I write a strong enough story?
- Have I built a believable world with an intriguing setting?
- Do my characters connect strongly enough to satisfy my readers?
- Are my characters going to connect with the reader?
- Have I written a good enough story to convince my readers to blithely disregard reality in favor of fantasy?
|Tristan’s First Love|
Granted, readers who might consider ACES DOWN will be expecting the kind of book I hope I wrote. Paranormal Romantic Suspense covers such a diverse landscape. Will my take on the genre provide adequate entertainment to keep them turning the pages?
Only time will tell.
If not, that light will be the flash of my revised submission imploding.
Change your thoughts and you change the world.
SNARKY RESPONSE: Buh wah ha hahaha!
So, how do you like the new digs for Golinowski’s Gambol? Snazzy, huh? Just trying to move with the times, don’t ya’ know!
In honor of Winter’s departure, I thought I’d post a Winter Poem I wrote from a writing prompt. The prompt was to write about the sound of winter and when I peeked at the other writing, it seemed most talked about the silence of winter. Being my contrary self, I decided to take the opposing viewpoint and this is what I came up with.
Winter is everything except silent.
Clear away summer’s exuberant song and reveal
the subtle underscore of life less full.
Overhead, limbs, leaf-free, liberated,
creak and click with each brush of wind.
Breath becomes part of the soundscape
above footsteps audible on frost-stiffened grass
or salt-strewn paths.
Brittle cracks of ice, soft drops of melt,
hushed fall of snow.
Water in winter shifts form and texture,
each with its own unique soundtrack.
Birdcalls split the air with sharp edges,
winter flight a soft whoosh of wings through air.
Solitary flight sounds as clear as summer’s flock
amplified by absence, fuller in empty skies.
Soft, hard. Loud, soft.
Winter is everything except silent.
What do you hear in the silence of winter?
You have a curious smile and a mysterious nature.
Keep ’em guessing, Lisa! None of us wants to be an open book, and anyone who says they do, is definitely hiding something.
Then again, the key is the level of subterfuge. A healthy little secret here or there is to be expected, even in the closest relationship. It’s when secrets begin to build that we run into trouble.
Because we humans are a curious bunch. Show us someone who’s hiding something and even the most virtuous of us will want to discover why. If only to help. If only to satisfy that curious gene. No one can resist a good mystery.
Curiosity is what drives a writer to write. It’s the temptation of that phrase – What if? What if I told my story? What if I shared my experience? What if I imagine something different? What if I turn that event around and explore a different ending?
- What if a siren becomes a courtesan so she can learn to control her gift/curse? – The Festival of the Flowers
- What if shapeshifters come out of the closet only to become targets? – Collector’s Item
And if we do it right, maybe then we can smile that curious smile to display our mysterious nature.
THEY SAY YOU ARE STUBBORN; YOU CALL IT PERSISTENCE.
SNARKY RESPONSE: And sometimes it’s just called not knowing any better.
Despite the snark, I love this fortune. Anyone who has taken the bit in their mouth and pursued something to the end despite the naysayers has to be right there with me.
For folks who stick to their guns regarding dreams and goals, stubborn is the mortar that holds your efforts together. Anyone who’s pulled out a hundred rows of knitting to correct one dropped stitch, anyone who has hauled themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to put in a couple of miles, anyone who has corrected that bit of paint, clay, or pastel until they captured their subject knows that it’s really stubbornness that pushes them through.
For writers, this is what keeps us sending out that novel, essay, or poem over and over until it finds a home. Even if, in the end, that home is in something you produce on your own. You wanted to get those words into print and by George, you were going to see it happen.
If it was easy, everyone who wrote would be published. Mini-Snark:No, wait! Thanks to some online publishing services, everyone CAN, but there is the matter of quality versus quantity.
The key, for me, is to have made the effort to produce the best possible writing you can, polish it until it gleams, and then put it out there. I see no reason why you can’t sidestep the publisher route and publish on your own, just make sure that it’s worthy of your time and effort as well as the time and effort, not to mention the cash, of your reader.
Persistence is a nice word, a pleasant word, a ‘politically-correct/motivational speaker’ word, but for true – ‘stick-to-it’ness (how would you write that phrase?) – I’m putting my money on Stubborn.
What have you been Stubborn about lately?