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Showing posts from 2007

Thunder is Rumbling Again

Once again, the family has a health crisis. My father-in-law is having triple bypass surgery today. It seems like we get past one hurdle only to find another one right on the horizon. I'm the central communication hub, excused from hospital duty because my back is in particularly nasty shape. Shannon is there with his mom and I'm keeping the other, widespread offspring up to date.

Right now all the up to date is: still in surgery. Try back at 5.

It's strange how the wheels of life turn sometimes. It actually can work like some of the plots I concoct with hills and plateaus--and cliffs-- in the action topography. Sometimes, as in the Summers' households this year, it's all cliffs. We've been rock climbing and rappelling like crazy this year just trying to keep one turn ahead of the twist in the road.

Four sixteen.

I start a submission orgy on January 2nd. I'll be querying two different novels (Requiem and Terella) to as many agents as possible. I've been pol…

A Gift for Christmas

We went home to Tennessee for Christmas. This year was different from so many others because on the 23rd, I had a reunion with my Latin class. I’ve spoken before of my teacher, Grady Warren. This year, the students that he and his wonderful wife Kaye taught over the course of 3 decades came together to honor them. It was fabulous: we had pictures from old Junior Classical League conventions and got to try and figure out who was who. Great fun.

And, it leads me to a story…

Once upon a time, I was a toddler who lived in a tiny house on old highway 79 in Oakwood, Tennessee. Because it was a highway, the only little girl I was allowed to play with was the one who lived three houses up: Tammy Milliken. She was smaller than me, a tiny little thing with a mop of brown curls and big, sweet eyes. She was the only child that came to the Millikens, who were a hard-working farm family. My mom would take me over to her house and we were allowed to play sedately in her fenced-in back yard. …

Upsizing and Downgrading--or Why The Holidays Suck

Wow, have I been busy. Not only have I been too busy to blog, but I juswt checked my email accounts and had ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TWO new emails.

Of which 90 were spam.

So, I've been getting the antique shop through the holidays (traffic is up, business is down--go figure), rapping out a mess of rewrites, bartending for special holiday parties *rolls eyes* and doing sporadic Christmas shopping (I'm still planning my annual December 23 2 a.m. trip to get it all done) and...not content with my normal chaos...have decided to upgrade and move to a bigger house.

Yeah, I know. The last chick is flown from the nest and now I want a bigger house? Go figure. So in the midst of holiday madness and still under a work restriction from my latest back fiasco (did NOT go well, but thanks for asking!) I am now packing up my house.

What an idiot.

So anyway, here's what I figure: if I can make it past January 7th (Ohio State in the national championship game playing against LSU in what is …

Keeping the Flame Hot

No, this isn't a post about erotica.

Thanks to real life (evil bastard) I haven't been on track with TGTD. Oh, sure, I'm sitting over 60k now, but that's more to do with tuning out my relatives than any real intensity on my part. Today, however, the wheels are turning. I rediscovered my drive for the story and I think it's coming along fine.

Did I mention that I managed over 50k in 11 days? I'm a little smug, yes, but there are others who wrote more than I did.

I've noticed that my writing is a lot sharper these days. I eliminate most of my grammatical penchants before I make them. Even the comma count is down, which is a good thing. (don't crit my blog, damnit--it's where commas are allowed to roam freely without fear of molestation--and adverbs too so nyaaaaaaah.)

At any rate, it is hard sometimes to get past the first few chapters when you start a new project. I am not a compulsive planner when I write; I have an idea of where the story will end, but…

Goshdarn Scam Agency Rant Alert

Get ready. This is going to be evil.

So...my mother-in-law informed me yesterday that she had an agent.

After picking my jaw up from the desk, where it lay for some time in utter disbelief after hearing that she had queried one (1) agent and had been offered a contract, I started to think about it. Now, I've read some of her work and while it is good, I thought it was a bit of a stretch to find the perfect agent that quickly after one try. So I started asking questions.

Who was her agency? Although I thought she said Rider, it turns out she said Writer. Writers Literary Agency, to be precise, which has been discussed on numerous well-respected writers' sites: Absolute Write, Writers Beware, Preditors & Editors, and Making Light--among others. Although I didn't initially recognize the name, it did set off alarm bells. So, when I got home I googled it.

You've all heard me talk about the fine art of googling before. Use it. Embrace it. Revel in it. Because when you google…

Insomnia and Market Research

So, it was a bad day yesterday. Family situations abounded...never a good thing...and I'll be away from my computer pretty consistently over the next couple of weeks. *sigh* Unfortunately, whenever crap happens to me or mine, I stay awake and stew about it.

And stew.

Unless I distract myself. I made some LOLCatz earlier; that was fun. I also started doing market research. It's been a while since I have done so, and I thought I'd see what's up.

What's up is I found a whole slew of new places to think about sending my stuff to so that it can be rejected. I also found some great blog posts, new information, and a growing certainty within the market that 'things they are a changin' ...

My question is simple: where?

Where is the market changing? What is the next big trend? Who knows what it is, and how much do I have to pay them to get in on the secret?

Okay, let's say that it's a minimum of two years from contract signing to pulbication with a major house. Th…

Making a word count...er...count

Okay--as requested by Pete at CarrPeeDiem:

Jeanne, Ava, Celina: As the highest-number rollers this week, I’d love it
if — either here, or on your blogs — you took a few minutes to talk about how
you write, what you do, what produces the high numbers. You don’t HAVE to,
but I know I’d find it interesting, even if no one else does…

I'm an odd bird. For one thing, I can sit down and read Gone With The Wind in an afternoon. I've always been able to read quickly and to comprehend what I read. And, to answer the inevitable next question: NO, I do NOT speed read. I've been reading since before the age of two, and my parents used to invite people over so that I'd read the TV Guide to them. I actually hurt myself crawling out of my crib in the middle of the night trying to get a book.

That translated fairly quickly into writing. I've mentioned on here before that I wrote my first novel-length story in my late teens. I got out of the daily writing grind when I left college,…

Thanks A Lot, NaNo Gods

So here was my plan--and it was brilliant. I purposely went short of sleep last night. I worked until 7:30 a.m. this morning, then got up at noon and worked all day. My reasoning: Since i have to work all day tomorrow at the bar, I wanted to have a nice comfy cushion on my word count. So tonight I knocked off early and went to bed.

Apparently some divine being NOT from Terella decided that wasn't good enough. So, they arranged a small disruption of my well-laid plans.

Picture this: I'm in bed, dozing off, preparing for a good seven hours of sleep before the Ohio State football game frenzy tomorrow. When all of a sudden--

Let me back up. I live on a fairly well-traveled street on the outskirts of town. About a mile from my house, my street turns into highway. It's the last gasp of civilization before endless stretches of Ohio farmlands. Back to the story.

----screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech! Pow! Boom! Crash!

In that order.

As best as I can figure, an SUV was traveling…

Break time

Wow, have I written a lot in the last twenty-eight hours or so. My word count for TGTD is standing a little over 12k at the moment. Granted, I'm hyper-writing because I know that my word count of Saturday will be....drumroll please!

...zero. Football, you know. *sigh*

So anyway, at the moment I'm switching gears from work to work. Booze to tea, as it were. I'm flexing my mental muscles before I try to squeeze in another few hundred words.

Or maybe I'll just go to sleep and wake up early.

At any rate, the whole concept behind Terella is pretty intense. I've brainstormed it with a few friends of mine at the bar. In a nutshell, the concept is this: What would happen if God were an atheist?

Yeah. Gave me pause too.

Basically, Terella was created by a goddess in her infancy. She played with it like a girl with dolls and a dollhouse. She created her own little dreamworld, populated it, gave each little doll a history...and then, she was 'born.' She ends u…

Get ready...get set....GO!

The time is almost near.

The study is stocked, fully ready. Soda pop, coffee, granola, chips, nuts, and cookies all within easy reach. The heating pad is draped over the chair for the times when sitting up is an option; the day bed has all of my favorite back supporting pillows with clean, crisp pillowcases. The kitten's cat bed is tucked under the desk. My mythological source material is lined up on it. Freshly sharpened pencils--number twos both red and black--fill the old ceramic beer stein I use as a pencil holder. Five reams of new paper, six new computer cartridges and a nice whiny new empty file folder on my desktop that is titled simply "Terella."

I'm ready for NaNoWriMo.

My fellow competitors in The Great Tea Debacle are probably ready too. It's actually kind of funny; I'll be following down my normal path of fantasy hackdom and one of them will probably write something that will win a Pulitzer. But, that is the challenge we genre writers face…

Holy Grammar Nazi, Batman!

All righty then. I have just read the WORST critique EVER. Not worst as in 'bad.' A bad critique is the one that reads as follows:

Wow. This was good. I have nothing else to say.

I mean, unless you're Homer or Dante that sort of critique is pretty much useless. No, I'm talking about a great critique on a bad piece of writing. First off, any time the critique is longer than the story it's not a good sign. Second, if the critique is the only thing written with things like proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation it's REALLY not a good sign.

But what if the critique is so entertaining in its badness that you forget what the story is about? That can't be good, can it?

I pride myself on giving good, solid story critiques. I usually leave the technical aspects to someone more qualified than I to give it, for example someone with a degree in English. Nothing wrong with a good grammar nazi; every writer should endeavor to have at least one friend who qualif…

Getting Ready

I'm still learning so much. I'm trying to get all of my techno geek stuff out of the way before NaNoWriMo. One of those things is the Technorati Profile
Technorati link that I'm posting. I want to see if this actually works. I think I have lots of interesting things to say, despite the carnie derailments of last month.

My writing cave is ready to go: fully stocked with all of the implements I need to win the Great Tea Debacle. Don't forget to check out the other participants' (subtext--losers') blogs if you want to keep up with progress.

*starts the Celina Wins gregorian chant mantra in the background*

Tonight will be yet another all nighter I fear. I have less than 24 hours to complete my rewrites and get them in. Should be interesting. Bring on the coffee! I have no fear!

Yep...those are my guts up on the table

Gee whiz. This whole review process is nerve-wracking. It's entirely too stressful to think that out there somewhere in the cyberworld, people are reading The Reckoning of Asphodel and judging it.

How do you judge someone else's work? I can crit with the best of them, leaving the grammar to someone else of course. I can critique storyline, character development, plotting or lack thereof without problem. But am I qualified to judge someone else's work and publish my opinion for anyone to read?

*shudders* Good God, no. I know what I like but I'd be afraid to toss out my tastes and back them up. You have got to respect reviewers. Even if you don't agree with what they say, you have to listen to what they say.

Granted, I've seen some gratuitous novel-shredding reviews in my time. Some reviews have made me blink. Some have made me cringe. My pseudonym received a review that had her throwing things at the wall. But this is different. This story is my baby. …

A day made for plotting

The house is quiet. All of the cats are napping, save for the kitten. She's trying her darnedest to find a way up. Her favorite pastime is sitting in an open window and yelling at birds.

Usually, when I settle in like this it's with a pot of coffee (I keep the coffee maker on my desk) and whatever survival supplies I think I might need. But today is special. Today I have the house all to myself. No one will be here to bother me. I can luxuriate in the calming environment of my study, smelling the season's first gurgles of heat as they rise from the just-lit-today furnace, and I can plot.

Plotting is what I do best. It is my passion. Sometimes I think the only reason I write is to find out how the plot is going to work out. Some of my plots are so convoluted I have to track the plots twists on butcher paper on my walls. (One of my editors last year sent me a frustrated email: "Celina, for Christ's sake this is supposed to be a NOVELLA. You don't NEED five plot tw…

Battle Scenes

So, I'm sitting cross-legged ont he day bed in my study working on the very tail end of the Asphodel 2 rewrites. I pulled an all-nighter last night and as I write this it's already almost tomorrow. And you guys don't think I sacrifice for my art...

You're right. Ain't no art when there's Elf-killin' involved and at the moment I'm up to my non-pointed ears in Elf gore. I love writing battle scenes. The only reason I know anything at all about how to orchestrate a battle scene is because of Julius Caesar. Sound odd? It shouldn't be. Try reading his Gallic Commentaries sometime. Roman strategy from a man who wept because Alexander the Great had accomplished more at a younger age.

Fortunately, I do have distractions. If the kitten doesn'tstop chewing on my removable hard drive cord sometime soon I'm going to have a fluffy white throw rug for a dollhouse.

Anyway, I'm off from work this week until Saturday night and the football game. …

A Scary Story for Young Writers...Gather 'Round

Lemme tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, there was a very ignerrent newbie writer. We'll just call her...er...Celina. At any rate, Celina had written the NGGN (next great genre novel, duh) and was just starting to poke around the internet looking for what she should do next.

(Did I add that she was pain-pill befuddled after two years of excruciating back pain? No? Well I digress. To continue...)

Just because it SEEMED SO EASY, she contacted a few agents via their online information. You know, sent out a couple of query letters and synopses (which were faithfully reproduced from sample ones online at great places like Absolute Write and Editors and Preditors) just to see what would happen.

Imagine her shock when, a few weeks later, she was contacted for a partial. Now, although most places stipulated first three chapters, this place was different. They only wanted part of one. Celina shrugged, sent it out, popped another Percocet and went back to playing Snood. Within...do I ha…

And some more not-quite-so-nice thoughts about entitlement

Okay. Rant alert.

It takes a hell of a lot to really piss me off. Yeah, I know you don't believe that but it's true. I managed to get pissed off today several times. Why, you ask?

First: if you're on a message forum don't argue with the mods. Jesus Christ -- how stupid can you be. Just DON'T. You don't prove a damn thing except how stupid you are. Why? Because you can't win. This is directly related to a situation that blew up on Absolute Write today and I have to say: it wasn't the mods' fault. None of them. They were in the right. It doesn't take the brains the gods gave a rock to know that bellowing out bullshit about how 'persecuted' you are on a website is just plain dumb. Period. End of story. But the flouncer felt entitled to speak his piece, to his own detriment. He felt entitled to special treatment because of his special position in the universe.

Now don't get me wrong: not all mods are fair. Not all message …

Birthday Reflections

A stream of consciousness ...

Why is it that my mother in law think I like glittery things? Do I sound like the kind of person who appreciates the fashion value of lame'?

Why is it easier to finish a story than to start it?

Why is it that no matter how much you think you're ahead, something always happens to put you behind again?

Carnies. 'Nuff said.

So, in the long run, is it better to be 'published' or is it better to avoid the pressure and just write for fun?

How is it possible that when I offer up my pearls of wisdom on a writer's forum, some people just don't think it's enough? Is it necessary for me to do the work for OTHER people who are too lazy?ineffectual?stupid? to do it for themselves? (and NO this isn't directed at DD)

Just someone explain how it is that I told my boss today was my birthday and he still scheduled me to work.

Presidential politics...bogus or criminally bogus--and WAY too early.

When do parents stop being parents? Will I be 70 …

Carnielicious

Image
Yeah, that's a little tongue in cheek.

Fair week is finally over! Hurray! And, while I soak my poor mutilated feet in salt water and try to reconcile myself to the fact that my boss scheduled me to work on my birthday so I can't take my annual trip to the mountains, it's time to recap.

First off, here's a shot of the Fairview I took the other day. The older gentleman is one of our bar regulars, who told me quite frankly that in his obituary he wanted a picture of himself drinking at the Fairview. So, I took a picture. You can see the fair going on behind him and the other good-looking fellow is my husband. You can tell he's not a carnie and I shouldn't have to explain why.
Second, for some reason the carnies love me. Many of them have followed the blog over the past couple of weeks and I have to say that as a whole, they are cheerful, funny people with a good sense of humor. I'll actually miss them...in a way. My feet won't.

Third, the weekend was beyon…

Attack of the Carnies--Part Three

Image
Owwwwwwwwwwww.


That's really all I have to say.

Owwwwwwwwwwwww.

Okay, so last night was torturous. The regulars were whooping it up because they had trucks in the truck demolition derby. The Fairview had a truck--a Rolling Rock truck! Gee, wonder why they picked Rolling Rock..

At any rate, they lost.

I don't think that Fair week was quite what my doctor had in mind when he said 'light duty.' By the time we closed last night, I could barely walk. Even now, I'm still lying in bed and have no intention of moving from it for any reason today--save perhaps for a long, hot mineral salted bath.

Apparently the carnies were tired too (or hungover from Monday) because they all left by a quarter of two. We actually managed to get all of our bar work done early. Although the night felt slower, it was characterized by a brutal hit at about 10:30. I mean brutal. I slammed my finger in the cooler door (it's now black--maybe that's not a good thing?) and banged my head on the ed…

Carniwars

Carniwars--(n) The act of baiting or instigating trouble with carnies.

Oh, the stupidity.

You know, despite my tongue-in-cheek contest with the carnies, I actually like them. They come into the bar, spend scads of money on food and drink, tip well, and have a good time. Sure, you get the odd butthole in the bunch, but for the most part they are well-behaved and fun to watch.

Not so the locals. Nope. Now we're seeing the beginnings of the young, dumb element of southern Ohio who show up at the bar looking to cause trouble. I actually had a guy (who's old enough to know better) tell me last night that he was hanging out at the Fairview so he 'could piss off the carnies when they come in.'

Okay, first off: not in my bar, pal. I don't tolerate assholishness when the carnies AREN'T here. I'm certainly not going to tolerate it now. Second off: why bother? What's the point? Is there any logical reason to do such a thing?

Nope. It's just idiocy--and I…

And it begins...

Last week was just the beginning. This week is the week of hell. This is fair week---and now everything is ranged against us...the poor bartenders at the Fairview. We start our shifts with locals who've dropped their kids off at the fair. We end our nights with carnies. Somewhere in between are the regulars, who either come in to watch the carnies or stay at home to avoid them. Then there are the 'others' who come in to pick fights with the carnies.

Either way, hell week is here.

I work the night of the demolition derby, the concert, the tractor pull..... you get the picture. I will be tortured with endless repetitions of David Allen Coe and Travis Tritt on the jukebox, while serving bottomless pitchers of Purrburr. Trust me--my mood will deteriorate from this point.

*snort!*

But I'll get lots of great character studies too.

Normally at this time of year, it's 70 degrees in Ohio. Today, it's 92. Normally, at this time of year, I'd be wearing sweaters.…

The Carnieczar

Every socio-political entity has a leader. Last night, I discovered that even the carnies have one. The carnie-czar, if you will, establishes himself upon a barstool in the precise center of the bar at 7 p.m. every evening. From there, he sips on double Crown and coke, occasionally switching to Corona, and disperses wisdom to the other carnies when they approach him. After a little discreet questioning, I discovered that the carnie-czar owns five of the game trailers. It is to him that the young carnies come when they're out of money.

I've been watching the carnie-czar all week. I have to say that this isn't the sort of man you'd see in the Wal-mart parking lot and think, "Aha! A carnie!" He's wrapped in some sort of strange dignity, and has avoided all of the huge carnie stereotypes: he has all of his teeth, he dresses well, he doesn't smell of cabbage...

At any rate...

Last night the regulars managed to jockey for some positions in the beer ga…

A Carnie-vore Pit

At last!

After months and months of referring to the 'mythical beer garden' that is the bar's response to the anti-smoking laws in Ohio, we finally have it! Yay! A place to serve alcohol--legally--where people can sit and smoke and drink. Our regulars were all so excited--

--and never got to sit on it.

The carnies immediately took it over. Now think about it: for MONTHS our regulars have whined and moaned and griped because they had to go stand outside (fifteen feet from the door no less) in all kinds of weather just to have a cigarette. And then, today, on the first day of having the mythical beer garden turn into reality, it's inundated with carnies.

I immediately started calling it the Carnie Pit. While the regulars stared glumly out the window, the carnies laughed, drank, and smoked to their hearts' content. Large tractor-trailers drove slowly by the front of the bar, taking the rides loaded on them to the fairgrounds, and honked at the cheerful morass of purrburr-…

Chilly con carnie

So it's hot here. Despicably hot. The forecast calls for high 80s and low 90s for the next couple of days. I am personally not fond of hot weather--and particularly not fond of sweating while at work. So, despite the fact that it is not October, I turned on the air conditioning at the bar. It didn't take long for the bar to cool off.

It also didn't take long for the carnies to cool off. Within ten minutes, all of the carnies in the bar were shivering in the frigid 78 degree air of the bar, whereas I became quite comfortable. Now, the way that I look at it is that since I'm the one working, the temperature should be at a level that I am comfortable with. That's not too much to ask, right?

Wrong.

Apparently, most of the carnies hail from Florida. They LIKE the heat. They do NOT like any temperature under 85 degrees. Oh the bitching!

"Ain't you a little cold, ma'am?"

"No," I replied, restocking yet more purrburr in the cooler.

A few minutes later…

Carniecarnage

So this blog entry I'm doing from the bar. It is reasonably tranquil--considering. Earlier this evening, however, it was not.

A lot of these carnies come back year after year. Tonight, I ran into one that gave me fits last year. You've heard me talk about zero to sixty drunks--the kind that go from sober to blotto in sixty seconds, right? Well this guy cracks into hyperspace. When he gets drunk, the entire state of Ohio is treated to a sonic boom.

So he's sitting at the bar, twirling an unlit cigarette between his fingers over and over like a baton of frustration. His eyes were narrowed meanly, staring at his Bud Light bottle. I was washing dishes when all of a sudden, he asked, "Are you the owner of this bar?"

"No," I replied.

"You just work here?"

"Yep."

"You should be fired."

At this, I looked up. "Oh really? Why is that?"

"You're not a people person."

I stared at him. Surely he wasn't serious.

"…

Carniecopia or Attack of the Carnies Part Two

Surprise, surprise, surprise. The bulk of the carnies are already here. Traditionally, business at the bar doesn't pick up until late this week. The fair doesn't start until Sunday, after all, and how long does it really take to set up a caramel corn trailer? So usually, it's only a trickle of carnies until Thursday or so--but not this year. Nope, this year we are blessed with a plethora of un-tardy carnies and they're already taking over the bar.

I didn't have to work yesterday, but a friend of ours was just hired as the new bartender so we decided to go keep him company on a slow Monday night . We figured we could watch football (wow the Bengals suck), have a few beers, and I could give him pointers over the bar as questions came up.

Imagine my surprise to find carnies three deep at the bar.

Not only were they drinking, but they were eating. A lot. Poor Josh was running his ass off cooking for a group of the unwashed masses from the RV camp across the street…

Attack of the Carnies, part 1 or Purrburrs and Tooth Decay

So there are two rides set up already for the county fair.

I work at a little neighborhood bar called the Fairview Inn. There's a lot of tradition involved in the place--it was established the day Prohibition ended, before that it was an old-fashioned mom and pop grocery store, the coolers behind the bar are the original mahogany glass-front cabinets that held the perishables and 'the stick' that we bartenders use as a weapon of last (or in my case first) resort came from the cop who walked the beat on this street on the first legal drinking day. He'd used the billy club numerous times when busting the illegal still in the cellar, and thought that it would be an appropriate gift to the no-longer-in-danger-of-being-arrested-owner.

Yep. Decades of DNA.

At any rate, one of the charms of the Fairview Inn is the view of the fair. (Sorry--just had to do it) The fairgrounds are across the street. It's a meticulously preserved turn-of-the-century fairgrounds, complete with …

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

Oh my gosh! It's THAT time of year again.

Yep. The carnies are coming.

Last year, you guys got to hear a lot about the carnies. Carnies are probably the only fringe benefit involved at the bar where I work, which is conveniently located across the street from the city Fairgrounds. (hence the name--the Fairview) Last year, the onslaught of the carnies was chronicled in detail by me and if you look at the post for October, 2006 you can see how the battles went.

The fair in Lancaster is the last fair of the year. Most of the carnies leave here and go off to their winter bases in Florida, their campers bouncing behind their trunks. But since this IS the last county fair we get the creme de la creme of the carnies. It's a very busy week.

The fair starts October 7. Last night I ran by the bar to drop a few things off and noticed THAT THE FIRST CARNIES ARE ALREADY HERE.

What is this? Some sort of insidious sneak attack? I have the feeling that the carnies are plotting against m…

Mscelina's Lexicon of Rules For Young Writers

I've been running into a lot of young writers on the web lately and I've noticed an interesting trend. Back when I was a kid...

okay. shut up. Quit snickering.

... I didn't know of ANY people my age who locked themselves in their rooms to write. My writing was always kind of hush-hush (unless it was a contest) because the 'weird' label is one a high school girl doesn't want to attract. While all of the other kids were running the streets and wreaking havoc, I was pounding away on an old manual typewriter churning out horrible stories and dreaming of becoming a 'real' author.

Now it's not so unusual to find kids who are already published before they even go to college. What in the heck happened? Neither of my girls are huge on writing, although they both are voracious readers so I can't attribute this trend to some sort of strange contagion. I personally know of a fourteen year old who is giving out grammar advice on a major writers' foru…

Another Day of Internet Activity

Back on the promo bandwagon again! It's not as if I have anything else to do, save for lying here and staring at the ceiling or watching REALLY bad TV. The husband is out of town on a business trip, the brat is 'at work'...or whatever qualifies as that in this day and age...and it's just me, the cats, and Google search.

If I make it through all this and actually gain some measure of success, I'm going to write a book for the rest of you debut writers and make my fortune. Then I can buy a house in the woods and kill some more Elves.

That is the goal, after all.

I did start a new story last night. Originally, I thought it was going to be a short story but now it's starting to look like *SHOCK!* another novel. *sigh* Why can't I write SHORT for god's sake? Is it because as I go along, I keep jotting down more plot information and then realize I can't possibly implement all of it under 90K words? And I'll thank you all not to mention the word…

Trolling, trolling, trolling...

Okay, since my latest little procedure on my back will keep me prone for three days, I've been spending my time scouring the web for fantasy novel review sites.

Do you know how annoying that is?

Any time I find one, I have to research it. Is it a scam site? How are their reviews? Are they are FABULOUS books or all they all HORRIBLE books? Which ones carry crediblity? Which ones are a front for people looking to resell ARCs or e-books after they 'review' your novel?

How irritating! I've probably looked at well over two hundred sites and have only submitted Asphodel to fifteen of them. Granted, some of them don't accept e-pubs or small press. Almost all of them have expressed a serioius disdain for vanity published or PODs. And a few don't even have guidelines for submission.

Anyone out there have any ideas? Suggestions? Valium? *anybody want to write me a nice raving little plug that I can use instead?*

I'm hoping that eventually this will all pay off. …

Wow, I missed you guys!

So, my laptop blew up.

This is the second one in a year that bit the big one on me, but THIS one was under warranty. So I take it and its blue crash screen that read "IRQL not equal" to the nearest service provider. He kept it a week and returned it 'running just fine.'

Until I was on the internet for ten minutes and it crashed again. With the same IRQL message. So, back it went.

I think Toshiba will be buying my a new laptop. *sigh*

At any rate, Asphodel was doing great in sales for a while. It did hit number one at Fictionwise, and how cool is it to be able to say "number one bestseller in Fantasy at Fictionwise.com!"

You're right, way cool. My second wave of promotion starts this week so we'll see how that goes.

Tomorrow I'm chatting all day at LoveRomances E-Cafe. The owner, Dawn Roberto, is a great friend of mine and a fabulous writer in her own right. It should be fun, and I should be giving some stuff away....hmmm.....

I'll blog mor…

Annoyance reigns in Celinaland...tempered with a little joyous shock

Okay, so my darn laptop bit it. I have a feeling that the brat got ahold of it and downloaded something and gave it a naaaaaaaasty trojan or something, because I've had to remove everything from the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Actually, I've had to TRY to reinstall Windows. It hasn't been overly successful yet.

I may just ground her until she's thirty.

I've just come off a stretch where I worked 9 of 11 days at the bar. My feet look like pork roasts with sausages stuck on the end. Normally, I'd be lying on the couch and blogging from my laptop but not today--oh no. Today I'm sitting upright and scowling at the desktop. Nice. It's like I have a migraine in my feet. My pain management specialist (high-falutin' talk for the dude who prescribes me medication for my back) is annoyed with me for working period. Of course, he's never annoyed when said job pays his bill. *grin* Oh well, more percocet for me.

In other news, Asphodel has h…

The Reckoning of Asphodel is Out!!!

OH MY GOD!

I am now a published novelist. My debut novel, The Reckoning of Asphodel is available now at n Mountain Press.

Breathe, Celina...breathe.

Whew.

I'm not even certain what to do. Since I just got off work at the bar, I'm certain that one of the things I'll be doing very soon is sleeping. But, I was so excited to get home and find out that my book was available now that I just had to blog about it..and update my website...and email all my friends...and well, just bask in it.

It's a culmination for me, a justification that I've found my niche in the world. I will never be a Stephen King or JK Rowling, but just the fact that a story I created is being shared by people I will never meet is an exhilarating rush.

I love it. *grin* Hopefully, some of you will love it too.

Don't Forget the Contest!

There's only a couple more days to enter my contest for The Reckoning of Asphodel! Details are to the side. And, if you like, you can catch the prologue and first chapter LIVE on my website Shoot The Muse!

The Counter Keeps Moving...

Four days, one hour, ten minutes and twenty seconds.

Nineteen.

Eighteen.

Seventeen.

Wow. My little counter buzzes merrily away and I'm left to wonder: have I done all that I need to? Somehow I think I forgot something important. If I could figure out what it is, I could get that done and go back to my compulsive counter watching.

Four days, one hour, eight minutes and forty-two seconds.

Forty-one.

Forty.

Maybe I should check the manuscript again? Make sure there are no stupid typos? No, it's probably too late for that. I think I'll go back to rewrites on book two...maybe that will settle me.

Tick. Tick. Tick.


A Fate Worse Than Death

So I had to make an emergency trip home to Tennessee. Long story, not worth getting into here, but let's just say that I was NOT looking forward to it. I got off work at the bar at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and immediately hopped into the car with my two teenaged daughters for a quick trip across three states.

You know, after a ten hour bar shift, seven hours in the car is torture on a woman with a bad back. Let's just say that the Elves had their revenge. I can never go to sleep immediately after I get off work, and by the time I could have dozed off I was too worried about the teenager driving the car to even consider anything other than staying awake. Bad music aside (I was allowed no input... *pout*) there's nothing worse than driving through Kentucky as the sun comes up. First off, it's so BRIGHT. Ick. Being a nocturnal beast, the initial glare of sunlight bouncing over the horizon made me feel like Dracula in a tanning bed.

Second off, truckers are assholes. …