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Showing posts from June, 2007

And the theme of the week is...

...critiques.

My fellow Dragon's Den writers know that I have slacked off seriously in the critique department as of late. I'm so busy correcting my own work that I haven't had much time to get to other people's. Still, I try to eke out some time every once in a while to get it done. On another writers' forum I participate in, there have been no fewer than five or six threads started on critiquing.

Some of them complain. Some of them are about writers who can't handle the criticism. Some of them are writers telling other people to stop whining. And yet others display a sense of entitlement that's really quite disturbing. The thing that really gets me? MOST OF THEM DON'T CRITIQUE.

So here's my definitive take on it: if you post work to be critiqued, you must critique in return. It is your responsibility as a critic to respect the other writer's work, while still pointing out problem areas in the plot and technique as a service to him or her…

Distractions

I can't concentrate today. I've been too concerned with why the Pepto doesn't work. So, in response to my intestinal agitation, I meandered on over to the Smart Bitches site and took a gander at what they have going on.

Uh oh. More cover snarkiness.

*snicker*

Sad but true, I laughed until I cried. It wasn't so much the covers as the comments they make on them. I can't even really describe it without stomping on some formidable toes...and gods forbid any of MY covers get honked. It did make me wonder, though, how I'd react if one of my covers DID get snarked upon over there.

*snicker*

Probably just about like that. Book covers are supposed to sell books, right? Well, I have to admit I popped on over to the Lady Aibell site and checked out the alien book. I couldn't help myself. I just had to know.

At any rate, the book is listed under a section called Hillbilly Haven--oh dear!--and you can read the blurb for it here. Granted, it's not my cup of tea…

The Reckoning of Asphodel Excerpt

As promised...

Prelude


My life is divided into two parts: before, and after. My memories of before are almost sacred to me, with all of the poignant wistfulness most people lend only to their dreams or ambitions.


I have driven my memories of after away from my consciousness in some desperate attempt to recapture the untroubled serenity of before. Squarely between the two halves of my life is a single day.


I will never truly understand what happened that day. If I did not weep then, I do now. The gods never grant omniscience to us at these times, and they never grant forgetfulness in the dark days that follow.


Memory is a chancy thing, and I must rely upon mine to tell me what came to pass in my father’s orchard. Ultimately, the remembrance brings me nothing but the thought of death and the taste of fear. It hangs like a painting in the hall of my dreams: frothy pink blossoms tumbling against the black and green clouds as a brutal wind shreds them from the trees, the whispering touch of the…

Bad night

oooooooooooooh.......stomach flu. After posting a blog last night late and in a fairly good mood, I am now shall we say somewhat less than well. I have managed to get to 22k on Requiem. Hopefully by tonight I can hit 40k.

Someone hand me the pepto, please.

It never fails either. Anytime I'm awake in the middle of the night because I don't feel well the cats decide it's time for a little exercise. Gargggggh. Lying in bed, queasy, shooting cats with a water gun as they gallop up the stairs is NOT a good way to spend the night.

Anyway, here'a little treat for you. Enjoy.

It just keeps getting better and better

Ah yes, the joys of summertime.

Shame I don't get to share them.

I've been writing non-stop for a few days now. Finding myself in over my head (what else is new?) I've been scramblingto get all of my various projects up to date. The good news is that I'm now 18k into Requiem!

Yay!

The bad news is that I might have to have 80k done in ten days.

Boo!

A word of advice: if you ever enter a best first line contest, make sure you have more than 500 of those lines written. I'm so stupid. If you want to check out the progress of the contest, go to this link . Mine would be the one that mentions Mozart.

*sigh*

In other news, Asphodel is progressing swimmingly. Edits are speeding by, the release date is getting nearer, and I have a brand spanking new book trailer out. You can check it out at the bottom of this page. As for the post-apocalyptic vampire novel....well.....

I think the vampires blew up when the asteroid hit. I have hopes of resurrecting them just as soon as I …

The World's Most Obnoxious Wake--or Rock Lobsters to Night Music, a Dissertation on the Weirdness of Death

One of the benefits (okay, the only one) to tending bar for fun and profit is drunk people who think they're clever. I had a girl (use the term loosely) come into the bar last night and try to impress me with her intelligence.

Yeah, like that worked.

At any rate, she told us a story about how her dad had played a Nazareth song at his own wake. After I pointed out that this was probably impossible (since guitars rarely fit into coffins) I was overwhelmed with the desire to create the plans for the world's most obnoxious wake--mine.

Bwahahahaha!

So here we go. Consider these the orders for my final disposition (yes, I entertained scores of semi-functional alcoholics for hours with this, which included 'research' on the jukebox and the invention of a new shot called Celina's Wake) and remember accordingly. And DON'T get peeved about this post--this is entirely smartass and not meant to be taken seriously. I can't believe I have to put in a disclaimer for this…

Asphodel Contest

Hey everyone--details to the right on my Asphodel release contest! Enter today!

Writing what you read, and reading what you write

What to think, what to think...

I sat down over the last couple of days and read the Asphodel series from beginning to end. It started when I went over my line edits for book one with a fine-toothed comb. Once I'd done that, I thought, "Hmm....I wonder how the rest of the story reads now that I've been away from it so long?

(A little background--although I'm well into book seven, I've taken about a year and half away from the whole project so I could concentrate on other things)

At any rate, so I read. And not wishing to toot my own horn, but I enjoyed it. Sure, there were boo-boos that really drove me nuts (my favorite at the moment is trying to "clam a horse". I'm not sure that's possible...) but for the most part I was able to put aside my writer's eye and view it from a reader's eye.

I was pleased. J.K. Rowling it ain't, but it worked for me.

I then started to think seriously about that. Why is it that I could read my own work a…

And Then....There's This

I've been dealing with a lot of duality lately--not on purpose. It just happens that way. After the whole pissing off an atheist excursion, I received a lovely email from a reader in the UK who just read my first erotica book "Goddess' Revenge."

In the 18 months I've been buying ebooks, this is the first intelligent erotica I've read. The vast majority have too much sex and too little character development and plot, and while I enjoy reading a good sex scene, if it's not connected to the story then I get bored very quickly. In Goddess' Revenge, the love scenes are exquisite and very hot, each one different and each one building seamlessly into the plot.

Your characterisation is fantastic. Aphrodite comes off as a bitter old shrew, Eros is a lot more mature than Apuleius' version (this is a good thing, I thought he was a brat in Apuleius), and Psyche's naivety is very sweet. I loved the conversation between Eros and Pan, particularly when Eros th…

Offending an Atheist

Oh yippee.

How in the hell do I manage to get myself into these situations? Seriously.

I was posting on a writer's board yesterday, following a thread where a new writer is trying to figure out if his magic system works. I was genuinely trying to be helpful. See what you think:





The trick to writing magic is to make it believable...and I'm talking about YOU have to believe it. It's a pain in the wazoo to come up with every conceivable point and counterpoint about a magical system. Trust me; I feel your pain. Although you've proposed your system here and ther people say that it works for
them, if it completely worked for you, you wouldn't have posted the original
post. So........that being said.....For me, any time I've developed a magical
system I started off with a religious/mythological system. I (as the writer)
needed to know who the gods were, what they did, what they required, what their worship was blah blah blah. Your magical system may not have anything to do w…

The Bitch IS Back

I feel like an Elton John song. Not one of the oh-so-cheesy ones. One of the older ones. The good ones.

*hums to self*

I'm a bitch,
I'm a bitch,
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact...
Yep. Feeling just a little pleased. Not only are my WIPs cranking along nicely thank you (I can hit a completion today if I keep up at this pace) BUT I got another five heart review for the Shequanti from Love Romances and More (that's THREE for the three book series....excuse me while I call a doctor. I threw my spine out patting myself on the back) AND I entered the best first line contest at Samhainand made it to the second round. Not bad for a line that reads as follows: The only thing that could have brought her back to Vienna from her self-imposed exile was Mozart's death.Yes, that's the first line of Requiem. In other news, I am once again caught up on my edits for Asphodel, am lacking only two stories to get the Dragon's Den anthology to the edito…

Speculative Trends

Okay. I succumbed. I created a social network on Ning. It could be interesting, if nothing else, just to see what happens with it. Besides, I seriously doubt my daughter knows about it so maybe I won't be trapped in a Myspace war. *grin*

So I'm in the process of building the network, but it's functional. You can check it out at http://speculativetrends.ning.com/

Don't be shy! Go ahead and join! I'm sure there won't be any arguments on it at all.

Nooooo.

Asphodel Update and Character Notes

All righty then! As per some questioning emails I have received, I'm going to toss out some background information. Let's get down to brass tacks here.

The Asphodel series (both of them--snort!) has a very strong basis in Greco-Roman mythology, with some additional roots in Celtic, Egyptian, Summerian, and Phoenician lore. Whew! Now that I've established my academic bonafides, let's REALLY talk about it.

Asphodel is epic fantasy, pure and simple. I use many of the fantastical archetypes (see Joseph Campbell's work for examples and I promise that's the last brainy thing I'll say) but....and you knew there was a but....I, er, change them.

*grin*

In a nutshell, here's the series premise: what would happen IF you took the prissiest race in standard fantasy (Elves), warped their patriarchal society to suit your feminist needs, gave them a Greco-Roman pantheon at war and many mythological critters to fight (as well as making up some pretty cool new ones if I do s…

So I had to shave the cat

For any cat fanciers out there, I'm sure you can feel my pain. I have a 23 pound long haired black cat named Dante. Dante is a sweetheart. He's affectionate without being pushy, which is difficult in this house, and he treats the little cats well. He's one of the two cats I bought. He was a kitten on sale because he was sick :( so we bought him and made him all better.

Hold on. Let me reiterate my main thought. TWENTY THREE POUNDS. LONG HAIR.

Get the picture?

At any rate, Dante's only drawback is that he isn't the cleanest cat in the world. I mean heck! That's a lot of hair to groom. So, every once in a while, for his health and my sanity (not to mention the preservation of my carpets) I have to shave the cat. Dante HATES being shaved. Hell, I hate shaving him. Thank god he's declawed. So today, after he leaves me a little present right in front of the cat box (thank you, you bastard) I took it upon myself to restrain the squirming, completely frantic feline a…