Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting close...

What a week!

Getting ready for Redemption's release has worn me out completely. I've been putting the finishing touches on a book trailer, showing up at chats, sending out press releases, stomping ye olde forums with blurbs--and trying come up with everything I can for a viral publicity campaign.

Having a promotion budget of *zilch* sucks. Getting the youngest into nursing school is the financial priority in our house at the moment.

At any rate, besides that I've really gotten going on Terella hardcore this week. The story has taken over, again, and since I'm rewriting the monster from scratch I was a little surprised that it's rampaging across my desk like a rabid wildebeast. I'm trying to keep up with it but *whine* it's too fast for me! I still have the gut feeling that this may be my opus magnum to date. It's definitely taken on a literary voice that my previous fantasy works haven't had.

And Aleira is such a cool character. It's hard to make her into what I intend for her to be, but she seems to have a few ideas of her own at this point. Once I have this rewritten, a couple of hard line edits and it should be ready to query.

My goal is for October.

Which, will be just in time to do line edits on Asphodel 3 and get ready for its release--hopefully by Christmas.

We can hope.

You guys have a great weekend--I'm sure that you'll be hearing lots from me over the next couple of weeks so be prepared for the Gift of Redemption blog blitz!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chatting today and a blog contest!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

I am pleased to announce my super duper special blog contest for the release of The Gift of Redemption!

Are you ready for this? You can win--

1-downloads of both The Reckoning of Asphodel and The Gift of Redemption!
2-a $25 gift card from Best Buy--which I recommend you use to buy the DVD of Neil Gaiman's Stardust. *grin* Only because Asphodel knocked it out of #1 at Fictionwise last summer...
3-an antique book--great classic piece of literature from my personal collection. I'll give you choices, and you pick the book!


4-you can be the only person in the world to get the complete Asphodel historical backstory file--which is almost a book in itself!


1. I am so stealing this one from Nathan Bransford: You may only enter once; Once you may enter. No multiple entries please.

2. Email me at . In the subject line, write ASPHODEL BLOG CONTEST. Leave me your name and email addy. IF YOU DON'T LEAVE YOUR ADDY I CANNOT CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN. *just thought I'd let you know that*

3. Be present at my release party on June 6, 2008 where I will announce the winner with all sorts of hoopla and fanfare! I'll be hosting my release party at Love Romances & More Cafe -- which coincidentally is also where I'm chatting today.

Sound like fun? I sure hope so! Be sure you stop by the Cafe' and say hi!

Retrurn of the DOOM BUNNY!

Okay, okay--I had to bump my infamous Doom Bunny flash movie by special request.

Get your own flash movies at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sixteen Days and My First Series Reader Completes All 4 Books

Zoinks. Sixteen days until Redemption. I'm getting a little verklempt now!

I'm even more verklempt because someone, finally, has read the entire Asphodel series. A friend of mine, Lisa, loved the first book a lot. I thought it was cute--she started doing the "I'm your number one fan!" bit which, considering Misery, could be creepy but from her was just endearing.

Then she got sick with the flu, so I sent her a copy of Redemption. She loved it too--I think a little more than Asphodel--and immediately started pestering me for Book 3--Temptation. I hemmed and hawed for a while, mostly because I'm in the middle of my final rewrite on it, but eventually I gave in because she's just so adorable. Then, last week, she went on vacation and hinted strongly that she'd really like to finish up the series.

By that point, I was immune to the extraneous dialogue tags and adverbs, so I sent Apostolate on to her. I also wanted to make certain that the series finished up with the *pow* it was designed to. Only the first two books had been betaed in my crit group, and Lisa is a smart girl with a good eye. I figured that if there was a flaw in the story resolution, she'd let me know.

She did. Apparently the *pow* works as well as I hoped it would. I took quite a few risks when resolving the overall plot conflict of the series, and the fact that she zeroed in on it AND loved it has given me a great deal of confidence. I feel MUCH better now.

You can find out more about Lisa at her website. I think you'll love her artwork--I know I do. And, if you want to read the opening prologue for Redemption, it is up and live on my website. AND, don't forget that you can chat with me ALL DAY at Love Romances & More Cafe on Friday, May 23rd.

All my plugs done? Hooray! Sixteen days left to go! Lisa Dovichi rocks! Go read my prologue! Chat with me on Friday! Anything else?


Talk to you later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

When You Don't Know What You Think You Know

Hurray! AW Blog Chain made it here! Looks like Terri in NYC went from travel to her journals from when she volunteered in India, and ended up relating an episode where she didn't know what she thought she knew about a man who helped her when she was lost.

Sounds like a good place to start.

Everyone starts off with first impressions. Some people, like my husband, are so accurate with their first impressions of other people that it makes me want to kick something.

"He's an asshole, Celina. Boot him out."

"I can't boot him out, Shannon; he's just sitting there drinking."

Fast forward to ten minutes later.

Shannon: "I told you to boot him out."

Celina: "How was I supposed to know he'd put a chair through the jukebox?"

So annoying. Here's my question: what happens if you don't know what you think you know? What if the assumptions you make about a person, a story, an entity, a governmental policy--what if those assumptions are wrong? Are you big enough to admit it?

I'm usually not. *shrug* Of course, maybe that's what I want you to think. I could be fibbing. *snerk* Okay, getting serious now.

I've been known to admit that I was wrong. I admitted I was wrong to my daughter when the only boyfriend she's ever had that I wasn't tempted to ram his head through drywall turned out to be a bigger jerk than the other assholes. I admitted I was wrong about a novel I wrote a long time ago--but that took distance and time before I was willing to trunk it. I think I even admitted to misquoting someone the other day online--I'd substituted an 'a' for a 'the.'

If I can do it, anyone can.

If, specifically, you're making assumption about people online--you're doing yourself an inservice. In this blog, for example, I let you know what I want you to know--no more, no less. You know nothing about the few redeeming qualities I have as a human being in real life unless I give you a glimpse in. I think it's probably safe to say that most of you reading this now don't know who I'm going to vote for for President, what I think of yesterday's oil reserve vote in the Senate, who I'm for in the Stanley Cup, or probably even what color my hair is, right?

You know what I want you to know; if I don't tell you, then you don't know squat. I've seen a lot of people make assumptions, one way or the other, about people they meet online. With one extreme, it's dangerous. With the other extreme, you look like a jerk. Try to keep some perspective.

And if you're calling someone names, attributing things to them publicly on a message board, you might be surprised to discover that you had no clue who you were talking to. Makes you look like an idiot.

Trust me.

And so the blog chain moves on. Next up is Rotating Bear.

Auria Cortes

Life in Scribbletown

Polyamory From the Inside Out

For the First Time

Family On Bikes

Writes in the City

Elf Killing and Other Hobbies

Rotating Bear

Fantastical Imagination

Asian Business

Spittin' (Out Words) Like a Llama

As Yet Untitled

Mad Scientist Matt's Lair



Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Countdown Is UP!!!

Wow, it's starting to feel official. The countdown for the release of The Gift of Redemption is up! Only 26 days to go until Book Two of The Asphodel Cycle.

Book releases are nerve-shattering, finger-gnawing ordeals. Every time you cut one of your babies loose on the world, you sit back and wonder: Is it all right? Will people like it? Hell, will people buy it? What if it's released and it sits there like a clod of dirt, moldering away in the darkest recesses of cyberspace and no one cares?


Of course, my biggest worry is that the people who read Asphodel and loved it won't feel quite the same way about Redemption. I've had a few people who have already read it and they seemed to like it. Hopefully, that trend will continue. I think that Tamsen grows up quite a bit in this book; she spends a lot of time dealing with politics and war and love and hate and gods and mortals. She's not always right and she learns a lot. I want my characters to always learn in my stories--that makes them real and helps them grow.

Of course, Brial learns a lot too--mostly about his wife.

Poor Brial! For some reason, I always end up on Tamsen's side. Sometimes when I write contentious scenes between them, I feel like there's a disapproving Elf standing behind right behind me muttering, "You just had to do that, didn't you Celina?"

Why yes, Brial; as a matter of fact, I did.

He worries too much. He needs to lighten up a bit. Unfortunately for him, Redemption is as much about Brial's growth of character as it is Tamsen's--and in some ways, his path is harder. Naturally, that's all I'm going to tell you about that. You'll have to read the book when it's released.

In twenty six days.

Good Lord.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Stuff And ...Well...Stuff

I actually stayed up last night to watch election results from Indiana.

Part of the reason was that there was really NOTHING on after Hell's Kitchen. Another part had to do with the fact that when I'm doing the 'business' end of writing, I need noise that won't distract me. Music is out because I write to music, and I find the endless drone of news channel anchors boring enough that it almost becomes white noise.

Except for last night.

Now, before anyone gets up in arms here, I am an INDEPENDENT MODERATE. That means I don't really care about the election until November, or mid October at the earliest. But last night, I found myself drawn into the drama of a primary election with two candidates that have really done nothing but annoy me.

When Hillary Clinton went out to give her 'victory' speech, I was struck by two things. First, the overwhelming cheerfulness of the crowd around her. I mean, I knew it was a bad night for her--how could they not figure that out?

The second was the expression on Bill Clinton's face. he looked like he'd been sucking rotten eggs through a straw for the entire day--his face was beet red, his eyes were piggy, his mouth was puckered up like a kewpie doll. In other words, he looked like he knew his wife had lost.

His was the only face in the crowd that reflected this. Everyone else in the building continued on their blithe celebration, but the candidate's husband, the man who ran successfully before, had an expression on his face that let the whole world know what he thought his wife's chances were of pulling out the nomination.

You find character studies in the strangest places, don't you?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogging From The Bar

Nothing quite as much fun as a Sunday afternoon at the bar.

It gives me time to blog. It's a lovely day; I have all the windows open to let the spring in, which in a place that's smelled of beer and whiskey for 80 years is a good thing. I had my Sunday morning regulars here, as always, bitching about their double bogeys and the price of eggs. I had my pre-Poker-run bikers in here, informing me, as always, about how cold 60 degrees really is at 55 mph.

Life at the Fairview goes on.

A gentleman came in yesterday afternoon with his wife. After seating himself at the bar, he said, "I haven't been home in eight years; I've been living in Cincinnati. We're on our way home after our son's graduation from Pitt, and I had to stop in Lancaster and show my new wife my old stomping grounds."

He then proceeded to tell me, as everyone else does when they come back to town, that "I had my first beer in the Fairview when I was sixteen."

(the ages range from fifteen to eighteen in other homecoming tales)

Life at the Fairview, evidently, is just the same as it ever was--except for the sixteen year old drinking beer thing. I card. I promise.

Darkshifters is about to head out for its first retrial in the world of agent-seeking. I had my tarot cards read the other day and evidently this is the propititious time. *grin* Always good to know that the cards are in your favor. Without all the mysticism, however, I have to say that this last version of Darkshifters is worlds better than the poor mutilated draft I sent out previously. I scrapped every single word and rewrote the darn thing from my old plot outline. (well, not exactly--I still have that version saved to the hard drive of the desktop) It's amazing to look back and see exactly how many changes you've made in your writing style over the last few months--or, as in this case, years.

So here I sit, surrounded by beer I can't drink, liquor bottles that I can't serve from (legally on Sundays), blogging for all that I'm worth while the sun pours its strengthening joy into the spring air. Life, for all its turmoil, is still good.

One month left until Asphodel 2 is released--get ready for The Gift of Redemption! You can find out anything you want to know about The Asphodel Cycle at my website Shoot The Muse! or at my publisher Aspen Mountain Press.

Oh, and I'll be doing the Absolute Write May blogchain! Follow it to find other great writers at all stages of their careers and find out how we all think. You'll love it, I promise you!