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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Author Page is up on Siren's Website!!!

Whoo-hoo! My author page is now up on the Siren Publishing website. The cover for CALL OF THE WILDS will be out soon and then - ta-da - the release date in June. Exciting stuff. I bit off whatever nails I had left. I'll be down to my knuckles soon.

It's all becoming very real and it made me work even harder on the WIP. I'm happy to say I have a first draft for Mating Season. It's rough but I have the plotlines tied up. I think. I'm sure I'll find a few loose threads when I go back and do the edits. And the word count will rise because I'll be adding more description - my 3 S's - setting and sizzling sex. But I see light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope you'll check out my bio and let me know what you think:

Siren-Publishing/Gale Stanley


And here's hoping you all have a very Happy Easter!!


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Monday, March 29, 2010

I think I can...

It's Monday morning and I'm hard at it because this is only a four-day week. My book reviews have been sent in for the June issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS but I still have plenty to keep me busy. Here's a glance at what's ahead for me.

Writing and more writing. The WIP is coming along. My word count is rising and I still have until Wednesday so I'm hopeful.

And I'm taking all these nifty workshops at
SavvyAuthors

1. How To Promote When You Don't Know How
2. Publishers Q & A: A Week long dialogue with Lyrical Press publisher-owner Renee Rocco.
3. Holly Lisle's Crash Revisions Workshop - I love Holly. She's a great motivator. She ends every post with - You can do this - and she makes me feel like I really can.

I'm also blogging and working on the web site and reading, yada, yada, yada.


Jeez I feel just like "The Little Engine that Could."
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...




I'm really looking forward to the weekend and dinner with the kids.
Hope you all have a great week!


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hitting a Roadblock as I Near the Finish Line

The countdown has started and I'm racing against the clock. My self-imposed deadline is looming. The first draft of MATING SEASON has to be done by March 31st. I set the deadline and I was reasonably sure I could make it. Only five more days remain and now I'm having doubts and panic is setting in.

It's only another 8,446 words but I hit a roadblock. One of those pesky ones where I can't get from point "A" to point "B." I need a good reason to keep the hero (one of them) from running out on the heroine. I've already gone through two scenarios and neither one works. The hero already told me no way, not good enough.

So what will happen if I miss my deadline. The sky won't fall on my head. Who will care? I will. I've never missed a deadline and I'm not about to spoil my record even if it's self-imposed. My response to crunch time is to buckle down. Plant myself in front of the computer and write. I'm hoping my characters planted an idea in my subconscious while I slept and it'll show itself while I'm typing. Like a spirit, communicating through a Ouija board my hero will guide my fingers to the right letters and the words will flow. Sounds great, but I can't let him do all the work, he has enough problems.

So it's back to brainstorming ideas. Have a great weekend and happy writing!


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Onychophagia

I have Onychophagia. It sounds so much better than saying I'm a nail biter. Onychophagia plagued me as a kid. I always envied the girls with nice nails but I had a hard time giving up the habit. I finally stopped biting when I discovered boys and my nails have been looking good ever since. I even went through a period of visiting the nail salon every week but the fake nails were just too damn annoying. I type better with short nails.

Well, this morning I looked at my stumps and realized I was back to square one. It started a few years ago when I was in cubicle hell and hating the day job. I spent my lunch hour blogging and writing but it wasn't enough and I had constant interruptions. I was bored, frustrated and unhappy. I started biting my nails again. When I retired it was already an annoying habit. Now I'm not even conscious of doing it. Whenever I'm bored or stressed I just start gnawing. Bad habits can come back to bite you in the ass. I used to suck my thumb; I hope I don't start that again.

How the heck am I gonna stop this? I read somewhere about the rubber band method. You put a thick band around your wrist and whenever you start biting, you snap the band. It hurts, you stop biting. Has this ever worked for anyone? Any better ideas out there?


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Monday, March 22, 2010

What's in a Name?

I finally did it. I changed my Twitter name. I've been thinking about doing it ever since I got my domain and discovered .com was already taken and I had to settle for .net. The only thing holding me back was the fear of screwing things up. But the fear of finding my name already taken overshadowed that and I took the plunge.

It was surprisingly easy! Twitter allows you to change your name in the settings panel. Your followers and everything else remains intact. Still, I was concerned that someone might look for me under the old name. That was pretty easy to fix as well. I quickly created a new account using the old name. Then I posted a Tweet telling people I'd changed my name and directing them to
@GaleStanley. One of the simpler things I've done lately. So maybe now I'll change the Facebook name.

So if you're not already following me, please do. I look forward to tweeting with you.


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm WWW - Weary, Worn-out and Whacked

Tuesday night I started pulling my hair out. After frustrating hours trying to put my website together, I finally fell into bed at 2:00 AM. I figured I'd look at it with new eyes in the morning - NOT!

Wednesday morning I couldn't look at anything. I couldn't even access my domain. The software wasn't at fault. It was all me. I'd put together a site and ftp'd the files but it didn't look right so I deleted the files and foobarred everything. At that point there was only one thing I could do - yell for help and hope for the best. Yahoo came through and reinstalled the folder that I shouldn't have deleted.

Okay, back to square one. Why am I driving myself crazy with HTML and CSS when I can use the old WYSIWYG method - drag and drop? Yahoo makes this easy with their Site Solutions. So I'm going to try it the easy way and hopefully be up and running next week.

Today hubby and I are leaving for the beach. It's not the R & R you're imagining. It's getting - Ready for Rental season. We'll be back on Sunday so I'm not bringing a lot of clothes. But I've got the important stuff - my laptop and nine books. Jeez, maybe it's time to get an ereader.


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Outside Looking In

Yesterday I updated my bio for CALL OF THE WILDS. Bios are always written in third person and there's something really weird about referring to yourself as somebody else. It can also be enlightening to sit back and try to interpret the past through objective eyes. I stepped outside my skin and observed myself as if I was another person. When I looked back without letting personal feelings get in the way I saw how much I've really changed. So I allowed myself a quick pat on the back and got back to work.

But now I'm wondering why we refer to ourselves in third person when we write a bio. Does it sound more professional and believable?

What do you think?


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Reaching the end of my rope and using it to tie up all those pesky plotlines


I've been watching Lost since the show began and I eagerly awaited this last season, thinking I'd get all the answers. Now I'm not so sure. This week's episode had me scratching my head and thinking how will the writers tie it all up by May.

Then I started thinking about my WIP. How will I tie it all up by the end of March? I know what's in store for the characters but there are a few pesky plotlines that are not making the jump from beginning to end. How will these people get from point A to point B in a way that does not sound contrived?

I decided to take a clue from Lost. There's no rule that says I have to follow a linear path when I write. The finished story will follow a logical progression but how I get there really doesn't matter, as long as it works.

Since I knew the end, I went ahead and wrote the last chapter. I had one Aha moment after another until...
Eureka! (Meaning, "I have found it" in Greek) I found my way back to the place in my story where I'd been stuck.

I don't know how it works. Maybe my brain just needed a shake-up. Sometimes when you look at things in a new way it all starts to make sense. Even Lost is looking more comprehensible.

What works for you? How do you find all those points between A and B?


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Fever or What the heck is a Vernal Equinox?

I have spring fever, absolutely can't wait to see the trees turn green and the beach get replenished. Yesterday morning I went outside to retrieve the trashcans and the beautiful weather brought on that excited, restless feeling that signals the coming of spring. I knew it meant trouble because I didn't want to go back inside. I literally forced myself back to the computer and I ended up staring out the window and thinking about the beach. I looked on the internet to find out the first day of spring. Thank goodness, it's not that far away.

According to infoplease.com, it's not an arbitrary date.
"March 20 (March 21 in some years) is significant for astronomical reasons. On March 20, 2010, at precisely 1:32 P.M. EDT (March 20, about 09:00 Universal Time), the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.


Translated literally, equinox means "equal night." Because the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. A second equinox occurs each year on September 22 or 23; in 2009, it will be on September 22 at 17:18 P.M. EDT (21:18 UT). This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern (vernal denotes "spring")."

This is really more than I wanted to know, but I can find all sorts of things to postpone what I really should be doing. Eventually I got down to business and started working on the WIP. Today I'm not even poking my head out the door.


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Monday, March 8, 2010

My Date With Oscar

Sunday was a really productive day for me. I finished two chapters. Yah! So I rewarded myself by watching the Academy Awards for three hours.

Some of you might not think that's a reward, and you might be right. The thing is, I love movies and this year they opened the field and included ten, many of which I actually saw. No one will ever take Billy Crystal's place in my heart but Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin put on a decent show and I did spend some time with hubby even if was in front of the television.

For the most part, I agreed with the picks. I love Jeff Bridges. He's a great actor and a family man, married for thirty-three years - to the same woman. Kathryn Bigelow deserved the Oscar for the Hurt Locker and I was glad to see Avatar, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 get well deserved recognition. But Sandra Bullock? I know she was the odds on favorite, but I just didn't see it. Oh well, she made a great speech. Which brings me to another good point - there seemed to be less politics and more talk about good old family values. About time.

So, the bad things - commercials. I rarely watch TV shows unless I tape them or buy the DVD. If I do watch I usually turn to the computer or a book when an ad comes on. But last night I did neither. It wasn't too bad. Hubby muted the TV and we talked. This what quality time in 2010 has come to.

And hey - did anyone else think the big reveal at the end was rushed? Were they running over the allotted time? Tom Hanks ran out, didn't even name the ten nominees for best picture, just blurted out the winner - The Hurt Locker - end of story.


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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Raising Bookworms

I've always been an avid reader and my children love to read as well. Of course, back in the Dark Ages there were fewer TV shows for kids, no iPods and computers were just a blip on the horizon. Books were a great source of entertainment for us and our love of literature helped us do well academically. Developing good reading and comprehension skills made it easier to understand and assimilate information.

Being a proud grandmother of five, of course I want my grandchildren to love books as much as the rest of us. It got me thinking. What inspired my own kids? Living in a house with more books than furniture must have helped. And reading to them. Children love to imitate their parents. Even before they could actually make out the words, they would pick up a book and "read" it to me.

I know my grandkids are encouraged to read at home, but I wanted to do my part as a grandparent so I keep children's books in my house for visits and sleepovers. When they develop an interest in something, I look for books on that topic. The boys, four and two, discovered dinosaurs and I found a wonderful book called "Oh, Say Can You Say DI-NO-SAUR?" from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. Nobody likes to listen to a monotone voice so I try to bring the stories to life by using funny voices. When the boys come over, they go right to their bookcase and pick out what they want me to read.

My granddaughter is older and when she mentioned "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" we took a trip to Barnes & Noble and bought the whole set. She read the entire first book before she went home and the rest within a few days. I buy her magazines about her special interests, even celebrities because I think anything that develops an interest in reading is worthwhile.

The children are very excited that mom-mom is writing books. They want to read my stories and they're disappointed when I tell them - not until you're 21. I may have to write a children's story just for them.

What do you do to encourage a love of reading in your family?


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Turn about is fair play

Blogging Buddy Riley Quinn nominated me for a frequent blogger award. This is informal and purely for fun but I'm super happy to be included so I decided TURN ABOUT IS FAIR PLAY. Then of course, I went off on a tangent and had to look up the origin of the phrase.

According to YourDictionary.com the meaning of the idiom follows:

"Taking alternate or successive turns at doing something is just and equitable. For example, Come on, I want to sit in the front seat now—turnabout is fair play. This justification for taking turns was first recorded in 1755."

So in the interest of being just and equitable here is a list of the blogs, I frequent the most.
(Not in any particular order)

Riley Quinn
Rachel Lynn
Alexa Day
Shayla Kersten
Denise Golinowski
Delilah Devlin

Blogs are a great tool for social networking and learning new stuff and these ladies constantly amaze me with the fresh, new content they provide for readers. Stop by for a visit.


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Fight MS with the J-WALKERS

Today I'm blogging about something near and dear to my heart - The MS Walkathon.

My beautiful, seventeen year old step-granddaughter, Jess, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Having MS means that you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. Symptoms and progression of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.





Our families have formed a team for Walk MS to support Jess, who has faced this diagnosis with great strength. Everyone is working hard to raise money so a cure will be discovered in her lifetime. We are really excited to be able to put our energy into something positive and take part in the 2010 Walk MS.

In the past two years the J-WALKERS raised over $89,000 and were named the largest friends and Family team in as many years. We invite you to join in the fun and walk with us on May 2, 2010 for this great cause. It's a fun, uplifting experience. Join us for breathtaking views from Martin Luther King Drive of Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive in historic Philadelphia PA. Take in the music, food, and festivities with your family and friends at our largest Walk site. There is fun for everyone, whether you are a walker, runner or volunteer





Or if you prefer to show your support by donating, you can make a donation online at:


Join the J Walkers

The MS Society does amazing things for research in addition to the phenomenal support they offer those affected by this disease, rest assure, the funds raised are well spent.

JOIN A WINNING TEAM! GO J-WALKERS!


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