Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What to do?- A new character crashes the party.

CALL OF THE WILDS took a long time to write. The plot came to me while I was still working the hated day job. I’d write a few lines and just as things would start to gel someone would interrupt me and my inspiration would disappear. The book wasn’t completed until I left my position as civil servant/municipal drone.

I wrote MATING CALL, book 2 of the Black Wolf Gorge series, in record time – for me anyway. It took, oh, maybe six months. I knew which characters were coming back and I knew where their stories were headed. Everything flowed and I already knew who would get their time in the spotlight.

I assumed that writing book three would also move along quickly. NOT! You know what they say about people who assume. I thought I knew where the plot was headed and I wrote a few chapters but then a new character appeared out of nowhere and I can’t shake her. She lurks in the background and tries to throw me off course whenever I try to write. I’m not even sure if she’s good or evil yet. All I know is, she won’t go away. So now my dilemma is, do I give her an honorable mention and save her for book 4? Or do I give her the spotlight now and make my old familiar characters wait for book 4?

Right now I’m just writing whatever they tell me and I’ll sort it out later. But I really hope I can get organized by the end of the week because I’m hoping for a first draft by the end of the month. Wish me luck.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Long Live the King!

My all time favorite book on writing is called, oddly enough, ON WRITING. Stephen King wrote it. It’s a combination of autobiography and instruction, seasoned with inspiration. King’s personal journey is fascinating and his common sense approach to writing is nothing short of empowering. I’ve read it through several times and every once and awhile I pick it up and reread portions of it.

One section of his book is called simply – Toolbox. King says “I want to suggest that to write to your best abilities, it behooves you to construct your own toolbox and then build up enough muscle so you can carry it with you.”

Tools include vocabulary, grammar and elements of style. My toolbox is packed. The Synonym Finder for vocabulary and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style are just two. I own somewhere around thirty books on writing.

But there’s another tool that may be more important. Reading for pleasure. We soak up a lot of knowledge by reading. As King says “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” He reads for the same reason I do. He likes it. But there’s a learning process going on as well and even the bad books teach us something.

Last week I blogged about not having enough time to read. This morning Stephen King gave me a kick in the butt – figuratively speaking. Long live the King!

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Monday, June 28, 2010

And the Winner is…

Well the day has finally arrived. I’m about to announce the winner of my contest. CONGRATULATIONS Marsha A. Moore!! You’ve won a copy of CALL OF THE WILDS and the wolf pendant. Please send your name, email and addy to:

Oh and let me know what format you would like for your e-book . CALL OF THE WILDS is available in doc, epub, html, lit, pdf, prc.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered. I will be doing giveaways periodically so please be on the lookout. And have a great day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"So many books, so little time." ~ Frank Zappa

I love to read. My house is overflowing with books and my To Be Read stack is crammed into a closet. Even my new Kindle is filling up fast. Hey, did I tell you that the Kindle went down in price – right after I bought it of course. Like a week later. Products on Amazon can be returned within 30 days. I thought about returning my Kindle and repurchasing it. After all $259 to $189 is a big difference. I really didn’t want to. My books were on it, marked at the exact place I had stopped reading and I was loathe to give it up. So I called Amazon. They were nice as could be and refunded me the difference. Great customer service is one reason I’ve been a loyal big spender since their beginnings.

But even with the convenience of carrying my Kindle wherever I go, lately I haven’t had too much time to read. Between writing, edits, promotion and family, friends and cats, reading has become a guilty pleasure. I debated giving up Notes from Camp Swampy, my other blog where I post book reviews. Camp Swampy was my place to vent when I worked the hated day job. Posting and book reviewing kept me sane when I wanted to bang my head against the wall of my cubicle prison. Giving it up was not an option. Then I received an ARC from Random House and I couldn’t put it down - Ancestor by Scott Sigler. When a book is that good it’s not a problem to zip through it at record speed and write a review. If you like blood and guts medical thrillers check it out, it’s a winner. I even gave up watching the Bachelorette to finish it. So I found it is possible to squeeze in some reading, especially if you don’t like to sleep.

The worst way to read, he said, is with the thought that you do not have enough time. The only way to read is in the knowledge that there is an infinite amount of time stretching ahead, and that if one wishes to taste only a few sentences per day one is free to do so. ~ Gabriel Josipovici -“Moo Pak”

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Contest Reminder!

There’s still time to win your own copy of my new release CALL OF THE WILDS and the howling wolf pendant pictured below.

Just become a follower of this blog by clicking on the Google app on the sidebar. If you’re already a follower than you’re good to go. On June 27th my granddaughter will pick one lucky winner by giving me a number from 1 to however many…

Good Luck!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Me and Joe Btfsplk

Maybe I’m showing my age but I think Joe Btfsplk crossed my path this week. I thought I was recovering from the cold I caught at the beach. Then Tuesday night, I started seeing stars. I went to my dentist yesterday and it turns out I have a sinus gum infection. Evidently the infected sinus cavity presses on the rootѕ of thө teeth. It often happens when the immune system is challenged. So now I’m taking antibiotics and pain killers.
And I look like a puffer fish – but only on the left side.

So does anyone remember Joe Btfsplk? He was Al Capp’s creation - the cartoonist best known for Li’l Abner. Joe was a lonely man. The little guy walked around with a rain cloud over his head. Anyone who came in contact with him had bad luck so they avoided him like the plague. He was a minor character but I loved him. When asked how to pronounce his name, Al Capp would blow a raspberry. They just don’t make comics like that anymore.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Munchkins are Growing Up!

This has been a busy month for my grandchildren. My youngest granddaughter had a dance recital on the 12th and pre-school graduation last night. It’s a thrill to share all these milestones but it’s a little sad too. They’re growing up so fast. I want to share all these special moments while I can. Here’s a few photos of her special days.

And here’s my grandson taking a rest from picking blueberries and raspberries this week. He’s the little guy in the middle.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Contract Sparks the Muse

After being away for ten days and then coming home sick my muse was in sleep mode. I set some goals yesterday hoping to wake it up but I was only semi-successful. I did go over my critiques and rework the 7 pages I’d submitted to the group. And I worked on today’s interview at Escape Into Romance. If you have a minute stop by and say hello.

But that was as far as I got. I opened the WIP, book 3 of the Black Wolf Gorge series and my mind went blank. So I tried a few things to hot-wire my imagination. First I tried doing something else – like the treadmill. It got my blood flowing but little else. My muse wasn’t moving. I read the Sunday paper. Truth is stranger than fiction and sometimes an article will spark an idea. Nothing caught fire.

It was getting late and I hadn’t completed my goals and it didn’t look like I was going to any time soon. I gave myself a break anyway and tuned in The Bachelorette - mindless entertainment which is usually good for a laugh. It didn’t disappoint. Kasey, who I would have sent packing long ago, got a tattoo on his wrist to impress Ali and then never showed it to her. I did enjoy the segment where Ali and my #1 pick, Roberto, got to appear in the Lion King. This guy looked hot in his skimpy little costume. He and Ali were hoisted up on wires and positioned themselves in some sexy maneuvers that had the other guys green with envy. Entertaining but not inspiring.

At that point I figured I’d get online for a bit and then watch the Housewives of NJ. The first email I opened was from Siren offering me a contract for Mating Call. After I let out a war whoop, told hubby what all the noise was about and calmed down, the creative juices started to flow. Suddenly I had all kinds of ideas for the WIP but I still can’t come up with a title I like. I’m hoping something comes to me as I get deeper into the story.

Nothing like a new contract to give you a much needed kick in the butt. Projected publication date for Mating Call is November 2010, print is April 2011.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting Back to Business

I feel like a slacker. After ten days at the beach, a week moping around with a cold, and playing with my Kindle, I haven't gotten much writing done. I can breathe again so I'm going to challenge myself with some goals for today.

1. Prepare for tomorrow's interview with Stacey Espino at Escape Into Romance.
2. Go over my critiques and edit my novella.
3. Update Camp Swampy
4. Try and catch up with The Weekend Novelist.
5. If I get through 1 to 4, I'll watch The Bachelorette tonight.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

New Review for CALL OF THE WILDS - 5 Tea Cups and a Recommended Read!

I was feeling so miserable when I got up this morning. The cold I brought home from the beach settled in my chest and left me with a cough and a sinus headache. Then Yahoo gave me a hard time. I kept getting one of those 404 error codes. Not good. This is critique weekend and I needed to download mine.

I finally got to read my email. The headache and stuffiness were forgotten when I saw the new review from Happily Ever After Reviews.

5 Tea Cups and a Recommended Read! for CALL OF THE WILDS

Read the review here:

Happily Ever After Reviews

It's always a thrill when someone likes your work.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Love My Kindle!!

First a little reminder. There's still time to head over to the Dark Divas and tell them how many books I'm working on (It's 3) for a chance to win a copy of CALL OF THE WILDS.

Now I have to tell you about my new toy. It took me a long time to pick an ereader. Finally I narrowed it down to the Sony or the Kindle. Last week when I was in OCMD I saw a woman on the beach with her Kindle. She was reading in the bright sun with no problem. That's when I made up my mind. I'm a sun, sand and sea person and I wanted a reader that would be easy on the eyes in bright sunlight.

I ordered the 6" display because I want to be able to slip it in my handbag and carry it around with me. My Kindle arrived two days after I ordered it. Shipping was free and it was already registered. All I had to do was charge the battery and I was good to go. Of course I had to buy something immediately so I could try it out.

I'd been wanting a copy of "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, who was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Many professors are asked to give "The Last Lecture," where they consider their death and talk about what matters most to them. Randy Pausch didn't have to use his imagination. He died on July 25, 2008 of complications from pancreatic cancer. His inspirational book is a legacy for his wife, three children and anyone who reads it. It's all about living life to the fullest. I hit the buy button and it downloaded immediately using Amazon's free wireless delivery, Whispernet. I'm not a mechanical person and I really appreciate how easy it is to use the Kindle.

The only thing that put me off was the price of some of the eBooks on Amazon. Some of the Kindle versions were more expensive than the paperbacks. But I don't buy all my books from Amazon so I decided to load some of my pdfs on the Kindle and see how it handled them.

I plugged in the usb cable and the Kindle showed up in My Computer. It was no problem to drag a few of my pdf files over to the documents folder that was already set up. The formatting was retained but I couldn't change the text size. You can magnify it in landscape mode or send the file to Amazon for conversion.

The Kindle recognizes documents in (.AZW, .AZW1). Text (.TXT), Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC)

I dragged over a .PRC copy of CALL OF THE WILDS with no problem. I can go to SIREN and buy books from my favorite authors, download them to my laptop in .PRC and move them to my Kindle.

This morning I took it outside and read in the bright sun. The display is amazing. I'm a person who likes to collect books and feel the weight of a hardback in my hands. I wasn't sure I'd get used to an ereader but so far, I'm more than pleased. In fact, I love my Kindle.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In the Spotlight at Dark Diva Reviews

I'm really excited. The Dark Divas have me in their spotlight tonight.
Head on over and leave a comment. Answer one easy question and you'll be entered into a drawing for a copy of my eBook, CALL OF THE WILDS.

And I'm thrilled to have received a 5 Diva review. Read it at:

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

OC Airshow - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The munchkins were here for the O.C. Air Show and we were all looking forward to a fun Saturday. Show central is 16th street and we're uptown at 127th. OC overbooked the weekend. The Car and Truck Show is at the Convention Center so there's no park and ride there like last year. And it's the beginning of Senior week. So we caught the bus at 127th St. and took it to Show Central at 16th Street. In Ocean City, you can ride the bus all day for $2.00 so it's a pretty good deal.

The show started at noon. We got there at 11:00 AM to set up our chairs. We had tickets for the Drop Zone, a special area next to show center beach. It was equipped with porta-potties, beer, wine and food for purchase, and inflatable play areas for the kids. Unfortunately, there was no access to the ocean and it was super hot. But we slathered on the sunscreen, set up a small umbrella and settled in.

It was a great show, ending with the USAF Thunderbirds at 3:00 PM. You can check out the rest of the lineup below. Watching the Thunderbirds is always a thrill and we packed up, hot but in a good mood. When we saw the lines for the bus, the mood went downhill real fast. The lines got longer but there were no buses to be seen. Eventually a few packed buses passed us. By now, it was 5:00 and we were getting pretty pissed.

The buses going in the opposite direction were not as crowded and we decided to cross Coastal, catch a bus to the inlet and stay on for a round trip ride back north. We did get a bus but with the huge amount of traffic, it took forever to get to the inlet. Then instead of turning around and going back, they made us get off and catch another bus northbound. The traffic was bad and it was a slow ride all the way back. Would you believe we didn't get back until 7:00 PM. The kids were tired but they behaved like real troopers. Wish I could say the same for us. I was more than cranky. I think OC messed up big time but the show was good. Here's the line up as promised. I hope to get some pictures up tomorrow.

The National Anthem and Flag Jump - the U.S. Navy Seals Leap Frogs
The Firebirds
Sean Carroll - YAK-9 Demo
C-5 Galaxy Flyby
GEICO Skytypers
F-22 Raptor Formation Flyby
Jack Knutson - Extra 300 Solo
F-18 Hornet Demo
Rob Holland - Windows World MX-2
Team MS760
Jason Newburg - Oakley Viper Pitts
USAF Thunderbirds

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