Monday, April 30, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Lucky #7

                                            (Art: Eric G. Thompson)

What a great idea! A big thank you to lovely @angebarton, for including me in on Lucky #7. Seven writers are invited to copy and paste 7 sentences, starting from line 7, on page 77 of their WIP. 

Here are mine, from my current WIP "Song Of The Storm", Book Three in the "Stone Trilogy.

The ladies in the front row were calling to him, asking for their favorite songs, begging to be let closer to the stage, and he smiled down at them. There were one or two who, in other times, might have tempted him, but then he looked over to where Naomi was sitting with Russ and Sal.
"Just one more," he said into the microphone, "My wife is watching, and she is signaling that dinner is waiting. I have to go, folks." With a wave at the audience he added, "The guys out there know what I mean."
Laughter rippled through the amphitheater. One girl, a lovely blonde in skimpy shorts, had come right up to the security guards and stood, her saucy breasts pressed against the outstretched arm of one of them. She had invitation written all over her face, and it made Jon grin.

I'm sending this on to writer friends:








Please share with us, and have fun!

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Most Beautiful Thing

Today I'm taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things - inspired by Fiona Robyn's new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today. Find out more here and see everyone else's blog posts here

Ever since Fiona sent me this invitation I've been thinking and wondering what "my most beautiful thing" might be.

I remember how, when I was a little girl, my grandfather used to take me to the fairground and I wanted nothing more than one of those large dolls in the frilly dresses you could win if you were a really good shot. They were beautiful. To a little girl's eyes, the were very beautiful. But my grandfather never tried to shoot and win and always bought me cotton candy instead.

When I received my letter of admittance to university many years later, when I opened that letter and knew where my life was going, I had to think of those dolls, and how unattainable they had been. I had gained something so much better, and yet the regret over that lost doll lingered.

At university, I met my husband.
We met one night when my then neighbor, a physicist, took me and my room mate on a sightseeing tour of the nuclear accelerator. My future husband was on duty there. He told me later that he fell in love right away, the moment he saw me. All I remember of that night was the apple pie on a table, but not the nice, black-haired young man sitting at the desk in the corner of the room.
It didn't take him long to win me. We got married less than a year later, and we still are married today, 32 years later.

A year after getting married, my first son was born. I wanted a daughter, but I got a boy. He turned 30 not too long ago, and he's a lovely man. A medical doctor, newly married, a wonderful son, everything one could expect in a child.
We had to wait thirteen years until our second child was born, and again it was a boy. Again I had wanted a girl, but it was not to be. This one, too, has grown up into a wonderful young man.

Six years ago, I decided to pay our neighboring school a visit and tell them that I wanted to teach musicals and theater. I'd never done it before, but I felt I could do it. Long story, but I had the four best years of my life there. We produced many shows, had many brilliant reviews in the local newspaper, the mayor always attended our opening nights. Then admin at the school changed and the fun was over.
It hurt a lot to quit, but there was just so much I was willing to take.
In addition to that, I had just signed my first book deal with Buddhapuss Ink.

Why am I telling you all this?
Because I don't have ONE most beautiful thing.
Or wait, maybe I do.
My most beautiful thing is my life. I never got one of those dolls, it's true, but that's a small price to pay for all the big and wonderful things that have come my way.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Death By Chocolate Blog Hop!

Congrats to Julie Anne Lindsey, her new book has launched!
What a cute idea, really, killing off an unfaithful husband with chocolate mousse and viagra, I like that! Reminds me a bit of "Rosemary's Baby", doesn't it, only this time it worked.

Let's all give a cheer to Julie, and celebrate the release of "Death By Chocolate"!
And here now is Julie:

The Writer-Life is…Never Dull…and possibly an illness 
My path to publishing is lined heavily with rejection. I am rejected frequently and with enthusiasm on occasion. By agents, editors, critique partners, beta readers and the occasional stranger. If you’re a writer who has yet to be a rejected…you are like unicorn. Mythical. The is an upside to rejection, though. My favorite is camaraderie. Writers understand what it’s like to put your baby out there and have it slapped in the face. (In this scenario – to be clear- this is not a real baby. LOL). Rejection is a necessary part of growth in this life. It’s what hones our crafts, adds pluck to our spirit and makes the acceptances even sweeter. 
I began writing on a whim about three years ago. I read a book that made me so happy I wanted to do the same for someone else. So, I announced “I’m going to write a novel,” and then got started. Being an only child, I have unending amounts of self-confidence. My husband is quite resilient to everything and takes me in stride. He simply said, “Oh, yeah? What are you going to write about?” I had no idea. 
I the past three years I’ve written 8 complete novels, three novellas, six short stories and hundreds of blog posts. Most of those things were rejected. Which is why I love my blog. People rarely leave comments to reject something I say. But it does happen. So, chin up. There are plenty of contracts out there beyond the “no’s.” But if you let the rejections keep you from submitting, you’ll never get there. 
Look at me. I have no idea what genre I want to write in, so I hop. I mean, genre is pretty basic right? Not to me. Hopping genres is very amateurish I’m told. What can I say? I’m an amateur. I’m still figuring out where my voice fits best. If you have a genre on your heart, then you are well ahead of the game. Here’s how bad I am. My debut novel released this week. Death by Chocolate, a humorous work of contemporary fiction. Silliness. Fun. Lighthearted. It comes on the heels of my debut novella, Bloom. Bloom released in January. It was the sweet romance which launched the new Honey Creek books line for Turquoise Morning Press and also my series, Seeds of Love. Two more of these are coming this year from me. 
SO, am I a romance author? I don’t know. I did write another print length romance for Honey Creek. Written on Her Heart is coming next March. But I also signed a contract this month for a YA mystery/romance, coming next April. If you aren’t confused yet, let me try one more…I’m finishing my first cozy mystery right now and my agent is in the middle of prepping a newly finished YA Suspense to go on submissions for me. LOL. I don’t know what I’m doing!
But I love writing. And I just keep writing. Toeing the water. Looking for a way in to the pool ; )
I think I said all that to say this: The writer-life is a calling. When you’re a writer, you *know* it. Published or not published, doesn’t matter. Your path will be set to suit your life and your time and your goals. Set your sights on the prize and keep your head down. There will be turbulence ahead. What’s important is that you keep going. This is your dream and no one will chase it for you. Guaranteed. While you’re at it, try to enjoy the twists and turns along the way, they make for great stories later on. And, hey…every writer loves a good story. 
Thank you Mariam for allowing me to be a part of your blog today. It means the world to me and proves my point, writers are lovely and always ready to support another writer. Thank you!

Watch the trailer for "Death By Chocolate" on youtube!
Death by Chocolate
Ruby Russell has reached her limit. When she discovers her hipster husband has a dirty little secret, she whips him up a Viagra-infused-chocolate mousse punishment, but in the morning, her husband's a stiff. Armed with a lifetime of crime show reruns and Arsenic and Old Lace on DVD, Ruby and her best friend Charlotte try to lay low until after Ruby's son's wedding, but a nosy therapist, meddling minister and local news reporter are making it very difficult to get away with murder.
About Julie:
I am a mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you'll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.
You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile
Tweeting my crazy at @JulieALindsey
Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads
And other books by me on Amazon

Friday, April 6, 2012

Insights. The Healthy And The Wise. Random.

You may have figured this out by now: I'm not the world's best blogger. I'm not even in the top fifty percent.
Blogging is awkward.
There is this deep anxiety of having to write something profound, something that will mean something to others, instead of blabbering about myself or my writing or whatever else I'm doing, or what I had for breakfast. Blogging, for me, means someone else should profit from it. 
And that's something I rarely can provide, because my life is so boring and slow, there's just nothing anyone else could learn from me.

Take the writing. 
What do you want to learn from my path to being published? Nothing.
One morning three years ago I woke up, and while I was lying there in bed, staring at the early spring sky and the geese passing by outside my window on their way back home, way up in the North, I decided I'd get up, make coffee, and start writing a book.
Just like that. And that's what I did. I got up, made coffee, opened my new laptop, and began writing, and I didn't finish until the book was finished.
Then, when that was done, on another random morning, I posted a page of it on this blog. Hours later, I was talking to my publisher, and weeks later I had a book deal.
End of story. Boring. 
By now, I have two more books written, signed, and on the way to being published, and a new project is looming on the horizon.
It's a job. I work for Buddhapuss Ink. 
I get up in the morning (as before) make coffee (also, as before), start writing, and stop when it's time to stop. It's a fun job, and I do it with a passion, but it's a job and pays my bills.

So if this counts as an insight, I'm fine with it.

My husband is sick.
Not mortally sick, not invalid sick, he just has what many men of his age have who like their food and drink too much and don't go for regular checkups: the famous "metabolic syndrome". In normal speak: high blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. 
Last Sunday, he had to be taken to the ER in an ambulance because we thought he had a stroke, but no, it's only a paralysis in an eye muscle, thank you, diabetes. It was a huge, loud, cannon ball shot of a warning, and I'm quite certain he'll take all those pills and stick to a sensible diet and all those things.
For a while there, while I was waiting for the first results at the ER, all by myself, I was wondering how our life was about to change.
It COULD have been a stroke. An aneurism. A tumor. All those were real possibilities. 
This Sunday could have changed our lives forever. 
He'll have to change his diet and lose some weight. He'll have to learn that a meal without meat is still a meal, and that a bowl of fruit for dinner is enough, you don't need a pastrami sammie to feel full.

The insights I've won from this week for myself, though, are wonderful. 
I've learned that whatever happens, I'll never be alone.
Even while I was waiting at the ER until my kids arrived, my publisher messaged me and asked if there was anything I needed.
The darling woman, I wonder what she'd have done if I'd replied, "Come here! Come here NOW! I need you here!!!"
But anyway, that would have been mean, and I know what she meant  - she was there for me. 
As were all the others. My Facebook friends, my Twitter friends, those I've met in person, those I'm going to meet this year, even those in places I'll never go to, people I'll always only know through the internet, they were ALL there, virtually holding my and my husband's hands, praying, sending good thoughts, asking how it was going, offering support. Quite a lot of them messaged me their phone numbers, asked me to call them if I needed someone to talk to, a couple of doctors offered medical advice.

Just so you know: the first thing I did when my hubby had his diagnosis and I saw him there in his hospital bed was to slap his arm, and hard.
He smiled at me and called me "darling". He knew I did it because I was so relieved to see him well.
He's home now.
After the Easter holidays, on Tuesday, he'll have to go and see our own doctor for his medication, and from now on,  go for regular visits to the lab. It's a small price to pay for a big, big scare.
We are still a family.
I am grateful today.
And that is the most important insight of all: don't take your loved ones for granted. 
Never, for a moment, believe you'll have them forever. Tell them that you love them, every day, all the time. Show them you love them, by caring about them.
Because, you see, there may come one Sunday when you look into their eyes and see something is wrong, just like I did.
Only maybe you'll not be as lucky as I was.
It may just be too late then.