Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years

Happy New Years everyone. Have you done your resolutions? Keep them acheivable.

Mine are:
Writing: Finish BLOODY MURDER. Begin FAIRY DUST the novel. Market more.
Personal: Balance-Nurture friendships, paint and hear live music more often.
Financial: Prepare for retirement-pay off cards etc.
Practical: Organize-clean out closets and cupboards-finish minor repairs at the house.

More then you ever wanted to know. Have a wonderful time whatever you decide to do to celebrate and Happy 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Left-overs


My sister's cat died. Won Ton died Christmas Eve. All the old age ailments hit her suddenly at one time, hypertension, CHF etc. Her appetite had been iffy for a few weeks but the breathing issues hit her all at once as did the BP, which caused her retinas to rebel so she also became blind at the very last. Sad, sad. As if Chemo wasn't enough for Susan to deal with.


On another note, my four-year-old grandson is better at Guitar Hero than I am, doesn't matter which version. How sad is that. Never mind Dance Revolution. No matter how much I like to dance, my knee would never let me do it for more than a couple of minutes, but at least, like the WI, it gets kids up and moving. Now, WI bowling and golf, I do a little better at.
Remember, FAIRY DUST releases January 7. Get your copy while you can. Find out if a half-human fairy can find love and happiness with a were wolf and save the world too. www.eternalpress.com.au


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Fun

Had a great Christmas, good food, family, watched both "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Christmas Story" plus "Stardust." Surprised Jeff and Jenny as well as Chris and Lacey with a stay at a bed and breakfast, complete with scented rose petals on the bed, champagne, jacuzzi and fireplace in the room, flowers. Both couples had anniversaries coming up so I was excited to pull off something that unexpected. It was so much fun for me to hear all about the room and goodies and breakfast. I love the giving part of the holiday so much more than the getting.

The new year is coming and it's now time to get back to work on writing. It's less than two weeks until the lauch for FAIRY DUST. Get your copy before the rush. I need to spend my five days off during New Years working on MUSEUMS ARE MURDER and BLOODY MURDER. That will keep me hopping for the next few months.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Wishes



Yes, I'm a sucker for the idealized, victorian Christmas with adorable, perfect children, Little Women atmosphere. I hope every one has a healthy happy Christmas filled with warmth, light, and holiday wishes. Make your list for next year whether it's resolutions, goals, things for which you are greatful. Whether you celebrate, Christma, Kwanza, Yule or other Winter celebrations, fill your life with love, music, children, pets and joy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

Too funny, had to share.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. if something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"Have a Great Holiday!

There Be Idiots

Yes, even during the holiday season. I belong to several writer lists. Several writers have told of people who write them nasty letters, post tacky things on their blogs and other lists and generally act like they've been offended when a writer is published or does something the people don't agree with. I know a lot of writers who no longer give out phone numbers or look at anyone Else's manuscript because of the same kind of people who believe because someone is published, they owe other writers their critique time, for free. They've even threatened to sue because one person read a Civil War story and mentioned the Civil War in one of their own works.

I see the same thing with some reviewers who act as if the writer set out to irritate the reviewer on purpose and say unnecessarily venemous things about the writer and their ability. I don't understand the mentality. I assume it's a power thing, one of those "because I can." It's like the "Girls Gone Wild" idiot who is in jail and wants to sue three women (who have no money) because they have a little mom and pop winery in Northwestern Oklahoma and called it "Girls Gone Wine." As if they are a threat to his exploitation "business."

I have to feel sorry for everyone who is bashed by someone else who is on a power trip of some kind. Just be nice, guys, there's room for everyone in the sandbox. Play nice or I'll kick sand in your face.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jealousy or Waning Self-confidence

Yes, to Rinda and the fact that reading some of my favorite authors can give me a complex regarding my own work.
Some of the ones that stand out are:
Dean Koontz and his striking imagery.
Jim Butcher and the pacing of action in his Dresden series.
Charlaine Harris and her humor-she can put humans and vampires in the most delicious predicaments.
Kim Harrison's world building.
Stephen King and his ability to make you care about his characters before he does something horrendous to them.
Self doubt always creeps in, however, it just takes one reader saying how much they like what you write for that doubt to go back into hiding.

Christmas is coming, read Dickens' Christmas Carol or other Christmas stories, something with a little romance. Watch It's a Wonderful Life, cry over the little girl's flower. Watch "Meet Me in St. Louis" to have a "Merry Little Christmas". See the mean Santa in A Christmas Story--"You'll shoot your eye out, kid." "Little Women" isn't really a Christmas story but it's a treat. Time to immerse ourselves in the season.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Writing Through Christmas

I have too many people in the house right now. It's not their fault, they have no electricity and I do. My daughter-in-law is so frustrated. They cut down a real tree and haven't been able to enjoy it in the dark and cold that is their house at the moment.

Not having a great effect on my writing, but that's not the only thing putting me behind on that front, it's a combo of family, weather, trip to Houston, Christmas and etc. However, things will settle down I know and I'll be back in the writing routine.

Now I sound like a Scrooge, but I'm not and I've always loved Christmas, but this year has been a little stranger than usual. Also don't have the usual baking done, didn't get cards sent but I'm determined to enjoy the holiday even if I have little to no control this year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is Coming

Whether we are ready or not. So this year I'm working hard with the idea of enjoying Christmas however it comes together. You see, I'm a control person, a list person, who wants this, and this and this done by such and such a time. The week I spent in Houston put me behind for Christmas shopping. I barely got started on the 7th, just got the decorations up, but then the Ice storm hit. A week without power. Just came back on Friday, now my son, who has no power, and his family are staying with us. Thank God for warmth and light.

So if the baking isn't completely done, we'll survive. If the lights are not up on the house, we'll enjoy the lights inside. If we can't make it to a party or holiday performance, it will work out. The reason for the season doesn't change, no matter what extraneous things get in our way.

Am I getting writing done? Not so much, but that too will change. Things will get back to as close to normal as they ever do and life will go on. Keep writing anyway, even if it's simply a poem about the weather. And remember, you can't choreograph those sugar plums, they will do what they want anyway.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tagged

TAG--you're IT!
Okay, Amy Shojai (http://amyshojai.livejournal.com/) tagged me in a previous post and shared these rules:

Rules:Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I love sweet pickles and cheese and braunscweiger sandwiches.
2. I hate the echoing sound that a basketball makes in a gym, especially combined with the squeak of the sneakers.
3. I find it very irritating to hear "Hear Comes Santa Claus" when the singer says "Here comes Santy Claus."
4. I snuck into drive-in theaters when I was a kid and would sit on the swings to watch movies.
5. My grandmother told me true-crime tales for bedtime stories when I was in grade school.



Ginger S., skilled blogger http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Tabitha Shay, writer of the best witch books http://tabithashay.blogspot.com/
Rinda E.,Blogger extraordinaire whom I hope has power back on http://relliott4.wordpress.com/
Sally O, poet and writer with the most beautiful books. http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More About Ice

Still have thousands of people without power, including us. Snow predicted for Friday evening, heavy. The games continue. Seeing fires because people don't use common sense when trying to get heat, but they're desperate. Tree damage is horrendous, and houses and cars when trees split and hit cars and structures. Blocked roads due to limbs breaking over the streets.

I have heat at my MIL house so I can't complain but sure do miss electricity for my computer and hair dryer, hot water, and the ability to cook easily. Miss the microwave. I'm so spoiled. Batteries and lamp oil impossible to find right now. I will remember to put together a bin with those kind of supplies for the next disaster.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ice Melting, no power

Well, we've had rain here in OKC that didn't freeze and helped melt some of the ice. Roads are good. Power company is working in our general neighborhood so maybe today will be the day. It is not my year, first Houston, now this, making it hard to be ready for Christmas, but I have presents for all my children, so it won't be end of the world, What I can't bake, I'll buy. However, if I had wanted to live like a pioneer, heat water on the fireplace, dress by candle light, I'd have made sure to be born in 1800. I want my electricity back.

What's not good is the forcast for snow Friday and Saturday. Come on, enough is enough already, however, tomorrow is supposed to be sunshine and 40 something.

Fairy Dust launches in January and I'm finalizing the last proof on it. Boudicca has an interview scheduled for the January EP ezine, so stay tuned, she may scorch the pages.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice 2007

Don't have pictures but it's a mess. No one in our family that live in Bethany have power, so Lori and I are staying at my mother-in-law's since she has heat from a fireplace-gas and gas heater in the back. My son-no power and a non working fireplace. My brother-in-law, a working fireplace and no power. Trees down everywhere, one big mess. No internet access at home, behind on everything including shopping and wrapping and writing. Posts may be sporatic for a while.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Rant

Stressed and depressed, two weeks to do all Christmas stuff, shop, decorate, bake and etc. Don't know exactly what the problem is this year besides being in Houston for a week during the wrong week of the year, not finding a Dr. yet who can treat Non Epileptic seizures, no Karl, the ice storm that's coming or just generally feeling life speed by as another birthday approaches. Also behind on home projects, writing projects.

Is all that whiny enough for you? Yes, I need cheese with that. I just need to carve out some writing time. Cure for all ills. If you like prizes, free books and etc. go yahoo groups.com, join eternalpressreaders group, get thee to the launch party. Fun to be had.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stealing Christmas

OK I confess. I stole this from Rinda but thought it was fun. So here goes.

1. What is your favorite Christmas romance to re-read each year?
I don’t have one. But for a holiday book, John Grisham's book "Skipping Christmas", too funny. "2. What is your favorite Christmas movie/show?
A Christmas Story. Little Women, Meet me in St Louis, It's a Wonderful Life.
3. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
A Swedish cookies that is a thin batter, deep fried on shaped irons and sprinkled with powdered sugar, served with whipped cream. Oh so good.
4. When do you start Christmas shopping?
I'm so behind this year. I've only bought a couple of things so far.
5. Do you re-gift?
No!
6. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Little Drummer Boy and Do you Hear What I Hear.
7. When do you get your Christmas tree?
First week in December -I cheat by wrapping the pre-lit, decorated tree in plastic and storing it as is. It only takes about 15 minutes to have it in the house, set up and lit.
8. Wrapping presents: Love it or hate it?
I used to love it, lately I just seem to run out of time all the time, no I put my daughter to work often.
9. Who is the hardest person to buy for?
Frequently it's someone in the family whose name I draw.
10. Christmas tree: Real or artificial?
Artificial, allergies, cats and I'm afraid of fires with real trees that are left up for a long time.

Merry start for the Christmas season everyone, and for cool prizes and gifts, don't forget the Eternal Press launch tomorrow on Eternalpressreaders@yahoogroups.com. If you aren't a member, come and join.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sunrise-Sunset

On the way to work this morning I saw the most wonderful coral, turquoise and violet sunrise. It makes it all worthwhile. It was almost as striking as the sunset I watched with my grand daughter, Megan, when the sun set the lake close to our house, on fire. That time I left the house, with Megan, in the middle of making dinner, in order to take her to the lake to watch the sun go down. I wouldn't trade those few minutes for anything. Sometimes you just have to seize the moment, and I'm not always good about that. I'm too busy, like everyone else, to always take time to watch the sunrise, butterflies or other wonderful things around me.

As writers, we have to be busy, that's what writing and marketing are all about. But, as writers, we also have an obligation to observe the world around us in order to be better writers, to be able to describe our worlds to those who read our books. We will be bugging each other about new years resolutions soon. One thing to consider as a writer, is the resolve to pay attention to nature, babies, flowers, colors, scents and all the things we use to bring scenes alive.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Changes

One of the CEO's at Eternal Press is leaving to persue her own writing. See, acquisitions editors are not the enemy and they want to be writers too. Seriously, she was wonderful, she is, in a major way, the first one besides me to believe in "Privy to Murder". She will be greatlly missed. I working away at the Tali and Friends short mystery so I can get back to the sequel. I have to be careful not to put too many sequel elements into this story, but maybe just enough to foreshadow "Bloody Murder" events.

I'm recording the "Tin Man" which is on Sci-Fi, modern dark remake of OZ. It will be interesting to watch. Also, "Golden Compass" to look forward to, it looks very well done. I just love fantasy. Of course some idiots are saying "Don't let your kids see this movie because they will want to read the book." Heaven forbid that any of our children learn to like reading because of fantasy. And don't they know that if you say, "Don't go see this." everyone will go to see why they shouldn't go. If we start a campaign on how dangerous "Privy to Murder" is, will it boost sales. Just a thought.

The fantasy series going up on the Eternal Press website is priceless. I got to read the first couple of chapters. It's going to be so much fun. Haven't done anything about Christmas yet so I'd best get busy, but first, back to work, work.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Best Seller

"Privy to Murder" is the #1 best seller for November on Eternal Press. I'm very excited that people like it. So now, those of you who read this blog, you need to visit www.eternalpress.com.au and see the new website. Even better, read the new fantasy serial that is starting, available free on the website. Buy "Privy to Murder" and come to the Eternal Press launch on December 7 at eternalpressreaders@yahoogroups.com. A very cool launch full of give-aways and fun and excerpts. Please come and join us.

Remember, "Fairy Dust" comes out in January from Eternal Press. A really fun story about a half-human fairy with fairy dust, were and deamon issues. "Privy to Murder" is available now to order for Christmas gifting.

Home from Houston, happy to be home as much as I miss the kids in Texas. We now know that Lori doesn't have Epilepsy. That's the good news. The bad news, none of the meds she was taking were helping the seizures so she is going off those, and actually feels better. Now we have to find a Dr. that treats nonepileptic seizures. Have a good one.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Houston 3

Out of the hospital. Lori has seizures that are non epileptic. So, the seizure meds don't work. But now we have to find the right kind of meds and the right doctor in OKC. I also have to finish "Museums are Murder." I'll be back in OKC on Sunday, continuing to work hard on writing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Houston-2

I'm not sleeping well so writing is difficult. I keep falling asleep at the keyboard. Makes writing difficult. Lori's a little depressed since of course, now that she's monitored, she hasn't had a seizure. Go figure. But they just now have stopped the meds and she has only been monitored for 24 hours. It never fails, if you actually want a seizure to happen, not happening. Pits.

I'm reading a book called "To-do list" all about, guess what? To-do lists. It's cool and very affirming for someone like me who is a to-do list person. It's available on the To-do list blog and Amazon. It's great.

Weather here: the weather man said it would be a cool day since it will only get up to 72. What's up with that? It's about winter and cool to them is 72. Try to keep everyone posted but the to-do list has made me want to do a list. So, here's a list of ten ways to keep sane.

1. Watch birds.
2. Watch the sunrise
3. Watch the sun set
4. Do the above things over water.
5. Sit next to the ocean and listen to the waves.
6. Listen to favorite music.
7. Watch the light change on mountains.
8. Listen to and watch small children play and laugh.
9. Write, lists, poetry, anything you want.
10. Love someone
11. Be loved
12. Pray

Monday, November 26, 2007

Houston

This weekend was cold in Houston. We helped the kids make Christmas cookies and we watched Christmas movies to start the season. Kids are doing well but Hannah is dealing with bullies who tell her she's not popular and say really mean things in the play ground. These are 7-year-olds. What's up with that? I thought that didn't start until Jr. High, cheerleading, Mean Girls kind of syndrome. It's the pits.



The tech just attached all the electrodes to Lori's head. She is now teathered to the wall. She did have a seizure on the plane here but it was a mild one. So now it's a waiting game.



I am going to try and get writing done today so we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gone until Dec. 2nd

I gone with Lori to go to Houston for her tests but will be back next week. I have a house sitter for the cats. Hoping to find out good things or at least helpful ones.

Everyone keep on reading and writing up a storm and I'll talk to you later. Carol

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day

Tomorrow, turkey. Yay. I love turkey and home made cranberry sauce. I have to get busy and make the sauce tonight. I'm going to my son's and mother-in-law's houses. After Lori and I get back from Houston, I will have to roast a small turkey just to have left-overs for the turkey sandwiches I love. It's all about the food you know. Our traditions always revolved around special breads, foods, desserts for holidays. We always had black olives and spiced peaches during the holidays(no not together.) My mother made cranberry sauce from scratch and I carried on that tradition. We had sparkling burgundy-hard to find. All the other usual suspects. At Christmas we added a fried Norwegian pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar. I need to try and make some again this year. Haven't done it for a while and I love them, plus my Christmas yeast braid bread is a tradition.

Yes, all about food, the smell of cinnamon, baking bread, candles, colors and family. That's what counts and the list of things to be grateful for. Yeah, yeah, don't end the sentence with a preposition. I know. Gratitude-2007:

A new job I love.
A wonderful boss.
Publication of "Privy to Murder" and "Fairy Dust"
International publication of "Infection Control Program Guide."
Eternal Press as a publisher
An editor, Deborah who is also an advocate for my work.
Another editor, Mary, who tries to look after me.
Finding a new doctor for Lori, even if he's in Houston
Christie and Lacey.
All my children
Health
Books to read.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New contest

Privy To Murder Contest

Carol Shenold, author of PRIVY TO MURDER, a new paranormal mystery is giving two AuthorIsland.com readers the chance to win a free download of her new novel and one of those two can read it while wearing their new PRIVY TO MURDER T-shirt!

Mag the Ghost wasn't going to be any easier to deal with in death than Mag the Terror had been in life. Living in Love, Texas, in her childhood home, shouldn't have been end of the world. But Tali Cates can't see the good things with her eyes clouded by murder and mayhem. The first party for her event planning business, Party On, is marred when Tali finds the hostess's dead body in the outhouse, the woman's ghost hovering above. Now, Tali is faced with a vengeful ghost, intent on ruining her life unless she solves her murder as well as some very human elements with violent intent.

To enter for your chance at this very cool prize, head over to Carol's website and tell me what she suggests as a great Christmas present for all the nurses on our list. Hint - look under coming attractions. Email the answer to AuthorIsland at yahoo.com and put Carol Shenold in the subject line. Be sure to include your address because one of the entries will win the book and the T-shirt. For another shot at the book, leave Carol an Aloha from AuthorIsland at her guest book. Good luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Video

I now have a video trailer for Privy to Murder. It's so cool. You can double click and watch.

I think "Museums are Murder" is back on. Now to work on that. Got a rejection on "Agatha Ann and the Spider Wizard." Will try somewhere else. With all the good writing news this year, can't get too bummed, much as I'd like to see her find a home.

I found a book about To-do-lists. And a site. Really. I'm a big list maker and now there's a place where people send real to-do-lists into this collection. It's very cool. Makes me want to write more lists. I love crossing things off lists and making lists makes me feel organized, even when I'm not really.

I have the link at work and will have to find it to post here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Plot it.

There are so many ways to plot. A lot of beginning writers think if they could just find the magic way to plot, they would be published right away.



Guess what? There is no magic plot. The magic is when the method you choose, works for you.



What I use is similar to one used by screen writers. An initial incident propells the story.At the end of the 1st Quarter of the book is the first plot point, which is a major complication/reversal, at the half point is a bigger plot point/reversal that changes everything, then 3/4 of the way through, the last plot point that leads the character to the crisis, "darkest day" kind of situation and then the climax then the last chapter wrap up of the loose ends.. Once those are in my head I do the chapter outline. I know my tendency toward short chapters and plot accordingly with two or three short scenes per chapter. Works for me. If I don't do the chapter outline, sketchy as it is, I have sagging middle syndrome., not good.

I know people who go into more detail figuring out goals, conflicts, I don't. I learn a lot about the characters as they react to things and make decisions. The usually show me who they are. I have done the plot points and chapter outline on notebook paper and with sticky notes on white board. That's my plan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Postcards and Family

The Eternal Press authors have been discussing the fact that families are not always supportive of what we write, especially when it involves the sexy, paranormal romance that everyone enjoys so much. So, if you want to be in on the beginning, rush to Eternal Press and buy "Privy to Murder." Read it now. That way, when Love, Texas discovers all the things they never wanted to believe in, live in their little town, well "Katie bar the door." We'll have vampires, and witches and weres oh my. Stay tuned for "Bloody Murder" the sequel to "Privy to Murder."

For a quicker paranormal fix, buy "Fairie Dust," a January release. Ande, half Fae, half human, with her partners a six foot elf and a belligerent pixie take on a wizard when he attempts to destroy the world. Remember now, go to http://eternalpress.com.au Buy books, check out the great covers and read the serial-a continuing story by a number of the Eternal Press authors. It should be a blast.

Also, a cool thing happened this morning. I found a note on my newspaper. When the lady came around to collect for the newspaper the last time, I gave her one of the postcards I have for my books. The note around my paper said "I bought your book and I'm reading it. I like it a lot." Now that is cool. My first fan letter. *LOL*

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Productivity

A friend of mine, Rinda, wrote 6.000 words yesterday! Yes, I said 6,000. I'd be in heaven if I got 1500 words done in a day. And she did it around giving TLC to sick children. And I whine a lot about life interfering. I got to get with the program if I'm going to finishe my second book, especially since I have another project I also want to get done that I think will be so much fun.

So how do we get the concentration we need, the uninterrruped time? Everyone is different I think. I know I need to pay much less attention to both the books I want to read and shows I want to see on TV, at least until I have finished my word count for the day. Even as little a goal as 700 words a day got my last book done, I just have to do it consistantly. And, pick the time of the day that will work best and even write in ER if I have to to get the count done, write at lunch instead of eating and reading.

For me goals work, If I make them achievable. Nano, isn't achievable for me right now and that discourages me from even trying, so back to goals I can actually make, then when I go over, its even better. Write on has to be the motto.

Second is publicity. Working full time and writing on the new book doesn't leave me as much time for publicity as I need and this is the area where I fall down. I will never sell my ebook without getting my name out there. So, the resolve to better market myself.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Clothes

New Clothes

One
tree bare.
The other
considering
giving up its skirts
to the greedy wind as
it teases and snatches at
the green and gold gown, tattered and
worn, ready for retirement as
new garments hibernate, wait for spring sun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Every Day

Today is a day to catch up on every day things. Laundry, changing sheets, doing dishes, picking up, unpacking, all those things that make you feel good when you're done, maybe not while you do them..

Writing needs caught up, or at least done for today. Missed out on lunch with friends. Did visit blogs and blog tour, late but I made it.

How does everyone build characters? Do you write detailed bios or make it up as you go along? I have to have structure so I do some outlining because its easier for me, but not pages and pages. They grow as I go along, so do I. Of course as they change, I might have to go back and make sure they react according to their upbringing, or lack of.

I'm going back to Houston for a week for Lori testing. Hope we get some answers. We'll be there for Dickens on the Strand. So now I need Victorian costumes? Good luck with that.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Writing

Didn't get any writing done yesterday. Didn't make it off work in time to be at Coffeetime for the launch. Not one of my best days. Life is making juggling of work and writing difficult right now but things will settle down I'm sure (it says in fine print some where.)

I still want to get back to the ocean. I keep seeing the waves seem to come out of nowhere in the dark when the foam suddenly catches the ambient light that makes the waves glow as they come to shore. It is so cool. Then there's the sound of the waves, also so calming. I need a close ocean here in OKC. No mountains, or ocean close and lakes are wonderful but not quite the same.

I'm trying to decide which kind of writing I like the best, outlined or not. I didn't have a real plan for Fairy Dust (due out in Jan) but it worked. But again, it's short and not a typical whodunnit. Privy worked, but I had at least a chapter outline and that's what I'm doing with Bloody Murder, but the outline has more holes than I like write now so I have to work on that. Speaking of work, I had better. Later.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm Baaack

Made it to and from Houston in one piece inspite of Lori's seizures on the plane, coming and going. Gave the stewardesses some excitement.

We got the see the specialist at Baylor-Houston, lovely man, very interested, personable, talked to Lori as if she were a person and not like it was her fault she was sick. Will be going in for specialized testing this month or next.

Houston/Clear Lake/Galveston very cool. Wonderful weather. Got to see the ocean, big deal for a land lubber.

Didn't get as much writing done as I'd hoped, only a couple of thousand words instead of the impossible amount I wanted but I'm seeing a sliver of light at the end for Lori so that's a positive thing, finally.

My grand daughter, 7yo, is facinated by my alpha smart and wanted to type on it all the time. Will have to find her a kid version for Christmas. Got to meet the three cats, Sabina (Black and white scairdy cat), Hadrian (Big Siamese-Seal Point) Gus (small lavendar point), Pretty babies.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Notes

First, I'll be out of town for the next few days, starting tomorrow afternoon. We'll be in Houston and going to Galveston to shop the Strand, watch the sunrise and sunset over the ocean, to Nasa for a Hot Air Balloon ascent etc. Should be fun. Play with grandkids also.

Second, Nano starts tomorrow so we'll see how it fares. I really want to use the deadline to get Bloody Murder almost finished or at least 3/4 of the way. The trip will cut into my word count but I'll keep working anyway.

I'll post about both things when I get back and hope to have a ocean sunset or sunrise to post as well as progress on the writing front.

Happy and safe Trick or Treating Everyone.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Coffee Time Review

Had to share my Three Cup review from Coffee Time. I'll post the full review on my website.
Excited here.

Privy to a Murder is a fun and quirky murder mystery. It seems to have a little bit of everything, murder, love, mystery, and a haunting. The main character of Tali is a very likable character that is well written. The story flows well, and you can not help but manage to smile at all the mishaps, and bad luck that Tali finds her self being plagued with. This story had just the right mix of characters that it had you guessing until the end on who was the murderer.

LeeAnn:Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sleepy, oh so sleepy ZZZzzzz

Emergency last night, up until 5am, back up at 9:30a to pick up daughter's meds, go to work. Now a little spacey from lack of sleep. The older I get, the more sleep I need. I hear about people who can't sleep or need very little sleep. Nope. Not me. By the time I'm 80 I'll be up to needing 12 hours a day just for sleep.

My writing today will be a little spacey also, I imagine. I've been sitting in on an participating in an online discussion regarding e publishers and found myself being a little snippy. Have to watch that talking in public when I'm tired. If I'm cranky, my self-editor is less likely to chime in when he should, then I say tacky things. But, some people are so smug and self satisfied that they have been published by a "mainstream publisher" and forget that many e-publishers have guidelines for publication every bit as stringent as the brick and mortar guys, some even more so. E publishing is not a last resort, its a conscious decision that many authors make to be able to tell the story they want to tell and not be locked into a formula style of writing.

Eternal Press was a first choice for me, not a last resort. E publishing is only going to continue to grow, as will the opportunities to take advantage of this growing market.

Now, with any book, you have to get your name out there, work on publicity yourself and with your company and fellow authors. One of the great things about Eternal Press is the ability of the authors to work together with each other. So, go to http://www.eternalpress.com.au and buy books, not just mine, look at all the others too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fires

I have a flu bug. Not a serious one, just one that makes you want to sleep, stabs all your joints and messes with my stomach. It will be short lived. I whined a lot and then, the more I saw about Southern California, the worse I felt about my whining. I didn't lose my life, my pet, all my belongings and years of history in a place. I can't even imagine how everyone is dealing with it. The world does tend to slap me up-side the head when I get too maudlin about my life and shows me, for the 120th time, what a good life I do have.

Sure, I'm a widow and have a sick child at home. But, I have a home, food, money, job all those things so many people don't. I have a published book, a dream I've worked toward for years. Now, I want more but you have to strive for more or you don't go anywhere at all. So, when you hear me whine, ask me if I want cheese with that whine. Even better, offer me wine to go with that cheese.

Now off subject, I watched Pushing up Daisies. Now that's a little too camp, even for me but I'll try it one more time. Kind of reminds me of the Popeye movie somehow. Haven't decided if I liked it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Contest Winner

In case you entered my contest on the website or through Author Island. We have a winner.
The winner is Reveille Patterson, so send me your snail mail address and your prize will be on it's way. Stay tuned and there will be more contests, both through author island and this blog. C

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wicked-Poetry Train

WICKED

I
shall be
horrible
when I am an
old woman who sits
and whispers wickedly,
stories into children's ears.
They must lean closer and closer
to hear me murmur tales so evil.
Careful kiddies. Too close and I will bite.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Birds and whatever

I sat outside to watch the birds this morning, wrote a poem for the poetry train, in honor of spooky things, was almost too cold even with Colorado sweater on. Put out birdseed, smelled leaves burning, love this season.
Getting plotting done so I can try the Nanowrimo thing. Working on OWFI stuff. Have a video for Privy in the works and will post it wherever I can, here, my website and My Space and You Tube. Should be a fun thing.
I have a Privy add in a couple of newsletters and you can now buy it on Coffeetime Romance. Look on the sidebar for Eternal Press and find all our books. http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookStore/

It's pretty cool. Now, I have to go watch Rachel Ray because I never get to do that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Favorite Scary Things

I love the season. Said that already. But first-the PSA for today:
Get A Flu Shot, for the sake of everyone else. Than you won't pass the bug to other important people, like ME!

Other scary things, books-"IT", "Salem's Lot" "Pet Cemetary" a King theme here.

Movies: "Sleeping with the Enemy", "Fatal Attraction" "House of Wax" (the original with Vincent Price, not the one with Paris Hilton.) "Them" "Nosferatu", "The Spiral Staircase"

TV-not too many on TV manage to scare me. Won't go to haunted houses because the creatures chase you. I'd fall and kill myself. I don't mind the haunted hay-ride where you ride and watch the spooks.

Have a wonderful season. If you haven't entered the contest on my website, the deadline is Saturday. Hurry up now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spooky Season


It's the spooky season and I love it. But then I read and write spooky, love creepy music, watch blood curdling movies and like haunted hay rides, stories about banshees and all things witchy. On the way to work this morning I passed a field with rows of newly planted, short evergreens. Mist had crept in and tangled itself in the branches of the trees like hair threaded among brush bristles. It looked so cool.
Spooky stories don't scare me nearly as much as reality does with the real creeps out there filming themselves abusing children. There's where the real deamons live. But a nice story about witches, ghosts, goblins, and a vampire or two can be fun. I've discovered Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris and love those books and soon I have to find the "Undead and Unwed" group of books because I here they're good also. So many books, so little time.
Plus, "Fairy Dust" is done and coming soon. I have to get the plotting done on "Bloody Murder" so I can get as much written in November as possible, before the Christmas season tries to bury me.
News Flash: "Privy to Murder" is on special for Halloween. visit http://www.eternalpress.com.au Check out all the Halloween specials.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Poetry Train

An exercise in free verse called an etheree. 10 lines, first line one syllable, second line 2, and so on up to ten syllables. You can do a reverse, 10 syllables down to one, or a double, start with one, go up to ten, back down two one. A reverse double=one to ten, ten to one and so on.
Here's mine, not good but fun to play with.

Dying

Rain
Thunder
Lightening
Wind gust blowing
Dark clouds flying low
Autumn storm comes marching
Trumpets herald season's change
Leaves dance, floating on the air
Flowers bow to winter's coming cold
Now we die to live again in Spring time.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hack the Hackers

What is it with Hackers? Is it a power trip? Look and see what I can do and you can't do anything about it? Do they do it just because they can or is it personal or all of the above? Don't get it. One writer I know had her guestbook hacked by someone called MadKing. He's mad all right. Why would you hack into the guest book of a romance writer? What are you going to get out of it?

Maybe it's because I'm old but I think you should not deface other people's property. It wouldn't make any sense to hack the hackers but it would be so tempting to do unto others. But, one hack would lead to retaliation and on and on adfinitum. You just wouldn't think on a private site you would need to have to worry. It's not as if she has hidden corporate secrets for someone to use and make their fortune. OK my rant for today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blog to visit

Be sure to visit http://mizging.blogspot.com. She has posts about all kinds of new, wonderful books, including "Privy to Murder." It will make you want to buy all kinds of books. So much fun to be had there just looking at covers, reading excerpts and etc. Don't miss the fun. Her style is so close to mine. We're on the same wave length I think.
Lori isn't doing well today, long story but a worry.

Back to writing, keeping real life and life worries from interfering with writing productivity. How do you do it? I'm struggling right now to not let other things keep me from getting the writing done I need to do and enjoy doing. More difficult some days than others.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nanowrimo

National Novel Writing Month is November. During that month you write 50,000 words of a novel, submit it to the Nanowrimo site and get placed on the winners page along with all the other writers from around the world who completed theirs. That would be a simple 1666 words every day, or 7 pages. We can all do that, rain or shine, in sickness or health and all those other things. Well, I'm going to try, I think and see how far I get. Am I counting on winning, for me, get a lot written makes me a winner, especially if I can do a large amount before December. If I can end up on the winner's page, even better.

To get questions answered, go to http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and check it out, or even sign up.

But before then, onward and upward with "Museums are Murder." Can Tali Cates survive another close encounter of the MURDER kind?

Monday, October 8, 2007

My First Review

Shameless Promotion-My first book review.


Privy to Murder

Carol Shenold
ISBN: 978-0-9804133-7-3

Eternal Press
October 2007
Mystery
Ebook

Rating: 4 Klovers

Tali Cates was starting life over. Not that she had much choice. Her husband, disturbed by her admission of possessing a special gift of being able to see the dead, dropped her and their two children by the side of the road. Now she was back in her home town, living with her mother, starting a new business, wanting nothing more than a fresh start.

But murder gets in the way of her fresh start, making it more of a challenge then anyone deserves. Every where she turns, she’s making more enemies then friends and the trail of murder keeps following her. Until she learns to embrace her gifts and use them to find the killer, life in Love, Texas will continue to be Privy to Murder.

This was a very enjoyable, cozy mystery. I was immediately drawn in to the little town of Love. There’s nothing like a small town where everyone knows everyone else as a background for murder. Everyone is a suspect and no one is completely innocent.

Carol Shenold does a lovely job of giving us familiarity with the characters from the get-go. Tali Cates is full of spunk and doesn’t let life get her down, no matter how many curve balls are thrown her way. She was fun to spend the weekend with, and I am looking forward to her next foray in Bloody Murder, releasing in 2008. This was a wonderful start to a great new mystery series combining a little bit of humor, small town charm, realistic characters and a solid plot that will keep you guessing.

Reviewed by Terri Dukes

irisheyes@acsalaska.net or terri.dukes@gmail.com

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Monday Poetry

An old poem, Texas Rodeo, in honor of the launch today of my Texas murder mystery, Privy to Murder.

Riding Thunder

Serpentine horses tie a knot
Every ride is new
Lights and bugs fight dust
hot air clings to skin
tight jeans, boots and boys
every hat is new
Popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy
Teens parade in front
Cowboys fight, eight second side
They ride the thunderstorms
Dive off horse, handful of dust
roping only air
girls race barrels and themselves
Singers stop the show
Flags wave to the crowd
Denim clowns fight the bulls
Hot babies, tired kids
cowfoys with a limp
Fun and games on a summer night
Once upon a Texas rodeo.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Retire or not.

I'm thinking about retiring. Not from writing, from the day job. I'm thinking about it every time I have to get up at 6am, whenever I have to leave work because of family problems or I get sick. I am 65 after all.
But then I look at the power people who are still working well into their 70's. Barry Switzer just turned 70 and still works. Granted he makes more money than I do, but still. If I stayed home, I might not get any more writing done than I do now because I would sleep to 8am, make coffee, sit on the deck, journal, drink two cups of coffee, read the paper. Now it's 11am and I've wasted half the day.
I'm a procrastinator. If I have unlimited time, I don't fill it with work. I need the people contact and the impetus to get up and do things. So, I might not retire, at least not for a while . . . . or until I win that lottery. Then all bets are off.

Don't forget, Launch party on Sunday at EternalPressReaders group at Yahoo Groups. Use the ICON on the left to join. There will be prizes, free books, a "Privy to Murder" tee shirt. Come one, come all.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Randomness

Is that a word. Anyway, I got inspired by Rinda's random facts post. So,here's some random facts about me.

1. I used to clog dance, still would if my knees could take it. It was so much fun. Didn't feel like real exercise.

2. As a kid I liked sandwiches made from Braunschwieger and sweet pickles and cheese. Bizarre but I loved it.

3. Happiness is a four day weekend, good book, icecream and a great DVD, preferably scary or weird.

4. If I don't have to work, I sit on the patio, with a cup of coffee my journal, whipped cream on the coffee and watch the birds.

5. My favorite day is when I don't have to go anywhere, be anywhere, do anything but what I want, like write.

6. I love gin and tonic made with lime infused gin.

7. I'm a total sucker for babies, little kids, vintage looking scrapbooking stuff.

8. I am hooked on Moonlight, Supernatural, Dresden Files, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, is there a trend here?

9. Ordering a tee shirt with the the cover of my book on it is just way too cool, and post cards, book marks, poster, business cards. Kind of over-the-top narissistic. Can we spell that?

10. Painting, playing music, watching the sunset, writing poetry, all feed the soul.

11. I like watching other artists work and learn from their works.

12. I write bad poetry and fill journals with nonsense, just like this blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pissed off

Well, it's a pissy day here. Mainly due to family matters, a minor fall that I'm trying to ignore due to the stupidity involved before and soreness after.

Writing is coming along, in spite of a non-fiction bump in the road. Sometimes the most difficult part of writing is juggling the other obligations, family, work, etc. The writing part is fine. It's all the distractions. But without the distractions of life, would we have anything to write about. If you only live in your head, not real life, is there a story?

Good things, finishing a project, quiet time to get something done, can make up for all the rest.

Monday, October 1, 2007

For fun and anticipate the launch of "Privy to Murder" on Sunday, here's an excerpt.

Remember-All rights reserved, no copying etc.


Drinking champagne, bad choice. Now it was pee, or else. I raced to the outhouses. When I reached the first one in the row, a dark patch of something on its step stopped me from going in. Okay. I may not want to know what that is. I entered the second one, took care of business inside the hot box, prayed the buzzing wasp wouldn’t sting me, and came out with a gasp. It smelled worse than death in there.
I looked up the hill and then hesitated. I’d better take a look at the other outhouse, lest some guest complain. Curiosity and the cat notwithstanding, I opened the door—to my everlasting regret.
Mag was sprawled on the floor, wedged between the door and commode, her body folded, her head facing me. A bloody knife lay next to her. Her blood spread beneath her body and spilled under the door—what had first attracted my attention. I wasn’t the only one. So many flies were droning, they competed with the music. I shivered, and not just from horror. The privy was cold as ice. My stomach lurched, protesting the champagne and death. My heart stopped.
My eyes adjusted, or maybe the light changed because I suddenly saw the body with greater clarity, Mag’s horrified expression, eyes wide open. I looked up to see where the light came from, thinking fireworks, and there, next to Mag’s body, was—Mag? Her form flickered like faulty video, then disappeared. I’d have sworn she shook her fist at me. I reached out to touch the blood, fresh.
No. I can’t be mixed up in something like this. No spirits. No murders.
My heart began to beat again. I breathed in great gasps and fell backwards out of the privy into Frank.
He took in the blood on my hand and the body, opened his mouth and began yelling. "What the hell have you done? My God, she’s dead!"
I leaned close to him and spoke close through clenched teeth. "I haven’t done anything but find your wife. What do you know about this?" I pointed to the outhouse.
In the dusk, Frank’s face seemed to turn even paler. "Nothing. Are you accusing me?"
"I’m calling 911 and the sheriff." My voice shook.
"What about the guests?" Frank stage whispered.
I struggled to keep my voice steady and strong. I shoved the picture of the spirit out of my head. "Your wife’ s dead. I think her party guests are the least of your problems."
I turned away and lost the champagne.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seven Days to Launch

One week from today PRIVY TO MURDER is launched. Right now you can go to http:www.eternalpress.com.au and pre-order. Next Sunday, October 7, will be the October Release Party at the Eternalpressreaders group on Yahoo groups. Join us for Prizes and fun, even virtual Daquiris.
Shameless promition: BUY BOOKS

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Morning Musings

This morning I went out to get the paper early enough for the moon to still be up and the sun tinted clouds glowed coral. The temperature actually promised Autumn for a change so I sat outside to read the paper and drink coffee, even though the wind made me put on a sweater. I love fall.

Last night I looked at a journal I had started ten years ago and then abandoned for one of the big blue ones I prefer. The big blue is almost full and won't last the rest of 2007, so I will go back to the wooden one, fill it up and then order another blue. I think I was a little happier in some ways, but Karl was still around and Lori healthier.

I finished Fairy Dust, have it sent to a couple of people in case someone has critique time and then on to Eternal. I'm happy with it. Now I have to quickly fulfill that HCPro contract I thought disappeared and then work on Museums are Murder.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Plotting

Is your book plot driven (many mysteries and thrillers are plot driven) or character driven (Literary books often pride themselves on being character driven.) For me the best books are character and plot driven, especially since I like mystery and paranormal but want the main character to be three dimensional and change as the story/series continues. In some books, the characters never grow or change (i.e. James Bond, Dirk Pitt just to name a couple) and their fans don't want them to.

You flesh out your character with a character study so you know how that person would act in a given situation, which also helps drive the plot. (eg. that good catholic girl better have a more compelling reason than convenience in order to be talked into an abortion. Otherwise, why would she risk excommunication and go against her life teachings?)

Plotting is another thing. Many people plot as they go, seat of the pants. For "Privy to Murder" I had a chapter outline and pretty much knew where I was going, a good thing when you write a mystery. I have to know who gets killed, why and who. The map is great. However, when I wrote "Fairy Dust" it was seat of the pants. However, FD was only 10,000-12,000 words, easier to keep track of. I like both ways. I have a sketchy outline for "Museums are Murder" and for "Bloody Murder." I will feel a little better if I fill in more for Bloody but some is going to be spontaneous stuff, which can work for paranormal as it frees up the imagination.

How do I plot? I use the divide the book into sections, at the end of the 1st chapter, the first plot point(in my case, with a mystery-murder) for paranormal a murder or other strange crime. Mid way into the book comes the second plot point, a surprise that reverses things (The primary suspect is in jail when the murder takes place, or is killed or . . .) The next plot point, Crisis, things couldn't get any worse, then they do. Then you have the wrap up. I like to use a white erase board with a sticky note for each chapter so I know where I want to be by the end of the chapter, even though I don't know how I'll get the character there. (More on this next time.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weather Etc.

We are doing that humid fog Autumn thing that seems to happen in Oklahoma between hot weather and cold weather. We don't have that cool, crisp thing going on yet. I love when it gets cooler. Sunday night was a little better and I actually built a fire in the chiminea. Loved the smell of the burning pinon wood.

Beginning the ending and editing stage of FD, wondering if my fight scenes live up to what they should. We'll see what the reaction is. Then "Museums are Murder" is next on the list, poor Tali, more murder and Mumsies spirit guides to complicate her life.

Do 't forget that "Privy to Murder" is ready for pre-order at http://www.eternalpress.com.au . Also, run over to my website, http://www.freewebs.com/carolshenold and join so you can be in the contest for a free copy. The contest will only be open to members and will start the first week in October. More on that later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ending

FAIRY DUST is almost done. Good thing since I already have a cover. It's kind of fun to have a cover for a short story. The story is coming together however, no one has seen it yet except for one small excerpt. Also, someone who does love scenes has to look at that part and see if it works. Then the fight and battle with Ghouls and Darklings. I haven't written that many fight scenes either. We learn as we go.

I've had people ask me where I get ideas, I think every writer has been asked that. My problem has been more ideas than I have time for. Some things just evolve. I had fallen in love with the story of Boudicca, the warrior queen, but I'm not really an historical writer. So Boudicca became Ande, the fairy with an attitude. I wanted to write paranormal, but not vampire since other people have done that so well lately, hence the unlikely fairy. For paranormal things, taking old legends and fairy tales and twisting them works well. For mysteries, the newspaper works. There are always bizarre crimes and murders, strange motives to build a mystery around. Truth is stranger . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just a note






Just wanted to show everyone the cover for my short, Fairy Dust. All about Boudicca Andraste Ryan (Ande), Cal, the werewolf, Sierya, the Elf, Ajax the pixie and how they band together to save the earth, in spite of Ande's abundance of fairy dust which causes levitation at inopportune times.

Harvest Moon and other news


Guess what, it's the Harvest Moon, Hunter's Moon, Mabon, The Chinese Autumn Festival. Essentially the time when the full moon is the largest, brightest, time of the second harvest and the beginning of a cooler time, leaves falling, frost, the smell of burning leaves. A time to celebrate plenty.

I have plenty to celebrate:
PRIVY TO MURDER is available for pre-order at http://eternalpress.com.au/
The cover for FAIRY DUST will be up soon at the same site.

On the way to work today I saw really dark clouds. But across the sky was a full rainbow with a break in the clouds at the bottom. Do you believe in signs? I do. I think it's a sign of good things to come, professionally(writing) and personally (Lori's health.) The signs are good.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heroes

It starts tonight, the new season of Heroes. Love it. Here's where the problem comes in with me, TV and writing. I like paranormal shows. It's distracting. Of course I could just say it was research, since I write paranormal, now couldn't I? It works for me. Don't know that I'm disciplined enough to save the entire season for viewing later.

Fairy dust is so much fun. Hope it turns out well enough for everyone else to like it and you never know if what you likes works for anyone else. We'll see. But, it's the journey, the writing that counts.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Memories

It's funny how we stay the same age in hour heads no matter how old we get. I was remembering snippets of the past, the picnic bench that was almost as high as my shoulders, snow piles on the side of a country road, higher than my head, sneaking into the drive-in theatre in Dallas and cutting my foot through my sandals, mother putting her make-up on at the kitchen table, hair in curlers, a quiet strength and sense of self. I couldn't possibly be older now than she was then, but I am. Little things pop into the head, your baby's face when he was six weeks old, you touched him all over to remember this moment that wouldn't last.

Part of what writing is for is to put down those moments, in fiction or nonfiction. We use all the memories to create what we have on paper. The details are what make fiction sing and draw the reader into the story.

Writing sang today. It may not be a masterpiece, but it seemed to flow together, jell into a viable, living form. Love those days.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Progress

As you can see from the meter, FAIRY DUST is inching along. I should have the first draft done by the end of the weeks, Gods and Godesses willing. Add in the cooperation of fairies. They can be contrary. This last few pages have been like pulling teeth, since I did the seat-of-the-pants thing, something I'd never try with a long one, especially with a mystery where I have to know who-dun-it from the beginning.

But I'm having fun with it and so hope everyone else does too. I have to keep the pace going and at the same time learn more about Ande.

The rest of the day was Saturday stuff, laundry, lawn, mending, sending out more postcards and etc. BTW, if you read this blog and want a Privy bookmark and postcard, leave a post on the blog and I'll e-mail you privately for your snail address.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yay, Snoopy Dance

I learned to change the layout on Myspace. How about that? No. I don't want to hear about how every child from ten up can change their own layout, create their own space and etc. etc. I couldn't figure it out forever. Now I can so I may change it every day until I find one I can't live without. So there. I tried a fairy, then a short lived vampire, now it's simply Halloween. I will find the perfect one yet. Still a work in progress.

Writing, working fast as I can on FD. That's the project of the moment. Trying to forge ahead and get a first draft and then pretty everything up. First the story, then the spice.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Autumn

Yasmine http://yasmine-galenorn.blogspot.com was talking about autumn in Seattle. It's a little different in Texas and Oklahoma, still hot here. But in the fall, I remember picking up pecans, smelling burning leaves, looking forward to Halloween, always a favorite of mine, spinning right into the Thanksgiving and Christmas madness. I love the cooler weather, firing up the chimenea with pinon wood, baking more, cooking chili, and stew and other one dish things I can pop in the oven. And if the timing is right for the first snow, baking bread while the snow is coming down.

Movies like the HALLOWEEN TREE, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, DEAD POET SOCIETY, PRACTICAL MAGIC. Kids going back to school, homecomings, all the fun stuff I did will my own kids when they were in school and see happening with kids now. Football, oh yes, it has started, want it or not, love it or hate it.

I do love Autumn, my favorite season.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moving Forward

In "Fairy Dust" Ande is moving along with her adventure. She's had a close encounter with a smart alec Pixie(aren't they all), a ghoul (predictably nasty) a deamon named Sheheem is on the horizon. Then there's the sexy were, but does he have an agenda here? She's getting in deep.

Tali is waiting to move forward and meet Aiden, and giving me a fit about it. Characters can get really pushy. Anyone else out there have a problem with characters wanting you to do something or else, right now? Ande couldn't wait for me to get her story started and now look at the trouble she's in.

If characters from more than one book want your attention at the same time do you write them all, outline them, write a character study, take notes? Share.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Life

OJ is back in the news, my daughter is coming home, life is threatening to get in the way of my writing again. Not fair. What if I had the chance to write without responsibilities pushing into the time I want to use for writing? Oh, wait. I tried that once. Know what, I got much less done because I procrastinated, thinking I had all the time in the world. Now, I have to plan ahead, write anywhere, take whatever I need to use with me so I have it, even during a trip to the ER. Plan to turn something on the TV I can ignore or better yet, when there's a choice, write where no TV exists. What a thought, no TV.
Life is an excuse sometimes, but often we can be productive in spite of the extraneous things demanding our attention at all times. It takes effort. It may take getting up early, staying up late or writing at odd times in strange places. It boils down to how badly you want to write or do anything else. If you really want it, you will find a way.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fairry Dust Excerpt

Now for something new. Here's an excerpt from my newest WIP, "Fairy Dust."
My disclaimer: not edited yet and: "All rights reserved. May not be copied, reproduced or distributed under any circumstances."

Fairy Dust by Carol Shenold
I hovered 3 feet from the ceiling in the Herb and Fairy Gardens Shop, praying no customers came in while I calmed down my fairy dust emissions and my temper.
“Bouddicca Andraste Ryan, get your fairy ass off the ceiling and come help me. I’m dying here.”
Seren, a six-foot elf with white hair, and half owner of the shop, yelled at me.
I went up higher. She had no patience with my iffy hold on my magic, especially since we had an order from a coven for 16 flower wreaths, probably for a moon dance. They were due to pick up the wreaths by four and it was already after two. It’s not my fault that I’m only half Fae and not in total control of my magic.
I grabbed onto my waist length hair with one hand, avoiding the ceiling fan.
“You hold your skinny little horses there. I’m doing the best I can. What did you expect? Tell me a team of deamons from the Under is on it’s way to snatch the Titania goblet TitaniaGoblet from me and expect me to hold my temper? Not going to happen. It’s the only thing my father left me, my only tie to the Fae World.”
Seren’s laugh, a short bark, held no humor. “He didn’t leave it to you, he just left it because he was in a hurry to avoid responsibility.”
I plummeted to the ground. “Ow. You don’t have to get nasty about it or diss my father.”
She turned on her heel, talking over her shoulder. “It was the only way I knew to get you down before you were caught and we have work to do.”
Elves can be so pissy. I stomped after her, making certain the front door wards were in place as I passed by. They would let people in but any magical creatures would have to leave their powers behind.
Rampaging deamons were the last thing I needed. I had an assignment this afternoon with the Paranormal Investigative Unit (PIU), to pick up an errant Pixie and a date that night, my first in forever.
“Come on Fairy, get the lead out. We have wreaths to make.”
“Just bite me, Elf!” I retorted.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Computer Woes

I lost the hard drive on my computer. Thank God I'd been writing mostly on my laptop lately and had everything saved on that and my thumb drive, at least the most important stuff. I now have a different e-mail and browser, new virus and spyware protection, since that seemed to be part of the problem. My grandson had done some down loading, Cox Security wasn't working right, got lots of spy ware, froze the computer, hard re-booting corrupted some files, you don't want all the sordid details. You've got the picture. Now have more ram, new hard drive, more efficiency etc.

I hate being so computer dependent, but how can you not when edits are done online or electronically, PR involves multiple web sites. I'm too old to be a techie, you know. I should know the relative good and bad qualities of Firefox as opposed to Outlook! Mozilla sounds uncomfortably close to Godzilla.

Now that these woes have been resolved, maybe I can get back to actual writing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tabitha Shay Blogs


Hi Readers,

To blog or not to blog has always been a big question for me and I simply couldn’t work up the mind to do it on my own. Then I receive this wonderful invitation from author, Carol Shenold, to be her blogging guest this month. Of course, instantly, I’m in blogging mode.

Tabitha Shay here with the news that Witch’s Brew, my debut novel, is now available in E-format from Eternal Press Publishers, their address is http://www.eternalpress.com.au/

Big doins at Eternal Press this month, their grand launch was Sept. 7th; it was also the launch day for my novel.

I got the idea for WB one day while driving down the highway, on my way to pick my son up from work. Music blaring, one of my favorite CDs, in place, I was listening to Witchy Woman by the Eagles. I thought, Hmm, I could write a novel about a witch. But my witch couldn’t be your typical, everyday, Samantha witch. She has to be different. Soo, how ‘bout making her a witch who doesn’t know she’s a witch and see what happens when her powers start to return.

I can tell you, a lot happens to this bumbling witch who can’t control her magic and can’t stay out of trouble. Not only is it mating season for witches in the little town of Sanctuary where Saylym moves to, but she attracts the attention of the Guild and they send an assassin to get rid of her. Witch assassins aren’t typical assassins either. In order to terminate a witch, they steal her soul.

Well, soon after that idea, I decided to give this witch, Saylym Winslow two sisters. When I did that, all I can say is these sisters demanded their own story. They wouldn’t leave me alone. Nag, nag,

nag. Finally, I said, “Okay! Leave me alone and let me finish Saylym’s story then I’ll write yours.”

Although Kirrah and Nyra aren’t too happy being placed on the back burner, they agreed to wait while I finished Saylym’s story and write a couple of others in between until I can work my way back to them.


Speaking of others, Book Two of the Winslow Witches of Salem, “Witch’s Heart” is scheduled for release Feb 2nd in 2008. I’m hard at work trying to complete this second novel for my editor. I can promise you lots of heat and a few surprises in this second novel. Then after these two, it’s a change of pace for me. I’ll be completing my contemporary western romance, “In the Arms of Danger” released under my other pen name, Jaydyn Chelcee. I can promise you, this hero is smokin’.

That’s the up to date news for me, hope you enjoy reading Witch’s Brew and that you’ll look forward to the second novel, Witch’s Heart.

Happy reading,
Tabitha Shay

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Come on Down


First-a first. I'm having a guest blogger tomorrow. Her name is Tabitha Shay, she writes wonderful stories about Witches. Her first book, "Witch's Brew" is out and she's as excited to share news about it and talk about writing as I am. You can order her book at http://www.eternalpress.com.au/

I'm busily working on to shorts which will come out with Eternal Press by the end of fall and the Privy sequel. This morning on the way to work I watch the sun set the tips of the grass on fire and make building glow. I get really distracted sometimes by all the beauty around us all the time, even in the little things. Other times, by brain is so occupied that I forget to look, and then I miss the good things. I have to keep in the present, consciously. Living in the now is a good thing, at least when you are driving, huh?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Old vs. New

Tower Records closed. They blamed it on the growing electronic sales and music downloads. But the owner has opened a new music store, I think called R5. He loves the physical act of touching records, CD's, videos and has a lot of customers who do also, and who love the history behind the physical things.
It's the same way with books. I love e-publishing, the speed at which it moves, the ease of downloading books from home, even ordering online. You save trees, get published faster. Even have a close knit group of authors (as in Eternal Press.) But, I love to go into a bookstore, hold the books, feel them, smell them. Always have loved anywhere with bunches of books like libraries.
Thing is, there's room for both. We have readers who love e-books and those who want to hold it in their hands. We love them all. Personally, I do both.
E-book reader=$100
Five books down-loaded $25.00
Five books in my purse that only weigh ounces and are available everywhere I go, Priceless.
But also priceless are the books from the turn of the century, fragile books from1600, the small and feel of ancient societies from their books.
OK, I want it all, the new and the old.
All you readers out there, be open to both.
Writers, if you aren't aware of , and taking advantage of, the e-market out there, you are missing out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Messed Up

I've discovered something. I'm messier when I'm depressed, neater when all is well with the world. I don't know it that carries over into my writing since it's a recent discovery. I also feel better when things are straightened up. So, maybe a cure for depression, for me, would entail getting my butt up and doing something about it. If I make things neater, I might feel better, the energy around me will be better, negative things will be swept out, thrown out.
However, the theory works well for everywhere but my office where I'm such a pack rat that it may never be straight in there.
I hang onto old art supplies that I haven't used for months, years, but if I get rid of them, I will need them. I have old manuscripts, as If I'll use the paper copies for anything. I have to do fall cleaning in there. When I write, the words get cluttered so I cut words and clean things up, make it tighter.
Now, if I could carry that over into real life.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Diversity

I'm seeing a lot of frustrated writers out there, especially some who publish in e format and are having a hard time selling. As writers, I think we are obliged to publish in more than one format, e-book, print, Brick and Mortar shops, everything we can in order to get our work out there, and do the promo work every way we can.
It can be frustrating, people don't know what e-books are. Or we can't get published with the publishers who sell to the brick and mortar shops, or as a new writers, no one picks up our books in the B&N store because they have no clue who we are. It takes forever.

I started late in this business. To make a living, I should have started submitting at twenty and gotten established by the time I was 30 or 40 so I could be making a living writing. Life and work got in the way. But I've made it this far, I now have fiction published and will make it the rest of the way. Will I be a Nora Roberts or Stephen King and make a fortune, maybe not. But, as long as I slowly reach my goals, I'm happy. I never thought I'd be writing fiction under contract. Next spring I'll even have a book to hold in my hand(Just shoot me--that's important to me too.) I have a middle grade book with a traditional publisher and hope she takes it. I'm writing and happy about it.

Working with Eternal Press (shameless plug) has made me realize how important helping each other, working as a team can be and this publishing house, unlike some I've see, values their authors and keeps them informed, make them part of the process. It's a great experience.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Grand Opening

PRIZES--FUN--FREE STUFF--ETERNAL PRESS GRAND OPENING

JOIN US NOW. SEE THE YAHOO GROUPS ICON

I WILL BE THERE AT 2PM AND AT 5PM CST

I WILL BE OFFERING A FREE COPY OF "PRIVY TO MURDER"

IT WILL BE THE ONLY CHANCE BEFORE OCTOBER TO FIND OUT HOW TALI CATES DEALS WITH MAGIC, MURDER, AND MAYHEM IN LOVE, TEXAS.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Drafts

Well I've written an appropriately shitty first draft of my first chapter of "Bloody Murder." I didn't want to go back and edit before I had the first draft done but I realised I put nothing in the first chapter that sets up the setting, who the characters are (it's a series after all) and Tali's voice doesn't come through at all. I'm not talking paragraphs, just something indicating that Tali has two kids, an ex, a paranormal gift and a mother who talks to spirit guides, you know, the basics. Back to the drawing board. I can carry on if I have a first chapter I like. It doesn't have to be perfect, just reasonable.

Tomorrow is the big day for the Eternal Press Launch at the Eternal Press Readers Group at Yahoo Groups. Everyone come join us all day. I'll be there at 2p and 5p.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Busy

I actually fit in writing time yesterday, just a little. Didn't finish chapter one but almost there with the very rough first draft. Needs some beefing up as per character development. Also working on getting judges for OWFI, other OWFI stuff, visited Lori, book publicity. Then there's the day job.

On another subject, people can plead guilty, resign from their hight profile job and then turn around and claim a do-over? Oh, BTW, I changed my mind. I lied when I said I was guilty, so I want to change that and also take back my resignation. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really mean it. This is one of our leaders? If he doesn't know what he's doing, get him out of office quick. OK, enough politics.

Back to books, don't for get the opening day party for ETERNAL PRESS on Friday. Join the group and win those prizes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Beginnings

I finally finished final edits for Privy and now, this week, hope to finish chapter 1 of "Bloody Murder." And if this sentence were in my book, I'd have to take out final or finally. See how easy it is to repeat words when you're not even thinking about it. On the final edits for Privy, even after numerous edits by multiple people, I found repeated words I'd missed before. I so hope I become a better writer, self editor after all this.
I'm excited to start the new book and really need to finish my chapter outline. I do much better with a road map. I'm not a strict seat-of-my-pants writer. I have to have an idea where I'm going, what I want to have happened by the end of a chapter. That doesn't mean it can't change, but I want some idea so I don't sag in the middle, or at least the book doesn't. A sentence a chapter works, sometimes two. I don't need a 20 page synopsis.
Now publicity for Privy. I have the contest going, post cards ready to mail, a site at Author Island complete with contest, a cool MySpace site (thanks to fellow author Ginger) and this blog. But will all of this translate into sales? We'll see.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day, sitting by a lake somewhere. We had a family party yesterday, Hawaii theme, good food and conversation and little kids running rampant. Too fun. For news, I HAVE A MY SPACE. Come join me, I need friends. Also, don't forget I have a contest going on. Read the Privy to Murder excerpt on my website, sign my guest book and leave a comment or leave comment on my blog and tell me what Tali found. The Prize is a stuffed skunk and a copy of "Ghost Towns of Texas." Have a great holiday.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Time and Again

I've had people ask how you find the time to write. More often, it's I don't have time to write, I don't even have time to read. If I had time, I'd write a book. Guess what? You have time, you just have to make it, which involves sacrifice. There will never be a perfect time to write a book because you live a real life. Real life butts-in.
It really doesn't matter if you do or do not have children, a job, a husband or partner. If you want to write, you do it. You can't wait for the time, quiet, more money, less stress, it never happens. Writing through the chaos is what happens. Write in a notebook at the doctor's office, in line at the supermarket, on that airplane, in the emergency room, at night when everyone else is in bed, in the morning before anyone else is up.
I used to envy those who had no kids, no job, just time to write. Hell, I still do. But if I have unlimited time, I procrastinate. Busy works better for me. Now that I don't have a husband to care for, it's a little easier, but then I have a disabled daughter at home. Right now I have a person come in to clean house every couple of weeks, so that helps.
It boils down to: How badly do you want to be published? If you really want it, you find time, even if it's only one page a day. In a year, you will have a book. Persistence counts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News?


Hypocrisy drives me nuts. And yes, I've been listening to the news. Admit it, you have too so you know what I'm talking about. If you're a politician, and you do something stupid, don't think you can cover it up because when someone finds out, no one is particularly forgiving. If you're a politician and admit up front that you screwed up, people will accept it. Never go into politics thinking that your private life is private. Whatever is in your past is now public. Is that right, maybe not, but it's a fact of life. And, if you come out publicly against a particularly volatile issue, shall we say same sex marriage, if there's even a hint of that same leaning in your own life, there will be someone willing to make certain that hint becomes public. OK, not on topic. We're talking about writing here not stupid politicians. I know, they're all stupid, but you know what I meant.



I'm doing final edits on my book. Do you know how many repeated words and other stupid stuff I'm still finding, even with multiple edits by multiple people? Is there such a thing as a perfect manuscript? If so, it most certainly isn't mine. But, it will get better. I'm on a deadline with the edits so I'd better get with the program.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quiz Time or Let your personality shine through.

I stole this from my friend Yasmine and put in my answers. It's called "FIRST REACTIONS QUIZ". You have to type the 1ST thing that comes to mind whenever you hear these 40 words. You can't think and go back and change your answers.
Here we go:
1. Beer: Ice cold only.
2. Anorexic: Everyone in LA
3. Super Hero: Wonder Woman
4. Your Last Ex: : Never had an ex.
5. Power Rangers: Kids love them.
6. Plastic Surgery: Too chicken
7. Steroids: Scary
8. Cartoons: Disney everything, including HS Musical 1 and 2
9. The President: An idiot
10. Tupperware: Plastic everything.
11. Florida: Swamps
12. Santa Claus: Love him
13. Halloween: cooler weather, football, picking up pecans and scary movies
14. Bon Jovi: cool beans
15. Grammar: Not always my strongest suit.
16. Myspace: Pop-ups.
17. Worst fear: Stroke
18. Marriage: Miss it, 39 years, don't want to start over.
19. Paris Hilton: Worse idiot
20. Brunettes: Love the look
21. Redheads: Want to be one.
22 Blondes: Everyone in Hollywood
23. Pass the time: what's that?
24. One night stands: Not in my day.
25. Donald Trump: So last century.
26. Neverland: Loved the movie
27. Pixie Stix: My kid's loved them, so do I, Seriously.
28. Vanilla ice cream: with bananas and chocolate
29. Port-a-Potties: "Privy to Murder"
30. High school: I was the quiet, mousy one, go figure.
31. Pajamas: Gowns are more comfortable
32. Wood: Burn, if I had a fireplace but love the smell of mesquite in my chimenea.
33. Wet Sock: Yuck.
34. Alcohol: Oh Yeah.
35. Love: How I feel about babies, kids in general, family.
36. The Bible: read it.
37. Heartache: My husband's death.
38. Time: speeding up all the time.
39. Life: hanging on to it
40. Blood: closing a magic circle

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