Thursday, January 31, 2008


With apologies to any gentlemen reading this blog, the following made me laugh out loud.

She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.
Sorry guys, couldn't help it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


People enter contests for many reasons, hope of winning, critiques, validation that their writing is good. Most writer's contests suggest that you follow the guidelines and submit editor-ready manuscripts. There are as many versions of editor ready as there are writers, in spite of specific guidelines.

It makes me wonder exactly how many agents and editors receive submissions where writers have ignored guidelines, even attached notes saying, "I didn't follow the guidelines because . . . ." Do these same people really expect editors and agents to ignore their inability to follow directions and decide this writer gets to break the rules because they are brilliant? These same people are often totally incensed because of the rejection from the editor.

It's no wonder that writers often have a bad reputation with editors and agents, and the non professional behavior of a few, color opinions about many.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mansfield Park

OK. I know purists out there love to rag on the Masterpiece Theatre versions of Jane Austen books. Sorry, Charlie, I love them. So I'm not an historical purist. I haven't memorised the novels. I just enjoy the wit, humor, underlying improbable romance, sub-text that she did so well. Plus they are beautiful. She loved having things take place at country homes as well as Bath. The countryside became a character in the story.

She truly wanted love to have a chance to survive in spite of money and position, even knowing that, in her society, it wasn't likely. She wanted women to be appreciated, even if they were smart, savvy and irreverent. Jane Austen was such a master at portraying what was said aloud in polite society in contrast to what was being thought, and built up the sexual tension accordingly, all without the devices of scary old castles, rape scenes or violence.

Don't get me wrong, if you read me very often you know I like action and adventure and I'm not afraid of violence that moves a story forward, but blood and gore for the sake of blood and gore turns me off. At the same time I loved Tarentino's send-up of vampire movies, "Dusk to Dawn" with George Clooney, Cheech Marin, and others. It was so funny, but gory. So like everyone, I guess I'm just full of the contradictions that make all writers different from each other, that makes us all different.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just Found Out

In order to finish my sequel by April, I need to be writing 1000 words a day not 700. Now, the trick will be to keep up with that. Time will tell.

I thought I was keeping up pretty well then I noticed the amount done, amount needing done and it hit me. I'm behind if I want to finish in April. The main thing is to keep going. Plus OWFI stuff is stepping up then add home stuff to the equation. By the time I get to do nothing but write, I'll be eighty and too tired.

I read "I Am Legend" this weekend and loved it. Not exactly an upper but very good. Tonight, instead of the president, I'm ready for Jane Austen in Mansfield Park. Love Jane and her romantic stories. Not ready to listen to Bush. Can't stand to hear him talk. He's just irritating. Also reading "Darkling" by Yasmine Galenorn and "Blood Bound" one of the Mercy Thompson series-great urban fantasy by two of my favorite authors.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Struggling, on and off the page.

If you go to Rachel Vincent's blog,, you will find a great description of how to write a fight scene and incorporate all the elements. I've only written a couple of fight scenes. They've been received well, they're the ones in FAIRY DUST. (You know you want to run out and download it right now.) But it's still difficult. Jim Butcher, in any of his Dresden Files books, has great fighting demons, or were wolves or vampire, or evil fairy scenes. He can drag the fight out for pages without ever making it feel that way. I'm not that good. He's my hero.

I do want the fights to be integral to the plot and not just thrown in. Same thing with sex scenes. Those are really hard for me and mine are very low key compared to what I see out there. I have a difficult time throwing in a love scene just because it's time for one. There has to be more reason than that for my people to get together. Plus, I like the sensual scene rather than the graphic scene, more about emotion, sensation, less about anatomically correct body parts or (my pet peeve) "throbbing members" of any kind. (If they weren't members of the club, would they be throbbing?")

Right this second I have Tali on a date with her new squeeze, Aiden. No spoilers here so let us just say their attraction is unusually strong. Should be fun to write. I've kept up with my word counts this week and the number and percentages are right even if the graph doesn't appear to be moving.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blogs and Review

Lots of chatter has run around the internet about Cassie Edwards and her historical romances. One one blog, someone took the time to compare one of her books, line by line, to an historical source and came to the conclusion that she broke copyright law. I have no patience with plagerism, however, when you paraphrase from a source, it's not as if you lifted passages word by word. She wrote fiction and wasn't presenting the text as anything but a work of fiction.

It's dangerous for anyone to jump to conclusions and then ram that conclusion down the internet throat in order to trash a writer's reputation. The blog owners had an obligation to ask the writer about it before libeling that author. If the blog owners were professional writers, they might realize there was no intent to steal words. And, if all you have to do with your life is go through works of fiction line by line to try and destroy a career, it's a sad life.

Writer's beware, there are review sites out there who seem to view review writing the same way, let's see how many negative ways I can review a book. When looking for review site, go to that site and read what they post before you ask for a review. Constructive reviews, even when they don't love your book, can be helpful. Deliberate vitriole is another story.

Anyone who can set up a blog ,can set up a review site. Make sure your chosen reviewer is familiar with and likes the genre in which you write and has some experience as a reviewer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fairy Dust Wins an Oscar Nomination

All right, all right. It didn't. But, it got a great review from Simply Romance, see below. I think she likes Ande.

FAIRY DUSTCarol ShenoldEternal PressJanuary 2008ParanormalVisit Carol Shenold's website

Synopsis:Boudicca Andraste Ryan (Ande) is a half human fairy with flying issues. No wings, poor control of fairy dust magic. She runs a garden shop with her Elf guardian, Sierya and works part time for the Paranormal Investigation Unit (PU).In the process of bagging an errant Pixie, Ande is attacked by a ghoul, bent on killing anything in it's path. With the help of a wolf she defeats the ghoul. The wolf shows up in human form as her blind date and reveals himself as a were. There instant attraction to each other startles Ande.When her father's Titiana Amulet is stolen by darklings, Ande discovers that a human wizard with enough dark power can end light and earth as we know it. She and her friends, old and new, band together to stop the wizard and save the light.

Bouddicca Andraste Ryan or Ande for short is a half fairy/half human who lacks control – of her magic that is. Whenever she gets emotional she oozes Fairy Dust and starts floating which drives Sierya, her best friend and half owner of the Herb and Fairy Garden Shop quite crazy. But Ande doesn’t just work at the flower shop she also goes on runs for the PIU, Paranormal Investigative Unit.

The Fairy Dust starts flying when Ande finds out that the Darklings, fallen fairies, are after her and the amulet her father left her. She has no idea why they want it or what’s going on. She’s pissed off and in a hurry to get her assignment for the PIU out of the way and then on to the first date she’s had in ages…and boy does she need that date!

Ande is a smart talking no nonsense type of fairy and a great character. Her date turns out to be a were – you’ll have to read the story to find out what kind, and is everything she needs in a “man.” Like a rollercoaster this novelette has a lot of ups and downs but it never misses a track. Fairy Dust could easily have been turned into a full length novel and I would love to see what other trouble Ande and the other characters could get into, but for now we’ll just have to settle for this fast paced story that leaves you wanting more.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Get a Clue

Do you know how many people out there don't have a clue?

My daughter is a wonderful person who has several physical problems which, combined have exacerbated her clinical depression. She's working hard to get all the ducks in a row that are possible for her to control. She is actively working to find ways to control the Asthma, Lupus, Sarcoidosis, Seizure Disorder, Bi-Polar issues and have as close to a normal life as possible.

She's also a caregiver. If you come to her with a problem she will try to help. She was released from hospital after a short bout of depression last Friday and then had a major seizure. Keep in mind she is single, never had children, can't drive and lives at home due to her seizures. She's 32. Yesterday she was asked to solve the following problems:

1. A friend who was released from the hospital too soon came over and had to be advised to get herself readmitted before she either started cutting or attempted suicide since she had fallen off the wagon.

2. A friend called to get advice on how to stop her son's muscle spasms in his neck.

3. A 16 year-old called, sobbing, to say that her parents got into a fight, she attempted to intervene, her father threw something, broke the coffee table, yelled at the girl. Both parents have alcohol problems.

4. Another teen came over to spend the night because she has difficulty relating to her step-mother or authority.

In the past one of the same friends called my daughter, in the behavior health facility, for marital advice, when my daughter had just been admitted to the hospital following a suicide attempt. We won't talk about the other friends who told her she wouldn't have been raped if she had not had Tarot cards in the house(that's a whole other story.)

I love my daughter and she is extremely sympathetic and has a lot of common sense when it comes to problem solving. And, she listens. But where would common sense come into the equation? Who would you call when you had a problem, the person who desperately needs assistance with her own myriad issues? And what does it say about the world when there is no one else to call for help.

Rant over. I didn't finish word counts this weekend so I'm behind. Hope to do better this week. Life keeps interrupting and conference/contest. Next post will get back to writing issues, I promise (It says in fine print somewhere.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Recently I heard about a school carnival where one of the booths planned was a fortune teller. Lo and behold, someone was offended and couldn't imagine that a mother wouldn't realize it was a terrible thing to have at a school carnival. Join the same people who think reading Harry Potter sends kids straight to the devil and watching "Golden Compass" will make a child want to read the books (Oh no. never let a child read.) Worse yet, the children might even get ideas, question authority (and no one in our country would do that.)

I'm really tired of people judging others and coming off holier-than-thou. Hate that and hate even more when I see it in myself, and I do at times. I can be extremely judgemental while I'm trying so hard not to be. I'm even predjudiced about those who are predjudiced. How sick is that?

As for writing, Rinda says we write to create better worlds, better endings. I also write to have control. In real life, we don't have control of how life goes, but in fiction, we can make sure good wins over evil, the bad guy is punished and the good guy rewarded. We make sure that the boy gets the girl, or girl gets girl, or boy gets boy or whatever. In our worlds good things happen.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I can't take credit for these or credit them to someone else because they came with no signature, but they are so true. Love it.

1.. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't .
2.. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
3.. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.
4.. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke .

5.. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.
6.. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
7.. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder .
8.. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe .
9.. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are missing.

10.. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
11.. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.
12.. God must love stupid people; He made so many.
13.. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
14.. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.
15.. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
16.. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!
17.. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up!!!!
18 Procrastinate Now!
19.. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?
20.. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
21.. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
22.. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!
23..They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken .
24 .. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.
25.. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.
26.. Ham and eggs...A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.
27.. The trouble with life is there's no background music .
28.. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.
29.. I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Idol

Who tells these people, "sure, you have talent, get up in front of the nation and make an idiot out of yourself in front of millions so the judges can then humiliate you?" What are they thinking. I didn't watch this time but already heard about it. I did watch Comanche Moon and I'm enjoying it.

Made my word count yesterday, always a good thing. Found a good article on self editing to maybe help me do better editing on Bloody Murder when I finish the first draft. I really need to re-edit Agatha Ann and The Spider Wizard and send it off to Tor since they are looking for middle grade fantasy.

I entered Idol at writers conference last year, but that just didn't feel as personal an insult as American Idol appears to be. As a writer I've developed a thick skin anyway, not that rejection and criticism don't hurt but I get over it fast and get on with it. No time to whine around.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Second Guessing

Does anyone else do this. I will work hard on a scene then start doubting what I've done. What makes it more difficult is when I'm writing through the first draft and trying not to go back and edit so I can finish the first draft without becoming bogged down. It is so tempting to reveiw and revise what I've already done, but deadly if I want to pushe forward to that finished manuscript.

I think it's that editor/relative on my shoulder. In a movie this weekend called something like "Plus-sized" they did a good job of showing a character and how they sabotaged themselves by saying negative things in their head, about themselves but picturing someone else, so it wasn't until the end of the movie they realized the person putting them down was really their own voice.

Writer's do that. We give ourselves negative feedback so pretty soon be believe we're not good writers and that what we are doing isn't good. I find, being in groups with other writers so that you realize you aren't the only one with self doubts can help. I've found that even the most successful writer has those doubts. It's part of the game. Most creative people have the same issue. We just have to push forward and do it anyway, whether it's music, writing, painting or anything else. If we don't, we will never have that finished product and even though we love the process, all of us like the satisfaction that comes from completion.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fairy Dust book of the day

Fairy Dust is book of the day at
It's cool to see my cover come up as you access the site. Check it out.

Busy Squirrels.

I'm watching the squirrels chase each other in the yard, a cardinal trying to stay on the fence in spite of the birds, a woodpecker just minding his own business, fluffed out sparrows, listening to a noisy wren. What does that have to do with writing? It's just life, which is busy and full of things that want to conflict with your writing. Keeping focused is my big issue. The cats just want to get out and chase everything out there. That's me, I want to do everything, put can't, have to put things on a calendar, schedule them to get anything done.

On that note, I cleaned out the kitchen desk and coat closet. Yes! Had them on the calendar, got them done. I now have 13,491 done on BLOODY MURDER. approx. 3,500 this week. Can't get my little word meter to work right but I am getting real work done. Now for sales . . .

In real life we are considering a puppy but unless I retire, by daughter would have to train and care for it. If she couldn't, got sick, we'd be up a creek because I'm sometimes gone for over ten hours a day at work. Hard decisions.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Resolve to Work

Harder at writing. Get my word counts done each day and finish book two. Sell FD and PTM, at least enough to have a little bit of royalties. Not sure how to make progress with that but I'll keep at it. I think I'll see a little more progress at that when I can have the paper product available and in my hand for signings etc. My demographic tends to want to hold the paper. I do need to start a list, or order book for all those people who want paper instead of electronic so I can notify them all and get them to buy the paperback.

Feels good to be making progress with Bloody Murder and thought of a new wrinkle involving a main character, thanks to an idea from one of my readers. Can't wait to see how its going to push the story along. Of course, in order to appreciate book two, you want to read PRIVY TO MURDER and start getting to know the characters. An no, I won't tell you what hunk in book two is going to have a revelation. You gotta read it. So get out there and buy. FAIRY DUST might even contain a hint.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Eternal Press looking for authors!

Call for submissions
Calling all authors and aspiring authors.

Eternal Press, a growing and exciting publisher of e-books, is actively seeking submissions. Romance, historical fiction, erotica, suspense, fantasy, speculative, women's fiction. We would love to see your stories, novellas and full-length novels.

We anticipate going to POD during 2008 and you can be part of it, with your work of at least 65,000 words.

For more information, visit our website at or submit your synopsis and first three chapters to Senior Acquisitons Editor, Fran Tann at
-- Fran TannSenior Acquisitions EditorEternal

Finding Magic

A friend of mine, Rinda talked about letting those self editors on our shoulders run our writing. I find other things have the same effect. If a book doesn't sell as well as you hoped, you may start second-guessing what you do and be tempted to write what ever is selling. My opinion is that you have to stay true to writing what you love to write and what you read, because if you write to a particular genre, market, only because it sells, not because you love it, the readers will know. It will show in the writing.

I caught myself trying to reevaluate what I write and thinking in terms of writing what is selling, and in ebooks, it seems to be a mix of paranormal and erotica. Well, not an erotica person here. Not that I can't enjoy reading it, but writing it just isn't what I do. If I start trying to write something that doesn't speak to me on a real level, it won't work for me or for the readers in the long run. So I will continue to write what I write, which is mystery plus paranormal plus humor. If I don't make a fortune, so be it, the process is what counts. Selling a painting doesn't give me as much pleasure as the actual painting process. With my writing, yes, I would like it to be read, but small numbers are better than no numbers and if even one person is pulled into a different world that I created, cool. I've done my job.

Monday, January 7, 2008


To sell, you must promote. So here you go.

FAIRY DUST launches today. Go to

Buy your copy now. Find out if a flight challenged half-fairy and a werewolf can find happiness and save the world from an evil wizard. Meet Sierya, a six-foot elf and Ajax, a three-foot pixie. Fight ghouls and other monsters. Learn why it takes special skills to catch a full-blood pixie.

I'm meeting my word count goal of 700 words, five days a week on BLOODY MURDER, but my word count widget is not letting me update. When it does, it will jump. Don't know what the problem is, probably the user. I'm working hard to get Tali into as much trouble as possible, poor girl. But of course she does frequently play with fire (read Aiden in BLOODY MURDER.)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Contrast It

Light and Dark. Good and Evil. Warmth and cold. They all make us appreciate both. Life, painting and writing all give us examples of contrast. Contrast between light and dark keeps a painting interesting. Conflict must be present for a book to be a page turner, whether the protagonist is saving the world or one baby owl. The contrast between dark and light times in our lives lets us appreciate the light.

Artists can have a light touch with contrast that is as delicate as a faint shadow on a bird's wing or a living presence like the light in "Girl with a Pearl Earring. Writing, just like painting, allows us the choice between bold and delicate in our approach. Contrast, conflict, between light and dark and good and evil gives depth to the work, dimension and the difference between mediocre, barely competent and a truly defined work.

Now for the commercial message: Eternal Press Launch on Monday with prizes and excerpts galore. Come join us at Pre-order FAIRY DUST today.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Go Away, Elmer Fudd

Which way do we go, which way do we go? Where is that wascally wabbit?

The rabbit is hiding and is what we all writers look for. It's called sales. How do we get them? In some ways those in print media have an advantage, advances that ease a little of the pressure to sell, not much, but a little. Distribution into stores all over the US. If you write fast enough, you can put out more than one book a year and make a little from advances. But, unless you are Stephen King, you don't have the publicity machine behind you.

Those in electronic media have an advantage because they often have input into their covers, the process from finished manuscript, through editing and into release is faster, months rather than a year or more. E companies, many of them are more writer friendly, willing to allow the writer room to experiment. But, getting those print copies takes a little longer, building readership and name recognition of the publisher takes longer. And (WE SAVE TREES.) Oops, sorry, didn't mean to shout.

Then you have publishing snobs who lump epublishing in with self and vanity publishing. Those people appear to need a reason to feel superior rather than recognizing that there is room for us all.
We all write something different.
We all have the same goal--do something we love.
We want to do it well.
We long to be read.

So what's a writer to do? I say do it all. Publish with an electronic company. Also submit to print, brick and mortar companies. You can have your cake, eat it and lose weight. Just takes a little more work.

Have I found a brilliant way to make a fortune? No.
Am I doing what I love and enjoying it? Yes.

What I have found in e-publishing is a group of writers and publishers who work together toward everyone's success, as a team. That you may not find with a traditional publisher.

The commercial message is for you to go to: and look at what's there, read the serial many of the authors put together for the readers, read the e-zine. Enjoy, get hooked, read an e-book just for fun. Launch day is Monday, with prizes and games and new releases.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gearing Up

Have you broken your resolutions yet? Now's the time to gear up, look at those resolutions, make some short term goals that will get you to what you want. If you decided your goal was to finish your book, what will it take to do that? What's an achievable goal for you? Can you write 1000 words a day, 3,000? Would 3,000 words a week be more reasonable, or even 500 a week. Choose what you can meet. Don't shoot yourself in the foot, or anyplace else by making your goals so lofty that you will fail the first week.

Choose specific goals
Make certain you can achieve them.
Do not pick a goal over which you have no control.
(You can control completing your novel. Unless you have a publishing company, you can't publish it.)
Reward yourself. (Chocolate, coffee art supplies, a movie, whatever rings your bell.)
Watch those pages pile up.
If you finished one book and began another, set goals for how many publishers, agents, to query or send partials to each month.

Keep writing, no matter what life throws at you for distraction.

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