Monday, June 30, 2008

Story Bite and vacation

The World of Myth is interested in one of my stories with only the addition of one change. That's cool. I can have fun with that.

The inspection of my new house is today so I'll rush off at noon to be there. Hope that goes well for the sellers sake because they found a new house and their inspection is next week. Getting moved will be so nice.

I'm working on plotting for a Nocturne Bites, seeing if I can come up with a darker plot for Aiden and Tali. Also need to come up with a higher concept, darker, for Fairy Dust. Then the edits for BLOODY MURDER will come.

Colorado is looming. Can't wait. Friends, cool air, movies, writing, shopping, wine, dancing, reading, and Mountain Men. Did I mention wine? Nothing like getting together with other women writers at a cabin in the mountains.

Where is your favorite vacation place?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Out Into the World

My baby has left home and is out in the cold, cruel world. Yes, BLOODY MURDER is off to the editor. I got it in before the deadline, thank goodness, and now we'll see what the editor thinks. It's always a little scary to see what other people think. Will the story make sense to anyone but me? It made sense to my CP, Yay and that made me feel great.

Now, what happens when the editor gets hold of it? Stay-tuned. I had fun writing it and I'm now plotting two more things.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Real Meaning of Life.

Do you remember in high school, (do you remember high school at all?) when you read Dickens, Shakespeare and whoever. Then you discussed them. What did they really mean when they had the old lady wait in a decaying house, in her wedding dress, for her lost lover? What it a symbol for the decay of society or moral values of the day?

Or was the author just trying to fulfill his word count, tell a good story, please everyone and get paid so he could support his family. Was Jane Austen really attempting to do a humorous story about her society and the plight of women, or was her main goal to tell a good, hopeful love story with a happy ending.

We have book clubs, many more since Oprah made them popular. But are we encouraging people to read for pleasure or because they feel they "should have read" this book or that because someone else thinks it's significant? Is that wise? I'm all for reading, but I also feel as if it should be enjoyable and not a work assignment. Do it for fun, for escape and because you can't live without books in your life that let you do the impossible.

If you read, you too can be the ER doctor and solve the medical mystery, fly with a super creature, fight off an evil wizard, have a romantic fling with no consequences, buy a house in Tuscany and find love.

That's what it's all about, at least in my fiction world it is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Disappearing Act

This week has disappeared. I finished two batches of edits from my CP and have one last batch to go. I'm happy with the final product and hope my editor is. I had so much fun with it I want other people to like it. My CP is wonderful.

As soon as the edits are done and Bloody Murder is sent off, I have to:
Flesh out something I want to try for Nocturne Bites
Decide what direction to go with "Fairy Dust"
Pack like Mad
For Vacation in Colorado in a couple of weeks
Moving into the new house.

My life continues to be a juggling act, I might get bored if it wasn't. Can't wait to start the next project, whatever it ends up being. Then, there will be more Bloody Murder edits of course.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goals and Procrastination

I've finished the first go-round of "Bloody Murder" edits. Now I'll go through my CP edits, finish this week and get it sent to the editor by next week. I have to flesh out my plans for a Nocturne Bites (Maybe Tali and Aiden) and for Fairy Dust (Decide whether to go for YA) which actually fits my writing style better. Hit the ground writing in Colorado.

Just finished reading "Wicked Lovely." If you like Urban Fantasy, read this one. These are not Peter Pan's Tinker Bell. It's really well written, dark and interesting.

Do you procrastinate with household chores before you write? Does fear keep you from writing, fear of failure, fear of success that you need to sustain, fear that the words just won't come? I mastered some of those fears a couple of ways.

First, I work full time so my writing time is limited and complicated because my daughter lives and home and has emergencies that I have to take care of.

As a result, I set myself a daily word count goal-an achievable goal. I also, plow through the first draft without going back to edit until the first draft is finished. So, I can't procrastinate.

Instead, I have to put the butt on the chair (button principle) and write, during lunch and in the evening at least five days a week or more.

The writing goal that works for me is 750-1000 words a day, five days a week. Wimpy I know, but I can reach it so I don't get frustrated. When I can do more, I do.

I also learned to write in emergency rooms, waiting rooms etc, on my Alpha Smart and to have my writing stuff with me at all times, even if it's just a journal in my purse so I can write by hand.

Procrastination-no time if I'm going to finish the projects. This has gotten me through two novels and a novella so far. So, I will keep on keepin' on, until I win the lottery or something. The problem is, if I can stay home and write full time, it will be so much easier to procrastinate.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Website and rewrites

First, do you know how hard it is to cut words you like? Hard. My CP looked at my first chapter for BLOODY MURDER and figured out I should begin with the murder scene. Duh. Why didn't I think of that. Well, I did, I just couldn't bring myself to do it since all my words are jewels, why should I throw any of them out? I did it. It hurt. Ditched most of the first chapter and it will be a better book for it with a good hook. Pull people right into the action. Had to do the same thing with Privy, wrote a first chapter I had to get rid of. Slow learner.

Go to I finally found a layout I like. See what you think. I wanted dark and mysterious and this is the one I found. Of course, knowing me, I'll keep experimenting to keep it interesting. I tried some fantasy stuff but it didn't work, too anime or cartoonish. Still need to find something I like for My space. I hate using it, just doesn't seem friendly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

4 Enchantments for Privy to Murder

I just got a new review for PRIVY TO MURDER. 4 enchantments from Enchanting Reviews. Now you get to read it too.

Privy to Murder

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Having recently gone through a bitter divorce, Tali Cates has moved back to her hometown of Love, Texas with her young son and angst-ridden teenage daughter. Moving in with her quirky mother, Mumsie, who speaks with the spirits and takes tarot cards seriously, Tali has her hands full with her new party planning business, Party On. After her first gig ends with the hostess’ murder, Tali has to deal with the murdered woman’s ghost, a suspicious town and an ex-boyfriend, J.T., who may or may not be the next love in her life. Not feeling comfortable with the gift her Mumsie takes for granted, Tali stumbles from one crisis to the next as she struggles to build her business and solve not one but two murders. Unwilling to acknowledge her spirit-seeing gift, Tali must learn to come to terms with it if she’s to solve the murders and save her family.

Tali is a likeable, spunky, no-nonsense character and it’s easy to sympathize with her family and business issues. I liked this book and would enjoy reading the next due out in 2008 titled Bloody Murder. I would love to see Tali and J.T. get together as well as more fleshing out of Mumsie—she has some wonderful personality quirks.

This is not a story focusing on romance, rather a cozy mystery with a touch of the paranormal. Those who like the cozy mystery genre will enjoy this one. The plot is well-done, the characters believable and the reader is kept wondering what happens next. The paranormal twist is not over-done and adds an extra element of interest to the story.

Carol Shenold is an author and teacher. Currently she is at work on her sequel to PRIVY TO MURDER; Bloody Murder due out in 2008. PRIVY TO MURDER placed in the “Frontiers in Writing” contest in 2007. Also available from Eternal Press is Carol’s second novel, Fairy Dust. Learn more about Carol Shenold at

Hope you all go to or and snap it up. Try FAIRY DUST while you're at it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh the Suspense

I'm in the edit part of writing on Bloody Murder, which I like, a lot. Pulling teeth part is done. Now just polishing them. Of course that can also be tricky and painful, having to cut things you like.

Plus, it's off to my CP, which is always nerve wracking because what worked for you, might not work for them. Dialogue that seemed witty at the time could fall flat for someone else. The plot thickens-or not.

You become so close to your own work, you lose judgement. The good thing, in re-reading, it doesn't seem as disjointed as I feared. But, what if I'm missing a big flaw? Did you know writers are their own worst critics, kind of like an artist who's painting is never finished, that tree could be darker on one side of the trunk, that cloud needs more contrast at the bottom, etc.

The other thing to learn is when something is finished so you don't pick it to death and turn it into mud.

Monday, June 16, 2008


As you see every time Friday the 13th rolls around, many people have superstitions and rituals, don't walk under a ladder, break a mirror, step on a crack. Throw spilled salt over your shoulder.

I'm not really suspicious and I don't have too many writing rituals. With my lack of writing time some days, I have to be able to write any time and any place. If I could only write comfortably in my office with a certain band playing, that would be a problem. I write at work during my lunch hour.

Some writers need a certain chair, set of music, prime the pump by reading email. I just require computer or paper and pen and alone time. Not even alone time really, just uninterrupted time.

When I journal I like to use my fountain pen. When I read for pleasure, I have the TV on and my feet up.

Do you have any reading or writing rituals???

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Girlfriends and Writing

What writer's need, good friends who also write. Writers we can cheer on, but not get jealous of, because they are our best friends. Their successes become ours too. When we get together, it's a recharge of the batteries and we bounce ideas off each others, share frustrations, both writing and private.

We all work and write, juggle it all, get frustrated by people who don't take our writing seriously because it isn't a real job. My friends in Oklahoma and Texas are who keep me going when writing and life in general becomes too much.

I think the writing life is important, that's what I do, but friends are irreplaceable, love us anyway, understand what drives us and hold us up. Touching base by phone, over lunch, any way we can is essential. Most women need girl friends. Women writers need girlfriends who are also writers. They will feel your pain equally when you miss that shoe sale for the perfect power pumps and when the 23rd agent rejects your proposal.

Friends become family, sisters you choose and nothing can replace that kind of friendship.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Began edits. Not as bad as I feared for a first draft but I think I will have to re-write the 1st chapter, begin with the murder scene. I hate when I have to pitch things altogether.

Aiden needs to be stronger, more memorable and more dangerous.

More on Mumsie's abilities as well as Tali's.

Whole book may need a little more darkness.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

News Flash

News flashes

#1. Finished the first draft of Bloody Murder. Yay. Now to the re writes and edits and such, very quickly since the finished product is due July 7.

#2. Privy to Murder will be out in print soon, really soon, like July or August. I'm so excited that I will be able to hold it in my hand. Details at 10p, or at least as soon as I get them.

#3. I just stayed up way to late and will have a hell of a time getting up in the morning for work. Oh well, the life of a struggling artist.

#4. Have started gathering boxes so I can pack for the move to my new house, only across the street but it will be mine. No more renting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I've seen debates recently about which is better, 1st person or 3rd person. As a reader, I like both equally, just don't do it in present tense. For some reason I find present tense completely jarring. I have a difficult time staying in the story. Personal preference.

I'm not as fond of stories that jump from head to head every other paragraph. I don't mind if the POV changes scene by scene although chapter by chapter is less confusing. But one sentence in her head and another in his, not good for me.

As a writer, I like 1st person best. I can get the characters voice and personality better that way. I realize it limits story telling but it's what I'm most comfortable with. However, this weekend, twice, I'm going along blissfully in 1st person and all of a sudden I have an entire paragraph written in 3rd person. Don't know what that was about but it happened twice.

My main goal is not to lose the reader or jar them out of the story as they try to figure out who is talking. I'm so close to being done with Bloody Murder I can taste it and then the rewrites start and edits. So ready to be into that part of the story. Then, do I start Fairy Dust the novel or the short, Museums are Murder?

Sunday, June 8, 2008


My daughter bought a Nintendo DS from Walmart. It said she needed a memory card to play the game. She took it back but Walmart didn't help. We went to Target. They showed her how to use it, what she needed and didn't need. Why is there so much difference between Walmart and Target workers? Walmart has no concept of customer service, plus they're too big, to light and too noisy.
But still, they need their customers to survive or they wouldn't be selling stuff. So why not treat them as people instead of acting like snobs and snot. Only the older, greeters at Walmart appear to understand, and it's because they're older.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Launch Day Tomorrow

Be sure and run over to yahoo groups and join the eternal press readers group. There is a link to the right. Tomorrow is launch day and so many good books will be launched you won't believe, plus prizes and free books. It's a must attend event. Go to for the wonderful new release covers.
I know Jayden Chelsee has a new suspense novel out and numerous others.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I'm a to-do list maker. Always have been, at home and work. Lists of what promo things to take to conference, what to take to Colorado, things I want to write, what I like, don't like. There's a book by Sasha Cagen called "To-do list." Fascinating. Read it. Available on Amazon.

Try a list. pros and cons of anything, five things you would take to a desert island, what you like, don't like about yourself, your mate, your friends. Traditional or e-publishers, pros and cons. Things to accomplish by the time you're 30 or 50 or before you die. Five writing goals, including make a list. Send me a list, funny, serious, sad or quirky.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


You know my life goes on without major changes for ages and then, boom, things change, and it's all my fault.

1. I'm buying a house. I've only been involved with one other house buying and my husband handled it 30 years ago. We were stupid, got a house in Texas with no central air, go figure. But it was big and we raised the kids in it. Now I'm doing it on my own. But I'm excited.

2. Considering a job change. Actually I'd like to retire and write full time, not happening, especially with a house payment, even though it's a low one. I always worry about new jobs but I've never had a problem getting one. Don't know what my issue is. I hope to work a few less hours a week. (Good thing about being a nurse, lots of options out there.) Even get offers by email.

3. Bloody Murder is close to done and re-writes, edits will be fun but I have to get that all done quickly since the deadline is July 7.

4. Should hear about the print option soon. Please let it be good news, I went with EP for the print option as well as electronic option and they hadn't come through. Hoping it will be in print and on Amazon. Will know next week. Can't wait to hold "Privy to Murder" in my hands.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I'm entering the home stretch with the first draft of Bloody Murder and finding my way. Thank goodness for characters who take on some of the responsibility for leading the way, no, not this way, that one, the one you didn't think of when you plotted the book. That makes writing fun.

Now, when I'm done, it's the fun edit where I tighten and flesh things out, add in more sensory detail, make certain characters sound like themselves, that all loose ends are tied up, even fix the ever-present typos. I see the end of the tunnel.

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