Thursday, September 27

When Everything Happens at Once...

I'm having an issue right now, with book two. My characters are telling me too much at once, without telling me where to put things into the story. Grrrrr. I guess I need to go back to writing the scene ideas down, then putting them in my 'holding area' at the end of the manuscript, for later inclusion.

Because right now, I have three different life-threatening situations, a strange genetic occurrence, a three new characters (that were intended to show up, just not this way... it's okay, I like their way better), and I still have babies to be birthed. :)

It's all wanting to happen right now, this instant, but it can't. Argh! LOL

Ah well! I'll get it sorted out. I think I need to take out all the most recent 'new' stuff, take the manuscript back to the second version, and leave the rest for a later story. Yup. I think that's what needs to happen. Trying to get it all into this book is going to take too much work and too much finagling. Some things can be contrived, because they're actually supposed to be. Others... don't work so well.

I think I shall work on the sweater, let my migraine pills kick in, and see what happens when the dust settles. Maybe I need to rearrange my writing area so that I have my 'storyboard' wall back and cane keep track of things without having to go back and read. I get distracted that way, and end up with new ideas! eeep! No, not more new ideas!

Luckily, I can write as many books as I want, and my characters live a really long time. The possibilities for adventure abound! :D Stick with me. This might be fun!

In the meantime, I will leave you with a snippet from Book Two, Brothers in Arms:

Their front door opened and Ri popped her head out, scowling at them both with mock severity.
“I know you’re out here, you know,” she chided them gently. “Come inside where it’s warm. Your dinner is ready and your mate wants to fuss over both of you.”
“Such a sweet invitation,” Hunter murmured, unable to help his tender smile as he strode to the door. He stopped, tucked a finger under her chin and raised her face to his for a kiss of greeting. She was grinning as their lips met, a happy chuckle escaping her. He sighed gustily, resting his forehead against hers for a moment. “It is good to be home, little warrior.”
“That it is,” Jace agreed, unceremoniously shoving his brother into the apartment and taking his place in front of Ri. She giggled up at him, rising on tiptoes to kiss his chin. He laughed and wrapped her in his arms, lifting her against his muscular chest for a deep kiss. When he made a show of kissing her longer and harder than Hunter had, Ri burst into laughter against his mouth and swatted his shoulder. 
He held her captive, still kissing her, as he opened one eye to see how his brother was taking it, only to find that Hunter was already leaning over the computer station, frowning at several screens of data. Well, that was no fun. 
Rolling his eye toward their older brother Sean, though, Jace found satisfaction. Sean’s countenance was considerably darker than normal, his scowl promising brotherly mayhem if he could find a good enough excuse for it, without making it obvious it was because of his longing for Arianna.
“You’re just doing this to make them jealous,” Ri murmured against Jace’s lips. He grinned and nodded, then kissed her tenderly.
That one is for you,” he murmured. She sighed happily and hugged him one last time.
“Put me down,” she chuckled. “I need to check the bread.”
“Please tell me you made sticky buns again,” Jace begged, shutting the door and hanging his cloak on one of the hooks behind it. He followed her into the kitchen area, like a puppy trailing after its owner for treats. Ri turned, her eyes twinkling up at him.
“Would I make anything else with you lot around?” she asked. “Yes, I made sticky buns. But there’s fresh butter bread for dinner, so save your appetite.”
“All right,” he sighed dramatically, then plucked two buns off the plate as soon as she turned her back. But she Read his intentions and whirled back to him.
“Jace!” she admonished in her best ‘mom’ voice, looking as if she was about to chase him down and take the buns away.
“What?” he asked innocently, blinking at her and dancing back, out of her reach. “It’s only two. You know that won’t put a dent in my appetite.”
She glared at him, hands on her hips, her gaze narrowing.
“Either help or go away,” she finally said, rolling her eyes at him.

Tuesday, September 25

Sunday, September 23

Decisions, decions...

I'm in a strange place in my writing today.

A few weeks ago, one set of characters wanted the story to go a particular way, but didn't tell me WHEN they wanted their story to be told. I wrote what they showed me and put it in my 'holding area' folder.

Then last week, another set of characters decided to make themselves known and show me an entire new story arc.

The problem is, they both want their moment in the sun, but they both want it in one book, which doesn't happen to be THIS one. :P

It's hard to decide what to do about it though. I've already invested so many hours in writing those two different stories, just to get them OUT so that I didn't lose them.

This afternoon, they're telling me to keep the stories, but exchange the characters. ARGH! lol

So I think I will... the stories will remain basically the same, but with the names changed, so that we have one set of characters finding Ishira before the others. I'd love to do it in the same book, but one of my ladies wants to be in this one, though she hasn't decided where she's going to end up yet. It's kind of like a roulette wheel... she's in there, but she's bouncing around so much, I can't figure out just which niche to let her land in.

Ah well... something one of my readers suggested is also bouncing around with that. Maybe I can gel the two, then write the other characters without this one as a distraction.

Vague enough for ya? lol

Ah well... guess I'll get to it. See what comes out of the fingers as I type. :)

Friday, September 21

Finally Friday!

It's finally Friday!

I have managed to get very little accomplished this week, writing-wise. But that's okay. After the big push last week and putting the book up for sale, this week has been a whirlwind!

There's a lot going on in Ishira, though, for book 2 and a lot of set-up for the following books. I think everything's kind of sitting in my mental crock-pot, simmering and melding, so that when it's ready, I can sit down and just let it flow out of me.

You probably won't hear much out of me when that happens, though. I tend to get lost in the writing, and let a lot of other stuff fall by the wayside. lol But it's all good... there are days when I can crank out nearly 30K words, and others where I'm doing great just to get 4K. Just depends on what's floating at the top of the crock-pot that day. :D

I'll post pics later of the sleeve of Ri's sweater. I'm almost done with it. Figured I'd finish that today while watching movies and catching up on DVRed stuff with my sweetie, since his weekend starts today. :)

Wednesday, September 19

Calming down a little...

Today was... fun! :)

It started early, with no sleep from last night, but it's all good.

Dropped the hubby off at the high school. He had a teaching day today, with an observer, so it was a big day for him. Then I hit City Lights bookstore in Sylva, NC and had the most awesome bacon/egg/cheese on an asiago bagel that practically melted in my mouth. THAT will happen again! A few cups of coffee, some writing, and some playing on Facebook later... then up to the bookstore I went to get some ideas of what needs to happen if I want to have a book signing in a few months, if it looks like one is warranted. Got some great pointers and picked up a little gift for myself.

I then headed west, to Franklin, NC, to that bookstore, but it was rather busy and didn't seem like the time, so I didn't stop in there. Instead, I popped into the wonderful yarn store across Main Street, to look for another skein of the yarn I've been thinking about using for Arianna's sweater that she knits in Hearts of Ishira. Didn't find exactly what I wanted and was getting a little frustrated with myself for not settling for 'good enough'. Talked with the owner, who seemed interested in the story, told her what I was looking for, and next thing I know... she's got these four hanks of GORGEOUS yarn in exactly the colorway I've been imagining for that very sweater!!!!! I couldn't really afford it, but I bought all four, then sat down to start work on the sweater all over again, this time with the CORRECT yarn. :)

There might be more news related to that yarn shop visit, but I'll save it for if/when it becomes official.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at Ri's sweater, from the cuff to the fingers. I'll post teaser pics as I get more of the sweater done, I promise! :)

Now I'm just trying to figure out if I should try to write, as sleep deprived as I am at the moment, or if I should just sit on the front porch and work on the sweater, which will be fairly mindless from the cuff to the upper arm band. Hmm... decisions... But here's a look at my view from the porch...

Tuesday, September 18

And we have: A WEBSITE!!!!! is LIVE!!!!!

You can access everything there, as well! Whoot!

I have the most incredible friends. I can never repay some of you!!!

So yeah... things are moving along.

Last night, I could NOT get to sleep to save my life! Too many scene ideas floating around in my brain for book 2. finally, I got up, grabbed a pen and my fun little sticky-note hardcover pad and started writing scene ideas down. One or two to a page, as they came to me, and I've got like 11 stickies now, waiting to be converted into writing goodness. by the time I was done, I was nearly in tears! Who knew that things would get that intense??? I certainly didn't! These characters want to rip my heart right out! I don't know how it will end, but I'm sure that it will end the way it should.

Now to get back to the main meat of the story. I might be throwing out most of my old stuff, after all. Except for The Challenge. I AM going to keep that one in there, dammit!

okay... enough on that... I need to get back to work!

Thanks to everyone out there spreading the word. I truly appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart!!!!

Monday, September 17


Well, Hearts of Ishira went LIVE today!!!

Kindle was first up, actually coming up in searches last night.

Barnes and Noble was next, this morning,

and finally, the hard-copy trade paperback is available, as well...

So stinkin' excited now! LOL

Now to figure out how to put these up on my blog...

Oh! And I'm on twitter now, too.

So you can find me here, on my Facebook page, twitter, and soon I should have a working website, as well! Whoot! :)

Let the games begin!

Tomorrow, I go back to writing. I took today off. :) I sat in the sun, outside a cafe across from the WCU campus, and knitted while my husband was in his afternoon class. I love it!

Sunday, September 16

I went and did it...

After much nausea, wishy-washyness, and general procrastination, I did it.

The files have been uploaded, the 'publish now' buttons have been pushed. Of course, that doesn't mean my book will show up in the lists anytime real soon. Apparently, all those files have to go through a review at the various places I uploaded them, before they go on sale.

BUT the hard-copy is going to be $18. I know it's a lot, but not too many folks are buying paperbacks anymore, I don't think. Unless they want autographs. But we shall see. So far, it's looking like I can buy a case of my own books and give them out as christmas presents and everyone in my family (and close friends) would be thrilled with that. :P But I think that might be a wee bit tacky. I dunno... I'll have to ask!

In the meantime, I'm taking the rest of today off! LOL I've been up since 5:30am, trying to get everything figured out, edited, formatted, etc, and now that it's done... I'm not sure what to do with myself.

Oh! Right! I have frozen peach daquiris in the freezer, and an awesome autumn scarf that is a mindless pattern, but fairly quick to knit. Maybe I'll put on some new age music and chillax with my knittin' and get my drink on! :D

As soon as links are available for my book, I'll have them up here on my blog, I hope! In the meantime... I'm crossing my fingers that at least one copy sells before my birthday, so I can officially be a published author by the time I'm 42. That's at the end of September, so there's still time... :)

Friday, September 14

Taking a mental health day...

I had grand plans today: Get up. Caffeinate myself. Play on Facebook for far longer than absolutely necessary, then get to work on the 'polishing' of my first book, so I can put it up for sale either this weekend or early next week.

Instead, today turned into a 'mental health day'. We did NOTHING at all productive today, and we liked it! We simply enjoyed each others' company, which was so nice, since we rarely get to see each other very much lately.

See, my husband is in his senior year of college. Don't get excited, we're not young kids... we both turn 42 this fall. So he's got a lot of classes, in addition to an internship and involvement in one of the clubs on campus. It's therapy for him, since it's the fencing club and he's a rapier fighter within the medieval re-creation group we play with, when we can. It also gives me a few more hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays of uninterrupted writing time, if I take advantage of it.

But this morning, instead of vegging out on Facebook or watching TV, he took me out to breakfast. Then to a bookstore, where I *gasp* actually had the courage to start doing some marketing! Yes, I talked to the folks at this small-town bookstore about the fact that I'm about to self-publish a book. They didn't seem put off by it in the least, and were even very eager to help by hosting book signings and such! Whoot!

I wasn't sure how I was going to hold a book-signing when my book is going directly to e-pub, but then a friend told me about the publish-on-demand options at Amazon. Once I do a bit more research and forum-trolling on the pub-on-demand, I might be putting links here to go to the local bookseller. I'm a very firm believer in supporting local small businesses, and hope that any of my readers would help support them, as well.

We came home, by which time I had a horrible headache. I tried to edit a little bit, but I'm in panic phase right now, so I decided to back away from the manuscript slowly, so no one gets hurt! *grin* Took a nap, watched some movies with my wonderful hubby and worked on a knitting project with some yummy new yarn, and now you're up to date.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow will see me up, bright and early, working on my manuscript. Not only do I need to do a final polish on it, clean up any typos, run one last spell-check (you know how often I have to hit 'add to dictionary' when writing a sci-fi where half the words for things are made-up???), and adjust the formatting.

Sounds like it's not too tall an order, until you know that the book is over 200K long and 549 pages!

Yup. I think I'm gonna need a bigger coffee pot...

Thursday, September 13

And just to prove my point...

Yesterday, I posted about my writing style and how my characters reveal themselves and their world to me as I go. Ironically, after I posted that, I got writer's block in the worst way... but only for a few hours. I sat down to write and my characters REFUSED to give me anything. Anything at all!

So I took a nap to 'reset' my brain, and when I woke up, I consulted them again. This time, they gave me an incredible message: Start Over.

I literally blinked in surprise. They wanted me to whoodie-wha???? 100K words into the second book, and they wanted me to start over???

Well, they've been right before.

So, with a sigh and a shrug, I brought up a fresh new document, let the movie start in my head and... Well, it just proved my point. Where I was getting hung up on what I'd already written, bogged down mostly in the emotional struggles of my two main characters in this book, the rest of the 'gang' wanted to remind me that there was a lot more going on than just those two, and I needed to look beyond them.

So I started over, I listened to my folks, just as I talked about yesterday, and not only is the story much better today (IMHO), but there's even a new character that my mains have really taken to. I don't know what's happening with her, but I have a feeling she's going to turn into a main, which I certainly didn't see coming! But wow, does she have determination! I can't wait to see how she gets out of the mess she's in, but I'm betting it's gonna be good.

I think that learning to trust the characters has been my biggest lesson. I think I know where the story should go, but they actually do know. I need to remember that and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, September 12

A whole new world...

I've heard that some writers sit down to write with outlines of their plot, full knowledge of exactly what's going to happen, when, and even have characterization sheets, family trees, etc.

I've also heard that some writers just sit down at the computer (typewriter, notebook, what-have-you) and channel the movie they see in their heads, just as surprised as their readers will be with every new twist and turn the plot takes, every line that comes from their characters' mouths. They learn their characters as they go, like discovering new friends and enemies.

I fall into the latter group. There have been times I've thought I must have a psychic connection to some far-away planet, because some of this stuff couldn't possibly come from MY brain. And I have disagreements with my characters at times, because they want to go in a completely different direction than I thought the plot was going to take. Often, they have MUCH better ideas than I do, though, and they take me to places that have surprised, shocked, and left me speechless.

For instance, who knew that my main character in the book I'm working on now, Arianna, was going to want three mates? I had no clue. I knew she wanted two. That much was clear from the start. But number three surprised the heck outta me. Surprised her, too, for the record. And she's fighting it, hard, but we all know she'll give in. But she's drawing the line at three. (so far...who knows what will happen as I go?)

And one of my characters, a main character, keeps whispering to me that he needs to die at some point, but won't tell me when, or how, or WHY? I love him! Why in the world would he leave us?? He'd better have a damn good reason, is all I've got to say!

I have been asked what it's like to create an entire new world, or in this case, a new universe, as the 'world' isn't limited to this planet for very long.

I wish I could answer that. I didn't create it. I knew a few basic things when I started out, but really, the world exposes itself to me. It's not like a painting, where I sit down and build it, layer by layer, adding details as I go. It's more like a scratch-off, if that makes any sense, though the layer analogy works there. hmmm. I'll have to work on that one a bit. :P

When I sit down to write, I see an image in my head, usually just like a movie. I watch the movie and the words flow through me, onto the computer screen. There have been times that I've been so caught up in what I'm 'seeing' that I don't even know what I've written... I am merely the medium through which the words flow. At times, I've sat down with a cup of coffee at my side, intent only on editing this chapter or that scene, and I find myself, 10,000 words later, with a very cold cup of stale coffee, a rumbling tummy that thinks I'm starving to death, a bladder that's threatening anarchy, and a new facet to my characters and world that I hadn't known was hiding beneath the surface.

I never thought that my current story, Ishira, would go beyond one book, or that it would span multiple planets, space stations, star systems, and generations. I thought it was going to be a simple little naughty erotica with two heroes, one heroine, and a finite end to their story with happily-ever-after on the last page.

Instead, it's turning into an epic tale of genocide, war, machinations that span centuries to get to this point, genetic tampering, psychic battles and so many more events that I haven't seen yet. There's a prophet involved, though there often is, and for some reason, there will be dragons, though I haven't met them yet. I just know they're lurking there because, surprise surprise, one of the characters told me so. The fact that this character is only a day old is negligible. He saw it, so it will happen. I'll let him grow up a little bit first.

The thing is, creating a world, for me, is not so much sitting down with a plan... it's just letting the characters introduce me to themselves, their histories, their legends and songs. It's looking at their universe through their eyes, experiencing it through their adventures, and dealing with it as they do, minute by minute, scene by scene.

I wish I was a writer that could sit down with an outline and character sheets, a plan in mind and organized. I wish I was that way in real life, actually! But I'm not and I never have been. All I know is that I have worlds in my head, vast expanses of space, time, and the entirety of creation to work with. Anything at all can happen, and it often does!

I don't know where my current storyline will end. Five books? Ten? More? I can only hope! I just know that I love my characters and they are nowhere near finished with me. They're telling the tale. I'm just an interested observer, writing it all down.

Monday, September 10

Almost there!

Well, the weekend is gone and Monday has happened. This weekend was my 5th wedding anniversary, to the most incredible man I've ever known. We've been together for 16 years, but only married the past 5. (He had commitment issues, but that's a post for another time, and perhaps a bottle of wine!)

Anyway, the main reason I've been so busy for the past 3-4 days and not online much, is that I've been trying to get my house in order. I'm also trying to create a nice writing space upstairs in my bedroom, so that I'm not constantly near a line of traffic involving very barky dogs, in-laws that go in and out of the house a lot, and folks popping their heads in saying they just want to tell me something 'really quick'. Now if I can just get the family to understand that when the headphones are on, I'm not here. I'm on Ishira. So respect the headphones, people! LOL If I've got them on, I'm in my own little world, so wait for me to finish typing and look up at you. Anything else, and the house better be on fire.

Reason number two for all of this... privacy and relative quiet, so I can do the FINAL polish on my first book!!!!! *kermit arms* It's done.

There are a few things folks have said need editing, but mostly spelling. My mother is NEVER going let me live down the fact that I misspelled 'Asimov' in a sci-fi novel. Never. She giggled the whole time she was telling me about it. Just for the record, I DO know how to spell Asimov, dang it! My durn fingers just don't like typing it. I've mis-typed it several times just trying to write this entry! LOL

So yeah... the goal is to get this book polished and out for sale within the next week or two. My personal deadline is September 30th (though I hope it's sooner), simply because I want to be published by the time I'm 42. :)

All right... enough about me... there's a whole world my heroine is trying to save from genocide. I'd better let her get back to it! eeep!

Tuesday, September 4

One step closer...

Well, managed to get the bedroom somewhat tamed. Yay!
Today was LOTS of back pain and pain meds, but it was worth it. :) The bedroom is almost ready for re-habitation, and it will be so very nice to be able to sleep in the same spot as my sweetie again! Whoot! :)

In other news, I have NO idea what I'll be working on during Sprint tonight. I haven't thought much about writing today... just getting the house settled for autumn/winter and hopefully getting my writing 'station' set up upstairs. With any luck, that will happen tomorrow. :)

I'm thinking about working on something completely new tonight... I'd love to be able to get a few novellas out through self-pub before the big books are ready. Just to get an idea of how folks are receiving them. I'll have to think about that. :)

Ah well... dinner calls my name, my back pain pills are kicking in, and it's time to relax a bit before writing tonight. :)

The Women are in Charge

So my two main female characters, Arianna and Bev, decided they wanted some action today. Not the happy-fun kind, but actual 'let's show these guys a thing or two about Earth girls!' action. Bev showed herself to be an incredible fighter pilot, while Ri got tired of waiting for Hunter to help her with something and took matters into her own hands.

Both times, Hunter was involved. Hmm... I must have something in mind for him, that he will need to be able to rely completely on them at some point. But he was very gracious about both incidents, thankfully. LOL Ri doesn't like getting yelled at. She'd MUCH rather be making love or snuggling or.. well... anything else, really.

I was able to get two new scenes written, one of which was new in my head, the other has been floating around for awhile, waiting for the right time to be written. Tonight my gang was really talking to me.

At least they go slowly enough for me to keep up! LOL

I have quite a bit to do tomorrow, so in an effort to avoid all that, I'll probably get a lot more writing done. We shall see whether writing wins out over housework. Either way, there will be a vet visit and a trip to the post office. :)

I'm wondering if I should post teasers here? Maybe I should wait until more than one person is reading it... lol

Monday, September 3

The Writing Space..

I have a computer armoire that I bought about ten years ago. Sheesh! This thing's old now! LOL But I bought it back when most people had desk-top computers, not laptops, and this thing is made for a large monitor, not a flat-screen or a laptop.

So I'm trying to figure out how to reconfigure it into a writer-friendly space, since it's the only space that's totally mine. :)

1) I'd like to put it upstairs, as that's a nice, quiet place during the day, and that's when I've been getting most of my writing done lately. My husband is out to school 4 days a week, and three of those days, he's there till nearly 9pm. LOTS of writing time, and lots of imagining time, since he's gone and can't distract me with his awesomeness. :D

2) I'm thinking of having a one-cup coffee maker for it, perhaps even a two-slice toaster, if I can find one small enough. I'd LOVE to get a mini-fridge for upstairs, but that might be pushing it. LOL Maybe I can find one of those three-in-one kitchen appliances... toaster oven, coffee pot, and burner. I dunno.

3) I need to find good posters of my 'inspirations' for the book I'm working on. I could probably just print them out and post them inside the doors of the armoire, but I'd like something high-quality so I can drool refer back for details as needed.

4) Need to install speakers in the thing, so they won't fall every time I breathe a little too hard. (Which for some of my writing, heavy breathing is crucial. Just sayin'!)

*sigh* I need someone with great organizational skills to come straighten everything out for me and 'make it so', so I can just go upstairs and do my thing. Anyone? Anyone?? Ah well... it was worth a shot!

Well, the hubby is about to start homework, so I'm going upstairs to start rearranging furniture and tackling the pile-o-craft that manages to accumulate everywhere I go. Fun times! :)

Where to start?

The hardest part of any story is what to say to start things out, I think. The same goes for a blog. How do I plant you firmly in my life, when 41 years have already passed?

Hmmm... I'll have to think about that one for awhile!

I could tell you that I'm the oldest of four, the only girl, and while I'm 41, my youngest brother is 24. That made for a very interesting family life.

I could tell you that in the fall of my 26th year, my dad made a bet with me, that if I wore my hair up and showed the nape of my neck off more, I'd meet the love of my life within a month. I could tell you that it worked... I was the assistant manager of a small bookstore. I sold this guy a book he already had and we fell in love. (The long version is much more interesting, but that's the crux of it.)

I could tell you that in the last 16 years with him, I've known the greatest joy and the most intense heartache, been blessed with fur-babies throughout that time, bought a house together. Got married at 36 (just barely!), Sal started back to college that semester, I started back the following fall. He's finishing up his education/mathematics degrees this year, will graduate in May.

My path has been a bit ... different... school, work, school, and finally... writing. Since I've embraced the belief that writing is what I'm meant to do, the words flow from my brain, through my fingers, and onto the screen. My characters tell me their story. I'm a very free-form writer... I just watch the movie in my head and write it all down. I am often surprised by what I have written. 

I love that the writing market finally allows for the types of things I enjoy writing about. I love romance and since I've lived somewhat of a fairy tale, I like sharing happy endings with others. I love erotica, but not the filthy kind... I like showing that even people deeply in love can be a little naughty! And I love sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal stories, so most of my stories involve at least one of those genres. I've always been intrigued with the idea of leaving this world and traveling to another, learning to integrate into another society or helping to build a new one from scratch. I love exploring the psychic and the psyche, the things that make people who they are, emotions and traumas that lead them to where they are in life.

I'm hoping that this new chapter (hah hah!) of my life is what I've always dreamed it would be... I hope that I'm able to write stories that people won't want to put down, that grab the reader and won't let go, and books that, at the end, my readers want to immediately pick up the next one. And I love my characters... so much so that just because they were in one book doesn't mean they'll have to take a backseat in the next. As long as people want to read about my characters, I'm sure the characters will tell me new stories to share!

Ah well... those very characters are clamoring for my attention again. Something about a video game that's actually a simulation for learning to fly small spacecraft so they can start exploring their new world... I need to go see what's up with that!