All Hail the New Year!

The new girl.

Happy New Year everyone!

Okay so it’s day 12 of the New Year and what have I done so far? Loads.

1. I’ve submitted Lachlan’s Curse to my publisher. Fingers crossed that it’s accepted.

2. I’ve purchased and am wearing a Fitbit. So far so good, but I’m not moving enough yet. I plan to rectify the situation by walking more and having younger son teach me some of his weight lifting moves.

I got the pink one!
I got the pink one!

3. I’m using My Fitness Pal to track my steps and food intake. It’s easy to use and it’s free. The good news – I am burning more calories than I’m eating. Go me!

4. I am officially one more cat away from being a crazy cat lady. In one week, we managed to rescue one cat from death row (via the wonderful folks at Mary’s Kitty Korner) and take in another stray that I’ve been feeding/seducing into my house for the last year.

The new girl.
The new girl.
The not so new boy.
The not so new boy.

 

5. I have officially started another book – Making Whoopie (book 2 after Over Easy which still needs serious spit and polish).

And that’s how my first twelve is going. How about you?

Also, this being a new year and all, if you haven’t joined my mailing list – you can find the link here.

If you’d like an invitation to join Tsuhere you go.

The Horror of #Word Crimes!

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Recently, Weird Al released another album which shot straight to number 1 on the Billboard Chart. Not since 1963 has a comedy album taken the top spot. Kudos to Weird Al!

And lucky for us writers, he’ s addressed a pressing issue – #Word Crimes! Please watch the following instructional video.

Be sure to laugh out loud if you feel so moved!

 

And then, please reflect upon Weird Al’s wisdom.

In an age where social media reigns supreme, it does seem like grammar is becoming a lost art. Sure, for us writers, solid knowledge of grammar is a must.  But it wasn’t until I chortled my way through this song, that I realized how many of these  mistakes also drive me mad.

Now, to be fair, before I began seriously writing, I’d forgotten some of those rules too. Comma placement continues to stump me. See the previous sentence – I probably used too many commas.  I don’t always punctuate dialog properly and the distinction between blond and blonde often baffles me (largely because publishers all handle it differently).

I am, by no means, a grammar nit-picker but one thing that does drive me nuts is spelling words wrong on purpose.

I’m looking at you SyFy Channel. For shame!!

I’m curious to know – which grammar mistakes drive you batty?

 

 

Are Authors Allowed to Have Opinions?

Lollipops

Once upon a time, in the dark days before the Internet, writers used to be inaccessible Titans of Storytelling. There was a mystique, a veil of awe, that separated the reader from their beloved authors. Many times, a faceless (unless there was an author photo) God who churned out books we love and who solely existed to bring us readers joy.

An intrepid fan could contact a writer via their publishers, snail mail or by attending a convention, book signing or other public appearance. Even then, the hallowed author of your favorite books/series/universe was somewhat of a celebrity, often rendering Roosteryou speechless. After all, chances were good that you’d approach the table, state your name so they could personalize your book, then you’d mumble something lame like – “I really love your books”, then move on**.

** quick aside – as a writer, we don’t think that’s lame at all. We appreciate knowing that readers enjoy our books.

Rarely did a reader learn or probably even try to discover the author’s political, religious or any beliefs at all. Nor as a reader, did we necessarily care – we just wanted them behind a keyboard churning out another book.

Ahh, how times have changed. Right?

Today, with multiple forms of social media, your friendly neighborhood author is just a mouse click away. The veil of mystique is shattered which begs the question – should author’s have opinions? How much is too much sharing?

Heck, do we even use our own names?

No doubt about it, there’s a fine line here between being yourself as a person and being a persona as a writer.

Some writers love to let it all hang out and are very vocal in their beliefs (example – Orson Scott Card). His very vocal views on homosexuality led to a firestorm that in all likelihood alienated fans. I know it made me think twice about him.

Other’s let the world know just enough about them to be enjoyable but don’t cross the TMI line (example – Kristan Higgins). Since Kristan and I are in the CTRWA together, I can attest that, yes, she is that down to earth, enjoys her man candy and loves her family. An ordinary person and a generous author with both her time and advice.

Does this mean writer’s shouldn’t have opinions? Are we not allowed to air our beliefs? Well, of course we’re allowed to have opinions and, hey, it’s a free country, right?

But again, it’s a fine line when it comes to what you say in public. So before you rant on Facebook or engage in a heated twitter battle, know the potential repercussions.

I like to apply the old adage – think before you speak (or type). And do unto others is also sound advice.Lollipops

Put yourself on the other side of the fence – think of yourself as a reader too. Ask yourself:

  • Does learning that your favorite author has a total opposite view than you change how you see them?
  • Would you stop buying their books if they expressed/ranted about XYZ?
  • Do you really want to know XXX level of detail?

For me personally, as a writer, I’d rather walk on the positive side and keep my personal views to myself, especially in the political arena. During the last election, I un-friended people on Facebook (fellow writers) because of too much political ranting.

And when I apply the reader test to myself, I find I’d rather hear about when the next book is coming out and what my favorite author has planned next. It’s not that I don’t think writers should have opinions, but I’d rather save it for face to face conversations or private correspondence.

I say –  be polite, accessible but leave a little of that old mystique.  Let the reader enjoy your books without too much information ruining their good time.

What do you think? Do you like to let it all hang out? Have you ever faced repercussions? Or have you found a happy medium?

The Times, They are A Changin’

Wishing for warmer days!

Not a lot to say today other than I’ve cut back on the amount of blogging I’m doing over at the Seven Scribes. As a group, we decided to post less based on all our busy writer schedules.

My next Scribe post will be on February 20th. The site recently received a make-over. Take a gander, since yours truly did the actual change over (courtesy of WordPress and their new Twenty-fourteen theme).

I’m in the home stretch of Lachlan’s Curse, draft 1. Yes, someday I will finish this book. I hope to do that by month end. We’ll see.

I haven’t been idle. Just focused on other things. I took an RWA class this past week and I finished edits for Mystic Hero and submitted it to my publisher (fingers crossed that they like it!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Wishing for warmer days!

I am not Procrastinating – Much!

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I am on the final leg of Lachlan’s Curse and I can’t seem to stop procrastinating!

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Cats don’t procrastinate. They sleep with purpose.

You may have noticed, the blog’s new look. The result of last Sunday’s bout of avoidance. Hey, at least the blog has a new, cool post slider! I’ve been wanting to figure that out for ages.

Older son, knowing me so well, wanted to share this all with you. It’s pretty damn funny. Sadly, I recognize myself in here! I bet you can relate too.

Meat, Potatoes, and a Whole Lotta Bacon! #paranormal

First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy of Mystic Ink on 6/4 and 6/5. I’m happy to say it made it to the #1 spot on the free Kindle, fantasy romance list (and #4 in paranormal romance).

Don’t fret if you missed out. My publisher has dropped the price of Mystic Ink to $2.99.

In other news, my Soul Mate sister Meggan Connors’ book Jessie’s War is free on Amazon for the next few days. Don’t miss a chance to read a fun Steampunk Civil War romance!

Also, today at the 7 Scribes, I continue my series on plotting – The Meat and Potatoes by Casey Wyatt.

As promised, the bacon!

Write with Feeling!

Today, I ponder the difference between good writing and talented writing. Plus my thoughts on what happens when an author loses their joy – Once More, with Feeling by Casey Wyatt. Stop by the 7 Scribes and share your views!!

And just a reminder – MYSTIC STORM is coming next week!

What’s It All About?

Writers, can you sum up your story in a sentence? And I don’t mean an elevator pitch – Your Journey Starts Here by Casey Wyatt.

I’m almost done with final, final edits to Mystic Storm! I hope to send them back to my editor before the weekend is over. Another gorgeous sunrise from my backyard.

Rejections and a Cover Reveal

Rejection. We’ve all been there. But how you deal with it is important – Wallowing and Other Coping Mechanisms. I’d love to hear your take on the subject.

And I’ve received the second round of edits for Mystic Storm. Like the cover?? Another fabulous design by Rae Monet.