Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Random Thoughts: Setting Those New Year Goals

Are you setting those writing goals for next year?

I have turned into a list person. If I don't make a list I forget to do something and most of the time it is important so I find they help me but I have learned not to put one big goal on that list. It can seem insurmountable. I do it in small chunks. I recommend doing that with your writing goals.

Making the goal to make a million dollars off of the sale of one book is great idea but what about all the little goals that lead up to it? It's not like you're going to sit there and just expect it to happen.

Make your goals realistic for you. If you can write a book a month then do it. If that is more than you can handle then focus smaller. A chapter in a week, a scene in a day, whatever works for you.

What are my goals?

Finish editing Stolen Desire
Finish editing book 8
Come up with a title for book 8
Write book nine
finish the rough I started of book 10 - yes I'm writing them out of sequence but it's the way the muse is driving me
finish the rough draft I started to Melange Books
Post to my blog more - not going to commit how much more but will try to do better
promote, promote. promote

What are yours?



Monday, December 23, 2013

Random Thoughts: A Christmas Poem

beautiful-christmas-tree
Tis a month before Christmas
And John is in the attic
What is he doing?
Snarling and growling because I’m in a panic
There are trees to put up – I’ve now go three
And rooms to decorate
There’s shopping and cooking – will I ever be free?
There’s the writing and editing and blogging for sure
My brain is spinning
Is there a cure?
But somehow I do it
Year after year
How I don’t know
But I succeed – never fear
I take a deep breath and do what I must
I write, then I edit then work on my blog
I push and push until I could bust
Now the holiday is here
And everything is done
I’m happy for my family, friends and my fans who are dear
My crazy mind that comes up with the wild stories that I share
For my job and my passion to write
Sometime they make me pull out my hair
But I love each story
I wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Barbara Donlon Bradley
www.barbaradonlonbraldey.com

Monday, December 16, 2013

Random Thoughts: Sometimes a Glitch Can Work in Your Favor

I write everything on a computer. I find it easier than writing it out by hand then reentering it into a word document. Not all writers will agree with this but it's what works best for me right now. I try to make sure I save everything regularly, but I have to admit that I'm not that good at it.

I start writing and get into a grove and that is all I think of. I must finish the scene. If I'm editing my latest book I want to finish the chapter. Once I'm done I move onto the next thing. Unfortunately I don't always remember to save my document and I'm horrible about making copies of it for those just in case moments.

I have lost pages of work before. Back when I first started writing I lost whole chapters. I was working in WP and would hit two keys at the same time when I went to save so instead of saving what I had done was ask it to delete then gave the command yes at the same time. It was a horrible feeling because I wasn't the fastest typer. The only great thing was all I was doing was imputing scenes that had already been written.

Now when I make a mistake like that I want to cry. All that hard work down the drain. I have to rewrite everything. You know what I found? Sometimes the scene I had to rewrite was stronger.

I always recommend you save and save and save again. I save to my computer, to a thumbdrive, I send the document to myself in an e-mail - one of the accounts that doesn't download the e-mails into my computer and I upload to something like the cloud. My cable company offered that to members and I take advantage of it.

But...if it does happen you need to remember as you rant and rave at the horror of it but that sometimes it could be a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Different Points of View

I know I've talked about POV before, but as I have been going through my mother-in-laws collection of lectures and programs form different RWA meetings and I found another little gem.

The four different points of View:

First Person POV: This - to me - is a restrictive POV. Always the 'I' POV wavering from it can confuse the reader. You are the character as you read a novel in first person and no matter what is going on in the scene the only thoughts and deductions you learn is from that character you embody.

Third Person POV: I think of this as being a witness to a scene. It's like you're a voyeur watching everything. They can't see you, but you're there, learning what they learn. seeing that they see, smelling what they smell...you get the picture?

Objective POV: This is where the author (us) tells part of the story but doesn't delve into the character's thoughts or feelings. To me a lot of those descriptive scenes that were popular in the 80's fall into this category.

Omniscient POV: Someone once explained that this viewpoint was like being a god in your story. You (the author) gives away information that the characters can't. Describes things that the characters can't see. As a writer you're intruding into the story by relating info to the reader that they wouldn't get from the characters you've created.

Most romances are written in third person. In fact when I was learning my craft it was beaten into me that I had to write in third person, and now I'm not sure I could write in any other POV. It's the one I'm most comfortable doing.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Random Thoughts: Can I put my family in my books?

I went to visit relatives on my mother's side of the family last month. They're such wonderful people with rich, funny stories that I would love to use at times. Part of me wonders if that is a smart idea. It is my family after all and I don't want to insult them, but I would never write any funny story in a negative light. I know that.

All of my family has had goofy moments. And do are our friends. I think we're magnets for the goofy in the world. My sister and her friends had done some wild stuff that I want to put in a book I just need to have a plot or story that brings it all together - I've been thinking about using a funeral because it is the time when people reminisce. Then I can create the people I want.  A German aunt using the word yonder with a sturdy German accent. A cousin who lost a finger and bragged about it. Friends climbing into the wrong cars, walking into things. I fear after I write it my readers won't believe they were true stories, but as they say truth is stranger than fiction.






Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: FUMBLERULES

I found this wonderful flyer that I received from my local RWA chapter years ago that talks about grammar and proper sentence structure. It's called Fumblerules a lighthearted guide to grammar and good usage by William Safire.

There are ten of them - now I don't know if I agree with all of them but a lot are things to avoid. Here's the list and my comments.

1. No sentence fragments - the english majors out there will say 'yes, yes. Must stick to that.' But I have learned in fiction you can break this rule - you just have to do it right. I use them from time to time but it always to make a point. I pick my moments carefully.

2. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read - I do agree with this one - when I was in high school I was the queen of run-on sentences but learned to control it. Still every once in a while they creep back into my work. I'm so glad for my editor. She catches all those mistakes.

3. A writer must not shift your point of view - I love this one it is a perfect example of shifting from third person to first which can get totally confusing. If you are in third you need to stay there.

4. Do not put statements in the negative form - I do agree with this - double negatives are the worst. My sister had a boyfriend years ago who said this wonderful statement - 'I used to didn't be' - what? I know what he meant but what a way to say it.

5. Don't use contractions in formal writing - this is one I'm not sure of. When I was prepublished we were lucky enough to have an english teacher as part of our critique group. She said the exact opposite - at least when it came to dialog. Contractions are part of our speech and when you have your characters speaking without them it tends make the story read very formal and can pull your readers out of your story.

6. The adverb always follow the verb - no argument from me on this one.

7. Make an all out effort to hyphenate when necessary but not when un-necessary. This one is fun when you write SF or futuristic romances where sometimes you have to make up your own words. Then I have to remember if I hyphenated them from on book to another. To make my life easier I try not to use any hyphenated words.

8. Don't use Capital letters without good REASON.  Totally agree - I used to have a boss who used caps to show his anger - I saw them all the time in e-mails and hated it. He used them so much after a while they didn't mean anything. It was like watching someone yell through a closed window. Using too many caps can do the same thing.

9. It behooves us to avoid archaisms - What? Who talks like that anymore...which is the point. Don't use old archaic words unless you are writing a historical and even then you should keep your reader in mind when you use some of these words - same thing with cliches. It's like beating a dead horse.

10. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. I love this one and most of the time author's get it right. Every once in a while I'll catch someone who forgets when to use its and it's, but it's okay.  We all make mistakes.

Hope this helps - I always love going through these handouts.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Random Thoughts: When my writing is bleah

Have you ever had those days when you hate every word you put on paper? I have. In fact this is the third post I have started because the other two are just awful. I hope to fix them, but just not in the mood right now.

What do you do when you don't like your own writing? Well, you could cry and curl into a little ball, but that won't get the story written. You could get mad and throw the proverbial pen at the wall. Or could could take a deep breath and power through.

Sometimes what you think is the worst piece of drivel to glow on a computer screen isn't so bad when you go back and look at. With a little rewriting you can salvage it. Maybe make it shine.

Don't give up on your writing. Ever. Keep going, keep pushing. In the long run it will make you a stronger writer.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Writing Done the Bones: How Many Times Do You Edit the Book?

Now that is a question isn't it. Once you have it written you start the editing process. You clean it, and polish it over and over. But it just doesn't feel finished. You're tired of looking at it. You just want to send it off but...you don't feel good about doing that.

When is enough enough? I remember being at a program given by my local RWA chapter. The person running it said we're done when we're so tired of editing it we want to throw the book against the wall.

I think that's a good time to stop.

Each book is going to be different. Some of my books only needed a little editing, but the one I'm working on now needs a lot. I think I'm going for my fourth or fifth run through. I tried many ways to cut down the process but have found that writing that rough draft then fleshing it out works the best for me - it just some books need more flesh than others.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shameless Promoting: New Release and a Few other Things...

Having two books come out within two months of each other has had me doing one promotion after another. The Blog visits are the best but my goodness I have been busy.

But my big exciting news is Forgotten Desire - Book 6 in the Vespian Way has now been released! Look at the cover! It's Beautiful and sexy!



Here's the Blurb:

Available at Phaze:
Coming to Amazon:
Blurb:
Heather and Storm’s Story continues...
Storm is lost in time and without his memories and Heather has to go after him. As much as she wants to she can’t just bring him home she has to make him remember before they can return to their own timeline. So she has to find a way to jar his memory free. While she is back in time she finds out Ialog is there and has been slipping something to Storm to keep his memories form coming back.

This was one of my favorites to write!

I'm also doing a release party at TRS on Thursday! I hope this is the right link - http://trsparties.com/ Please come by and say Hi - I'll be raffling off an electronic copy of Dominated By Desire as a celebration for this latest release.

At the beginning of October I'm blogging at ARe. I'm blogging at after Dark again tomorrow 9/25/13. On Oct 3rd I'll be at Alisha Robinson's Blog again - I'll be talking about Humor. I'm also doing a program for the MFRW Pitch Camp through their forums at LRC.

There's probably more but my brain isn't working for me.

Barb:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Character Goals

When you start your story you need to think of your plot. Is it strong enough? Is it believable? Do you have more than one plot in the story? Believe it or not every character in your book should have one. Your hero, heroine, the sidekick, the bad guy. The girl on the street. If they don't then why are they in the book?

Your main characters need goals. It gives them something to move toward in your story. An achievement they reach at the end of the book. And those goals can conflict. You have a bad guy who's goal is to kill and a good guy whose goal is to stop him. You have the beginnings of a strong plot. Your reader will continue to turn the page, wanting to know who will win. Especially if the goals are plausible.

 Then you need to ask if it's believable. If not what do you need to do to make it believable.

So lets try an example:

You have a hero who wants to open a book store - okay that's the first goal. A nice simple one. Now why does he want to open the book store? Because it would be fun? Not strong enough. Because he had tried to start a business before and failed miserably and needs to prove he's not a failure? Okay that makes the plot a little stronger.

Now why would writing a book about opening a book store be something to write about. It's a pretty boring topic. It needs something else. So what sort of spin are you going to put on this? Is it a murder mystery?

That could be good - he gets the building and finds a body in there and he is accused of the murder.

How about a romance? That's the way I'd go.

Every romance has a heroine. Someone for the hero to love. She could be a good twist to the plot. But how? Hmm, let's make her one of those people who sticks up for the little man, hates the big businesses who have the money to force small companies to close their doors.

So our heroine is an activist. She's heard of the corporation that wants to buy the same land our hero is interested in. It is a beautiful old building that has a great history. One of the oldest one in the town. She remembers what this same corporation did in her hometown and swore to stop them from doing it again. The building needs to be saved!

She going to fight for our hero, even though he might not want any help. Hmm, he doesn't want any help. His goal is to prove his family wrong, not fight for some old building. If this site doesn't work out he could try another one. He needs to prove to his brother, the big corporate man, that he doesn't need to be bailed out over and over again. He can do this on his own. An activist would just get in his way.

See how this is developing? What other twist can I had? How about the CEO of the corporation is his brother and he's not this big evil person the heroine has in her mind. The CEO  has wanted to help breathe life into the small towns he feels he can save. What he doesn't know is that the man in charge of these particular jobs is not doing what he's supposed to. He hasn't been saving the towns, just lining his pockets and covering his tracks.

So we have a man who wants to open a book store to prove he isn't a failure. A heroine who wants to save the building because she had failed at saving one in her own town and refuses to allow that to happen again. A brother who is blind to the wrongdoing that is undermining his goals.

I got it.  The hero wants to prove his worth to his brother and thinks opening the bookstore would be a good way to do that. The heroine hated that she couldn't save her local library from being knocked down to make way for a strip mall that failed. She champions the save the bookstore, pushing her theories unto our hero about the evil corporation. First he's angry that his brother is going for the same property and confronts him and finds that his brother believes he's been doing all this good. He knows his brother would never lie to him and researches the other towns. He learns the heroine is also telling the truth. Now he has to help his brother by ferreting out the man who is lining his pockets. He ends up proving to himself that he is worthy, which his brother knew all the time. The brother learns he doesn't have to coddle his sibling. The man can take care of himself. And our heroine learns that she didn't fail her town. It was destined to fail because of the weasel.

Now you have something to start with. As a pantser this gives me everything I need to write the story. The romance will be blended in as I go. I never put it into the blurb I use to base my book off of. And story might change a little as I go but I have my beginning and my end the rest will come.

Hope this helps.

Barb:)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Shameless Promoting: Are you tired of me yet?

I have learned something with all this promotion I've been doing - write it down. With two books coming out within two months of each other I feel a little crazy trying to keep up with it all. In the past I've listed my blog visits all in one Blog but this time I wasn't as organized. sigh.

But I am excited to announce that I'm at After Dark Writers today! Stop by and say hi! I'm revealing my new book cover for Forgotten Desire! And there's an excerpt for you to read as well.

Here's the address: http://after-dark-writers.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32983623-after-dark-welcomes-barbara-bradley

Barb:)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Shameless Promoting: I'm at the Eclectic Writer Blog

I'm excited to announce that I'm at Janet Lane Walters Blog today answering questions about how I come up with my characters and stories today and tomorrow!

Here's the link for the questions she asked me - http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/2013/09/fridays-how-she-does-it-featuring.html

Tomorrow she'll post an excerpt and the cover of my latest book Hesitant Desire.

http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/

Please stop on by and say hi!

Barb:)


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Technical Stuff - updating my Blog

Hi All!

I'm updating this blog and am adding pages to it - I don't know if anyone has noticed it yet but I have already added a page with my contact stuff as well as inexpensive promo's and I'll be adding more.

My goal is to make it easy for writers to find what we're looking for all in one place. It's not easy to scour the web to find place to advertise your particular baby. Maybe this will make it a little easier.

I'm putting a list together for free advertising as well as well a couple of pages for where an author can blog. I have been blogging everywhere lately and I found them because of the yahoo groups I'm on. I don't think I would have found them if I hadn't been on those groups.

I'll be adding to these lists as I learn of new blogs or places to advertise. If you know of some feel free to let me know about it in the comment section.

Same thing goes for being listed on the blog hosts pages - if you host authors and you're interested in being added leave me a comment with the name of the blog, blog address, what your requirements are, and contact info. I do have this blog set for approval by me before I release it so if you're afraid sensitive material will be released don't be - just let me know not to post it and I won't.

Barb:)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shameless Promoting: I'm at it again

Boy have I been busy!

I've been lucky enough to do all these different blogs and I can't thank the hosts enough!

Today you'll find me at KMN talking about how the writing world has changed over the years - come by and say hi! http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-writing-world-has-changed.html

I'm also doing a cover reveal for Forgotten Desire at Alisha Robinson's site sometime today - It's a gorgious cover please stop by and see it - http://alisharobinson.com/

Barb:)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Shameless Promoting: I seem to be everywhere

Promoting is a way of life with writers. I have been a bit busy with it. I have been lucky enough to do several blogs this week and I have one more to make everyone aware of. Please check out Katya Armock. You'll get to read the blurb and excerpt of Hesitant Desire. Come by and say Hi!

http://katyaarmock.com/2013/08/18/permission-to-speak-freely-hesitant-desire-by-barbara-donlon-bradley/

Barb:)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shameless Promoting: My Author Interview and BC Brown's Blog

Well I'm at it again. With the recent release of Hesitant Desire I've been interviewed by B.C. Brown. I had a lot of fun answering the questions and hope you'll stop by and say hi!

Here's the Link:

http://bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com/2013/08/barbara-bradley-hesitant-desire-author.html

I'm doing a few more blogs over the next few weeks and will post them as I get the webpages.

Barb:)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: A Set of New Eyes

It doesn't matter if you're working on your very first book or your fiftieth you can always use another set of eyes on your manuscript. Having someone else to read your work helps you catch the words you 'think' you see. They find those awkward phrases and run-on sentences. I don't think anyone is immune.

I just finished with the edits for Forgotten Desire and my editor caught several of those stupid little words that I missed. And when you see what they are you'll think she should have known better and you're right, but I 'saw' the right one even though it was wrong.

breaks - brakes My heroine was riding a motorcycle - and every time I read it I saw brakes but had written breaks. How goofy!!!

dear - deer - Aw come on! Don't I know the difference? You know what - I didn't even see the a - I was blind to it.

then - than - Goodness gracious! This one too?

If it wasn't for my editor that would have been published!

Before you ask, no, I don't have a critique group anymore. In the beginning of my writing career I did. Members of my local RWA chapter got together after our meeting once a month and helped each other out with our WIPS. It worked out great for a while, but as people came and went in the chapter I found it wasn't working for me.

Then I became a member of another wonderful critique group. We worked well together and of the six of us four of us were published. I ended up stepping away from the group when it became too much for me. I miss my partners, but we do keep in touch.

When I first started writing I wondered why there weren't that many published authors in the critique group, but now that I 'm the one published I do get it. Between writing, editing those works and trying to promote I don't have the time to be part of a critique group and help the way I want to. Working a day job and focusing on my writing takes up all my time. I think that is why I'm doing this writing down the bones series. My way of giving back.

As I was working on this blog an author on one of the many loops I belong to posted this information on critique groups. I don't know anything about these groups but decided to include it because it could help those looking for a critique group who might not belong to RWA or aren't close enough to a chapter to meet on a regular basis.

Barb:)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shameless Promoting: TRS End of the Summer Bash

All this week The Romance Studio is doing an End of Summer Bash. There are lots of wonderful authors posting (including me). I'll be posting excerpts from each of the five books in the Vespian Way plus a sneak peek at book 6 - Forgotten Desire through out the week.

Here's my first post! http://trsparties.com/2013/08/11/the-vespian-way-series-book-one-dominated-by-desire/

Come and check it out and leave a comment!

http://trsparties.com

Barb:)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shameless promoting: Hesitant Desire is out!

I'm excited to announce that the fifth book in my series Hesitant Desire is now available at Phaze! It's available in print and download. Check it out! www.phaze.com/author.php?author=21
And Phaze has a 20 % off right now too - all you need to do is use promo word is SUN when you check out!

Here's the blurb:

Heather swore she’d never go back to Aruka after a mission had gone bad. The planet had an archaic view of women and Heather fought against those views, angering one man to the point of whipping her. Now Earth has requested she rescue a missing woman on that planet. She wants to say no, but Storm has already accepted for her, as long as he accompanies her. They hoped it would be a quick in and out assignment but didn’t expect to run into the man carrying such hatred for her all these years. Now they have to try to finish their mission while evading the man who’s only goal is to make Heather pay for her crimes.

Here's to cover:



If you wish to read the excerpt I'm going to ask you to go to the phaze website. I haven't locked this blog with the adult content and the book has a few spicy scenes I can't post. Just go to www.phaze.com/auhtor.php?author=21 and enjoy.

Thanks,

Barb:)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Passive Voice

The Passive voice. The he was talking instead of he talked. That to be verb is a pesky little thing and most of us don't even know we're using it. There is nothing wrong with it but a lot can slow down the pace of your story.

Once it was pointed out to me I started watching out for it. I actually used to go through chapter by chapter and highlight all the was's I had in a chapter and looked for a new way to write the sentence to get rid of the to be verb. That helped me remove a lot of them and taught me how to avoid them in the first place.

This is what I mean:

I was sitting next to my sister while my uncle was telling a story about my grandmother. Grandma was going through menopause and had been doing some goofy things. The story was about how she threw a plate of spaghetti at him, had it hit the wall and then she demanded to know how it got there. This was a new story and we laughed at the idea. I was glad I never saw that side of her.

The above paragraph has five sentences yet has six was's which I highlighted. Now I'm going to tell the same story again, but this time pull out those was's.

I sat next to my sister as my uncle told a story about my grandmother. One we'd never heard before. While going through menopause she did some goofy things. Her and my uncle argued in the kitchen and in a fit of anger she threw a full plate of spaghetti at his head, narrowly missing it. The spaghetti smacked against the wall. Five seconds later she berated him for the mess. I laughed as I silently thanked God I never saw that side of her.

Same basic paragraph, but to get around the was's I changed the sentences, making it more active. There are now seven sentences and no was's.

There is nothing wrong with the passive voice and sometimes you just can't avoid it but the more you remove the faster paced your story will be.

Barb:)






Friday, July 19, 2013

Shameless Promoting: I'm at Tina Donahue's blog today

Here;s a quick note to let you know I'm at Tina Donahue's blog today - I posted about writing - it is a career or a hobby.

Barb's at my site today - http://www.tinadonahue.com/blog/ - giving you a sneak peek into her awesome romance Hesitant Desire. I adore the cover!
Please drop by to learn more about this great book, and leave a comment to show your love. :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Random Thoughts:Getting back in the Groove

It's always hard for me to get back into the writing groove when I go on vacation. It's the time I step away from everything, including my books. I need to do that every so often so I don't burn out or hit writers block.

I went to see my sister for four days. I knew I wouldn't get much writing done but I brought my laptop anyway. Maybe I could squeeze a little time in somewhere along the way. The fact is I didn't even take my laptop out of the bag. Not once. But four days later I knew I'd have to get back to the grind.

It's so easy to let other things get in the way when you stop writing. Even if it 's just a day or two. There was a lot for me to use as an excuse I returned. There were e-mails from all the loops, all the junk mail that had piled up on the counter, the dreaded pile of laundry from the trip. It would be so simple to focus on catching up to forget about writing for a few more days. But I'm afraid if I do that then days will turn into weeks then months.

So one of the first things I do is pull my laptop out and turn it on. I might spend more time than I should deleting e-mails from my loops but it's up and running and those loops pertain to writing so I'm working on writing even if I'm not working on my stories. I also open my manuscripts up. Even if all I do is reread what I had written before I left I'm working on focusing on my books again. I do try to write something. It might take me a day or two to get back to writing for several hours a day but I do get there.

I love to write. It's a wonderful gift given to me and I don't want to ignore it so each time I take a break I make sure that break doesn't stop me forever.






Thursday, June 27, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Mixing it up with Sentence Structure

The way you word your story is important. Too many sentences written the same way can bore your reader. Starting your sentences with the same word can do the same thing. Remember though when you're doing that rough draft just write. Don't worry about what word to use, if you have overused a word or if there is enough variety in your sentence structure. Once you start editing then you'll be looking at these things.

So, let's look at sentences written the same way.

Needing to see if any of her friends had arrived, Mary looked around the bar to see if she could spot anyone. Not seeing anyone, she sat at the bar. Wondering if she was too early, she went ahead and ordered a drink. Hearing her name called out, she looked around again.

Even though I started the sentences in the above paragraph with different words they are the same structure. That gets monotonous. So how would I fix it?

Mary hoped she wasn't too early. She was supposed to meet her friends here for a few drinks. Looking around, she didn't see anyone so went to the bar and ordered a drink.

"Mary!"

Her girlfriend's voice was loud enough to cut through her thoughts. Mary turned around and smiled. They were tucked in a small alcove toward the back. No wonder she didn't see them.

The same information was there but by changing the sentence structures I actually added more depth. You get a little of Mary's emotions. You learn that one of her friends has one of those voices that can cut through a crowd.

Now let's look at sentences starting the same way. The most common one is the he/she sentences.

She walked across the room to her friends, carrying her drink. She smiled as she sat down in the only empty chair. She was happy to be out of the house.

Grabbing her drink, Mary walked across the room to her friends. It was good to see them again. Work had been so hectic she hadn't had a chance to get away like this in a while. A smile filled her lips as she sat down in the only empty chair. Now this was the way to spend an evening.

Changing the sentences gives you a little more of Mary's thoughts and what she's been through. We  now know her work has been occupying a lot of her time and made her miss a few social gatherings. The choices I made here also took out some of the telling out and converted it to showing and made it a little less passive voice.

There is so much more to this sentence structure, that I'm not going to try to cram it all into one blog - I will continue to touch on it from time to time.

Barb:)




Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Thoughts: An Anonymous comment

I want to thank the person who left the anonymous comment on my last post - the more I thought about the post the more I wanted to make a blog about it and I was trying to come up with a subject for this post. I don't know what sort of firestorm I'm going to make over this, but what is life without a little controversy every once in awhile?

I could have deleted it and moved on, or released it and see what sort of comments I got to that particular blog - but no. I like to grab the bull by the horns.

Here's the comment first: Nice tips. Only drawback to this was that you used a well-established author;s title for her book as your own. Somewhat deceives the reader into clicking your link. using the title for "Writing Down the Bones" has nothing to do with what you've writing about here.
Anonymous


It made me go hmmm.

This is the fifth book in the series. I bet the at least three of the four other titles have been used before too. Why did this title get singled out? Titles aren't copyrighted. I remember years ago when three authors - well-established authors - each had a book coming out in the same month and with the same title. It was a big buzz around the RWA water cooler.

I didn't pick this title to ride on someone else's coat tales, I picked it because it fit the storyline of the book. I have a publisher and they didn't have a problem with the title and they have the last say. I don't know what other book has the same title as mine but I'm not worrying about it. The cover is done. The book comes out at the end of the month.

What I wanted to know was why anonymous would say a 'well-established author'. Is she saying I'm not well-established? What qualifies someone as well established? Who they publish with? How many books they have out? How long they've been published?

Hard Shell Word factory was one of the first electronic/small press publishers. I went with them because they were established and all the authors I knew who wrote for them had nothing but good things to say about them. Phaze is well known for erotic romance. Both are owned by Mundania which is a pretty big publisher.

I sold my first book in 1999 and have sold 19 titles since I became published. I have three full length books published through Hard Shell Word Factory. I had a short non-fiction article published in Crumbs in the Keyboard through Epsilon Press. I had four short stories all in different anthologies through Midnight Showcase and when they sold to Melange, Melange release all four shorts into one book  - I do count that as another sale. Then I sold another short which is in an anthology called Paranormal Dreams. (so we're at 10 right now) Phaze has  published 7 of my full length manuscripts is releasing Hesitant Desire at the end of the month and just bought book six, Forgotten Desire. Is nineteen not enough?

A friend of mine, Cathy Maxwell, said that getting five books sold proved you could write for a living. Depending on how you take that it could mean established.

On to the next comment. I'm deceiving people with my title and making them follow my link. That made me wonder. Hesitant Desire doesn't have a link. It hasn't been released yet and Phaze doesn't pre-sell. And are readers that naive to not know the name of the author they are looking for? When you do a book search by title the most popular authors are at the top of the list or those with a good promoter and I do my own promoting. I'm not a big I.T. person where I could load code to make my name come to the top.

When I started my Writing Down the Bones part of this blog I explained that it was my writing style. I start with the bones and flesh them out. I have been in this business a long time and I want to share the wealth. I have explained in different posts that I will jump around from time to time because of things that pop into my head.

I have to disagree with Anonymous, the cover page to a manuscript is something basic not all writers know. It fits the rest of the posts I have loaded. As time goes on I'll be talking about cover letters, outlines and that dreaded synopsis.

The fact that Anonymous didn't sign their name makes me wonder if they are the author of the book mentioned and feel I will steal potential readers. Maybe they are someone I know and are afraid to tell me who they are. Ir doesn't really matter but I can't help but ask these questions.

I would love to hear what you guys who read this think.



Barb:)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: The Cover Page for Your Manuscript

As an editor for a publisher I'm learning that not everyone uses a cover page and there are times when I wished they did. The cover page has all the simple details the publisher needs. I was reading one manuscript and had no idea what genre it was. I couldn't tell if it was a romance, or murder mystery. That cover page would have answered my question.

A cover page is pretty simple. It should have the title of the book, what genre it is in, how many words, your name (and if you use a pen name both should be on the cover page), mailing address, email address, phone number.

Here's what mine looks like:

I always center it on the page and the line


Forgotten Desire

Book Six

The Vespian Way

SF/Futuristic Erotic Romance

80,000 words

Barbara Donlon Bradley 

Pen Name: Don't use one*

Mailing Address

Phone number

e-mail address

* I don't write pen name: I don't have one - I did that so you guys get an idea of what you should write

Just by this simple information you know the title, that it is a series and which book in the series I'm submitting, you know it's science fiction/futuristic, you know it is an erotic romance and you know it is a full length manuscript.

This does help the editor when he or she is reading your book for the first time. Not every book tells you what it is in the very beginning. What if it is a time travel and it starts off as a contemporary. Without the cover page the editor isn't going to know that. What if they are looking for time travel but have plenty of contemporaries? You could be shooting yourself in the foot without that cover page. Not every editor gets your synopsis or cover letter that might have that detail.

Using a cover page is up to you, but I do recommend it. It makes your manuscript look more professional, and gives your potential publisher the info they want in a quick glance.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random Thoughts: Is Writing a Joy or a Curse?

I love to write.

Watching my page count get larger and larger shows my accomplishment toward the goal of finishing the book. I get lost in the words flowing from my fingers to the page. I write every day. I start at eight p.m., although I'll start earlier when I can, and work until one or two in the morning. Sometimes I might only get a page or two done, sometimes it's like my keyboard is on fire.

But I also need to have people buy my books so I can continue to write, so I need to promote. I work on that as often as I can. Sometimes every day. I'll write a blog, then do an author interview, I've done chats on loops I belong to. I check those loops for promos I can do and the circle begins again.

I also edit for one of my publishers. Right now on my laptop, which is where I do all my writing, is the book I'm writing, the book I have finished writing and am now editing to send in to my publisher, another author's manuscript that I am editing for the publisher I edit for, a submission I'm reading to see if my publisher should accept it, an interview for a new loop I just joined, and the outline I'm doing for my publisher for the latest book they purchased from me. I don't see it as a lot until I look at how many files I have open at one time.

I need to write, but don't want to ignore anything else so I don't focus on one particular thing for too long before I move onto the next one. This way each gets an equal amount of focus. But there are days where I only want to work on my stories. Feel that joy coursing through my veins. I give myself one day a week to do that, but when the need drives me I'll focus on the one thing that won't leave me alone.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Who's Talking?

The question I have struggled with is how often do I use the name of my character? Is there a formula? When I was pre-published I had a wonderful critique group through my local RWA chapter and I learned a lot from them. When we first started everyone in the critique group was pre-published, but quite a few of us were able to step over that line and are now published. In the beginning we needed to learn the craft. Each of us had our strong points and we shared what we knew to make each of us a better writer.

At one of these critiques I was told that I didn't use my character's names enough, and when I asked how often I should use them I got an ambiguous answer. No one really knew, they just knew I should have used them more to keep the character's name in their heads.

My thought was great, so how am I supposed to figure this out? Someone did recommend I use them after I used the word she/he six times and I latched onto that. If I used she six times then I used my character's name. I didn't take into consideration that in dialogue I might be using the character's name as well, or that I might have used a pet name to identify the character.

So I continued to learn my craft. I read books on writing, studied other writer's work. I strengthened my writing skills. Then I sold. Happy dancing commenced.

It took an editor telling me I used my character's names too many times in one of my manuscripts  for me to relook at my little formula. By this time I have learned a little more and started looking at how I was using my formula. How many sentences do I start with she or he? Maybe I need to rewrite the sentence so I'm not beating my reader in the head with their name. Do I have a lot of characters in the scene or just two? Am I being very clear in the dialogue? Does it clearly show who is talking?

I still don't have a tried and true way. I don't think there is one, but as I go through a manuscript I do focus on how many people I have in the scene. The more people the more often I'll use their name. Does my characters have pet names for each other that I use to help identify who's in the scene. Does the description help tell who's speaking? Is there other things I'm using to show who's talking or thinking?

What I do is more of a feel now. If the sentence sounds like it needs their name then I use it. I wish there was a perfect formula for this. You need to study, read books on writing, study your fellow authors and see how they are doing it. Keep trying different ways to let your reader know who is talking, and if you do ever come up with a formula let the rest of us know.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Random thoughts: Time

Some weeks I find it easy to write two blogs a week then there are others where I can't seem to get anything done.

Why?

What makes one week crazier than another. I have the same amount of hours in each week. I feel I manage my time pretty well. I juggle everything each day so everything gets done, well, sort of. Enough to keep things going.

Does my mind hit a twilight zone of some sort where I zone out? Do I become distracted too easily? Am I doing more in one week than the other and I just don't realize it?

As a writer there is a lot you need to do. Write of course. There are always stories to tell. Promotion because you need to get your name out there. Social networking, for me it's connecting with other writers. I'm a lurker on most of my loops, commenting every once in a while, but I do read the business posts. Look for free promotion, see who's advertizing with what company. Try to find out who getting the biggest bang for their buck.

Then there's the pay the bill job, dealing with my family which includes being a caregiver to my 85 year old mother-in-law, and taking care of the house.

hmmm...as I read through this I realize I'm doing a lot all the time and some weeks other things take priority.

I wish I could clone myself.

Barb:)





Sunday, May 5, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: The five senses

When I first started writing I was beaten over the head about using the five senses. I always used two to three but never seemed to get the other two. It took me a while to figure out how to do bring all five senses in, but the brow bearing did work.

I'm talking smell, taste, sight, hearing and touching Adding them to your scenes can give your story that three dimensional feel that readers love.

Some of these are easy to use:

Sight is whatever your character sees. The red overstuffed chair the person speaking to them is sitting in. The bare light bulb illuminating the room.

Hearing can be covered by the dialog, because you know your character is hearing what the other character in the scene said but you can also add more by telling your reader about the dog howling outside the open window or the tires screeching in the distance.

Smell might not be something you think about, but when you mention the scent of a trash bin wafting through the window or the musty smell of the hot room.

Taste isn't always easy to work in but you can do it. The salt of the sweat beading on your characters upper lip. If they are drinking then you can bring in the bitterness of the coffee or the welcomed coolness of the iced tea, the tepidness of the water from a rusty tap.

Touch is another one a lot of people leave out. Tell your reader how the red overstuffed chair feels. Is your character leaning on a door jam? Is the wood cool to the touch? How hot is that cup of coffee?

This doesn't have to be done in every single scene, but the more scenes you can put all the senses in the more three dimensional your story will become to your reader.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shameless promoting! Latest update on the Vespian Way

I'm excited to let everyone know that Phaze is releasing my entire Vespian Way series in print to get ready for the release of my fifth book in the series - Hesitant Desire at the end of May.


Blurb for Hesitant Desire: Heather swore she’d never go back to Aruka after a mission had gone bad. The planet had an archaic view of women and Heather fought against those views, angering one man to the point of whipping her. Now Earth has requested she rescue a missing woman on that planet. She wants to say no, but Storm has already accepted for her, as long as he accompanies her. They hoped it would be a quick in and out assignment but didn’t expect to run into the man carrying such hatred for her all these years. Now they have to try to finish their mission while evading the man who’s only goal is to make Heather pay for her crimes.

Dominated by Desire was released on April 9th!

Blurb for Dominated By Desire: Heather can’t believe she is the only person on Earth that can protect Storm, the ambassador from Vespia. It has something to do with some pheromone the Vespian male exudes. Although everyone tells her she is immune she doesn’t agree. There is something about the man that makes her desire skyrocket whenever she is around him.

Storm finds the Heather fascinating, bright violet eyes that hold a world of emotions in them. He finds himself drawn to her, wanting her with a depth he never experienced before. When she becomes the focal point of several kidnapping attempts he realizes she’s going to need his protection, the perfect excuse to get to know her better.

Passionate Desire was released on April 23rd!

Blurb for Passionate Desire: Storm and Heather’s story continues…
Kuarto hates getting sucked into the passionate releases of a couple he has suddenly developed a mindlink with. The only time the three of them merge is when they’re climaxing. They can’t stay away from each other and it is interfering with his work. If things weren’t bad enough a beautiful woman crash lands in his backyard. He goes to the site to rant and rave but learns her memory is gone. Until he can release her memory he has to explain her presence so pretends she is his mail-order bride. Passion flares between them as he does his best to figure out who she is.

Toki was sent to speak to Heather’s brother but she loses her memory when her ship crash lands near his house. Memory or not he is a handsome man and she is drawn to him. They become intimate quickly and she can’t get enough. By the time her brother and mate come to find her she knows her feelings for Kuarto are real and she has to choose between a job she has been groomed for all her life or the man who is her destiny.

Animal Desire should be released on the 30th and Unwanted Desire should be released at the beginning of May.

Animal Desire Blurb: Heather is now six months pregnant and finds her mate a bit overprotective. She can’t help if she glows when she is frustrated. Things get a little more complicated when she is called home because of Ialog. He released information, making it look like she is being mistreated by the Vespians. How is she going to hide her pregnancy? She left Earth sterile.

Storm isn’t happy about her leaving the safety of Vespia, but wants to show that Heather is happy and safe under his care. He knows Ialog and is worried the man is going to try to take his mate from him again. His fears become very real when Ialog kidnaps her. Now he has to find a way to bring her home.


Unwanted Desire Blurb: Heather and Storm’s story continues:
Sam can’t remember her past. The only reason she knows her name is because of a necklace found on her. Her lack of memory makes her perfect to work undercover as an event coordinator for Carlos Mason, an entrepreneur who has ties to the seedier side of business. When someone makes an attempt on Mason’s life Skye Latimer is assigned to be her bodyguard. Now Sam has to deal with trying to get her memory back, an annoying man she finds she can’t ignore and find something the government can use against Mason.

Skye Latimer has been told to keep Samantha safe at all costs. He doesn’t know why, but it doesn’t matter. He is the best. Getting close to her was easy. Keeping his hands to himself is another matter. Now Skye has to fight his growing attraction to Sam, try to figure out who she really is as well as keep her from being forced to do whatever Mason has planned.

Hesitant desire is supposed to be released in e-book as well as print at the end of May.

Be on the lookout!


Barb:)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: First Person Vs Third Person

When you start your manuscript you need to ask yourself if you want to write in first person or third person. Although most fiction works are written in third there are a few exceptions. Murder mysteries are well known for being in first person.

There isn't a steadfast rule that says you must write in third person. I think most of us do it because it is easier to switch between your main characters when you want to switch the point of view.

But if you're going to write in first person you have to stick with it throughout the scene (and most stick to the one character through the whole book) you're working on. Writing it all in first person then suddenly switching to third will confuse your reader.

I have noticed if you decide to write in first person you will learn point of view very quickly. You can only convey what is going on through the eyes of your character and no one else in that scene. POV purists will tell you that you have to do that with third person as well, but I have seen authors switch in the middle of a scene - in fact I'm guilty of it myself - if there was something I wanted to convey and it only takes one line I will switch POV's for that moment. It's a lot more jarring when you switch from first person to third person.

I know, you've read books by very famous authors who head hop all the time. Big name authors can break the rules, but those of us who are just starting out shouldn't. Publishers want a clean manuscript. They don't have the time to teach an author the art of writing and if your story is good but needs a lot of editing and there is another manuscript that is good but doesn't have to be cleaned up that much guess which one the editor is going to buy?

The decision to write in first or third is up to the author. It depends on how you want to convey the story. Once you decide though stick to it. Don't confuse your readers, your editor or yourself by switching back and forth.




Monday, April 15, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Past Tense Vs Present Tense

Past tense or present tense - which one will work best for your manuscript? I have found it easier to tell a story in past tense. But I think it comes naturally for me because most of the books I read are in past tense.

I know it can be a little confusing when writing dialog, character thoughts, and description. When and where should you use the present tense vs the past tense?

The best rule of thumb I can give you is the one I use - if in dialogue use present tense. Description is normally in past tense.

Here's an example:

"And Bob stands there while she dumps the whole jar of pickles on him." - how many times have you retold and used present tense to retell a story? As a writer you need to trust your instincts on something like this.

Bob stood there while she dumped the whole jar of pickles on him. - I took the quotes away and turned it into a description so I used past tense.

But what about thoughts?

Most publishers want you to use them sparingly so I'd try to stay away but if you feel the need.

Bob stood there. Please tell me she's not going to dump that whole jar on me. - Bob stood there - past tense because it's a description. Please tell me she's not going to dump that whole jar on me. - internal dialogue - changed to first person and present tense.

I hope this makes sense to you as you write. The one thing I'm trying to say is to watch your tenses as you write. You should be sure if you are writing in present tense you need to stick to it. Same thing with past tense. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Editing Galleys

As I write these Writing Down the Bones posts you'll find I bounce around a little, depending on what I run across as I'm editing. This post is a perfect example. I've been working on editing the galleys for Dominated By Desire for its print release.

Never had to deal with anything like this before. When I sold to Harshell Word Factory and Melange the print copy released the same time as the electronic so whatever changes I made before publication went into both versions. Phaze releases the electronic version and based on sales they might release the print version. Dominated by Desire had been out a little over a year when I learned it would be released in print.

First I did the happy dance. Then I noticed that the release date came and went. Hmmm. I saw a memo that said something about galleys, but didn't give it a thought. Never dealt with those before. Those galleys showed up in my e-mail box for me to go through and proof.

You know what it taught me? You can always catch something you missed in the edits you did before. I was grateful there weren't too many but I found misspelled words, missing commas, things like that. And my editor and I went through that book with a fine tooth comb. How did those little buggers get through?

It's the author's dilemma.

As the writer you don't always notice the misspelled word, or even the wrong spelling but the right word, whether or not you have commas in the right place or overused words. After awhile you see what you think is on the page, not what is really there. That is why having a set of new eyes is important. Your editor or critique partner don't know the story as well as you do and will help you catch things you missed. Understand though that they aren't perfect.

Happy to say that the galleys are done And Dominated by Desire will be out on April 9th. And you know what? I wouldn't be surprised if someone reads the book and still finds errors. We're only human.

Barb:)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Writing down the Bones: Talking Heads

Now we're not talking about the band The Talking Heads and I'm sure that dates me a little but I do love them.

Talking heads is when you have too much dialogue and very little description.

Here's an example - an excerpt from Book 8 of the Vespian Way. Heather and Storm have gone undercover as Nusi - Heather and Luprin - Storm:


“A poor excuse. I expect regular contact on regular intervals if you know you’re going to be out of communication.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Is Nusi there?”
“Yes, sir,” she responded. They knew better than to lie.
“You are now co-leader of this group. You two will share the duties and responsibilities over what happens together.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Don’t make me regret this decision.”
“I promise you won’t, sir.” Heather grinned. Now she was his equal. Something that was being communicated to every member as they spoke.
“I expect your updated itinerary first thing in the morning.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm turned off the machine and turned toward Heather. “You found that funny.”
“How does it feel to be on the receiving end?”
“I’ve been there before.”
“Not in a long while.” She pressed a few buttons and revealed the bed. “Nice.”
“And you have been?” He hooked his fingers in her skirt and pulled her toward him.
“More times than I care to count.”
“That is because you don’t follow the rules.”
“I do too.” She jammed her hands on her hips. “Was I wrong in deviating from not contacting headquarters when I saw the opportunity to tag them?”
“I’m not saying that.”
“I always tried to follow the commands passed down from headquarters, but they aren’t always in the field to see what is happening. If I thought I could do it better, or quicker than I did it.”

That is pretty much nothing but dialog - a couple of tags here and there and I hope they make it easy for you to figure out who is talking

To make the scene three dimensional you need to add the place where the characters are. What they might be wearing, or feeling. Show what they are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching - the five senses. The five senses don't work in every scene - like tasting, if they're not eating you can't always use that but try to work them in as much as possible.


“A poor excuse." Fridon's voice filled the room they were in. "I expect regular contact on regular intervals if you know you’re going to be out of communication.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm kept his face from reacting to the fact his second was now yelling at him. He had trained him well.
“Is Nusi there?”
“Yes, sir,” she responded. They knew better than to lie. The system had probably picked up her heartbeat and let him know there were two people in the small wagon, which is why he asked for her in the first place.
“You are now co-leader of this group. You two will share the duties and responsibilities over what happens together.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Don’t make me regret this decision.”
“I promise you won’t, sir.” Heather grinned. Looked like she had already shown that although she broke the rules earlier it was a smart move. Now she was Storm's equal. Something that was being communicated to every member as they spoke.
“I expect your updated itinerary first thing in the morning.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm turned off the machine and turned toward Heather. Who was grinning from ear to ear. “You found that funny.”
“How does it feel to be on the receiving end?” She couldn't keep the laughter out of her voice.
“I’ve been there before.”
“Not in a long while.” She pressed a few buttons and revealed the bed. “Nice.”
“And you have been?” He hooked his fingers in her skirt and pulled her toward him.
The heat of  his hands as it brushed against her skin had her thinking more about the bed than their conversation. “More times than I care to count.”
“That is because you don’t follow the rules.”
“I do too.” She jammed her hands on her hips, her desire forgotten for the moment. “Was I wrong in deviating from not contacting headquarters when I saw the opportunity to tag them?”
“I’m not saying that.”
“I always tried to follow the commands passed down from headquarters, but they aren’t always in the field to see what is happening. If I thought I could do it better, or quicker than I did it.”

Now the scene has more descriptive info. The small details I added should help fill in the blanks about what they were thinking and where they were. Made it more three dimensional and a little easier to visualize. Once I finish the manuscript I'll go back and polish it even more and I plan on posting the scene again so you can see the different changes I'll continue to make on it.

Barb:)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shameless Promoting! Blogging, contests and release!


I'm excited about so many things right now. Although I don't have a release date for book five of the Vesian Way series, Hesitant Desire I have learned that my first two books, Dominated By Desire and Passionate Desire are being released in print! Dominated By Desire's print version will be released Tuesday March 26th and Passionate Desire will be released on April 2nd! I've been doing the happy dance since I learned about it. http://www.phaze.com/author.php?author=21

I'm also blogging at Toni Sweeney's blog all this week. I'm talking about what makes a book erotic. Please stop by and say hi! http://www.tonivsweeney.com/tvsweeney@tonivsweeney.com/Blog/Entries/2013/3/22_What_is_Erotic.html

The third thing I want to announce is that I found out Animal Desire. The third book in this series is up for best erotic romance- romantic sf/futuristic of 2012 at the Romance Review. Please! Please! Please go by and vote for it. http://www.theromancereviews.com/bookvote.php The voting goes until the 31st of March.

One more thing. I will also be blogging at Misti Parker's Blog as she does the A through Z blog for April. I'm April 1st A and will be talking about Alpha Males...you know I didn't even notice it was April Fools Day! It fits me!
http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2013/03/coming-in-april-z-blog-challenge-2013.html


Thanks

Barb:)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Slameless Promoting! I'm at Tina Donahue's Blog today

Tina was wonderful in allowing me to blog with her today!
http://www.tinadonahue.com/blog/

Please come and say hi!

I talk about how I got into writing along with an except of my first book in the Vespian Way - Dominated By Desire. I'm excited it is coming out in print on March 26th! Be on the lookout!

www.phaze.com 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Random Thoughts: Human life span vs Vespian Life span

I know I owe a writing down the bones segment, but I am dealing with something that has kept me from getting it done and I feel this deep urge to write about what is going on to help me clear my mind to get back to the matters at hand.

Hope you don't mind.

Right now I'm dealing with my eighty-five year old mother-in-law who took a spill last Thursday and bruised her hip real bad. Then five days later she tried to get up on her own, fell again and did a little more damage. The doctors call it a subtle fracture, it means rehab and an extended stay at a center until they think she can come back home.

What happened to growing old gracefully?

My hero, Storm, from the Vespian Way series, would be growling and snarling at this stage, refusing help and trying to do it on his own. Heather would have healed within a day or two.

When I first created my race of aliens I made them have a long life span. At least three hundred years. Storm is in his early fifties now, and has only lived one sixth of his life, but if he were human he would have lived half of his life already. Heather also will live a long time. I don't know how long yet because this is still developing in the series. She also has the ability to heal fast. Something that she wasn't even aware of until book six because of their modern technology.

I thought I gave them a longer life because I was creating an alien race but now I wonder if back in my mind I gave them such a long life span because of dealing with an elderly relative.

Is this my way of wishing for a long and healthy life? Do I write about the future because our technology isn't there for the elderly but my hope is it will be in the future? There is a part of us that wants to live forever, without the aging process interfering. Future technology could give that to us.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shameless Promoting: Love Romances Chat on March 5th!

I do try to keep my promoting to a minimum but tomorrow I will be chatting with Love Romances. For those of you who are on the Love romances yahoo loop please come by and say hi.

This is my first time doing a chat with them so I'm excited to see what happens. The chat starts at 2 pm and runs until 4 pm.

I'll be talking about my series the Vespian Way, writing, and how those wonderful characters keep me writing.

Hope to see you there!

Here's the link to Love Romances if you wish to join to chat with me.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/?yguid=1652391

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Random Thoughts: My Characters Follow me Everywhere

I'm not sure if anyone else has the problem I do, but this new series of mine is like walking around with a bunch of people in my head. I work in retail as a merchandiser so I'm constantly talking to people, which I love. I'm a people person. But when I'm working on my latest MS, my characters are right there talking to me at the same time. It's a little distracting when they're whispering in my ears about what they want in a scene or which scene they think should be next while a customer is asking where something is.

I know I talk out loud to myself too. I remember several years ago I was working and talking out loud and a customer came down the isle I was working on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him give me a wide berth as he went around me. I had to laugh.

"It's okay. I do talk out loud to myself."

"As long as you don't answer yourself."

"Hey, sometimes it's the only time I can have an intelligent conversation."

That made him laugh and realize I wasn't some crazy lady - okay so I am a little crazy, but I try not to flaunt it too much.

This taught me to try to keep my thoughts to myself, especially if I'm working through a scene. There is no way anyone, but another author, would understand what I'm doing. They'd just give me a jacket with extra long sleeves and put me in a padded room. Can't type with those sleeves.

I just wish I could ride in the HOV lane with all these people in my head, but I'm not sure a policeman would understand.