Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why I don't follow you on Twitter

Dave Mustaine is my all time favorite guitarist, but I don't follow him 'cuz he's doing it wrong.


1.) Spammers: If you do nothing but tout some product you're obviously being paid to advertise...this includes some self published authors, you're nothing but obnoxious noise to me.

2.) Trolls: No one wants to follow someone who picks asinine arguments just for the hell of it.

3.) Nothing but links: A.) I despise redundancy. B.) It makes me think you have no personality.


4.) Never replies:  This is usually an issue with higher profile people, celebrities, authors, etc. But many high profile people still are willing to converse with the lesser folk, so why bother following those who don't? Then there's those people who seem to think they're all that and only converse with their cliques. Either way, not worth clogging my feed.


5.) Nothing but retweets: As with #3, these are people who have no personality of their own. Worse, they seem to be attempting to make themselves look cool by piggy-backing off of the charm (or lack thereof) of others. I have no problem with retweeting something funny, useful, or interesting, but I do have issues with people who mindlessly RT people like an insidious echo.


6.) Talks only about self...especially if it's boring: I don't care about your latest bowel movement or where you're shopping. But...though some people bitch about tweets on who's eating what for dinner, I like those...if you share the recipe. I know I do! Food is good in reasonable increments. But I'm on twitter for conversations, not to read personal to-do lists.


7.) Combinations of any of the above: And here's where Mega-Dave Mustaine comes in. He may be one of the greatest guitar players to ever walk the earth. He may be hella cute. But Dave Mustaine does not know how to use twitter. He updates where he is and what he's doing and posts links and RTs...but only when they have to do with his band. I tried following him for awhile and he NEVER conversed with anyone. So, as much as I adore him and his music, I don't follow him on twitter.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Romance Writing Challenges: After they...you know.


Okay.....now what?


This weekend, I had the house to myself and finally finished the first love scene. Those can be difficult to write at times and I'll probably do a post on the subject later, but now I'm on to my next challenge. The afterglow and new tier of emotional conflict. As much as one would like for the hero and heroine to declare their love and get their HEA after they finally get it on, if the writer did that, there'd be no story. Also, I don't think sex has ever made an instant HEA in real life. Lust does not equal love and respect.

With that in mind, I have to work to express the new anxieties the characters face. How close are each to realizing their love for the other? What insecurities do they have about the new level of their relationship? How do they behave around the other? How is their environment and other characters affecting their actions and emotions? All this must be accomplished without too much navel-gazing and lack of action.

Often I handle this challenge by skipping ahead and writing the next BIG EVENT. This helps me analyze how far I have to go to reach it. How much needs to happen to the hero and heroine to face that event? So far it's working pretty well. I went back and wrote the first two "after math" chapters and have 1 1/2 more to go before the event occurs.

Fellow romance writers: How do you handle those chapters? Fellow romance readers: What are your favorite  ...and most loathed aspects of those scenes? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Taking a week off due to defective internet.

Due to my provider's (un)fair use policy, I went over my monthly usage limit and thus they've slowed my internet down to a snail's pace. I watched too many rock star interviews for my research. So internet activity has been a pain. However, I still wanted to let you all know I'm alive and I miss you!

In the meantime, I'll hopefully get more writing done and things *should be back to normal next week.

To compensate for the inconvenience, I shall endure the ten minute swirly blue circle and attempt to give you another topless Johnny Depp.

....

.........

DAMN YOU, SWIRLY BLUE CIRCLE!!!

MMMMMMMM!
 Yay! It worked! Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Rerun: Hot Heroes: Reader's Perspective vs. Writer's


Been busy helping out at my local bookstore as well as my other job...and my other job: Writing. So bear with this rerun post. I welcome fresh input! 


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This is a subject I've been pondering and longing to discuss for awhile. What pushed me to finally do it was when an awesome crit partner, Bonnie R. Paulson, made a comment about the hero in my current project, who's a rock legend.

"I love how he's older," she said. "He makes me think of Jon Bon Jovi."
She had the hero's age about right, though I never specified besides a vague hint. And she had his musical era down pat. The musical genre? Close, but not quite. Appearance? Well, they're both hot and had long hair and gorgeous voices. Still, it wasn't close to who I pictured, and that's great!

My point? I think I have a win here. In fact, I hope another crit partner pictures Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters, though that's even farther from my vision. Why? For the most part, I want the reader to picture their ideal rock star, not mine.

While men seem to have a stereotype on the "perfect woman," i.e. medium height, blonde hair, thin, big boobs, etc., Women's tastes in men vary a lot. Some like 'em brunette, some like 'em blonde. Some like 'em pale, some like 'em dark. My best friend likes guys her age, another friend likes younger guys. I always went for older men. Some women like chest hair and I don't. I love Virginia Henley's novels, but every time I read about the heroine threading her fingers through the hero's "pelt," I cringe...and sometimes gag a little. Other than that, her books kick ass!

While writing, I often wonder: How specific should I get with my descriptions of the hero? Should I point out that in my mind, his chest is always hairless, he always has long hair, and unless specified otherwise, his face is usually devoid of scruff?

Then there's the other side of the coin. The ideal is that the hero should always be tall, muscular, and well- endowed. (Seriously, I saw that in a publisher's submission guidelines.) I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Not all of my heroes are tall and hung. It seems redundant and unrealistic to me. Many fit those qualifications, but some of my guys are average...and some may be short in stature for a romance hero...and okay, I admit, none are "below average" in the other aspect.

So far, I'm handling this by not getting too specific about those details. With some heroes, I'll point out that they're tall and have bare chests, but with others, I won't specify. I'll just mention his chest, or his presence with no reference to height or body hair at all. Same with the size of his junk. The reader can fill that in. One thing I won't bend on is that my heroes will either always have long hair, or they'll be bald. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. :)

I remember an online discussion in which someone said, "If a man in a romance novel has long hair, I block it out."

Well, I'm the same way. Unless the author constantly emphasizes the hero's short hair, I picture him with long, lustrous locks, and with no "pelt" on his chest.

My question to you is: When is it fine for the author to leave things to your imagination, and when do you want the dirty details? When does MY idea of a hot guy freeze out yours?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recipe: Japanese Pickled Cucumbers




Ingredients:

Cucumbers
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds
Sugar
Salt

Peel and half cucumbers.
Using a spoon, scoop out seeds then slice the cucumber halves.
Place cucumber slices in a bowl.
Pour in enough rice vinegar to reach halfway to the top of the cucumbers
Sprinkle a bit of sugar and salt
Drizzle w' sesame oil
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Adjust oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt, to taste.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Friday, June 8, 2012

10 "OMG You haven't Seen it?" Movies (Part 1)

Happy Weekend everyone! I figure I'm long overdue for another movie post. Movies are a big thing in my family and I have quite a collection. And whenever I talk movies with a friend, it never fails that I'll gasp, "OMG, you haven't seen ______?" 

So this will be the first of many lists. None are obscure (I'll do an obscure list sometime) and many will elicit nods of agreement from a lot of you. But I know there's plenty of you out there who haven't seen.... 

RUNNING MAN




Veeeeery loosely based on a novella by Stephen King (Richard Bachman in the opening credits) This film is the epitome of an 80's dystopyian. Full of cheese and fun action. Also, Richard Dawson plays an awesome villain.

GOTHIKA



Despite starring Halley Berry, for some reason Gothika never got the attention it deserved. Part psychological thriller with supernatural elements, this movie has you jumping and guessing every second.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS



Tim Curry's in it! Need I say more? Okay, the rest of the cast was awesome too, even Charlie Sheen. And there was definitely enough drama and comedy in it to keep me watching.




TOTAL RECALL

I usually hate sci-fi movies, but there is just something compellingly awesome about this one. The premise is a freakin' trip and a half and the heroine is a total bad-ass. And Ah-nold is well, classic Ah-nold. Special effects are done amazingly well for 1990, including an alien with 3 boobs. (Now all the men reading this will rent the movie just for that.)

Apparently a remake will be released this year. I'm intrigued and scared.

COOL RUNNINGS



This one's actually based on a true story of Jamaica's first bobsled team. Inspiring AND funny! Also, the theme song just makes ya want to dance!

A.I.


The first time I saw this movie, I was eight months pregnant and made a total ass of myself bawling in the theater. Written by Stanley Kubric and directed by Stephen Spielberg, A.I. manages to be dark and twisted, yet pull your heartstrings at the same time. It's pretty much Pinocchio with an unhappy ending. But it's done with such haunting beauty, all must see it.

REVENGE OF THE NERDS

Long before there was THE BIG BANG THEORY, there was Revenge of the Nerds... though the sequels aren't that great. The characters are excellent. I guarantee everyone will find a nerd they can relate to. :)


The Color Purple

Based on Alice Walker's amazing novel, this film is definitely on my list of "Greatest of all Time." Whoopi Goldberg stars as Celie, a woman who is oppressed by family, husband, and society yet slowly finds her strength. Have a box of tissues at hand. This one's a bigger tear-jerker than Forest Gump.

Cube

I love movies that make you go WTF? Even more, I love movies that make you think. CUBE does both. It's an ultimate mind trip. Despite major questions remaining unanswered, this one has you staring at the screen, scratching your head and thinking, "I gotta watch this with so-and-so."


Harold and Maude


This one's probably the quirkiest love story of all time. Maude should be everyone's hero. HAROLD and MAUDE will make you laugh, cry, and have a whole new outlook on life and love. I don't want to say too much about the actual story because every second is a treat. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to My Own Romance Hero!

He does a great Captain Morgan impression. :)

Last week we had our 2nd wedding anniversary. (8 yrs together, though) This week, we'll be celebrating his 45th birthday. He's starting it off with a 2.5 lb T-bone steak, but I do plan on taking him out for dinner this weekend.


Today, I want to give a big shout-out to Damian, my personal romance hero. I want to thank him for his unfailing support in everything I've done, from rebuilding the engine in my beat-up 1980 Datsun 210, going to college to study automotive, and especially my decision to become an author. Through that long and arduous pursuit, he's never stopped believing in me. His pride in my success means the world to me.

So, thank you, Damian, for being all that you are. You are the love of my life, and my greatest inspiration. You have given me the greatest thing a romance author could wish for: a happily ever after.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Goal Summary...(Wow, that's fun to say!)





As we're already halfway through 2012, it's time to check up on my goals and see how I'm doing.


1.) Make all my writing/editing deadlines in time for my editor: I'm kicking ass with this one!

2.) Finish book 2 of my regency paranormal romance series: Rough draft is done, and the deadline to turn it in isn't until September. Doing great there.

3.) Finish at least the rough draft of book 3. I already have the hero fleshed out in my mind and I can't wait to tell his story. I'm going to start this one July 1st

4.) Finish revisions on WRENCHING FATE: DONE! (I hope!)


5.) Find a home for WRENCHING FATE/ the UF series. I have 2 fulls out with 2 lovely agents. Got my fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted!

6.) Keep track of all writing expenses so I survive tax season next year. I have all my receipts in one place at least...

7.) Maintain a strong online presence and continue to build my platform. I love my online community! But I could probably do better.

8.) Form and follow a plan of preparations for the release of my debut novel (Spring of 2013) Besides the edits, I know there's a ton of other stuff involved. And I still haven't figured out where I'm going to hold my release party...which is fine now, but as that date comes closer....EEK!

9.) Not go insane as my release date creeps closer. OMG OMG, I'm already on my way. I need to keep remembering to do that thing....what's it called again? Oh yeah, breathing.

10.) Maintain good relationships with my friends and family. I would not have succeeded if it weren't for their love and support.

11.) Quit Smoking on August 13. I'm getting more scared of this one every day.

12.) Lose twenty pounds. We-ell, I haven't gained any weight....


And a 13th goal has also been added: Finish Rough Draft of HIS ROADIE by July 1st. Really I have no idea what I'm going to do about my rock star novellas, but they're still crying to be written.


So, for the summer I'm going to be writing about rock stars, revising my 2nd regency paranormal, and beginning my 3rd. I get to research 19th century medical practices, autopsies, and other fun stuff!


What are your summer plans?