Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meanwhile, in the land of revisions...

Whoa, mama. I'm a tired girl tonight. I'm deep, deep, deep in revisions now. No turning back at this point. I've cut about 500 words so far, and I'm debating tacking a denouement on the end of the story. I probably won't make up my mind on that until after I've finished cleaning up what's already on the page, though.

As it stands...close, but no cigar. I'm still hunting and obliterating crutch words, but overall, when I read through the story, I'm excited by the potential. Too, by working on this project, I've come to realize how much I've missed writing dark themes. If my erotic horror story passes the sniff test with my publisher, I'll continue to write in the genre simply because I enjoy it. It feels like a very natural and comfortable fit for me. I'll basically be coming full circle, and picking up where I initially started out - writing horror. Just with a sexy twist. ;o)

Well, it's after 1am, so I'd better head on to bed. Mini is back to school tomorrow, so I plan to be up and ready for editing action at the crack of dawn - aka, I'll hit the writing chair as soon as he's on the school bus. <g> By the way, I realize this is kind of a short post. But never fear, I'll be back to blogging interesting stuff tomorrow when my schedule returns to normal.

Night, night, everyone!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Werewolf Handwriting

I now have a few books listed over at Kindlegraph. If you'd like something signed, hit me up! I don't have a tablet to sign with, but I do have a scrolly mouse. <click, click> That's why my first siggy turned out looking a bit straight jacket mental, but it was still very cool to see it "write itself" across the screen when I finished it.

If nothing else, it kinda looks like werewolf handwriting, don't you think? For werewolf erotic romances? There is probably something very Freudian and weird about that in a psychological context, but whatever. I guess I'll just have to be down with that. ;o)

On another note, Monday swooped in like a bird of prey, snatching my weekend peace away in the blink of an eye. First things first, I had horrible insomnia last night. I finally crashed on the couch around 3 am., but I didn't sleep. I stayed up watching a really shitty horror movie called Virus, and was still awake when hubby left at 5 to go to work.

I still felt pretty wired when Mini got up, but that quickly changed. First thing out of bed, he couldn't decide what breakfast he wanted: oatmeal or pancakes with bacon, Pop Tarts, or eggs, or whatever. In the end, he settled on the Pop Tarts and ate something like three bites before he cried full. I put the remnants in a ziploc baggie for later, 'cause I mean, wow. Totally wasteful. After that, it was a big issue with what pants to wear. Mini's getting to the age he likes to change out his uniform clothes, and this morning he wanted to wear beige uniform trousers, because it's different from the navy ones he usually wears. The thing is, they make the khaki beige ones with these horrid button fastenings which are difficult for small kids to button by themselves when they have to hit the bathroom at school, so I haven't been picking many pairs of those. Nevertheless, I found two pair in the dresser, and while they fit in the waist, they were too short in length. I swear, it was a try on fifty pairs of pants kind of morning. By the time he had to go out to the bus I felt like I'd run a marathon, helping him change his clothes that many times. <fainting couch>

I went back to bed after the school bus left, and in doing so, I missed a call from my BFF. Total bummer. I miss hearing from her. She left a message for me on Facebook, though, and I know it will probably be the weekend before we get to phone chat again. Ho hum.

In traditional Monday fashion, it's all busy, busy at the moment. I'm working on revisions still. It's coming along very well, just slowly. I'm hoping now that I've got the house back from the Thanksgiving madness, I'll be able to pick up the pace.

But that's not all! As of this morning I'm involved in a month long self-editing course, which I hope will help me sharpen my skills and streamline my own revision process. I'm quite excited about this. It looks like it's exactly what I need to kick the September Experiment in the pants so I can have it ready for pitching at conference.

It's after 3pm, so I better get back to work. Mini will be home shortly, and I gotta have the house ready so we can throw down over a few games of CandyLand. I hope you all have a pleasant week. Oh, and in case you didn't notice...December 1st is this Thursday. How about that, eh?  Where has the year gone?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Lot to Think About

I planned to blog earlier, but I got busy with things and totally forgot about it. So here it is, 3 am on Saturday morning. I'm so glad this Black Friday crap is over was seriously getting under my skin. Every where I looked there were all these news stories about psycho bitches pepper spraying people so they could get merchandise, and/or cops beating down the slow moving elderly and body slamming grandpas into comas for trying to protect their grand kids from stampeding shoppers.

I swear to Christ I have never needed ANYTHING from Walmart that fucking bad. Seriously, people. There is a saying that what you give to the poor is what you take with you when you die. If you count yourselves among the people who would body slam grandma for a cheaply made, imported Wal-mart television, you're getting what you deserve, both in this life...and hopefully in the next life, too.

Because of stories like the ones I've been forced to look at all day, (which are everywhere and you can't escape them no matter where you go online, or heck, even in your own living room) I will never go to another Black Friday event. Ever. From now on, I will forgo shopping in store for my holiday purchases and do my shopping online. End of rant.

On to happier topics, or at least topics that make me feel less homicidal,  I've patched both gaps in the erotic horror WIP, and managed to boost my word count by about 4k. I'd still like to add another 2k, but if it won't go, I won't force it.

As it stands, the story is ready for a round two read-through and markup, which I'll worry about in the morning. So far, so good. I'm really loving this story. It's dark, twisted, and a bit disturbing. Which is a good thing. I'm sure some people will get their knickers in a twist, especially if they don't realize it's an erotic horror, but I've decided not to hold anything back. I hope my publisher feels it will work for the line, because I'd like to send in few more stories like this one. We'll see.

It will probably take two more thorough passes on this book before it's ready to go out - which will make four passes in total. I'll probably be good and sick of the story by then, but at this rate, I'm thinking I should have it ready to release into the wild by Wednesday. Cross your fingers for me.

Late late late Friday night, I filled out my registration for the 2012 Written in the Stars Conference in Shreveport. I'm hoping that Oldest's basic training graduation doesn't overlap it, but since I only have a generic date for his graduation, I'm not going to worry about it for now. Instead, I'm gonna wrap up the short stories on my plate (there are two with some importance), and from there I've got to start looking at my September Experiment story, which is what I'll be pitching at the conference.

If I start revising the September Experiment in December, I'll have roughly three months to pull my package together for conference. This time, I plan to take at least a partial manuscript in to the pitch session with me. Not that I plan to shove anything across the table at someone, I may not even get a nibble of interest, but I want to at least be prepared just in case. The last time, an agent asked me for chapters right across the table and I didn't have any. Never again.

Topic change again... A couple of days ago, one of my best writer buddies called me up. She's been having a money shortage (who isn't these days?) and she was really disturbed to see that there was a weird discrepancy in her Amazon sales figures. She had checked her self published sales figures earlier in the month, and it showed that there was about fifty to sixty dollars in monies made. About half way through November, that amount dropped to about five dollars. A loss of roughly fifty dollars in royalties. While that isn't a lot of money to a lot of people, for this person in particular, it would have bought groceries, put gas in her car, or paid a bill. Her family is hurting for cash, and fifty dollars is a lot of money when you're broke.

Sure that there was some kind of error, she emailed Amazon to ask what was up with her sales figures, and after days of waiting, she got her answer and called to share it with me. She was very upset, and very close to hopelessness when she told me that Amazon claimed she'd had a significant amount of returns. The news floored my writer buddy, who had no idea Amazon is allowing returns on eBooks. Sadly, I told her that it's true. You can indeed return Kindle content for a refund.

I don't know the all the finer points and details of Kindle content returns, but I'm definitely aware of the policy. I've listened to other authors panic and rant over it. They can see what they're making through the month, then suddenly that figure drops without explanation. Although I don't have anything self published through Amazon, I  have to admit I was a bit surprised and alarmed when I read about the current return policy. I'm sure on some level Amazon is aware that allowing eBook returns is going to hurt authors. Particularly self published authors. People like my writer buddy, who right now, could use fifty bucks to keep her family afloat.

What gets me is that people are allowed to keep the books for up to 8 days before returning them. That's time for them to read the book, to copy it, and to redistribute it somewhere. Heck, they could simply read the book and return it because it wasn't cheap enough for their taste. It's easy enough to lie about the reasons. And I'm crying foul over that. Especially when an eBook is 99cents, as is the case in my friend's book. I've bought books for ten bucks that I didn't think was worth the paper it was printed on, but I didn't take it back for a refund. I'm so disappointed with this whole scenario, it hurts. That window of return needs to be greatly shortened from 8 days to something more along the lines of 24 hours. And that's the very least Amazon could do.

With all the publishing industry douchebaggery going on right now, I'm sad to see Amazon putting the crunch on authors in this way. I know returns happen. Yes, I get that. And I can see how allowing returns might benefit the Amazon Prime program. I'm also understanding when it comes to allowing print-book returns, or allowing returns if pages are missing in an eBook. But seriously, this system as it stands is ripe for abuse. From fifty bucks down to five...all because of returns? Holy shit, yanno? Maybe the book sucks. I don't know. I don't even know which one it is, but that is an awful lot of returns for a cheap book. And this isn't the only author I've heard complaining about this kind of a situation. Am I the only one thinking this policy needs amending?  Is anyone thinking about publishing their books elsewhere because of the return and/or lending policy? Curious minds want to know.

That's all for now. It's already 3:30, and I've gotta get to bed. Forgive any typos, plzkthnx. I'm too tired to go back and hunt them down. Night, night, everyone.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Into the Thanksgiving Writing Groove

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I spent the day with family, then came home and crashed on the couch to nap away my yearly case of bloaty belly. Once I was up and about again, I rounded up Oldest for a trip to the store for essentials so that we won't have to face the Black Friday craziness late tonight and tomorrow.

Hubby and the kids will be home for the next few days, so I imagine we'll be hanging out and watching movies, playing board games, making a mess of the kitchen, and what not. During the daylight hours, I'll mostly be working on wrapping up this Shivers story. I added two brand new scenes to it yesterday, and I have one major scene to rearrange and repair tonight. I believe this one will be the biggest fix of the book. Erg. Not exactly looking forward to rewriting it, but it must be done.

So that's the battle plan for the next few days. Writing. And movies. And probably some reading. I need to whittle down my TBR stack again. But for tonight, I'm going to write. Le'see...I think I'm ready. Mini is in bed. The pets are settled and the guys are watching Pulp Fiction. I've got a cup of peppermint tea, a birds of paradise candle is burning on the edge of my desk, and I've got some tunes going. Yep. Looks like it's all systems go.

One more thing before I close, if you're going to the Black Friday sales tonight and tomorrow - be careful out there!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Day Before Turkey Day

Funny Pictures - Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Kitten
That's a pretty good hand turkey!  
Hubby brought home a brand new computer for himself last night, and ate up most of our pitiful bandwidth transferring all his Guild Wars and iTunes junk to the new machine.

As soon as he has all the gibblets transferred and downloaded and whatnot, we're going to scrub his laptop, do a complete reboot and restore to get it back to factory settings, then I'm gonna ship the laptop off to a friend who is currently without net, and in dire need of a wireless comp that can be hauled to the library or Starbucks, or really anywhere they can get free wifi to check emails.

In about two hours, I have to drive Oldest to visit the recruiter in Ruston. It won't be much longer now before he ships out, so they keep calling to make sure he hasn't run off with some baby mama or skipped the country before basic. I understand it's necessary, but at times...a tad inconvenient when we get a last minute call out. It's the day before Thanksgiving, after all. They're lucky they even caught us at home.

I planned to get a lot done on the revisions this week, what with Mini being out of school, and all. Instead, it's been more of a mom as entertainer type arrangement. Every ten minutes, someone is coming up to me with "Mom, I'm bored". "Mom, I need a ride to the store, to the library, to somewhere else because I know you're busy." Other apparently popular cries of the week thus far: "Mom, we're out of toilet paper."

It's always some such craziness. I've begun referring to household chores as part of the fun holiday itinerary.

For example: "Mom, I'm bored."
My response: "That's wonderful, dear. When you're done with that you can get started on the dishes!"
Clearly, this is not a popular response. But it does appear to chase off the male species (of any age) for at least forty-five minutes.

I've also told the guys they better conserve the t.p. (toilet paper, yo) because come Friday, I'm not going ANYWHERE. If they run out of vitals on that day, they'll have to gather leaves, because I have no intention of shopping on Black Friday, and will not lift my keys or crank my car that day unless it is to haul someone's fool carcass to the E.R.. And then I went on to clarify that statement to Oldest yesterday as he was foraging in the fridge. If someone does get injured, and I see they're able to walk it off, even the E.R. might be out. Seriously, I'm not leaving the house this Friday. I'm going to work that day, even if I have to lock myself in my office and pretend not to hear any sounds of scuffling outside my door. Kinda like what I'd do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. <thumbs up>

Yesterday, after several humbling rounds of Angry Bird bean bag toss with Mini, (I thought this would be fun, but I can't hit the broad side of a barn, apparently), I came online to check emails and realized there was an erotica writing workshop about to start in Second Life. Since I was actually gonna be on time for it, I decided to attend. I popped in world, took a few notes, and this picture.

I'm sitting on the back bench & wearing the green shirt.
I think, at this point, I'm out of workshops for another week or so. Now I need to work through the everyday distractions so I can get in a few hours of revisions on the Shivers story. I've told everyone I've reserved the afternoon for book stuff, but we'll see how that goes. Then tonight...the cooking starts. I'm on sweets detail this year, and I'll be making sugar free fudge, cookies, and a cherry cheesecake.

So there you have it. A rundown of the current insanity. Now I need to dressed to go to this recruiter thing. Happy day before Turkey Day, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Workshop Recap

You can click on my pictures to make them larger.

On Sunday, I gave a NaNoWriMo workshop in Second Life at Awen. The topic was on how to kick start a story when it has stalled. I focused on the elements of building a very basic story, then explained how to use g/m/c and character responses to dig your story out of a rut. Very helpful stuff to know if you're on a deadline. 

Anyway, the workshop went very well, except that my voice chat wasn't working, so I had to type everything as text chat. That little glitch turned a one hour workshop into a two hour workshop, but no one complained, everyone stayed, and since that's the case, I'm calling it a success.

One of the notices was sent out with the wrong time for the workshop, and so a handful of people teleported in as we were closing shop. I didn't want to disappoint anyone, so I've agreed to do the workshop again sometime after Thanksgiving, although it won't be as NaNo-relevant. Still, there's a lot of practical information to glean from it, so we'll see what happens.
Settling in for the NaNo workshop.

Today was the first day of Mini's Thanksgiving vacation. He was thrilled that he didn't have to go to school this morning. I got up bright and early and made breakfast for him, then promptly went back to bed. About an hour or so later, I got up and checked emails and such, then told Oldest to get his stuff together so I could drive him to the library. Once Mini and I made it back home from dropping off big brat, we settled in to play a few rounds of Don't Break the Ice.

I'm very happy to report that I didn't get my tail handed to me this time. For the past few weeks, anytime I play a board game with Mini he brutally smokes me. Like Tiki Topple, for instance. I've one a single game of Tiki Topple since we bought that game. One. So, in the spirit of teasing Mini to pieces, after I won three games of Don't Break the Ice, I told him I'm officially reclaiming my in-house game champion title. Which will probably only last until our next game of CandyLand later on this week. But hey, you take have to take what you can get while it lasts in our family. ;o)

After board games, Mini and I watched Alvin and The Chipmunks the Squeakuel...or however you spell it. We probably watched thirty minutes of it, and tickle fought through the other hour and a half. Sassie Bee pup even got in on the action.

Around 2 o'clock we went to pick up Oldest from his library adventures, and while it's been a full day, my "work day" will start in about an hour. After dinner, and once things have settled down. I'll be working on revisions again. I added a new scene yesterday afternoon, and now I need to poke through a few pages and clean them up. This one is on the road to being finished. Soon.

I guess I need to take the Sassie pup for a walk. She's grrr'ing at me and doing the doggy Riverdance. That's all for now. Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tea and Revisions

It's after 3 in the morning and I'm having a cup of tea while reading through my Shivers manuscript. Overall, I have to say it's fairly clean. I'm thrilled about that, since most of the time my first drafts are an utter mess.

Anyway, I just finished reading the last page about fifteen minutes ago, and decided to jot down a few thoughts on my blog for anyone who might be interested in reading about how I'm breaking down this particular short story and revising it.

Earlier, while doing the read-through (this is my first pass), I made it a point to jot little notes in the margins of the manuscript whenever I found something majorly broken. Some things I classify as majorly broken: missing scenes (scene gaps), time inconsistencies, changes in plot direction, a radical shift in story theme, and a character whose identity or purpose has changed midstream. In other words, BIG stuff. Those are the things I look for when I do a first round read through.

I also highlighted any insignificant tiny, easy-to-miss errors, so I won't accidentally overlook them on a subsequent pass. For example: whenever I've found a "wrong word" used, such as places where I've accidentally typing their instead of there, or whatever. I highlight those mistakes just to make a note of them since my spell check will likely skip over them later. However, I haven't gone around changing anything yet. I haven't rearranged any paragraphs, or rewritten any sentences. I'm not ready to change anything at this point. Not to the big stuff. Not to the small stuff.

About half way through this particular story, I found a loop in the timeline where it seems like I have two different ideas for conveying the same information. These two scenes are similar, so I'm going to have to decide whether to cut one scene entirely, combine those scenes into one large scene and smooth them out, or divide them into two separate scenes with distinct scene goals.

It looks like in the overall scheme of things, that section will be the one big fix needed to shape up this story. Nothing to fuss about, really. I simply need to decide how I want to handle the changes. (And I prefer to wait about making any decisions until after I've had a few hours of sleep, and then some coffee when I'm up and about again. Heh.)

The only other thing I see that needs changing is a short scene a few pages before the time loop. There's nothing technically wrong with the other scene, but it didn't grab me for some reason. Not enough at stake, I think. It reads more like a diversion than a real road block for my heroine. Whatever the case, I realized I didn't care for that scene very much, and wanted to skip it while reading. So, that one will either be cut or rewritten, too.

And there you have it, what I'll be working on for my first round of revisions this weekend. Once I've made those BIG changes, I'll be ready to read through my manuscript again, and start cleaning up the grammar. (Which is not my strong point, but I do the best I can.) During that time, I'll also make notes on any areas where my sentences need variation.

I'll post more as I work my way through the manuscript. Hopefully I'll have this story cleaned up and submission ready by the end of next week. That's all for now. Happy weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

After Midnight, Early Morning

Oh wow, it's exactly midnight, and here I am blogging. I'll probably be tired as all get out the morning. At any rate, I had a nice, productive Thursday. Early on I managed to get about six pages of my erotic horror story marked up, and thenI  popped in on Facebook to chat with friends for a few minutes. After that, I thought to check Second Life, since I have a workshop coming up this Sunday, and caught the beginning of Cass Curtis's NaNo workshop on characterization. Cool beans.

That's Cassie sitting in the front. I'm wearing the green shirt.
This is the NaNo workshop tent at Awen's Book Faire.
(click to enlarge)

Since I've already mentioned it above... My workshop on ways to kickstart your stalled NaNo project will be held at the Book Faire in Awen on November 20th. It starts at 8am SLT, which is equivalent to 10am CST/11am EST.

The SLurl to the Awen Book Faire is as follows: 
You must be logged into Second Life to attend. The event will be in voice, so be sure to wear your headphones.

On a completely different topic... I added a few books to my TBR list today. I bought a copy of Christine Feehan's Dark Peril (finally!) and Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time. I also bought a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney for MiniBeast. We sat down with this book - a 200 or so page hardcover - and he read about 20 pages to me. Cool beans. So proud of my little guy. He's only 6, but reads very well. And he finds the Wimpy Kid books hilarious. I get a big kick hearing him chuckle over these books. :D I'm thinking this will be one book of many for him. He's been a good boy this year, so it's quite possible Santa will leave the boxed set under the tree for him.

This weekend, as much as I'd love to take off and just crash across the couch and read all day, my big focus will be to get two stories revised for submission. One of them is the Shivers short story I've been working on for the past few days. The other is a short erotica story due early next year. Once I'm done with these, I'll allow myself some down time for reading. To recharge my creative batteries and all that. It's part of the overall plan to get the Shivers story sent out sometime next week while Mini is on break. I'll be able to put i the extra hours without having to worry about sleeping late, or Mini missing the bus. Before I can send it though, I still need to write a blurb, and go through all the forms. Right off hand, I have no idea what I'm supposed to send in. Gonna have to look that up, asap!

Once these two stories are finished, I'll be ready to tackle the other Shivers story, which I'm presently considering expanding into a novel. We will see. If that's the case, if I do decide to go full novel with it, I may put it on the shelf for a month or two while I pick up the September Experiment and begin revisions.

At any rate, it's all something to think about. I have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, so I can't afford to get too far ahead of myself. Even so, I would like to end up pitching the September Experiment at conference if at all possible. I really love the story, or I wouldn't bother. So if I have to choose between the two, I will probably put the September Experiment first. Because once it's finished, I know I'm going to need at least a month of down time to recuperate. <g>

Man, is it really going on 1 am? I guess that's all for now. The hour is wearing on, and I need to go over my workshop notes before bed. So....night, night everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Prepping for Submission

About an hour ago I wrapped up one of the erotic horror short stories. I'm super jazzed about this one. It's a very dark, different story line for me, but nothing with werewolves or vampires. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

It doesn't appear to be too dreadful (revision wise) at this point, so I went ahead and formatted it as required by my publisher. Now I'm printing it up so I can sit down with it tonight for a thorough proofing.

If I can expand it out a little that will be awesome, but for the most part, judging by what I've read so far, it looks like it will only need a bit of cleaning up here and there to get it where it needs to be for submission. Even so, I'll definitely give it a critical eye later on this evening. As per the usual, I'll make notes (and necessary changes) if I see anything major that needs fixing. Right now I'm just thrilled to have it all jotted down - one of the best feelings in the world is writing "The End". And in this case, it's in time for Thanksgiving, too.

Since it's one of the shortest thing I have on my plate right now, my goal of the moment is to have this story polished and sent off to my editor by the end of next week. I know she won't be able to get to it until after the holidays, but that's all good. I just hope she likes it.

Now that I've taken care of the writing portion of the day, I'm going to go toss the clothes in the dryer, wash a few dishes, and wait for Mini to come in off the bus. Yep, that's me, totally domesticated. ;o)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Car & Random Writerly Things

Hubby is such a gem. Despite not feeling well he picked up the parts we ordered and worked on my car this morning. Yes. I do believe he's a keeper. I still haven't given the car a test drive, but I'm gonna do that here in a few minutes when Oldest gets finished doing whatever he's doing. (I'm taking him with me.)

Yesterday, I worked on Shivers revisions, and tried to find note cards for the September Experiment. Then late in the afternoon, I settled in to write something new. I raked in 4k words on a new short story that I'm also gearing toward Shivers. I'm going to try to wrap it up that story this evening if at all possible. Another 4k should let me reach a base word count.

I also need to read through the erotica short I wrote a few days ago. By now I should be able to dive in with a fresh eye for the story. I need to get that one cleaned up and out the door while I'm still thinking about it.

Speaking of writing and writerly things, early Monday morning, I bit the bullet and downloaded Write Way Pro. I heard about it through one of the RWA loops, and decided to give it a try. There's a free demo, and when you decide to buy the full, you key in the activation code and voila. You had the full version (albeit limited) all along. No extra downloads.

This thing is pretty cool. It's supposed to be similar to Scrivner, but the learning curve is easier. I was skeptical about that, but now that I've had a chance to play with it some, I have to agree. It is easier to jump in the water and splash around with Write Way Pro.

The feature that sold me, though, is the formatting aid. Supposedly, I haven't tried it yet, you can write your book in Write Way Pro, then export it so that it's ready formatted for the Kindle or Nook. Cool beans. I'm going to give it a test as soon as possible. If it works the way I hope it does, I'm going to format my upcoming erotica collection with it. We'll see. :o)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

At the End of the Day

And so hath ended the weekend of crazy. I feel like a tornado has blown through the house, and I've been grappling for my inner serenity, more so than usual. Hubby isn't feeling well, and I'm anticipating a trip to the doctor soon. I just don't see him getting any better without it, no matter how much he protests. It'll have to be after my car is fixed though, and the parts won't be in until Tuesday. <sob, sob> Oh boy, that should be fun. Car repairs and a doctor visit all in one week.

Overall, it hasn't necessarily been unpleasant, just...stressful. It's like I've been anticipating something all weekend, only I don't know what. I wrote about 10 pages here and there, wrapped up the short erotica piece (which now needs to be cleaned up), and revised a few pages of the September experiment. Which in the greater scheme of things feels like I haven't accomplished diddly squat.

This afternoon, mom brought an Oreo cake, a card, and get well soon balloon to hubby, which was so very sweet and totally unexpected. After we all ate cake, I let Mini make a mess in the kitchen. We made a couple of super bouncy ball things out of a craft kit, and then Mini played rock, paper,scissors with his dad to see which one of them would get the super bouncy ball in the blue casting mold. <g>

After Mini's bath, I put in the movie Rio, and Mini and I lounged around on the bed in my room until he fell asleep. I left the TV running, covered him with a quilt, and now I'm back up again, and not quite sure what to do all by myself. I could read for a bit, I guess. I have a couple of books I'm picking my way through...Le'see...I have Marie Ferrarella's The Doctor's Guardian right here by my keyboard. And if I'm ot up for reading, there is always writing or revisions to be done.

Sadly, I missed my monthly RWA chapter meeting again. The meeting was Saturday, and I'd planned to go before the crap started with my car. I had no way to get there is the excuse this month, which puts me out of touch with the group since August. <whimper> I know it sounds like no big deal, but writerly weekends are my thing, how I like to spend my personal time. Even though it's only once a month, if I want it, I kind of have to plot, plan, and arrange for that time. Lately, though, other events have taken precedence, and there's really nothing to be done about it. So, chin up, I guess. There is always next month, and next month...and then next month. Boo.

Whew. Thinking of my inner peace again. Lighting my candle. Birds of Paradise from Mary's Candles. My absolute favorite scent. Now. Deep breath. Lemme lay this one down for the record: I will be so thrilled when things finally level out and I can get my shit together. Mama needs a day off!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full Moon Thursday

I have Sassie pup in my lap, and the cat is yowling at me from the doorway. I believe they're telling me the cool weather means we should have an afternoon nap. I'm not entirely sure I disagree.

On the other hand, there are many good writing chats going on with the #SYTYCW2 series on twitter. So You Think You Can Write 2, is a web conference of sorts held by eHarlequin. If you're interested in writing for Harlequin, this a really good way to find out what editors want, and little gems of information to help you target the line you're most interested in.

I'm wrapping up an erotic short story today. I only need about 800 more words to make it a done deal. Then I'll set it aside for the afternoon and work on something else to give me a little space from the project. Tomorrow morning, I'll start the revisions. I don't think this one will need much clean up. I'd read through what I have about four times, and so far it looks pretty smooth. Probably a tweak here and there. My work isn't usually this clean right out the gate, but the piece is short so I think that made a difference. Whatever the case, I'll just keep working with it til it feels ready. No harm, no foul.

Tonight, since it's a full moon, I'm going to break out the Moon Garden deck and do a few tarot readings. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be power days, so it should be interesting. I also want to go through my workshop notes one last time to make sure it's all smooth for my presentation. The time is very limited, so I'm going to break out my egg timer and do a practice run. Wish me luck! ;o)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

1980 Smelled Like Sunshine

You know how there are certain scents that can take you back?  Like the smell of Coppertone and Banana Boat in the summertime, or the smell of a thunderstorm, or ginger bread cookies at Christmas? Well, I caught a whiff of nostalgia earlier today. Oh boy, did I ever.

Granted, what with all the stuff that has befallen our family in the past year (2011 has been an ill-contented bitch to say the least), it's not a stretch of the imagination that I've been feeling a big nostalgic about the past, but wow...just wow... I was kicked back 31 years in an instant.

I can't remember a smell ever affecting me this strongly. I was walking through the hall this morning and smelled it for the briefest instant. Hello Sunshine perfume by Avon. It seemed so clear to my nose... I recognized it immediately, which is amazing, since I haven't smelled that perfume in years. It struck me as completely odd. Familiar, yet out of place. I stood there, confused, breathing it in, and my mind was racing - where could it be coming from? I didn't have an answer. I still don't. But I was suddenly struck with the vibrant memory of holding the perfume bottle in my hands. It had a yellow cap on top. The bottle was clear with a cute, summery print that wrapped around the bottle.

Once that one memory jarred the door loose, it let in a barrage of other memories behind it, a flood of stuff I haven't thought about since I was a little girl.

Like that yellow, apron-style dolly dress with a tiny rosette applique I used to swap from doll to doll. It was my favorite. The teddy bear with the yellow, zippered, removable fur. And again that perfume...The smell of Hello Sunshine had seeped into my old Holly Hobby jewelry box from the 70s, and back then, all I had to do was open the lid, and the scent came drifting out. A daisy chain formed. The jewelry box had me thinking about the toy box my dad built for me. It fit in the corner of my bedroom when we lived in Crossroads, a huge wooden trunk by the bed. I loved the box, but not that room. The look of melting, haunted faces glowered at me from the paneling. I used to tack up posters of kittens and magazine pop stars to hide the frightening ugliness. In that corner, there was also my collection of stuffed animals that I kept for many years. In particular, a well loved raccoon hand puppet I'd had since I was 3. I miss that thing even now. And the gold and orange floral wall paper in my en suite bathroom. I can still recall the way the light above the sink looked so yellowy when I was scared and left it on at night to keep the shadows away.

I swear the memories just kept pouring out after that... Little things that turned into bigger things. Full scenes I'd almost entirely forgotten. Like the green shag carpeting that smelled like lavender vacuum powder. We had that carpeting around the time our beagle Penny died. I barely remember what she looked like, but I still remember the musty scene of her fur. That old, loved doggy smell. Penny was quiet old when she passed away with canine leukemia. It was storming the night she died, and I remember Dad's glassy-eyed tears when he broke the news. He had to dig a hole for her in the back yard in the rain. Sad and afraid, I sat trembling on the couch with mom. I was too shocked to cry. I sat numb in the dark living room, in the presence of my mom, grandma, and grandpa. They'd turned on cartoons to get my mind off of it. The Popeye Valentine special was on TV that night. And Peanuts. I distinctly remember the Dolly Madison cake commercials had Charlie Brown in them. It's all a vivid blur.

Hugging mom made me remember the silky feel of this seemingly fragile, striped polyester shirt she wore in the late 70s. She always paired a small gold pendant with it: a simple gold coin with a scrolly, engraved "L". I haven't seen that necklace since probably 1985. The shirt, she had that before we moved to the apartment. We didn't live there long. I was quiet young, but I remember dad teasing me after work one night. He brought home a coke bottle radio that I thought I could drink. He also brought home a dark green balloon with the word LOVE printed in 70s stylized letters. I remember it drifting up to the silver flecked "popcorn" ceiling in our living room in Newton. Dad paid a dollar for it at the mall in Dallas. I loved that it could float upward without a breeze. That was absolutely amazing to me. Just let go of the string, and it went clear to the ceiling. It was Christmas Eve when he bought that balloon, and we had gotten home very late, around midnight or so. I imagine my parents were exhausted, because they told me Santa came early, and let me open my presents before bed: a Baby Alive doll, a box of play dishes, and a tin litho stove and sink set. They let me play with it for a little while, then convinced me we had to all go to bed. Those are the few memories I have of that place. That, and the steps out front. In my mind's eye, I picture the way my parents looked back then, so young, but then I was young, too, so I didn't see it.

Other things I remember...passing glimpses... I had a cache of toys shoved under my bed to keep from picking them up. I'm pretty sure my mother knew. My first grade backpack: a messenger bag that looked like an open box of crayons. I would hold it in my lap on the bus and chew on the strap when I got nervous riding the bus home. I didn't like the bus, it was noisy, loud, and I didn't know anyone.

Once, at that very apartment, the one in Newton, I stepped on a straight pin that somehow got lodged in the gold shag carpeting in my parent's bedroom. I screeched like a howler monkey when it happened, and my mom came running, only to make this sound of exasperation when she saw the problem. A pin in my toe, instead of me lying on the floor in a heap of broken bones. I'm sure she was relieved. But still she had to wrangle me under her arm just to be able to look at my toe and the pin. I struggled so hard she called me by my first and middle name, which meant she was dead serious. She told me to be still. And so I was...for barely a minute. But then, she was quick, and plucked it out. Just like that. A thorn pulled from a lion's paw. And I was stunned to see the bright red drop of blood that appeared on the end of my toe. She went right into the bathroom and grabbed down a tin, came back, and covered the blot with a band aid that I refused to stop picking at, because, the end of your toe is an odd, uncomfortable place to wear a band aid.

In the evenings after Dad came home from work, he would bouncing me on his knee while listening to It's Okay, by the Beach Boys. He did that until I got too big. Now, Mini sits and bounces on his knee. Seeing that always makes me happy. Those were sweet days of my childhood. I miss those times. I want it to be okay. I do. And then it is. I remember that one clear day...such a perfectly formed memory, of  my mom driving us home in the old Cutlass. It was a sunny afternoon. The car was avocado green, and had bench seats, and no air conditioning. We lived in Granbury, Texas at the time, and that afternoon, we were coming back from what seems like nowhere.

We rode with the windows down that day - the air was nice and not too hot for once. I was sitting on the front passenger's side of the seat and rode without a seat belt. No one really worried about that sort of thing back then, and I distinctly remember holding a boxed, Lime Chiffon doll with Parfait parrot in my hands. I was fascinated with the doll's green hair and dress. Green was my favorite color back then, and  probably still is. I vividly remember itching to open that box, but knowing I had to wait because I would need help getting the ties off the cardboard insert.

Amazing how that one scent made me think about all those things, but there it is. The memories poured out of me so quickly my skin prickled and for a moment I stood staring at the bathroom door, caught up in a profound sense of Deja vu. Then the scent was gone. Poof. I can't imagine where it came from. For ten full minutes I wandered up and down the hallway in my house, trying to find the scent again, but I couldn't.

The rest of the afternoon, my brain kept turning those thoughts over and over. Recounting those memories made me think of other memories. And other familiar scents, too. Such as the perfume my mother used to wear in the late 70s, and early 80s. Very clean and just a hint of fragrance. I didn't realize until tonight that scent wasn't perfume, per say, it was her makeup. I don't know why that is so important to me suddenly, but it is. Maybelline pressed powder, a dab of nude lipstick, and a pat of hair spray. Literally, a pat. Instead of spraying the hairspray directly on her hair, mom would spray it into the palm of her hand and pat it over her hair. I haven't thought about that in years, and it made me cry a little to be able to sum up that telling action so succinctly, to know and remember that so well. The scent that is her is a nostalgia of its own. I have probably always thought of that makeup smell as part of her essence. It is the smell in her house to this very day, and when I breathe it in, it fills me with comfort.

I don't know why I chose to write all this down, but then I guess I needed to. For me. It has been a hard year for our family. We've been dealt a lot of loss.

Time goes by so quickly, and there are so many little things we tend to forget because we are so busy, forever changing, always growing, and whether we realize it or not, moving forward. Our lives are dramatically different from what they were in what I think of as our glory days. I doubt my parents realize I remember that much elusive detail, but I do. Great times. It's all buried in there somewhere, in my head, waiting for a whiff of something sentimental to draw it out.

I don't want to live in the past, but I don't want to forget anything either. While cooking supper the other day, I was telling my husband, that gradually, one by one, the older generation is not only leaving us, they're putting us in charge of the family line. After hearing of my Uncle George's death earlier this week, I know this is true. It scares me sometimes, even though I know it's natural and inevitable for us all. I'm the age now my mother was in my happiest memories. Thirty-six. Mini is the same age I was then. So it begins again. A cycle I'm allowed to live again. I'm so blessed. And I hope one day Mini has little snippets of memories that come drifting in when he's grown. I hope the same for Oldest, too. I hope those memories give them comfort when the family widens and shifts again.

So that's my waffle for the day. Nothing serious. Just externalizing the internal. I hope I haven't gone too deep. But even if I did, that's okay. The little things matter. And apparently they add up, collecting in the mind like treasures stored in a dusty attic. There's inspiration in all that somewhere. Fuel for future writing fires. I don't know how I know it...I guess sometimes you just do.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Natural Born Control Freak

Kippy cat looking super comfy on the sofa.
Everything feels very adrift right now. I'm a Virgo, which kind of makes me a natural born control freak, and it totally throws me off balance when there is so much chaos going on in my life at one time. At this moment, my car needs repairs, I have a workshop coming up, Mini has fall vacation is coming up soon, there's a memorial service for my uncle on Wednesday, I have a story to finish up this week, and...*faint*... that's just skimming the surface. I don't know what's going on in the stars right now, but about a million things have come crashing down around my ears in the past few days. I haven't been this swamped in a long, long time.

The test run for my workshop went okay. I still have cue cards to write up, and I want to run through it one more time before the event next week. I'm currently in the middle of taking a workshop, also, and still haven't read through the new lesson that just went up. Hmm. I better add that to my current "to do" list.

Despite all this insanity, I've made the decision to go back to school. I want to build on my current skills so one day, if I decide to do so, I can work as an editor.  I'll only be able to take a few classes at a time because I'm busy, live about an hour from the college, and I need to be home for Mini as much as possible. That being the case, I have no idea when I'll actually put this decision into action. Not in time for the spring semester, I'm sure. But I'll be hitting the books as soon as I'm able to get my ducks in a row - hide and watch. Until then.... Starting in December I'll be taking an algebra refresher course. Because I'm secretly a masochist. <shakes fist at evil Algebra>

I planned to say more, but I'm out of time. It's almost midnight, and I want to read a few pages - or sections if I can keep my eyes open that long - in this Ray Bradbury Zen book. Nope, I still haven't finished it. Just another one of life's little curve balls. Guess it's a good thing I always played well as a hind-catcher. All for now. xx

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Review: Halloween Tarot Deck

Not all that long ago I bought The Halloween Tarot deck by Kipling West off eBay, and ever since it arrived, I've been planning to say a few words about it here on my blog. Well, here it is...

The tin, the card backs, and the little white book. Photos are
clickable if you'd like to see a larger shot.

I love this colorful, whimsical deck. It comes with a little white booklet, 78 cards, and the protective tin, which features artwork from several of the cards in the deck. The art work primarily features bats, pumpkins, devilish imps, and ghosts, which are replacement suits for the swords, pentacles, staves, and cups, respectively. There is also a recurring black cat in the cards - the same cat as shown above, on the card backs. The cat is almost like a watcher, or a shadow, moving from card to card through the tarot "journey" as if he is there to witness fate at hand. Personally, I love it.

Despite the Halloween theme, this is really a practical deck that can be used year round. I especially like the smaller size of this deck, which is playing card size. The Halloween deck is much easier for me to shuffle than standard tarot cards. There are some slight variations (vs. the Rider Waite meanings) on some of the cards if you go by the little white book, but the alternate interpretations didn't come across as too far out, so I didn't have any trouble interpreting a reading. I especially love the Hermit, Magician, and Temperance cards, which are shown with active instead of restful and/or meditative figures. Proof that during periods when we're offered a bit of universal "down time", it doesn't mean we're necessarily dormant, but entering a period when we can focus on bettering ourselves, learning new tricks, and cooking up new plans. Great stuff!

Overall, this is a fun, easy to read deck. Again, I love the festive art, and the size of the cards. They're comfortable in the hands, and are the perfect medium between matte and glossy card stock. They shuffle very well without being weak and overly flexible. 

I recommend The Halloween Tarot deck by Kipling West for anyone looking to add seasonal charm to their Halloween tarot readings, or simply for a fresh take on the traditional Rider Waite deck. In my opinion, this is a beautiful, fun, and overall practical deck for use any time of year.

Past, present, future, and a final overall card - the Two of Bats. A
reading I did last week. Just for fun, feel free to leave your own
personal interpretation in the comments if you're so inclined.  :o)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

While I'm Away

I got word a few hours ago my Uncle George passed away last night. He was "the cool uncle". The hippie. A very sudden and unexpected loss for our family. My dad rushed over to be with his sister once he heard, and I'm now waiting to hear from family to see what we'll be doing next.

Blogging will probably be sporadic over the next week or so. I'm going to try scheduling some things, but family comes first. I've already begun tying up loose ends so I can go be with my cousins and aunt when called on.

The NaNoWriMo workshop in Awen on November 17th is still set to go, so if you've scheduled to come, no worries. It's happening as planned. Everything else, reviews, critiques, etc. are being put off until further notice. If you were waiting to hear back on something in particular, email me privately through my website contact form and I'll get back to you asap.

Peace and blessings,

Friday, November 04, 2011

Zombie Pizza

I had a crazy dream last night that I was standing line at a deli with the Oldest bratling. We were there to buy lunch, and one of the boxes on the top shelf was clearly printed with the words Zombie Pizza. It looked like a normal pizza, only it had a lot of veggies and greens on it. Like spinach. Oh, and tons of mozzarella. Hmm. I get it now. It was pale and green. Like a zombie, I guess.

Of course, I took down one of the boxes and offered it to Oldest, who passed, and went down to the hot serve counter to order...something. Whatever it was, it wasn't available. He came back to where I stood with the zombie pizza, and picked up something traditional for himself - sausage and pepperoni, I think.

Minutes later (in the dream), we were home, and in this bright kitchen area that doesn't look like my house at all, and were baking the pizzas we'd bought, when hubby came into the room and said that the "water company replaced the lines". I have no idea what this had to do with our pizzas, but we turned on the faucet and the water came gushing through. Talk about loud. I thought to myself, wow, we've never had such great water pressure. Which, in waking life is true. I just have no idea why I dreamed about it. And before you, it wasn't because my subconscious was trying to tell me I had to pee. :P

It's after 2pm, so I have to go pick up Mini Beast from school soon. Quickly, before I have to go, I wanted to toss this out there about the upcoming NaNoWriMo workshops going on in Second Life. These workshops are free to attend, and will be held in voice chat.

Nov. 17, 7:00PM: Workshop by author Cassandra Curtis 
Author of the Midnight Effect and Shifting Tides trilogy.
In this mini-workshop, Ms. Curtis shows how a writer can deepen the characterization of an existing protagonist, antagonist, or develop a secondary character by using a few simple diagrams, an interview sheet, character check list, traits, and even an exercise she invented called the Writer’s Duel, which creates multi-player participation in a game setting. Developing your character look in SL will be briefly discussed as well.

Nov. 17, 7:30PM: Workshop by author Cora Zane 
Are you struggling with your NaNoWriMo story? Erotic romance author Cora Zane will be covering ways to kickstart a story that has stalled, and get you back on track to reaching your 50k NaNoWriMo project goal.

Both workshops will be held here in Second Life: 

This weekend, I'll be working on revisions for the Shiver's story. It needs quite a bit of work, me thinks. Most of it is fleshing out scenes, characterization work, and an emphasis on building suspense. A tall order, but I'm on it.

I'm going to do the best I can to get this book as clean as possible this month. If I go over into December, that's fine, but hopefully I'll have it clean enough to submit in December. Then I have that short erotica story to write before the year is out, so I have time to revise it. Once that is done, I'll be able to take another look at the September Experiment. Hopefully the time I've spent away from it, will be beneficial for when I go back and pick it up. The material shouldn't be overly familiar with me by that point, so I should be able catch more issues in need of revision. We'll see.

That's all for now. Oh, one last thing...I haven't forgotten the Halloween deck. I finally took a pictures of it, but once again, I'm out of time. This weekend I'll have it up - I promise. Cross my heart and all that. ;*) Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Books, More Books, and Writing Books

I'm about to move into the living room with my Shivers wip. Everyone else has gone to bed for the night, so the house is quiet. And mostly clean. Not an easy feat with all the guys tracking back and forth through the house in the evenings.

There's still laundry to throw in the dryer, which I'll fold before I go to bed. It's not that much, and I really don't mind doing it. At this point, it offers at least some excuse for my insomnia. Gotta stay up late - to finish the laundry, of course. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'd like to pick through at least one full chapter of the Shivers story tonight, and hopefully I'll have time left over to read a few more pages of Zen in the Art of Writing book before it gets too terribly late. Very interesting and inspiring book so far.

Earlier today I worked on stuff for the upcoming NaNo workshop in Second Life, and took down Halloween decorations. I also took some pictures of the Halloween tarot deck with my phone so I can do that up coming review. (It's coming soon, I promise!)

Toward the end of the year, I'm going to go through all the books I've read this year (a LOT of books) and I'm going to do a top ten list of the ones I liked, and/or found most helpful, etc.

I think I have about four more books to read before I'm ready to start list making. Off the top of my head, I can honestly say 90% of all the books I've read this year have been non-fiction, mostly writing related books. My last trip to a brick and mortar store was my anniversary weekend - Halloween weekend. I ended up buying four non fiction books for myself, including the Ray Bradbury "Zen" book. Two books were on ghost hunting, and one a fun little book on traditional witches. Hubby picked out two non fiction books on Louisiana which I should group together in with my own purchases since they all go on the same card. That's two more non-fiction books. And lastly, I bought Oldest a paranormal YA fiction/romance, which is his preferred type of book to read.

Most of the romantic fiction I've bought this year has been through Kindle, and were mostly books from writers or publishers I'm associated with in some way.

Of the paperback fiction books I've bought and read...the books that weren't Harlequins of some kind, were trade paperbacks. I don't think I purchased a single, mainstream mass market paperback this year. Without a doubt, this is a first for me.

I'm only missing one book on my "to-buy" list for this year: Christine Feehan's Dark Peril. As soon as I see it on the shelf in my area, I'll be buying it...hopefully in mass market paperback. Otherwise, I'll have to get it on Kindle. Oh! Last but not least, I bought two books in hard cover this year: Robert Heinlein's Friday, and a YA hard cover - The Replacement. I can't think of the author right off hand.

Hmm, interesting stuff... If I have time, I might go back and make a list of all the books I've bought and read this year. I've noticed that as I've gotten older, my reading habits have changed. I'm more selective about what I buy. I've made fewer impulse purchases when it comes to books. That last trip to the bookstore, now that I think of it, I went in with specific books in mind. So, I had a target subject going on. Not exactly impulsive. Also, until now, I had no idea I read so much non-fiction!

So there are a few rambling things to think about before bed. Not really what I set out to blog tonight, but that's just where my mind was flowing. Books, books, and writing books. Surprising, eh? ;o)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Back In The Trenches

Oh, hi, November. How did you sneak in here?  I woke up this morning thinking - we are weeks away from Thanksgiving. Then a few more weeks away from Christmas. Jeez, it feels like only yesterday it was August. Time is slipping through my fingers at an alarming rate.

Officially, I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I have two "completed" projects to revise, and one more to write and polish for submission by the end of the year. ALL of this needs (ideally) to be completed by late February. Yikes.

In March, I'll be pitching the September Experiment at conference. The short and polish is due at the end of January. And the shivers story had damn well be out of her before either of those other projects. Because...well, it just needs to be. I don't like sitting on a novella for that long.

Taking all this into consideration, I dove back into the trenches yesterday with the Shivers story. I need a title for that thing, stat. I've learned so much from the Manuscript Makeover book, I'm kind of excited to be working on the Shivers again...but I'm also kind of dreading it.

The book is patchy at best, and needs a few more scenes tossed in to make it whole. I'm using this as my Dr. Frankenstein book. I'm going to cut it apart, stuff it full of god only knows what, then sew it back together and try to breathe life into it using all the new things I've learned over the past two months. If this operation is successful...or even if it isn't...I'm going to take away from the process whatever I can, because the next one up is the September Experiment manuscript and that's a full length novel. Which for all Frankenstein-ing purposes could very well mean it will be hellish to revise it. I'm intimidated, I admit, but there's no better way to learn than by doing. At least, that's what my mother tells me.

Onward to books... I'm now reading Zen in the Art of Writing, Releasing the Creative Genius Within You, by Ray Bradbury. I should be finished with this one soon. After this one, a fiction book. I've got Afternoon Delight {erotica for couples} edited by Alison Tyler next up on my TBR stack. I have to admit, I've cheated. I've already read a few of the stories in the Alison Tyler book, but then I had to get back to work. ;o)

So there's my current to do list laid out for me. I still need to get that review up for the Halloween Tarot deck. I meant to do that yesterday, but once again, time got away from me. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something else, but I can't imagine what, so I'm going to escape while I can. <g> I have to go pick up Mini from school in a little while, and I need to hop in the shower before I go.

Oh! One last thing... (yep, forgot something, alright) I'll be giving a NaNoWriMo workshop on November 17th in Second Life. The workshop is free, and will cover how to work with a story that has stalled. That same day, my critique partner Cassandra Curtis will be giving a workshop on Characterization.

If you're inworld, and would like to attend, send a message to Bryn Forsythe, Cassandra Sharktooth, or Cora Waverider for more information. I'll also be posting more information here, on my blog, as we get closer to the event date.