Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spring Writing Rant

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Spring is officially here. With that, I did a free eBook promo on Chrysanthemum. Thank you to all of the people who took advantage of that promotion. I hope you enjoy it and I’ll post occasional updates on my website on the release of the sequel, A’gust. The title says it all, doesn’t it? Talk about someone with secrets.

Also on my website, I mentioned Teri & Dev’s birthdays were coming up in April. To celebrate that, I’ll have a promo on AKA Lexi Frost and the rest of the series. I also have a promo on the sequel, Flynn’s In, to cap off March, just because I could within the Amazon rules, but we’ll see it again as part of the series promotions starting next month. (Including a promotion on A Thousand Words. I haven’t done a free book promo on that one before, so: Yay for everyone trying to slowly collect the series on promotions!) Hopefully by then I’ll have Transitions finished. I’ll tell you what happened there another time.

I’m busy finishing the sequel for Be Careful What You Wish For. I finally got that timeline issue figured out and I’m almost done with the first draft. I want to finish that while it’s on my mind. It’s not truly a sequel, although Olive plays a big role. You’ll see. For those out there who wish they could find a genie in a bottle – no you don’t. Some things are just more trouble than they’re worth.

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Spring Tasks & Invisible Spiders

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Celebrate Spring!

It’s that time of year: we get the sprinkler system set up, put the first round of weed killer on the lawn, and spray for bugs. Prep for gardening too, that’s a blast. Then you get really into it and do that ‘spring cleaning’ thing with the house while you can still throw open all the windows to let the fumes escape without either heating up the house to oven-like temperatures or jacking up the electric bill to pay the AC. It’s a narrow window for fresh air inside the house and still being comfortable.

Also, spring break. I don’t want to talk about that. Hold on, if the kids are home from school, that’s more time for them to garden and clean. Hmm. This idea has merit. Except The Girl is freaked out about spring cleaning because she saw a spider in the house the other day. One.

Hubby has foolishly labeled these indoor spiders ‘the ones that match the carpet’ so I’m waiting for the day that The Girl figures out that means they’re camouflaged. On one hand, I’m looking forward to watching her navigate the house without stepping on the floor. On the other hand, she’s already slightly neurotic and feeling surrounded by ‘invisible’ spiders is unlikely to help.

I have never seen one of these spiders on the floor. (It doesn’t mean they’re never on the floor, just that I’ve never caught them there.) I’m prepared to cite this as ‘proof’ that these particular spiders (just some harmless garden spider, they’re not even that big) prefer to be on walls. I’ve never seen them on the ceiling either – further evidence to support my theory. This should placate her budding arachnophobia when it rears its head. Maybe. As long as I can keep her logical little brother out of the fray, or her ‘helpful’ father.  

The Boy has his own issues. He’ll deal with his own spiders, thank you very much. He has a Y-chromosome and he’s willing to demonstrate its usefulness. The Boy’s issue is that he dislikes being outside. Seriously, the kid redefines ‘pasty’ as a description. His sister likes to tease him that he glows in the dark. This is part of the reason why he’ll willingly blow holes in my ‘spiders like the walls’ theory. Or he’ll trade her jobs and stick her with his share of gardening duties, then point out there are more spiders outside than inside.

No, we are not taking bets on this.

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I’m a Literary Psychopath

ImageI’ve come to the horrifying realization that I’m a literary psychopath. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why. Spoilers. Not a literal psychopath, a literary one. There’s a very big difference. Please don’t send people with torches or the police to my door.

Most writers know that some of their counterparts, if they’re not among the sect themselves, like to kill the occasional character. It depend on what you write. If you write murder mysteries, it’s a sure bet you get to do this. Thrillers? Almost guaranteed. Literary fiction? Maybe, it depends. Write it and see where it goes. SciFi/Fantasy? The same. Romance? Um . . . not usually. Not graphically anyway. Long death scenes just aren’t romantic. (Take that Shakespeare!)

I write romance – usually – and I kill characters. Habitually, it turns out. But I don’t draw it out, except once. Well, and I have another one coming up . . . never mind. I also write literary thrillers, but that’s a new thing. Since I killed a character something like five times, I decided maybe that one wasn’t romance after all.

It’s okay, it’s good. It’s healthy. I save my emotional scenes (death, sex, whatever) for when I’m in the appropriate mood for them. When Hubby has a bad day, he takes it out on the dishes. Pots slam against the counter as he makes dinner, or unloads the dishwasher (and I shoot dirty looks to The Boy for not having done it already because it’s his job!) When I have a bad day, I calmly walk to my computer, lock myself in my room, and kill a character or otherwise ruin their life. The Lexi Frost and Thousand Words series? I’ve had those mapped in general for years. And I’ve been writing key scenes for years. I still have to write the actual books and jigsaw in the scenes I wrote a year or two ago, but the biggies I’ve got written or outlined because I was mad at someone or just really had to write a good sex scene and knew these characters hooked up at this point in the future. It’s the unexpected sex scenes I have to write now. Pretty weird for someone who doesn’t plot things as a rule.

And yet I still haven’t found a way to kill someone off by feeding them to piranha. (Everyone needs goals.)

Anyway, writing death scenes helps. It releases a lot of tension. Writing the aftermath of the death of someone from the viewpoint of someone who was close to them is even better. A lot of emotion there. (Okay, that’s worthy of the romance genre.) For those who enjoy writing, I suggest considering this as an exercise, assuming of course you have a supply of tissues on hand and no small children who are going to interrupt and ask you what’s wrong. It’s really difficult to explain a connection to a fictional character to a child.

“Your imaginary friend died?”

“No, honey, he’s not my . . . Yes. My imaginary friend died.” I killed him by having his parachute fail to open. Then his backup got tangled, forcing him to struggle with it and blowing him off course. He landed in a tree, breaking several bones. Falling from the tree, he then fell backward down a ravine where he landed among boulders and was bit by a rattlesnake.

“That’s sad.”

“Yes.” It was overkill. Literally literary overkill.

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