Monday, March 23, 2015

Looking back to go forward

One of my writing friends (hi Misty Simon!) challenged me to write a short story for an anthology several of us are doing. My part of it is to be a futuristic (science fiction) story.

In order to come up with some ideas for this story, I went back and looked at some old shorts I'd written a long time ago. And wow. I had a lot of them. But they're really short, some barely a thousand words, so I thought I'd start posting some of them here for you to enjoy. Maybe once a week or so under a new page - Freebies. I'll put the first one up later today (after I get some breakfast) and hope you enjoy them. :)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Challenges and Triumphs

The past month has been a challenge for me. Yes, I had the usual stuff like colds and stomach issues - those are minor (though they don't feel like it at the time), but the biggest challenge was a hole in my retina. Yep. The part of your eye that lets you see. I had emergency cryosurgery (freezing) and was not allowed to read or be on the computer or do any close work for two weeks. That was the worst part. No reading???!!! NOOOOO!!! Everything I do for work and fun involves close work - reading, playing computer games, sewing, even cooking (no reading recipes). For two weeks, I was forced to experience what thousands of people face on a permanent basis. Never have I been so glad to be able to get back to my work.

As for the triumph part, here you go! My new story, THE TURN OF A CARD, is available for preorder from Liquid Silver Books now. YAY!! By pre-ordering, you save 20%.

This is a futuristic novella.  Jess Windemere’s father lost her in a game of cards. Sent to a distant planet to be bound to a stranger, she is determined to regain her freedom. The Turn of the Card Book 1 of Vicky Burkholder’s new romance series, Gambling on Love, is a rollicking space adventure you won’t want to miss. When the turn of a card can seal your fate, you better stack the deck.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Round Robin Fun

Yesterday, I went to my monthly local RWA writer's meeting. We discussed a lot of issues that go with being a writer - publishers, agents, setting goals, and more. But the best part of the day was the writing challenge we set ourselves. We did a round-robin story.

Basically, we started with a sentence, in this case, the old standby "It was a dark and stormy night". Then we each wrote one - and only one! - sentence and passed it on to the next person. There were about 23 of us and we passed the pages around. Some of them were serious, some dark, some downright hilarious. Each person added their own twist to the story. I've included mine below for you to look. Remember - each sentence is by a different person. Something you might want to try with a group of friends.

It was a dark and stormy night. I could barely see the road in front of my carriage.
The hooves of the horses pounded the mud as the driver urged them faster.
I glanced out the window once more, barely able to make out the lantern of the carriage following mine.
When I told Lord Hugh I never wanted to see him again, that included his horses and carriage.
Suddenly, there was a shout and my carriage lurched to the right, barely missing the cloaked figure standing in the middle of the road.
I pulled out a hat pin, ready to do damage.
"Stand down, Miss Winthrop. I mean no harm, only a warning."
"You can take your warning and shove it. Get away from me." I held out the pin.
He shrugged and smiled that infuriating, cocky, lopsided grin.
My palms began to sweat and my heart began to pound in my ears.
"My warning, dear lady, is to be careful of rabid dogs."
"Does that include you?"
"Most definitely, my dear. I am a most dangerous animal."
"Then I'll be happy to put you down with the rest of the dogs."
"You know what they say about sleeping dogs?"
I squeezed the pin in my hand; this Don Juan wannabe ought to get what he deserved.
He raised his eyebrows, held his hands where I could see them and said, "Really, can we at least be friends?"
I stabbed the pin in his upraised hand and commanded the coachman to make haste.
The carriage stood still as the cloaked figure slowly liked the warm blood from his hand.
I shivered at the new, more sinister threat.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Top blogger and other news

I just found out from Kayelle Allen that I was a top blogger for the Romance Lives Forever site for January. Thanks to everyone who commented or looked at the blog. I really appreciate it. :)

If you don't know this blog, you should. It's a really nice one. And thanks to Kayelle and RLF for hosting me!

On other news, I signed a contract for my next book for Liquid Silver Books. Turn of the Card is a futuristic novella that I'm sure you'll enjoy. It will be available April 6, 2015 and I'll share the cover art as soon as I get it. :)

Also, I now have paperback copies of The Emerald Key and should have The Ruby Key soon. The cover art for both was done by Charity Parkerson - an author whose work I love. You can find her stuff by clicking Here.
You can find the ebook for The Emerald Key at Liquid Silver Books (as well as other vendors) and the paperback version here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Contest - We Love Our Readers

A group of paranormal authors and I got together and, because we love our readers so much, we decided to have a contest. We're giving away a Kindle Fire loaded with a book from each of the following authors:

Here are the authors:
Charity Parkerson                                              Terri Reid
Dakota Cassidy                                                 Desiree Holt
Chrissy Peebles                                                 Nancy Corrigan
Calinda B                                                          Kym Grosso
Shannon Mayer                                                Vicky Burkholder
Michele Bardsley                                              W.J. May

Rafflecopter link: Link

Contest ends January 31st so don't delay! 

Check out the authors and good luck.

Note: No purchase is necessary and, unfortunately, this applies to US and Canada residents only.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

End of Year Recap and editorial pet peeves

This has been an interesting year for me. Three stories published (one novel, two novellas), loss of  a major job (editing), health issues, birth of a grandson, cross-country driving trip - like most years, a mixture of good and bad - but mostly on the good side. Yes, I lost a major source of income when the publisher I worked for decided to let all its contract editors go, but I picked up private business and it meant a whole lot less stress for me. So... not good in the loss of a job, but good in that it was better for me overall.

I do still edit for another publisher (whom I really like even if I don't publish with them) and private clients. I'm in the midst of an edit right now with a story I really do not like. (Yes, I have the option of turning down the job, but that doesn't pay the bills, so...). Actually, the story isn't bad but... it's written in first person/present tense and in multiple points of view, which I really really really hate. And even though this author changes chapters with each POV, I still have to stop and figure out whose head I'm in with each new chapter.

This point of view (1st person/present tense/multiples) seems to be a trend of late because this is the third one I've done in the last two months. Ugh. They're horrible to follow. Especially if the author doesn't let you in on who is the lead or changes things up in the middle of a chapter (for one author - in the middle of the paragraph!). I've never read one of these that I liked. Never. I've talked to several of my writing/editing friends and they don't like them either. So why are authors doing them?

First person is okay with a lot of writers and readers, but it's usually past tense (I sat in the overstuffed sofa.) as opposed to present tense (I sit in the overstuffed sofa.). And it is only one *I* involved - not multiple people. But overall, third person past tense (He sat in the overstuffed sofa) is still the preferred POV.

Still, if you're going to write first person/present tense, the very least you can do is keep the tense straight. One previous edit I worked on not only shifted people, but back and forth on the past/present. I had no clue who I was with or *when* I was. It was so confusing, I had to basically rewrite entire chapters just to keep things straight.

So, please, if you're going to do first person/present tense/multiple people - keep the tenses straight and give the reader an indication as to whom we are with. Try to stay with one POV per chapter and label each chapter with who that chapter belongs to. You'll not only make your editor much happier, but your readers as well.

May you all have a wonderful 2015 and here's to more great stories in the new year!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

What a Puzzle

I love word puzzles. Crosswords, word search, whatever the puzzle. I love them. Including the New York Times Sunday crosswords - the only word puzzle I do in pencil. All other puzzles, it's pen for me. :) 

I use them as a way to relax. Some people find that odd, but they really do relax me. Well, okay, not the NYT Sunday one - that one sometimes frustrates me - but I do them before I go to bed in order to unwind.

My dad first started me on crosswords when I was little. I was a "slow" reader. Then my dad, an amazing man who never had a lot of education, but who had a love of the written word. He would take me up on his lap and read to me or do puzzles with me. When we went out in the car, if we were stopped somewhere, he'd find a billboard for me to look at and ask me to make as many words as I could out of the letters on the billboard. He made learning into a game.

And it worked. I became a voracious reader, a writer, an editor... and to this day, I still love word puzzles.

Thank you, Dad. :)

A word challenge for you:
Choose one from #1 and 2 from #2 and use it to write a quick story:

1. "teller of secrets" or "celebrity stalker"
2. "backpack" or "guilt" or "letter to the editor" or "revenge" or "award ceremony"