On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Craft Seminars -- Disclaimer

I’ve been listening to the tapes from the RWA conference (I bought a full set), on Craft. The first seminar was of a class I’d heard got rave reviews at other places, but I was dissappointed in that I learned nothing new. Many, many times I get new insights. This wasn’t one of them.

The second class brought me excellent insights. I started writing down scene notes. But I had a hard time listening at first because I didn’t like the speaker’s style. I’m pretty sure that we would not see eye-to-eye on anything and that she’ll never read my work. BUT, even though I wasn’t thrilled with her manner, and even though I wasn’t exactly listening to her advice or planning to follow what she said, I DID get that little ZING of “oh, of course if I did THAT, it might work!” Absolutely reasons to listne to courses that you might not think would yield you anything.

And also a reminder that a good writer is a good writer and you CAN learn from any good writer.




May you receive new insight on your work today.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Financial Freedom

It's late and even with the time change I am up FAR too late/early, and I'd like to get this done, but what I wanted to post -- my Mile Hi Con promo or my wallet calendars, are not readily available on this computer.

What to say that will be deep and meaningful? Ahem. I heard an author say that (s)he wanted a nap, but had already checked out of the room, and when (s)he got rich and famous (went Hollywood) (s)he would rent the room for an extra day.

I think my mouth fell open. Or I goggled. This author is quite famous according to me and I'm sure my money is a lot less. But after many years and many awards, the money is still tight.

Depressing. **Sigh** Financial freedom is nothing to be sneezed at, and I keep hoping that someday my writing will support me and cats.

May you write for the love of it (and what would your characters do if they had financial freedom?)


Sunday, October 29, 2006

06 Mile Hi Con 2

I waited a little yesterday for the wallet calendars to come and barely made it in time for Jane's corsetry seminar. Excellent presentation as always about corsets v. bustiers, the garment through the centuries and corset myths -- i.e. an orthopedic surgeon has researched medical procedures back to the Victorian age and has found no records of rib removal which would have been a Very Big Deal back then.

My moderation of the Writers From Mars, Plot Lines From Venus, was good. About men writing sex/romance in sf/f. I did not fall down on the job.

My Mom called right before I left for the con. "Oh, someone is there? A person is still alive in that household?" This is what I get if I've been incommunicado lately. If I call, it's "Oh, who is this? A daughter? I have a daughter? Fancy that." I asked her for a ride to the airport at 5 am next week.

I've gained an extra hour this am and plan to use it writing before I go into the con and hang, then pick up my little promo stand and leftover calendars. I didn't bid on any art this year. Nothing caught my interest so I became obsessive about it.

I'll be writing early every morning, I think.

May your writing day go smoothly.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

06 Mile Hi Con

Running late. The reading went well, I read from late in chapter 1 from Sorceress of Faith (actually this was one of my first openings for the book), and marked up the book to give a little set up.

I read with Carol Berg and she was a little worried that she'd take up her full 25 minutes, so I volunteered to go first. I should have practiced of course, but it still went well and the scene took about 17 minutes, so we were fine.

For some reason I wasn't signed up for Autograph Alley and since the space was tight, I didn't get set up. A twinge of disappointment, but not too bad.

The wallet calendars WERE sent expedited, so they may possibly show up today, if not UPS (I don't care for UPS, they are unavailable on the weekend). At least I should have them for world fantasy.

Gotta go, supporting my friend Jane with her revised presentation on corsets -- another day of clothes changes. Currently wearing new knit pants, bright blue turtleneck and my Shakespeare comic t-shirt.

May your day not be disjointed and you make your goals today.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Henna Artist

I've had henna art from these ladies for two years and love it!

No, I didn't even consider having them do the tatt on HeartMate.

May your writing go well today (and consider changing a character's appearance).

Mile Hi Con

Not much time to blog this am. Mile Hi Con is today, I've put in the comp time to take off early because I'm doing Improvocation (improv exercises to warm up attendees) and my reading today.

I'll be reading from Sorceress of Faith since it is out. The last two cons I read from the books coming out the next February. But I think it's better to read from a work that's out.

I'm using my writing time this am to make promo items. My Wallet Calendars didn't come in time. Much cursing. I usually do booklets but they cost as much as wallet calendars for fewer and I didn't do the set up to send to the printer. Sigh.

There was a miscommunication between me and my supplier. So now I'm spending hours making something and praying the wallet calendars will make it to World Fantasy Con next week.

I'll be at the day job for another month.

Henna party was great, though with a very snowy day my pattern (a pentacle surrounded by Willow leaves) the paste didn't last long and one part of my pattern is much lighter than the other.

Hope to see bats in Austin.

All for now.

May you escape into your writing today.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Seams Like Magik

I was wrong, Jane's site IS up. See above.

And your characters don't dress funny, do they?

May your characters like their body type today.

Professional Appearance

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I usually have scruffy clothes for around the house (and writing), posh casual (as the Brits say) for day job, and Convention Clothes that usuallt consist of black pants and shirt and an overwrap, usually a scarf-coat, some elaborate with sequins for evening wear, some not.

I also have black velvet pants and black velvet jacket and colorful blouses. That’s “professional” for me, though I can do jacket and pants and blouse for a more professional, office wear look.

I have a bunch of Holy Clothing (ebay store) outfits too. Velvets in gray and red and maroon and blue and purple, about 6 sets I think. These are definitely fantasy/con wear.

Tonight I’m getting a corset made especially for me by my friend Jane Campbell, of Seems Like Magic (I don’t think her website is updated yet so I’m not linking you there). We picked the fabric (black with chinese-type tree designs in multi-colors) a couple of weeks ago.

I attended a seminar she gave on corsets earlier this year and learned. 1) They can be surprisingly comfortable. 2) I have a fabulous figure for corsets. They make me look incredible.

But I am pretty darn sure they aren’t professional wear, even at fantasy cons. Of course, I’ve gotten nothing back from WFC notifying me that I’m on any panels or anything, so I guess I don’t have to worry about that. Don’t know if I will have any sort of special badge saying I’m an Author. So I may go incognito. And advertise Jane’s wares.

I’m torn. Do I wear my Author Clothes (somewhat colorful and flowing) or my even outrageous fan get-up? How much does “professional” image count at these things if I’m just messing around? For Mile Hi Con, I’ll wear pants and a jacket and blouse for the reading (and I may have to do a quick change, ‘cause I’m doing Improv exercises at Improvocation right before). And my most demure cut velvet ruana for the panel I’m moderating. Then I’ll wear my fantasy play clothes. I’ve been attending Mile Hi con for a lot of years.

Decisions, decisions.

May your characters dress appropriately today. (And what happens if they don't?)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Readers’ Loops

And I also hang out on readers' loops to see what is hot. Current topics:

The TV Show Heroes
Trilogies – secondary characters becoming heroes and heroines and whether the most important is saved for last
Favorite Series
Actor Casting for Favorite Books
Recent Reads
Book Suggestions
Authors’ Websites
Book Shopping Experiences (rude clerks bashing romance)

May you please yourself as a reader today.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Writers’ Loops

Readers, ever wonder what we talk about? Writers, sound familiar?

Here’s a list of current topics:

World Fantasy Convention
Omniscient Point of View
The Romance Writers of America’s RITA Contest (Due November 30, my editor is nominating Heart Quest)
Dear Abby Column Bashing Romance
Medical Examiners
Online Video Promo for Books (I have one in the works)
The Romance Writers of America’s National Conference Seminars Application (Due November 1. Mine has been received)
Query Letters & Synopses
Agents Who Want Romantic Suspense
African-American Erotica
Manuscript Packagers (sending Queries for Authors)

May you forget about the business today.

Monday, October 23, 2006

October Website Update

Just a note about my October Update

I bought several “key” pins to give away when Heart Quest came out, and the contest is for one of them. The excerpt is about the Charmkey.

Free Your Artist deals with memories and autumn.

The Worlds page has the soundtrack (with links to listen) for Heart Quest. The soundtrack includes themes for Trif, Ilex, Greyku kitten, and the “HeartCall.”

May you fulfill your bliss today.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Alternate Histories

Alternate Histories are a subgenre of SF/F. What would happen, if, say, the Nazi's invaded England and won World War II? What kind of world would we have? And that has been done to death, by the way.

Here's an interesting column on the above sceanario and two relatively recent books.

My particular favorite Alternate Histories, are the magical/mystery stories of
Randall Garrett which take place in Britain where Richard the Lionhearted's descendants rule (if I recall rightly, anyway the Plantagenets are still on the throne).

The article on Nazis-Win-World-War II above made some excellent points about doing your research (especially military), suspension of disbelief and polemics -- using a novel to state political concerns.

Digressing (don't I always?) I have themes in my books that can be seen as slightly political sometimes -- the gangs in HeartMate and the cleaning up of Downwind, but, to be honest, those came out of the story.

It's my world (as the above are other authors') and I get to have no male pattern baldness, nudity is not something to be embarrassed about, and (something I realized yesterday) the old Sins-Of-The-Fathers-Visited-Upon-The-Children does not apply. I write relatively light.

May your own world be deeply satisfying today.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Comfort Reads

First, it's getting so when I think I might have addressed a topic I do a search of my blog. I really don't want to bore you all with repeats of other than really necessary stuff, though with the passage of time, we all can get fresh views of a topic.

That said, I know I haven't spoken of Comfort Reads.

We all have them, that book or those books or that author(s) we turn to when we just want to escape for a while. My favorite is Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle.

I trust her.

To deliver a story I enjoy, watch the characters, admire the turn of a phrase or the crafting of a love scene.

This is why we "buy the new AUTHOR'S NAME." We know that they won't kill off POV characters, describe grisly details, end unhappily. For comfort reads, those are three must haves for me.

It's different than when I'm feeling strong and adventurous, ready to bend my mind around a new world.

May you be daring OR comfortable today.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Introvert or Extrovert

Most writers are introverts. If you aren’t count yourself blessed because in-person promotion will be much easier for you.

I can be extroverted, I spoke first to a woman at the bus stop this morning and told a little story. Of course, we’ve been sharing the bus stop on and off for about five years – and I don’t know her name, which is a real reflection on me…sigh.

I used to think my mentor was an extrovert. She has a warm and bubbly personality. Then I realized I always saw her at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (which she helped found, I think) and she knew and was known by everyone there, surrounded by friends.

At one of my first critque groups, we did the Myers-Briggs thing and five out of the seven of us were introverts, with Steven being one of those wishy-washy introvert/extrovert people (he’s a Libra).

My father was wildly, enthusiastically extroverted. My Mom is an introvert. I think my brother Tom is like Steven, the other two of us are introverted.

Characters – I think introverts can write extroverts and vice versa, because we all have shades of that OTHER inside us. Just something to think about today, what way your characters swing. I don’t think I’ve written a cheerful, extroverted villain…hmmmm.

May you be introverted or extroverted as needed today.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Writing Seminars

Yes, I believe in attending these and that sometimes I can learn from even the most basic of seminars – hear something in a way before that I’d missed. So when I go to conferences I continue to look at what’s offered that might continue to help me grow and master my craft.

And I give a few, too. ;) I have one called Survive To Write, Write to Survive: How to Hang in There Until You’re Published – Practical Techniques that I’ll be giving to the Heart of Denver Chapter of Romance Writers of America in January. I’ve done this one on line a couple of times, too.

I recently submitted a seminar to national RWA. The deadline is November 1 and the competition is fierce. I heard that snappy titles can really make a difference so this is:
Kill Your Negative Inner Critic! Experience the Joy of Writing! – Practical Exercises.

I think “practical” is important. It means I just won’t spout off about experiences, that I have A Plan. I really like the seminar I put together. I hope I have a chance to give it.

May your writing flow today without any need of brainpower on technique.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I grew up in a noisy house. My Dad had hearing loss as a young man and always seemed to shout and I have two brothers…so, very noisy. My grandmother (Mom’s side) always had the news on in her home – radio or tv, and my Mom caught the CNN habit.

I usually have music going. I have a 50 CD player with radio (doesn’t pick up my fav station well so I don’t listen to it at home), and cassette player. And, of course, I download LOTS of music from emusic (where I get most of my soundtrack music from) that I keep on my computer and listen to when I work at my writing. I also listen to subliminals with headphones.

When I’m at a day job, I’m usually at a secretary’s open station or a cubicle with noise all around.

So I don’t sit and listen to the quiet as often as I should. There’s a lot you can hear in the quiet – trees rustling, rain, cars. I can hear people talking loud as they walk down my street. Sometimes the muffling blanket of snow subdues all other sounds. More quiet.

Ideas can definitely come in quiet time, and I should remember that. You might too.

May the quiet bring you inspiration today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Write it Down II – Scenes

This morning I woke up with just enough time to do a few words before I went to work. Emphasis on FEW, and had a whole scene come to mind. Now there was no way I could take the time to do the scene, so I wrote down bits – beginning, middle – to show where I wanted to go with the scene while they were fresh in my mind.

This is where being a pantzer helps. Tonight I can fill in the scene and get the creative rush and dance around the living room (I’ve been writing on the laptop in the dining room).

This can work to get you back to the computer and also remind you what you’d plan to do.

May you feel the rush today.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Write It Down

I had 3 ideas to deepen one of my stories this weekend, and they weren't anywhere near what I was working on. So I wrote them down.

Don't think that you will remember, you won't -- at least I don't and in general I have a pretty good memory for all that is writing. But for me, ideas come half formed and writing them down solidifies them, as well as keeping a record.

One of these ideas was an old one I HADN'T written down and I had to scramble around in the brainbox to find it. Now they're down and I feel much better.

I heard of a study where they tested the memories of young people and older folks and the older folks had better ones, and the particular conclusion they came to in this study was because the older folks didn't rely on their memories of tasks to be done but wrote them down.

So even a line or two out of context, enough to give the gist of what you want to all or set up helps.

May the threads you're weaving be rich today.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Character Skill Sets

Back to Nora Roberts' Dance of the Gods and Blair riding horses (that I didn't recall the set-up). It's an automatic thing that if you're writing a Fish-Out-Of-Water story, you're going to have to explain your characters' skill-sets. Either they can do a thing on Earth and adapt to another planet or can't.

Or can adapt or not. Take riding. Alexa never rode. She has trouble riding on Lladrana, and can manage a horse but not a flying steed. Marian came from a background and family with at least a superficial interest in horses, so she has ridden but is not proficient.

Calli is a cowgirl -- and is the person who bonds with the flying horses and the knights that ride them.

So I've handled that. I've handled the language (Alexa has trouble and will always speak with an accent, Marian knows French and picks up Lladranan easily, Calli is fine with languages, and of course there's that sex bond thing).

Again, whatever your story demands, your characters should have strengths and vulnerabilites, and you should show these. Trite but true.

May your characters surprise you today.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Average American Women Summoned to Another Dimension To Fight Encroaching Evil

That's my short blurb, log line, for the Summoning series. And I'm tying this into yesterday's post about readers missing things because I have a couple of reviews and a critique buddy who just don't GET the concept of this.

One of those -- "You can't make me suspend my disbelief, ever" -- these are readers that I just have to sigh and give up on and say "go forth and read other authors." The same with readers who "hate talking animals." There will probably always be talking beasties in my books. You will always dislike my books. Don't waste your money.

The problems with the Summoning stories for the above readers is that, for whatever reason, they can't buy into the fact that a person would go to another planet, acclimate, and stay. They are focused on Earth. Even if I do my best to motivate my heroines, they worry about what is going on back home. Even if most of my heroines have little "back home" to return to (at least in the first three Summoning books). While these readers are worrying about Earth, about how the heroine is becoming part of the Lladranan culture too soon (Ever), I am moving on with the fantasy story and not taking them along.

I HATE when people say "I don't read that kind of book." I always want to say "Trust me, baby, mine's different." But maybe it isn't. Maybe someone really CAN'T suspend the disbelief enough to be swept into my stories of another time, another place.

There are some readers you will never reach. And, yes, I guess I am working through this in this blog.

May you charm all your readers today.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Prequel Scene to Protector of the Flight Now UP!

At my website: http://www.robindowens.com/reads/TeaserPOF.pdf

This is the scene I wrote when the book originally opened on the other world of Lladrana. As you can tell, old friends are back and the hero, Marrec Guardpont, is introduced. This scene is NOT in the book because we wanted to start with Calli, since it’s her story…so this scene takes place after the end of Sorceress of Faith and the beginning of Protector of the Flight. I hope you enjoy.

May you use all your scenes today.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Promotion -- Real Life (rant re: unupdated business sites, banks)

This morning I got up early to write and decided to reorder checks before I forgot.

All right for the last 4-5 years I have had my latest book cover on my personal checks as advertising. And I know they worked at least once when I got an email from the woman who works at my auto repair (water pump replaced for the 3rd time) last week who said she liked the looks of Sorceress of Faith, visited my website and liked the excerpts, etc.

RANT – I needed to reorder the checks so I went to Clarke American. NOWHERE is there the fact that they have discontnued these checks. I go around and around looking at stuff I don't want. Then I go to "how to reorder" and they have instructions for uploading your pic to make your own checks. Still no help. I try their chat feature. It doesn't work. I call their service line. Automated with no help. By this time, their real customer service is up and I call them. The checks are discontinued.

Well, since they are discontinued and I qualify for free checks from my bank, can I have the free checks? No. The bank has to do that.

Calling the bank – automated system again. Five minutes later (and I had more in my checking than I knew), I get a real person – you have to wade through all the stuff until you find an option for a customer rep. She was great, but bottom line, I gotta call my branch. The computers are slow, she can't get my branch phone no. for me. I should drop by.


Ok, sometimes automated phone systems are ok. Mostly they're not. Bottom line re: messed up website at Clarke American and automated phone at CA and my bank: 1/2 hour wasted. This is not efficiency. Naturally, this makes me consider taking my business elsewhere. My bank used to be great, have Real People online 24 hours (or nearly, I recall talking to them at midnight and 6 am...). Now they don't do that. And if automated systems are down for maintanence, I get completely infuriated.

There was one point where they said if you need help, say "help." Naturally I screamed it ... after all, it's automated and I believe in scream therapy since I live alone. Instead of getting a real person, I got an automated help menu.

Blogger is not loading.

Ok, obviously big rant, still steamed. When I go into work, I will, for the 3rd day in a row, go to my bank, this time to "get my profile changed" for the free checks.

Well, I walked by my bank to the bus stop (not open of course), and saw that two wild roses had opened on their bushes. Beautiful.

May your characters have great frustration and you none today.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Readers Missing Stuff

I just finished reading Nora Roberts' Dance of the Gods and the heroine of the second book in this trilogy is Blair, the demon (vampire) hunter from Chicago. She rides horses and I wondered how she learned. I'm sure Nora told us readers, probably in book one, Morrigan's Cross, but I don't recall. Or it can be assumed that Blair (the heroine) learned as part of her extensive training, there are still parts of this world that are more accessible by horseback.

The thing is, I missed it. And if the fact was mentioned in Dance of the Gods, I missed that, too.

Readers will miss details that might bother them. So the problem is to try and mention a fact a couple of times to remind the reader, but not blugeon them to death with it. And again this applies to motivation and suspension of disbelief (especially in fantasy). I completely believe that Blair can take down vampires because she's trained all her life to do so. Nora shows us some of her training in a past memory (flashback) that also relates to her problems with relationships. Double duty for that passage.

And, again, if the readers start wondering about facts, it pulls them out of the story and you may lose them now and forever...you know how I feel about that.

On the flip side, if I've done my best to give readers the facts-motivations and they miss them and that shows up in reviews, I wince and suck it up. They missed something I did my best to do.

For other readers of my books who DIDN'T miss what I said, the review will reflect poorly on the reviewer (as the above will reflect on me as soon as one of you says, "Oh, she said something about that on page something-or-other." But at least I'm warning you that I missed it).

So, as a writer and a reader be aware that you DO miss things. Critique buddies miss things (occasionally we go a round with someone's work -- where did you say that? says one -- and others jump in...oops). As a reviewer, please double check your facts.

May your prose be eloquent today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Day Job

My time at the day job will be ending October 31, which is probably a good thing since I have Mile Hi Con the weekend before and World Fantasy starting the following Thursday.

I'm nervous, as always, with the lack of steady income, but on the other hand, I'm also excited to once more attempt to get into the groove of writing.

May your windows of opportunity not open onto a big drop.

Blank Space

One day a student asked Taiga, "What is the most difficult part of painting?" Taiga answered, "The part of the paper where nothing is painted is the most difficult." - Zen Saying

Lately writing has been work and I think of the blank page with dread. I also think of the above saying and it heartens me...if Zen masters still have that problem, I'm in good company.

Yes, little RAH! RAH! sayings help, small pep talks.

When the writing is good, when I'm really in the zone and rockin' it can be almost as good as sex.

So I've come to the conclusion that if I sit at the computer long enough, eventually I'll overcome the blank page and start writing, then I'll get in the zone, then... This could work.

Bottom line, derrier in the chair.

May the blank space give you no trouble today.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Simple Everyday Pleasures

I know I was going to talk about the novella Heart & Sword (a prequel set on Nuada's Sword with a revived Captain facing a mutiny after centuries of travel with no reaching the original plantet, and his wife still sleeping in the stasis tube) which didn't sell, but that means talking about Heart Thief and a fantasy writing technique that I was exploring and didn't work and why it didn't work...so I'm putting that off because I REALLY want to get to Heart Dance this morning.

So, Simple Everyday Pleasures. When was the last time your hero or heroine enjoyed a simple everyday pleasure? Even those on a quest can admire a running brook and how it is cold from the mountains or warm from the sun...

It's getting cool here (though I wore a sweatshirt out yesterday and fried), and this morning I ran the drier a little (from laundry done last night) and plucked out the first two socks and slipped them on. Oh, YEAH! Feet are erogenous zones...

So I thought of this blog. Give your characters a break, let them cherish a simple thing today (and you can twist it bad tomorrow).

May you enjoy writing today,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Seduced By Magic

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSEDUCED BY MAGIC by Cheyenne McCray
(St. Martin’s; October 3, 2006)

Copper Ashcroft is an accomplished D'Anu witch, but the magic she wields is a potent force—strong enough to hurl her into a mysterious Otherworld when a spell backfires. Before Copper can escape, another being is pulled into her realm—Tiernan, a powerfully virile Tuatha D'Danann warrior. Blond, blue-eyed, and shamelessly seductive, Tiernan could be Copper's savior…and his touch sets her body on fire.

Like others of his kind, Tiernan stands alongside the D'Anu witches to battle the demons of the Underworld. Obligation to his cause and his people cautions against any entanglement with Copper, yet each second spent with this beautiful, uninhibited woman stirs an insatiable hunger. Desire explodes into carnal bliss, but the visions that haunt Copper's dreams are growing stronger, and they foretell a terrifying evil waiting to be unleashed…

Saving the city will take more than brute strength…more than witchcraft. Only together can Copper and Tiernan find a way to overcome the dark forces—and seize a passion that has bewitched them both..

May your writing seduce you today,

Friday, October 06, 2006

Book Files

Again with the Pantzer Organization, I have folders within my folders...and files inside those. I cut the background on my computer for the pic below because like many backgrounds I use on my computer I got it off the net, don't know where, and always like to give artists credit. I'll just say that the backgrounds keep my Inner Creative Child happy and help me set the mood

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I took a couple of the more interesting scenes from my Scenes file (TrifAltar and TinneTavern) and put them here just to tease, but bits from all files can occasionally end up in the main file.

Each Heart book has it's own master file in Ablaze, because I started writing them first. All the Luna books, and other series, are under their series name, like Exotic Summoning.

May organization please you today.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Snapshot of Working Files

We all have different ways of handling our organization of files. As you can see below, I don't put my documents in a "My Documents" folder. I think of that as a little extra security against viri, raiders, whatever. I put them in a file called Ablaze (at the top of any list), then as you can see. As a pantzer, I do have "conventions" for naming my files in my files.

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May you find everything you need today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Story Threads

Now and then you reach some point in a book where you realize you have to go back and weave in a thread – a subplot, a person’s motivation, something else. I found that in Heart Dance.

While I don’t really mind doing it, it can be tiring, and I’m determined to do this better than the last time (Guardian of Honor).

I think it depends on where you are in the book and what sort of writer you are as to whether this bothers you. I revise often as I go along. I think it’s impossible for me to zoom through a book just writing a rough and not revising, though I like that idea a lot.

May the tapestry of your story be perfect today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Somewhat Flexible

Lately I did a long marathon of Protector of the Faith line edits (and the very next week, the copy edits – which consisted of answering about 16 questions) and cutting/fixing stuff. Now that’s my Luna book, but as I put “STET” (leave like it is), I thought of the Heart Quest edits.

My editor had a new assistant for Heart Quest and I think I got some cover pages I wasn’t supposed to see that went to the copy editor. On one form was a box that asked how “flexible” a writer was (like how much the writer would let you mess with his/her work). Mine read. “Somewhat.”

I was both insulted and amused. What do you mean “somewhat?” Don’t I take direction? If my editor wants someone to exclaim (a word I don’t use), doesn’t that person exclaim? Well, I found a paragraph structure pattern in the Luna books that my editor corrected every time. And I studied it every time, and I let her do it for a while. But if it was at a BIG point (and I usually used this paragraph structure during intense moments), I put STET.

And then there’s the Cat/dog thing. Cats, when speaking, always speak of other Cats as Capitalized, and Me, Mine, We. Cats, speaking of dogs, always speak in lower case, even at the beginning of a sentence. “dog is stupid. puppy is silly.” My friend said that the copy editor wouldn’t “get” that, but from the very first, they have. And they correct me if I screw up now. And, yeah, attached to the cover sheet was a two page list of my made up words….

May you take yourself lightly today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cover Art Again

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One of the best times of a book is when I see the cover art. Ok, I always worry and none is ever perfect (except Heart Duel, and what I have above is the ART not the final cover)...and Sorceress is excellent and Protector, too.

But here is one I did myself for my old FREE, ONLINE SERIAL READ:

The photo belonged to (c) Alex Tan, and the model to (c) Ian and Dominic Higgins. I put them together and added the lettering. I DO have permission to use both. And no, the Castle should be in winter, but I got the feeling right, I think.

May all your visuals be spectacular in your writing today.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


My editor wasn't crazy about the title Heart Match (maybe because it sounded like HeartMate). I suggested Heart Dance last week, and she sent me back the back cover copy calling it Heart Dance, so that's what it will be.

And since I haven't written the ending, I have a feeling that's what I'll have them do -- dance.

This is great -- it opens up some more excellent ideas for scenes.

Dufleur Thyme is dragged onto the social scene for various reasons, so there have been and will be more opportunities to dance.

Speaking of dancing, the Celtans do line dancing (like contra dancing/sqare dancing) and I found this absolutely FABULOUS website for old dancing and watched some of the clips over and over, like the Grand March.

May your title stimulate your brain today and may you dance at the end of the day!

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