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, July 31, 2007

Do You Know This Church?

Thanks to all my readers, I found this quickly! It's the basilica of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, France at Webshots by skaitey. In my ignorance I thought the wall of the church was part of the church environs, when it is a model of Toulouse...but I think it still does well for the Singer's Abbey and the Tower at the right for her residence.


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This is the original image I had for the main building (the actual abbey) of Singer's Abbey. It's a model because that's what I was looking for in Sorceress of Faith -- Tuck's house.

I'm sure I pulled it off webshots (looks like the date is September 2005), but it's no longer there. So not only don't I know what church this is, I can't give credit for the photo.

The Singer's Offices, Audience Room, as well as another chapel is King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England (that's "seen" in Protector of the Flight). I have a jumble of buildings as the actual abbey.

Anyway, any help will be gratefully gushed over.

May you have your research at your fingertips.


Yesterday I indulged myself by sleeping very late, and reading favorite books -- 3 of the 4 McCade Brothers series by Nora Roberts and one of my favorite J.D. Robb books, Reunion in Death. I like Glory in Death, Reunion in Death, Divided in Death and Survivor in Death the best so far. Immortal in Death is my least favorite, because, subjective reader that I am, it's the saddest to me.

So, I also finished reading a book for a cover quote, Ann Aguirre's Falling, an excellent science fiction romance that reminded me a lot of Serenity.

I worked on the Elements of Romance panel with my other panelists and emailed the handout to Mario Acevedo (loved his X-Rated Bloodsuckers).

Also handled some emails.

Still haven't gotten into a good schedule and am beating myself up about that a little. Surely there has been time?

I haven't heard much from my editor about Keepers of the Flames, so that's been hard.

And on that scary note I think I'll sign off.

May you know what you have to do today and get it done.

Monday, July 30, 2007

July 30!

It's finally time!

Greetings from Fresh Fiction,

HEART DANCE was chosen to be a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction. Your
cover and a link to HEART DANCE will appear on every page of
FreshFiction.com on July 30, 2007 and mailed to the subscribers of
the Fresh Pick newsletter on July 30, 2007.

The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a
purchased advertisement or promotion. We've chosen your book
because it appeals to us and we like to share our diverse tastes
in reading and hope other readers will give it a try.

Fresh Fiction
http://freshfiction.com ... for today's reader

I'm really thrilled as I know this site and these people.

May life make you smile today.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stuff & Art & Singer for the World

First, been reading authors' loops about RWA and happenings there that were mildly interesting to me, since only mildly interesting, I'm not going to discuss.

Next, I CAN DO ART. I am a spectacular failure at: drawing, sculpture, jewelry, painting, shadow boxes... I think those are the things I've tried.

BUT I CAN DO TIE-DIE! I am EXCELLENT at tie-die. Do not ask me why, but my new shirt is colorful and has a sunburst in the middle and interesting patterns, etc. I was one of the best at the tie die party (of course the child did THE best). It is my new favorite shirt and I'll be putting it on shortly and wearing it for brunch.

Now, I took Singer for the World's first pages to critique and it happens in a theater and I did NOT nail the setting part, so instead of being 9 pages, it will be at least 10, and Jikata will be in Lladrana by the end of of that, fairly quickly. Writing Luthan's scene today, and I hope I can remember the points that occurred to me in the bathtub yesterday.

May you get your setting and descriptions right today.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Writing, Keepers of the Flame

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Well, for the first time since I finished Keepers of the Flame I really sat down and wrote. Yesterday I only got 500 words done, but though I haven't counted today, I must have done more, and it felt GOOD.

I realized as the writing was flowing that, as always, after some time (3 1/2 weeks) and a hard project and edit, I was worried that I'd burned out. Though it's the smart thing to do, I think I made a mistake in working on Singer again. I was tired of Lladrana. Heart Fate would have been easier to get back into. However, now I've started, and the next scene will be Luthan's (whose POV we haven't been in since Guardian), I think I'll be able to finish the proposal.

I heard from my editor and my baby, Keepers of the Flame, is not perfect. ;) Always a jolt. Also longer than she'd anticipated. Well, I was working with twins. Two heroines, two heroes, two love stories as well as the outer fantasy story... but she says there's repetition in the first pages, so that will be tightened.

I don't anticipate doing it. I'll take a look at the cuts that the editors make and decide whether they match the vision I have in my head for all of the books. I'm not arguing that all the words must stay the same, but I can't be the one to cut right now. I've done that and am too close to the book. This is the first time I've worked with this editor and I know she's good, and after some time (maybe a month, I hear), I should have a better perspective. Guess some of the humor will probably go, though.

Critique today, which is why I had to get my butt in the chair and write Singer For A World (I REALLY want to keep that title). I need to get it printed out. The deal for the proposal (last in the series), is 30 pages and synopsis. The synopsis will have to be adjusted, i.e., stuff to be added that was going in 5, but otherwise will be clean. I now have 9 pages and will see today if they're solid.

May your work fulfill you today.

Friday, July 27, 2007

MANGA! Moongazer, Mancusi's Mariah

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MOONGAZER by Marianne Mancusi
Dorchester, August 2007

Imagine every night entering a nightmare world you can't escape and being told your life is a dream. Skye Brown has it all: the cool job, the hot boyfriend, the apartment on New York's Upper West Side. But lately she can't enjoy any of it. She's having dreams of a post-apocalyptic world. Of a bleak futuristic wasteland. Of a struggle against oppression. And she's been told she's a...


But what is that? And what is reality? In her dreams, she's not Skye Brown at all, but Mariah Quinn. In her dreams there's Dawn, the beautiful yet haunted soldier, and Skye is but the empty shell of a girl he once loved. And there was a betrayal, a great betrayal. Ripped between Dark Siders and club kids, the mundane and the mystic, Skye must discover who she is, what she wants and who wants her. And why. But in the glow of the moon, it's not always easy to recognize the face in the mirror.

May you reveal aspects of your characters today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Refilling the Well -- Year to Date Wordcount

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I haven't been doing much the last couple of days. I'd like to go away for the weekend (or maybe sometime next week). I actually have Social commitments. The bi-annual tie dye creativity night (which I've only made once), on Saturday night and mid-week next week one of my neighbors is actually opening his art quilt studio space! Can't miss that!

But I think that going away for a couple of days is a Good Thing. A person needs to refill the creativity well. Before I started seriously writing, I would Go Away to Estes Park with a stack of books, and that sounds fine. Drive through Rocky Mountain National Park (once I rented a moped). Walking around Bear Lake sounds good.

It's true that creative wells need refilling, and even a little break should do it.

I totalled up my yearly word count and it's about 177,000 (I haven't been keeping good records, but that's Keepers of the Flame rough minus the pages I did in 2006 and Heart Fate in the month or so before I sold Keepers on a short deadline). Breaking it down it's about 867 words a day which doesn't look so good. Eh.

My rationalization is that my brain gets tired...

Anyway, that's that, and now I'll eat breakfast and tidy the desk and work on Singer For A World proposal. I've gotten a new first line and though it's awkward, it will get me started. Critique group Saturday, so 10 pages needed.

May you be pleased with your work or your rest today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Keepers of the Flame Ad

The first thing I did yesterday was to do an ad for Keepers of the Flame for the Romance Sells booklet RWA sends free to booksellers and libraries. I was a day late, but managed to squeeze in anyway, the wonder of electronic communication.

The ad isn't fabulous, but it will be fine. It's the longest ad, at 250 words, that I place. I'll have to get my head around it for 50 words for local mailers.

Next, I worked on my email, and got out three electronic ARCs for reviewers so the next time an ad rolls around I can say something specific about Keepers.

Owens' worldbuilding skills are quite evident, and she continues to deliver stories that are
heartfelt and intensely riveting. – Romantic Times

With the perfect blend of love, honor and magic, I can't resist a book by Robin Owens -- Gina Showalter

This is among the most joyful series of novels in any genre...when the ending page arrives, YOU feel the Snap, pulling you reluctantly back to the real world. Ms. Owens has mastered characterization, interweaving the lives of previous main characters with those of the new expertly, so you meet new friends and catch up on the old. – Amanda Killgore, Huntress Reviews

Two Sisters Born To Serve...

The sorcerers of Lladranan have already Summoned three women to help fight the evil attaching their world. Yet their fourth Summoning brings the unexpected – twin sisters. And ones with strong ties to Earth.

Both have a special gift to heal. But while Brigid Drystan has explored that gift through unorthodox means, Elizabeth has poured herself into getting a medical degree and denying her powers.

Now stuck in a strange land, fighting a plague sent by the Dark to weaken Lladrana, they must use all their resources to save lives. And one twin will risk her own on an experiment that might doom them both....

Of Protector of the Flight: Fans of Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey will appreciate the novel's honorable protagonists and their lively animal companions. – Publishers Weekly

Excerpts, cut scenes, monthly contest at http://www.robindowens.com

That's the business, baby.
May you insert creativity in your business today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Yes, Keepers of the Flame is submitted, out the door, off my desk (not really), etc. A little later I'll play with some numbers and see how many words I wrote since I sold the book in February. Since my head is in Lladrana I'm going to keep it there and write the proposal for Singer for the World (30 pages and revised synopsis) due September 15. I think I have about 3 pages. Will start today, I guess.

As usual, I think my timeline in the book is off (the twins' loving parents return from vacation in 2 weeks), so I may go through and check on that.

Oh, and as usual, my printer ran out of ink before the thing was done. Since I anticipated this, I didn't go absolutely crazy, but I did get the ms. to the 24 hour post office after the 6 pm overnight cut off date. That's the hours here. I think Fed Ex has similar ones, must be in by 6 pm or it doesn't go. However the postal woman said their last truck hadn't left, and with a straight shot to Manhattan, it should make it today.

Final page count: Courier New 12, double spaced, 638 pages. Somehow it blipped from 637 to 638 in the last few minutes when I added 4 lines and did the spell check, so I might look at that.

I am hoping that my publisher won't cut much.

I am pleased with the book, I had to do a balancing act on several levels (you'll know when you read it) and my mentor assured me that I pulled it off, and I think so too. I like the book, more than I usually do at this time (which is usually utter loathing for something I wanted to do better), and I think, if I had the time and pages, I could have done it better, but for 5 months and 1.5 in 1, I believe I did very well.

Again, the fear now is how much my publisher will cut because I think all scenes are necessary and cutting one means leaving out or TELLING about a thread instead of SHOWING. So, we'll see.

Didn't sleep well. It's hot. Ever since I left the light on downstairs all night the livingroom/dining room has been hot (80s), needless to say it's hotter upstairs. I'll be leaving my desktop now the line edits are done and back to the laptop -- need to cut my nails.

So much for the last bit of stream of consciousness. Mistral wants food.

May your work please you today,

Monday, July 23, 2007

Binge Writing

Yes, I do it, sometimes I have to. One last L-O-N-G push should see the line corrections onto the computer. This took a lot longer than anticipated, I'll have to remember.

If the printer gods are with me, Keepers of the Flame should go out today/tonight.

May your work go easier today.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter, Worldbuilding

I think that a brainstorming and critique group would have served Jo Rowling well. I DON'T think that introducing main elements in the last book of a series (or the second to last) is a good thing. That is NOT a good worldbuilding rule.

It is a short set up and deprives the reader of aha! moments as they go along.

I WILL say that for experienced writers and critical readers, Deathly Hallows may very well fall short since their expectations were so high.

For me, the book was ok. Not quite good enough to pay for the eight hours I took to read it at this time, since I have my own massive book due.

There was some contradiction in her rules of magic, which bothered me, and Hermione didn't seem to remain true to herself. Just general stuff, and plot switches where I thought "where did that come from?" "why did that happen?" "how could that happen?"

I really wish she'd had an editor who'd have asked those questions, too.

I am profoundly grateful for my mentor and critique buddies.

May you enjoy expressing your creativity today.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good night, good morning

I am not in a Harry Potter buying line. I am home and have just finished line editing the old page 300 of Keepers of the Flame, which is the last page of a chapter. It ends on a very good hook.

I'll fall into bed soon, and have set my clock to go get Deathly Hallows at 6am. Free food, too, and fellowship. A place to show off my Keepers of the Flame cover (should I remember to take it with me), Denver Book Mall.

May actually stay up and read the book, though this transferring from paper to computer is not going nearly as quickly as anticipated. The work at Common Grounds was horribly slow. Too busy, too noisy and with the lap top. For word and phrase cutting and pasting a mouse and desktop is better.

Well, it's half past 12 and 5:40 will come soon, so good night or good morning, may you enjoy your reading and writing today.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Keepers of the Flame, Harry Potter, Etc.

Just think, tomorrow at this time will have thousands of blogs up on Harry Potter. I wonder if Jo Rowling is worried at all. She finished Harry in January, so, as an author, I think she'd be ready for this big push, then rest a while (or has been resting). Don't think I'll get to a party tonight, but may make the party at 6 am tomorrow.

The first edits of Keepers of the Flame are done, and I've started transferring. I'm up to chapter 10 and 136 pages (my chapters have been running 12-18 pages). I still like the end part best. I glanced at my mentor's stuff (first few pages) and haven't incorporated them yet. First I want to see how much this will cut.

I know she had a few questions that I might not have addressed yet, and I still have to weave a thread into the first part of the book.

I don't think the book has one lyrical passage in it, I don't have the space for that. I'm not too happy with the workman like language, but it will have to stay. I think adding the plot from what would have been another book added about 125-160 pages to this one. I think I'll have more room in the last for both plots because it was a simpler story, go to the Dark and kill it!

Also, twins. Two character arcs, two love stories, haul in the old characters (you don't see much of Calli and Marrec in this one).

I've kept close to home this week, so I'm really thinking I'll take my humongous manuscript down to Common Grounds, grab a table by the window and work.

May your own work excite you today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Precise Revision

200 pages revised Monday
150 Tuesday
170 Wednesday

Going through and trying to tighten every line, every paragraph, keep any additions to the minimum is very wearing. You can't just read superficially, each word must be scrutinized.

I think I average 15 pages an hour. Not much. And sometimes I get caught up in the story and have to go back. And sometimes the printer sticks.

I still haven't looked at my mentor's corrections, dreading that. And I KNOW it will take a full day to transfer the changes from the hard copy to computer. It's been very rare for me not to mark a page. Even the cleanest can usually be squeezed another extra bit.

So that's that. Eventually it will be done. I'm not thinking of Harry Potter now, but shaping Keepers of the Flame.

May your tasks be easy today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Don't Judge Quality, Don't Compare

Something I try to say at every seminar/workshop:

You write the best book you can with the resources you have. You have your own unique voice and no one else can write the story that you can.

Believe in yourself and your creativity today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I got actual cover flats of the book! They are less orangey-peachy and more yellow, but still awesome!


Revision Process

Well, I got 200 pages of hard copy ms. revised yesterday, my goal. 11 hours. Since I started late, I ended late, but not so late I marched over the midnight hour to post here. ;)

I read in ms. format first to snag those widows and orphans. If I have a 2nd go through it will be on 2 page landscape Advanced Reading Copy so it looks like a book and I can see some errors better there. Probably wait for copy edits for that.

There were about 5 repeated pages, I took out a change of venue (at my mentor's over the phone advice), I'm adding in FLAMES so they can be Keepers of (but I added in the bubbles on the cover, too, and they aren't, like, FLAMING BUBBLES, which might have been easier).

This is the rough, the book is not tight. Lots of "obvious" many, many people narrowed their eyes and huffed out breaths. Much smiling going on, too. So lots of words and phrases and sentences cut (not just widows and orphans), which means that when I get to the computer, it will be revising Every Single Page. That may take a day itself. I did come across a couple of pages that were very clean and I was sad. Mainly because that meant I'd have to cut more somewhere else.

My mentor made a flying visit to hand off her copy. I haven't looked at it yet. She said the book was great, she loved it, no major problems, but on her copy she was super critical. I'm already wincing with "ouchie!"

Since I was no-holds-barred on her last effort (and she refused to take some of my "superior" suggestions) we understand each other well.

That's the news from the cutting edge front. No liquor was had, and I stayed home. Today may be different. I'd like to go to a Harry Potter party Friday night, but I do have books (yes, I think I've ordered 3 copies) coming and there is a Saturday 6 am party.

At this time last week I was through security and on my way to the airline gate. Glad all that is over.

May you enjoy your creativity today.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Workshop Tapes

I've ordered the whole conference on CD for $100 since I attended only 2 workshops. One was for Published Authors and had an editor talking frankly about what she would/would not accept etc. (not recorded).

The other was a seminar by Michael Hauge which I intend to use in my own polishing of Keepers of the Flame. Very, very good.

At one point in my seminar with Linnea I had a meltdown and couldn't explain a concept (until later), so there's a minute or two of complete babble. And, of course, my freewriting seminar has long stretches of silence while we are doing the exercises.

On the whole, I've found seminar tapes excellent. I have gone back and listened to them, sometimes time and again, and I DO search for topics of interest at the time.

Now the first 200 pages of Keepers of the Flame have printed out. I'll feed cats, take a bath and be off to Common Grounds to work on them.

May you know what you need to know today.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back Home to Heat

Yes, I made it back home. Crashed. Now I'm up and will take a cool bath, then may go back and sleep some more.

I don't care how nice the bed in hotels, when you sleep on a waterbed nothing is the same.

Yesterday I went to lunch with my Luna editor and Rachel Caine (I knew of her work and got her card and gave her a wallet calendar, she didn't know of mine), and Carol Stephenson. She also didn't know of my work. This is ok, and always be ok. Some people will never read fantasy romance. Period. However, overall, more people seemed to know my work this year than last (or I just hung out with more people who knew me). I handed out a lot of wallet calendars.

The trip was pretty much the longest two hours I've spent on a plane for years. It was cold. I was next to the exit door and wearing my short sleeved Shakespeare shirt and long pants. I don't think the airlines are expending the fuel to keep the cabin warm anymore, like the restaurants here are not keeping places as cool.

Not sure what else I should say. I told my Luna editor that Keepers of the Flame was done and she cheered. I told her it was 698 pages and her head nearly hit the table and she groaned. But by that time I'd already come up with my stock phrase "I contemplate four 12 hour days with wine" -- probably rum in tea.

Anyway, whilst writing this I had a long talk with my mentor who was reading Keepers when I was gone. She thinks the book does fine, the balancing act I did with regard to some of the characters was fine, and that it can be tightened but nothing totally whacked.

She had one large concern that will NOT take much to fix.

That said, the cat is now whining for dinner (and has whined throughout my crashing just to make sure I was here).

I'll have to go down and load up

Friday, July 13, 2007


I'm awake and have tea. There's some left over Christian cake from some party my roommate went to. Yesterday was the seminar, breakfast, lots of talking and hanging out, here, dinner with Single Title authors of Harlequin (which means the Luna gang). It doesn't sound like much, but I was exhausted by last night.

I've been hanging with the FF&P crowd, or Linnea, or both. Went to the bookstore and bought books, should go down and sign my stock.

Today: Appt with my Berkley Editor
Berkley Book Signing (they give away free books)
Seminar with Linnea (I've been pimping that and will immediately go to work on it following this)
Party, Party, Party.

Actually it's only Berkley Party (though Linnea invited me to Bantam's too), and HQ's huge and bodacious dance party which is THE party of the convention.

Did a little work yesterday, very minor.

May you balance your outside and inside needs today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Sorry, I didn't include the affirmations or instructions. Write the affirmations between 15-30 times and sometime during that process your negative inner critic will pop up and deny the affirmation. Listen. Who would have said that to you in your life?

Craft an affirmation tailored to refute the person.

Creative Affirmations for Exercise 1 (Choose One):

Every day in every way the universe supports all my creative endeavors.
Inspiration comes easily to me.
The Universe supports my creativity and all that I dream I can accomplish.
As I create, I will be led.
My creativity helps myself and others.
I am allowed to nurture my talent.
There is a divine plan for my creativity.
I am unlimited potential, with unlimited possibilities for my creativity.
I am willing to pursue my own unique way.
I will be given the tools I need to make my creativity flourish.
I will be given the support I need to make my creativity flourish.
The divine flows through me as I create.
I have the power to translate my dreams into reality.
I have faith in my own ability to be creative.
Higher guidance is always available to me when I listen for it.
I accept the natural cycle of activity and rest.
Every day brings new, fresh ideas.
I recognize and embrace my essential core of creative energy.
I am sustained energy, working steadily to realize my goals.
I am developing the skills I need to carry out my dreams.
I experience the inner fulfillment that comes from working at my highest potential.
©Robin D. Owens

May you listen to your good angel and not your negative critic.

Freewriting Seminar

The seminar went well. Here it is.
©Robin D. Owens
Practical Exercises to identify and destroy your negative inner critic. Discussion as wished. Paper and pens available.

Brief Introduction: 3 minutes
Freewriting, Childlike Creative Self, Negative Inner Critic/Censor, and Affirmations

Exercise 1: 10 minutes, Post-Exercise Discussion
Identify Negative Beliefs, Pinpoint Origin (who told you being a writer was bad?) This exercise is based on one created by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. All of the statements included are my own. (See Attachment)

Exercise 2: 5 minutes
Create an Affirmation tailored to silence your Inner Critic

Example: I’m allowed to nurture my talent: Inner Critic Says: You have so many other things to do you shouldn't be wasting time writing. Past: (Father) You're doing what YOU want to do, not what I want you to do. What I want you to do is more important than what you want to do

Affirmation: I leave my past and the negative critic based on my father's words behind me. Nurturing my writing talent is valuable to me, and I will continue to write.

Exercise 3: 5 minutes, Post-Exercise Discussion
Create a visualization of your Inner Critic (crayons and paper provided)

Example: Snake in Eden, Wicked Witch, Snotty Teacher
Destroy or Cross Out and keep as a reminder (see Attachment)

Exercise 4: 5 minutes
Freewrite your fears about your current work. Drain them all away destroy if you wish.

May you feel relieved today.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dallas Tuesday

I am here safely and have moved from the room I was sharing with two others and into the room with just Sharon -- the hotel was lovely about that.

Yesterday I rode in with Thea Divine and some others on the bus and had a good tour-type driver, though the van was packed and some of the others waited around for a while. Didn't unpack since I was only going to be repacking, and that was pretty much a pain all day. Stuck initial offerings in the goody room (need to check and see how they are doing), talked A LOT to many different folks. Had a 15.00 soup & salad, drink & tip plus, ouch! 12.00 chicken fingers at the bar.

Think I pulled a muscle in my back so I'm a little stiff and creaky today (also not used to sleeping with someone in a double bed), have already used the hot tub twice. Thought that the pool etc would be indoors and didn't pack sunscreen, so have pink face, and if I go back out I'll have to be very careful.

Took me a while to move and unpack, a bath is waiting, then I need to do some promo stuff. I should have packed scissors and didn't, and should have packed my "seminar bag" and didn't. Space was tight, but I think I'd better do that in the future. I DID get some revisions done on Keepers of the Flame, tightening, but haven't moved it over to the computer so I don't know how much I need to cut. I'm hopeful because the writing could naturally be tightened.

May you enjoy your day today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane

I'm off to Mom's in about 1/2 hour, just need to dress in my travel clothes -- I found my Shakespeare as Superman shirt -- the night is windy and cool, but indoors is quite warm.

Kitchen is clean and place is fairly tidy...still not up to scratch. Today -- flight, airport to hotel, check in hotel. Those are my major plans. Crash after reaching hotel.

I have on my pdf a book I need to read for a cover quote and I have the first 137 pages of KOTF in ms form (as opposed to landscape), so I can see the widows and orphans easier and cut. Thing has 47 chapters (chapters running 12-18 pages), and if I can cut 1 page a chapter, I might be there. Sigh.

My healthy back back (big enough for a portfolio), and my laptop case and 1 piece of luggage (the extension zipper already out), are all very heavy as usual, so travelling will be a struggle. I've put my precious engagement/journal in my check through so I'm a little anxious there, but it's just too heavy to add.

Anyway, I feel a little sore because I had a massage yesterday, even though we decided not to really go deep on my muscles...cleaning will do that too.

I'm mostly nervous and somewhat excited. I have all my seminar stuff and if something really goes wrong and I lose it all, it's available in a gmail account.

May any real or imaginary travels you do today go well. Next stop Dallas!

Monday, July 09, 2007


My mentor is reading Keepers of the Flame and says it's good, lots of stuff going on etc. I have a couple of plot twists she thinks I should drop less subtle hints about. "Spotlight here" so readers feel smart when they figure them out.

She made the point that in a book this large and complex, I am being too subtle. So that's something I'll look for when I work on the edits.

Today will be a day of cleaning, packing and getting promotion together.

May you be just the right of subtle or rude in your work.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

RWA Ramp Up

It's coming up on RWA. I leave at an ungodly hour Tuesday morning -- or rather since I am one of those compulsively early fliers I will be at the airport at 5:30 for my 7:30 flight. It usually goes this way, I don't sleep the night before, or I clean and repack. Then I get up and drive to my Mom's, leave my car at her place and she (my brother Pat) drives me to the airport. There I eat (now on trip and tax deductible), wander around, work on Keepers of the Flame hard copy (ha ha), try to snooze, read...whatever.

Anyway today I have to make notes on worldbuilding. I REALLY want to do round table brainstorming with whoever comes, but as I think I said, Linnea doesn't think that might happen. So off to mess with my 3 x 5 cards today. Clean. Tidy. Mow the weeds on the front strip. Go to Brunch, maybe with my crew.

Get stuff ready, clothes and vitamins lined up for the trip.

Actually, now that I think about it, I was going to talk about Inconsistent Characters. Maybe I'll write on that and save it for a future blog.

Warning you all that all next week will be RWA Conference stuff. I am actually planning on holeing up Tuesday and Wednesday (until the literacy signing), and working on Keepers.

I will be paying an outrageous fee, of course, to connect to the net, which I resent, but I'll be wanting to touch base with email and watch Heart Dance on amazon.

May you have a productive day.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fanged and Fabulous

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FANGED & FABULOUS by Michelle Rowen
Warner Forever, July 1, 2007

Just stake me now.

My name is Sarah Dearly, and I've got major problems. Last month, I was turned into a vampire by the world's worst blind date. Then I may have, totally by accident, started a war between the mostly peaceful bloodsuckers and a bunch of sociopathic vamp hunters who have nicknamed me the Slayer of Slayers. Now I'm being used as bait to draw out the hunters' bad-ass leader, while my gorgeous 600-year-old boyfriend Thierry seems to be blowing me off, and my sizzle-hot, fanged friend Quinn is trying to turn my self-defense lessons into make-out sessions. So you know what? I'm done. I've had it. There comes a time when a vamp has to just suck it up and go after what she wants. And as soon as I figure out what that is, that's exactly what I'll do...

Book Trailer

May you find what you want today.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Beginning Writers

Last night I went to the general critique group. This particular group is the main one for new writers, and a new person read. A beginning writer. I rarely see beginning writing anymore unless I'm judging a contest, and not in person. I've been going to this group off and on for a few months, otherwise I stick to my closed groups.

Even in my closed group the newest writer has just moved away to Montana and I'm sorry to see her go.

But there was a time when I hated to see beginning work. It got so disenheartening. Time and again the group would work hard to teach someone, bring them along, only to see them eventually quit. It got very tiring, which is why the group closed.

And usually beginning writers are so new they can't speak of craft the way I need at this point in my career, and may not read in my genre or know the techniques of story to comment on something in a knowledgeable manner.

But I don't think I'll mind bringing a new one along. I think I've mastered the art of not investing so much into someone else's work that *I* feel hurt or betrayed or tired when the new person drops by the wayside.

So maybe I've grown. I hope so.
May you enjoy your day today.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

This time next week....

My family (particularly my Mom and me), say this..."This time next week we'll be on our way to England." "This time next week, we'll be on our way home..." "This time tomorrow we'll be doing this-that-or-t'other."

Don't know how many people do that besides us.

Anyway, this time next week I'll be in the room preparing for my seminar on freewriting. I need to practice that -- do the exercises myself (which I'll probably do at the time), figure out time needs, though I don't know that I can anticipate discussion.

I was thinking of posting the exercises / outline here, then decided I could do that next Thursday.

So this time next week YOU may be taking the exercises in person or online...thinka that!

May no nerves regarding your work bother you today. (yeah, these little daily blessings tend to be revealing, don't they?)


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thoughts After Finishing a Book

It's 3am here and I can't sleep. Mostly it's because of the heat. It's tolerable with very loud fans going -- just hooked one up in my bedroom and am not used to it yet. May return and turn it off after this.

Ah, thoughts. I made my deadline for the first time in a couple of years, since the Sorceress of Faith proposal was shot down and all my dominoes tumbled. I made it because I'm no longer working full time.

Writing a book has NOT gotten easier. There is always at least one point in the book where I don't think I can finish it. That came about three days ago. That's when I call my mentor and say "You have to tell me I can do this."

I'll have to cut about 100 pages. Now THAT'S depressing, because it takes rereading when I'm too close to the book, I can do some things -- my editor thinks Chapter 2 is too long, so much of that will go. I have a couple of duplicate scenes so it will probably be "chose one." Then there's all the widows and orphans. The one word on one line paragraphs and one line on one page (I've talked about that before).

Most of the time when I put the rough draft together in a master document and mess around with chapter hooks I literally duplicate scenes -- so that may be there, pray heaven that I didn't cut anything (that happened in Heart Duel).

And Linnea is a little nervous about the world building seminar we are doing a week from Friday, and my seminar giving is low tech, so I will have to print stuff on labels and put them on my 3 x 5 cards (which are getting flimsier), or write on such cards. *I* am hoping that people will come with world building questions/problems and we do a round circle brainstorming thing, but Linnea is worried that they will sit like lumps on a log -- so anticipate seeing that pimped here next week.

I WILL be doing my daily blog from RWA. Actualy, I may be hiding in my room for RWA except for the seminars and editor and author get togethers....but then, it's 3 am and I'm tired here.

My eyes hurt from computer strain. So I'll, ha ha, research that on the web (I'm thinking compresses).

Happy Independence Day. I'm going to my brother's. He's putting in a new stand-up backyard pool. I'm taking another copy of my beloved very old VHS for him to copy on DVD (will have to call and let him know this and make sure that's ok).

Yes, Happy Independence Day, and may you enjoy everything about the day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Heart Dance -- Keepers of the Flame

Heart Dance hits the street today.


May all the various aspects of your work make you smile.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Motivational Quote

"Having an idea and seeing it through to the end bravely - that's what style is."
Isaac Mizrahi

May you be brave today -- and may it be easy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

An Honor

I got this yesterday! So this will probably go up July 30, too!

Greetings from Fresh Fiction,

HEART DANCE was chosen to be a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction. Your
cover and a link to HEART DANCE will appear on every page of
FreshFiction.com on July 30, 2007 and mailed to the subscribers of
the Fresh Pick newsletter on July 30, 2007.

Fresh Fiction

The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a
purchased advertisement or promotion. We've chosen your book
because it appeals to us and we like to share our diverse tastes
in reading and hope other readers will give it a try.

Fresh Fiction
http://freshfiction.com ... for today's reader

I'm really thrilled as I know this site and these people.

May life make you smile today.

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