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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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Motivational Quote

Not feeling too good today, so this is late and short, but one of my favorite quotes.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. -- Martha Graham

May you celebrate your unique voice today.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Unconscious Writing -- Set up/Doubt

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I've been second guessing myself while writing Keepers of the Flame, over-thinking, trying to rationally figure out what scenes and information I should give one twin or the other, whether I should have two scenes individually instead of combining them.

This IS part of writing, of technique, but I don't think it's helpful for me at this time, during the rough draft (though I don't revise as often as some people). And it might also be fear, or rationalization taking over so I don't write.

I've talked about trusting yourself before, and the rough draft is truly the time for this. I'm balancing many things in this book. I want people to wonder whether both twins will stay on Lladrana or go, or one will stay, and if so, which one. So that's tough. I'm adding a subplot that will squeeze in a portion of what would have been a book on its own. So I tend to think and think instead of just write and trust myself, and if there's problems clean it up later.

I KNOW that the subconscious orders things in writing that the rational mind not pick up on. And I know this doesn't just happen to me. Many years ago I was in a freewriting class and in the sharing part someone exclaimed that she'd been stuck on a clue in her mystery, then realized she'd already set it up many pages before and just needed to reveal it now.

That's always incredible for me, that you/I can trust our instincts. But it's true. It's also harder to do than say. I remember being worried about this -- getting all my subplots in and ordered -- in Heart Dance, so this isn't a new anxiety.

So, once again, trust yourself and your unconscious. Things will be there when you need them. Or at least get words on the paper, and fix it later.

May you feel only satisfaction with your writing today.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketToday I will be in Lladrana, the morning there has been gray, but sun is breaking through, and it will warm up to be a beautiful evening so my twins can enjoy the castle and the town. There will be a trip to the Nom de Nom (the tavern in the town). I'm working on revising the first chapters so that I have a solid beginning and linking all the scenes I've written with transition scenes so I can see where I need to go from there.

Yesterday I was in Lladrana, too, flying with Faucon on his volaran to his northern estate which is in excellent shape under the stewardship of his cousin. This scene will take place somewhere in the middle of the book. I didn't put in the weather, but I think I'll go back and add in blue skies and warm sun and wax lyrical.

Yesterday, here, was magnificent. Warm. Sunny. Turned off the heat after the morning cool, the back porch heater next to the washer has been off for a couple of weeks. I got down to one layer when writing and turned the waterbed down, too. Didn't put my work clothes and slippers under the covers near the end of the bed so they'd be warm when I woke up.

I thought the tree branches out my window (the tree is in the shade) was beginning to bud and I've been watching closely, and there were violets blooming in my yard. I love violets.

Yeah, punchline, snowing today. Looks like about 3 inches has accumulated on my fence. I'll have to go out and put some food in the Wild Thing dish.

But we've been having nice weather, so I'll hold onto that, and fly in Lladrana. Heart Dance is full of cold and snow and a bad winter (and was planned that way and written that way before the bad winter came), and my friend is dealing with a Celtan Winter in the galleys. In Lladrana, the Exotiques have arrived and the sun will be seen more.

You can definitely set the mood with weather. I haven't been paying attention to the weatherman and when I heard cars on my street I thought it was rain, so it was a small jolt because it was snow. But since I have literally lost about 7 trees to March snows, I wasn't too surprised. I think I'll be ok today. My trees had not leafed out yet.

Take care, keep warm or cool, and use weather in your work today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Different Worlds

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I'm not talking about Earth and Celta and Lladrana. I'm talking about the different circles we occupy, who we hang with. I was in a sorority when I was in college. We didn't have a house, we had a room. I spent occasional nights on a wonderful blue sofa there (sometimes drunk).

I got their ("their") quarterly magazine and took a look at it. A current "sister" at my old alma mater had a page on her for volunteering in Africa, helping HIV/AIDS women. Wow.

But as I flipped through, I was reminded that some people took this very, very seriously. It is the main social circle of their life. Like writing, or my brunch group (Denver Area Science Fiction Association ex-or-current members) is mine. But it sure looked alien to me.

The moral of this story is that if you're a writer, make sure you get writing support and meet like minded people. If you're an avid reader, do the same.

And it doesn't really matter WHICH group you're hooked up with as long as they're supportive of you and your dreams and you have a like passion.

May you or your characters step out of your social circle today and take a look around.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Book = Hours/Days

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI read the Eternal Rose by Gail Dayton to give her a cover quote, Thank God it's coming out with Juno books. In July, which means opposite Heart Dance (sorta) in review magazines so I expect Eternal Rose to take the top honors that month.

Anyway I spent most of yesterday reading it, involved in Gail's world. Wonderful, wonderful book, ends too soon, etc. And again I thought of how long it takes to read a book and set it (or toss it) aside. And how long it takes to write such a book. Months.

Writing books takes months or years -- at least for me and most the writers I know. Then you hand it to the reader and - poof! - it's over in a few hours. Of course as a reader you can go back and enjoy many more times, and get new things out of it, but still....the same with movies, they take months or years and people put their hearts into the work.

I guess I just want to say, please respect that.

May you respect yourself and your work and your characters today.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't Compare

Don't compare yourself to others. This is excellent advice and one of those "do as I say not as I do" deals.

But you are unique. Your way of telling a story is incredibly valuable. Don't think you should do it like someone else, simpler or twistier, or more lyrical, or whatever.

You bring yourself to the story, and that is what matters most.

Cherish your unique voice today.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


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Just finished my morning page count and I'm good, and hoping to get back on some sort of schedule since I've fallen behind during the last couple of weeks.

This morning is Sunday brunch with my extended family/friends (all members or ex-members of DASFA, Denver Area Science Fiction Association) and we are doing dim sum which we do about once a year. Not my favorite, but the restaurant is on my side of town so it will be quicker to get to, and it opens a half-hour later.

I think I'll post one of my favorite links (all right, I check in quite often and have notified them twice when the winds have messed up the camera). It's a live cam in England, so it's hours ahead of those of us who live in the States, so be aware of that if you try and access it late afternoon, you'll probably see nothing but darkness over the lake...

http://www.armathwaite-hall.com/hotel_webcam.html (oh, man, there are sheep!)

May nature inspire you today (it's sunny after a rainy night here).

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI got my Luna contract yesterday and looked at it, had a question and emailed my agent. I will read it later.

I know I've said this before ALWAYS READ YOUR CONTRACTS YOURSELF, DO NOT DEPEND ON ANYONE ELSE. My agent is a very busy woman and I would bet that if anyone looked at this contract, it was to check on payment amounts and terms and that was it. So it's up to me.

I noticed I will be getting 96 author copies instead of 75. I knew this change was coming since my friend told me that the publisher doesn't want to break up boxes of books. I am swimming in books now, especially What Dreams May Come, which I have lots in trade paperback, then mass market. OTOH, I have, maybe, 2 copies of the first printing of HeartMate with the original cover and 5 of HeartMate 3rd printing with the original cover.

I need to figure out where to put all these books. Maybe I will send some to one of the conferences as a give away. Celebrate Romance, maybe, Keepers of the Flame next year...

I also saw that I get 3 copies of any other editions of my book (for instance, foreign editions). I'm going to check my previous contract and see if the same thing is there, because I know Protector of the Flight is out electronically, and no one has emailed me anything...does that sound silly? I read ebooks all the time, though I have the old .lit which isn't supported much anymore.

So that's that, and I was late this am because one of the cats was generous enough to unplug my modem. At least the cable didn't come down with the rain, which is what I originally feared.

Now off to critique group with my revised Urban Fantasy opening!
May you be satisfied with your work today.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reminder -- Backup and Organization

I usually write my wordcount on my engagement calendar. Since I also have several flash drives that I rotate, or move from laptop to desktop, I've been writing down which drive has the backup that I make at the same time I write (you know, that wordperfect macro thing that saves to the hard disk and the floppy/flash at the same time). Also the file name.

So it would say something like 1787 Saille-Tinne, Black 64M (January 23). This way if I recall writing about Saille talking to Tinne, but I might also have included a few notes on the book at the same time in that document, I know what to look for not only on my computer, but in the hard-copy or on the flash.

Just saying...you know your habits best. Back up.
May you have no computer issues in the foreseeable future.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Writing Day -- March 07

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAll right, this is off the cuff a little after midnight, I'm tired, and my body aches from the excellent massage and sitting in the chair a while. I KNOW I need to re-arrange my office a little, my monitor is too far away, so I hunch toward it to see it well. I raised my floating keyboard so I can reach my mouse easier, and I'd like the overhead light switch to be fixed.

Both cats are here though they think it's long past the bedtime, Mistral (Samba in Heart Thief) on my desk space on my left and Bittersweet (Myx in upcoming Heart Dance), is on the top level of my kneeling chair under the bottom of the U shape of the desk. I'm actually sitting in a slightly padded metal folding chair. Such is the glamorous life of the writer.

Writing day: Nothing except this blog on THURSDAY. Wednesday I worked on three scenes for Keepers of the Flame, as well as the map. The scenes are late in the book, probably after the 3/4 point, or even later, maybe in the last couple of chapters. I will probably be leaving some of the romance between a couple hanging from book 4 to book 5. Still working on that since the story arc changed.

I approved the cover copy yesterday, but my editor requested another set of additional descriptor adjectives so I brainstormed with my mentor and came up with a couple, we'll see if they fly later today. Luna has been great with the back cover copy. I had the most input in Sorceress of Faith.

I paid my dues to the Celtic Hearts chapter of RWA (how could I NOT belong to that chapter?), transferred some files back and forth from desktop to laptop.

I helped my mentor get into the online art system for our publisher and fill out the art sheet. She has a book out Christmas/Winter Holidays and really wants a gingerbread village (her heroine is a baker) on the front of the book, so we EMPHASIZED that. We had a great time, talked paranormal romance (which she is writing).

And I RSVP'd for the memorial service later today. I'm beginning to feel superstitious about this. 3 memorial services this month (yeah, and we have a week more to go). All three people wanted to write and pursued that dream at different levels and in different ways. I have decided to go to this service in the hopes that it will be THE LAST for the entire year -- that's the superstitious bit.

So that was the writing part of the day. Other stuff: I answered some emails, listened to my massage therapist talk about her recent trip to New Zealand, went over and picked up my PDA which I left at my friends' where I housesat yesterday and talked to my artist friend who was housesitting today about the slowing economy.

And more, of course, siipped in here and there. All in all it was creatively and socailly satisfying, but with an underlying melancholy, as so much of life has been lately.

May you find your rhythm today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Warning -- Sad

I just heard that another writer friend of mine died suddenly last week of (they think) a brain aneurysm, she was just 40.

Counting my blessings, but thinking that I'll go back to bed and pull the covers over my head now...


Map of Lladrana

I was writing a scene and realized that I needed to visualize the setting...and figure out where my characters were on the map of Lladrana. So I updated it for Keepers of the Flame.

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May you always know where you want to be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Inner Children

One of the reviewers of Protector of the Flight said it hit a bullseye for teenaged girls' fancies...flying horses, soulmates, heroism....

I didn't do that on purpose. And after I thought about it, the words made me smile. I guess I let my inner teenager out in that book – and Alexa would be the younger girl, fearless and optimistic and confident she could whup the world. And Marian, of course is the grad student – always curious, always questioning, always interested in how relationships, people, ideas work.

Not always inner me, but perhaps bits of that me (and you) that I recall, like archetypes of life stages as well as the other archetypes I've been writing in the Summoning series – the warrior, the academic, the caretaker.

May you tap into the subconscious today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Online Chat Tonight

The Paranormal Romance website (which awards the PEARLS) is now revised and up and running and have started their monthly chats! 9pm EASTERN this evening. I think Jeri Smith Ready will be there too since when I was checking out the chat room, she was too.

Here's the info

> The chat starts at 9:00pm Monday, March 19th
> There is a quick registration
> http://www.paranormalromance.org/chat


It literally took me about 45 minutes to get the below blog written and posted, due, I believe, to blogspot. And it froze my machine several times. So, I will NOT be posting at this time in the morning anymore. I'll either post VERY early -- just after midnight, or after I've done my morning word count.

May you avoid frustration today.

Dewy Eyed Writer

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhen I joined my first critique group, I was awed and a little scared of my friend, Sharon Mignerey's, knowledge of publishing. She knew the market for her work. She knew the markets for ALL our work -- those ten or so of us who showed up at that new critique group. She knew the publishers, she knew agents, she knew the names of editors...

And I didn't want to be like that. I wanted to concentrate on my writing and not think about the publishing side of things. Never think of the publishing side of things.

Sometimes my work had a lot of problems, so I hooked up with a writing buddy BEFORE we went to critique so we would run our work past each other before taking it to the full group. I still miss her, she dropped out of writing after a couple of years.

I thought writing was fun.

I thought I'd be an exception to the rules and get published quickly and for lots of money.

Guess what. I now know quite a bit about publishing. I know markets, and editors and agents and more, I know about promotion. I still would rather be stuck in an ivory tower, producing and NOT knowing about this...but the knowledge came relatively painlessly, and I don't mind talking about it, as you can tell.

I don't polish my work with someone else before I take it to critique group -- though sometimes I should. I have a tougher skin.

It took me a long time to publish, and though my career is relatively strong, I haven't exactly zoomed to the top of the lists. Thanks to my savings I am a full time writer for a while.

I learned in the first year with that old critique buddy of mine, when I'd written a wonderful scene and met her early for a breakfast meeting (at that time I was still a night owl) and she said, "This is a wonderful scene but it doesn't belong in the book." Like, three hours to write the scene and it doesn't belong? Writing is WORK.

I guess I miss who I was, but I'm also proud of who I am. I took a quiz over the weekend that asked me about my job satisfaction. I hate the tight deadline I'm currently under, but I still love writing.

So I'm an old pro by now, but I also fantasize writing one book a year with incredibly tight plot, fabulous characters and lyrical prose (thus taking the whole year) and getting paid megabucks. So, some mornings I guess I am still a dewy eyed writer.

May you be proud of your writing today.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Title Change

I've been pestering my Luna editor for a while to get confirmation of the title Healers of Hope, a few nights ago I opened my email to a message that that title wouldn't fly. Since I had already gotten into the mindset that Healers of Hope was the title, I couldn't see beyond that. So I sent emails out to my writing buddies requesting help, and posted requests on the Luna board.

Then, I searched my machine for the original title list and naturally the first XX Of QUALITY...only went up to three, then there were other ideas that were sort of trilogy bunches.

I got some excellent titles from the Luna readers, and my newest critique buddy came through with Keepers of the Light or Keepers of the Flame(s). I did an amazon search and found fewer Keepers of the Light, particularly in the fantasy realm.

We're going with Keepers of the Flame, so I'll be going back and dropping flames into the book. I'm sure it will grow on me, as titles do, and I've already sent an idea for the artwork in, and hopefully they will keep that, or not change it too much.

I told mom at dinner last night, and she immediately came up with Menders of the Way, but I have a feeling Menders isn't strong enough either. With Keepers, you have the hard "K" that makes it sound more solid.

Anyway, that's the news, and naturally it was a distraction...So Healers of Hope is officially gone for Keepers of the Flame.

May you enjoy editing free writing today.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

On Tour -- New Moon

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Always a favorite of mine...

NEW MOON by Rebecca York
Berkley Sensation; March 6, 2007

It's in one man's true nature to remain by the side of the woman he loves, rather than live without her in his own universe...

Landscape architect Logan Marshall is out for a jog—in his werewolf form—when a trap catches his paw. As it saps his strength, he is saved by another werewolf, who—to Logan's amazement—is female.

Female werewolves aren't supposed to exist. But Rinna is a shapeshifter from another dimension who's traveled through a portal to this world. And the trap that ensnared Logan was set by her former captor, and meant for her...

But as soon as Rinna and Logan touch, an electrifying bond forms between them. Unable to resist his desire for Rinna, in all her many forms, Logan will have to earn her trust, and travel through both dimensions to save her—and earth—from the wrath of her enemy...

May you enjoy elipses today.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Renaissance Dilettante

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThat's what we decided were some of the perfect words to describe Richard. I am printing out Richard's Live Journal. LJ makes this easy by letting you transfer the journal to pdf then download it. It's saving an enormous amount of time. Anyway the memorial service/celebration of life is tomorrow and I was asked to provide a couple of quotes for the booklet. And I thought, as general quotes, they would be excellent to post here. The first is a flight of fancy that isn't terribly usual for Richard, but the rest are.

And Richard was a writer as well as a reader, deep appreciator of music, guitarist, juggler, tarot reader for fun. He participated in NaNoWriMo more than once, both before I was struggling to get published and later.

So here goes:

I got completely lost in the sinuosity of bare branches against a blue sky. Layers and layers of them, splitting endlessly from enormous trunks into black chaotic lace, the way trees have done since the beginning of time. Bosch and Gorey to the life. Nasty, ugly, stark trees, gorgeous with detail and vividly strange. I am not used to staring at plants, especially huge plants without leaves. Gave me a turn, it did.

Being smart isn't quite enough, and working hard at something incomprehensible to bring it into focus is incredibly rewarding. A lesson I have mostly ignored.

I wish I lived in a world where the Denver Public Library had a space fleet. Where that made sense. Where increasing a library's collections through interstellar travel was an unquestioned societal priority.

My life carries the eternal paradox of parenthood. Love and fury, cuteness and mania, all that and more. You know the drill.

Every day I plan to: 1. Exercise. 2. Face fears. 3. Work hard. 4. Play. 5. Avoid something. I figure I get a lot of satisfaction out of avoiding things, so might as well factor it in, instead of letting it take over completely.

Mysteries deepen as I get older, but they don't bother me as much. We're all talking monkeys, and the stuff we create is just as absurd as you'd expect talking monkeys to come up with. That doesn't make any of it any less precious or divine, though. Talking monkeys, to begin with, are a freakin' miracle, and wise, strong, sad but joyous talking monkeys, even more so.
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**Robin again, the first photo was taken a year ago February during his wife's birthday party by my wonderful artist friend, Laura Givens. NOTE, NUDITY She wanted shots she could massage for artwork, (if you recall, she did me as Miss Muffett hunting spiders).

That's the news on this front, except my throat is feeling suspiciously raw, so I'll tuck myself into bed with my baby namer since I need to rename a character. Probably be asleep quickly.

May you fashion the quotes of a lifetime today.

Secondary Characters -- Redemption and Dimensions

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Secondary characters are there for a purpose, and if you can make them NON-STOCK at all, it would be good. I must admit I've used the over-the-top evil villain with no redeeming features (Bucus Elder in Heart Thief), but I've also tried to give less sympathetic characters some interesting traits.

Shade, in Heart Thief, WAS on the road of redemption, an action happened that triggered the worst in him and he backslid with a vengeance (or into vengeance). Yes, he could have been redeemed. Other characters that I tried to give interesting backstories that would lead to their not-so-good actions were Reynardus in Guardian of Honor and Calli's father, Will Torcher, in Protector of the Flight. Neither one of them was redeemed, but one got what he always wanted and the other got a second chance. Both, I think, were pitiful creatures who threw away the love of their children.

I enjoyed the dichotomy of the clan patriarchs in Heart Duel. T'Holly was beloved of his children, a more admirable man, a more charming man, yet he made the fatal mistake that T'Hawthorn, a colder, more conservative and outwardly arrogant man, did not. They both paid the price for their mistakes.

So let your characters tell you their stories, most of them will have dimensions that you didn't know of when you started writing them.

May your characters prove interesting today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inhale deeply....

All my characters (except the cats and animal companions), do this. I do this. So I'm doing it now....

My friend who had the brain tumor died last week. I've been putting up some stuff that I'd written before, and you might find other entries that are cranky and moody to come.

We are an extended family, and since I was published, I took a small step back because I was writing and had the full time job. Yes, survivor guilt.

Anyway, he had a live journal and I'm printing it out for his wife and his young daughter. I've fumbled a couple of times doing this. Just finished perusing some of his entries to include in the memorial service booklet.

May you cherish your friends and family today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gilderoy Lockhart -- Character Themes & Music, sidetrip to Bodypainting

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Body Painting by Rick Mills

Lately I've put all the music on my computer on random select, everything from Elvis to drum solos by Al Gromer Khan.

Now, you all should know I LOVE to write to film scores, and I love the Harry Potter soundtracks (though I think I was one of the few who actually bought the Witches of Eastwick soundtrack so knew some of the themes Williams used in the Potter films immediately...had to let that out).

I was actually paying attention to what came on and it was Gilderoy Lockhart's theme. A good piece of music, but it didn't strike me as Gilderoy's character and that bothered me. I'm not sure what it was, probably too serious or something (though there's a darker shade there and THAT I liked and accepted).

So people get ideas about your characters that you might not know, and may choose different theme songs for them than you would...I think I lost the point...maybe everyone sees your characters from their own experiences and will form their own ideas from that. (Hmmm, I feel a blog coming on about secondary characters, and since I'm in a blog writing mood so I can write and store them and trot them out later, I guess I'll do it...)

I'm working with chakra information for both Heart Fate and Healers of Hope and found the above photo on a site for the chakras and saved it for reference. I think I linked to the site when I did my Free Your Artist page on body art...(T'Ash's tatt on HeartMate's reissue cover, you know).


May your characters make themselves heard today.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Finding The Book Printing Number

Ok, I hope to explain this right.

You can check on how many times any book has been PRINTED, NOT REVISED (EDITION), on the copyright page.

Here are examples from HeartMate SCROLL DOWN FOR BOTH EXAMPLES:

The first book released December 2001 went into 3 printings, see that numbers 1 & 2 are gone.
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Now the REISSUE last August (2006). See there is a Printing History and that this is the first printing of that book.

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That said, I have maybe 2 copies of the first printing of HeartMate, including the one I've scribbled all over as an Author Reading Copy.

May your writing go well today.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

ON TOUR -- Visions of Heat!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketVISIONS OF HEAT by Nalini Singh
Berkley Sensation / March 6, 2007

Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind...

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...


May your own visions be clear today.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daily Life

I'm running late, did my morning word count, read a little, finished my website update for March, more on that when it's up. A cut scene WILL be up. I smell apple pie turning brown to black in the oven so will go shortly for breakfast.

YESTERDAY I WAS SUPPOSED TO BUT UP A BLOG TOUR BOOK, however I didn't open my email and get the notice/reminder until very late. You will see that it isn't up today, either. I usually massage the photo and add my little blessing, so it will go up tomorrow.

I must go see kitty Cali, the cat I'm sitting, after breakfast and will probably read more...rereading Kay Hooper's The Haviland Touch, as I winnow out the piles of books against my bedroom walls. As with all of Hooper's romances, I will keep it.

Afternoon will be figuring out chapter 5 of Healers of Hope (I've written all over the book), Chapter 5 currently has 50 pages, and since it's the set-up chapter WHAT IS GOING ON AND MAGIC RULES, I've said one thing at least twice and need to integrate it.

Somewhere in the day will be the lovely Bath, then email stuff...the sky is gray as it has been for most of the week and I've been dealing with that.

Take care and slow down and breathe and enjoy your writing today.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Teaching/Learning/Sharing Quote

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I'm working on my website for this month and mining the quotation sites for my Free Your Artist page and ran across this, which has an analogy that I love...

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea... No one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me." Thomas Jefferson

Thank you for sharing my candle today, pass on the light.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Do Your Best

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPlot holes. Those words give me cold grue. Since I think plotting is my weakness, it's the thing a reviewer can say that will really hit me. And I recently read a review of one of my books that said it.

But the reviewer gave me an example, and I considered it, then was able to shrug it off. I'd done my best to make sure that particular contingency was covered and wasn't a plot hole. Obviously I'd been to subtle for him/her to get it, or he/she didn't suspend disbelief in that case. In any event, it didn't bother me.

Because I'd done my best. I'd addressed the issue and to me it became less of a "writer failure" and more of a "subjective reader judgement."

Subjective judgement is something you can't fight. If readers don't like "talking" cats, then they won't like my books. There is nothing I can do to change that, so I shrug it off. Whew. One thing less to fret about, though he/she did say plot holes so I don't know what else was wrong....

May you not second guess yourself today.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Which Classic Do You Belong In

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?

I believe you belong in Pride and Prejudice; a world of satire and true love. A world where everything is crystal clear to the reader, and yet where new things seem to be happening all the time. You belong in a world where your free-thought puts you above the silly masses, and where bright eyes and intelligence are enough to attract the arrogant millionaire/prejudiced young woman of your choice.
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May you have fun with your own classic today.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Write What You Know -- Strategy & Cats

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI first got the idea of inserting a cat into my work when I found myself talking to Maddox (cat Zanth) as he hid behind my office wall (it's doorless) waiting for the other cats to come by so he could pounce. Like Maddox would understand what I said (actually I'm sure he read the tone of my voice). Like he would listen (no). Like he would do what I asked (of course not).

Well, I am down to two cats now, one of my original ones (Mistral/Samba in Heart Thief), and the new guy who just came in this year, but I've been feeding outside for several -- Bittersweet (Myx in the upcoming Heart Dance).

I've watched cat strategy for years, and the main thing is Whoever Commands The Spot At The Top Of The Stairs Commands EVERYTHING. Mistral (fat thing) is sprawled nearly across the hallway. Bittersweet has to get past her to go to any litter box (upstairs or down), since the litter box is in the bathroom beyond the stairs. Food is downstairs. Water is in the bathroom and downstairs. And the stairs are just beyond the office door, so access to the person can also be defended.

The stratedy is interesting, and it definitely shows who is who in any cat status ranking.

So I wrote what I knew, and it worked...
May you find pleasure in your writing today.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dream Stories

Just woke up from a dream story that was interesting (and after all the horrific bloody anxiety dreams, believe me you DON'T want to hear them, it was refreshing). It was a far future post-apocalyptic thing with Italian Renaissance Family types battling for power. My heroine (I was Storyteller or Detached Spirit) or something had had most of her Family killed -- off stage, thankfully-- and had gone to confront the Family that did it (hmmm, maybe she's not heroine material after all -- except, yes, I think she brought soldiers and, um, subdued the men-elders of that Family). Anyway, it ended with her avoiding an arrow in the back from female of the house (who was killed by heroine's henchman/henchwoman) and sparing a room full of young boys and scooping up their toddler sister and claiming she would foster her...thus putting an end to the feud?

Ok, after writing that, it might sound a little violent and still an anxiety dream, but, you see, the coups were bloodless, and this time the toddler lived and felt really good in the heroine's arms.

It was the FEELING of the dream. Pleasant. And I think I'll stop there before I dig myself into a hole further. Anyway, interesting dream, interesting set-up, but I won't be writing it (and I do get ideas from dreams), because if I wrote it, it would obviously be bloody and angsty.

I think it was warm because FINALLY bright sunlight is streaming through my east windows and it's supposed to get up to mid-fifties (it snowed last week again), and it's wearing being sad.

Yesterday I started printing out my dying friend's live journal for his family to have. Very heavy, yesterday. Today I feel lighter.

Probably not a very interesting blog, but it's going out anyway.
May you smile with your work today.

Friday, March 02, 2007


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Yesterday I went to my unpublished friend's memorial service. Hopefully we will get her manuscripts and if not submit them, at least print them out for her children. Apparently they are in an old Wordperfect format and her daughter planned on just reformatting them into Word. I told her to send them to me before she reformats...anyway enough technical speak when I wanted to talk about inspiration.

I held onto the shineyness of being a published writer as long as I could...probably about two years...which is not too bad for a honeymoon time. Now I get weary and grumpy and grind my teeth at the publishing BUSINESS (and at myself for writing niche books-- but I AM writing books I like, which is not to be sneezed at).

The memorial reminded me that I HAVE been lucky enough to write and be published and get some money doing it. I am fulfilling my dream, even if I sometimes think there is a financial Sword of Damocles hanging over me. I am doing what I want, and that is a very wonderful thing.

Mile High Church of Religious Science has a Music Ministry and one of the singers sang "I Hope You Dance," which really touched me. So I need to remember to dance more. Maybe the new guy cat would like to dance better than the other kitties (and let's face it, he's rib-counting scrawny, not like the fat Mistral).

So I plan to dance and write today. Or write and dance. May you write and dance today, too.

My Favorite Earthling

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMY FAVORITE EARTHLING by Susan Grant
HQN; March 1, 2007

Even a Goddess can have a bad day...
Keira, warrior-queen of the galaxy, is as famous for her beauty as she is for avoiding marriage. But when an upstart little planet called Earth threatens her world with its fleet of spaceships, the fate of her people lies in her hands. She must bind herself to a barbarian from the rogue world...or face the destruction of her own!

She's what he never knew he always wanted...
Confirmed bachelor Jared Jasper knew the trick Earth pulled on the alien invaders wasn't a permanent solution. What they needed was a peace treaty. It just never occurred to him that he would wind up on the bargaining table. Playing the pushover groom to a mouthy alien babe who knows how to use a plasma sword is not exactly his idea of fun. But with six-billion people depending on him, he doesn't have much choice--sleep with the enemy...or bring on interstellar war.

Strange bedmates? You bet. But this alliance may turn into a romance the likes of which this galaxy's never seen!

Out of the world entertainment!
May you have wonderful imagination today.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fun and Fattening Research

If you saw the collage you will notice a Hershey's nugget wrapper. LOVE those almond, toffee, milk chocolate ones, and since I use EVERYTHING they are going in Healers of Hope. Which means that when my heroines get to Lladrana, they will take stock of their chocolate (luckily they have full bags) and see how much they can eat before the "average time of the Snap". I, of course, had not counted how many were in a bag.

So I asked one of my groups to help out. We had a long conversation of Hersheys vs. Dove candies, how many per bag, etc. I counted 32, but I need to look at the Dove ones, too, but don't think they have any with toffee....

May any research you do today be non-fat.

Out of the Blogosphere
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