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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Monday, March 31, 2008

Copy Editors

The copy edits of Heart Fate are going very well. I had a shortened day today and still managed to get over 200 pages done, nearly half.

This copy editor and I don't agree on style. Sometimes s/he DOES rephrase an awkward sentence for me, but at other times she changes my paragraphing, my word choice and occasionally has struck a sentence that I feel is important to the STORY. So, though the work is pretty clean, I'm getting more irritated than usual. Good news/bad news. Bottom line advice: Take advice, but follow your heart. ;)

I like this book, I think it's good, my editor loved it and I think it can stand alone more than many of the Heart series. There ARE references to previous events, but I think they are clear. So I think I'll be entering Heart Fate in contests next year. Wonder how the reviews will go.

May you enjoy your work today.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back for the Moment

Well, I'm back, Mistral is still breathing heavily and Tommy is still too skinny and it looks as if they haven't made friends.

But I'm home. I got the heebie jeebies today, I think from reading some of Kay Hooper's work and letting my mind run away from me. I was worried about crossing Vail pass, and we did run into snow and have some hairy moments (as my bro put it). SOooo, envisioning the worse that could happen with a car filled with my family then coming home to my own car that won't run -- now seems minor.

I did have some good news...no, neither Heart Dance nor Protector of the Flight qualified for the RITA, too bad, so sad. **SIGH** Thought Protector of the Flight had a chance. Anyway, I left Limon last week before the art auction and my piece of art (King of Clubs with Lock and Key) actually went for the most! Seven whole dollars (I think the highest has been $12). I think Rose must have saved it for last...those tend to go for more, and it WAS my only piece.

I received the copy edits from Heart Fate...no matter whether you're unpublished or published, when you see a very fat envelope you know it is a manuscript. So I'll work on that the next couple of days before I dive back into Echoes in the Dark (Singer for a World, the last Luna book).

I just got home about 40 minutes ago and waited up to write this, didn't search for the missing file.

May you have a serene day.

Friday, March 28, 2008

On the Road Home

I'm at Desert Hot Springs in a hotel restaurant, so I'll keep it brief. Have done very little work (maybe a paragraph of a synopsis). Might have done better if I had the file I thought I did, but I'm pretty sure my next chron file is on the desktop since it isn't on my laptop or THREE flash drives I brought.

Also, trip was a bust. Mom, partially deaf, did NOT call ahead to find out what was needed re: legal documents, also, had my signature on file so I didn't really need to be here. No real problems except I'm worried a little about my cats and would have liked to take care of the car asap. Anyway, that's that.

I AM tired, we've been running around, didn't have internet at the house and the local library had hours so limited there was always a choice of spending time with the family or doing something else and being stranded without a car.

Hope I don't sound too whiny, on the whole it was a good trip.

Take care, and always check your files before you go, or, like, copy the whole damn folder. May you have a lovely, sunshiny day.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Stress & Trips

Well, it wasn't the battery cables as I found out when I was zooming along I-70 at 8 am yesterday and the car completely died 1 mile east of Deer Trail at mile marker 331.

My cell hadn't been getting roaming so I called 1911, said it wasn't an emergency, the local police passed me onto the state patrol and they patched me into AAA who came about 45 minutes later (the state patrol did check up on me). It was cold. I was under my towing limit, thankfully at $4 a mile, and had the car towed to the front of my house and crashed.

Got a call from my massage therapist confirming I would look after her cat next Sun, Mon, Tues. A couple of hours later it occurred to me that I'd be able to take the bus for this. It will take a while, but I might be up for something like that after the road trip with my bro, Mom, and 2 nieces (yes, it has grown and I am unsure of my temper in a packed car, so I'll have to work on that).

We're off to CA in an hour and I am repacking. I'm also hoping the cats will be fine, though my cleaning person is coming today along with one visit of the cat person this evening, then 2 visits of the cat person. Mistral is behind the bed, Tommy atop it.

I'm still a little short on sleep, so I guess I'll finish packing and prop myself up on the couch until all arrive.

May you have a wonderful week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In Which Robin Learns A New Skill

Everything went very well today. Randy, car guy/geek, figured out that the problem was really dirty battery cables so we went and bought a cleaner thing and he taught me how to clean them and I only need to do it about once a year before winter. I do, of course, have to be careful.

Anyway, shopping went well, my masquerade entry was much admired (I made a jail cell from a cardboard box: Pestilential Prison, Dull Dark Dock #1, Current Inmate: Dread Pirate Robin (my pirate name for the weekend), with a Life Long Lock with tiny keyhole) and recited the patter song from Pirates of Penzance, first slowly, then as quick as I could (which I'd been practicing so PDQ). Skits went well, part of Golden Compass (with pirate, played the bear), Van Helsing (played a pirate), and a very politically and sexually incorrect skit that I'm not going to name.

Then we played werewolf and I pulled the Seer card and we defeated the werewolves with my help, I was a werewolf and spotted by the Seer and hanged, and I was a villager and hanged and the werewolves won...

Finally In The Sack, various questions not too personal. Anyway, have a headache, think I'm coming down with a cold, and spoke so much my voice is rough. I'm leaving early and mostly packed. The rest will gather for breakfast and then come back for the art auction.

I want to try and spend most of the day with the cats before I leave on the bond or die trip.

May you enjoy your friends today.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Creativity Weekend Day 1

Well I got to Limon all right, checked in, and the car died. Called AAA, they jumped it, and I drove around to recharge the battery. I've used the car every day, went to the store this am, not sure what happened. Limon is spread out, especially where we're staying in relation to the business district and other places I'd anticipated going. Needless to say I stayed close to the hotel and am now a little worried. Got a real car guy here and jumper cables, etc. My room looks pretty much like the photo link, there is a little table to type on.

Anyway, the rest of the evening was good. I committed art, a piece called the Pirate King and Lock and Key, talked. We listened to "Grease Wars" which was a riot. Got to get the disk. Talked writing (synopses & proposal), and politics and religion and physics and reading and space exploration and geekishness (one of the guys has five different ways to access the net), and the history of early English ambassadors to the colonies. That's some of the topics. Religion actually came first and politics pretty much last.

We broke up about a half hour ago, I did my stretches, saw the time and thought I'd blog.

I get many of my supplies here for my collages all year and was unhappy that I couldn't raid Hoffman Drug by myself (I was the first here). Anyway, I'm going to read a little (The Prize, an old historical romance by Julie Garwood and the POV shifts are a little tough), then I packed my meditation tapes and I'll listen until I fall asleep, I guess.

May you have a lovely day alone or with friends.

EEEk! Heart Fate & Revision Stats

Ok, I'm up, leaving for Limon later and decided that I really should take Mistral in today (been seeswaing on that). My Mom will drop by tomorrow to feed cats while I'm gone. So I gotta tidy up big time. Think I'll collect myriad cups and go down to the kitchen and start with dishes.

Anyway, yesterday Iwas printing out Heart Fate for Mom and it went from Chapter 21 to 23. I about fell from my chair. Looks like when I was cutting and tightening and changing chapters for hooks that I mislabeled 22 as 23 and all the rest. I may do a "compare" of both ARCs but it will look very messy. But thinking I dropped a full chapter took my breath.

This can happen, or I duplicate bits, mostly because I move the hook...

So, mind your cuts today!


Original document: C:\ABLAZE Files\Heart Fate TH\Hold\Heart Fate Original Rough.wpd
Revised document: @PFDesktop\:MyComputer\C:\ABLAZE Files\Heart Fate TH\Hold\HeartFateWithSceneCuts.wpd
Deletions are shown with the following attributes and color:
Strikeout, Blue RGB(0,0,255).
Deleted text is shown as full text.
Insertions are shown with the following attributes and color:
Double Underline, Redline, Red RGB(255,0,0).

The document was marked with 2583 Deletions, 1551 Insertions, 0 Moves.

Much of that would be word choice...but, like, URGH! =:0

And may you have a stress free day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Update on Heart Books

I just finished polishing the first chapters of Heart Change and Heart Journey and will be sending them out for critique. Heart Change is 15 pages and Heart Journey is 9. Heart Change has a synopsis, but I'll be working on Heart Journey's. I hope to send the proposal to my agent in a couple of weeks.

I've started doing pages on the Luna book in the morning and working on the Heart books in the evening, or even late night (like right before now).

I had a phone interview with a group tonight that rather broke up my evening and I was nervous about it, so I wasn't very diligent today.

Anyway, I've been good at sticking with the schedule, and this should last until Saturday when I'll be in Limon, then Monday - Saturday I'll be travelling and who knows what will happen.

Since my laptop has been wonky regarding connecting, I don't know if I'll be able to post or when. OTOH at Limon I should have a couple of geek friends who might look at it if it's bad...

Anyway, I'm tired and the clock says 12 am so I guess I'll call it a day.

Happy Spring Equinox!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Blog on Maps on Fresh Fiction Today

Very pleased with this.

May you enjoy yourself today.

Match It For Prachett

Fundraising for early onset of Alzheimer's (Terry Prachett was recently diagnosed with the disease).

My father suffered from this and died from complications of the disease itself.

If you can, please donate.
May you have a very intelligent day.

Unpublished work -- Pitch for Shades of Honor

All right, I called this book Sapphires and Emeralds. It's a paranormal twin book (obviously not the only twin book I've ever done). I haven't looked at it lately to see if it's salvageable, and I actually don't think I would ever be able to judge it.

My first agent (who shall remain nameless) made me rewrite and rename the thing. Some of the scenes were over the top, she said. Maybe for then, but I'm not sure for now. But I think the twin telepathic speak MIGHT have been confusing...and the twin switching. Sometimes things DO get too complex in my work.

Anyway, here's the pitch:

Shades of Honor is a historical romance set in Regency England in which a set of identical twins realize they are engaged to the wrong men. While they are trying to sort out the tangle, the twins' uncle suffers a fatal "accident" and a priceless set of sapphires and emeralds are found missing. The search for the jewels and the search for true love are intermixed with danger and death before the twins triumph.

I DO recall that I absolutely LOVED this hero, Tor, probably a precursor of T'Ash. This was in my stage of having outwardly scarred characters. Tor was missing an eye and a little finger and had a limp (was injured during the battle at Ciudad Rodrigo). The secondary hero (Fisk? Flynn? something with an F) was a smooth type, rather like Ruis or Faucon.

It was historical lite, not much history in it at all, just the Regency stage setting.

May you enjoy your memories today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What are YOUR buttons? Themes

Sometimes when I get a 2 on amazon, I know it's because I pushed someone's buttons with a story, examined some aspect of a theme that made them uncomfortable. That doesn't bother me.

After reading a lot I've been thinking about themes again. One of my favorite authors has a "you can't save everyone" theme, rather like my "everyone makes a fatal mistake, some of us are called on it, some not."

But it made me wonder what in that author's background made her explore the theme, usually it IS personal. With my own, above, there was a series of three stupid accidents in a week a while back, each one of them could have killed me. Or I think of the high school athlete who has been tapped by the pros, does drugs for the first time and dies. Or people misjudging distances/speed while driving (saw some cases like this when I was a paralegal).

Not sure why I'm always changing names/identities, except that I've never cared for Robin (like Rob better), and when I was 10 I decided my soul wasn't really from Earth (a phase), everything in my life seemed so strange. But then I didn't have a normal childhood.

So think about it.
May you have no unhappy revelations today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Work Days

It was snowing yesterday afternoon and when I went to bed. The cats woke me at 2:30 am for unknown cat reasons, I tromped downstairs and fed them and went back to bed, then they let me sleep in (with general cat protests throughout) for an hour.

Today is gray and started slowly. I haven't done any wordcount because I was tired and just generally lazing around, smug that I don't have to go out in the weather (just made an appt for 2, so I do).

I've been searching for a scene that I'm sure I wrote, I remember writing it that should happen about now (put chapters together yesterday and I'm working on 8). I can't find it. Don't recall, really, which machine I wrote it on, but have the tactile impression (which might be wrong), that it was on the laptop on the old glass dining room table, which meant before the glass broke and laptop crashed in November. So maybe I don't have a copy. Or maybe instead of searching my files, I should go back and check my log.

But I've given it the most amount of time that I can before I become increasingly frustrated (that's the new rule from last year, right?) and will simply rewrite it.

May your work go smoothly today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Maps -- Celta Working

Well, I think I did pretty well:


Especially since I started with this:

May all your worlds be beautiful for you today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Maps -- Celta


I drew the Celta map by hand, then transferred it by my profantasy software, Campaign Cartographer. Well, my map has a portion of two western continents, and now I need a world -- or at least the eastern part of the continents.

I use Fractile Terrains to create my worlds.

I suppose I could ask the profantasy group how to do this, but I've decided I'll be generating worlds with Fractile Terrains that look somewhat like my map, then save those and superimpose my map on the eastern part. Hope that works, but, again, this is FUN stuff for me (and I've done my wordcount for the day).

May you get to do fun stuff today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fun and Easy Bits -- Out of Sequence Writing

You know, it never occurred to me that when I write the fun and easy bits out of sequence I am then left, at the end of the book, with the hard and uninteresting bits... I know this happened in Protector of the Flight, for sure...but blessedly any other time is a little vague.

I have been reaching a point where I come to the end of the middle and start writing a whole bunch of "end" scenes and getting that completely done then going back and filling in....

Anyway, right now I'm writing (on Echoes of the Dark, and WHY, STILL is that a better title than Singer for a World? the thing is generic, it says nothing of fantasy...I have a feeling I should have kicked a little more about that title. I'd have lost, as always, but maybe I might feel better), I'm writing in sequence some setup scenes (chapters 5-6-7 or so), and also writing the first turning point. So there will be stuff to fill in (mostly Jikata learning magic, and a couple of those scenes ARE written).

I have three endings for this book, and series, so far. I keep coming up with better and better ideas, but, you know, I can post the extras on my website. I've been deciding who's going to live and die and how I'm going to handle that, and foreshadowing.

So, that's the report.

May you know where you're going today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

13. What is the colour of the horse on Anne Whitfield's book cover, A NOBLE PLACE. Answer found at http://www.annewhitfield.com I hope you enjoyed the "treasure" hunt.

I didn't sleep well last night, change of weather I think, and an event earlier in the day...Anyway, yesterday I worked on Echoes in the Dark/Singer for a World AND Heart Journey.

Now, Heart Journey is a romance, and I have some of the elements of the romantic conflict built right in -- loner/party animal, country mouse/city mouse, etc. Widely different lifestyles and careers both love -- cartographer and rising actor. But it occurred to me last night that I didn't have any OUTER PLOT. Most of my outer plots have a strain of suspense, thusly:

HeartMate: gang wars, heroine kidnapped
Heart Thief: hero wrongfully accused
Heart Duel: Romeo & Juliet, feuding families
Heart Choice: ex lover wants hero
Heart Quest: ritual murder
Heart Dance: Family malice leads to problems, professional envy
Heart Fate: hubris of those with great power

Anyway, I had NO clue what sort of plot I could do for Heart Journey. Usually at this point I do one of two things, haul out my Dramatica Pro program, my tarot cards for character/plot development, etc. (trying to solve this on my own). OR I brainstorm with others. The brainstorming with others is good because I get out of my head.

What I did when I was tossing was think about the last book I'd read (finished Silver Master again by Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz day before yesterday). So, what is the general basis of the plot of that story. Someone wants an object that the heroine has. That's it, all the complications stem from that point. So, like, why can't I use it? That plot device is so general that it's probably in the Decameron.


My thoughts circled around like this:

Suddenly my hero has something someone wants desperately. What is it? First twist, something described differently than what he actually has. Introduce the object early in the book for canny readers.

Why would the heroine make the need for finding this object worse? Because she is an expert.....

Think about the history of Celta (you guys can't do this, 'cause it's mostly in my head). It's inhospitable, people still only have a toe hold, though the colonists planned for huge cities and major populations. Families die out, including one GreatHouse. And another fact that I know that I'm not going to mention because it would spoil too much. But the brain is off and running.

And, yeah, this morning I wrote some of it down, and, no, I don't want to work on the last Luna book, and I'm tired. So I think I'll go back to bed and try and catch up on some sleep, then start fresh again.

May you be excited about your work today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Karvel, Romantic Times

Contest Question:
12. What flavor is Madison's lip balm? Answer at: http://www.jtschultz.com

Well, once again it was like opening a vein to write today. The last few weeks have been full of challenging moments to overcome and write and today was no exception. But enough whining, did that yesterday.

Karvel Kon (my CREATIVITY WEEKEND), is next week and I made my hotel reservations today, paid the final bit on my membership to Romantic Times next month. I'll be at RT in Pittsburgh April 14-20 (I think, I go on a Tuesday and come back Sunday am).

Right after Karvel, on the Monday after Easter, is a trip my Mom and brother and I scheduled last month to take care of some business, so I'll be gone for about 6 days, I lined up my petsitter yesterday for both trips.

Here's the scoop on Karvel Kon. I rescued cardboard for my costume, and will have to scrape the rust off of my foil (sword). I'm hoping the art box has stencils, otherwise I'll buy some at the wonderful drugstore there. I already have my art piece in mind, hope that's not cheating, but I need to set up my new printer/scanner to do it...that should happen this week. All right, enough rambling.


Arrrrghhhh, maties, this is gonna be fun!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Writing Through Distractions and Time Change

11. Which one of Paty Jager's book excerpts has horses mentioned in it?
Answer at www.patyjager.com

I lost Tommy this morning. As soon as I was done with my wordcount (which took a while this morning). I decided to walk down to Heidi's Deli and get one of their huge loafs of ciabotta since I was out of bread. Told Mistral and Tommy good-bye, left him sitting at the top of the stairs.

When I came back, there was no Tommy, even when I called out. Didn't bother me for a while, then it did. He has a purple collar with a bell that jingles most of the time and usually is around me. So I called and yelled and...

Tommy has not been an outside cat, but we've gone out, and I've made sure he knows how to get back in through the cat door. It appears that he will LOVE out. He is declawed in the front.

So....I yelled for long, long minutes, went out and yelled, looked around everywhere I could in the house and called. Went out and called.

Got very frustrated. I'd loaded Heart Change on my laptop so I could work on it after breakfast.

Repeat all the looking several times. Checked the small space between the gate (which he was walking on day before last), went into the scary basement.

Whole time I was wondering how I'd tell the adoption center I'd lost him. Thought about getting another cat. I simply couldn't do it, especially since Mistral is still sick and slow (doing better...).

I couldn't work. Simply could not work through the wondering. So I decided to eat, then put on real shoes as opposed to crocs and walk the neighborhood. Upstairs putting on shoes when I hear a little jingle. I yell Tommy, can't tell over the fountain if he replied. I go downstairs and there he is. Pretty sure he was curled up somewhere I couldn't see and didn't check (though I thought I looked everywhere, but not behind the bookstand) and he, of course, did not come when he was called.

Moral of the story...sometimes you CAN'T write during tough times. I closed it down.

And this time change is driving me crazy, like I lose an hour EVERY DAY. I used to get up at six thirty, mess with the cats, work and it would be a reasonable time when I was done. Now it is a much later time since I'm still waking at the same time. I really resent the loss of the hour in the morning. Urgh. Not sure what I will do about it, set the alarm (though I haven't been sleeping well).

So that's my story. I ate a Parmesian cheese bagel and cream cheese and now feel exhausted and it's already past noon and I should be gearing up for my afternoon session, or at least look at my emails.

May you have no scary moments today.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Day At A Time -- Themes

Contest Question
10. Who is the cowboy that has his arm draped around the neck of his horse on the cover of SACRED GROUND? Answer at: www.ritaritr.com

Mistral and Tommy and I are taking this one day at a time. Mistral is still sick, they are not quite bonding. Tommy is still skinny.

One of the themes I occasionally explore is living in the present moment, not worrying, enjoying each moment of each day. I like this theme because it is something I think is important and which I, myself, rarely reach.

So may you enjoy every moment of the day today.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring and Work and Losing Time

Time is moving strangely again for me. And even with my little daily hand-rotating calendar (month, day, year), it doesn't feel like Sunday. Sunday I meet folks for brunch...sometimes. Last Sunday was cold and snowy and I didn't go. Today is warmer and I'm actually watching a woodpecker on my office windowsill munching some old food I put out there. I think it's the only creature that knows it's there.

So I'll be heading for brunch in about half an hour. I'm done with my Singer For a World/Echoes In the Dark/Echoes of the Dark wordcount for the moment (I have days to make up).

I hope to work on some scenes in Heart Change later and get the writing part of the proposal done. The synopsis is already done since I sent in the very first scene (short) with the last 2 books to try and sell 3.

Heart Journey's pages are done, but not the synopsis. I'm going (as always) to try something new to see if I can do the synopsis more easily (probably not).

For the first Luna books, it literally took three months to work up pages and a proposal. Of course my agent said it was the best she'd ever seen (I still have the email), but I can't afford that amount of time.

Here's the contest question and I really like it!

9. FOOL'S GOLD takes place in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. What famous "lost" mine is featured in the story? Answer at www.erickascott.com

May you enjoy your day, work or play.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Contest Question

Tried getting on before and couldn't get through to Blogger. My contest question went up today:
8. What is the fragrance of the flying horses (volarans) of Lladrana? Answer at http://robindowens.com

Mistral is sick again and I am worried. Tommy seems to be settling in. I'm just sort of hanging in there, got some writing done today and some yesterday, Thursday, when Mistral had bad trouble breathing, I got about 150 words done.

Time to give her a pill (she was on two but she's doing a little better). Maybe she'll take it in a pill pocket (treat), but I'll probably have to haul her out from behind the bed. Just hoping I could have her for a while more yet.

So, that's that.

Tip: Sometimes you can lose yourself in your writing, try hard.

May you have pleasure today.

Friday, March 07, 2008


7. What is the name of the fictitious town where the Crazy H ranch is located? Answer at www.cindyspencerpape.com

I've spent the whole morning cleaning up chapters 1-5 of the last Luna book. I discovered an extra scene I'd forgotten about and included it and that meant finessing other scenes a little.

I'm irritated because no real progress is being made, and I've been working mostly on these chapters all week. Not sure what is going on, but I need to get my butt in the chair more often.


OTOH, if you polish the first chapters enough to pull the reader in, hopefully they'll stick with you throughout the book....

May the day go well.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Photo Meme 1

First, the contest question:

6. Sir Robert, the hero in DARK RIDER, fears his horse has contracted a fatal disease--then Sir Robert ends up getting sick from the same contagion.
What was the disease? Answer at http://equestrianne.com/kdennis/

Got this from Catie Murphy

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

You then take the pic and add text to it

It didn't quite work for me...but I got flummoxed from the start since my very first random choice was the rock band Genesis...


The quote was from Julia Cameron whom I adore:

When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued. (which pretty much happens when I think of the Publishing Business).

But I really, really like this meme, it's fun for me me so maybe I'll make it a monthly thingie

May random acts be lovely for you today.

Can't Believe This

I was working on my card research and came across this. I have NO Irish blood in my veins that I know of, I'm Welsh and Hungarian and German and Polish and Scottish and English...

I can't believe it. Sign me up. Here's one that will tell more to those of you who need info on Tara:




5. What piece of tack was misspelled in Julianna Stephen's manuscript and was caught by a reviewer at The Long and Short of it? Answer at www.juliannastephens.com

I write out of sequence and with no outline. I have two series going at once. Somehow I've thought that I couldn't write on these series at the same time, too. But I'm rushed for time. The Luna deadline is very, very tough. I'm out of contract on the Heart books, and the time for the "acceptance" of Heart Fate is running. Contractually, my Berkley editor can't buy more books until she "accepts" Heart Fate. In this case a smart author gets a proposal in near the date the book must be accepted, which is later this month when I'll be on a road trip, so...

Also, I'd like to get some other proposals in the mail, and my agent wants them to be fully developed. The writing isn't as hard as the synopses, so I'd better darn well get the writing done first...also writing about the new world is one of the best ways I know to learn about it, which I must know before I work on synopses.


Yesterday was an exceptional day:
1308 words on Singer For A World/Echoes in the Dark/Echoes of the Dark
338 words on 01bTS my Urban Fantasy (and an hour constructing heroic names for a Dryad/Sidhe hero...need to look at the final vote by my crit group).
668 on Heart Journey (that's the Heart book that's running with me now), the first hero scene.

Maybe it worked because I was concentrating on Heroes. Luthan is suffering from guilt, and determined. Raz is being lighthearted and grateful and smug. Unnamed contacted my heroine, he, too, is very determined -- to persuade my heroine to do something very dangerous and heart-wrenching for her.

As you can see, the tones were slightly different.

No, I don't want to do this every day, and won't once the proposal writing is set, though working out synopses is pretty different than writing for me, left brain.

The rest of the day I literally spent doing research. I mentioned divination cards in HeartMate, and the scene with Raz and his friends at the Thespian Club has them taking a turn, so I've been researching all my Celtic cards and books and may do more. I have a GreatSuite, which is Major Arcana for the tarot folks of you, which is, of course, the Trees/Ogham Alphabet so it's larger. Anyway, I've got a lot of notes about that now.

So it was a long and productive day. Also got my first cranial/sacral massage from my friend/therapist who just took a class in it. I think my body is feeling better. On a very mundane level, both the grocery stores who carried the frozen omelettes I like ('cause they're fast, 2 mins, but I make a pretty mean omelette myself) has discontinued them so I will actually have to drive farther and go to a different chain.

That's it for me, and I slept in because it's cold and snowy again. I have some running around to do, but I must work on the Luna book now. The cats have, of course, been taken care of.


May you find warmth and peace today.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008



4. What charity benefits from sales of Diana Cosby's HIS CAPTIVE? Answer at www.dianacosby.com

Reminding you the website has been updated. My contest this month is a koala bear keychain (Bri has one in Keepers of the Flame so the teaser is up, too).

Also on the WORLDS page, KEEPERS OF THE FLAME is a longer Chapter 1. Like I say, 3 of 5 times I nail the first chapter and this was not one of those times. I actually started at Elizabeth's apartment, I believe (lost in the mists of time and though I could check, I won't). Maybe my rate is going down to 2 of 5 times... Anyway it's a bit longer and does include a little more set up for the whole series.

Free your artist is about the "element" WATER.

Just realized I forgot to include a cover for Heart Fate on Bookshelf. Urgh.

I've been checking my email (got a WONDERFUL one) etc. for a little over an hour and a half so now I can post and get this daily task out of the way. :)

The snow is mostly melted but it's not nearly as warm as it was. Today I plan to do my wordcount on Singer for a World/Echoes in the Dark/Echoes of the Dark, whatever-it-is-called, and maybe start the hero's scene in Heart Journey. I know what he's doing and why (going to have some divination in this book again, none for several books), but I'm not quite sure where he is...or rather why he is where he is (and that doesn't make sense?), well, the setting, and who is with him.

So now that I've totally confused all of us, I guess I'll sign off.

May the day be as sunny as you want it to be.

Monday, March 03, 2008



3. What's the name of the ranch where wild mustangs transition in TEN THINGS I'D DO FOR A COWBOY? Answer at www.donnamichaelsauthor.com

I'm working with a friend on her first book (though she's multi-published in short fiction). Like many of us who write fantasy, what's in our minds doesn't always make it on the page. I read her work in big chunks (I have the full), then call her and we go over it.

I hope I help, though I also emphasize that this is HER story. Mostly I mark where I'm confused or want more information or motivation.

Work was late tonight because I got going late (FINALLY found wet food that Tommy likes, though I may be going to the organic pet store again for different wet food), then I watched some of the special on the Royal Family (my family is Anglophile), then my friend came over and we went through my comments. So I finished at about 10:30, just a little over my word count. It felt good, though, working. I know I'm behind on my daily count, and I just hope I'm not too far behind on my deadline.

I got an idea for the second scene (hero) of Heart Journey.

May you enjoy whatever you are doing today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weather, Schedule, Wishing for Spring Contest

First, the SECOND question in the Wishing for Spring Contest.

2. What is the name of the horse in Elyssa Lynne's SERVANT OF MAGIC? Answer at www.elssalynne.com

All of the questions, including my own, are listed on my website home page. I might have made the place where my answer can be found tough to find. I DO, after all, have a huge site.

Now, weather. Snowy, didn't go out, have been reading the last few days...since I got Tommy. His schedule seems to be up at 5 am, which is not really working for me. Mistral is hissing more rarely, and I think Tommy has realized he's #2 cat. I have not been writing, and got a blinding headache today (which doesn't happen often). Hope to really get back into a groove tomorrow.

May you enjoy any magic that comes your way.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wishing for Spring

Spring is in the air. Let’s kick up our heels and celebrate life. We've rounded-up thirteen exciting authors with horses in their books. Come and celebrate spring with us. Win free books in our Wishing for Spring Round Up!

To enter –
Visit each participating author’s website to find an answer to a question. Compile your list of answers in an email and submit it to contest@juliannastephens.com. The contest opens on March 1 and closes on March 16. Winners will be notified via email by March 20. One entry per contestant.

The prizes –
Each author will donate either a download or a print copy of her book. For print books, a snail mail address will be required. Winners will be randomly chosen from entries with the correct answers. Thirteen lucky winners!

The questions –

1. What horse rescue charity benefits from sales of Maggie Toussaint’s NO SECOND CHANCE? Answer at www.maggietoussaint.com

It's beautiful here and has been for the last week, the trees are beginning to bud...they think spring is coming. May you enjoy any wishes of spring today.

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