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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Wednesday, December 31, 2008



We've been burning up the writing loops about this. I found Heart Fate available for free download THREE days after the book was released. I asked the person who did it why she was doing this to me when I had a hard enough time making a living writing. The penny dropped and she took ALL her files off. I felt I'd fought the good fight and won (and did I tell you this story before? Let me know when I start repeating myself).

But now all the Heart books are available in e-format.

Yes, I WILL pursue having my work removed from sites -- since only the publisher and the author seem to be able to do this. So if you see it on a site, please let me know.

I buy my music through emusic, and if there's something I hear on the radio, I buy it new and discounted where I can. Ditto with books. I have four books on the way to me from amazon booksellers and half.com booksellers.

Many people may just NOT be thinking of the author. Many feel entitled to "share." (I always wonder if they are paid for THEIR work).

So, please, if you see my work let me know. If you see other fantasy authors' work, press the button on the site.

Here's a wonderful article by Brenna Lyons.

May you be paid for your work today.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Abandoned Projects

On the way home from our last critique group we talked about my "cave" books. P. asked what had happened to the proposal, C. said she didn't recall the "cave" books proposal. I replied that I could never get the first chapter to work. The prologue, fine, when the heroines were all children, but I kept cramming too much into the first chapter, then changed it five times and it still didn't work.

I couldn't seem to get the set up right.

That happens. It was one of those concepts my group loved but that I couldn't make work (since this is also a problem with the urban fantasy, but I think it's fixable, it brought up the whole matter of abandoned projects).

Yes, about 3 out of 5 times I nail the opening, the other two times I fumble and sometimes I can clear my mind of the clutter and fix it and sometimes I can't. I've moved on from the cave books, though I still like the overarching concept and the 6 heroines.

But by this time I've learned to put the proposals that don't work away and move onto something that flows easier and I like just as well.

May you enjoy your work and do it well today.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Not A Tough Critique

At the last critique group the main comments was that I needed to remind the readers of Cratag's POV and scene goal (I started in the middle of the scene), go deeper and be a tougher guy voice.

I was very pleased, especially since we'd examined my mentor's story word by word to find out what was bothering us about the emotional content, and decided that one of the flashbacks (it's book 3 of a trilogy) should go, but LOVED the writing and the opening with her very sympathetic character.

We talked about backstory and internal motivation and emotional conflict...

The moral of the story was that in November it was my story that was picked apart. This is never in a nasty way...just in a "this is bothering me and here's why" sort of way, and "here's what you can do to fix it" sort of way.

We take turns. No one is left out. Everyone has hard days or hard stories. I recall the last time we had critique group at my place, we were all examining S.'s story and C. went into the kitchen and started doing the dishes. C. knew eventually her turn would come...

The moral of the story: critique may be hard, but it shows what might hang up your readers and that is invaluable. Making a better book is invaluable.

May your work please you today.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

All Girls Do...Characters, Characteristics

So I was talking with my single friend and massage therapist and made some comment about dancing, and she asked if I danced around the house and I said yes. Of course. She said she did too and had thought she was strange and unusual until a week ago one of her other clients mentioned dancing around the house when her husband was gone on a trip and she really rocked out.

Then my friend spoke to her sister, a yoga instructor, and the sister said that ALL women dance around the house.

Well, I hadn't really thought about this, but I guess in the back of my mind I figured that a good chunk of the female population probably danced around.

So, do you dance around the house when you're alone?

And speaking of dancing, I have rediscovered Pandora radio and a few new artists and was boogieing in from the kitchen to the dining room to one of those new-to-me selections when I got interested in why they chose the song for me.

And it said: Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features danceable beats, straight drum beats, a smooth female vocal, a laid back female vocal and ambiguous lyrics. Huh.

I WAS aware that I was choosing more female vocals than male (and I rarely listen to vocals because they are distracting if I can understand the words). And the "danceable beats" reminded me that I wanted to write this post and get some feedback about whether all girls do dance around the house.

And, you know, there's nothing like those ambiguous lyrics.

May you enjoy the dance of life today.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Yes, 2 new snippets of excerpts of Echoes In The Dark (though someone is shipping early). One of the excerpts is the rough draft of the first idea I had for Chapter 1, when I was considering the animal companion being a cat...you all helped me through that one.

So, the Writing & Publishing Advice: keep all your files.

And yes, I am actually up at 1:26 am. Critique group today and another holiday celebration...I think some of what kept me up was a problem I had with the car this evening and anxiety.

Gotta go now, may you have no automobile worries today.

Thick Skin Reprise, Anonymous Reviewers

All right, I did come across another review of my work and I'm not as thick skinned as I thought. I guess it was the statement that it didn't live up to the potential... and as I wrote that, I realized that the author of the review had a different vision for my work than I do. And I will repeat the truth that not everyone will like my work. So I will continue to shrug it off and by this afternoon the sting of the review will be gone.

But the poster of that review said that as a reader and a writer my work bothered him/her. So, like, where is his/her work and why is s/he hiding behind anonymity? It reminds me of that old saying "Can dish it out but can't take it." (Yes, still irritated and the anonymity of net reviewers really irritates me).

And I also look at myself. When I talk about a book that bothered me, I usually use general terms and may mix the facts so I can make a point but people don't recognize the book or author. Occasionally I will name the author -- like J.K. Rowling -- if I don't know them and feel they will not see my reviews and are massive enough in sales that I can't hurt them....

But the anonymity of these reviewers has always bothered me. WHY? Do they think I'd slash their work because they didn't like mine? At Lizzie's Tea Room I was with an author who has a book that I don't think should ever have been published. I said nothing.

I guess I believe in people more than these anonymous reviewers.

So, I DO wonder. Why anonymity? ... and this probably goes to my basic belief that life should be fair -- and I know it isn't. I'm hanging out there with my work available to all, fair game for anyone. These folk hide behind a mask. Still don't get it.

May your day go smoothly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Website Work

I thought I had something scheduled to go up today, but obviously not since I am staring at a blank box.

Christmas with family was good. We play Yahtzee (sp?), that's my Mom's favorite game. I won twice so felt smug.

When I think of my website I get huge gobs of guilt because I don't update as much as I should. So I worked on it today. As usual it took hours. I need to break up the task so I don't get the butt-numbs doing it...and I'll keep it up monthly like I intend to.

What's coming on the website:

Updated the room page with a new pic of the computer with Echoes In the Dark cover flat.

Contest (with excerpt from Echoes in the Dark Chapter 1), for a SMALL silver chiming necklace.

Bookshelf: Best of 2008 seal for Heart Fate, a placeholder for Heart Change and some copy I threw together and will probably revise.

Free Your Artist: Goals and Torches

Pic of a place I used in Echoes In the Dark as part of the Singer's Abbey and small excerpt with Luthan in Chapter 1.


Original First Draft of Chapter 1 which is significantly different from the current opening.

Just to get you panting, I'll put up a note when I hear from my webmistress when it goes live...now I'm off to my errands.

May all of your errands get done today.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and First Echoes In The Dark Sighting

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth Goodwill to All!

I heard from a good friend yesterday saying that she saw Echoes In The Dark at her local bookstore (and thanks to all who have purchased books or bookstore gift cards this season!). This was a little irritating as street date is important and that's not for 6 more days. On the other hand, she seemed to think that the store probably ordered 4 and there was only 1 left. And the store is in Cheyenne, Wyoming which is not considered one of the great metropolises of the world.

But now it's out and I'll begin to get feedback on how I handled the story, tied up all the loose ends and...the finish.

So, not quite nervous now because I stayed up reading late last night/early this am and am tired, but I'm sure that will kick in. I try not to care that all the previous books in the series are out of print and wonder whether the print run on Echoes In The Dark will be smaller because it is the last...

Again, happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Eve" -- Words

It's Christmas Eve. I don't know about you, but to me "eve" is a little mysterious -- a twilight shadowy place, perhaps a twilight shadowy day. Not quite THE day, but not in the realm of the ordinary, either. Maybe I've read too many books and seen too many movies where magical, unusual things happen on "eves." Especially All Saints Day's Eve, Hallowed Eve, Halloween.

For most of us, I think (have not researched this), it's a word and a time that came from medieval Europe when the Catholic church held sway and people determined the days by religious days.

In any event, may today be magical or unusual to you...or SEE the magical and unusual of this day (as any day).


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12 Excerpts Today


I am at the link ABOVE today, posting 12 (TWELVE) excerpts. So far, 3 Yule Excerpts from Heart Fate, the opening scene of HeartMate, and coming up, the last part of chapter one of Echoes In The Dark...which I don't think I have on my website because I did chapter 3...

May you enjoy the day.

Excavations Underway

I have successfully excavated the dining room table and now have piles on the living room and dining room floor...ok, one little pile on the dining room table of "take care of now." Also a mug that was made for my old defunct critique group one holiday that holds pens, a little china dish holding paperclips, flash drives, etc. the laptop and the corkboard placemat where I eat...and my earbuds and motivational music. But that really takes up maybe 1/3 of the space...which is why I have the problems.


Next up, the left top two shelves of my credenza. Shelf one has huge notebooks of the full mss. of Shades of Honor (unpubbed), Betrothal and Blackmail (unpubbed), and HeartMate (pubbed). I think the big blue expandable envelope is Heart Thief. Then various colored portfolios that I use for my raw pages/critique pages etc.

Shelf two has some ads I've done, all the contracts, and some of the royalty statements. Those need to be sorted. Sigh. And I need to copy the scanned contracts to pdfs and put them there.

But I am feeling good about the (currently very chilly) dining room table.

May you feel satisfied today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Echoes in the Dark

I don't recall whether I've put a large pic up of Echoes in the Dark, so here's the front. I don't have a good copy of the full flat.

Echoes In The Dark

May you enjoy your work today.

North Denver News

I didn't know this was online.

May you be proud of your neighborhood.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


The first December I did my website, on my Free Your Artist I worked with labyrinths. As those of you know who follow the Heart Series, I have used the Great Labyrinth from Heart Duel on. Since that part of Heart Duel was written before I was published, it's been a long time since I've been interested in labyrinths.

I first became interested in labyrinths as a meditation tool when I visited Grace Cathedral in San Francisco a longish while back. So I wrote about it and after I got published a local group put a labyrinth path in the old Elitch Gardens Carousel House. Since it's across the street from my post office, I visit it fairly often. I recall walking it, hoping HeartMate would win the RITA, being stuck with Heart Thief...I try to walk it the winter solstice.

So here are some pics:



May your mind be quiet and peaceful today.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Solstice/Yule! Excerpt from Heart Fate

It was interesting writing this. I went back and checked and found the whole evening that comprised Yule -- Tinne at the Turquoise House, then T'Holly Residence, then with Lahsin at the house in the secret garden, then their first loving and waking up the morning after Yule -- was written on several dates. Started October 18, 2007, some on our New Year's Day, January 1, and the last January 18.

So...the set up. This is after the Yule ritual at the Residence in the secret garden. Tinne Holly is the hero and Lahsin is the heroine. His Fam is Ilexa, a hunting cat, and hers is Strother, an Irish Wolfhound
Lahsin opened the door and Strother trotted in. For reasons known only to them, a big, red ribbon tied in a bow was around his neck. He looked ridiculous, but Tinne kept his mouth shut. He also realized that he didn't have a gift for the dog. He reached to the Turquoise House for a bag of cat treats he hid from Ilexa. Since she was still loafing at T'Holly Residence, engorged on Yule feast, she'd never know that he'd given her treats to Strother. He'd replace them before she found out. With effort, he ported them to a spot behind the pillows.

The dog sneezed, blinked watery eyes. **Too much smoke smell in here.**

With a wave and a little regret, Tinne banished the fragrant spirals of incense, another bit of the ritual atmosphere that had blanketed him and Lahsin together, gone.

"I have gifts," Lahsin said, looking at him and Strother.

The dog sat, his tongue lolled out.

"I do, too," Tinne said. "Gifts between Fam and person, then man and animal first."

Strother wagged his tail and gave an approving look to Tinne. **My first gift.** He sat straight and watched as Lahsin brought out something wrapped in softleaves. She put it in front of Strother and he pawed at it until a string of beads fell out.
**A Fam collar!** Strother sounded thrilled.

Tinne studied it. The necklace was composed of bright dried berries and larger rosehips of orange and red, accented with dark seeds and a nut or two, all strung on thread.

Lahsin untied the bow and fastened the collar around the dog's neck. "It looks good against your gray fur."

Sure wasn't emeralds.

But Lahsin had made it with her own hands and that was more important than emeralds, though Ilexa might not think so.

"I've spellshielded the string. It will only break if you get caught and can't get free."

The dog's brows lowered.

"I'll make you a new one if that happens," Lahsin said.

Strother grinned. He trotted to the door and brought a large mass of gray-brown something gently held between his jaws. He dropped it at Lahsin's feet and sat with a doggie grin.

"Mushrooms! Prized truffles! Ooh."

Wagging his tail, Strother said, **I have heard that people consider these tasty.**

"We do," Lahsin assured him. "I haven't seen these in the estate, where did you find them?"

Strother's chest puffed out with pride. **Saw little ones near my den in the glasshouse. Sent them Flair and they grew. For you.**

"Thank you!" Lahsin hugged him.

The dog rumbled satisfaction, then turned his head to Tinne. Tinne brought out the packet of treats. Strother's nose twitched. **Good morsels.**


Lahsin raised her eyebrows at the wording on the envelope: Special bits for your FamCat from D'Ash.

Tinne shoved the packet to Strother, who gave it a strong sniff. "Good." He decorated the wrapping with drool.

Lahsin opened package. "You want just one or all of them?"

Strother appeared torn. **Some now. Most for later.**

"Excellent," Lahsin said, and fed him about a third.

Strother crunched and slurped. **Human gifts, now,** he said.

After washing her hands in a bowl of water on the altar, Lahsin reached under the cloth and brought out a small potted plant. "I didn't know if you'd really come," she said to Tinne. But I made you a gift anyway." She handed him the pot.

It was a delicate evergreen tree he'd never seen before. He touched one soft, flexible branch. "Nice. What is it?"

"A Norfolk Pine. They only grow here and in the great greensward of Nuada's Sword, the Residence told me. When I found it, I did some research. Norfolk was a place on old Earth."

He met her eyes. "I'll cherish it."

She handed him a note. "The tending instructions."

Tinne slipped the page in his bag, turned the pot around to admire the small tree from all sides until Strother nudged him. Tinne turned to his bag and lifted out his presents.

He brought her two gifts. One was pale green training robes trimmed in dark green.
Her eyes lit up. "Real robes!"

"Yes. The trim shows you're a second level beginner."

She clutched the robes to her breasts. "Really? Am I?"

He smiled. "You have a few holes in your training, and need to learn the first basic pattern, but you could probably win any match with my beginning students."

She did a little hopping dance at that, put the tunic on. Only then did Tinne realize she was wearing old clothes, though the aura of the Goddess had cloaked her during the ritual.

Strother was nosing Tinne's bag. **Something else, here, something that smells of slowbeast.**

"I have another gift, one made with my creative Flair."

Lahsin looked up with curiosity in her eyes.

Tinne pulled out a small drum he'd made...not his HeartGift. She grinned and eagerly took it from him, settled back on her pillow and began to thump with enthusiasm but little technique. He laughed, pulled his own drum, equally small, and poured his feelings through his hands in cheerful, rapid beats.

"Now we can follow the ancient ways and drum the night away and to the dawn!" Lahsin raised her voice over the sound.

Strother's muzzle gaped. **You will pound on those all night?**

"Yes!" Lahsin threw back her head and laughed.

Her laugh reached inside Tinne, stirred him near painfully, touching places that had been wounded by another woman.

Strother went to his portion of the food and ate and drank politely, then burped and turned to Lahsin. He cast a yearning eye toward the cat treats, but then lifted his muzzle in pride. **You will put my treats in the no-time? he asked.**

"Yes, the Fam no-time in the kitchen that the Residence has so graciously opened to us now."

Tinne figured it hadn't been gracious at all. She glanced at him. "May I keep the orange juice?"

"By all means. The juice was for the ritual, the decanter is my gift to the Residence."

**I will be able to get my crunchies when I want. Good. Then I will go out and show my new collar to other Fams.**

Perhaps not so very different than Ilexa after all.


May you enjoy the shortest day and the longest night.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thicker skin?

I was surfing the net and came across a very bad review for Heart Fate...and it didn't faze me. It's probably because I was tired, and the fact that of the reviews I skimmed by this person, none were highly rated. I have a feeling s/he was at RWA and picked up a bunch of free books (which makes me ask WHY?).

Also, I have my rationalization at hand, at least for Heart Fate...I mean, Amazon's Best of 2008, ok? So it's easier to shrug off the review.

I DO hope it means I'm getting a thicker skin, I could use it.

May you have no pricks of the ego today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heart Change Back Cover Copy -- How it was written

This is what we ended up with. First paragraph is mine after about 5 revisions (with the exception of the word "shaken." I used "shattered," but I think shaken is better since shattered leads one to think of tragedies.

Second paragraph, the first line is mine, after about 5 revisions; second line went through 10-12 revisions and was the hardest of the whole pitch. Last line is one I revised from a friend's excellent input.

The original third paragraph was cut after 10 revisions and I noted that I had the same amount of words but 4 paragraphs and 3 or so more lines than the original. Since I was sent a "page" formatting for the original and my summary was moving over to the second page, I knew I had to cut or they would or my print would be smaller. This was when I had planned to mail it, and the copy began it's cycle of version 10-12.

The first two lines of the third paragraph consist of the important lines of the original third paragraph and fourth paragraph. Line one is mine. The first part of line two is a friend's the last half of line two is a revision on the original publisher's version.

So you see what goes into it. All in all I am happy with it, and very happy that my publisher gave me like five days to do it instead of an hour.

But it kept me up nights (the best version came to me in the middle of the night), and dogged me during the day...

May you be pleased with your work today.

Signet D'Marigold's lonely life is shaken when a prophet reveals she is a catalyst for change... But to accept her new life – and the charge of a noble child, Avellana Hazel – will mean embracing a danger that may be fatal for them both.

Cratag Maytree sold his sword and traveled across continents to find a place with his distant family. His settled life is disrupted when he is loaned out as a bodyguard for Signet and Avellana. Once again he feels like an outsider.

As Signet's and Cratag's attraction develops into love, her fear of abandonment and his wariness at their different backgrounds diminish. Happiness seems within their grasp until fate makes them targets of a secret enemy they must defeat to survive...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back Cover Copy

My publishers have been sending me the back cover copy for the last couple of years. Mostly, I think, because they know that I deviate from the synopsis which they use as a basis for that copy.

Heart Change was wretched, so I've been working on it. This is not an art I have mastered. I have it out to friends and will see how it goes. Even my Bland is better than their Wretched.

This is so important, and it's frustrating not to be able to do it right. For one thing, the story is one of subtleties so trying to explain the effect of Signet's Flair in five words or so is difficult.

I spent hours on it as did some of my friends -- FIVE friends -- before I got it right. I think counting all the tweaking, it went through about 10-12 versions.

May you be good at what you do today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Upcoming Give Aways

I will be giving away a couple more copies of Echoes in the Dark, one at the Knight Agency Chat this Thursday, another at a friend's holiday blog. I'll let you know of the date when it's finalized.

May you enjoy giving.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How Did It Get To Be December 14th? -- Website

I did do a couple of posts ahead last week, woke up and realized that one probably didn't go up this am...and found I hadn't done one yesterday either.

Yesterday I did most of my holiday parties...CRW, RMFW, my friend Rose's Open House. Actually I just dropped in on CRW to pick up my panel to judge for the Award of Excellence and stayed for the board meeting where I confirmed I was working on stuff for the mixer Friday night for the conference in May, would be speaking on Interviewing your characters in March, and would put together a conference proposal (or if they had a craft hole I'd fill it). I paid my dues for the next year. So I missed the party part, though I brought 3 copies of Echoes In The Dark to be raffled.

So much for the holiday season with my orgs. I'm going to an annual dinner with my Mom and her neighbors today, then my family Christmas is brunch a week from today, then Freehold Christmas/Winter Holiday on the 28th. I think that critique is in between there, too.

Meanwhile, the fact I haven't updated my site sits on my shoulders like lead weights. I think doing this blog (and my agent now wants me to do a monthly newsletter, too), has delayed me even more from revising it. I can't do it myself, but that reason is less than the fact that I spend hours on it every month to do it right.

I'd wanted to put the Yule scene up from Heart Fate there, but it hardly seems worth it if I'm going to change out in January. So I think I'll put the Yule scene up here. I think my publisher would be lenient in how ever many words I want up.

So look for that next Saturday.

Snow and bitter cold has come to Denver and appears like it will stay the full week. Take care of yourself and your friends and family and ho ho ho.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pic: Squirrel and Snowy Nest In Tree

The squirrels have heavy coats this year.

May you enjoy a warm nest today.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Win a copy of Echoes In The Dark

NOTE: If you pop online to the holiday open house, and, I think, post something, you will be considered for the book.

I am at the HQ open house today, and had offered an ARC, but since I have my copies, it will be a real book.

I'll be popping in every few hours. When I get up in the am, etc.

May you enjoy the start of the holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Author's Copies of Echoes In The Dark Have Arrived

I was excited to open them up and see them, more than most of my other books lately, because it's the end of the series. I went to breakfast and got grease on a page so promptly wrote "Author's Reading Copy" on it. I have these copies that I use when reading and will modify for the reading if necessary.

So I'm pleased.

May you get something you wanted today.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Worldbuilding Quote

Not precisely, but it struck me as funny, from Trish.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams

May you enjoy the universe you live in today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

1930s Rejection Letters -- Check December 4


May you enjoy success today.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sigh...Deep Thoughts about Worldbuilding

I hurt my head the last couple of days but after L..O..N..G sessions with mentor I may have got part of the world in my grasp. This is what happens when you sell on proposal and have to figure everything out ahead of time instead of letting it unfold easily.

A quote from mentor about one of my emails.

"Any time you can avoid using quantum physics to explain something, it's a good thing."

May all your physics -- ahem -- fall into place for you.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dark and Intense and Pseudonym

This is turning out to be a dark and intense book and I'm thinking that I may need a pseudonym. I wouldn't mind readers who crossed over to try the urban fantasy if they knew what they were getting into, but if they expected a completely sympathetic hero and a real happy romance, they aren't going to get it in this book...as it stands. At least not from the hero's point of view. I think the heroine is fine.

So I don't want people expecting an easy or lighthearted read from me zooming in on this book and deciding never to read me again...or that I'm too twisted to really be able to write good romance.

OTOH, I'm going to have to lighten him up for Chapter 2, so he may get changed a little in the scenes I've written, depends on my critique buddies.

But a pseudonym may be in order. I don't mind that, and I'll be thinking on one.

May you know and celebrate yourself today, and have a kind day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Not Like In The Mind

I hesitated getting started on the second scene I wanted to write for the urban fantasy...ok, currently entitled Phantom Quartz, because it felt like one of those scenes that no matter how vivid it was in my imagination, everything I wanted it to be wouldn't come out on the page. The first scene had gone so well, new stuff being revealed and added that I hadn't thought of.

It happens, often, that the scene isn't as rich...the dust as dusty, the arms as gnarly, the fight as grunting, as I saw in my mind. This happens, and from what I understand, it happens to poets most of all.

So I do the best I can to get the essence down and let that missing bit of inspiration that dissipates into the air when the idea hits the page just go, mourned.

May you nail what you need to nail today and if a spark or two escapes, that's fine. It's the best you can do.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Freedom From Word Count and Question

Well, not really free. I don't know that I'll ever be free of word count goals until I am out of contract again and not under deadline. But I think I'm around 312 pages of Heart Change and it's due February 28, so that's about 200 pages in 3 months (even a short month), so I am hoping I don't have to rush.

I've reached the "late middle" of the book and it feels like I've been doing hour (septhour) by hour descriptions so I'm giving myself permission to jump ahead to one of the climactic scenes that I've been thinking about...later.

This morning I just wrote (yes, I checked the word count, but not obsessively) on the urban fantasy. I'm not sure that this scene will be in the proposal, so there was absolutely no reason to tie it to wordcount except for yearly totals (which will be pitiful as usual, I'll be lucky to make 200,000). So I just wrote the scene (ok, I will admit that when it turned out to be 1798 I added a couple of more thoughts). So it's 1829.

I have another scene to write on the story while it's fresh, then I may also look at Chapter 2 which needs major revision, and write notes for what comes before these scenes. Emails with critique buddies and thinking are shaking out the plot.

I did purchase a couple of more software programs for plotting...Liquid Silver and ThoughtOffice's Muse (or Poet, they can't make up their minds). The "idea fisher" of Muse has given me some leads, but I didn't realize that to fish all those tens-of-thousands of ideas you have to be connected to the net. Of course the laptop is, now, but if I'd wanted to brainstorm by myself at the retreat in Fairplay or on a cruise I'm dreaming about, it would be useless.

Anyway, that's this morning. Snow and winter has come to Colorado and I'm going to walk to the bank, and maybe stop off at the deli and get another huge loaf of ciabotta (sp?) and maybe the tea shop or the cheese shop. Then I'll write the second scene.

To keep up on my wordcount for Heart Change, I need to do 2000 words a day through Saturday (for 80 pages this month on a daily basis). I've taken the last five days off. Mostly I've been playing City of Heroes since they just put online Issue 13. But I have a regular weekly playnight with a friend tonight so I'll take a break today. I DO like the story arcs I've been playing, and, of course, they added a new costume and other stuff for characters...and in my paranormal romances that I hope to be doing my heroine is a game designer.

Anyway, that's the news from the Owens' place.

Take care and keep warm today.

Ooops, forgot the question. In Heart Change I did drag in a gaggle of girls and introduce them, which crowded an already (as usual) crowded scene (I had Cratag and Signet and Avellana and Vinni, and Vinni's bodyguard and his tutor and Laev Hawthorn...whew!) Two of the girls have speaking parts/scenes in the books, the rest are, of course, setups for upcoming books. Will this bother you?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Heart Change --Last Sentence of NaNoWriMo


All right, I wrote approximately from Chapter 11 to Chapter 23 in NaNoWriMo on Heart Change and I saw when checking out the National NaNoWriMo page that our usual columnist put down his last line (which he'd written out of order ;) !)

So I thought that might make an interesting short blog for all of us and went and looked it up and was pleased. Now this was actually in a bit written mostly in order.


He couldn't see how she'd manage to stay sane.


May you enjoy your day and think of all those exit lines you want to use at the time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Critique, Trust, Revising

Lots of ideas churning in my mind for this post this morning. I took Sunday and Monday off, mostly because I was thinking of how to fix my second scene in my proposal which introduces the currently-unsympathetic hero. Bits and pieces of dialogue and just how to make it work. Revising.

My mentor called and said she thought she'd been too hard on me and the book, but I could tell that she still wouldn't like it if the hero was as dark as I anticipated. And, you know, the majority of my readers are romance readers, so if I want them to buy this book, and to trust me, not to check every book of mine out, before they buy (which I do with writers whose work does not resonate with me every single time) I have to make the guy better. As one of my other critique buddies said, it's a matter of (his) intent.

Anyway, the bottom line here in this post was "do you trust your critique buddies" and I do. I don't have a problem changing something (ok I reluctantly give up my idea) if I know it's going to strike the same chord in my readers...in a bad way.

Urban fantasy IS darker and with an edge, with tougher heroes, but this proposal is for a trilogy. And I'll be writing lighter contemporary paranormal romance too, hopefully. So it's my career I'm thinking about, not just my concept of a book, or three.

May you enjoy the long view today.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunrise from the Owens Place

So it isn't an ocean and beach. Sometimes it's wonderful.

And many times I don't want to get up and see it, but those whiney cats...I swear, they HAD food.

Choose an image of the day to keep with you, today. And have a kind day.

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