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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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Blue Screen of Death

Yes, the desktop crashed bad(ly) yesterday. It is over at friends' who will be working on it and probably reinstalling the whole system. Sigh. At least I think it will be cleaner. I believe I lost only some research pics of characters, mainly because I subscribe to Carbonite (let me know if you're interested, 'cause I get a discount). It's about $55 and this is the first time I've used it in 2 years, but it has remote access that I can even get on my itouch).

That's the bad, sad news.

May all your electronics behave.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do It Yourself Poems for All Kinds of Mothers

Mother's Day Do-it-yourself Poem Kit. "Create a personalized poem for your mother with this greeting card tool kit of original poems. Can't rhyme? No problem." This is done by a friend of mine, and since a different friend was talking to me last week about a poem she'd done for her step-father, I think people might be interested.

Here are the urls (and yes, I bought it).

May you enjoy your creativity (or creative prompts and inspiration) today.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The "rule" for backstory is just enough to explain what's going on. I failed that in my short story (current title HeartMate Love). I felt the paragraph of backstory was dragged too long and cut it...and got confusion. So I'm rewriting the beginning and hoping I'll have enough hooks to keep you going until the hero walks in the door.

This is an older couple story with Arbusca Willow, the mother of the hero in Heart Dance, and the setting is a year and 3 mos later. Since she is a housekeeper (actually the glue that held the Family together in hard times), I've made her guy a fire mage and demolition expert.

May your work flow for you today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Of Cats and Dogs

The other day, my Mom (who has Wilbur the Wonder Cat) said she wanted more dogs in the books (or made some comment that I interpreted as that). So in the story I'm writing, there is a dog named Mel and two cameo appearances by Cats. Heart Journey, upcoming, has a fox and kittens, and since I'm really tired of kittens right now, Heart Secret has young cats of about six months. I'll keep more dogs in mind as I go along.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Readers Dilemma

Ok, I admit it. I have books stacked on the floor. In more than one room. So I have gritted my teeth and decided to "deaquisition" especially my mystery collection and much of my sf/f collection. Enough so the books on the floor can make it to the shelves. I have "research" books that I won't be using either, now that I seem to have found my major groove.

This is a big and messy process. I am listing what I'm giving away -- either to charity or a friend who is a bookseller and can use the books.

Even though some of these works aren't available electronically yet, if I really, really want them back (and some I haven't read for years), I will get them from the library or buy again.

May you enjoy your books today,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Short Stories

I am quickly pounding out a short story. Why I think I can do this, I don't know, except that I am a Professional Writer. But short stories are a whole different matter than 500/600 ms page novels. So I doubt...but since I doubt during all my work, I proceed. I am determined. Still, I think the contract said 6500 - 13000 and I had intended to deliver 6500, but it appears it will be more -- as usual. I am determined. I can do this. And those are words all writers need to keep in mind.

May your work come easily to you today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fan Mail

Email that I get, the comments on this blog, and the occasional snail mail are all very wonderful and motivational. Thank you,


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Readers' Sensibilities - Cratag/Signet, Genista Holly Furze

Readers' Sensibilities - Cratag/Signet, Genista Holly Furze, In the comments of my blog one person said that they thought Cratag deserved better than Signet and another said s/he wasn't too interested in reading a story about Genista. To the first, I assured the reader that Cratag was happy with his choice. But that isn't the issue. The issue is that I didn't convince that reader that Signet was a heroine, that she was sympathetic.

No matter what *I* feel, the reader feels differently. Ditto regarding Genista Furze-Holly-Furze. The reader isn't sympathetic to Genista. Now some of this might just be subjective and I-don't-care-for-that-type-of-character (personally I have great difficulty with the "how the mighty have fallen" heroines, women who were prideful in the past and now the current story starts out with them swallowing their pride and being humiliated or something). But it was my intention that Signet was a match for hero and Genista IS sympathetic, and if I didn't convince someone of this, then I didn't do my job.

So, I promise not to take your comments too lightly.

Thanks for all your support,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Time to Think

I am under a hot deadline, and I am THINKING. This irritates me, but I can't seem to progress before I figure the next phase out -- choreography wise. When will X take place? Before A or B? I suppose I could write it both ways, but I'd probably be taking the same amount of time...in any event. I do know this process works for me...so follow what process works for you.

May you enjoy your work today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Current Research Websites

All right, I'm "past" the yellowstone one of Old Faithful, but still like to watch. It's snowy there but that didn't prevent some bison from sleeping around it much of Sunday. The other sites are in California where the story takes place now. I may not get the links right, but here they are:

May you enjoy any virtual trips around the world that you do!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Point of Growth


I'm working hard on Enchanted No More and currently writing the ending out of sequence. In the Luna books, the heroine's point of growth, what she learns to be a better person, is the most important plot/subplot of the book. I realized this when I was setting up Aric's, the hero's, point of growth. I knew I wanted it near the end, then realized HIS point of growth shouldn't be after hers, that is an indication that the story is about him, not her. So I did some thinking and figured out how to stretch her point of growth naturally beyond his. I am pleased with the story line.

May you understand your craft today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Good Reason for Goals

Another good reason for writing goals (i.e. daily wordcount) is that when your life spins out of control, you can have a goal THAT YOU CAN MEET, and when you make this goal, you feel better. Writing and wordcount is something that should be under your own control as a professional.

So, may you meet all your goals today.

Friday, April 09, 2010

AVG Free, Mozilla and Live Journal -- Sortware

I don't know what's going on with these groups, but their updates seems to have clashed. Almost every day last week, I kept restoring my machine to try and get stuff to work.

Mozilla loads a whole lot slower than it had previously, and as for Live Journal...well I usually only post to the toonowrimo page when I'm going to word wars, but that's been literally taking MINUTES (like 2-3) to load.

I admit I do AVG Free -- once upon a time I downloaded the trial, and it completely wrecked my access, so I went back to the Free. I WOULD pay for something if I could put it on myself in 5 minutes and have NO problems, and there would be NO problems for each upgrade.

I think that's impossible. I think the paid programs are WORSE about meshing with all the other software I like -- Mozilla for surfing, google for gmail and igoogle homepage...etc.

I just wish these folks would talk to each other.

May your day be computer problem free.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Which Story Would You Like to See?

I have been offered a three "novella" anthology. One will be Heart & Sword, a tale of the colonists on the Ship, Nuada's Sword before they land. Note: the PLAY Heart & Sword is referenced in Heart Journey.

One will be Genista Furze Holly's story, Tinne's ex-wife.

Any other character you're burning to hear about? The third is open...until I submit a proposal next week.

May you enjoy sunshine today and the worlds you travel in.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

?s/Answers for Word Warriors

?s/Answers for Word Warriors. Today is the anniversary of the Word Warriors chatroom and C.E. Murphy, Laura Anne Gilman and I are in for about 3 hours if you have any questions for us about pretty much anything.

May you enjoy your day.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Online Classes

I'm thinking of signing up with folks who offer online classes. Mine would be "Survive to Write, Write to Survive, Practical Tips on How To Survive Until You're Published." And I'd love to get my Interviewing Your Characters seminar out there.

I also need to peruse other topics that I've written on. Maybe some Brainstorming Worldbuilding would be good.

So that's the current thought in the brainbox.

Many thanks and may your day be lovely.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Best Advertising

The Best Advertising for a book is writing a good book. Word of mouth is very good, and reviews. After that, it's difficult to gauge what works and what doesn't. Yes, you need a website.

Short and sweet today! Enjoy this Friday and may it be good in all ways for you.

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