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.

My Photo
Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Celta Thursday -- peek at Heart Legacy

Celta Thursday -- peek at Heart Legacy. Since I'm deep in the guts of Heart Legacy, it's easier for me to post from it than spend time looking for anything else, and I've found you all usually prefer words over pics or maps, thus: "We have decided to accede to your request for a horse, FirstFamily GrandLady Loridana Itha Valerian D'Yew," the Residence, Yew Residence, said in its usual arrogant male voice. As if its words were a portentous announcement.

The thick, rich fabrics of the furniture and rugs in the library, even the expensive wallpaper, softened its tone.

Lori kept her spine straight in the chair, but answered with more force than usual. "Oh, thank you!" Since it always monitored her physical reactions, it would have noted her pulse leap and quicker heart rate.

**You are disturbed, FamWoman?** questioned her Familiar companion, Baccat, in a thought to her. Naturally, he'd felt the spurt of her excitement and dismay. He was the only one she didn't keep a barrier of control between her mindshields against, didn't control her every thought and feeling with.

**No, Baccat, surprised. Apparently we are finally getting a horse,** she sent to him mentally. **Can you check out the stables to see if the Residence is . . . fibbing to me again?**

**I spent a septhour in the stables this morning and am enjoying the sun in Our garden,** Baccat grumbled, but she sensed he rose to his paws from a flattened bed of catmint and stretched, rump up. **I will accede to your request and do this for You, MY FamWoman.** (This is the second scene in the book).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cut From Heart Search -- Camellia's HouseHeart Research

Camellia was very proud of the decor and ambiance of her tearoom, Darjeeling's HouseHeart. All in all, it seemed like a HouseHeart to her.

Not that she knew of a HouseHeart personally, she didn't, but she did her research – hard not to do that when one of her best friends was Glyssa Licorice, the Heir to the PublicLibrary Family. So she had seen records describing HouseHearts in general, and even some private records and holospheres of an unnamed HouseHeart or three. Since the destruction of the HouseHeart led to the complete ruination of a Residence, information on them was stingy.

But Glyssa knew what a HouseHeart looked like. She lived in a Residence and was an Heir to the title, so she could spend several hours in her HouseHeart every month. She had done so with her Family's and HouseHeart's permission as research for Camellia. Not only that, Camellia sensed the PublicLibrary itself had something like a HouseHeart since it was supposed to be intelligent, even if rumor said it spoke only to the Licorices.

Camellia's other friend, Tiana Mugwort, hadn't said much but had made comments with pointed glances and innuendo-laden tones. Whenever Camellia tried to think of Siana's home, her brain fogged with some spell, but the place had a HouseHeart.

Furthermore, a new Residence had developed in the last decade or so. That Residence, TQ, was in an upper middle-class, lower noble area that had also been rejuvinated. Camellia had been unable to talk herself into TQ. The renters had preferred privacy...and Camellia had had the odd notion that the family living there hadn't had access to the HouseHeart.

Then there had been the discovery of an old Residence that had been lost, ruins that had been excavated, and the exciting realization that the HouseHeart was still alive, though sluggish. In the first flush of excitement there had been vizes taken of the HouseHeart itself. It had been rumored that the ruins had been the Residence of the only FirstFamily to die out, the Mistletoes. Then the FirstFamilies had moved in and taken over the site with proper compensation. But information had been shut down and even the Licorices didn't get enough to satisfy them. Glyssa had bitterly complained to Camellia for days.

Like many people, ever since the sunken ship had been raised, Camellia had had an interest in archaeology – or treasure hunting. But the foundation of all her dreams had come from that wreck. She'd reclaimed a perfect set of china that had been her Family's and had gone down with the ship. A fifty-place tea set by a now-famous chinju potter. Selling the largest piece, an urn a meter tall, had gotten her the gilt to set up her business, eventually open Darjeeling's Teahouse.

Now she had two.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Celta Thursday, Cut Epilogue of Heart Thief

I'd completely forgotten I'd written an Epilogue of Heart Thief. Balsamea is the baby now known as Dani Eve, Diva became Drina, Straif T'Blackthorn's cat.

Samba touched noses with Balsamea, then leapt aside as one chubby hand grabbed for her calico fur.
**Time to play.** The Fam jumped down and glided over to the door. She turned and lifted her nose. **I saved you all,** reminding them, as she did every few eight-days.
"Thank you," Ailim replied gravely.
Samba ordered the door open, then she glanced back. **Thanks are enough for me. My sister, Diva, demands adoration.** A gentle sniff. She eyed the baby. **Diva is most particular. She would make a good Fam and needs a home–**
"Hmmm," said Ruis.
Samba whisked her tail just once and left.
Primrose put her paws over her eyes and whimpered.
"No other cat," said Ailim.
"No," agreed Ruis.
The baby made a noise. They turned to her in surprise. It was an excellent imitation of Samba's rumbling mew. "Let's go play!"
Ruis stared at his wife and and their precocious child. He scooped Balsamea up in one arm and wrapped the other around Ailim. She grinned up at him.
A huge wave of triumph filled him, breaking into free and hearty laughter. "The Ship awaits our tour. Let's go play!"
Ailim danced toward the door, tugging at his hand. "Lets!"

Friday, April 10, 2015

Celta Cut: Heart Change

I was requested by a reader on Facebook to post a cut in honor of her birthday, so here it is:

"I think we should go out to dinner tonight," Signet said.
Cratag and Avellana looked up from their craft tables and stared at her.
"Go out to dinner," Avellana said as if it were a foreign concept, frowning.
Signet switched her gaze to Cratag. He'd been briefly surprised but now was impassive. She raised her brows. "You must have eaten out."
"Plenty of times. I was a merchanter guard, you know." His wave was brief. "Ate on the trail, at inns. Stayed at inns between jobs."
"So now you like dining with your Family."
"Why go somewhere else when there's a chef on staff?"
"A Family member?"
"Of course, trained with T'Pepper himself. And if I want something simple, the T'Hawthorn no-times are well stocked." He glanced around. "Like here."
"The food here is excellent," Avellana said. "We've always had chefs and chefs' helpers and cooks and cooks' helpers, but I like D'Marigold Residence's no-time food. Those people who made meals and put them in the no-times were chefs, too."
Signet sighed. She hadn't anticipated this much discussion of something so simple.
"Thank you," the Residence said.
"You're welcome," Avellana replied.
"Why go out to someplace when the food and atmosphere and company here is so good?" Cratag asked. He seemed baffled.
"For a change," Signet said. She glanced at Avellana. "For an outing, an evening outing. We can start with a dinner in a fine restaurant, then go to the theater sometime."
Avellana's eyes widened and she appeared fascinated. "Go out," she said in a hushed voice. "In the nighttime. In Druida City."
There was a moment's silence, then Avellana said with awe, "I've never been out in the city at nighttime, except maybe to go to holiday parties."
"And you, Cratag?" Signet asked.
He shrugged. "All the evening events T'Hawthorn must attend – social and ritual situations. Sometimes I ate, sometimes I didn't."
"Have you ever dined at a fine Druidan restaurant?" Signet asked, then was sorry she pressed when some kind of painful memory flashed in his eyes.
"All alone in Druida City," Avellana breathed, obviously liking the thought more and more.
"We'll be with you," both Signet and Cratag said at the same time.
"Without anyone from my Family," Avellana said.
"Some restaurants accept and serve Fams," Signet said.
Cratag sent her a glance. "Perhaps we should try dining out in the daylight, first."
That sounded reasonable. "Brunch or lunch or tea?"
"Brunch," Cratag said.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Celta Thursday, Heart Story from the collection Hearts and Swords

I had trouble with the beginning, this was #3.
*The old woman is dead. Finally,* the cat said mentally. *Good riddance,* she sniffed.

Arbusca Willow stopped pacing the private dining room she'd rented for the first meeting with her HeartMate, her fated husband.

She addressed the cat, "Fairyfoot, you aren't even my son's Familiar Companion. You are my daughter-in-law's. You didn't know my mother."

*Saw her long enough to know she was a mean GreatLady. Had all of you under her paw.* Fairyfoot licked her own forepaw. *That's true?*


*Tried to live forever. Lied, killed,* the cat snapped down her paw as if on a bug, looked at Arbusca slyly. *Maybe even killed your husband, years ago.*

Arbusca didn't think so. Her mother, GreatLady D'Willow, descendant of a FirstFamily colonist, rich in psi magic, wealth and power, had only intimidated Arbusca's long-late husband to death. As the lady had intimidated everyone until Arbusca's son had claimed the title. She held up her hands. "That's past. She's been gone more than a year."

*You deserve your own life and HeartMate,* Fairyfoot said virtuously, repeating the oft-said phrase of Arbusca's son and daughter-in-law.

That was true too. Arbusca yearned for her HeartMate, and was nervous about meeting him. They hadn't connected in twenty-five years. Even then, they'd never met, but linked during hot, sexual dreams when their psi magic had been freed during fugue states.

But the cat had an agenda – getting Arbusca, the housekeeper with strict rules for Fams – out of the Residence. She tucked her hands into her opposite long, embroidered sleeves and resumed pacing. "Tell me why I brought you with me to this meeting again?"

Fairyfoot lifted her nose. *You did not bring Me, I came by Myself.*

"That's right." Arbusca stopped pointed a finger at the cat. "You're univited. Leave."

*No, I must report to your son.*

"You're just nosey."

The door opened.

Arbusca swooped down on Fairyfoot, avoided the cat's claws and teleported Fairyfoot back to her room in Willow Residence. "You are gone!"

Twenty-five years since the links had been forged between herself and her HeartMate. She'd known that her HeartMate had gone south, all the way to a different continent. But the bond between them had been the slimmest, she'd suppressed it – if not the yearning for her HeartMate – so long. In several hopeful moments over the last year, she'd given the bond gentle tugs.
Last month Dri Paris had contacted her, and now he walked into the room.

She straightened fast, hid her fisted hands behind the folds of her heavily emproidered silkeen tunic. She was in the far corner of the room, not graciously by the table ready to pour cinnamon caff. Typical of her luck.

His gaze focused on her. The emotional connection between them seethed with feelings. "Who else was here?" he asked.

"No one of any importance," she said breathlessly.

He was not the tall, lanky boy whom she'd watched from afar, but a solid man of broad shoulders and craggy face. Suddenly this venue seemed over-civilized as he brought the scent of the wilds into the place. Arbusca stilled to immobility.

He raised his brows. "No one?"

"Of any importance," she emphasized.

He hesitated, then his hard gaze softened and as he strode toward her, little flutters of more than attraction – lust – stirred within her. She wasn't a young woman, but he wasn't a young man.
His lips curved and a quick thought from him impinged on her mind. Both in our prime.

Her shoulders relaxed, her hands unclenched enough that she curtseyed to him. Deeply, as if to a GreatLord. Smoothly she moved to her place, near the caff set, ready to pour. Her hands were steady enough.

He stopped, bowed, one hand remained behind his back. Dri wore clean leather trous that were cut narrowly for a working man and heavy leather boots, both in dark brown. His matching leather tunic also was workmanlike with no frills, encasing him from a round neck to his waist. His shirt underneath was a warm cream color of a soft weave, the material itself showed it wasn't a work shirt, and the sleeves had a faint blouse of fashion.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Celta Thursday, Cut from Heart Dance

Celta Thursday: Cut from Heart Dance:

Once again Saille Willow knocked on her door in the morning. Fairyfoot had announced his presence in the Residence – as if Dufleur couldn't sense him – and had pranced to the bedroom door.
When Dufleur opened it, he held a single bloom – a fancy orchid brilliantly yellow. She was glad she was wearing another new tunic and trous set – this one in teal. The flower's fragrance was outrageously strong, yet mingled well with the other blooms he'd brought her. She set it in the face, tilted her head. It didn't look quite right.
"May I?" Saille asked.
She shrugged.
He gave it a twitch and it seemed to settle into perfect place highlighting some of the other flowers and still being a focal point. More. She narrowed her eyes. Somehow the orchid seemed to pick up a pale hue of yellow under the glossy white luster of the graceful urn. As the other blooms. There seemed to be a multitude of pale shifting colors just beneath the white surface. A Flaired urn. She looked at Saille who was staring with a wonderful smile at her. Gesturing awkwardly to the tall porcelein vase, she said. "I heard that your creative Flair was pottery, did you make this?"
"Yes." He tucked his hands behind his back as if defensive. "What do you think."
"I think you should have a show at Enlli Gallery."
He laughed and the sound rolled over her and sank into her and warmed her. She couldn't recall the last time she'd heard laughter in this house, and never a man's. She couldn't remember the last time her father had laughed and that thought lodged in her heart like a thorn.
Saille's smile faded. He touched her cheek. "How have I made you sad?"
"Not you." She cleared her throat. "Thank you for the blossom, for the flowers, for the vase."
"You're very welcome." He glanced around her bedroom and the secret ritual room that was now always open. She sensed he disapproved of the stark shabbiness. The vase and flowers were several classes of expensive elegance above her worn belongings. Just as he was several classes above her in station. "I'm glad they please you," he said softly. "I'm glad they add beauty to your surroundings."
"Yes," she said, then fell miserably silent, not knowing what to say next.

He straightened. "I would like to invite you to meet my Family. Tour T'Willow Residence. Have the midday meal."
She backed up until the bed hit her behind the knees and she abruptly sat. "N–"
"Don't say no. It's a casual invitation."
Crossing her arms, she said. "It's not. How many other women have you invited to meet your Family and eat with them?"
"SupremeJudge Ailim Elder."
"Since you used her title, I'd imagine that you consulted her."
"It was a social occasion."
"She's married."
"That she is. I invited her husband and child, too."
"That certainly isn't the same as inviting an unmarried woman to meet your Family and take midday meal. They would be bound to know that I was . . . ."
"Important to me? My HeartMate? My Family all has matchmaking Flair to some extent, of course they'd sense that. So what?"
Her fingers twisted together in her lap. "A bunch of strangers. Saille, I don't know how to act around a loving Family." She smiled her grim smile, threw him a glance, looked away. "I don't know how to act around an . . . a man who's attracted to me. For more than a few minutes of sex."
He picked up her hand and kissed her fingers. "It will be easy. They're nice people. They like me. You like me. You all have something in common."
She closed her eyes and felt his amusement through their bond, and attraction, and banked desire. She felt his need for her to meet his Family. His pride in her and them. "I'm going to mess** this up. I know it." With her free hand she tugged at her hair in distress.
He captured that hand, too and drew her to her feet.
"Come with me to meet my Family."
"They'll gossip. Everyone will know I'm your . . . your . . .
"I'm not ready. Please."
His pleasure dulled and guilt rose inside her.
"I'll ask them to keep our relationship secret."
"You'll be a target of rumor if you associate with the daughter of a man your MotherDam ruined."
"I don't care."
"You should. You're just firming up your alliances–"
"If my allies don't like my actions, I don't want them as allies." He pulled her to the closet, dropped her hands to take out her coat and hold it for her.
She just stared at him. She wanted to spend time in his company. Wanted to get to know him even better, especially out of bed. "They won't gossip?"
"Not if I ask them to keep quiet."
She didn't believe that for a minute.
"Why are you afraid to be singled out by me?"
She felt her mouth turn down. "Because you are a GreatLord and I am the daughter of a minor GrandLord. Because your MotherDam ruined my Family and that talk is still making the rounds and I'd prefer not to see it in the newssheets social columns. Because my mother would encroach upon you and your Family if she could. Because . . . . because I'd like to think I could be myself around you. Learn about you and let you learn about me without any pressure."
His expression sobered. "That last is a good reason." He studied her. "As I said, my Family members are matchmakers. They know that courtship can be touchy."
A chill went through her at the word, matching the cold anxiety that touched her spine when he'd said "HeartMate."
Like · Comment · Share

Sharon Smith, Susan Enyart and Kris Hasenfratz Ten-Eyck like this.

Kris Hasenfratz Ten-Eyck Love, love, love!
10 mins · Like

Out of the Blogosphere
[ Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >>]