Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Happy birthday to the bra--the piece of clothing closest to our hearts! Men struggle regularly to overcome their confounding closures and many of us are just thrilled to feel like we have support without issue! They define us as women and change the way we're perceived as we transition from girls to young women. 100 years ago Vogue first coined the term "brassiere." So, strapless, sport, training, push-up, underwire or other, let's all salute the valuable (and generally burnable, if you feel the need) undergarment that's helped hold us together all these years! ;-)
LOL (or giggle madly),
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tomorrow. I'll be back after I sleep and coffee up!
Good night folks!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Ok, the 3 words were: caught, eager, perfume. I'm new at this, so I'll start slowly...
Eh, it's something at least... Now I can bring in the dog, get a shower and sleep... Ah, yes. I remember sleep...Tomorrow I'll check out other 3 worders...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I thought I might sort of introduce my blog to you--take you on a bit of a tour. I'm a published writer working on hammering out a novel or three, the one that's furthest along is "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" and draws inspiration from the ballads of Tam Lin, Burd Janet, Thomas the Rhymer and a bunch of research. You'll notice my word counters in the left margin.
Every weekday (barring madness and loose pig or cattle--which brings on madness) I post a "Romance Writer's Word of the Day." It's like a vocabulary word that I've either found several times when reading in this genre, or it's a word I think would add to your writing (in this genre or others). You are encouraged to respond with a comment including a sentence of your crafting (or a favorite quote) that includes the word. A master list of the words (links) is also in the left margin.
"Story Samples" are linked on the left. If you see an SS that means it was from a Sunday Scribblings prompt. See an HH, it's about "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills." See a BB, it deals with "Barrister's Bastard" (now "Dreams in Red: Seadog").
Opinion pieces are on also linked on the left. See Just My "Humble" Opinion? I try not to bring too much of my personal opinion here, but occasionally it's inevitable.
I'm also updating a list of Romance Publishers (also linked in the left margin) as time goes on (and I have time to do it).
I have Writing Prompts (left margin) that you may participate in at any point and I've also recently added Tips and Tricks (little "articles" about ways you might improve your writing).
Towards the page's bottom you'll find whatever survey or poll we're doing here--feel free to participate if it's still open. I'm very curious about people's thoughts.
Want to participate in Writing Challenges? I have links to some of them on the left, also. If you have one to suggest, let me know and I'll check it out.
I also include my Useful Research Links from "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" (below), Publishers and Contests (left margin), Blogs I Breeze By and The Archives. I also occasionally post prompts here, too. I try to include viewable labels on all my posts so you can quickly and easily find similar things via links.
I hope you find something enjoyable and useful here!
Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day is:
Facade [fuh-sahd] is a noun meaning "a false-front; an illusion of something; (in architecture) the front or public-facing side of a building."
Here's a sentence (eh, two):
She dabbed at her eyes and fumbled to repair her makeup. Regardless of how she truly felt she knew she must maintain the facade that he no longer meant a thing to her.
So what facades have your characters tried to maintain (or succeeded in maintaining)?
Have a great day!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day is:
Languish [lang-gwish] is a verb meaning "to suffer or pine away with desire; to suffer being delayed, disregarded or neglected."
Here's a sentence:
As frequently as he turned his attention to other women at the ball, she feared she would languish as a wallflower because of his undeniably short attention span.
Have a good day!
I'd like to thank the brave souls who read the entry and left a comment: Paisley, Jo, Robin, Paris Parfait, MissMeliss, and Tumblewords. Thank you for participating! Kudos go to Robin for first identifying the character speaking in the prompt...
Drumroll, please... Yes, it is indeed Anne Bonny, the child (by the last name of Cormac) first dressed as a boy and taught to lie by her father (whom, by all accounts she adored).
Thanks to everyone who visited and left a comment or a guess!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I assured them that they were normal and timed tests are laughable when viewed by real writers of any worth. I let them know that first drafts are usually pretty pitiful--that's why we edit and edit again and then submit manuscripts to editors... They seemed to feel better about their abilities, but I thought, "Why must I reassure a child about their rough drafts and performance on TIMED tests?" I mean, what are we thinking when we decide to trim all semblance of "art" out of writing and go for timed production writing? It's just obscene.
But that's MY opinion...
Anyway... I certainly came to the party late this week (need to stop by Sara's more often, I guess) but I'll try and get myself ready to participate next Wednesday.
Hope to see you there!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Barrister [bahr-uh-ster] is a noun meaning "a lawyer (usually in England) who may plead to higher courts."
Here's a sentence:
Holding her in his arms he felt he could make any case for their love, even as the beginning barrister that he was.
Greetin’s, love! You and I haven’t had the pleasure of meetin’ yet, but as yer here, I may as well introduce meself. Aye, that’s a wee bit of a lilt ye may be hearin’ in me voice. I was raised in Ireland ‘til me father’s scandal was discovered and he brought me and me mother to Carolina.
What was the scandal? Me mum was naught but me father’s wife’s maid. His wife discovered his wee indiscretion when she slept in the maid’s bed one night and he sneaked in to have a bit more ‘an the regular service... Needless to say, both of ‘em were quite surprised!
Life in Carolina was good. Me father settled us in Charles Towne and claimed us as his legitimate wife and daughter. He started business again as a bit of a barrister and then bought a proper plantation to better establish us in society. He tried to raise me to be a proper lady, but I was fascinated by men’s pursuits. I learned how to run the plantation and received enough of an education in weaponry to strip me swordmaster’s clothing from him, button by button. When a young gentleman – I use the term loosely— attacked me, I beat him so severely with a chair he was abed for several weeks.
I had a bit of the devil in me, I reckon, and ‘twas that that led me to the docks where I met me husband, Jamie. Me father wouldn’t suffer him as me spouse as he was nuthin’ but a bootless soldier and privateer. But there was the light of adventure in his eyes and—and I was still young then. Me father cast us out and in the heat of me foolish passion the plantation burned. Jamie and I set sail for warmer waters and more tropical settings. New Providence, we call it. I made friends quickly and left James when he turned informer on our mutual friends.
I had a few relationships, made a few mistakes along the way. I still insist that knockin’ that wench’s teeth out at the ball was one of the best decisions I ever made—she was quite simply rude and I will not suffer disrespect. So James and I haven’t been together for a while now. Still stings his pride to see me with me new man...
Aye, that’s him o’er there in the fancy calico cloth. Bit of a coxcomb, but he’s quite a captain, too. Just needed to be inspired by a fierce woman. But enough about him, you were askin' 'bout me. Oh, ye weren't? So much the better!
Here—have a drink and rest yer weary bones. The night is young and we’ve just gott'n news that Blackbeard’s been killed. Let’s all raise a glass to the best damned pirate among this beleaguered bunch! To Blackbeard!
Any ideas or guesses? Some of you will surely get it quickly as pirates have been "hot" over the past couple of years. Good luck! And for more "Hi, my name is..." participants, go here...
Have a great weekend! Enjoy!
PS--I will reveal the "lady's" (and I use THAT term loosely) identity Monday morning by 10 am. Stop back in if you aren't sure, or if you're curious...Also, take a moment to take the new survey at the page's bottom, please. Your time is MUCH appreciated!
Here are the results:
9 people responded (hey, quality over quantity, friends ;-)
Title: # of People Who Read It:
Gone with the Wind....................6
Pride and Prejudice...................4
Phantom of the Opera...............1
Tale of the Genji..........................0
The Scarlet Pimpernel..............1
Personally, I read "The Great Gatsby" (required in high school) and watched 2 versions of "The Phantom of the Opera" (one much better than the other; one musical, one not--the latter surely felt as long as any book might ;-). I watched "Gone with the Wind" (and learned quite a bit about the cinematography in the process). I tried to watch a version of "Wuthering Heights." I really did. But my brother and I weren't in the right state of mind (if there ever is one) for that particular version of that particular movie and started laughing too hard at the melodramatic acting that threatened to ooze free from the television set. We turned it off in self-defense.
But yesterday, I bought a copy of "Sense and Sensibility." I intend on reading it--soon.
What "classics" do you recommend? I loved "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." I have to think about the others I thought were remarkable...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Coxcomb [koks-kohm] is a noun meaning, "a conceited man; a vain man; a "dandy" or overly stylish man."
Here's a sentence:
He adjusted the frill of lace that ran like a waterfall from his high-collared neckline, and smiling, pursed his lips at the realization his peers underestimated him as nothing but a simple coxcomb.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Bootless [boot-luhs] is an adjective meaning " useless, ineffectual; seemingly broken and beaten; helpless; worthless."
Here's a sentence:
Every time he saw her he thought how bootless he felt leaving her again to suffer at the hands of her abusive husband.
This word has really early origins, so almost anybody can use it (or a related form of it).
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Salacious [suh-lay-shuss]is an adjective meaning "lustful, even to the point of obscenity."
Here's a sentence:
He could barely bear to see her so scantily clothed--he tried desperately to keep the salacious feelings that pumped through his veins from showing in his glittering eyes.
Have a great day!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Ataraxy (also "ataraxia") [at-uh-RAK-see] is a noun meaning "a freedom from mental unrest or disturbance; freedom from passion; a certain imperturbability or tranquility."
Here's a sentence:
The very sight of her made him feel imperceptibly aware of her every sensual detail, so he often disappeared and sought ataraxy, having failed too often among such temptation.
Have a great day!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I come by collecting quite honestly. My father collected hobbies. He was a photographer, jeweler, poet, scuba diver, swordsmith and herbalist.
My aunt collected cats. Yes, she was a librarian, and single. No joke.
At first I collected odd friends. There were several with messiah complexes. Others were martyrs and habitual victims (what fun they were in the same room!). I had a small collection of minor sociopaths and a few narcissists for good measure. There were also those too complex to easily label.
Two of them were also collectors. One collected troubled young men, and the other collected little braided rings of hair that were keepsakes the Victorians had of dead loved ones. I preferred the troubled young men as collections went. They at least were alive (and far more interesting).
In college I collected stories. Folktales, fairytales, history and the odd circumstances of life that people dispersed during wayward conversation. And then there were the languages... Spanish, Russian, Chinese... a smattering of French and enough Arabic to insult a man (what can I say? I had fun friends with diverse backgrounds and fierce senses of humor). I collected every story in every language that I could.
After college I had a real job (not the collection of temp positions and summer work during my college years: cave tour guide, belt counter, mortgage filer, line worker for Godiva and Campbell, educational director at a private zoo). It provided nearly real money so my collecting changed. I collected things I thought would better define me as the "class" I hoped to fit into more comfortably. I had Swarovski figurines, pearls and amber in both red and royal.
But the beauty of those small riches did nothing more to define who I really was then, nor what I am today. They were nice with their glitter and gloss, but not ME. I was the teacher dealing with the brilliant thugs and broken dreamers. What good did paltry shows of money do in reality when you worked every day with kids kicked out of their trailer homes so their mama's new lover had a place for his illegitimate offspring? The Swarovski seemed cold, the amber lost its shine.
Don't get me wrong--I still hosted wine-tastings and traveled, but it meant increasingly less when I stared down such bleak reality day in and day out. Then I moved back north to be closer to "family."
My Swarovski and amber are still packed away in a box or two somewhere. I have no great urge to pull them out and display them.
So you may ask: Are you still a collector?
Oh, yes. I most certainly am. But now my collection is far less tangible. Yes, now I collect words on my way to collecting knowledge. You see, I was one of the "disenfranchised" youth. Powerless in my own society. I was not a member of a recognized minority, yet I took the brunt of the harassment in middle school as any African American in an all white school might have. Actually, I knew that kid in my school and he was treated with more respect than I rated.
But early on I heard that elusive promise: "Knowledge is power." And so I wanted to know it all.
From odd jobs most would scoff at to strange sayings that made the most sense in foreign languages--I sucked it all up. I read, I wrote, I explored multiple art and craft forms.
Now I still collect words like "abacot" (a word that may or may not exist) and "alexipharmic" on my way to hopefully finding "ataraxy" ;-). I still collect information. Some "useless" (or so some jokingly may say) but all fascinating and usable in the right context. For example, tomorrow I'm making a tarte tatin and will tell my guests the story of the French women and their flirting which supposedly caused it to be created in its most accepted form. Perhaps I'll write a short story about its legendary beginnings eventually.
My collections have changed, as I hope I have changed and grown. Personally, I look forward to many more years of collecting words and stories.... And hopefully using them wisely to craft my own true knowledge and better define myself and my small contribution to society.
Write on! ;-)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
They howled, I got up and checked the livestock. I crawled back in bed and they howled from a closer location. Back and forth we went, I throwing on pants boots and grabbing the flashlight (no gun necessary yet--they aren't quite so bold until nearer winter (I hope). They woke me 3 times last night. My son (with occasional night terrors and growth spurts) woke me 4 times.
I apologize for not getting everybody's comments posted in a timely manner, I've been busy. I really do appreciate everyone's comments. They brighten my days. :-)
So, other than coyote stuff, what has kept me away from my blog? RESEARCH. This gets me every so often. It seems when I get stressed, I get an undeniable urge to learn something new. This can be good, as one of my sisters-in-law says, "You can talk about anything with anybody. You're so smart." Eh. It might be more helpful if I didn't occasional sink into definite times of absolutely antisocial behavior, I guess ;-) . Or if I got invited to more social events, I guess :p . So, anyhow...
I now have about 200 index cards filled with facts (and a handful of speculations) regarding a historically-based situation that (if handled well) could lend itself to a cool romance or a trilogy of YA books. The characters are neat enough without me tweaking them too much (truth often being stranger than fiction) but the occasional "legends" that arose around them have messed up the timeline. Different sources disagree on when certain things happened. Some disagree on WHAT happened. So I guess I'll be going back to the earliest documents I can find without traveling more than 2000 miles to a far warmer climate. Thank goodness for the internet and public domain resources ;-) . Maybe I'll put my research to good use for NaNoWriMo.
I'm a bit bummed out that I don't have "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" finished and published yet... There's an event I'm going to as my "real name" that it would be gobbled up at. I just need to get it done and see what happens, I guess. I'd really like a release date in September/October for "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" because of the last chapters. Hmm... Maybe I'll get lucky (if I can get it done pretty fast...). Next year's supposed to be a good one for us "rats" anyway...
Ok, I'm officially rambling and my son's running naked in my kitchen.
Gotta' go (before he does ;-) !
Friday, September 07, 2007
There was a time I didn't think when writing, I simply poured. Words fell out of my pens and off of my pencils then and I indulged in stream of consciousness writing. Raw and unbridled, my emotions lay exposed on the pages of a cheap hardcover journal. When I didn't write my heart out (I was a teen, after all, so writing my heart out was frequently necessary then) I wrote fan fiction, learning the basics of characterization and plot using other people's works.
I wrote through my teen angst and through my youthful imagination. My own characters and body of work started to grow out of those moments of childhood (and often childish) writing. I won publication when I was still a child. It opened a realm of possibilities to me. Suddenly I knew there was a bigger venue possible. Perhaps my words and thoughts wouldn't simply stagnate on a page with premade lines--perhaps they'd go further and be shared with others.
So I tried writing for others. It didn't work. If I tried writing to suit someone else's needs, it felt hollow to me. Cheap. I struggled to find a balance. Sometimes I stopped writing (but never for long because it tugged at my mind, paper and pen beckoning and teasing long before I could afford a computer). Whenever I would begin again, my mood lightened (even when writing on dark topics) and I felt almost unfettered.
Writing got me through my grandmother's sudden illness, my teen struggles with identity and peers, and most recently--Writing got me through the early death of my mother. When I could do nothing but be there, I could still find security in the fact that my stories (Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills and others) were waiting... Controllable in their own reassuring ways.
Life throws conflicts at us constantly, sometimes we expect them, other times they're so much more than we could dare expect. In writing we control the conflicts. We throw them at our characters and watch them grow despite the struggle. In writing, we are all gods for as long as the pen or pencil touches paper or our fingers coax something from a keyboard. The tools change, the stories change, but our power is at least a constant in the realm of our own wordcraft. So write!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Yesterday afternoon I got an editing test from an online publisher. I went through it with as fine-toothed a comb as I have ;-) and sent it back to them just a little while ago. I'm not sure how quickly I'll get results, but I am curious. The text was around 5 pages in length and definitely had some rough patches and issues. I used Microsoft Word with its "track changes" and "comment" abilities (which, frankly, were a bit new to me). There were moments I felt more like a ghostwriter than a proofreader or editor. I guess that's something I'd need to rein back in (for the sake of time constraints, if for no other reason).
So, what's the worst that can come out of this? Theoretically I may have just alienated whatever writer created the text (gosh, I hope it wasn't an early submission from any of their staff). Other than that, I learned to use some new tools, faced another fear, and hopefully will wind up with a cool title, more freelance work, and involvement with an interesting group of people with somewhat similar interests. At least I've gained a little more experience in this genre. ;-)
That's why the Romance Writer's Word of the Day is late today... Apologies!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Flagitious [fluh-zhish-uss] is an adjective meaning "shamefully wicked or cruel; nearly criminal."
Here's a sentence:
His face was angelic, but his slowly spreading grin was nothing if not flagitious.
Have a great day!
So, here's the question: What accessory might one of your characters have that they would NEVER be without? How does it define their attitude and personality?
For example: My Tam Lin wouldn't be without the small silver bell that hangs around his neck on a leather thong. It was a gift from childhood and one of the few things that allows him to still feel a bond with the mortal realm. I'll let you draw initial conclusions about him since he is never without the bell...
So, what might you write or detail about one of your characters--or yourself?
Coffee's made (hallelujah), lunch is packed and hubby's had a decent breakfast and is out the door. Me? I'm contemplating falling back into bed (I had a very late night last night researching). I haven't had any coffee yet, so sleep might work...
Back with the "Word" soon,
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
We'll start this one with a picture...
When the people around them realize the difference between how they look and how they act (or the appropriateness of it) how do they react? Do they take it all in stride or do they worry that if this is what the person's really like, maybe they don't know them after all?
What do you think?
Widdershins [widd-er-shins] is an adverb meaning "in a counterclockwise direction."
Find my sample sentence (5th paragraph) here. Also, as a note, when writing fantasy that includes magic/k, understand that direction is mighty important. When something travels "widdershins" it foreshadows the idea that a good spell (like Jennet's circle of protection) may be undone by dangerous forces. I hope that makes sense to you.
Yes, this is my current reality. Do I love it? Eh. I love aspects of it. I love being so close to the earth, even though it means I'll be going out and graining the livestock soon. I love knowing the veggies grown in my garden are organic and I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg to get them. I love knowing the assorted livestock I raise is respected and treated to pasture and fresh dandelion greens and treated well up until it's on my plate (tho' it's respected even there). I love the tiny nook of a valley we're nestled in and the way the mist has to peel off the mountaintops each morning. I love that my son is learning so much about life's value. So I get up early and I do the stuff a homesteader generally does, and sometimes I escape doing those things (and bigger issues) here.
I think that's what makes blogging so attractive. Escape. Let's face it, considering what we're inundated with in the paper and on the news, can we blame anyone (or dare we judge anyone) for wanting some escape? Think back to earlier days in romance publishing--days when women were struggling more openly for any shred of equality they could. Was it any wonder they would escape into a book men viewed as paltry?
Any big surprise that the hero then would be a strapping alpha male who, though messed up, could be changed eventually into something fabulous? Are we not now seeing such trends on the upswing again? The alpha male (the powerful and potent protector) seems to be making a comeback in romances. And why not?
Our military is still in a war that's dragging out too long, the housing market's not doing so well (the economy's soft), gas prices are gougingly high and our President's still insisting he's right about everything. In contrast, we want a legitimate alpha male who can be changed (which requires knowing he was wrong) and sweep us off our feet. No big surprise that romance is hot today. So yes, I'll take escape--my mental vacation--any day gladly.
Hope you're enjoy a bit of a mental vacation being here--no more words on war or reality (outside of publishing) for a while ;-).
PS--Poll at the bottom of the page--which of those classics have you read?
Monday, September 03, 2007
Braggadocio [brahg-uh-DOH-shee-oh] is a noun meaning "a person who brags; braggart; open boasting; a bold and swaggering manner."
So here's a sentence:
He never seemed able to speak without braggadocio.
Have a great Labor Day!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Useful Research Links
- A Tour of the Scottish Borders
- Access Romance
- All About Romance: History and Travel
- Anthology of Middle English Literature
- British Titles of Nobility
- Correct Forms of Address
- Courtesy Titles
- Ettrick & Yarrow Valleys
- Historic Scotland
- Knighthood, Chivalry and Tournaments
- Maps of Scotland (1560-1928)
- Medieval Gardens
- Medieval Society
- Medieval Studies Program
- Middle English Compendium
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- Scottish Women's Clothing
- Tam Lin Balladry
- The Costume Gallery
- The Middle Ages
Woo-hoo! Didn't You Know It!
Which ancient leader are you most akin to?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Ghengis Khan|
you scored ghengis khan! He was a Mongol political and military leader or Khan (posthumously Khagan) who united the Mongol tribes and founded the Mongol Empire (Ð�Ñ� Ð�Ð¾Ð½Ð³Ð¾Ð» Ð£Ð»Ñ�), (1206â��1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history.
Pride and Prejudice
created with QuizFarm.com
I am Elizabeth. I am headstrong and intelligent. I love to be myself, and am very loyal to my family. I can sometimes be prideful and "prejudiced," but I try to remain open minded and I usually regret past mistakes.
Which Superheroine are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Huntress|
You are the Huntress...
No matter how many times you try and prove yourself to be good, you always seem to be stuck in the same rut, with the reputation as a "bad girl". Guys love to hang around you because you're easy to talk too.