This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Honorable Mention from Me? Yay!

I have GOT to start reading my email more regularly! I just got off the phone with a great pal and found out that I'd gotten an Honorable Mention over at for their Crime Scene contest ("NHI")--Woo-hooo!

If you aren't familiar with their site--check it out: professional writers and editors willing to work for you at reasonable rates.

So, anyhow--I'm totally thrilled (they'll post an excerpt on their site probably this next week). Now, if I can just land popular vote at for "13 to Life"(an interactive YA fantasy w.i.p.) and "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates"--What? You didn't know you should be voting for me? Right now? Well, I don't hold a grudge (often ;-), so go on now--Read for free and VOTE FOR ME!

Have fun, gang!

Asking for Votes: Read for Free, Vote for Me!

So, maybe it's true. If you're writing--really writing--maybe you can't be blogging. Because since my last post here, I've been writing. Like crazy. I currently have 2 w.i.p. at --the "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates" which deals with pirate Anne Bonny's early years in a magical colonial America and, more recently, "13 to Life" (a YA werewolf tale).

Both are in the top five of the "Most Popular Stories" list. "13 to Life" is at #5 and "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates" is at #2. Right now, the contest says that to win an entry should have 20 chapters (one spot mentions 200 pages) and (obviously) be popular. But the contest rules also say that the rules can be changed at any time...The contest closes on December 31. So there's time for everything to be swapped around... Enough time for me to get a big old ulcer wondering what could change, too. ;-)

So--please, please, please, go vote for "13 to Life" and "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates." If you subscribe to one or both (I'll love you even more ;-) and my points will go up even higher. I'm just worried that if this thing goes to JUST the popular vote I'll be out of the running. I've never been that popular gal (ugh--middle school sucked ;-) and I haven't spent a gob of time (okay, I've spent like no time) on networking, so popular vote is tough for me.

If you're curious as to which story I'd like to win (of mine, of course) I have to admit it's "13 to Life." I know pretty much where it's going, but I'm writing it very organically and using polls to let readers help vote on upcoming action. It's also pretty timely, considering the Stephenie Meyer's Twilight stuff (anything Anne Bonny could be released later and not suffer in numbers). So, it's interactive, it's fun (a light read really) and filled with teen angst. Oh yeah--it also has at least one werewolf...Come read and check out the "cover" graphic in the preface.

Please, please vote and subscribe--

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Spoiled Rotten and Still Writing

I just recently returned from an amazing journey into America's Midwest to visit UWSP. It was a fabulous trip to see the premiere of a film my art (yes, my art under my original name--nothing to do with my writing) was used in. Picture it--a sold out theatre/auditorium--a live orchestra accompanying the film playing the music of the talented and prolific composer Charlie Barnett, and pirates! Oh, yes--PIRATES!

I was spoiled there--treated wonderfully. :-) But it was that project that took me away from here for so long (but oh--SO worth it). Now I'm back. I'm inspired (and a touch overwhelmed with hosting the fam for the holiday) and back to writing Of Storms, Seas and Pirates-- my TextNovel.

But now I want to blast through the character building essentials and the initial action and get right to the parts filled with piratical goodness (and badness ;-). But I have to hold the reins in and build the story the way it needs to be built. Strongly and with reason and character motivation. I keep reminding myself that this is an exercise for me at . The novel I write there, step by step, is only the skeletal structure of a richer read that will develop as this gets fleshed out in editing and rewrites.

So the pirates? All that rollicking raiding and pillaging in the Caribbean? It'll come. :-)

Yay! I mean--Arrr!

Monday, September 29, 2008 as a Writing Prompt Tool

*First things first--please vote for my story "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates" at Right now it's on the main page, but maintaining a popular vote is tricky... Your help would be appreciated. :-)

Okay, so I'm working on a couple of Elance projects right now--can't complain because it's paying the bills--WELL. :-)

But this weekend I was utterly absorbed by a new (new to me, at least) website called . My hubby's got a student of his in a film making competition there. The basic gist of the site is this--the folks at RootClip film an opening clip of a short movie. They leave a cliffhanger. Then the madness ensues as would-be film makers from across the country film and submit the next "chapter." Voting is done (popular vote and then the judges vote) and the winner of each chapter is announced. Winning one of the chapters enables the film maker to participate in the final chapter's segment. The winner of the final chapter gets some great prizes.

As a writer speaking to writers and readers--go to and check out what they do. It will open your mind to possibilities, techniques and a few terms you may not have known. If you want to get the most out of it without directly competing, use the opening clips (and even subsequent clips) as writing prompts for you to journal out. Then, after you've written yours, check out the subsequent clip. Did you come up with something similar or a totally different direction?

That's it for me for now--need to wake the boy and feed him...
Keep Writing!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Woo-Hoo! On the Main Page of!

Woo-hoo! Yippee! My story--"Of Storms, Seas and Pirates"--just made it on to the main page--home page of . I'm hoping this will stir up a little more interest in that particular w.i.p. of mine.

"Of Storms, Seas and Pirates" is based on the earlier years of eventual pirate Anne Bonny's life and set in a sort of fantasy/folk magic rich early colonial America. I've had a love of the Anne Bonny story for about a year or so now (been curious about all things female-pirate-related for close to two decades, thanks to the novel "Grania"). Getting to write my interpretation of her early years (because I believe heroes and villains aren't born, they're made--yes, yes, I'm a nurture, not just nature sort of gal) is a great deal of fun!

Granted, there aren't gazillions of readers anxiously perusing my progressing is still quite young, but there are some folks taking a peek. And yes, I did finally break and contact members with the networking option so they'd think about taking a look. BUT. If there's one thing I'm coming to realize more and more in life it's the unfortunate fact that often it's not what you know, but whom. So, I'm networking. Ugh. I'm not sure I'm socially motivated enough to really make the system work for me. But I'll try nearly everything once. Nearly everything (I have my standards, you know ;-).

So, once again I'll suggest that any of you dragging yourselves past my little blog should stop over at Make an account. Start your story. Maybe win $1,000 and a publishing contract. But if you don't win the prize, at least check out the site. It's a great idea and there are good people making it work so the rest of us can play.

Anyhow--go to Vote for me! ;-)
Oh yeah...Take care and Keep Writing! :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Something to Read

Of course I'm still suggesting you read the works posted at, but here's something to read that will help your writing and lift your spirits. Check out the ezine "The Verb" at .

Ok, I've got work to do... Still dealing with a case of double conjunctivitis, too (yes, when I do something, I do it in a BIG way :p). We're on medicine #2 as the first had no impact at all (what fun!).

Anyhow--hope things are better for all of you!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Re-Kindle Your Love of Reading

So I was listening to the Sunday stock report this morning (yes, I listen to that sort of stuff as well as a wide variety of music) and they mentioned that 's stock is up and a nice chunk of that is due to sales of the Kindle (I think they said 6 million, but I was Elancing).

What the heck's a Kindle and why should I care? A Kindle is a "wireless reading device." My husband summarized--"It's an iPod for books." From what I can tell, he's said it, in a nutshell. Essentially, Amazon ran with the idea of having a handheld device that allows you to read on a monochrome screen (for high contrast, of course). You can connect (to their bookstore) anytime for free! If you first pay $360 for the privilege of owning this particular device ;-).

Chatting with the venerable Deb Blake ;-) today, she pointed out that she'd prefer books. And I wondered... How many of us love the feel and scent and visual impact of a book over the convenience of uploading and downloading? It's something I've thought about before--I even like the sound of pages when I ruffle them. Maybe I'd enjoy the Kindle, but anything smaller than my laptop usually falls into the nebulous folds and pockets of my purse or bag--seldom to emerge in the same condition (a hazard of having a curious 4 year old ;-).

So, what would it take for you to try a Kindle? I'll try darn near anything once, if provided with the appropriate and necessary tools (in this case, the Kindle). But short of that, I'm a paper page turner. Yes, it's not the greenest thing about me, but my novels don't require batteries and I don't need to read a manual to read them.

Besides, there's always TextNovel... :-)

So, anyone out there have a Kindle and want to tell me about it?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just for Fun...

Okay, sometimes my brain becomes oatmeal, but I enjoy(envy ;-) the creativity of others especially in those moments. So here are a few cute links authors should check out--

When you're searching for an agent and get discouraged, go here.

When you've hit a moment of utter disillusionment with the writing and publishing process, go here.

When you're imaging what you might do when you hit the big time as an author, go here.

Need cute advise on revising? Try this one. Yep, I think I'm officially a Jackson Pearce fan. Ah, well.

It's great to find such cute and clever stuff--kudos to the creators!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plugging Along on

More and more folks are joining --get over there and prowl through the virtual pages! Start reading or writing on your cell phone is free (at least from the TextNovel side--I guess the rest depends on your phone's service).

I'm still working on my "Of Storms, Seas and Pirates" cell phone novel (and one called "Phonies") over at, but my time is being eaten away by visiting in-laws (who I wouldn't trade for the world), moving more worldly possessions (which I'm finding more and more I don't really need) from our old place to the new one, helping move in the owner at the old place (because he believes we have more time than we ever do) and Elance. Ah, Elance (I think my head's gonna' explode while working my way through one job with a foreign publishing house).

I haven't been doing the prompts I want to, and even when I'm trying to "come down" after a long day I'm getting assaulted by ideas for new novels. I appreciate each one, but MAN! I need to be able to finish what I've started. And, if all holds true, it looks like two more Elance jobs (one editing, one illustrating) will head my way before summer's end. I know I should be grateful. I AM grateful. But I'm also overwhelmed with work-related writing and it's squeezing out my creative writing. Ugh.

I hope things are going better for all of you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Manic Monday: Bibliophobia

If it's Manic Monday (and boy, buddy, is it--the in-laws are coming! ;-) then we need a fresh mania or phobia to make us think... Today's phobia is Bibliophobia.

Simply put, bibliophobia is a fear of books. Now this doesn't strike me as a common ailment, although who knows when you consider an Internet audience (as the Internet is technically book-free)? So, let's consider two characters, one with biliophobia...

Martin was a well-bred man, the first son of a prominent family. There was money and power in his lineage, Susan's mother had assured. And virility. Yes, her mother had pointed out, naming a long list of his sibling, Martin came from quite a line.

Susan cared very little about Martin's attributes. At this stage in her life a match was a necessity as she teetered on the edge of spinsterhood. Had she not also been one of a line, she might not have cared so much. But there were three siblings set to inherit ahead of her and she had two choices--the convent or Martin.

Her siblings had all made fair matches for themselves, but Susan had not been so fortunate. "Too quick to speak her mind." "Too fast to point out my mistakes." "Too fascinated by research." There had been a list of complaints longer than Martin's list of siblings.

And, having never put much faith into organized religion, Susan hoped Martin would be the better choice.

"He's here, lady," the maid bobbed in and out.

A tall, slender man stepped into the room, surveying the place like he already had a claim to its contents. Dark and handsome with a dangerous air that Susan immediately found distasteful, he strode forward. Ah yes, Susan recalled. He had hunted lions in darkest Africa. He had a predatory nature etched in his every glance and move.

Susan stood and closed the book she had been reading.

Martin shrieked, eyes wide.

"Well, I admit it is not Shakespeare," she said tersely, waving the book, "But every book has its merit."

Martin danced backward on quick feet. "Keep it away," he choked, eyes locked on the embossed cover.

"For Heaven's sake. It is merely a collection of John Locke's essays." She paused, noticing how his face drained of all color. "What's this, then? Are you frightened of this book?"

"All--books..." he scuttled backwards , knocking into the wall.

"Dear me," she whispered, falling back onto the loveseat. "I think I am destined for the convent after all..."

Ok, your turn--what might happen if someone had bibliophobia (other than the fact they'd never have an overdue book fine...)?

Always curious...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3 Word Wednesday: Gamble, Omitted, Temporary

Ok, ok--so I did my 3 Word Wednesday prompt, but I did it as part of my TextNovel on I actually used mine in the 3rd section of my "Of Storms, Seas, and Pirates" (a somewhat more magical interpretation of pirate Anne Bonny's early life).

I think this will successfully link you to the right section--you can vote on the TextNovel thus far, but I don't think you can truly comment there (from what I understand). Hmm.

Maybe folks'll comment here, maybe it's too awkward to do the reading and then come back to comment... Guess we'll see. ;-)

Anyhow, the previous formatting is fixed and things are looking readable. Yeah! :-)


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Read It and Weep ;-)

Okay, okay, so I'm experiencing a tiny bit of frustration with the formatting of my text through It may simply be because I'm not actually texting in my text (I can't believe I just typed that phrase and my computer didn't explode ;-). I can't text in my text. I'm Pennsylvania Dutch.

What the heck does that have to do with anything, you may well wonder! We tend to have short, thick fingers. Hmm. Pretty often we have short, thick waists, too, come to think of it. So we are doubly damned in this era of high fashion models and text-messaging ;-). Besides the fact I live out (waaay out) in the countryside and must drive about 5 miles to get a cell signal. So, old-fashioned me, I'm typing my text in from my laptop ;-). For some reason the formatting doesn't stick (I've contacted tech support and I'm sure they'll educate me appropriately :-). But until they can help me out, I have huge single paragraphs that run the length of entire chapters.

Don't get me wrong--it's still readable, but it looks daunting. I can just imagine ADHD readers' heads exploding when they glimpse my first chapter (maybe that's just the certified teacher in me, though). I noticed some of the other writers actually have theirs looking like you could read it on a cell phone--I wonder if they texted (yikes--is that proper conjugation?) their text in from a cell phone.

So, I'm just waiting to see what I need to do to make my stuff more readable before I post too much more. I'm liking my story thus far, I'm liking the site (other than this little snare) and their founder. I haven't chatted with any of the other board members, but I'm sure they're decent, too :-).

Maybe tomorrow after I drop my kid off at his summer program I'll try seeing if I can access the site on my cell phone. I'm curious to see what it looks like on the cell phone screen, too.

Once I'm happier with the look of it, I'll link so you can pop right over to my story (because of course you will :-). Until then I'm afraid you're eyes will bleed if my chapters are too long. Perhaps I need to study the venue a bit more...

Anyhow--I'm having fun with writing my TextNovel--still learning the ropes!

Keep writing (and reading)!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Yep, so I’m going to give it a go and try the whole thing.

Here are my reasons:

1.) You can’t read much on a cell phone screen, so chapters and sections should (I think) be pretty short. My brain seems to work best during short bouts of lucidity, so woo-hoo! ;-)

2.) Short amounts of reading mean short amounts of writing and that’s all I can squeeze in with my hectic schedule.

3.) I’ve toyed with the idea that most novel concepts I’ve devised can be reworked for multiple audiences and different, distinct tones and levels of maturity. For example, the Tam Lin stories are really quite adult in nature but can be toned-down significantly if one just thinks about it. So it’s not like I’ll necessarily lose anything by participating in (especially as they’ve tweaked out their contract to be much more author-friendly).

4.) I could actually rally some interest in my writing by making it available in a different venue. Publishers do like to know you at least have people’s interest—eh, that’s a double-edged sword, depending on whom you talk to.

5.) I could work on a set of actual deadlines—I think it might be cool to have a new section or chapter available at a regular time each day or week. I need deadlines, by the way. ;-)

6.) I want to try out some new and funky publishing venue. Cell phone novels may just be it—who knows?

7.) And they're running a contest--I'm a sucker for contests!

So—now that's got a new and friendlier contract—anyone else gonna’ give it a try?

Seriously curious,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cellphone Novel Redeeming Itself?

You may recall my relatively recent (well, relatively recent when you consider my sudden lack of internet, a couple power outages and the time that moving a household and fulfilling Elance obligations require ;-) posts (perhaps even rants) about, the beta cellphone novel site for United States citizens.

At the time of my last posting, the contract language of was definitely "wanting." It was waaay heavy on the publisher's rights to anything you might post/publish on the site and could have really messed up what starry-eyed authors may have hoped for with their early publishing experiences.


That post got founder, Stan Soper's, attention. He was kind enough (and humble enough) to realize the clause he'd figured was pretty standard was actually not necessarily fair to would-be writers. He suggested (via comments) an alternate clause he could replace the previous one with.

Unfortunately it was between the time of my post and his posts that my internet came to a squealing (like an angry piglet) halt. I had no idea Stan had posted his comments and only realized and replied (briefly) last night.

I hopped over to his site just a few minutes ago to see if the contract language had indeed changed. It has. Here's the new clause:

2. Content: Textnovel does not acquire ownership of the content you publish on the Site, unless you win the Textnovel contest (and in that case, only the rights specified in the Contest Rules and in any publication agreement you sign). When you publish content on the Site, you continue to retain all ownership to the content, subject to the license terms described herein.

* You retain all rights to any content you submit to Textnovel, except for whatever rights you grant if you are the winner of the Textnovel Contest, pursuant to the Contest Rules (and you will have the chance to approve the grant of those rights at the time you choose to accept the prize). However, you understand that Textnovel will have the right to display your "public" works to its readers.

* You represent that you are the sole and exclusive creator of any content you submit, or have a valid license or agreement to post the content, and have the authority to grant the foregoing license. You represent that the content you provide to Textnovel does not contain any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, or other computer programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept, or expropriate any system, data, or personal information in or connected to Textnovel.

Now THAT's a heck of a lot better! I must congratulate Mr. Soper on his willingness to revisit and revise contract language which might frighten off potential authors.

So, Saoirse, (you may be asking yourself ;-) How do you feel about now?

I feel MUCH better about Let's be frank (when aren't we? ;-) --It has a ton of potential, especially for genres attracting young and tech-savvy audiences (in my mind that's the YA market, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Romance, initially) .

Will we ever see gobs of Westerns and memoirs as cellphone novels? Maybe someday... My Dad consumes Westerns faster than I can down good coffee, but he still gets stumped by his cellphone ("the electronic tether," as he jokingly calls it). I think if TextNovel gets the press it needs it can be a great start for writers--maybe even their chosen venue, in time.

If TextNovel were my cellphone novel site what would I be doing next? I'd find some writers to hit any and all blogs, ezines, mags, etc. on TextNovel's behalf as fast and as hard as possible (while still being pertinent and not pesky). I'd get a MySpace and Facebook account for TextNovel. I'd do press releases like crazy. Any news agency that covered the cellphone novel craze in Asia would be getting a press release from me, too. I'd look up any tech-related conventions or literary-type events that a TextNovel board member can get to and at least get fliers on tables or in bags, if not set up a table/booth (I could even suggest a few of these, personally). I'd get an ad on the NaNoWriMo site in hopes of snagging great stories at the end of this year's November run. I'd offer a few widgets so folks participating in TextNovel can post a visual link to their story from their blog or site. A couple of well-placed ads in mags like Writer's Digest and The Writer... But it all has to be done like yesterday because of the lag time faced by regular print magazines.

I really do wish TextNovel the best--there is some cool potential for it. Will I personally submit a book? I'm considering it again, thanks to Stan Soper. :-)

Thanks, Stan! Much luck! :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Internet

Sorry--no net right now--driving 20 minutes each way to get to a connection--blogging not priority right now, Elance must be.

Back as soon as I can be!

Keep writing!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

3WW: Indifferent, Pour, Reason

This week's 3 Word Wednesday list is: indifferent, pour and reason. I'm still thinking about this one for here, but I have an idea for my Dreams in Red: Anne Bonny site...

I'll be back...


Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Power of Great References... Antiquarian Book Fair in Cooperstown

There are plenty of stories and books that can be written without using any reference books.

The adage "Write what you know," may help remind you of how this can be done. If you follow that advice strictly you'll wind up writing something only about your own life and direct experiences, quite possibly never needing a reference book (unless you spend time examining the eras in which you lived and some of the people and motivations around you ;-). But there are books that you can write requiring no references.

I just don't have much of an interest in writing books of that sort. So my library of reference books is building. Yesterday two references were added. One was free (a catalog of medieval and Renaissance style clothing and accouterments by Museum Replicas) and will be nice as a visual touchstone with Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills.

The other was a book (that will help me with Dreams in Red) from 1926 that I found in the 14th annual Antiquarian Book Fair in Cooperstown, NY. My father actually bought it for me, talking the price down from $225 to $200 (waaay out of my price range). The reference book was one I'd seen listed on many bibliographies (but few writers seem to have access to one), but couldn't find. Mine is not a first edition, but it's amazing! Even in the first paragraph (of one of four lengthy chapters that relate directly to my book) I found 3 specific facts I hadn't found anywhere else. And that is just the beginning :-).

This reference will change many aspects of my writing--and deepen the authenticity of it in amazing ways. I challenge you to think about the way great books can make your writing even greater--Is there a particular reference book or antique book you'd want to add to your reference library?

Excited by a new (hmm---old?) book to use as a resource,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Organizing...And Blogging...And So...


I was thinking about my blog here and realizing it's grown into a bit of a monstrosity. I've fallen into the trap of having too many things here that sort of relate, but could be more effective in different, more focused areas. So I'm thinking I need to split stuff up a bit. I'll focus on the aspects of writing romances, developing writing vocabulary and skills here while focusing on the research and specific stories elsewhere. I don't know--sometimes it makes more sense than others. At the moment it makes a bunch of sense, though.

So here I'll do the Romance Writer's Word of the Day (except weekends), I'll start Manic Mondays again, comment on the life of a would-be-writer, discuss stuff related to publishing and the business of writing, post my own occasional reviews and and link to polls, contests, publishers, agents and prompts I like.

The specifics of my growing "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" novel will wind up elsewhere (there will be links here to it, of course). And the growing "Dreams in Red" novel (earlier called "Barrister's Bastard") will have a place all its own. It seems it wants to grow pretty badly (or perhaps pretty well ;-) right now.

I hope that all makes sense... Maybe after I sleep it will to me again, too. ;-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sunday Scribblings Prompt: Vision

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is "vision." Hmm. So many different types of vision, really. Let's see what I can make clear in a story form (anything for me to gain further insight into the books and characters I'm working on, right? ;-).

"James--" she paused, squinting.

He stood before her, fists balled at his side, jaw jutting forward--ready for a full blown confrontation.

Today, Anne decided she would not give him the satisfaction. She brushed her gloves together, crumbs of rich soil clinging stubbornly to the leather.

"What?" he challenged, his eyes seeming to shrink as they became a very distinct and unattractive likeness to a pig.

Anne sighed and swatted the remaining dirt off her gloves and onto her skirt. She knew the servants would shake their heads at such a thing, but she needed a moment to think. Reaching up, she tilted her hat very subtly and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

"James," she began again, more softly, "I know what made my father so ill."

James' eyes narrowed further--Anne wondered how they could, they were so like the tiny French knots her mother had used to create doll eyes.

"I know it was oleander in father's cake. And I know you were the one who did it." She held up a hand to signal he should keep his mouth shut.

It still gaped open in surprise.

"It occurs to me that having the two of you living under the same roof may not be a wise idea. You are far too eager for my inheritance, and my father is far too eager for me to be free of--well, of you." She tugged off one glove, finger by finger. "It all seems quite inevitable, really. Had you not tried to kill him first, surely he would have tried to murder you--accidents are far too common on plantations." Her gaze flickered to him, a silent, yet pointed threat.

Her brows drew together for a moment as she peered at the base of his throat. The spot his charm used to hang. Odd. Hadn't he said he had lost the thing in a tousle with a slave? She shaded her eyes and glanced towards the sunlight filtering through the trees. Perhaps it was a trick of the light, but from her spot under the myrtles she could have sworn his charm was still there, glowing eerily on a ghostly chain around his neck. She swallowed. Odd. She tore her gaze away again, busying herself with the other glove.

He grated the words out from between his teeth: "So what do we do now, Annie?"

"Well, as I am your wife and ill-suited to plantation living and the normal standards of local society, I think--" she paused. "Do you smell smoke?"

He pulled back, looking at her as if she'd finally gone utterly insane.

But even as he was reacting, she knew there was nothing for him to react to but her. Behind him she saw strange shadows, like dark tongues of flame. They licked around him, snapping and popping as she watched, and then--they were gone like the very shadows they had been. She wobbled and he grabbed her by the arm to steady her.

"Annie?" he asked. "Are you ill?"

"No," she replied, straightening. She felt cold. She licked her lips. She would need to get the visions under control if she was going to make this work. "James?"

"Yes, Annie?"

"Take me away from here. Take me on a grand adventure--like the stories you told by the dockside." She fixed him with her most alluring gaze. "Let's not fight anymore. Let my father have the plantation--he's an old man. How much longer will he live without your interference?"

He moved towards her, the heat of his body so close made a fine sweat bead around her temples. "Where shall I take you, Annie?" he asked, eyes sparkling.

Anne found herself thanking God that James' ego was so predictable. So where could they go that he'd be no more threat to her father? Where could she clean up the mess of this marriage she'd been so eager to create? She smiled up into his eyes, curling into his arms and whispered the answer. "Take me pirating."

Okay, so it doesn't spend as much time as I wanted to on the snippets of visions that have been causing Anne to falter, but it's something. And it feels good to try a SS prompt again, too. :-)

For more great answers to Sunday Scribblings prompts or to participate yourself, go here!

Keep writing!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogging E-Award for Excellence

I'd like to thank Sara for passing this award along to me (although it was months ago and I somehow overlooked it).

Now I need to re-download the award as it's gone forever in the depths of my other archives--and choose 10 awesome bloggers to pass it along to...

Ah, here:

Nuts. I'll need to save it and tweak it--sadly, my computer is not wanting to accept excellence today, so I'll try and convince it to be comfortable with the mediocrity we seem able to maintain. ;-)


So here are my ten bloggers I'd award this to (must grab links):

1.) The Novel Racers (because they're still plugging along)

2.) Bone's Blog (he hosts 3 Word Wednesday, too, btw)

3.) Unusual Historicals (VERY informative)

4.) The Word Wenches (also quite smart)

5.) more to follow, must get the sheep... 2 new lambs






Keep writing!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

3WW: Spontaneous, Shook, Rumor

3 Word Wednesday--Trying to get this out between blackouts... Blue skies are pretty, here, though... Hmm... Used to only get blackouts when it stormed...

Janet was the last one the servants would call "spontaneous."

She fastidiously laid her clothing out three days in advance. She would have gladly prepared better, but three day's clothes was all she owned. She liked to think it simplified her choices. She couldn't fathom dealing with the vast array of clothing the triplets, Mary, Kate, and Ashley had amassed... How did one ever decide what to wear each day when faced with so many options?

Janet's east-facing bedroom chamber was a study in organization with each item carefully tucked in its special place. Everything was neat and well-maintained, and Janet preferred it that way. In a household where so much was always in a state of frantic anticipation (but what could be expected in a home with three girls, all of marrying age?), it was important to Janet to maintain some sort of eye in the perpetual storm.

Her life was as well-ordered as it could be--it was a necessity when someone ran a household, Janet believed. Everything had a time and a place. All meetings and arrangements had specific dates. The grain was delivered

So it shook her to the core of her being when she sat up in bed suddenly that morning with the overwhelming desire to ride, alone, into the heart of Carterhaugh. She tried to ignore the impulse, going about her normal routine as best possible. She shrugged into a shift and tugged on her mantle--blue, because it was the second day of the new month.

"What?" Janet leaped out of the skirt in dismay. "Oh, no, this won't do," she muttered, looking at the wet cloth. "Where did--" But she remembered the rain on the rooftop last night, and saw where a drop of water hung, threateningly, over her clothing's normal place. "Oh!"

She reached into her wardrobe and pulled out the green mantle, tugging it up over her slim form and smoothing it out. "Green. Hmm."

The single window in her room opened, pulled free by a sudden gust of wind. The scent of spring and running water reminded her of dense forests and--she swallowed--the Ettrick Forest and the rivers that burbled along the borders or Carterhaugh.

She brushed her hair, trying to slow the strange racing of her heart. Why did she want to ride into that area? Ever? Certainly it was a beautiful place, and she was doomed with it as her dowry, and if the rumors were to be believed--

She gasped, looking down at the green mantle again. "No--that is certainly not in my plans--" She recalled the song the bard had sung last night so merrily:

"There's none that goes by Carterhaugh
But they leave him a gift,
Either their rings, or green mantles,
Or else their maidenhead."

With a groan she reached for the red mantle and set her jaw, determined to ignore the strange pull she felt from the east. Fiercely she prayed it wasn't destiny calling, because--Dammit, she thought, getting the red mantle settled--I don't recall making a date with destiny at all.

That's it for me,

*See other 3WW posts linked here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why I Won't Be Joining

*Authors' rights have improved vastly since this was first posted! I invite readers and writers to look at the revised contract and read through founder, Stan Soper's, correspondence here, too. (Note added 7/26/08, my original post and comments follow immediately, as they first appeared.)

And I quote:

* By submitting your content to Textnovel, you grant Textnovel (and any Textnovel successors-in-interest, subsidiaries, or parent companies), a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, non-exclusive, sub-licensable right and license to, in whole or in part, with or without attribution to you, use, copy, modify, edit, adapt, publish, publicly display/perform, translate, display, create derivative works from and/or license (or sell with your authorization) and/or distribute content posted to the Site. Textnovel's rights to content you submit includes the right to make editorial revisions to your content; to use in any way the materials you submit on the Textnovel website or in other Textnovel media, whether now or hereafter created; to use for our own internal business purposes; and/or to reproduce and distribute the materials for Textnovel's marketing and publicity purposes.

Ah, well.

So a cellphone novel isn't immediately in my future after all... Although my novels haven't yet been fished out to traditional publishers, I don't think it's fair for me (or any writer) to hand over all rights (and essentially make your work cannon fodder for a publisher).

I'll admit, it's an inventive idea that may allow lots of people to read new works by new novelists, but man... The whole rights issue is a major sticking point with me. This is a "turnip clause"--a clause only someone who "just fell off the turnip truck" would agree to.

I hope TextNovel makes the adjustments to their contract that'll allow them to get better talent to sign on (without fear for their intellectual property), but, for now I'll wait for someone else with a more balanced contract to come along.

*Please note: TextNovel DID make great adjustments to their contract as I hoped--very few publishers are that open to suggestions from would-be writers. Yes, yes, this is like a total "about-face" of my opinion on this, but if you read Stan's comments--which follow this original post--and then check out their new contract language (also covered in my updated post) you'll understand why I've changed my tune.
(Note added 7/26/08)

*Please note: The importance of reading and fully understanding the implications of a contract (ANY contract--with a publisher or an agent or a whatnot) cannot be stressed enough. If you do not understand the full potential scope of a contract, get it in front of a publishing lawyer--trust me, it'll save you lots of headaches in the future! (Note added 8/4/10 by a far wiser author)

Keep writing!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cellphone Novels

Perhaps you're familiar with the new publishing rage sweeping Asia. Maybe you saw the news spots. It's fascinating really--one more way to read a book--and a way to save paper, too!

I'm talking about the cellphone novel. Yes. Read a novel on your phone.

There's a cellphone novel "publisher" (I think we need to call them that when you consider the things that currently make work "published") that recently posted on Elance. And they invited me to bid. Ah--temptation!

They can be found at and are currently in a beta state (hey, we've all been there--I think it's called adolescence in humans ;-). Anyway, it seems like an interesting way to get your writing "out there." And, as the site's only been up for about a week, all genres are pretty well open.

And-- did I mention there's popular voting and a prize involved? Yes, I'm a bit of a sucker for additional perks, it seems.

If you've stalled in your writing, maybe this is the royal kick in the rump you need to keep going. I mean, after all, you should start to build a fan base as you write (it appears you retain your rights--READ THE FAQS AND CONTRACT/TERMS OF USE, of course) and hopefully, those fans will depend on YOU to entertain and enlighten them. How dare you refuse? ;-)

So, will I or won't I?

Time, and a couple answers to posted questions will tell...

Keep reading (and writing)!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

3WW: Frequent, Someday, Open

It's Three Word Wednesday! The words this time were: frequent, someday and open. Here's what I've got...

Frequently she caught herself pausing on the windswept knoll and staring out to sea, an undeniable hunger growing within her. She would rub the hollow where her belly had so recently bloomed, shake her head and begin the long and slippery walk back down to the beach and its shamble of buildings. And she promised herself each time: "Someday."

"Someday he'll come for me." But she wondered if absence made the heart grow fonder or if it simply let chasms between lovers grow.

"Someday he'll forgive me." And she knew he would--he'd never said he'd wanted children, after all. And with their babe lying freshly dead in the sandy soil, he'd have nothing to tie him down. Nothing to tie him to her, either, she remembered, swallowing the thought like a bitter pill.

But the words that always caught in her throat were, "Someday I'll forgive myself." That she had the least faith of all in, probably because she always had the least faith in herself.

Everyone in the spot of a village knew she was losing her mind.

So when the storms rushed in one morning, it didn't surprise them to see her standing where she always did--perched atop the knoll, hair rushing behind her in the coming gale like a long red flag of warning. But this time--

"Gods," Katrina whispered, pointing to the woman suddenly silhouetted in a lightning flash, "Jack's gonna' kill us!" Grabbing Kristen and shouting to Karen, the trio began the dangerous race up the slope, kicking rocks back with each step, scattering sand into the air to swirl and batter. Hand over hand they climbed, glad to have forsaken the long garish skirts many of their type favored.

Above them, Anne's arms were spread wide open, welcoming the coming winds that would toss her onto the rocks below. She took a step forward. "Someday," she whispered as the wind tore the words from her lips, "Someday I'll be free--"

"Not today, you dumb whore!" Katrina's hand snaked up over the ridge and grabbed Anne's ankle. "Get her, girls!"

Kristen sprang up and knocked Anne to the ground, arms wrapping around her waist. Karen sat on Anne, weighing her down like an anchor.

As Katrina managed to get up the last bit of the slope, she released Anne and signaled her comrades to roll Anne over to face them.

"You will not kill yourself on our watch!"

Anne simply stared up at the roiling clouds that blackened the skies like great bruises on the sky above. Her chin quivered and then the clouds burst open and mercifully poured rain down on the four women.

Her victors never saw the tears that slipped silently down her cheeks they were so washed with rain. For that, at least, Anne was grateful. Limp, she let the women lift and half-carry, half-drag her down to the shoreline. She would not resist. If life wanted her more than death, she'd continue to struggle along.

There's mine. Here's a link to where you can find a bunch more and join in yourself!

Have fun!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Brief Rant : The Other Boleyn Girl

Ok, I'm sorry, but I finally got to see The Other Boleyn Girl, and instead of enjoying Hollywood's rendition of a book I REALLY loved, I spent most of the movie with part of my fist shoved into my mouth (the part when I wasn't telling my father and my husband just how Hollywood had botched this scene or that character)...

I don't think Dad'll rent any more movies when he comes to my place and my hubby--Well luckily having a son has stopped most of our efforts at getting to the movie theaters, so he'll just adjust (out of sheer desperation) and probably not allow me to read a book again before seeing a movie.

In the end I felt bad for Philippa Gregory (the author) the most, but I felt bad for almost everyone involved in this severely truncated and malformed beast of a movie. Thank God the costumes were marvelous and the acting was sound (not great, but--yep, "sound" is the best I can truly give them). But there were so many scenes Hollywood could have used from the book that would have created a far more powerful piece of cinema--They missed so many blatant opportunities I wanted to see the screenwriter's head on the block, not Anne's.

Anyhow, so that I don't spoil the multitude of surprises you'll encounter in the movie (because, if you did read the book, you WILL be surprised--maybe even a bit horrified), I'll end this post here and simply suggest that you see the movie, then do your best to forget it and READ THE BOOK. But for Heaven's sake, do it in that order (the forgetting will come naturally as a defense mechanism for some, luckily). Man, they could have done SO much better... VERY disappointing as movies go.

Hope you're reading...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

And So It Begins... ;-)

It's the beginning of the Year of the Rat and I'm actually feeling pretty good at the moment.

Last year wasn't a really great one (Year of the Boar). My mother died in mid-June, my aunt passed away Monday (soon it'll be 2 weeks past). I've been to VA once already to help with her things and the will(s) and will return tomorrow (a loooong drive) to do even more. Yesterday my big and brawny Highland cow miscarried a beautiful bull calf at seven months. We think she may have slipped on the ice we were suddenly hit with in our region.

BUT--that is in the past now. I am working to learn from the past, accept it and let it go.

Today marks the first day of the Year of the Rat. And my husband and I are both Rats by the Chinese calendar. So what does the Year of the Rat mean? It is a time to start a new project, launch a new product, make the connections that will help you find new opportunities in the upcoming years. Opportunities will show themselves to many, but Rats will continue to actively seek them and maneuver into them. This is a year of hard work and building in order to reap the benefits in the future.

Do a focus board or a vision board. Get your goals lined up and begin to push towards them. Keep the faith and open your eyes to see the opportunities before you.

Already this year I'm lined up to edit a YA novel (through Elance), write several more animation scripts (through Elance), illustrate a children's book for a gal in CA and help edit a fiction novel for a friend who already has 2 books "out" through a major publisher. I, frankly, am getting more work on Elance than I can easily handle. I have 2 willing patrons I've had to put off because I'm so swamped...

Anyhow.... Things are looking up. I hope your Year of the Rat is as good as mine is sure to be :-)

Take care and get writing--THIS is our year!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Do Something Good With Your Brain

Go to

In the realm of using your vocabulary skills for good rather than evil comes this site.

The site tests your vocabulary ability AND gives rice to needy folks as you pass from level to level.

It was just on the Early Show on CBS... It's probably on their website, but I don't have time right now to look... Anyhow...

I shot over there and played with it (because I don't suggest sites unless I've used them) and there were simple words and then whamo! They toss in some tougher ones (some are pretty obscure, so you'll want to think back to your Indo-European language roots ;-).

But, trust me--It's very cool, educational and good for less fortunate folks.

Have a great day! Oh--remember--today's 3 Word Wednesday (link's on the left under "Writing Challenges").

I'll try and update on all things novel-related later this week...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

It feels like forever since I've been here. Man, have I been busy!

The holidays were a whirlwind and I joined Elance (under my real name) in late December. I immediately got a writing job for an online college group that asks you to research colleges and write up accurate and completely original blurbs for them. I got paid pretty quickly and the girl I worked for was very pleasant.

I then picked up a job doing a script for an animated ESL project and they've already set the funds in Escrow (which makes me feel much more secure).

I've looked at other jobs, too, but some of them have ridiculous expectations (and, quite frankly, want someone to do all the work for them for a pittance). There is one I'd really enjoy, I think, but we'll see how it all comes out.

Other than that--

Lots of things going on for my real name... ;-) I'm illustrating a great children's book (we're doing it all at a very relaxed pace) and will post links to it after we're more comfy with our web-presence.

And the farm--well--It's a lot of work, but how much of a surprise is that, really? I actually have found myself with free time recently...Spooky!

Hope all's well with you all!

What is the most interesting city or setting to you?

Woo-hoo! Didn't You Know It!

Which ancient leader are you most akin to?
created with
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 (�� �онгол Ул�), (1206�1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history.

Ghengis Khan


Julius Caesar


Henry V (England)






Napoleon Bonaparte


Alexander the Great


Pride and Prejudice

Which Pride and Prejudice Girl Are You?
created with You scored as Elizabeth

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.







Mrs. Bennet








Super Me!

Which Superheroine are you?
created with
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.



Black Canary