Thursday, March 28, 2013

Upcoming Projects for Me and You

Starting Monday, I'll be participating in the annual A to Z Challenge. As you might know, that means I'll be posting every day during the month of April, starting with A and going through the alphabet. I did it last year, and posted off the top of my head. I was living (and posting) in the Ignorance is Bliss state of mind. I had fun and I've been looking forward to this year. I had hoped to blog a book, had a germ of an idea, but never got around to organizing my thoughts or posts. Yes, procrastination is still my middle name. So, come Monday, I'll be winging it daily and hoping to acquire a few new followers and making a little bit of sense.

In the meantime ... here's a couple of markets for you:

Fairly Wicked Tales is a new anthology being published by Angelic Knight Press. Give them your favorite Grimm Brother's Fairy Tale with a serious twist. They want to see the well known heroes and heroines become the bad guys. What if Snow White wasn't as pure as the new driven snow? What if Cinderella was a raging bitch and her poor stepmother did her best? What if Little Red Riding Hood was something far worse than the Big Bad Wolf? 

Submissions are still being accepted because they haven't received what they're looking for. Deadline is April 30th. That means the proposed publishing date has been extended too -- to late June or early July. Word length is from 3000 to 8000 words. Please read the submission guidelines to properly format your subs before sending. Send all subs to angelicknightpress (at) gmail (dot) com 

For more detail, you might want to go to their home page.

Have to tell you, my favorite TV show is
Once Upon A Time. Spoiler alert: Last weekend, Regina reached into the chest of Snow White and yanked out her heart. Snow had done something bad to Regina and we all know, Snow is perfect. Well, not any more. As we looked at her heart, we could see a dark speck growing. Snow is now in trouble ... from the inside out. I can't quit thinking about these fairytale characters and how brilliant the writers are. I love Pinocchio but The Mad Hatter was fantastic too. Of course, my very favorite is Rumpelstiltskin. He's absolutely WONDERFUL!  If you haven't seen it, you can purchase the first season (yes, I have it!) Or watch it online.

Now ...  Another Market:

Manifesto:UF is a new and exciting anthology project they are working on. Tim Marquitz is the editor of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, which Angelic Knight Press published last September.  Full submission guidelines for the anthology can be found on Tim's website: All submissions should be sent to him at ufmanifesto (at) gmail (dot) com.
Hope everyone will come back to read me during the month of April.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FYI: DIGITAL INK -- Best of the Best

If you have problems with characterization, show vs. tell, POV, deep POV, then Digital Ink: Writing Killer Fiction in the E-Book Age by Bonnie Hearn Hill and Christopher Allan Poe is an eBook for you. Even if you don’t think you have problems with these things, you probably do. I wish I could hand deliver a copy of this book to each and every one of you. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say, this eBook should be mandatory reading, given to every writer by every publisher--instead of a rejection slip.

Last week, I finished my line edits. My editor pointed out problems I didn’t know I had. I’ve always spotted POV switches and show vs. tell glitches in manuscripts I critique and felt confident I didn’t exhibit those problems. Was I ever wrong! And dangling participles? No, you’d never find one of those in any manuscript of mine, and certainly not two of them!
Digital Ink: WritingKiller Fiction in the E-Book Age has every answer a writer needs to make his/her manuscript stronger and cleaner. My editing would have been so much easier had I read Digital Ink first—before doing my line editing. Even before I’d ever completed my novella. This book pin-points problems we don’t even know we have.

Best of all, there’s no fluff—no unnecessary rambling.  Just the facts, ma’am!
Digital Ink isn’t your traditional how-to-write-a-novel book, but one that points out the common problems all writers make and shows how NOT to make them.

Problematic manuscripts almost always begin with a flimsy protagonist.” This is so true. Who knew? The authors actually prove it.
“…your character must be proactive, and your character must be sympathetic.”  Of course, we know this. Always have, but this book shows how to make our characters BOTH.

 Your readers may not know the difference between and adverb and dangling participle, but they can spot a bad story instantly. That usually begins with poor character development.” This is fascinating stuff! I promise you.
“POV glitches are responsible for most of the problems in your manuscript. Book too short? POV. Plot too thin? POV. Problems knowing where to end a scene? POV, honey. Every time.” 

If you purchase this eBook, please, please, please do not skip one word. There’s not a boring chapter in this book. It’s a fast read and one you’ll read over and over again. Highlight the good parts, and I promise every page will be yellow!
I bought this book one evening, downloaded it to my iPhone, read into the night and finished it the next morning. It’s worth every penny.

“Learn deep point-of-view. Doing so will make you a better fiction writer. It will bring the reader closer to your characters, which is what authors should always strive for.“  Deep point of view has always been a little fuzzy in my brain. Not anymore.
Digital Ink: Writing Killer Fiction in the eBook Age by Hill and Poe is THE BEST book on writing I’ve read in a long, long time. There’s something to learn on every page.   The authors write in their last chapter, and it’s certainly something to think about:  “Great authors and terrible authors share the same virtual bookshelf.”  Yes, definitely something to think about.

To improve your writing and make your books stand out from the crowd, read and study Digital Ink:Writing Killer Fiction in the eBook Age. What have you got to lose?

What’s the most difficult part of writing to you? Do you have a writing weakness? Share!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do You Know What You Don't Know?

I’ve been doing line edits on my novella. Not fun while feeling miserable. I don’t get sick often but when I do … it’s usually a whopper. I’m on the mend though so thanks for good thoughts coming my way.

About the line edits … It’s frightening to realize how much I don’t know about POV, showing and telling, and overwriting. The most subtle observation/thought/action on the part of a character can be a point of view violation. If I dwell on these things I don’t know, I’ll find myself in the middle of writer’s block quicksand—sinking fast. Instead, I’m trying to marvel at how much stronger my story becomes when I edit, choose stronger verbs, cut unnecessary words and repair those POV problems. And I’m trying to learn. Odd that I can catch these problems in other people’s manuscripts but not mine. Why is that?

I love my story. I love my characters. Is that wrong to say? Probably, but I’m a little impressed with myself for ‘thinking up’ such a story. For so long I’ve felt creatively dead. I felt like I really stretched my brain.
My novella is called The Last Daughter and is part of the Scrimshaw Doll series by Oklahoma Romance Writers. It's a romantic suspense and should be out later this year. Here’s an unofficial blurb:

Given away as a child, Rayna Guilbeau grew up with questions—questions about her real family and questions about how she ended up in Louisiana with a disfiguring heart branded on her chest. When she sees a sale ad for a house in Oklahoma City called Wounded Heart, she feels an instant connection. Somehow, the house holds the key to her mysterious past.

Trent Jones, an easy-going picker who’s always looking to make a few bucks, is the new owner of Wounded Heart, a three-story house filled with antiques and mystery. When an intriguing young woman shows up on his property at midnight, claiming she was born there, he knows his life is about to change.

A mysterious trash man, a gunshot through a bedroom window, and a cursed doll named Tiva spark an emotional journey into danger. Together, Trent and Rayna find answers, family, and unwavering love.

You can get to know some of my characters by following The Schrimshaw Doll blog. I contributed my second post today. You can check out both posts by clicking on the following links. Would love for you to leave a comment!

Cursed Dolls Don't Weep--Or Do They?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Success Is A Prayer Away

IWSG is the brainchild of our awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you want to become a part of this group or read posts by other participants, you can find the list here.

If you read my previous post, you know that I’ve been out of state cleaning out my mother’s home. I’m back now, and battling … something. Not flu—maybe a horrible cold. Headache, cough, wheezing; all I want to do is sleep. I have so much to do. I’m behind in everything but all I do is cough and sleep. Since I don’t want to be booted from IWSG for missing a post, here it is:
A thought for you:

No one stumbles into success. It comes through planning, preparing, and some of us believe, the favor of God.
Hope you’re all planning, preparing for success. If you need to study and learn, do it, but don’t quit writing even if you wonder if you’re doing it right. You learn by doing. If you believe in critique groups, then join one. If you don’t know one to join, then start one yourself: a person to person group or an online group. I believe it helps if you all write the same thing but other writers disagree. I also believe you should have some members that are a little more experienced than you are in that critique group. They can pull you up, help improve your writing, and teach you, but don’t hang your hat on them. Don’t be spoon fed. Make sure you study and educate yourself too.

My two cents except for this: there’s nothing wrong with praying for your writing. God created you. He gave you any talent you have. He also gave us freedom of choice so whether you use your talent to glorify Him is something else entirely—between you and Him.
Nothing happens by accident. You aren't going to stumble into that three-book contract. Tell me, what are you doing to achieve writing success in your life?