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Showing posts from 2010

New Year. New Plans. New Resolutions?

I just copied my "got-to-review" folder of pdf files from the computer to the Kindle. Maybe that will help me review them faster, since I can carry them around the house with me. I also learned I can write notes while I read on the kindle--that should make it easier to write reviews too, though I'll need the computer to post them.

New Year Resolution: Be more organized about reviews--make lists of books and deadlines and sources and try not to overcommit.

I'm hoping to finish reading Sage Cohen's The Productive Writer ready to review before she visits my blog (Jan 3rd). I'm really enjoying her writing and her ideas, and mentally preparing challenges for our writers' group's next meeting.

New Year Resolution: Be more pro-active leading the writing group.

Then I'll have to apply the ideas to my own writing life and plans.

New Year Resolution: Be a more productive writer.

Maybe I'll make this year the one where I actually keep my resolutions.

Don&…

Productive?

I'm feeling old. Youngest son has gone home and I miss him, of course, but it's not just that. It's the way he seems so very grown-up; the way he's changed into someone responsible, respectable, and really really nice. It's the way I look at him and see my brother...

Once upon a time I "produced" a baby boy. He was a pretty unfinished, unpolished production, and I'd never in my wildest dreams have imagined I could bring into being a man. But I worked with him, and he with me. We pushed and pulled, argued and agreed, approached too close and drew too far away. And now--yes, I know; it's far more to his credit than mine--now he's a handsome, happy young gentleman, pleasant to talk to, comfortable to be around, and steadily ready with his own plans and dreams for a future that's all his.

Meanwhile I'm reading Sage Cohen's The Productive Writer. And I'm editing Divide by Zero. And I'm wondering which of my wildest dreams said I…

Planning to be Productive

I finished the book I was meant to review before Christmas. It's called Homecoming, by Sue Ann Bowling, and I'll be posting reviews soon. The characters were great and the storyline's really quite intriguing, with fascinating touches of science and ESP.

Now I'm reading the book I was meant to review before New Year. It's called The Productive Writer and it's written by the very productive Sage Cohen, who'll visit my blog on Jan 3rd to offer her advice. I'm looking forward to sharing Sage's post, and meanwhile I'd better work on productively reading, in hopes that I might productively write in the New Year.

I did send a couple of letters to the paper. Does that count as productive? Does it count if they don't get published?

The Christmas gifts

My "sense of time and place" (see previous post) is all confused. Our oldest son went back to Texas this morning--another early alarm to get to the airport. But it's Boxing Day, still part of Christmas; it feels all wrong to think he's gone away. Meanwhile youngest and middle sons play computer games, which reminds me of bygone times when they all lived with us.

Then there's the board games--an essential ingredient of Christmas since the offspring learned to spring. Once upon a time I would play with them and say, "No, don't do that." Then I'd show how the move they'd planned was missing some vital point, and I didn't want them to lose just because of a mistake. So this afternoon we played and they said, "Mum, don't do that." Then they showed how the move I'd planned was missing some vital point, and they didn't want me to lose just because of a mistake... I lost anyway.

Meanwhile there's all those books I got for…

A Sense of Time and Place 2

I love to read, and I read almost any genre I come across. I love the sense of different worlds and ideas in historical novels. I love the feeling of "I've been there" in books set in England or the Pacific Northwest. And I love the wild imagination of science fiction.

I'd love to write in all these genres too, but I don't suppose I shall. I haven't the patience or attention to detail that history would require. I don't have the confidence to trust my memories of places that really exist. Which leaves sci-fi I guess.

My family used to watch movies together on TV when I was growing up. Later I watched with husband and sons. But they're all such perfectionists. Every detail that's wrong must be noted, preferably in triplicate... Which leaves sci-fi...

So now I've had a novel accepted and it's definitely NOT sci-fi. I'm editing it, and I'm still not sure I want to tie it down to a time and place. It's just a story. It's about …

A Sense of Time and Place

Our book group read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" last week. We all seemed to like it, but some members found the dialog distracted from the story and didn't ring true to their memories of time and place.

Our writing group listened to an excellent talk from Myrna Oakley yesterday. She told us how our story-telling plans should start with a location plus characters.

And my critique group read and critiqued my newly added sections from my novel, Divide by Zero, also yesterday. I was trying to create a better sense of the main character but the first question everyone asked was "Where and when is this set?"

Wherein lies my problem: Can anyone tell me if it's possible to write a successfully rootless novel? I know the local time and place of my story; I think I give a good enough feel for the world the characters inhabit. But I've not paid any attention to the larger world: Is this small town in England or America (or even Australia)? Are the ev…

Recognized from my book cover!

A dear friend asked me to mail some books to her. Since I only had one copy at home, I took it to the post office and asked, "How much would it cost to send five of these?" The assistant picked up the book to weigh it, turned it over, and said, "Now that face looks familiar, but your hair was longer then." Recognized from my picture on the back of the book! I think I glowed. (And at least she didn't say "but your hair was less gray then"!)

Still glowing, I'm writing this post with thanks to the dear friend--a real book order, for books by me! Lulu says they've already shipped them, so I'll mail the parcel soon. And it looks like sending them in a priority mail envelope is the cheapest method, just in case you were wondering.

I love New Seasons!

Mum likes to shop at New Seasons on a Wednesday. They give you a discount if you're "better than 65," and, as she says, she's much much better. They also sell great gluten-free foods, and Mum loves to buy me treats when she visits here.

Today I'd told Mum about my Thanksgiving cornbread, made from a packet, with added cheese and salsa. It was my first ever cornbread success, so we thought we'd try to repeat it. But we couldn't find g-f cornbread mixes anywhere. An assistant came to our aid but found nothing either, so we continued on our way, guessing we were out of luck.

Ten minutes later the assistant chased us down in another aisle. "I've found one," she declared. Not only that; she'd found us! So now I can share my gluten-free cornbread with Mum, and we can share our love for New Seasons with anyone reading this.

I wonder if there's a message there for my writing--best make sure my story runs after my readers whenever I've le…

Pizza for breakfast

My Mum had pizza and ice-cream for breakfast, or perhaps it was lunch, or dinner, or tea instead. It's hard to keep them straight in your head when you're flying around the world. I gave her a cheese sandwich.

My Mum's head's nodding. She'll fall asleep soon, probably not in her bed. It must be time for dinner.

My Mum's flown half-way round the world with Christmas in her cases and love in her eyes. Life is good. She's over there resting in her chair, and me, I'm typing, blogging, over the moon.

Heard at the Christmas Bazaar

"This lady's selling jewelry. This one's selling scarves. And this one's selling cards and paper things," (otherwise known as books).

"Why do they call it a bazaar. Doesn't that mean something weird?"

"Let's have some real Christmas music--Grandma got run over by a reindeer and all that."

"My children don't read."

"Don't eat the beads."

"I didn't bring money of course."

Many thanks to all the friends and strangers who stopped by my stall and encouraged me, especially to those who encouraged my family too by buying books :) It's been a fun two days.

Black Widow now on sale!

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I just checked on Gypsy Shadow and my new ebook, Black Widow, is on sale. December 1st seems like perfect timing for Christmas! So if you're looking for a historical read, set in England, with mystical overtones, why not head over there? There's even a sample excerpt so you can see what the story's like.
 Black Widow: When Boudicca's sister meets the mysterious wizard, it seems like all will go well for the little British kingdom. But Roman peace demands a high price, and the people are starting to follow a foreign priest.
Refracted: The story of a young man lost in the fields of time, trying to remember what he thought he was looking for.

That Gluten-Free Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm the one that's gluten-free. The son that lives with us is vegetarian. And with only three of us at home this Thanksgiving, only two of whom are carnivores, we decided to try for a gluten-free vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner menu.

High point: This time I didn't make a black bean casserole that looked like a loaf of cornbread piled on top of a can of beans.

Even higher point: Today--Tuesday--the son announced, while studying at his computer, that...
He liked my cornbread (A first. Gluten-free baking, at least my gluten-free baking, is often boring and dry, but I added salsa to the dough this time and, apparently, it worked!)He doesn't like squash, and had serious doubts when I triumphantly carried my stuffed acorn squash to the table, but it was really goodAs was the rice stuffing with bits of cranberry in it (so now I know what stuffing to do for Christmas).Oh, and that Indian thing I did last week apparently tasted nice too.I think my son just made my day! And I'…

Friday's Gift

It took a while before I realized Black Friday referred to future shopping, not some dire historical event. Having learned, I decided not to participate--there must be better ways to work off those calories than going to war with the neighbors. Meanwhile the internet was full of sites advising "Shop Black Friday deals from the comfort of your own home," conveniently forgetting the internet would reduce to a blank screen on Thanksgiving--well, blank screen with tiny icon saying "waiting for something.something.ad" while you wait for "something.com." Still, Amazon's advertised deal on Black Friday Kindles was certainly enticing--would my scruples (and internet) hold me back, or would I try?

They said the deal would start at 9am Pacific time, so my husband brought me coffee in bed at 8:20. By 8:40 I was awake and sitting at the computer, which was slightly less awake. Middle son was reminding me "Don't read your emails Mom. Just go to Amazon.&quo…

WooHoo! Black Widow has a cover!

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I just got my first look at the cover for Black Widow, coming soon from Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Look at that black and red--perfect for a black widow spider--and the blue man's slowly succumbing to her web, or her to his. That red and gold makes me think of Christmas too, and it sounds like the book will be out in time for the season. What a wonderful Christmas present for the computer, e-read for the cook, and sheer delight for me.

Start with week with Action or Literary Prose

I'm still catching up on posting my book reviews for that reading journey. These are the action adventure tales I've read in the last couple of weeks, and scroll down for literary fiction--my favorite.

The Capablanca Variation by Douglas Quinn: Charlie's Angels meets James Bond--world-traveling agents steered by a behind the scenes chess-master; death, mayhem and destruction.

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers: dystopian science fiction; dark world; scary technology; and great fun.

Shadows from the Past by Ashley Dawn: Christian suspense with lots of backstory and description. Former friends thrown together in the hunt for a murderer who's got them both in his sights.

And in a more literary vein...
The Reckoning by Howard Owen:  A teenager comes of age, tied down by his father's own coming of age during the Vietnam war, and threatened by loss. A surprisingly powerful tale that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Seducing the Spirits by Louise Young…

Children's stories (and tales for the young at heart) for Saturday Morning

These are the childrens' and young adults' books I've read recently on that reading journey... Fun reads for a Saturday morning while rain drips outside.

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke: I'd been waiting to get this in paperback for a while. I love the series, just not quite enough to shell out for a hardback. And this was a very fitting conclusion--best yet in my estimation.

My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond: With an evil anti-hero narrating his fall from wickedness, this one's great fun and told in a really enjoyable voice.

The Unwanted by Daniel Carter: Genetic engineering, faith, superheroes and the FBI combine delightfully. Looking forward to more in this series.

The Royal Dragoneers by M.R. Mattias:  A well-crafted world with rich detail and vivid descriptions, interesting characters and an enjoyable storyline.

Dawn of the Shadow by Peter Kelly:  Young adults trying to make their way in the modern world are suddenly faced with a very different history than the one …

Some scary books for a windy night

Continuing to list those books I've been reading recently, here's some scary ones for when that rain turns to howling winds tonight... As usual, if you click on the links you'll find my reviews on gather.

Friday the Thirteenth, by M. Flagg:  Humanity's more dangerous than the jungle, so she chose Manhatten; a fun little scary romance.

The Poison of a Smile, Salazar book 1, by Steven Jensen: Beautiful evocative language. Lovely old-fashioned feel of Bohemian decadence. Gruesome, haunting, sad...

The Eyes Have it, by Denise Bartlett: An intriguing lunch-time read with a green-eyed sting in its tail.


Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood, by Skhye Moncrief: A fascinating world, with dragons, and a drink of dragon's blood to seal a young woman's fate.

Witches, Werewolves and Jack the Ripper, by G.M. Jackson: a cool scary story that looks at the Jack the Ripper story from some very interesting points of view.

Wonder, an erotic anthology edited by Selena Kitt: There'…

How Long is a Piece of String?

I used to ask way too many questions as a child, though surely not as many as my own children. My Gran would silence me by saying "'Cause y's not z," and my Granddad would ask, "How long's a piece of string?"

I'm hosting a Second Wind Publishing discussion on Facebook and Goodreads where I ask how long's a novel, novella, novelette, short story, etc... and invite you to to wonder where dribbles and drabbles and chapters and  blurbs fit in. I think my biggest conclusion so far is I'm still not sure if my e-book's a short story or a novella, but I'm convinced I'd find it harder to sell as a short story. Somehow short, and pay real money for it, don't quite fit together. But what do you think?

Some cozy books for a rainy day

It seems like a while since I posted a list of reviews. I think I must have been distracted by something. I think I'm still distracted--runs round the room. And no, the housework's not getting done; at least, not just now. But the contract's been sent and I really need to get down to reading and writing.

So, what have I read recently on that reading journey? Too many books to list I think, so I'll put the mysteries and cozies here first and write another post with some more...

As usual, if you click on the links you'll find my longer book reviews on gather.

Murder in Winnebago County, and Buried in Wolf Lake, by Christine Husom: Two murder mysteries set around the very likeable and believable Sgt. Corky Aleckson, with a very authentic feel, down-to-earth characters, and villains that are scarily real.

A Miracle at Speedy Motors: The 9th Number One Ladies' Detective Agency novel by Alexander McCall Smith, and I'm still addicted. I love the way he lets his read…

It's in the mail

I mailed it.
Okay, first I reread it, even though my husband had read it last night. Then I signed it and read my signature and checked up on the date. Then I wrote the envelope...

Then, since I was going to the post office anyway, I parceled up my self-published books for copyrights, labeled each, attached deposit slips, wrote case numbers on envelopes, stacked them in a box, counted them, checked them, counted them again...

Then I drove to the post office and with quivering fingers signed the check and sent five books and one contract off.

Today was a stressful day. And it's raining, windy, gray and miserable...
...and I'm still dancing round the room!

Fears, Rational and Otherwise

1. Maybe I misread the email...
I've reread it a thousand times, and shown it my husband and son. It's not likely to change.
2. Maybe the email wasn't really for me...
But it's got my name and the name of my novel on it.
3. Maybe I'll invalidate the contract somehow--misspell my name or something...
So I'll get my husband to check it before it goes out.
4. Maybe I'll address the envelope wrong...
But the address is online, on the contract and in the email; I've lots to chances to make sure it's right, and my husband will certainly help.
5. Maybe my writing's not good enough, and the novel will just get worse the more I edit...
But they thought it was good enough to make me an offer...
6. Maybe the editor won't like me...
But the publisher does, so I know they'll choose someone just right...
7. Maybe...

All those irrational fears are jumbling around in my head. Just sign the contract and get it sent back and STOP WORRYING!

But maybe that tickli…

That Dreaming Thing

I used to dream about how it might happen. A phone-call maybe. A letter that didn't begin "If you sent a stamped addressed envelope we are returning your manuscript." Or an email of course. But the emails always begin, "Thank you for your query... but..." And that's what I thought this email would be when I clicked on it.

"Thank you for choosing... After careful consideration... I would be pleased to extend an offer of publication to you..."

I jumped out of my seat. I shrieked. My son, after first confirming I wasn't in pain, said, "Did you just get an offer?" Then I demanded he, and my husband, read the email just to be sure I wasn't somehow inventing words that weren't on the page.

I wasn't. It's real. I have a contract in my hands waiting to be signed. They said yes to my novel!!!! (And it wasn't even the one I was working on last week for that "full manuscript" request. This one was right out of the …

The Official Indie Book Reviewer List

I just got an email about "The Official Indie Book Reviewer List," a sort of Yellow Pages of book reviewers who are interested in small-press and self-published books, and review them free! It sounds a wonderful resource. Christy Pinheiro is offering it as a pdf file for just 99 cents, and I'm thinking I really ought to buy it. But while I'm thinking about it, here's a link so you can think about it too.

http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/

Free book reviews is free publicity, right? And free publicity might translate into sales. So, many thanks Christy for the hours you must have put into compiling this. I hope you sell lots and lots and decide to bring out a POD paper version next year. (I know. I'm boring. I do like paper books.)

Contact information, submission guidelines, likes, dislikes, pet peeves... what more could we indie writers want?

In the Spotlight!

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My eBook, Refracted, is in the spotlight over at A.F. Stewart's "In the Spotlight" blog today. It's a beautiful site, spotlighting lots of wonderful books and authors; I'm honored to be in such good company. There's an impressive Amazon associate page too where you can find links for purchases. I'm really grateful to A.F. Stewart for spotlighting me, and I hope you'll all go over there and browse the various posts.

Thank you.

Doing housework on a manuscript

I should be dusting, polishing, cleaning floors... all those pine needles the rain tracked in...

Instead I'm dusting, polishing, cleaning words. I got an email from a publisher yesterday. They want to see the whole manuscript of my Young Adult novel!!!!

Yes, I know it doesn't mean they're going to say yes, but it's one step higher on the mountain of dreams. Please wish me luck, and well-dusted, well-polished words.

Meet Anjuelle Floyd, and win a kindle!

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To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. I'm delighted to have Anjuelle as a guest on my blog today, where she is giving a fascinating character sketch of Edward Manning from her book, and answering the question "How does a writer come up with her characters?"

See yesterday's post for more information about Anjuelle Floyd and The House, and don't forget to read to the end of this post to find out how to win a Kindle!

Over to you Anjuelle:


CHARACTER SKETCH: Meet Edward Manning
Have you ever wondered how a writer comes up with her characters? Author Anjuelle Floyd provides a peek inside the profile of her dying character, Edward Manning. 

I recently began reading a book on the craft of writing fiction, entitled “The Half- Known World,” by Robert Boswell. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1555975046/httpanuellec-20

Boswell suggests that st…

Anjuelle Floyd visiting my blog tomorrow--chance to win a kindle!

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Author Anjuelle Floyd will have a guest post on my blog tomorrow, which I'm very much looking forward to. To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, she's offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010, so don't forget to visit tomorrow and find out how to enter. Meanwhile, here's some information about Anjuelle and The House.

About the Author Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.

A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has received certificates of participation from The Hu…

Meet Bruce DeSilva

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I'd like to welcome author Bruce DeSilva to my blog. His Book, Rogue Island, has been getting some rave reviews, and is touring the internet at the moment. I was delighted to be asked to be part of the tour.

Bruce DeSilva offered to write a guest post here, so I asked him my favorite question, little realizing what a great read his reply would be. My question: Please would he tell me something about his journey from there (unpublished) to here (published and racking up the 5-star reviews). His response... well, you'll have to read on. Meanwhile he's offered to drop in from time to time during the day to answer any other readers' questions.


Over to you Mr DeSilva... Way back in 1968, as I trotted off to college to major in geology, my favorite high school teacher made a prediction:  I would soon find myself writing from compulsion. 
He was right.
My first job after college was covering the little town of Warren, R.I., for the venerable Providence Journal. Over the next 20 ye…

Bruce DeSilva, author of Rogue Island

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Bruce DeSilva's Rogue Island currently has fifteen 5-star reviews and three 4-star reviews on Amazon. Bruce will be visiting my blog tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's some information from his Press Release...



Advance Praise for Bruce DeSilva’s ROGUE ISLAND:
“Rogue Island has everything a crime fan could want…this tremendously entertaining crime novel is definitely one of the best of the year.”Booklist *starred review*
“Smart-ass Mulligan is a masterpiece of irreverence and street savvy, and DeSilva does a fine job of evoking the seamy side of his beat…they all contribute to the well-wrought noirish atmosphere that supports this crime novel's dark denouement. A twist in the tale will keep readers turning the pages until the bitter end. —Publishers Weekly (A “Fresh Fiction” Fall 2010 selection)
“The smallest state bursts with crime, corruption, wisecracks and neo-noir atmosphere in DeSilva’s blistering debut. Mulligan is the perfect guide to a town in which the only ways to get thing…

Watch this space...

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I have two authors visiting my blog over the next few days. On Friday, Bruce DeSilva, author of Rogue Island, will be talking about (my favorite question) how he got from "there" to "here." In his case, "here" is an author blog-touring the internet with a fantastic book that's already got tons of rave reviews. I'm so lucky to have him visit here, and I know his story will be really interesting.


Then next Monday Anjuelle Floyd will be visiting. To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010.

TO REGISTER ONLINE - http://bit.ly/TheHouseKindleGiveaway

Two fascinating authors. Two great books. And a competition. Watch this space. I'm certainly looking forward to reading my blog on those days:)

Discovering Google Reader

Okay, I finally took the plunge. I clicked that "view in Google reader" button on my blogger dashboard. Then I made a coffee while it loaded--it seemed to take forever but only 'cause it had so many blogposts to compile. Then started to read.

I shall certainly read way more blogposts now I'm using Google reader; it's so neat, just scrolling down the page reading them one after another instead of having to click. But I'll leave fewer comments I suspect since scrolling back to the top of an article to open, then back to the bottom to comment, then...--well, it just takes a a bit more decision-making effort when I'm already absorbed in the next interesting post. I'll get better at it I expect, learn to open some posts in a window before I read... something.

Anyway, Google reader's pretty neat and I like it, so thank you to those dear blog friends who told me to try it. But now it's time to make another coffee. Rushing wind, blowing leaves, gray ski…

Drabbled it !

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Last October I challenged myself to write (or at least post) a drabble a day on my writing blog. A year's gone by and now, give or take the odd day missed and some with two postings, I've got a whole years-worth of drabbles. I've collected them into hand-made mini-books to sell as drabble-birthday cards, with a master copy on Lulu, Drabble-IT, that contains the whole set. (366, 'cause I added one, just in case the year in question should plan to leap.) If you should happen to be looking for a calendar with a difference (or with stories and poems), well, I'd love to sell you one...

Meanwhile I've challenged myself this year to post a dribble a day--50 words instead of 100. It's definitely harder so I'd really appreciate the occasional visit, just to keep me on my toes: http://sheiladeethdrabbles.blogspot.com

The 300 ?

I tried to follow a new blog today but a red-framed message popped up and wouldn't let me pass. It seems I'd reached my 300 limit, not that I'd remembered I had one. So now I have to "unfollow" some blogs before I can follow more.

No problem, thought I. I'll just get rid of all the inactive ones... So I clicked "manage" underneath my blogroll and found the management page doesn't bother to say when each blog posted last--in fact, it doesn't even say if the link still exists. So now I'm wandering, one by one, through 300 once-followed blogs to see which still post...

Meanwhile, there's that interesting question: Just how do you "unfollow" a blog? It's easy if there's a blogger navigation bar on top--just click on "Follow" and choose "Stop following." But so many blogs either don't have bars or weren't even made with blogger, so what about them?

I searched through help. The most popular adv…

Print on (Immediate) Demand

There was a story in our local paper this morning that promises an interesting future for Print on Demand

http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2010/10/portland_state_university_book.html.

It seems that Lulu and HP have produced a print-on-demand machine that looks kind of like a large photocopier. Books uploaded and designed in a special section of Lulu can be printed on the spot with no long waits or shipping costs. Portland State University Bookstore is one of three locations trying out these "publishing machines." Professors can provide tailored text books at a fraction of the usual price, and test out the content before committing to the expense of traditional publishing. A 300page novel will cost around $12; a 100page book with color illustrations around $18... And, if I'm reading the article correctly, real people will really be able to publish there.

Just think, if this takes off; the machines might be installed in Office Depot or Kinkos, making print on d…

A wonderful Refracted review!

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Erin O'Riordan, author of Beltane, Midsummer Night, and other books and short stories, has written an amazing review of Refracted on Gather. I'd have enjoyed reading the review even if it wasn't for my own book, and I get goosebumps as she tells me what associations my story invoked for her. Thank you so much Erin! Thank you more than I can say!

The Muse and the Edits going well...

The Muse conference is so.... so good. I'm loving it. Of course, the homework takes lots of time, and the housework's not getting done. Dear son says no problem; he can't see the difference. Still, I did cut the grass yesterday 'cause the sun was shining and the ground had started to dry; neighbors aren't sons and they can see only too well when weeds start blowing in the wind.

I've also been writing and editing my first attempt at romance--Love on a Transfer. English boy and girl in America. Girl meets American. Girl dreams American dreams. Boy dreams girl... It grew to almost 30,000 words (in a week--I'm not sure how, though my Mum says I work well to deadlines. The Muse was my line, then the publisher I wanted to pitch it to wasn't there--does that make the deadline dead? Still, lots of other publishers are there, with great advice.) Now I think it's time to let my protagonists rest and stop talking to me--stop talking... please. If their story st…

Musing my way to the Weekend

My review of Redeeming Daisy by Tanya Hanson is one the front page of Nights and Weekends at the moment! How cool is that! And I'm frantically trying to slide a review of Little Madhouse on the Prairie by Marion Elizabeth Witte under the deadline for next month's Poetic Monthly. Meanwhile one of the classes at the Muse Online Conference is about writing better book reviews and I'm finding it very helpful. Other classes include publishing pitfalls, how to plot a novel, dos and donts of submissions, what is Christian horror, and many many more. The Muse is great, the time is weak, and the week is rapidly passing... But if you're a writer and you're not musing this year you should certainly consider it for next year. It's online, you can study at home, and the price is FREE!

The Muse Online

I went to Wordstock yesterday and attended some really great talks about writing, publishing, the future, the dream and everything related. It was kind of neat to see the talks I went to were the ones quoted in today's paper. (I'll try to write about them soon.)

And today I started attending the Muse Online (week-long) conference. Yet more great talks, forums, chats, handouts, and even pitches. Of course, that "May to October" thing kind of messed up my plans to pitch. Finishing various stories in time to write queries was one of my tasks that got put off for the sons' graduations and never got done. Still, I did finish off my first ever romance today, which is surely an achievement. I'll try to clean it up during the week and see if it might find a home somewhere.

Meanwhile, if I'm kind of absent from the internet and slow to notice your posts, I apologize. Maybe life will get back to normal next week... or else like May, I "may" keep wondering w…

Fifty Five Words