Saturday, March 12, 2011

Style Award! and..."Swamp Girls at The Hatchet Motel"

So, my writing group friend Perri awarded me the Stylish Blog Award. This is my second award ever and I am very flattered, though as I posted over @ Lesser Apricots, I have to think it is a bit ironic, considering my blog is entitled "Writing Blog." I never really thought about what people would refer to my blog as and I guess I didn't consider the title I put up there would be actually be it. (?) Go figure.
So, here is a challenge. I am going to try and think up a cool new writing blog name. So many of you have such original ones. So...any ideas you have would be appreciated. Since I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself, maybe these will help give you (and me) some ideas for that new Blog Title. Incidentally, I guess (according to Lulu) I am better at thinking of novel titles than blog titles.

1. I grew up for the first ten years of my life in a haunted Victorian, and for the second ten years of my life in a lake side cabin with a dock and a canoe as my first mode of transportation into town.

2. I met my writing group via a post on Craig's List

3. I am a Cancer on the cusp of Gemini - born June 24th 1977

4. In my immediate circle of female family members spells and fortunetelling are not uncommon.

5. If I had one superpower it would to breath underwater.

6. My favorite feature on a person is the nose, and I have a particular male nose that I find very attractive. Instead of nice butt, I say nice nose.

7. Lilacs, fireflies, garden strawberries, Siamese cats, antique hats, and the sea are a few of my favorite things.

So thanks to Perri, and here are those I am passing the award on to:

Fine Sarah over at The Strangest Situation
Jayne over at A Novice Novelist
Anne over at The Piedmont Grille

Thanks everyone and pass it on. Oh...and leave a comment with any crazy blog title you can think of. I don't know, if I were a plagiarist I'd say Swamp Girls at The Hatchet Motel. Perri you do have such style!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is your title bestseller worthy?

Totally stealing this from my writing group friend. She is struggling with a new title for a revitalized WIP. Check it out here. her post she noted the website Lulu Titlescorer. I let it have at Distillation with its magical calculations and it came up 63% likely to be the title of a bestseller. HA! Will someone please tell an agent that.

Try yours out. I love my title and that is one of the secrets I harbor - well it won't be after right now - when and if I get a publisher to want my novel - it will be VERY hard on me if they want to change my title. I feel that everything in my book leads to it and comes from it. But of course, I would be reasonable. (maybe)

So please test out your titles. I hope they score high. Even if it's as accurate as a magic 8 ball - hey its something.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh how I love being haunted


I was just in the dead man's room. When we moved in it smelled of dying. There were boxes of medical supplies still in there the day we came to view the house and we might as well have been viewing the body of the guy whose dying there made buying this house possible. Not all hauntings are mysterious or magical. Sometimes, spirits are just...there.

Okay, I don't know that he actually died here. But that room had a feeling. You know the feeling. That one where it seems someone else is still there. I have lived in houses like this before and I think that is why I love old houses so much. Growing up, I lived in a crumbling old Victorian with my mother and my sister. It was a magical place, this both my sister and I, who is twelve years older, can agree on. There were eves closets with secrets, a scary cellar with an old coal closet, a library with a fireplace, a sunroom with dust motes floating, lazy cats, and a wild garden. So much atmosphere, so much ambiance. I was the little one and because of this the most sensitive. There is a story. I don't remember if I told it first or if it was told to me later by someone else who remembered what I'd said. I complained of hearing the voices of men one morning, of seeing shadows cast against my curtains. They were mumbling, angry, I seem to remember. Maybe it is because I have re-lived this in DISTILLATION, or maybe it is because I just remember it. But, I know that there were no men. The question always was, whose voices were they? Were they real or imagined? This became one of the central legends of our old house. It became said that the house held the ghosts of men because men had trouble there. The house didn't like men. Perhaps this perception had to do with more terrestrial issues going on around me that I didn't understand. Perhaps not.

In any case, I love a good ghost story to this day. And it is not just an old house than can bring me to one. With ever passing season, I sense the movement of time and of souls. I feel the essence of life whirling around me and there are spirits in the air. Spirits of nature, spirits of the dead, spirits of life. Hope glides on a spring breeze, foreboding gathers in the dark clouds of winter, nostalgia grows in a cascade of orange autumn leaves, and summer, oh summer, that is the most full time of all. In the summer I sense a paradox - the fullness of life growing all the while cast the shadow of certain oncoming death. I love summer. Summer is all. Perhaps that is why I have chosen to set my own ghost story in the summer.

One way or the other, here's to be being haunted. Have you ever experienced a haunting?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where Shadows Dance ~ Learning from What we Read

I stumbled upon a series a few year ago and I happy to announce that the next book in the series is out today. It is a Regency Mystery series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr: a lovely, roguish, troubled aristocrat who solves mysteries in his ample free time. I am not a person who picks up books with the mystery logo as a rule.  But, I accidentally came into this series, and late, all because there was a book on the shelf entitled Why Mermaids Sing. I picked it up based solely on the title and didn't even notice the mystery logo on the spine. I have a thing for mermaids that dates back to pre-Little Mermaid days . The rest is history, because I fell in love with Sebastian and his mysteries. I actually pre-ordered last year's hard cover of What Remains of Heaven and I am excited to BUY Where Shadows Dance.

As with every book I read, this series has helped me to see who I am and who I am not as a writer. I learn from everything and I notice both things I hope I can do as well, and that I think are not my style. Reading books that are not in my specific genre help me to further identify my genre, which we all know is not an easy thing to do.
So, check out author C.S. Harris's blog and maybe check out the Sebastian series. The cover is a little romancy, but one thing I have learned from Harris's blog is how a writer is not always in love with the cover the publisher thinks is right. What do you learn from what you read?