Writer’s Life

Stuck Overnight in an Airport

lightning_pinkSo I’m stuck in the airport overnight on my way home from a writer’s conference in Texas enroute to Montreal. Big storm heading east and flights are cancelled. All of them. The local airport hotels are packed-booked too. My options are few.

Quick! Mad dash to the end of the terminal where there were a few scattered club chairs with actual padding. Screech. Detour to a souvenir shop. Buy two blankets—the a/c is chilly— a pillow, some snacks, a drink, and boom. I claimed my space.

You see, this is not my first overnight at an airport.

Frankfort, four years ago, with mother and both daughters.

Mexican-Train-DominoesWe were ill-equipped. No extra layers. No warmth. No padding. We did have entertainment. Dominoes. Played Mexican train for hours.

We staggered around bleary-eyed , occasionally shivered, and made up ridiculous word games, like taking the first letter off our names and replacing it with ‘h’. So Kim became Him. Jennifer was Hennifer. Lisa was Hisa. The funniest was my mom’s name. Mary Lou. She became Harry Hoo. No matter what letter we substituted, hers was the height of hilarity. Larry Lou, Mary Moo. Dairy Doo. Parry Poo.

Maybe you had to be there.

My other overnight airport stay was not so fun. Mostly because of anxiety.

Husband Edward and the girls and I were stuck in the Caribbean. My father had just suffered a heart attack and we were trying to get home as fast as possible to be with him. It was one of those flight-delayed, finally-boarded, wait-in terminably-on-the-tarmac, then forced-to-deplane nightmares that had my kids burst into tears along with several drunk revellers.

The drunk revellers took the party back into the over-bright airport, but my dashing darling saved the day. Er, night. Clever man found the airport VIP room, where for $50 we shared a comfy couch in a darkened area and were fed unlimited sandwiches and soft-drinks.

My room for the night

My room for the night

Sigh. I’m about to go plug my computer in and read for a bit. Cuddle up with my airplane blanket and C-shaped neck pillow. I’ll tell you how the overnight goes.

Oh yeah. The kicker?

Tomorrow’s my birthday. Nice present. Huh?

 

What about you? Got any overnight airport stories to amuse me while I’m stuck in Detroit International?

Description—How to Make Readers Fall In & Never Escape

From my fav social media jedi and Texan writer guress, Kristen Lamb:

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Sidewalk chalk art near Regent’s Canal in London. Sidewalk chalk art near Regent’s Canal in London.

Today we’re going to address a topic that—GASP—I don’t believe we’ve ever covered in almost 800 blogs. Namely because it is a tricky one to address. We’re going to talk about description. For those who never use description or very sparse description? Don’t fret. That’s just your voice. Readers like me who looooove description will probably gravitate to other books and that is OKAY.

Personally, I’m not a fan of austere modern houses with stainless steel everything and weird chairs no human could sit in and most cats would avoid, but? There are plenty of people who dig it. I also don’t like a lot of knick-knacks and clutter. Makes me want to start cleaning.

Same with books. Not too little or too much. Yeah, I’m Literary Goldilocks.

Plain fact? We can’t please everyone. Description (or lack thereof) is a component of…

View original post 1,838 more words

Lucky 7

lucky7

 

The infinitely fun and slightly wicked Rhenna Morgan pulled a fast one on me this morning and tagged me in The Lucky 7 game.

http://rhennamorgan.com/playing-lucky-7/#.U57iNgiRGUA.facebook

 

The rules:

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current WIP.

Go to line 7

Post on your blog the next 7 sentence or 7 lines—as they are!

Tag 7 people and do the same

You can choose between page 7 or 77.

images-4So, from my WIP Stolen Kiss, page 7

 

Ah. This was her code red hottie. Shock of unruly hair, cobalt blue eyes, tall. It fit.

“Listen.” His eyes intense like lasers. “My brother is in danger. Help me save him by pretending to be my girlfriend for a few minutes. If they start asking questions, let me do the talking. Please.”

Ruby was about to protest, but his hand trailed up and down along her spine spreading a warm shiver down the backs of her legs. More delicious than devil’s food cake.

 

Voila!

 

Now I have to tag 7 others, so

 

September-21-2011-22-10-21-cat044Vicki Mixon

Susan Petersen Wisnewski

Liz Berquist

J.J. Devine

Jami Gold

Debbie Robbins

Kristen Lamb

 

Tag! You’re it!

xoxxo

 

The Writing Process Blog Tour

The MEANS to the end. That’s what this tour is about. Someone (Day’s) contacted me. I post and tag three others. See end of this post for those deets.

Thank-you Day’s Lee for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.  Day’s and I met years ago travelling back and forth from Montreal to Ottawa for ORWA (Ottawa Romance Writers of America) Meetings. Day’s is currently putting together a collection of short stories called The Red Pagoda and Other Stories. Read her post on her writing process at http://dayslee.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/my-writing-process-blog-tour/

And now, on to the questions…

What are you working on?

A romantic contemporary series about three siblings, Matt, Arabella and Sebastian Beaumont. The first, Stolen Kiss is being subjected to yet another rigorous swath of editing (merci to the Margie Lawson lectures and method).

images-4Matt and Ruby’s love story. It’s essentially a road trip between a Boston princess and a hot mechanic with bad guys getting in the way. And I’m in the midst of pouring out a rough draft of the second book, Stolen Heart. It features marine biologist Arabella and the last person she would ever want as her bodyguard, Gus McIsaac. The third, Stolen Love is in the dream stage, with the hero, Seb a reformed felon, fully developed and a good glimpse of the heroine, single mom-social worker Mari captured.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I think the same thing that it comes down to for most genre fiction writers: images-9My voice. It’s pretty strong. I try to surprise and delight myself and my readers. Fresh twists are key and I love humor. I pour that sh*t on everything. Acting for most of my life and all the human study that involves certainly adds color. Years in various media made me a fair wordsmith. My own mass cornucopia of life adventures taught me to throw my characters into the deepest end of an orca tank and see how they survive.

 Why do you write what you do?

I love people and relationship and the diversion romance brings. Plus, the romance genre is really quite a feminist vehicle. allposters.com_It was born out the notion of love and the right to choose your life partner in a time when women didn’t often have that freedom. It’s evolved to the current standard where the heroine literally brings her partner to his knees (in a proposal, or at least the happy intention of a long life together). The matriarch of my family (93, still kicking, also a fan of romance novels) once said to me, “The world always needs more love.” I agree with her.

How does your writing process work?

Characters first. Sometimes just a hazy outline. Sometimes clearer than HDTV. Ruby, the heroine in the first book of the Stolen series popped Unknown-1into my head on a family car trip through the Yukon and wisecracked, “So Kim, when are you going to write my story?” After I write out character sketches, my fiction people percolate in a lot of dreamtime. I interview them and build back-story. Then I use a structure template, like Snyder’s Save the Cat and pump out a dirty draft. Then I rewrite. Many times. Eliminate passive voice, weed out clichés (irony alert), bring my own flavors to the soup. Lastly, read it out loud. In my day job, I’m a very well paid voice actor. Nothing beats reading text out loud to check for rhythm, flow and errors.

 

Hey this was fun. Let me introduce the ladies, three of my Romance Weekly sisters, to whom I am passing the virtual blog baton—the blogon. Check their posts May 19:

GetAttachment-1.aspxJ.J. Devine grew up loving the written word. She spent her days daydreaming and imagining what life would be like if she lived between the pages of the books she read. Today, she still spends her days dreaming. Only now she pens them into the romance novels she enjoys writing to share with her readers. On her down time, she enjoys spending time with her hubby, children, grandchildren, and pets. As well as helping to bring public awareness on the subject of domestic violence.

http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer.html

 

GetAttachment.aspxJeana Mann is the author of sizzling hot contemporary romance. Her debut release Intoxicated was a First Place Winner of the 2013 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest and a finalist for the Carolyn Readers Choice Award. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Crossroads Romance Writers, Indiana RWA, and Celtic Heart RWA.

 

http://jeanaemann.net/

 

GetAttachment-2.aspxCarolyn Spear, a mother of two and wife of one, lives to read, garden and explore. She channels characters’ stories to share with others. A strange combination of small town girl, travel enthusiast and geek, she is thrilled to be a part of the shared world of the Wiccan Haus.

 

http://www.carolynspearromance.com/blog.html

 

 

Thanks SO much for stopping by. Grateful for your presence. More delighted by comments than chocolate.

Book Love

I love books like I love Ethiopian food.

images-7

Ever had a plate? Uber delicious. A yummy variety of simple foods, spiced in deliciously surprising ways, that sits trencher style on a large flat round of teff, soaking its mouthwatering goodness into the spongy bread. Spread on a large round plate meant for ripping into and sharing with one or two others.

Image

I want to soak up the head bread of the books I read (and write) like airy crepes sop up the stewed spinach, lentils and beets. I want to rip into the characters with heart like fingers tear teff into spoons to gather every spice soaked morsel.

 

Image

Shared on the same plate with a loved one. The ultimate finger food. Secrets of the soul. Intimate sustenance. Prepared in a time honored way.

Let’s dig in.

Happy Birthday Lisa

IMG_0317My absolutely wonderful oldest daughter Lisa turns 20 years old today.

 

Isn’t she beautiful? (I agree – inside and out)

 

During my writing time this morning, this momentous occasion twigged me onto my personal need for creativity and the impact gestation of both the children and the books in my life has had on me.

 

How they’re alike:

images-1Both bring out a range of emotions from grumbling discomfort to sharp pain, from flutters of excitement to downright whoops of joy. They stir up feelings of longing, projection and fulfillment. They take up residence in my head and heart for interminable leases. I have been by turns, embarrassed and proud of their performances.

How they’re different: (Yes it’s a silly exercise, but I’ve dragged you this far so I’m going to complete it)

book-coverI’d give my life for my kids, fierce mama lion that I am. The stories? I’ll fight hard for them, but certainly not at the same level. I’ve been a television producer, a weatherwoman, one of the best in my field as a voice actor and am becoming a damn good romance writer. Each and every one of these professional chapters has been enormously fulfilling, but pales compared to the joy and satisfaction of motherhood. The stories? I can control my characters, my plot and story arc, whereas I have had limited success controlling Lisa and Jennifer, and very early realized it is better for all involved if I simply shepherd and guide them.

What do you think? Is there method to my madness or have I gone (as friend and brilliant author of The Bride Gift, Sarah Hegger might be caught saying) “bat-shit crazy”? Well, there are all those voices in my head…

Social Media, Book Signings & Why Neither Directly Impact Overall Sales

I met Kristen at an online writer’s conference she organizes—WANA Con (which is fantastic by the way). Author of “Blog are You Out There, It’s Me Writer”, among others, had to share the great post she wrote this week about the value of Social Media.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons Original image via Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr Creative Commons

One of my AWESOME on-line pals posted something troublesome on my Facebook page. Apparently there is a recent article in a major writing magazine that declares social media does not sell books and, in a nutshell, isn’t worth the effort.I’ll warn you guys ahead of time that I went hunting for the article—at the last remaining Barnes & Noble within a 25 mile radius of my home—and couldn’t find said article (and have asked Kim to get me the specific issue). But, since this type of commentary is prevalent enough in the blogosphere, I feel I can address the overall thesis accurately enough.

Social Media Was NEVER About Selling Books Directly—Who KNEW?

Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet. Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet.

I’ve been saying this for about ten years, because the idea of using social circles for sales is NOT new…

View original post 1,955 more words

The Best Writing Advice I Don’t Feel Qualified to Give…

More great motivational advice for writers from Marni Bates, author of YA novel, Awkward. Thanks to a fb post from Karen Y. Bynam. Had to repost this. Not to mention the Depp AND Cumberbatch

Marni Bates

Hey everyone,

So…it’s really weird being asked to give writing advice. I instantly want to say this…

tumblr_inline_miupfejdFx1qz4rgp

Fun fact: Nearly every writer I know (myself included) deals with imposter syndrome. Sadly, that does not mean we buy ridiculous outfits from thrift shops and pretend to be the reigning monarch of Khazibekustanzia. It means that we stare at the laptop screen and wait to read an email that says…

failed

Most writers spend most of their time thinking that they mostly suck at writing.

We tend to believe that everyone else has it figured out and that at some point (if we can just crack the NYT bestseller list!) then we’ll also feel like extra special unicorns. Except it doesn’t actually work that way. We just go right on doubting ourselves.

So why am I sharing this? It’s not, y’know…inspirational.

Except…it kind of is.

Hear me out, okay?

See, young aspiring authors…

View original post 1,093 more words

Motivational Whips and Chains

Until very recently, I have been wiggly about my daily word count. I have dithered in finding facebook, research, cooking, the narrations I must do because that’s what pays the bills, all more pressing than piling up words in the manuscript.

Well, to quote Mr. Zimmerman, the times, they are a-changing.

imagesFriend and Kensington author Sarah Hegger pushed herself into the troposphere (catch her incredible debut The Bride Gift , see http://sarahhegger.com/ )

by committing to 2K words a day. Eyes on the prize, she completed three and a half manuscripts in a year. Within two years she had sold five books, including a three-book deal to the aforementioned Big 5 publisher.

As Sarah said, now it’s my turn.

 

So upping the word count. Easier said than done? Not necessarily.

18246276Award winning author Sophie Littlefield (latest release: House of Glass) gave an awesome RWA workshop called “How to Slay your Inner Slacker” where she describes a practice she calls writing 45/15. (Here’s her blog that actually mentions me!: http://sophielittlefield.blogspot.ca/2014/03/my-top-trick-for-finishing-that-book.html) As simple as it sounds, she advocates writing for 45 minutes, then getting up for 15 minutes and taking care of bodily functions, warming your coffee or tea, walking the dog around the block, chopping carrots for supper, whatever would normally barge into your writer brain and derail your little engine that could. After your quarter hour break, get that cute little derriere back into the chair and fly those fingers over the keyboard.

 

 

21522614A Romance Weekly writer buddy, beautiful Brit Carrie Elks (Fix You, see http://carrieelks.com/ ) sent me a link to a Rachel Aaron blog about how she went from writing 2000 words per day to 10K!

For a peek at Rachel’s light-speed nuggets, check this link: http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html

Not certain if I’m up to a 10K/day challenge, but like my daily exercise routine, these are goals to work toward!