Showing posts from 2012

Moments that take your breath away

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by every moment that takes your breath away.

My last post explained what glimmers are and how I found out about them. For the last week, I've been trying to force myself to gather a glimmer or two every day and I keep forgetting.  I really think that doing so will not only enrich my writing, but would also enrich my life.

Now, I'm sure if you have kids at home, glimmers will be much easier to come by, but I am going to keep trying, to stay aware, alert to what's going on around me.

Yesterday, as I prepared to leave work, on the first workday of Daylight Savings time, I glanced out of my sixth story downtown Tulsa office window and the slanted light that found its way through the tall buildings was highlighting just a few objects, cars on one road, the side of a building, and I'm  certain I gasped at the beauty of it. When I walked over, however, to take a better look, all I saw was pavement, cars, brick and mort…


I attended my first writer's conference yesterday, but it won't be my last! What a great day. I got to hear Poet Laureate Philip Levine read. What a powerful voice! I attended a session with an ex-literary agent and was able to ask quite a few questions. And I attended a session with Pam Houston author and professor, She spoke about glimmers.

Ms. Houston uses what she calls glimmers to compose her stories. Glimmers, she explains, are moments that resonate within you. Sometimes they happen several times a day, but you have to be paying attention.  She writes down the glimmers she experiences and later finds a way to string them together into a story. But she doesn't really connect, she explained to us. She just fits them closely enough together that the reader can easily make the jump between them. 

Another writer who spoke briefly said something very similar. She concentrates on the mechanics of the story and lets the real message come out in the gaps she's too busy to n…

Traditional or Indie?

Which way should I go?

On the one hand, I've read too many indie books that badly needed editing. And some publishers/editors turn down writers JUST BECAUSE they had bad performing indie books. And it would be fun to be a part of the publishing industry, 


On the other hand, I would LOVE to do all the Indie stuff. I want to format my book. I want to create my cover (and I'm pretty good with a camera and with Photoshop).  I'm pretty good with Webpage design and social media. (I don't stay up to date on my blog though). And I'd like to run my writing like a small business, especially if I quit my job like my hubby wants me too.

Hummm..... What do you think?

This article claims you sell fewer book as an indie writer, but make more money, and that the only way she'd go traditional again was if he got a VERY GOOD DEAL. Of course, he has a day job. 

"$2.99 books, on ave…

Poem of Dreams

So, poetry has been happening lately. And I haven't known what to do with it. But I've decided poetry is all about voice. Am I right? Anyway, here's my latest. It's about last night.

Struggling with shadows between dream and life As I twisted and turned, tangled in sheets, Pictures spun by like the images in the tornado that spun Dorthy to the Emerald City And each was wrapped in a memory Of touching and smelling and hearing And each cried out as it tumbled by Write! Remember me and write!

Character Profiles as a Marketing Tool: Zane Bowman

Sydney Aaliyah, on her blog, came up with the idea of using Character Profiles as a marketing tool. I like it! Kind of a video character card. OK, since I’m really concentrating on Zane right now… My MC Character Profile:

In the profile, I show Zane Bowman's character. In 15 seconds you learn:

Zane is an All-American guy, at least he thinks of himself that way, and he knows exactly what he wants…until he meets Hadley. He is good with his hands: He builds (and races) high end wooden boats, he sculpts in wood, and he knows just how to touch a woman.His mission is to help Hadley get out of town as quickly as possible while hiding secrets about her mother’s death, but something about the tiny Parisian beauty turns his resolve…and his world…. upside down.
*Imagine these lines delivered by the movie trailer guy voice.

In an action packed promo, they tell who he is, his motivation and his role in the series. They use images and quotes from him that make you instantly like him, relate to…

Query: What do you think?

I entered my query in the contest over at the Mother Write blog. I welcome advice, feedback, comments here or there.
And, while I'm not querying agents yet, I'm getting ready to start soon.

An Agent's Inbox #10 Victoria,

Hadley Barrington has lived in France long enough to know she wants nothing to do with Oklahoma or the old wooden yacht she inherited from her mother. But she does want to know what caused her mother's death. And to sell the boat so she can get back to her life as a successful jewelry designer and free French woman, unfettered by any desire for long term relationships.

Zane wants nothing to do with anyone who is not all-American. His future lies right here on Grand Lake, Oklahoma. And that includes marrying a local girl…when he finds the right one. But his comfortable world dissolves into spicy chaos when his father asks him to take on the mission of making sure the tiny Parisian beauty leave…

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

Where do you write? I write at home, on my boat, and even sometimes (don’t tell my boss) at work
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? A magnetic poetry wall with some Haikus and hundreds of words to create more.
Favorite time to write? Anytime I have a few minutes free
Drink of choice while writing? Coffee in the morning. Water and iced tea at other times.
When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? I like silence when I write--Occasionally vocal-free music. I really should be listening to some Dean Martian and Edith Piaf as I write this one. Both would be in the sound track for the movie....
What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? Oh so many places. I love wooden boats and Grand Lake. That’s the setting. I actually started out wanting to write about my hero and heroine’s parents and their love affair, back when Grand Lake was really grand, at the peak of the oil boom, b…

Learning to be French

Finding the Frenchness in myself was not a motive in reading all the book about French women lately, or in watching all the subtitled French movies...but as an added perk in my research, I'm kinda finding the French woman in myself!
My heroine, although born in Oklahoma, lived in France between the ages of twelve and thirty, so, yeah, a lot of French Culture has rubbed off on her.  I've never been to France and some readers commented that I had her acting in ways a French girl wouldn't act, so I had to go back to the drawing board and find out just exactly who she was inside. It's been a fascinating journey!

As a result of the books and movies that have educated me in the ways of French women, I now take better care of my skin, wear less makeup, let my hair flow more naturally (although I've never really been a hairspray person) and I'm working on flirting with my eyes. Letting my eyes do more of my smiling. Maybe that's scary in a woman in her fifties, but I…

How Can a book with a French Heroine Have a HEA?

Why did I make her French? From my research, French women do not really believe in HEA. So how can a French woman be the heroine of a romance book, since that genre's number one requirement is a HEA?

I made the decision for Hadley to live in Paris a long time ago. I've been writing this first book for several years. And she's not really French. She just lived there for half of her life, but a thirty year old who had lived in France since she was fourteen would be pretty French, I think. I chose France because I planned for her mother to be Cougar on the French Riveria, but now, after a lot of research, I'm realizing that Cougars on the French Riveria aren't really Cougars. They're just French women, sexy, deliberately selfish, unconserned with what other people think. And I'm realizing that Hadley's issues are not so much by being taught to be a cougar by her mother, but just the general attitude of French women. I may have to change the name of the book…

Signs Your Story Has Too Many Characters

I met an old man when I took a group of students on a trip to Orlando Florida to work with Habitat for Humanity. He and I sat on a rock bench and watched children play in the courtyard of a church that was helping sponsor us.

My son, back home in OK, wasn’t even a year old. The old man, who volunteered to read to the children each week, told me to always read books to children that were above their level and to start reading chapter books early. To make them look forward to the next day’s reading.
Turned out that old man had sold most of his property to Disney World to create the theme park. A pretty smart old man. I listened to him.
His advice worked with my son (now almost 19), but how does it apply to my writing? He would have told me to push the envelope–to do more that is expected of me. I guess his message was similar to that of my favorite song as a teenager, “Dream the Impossible Dream.” (Yes, I’m that old)
I am just finishing up my first novel and I have a play being perform…

Learning to Write the Male POV

I'm taking an online class about writing the male POV this month. Here's my thoughts as I read this week's lesson: My hero grew up with an Eastern European mother, in rural Oklahoma, and a Native American father. His mother was exotic, beautiful, intelligent, and he loved her with all his heart, although he didn't always act like he did because a part of him wanted her to be like all the other mothers. Although he had time to make his peace with her before she died of cancer, he still carries shame and guilt about some of the ways he acted when he was younger. As a result, he wants an ordinary life in the community where he grew up, and an ordinary Oklahoma wife.
Then his father reignites a relationship from his youth with a woman who lives in Europe, which sours him even more on the lure of exotic European women. 
So when he meets Hadley, who lived in Oklahoma as a child, but has spent most of her life in Paris and on the Riviera, although he is wildly attracted to her, …

Leaving my Writers' Group

Update. Shortly after I quit, this club  disbanded. Since I was no longer a member, I don't know the details.

Whew! I am a free woman again, so it's time for me to roar.

My writer's group sent out proposed new bylaws yesterday, essentially saying that not only can any member not discuss anything about the group with outsiders, but that if we express any opinions INSIDE the group that those in charge find offensive, they can throw us out.  

When one member protested, guess what? The club's leaders "accepted" her resignation. Today they get to accept mine. 

These women do not know me well if they think they can tell me what to say. Ask my husband or anyone else who knows me. It's one of the reasons I'm a writer. I believe in the power of communication, spoken and written.

I almost quit the group just a few months after I joined, when I found out that they'd excluded S/S works from their chapter contests. Yeah. That's my gr…

How to Make a Simple Book Trailer

Book trailers are so much fun--to watch and to make. Actually, I haven't made one yet, but I've made trailers for plays and I absolutely love creating YouTube videos of all kinds.  Well, I did just make a trailer for the book I'm completing now, but it won't be the one I really use. It's just a demo. A demo of how to make a book trailer using ONLY PowerPoint.

What you'll need:
PowerPoint 2010 Pictures (legal)Music (legal)Words (Yours)What you'll need to know: Basics of PowerPointInserting imagesFormatting imagesAnimationTransitionsInserting audioAdding timingSaving as movie Here's the simple trailer I created: 

Check out my new Book Trailer tab here to find out more information and see links to tutorials that will help you.

FINALIST!! A Very Good Week!!

FINALIST--Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest

"Thank you for entering the 2012 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest sponsored by NEORWA. I am thrilled to tell you that your entry Cougars on the Dock was among the top three in your category!"

My first contest!!!

Plus my son was accepted into the program he wanted at college & my stepson passed the bar!!!!

I'm ready to celebrate (but when am I not?!)

Author & Playwright

I keep reading authors telling me that I am a writer, even if I don't have anything published, well, not fiction anyway. Actually the sofware workbooks I create sell for a lot of money, although I don't get much of it.  But now I can say I'm a playwright! 

I just entered my first play in a local contest, and if it's selected, it will be performed in a local theater. What would it be like to sit in the audience and see actors make your story come to life? I'm excited and hope I get the opportunity to find out.

Then, I want people to read my book. Gotta get that thing finished.

That Darned Plot!

At my local RWI meeting, lingering over books in our lending library, I had a chat with a published member about plot. Although my group has critiqued my book through chapter five, and seemS to like my writing (except for too many spiders), no one sees my plot yet. I do have one, so I outlined it and sent it to Jennifer. She responded with some suggestions she'd learned at a recent workshop. Since I've never attended a fiction-writing workshop, I'm taking her suggestions very seriously.

In the example of a book that sold quickly, Jennifer outlined a plot where the two lovers' goals are completely opposite. In my book they are the same, but if both achieve their goals, they will not end up together.

Some "rules" say that the characters' goals must be in conflict. For one to win, the other must lose. Humm. So, in my plot, if they end up together and one gets their goal, the other loses. If they stay apart and go their separate ways, both can have …