Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Process

Lots of updatery here, to wit, I've finallyFINALLY formatted "Blood & Guilt" for the Nook. It's in process with BN right now. I don't have a Nook, myself, so I'll have to wait until Monday when I can look at it on my good friend Michelle's new Nook. Can't wait. And speaking of the fabulous author Michelle Monkou, she's also in process to become a fitness instructor. She has to memorize—and learn to cue—10 routines by the end of June.

I fear and admire her.

Since 9:00 this morning I've been at Panera's (in an undisclosed location) working on my stuff.

I formatted the next short story that I'm planning to publish—Serial killers! In love! (Kidding! Sort of.)—next step there is to finalize the cover. So that's in process, too.

And I've begun a Contest Initiative. Which, roughly translated, means I've entered two books in one RWA chapter contest so far, with seven more in mind between now and the end of August. I only enter the ones with desirable agents and editors at the end of them, so that list may get shorter as the final list of judges is revealed. But aim high, right?

And if all goes well, I'll be posting my full-length paranormal YA book to Amazon & BN on June 14th. That's a significant day for reasons I won't divulge. But take my word. Significant.

In the meantime, I continue to work on the two contemporary fiction books I mentioned in my previous post. And I'm planning to be in NYC for RWA the last week in June.

See? Everything's a process.

But bottom line? I'm busy. I've been busy, I am busy, and I plan to be busy in the immediate future. So I'll leave you with this little piece of eye candy. Because hey, it's my blog and I want it to be pretty!





Anybody else smell Old Spice?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Soundtracks

I'm taking a class with Lucy March of StoryWonk. Actually, it's two classes: Discovery Writing and Making Magic. They both started on Sunday, and one of the assignments is to create a soundtrack for our current project.

I've done this before, created a playlist in iTunes and added appropriate songs to it. But there are two kinds of playlists.

There's the playlist of music that I can play in the background while I write. Those songs have to either be wordless or songs that I know so well I'm no longer listening to the lyrics.

Then there's the playlist that puts me in the mood of the story. Songs and music that illustrate something about a character or a relationship or a scene.

It's the second kind I'm working on for the class (for more info you can check out the StoryWonk podcast about soundtracks), and I'm having real trouble with it because I'm not 100% committed to A Project. See, I've got several percolating.

And this is good! It's good to have lots of ideas to work on (so many books, so little time), because working on this is already helping me narrow things down.

For instance, I'm not quite ready to commit to the "Hope in Hell" book I've got started.  Even though I already have a playlist for it.  A playlist that includes as much Italian rap music as I could scrounge up.

And I'm not quite ready to commit to the second YA book I've got started. Though I have a playlist for that one, too.

I think I've got it narrowed down to two projects, one very women's fiction-y (with paranormal touches), and the other much more single title contemporary romance.  Right now, tonight, I'm leaning toward the latter, tentatively titled "A New Kind of Crazy." But tomorrow I might be leaning toward the other one (as yet untitled, but I've been calling it The Deer Book).

Not being able to commit makes me feel so at sea! Like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

At the same time, because this is me we're talking about here, it makes me feel like Scrooge McDuck--with a big ol' safe full of potential projects.

I love all of my stories and I can't wait to finish them all.

In the mean time, I'm going to link to A Little Ray of Sunshine. It's by Lani Diane Rich (aka Lucy March) and it's my favorite book ever by her. It's funny and touching and it made me cry my eyes out (and does on every re-read) without making me feel like my emotions are being manipulated. That's a very tough thing to do, but this book does it beautifully.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In Which We Are Reviewed

"I don't like vampire books. I don't like short stories, but I loved loved loved the vampire short story written by Evie Owens. Short stories usually leave me clamoring for more detail and back stories; vampire books leave me shrieking "Why?" But it was easy to accept the premise hereespecially as I could think of it as a metaphorand the writing was gorgeous."

"Haunting narrative. If it's possible to write a literary vampire story Evie Owens did it with Blood and Guilt."
—Excerpted from my very first Amazon review, by Kathleen Baldwin


Yes, that's right.  Blood and Guilt got two—count them TWO—unsolicited reviews in one day! And that's just the beginning of the coolness.

Kathleen Gilles Seidel! One of my favorite authors! My favorite of her books (so far) is Again. And they just recently brought out the Kindle edition of Summer's End.  As you can imagine, I love my Kindle, so that's big news! 

And Kathleen Baldwin, who just won my local RWA chapter writing contest, The Marlene, with her young adult manuscript, "Stranje House." I had the honor of being a judge in that contest and I LOVED it! I remember telling my critique group how much I loved one of the entries and how much I wanted it to win.  And it did!


So, just to sum up: My First Ever Review on Amazon + Unsolicited! + A rave review from one of my idols + Unsolicited! = One Very Happy Writer.

It was a good day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

This baby goes all the way to Eleven!

I posted my short story on Amazon on April 24th and so far I've sold 11 copies.  That's a small number.  Not nearly large enough to justify how much fun I've had doing this!  :-)  I loved wrangling with my cover and my lack of Scrivener knowledge, and the formatting, and the whole beautiful process, and I don't have the words to say how much I adore going to Amazon and seeing the cover I made on the official "page" for my little short story.

I haven't done any promotion for it, other than adding a signature block to my emails, getting my family, friends, and critique group to "tag" it on Amazon (a mysterious process that I don't know very much about but which I've been told is Very Important) and putting together a basket for the big raffle at my local RWA chapter's annual retreat.

Our retreat was this weekend and again, I'm not sure I have the words to describe what it did for me.  Not a great thing for a writer to admit to, but there you have it.

If you read between the lines of this blog--or just peek under the pretty pretty cover of my recent actions--you know that I've been an aspiring author for a long time now and have lately been foundering in the Shallows of Disappointment. I have eaten of the Cake of Unfulfilled Dreams. It was thin and bitter and I lost the taste for trying.

But this weekend washed that bitterness out of my mouth.  The words of the speakers and the company of my friends reminded me what I'm here for. My dream is to see my writing published.  And that dream isn't dead or done until I am.  I may be among the rocks right now, but all I have to do is turn around, dive in, and get back out there.

The raffle is the last event of the retreat. People contribute baskets and other things to be raffled off. I contributed a vampire-themed basket. (Including the crazylovely poster to the left! And customizable fangs. And fake blood. And, of course, an Amazon Kindle gift card!) It was the first basket I ever pulled together and I worried that it would be the only basket there that wouldn't get any tickets.  So every once in a while I would cruise by the room where the raffle baskets were on display and I would check the ticket bag.  To my great relief it did get tickets.  But even better, on Sunday when my basket came up in the drawing, I heard the woman behind me say she'd put tickets in and she really hoped she would win. :-) And then she did! And she was so excited.

Carol, if you see this, thank you for being so happy to win my basket. You made my day!


And now, thanks to my time at the retreat, I have thoughts and plans and more hope than I've had in a long, long time.

I'm not ready to get out of the water yet.

I'm still swimming . . .