Archive | June 2012

A Creature of Instinct

Aren’t we all creatures of instinct once you break us down to brass tacks? No matter how civilized we appear on the outside–we are all animals underneath. We all succumb to emotional instincts, base or otherwise, which make us so much more than skin and bones. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things about humans. Surface can be stripped away, leaving true, honest, irreplaceable feeling. Without those instincts, we are nothing more than living, breathing robots on the edge of a barren existence.

As a woman engineered for destruction, Skylar finds herself on the edge of a precipice. Unable to stop her response, she has become…well, let’s let these next six tell it.

She’d become what she’d always feared: a creature of pure instinct. The man had become her primary focus. Her only objective. A feeling of panic caused adrenaline to arc through her. She was almost there.

Before she could reach the table where he was seated, Piper intervened.

She’s seen him. She’s drawn to him and now must fight the compulsion to go to him. Scary stuff, those instincts. That’s my offering this week. I hope you enjoyed it.

If you want to be a part of Six Sentence Sunday or just want a little good reading, go here http://sixsunday.com/ and join other amazing authors who post six sentences of a completed or work-in-progress.

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Lucky 7 Challenge–Bring It On!

 

So, I’m minding my own business, going through my day–the EDJ is close to killing me, peeps. I’m nearly weeping and then I hear a little birdie (or in this case a little Sidney) whistle in my ear. Wanna know what she whistled/whispered?

A freaking challenge! That’s right. And I’ve accepted–so bring it on. The incomparable Sidney Bristol (http://sidneybristol.wordpress.com/ and please don’t ask me why I can’t do anything but post a word link–refer to my very first post and you’ll have the answer–just hover over the words and it will take you to her site–DO IT)  has challenged me to share seven lines from page seventy-seven of either a completed book or a wip.  So here’s my offering:

Sebastian ran a harried hand through his hair. “So now we have two other women who look like our objectives and we also have Peter Dempsey thrown in for good measure. And for your information, I already knew Bleak’s sister had been kidnapped and tortured by Dempsey. But the rest of this…when the fuck were you going to drop this in my lap? Never?”

Sebastian was right pissed and while he never demanded absolute fealty, part of his reason for asking the three men he’d ask to join him on this op was because of their unswerving loyalty to him in the past.

“I didn’t think it would have any bearing on this op, Seb,” Morrissey responded.

There you have it–I think it’s 7. I checked and re-checked and well, you know how that goes. A snippet and nothing more. Seven lines from page 77 of my completed novel, Retrieval. Now it’s time for me to hit a few other unsuspecting authors–at least seven of ’em. Wahahaha!

THE RULES

Post seven lines from a current work by doing these few things…

  • Got to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript (fiction or non-fiction)
  • Got to Line 7
  • Post the next 7 lines or sentences on your blog as they are (no cheating, please)
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same

So I’m going to tag: (Oh, and I’m not apologizing–nuh uh, no way–Sid didn’t apologize to me so I’m not apologizing to you. Hugs!)

  • Sophia Parkwood
  • Carment DeSousa
  • Suzanna Medeiros
  • Tina Green
  • Lorraine Patton
  • Jillian Lark
  • And, of course, David Bridger

Blue eyes will do it to you everytime…

Six sentence sunday time. I love this. If you’re interested in joining other amazing authors as they post six sentences of their work from a completed or work-in-progress, join us at: http://sixsunday.com/ .

Now here’s my offering this week. Skylar senses something just isn’t right. Something’s bothering her and then bam!

Raina pointed in the direction Skylar had wanted her to feel out just a few seconds ago.

Curiosity got the best of Sky. She half turned in her seat to peer in the direction her sister pointed. Skewered by the most intense set of blue eyes she’d ever seen, her breath deserted her. His gaze was a punch to the soul. Damn.

Thank you for stopping in. This is a quickie post this week. I’m running late for a housewarming and almost forgot.

Wishing you the words!

Can you feel it?

Six Sentence Sunday time peeps. Welcome back to RETRIEVAL, my sci/fi paranormal romance. Last week we met, Skylar, my heroine. She’s been worn to the bone by a thirty-six hour shift and the hospital cafeteria food wasn’t all that appealing. She’s met up with two of her sisters in said cafeteria and after a little sisterly bickering they’ve run into a situation.

A premonition of danger swept over Skylar. Before she was aware of it, she’d enfolded her sisters in a protective shell of unseen energy.

“What the hell is it, Sky?” Piper questioned as she moved her body into a more defensive position.

“I don’t know. Raina put out your little feeler thingies and tell me what’s up to my immediate left, please?”

Sure hope Raina’s ‘feeler thingies’ are working properly. I’ve got next week off so hopefully I won’t forget to post what happens next. I appreciate you stopping by and I look forward to going through the list and visiting all the #sss crowd’s posts. Talk at ya’ later. 🙂

Oh- if you’re a writer looking to participate in Six Sentence Sunday, head over to http://sixsunday.com/ and join other amazing authors who are always willing to share a quick six. I’ll be looking for you.

Let’s Revisit the Beginning, Shall We?

I’m baaaack! It’s Six Sentence Sunday time and it feels kinda good to be back in the fold.

For any of you that follow me–and I’m optimistic there’s at least a few of you :)– I’ve completed RETRIEVAL and even begun to sub it. Exciting stuff, that, but I’ll blog more on my submission trials later.

Fornow,allow me to take you to the very beginning of my sci/fi paranormal superhero romance, RETRIEVAL. These first six, and I mean the very first six, take place in the cafeteria of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. My heroine–well, let me let the story tell itself.

Skylar had pulled thirty-six hours straight, cutting, sewing, setting and diagnosing so many patients she couldn’t even remember why she’d agreed to do the extra shifts in the first place. Still something nagged at her, pricked that part of her that was always prepared for the unknown even as weariness slowed her steps and made her vision hazy. She rubbed her gritty eyes.

Her stomach rumbled as she passed items that looked like food, but had long since congealed into disgusting mounds of colored goo under the warming lights of the hospital buffet. Nausea or true hunger, it was hard to tell. She loaded a tray and with bread and juice.

There’s the first six. I’ve cut and chopped, revised and edited this joker so much that when I read it upon finishing, it was the same story told so much better. Thanks for letting me share.

May the words be with you all this week. :)

Scary Stuff, Submitting…

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to post about my journey toward submitting a completed manuscript. Now that I have a shiny, revised, edited-out-the-yang-yang novel, I’m ready to begin. But to tell the truth of this journey I have to take it back about nine months. *And in case you can’t hear it, there’s that crazy harp music playing–we’re going back in time people–play along*

Nine months ago, my laptop was uber heavy with five, count ’em five, completed manuscripts. But the stories were just sitting there as I jumped into yet another story and began writing a novella. On the advice of a friend, I joined a little site called Romance Divas and my entire world changed. I knew that my ultimate goal with these works was publication. I wasn’t just writing just stories, I had belted out novels over one-hundred thousand words in length. They needed to be freed to the world and give some relief to my uber heavy laptop.

The problem? I had no idea how to go about this process. Here’s the part where I tell you I have a family and a full-time job. My days are and have been for years now, filled with work, work, work and then a little more work. What time was left, or what time I could manage to steal at the EDJ, was filled with getting the words down on my stories. The rest of the time was filled with sleep. It’s still this way for me to a degree, though I have gotten better at time management. But I digress.

Let’s recap: Five completed manuscripts, more writing occurring, uber heavy laptop, work, work, work, no knowledge how to get my stuff viewed, joined Romance Divas. Okay, review over.

I joined RD, jumped into the threads on their amazing forum and began to pick up on all the ways I was deficient in the knowledge I needed to attain my goal of publication. I discovered a critique partner is a great thing. Since I’m the only one who had ever read my stuff, it was vital to have the feedback of another writer. I lucked into Linda, my CP, and then later I lucked into an amazing program offered by RD–the Mentor Program.

Linda helped me realize that my story was good, but my craft, the actual art of writing, was lacking. The bones were there, but I needed knowledge in order to cover those bones with flesh, give that flesh a heart and make that completed work dance a jig at my command. She gave me what I needed: the truth. Yes, my stuff was a good beginning, but it wasn’t strong enough to submit. I had to work on my craft, hone it and then submit.

Here’s the thing:  I had gotten ahead of myself prior to lucking into Linda. When I first joined Divas I read a few threads that led to agents and publishing houses. I looked the agents and houses up and proceeded to submit, yes, I said ‘submit’, my completely inferior, unpolished work to them. I submitted to five different agents–every one rejected me. Not just rejected, but form rejected. No feedback…nothing but “No.” It hurt.

See, I thought my writing was phenomenal; right up until Linda told me it was strong, but not good enough. I loved going back and reading my own stories, they rocked, kicked arse, all of that. What was she seeing that I wasn’t? I’ll admit to a bit of resistance when she gave me the dreaded truth. She delivered it so very softly, she was so freaking kind, but it was painful nonetheless. My resistance consisted of a few carefully worded suggestions, all unspoken mind you, as to what she could do with her truth. Then I had to stop and reevaluate.

The bottom line: I had read some of Lin’s stuff. She was really good. I compared her completed stuff to mine {not the stories or the voice themselves, rather the quality of the writing} and, well, let’s just say inferior doesn’t really cover it. I had to suck it up. I had to put aside my own personal feelings and insecurities and I had to wallow in the beautiful truth she’d given me. I took heart in what she said, “You have good stuff here.” I picked up my toys, but instead of going home, I rearranged them, sat my happy arse back down and began to play again.

I’m stubborn. I’m sure my family would say it’s to a fault. Yet, this is the one thing that I feel sure will carry me toward success. I loved/love to write. and determined that not one damn thing was going to keep me from doing that and doing it well. Her words lit a fire under me and I began to thirst for the knowledge she’d said I needed to become a top-notch writer.

And this thirst led me to the Mentor Program on RD. A three-month intense program where writers who want to learn can do so from other writers who have achieved success in their field or genre. At this point in the game, I had submitted one final time with the ‘before RETRIEVAL’, we’ll call it that because it’s the same story now that it was then, only bettah baby :). I had submitted to Carina Press.

Yes, yes, I know, what was I thinking? I’m not real sure and there’s a truth for you. I just wanted to get my stuff out there, hit it on a wing and a prayer maybe? Who the heck knows? There was an open call by Angela James and I responded. Hindsight’s always twenty-twenty and I still wince a bit when I think of hitting the send button on that email to her.

Shortly after, I began the mentor program and was paired with David Bridger. You’ve heard me rave about him in previous posts. The bald truth is, he’s nothing short of awesome. I couldn’t have been paired with a better writer, a better person. If the success I’m wishing and working toward ever comes, a lot of it will be due to his influence on my craft. Another truth is this: I had no craft per se until he guided me and directed me toward it. I put words down on paper, nothing more. He led me to water and I drank like a woman who’d been in the desert for thirty years. He gave me link upon link to visit about voice, style, deep third POV and so many more things that are vital when a writer sits down to craft and mold a work of words.

Then he led me to a little workshop called, Before You Hit Send. And irony of all ironies, guess whose workshop it was? Wince with me now… Angela James. The same editor I’d submitted ‘before RETRIEVAL’ to prior to entering the mentor program. I scrambled, could I withdraw my submission? David said, “Yes, yes, do!” So I tapped out an email and wonder of wonders, Mrs. James responded with “Of course” and “Feel free to submit when you’ve revised.” (I’m praying she never read the first submission) I was elated. I now had an opportunity to revise and edit my work with the knowledge that I’d gained from Linda, David and Ms. James herself through B4YHS.

The journey took me through three months in the mentor program with ObiWan Bridger. He’s truly the ObiWan of writing, at least to me. I gained a load of knowledge, remembered things I’d lost over the almost twenty since college–folks, I not only found my craft, I honed the hell out of it. I’m still honing it because I’ll never be perfect. That’s a joy to me. If the learning ever stops, I’ll dry up and so will my writing.

So here I am now. The mentor program is finished. RETRIEVAL is finished. It’s a product of which I’m infinitely proud. It’s the same as ‘before RETRIEVAL’ only much, much better. And the good news? I’m submitting again.

I submitted to one agent. Start of small is my motto. Not the agent, but the number. I’ve been rejected. No need to gasp. It didn’t even sting. Because I have a product I’m proud of, one agent’s pass is another agent/editor’s opportunity. I’m moving forward and one day, hopefully really soon, I’ll be able to update you with a post that says: I DID IT!!

This is what I’m left with: whatever happens to you as a writer, discover the craft of writing. Hone it, sharpen it and force it to cut like a scythe for you. Oh, and never, ever give up. Rejection is another form of encouragement. One’s loss is another’s gain. Plug and plod away and never stop writing. Never give up.

I’m wishing all who read this WORDS. Happy writing and reading. 🙂