Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow Before Halloween...Trick or Treat?

So, yesterday was a beautiful sunny day.  Check out some of these beautiful fall colors:

Okay, now here are pics of the same general area but taken today:

Now is that crazy or what?  I will say it's absolutely beautiful out right now...a real winter wonderland.  But it would have been nice to have made it past Halloween before seeing snowfall.  Oh well...according to the weather, all of this gorgeous snow will probably be gone by Halloween.  So, I'm going to accept this as a Treat from Mother Nature.  I just hope this isn't an indication of how the entire winter is going to be.

Here are a couple of more pics for your enjoyment:

 This is the firepit the Muse and I built about a month ago.  I mentioned it in a much earlier post.

And this is a holly-like bush that's planted in front of the house.

And now I will sign off and head outside to play for a while...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Day of Musing

Do you ever wake up in the morning and just know that the day is going to be kind of blah?  That's me today.  It probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's cloudy, rainy, and cold outside.  I don't quite feel the creative juices flowing, no matter how much caffeine I consume and thinking I do.  It probably also has to do with the fact that my poor Muse needs a break, too.

So, instead of working on "Starward" or "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge", I probably will turn my attention to stories that will never get published.  Once I get going on one of those, I can usually write for awhile and be happy in the knowledge that the story doesn't have to be fantastic or gripping or enthralling because it's only being written for me.  Plus, I can alleviate some of my guilt for not working on the stories that will be published because, hey, I'm still creating something.  Right?  Well, that's what I tell myself anyway and it works. :)

I don't know about other authors, but I have about fifty of these non-publishable stories lurking in my Word docs.  About five or ten of them get any kind of real attention at any given time.  But that's okay.  I've found that I pull from some of these non-publishables to incorporate ideas or interactions into the publishables, so in a round-about way, they kind of, sort of do get published.  Funny, I hadn't quite thought about that until now...sweet!

As for which non-publishable I'll work on...who knows?  I've been in a kick lately writing about vampires (something I've never done but I absolutely love reading about vampires).  I blame my recent crush on The Watchers series by Veronica Wolff and The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine for my sudden interest to write something vampirish.  I loved the concept of The Watchers and the first book in that series, Isle of Night, was freakin' awesome!!  I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for the second book, Vampire Kiss, to come out...grrr.  And The Morganville Vampires just keeps getting more and more engrossing for me.  I've read the first three books and can't wait to read book four, Feast of Fools.  So, yeah, I'm on a vampire kick.  But that's a good thing since we're so close to Halloween, my favorite non-holiday of the year!

So, anyway, I may work on that non-publishable or I may turn my attention to something different.  I don't know, but I am determined that I write something today...other than this blog, of course!  So, it's off to the keyboard with me...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Celebrate the Book

I'm finally back in the loop and had a great time in Carlisle PA at the Celebrate the Book festival.  Here's me at the booth:

I ended up signing and selling a few books and had a really great time getting to know other authors.  I'm not sure when my next event will be, but I'll keep everyone posted. :)

Now I'm back and have finally mentally recovered enough to begin working on "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge" and "Starward" again.  I was already in Leyla's mind this morning and will continue to write some more from her perspective tomorrow.  As for Rosa, she got a little break while I delved into the mind of a different character by the name of Daemos.  I will not, however, explain anything more about Daemos at this time as that character is somewhat of a work in progress and I wouldn't want to spoil anything.  I'll just say that writing from Daemos' perspective is extremely challenging!

Well, break's over and it's time to get back at it.  See ya later, peeps!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Bliss

So, I had a fabulous birthday on Saturday.  My Muse made me cinnamon rolls (from scratch, woohoo) for breakfast.  Check it out:
Don't they look yummy??  I promise, they were!

Then he made me a three-layer chocolate, chocolate cake:
Just the sugar consumption alone that day about killed me, but I enjoyed every bite!!  And there's still a ton of chocolate cake left, so I know what's for dessert tonight and breakfast

We also went bowling, something we've never done together.  It was awesome, even though my arm was killing me after two games (yeah, I know, I'm such a wimp).  It was a lot of fun, though, and we had the bowling alley to ourselves almost the entire time.  It was a little like having rented the place for my birthday without having to pay the huge rental prices!  So, the lesson was go to the bowling alley before lunch on Saturdays and you're pretty much guaranteed the entire place to yourself. :)

For presents, I got an amazing digital camera that I spent most of Sunday playing with.  It's a Nikon D3100 (here's a link to amazon:  I got the camera, 2 lenses, a really nice carrying case, and an 8G SDHC card.  I was definitely a happy camper this weekend!

Now it's back to work.  I'll be creating posters and business cards for Celebrate the Book this weekend in Carlisle PA.  I've also got to get back to writing.  It's nice to take a break but it leaves my characters in limbo.  And they tend to get into mischief when they're left in limbo too  Adios for now, amigos!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Busy, Crazy Times

Sorry it's been a while since my last post.  Things have been pretty crazy around here.  That and a three-day weekend with my Muse, which was wonderful!  And no, we didn't escape for some romantic getaway (we have that right here at home).  We stayed home for the most part and worked on clearing out a lot of dead trees and brush in a small section of our 15-acres of woods.  And the section we're working on is looking fantastic!

Anyway, I did that and I finished the first part of the book "Starward" in the new Galactic Dynasty series I'm co-authoring with my Muse.  Now I'm ready to tackle the second part, which will introduce a new and unique character to the mix.  I'm extremely excited about it but don't want to give anything away right now!  Let's just say that it's going to be really challenging to write from such a "absolute logic" perspective.

Over the last few days I've been reading a lot too.  I have a profile on Goodreads...a totally awesome site that I would recommend to any book-loving fiend.  You can click the link above and friend me or follow me if you're interested. :)  I've given my honest opinion on a few books I've read and will try to remember to link those to this blog in the future.  Right now I'm reading Supernaturally by Kiersten White and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Now, for the next couple of weeks, more craziness will ensue.  So, I may be a little sporadic in posting to this blog.  My Muse and I will be traveling to PA in a couple of weeks to attend Celebrate the Book.  We'll have a booth set up displaying and selling the first two books in The L & L Mysteries: Spanish Intrigue and The Art of Deceit.  If you happen to be in Carlisle, PA on October 22, come by and see me!

So, it's time for me to hop off of here and begin work on "Starward" and creating display posters and such.  Until next time.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Part 1 Complete...

Whew...I have finally reached the end of part one of Rosa's journey in "Starward".  It's always such a huge relief to reach a goal that was set at the beginning of a writing project.  Now my Muse and I will be re-reading the first part and seeing if there's anything we missed or wanted to change before I begin part two. 

I'm really excited about beginning part two (even though Rosa is a little less enthused).  My Muse and I have so much planned for the second part, that every time I think about it, I get all giddy and excited and my fingers itch to begin writing it!  But, I shall refrain until we both give the first part our seal of approval.

So, while I'm waiting for my Muse's feedback, I'll turn my attention to poor Lucien and Leyla.  They've kind of taken a back seat lately while I collaborated with my Muse to begin this new series with Rosa.  But, soon I will be taking on Leyla's persona again and helping her through the next piece of "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge".  Fortunately, the story has already been written.  Now I'm just going through and doing the edits and re-writes.

From one character to the next, I'll continue this journey I'm on, navigating the world of creative writing.  And, unlike Rosa, I'm looking forward to every minute of it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Time!

I love the fall...the changing of the leaves, the crisp, cool mornings.  Such a beautiful time of year that really gets my creative juices flowing.  My Muse and I take more walks outside, which gives me many flashes of inspiration for scenes and interactions I'm writing.  Fall is just my favorite time of year!

I also enjoy the idea of curling up on the couch with a good book, glancing up occasionally to see the colorful foliage outside, the sun glinting off leaves of orange and red and yellow.  Sipping on coffee or tea or hot chocolate and getting lost in other worlds.

Then there are the puzzle evenings with my Muse.  We choose a 750 or 1000 piece puzzle and work together to make all the pieces fit.  We usually have music going in the background while we sometimes chat, sometimes remain quiet as we stare intently at the section of the puzzle we're working on.  And whether it takes us an evening or several evenings, we eventually snap every last piece into place and grin like little kids at each other when we're done.

And let's not forget the awesome food!  My Muse is the cook and boy is he talented!!  Everything from homemade New England clam chowder to vegetable-beef soup to very spicy chili and all other assortments of extremely yummy food get put in front of me and I promise, I devour every delicious bite.  It's a wonder I don't turn into a blimp by the time Winter sets

So, yeah, I love the Fall and am so glad that it's finally here.  Now if only I could get it to stay until Spring....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Back To Work...

Since my last post, it's been back to work for me.  I've been inside Rosa's head for the last few days and am really getting to know this unique character, inside and out.  She's young and has a lot of growing up to do, but I see a lot of potential for her as the story progresses.

Speaking of which, I now finally have a title for the series and the first book in which Rosa is the main star.  The series is entitled Galactic Dynasty and the first book is entitled "Starward".  These books are being co-authored with my Muse and have been challenging and fun to write so far.  It's a world completely different from the L & L Mysteries and even though I have an outline of where the plot will take the characters, I'm looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds as my fingers fly over the keyboard.

This brings me to a subject that I had never really given much thought to before.  But as I was writing a particularly emotional scene for Rosa, it suddenly dawned on me that it was going to be an awesome scene!  And why did I think this?  Because I was actually shedding a few tears as the scene unfolded.

I'm not sure if other authors get this or not when they're writing.  But for me, this is the first time it's happened.  Of course, I usually tend to shy away from emotional rollercoasters, but after I finished this scene, I began thinking about other stories I've written and came to realize what I'd been missing out on.  Sure, it made me cry and I really don't like to cry.  But that's what made the character even more realistic; her very real, human reaction to an emotional situation.

Giving characters depth is a very challenging thing to do.  I think it might actually be one of the most challenging aspects to writing because it really forces the author to question how they themselves would handle different situations and then write that down for others to read.  The emotions and reactions reveal a little something about the author and sometimes that can be scary.  After all, perfect strangers will be reading these novels and in a way, the author is sharing their more intimate thoughts and feelings with those strangers.  The only difference is that the author is using a character in a story to portray those feelings instead of coming out and saying "Hey, this is actually me spilling my guts here!"

But it's those very real emotions that draw readers in and helps them to identify with the characters within the story.  So, depth of character is crucial and after having written that particular scene for Rosa, I will strive to give my characters the depth that they deserve.

Well, I'm off to continue Rosa's journey.  She has a very scary, life-changing decision to make and I don't want to leave her hanging for too long.  Until next time...