Do you have an auto-buy author or authors? Do you love any of them so much that you count the days to publication of their next book? What makes their stories special?
Next Tuesday, 3 March, is publication day for Anne Bishop’s Vision in Silver, the third book in her urban fantasy series set in the world of the Others. I can’t tell you how much I love this series, or how excited I am to read this book. There are a few authors that I auto-buy, but I’ve been watching and waiting for this particular story for a whole year, ever since I read the first two books in the series, Written in Red and Murder of Crows. I’ll be trying to make my treat last. I read on Anne Bishop’s website that there will be two more books in the series, and at the current pace that means I’ll get my hands on the final one in spring 2017. Sigh.
I’m not the only one Continue reading
White dress with lavender scarf . . . right? (Or is it a gray dress with a pink scarf? Or a blue dress with purple scarf? Or . . . ?) Via Wikimedia Commons
Today’s blog post is a result of a smash-up of some critique work I’ve been doing this month, and The Dress controversy that I stumbled upon on Twitter yesterday.
If you haven’t heard, somebody posted a picture of a dress. Some people saw it as blue and black, others saw it as white and gold, and it seems like only a few people saw it like I did: pale blue with a tawdry sort of brown lace trimming. Argument ensued — passionate argument where all parties thought they were right, and were befuddled that others didn’t see things their way. This article on io9 sums up the controversy quite well, I think. (-: They also provide the “right” answer.
But this blogpost isn’t about the “right” answer – it’s about what people saw. Continue reading
Monument Valley: Mittens in the Morning
During my trip to Arizona last month, I spent a good deal of time visiting several “Western” museums, looking for something…a connection I suppose, with the west—past and present. I didn’t have a particular goal in mind, except to enjoy an afternoon of art as I immersed myself in the western way of life. It turned out to be a field trip for the girls.
One of the museums on my “must visit” list was Wickenburg’s Desert Caballero Museum. Each year they hold an event entitled: “Cowgirl Up”. The exhibit features women artists from all over the country showcasing their work that, as you might expect, features a uniquely female POV of the western culture. Continue reading
Sex in fiction and on the screen is a hot topic right now, thanks (or no thanks, depending on your perspective) to Fifty Shades of Grey. Justine discussed writing sex in her recent post. I recently stumbled while writing a sex scene for my current Work in Progress because it was a little (ahem) premature. My project is a modern take on Sophocles’ Antigone that I am writing it in two stages. The first stage is a set of scenes that represent the elements/components of fiction through time (i.e., elements of Greek tragedy, 17 stages of the Hero’s Journey, Pam Regis’s 8 essential and 3 optional elements of a romance, and popular fiction’s four-act, five-turning-point structure) which will probably end up around 30,000 words. The second stage is to add the rest of the story in to bring the word count to 100,000. Continue reading
Going through my magazine pile recently, I found an article in the Romance Writers Report (April 2014)* by Holly Jacobs about Sunday Books. Rather than writing that is contracted or scheduled in the 5-year career plan, a Sunday Book represents a story that is written for fun, for the joy of writing, and/or for the chance to try something completely different. It may ultimately wind up in print, like Jacobs’ Just One Thing, but the pleasure of writing is the real goal. She referenced several other authors in her article that write Sunday Books as well.
“I hate having to say no to my ‘story generator.’ That part of my brain might shut down if I don’t use the ideas it gives me. . .” ~ Susan Meier (RWR April 2014)
Or, about writing sex. I started reading a book last week called “Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet” by Stacia Kane. Now who can resist a title like that?
Apparently not me.
In truth, I’ve been working on my sex scenes in my WIP and felt like I was missing something. So I picked up the book at the suggestion of my amazing critique partner, Jennifer Windrow. She writes snarky, sexy paranormals and does a great job (IMHO) writing sex, foreplay, and all that stuff. Continue reading
“Two Strings to Her Bow” by John Pettie, 1882. From Wikimedia Commons.
This past week, on one of the author loops I read, someone posted about her preference to read historical romances in which heroines either don’t step outside the bounds of the time period’s social structures, or suffer (social) consequences if they do. While I don’t want my 19th-century heroines to read like 21st-century women, I can’t get on board with keeping our heroines from stepping over the lines or cutting off their toes if they do.
During our McDaniel classes, we discussed the need for characters, especially protagonists, to be in some ways larger or better or more interesting in stories than most of us are in real life. A story about ordinary people going about their ordinary lives under ordinary circumstances just isn’t likely to be a very riveting read. One or more of those ‘ordinaries’ need to become extraordinary to make our fictional worlds worth exploring. And I want my historical heroines, whether I’m reading about them or writing about them, to be extraordinary. Continue reading