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Friday, September 28, 2007

Blogs to laugh at

I've been expanding my writer-blog reading. Not that I have much time to do more than a quick skim, but some are definitely worth reading - in full, with comments, twice. In addition to Something Victorian and Unusual Historicals, both of which I love, I've discovered Jennifer Linforth's Tip of the Quill and today, Manuscript Mavens.

Which brings me to the point of this blog.

This is possibly one of the funniest blogs I've read in ages. What Do You Mean, You Don't Like It? It's FABULOUS! I've been on the receiving end of 1 or 2 (ahem) rejections of my own, all of which are the DEAR AUTHOR: type that say little except they're too damn busy to really care what they say, how they say it, or that the form they're using has been photocopied so many times it's impossible to read. I like reading about other's rejections - it makes me feel less alone.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Landmarks, history, rail lines, oh my!

Trying to figure out the mass transit of Chicago is like trying to untangle a fishing line. Damn near impossible. I went to this wonderful site - Places OnLine Chicago - and while very helpful, still not as great as I'd like. Maybe because I don't really use mass transit (I find it confusing). Still, it has some great stuff on subways and their rail lines. Plus a boatload of facts, mostly courtesy of the Chicago Public Library.

Gotta love those libraries.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things to do on Tuesday

Not quite the same ring as Miscellaneous Monday, but eh. I've read a lot about this 13 Thursday thing where you take 13 interconnected items and write a small blurb about them. Thirteen is a lot, and I don't want to feel obligated to the number, so I'm making my own number - and day. Both of which might change weekly, you just never know.

6 ways (I might not do yet) to get out of your shell and promote yourself:
  • Blog (check!)
  • Website (Yes!)
  • Talk about your stuff to people outside friends, family, and fellow writers (er...)
  • Talk about your stuff to editors, agents, publishers, anyone who can get you published (won't even go there)
  • Enter contests (nope) especially ones with the final entries judged by agents/editors (but I really should...and will look into that this week)
  • Business cards (at the printers now, actually)
What else is there for an unpublished writer? Anyone else have an idea?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miscellaneous Monday

A fellow writer sent me this, and it was just too funny not to post. Really, we writers don't drink to make a statement, but because of statements like this...:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo1XFz0kac0

I've been thinking more on promotions, and yes, Jennifer's comment is incredibly helpful and right on. I'll look more into those, and get something moving. On the other hand, I'm not really into contests. Her bit about an editor requesting a full off a contest makes me incredibly jealous, lol, but I'm not sure they're for me. Then again, I haven't really looked into contests with erotica entries. Maybe I should do that first.

I'll add it to the list.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mystery Romance

I now know why there's no mystery-romance sub-genre. Romantic suspense is as far as it gets because it's damn hard to have a real mystery with a romance. I think it's time to tweak the plot here. Romance is still the name of the story (A Cold Winter's Night), and there's definitely a mystery, but I'm thinking suspense rather than bringing them together at the end.

Or maybe tweaking the romance? Hmm, there might be an idea. Change that up a little, make it work in the mystery setting. That might be the way to go here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Plotting

I've never plotted a mystery before. It's harder than it sounds, and much more difficult than a suspense. With a mystery you can't reveal too much too soon or too many clues. With a suspense it doesn't matter what you reveal to who and when.

I'm trying to catch up on my Agatha Christie and old B&W who-done-its. Some of them it's hard to guess who before the big reveal; some not so much, mostly because they drop too many clues or jump to conclusions rather than follow the leads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting the word out

I always thought (and part of me still does) that until you have physical (or downloadable) proof in your hands that you're really, truly a published author, you can only do so much promoting. What are you going to tell everyone?

Hey! I wrote a book!

That's great, and a significant accomplish, but look at those bookstore shelves, or around your library. Tons of people have and they're actually published. You have the proof right there in front of you to read or skip as you would.

So what can I do to get my name out pre-published?
Talk about it, of course, and I do several times a week on this blog. Got the site up and running, and every so often I add to that, too. What else? Hmm, I'm a member of RWA. Don't have that PRO pin (the one that says they recognize the fact I finished a story) mostly because I never bothered to get it. OK, that's my fault.

What else? I'll have to think about it so I can do it. But it's hard when you don't have the proof in your hands to wave around and scream about.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Promotion

On a few blogs now I've seen things on how to promote yourself - that you should, need to, and how to go about it. But how does an unpublished writer do that? Other than the blog I do and the site I have. No one really cares about the books I have finished that they can't buy yet.

Jennifer Linforth posted a wonderful post about just this. (I found her from the Unusual Historicals blog.) I read hers and thought, hmm, I belong to RWA. I have a critique group. I tell people about it, but not too many. After all, erotica isn't everyone's cuppa.

The big question is how to get out there. Not just this wonderful little circle, but that great big one of readers. Part of me wants to hold off on anything major until I'm actually published. The other part thinks Man, I need people to know about me!

That post has given me a lot to think about, and more yet to consider as I wait for word on my queries.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chicago

I'm officially enthralled with the city. Not just its history (always interesting) but its present. There's a lot going on over there. And while I'm sure it probably retains the feel of a big city, it's so different from what I know and expect on the New York-Philadelphia-DC Corridor. The more I read, the more people I talk to, the more I find out about it, the more I like it.

Might have to take a trip over there sooner rather than later.

Except for their airports...but that's a blog for another time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to writing

Feeling better after my vegging and sleep-filled weekend. Yesterday I managed to write 6 pages of that new mystery set in Chicago. All of it chapter 1, and all of it erotic (well, most, there was the initial setup - no sex there). Oh, and title it. A Cold Winter's Night. I also managed to do some research on the city itself, and discover all sorts of fascinating tidbits about it and its history.

For those interested, 2 sites that give a brief bit about the city:
City of Chicago
Chicago Timeline (provided by the Chicago Public Library)

Maybe one of these days I'll make it over there, it sounds like a great place to visit!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

End of summer sickness

I hate being sick, let alone in the summer. Despite the hype about Labor Day end of summer-ness. Stuffy nose, fuzzy head, ugh.

And yet I managed to write another chapter to Sordid Games (making it 2 - whoo-hoo!) and flesh out the still untitled new mystery. Have 2 pages of that finished. And no, those 2 pages have nothing to do with the actual plot. It is an erotica, after all. *G*

Sleep is in my future, sleep and medication. Gotta love science.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chicago

I know absolutely nothing about the city. OK, it's the windy city and there was that wicked blizzard in the 60s, but other than that...nada.

Why did I set my newest untitled story there? A plot point. I won't give it away, it'll give the entire story away, but it's important and I didn't want a city on the coast. East of course. I'm such a snob when it comes to that, lol.

I've never even been to O'Hare! Time for the travel books. Luckily, the local library is a font of helpful books and has that nifty interlibrary loan system where I can find what I need elsewhere. Off to discover what I can discover about Chicago. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September Goals

I find that whenever I write/tell/invent goals, chances are I'll ignore them. Not on purpose. It's just that I don't believe in doing anything small. I want to get a lot done in a short period of time, and I want it done right, right now, and that's that.

Life never works out like I want it to. Otherwise I'd have won the lottery years ago, living on some exotic island with nothing but me, pelicans, sand, sea, and internet access. A private jet is always a plus, as is satellite communication.

Back to reality...

My September goals are as follows:
  1. Finish Sordid Games
  2. Get past this mental block I have for Morganna's Story
  3. Start a new mystery story (possibly mystery, not too sure yet) set in Chicago.

It's only the 4th...I have an entire month to do all this! I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

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