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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frustrations

I always knew this but have recently had it reaffirmed for me. I'm a perfectionist. It's annoying to those around me I'm sure, but it's also annoying to me as well. Why oh why can't I leave well enough alone? Why can't I just gloss over something? Why do I have to spend hours researching something so unbelievably insignificant?

Case in point: Austria. There isn't a lot to go on. I'm talking specifics here - inheritance law, marriage and family, merchant class lives. If I want to know about nobility and royalty we're all good. If I want to know basics of history, again bully for me. If I want to know things in today's world, I have the best of luck.

I want the Napoleon War's affect on Austria and 1870s. I want merchant class rich. I want the wife to inherit everything so she can give it to her second husband. (The plot's a wee convoluted, but I swear it works!) I want to know why I can't find these things online. Am I using the wrong search words? Am I totally off and should be using something else?

Google Books is all well and good, but most of the images are copyrighted and not all of the book is available. Usually it's the page I need.

Found marriage customs, which does help, but not enough. I've asked my historical writing groups and discovered the one other person writing in this time and place has the same issues. I need...well, I need movies like The Illusionist (which I hold out no hope for as being remotely accurate) and historical fiction. Maybe that'll be my next search. Austrian fiction translated into English.

Off to do this next search. Any other suggestions?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday

I need to come up with better titles for my blogs. Seriously, Friday? Like you can't tell it's a Friday post from the date stamp?

Maybe I should rename it Titles, because that's really the crux of the problem today. Actually, naming anything. The story, the characters, it's all bad. Any writer out there knows what I'm talking about. How many times can you name your hero James or Michael or Mark or ah...whatever? Or your heroine. Sure, you've got names you love and adore, but naming every single woman after your own name is confusing and obvious. :)

I tend to look through baby names sites. My favorite is Babynames.com, and I have several books on Celtic and Gaelic names, plus all those books with random names in them. For historical ones, it's tough. Where, when, how far back, etc. for my Austrian story, I found this limited site. It's good, but I'm positive there have to be more names out there.

Sites, books; they're all good. More importantly, they have names. My problem is I tend to gravitate to the names that I've already used, or ones that begin with the same letter.

I won't even go into titles. Once in a while one will fit to perfection. Once in a great while. Otherwise, I can only hope that someone else will think of a better one. For months, I referred to a story solely by 'title'. That was its name. I read all these story titles and think how perfectly they fit. Then I look at mine, and cringe.

It's got to get better...right?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Morning Blah

I seem to have caught a cold. It's near 80 outside in October! and I'm sick - life is so unfair. In the midst of my pouting-about-my-cold and feverish delusions, I realized a plot problem. Well, several, which is why I haven't written a darn thing in over a week. In 2 different stories, I have 2 separate problems. Neither of which I like or need, and only 1 of which is workable.

In the Austrian story it's a simple matter to comply with their antiquated (even for the 1870s) inheritance laws. I don't want to, and feel like flailing my arms in vain protest. But I will, because even though the story's got a touch of paranormal, some things you can't change. (Unless you go totally AU, and that's more work than the story requires or I need!)

In Cold Winter's Night, the problem is larger, harder to manage, and requires more research than my stuffy head feels up to. Anyone know anything about cold cases - specifically the cops who investigate them?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Writing Randomness

I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, a morning person. I saw a poll this morning as I struggled through waking and showering that contrary to what most people say, 55% are at their best from 4:59 -11:59 am. I am nowhere near that statistic. I'm more in the 6% of the 5-10:59 pm standing.

Which doesn't explain why I have random scenes in my head that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I'm writing! Early this morning (the sun was barely up) as I made breakfast, I had this one-scene story dancing the Sugar Plum dance through my brain. Can I make a story about it? Who knows. It needs more work, and probably a plot. But let me tell you - the scene was good.

I often have random scenes in my head, and usually write them down. Didn't this morning because writing before 9am? Please. Assuming it doesn't disappear by lunch, I'll see how much I can type out. I have a file full of no-titled scenes that are maybe 3 pages in length. This one will be added to the randomness file.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Updates

I'm still going to post excerpts of my conference workshops, but haven't had that much time yet, so thought I'd post a little something in the meantime.

Ever read a story that sparks another? Or a TV show, or even a song? Something where your brain says "Yeah, but..." and there's that cool tangent and another plot is added to the mix. In this tangent thinking, I realized something. I really like paranormal. I don't know what it is, either about it or me, but I really like it. Maybe because it doesn't really exist in this world and you can do so many things with it? The rules are what you make them, and as long as you stick to it, all's well.

But no, I'm working (or trying to work on) Cold Winter's Night. Then Sordid Games. I won't even mention the 1870s Vienna story...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Recap

The NJRW Conference was great! I didn't get to do everything, there were just too many workshops to attend and of course they all conflicted. Hopefully some fellow conference friends will eventually share their notes, as I eventually intend to share with them. I left Saturday afternoon before the bookseller's bit and the after party. I was exhausted and had other plans for the weekend.

Karen Robards was the Saturday breakfast speaker, and she's just hilarious. Funny, down to earth, and very personable. It's no wonder her stories are bestsellers! Sherrilyn Kenyon was our lunch speaker. I enjoyed her talk, but it wasn't as off the cuff or hysterical as Karen's. Different styles and all. Still, listening to her trials to get published was inspirational. not in the spiritual sense (and if you've ever read her books, you know what I mean!) but in the keep at it sense. Which I plan on doing.

What else. Workshops! Learned lots, and tomorrow I'll post more about them, once I have the chance to look over everything again and remember them in something other than a jumble of people and talks.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Conference

I admit to being really excited about tomorrow. And I'm going to socialize and talk to people. Specifically talk to people outside my little group. By 'little', I mean little; I really know about 4 people that I talk to instead of politely nod at. Not the point!

I'm socializing and talking up both myself and my writing. Yup. I am. And I will not hyperventilate, blank, or stutter. :breathe:

Here I go...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

NJRW Conference

The New Jersey Romance Writer's annual conference is this weekend. This is not the first time I'm going, but it is the first time I'll already have something at a publisher (who hopefully hasn't trashed it and never wants to see my name again) and am not pitching anything to anyone.

I can't tell you the relief in that!

I can enjoy all the workshops, lunches, people, and stuff I couldn't last year because I was so worried about what I was going to say, how to remember to breathe, please stop trembling, and oh, what was my story about?

Lots of great authors with cool ideas are going to be there, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fall

I don't really like autumn. I hate walking through piles of leaves because my allergies are so bad. These falling temperatures? I love the warmth. Give me 90 degrees any day. I get awful sinus headaches, and my nose is constantly stuffy.

Plus the days are shorter. Well, not shorter, though I really think they are getting that way. 24 hours? I either need another day off (a 4 day work week) or an 8th day attached to the weekend for everything I never seem to finish. Who's got the time?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Misc. Monday

Personally I don't think it was wasted (hugely busy with personal stuff), but it lacked writing. I got absolutely no writing done, no plotting, editing, thinking on, or looking at. In a sense, any day that doesn't have me writing something feels wasted.


This writing thing is an addiction! I get the shakes when I go too long without!

On another note, got the business cards back. They look really good, very simple and elegant. If I can figure out how to post from Publisher (where I originally did the layout) I'll add it here.

*EDIT: Alas, I can't upload it without recreating it entirely, and it's just not working.

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