Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Many of These Books Have You Read?

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

I discovered this at Nissa's blog at The Lina Lamont Fan Club.
She found it at Fabianspace, Karina Fabian's blog.
Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety.

Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.


1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (I really liked Northanger Abby though.)

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (multiple times)

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I don't remember reading this and yet everyone else in my generation seems to have been assigned it in high school. Strange.)

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 1984--George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (Sorry, I guess I read Hard Times while everyone else was reading this one)

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch-22 --Joseph Heller (I know I read it, but I don't remember what it was about.)

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Okay, I read a whole lot of Shakespeare, but not absolutely everything he wrote, so I can't say "complete" works.)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (When my oldest daughter was little I used to call her "Hobbit Girl")

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (A friend gave it to me, but I haven't read it yet.)

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (No, I read The Mill on The Floss)

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy--Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (All of them! )

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Ah, my first lit. essay was about this book. I still have it.)

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (My mother loaned me this book. I flipped through it.)

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce (A prof. threatened to assign this to us once. I don't know why she thought it would be a punishment, but it caused me to never pick it up.)

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazu Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (And also Tales from Watership Down)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (I guess if you can't claim the complete works, they let you at least have Hamlet)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (Next question- Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp?)

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Indie Spotlight for Independent Authors

If you don't regularly visit the Indie Spotlight, today is your day to get acquainted. They draw attention to both fiction and nonfiction independent writers who otherwise might go unnoticed. Today I got an early Christmas present. My urban fantasy, Syzygy, is featured at the site "Where the Independent Author Shines." I just adore their slogan. :)

You will get to learn what sparked my idea for my novel and see how cool Jasmine's artwork looks on the website.

Get Syzygy at Amazon or Smashwords.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Interview with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

This morning I'll be interviewing Neeta Lyffe. She's a zombie exterminator and the star of Karina Fabian's newest novel, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. Stick around after the interview to learn where to get this awesome book "where the zombie apocalypse meets reality TV, California politics and the Green movement!" (quote from the press package.)

Good morning Neeta. It's so good to finally meet you.

It's a pleasure, Amanda. I appreciate this chance to tell folks about zombie extermination. It's a growing specialization--unfortunately, because the demand is still growing--but every one of us hopes to work ourselves out of a job eventually.

Yeah, I guess it's the nature of the business. So, tell me, why did you choose your career path as a zombie exterminator?

It's a family business. My mother, God rest her soul, was a single mom working as a general exterminator when she and her partner inadvertently stumbled upon a huge zombie infestation while investigating what a cemetery thought were rats. She and her partner discovered they had a talent for mowing down zombies. (In this case, literally. That riding lawn mower saved more than a few lives that night.) Since there was obviously a need, they specialized. Mom was a real activist for the cause of zombie extermination and preventation as well. I hope she looks at my efforts with the reality TV show, Zombie Death Extreme as another way of building awareness.

For sure. It's so important, what you're doing. Darn entertaining as well! What makes a good zombie exterminator?

Strength: strong arms, strong will, strong nerves… and a strong stomach. You also need to be able to think on your feet. Zombies, as we've come to learn, are far more variable than we saw in the movies. It's amazing what can be used against them. That's why I urge everyone to remember that your best defense against a zombie is not that butcher knife on the counter, but the cleaning products under the counter, the hamburger in the fridge, and the television. (Turn it on and run!)

Okay okay, it's on it's on! Now tell us, what's the best way to kill a zombie?

You have to destroy the brain: sever the spine at the neck. Decapitation, smash their brains. Setting them on fire works well if they're I an advanced state of decay, but sometimes, that only stalls them enough to give you a chance to go for the neck.

Do you have a favorite weapon?

Chainsaw and a supersoaker full of TidyToidy. They're the most effective, IMHO, but the chainsaw does get heavy. I train a lot.

Karina Fabian- Look out zombies!
 How does one secure one's home against the undead?

First, attitude. Often an ARM (Animated Rotting Meat) will return to a familiar place--a home, workplace, bar… Some people still think it's a miracle that their loved one is returning from the dead. It's not--it's a tragedy in the making. These are not people anymore. I can't state that enough. A moment's hesitation at seeing Uncle Joe can cost you your life--and maybe bring you back to hurt those you love.

Second, cell phone and car keys. Most major cities have a skilled Z-Mat team and exterminators on call. Get in your car and dial 9-1-1 as you speed away. Some zombies are fast, but none can outrun a speeding car.

Third, cleaning products. We don't know why, but with few exceptions, cleaning products will repel zombies. Not the enviro-friendly stuff, however. Bleach. Amonia. You know those scrubbing bubbles? Those are actually kind of funny to watch--but don't delay your escape to get some video on your cell phone! Trust me, YouTube is not worth your life!

After that, imagination is your best defense. Some zombies can be deflected by cigarettes; others by a beer. Some will stop dead (pardon the pun) to watch Days of Our Lives. In the Middle East, many devout families nonetheless keep a package of bacon in their refrigerators just for zombie defense. Whatever you do, however, try it and run.

Wow, I'd better make my shopping list! Now, is it true that if you blend in with a horde of zombies and pretend to be one, they will leave you alone?

No. Oh, please, please, Amanda! If any of your readers believes that tell them no! They may get distracted by a pound of raw hamburger, but they can definitely tell the difference between a fresh brain and an undead one!

Myth busted. Good to know. Thank you so much for your time.

No problem. I hope folks will take a look at the book Karina Fabian wrote about some of my adventures on the Zombie Death Extreme Set. It's called Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. It's a fun way to learn more about zombies and zombie defense.

Pick up Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator at Damnation Books or Amazon in both paperback and ebook.

From the Media Release-

Christmas With Zombies? Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator puts "ha-ha-ha-ho-ho-ho" into the holidays.

The Zombie Apocalypse for the holidays? Not quite, but Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator is bound to bring some ho-ho-ho (and ha-ha-ha) into the ho-ho-holidays with its comical view on the zombie genre, reality TV and American culture and politics.

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, by Karina Fabian, takes place 30 years in the future when causes unknown make people to rise from the grave. Unlike the dystopic tales like Zombieland, Fabian's world has taken measures to curtail the spread of disease. The result: zombies are pests and nuisances--and who better to take care of such things than an exterminator?

Neeta Lyffe is a professional exterminator down on her luck when a zombie she sets on fire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch. Desperate for money, she agrees to host a reality TV show where she'll train apprentice exterminators in a show that crosses the worst of The Apprentice with Survivor with Night of the Living Dead. Can she keep her bills paid, her ratings up, and her plebes alive and still retain her sanity?

Fabian created Neeta Lyffe in a short story about two exterminators taking out an infestation in a Korean restaurant. "Wokking Dead" featured in The Zombie Cookbook by Damnation Books (www.zombiecookbook.net). Readers liked the cynical exterminator and asked for a novel.

Fabian, best known for her humorous fantasy and Christian and Catholic science fiction, hesitated at first. "I'm really not a horror fan, and I don't much care for the zombie genre. However Kim (publisher of Damnation Books) asked while we were in the Writers Chatroom. That evening, we were getting silly and talking about reality TV, and reality TV with zombies sounded like fun. We were living in California at the time, so I had plenty of material."

The timing's a little weird, but Fabian thinks Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator will make an, er, lively addition to anyone's holiday reading. Learn more about Neeta Lyffe and Karina Fabian at http://www.fabianspace.com/.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Who's Your Audience?" A guest post by Lester Milton

I know you'll enjoy today's guest post by Lester Milton. I met Les a while back at a mutual friend's kid's birthday party. He's a real hoot to talk to. Funny and hecka smart. So smart, he probably never uses the word "hecka." He wrote a science fiction novel called The Accidental Adventures of Dogget Mann. Info on that after the main show. But first, I'll let Les get on with his guest post! :)


“Who’s Your Audience?”

It seems like a simple question. Like, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” and, “Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?” But I don’t think it’s simple at all. Maybe because I over-think a lot. Maybe because I spent two thirds of my twenties in a state of altered consciousness. Who knows? Who cares? Probably not you. But bear with me.

I wrote what would be described as an “all ages” science fiction novel. Of course, that label is ridiculous on the face of it. Most novels don’t appeal to your average two-year-old, and most people over one hundred hate all modern literature. But when I wrote it, I was trying to make something that someone as young as ten could enjoy, while keeping someone as old as ninety clinging to life if only to find out what happens next.

Too often, “all ages” entertainment is geared towards the youngest readers. Simple characters in magical situations solving mysteries in their pajamas as they drink lemonade and sing songs of a simpler time. Okay, I’ve never seen anything like that either, but boy, does it sound awful or what?

Imagined literary nightmare aside, I was hoping to avoid writing something that would appeal mostly to kids. I think it’s important to challenge kids. It keeps them striving to understand more and reminds them that they hardly know anything at all.

I was told that most ten year olds wouldn’t understand the ideas of quantum uncertainty and multiple universes in my book. But that was fine with me. I didn’t understand a lot of the “scientific” gobbledegook peppered in the old Star Trek reruns when I was a kid. I just knew that there was trouble. In space. And that Captain Kirk could have any woman he wanted.

I was also told that the tragedies experienced by my protagonist were too frequent and intense to create an enjoyable reading experience. I accepted that it might be true for some, but I also think that if something happens, it happens. And if it’s feasible in a story and you think it should happen, then it ought to happen. That’s very self-indulgent, of course. But self-indulgence doesn’t just make for boorish entertainment with limited appeal, though it can do that. Self-indulgence is the force behind some of the greatest artistic achievements in history. Also, the movie, “Ishtar,” which I, along with its director, Elaine May, quite enjoyed.

Some would say that writing for oneself and one’s audience is a razor’s edge to walk, which sounds painful, because it’s a razor. But I look at it more like a sidewalk, which, unlike a razor, is made for walking on. So I just write for myself. What I think I would enjoy as a kid and as an adult is what I write. Sometimes that works. Sometimes, not so much (which may well be clear to you as you read this).

So, I guess the answer really is simple, after all. This might make you ask, what’s your point, Les? To which I say, Merry Christmas, everybody! I’m going to Disneyland tomorrow!

If you’d like to check out my science fiction comic tragedy/tragic comedy for the whole family, you can order it here:

If you’d like to read the first chapter and/or order an ebook version, please go here:

The Accidental Adventures of Dogget Mann summary:

Accidental adventures may be exciting, but they're also a real pain in the butt.

Dogget Mann would never have run away from his group home if he'd known what it would lead to. Sure, he's interested in science and adventure more than your average eleven year old boy, but that doesn't mean he's eager to be mysteriously transported two thousand years into the future with little to no chance of returning home. And even though he lost his mom and dad two years earlier, he's not quite ready for a floating ball of a robot and a one hundred and sixty nine year old scientist/inventor to become his surrogate parents. Look, is anyone fully prepared to be chased around the solar system by a bunch of genetically engineered thugs and high-tech security forces?

He's just a kid, for crying out loud!

In some other universe they found a cylinder on the moon. Inside it was the story of a boy who just wants to be in the right place at the right time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Interview at the Lina Lamont Fan Club

If you haven't visited Nissa's blog, The Lina Lamont Fan Club, you've a huge hole in your life that you did not know about.

I'll invite you over there today out of complete self-centeredness. She has an interview with me about my urban fantasy novel, Syzygy.

But you'll want to stick around there and check out her other posts and her book, Where The Opium Cactus Grows, the contents of which have been compared to the stuff drunks write on the bathroom wall. ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Character Type Challenge

Author Jeremy C. Shipp put a game on his Facebook wall. You have to choose 15 fictional characters, who have influenced you, in 15 minutes. I jotted down mine on the back of a handy envelope. (Accidently chose too many, though.) I was just sitting here barking at my kids to do their math and browsing what I wrote and noticed I have a pattern. I am attracted to five main types of characters: sacrificial, insane, clever, roguish, and reluctant monster types. Some, if not all, of the characters I picked fell into more than one category.

Orpheus and Euridice
Samwise (Lord of The Rings)
Orpheus (Greek myth)
Simon (Lord of the Flies)
Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) -she's also pretty darn clever

Arabella (The Female Quixote)
Ophelia (Hamlet) - She might fall somewhat into the "sacrificial/tragic" category.

The Doctor
Dirk Gently (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency)
Martin ("Unicorn Variation")
Father Brown (Father Brown Mysteries)
Doctor Who (particularly as played by Tom Baker) -also a bit of the rogue in him

Spider (Anansi Boys)
Tom (Syzygy- yeah, I put my own character on the list) -He'd also fit into "sacrificial" and kinda-sorta "reluctant monster"


Reluctant Monster:
Hellboy (various comics, books, movies)
Mr. Canis (The Sister's Grimm)
Dr. Jekyll (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

 Then there was Mad-Eye Moody (from Harry Potter- books and films) and I wasn't sure where to put him. He's clever, sacrificial, and even has much of the reluctant monster just because of his appearance and grumpiness, though he doesn't go into insane animalistic frenzies.

Anyway, you can make your own list and see what sort you're attracted to. But the main thing is- how does it influence our writing? What sort of characters do you create? We need to be careful not to recycle the same characters, but with different names, story after story because we're hooked on a certain type. As you can see, a writer can mix up the types for more variety and to create complex characters.

Maybe challenge yourself and create a character of a type you never have before. Maybe a type that's not even on your list! If you do make your own list I'd love to see it. (I have a hunch Jeremy would too. So drop by his page to comment on his character game note or his author page to get news on his amazing stories!)

Sally says, "Have a Happy Christmas."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An E-book for just a buck! And The Beatles! And Holidays!

Have your characters celebrated a holiday? Do they celebrate the same holidays and in the same ways you do?


For a limited time (until January 1st) get Syzygy for just a buck! But only at Smashwords.
Type in this code: QG64V

Come on, treat yourself to a quick December read. You know you want to. ;)


The video below has little to do with this post except that it is the anniversary of John Lennon's death. John Lennon was English. The uncle of Bea, (one of my main characters), is English. And it is nearly Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Author Interview

Welcome all!!!
May I direct your attention to Chapters, the blog of the author Nicole Green?
She did a fun interview with me about my fantasy novel, Syzygy.

Thank you Nicole! She's the super duper author who brought us Love Out of Order. Her newest novel, The Davis Years, comes out in February. I'm looking forward to that! In addition to her blog, you can check out her web site.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Catholic Fiction, The End of NaNoWriMo, and Exciting News

On my other blog, CatholicOnceAgain, author/editor Karina Fabian discusses Catholic fiction as my guest blogger. Go check it out.

NaNoWriMo is over and done. I finished with over 50,000 words. Yay! But alas, my masterpiece is far from finished. I still have scenes to write and oodles of revision to do. Sigh...

What a rush it was to zip through so much writing, though!

But for now, I'll slow down and catch up on some reading. I have a book half read that I'm supposed to review, not to mention a stack of books begging to be opened and blogs to catch up on. Being Advent, we have Christmas to prepare for.

Exciting News!
Next Monday 12/6, author Nicole Green will interview me about my novel, Syzygy, over at her blog, Chapters. Fun fun fun! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Stretch of NaNo and Gunshot Wounds

There are just a couple days left of NaNoWriMo and I think I'll make it to 50,000 words, though the story probably won't be complete.

I learned a few things along the way-

I learned that I can write more in a day than I ever realized if I don't stop to think and self critique.
My nine-year-old twin daughters have a great (and gruesome) imagination and can be relied on to help when I'm stuck.
I learned a whole lot about gunshot wounds. Lydia Kang at The Word is My Oyster so sweetly answered my questions about that today on her "Medical Mondays" blog post. Thanks Lydia! :)

I think I'll have the skeleton of a pretty good novel in two days. It still needs a lot of work, but maybe it won't take as long as my first novel took to write. For Syzygy I agonized over scenes that had to later be changed or tossed out because of how the story later developed. For me, writing is like sculpting. It's far from linear. I constantly go back to modify scenes as I realize what's going to happen later on.

Here's a scene from "The Family Guy" which will make many of you laugh and some of you say "grrr."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Author/Editor Interview: Karina Fabian

I am pleased as intergalactic punch to interview Karina Fabian, the talented writer who, along with her husband Rob, co-edited the anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God II. Ain't they a cute couple? :)

Karina Fabian

Rob Fabian

Infinite Space, Infinite God II contains twelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes. Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend. Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good.

Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan--a must-read for the Catholic sci-fi lover.

Now on with the interview!

Q: How did you go about gathering the stories for ISIG II? Did you contact your favorite authors or did you put out a general call let them flock to you?

Karina: I went to all the contributors of Infinite Space, Infinite God I and Leaps of Faith and let them know we were looking for more stories. Then I put out a general call through some common venues like duotrope.com as well as through my website groups. It took us a couple of years to get stories we really felt good about, so I can't say folks flocked to us, but we got some real gems!

Q: I understand there's a study guide. Could you tell us a little about it?

Karina: Actually, the study guide for ISIG II is under development. But it will mostly be discussion questions, usually with some answers or things to consider from the author of the story himself.

Q: These are all Catholic tales, but do you think they would appeal to non-Catholics as well?

Karina: Absolutely. As one of the authors has told me, any of these stories would have been perfectly at home in the old Asimov's or Analog that he grew up reading. The first requirement of all of these stories was that they be excellent science fiction. None of these are "message stories," either, so no fear of being preached to.

Q: Which of the stories, besides your own, stuck in your head most after reading it?

Karina: Oh, please! That's like asking, "Which child are you most likely to think of at the end of the day?" Let me answer this way:

Those I most think of for their worldbuilding: "Dyads," which is a space opera with an incredibly detailed and realistic universe populated by amazing creatures. "Ghosts of Kourion," a time travel story that brings ancient history to life. "Exercise in Logic," because I love Barton's aliens, even if they are infuriating!

Those that I remember for their heroes: "Tenniel," by Colleen Drippe', because her bishop is both spiritually strong and a fighter. "Tin Servants" because of the sacrifices Father ?? went thought to live out his calling; "Cloned to Kill" because of how Father ?? not only stand up against a powerful entrepreneur, but also a clone trained to kill that he's trying to save.

The "high adventure": "Basilica," because there's some great working-against-a-timeline action.

The comedy: "Battle of the Narthex" by Alex Lobdell.

The one that makes me cry: "Cathedral." I still tear up when I remember the last line.

Q: Thank you so much, Karina. This has been a pleasure!

~Aaaand we're back. Wow, I'm excited to read ISIG II. Aren't you?

Infinite Space Infinite God II is available through Twilight Times Books.

Also visit Karina Fabian on her blog and find out where else she's stopping on her tour. Good news, she'll be guest posting at my other blog, CatholicOnceAgain, on Dec. 2nd. :D

Take a gander at the review of Infinite Space, Infinite God II at Tribute Books Reviews.

And, of course, watch the super-cool trailer! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movie: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I

With Harry P. fresh in my wizard scar brain I'll tell you my impression of the seventh film (part one). Fantastic!!! Fast paced, well acted, super affects.

Aside from a few minor book/movie differences that only a hard-core H.P. fanatic would notice, it was true to J.K. Rowling's novel. Smart move, breaking it into two parts. They were able to fit more in. They should have done the same with... gosh, with all of them. Then again, I guess the kids would be geriatric by the end if they dragged it out too long. As it was, it was tough to pretend Harry (Daniel Radcliff) was only seventeen.

My dear husband and I brought our nine-year-old daughters. No, they weren't scared. They know the story, having read the entire series and of course seen all the previous films. And if you haven't read the book yet, be warned that this movie does not have a happy ending. Save that for Deathly Hallows II.

Now for my fanatical nits. Wahh!!!!

These aren't exactly spoilers if you've read the book, because then you know the plot. These are just things they didn't put into the movie. (Warning: This part is super boring unless you're VERY hard core.)

They cut out the touching scene when the Dursleys leave and Dudley is actually concerned for Harry. The Dursleys just sort of leave unceremoniously not even under any protection. The girls and I loved that scene. Dudley showed signs of having a heart.

Hedwig was flying around trying to protect Harry as they fought Voldemort and the Death Eaters in the air. Harry says she's what gave him away as the real Harry. In the book, Hedwig was in her cage and each fake Harry had a fake Hedwig. Harry was given away by his use of his trademark "EXPELIAMUS" spell.

Tonks (they always dress her so cute!) was supposed to be totally completely broken up about Mad-Eye Moody's death. I know, they can't spend time on grief, but he's one of my favorite characters and I sobbed my eyes out when I read that scene in the book. Also, Bill and Remus are supposed to search for Moody's body. That didn't happen. Later, at the Ministry, Harry does find Moody's magical eye, but he doesn't pluck it from Umbridge's door (so he can give it a proper buriel), as he does in the book.

Mad-Eye Moody
However, what the writers/director didn't do for Moody's honor, Brendan Gleeson more than made up for. He did a super-de-duper job getting into his part. He put subtle humor into those gruff abrupt statements and his timing was spot on. Woo-Hoo! :)

Harry wasn't in a pollyjuice disguise at Bill's wedding. Charlie wasn't at the wedding. Way bummer how the movies don't care a bit about the second eldest Weasley brother. :(

Ron didn't dress up the ghoul in the attic to look like him. (I just realized that was missing.)

Xenophelius Lovegood
Nobody at the wedding was upset at Xenophilius Lovegood's deathly hallows pendant. In the book Viktor Krum almost starts a fight over it, believing it to be Grindelwald's symbol. (It would be like wearing a swastika to a Muggle wedding.)

We didn't see Dean Thomas and Griphook in the forest.
We didn't get to see Luna's bedroom and the portraits of Harry and the others. How hard could that have been to do? I mean, come on, there wasn't one Harry Potter fan girl who would let you film her bedroom? LOL

There was no erumpent horn aka crumple-horned snorkack at the Luna house and the departing moment was changed a bit. (I won't totally spoil it for you.)

Oh, one other thing I can think of off the top of my head- Remember at the ruins of the Potter house there stood a memorial plaque that wizards and witches had signed. They didn't have that in the movie. Too bad. I would've liked to have seen it. It was touching when Harry read the notes people wrote him, not even knowing he'd one day read them.

There ya go. I am sure I missed some missing moments, but that's my first impression. We did love it, even my husband who isn't a huge Potter fan. He's seen the films but hasn't read the books, so he didn't miss anything I've mentioned.

ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn't read the book or seen the movie, but good info if you're bringing your kids:

The violence was your average Potter violence. Voldemort is scary looking. People curse each other. To me, the most disturbing part of the movie is the most disturbing part of the book. The Muggle studies teacher is hanging suspended over the Malfoy dining room table and is finally killed with the killing curse and Voldemort's snake is sent to eat it. (Thankfully we don't have to watch that part.)

The closest we got to a sex scene was when Ron's going to destroy the locket and he sees a vision of Harry and Hermione in an embrace. The vision is smoky from the chest down, but it appears they may be naked. But the image is created by evil in order to upset him. He knows it and we know it and he does the right thing and destroys the locket.

The Trio

Monday, November 8, 2010

Character Change

I prepared this post while deep into my NaNoWriMo novel. I'm writing by the seat of my pants, going forward, not glancing back. I have a vague idea about where it'll end and I already wrote several chapters for the second half of the book.

But this post has give me a breather and allowed me step back and examine my characters. Maybe the ideas will be useful to you in your writing.

I asked:
Do characters always change for the better?
Do they mature?
Must they change? In many plot driven novels they don't.
Do they change and then go right back to where they started?

I haven't been writing with an eye for character change, but it's happening anyway. I'm simply moving the story forward. When I know my characters, I can go back and modify their dialogue and mannerisms and all that.

My female protag is growing a backbone, but my male protag isn't changing all that much. He's learning to be self sufficient in a practical way, but he isn't making psychological leaps.

One supporting character went mad in an Ophelia-like way (cool, I just thought of that connection), another became a zombie, but more importantly, before that, he became more self sacrificing and mature.

I'm still stuck on the fourth supporting character and he's making it impossible to get my story where I want it. He's too capable and good. It's not that I don't want to kill him off (he must be eliminated), but it must be logical.

So, there you go. If you're a semi-panster, sorta-kinda mapping out your characters' changes when you are maybe 20k into the novel might be useful. I was just trying to write a blog post and this ten minute exercise has cleared up some things for me. :)

Now, off to kill a character...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day Two (Some fun stuff)

I have 1858 words written for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I don't have the smallest wordcount of all my buddies, but I'm on the lower side. That's okay. I didn't expect I'd be cranking out 2000 or more a day.

Wizard Rock fans, Brian Malfoy, of "Draco and The Malfoys" is recording a new song each day of NaNo. Listen on their blog.

My friend Kara of A Karabu Creation turned me on to this NaNo vid.

Kara, my niece Jasmine (of Fruity Dragon), and I went to a NaNo cafe party thingy the day before the great NaNo kickoff. This was my first official NaNo event. I was surpised at the number of people there. It was a huge coffee/tea drinking NaNo rally!

We made little plot bunnies. We each recieved a sheet of origami paper where we wrote a plot element to help another writer when he/she gets stuck during the month. We folded them into bunny shapes. You could take one home if you wanted. Otherwise, they kept them for us and while at a write-in you take one if you hit a wall in your story.

Kara, Jasmine, and I each took one. I'm dying to open mine, but I shall resist until dire need.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flash Fantasy in LITSNACK

My flash story, "An Odd Friendship" has been published in LITSNACK. I wrote this for an exercise at an online writers workshop quite a while ago. Since that time, it has transformed and is now part of one of my works in progress. But I hope you'll go take a look.

Friday, October 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo Is Coming To Take Me Away. Oh my!

Well, it's gettin' to be that time again. That moment when level-headed people transform into half-crazed lunatics who toss out reason and participate in... No, not Halloween. In NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Write a novel in a month? What is it you're smoking?

I failed utterly, last year. I shall fail utterly again, but that's okay. I'll do it anyway. And why? Because everyone else is doing it. It seems that everyone on Crackbook... (Oops, I mean Facebook ) is chattering about it. I'm not normally prone to peer pressure. In high school I looked like a hippy and played D & D and Warhammer and generally slouched around with a hodgepodge of individuals, some of whom are still friends. ... Wait, what was the point I was making? Hmm, never mind.

Last November, I wrote maybe a chapter or two of "The Last Guy on Earth Who Isn't a Zombie." Then, I went on for months after, writing page after page of drivel- flat characters, stilted dialogue, meandering storyline. I'll stuff that into a locked file cabinet in a disused lavatory marked, "beware of the leopard."

I'll begin anew. It will be fresh, unsullied, electrifying, inimitable and an upsetting quantity of other adjectives. I'll go ahead and write the entire thing in one month. Perhaps it will still be crap, but at least I'll have only wasted a single month.

I do have two gems (aka- scenes I love) but I shall not give them a glance until NaNo is over. No point. Just shove forward, right?


Why do I always want to say NaNoWriMo with the "Wri" part pronounced as "REE?" Defies logic.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Word Clouding Just For Fun

Here is my Wordle word cloud. My friend Chris over at Echoes of Dusk turned me on to the idea. You get to enter a bunch of text or your web addy and it makes it for you. This is the one for this here blog. Go make your own. Go on, what are you waiting for? Oh. You need the address? You go here ----->  wordle.net

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Culture in Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing

I recently read a blog post- It was a guest blogger post by Jeannie Lin on The Ron Empress.

She was talking about conveying deep culture and surface culture in novels. Her specialty is Asian culture, but her post got me thinking about writing science fiction and fantasy. Of course it did. What doesn't get me thinking about that? ;)

My novel, Syzygy, is set in modern America, but the race of people in it, called Fir Na Gealaí, have a subculture of their own which they carry with them no matter where they live in the world. They have their taboos, traditions, ways of doing things. My main character, Finn, rebels against it. But even as he goes against his culture, it sometimes rubs him wrong because the belief system is so engrained in him. For instance, he's angry at himself when he takes sedatives to sleep through his "madness phase," because it's highly frowned upon by the Fir.

This is just one example of Fir deep cultural that made it into the novel. There are dozens that I "discovered" in the course of writing Syzygy that didn't make it in. Do other fantasy writers feel like they're "discovering" rather than inventing a culture? Well I do. Most of the time, anyway.

One of the tough aspects of writing scifi/fantasy is deciding how to gracefully include all the sumptuous tidbits of your new culture and its history. The fact is, you can't. Or rather, you can't and also hold your reader's attention. They do want you to get on with the actual story. But I think it enriches the novel if the author knows the background. And you never know what you'll end up weaving in. So, world-build and backstory to the fullest but don't worry if it doesn't all get shoved in. You can always write your own Silmarillion. ;-)

I was working on my new fantasy w.i.p., Twelve Keys, last night. I starting making myself mentally gag while writing the little asides within a conversation between my protag and another character- explaining polite behavior in this invented culture and how they're breaking it. It began to sound like a Miss Manners lecture. Don't do this.

So, I tossed it aside for the night and watched Van Helsing. I'm not sure I learned anything of use from the movie, but watching Hugh Jackman hunt monsters in a cool hat is always a pleasure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Story: "Black as Night and Azure Blue" and Some Cat Pictures

Happy October!

I'm pleased to tell you that my flash story, "Black as Night and Azure Blue" is up at Moon Drenched Fables. I adore MDF. I hope while you're there, you'll read some of the other stories.

Now I'll show you some random pictures of our cats.




Owen with big sisters

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Syzygy Interview

My good friend and fellow writer, Kara, interviewed me at her blog, A Karabu Creation. I hope you'll go take a look. Read her other posts too. She writes about all sorts of fun stuff.

I'll tell you what. To celebrate the interview, I've created a coupon so you can get Syzygy from Smashwords for just .99 cents until October 26th. Just use the code: GJ42C 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Research Trip to Sonoma

Research is one of the more gratifying aspects to writing. I'm working on a project that is kinda-sorta set in California's early days. (It's a fantasy piece where time is funky, so it gets complicated.) My twins happen to be in fourth grade, the year to study California history if you're a California kid. So we took a trip to Sonoma to visit the Solano Mission and surrounding area and bathe in the juices of history.

Sadly, I had a battery malfunction and didn't get all the pictures I wanted. But here are a few highlights I did manage to snap.

Barracks of the Spanish soldiers next to the Mission

1853 Cherry Stoner

Stove at the historic Toscano Hotel

Clock at General Vallejo's House

A Bottle


Unfortunately I didn't get any of the Mission itself. ...grumble grumble...dagnabit camera bateries...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some New Things to Show You

First off, I have a new Catholic blog to replace the old one. It's called, Catholic Once Again. I moved some of the posts from the old one to the new one. Did you know you could do that?

And on the side bar of both blogs I posted something called "pages" which I just figured out. I shoved in there a sample of my novel, Syzygy. Mighty nifty. See it over there on the right? :)

I'm pleased to say that later this month Moon Drenched Fables will publish a story of mine. They're running a bit behind schedule. And pretty soon Kara of Karabu Creation will post the interview she did with me on her blog. I'm hoping it will be the kickoff of my blogtour, but I haven't actually scheduled any other stops yet, so... Guess I'd better get on that. ;p  Anywhooo, I'll let you know when those are up.

Sorry I haven't been keeping up on reading everyone's posts, but we've had some family stuff going on. I'll get back into the groove real soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Romp Through the Land of Copyright Infringement

For the six of you who subscribed to my other blog, I'm sorry to say it's gone. Technically, I'm not sorry to say it; I'm sorry it's gone. It was *gasp* an illegal blog. Specifically, its name was illegal. It shared the name of website/corporation or something- (not quite of their official status). Basically the name is their registered trademark. I understand why they asked me to remove it- legal mumbo-jumbo-yadda-yadda. I honestly didn't realize the coincidental name at the time I created the blog. I was just plugging in variations of what I wanted to convey and it was the first thing that wasn't taken. It wasn't my first pick.

They sent a very kind note. Too kind. My brain was a bit fried because our family suffered a sudden loss that week. Maybe that's why it took me a while to poke through the sweet padding (like a stinger in a creampuff) to figure out the gist of the note.

I won't post the note.


Here is what I would have written to me:

Dear Imposter,

This is a stink letter. You won't enjoy one word of it. Delete your blog entitled, [redacted so I don't get my tail kicked]. I read your latest post about the recent death in your family. Sorry to rub salt in your fleshy pink wounds. Timing sucks, but I have to protect our company in case you when you write something completely stupid or wholly inaccurate and some poor dolt comes along and thinks you are us.

You understand.

Sincerely, blah-blah-blah

But I guess this is why I am not in public relations.

I may replace that blog with a new one. I saved the posts. Just don't want to think about it right now.

This was my second bout with copyright infringement in the last month. The first was on YouTube. They informed me that one of my homemade videos is banned in Germany because on the car radio in the background you can hear... hold on, let me look up the name of the singer... Adam Lambert. So, it seems that in Germany, if folks are allowed to watch my "Driving Through The Caldecott Tunnel" video, this guy's music sales will go down. This doesn't say much for the quality of MP3s in Germany if this video's audio quality is just as good.

Note: Book and song titles are not protected. That's why there can be many songs and books who share the same name. I suppose you could make your book title your registered trademark and stick that little R in a circle after it. I wonder what the rules are on that. Can I register any word or set of words? What about Apple? They are a company and yet I'm allowed to use the word "Apple" all the time. Apple Apple Apple. Can I call my blog Apple? Surely that's registered. Hmm...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

YouTube and You: Promoting Novels is Fun

Highlights in Technohistory... as it pertains to what I care about at the moment...

I remember The Jetsons- (Actually, I watched it with my twins a few weeks ago.), and their push-button world wowing me with all its futurosity. I recall learning DOS- (or not learning it), in school and having no computer at home. At the dawn of MTV The Buggles sang about video killing the radio star. Sometime in there, along came the internet. Then, three guys in a garage in Menlo Park invented YouTube, sold it to Google, and became millionaires.

YouTube says it's a way to "broadcast yourself." So... do so.

Apart from procrastinating by watching guys pull their lips over their eyebrows, Potter Puppet Pals, and motorcycles flipping over, YouTube is useful for posting BOOK TRAILERS -little videos that give readers a taste of your novel. Share them on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or post to your webpage.

Some examples of book trailers: Circe, by Anita Saran, Master of Horror, and Love Out of Order by Nichole Green. Please, let us know the link to your own book trailer. Let's share the love. :)

I made a brief trailer with my book cover and promo art for my book, Syzygy, using royalty free music provided by YouTube. It's not much of a video, but it took only a few minutes. My niece and I plan to create something more amazing.

SEARCH STORIES are a fun fruit born of the intermingling of YouTube and Google. You pop in search options, music, and poof, you have a fun vid. I made a "search story" for Finn, for Sam (both characters from my novel, Syzygy), and even one for Dobby from Harry Potter (just for the heck of it.) The ones you create for your characters are a nifty way to promote your book.

YouTube is a natural vehicle to promote my novel. One character makes VIDEO LOGS (vlogs) and a character's YouTube channel is mentioned by name- Fatalwidget. It was my teenage daughter who warned me to nab that title if I was going to put it in the novel, so I did. Some writers may want to post videos of book readings, signing, vlogs... Get creative. Think John Green of the Vlogbrothers. Think Nerdfighter!

I have a regular YouTube channel as well. There I have a link to my blog and link to the Syzygy related videos. Every bit of exposure helps. And don't forget to visit other people's channels and comment their videos. BUT I don't mean spam! But you knew that. :)

Particularly if your book would appeal to young adults, you'll want to tap into the wacky wild world of video.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Short Story at Joyful!

I'm pleased to announce that Joyful! published my short story "Just a Shell Game" in their fiction section this month. (LOL It feels funny to stick an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence.)

Surprise! The the tale contains no zombies, werewolves, vampires, nor fantasy of any sort. Just the regular sort of magic and horror that regular people bring into the lives of children.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rainy Day Blogfest Entry- "Rainy Day with Sam and Bea"

Over at The Writer's Hole Christine is holding a Rainy Day Blogfest. Splash on over and read everyone's entries. We're having triple digit temps here in California, so this is quite refreshing for me.

This little scene involves two characters from my fantasy enovel, Syzygy, available on Smashwords and Amazon. This scene isn't in the book. I wrote it especially for the blogfest.

One more tid-bit before I jump into it- found this article about what you're smelling in the air after the rain.

Now, without further ado...

Rainy Day with Sam and Bea

Bea flipped back her black hair and leaned over her notebook to add shading to the hat she had doodled.

"Bea, it's raining."

She dropped her pencil and sprang up at the sound of Sam's words and hurried to join him at the open kitchen window.

Rain pinged as it hit Sam's bike, which was parked just outside the window. Drops pattered on the roof and somewhere out there it was trickling like the sound of a tiny brook. Sniffing the air- moist, sweet, and earthy, almost made Bea's mouth water.

"Rain." It was like a mystical phenomenon for the two friends who'd grown up in sunny California where the word "drought" was muttered ruefully every year.

"Yes!" Bea punched the air with a leap and knocked into Sam's skinny arm, jostling his cup of cola.

Sam licked soda off his thumb. "I'm going out."

"Wait for me," said Bea.

"You snooze, you lose. It might not last."

Three-and-a-half minutes later, Bea sprinted down the front porch to join Sam on the concrete path which was darkened from the rain to a steely gray that matched the sky. She tipped her head back and let the raindrops pepper her cheeks, lips, and eyelids.

"You like the rain," said Sam with a note of skepticism, "but you have to get into all of this gear to go out in it?"

"I love the rain and I'm excited for an excuse to wear my new things." Bea looked down to admire her black raincoat spotted with little white lightning bolts and her matching rubber boots, which were tasting a puddle for the first time. Then she noticed Sam's bare feet. She giggled at him in his "Edward Scissorhands" t-shirt and shorts. "Aren't you cold?"

"Nope." When he shook his wet head, his blonde hair remained plastered down. "I'd run naked in the rain if I could."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tips for Electronic Publishing at Smashwords

Now that life has settled down- the grand-nephew was born, the novel was published, I've watched "The Machinist" (fascinating movie)- I'll tell you what Smashwording has been like for me. (He he, I just created a verb.)

It's a wonderful experience, even the bumpy bits. I'll offer some tips that may help make it less rough for those who'd like to embark on the Smashwords journey. Some of these can apply to other epublishing paths.

Note: This is just my experience and my tips. I do not speak for Smashwords. I'm just a happy author who uses it.

1. Read the dang style guide. Read it again. Look at the sample manuscript they link to. Read what others have published on Smashwords.

2. Write your manuscript using Microsoft Word. If you haven't done that, without haste, go perform the nuclear option described in the Smashwords style guide. It's not difficult. I did it and I have a pea-sized brain. (Except it didn't clear up my problem. More on that later... No, wait, I'll tell you about that now.)

2a. I began writing my MS in Word Perfect. That was eons ago and I'd transferred it over and thought it was fine, but the format was bad for a couple of the versions at Smashwords (html and one of the others). The technical term for my problem was, "The first line indents were stripped out." Mark, the super nice Smashwords guy worked with me and he finally solved it for me. He had to do something magical beyond the nuclear thing. I'm in utter awe of him. And mind you, he did it in the middle of the night on a weekend!

I can't guarantee you'll get the same service. Maybe he was just feeling very generous. I think it was a special weekend. My niece was in labor... well, he didn't know that, but maybe he sensed it.- that particular baby magic in the air. Um... you probably don't need all of these particular details for your own publishing plan. Just know that this man is awesome!!!

3. Upload a practice story. I put up a short story, complete with a nice photo cover. I offered the story for free.

This did two things: It allowed me to check out the procedure and make sure my format was right (admittedly, that would have worked had I used the same word processor for both items) and it populated my site so I didn't look like such a newbie.

I chose something that wasn't entirely unlike my novel. An even better choice would have been a cute spin-off story with the same characters as the novel which would have really whet the reader's appetite. Oh well, live and learn.

In my profile I mentioned that I had a novel coming out soon, where I'd published before, and my blog.

4. Timing!!!

Be prepared to wait after you upload it. You are put into a queue. So, don't plan a party for the moment it appears. You don't know if it will take an hour or hours. But you don't have to babysit it. It's there even if you click off the page.

Better yet- If you are pre-announcing the launch date, upload it a day or two before. That way you can work out any bugs that crop up. You have the option to unpublish a work after it's uploaded into the system. It's visible right after it's uploaded, but if you watch it, you can right away hide it. Then, take a GOOD look. Check for centering, margins, white spaces, indents, italics, etc.

Check whatever formats you can- html, pdf, mobi, etc. If you have a friend with an e-reader device, see if you can check it out on theirs.

Be aware that it won't be in the premium catalogue for quite some time. This means it isn't allowed in the Apple Store just yet. I plan to ramp up the marketing of Syzygy when/if that happens. (They aren't all allowed in .)

*Know what? I couldn't put my short story in the Apple Store, though it's in the premium catalogue, because it is free.

5. The Fun Stuff!!!

Smashwords is associated with Wordclay, a print on demand place, and Podiobooks, an audio book site. I'm considering audiobooking, though that's a big project. They allow you to post in segments. Smashwords also allow you to add a link to where your book is already available as an audio book or in print. That is very nice of them. :)

Smashwords lets you to link in a video to promote your book. (Going to work on that with Jasmine, my art lady, soon.)

After you're uploaded, you get to make coupon codes which you can pass on to people so they can get the book for free or a at a discount.

Don't forget to do a blog tour. Yeah, I gotta plan that. Anybody interested in doing an interview or reviewing Syzygy? You'll get a free ecopy! And I'll reciprocate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Syzygy and Mogli Take Two

I am so grateful to Mark, the angel over at Smashwords.com, who helped me get Syzygy's formatting straightened out. :) It was such a mess, but it's now simply lovely! I highly recommend this place for publishing your ebook. They're also affiliated with some folks who do audio books. I haven't checked them out, but I plan to do so very soon. What fun!  Coupon code AL58U will get you Syzygy for only .99cents until Sept 15th.

This weekend was such a whirl. My niece went into labor practically at the moment I first uploaded Syzygy and nearly 42 hours later, like an hour after Mark cleared up the format problem for me, my niece gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Mogli.

Seriously, do tech geniuses take weekends or sleep at night? He sent this email after 11pm on Saturday night.

Novel creation isn't nearly as awesome (and I use the word in the profound, not the slang sense) as birthing a baby. I've done both. Three babies and one novel to date. But I've thought about the similarities. The amazing timing of these two events brought back the parallels.

My Fiona holding Mogli
My Daphne holding Mogli

Friday, August 13, 2010

Syzygy and Mogli

(Edited again)

Today is a grand day! My niece is in labor- getting ready to give birth to little Mogli.
But I have to tell you that my novel, Syzygy won't be available just yet. It was up, but I'm pulling it down for now because there's a horrible problem with the format. Strange, the short story I put up at Smashwords worked just fine.

Happy Friday the 13th. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rainy Days, Trademarks, and Publishing

Rainy Day Blog Fest
Down at the Writer's Hole, Christine is having a Rainy Day Blog Fest. I think that's a super idea. How often do you think about how your characters feel about the rain? Rain is an important feature in my new novel, Syzygy. But I was just thinking how I have been neglecting the rain in my newest w.i.p.

Trademarks in Fiction
I stumbled upon this useful site, the Publishing Law Center, that discusses the fair use of Trademarks. I had some concern because my characters drive Mustangs (the car, not the horse), wear Converse, and eat Skittles. I'm not disparaging the products or even drawing attention to them. They are incidental and the appearance could in no way lead a reader to believe there was any sponsorship involved. So, I think I'm safe.

"As He Sat Brooding" seems to be a success at Smashwords. It's getting an ISBN number. Can you believe it?!? I'm hoping to publish Syzygy on Friday the 13th. My artist (and niece) Jasmine sent over the final cover image.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I published a short urban fantasy (or perhaps its a paranormal romance- not sure) at Smashwords. Oh wait, it's an urban fantasy. It says so right on the cover. Those are my motorcycle boots, by the way. LOL 

It's free to all who are interested. I'm testing out the system before I self epublish my novel, Syzygy.

The story is called "As He Sat Brooding." You will find it here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20770

It has all of the formats including html and pdf if you do not have an e-reader device. I just discovered they have a link to an audio book thingy-doodle. I'm going to look into that next. It'll be nice to have more audio books available for the visually impared and other people who just happen to like audio stories.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Half Birthday Contest for a Novel and A Friendly Award

Nicole Green is holding a contest for the half-birthday of Love Out of Order at her blog. Slip on over to find out how you can win a free copy of this awesome romance novel. :)


Medeia Sharif so sweetly gave me the Circle of Friends Award. The rules for this are easy: pass it along to five other bloggers, tell them you are doing so, and post a link to their blogs. So, I'm passing it along to... oh gosh this is tough, only five? Okay, here goes:

Nicole Green at Chapters
Mohamed Mughal at Thoughts and Ponderings
Carole Gill at Demon Vampire Horror
Hannah Kincade at Musings of a Palindrome

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