Archive | April 2013

Why I finally picked up Paris in Love, by Eloisa James

I’ve been circling this book since it first came out. I didn’t originally pick it up because a) memoir isn’t my favorite and b) it contained short snippets. I like to sink down deep into a story, coming up for air only occasionally.  You know, for things like feeding my kid, that sort of thing.

(And no, I’m not quite that bad but mainly because I remember my mom not paying attention when I’d tell her I was going somewhere… because she was that into a book. If we didn’t make absolutely sure she knew where we were, we’d get into BIG trouble… even though we’d told her.)

Anyways, I went ahead and bought the Nook version of Paris in Love today. And while the move was spurred by tragedy (shortly after her mother died of breast cancer, she was diagnosed with it), the book isn’t about that. It isn’t a memoir where she’s sitting around, feeling sorry for herself.

Instead, it’s like she’s writing letters home. In fact, in the Author’s Note, she says that some of the snippets are from Facebook and Twitter. Which isn’t why I picked it up.

I picked it up because someone (maybe even James herself) likened them to prose poems. Capturing a moment. And that’s all these are. Like the moment when she’s on public transportation and takes her jacket off only to realize she’s still wearing her jammies.I kind of snorted on that one.

I also like that she went to a large city and learned to enjoy walks, and the peace of centuries old beauty.I want to go and experience it myself, but mayhaps for only a week or two LOL.

So. I’m currently dipping in and out of it, much as I would a collection of my favorite poets (William Carlos Williams, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Shakespeare). I also bought a book online tonight that claims to take Shakespeare’s plays and reduce them down into sonnets. I’ll let you know if the author was successful.

In other news, I finally started writing on the computer.I did 1,024 words today. Yay me!

Ta for now, my lovelies, I’ll talk to you soon! (I still have 2 novels to review, and some other things cooking up my sleeve…. hehehehe)

 

 

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Review: Scrapped by Mollie Cox Bryan & Suprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie

The two books that I’m blogging about tonight are on the surface completely different. One is a modern day cozy mystery, the other a historical romance. And yet here we are. I always said I was a little ecclectic, so now is when we put it to the test.

Please note: Both books were provided as ARCs from Kensington Books. Both are the second books in a series, but you don’t need to read the first books to get into them.

I was excited about Scrapped by Mollie Cox Bryan, I really enjoyed the first book, Scrapbook of Secrets. This one… I enjoyed the novel, but I’m not sure about where the author is taking a few of the characters. By the end of the book, Annie seems to be headed for some no-no action with Detective Bryant, and Vera is embroiled in a no strings relationship that quite frankly, I just don’t get. They’re still great friends, the mystery moves right along… But I’m not sure I’m going to follow on the next book. The friendships in the novel are still solid, Annie’s involvement in the mystery is a little more believable… overall, it was a good book. My trepidation is a personal thing.

Surprising Lord Jack is the historical romance, and it has all of the conventions that you would expect. But what you don’t really expect is for the heroine, Frances, to be quite as headstrong and as determined as she is. I liked her fire, her spunk. Even though she is perfect for Lord Jack, and you’re rooting for the two of them… You almost wish that they had been in a time/place when she wouldn’t have to marry to save her reputation. However, this one was exactly the way I like them: fast, funny with a strong heroine who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion. It is the perfect building block from the previous novel… but I think I actually like this one a bit more 🙂

So, two stand alone sequels to two very different novels. As readers, I want you all to go out and buy more books. But as a writer, I have to ask…Why is one so much more successful than the other? It’s not genre: even though they are in different genres, both are pretty much what I call bubblegum. Great to read, enjoy, breeze through an afternoon.

I think the main thing is that one (Surprising Lord Jack), takes on 2 different characters, with other characters making a reappearance. The other one (Scrapped) revolves around a group of friends, and the focus has remained on the same characters. This makes it harder for an author, because you not only have to bring your loyal readers along with you— you need to make sure that the characters have some kind of growth and change.

You just have to be careful to keep your readers with the characters as they do it.

For me… I think as a writer I prefer the first way. I’ve tried writing a sequel to one of my (unpublished) novels, and while I love the character… I think I’d have to just forget that I had ever written that first novel. Use it as back story. How about you?

If you have written a series— how do you handle it? If you’re a reader– which way do you prefer? All the same characters with a few new ones thrown in? Or new main characters, with your favorites from stories past making appearances?

Guest Blog Post over at Rie’s

It’s a house party over at Rie’s blog, you should come join us. My Guest Post for her is can be found here . She has lots of interesting posts regarding writerly things, too. I especially liked the post about trickster characters, which can be found here .

In the meantime, what was the first time you felt like a writer (if you are one)? If you’re a reader, who’s your favorite trickster? Hmm?

Beautiful Days

So the trip to Disney was great. Much needed break from everyday life~ a chance to recharge the batteries. I’m sorry I didn’t post last weekend as promised, but I was a little stressed trying to make sure that I had everything packed.

Now that the tiredness from the traveling has faded, it was time to set down to work. Writing work. Specifically, I wrote a poem based on the ride “Haunted Mansion.” It is exactly 10 lines, so it will be going up for my 10×10 post for the Mocha Memoirs Press Blog. I’ll make sure to post the linkage for you as soon as it goes live.

I’ll be having a guest post soon on Rie Sheridan Rose’s blog as well. About not my first sale, but the first time I felt like an actual writer.

I’ve subscribed to the digital edition of Writer’s Digest Magazine.

I’ve started a novel.

I’m keeping a running log of ideas….

In general, folks, I have to say…. I think I’m going all writerly again. However, I’m still a voracious reader, so I’ll do a couple of reviews a week and a couple of writing posts. How does that sound to you?  

I know i’m behind on posting some of my reviews… I’ll get them up this week.

So. How’s your writing going? Read any good books lately? If not, go look up Wynelda Deaver on Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com…. I hear she’s pretty good (cheeky grin).

Oh! and always, always remember…..

IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL!

The Plot thickens

Shake em, stir em, rattle them babies around. It’s kind of nice seeing the stregnth anf vulnerabilities of your characters start to pop through. I had no idea that the tentatively titled “Garden” would have so much of a romantic subplot.

Yes. Subplot.

Because there’s a lot going on underneath that. A lot of healing that has to be done, by the heroine, before she’s going to be ready to trust someone again. And yes, she must heal herself. No one can drag you through it, but they can definately help you through it.

Yes, this one is going to have some my life in it. A lot of it. The thing is, I really really want to write this the way it deserves to be written. I love Sarah Addison Allen, and I’ve devoured all of her books. I like the magic weaving through “real” life, the characters are slightly off beat…

But they don’t have the asinine humor that I somtime’s deploy.

Yah. I said it.

When my son was a wee little babe I called him, among other things, Melon Head. I even wrote a poem about him at ten months, calling him “Beloved Melon Head”. It’s right there on the top of the page— click on it and take a look. I can wait a moment.

Waiting

Waiting

Yah. See? I can be a bit asanine. But even though there are things in there that aren’t quite right, you can tell through every line of the poem that I adore that baby.

And that’s the kind of book I want to write.

A little bit asanine, but with the beauty of possiblity woven through out.

I’m game. are you?

Note:

If you’re up to it, I’m appearing on the Mocha Memoirs Press Blog for 4/10. Another 10×10, but this time I did top ten movies. Which is harder than it looks, by the way! By the end I had to think really hard about the movies. But they are a great cross section to know the kind of person I’m like 🙂  Go find me at the MMP Blog at http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/ My post should go live at midnight tonight, or you know, tomorrow as that’s the date I’m set for over there (4/10). Even if you don’t see me, poke around— there are several great authors over there blogging on a regular basis.  Oh, and Rie’s blog post back on the fifth has a snippet of ME! yes, me! They Love me! They really do! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

Ta, my lovelies! I’m planning on blogging again tomorrow, as I will be gone all next week starting on Sunday. We’re going to Disney Land!

Meanderings: Music and Writing

Hello again,

Well, I haven’t been reading as much lately because I’m living in my brain, working out the important people in my new story and who goes where. I’ve done novels both as a seat of the pants thing, and as a strict outline and I gotta tell you… Neither work for me.

My outline is loose– I like to be able to take detours. But the outline itself helps to remind me where I’m trying to go. Getting from one place to another becomes easier when you know the surrounding neighborhoods because then you can find interesting paths.

I’m also listening to Bon Jovi’s new album, “Because We Can”. Specifically, track 5. I don’t know the name of that song, but it should be Amen (which if you’ve heard the disc you’ll agree with my titling of it). It just fits… because the story is becoming more about 2 broken people figuring out how to be whole than just the one.  So that’s what I’ve been up to recently.

If you want to check out a scene I wrote back in the day, go check out my friend Rie’s post at Mocha Memoirs Presses blog:   http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/2013/04/putting-sizzle-in-steamy-scenes-part-one.html

Music has always been a big part of my writing. I used to make a play list of songs for a novel that I’m working on. The songs range in genre: rock, pop, classical, jazz— the story itself decides the tempo.

Rie’s post is about writing sex scenes as a writer, so hang on to your blushes! But it’s a good article. There’s actually a lot of great posts by MMP’s writer’s going there. I believe I mentioned that I write on the blog on the tenth of every month. But there are several of us who picked a day to post, so feel free to poke around.

Till next time, my lovelies!

Figuring it out

As a writer, sometimes a story grabs you and won’t let you go. You start it one way, then another. Try again later. I’m having that kind of struggle with a story right now.

But it’s coming together. It’s started. Which is more than I can say for a lot of my ideas.

I admit, this one is hard. It’s a way of working through what I went through in the past. I tried doing it as a rock opera… and it was too close. I was walking around angry and distressed. My six year old told me one day “Please no more angry eyebrows.”

Ok.

I may be a writer, but I’m a mommy first.

So… back to the candy garden. And a gardener who doesn’t know anything about gardening. And something wicked trying to come in. Oh. And the garden is semi-sentient.

I’m plugging along with it. I thought I had started it, but in actuality I hadn’t. I started it in the wrong spot. Have to go back, back back. At least a few days in the story.

So… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And I am not going to do Camp Nano for April because I will be in Disney Land for a week.

YAY!