Tag Archive | words

Celebrate the Good Times

So I woke up this morning, checked my Facebook on my anroid (my, i’m getting fancy in my old age), and saw a post from one of my very best friends about… Dragon’s Champion. She said she had bought it and read it (it is a short story after all) and loved it. She was proud of me.

It made my whole day, Trishka Rose. I saw that, and the smile never quite left my heart.

Of course when you are our age, and someone has known you since you both were five years old? They are kind of required to say nice things 🙂 But knowing that she cared enough, from half way around the world, to support me— well. That is something to celebrate.

There are other celebrations, too. People who have supported me on my quest. Friends who lifted me up and dragged me out of the bad place. Because they know, with out a shadow of a doubt, that the actual bad place? Easy to leave. Not so easy to leave behind the dark, bad place of your soul. But they dragged me, kicking and screaming, and tripping and falling, back into the land of the living and happiness.

Above all else, I need to remember that when I’m writing, I’m happy. Ray asked me, while I was writing the story, why I was so happy all the time.

Wow. Out of the mouth’s of babes.

But right now, I want to celebrate a few people: Trisha Williams, Regina Clements, Linda Deaver, Rie Sheridan Rose, Leyla Shelton, Judy Hunt. You all have believed in me and helped me through it. Thank you. This Sweet Tea Salute is for you!

 

Now, for another type of celebration. Yesterday, I talked a tiny bit about my in laws celebrating their 50th anniversary. I wanted to share with you what 50 years of marriage looks like. Take a good look, it’s a rare sight— and completely lovely.

What 50 Years of Marriage Looks Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Day

The funny thing is, as someone who writes and dreams and strives… You’d think that I would be having a grand old champagne cork popping kind of day tomorrow. It’s the first time that people will have to pay to read something I wrote. And that is very very awesome.

It also happens to be myin-law’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. Which is completely and totally awesome. So we’ll be toasting them tomorrow and with good reason.

My champagne days are kind of over, anyways. Sometimes, well, most of the time? It just takes like sour grapes to me. Since I want to savor the day, well…. Maybe it will be a sweet tea salute kind of day. No matter where you are, raise your glass of sweet tea in salute to all those writers out there: struggling, successful, famous, famous in their own mind… Let’s celebrate ALL of us. Cuz look at that! Look what we can do!

Dragon’s Champion at Mocha Memoirs Press

Dragon’s Champion at Barnes & Noble

Dragon’s Champion at Amazon

Hopefully I did all the linkage right.

Because I got to tell you, I squealed a little bit when I saw MY NAME ON BARNES AND NOBLE DOT COM! WOOHOO!

 

The story itself is funny, fast paced and priced JUST RIGHT for you!

Cover Art

So… my short story comes out on Sunday, December 9th. I thought I’d share the cover with you ~

 

Cover Art for Dragon's Champion

Cover Art for Dragon’s Champion

 

If you peer closely, you can see how well the artist did with depicting this as one ticked off… FEMALE dragon. At least, I got it right away. And I have to tell you, I kind of got tears in my eyes, seeing it for the first time. It’s been a long time coming.

Aint life grand?

As for the blurb:

Bright, funny Constance sets off to rescue herself when she first sets foot on the Dragon’s Path. Along the way, she’ll encounter a merry band of brigands, a shop full of dresses (and temptation) and a Golden Dragon. Constance will find out that by taking that first step… she just might find her destiny.

 

Constance has a very special place in my heart. She isn’t the first story I wrote to completion, but I believe I have mentioned that she was the one that brought me back from the drought. Once I started her story, I had to keep finding out what happened because that girl is a handfull. (Remember it’s Chick Lit Fantasy LOL.) I threw all sorts of stuff at her and she handled it all. Not always well… but she did handle it in her own way.

So. Busy, busy weekend this weekend both with the family and with this. I’m finally feeling like myself again– a month and a half of an upper resp infection can get a girl down. But now? Well…

I got the fire, baby!

 

Editing, Endings and Evolution

Well, I “met” my editor for my short story and… It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Me, being me (as it’s inconvient to be anyone else right now), had figured something along the lines of “OMG, they realized they hated the story and don’t know how to tell me… or maybe it’s SO horrible it’s taking so long and they hate me and and and…” Yah, I have the tendency to go waaaay past normal and into worst possible case scenario LOL. (In my defense— I do try not to involve too many people in my drama, and I always ASK someone I trust before I go flying off the handle with all the “nobody loves me” stuff.)

ANYHOO— was very nice. Not very painful, at all. Mostly grammar and such, which I get. Well, I understand that the changes need to be made, and made them and sent it back all neat and tidy. SO… that hurdle was cleared and we’re marching onwards toward PUBLICATION! YAY!

 

Ok. So enough tooting my own horn. Lets get down to business.

Specifically, endings.

I don’t claim to have the secret to great endings. I *know* I’m relatively untried as a writer, however… As a reader, you’ll be hard pressed to name 10 people you personally know who reads more than I do unless it’s for their job. And that’s not even counting the books I put down because I can’t get it to them.

There were two great books, one of them A Vintage Affair by Isabell Wolff and the other was Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey. Books held my interest all the way through… And then the endings.

With Wolff’s book, I hadn’t read one of her’s before. Maybe it’s her style. But I honestly thought I skipped a chapter. On my Nook, no less. I went back and forth, through the chapter thing that you can jump around in,… and nope. No missing pages. But to take a book, a really good book, and blow it like that?

Heartbreaking.

You can’t have the heroine telling someone that she’d found someone, but someone who’s currently only a friend, and then in the blooming next chapter holding hands and planning to meet his parents. If you’re going to end it ambiguous, do that. Don’t put the holding hands and plans for future in there. That would have been fine. F I N E. I personally LOVE a happy ending, but not all great books have them.

They do, however, feel COMPLETE. Not as if the publisher had left a chapter out.

Now, I’m going to throw this one out there. First of all, I’ve got nothing but love for Mercedes Lackey. She is one of my all time favorites. The Foundation series that she’s writing right now? I’ve bought all except the current one. In hard back.

I really like this author.

And it sucks that there’s a niggle of doubt over the e-book version of Redoubt, because it is a great read. Oh.. my… gawd… it gets GREAT. And when he realizes what love is, what it truly truly is deep down inside, you feel like crying.

And then you feel like throwing the Nook against the wall when you get to the end and realize… there’s not going to be a reunion between the friends where they can hash things out. For the first time in the series, it doesn’t end with Bear, Lena and Mags huddled up in the Hearler’s college, trying to figure out what’s next.

Now, that could be cuz these kids are growing up. Bear and Lena have gotten married. The second half of the book really picks up and goes and has you by the throat…. and then Dallen is there and you’re cheering, and then… IT’S FREAKING OVER.

And it’s really only a problem for 2 reasons. #1– it didn’t end as the others had, with the friends together and #2…. Someone posted on B&N in their review posted that the publisher had not put everything that is in the hard cover into the Nook version. That it had been EDITED DOWN.

What the heck?!???!!!!

Now, in the first book, I will say in no uncertain terms that I felt as if Wolff had forgotten a chapter. But for Mercedes Lackey? It might just be that it felt too quick because I was gripped into it and wanted more… I wanted the resolution and the kicking of butts to commence. I wanted to find out what it *meant* to Mags… but this could just be a great cliff hanger for the next book.

However…

I can’t tell. Because the pagination in e-books is wonky.

So….

For A Vintage Affair by Isabelle Wolf: Grade B. Solid book, even if it read weird for me. The romance part of it wasn’t really the main part of the story, and the REAL story was taken to it’s full conclusion.

 

Redoubt, by Mercedes Lackey…. I’m going to grudingly give an A to. It would be an A plus, except I STILL (weeks later) feel cheated. Dang it, Ms. Lackey— WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

 

Sorry I’ve been a little wonky myself on posting. I went to doctor’s yesterday— it’s my annual upper respitory / sinus infection time. yay me. But as I am taking my medication, hopefully will be gone by weekend.

 

Ta for now, my lovelies.

 

Dragons Dragons Dragons

So.  A long time ago, when I was a junior in college, I started what was to become my first ever completed novella: If There Be Dragons. It’s at about 55,ooo words, it was never published… And it has one of my very favoritest characters in it.

Alex is a kick sass kind of girl. As Mistress of the Dragons, her first and formost duty is to the dragons. She *likes* that she isn’t responsible for people, as she sees it as a conflict of interest. She learned to fight in a skirt, avenged her bestest friend (and some thought future husband), fell for and married an assassin, kicked a god’s butt and demanded blood price of the rest of them.

I loved her. I adored her. She was everything I wished I could be. Take charge, confident. Not afraid to be exactly who she was. When she learned to deal with the trappings of being a female in her world it was on her terms. She’s a force of nature, and it was an incredible ride when I first started living in her world with her. She is the first character’s whose story I finished, and the last character that my mother was acquanited with. I started it in my Junior year, and mom read EVERYTHING I wrote. Even though she was a strictly romance kind of woman, she read each and every sentence that I wrote during that time. Mom died my Senior year of college. Alex helped me through it (sometimes, I think being able to go into her world is all that saved my sanity).

I kind of cringe when I read it now. I have some really really short scenes. Instead of head jumping, I just switched scenes. But one thing that has never let me down is Alexandria Draconia, Mistress of the Dragons.

And she’s talking to me again.

I can’t wait for the ride that she’s going to take me on this time. Her world is about to explode in a big way, making her do things that she really really doesn’t want to. Making choices no woman should have to.

And with the advent of e-publishing, there seems to be more room for different things, like a chick-lit high fantasy novella. Doesn’t really matter if there’s an audience for it or not however…

Cuz I’m all in.

 

Next week, I fully plan to geek out on Christmas Romance titles. Fair warning to those of you who don’t read it. Probably have dragon updates, too.

News, Notes and Nook’s

Next month, I go into editing for my short story, to be published by Mocho Memoirs Press. It’ll go live in December… so if you’d love to unwrap a dragon tale for christmas, let me know…. hehehehe. At first, I really didn’t think that they’d accept it. I have to admit it…  I write a little bit different. Kind of chick lit – romance- high fantasy. There’s not a whole lot of homes for it. I’m a strange bird 😀

But I love this community of writers. You should check them out at the Yahoo Group Mocho Memoirs Press Cafe. They are a lively and welcoming group.  While some  of their stuff is decidedly adult (as is witnessed by the disclaimer that you need to be 18 or above to enter the site), it also has a wide variety— otherwise why would my dragon story be hatching? I believe the title will be “Dragon’s Path”, but who knows? It started out untitled, then became (in my mind and at least one file name) Reason Number 39. It will be strictly digital– Kindle, Nook, etc…

Speaking of digital books, I finally picked my Nook back up. I had put it down in February or so for several reasons: I didn’t like having to turn on a book, the books i was reading weren’t very good (free books, and for some odd reason I felt I had to stick them out). I couldn’t get it unlocked, and so on and so forth.

What changed?

2 things. First, I got an Anrdoid. I now swipe, play Words with Friends, text, lots of thing on my phone. Transistioning from the phone back over to the Nook was a lot simpler than I had feared.

Secondly– I stopped reading stuff I didn’t like. I’m not saying that all stories you can get for free are bad– not at all. There were quite a few that I will be looking up the authors to see what else I can delve into. And yes, I will pay for those works. But if I don’t like it? Why keep reading? I don’t do it for books that I pay for, and quite frankly I don’t know the author and doubt any criticism I give them at this point would be welcome.

I found a few freebies, and also a few things by Eloisa James and Victoria Alexander that I wanted to read— so I paid for those. They aren’t available in the books stores, so… All in all, I think I might like this digital age.

Although I still don’t get Twitter.

I’m trying tho…..

Hopefully it won’t take me eight months to get it LOL.

 

Kiss of….

I’ve heard people say that traditional publishing is dead. That no one wants to read books any more. And then I come across something that reeks of the normal big guy publishing houses, but is in actuality from a small press that I’ve never heard of.

Kiss of Steel, by Bec McMaster. Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Kiss is a genre mash-up: paranormal romance/steam punk / alt history fun. Yup, it’s a fun book. It was also nice to read a new author in the romance vein that wasn’t, well… A little more than romance.

I admit it. I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to my reading tastes. While I don’t mind sex scenes, they need to be in there for a reason other than to flip the reader’s switches. I think I was 2/3 through the book before the main character’s did anything more than kiss. That’s not to say the romance wasn’t there—but rather that the romance had more going for it than just the act.

I forget the book it was in now, but the very best sex scene I ever read almost didn’t happen. Because the heroine kept hitting the hero in the most… painful places. Not on purpose, but more because she didn’t know how to move her body. Very funny, moved the plot along nicely and in the end was very steamy (as soon as he caught her hands above her head).

What I want to know is this, though. In 2012, 11 of their titles have ended up either on the NYT or the USA Best Seller List (which is not necessarily saying that any of them hit the top ten, stil…). With so many titles of a much smaller list on the bestseller lists, it makes me think this.

They must love books.

There are some publishing houses out there that still love both books and readers. Some will chase the elusive dream of what they think will be the next best seller. Some will chase the books they love and hope the praise will follow. I like the second kind much better.

 

Hopefully, next weekend, I’ll have either a Q&A with Rie Sheridan Rose or a guest post from her. She is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and she has a new story out for Halloween. I also have the one and only title that I’ve read for the spooky season, Death of a Neighborhood Witch, to catch up on this week.

Until then, my lovelies!

Sparky

What do you see in the picture?

 

 

 

Strange and Awesome things

 

Rock formation, or a dragon egg that got sat on too hard?

And my favorite….

Staircase to hell, anyone?

 

As you can see, someone FINALLY told me the trick of getting the pictures into WordPress. Thank you SOO much, Rie!

These photos capture my imagination, sparking all kind of ideas. While I’m no photographer, I like the way these came out. And I have noticed that several other of the writerly types also take amazing photos, telling stories with pictures as well as words. It seems that creativity does not live in words alone, but sashay’s throughout a persons life.

I’ll write more later, but wanted to share some of the images that sparked so many ideas. Now I’m off to write that essay that came out of the journal entry from the trip to Moaning Caverns.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

The Big Five Oh, and other news

I did it! I hit the big Five Oh! No! I’m not fifty years old (SHEESH)~ I now have fifty blog followers. So, a big THANK YOU to all fifty of you guys who follow me.

WOHOO! You guys ROCK!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Talked with my publisher, and it looks like Dragon’s Path will go into edits next month and is currently scheduled to be unwrapped in December. Yay! I’m also up on their blog right now (see, i did write a blog post on Sunday, it was just for a different one! LOL!). It’s all about the first and only time I tried my hand at a scary story.  I’m having a hard time on WordPress with links and pictures and things, so I’ll just copy and paste right here: http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/2012/10/telling-stories-by-wynelda-deaver.html

Hah!

I think I also added their link to my page, or at least the link to their blog. I think. I’m not as techno savvy as I thought I was hehehe.

In actual writing news, I am almost done with the retelling of Cinderella. I’m within shouting distance of the ending, and I found out what Fairy Tales mean to me. They aren’t about the magic, or about the prince… They are about hope, about dreaming of a different future for yourself.

I like that.

And it just sort of popped out, slapped me upside the head as a character popped off with that line in the story. It feels right, it fits the character and it fits me. Hope is always a good thing.

Till later, my lovelies!

 

Idea Factory

As a writer, sometimes I get asked where my ideas come from. As I write fantasy, especially about dragons, I can understand the question comes from. How on earth can you relate what happens in today’s world to a high fantasy setting?

We went to Moaning Caverns in Northern California last weekend. A princeling (3 years old), the Duke of Dyspraxia (at 6 years old), Linda and myself. She’d commented before that she always had wanted to go—and I had as well.

In the parking lot, the Duke of Dyspraxia fell down and skinned his knees. We hadn’t even gone ten steps yet. Whew! That’s out of the way!

So we wait around, waiting to go down into the cave. Down should be easy. Down is ALWAYS easier than up.

234

Two hundred
and
Thirty four
steps

In areas I didn’t think I’d fit (I’m a big girl, both tall and extra fluffy). The first stair case is close, rock walls closing in on you both from the sides and from above. The wooden steps have a little give in them and were, well… only the first part.

Then the unthinkable happened. We were at the head of the line of people trooping down the stairs. Princeling first, then Linda, then Duke of Dyspraxia, then myself. And the princeling, the one we were not concerned about falling— fell. Linda saw her baby falling, and lets be honest here. There’s no room for error when the cavern floor is 165 feet below the surface of the earth.

I hope I never witness that sort of stark terror again.

He slid ten feet before she snatched him up.

He was carried most of the rest of the way.

Finally we got off the wooden stairs and onto a platform. And you learn it’s only the first portion of the trip. Legs are noodling, breathings getting a little different, and it’s warm. And humid.

The next portion of our journey was to be taken on a spiral staircase. Just in case you’re wondering, there are no nuts and bolts in it. It is all welded together and fitted into place and has been there since the 1920’s or something. It was built using scrap metal from one of the World War I battleships. You can see air through the slices of steps going down.

The boys were sandwiched between us this time.

If you look out into the cave as you’re descending, it’s extremely easy to get disoriented. The points of reference make no sense if you’ve never been down there before. If you’re afraid of heights, just look at the center pole.

Just saying.

Then you get to the bottom (finally!), huffing and puffing, legs noodling, knees giving out….

To recap: To get down into the cavern, we have been claustrophobically close to rock walls creeping in, watched as someone damn near slid off the face of the earth (a child. A child you love and who calls you auntie and you love to pieces). Then you’ve decended the spiral staircase into the underbelly of the world.

And then you arrive.

And think “Hey, it’s really nice down here. Maybe we don’t need to climb back up. Because, you know, my legs don’t work anymore.”

The cave itself is gorgeous. A small pool with baby blue water was on one side. The ceiling was higher and grander than any cathedral (although now I know where the impulse comes from—God’s artistry will top them all). The features in the walls themselves—I’m not sure if they are from the dynamite blasting, nature, or someone wanting to make a little extra cash. The rocks had faces== dragons, a hippo butt, a shark, Winnie the Pooh… As if they were trying to escape the primordeal ooze of the earth’s core. Or perhaps an evil magician had trapped them? Or were they the guardians of the cave? And the angel’s wings, high above.

The tour does what they call “total darkness”. Turn off all the lights. It was interesting. You never think about it— but how often are we left in complete and total darkness?

The ascent was uneventful. Unless you count having to pull myself up. We took a break at the midway point. Big girl huffing and a puffing over here and burning. Oh my gawd my muscles were burning. (Note: it took five days for my legs to return to normal.)

But I did it! And I have first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to succeed at something and still feel like a total failure.

Originally, I had a much longer post planned. It is morphing into an essay about mothers and daughters. I have several short story ideas as well, just from the information above. But it’s not the going places and doing things that gives writers their ideas. It’s a way of looking at the world and seeing the possibilities. In our minds, Chocolate Factories are scrumdeliumptious and romance always wins. We see, we feel, we process and we save. It’s another form of scrapbooking, in a way. It’s taking that memory, and spreading it through several snap shots.

Speaking of which, I’m going to try and figure out posting photos on this blog. We’ll see if it works (Why oh why can i not figure this out???)

Until next time, my lovelies. I’ll be happily writing until then.