Archive for March, 2006
March 31, 2006
Spring has Sprung
and to our family it means the round of dance competitions has arrived. My 8 year old granddaughter has a natural flair for dance, thank God, because the kid’s in at least six classes a week plus a dance team. It’s now time to hat up and head out on various weekends for cities beyond our horizon to watch the kids compete.
Today we’re off to Aurora, Illinois, which is not the entertainment capital of the world. Saturday morning the girls check-in by 7:30 a.m. By all that’s holy, there is no justice in this world and my daughter will not let me go in my bathrobe. Like Studly says, “It’s good to see you up at the crack of noon.” I still wonder why I love that guy.
Our girls compete twice, tap and hip-hop. They are very talented and have more spirit than most of the other teams. It sure would be great to see these little chicks get a top ribbon for all their hard work.
You all have a wonderful weekend and think of me as 500 little, giggly girls do their best to invade my private space.
Sloane said @ 11:17 am
March 27, 2006
Today is Studly’s oldest daughter’s birthday. Bean is a very young and happy thirty-something and shares her life with a great guy. They have this dynamite three year old son who is filled with energy and imagination. They are the perfect family.
Bean has an artistic talent inherited from her mom. They attend art classes together and therefore share a unique bond above being mother and daughter. If not both, at least Bean should be instructing young people on the benefits of drawing.
So a very Happy Birthday, Bean! You’re a terrific woman.
Sloane said @ 10:49 am
March 24, 2006
Your Place or Mine?
The enraptured sigh, the long staring gaze, or quick hops in the sack testing multiple positions are not what writing sexual tension is all about. For each type of romance there is a draw between your hero and heroine. If you don’t have the tension, you ain’t got a sellable romance.
Sexual tension can be broken down into the explicit meaning of each word.
SEXUAL: of or involving sex which equates to wanting it.
TENSION: mental or emotional strain which equates to not being able to get it.
So what you have here is a great emotional strain to have sex with a specific person, but it’s not happening. This is what you must create between your characters in your story. The longer you delay the actual act, and increase the attraction, the better your readers will love the story.
How do you build Sexual Tension? In one word, awareness. Each of your characters needs to notice small things about the other. Sure Cassie can appreciate the bulge in Clive’s jeans while he’s admiring her breasts, but it’s not all tits and ass.
You must tease your reader while your characters are slowly becoming more aware of each other. Consider it a form of foreplay. Such as;
Cassie glanced down and was startled by the bulge in his jeans. Her eyes widen in admiration. Clive tweaked a smile, knowing what she’s doing, though she wouldn’t admit it, even to herself.
It’s more than body parts. You also need to write more than the physical. Each character must be aware of the others values, good and bad;
A warmth spread through Clive as Cassie clasped the tiny hand of the lost child.
Cassie’s lips tightened when Clive cursed at the driver who had successfully run them off the road.
Our couple has become more aware of each other and therefore we have successfully drawn them closer.
Think of it this way – Do you remember when you first fell in love? Did you notice everything about this new person all at once? Or did the scent, strength, and mannerisms dribble into your conscientiousness a drop at a time? More than likely the nature and character of your other half slowly made itself known to you.
This is how you need to write sexual tension, a bit at a time. As your story progresses the awareness increases. It may go on for pages, even chapters, until Clive and Cassie are so attuned they have to make love.
Another important key is that by now your reader is begging for Clive and Cassie to make love and live the happily ever after. It’s up to you, the author and the genre you write, to decide how explicit the love scene will be.
If you’re shy, you can bring your couple to the location – bed, couch, floor – then write a few lines before the door closes and provides them with the privacy they deserve. Or you can write it all, leaving nothing to the reader’s imagination. Either way, it must be fulfilling to the characters and more importantly, to your reader.
Do not cheat your reader. They have invested both their hard earned money, to buy your book, and their valuable time to read it. You are obligated to provide your reader with an afterglow.
Until nest Tuesday, Happy Writing…
March 20, 2006
Is It or Isn’t It
Last night Studly and I decided we need a night out after a wake and babysitting. Off we went to the local gin mill and met up with two of our favorite people, Lou and Sharon. They are greatest. Both are knowledgeable on every possible topic. As conversations tend to do, we rambled on until we stopped at Dolly Parton and the fireworks began.
Sharon and I agreed Dolly’s boobs are fake. Lou was adamant they are not. Studly nodded sagely and refused to commit himself. This discussion grew into an argument which developed into bar banging to stress our personal opinions.
Lou stated he had just heard an interview with Dolly who confirmed those huge melons were definitely hers. I relayed an interview I’d heard about twenty years ago where Dolly told the public Porter Wagner had said the pint-sized singer wasn’t big enough to be on his show. After that Dolly got implants and became a star. Sharon contributed the fact that women didn’t develop watermelons after puberty and lugging around gargantuan tits would have to produce major backaches. Studly announced we should never tell men a woman’s tits aren’t real. Men just can’t accept that.
Of course we’re still friends. We’ve had several discussions that would have busted apart lesser relationships, but we’re cool and appreciate everyone’s ideas, even if are guys are wrong.
So here’s my question to you all this morning – what’s your opinion on Dolly’s mammaries?
Sloane said @ 9:09 am
March 17, 2006
Erin Go Bragh!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! And thank you Charmin’ Carmen for the correct spelling of the phrase.
For a good read click on this website, http://www.llerrah.com/irishproverbs.htm. Not only are the proverbs grand, the music will make you click your heels.
And to my personal Irish hero;
I love you Studly. Now when are you going to wear your kilt just for me!
Have a good one,
Sloane said @ 9:43 am
March 14, 2006
You’ve been hounding your postal carrier for weeks, begging for The Letter, the one that’s going to put you on the road to success. Nothing. Again. Today. But wait! What’s that stuck inside the newspaper advertisement you usually toss in the recycle bin without reading? Holy Royalties, Batman! It’s from the publisher. Correction. It’s from your publisher.
With shaking hands you tear open the envelope and draw out the letter. Hey wait! Where’s the contract? You spread the envelope apart, praying it’s stuck inside. Nada. Okay, okay, they’re probably going to send it after you accept their offer.
Grinning ear-to-ear you flip the letter over and read,
We are sorry to inform you…”
Yep, that’s pretty much how a rejection letter starts off. So what are you going to do about it? Sit there and cry? Gorge yourself on junk food until you’re ready to puke? Those reactions are typical. Very few writers entertain thoughts of suicide. And if you do, baby, you need some serious help.
This is the best advice I can give you on rejection; Get Over It. No one likes a whiner.
Sure no one likes to be rejected, be it from a lover, friend, or an editor. But there’s ways to retain your rationale without going over the edge.
Read your rejection again, after you come back surface from your blue period. If it’s a form rejection, without a real clue as to why your book was deep-sixed, then you’ll need to talk with someone in your writer’s or critique group for insight.
If you are fortunate enough to have an explanation of the rejection, study it. Learn from it. Editors are not evil. They don’t wake up every morning and plan which writers to destroy as they prepare for work. Editors want talented writers with a fresh voice. They are all looking for that one author who can help make the editor’s career. They want you to be the one.
Treat your rejection as a challenge. Frame it and hang it right over your desk. Look at it everyday and promise yourself you will do better. Then make it happen. Read your story again, edit it again, fix the problem areas and make it shine. When you are positive it’s the best you ever wrote, ship that baby right back out the front door. It’s just like falling off a bike; you have to get back on to overcome the fear.
March 7, 2006
Publish this Novel
You have put your heart and soul into a well-edited novel and the time has come to send that baby out into the world. What do you do? Again, it’s time consuming and can get costly so you have to decide what you can afford.
First, I recommend you buy Formatting & Submitting your Manuscript by Jack & Glenda Neff, Don Prues published by the Writer’s Market. This book has all the right instructions, with examples, for your submission.
Following are some extra tips;
• By now you should know the publisher you want to target. Read their guidelines, again. Be sure you
have the correct editor’s name and spelling. Call or email the publisher if you are unsure.
• Print your cover letter, synopsis, and manuscript on clean white paper. Don’t get cute. Editors don’t
• If you are a smoker, DON’T while you are printing and packaging. The smell will be absorbed by your
paper and carry through to the editor bringing about a damned quick rejection.
• Be courteous in your letter, but by everything that is powerful, DO NOT suck up. You’re a
professional. Act like a professional.
Speaking of professional, here’s a few more things you should do;
• Join writer’s groups online.
• Join local writer’s groups.
• Develop or join a critique group.
• Get a web site. Be sure it has a professional look and not some honemade cutsy thing.
• Attend every conference you can afford and network. There are rules of etiquette you must follow;
Smile, be pleasant. No one wants to hear about your kid, the brat, or your other half, the jerk.
Don’t interrupt someone who is speaking.
Dress professionally, which means look presentable not like you’re on an emergency toilet paper run.
• Produce a business card with the following info;
A slogan to remember you
Your email address
Your phone number but only on cards for editors and friends
Fax number if you have one but only on cards for editors and friends
The card would look something like this;
Mary Johnson writing as Hot Mama
Hot Mama sets your world on fire
Dress your card in the same look as your web site.
Good luck to you all and please let me know how it goes. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them.
Until next Tuesday, Happy Writing!
March 4, 2006
Run, Do Not Walk
to New Concepts Publishing for the hot carnal release of Atonement by Sherrill Quinn. This amazing book was released just today.
So type in www.newconceptspublishing.com
Click on New Releases
Scroll down to Hot New Carnal
And BUY THE BOOK!
Suspense and hot sex. Congratulations, Ms. Quinn on another excellent book.
Sloane said @ 2:15 pm
| Hot Damn
March 3, 2006
Put Down the Feathers
we’re not talking Conga Line. This is serious. We’re talking Line Editing a simple, but very tedious task you must do carefully before you submit to a publisher. You have about thirty seconds to catch the editor’s eye and entice them to read more of your book. If he or she sees typos, incorrect words (buy vs. by), or skewed sentence structures, it’s the rejection pile for your baby. And by all means, pay close attention to your punctuation.
This is how you do it;
• Print out a hard copy
• Grab a 12 inch ruler.
• Lay it under line one.
• Read each word slowly. Aloud is best.
• Focus. This is a must. Don’t think about anything but your novel.
• Make the corrections using a colored pen on the hard copy.
• Insert the corrections into your computer text.
• Take breaks or your mind won’t pick up the errors.
Some authors like to line edit from the back of the novel and work forward. It stops your mind from assuming the words are correct. I’ve tried it and it does work. All you do is read and edit the last page first, then proceed forward, one page at a time.
It’s a tough job, but you have to do it.
Next Tuesday we’ll discuss, “Publish This Novel”.
Until then…Happy writing!