Forget What You Thought Was Reality...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Another Monday

Morning Folks,

I'm reminded of the song by the Bangles, Just Another Manic Monday. Although, my Monday isn't manic, there are times I can relate to that song.

Yesterday my editor gave me a call (Isn't that sweet of her?) She's one of those types who wants to be helpful without being hurtful (I've seen some agent blogs that are like that). She paid me one of the nicest compliments. She said that she liked my story and said it was a good read (never mind any mistakes I made, and I'm sure there's several, since I sent her a basically unedited first draft--although I had changed some things, it's still wasn't fully edited and basically first draft).

My biggest goal with my writing (aside from improving, growing and learning and hopefully one day getting published) is for readers to enjoy it. I write stuff I enjoy writing and reading, and it's one of the nicest things a person could say to me is that they liked it. It makes me smile and feel on top of the world. If a person likes my work, it's easier to make the edits that need to be done.

I figure editors are those types of people who are super busy and they know what works and what doesn't. Even edits that are painful can be helpful. They can point out something we didn't notice or even inspire a change that's better than what we originally had.

So, I'm sending out the kudos and shout-out to my editor, Debbie, today. I really appreciate everything she's done. She worries about hurting my feelings, but I've assured her that she's doing me a huge service. I'm exceedingly grateful to her.

If you have an editor, maybe you could take the time today to thank them for all their hard work. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

Have A Meritorious Monday!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tears Filled Her Eyes

Happy Sunday Evening One And All,

This is one of those "personal" posts to get to know me and in turn for me to get to know you better. If you're dating or married or have a great (TRUE--as in happened in real ife) love story to share, this is the posting for you!

Here's the catch: you have to write it as you would a novel. I'll be nice and go first LOL:

It was an ordinary evening on March 3, 2003. I was upstairs getting ready for my date with my tall, dark, handsome hero. He had promised me that we would "officially" get engaged one day and I was wondering if this was the day. He arrived before I was ready.

Figuring he wouldn't mind if I took my time, I finished my make up, made sure I looked good (or at least good enough for me), then I bounced down the stairs. Saying goodbye to my parents, I got into his car to head over to his apartment to watch You've Got Mail.

It wasn't the first time we'd seen it, but it was a favorite of mine, and he was nice enough to agree to watch it yet again. I was pestering him about the whole lack of proposal, but he didn't say a word about it. In fact, he was kind of quiet the whole way. Being the oblivious person I am, I ignored it. I thought "Oh, he's quiet, no big deal."

The movie was about half over when I saw him get up from the couch. I don't know how I knew, but I did. Getting down on one knee he began to give me his little speech.

Before he could even finish getting the words, "Bethany, will you marry me?" out of his mouth I threw my arms around his neck and shouted, "Yes! Yes, I'll marry you!"

We never did get back to the movie. I was too busy calling family and friends to tell them my good news. Later, I found out while I was upstairs finishing getting ready he asked my dad's permission to marry me. My dad gave him an affirmative answer.

And that's how my husband proposed to me. If he ever asked me to marry him again, I'd say yes in a heartbeat.

So, what's your story?

Have A Sweetheart Sunday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Need Air

Afternoon All (or Evening, rather),

I mentioned in a previous post that writing and reading are like air to me. Sure, I still need oxygen, but without writing and reading my life just isn't the same.

There's something about entering a bookstore or a library that feels like I'm approaching old friends.

You walk along the aisles, taking in that lovely smell of books, leather, (in some places, coffee), paper. There's an elegance hanging in the air. The anticipation of finding a gem yet to be discovered, or seeing something you've been waiting for on the shelves is almost enough to throw you into a gallop, except, you still feel that instead of drawing attention to yourself, you'll blend in with the tomes around you. Finding your favorite section you're drawn into a world apart from your every day cares, joys, sorrows, concerns, whatever. You're in the book zone. Time has no meaning, it all melts away.

Oh yes, I'm definitely familair with that feeling. Whether speed walking into Barnes And Noble (or another bookstore) or into my local library (actually there's two branches we frequent) the anticipation and excitement is always there.

Growing up I remember sitting on the floor at this one BookStop (now a Barnes And Noble) and not noticing that it had already been 2 hours. I was lost in the world that the author of whatever book I had in my hands created. My mother used to have to hurry me along. (Although, she was extremely glad that I loved to read and used my imagination. All her kids are readers and a number of her grandkids are, too).

Bookstores and libraries are some of my toy stores. I love books. I can live without movies. I can live without television. But don't take my books away!

Perhaps that's part of why I write. I love books, and I also like creating my own worlds and characters. It's fun to get into their heads and see what happens.

That's why it's like breathing for me. Oxygen is necessary for my body, but don't forget to let me have paper, pen, computer, bookstores, libraries and my books...I need them, too. (the pen/paper/computers necessary for writing).

I wish you happy reading or writing or both!

Have A Sweet Story Saturday!

Hooked On A Novel

Good Afternoon Folks!

This posting is coming at you courtesy of Regina's question posted in my comment section under yesterday's post. (Kudos go to Regina for asking the question and helping to inspire this post!) Wow. You people have got to continue writing awesome comments...sometimes I don't know what I'm gonna say on any given day and then...WHAMMO! I read my comments and I think, "Hey! That would be a good post." I'm enternally grateful.

Alright, Regina's question was in regards to some Paranormal novels to read (particularly a series I'm reading now). So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna given a list of some of my favorites and anybody who's interested can choose what you want. No pressure, your choice:

First and foremost my foray into paranormal and fantasy probably started with fairytales. If you haven't got a background for that, just look at any Disney movie like Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid or even others like Enchanted, Ella Enchanted, Ever After. Those movies have all the elements. Also, Grimm's Fairytales and things by Hans Christian Anderson (think The Ugly Duckling, Thumbalina, The Little Mermaid) will help (I mean actually reading the stories, too).

From there I entered the world of Narnia, courtesy of CS Lewis: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse And His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle. Although, I think The Magician's Nephew was originally supposed to be the first book in the Narnia series.

And then the whole thing just morphed into what it is today. Me bouncing around reading all different ones. So here's a rundown of the adult-version of my hunger for fantasy/paranormal:

Lynn Kurland's novels are good. I like her Time Travel ones. I recommend starting with A Dance Through Time or going to her website to get information on reading order. She's got some good ones out there. That one I mentioned was a fun read (although there's others of hers that were very fun). I haven't read her Nine Kingdoms novels. I pretty much stick to her MacLeod/de Piaget family novels. I've heard the other series are good, though.

Ciara Gold has a Sci-Fi Romance out, with a bit of fantasy thrown in. Actually there's two novels that I know of in this series, she also has other books. I've read Celestial Dragon; it was pretty good. Interesting.

Kerrelyn Sparks' Love At Stake series have characters I've enjoyed. I don't know how people feel about graphic sexual scenes, but I will say the majority of the books aren't that way. I really love Gregori. I think he's hysterical. So far there's not a book that centers around him, yet. Start with How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire, since it's the first one. I really liked that one. So far it's my favorite.

I'm currently reading (and enjoying immensely) Michelle Rowen's Lady & The Vamp. It's funny and fun. Although, it's not the first book in the series, so if you want to read in order, start with Bitten And Smitten. I like Rowen's style.

If you want to know what all the fuss is about regarding The Twilight Saga, check out Stephenie Meyer's Twilight to start with. Those I especially recommend reading in order: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn <---in that order. (I also enjoyed this series. But, like Meyer, herself says, they're not for everyone, so you don't HAVE to enjoy them just because I did).

If anyone wants to chime in, just go ahead and mention good ones in the comment section. I know a lot of people are into F.L Baum's Oz books. I think they're good. Haven't read much of them, but I've looked at them and I can see imagination, fun, action, et cetera. Some of my nieces and nephews and siblings have really loved them.

Gail Carson Levine has some good ones out there. They're mostly for YA/Middle grade readers, but I like them. Ella Enchanted, Fairest and there's some other ones that are out there. She has a nice style.

There's a lot to choose from out there, and I've only posted a few, but some of those I love the most. I do enjoy Kerrelyn Sparks' books because those characters are just fun. She often has some witty dialogue, as well. Ciara Gold was an adventure into a genre I don't read a lot of (Sci-Fi type romance) but her imagination is incredible. How she thought of all that is a glimspe into a writer's mind (She also has some other ones, too...I think some Historical and Time Travel, I haven't read them, yet, though).

In any case, do you have any paranormal/fantasies to add? If you read Sci-Fi, feel free to put in any you liked.

Anyway...happy reading!

Have A Story-Filled Saturday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Show Me Yer Fangs

Good Morning Folks!

I'm excited...why? Well, years ago the only vampire fare available was stuff like Buffy or Anne Rice books, but now there's a whole slew of vampire/paranormal stuff with a whole range of emotions and stories. (And I'm not usually into vampire stuff) But now there's a lot of other options out there. There's several choices and routes in the whole paranormal world. It's a big genre.

I've recently started Michelle Rowen's book, Lady And The Vamp and I went nuts right from the beginning. She's got he own spin on vampire things and I'm already hooked (only 13-14 pages into it!) Apparently it's the 3rd book in a series, and I didn't know that. I thought it was the first one, but I'm still enjoying it. Bitten And Smitten is the first one...but I can always go back and read that one. I might as well finish the one I've got since I'm already into it.

The really cool things about fads in books is if you're into the fad or trend or certain genre that's currently popular you have so many options. You can read the hardcore stick-to-the-rules type or something different. I'm not into all fads, but I do like these "alternate" vampire/paranormal books. I think they're fun.

I remember once telling someone that reading and writing was like breathing to me. You can't live without air and I can't live without writing and reading. I think most writers feel that way. So having lots of choices in a particular genre I'm enjoying is completely awesome!

So, here's a couple of questions for the day: What fads have you gotten into when it comes to books and did you go with the ones that were the hardcore rule following or the alternate ones? What fads would you like to see in books? What category (or fad) would you be willing to write within?

Have A Fangtastic Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Whatcha Reading?

Good afternoon, folks...

I have about 10 minutes before I have to run like the wind and get ready to run errands and cook/bake. My dad is coming over this evening to eat dinner with us, and I'm making an alfredo sauce (yes, from scratch, I have a nice receipe) and a brownie pie that looked pretty simple. (I love to cook/bake, but I like to have them simplified. Sometimes I just don't have the time to put together that wonderful Carrot Cake found in Joanne Fluke's The Carrot Cake Murder or the Apple Spice Cake found in Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries) So I'm glad I found something simple.

Anyway...real quick...What's everybody currently READING (NOT working on).

If you look on the sidebar I always put what I'm currently reading. Right now it's Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I've read it before, but I really like it.

So it's your turn. Whatcha reading?

Have A Tall Tale Thursday Afternoon/Evening!

Lost In Thought...Oh Were You Talking To Me?

Good Morning Everyone,

Whew. I just got done reading all the blogs I follow (it took awhile LOL, since I was also commenting on the new posts or answering questions). But I'm not complaining. I like seeing what everyone is saying on any given day. It's fascinating.

Let's figure this post is sort of in conjunction with yesterday's post. However, I'm taking it in another direction this time.

I'm a daydreamer. Like the "What if" questions that pop and bounce around in my head I'm often lost in thought. Sometimes about something that's going on, a story I'm working on or a possible story.

You know that feeling...when you've got a glimmer of an idea and you're just making out the vague shapes of the characters and hearing their dialogue. You think "Oh my, oh come on...this is great...but...I need more...I need something concrete..." so you keep up with the vein of thinking going "yes, better, here it comes!"

Then there's those times where the story just seems to come all on its own. You think "Oh yay, yay, yay!"

To those outside of the writing world it might look like you're a bit neurotic. But you're not. You're a writer. You dream. You think. You are looking for possibilities and dialogues with interesting quips. You think in terms of "what if" and "maybe there could be" You don't think in terms of 1 plus 1 equals 2, you think in terms of "What if I threw my character into this situation...what would he or she do or think?"

In fact, it's a writer's neuroses that make the world go 'round. People want to think it's science and physics, but it's really those impossible questions that you find answers to with your characters and stories that do that. Okay, maybe not in the physical sense, but definitely in the emotional/psychological senses. Without stories, what would people do? Sometimes we need that "escape", that ride into another world, another place...maybe even another time.

So while gravitational pulls and other Scientific facts physically make the world go 'round, you're helping others' worlds go 'round by supplying them with a fun character to follow. Besides, you never know...you might just discover a cure for a rare disease in your travels...or at least, your character might!

Happy dreaming!

Have A Thought-Filled Thursday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Your Genre Your Life?

Good morning folks!

It's not yet 9:00 a.m. in Texas and I've finished my coffee...although I'm wondering if this is going to turn into one of those "Two-Coffee Days". So far I'm managing without the second one. Go me!

Anyway...the title of this post might be a bit confusing. Genre being your life? Huh? You lost me, Bethany! Here's what I mean...

A comment on my last post made by J.J. triggered the idea for this post (so kudos go to her today).

She mentioned she's writing a YA Paranormal filled with religion, legend, Indiana Jones elements (I'm guessing action/some type of discovery), etcetera. Ironically, I wasn't confused. She had me at YA Paranormal. My brain started clicking with all the possibilities that would fill the pages of her novel. In short, I'd pick it up, have a look and probably read it.

I read a lot of Paranormal/fantasy. Some ghosts. Some vampires. Magic. Fairytales. Time travel. That kind of thing. For example: I got into The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I've been reading Kerrelyn Sparks' Love At Stake series.

I'm not into all vampire stuff, but if it's got the element of love, sacrifice for love, and characters I can come to love, I'm sure to read it. (I absolutely adore Kerrelyn Sparks' character, the vampire, Gregori. I think he's hailirious).

So what do I mean about living my genre? Well, I read paranormal/romance/fantasy, I write it, I often think in terms of it. People have told me all my life that different things are impossible. Okay, so maybe it's highly unlikely that a centaur's going to gallop through my backyard (ooo, story idea!), or that a unicorn is going to start talking to me, or even that I'll meet a crazy fairy with an odd sense of humor (reference to a character I once wrote named Femme de Noir; she was a bit on the nutty side), but, who's to say other things won't happen? You never know when someone might even train monkeys to wear hula skirts and dance to steel drums (odd, I know, but can't you just picture it?)

The point is, I don't negate wacky ideas simply because they're wacky (unless it's a guy telling me they're the most awesome man that ever existed, then I'll have to put it aside--1. because I can't stand egotistical men, 2. I'm married and could care less, unless it's my husband and 3. they should be acting like puffed up birds to a girl who's interested in them romantically, not wasting their time on me. But you never know when that egotism will make an appearance in a story--whether it be my own story or someone else's).

You never know if it might make a great story line, or just a thought to crack you up when you're on a sugar rush.

Living your genre is letting your brain/imagination run wild with possibilities. If you're a writer, it's about sitting there thinking "What if this happened, and this...and what if this person was this or that?"

I have a friend who generally doesn't like to be asked "what if" questions. He says they're usually made up of things that wouldn't really happen. That's fine for him. He's one of those logical, practical types (although he does love a lot of great fiction...)

For a writer, a "what if" question is often the beginning of a ride through another world...the world of his or her novel (or book proposal, if you're doing nonficition).

A writer has to think in "what if" at least sometimes. Can imagine if Tolkein or C.S. Lewis never sat there and let their imaginations answer the "What if" question? Would we even have The Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit or any of the Narnia books?

How about if Anne Rice never sat there contemplating what her characters would be like. Would Interview With A Vampire have the same impact if she had just said: "So and so interviewed thus and so vampire, but we know vampires don't actually exist, so the point is moot." Huh? Then what would be the point of the novel?

Just imagine if J.K. Rowling never penned Harry Potter. The world wouldn't have met Hogwart's Castle through her style.

Readers and writers like the "what if" questions when it comes to novels because it opens the door to everything. It opens the door to a young magician going to school to uncover his talents, it opens the door to a sparkling vampire who can't bear the thought of being a threat to his beloved, it opens the door to a talking Lion who's often considered an image of God/Jesus, it brings out the power in a ring, it helped us meet a vampire named Lesat.

That's part of living one's genre. Going through life and suddenly thinking "What if this happened?"

Who's to say one day we won't have a story about monkeys who wear hula skirts and dance to the sound of steel drums? Just because it doesn't necessarily exist, doesn't mean it's impossible for an author to think: "Huh. I wonder if..." or "Hmmm...what if...." Then off and running with some tale about just that.

You never know. When you live your genre it's possible for centaurs to run around in your backyard (like I said, story idea, my brain is clicking!) You just have to know where to look.

Enjoy your genre life :-)

"What if...?"

Have A Wondering Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oh Boy!

Good Morning All,

Oh boy to be young and full of energy (I'm thinking "The Energizer Bunny" at this point). Too bad the stuff can't be bottled and sold (and imbibed). I'd take some and sell it! I watch my son running around and I sit there thinking, "Where does he get it? Is it something he stores up somewhere inside? Why doesn't he share?" Oh well, I rely on liquid energy--coffee. Still...it would be nice to have an unlimited source of energy. Agree?

I've been doing some heavy-duty editing on Conjure A Man so there's no new developments. I'm still trying to figure out how to improve the later chapters and everything. Fortunately, fellow aspiring author, and someone I consider a friend in the writing world, Tess, has been a huge help in that area. She's given me good critique and helpful hints. According to what she's told me, I've been able to do the same for her. (Which, I'm glad, I like to be useful and helpful).

While that's going on, I'm working on finishing reading Debbie Macomber's book Someday Soon. I'm beginning to wonder if I've read this book before, but I can't remember. In any case, it's a pretty good story. After that I have to finish reading Lynn Kurland's Till There Was You, which I know I haven't read before since it's one of her newer books. Once that's done, hopefully two books I ordered, Kim Lenox's Night Falls Darkly and Kerrelyn Sparks' The Undead Next Door will have arrived.

So, tell me, if you're a writer, what kind of work do you have in progress? Is it Paranormal? Thriller? Fantasy? Romance? Sci-Fi? YA? Middle grade? Children's? Non-Fiction? I always find it fun (and fascinating) to learn what other writers are into writing and what they've got going on.

Have A Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Is It? Pour Me Another Cup of joe

Good Morning Everybody,

Today is probably a 2 coffee day. Why? Because my coffee is almost gone and I still don't feel very awake. It could be that my son woke me right in the middle of a dream (odd dream, but still, I was in deep sleep at that point) or it could be that it would've been nice if I had fallen asleep earlier. 11 p.m. isn't too horrible in my house for going to bed, just doesn't always meant that by 11:30 I'm asleep. I just don't fall asleep quickly. Do you? I admire those who do (my husband is one of those people who can lay down and 10 minutes later be asleep...I don't know how he does it). Are you that type or does it take you awhile like me?

I haven't been doing a lot of writing on Conjure A Man because I've been doing mostly editing and rewrites. It's kind of helping me because now I can go back to the beginning, see what was the strongest writing and maybe fix up any problems I'm having with the later chapters. I'm also kind of excited because I'm getting an idea for another story. I'm thinking of having it being a companion to Conjure A Man; but centered around a different character. And who's the lucky winner? Caruso, Delaney's best friend, Vampire extraordinaire. I just love him. He was a lot of fun to come up with and use later in the story and have her interact with. He's egocentric, dramatic, but he's a sweetheart underneath everything else. He cares a lot about Delaney, even if he is rather presumptuous about their friendship. So I'm thinking about having a story for Caruso.

In other news my weekend was all right. My husband worked Saturday for most of the day, but that's okay. That evening we went up to the Mall and that was fun. Sunday we went to Church and to the Library and my son and I went to the Grocery store. LOL

September is fast approaching. And I'm beginning to think Christmas thoughts (I know, early, but I'll explain). My husband allows me to start Christmas shopping in October. I love Christmas and I usually start thinking about what would make good gifts as I'm looking around stores during the summer. I have a lot of people to shop for (not complaining, I just do!) So I like to try and have ideas beforehand.

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the decorations, the cooler weather, the way the Church is decorated, the readings, the food! I love it all. I am a major Christmas fanatic. In fact, my husband is hard pressed to keep me out of Christmas places. I would've gone to Bronner's when we were in Frankenmuth this summer, but I had a really bad headache, so I couldn't go (I was very disappointed).

Bronner's is a Christmas fanatic's dream come true. It's a gigantic store almost entirely dedicated to Christmas stuff (they have a FEW other things). It's open almost all year round (except for a few days out of the year). And yes, it has a catalog and an online store. It's maginificent. And it's in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I've been there ONCE (which was enough to scare my husband out of ever going there again) and it was overwhelming. I didn't know where to start at first!

Frankenmuth is a wonderful little town to visit. I've been there a few times. I've eaten at
The Brewery twice (so good). I've walked around some of the little shops they have near the place where you buy tickets for the Riverboat. I've been up and down Main Street, to several of the places there. I've been to The Cheese Haus (awesome) and to The Fudge Kitchen (the fudge is very rich), and to The Harvest Coffeehouse & Beanery. Like I said, it's a lot of fun and there's some nice little shops to visit and some good food to be had.

I don't know how I went from talking to writing to Christmas, but hey, sometimes I go where my thoughts take me. Speaking of Coffee...time to get that second one! Y'all (yes, I'm in Texas, and that's how we talk) have a great day!

Have A Merry Monday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are You Photogenic?

Good Morning One And All!

If you haven't already, you'll notice I don't have a photo of myself up on my blog, yet. It's not because I don't intend to put one, it's because I haven't an updated (or one that I'd like to put up) available at this time. I have to get it taken, but I'll get that done eventually.

But speaking of photos...are any of you all photogenic? Because I'm not! LOL. There's been some interesting photos taken of me over years. Ones where I'm caught with my eyes closed, or I wonder why I had that (whatever expression it was) expression on my face! LOL. But there's people out there that just stand in front of the camera and deliver a pretty picture nearly every time! That's impressive. And not me.

In my internet travels I've noticed some very nice pictures of various bloggers put up. I sit there wondering if that was the first try or if they had to take several just to get the one. (I'd probably have to take several knowing me LOL). Did they get them down professionally or did they just have someone take their camera and shoot it?

So, tell me about your photo experiences? Are you photogenic or are you like me and have to go through several to find a good one?

Have A Snapshot Saturday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Comic Genius

Good Morning All!

Like I've said before I have a goofy sense of humor. Apparently it's not just found in my "comic relief" characters, but even in my parenting style. Today I was helping my son with someone and I started dancing around with a wash cloth (never thought that would be a popular dance style, did you? Well, I think we should call it doing The Wash or something like that). Anyway, my son was cracking up watching me. As a parent you have to wonder if the kid is laughing with you or at you. I figure a little bit of both. When he gets older I'm sure I'll hear "Jeez, mom, you're so weird!" So, I figure while he's still young enough to appreciate my comic genius I'd take advantage of it. Plus it's good fun. And I love making him laugh and smile. (It's a great feeling).

I've appreciated everybody's comments on yesterday's post. Be sure to vote on the poll found in the margin of my blog about current movies. It ends in less than 7 days. (Just did it for fun to see what everyone was into).

What's on my plate for today? I really am hoping to get my "act together" and do my exercise DVD. I've been remiss this entire week on that! YUCK! I won't get in shape and stay in shape if I don't stick to it. Then there's some of the usual every day items to do (laundry, bathing, etcetera). (Maybe I could do The Wash while I'm doing laundry? Hmmm? *laughs*). Oh boy...I wonder if I need that second coffee today or not. Thoughts, anyone?

I have a headache today, but I'm not going to let it get in the way of what I want to do. (It's not too bad...it's a manageable one). So, that's good.

I don't know how many of you have ever watched "Veggie Tales", but they have really cute Bible Stories (and lessons on virtues...things like sharing your gift with others, helping others, that kind of thing). There's one out there called "Lord Of The Beans" and it is parodying "The Lord of The Rings".

There's this one character in it that comes down a path riding some sort of unicycle thingy with an umbrella and he sings this song (and I got it stuck in my head yesterday) with an Irish or Scottish accent:

"Oh I'm a lucky fellow
I'm a lucky guy
I've got a new umbrella
and it's me pride and joy!"

I fear for the person who talks to me on the phone the next time this song is stuck in my head. And I'm not even a boy and I don't have a new umbrella! AAHHHH someone help!

Maybe I'll turn on some country music (Brooks & Dunn or Toby Keith's older stuff) or my younger brother's band, (Optional 2--they haven't updated in a long time, so don't look for any new updates, they aren't there, but I think they have clips of their songs and as far as I know they still have their album available to purchase) although, I'm not usually into hip-hop, Optional 2 is cool--it's very different from anything else out there. Or maybe, better yet, They Might Be Giants. We'll see :-)

In any case today is full of editing Chapter 3 of Conjure A Man and such like that.

So...anybody else have a goofy sense of humor? What's a funny or silly thing you've done?

Have A Funny Friday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We Can Work It Out

Good Morning Everybody!

This post is going to be a little bit of a plea. A plea for my fellow authors out there to be professional. To go through this road of working to be published in a fashion that is professional, and congenial.

Authors (Writers) are in this world of writing together. We aren't islands. The Simon & Garfunkel song I Am A Rock doesn't apply here. Writers are operating in the same world as each other (and sometimes in the same genre or category). Sometimes what one of us does can impact another (either positively or negatively).

Case in point:

If you're a writer who thinks that they should be able to query any agent or publisher without strictly following their submission guidelines, that your story is so good that they're going to want it regardless of what they feel will sell or what they personally want to represent, then you're making it harder on the rest of us (especially new authors).

I've noticed post after post by agents and publishers (in books, too) where they say "Follow the rules, it'll be better if you do." This is true. Agents almost never have a problem with the author who took the time to research their submission guidelines and only query/submit what they ask. One agent even said they were sorry they had to reject someone's work, but it just wasn't a good fit (for whatever reason, that's not our business, that's between that agent and the author). Some authors have even said "so-and-so rejected me, but it's okay. I still respect and think well of said person." That's a mark of professionalism! That's going to make others look at their name and say "Regardless, this person is going to be business like, this person is going to work with the system. That makes this person easier to work with!"

Folks, we're all wanting to get published. Those of us who want an agent, want quality representation. We don't want to have, as "newbies", a stigma that says: "New authors don't follow the rules." We don't want that, so please, follow the rules. If not for your own sake, for ours who want to follow the rules.

I'm not talking about brown nosing anyone, I'm just talking about respecting the work and preferences of others. Most agents have websites and most of them talk about what they will or won't represent. Some agents even go the extra mile to say that even if they reject you it doesn't mean you don't have talent; that it's just not something they feel they could represent.

If all of us authors follow the rules and are professional and try hard to work with the agents and publishers out there in a smooth fashion, we're more likely to have people smile when they see our names, rather than cringe.

Working together may take time. It may take rejection letters. It may take putting ego aside. But it's not impossible.

We can help each other by respecting the preferences of publishers and agents and each other. Yes, there's competition, but it doesn't have to get ugly. We can compete with each other while working with each other. We can even encourage and support one another.

Like I said, you're not an island. There's other writers, agents, publishers out there. Working together will help. Following preferences and respecting one another will help. Even if you get tons of rejection letters it's still possible to work together. So please, work together. Be professional.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Have A Team-Working Thursday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meet The Characters

Hi Everybody!

I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce some of our favorite characters that we've created (whether you finished the manuscript or not) might we meet some of your favorite characters? (you don't even have to say what story they're from).

Here's some of mine from various mss'es that I've either finished or still need to finish:

Bast Cantrell -- loyal friend, humorous, supportive and madly in love with his wife (Alexia). A man, but can change into a jackal, he makes a good hunting partner to predators who live near him.

The Fairies Of The Seasons--These little creatures (well not always little) are good guides when you're on a quest or in need of matchmaking purposes. They also are a bit on the mischevious side.

Noelle "NJ" Manchester--Fiesty, independent and not given to "fairy tales". She's loved by her brothers and male friends--thought of as "one of the guys", but also has a feminine side.

Pierre Mercier--Probably the smoothest most debonair male I've ever created. Nice guy, business man, and also has a playful side.

So, what are some of yours? Might we meet them?

What about books that are out there (not characters you created)....

Here's a few of mine:

Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy (need I say more?) just rocks in the end!

Kerrelyn Sparks' Gregori from her Love At Stake series. He's hailirious, fun, sure of himself and just an all around funny guy.

Ciara Gold's Del Geod from Celestial Dragon. Nice balance of serious, humor, and loyalty.

Lurlene MacDaniel's Jesse Rose from A Rose For Melinda, kind, sensitive, loyal, and a good guy.

So what are some of your favorite characters from books you've read? (include author's name, and book title in case someone wants to meet that character!)

Please let us meet your characters and the ones that you've liked from other authors' works!

And have a Wined And Dined Wednesday!

So It's Wednesday

Good Morning All!

It's Wednesday, which means the week is half over. Yesterday was interesting. My husband had off, but I didn't see him much during the day because he and my son went out to the Arboretum to have some guy time. I saw them around 3 p.m. (they left around noon). After that, took a shower, and off we went to one of the Libraries. Then to the grocery store, and home again for dinner and to sit down and watch "Wolverine And The X-Men" (the cartoon). My husband and I are both "X-Men" fans. Wolverine has made it on my husband's list of "scoundrels" (included on that is Han Solo, Duncan McLeod--"Highlander TV Show", Indiana Jones and I think a couple of others).

Today my husband is back at work, so my son and I have to entertain ourselves. LOL. It's also exercise day, so I'll have to turn on my exercise DVD and workout. (uncoordinated and all!)

Yesterday I managed to do some editing on the first chapter of Conjure A Man; so that's a good thing. (I don't know how strong a chapter it is, but I think it's fun because it's got Delaney's best friend, vampire Caruso in it). It's about 13 pages long. I also did a little writing, but I think I have to change it. But that's part of writing--writing, rewriting, writing, rewriting, etc...,

I had a weird dream. I dreamt that people who were hungry for or craved spaghetti meant that that person had Swine Flu (even if the person who ate it didn't have Swine Flu people would think they did). Very odd. But dreams can be that way. What's a weird dream you've had?

I hope everyone has a good day!

Have a Wacky Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More About The Scene

Good Morning Everybody!

The "deleted" (I'll explain the quotes in a minute) scene I put up yesterday got such wonderful feedback. I'm truly humbled by it. Thank you everybody! (I know there's cosmetic errors in this, like I said, it hadn't been fully edited), but it was edited as I posted it (long story about that...here's the short version: for some reason I can't copy and paste from my word processor to my blog, so I have to type it up from the printed page, weird, huh?) And yeah, if think there was a problem with it, feel free to tell me. I mean, how else will I improve if I don't know what needs improving, right?

Those of you who posted a comment will be happy to know that I found a way to put it in (that's why I put deleted in quotes). I did some thinking about it and realized "Wait, no, it could go in. I'd just have to figure out whether I want to keep it in a new chapter or put it in the previous one." (I'm thinking of putting it in the previous chapter for continuality purposes). I'm still figuring out how to adjust that issue, but the scene is back in. I felt like it was one of the better scenes in the story (and there are some that I really like) so I just couldn't take it out. If I have to I'll adjust the rest of the chapter so it can stay. I like it. And if necessary I'll go into some previous chapters and edit them so that the scene makes sense.

Conjure A Man is just in its first draft, so there is room for improvement (which is a good thing since I'd like to make it the best I can). I do have someone who's offerred to critique it, so that's great. My best friend, Sarah's got the first 5 chapters to make sure the French makes sense...although I took out the word lapain (spelling?) because I just haven't ever had Pierre call Delaney his "Little rabbit"...he usually calls her ma belle or ma petite belle, so I thought I'd stick with that, or ma petite amie (which is supposed to mean "girlfriend" according to this one Dictionary).

In other writing news I've been also dreaming up my next work--although nothing concrete has taken shape. I have a few ideas I'm playing with--trying to see if there's a particular character that jumps out at me. For now I'm just going to continue working on Conjure A Man and when my manuscript (Surreal) comes back from my editor, I'll be polishing that up.

Today my husband has off, so I'm happy about that. It's nice to have him around and my son just loves his Daddy so much. (He's one of the first people my son asks for in the morning!)

Not much planned for today, so we'll see what writing I can get done and if anything else crosses my mind like yesterday! LOL

Have A Tasty Tuesday!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Deleted Scene

Hi Everybody!

Good heavens, I've been a crazy-busy blogger today! But with good reasons. Today has been sort of eventful with all the stuff to talk about. And this particular post is special. I could've saved it for tomorrow...but who knows what things will pop up in my head tomorrow? So you're in for, what I hope you'll think of as a treat.

I was working on Conjure A Man today (after a whole weekend of not working on it at all, bad Bethany!) And I came up with this scene. Now I kinda like it. I think it's reasonably good. The unfortunate thing is, I think it happened too early in the story. So I had to cut it. I might use it later on in the manuscript, but for now I've put it in its own file to keep on hold just in case I need it. So a thought occurred to me. Why not post it on my blog? Who knows? I might use it, I might not. If I get enough favorable feedback I just might, if not, I'll probably keep it out.

First things first: Characters: Delaney--a witch, my main character. Pauline--her mother. Pierre--human male, Delaney brought over from the human world to pretend to be her boyfriend (what nobody knows is that they actually have just fallen in love--her family thinks they've been dating for 6 months!) Gloria--Delaney's snobby/patronizing cousin Lionel--her husband (very jealous). Anyway, here's the scene:

"You can't make that charge without proof." Pauline cast an incredulous look at Lionel.

Lionel set his lips in a firm line. "I'll find a way, I'll--"

"Hello, everybody!" Delaney called as she and Pierre walked into the dining room.

Lionel glared at them. Turning around, he strode out of the room. Gloria cast them a frightened look and ran after Lionel.

"Is everything okay, Madame Ryan?" Pierre asked, gazing at Pauline.

Pauline glanced at Pierre briefly then her eyes rested on Delaney. She cleared her throat. "Pierre, would you excuse us a moment?"

"Oui. I'll be in the living room." He said, swiftly leaving the dining room.

Delaney walked over to her mother. "Mom?" She said. "What's wrong?"

"It's Lionel." Pauline answered, her voice low.

"What's he done?" Delaney asked.

Pauline gripped Delaney's hand. "Did you--is it--" She paused, took in a shuddering breath, then continued, "Delaney, is Pierre human?"

"What!" Delaney exclaimed. "Wait. Is that what Lionel was saying when we came in?"

Pauline's shoulders slumped. "He told me that he and Gloria are suspicious of Pierre's background. We know so little about him, Delaney. Almost as soon as he arrived, you whisked him off. You have provided nothing but vague answers regarding his business, home and family. He's very nice and well mannered. I know your father likes him, but we don't really know him."

Delaney detached herself from her mother's grip. "So, just because Pierre is different Lionel is going to create drama? Jeeze, Mom! I thought you and Lionel were better than that. What's wrong with all of you? Can't you just be happy for me?"

Pauline wrapped an arm around Delaney's shoulders. "Oh, honey. We're happy for you. I'm just concerned because you're my daughter. Lionel is upset because of how Gloria has acted. He's trying to find reasons to get her to stop."

"How about pointing out that she's his wife? Pierre isn't interested in Gloria, Mom. He's interested in me." Delaney folded her arms. "I don't understand why they have to make trouble. For the first time in my life I find a man who's good for me and my own family turns their backs on me."

"Lionel has always been jealous." Pauline shook her head sadly. "I know Gloria loves him; but sometimes she does act a little inappropriately."

"Sometimes?" Delaney rolled her eyes. "Mom, you're so blind when it comes to Gloria. You see her as this perfect vision of what you want me to be. Gloria is married to a highly successful warlock. She's pregnant. She lives in Manor Hill. All I've done is disappoint you. I want to know when you're going to get over it."

"What? Now you've gone too far, Delaney! I never said I thought Pierre was human!" Pauline exploded.

"Yes, but you could've stood up for us!" Delaney shot back.

"What do you want me to say? I've been wondering about Pierre myself!" Pauline said.

"Why didn't you just ask Pierre or me?" Delaney asked.

"I tried to!" Pauline exclaimed. "You both sidestepped all my questions. Your father told me to stop. What am I supposed to think, Delaney? Who exactly is Pierre?"

Delaney lowered her head. "None of your business."

"I think it is. I think as your mother I have a right to know who my daughter is thinking of marrying."

Delaney's head flew up. "I'm not engaged to Pierre, Mother."

"No, but I heard what he said that first day. And don't think I haven't noticed the way you two look at each other. It's going to happen."

It was Delaney's turn to slump her shoulders. "Mom, if I tell you, it'll just make things worse."

"Why? Is it that bad?" Pauline asked, her hands on her hips.

Delaney nodded.

"Tell me." Pauline's voice once again low.

"If I tell you," Delaney began, "you have to promise to keep it to yourself. Don't even tell Dad."

Pauline sucked in a breath. "Alright. I promise I won't tell."

Delaney whispered in Pauline's ear, "Lionel is right. Pierre is human."

Pauline gasped.

I hope you all enjoyed it! I thought it was a good scene, I just not sure if I'm going to use it. I don't think it belonged where I originally put it.

Have A Merry Monday Evening!

"I Vant To Suck Yer Bluhd!"

Hello Again!

I know I have a post already up for today, but I couldn't resist talking about this:

I was on the Twilight Lexicon (yes, I am a "Twilight Saga" (by Stephenie Meyer) fan). In one of their postings, they were talking about a show coming out this fall on the CW, The Vampire Diaries based on the books by L.J. Smith. I haven't read the books, so I couldn't tell you what they're like; but based on what I'm hearing they are very different from "Twilight" (which is totally fine).

People commenting on the Twilight Lexicon were speculating that The Vampire Diaries were only becoming a show because "Twilight" was so popular. Well, the books of The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith were written before "Twilight" even came out. Of course it could be that "Twilight" was so popular that others thought they'd jump on the band wagon, but let's take a look at some of the vampire history in our culture:

Buffy and Angel both came out long before Twilight did. (The books, too).

Buffy had several episodes before it went off the air. Plus there's books available (I've seen them at at least one of my Libraries). I've seen a few shows of it, so I'm slightly familair. It's not just like Twilight and one of those reasons is because it came out before Twilight was even written (Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight in 2003).

Then came, Angel, which, spun off of Buffy (and also has books out) completing a fascination with vamps.

Then it seemed like it wasn't as huge for awhile. (or maybe I didn't notice it as much).

Then came Twilight and it was pretty much an instant success. (For myself, I fought against the urge to read the books for a long time because I'm not usually into vampires. At all). Suddenly it was really cool to like vampire stuff, again.

Then came the show True Blood and now The Vampire Diaries will premeire in September.

So was it really Stephenie Meyer who paved the way for vampires to "rise again"? Or is it simply that for eons we humans have had a strange fascination with the characters, their culture, morality and what it all means?

For example, author Kerrelyn Sparks has a series of books called Love At Stake that center around vampires. (So far, after reading the first one, How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire I can report that they are not like Stephenie Meyer's books).

I've noticed other books out there that deal with the vampire culture. They're all over the bookstores and they don't all fit the same formula as Stephenie Meyer's books.

In fact, I have vampires in Conjure A Man but they are not the focal point of the story. My vampires are extremely egocentric. My female main character, Delaney (a witch) is best friends with Caruso, a vampire. (To prove how egocentric he is, Caruso asks Delaney out to the Vampire Ball the day of the ball with only about 6 hours for her to get ready. The only reason she says yes is because she has nothing else to do and she's been friends with Caruso for over 20 years--like I said, he was awfully sure of himself!)

So what is it about writing books that either feature vampires or have them around that makes for good selling?

1. Probably because people are fascinated with them.

2. Probably because they are popular.

3. There's a chance they might sell (for the above 2 reasons).

But it didn't start with Twilight*--Twilight might've opened more doors, but it definitely didn't start the onslaught of vampire myths, books, shows, etcetera. Oh no, vampire lore was around long before the publication of Twilight.

So what's your take? To vampire or not to vampire? Do you like stories with vampires in them or are you not interested one bit? Are you a "purist" Buffy type, or willing to explore a variety of possibilities? Do you think Twilight paved the way or that it was merely riding the backs of an already open-to-vampires culture? What's your thoughts?

Have A Mysterious Monday!

Laughing At Yourself

Good Morning All!

Ever walked into a doorway? Perhaps a tree trunk? Maybe you strolled right smack into a telephone pole?

I'm a klutz. Yes, I admitted it! I've walked right into doorways, walls, a tree trunk, edges of tables, and other furniture. I slammed my toe into the edge of my bed (very painful, by the way). My best friend, Sarah kept me from walking into a telephone pole our senior year of high school.

So can you laugh about it? Or are you too embarrassed? I get it. It is embarrassing to be that klutzy. You want to be taken seriously. You want people to see you as this professional writer (or whatever you do). Yet, you can't help it; you're just not light on your feet. (P.S. I did take ballet...apparently it didn't make me any less clumsy LOL).

If you're a woman you walk down the hallway wearing heels. Confident, because you've walked in heels before without a mishap. Then it happens. Your foot turns the wrong way, and you almost land on your face. You glance around quickly to make sure nobody noticed. Straightening your skirt, you pull your shoulders back and think "That didn't really happen. I didn't stumble. I'm capable of remaining upright. After all, these aren't stilletoes, they're just regular 2 inch heels. I ought to be able to handle them. I mean, models walk in really high heels without falling, why can't I manage this?" So you go forward vowing not to tell anyone about your little misadventure. Sound familair? For me, yes; read on:

Walking to Church one day some time ago, I was wearing a pair of heels, and I was confident that I could handle it. After all, I've worn these before. Then it happened. My foot twisted oddly, pain shot up my leg and I tripped right there in the parking lot. Luckily I didn't fall, and just kept walking pretending nothing happened.

Why am I writing this? I don't know. It just occurred to me that sometimes we all stumble, trip, and basically end up looking less than graceful. And sometimes we have to laugh about it, or we'll turn bright red from embarrassment.

So, have you had klutzy clumsy moments? Are you able to laugh about them?

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meatballs, Vampires And A Little Sunday

Good Evening All!

Well...today has proven interesting. For one thing I woke up from having a dream about my Dad baptizing my son in a swimming pool at night, during 60 degree (or slightly warmer) weather. My husband looked at me and said "Oookay." I figured out where the swimming pool figures (saw one on the way home from the Library yesterday and wished with all my might that there was a swimming pool--that didn't cost much and that we could go to--near my house--that wasn't "This neighborhood's pool ONLY"). As to my Dad baptizing my son part...I have no idea. As far as I know my Dad has never baptized (nor been given the authority to do so) ever. Color me confounded.

As to the rest...well this morning I finished reading Kerrelyn Sparks' How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire. I thought it was so much fun (loved Gregori, he was hailirious). So, I looked up the next one on the online catalog for my Library, only to find out there's 19 requests for it! 19! I can't wait that long! I want to read this series, not wait in line for it. But unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait at least 2 weeks anyway. My husband (based on our current finances and infinite wisdom) put a moratorium on any "unnecessary" spending (this doesn't include buying chocolate ice cream at the grocery store--thank you, God! Mustn't ban me from the chocolate). So, even though I have to wait a couple of weeks until September comes around to buy more books, I figure, I've got 2 other books to finish reading from the Library, maybe I can survive. (I just had a lot of fun reading that Kerrelyn Sparks book!)

As to Sunday--Mass with the husband and the boy and home again for a yummy Swiss and Ham sandwich. Then off to Blockbuster to get the boy a movie.

I made meatballs tonight for dinner--first time I ever made meatballs (I don't usually like putting my hands on beef, I usually have my husband work with beef and I work with chicken). They're actually pretty good. My husband said they're good! Yay! Go me! I do like to cook and bake (love to bake) I don't consider myself very good at it, but my husband likes what I make (my son, the picky eater won't touch most things, so we've learned to find things he likes and work on that).

I hope everybody has a nice rest of the weekend! Take care.

Have A Sensational Sunday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Entering A World

Good Morning Everyone!

I just finished reading Ciara Gold's Celestial Dragon. It was a fascinating story. Generally I don't read too many futuristic novels, but I liked the element of fantasy and some romance mixed in. She has another one that goes with Celestial Dragon called A Noble Sacrifice, which I think I'll read. I'm interested in her time travel one, On The Silver Edge Of Time since I like time-travel romances (ever since reading Lynn Kurland's time-travels). Usually I don't go for books with men or women on the cover. I'm drawn to gardens, pictures of castles, that sort of thing. I like the whole fairy tale thing best; but if I've read something by an author that I liked, sometimes I just go for it. I like a lot of different things.

Speaking of fairy tales, if you haven't checked out Pink Bug's fairytale in her blog post, Fairy Tales...and Hairy Snails I recommend it. It's a different look on the classic fairytale.

And if you haven't had a chance to read my other parody, it's posted under the post "Another Parody"--I thought a little bit of fun was a good idea. There's times to be serious, but sometimes we all need to just have a good laugh. Hope The Adventures Of Super Les And His Sidekick Bob: The Villain's Proposal gives you that good laugh!

Today is a short post...I know--that's a shocker. But not every posting can be long! Plus it's the weekend...I have to work on Conjure A Man more and spend time with my family. Hope you have a great weekend!

Have A Supremely Superior Saturday!