Yeah. You know what I’m talking about. I see you nodding your head already. How many adults do you know that have never become adults? These are the people who still don’t know high school is over. They revel in teenage drama, expecting everything to be about “me me me.” They blame others for their problems, instead of taking responsibility. They look for the easy way out, instead of doing something right. They want others to do things for them, instead of learning how to do it for themselves.
Monthly Archives: May 2012
My writerly roots are in romance. I started with Barbara Cartland novels. Anything with 18th century fashion on the cover. Cookie-cutter, yes, but my favorite parts were the clothes. Odd, since I hate dressing up.
TT: Yes, Kat, this is why the scene with the clothesman in Elementals is so long.
I read Louis L’Amour, who also manages a fair bit of romance in his westerns. I learned to admire manly, independent men with grit under their fingernails and dirt on their pants. Helps to know how to ride a horse and wrestle a bull, too.
Anne McCaffrey came next, a fantasy/sci-fi writer who always managed to sneak a little boy-meets-girl into her stories about fighting dragons and artificial intelligence. Danger might fall from the sky, but men and women will always find time to woo and marry.
Through it all, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis’s “master,” instilled a love of fairy and natural wisdom that masquerades as magic in a cold, unfeeling world.
I like a little romance in my action/adventure/mystery novels. I like the energy a feisty exchange between genders can bring to a story. I especially like showing that love is more than chemistry, more than circumstances, and more than fate. Love is a choice, and, more often than not, love is a hard choice.
I hope you’ll forgive me if you find a little romance in my books. I try to keep it on the side.
Look at those pudgy cheeks and milky skin. This picture brings a flood of warm tears and a wave of fun remember-whens. Flashes of naked butts slip-sliding across the kitchen floor with butter and snorts of laughter as they told me a pound of butter tickled if you greased your skin with it. They were making pancakes, after all. Or the smell of nasty when I came home from work to find my husband soaking every toy they had in bleach water in the tub because Nick took off his diaper and the two boys painted the room and each other with it. The little spot on Nick’s lips that was the only clear place because his brother also gave him a poo-poo facial. Or how Cilla played with the boys by giving them a chunk-chick-slam (Her dive bombing them from any furniture while the boys were on the floor watching television or playing with toys.
It seems like yesterday.
Oh, God, where did the time go? Read more
In my last post, I got pretty real about dealing with edits for my second book, Seeking Unseen. This time, I’m gonna get real again–about jealousy.
This past Saturday I spoke about short story writing at a local writers group. It went well. REALLY well. The writers who attended were attentive and asked great questions, and all of them came up and told me how impressed they were with my talk. At the risk of sounding conceited, I have to say, I thought I did a dang good job myself. I knew my material, I was calm and relaxed (the nervousness melted away almost the moment I started talking), I spoke smoothly, had answers for everyone’s questions, and everyone got my jokes . Oh, and the group asked me to come back and speak again, as well as recommending I give the same speech at another group’s meeting.
The meeting ended with me feeling like I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. Writing, and helping other people with writing. I only sold three books, but that wasn’t the point of the meeting. I knew it was unlikely that many in the group would be into my genre, so three sales was pretty good as far as I’m concerned!
We went to lunch following the meeting and had a great time as well. While at the restaurant, one of the group members told me she was going back to Barnes & Noble (where the meeting had been) to say hi to an author doing a signing that afternoon–an author she had interviewed on her blog, who is now a NYT bestseller in YA fantasy/paranormal. She asked if I’d like to go with her and meet the author.
Duh. Yes! I’m always interested in seeing what other authors do at gatherings and signings. Unfortunately we missed her speaking part, and got there while she was signing books.
A room full of teenagers, all staring at the author like deer caught in headlights. Star-struck.
My gut twisted. Part of it was kind of feeling sick at the idea of this person being nearly worshiped. She’s human after all! The fans present were all-out gushing. I thought how weird it must feel to have people act like that over you. The group members who had commended me on my speech were professional and enthusiastic, but not swoony. I felt supported and appreciated, but not fawned over.
On the other hand, my gut also twisted from what I can only name as jealousy. This room full of teens had never heard of Finding Angel, and with me being with a small press it’s unlikely that any of them will any time soon. I certainly won’t be invited to B&N for a signing for a long, long time. Watching this author sign three books per person, to my three books total suddenly made my successful talk feel far less so.
I know this author didn’t start off at that level. She wasn’t selling books hand-over fist from day one. And not everyone loves her, as evidenced by the negative reviews she’s gotten. (Yep, I read them, and only them–no positive ones….I am so bad.) I also read the first pages on Amazon and found issues that I was in the midst of trying to rid my manuscript of. Ya’ll all know how frustrating that is, don’t you? Being slammed on something in your writing, only to find the very same no-no in a NYT bestseller. Sigh.
In the end, I just decided I have to let it go. Someday, I WILL be doing signings at B&N. Someday, I WILL have fans coming through my line to buy my whole trilogy at once, maybe two or three sets because they plan to give them as gifts. I’m not sure why this author gets to experience that so much sooner than I will, but feeling jealous was doing me no good. I quit reading her bad reviews, quit looking for things to dig on, and reminded myself that God has a plan for my writing. I know that in the end I’ll be able to see how that plan was perfect for me. In the mean time, I’m ignoring the jealousy and focusing on making Seeking Unseen the best book it can be.
(But you still won’t catch me reading that author’s good reviews .)
Howdy. I’m the Turtle. Ranunculus Turtle, to be exact, but no one knows how to spell that, let alone say that, so they just call me “Turtle.” On occasion, they call me “Snapping Turtle,” but I’m fairly calm today.
Although capable of surprising speed when food is involved, I took a while to climb the stairs to the Granny Flat here at The Cheesecake Thickens. Yes, the food is good, but the view hasn’t turned out to be quite what anyone expected. The adoring crowds chanting our names and throwing little pickles are noticeably absent. Taller buildings with penthouse apartments block good chunks of sky and excite a certain sense of restlessness. We may sip tea and nibble cheesecake, but it’s in between marketing pushes and all-night writing sessions and wrestling with bloated expectations.
My decision to climb these stairs was a long, hard process. It’s far easier to graze for fallen strawberries and chocolate on the ground than go hunting out the table top, but – as much as I might wish otherwise – I don’t think life is meant to be easy. I think we’re supposed to struggle.
I will rest here in the flat for a little while, but not forever, I hope. I suspect if I move enough furniture or wall coverings or bookcases, I’ll find a door hiding a set of stairs leading inward and upward. Naturally, I’ll be forced to climb them in search of bigger strawberries and better-quality chocolate.
Until then, have a seat, have a cup of tea and keep your hands off my plate or you’ll find out just how hard I can snap. Turtles don’t share food.
Except for tomatoes. Take as many of those as you like.
The last few weeks have had me chewing on a lot of controversy in the Christian writing community. A heated debate erupted that pitted one side against another. The topic at hand? Many actually, but the gist of it was the insinuation that Christian writers were sub-par and they needed to up their game, allow for a different model in their predetermined publication rules and that those writing on the fringe should abandon the CBA altogether and move to the ABA. As you may guess, this angered a lot of people in the Christian writing industry and the blow-back fueled many ranty blogs from both sides. It got brutal with full snark and hackles in many cases.
Let me state this now before I go forward, I did not get involved directly in this dispute. I watched, helpless from the sidelines. Read more