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I'm an award-winning author, a co-founder of NA Alley, and the owner of Forward Authority | Design Services. You can find my Mark of Nexus series (NA paranormal romance/urban fantasy) at major e-retailers. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Plausibility


Weird things happen. I get that.
Image by skyloader
We all have things in our lives that seem so implausible, it's ridiculous. Take, for example, my sad little car with mismatched headlights. It has been:
  • Plowed down a hill by an old lady
  • Filled with confetti
  • Toilet-papered
  • Covered in balloons and plastic wrap
  • Written all over
  • Duct-taped/Wired together
  • Home to (uninvited) snakes 
  • Home to a wasps' nest
  • An indoor pool, whenever it rains
  • On fire
Now, here's the thing: if any three of those happened in a book, I'd probably pitch the thing across the room. No one wants to read about a series of random obstacles being thrown at a character. We want the things that happen to shape our stories. We want them to have meaning and push things forward.

When we just toss things in for humor or shock value, we're weakening the things that do matter. Not only is it a disservice to our writing, but it's an insult to the reader. We're wasting their time.

<Deep breath>

That said, I don't think we should play it safe with our plotlines, either.

But you said...

Weird things happen. I mean, my hometown was overrun with exotic animals two weeks ago. I'm sure, given the right circumstances, something like that would make for great writing material/inspirationas long as it's pertinent. That's the keyword. Pertinent. There has to be a relevant reason for it, even if it's not made clear until the end. :)

So, what things in your life seem implausible?

P.S. Thanks for the award, Cassie Mae! :)

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Casting Call: Winner!

Hey, guys! I'd just like to say a quick thank you to everyone who participated in Casting Call this week. It was a blast, and I loved meeting your characters. You really, really rocked this bloghop. :) Now for the prize!
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The winner of the critique giveaway, as chosen by Random.org, is... 
/Drum roll

Congratulations! Melodie will contact you, regarding how to send us your three chapters. If you're not ready or choose to decline, we'll just draw again. No big deal. :)
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 Have a great weekend, everybody! ♥

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Casting Call: Strength


It's that time! Can you believe it? If you haven't already signed up for Casting Call, please use the Linky below. I'm going to leave it open until Friday night, so feel free to jump in late. :)

That said, I introduce you to two of my characters:


I decided to paint them in Photoshop, rather than spend the weekend searching for images online.
Somehow, even though I was the one to shape their likenesses, they still aren't exactly how I picture themso, don't feel bad if the images you find are only "close". ;)

Cryptic, I know, but I didn't want to reveal too many book-ish details yet. (Other than the fact that these two have a cute, physical contrast.) I'm still ironing things out, but I'll share more soon. I promise. ♥

Shout-out to my Casting Call co-hosts Melodie and Lisa! If you're not following them... well, you should be. :)

Thanks to everyone who is participating! This weekend, we'll select a random giveaway "winner" to receive a three-person, three-chapter critique. As Melodie said, "That's three pairs of eyes for the price of...well, nothing."  *grins*

Last, but not least, thanks to everyone following these posts. It's so fun sharing with all of you. 

P.S. You can find my post on the animals in Zanesville here.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Third Campaign Challenge: Stranded

The Challenge: 

Write a blog post in 300 words or less , excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction , non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:


  • That it’s morning
  • That a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • That the MC (main character) is bored
  • That something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • That something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec ," "wastopaneer ," and "tacise ."  (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

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Image by royal19
Sunlight spilled over the waves like liquid gold, glistening as it reached the shore. My eyes took in the scene from behind shades that darkened the sky’s rosy hue, filtering it, dulling its splendor. I’d seen too many sunrises since I’d been there.

I blew out a sigh and trailed a finger through the sand. Just how long does that man intend to keep me waiting? 

The cry of a seagull pulled me from my reverie, as it swooped down with something in its beak. Ocean water sprinkled my leg, and my nose crinkled at the fishy scent. Great. Now the stupid thing was going to feast on God-only-knew-what behind me. So much for paradise.

I stood to dust the sand from my legs, and a bead of sweat trickled down, over my collarbone.

“Täcįse.”

I straightened as familiar arms encircled my waist. “Jase,” I breathed his name on a shuddered exhale, my heart pounding in my chest.

“Šynbätęc, wäśtopanęęr,” he whispered, bending to brush his lips against my ear.

“Stop.” I squirmed against him. “You know what that island-talk does to me.”

“I know.” The warmth of his breath danced over my skin. “Is it working?”

“No,” I managed, barely suppressing a shiver. “Sorry.”

He grinned, tilting my chin back. “Are you sure about that?”

“…No.” Damn it.

His laughter was the best thing I’d heard in days—since we’d found ourselves stranded on that miserable island.

“Guess what?” he asked, his lips twitching upward.

I turned to him, cautious. “What?”

“We made contact.”

My knees buckled before I could catch myself. “W-We… what?”

“Made contact,” he said, pulling me close. “We’re going home.”

Tears stung my eyes as he crushed his mouth to mine, still tasting of tropical rapture. Maybe I was wrong.

It was a beautiful sunrise.

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Well, I started the Campaign with my first (ever) flash fiction. Here's to hoping I've improved a little. 300 words exactly. :)

If you liked it, feel free to "like" it on the Linky page. (I'm #12) I'll be making my way around to you guys' soon. I can't wait to read them! ♥

Oh, one more thing. I know this post will bury it, so don't forget to check out my weekly post: Stop Screaming. Have a great week! :)

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Stop Screaming.

Let's talk about screaming. See, a couple years ago, I was at a hockey game... 

No credits this time. I took this one. ;)
Well, maybe I should preface this by saying I love a loud arena. I love the excitement in the air. I love the synchronized chants of, "Let's go, Jac-kets!" *Clap, clap, clap-clap, clap!* I love it, okay? I dig the noise.

That said, I hate ignorant screaming. At this particular game, I was sitting near the most ignorant of screamers. This is how it went down. I kid you not. There was this half-drunk woman behind us—we'll call her Tracyhitting on a couple of Canadian guys. They didn't know each other. You know what? To make it easier, I'll tell it in story form. Ahem!

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Tracy nurses her beer, peering down at the ice. "What are they doooing? Did we score yet?"

The two men to her left share a glance before the closest one leans over. "They're warming up."

"Oh." She frowns, scanning the arena. "Whoa. Who's that hottie? Does he play for us?"

 "Number sixty-one?" he asks with an incredulous stare. "That's your captain. Rick Nash."

Her pupils dilate, and she leans forward with renewed interest. "Nash, huh?"

<Skip ahead to the middle of the first period>

"Woo, Nash! That's my man!" Tracy shrieks, cupping her hands to her face. She stands up, wiggling her bottom. "Nash! Hey, Nash! Marry me! I love you!"

The guys snicker, watching the display.

"Try calling him Rick," the closest one suggests. "Maybe he'll turn around."

"Ricky, baby, turn around! I love you!" When he doesn't respond, she flops back down, and beer sloshes over the edge of her glass. "Hey, when's halftime?"

<Skip ahead to the middle of the second period>

Tracy is leaning over her seat, infatuated. "Ohmygawd. Wait. You guys are really Canadian? Do you, like, play hockey? Everyone plays hockey there, don't they?"

"A bit in school," the farthest man answers. "Not for a while."

"Can you say 'eh' for me? Do you..." she trails off, her attention caught by something on the ice. "Oh, it's my man! MY MAN! NASH! NASH!"

About this time, a slightly perturbed writer interupts. "That's not Nash," she says. "That's fifty-one. Fedor Tyutin. Nash is sixty-one."

"Oh." Tracy sinks down in her seat, disappointed. "WHY WON'T THEY LET NASH PLAY?!"

Everyone in the section groans.

<Skip ahead to the third period>

"How do they skate that fast while dribbling the little ball-thing?" Tracy asks, squinting her eyes in concentration. "I couldn't do it."

"Let me kill her," the writer begs her sister. "I'll be quick about it. I promise."

Her sister shakes her head.

"Hey, your boy's out there." One of the men points to the ice, a shit-eating grin on his face.

Tracy's up in a flash, waving and bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Nash! Nash!"

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The point(s) of this story?
  1. Stop screaming, Twitter-spammers. We hear you. You have a book, and you want us to buy it. We don't need to be reminded seven times a day. If you're not careful, you'll end up a Tracy, and nobody likes a Tracy.
    (I'm just kidding, people-named-Tracy. I still
    you.)
  2. Please know what you're talking about, before you start yelling about it. Common sense.
  3. Don't ruin hockey games for me the writer. She gets cranky. ;)
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Announcements:
  • Last week for Casting Call sign-ups! It starts October 24th, so please plan to join us. (Or should I leave the Linky open during the week of Casting Call?) Oh, and If you can't seem to pin down your characters, you can always share inspiration or location photos. The guidelines are pretty flexible. :)
  • Thank you to Iain and Jessica for the awards! I really appreciate it. :)
  • I've finally got my second blog up and running. There. I'm not just "blogging about writing," anymore. *grins* (See:  Getting Personal w/ Carrie)
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Have a great week, guys! :)

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Casting Call!


 Introduction: 
Guess what, ladies and gents? It's time to announce the Casting Call Character Bloghop! I know, I know... you're all excited. (At least, you are in my mind...) I am too! :) #ccbh
As I mentioned last week, I'm co-hosting a weeklong bloghop with two ridiculously talented women: Melodie Wright and Lisa Regan. Simply put, it's your chance to show off your characters, for all of the blogosphere to see.
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 Fact:  This bloghop was Melodie's idea. She was inspired by a post Anita Grace Howard did using photos to describe Splintered's antagonist, Morpheus. Cool, huh?
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Excited yet? All you'll need to do is write one post (the week of the 24th) featuring a few characters from your book or WIP, using some kind of visual aid. (You're already picturing your post, aren't you?)

 Possible Ways to Participate: 
  • Photo montage - Grab photos online, and post them with small descriptions of your characters. Let's be safe/smart about this. Don't take copyrighted photos without permission, provide attribution on photos with a Creative Commons license, etc. Basically, give credit, where credit is due. I'm sure most of you do that with your posts, anyway. :)
  • Book trailer - You've seen them online, right? This is the perfect excuse to try one of your own!
  • Paintings/Drawings/Doodles on Napkins - C'mon, we won't make fun of your art skills. It's all for fun. :)
For an example, check out Melodie's photo-centric post.

 Quick Details: 
WHO: All the cool kids. (We're serious. Join us, and you'll be you cool...ish.)
WHAT: See explanation above
WHERE: Your blog. My blog. Everyone's blog! (We hope.)
WHEN: October 24th through 28th
WHY: Because it's Campaign season, we're awesome, and we can. 'Nuff said, right?
HOW: Use the Linky List below to sign up as a participant. Come the week of the 24th, share your post, then hop around to the others. Simple, right? There'll even be a giveaway, featuring a critiquish prize!

We really hope you'll join us. It should be a lot of fun! :)

 Sticker: 
Feel free to grab the promo sticker for your sidebar/promotion/post!







Please spread the word. The more people who participate, the better. Thank you!

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Monday, October 03, 2011

Trend: Graphic Novel Adaptations

I've noticed a rash of graphic novels based on (or continuations of) huge, bestselling novels lately. Just looking at paranormals alone, you've got Stephenie Myer's Twilight, P.C. & Kristen Cast's House of Night, and Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series. (That last one is a manga, so the site is in Japanese. Try Google. It's not the best translation, but you'll get the gist.)


Of course, paranormals lend well to the comic-like feel of graphic novels, but authors in other genres are stepping up, too. Janet Evanovich has teamed with Dark Horse to continue her Alex Barnaby series, starring characters from Metro Girl and Motor Mouth.  (See: Troublemaker)

So, what do you think of this trend? How would you feel about your book or series being made into a graphic novel?
Have a great week! :)

HoN cover © Dark Horse ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Announcements:
  • The winner of the Blog Button/Sticker Giveaway is: Tina Moss! Congratulations, Tina! I'll get to work on your button soon. :)
  • Check out Melodie Wright's blog post today. She's given you a first look at the Casting Call Bloghop we're co-hosting with Lisa Regan later this month. :D
  • Thank you to Michael Haynes and The Capillary for the Versatile Blogger Award! I really appreciate it, guys. :)
  • Reminder: The Second Campaign Challenge ends tonight at 11.59pm EDT. You have until the 14th to vote, if you feel so inclined. :)
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