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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS I HATE BEING A WRITER


By Elysa Hendricks


10.  I get no respect. Everyone thinks they can write and they aren't afraid to tell me so. Of course, they're too busy write a book now. They - unlike me - have busy, important lives and jobs. They have to wait until they have a free weekend, but since it's sure to be a bestseller they're willing to offer me the opportunity to collaborate with them. They'll provide the "story," I'll do the writing, rewriting, editing, etc. and we'll split the money 50/50.
9.   I have a closet full of lovely outfits I rarely get to wear. Since I work at home my daily wardrobe consists of shorts or jeans, t-shirts or sweatshirts, and sandals or tennis shoes, with an occasional day spent in pajamas, robe and slippers.
8.   I get to spend my time talking to imaginary people, who like "real" ones don't listen to me and do exactly as they please without regard for my needs.
  7.   No one understands that writing is hard work. It requires concentration and effort. They think because I'm home sitting at my computer all day I'm not busy and I'm available to take care of their needs as demanded.
 6.   Working from home without a boss standing over my shoulder with a whip requires strength of will - something I've discovered I'm sadly lacking. It's just too easy to get sucked into playing around on the Internet. I'm a Facebook addict. So far I've avoided becoming entangled with Twitter or Pinterest and the like, but my resolve grows weaker every day.
 5.  I can't seem to stop myself from reading reviews. The good ones are wonderful. They prop me up for a few minutes. But the bad ones can be devastating. They crush my creative energy and make me question my ability to write. In spite of all the lovely comments I've received about my western historical romance THIS HEART FOR HIRE I still remember every word of the first rejection letter I received. It's a running joke in my household. Every time we watch a movie that has an involved, convoluted plot my dear hubby looks at me and quotes from that rejection letter, "…too contrived, with too many unlikely events." I need to stop memorizing my bad reviews and focus on the good ones.
 4.  If I'm not writing I feel guilty, but when I'm writing I feel guilty about not taking care of other important things and people in my life.
 3.  I can't stop thinking about writing. No matter what I'm doing, where I am, who I'm with, I'm always considering ways to incorporate that experience, that event, that character, that bit of dialogue, that view into a book somehow.
 2.   I can no longer remember what my life was like before I started writing. What did I think about when I wasn't creating characters and plotting their stories? I don't recall.
 1.   I'm addicted to the written word - both the ones I pen myself and those penned by others, but like the song says, "I'll just stay addicted and hope I can endure."
Monday, September 24, 2012

Up and Coming Sci-Fi Movies

Linda's post on Star Trek had me searching on the net for who was considered best Captain of all time, and it seems that Linda has joined the consensus that it is Picard, hands down.

I wasn't a huge Star Trek fan growing up. I liked the series and the movies but I've always loved superheroes. Particular Superman with Christopher Reeves. So while I was searching around for info on Star Trek I stumbled upon what sci-fi movies were coming up in 2013. Lo and beyold, here are a few of them.

The Man of Steel - Henry Cavill is cast as Superman and Zack Snyder, who is known for 300, Suckerpunch and Dawn of the Dead, will be directing. Amy Adams and Russell Crowe are also cast in the movie. The trailer has almost a Black Knight feel to it.

I've always enjoyed super heroes to the extent that I wove that theme into my next paranormal sci-fi romance, Shrouded in Mystery. Below is a short overview of the story.

John Davenport wakes from a car accident with a dead man beside him and a duffle bag in the back seat with over one hundred thousand dollars in cash and a loaded gun.  He has no memory of his past or how he got there.  His only clues are a photo with the address of a shelter and a driver’s license with the name of Clark Kent.  They lead him to Boston, but once there, he’s left with more questions and a sense of eminent danger.

But nothing prepares him for the phenomena he finds within himself.  His hearing’s more acute than any animal, his strength beyond anything human.

Katherine Spalding knows she’s one of the lucky ones.  Born with money and looks, raised and educated among Boston’s elite, she has the respect and admiration of friends and the community.  But her luck’s about to turn to chaos when a tall, gorgeous man with the most incredible gray eyes stumbles into her life.  Katherine doesn’t know what to make of him.  He claims he’s Clark Kent.  But is he saint or sinner, hero or villain or … just plain crazy?  Is she willing to find out, even at the risk of her life?

Buy now at Amazon, B&N or KOBO.


 Other movies that should be coming out next year include:

Oz: The Great and Powerful - James Franco will star as the young Wizard in this prequel. I'm really not sure how they will pull this movie off.

Elysium: Matt Damon. Jodie Foster. It’s Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9. I love both Matt and Jodie and District 9 I thought was one of the most distinct movies made in a long while.

There's also R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds, Oblivion with Tom Cruz, Ironman 3, The Hobbit(1 and 2) and Twenty Leagues Under the Sea. Twenty Leagues looks promising. It's a Disney Movie but David Fincher is directing. Fincher is known for Fight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Seven, so I have a good idea this movie is not going to be warm and fluffy.

There are of course more sci-fi and fantasy movies out there, but these are the ones that caught my attention. Some do look like the same old stuff but with a different name, while others might have block-buster written all over them. I guess we'll find out soon enough!
Friday, September 21, 2012

Recharging the Creative Well

I often hear writers refer to the well of creativity. Working for a municipal water laboratory, I have worked with wells and like this analogy. Recently, however, I heard a writer speak about how to recharge your creative well by continuing to take out of it.
Um, if you do this to a real water well your water quality diminishes and the well goes dry.
And I suspect constantly debiting your creative account will leave you bankrupt.
No writer wants that.
The speaker didn't seem to understand what recharge means. In water terms, we recharge a well by filling lagoons, ponds and lakes with recycled water. These areas are carefully selected based on soil type so the standing water filters through the ground and into the aquifers to refill the well.
These efforts by the cities around Phoenix means that the ground water level is actually rising.
And rising water and creativity is a good thing.
Notice that during this process no one had to stop using water, and neither does a writer have to stop writing to recharge.
The important thing to note is that something is being added back into the system.
For writers, this is simply feeding your creative self. In the most basic terms food (energy) equals work (writing) except we're not talking Snickers bars and breaking rocks. We're looking for those things that inspire you and get the little gray cells moving.
Some of my favorite things to do to inspire me to write:
1.) Look at art.
2.) Read.
3.) Stare at the stars.
4.) Cook.
5.) Scrapbook.
6.) Watch HGTV.
7.) Watch a movie, documentary, or TV show.
8.) Sew.
9.) Garden.
10.) Learn something new.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sneak Peek: The Swords of Gregara - Honora

This is a little peek at my next book.  It will be released at the end of October.  It's the third in the Swords of Gregara trilogy.  This is Honora's book.

Chapter 1

“Ahh” the pain filled moan filled his ears.
“You disappoint me, Honora.  You continue to try to escape me.  When will you learn?”
The whip struck flesh and the woman moaned but didn’t scream.  She didn’t scream.
When he woke again he was not alone.  Chained across the room from him hung by her wrists was a woman.  He could see the lash marks.  Lash upon lash, new over old.  
Crawling to her he released her hands from the chains holding her up.  She collapsed in a heap on the floor.  He crawled back to his side of the room as darkness overtook him once more.

*****

“Get up, Zolthor.” 
Cold metal slapped his buttocks.  His naked buttocks.  What the hell?   
“Your training begins,” said the female voice.
He swatted at the irritating object, sat up immediately, reeled from whatever drug they’d given him, and nearly fell back to the ground.  “My name is Joridan Dolana, sergeant in the Centaurian Army. CA number 5551234”
“Oh, an Army man,” she scoffed.   “You look like a Zolthor, therefore you are a Zolthor.  I am Honora.  Your trainer.  I will teach you to use a sword.  So whether you are Zolthor or not, you will fight like one when I’m done with you.”
  He must be dreaming.   But he was awake.  This was a nightmare.  He closed his eyes and covered them with his hands, hoping to erase the images from his mind.
“Water.  I need water,” he said. The ground cold on his naked buttocks.  
The woman, whatever her name was, handed him a metal cup filled with a brownish liquid.  He drank it, needing it regardless of its unappetizing color. Now he remembered what she said.  Honora.  But who was she?  For that matter, where was he?
He looked around him and saw only a small room, with two openings.  There should have been doors instead they were just empty archways in the walls, one leading outside and one to the inside.  Coming from the outside was the din of metal hitting metal
“Tell me where I am,” he commanded her over the noise.
“You’re on Gregara.  You’re a slave owned by Perdor, Valmud of the Tokina tribe.”
“I am no man’s slave.”
She shrugged.  “Whatever you say.  Now get up.”   He ignored her demand.  Like hell he was going to just acquiesce to her orders! 
“Why do I need a sword?  Give me back my blaster and I’ll show you a fight.”
“You try my patience.  Technically there are no blasters allowed on the planet but they are everywhere.  Regardless, they are not allowed in the arena.  Only swords, spears and nets.  It’s totally barbaric but what can you expect from barbarians?”
He finally looked up at the person belonging to the voice.  A very tall woman with white-blond hair, braided and laying over one shoulder with the iciest blue eyes he’d ever seen stood before him. 
“You.  I released you from the chains last night.”
“It wasn’t last night.  It was two nights ago.  Thank you for that but it doesn’t change the fact that I need to train you for the arena.”
“What arena?  What’s a valmud?” he stood up not caring that he was naked.  He had to get out of here.  He shook his head trying to understand and shake the confusion and the residual drugs from it. 
 “It’s not a valmud.  It’s the Valmud.  The leader of the tribe.  Learn that now and save yourself grief later.  He watches us now.”
He looked at the two doorways, then up the wall at the boxed seating.  There was a slender, dark skinned man in a purple shirt and brown pants.  He had short hair and no beard.  He looked ordinary.  Nodding at the woman, he got up and left.
After his brief nod, she came over to him and stood toe to toe.  Forcing him to look at her.  Look into those beautiful blue eyes that held no warmth.  Gaze at her perfect pink mouth as she talked to him.  He had to still be under the effects of the drugs.  Why did he care about such things? He closed his eyes, shook his head then opened them again and concentrated on her words. 
“I will explain this once,” she poked him in the chest with the index finger of her left hand.  “No more.  You better hope your head clears before I finish.  Perdor loves the gladiator games.  They are the favored entertainment of the Tokina.  Once you are trained, you will go to the arena with me.  Perdor does not send you into the arena without proper training.  He wants the fights to be entertaining, not a slaughter.  You are to be paired with me.  We are the new “fighting giants.”  We’ll fight together and because I have no wish to die, you will learn how to fight, with a sword and never again with a blaster.”
Joridan was sure he must be losing his mind.  Either that or Krios had abandoned him and he’d ended up in hell.  Or maybe it was heaven.  Where else would a beautiful, very tall woman with white blond hair and icy blue eyes be training him how to use a sword?
He closed his eyes, scrubbed his hands over his face, slid down the cold stone wall and tried to remember what happened?  What the hell happened?

I hope you enjoyed the preview and that it's sparked your interest in the book.  See you again in a few weeks.




Monday, September 17, 2012

BOREALIS SERIES - by Vijaya Schartz

BLACK DRAGON, the 7th story in the BOREALIS sci-fi romance series, just received a 5-lips review from TWOLIPS Reviews. Merrylee says: "I love the Borealis novellas, and in particular, this one by Vijaya Schartz. As always, her action-packed, well-plotted out prose kept me glued to the pages of Black Dragon from start to finish." Read the complete review HERE

I am delighted. This publisher series from Desert Breeze already included two previous anthologies, and another separate novella, all by different authors. The other consideration is that this space opera romantic action adventure is on the sweet side.

The premise for the BOREALIS SPACE STATION series:
 In orbit over a deserted outpost at the edge of conquered space sits an aging space station  under the control of the Trans Planetary Protectorate. Its name is Borealis, and it is slowly falling apart  as the Protectorate funnels its massive resources into the border wars,  and keeping the outlying systems in line, as insurrections break out.

BLACK DRAGON:
Available in kindle, nook, at ARe and from Desert Breeze Publishing

A gambler is cheating in a den of the Borealis space station, and Lieutenant Zara  Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle. Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Borealis space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow TPP enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been used by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.

FUTURE BOREALIS NOVELLAS:

Yes, there will be more of these novellas coming out next year. I will be contributing another novella to the BOREALIS UNIVERSE. No title yet, but it will have to do with the rebels and the TPP and will include a strong heroine, as always. My BOREALIS 9 story is scheduled for September 1, 2013.

Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Find Vijaya's books and eBooks on:
AMAZONBARNES&NOBLE - ARe (All Romance eBooks) 
Friday, September 14, 2012

Dollhouse--Sci-Fi, Romance, and More

Eliza Dushku


Joss Whedon is a prolific writer and director (thank goodness!) who knows how to push the boundaries of the imagination. His TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly are some of my all-time favorite shows. Sure there's a bit of camp, but along with the sly humor, the story lines always give us something to think about. 

Miracle Laurie
For me, his most recent TV series, Dollhouse, was a bit of a misfire. I couldn't bond with main character Echo (Eliza Dushku) tho I adored her as Faith in BtVS. She seemed a bit soulless as she was imprinted with one personality after another at the behest of powerful and manipulative researchers and patrons.

Or maybe that was the point.

Still, Dollhouse had many other characters I came to love, many other story lines I rooted for. My especial favs were Miracle Laurie as Mellie. LOVED her. So sweet and sympathetic, and with several dark secrets. 


Another fav was Tahmoh Penikett. He played the federal agent and had a few secrets of his own--and a weakness for his neighbor's casseroles.

Tahmoh Penikett

Tophir Brink (played by Fran Kanz) ostensibly held the whole Dollhouse operation together--science-wise, that is. And while drama or moral quandary raged around him, he somehow managed to be amoral through it all...until a moment that's somewhat prophesied by his name. 


Fran Kanz
So while Dollhouse is probably my least favorite of Whedon's offerings, it still kept my interest and made me examine issues like the idea of beauty, of morality's place in science, and what the future might hold for us all. And it made me laugh. Joss is very good at that.

Until Joss's next projects (Much Ado About Nothing and S.H.I.E.L.D.) come to fruition, enjoy some of his most thought-provoking material and check out Dollhouse
Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Release - The Sky Pirate's Wife


Good morning, afternoon, day, evening, y'all. September has arrived and the day I've been waiting for is on the horizon. That day is when The Sky Pirate's Wife arrives in ebook format. September 17 to be exact.

This final draft of the book is a far cry from the original and I'm pretty surprised at the changes the characters took on when I look at both copies, but I'm also extremely pleased.

I love The Treasure Hunter's Lady, the book that started my Legends and Lovers Series, but The Sky Pirate's Wife plot is one that really stole my heart because I had a chance to develop the love story not just around an adventure, but one of my favorite things about it is how the hero comes to realize the meaning of "love of your life".

Blurb:
After a tragic airship wreck, Captain Alwin van Buren makes a drastic decision to obtain a wealthy bride in order to save his flagging business. He meets his match in Sophie Barnes, heiress to an airship empire. After he seduces her and ensures their marriage—igniting a rivalry with her godfather—he learns the green-eyed beauty is as headstrong as he is.

Sophie knows Van Buren's reputation based on a series of dime novels written about his adventures. Determined to be more than an end to a means, she despises him for luring her into marriage. In fiction, he's a no-nonsense captain on the verge of piracy, but the flesh-and-blood man wins her heart by proving she's worth more to him than her money.

Their love is threatened when Sophie learns Van Buren's airship accident was a result of mythical creatures. Winged predators that appear to have a grudge against him, a fact he deliberately hid by accusing her godfather of sabotage. If she can forgive him for that, they still have to face the danger when they're cornered and at the mercy of beasts and the evil that controls them. The real test comes when Van Buren is asked to make a sacrifice that could destroy them both.

Excerpt:
Sophie looked at the book in his hands. No one held the wheel but her. “You let go!”
He grinned. “You're doing fine, zoete. Keep her steady, she's climbing on her own.”
It wasn't the idea of being the only thing that stood between them and another flaming airship wreck that made her tremble. It was his smile. The kind that all women yearned to receive from a handsome man. “You should really take the wheel.”
My hands are full.” He waved the logbook at her, but replaced it and remained standing beside her. “You're doing very well.”
Are you certain?” The wind blew her hair and snagged her skirt. The horizon filled her line of sight and she suddenly understood the thrill of piloting a ship. It was like having the same freedom as a bird. She could point the ship in any direction and go wherever she pleased. Nothing had ever made her feel so alive. Except kissing Van Buren. Her head turned his direction like it was on a spring. She covered the sudden movement with a laugh. “I think I'm in love with your ship.”
His eyes darkened from icy gray to the shade of wet concrete. He lowered his mouth to her ear again and put his hand on her back. “Flying is a great deal like making love, Sophie.”
She nearly melted at her name on his lips. “W-why do you say that?”
It's instinctual. The mind and body work together, creating a moment of beauty. The first time is a little frightening, but once you find the rhythm, the proper technique, you have something very enjoyable on your hands. Something that you feel deep within your soul. Something that you never want to give up. With the right person, the kind of relationship you'd die to protect.”

You can find it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble on September 17! I also want to invite everyone to my Facebook release party and author chat on the 17th. You can join the Twitter chat with the hashtag #SPWife at 2 pm CST. I use Twitterchat.com to filter out anything else that might show up in my wall.

When I'm not here I'm blogging at Have Novel, Will Edit, playing around on Facebook, Twitter, and G+. I also have a new page on G+ all about the Legends and Lovers Series!
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SUMMER'S END

Though the Fall doesn't officially start until September 22nd and as I write this it's still only the third week in August, it already feels like summer is coming to a close. The signs are everywhere. Bright yellow school buses are buzzing around the neighborhood. Bins full of pumpkins have replaced the watermelons. School supplies and Fall clothing fill the stores. The days are slowly getting shorter and the nights cooler. Sweaters and jeans replace swimsuits and shorts. Instead of the tantalizing aroma of barbeque filling the evening air, it now smells of burning leaves and bonfires.

Though I'll miss the long, hot, lazy summer days, I'm sort of looking forward to the change of season. Fall has always been my favorite. Warm sunny days with crisp nights perfect for sleeping. And aside from the suddenly overactive bees the only insects that seem to remain are the noisy cicadas, crickets, and grasshoppers.

When my children were small summers were for them and I did little to no writing. I did manage to read while they attended various summertime lessons and played in the park. Once they were grown I thought I'd spend more of my summer days writing and reading, but quickly discovered how much I enjoy gardening and spending time outside, so while I do manage to read my writing time is limited to rainy and sweltering days. But when summer ends and the temperature drops, the appeal of outdoors wanes, and I find my writing productivity grows.


While I love Autumn weather I'm so not looking forward to when colorful, warm, sunny days and crisp nights turn into grim, grey skies with snow and ice covered streets and frigid temperatures. Still, once the weather turns my toes and nose to chunks of ice I'll have no more excuses not to plant my butt in my cozy office and write.

Here's the view from my office window in winter.

Which time of year are you most productive? Which seasons do you find yourself including in your books? Which seasons do you like to read about?

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