Monthly Archives: April 2012

Checking In

Here it is, another sunny weekend. Another round of the NHL playoffs is going on. Was anyone surprised or elated over the results of the first round? Man, that was an exciting opening round to the Second Season, I must say. I didn’t know who I was cheering for at first, except that I knew I didn’t want Boston or Detroit to make it past the first round. And they didn’t! Haha! I am now firmly in the Nashville Predators camp, and I would be so excited to see them make it to the Conference Finals. For a number of reasons… A few too many to go into here. πŸ™‚

I missed writing last week, as you may have noticed. Or maybe not. πŸ˜‰ I’ve started working at my part-time summer job again. I know last year I’d said it was too much for me but circumstances this year have made it a necessity. Once again, writing may take a back seat, if only temporarily.

In another month, maybe less, the playoffs will be over. I’m already sad again for the loss of hockey. I suppose I’ll have the NHL Network and some old game replays to keep me going. Or I could always go with my old stand-by… The Olympic hockey tournament that I have on DVD. Ha!

I am still hard at work on a number of projects, not the least of which is finishing up editing “Double Vision,” the third in my TAITS series. I’ve also started another Maggie and Christian tale, and there may be one more of their story in me after that. I’m also still struggling with the next in the “Ice” series, though I may start another one of those if only to spark something. So you see, even though you get none of the benefits just yet, I am still writing. I’m hoping one day soon, things will even out and I can get back to a real routine of writing, like I did before. I missed being able to post the hockey romances as often as I did, or to write a full TAITS story.

I have not much else to report except that today is a beautiful sunny day and I’m considering going outside to sit in the sunshine. I might go sit by the fire – there’s a fire-pit in the backyard. I won’t just go lighting a tree on fire or anything, so don’t worry! – and enjoy the warmth while reading my latest book, Morgan Llywelyn’s “1921”. I have mentioned her before as one of my favorite authors I believe, and this latest one I’m reading is not disappointing. I wish I didn’t have to work sometimes so I could just read! I’ve always said it’s my second greatest passion. Well, maybe third. πŸ˜‰ Wouldn’t you like to know what the first is? Too bad! That’s a tale for another weekend.

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends and finding time to relax, like I am. As always, take care and happy reading!

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Sunday Sneak Peek

Happy Sunday to all, near and far. I’m sitting here, watching the third playoff game between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings. Naturally, I’m cheering for Nashville over Detroit. (Boo to the Red Wings!) LOL. And this is shaping up to be another exciting match-up between the two teams.

OH! Close call for Nashville. OK, guys, time to tighten up that defense. Ah, penalty for Detroit now. Go Preds!

Anyway, as I was saying, it’s a nice lazy Sunday. Maybe I didn’t say that. Well, I am now. I have very low energy levels today, as last night was a late one – SHOOT the dang puck! – but I still might be able to get some writing done. I actually did finish another short story this week, on Tuesday, and I submitted it to Lit that evening. For whatever reason – damn, penalty to the Preds – they haven’t posted it yet. I’m hoping it’ll be up by tomorrow now, but who knows? They haven’t taken this long to post something of mine in a long time. Oh well. Here’s a sneak preview, if you’d care to read it πŸ˜‰ :

(Oh, OK, before I copy and paste the sneak preview, I have to tell you something. My three year old nephew is sitting beside me, watching the game. I asked if he likes hockey and who he cheers for and he said, “the Flames.” I find this especially hilarious and awesome because his father – my brother – is a HUGE fan of the Oilers. HA!)

All right, here’s the preview for real. Enjoy!:

Exhaling on another sigh, I inched the car forward. Not for the first time, I wished I was driving a tank so I could just roll over everyone who got between me and my man.

The phone on my center console jangled and I jumped, startled. I couldn’t stop the silly grin from spreading across my face when I saw who was calling.

I engaged the Bluetooth and answered. “Hey, baby.”

“Hey you.”

My stomach did a somersault and I let out another sigh, this one contented instead of stressed. “Hi.”

His deep chuckle rolled through the line and eased me even further. God, I did love this man. “Where are you, angel?”

“On the interstate. There’s something going on up ahead and I’m stuck in about a hundred miles of parked cars.”

“Aw, are you serious?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn, I was hoping you’d be at home, waiting for me.”

I laughed. “Oh yeah? And what? I’d have dinner ready or something?”

“Sure. And you’d be wearing nothing but your apron and those lacy panties I got you for your birthday.”

My face warmed, in spite of the fact that I was alone in the car. He had that effect on me. In another few seconds, the heat would spread through the rest of my body. I squirmed, more eager than a minute ago to be home with him.

“I can put the panties on when I get home.”

He let out a short laugh. “You mean to tell me you’re not wearing any right now?”

I giggled. “Did I say that?”

“Don’t toy with me. I’ll make you pay for it later.”

“In that case, I’m not telling you anything about my panties. Nothing at all.” I settled back in my seat and eased my foot off the gas pedal for a few seconds as traffic moved an inch. “I won’t tell you how I haven’t worn panties all day. I won’t tell you that I’m wearing that skirt you love me to wear with no panties at all.”

“So… you’re saying you’re horny.”

I laughed. “Sure. If that’s how you interpret that.”

“Why else would you leave your panties off?”

“Easy access? While I’m stuck in traffic?”

A moment of silence passed.

“Jesus, baby. Are you trying to kill me?”

I smothered another giddy laugh with one hand. “Why? Where are you?”

“I’m about a block away from home and getting myself off.”

I groaned. “I wish I was home.”

“Me too, angel. I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you, too.” I squeezed the steering wheel. “Man, this sucks!”

“Calm down. The traffic will start to move and you’ll be home in no time.” I heard the sound of his vehicle accelerating. “I’ll get dinner ready and wait for you to get home.”

“Oh, don’t wait on me, Christian. I could be another hour still.”

“Then I’ll eat in an hour. I want to spend dinner with my pretty girl.”

I grinned. “Your pretty girl? Don’t you mean woman?”

“You’re my pretty girl and my sexy woman.” He paused. “You’re my everything, Maggie.”

My heart leapt within my chest and I felt warmth suffuse my entire body. A different warmth than a few minutes ago. The kind of warmth Christian made me feel when he said these things to me.

“I love you, angel.”

“I love you, too.” My voice was thick with sudden emotion.

“I’ll see you soon.”

“Yeah. Bye, baby.”

I hit ‘end’ and glared at the line of cars in front of me. I closed my eyes and willed them all to disappear. A few seconds later, I was forced to accept that my will wouldn’t be enough. I sighed and tried to relax. There was no point in working myself up over it.

My patience wasn’t tested again. In ten minutes, we started to move forward instead of just inching. After another five minutes, I was driving at regular speed again and I let out a whoop of excitement when my next exit popped into view up ahead.

Hopefully this is enough of a sneak peek to tide you over until Lit posts the full thing. If they don’t, I’ll be tempted to just post it here, but we’ll see how it goes.

Oh and when you can, head to Literotica and check out the message boards for the 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards. The nominations are open for the special categories from now until the end of June. If you have a user ID on Lit, you can nominate characters, writers or editors. Of course… I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love some nominations. πŸ˜‰ But it’s also fun to keep an eye on the boards as the nominations go on. Sometimes you’ll come across a nominated story or author you’ve never heard of and maybe discover something new to read.

All right. This is pretty much all you’re going to get out of me today, I think. I’m feeling like writing some more and that should come first, right? I hope you all are having a nice day, evening, morning, whatever.

Take care and happy reading and Go Preds! πŸ˜€

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Realistically Speaking…

Do you know what the basic steps are in a story? I’m sure you’ve all gone through this at some point in your education. I can’t recall all the exact terms but I still remember the gist of things:

1. Introduction

2. Turning Point

3. Rising action

4. Climax

5. Falling action

6. Denouement

Ah! And I even got denouement spelled correctly! Well, it’s French and I suppose I retained a lot of that from school as well. OK, moving on… My point is, every story has to have these main points in order to be considered a story. Now, of course, with some stories or novels, these main events are difficult to detect. I still remember being in grade 8 and my teacher showing the cartoon/Disney version of Beauty and the Beast (one of my all-time favorite Disney cartoons. Absolutely enchanting!) as a perfect example of each of these moments.

Introduction: Back story on the Beast, Belle singing in town about wanting adventure, running into Gaston, discovering that her father is a bit of a nutter.

Turning Point: Maurice (Belle’s father) getting lost, finding the Beast’s castle, getting thrown in a prison cell, etc, etc.

Rising Action: Gaston’s marriage proposal, Belle rushing off to find her father, trading her life for his, falling in love, Gaston hunting the beast – basically, the main portion of the movie is all rising action.

Climax: The beast being magically transformed back into a man by the power of Belle’s love.

Falling Action: Everyone else changing back, the wedding, the happy dancing.

Denouement: The stained glass portait of everyone, with the song playing.

Now, I may not remember the details exactly, but this was a very clear example of each moment in a storyline. There was also a very clear protagonist, antagonist, theme, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember. πŸ™‚ Hey, we’re talking grade 8 here, people!

As a writer, I still rely on these basic lessons though. Your story, long or short, does need to have all these main points. They may not be as obvious as Beauty and the Beast was, but that’s all right. As a reader, you still recognize what might be standing in the way of the happily ever after – or at least, the conclusion of a story, happy or not.

I went back through my “Ice” stories for a quick skim, and found that I was pretty good about including the intros, rising action, climaxes (LOL!) and all the rest. They weren’t always in-your-face obvious and I never had a mustache-twirling villain as an overt antagonist. Instead, I had things like insecurities and misunderstandings as the antagonists, and falling action that usually involved falling into bed. πŸ˜‰ On the other hand, my TAITS series has some pretty clearly defined moments and some villains, thrown in for good measure.

I wonder sometimes though, how realistic are my conflicts? I don’t mean in the TAITS series because, let’s face it, that series is this close to being pure fantasy. πŸ™‚ In the “Ice” series, or any of the romance I may write, are you frustrated by my choice of conflict or can you relate to it?

In one, I had a woman afraid to fall for a younger man. In another, two friends were afraid to get together because of all it might change. I also had a workaholic trying to fit a relationship into her life, and a student wondering if love can start with a one-night stand. Did you ever get any of that or were you turned off by the silliness of those conflicts? I guess, if you follow my blog and read my work, you must enjoy some of what I write, even if you don’t always agree with it.

But think about real life for a few minutes here. In your previous relationships, you must have, at some point or another, had a miscommunication or moment of doubt that led to an even bigger conflict or fight. I know I have and still do, on occasion. My stories, and those of other authors, are only a snapshot of a bigger picture. Your romantic life doesn’t end after six months of turmoil and drama, even if that’s the picture we’re portraying in our stories. Real life is even more conflict, but also constant resolution. You’d have gone through eighty relationships by the time you hit fifty years of age if you always threw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. And hey, maybe some people do that. As a writer, if I’m constantly striving for only the most realistic scenarios, I’d be writing the same damn story for the rest of my life. Right?! I think you know what I mean.

On the other hand, I don’t want to make my simple romances so chalk-full of dramatics that it makes the reader roll his or her eyes. So of course, I want my sometimes unrealistic conflicts to be as realistic as possible. Realistically speaking. πŸ˜‰ Ha!

So the long and short of it is this, what is too dramatic or unrealistic to be in a story? As I asked above, have any of my couple conflicts made you roll your eyes or throw up your hands in frustration? Or can you see these things happening in real life? In your life, even.

I wonder about these kinds of things in relation to my own life, of course. I do about so many of my topics on here, really. Hey, life is inspiration! I wonder if I’m too much like my characters sometimes, if I make too much of something little, and if it leads to unnecessary conflict? I mean, I’m allowed to be frustrated or annoyed with the people around me, right? I’m not saying I pick a fight over the toilet seat being left up or the dirty dishes in the sink. But some of the simplest misunderstandings or miscommunications can lead to bigger issues or arguments. However small or insignificant a comment might seem to one person, they can still be hurtful to the other person. So, how small an issue am I allowed – or is anyone allowed – to be upset about? Is there a limit? Should there be?

I think sometimes there aren’t rules for this, or any measure really, because every person is different and every couple makes their own rules for their life together. The thing is always to keep talking and to not let these little things fester into something bigger.

Often, in my stories, and other authors’, that’s exactly what happens. Something small, maybe even said in passing, turns into this huge problem that sometimes seems insurmountable. Again, that brings me back to my point of what is realistic in a story. If these small things become big fights in real life – whether you can manage to work past it or not – why can’t it be a reasonable conflict in a romance you read?

All right, I’ve rambled on enough about that.

Guess what starts tomorrow?!?! You got it! NHL Playoffs, y’all! πŸ˜€

I’m going to go ahead and make everyone place bets here – for bragging rights, nothing more! Tell me who you’re cheering for and who you think will make it to the final two.

My own beloved team didn’t make it, again. *sigh* I think I’m going to cheer for my back-up team, the Penguins. πŸ™‚ In the west, I might be able to get my cheer on for Nashville or St. Louis, because both teams have been so surprisingly good this year, and surprising always makes for some damn exciting playoffs. As for who will be in the final two… I guess I’ll go with Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Gah! It’s so hard to pick. We’ll all check back after the first round and revise our picks. πŸ˜‰

Until then, take care and happy reading!

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Publisher News

As I’m sure some of you have heard by now, Republica Press has decided to close down for a few reasons, one being the issues with PayPal that came up in the past few weeks. In any case, my books are temporarily unavailable for purchase as of today. They are still listed on Amazon, Kindle and the Nook stores but I’m not sure for how long, or even if you’d still be able to purchase and download them right now. I’m going to be working on publishing them myself through Amazon and Smashwords but in the mean time, they won’t be around. I’ll keep you posted as to when they will be available again, along with any new publications that I might get done.

I am disappointed by this decision of RP’s but I suppose I can understand it and there’s nothing I can do about it, really. I might have wished for more time or warning but again, it wasn’t a choice I had any say in.

Moving forward, this may turn out to be a good thing. As great as RP was in getting me started, and so many of us, they could or would only do so much in the way of advertising and promotion. I know the company was only part of what they did in their lives and it’s understandable that they hadn’t the means or know-how. Not that I expect my own merit to take me to superstardom. πŸ™‚ I still hope to reach a larger audience and make more money, of course. I don’t think that’s too crazy a dream.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to write here today. I’m off to a baby shower for one of my best friends. When I get back later, I’ll be hopefully getting some writing or editing done. Even if I don’t have anything new to publish for a while, I still intend to work on free stories for Lit.

For now, I hope you’re all having a nice weekend, maybe enjoying Spring Break. πŸ™‚

Take care and happy reading.

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