An indie novelist muses about writing, society, and the arts.
CNote images - free to send off-site: "Ornament Greetings"
"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store."
I'm rather eclectic ... an indie but fairly conservative, somewhat opinionated but open to intelligent discussion, and a rule-follower unless I feel the need to break them for good reason. You never know what you might find. I generally don't know what I'll write here until I sit down to do it.
Elora is Latin for light. I'm a light-seeker. Elora is my muse.
This is my second blog at WDC. You'll find the first here:
"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."
~Henry David Thoreau
My December Writing.com activities:
creating Christmas CNotes!
What I'm currently reading:
Thin Ice by Liana Laverentz
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox
A Night In Twisted River by John Irving
Keeping Faith by Joyce Carol Oates
Pumpkinnapper by Linda Banche
The Death of Adam by Marilynne Robinson
Short Book Reviews: "Invalid Item"
"On Our Own: Indie-publishing Group" by Voxxylady
"Indie Publishing: Method and Madness" by Voxxylady
"Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor
"Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor
"If this work seems so threatening, this is because it isn't simply eccentric or strange, but competent, rigorously argued, and carrying conviction."
Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe,
shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish."
I've been trying to pop in on some of my favorite bloggers here just to find untouched blogs for the past few months on too many of them. I know some are blogging in different waters these days and I've had an invite to follow, but what can I say? No matter where else I roam and write online, this is home. I may step out here and there to catch a blog elsewhere, particularly on blogger where I'm also comfortable (and a wordpress or two), but none of them touch me like WDC. I may or may not get out to them in other parts of cyperspace, just as I may or may not be able to force myself out of the house to roam on any given day (more often than not, I don't and won't without really good cause). I'm a homebody & a creature of habit. I need stability when I can get it, especially in the midst of my rather erratic life.
Not that it matters to anyone in particular if I follow them elsewhere. Those I follow are good writers with interesting things to say and they will always have an audience. I'm the one missing out; I do realize this.
However, 2009 has been a crazy year full of loss and near loss and struggle and floundering and separation from too many people I miss keeping up with. I need to pull back the reigns and return to the humble beginnings of this blog.
By 'this' blog, I mean the one I currently keep on the site. With space expanded to hold 750 entries instead only 500, I could keep going right here for some time yet. But I feel a need for change. This one has been holding my entries for 3 years now! Unbelievable that I haven't filled it in that time. And it's lost its course.
For the New Year, I'll be starting a new blog. That means a new name, which I don't know yet, and a new direction which means returning to the original direction.
When I have the new blog link, I'll post it here.
I feel by this time I have found Elora. The next step is to find where to go from there.
I'm wishing everyone who pops in on a regular basis and everyone who just happens onto this entry a very beautiful, graceful, creative, and reconciling 2010. I think many of us need just that about now.
Four days ago we lost you and I just find out today. Such a beautiful soul to be lost so soon. One of the best writers on the site, and maybe off, too. I cherish our minor, but meaningful, too-short acquaintance and shared thoughts.
Rest well and enjoy Heaven.
For those who haven't read his words: Carolina Blue
I have a new story project! Last night while the family was watching TV, I started taking notes on a thought I had the day before for -- not a novel this time, but a short story collection. I won't talk about the idea here because, as someone said, talking about a story quenches the story fire, so get it down first. When I went to bed, more thoughts for it came to mind so I turned the light back on and scribbled ideas on paper (I always keep paper and pen by my bedside). The notes filled it out even more and I want to get started. I may do that tonight, starting with a Christmas story that will be part of it. This one may be a free read, or maybe part of it will be.
I'm battling a cold & fever again, more minor this time, fortunately. Still, I'm enjoying Christmas season more this year than I have for several years. I don't know why. But today I took photos of ornaments hubby hung from our porch and have been turning them into C-notes this afternoon. Five are up. Here's the link if you want to peak, but the photos are at the top of my blog rotating: "Ornament Greetings"
Mainly, I've only been jumping online real quick this month, focusing instead on Christmas planning and family things. And I need to get back to that, but I wanted to jump in here and yell a soft hello (you have to yell soft when your head is iffy).
What's everyone been doing to celebrate the season?
Looks like we may have to shovel the drive for the first time this winter. Wish other things were so easy to shovel away..
So 5 "American" men have been arrested in Pakistan for the intent of going over to help with the jihad. This one's easy enough. Revoke their US citizenship and leave them there. They can try fighting against the US military and see what that's like. Same with all those still over here defending the terrorists and training to help the jihad right here on our soils. Ship them over.Take away their citizenships. It's treason to side against the US. Easy. If we no longer have the guts to do what we're supposed to do with traitors (eg. Jane Fonda), at least kick them out.
A 100 year old man was released from prison and sent to a halfway house in a NY neighborhood. The man is a pedophile, arrested for the rape of two very young girls in 1999. Why is he out? He should die in prison if we won't make it simpler and help that along. His crime was only 10 years ago. If he could manage it at 90, who says he can't manage it at 100? Would you want him living beside your children? Maybe whoever let him out should have to take him in to his own house. Bet he'd changed his mind.
A woman wrote on the front of her house that she'd as soon have Hitler as a neighbor than the neighbors she has. Why? They keep badgering her about the cars in her yard and too many plants on her porch. She says she's living in a communist nation where they can pick at her and her family incessantly and never be stopped. This is why I wouldn't live in an HOA area. I have a hard time arguing with the woman, even if I understand about wanting the neighborhood to look nice. The woman paid for her property just like her neighbors. She owns it. And we're much too good at sticking our noses into everyone else's business while looking out for ourselves above our neighbors. I don't know, I see both sides of this, but seriously: writing nasty notes to the family on a daily basis? Are they seventh graders? I'd say they deserved that slap in the face.
ACORN cookies served at the White House? Talk about a slap in the face to the American people. Isn't that lovely?
And WHY is the White House (again) neglecting to follow established laws and withholding information from the Fort Hood review from Congress? What are they hiding? How long will it take to ditch the info they don't want Congress to know before they hand over what's left? Transparency? Right. They can apparently do whatever the heck they want, regardless of establish laws and the Constitution.
Of course Obama blames the GOP for our economy. Never mind he was instrumental in pushing the idiotic ARMs so "everyone" could have a house in the first place. Did that bit of information slip out of his head? You know they're doing the same with credit cards now? Our set rate cards had to be changed to adjustable rates because of new government policies. Wonderful. We pay the things off anyway, but how many will end up in a worse fix because of this just like with the houses? Why did this seem like a good idea?
I've never in my 43 years seen as much uproar against the job a president was doing as I see now. As many of us kept saying before the election: change isn't always good. I'm watching his approval rating slide down week by week. Surprised? I'm not.
And if the moronic Mr. Reid wants to accuse me of being a "would be" slavery supporter since I don't support the moronic health care bill, have at it. I can do what any good American would do these days and sue for liable. Maybe we should. [Hey, big surprise here: the middle class is gonna get socked with the bill for it.]
Oh, and NOW they're saying maybe the swine flu isn't as bad as they thought. Really? Fine and dandy now that Obama pushed everyone to get the "mandatory" shot. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies are happy with him.
By the way, that lower unemployment rate they were citing recently? Read the facts. It's because so many unemployed have stopped bothering to even look for a job, which skews the results. And guess what? It's up again even with so many who have stopped looking.
Hey, Litchfield CT ... if your town hall won't allow the yellow ribbons around the trees, put them in all of your yards and fill up the town with them!
Off The Moon is available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor and can be ordered from your local bookstore (including in the UK!) or requested from your library.
Of course, I always have them on hand and will gladly sign it for you if you get it from Elucidate Publishing instead:
I'm all over the net today celebrating and holding a drawing for a PDF copy of the book. Comment in any of these places in order to be eligible:
CRR: http://www.classicromancerevival.com/blog/ (author interview here today!)
My Site Blog: http://lkhunsaker.blogspot.com
Website guest book: http://www.lkhunsaker.com
I'm also ending up my tour with today at CRR and 2 more dates to come. Comment on any 8 to have a chance to win the printed, signed book. Here are the links:
Can I just say I'll be glad at this point when release madness is over and I can go back to just being me for a while?
My venting post a couple of days ago (restricted to registered users) did the job and yesterday I was highly productive. I did something I've never accomplished before. I wrote over 10,000 words for my Nanowrimo novel. It didn't even feel like a struggle until around 11 last night when my eyes and hands were getting weary. By that time, I was so close to 10K, I just wanted to see if I could. So I jumped from being behind on my word count to being nearly finished: 46,809. I'm also right at the end of the story, which I've also never done before: write a complete book in one month. Of course, it's more a novella than a novel, but as I fill out details and such, I'm sure it'll hit at least 60K, still a short novel. I really like the story. When I started writing it the first of November I barely knew what I would be writing about - no outline, barely any characters and only first names, I knew the end but not much about the middle. It developed as I typed, as did my characters I didn't know when I started. Now they are full, deep characters with an interesting story to tell and I'm excited about the whole thing.
I will likely small press this book. I'm interested in the experience of small press, plus if it's contracted, I won't pay anything to get it out there so anything I make will be profit. I haven't done that before, either.
This one is sweet romance, not at all gushy sweet, but safe for all ages sweet. No language issues. Nothing even leading toward sexual interaction. No sensual scenes other than one nice kiss, also safe for all ages. I think after the intensity of Off The Moon, I needed to unwind myself.
The premise: Women on the homefront during an overseas war set back in earlier days when a woman's reputation could be ruined even with a simple public kiss. It's not a feminist novel. It's not anti-feminist. It's just a 'how it was' story as far as I can know from combining my love of history with my knowledge of what it's like to be a woman left at home during a war.
Today, I'll finish the last three thousand some words, and the story.
1-- I'm thankful for the gift of writing I've been given, and for the opportunity at this time of my life to be able to produce so well and get these stories out there.
2-- I'm thankful my husband has a good job during these lean times, and that he's had one since the day we met. Even if they are hard jobs, physically and mentally, and even if it has meant a lot of sacrifice from all of us, we have food, shelter, and clothing and each other. I'm also thankful for his willingness to take such hard work in order to provide for his family.
3-- I'm thankful, as my uncle spends his final days fighting cancer, that he has family around caring for him and a hospital staff providing as much comfort as they can. And I'm thankful to know that the 'end' is not the end. There is more...
4-- I'm thankful my kids are healthy, intelligent, becoming-capable young people who daily show their moral values and their care for others. Never mind the irritations that always comes with children, I'm thankful to be able to have to put up with those, also. It means they are still here buzzing around me in order to be annoying. And they give good hugs to make up for it.
5-- I'm thankful I live in a country where I can rant about the things I don't like that are happening and still be free to sit here and go on living my life as productively as I wish. Yesterday, I read a blog by Maksim Chmerkovsky of Dancing with the Stars where he was being attacked for his opinions. His reply: he was so glad to have the freedom to share his opinions safely now, since he couldn't in his own country, and he would continue doing so. Good for him. He understands the value of America and is happy enjoying its freedoms. He came over, worked hard, learned English well, and is the epitome of what immigrants CAN be in this country if they're willing to BE part of this country.
6-- I'm thankful for all the women who have come before me who stood up and fought for their rights to be treated as equal citizens. Even if it has been carried too far toward the other edge in some situations, at least we have the right to act as we choose, to marry or not, to work at home or outside it, to have children or not, to live alone if we wish and can support ourselves.
7-- I'm thankful I have the right to write the stories I wish and to choose what I read, regardless of opinion.
8-- I'm thankful that regardless of the health care debate, we have the world's best health care and the highest survival rates. I'm willing to voice my opinion and fight to not let that change.
9-- I'm incredibly thankful for our military. Without them, those rights listed above would vanish.
10-- I'm thankful to God for all the beauty around us, for the love we have for each other, for the ability we've been given to care for ourselves and each other and our world, and for free will. I would never exchange having no pain for a lack of free will. It is a tremendous gift and whatever is going on around us, we should always remember that gift. Being controlled is not worth greater 'ease'. Struggles are what make us what we are and allow us to be so thankful for what we have.
Have a Beautiful Thanksgiving.
Any writer who buzzes around the romance world has already heard of the recent issue between Harlequin and Romance Writer's Association. For those who haven't...
It seems that Harlequin is jumping into the world of self-pub. They've started a new line called Harlequin Horizons which is a do-it-yourself press just like iUniverse and Infinity. They'll be watching for sales numbers and offering contracts to those doing well.
RWA, in response, has black-listed Harlequin altogether. They will no longer allow the publisher to attend conferences free. They'll have to pay like any other disreputable company that hasn't established itself with "proper" publishing etiquette, aka contracts and saying yes 'you' can be published, but 'you' can't be, which is often more about subject matter than about writing quality.
Are they serious? I think RWA first got their noses out of joint when Harlequin opened Carina Press, a line only for Ebooks. H. disjointed a bunch of epublished writers' noses by doing so, by separating epub books from their regular line as though they can't stand up to traditional printed books. My question would be: why are they accepting ebooks if they can't stand up to the same quality? Many ebooks are better quality than what is coming from the big print pubs nowadays. I've heard lots of readers ranting about big pub books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on. More so every day. Shouldn't H. be only accepting good quality ebooks? So why, then, do they need a separate line? Barnes & Noble's new ebook line is not separate. They're on the same site, under the same name, they're accepting indie ebooks along with the rest, and honestly, I'm strongly considering asking for a BN Nook for Christmas.
I'm not eligible, as an indie author, to be part of RWA. No skin off my nose, as I have no interest in being part of such a narrow-minded organization that is deciding to play Venus (goddess of the romance world). I do think they had worthy goals when they started, but they're getting too full of themselves.
I'm also offended by those Harlequin authors who are ranting about the new line, worrying that we upstart indies are going to destroy their reputation. It's funny, actually. I'm thinking they might have to actually prove themselves along with the rest of us instead of resting on Harlequin's laurels to sell only because they are H. published. Big name publishing is starting to mean less and less - the playing field is leveling.
The EPIC (electronically published) finalists were just announced. A few of my writing acquaintances and friends are on that finals list. So are at least two self-pubbed authors. EPIC is a big deal now. Epublishing is growing fast. If you final with the EPICS, so far, it is a note of quality.
Another self-pubbed author was just named Author of the Year at Albany's library. She was up against a bunch of big name published authors. Her book won over theirs. Why? It was well written and it didn't have to stay within tight boundaries of what publishers will accept. The judges appreciated the real, gritty content handled in an elegant manner. Look up Julie LaMoe. I'll be picking up her books. Here's her blog: http://julielomoe.wordpress.com/
On another note, I have a nice early review I need to share:
"As previously mentioned, LK Hunsaker hooked me with the first chapter of OFF THE MOON. Very raw. Very intriguing. When I settled down to continue reading, I finished OFF THE MOON in one sitting. At the kitchen table. On a laptop. With my arse going to sleep on a hard wooden chair. Yes, the story is THAT compelling."
--read the rest here: http://www.elaineforlife.com/LaineysBlog/tabid/463/EntryId/144/OFF-THE-MOON.aspx...
|A couple of days ago I wrote blog content for my tour date tomorrow with the title
Pushing Boundaries in Genre and Trauma
I won't write the same content here since you can go read it tomorrow, if you wish, but part of the gist of it was about issues I covered in my newest book. It is the most serious to date. I think it will turn some romance readers away, although several are showing interest. I'm being upfront on my tour about issues raised, as I don't want readers to expect "typical" romance and get a book that is actually very literary.
The biggest issue is abuse, specifically child abuse, and the lasting effect of it, not only on the victim but on those who care about her. It was hard to write, as emotional as it was in places. However, it is not detailed by any means. It's about the recovery process.
Why did I cross a romantic novel with child abuse issues? I don't really know, other than it is a big issue. Children's issues in general are huge with me. How we raise our children is a big issue with me. I have kids in every book I write. I can't imagine not featuring them. To set the record clear, I was not an abused child. However, there were people who said hurtful, embarrassing things often enough to have made an impact, including a couple of teachers. Having only that much to fight against left me wondering how those with so much more to deal with do deal with it. I have seen worse. I've seen negligence and meanness happen to children around me. Of course we all see it in the news.
At times, I wondered if I was giving my character too much to deal with. But then I see the news and read real stories and know it's not more than too many handle in real life. It is a realistic story for being romantic, but as all of my books, it stays hopeful, with plenty of fun stuff thrown in, and an upbeat ending. Always. Romance readers will knock my pacing; that's the literary part of it. I'll also hear about having only one POV character, the male. Still, the reviews I've received so far from the romance network have been very positive. My most recent review (actually an email comment) said I write a male AS a male -- very high praise and something I've been worrying a bit about, since ... well, I'm not male.
I read a blog this morning by another self-pubbed author on tour who received a best book of the year award from a library against traditionally published books. Her novel deals with mental health and health care issues. They chose it because of its in-depth look at such a prevalent societal issue. She mentioned being able to do so since she's indie and didn't have editors telling her to take stuff out they are afraid might offend someone. If you want to read it, it's here: http://morganmandel.blogspot.com -- scroll down to the blog tour (or maybe read the Harlequin self-pub post first).
That is one of the huge benefits of being indie. Publishing now is watered down and "politically correct" just like everything else. There are too many rules as to what you can and can't write. How is that free speech???
We, as indies, can write what we wish. Of course it's helpful to write it well and edit it well, although that should be a given, but our hands are not tied. We are leading the way to freer speech, to be able to say what we need without our pinkies tied together (yeah, it's hard to type that way).
If you're interested in my Pushing Boundaries post, it will be here tomorrow:
Might as well post my whole schedule while I'm at it.
Nov 1: Judah Raine
Introduction - what is literary romance?
Nov 3: Jane Richardson
Artistic Vision and Creative Doubt
Nov 5: Sue Perkins
Traveling Fiction: Places in Story
Nov 7: Linda Banche
Interview: Will Reynauld (Ryan's brother)
Nov 9: Sandra Kay
Subplot: A second rescue
Nov 11: Liana Laverentz
Behind the Scenes: An Army Brat
Nov 13: Nancy O'Berry
Celebrities: Truth vs. Hype
Nov 15: Sandra Sookoo
Nov 17: Lainey Bancroft
Interview with Ned
Nov 19: Lindsay's Romantics
That Special Fit: What Does Home Mean?
Nov 21: Maryann Miller http://its-not-all-gravy.blogspot.com/
Pushing Boundaries with Trauma and Genre
STILL TO COME
Nov 23: Sandy James http://www.sandy-james.com/stable
Nov 25: Lizzie Starr http://starrwords.blogspot.com/
Nov 27: Classic Romance Revival [Release Date!]
Nov 29: Steph Burkhart http://sgcardin.blogspot.com
Dec 1: The Pen Muse http://www.thepenmuse.com/
[anyone who comments on at least 8 blogs has a chance to win the printed copy, personally signed]
I had to walk AWAY from the computer yesterday. My fingers cramped so bad I couldn't type. So, my daughter and I watched The Ugly Truth for the second time since we just bought the DVD.
Today they were better but I took a break in between to do some gardening. When I had hand/wrist issues as a teen, the doc said washing dishes would be good for them -- anything that uses the muscles differently than writing/typing. Shoveling and picking a bunch of rocks up out of the burgeoning (I like that word recently) flower garden that will soon host a flag pole in the middle should be the same idea. They are better tonight.
Of course it could have also been from squeezing the shamwow out for some time last night when my kitchen sink decided to leak all over the underneath of the cabinet and the floor. I found it when I stepped up to the sink to start dinner. Wet socks are just nasty, nearly as bad as wet jeans. Anyway..
I'm catching up with Nano (part of WHY my fingers cramped) and am at 19,166 -- still behind but not as far behind. I'm hoping I have enough story for 50K, which makes me chuckle considering the length I usually do.
But.. as tired as I am, I'm seeing results other than Nano. My blog tour is picking up people I don't know and although there aren't a lot of comments (average of 7 each so far) I know most people who read don't comment, so I figure the word is still getting out.
And, my bookmarks came in a couple days ago and they turned out well.
Plus, on a POD list I'm on, 'experts' in the field kept insisting that if you use LSI to publish your books, you have to hire someone to do your cover art to make it one piece and sized right because they are very particular and won't accept it if it's not just right. That had me a bit nervous. I've done covers but only the front. However, I wasn't going to pay $500 or so for a pro to do it when I have art experience and photoshop knowledge, and at least a few brains. So I read the specs, downloaded the template, checked the spine width for the size of my book, and just did it.
It went through fine. I shouldn't count chickens yet maybe since I don't have the proof in hand yet. I'll still be nervous until I see if it worked as I hope.
They also said you can't use M. Word and get good results because of the complicated formatting. Well.. I did. Yes, it takes time to learn how to set it up, especially with page numbering and putting your name on the odd pages and title on the even pages in the header and NOT having page numbers on the first page of each chapter. It takes time to figure out. But yes, it can be done without paying a professional.
I should put this in my publishing blog. Maybe I'll copy it there.
So.. I might seem quiet here but I'm actually talking my fingers off on my blog tour and my Nano.
Tomorrow I go get a hose to fix the sink. That'll be my hand break, I guess, although I think I'm meeting another local Nano at a coffee shop for a while. That should be nice. Glad to have my Netbook so I can take my file with me and type there.
Haven't touched Nano today.. better do that a bit before bed.
How's everyone else doing with yours? Or if not Nano, what else are you working on?
OH.. and I put up a website for my book yesterday. It's really pretty, I think. Wanna see it?
I also interviewed a NYC pro/indie drummer and posted it to my site blog today:
Come say hi to Gino!
Like many, I have been following the Ft. Hood Massacre. Like everyone, it saddens and hurts me to think of the innocent lives lost. And I can't help but flash back to more innocent days, before the massacre, before September 11th, and before the DC sniper.
I met my husband while he was stationed at Ft. Hood. I was young, 20 when we met, barely 21 when we married. I met him at the Sears garage in Killeen. I loved Texas. I loved Ft. Hood. The hugeness of it overwhelmed me since I'm from a bitty farm town, but the friendliness took me in. Back then, military was family. I'm afraid it's not as much now. Even while we were still in, toward the end our our term, the family feel wasn't there. Maybe it's because the overall family concept is so much less strong than it used to be. Sad.
Now investigators are trying to point fingers at the military for not knowing or acknowledging Hasan's possible Al Quaida/extremist ties.
I'd like to ask them a question: what would have happened if they did suspect him and did track his activities off-base because of that suspician? We all know the answer. They would have been jumped all over for racial profiling. There's a very, very fine line they have to be wary of -- innocent until proven guilty and all, PLUS the bandwagon these days to worry so much about possibly insulting anyone in any way to the extent we don't pay attention to what we should.
That can't happen. It leaves us too vulnerable.
Do we want equality or do we not? If we do, anyone of any race or religious preference MUST be able to be tracked the way any other suspect would be if there is any cause. That's equality. It's not profiling. It's profiling to not track them because of their race or religion just as it's racist to vote for someone only because of his race. It's not equality. So do we want that?
I think we don't.
I don't think we, as a nation, want actual equality. I think we care too much about making sure we have underdogs so we can feel better about fighting for them. Why else would we have set up our system to encourage having underdogs? Welfare only feeds into that. It doesn't pull anyone out. It doesn't encourage them to try to care for themselves. It's self-perpetuating.
So is this bit about "equality" and "profiling" -- it only helps it to continue. If they had tracked him, and others like him with suspicious activities, and stopped him as he should have been stopped, this wouldn't have happened. And we wouldn't have to worry about repercussions against the Muslim community. There shouldn't be repercussions against the innocent. Agreed 100%. And there wouldn't be if we worried less about profiling and more about prevention. How do you tell a population that has been terrorized it shouldn't be worried?
The DC sniper was finally executed. It's about time. I was in Northern VA at the time of the sniper. I was terrified to take my children out anywhere off-base. So was everyone else. I still cringe at white vans.
I was also in Northern VA on September 11th. Then I had to walk around the mall and DC seeing Muslims in full gear and tell myself it was safe. The problem was, and is, that there are still so many terrorists in the States. We all know there are. How do you stop that fear once it's built in?
It's much easier to prevent it in the first place.
So please, Mr. Big Media, let's not jump all over what the military did or didn't know about Hasan. What did you seriously expect them to do with no public criminal activity to act upon? We've tied their hands. Just as we've tied the hands of our police. What do we expect from them with tied hands?
And maybe let's cut the ignorant article about the violent history of Ft. Hood that includes someone completely unrelated to the fort and to the military as "evidence" of its violent history. Compare Ft. Hood and Killeen to any other city of its size and I'll bet anything the history of its violence is awfully low percentage-wise. Compare it to our nation's capital for starters.
How about praising them for how quickly the situation was handled and that the shooter did not escape as they generally do in civilian life? No one does such a thing on a military base with any idea he'll walk away. He knew he wouldn't.
If we can't profile suspected terrorists, we also can't profile those who didn't stop them.
Thank You, Veterans. Keep your heads up high.
|Remember, it's first draft.
Abraham slung his backpack over his tired shoulders and headed down the dusty road leading to town. His father asked to take him. Begged, nearly. But Abe didn’t want his goodbye, which could be his final goodbye, to be at the train depot. He wanted it at home, on their farm, where he should be helping with chores. His father would manage. He always had. Even through the rough years of watching Abraham’s mother slowly leave them through the mind-dissolving dementia and then finally leave them for good, his father had managed.
Abraham hoped with every part of him he would return to the farm, to his father, and be there to help him manage during his own aging days. It would be soon. Father was showing signs of slowing. It hurt Abe to see it. It would hurt him more to have to watch his father watch him leave on that train, standing on the platform managing to control his sadness, his fear.
Kicking a rock out of his path, he figured the long walk into town would do him good, help prepare for what was to come. Not that he wasn’t prepared already. Constant farm chores without machinery to make them easier had built his strength and stamina well. Days of rising before the sun and sometimes before the roosters to take care of the crops, move lines in bitter cold air and in the hottest times of the summer, made him sturdy. He didn’t figure war would be much harder, physically. What he wasn’t sure about was how hard it would be to his mind. He didn’t mind fighting as needed. He was raised to stand up for himself and for those around him and would do so without hesitation. And now he was proud to do it for his country, as well. He’d never actually taken a life, though. He know how to stop before that risk.
Father told him to be someone else out there, to tell himself he was doing good and sometimes evil was necessary to prevent worse evil. His father told him never to let it feel bad about who he was, since his heart was in the right place and that’s what mattered. The heart. Protect the heart, he’d said.
as of Nov.3: 6,063 words
Here's the first stop of my blog tour for anyone who wants to come in and say hello:
Today is an introduction to my work in general and details about what you can win for taking the time to read and comment.
Tuesday I'll be talking about Artistic Vision and Creative Doubt with Jane Richardson!
I took a quick break from touring, etc. and spent an hour and a half to jot down my main characters and my general plot in OneNote where I can refer to it while writing easily, and then got my word count in for today! The story just started to roll out and I'm enamored with it. Of course I know that'll change through the month.
I'll post the first bit of it here in the next couple of days, but today, I thought I'd post a small excerpt of Off The Moon in celebration of the first day of tour.
From Off The Moon:
“Do you want to shower before bed? It might help you unwind.”
She shook her head against him.
“Katie…” Ryan stopped, with no idea what he planned to say.
After a few minutes of quiet while she stood and held him, she met his eyes. “I’m sorry I scared you. I … seeing him … I’ve tried to forget…”
“That’s understandable. And I should have told you what we were doing. But I didn’t want your hopes up if…”
“You didn’t want to find him.”
Choking on his guilt, Ryan wished to hell he had never admitted that. “I uh … I only meant … I know, I’m a selfish ass. I always have been. But I can’t….” With a deep breath, he figured he might as well say it all and quit trying to pretend he was more than he was. “I don’t want him to take you away from me. I don’t want anyone to take you away from me. I … I have never felt as alive as I have since I met you and … I feel more for you than I wanted, than I should, and I’m trying very hard not to. I know I’m not … you need something better than this. I can’t….”
Her hands slid around from his lower back to his stomach, up, nearly to his chest. Her eyes were on his. “It’s okay.”
Okay. Ryan wanted to ask her exactly what was okay. That he felt the way he did or that he could kiss her the way he wanted to kiss her? Which did she mean? Why was so much of what she said in code?
When he didn’t answer or react, Katie pulled away.
He caught her hand. She didn’t look at him when he moved back in front of her, when he raised the other hand to her hair, again brushed it out of his way. And she didn’t stop him when he found her lips.
It was a soft kiss, wary, questioning, all on his part. Until she returned her hands to his waist, sliding them around to his back, pulling herself in closer. And he let go of shoulds, of Daws’s voice in his mind telling him to be careful, she was too young, it was too dangerous for his career, of Will referring to him as a big brother, of his mom accepting her as family, as a daughter, of his own misgivings. His hand wrapped around the back of her head, holding her into him, kissing her more deeply, watching for signs she wanted him to stop. He didn’t get any. No hesitation, no drawing back, no pushing away. She allowed him as close as he wanted to get.
Realizing he was starting to want way too much, he broke off the kiss and moved his lips to the side of her head, to just above her ear, to her ear lobe that she’d kept hidden from him for so long. Her head tilted back, fingers digging deeper into his skin, her breath becoming more rapid, raising her chest against his at regular, quick intervals. Her eyes were closed, trusting him. Wanting him.
Ryan studied her face while he moved his fingers against it, touched her closed eyelids, her cheek, her lips. And he realized how blind he’d been. She wanted him. Possibly more than any girl he’d ever known, Katie wanted him honestly.
release date: November 27, 2009
still no pumpkins.
It's on the to-do list today, along with 50 other things.
So, Happy Halloween!
And if you have free time and want to see what I've been doing off the site:
Off The Moon is part of a book cover contest that ends today. If you go to http://www.classicromancerevival.com and click on "classic cover contest" you'll find it.
I have a 500 word flash fiction piece included as part of a Halloween celebration today with several other authors:
And my book blog tour schedule is up at Elucidate Publishing (which belongs to me, although I didn't design/create the site - my incredible business partner did that):
Updates for the tour will be on my site blog, and I'll try to put them here, too.
It will also feature interviews relating to Off The Moon, the first by Vicki Blankenship who let me use her song lyrics for the music epilogue. She's also president of IndieGrrl.com and founder of Indie Music for Life, helping cancer victims.
Now back to writing blog content for the 15 different blogs hosting my tour! I have two done.
Hm, I might want to get my newsletter out, also.
Maybe not officially. I haven't gone in for diagnosis.
My son was up in time to get ready for school this morning, but instead of getting ready for school, he was busy leaning over the toilet.
I went to the library book club Monday night, barely able to finally control my cough just enough to go sit within a group of people, and when someone sneezed, I nearly jumped to my feet and ran out. Yep, paranoid.
But see, I still have a touch of congestion from the cold I caught two weeks ago. I wasn't over my 4 week tonsilitis well enough by that point and so a cold that should be a minor thing brought back my fever spikes. So, I've rarely been out. I'm a bit wary of being around people. Everyone's sick. The flu is all over the place here (whether or not it's THE flu is a moot point since the flu is the flu). I hear from friends online that they've had it for a week when generally they have a flu for two days.
Ah, I generally keep a two day flu for 2-3 weeks. I'd even considered a flu shot since my immune system is pretty crashed by now, but I figure it'll just give it to me as I've heard so many others say. No thanks. If I'm going to get it anyway, I'd rather not go get a needle stuck in my arm to get it. Anyway, I've been careful: hand-washing, carrying sanitizer, eating oranges and apples and taking vitamins, shucking off and washing my clothes after being out.. and now it's in my house.
I'm still behind. Hey! I have a release date! November 27th! Now let's hope I can finish edits and redo the cover and get it turned in on time so I can actually hold that date and have books available then. I'm pushing it already. Twenty pages of edits left, and since my "final edit" that was supposed to be just watching for typos and such became a bigger edit with additions, I really have to go through again for the actual final edit and read-through. All 162,000 words. But I'm happier with it after this edit. I got some really great advice from a couple of really great people (both on this site and both will be thanked in the novel) and ... I stopped restricting myself so much on the word count. I was trying hard to keep it under 150,000 words to help it be an easier sell, but too much was left out -- too much of my "artsy thoughts stuff" for lack of a better thing to call it. So yes, I've added about 10,000 words during this "final edit" .
So that's where I've been. Editing (sometimes playing with one small paragraph for a good five minutes before it's just right). Creating the cover. Making the trailer that still needs to be finished. Doing some minor promo. Trying to keep up with Facebook and Myspace enough friends don't think I've fallen off the earth, as maybe some of you here do unless you're also there. Still have to do bookmarks and if I can do it this week, I can take advantage of a discount I'd like to use. Also..
I hired CRR to arrange a book tour for me for next month. So far, there are 13 blogs lined up and I have to have different content for all 13. How many do I have yet? Uhh.. (crickets chirping here)
Anyone want to help interview? I can interview myself (as well as interviewing my characters) but I already know things about me. What should I ask myself? What do readers want to know about my book that I can write blog posts about? I do have a few notes taken on ideas.
And, I must be crazy but of course I'm doing Nanowrimo again. I'll try not to feel too bad if I don't make 50, especially since I only have a very bare idea of what I'm going to write. Always before, I knew the story and the characters very well before November 1st. It was a matter of getting it down, filling it in. I kind of have an idea where it starts and where it ends, but I barely even know my characters yet. That's a scary thought. I never novel that way. This could be interesting. Or it could be a disaster. And I shouldn't be starting a new project with so many already on the burner waiting for me. I'd even considered "cheating" and working on one already in progress, but that's not the point of Nanowrimo and I have a guilt complex that would badger me if I did. I'm thinking this one will be a novella, though, and pretty much complete after 50,000 words. Maybe fewer.
Guess I better get the business stuff for the household done, also. Especially since my stomach is a tad touchy this morning and my deadlines are coming up fast. Maybe it's only paranoia, though. I can only hope.
I owe lots of return emails and such, so in case anyone checks in here ... I'm still here, kind of.
4 weeks of tonsilitis/fever/exhaustion
1 trip to the ER from an antibiotic reaction
+ a chest cold setting in on the verge of recovery from above
= WAY far behind
I'm trying to work through it, finish editing for next month's release -- I hope I can still pull it off next month, creating the book trailer, revamping the cover, trying to find back cover review blurbs from "names" in the writing and music business (looking unlikely at this point), getting pre-publish reviews (also looking unlikely, *sigh*), lining up permission for my prologue lyrics (got that!), lining up interviews for promo for related fields as the story line...
In between was my son's first Homecoming dance, and the parade and the football game (actually felt good that night, down with the cold the next day). Tonight a band concert I'm hoping I won't cough through. No one is invited over right now since housework is kinda barely getting done just enough.
Anyway, I have managed to start a short story for the Writer's Digest contest deadline Dec 1. And I have a thought about my Nano novel, which I probably shouldn't even attempt next month. I will, anyway. Whether or not I think I can get to 50. And apparently, I get to have about 13 visitors overnight sometime in December. Hmm...
As Arnold would say, "I'll be back."
So far the only difference here is the falling leaves.
It's fall now. But here in western PA, as in many other states, summer never fully arrived, blending spring into fall without much change. A few warm days that couldn't quite be called HOT sneaked through. It made a lot of us ask just where our local warming was, never mind global.
But these things revolve. They have through the centuries. Climate change is one of the few constants and nothing we do will change that.
And so the G20 is here in Pittsburgh.
Can I say I'm glad I'm not closer to it than I am? The city's been closed, to all extent. Windows are boarded by businesses afraid of protestors. No one except the "authorized" will be getting in or out for the next couple of days. I don't at all blame them. I'm also a bit concerned about the events of the next two days again being so close to home. There is too much anger here right now. I think a country that is more happy with us because of our ... lower world leadership stance of the moment ... would have been a better call for this summit. Pittsburgh? Does anyone realize how small Pittsburgh is? We couldn't even find an open hotel after a rock concert recently. Of course DC isn't big, either, but they are set up for this kind of thing. I just moved away from all that a couple of years ago and now they're bringing it here. Guess you can run but...
Photos from Pittsburgh residents in ready for the summit:
Pittsburgh was chosen because its economy has remained one of the best in the nation in recent times, and because of their "green" technology. I can't help thinking it's more green now because most of the steel mills it's known for have closed. But that's just a common person's outlook and doesn't matter much. Never mind we have the capability right here of producing steel instead of importing it. Never mind the reasons we aren't doing that. But the G20 is in Pittsburgh because it's greener.
The economy has remained stable because it became flexible. It moved on to technology oriented business. Our tech pres is happy with that. Of course, tech business requires workers with education more than workers with labor skill and the willingness for hard physical work. I'm curious. Where did they go? What are they doing now? Sure, Pittsburgh is still grooving in tech, but what was the payoff?
I don't know. I've been sick for more than 2 weeks and feverish so maybe none of this is pertinent enough to blog about. But I don't value tech more than labor. I don't see how replacing one with the other is so good for us. Truth be told, I'm more attracted to and inspired by those who work with their hands in combination with their minds, who aren't glorified in business suits and briefcases but who wear real work clothes and keep more running than computers.
I guess I am a true romantic at heart. A man who looks like a man and works like a man geared in jeans and workshirt and sporting muscles earned from labor instead of a gym is incredibly appealing. A guy in a business suit clean cut coming out of a health club? Not so much.
This romantic realism writer would much rather go cruise Pittsburgh on a normal day when people are at their best doing normal everyday things than now with the "rich and powerful world leaders" cluttering up the city and barricading it.
Don't let them get to you, Pittsburgh. Let it blow over and move along.
"For fiction writers and poets, blog should exercise your creative muscles and let you write in an unpressured way. Sometimes it can help you stumble on insights, as well as new friendships. However, for an aspiring writer, you have to be careful it doesn't detract or replace the "real" work of writing the book or the manuscript."
|Abraham Lincoln: "You can't make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak."
Anyone up for a flash fiction contest?
It's my birthday as well as WDC's birthday and I'm giving the gift -- a merit badge for a well-thought-out and well-written mini story or essay relating to the quote and to longevity. Post the item link here in my comments. 1,000 words max. No higher than 18+
Runs through WDC time Sunday, midnight. Extended to Monday midnight since it's Labor Day weekend!