Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
I blog every day for one reason, I enjoy it. However, having said that a lot of the time I'm online is not on my blogs, my sites, or anything else. It's busy chatting with and getting help from professionals on different publication forums.
I'm a member of approximately 6 - I'm not on my computer so I don't have the list in front of me - but I'm active on all of them. I do online workshops, research, question and answer periods, you name it I've found it on there. During the process I've also learned alot about writing, about the skills and desires of others, and myself.
I've also made a few friends along the way. I have contacts in the editorial world who are very good at what they do, critique partners who aren't afraid to ask a question or point out a problem, and have touched base with some pretty amazing authors.
So, if you haven't joined one yet, find a forum that you like. Be it romance, sci-fi, or whatever, you'll be amazed at what you can find!
The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.~ Raymond Chandler
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Doing research for a novella that I've written to cover such things as senusal oils and such I got some really great tips from the ladies over at Romance Divas. One of them had said something about whiskey flavored oils so I took it upon myself to do a bit of digging. Now she may have been joking but it piqued my curiousity so I phoned around.
I'm going to insert my disclaimer here that I have not tried this, I don't recommend doing anything that is unhealthy or unwise. If you choose to use this recipe please do so at your own risks, I will not be responsible for the after affects!
This is what I found. To have an oil that smells or tastes like whiskey, or any other spirit is relatively easy. You don't need much of the booze, a few drops works. Now depending on if you want the buzz of alcohol or not you can do this two ways.
Take your base oil - be it almond oil, olive, whatever. Now you can add a few drops of your expensive (Not the cheap stuff -its disgusting) liquor and enjoy. Remember this does have alcohol in it so be careful where you place it unless you plan to remove it immediately.
Have fun with this and enjoy - please tell me if it works for you!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
WateenaReviewer for Coffee Time Romance”
Excellent read that I would suggest to anyone! Congrat's Candace!
I find these incredibly difficult. I sit in the morning and stare at the pages like they’re a coiled rattler about to strike. If I put down whats in my head, if i face my inner demons than there is noone else to blame. I can’t say oh well I didn’t do this because so and so said it wouldn’t work. I will have to face the things that I’ve allowed to sabotage myself throughout my life. Bad relationships, bad habits, self-destructive tendencies, vices, all those things I’ve tried to bury.
Now I can’t, I have to face them. Looking the pages I find a mass of jumble ideas, of thoughts, and feelings that I’m not happy about. Anger, doubt, fear. All the things that my inner voice, my inner artist, uses to speak to me. They are not the results the are the tools. Facing them is something that’s difficult but to grow as a person and an artist its a nesseccity.
What’s are your inner voices telling you? How are you punishing your inner ‘artits’? take a few minutes today and clear your head. Listen to what you’re telling yourself and I promise you’ll be amazed.
Writing is turning one’s worst moments into money.~ J. P. Donleavy
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I remember the first book I wrote. The determination to write an entire manuscript and not just a few pages. The excitement, the fever, the absolute lack of writer’s block.
Until I hit a wall. A big old wall called: Shelli’s first sex scene. Ever. I remember typing the build up to it...
(Build up to sex in Ain’t Misbehavin’)
“You know, forget it. I wanted you and had the crazy notion you wouldn’t mind getting me into bed, but apparently I was wrong.” She almost made it to the door when he grabbed her by the waist and spun her around. “Oh, I want you all right,” he said, his voice low and thick. He lifted her so her legs wrapped around his waist. “I just had to make sure you knew what you were doing.”
I typed that little bit above, stared at the computer. And completely froze. I couldn’t do it. Write sex. I stood up, paced the house, sweating and muttering to myself. I had to psyche myself up to write the love scene. How do you write that kind of intimate moment between a man and woman? It’s so personal. Writing that first sex scene is a bit like losing your virginity, just in the literary sense.
I knew I just had to blow through it (no pun intended). I didn’t set any rules for myself on how long or hot it had to be. I’d use the zillions of love scenes I’d read in other books, and my own personal experiences. So I grabbed a beer and went back to the room and locked the door. Two hours later I emerged bright red (partly from being hot and bothered, but I’m sure you didn’t want to know that!) waving the pages for my roommate to read.
What I soon learned, from my roomies and critique groups, is that I write hot. Hotter than what tended to be on the market. Some suggested I tone it down because it was so hot. But I kept it the way it was, because that’s what I enjoyed writing. That’s the heat level I thought my characters demanded. And since then my writing seems to have found a home in the world of erotic romance.
But since my first book came out, I’ve straddled the line or erotic romance and highly sensual romance. Lately, I think the bar defining erotic romance has risen. What once was erotic, isn’t so much anymore. And after a couple of years of feeling out where I fit more, I’ve fallen more into the sensual side. For the most part I don’t write BDMS, ménages, or big time kink.
Granted, there are a few books you’ll see of mine that are still scortching (one I may have to take another pen name it’s so dirty!), and every once in awhile I still like to write something with a bit of kink.
It’s actually a hard place to be at, because my books are still hot enough to offend the mild romance readers. But those who want it hot hot hot! might tend to wrinkle their nose at my love scenes.
But I think as a writer you need to be true to your natural voice. A reader can tell when you’re writing something you’re not comfortable with. So here I am, Shelli Stevens, an author who proudly writes really hot vanilla sex. Or is that...vanilla with chili flecks in it? Hmm.... *Grin*
Shelli Stevens, Greater Seattle RWA President http://www.shellistevens.com A little bit of laughter & a whole lot of spice Tempting Adam, Available Now from Samhain Publishing
Monday, April 21, 2008
Aislinn KerryPassionate romance ... spellbinding stories
I was amazed at the words that I read. It was like this woman, whom I've never met, knows me. She's seen inside my head, my soul and pulled out these tiny bits and pieces that frankly I'm ashamed of.
All my life I've surrounded myself with people who are drama stars. They need to have something to feed off of to make themselves feel important. This is something that is very unhealthy and its a habit I have to break. Any artist be it physical or verbal is in some way blocked and therefore a drama star. (I'm paraphrasing here - and putting my own spin so please note that these are not Julia's words.) It's a cycle that we each need to break. I need more than to allow my self doubts and lack of self-confidence to become self-sabatoge. I am a person. I am an author!
I firmly believe that this woman, understands and has lived with this herself enough to know that she can help me overcome my own blockage to allow me to be a better author. If the workshop comes up again, I will let anyone and everyone know because I believe everyone can benefit from this book.
To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you outght to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive. Robert Louis Stevenson
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
They stand looking at each other,
Each silent as death.Lost in their own thoughts,
they judge the other in ways we cannot understand,
they speak silently.
One is first to turn and walk away,
the silence unbroken.
Soon enough they will duel,
in a circle of dust.
The metal bars clang, the sweat rolls down his back,
He stretches and climbs the bars.
spurs upon his boots jingle, his leather chaps flutter,
His dueling parnter moves about restlessly.
The tension is high,the rope is taut,
His hat sits on his head as he settles in
His head bobs up and down.
The gates open and out they fly.
Nearly a ton a waged against a couple of hundred pounds,
In a malestrom of fury and sweat,
man vs beast
the battle rages on.
Yes, it does happen. For example I write romances. I'm comfortable in the genre, with the warm, sensual love scene. However, to challenge myself I set a goal. I decided I'd write a novella, one that's hot, and sexy. I don't do erotic - I don't feel comfortable with writing it.
So, now I have a challenge, a goal that I've set for myself and I'm having find a way to do it. Now you may think there's no difference. It's easy. Just get on with it. But let me put it this way, pick one thing that you know you're uneasy doing. Be it writing an explicit sex scene, or bungee jumping, or riding a bike. Now, focus on it. What exactly do you feel? Nervous? Scared? Nauseous?
If you've answered yes to even one of those questions you'll understand my viewpoint. To overcome my discomfort and fear I set small goals. I write a scene as I'm comfortable and then go back and change it up. Spice it up if you were. Sometimes its as simple as using a different word, other times it's rewriting an entire paragraph.
The point is, baby steps. If you take the small steps you can succeed. So today, go out and face your fear. I don't mean do something that is dangerous, but do something you've always hesitated to do. Color your hair, read a different book, try a different flavor of coffee. Something that you've always been unsure about or thought wouldn't be 'you'.
Until next time, here's to overcoming your smallest fear!
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.~ Maya Angelou
Thursday, April 17, 2008
For example, glance. Seems to innocent until you actually read over your work and find six uses of the word within the space of a few paragraphs. It's been a challenge to find other words, terms, descriptions that can assist in creating the scene without slaughtering one word.
So I'm offering a challenge today: Come up with three words that you use frequently and then for each one find at least five others you can use.
IE: Blue - cerulean, saphire, aquatic, baby-blue, cornsilk Good luck and have fun!
I think a little menace is fine to have in a story. For one thing, it's good for the circulation.~ Raymond Carver
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In the evening I watch television, work on my writing, talk on the phone, and most of the time I’m doing it all at once. Even when I’m focused on my writing, I’ve got a web page open, my music going, and I’m up and down doing house work. Disgusting isn’t it?
I’m learning how to prioritize my time. To set limits, to deal with one thing at a time so that I’m not left with partially completed tasks all the time. I set myself small goals, small priorities that must be completed and so far I’ve had results. I won’t say its a success because I’m still doing three things at once but at least I’m learning to finish something before I add another project to the mix.
Being prolific isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take getting used to. You have to develop the skills and the mental strength to follow through. Sometimes you have to train your brain to focus. I’ve learned that most prolific people (Not all - and I am in no way shape or form an expert here) have a touch of ADHD. I’ve spoken to professionals, talked to experts, researched this, and found that yes it is a common trait in women who have ADHD to be prolific multi-taskers.
I think it’s something worth thinking about. Until next time then, have a great day! Lets see what you come up with, see how you respond to challenges - and today’s challenge is simple. Finish one thing you start - even if its that morning coffee!
Any Reviewer Who Expresses Rage And Loathing For A Novel Is Preposterous He Or She Is Like A Person Who Has Put On Full Armour And Attacked A Hot Fudge Sunday Kurt Vonnegut
Monday, April 14, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
None are to be reproduced without my written consent. All banners connected to X-Men are not to be shared, or used. They are stricty for entertainment and not meant to infringe upon any copyright laws. I do not own the X-Men, nor do I profit from these simple artistic adaptations.
bigfoto.com is to be credited with the scenery in my Borderline Sin bookcover. All rights reserved.
The rules are simple. From April 14th through the end of the month I will be placing some writing themed trivia, graphics, or quotes throughout my blog.
To participate simply check in each day, and read through the entry. If you see the item in question, post a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the header “Of Ink And Quille” Contest.
At the end of the month the three people who have the most clues gathered will be entered to win three fabulous prizes! Good luck and come out and have some fun.
Don't laugh, business etiquet is a vital part of any publishing deal you make. Say the wrong thing and you're looking like a dumb novice. Write something that you aren't entirely sure of the details and suddenly you're being questioned about your research techniques.
When it comes to publication there are moments when a little white lie is acceptable. I learned this myself not that long ago. I had a publisher that I'd been talking to about a contest send me an email wondering how things were going.
Being the dumb, inexperienced novice that I am I was bluntly honest with her and told her if the publisher that has it now refuses it, I'd send it to her. Of course I haven't heard back from her and don't expect her to actually be willing to publish anything of mine for a long, long time... a lesson painfully learned.
Today, I thought I'd share the experience with anyone out there so that you're not making the same mistakes as I did. You can be polite, tell a little fib, but don't make the publisher feel like they're second best!
Let me know what you think is the proper etiquette for dealing with anyone in the business world be it a publisher, editor, or agent. How do you deal with a situation where you're not comfortable being brutally honest? Let me know!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I know I've been out of touch a couple of days and I apologize. Been busy with real life and hadn't really felt like writing. After three bad events - long story - I just wanted to kinda hide away.
Got up this morning to send hubby off to work and had two very good things happen.
1. My son's kitten who is only 7 1/2 months old came home this morning after being MIA for days. He's skinny, battered, bruised, and very tired, but at least he's alive and home! We woke my son, James, up and he was so excited all he wanted to do was hold Creamo.
2. The partial I sent in for an incomplete manuscript was accepted for full review as soon as its finished. I know it's not a sale, I know there is no contract but the fact that A - she emailed me back with good news, and B - she liked it enough wait a few weeks for the entire thing tells me that my learning is coming along!
So today its a good day - and I'm going to bask in it as long as I can!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
For every research page you use, for every detail that you pick out, keep a record. Sooner rather than later you're going to have binders full of research and notes. Keeping them organized is thekey. Now, I'd be the first to admit I'm what is known as a disaster organizational person.
By that I mean, my office is a disaster area. It looks like a cyclone or volano exploded in it. Yet for each page, each pile, book, or scrap of paper I know what it is. I know what the use is for, and truthfully I'd like to reorganize it.
I'd love to have that office you see in magazines. You know the one with the beautiful desk that's clean, and uncluttered, the filing cabinets, the bookshelves lined with books and everything so neat that you could see an earring back on the floor...this however is not about to happen.
Why you ask? Well, my office is also the family computer room, the storage room, my brother in law - who has been staying with us - space to put his clothes, and other clutter. In truth, I have a three bedroom house, I need a four bedroom with one room specifically for my office. With bare walls I can hang pictures of my favorite actors, authors, book covers, painting, diplomas, certificates, awards...and various other sundry that I've accumulated. Finances however, will not allow me that luxury, so I make do.
I can dream about the perfect office, but until then organizing all the information I need and the printouts of copy is important. I'd say it's more important than organizing hubbys sock drawer - which he's made a mess of!
Now, I'd like to know what your thoughts are on Organization. What filing system do you use? Where do you store your information? How do you keep yourself from going crazing in this wild and ruthless world called organized chaos!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
As true an old saying as there is. Recently in my quest for more information for my second manuscript I emailed someone to ask for permission to print and use some of his valuable research in my work, both for the fiction and possible non-fiction aspect.
You can well imagine my surprise when he not only agreed to let me use it, but said that when I was finished, and the book had come out to contact him and let him know so he could purchase a copy!
It floored me. I've gotten permission many, many times before and have always had a warm and open business relationship with those who I've contacted. However, this time I was shocked not only about the permission, but about the interest in where his work was going. Usually the agreement is a quick yes or no with a request to be credited and they leave it at that.
These are things that I would normally and naturally do out of respect for the author and researcher who has put together a resource I've used. I think the lesson here is that if you're willing to ask, if you're willing to push your boundaries for what you need or want good things may happen.
So, I challenge you. Ask a question today. Follow your dreams, check into a tidbit about your writing, email an agent or publisher and let me know how it turns out. May good things come your way with each question!