Fear in Writing: January 2010

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breakthrough Novel Contest

Jm Diaz at An Ulterior Motive posted about this contest and it is definitely worthy of passing along...

Amazon.com, along with Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace, is pleased to announce the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the international competition seeking the next popular novel. For the first time, the competition will award two grand prizes: one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction. The 2010 competition is open to unpublished and previously self-published novels waiting to be discovered. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.

Manuscript submissions are now being accepted through February 7, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when 5,000 entries have been received in each category, whichever is earlier.

Click the link above for more information and to enter.  Go for it guys!

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Sunday Foreign Post Roundup

I haven't done this in a while, but here are some great links and interesting articles I have found over the last few weeks.  Since I haven't posted it in three Sundays, I've been storing them up!  So: short blurbs and lots of clicking!

1.  A blog new-to-me in the last couple of weeks, and chock full of interesting articles.  The link I will give you takes you to a listing of different types of writing.  Some I appreciated the author remembering, others I hadn't even thought of and was glad to be reminded.  Click here for Voidwalker's Paths of the Craft.  But don't stop there!  Stay to click around.
2.  L. Diane Wolfe listed this one yesterday but I thought it was worth passing on:  100 Best Blogs for Improving Your Writing.
3. A.F. Heart writes of some modern technology that has also taken up space here on SouthernCityMysteries.  But Heart adds more authority with her actual ownership of the Nook.  Read an honest review with great questions and responses at Mysteries and My Musings.
4.  King of detective nuance Lee Lofland threw up another helpful article this week titled Pistol Cleaning and Safeties.  If it sounds straight forward and technical, it is broken up by Lee's humor and great, easy-to-follow pictures.  I've said it before: this man's knowledge is essential for those writing about police.
5. New-to-me blog from a fellow Tennessee girl (yes, I live in Raleigh but I grew up in Nashville, TN and that is where my book will take place).  Turns out, many of you discovered her first so I am a little behind the curve on this one.  But just in case, check out the Girl With One Eye at A Squirrel Amongst Lions.
5 1/2.  I nearly forgot (oops) because I read it so late in the week, but Elizabeth Spann Craig wrote two posts last week that go very well together.  One is a retrospective on JD Salinger (who died last Wednesday), and compared the one-book author to the publishing equivalent of a blogger (publish every day whether we have something to say or not!), James Patterson.  Read both the Master Blogger's  posts and see what you think.

Now we go back another week to posts I bookmarked before I took a break and was saved by fantastic guest bloggers...
6. Fantastic article on changing the works of the past to the sensibilities of today.  Highly recommend checking it out: Satiable Curtiosity at The Outfit.
7. An interesting review and a curious read from the African Continent (perfect for anyone doing the Global Reading Challenge!).  I enjoyed the way the review was written (honestly) and I was intrigued to read the book because the reviewer did not give too much away or heap praise unnecessarily.  I love a good reviewer.  Check him out at International Noir Fiction, and the review at Wake up Dead, by Roger Smith.
8. I know we are not some island of writers in the middle of a commune, but when one of "us" gets something it makes me feel it is possible.  Someone we know (you know what I mean) got there!  So here is an example of that.
9.  This blog is a bit different from the other ones I visit, but I love it for its reserved, literary arrogance.  I don't mean that negatively.  The author, Rob Velella, did the Poe Calendar last year and I loved that.  This year he runs the The American Literary Blog, with fascinating bits of literary history given out every day.  This article is full of interesting bits: a murder called "the Kentucky Tragedy," a one-legged poet and a book now called "the graveyard for poets."  What more do mystery writers need?  Go to the link here.  And for more on the Kentucky Tragedy, click here.
10.  One more to make it ten!  A new-to-me blog: Mandy the Bookworm.  Why do I keep adding blogs when I can't even keep up with the ones I already have listed?  I don't know.  Part of the Internet addiction, I suppose.  But check out Mandy.  I love a good bookworm.

BTW, I have taken on a new challenge.  It seemed a most interesting one that actually challenged me to explore literature around the world.  I think I can make the two challenges (Thriller&Suspense being the other) fit together. and the 2010 Global Challenge is so uniquely formed.  I recommend it.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010


First of all, thank you to all who guest blogged for me this past week.
L. Diane Wolfe.
Jill Edmondson.
Jemi Fraser.
You really made my week easier and my blog more interesting.  I truly enjoyed bringing something different to my readers, and it seemed the readers enjoyed it as well!

Secondly, the ground here is covered in glorious snow today!  It is piled high and so far untouched by human folly.  Sleet has been falling for hours so we dare not venture out by car.  But when my children wake I am sure we will be out and playing amongs the flakes.  Therefore, I am not sure how much I will be online today.  But I hope to get around a bit because I have been remiss in commenting the past week.  Perfect for naptime on a snowy day.

Thirdly, my hard at exercising (or hardly excercising) friend Voidwalker has posed a question to his readers.  That question has become a sort of chain challenge that I now pose to you.  Here it is.

Voidwalker is exercising.  (This is allegedly for real, not one of those long-winded math problems you meet in middle school.)  He is getting married in 21 days and wants to look fit and pretty.  (I added the pretty part.)  Therefore, he runs on a treadmill.  Before said treadmill hangs a sign which reads:
"Those who do not find time to exercise now, will have to find time for illness later."
Since he is also a hard at writing (see above) person, Voidwalker naturally wonders, "How can I apply this wise lesson to the literary world?"

And that, my friends, is the question we pose to you.  What metaphor can you find in the quote?  How can you apply it to your writing life?

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Friday, January 29, 2010

What kind of writer are you?

This has been a week of revelation for me.

One, I am nearly addicted to the Internet.  Blugh.
Two, there is a Tennessee girl blogging in California and she wrote a post that may have changed my life.
Three, that post brought me to the Plot Whisperer, who also may be a contributor to future success.
Four, I am not a 'Dramatic Action' writer.  Whoa.

I say whoa because of the implications.  Are people still reading character-based novels?  Are emotionally driven characters still succeeding in the world of literature?  God, I hope so!

But perhaps I shouldn't say 'whoa,' because it really isn't a surprise.  I can write you ten book intros that will knock you flat.  The emotion and dramatic picture drawn will pull you in and push your forward.  But when it comes to plotting them out and mapping the action, I stop.  I am met with a blaring stop sign that halts me in my tracks.

The Tenneessee Girl blogs at A Squirrel Amongst Lions and the post that may have changed my life (or at least brought a lightbulb moment) can be found here.  It is about plot mapping, something I do so poorly.  I suggest you check out the link and the links embedded in her post.

You can reach the Plot Whisperer through her site, but finding out what kind of writer you are, you can reach here.  I found it very informative and not at all surprising,  I will be interested to know what you think of the link and your answers.

I intended this to be a much more profound wrap-up to my week away from blogging, but I am exhausted and at the end of a three-day migraine, so I leave you with this:
JD Salinger
Oh, that we could all write just one book, and it be that book.  Enjoy the peace for which you have always longed, Mr. Salinger.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Touring

No stranger to most of you, L. Diane Wolfe joins Southern City Mysteries today.  She is an accomplished author and speaker, and draws on those talents to help us all with something that can be a little frightening: the book tour.  Have your pencil handy and enjoy.

Thank you for inviting me to share with your readers today, Michele!

Book tour. For some, that’s a scary word!

However, done correctly and with the right preparations and attitude, it can be a blast!

There are two ways to do a book tour - physical and virtual.

In the past six years, I have made about 300 appearances in bookstores, libraries and other locations. And there’s a lot a learned along the way! For those about to embark on a physical tour, let me provide these tips:

· Sharpen your people skills. This is a must! Learn the proper way to communicate. You don’t have to be a dynamo - just friendly and approachable.
· Make a list of all potential locations.
· Call the store or library and ask what they require in order to consider you for an appearance. Some will set a date right then and there. Others will request information, so be sure to have promotional information such as a sell sheet, author bio, and bookmark ready to send. (Call first before sending information, as it often doesn’t reach the decision maker the first time.)
· Send the business promotional materials such as flyers, posters and bookmarks - at least a month in advance.
· Contact local media and organizations. Post your appearance online and in event listings. Send out invites to all local contacts.
· Call two weeks in advance to confirm! (Nothing worse than showing up and find they forgot you were coming!)
· The day of your appearance, arrive early! Bring extra books just in case. Bring a table display and material to hand out. Introduce yourself to the staff.
· During your appearance - don’t sit! Roam. Meet and greet. Hand out bookmarks to everyone that passes. Engage in conversations. People need to get to know you first! Bring a small camera and take pictures of your display, the staff, and those who purchase your book.
· After the signing, offer to sign a few copies and leave more bookmarks. Once you are home, hand write a thank you card to the manager or owner. So many forget this important step!
· Ultimately, even if you didn’t sell a lot of books, if you were fun and engaging, the staff will remember and be more likely to invite you to return.

I’ve also participated in five virtual tours - with another big one planned this March! Virtual tours are a great way to compliment a physical tour. And for those uncomfortable appearing in public, it’s a good alternative.

Tips for a successful virtual tour:
· Get involved online. (That’s why it’s called networking!) You can’t just throw up a blog or Facebook page - interact with others and build a following.
· Plan ahead - months ahead! Many websites book author appearances as much as six months in advance.
· Consider all options - websites, blogs, and social sites. Make a list of potential sites.
· Send an email requesting a virtual stop. Let the site owner know about you, your book, and if you’re willing to do a guest post, interview, book giveaway, or can supply a review copy. (Or your publisher can.) Let them know the dates you are available. Let them know what you will do to promote the tour.
· One to three weeks before your appearance, send them the information - short bio, book synopsis and information, guest post/article/interview, jpg image of book cover and your promo pic, and all important web links. If you have reviews, include short blurbs as well. Better to send too much (letting them know to use only what they need) is better than not sending enough.
· Promote your tour dates! On your website, blog, journal, newsletter, etc.
· The day of your guest appearance, participate! It’s a two-way street. You are relying on the host’s readership and they are relying on yours. Encourage friends and fans to participate. Check in several times during the day to respond to comments and questions.
· Just as with physical signings, be sure to thank your host!

These are just the basics, but it gives you an idea of the commitment, involvement, and work required. You will get tired - even if you’re sitting at home in front of your computer! But the rewards are tremendous. You’ll gain readers, friends, and experience. You’ll grow as a writer and as a person! You’ll help and inspire others. And hopefully along the way, you’ll sell some books!

- L. Diane Wolfe, Professional Speaker & Author
Thank you, Diane, for all of this information.  Those of us working on novels will stow it away for future use.  Those of us embarking on tours--you can't say you weren't informed!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Know Your Genre

Jill Edmondson blogs to us today from Toronto, ON, where she is a Communications Professor at George Brown College.  Her first novel, 'Blood and Groom' is out now!  Here she goes...
When I was first starting to write, I went to a Crime Fiction seminar where Rosemary Aubert (the Ellis Portal series) was the guest speaker. She spoke for about two hours and answered questions from the audience after her talk. The whole evening was informative and interesting, but what stuck with me was one sentence: Know your Genre.

How helpful and how true!

Before you sit down and start to write, learn all you can about the genre. This will benefit you in untold ways.
1. You’ll know what’s out there and what works and what doesn’t.
2. You’ll learn what’s NOT out there and then you can perhaps fill a void.
3. You’ll know where and how to pitch your book to potential publishers.

Long before I started writing Blood and Groom: A Sasha Jackson Mystery I was already involved in the mystery genre. I had taken a mystery writing course. I was an associate member (fan member) of Crime Writers of Canada, and of Sisters in Crime (Toronto Chapter). I read mystery related magazines/websites. I belonged to (actually I founded) two mystery fiction book clubs. Through Crime Writers of Canada, I was once a judge in a book award/competition (the Arthur Ellis awards given by CWC). Talk about having a solid foundation in mystery fiction!

I was also working on my Master’s Degree at the time, and I did some independent studies on... you guessed it: Mystery fiction. As part of the MA work and research (and ultimately thesis work, essays and so on), I read a lot of scholarly papers on Crime Fiction. I learned the history of the genre. I learned the sub-genres (police procedurals, cozies, etcetera). I learned about characters in crime fiction (roles of women, sidekicks, lovers/relationships, and the like).

It took me six months to write Blood and Groom. It took about three months to land a publishing contract. Enough said? Knowing the genre made the whole process faster, smoother, less frustrating and certainly much more enjoyable than if I’d done things differently.

Cheers, Jill Edmondson
“Blood and groom” is available on Amazon or via your favourite bookseller!
Trailer for “Blood and Groom”
I’m also on Twitter: @JillEdmondson
Thank you, Jill, for guest blogging for me today.  I don't know if I'll do it in six months, but I certainly will write my book faster for your help!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mysterious Steampunk

Jemi Fraser of Just Jemi joins Southern City Mysteries today for a look at the genre of Steampunk.  Mystery and fantasy lovers--this is a special treat!  Add in YA and there is no audience to which Jemi doesn't appeal.  Jemi is a teacher and believes, I quote, "Variety is THE spice."  Read and click.
Thanks, Michele for the opportunity to post on your awesome blog!

I’m currently in the midst of writing a Steampunk YA mystery novel. A friend – Calista Taylor over at A Steampunk Reverie – introduced me to the genre about a year ago. She’s written a great romantic mystery set in Steampunk England.

Steampunk is not a new genre, but it is new to many people. Basically, Steampunk is set in Victorian times, often in London. The industrial revolution is still taking place, but with a twist. Steam becomes a power source for many more devices than engines. Inventions – or tinkerings – develop rapidly. The devices are a lot of fun. One of my main characters creates, among other items, a tracking device and a mechanism to help him blend into the night.

Steampunk England is a great setting for mysteries and murders. There are multiple dead bodies in my story! It’s a dangerous and difficult time for those without resources. My characters aren`t wealthy, so their lives are never easy. They know the alleys and the shadows. Several of the action scenes take place in outdoor settings. Great places for chases, surprise attacks and body dumps. I’ve met an awesome character who lives in the depths of these alleys. As for the coppers? They don’t have the time, energy or manpower to investigate the deaths of people with no importance (wealth). Not sure how perfectly true that is, but it makes for a good story line, so don’t disillusion me please!

The class system, including the development of a middle class, and the industrial revolution both give lots of opportunities for writers to weave plots. So much anger, creativity, hardship and indulgence existed at the time. Add a twist with a Steampunk machine or two and you’re off! You can get as edgy as you like. Steampunkers aren’t constricted by too many boundaries. They’re wonderfully open to new ideas, new possibilities.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of Steampunk. If you’re looking for a fun genre to try, it’s well worth a visit!
Thank you, Jemi, for guest blogging on Southern City Mysteries.  Visit her blog, Just Jemi, for more from this pre-pub writer.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

A Look Ahead: Where is Michele?

Who knew this week could look so exciting without me?  You all might just get used to it...

Tomorrow we have Jemi Fraser--teacher extraordinaire and budding author of mystery/steampunk.  What is steampunk, you ask?  Well stop by tomorrow to find out, as that is the subject of her post!

Wednesday brings newly published author Jill Edmondson.  She shares the secret to placing your book: knowing where to place it!  For the details, you have to swing by on the 27th.

And on Thursday, author of the Circle of Friends series and creator of The Sunday Sillies (seriously(ha), go check it out) L.Diane Wolfe writes of the dreaded book tour.  Already done it?  Not even close?  No matter where you are on the scale, you'll want to read what this veteran has to say.

I will be around, but mostly not.  I am taking the week to concentrate on putting ink on paper.  That's right: writing the old-fashioned style and taking away the temptation that is the Internet.  Aufiderzein!

(Postscript: Today in Literary History subject is worth further reading today.  Robert Burns was quite a rascal, but is greatly celebrated to this day.  Click here and here for more information.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Research and Guest Bloggers

Barely scratching the surface, but I already have two hours of research and fascinating reading behind me.  My notebook is filling up and so are my guest blogging spots!

Two days left to fill this week, but if there is a lot of interest I can open some days next week as well.  Just let me know!  I would love to have your individual styles and ideas posted HERE.  Comment back or email me at micheleemrath@ymail.com.

What am I reading while I research, you ask?
Nashville Then and Now by Karina McDaniel
Nashville: An American Self-Portrait by John Egerton and E. Thomas Wood
The Tennesseans: A People Revisited by Robin Hood and Barry Parker

Help My Writing, Help My Blog

Friends, I have to write!  And in order to do that, I need to keep my Internet time to a minimum for a few days.  Would anyone be interested in guest blogging this week, to give me a break and the chance to concentrate on my writing? 

Of course, I know I could just not blog!  But I would be more comfortable leaving Southern City Mysteries in the hands of my great circle of friends.  I think readers come here for a reason, and I know many of your could help keep that appetite satiated.

Any offers?  You can comment back or email me at micheleemrath@ymail.com.

Thank you, in advance!
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Awards, Giving & Receiving

Today we must honor another author of completed MS: Victoria of Victoria S.  I have not received confirmation on when she finished her novel, Amber, but it is done, and for that we applaud her!  Victoria is a dreamer and defiedsthe subject of yesterday's post.

Keep dreaming, Victoria.

As to the receiving end, thank you to these three kind ladies: Corra, Diane and Crystal.  I am always honored to be remembered on other people's blogs. 

Corra McFeydon of from the desk of a writer has given me the Creative Writer Award.  Not only is it kindness to pass this along to SouthernCityMysteries, but Corra also was creative herself in this endeavor.  She made the award!

Honestly, I wasn't going to pass this one on.  I just didn't have the mental power to go back through other award postings and see to whom I had recently given awards.  But then--Voidwalker commented on my blog.  And I clicked on his.  And let me tell you, I just had to comment on nearly every post!  Not only was I intrigued by his current read (Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan), but I was kept rapt by his interesting post topics.  From moral dilemmas to parsing of the writing craft, I was impressed.  So here, SouthernCityMysteries newbie and fellow writer, the Creative Writer Award.

The second comes from a published author you all know--L. Diane Wolfe.  It is aptly titled 'The Circle of Friends Award' and tells me that I have entered a special community.  Thank you, Diane.  I will cherish this one and save it for a special occasion.

Another special one came my way through email.  I will keep this short, but thank you to Crystal, the Grammar Queen, for including me in her community.  Another self-creation, I accept The Blogosphere Award with honor.

Thank you all.  You all make my days brighter and my web searching...long. :)

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Write Age

There's a reason writing is a second career.  After you make money.  After you live a little life.  After kids.

I attended my first writing conference last August.  An author their, Allan E. Ansorge, told me experience would make my writing better.  Of course, I scoffed inside.  I can't add years to my life in an instant (nor do I want to!) so this was not advice I wanted to hear.  But as I write and as I read the works of those even younger than me (I admit there are younger writers out there), I see what Allan meant.

Does this mean my writing is invalid or too immature for publication?  No.  But I do think it means it needs an extra going-over, and extra eye to critique its whims.  The advantage of youth is energy and enthusiasm, and this can bleed into writing as extra adjectives and over-dramatized metaphors.

Disclaimer: The young do not have a monopoly on enthusiasm.  I was merely contrasting the oft-romanticized notion of energetic youth with the ability to monitor that it lacks.

So what do we do?  I am approaching 30.  I still feel young, but with a greater understanding for life and the world of publishing.  Will this be my greatest decade yet?  Do I have enough experience to play with the big kids now?

What do you think of Allan's advice?  Do you write differently now than you did when you were younger?  How have your subjects changed?
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Link-checking Time

In case you were wondering, the non-mystery based bloglist is now up in the right column.  I did not forget you, non-writer friends!  This gadget was the most time-consuming to add back in to the new template, so I didn't do it right away.

Also, whether your blog is mysterious or not, PLEASE look over the bloglists and let me know if I have a) put your title in the correct location or b) listed your blog at all!  Sometimes things do get overlooked and I apologize ahead of time if I have missed anyone's hard work.  While you're at it, click away and discover some great blogs.  I have included some in this new template that weren't on the old one.

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The Room

I cleared out the dining room yesterday.  I emptied the table of its storage items.  (The room is a magnet for things-to-go-other-places.)  I had every intention of spreading out and attacking my WIP with a vengeance.

It is a warm room in a cold way.  The walls are a soft blue-green.  The furniture is a mish-mash of hand-me-downs from my great-great aunt, who died about the time I married my husband.  The chandelier is a little traditional for my taste, with amber shades and dangling beads, but it'll do for resale.  And the chairs have plump cushions covered in near-mustard velveteen.  An odd room, to be sure.  But warm.

I've added my contemporary touches: straight, no-nonsense curtain rods from West Elm and simple, off-white silk curtain panels.  My wedding pictures are black and white and modern all over.  And the decorative centerpiece bowl is straight out of a Crate&Barrel catalog.

So I thought this would be a perfect spread out and imagine room.  It is large and clean.  It is full of the past, but only the good past.  It is decorated but not distractingly so.  The table is large.  The walls are expansive and blank.

So I cleared the table.  I gathered my materials but I never went in.  Did I run out of time?  Was I distracted by blogging or some other Internet search?  I cannot remember.

But I will enter.

Where do you write?  Do you have the perfect space, or do you grab pieces of time here and there?  I have a notebook and a digital recorder in my purse.  Do you as well?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Book List

As usual, I was blown away by the response to yesterday's post.  I am always grateful when people take the time to respond to what I write.  But you all must love reading as much as I do, because look at the list we compiled together!  Here it is, in order of comment:

The Circle of Friends Series by L. Diane Wolfe (guest blogging on SouthernCityMysteries Jan.28th)
Immortal by P.C. Cast
The First Thirty Seconds by Stephen M. Armstrong
The Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty
Glass Houses in the Morganville Vampire series

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (twice)
Our Kind by Kate Walbert
What They Wanted by Donna Morrissey
A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
Qucksilver by Neal Stephenson
Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Galore by Michael Crummey
Write For Your Lives by Joseph Sestito
Faces of the Gone
The Help
The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell (on Thoughts in Progress this Thursday)
Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Sommerset
Saint--With Red Hands by Yseult Bridges
Echo Park by Michael Connely
Columbine by David Cullen
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
The Alchemist
The Tropic of Cancer
fantasy by Morgan Howell.
Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan by Jake Adelstein
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Barley Patch by Gerald Murnane
The Farseer: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

This doesn't take into account the books I listed in the original post.  We cover mysteries, romance, nonfiction, classics, fantasy and beyond!  Go us!  Though this blog is mostly about writing (and mostly about mysteries), I am always looking for a good book and always interested in what you are reading.  Please feel free to share at any time!  Happy reading!

(For a great gift for readers/project to do with children, check out today's post at Do Beautiful Things.)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Books and Books: What are you reading?

I don't ask this question very often because I try to concentrate on the writing craft on this blog (and some other fun stuff), but I saw a few Mailbox Monday posts yesterday and it got me thinking...What are you reading?

I am always reading.  I have heard writers say they don't read other's works while they're writing for fear of mixing up fantasy worlds.  But, I don't know if I can ever not read.  Can you?

So here is what I am reading now, and what I have in cue.

Currently reading...
Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (hey movie lovers: check out the 1948 version with Gig Young and Eleanor Parker, and great shapeshifter Agnes Moorehead) (and I found a cool Wilkie Collins site)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

Just finished:
Moonlight Falls by Vincent Zandri (Zandri interview at SouthernCityMysteries February 26th)

Stacked and waiting:
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova (February's Thriller&Suspense Challenge book)
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Dot Dead by Keith Raffel (March's challenge book) (Keith contributes to Inkspot and has his own blog, Dot Dead Diary)
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Your turn!  What are you reading-Just finished-Ready to begin?

If you love silly quizzes, I posted a bunch on my other blog today.  I think I'll make a standard 'Silly Quizz Day' over there.  Click on over and test your star style or find out what kind of adventurer you are!
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Comments are Working!

Still a bit under construction...Taking a 'Project Runway' break!   :)

Under Construction, Still Posting Today

I am finally uploading the 3 column layout I have been craving...

Today's post is on Books and Books - so check it out! But I should have everything up and beautiful in a couple of hours.

Thank you for your patience!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What volume are your characters?

We have had house guests all weekend. Many of you may be this way, but when other people come into my house, a certain amount of protectiveness comes over me. I automatically notice the way I load the dishwasher (or the way they don't), they way I move about (and the way they do in comparison) and the volume of my life (and their's).

I am sure some of this sensitivity can be attributed to having young kids.  We tiptoe a lot in our house during naptime, carefully urge doors shut with handles held tightly and only unload the dishwasher at wide awake and running-around-bonkers hours.  Then throw in my writer's eye: noticing, dissecting and describing everything - and guests really don't stand a chance.

Nothing bothers me about loud guests.  Any lack of sleep is always balanced by the extra hands and wonderful conversation.  But I do notice how we all move differently.

And this made me think - what volume are your characters?  Do they slam doors or shut them quietly?  Do they stomp around and laugh in loud bursts?  Or do they walk with the lightness of a nymph and barely gasp when hilarity strikes?  Are they like you?  Do you know how you tread?

What is your volume?  What volume are your characters?
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blogging Lady of 2009 - Wow!

Today is usually my Sunday Foreign Post Roundup, but I have a special honor to accept and convey.  But, first I must show the award the honor it deserves by showing up in proper attire.  So, without further ado, here I am in a dazzling creation from the House of Dezmond.

You all know Dez from The Hollywood Spy.  He is one of our most creative bloggers and one of my most ardent supporters.  Yesterday he gave out personalized awards to some of his favorite blogs.  I am sooooooo honored to be named among them!
So today, I would like the thank the Blogademy, and accept the Blogging Lady of 2009 award.
Hvala, Dez.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Signings Take 2: Where, When & How

Since yesterday's post got so much positive feedback, I thought I'd do a little more research for you all.  This is what I found...

BookTour.com will do all the work for you!  You can see every author, every new author, or just every genre author coming your way.  You can see which bestselling authors are currently touring (in case you have to travel to catch them) and even promote your own event (yay for the self-promoting writers out there).

Pump Up Your Book! handles virtual tours for many authors.  I know some of us (Steph the Bookworm, The Cajun Book Lady) are hosting an author or two through this service soon.  It is also a great service for finding new books and promoting your own.

For any locals, Quail Ridge is the place to go around Raleigh.  The are an independent bookstore, so it is nice to support them, and they get some big names (like Kostova and Steve Berry) and some smaller ones.  A good variety in an intimate atmosphere.

Alright for now...Have a great Saturday!  We have friends in town so I am not blogging it today.  Living in the tangible world a bit more this Saturday.  But I'll miss you all!

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