Saturday, January 30, 2010

Creative Solutions


What is this woman doing?




And this little boy?

For more creative uses for these constant irritating reminders of our taxes at work - NOT - go to Offbeatearth

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Original Sin



NYT best selling author, Allison Brennan, has new series - The Seven Deadly Sins. The first book is out this week - Original Sin with the next two book in the seven book series coming out later in 2010. I'm expecting my pre-ordered copy of Original Sin today though it actually relased on Tuesday.

I'm sure you're familiar with her romantic thrillers, eighteen in all. If not, here's a blurb from her awesome new website - 'Reviewers have called her books "terrifying," "mesmerizing," "fast-paced," "pulse-pounding," "wonderfully complex," "layered," and "a master of suspense - tops in the genre." ' You can read about her new series there and hear more about upcoming events. I was excited to see a new Lucy Kincaid book coming in 2011.

As you can see, her novels would appeal to crime fiction readers as well.

Allison is also a sought after workshop presenter, generous with her knowledge of writing and the industry and has presented at RWA in Nashville and a host of other venues. If you would like to catch one of her workshops on Breaking the Rules to Break Out or No Plotters Allowed, she'll be presenting No Plotters Allowed at the Georgia Romance Writers conference in October. The Kiss of Death chapter offers hers as well as other super workshops on all facets of suspense, forensics, writing, etc.

If you only budget one workshop this year, catch one of Allison's. They are the best!

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the exceptional blog Murderati again. Mystery, Murder and Marketing - great advice on the genre, writing and publishing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Compartmentalizing



I'm exhausted already!

Is it just me, or is this year going by way too fast? I'm just getting around to putting some of my plans for this year in place. The trip backed me up and threw me out of muse mode.

But I realized I've gotten in the habit of setting long range goals. When I posted that I usually write around 900 words per 45 min sprint, one of our loop members said, "well, then two sprints a day and you've met your goal". That was like a wake up call.

I've been thinking in terms of the upcoming March conference, or the first of February, but not 'Today's goal is...'. For those of you who have ever used a Day-Timer, organizer, Day-Runner, or any other organizer in a book, I just want to give you a heads up. I invented it. Not really, it looks like Day-Timer did in 1947, but I didn't know about it so I can say just like plots turn up on new ground, I created my own version of it, in my little parallel universe.

Mine was kind of a personal bible to my life, work, and contacts. I bought a ring bound address book, inserted pages, a calendar and some tabs. When I need to record information about friends, I turned to F for my page labeled Friends. I for the Insurance page. or S for Songs to learn. It was such a help, I can't imagine why I got away from it. Probably after I ditched working 80 hour weeks, I figured I could handle managing my day in my head.

Wrong! I've always had a pen in my hand. I work by lists. Oh, I look over stuff on the list but I'm much more likely to complete 75% of it than if I haven't written it down. So, I'm back to that process.

I have so much that has to be coordinated in the next few months, a writing challenge, crawfish season, taxes, the mail job insurance class, and starting up computer classes again. And believe me I'm not a plotter, not in writing, and not organizing my life.

This is the style I chose. It's Flavia ( I have to have a pretty inspirational style) and I chose two page per day. See the right page is a journal page. I'm going to use that to do a minimum of 400 words per day. I know that if I write 400, I'll write more. Then I can coordinate classes, work, word counts, and appointments on the left.



How do you stay organized?

We're Going to the Super Bowl



The Magic of Saints Football!!
I would give just about ANYTHING to be in the Superdome right NOW! Not in a recliner watching the game on my Samsung flat screen. Sometimes it's not about the picture, the sound, the ability to watch replays, the comfort or the long drive to New Orleans. It's the roar of the crowd, bumping up against fans, your own and opposing, the smell of beer, (walking two miles to the closest bathroom and trying to get back before the next good play). The crowd truly is the twelfth player in the game.

It's a responsibility true football fans take seriously. If not, my father wouldn't have hitched a ride in an ice storm to the game after totaling his car and spending the first half in the emergency room. Redskins football, braving the weather, hoggettes in the stands. The Redskins won that day by the way.

In the years since THE hurricanes the state, the team and its fans have struggled together - the team becoming a symbol of a phoenix rising from the flood waters of the MIssissippi. There is magic happening in the Superdome, whether we win or lose.
Minutes ago, the crowd surprisingly sang along with Kris Allen on the Star Spangled Banner. Oh, I wish I was there.

Here's to all the fans in the stands doing the job, standing for all of us here at home. Whoo hoo- do the Reggie Bush dance. We scored!



Oh, Reggie dance again...I predict a high scoring game.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heading Home


TRAVELERS AT DFW AIRPORT

My trip is over. It was fun but very uncreative. I'm sitting at BWI in the Southwest terminal waiting to board. One nice trend in airport travel I've noticed since last year is more free wireless. Makes sense. If you can occupy someone's time while they wait, they'll be happy campers. I know I am.

I'm so so so spoiled after being connected on high speed internet all week. It's unbelievable what one can accomplish when you don't have to wait on every page to load, reload, validate, revalidate, update, etc. I feel an internet rant coming on... after I catch up. I'm going to be so far behind. Ooops, they're calling my number. Hope you've had a great week!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Favorite Reads of 2009



Leah Braemel's blog reminded me that I have read some fantastic books this year, several that I'd like to mention here. First, the one that I am currently listening to on audiobook (and dragging it out as far as I can) is Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, a fantasy about a storyteller told by a brilliant storyteller. I was captured from the first page. Honestly, I might not have ever found this book if Michael M hadn't suggested it. I absolutely hate for it to end. So much so that I'll probably go buy the hard back now and re-read it until book two comes out. Read an excerpt or find out more here

I simply cannot do this book justice so I'll give you a blurb from his publisher.

Told in classic high fantasy style, THE NAME OF THE WIND is a masterpiece that carries a fresh and earthy originality all its own. It transports the reader to the interior of a wizard's mind and to the world that helped create him. It is the story of a legendary hero and the truth that lies behind his legend. But Rothfuss also shows us how a hero can become ensnared in the very mythology he himself has brought to life.

To find a writer of great craft and breathtaking vitality is a rare occurrence. Patrick Rothfuss is that rarity. He will capture you with the power of Kvothe's story and the robust beauty of his writing. Join me in welcoming a writer who will rank with Tad Williams, George R. R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and Terry Brooks. Exciting and rousing, intimate and personal, THE NAME OF THE WIND doesn't just describe what it is to be heroic, it is heroic.


Book Two - I hope - will be out before the August 2010 date on Borders. It's called The Wise Man's Fear.

I blogged last month about the fourth book in my favorite fantasy series, Queen of Song and Soul by C.L. Wilson. Please, if you love fantasy, pick up the first book - Lord of Fading Lands - and give it a go.

Last year I found several new authors - new to me.

Jim Butcher - I started with the latest which is still the best, then started back with number one. The Harry Dresden series.
Jeaniene Frost - Night Huntress, a different sort of vampire.
Charlaine Harris - the Sookie books and her Harper Connelly series

Bill Kirton - Material Evidence, really excellent crime fiction by a erudite Scot who knows alot about writing. If you don't believe it check out his blog I plan to look for book two in that series on my trip to D.C.
Keri Arthur the Riley Jensen books

I mentioned the trip. As soon as I'm done with work on Monday, I'll finish packing and Tuesday I'm off to my hometown, the burbs of D.C. I'm packing nothing but sweats since it's supposed to be cold the ten days of my visit.

So stay warm, stay safe, be a little bit ridiculous, and have a very good start to 2010!