Saturday, April 30, 2011

ZEAL

This is my last post for the A-Z challenge 2011 and I just wish to thank all my new followers for following me through this tough journey. Thank you to each and every one of the visitors to my blog. A big and special thank you to the whole A-Z team for having made this wonderful event possible.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am truly filled with a zeal for writing. I thought I would be tired but I am filled with a renewed energy and passion to want to get all my untold stories out.

Perhaps it has something to do with the love of my life and writing partner being back to his original form. Oscar, has been my companion since the first novel. Now that he is repaired and working like a well oiled machine I am happy. Oh, if I did not mention it before...Oscar is my computer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

YOU

You are talented.

You are beautiful.

You are unique.

You are wonderful.

You are loved.

You are respected.

You are brave.

You are a friend.

You are my inspiration.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

XAVIER

Xavier (pronounced zavier) is of Spanish, Arabic and Basque origin, according to www.thinkbabynames.com.

Xavier means: bright, splendid or new house.

It is a name that to me sounds very unique. It is a name that I don’t hear or read about often and I guess that you have noticed that I like this name. It is the name I am thinking of using for one of my new male characters.

Here is a little something I thought up.
Xavier’s naked muscular chest glistened in the bright sunlight. Droplets of sweat running down his strong biceps. I could not help but lick my lips as I saw rope after rope of his muscles flex and bulge.

So everyone, that is Xavier.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WEREWOLVES

It is only natural for me to like werewolves as well. I write paranormal romance so that is like a given. Though, I must admit I had to put my werewolf story on ice for a while. After New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, nobody seems to think my werewolves are original. Instead I get comments like “Oh, another Stephenie Meyer wanne be”.

I mean no disrespect to Ms Meyer, but for an aspiring paranormal romance author to not be able to touch on the werewolf or vampire subject is kind of torture, or at least for me it is. Guess I will just have to hang out with the nymphs and gnomes.

But, being the rebel that I am I think I will just write my werewolf novel and just stash it somewhere till it is safe to say the word werewolf again. Man, I have a long wait ahead of me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

VAMPIRES

When all the other girls my age were playing with Barbie and dreaming about boys, I was watching vampire movies and begging my older siblings to tell me more about vampires.

In high school everyone was so focused on fitting in, while I was thinking of how to become a vampire. At the age of 16 I felt like my whole world came crashing down when I discovered that vampires did not really exist. Though, my love for all things vampire did not die with my search to become one of the un-dead. No, instead my love for vampires and almost all things supernatural survived and a few years later I wrote my first paranormal romance novel.

I still love reading vampire novels and watching vampire movies to this day, though I have heard many people say the paranormal romance market is over saturated with vampire books. I on the other hand believe I can never get enough.

Monday, April 25, 2011

UNWRITTEN

This is the last week of the A-Z challenge and most of us are probably relieved. But I think all of us are thankful for all the wonderful people we have met. I certainly know I am.

Believe it or not I was completely at a blank for the letter U. It took me two days to remember that some of the best stories and characters are yet to be written. I know for a fact that I have quite a few characters waiting for me to tell their story.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

TREES

I love trees. I think they are just beautiful and mysterious. I love looking at them and taking photographs. I especially have a thing about oak trees. Don’t ask me why.

So, here are a few photographs that I have taken. Enjoy.







Friday, April 22, 2011

SEX AND SEDUCTION

Sorry people, I am not sharing any personal secrets from my bedroom, but I am acknowledging how damn hard it is to write about sex and seduction.

I use to think that romance was easy to write. Man was I wrong! Those ladies are brilliantly talented and creative. It takes a lot of skill to seduce the reader and make them experience each scene the way the characters do. Yes, everyone can write romance novel but not everyone can write it well. As I have found out first hand.

I have come to love and adore the romance genre. At first it was very awkward for me because I grew up in a very conservative household, so you can just imagine what I mean. But I have learnt to embrace my inner seductress, though I am not comfortable with people reading my romance scenes yet. Guess I will get there.

So thank you to all the wonderful romance authors that write about sex and seduction and who do it so brilliantly that they keep us coming back for more.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

READING LIST

This is my reading list of authors whom I will be using for my first chapter research project. For those who did not read my F post, I am planning to read as many first chapters by bestselling authors to see if I can come up with some magic formula to help myself write the best first chapter that I can.

So basically, I have taken all the books from either my own or my sisters bookcases. I am starting off with these and I will include more as time goes on. I don’t think I can make a proper study in just a few days. It might take some time. Sorry if anyone is disappointed. The authors are also from different genres because I like diversity, even though I write romance.

Johanna Lindsay – Historical Romance

Madeline Baker – Historical Romance

Christine Feehan – Paranormal Romance

Gena Showalter – Paranormal Romance

Linsay Sands – Historical and Paranormal Romance

Jacquelyn Frank – Paranormal Romance

Janet Evanovich – Mystery

John Grisham – Legal Thriller

Peter James – Crime Fiction

Steven King – Horror

J.K. Rowling – Children’s Literature

Stephenie Meyer – Young Adult

J.R.R. Tolkien - Fantasy

So that is it for now. I will probably be adding more as I go along, but I have a ton of books at my disposal so I should learn something from this. I will be sharing whatever I learn, but it may take a while. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

QUOTES

I love quotes, so I have gathered a few inspiring quotes about writing and life. Enjoy!

WRITING

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good.
- William Faulkner

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
- Ernest Hemingway

Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately -- many people will help you unintentionally.
- Santha Rama Rau

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.
- Ayn Rand

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
- Ray Bradbury

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Sylvia Plath

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.
- Vladimir Nabakov

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.
- Truman Capote

LIFE

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
William Wallace

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Buddha

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
Cary Grant

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Marcus Aurelius

Your life is what your thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PUNCTUATION PROBLEMS

Do not worry, I will not be giving any grammar lessons, but what I will do is tell you of a few punctuation mistakes I have been making just in case there is someone out there doing the same thing.

I have had my novel edited by someone who is very technical about grammar and well, I made a few very stupid mistakes and I am sort of ashamed to share them, but here goes.

I now know that I should open Dialogue with “(66) and close dialogue with” (99). I Thought any quotation marks would do, which is not true.

I have also been putting a normal hyphen at the end of an interrupted sentence, which is also not correct. The proper symbol is achieved my pressing Alt 0151 (—). “What do you mean—”

Another thing that I am guilty of is putting my full stops and comas outside the quotation marks such as this “I am so hungry”. Instead of writing it like this “I am so hungry.” To me it was so insignificant but I suppose to the trained eye of a literary agent or editors it just screams amateur.

It might all be little things but in the end it creates the wrong impression and I am now working hard to fix it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

OBSESSION

I have never watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, but I had wished to watch it ever since it came out. So, 2 nights ago it was on the movie channel and I finally got the chance to watch it.

Basically it is about this guy who is obsessed with capturing the scent of beautiful women, because he wants to embody the smell of love. He goes on an absolute murderous rampage all so that he could accomplish his goal. Well in the end I was horrified by the movie, so much so that I rather wished I hadn’t watched it at all. Can anyone say freaky ass movie?

So I started wondering about us humans and obsession. It is everywhere we look and it is emphasized in our daily lives. Everyone has an obsession with something. Whether it is the search for true love, perfect health, perfect weight or whether it is being a successfully published author.

There is always something to worry about or strive for. Obsession can be dangerous but it can also be a kind of driving mechanism I guess. As long as we are not hurting ourselves or anybody else and obsessing for the right reasons I suppose it is safe. I should be the last one to talk. I am obsessed with writing and achieving success in everything I attempt.

So please everyone, don’t turn out to be the next Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Be safe, take care of yourself and don’t try and kill anyone. See, no more watching hyped up movies either. I just know how to pick them.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NYMPHS

Nymphs, at times thought of as nothing more than promiscuous females, originates from Greek mythology. Though, I don’t get to read a lot about nymph fiction characters. I would love to read more about some form of nymph character who isn’t supposed to be so beautiful that she is nothing but a seductress.

Come on people. Where are the bad ass nymph characters that, sure they are beautiful, but would kick your ass if you just looked at them wrong? After all, according to Greek mythology, some of them hung out with Artemis, who of course you know was a real bad ass.

According to me nymphs are very underrated and unfairly cheapened. I think I have to write my own version of a nymph story.

First gnomes and now nymphs. I am getting more ideas for stories day by day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MUSIC

I absolutely love music. It can inspire me to write some great scenes, whether it be a love scene or a fighting scene.

My music taste is also very diverse. I can listen to classical music the one moment and listen to Metallica the next. My mood determines what I listen to. It also determines which scene I will be writing that day or the next. It is also great if I want to prepare myself to write a particular scene. For example, if my characters are in a club, I put on some dance music, turn it up really loud and just write how it affects me. So music has a much greater impact on my writing than I first realized. But I am thankful for it. I guess music is my muse.

So what is your opinion about music and writing? Do you like listening to music when you write or not?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

LOVE OR LUST

I thought this up while trying to figure out my next novels storyline. Ok, so you have your leading lady and she has to choose between two possible love interests. But…one is true love and the other is simple lust. How is she to know which is which? Make the wrong choice and you could lose the love of your life forever.

Now I am thinking if I was her…how I would know the difference? How would I know that I am just lusting after a guy’s body and not him in general? I honestly don’t know. I suppose the one that loves you would care more about you while the one lusting after you would care for a more physical relationship. Regardless, such a choice or circumstance would be quite a dilemma. Let’s just hope I never get saddled with that choice. Dumping one guy and finding out months later that the one you chose dumped you for someone prettier…

I read the back covers of a few romance novels, who shall remain nameless, and it said something like “Will he be able to fight off his lust for her body or will she give into her love for him”. That theme came across a lot and that just confuses me even more. She loves him but he only lusts after her and they are supposed to live happily ever after? Come on! Why can’t he love her too?

Ok, I am driving myself crazy. But honestly, would you be able to tell the difference? Is there a safe choice?

Personally I would want the love…if I can spot the difference, but that’s just me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

KARMA

I am a believer in Karma. I believe that if you do bad things to others, bad things will happen to you. That’s why I am a firm believer in do unto others as you would have done unto you.

I always try to be polite and courteous towards a fellow human being, but let’s face it. Sometimes there are people out there that I just cannot be nice to and then Karma comes back and kicks me in the backside.

I just hope that Karma works for aspiring writers as well. If you work hard, your hard work will be rewarded…or something like that. That kind of assurance would be great right?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JUGGLING

Juggling? What is this woman talking about? Well I am talking about working a full time job while still trying to fit in things like family and writing. At times I feel like a crazy person. But I have assured myself that it will all be worth it someday.

But speaking of juggling…there are quite a few bloggers out there who do an amazing job of juggling. You live crazy hectic lives and then you still manage to write great posts. You guys are awesome! So this post is for you fantastic people who do such an amazing job with juggling life and its many priorities that you make me look like an amateur. You are great role models for the rest of us and your message of “No matter what gets thrown your way, keep going” is well received and I admire you for it. I take my hat off to you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

INSPIRATION STATION

I don’t know about the rest of you but the idea’s for this week’s posts have been few. Though, I wish to thank each and every one who stopped by to leave a comment the past week. I am grateful.

I also wish to thank all the awesome people who decided to follow my blog. I hope I can keep you entertained. You guys are a wonderful source of inspiration. You guys are the fuel that keeps me going. Thank you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

HATE

No I am not going to write a crazy ranting post while cussing continuously. But what I am going to do is tell you what I seriously hate.

1. I hate it when my different food groups touch on my plate.

2. I hate it when other people pour sauce over my food. If there is any sauce to be added, I will do so myself.

3. I hate evil people. Yes, they are out there, beware.

4. I hate crowds.

5. I hate rude people.

6. I hate being the youngest in my family. Torture!

7. I hate it when people stare at me.

8. I hate gelatin! Animal hooves and joints anyone? Ew!

9. I hate going to funerals.

10. I hate it when I gain weight. Duh, who doesn’t?

11. I hate it when I buy a book that has gotten great reviews, but when I read it, I can’t get past chapter two.

Wow! I hate a lot of things and I am sure there are a ton of other things I hate too, but I won’t bore you with the rest. So what do you hate and makes your blood boil?

Friday, April 8, 2011

GNOMES

I know this is a weird post title but I really like gnomes. I am thinking of creating an interesting gnome character in one of my future novels.

I am seriously considering buying me one (or a few more) of those garden gnomes and putting it on my desk. They always seem so mysterious. Don’t their expressions make you wonder what they are thinking, while standing in that constant pose?

Don’t look at me like that, it’s not like I answer them when they speak to me or anything. I just ‘’smile and wave.’’

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FIRST CHAPTER

I have decided to read as many first chapters of bestselling authors, as I can find and see if I can learn how to write a good, if not great first chapter.

Why? Because I know my book is good, it has potential. But I also know that my first chapter does not really pull the reader in. And with querying you only have a few sentences to get that agent to like your work or they will politely say ‘’No’’ and send you a nice rejection letter.

So that is my plan. What about you? Do you have the magic first chapter or are you looking for the secret magic formula too?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

EDITING

A year ago editing was new to me and fun. Fast forward a year and suddenly editing is the devil. Crucifix anyone?

Though, I have come to accept editing. It is necessary even though it is painful and appears time consuming. But it is important to take your time editing. Do not rush to finish.

I have 8 drafts to date of my first novel. So perhaps if I had given it to my strictest critique partner (brother) in the beginning, then I would have spent a year editing one draft instead of a year editing 8 different drafts. I would have saved myself a lot of time, effort and patience.

I have found that editing can be very draining and thus you should find a way to make editing fun. Fun? Are you insane woman? No, but seriously. You have to find an approach that doesn’t leave you gloomy. Find or do something that lifts your spirits, like a reward system. I personally love using different coloured stationary when I edit, like bright pink post it’s and multi coloured highlighters and stuff like that. I don’t know why but stationary makes me happy.

So basically take your time with editing, even if it takes a year. Rather focus on doing a good job then finishing quickly. And don’t forget to make it fun.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DARKNESS

The darkness comes into my life and takes me. Every fibre of my being is chilled and I can feel nothing but emptiness.

Loved ones appear distant and unapproachable. All wish to help, but instead aids the darkness in its powers.

The darkness easily consumes me. I can no longer see light anymore. My mind has darkened to thoughts of anger and despair. My heart blackened like tar.

The darkness takes me and I know that this time I will not return. Every breath I take feels like torture. The darkness takes me and I can fight no more.

Monday, April 4, 2011

CHARACTERS

As I was editing my first novel, again, I started thinking…How much info do you have to include into your characters profile when creating them?

I personally don’t go into extreme detail when creating my characters. I don’t write down what books they like, which music they are into or what their political views are. I just know what their personality should be like. Even their look is something I struggle with. But at least I know what I don’t want them to look like. What I usually do write down is their eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, type of body build and personality traits.

I spend quite a lot of time trying to figure out the storyline before I start writing but I confess, I don’t go too crazy when developing a character. Bad planning on my part? Maybe, but I don’t like reading a lot of narrative, using 10 sentences to describe how thick a man’s bicep is or using half the page to describe how gloriously the lady’s hair blew in the wind. I personally read one or two sentences and then skip the rest.

Of course when the story develops I add more info, but I can’t tell beforehand where the dialogue will take me or what exactly will be said. Characters tend to take me on a journey. They take hold of me and before I know it they are the one’s telling me what to write and do and not the other way around. So I won’t know that pink is my leading lady’s favourite colour till she tells me so later on and I don’t know that my leading man loves Metallica when I create him. He too only tells me when it is convenient for him. Typical!

So how much time do you devote towards developing your characters? Do focus on giving your characters tons of info before writing or do you add it in later like me?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BLOGGING - yay or nay

Like many, I too was sceptical of blogging when I first started. I was and still am extremely paranoid. But once I started blogging I realized how great it was to write about things that were on my mind and often have people comment. Regularly offering help full advice or fantastic words of encouragement.

I have made many wonderful friends and still make new ones daily, thanks to blogging. For without the support of my fellow bloggers I would not have made it through some of the toughest times.

So I say ''Yay'' to blogging. It might not be to every one's taste but I cannot fault it.

PS! My A=Adventure post is also on my blog. Don't know why it didn't show up as published but I did post it. In case anybody wanted to read it. Just saying.

Friday, April 1, 2011

ADVENTURE!

To many the word ''adventure'' does note evoke strong feelings of terror or the sudden flow of never ending tears. But for me, the before mentioned factors are very true.

I am afraid of the unknown and I am an absolute control freak. So Naturally I was worried sick about the A-Z challenge and you know what? Once I calmed down I got some great ideas.

Which brings me to the conclusion that A-Z is actually a good source of adventure for me. How you ask? Well I might not be living on the edge here but I am going outside my comfort zone and I still get to have some sort of control in the end so...yeah, I'm a freak (big smile).

So here is to adventure...Hopefully I can push myself a bit more and do something completely spontaneous! Ha! Ha! Not.

Thank you to Arlee Bird and the wonderful A-Z team for making this great challenge possible.