Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Memorable characters


There's a new book out on the market, a biography about classic film actress Hedy Lamarr. One of the sex symbols of her time, the new look at her life talks about more than her acting career. It discusses her passion for inventing, and goes into detail how this beauty was smart, too.

Who would've thought it? I certainly didn't. I've always dismissed Lamarr as a second-rate actress who skated by on her looks, and while that might be true, it's not the whole story. In fact, she's an excellent model for any of us writers, not just that beautiful women can be smart, too, but by showing that there's always more to a person that meets the eye.

It's easy to give a character a lot of positive attributes. We want our readers to like them, to be able to relate to them. But giving them diversity without sacrificing the core of who they are? Giving them weaknesses so they can make mistakes? That's harder. A lot harder. Some writers miss the mark, but then again, there are readers out there who like the perfect people, too. There's something for everybody.

But most of us want some realism in what we read. We want characters we can believe in, even if they happen to be vampires or live on a different planet where everybody has mental telepathy. It's the need for emotional truth as well a desire for someone who isn't always what they seem to be. We go through our lives in a constant learning state. The people we know the best can still find ways to surprise us years after we think we know everything about them. It keeps us engaged and interested when people show new depths, and the same holds true for fictional characters.

So the next time you sit down to sketch out a protagonist, think about not just what makes them strong, but what makes them weak. What makes them human. The most exciting plot in the world doesn't mean a damn if the reader doesn't care about the people involved in it. And it's our job to make sure that happens.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway - Braided Silk by Ella Drake

Everybody must've got distracted by the holiday and holiday shopping last week, since nobody signed up for the giveaway. Oh well, I hope people still go out and buy it. Toni's an outstanding author.

Since there's no winner to announce today, I'm going to have another giveaway. This one's in honor of my newfound love for Once Upon a Time.

Rapunzel was made with technologically advanced hair. As a trained Mother agent, Zel can't escape the DNA that makes her a pawn in corporate espionage. Kidnapped and held in a tower on Gothel Island, she falls prey to the sexual allure of her captor’s son, Langley, a man whose every tantalizing touch makes her forget she wasn’t born human.

Langley Gothel protests the existence of creations such as Zel, but when faced with losing her, he sees the truth: Life is precious, whether born, modified, or shaped in a Petri dish. He does the one thing he thought he'd never do. He has to give up Zel, or become a mod. But will that be enough go get them down from the floating islands and safely to ground?


You can read an excerpt at Liquid Silver.

All you have to do to enter is comment to this post. That's it. Next Monday at 9am PST, I'll choose a comment at random to win.

You don't need an account to leave a comment, but if you don't have one, please consider leaving an email address you can be contacted at. That guarantees I can get a hold of you in case you win.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the month of November, I've been highlighting snippets from my LSB m/m/f vampire erotic romance, Mercy of These Bones. Mathias got shot, bringing them more unwanted attention from the police, but when he says he's leaving town, it sparks a fight with Edmund, one in which Darby intercedes.

“...in case that’s not enough, I’m also the only one who really cares what happens to the pair of you. If I had any sense at all, I’d turn you both over to this Assembly myself. But I’m not doing that, and do you know why?”

Apparently there was no stopping Mathias when it came to Darby. “Because of those little noises we get you to make when you come?”

Heedless of his other injuries, Edmund smacked Mathias on the side of the head.


To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm grateful for

Today is Thanksgiving here in the US, which means different things for different people. Being married to a Brit and living in the UK, I didn't celebrate it for a few years, but since we've moved back, it's slowly trickled back into our lives. I don't get to have dinner with family as mine lives primarily on the east coast. Instead, we have friends over, and the day turns into a three-day fest of everything we're most grateful for.

This year has been a lot of ups and downs in a lot of ways, but focusing on what I'm grateful for will help me not focus on the downs so much.

Like...

...my husband. I met my husband at a very low point in my life, an awful situation he helped extract me from. Since then, he's been my best friend and biggest fan, and I'm grateful every day that I was lucky enough to find him when I did.

...my kids. My daughter is 11 about to be 12, my son turns 10 in three weeks. They're at ages where they're asserting independence far more than they ever did before, so we've had some minor tiffs as we find a new balance in the house, but honestly, they're such great kids. They're smart and polite, so well-behaved it's embarrassing sometimes. And they still think I'm cool, which is always great to hear. I love them to the moon and back, and am grateful every day I have them.

...not having to worry about day to day economic problems. My husband has job security up the wazoo, which in this economy is a godsend. I'm grateful that I can still have fun with my writing without feeling the pressure. It's about creating stories I want, which is always a bonus.

...knowing so many truly cool people. I can't begin to list the people who inspire me to be better on a daily basis, just because of who they are. But I'd like to think they know who they are.

I could go on and list silly, individual items like my iPad, or Starbucks mocha light frappuccinos, or pretty jewelry, but I won't. These are nice, but transitory items. The real gems to treasure are those that don't disappear after a day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Garen dreams...

-----

Garen dreamed of gossamer winds and pale limbs, both entwining around him in bonds he couldn't break even if he wanted to. Though the air hinted at an approaching winter, his flesh was heated, ready and throbbing as if he waited to spring upon an unsuspecting prey. Here, though, he wasn't a hunter. He wasn't a guard. He had no duties to protect a family that wasn't truly his. He existed because he could, because free will wasn't a privilege but a right.

He could stand tall and proud, dismissing any who claimed otherwise.

When he slept, his thoughts often went to the land of his birth, a lush, verdant paradise compared to Dhivin and its surrounding provinces. In xxx, cities were considered a plague. Villages never grew beyond a few dozen people, because when they reached numbers too great for the earth to sustain, the younger members were forced to move on, encouraged to create their own village, a place to call home that was unique to them and them alone.

Garen had left his village before being requested. His pride had demanded it. He'd outgrown the education his elders could provide, gone through all the books, asked questions they could no longer answer. The only way not to choke on their ignorance was to find different teachers.

He'd never found them. But in spite of that, he continued to yearn for the gentler way of life of his youth, escaping there in his dreams.

Until today, he'd always been alone.

The body curled into his on the thick, sun-soft grass stirred, adding gentle breath to the wind that ruffled his hair. He knew without looking down that it was Klea. The scent of her skin transplanted him from the harsh brightness of Dhivin. Only her generous curves fit against him like this, like a secondary self to master and keep. She moved when he moved, allowing the perfect balance without him having to utter a single word.

His arms tightened around her. He couldn't risk letting her go, not when he'd only just found her.

When he woke up on his narrow bed, the winds that had whispered through his sleep now raged in fury, the storm outside still unsettled. His body was hard, aroused and alert, but his mind wasn't frustrated from the lack of release. If anything, he was more alert, blithely uncaring of the day's cruel magician that usually whisked away the good temper created from his nightly escape. He dressed with speed and efficiency, eager to see Jae and learn what new developments had transpired while he rested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday

I used to be an avid Black Friday shopper. I was never so insane to be out the door at 4am, but I still went out at 8 or 9 and shopped for most of the day. It was all about the deal and saving money at a time of year when we typically spend far more than usual.

When stores started going online, that all changed. I've been an avid online shopper for over a decade, and now that stores are finally seeing the benefits in providing the same kind of sales to virtual customers, I don't go out anymore. Instead, I go to all my favorite stores' websites and shop that way. The benefits are tremendous:

1. No searching for a parking spot.
2. No dealing with insane customers.
3. No rooting through racks trying to find that one great deal.
4. I don't even have to put on shoes, lol.

Amazon's sale started yesterday. I know a lot of authors have problems with Amazon, but honestly, I love them. I can get great deals, we get free shipping for our annual prime membership, and I can find items I might not be able to get locally. I still shop brick-and-mortar stores as much as I can, especially Barnes & Noble, but at this time of year, it seems insane not to take advantage of saving a few dollars where I can.

Other stores have started their sales early. Last Saturday, Old Navy did a store promotion where adult outerwear was 75% off for a few hours. I ended up getting two wool coats for $35 total, and my daughter got her new coat for $15. Seriously, how can I say no to those kind of sales?

Do you do Black Friday shopping? Where do you like to go?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway - Edge of Survival by Toni Anderson

I love me some romantic suspense, so I was thrilled when I discovered Toni Anderson at Carina. I read Sea of Suspicion and loved it, so how excited am I that she has a new release today? Enough to get another copy for this week's giveaway!

Dr. Cameran Young knew her assignment wouldn't be easy. As lead biologist on the Environment Impact Assessment team, her findings would determine the future of a large mining project in the northern Canadian bush. She expected rough conditions and hostile miners—but she didn't expect to find a dead body her first day on the job.

Former SAS Sergeant Daniel Fox forged a career as a helicopter pilot, working as far from the rest of the human race as possible. The thrill of flying makes his civilian life bearable, and he lives by his mantra: don't get involved. But when he's charged with transporting the biologist to her research vessel, he can't help but get involved in the murder investigation—and with Cameran, who awakens emotions he's desperate to suppress.

In the harsh and rugged wilderness, Daniel and Cameran must battle their intense and growing attraction while keeping ahead of a killer who will stop at nothing to silence her...


You can read an excerpt at Carina.

All you have to do to enter is comment to this post. That's it. Next Monday at 9am PST, I'll choose a comment at random to win.

You don't need an account to leave a comment, but if you don't have one, please consider leaving an email address you can be contacted at. That guarantees I can get a hold of you in case you win.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the month of November, I've been highlighting snippets from my LSB m/m/f vampire erotic romance, Mercy of These Bones. Darby and Mathias had a go last week. Now it's time for a little Mathias and Edmund.

There was no time to gauge Edmund’s reaction before the other vampire’s mouth crashed to his, fangs tearing through his lip to coat them both in blood. Mathias opened to the assault, welcoming the ravenous sweeps of Edmund’s tongue, but all too soon, Edmund was breaking away, the tight hold he had on Mat’s head all he needed to start pushing him to his knees.

“Should have fucked you into submission four years ago,” he said. His eyes gleamed silver as he regarded Mathias kneeling in front of him. “Or chained you to the bed to keep you from doing something as stupid as breaking the siring laws.”

Mathias would have come back with some smart remark, but his brain had stopped working at the sight of Edmund’s thick cock visible at the open vee of his pants.


To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Welcome to Monday, which means it's time to give away a new book!

Last week, I offered a copy of Reaper to one lucky reader. And this week's winner is...Super Happy Jen!

I've got your email, so expect a message from me soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! For the month of November, I'm highlighting snippets from my LSB m/m/f vampire erotic romance, Mercy of These Bones. Last week, Darby found Edmund pinning Mathias in her storeroom. This week, she's learned they're vampires and found Mathias cuffed naked to Edmund's guest bed.

“Is this really the woman who wouldn’t kiss me this morning?” he taunted. “Or is it just because you get to be on top? Don’t deny you weren’t creaming at the thought of cuffing me when I mentioned it at the club.”

Fire crept along every spare inch of her skin. She blamed that for what came out of her mouth next.

“That was nothing compared to what dreaming of Edmund fucking you did to me.”


To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where I've been

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was a chubby baby, a plump child, a curvy teenager. I moved away for college a size 14, a size I maintained for several years until an abusive relationship sent my weight upward. When I finally managed to escape that five very long years later, I worked through diet and exercise to get some of it off, and eventually found my 14s - and occasional 12s - again.

Then I moved to England to get married. I got pregnant quickly, and the weight crept back on. I got pregnant again when my daughter was a year old, and more weight came back. After my son's birth, I decided to do something about it since I was done being the baby factory, and worked to get down to the lowest weight I'd had as an adult, even getting into size 10s, which I'd never done before in my life.

When we moved back to the US, everything went to hell again. American-sized portions. Foods I hadn't had in five years. The stress of living in a part of the world where my nearest family was thousands of miles away, and I had two children under the age of four. The weight came back. And more.

Fast-forward to January 2011. I'd been having problems with my hip, and an appointment with an orthopedist confirmed it was arthritis. "You're obviously too young for a hip transplant," he said, "so this will be about pain management for quite a while." The one thing I knew for sure would help would be finally losing weight for good. For every pound lost, that's four pounds of pressure off my joints. It was healthier for me, too. I have a history of adult-onset diabetes in my family as well as heart problems. Now was the time to start taking care of myself.

Well, now turned out to be May 30, lol. I needed the right mindset, as well as time to really tackle it. As of today, just over 5 months later, I've lost 33 pounds and have gone from an 18/20 to 12/14. I'm not done. I'm a little over halfway to the goal I set for myself, though if I can get to it, I might end up aiming a little lower. We'll see how my health is when I get there.

Part of what I'm hoping to do as I get healthier is create accountability. That means talking about what I'm doing, passing along my tools, using Thursdays on my blog as a sounding board. Today, that means talking about where I've been. Next Thursday, it'll mean talking about how I'm getting to my final destination.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Still working away at my het romance, still don't have a title for it...

-----


Her hair hung loose over her pale gown, falling over her shoulders to hide the shadows of her nipples from his sight. She'd scrubbed her face clean of the artifice she didn't require to be beautiful, and her wide eyes tilted up at him, made even wider by the shadows hollowing below them. In some ways, she appeared a child caught in the aftermath of a nightmare. In need of comfort. In search of aid.

His initial instinct was to take her into his arms and soothe it all away. He actually took a step toward her before he realized what he was doing.

"Mistress." He bowed his head, holding the pose in hopes that would help him regain some control. His effort was in vain. The vision of her standing there was already burned onto his consciousness.

"Since you're here, I would guess you had no luck tonight." She spoke softly, though nobody was around to hear her. "Did you learn anything at all?"

"No." To admit it aloud hurt more than he'd imagined. "But I will not give up until you're safe."

"I know."

He didn't dare lift his head yet. "You should be asleep."

"So should you."

"It's my duty to watch you through the night. Jae will return at dawn to relieve me."

"And you'll sleep then?"

"Yes." For a few hours, at least. Only what he absolutely needed to function before resuming the hunt.

"I can't." Her confession was a whisper, and yet it boomed within his soul. He glanced up at her through his lashes to see her lower lip quivering a split second before she sucked it between her teeth. Even now, she fought to maintain her dignity, to prove to him she was strong, but the simple gesture undid every resolution he'd made for himself. "I've been trying. My thoughts won't settle."

"I could call for Physic Ragan. He can give you something to help."

"No, I've been enough trouble as it is. I don't want to disrupt everyone even more than I have."

Not a single person within the canton would ever begrudge her for this kind of disruption, but he had the sneaking feeling she wasn't fully aware of how warmly she was regarded by everyone. Even if it was his place, he couldn't argue with her on this one point, either. She would never agree unless dire straits required it, and a little insomnia hardly counted.

"What about Shani?" he offered. "She would be more than--"

"Would you come in?" she said, too quickly, as if afraid she'd lose the nerve. Considering the events of the past couple days, he thought that might actually be the case. He was seeing more of the true Klea than he ever had before, and she was far more vulnerable--and infinitely braver--than he would've guessed. "You could just stand by the door. Perhaps knowing you're so close will help me relax."

Such a move was dangerous. Too dangerous. "You'll know I'm close if I stand on this side of the door as well," he said gently.

She looked crestfallen. "I'm not asking for another lesson." The first sign of color was returning to her face, twin spots of bright pink blooming high upon her cheeks. "I just want some company."

"You can have Shani."

"I don't want Shani. I want you, Garen."

The fierceness in her voice surprised both of them. Klea caught her breath, while Garen finally straightened. He'd witnessed hints of the depths of her passions, both the morning she'd first made her proposal and then when he'd come to her chambers, but this surmounted it all. How much did she hold back because of her station in life? What kind of powerhouse could she truly be if she wasn't restrained by this region's stringent social codes? The more Garen discovered, the more convinced he became she was too good for all of it, not just a union with Rey Bonsu.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giveaway - Reaper by Mina Carter

This week's giveaway is a Samhain release from last week that has me all kinds of intrigued. It's one of their End of Days titles and looks fascinating.

Sanctuary. Clich├ęd name, but the sentiment is still the same. Ten years after the end of the world, ex-soldier Mason and a small group of humans defend their fortified town against creatures of myth and legend made real. But with dwindling game to hunt and a lycan pack in the area looking for an easy meal, just surviving is getting harder every day.

Andy has a few screws loose, and she knows it. She’s been on the road since the bombs fell and changed humanity forever. Driven by inhuman instincts, she tracks the newly and soon-to-be dead and dispatches their souls to the afterlife. Sometimes they go quietly, most put up a fight. She doesn’t care either way. Her ambition in life is to find her next hit of coffee and one day, maybe, sleep in a real bed again.

Then Andy’s instincts bring her to Sanctuary and its enigmatic leader, Mason, and even the world after the end of the world will never be the same again…


You can read an excerpt at Samhain.

All you have to do to enter is comment to this post. That's it. Next Monday at 9am PST, I'll choose a comment at random to win.

You don't need an account to leave a comment, but if you don't have one, please consider leaving an email address you can be contacted at. That guarantees I can get a hold of you in case you win.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to my SSS! I've done m/m for the past two months, and het the month before that, so for the month of November, I'm doing snippets from my LSB m/m/f title Mercy of These Bones. It's an erotic romance about Edmund, a vampire, who's in love with a human, Darby, but then the vampire he sired and spent decades with returns to town, with his own problems to deal with.

“Thought I was going to have to throw Tati in your face again to get you well and truly brassed off.”

Edmund scowled, but before he had the chance to say anything, the door flew open to reveal a very determined Darby, her pistol firmly in her hands.

“I’ll call…” she started to threaten, only to stop when she saw Edmund. Her eyes widened, and the gun lowered for a moment. Then she saw Mathias, looking very much like he’d just been hit, and she lifted it again, aiming it at him this time.

“Oh, I like her,” Mathias taunted.


To check out all the other six sentence contributions, head over to the official website.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amber Allure Bestseller List

I got some good news this week. Amber Allure's bestseller list for October came out, and guess who was at #3?

1. Love's Baggage - T. A. Chase (Gay / Dark Fantasy / Werewolf)
2. Tame - A. J. Llewellyn (Gay / Dark Fantasy / Werewolf)
3. Moon-Touched - Vivien Dean (Gay / Dark Fantasy / Werewolf)
4. Conway - D. J. Manly (Gay / Dark Fantasy / Werewolf)
5. Nathan's Angel - Melissa Bradley (Gay / Dark Fantasy / Werewolf)
6. Pushing The Envelope 2: RSVP - Kim Dare (Gay / Contemp. / BDSM)
7. Devotedly His - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
8. More Than Anything - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
9. The Institute, Book I: Healer - Cassandra Gold (Gay / Paranormal)
10. Blood On The Mountain - India Harper (Gay / Contemp. / Suspense)

I'm definitely chuffed about it, especially since it's been a slower writing year for me this year.

A few people have asked me about whether or not there will be a sequel. The answer is YES. With the pax collections, we have a 40k word limit, so I had to find a natural break in their story in order to meet that. However, there's more to be told, mostly because Andre and Thomas still have a lot to overcome. It's probably going to be novel-length, and it will be out at Amber Allure as early next year as I can manage it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Though I love movies, I don't get to see as many as I used to, at least, none of the grown-up variety. Ah, the joys of having kids, lol. But one of the few that I've managed to see this year just came out on DVD, and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you get out there and grab it up.

What's the movie? Crazy, Stupid, Love

I had zero expectations going into it. I'm not normally a fan of Steve Carell, and all I knew was that it was a man in his forties whose wife asks for a divorce out of the blue. What I got instead was a fantastic ensemble piece reminiscent of some of my favorite Robert Altman movies, with amazing insights into all the different kinds of love there are in this world.

And, oh yeah, Ryan Gosling.


I have to admit, I've never seen him in a movie before. Part of that is the reason stated above. With two kids under the age of 12, most of what I've seen in the theater in the last ten years has been animated. I've had Half-Nelson in my Netflix queue forever, but never found the urge to actually watch it. But he was amazing in this. His character could've come off as so terribly smarmy that you hate him, but he manages to find the pathos of the character and show his growth. It's a fantastic performance.

Plus, well, pretty. :)

So for those few who haven't seen it, I strongly recommend giving it a go. It's funny and romantic and too good to miss. I put it on my Christmas wishlist. And if the hubby doesn't get it for me, I'll be picking it up myself the day after the holiday, lol.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Halloween and a stupid sinus infection slowed me down a little this past week, so my word count on this isn't as far along as I'd like it to be. Well, and there's a new bunny that distracted me a little bit before I got it under control again, lol.

Klea's station doesn't afford her many friends. Her handmaiden, Shani, is the only one who really fits that bill...

-----

“Mistress?”

Shani’s curious call shattered the spell winding around Klea. Her arms jerked to her side, and she met the handmaiden’s eyes as directly as she could. “Is the bath ready?”

“Yes.” She stepped aside to allow Klea room to enter. The questions were there, lurking in her gaze, but she wisely held her tongue from further queries. “Do you wish privacy?”

Part of Klea did. She wanted free rein to think of Garen without fear of being watched. But being alone would lead her thoughts down darker paths, which wasn’t necessarily best. Besides, Shani knew everything that was going on, as well as had been with Jae and possibly Garen prior to coming to Klea’s chambers. She might have answers to some of Klea’s questions.

“Stay, please.” She stepped over the edge of the polished white tub, the crystals from the sand from which it had been forged glittering in the light of the lamps. The water was hot and silken, perfumed with one of her favorite massage oils, and she sank into it with an audible sigh, closing her eyes as she leaned her head back against the rim.

Water splashed. Shani’s sure hands swept the soft wash rag along Klea’s arms, moving in slow, hypnotic circles that erased all memory. In the water’s sanctuary, Klea was tempted to fall asleep and let Shani see to her ablutions, but Shani would never speak unless spoken to first, and if Klea wanted answers, she had to be the one to address the topic.

“Somehow, I did not see these events transpiring when I rose this morning,” she said, trying to keep her tone light. “Who knew accepting a marriage proposal could create such havoc?”

Shani laughed at her small joke. “That seems like something far more suited to one of your sisters than you, Mistress.”

“Perhaps. Though I don’t think they would have waited until the seventh proposal like I did.” When Shani didn’t immediately respond, Klea opened her eyes to find her friend gnawing on her lower lip. “What? Is something wrong?”

Shani lowered her lashes, concentrating on dipping the rag in the scented water. “I guess I just wondered if you’ll still go through with the ceremony.”

“Why wouldn’t I go through with it? It’s hardly Sire Bonsu’s fault.”

“No, but…” She weighed her words while running the cloth over Klea’s arm again. “Nobody wishes to see you hurt, Mistress.”

“I won’t be. The guards shall see to that.”

“I know. Jae and Garen would give their lives before seeing harm befall you.”

Klea frowned. “I thought nobody else was to know of the threats that were made.”

Shani’s attention snapped upward again. “They don’t. Not…directly. But it’s clear someone meant to hurt you this evening, and the servants, well…” She blurted the rest, speaking so quickly Klea almost didn’t catch it all. “Many think you deserve better than the Bonsu house, Mistress. You don’t need this union like the Sire does, and we’d rather you stay here and be safe than go off and marry him just because it’s good for trade.”

Her jaw clicked shut as soon as she was done, and she sat back on her heels like the effort she’d expended admitting the latter had exhausted her. Klea took the cloth from her limp hand and set it aside, sitting up in the bath to speak with her on the same level.

“I’m grateful you’re worried about me,” she said with a smile. “But I’m not entering this union lightly. Too many people depend on this marriage to work, and I don’t want to let them down.”

“And if the next attack succeeds?”

“It won’t. I trust Jae and Garen to do everything they can, and if that means I have to spend the next month locked in my room, then that’s what I must do.” Though admitting that aloud weighed on her spirit far more than it had letting it fester unspoken.

Shani didn’t seem pleased by her response. “It’s hardly a fitting place for you,” she complained. “It would be simpler to call off the ceremony.”

“Perhaps. But the things with the most worth are often those that require the greatest effort. It’ll all work out in the end, Shani. Trust me.”

As Shani nodded and resumed her washing, Klea wished she believed whole-heartedly in her own assertions. So much could happen in the span of thirty days. So much had already happened in just one. If, for any reason, Garen wasn’t quite as quick the next time, or her enemies a little bit smarter, she might not live to appreciate a wedding at all.

The understanding chilled her to her bones. She shivered, in spite of the warm water.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nanowrimo

Today marks Nanowrimo for a lot of my friends, a month-long event to try and write 50k. I wish them all the best, but I'll be honest, I don't participate. For a few reasons.

First of all, November is the second worst month of the year to try and get stuff done in this country. There's Thankgiving to worry about, plus the upcoming Christmas holidays, with a whole host of educational/school-related events that can affect you whether you're a student or a parent. My time comes at a premium from now until mid-February (my kids both have birthdays in that time period on top of the holiday stuff), and I have to be very strict in how I portion it out.

Which leads me to two. A 50k goal is fantastic, mostly because it really pushes people to stop dawdling and just write. But honestly? I already treat my writing like it's my full-time career. I have word counts I do everything I can to meet every week. So I already put out that much every month, not just one month a year. Now, some of that never sees the light of day, while some is purely for my own entertainment, but there's enough that I don't ever feel like I'm slacking.

Nano is great for the push and support it provides writers, though. For everyone out there giving it a go this year, I wish you all the best!