Saturday, August 28, 2010
I did a really dumb thing.
I said I would not read Mockingjay until I finished my novel.
That wasn't the dumb part.
The dumb part was saying it in front of my husband.
Guess who's not reading Mockingjay till they finish their novel?
You've guessed correctly.
Pssst...when you talk about the book, please whisper, as I can't cover my ears right now. I'm typing...
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
First-time author Elana Johnson posted about the fear of success today at her blogspot. She received copy edits and talks about seeing her book in an almost book-like form. We dream of that day, right? But I understand her fear.
On a little bit of a different bent, today I read a blog post by agent Chip MacGregor (posted last March) where he said, "There's this myth in our culture that your mettle will somehow be tested by failure. Baloney. All of us experience some failure, some rejection, some times of being ignored, and we get over it. We have to, since the world keeps going. I don't think our souls are tested all that much by failure...they are tested much more by success." He mentions how the Bible has a myriad of warnings for the rich and powerful, but for the poor and ignored, not so much. (Read blog post here.) So he's saying maybe there's reason to fear it because success will most certainly be a test of our character.
All I know is I'm not worried about my character as much as I'm worried about you reading my book. (Well, not you, but all those other people.)
[and if you missed it, please take a second to view my previous post. I promise it will make your day]
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
If you don't know the history of my recurring dream, and you care (important distinction), read this post. [Quick recap--I've had several, well, okay, a majorly huge amount, of dreams involving a baby in need of serious nurturing. I read an interpretation of the dream in a book on writing where the author talks about how the baby is our creative selves. Yay, I thought. I only need to keep plugging away on my novel and the "baby" will be happy and more importantly, it will be ALIVE.]
I updated the whole dream situation in a July blog post as Guest Blogger at LDSWritersBlogck.
Here's part of that post: I've had several baby dreams since I discovered Ms. Tiberghien's interpretation, including one where I even named the baby--definitely a good sign when you consider the baby being my creative self--and another where I actually gave birth to the baby. That one got me excited. It meant I had come so far--no longer was I finding a baby neglected and barely alive, but I actually gave birth to it. I was giving life to my creativity.
I really wish I had written down all the dreams because it's been quite the baby/creative-self journey. The two most recent installments had totally different tones, though. The first was wonderful. I dreamed I brought the baby in and set it in a bassinet. It barely fit, but the baby seemed okay. The latest dream, though . . . not good. I had to change the baby and it was making huge messes all over. I couldn't do anything to stop it. I guess these last two indicate where I'm at in my creative writing journey. I've nurtured the baby/creative-self by writing my novel. Now I'm in revisions. And it's a mess.
Okay, that was then...this is now. I have had 6 (COUNT THEM...6!) baby dreams in the past two weeks. I'm getting a little scared. I'm beginning to think it's not book therapy I need (reference to earlier blog post), but actual therapy. Why are these babies so relentlessly appearing in my dreams?!? :/ I'm working on my novel, okay slowly, but surely, and I let some days pass without writing (I know, shame on me), and there's been vacations and summer in general, but c'mon!
One of the dreams was good. I came in and saw my baby and I was so excited. He was as darling as could be (looked a lot like my youngest son as a baby) and I secretly watched him for a moment because I knew if he saw me he would want me and then the person holding him would have to give him up. Then I finally took him and promptly woke up.
Last night I dreamed of twins and it was horrible. I took twins from some kids who were trying to come to my daughter's birthday party, though they were not invited. I was worried the kids (who had pulled up in a truck but were clearly too young to drive) couldn't care for the babies, so my daughter and I took them with us to buy items for the party. As in most dreams, things go crazy and you somehow never accomplish what you need to, so we just couldn't get the party stuff. We tried a couple of stores, but were unsuccessful. Somehow one baby was misplaced and I still don't know what happened to it. The other was strapped in the car seat, but needed serious attention. In truth, it was dying, but I would not stop because I had these other things to do.
We finally decided to go home and give up on buying anything because the party guests had arrived and my older daughter was entertaining them with games, but didn't know how long that would last. Of course, we could not get home. Everywhere we went was a dead end or just circled around endlessly, but I would not stop to help the baby. I had to get home and I told myself I would call 911 and get help for it as soon as we got there.
Like I said, it's a little scary. I'm wondering if there's some kind of time limit out there in the universe and I need to set aside some (more) things and get this novel done or the "baby" will die and not be revived. So far in the dreams the babies do live.
Well, I guess there's that one twin I can't account for.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Her expression remained somber, but excitement crept into her voice. You are the Firstborn She...You must go to them. You want me to act as bait? Not bait, Emi. A spy. Our Trojan horse.
When Emi Warrin wakes one night to find a thief in her mother's house, she has no idea the intruder has planted a trap - a mysterious letter that will change her life forever.
Lured to the Austrian Alps with Daniel, the man she loves, Emi is thrown into a perilous, mafia-like world of feuding families and a devastating curse that spans generations. As the Firstborn She - the only firstborn female in hundreds of years - only Emi can free her family from the curse that will soon afflict her as well. But for Emi to break the curse, she must delve into evil designs.
As Emi struggles to understand her destiny as the Firstborn She, she learns that everything isn't as it seems and that all choices have consequences.
Can Emi break the curse before it's too late?
Mary Greathouse Teri Rodeman
Lynn Fowlstone Christine Bryant
Valerie Ipson Sheila Stayley
Connie Hall C.S. Bezas
Kimberly Job Tristi Pinkston
Karen Hoover Nichole Giles
Alison Palmer Jessica Williams
Joyce DiPastena Laurie Lewis
Thursday, August 5, 2010
He's out of reach...
Is there any hope?
The backcover blurb for Chocolate Roses sets the story up deliciously. He's out of reach...what better conflict for a romance can there be? And this guy is so completely out of reach by LDS standards. If you've read Jane Eyre you'll appreciate this LDS parody, but even if, like me, you haven't, then no problem. It's still a very entertaining read. I had totally intended to read the original first, but took one look at it and said...uh, no.
And it's delicious not just because it's set partially in a chocolate shop, but because you get awesome blurbs at the beginning of each chapter from the original story.
I love these:
I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong!... (from chapter one)
This was the point --this was where the nerve was touched and teased--this is where the fever was sustained and fed: she could not charm him. (from chapter eleven)
And my favorite from chapter six: Suppose he should be absent spring, summer, and autumn: how joyless sunshine and fine days will seem! [In Arizona sunshine is already fairly joyless. I mean if you buy some chocolate, it's melted by the time you get home. That's just wrong. But looking at the quote as intended *BIG SIGH* it's lovely. I could have written that about my husband, if I could write like that.
Then there's the deliciousness of Joan's own story: My heart must have made it back into my chest, for seeing his hand caused a distinct pain where it had resided before...
The story is first person with a very conversational tone. It's as if the MC, Janie, is speaking right to us and telling the story. I loved that. All of us will be able to relate to having a crush on someone we don't even know and imagining a future with them though they don't even acknowledge we exist. All Janie's coworkers are in on the secret.
Anyway, here's a few quick questions (and my own comments) for author Joan, all chocolate-covered just for this interview!
What's your favorite chocolate indulgence/obsession? Sees dark chocolate covered almonds. Yum!
The chocolatiers of your story offer many designs in chocolate, what would you like to see shaped in chocolate? I put into the story the shapes I thought would be fun—Alice in Wonderland, a great dane, clowns, swans, AZ, Saguaro cactus, roses. Maybe I would now add hearts. [My personal fav is chocolate shaped into Hershey Nuggets! Works of art, those.]
Where did you come up with the wacky cast of characters that work with Janie at the shop? They all showed up for work and so I had to add them. Each brought with them their own zany story.
Chocolate Roses is a very fun, conversational read and I read it on vacation in one day, but I'm always interested in how long it took an author to write. It took over a year. The beginning and the end came easily, but I fretted over the middle part because to be true to the original Jane Eyre, Janie would have to run away. I couldn’t have her leave for more than a week because she had to run her chocolate shop. [Chocolate is that important!] Janie had to pull away from Roger emotionally only. The more she did though, the more she was pulled into Roger’s life. In spite of the differences, I hope the reader can see the symbolisms in Chocolate Roses that reflect back to Jane Eyre.
Give me one line from the book---no context. This is the theme of Chocolate Roses: “I can’t live with her, but how can I throw her away only because she is hopelessly sick?” Or if you are looking for humor: Flo weighs 120 pounds and Aunt Lucy accuses me of putting Miracle Grow in her water dish. The truth is I’ve given up on water dishes and just fill the bathtub. [I'm not really a dog person, but Flo was definitely an entertaining character in the book and she made me glad I don't have one.]
As they say...forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate...or better yet fall in love with a handsome man who will give you chocolate (chocolate roses, no less.)
Chocolate Roses is a yummy read all around! [You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?]
BTW, this is Joan's second novel to be released in about a year's time, so tell us about your first book, Haunt's Haven. It is a ghost story and a romance. A young woman, Callie, inherits a hacienda inn that has been boarded up for 50 years. When she goes to Cassidy Springs, Arizona to take possession of it, she discovers there is a ghost. The mystery involves why he is guarding the old place. I had so much fun writing it.
Chocolate Roses can be purchased from Amazon, and of course your local LDS bookstore.