Around the blogging world–

Just FYI:

Penny Watson is editing (I’m guessing) her new (Is that an oxymoron?) geriatric romance.  I say, Go Pens!  Check it out here:  Apples Should Be Red

My French Heaven is celebrating one year on Instagram.  Stephane’s photos are to die for!  Not only is he an amazing chef, he’s a brilliant photographer.  A Year In My French Heaven

Another evocative, provocative, stir your sense poem by R. H. Mustard at City Noir: Biology

A great recipe for hash (I love hash!) and a Low-T Challenge over at More Thyme Than DoughHow Low Can You Go?

Who does the chores in your home?  Anny Cook asks the question:  The Great Chore Debate

And Tom Stronach has posted a new review.  This thriller sounds too scary for me but might be right up your alley:  The Book of Shadows, by Alexandra Sokoloff

And it’s off to finger therapy for me!

Oh, a photo of Jake and do not, under any circumstances, compare my photography skills, or lack thereof, to My French Heaven!

Jake enjoying his new grass!

Jake enjoying his new grass!

 

 

 

Reciprocity.

One is under no obligation to reciprocate.

However, in this business I am frequently reminded of the song by Allen Toussaint, performed by one of my favorites– the late great Lowell George of Little Feat-

Here’s a portion of the song, On Your Way Down, from Lyrics Database:

Sunrise
Sunset
Since the beginning it hasn’t changed yet
People fly high begin to lose sight
You can’t see very clearly when you’re in flight

It’s high time that you found
The same people you misuse on your way up
You might meet up
On your way down

Vintage wines from the year ’62
It’s your thing, it’s your thing
It pleases you
You got to frown when you cross town
You think it’s an honor just to have you around

It’s high time that you found
The same dudes you misuse on your way up
You might meet up
On your way down

FYI – It’s not because I’m stuck up.  Or because I don’t want to talk to you– I mean the reason I closed my FB account and the reason I don’t hang out much on Twitter.

I closed my FB account because FB was  annoying the hell out of me.  I don’t hang out much on Twitter because it’s too distracting and I don’t have much extra time.

Yeah, I know I’m out of the loop.  I know I miss most of the drama and goings on in Twittersville, but if you ever want to talk to me give me a holler.  I’ll respond.  Or you can always email me.

I guess you could say I speak when spoken to.

But that’s not really the point of this blog.  My point is simple.  There’s this person – no, none of you – who needed my help on his way up.  I provided him with help.  I was generous with my time.  When he made it big, I became a nonentity in his world.

To be honest, it hurt like the dickens.  When something like this happens, in either our personal or professional lives, it stings.  I think it’s really important to remember the people you meet on the way up.

So, although I ain’t up there, here’s some overdue thanks to the following authors, women who’ve stuck by me since day one of my return to the world of writing:

Fran Lee

Katalina Leon

Amber Skyze

Sandra Cox

Anny Cook

Tessie Bradford

Ladies, you are the best!

 

 

 

What’s luck got to do with it…

A lot, I think.

I’ve been reading lately about success and failure.  The Sunday New York Times had a three page article on Amanda Hocking, while on Saturday Anny Cook wrote a very touching post entitled The Rush all about the unanticipated perils of today’s publishing world.  She should know – I consider Anny a voice of wisdom and experience when it comes to indie publishing.  She never pulls her punches and she’s been in the paranormal romance world a whole lot longer than me.

I wonder why some books sell and others don’t.  If I said otherwise, I’d be lying.  Isn’t that the question we all ask ourselves?  What makes a book sell?  Is it hard work?  Is it promo, paid advertising, platform building?  Is it writing a damn good book?  I’ve read some damn good books that don’t sell.

Or is it none of the above?  Yesterday a friend told me luck may be a big component in every success.  I agree.  Sometimes it’s writing the right story at the right time for the right audience, or coming up with the right concept at the right time for the right audience.  There’s truth in the old adage about being in the right place at the right time.

The concept of luck affecting an outcome looms large in Ringworld, by Larry Niven.  The character, Teela Brown, is recruited by Puppeteer Nessus, for the voyage to Ringworld.  Her sole qualification is that she’s a sixth generation human bred for luck.  The notion is that luck is a genetic trait that can be selectively bred into humans.  She’s included among the crew in the hopes that her ‘luck’ will bring the mission success.

Unfortunately I can’t claim to have been bred for luck.  Wait a minute…let me think…considering the calamities my ancestors managed to avoid over the centuries, I may be mistaken.

In any case…what do you think?

Schadenfreude

I’m off for three days, but I’m leaving you with some marvelous words I think authors and readers should be familiar with, some resources and some opinions, for what they’re worth.

Schadenfreude:  Pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.

Avarice:  Extreme greed for wealth or material gain.  (This is a word an editor made me take out of a manuscript, saying she didn’t understand it so therefore my readers wouldn’t either.)

Analogy:  If two or more things agree with each other in some respects, they will probably agree with in others.  A resemblance in some particulars between things not otherwise alike and a comparison based upon such a resemblance.

Metaphor:  A literary figure of speech that uses an image, story, or tangible thing to represent and explain a less tangible thing or some intangible idea.

Simile:  A figure of speech that directly compares two different things, using words ‘like’ and ‘as’ or ‘than’.

Idiom:  A word or group of words that develop a specialized meaning, becoming an idiomatic expression, such as:  There’s the pot calling the kettle black.

Malicious:  Having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone.  (As in Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.  What a character!)

Epiphany:  A manifestation or striking sudden appearance or insight, generally thought of as religious or spiritual in nature.  I love epiphanies!

Symbiosis:  Close and often long term interactions between different biological species.

Synchronicity:  The experience of two or more events that are apparently casually unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance.

Symmetry:  Balance, something that conveys an aesthetically pleasing sense of balance…which leads me to…

Aesthetic:  A sense of the beautiful or beauty, a love of beauty.

Abstract:  Existing in thought or as an idea, but not having an existence in reality.

Archaic:  Very old or old fashioned.

Arcane:  Known or understood by very few – secret, obscure, esoteric…which leads to…

Esoteric:  Designed or understood by those specifically initiated in certain arcane knowledge or arts.

Agape:  Love, especially in a religious or spiritual sense.

And a great word I got from Charlie (and Little Women)…Blancmange:  A sweet dessert commonly made from milk or cream and sugar and thickened with gelatin.  :)

I’m going to point you in the direction of a couple authors/bloggers – women who’ve had some very interesting things to say this week:

Soul of a Word asks if you have plenty of words in your pantry.

Anny Cook discusses the way we authors measure success.

Dean Wesley Smith, who I very much admire as an author and an author’s advocate, posted about the myth of rewriting.  I agree with him most times.  In this case, I agree there is no point spending years rewriting and in fact, I’d go a little farther and claim continual rewrites are a form of self-sabotage for an author or wanna-be author.  However, I see tremendous value in editing and self-editing.  I edit my work for several reasons:  I want to get it right, not just for you, but for me.  I want to put out the best book I can – I don’t want to self-publish something that will have me cringing two years down the road.  I learn to be a better writer via the art of editing.

I am proud of what I write and I’d like to keep it that way.  Therefore, while I don’t cotton to perpetual rewrites, I do believe in editing and trimming the fat.

Last – so long to TJ at Dreams and Speculations.  She’s gone the way of Rebecca at Dirty Sexy Books.  I will miss their humor, their thoughtfulness, and their insights.

Cool Stuff.

The Voynich Manuscript.

Somebody out there needs to write a great fantasy story about this book and its indecipherable code.

Here I am, can you see me waving from a row house rooftop near Fells Point in Baltimore?

Baltimore is such an interesting city – loaded with pubs and oyster bars, tiny boutiques, families picnicking in unseasonably gorgeous weather, and swat teams with rifles in hand, all on  the same street.  I mean, it’s just amazing!  I have to say, this is the second time I’ve been here and I just love this city.  It so grows on you!  There is something oddly compelling about sitting on a handmade bench in the midst of a rooftop garden, sipping an ice cold German Riesling while the setting sun turns the Domino Sugar sign an iridescent red.

Oh, and crab cakes.  I’m told that landmark place, Obrycki’s, will be closing after this year.  Miss Shirley’s Cafe – going for Sunday brunch.

Hi Anny Cook!  Otherwise known as the Queen of Baltimore!  Sorry, this visit is all about family matters and I’m downtown with no car.  Catch you next time, love!