Sunday, October 8, 2017

Words are my drug

It's funny how mere words are my everything.

When strung together "just so"...they're magic.

I never particularly wanted to be Batman or Wonder Woman or Spiderman.  Super powers held little appeal to me in my own little life. 
But give me words, and I'm armed to the teeth.

I can elicit emotion with my words.  I can make you laugh or cry or scream.  I can take you to another planet, a place in time that didn't previously exist, or the Greatest Show on my mind.
Heady stuff.  No pun intended.

I can make you feel.
Makes you squirm a bit, doesn't it?  My words rattling around in your head making you think and feel things you hadn't before.

I'm self-medicating, if that helps matters at all.

I wrap myself in the words on a shitty day and go someplace else.  I create people and places that bridge us between here and there.  I'm a word architect, if you will.  I'm a traveler through times and minds and characters that touch your soul.  I leave my literary breadcrumbs about to lead you out of your own mind and into mine. 

Don't venture from the road.
You're not the only thing rattling around in there.

Always writing* 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Creativity doesn't tickle

Creativity is making something from nothing.  It usually demands a piece of your soul.
While that sounds incredibly Gothic and horrifying, it's true.
Creativity hurts.

I always grieve when I hear of creative people who have passed whether by their own hand or deed or something else.  Because I understand the depth of emotion that must've taken them to that dark place.  Creative souls are often tortured souls.  Being able to create opens the pressure release valve a bit so we can breathe.

G-Eazy.  "Vengeance on My Mind"
You think I’m ever giving up? For Pete’s sake, I doubt it
I’m in my element tonight and you can’t take me out it
And I said, f**k a comfort zone and started breaking out it
This music’s keeping me alive, I swear I ache without it

Have you ever interrupted someone who is creating?  I will literally bare my teeth like a feral dog. There's not much worse than to be doing what you need to be doing only to be stopped before you are finished.  Tread lightly.  Creativity requires the release.

With the passing of singers and artists and actors by their own hands, I grieve especially for them.  I do for car accidents and other ways of leaving this earth, but a part of my soul aches when it's a creative person we've lost.

The latest to leave this earth was Chester Bennington.  I never met the fellow, but he and his bandmates would keep my company on my two-hour a day commute to work and back. When I found out that he had taken his own life, it cut deeply.  From the outside looking in, he had everything that anyone could ever have wanted.  But from the inside looking out, he was drowning.  

Please love your creative people.  Let them create when the need arises.  But especially check in to see how they're really feeling, and if they perhaps need something more from you.  There's a price for creativity.  There's a price for catharsis.  There's a price for exorcising demons in public.  
Love us even when we're unlovable.
Always writing*

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Portrait

What would it be like to enter a cursed portrait and find an appealing man who's been a hermit for years? A selfish choice years ago has haunted Dylan and his family. He's waiting for the one person to break the curse he's been under, but years of hopelessness have made him bitter. Sophie promises to help the gorgeous loner any way she can. But will she end up giving more than she bargained for? Neither of them realize there are forces at work that will stop at nothing to make sure Dylan isn't happy. At any cost.

The Portrait by [Inman,  Crystal]The Portrait
Always writing*

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Have you ever...?

I'm a curious sort.  I like to know things.  Sometimes the things are nonsensical and only for my curiosity sake.  Sometimes the things are educational, and I can pull them into conversation later.  I simply like to KNOW things.

One of the funniest parts of writing books with sex scenes, both sweet and explicit, is the question, "Have you ever...?"
Readers want to know if I've done some of the things written in my books.
The short answer?  Yes. No.  I've wanted to.  More than once.

What I've done or haven't doesn't really have any bearing on the reader, in my opinion.  It's not MY story you're reading.  It's the characters.  And while I do concede to it being a part of me, I'll not be telling which part:  fiction or no.

I will share that research is hella fun.

I'm not sure why the sexual component is such a fascinating one.  I don't know if readers want to compare notes, start a club, or report me to Kinks Anonymous. ( Is there such a place?)

Sometimes I think people, in general, want to know what's "normal".  But guess what?  What's normal for one may not be for the other.  Or maybe they simply want a peek into someone else's sex life. Readers are a bit voyeuristic by nature.

Have I ever...?

Always writing*

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Captivation giveaway

I love books.  They are some of the purest magic.
I read everything I could get my hands on growing up.  And, even now, they are my favorite form of escapism, either reading or writing.

Here's my question:

Name one or two of your favorite books as a child.

The prize will be an autographed paperback of Captivation, the first book in the Rivers Sisters series.
A little bit about the book:

Spencer Drake needs a model, and Colleen Rivers applies for the job. She’s near the end of her career, but this campaign, for Captivation perfume, calls to her. 
Except Spencer is no ordinary man. And Colleen is no ordinary woman.
They’re both hiding who they are, but Colleen stands to lose more than a job if the truth spills out. Colleen is part of a family of witches that has been hidden from the world for centuries. Spencer’s family tracks and records magic. The consequences are severe for unregistered beings.
Her family’s biggest secret becomes his only mission. 
A man used to getting what he wants rarely fights fair. But a woman with her world on the line never will.
The contest will end at midnight, Friday, July 7, 2017.  I will announce the winner Saturday, July 8, 2017 both on Facebook and this blog.  One entry per person.  

I've always been partial to fantasy and adventure.  I loved A Wrinkle in Time.  Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series.  The entire Oz series.  Pippi Longstocking.

Good luck!
Always writing*

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I came. I saw. I edited.

Not even about to lie.  I don't much care for editing.  I really don't mind it the third or fourth time. The seventh time.  But when we start tumbling into double digits, I begin to lose my sense of humor.

My creative process looks a little something like this:

1.  Title
2.  Start writing hellbent to leather.  Clear about 7,000 words before I come up for air.
3.  Slow down a bit and ponder the living hell out of the story 24/7.
4.  Jot notes on my phone, in notebooks, on post-its, my hand, and anything else I can write on.
5.  Write until around 30,000.  This is the "sagging middle" for me.
6.  Small break.
7.  15,000 more words.  At this point, it's usually not chronological.  I'll have the ending before I have the last quarter.
8.  Get back in the groove and finish up.

Both my books and I need time apart at this point.  We've been each other's everything for months. Most times I'll cleanse my literary palate by working on one or two other stories.
I find that I clean edit better if I haven't had to look at the same work every day for months on end. Because you begin to catch things you might not have before.  Pacing.  Verb tense.  Wrong names for characters.  *shrug*  It happens.

Writers can be too close to their work.  It's incredibly easy to be consumed by the stories.  Honestly, it's quite addictive.
Think about the one thing that fills your soul with happiness.  Do you like to make music?  Knit?  Garden?  Imagine being surrounded by that all the time.  The "real world" is far less attractive then, isn't it?

I'm around 35,000 words on the third Rivers Sisters book.  But then I became distracted by thoughts and ideas for another story.  It's a stand-alone, but it's Paranormal/Fantasy.  And I can't quite give up space in my head for all the thoughts and ideas.  I've also learned never to shut them out.  I jot.  If the jotting turns into something larger, then I go with it.

I've learned to listen to the rhythm of the writing and my place in it.  I've learned to listen for the "click" I mentally have when I'm on the right track.  And, damn it, I've learned to edit when all I want to do is let my stories loose upon the world.

Always writing*

Monday, June 19, 2017


You know.  I hadn't the faintest what that meant.  And honestly, the first time I read it in the romance I was reading, I glossed over it.
Then the author continued to use the word about every third page, and that grew old incredibly quickly.
It means, indifference, by the way.  Which is how I felt every new time I tried to start reading it again after it took me out of the story.

Word usage is key.

Using words like "had" and "very" is frowned upon.  Passive voice is not popular, either.

But...and it's a HUGE BUT...what works for some may not work for others.

There are basic issues in writing that we should avoid.  But there are also so many damn rules that need to be broken.

It's completely up to the author to set those parameters for him or herself.  Does the story flow?  Or does it pitch and roll like a ship in a storm?  Are you using the same adjectives over and over again? Does your pronoun usage become repetitive?

Shake it up, my friends!

One of the best things you will ever do is to listen to that little voice inside telling you all about the story you need to write.  And while you will literally NEVER finish editing, your job is to polish that damn thing up until you can see yourself in it.

"Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do."  Mark Twain, you sly old dog.  You said a mouthful.

Always writing*