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 Earth...in 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.

So.
Have I ever...?
Possibly.
lmao

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.
9.  LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS--IF NOT LONGER

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

Insouciance

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*

Friday, June 16, 2017

Be original

Easier said than done.

Entertainment, as of late, tends to be a rehash of older offerings.  They remade "Dirty Dancing". Didn't watch it.  Probably won't.  They're remaking "Top Gun"?  ugh

Artists of every sort remake songs, movies, and television shows.

Why is it so hard to come up with something new???

New is scary.  New is risky.  New is untried and a bit daunting.

GOOD

If you follow trends, by the time you get a hold of one, the market is flooded.  "Twilight", and vampires in general, would be one example.  Massive outbreak.  Then the flood receded.
Burnout happens quickly.
You need to get ahead of the trend.
Or, wait for it, you IGNITE the trend.
Exciting, isn't it?

Pioneers are not wusses.  They don't give two shits about what others have done before them.  It's all about them and what their wants and needs are.

You write trilogies?  Oh, another Nora Roberts type.
You write Erotic Romance?  Geez.  Another Fifty Shades.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Be bold.  Be original.  Be a Pioneer.

The proof is in the work.  And only you know what you're capable of accomplishing.
So don't rehash some tired old storyline.

"Beauty and the Beast" is my favorite fairytale and has been for as long as I can remember.  "Beastly" turned the old premise on its head.  And now I've found another offshoot, "Beast", that is doing the same.

If being true to yourself means treading where Angels fear to, you're on the right track.  And I couldn't be happier for you.

Always writing*

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Eccentric

Definition:  Unconventional and slightly strange.

These are my people.

It's a pity that children are taught from the moment they are born that there are certain ways, and only these ways, to do things.
Indoctrinated into the "normal".
*shudder*

I love eccentric people.
Hell, I AM eccentric people.

Growing up, I was the epitome of the good child.  (My blessed mother will even back me up on this one."  But deep inside of me?
I wanted to run barefoot through the woods and talk to trees and chat with fairies and be invited to mad tea parties.
I wanted to climb a mountain and scream at the top of my lungs while the wind whipped around me.

But I had my moments.
I remember literally dancing in the rain at my bus stop in junior high.  Humming the song and doing a little kick out with the rhythm while the rain poured over me.
I remember walking in creeks in the woods and wondering what wonderfulness I would stumble across.
I suppose I made my own adventures.

Now that I'm older, I EMBRACE that shit.

When I get lost, and I so do, I love it.  What things will I see that I normally wouldn't?  Where can I go, and what can I do to feed my restless spirit?  And while physically visiting places is incredibly wonderful, the most precious places to me are in my own mind.

Talk about chaos.  Talk about madness.
Talk about eccentric.

The local newspaper interviewed years back, and I explained that I hear voices in my head.  Hell, that may have even been the lead, I can't quite remember.  But it's true.  I hear dialogue and see scenes. I'm there while I'm driving or working or running errands.

Authors are weird.
Of course we are.
And isn't it magnificent?

Always writing*

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Solitary pursuit

I often forget that writing is a solitary pursuit.

You sit in front of a screen and transcribe all the ideas that flow through your cranium.  No one else need even be in the same room.  And, if you're like me, you prefer it that way.

But when you finish a story???
You want to shout it from the rooftops!  You want banners and parades and people.  You want everyone to read those words that you labored over so intensely.  You, at this point, want to share.
But you kind of don't.

Let me explain.

Writing, as well as reading, is subjective.  Not everyone will like everything.  I've given a work to three different review sites.  One loved it.  One liked it.  One thought it was meh.

You must develop a thick skin for any business.  But I will add that it best be EXTREMELY thick in any creative business because that business is basically...YOU.

Whether it's the words or designs or art, it's all part of you.  And when someone looks at part of you and doesn't like it.  Well now.  That sort of stings, doesn't it?

Rise above it.
Sure.  It's easy to say and hard to do.  But it bears repeating.  RISE ABOVE IT.

Because the only person that matters when it comes to expressing what you love is you.  Become your own critic, if you can.  Examine your work with a critical eye.  Is the story too wordy?  Are the colors too dark?  Do the patterns clash?

I find it best to step away from a finished work for at least a month and write on something else.  It clears my palate and allows me to view the work from a distance when I reengage.

Do not let the mortal coil wrap around you and drag you down.
Disengage and rise above.
Your work will be the better for it.

Always writing*

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Indelible

Anything that truly touches me leaves an indelible mark.  I'm not simply referring to a good deed witnessed or practiced.  All those YouTube videos of people reuniting with their important ones.  A dying person's last wish fulfilled.
All of these are truly important.
But indelible, to me, means touching my soul.  It could be a present from my five-year old child from the school Christmas Store.  Or perhaps the memory of laughing so hard in the car with the kids I nearly drove off the road.
Love and laughter.
They stick.

That's the magic.

I find those things at the core of every book I write.  I'll tell anyone who will listen that EVERY story is a Love Story.
Either searching for love or destroying it.  Embracing it.  Lack of it.  Sharing it.  Love of self.  Love of others.  Love how that steak tastes on the grill.
Facetious?
Maybe a bit.

But a truly indelible memory brings all senses into play.  The fuller the experience, the deeper the mark.

A good book will take you there.  You'll live and laugh and love with the characters.  You'll miss them when you finish the story.  You feel as though you've watched a movie instead of simply reading a book.
You were there.
You were a PART of that magic.
That's what I wish for you whether you read my book or anyone else's.
I wish you magic.

Always writing*


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Characters welcome

I write character-driven stories.  Their voices are what I hear first when a story is forming.  Little pieces of dialogue filter through and root.  I jot them down.  
But when I'm working on a book series, I hear all sorts of voices from the characters.  Not only the piece I'm working on at that moment.  
And characters can be impatient literary souls.
They are innately selfish.  Isn't that understandable?  They're aching for their perspective stories to be told.
But the best characters?
The ones that stick with me and find a home in my head and heart?
The damaged ones.

Oh, you KNOW who I'm referring to.  The Doctor and Sherlock.  Christian Wolff in The Accountant. Hell, literally ANY superhero out there, both male and female.    

But my two favorite characters are The Doctor and Lisbeth Salander.
Don't get me wrong.  I have several characters that I absolutely love.  Jo in Little Women.  R. P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  David Haller in Legion.

But The Doctor and Lisbeth?  They touch my soul.  
They are survivors.  They've been through the unthinkable but still rise.  How can you not cheer for those who not only faced the fire but danced in it?

Who do you love?
The comics?  The love interests?  The heroes?  The anti-heroes?
Let me know.

Always writing*

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who has the time?

Oh, I feel this one in my SOUL.

Time is a precious commodity.  No one feels like they ever have enough of it.
I can completely relate.

I work forty+ hours a week.  I have a two-hour daily commute.  I fit in at least one visit with my grandson and younger daughter per week.  I try to hit the gym for weights two to three times a week with Zumba/Cardio Dance classes on Saturday/Sunday.

My today looks like this:
5:30 am  Wake up and curse everything.
5:45 am  Roll my ass out of bed and shuffle to the kitchen.
6:00 am  Two pieces of toast and some skim milk.
6:19 am  Shower and dress.
6:39 am  Leave the hacienda.
7:39 am  Arrive at day job.  More cursing.
8:30 am  Start work day.  (I'll spare you the gory details.  Just picture:  The Upside Down.)
5:30 pm  Finish work day.
6:30 pm  Arrive at Mademoiselle for weight training.
8:00 pm  Leave Mademoiselle.
8:15 pm  Home
8:30 pm  Eat something that is quick and easy.  Hello again, toast.  *eye roll*  Or perhaps ice-cream from the carton.  One never knows...
9:00 pm  BED.  SO MUCH BED.
*blink*
It's 5:30 am again.

When do I have time to write?
Well.  I'm writing all the time.  Usually up in my cranium.  I'll jot notes on my phone and incorporate them when I have time which usually coincides with the weekend.  Saturdays and Sundays are my days to sit and immerse myself in the words/stories.  I can bang out anywhere from 3000-6000 words depending on if I'm feeling it, and I tug a thread that stays steady.

But my point, and I do have one, is that time can be maneuvered and manipulated.  I jot down notes on my breaks at work.  I work on advertising and networking on lunch.

You have to keep clicking to make a dent.  So that's my wish for you today.  Bend that time to your will.  Shape and reshape it.  Take time for self.  Take time to do something that your soul requires.
You'll be better for it.

Always writing*


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Roll out

Anyone else have Ludacris in their head right now???

However, I refer NOT to Luda but my website!
Woot!
I'm live, dear ones.

You can find me at Inman Books.

Took me a minute to find a suitable background for the first page.  I'm fond of butterflies, and I liked one of the other pictures, but it was more Pioneer Woman than anything else.

But I tell you what.

That first page is of my desk--where most of the magic, and hair pulling out, happens.  I have a little bit of everything going on there.
First person to name three characters living on that wonderful desk will receive an autographed paperback of Captivation.
Simply comment on this blog.
That's it!

Best of luck.
And go poke around.

Always writing*




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beautiful stories

Some of the most beautiful stories are songs.  Condensing an entire tale into three or four minutes is brilliant.
One of my favorites, after all these decades, is El Paso by Marty Robbins.  Released in 1959, before my birth, I used to listen to it with my Mom and sister on 8-track.  My heart would break at the end.  Every.  Single.  Time.
That's powerful.
You have CCR in '69 with Fortunate Son.
And one of my favorites from the moment I heard it:  Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Words can touch in so many ways.  You can set them to music.  You can roll out some iambic pentameter.  You can write 65,000 of them to create a story of your heart.

So let me know.
What are your favorite songs that tell stories that you'll never be tired of listening to?

Always writing*

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Captivation

I'm so excited!

I've published the first book in my Rivers' Sisters series.  
"Captivation" is Colleen's story.

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 books will publish in this order:

Captivation--Colleen
Conjuration--Heather
Fascination--Megan
Incantation--Paisley
Transformation--Grace, their mother.

I love these strong women and the stories they share.

Always writing*

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Overnight success

An oxymoron, if I've ever heard one.

Creative people, writers-singers-painters, dream of being "discovered".  You're out there minding your own, manuscript under arm, when you come across someone who just happens to read your work and offers you a six figure advance.
And you thought Cinderella was a fairy tale.

I love listening to people's stories.  The hot new artist that's been selling CDs out of his trunk for five years.  The painter who has had a brush in his hand for the past decade but just now has a showing at a large gallery.  The songwriter who has been writing for twelve years but now has a hit of her own.

It takes work.
It takes time.
It takes commitment.

I literally cringe when I see that I started my Rivers Sisters series in 2011.  SIX YEARS AGO.  And other works as well.  The last "save" date beyond five years makes me shake my head.
Time passes anyway.

Was rather a hard time for me so I understand why I didn't get back to it then.  But I DID get back to it.

You need to do the same.
Invest in yourself, and love what you do.

I'll be damned if I'm going to wait even another year to put my works out there.
It's my time.

Always writing*


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Time flies

I should have known better.

I tell myself that I should probably try the traditional route of doing things.
When I really, so much really, shouldn't.

I've purchased a site where I will place links to buy my books and stories, both erotic and non.  I clung to doing it the "traditional" way for far too long, and the time passed anyway.
It left me...wanting.

I don't want to fit in the round holes.  I don't want to shave off my edges to be accepted.  I really don't.  So I believe I'll write as it suits me and place those offerings up in hopes of enticing like-minded individuals to read my words and escape with me.

Oh.
We will have the best time together.
I promise.

Always writing*