Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Is It Called Fiction Anyway?

We're doing edits on 666 Angel Lane and the story takes place in Colorado, a place I've never been. I made up a town and an address and that's the extent of Colorado in the story.

Later a few of the characters are in a grocery store buying beer and wine. My editor made a notation asking if alcohol was sold in grocery stores in Colorado. I have no idea. I live in Seattle, Washington and alcohol is sold in our grocery store. But I giggled over the question since the characters buying the alcohol are an Archangel, a War Demon and an imp.

The answer is that it varies by county in Colorado so I can keep it.

Over at Dear Author and a few other places there's a lively debate about historical accuracy in historical romances that bores the shit out of me. But Carolyn finds it interesting.

*evil grin inserted here*

There's a reason it's called fiction, folks. Because it's fictional.

I'm not a huge historical fan but a Lord Ian, a Lord of Scoundrels and a Last Hellion rocked my world. I like me a little Tessa Dare also and try Hummingbird by LaVeryle Spenser. And I couldn't give a tinker's shit whether they ate eggs and bacon for breakfast or Captain Crunch.

I swear to God, those people reading for accuracy should go read a history book and leave fiction alone.

Fiction: a literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact.
fabrication: a deliberately false or improbable account.

Carolyn has been known to get her panties in a bunch when Victorian maidens leave their panties at the foot of a gentleman's bed. I say hell, leave those days of the week panties on bedposts throughout England!

After all, if fiction were factual, it wouldn't be fictional. Right?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rejection Monday

We have read your proposal for SUGAR B'S BACK IN TOWN, and do not feel that this is something Liquid Silver Books would publish. The writing needs more polish and would not be what our romance audience is looking for.

Okay, that one hurts.

Writing Preparation


Back when I was a wee child in school, I was in a creative writing class and we had a speaker who talked about how she prepared herself for writing: she baked brownies.

Back then I wrote all the time and didn't need to do anything but write.

Fast forward to last night. I was ready to write, in fact I was dying to write. I'd been editing a lot and was ready for some creating time.

I had to clean.

I couldn't write until all the toys were off the floors and the kitchen counters washed. I made the beds, washed the floors and organized my daughter's closet.

Then I wrote.

Today I wrote and still needed to pick up, do the dishes, and be organized. I feel like I'm stuck in quicksand unless the space around me is cleaned up.

Do you have any things that you have to do first before you can write, read or do what you like to do?



But I wish you'd come write at my house ...

Okay, I lied. Upon further reflection I do appear to have a few idiosyncrasies.

1. Blog Hopping. this can take up a whole morning. I'm fully aware I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but even if I get all virtuous and open Word and prepare to write, I find my mind wandering and before I know it, I've opened Windows and clicked on a blog to see if any posts were made. God forbid I should miss a post on a controversial thread!

What does this accomplish? Not a damn thing that I know of. It's mostly a waste of time and if I'm blog hopping I don't have to string words together so they make sense and have perfect punctuation besides.

2. I seem to have developed a habit of rereading the previous chapter. I tell myself it's to get my head back in the story, but since all I seem to do is tinker with said chapter, I think I may be lying to myself.

This is bad shit.

3. Okay, there is no #3. 1 and 2 were bad enough. I've wasted a whole damn day when I could have been writing!

That's it! That's enough! I'm gonna write something this very minute!

Damn - time to start supper. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find time tonight. After I check the blogs of course, and make sure I didn't write something I wasn't aware of ....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sex and the Single Writer

An alpha male is good at pursuing
the virginal girl who needs great woo-ing
to surrender that which is a great prize
first chance to be between her thighs.

The virgin's armor the hero must pierce
with rod of steel so mighty and fierce
to bring poor maid to womenhood true
and fill her with his manly dew.

Inside her passage he will find
a rush of feeling clouds his mind
all sense is lost, all kindness gone
(otherwise the story would be a yawn).

Accusations fly! Misunderstandings abound
he accuses her that her heels are round
he's angry, he's jealous, but still his need
is to pump and pump her full of seed.

The agony! The hurt! The ultimate bliss
When at last they share a final kiss
as lies are cleared and happily's are found
and her virgin flesh is his to pound.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Men Shouldn't Read Romance

Girls rule, boys drool.

Girls go to college
To get more knowledge
Boys go to Jupiter
To get more stupider.

We were watching Bachlorette last night (where my bright and beautiful daughter quoted the above at Kasey as he imploded in an emo rush of omg! is he insane?) and I was thinking about men and romance and decided that men and romance do NOT mix. And for that reason alone, men shouldn't read romance novels because they just don't get them.

Before anybody explodes on me, let me back up this claim with observations.

1. Men's reviews on romance novels (Doc Turtle on Smart Bitches, Magdelena's husband on Proromantica, almost anyone whose balls have dropped and has to shave) never get why women love the novels they're reviewing. An alpha man in their interpretation is to be laughed at in their attempt to discredit what woman find swoon-able.

Men don't understand that in books and movies we swoon over the alpha. In real life we like receding hairlines and men who put furniture together and leave a handful of screws unused so we'll always wonder when the damned thing is going to collapse.

We don't seek or marry alphas. We fantasize about them. A true alpha male would never put up with us and we'd hate the grunting. Men just don't get it.

2. Men don't understand virginity. Seriously, they don't. The average straight man would himself rather do the evil step-mother in Snow White and let the sweet, virginal Snow get her freaky on with the short dudes. Something about those red lips and red nails and a woman who likes mirrors does it for them.

Women understand that a female character who's obsessed with being the most beautiful, who puts the poison in an apple instead of a nice Godiva chocolate and wears Revlon Simply Insatiable Red Lipstick is just trouble waiting to happen.

We prefer the virgin. Chances are anyway that a real virgin past the age of 25 is just going to gorge herself on junk food and never get close to any man we really want so they're safe to us as romantic heroines. (Working with these bitches is a whole different story but we're not discussing that here.)

3. Men don't really *get* romance anyway. Back to The Bachlorette.

Ali told Kasey to stop singing, stop trying so hard and just be real. She wanted to like him. Kasey listened and then got a tattoo on his wrist to prove his love. Romance fail!

Men think it's about BIG gestures. Another case in point: my brother. Married more times than diets I've been on and failed, he used to woo with jewelry and spendy ways and bad poetry. Now he's shackled to an intelligent woman who has taught him that money is best saved and romance is in supporting each other's endeavors and dreams.

In romance it's the little things too. When the hero listens, when he tries what the heroine loves, when he finally turns her into the goddamned vampire she's been whining for after 4 long books: That's Romance!

Men aren't hard-wired to understand. He thinks it's about hot chicks, hot sex and a happily ever after where she becomes Giada and he gets to drink beer in the garage. Women still want to be listened to, understood and cared about. So we read romance and live the fantasy written by women who know where we're coming from.

Oh yeah: gay men don't count. They've got the same stupid sex wiring of straight men (they'd do the evil stepmother too or at least borrow the cape) but they're as emo as we are usually.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fan Fiction Contest


This is full of awesome. John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton (Scalzi is a sci-fi writer and Wheaton used to be Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: TNG) have a contest going on to benefit the Lupus Foundation.

Check it out. The winner seriously wins and the entire thing is hilarious!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rejection Monday

We don't have a rejection to share with you this Monday.

We're going to be honest and admit that we submitted our piece o'crap to a few chosen agents, all of whom requested never to see our writing again.

We also submitted to about 6 or 7 pubs. Two gave revise and resubmits, we also got a few what the hell were you thinking? and well.. there's one publisher that's kind of brand spanking new who sent us an email to say that we;re still under consideration.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Morning Glory Indeed

This morning my computer was refusing to be my friend. On our side blog feed I saw that Proromantica had a blog post about Morning Glory by LaVryle Spencer and I wanted to read it but my computer wouldn't load the page. But just seeing the title brought back a rush of feelings for that book that made me want to write about it.

Morning Glory is the story of Elly and Will. It's during the depression when towns were small, money was tight and crazy widow ladies lived outside the accepted boundaries with their lives in disrepair.

Elly is the crazy widow lady with a blossoming pregnant belly and a child already. Will is an ex-convict, recently out of the pokey and being cheated out of his wages by judgemental townsfolk.

Elly advertises for a husband because she can't keep up with her property and she needs a man around. Will needs somewhere to be and someone kind to take him in.

It isn't a modern romance at all, it's one where people are flawed and love is patient. They learn to live together and reveal themselves to each other. Elly's fear of the world is forced to the forefront when Will goes off to fight in WWII. Elly must learn to cope and not hide and toward the end she even learns to stand up for herself and those she loves.

Will has a smaller growth cycle since he's already self-realized but he's an amazing character nonetheless. He begins more as a whipped puppy and becomes an integral part of the community and Elly's heart.

The murder subplot is the only failing of the book because it was too obvious and unnecessary. But to read Will and Elly falling in love is classic. If you haven't read it, do.

***as a post-script, I finally got to Magdalena's Proromantica page and the review is written by a male guest reviewer and not as glowing as mine. *sigh* Men just don't get romance, really.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hidden Object

From our wonderful Lea (I heart Lea) is the knowledge that Big Fish Games is giving away a free copy of the Hidden Object Game, Mystery Case File: Ravenhurst.

Just enter FREERAVEN as coupon code. I got my copy. I love Hidden Object Games.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Are You Reading?

Carolyn has been talking up the Elizabeth Peters books so I finally (thank you for sending it Carolyn) started Crocodile on the Sandbank.

I intend to buy the entire series and put it on my reader. OMG! it's so good.

What are you reading?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rejection Monday

While I like the premise of the story, I feel that it jumps into situations that the reader may not understand the how and/or why of. I also feel the there is a little too much cuteness and funny lines, and after a bit it begins to bring the story down. If you were to resubmit this to another publisher, I would suggest paring it down to a shorter story, and change the scenes to add some intro so the reader understands what's going on, and to address the other items I listed.

This rejection came on a story and it just made me feel so deflated. So the story was forgotten for a year and then pulled back out.

Two offers were made for it and it's coming out in December.

Please send your rejection stories to LoriGreenWriter@comcast.net

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon

I want to state right up front that I'm an Elizabeth Moon fangrrl (is that how they spell it? Trying to be cool here.)

She is not a Romance writer. She writes straight up SF and pure Fantasy, some with romantic elements, some without. And writes it rather well, I might add.

Twenty years ago - twenty years! - she wrote a trilogy that was incorporated into the book The Deed of Paksenarrion, a fantasy which she admits was based on a Dungeon and Dragon type game she had observed. She felt the characterizations were wrong and so she set out to do it right. We have elves and dwarves and gnomes and high magic; Paladins and gods who interact with humanity. And always, the battle between Good and Evil.

The last book in that trilogy ended with Paksenarrion finding the true king of Lyonya. Twenty years later in my time, he's about to ascend his throne in Oath of Fealty.

Evil stirs again. Actually, it never stopped.

The events in this book are all linked to the happenings in the previous books, but this book can stand alone. My one gripe with it, is that Ms Moon made sure any new reader would know what had happened in the past. And just in case you didn't catch it the first time, another character repeats it.

I admit I was getting outdone with her, but about 1/3 of the way into the book, everything kicked in and off we went on a wild ride of magic and battles and skull duggery and over and above all, likable people you root hard for, who have the courage of their convictions and the moral strength to resist the temptations thrown against them.

There are four storylines, bound together by Paksenarrion. She is not a major character in this book, but through her the protagonists' lives have changed.

There is the new king of Lyonya as he takes control of his kingdom and prepares for the attack he knows will come on his country.

There are two of his former Captains: Dorrin Verrakai who must reveal her magery to contain and destroy the evil her family has done; and Jandelir Arcolin, into whose hand the king's old cohorts have been given and who worries he is a poor substitute as he leads them South to war.

And finally there is Mikeli, a young prince in Deeds, who becomes king of his own land, with the evil opposition trying to assassinate him in Evil's name.

Moon served in the Marines and her books are known for their realistic military action and tactics, and how a common soldier or an officer thinks. Her sword play is exemplary.

I think what captured me and held me for lo, these many years, are her characters. They have faults, they have fears, they have regrets. They strive and sometimes they fail. But they always keep their integrity.

Some might think the contrast between good and evil is too overt in these books and they'd be right as far as the broad action is concerned. The priests of Liart are cruel and just plain nasty, and don't pretend to be anything else. You meet a priest of Liart and you know you're gonna get hurt. Badly.

But the main characters and the secondary characters have different depths to them, some subtle, some not so subtle.

For a great action packed story and the chance to cheer the good guys on, you can't beat Elizabeth Moon. Oath of Fealty is a worthy addition to her impressive list.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Rules of Riting: Epic Fail

I love Loretta Chase. I mean, I want to build a shrine to the woman and light a candle and slaughter a goat for her. I LOVE Loretta Chase.

Loretta Chase is not a good writer though, according to the rules of writing and the fervid followers of such. Would you believe that Ms. Chase on occasion, tells and doesn't show? She starts sentences with But. (In fact, in one paragraph she did it twice and I was ready to call her publisher and ask to speak to the lazy editor who allowed that.)

Oh she can tell a wonderful story, write beautifully, create characters I'm totally invested in and make me laugh out loud in public places as I read her but she's just not a good writer. She doesn't start in the action, she allows the reader to use their imagination to fill in spots and she trusts in her reader's intelligence to believe that she'll follow along and not have to have everything spelled out.

This little rant is coming because of the writing advice that peppers the online writing community. So many writers out there who know the rules and are quick to quote what you may or may not do.

Start with the action. Show, never tell. Don't head-hop. Keep description to a minimum.

I doon't understand where these rules come from. A creative writing class I was in with Robert Ray many years ago, Mr. Ray gave rules of riting, one that included no stories allowed with only two characters in a romantic moment. I left the class never to return. His rule was ridiculous (the author in question was writing a short story about an anniversary dinner) and I knew that such arbitrary rules would never work for me.

I worry about these arbitrary rules and how they stifle writers. I happen to know a certain writer who loves description and a little head hopping and when she writes it flows. Then she says it's all wrong because rules are broken and the writer dips her head in shame and dismay.

I don't believe in rules unless you plan on breaking them.

Did I mention that I love Loretta Chase? Oh I do. She's such a rule breaker. And she does it so damned well.

(By the way, reading Not Quite A Lady right now and am LOVING it. Highly recommended.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rejection Monday: Part Two

From The Old Farts Files, our own rejection. Not too disheartening but not making us dance in joy either.

I really like your writing style and appreciate your humor. However, I am not sure how marketable this style of book is. I can easy understand incorporating letters as a means of communication and a way to further plot within a story. Many have done it, and done so successfully. Having a whole book based on letters is a bit difficult for a reader to follow and develop a firm hold on characters, setting, etc.

Rejection Monday

Every Monday Dear Author (www.dearauthor.com) does a First Sale column where an author shares her First Sale story.

It's the sort of thing that gives one hope. That warms the heart and makes the bluebirds sing.

This Monday morning a bird crapped all over my windshield and another rejection appeared in my in-box.

So The Old Farts will be presenting their Rejection Monday column.

Send us (LoriGreenWriter@comcast.net) your rejection story and you can find your tale snickered at, sympathized with or simply tut-tutted over.

Because let's face it, most writer's have a hell of a lot more rejection tales to tell than first sales.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Film Review: Grace is Gone by Lea

I love John Cusack. I’ve been a huge fan since seeing “Class” and of course his bit parts in “16 Candles”, “Stand by me” and other classics like “Better off dead” and “Hot pursuit”. Ok, so the second two aren’t exactly cult favourites but I liked ‘em. I may not have seen everything he’s done but he is someone I could watch and not feel like I’ve wasted my time or money.

A couple of days ago I watched him in another ‘road’ movie. Unlike his first one though – “The Sure Thing” – this wasn’t a quirky comedy/romance movie. “Grace is Gone”, although not a ‘romance’ is a movie about love; at least I believe so.

In the Sure Thing, John’s character “Gib” has to endure the trip with anal-retentive know-it-all Alison (Daphne Zuniga). He’s on his way to his mate Goose’s… umm, Lance’s (sorry, Anthony Edwards will always be Goose for me :-) ) place on the West Coast, so he can hook up with a ‘sure thing’. Of course the trip doesn’t go smoothly and you just know at the end they are going to hook up.

In Grace is Gone, John plays the father of two young girls who’s wife is killed in Iraq. He gets the news and has a meltdown of sorts. When the girls get home from school, rather than tell them about their mother he takes them on a drive that turns in to a 3-4 day road trip. Along the way a couple of events lead the elder daughter to believe something is wrong but she doesn’t ask her father and he doesn’t tell. The youngest daughter is just happy to be on the trip, heading for a fun park. It’s only as they are returning home that he tells them.

I really loved John’s portrayal in this movie. He was so convincing at some parts I just wanted to shake him and tell him to snap out of it whilst in others I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would be ok. It was clear that although he had no plans as to what he was doing, he was determined to give the girls a last piece of happiness before their world was torn apart with the news of their mother’s death.

Was he right to shelter them from the news for as long as he did and in the way he did? Who’s to say? The movie was fictional but of course things like that happen every day, all over the world. People are constantly faced with the ‘will I/won’t I/should I’ dilemma. Is the situation likely to be any easier if it’s dependant on how long or how invested you are in the other person? Would knowing someone a year as opposed to 30 years make delivering devastating news not as traumatic? It all comes down to individuals and the situation I suppose. You might know someone your whole life and not be as connected to them as you are to someone who’s just entered your life.

Anyway, I loved this movie, despite the sadness of the subject matter. Underneath the grief, humour, inner turmoil and meanness there was love. It wasn’t always shown and rarely spoken but I could feel it just from the way the characters interacted or did things. Was this movie a romance? Definitely not but it had just as much love, if not more than your normal rom-com, and that’s good enough for me. Worthy of another look for sure.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Snark Alert!

So there's this author who I follow on Twitter and sometimes she tweets book excerpts when she finishes a story and well, she just isn't a very good writer.

I always find myself wanting to point out her um, flaws, when she tweets her work like that. Anybody else experience this?