Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Osceola County Writers Group

I attended my second meeting of the Osceola County Writers Group last night. Lots of new faces this time around, and some of the familiar ones as well. We shared scenes written about a character who was either of a different age or the opposite sex from ourselves. Interesting.

I shared a scene between two men, Dirk and Peter, antagonist and secondary protagonist, from Assassin's Nightmare. The feedback was helpful. Some of the descriptions were a bit repetitive, and the piece needed to show more action than tell it. I went back and rewrote it yesterday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Review of the Day - S. L. Viehl

Just finished Omega Games by S. L. Viehl, another Florida author. This is the latest installment in the Star Doc series.

Viehl gets an unusual review from me. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed all her books, including several outside the series. I love the main character, Cherijo Veil, although I wasn't thrilled with the direction her character took after suffering a head wound and losing her memory. In Omega Games, the character is slowly regaining her original personality and is a very interesting combination of the two women--Cherijo before her accident, and Jarn afterward.

But that's not what makes the series unusual for me. It's the uncanny ability Viehl has to make me feel, really feel, the emotions of the main character as she endures trial after trial. When I began the series, years ago, I was immediately taken in by the effect of Cherijo's emotions on my own psyche. When she stressed, I stressed. When she found love, I felt that love. And when she was betrayed . . . well, I don't want to give away spoilers, but I suddenly found myself angry for no apparent reason after finishing that particular book. I wanted to break things, irrationally. It took several days for me to trace the source of my unidentifiable anger to the ending of her book. No other book has EVER caused me to feel such a strong connection to the emotions of a character.

Omega Games is an action-packed thriller. It also reiterates the strong bond between the two main characters, Cherijo and Duncan, and, as with the previous novels, I can feel their affection for one another, particularly his for her. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Book Review of the Day - Linnea Sinclair

On the plane out to WorldCon I finished reading Linnea Sinclair's novel, Shades of Dark. What can I say? In addition to being a kind and generous individual, the lady is also a fantastic author.

Shades of Dark is a rather different experience in reading Linnea's work. It's the first sequel she has done in her science fiction/romance. Therefore, it has quite a few more intimate encounters that begin early in the novel and continue throughout. This is different because normally, the two main characters spend the majority of the story building the romantic tension between them, which ultimately culminates in a really steamy scene somewhere in the latter third of the book. Since this is a sequel, that buildup has already taken place in the previous novel. Now the trick is to make each successive romantic encounter more intense than the prior one. Linnea delivers and exceeds expectations in this area. I look forward to her next book with great anticipation.


I have absolutely no idea where to start, so I think I'll try some logical format like a day-by-day analysis of all the really cool things that happened at WorldCon.

Wednesday (Day 1)-attended a panel on query letters hosted by one of my favorite author's agents. At the end of the panel, the hubby and I showed her our queries (just for advice) and she asked us each to send her partials of our manuscripts.

Thursday (Day 2) - The days are blurring together, but I think this is the night that one of my favorite authors, Ann Aguirre, took us out to dinner. She answered our writing/professional questions at length, and was all-around a joy to meet and chat with. Her eleven year old daughter was well-spoken and well-mannered. I enjoyed spending time with them both.

Friday (Day 3) - Pitched our book ideas to two other agents. Both requested partials from each of us. It was such a relief to be done with the agent side of the convention. Then we could relax and just be fans for awhile. All the agents we met, though, were extremely nice and easy to talk to, even though I stressed massively beforehand.

This was also the day we got to sit down for two different kaffeeklatsches, one with Elizabeth Moon and the other with Tanya Huff. Both were inspiring to hear talk about their work. Tanya was particularly helpful in giving agent advice, and Elizabeth shared humorous stories about swords and horses.

Saturday (Day 4) - received another request for a partial of my manuscript by email. And tonight was The Hugo Awards Ceremony. It was really a thrill being able to vote on and attend such a prestigious event. Of course, after assuring us that she would not do so, Elizabeth Bear won the short story category. Well, we tried to tell her that she would win when we met her at ReaderCon. The hubby and I both voted for her. It was a shame that she wasn't there to accept her award in person.

Sunday (Day 5) - attended a last panel with Tanya Huff on creating female soldiers. Then, it was back to the hotel to sleep for the next ten hours or so.

These are just the convention highlights. I met many other wonderful people and made new friends. I also got to spend time with several online acquaintances whom I hope will visit us in our area so we can show them around sometime. That's all I can remember for now. I got home at 1:45 A.M. from the airport and went to bed at 2:00 A.M. and had to be at work today at 7:30 A.M. so my memory isn't all there.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dreaming Story

I may come off as something of a flake, here, but I thought I'd spend a post writing about how I come up with story ideas.

I dream them. Yep. Much to my husband's annoyance, I go to bed at night and frequently wake up with a complete scene, (sometimes a complete story or novel) in my head. It will contain character names, settings, dialog. And why does it annoy the hubby? Because he dreams about teaching, paying bills, etc. When he comes up with a story idea, it takes a lot of work, planning, and outlining. Likely it produces a better story, in the end, since mine is often written by the seat of my pants, but I understand why it frustrates him.

Anyway, last night I dreamed a good portion of the plot for a science fiction/romance novel. Once I'm done working on my current project, I think I'll tackle that next.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Contest Entry

So, today I put together my entry package for the Royal Palm Literary Award contest run through the Florida Writers Association. The packet deadline is today. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but I was still making revisions on the novel, and I wanted to make it as good as possible before submitting it. Winning the contest would certainly be a nice addition to my query letter, since I have absolutely nothing writing related to say in it. I don't know when they notify the winners, but the awards ceremony is in November, I believe, at a conference. The conference is expensive, so I don't know if we will attend. Hopefully, they will let me know before then, if I happen to be a winner.