Lemon Pie, Anyone?


Quotidiandose does not own rights to this clipart.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this clip art.

Isn’t it amazing  when you get an idea and a plan, you can almost certainly count on a detour up ahead?

*Enter Hurricane force winds to wreck your best laid plans*

I was on a roll, was working hard, head down and focused which in and of itself was close to a miracle. And then . . . life happens.  LIFE ENTERS STAGE RIGHT.

A writer’s ego is a very delicate and fragile thing. Which is ironic because we are also egotistical, thinking that what we have to say is so important that everyone needs to read it!  Conflicted much?  Yeah, I would say so!

Battle hardened veterans become tougher with each new battle.  We may not always win the battles, but we gain experience and training with each new interaction in the arena.  At some point battle hardened can turn into battle weary.

When life gives you lemons. . . . but what do you do if it’s hurling them at you at  the speed of 120 mph breaking ball in rapid secession?

You protect yourself of course! Sometimes that means taking cover, ducking, or running out-of-the-way. Sometimes it means curling up into a tight ball and just crying until it passes.

I was on a roll typing away on the latest WIP when the Seven Things To Know mentioned in Confessions of a Writer post came up.  As I mentioned I did some real soul-searching based on the friend’s comments.  In that searching I made a list of pros and cons about myself as a writer and a person.  So I took the abundance of lemons thrown at me and made lemon pie! 

One of the ingredients in my pie  is my editing skills. I’ve only had two people out of twenty-three that didn’t care for my editing.  One was of the opinion that their rough draft was golden as is. I refer to Stephen King on this one – All first drafts are crap!  The second one was more of a clash of personalities and lack of handholding on my part. Sorry,  but I’m not a coddler. Just ask my kids on that point.

So in that vein,  I am doing a new feature on Thursdays.  Instead of the ‘throwback’ pictures and such which seems to be the phase going on that book of Face, my Thursday feature will be From the Editor’s Desk.  I tried for some alliterative cuteness  but couldn’t come up with anything clever.

In a previous post Reading and Writing, I addressed key elements of writing.

  •  PLOT – what happens, the structure of the story.  There are twenty basic plots, and beyond that are variations on those basic twenty.
  • CHARACTERIZATION – the way that the characters act or are portrayed to convey the plot.
  • POV – the point of view, or perspective that the story is told from.  I have written in first person and in third,  the current one being in third person omniscient.
  • SETTING –  the time, place, or even atmosphere in which the story is set.This is the world building that is crucial to your story.
  • STYLE –   the language used  by the narrator to convey the story. The style of Mark Twain is a more casual laid back manner than that of Jane Austin. You know that Twain’s characters are poor folk, where as many of Austin’s works are about an aristocratic class.
  • THEME –  a universal meaning that your readers will connect to, or most readers will connect to.

My plan is to address each of these  in more depth over the next six weeks.  Then after that, will be common mistakes that newbies made.  (I can speak from the voice of experience here, I think I’ve made them all.) Stay tuned for some tasty tidbits!

Write on my friends, write on!

Confessions of a Writer


Quotidian does does not own rights to this image.  All rights reserved to artist.

Quotidian does not own rights to this image. All rights reserved to artist.

On the book of Face, a friend tagged me last week in this writer share for “SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW” about me as  a writer. After thinking about it for several hours, I shared seven things. I was surprised by the comments I received on the thread and the messages I received pertaining to that post.

One particular friend made some rather astute observations.  These observations made me ponder for quite a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that  they are absolutely accurate.  I’ve taken  these to heart,  to work on improving my writing and publishing dreams. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear,  but it is empowering.

Here are the seven things I shared:

1. I am an OCD perfectionist. I get my outline down and think: yeah this is a good story. I start writing at lightning speed. I hit a point at about 15 to 20k and think: this is a crap story. Then I go back to the beginning and start editing. I know, I know I – write first edit second. But the self-doubt becomes insurmountable and I go back to the beginning and edit and cringe, edit cringe, then get to the point where I am caught up on writing the next part – then I can continue. 

2. My first published pieces were in an anthology book to support Backstoppers after 9/11. one was a poem (not my forte at all) the other a short essay. (1500 words)

3. Recently my husband and I sorted through our books trying to reduce them. We have four bookshelves, 3 boxes, and numerous stacks of books. We sorted them into categories and I discovered writing books I had forgotten that I had. (YAY) He told me I have a problem and needed to get rid of some of them. After careful consideration, I decided on 2 that can be passed on, and twelve of my children’s books that they have outgrown – with their approval of course. He hung his head, shaking it and said ” You really do have a problem. You know there is a show on TV about such things as this called Hoarders?” I then pointed to the stack of books (14 to be exact – 12 of the kids and 2 of mine) to get rid of, to which he pointed to my stack of writing books and resource books. “You don’t really need all those. Aren’t some of those practically duplicates?” (I honestly don’t know but I am on a new mission to reread these books and pass on those that aren’t great or are duplicates.)  He speaketh writer blasphemy!!

4. My love of storytelling began before I ever went to kindergarten. I would stage shows for my grandmother using my dolls and tell wild tales to which she informed my mother that I was the ‘devil’s child’ because one of my doll’s either died or had to go to jail. (It was always Bebe, because she looked evil like one of those antique dolls, and had really short pink and white hair, and I knew she was possessed. – TRUE STORY)

5. I have a public speaking gig this Saturday on – of all things – self-esteem. HA! Oh the irony is rich! I’ve read that more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying – which is ridiculous. As a writer, I think there is something egotistical in us that thinks people need to hear what we have to say. Most often that is translated into books but I have no issue standing in front of a crowd and talking. It’s easy – make them laugh before you go for the gut punch. I guess it helps that I am a bit of the stand up comedienne as well.

6. I took an online correspondence course from Long Ridge, my mentor was Louise Marley – fantastic lady that really knows her stuff! Oddly enough it was a gift from my mother, who never approved of my writing dreams while she was alive and in the final days signed me up for this course. I think this course was pivotal and the encouragement from Louise gave me the boost I needed to dust off those shelved dreams of mine.

7. I have clearly defined dreams and goals with my writing. The internal conflict between the rejection issues and the egotism that I KNOW I can write a damn good book, and why in the H*** won’t publishers see that versus the ” This sucks, I am a crap writer that is chasing rainbows and writing garbage that shouldn’t see the light of day” gives me a particular edge in writing internal conflict – if I can just get the time to write them down and get them out of my head. I haven’t given up on my dreams. I did that once and it nearly killed me. Never again!

Knowing these  things is one step forward  to ending my self sabotaging ways. In reviewing these things and the observations of my wise and professional friend  I am moving closer to the finish line of one of my goals.

The hours of grueling training are never seen.  The  time that is put into practicing is an investment. I may not win every event I enter or even finish in the top three, but each one is a step closer to my ultimate dreams.

The vision of those dreams and goals are what  pushes me forward, to keep reaching and never give up.  Sometimes we need the pep talk while at other times we need the coach pushing us to do more than we are comfortable with.

Sitting on the sofa  watching life is comfortable but not nearly as satisfying as living life! 

Write on my friends, write on!

An Eerie Operetta


I have the pleasure of hosting my good friend V.L.Locey once again. This woman cranks them out at an astonishing pace.  Her latest release, An Eerie Operetta is an Erotic M/M Shifter Romance.  Can you imagine a skunk shifter?  Well V. L. has! Please welcome my guest today,  V.L. Locey. (She didn’t bring zombie hunters this time!)

Thank you, Ellie, for hosting me yet again!

Hello everyone, I’m V.L. Locey and I’m an erotic romance author. I dabble in a few genres as well as cross boundaries and pen both M/F and M/M romances. Just call me a rebel! I know that there are old rules about writing and that many feel that those rules should not be broken. One of those rules is that authors should never cross genres.

I respectfully disagree. I see nothing wrong with an author writing about zombies then leaping into a western if that is what the writer wishes to do. If Authoress Alice wishes to cross genre lines to write an M/M sports romance, why not? The world is too full of restrictions that try to strangle our creativity. I firmly believe that readers are savvy enough to know if they wish to follow Authoress Alice from her last M/F historical romance into an M/M sports romance. Sometimes readers will follow a favorite author into a new genre and discover that they enjoy it!

Here’s the cover teaser: 

Templeton Reed, skunk shifter, is having trouble sharing a mansion with wolf shifters, even if one is his beloved Mikel, the alpha of the pack. Winter has settled over Lupei mansion and cabin fever is pushing the pack into rowdy behavior. To counter the boredom, and to instill some decorum into his fellow wolves, Mikel announces a trip to the opera is in order.

At first, Templeton is thrilled to be attending such a prestigious event. He is, after all, a lesser breed, and has never been privy to such glamorous entertainment. Sadly, what starts out as a night of opulence and refinement turns into a murder mystery when Templeton discovers a body in the cheap seats. Who, or what, has killed one of the elite of the Lake Erie shifter community? Who is the stranger that arrives to oversee the murder investigation and why is he insisting on staying at Lupei Manor? Will Templeton survive long enough to see act two?

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Excerpt:

 “Our carriage will be waiting,” Mikel said. I nodded in understanding. The cold was bracing after the humidity of so many tightly packed bodies in the ship`s lounge. I inhaled to clear the overlap of perfume and cologne from my nose. We wasted no time in finding the Lupei carriage. It was a huge black and red carriage attached to four ebony steeds pawing at the cobblestone street.

“You higher breeds and your need to cling to the past,” I said with a shake of my head as I climbed inside.

“It’s not all of us,” Mikel replied, sitting down beside me on a velvet-covered seat. “I would be just as happy to use a limo, but protocol must be adhered to. One does not arrive at the Osterman Opera House in anything less than a four-horse. It is simply not done.” He mimed one of the old puma matriarchs we had chatted with during the boat ride. The way he wrinkled his patrician nose was quite adorable. I wanted to kiss him passionately, for his humor always appealed, but didn’t. Dave and Eddie had seen us exchange goodbye pecks, but nothing more than that. I patted his thick thigh instead as I chuckled at the impersonation. The Halfling driver cracked a sharp-sounding whip. The carriage jerked as the horses took off into the night.

“Where exactly is the Osterman located?” I asked as we bounced along a road much older than I was. I knew that the opera house had been named after Oliver Osterman, one of the first of our kind to settle along the shores of Erie. Aside from that, I knew little, as it was intended. If we lessers knew nothing of the excesses of the aristocracy then we would not grow envious. Or so the elders had thought. Fools, the whole lot of them.

“If I told you I would have to kill you,” the alpha replied. I turned my head to look deeply into his eyes. I quickly saw the humor.

“Funny,” I said with a practiced eye roll. I removed my speckled glasses to dry them with my handkerchief.

“I try. Actually, I’m not sure of its exact whereabouts. I do know we’re travelling north, but aside from that I couldn’t say. Personally, I never cared to find out when I was younger. My father and mother were avid operagoer’s who dragged my sister and me along to ensure we had culture to counteract our bloody natures. Thankfully, as I matured, I grew to love the classics.”

Mikel grew wistful as he always did discussing his family. I knew enough to let him work out the taking of his sister’s life in his own way. I did lean my head on his shoulder as I wiped my spectacles. He placed a kiss to my hair then fell into silence.

“So,” I said to Dave and Eddie as I inspected my lenses, “you two are rather quiet. Did one of the cats get your tongues?” I snorted at my own wittiness.

“We don’t fit in,” Dave mumbled. I squinted at the two men across from us through highly smudged glasses. They looked miserable.

“Of course you do. You look quite dashing,” I said as I rubbed a lens with more vigor. “Also, you’re part of the Lake Erie pack. That gives you both standing far above what I have. Why, any wolven mama would be proud to mate her bitch pup to either one of you.”

They were saved from having to reply by the slowing of the carriage. Cursing my need to wear glasses, I shoved the smeared spectacles back onto my face. The driver opened the door. Mikel waved off the man in fine red and black livery. I stepped down cautiously, not wanting to fall flat on my face in front of the famous Osterman…

“By the elders,” I gasped when I lay eyes on the opera house.

 

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Author Bio:

 V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and  two steers: one named after a famous N.H.L. goalie while the other carries the moniker of a 60`s pop legend.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

tsú – https://www.tsu.co/vllocey

Secret Cravings Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Tumble Dry

Coming in 2015 only from Secret Cravings  . . . Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series) and Clean Sweep (Book One of the Venom Series)

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3″ He’s a Lumberjack and He`s Undead

Love of the Hunter

Goaltender`s Penalty

All I Want for Christmas

 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)

 Night of the Jackal

Coming in 2015 exclusively from Torquere Press . . . Early to Rise – A Toms & Tabbies Tale.