Sunday, January 28, 2007


I've been reading some agent blogs and apparently this is the new "genre" editors are dying to see and can't get enough of. I haven't come across any of the authors that were listed as favourites, proving that I'm too sheltered in my world of suspense and romantic suspense, so I branched out and checked Laurel K. Hamilton, Lilith Saintcrow, and Chris Marie Green, aka Crystal Green, for all you Harlequin readers. (And yes, Lilith is really her name!)

I had no idea that there were BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER books out there for adults. Serious worlds of vampires, werewolves, and demons giving battle to heroines with noble blood running through their veins, but normal day jobs and every day problems like finding their missing fathers, fixing up their sister's dates, etc.

The world-building is truly remarkable, as every author is doing her own thing and trying desperately not to copy anyone else. I'd thought vampires were a thing of the past, but apparently not. The mythology of the virgin priestess being sacrificed/fighting off demons are the basis for these books. It's the ultimate fantasy of a heroine taking on evil with weapons, martial arts, mental skill, and black leather, and coming out on top.

As though, if a woman can't make it in the "real world", she can make it in this dark underworld of unspeakable danger, monsters, and incredible black horror. This is her calling, her challenge, her raison d'etre.

That's my take on these author's book excerpts from their websites. Well-done websites, gripping chapters, wonderful series that readers will no doubt be hanging on by their fingernails to buy. The kind of horror story that Stephen King would never be able to write because he couldn't possibly be able to tap into this kind of female fantasy. Check them out. If you loved BUFFY ten years ago, and her dark lover ANGEL, you'll love these.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Write What You Know

I've been deathly sick all week and still trying to work on punching up my two prequel/sequel RS novels. Not having much luck getting my brain to work, what with blowing my nose constantly and...well, you don't need to know all my disgusting symptoms, let's just say the doctor told me it was about time I got my butt in there as it's gone to my chest now...

I decided to amuse myself surfing erotic epub websites, joined an erotic writers Yahoo group, and as this is TOTALLY outside my comfort zone, thought I'd read/write some to get my wool-pain-shrunken head to work again. After all, aren't these erotica writers pulling in the big bucks?? Just for female fantasies?? Being female, I have a few female fantasies of my own. Perhaps someone would like to read about them, lol.

Now I know why the age-old adage of "write what you know" is so apt. I know crime. I know suspense. I know cops. I know criminal minds. I know sensuous love-making and I can write hot. I know power and I know romance. I know fantasy and women's fantasy....but I don't know that kind of fantasy.

I guess I've managed to get this far in life without it. It's okay and for those writers who're making piles of money off it, I say hooray for them. ;) But I'll stick with what I know. Hot, sensuous, romantic, panting, sex without the use of schoolyard talk.

But thank goodness for free speech! It takes all kinds. And it made my week of being so sick more interesting and I never would've bothered spelunking around that neck of the woods without having a temperature. More fluids, Tylenol, antibiotics, and next week I should be back to my u/c cops and bikers with a vengeance. And there's lots of writers out there who don't like violence, betrayal, murder, and mayhem. So - write what you know!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Great TV and a Few Great Posts

Who saw the Opener of 24 on Sunday the 14th and Monday the 14th? The sixth season promises to be the best yet, as it's timely and more believeable. Jack Bauer has already been pushed to his limits and yet come out swinging with motivation. We invited friends over who'd never seen or heard of it, and now we've decided that we'll have a Monday p.m. dinner/TV night throughout the winter because we got them hooked in the four hours. :)

If you watch it critically, it's a writer's class in building tension, suspense, character arcs, motivation, pacing, subplots, plotting, and the hero's journey. My dh's friend's wife's degree is in theatre and she writes one-woman plays - she's hooked on the writing aspect too. I enjoy that she enjoys it from that perspective and we whisper in the corner and compare notes. If you haven't tried this show out before, they recap at every beginning, so give it a try. See what techniques the writers use that you can steal. Honestly, it's a free craft class plus Keifer isn't hard on the eyes for all you female romantic suspense writers out there. Neither is the new lady running CTU, for our male counterparts. IF that kind of thing appeals to you, and you're not just into blowing things up for the sake of blowing things up!

I can't get my hyperlink to work properly today - argh!So you'll have to use my links at the left. Sandra Ruttan has an excellent post today on what authors post on their public blogs, and cyber stalkers. There's more to it than that, but it's interesting and gives you food for thought. I highly recommend it.

Check out Jason Pinter's link too. I read him every day also, and congratulate him for the debut of his first book THE MARK, coming this month from MIRA. Read all about it in his last three posts. Good luck, Jason!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The front polar bear in this picture looked like I did this a.m. after I got home from the gym. Completely laid out and "fashed" as my gramma used to say. One thing about Hands-on-the-keyboard-Butt-in-the-Chair writing is that your Butt tends to get alot bigger then you want it too. Working your gluts on the elliptical machine beside girls who weigh about 110 lbs. is just plain depressing. The last time I was 110 lbs. I was in high school and the school nurse was sending home notes for my mother to put me on this powder called "Wate On" that you added to milk. I was 13 yrs. old and 5'8" tall.

Back to my lovely polar bears. I read that President Bush, as if he doesn't have enough on his hands with a Democratic Congress, trying to pull out of Iraq, and his dog running around the White House taking pictures of everyone - has decided to SAVE our Canadian Polar Bears. Or, as he calls them THE Polar Bears. Aha.

Save the Polar Bears because he thinks they're HIS Polar Bears. Like everything else in the world. (okay, he did a good job on that island off the coast of Somalia, but we're talking terrorists, not conservation)

Hello, George Dubya! (I get to call you that, coz you called my Prime Minister "Steve") The Polar Bears live in Canada, on Canadian ice, in Canadian waters, so guess what? They belong to us! Just like the seals, the whales, the fish, and the rest of the ecosystem up there. I know "Steve" hasn't done a fabulous job with the environment so far, except to prove that the Liberals were liars with the Kyoto Accord and that Canada couldn't possibly meet the targets the Liberals promised we would meet. But I'm sure he has a plan in his pocket, he always does.

One thing that's high on his list is Canada's Arctic sovereignty. And if we're going to protect our Arctic from international incursions of any kind, you can bet we'll be protecting our polar bears too. So if you and the First Lady want to see any - you know, if you ever bother to make a State Visit up here before you leave office - "Steve" will be happy to take you both up to Churchill, Manitoba where you can see Polar Bears frolicking beside your snowboggan tour vehicle. You can take all the pictures you want! But that's all you can take.

And hey, thanks for finally getting it right and knocking al-Quaeda out of Somalia. Your allies appreciate it. :) Now, if we can just keep Iran under control - really George, you've got more to worry about than our Polar Bears.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The kids went back to school this week so my dh wisely took another week of holidays so we could recuperate from our family holidays. We never travel in the winter, and considering the lousy weather everywhere this Christmas, and our son's need for hospitalization over New Year's - we were right to stay home and stay warm.

Today we took to the highway and went into the next city where we played our favourite game of "window shopping". Now, I've learned over the 18 years of being married to this man, that "window shopping" will eventually mean "buying something" two, three, or four years down the road...but today we had fun going to the Ducatti and Harley-Davidson Dealerships and sitting on everything that struck our fancy.

I've had three dreams for most of my adult life: learn to ride a motorcycle (which also entails owning my own and it being a Harley), learning to ballroom dance and doing a mean Tango before I turn 50, and taking my family on a long road trip in an RV.

Well, I should've bought the motorcycle back when I was a cop, because dh wanted to spend this past summer just hitting the highway for his own stress relief - plus we can't afford two bikes now anyway. He's afraid I'm too out of shape, not enough reflexes etc. to learn to ride one in middle age, cough, cough. As for ballroom dancing, I've bugged him every fall and winter for 12 years and he always refused. Now I have osteoporosis in my 3 lowest lumbar joints and right hip. (hmmm...might be a problem with the bike too...) He said in my Xmas present that he was signing us up for lessons and had left messages at the dance school, but no one's called back and he hasn't called them so far this week. Hmmmm.....time to play detective with the phone book?

As for the RVing with the kids, well, I've gone camping with them for five summers in a row and last summer they went to a two week overnight camp. We've always had a sail boat or a motorcycle or a business to run so even to rent an RV has been out of our range. (not that I'm complaining about the sail boat...)

It's funny, this thing about middle age. Both men and women go through it. But it's the grey-haired men you see out there in their Corvettes, convertibles, motorcycles, sail boats, Jet Skis, or what have you. Ladies, never quit your day jobs. I'm not even remotely grey-haired, and I can tell you that I find myself at the stage of life where I'll never be able to buy myself a large item I want, or rent a large item I want, or apparently, even go dancing. And I'm not even old enough to wear one of those Red Hats yet!

Middle age is all about realizing the dreams of what you wanted to do and somehow missed out on - the things you gave up for whatever reason. Somehow you have to find a way to either do them, find a substitute without breaking the bank, or dream up new dreams for the future.

And once in awhile, take a mental health day and go "window shopping" at a Harley-Davidson Dealership and remember when you were twenty-three years younger and you sat on the back of one and your hair blew in the wind out of your helmet as your boyfriend roared down the highway.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It wasn't my intention to be nearly a month away from my Blog. The holidays and family illness played the Devil's breath with that obligation. One child in the hospital over the New Year's weekend certainly didn't ring in the holiday very well for dh and I. However, it was only the second New Year's in 18 yrs that we've been apart, so we can't complain.

As I've been ruminating on the past year and setting goals for 2007 this week, I thought of my life as the plot of my current WIP. Maybe this idea appeals to you too: if you're on a Quest, how're you doing on your Hero's Journey? Have you found your Mentor yet? (I wish I could find mine!) Have you been refusing the Call that keeps sighing your name through the nattering of everyday busy-ness and stress? Do you have more than one Antagonist coming down the railroad tracks at you? Any Stalkers in your life? Have there been more twists and turns in 2006 than you care to think about, because you were so overwhelmed that you knew you were doing a lousy job compared to your hero/ine???

How about that hero/ine, anyway? Do you wish you had half his/her spunk, intelligence, good looks, energy, or bravery? Living through crisis after crisis is not really like reading a Readers Digest story for most of us, although we'd all like to be heroic and noble; caring, and generous, the kind of person everyone looks up to and praises in the village streets. Maybe 2006 took alot out of you, and you need to write out some of those twists and turns to realize that the "outline" of your own "personal plot" had alot going on. You need to unravel those twists and find out how you can heal yourself and give yourself some time to calm down and regroup!

How about the sub-plots in your life? Ailing parents? Sick kids with ongoing health concerns? Marital/financial troubles? A romance that may need to finally come to an end so you can move on and grow? Some negative Nellies who need to be dumped so that you can concentrate on writing what YOU want to write? Those sub-plots may relate to the main plot of your life, but include them in your "time share goals" for 2007 and they won't surprise you when you least expect it.

Did you have any Black Moments, or even one, in 2006? Experience that revelation, resolution yet? Don't give up hope! If you can think up enough characteristics to get your hero/ine out of a jam with problem-solving techniques, you'll be able to put pen to paper and eventually realize a way out of whatever catastrophe 2006 threw at you. Nothing lasts forever - even the bad stuff.

May 2007 be a fresh unraveling of the leftovers of 2006 - and may you plot out the way you truly want your life to go, in all areas, not just your writing! I wish you all the best in this New Year and promise not to be away from my keyboard so long - I've been busy plotting out my own 2007. :)