Monday, December 17, 2012

SAVOR COVER REVEAL- KATE EVANGELISTA

 
 
You've had a TASTE of Kate Evangelista's world. Now it's time to SAVOR it.
 
Okay, that was me being cheesy. It's too early in the morning for me to try and be clever. I am extremely thrilled for Kate, and I love this beautiful cover. I haven't read but a snippet of SAVOR, and I'm dying to get my official copy.
 
I shall forever and always be Team Luka.
 
Which makes me very happy and I'll share why. Fellow team members, if you haven't heard about FERVOR, you're in for a special treat. I'll let Kate tell you all about it so click on the book title for the full deets.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she two published Young Adult novels TASTE and REAPING ME SOFTLY.
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

THE KING OF DRAMAS

Source
This television series began airing in November 2012, on Mondays and Tuesdays on SBS. Also available on Dramafever, HULU, and Viki.com with subtitles.

 

So, you know how much I love South Korean dramas, well, I found the one which now ranks as my favorite.

Why? Well, let’s start with an awesome lead actor, Kim Myung-min who plays Anthony Kim, a shrewd, commanding, businessman who turns every drama he touches into a #1 rated series. Anthony’s all about the dollars and he won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way. When a tragic accident takes the life of one of his employees, he is cast down from his throne. Unfortunately, he destroys the career of an idealistic, rookie writer, Lee Go-eun, played by Jung Ryeo-won, in the process.

Fast forward a few years … we find Anthony struggling to survive. He wants to regain the pride he lost. To prove he is the King of Dramas to those who cast him. To do so, he must gain the help of the writer he burned, Lee Go-eun, by convincing her to trust him with her screenplay Kyungsung Morning.

It's an unholy alliance. The angel and the devil join forces. What results is a hilarious dramedy that leaves me breathless on the edge of my seat every freaking episode. Like Monday nights episode, oh, my gosh, I almost died. Died! The writers have the ability raise the conflict level to nerve-wracking heights. And as soon as one critical situation is resolved, they bring in another.

Also stars, Choi Siwon as Kang Hyun-min, who plays a self-absorbed lead actor in Kyungung Morning. His expressions and mannerisms are so hilarious. Oh Ji-eun plays Sung Min-ah, the lead actress in Kyungung Morning, who shares a romantic past with Anthony Kim. Added into the mix are evil villains in the form of gangsters and CEO's.
 
This is a delightful show. I highly recommend it.
 


 

Monday, December 10, 2012

NaNo- THE EDITING AFTERMATH

My vacation from NaNo lasted a day. A single day in which I didn't write, but instead read through the manuscript. Even after the brain numbing exhaustion of writing 50k in a month, I couldn't break away.

I'm pretty happy the story is flowing well. However, upon reading FIXED from the beginning, I saw all the areas that need to be fixed. I want to get those dangling plot threads and foreshadowing events, fleshed out before heading into the climax of the story. 

I mentioned in the last post that I had a date with a wizard, well, before that I stumbled upon his creator, Jim Butcher's Livejournal via my friend/critique partner, jallen327.  

According to Mr. Butcher, "I'm mostly going to use this livejournal to share what I know about writing with any interested partiesMy approach to writing fiction is grounded in the notion that a methodical, structured use of learned story craft skills gives a writer an excellent basis on which to approach writing fiction."

His journal rocked my world. Literally.

Rather than read Mr. Butcher's book, COLD DAYS, I spent the night reading about the mechanics of crafting a story. He breaks it down in easily digestible chunks for the aspiring author to understand. I had a blast.

Then, I read his book (which is awesome) where I saw how he used the techniques he wrote about. I admit to being inspired. *insert fangirl squeal*

With this in mind, I outlined my story so far. I broke the chapters into scenes, then highlighted certain plot elements within my story arcs with colored font: romance, mystery, supernatural. This is the result.


Fixed- novel outline, by Angie Sandro

I've never been an outliner, but this worked well. With it minimized, I can see where I'm lacking in certain plot elements, like Chapter 6 and 7 are almost all geared toward the mystery. Now, I can seed in elements which are lacking to make the story more balanced. Notes are put in the comment boxes for each scene or highlighted.

Ex: Note to self, switch around Chapter 2 and 3 for better flow.

I've even added chapters and scenes that are unwritten. I know exactly where the plot is going as I wade through what Mr. Butcher calls the "Great Swampy Middle" of the story and dive into the climax.

All the preceding elements should come together in an explosion of mayhem (with a firm resolution at the end, promise :-) It's gonna be huge. Not everyone is going to make it out alive.

Boo-yah!

P.S. I'd like to get Sharing Our Voices going again, so if you're interested in sharing what inspires your creativity, please leave me contact information so I can schedule your very own guest post.

Thanks,

Angie Sandro

Friday, November 30, 2012

COLD DAYS WITH A WIZARD NAMED HARRY!




I have a long awaited date with a Wizard. So consider me on vacation. While I dream of a beachfront bungaloo, I'll settle for a long weekend at home reading COLD DAYS the 14th book in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series and reaquainting my family with my presence since I've virtually abandoned them this month.

To everyone who is still NaNoWriMoing... V live long and prosper.

I'll be back with regular blog posts once I decompress. I still have an amazing story to finish so stay tuned for more FIXED updates.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TYREESE... NEED I SAY MORE?

UPDATE: THE WALKING DEAD MARATHON on Sunday, December 2nd
 
THE WALKING DEAD comic book fans rejoice.

Chad Coleman will be playing my favorite character from THE WALKING DEAD comic by Robert Kirkman. Tyreese is an icon. Those who've read the scene--you know the one--view him with awe and reverence. Okay, so maybe the character is a bit of a horn dog, but that's what makes the comic and the television series fun. Characters who are so realistic that we can identify with them. Care about whether the live or die. It's the realism which makes this show great.

Source

So what if comic book Tyreese sometimes has the feel of a superhero, he's still a hero I can't wait to see on the screen. And can I say, Chad Coleman playing him. Wow, they even look alike. Hotness!

I'll leave it at that before I accidently drop spoilers.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNo UPDATE, DAY 26


It's the final countdown.

For those of you who have made it to the finish line--congrats.

To those of us still limping along. We still have five days. We CAN bring this home!

With an illness then holiday drama, I thought NaNo would be a bust again this year. Granted the month isn’t over. I still have time to crash and burn, but I’m more hopeful about finishing than I was three days ago.

 


On day 23, I was at 31,000 words. If I wanted to a have any chance of finishing on time, I had to write 10,000 words by Monday. I spent 12 hours on the story on Saturday. Sunday, I edited my critique partner’s story during the day. That night I wrote another 4k. I’m officially caught up. If I can write the necessary 1700 words a day, I’ll finish on time.
 
Okay, enough with the statistical data. Boring, right?

Last week, I asked about POV, and I received a lot of advice. My thanks go to those of you who took the time to share your views and encouragement.

Terri Bruce, author of HEREAFTER, gave the answer which made my decision.

Hmmmm...I have seen the use of two different tenses, I think, but I can't think of any of the book titles. However, keep in mind with the tense change, what you're saying to the reader is that the first person character is telling the reader what happened AS IT HAPPENS, while the 3rd person character is telling the reader what happened AFTER THE FACT. If that's what you mean, then it should be fine (the examples I'm thinking of are usually suspense/mystery/thrillers, where one person is telling the story after the fact (like the detective/cop) and one is telling it as it happens (usually the bad guy), but I've also seen it in mother/daughter women's fic - with the grown up daughter explaining the present day problems in the past tense and then the book switches to the mom's PoV in present tense as she relates her life story). I'd have to check but Paulo Coelho may have used two different tenses in The Witch of Portobello and I think possibly Amy Tan in The Bonesetter's Daughter. But if you mean for your characters to both be telling the same story at the same time (e.g. as it happens), then you'd really need to use the same tense I think.

 
I wrote the second POV character, Landry’s chapter in Present/1st person, and his whole personality flowered upon the page. He had his own voice, his own views and interpretation of his world which was totally separate from Mala’s. He allowed me to explore an otherwise closed part of the story, and in turn, made the story deeper and richer than it was with the single point-of-view.

I’m 150 pages into a story that I find to be even more thrilling than the original.

I think I always worried about that. I’ve read a few sequels that couldn’t stand up to the original. As if some essential spark which infused the first is missing from the second. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this story (of course, I'm biased, lol.) I think it's because I know the characters and their world so well now that I’m able to build up on it with layers and depth.

It feels pretty cool.

So this question is for those of you who have written sequels or read sequels. Was your sequel difficult to write or easier? Do you often enjoy reading about the same characters and what would you suggest makes the sequel better than the original? Or is it even possible in your view to recapture the magic of the first book?

Monday, November 19, 2012

NaNo UPDATE, Day 19

 
There are only two more days until my vacation. I’ll be able to enjoy five days of uninterrupted writing time. Well, maybe a few interruptions, like turkey, stuffing, pie, black Friday, my sister coming in from San Diego, entertaining the kiddies who are out of school, and…the list goes on.

But I should have some NaNo time.

My work-in-progress, FIXED, is shaping up now that I’m editing as I write it. For those who followed my NaNo journey last year, you know I like to experiment.
 
This time, I added in a new POV character, Landry, to the story. I wondered how he felt about all the crazy happenings in Mala’s world.

His chapter…wow, it felt wonderful to write. It got my mojo flowing again. After I wrote his chapter, Mala’s chapters wrote themselves with little effort from me. I love when that happens, but I was afraid it wouldn’t with story after the rocky beginning.

I’m now on Chapter 8, which will be a Landry chapter. I wrote the first one in 3rd person, past tense. I didn’t want it to be confused with Mala’s 1st person, present tense.
 
I’m not sure whether it’s too jarring of a change. If necessary, I can always go back and convert it after I’m finished. I won’t worry about it until I get feedback from my critique partners.

I need your opinion. Do you find books with dual POV’s that are written in different POV’s distracting or is it better to have such a distinct separation?

Friday, November 16, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- WEEK 16- Blossoming


This week has be extremely unproductive. The first half I spent in bed recovering from a cold. This last half has been spent trying to get caught up. I’m behind in my NaNo goals. I’m okay with that. I was having a hard time connecting with the characters, which I find is odd since I know them so well.

For some reason, the story wasn’t blossoming (Isn't this is a weird looking word, blossoming?).

I’m going to try and explain how story blossoming feels for me. There comes a moment in the story when my conscious mind disconnects and the subconscious takes over. It’s the moment when the characters become real. They take control and I simply transcribe what they tell me.

Heck, half the time I’m astonished by the places the story goes. It’s like magic. What I mean is this particular writing stage feels magical—trance-like.

I’m guessing it feels similar to what one experiences when meditating, but I’ve never meditated so I don’t know. Anyone?

Anyway, I haven’t had that spark with this story. I think it’s because I broke my usual process. I tried to write it straight through without going back and editing. In my first drafts I have a lot of narrative. My characters are talkers. They’re all—blah, blah, blah.

When I go back through after writing the chapter, I flesh it out. I add description. Fix plot holes. This leads to a deeper awareness of where I want the story to go, and I’m able to foreshadow later twists. The story solidifies in my mind and isn’t as nebulous.

I’ve spent this week editing. My word count hasn’t moved much, but I have a better sense of the story now. Hopefully, I’ll be writing new material this weekend. Plus, we have a super holiday next week and I don’t have to work. I should have some uninterrupted writing time after coming out of my tryptophan coma.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE NEXT BIG THING -Week 24


I want to thank Dean C. Rich for inviting me to participate in “The Next Big Thing.” I was a little afraid I wouldn’t get this written. I’ve been sick with a cold for the last four days. It’s a minor cold, but it kept me in a loopy, cold medicine induced fog, and I didn’t touch the computer. Thankfully, I’m feeling better. So here you go.

1- What is the working title of your book?

I’m currently working on FIXED, the sequel to JUJU’S CHILD since it’s NaNo. I’ve never written a sequel before, and I didn’t know how tricky it would be to sum up the last story without info dumping. I want the readers who have read Juju’s Child to get a refresher but not be inundated with old material, but also, have new readers caught up.


2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

My father’s family is from Louisiana, and I lived there for three years (8th-10th grades). I enjoyed going “Down South” to visit my relatives in St. Martins Parish. My aunts can cook like nobody’s business. I also watched Swamp People, and my main character, Malaise “Mala” Lacroix evolved from there. Add in hoodoo, a riled up spirit, and a murder mystery for the character to solve and there you go.

Since this is a sequel, I’m continuing to show Mala’s evolution. She was a character who loved and trusted easily. Not anymore. Life has made her colder, but it hasn’t broken her. She’s older, wiser, and hopefully more mature.
 
If you're interested in some of the images I used for inspiration, I have storyboards on PINTEREST.


3- What genre does your book fall under?

It’s Southern Gothic.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t have particular actors in mind. I’d want someone who could pull off a Creole accent without sounding fake. I think the accent is beautiful. My grandfather spoke French, and I’ve wanted to learn. Someday.

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m not finished writing the book yet. I’m a panster, so I have no idea where this is going to go. I have a rough outline, but my characters are willful. They tend to go their own way.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary, LLC. She's awesome, and I love her to pieces.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m not sure how long this will take me, but typically about three months. I write two or three chapters a week. After writing a chapter, before moving to the next, I edit it. Then, I send it off to my critique partners. By the time I’m finished, it has already gone through a couple of rounds of edits. After that, I let the story sit while I start writing the next book.

I now firmly believe in letting a story sit without being touched for a few months prior to editing. It’s amazing what fresh eyes will find.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I compared Mala to an African-American Sookie Stackhouse with a little Veronica Mars thrown in for spice.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
See #2

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I’m enthralled with the beauty of the bayou, the people and culture of Louisiana. It’s unique unto itself. I wanted to write a book which entertains, but also celebrates this culture. I wrote what I like to read: a mystery which puts the main character in a dangerous situation, with a touch of horror. I like to be scared for the characters. I want to be emotionally invested in their journey. That’s what I like to read and what I write.


It turns out most of my AQC friends have already been tagged. If anyone is interested in being tagged for next week (Week 25), please let me know in the comment section.

Friday, November 9, 2012

40 WEEKS, WEEK 15- CHAIN LETTERS and BLOG AWARDS

The first letter I ever received was a huge deal for me. I was ten. I had just moved from Kansas to Maryland, and I didn’t know anyone. So holding an envelope with my name on it felt like a big deal.

Little did I know it would spawn a lifetime of hate!

My hands shook as I opened it up to find this …





… okay, maybe not exactly this, but something similar. Only a whole lot worse. At the end of the one I received it said if I didn’t pass it on I WOULD DIE!

Yes, the exclamation point is warranted.

Needless to say, ten-year-old Angie almost pissed her pants in her rush to grab the phone book and pass the on the chain letter to 10 random strangers. Whew, it was a close call, but I survived.

I grew up.

Chain letters evolved. Now they come by email. They still end with the similar doom and gloom prediction. I delete them. I’m pretty sure God will forgive me and won’t send me to hell.

When I started blogging, I found another form of chain letter. The Blog Awards. I’ve “won” a few. I appreciate my friends for thinking of me when they need 5 people to pass it on to. However, I’ve kept my policy so far by not participating.

Only next week, I’ll make an exception. Why? NaNo screwed with my mind. Kidding. I agreed because I said I’d be more open to new experiences this year and this looks like fun. I also promised the person linking to me.

If anyone is interested in watching me squirm my way through it, I’ll be answering questions in THE NEXT BIG THING (Week 24) on November 14th.

Will I pass it on? Only if someone agrees to play in advance. I promise I won’t spring this on anyone. My friend asked for my permission before he linked to me. He didn’t just announce I’m the “winner” on his blog as if I’m his meat puppet. Thanks, DC Rich.

So, if you’re interested, please leave a comment below and you’ll be one of my five.

 

Monday, November 5, 2012

SHARING OUR VOICES- PAULA SANGARE


First let me say a big hearty thank you to Angie for allowing me to partake in SOV on her blog.

What inspired me to become a writer? One thing I have noticed about myself is the things I loved as a child or teenager seem to have gotten lost because life happens.  Let me clarify by giving a little of my back story.


I attended Cosmetology school at  age 18, I obtained a license to be a Nail Technician before I completed because school didn't pay and I already had a son to provide for. Once in the field I was very good at it and made a very good living, needless to say cosmetology school would sit on the back burner for 5 years before I returned because the industry was changing and I knew I had to change with it. I completed Cosmetology school and this has been my profession now for more than 20 years.

I now own The Lotus Salon Boutique. I sell upscale women clothes on one side and perform hair services on the other side. I also sell my own label of an all Natural Bath and Body line, The Natural You.

Is this a plug for my business or does this have something to do with my inspiration as a writer.....YESSSS!

My reason for sharing that story is when Life happens we tend to forget those things we are passionate about  and do what we must do to provide for those we love. By the time I was 19, I was a single mother of 2 and a caregiver to my mother, as well as working 16 hour days.  The things I loved to do and were passionate about were soon  forgotten.

I was good at doing hair and nails (really good) then someone would ask me how did I learn(everyone knows cosmo school teaches the book work not the actual technique) or they might ask if I always wanted to be a hairstylist. These questions made me think back to when I was eight years old and all of my barbie dolls and doll heads (you know the ones without a body) were line up along a wall in my bedroom. Each with their hair completely styled and on display. So my answer became yes I did; although, I forgot. Somehow, God made a way for me to end up here in spite of.

The same was true for my passion of nail artistry. After being asked the same question, I would think back to a time I would sit on my back porch making nail extension out of clay. I would walk around with my fingers spread out before me until my sister slammed a door in my face, causing them to bend back, like the wicked witch of OZ's feet curled up after the house landed on her (my sister was a mean child).

I stumbled on another passion of mine about 2 years ago- writing. After I joined a local writing group someone asked those questions again. I thought back to a time when I had a poetry book I wrote in daily, or when I would sit outside looking at the sky wondering if there were other worlds out there, or what it would be like if I had magic powers. I would make up stories of make believe people and places. I didn't write them all down. Some were just the friends in my head.


The point I'm trying to make is when you can't see the forest for the trees, and you are truly passionate about something, yeah, life may happen.  It may alter your  path, but I believe inevitably we all find our way back to what's in our hearts. Writing is in my heart, a passion that has come back to me. I am inspired to write because it's who I've always been. It's who I am, and who I will continue to be.

Staying true to myself and my passion!
Paula
If you're so inclined to seek me out you may find me lurking around these places:
The Blog-O-Sphere
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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Random Post

Yes, this is a random post.

It is to check to see if I fixed the problem of dual posting of my blog on Twitter and Facebook.

Other than that, I don't have much else to say.

Oh, my daughter signed up for the National Novel Writing Month Young Adult Program. So she's NaNoing with me this year. Go, Kiwi!

Friday, November 2, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 14, FALL

You may be wondering why I'm showing pictures as a 40 weeks post. Well, I'm sharing my love of nature and my love for photography. Autumn is my favorite season. I took these pictures last Sunday during my bike ride. My father-in-law later complained to my hubby that I stopped to take a picture of every tree in the park. Not true.

As you can see, fall has taken its sweet time arriving in Northern California. Not that I'm complaining. That would be foolish.

5 Mile

This is one of the stops on my bike ride where I get some water and stare out over the creek. Today the Tai Chi group were already gone, so I was able to get a picture. Peaceful.


This is one of the many redwood groves in the park. The branches brush the ground so when you're beneath its cover you're in a secluded hideaway that is infested with mosquitos. Enter at your own risk or spray on insect repellant. Pretty though, so in my opinion a little itchiness is worth it.



The last three pictures I have returned to my favorite Teichert Ponds. I took pictures of the area in July. I wanted to show it to you in the fall. Next week will probably be prettier, but who knows what the weather will be like at that time.



Aren't the colors beautiful? I think this last picture is my favorite.


With this being NaNo month, I won't have time for in-depth posts. I'm pretty determined to get my 50k this year. I'll try to keep up with my blog posting since I'm getting better at not going MIA. If I do disappear for a while, it's because I'm lost in my wip. I apologize in advance.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo WITH ME?


Are you ready for the 30 day challenge?

 


If you're up for it, let me know. We'll go through this together, motivating each other to the finish. I didn't "win" last year. I tried, but I came in at 46k at the end of the thirty days. If you're interested, here is the link to my 2011 NaNo experience. 
 
I finished QUEST in January, and I'm super excited about how this story came into being. I took risks I wouldn't normally take because it was a NaNo project. I'm so glad I did.

 
 
 This year I'll either be working on the sequel to QUEST or the sequel to Juju's Child. FIXED starts where JC ended, but I think the rollicking fun of Quest II will get me through 30 days. One of the idea's I'm toying with is writing QII through the last book's side characters. I think it's time for Raphael and Dominique to have a voice.
 
As you can see, I'm pretty excited. I have outlines for both stories, so I need to decide which will be my NaNo project.
 
 After spending the last two months editing, I'm ready for the creative spark to shoot lightning out of my fingertips as they fly across the keyboard.  
 
If you're participating this year, please leave me a comment with your NaNo user name, and I'll be Writing Buddy. Also, for those who have read Quest and Juju's Child, maybe help me out. Which story do you think I should write?

Good luck and happy writing.

UPDATE: after brainstorming with my daughter and critique partners, I've decided to go with FIXED:)

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

SHARING OUR VOICES- IAN ISARO

"What is snow like?"

I didn't expect that question, though maybe I should have. I'd just been in the United States, and people who had never left Tanzania were naturally curious. So I did my best. "Cold and wet."

"That sounds great. If you got hot, you could rub some on yourself to get cool!"



That conversation (very loosely translated from Swahili) is one of my favorite demonstrations of worldview. It's the assumptions we don't consider that get to us, limiting what we can imagine of the world. Even though our ability to travel or get information is unparalleled in human history, all too often we don't venture very far beyond what we know and understand.

Books are the antidote for that. They tell us that reality is stranger, more terrible, and more wonderful than we know.

That's why I write fiction. Fiction exercises our ability to consider things that are new and unfamiliar, to reconsider our beliefs, to listen instead of judge. Non-fiction prepares us for specific things that exist, but fiction prepares us for anything that could exist.
 

So when I write, I try to show the diversity of the world. That means I end up writing a wide variety. You can see many different points of inspiration in Sorcery and Scholarships, which is packed with different things. Arguably too many.

One is globalization. The world is increasingly interconnected and I wanted my story to reflect that. All too often, stories about supposedly global conflicts center on one country and the rest of the world just sort of floats in undefined space. It's fine for fey/wizards/vampires/whatever to be based in Europe, but are we supposed to believe that they just ignore rising powers in South America and Southeast Asia? Is it too much to ask for Africa to... well, exist?

Not that stories shouldn't have focus. Two countries in particular fueled mine. One is Japan, which exported many elements of anime and manga to me. The ability to have action without the limitations of a special effects budget is something that it does well, and there's no reason fiction can't do the same.

Another is the cultural perspective of the US. There's something very valuable in the irreverence toward tradition that you find there. Since I assume most of you are Americans, you may take this for granted. In all too many parts of the world, "Why?" is a question that simply isn't asked, and "Because it's always been this way" is considered an adequate explanation for anything. Tradition has much to offer as well, but I find attitudes that question far more fascinating.

One last thing that inspires my writing is the breadth of human morality. We tend to assume that everyone believes what we believe, which makes discussion difficult even within one country, much less between them.


For example, I've commonly heard people say that all human societies believe that murder is wrong. That would be nice, but it isn't exactly true because "murder" has slippery definitions. This can get ethically tricky, so let me skip to one end of the continuum: I know cultures that believe murder is only killing a member of your nuclear family - killing anyone else is fine or even expected. That's not hypothetical, either. Less than half an hour's drive from where I'm typing this, there's an ugly conflict over water rights that has left dozens dead, with no moral judgment from anyone in either community.

That exists. So do hundreds of other things that are important, and in-depth discussion of them would probably make everyone angry eventually. Justifiably so, because our beliefs about the world matter.

Therefore fiction matters. Especially with fantasy, where we can encounter things even more radically alien than anything on Earth. I may have waxed philosophic above, but there's another part of me that just loves writing about crazy new things. You can have everything from fey with slightly different moral codes to creatures that exist in completely different modes from humans and fail to comprehend the difference between a living and dead body.

So for me, the same thing that makes fiction fun makes it important. We spend most of the day within our own homes, cultures, and understandings. But eventually, you'll run into your equivalent of snow, and what you've read will determine how likely you are to understand.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 13, Movies

Do you remember Video Home System (VHS)?

The day my dad brought home our VCR changed my life. We had two recorders set up in the living room. One would play the rental, and the other taped the movie. Each tape held four to five movies, and my job consisted of pressing the record button. Which meant I had to sit through a lot of movies. 

I had unusual taste, I guess. Campy, cheesy...movies I'm sorta embarassed to mention. Here is my top five favorite list of childhood movies.
 
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1. The Pirate Movie- not expecting this one, huh? It was a remake of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirate's of Penzance. I can still sing these songs and recite the dialogue from memory. This movie came out in 1982, and it starred Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol. I had a crush on the Pirate King.







2. The Neverending Story- this movie came out in 1984. Whenever I hear the title the theme song goes through my head. Do you remember? The Neverending storyyyyy, ah ah ah ah.  It starred Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Barret Oliver as Bastian. I love this movie. Love it so much I showed it to my kids, forgetting how dark it is. There are some scary scenes, like when the horse dies. Or, when the darkness attacks. Mega creepy.


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3. Princess Bride- yeah, 'nuff said. If you don't know this show... Cary Elwes (pure hotness) as Westly, Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup. Some of the most iconic lines ever written are in this movie. I admit I liked the movie better than the book. Maybe if I had read the book first it would've been a different story.

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4. The Goonies- this movie came out in 1985. My son loves it. I liked the book more than the movie, which is saying something since I adore the movie. Chunk, Data, Sloth. Best nicknames, ever.

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5. Barbarians - in 1987, twin body builders Pete and Ron Paul played Kutchek and Gore (I had a crush on Gore) barbarian brothers who used the curse holy Isis, a lot. I knew this movie my heart. Don't hate me.






There are you go. My five favorite childhood movies. I could add: Dragonslayer, Krull, Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome (two man enta. One man leave), Willow, Time Bandits, Roots, The Color Purple, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark...the list goes on and on.

What were your favorite movies as a child? I'm curious about the not so famous ones. The ones you may be a little ashamed to admit to watching. Sure this is a 40 Weeks post, and I'm obligated to divulge embarrassing information about myself, but if you have the courage, please share so I'm not alone. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

SHARING OUR VOICES- E.B. BLACK


I'd like to welcome a special guest who is not afraid to share her inspiration with you today. I appreciate that she agreed to come on.

Welcome to the blog, E.B.

Thank you, Angie, for having me on your blog!

The thing that inspires me the most as an author is fear. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I have enough fears without having to chase them and those are always at the forefront of my mind when I write.
When I created my blog, the url name “ebblack” was already taken, so I had to create something else. I’ve been afraid of death since I was a young child. It’s typical of me to wonder on a daily basis where people will go when they die and what happened to those I loved who are gone. I used to have nightmares about it every night as a little girl.
So of course, I thought it would be a good idea to pick “Death Author.” In fact, it has become a nickname of mine among people who know about my blog.
I also thought it would be fun to write about necromancers, which is something I regularly do. Why? Because what sounds more amazing than people who have power over death? The thing that scares me most is the thing they’ve learned to master.
When I wrote my novel, Medusa’s Desire, I was struggling with body image issues. This is not unusual for many women, but it can be crippling. I fear that I’m too ugly to be loved sometimes or refuse to look in the mirror because I’ll start criticizing my reflection.
I thought about Medusa. She’s so repulsive that people literally die when they look at her, yet as a human, she was once beautiful. How would it feel as a woman to go from being one of the most beautiful women in the world to the very ugliest? I had to write her story.
When I write, I can take every bad thing about the world, everything that has hurt me or others I’ve cared about, and gain control over it. I can struggle to make sense of an issue or just find a character who is sympathetic to something I or a loved one has gone through.
Writing is an escape for me, but also a coping mechanism. It’s no wonder that many writers become addicted to their craft.
-E.B. Black

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It all started the day her god raped her.

She transformed into an abomination through his touch. Her skin grew scales. Her eyes turned red. She screamed for help, but all who saw her became stone.

Medusa thought she would be alone forever, until the day a man came to kill her and fell in love instead. Now Perseus is running from those who hired him as he continues to love a girl who could kill him with a glance.


Friday, October 19, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME-Week 12, Title Trauma

As you can tell by my oh so inspired blog post titles, especially the aptly named 40 Weeks of Me, I have difficulty coming up with titles. I'm always in awe of those books where the title perfectly reflects the content of the book making it unforgettable.

I don't have this particular skill...title maker.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my amazing sparks of creativity. A little background first. I told you about my first writing endeavor. My horror story HOUSE. After horror I moved into the romance novel phase. This was the 80's... Bodice rippers and Fabio.

I spent my teens lusting over any book which had Fabio on the cover because I knew the best authors had him for a model. LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey were my favorite authors in high school because they knew how to make me laugh. Each book had an element of funny that made reading these books an escape from the daily grind. I still have my collection in storage, and I'll never give them up.

I LOVE HISTORICAL ROMANCE!

These authors inspired my historical romance writing phase. I didn't have titles for those books. I just named them after the characters. Mara and Kiwani, Mac and Eliza, Gabriella and Jace. I wrote these in high school. Nobody read them but my mom. My biggest fan, lol.

I have those stories in hard copy form because my computer died in 1994. I thought I'd transferred them onto floppy disk, but I can't find it. Remember kids, always back up your work.

The next few stories, I wrote in college. I never actually finished. They're in various stages. Some are a couple of chapters and others are upwards of 120,000 words, but incomplete: 5149 and a half, Death, Equal, Jericho David.

Psychic Journey- this title was a play on words because the main character was psychic and her name is Jurnee, ha! I talk about how I came up with this idea in an earlier post if you're interested.

Emerald Ocean- this is a fantasy. No elves, but I have a magic sword and a psychic creature which may or may not be a dragon. Since I never finished the book, I haven't had to decide. I want to add a scifi twist to this one, and I'm still working on it off and on. The world building got a bit too info dumpy. I need to streamline and condense it.

Stink- horror, which has a toilet facilitated suicide. It is everything the title implies. I will finish this one after I revise the beginning chapters because I love the cast of characters. Unfortunately, I had a head-hopping habit with this story. I didn't know better back in the day.

Psyche's Redemption, I went back to my romance roots with this one, and I finished it, ha! I later changed the title to Dying For A Kiss. I know, I know ...

I have many more, but they're even more ridiculous so I'll end it here. So, how do you come up with a kick ass title? Is there a trick to it? If so, please share. I'm desperate for help.


Monday, October 15, 2012

PHANTASMIC FASHIONISTAS ON THE VIRTUAL RUNWAY

Hello Folks, I’m Angie Sandro and I am the blog host of Oh, the Things I’ve Learned. Please help me welcome the book cast of Neverlove by Angela Brown, and Givin’ Up The Ghost by Gwen Gardner.

Today we’re showcasing fashion styles and introducing some of the cast from these two young adult paranormal novels. First, reach beneath your seats and put on the special ghost-gander glasses. You’re not going to want to miss this.

First up is Franny Bishop, from Givin’ Up The Ghost.

 *Angie shuffles to the first style index card and begins to read as Franny glides stately down the runway*

Franny is a Victorian-aged ghost and former brothel owner. She enjoys the modern day medieval village where she resides in a Victorian-style home with the Eady family. She is dressed in a scarlet, off-the-shoulder gown with petticoats underneath, forming a bell-shaped skirt. Her midnight-black hair is woven into an intricate bun and contrasts nicely against the scarlet. Her corset cinches her waist to the size of a Barbie doll, and enhances her considerable bosom, which overflows the bodice of her plunging neckline.

*Franny nods majestically to the crowd as she makes her turn and completes her round of the runway*

*Angie shuffles to the next style index card*

Next on the runway is Pam from Neverlove. Pam is a Harvestor and currently works for the Devourer. She enjoys fighting in the Withers and stealing souls. Today Pam is wearing skin-deep beauty, beneath skin-tight black leather from neck to steel-toed boots. Her blonde hair is a striking contrast to her black costume. The ensemble is complete with black mask, whip hanging from her hip, and a small pouch attached to her wrist.

*Angie shuffles to the next style index card*

Again from Neverlove is Abigail Bishop - no relation to Franny. Abby is wearing a red turtleneck and jeans beneath a red cloak. Abby’s warm, milk-coffee toned skin is set off by her hazel green-speckled eyes and high cheek bones in a heart-shaped face. And what’s this...?

*Reaching the end of the run, Abby snaps her fingers and holds out her hands. The audience oohs and ahhs at the ball of fire nestled in her palms. Another snap, and the fire is gone*

Very impressive Abby, very impressive.

*Angie flips to the next style card and looks confused, flipping from front to back. She shrugs*

Next is Indigo Eady from Givin’ Up The Ghost. She’s wearing jeans with a pink sweat shirt, and uh, hmmm. Bunny slippers. Yes, it says bunny slippers, and, yes. There - you can see the six inch ears sticking up. Uh, Indigo is also wearing a black, rather messy braid, has midnight blue eyes which contrasts nicely with, uh, stuff she’s wearing, and...

*Indigo walks red-faced and awkwardly down the runway, makes her turn and dashes toward the stage curtain*

 ...she speaks to ghosts, reads energy and enjoys...running.

I guess Indigo’s a little shy or something.

So, you’ve seen the stars and their styles.

Which one is your favorite?

 
Neverlove - For Abigail and Basil, there is a choice they both fear making. Duty or love? There can be only one.
 
 




Givin' Up The Ghost - Indigo Eady's life erupts into mischief and mayhem when a ghost enters her teen abnormal life demanding answers for his death.

Purchase Gwen Gardner’s Givin’ Up The Ghost at Amazon US and Amazon UK.


And there are two giveaways! Visit Partners in ParanormYA for the Big Swag Giveaway and for the Week Two Giveaway


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