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Archive for October, 2012

Stay safe (and sane)!

I’ve been very distracted today. Most of my day was spent talking with a good friend, a doctor’s appointment, and watching CNN coverage of the ‘frankenstorm’.

Please, please, if you live within the massive path this storm is carving, stay safe! Back up the important stuff on your computer, put the pictures and important things into bins and up high, and leave if the authorities advise you to do so. Things can be replaced, people can’t.

I found myself in a small dark space last week. I began to question my skill as a storyteller, my ability to capture the magic again of having a story all but write itself. So, I turned to my writing Big Brother for words of wisdom. He was wonderfully supportive, cluing me in that just about every writer gets into a funk where they think every word they’ve ever written was a piece of junk. It helped to hear I wasn’t the only one struggling with those emotions.

I found it strange that we find comfort in hearing others have gone through something we’re struggling with, yet you feel so alone when the doubts descend. 

So, if you’re in the path of Sandy and feeling alone, know that many are thinking of you. Even if we’ve never met, I would not wish harm to you.

BB

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A busy day!

Wow…it’s been a busy day today already.  I almost forgot to make my weekly post!

Mostly, I’ve been dealing with a lot of non-writing stuff. Our kitten, Casper, had an appointment early this morning to get neutered. He’s back home and a bit calmer than normal for him. We didn’t nickname him ‘Tornado’ for no reason! It might be some leftover anesthesia or pain meds. We will wait and see if he leaves the fifteen year old cat alone now.

Writing is progressing forward. Some days I get more done than others. The weather’s turned, we even had hail this weekend, making me want to curl up under a shawl and put my characters in a desert just for the warm thoughts! 

The biggest thing I fight this time of year isn’t sickness. It’s being lazy with my writing. More days than not, in the fall and winter, I want to curl up under a blanket, grab a hot beverage, and get lost in a movie or book. I’ve got to do better this year. 

BB

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We have a winner!

Just drew a name at random for my contest. Congratulations to….

Sallie Tierney!!!!!

I’ll be dropping you an email later today with details on how to get your signed copy.

Congratulations!

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Contest, anyone?

It was a slow weekend. I appreciate those right before busy weeks! I’m somewhat amazed at how my life will be quiet for weeks on end and then a flurry of activity blows through. It makes you appreciate the quiet days!

Just in case I didn’t think this week was busy enough, I’ve decided to do a giveaway! Being Wiccan, I’ve got Samhain coming up in a few weeks. Time to renew bonds of friendship and love with both those who are still with me and those who have moved to the Downward Turn of the Wheel.

To show all of you how much I appreciate your friendship, here’s the deal. Either leave a comment on this post or follow my blog. Anyone already following is eligible already. Come Friday afternoon, I’ll pick a name at random and that person will receive an autographed paperback copy of ‘Daughter of Hauk’.

So, share the link with your friends. I love meeting new people! Leave a message, hit follow, and good luck!

BB

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Immortality

I was perusing one of my computer folders over the weekend and found a very short story I’d written about two years ago. It’s always been one of my favorites, as it touched on something I think every writer is looking for: immortality.

I’m not talking the ‘I want to live forever’ or ‘stay beautiful/youthful forever’ type of immortality. More, it’s knowing you’ve left something of yourself in the world that others will forever know you by. We’ve lost many great authors, yet we can pick up a copy of their work and still have them with us.

I think everyone wants to be remembered beyond their immediate family and close friends. We don’t want to be forgotten. Sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you’ll be someone who people look up to and admire. You’ll leave a legacy behind you that transcends death, one that makes others strive to become the same type of person you were. 

As a writer, I’ve had some interesting moments since signing with Solstice. I’ve seen some things that I want to forget, while I’ve had other moments that put me in a state of shock for days. Am I really worthy of an honor? Can I deliver what people now expect from my writing time and time again? Will I be the type of author whose books will be rarely found in the used book store because my fans refuse to part with them?

So, here’s the story. Maybe one day I’ll be in the position the main character in here is. Goddess knows I think he should be.

IMMORTALITY

By KateMarie Collins

(Originally uploaded April 2, 2010 to the yahoo Fantasy Writers group as a weekly challenge response)

The bell rang out pleasantly as the frail man entered the shop. The young woman behind the counter barely glanced up from the fashion magazine she read. That was fine, he thought to himself. He was after a specific title and doubted she’d be much help finding it.

A thin smile broke through the deep lines in his face as his fingers absently ran over the titles on the shelves. So many thoughts, so many ideas. The bored clerk really had no clue how much of a treasure her job was. If he worked someplace like this, if his body still let him work, he would be reading from the dusty tomes and not some rag that was more concerned with being someone else than yourself.

It took him several minutes to make it the few yards to the section of the store he was looking for. By the time he reached the shelves, the smile had gotten somewhat larger. There was a smell to a used book store that always made him feel good. The combination of dust and musty old pages could permeate into his soul and bring him out of every depression.

He stood, peering through his glasses at the rows of books in front of him. There, crammed in between other paperbacks, were three well read copies of what he was looking for. He caressed the spine of each one with a trembling finger. Tenderly, he removed one of them from its prison, freeing it gently. The other books moved to fill the space. He could almost hear a sigh of relief from them, the space more than welcome.

Grasping the book as best as his arthritic hands could, he shuffled back towards the counter and the bored clerk. She put down her magazine after he placed the book on the counter, clearly annoyed at having to give up reading it to do her job.

She rang up his purchase without really noticing the title. “$6.85” was all she said to him as she finally looked up at him.

Slowly, he reached for his wallet and his credit card. “You sell many copies of this book? I saw you had several on the shelves.” He kept his tone conversational.

That got her to look at the cover. She read the title and author briefly, shrugging her shoulders. “Tony Rudzki is pretty popular with the fantasy crowd I guess. When we do get his stuff in, it doesn’t last long.” She took the card from him, running it through the machine.

He signed the slip, handing it and the pen back to her. “Aren’t you going to ask for my i.d., miss?” he inquired.

Clearly irritated about not being able to go back to her magazine, she took a cursory glance at the name on the card and his identification. “Hey, imagine that. You’ve got the same name as the guy that wrote this.” She handed him back the cards and put the book into a small bag. Her eyes were already back on the magazine.

Tony smiled at her. “Yes, miss. And that’s the kind of immortality that all the fashion tips in your magazine won’t give you.”

He turned and shuffled out of the store, leaving the clerk to watch his departure with amazement.

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It’s a long title for today’s blog, but it was one of THOSE weeks.  I’ll get the neat stuff out of the way first.

One of my fellow Solstice authors, Penny Estelle, came up with this great idea on her blog.  She’s celebrating Christmas in October!  Head over to her site and see what it’s all about.  It’s going all month, but my book is one of the featured ones for today. I believe you need to leave a comment about a specific book to be eligible to win a copy.  Here’s her site:  http://www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com/  Be sure to visit a lot this month!

I had someone ask what I thought made a good book. First and foremost, the writing and editing must be good. I want to be drawn into the story, feel the nip in the air if winter is coming. Or smell the pot roast cooking as you walk into a home, your shoes muffled by the carpet.  I want a book where the author thinks you’re intelligent enough to remember something said on page 9, even if it doesn’t become relevant until page 99.

What I don’t like?  Repetition, constantly reminding me that a character holds a specific job, faith, or facial feature. Condescending tones where the author feels they have to explain something over and over because I might have forgotten it from two pages (or even paragraphs) ago. And a lack of detail about the world around the character. No one lives in a sterile environment, so why not describe an apartment that has a bookshelf full of comic books or classics even if there’s no relevance to the story.

It’s a personal preference, once shared by the majority of my friends.  I like to think I’ve written something intelligent, and the small amount of feedback I’ve gotten seems to support this. Writer’s ego be damned – I wrote a decent if not good book.

Which is why I got a little frustrated this week. It can be very disheartening to know you’ve written a good book only to see sales stagnate. Solstice has done a terrific job in my opinion in trying to get the word out on ‘Daughter of Hauk’. I’ve tried to do my part, though I still feel like I’m stumbling in the dark some days. 

I can’t force anyone that follows me here, on Twitter, or on FB to buy my book.  I know that. But, had even half the people who’d claimed to be excited for me etc bothered to spend under $5 to support me, I’d have sold 100 copies by now. I don’t think I’ve sold half that.

Ok, enough whining and feeling sorry for myself. Time to stiffen my backbone, grab some coffee, and try my best to get people to consider giving a new author a shot. Going to put the link to my book on Solstice’s awesome new site down below.

BB

http://www.solsticepublishing.com/daughter-of-hauk/

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