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Archive for November, 2013

Good morning!

My apologies for the lapse in blogging. Life, it seemed, had other plans for me recently and I had some serious problems remembering what I was going to write about, let alone get here to do it. Sigh. It’s an excuse, not a reason, and I know it. Things have calmed down, though, so let’s hope the schedule resumes next month.

What kind of things got me going nuts? Here’s a list:

1. I was putting the finishing touches on two short story anthologies. Those are in the works with my publisher now, and will be out by the end of January, 2014!

2. While compiling the anthologies, one of the stories ‘woke up’ and has morphed into almost 13k words. Tentatively titled ‘Fin’s Magic’, it’s fantasy with more than a little romance. We’ve got a long weekend coming up, and no travel plans, so I’m hoping to spend several more hours getting it written. Ideally, it would be off to my crit partners and beta readers by the end of the year.

3. Still working for Solstice, and loving it. Have I mentioned I have the best job (and boss) in the world?

4. I am heading to the Portland, OR area in February, 2014! I’ve been invited to visit a book club that’s going to be reading ‘Mark of the Successor’. What makes this trip special? All of the club participants are inmates. It takes place in a women’s prison. It’s going to be a unique experience and I’m really looking forward to it. Also, I’m trying to co-ordinate something with any readers who live in the area that want to meet up at a coffee shop or such to get books signed. Thinking this could be a wonderful trip!

5. I was interviewed on a podcast last week! You can go find it in the archives here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheair/2013/11/20/katemarie-collins-gets-creatively-inspired-by-history I’m getting better at this whole live interview thing! There’s something the host and I discussed (what the difference is between a crit partner and a beta reader, and why it’s important to have them) that I’m pretty passionate about. It’s probably going to be a blog post topic soon, so listen to the tape if you’d like to get a head’s up on what’s to come!

6. Tomorrow, I’m going to be a guest judge on a flash fiction contest! I’m super excited about the opportunity. I even got to pick the prompt, which is the same one that got ‘Mark of the Successor’ going. Seeing as two of my books now out came from similar exercises, plus both anthologies and the new wip, I’m well versed in just how things like this can jumpstart your creative process. If you want to learn more about the contest, and maybe join in, check it out here: http://www.writeonwendy.com/

Add into all of that work, household management, my oldest getting her permit/beginning driver’s ed classes, and such, it’s been busy!

Thanksgiving is this week. This year, I have so much to be thankful for. My new job (has it really only been 7 months!?!?), 3 new books out with 2 in the queue and 4 being worked on, my readers for making it so I can say ‘international best selling author’, the unwavering support of my family as the snowball begins to grow.

So, thank you for taking the time to read this. I know not everyone here’s bought my books, and that’s okay. Maybe one day you’ll think they’re worth reading or reviewing. 

BB

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My Right Brain Rebellion

 

            The right brain versus left brain saga continues, and like many of you, I’ve taken the infamous on-line tests.  I am dominantly right-brained…no surprise there, but the biggest piece of evidence to support this is how I wrote my first two novels, Lucidity and Beneath the Mayan Moon.  I wrote the last chapters first.  Yes.  It’s true.

            I knew from an early age that my brain worked a little differently.  I could read a page in a book and have no clue what I just read.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  The reason being is my need to have to translate words into pictures.  If I don’t do this, I won’t remember.  In college, if I attempted to read a page in a text book, the information was gone in a few minutes.  But if I created graphic pictures and designs, webs of concepts, I found the information would stick permanently.  And so I taught myself how to learn in the very linear, left-brained dominant world of education. 

            Being a conceptual, holistic processor has its challenges.  I hate taking tests.  (Unless they are essays.)  Memorizing pieces of information is painful. (Anatomy about killed me.)  I can’t remember anything from a lecture unless I take notes, or the information is presented as a narrative. (Or I’m completely interested!)  And I have to work hard at being organized.  I can begin a task, and easily become distracted with another one.  However, when it comes to writing, having a vision of the ending of my stories is an asset.  Especially in the case of Beneath the Mayan Moon, my suspense novel.  It’s much easier to scatter in clues when you know how the story is going to end.  My novels unfold like a movie in my brain.

            And so I have accepted my fate as a “right-brainer”.  I enjoy seeing the big picture and it’s the only way I know how to think.  Living in a sequential world can be crazy and rather frustrating…boring at times.  And that is why I am happy to be an author.  Writing feeds my right-brain rebellion.

 

            Angela Burke is the author of LUCIDITY and BENEATH the MAYAN MOON.  She lives in Boulder, Colorado and enjoys running, skiing and taking long hikes in the mountains. A former teacher, she now spends her time building her massage therapy practice, while chasing after her three great kids and daydreaming up new story ideas.

            You can find her at www.angelaburkebooks.com, on the Solstice Publishing website, Facebook and Twitter.  Her books are available on Amazon.

 

            

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The Love Story Paradox

As I finished writing my debut novel, Lucidity, I had difficulty determining what genre the story

fit into. I was stuck. It certainly didn’t meet the criteria for the traditional romance genre, nor

was it an exact fit for the realm of paranormal. Eventually I was given a bit of advice and it was

determined that Lucidity would be categorized as mainstream fiction containing a love story.

Ah…a love story. Of course. And what exactly is that?

I suppose a love story could be considered a new term for the old tragedy. True to its name, a

love story must contain, well, yes, love. But it is the element of misfortune that sets apart this

unique sub-genre from most romantic stories. A love story doesn’t guarantee a happy ending

and yet, it is the critical component of tragedy that makes it unforgettable.

Life is full of contradictions – the night versus the day, the winter cold versus the summer heat,

femininity in contrast to masculinity. To recognize the opposite is to understand the whole. The

love story paradox is simple. To know love, we must know loss. And we can only experience

loss if we have loved.

Perhaps this is the appeal of the love story – to seek an understanding, a balance –

between idealism and realism. Tragedy enables us to appreciate the entire circle of human

experience…the so-called yin yang of our universe.

Read any love story – Romeo and Juliet, The Bridges of Madison County, The Notebook – and

you will discover the irony in life and death, love and loss, and the darks and lights of life.

But perhaps the real paradox is what we experience as a reader. Aristotle believed that tragedy

leads to catharsis, or a purging of heartbreaking emotions. It is through tragedy that we find

healing.

Angela Burke is the author of LUCIDITY and BENEATH the MAYAN MOON. She lives in

Boulder, Colorado and enjoys running, skiing and taking long hikes in the mountains. A former

teacher, she now spends her time building her massage therapy practice, while chasing after her

three great kids and daydreaming up new story ideas.

Angela can be found at http://www.angelaburkebook.com , and on Facebook, Twitter, and Solstice

Publishing website.

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Angela’s taking over for the next seven days while I get some stuff done. Enjoy!

 

Reflection of the Arts and Society

Angela Burke

 

            “Art has always been a mirror of society.  Art reflects society, art criticizes it, and art always offers solutions to problems in society.”  -Senam Okudzeto, Artist, Founder and Director, Art in Social Structures, Ghana

           

            “Art as a mirror of society.”  This is profound.  Particularly as we stand, eyes trying to open, attempting to see the world in which we live.  A world that appears to be nothing as it seems.  We are all in a hurry…going nowhere…nowhere without our phones.  Always connected, yet growing further and further apart.   And we wonder why the percentage of Americans on anti-depressants has alarmingly increased in the past five years.  Hmmmm….  

            Saturated with images…many false…many distorted…but fortunately, many beautiful.  It is this beauty that reconnects humanity.  Music, art, writing….these are our conduits to love, compassion, sanity.  Without Art, regardless of the form, our society collapses.  And yet…this essential component of our existence is often forgotten, undervalued and left for background noise. 

            We are told what is good.  We are told what to like.  We are told what to buy.  We gravitate toward best-selling lists and top-rated television programming.  We have “standards” we teach our children in school, emphasizing proficiency in math, reading and writing.  Kids grow up doing what is needed to pass.  They memorize and regurgitate.  But what they really need is freedom.  We all do.  Freedom to explore ideas for ourselves…to manipulate our thoughts and turn them into something new….to create. 

            Looking into the mirror of Art, I feel that it is one of our last hopes in bringing us to a place of communication and freedom in order to offer a voice.  A voice to keep society in check…to speak for the suppressed, to call out the unjust, to shout out the truth.

            This is the purpose of the Arts.  And all of us – authors, musicians and artists – must let our voices be heard.  So create!  And create from within, making it real.  Create and speak for those who can not.  And maybe….just maybe…society will listen, the echo creating a ripple of change for the better.   

 

            Angela Burke is the author of LUCIDITY and BENEATH the MAYAN MOON.  She lives in Boulder, Colorado and enjoys running, skiing and taking long hikes in the mountains. A former teacher, she now spends her time building her massage therapy practice, while chasing after her three great kids and daydreaming up new story ideas.

            You can find her at www.angelaburkebooks.com, on the Solstice Publishing website, Facebook and Twitter.  Her books are available on Amazon.

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