Bookcountry and other thoughts.

I have had an account over at which is a place for writers to go, a writer community if you will. I had one of my stories up over there for peer review, and I got some awesome feedback!

However with the limits on my time I decided to withdraw that particular story from sight (I didn’t delete it cause the comments and reviews were just wonderful and those folks were so kind in giving me feedback I felt it would be rude to just delete it all) and I am debating closing the account.

Bookcountry seems to be a good concept, and I have heard some very great things about it. I just don’t have the time to spare.

If anyone reading this is one of those folks who gave me such great feedback on the harp story, thank you so much. I may not have agreed with everything suggested but there was some really good input, and I appreciate the time you took to give me your honest and well thought out reviews and suggestions.


I have published a new short story; Playing for the DeadĀ  which was called The Harp at one point…

Available at Amazon (clicking the pic will take you there), Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Xin Xii (which is a European ebook distributor.
A hundred years after a catastrophe changed the order of things, Lizbae is sent to take her turn to play a magic harp to soothe the restless souls of the departed. To protect her village, and stay alive, Lizbae must find the courage to face the night.

This story has a bit of a story itself, it was inspired by a picture I saw which was done by Linda Bergkvist. I noticed there hasn’t been activity on her deviant art page in a while **weeps** but I would love to find out how to purchase the painting she did, which inspired me to write this story in the first place.

Well I have to get back to work.
Take care readers, be good or at the very least; be safe.

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Thoughts on Urban Fantasy

Had an epiphany last night as I was chatting with a friend. For years, and I have bitched about it on my livejournal, I have had an aversion to Urban Fantasy*. Sadly most of my writer pals write UF, so I have to be careful what I say. It isn’t you, I have tried to explain, it is ME.

Well as we were talking, itĀ occurredĀ to me that my issue with Urban Fantasy is the ability to suspend disbelief. IF it is a post-apocalypticĀ world I don’t seem to have that problem, but for many stories that are Urban Fantasy I find it difficult to really push my disbelief aside and just enjoy the story.

And stories set on another world with OURĀ conveniencesĀ (telephones, cars, etc.) those really throw me off for some reason. I just keep thinkingĀ about theĀ likelihoodĀ of a magic driven story set in a city that resembles NYC or LA or something.

Sometimes stories just grab me, the covers, the blurbs, and I itch to read them. like right now I have three stories I am REALLY wanting to read (once I get my quota for the day)….

There are those stories that, no matter how many paragraphs I struggle through, I find it difficult to read and I set it aside. There are writers whose early work might grab me; LKH is one, then fizzle out over the space of a series.

Overall, most UF, or UF styled stories just don’t grab me. It isn’tĀ necessarilyĀ because it is bad writing, or bad worldbuilding, it is because my OCD brain is finiky and it has taken me YEARS to figure this out.

What is really annoying, is that I have an UF series idea. I’ve barely written on it barely thought about it in a while, and I know some nitwit out there is going to go “NO! WAIT! You HATE Urban Fantasy and you are writing one? Hypocrit!”





because I don’t hate Urban Fantasy, I just have a harder time reading it than reading, say, fantasy or science fiction.

So new writers, old writers and everyone in between, when someone says they don’t like a genre, it isn’t a personal affront to YOUR writing, an insult to YOUR ideas, it could be that, as I have always said, not everyone will love everything you write. Put on your big boy/girl pants and grit your teeth and remember the opinion of ONE person isn’t the opinion of all.

*And I managed to offend friend who, I’m guessing, thought I was dissing her work or knocking her style of writing. **rollseyes**

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This is a ramble, putting thoughts down as I think them. Consider yourselves warned. Ā That said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my projects and the wayĀ I write and how self publishing has affected my overall output.


I have always thought I would publish through a big publishing co and have an agent and,…. and …. do whatever it is writers in that position would do. I wanted to see my books (series fantasy) as bestsellers, with kick ass covers and writingĀ conferencesĀ and all that. The kick ass covers was really a big deal for me…

Things shifted in the world. Companies that seemed indestructible were suddenly just gone.Ā The books being put out were books that made me sigh with resignation “Oh god MORE urban fantasy? eww.” But for lack of what I really wanted to see (Fantasy Romance anyone?) I went ahead and read those.

I have found some really awesome authors and discovered interesting twists to our own world, but it wasn’t what really got me.

I tried the one fantasy romance series, it looked promising, but we didn’t click, that fantasy romance series and I, and I set it aside dis interested in the characters or the world.

So that is what I wrote. A fantasy romance series that I could have my blood, guts, gore and still have the romance that moves a reader. Only mine didn’t fit the formula, the first story stretched over two books and the further you go the grittier it became. The mc doesn’t actually come face to face with the fmc until theĀ beginningĀ of the second book and, and…. It didn’t fit the formula.

It didn’t fit because I was telling the story the way I wanted to tell it. Now granted this particular story is not anywhere near ready to publish, but with the way things were going in the publishing arena I felt bombarded by the fact that that story, just one example of what I enjoy writing and reading, wouldn’t cut it in today’s market.

Everyone is reading super sex charged UF! At least thats what they would have you believe (that or sparkling vampires) by what is being sold.


I also discovered that I tend to write short. Novellas, Short stories and (this new term is getting annoying) Ā novelettes seem to have become my standard. And I write them in serials. So, many of my stories are interconnected. Ā Magic Maker Ā is one such story, and there are several stories set in that world. But when I told writer friends about these,Ā I got told there simply ISN’T a market for shorts.

I decided this year to test the waters with self-publishing. I have three shorts up right now. One has already garnered some soda change :D. Those stories hung over my head for several years. And now they are out there, for good or ill, for people to love or hate or feel indifferant about.

They are published.

I feel like that weight, hanging over my head, is lightened. Not gone, I have other projects, but it isn’t as heavy as it was.

I did it!

So I am editing a project. And I struck me, as soon as I am done editing it, beta-ing it I could do one of two things, I could write up a query and start querying agents to represent me or to editors in the hopes someone will have had his or her morning cup of Java before hitting the slush pile and keep writing while it sits in limbo without even aĀ guaranteeĀ that it will sell (and I’m not even going to mention the 7…uhmno… 9…. no….11 books that are planned for later….) and waste two years of my life or more waiting to hear from agent after agent/editor after agent/editor that no they cant buy this one because it is not UF and highly sex charged.

Or, I get send it to a freelance editor, get it edited and proofed, make the changes and then put it up for sale.

A matter of a couple of months.


A few years MINIMUM

Which means I control which books I sell.

So if I want to spend the next few years just writing in that world and selling that series…

I can.

I don’t have to worry about being dropped by my publisher if book 2 doesn’t sell well.

Do you know how liberating that is?

I can write what I want and know I can get it to readers who may find it right up their alley. And you know what is REALLY cool? I have found myself writing more. Daily, because I KNOW it isn’t going to just sit on the computer wasting away it will be put up as soon as I am confident it is ready. From short stories to novels.

Will it ever be a bestseller on a grocery store shelf? Who knows. I’m not really worrying about that.

I am not in this for Fame or Fortune.

I want people to enjoy my stories. Is that so bad? I don’t think so.



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The Magic Maker

New story is up for sale at Smashwords, pending at Kindle, Nook and up at Xin Xii

To save her brother from being sold as a slave, Tia takes a job running messages for a crime lord. Unfortunately, there are strange things afoot in the city of Vin, and she finds herself embroiled in the machinations of a Sorceress. With an entombed voice begging for help, and time running out, Tia must find a way to save her brother and escape the city before it is too late.

This one was fun to write, I really love…. doh can’t say that. šŸ˜›

Now to figure out what the next project will be.

My Madonna is slated for submission, but kids are up and I just can’t work on THAT story with toddlers running around.

Elemental Truth, which I am hoping to put up in Nov, still needs editing
Elemental Storm Needs to be finished

I want to write new words though.
I also want to play my PSP….. Harvest Moon is calling me…

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Werewolf Erotica Series; Moonlit Path by Cat Trip

There is a series of erotica stories about werewolves over at Circlet Press. I’ve been reading and loving them! They are free, though I will warn you they are explicit and a bit bloody, after all they are werewolves and these are vicious ones. And sexy. Oh man are they šŸ˜€

Every full moon is a new story This month’s installment is Desert Flower

OMG, I love this short. It is dark, bloody, intense and sexy. Mouse and Wolfie are both captives in a twisted medical facility. She on one side of the bars, he on the other. Any more and it would give it away.

Wolf Moon: Scent of Tears

There is one more I cannot locate,

These ARE erotica so be advised that there is explicit adult content.

So go over there, read and comment and BEG for more!! šŸ˜€
And yummy šŸ˜›

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Music for the soul

I love music, all sorts of music, from ethnic, to Death Metal and everything in between. I try to keep an open mind and listen to everything at least once. I found this this morning in my youtube wanderings as I was looking for something a little different while I edit this novelette? Long short? Whatever, hopefully if I can get the cover right I’ll have it published this weekend, but anywho I am in cello heaven.

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So being the Final Fantasy geek that I am, I found this:

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GAH! sooo cool!

One more, I hunted this one down because I love it.

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This song fits several of my stories. **sigh**

Ok back to work, rl needs to be handled too.

Happy friday people!

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Time Management

Any hobby or profession a person chooses is going to eat up a certain amount of time out of one’s day to become really proficient at it. A sculptor, welder, painter, photographer, gardener and so on, is going to spend time on their hobbies. A writer is no different.

A common complaint I hear is that “I have no time for writing!” and I have to say I call bullshit on that. No! You yell, I have college! A full time job! Kids! I don’t have time to write!

I can think up many examples of people who simply MAKE time to write. And making time to write, while sometimes very challenging, can be done. Here are a few suggestions that I have found useful.

First of all you have to figure out what is taking up your time. Work, school, kids recitals/activities, tv(big time waster here), video games (Another time eater), surfing the internet(here too), other hobbies. Once you figure out what is taking your time up ask yourself how badly do I want to write?

Is it a passing fancy? Is it a drive that if you don’t it will make you go insane? Or somewhere in between?

Then find 15 min in your day, every day, to write.

Just 15 min. Open up your writing program and write. (we will discuss writer’s block another time)
Wait! You flail, arms waving madly, “I don’t see 15 min in which I can write!”

Do you have a lunch break at work? Take your note book and scribble down ideas. Do you have a ten or twenty min gap in between classes? For you kids in High School what about lunch break?

When you get off of work many people (myself included when I worked, am a SAHM/writer these days) like to slump on the couch and watch TV. But if you find yourself flipping channels perhaps your time could be better spent writing.

I know a lady who has a passion for writing, omg this woman astounds me (she’s a dear friend of mine) and she kicks out high word counts. High quality high word counts. She works over 60 hours a week, runs three kids to college/jobs I swear the woman is driving herself into the ground. But her free time, she writes.

Over years of doing this has given her the skill to be able to get a high quantity of words down in a relatively short period of time. She has chosen wisely how she spends her time.

I have 9 kids, my household is sometimes very very busy. I also homeschool which makes it interesting when I am trying to edit and help with algebra at the same time (doesn’t work, I don’t recommend it). I have learned how to be able to grab any spare time I have in between babies, lessons, laundry and dishes. It has not been easy.

It ISN’T easy. You know that things that are worth it never are.

I have encountered new writers who don’t seem to understand that the only way to get better at writing is by…. writing.

You can’t sit on the couch watching tv and eating potato chips and expect to become Mr/Ms Olympia. You can’t not run and expect to run a 3 min mile. You can’t not practice singing/playing a musical instrument and then expect to become a world class musician and/or singer. You cannot not write and expect to get better/publishable.

The only way to improve your writing, to increase your skills at utilizing the written word, is through writing. Trust me thinking about writing and actually doing it are two completely different things. Thinking about it won’t get the idea down, won’t give you the story to re-read and ready for publication (whichever direction you want to publish). You have to do it. And to do it, you sometimes have to make time to do it.

My biggest suggestions when it comes to writing:
Schedule 15 min every day to write SOMETHING.
Reorganize your internet/tv/video gaming time and slip writing in there
Sit down and figure out how important writing is to you.
Carry around a notebook, when you are waiting for the kids to get out of school, write, when you are waiting for the train, bus, plane, your ride; write.
You already carry a paperback or an ereader with you, right? So substitute a notebook and instead of reading in your spare time, or texting about the latest gossip; write.

Get rid of time wasters. Or limit them. Sure I love watching mind numbing tv. But I love writing more.

For me the biggest issue is the internet, I don’t watch tv, and I can’t afford the games I really love playing (Final Fantasy) because I’d have to get new gaming machines.

But I read blogs, I read the news, I read the Livejournal. There is one writer chat I go to. That is a writer chat though and it helps me keep on track (really…it does….I swear :P). I do need to work on limiting my blog reading time but you folks are often very interesting….

The bottom line is that EVERYONE can schedule at least ten to fifteen min a day to write SOMETHING. You just have to arrange your day and figure out when. Carrying around a notebook helps. Hey there’s always bathroom trips….

Happy Writing, keep it up!

P.S. I’m not asking anyone to justify how you use your time, it isn’t my business. Each situation, each person is different. And yes sometimes there just ISN’T the time to write, I understand that and am not trying to be judgmental. Sometimes sleep is the better choice….

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Urban Fantasy Rants

Not mine, I honestly don’t read much UF. I find it far too predictable which has made it boring to me. A friend from livejournal land is doing a series on what she finds lacking with many urban fantasies out there and frankly I agree. Her points are exactly why I don’t read UF.

Fantasy critiques: Lack of good relationships
Urban Fantasy Rant 2:Not even friendship?
Urban Fantasy Rant 3:The Invisible Woman

She’s doing another one tomorrow which I will link to. I highly recommend reading these posts and then read the comments. Lots of food for thought, especially if you are an Urban Fantasy writer.

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A few years ago I wrote this silly little story about Redshirts in my novels. It amused me to no end. However when I subbed it I got told by several magazines that since the story was geared towards Authors, not regular readers that readers wouldn’t get it. I was invited to resubmit more work but at the time I didn’t have any. So the little story hung around on my harddrive, I would open it periodically, reading and chortling but at a loss of what to do.

It is now available on Smashwords, XinXii and pending at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Cole’s goal in life is to survive. As a Redshirt in a novel, that is a very difficult thing indeed. Even eating breakfast can become a life and death situation. Redshirts is a piece of Flash Fiction, about 1000 words, or about 3 or 4 pages printed out.

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Listy thing

I had this really long post written out on the publishing industry. I decided to trash it. Mainly because i am not qualified. Instead I will bore you mightily with a list of tomorrow’s (later today actually) list of things to do.

Because you know the life of a writer is oh so glamorous…

Writing Stuff:

~ Look over Edits for Redshirts, fix the issues, Format it and get it ready to upload
~ Go over the Redshirts cover (Must locate a bloodsplatter tutorial)
~ Write at least 1k on E2
~ Print out Magic Maker and see if it is salvageable.
~ Go over the next Chapter in Strunk and White.*
~ Figure out the twitter feed thingy for this site. I know there is a way to stream it…

RL stuff

~ Calls to make
~ Schoolwork to prepare (I homeschool, did I mention that?)
~ Laundry.
~ Dishes.
~ Mommy stuff. (I have the world’s coolest kids.)

good night, I might not get back to the website for a few days…. I think.

*I may never be a grammar expert, however one of the biggest complaints I hear about self pubbed work is the high level of grammar issues. So damn it I am going to get a handle on this grammar stuff. If I am going to be self pubbed I am going to make damn sure that what I put out there is the best quality I can make it.

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Technical crap

I am trying to add a blogroll -.-

I am learning that I seem to be technically disadvantaged. So please bear with me while I try to figure out these widget things.

I will get your link up….. it might just take me a while…

In the meantime…. have a snip (a very very ROUGH snip) from my current project Elemental Storm. Enjoy.


Outside there was again the sound of something or somethings flying overhead. Aitelle heard a series of deep guttural sounds.

“What is….” Rale began. Aitelle shushed him, listening carefully.

She felt like she was hearing a conversation on the other side of a long hallway. Words, she sensed there were words, but their meaning was lost on her. She crept to the window as lightning lit the grassy slope behind the house. Three shapes, wings half furled, heads low, dominated the field. Each was larger than the house they were in. Two of the beasts crouched, in the flickering lightning launched into the sky. The third settled back on its hind legs and in the lightning Aitelle lost sight of it. She slowly sank back realizing with a start that Rale had come up beside her.

“Wow.” Rale whispered.

“That one…. was…..” Aitelle looked at him. “Huge!”

“Northern dragons. Did you understand what they were saying?”

Aitelle frowned. “Almost. It was like hearing a conversation through closed doors.”

“Hope they don’t decide to eat us.” he muttered.


Slated for release sometime early next year, it depends.

now back to figure out this widget thing…

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Well that was interesting

Due to…. personal developments and a long talk with the hubs, I decided to go ahead and launch. Story 1 is just a short, The Shiny, and is over at Smashwords, soon Amazon and B&N also.

The idea was Shiny and New and ready to be written. Unfortunately, The Writer had other ideas…

It is a humorous story, and I need to say this again, it is a SHORT.

Now to go update other things and let this grand adventure lift off!

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The Great Price Debate

I am slowly learning how to use twitter hashtags. One I was following this afternoon and participating in was #writechat. There was a discussion about .99 ebooks. This is something that I feel strongly about. Mainly because I have heard and read what people think of that price tag. “Crap.” “Undervaluing their work.” “Probably a pile of shit.”

I tend to both agree and disagree.

Let me explain, first go read Dean Wesley Smith’s article The New World of Publishing: E-Book Pricing.

Got it? ok Onward and upward!

When you spend your precious time working on a book, writing it, editing it, covers and so on, that is time you could be spending writing more works. If you have a book that is 50k and up, selling it for .99 as a permanent price feels as though you are not giving yourself enough credit. You are undervaluing your time and effort. Period.

I find this issue with graphic artists too. Holy hell my mother is an awesome artist and for the longest time she would undervalue her art. It would drive me crazy as she would set unbelievable low prices on things she SLAVED over for days and weeks even! It took a teacher at her college to sit her down and explained her time was worth far more than what she was charging people.

Now there are TONS of theories out there, tons of opinions for that matter. Having a sales plan “For now ______ story is priced at .99 on such and such a date that price is going to bump up to ________ get it while it’s cheap” might not be such a bad idea. Others price the first book in a series at .99 to “hook” the reader on their stories then when the reader goes to get book 2 it is full-priced. I can see the logic behind those two plans and I am sure there are others which make as much sense.

But when it boils down to it isn’t your work worth more? Isn’t your time worth more?

Now I might find myself thinking differently when Launch day comes around, I personally like the pricing plan DWS has listed.

So, my minions readers what do YOU think? Razzle and dazzle me!

why is it I never notice typos until AFTER I post?

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The future is bright, where are my shades?

The squirrel* thing has been biting me pretty badly. I look over my work and my list of projects to someday play with and I get excited. I can release ________ story as a series of novellas or I can do something with ________ story now, or …. or…..or…..

I’ve been fighting the urge to jump before my Launch date, working on the covers. I have some more things to do, betas to hear back from.

And write…

Oh yeah that’s what started it all to begin with. DWS also has a post about this scatterbrained planning that hits writers ready to embark on a new venture over here in which he discusses priorities.

I was considering listing off some of my projects I have planned to release between Sept 1st and Jan 2012, I have been playing with making covers and skimming over other works to get ready to send to my dear grammar nazi friends, I have two grammar books I am planning on going through to get a firmer grasp of those damn commas that breed every time I turn off my computer (I mean really, they are as prolific as my plotbunnies!) I have been skimming over tax laws and making sure my stuff that is already ready to go is properly formatted getting all this stuff done… But I haven’t written a new word in almost a week. Well, outside these blogs and the twitters and honestly re-writing E1’s chapter 7 doesn’t really count does it?

I think my biggest fear is loosing touch with the creative part of me, loosing touch with the new stories, the new ideas, the new words that are tapping the inside of my skull saying “Is it our turn yet?”.

It is a must to slate time to actually write NEW words on NEW projects (or projects who have been set aside for years). That is why I am doing this, that is why I am going to put my stuff out there. I am a writer, I must write. So with this bright new future stretching out before me, I will grab my shades, my notebook and pen (I don’t care for pencils) and write. Not sure what yet.

Look towards the future, my friends, not with fear of what might go wrong but with wonder and excitement of what can go right! Grab hold of your dreams with both hands and don’t let anyone take them away.

Have a great weekend people, those of you who are in the heatwave areas of the USA please stay hydrated and cool.

*Read Kris Rusch’s post on Popcorn Kittens if you haven’t already to understand the SQUIRREL! reference.

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