Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sorry That I Hurt Your Feelings

Yesterday , I got a crit and as diplomatic and encouraging as I try to be as the critter, I think that I hurt her feelings . I had specifically requested a character and story study not corrections in grammer and punctuation, to be the discussed. I am sure that she thought that she was being helpful. She didn't follow the instructions on what I was seeking. ( I admit my inner Huntress is a school teacher).

I have had some very good critters able to constructively without having read the previous chapters . But yesterday,a young woman walked in at Chapter 5 , then critted that I had not built my characters. Hello, yes , I did -its called Chapters 1-4. As one of the themes of the WIP is how Arina changes even after Changed, of course she is not who she was in Chapter 1. Some of the changes are subtle- especially if it deals with her attitude toward Humans. The critter told me that " she did not understand Arina." She also is suffering from that most dread of vampire fiction diseases ,TS (Twilight Syndrome). Unlike Meyer's vamps , mine are hardworking predators who are not adoring of their prey. She asked me why they feed from Humans and sometimes killed them. I told her because it was necessary and often pleasurable. They think that the sole purpose of Humans is to be a "menu item". Other than that, they are very nice people. They view their position in the Human world more as Diane Fosse, Margaret Meade or Jane Goodall. Their need for the information is to prevent starvation. It was not the answer that she wanted. The question grated on my nerves,sort of cousin to someone asking Robert Bloch why Norman Bates did not have many repeat customers. It was such a cute little motel on the edge of town. They are good stewards of the herd, do not overbreed themselves(they have live birth) , responsible in most of their actions, keep the fact of their existence secret. It is not a YA novel.

I really don't understand the we are all special attitude of the young men and women today. I once had a critter who felt badly for a horsefly that Arina's uncle with a dishtowel in Chapter 1. I did not know that horseflies were an endangered species. She did write me back as I graded her crit somewhat helpful- I give a lot of very helpfuls and perfects. I spend time finetooth combing my crits as I rewrite.

The critter wrote me back , unhappy with her grade.  She was only trying to help. I did answer her that I would be more than happy to discuss her questions after she had read Chapters 1-4  as well, I think that would answer most of her questions. I did not change my position on the subject matter but I did soften my tone ( and I had always been respectful and polite ).

After all, she didn't know that I had just spent an hour bailing sewer water (backed up into my bathroom sink) emailed the landlord and did not get a response , my boss self sabotaged and cost our department six markets and I have no idea how I will afford going to MA for a week if there are no commissions to be made and my father is holding on , hoping that I will get there this summer(he has been really ill) . They are selling the house after 41 years ,going to Assisted Living, And I got a note from the landlord at the message center outside my door , that there was an odor coming from the apartment-probably from the backed up sewer water,which had not been there when I left.  She is not responsible for that pressure.

No, my disagreement was with  failure to follow instructions . I am hoping that I didn't scare her away from critting, I think that she is moderately young. I told her that I appreciated anyone taking the time to read my work. And I do appreciate it. But correcting grammer is the easy part. I want to know if you relate to these people at least on a casual basis , not knowing their darker halves. Do you think that the window dressing is firmly in place? Would they look the same as everyone else to you? Instead she quoted me from books on writing. But her comments were out of context not knowing the build up or even the names of the other characters. And I found that offensive.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Busy Busy Sundays

Its a source of amusement to me that the only day off my male vampire gets off is Sunday , which happens to be my only day off as well. Well, its a day off in the sense of not taking the bus and going downtown to the law office for whom I work.  The concept of doing nothing is unknown in my house.

Sunday is the day that I get "other " things done . Since leaving work yesterday afternoon, I have read 200 pages in Breaking Dawn (Meyer) , picked up 2 other books from library (Sat is library day after work)and a Cusco CD ,had 2 unknown guys hit on me and nearly kill themselves running around me to open doors. Both asked my name. (This is the South but I am not looking for a boyfriend . ) One guy said he had never seen anyone so happy - and I am not a size five, not rich, and I am 58 soon to be 59 (April). So go figure.

I watched 4 episodes of Las Vegas(Netflix) - I think I am on season 3. I have finished The Pretender as of last week. I am going to watch a documentary , When the Violence Stops and a movie , The Contender , this afternoon.

My chapter partner and I have exchanged about 8,000 words each this week , which we have read ,critted and returned. I tweeked the next chapter to be ready to send when she is ready.

I visited some blogs this morning and collected a few more.



http://absolutewrite.com   ( There is an interview with agent Evan Marshall on this site, takes about 23 mins.)

I found out that there is going to be a conference in Nashville in August at Hutton Hotel. (They are having a seminar on serial killers among other things .) http://killernashville.com  I want to go- I like serial killers. Well in theory , the very few that I have met not so much (long story for another day).Its technically for mystery writers but will have publishing /agent seminars as well. And Ceiling does have a serial killer.

I signed up with Suvudu (division of Random House) to get their newsletter. They are having a contest -prize is a professional edit. http://Suvudu.com . I am not copyrighted yet and still have work to do on Ceiling.

And , oh yes, I got a free numerological compatability test in my email which I used my characters , Arina and Henri as the guenea pigs. Turns out that they are extremely compatable - which is nice . I posted those results over to Cafe Copain blog , if you want to take a look.

I am off to make lunch. No , I am not kidding.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Behind Valentine's Day

If you have read the Cafe Copain blog , which deals with my vampires, you know that the mystery is solved. As I have said from the beginning , that blog is auxillary to my ms. The ultimate solution to the mystery rests in Jean Paul's hands. He cannot kill her, her friend Julie knows where she went.
But the bite of a Lilleric Vampire leaves no marks . So did he bite Caroline? What do you think?

The comment about boundries actually relates not only to proper behavior but Council restrictions on a No Hunt zone. (One does not bring danger down on community by hunting in boundries. ) Jean Paul is a Council member . Anyone who even knows about her is family.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Congratulations and Long Overdue

Last night , my favorite actor for 50 years , was given a BAFTA Fellowship. He has a great speaking and singing voice. He has done just about every genre, worked recently with Director Tim Burton , who presented the award to him, and has the tiny quirk of when his character is about to do something evil in a film, he smiles . That is the Oh Oh-watch out moment for me.

I belonged to his fan club until I was 16 (about 7 years) and he always talked about the business of making movies. I learned somethings about movie making that most teens donot.

Ladies and gentlemen , may I offer you the link to Sir Christopher Lee's BAFTA Fellowship Acceptance Speech.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Breakfast Guests Who Never Eat

As I work on polishing Ceiling, I have constant company in the morning , along with my coffee. That is the time that I read the blogs to which I have subscribed, usually by email. Do I read many blogs? Oh yes! There are some that I love to death , for example , Kurt Sutter's Sutterink. He is straight talking, in your face, and someone to be believed when it comes to writing and success. ( And don't we all hope to be there someday?) Getting there has its own set of challenges and staying there is another skill set. I got interested because my number one television series to watch is Sons of Anarchy. http://www.sutterink.blogspot.com/

Totally different are the blogs of M R Sellars. Mr . Sellars also writes about the craft of writing and his life. He has several blogs which arrive during the day. He is the author of the Rowan Gant Mysteries. Now I am not sure that the general world at large is ready for a Wiccan detective but it is a door that he has well cracked open.I love his books. His approach is more tongue in cheek and amusing than Kurt Sutter's. http://mrsellars.com/mrblog/.

Steve Laub Agency is informative and gives leads to where I might want to next look . His are usually precise, matter of fact and to the point. There is a economy in his writing that reminds me that these are the type of people with whom , hopefully, someday, entrust my perfect fanged family . He is a touch of reality to my paranormal fantasy. http://www.stevelaube.com/blog/.

These are not the only breakfast guests, but I would suspect probably the most frequent. The morning that I was having a crisis of faith, I lucked out in that it must have been "in the air" because that was the day that Kurt Sutter addressed those same issues. I don't know him from Adam as the saying goes but you cannot pay for advice like that. And your friends who don't write will roll their eyes because they don't have a clue what your concerns are. So I accepted the literary kick in the pants from Mr. Sutter and got on with the work.

All this knowledge and experiance at my breakfast table , and I didn't have to scramble a single egg. Wow!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where I stand right now

Ceiling of  Stars is in the critique phase but the basic story is written. So what happens next? Well, I have said from the beginning that this is intended to be a series of novels. So here is the plan. After the critiques are through this time around ( I am running the chapters on Critique Circle to the end as they seem to be the most consistent with doing crits) , then it goes into hiatus for a month.

While Ceiling of Stars is cooling its heels , I will be concentrating on short stories and getting them into a saleable shape. It will build my body of work. Some of the work will be paranormal but I have some general stories and horror fiction ideas to solidfy as well.

At the end of the month , I will reread Ceiling and revise again . I will send the revised text through a different peer critique group. Make the needed changes and check for punctuation and grammer problems. Then I will pay to have it edited. I will make the changes suggested by the editor, Send it back for round two of editing. Correct and submit for copyright.

While the editing is going on, I hope to research one of the future novels. Currently , I have plans for a novel about Jean Paul and (senior) Sophie who are Henri's parents, a novel about Michael, Grace and Andrew, and, maybe follow up with one about the kids -right now I am thinking about (junior) Sophie and Christian but Val and Lucius are also a possiblity. These are probably not the entire series but those are the ones currently on the drawing board. And what became of the valet? Well, he is still out there somewhere. We don't know who he is and what connection he had to the O'Connors. I suspect that we havc not heard the last of him.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The History Behind The Valentine Mystery at Cafe Copain

I just posted today "The Valentine Mystery" at my other blog, Cafe Copain.
Cafe Copain ( copain meaning " with bread" in French) is the restaurant/cafe/bakery owned by Henri and Jean Paul Copain. The authoress of the blog is Henri's wife , Arina. Not all vampires are Counts or kings , some actually work periodically for a living.
The back story on this was caused by the critters in my peer groups who want to meet both men. Now I expected this for Henri, being the younger and a basically good guy, not to mention intelligent, ambitious , and artistic.
But there is a real clamour for Jean Paul which I had not expected , He is a trickster, a romantic old fashioned gentleman in his approach. He has a truly Killer sense of humor. So I thought it a nice twist on the traditional vampire to have modern women actively seeking to seduce male vampires ( no the women don't know) , quite a difference from 200 years ago. The men are flattered. Arina is serious about her dinner invitation ( which may not be as generous as it sounds . )
The Cafe Copain blog is auxillary to the book "The Ceiling of Stars"  which is a work currently being edited and prepped for publication.