Archive for April, 2010

30
Apr

Question Time

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 9 Comments

I’ve been thinking of today’s questions all week. So fasten your seatbelts and let’s go, shall we?

1) What’s one toy from your childhood you wish you could play with just one more time?

2) If someone handed you five bucks and told you to go buy yourself a treat right now, what would you buy?

3) If you were suddenly called to perform an oddity on one of the late night TV shows, what could you do?

4) What was one toy/lunchbox/album you always wanted but never got?

5) Who’s the one actor/actress on TV today that you wouldn’t mind seeing on a poster in your room?

~Elizabeth

29
Apr

Bright and Shinies

Posted under Writing Thursdays 7 Comments

Before I turn you over to today’s post, I wanted to get in a quick word (or forty). I’m guestblogging today with the Southern Authors (click HERE). I’d love it if you’d pop over and visit…I’m talking about characters and their nasty little habit of taking a story over.

I’m also leaving you in good hands on this blog. Here’s Lynn (you see her in the comment section most days), so make her feel welcome, okay?

~Elizabeth

********************************************** 

I like finding shells on the beach. And new yarn that feels so soft you could float into the bin. And pennies on the street.

Bright and shiny things distract me.

If you looked around my house, you’d find at least four, maybe five, craft projects sitting around in various stages of completion. And that’s without opening any of the boxes in the basement. My to-be-read pile has books that I started years ago yet sit unfinished, a receipt or slip of paper or even a real bookmark keeping my place for when I pick up the story once again.

Okay, maybe I’m distracted–a lot. This is great for a jack-of-all-trades or a renaissance wo(man), but not so much for a writer. Two years ago, I had four manuscripts started. A romance, a cozy mystery, a middle-school paranormal, and a suspense thriller filled my hard drive…right upt to chapter five, where I lost steam and lost my way. So I’d stop writing. The muse would abandon me after a few weeks.

Then I’d get an idea for the perfect book. I could write this (fill in the blank) genre, no problem. And I was right…

Right up until chapter five.

Then nothing.

I’d whine. I’d complain about my useless muse. I’d immerse myself in how-to-write books.

Then I met a real writer. Face to face, I got up the courage to ask her what was the secret to finishing a book. How would I known what type of book I could really write? And the secret grail I’d been seeking? The answer to all my problems–writing wise, that is? The magic pill?

“Just finish the book. Write crap. Write your mother’s secret recipes. Write love letters to your characters. Just finish a book.”

“But which one,” I whined (I think I should have been eating cheese for lunch that day).

“The one that you’re most passionate about,” the wise sage answered.

So I went back to the last book I’d attempted. I read what I’d written. And then I wrote one scene. Total crap, but it was words on the page. The next day I sat down again. Wrote another scene. I promised myself I would write thirty minutes a day even if it was bottom-of-the-barrel political drivel, which, surprisingly enough, it wasn’t.

Then came the dreaded middle. Where your characters are just sitting, waiting to do laundry or wasth their hair while they wait for you to think up some amazing adventure to send them on.

That was the day the bright and shiny’s came back. In Heather Sellers’ book, Chapter by Chapter, she calls them “The Fresh Start Sirens.” Their call is quiet at first. Then all of a sudden, I found myself thinking about the next book. A paranormal. The characters who would love me and tell me their story, not wawit around for me to write it. This book would be easy. Just like finding a new love when your old one just can’t learn to put the seat down in the middle of the night after using the bathroom. So I flirted.

Soon, I was in full fledge love. I emailed the wise sage and told her I’d found my problem. I was writing the wrong book.

She laughted. And after she got off the floor and composed herself, she sent me back to my manuscript, with three words: “Finish the book.”

Two books later, I’ll admit, she was right. Being a writer takes a level of commitment I didn’t know I had. I have a contract with a mansucript I’m writing. If I finish the first draft and two rounds of edits and still hate it? I can put it under the bed. But I have to finish it. Good, bad, or ugly, the story deserves to be told.

Can I tell you I don’t flirt or wander anymore? No. But I choose my guilty pleasures carefully. I just took a break from the cozy mystery (I’m four to five chapters from typing, THE END). I started a short story that I’d plotted and knew would distract me from doing the I’m not worthy dance around my manuscript (the closer I get to finishing a manuscript, the more writer-insecurities tend to pop in my head).

I wrote for less than ten days on this story, sent it to a magazine, and sold it within days of finishing. Good news? Yes. But the validation from the sale made me hungry to finish the cozy. So the distraction worked.

This time.

Now, if I can just keep from starting a new craft project before I finish my Easter basket (and yes, I know that Easter was four weeks ago…).

lynn-2Lynn Cahoon’s work has appeared in Grit, Chicken Soup for the Soul, True Romance, and soon, True Love. She is currently polishing two romance novels, working on a cozy mystery, and waiting for a call from the slush pile. She lives in the St. Louis area with her husband.

28
Apr

The Missing Gene

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 7 Comments

Okay, I have a confession to make.  shopping-bag

I don’t like to shop.

I don’t know if it’s a lack of fashion sense (if it’s not put together on the mannequin, I’m at a loss), a worry about finances (I don’t really  need that shirt…), or a flashback to the days of being dragged from store to store by a mother who got the shopping gene (or at least the kind that made her pick through every rack in the store) in spades. But, whatever the reason, I’m most definitely not a shopper.

While this little fact probably made my ex-husband a happy man for the seventeen years we were married, it makes things a bit tricky when the need to shop collides with my distaste for the process. It’s not that I don’t like new clothes, because I do. I’m just not a fan of the picking-them-out-process.

And therein lies my dilemma.

You see, over the next several weeks, I have a lot of professional engagements–a face-to-face with my agent, dinner with the publisher, another dinner/banquet with the publisher, reader events, lots of signings, and my launch party for DEATH THREADS. And my closet (or, rather, the clothes in it) is (are) pathetic at best.

Which means I need to shop.

Need. To.

*shudder*

So, while I’m dragging myself in and out of stores in search of clothes, I figured I’d pose this question to all of you…

What’s a have-to you wish could be permanently moved to the never-have-to column of your life?

~Elizabeth

27
Apr

A Heaven Lined With Books

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 6 Comments

I think I’ve died and gone to Heaven. Truly.

For the past few days, in between post-deadline cleaning and way too many pre-launch tasks, I’ve been reading.

Reading. Can you believe it?

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve been able to pick up a real book. And truly, it’s been amazing… I’ve read while waiting for my daughter to get off the school bus, I’ve read while sitting outside (in an actual lounge chair, no less), and I’ve read while doing absolutely nothing.

I chose MAGNOLIA WEDNESDAYS by Wendy Wax as my inaugural read because I love this author. I stumbled across her book, ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER, early in 2009 and adored ever word of it…prompting me to call a number of friends and beg them to track it down and give it a whirl for themselves.

A year later, she’s back with another wonderful read in Magnolia Wednesdays. And, once again, I’m thoroughly enjoying Wendy’s descriptive (and fun!) prose and loving every moment of my favorite self-indulgence of all time (yes, reading comes in above chocolate on my list of personal favorites).

I’m hoping to talk  more specifics about the book next week (after I’ve finished reading it–boo hoo), but, in the meantime, tell me something good you’ve read in the past week or two.

~Elizabeth

26
Apr

Starring…You

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 9 Comments

If you could pop yourself into one scene from any movie, what scene/movie/character would it be and why?

Me? I think I’d pick that scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere’s character takes Julia Robert’s character on an actual date. He doesn’t give her any details about where they’re going/what they’re doing except to tell her to get dressed up. Then he whisks her away on a plane and takes her to her very first opera. So, so romantic.

Your turn.

~Elizabeth

23
Apr

Thinking Caps a Plus

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 12 Comments

For today’s Bits & Pieces, I’ve opted to go ultra creative.  So play along, okay?

1) If you had to describe yourself as  a piece of footwear, what would you choose and why?

2) If it would be possible to survive on just one food, what would you choose?

3) If you could climb on stage with one band (past or present), what band would it be and why?

4) What do you think is the ultimate age to be and why?

5) If you could safely resurrect one fashion from the past, what would it be?

I can’t wait to read your answers!

~Elizabeth

22
Apr

Three Sentences at a Time

Posted under Writing Thursdays 13 Comments

Okay. I’m in the mood to do a slightly different writing post today. Only it requires a little help from all of you. I’m going to start off a story with a few sentences.  The first person to comment takes it a little further, the next does the same, and so on. It’s up to you which direction the story takes–dark, light, funny, creepy, whatever.

Okay?

Here we go…

Tucking his hand inside his sleeve, he wiped at the windshield. But it was no use. He simply couldn’t see.

Who’s next?

~Elizabeth

21
Apr

Let the Flapping Begin

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 12 Comments

Well, the countdown has begun. DEATH THREADS launches nationwide in just two weeks…

Which means the pre-launch crazies have begun. There’s booksignings to set up, mailing labels to type/print, postcards to get out, promotional material to send, guest blogs to write, travel, and, of course, nerves.

Nerves?

Yup. Nerves. Will this book sell as well as the first (pre-order numbers are looking really good)? Will I add to my fan base? Will I get everything done? Will my signings go well? And the list goes on…

I remember these same worries from last summer when SEW DEADLY hit the shelves for the first time and I was faced with the reality of  just how many books were actually out there (I simply don’t know that many people).  I mean, it’s great to realize a dream but it’s also terrifying to think you might fall on your face in such a big way.

Fortunately, those worries proved to be wrong within a matter of days and I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride. Yet, here I am again…with the butterflies starting to flap their wings in my stomach once again. 

I guess it’s life.

So tell me, what gets your butterflies flapping?

~Elizabeth

benteandme

Here’s a picture of fellow author, Bente Gallagher, and me at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival this past weekend! We had a great time finally getting to  meet face-to-face and chatting about all things writing.

If you’ve not read her Do It Yourself Home Renovations Mystery Series, you’re in for a treat!

20
Apr

With the Simple Click of a Mouse

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 1 Comment

Ever feel like being spontaneous? Deciding something on a whim? Trying something unexpected and new?

Well, here’s your chance…

The wonderful Sharon Gallagher Chance over at Freshfiction.com sat me down for an interview the other day. We talked about writing, we talked about process, we talked about the upcoming release of my latest title, DEATH THREADS, and we talked about lots more.  So today, instead of reading a blog here…how about you click on THIS LINK  and check out our interview!!

Hope to see you there!

~Elizabeth

19
Apr

Turning Back the Hands of Time

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 8 Comments

time-pieceIf you could turn back the hands of time ine just one area (meaning pre-cell phone, pre-computer, pre-whatever), what would you choose and why?

Me? I think I’d pick the longer childhood that seemed to be the case twenty years ago.  I’ve always thought this, but had it hit home over the weekend while attending the Southern Kentucky Book Fest. Little girls (and by little, I mean 8 and 9, not 2 and 3) got dressed up to see their favorite authors (frilly dresses, patent leather party shoes, curls in their hair, etc). And two young ladies I saw going off to prom on Saturday night looked like young ladies–classy, pretty, respectable.

Both of these instances stood out to me for the rarity they’ve become. It seems as if the frilly dresses stop by the time a little girl is four these days, traded in soon after for miniature versions of what the teenage starlets are wearing (with the starlet being a good 10-12 years older than they are). And teenagers going off to prom? Slinky seems to be the wardrobe of choice for many these days.

I know I’m old fashioned in many ways. Always have been. But really, we’re not doing kids a favor by rushing their childhood. They’ve got more than enough time to be grown-ups.

Your turn.

~Elizabeth