Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Glimmer Girls

I don't have anything worth saying today so I'm giving you an excerpt from Glimmer Girls/Shimmer/Mermaid Girls. It's ROUGH. A very first draft (mostly). And as some of you know I can't spell, and I don't get funny until the second or third time around. In other words, this is probably not worth reading. But as only three people read my blog anyway...

Once upon a time, future or past, a young woman of about twenty-five stood in a dreary dressing room and grew a back bone. She faced down the one person whose approval she had always craved, whose advice she had always taken: her mother, Daisy. She looked her mother in the eye, and for the first time ever she said “no.” It was about time. Her name was Clara.

“No, mother, I won’t go on.” Clara stood with her back to the mirror, feet planted arms crossed. “I done with being the local freak show.”

“But Clara, dearest.” Her mother reached out and caressed one o f the red-gold curl that had found their way out of the up-do and onto Clara’s shoulder. “The camera is always so kind to you. And what will Fernando say if you don’t appear?” Daisy was smaller than her daughter, dark haired against Clara’s fair head. She was full of tenacity, used to getting it all her way.

“I’m not the slightest bit worried about Fernando, mother. He will make the best of it, as a good talk show host would. Go yourself, and tell the world of the difficulties of having a willful child for a change. I’m sure they are tired of my oddities by now.

“Oh Clara.” Her mother was clearly exasperated. “You know they won’t believe me if you aren’t there to show them.”

“They’ve all seen me, Daisy. You’ve had me on TV at least twice a year since the day I was born. I’m not going out there.”

“Very well, Clara, but it’s on your head alone if I’m a laughing stalk.” The way Daisy squared her shoulders as she left the room would have made Clara laugh if she’d been in a laughing mood. Like she’s going to meet the executioner. But lord knows the audiences have always loved her. A gasp of sympathy would erupt whenever Clara was unveiled. Outbursts of compassion would come during the question and answer segments. Daisy would be just fine.

Clara looked in the dressing room mirror. As a defect, it wasn’t so awfully bad. I have all my limbs. It was the mantra she’d used since she could remember, staving off the loathing a despair that she felt whenever she was paraded around, the local freak show. And I have a pretty face. I’m not fat or stupid. It’s rather pretty, really, like a neon necklace. But the undeniable reality was that she’d been born with fish scales covering parts of her body.

The scales shimmered. A lacy pattern of blue and green, like peacock feathers, or multicolored tetra fish. A delicate necklace of scales circled her neck falling across the tops of her shoulders into a V between her breasts. Intricate overlapping patterns cascaded down her back ending with elaborate curly cues along her waist.

Clara pulled her customary, short sleeve, mock turtleneck on over the low cut, backless dress that her mother made her wear for TV. She hailed a cab outside the studio and went home to pack her bags. She’d been shilling for her mother since she could remember, spending hours in green rooms and sitting under television lights. She’d gotten a BFA, specializing in graphic arts, by studying in dressing rooms, and while traveling on busses and trains. She wanted nothing more than to get out of the city, find a town where no one had the slightest interest in her and get on with life

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Ticker and the Mermaid Girls Title List

Word count as of This morning: 27066. Dismal really. But hey, progress is progress. I will do better!

On a more interesting topic here is the short list of titles. I’m not sure we’ve got it yet, but I’d love you to weigh in. Do you like any of these? Are you feeling there is something better? If you need a feel for the story look back to my first title blog:

I have a favorite, but I’m not telling yet. Got a better idea? Please share.

Clara Mia
Dear Johnny
Out of the Blue
Johnny Be Good
Sea Spells
Clara Mia Mine
Glimmer Girls
Glimmer Girl

Come on now - I want to hear what you think. If you don't like any of them say so! It's no skin off my nose, most of them were thought up by someone else!! (sorry guys.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Workshop that Wasn't

This weekend I taught a workshop at the NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight Yearly Conference. Did I say taught? Muddled through would be more accurate. Now none of the participants complained, they didn't know what I was capable of doing, thank goodness, but I do. I stank.

This is something I don't understand about myself. When I'm on, I'm on. Funny, energetic, fabulous vocabulary. When I'm off, forget it. I lose my place in the lecture, can't remember words, ramble on. It's pitiful. And that was me yesterday. When I was done I would have happily crawled under a rock.

So I'm asking myself, what went wrong? Stage fright? No not really. I've been mulling it over and here's what I think:

First of all, I should have stood up. They were taping all the workshops, (They can throw mine out) and I was tied to a microphone at a table. I do much better when I stand up. My thoughts are clear, I project better. There is something about standing in front of the audience that clicks in my head and signals my brain to kick in.

Secondly, the audience. It was small. six people. We should have been sitting around a small table, not spread throughout a confernce room. The room wasn't set up for a small group and it would have me much more comfortable to talk to this group, rather than lecture.

I should have asked for a longer time slot. My workshop required the attendees to write and then share their writing. That takes time. We ran out.

Lastly preparation. I was over prepared in some areas and under in others. I need to even it out. Also, I let workshops I went to before hand influence me. I kept wanting to incorporate what others had said into my talk. I should have stuck to my original outline.

So there you go. Do I think it will help for next time? Honestly? No. I know myself. Sometimes I'm on. Most of the time I'm on. But when I'm not - well forget it. There was nothing I could do. I already had on my scrunchy black cowboy boots and lucky underwear. If they couldn't save me there was nothing I could do.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's all in the Title - Free-for-aller and Monday Ticker

Very little Progress this Monday. I'm up to 21,306. In my own defense I want to say that I was working on a synopsis and contest entry essay last week, as well as Mermaid Girls.

Speaking of Mermaid Girls here is The Infamous List of Titles:

Water Baby
Gasping for Air
Plenty of Fish
Swim Fare
Out of the ordinary
Clara Mia
Dive Right In
Skin Deep
Head above Water
sink or Swim
Dancing Downstream
Different Strokes
Back Stroking
Swim Meet
Dear Johnny
Out of the Blue
Swim Practice
Johnny Be Good
In the Swim
Net Worth
Beneath the Surface
All that Glitters
HIdden Treasure
A different Magic
The Clara Charm
The Clara Quest
Sea Spells
Land Locket
Out of the Ocean
Heraldy and the Purple reality
Gleam a little Gleam
Deram A little Gleam
Sweet Gleems
Clara Mia Mine
Glimmer Girls
Rise and shine
Sparkle and Shine
Mermaid Sightings
More Than Mermaids
Gleam Girls
Fish Sticks
Tower of Mabble
Fish Stems
Flower of Mabble

I'll start narrowing it down tomorrow! Unless someone else wants to jump in and play!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'm loving the titles coming in on my last post. Hope to see some more come in.  But while we're waiting I wanted to say something about perception.

My dogs are obnoxious. They bark at everyone that goes by, if they know them or not. It irritates me, not because of the noise, but because I think it makes me a bad neighbor.

I have a neighbor with horses. Heck I have lots of neighbors with horses. One particular man drives his draft horses past on a regular basis. I used to tell him to call me before he came past my house and I'd bring the dogs in. He looked at me like I was crazy.

"You're dogs are helping me to make the horses bomb proof." ( a bomb proof horse is trained to resist it's instincts to run when its afraid. They are steady, predictable and win more driving competitions than horses who aren't.) (do I have my it's (its) mixed up?)

So there you have it. My perception is that my dogs are a pain to my neighbors.

His perception is that it's handy to have obnoxious dog up the road because it helps him train his horses.

I have no idea what the other neighbors think of us. Probably they aren't to worried about our dogs. They have their own quirks and probably think we think they are obnoxious. Luckily we live in the country so we aren't on top of each other, and really, I have the best neighbors in the world.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's all in the Title - Freeforall!

I don't feel I'm particularly good at titles. I've called my current WIP Mermaid Girls, but it's sort of misleading and doesn't let on that the book is full of witty dialog and the possiblity of magic, so I'm opening it up.  Got an idea? Feel free to post!

I’m currently working on a romance set in a world where the possibility for the paranormal exists. It’s not everyday, but still stuff happens. In fact, it’s possible that my protagonist’s father is a mermaid. So far it hasn’t been said, but I think maybe there’s a merman out there with a taste for legs.

Clara was born with scales. Here’s a description from the WIP:

“As a defect, it wasn’t so awfully bad. I have all my limbs. It was the mantra she’d used since she could remember, staving off the loathing a despair that she felt whenever she was paraded around, the local freak show. And I have a pretty face. I’m not fat or stupid. It’s rather pretty, really, like a neon necklace. But the undeniable reality was that she’d been born with fish scales covering parts of her body.

The scales shimmered. A lacy pattern of blue and green, like peacock feathers, or multicolored tetra fish. A delicate necklace of scales circled her neck falling across the tops of her shoulders into a V between her breasts. Intricate overlapping patterns cascaded down her back ending with elaborate curly cues along her waist.”

Clara’s mother, Daisy, has taken advantage of Clara’s ‘deformity’ by parading her around to TV talk shows, gossip rags, medical magazines – using any media source to get attention, not for Clara’s sake, but to satisfy her own need for attention.

At the start of the story Clara has finally developed a back bone. She will shill for her mother no more. Clara packs up and moves north a hundred miles to the quaint and faintly magical town of Mabble. In Mabble Clara meets Johnny, a restorer of antique carousel animals. (my apologies to Jennifer Crusie, who I believe has something similar in a current release. I didn’t do it on purpose and if people object I’ll try and figure out a new occupation for him. I hope not though, because I’ve written a lot about Johnny!)

Clara and Johnny become a team, searching for her vocation in life. Or rather her avocation – a prudent judge required Daisy to set aside money for Clara until she turned 25. They grow to know and like each other while exposing Clara to new experiences.

Johnny doesn’t know Clara has scales. Clara doesn’t know Johnny has a little sister, Dilly, who could be her double, including scales. Dilly’s mother has isolated her from the rest of the world, and lives in fear of the physical defect ever being exposed.

Johnny is not without his faults; he has avoided relationships with women because of his sister, but tends to be a bit of a hit-and-run artist with the women.

Clara has some trouble with men who are attracted to her because she has money. She also has trouble developing any kind of intimacy because she’d rather not show off her scales ever again.

I’ll leave it there. There’s a lot of witty dialog. Hopefully some fun. Happy ending of course, but I don’t want to give too much away.

** I forgot, I tend to write light, kinda funny, kinda sexy stuff. I'm not Jenny by any means, but I titles like hers would be fine!**

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I just wasted a whole day doing the taxes. Okay, maybe not the whole day, but still. And I get to the end, and think Good, I'm DONE. and I realize there's a mistake. And when I fix that mistake I lose two-thirds of our refund. Bummer.

I hate doing the taxes. It's numbers. I got decent grades in math when I was in college - back when I still had something of a brain. But now they just frustrate me. They don't cooperate. Words I can usually get to do my bidding, and if not, I can fudge it. There is no fudge factor with numbers. They're either right, or they're not. And usually it's not. They get my hopes up, and then dash them on the rocks at the bottom of a thousand foot cliff.

Words are a little more forgiving. If you forget a word, like say 'little,' there are substitutions: tiny, small, diminutive and even 'not big' will do in a pinch. There's no substitute for eight. Oh you could say 4 + 4, but try marking a price tag (4+4)9.50. I'm sorry the shop would lose more than just my business.

I left one diminutive 1 out of one of the figures on my taxes. I put it back in, and I'm blue.

By the way, the other thing you can do with words - is make them up. Try making up a number and see where that gets you.  Floop. That's my new word for the day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Internetily Challenged

For some reason I can't get my ticker to post anywhere. I created the ticker as a fun way to track my progress (by way of word counts) on my current work in progress. I did it at the The Ticker Factory and it should be as simple as cut and paste. But not for me.

I got it to post on my facebook profile. But not my facebook fan page. Not in the status. Not on this blog. And it's so cute. A pretty little dragonfly is speeding along a purple bar, tracking my progress. I wanted to share it with you.

Unfortunately, if you want to see it, you have to go look at my facebook profile. It should really be on my fan page. So sad, it won't show there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Power of the Internet

As some of you know I had some bad news last week. (See the notes section of my facebook page.) My editor regretfully passed on my second book because sales on my first book were so slow. I posted on facebook and basically spilled my guts on another author's blog - a bestseller who I happen to really like, and she was kind enough not to take down my off topic rant.

I was very sad and upset, and this author said kind things. It's one of the things I like about this author, even though she must be incredibly busy, she always has time for her followers/friends. And here comes the miracle: The people who follow her blog, stepped up and bought my book. And then they said nice things about it. I had the biggest sale month I've ever had, and we aren't even half way through. WOW.
I didn't even know this until I contacted my publisher. Now that I've gotten over the rejection I felt I needed to write and say I understood, and thank you for the opportunity, etc. My editor wrote back to tell me about the sales, and to give me another chance. If I can sell another 40 books by May 1st she'll take a look at the next Bree mystery.
I'm back in the game. At least temporarily. I get another chance to figure out how to sell books!
That's the power of the Internet. If I hadn't spilled my guts, I wouldn't have gotten a second chance. And the nice thing is, I didn't have to do any self promotion. I simply was looking for support from people I don't know, but consider my friends anyway. I got it in spades.