Sunday, 29 July 2007

Hook e'm, Danno

Bad Ice is on submission. A small press in Calgary requested the full manuscript last week. I'm stepping away from it while I wait to see what happens next.

For those who are curious about the plot, I think I finally came up with a hook that describes it: "The Natural meets Fatal Attraction, except with hockey instead of baseball."

I managed to crank out a thousand words for The Weeping Woman last night. I still don't know where the heck the hero and heroine are going, but at present they're arguing in a pencione in Andorra. I've been having lots of fun with guns and car crashes, but I think a little dialogue is in order!

Do I have a hook for this one? So far: "When Basque freedom fighters take Amanda on an impromptu tour of the Pyrenees, she wishes she'd taken her toothbrush."

Time to make a custom-made breakfast for my son Andrew, who turns 16 today.

While I'm slaving over the grill, how about telling us your hook?

Photo: Maori mother of pearl fish hook pendant

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

It's Not Funny, Not Even Close...

A young woman waves at the video camera, her white teeth flashing. She grips the handle of the tow line and makes sure her feet are firmly entrenched in her water skis. The boat motor roars, the tether takes up the slack, and she is unceremoniously jerked off her feet, doing a double gainer over a parked rowboat, smacking her head in the process.

The audience swells with uproarious laughter.

While aimlessly flipping through channels, my husband paused at one of those 'Funny/Outrageous/Hilarious/Shocking' video shows. You know the ones -- babies hosing themselves down, puppies chasing their tails in countless adorable ways and brides and grooms fainting at their weddings.

Okay, some of the clips are indeed amusing. I especially like the pets and kids. But I don't see the benefit of watching people fall off docks, flip from swings on their heads, miss the edge of a trampoline, or ride a bike into a telephone pole. I've seen enough drunk wedding guests slamming into the table and taking the cake down with them. I've seen enough ATV riders flip their vehicles on top of them. It's not funny.

The only message I can see is: "Don't be stupid like these people."

Or maybe the message is: "Do something completely asinine and catch it on tape, and we'll give you ten thousand dollars."

Play safe this summer, everyone.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

When People Watching Ceases To Be

While driving to pick up my daughter from work, I found my self studying the clouds. They bloomed upward into a brilliant blue sky and glowed with pink highlights from the setting sun. They looked almost solid, not like a collection of water vapour.

That got me thinking -- how often do I catch myself describing what I see?

Sitting in the mall, waiting for the kids to finish browsing in Electronics Boutique -- I scan the people who pass by and take note of shape, clothing, eyes, hair. I try to imagine what they're thinking.

Sights, sounds, smells... they're all translated into words. I don't just have feelings anymore. They must break out into prose. The internal words flow over me like a breeze. I don't write them down, I just hope that I'll recall them later.

Does this phenomenon strike all writers? Am I making any sense?

Saturday, 14 July 2007

I've crawled out of my hole

My blatant self promotion has played out its first stage and I'll pop my head up to say thanks to all who have downloaded my novel so far. A few updates:

I got my first fan letter! A nice reader emailed me to say that she thought my cover was great, and that the blurb was interesting. She said my book is definitely on her wishlist and did I have a website or newsletter so she could keep up with my endeavours. I thanked her and directed her to this blog, which in my opinion is as good as any website. I printed her email and I intend to frame it, along with the cover and maybe a copy of my first royalty cheque. Maybe someday I'll have a 'writing office' in which to hang it.

Another interesting tidbit: I'm Number Two! Okay, it's out of 23 in my subcategory, Last Rose of Summer in The Wild Rose Press, but I'll take it. After only a week! My aim is to hit the top ten on the main page.

And lastly:

Pink Elephants on Parade! Local emergency services received several 911 calls concerning a pair of pachyderms that escaped from the visiting Garden Bros. Circus. Apparently someone tripped over the cord that supplied power to their electric enclosure. Two of them went for a stroll through the neighbourhood, sampling the crispy, underwatered lawns and munching on young trees. One of them left a nice gift on a lady's front step and then ate her lilies.

They were returned to their pens without incident. Boy, I'll bet a lot of bottles of Jack Daniels went down the drain that night!

Friday, 6 July 2007

E-Release of The Space Between

It's here! It's here! My first novel, THE SPACE BETWEEN, is released today by The Wild Rose Press.

Edited to add: It's an e-release, with the print release on October 5th. So if you download it by accident, enjoy it and THEN buy the print version, send it to me and I'll autograph it (if you like it, that is....)

Here's the Blurb:
To save their marriage, Margaret and Jeff embark on a trip to New Zealand, but their aircraft is wrecked on a South Pacific island. Jeff perishes, and Margaret is left alone with David, a popular actor.

As they meet the challenges of survival, their experience pulls them together. Margaret's sensuality is reawakened, but she fights her desire since David is married, albeit unhappily. She believes his attraction for her is merely inspired by the beautiful island.

Once rescued, they resume their former lives, attempting to put their shared experience behind them. They soon realize their passion can't be denied.

Here's the excerpt that won hands down with my RWU writers' group:

He coaxed the fire back to life, ready to lay the fish on the coals.

Something caught his eye. He straightened and squinted across the distance to the end of the spit. Yes, there was definitely something else in the water. A dark speck intermittently popped up between the undulating waves. At first he thought it was Margaret surfacing and dipping down again.

His fingers splayed and he dropped the fish in the sand. Horror filled his heart and lungs and he shouted hoarsely, "Maaaargaret!"

"God, no, no, no..." He snatched the other makeshift spear that poked out of the ground beside the campfire and raced to the end of the spit, scrambling and almost tripping over the pitted boulders. She was about thirty feet offshore; face down, scanning for fish. She didn't see the triangular dorsal fin cutting through the surface another thirty feet away from her, zigzagging, searching for the source of the irresistible scent of blood.

He shouted, "Maggie!!" as loud as he could, and her head poked out of the water, turning toward the sound of his voice.

He screamed, his voice breaking with the effort, "Shark!!" He frantically pointed behind her and waved her in, swinging his arms in wide arcs. She swung to look over her shoulder, and then turned to kick furiously toward him, abandoning her spear.

The triangle ceased to zigzag and sliced straight through the water toward the splashing. She was still about ten feet from his outstretched hand when the shark struck.