Happy Independence Day to our neighbours to the south. (And to the west, including Alaska and Hawaii.)
Happy Independence Day to our neighbours to the south. (And to the west, including Alaska and Hawaii.)
Sparklers and barbecues for all!
I’m not talking about walking crutches – I’ve had enough of those kinds of crutches over the last six weeks.
I’m talking about writing crutches. Bad habits. Lazy writing.
Some of the worst writing advice I’ve seen is to write dialogue as people actually talk. Have you ever listened to people talk? We use bad grammar, sentence fragments, and UM and AH and OH constantly. Reading that would send me over the edge. Then there are real words we slip in all the time which but don’t add anything meaning the page. It’s not a good thing.
I’ve started a list of these crutch words, so I can take them out of my stories when they aren’t necessary (sometimes they are). My personal top 15 are:
That, Up, All, Then, Now, Even, Just, Only, Anyway, Already, Still, Besides, Definitely,
You might notice that is only 13 words. I also have a terrible habit of starting dialogue with “And” or “So”. I often start sentences with “And” or “So” when I talk, but it doesn’t add any meaning to what I say. Not to mention, it looks bad on the page.
I don’t know if readers notice when I delete all my crutch words. I hope it makes for a better reading experience for them. I know I like it better.
Hey, my Canadian readers (and readers when Amazon is not your go-to e-book store), KOBO Canada is having a Get 3 for the Price of 2 sale on romance books this week. I gently remind you that we are heading into the long weekend AND summer vacation next week. Stock up now before the kids get out of school and you are stuck at the lake without wifi!
5. Yard Work. To be honest, I don’t miss mowing the lawn. I’ve hired a service for that. A freaking costly service – do you remember mowing the lawn for five bucks? Those days are long gone, my friends. So, it cost me an arm and a leg (in addition to my broken foot) but the guys show up once a week and they do a good job. Unfortunately, my gardens are still untouched. The weeds will be taller than the flowers by the time I get out there. I’ve given up on a veggie garden this year. I might still be able to get my herbs box garden done.
4. Making the bed. My bedroom isn’t huge. It takes a lot of work to scoot around the bed and pull all the blankets and comforters down and tuck stuff in. Forget about changing the sheets. Fitted sheets are hard enough to deal with when you have two hands and two feet. On crutches and one foot, they are impossible to handle.
3. Laundry. This isn’t a problem if you have laundry on your main floor. Mine, however, is in the basement. Down is fine. Here is the most efficient process I’ve found: Kick basked of dirty laundry to the staircase, one step at a time. Throw dirty clothes and the basket down the stairs (thank you, gravity). Slide crutches down the flight of stairs. Inch down, one step at a time on my bum. Assemble clothes into basket, find crutches, kick basket one step at a time into laundry room. Load washer standing on one foot. Back up stairs on my butt, backwards. Up and down stairs again to switch load to the drier. Back down on my butt to empty drier. Dump clothes in basket. Kick it one step at a time to the bottom of the stair case. Toss crutches up the stairs. Pray they make it to the landing and don’t fall back down and crack me in the head. Put the laundry basket in my lap. Bump my butt up one stair. Haul the basket up one stair. Repeat for the entire flight of stairs. Kick laundry basket down hall to bedroom, one step and a time. Collapse from exhaustion.
That’s one load. Raise your hand if you only have one load of laundry. Exactly.
2. Grocery shopping. You can’t use a cart or a basket because then you can’t use your crutches. Your options are to impose on a friend or family member, give them a list, and write them a cheque when they return with a load of groceries (cheque, not cash, because getting to the bank is another feat) or to do it yourself. I’ve found the best way is to wear a backpack and load it up, then empty it at the checkout and refill it there. It works relatively well but you can only buy about five things. One thing, if you get a 4L of milk. Milk jugs are heavy and throw off your balance.
1. Stairs. Anything under five standard steps is okay. Long, wide stairs, like going into a public building, are pretty easy to navigate. Skinny stairs are the devil. The crutches fit but the boot is twice as wide as the step itself. It’s been 3.5 weeks and I still haven’t attempted to do a flight of regular stairs on my crutches. That’s like hopping on one foot for 14 steps in a row. I’m sure I’d end up with something else in a cast.
2 more weeks until freedom. Hopefully.
Big news! SCREEN IDOL is on sale this week. The e-book is only $0.99! The paperback version is $5.99. That’s about the cost of a cup of coffee. In fact you could get several copies if you buy your coffee at Starbucks. If you already have a copy of Chris and Sydney’s story, consider gifting a copy to a friend.
After I went to Romancing the Capital, I came home with a list of new writers to try and I found some who I really liked. Then almost all my favourites had new releases in June, and I read even more. Here are some of my recommendations:
Fur-bidden by Milly Taiden – the first in the short-story trilogy. Hot were-bears going after what they want. Very steamy.
Unlovable (The Case Files of Dr. Matilda Schmidt, Paranormal Psycologist) by Cynthia St. Aubin – FREE – Matilda was just a normal shrink working her normal job when the mob appeared, right about the same time as Cupid. Now she’s trying to get his arrow up while in custody of a mob cleaner. It’s freaking hilarous.
The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave by J.H. Moncrieff. I’ve know about this books since since it was a gleam in the author’s eye. Then I read it and it creeped my out from the first line. Gah, horrors where kids are targetted are hard for me to read by I couldn’t stop. This is a must read if you are any kind of horror fan.
Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman – FREE – I wasn’t sure where this book was going when I started but it ended up in Funs-ville. Vampire sororities, a buffed out Richard Simmons-type fairy bodyguard, and ensuing wackiness. (If you want weres – including werecows – try her other series starting with Ready to Were).
When an Alpha Purrs by Eve Langlais – If you are noticing a theme where I like my romance with a hefty dose of humour, you won’t be surprised by this recommendation. The town of Wilder is going to be a lot of fun to read about with these sexy were-lions on the prowl.
Not to mention, Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changling book Shards of Hope came out this week. (It’s a good, meaty read. I’m still working my way through it.) And Kristen Ashley’s latest Chaos book Ride Steady comes out at the end of the month. I can’t wait.
I was wearing a pair of fabulous two and a half inch mules when I arrived at the theatre to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. After getting my seat, I decided to visit the ladies’ room since the movie is 2+ hours long. As I was walking along the fully light, flat, main aisle leading to the exit, I rolled on my ankle and face-planted in front of the packed theatre. I broke my left foot and scraped my right knee. Apparently, I have been rejected by the Avengers.
There I was, minding my own business while I went to see a movie, when the carpet in the theatre mistook me for Chuck Norris and tried to grab me from beneath my feet. I landed hard, breaking a foot and skinning my knee. But I fought back hard. I absolutely flattened that carpet. As far as I know, it’s still lying there, not moving, in too much pain to say a word. And I walked away. Maybe it wasn’t mistaken after all.
PS – in both versions, I stayed for the entire movie and didn’t go to the emergency room until after it was over, for I am a hard-core movie watcher. And stubborn.
You can get e-books legally – for free or under a dollar. No, I’m serious!
Below are a list of sites that send out daily, semi-weekly, or weekly emails that list e-books that are on sale. These are all legitimate sites and these emails don’t cost you a thing; authors have paid these marketing companies to be included in these lists to get the word out about their books.
You can select what genres you like to read – they aren’t just romance. So pick your reading pleasure and have notifications about free and cheap books sent directly to you. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Shameless Book Club – Romance only
If you try a free book and like it, you can support the author by purchasing other books they’ve written at normal prices – that is what the freebie was intended to do. If you don’t like the book, you can delete it with no guilt.
Go forth and click. Just make sure you have room on your e-reader
A year ago this week, I quit my day job to write full-time. What do I have to show for it?
Two years ago (May 2013 to May 2014), I wrote two novels and two short stories, in addition to my regular administrative assistant position.
From May 2014 to May 2015, I finished one novel and one short story.
Yes, on paper it looks like I’ve been half as productive as when I was working, but numbers aren’t everything.
If I don’t have the numbers, what have I accomplished this year?
1. I went to my first reader event – Romancing the Capital – and learned enough that I was confident enough to sign up as a presenting author next year. (If you are going to be in Ottawa in early May next year, I promise you’ll have a great time.).
3. I learned a ton about the business of publishing which is only going to help as I continue in this industry.
4. I have been writing. I have 100,000+ words sitting on my laptop. That is the equivalent of two more novels, which would definitely make me more productive than the year before. But since they aren’t published, it’s going to make next year look all the more impressive.
What does 2015/2016 hold?
1. One more Hollywood to Olympus novel. I hope to have book 4 (Sean and Caitlin’s story) out in the fall. I’m going to miss Hollywood to Olympus; it’s been a great experience but I think I am wrapping up the series in 2015. I can’t believe I wrote a series and had it published. Talk about a dream come true. I have ideas for a few more stories from the set but I’ll have to see if I have time to go back and tell them all.
2. I had to temporarily set aside H20 #4 because a great opportunity came up. I am currently neck-deep in a new contemporary series. I’m not releasing any details yet but it’s gonna be hot. And sexy. And funny.
3. Once I finish my new contemporary, and finish book 4 (so, in August), I hope to get to work on a new sci-fi shifter series which was based on my now out-of-print short story Bear With Me. I hope to have the first story out by Christmas.
4. Speaking of Christmas, I also need to get another holiday story out because that was too much fun to do only once. It is yet another project that is already started. (Dom and Olive are a crazy couple. Their relatives are no better.)
And that’s just in the next six months.
Stick with me, kids. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.