Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leaving So Soon?

I really wanted to create a four seasons cherry tree montage for the blog this year, but my cherry tree had other ideas. It's only August and the tree is dropping its leaves like it's October. So, I find myself showing you the aftermath of a record-breaking summer. There's been plenty of rain, but the temperatures have stayed in the 90's almost every day. That's taken a toll on my cherry tree. The photos above are from top left and going clockwise--August, February, April, and June. I'll admit the winter photo of snow-laden branches is not the norm for winter in Georgia. ; ) Usually the tree is lace-work limbs in the winter, clacking in the stiff northwest wind. I couldn't resist the lovely shot I got this year with our snow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And the Cover Is...

~~A Christmas Walk is at the printer and will be here in September--right on schedule for Temple Founder's Day on September 18. The cover is glorious! I found the image at http://www.istockphoto.com/ and Diana Black designed the cover around it. Check out Diana's website at http://www.diana-designs.net/ It pays to hire the very best as you can see. ; )

Monday, August 9, 2010

House Party Alchemy

~~Cherry Hill is magic! When I volunteered to host a Forum house party, I saw it as a chance to try out my novel's setting on a group of talented writers. If Susan, Claire, Deniz, Adderbury, Marilyn, Spesh, Becky, Ron, Jill, and Tara could interact with my small Georgia town well enough to create a story, I would be happy.
~~Well, I'm ecstatic! We had a stellar house party. Among us, we wrote 180,976 words from Thursday night, July 29, to Saturday night, August 7. I had prepared about 10,000 words before hand. I didn't use all of them, and some had to be reshaped to fit the story as we went. As the other writers interacted with their characters, I found myself describing more and more about Laura Grace Chandler's home town, Cherry Hill, Georgia.
~~My characters--Laura Grace, Samantha, Rosemary, and Dean--had to respond to the story as well. I wrote a total of 13,646 words across the nine days of the house party. My total original words of all types connected with the house party is 18,410. That's amazing! Much of this material will be useful with some reshaping in my novel, Mother's Day. More importantly, my understanding of the relationship between Laura Grace and Rosemary has become clear. This is one to the emotional cores of my story. I hadn't seen a way to tell this part of the story until my fellow writers reacted to my town. Now I can write Mother's Day as it should written.
~~To my Forum family, thank you, one and all, dear friends for this gift. It's beyond anything I could have imagined.

Monday, August 2, 2010

House Party? Am I invited?

~~The short answer is yes! You're invited to travel to Cherry Hill, GA, the setting of my novel in progress.
~~The long answer takes some explaining. ; ) I'm a member of the CompuServe Books and Writers Forum and an active participant in the Writers Exercises folder. My fellow members and I do writing craft exercises every month and every few months, we hold an online house party in the setting of one of our works in progress. This time, my Laura Grace Chandler is hosting over forty characters that range from contemporary to historical and fantasy to scifi. Twelve different writers are adding to the running story that started late Thursday night and will continue into the coming weekend. They are from all over the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We trust each other with our characters and, as the story evolves, we can find our creations doing all sorts of strange and wonderful things. The greatest thing about a house party is that, as you write by the seat of your pants, you have to respond to suggestions and situations you could not have thought of by yourself. Characters have a way of deepening and stretching in reaction to the scenes and the writer's grasp on the person that inhabits their stories deepens with it.
~~If you would like to sample the story go to:
You do not have to be a member of the forum to read the story. But a word of warning: It is wickedly fast, well over 200 posts long, and no where near to completion. You just might find yourself hooked. ; )
If you want to get a glimpse of how we communicate with each other outside of the story, try the commentary thread here:
~~Happy reading! ; )