Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Back Brain Blender

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I know you're wondering what on earth a Back Brain Blender is. ;-) 

It's my term for my subconscious mind where images of everyday life, snippets of conversation, ideas for scenes all come together to create story. I've found that it works best when I let go of trying to write. That's why I keep notepads on my nightstand, in both autos, and anywhere I might have an idea splatter out of my subconscious and into the light.

For example: I'd completed two intense months of edits and plugging holes on my WIP when we took a mid-January vacation in Jamaica. Yes, warm, tropical, delightfully romantic Jamaica. I truly didn't expect to write a word. Of course, my subconscious had other ideas. As I relaxed on our veranda surrounded by the verdant green and the hummingbirds, I found my brain spinning out bits and pieces like a blender operated without a top. It's like turning over a compost pile to hunt for treasure--rich, fertile imagination roared to front and center.

 I took a notebook with me just in case, and that proved to be wise. When I got back to cold, wintry Georgia, I had taken thirteen pages of scenes for two future WIPs, three blogposts, and ideas for the pitch I gave twice on February 20. 

That's what I mean about a back brain blender. You never know when your next story idea, a scene that unlocks a block, or ideas for telling others about your work will come.

Let the Back Brain do its thing. Just keep paper and pen handy for the "accidents."

Next Week: IWSG

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Book Pusher's February Mini Book Reviews Part 2: L. Bujold, D. Gabaldon, K. Hannah, S. Meissner

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 A fabulously twisty and rewarding SF Romance by a master in the field. Must Read, but only if you've read the entire Vorkosigan series beforehand. 

BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE Diana Gabaldon: Historical

You can't go wrong with Diana Gabaldon's books! This one is a great read that cuts to the heart of one of her beloved characters, Lord John Grey. Add a neat mystery and Jamie Fraser and it's as good as a read gets. 
THE NIGHTINGALE Kristin Hannah: Historical Women's Fiction 

A deeply felt and stirring story of the choices two sisters must make in occupied France in World War II. Must Read! 

SEA CHANGE Darlene Marshall: Historical Romance

Take one delightfully handsome rogue. Add an unexpectedly unconventional heroine. And you have the perfect recipe for a light, historical romance. 

 STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD Susan Meissner: Historical Women's Fiction

This is a beautiful story of the risks and rewards of friendship that survives all strain of reaching for what one holds most dear. Susan Meissner delivers as usual. 

Next Week: Where Do You Read?


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Book Pusher's February Mini Book Revew, Part 1: J. Bourne, V. Denman, L. McNeal, A. Mulligan, B. Rogan,

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The Return of the Book Pusher 
Yes, I'll admit it. I can't stop pushing! And I don't want to. ;-) 

THE BLACK HAWK Joanna Bourne: Historical Romance

Wonderful book! Jo Bourne's unconventional romance plot is amazing. You'll keep turning the pages and eat this one up. 

JADED Varina Denman: Christian Romance with elements of Women's Fiction

Along with Denman's JUSTIFIED, the Mended Heart Series offers a welcome, much more complex plot than usual. The commentary on Christians and their self-righteous behavior is spot on. 

 DOLLBABY Laura Lane McNeal: Historical Women's Fiction

Amazing debut! This is a beautiful story of resilience in Civil Rights era New Orleans--everyone has a story.

 CHAPEL SPRINGS SURVIVAL Ane Mulligan: Christian Women's Fiction

Another delightful, mishap after another continues in Mulligan's Chapel Springs. As always Claire Bennett is at the center of them all. Sweet read.

 ROWING IN EDEN Barbara Rogan: Literary

Must Read for how a professional weaves plot, 3-D characters, internals, and dialog into a wonderful story. 

You know I'll be back with more books for you to drool over later in the month. If none of these is your cup of tea, just wait. 

Next Week: More books...of course! ;-) 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG: Pitch! It's Getting Scary...

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 Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG will be Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!

Yikes! I sure hope my first pitches are fastball, not a snowball. ;-) 


I'm doing my first pitches for my WIP on February 20. I'm just a bit shaky. Then again, I've gotten ready by hard work and persistence. It's time to get my WIP out there to sink or swim. To that end, I've been diligently honing my pitch and query. I'm attempting to write an interesting synopsis, too. Double Yikes!
Do you have any suggestions? Any hard-learned lessons to share? Any insight into how to handle the nerves and what to say in the session itself? I'll take anything you might like to add about this new step in my writing journey. 

Kathryn Craft's excellent Pitching to Agents: How to Throw a Fiction Fastball has been one of my invaluable my guides. 

Speaking of pitches: Check out the 21st Dear Lucky Agent contest from Chuck Sambuchino.
Next Week: More Mini Book Review--Of course! You think I haven't been reading? Perish the thought!
BTW, I didn't mean to highlight the entire post in white. Really, I didn't! I'm a word person, not a tech person. So sue me. ;-)