Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Hornbek Homestead

Today, I'm over at author C. Patrick Schulze's blog. He was a guest here not long ago, and he's invited me to his place. I'm talking about "Needlepoint Plotting". Hope you'll pop over there.

Meanwhile, since it's Friday, here at my blog, I've got some pictures to share. Last weekend, we went up to Florissant for their Heritage Days – the pancake breakfast at the firehouse convinced hubster we should give it a go. Across the road, they set up craft booths and had other offerings. Definitely small town, and definitely fun.

We took the back route home, and this time stopped at the Hornbek Homestead, something we'd passed several times before. In honor of the Heritage Days, they had costumed interpreters and were even baking bread in the wood stove. Which smelled scrumptious, I might add.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More on Point of View

OK - first things first. The New Kitchen! If you want to see a bunch more pictures, including some "Before" shots, click here.

I thought I'd continue with my POV notes as I get ready for tonight's Savvy Writers chat. Yesterday, I gave a brief "definition" of the basic point of view options. Today, a little more detail about each one. And again, any suggestions are appreciated.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Savvy Point of VIew

What I'm reading: First Cases, Volume 3, edited by Robert J. Randisi

Thanks, Jacqui for your great advice yesterday. Definitely some good takeaway truths.

And just because this is my blog, I thought I'd share a picture of another visitor to our home yesterday. I'm sure I could have figured out a clever tie-in to today's topic, but--I didn't. Feel free to suggest one.

Right about now, a few thousand writers, agents, publishers and assorted book people will be in Orlando for the annual Romance Writers of America Conference. Of course, thousands more won't be making the trip, myself included.

A writing site, Savvy Writers, is holding an on-line symposium for those who won't be at nationals, and I volunteered to host a one hour chat on Point of View. At the time, it seemed like fun. POV was one of my first writing "lessons" and I'm probably overly aware of it when I read. Now that the chat is looming, I'm trying to figure out how to handle information exchange during a live chat. For the most part, you can only post a few lines—a short paragraph at most—and it's a "chat" not a lecture or a workshop. I'd love some help

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forward Motion

I'd like to welcome paranormal author Jacqui Jacoby to Terry's Place today. Working in both the fiction and non fiction world, Jacqui is a retired martial artist, as well as a workshop teacher, and student, having returned to school for a second B.A. Today she's talking about moving forward.

“Try starting on the second paragraph …” ~Lucien Carr

Forward motion makes the world go round in a very real, astronomical way. All that gravity and stuff … spinning planets, etc. It’s not something we really think of as we sit down to our computer to open our Facebook, check Twitters, open the day planner and then, finally, open that file we either love or hate, depending on the day of the week.

Forward motion creates and maintains a writer’s career, it writes the books in that file. It moves us in the right direction every time we start to type.

If you are a writer, just starting out, that new cursor blinking at you, waiting for you to type the first words can be scary. You have that whole novel in front of you and do not know what to expect.

If you are close to finishing your first story, then you have entered it in a few contests. You are awaiting the results, hoping for the agent or editor to say you did this right.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Updates: I'm now the proud recipient of an award for the top 45 mystery book blogs. I never applied for it, so it came as an out-of-the-blue surprise.
As for the house, the contractor hooked up the kitchen sink, garbage disposal, water line to the fridge and most of the dishwasher Friday. I'm hoping that by the time you read this, he'll be well on his way to getting the stove installed, and the bathroom sinks plumbed. The end--at least of this phase--is in sight.

When I began writing, my crit partners would often return my pages with passages labeled R.U.E.--Resist the Urge to Explain.. I think it's a common "beginner's" mistake and I thought it might be worth a mention.

Anyone who's undertaken writing has heard "Show, Don’t Tell"—probably more times than they've wanted. This isn't a hard and fast rule, because often telling is more efficient than showing, and done well, gets the point across. But too much telling, especially when it comes across as author intrusion can put the brakes on the pace of your story, and can do exactly the opposite of what the author intended.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Around the world

First - before you head off on today's Field Trip, please pop over and say hello to me at The Romance Studio blog. Then come back, grab some coffee and enjoy today's pictures.

Mark Danielson, a future guest blogger included a slew of pictures with his post. Way too many for a guest slot, but he agreed to share them for a Friday Field Trip.Mark is an airline pilot and has covered a lot of ground over his career. I'll open the comments to folks who want to identify (or try) the locations of the shots he's sharing this week.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Party's Not Quite Over...

What I'm reading: Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle

I want to thank everyone who came by my launch party yesterday. Welcome new blog followers, and thanks to those who are now following me on Twitter. The winners of my drawings were:

Lanae T.
K.M. Wieland
Maryann Miller
Matt Bille
Jemi Fraser

If you haven't already emailed me with your contact information, you have until Saturday to do it without forfeiting your prizes.

But wait. There's more. If you respond now...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's a Party! Rules here

Welcome to the virtual launch party for Nowhere to Hide, plus a celebration of surpassing the 200 follower mark. I've decided to make things easy. All action will take place in the comments, but I'm going to post several separate excerpts, etc., today. Comments in any of them count toward winning one of my giveaway prizes. Headers will all say "Launch Party" so scroll down to join in.

What are the prizes? I've got bookmarks, post cards, notepads and other miscellaneous swag I picked up at RomCon. I've got books (some gently read).

To enter: leave a comment. For an extra chance to win, be one of my blog followers, either through Blogger/Google or Facebook Networked Blogs. Another chances to win by following me on Twitter. Also, enter my Swag contest (see the tab) for yet another chance.

The only "catch" is that this blog system doesn't collect your email address when you leave a comment, so you're going to have to check back to see if you won a prize.

If I draw your name, you'll have until Saturday to e-mail me with your snail mail address. Due to legal and postage issues, any snail mail prizes will have to be limited to US addresses. But if you're out of the US, there are still download type prizes, so don't go away!

Launch Party #7

A HUGE Thank You to everyone who's dropped by to party. I will be drawing the last name at 8 PM Mountain Time, so make sure you've left a comment somewhere on one of the party posts to be eligible.

Launch Party #6

Things are winding down, but I'm still accepting entries. Plenty of time to bring more food, scroll through all the excerpt posts, read the 'behind the scenes' at my website, as well as a couple of reviews.

This scene shows some local setting to give readers a quick sense of place, as well as show something about Graham--both as a cop and as a man. He's off to question one of the players in the case he's investigating. It's his first solo interview as a detective.

Launch Party #5

I think it's time to get a closer look at Graham. I had a lot of fun "interviewing" some Orange County deputy sheriffs (translation: buying them beer and listening to them talk). Of course, I did ask a few specific questions if I knew what I needed for a scene. Then it was a matter of making sure all those tidbits would fit the story and not just sound like I'd stuck them in to fill space.

Graham parked his unit and raced across the station parking lot. Clarke passed him and gave him the usual smirk. What was Clarke doing at Central? Maybe Schaeffer really was pitting them against each other.

Schaeffer wasn't in his office, and Graham breathed a little easier. Maybe he'd been gone all afternoon and hadn't noticed the lack of Graham's paperwork. He hurried to the computer he'd used earlier, breathing a sigh of relief when it was available. Scrolling through the directories, he cursed, softly at first, then louder. "Shit!"

Launch Party #4

Following up on the results of that shopping trip ... again, if something is worth page time, it needs to appear more than once. Graham has just asked Colleen to join him for dinner at a restaurant near her home (the one I researched so carefully, only to have it close before the book was published!) And yes, that French braid will come into play in a later scene.

Colleen considered the jeans she was wearing. She ought to change. But into what? She went into the bedroom and stared at all the bags, still scattered on the closet floor where she'd kicked them. Pulling out one garment after another, she realized she had no clue what kind of a place this restaurant was. Or why she gave a damn. What was wrong with jeans? She dug out Tracy's cell phone number. The new Colleen could call a girlfriend when she needed help with girl stuff.

Launch Party #3

Let's keep the party rolling. Please pass the word! Did you enjoy the scene from the cutting room floor? If you missed it, it's on my website--link's on the home page.

Next excerpt - another scene where Tracy helps show more about Colleen's character. We've seen that Colleen is starting to get established in her new life. Tracy's a kind of take-charge gal, and she wants to accelerate the process. But there still needs to be conflict. Much as retail therapy is fun, we have to see a little more than two women picking through the clothing racks at Nordstrom.

Launch Party - Refreshments!

What's a party with out food?

I've got some Nanaimo bars on the buffet. Graham baked 3 kinds of cookies: butterscotch chip, double chocolate chip, and lemon bars. If we ask nicely, he might bake some brownies too. Colleen doesn't cook much, but she's got all the fixings for some good coffee—whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, and chocolate sprinkles. Randy from Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire came all the way from Oregon with his cherry pie—just like his grandmother taught him to make.

And on the warming trays, Sarah has some of her pasta featuring her old-family recipe spaghetti sauce. Kelli, from What's in a Name? has her chicken with orange-mustard sauce. (Blake wants everyone to know he helped!)

Frankie from When Danger Calls has a tureen of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwich wedges.

So – what are you contributing to the virtual food spread? Let us know—and be entered in the drawings!

Launch Party #2

Continuing with using secondary characters--you met Tracy in Post #1. (If not, pop over and see how she's introduced). Sticking a character in a book for a single scene isn't a good idea unless the character is strictly a 'spear carrier'--someone in the background simply to add some authenticity to a scene. In Nowhere to Hide, Tracy has to appear again, and continue to move the story forward. The next excerpt comes a little later in the book, but it also picks up on points mentioned earlier. This also helps remind the reader what's happened. Sadly for authors, readers usually have to put the book down from time to time!

Launch Party #1

Let's start the party! Remember to comment for a chance to win.

When you're trying to get information across to your readers, dumping it on them doesn't work. One method I like to use is putting another character in the scene. Colleen's new in town, and the "plot people" around her are Graham, the hero--but she doesn't want much to do with him at first. And then there's Doris, her landlady, an elderly woman who seems to drift in and out of La-La-Land.

While Doris and Graham serve their purposes, sometimes it's important to show a little more about the character. Enter Tracy. She's Colleen's age, and the two hit it off. But you can't (or at least I can't) just bring Tracy in when you need her, glossing over the way they meet. There have to be at least some plot points in the scene.

Colleen's new in town. She's met a cop, and isn't happy about that. She's upset, so I send her to the local Y to burn off some of that nervous energy. I'm also going to have to get her a car, since she didn't drive from Oregon to Florida. And I want to show a bit more of her personality--the way she acts when she's not all flustered by Graham's presence.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Deliciousness of Research

I'm over at Naughty Author Chicks today, talking about the shady boundaries between romance sub-genres. While I'm gone, my guest today is Avery Aames, whose sharing some of her tasty research. I love foodie posts!

I am writing a series called A Cheese Shop Mystery that features a cheese shop owner as the amateur sleuth. To be authentic, I have to research cheese. That’s right, taste cheeses as research. All kinds of cheeses. In a variety of recipes. Oh, poor me. Oh, lucky day!

When I landed this series, I had no idea about the wealth of cheeses. Sure, I had tasted the usual suspects: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Roquefort, Feta. But did you know there are so many varieties of cheese that you can eat a different one every day of the year—or maybe three years? From all fifty United States as well as from around the world. With cool names like – Etorki, Taleggio, Roaring 40’s blue. From cheese makers with unusual names like Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove, Kerrygold, and more.

Monday, July 19, 2010

All Over the Place

What I'm reading: Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas

I'm doing the clone thing a lot this week. Today, I'm over at Mystery Writing is Murder, Elizabeth Spann Craig's fantastic blog. I'm talking about doing your homework when you write.

Tuesday, July 20th, author Avery Aames will be hosting visitors here. You'll want to be here for that, because it's another foodie post! Yep, her new cozy mystery series features a cheese shop. Now, she had fun doing her homework. Rumor has it there might be recipes. While Avery is greeting readers here, for a change of pace, I'll be blogging at Naughty Author Chicks. When Nowhere to Hide was picked up for review by an erotic site, I got to thinking about the blurred lines between genres, and frequent blog commenter, Wynter Daniels offered me a slot. It's definitely an adult blog, but my post is barely PG-13, I'd say.

Wednesday, the 21st, I'm having my official on line release party. Mark your calendars, because it's going to be a day where commenters and followers can win prizes—lots of prizes. If you're not already a follower of Terry's Place, there's time to hook up. And Twitter followers will have extra chances to win as well. Follow me there or on Facebook: Links are on the "Contact" tab above.

On Friday, July 23rd, I'll be at The Romance Studio, and on August 5th, Patricia Stoltey has invited me to talk about how I became a writer by mistake.

I'm also starting a new monthly contest—my Swag Giveaway. It'll run until August 15th, and details are on my Contest tab above.

So, for the 'meat' of today's blog, get over to Mystery Writing is Murder. Leave a comment over here, over there—I'll be spending some time with family today, but will check in whenever I can.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Diana Donahoo who is the winner of my Smashwords contest. Thanks to all who participated.

Check the Contest Tab above for my next contest!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Wales

Daughter Jess went to Wales. Before you get too impressed--she lives in Northern Ireland, so it's not THAT big of a trip. She's sharing pictures. And I've had some contributions from an international traveler, so those will be showing up on future Fridays. Meanwhile, enjoy. (Click the photos to enlarge)

And don't forget - today's the last official day to enter my Smashwords contest.

I asked Jess for a little information about the photos. If you have questions, shout out. She normally checks in a few times a day.

Gower photos. From the Gower Peninsula area of Wales, mostly taken between Penmaen and Three Cliffs Bay.

Gower Coast

Gower hedge

Gower countryside

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Decking the Walls

In addition to getting some of our furniture delivered, we had about a week off from contractor action. In other words, our home was ours for a while.

We've got the installation date for our countertops at last. And, as I feared, this was indeed the one item that fell well outside the window the company had given us when we ordered the materials. So, instead of today, it's one week from today before we have a kitchen that looks like a kitchen. It'll still be a few more days before everything else is hooked up and usable, but I'm looking forward to having a sink. And a stove. And a dishwasher that isn't in the middle of the living area.

But the place is beginning to look and feel like home, and I think it's because I finally got out the hammer, ladder and picture hangers and decked the walls with our personal (and familiar) belongings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

RomCon 2

Thanks to Elizabeth for some great advice on getting over those writing hurdles.

And I see I've passed the 200 follower mark. Thanks to everyone! I promised a party, and a party we shall have. I want to finish my RomCon recaps first, but we're definitely going to celebrate. Friday is the official release day for NOWHERE TO HIDE, so there's lots to be happy dancing about.

There are still lots of opportunities to enter the contest for a free book or short story download. Remember, there's no charge to download the free sample of Coping Mechanisms to find the answer to that part of the question. Details on the contest tab.

And I brought back LOTS of swag from RomCon. More than one person should have, so I'm going to start giving it away.

What do I have? Books. Lots of books. Bookmarks, cover flats, recipes, and who knows what else. So, when my Smashwords contest is over on Friday, I'll start a Swag contest. Stay tuned.

On Monday, I promised to go into the details of the CSI presentation. Forensic specialist Tom Adair spent much of his time debunking myths about what a CSI really does. As I mentioned, he's highly qualified, and even did some consulting work for the CSI Las Vegas show at one time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Working Around Absent Muses

Today I’m welcoming Elizabeth Spann Craig (who also writes as Riley Adams) to Terry’s Place. Have you ever gotten discouraged with your manuscript or hit a slow spot with your writing? Elizabeth shares some tips for working through it.

Working Around Absent Muses—Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

My muse and I haven’t been on speaking terms for years. She’s high-maintenance, easily offended, and rarely shows up for our writing sessions at all.

I’ve learned to work around her.

Most of writing is, after all, perspiration instead of inspiration. Yes, you need the original brainstorm to kick off your project—then you really just need a lot of dedication to get it finished and polished.

What if you’ve reached a spot in your story where you’re floundering? Lots of story middles are mushy because writers are um-ing and uh-ing their way through while looking for ideas.

Here are some tips to keep writing through the mushy parts…and uninspiring days:

Monday, July 12, 2010

RomCon Day 1

What I'm reading: Caught, by Harlan Coben

My original plan to leave Divide at a mid-morning hour to arrive for the first official sessions, which began at 2 PM. Easy-peasy. However, I discovered that there was a weapons demonstration/Q&A scheduled for 10 AM, and since that's something that's helpful to me as an author, I revamped my plans.

I got up early, hit the road by 7:30 and made it down the mountain with only one stretch of construction traffic to deal with. I arrived at the hotel with enough time to check in and go to the weapons demonstration. Only trouble—it was canceled. And, of course, it was too early to check into my room.

Remember what I said about bringing your own badge holder? I'm really glad I did. The badges they handed out were very nice, large plastic ones, with a nice lanyard donated by Samhain. But there was no holder. You just wore the badge around your neck.

I "modified" mine by using the nifty holder I brought from home, which allowed me to keep just about everything I needed all together. (And let's hope next time the organizers use a larger font for the names. Sometimes one had to get a little too up close and personal to read them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Around the block

While I'm at RomCon, here are some neighborhood shots, taken July 5th while hubster and I walked around our "block," about 2.3 miles.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

All About Conferences

Tomorrow, I'm heading off to a romance conference, RomCon, in Denver. It was a sort of spur of the moment decision. I saw a post about free admission and decided that since we were living in Colorado, Denver was within driving distance, and free was good. Of course, 'free' doesn't include the hotel or meals, but I thought it would be smart to mingle with live people for a change.

The 'catch' of the registration was that it's a Reader registration. It was far too late to sign up as a participating author, so I figured why not? I'll still be meeting the same people. There was a rather stern warning about Readers not being allowed to do anything in the way of promotion. NOWHERE TO HIDE isn't officially released, but I do have bookmarks. I wonder if handing them out in lieu of business cards, which I haven't updated, constitutes promotion?

On the up side of being "only" a reader, there's very little pressure to make sure I have everything perfect. I don't have to worry about presentations, handouts, PowerPoint failures. It'll be all about the mingling. I have barely begun my preparations. I topped off my gas tank, charged my shuffle, and am doing laundry.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Change of Place

What I'm reading: Thread of Fear, by Laura Griffin

And thanks to Elspeth for that wonderful creative post yesterday!

If you want a little more about NOWHERE TO HIDE, I'm a guest at Liana Laverentz's "Life is a Journey" today. Colleen showed up, too.

And, I notice that as of the time of writing this, I have 196 people following Terry's Place through Google. I can't believe I'm almost at 200. When I get there, we'll have to have a party! Tell your friends. Meanwhile, don't forget my contest.

Speaking of my contest—what do you think of the new blog layout? Feedback appreciated. Do you like the tabs rather than all the information on the sidebar? I'll confess to spending too much time trying to figure out how to add those tabs and pages, so my original plans to give you a 'tour' of my new office didn't pan out.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Writer's Journey

Today I'm pleased to turn Terry's Place over to Elspeth Antonelli. Every Wednesday, she creates a picture post at her blog, and she's sharing her creativity with us today.

Thanks so much, Terry, for letting me be your guest today.

If you're a writer then your writing could be viewed as this...

There are days when you write like this...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sweetening the Contest Pot

What I'm reading: Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle; Finding Hope by Katie Reus

If you're taking advantage of the long weekend for the July 4th holiday, have a great one. Normally, I tried to avoid purely promotional posts on this blog, but heck. 1) It's a holiday and 2) It's my blog. And I wanted to share some good news.

A trip through my email inbox. First, I got a notice from The Wild Rose Press saying that NOWHERE TO HIDE is available for pre-orders in paperback. I wasn't expecting that so soon; the release date is officially July 16th, and that's when the digital versions are out. Normally, print comes after digital. So that was good news. You can buy it here.

Then, I was surprised to find an email from "Got Romance Reviews" saying they'd posted a review of NOWHERE TO HIDE. I never expect these before the book is actually released. I opened the email and learned that the site was actually "Got Erotic Romance." Now, I know the publisher casts a wide net for reviews, but I don't write erotic romance. Yes, I have sex-on-the-page, but usually one or two scenes per book, and then, only after my characters have earned it – usually at least halfway through the book. So what was I going to find?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, USA

Have a very safe and happy holiday

And for a quick, fun read, here's a short-short I wrote years ago, primarily as an exercise in Point of View. I'd never written a child's POV before--or since.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Field Trip - Cheyenne Canyon

Today, I'm welcoming Jason Odell back to Terry's Place. He's an expert photographer, and I love sharing his work. I'll let him tell you about getting these shots.

I recently taught a photography workshop here in Colorado Springs. Normally, we expect sunny weather in June, but this time we got the strange anomaly of gloomy, overcast and rainy conditions. While these circumstances were less than ideal for the sweeping vistas we expect from Colorado, they were absolutely perfect for shooting in North Cheyenne Canyon, where the streams were flowing and the wild roses were blooming. Our class participants came away with some wonderful images of waterfalls, flowers and foliage in wet conditions not frequently encountered at this time of the year. In fact, we almost felt like we'd been transported to the Pacific Northwest for a day!

Helen Hunt Falls

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Seven Things

First – given the ups and downs of Smashwords yesterday, I want to ask you to read yesterday's post about my two stories that I've uploaded there. If you'd rather not read the whole post, just go to my Smashwords page and look at the blurbs for the stories. Words is free, and Coping Mechanisms is only 99 cents, but you can look at a sample before you commit to buying.

As an added incentive to try the Smashwords site, I'll offer a prize of a download of one of my Wild Rose Press short stories. All you have to do is email me (DON'T post it here in the comments!) and tell me the color of Amanda's hair in Coping Mechanisms, and the color of the bed sheets in Words. No purchase necessary to find the answers. Put Smashwords Contest in the Subject line.

I'll choose a winner (or winners, depending on how many entries I get—so send your friends over. The more entries, the more prizes.) Deadline: July 7th.

And now onto the topic of today's post. Roz Morris of Nail Your Novel awarded me The Versatile Blogger award. Thanks, Roz. I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself. I'm fairly open in this blog, so I'm not sure any of them are surprising, but here goes--and in no particular order: