Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Last Gift To You

Tonight's the last night of Hanukkah. I hope you've enjoyed some of your gifts. Remember, Rebecca York's contest runs through December 11th, so scroll down and leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of her book, DRAGON MOON.

And my last gift for you is another Smashwords coupon. This one is 50% off WHEN DANGER CALLS, and it's good through the end of the year. Use Coupon Code ET46A at checkout. I hope you'll enjoy it. This should give you plenty of time to read it before the sequel, WHERE DANGER HIDES is released in May. And if you want a dirt-cheap hard cover, email me.

(I have pleas for reader help at the end of this post—please read through)

My next NOOKcolor discovery really isn't about the device as much as about the programming and communication between the bookstore and the reader. My daughter-in-law gave me a gift certificate for Barnes & Noble for Hanukkah. I went to their website and 'registered' the certificate in my account. Then, I bought a book using my NC. When I checked my account on the website, lo and behold, it "knew" to use my gift certificate funds rather than the credit card associated with the NC account. Frabjous Day. I'm still refraining from going hog wild. I downloaded a slew of samples, but I will buy them only after I read the sample and decide I have to know what comes next.

On the home scene, the remodel is still going well—knocking on my desk. We had our first inspection, and it passed; nothing could move forward until the inspector signed off on the electrical.

Then there's the "this would NEVER fly in a book" scene.

I was washing the sheets, and didn't know that the entire box of fabric softener sheets was in the washer. I'm talking a Costco-sized box, about ¾ full. Not only were there crumpled, wet, softener sheets everywhere, but the cardboard box was reduced to soggy fragments. If you did want to write this scene, it would have to be a secondary character—heroines or heroes don't get into messes like this. But no matter, the fact that it took hours to deal with the mess—running the machine empty, then doing each sheet separately to get out the cardboard globs—would require all sorts of finagling.

In the actual writing, I'm reaching the point in my WIP where everything has to hit the fan. (In my plot 'outline' this would be: Bad Stuff Happens.) A washing machine crisis just won't cut it.

My challenge with this book has been the requisite children. Both were either shown or alluded to in previous books, so I can't exactly pretend they don't exist. However, second only to killing pets in fiction is putting kids in harm's way. So the writing has been going slowly, as I try to come up with logical ways to make sure I'm not going to traumatize these youngsters, while still providing the action/adventure scenes that my Blackthorne books have come to include.

But "only trouble is interesting," and to wrap things up with the action being resolved while the hero and heroine were hiding out (with the kids) won't make for a good story—even with a washing machine crisis.

It's time to buckle down, get the words onto the page, and then deal with fixing it later. You have to know it's all right to write crap, because at least you can fix crap. Once I reach the end (and since I've got 85K words written, it needs to be soon), I can go back and clean things up—no pun intended.

And now, I'm turning things over to you.

I've been asked to host a 'forum' at Coffee Time Romance. It's not until next September, but I'm host for the entire month. What sort of writing-related topic would you be interested in? I see it as much a give-and-take opportunity as a 'I'm the Expert' (because I don't think I am.) Please help me out with some ideas. What aspects of the writing process and/or business would you like to know more about?

I could also use more pictures for my Friday Field Trips. We're reaching the bottom of my supply. I'd hate to discontinue the feature—or are you tired of it?

Please help!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh...we ARE connected by ESP, Terry! I had a dryer disaster myself--involving a pencil in the lint filter--and I was going to post on it today (but changed my mind at the last minute.) Ack!

Lately, I'd like to hear about how folks work writing into their day (I work it into mine pretty well, but the holidays are a challenge), tips on writing setting...and I always find it interesting how writers develop characters.

I like Friday field trip! Don't know if I have any great pics, though. :(

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth - they don't have to be 'great' - anything new and different is always appreciated.

And thanks for the suggestions.

Grace Elliot said...

When my son was a baby and I was breastfeeding, I 'broke' a dryer with a breast pad which got stuck in the filter. The mechanic was mystified as to what it was ...I didnt enlighten him. New mother's have precious little dignity as it is.

Terry Odell said...

Grace - I totally agree. (And I breast fed my twins, so I know of what you speak!)

Wynter said...

I enjoy your Friday field trips. And I would enjoy a feature on promoting online on your Coffee Time Romance event.

Rebecca Zanetti said...

Great blog post! Good luck with your forum. I like topics about character arcs, industry news and promotion. :)

Terry Odell said...

Wynter - thanks (and a great idea, although I'm not sure I'm best qualified to give it!)

Rebecca - thanks for your suggestions. I'm going to keep a list.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Love the laundry story! Hope you enjoy your last night of the holiday.

I like the Friday photos. How about writing about motive in crime novels? Or that may not be so good for romance. OK, for romance, maybe a love hate scenario.

Terry Odell said...

TerryS - thanks, and thanks for the suggestion. Motivation is always good; motives would tie in nicely.

Jemi Fraser said...

I hope everything is working well in the laundry room now!!

The forum sounds terrific! I've enjoyed all of your helpful posts (setting, description, pov...) in the past - you always have a crisp way of showcasing your points.

Terry Odell said...

Jemi - the laundry room is fine--it's the sheets that are still a little to "fresh-scented". I ran them through another wash plus 2 rinse cycles, but they're still fragrant.

Thanks for your kind words about my craft posts.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful Hannukiah!

Maybe it's too convenient, but can the fictional kids be off with their grandparents or other relatives?

I'd like to see a discussion of the Writer's Journey - and whether you've tried to use that "template" for any stories.

Terry Odell said...

Leonard - thanks for the suggestion. Sadly, I needed to get rid of the grandparents for the beginning of the book, so I sent them on a tour of the Galapagos! Be careful what you write--it could end up being a corner you can't get out of.

Thanks for the sugggestion. The Writer's Journey scares the heck out of me, as does any other 'plotting' method'. It would make for an interesting forum discussion, to be sure.