Friday, July 29, 2011

Female Friday

Usually Female Friday is reserved for women from history some famous, others infamous and most forgotten however this Friday will celebrate a modern woman. Drumroll please.

And the Female is

Bethenny Frankel

I'm sure everyone knows about her Skinnygirl brand, her reality shows on Bravo that include Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny is Getting Married, Bethenny Ever After.

So why did I chose her?

Because she is someone I would be friends with. Her quick snappy mouth, her nonsense attitude that still is fun and strength. I like not easily insult but a comment because I let loose the F word like people say, well, Like. We're like minded. She wants to move to LA so do I but I too have a life in New York. Besides, that I've learned things from her. Hell, I'm a skinny girl now even though I have a cake cooling on my kitchen counter.

I think we can all relate to some part of her life. Either, you struggle on where your career is heading and making it grow, dating, marrying, marriage and motherhood. Our paths might have been different, road bumps and detours in different points in our road but we all follow the same route.

During this time, we must celebrate women and ourselves. I purchased here books from the first and was thrilled when she got her own show, enough with those other "Housewives". Bethenny is someone who will tell you straight and her advice can be applied immediately. None of that washy secret-crap.

Also she has a life that I would like, career, husband, child and dog. My dog would be a Cavailer King Charles Spaniel.

Only difference it will be my life, built by me. And the greatest thing I like about Bethenny is that she shows you that you can end up there. So right now, I'll enjoy the journey and watch Bethenny, Bryn and Jason.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wednesday Review

Anyone who has an association with books, publishing, business, authors and readers are talking about Border's shutting down. Some people swear that publishing is dying. Can't you hear the book business gasping for air? I can't.

The business is changing.

How will the business be once the storm settles? That I don't know. Sheesh, if I knew that I would be racking in the dough. The business model will change however people will still read and write. It's in our DNA. Our forefathers sat around the fire and shared tales and others drew on the cave walls. We all sit up when someone says I got a good story or when someone tells us this book is great.

So, Border's will be no more. Sure, the market collapsed and like people realized that during the good times they purchased houses they couldn't afford, dealt with foreclosure and other such things, businesses such as Border's dealt with same fiscal problems. Rough times will always reveal bad business practices. Sure the economy added to the dilemma with people keeping cash in their pockets. Added to that is the business model is changing, ereaders, self-publishing, e-publishers.

But people will always read. It's just too sad that some people will be unemployed and Border's won't be around. I'll miss the store. My favorite on 57 street and Park Avenue closed months ago and now this one.

How do you think publishing with evolve? What is the Pros and Cons about the change in the industry? Is there a store that you miss?

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Not Thinking There for I'm not? I Hope Not.

I sat here wondering what subject I wanted to write about or even searched for inspiration. But my mind has closed for the day. So instead of getting stressed then having Writer's block, I decided to do nothing. I'll grab my book (the one I'm reading) and lay back and do nothing. So I'm shutting down or wasting time on Twitter.

Until the next post, people. And if you can get a chance to lay back do it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Female Friday

Rosalia de Castro
In Spain 1837, Maria Rosalia Rita de Castro, known as Rosalia de Castro, was born to a well-off family in Galicia, Spain.  Rosalia was educated and as women of her era, married, Manuel Murguia.
 As with many poets, her life was marked with tragedy and heartbreak, including the death of her young son and the stillbirth of her daughter. And with poverty in her life, she remained committment to the poor and defenseless and a believer in women's rights.   It was that belief and love that had her writing in Galician . A tongue considered a language of the poor, laborers, and illiterate. Not that it stopped her, she composing haunting poems in the dialect and became a revered Spanish poet. A poet still loved in Spain. 
Rosalia de Castro on the 500 Pesetas

Her poetry reflected her life with it's melancholy, longing tone. When I read her poems, each word skips over my skin and whips through me as the first fall winds come in.  That sensation is accomplished even in English. One doesn't read the poems, you are engulfed, twisted and turn, forced to experience each emotion of the words then released into a boneless heap forever changed by the written word.

As with many poets, her life was marked with tragedy and heartbreak, including the death of her young son and the stillbirth of her daughter. And with poverty in her life, she remained committment to the poor and defenseless and a believer in women's rights. 

And Spain remaines dedicated to her.  May 17 1863 was the date of the first publication of her book Cantares Gallegos or Galician Songs and now that day is Dia das Letras Galegas or Galician Literature Day.

I can add more about her life but I'll include a poem and let you meet her.
                                                             Negra Sombra/ Black Shadow
Cando penso que te fuches,
negra sombra que me asombras,
ó pé dos meus cabezales
tornas facéndome mofa.
Cando maxino que es ida,
no mesmo sol te me amostras,
i eres a estrela que brila,
i eres o vento que zoa.
Si cantan, es ti que cantas,
si choran, es ti que choras,
i es o marmurio do río
i es a noite i es a aurora.
En todo estás e ti es todo,
pra min i en min mesma moras,
nin me abandonarás nunca,
sombra que sempre me asombras.
When I think that you have parted,
Black shadow that overshades me,
At the foot of my head pillows
You return making fun of me.
When I fancy that you've gone,
From the very sun you taunt me
And you are the star that shines
And you are the wind that moans.
If there's singing it's you who sings,
If there's weeping it's you who weeps,
And you are the river's rumour
And the night—and the dawn.
Everywhere you are in every thing,
For and within me you live
Nor will you ever leave me,
Shadow that always shades me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Review

At the 2011 RWA Nationals, I took a dialogue workshop from Molly Harper. Well, I laughed and scribbled notes. She offered great advice that was brilliant in it's simplicity. During the book signing, I dutifully stood on line and received my autographed book of How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf.

Last week, I cracked it open and started reading. Mo Wenstein moves from the hot, humid south to crispy, cold Grundy, Alaska. Her neighbor is Cooper Graham, a man who growls at her, which is appropriate since he's a werewolf.

However, people have gone missing and when their bodies have been they've been ripped apart and eaten by wolves, large wolves. Is Cooper the culprit? Mo doesn't believe so.

I found the book a frothy, fun read that works like Calgon bubbles once did, it takes you away. I like Mo as a heroine. This heroine feels like a friend and you're listen to her gab like girlfriends do.

If you like chick-lit then pick up this book or werewolves then this is one for you.
I liked the breezy tone and the character depth of the heroine and hero even the secondary characters. A hairy Northern Exposure.

This novel is first person Point of View (POV). I wish I had gotten Cooper's POV but that's my personal preference nevertheless this story works and pulls you in so you can have a rocking good time.

So out of four chocolate bars, I give it three chocolate bars. Why chocolate bars instead of stars? One reason and one reason only, chocolate is delicious, sweet and a treat just like books.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wednesday Review

In the August issue of The Writer is an article, "Use Your Camera as Your Notebook" written by Tanya Egan Gibson.

The article explains how taking pictures from everything from light or sky, a dress a character might wear, or a chair the villain might sit in, all can be used to help during the moments when setting slips from being visualized in your mind's eye or when you wish for a new detail. She recommends creating a notebook of settings and information that can't be photographed then organize those pictures for present and future reference.

I must say that this is such a simple thought that I should have thought of it. And I'm not one to take pictures though my cell has a camera. I always remember that info after everything has died down. But today, I've been clicking away at the sky, sidewalk, building and the various times of day as the sun striking the glass. Details that would bring something new and fresh to my writing.

I know it's going to be great fun, walking through the city and clicking away then exploring the different details I might have missed. A new discovered in a place where I'm jaded by the sights. Now everything seems fresher.

I hope you pick up the magazine and read the article. And if you have any tricks you use for setting or other character details, please share?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Writing Way

Yesterday, I was treated to a mani/pedi.  Hooray! I've been feeling purple lately.  A color of royalty and it makes my phone.  Too toot my own beauty horn, I must say my nails look beautiful flying over the white keys of my keyboard.  A perfect way to write.

It's a lady thing. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Review

In October, I submitted my category romance, which was rejected. Thankfully, the editor told me what was wrong with it--character layering. So, these past months, I've been working on improving that skill.

Then at RWA Nationals, I came across a book, The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes

The different types and the creating characters turned-on a light in my head that I might have to put on shades. Nowi know how to fix my character layering.

I recommend this book for everyone and anyone dealing with this problem. After all, characters are the best part of books.

Pro: Everything about this book.

Con: I can't think of one.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A First Timer, no more

I registered for my first RWA National conference back in March or April and this past week, I attended it and am no longer a first timer.  The orange ribbon won't hang from my nametag again though I'm hoping that Golden Heart Finalist or Rita Finalist will soon.

Victoria Alexander and Me
Anyway on Tuesday, the Literacy signing, a crush of romance readers and fans filled a large ballroom where tables lined the room, authors sitting behind their pile of books.  The blend of heat, human flesh, and paper and the almost non-existent air conditioned air filled the room.  Luckily, Victoria Alexander gave out fans to cool the excitement of being surrounded by books and an authors.  So, I walked around seeing my favorite authors, Christina Dodd who remembered me from Twitter.  I was so very thrilled that I nearly floated away like a helium balloon escaping its grounding weight to float into the upper sphere.  Susan Elizabeth Philips who signed my Call Me Irresistible. I asked for a picture and she gladly stood from her seat.  Of course, my phone froze, (I hate that stupid thing) and her daughter saved the day and took the picture. I went home ready for Wednesday.
Susan Elizabeth Philips and me

Wednesday, off to the conference.  I attended workshops and took notes until my hand cramped.  I also ordered the recording because there so many great workshops but only one of me who lacks that ability to be in one place at one time.  Then the free books, sat down to lunch a couple of book by Madeline Hunter (love her), someplace else a free book. At the end of the day, my mind had so much to absorb.   A half a day that wet my toes because on Thursday, I would be drenched.

Thursday, workshops from 8:30 to 5:30.  I moved from workshop to workshop. Taking notes and asking questions and getting answers to that helped me in my revisions of my category romance for the Harlequin Desire line.
Then came the publishers signing which is a room filled with their authors signing free books. I was in heaven.  An romance addict surrounded by her drug.  I snatched up every book and tried authors I've seen yet never risked.  But I was always asked the two same questions:  How do you say you name and Are you have fun? 

The first question is one I've dealt with all my life so it's expected after I introduce myself.  And the second one received the same answer, "Oh Yeah!"  I imagine my eyes were bulging, not wanting to miss seeing everything and the brackets wrinkles cracking through my face deepened from my smile.   I didn't care.

I had some many books that I had to have my mother come with the shopping cart to pick them up to bring home.  My scrawny arms and Fibromyalgia and Lupus affected body couldn't do and made me struggle through this days.  I swore that I would be found under a towering pile of books, suffocated by the written word.

Lisa Kleypas and me.
Sherrilyn Kenyon white dot in foreground.   .
Friday, the last day.  So my feet were swollen and achy from the walking and sitting, and the walking and the sitting and the walking.  My left arm couldn't straightened from carrying books. My energy level nearing E and needed fuel which wasn't food but rest.  I promised that I would do nothing until Tuesday and I keep that promise.  I attended my workshops, learning about police officers, emotions and others topics.  I spotted friends I had seen in a while.  I liked that part too.  I met new people and then came the luncheon.

I sat down at a table with Karen Hawkins!!! Then Sherrilyn Kenyon spoke.  She spoke of her life, her older brother who taught her to read with a wrinkled Spiderman comic, the same brother who believed that her books would be published and the brother who died before he could see her success.  I wept, having similar hurting experiences in my life, I felt the pain for her too.  Though some people might take away to never give up no matter the hardships, me, I learned one lesson-- Everyone needs a champion!  The one person who believes in us, that cheers us on when we feel we're in the dirt, the one that we sometimes get up for when we want to stay down.  I'm gladly to say I have a few champions.

So, I'm no longer a first timer. I learned craft skills, which is helpful but I learned a very important lesson I didn't even know would be taught.  I'm a writer and would not give up writing for any reason or hardship.  This is what I want and one day, others will be entertained by the books I write.