Stacy...Sensibly Insane


I have my own little world, but it's okay - they know me here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

When is Enough, Enough



"When is enough, enough?"

I don't know if it's the air or what but I've had some of my own doubts lately. The scary part is it's not just me. I've read a number of other writers are feeling the same way in the past two weeks. Everyone seems to be questioning the worth. Is it worth the solitary work schedual? Is it worth all the rejections? Is it worth all the late nights, the bits and pieces of time we steal away from other things to write? Is it worth putting our hearts and souls out there just to get them slapped back or to hear nothing at all?

I can't answer any of those questions. I can only answer the two questions that are truly important to me. Why am I writing and who am I writing for? For me. I'm writing because I have to, because there are stories in me that want to be told. And I am writing for me, first and foremost. I know my stories are a little left of centre, they aren't the norm and who knows if they will sell but at least I'm enjoying them and entertaining myself first. It doesn't take the doubts away but at times like these it does remind me why I started writing in the first place...because I enjoy telling stories.

So try to remember why you started to write in the first place and I hope those of you who are struggling can find some of your own answers.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:12 PM :: 16 comments

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The Writing Coach

Thanks to MsCreativity, I went to this site which is holding a free course at The Writing Coach.

“The Writing Coach: 30 Days to Conquer Your Self-Doubt and Procrastination and Have 30,000 Words Under Your Belt”

Jacqui Lofthouse is a teacher and writing coach in the U.K. She started this Monday so you can catch up easily. She has some great insight.

I'm working with it and already got back into the ms that I was having some trouble with because of my has-to-be-perfect-the-first-time syndrome.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:32 AM :: 4 comments

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Episode #2: And the Winner is...

We've put the names of this week's contestants into the plastic fireman hat. Our 3 foot tall producer is about to pick...

The winner of the second episode of ESCAPE THE MONDAYN is.... Sarah Castleberry!

Congratulations! If you want to email me (on the profile page) your snail mail, I'll get your mini scrapbook kit in the mail!

I'd like to send out a huge thank you to all the other contestants. This game is nothing without you!

Our studio happily takes any viewers comments on requests for guest celebrities or just to let us know what you think of the show.

Don't forget to join us again next week for another brand new episode of...


Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 6:53 AM :: 5 comments

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Cool Author



I was at a chat with Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe at Romance Divas a few weeks ago and had a great time. They are funny gals. And here's another book to add to my must read pile.


Enslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter

She has the heart of a killer, and the body of an angel. . .

Eden Black walks among humans, protecting them from the murderous evil of other-worlders who abduct and enslave. And though she appears to be human herself, Eden is an alien, a Raka, distinguished by her golden hair and skin, and gifted with the ominous ability to kill without remorse – and with total accuracy. That is, until the fateful night she has one shot to eliminate her target, a human slaver – and misses.

“Failure” is not in Eden’s vocabulary. Neither is “partner” – but that’s what she is forcibly assigned after recovering from her disastrous mission. A sexy, steely-nerved human agent, Lucius Adaire enjoys nothing more than sparking the fury – and rousing the desire – of the fiery female assassin to proud to admit defeat. Locked in an assignment they cannot afford to lose, Lucius and Eden find themselves bound in two high-stakes, heart-pounding games: the dangerous web of kill or be killed, and the erotic dance of seduction. . .


Showalter first demonstrated her skill at blending sizzling romance and nail-biting suspense set in a convincing futuristic society in Awaken Me Darkly (2005). She now continues the roller-coaster-like adventure in an equally entertaining tale that will please a wide cross section of readers. *Starred Review* Booklist.

Order your copy from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or BooksAMillion. For more information, visit Gena’s website at http://www.genashowalter.com/ and her blog at http://www.genashowalter.blogspot.com/
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 12:25 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

ESCAPE the Mondayn: Episode#2




Hello and welcome to our two day Memorial episode of ESCAPE THE MONDAYN, a weekly game show found only on the Sensibly Insane Channel. I’m your host Stacy Holmes. Why thank you, my gown this evening was chosen from the exclusive design house of DariusCordell.com .

Firstly, I'd like to wish all of our American viewers a Happy Memorial Day and send out a big wave and thank you to all the Veterans, home and away. Because of the holiday we are having a two day epidode because Tuesday will feel like a Monday to most of you.

Here's how it works: As most people need an escape from the mundane and especially from Mondays, our game is designed to do just that. In a few moments, I will post an escape for Monday and it will simply be your job to tell me what you are doing.

Don’t forget, a random draw will be made at the end of the episode and one lucky contestant will win a gift from the prize wheel!

Today’s celebrity guest spinner is coming off a whirlwind promo tour for the third installment of his spectacular action trilogy. Please give a warm round of applause for X-men’s Wolverine himself...Hugh Jackman

G’day Stacy. I’m very happy to be here.

And we’re very glad you could take a few minutes out of your busy schedule. Now, if you could please remove your shirt, we’ll get this game started.

My shirt?

Yes, Hugh. The contract, remember? Section 3, Subsection 5, Paragraph 2, Bullet C in 6 point font...and I quote, “All male celebrity spinners must remove their shirts and/or any other clothing/items that prohibit the readers of the program from a perfect visual and/or fantasy of said celebrity’s naked torso/upper body. The discarding of remaining clothing is optional.” Unquote.

Hmm, must have missed that part. But, I wouldn’t want to break a contract now, would I? **winks to the audience**

Excellent, I knew you would understand. Here, let me hold your shirt. Mmmmm, what a masculine cologne you wear. **confiscates shirt and tucks under the podium**


Okay then, time to get started. Flex those muscles, Hugh, and give us a spin, then you can tell our contestants what the prize for today will be.

Here we go ladies....tickety-tickety-tickety-tickety....tickety-tickety-tickety....tickety-tickety....tickety...tick...The prize wheel landed on a mini scrapbook kit.

How appropriate. After they watch you cut up the bad boys onscreen, they can go home and cut up some pictures for themselves. So, let’s get started. Ready everyone?

Here we go...

Today’s escape has you rushing to the airport after a busy day at work because you have a business meeting first thing tomorrow morning in Kansas City. You are late to your flight and not paying attention to the attendant talking to you because the teens in line behind you have their MP3’s turned up to super sonic bass. You are tired from a crappy day full of meetings, groggy from the valium you took because of your fear of flying, and all you want to do is find your seat and grab a nap on the flight. You do just this and before you know it, you wake up to find the plane has reached its destination and the stewardess is urging you to leave with the other passengers. A little disorientated, you disembark, find your luggage then go out to hail a cab. When you give the cabbie your destination, he bursts out in a huge belly laugh and says, “You ain’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy. This is Vegas baby!”....FREEZE.

Let yourself dream, let yourself escape and tell me what happens next. Do you go back into the airport or do you head on into Sin City...and what happens when you do? Give me two lines or give me twenty, it doesn't matter. Don’t hold back...let yourself escape!

Remember, you don’t need to be a writer, you don’t need to be a reader, heck, you don’t even need to be sane if you don’t want to be. This is a fun game all about you so don’t be shy, don’t be a lurker, just dive in and...



Note: Anyone can play but don’t forget to include your name! Without a name you can’t be put into the draw for the prize wheel gift!


Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 5:38 PM :: 17 comments

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Diving In...



Rain, rain go away
Come again some other day.

Ick...raining again, could you tell.

So on that theme I will say that I am hoping to dive back into my wip today. I got sidetracked by a few personal things and the recent short story. I did send the first chapter of the wip into the Romance Junkies contest. I don't know when it will post but starting next week they post a set of first chapters ever week for people to vote on. We have to change the title if it is known (ie: the little meter on the side there means y'all know it) so we'll see what happens. Funny thing is, I kinda like the fake title now too. If you get a chance, go over every week and vote for your favorites!

Enneagram
free enneagram test


Note: Because of the Memorial Day weekend our ESCAPE THE MONDAYN game show will be extended to a two day event considering Tuesday next week will be a lot of people's Monday. So come on out and see who our guest celebrity spinner will be and be a contestant because you'll have two days to play!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:43 AM :: 10 comments

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Should a 4yr Old Date?



Sorry, I normally don't go on about my boys like this but this just happened seconds ago and was too funny.

I was doing my morning reads of friends blogs and was stopped at Sarah's blog when my oldest came in. She's got up the most adorable picture of her twin daughters (you really must stop in to look). My son asked who they were so I told him, then I hugged him close. "Hey Matt, you want me to set you up on a date?" He smiled that I-don't-know-what-you-mean-but-it-sounds-neat smile and says, "What's that?" I reply, "You know, you take her out on a date. Take her to dinner, maybe a movie like Over the Hedge, be nice to her then kiss her at the end."

You should have seen his face! It was hilarious.

Sorry Sarah, but don't take any offense. If I said play-date, I'm sure he would have been all for it. I think it was the kissing thing that screwed up his face and made him high-tail it outta here.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 7:33 AM :: 11 comments

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Flowers from the Heart




Over on the Deadline Hellions blog yesterday, one of the authors was talking about stopping to smell the roses and if you actually do. I admit, usually something has to stop me before I do but I'm thankful when it does.

Take my boys for instance. Last year whenever we went outside they would pick me a flower (actually a dandy-lion or weed) and say "Here mommy, because I love you". Yeah, I know, they're adorable. I loved it but I felt bad when not an hour later the flower head would be withered and dead and the boys felt sad about it.

This year it started again and seriously, there faces are so cute when they tilt their heads and bashfully give it to me. So, I tried a different option. I told them how much I loved that they wanted to give me flowers and how special it made me feel. I also explained how it is really much better for the flowers though not to actually be picked and that they would be happier with the other flowers (remember we're taking ages 3 and 4 here). I told them that it was the thought that counted and the next time they wanted to pick me a flower just tell me and it will be just as special.

So the other day, there we were headed for the bus stop and my oldest stops by a flower, bends down and looks at it then at me. With a big smile on his face he says, "Mom, I'm thinking that I would like to pick a flower for you. Is that a good thought?" Then he came and gave me a big hug.

Now for me, that is a stop-and-smell-the-roses moment if I ever had one.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:29 AM :: 12 comments

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Freezing




This is May right? Actually, you could even classify it as towards the end of May...middle of spring...just over a month left til summer...right?

THEN WHY WAS IT SO COLD YESTERDAY!

Seriously, we actually had to turn the furnace back on. It's been off for weeks. I didn't want to. I fought it for two days but had to cave to melt the icicles off our noses. Crazy.

The good news is that the sun is shining high and bright in the sky today and it is supposed to be in the twenties for the rest of the week.

All I can say is bring on the sun!

Editing in this breaking news:
I just got a request from my query to The Wild Rose Press for my paranormal short story! Gotta go check all my i's are dotted and t's are crossed!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:33 AM :: 10 comments

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Episode#1: And the winner is...

We are about to put the names of yesterday's contestants into the plastic fireman hat. One of our under 3 foot tall producers are about ot pick a name...

The winner of the premier episode of ESCAPE THE MONDAYN is.... Candice! Congratulations! If you want to email me (on the profile page), I'll get your book and flip-flops in the mail! And thank you to all who played.

Please join us again next week to see who the next guest celebrity spinner will be for another brand new episode of...
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:20 AM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

ESCAPE THE MONDAYN: World Premiere Episode!




Hello and welcome to the world premiere episode of ESCAPE THE MONDAYN, a weekly game show found only on the Sensibly Insane Channel. I’m your host Stacy Holmes. Oh, thank you, thank you for the applause and yes, for those who were wondering, my dress is a reproduction of Jessica Alba’s Oscar gown.

Okay folks, here’s how it works: Most people need an escape from the mundane and especially from Mondays. For our game show, I will post an escape for Monday and it will be your job to tell me what you are doing.

Here’s the bonus: A random draw will be made at the end of the day (after midnight EST) and one lucky contestant will win a gift from the prize wheel!

Please welcome our celebrity guest spinner today. Right off an Oscar win of his own, let’s give a big round of applause for...George Clooney.

Thank you for inviting me today, Stacy. I haven’t been a first guest since the Rosie O’Donnell show. I’m just uh, not sure why I had to take my shirt off.

**winks at the audience** Rules of the game George, rules of the game .

Okay then, let’s get started. George, why don’t you flex those arms, give us a spin, and tell our contestants what the prize will be for our very first episode.

Alright, here goes...tickety-tickety-tickety-tickety....tickety-tickety-tickety....tickety-tickety....tickety...tick...Ladies, today’s prize is a contemporary romance novel and a pair of flip-flops.

Oooooh, sounds fabulous! I love the way you say flip-flops, George. It also leads directly into our first ESCAPE! Ready everyone? Here we go...

Unlike the grey pitiful rain outside our studios, our first Escape is at a sunny seaside resort on the island of your choice. You’ve just come from the cabana, laid your towel upon the hot sand, set your beach bag next to it and.....FREEZE.

Let yourself dream, let yourself escape and tell me what happens next. What are you about to do? What’s in your beach bag? What’s going on around you? Don’t hold back...let yourself escape!

Remember, you don’t need to be a writer, you don’t need to be a reader, heck, you don’t even need to be sane if you don’t want to be. This is a fun game all about you so don’t be shy, don’t be a lurker, just dive in and...



Note: Anyone can play but don’t forget to include your name! Without a name you can’t be put into the draw for the prize wheel gift!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 11:05 AM :: 7 comments

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Something Cool

There is going to be something new happening here tomorrow, you don't want to miss it.

It'll be big, it'll be bright, and it will involve...oops, almost let it slip.

Hope to see you tomorrow!
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 10:44 AM :: 2 comments

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Slow or Fast, Fast or Slow?





Which is worse to wait for snail-mail or e-mail?

Personally, I'm voting for e-mail. Yes, it's a long wait at your mailbox when you have a submission out but the mail-carrier only comes once a day (and in Canada only Mon-Fri) Which means after he has left you an empty box, or worse yet, the monthly bills, he leaves and that's pretty much it until the same time tomorrow.

E-mail on the other hand may in fact come fast but it could also come literally at any minute. You could get your letter at 2pm or 2am which means I have a tendancy to hover over it while I'm waiting for something. Barring anything specific, I get maybe two emails a day on two different accounts and usually from friends or family which means checking it once in the morning or at night is all I really need. But no, when I have an electronic submission out, I check it every time I'm on the computer. Even when I'm doing something else like housework or making dinner, I'll get that can't breath, OMG what have I done, feeling and run and check just in case.

So, in truth, I think I prefer snail-mail for the wait. Once a day, I can freak out, if it's not there it's not there and I can return to my day calmly.

What about you...?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:09 AM :: 8 comments

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Friday, May 19, 2006

What Are THEY Doing?




Last night, I found myself doing something I didn't realize I always did while watching sports with my husband. Not paying attention to the athletes. Don't get me wrong, I know I tease him and talk about it here often but in reality, I don't mind sports. I just get bored easily. A lot of sports (ie: car racing) are quite repetative. I'm not putting it down...just stating a fact.

Anyways, back on topic. I'm much more interested in watching what is going on behind the players. It's always more interesting. Last night, a young guy with a head full of moppy hair was text messaging someone...who? Another were talking back and forth like they didn't care much what was going on...what were they saying? A lady was wearing a horrendously ugly hat...what was she thinking when she put that on? In our home park in Toronto, the front section right behind home-plate has comfy purple looking seats and a lady who stands there waiting to get whatever these lucky people want. Sometimes she looks bored out of her mind and other times you can actually see the men oogle her. It's really funny.


I like to sit and observe people, probably the writer in me, but I don't get as much time to do it as I used too. Guess there is something good in having a sports-aholic husband after all.

Do you observe? Where do you find the most facinating people? At work? In a mall? A park?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:37 AM :: 4 comments

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

He's Driving Me Nuts!




I tell you, men sure don't like to talk do they. They are all action but when you need a little compassion, a little understanding, they think you are the crazy one.

Well, my hero is a funny, laid back guy but won't open his mouth. I need to know what he wants, what his goal are. Of course the fact that he is Time (Past) doesn't help. But surely even an immortal being has wants and needs. But he's being closed lipped about it and I'm ready to throttle him. I want to get this story written. I'm on my own deadline and time is running out but does he care? No. All he does is sit back with his legs out, hands behind his head, and a smile on his ruggedly handsome face that says, "Doesn't bother me, I have all the time in the world."

Maybe I'm over thinking it...actually, I'm more than likely overthinking it. I know that deep down he's a little lonely and wants more of a companion than the occasional flings with the girls from admissions at the pearly gates. I know he envies how certain mortals can love so strongly even though their lives are but a blip on the map of time. And I know that he wants the h even though he's denying it to both of them. So his eventual goal is to have her, yes, but I need something that makes him tick from the beginning of the story. Something he wants done, plans to do, needs to accomplish, is having a problem with, something that makes him more than just part of the story but instead a story in himself.

If you have any similar problems, thoughts or suggestions, or addresses for the looney bin I'd be happy to consider them.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:17 AM :: 5 comments

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sight



(Okay, let me just say if you google the word 'eyes' be prepared for some really gross stuff.)

Sight, what does your character see? This is something I've learned recently and thought I'd share.

Now, unfortunately, I can't recall where I heard this. It could even be from a number of sources. But the sight of a character isn't just made up from what he/she sees but how he/she perseves it. I found this very interesting because one thing I'm trying to get away from in my own work is the omnicent writing. Just because I know everything, doesn't mean my characters know everything and I find that I will often write it in anyways.

While Juliet tells Rachel about her date last night, the door opens behind her and Rafe walks in. I know it's a very simple sentence, but as a general example, if it is in Juliet's pov she's busy talking and can't see the door opening and Rafe walking in.

I'm only now learning that I make this mistake (and all the time).

As for the perception, it's an interesting comment that I never thought of before and am just now trying to incorporate more into my writing. Again, a very simple example: A woman is in line at the grocery store. She has two kids and a cart with few supplies. Different characters would see different things.

Juliet may notice the worn clothes on the kids and the woman, her haggard look and the measly supplies in the cart...milk, bread, ground beef, and a bag of apples. These details strike her as important maybe because it resembles her childhood where they had to wear hand-me downs, make a dollar stretch as far as possible, and her mother never looked happy.

Racheal may see a woman who shops at Walmart instead of Rodeo Drive. Some unruly children and a mother who didn't have time to put any more in her cart because her kids were jumping all over the displays.

Rafe, heck, he may not see them at all because he's checking out the buxom cashier.

Perception plays a big role in rounding out a character and part of the growth of a character is how these perceptions change as within the story.

So, if your character were in the grocery store, what would they see?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 11:48 AM :: 7 comments

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Obviously I've Offended the Universe



It's 3am...I don't do anything but sleep at 3am...ask me why I'm up at 3am and on the computer none the less. Is it because my muse woke me--no, she's cuddled up with her latest boy-toy enjoying the after-glow and precious sleep. No, I'm on right now to distract myself...from pain. I have a horrid ear-ache. So horrid in fact that I just returned from the emergency room about a half hour ago (hey, you want in quick, go at 2am, nobody there)

I honestly feel for the children now who wake up screaming in the night with ear-aches. I've had them before but nothing like this and talk about out of the blue! You know I have to put a quirk on things well get this. I had my yearly physical this morning. My doctor did all the regular stuff including looking at my ears...nothing. It started around 9pm and by 10 I was twisting in pain. Advil didn't help, warm heat didn't help, nothing. I couldn't sleep, couldn't hear, couldn't get comfortable and finally said enough is enough, rolled my husband over and told him where I was going (got an oh really, oh, okay,*snore*...gotta love the support) and headed into town. Lo and behold my doctor walks into my little cubical (it's a small town, my doc does double duty at the hospital too) This pretty much sums up the conversation:

Doc: Didn't I just see you this morning.
Me: Yep.
Doc: Physical right?
Me: Yep.
Doc: I checked your ears, didn't I?
Me: Yep.
*looks in my ear*
Doc: Whoa, where the heck did that come from?
Me: No idea, can you get rid of it?
Doc: Yep.

So thankfully he gave me a dose of meds while I was there and a prescription to fill tomorrow. The nurse was great asking if I was stocked for Tylenol with the look that said, if you need it honey, I'll gladly give you a good supply, you poor thing.

All in all it was the fastest trip to the Emergency room in history. 45 minutes round trip--that was a blessing...so was the fact that my doctor was there, that was a nice surprise.

But seriously, I must have offended the universe somewhere. For those who come visit often, you know what I'm talking about, for those who are new...just trust me, it's been a rough six months, let alone the last two. I'm a freakin' disaster zone.

Oh well, guess it's all fodder for the writting idea folder.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 2:58 AM :: 10 comments

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Touch




How do you describe touch in your writings?

Touch to me is two fold. It is what is felt when touching but it is also the movement, placement, and reason behind the touch. The feeling part is fairly obvious, hot, cold, soft, hard, callused, firm, angry, gentle. But, say during a movie, have you ever been stopped by a touch? This is what I think about while I'm writing. An example I mentioned before is the kiss from Smokey and the Bandit. For a macho movie it has a great kiss scene and touch is a big part of it. For me though I watch a man's hands when they slow dance. The placement of their hands and how they are holding the woman. This may sound obvious but when you really look, a number of them just go through the motions. This could easily ruin the mood for me if the guy can't dance right. The hands are light on the back or holding the woman's hand because that's how it's done, not because that's what they 'want' to be doing. To me, the great dance scenes have the man's hand firmly holding her back, splayed a little to get as much of her touching his skin as possible. The hand he's holding is held tight and close, not away from their bodies like a Fred Astaire impersonation. It's a capture, it's a wanting.

I try to focus on this with every touch in my writings. Yes, some touches are casual or accidental but other's are purposeful--healing, comfort, pushing, needing. I want each to read as if the reader is the one being touched or longs to be touched that way. I want to touch the reader not just emotionally, but physically as well. Am I succeeding, who knows? But one thing I do know...it's all in the touch.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:13 AM :: 4 comments

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ode To Men



I found this when I was looking for the other story I talked about in a recent post. I laughed myself silly and had to share!

Disclaimer: This was written ages ago and in jest to cheer up my sister and best friend who were both going through disastrous relationships. I do apologize to any male reader who may find this abhoridly offensive. My personal views do not reflect any part of this piece (well, except maybe for a line or two during PMS) and I myself am a happily married woman with a man I adore.


ODE TO MEN


You, the deviant of society,
Whose muscles outweigh your worth,
Whose brains fit into Levis,
Whose only necessity is procreation by which we thank the Gods for sperm-banks.

Let not you think that you dare rule the wit of wives long accustomed to suppressing their wisdom for your pride.
As our ancestors, the Amazons, we too shall rule like Goddesses amongst mere slime scraped from our stilletoes.
Like sirens of old, our voices will render you impotent.

You are playthings; nothing but bits of amusements tossed as garbage when we are bored.
You are slaves to your id,
You are scum, lowlifes,
You are men...

Hang your heads in shame.

Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:39 AM :: 5 comments

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Neighbors



You hear all kinds of horror stories but I think I have some of the best neighbors in the world. Gabe and Tess.

They keep to their side of the fence. They don't mind popping down to say hello or for a visit. They are good to my kids. They are never noisey or loud. They don't come and steal all our food but we do share the occasional snacks. They are fun and unlike some that keep talking on and on after you say you have to get back home, Gabe and Tess don't mind when we have to leave.

Yep, we got pretty lucky moving here.

Meet our neeeeeiiiiighbors.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 8:08 PM :: 7 comments

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Learning Curve



We talk a lot about how our writing is going and what we've learned, discovered, or can suggest for others. For all of this I am humbly grateful.

I think I mentioned it before that we see our writing like a child growing, that we don't notice the growth in our own children because we are so close to them etc etc etc.

This week, I got a funny eye opener of just how much I've grown.

There is a new e-publisher out, The Wild Rose Press. Reading up on them, they are taking short stories as well as full length fiction. I've had this particular short story hanging around that I'm considering sending in. I LOVE it but it is very opposite to what I currently write. It's a little dark and a little odd. It sat for six months in a magazine's slush pile only for that magazine to fold. The next magazine I sent it to was all wrong--a very amature mistake which I still cringe at. Also, working on TOHL, I'm very consious about word choice, checking each chapter over before I go on etc etc--I know, repeating myself again and you are thinking , where the heck is she going with this? Well, right here. Learning curves.


First and most obvious, I've learned to research publishers better, everything and anything I can read on them, of them, or by them. Second, I've finally learned how far my writing has actually come. I reread the short story and still love it but when I did the proof search for the usual warning words (was, ing, ly, blah blah blah) I had to laugh. I had this great idea to highlight them in different colours so I could fix them on the read through of the hard copy. Well, my pages lit up like New York Rockefeller Centre's Christmas Tree. Seriously, the editors who actually read the story must have laughed themselves silly. In one paragraph alone, I had 10 ly words, 6 ings, 5 was, 3 thats, and 2 justs. Yikes!

My current proofing of the TOHL chapters, which I thought yeilded a crap load of crappy words, are NOTHING compared to the short story. Without even realizing it, I've grown, changed, adapted, and improved. It's just nice to actually see it in writing for a change.

So, do you have any learning curves you've discovered?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 6:50 PM :: 5 comments

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What's in a Name?



Cliche, I know but it was the best title I could think of for this entry.

Character's names are obviously important and a very personal thing. Names mean very different things to different people. For instance, I could never name a Hero, Travis. There was this little brat in elementary school that tormented me endlessly and, you guessed it, his name was Travis. Never forgot him. I liked the name Lori until it was discovered that my husband's unrequetted love is named Lori. There is also a Kelly in his past that was Strawberry Queen, need I say more...I would never win Oreo Queen let alone a tooti-fruiti beauty pageant title (yeah, no jealously there on my part eh?)

Other reasons I have trouble picking names is a large family. In general I prefer traditional names (not that you would know it from my current ms LOL) but so many of my family have those names that I would hate to get the "Oh, you named him after me, I knew you were my favorite neice!" from one and "Why did he get to be hero when you told me I was your favorite uncle?"from the other. Or worse, name the hero the same name as an aunt has (I have an Aunt Chris and an Uncle Shirley, seriously) ...talk about a can of worms. See, everything is related to everything else which is cause for caution when picking even the most obscure character's name, the bus driver, the waitress, or even the annoying child who pesters the heroine in the check-out line. You definately don't want to get a known child's name in there, you'd get the cold shoulder from that mother for the rest of your life (of course depending on the mother, that could also work in your favor).

So, needless to say, I find characters names always a chore. My father has a 3 volume set of red dictionaries. The first two are traditional A-L and M-Z. The third is a term dictionary, medical terms, mythological terms, etc. But it also has a section on Given names, surnames, and nicknames, their meanings and origins. I've used this since as far back as I can remember. I have them on my bookshelf now, not that my father actually gave them to me, more like they happened to make it into my boxes when my parents moved out on me (no, that isn't a typo, they moved out on me--ah, but that's another tale for another time.)

Do you have favorite names? Ones you will use, ones you won't? How do you come up with them or where do you find the right name for the right character?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:30 PM :: 6 comments

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Clinging To The Mountain




I got a note in the mail yesterday that the story I sent to my 'Mount Everest' publisher is being held for further review! Yipee! I know it's not a sale but considering the last seven submissions ended in a form R, this is cool news. So, I'll be clinging to the tiny icepick half-way up the mountain with no safety ropes for the next six months which is how long it could take.

I've already got the bumps and bruises to show for my climb too. Yesterday, I had a misfortunate confrontation with a medium-sized stained glass suncatcher while opening my window for the first time this year. The sun-catcher won. The gash on my nose is worthy of a Jean Claude von Damme movie.

Another interesting thing happened today while lunching with the boys at Mc-y D's. An idea popped into my head out of nowhere. A good idea too. So there I am scribbling away over the embossed M on the napkin trying to get as much down as possible and giggling to myself. I got a "Can I colour too?" from the oldest child and an almost botched note from the younger when he tried to use said napkin for it's intended purpose. Whew, that was a close call.
Now I have about three stories all pestering to get out (because I had a fab idea for the third instalment of my Time series) and my current one isn't even at the half-way mark. The bad news is the others will have to wait or at least be content with the occasional swift notation. The good news is that at least I have other stories waiting in the wings for when I do get this one done. I hate it when I don't know what to do next and have to wait for the inspiration.

So, what about you? Do you have stories waiting in the wings or do you finish a story then wait for the inspiration for another to hit?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 1:08 PM :: 16 comments

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Monday, May 08, 2006

IT



It’s there.
I know it’s there.
I had it a minute ago.
It was perfect.
It would have catapulted this puppy out into the publishing world. It would have been repeated endlessly in casual conversations, TV commercials, maybe even a movie or two. It would have gone down in history with “Where’s the beef?” and “I’ll be back.”
I had it; I know I did. But then my husband came in to ask a silly question, something about a lost baseball hat. He frets as if a stinky, dirt-rimmed cap is important. Doesn’t he know I’ve lost it?
Then the children run in here as if they own the place. Yes, it may be their playroom but the tiny two-foot-by-two-foot space tucked into the back corner is mine, all mine. Still, without actual walls, the children’s voices carry in a screeching rendition of There’s a Hole in the Middle of the Sea?
A hole? Yes, it had something to do with a hole.
A hole in his pants?
A hole in her heart?
No, neither sound right.
Where is it? It was right on the tip of my fingers. It has to be around here somewhere!
I sit and stare at the screen praying the words will miraculously type themselves there in front of my eyes. Thirty seconds, two minutes, eight minutes and nothing, it’s gone.
It’s gone.
I’ve lost it.
Depressed, I stumble to the kitchen to fix dinner. All night, I morn the brilliant piece of literary work lost in a hiccup of the mind.

At two in the morning, I burst awake from my restless slumber.
“It came back!” I cry into the darkened room.
The flashlight goes on and the pen comes out. I ignore the groaning of my husband and write as fast as I can before it can escape again.
Ah, it’s down on paper. I have it.
I have it!
Now I can rest, I can lay all the worry aside and enjoy a pleasant night’s sleep. I smile and lay my head back upon the pillow.
Within moments, the smile becomes a grimace.
It doesn’t care that it is two in the morning. It brought friends.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 2:34 PM :: 8 comments

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Make it or Break it



Well, I made it in that I completed chapter five and six over the course of the weekend. I'm still content with the way the story is going and just put my h into a hurdle race of incidents with the final one having her mistaken for a hooker...ya, I'm mean but it was fun and I figure she'll more than forgive me by the end when she gets her man. Till then, I can have as much fun as I want LOL.

As for the breaking it, my neice stayed with us this weekend and we had to do some major surgery on her doll. Decapitation...ugh, not pleasant. The prognosis is still unknown but we are hopeful. Goop is an amazing product so let's see if it hold up to its name so to speak.

Unfortunately, I've also discovered a break-it in my story. My H doesn't have a set goal. Yes, he's helping her achieve her goal and falling in love with her in the meantime but he himself doesn't have a set goal simple or otherwise. *Throwing hands up in the air* back to the drawing board...or in this case outline.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 1:47 PM :: 6 comments

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Anatomy and Off line



I'm going to be off-line until Monday. There are a number of things going on here that need to be addressed, one of which is chapter five and six. The other things will be much harder to deal with but I will be back Monday for your regularly schedualed program.

So you don't miss me, I'd like to leave you with a question...which part of the male anatomy do you write about most? I can hear the giggles now but hey, if it's that part well, then we know what genre of writing you do, don't we LOL. For me it's the eyes and the arms...oh, the arms. I LOVE arms on a man and I'm not talking about the He-man weightlifters--those are way too much. I mean the strong, can handle anything, forgive-me-for-drooling type arms. I remember in highschool I had to do a black and white photography project. I was the shy girl so how I worked up the courage I don't know, but I asked this hot jock in one of my classes to help me. OMG he had amazing arms. I had him hold a rose against a black background then shot just his arm and hand at different angles and positions. I had him for the better part of two hours all to myself locked away in the basement crawlspace so I could control the lighting and with an excuse to stare at his arms as long as I wanted. I still don't think my mother ever knew. Whoa...yeah, still makes me drool to this day. And with baseball season well under way (go Jays!) I don't mind so much that my husband is a sports-aholic. A good set of biceps and strong hands get me every time so they easily work their way into my writing. As for eyes, I like to find unusual ways to describe them. I don't know if I do but I sure like trying.

So, what part of the male species do you like and/or makes its way frequently into your writing, consciously or unconsiously ;) ?

See you Monday....
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 9:22 AM :: 10 comments

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Writing Outside the Box




What a glorious day! We did a lot of yardword this morning outside while one was in school and the other played in the sandbox.

I've mentioned before that I love my laptop. Especially when the days got cold and I could take it into the livingroom beside the woodstove. Well, I LOVE my laptop because I can also take it outside the box of a house onto the back patio where the sun is shining, the grass is green, and the air is fresh (so long as the cows from the next field aren't around LOL). It's fabulous. The boys can play in the backyard and I can still get some work done after a good round of soccer (where the mutants easily beat me into the ground).

I also must say I kinda like having the indepth outline more than I thought I would. So far it hasn't taken away any of the pizazz of writing and there is always something to write because I know what's coming next. This fact is what made me wary of a full outline in the first place but I'm adding enough new stuff to keep it exciting. For the first time I'm comfortable with my writing process...now I just have to work on the discipline.
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 1:02 PM :: 4 comments

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Monday, May 01, 2006

The Short and Long of It



Ask yourself this question first as a reader, then as a writer.

Do you prefer short or long chapters?

My answer is the same for both. Short. Reading wise it keeps me turning pages or gives me a place to comfortably stop to go back to the real world, you know, making dinner, telling the kids for the umpteenth time to clean up their toys, pretending to pay attention to the husband's sports commentary from the night before...you know, the usual.

As for writing, I write till the cliff-hanger. If that is seven pages in or twenty-four pages in it doesn't matter, that is where the chapter will end. I've tried to elongate some and put two chapters together but then it just doesn't end comfortably for me. I don't even consiously look for the hook that it should end on, it just happens that way. On average I would say my chapters end around page ten. Again, it's something I've finally accepted is just my thing after attempting to work with the many 'rules' that say chapters should be a minimum of 15 to 20 pages long.

So, what is your short and long of it?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 2:42 PM :: 15 comments

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