My personal Sally Fields' moment

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I experienced my own Sally Fields' "You like me, you really like me" moment on Wednesday.  I got the call from my agent that I had another sale to Carina Press.  Not only was it book sale #7 but the news marked my second decade of publishing contracts.  Whatever my writing career is, a fluke it's not.

Over the ten years I've learned the most I can write is two books a year because of the day job.  However, I've made every deadline, come hell or hurricanes.  While my house may look like a hurricane hit it and I will never, ever win a clean house award, I religiously get up every morning to get my 1-2 pages in before I head into work. 

As an attorney one has to have a tough hide and I've needed it during rejections.  After all, each book idea is my 'baby' that I've spent countless hours researching and putting together.  I care about my characters; they live and breathe for me.  At times they'll even whack me over the head if I''ve gone down the wrong path with them.

My book COURTING DEATH releasing on 5/2/11 contains two such characters, Nicole and Sam.  They first came to life for me at the start of my career.  While I scrapped the initial book they were in, I finally came up a story that worked for them.  I'm glad they stuck it out with me.

If I had to cite my main qualities as a writer, I would say I am stubborn, determined and persistant.  You have to be in this business to survive.  However, all the perseverance in the world wouldn't matter, if people didn't like my voice, my stories, my characters.

So thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be a storyteller.  You really, really like me.  :) Carol


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Today's Daytona 500 was the stuff fairy-tales were made of.  A young man who just celebrated his 20th birthday and was racing in only his 2nd Sprint Cup race.  Trevor Bayne was paying his dues, drafting for the most part as the pusher with some of the biggest names in racing. As wreck after wreck thinned the competition, he stayed almost scratch-free. In the end he was in position to cross the finish line first.

People ask why I love NASCAR. I love the diehard fans and listening to prerace concerts with Brad Paisley singing "Country Song". I love the moment of prayer and the displays of the American flag. I love the fact that Martina McBride could belt out the National Anthem without screwing it up.  I love the celebration of God and country at every race.

I love the dedication of the drivers to their craft, sport and community. They form dog charities rather than kill them.  They support a wide range of causes, giving generously.  They take care of their own.  They show up for endless practices rather than threaten strikes.  On occasion they settle differences with fist fights.  They work hard as a team and when a driver crosses the finish line first, it's a team celebration.

It's a sport where Jimmie Johnson has accomplished the incredible by winning 5 Sprint Cup Championships in a row.  It's a sport where 10 years after his death remembering the Intimidator Dale Earnhardt can still bring tears and heartache. 

I don't find NASCAR boring at all.  I celebrate the sport as the heartbeat of our country where fairytales do come true for a parttime racing outfit Woods Brothers with their first Sprint Cup victory since 1976 with the famous David Pearson.

Boogity, boogity.  It's going to be a great season.  :) Carol

Plotboard on an electronic notebook

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm a pantzer rather than a plotter, but I have set up an electronic plot board as a guide of where I should be in the book. Obvious benefit of an electronic plotboard is the portability. You can add information as you go along and make changes. Use different colors, fonts, etc. to help highlight turing points and POV's. 

I haven't experiented with it yet, but since a page length is unlimited in electronic notebooks, for the next book, I may try fewer columns for extra width and go with more rows. 

:) Carol

World building using OneNote

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One workshop at last week's Southwest Florida Romance Writers' conference was on world builing. The speaker was paranormal, urban fantasy author Kristen Painter.

This seminar came at the most opportune time as I reworking a proposal and need to strengthen the world building aspect. Of course I immediately set up a OneNote electronic notebook when I got home.  I've set up the main tabbed sections as history, time, geography, location, culture, religion, characters, language, names, magic, rules, research and notes.

Then I've set up the subsections. For example, the subsections for culture are who's in charge, how government works, how money works, who has wealth and who doesn't, and class system.  Under location I'll rough up sketches using the drawing tools and also paste photos.  For notes I've already posted feedback from my critique group.

Instead of paper folders crammed with documents, I'll be able to search for certain information by simply entering a world or phrase. As this notebook grows, that is going to be a handy feature.

If anyone has tips on using OneNote for world building or any other organizational tips, I'd love to hear them.

:) Carol