Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Crisis of Conscience



Well, I am NOT in the mood to be subtle, so I guess I just better hope this is not read by any detectives.

You know that story about the wisdom of King Solomon? The two women were fighting over who had the rights to the baby, so King Solomon said, "How 'bout we just slice the baby in half ?" So the person that really loves the baby says, "Don't cut the baby in half.  She can have it."  And King Solomon says, "Well, you love the baby more so you can have it."

So this is like a moral dilemma. Suppose a group of people are banding together to slice up your heart and your soul.  Would you play dirty pool just cuz they choose to?  Should you drag out the big guns?  If you knew the name of the grade school teacher that writes erotica on the side, would you reveal that?  Would you threaten to?  Would that be blackmail?  Even if you felt it was totally justified to survive their onslaught, to save yourself?  To save all that was important to you?  Stuff that is meaningless to them.  They are just doing it for spite.  Would you threaten to tell the guy that hides his marijuana stash in your garage to keep his wife from knowing that she will learn about it if he doesn't back down, if he doesn't take a different tack?  Would you talk it up in all the right social circles about the engaged couple that are seeing a urologist to get the husband-to-be wired up with a penis pump?  If you heard all these things with no warnings or stipulations, is it fair game?  If they go ahead and continue to attack you, when you know and they know you are undeserving of it, should you just reveal all?  Should you warn them of what may be in store?  Should you sit like a little mouse with your Christian conscience and let them ride rough shod over you?  My Christian conscience tells me to be a swell guy and keep all the dirty little secrets and hope Karma sorts it out.  (Yeah.  I know the Karma thing doesn't meld with the Christian conscience, but it is my mind, so get over that.)  But the subject of my quandary is far too precious to gamble with.

These are real issues that the midwestern grandmother faces daily.  Someone made a remark about one of my novels.  "Enjoyable read, but I don't know if it would play out in real life."  Wanna bet?  Does each and every Mr. or Mrs. Tom, Dick and Harry America have this shit raining down on them all the time?  Or is it just me?  Maybe it is my own misperception.  But I do have court documents bearing out this tale of woe and disconsternation.

Weigh in.  I am actually thinking of taking steps to erase the problem completely.  I discussed with someone just today what would be the outcome of my court ordered mental eval.  Would I live out the few short days left to me in a prison or in a mental ward?  Would it matter?  Actually, not at all to me if it served to preserve some of the things  that I find the most precious meaning in after all other considerations.

Strange how looking down the barrel of a gun can distract you from all the other weapons aimed at you.


Image Attribution:   asitoughttobe.com


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Hop: The Many Sides of Medusa



Thank you for stopping by the Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop hosted by Heather Lyons and Kelly Hashway! 

Door Prize: Your door prize for joining us is the short story prequel to the Touch of Death series titled Curse of Death. It's the myth about Medusa and how she was cursed by the goddess Athena. Claim your free gift by clicking here.

Heather and Kelly are teaming up to show you a very different side of Medusa. Forget the monster you might think she was, and check out these excerpts from The Deep End of the Sea and Touch of Death. You just might change your mind about Medusa.

The Deep End of the Sea excerpt:
But there’s no way around it. I am, in fact, a monster. A hideous one, to be precise, but as I don’t have any mirrors on Gorgóna, I can’t verify that one for certain. I rely on the fact that every single person I’ve frozen over the ages boasts abject fear on their face, which makes me believe they find me pretty horrifying. And it sucks. It genuinely, truly, absolutely, unequivocally sucks. I hate stealing lives.

Thus, not only am I a monster, I’m a really lousy one. A lonely, classic Five Stages of Grief following, insecure, shut-in of a pathetic beast who talks to the snakes on her head and the statues on her island.

Find Heather online: 

Purchase The Deep End of the Sea on Amazon or B&N.

Touch of Death excerpt:
My hair blew up, flying wildly all around me. My blood bubbled in my veins like boiling water, but it didn't hurt. It was the feeling of power. Too much power. My body felt like it was going to burst. Still I held on. My eyes closed, and I threw my head back. An imaged filled my mind. Medusa. Her snakes wriggled their bodies at me, flicking their tongues. Chills ran down the backs of my legs, but I forced my eyes away from the snakes. Lower. To Medusa's face. She smiled at me. Her face and eyes filled with warmth. She looked like…Mom.

"Do not fear me, Jodi. My blood lies in your veins and in your heart. you are one of mine. My children."
Find Kelly online: Website

Purchase the Touch of Death series on Amazon or B&N.

If you want more Medusa, be sure to check out The Deep End of the Sea and the Touch of Death series. And…Heather and Kelly have a giveaway for you. Enter on the rafflecopter form for your chance to win a $20 gift card to either Amazon or B&N, Medusa Makeup lipgloss, signed bookmarks from both authors, buttons for each book, and Touch of Death stickers.



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blog Hop: The Many Sides of Medusa




Thank you for stopping by the Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop hosted by Heather Lyons and Kelly Hashway! 

Door Prize: Your door prize for joining us is the short story prequel to the Touch of Death series titled Curse of Death. It's the myth about Medusa and how she was cursed by the goddess Athena. Claim your free gift by clicking here.

Heather and Kelly are teaming up to show you a very different side of Medusa. Forget the monster you might think she was, and check out these excerpts from The Deep End of the Sea and Touch of Death. You just might change your mind about Medusa.
The Deep End of the Sea excerpt:
But there’s no way around it. I am, in fact, a monster. A hideous one, to be precise, but as I don’t have any mirrors on Gorgóna, I can’t verify that one for certain. I rely on the fact that every single person I’ve frozen over the ages boasts abject fear on their face, which makes me believe they find me pretty horrifying. And it sucks. It genuinely, truly, absolutely, unequivocally sucks. I hate stealing lives.

Thus, not only am I a monster, I’m a really lousy one. A lonely, classic Five Stages of Grief following, insecure, shut-in of a pathetic beast who talks to the snakes on her head and the statues on her island.

Find Heather online: 

Purchase The Deep End of the Sea on Amazon or B&N.

Touch of Death excerpt:
My hair blew up, flying wildly all around me. My blood bubbled in my veins like boiling water, but it didn't hurt. It was the feeling of power. Too much power. My body felt like it was going to burst. Still I held on. My eyes closed, and I threw my head back. An imaged filled my mind. Medusa. Her snakes wriggled their bodies at me, flicking their tongues. Chills ran down the backs of my legs, but I forced my eyes away from the snakes. Lower. To Medusa's face. She smiled at me. Her face and eyes filled with warmth. She looked like…Mom.

"Do not fear me, Jodi. My blood lies in your veins and in your heart. you are one of mine. My children."
Find Kelly online: Website

Purchase the Touch of Death series on Amazon or B&N.

If you want more Medusa, be sure to check out The Deep End of the Sea and the Touch of Death series. And…Heather and Kelly have a giveaway for you. Enter on the rafflecopter form for your chance to win a $20 gift card to either Amazon or B&N, Medusa Makeup lipgloss, signed bookmarks from both authors, buttons for each book, and Touch of Death stickers.

Rafflecopter embed code:
<a id="rc-a9c48835" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a9c48835/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>


 Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop Schedule

March 15th

March 16th

March 17th

March 18th

March 20th

March 21st

March 22nd

March 23rd

March 24th

March 25th

March 26th

March 27th

March 28th

March 29th

March 30th



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let's Talk About Covers

One of the things some people insist on is that, if you are self-published, you must at least spend some money on a good cover.  I won't.  I bought a Getty Image early on and it pixelated.  I spend a lot of time talking to customer service about it and discussing it with various other humans.  Everyone had a reason, but then I see that very picture I used in some blog or Pin or something I wrote and there it is HUGE.  Huge and unpixelated.  So now, I do screen shots, copy image, mess around with that photo manipulation program that I bought (which is not PhotoShop but has a smudging tool, which is really all you need), incorporate, and yeah, steal.  I DO, honestly, make every attempt possible to attribute.  That is just the way I am.  And the one picture I out and outright snitched is not in use by me any more.  So you can unknot your skivvies.  There are two covers on Barnes and Noble for my work that SUCK.  This is because of size requirements and impatience.  I shall, when I am in the right mood, put beautiful corrected covers up, but it apparently doesn't make much difference since I sell more on Barnes and Noble than anywhere else.  (Which really doesn't say much.)

So, first of all, the size requirement thing is so much baloney since I have seen with my own eyes that anything can be manipulated into any other thing.  How many times have you looked at a pin on Pinterest that was all blurry, and you wait a few seconds for it to resolve, and it doesn't?  Me -- more than once.  And another time there will be a long list of tiny photos that someone pinned, like the cats at war, and you enlarge one of those tiny thumbnail photos and you can read the number on the cat's rabies tag.

And secondly, there is a thing about originality.  Despite the fact that some big selling authors leave all the cover design and stuff like that to the publisher, probably thinking  the publisher should do that since he gets $7.00 for every book sold and the author gets $1.17, still, you will find an amusing and well-written piece on that delightful site Smart Bitches, showing that several different, very big selling romance novels have exactly the same cover illustration only it is reversed on one or the dress is a different color on another, or a desert is placed in the background where another has an ocean, or a forest, or a frozen expanse of tundra.  This goes on ALL the time.  And nobody does anything about it, and the huge selling author says, "Sigh."

This got me going tonight because I noticed the cover on Steven King's Joyland and I was pretty sure it is a copy of a vintage pulp fiction work with a title concerning something about red heads being sinners.  I thought I had it posted on my beautiful, extensive, entertaining Redheads board on Pinterest, but I could not find it, so I am not able to provide evidence that the picture was cribbed.  Besides, if Mr. King wanted to use someone else's photo, he sure would pony up whatever it cost cuz that is just the way he is.  And he was going for that Noir effect and he captured it perfectly.  So, that was just a blip on my horizon, a horizon filled with blips I must explore in order to keep my self from actually typing out the last two chapters of my sensational new novel that is bouncing around, fully developed inside my head.

Thirdly, but not finally there is this:

And this:




The final point I was going to make was about people who paint their own covers or have Auntie Elsie paint an appropriate one for them, but I want them to keep on doing that cuz I am very familiar with self-delusion and am not about to call anyone else out on it.

So when you want to talk about covers, I don't listen.  If you don't like my cover and don't pick up my book to read, well, that's okay.  They were fun to write.  


Thanks for stopping by.  Yeah.  I am still here. 

The Big Hack



First, I offer you my sincerest apologies.   If whatever hijacked my accounts affected you, I am very sorry.  I see today that many people, including my bank, received a big red warning sign when they got the affected email.  Mine was from my cousin and did not bear a warning so I had no way of knowing it was infected.

I have changed all my passwords and stuff, but today I see that it has even affected some of my twitter contacts.  If you still have trouble, I can only suggest changing your passwords.  My bank suggested opening new email accounts, but that would be a disaster for me.  Not that this hasn't been so far. 

Please forgive me.  I was naive and careless.  I hope those are forgivable offenses.  

Image attribution:


Monday, January 06, 2014

POV: Educate me, please!


"The dragon snarled. Jenny was terrified but Tommy felt unusually brave and protective."


What is the point of view of the above quote?  I have been led to believe it is third person omniscient. It seems to me the point of view is that of the person observing the scene.  It tells about three different characters, even what they are thinking.  I could go on and add conversation (dialogue) between Jenny and Tommy.  I could put Tommy said, Jenny said, but in many cases that is unnecessary.  

"The dragon snarled at us.  Jenny was terrified but I felt unusually brave and protective."  First person POV, right?  We are hearing the story from Tommy's view point.  I am very uncomfortable with this.  I know it is appropriate for many stories and that it is the dominant POV in YA.    I can read it, but if I stop to analyze, how does Tommy know Jenny is terrified?  Maybe she is thrilled out of her mind because she is crazy about dragons and wants to befriend this one.  Or maybe the dragon is snarling only at Tommy because he is already great pals with Jenny. 

I do not have an enormous supply of reviews to draw from, but in general this is the only criticism I get consistently about my writing -- that I change POV, sometimes within the same sentence.

Is this an age issue?  I grew up with The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.  They are stories that are "told".  It just wouldn't affect me the same way if I read, "Suddenly I found myself falling down a hole under the tree.  I guess it was made by that rabbit I just saw."  But this is the way most YA stories are written, so maybe that is what this generation is used to. And, in the case of Jenny, Tommy and the dragon, there are infinite possibilities to add more words to your story while you explore Jenny explaining to Tommy that no, she isn't terrified.  Take my word for it.  She is terrified because I wrote her as terrified.

One person actually said, in a review, that she couldn't finish my book (although she felt it started out with possibilities, she did admit) because sometimes it seemed as though the narrator was telling the story.  And, as you know I have said many times, telling the story as opposed to what?  Waiting in the car? Did she never read Johnny Gruelle or L. Frank Baum? I like to tell stories.  I write revisionist history basically, with lots of fictitious elaboration.  It comes so easy to me.  I better not give YA a whirl.  And here I thought all along that the genre was so named because of the ages of the characters in the story or the age of the target audience. Yeah. . . Some day I will have to tell the story of the sixth grader who asked the librarian where the DuMaurier's were stacked. 

Am I losing readership because of my POV?  If I am, then I guess I will just bring the curtain down. I like the god-like position of telling the story.  Actually, I even had God weigh in on one of them, and I was able to put words into his mouth.  What power!!

Well, whatever floats your boat, eh?  Or whatever turns you on, or rings your bell.  My work has rung a few bells, but maybe that came from old fogies like me that could pretend they were listening to a story as they read. And, when Kevin Spacey turns to the audience and weighs in with his first person remarks, a lot of people find that artificial and are uncomfortable with it. That appears to be sort of a dichotomy.  First person on paper, third person on screen?  I think he carries it off very well, but I am a huge fan of artifice.

Could you let me know what you think of POV?  Not just by definition, but why you prefer to read or write a specific perspective.  Or, perhaps elaborate by showing me (rather than "telling', but don't get me started with that one) where a certain POV is more appropriate than another.  When I write non-fiction, does POV even apply?  God. I am panicking here.  I used footnotes once.  I'm gonna end up in court.  See how confused I am?




Image attribution: www.leadformix.com