Feb 28, 2012

Catch Fire Blog Party

Today is the release of Alex J. Cavanaugh's second science fiction novel, CassaFire.

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaFire available at:
Amazon Kindle

Congratulations, Alex.

Feb 27, 2012

Tagged and Blinded

Ouch. That sounds painful. :)

I've been tagged a bunch of times. So, I'm going to answer those today.

I want to thank Trudy Schoenborn for the Versatile blogger award. Trudy is pretty new to blogging, and a great writer. Stop by and say hi from me.

Now onto answering the tags...

Questions from Annalisa Crawford (Who has a new book out, by the way, Cat & the Dreamer):

1.  What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I don't even remember. We rarely go to the movies anymore. We're more Netflix and dvd people.

2.  In what order should Star Wars be watched. 4-6, and only watch 6 up to where Han gets rescued. Phew! He's finally out of that carbonite.

3.  What are you reading right now? I'm still slowly wading through Perdido Street Station by China Meiville. Maybe I'll finish next year. It's a beautifully written book, just very dense. I have to be in the mood to read it. I'm also reading Stephen Tremp's Opening on my Nook. Great job, Stephen. Lots of action and suspense. And, I'm reading Seed to Harvest by Octavia E. Butler. I feel I've discovered a new favorite author. My reading has slowed down due to getting both manuscripts done by end of February. {I succeeded by the way, they're both done. :D}

I was also tagged by C. Lee McKenzie of TheWriteGame:

1.  If you could write one book only, what would the main character be like? Someone raw and gritty, very flawed, dealt a horrible hand in life and has to find a way to win and overcome the obstacles.

2.  If you hate a book, do you keep reading or put it away? I put it away. I never got past the first chapter of House of Seven Gables. I tried several times and couldn't do it. Odd, as I enjoy most classic literature. Ie, I loved War & Peace, and read the entire Deerslayer series. I hate to say there are several other books I've never finished and never will.

3.  What kind of books do you like best? Besides sci-fi and fantasy, I love historical fiction, and literature, especially the classics. I read Jane Austen over and over, and Steppenwolfe by Hermann Hesse. I read all genres of fiction, but enjoy books that provoke some sort of thought from me the most, or take me on a wild ride.

4.  Are you transitioning into the digital age? Or are you sticking with hard copies? I have a Nook, and I continue to buy paperbacks.

I was also tagged by Nancy Thomspson:

1. What is the first line of your current WIP. Well, I just finished two and am about to start a new one.
The first line of The Backworlds: Craze never imagined his pa would turn on him. / The first line of Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge: Orange lights fringing the mishmash tavern blinked and a low coo vibrated through the floor into Craze’s sub-hearing, “Incoming.” The first line of the new WIP is still a work in progress. It doesn't even have a title yet.

2. Who is you favorite author? Jane Austen. Hermann Hesse, Peter Hamill, Peter Mayle, Margaret George, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Tanya Huff, Kurt Vonnegut, and Octavia E. Butler. Sorry. I couldn't stick to one.

3.  If you could go back and do anything over again, what would it be? I'd either skip grad school altogether or pick a different degree.

4.  What is your favorite quote? From GalaxyQuest, "Never give up and never surrender."

Next...Are you signed up for April's AtoZ challenge? If you're looking to build your blog, I highly recommend it. I did it last year, and met many great people. With the number of names signed up, it does look daunting, and the idea of blogging everyday but Sunday is, too. Well, here are some tips that will help you succeed:

1. Pick a theme for the challenge. This year my theme will be recent scientific discoveries.

2. You don't have to visit every blog everyday. I usually visit about twenty. I'll start at a random number, and visit the sites that pique my interest or that I think I might have something in common with.

3.  Start loading up your posts for April now. If you don't know how to schedule posts, it's a great time to learn. And, I take weekends off. So, last year I doubled up on posts on Fridays. You could post fewer times a week and double up posts, too. Ie, A/B, C/D.

Moral. You can make the challenge work for you. You'll meet a ton of new friends and get a lot of traffic to your blog...if you actively participate.

Are you doing AtoZ this year? 

Lastly, but not leastly, tomorrow is Alex J. Cavanaugh's Catch Fire party for his new release, CassaFire. Stop by to party. Go visit Alex and wish him a hearty congrats.

And go visit Trudy, Annalisa, Lee, and Nancy

So, any of you want to answer any of the above tag questions? I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Feb 23, 2012

Outlining. How and When do you do it?

I'm also on Kai Strand's blog, Strands of Thought, discussing love and loss and using that in writing. Kai and I both belong to Central Oregon Writers Guild and she's been gracious enough to help me out with keeping up with their blogging responsibilities.

Now, onto outlining...

Before I can begin writing a story, I have to know how I plan to end it. Even though, I pants it through most of the first draft, I must understand what I'm writing toward before I start. That little bit of focus is a must.

Most of my outlining, organizing comes after the first draft and before I start the second, more polished draft. [The version that goes to crit partners].

I've found writing brief bios for all my characters really useful. I sketch out a brief back story of their life before the novel opens and figure out what their goal is in the story. The back story may never make it into the finished project, but it helps me enrich the characters and the world. Sometimes it turns into another book (Backworlds).

I keep a journal for each project containing the character bios and world building. I've also created chapter sheets on which I write down the purpose of the chapter, the goal/focus, the scene, the characters in it, how the scene shapes the characters/plot, which plots/subplots the scene impacts and the setting. For some reason all of my organizing and plotting is done pen to paper. Writing is done on keyboard.

As I work on draft two, many post-its get stuck on my monitor. Ie, "mention Meelo's gun shot more often." And as feedback comes in from my lovely and brilliant crit partners, the plot remains in flux. And I find I only outline in detail to a point. The rest is committed to memory and I'll write minimum blurbs for the ending chapters, so I don't lose track of the plan.

Third draft, I pluck the post-its off my monitor and read them, jotting down which chapters the notes apply to. As I go through chapter by chapter, I'll implement my crit partners' suggestions. If it requires extensive rewriting, I will make a new outline, a condensed version though.

With the next project, I'm going to try more pre-planning of the characters and their goals and motives. I just can't do much more with plot than understand the big points I want to hit and where I want to end up. My brain just can't come up with great plot twists unless I'm writing. The brilliant flashes of inspiration only happen when in the act of creating.

Just how much do you outline? When? And what do you outline? How much detail do you include?

Feb 20, 2012

Happy Patsgiving!

WTF is Patsgiving? Well, it's celebrated February 17th.

Last week I glanced at my calendar before going to the grocers and thought, "Hey the 17th is Friday. I always forget St. Patricks Day. I won't forget this year." So I bought what I needed to make corned beef. On Friday, I make said corned beef, wondering why no one had mentioned St. Patricks Day on the web. And I thought, "Oh I should have wished everyone a happy St. Pats day on the post I did for Melissa's Imaginarium."

After that, it dawned on me that it's still February, not March. So, I wished the Husband Unit a Happy Un-St. Patricks Day when he got home. His week as brutally busy as mine, he absently replied, "Happy Thanksgiving." lol

So, we decided from now on February 17th is Patsgiving. Hope you had a happy one. Next year, I'll plan a Patsgiving party.

Annalisa Crawford has released Cat & the Dreamer. Available from Amazon, B&N, and other places.
Here for links.

As a teenager, Julia survived a suicide pact, while her best friend Rachel died. Julia’s only escape from her guilt, and her mother’s over-protection, is her imagination. When Adam arrives in the office, Julia’s world takes a startling turn as she realises reality can be much more fun than fantasy. Finally she has someone who can help her make the most of her life. But can she allow herself to be truly happy?

Thanks to Annalisa for the Kreativ and Versatile blogger awards. She also tagged me.

I'm tagging you all back with the following question. Which fictional character would you like to be for a day? 

I'd pick the blonde girl who lost her shoes in Harry Potter.

And Thanks to Brian Hutchinson for the 7x7 Award.

Have you ever invented a holiday?

Feb 16, 2012

Journey to the Past

Tomorrow, Friday, February 17th, I'll be at Melissa Bradley's blog, Melissa's Imaginarium. Pop by and learn a little something about the Scientific Romance. Ooo! What's that? You'll have to stop by to find out.

I have a special guest today, Kathleen Rollins, telling us how she came to write a prehistoric novel. Take it away, Kathleen...

So how did you come to write a prehistoric adventure novel?

Hindsight is always fascinating for its clarity.  We look back and see a logical series of steps that lead up to that decision to change our job or location or lover.  But in the present moment, there’s no such clarity.

I’m fascinated by very ancient history, not just because it’s the beginning of my story, and yours.  I wonder about those people – what they did and felt, how much of what mattered to them is exactly the same today and how much was so radically different that I couldn’t begin to understand it.

I suppose it began when a friend and I were hiking in Canyonlands National Park.  We ran out of water, so we split up (a really stupid thing to do) to look for water in potholes.  In my wandering I came across a series of handprints on a rock face, negative prints actually, since the color was blown out over each hand.  They were shocking, not just because they were ancient but because they were timeless.  I’d seen school banners full of prints just like these, left by people who pledged not to drink and drive on prom night or who supported the football team.  So who had left their mark on this rock?  No one lived in the area; the water table had dropped sixty feet hundreds of years before, leaving the land too dry to support much of anything.  There weren’t even any mosquitoes.  But people had once stood on the very spot I stood on.  I put my hand on the rock under the prints and a thrill ran through me, right up to my scalp.

The moment was absorbed into the general impresssions of the trip until I saw petroglyphs in the area: combinations of recognizable figures (people and animals) and mysterious symbols, all carved into rock.  I felt people were talking to me in a language I couldn’t understand, but they meant for me to understand.  So I started studying rock art, then ancient peoples of the southwest, then ancient cultures all over the US, then south into Mexico, then farther south into Central America, then farther yet into South America.  Along the way, I visited famous and not so famous sites in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.  If you’re going to be hooked on something for several decades, you might as well do it up right.

I have to admit I was momentarily taken with the Eric von Danikken (Chariots of the Gods and other books) theories of extra-terrestrial influence in the great sites like the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu.  However, the more I learned, the more I came to see all of this as the work of humans.  Brilliant, amazing humans who lived a long time ago.

What if our fundamental perception of civilization as a flight of stairs is incorrect?  What if it’s actually a roller-coaster instead, with periods of great insight and invention followed by dips into anarchy and chaos?  What if we’re not the folks at the top of the stairs, we’re only on a different hill of the coaster?  This theory of expansion and calamity is common in creation stories worldwide, including the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Popul Vuh, which is sometimes called the Maya Bible.  Jared Diamond discusses it at length in Collapse.

What if your history books’ version of Western Hemisphere history is incomplete?  Many of us were taught that everyone got to the Americas by walking across the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, during the Ice Age.  What if that was only one route of many?  The oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere have been found in South America.  Did they walk all the way from Alaska to Chile and then die?

It’s far more likely that people came to the Western Hemisphere from many directions, just as they do today.  If you have a globe handy, take a look at Alaska and then South America.  It’s quite a hike to get from one to the other, especially with glaciers covering a lot of the northern section.  And yet, West Africa is quite close.  A young woman recently rowed (yes, rowed) from West Africa to South America in 47 days – solo.  The prevailing winds helped.  It’s possible that our ancient ancestors did too.  They went across the sea to Australia at least 60,000 years ago. 

Here’s another piece of the puzzle.  The civilization generally recognized as the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, the Olmec, left massive basalt sculptures astounding in scale and craftsmanship.  They were so big that later people were afraid of them and buried them when they couldn’t figure out how to destroy them.  The one that is pictured on the left is from an Olmec site in southern Mexico.  It’s about eight feet tall.  The one on the right is somewhat smaller, but you can see the scale from the person next to it.


There are others, each one apparently the portrait of a different individual.  You can find them easily by putting “Olmec heads” in your search engine.

If you put these pieces together, you have some sense of why I began my series of adventure novels about ancient explorers with a group coming across the ocean from West Africa to what is now southern Mexico.  It’s called Misfits and Heroes: West from Africa.

I wanted the main characters to be complicated individuals, not the over-simplified heroes that history gives us.  They are misfits, escapees from troubles in their past that prevent them from going home, so they head off into the unknown.  They become heroes when they take up the challenges thrown down in front of them.

The story is set in 12,000 BC, which has caused several readers to question whether they could be talking and planning and otherwise acting like modern humans.  My answer is absolutely yes.

As long as 80,000 years ago, people in northern and southern Africa were mixing red ochre compounds in abalone shells, working heated stone for better tools, hunting big game, decorating shells, burying their dead with jewelry and fine tools, and traveling great distances.  In order to do these things, they needed a sophisticated language, a sense of cooperation for the common good, and a concept of an afterlife.  We’ve grossly misrepresented these people as grunting fools.

So what’s next?

The second novel in the series, my WIP, concerns a group of explorers coming east across the Pacific from what is now Indonesia.  The third follows a group from what is now Basque country in northern Spain.  Eventually, they all meet (at least that’s the plan) with rather complicated results.

About me

After spending over thirty years teaching composition and literature at a community college, as well as doing freelance work, I retired and devoted my energy to my own complicated, often frustrating projects.  It’s been an amazing experience.

Misfits and Heroes: West from Africa is available from a few independent bookstores in Michigan, including Pages Bookstore in Flint and Horizon Books in Gaylord and Petoskey (Thank you, independent bookstores!) and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other vendors.

com> started out as a way to give readers additional material, but it has since morphed into a discussion of all things ancient and their echoes in the present.  Stop by for information on hamsa charms, sandroings, Clovis points, a map of the heroes’ journey, San rock art, shamanistic half-death, decorated ostrich shells, and other interesting topics!

Thanks for this great, informative post, Kathleen. Anthropology, archeology and ancient history rank among my favorite topics.

Feb 13, 2012

Wisful Origins

Origins blogfest hosted by DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude, Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl), Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish  (Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment).

How I ended up here...

I always loved reading. I loved library days at school best, and my mother took us to the public library every week. What started me wanting to create my own stories was a teacher who read to us at nap time--Willy Wonka, James and the Giant Peach, glorious and imaginative adventures.

A shy and quiet person [still am], my parents sent me to horseback riding lessons, hoping I'd find the courage to be more extroverted. Horses were my passion. Little old me could make half ton creatures dance. I had special connections with many of the horses. One would follow me around like a puppy, his nose pressed against my cheek. Therefore, it is not surprising my first attempt at writing was a story about a horse. I was 8 and remember his name was Wesco, but not much else about it.

Then my grandmother gave me a hard bound copy of Anne of Green Gables. Oh, I loved that book. I still have it. Other stories--not about horses--started playing in my head. I didn't always write them down, but I kept creating them.

I majored in Journalism in undergrad, wrote news for the college radio station, and, gravitated toward advertising and marketing. When I could, I'd write fiction, dreaming of writing the next great American novel.

I moved to New York City, sold advertising to network TV stations, did some other marketing jobs, started a novel, which I still have, about coming of age. Many lines were about loneliness, which a friend teased me about for years to come. It's where Semper Audacia came from. I told her two years ago I was going to rewrite "Alone" in space. So, I did.

I moved to DC, worked in TV, the business side. Would write when I could. Started another novel with Player Piano as the inspiration. Never finished that one either. I got laid up with carpal tunnel, in danger of losing the use of both of my hands. Life took some wicked and wrong turns among the good ones.

Husband and I moved out west to Oregon. I was floundering, unhappy, didn't know what to do with myself next. My mother said on the phone one day, "You were always good at writing, go write me something." So this next phase where I write prolifically and actually finish many works began.

Last year I released Plantgirl, Translations, Small Graces and Semper Audacia. This year I'll be releasing The Backworlds, Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge and The Augmentation of Hetty Locklear. The Tumbas will be coming out in the Wandering Weeds anthology, too.

However this all turns out, I'm doing what I was always meant to do. Writing and finding the observatory have made for a happy life. If everything before was necessary to end up here, it was worth it.

When did your need to write begin?

Feb 9, 2012

I'll Tumble 4 Ya

It's blogfest time...Woooot!! OK, I'm a little early, but after I typed this up I was all...energized.

I'm proud to be hosting the I'll Tumble 4 Ya blogfest with the fabulous Nicki Elson of Nicki Elson's Not-So-Deep Thoughts and Suze of Analog Breakfast.

The 1980's was a great decade. I graduated high school. I graduated college. I lived in New York City. MTV landed with a splash. The music video sprung to life. And a young man with spiky blond hair who screamed as part of the song caught my full attention.

I found that lopsided sneer irresistable
From the first moments those memorable chords of White Wedding roared through the club my friends hung out at every weekend, Billy Idol had my full attention. Did I have other crushes in the 1980's? Hell, yes. I was a teenager and in my early twenties, it goes with the territory. But he's the one that stands out.

I was maybe very mildly obsessed. Is that an oxymoron? OK, yes. Obsessed is obsessed. I had read he hung out in the Village , so I dragged my friend Nikki out to the Village every weekend when I lived in New York. People would give me photos they got of him, but I never met him.

The photo is crooked because my scan skills are not so top-notch
I tried to see him in concert several times, but that never worked out either. He was booked to play at my alma mater's auditorium, but they decided he was too controversial and replaced him with Duran, Duran. Simon Le Bon was a decent replacement, and he still had blond spiky hair [my sister and I, it seems, had a real thing for musicians with blond spiky hair, yup, Sting included], but I was disappointed I couldn't scream at Billy Idol for hours on end.

Then when I lived in New York, I had tickets to see him at Madison Square Garden. Awesome! Until there was some major brew ha ha about asbestos or something and MSG was shut down for repair. Concert cancelled.

All these years, I kept my leather bracelet with studs as a momento of you, Billy Idol. Yup, I screamed after I typed that. Good times.

Yeah, another bad scan job. Me in the 1980's with my man, Gumby. Gumby was probably my best date in the 1980's, a leftover crush from the 1960's. Husband Unit is safe from that statement as we didn't meet until the 1990's.

Who was your biggest celebrity crush?

Feb 6, 2012

Eyes Above the Waterline

This past week was in a word...brutal. I knew that if I made it through the weekend, I could maybe catch my breath a little. A wee little.

The second edit of The Tumbas is returned to its editors (yeah, round 2 of edits came in last week), contract signed, bio and photo sent. They say there will be one more final edit after this. I, therefore, hope to have a release date told to me sometime in the near future. Deadline met.

My two upcoming releases for the Backworlds' series hit a spot end of last week where they both required my undivided attention and a lot of mental power--writing the last couple of chapters for The Backworlds, rewriting some chapters in Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge. And I had to keep going with both of them, knowing once I got past these points with both of them, the drafts/edits would pick up speed.

I have two chapters left to write in The Backworlds, then it's simultaneous 1st/2nd draft will be done. Sometime this week. Third draft begins this week, too. Luckily my crit partners have found no major course corrections in it, which means the 3rd draft will go fast. Phew! I will meet it's deadline to go to the editor end of this month.

Stopover is in third draft phase already and it will go much faster once I get the next couple of chapters straightened out. Then there's a few bumps later on that need some ironing, so my crit partners pointed out. I got scolded for keeping people awake. It's nice to know they found the story that exciting. I did contact its editor and pushed the deadline back one week, same day as The Backworlds now. I feel confident about getting it done by then.

And although I wanted to scream and bang my head against a wall on Saturday, I didn't. I powered through everything that needed to get done. Got guest posts written, emailed out and other projects done, too.

Is this enough for me to do? No. I've been thinking about the 1st draft of The Augmentation of Hetty Locklear, knowing it's up next--taking it from first draft to a pretty polished second draft. I think, hey, she needs a freebie before the novel release, too. What will I write about? Hmmm. Think, think, think...got it.

Anyone know anybody who works at Renaissance Fairs? There's one in Southern Oregon in May that I plan to attend and scope out. But some behind the scenes stuff would be great. I went to the one in Maryland once years ago, but feel I need some more updated information. Maybe I can track down some of those jousters online. There's a profession you don't hear folks mention often.

What do you do?

I'm a professional jouster.

What fun things we get to run into as writers.

Plus! That's right, there's more. I'm giving the presentation at my local writers guild meeting in April. Yup. Folks keep asking me about platform and building a blog, so that's what I'm going to teach. So, I have to learn powerpoint, make a presentation and some handouts and all that kind of thing. But I'm not going to worry about it until I'm done with both Backworlds stories. What would you say is essential about platform/blog building?

Anyway, I'm still in the swamp over my neck, but I don't feel as if I'm drowning any more. Progress. How are things going for you?

PS, to coincide with the I'll Tumble 4 Ya blogfest this week, my post will not be going off until late on Thursday. So, I didn't fall into a hole...unless you hear otherwise...I'm just delaying the post for a few hours for festing.

Oh, and if you haven't signed up for the I'll Tumble 4 Ya blogfest yet, here's the linky link. It's this Friday and all's you have to do is post up your 80's crush.

Feb 3, 2012

XOXOXO From Bethany Lopez, Indie Tag Party with Flowers

XOXOXO will be released on March 2nd. Here is the synopsis:
Melissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn’t over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, andJimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can’t help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.
This is the second book in Bethany Lopez's contemporary young adult series, Stories about Melissa. The first book was Ta Ta for Now!
Bethany Lopez blogs at http://bethanylopez.weebly.com/

Woot for the Indie Tag Party! Thank you Francine Howarth for putting this event together. My book is Semper Audacia. The link to the tag page is HERE. There are only 5 tags, you can just click "agree with these tags". They are: science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, short fiction and oregon writer.

Yay for festing!

More photos of mountaintop desert flora. I took these photos last summer. Date on the album says 7/01/11. Many times the wind was blowing so hard, it was tough to get a clear shot. Thank goodness photography went digital.

This week's blog posts on the website: Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child and Cloaking. Last week's posts were on the Infinite Worlds of HG Wells [really fantastic by the way] and the discovery of a young, slow rotating pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by Chandra [a space telescope].

Have a great weekend everybody!

Feb 1, 2012

Don't Panic

Before we get to panic, I have a post up on Stephen Tremp's website today HERE, where I'm talking about space telescopes. Man, I would love me a space telescope. Maybe too distracting. I'd do nothing else but stare through my space telescope. Anyway, let's get back to panic...

"Don't Panic!" Has been my mantra for the last week. I have two deadlines set for this month. On February 21st Stopover at the Backworlds Edge 's third and highly polished draft is supposed to go to its editor. On February 29th, The Backworlds 's third and highly polished draft is supposed to go to its editor.

At the moment, I'm questioning my sanity. Because, of course, other bits of life came crashing in on top of my demanding schedule. I could be a wimp and tell both editors I need two more weeks, but I decided not to. At least not yet. There's nothing more motivating than deadlines.

And I'm blessed with some really great critique partners blasting through the second drafts of both WIPs to give me a hand in making the best polished 3rd draft of each possible. Thanks to my local partners--Mike Rettig, Ella Zane and Trudy Schoenborn who volunteered to read through the last 70 pages of Stopover. Thanks to Misha and Tony for working hard on The Backworlds. I owe you all beers.

Anyway, I'm taking a page from Leda, the main character in Semper Audacia, and I'm being bold. To do what we do, fellow writers, we must often be bold. Semper Audacia means always bold in Latin. Leda would not cower in a corner and say, "It's too much." Nope. She'd say, "Shut up and do it."

So my mantra this week has changed to, "I can do it," and, "Be bold." I will do it. I will. Then I will plan a day off sometime in March as a reward. With a beer. Woot!

Thanks to Loretta [the great artist who did a beautiful illustration for Stopover] for creating this great word bubble so I could play with Paint with a project less obsessive than a new book cover [sort of a stress release for me]. OK, I have to include the beautiful illustration:

Get your own bubble to fill with your word of choice by right clicking and saving the image below. Choose something to motivate you and keep you on track.

What word would you pick?

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for IWSG--Insecure Writers Support Group. It's not too late to sign up and join your fellow insecure writers on the first Wednesday of the month.

Oh, and don't forget about the I'll Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest on Friday, February 10th. All's you have to do is post up who your crush was in the 80's. One enthusiastic blogger is even having a contest related to the bloghop. Check it out HERE. You can click on the "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" tab above to sign up. Maybe you're too young to have had a crush in the 80's, but maybe there's something you love about the era? You could post that up--a song or a movie or a book. Members Only jackets? Our Madonna, Pat Benetar and/or Flash Dance inspired fashions? Those were soo totally awesome.