Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Blogger: Gabriella Hewitt

Please welcome today's guest blogger: Gabriella Hewitt as she shares with us a bit on lore near and dear to her heart- and books ;).

I love Aztec lore. Why? Simple. Aztec stories are fascinating tales that are riddled with vengeance, blood thirsty deities, beautiful alluring gods and goddesses who scheme against each other in deadly family squabbles. The Aztec gods were some of the first daytime soap operas!

It was only natural I built stories of heroes and heroines pitted against larger than life immortals, thrust into the throws of peril and passion, fighting for humanity and love.

While I could talk about gods and goddesses all day, I have to admit I am most intrigued by the small roles played by a cast of strange and cunning characters that stay in the background but play a major role in the tales –the tzitzimime. Also known as TZITZIMIMI, TZITZIMIMEH, TZITZIMITL

The what? The who?
The word tzitzimime is not a typical word—and don’t’ ask me how to pronounce it—but the term is universal. Never heard of them? Well, maybe you have but they go by many names: demons, diablos, devils, evil creatures, hags, skin walkers, dark angels, etc. You get the point.

According to, the tzitzimime were female deities, and as such related to fertility, they were associated with the Goddess Itzpapalotl, better known as the Obsidian Butterfly, a goddess with a wicked temper, considered lustful and beyond beautiful. She was the ruler of Tamoanchan - the paradise where the Tzitzimime resided. The tzitzimime were worshipped by midwives and parturient women.

The best description and one that puts smile on my face comes from;
Tzitzimime were the protectors of females, especially during pregnancy and childbirth, but became unpredictable and dangerous around solar eclipses and other cosmic instabilities. Women, on the other hand, become unstable, dangerous and unpredictable around pregnancy. Yup, I know I was a tzitzimime during childbirth, no one was spared from my vile tongue and thrashing. I scared them all from the nurse to the doctor to the dude with the big needle. Seriously, no one was safe from my wrath but I digress…

In the Shadow Warrior series, I took liberties and made them men as well as women. Why? Well, for starters it’s not as common for women to die in childbirth today, and honestly, I am not sure how well it would go down in today’s society if I made a woman who suffered an unfortunate death a harbinger of evil. So, I took a more liberal approach and made tzitzimime, both male and female. The modern version is of people who were evil in life and are now evil in death, their blackened souls devoured by the tzitzimime and made into ghouls who walk the earth doling out pain and torture for their goddess and the gods in her camp who seek to destroy humanity.
Tzitzimime can be anywhere and they are always on the outlook for new victims to feed the darkness inside them. Now that the battle lines have been drawn, the world will never be the same, and it’s humanity who will pay the ultimate price.

For a tale filled with intrigue, passion, and rich Aztec lore, including those tzitzimime, check out the first book in my shadow warrior series OUT OF THE SHADOWS, coming August 16th from Samhain Publishing.

Aztec word: huitzilin (hummingbird)
In celebration of the 1st book in the SHADOW WARRIOR series, I am putting together a contest. Become a Shadow Warrior and hunt down tzitzimime, celestial demons and nemesis to Shadow Warriors. Follow me on the blog tour and keep track of where a dreaded tzitzimime has popped up. Contact me ( the location you have spotted a tzitzimime and the secret Aztec word. One entry per day, please. The more tzitzimime you spot the better your chances of winning. One winner will be chosen at random, the prize a $25 Samhain Publishing gift certificate. All entries must be in by August 18th. The winner will be declared on the blog August 19th. Contest starts June 5th and ends midnight August 18th (EST).

Gabriella Hewitt is the pen name of creative writing talents Sasha Tomaszycki and Patrizia M.J. Hayashi. Together they weave tales of romantic suspense and dangerously sensual paranormals. Check out their website to find out about upcoming releases and events on their blog.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Week Off Tech

The week over

Ok, since I still work with technology (pretty much on a computer all day for my day job) and I was allowing myself 15 minutes a day of email access, I wasn’t completely tech free this week.

But I was dang close for someone in our society not living under a rock or in a small abandoned cabin in the woods.

For those of you who missed it, the last seven days have been without tv, facebook, twitter, internet, or blog (except the aforementioned 15 minutes for personal emails). Today I’m back!

Now first some clarification on why I did this. I realized that I needed more time in my life, and more life in my time ;). I was letting technology work me instead of the other way around (“Oh, maybe just check once more in case something really cool is on tv, facebook, twitter, my email account or a blog”.) I was becoming obsessed! Now maybe if I didn’t lose 40 hours a week to my day job I could be more generous with my brain dead channel/internet surfing. Alas, the fact of the matter is that I’ve got a day job and I need said day job. Thusly, me trying to see how I could modify my time and my diversions, and deciding to step away for a bit.

I survived! LOL- now, yes a longer period of time would have made a bigger impact in my behavior, but the week got me to thinking. And it got my relaxing more. Weird, but the “gotta see if there is something cool/vital/earthshattering” mindset was stressing me out! I actually relaxed in the evenings! I got way more editing done, did way more reading…and found, contrary to my long held belief, I could actually function if I didn’t sit in front of the tv to “decompress” the moment I got home from work!

I know many folks will disagree, but I do think our society is becoming too tech dependent for social and emotional stimulation. I think we’re forgetting real world contacts. I know I’m viewing how I deal with tv and the internet very differently now. Oh, I’ll be back using both- but a lot less and with a different, hopefully more thoughtful, view.

What about you folks? Any of you step away from things for a bit? Did it change the way you view things? (And I don't mean on vacation- I mean day to day step away ;))

OH and for people who saw my blogs while I was away, and my alerts on Twitter and Facebook about said blogs while I was away- it was all automatic. Blogs can be posted waaaaaaaaay in advance, and told the exact minute they should post. Through HootSuite, any updates to my blog are checked once a day and alerts are sent to my social media outlets. Scary huh? Four blog posts, lots of alerts, and I wasn’t here at all. Makes you think ;).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Motivation!

Yup- yet another Photo writing prompt to get the brain a kicking for the week! What does this one say to you?

This is a domain free photo obtained from a free website.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday- Bunyips

Ok, cute name, not so cute critter.

Today's creature entry hails from the land down under and has been eating folks in the swamps of Australia for a very long time.

The bunyips make their home in the various waterways of Australia but there are wide variations on how they look. They are often described as having a crocodile's tail, but the body can be that of an emu, bandicoot, or man. They have manes made of weeds and their feet are turned backwards.

Their terrifying cry can be heard booming across the swamps and they prefer to devour women and children.

"Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday" is a weekly look at weirdness...creatures, places, people, myths, whatever I happen to come across that makes me say, "Hmmmmm?"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is technology running away with us?

I was going to title this social media instead of technology, but being as I plan to talk about tv as well, that didn’t fit.

As of the moment this blog hit the Internet, I will be on a tv and Internet lock down for one week. The fact that this is actually a big deal is kind of scary (and gives more credence to why I need to do a week lock down.). I know I’m not the only person who honestly would freak out a bit with NO TV, NO facebook, NO Twitter, NO emails (ok, modified- I’ll explain further down)- no Internet at all (except to back up my writing files).

Our world has changed and is changing faster than at any time in history. We’ve become those kids on the rides that yell for more speed, always wanting more connections, more entertainment, more stimuli.

Some people claim this is making us more able to multi-task. Others, myself included, wonder if it’s destroying something as well. People text instead of talking. While we’re at some really cool place, probably with people we like, we’re tweeting about it. To strangers.

This demand for constant contact can also act as a stressor- we need to check everything multiple times an hour- “just in case”. Friends, families, marriages have been damaged by what someone did or didn’t say on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, etc. Even when this contact is positive, it can lead to social stress.

Now tv is a different case but often feeds in directly or indirectly to the social media issue. Our brains shut off when we watch tv- so it can be very relaxing. But also a huge time suck. I’m not a huge tv watcher, the number of shows I regularly watch is far less than many folks. But even I find myself drawn in. I’ll have things I need to do after work, things I want to do---but then I sit down in front of the tv and pretty soon it’s time for bed. Another evening of productivity wasted.

So, between the mindlessness of tv and the stressors and over-connectedness on social media, I’m taking a break. As of this morning I’m taking a week off. No tv. No Facebook. No Twitter. Extremely modified email (I’m putting all of my groups to no email and will only spend 15 minutes each morning ONLY reading emails sent specifically to me. I can’t go completely cold turkey, and there are some people who do need to reach me- plus, ya never know when an agent or editor might answer a query ;))

Yes, the irony of using a form of social media to announce I’m taking a week off from social media is peculiar to say the least. But I figure I’m probably not the only person who is thinking the same thoughts. And especially for writers- both social media and tv can destroy our productivity at a time when we can least afford it.

So please feel free to comment- I’ll report back next Wednesday on how well my sanity survived, but I won’t be checking this blog. My regularly scheduled writing prompts for this Friday and next Monday are already scheduled- so they’ll post without me.

What do I hope to come from this? I hope to relax, to realize I don't need to be so connected. I hope to read more books, and write and edit more of my own work. I hope to slow things down- just for one week.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Is this a big deal or not? Are we letting technology run us?

See ya in a week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Motivation!

Happy Monday! Here's this week's writing prompt.

A way to start a week of writing and thinking ;). We have to face monday sometime! Have a great week!

Monday Motivation is a weekly blog- no need to comment, just use the photos to start or re-start some writing!

*Yeah- another disclaimer- this one is mine- if you want to post somewhere else ask me first please. :) Thanks!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday- Jersey Devil

Today’s monster hails from the east coast.

The Jersey Devil- no not someone from Jersey Shores- the Jersey Devil’s been around much longer than that brood.

The Jersey Devil either came about from an unhappy mothers curse in 1735 or was born in 1850 from a gypsy curse on a young girl. Either way the monster was born in Pine Barrens New Jersey, then escaped into the woods and continues to live there.

The Jersey Devil has a head like a horse or possibly a ram with large bat-like wings, and a long serpentine body. Tales of the Jersey Devil have waxed and waned like the moon it fly’s under, but one of the largest “Jersey Devil sightings and tales” period was a week in January 1909. Makes one wonder what happened then- hmm- maybe a story idea? :)

During that week, eyewitness accounts were documented in the papers with most witnesses reporting eerie sounds from near the Delaware river and the appearance of a strange glowing creature in the sky. Hoof prints of a strange animal were found in unlikely locations such a roofs, and the tops of chicken coops. No one has caught one yet though.
Want more info?

"Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday" is a weekly look at weirdness...creatures, places, people, myths, whatever I happen to come across that makes me say, "Hmmmmm?"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Blogger! Melissa Jarvis

Melissa Jarvis

The possibility of time travel is extremely enticing and has sparked imaginations for centuries. Imagine being a Civil War buff and watching the Battle of Gettysburg in person. Or having a passion for Elizabethan England and meeting the Queen in person. Or going back and warning the President about Pearl Harbor. Or waltzing the night away with a Regency Lord in those amazingly tight pants. Whoops, those are some of my fantasies.

However, just as there are consequences for our actions today, like forgetting to bring another pull-up when you go out with a potty training four year old, time travel has implications far beyond just picking up your grandmother’s cameo and transporting to the Wild West or falling asleep like Christopher Reeve did in Somewhere in Time.

In writing Past Her Time, I wanted to show time travel from a scientific viewpoint. I grew up with sci-fi writers like Anne McCaffrey and Robert A. Heinlein. Little did I realize it would lead me to study quantum physics (this from a person who took math for poets in college) and test out Einstein’s space-time bed sheet theory while folding my laundry.

What I’ve learned: there are two major theories regarding time travel. The first is the river flow theory. Essentially it’s like casting a stone in a flowing river; it will cause ripples and affect the flow of the water, i.e. the timeline.

Now Hollywood has given us numerous examples of that theory in action, such as Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever,” where by saving a woman’s life, Kirk and crew ultimately allowed the Nazis to win World War II. The only way to fix the damage? Kill the woman Captain Kirk loved. Beware of a kiss!

The Simpsons have also taught us many things, but one of my favorite lessons came from Treehouse of Horror V. Called “Time and Punishment” (love the play on words and the not so subtle book reference) Homer travels back in time and alters the future; i.e. a world ruled by Ned Flanders, an insect family and oh the horror, no donuts; and upon failing to restore the future/present, he settles for a reality somewhat like the one he left.

This also illustrates another popular theory related to time-travel called the Butterfly Effect, where small things, such as stepping on a butterfly in a rainforest can cause relatively large events or changes, like tornadoes or earthquakes. There was even a movie with Ashton Kutcher about this!

If you’re still wondering how one little kiss with that cute guy in a kilt in Highland Scotland could cause the end of the world, there’s another rule to keep in mind: the Law of Strange Attractors. Sounds like a dating manual right? It would explain a lot. However, what it really means is that there are certain people or objects that seem to attract more chaos or change to them. Like Napoleon, who I briefly referenced in Past Her Time, where my heroine narrowly avoids an encounter with him. Or Hitler. Or the State of California. Think what would happen if Napoleon had fallen in love with you instead of Josephine. No great, tragic love story. No comfortable empire waist gowns. And it’s unlikely that the Napoleonic Empire would have ever come about, since he’d be happily on his honeymoon with you.

The second theory about time travel is that of parallel universes. If you change something in the past, it will create a new timeline and world, and not have any effect on the world you knew. I find it interesting that the Back to the Future movies showed both theories of time travel. In the first, Marty changed his future by taking his father’s place. And if his parent’s had never met, no kid right? That creates a paradox by the way, which I’ll touch on briefly. I’m not Einstein, despite my attempts to solve that pesky theory. The sequel showed Biff creating an alternate 1985 when he stole the sports book. Remember Christopher Lloyd’s cute little drawing explaining it? And the third went back to the river flow theory. I really wish Hollywood would make up its mind.

Star Trek the Next Generation, unlike the original, used the parallel universe idea a lot and it’s even featured in the new reboot with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Unfair to make us choose between them, the dashing Chris/Kirk or the intellectual burn the books Zachary/Spock.

Now for paradoxes. It’s the problem every time-travel writer fears, especially those who use the river flow theory, which I did in Past Her Time. I created very strict rules for my agents to follow in order to try and avoid having to deal with that, because it becomes a chicken or the egg question, and frankly, I’m not up to debating that since I always lose arguments with my husband anyway. Sometimes this is called the Grandfather paradox, described by the science fiction writer Rene Barjavel in his 1943 book Le Voyageur Imprudent (The Imprudent Traveler). Suppose a man traveled back in time and killed his biological grandfather before the latter met the person’s grandmother. As a result, one of the time traveler’s parents (and thus the man himself) would never have been conceived. Yet if he were never conceived, how could he have traveled back in time at all and killed his grandfather? But then the grandfather would still be alive, and the time traveler would have been conceived, allowing him to travel back in time… and you know the rest. The parallel universe theory helps diffuse this; the man would have simply created an alternate timeline where he was still born, and in the one he came from; his lineage would be dead. Are we confused yet?

For those of you wondering, Einstein’s space-time bed sheet theory is that a mass object placed on a flat sheet would cause it to bend, thus allowing for time/space travel where the two points of the sheet met. After folding many sheets, I can’t tell you if this would work, but it did give me an idea of how to make time travel possible in my book. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off from reading it!

Book Blurb
Past Her Time
Agent Alex Raines takes no prisoners—in her job or in her personal life. But all of that changes when the time travel organization The Lineage sends her to 1793 Revolutionary France. Used to a "get in, get out," modus operandi, she finds her heart and will tested by local English nobleman Lord Gabriel Huntington, whose reasons for being there are as deceptive as her own.

In the midst of revolution and betrayal, can these two learn to take off the disguises and trust each other? Or will the fate of the world and time travel rest on Alex's ability to betray the one man she has come to love?

A mild-mannered Public Relations executive by day, and action-packed writer by night, Melissa Jarvis lives in celebrity-friendly Southern California with her husband and son. For over 14 years, she has worked in the public relations industry, doing press releases, bios, newsletters, media campaigns and more for clients ranging from the Playboy Jazz Festival to the Los Angeles Mission to JVS. And she's survived with most of her mind intact! An active member of RWA, she writes both paranormal romance and urban fantasy, as well as spicy paranormal under the name Melissa L. Robert. She is currently working on the sequel to Past Her Time, featuring agent Banderan's story. Catch her and more about the Lineage and its agents at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Promo sweet promo

Today’s blog is about promo- what’s worth it and what isn’t. I’m not at the promo stage yet- but I’m always keeping an eye on what folks do.

What got me thinking about it this time was an article in the San Diego Tribune about certain large studios choosing not to participate in Comic Con International San Diego. The reason? They weren’t sure their promo dollars were best spent there at this time. Now, for those of you who never watch anything remotely related to entertainment news- you may have not heard of Comic Con. Briefly, it is a HUGE geek fest that pulls in over 125,000 folks each year and needs more room. Geeks come from all over the globe to be here. It takes over a huge chunk of San Diego each July. Yet Warner, Dreamworks, and Disney have decided not to do panels this year (panels: big dog and pony shows with some of the top actors in the business talking about the new project).

For a multitude of reasons, these three biggies in geekdom are staying away/reducing their participation from what is arguably the biggest geek gathering IN THE WORLD.

Why? They’ve decided at this point in whatever their upcoming project(s) is at- it’s not worth it. They are taking a risk- CC attendees love their mega panels and not being there could cost some geek love come movie release time (or not- we’re geeks ya know ;)).

Now granted- no author I know of could spend the type of promo dollar these Hollywood heavy hitters can (we’re talking ads that cover sides of hotels here folks- see the photo ;)).

But how do authors make that decision? How does one decide- do I do a book trailer? Blog tour? Post cards? Swag? Workshops (which can be seen as promo really). What events do you hit? I once took a big collection of paranormal romance writers’ book marks/post cards etc to Comic Con- they were gone very quickly. I’ve also seen free romance books being happily sucked up by fans at Comic Con (both guys and gals ;)). And more romance writers are crossing over and presenting there each year. It wouldn’t be the first choice for many authors- but trust me- it’s gaining in popularity.

So this question is for any of you published authors- speak to us pre-pubbed folks- what promo events/items worked for you- and what ones not so much? If you were just starting out what would you do to promote that first book all over again (or some of you MAY be promoting your first book).
Thanks in advance for your responses- you’re helping other pubbed and pre- pubbed folks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Motivation

This week's photo writing prompt:

This one is mine- please don't re-use without permission :). Thanks!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday-Alklha

Welcome to another new weekly feature- Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday!

Stuff Ya Didn't Know Friday is a weekly look at weirdness...creatures, places, people, myths, whatever I happen to come across that makes me say, "Hmmmmm?" The idea is that maybe some of the weirdness will rub off in an idea for a story, snippet, character- whatever! Happy Week-end!

Our first one will be the Alklha (aka Alicha)

Alklha was the great dragon of the cosmos for the Buryat people of ancient Siberia. Its wings were black and said to be so huge they could cover the entire sky. If it was cloudy, you could bet that Alklha had opened its wings.

This dragon lived high above the earth as it made regular attacks upon both the sun and the moon. Even now it is said that the faint marks we see on the moon are said to be the work of the teeth and claws of Alklha. When one of the Buryat people saw the sun or moon obscured, such as in an eclipse, they were certain the Alklha was attacking. To fend it off they threw rocks at the sky to try to discourage it.

Legends say the gods finally found a solution by cutting the difficult creature in half- one half stayed on earth, the other in the heavens. This was so that when the Alklha tried to consume either the sun or the moon- the heavenly sphere would pass through and return to the sky unharmed.

Alas no photos could be found for this creature.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why do we blog? Why should we?

Simple blog post today folks- why do we do it? I’m talking about published writers and pre-published writers blogging. And I’m not talking about the “I like to cook” blogs, or the summer vacation blogs. I’m talking about blogs about writing and reading. Whether they are for fans or for fellow writers, tons of writers spend massive amount of hours on blogs and websites.


Well one reason may be an attempt to control some aspect of a very tricky and subjective business. We can control our output; but we can’t control agent, editor, or even reader response (beyond being as prepared as possible). However with a blog or website we control it. If I want to have a blog appear each week, I do it and its there (unless blogger is having another issue- AGAIN).

Also, our business is changing radically. Authors have to be willing to go out into the big scary world- both cyber and real- and promote themselves and their work. More and more agents and editors are mentioning that they Google prospective clients. Now having a bad blog, or lack of one probably won’t shoot you down. Obviously a kick-ass book hitting at the exactly right time will trump just about anything.

But having an online presence can help nudge interest if maybe that perfect timing isn't in place.

We need to get used to being out there. Published folks have to hit the ground running and promote. Us pre-pubbed (or under pubbed ;)) have to get used to the medium and how to function in it. I don’t have a “fan” blog because my books aren’t out yet. But I wanted to share and interact with folks on my writer journey, so I created this blog (non-writers welcome too ;)).

I’m also on a number of other social and business related media and groups for the same reason- mingle with authors and readers, get the feet wet.

So what do you think? Are you pubbed or pre-pubbed? Do you have a blog? Website? Are we wasting our precious writing time, or actually helping to build out chosen writing life and career?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Motivation!

Welcome to a new weekly blog event- photo writing prompts. Each monday I'll throw some sort of interesting photo up here- no need to comment (you can if you want) but the idea is to start your writing week by taking the image and running with it.

Use the prompt however you want, work it into your WIP, make a short story, just do a paragrapgh or two to exercise the ol' brain cells.

Some of these photos are mine-like this one (please ask for permission before re-using somewhere ;)). Others are just cool photos I've found on domain free sites.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chh-changes! This blog's a changin'!

Happy summer everyone! In honor of the hot season- I'm changing a few things on here :).

Every Monday will now be "Motivation Monday"- I provide the photo prompt- you do with it what you will. You can share your ideas on the blog if you want, but otherwise it's just a weekly brain starter :)

Wednesdays will still be my regular essays on writing and writers.

Fridays will now be "Stuff you didn't know" days. I'll post little snippets on weird creatures, places, terms, ideas- whatever I come across. These are just for fun- or they can also be used as another writing prompt. Maybe to add to some notes for your next book? ;)

Then during many weeks there will be guests! If you would like to be one of my Tues or Thursday guests- please respond here with a way for me to contact you. You don't have to be a published writer to guest! Anyone who would like to try out their own blogging is welcome.

Saturdays will be grammar starters- we'll start with the "easy" stuff (You know what we all forgot in school?) And see how far we get by the end of summer!

PLUS- I'll soon start a for the writer section with those great writing books you all sent :).

So come on by and join me :).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How a rejection and a screwed up ending are good

Happy Wednesday all!

I was thinking about various stages of a writer's life-not career, but life.

We're excited when we first sit down to create something out of nothing. I still recall a bit from my first "attempt" at a book when I was 13. The section I remember had to do with the brother of my character stubbing his toe on his surfboard in the hall. I don't recall much about the story and since I never got very far I'm not surprised. Mostly I just had an urge to see what I could create. Sort of like picking up some paints and playing. It was cool to see my ideas typed out though...but then boys came along and I moved on.

A few years later, I had an idea for a story. A real one this time-LOL. I LOVED seeing my words in type! (Yes a typewriter folks-- young ones, get your folks to explain it to you ;)). I was still very excited, but very distracted. I don’t think anyone outside of my family knew what I was doing. It wasn’t a secret per se- it just wasn’t something that came up while chasing guys ;) (Yes there was a trend in my youth ;)). This book, a SF adventure with a lead character named Vaslisha Tor Dain (I stole her name years later for the Warrior Wench- although is it stealing if you stole from yourself?) was fun…but I lost interest after about 175 pages. Always meant to go back to it, but never did.

Still more years later (we don’t need to discuss the numbers here ;)) I started Essence of Chaos. A fantasy trilogy of full geek standing, and I was more self conscious this time. I found I wrote better by hand and cranked out an over 700 page first draft. I still recall when I typed “The End” on that massive beast. It felt so flipping good! Some close friends knew what I was doing, and as I started on book two, I told more. I did some editing, got book one typed into a computer, and sent out for a round of rejections. It was still too dang big. Emotionally, I was sorta self conscious about writing. I didn’t know any other writers and it just felt like my friends humored me. Went back to school to get my Master’s degree- sat the writing aside.

A few years ago I started working at SDSU. My writing was mostly just poking at the Essence of Chaos with a stick from time to time, and shleping around some short stories. I had lunch with one of my co-workers who I didn’t know very well yet and somehow we got to talking about books, and writing. I told her I wrote and she didn’t mock me or pat me on the head. She wanted to READ IT. My friend (waves to Sandi Jordan) rekindled my interest in my books and my writing as she went through the first book. Talking with her about characters, plot, etc got me ready to write something new. I joined the RWA to get in touch with more writers (since there isn’t a similar group for SF/F writers). Soon Warrior Wench ( SF), The Glass Gargoyle of the Last Elven King (light fantasy), and A Curious Invasion (steampunk) were born.

Emboldened by my dear friend Sandi, and my new friends in the RWA, I hit the rejection circuit again. All the while still working on new projects. Last year I didn’t submit at all to give myself time to work on my craft (and finish two and a half of the above named books).

Now I’m editing, working on yet another project (The Four Dragons of the Apocalypse), and submitting. Two recent events told me I’d moved into another writing stage. First, I met this great agent at the RT convention. He doesn’t take my genre, but really liked the Glass Gargoyle story and wanted to see it (I was on cloud nine lemme tell ya!). He was a very cool guy and I would have loved to work with him. I KNEW if he rejected me it was going to hurt bad.

Then he rejected me.

And I survived! LOL! As I sat there waiting for the massive stabs of loserdom to hit- I realized they were a no show. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew this guy was a long shot being as he doesn’t do my genres- any of them! But he was so dang cool! And his rejection just made me mentally go “next”.

The other event that made me realize I’m moving on to another level was the discovery that my ending on my steampunk SUCKED. Massively sucked big time to horrifying proportions in fact. I hadn’t looked at this book since I finished it last fall, and I knew I rushed the ending. But when I realized how awful it was I didn’t freak, I didn’t panic, I just went “well, that’s not good” and started re-writing the dang ending.

In both of the later two cases, the old writer me would have freaked, broken down, curled in a corner, or at least eaten too much chocolate. Instead, I just mentally shrugged and moved on.

I think I’m getting it into my head that this is a CAREER not a one-shot deal. Having multiple projects (and another just popped up) really helps remind me- if these don’t sell, maybe the next one will.

I’m looking forward to the next stage of my writing life, and that time when I finally get my books out there to be read by the public.

Where are you on your writing stages?