Guest Post

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Top of mind chatting

cj Sez:  Saturday was the end of the ten-day on-line course on Story Arc taught by fellow SinC/Guppy writer/editor Ramona De Felice Long who did an OUTSTANDING job of leading me step by faltering step through the process.

Now I have a working synopsis and draft plot outline, even though I’ve written only “most” of the first act of one of my novels-in-progress. That’s a new experience for me because I’m a linear writer. I meander my way through the story, beginning to end, doing humungous editing as I go. Ergo, I’m more of a pathfinder than a plotter. Perhaps I’ve learned that plotting won’t diffuse the thrill of creating new conflicts for my characters. Perhaps this new skill will make me a faster writer. We’ll see.

If you’re a member of SinC/Guppy and ever have a chance to take one of Ramona’s on-line courses, I highly recommend it.
I’m always looking for good sources of writing information, and C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers Newsletter is one of my favorites. Her newsletter has been on the Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers list every year since 2000.  Hope has a free newsletter and a paid subscription version as well. Find out more here:

The latest addition to my to-be-read pile is a Western romance. Unfortunately I’m not reading very much so the stack will get taller for a while longer. My eye problem continues to interfere. I’m back to later than dusk…but the abundance of floaters in my eyes breaks up the words when I try to read a book. My writing has also suffered, until a friend recommended that I zoom more and use a dark page background with white letters. That’s working better. Not perfect, but better. Zooming is what got me through that Story Arc class.

It's time for me to buy a laptop. I truly dislike having to work on one of those, but the main use for this one will be doing PowerPoint presentations. The good thing about that is I don’t need to get a super-duper model, because I won’t be keyboarding much.

Not being a techie, I need some advice: What kind of laptop would you recommend?
Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Great gifts for Valentine’s Day, and only 99 cents for a bundle of romance stories:
“Bad Day at Round Rock” a short romance in The Posse anthology
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Bodies in Motion 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Taking classes and submitting

cj Sez: I’ve written pretty much nothing over the holidaze so I’m resetting my creativity gene by taking an online class entitled Story Arc (through my Sisters-in-Crime/Guppy group). 

   The first half that ended January 12 included scene arc, chapter arc, character arc, secondary storylines, and a bunch of other almost ad infinitum topics. In other words, this online class/workshop will be a whole how-to shebang for successful novel writing crammed into twelve days. I even learned to plot a little. As a pathfinder writer, that’s a bit outside my comfort zone. Having to analyze my languishing work-in-progress is giving me fresh perspective and many ideas that I now have three WIPs. I’m hoping to finish at least one of them this year. 

  Taking a class is a marvelous way to get the author juices flowing.

   Because I’ve become so ambitious, it seemed like a good idea to find out if my current eBook publisher (Crimson Romance, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) is accepting submissions—and they are. If you’re a romance writer, here are some of the guidelines:

Crimson Romance Writer’s Guidelines
Our digital-first romance line is open to submissions in five popular subgenres: romantic suspense, contemporary, paranormal, historical, and spicy romance. We’re looking for previously unpublished full-length novels (between 50,000 – 90,000 words) and novellas (between 30,000 – 50,000 words). All authors—agented or unagented, beginner or veteran writers—are welcome to submit any works that have not been previously published in whole or in part in any media, including self-publishing (Kindle, CreateSpace, etc.).

While your work can include other genre elements, Crimson Romances must focus first and foremost on a couple’s emotional journey together towards love. Romances, by nature, must be between consenting adults of any gender, race, creed, etc., and have a happily-ever-after or at least happy-for-now ending. We are strictly a romance publisher and will not look at manuscripts for memoirs or other non-fiction, women’s fiction or chick lit, young adult, mysteries and thrillers, horror, or general fiction. 

So if you’ve got a romance that’s a little offbeat, something other publishers won’t take a chance on? Send it our way! At Crimson, we believe variety is the spice of life — especially a reader’s life. We’re happy to consider a wide variety of plot lines and characters, but we’re always looking for:

Smart, savvy, confident heroines with strong goals
Heroes of all varieties — alpha, beta, anything in between! 
New twists on favorite themes

What they don’t want to see is also listed on the submission page. For more information on how and what, go to:

My footprints
  On the home front, the weather in Mobile, AL, has taken a decisive turn to winter, uncharacteristically so. In December, we had our first measurable snowfall since about 1995. We usually get “cold snaps.” That's when temperatures drop into the middle twenties for a night, then they climb back up into sweatshirt weather. Tonight I'll break out the down coat I brought with me from Michigan. The temperature is forecast to drop into the twenties and stay down for a few nights. We’re in for a hard freeze that the outside water faucets may not tolerate—even after precautions are taken. Water pipes in the deep south are not buried 42 inches or so deep as they are in the northern climes, so a long spell of freezing weather can do damage. Got my fingers crossed…you can cross yours for me, too, if you like.

  That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


Now a word from my sponsors…
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Amazon Central Author Page
Simon&Schuster Author Page
Romance stories…perfect for Valentine’s Day…a lot of gift for a little money:
Choosing Carter  — Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star —  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse a Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)

Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)