Carina Press Tweet Pitch

I just ran across a phenomena. Something for which I am sure Twitter is responsible. I have been glued to my computer screen reading the author pitches being made on Twitter. Carina Press, a digital first epubisher, is taking pitches from both agented and unagented writers.

I am totally getting into the story pitches. There have been several that I as a reader want to read. Wish they were already available. Then there were a couple that I as a writer wished I had thought of. It had been completely gratifying to browse all the cool ideas being thrown out by all these creative types.

It is also a learning tool. I can see the difference between a good pitch, a bad pitch and the really great pitches. Awesomeness all rolled into one.

And yes, I opened a Twitter account just so I could vicariously live the life of an editor at a publishing house. lol Not really. But still, it has been an eye opening experience.

If you have a Twitter account and a completed manuscript, check out #carinapitch on Twitter. check it out even if you don’t because it is really fun and a good way to waste a few minutes of your day.

Me, I have wasted many minutes of my day. But it has also not been a waste because if I ever get a chance to pitch, I will have learned something from the carina pitch today.

Sunshine

No this post isn’t about weather. Although it could be. This is about the manuscript I am working on at the moment. Gonna be a mid-length May-December romance. And not the cougar kind where the woman is older than the man. Nope. This is your plain jane, average, run-of-the mill kind where the guy is older than the girl. Not creepy older. About 12, 13, 14 years older. He is also the boss but she is not the secretary. lol  I like to write my chicks to be more. I like reading about heroines that are smart, sexy, and fun. So that’s how I write ’em. My girl in this story is a forensic accountant. And she ROCKS.

So I was listening to a CD I have. It is a chill-out CD. Cause I can’t write to just anything. It has to groove a little. Ya know? But not too groovy or I wanna dance. And not too slow or I wanna sleep. Too much beat makes me crazy and not enough is distracting. I need that stuff that is in the middle. So I am listening to the CD and what is playing but Stryke’s Aint No Sunshine. This is a chill out version. And it is about an older guy messing around with a younger girl.

I am thinking that in the song, the age of the girl is really young. Don’t get all crazy. It’s just a song. Although it happens in real life, my story is about a woman who is around 27 or 28. See, not crazy young. I am not a big fan of real young girls in real life being hit on by old dudes. It squicks me out. But an adult woman and a slightly older adult man? Well, that makes a good romance story line, no?

So for your listening pleasure and for mine to keep the story line in my head as I write is Stryke’s Aint No Sunshine.

Brain Fried

You know, after you’ve written so many thousands of words when the word well has been fried all out. I need a few days to reset. I wrote almost 20K words in like three frickin’ days. Not only are my fingers tired but so is the rest of me. So I just cruised the internet yesterday. Set up a goodreads account. Well I’ve had a goodreads account for a while but it was mostly just blank. But I finally decided to do something with it. Sheesh. Who knew being all author-ly was so much more than getting words on a page.

Gonna try and get some words out today. Well see. What I really want to do is read somebody else’s stuff. Got a few books that just downloaded to my kindle. They are so burning a hole in the back of my eyeballs. I keep glancing over to it lying all innocently beside me. Enticing me by just quietly waiting until I can’t take it anymore and click the on button.

Getting lost in the words of other is a good thing. Plus, the authors I want to read are some of my favs. Kristen Ashley, Lauren Dane and Cynthia Eden. How can I resist all that goodness? I can’t. I am weak. Weak I tell you.

So I like Kristen’s work cause she writes the BEST heroes. All that alpha male yumminess makes me squirm. In a good way. They are all badass and sweet. I like the way they talk. I like the way they walk. I like the way they do just about everything. They don’t mess around. Once they’ve made up their minds to have the girl, they HAVE the girl. Mmmmm.

I like Lauren’s work because her heroines ROCK. Straight shooters the lot of them. No bullshit. They don’t give it. They don’t take it. And… this is a BIG and… they are not too stupid to live women. I get so tired of chicks in fiction being too frickin’ stupid to be anyone I want to know, admire or read about. Don’t get that in Ms. Dane’s books. Her heroines kick ass.

Cynthia writes awesome chicks and awesome dicks. lol Plus, her books are filled with things that go bump in the night. What’s not to love? I love me some werewolves, vampires and all sorts of paranormal peeps. Her writing is tight, her story lines tighter and there is ALWAYS great sex and a satisfying ending.

So that’s why my kindle is like crack to me. When I am not putting my words to page, I WANT and NEED to read other’s word on pages. I choose to pick authors that are GREAT at what they do and offer me characters that I want to read about.

Now, off to pick up the kindle crack.

Reasons to Celebrate

So I had a pretty productive month in March. I decided last year about mid way through to start taking my writing seriously. As a result, I buckled down and just began to write. It took me almost 8 months to write my first novel. 86,000-ish words never felt like so many in my life. And I love to read long books so I was so certain that writing a large book would be easy peasy. Not so much. But eventually I got it done. Finished. So happy, I could weep tears of joy, ya know?

So that’s my first thing to celebrate in March, I sent out my finished manuscript to a couple of publishers and am hoping to hear back. Waiting is such the bitch. Gah.

I also finished and submitted two novellas/novelettes. Short little things. One was around 18,500-ish words and the other a little over 11,000 words. I submitted them both.

Things two and three to celebrate, no?

Related to one of the things above, I just got word that the 11,000-ish word thing was just accepted for publishing. How awesome is that?!?!?

So a BIG reason to celebrate number four. Like party celebrate. I know that maybe not everyone would be as happy as I am over this. I know it is a smallish work in the grand scheme of works but still, it ROCKS.

Thing number 5 to celebrate is that I finished a 26,000-ish word novella that I also submitted last month. Still waiting to hear back on that one.

Which brings me to my thing number 6 to celebrate. I also did a very short story for an anthology call. A little under 3000-ish words. I won’t hear back from them for quite a while so no worries about that one.

So all in all, March was an absolutely FABULOUS month for me. Six submissions. One acceptance. Equals a really happy writer.

 

 

3 More Titles

So after I finished my first novel, I had an explosion of words and ideas. Since then, I finished a short story, a novelette and a novella. All while working on longer pieces. I’ve been a busy busy girl. And I hope to continue to be filled with words that want to come out to play and be seen.

Digging around the internet, I found this definition of different lengths of writing.

 
Classification of Writing by Length:

A Drabble is an extremely short work of fiction with a length of exactly 100 words
A short – short story is defined as 500 to 1500 words
A short story is defined as 2,000 to 7,500 words
A novelette is defined as 7,500 to 17,500 words
A novella is defined as 17,500 to 40,000 words
A novel is defined as 40,000 to 125,000 words

While the length of a novel is to a large extent up to its writer, expectations of novel lengths may differ by genre: a typical mystery novel might be in the 60,000 to 80,000 word range while a thriller could be over 100,000 words.

Other traditional word count terms:

Chapters can be any length, but most authors try to keep them around 2500 words, because that is the length that most people can read in about 15 minutes, so the reader can get through one chapter while waiting in line or commuting to work

Music

Music and writing go together in my opinion. I especially like listening to certain tracks as I write a particularly sensual scene. So I am going to hunt up some music and try to get them embedded into this blog. Enjoy!!!

The one I have with this post is Silence- Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan. This is the Michael Woods Trance Remix. The original Karma album version and this one are my favs.

 

Finished First Book

I just finished my first novel. It was really hard. My imagination was taxed beyond all get out. Seriously put through the wringer. I thought I knew what writing was all about. After all, I have have been writing legal briefs for decades. 10, 20, 50, 100 page behemoths.

Writing a fiction novel, however, is a beast of a different type. Something I am not used to at all. But the process is the same. Outline, write, edit, let is sit for a day or two and then re-edit and then go through for technical and grammatical errors. I used to do this everyday for my legal briefs. But the subject matter is vastly different. VASTLY. My legal briefs held my arguments. Took the law and I got to put my spin on it based on other people’s writing. I had a platform from which to spring. 

Fiction writing is completely my baby. All the ideas, all the words, all of everything. Which made it both harder and easier to write. Editing was a nightmare. I had become vested in my words, my characters, my plot. Changing things, even to make it better, felt like a little slice into my flesh. Editing is like a death with a thousands cuts. You know that in the end, bled dry, you have the best product you can make but doing it hurts. Plus, it is just a bitch to do with 300+ pages. Time-consuming. And often fraught with peril because as you edit, more great ideas pop into your head. 

I have been listening to voices in my head all my life. Sometimes they have steered me right, often they have lead me down the path of wickedness. I knew that if I listened to those voices about changing things too much, adding too much, that they would be leading me down the path of editing doom. So I argued with them. I asked them gently to stop. I yelled. I cried. I gnashed my teeth. To no avail, they kept whispering, whispering, whispering. 

Finally, I just let them run and ignored them. Cause they just wouldn’t freakin’ shut the hell up. Now they are like white noise running in the background letting me know, definitively, that yes the universe does have a sound. Unfortunately, that sound is an awful like a nagging mother. Sometimes, it is like a seductive lover. When those two combine, my head will explode. 

That is, if my head doesn’t explode from starting my second novel.    

Sick of Virgins

Seriously, I have nothing against virgins. If you want to keep your virginity until you die, go for it. More power to you. But I am fucking tired, tired, tired (yes I thought if I said tired more than once, y’all would know just how tired I really was) of finding the heroines in my books being virgins in their twenties. And not only are they twenty-something virgins, they are twenty-something lawyer, doctor, scientist, CEO, etc. ad nauseum virgins. Really?

I don’t need a lot of realism in my books. They are fiction for a reason. I can put up with the too stupid to live women. I can put up with the too perfect to have ever lived men. I can put up with plot device after plot device with a little of deus ax machina thrown in. But I cannot nor will I ever be able to swallow a 26 year virgin medical doctor. EVER.

Look, if you were home-schooled on an island where there were only other women, I might buy that you could be a virgin into your late teens/early twenties. But then you are so fucked up on so many other levels that really the whole virgin thing is the LEAST of your problems. To have heroine after heroine show up in books today as opposed to be re-released from back in the eighties, as virgins well into their careers stretches the truth, my imagination and any modicum of common sense as to be beyond fiction all the way to la-la land. And yeah, maybe aliens will pick you up as they blow by our solar system, not to mention that swamp land I have to sell you.

The average age that an American women loses their virginity is 17.3 years old. Let’s try to reflect that in the fiction section. Cause even fiction should have a little veracity thrown in. In other words, just cause the STORY is a fairy tale doesn’t mean that the world that you draw upon in the story should all be lies as well. Plus, it places a premium on female virginity that I just find fucking offensive. Christ, that is just so regency period. Medieval in fact. I could probably wax poetic about all these older female virgins finding the man of their dreams who just happen to be their soul-mates being about the writer’s hang ups, being a reflection of a patriarchal society and several other sociological/psychological issues but I won’t. It would be BORING. Almost as boring as reading about fucking late twenty-something virgins.

So just stop it already. Just say no. And quit giving me female protagonists who don’t reflect the reality of being a women in America today.