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We need a volunteer for . . .

It's good to volunteer, right? I saw a need and stepped up, raised my hand, and said, "Yes." It sounded like the perfect fit for me, a former Communication Arts student. I've been wanting to help.
Good grief! Now I'm realizing that offering to video/broadcast my local RWA chapter meeting on Saturday might have been a bigger deal than I imagined.

What the heck was I thinking? I haven't done anything like this in almost 30 years. Everything has changed. The camera can be held in one hand - without a 50 pound battery pack. The microphone is small and easy to use. Everything plugs into my laptop computer with minimal cable connections. Heck, my laptop could handle the whole thing all by itself, if it had to, with the built in camera and microphone. In this endeavor it is the human component that is weakest.
I keep hearing those five little words in my head - "How hard can it be?"- and I cringe, knowing that I didn't wait for the answer to that. I wonder if putting them on the page probably qualifies courting Murphy's Law? Now, I'm sorting through the manuals of my peripherals, looking up information on the internet, and booking a quick class at the Apple store.

To my Rose City Romance Writer chapter mates - bear with me, please. It may take me a while to get up to speed.

It is really too bad I don't have the magical abilities of the characters I write. A little wave of the magic wand would be helpful right about now.

Feb. 25th, 2011

Today seems like a good day for introspection, especially when the sun is shining and the birds are gathering at the feeder outside my window.
I have been wrestling with the formidable task of rewriting my WIP, which after two rewrites is finally becoming the work I envisioned when I wrote the first line. I have tried ignoring the plot bunnies, except for the one that will be the second book in this series, and finally acquiesced to jotting down a couple of lines and making a file for the ones that won't shut up.

Like a dragon hoarding it's lair of shiny baubles, we writers tend to gather up as many glittering new ideas as we can, dusting them off once in a while, but loving the ever expanding pile in all its current glory.
It can be hard to concentrate, to take just one out of the pile and put in the work necessary to make it sellable, to cut and chip and sharpen the angles - to pick a shape and create the facets in order to let the brilliance shine through and make one story at a time into the jewel it can be - one that you will be willing to send out of your cave and into the world.

Ah, but now I am beginning to see that when I master the techniques I will find the true beauty that lies, not only within the gem, but within the artist as well.

See, a little sunshine and blue sky are all I needed.


Laurel N
Today I am feeling very grateful for the great teachers in my life. I have met them at every chapter of my life and feel their influence every day. Even now, with grown children, I continue to learn and to meet exceptional teachers.

Part of being a writer, for me, means adding to my store of knowledge, whether it's researching for a novel or learning more about the craft of writing. Thanks to a Winter Intensive seminar, last year, I had the great good fortune to learn from Margie Lawson - one of the most positive influences I have ever met. Her belief in my ability to not only write novels but write amazing novels, continues to empower me as I learn and grow and write.

Now, the Promo part -

Margie teaches online courses through Writer University, which means her store of knowledge is available to everyone. The upcoming class - EMPOWERING CHARACTERS' EMOTIONS - is being offered at a discount for those who sign up today. $5 off of the normal $30 tuition. The usual price is a good deal and this is even sweeter.


I have taken this class and am contemplating taking it again because it is so packed with information that I am sure I will learn something new.

Now, I'm going back to my WIP, pretending that there is no snow falling outside my window. *sigh*

Laurel N
It only takes a second to get to Amazon or Borders’ or Powell’s site and put in my order for my favorite author’s soon to be released book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it, read it cover-to-cover while the summer rains drive me indoors for a cup of tea, or, dare I dream, out under the patio umbrella while I recline on the lounger during a sun break. I can have it delivered right to my front door, or maybe I should get it as an e-book. On second thought, maybe I’ll wait. Oh, I know this author is anxiously checking to see how the presales are going, and I’d really like to help her out by pushing that number, but I just don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.

So here’s the dilemma - I love bookstores. I love the smell of all the books, the low hum of conversation and, in some, the wafting scents of coffee and baked goods coming from the café in the corner. And, I like the booksellers, the ones who always seem to have time to help you find a title, or look up the release date of the next offering by a particular author, or engage in discussion about favorites you have in common. Did I say like? Make that love.

I also love making connections with other readers, the passionate, the questing, and the novice readers. Old, young, in-between, all there to learn, or escape, or fall in love, or travel to places near and far or out into space. So many people devouring the words others have written, drinking in the essence of each author’s need to put word to paper.

It is the brick and mortar bookstore that I escape to when need a break. It is where I meet a friend while we decide where to go for lunch. It’s where I shop for the perfect gift for my sister, father, daughter, husband, mother, friend.

Convenience –vs- community, expedience –vs- experience. For those of us who live within driving distance of a bookstore, large or small, it is perhaps not a difficult choice after all. Faced with the very real possibility that yet more bookstores will be closing I intend to savor them while I can. I can’t save them singlehandedly, though my husband is certain I am doing just that, so I urge you to consider spending your book budget in person. And please, remember to savor the moment.

Now, I’m off to make the pilgrimage. :)

Laurel N

Oh yeah, I'm a bit behind...

So, I didn't really mean to leave LJ for almost a year. I did check in once in a while. Looked at my friends' journals, caught up with some of my favorite writers and long-distant friends, but mostly I've been keeping track through email and twitter.
I have to admit, I'd forgotten how much I like this particular corner of the world. There are conversations going on here that are not available anywhere else, and I have missed some amazing moments by being absent.

I do have a bit of news to share, though it is mostly speculative at this point. I am hoping to have my first book sale this year. I have had a couple of nibbles and am trying to find the best match for what I truly love to write. At the moment it looks like I will be starting with Paranormal Romance, but my true love is Science Fiction / Fantasy and I am hoping that once I have a foot in the door I will be able to sell that as well. Or who knows, maybe I'll be starting off with the SciFi/Fantasy. Stranger things have happened.


Laurel N

Life is good! Busy, but good.

Think of where you would really like to be right now and then write about it for five full minutes. Just random thoughts, even if they aren't full sentences, about where and why and with whom - the place you desire to be.

If you are not there right now then make a plan for how to get there either in real life or vicariously through a book or a program or a movie or whatever means lets your imagination free you from where you are now.

I did it and surprisingly discovered I live there! I know it isn't always perfect and there will be times I want to be somewhere else but for today - spring is coming, the family is healthy, the sun is going to be making an appearance some time this week and I am doing what I love - writing the greatest romance novel ever! Okay, so maybe not the greatest ever but it is totally entertaining me. My goal? Get it finished and then share it. Even if only one other person reads it and enjoys it I will be happy. I'll set higher goals for the next one, but for now - life is good!

Now, go out there and find your happy place!

Summer at last!

Okay, so nothing much happens out here in the wild West, but it's big news when the days finally manage to make it over 75 and we have sun instead of high cloud cover.
This is the best time to put on some old jeans and go out to the u-pick farms and gather up some of the most delicious berries in the world. Strawberries are in mid-season, Raspberries are soon to follow, then blueberries and blackberries.
I'm going to break out my favorite recipe for some heart-shaped cinnamon biscuits and whip some real cream in anticipation of a bowl of fresh berries for dessert tonight.



Blood Ties "5:55"

For those of you who know me - this is the episode I've been waiting for. I would encourage any and all who love a mystery/ paranormal suspense to watch this on Lifetime TV tonight!
My expectations were high and were quickly exceded by some excelent writing and totally amazing acting. Christina Cox made be believe she was really Vicki Nelson P.I. And that she dearly loves the two men who are vying for her attention.

Please - if you are reading this - Log on to Lifetime TV and make your voice heard. They still have not renewed this show for an additional season and time is nearly up! Even if you are not a fan of the network "Blood Ties is a wonderful escape to adventure (and some lovely eye-candy) on Friday nights this fall.

Tanya Huff fans unite! We have work to do and this is not the time to give up!

Send postcards begging for more Blood Ties to:

Lifetime Entertainment
309 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10019

Attn Susanne Daniels or Attn: Andrea Wong