Friday, September 21, 2012

Blogcation

There are only so many hours in a day.

Did you know that's really true? Lately I've been experiencing that personally.

On top of all my other things, I started a new thing - going to the pool at 5am 3 or 4 mornings a week.

It's good but I just can't seem to get my writing scheduled around it. Or, at least that's the procrastination reason I'm using right now.

I've read 4 really good books lately. I have blogposts planned talking about them, but I'm not finding the time. And one of them involves grandkids stuff and a picture I can't seem to get taken.

And I feel very disconnected from my writing group because I'm not writing. I keep going there. I keep chatting. I still love the group and all my writers.

So I've made a decision:

I'm going on a blogcation.

I will return on Tuesday Oct 2, 2012.

Hopefully I'll be more centered. More focused. More like a writer.

Meanwhile enjoy this piece of art my granddaughter recently created as an assignment from one of her online high school classes:

 
And these mums because, you know, it's fall!!!
 


I'll still be around pestering you with my comments on your blogs. Then I'll meet you back here next month.

As you leave could you let me know - what tricks work for you to get you moving when you're procrastinating?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Romance Womens Fiction Novel: The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, Author: Bridget Asher

Men and frogs

“I was afraid of men for the same reason I was afraid of frogs—because I couldn’t predict which way they would jump.” The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

I'm sure that women reading this are nodding in understanding of the sentiment. Writers are asking themselves - why didn't I think of wording it that way? Very, very clever.

Here's what shelfari.com says about The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher:

"Heidi is still reeling from the death of her husband, Henry, two years earlier. Heidi can't bring herself to return to the bakery she and Henry ran, and her son, Abbott, is consumed with grief, which is manifesting itself through his obsessive-compulsive behavior. Heidi's mother believes she knows the perfect cure and sends them, along with Heidi's gloomy and sullen 16-year-old niece Charlotte, hiding her own secrets and miseries, to their family home in Provence, where Heidi hasn't been since she was 13. The house has been in Heidi's family for generations and has long been viewed as a living, breathing force that brings miracles. Heidi is initially tasked with the repairs and upgrades to the house, but it, along with her elderly neighbor and her neighbor's son, starts to repair Heidi and Abbott and Charlotte and bring them closer together to form a new family unit."

 
—whereas I would start a to-do list with things I’d already done so that I’d have the pleasure of crossing them out. Heidi, protag of The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

Now that is a heroine I can relate to. I thought I was the only one who did that.

I felt the smallest inkling of desire—the step before wanting to create, the want to want to create. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

Writers out there - have you gone through long periods without writing? Have you ever felt this want to want to create? I have.

Thank you. Merci.” My mother had once told my sister and me to listen for the word mercy inside of merci. I could hear her saying, “Merci, mercy. Do you hear it? One language hidden inside of another.” The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

There Ms Asher goes again - putting something in a very clever fashion. Many moons ago in Spanish class I was struck by how many of our words are almost their words. "One language hidden inside of another." I love that.

“Near Les Halles, we came across a giant statue of a tilted head resting in an open palm. We took turns posing with it as if we were picking its nose.
We were Americans, after all.” The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

 
I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, we're known worldwide as ugly Americans for things like this. On the other hand, it's funny and maybe one of our jobs is to say to the world at large--LIGHTEN UP ONCE IN A WHILE. (Also - you'd be amazed at how many pics of people picking statue noses bing images has on file.)

“C’est comme ca,” I said.
“What’s that mean?” Abbott asked.
“It means ‘it’s like that.’ It’s a French expression,” I said.
“Because sometimes things are just like that. That’s all. It’s just—like that,” Julien said. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

The better part of the book takes place in France. Asher takes full advantage of giving us a dose of another culture; French food, French scenery, French customs and lots of lovely French expressions like the one above.

It's a well written book full of lovable characters that I cared about right away.

But then, could we expect anything less of the woman who wrote The Pretend Wife which I blogged about here?

Do you like books that immerse you in another country or culture?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Poetry and butterflies

I have a blogpost in mind about a very good book I just read but I have the ho hums today.

Gonna give you a couple of cinquain poems by my wip character, Mimi Crows Berkhorn.

(Cinquain is 2,4,6,8,2 syllable lines.)

From Mimi's journal entitled: People Watching

----------------------------------------------------
Frenzy
charges the room
sticks you to me; you gush,
I blurt; no one listens; we spin
apart.
 
Human Jumping Beans
-----------------------------------------------------
Met up
with a talker.
She threw her words at me,
no room for input – pro or con;
Speech rape.
 
Captive Audience
----------------------------------------------------
She has
something to prove
look at her, she's sexy
listen to her, she's smart; sexy
smart, se….
 
Blond Goddess
--------------------------------------------------
 
And so you have something pretty to look at to go with the poetry - in the book that I'm going to blog about, probably Friday, she mentions Bath White Butterflies.
 
 
Aren't they pretty?
 

Friday, September 7, 2012

I’m not the best audience for this


Reminder: In A Fix by Linda Grimes is out now. If you haven't bought it / read it/ do so now. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go here.
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Most of my blog readers are avid novel readers and / or novel writers. I’m guessing you’ve all encountered a book or two written in the manner I’m focused on today.


I suspect there is an industry title for this particular manner of putting a book together but I don’t know what it is. If you do – inform us. (Also, if you write like this – don’t take offense because there are many exceptions to my general dislike of this manner of formatting and I most often like the book content regardless, as you will see.)


I’m talking about books where chapter 1 is about character YadaYada. Then chapter two is about character BlahBlah. Chapter 3 is about character Whosis. And so on, and so on. Until we reach the chapter where Yada, Blah and Who intersect.


I often enjoy these books but I usually wish they were written differently.


Take, for example, one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors - The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel (before she was O’Neal).


I loved that book but I couldn’t read it as written. I couldn’t read a chapter about Trudy and then read one about Roberta. I absolutely HAD TO KNOW the whole story of Trudy and Rick, first.


The same with two of Marian Keyes books. The Other Side of the Story and This Charming Man, were both excellent in that Marian Keyes, dark but hopeful way. Yet, I picked through the one and read all of Gemma’s story; then went back and picked through Lily’s story, etc. Same with the other one; all of Lola, then all of Grace, etc.


I read all of the words in the books, just not in a tidy, linear fashion.


If you read my blogpost here, you may have guessed that The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister was written like this. The problem was, though, when I went to pick through to find the end of the first chapter character, Claire’s, story, there were no more Claire chapters. And I really wanted more.


Do you enjoy reading books written like this? Is there a certain manner of writing books that you don’t like to read?


This also reminded me of another manner of writing, books told in letters. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read was written like that. I promise a blogpost on that style of book soon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paranormal Romance Comedy Novel: In A Fix, Author: Linda Grimes

In A Fix by Linda Grimes - FINALLY

Y’ALL THIS IS IMPORTANT!

I need you to forget about your current to-be-read pile. I need you to make your way to the nearest bookstore. I need you to purchase a copy of 


It's for your own good. Honest. If you want to thoroughly enjoy yourself you owe it to yourself to do this. Now. Today.

Heroine Ceil Halligan is an aura adaptor. She takes on her clients auras, essentially becoming them, and goes where they send her to solve problems for them. As themselves. Get it? Where is a good aura adaptor when I need one?

There are two hunky heroes; CIA agent Mark and long-time friend Billy. 

There are neo-Vikings.

And she ends up in funny, sexy, situations. 

If you've followed Linda Grimes blog at all, you'll understand when I say, it's full of Linda's humor. If you haven't, why not? Just kidding. If you haven't, here's a taste:

"I steadied her the best I could, and was mortified to feel my projected penis start to twitch when my arm accidentally brushed her breast. See, this was exactly why I generally prefer not to assume a male aura - I never quite know how to deal with an appendage that has a mind of it's own. (Granted, this one seemed twitchier than most I'd experienced.)" In A Fix by Linda Grimes

"Maybe you could stay just a little longer."...
"No. I don't want you to remember the first time we make love as some sort of work-related quickie."
"You're right," I agreed, if reluctantly, and licked my lips. Slowly. (What? They were dry.) In A Fix by Linda Grimes

I got to read the book as part of the ARC (advanced reader copy) tour that Linda had. I've just gone through it again looking for funny parts. Here's the thing - there are many, many, many. And not all of them are related to sex. But I don't want to spoil them for you. You deserve the delight that comes at each new turn in the book.

This is the kind of book that you can sit down with, forget about any cares you have, and laugh out loud until anyone who hears thinks you're crazy.

See what a giving, unselfish person I am with your best interests at heart? If you want to recommend me for sainthood, you can, but my being an atheist might jam up the works a bit.

Alright dammit, I'll admit. It's not entirely unselfish of me. I know Linda has more than one Ceil Halligan book in the works and I'm dying to know, what's next.

You will be, too.

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