Sunday, July 30, 2006

Getting Wordier and Wordier

Is that even a word? Wordier??
I've been writing short stories. Not because I view myself as a 'short story' writer, (I do have a couple of novels in the works) but as a way to teach myself the mechanics of writing. Shorts require tight plotlines and prose that moves the story forward. No wasted words, no meandering sub-plots. It's also a good way to learn dialogueing and the use of body language (as a response - in lieu of 'head jumping').
The first short I had published, "Cavern on the Green" was 3000 words. "Bella Fiore" was 5000. I recently finished "The Color of Passion" which supposed to be short, but as you know from previous posts, grew to a barely managable 21,000 words (eeek). The other short I've had brewing, "Lucy's Island" (working title) was supposed to be a short-short. REALLY short. A simple exerise in dialogue. But alas ... my latest word count has it at 8,000! And I'm not finished!! What the heck happened? I'll keep going, with the w.i.p., but probably will need to edit the dickens out of it to bring it back on track.
The problem - I'm letting the characters ramble on - just like I do on this blog!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Horrors of Marketing

So the book is finally out,...
Now comes the marketing.
I produced some lovely book marks featuring the book cover, website address etc, complete with red tassle. Very hot! And - the best part - I got a mug emblazoned with the book's cover as a holder for the bookmarks!
I dawned a pair of capris, white blouse and short string of pearls (trying to look professional) and off I marched to the local 'adult' store. I approached the two ladies at the desk, said 'good afternoon' with a smile and asked to see the manager. Oops! Perhaps that wasn't the best approach -- I swear I saw her eyes narrow while she struck a defensive pose. I'm sure she was thinking "Oh, lovely - some prissy woman's hubby came in and bought something naughty like black leather crotchless panties and she wants him banned from the store for life," or "hi, my vibrator broke and I want to return it" (YUK!) I'm sure these 'adult' shopclerks see all kinds! I quickly explained that I was a writer (I feel odd saying it aloud!) of erotic stories and would they give my bookmarks away free to their customers. They both eyed me suspiciously.
"I guess you can leave them on the counter," says Manager. Perhaps it was just my imagination, but I think I saw a measure of relief in her response to my benign request.
"What's it about?" the assitant asked.
Gulp. I hate this part!!! "Umm, well, it's an erotic story about a bored housewife who is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and she,..."
OMG! Don't make me do this! I'm blushing furiously by now. I mean, what am I supposed to say? It's erotic for heaven's sake. The woman has sex! Hot monkey sex!! Then Assistant jumps in and says, "Oh, you mean like a Desperate Housewives sort of thing?"
"Well, um... No. It's an erotic story. It's,... an e-book!" I add desperately, like a housewife.
"What's an ebook?" Manager asks, still a bit wary.
Oh oh. Now I have to explain the publishing industry.
"It's a book that people can download onto their computer," I say.
Clearly, I've got to recruit my husband as a spy to visit the 'adult' toy store to see if they're still on the counter. Don't think he'll mind his assignment. Hell, maybe he'll buy me something to inspire my next erotic story . . .

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Contest

The Bella Fiore contest is finished and I'd like to thank all of those who participated. The winners were as follows:
Linda H - copy of Bella Fiore
Susan J - Chippewa Publishing gift certificate
Chris K - Chippewa Publishing gift certificate
Pamela K - copy of Black Lace Anthology: Wicked Words 7
Marianne A - copy of Black Lace Anthology: Wicked Words 7

Happy reading!
~ Wylie

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Do Not Adjust Your Set

Decided to go with a smaller font - otherwise it seems to go on, and on, and on ... or is it me?
PS to Rockstar Supernova: CAN'T BELIEVE YOU MORON JUDGES DIDN'T SEND ZAYRA HOME LAST NIGHT!! What the hell are you people thinking? Phil over Zayra??? Oh, I get it ... you want to keep Zayra in for 'weirdo-from-another-planet' factor, don't cha? Lame.

1 More Day - Tra la la la la la!

"Bel-la Fior-e comes out to-morrow! One more da-yee! Tra-la-la-la-la-la!!"
So why am a nervous? How did the butterflies get into my tummy? Perhaps they were in the carton of cookie dough ice cream I at last night?
I wrote Bella Fiore (pronounced bell-a fee-yor-ay in case you didn't know) almost 2 years ago, stuck it in a drawer to marinate, (then a moving box) and didn't look at it again until last summer. I blew off the dust, made a few revisions and sent it off to Chippewa Publishing. They picked it up (yipee!). It was so long ago, I barely remember what the story was about.
Okay ... that was a blatant lie. The editing process was more time consuming than I ever dreamed - and not because it was a crap story (!) but CP demands an ultra-polished result (this is a good thing) - and I got to know the story almost by heart. But the point remains, I wrote it AGES ago. It's old news. I've moved on. So why all of a sudden am I nervous about it's release? I mean, I wrote it to be read, not to line the bottom of a bird-cage. Here's what I came up with:
What if nobody buys it? What if they do buy it and hate it? What if BAM completely anhiliates me? (check out her website - she's viciously funny - link is on the side) What if I get less than three coffee cups from the reviewer at Coffee Time Romance?
Or, ... I'll invent a new alias and just keep on writing.
Because I have to.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Maturity in Reality Shows and Writing

An Open Letter to Rockstar Supernova contestants:
You can all go home except for Dilana, Lukas and maybe Storm, who remain the only three worthy of this competition.
Jill and Toby, while awesome performers, you're done. Dana, Phil, Josh, Ryan, Patrice - you shouldn't even be there, dudes. You can all sing (in some cases, REALLY sing), but you don't belong with those tattooed, hard-living, skank-seeking Supernova boys. Zarya, please take the first shuttle to what ever planet you came from - Earth isn't ready for you yet, and Magni, your misplaced arrogance is truly just that - misplaced. You may be big in Iceland, dude, but Iceland ain't the world.
. . . but even though I've personally narrowed the competition down to three, I've enjoyed almost all of the performances. Each of these contestents have more talent than the entire top twelve American Idol kids put together. They have a sense of maturity, a hardness, an edge, that enhances the emotional impact of their songs.
This same reasoning can be applied to writers. You rarely see 'young' writers on the best seller lists, not because they're not good writers, but it takes a certain amount of living, of emotional experience to be able to fully develop well-rounded characters; to create an emotional depth that readers can relate to.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Waiting Game

Back in June (the 11th to be precise) I blogged about my own stupidity in sending an e-publisher the first three chapters of The Color of Passion at 2:30 AM. By the light of day I inevitably saw a few errors in the copy and cringed at the thought of an editor radar-ing in on my ridiculous mistakes. I pictured said editor throwing back her head in a Cruella Deville cackle whilst touching a match to the corner of my sad little submission. I waited anxiously for the 'Dear Author, Thanks for your recent submission. Unfortunately ...' - you know the rest.
But alas, eight precious weeks dragged by and nothing. NOTHING!
I have a full blown case of carpel tunnel syndrome from obsessively hitting the 'check mail' button on my Yahoo page. As the days drew closer to the red circled number on my calendar, and I still hadn't had a reply, I checked, double-checked and re-checked the e-pub's submission guidelines to make sure that I'd read it correctly: "Initial submissions of a synopsis plus initial chapters are typically answered within eight weeks."
After week nine passed without a peep, I wrote a polite email to the submissions editor asking very kindly if they would check to see if my email with attachments made it through cyberspace and into their hands (secretly hoping it hadn't so I could resend a corrected copy).
Within two hours I had my reply.
It had indeed arrived and this is what she said: "
. . . Your submission of The Color of Passion to (XXX Publishing) has been read by our initial editorial reviewer. She felt it showed strong potential and has placed it in queue for an acquiring editor to consider . . . "
YAHOO!!!! Hey - it ain't a sale, but I'll take it!
And thank the Lord above - I can stop checking my email with religious fervor.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Count down to fitness

Four more days until the release of Bella Fiore! I feel like a kid counting down the days to summer holidays.

With my smallest child now over two, I'm finally finding a bit of freedom to get on with 'me' things - like bubble baths and pedicures. It's amazing how one's life and personal needs get pushed to the back burner when children come along. I often look at other moms who sport perfect manicures, complete with tiny inset sparkly jewels, and think - How on earth do you change diapers? How do you bathe your baby without scratching him, or build a sand castle, or do finger painting without ruining your nails? I obviously didn't read the 'Maintaining Your $35.00 Manicure' in Parents Magazine. My bad...
So back to me. Yes, with child #2 old enough to be left in occassional care, I decided to join a gym. A brand spanking new, clean, I'll-be-the-first-to-sweat-on-the-equipment gym. It doesn't open until September, but just walking around with my temporary membership card some how makes me feel
fitter. And, I have a month to get in some kind of shape so I don't make a complete ass of myself!
The pre-opening membership special included a half-price initiation fee (only $100!) and a free gym bag. Or as my husband pointed out, I just paid $100 for a purple gym bag emblazoned with an advertisement for the new gym. Hmmm....
I can't wait to start!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bella Fiore Teaser #3

Only TEN more days until Bella Fiore is released. This will be the last excerpt because it's the last 'clean' portion I could extract. The rest is too racy!! Enjoy ~

“Perception is a funny thing,” Boden’s voice came from the darkness. She was no longer beside me, but I could still hear her voice. “Our perceptions have little to do with reality and more to do with our experiences, inner emotions, and outside influences. We all have skewed perceptions of ourselves, but to different degrees. Most women find themselves too fat, too short, too thin, too tall. But what is reality? The reality is you. You are who you are and you must learn to look at yourself with unbiased eyes. You must accept yourself for who you are, not how you compare to others. This hallway will show you different ways to look at yourself but you must find your own reality. Drop your robe and face the wall.”

I did as she told me to do. A yellow light shone down, revealing a distorted reflection in a mirror. I was short, round, and it squashed my features so that my eyes sat almost on my lips. I had no nose, just a thin line where my nostrils were. My hips and thighs spread to the width of the mirror and my feet looked like little round circles. It reminded me of my childhood Weebles dolls. Bathed in the putrid light, my image had a sickly pallor. It was such a perverse image, especially in my nakedness, that I wanted to turn off the light and run away.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Reading, Writing, Television (but not in that order)

On Reading - I just finished a Linda Howard - Killing Time - and thoroughly enjoyed it. Firstly, (is that a real word?) because I picked it up at Costco for $6.00 (what a bargain!!) and found that the lead characters were intersting and had some good old-fashioned chemistry.
I never intended this blog to be a book review site -- there are FAR too many out there to compete with (and who the hell am I to review some other author's baby, who they worked long and hard on, and they were so proud of!) -- so I'll leave it with this: I didn't expect the little plot surprise at all. I'm not talking about the ending, which wasn't really that great, but the little surprise one of the characters springs a few chapters into the book. Granted, I didn't read the back cover so I had no hint, no little clue, no tease ... which is exactly the way I like it. And the sex scenes were pretty hot. Not over-done, which makes them cheesy.
On T.V. - Man, do I miss House. Don't want to wish the summer away, but I really need my fix of the obnoxious doc and the reruns just don't do it for me. And I just heard that the final season of the Sopranos is going to be pushed back due to James Gandolfini's knee surgery. AHHHHH! Come on people! Can't you write the surgery into the damn show??? Have him shot again and film at the hospital? How can you do this to the loyal fans? HOW?!
I weaned myself down to one television show over the summer.
Rock Star: Supernova. Most of the talent is excellent, with the exception of a few (hello, Zayra? GO HOME!). But part of me already feels sorry for the winner, because, unlike last year when JD Fortune got the opportunity to front a well-established, very famous band (INXS), the winner of this years competition will have the honour of joining bad-boys Tommy Lee (Motley Crew), Gilby Something (Guns N Roses) and that pasty complexioned guy (Metallica), who are forming a new band called Supernova. So basically, they have no ready-made repertoire and who knows if they'll stay together long enough finish a tour?
I'm not crazy about hard-rock,
I prefer a little 'pop'-ier sound, but I do enjoy seeing the contestants perform. I feel obliged to root for the Canadian dude - though he's a bit Eddy Munster. He's freaky to watch, with his gross piercings and purple eye makeup - but he does suit the image of front man for the above mentioned stoners. My money is on Dilana, ... if they have the nerve to hire a woman. She has a wicked voice, though I'd venture to guess that she's been a two pack a day-er since junior high...
On writing - I'm a bit paralysed at the moment, creativity-wise. I'm waiting patiently for Bella Fiore to come out (could it be down to TWELVE more days?) and also waiting for a response for The Color of Passion from ... (I don't want to jinx it). I should hear any day now. I check my email about six times a day. Pathetic!! I feel in my bones that it'll be rejected, but that's okay. Really, it's okay. Or so I keep telling myself. I'll just polish it up and resubmit to another publisher. That first one was only for practice anyway. Or so I keep telling myself ...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Bump That Ruined My Day

The man in the beat-up white GMC truck who hit me in the Dominion Grocery parking lot and scared the crap out of me and my kids ruined my entire day.
Oh, there wasn't any damage - thankfully, the rubber bumber took the impact, - but it pissed me off that he just drove away! He couldn't have NOT noticed the hit because it jolted my car forward, but he just put the beast in drive without a backward glance. Another kindly soul in the parking lot chased after him yelling 'HEY!', but the old guy just kept on keepin on... The nice man came and asked if we were ok and helped me check out the minivan for damage.
Why am I still so pissed, seven hours later? PMS? Maybe. Thoughtless old men in ancient vehicles who really shouldn't be on the road? Huh-uh. The fact that my kids heard their mother swear like a drunken sailor on a sinking boat? Ya got me!
I feel better for sharing ...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

'Bella Fiore' Teaser #2

Here's a second little look-see at 'Bella Fiore' - coming soon from Chippewa Publishing (Lady Aibell Press)

In the centre of a gigantic, airy, and light-filled room was a huge marble bathing pool with a dozen gloriously nude female statues in various poses guarding the perimeter. Four beautifully sculpted travertine fountains fed steaming water into the pool from each corner. Lush green vines dripped from Corinthian pillars that stretched to the skylights above. It was like stepping into an ancient Greco-Roman bath.

There were three other ‘patients’ in the pool, including the two women I had spotted in the lobby earlier. Like me, all were completely naked. Two women, about my age, stood with their backs to me at opposite ends of the pool in knee-deep water. An older woman, mid-sixties I guessed, reclined on the wide marble steps, almost invisible in the misty steam. All were having their bodies washed by topless female attendants, identified only by thin white sashes draped loosely around their hips, barely concealing their privates. The attendants were eerily clone-like. All had slender athletic bodies, no makeup, hair pulled back into topknots. The reclining woman smiled broadly as the attendants washed her feet. I was shocked and curious at this spectacle, but all were oblivious to my presence.

Two attendants appeared—I didn’t see or hear their approach—and led me to the pool. I wanted to ask them what was happening, but was afraid the sound of a human voice would somehow shatter this surreal scene and I’d find myself back home surrounded by dirty laundry.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Excerpt from Bella Fiore - Read & Enjoy
21 more days until its release ...

The knot of anticipation in my belly grows tighter with every mile my shiny red mini-van covers. I thought that after a few weeks, this glorious “I-can’t-wait-to-get-there” feeling would diminish, but thank goodness, it hasn’t! I’m on my way to my monthly ‘appointment’ with my lovers, (that’s right—lovers with an s). It’s all guilt-free and completely sanctioned by my husband. In fact, it was his idea in the first place!
My husband, Michael, is a doctor—a renowned cardiologist. He is both incredibly handsome and profoundly smart, which makes him a bit of a pompous ass at times. Like most wives, I switch between fawning adoration and fantasizing about his untimely gruesome death—sometimes both in the same day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Countdown is on!

Just 22 more days until Bella Fiore is released by Lady Aibell Press (a division of Chippewa Publishing LLC). I'll post a few excerpts so keep a look out during the next TWENTY-TWO days ...
Don't forget to sign up for the contest (go to my website www. wyliekinson. com) -- there's only 21 days left before the deadline for entries.
appears I'm counting the days, doesn't it? How pathetically desperate is that?!

She was a typical working mother -- exhausted, bored and under appreciated, but her husband, a renowned cardiologist, only took notice when her libido began to fade. Determined to fix things, he sent his wife to a private women’s clinic on a recommendation from a respected colleague.
Just what the doctor ordered…

It’s exclusive, it’s private, it’s mysterious -- but what really goes on at this secret clinic called Bella Fiore? A mousy doctor, two slave girls, and a buff stud teach her that there are three simple steps to happiness: Acceptance, Affirmation, and Affection. It’s through the surprising treatments offered at Bella Fiore that she rediscovers her sexual energy.
Or is the surprise on her husband….

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Goodbye Writer's Block, I'm Back!!

Ahhh, just what the writer in me needed. A break from blogging, reading blogs, and the internet in general. I had no idea how addicted I was until I was forced to go a week without it! I left on a Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, it was strange, not having my window into the world. I opted to catch a little CNN (thankfully, the resort had cable! Just no internet access!!) On Monday, I was anxious. By Tuesday morning I was frantic. No computer! No instant news! Who's emailed me? What am I missing?! And then something miraculous happened ... by Thursday, I felt released, unfettered, set free! The world was still turning despite the fact I didn't have instant access to my bank balance, wasn't abreast of Paris Hilton's antics and had no idea who Dionne was snarking.
I read four books (get to that later), went for walks, bike rides, beach combing, swimming and blowing bubbles with my kids. I'm now refreshed, rejuvinated and ready to create.
I'm on a journey. I've gone back to reading romances - historical and category. I began my love of books with this genre many years ago (too many years ago), but somehow left them behind. I've been stuck in artsy and literary stuff that is unquestionably good, but takes up a lot of my brain power. I've always said that I can't read and write at the same time (better put: I can't write fiction while in the middle of a good book - I spend all spare time with nose between pages!) but I've found that the 'fluffier' stuff - and I mean absolutely NO DISRESECT to any author of said 'fluffy stuff' - allows me to read AND write. And here's the kicker: I want to write the 'fluffy stuff'. Yes - I aim to be a category romance writer! Oh, who wouldn't want to write like Margaret Atwood or Truman Capote. What writer would turn down a spot on the NY Times list? But that's just not me... I'm writing (and have been writing) shorts in order to learn the craft of storytelling. To learn how to pace, to dialogue, to structure. Next step, a category romance. Who knows, if I ever learn my craft well enough, maybe I will strive to write the next 'Blind Assassin' or 'Angle of Repose'. But quite honestly, I'm not talented enough to write the kind of books I love to read. Does that make sense? In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying getting back to roots with Harlequin Blazes and my Avon historicals. I'm having the cake and eating it, too!