Friday, January 27, 2012

Working man's character names

I love reading all kinds of books, but obviously being a romance and erotica writer sends me in that direction for my reading pleasure. One of my complaints about these genres are the complicated and sometimes unpronounceable names. I understand using unusual names if you are writing something in the sci-fi/ futuristic area, or even if you are writing about someone from a foreign country. But, if your character is a typical man from the good US of A, then by God give him a normal name.

I try to always use "normal" names for my heroes. Maybe its because I want readers to be able to connect to them. They aren't the muscle bound, perfect men you find in some stories. I guess being a normal woman in a normal life I like fantasizing about something that could actually happen to someone "normal".

So, where do I come up with my names? I use a baby name book. Yep, that is truly what I do. Once I come up with what I want my characters to look like I go in search of a name that works. Sometimes I have inspiration for last names. Friends, family, etc., also contribute names. So far none of my immediate family have been used as character names, but they will. My daughter actually designed the look of the character she is named after.

There you have it. My diatribe on character names.Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thirsty Thursday- 3

I can't believe its Thursday already. Wow, this week has flown by. I had originally thought I would go with whiskey this week, but instead am voting for vodka. There are few times I get to enjoy drinking. I mean, really, by the time I get work done, dinner made, kids to bed and a little writing done I am usually wiped out. But if I'm in the mood to get a little silly vodka and cranberry is where I go.

Here are a few other fav drinks with that all important staple in anyone's bar:

Bloody Mary
Vodka 1 ½ oz
Tomato juice 3 oz
Lemon juice 2 dashes
Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp
Tabasco sauce few drops to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon slice or celery stalk garnish

 Black Russian
Vodka 2 oz
Kahlua 1 oz
Cream to top

Vodka 1 ½ oz
Orange juice 6 oz

Vodka Sour
Juice of 1 lemon
Confectioners’ sugar ½ tsp
Vodka 2 oz
Orange slice garnish
Maraschino cherry garnish

Long Island Ice Tea
Vodka ½ oz
Gin ½ oz
Light rum ½ oz
Tequila ½ oz
Triple sec ½ oz
Fresh lemon juice 1 tsp
Cola to top
Lemon slice 1

Happy drinking! Next week I think I will venture off the beaten path and pick a liquor I haven't had much exposure to.    

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Music as a writing enhancer

I love writing to music. The music tends to lend emotion and continuity to my scenes. Sometimes I tend to listen to zen-like nature tracks. Those are useful when I am editing or writing tender moments between characters. The rest of the time I listen to metal, rock, alternative stuff. I usually don't plug websites, but Pandora Radio is a wonderful place to create your own radio stations. So, I have three. One of them is nature/piano music, one is based on heavier stuff like Rob Zombie, and the third is alternative music.

So, what are my favorite songs to write to? I actually do have a set of songs I love to write to, but anything along the same lines works. Here are some of my favorite tracks:

Control by Puddle of Mudd
Colors by Cross Fade
Keep Away by Godsmack
Zombie by Cranberries
More Human than the Human by White Zombie
Make Believe by Korn
Tear Away by Drowning Pool
Immortality by Seether
Dead and Bloated by Stone Temple Pilots
Face to Face by Sevendust
Polyamorous by Breaking Benjamin
Where I want to Be by The Veer Union

What types of music tickle your creative side?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Characters and where they come from

Sometimes when I am sitting at a stoplight and glance over into the car next to me I notice something unique about a person that spawns a character. Sometimes they come from internet photos or the television. Most of the times, though, they are born from people in my life. Sometimes I like to sit in the mall and let my imagination run wild as I watch people walk around. Is that man buying a watch for his wife or his mistress? Is that kid with all the piercings really against the world or just insecure? Is that woman wearing the hat hiding from someone or from the world?

Personalities, looks, quirks. All of those attributes come from people I know and I mix and match as needed. The heroines are definitely designed from friends and family. The heroes may acquire their personality and voice from friends and family, but usually their physical characteristics come from people I find on the internet.

So, the question is, have I modeled any of my characters after myself. Wouldn't you like to know?! I'm not sharing. I can definitely admit to giving snark and character flaws to many of my heroines, but beyond that I'm not telling. Seeing I tend to have all of these people talking in my head its easy to say that many of their personalities exist in myself.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dream ideas ROCK!

Once again I was surfing in that inbetween stage of sleep and wake when a new idea came to me. I love when that happens. So, out came the handy-dandy notebook and I have been fleshing out the plot for the last few minutes. The idea isn't really new, but I think the twist is different. Its going to be a MMMF shifter novel based very loosely on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I even know what the heroes look like thanks to the dream.

I'm not sure I am going to finish my current WIP before starting this one, but it really is good incentive!

Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thirsty Thursday- 2

I decided to look into gin this week. I'm not a huge gin drinker, but I know that some of the best mixed drinks contain this alcohol. So, below are some of the drinks I have sampled throughout my life so far, and a few that I haven't had but sound oh so yummy.

Bees Knees
6 Tbsp Gin
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Perfect Lady
1 1/2 Tbsp Gin
2 Tsp Peach Brandy
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tsp Egg White

Pink Pussycat
3 Tbsp Gin
4 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
3 Tbsp Grapefruit Juice
2 Tsp Grenadine

Appletini (my favorite)
3 Oz Gin
1 Oz Sour Apple Schnapps
1 Apple Slice for Garnish

Please feel free to share some recipes!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Insomnia is my muse

I know many people can write based on pictures they see, or some other creative method. My method for getting new story ideas... not sleeping. I would love to be in bed right now, but I am fully awake and already brewing coffee. But, for my lack of sleep I gain storylines, ideas, plot fixes. I guess its a good trade. Right now, though, I am just tired. Guess I'll pull up word and one of my current projects and see how many words I can pull out of my sleepy brain this morning.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th!

*scary music plays, floor boards creak, heroine screams* Oh, wait... that isn't the type of Friday the 13th I am having.

I woke this morning at 3am with a great story idea. Take Pretty Woman, but it would be backwards... sort of. Anyway, I don't want to spoil it for anyone so you'll have to wait until its published. I am hoping it will fit the Ellora's Cave for Men series.

So, I spent all day pouring the story onto paper and sent it off to be reviewed. Amazing how inspiration can strike you at odd times.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good morning? Yes it was!

I woke up this morning to the sweet smell of raspberry hot chocolate wafting through my house. I wandered out of my room, nose in the air and found an egg sandwich waiting for me at my desk. Hell, breakfast I didn't have to cook?! Wonderful. Turned on my computer while I sipped my choco delight and low-n-behold an email from Ellora's Cave was sitting in my inbox! You can't beat that even if you tried. They want the full manuscript for Cain's Salvation! YEAH! I really could do the happy dance just about now. So, off went Cain's story and within four weeks or so I should find out if they liked him enough to pick up the book.

To top off all of the above, which in my opinion is already a great start, we have a sunny day with no snow. I can look outside and watch the birds flitting around the feeder. *sigh* Its a good day today!

Hope all of your mornings were magnificent.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Manic Monday

Do you remember that song by the Bangles? Its playing nonstop through my brain this morning and I am not so sure I like it. Yes, I do wish it was Sunday. It is a great Monday morning song, though. My favorite part:

All of the nights
Why did my lover have to pick last night
To get down
Doesn't it matter
That I have to feed the both of us
Employment's down
He tells me in his bedroom voice
C'mon honey, let's go make some noise
Time it goes so fast
When you're having fun

Over the weekend I spilled enough words on paper to get Catch of the Day over 14,000. I'm into Chapter 5 and well on my way to finish. My goal today is to finish getting chapter 5 and 6 out of my head and a quick edit done on them. Wish me luck, because I am going to need it.

Happy Monday everyone:)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday... very cool idea

So, Twitter has become my new addiction and with it comes all kinds of interesting things people do each week. I am finding the world of authors to be much smaller than I thought and much more steeped in daily exercises. I don't know who made the rules, but I like them. Like 6 sentence Sundays. What an awesome idea! Pick your favorite 6 sentences from a book you are promoting and blog about it. I can't tell you how many books I have decided to read based on this practice!

So, I can definitely say that I am looking forward to promoting my books using this same practice. I wish Maggie's Abduction was further along because I would have chosen this week to start the tradition. Alas, other than Maggie's book I am still waiting for responses on Cain's Salvation and Valentine's Master.

Enjoy this Sunday and search out a few 6 sentence blogs. You might find something that really tickles your fancy to add to your must read list.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Writing sex scenes... location, location, location

In Catch of the Day I am finally to the point where I get to write the first love scene between the three characters. At first I figured they would all have their fun in a tent, but then my analytical brain started ticking through things and to be honest three grown people trying to get it on inside a pup tent is almost impossible. Especially if its supposed to sound sexy and sensual. So, then I have to ask the question, where is better? Do I move it to the fireside? Outdoors is nice, especially at night in front of a fire. That gives me all kinds of visual things I can play off. Or, do we have the three move to the ramshackle barn for some time in the hay? If you have ever messed around in hay you know that its extremely itchy... I could always write in bigger tents I guess... but realistically you aren't going to take a family tent on a fishing trip.

The scenes I most enjoy writing are water play scenes. Showers, baths, hot tubs, pools, etc. There is something so erotic about the movement of water in all its forms. I love watching water droplets move, or the lapping of water against a body. Water is just so soothing and adds an almost otherworldly piece to sex. Oh, and then of course you have the sensations from temperature changes.

I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to sexual rendezvous. I enjoy writing love scenes that are in the realm of possibilities for the general population. I don't see the fun in writing about a tryst that would only happen for the athletic, super flexible, adrenaline junky people out there. I like to think that someone reading one of my books will find some realistic fantasy building fun.

What are some of the best locations you have fantasized or read about?

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Favorite Reads...

I know, many others have put together their favorite list of books they read in the last year. I didn't want to be left out! :) Below are the books that I have either read more than once because they were that good, or they are on my reread list for this year. Most are romance, some are not. I actually enjoy reading all kinds of books, and spent the last year catching up.

These are in no particular order:
The Host by Stephanie Meyers
Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
Love at First Bight by Tymber Dalton
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
Shadowland series by Cherise Sinclair
A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom
Hybrid Misfit by Eve Langlais
The Starlight Rite by Cherise Sinclair
Songbird: A Linger Story by Maya Banks
Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
Hunger Games series
Solo Play by Miranda Baker
Curse of the Gargoyle by Tara Nina

I am sure there are more and I will probably add as I go.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I hate waiting...

I am not a patient person. That being said, I hate waiting for anything. I get irritated in the drive thru at McD's, driving behind old people, refreshing my email, boiling water. You get the idea. I am currently waiting on many things. The contract for Maggie's Abduction should be showing up in my email any day now, so I wait. Both Cain's story and a valentine BDSM story I wrote are in the hands of a publishing company going through second reviews. You guessed it, so I am waiting. I am obsessed over my email accounts. I sit expectantly every day for that telltale sound that informs me that new mail has arrived in my inbox. All this waiting and stewing on my inability to be patient makes doing anything else impossible.

So, today I am going to force myself to practice some patience. I am going to sip my coffee and relax my vigil in hopes of fate looking kindly on my change in behavior. If I could just be gifted with one of the things I am waiting for all would be well in my world. *laughing* Who am I kidding, then I will just be waiting for the others with more determination.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blogging... why?

I know, it isn't all that creative to blog about the reasons for blogging but I feel the need. I get why some people blog, especially if they are trying to sell something. But, for those of us that have no followers and no one looking to us for advice I find that writing is almost therapeutic in a blog. Not quite a diary or journal because you KNOW others will be reading it eventually, but it still feels like I can pour out abstract thoughts into this blog where they can exist outside my head. To be able to put the thoughts to "paper" and see them staring at me helps.

The other thought I have about blogging revolves around WHAT to blog and not so much why. Eventually I will be able to write about my published books and all of that, but for now its all hypothetical. Yes, Maggie's Abduction will be published by Siren... but that offers no actual promise of sales or additional books being picked up. So, for now I can be excited about the process, excited about new ideas stewing in my head and ultimately waiting. I don't know, beyond the cover art questionnaire, what to expect. Its all unknown territory for me. Blogging helps me put my questions in coherent rants versus just floating around my brain.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Creative writing is all about listening to the voices

I tried to get some writing done over the weekend and eventually did. But, to get writing done I had to rework the beginning of Willie's story because she wasn't happy with the way I was taking the book. I know, I shouldn't let the voices in my head be in charge but when I am writing their stories I find I have to listen.

So, the question I beg to ask myself and all the other voices out there is... how do others creatively write? I mean, I am sure some are like me and have enough characters scampering around inside my noggin that it will take me years to get them all on paper... but does everyone write that way? I tried writing with outlines and things like that, but if the people aren't behind it in my head then the story usually is stale and not so much fun to work on.

Well, back to work and back to listening to Willie bitch about her storyline. She isn't happy still, but at least she is cooperating for this chapter!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions... really? Not for me!

In reading another blog this morning about why the woman doesn't believe in yearly resolutions I came to understand my absolute resistance to them. I am a perfectionist, type-A personality, all around hard ass on myself. Why would I add more pressure to accomplish things that I obviously didn't have time or the patience to do on my own the year before? I spend enough time worrying about things already, I don't need more pressure.

So, in stead of resolutions I am going to make a single promise to myself this year. I will not spend the entire year freaking out because I didn't uphold the expectation of perfection. I am giving myself a pass this year. No need to make a list, post things on my bathroom mirror. I am just going to let it go this year.

Happy New Year's everyone!