Saturday, November 29, 2008

Helping Fellow Authors

One of the most important things in my life is reading. I have read everything from The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire to Bertrice Small. Reading is such an escape for me. Within minutes of starting a good book I am lost to the real world.

Now it starts to get harder when someone wants you to help critique their work. You know that this story is someones baby. It means a lot to them. And you can also remember how hard it was to hear someones critique of your work.

Now I find there is a nice way and a not so nice way to do this. Sometimes people don't think before they hit that send key. Me, I agonize over what impact my words will have on the persons book I am reading. You want to help but not hurt. And that can be very hard to do.

So my advise is to think about how you would feel and try to use words that are kind and helpful. Because basically that is all you can do.

Then there's the story that just knocks you out. From beginning to end you are enthralled. The worst thing you can say is you need a comma here or there. I have a critique partner that writes so well, it freaks me out. After reading her first book I can see the light went on in her head and she now gets it. Everything she puts out there now is right on. All I can say is Wow.

So if you are ever critiquing someones work be careful, remember there is an author behind
those stories. A writer just like you who has feelings, but needs your help. Be kind, be honest and remember why you are critiquing. To help a fellow author put out the best book she can!
That's what it's all about.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hands Full!

Today I received the privilege of taking care of a four month old German Shepherd puppy. My brother-in-law has to go into the hospital and yes I am a sap.
I expected a bit more time before he went in, to prepare. Well guess what? I forgot, since it has been nine years since I had a puppy, just how much energy they have. It tires me to watch it. My Shepherd is spoiled rotten. He has a box full of toys that he mostly ignores. Well it's like I opened a puppy store. There are toys and chews from one end of the house to another. Watching the unbridled enthusiasm amazes me. And then suddenly, plop, she's down and out for the count.

I don't think I want a young puppy. In order to not have pee on the floor, I have to remember to take her out every couple of hours. My big boy looks at me as if I'm foolish. He has his routine and this constant peeing is just beneath him. God help me tonight, will this last all night? Do I have to wake up every few hours or else.

The stray cat doesn't help the situation either. Oh yeah, I forget to mention the stray cat. For the last three or four days my other half has brought this cat in to eat. Now I told him that in kitty land feeding a stray cat is tantamount to inviting it to live with you. Now I can't say that feeling the bones on every inch of this poor cat just blew my head away. And I took out the canned mackerel and hoped I have not caused it to have any problems. Well it's better then starving I guess. The pieces of lamb worked one day, even the dogs food works. I know that the sucker in me will end up buying the cat food, I just know it. I refuse to put the cat doo doo box in the house, I just won't be changing cat litter under any circumstances.

I also have to watch what else they get to eat. My other half would feed them whatever he ate, which could end up with doggie doo doo as a problem from that. And guess who will have to wake up and let the dogs out. Our animals never ask him for help, always me.

Then there's the canary. The cat, who comes just for dinner right now, got a gander of the bird and the eyes lit up like beacons. Luckily it was easily distracted by what is it now, oh yeah ham. The bird seed is just for the bird. We birds, since the feeders are full outside. So that takes care of the wild birds and squirrels. The raccoons well they are on their own, the fruit and coconut trees will have to do for them. I refuse to feed them too.

Thank goodness there is nothing else that needs me to feed it, oh wait, Chris get that horse out of here!!! No you can't bring it in the house!!! Stop, are you crazy?

Excuse me for now, I have to get that cow off the front porch. No I don't have any hay....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A good day

Florida doesn't have a dramatic change of seasons. It's subtle, but it's there. The sun is lower on the horizon, the nights aren't as stifling, and strong breezes bring the hope of cooler weather.
Farmers are planting their winter crops. Some of the vegetable as great, but I still can't stomach those tasteless Florida tomatoes. But I do look forward to melons, corn, and other fresh edibles.
I don't need as much chlorine in the pool which is good. That stuff is expensive. But without a heater it's not as appealing. The rain cools it down as well as the fountains I love to listen too.
I find myself starting to write again, a little. Which is a lot better than nothing. A bit every day and eventually that second manuscript just might become a book. I can't plot, my head won't let me. So I wait until it comes. I just can't imagine how some writers can push them out so fast. It amazes me to see it.
My dog is starting to scratch less from allergies. The money I have spent on his vet bills have made a deep cut into our finances. My vet says the only way to stop his allergies is to move. Try selling a house in this market.
I enjoyed blogging for Dayana Knight, pleased to be invited. Now I'm gonna bug her till she gets a blog written for me. I just love stories about wolves and Curse of the Marhime is on my short list. Maybe with less vet bills I can actually buy something for me.
I have been spending a lot of time promoting. I did a chat for The Wild Rose Press on Halloween night. People write so fast that by the time I finish what I was saying, they are long gone to a new topic. Well I'm trying to come into this century.
Blogging, my space, facebook, polka dot banner, goodreads, they are endless and there is so much to do when you promote. Just looking through hundreds of emails is time consuming. But they say you have to do it to sell your book. So I jump in holding my nose, and hoping not to drown in it.
So I am alive, I am looking forward to voting a new party in. Hopefully, cause you never know. My mother is better after they took her off of some of the medication they gave her to calm her down after my father died. So that is comforting. My husband is not grouchy today, so that's good.
My friend Jianne Carlo, is writing up a storm. Publishing three books to my one. And they are hot! But they tell wonderful stories and I can't put them down. She had a computer crash, so I haven't heard much from her lately. I miss that, but I am glad her allergies are better. And I am glad her mom is okay.
I am going to Vermont in July. I love going home and I am really looking forward to it. It's funny that Vermont still feels like home. Hopefully people there will like my book since it takes place on the Islands. The local paper, The Islander is going to do a press release for me, and that's exciting.
So here I sit. My palms and the myriad other tropicals I have are so beautiful. When I look outside at the small part of nature that is mine, I smile.
It's a good day.