Saturday, July 30, 2011

Excerpt from Speech: Agent vs. Publisher vs. Self-Pub, Post 4

Recently, I gave a one hour speech to a writing group and have decided to post segments of it here over the next few weeks. All of the speech is in response to questions I had received in advance and then prepared my answers for the group. This is Post 4 of the speech.
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Remember, these are just my opinions and suggestions. Nothing is set in stone. Other writers could answer quite differently and argue with me over my answers. What works for one person may not work for another.
The next question or topic was about making the choice between an agent or to submit directly to a publisher or to self-publish. I cannot say, "DO IT THIS WAY ONLY." It's totally a personal choice and plain luck plays a huge part in the outcome. Questions to ask yourself: Do you know anyone in the writing business (such as: an agent, a publisher, someone who works for those people or places that could be on your side to help you) and if so that may be a deciding factor to push you one direction or the other. Consider: How you prefer to work WITH others, how much time, effort, possibly money you're able to devote, your marketing know-how, the technical and computer skills you possess, the length of time you're willing to wait for an agent or publisher to offer you a contract – to represent you (WHICH FOR SOME AUTHORS – NEVER HAPPENS), if you're going to submit directly to publishers are you only going to deal with the "big time" publishers or will you be happy with a small publishing house, and how long you want to wait until the book actually gets published…Those are not in any particular order but they are all things you need to ask yourself in making the decision to submit to either an agent or a publisher or to choose to self-publish.

YOU should NEVER HAVE to pay anything out of your pocket to an agent or publisher. IF you choose to purchase your own books to have some in stock to sell, well of course you'll PAY for the books (although usually the publisher will give you a set number of free copies) but to have an agent or publisher represent you and all that they do – you do NOT pay them a dime.

If you choose to self-publish, any & all costs WILL come out of your pocket. Depending on which company you self-publish through, the expenses can range from very low to ridiculously high.  BUT, using Amazon as an example, the cost is extremely minimal. To setup your book on Amazon is about $20- $30. Now, for the cover art, it depends on what you plan on using because you could use something of your own creation – which costs nothing - or fork over hundreds of dollars for someone to design something. Or anything in between. Another example: you may choose to PAY someone to edit your book. Or maybe you know people who'll do it for free. Marketing is another area of self-publishing: will you PAY for a publicist OR decide to handle the marketing yourself or do you know people who will help for free?

See what I'm getting at? As an author, there are many different avenues you can take in the pursuit of getting your book published. There is no right or wrong way. There are no "set in stone" costs or expenses that affect every single author the exact same way.

From what I've researched, don't submit to both agents AND publishers at the same time. Pick either agents or publishers, unless of course you're self-publishing. If after a lengthy period of time one option doesn't work, you can switch to the other. And so much keeps changing in the publishing industry it makes your head spin! I even read that some agents are like a hybrid – multi-performing – especially when it comes to ebooks -- taking on the duties of an editor, publicist and they do all the work to format & upload your book to the internet. Getting back to hunting down an agent or a publisher -- Now here's where something can you bite you in the butt: I've heard that if you start out with publishers THEN switch to agents, it could get dicey, because IF you land an agent and THEY start to submit to publishers on your behalf, because they're now representing you,  – well – if the agent ends up submitting to any of the SAME publishers YOU'VE already made an attempt with, chances are, your name & book title will be tossed out because that publishing house will recognize you and will see that they had previously decided that they're NOT interested. Another thing – AGENTS don't like the fact your manuscript has been shopped around. So, to expand on that a bit: if you've been sending your queries to publishers (some of which may have requested your manuscript) but after a period of time you hit a dead end with the publishing houses then decide to try the agent route, the agents who show an interest in your work just might flat out ask you if you've already submitted to publishers. You don't want to lie and get caught in the lie later…so you tell the prospective agent – "Sure, I've been in contact with 10 publishers who all rejected it." That agent is going to say, "PASS!"  Whereas, if you start out with an agent and they promote your fresh-unseen manuscript to publishers, you might have a better chance that a publisher will be interested in your book...because they've never seen it yet. The way I just described it, the problem arises when you decide to switch from seeking one type of representation to another form =  as in an agent  to  publishers or vice versa.
Confusing, huh?! It REALLY is a personal choice whether you choose to have an agent represent you or submit directly to publishers or strike out on your own to self-publish.
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The next segment from my speech continues on the topic of agents vs. publishers vs. self-publishing. Should post in a few days. Thanks!

Friday, July 29, 2011

My latest movie article: 'Strigoi: The Undead' - on DVD

My latest movie article on 'Strigoi: The Undead' (DVD):

Synopsis: After failing to start a life of his own, 20-something Vlad is forced to move back to his grandfather’s old farming village in Romania. Though the village seems like a typical Eastern European haven, a mysterious death suddenly thrusts Vlad into the heart of a murder mystery. As he sets out to investigate, his trail leads him to the Tirescus — an ex-Communist couple who happen to be the richest landowners in town. Though Vlad is determined to confront the Tirescus, his quest takes a detour when he learns that the two bullies may be bloodsuckers in more ways than one…

This is considered a dark comedy, strangely, with a different type of vampire mythology.

Read full article here:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/strigoi-the-undead
 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Excerpt about Submissions from Speech, Post 3

Recently, I gave a one hour speech to a writing group and have decided to post segments of it here over the next few weeks. All of the speech is in response to questions I had received in advance and then prepared my answers for the group. This is Post 3 of the speech.

Remember, these are just my opinions and suggestions. Nothing is set in stone. Other writers could answer quite differently and argue with me over my answers. What works for one person may not work for another.


Some other points to remember that go along with query letters and submissions: You should create a synopsis and have it ready before starting to query agents or publishers because sure enough, someone WILL request a 1 – 2 page synopsis - and it's very convenient to have it already prepared to send off at any given time. Be sure to follow any instructions on how that particular agent or publisher wants submissions/synopsis to be formatted - that info should be found at the website. An example would be that double-spacing is the norm for a synopsis – but NOT the query letter. SAVE all the original documents you create & you can always adjust it, or make a separate copy to alter, to meet specific requirements of whomever you're submitting it to. That goes for the query letter, the synopsis, the manuscript, the first 3 chapters, etc.


By the way, within the query letter, that "hook" I mentioned, in case you're unfamiliar with the term, is really just an incredibly short synopsis or summarization of the book! Sometimes it's called a teaser.

Also, pick 1 or 2 excerpts from the book that are about a page long. They shouldn't be spoilers, but make sure they capture the reader's attention making them wonder what happens next.  An excerpt might be requested by an agent or publisher (although usually not). Not only that, but excerpts are fantastic to use for marketing and creating excitement about your book right before and after it's published.

Make sure the entire manuscript is formatted properly – using the standard recommendations found at those websites I mentioned. (A few examples: Hopefully as you wrote your book you didn't use the TAB key, but instead used settings that will automatically indent the first line after a hard return – like when you're ready to start a new paragraph. Another example: unless the submission guidelines request something different, use Times New Roman, 12. And margins are usually 1" all around. These are only a few of the standard rules of thumb in formatting a manuscript – these aren't "law".) Some agents/publishers could request the manuscript be formatted a "specific" way so perhaps save another copy of your manuscript to play with and make those adjustments. I think I had 2 or 3 different formatted versions of my manuscript saved to my computer.
Speaking of saving – make sure you backup your work in whatever method you prefer – CD, USB Flash Drive, separate external hard drive or online backup. I use a flash drive AND backup online at Windows Live Skydrive. Just backup!
~~~~~~~~
The next excerpt from my speech will be about making the choice between an agent or to submit directly to a publisher or to self-publish.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

True Blood Recap - June 24, 2011

I watched one of my favorite shows Sunday night - True Blood. I jotted down notes for the entire show...my own little attempt at creating a recap or giving a play-by-play of what happened in that episode. Whew! That was WORK especially when I had to type it up from my scribblings! Not sure that I'll do that again as it took away from my own entertainment and enjoyment of the show since I was feverishly writing in a notebook. Anyway, it provided some fun content for my blog...and now...



True Blood, Sunday, July 24, 2011 - "Me and the Devil"
RECAP:


Tommy gets into a brawl with his parents and ends up killing them. He didn't intend on killing his mother, but she ran into the middle of the fight and was a casualty. I hated that creepy Joe Lee - walking around in his baggy underwear.


Marnie admits to a witch spirit possessing her and casting spells on Eric and Pam.


After Arlene's baby (or the ghost of Rene, the baby's father) wrote on the wall, Terry suggests they call the Reverend for an exorcism.


Eric dreams of Godric pushing him to drink Sookie's blood and embrace his true vampire nature. That's freaky since Godric is dead - and this isn't the first time such a vivid form of Godric has appeared to Eric. The Dream Godric seems evil compared to the one that was alive. Eric discovers he's in Sookie's room, she awakens and wonders what the heck he's doing there. He said, "I had a bad dream." And Sookie lets him stay with her in bed till the sun comes up.


Hoyt and Jessica have saved Jason. Well, Jessica actually did after finding him almost dead on the road and she gave him her healing blood. Hoyt and Jessica have an awkward moment when she acts "distant" to his affection.


Bill glamours Portia, who is his great, great, great (you get the point) granddaughter as a means to keep her away from him. It didn't seem to bother her to continue a sexual relationship with Bill, knowing that they were related. Bill clearly wanted nothing to do with her anymore.


Eric asks Sookie: "Am I evil?' She comments that he was but she likes the new Eric. He's sweet.


Pam waltzes into Bill's office looking like a beekeeper in order to conceal her rotting flesh - courtesy of Marnie/witch spirit's spell.


Lafayette and Jesus are going to Jesus' Grandpa's place in Mexico. He's a shaman. Jesus talked about a goat sacrifice he was involved in as a child with his Grandpa. He felt power surging through his body from that sacrifice and knows his Grandpa might be able to help them with the spells cast upon Eric (who currently doesn't even know he's ticked off at them) and Pam. Lafayette and Jesus, being involved with the witches, are terrified the vampires will come after them to seek revenge.


Tara's girlfriend in New Orleans discovers that Tara has been lying to her about her identity. They talk on the phone.


Tommy brings his dead parents to Sam and needs help in disposing of the bodies.


Jason tells Hoyt about being raped by several women and thinks his past lifestyle is to blame. Jason hears mention of a full moon coming soon and flips out.


Terry and Arlene have the Reverend Daniels and Tara's mom, Lettie Mae, who is now married to the Reverend, perform the exorcism in the house. We learn evil likes to hide in corners.


Sookie visits Marnie's shop to check her out. Sookie claims she wants a reading. Marnie senses Gran and Sookie can hear the thoughts. Gran says Sookie's new love interest is temporary, to look out for Jason and that Marnie is evil and Sookie should run.


Sam and Tommy have their parents bodies in a van and are driving somewhere to dump them. But Andy pulls them over and insists on seeing inside the van. Tommy shapeshifts into a gator to throw Andy off and stops him from inspecting the back of the van. Andy doesn't see the bodies.


Marnie is apprehended by Bill's men and taken to a cell to be interrogated.


Tara tells Sookie about the lesbian relationship she has in New Orleans and how she hates Bon Temps. She tells Sookie how she has lied to her girlfriend about who she is.


While in her cell, Marnie prays to the witch goddess and has a vision. She sees witches in prison, priests arrive to visit the witches, but guess what the priests are? Vampires.


Confrontation between Eric and Tara. He emerged from his hiding place in Sookie's house and Tara sees him and screams - telling Sookie she's a hypocrite. Tara condemns Eric for the many terrible things he's done and runs out the door.


Bill questions Marnie about the witches, curses and spells; in particular wondering where is Eric? Marnie doesn't know crap.


Lafayette and Jesus get to Jesus's Grandpa's house and Gramps says to them, "I've been expecting you."


Alcide gets a visit from the Packmaster for that vicinity he's living in. The Packmaster is not a happy camper that Alcide has not registered with the pack. Alcide tells the Packmaster to take a hike.


Sam and Tommy dump their parents' dead bodies into a swamp. Sam tosses in marshmallows to draw the gators up to the surface at which time they can chow down on the dead bodies. Tommy feels guilty. Sam confesses he's killed two people who robbed him and says Tommy killed the parents in self-defense or an act of war.


Terry and Arlene go to bed and assume all is well with the baby and ridding the house of any ghosts or evil. Except a book of matches ignites out of the blue. That's not good.


Since Jason drank Jessica's blood, they have a bond and she enters his dreams and seduces him. Hoyt pops up in the dream, too, freaking out Jason.


Eric asks Sookie if he really did all those bad things Tara accused him of. She said yes, but he's different now. Eric said: "There's a light in you and I couldn't bare it if I snuffed it out." He takes off and Sookie runs after him…shouting to not go. He returns to her then they KISS!


Bill has a meeting with his sheriffs, still wondering where the hell is Eric and figures the witches are behind it. Vampires throughout history have always held important, powerful roles in high places of society. We learn that Marnie's goddess and the spirit that possesses her was a sorceress and necromancer named Antonia. At one time, she commanded a power that made vampires walk out into the sun and die. Some want to kill Marnie but Bill insisted no human casualties. Pam is visibly upset and lets something slip…Pam and Sookie had a deal that Pam was to keep her mouth shut about Eric hiding out at Sookie's…but Pam's loose lips reveal that Eric's memory has been erased. Bill forces Pam to tell him where Eric is at…Sookie's. Bill races out of the house and we assume he's zooming to Sookie's place. Soooomebodyyyyy's in troooouble… ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

My latest article on The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Tidbits

Action | Adventure | Thriller - Not due to be released until July 3, 2012 (USA) in theaters.

Stars:  Andrew Garfield, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary

TRIVIA:
>In early January 2010, Sony announced that they canceled their idea of making Spider-Man 4 with director Sam Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire, who started their work together on Spider-Man, and instead decided to re-boot the Spider-Man franchise with a new crew.

Read full article here:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/the-amazing-spider-man-2012-tidbits

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Excerpt about Query Letters from Speech, Post 2

Recently, I gave a one hour speech to a writing group and have decided to post segments of it here over the next few weeks. All of the speech is in response to questions I had received in advance and then prepared my answers for the group. This is Post 2 of the speech on my blog.

Remember, these are just my opinions and suggestions. Nothing is set in stone. Other writers could answer quite differently and argue with me over my answers. What works for one person may not work for another.

On to the question about query letters…First, I'm going to suggest several websites you MUST visit! Soak up as much knowledge as you can. All of these sites have awesome information and examples of everything pertaining to writing and publishing. They are wonderful!! And you may be well aware of them already!   www.guidetoliteraryagents.com and www.writersmarket.com, www.bookmarket.com and http://jakonrath.blogspot.com. Note that Writersmarket is a subscription based – as in a fee – website & I'm not sure how much is accessible without subscribing. Another thing – subscribe to an actual writing magazine. I LOVE Writer's Digest! And I just recently subscribed to Poets & Writers and am awaiting the first issue! 

Back to query letters - Honestly, you shouldn't even worry about a query letter until you have written the complete book. Get it done first. Then seriously proofread and revise it. Now, if you're writing NON-fiction, sometimes you don't have to have the book completed to send out query letters – and non-fiction books usually will involve a proposal, too. I'm not familiar with proposals since I write fiction.

I composed my query letter using examples from guidetoliteraryagents.com and writersmarket.com. GOOD query letters should include: WHY you're contacting them specifically and that you're requesting representation, the title of your manuscript, the word count, the genre or genres of your book, a short hook or summary about the novel (not more than a few sentences), where you've been published (and if nowhere, then DON'T bring that subject up), what kind of author platform you have built-up (Are you aware of what the term author platform means?! That's one of the topics coming up), also, if the book is a series mention that, a request to send them other materials (which could mean THE actual manuscript or maybe the first 3 chapters). Also the query letter should be one page.

If you're sending a query letter, then you have the place and possibly a person's name to address it to. If there are ANY instructions they've posted on sending query letters – FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY. They may request up front a 1 or 2 page synopsis – which creating one of those is another topic in itself! Or they may want the first chapter up to three chapters sent with the query letter. Even those chapters need to be formatted properly to submit. And the agent or publisher you're submitting to should have posted exactly what to send, how they want any additional items formatted, whether they prefer snail mail or email.

Again, I highly recommend visiting those websites I've mentioned, as all the suggestions, standard examples and specifics are readily available to assist you in creating a query letter, a synopsis, a hook plus oodles more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That's it for today! I'll post another segment from my speech within a few days and it will be more info about Submissions. Happy Writing and Reading!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My latest article on Cowboys & Aliens

My latest article on Cowboys & Aliens. The trailer captures my attention & overall, the movie intrigues me as something "different"...

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.

PG-13, 118 min - Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller - July 29, 2011 (USA) in Theaters.

Stars: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde

Trivia: Daniel Craig was chosen because of his distinct likeness to Yul Brynner, who starred in the cowboy epic The Magnificent Seven.

Read full article here with more trivia, movie links, full synopsis:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/cowboys-aliens

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How I Got Started in Writing

About one month ago, I gave a speech to a writing group about, what else, WRITING! I've decided to post segments of the speech over the next few weeks. It's rather lengthy - almost one hour to give the speech, so that is why I'll be offering you bits and pieces of it instead of cramming all of it into one huge post. All of the speech is in response to questions I had received in advance and then prepared my answers for the group.

I began the speech by telling them (since they asked):

First, how I got started with writing: To summarize, back in high school I got A’s on essays with positive notes scribbled in the margins from the teachers. Even then, I felt I had some potential. I've always enjoyed reading, too, and toyed with writing over the years, but didn’t fully commit myself to writing a full-fledged novel until 2009. I had owned/operated a beauty salon in Marine for 16 years and sold it last June. During the last year of operating my shop, THAT was when I wrote and published my first book.  I sold the shop because I was burned out doing hair, sick and tired of the business end of it and wanted a change in my life. After selling, and taking a 5 month break, I decided I would try my best to make writing my career in some form or fashion. In March of this year, my second book was published. I'm currently working on a third book. I also write weekly speculative fiction articles for Examiner.com. I’ve given myself two years (for financial reasons) to attain a legitimate, modest but income-producing career in some area of the writing field, whether it's books or not. And I'm still working on that goal…I have one year left.
~~~~~
Now, something I want to add that wasn't part of the speech...I remember in my pre-teen & early teen years reading a lot. That resulted in a huge bookcase packed full of books. I couldn't have been more than 13 years old and came up with the idea to have my own library that I would loan books out to my family and friends. Long's Little Library was created! I think I had a mere 3 people borrow books! But my entrepreneur days had begun! In addition, I wrote to pen pals all over the U.S. and maybe a few outside the States. I know at one point, I corresponded with at least 30 pen pals and spent many, many hours a week writing to them and reading their letters. Another fun activity I played around with as a kid for about a year was typing a newsletter that basically contained stories from teen magazines! I think I mailed my little newsletters to some of my pen pals. In my teen years, I wrote approximately 30 or more poems that are currently packed away in a box, all but forgotten until the memory of them flooded my head this morning. Besides these obvious flairs for or interests in writing, I recall creativity in a few other areas:  "playing teacher" & constructing my lessons, listening to rock music & singing along and trying to teach myself how to play a guitar and a drumset (UNsuccessful but I thought I was cool). I loved animals, too, and always had pets of all sorts (dogs, hamsters, gerbils, parakeets, guinea pigs...for some reason no cats, though!).

So, hopefully all those creative juices will do me some good in life!!

The next segment from my speech will be about...let me check...query letters.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My latest article - Captain America

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

After being deemed unfit for military service during WWII, Steve Rogers (Evans) volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty -- a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. His first mission: to combat the Nazi propaganda effort headed by Johann Schmidt (Weaving), also known as the Red Skull.

PG-13, 125 min - Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi – In Theaters on Friday, July 22, 2011 (USA).

TRIVIA:
>Budget:  $140,000,000 (estimated).
>Despite being "The First Avenger", it is the last solo Avenger film to be released before the team-up film, The Avengers.

Read complete article HERE packed with more trivia:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/captain-america-the-first-avenger

Friday, July 15, 2011

My latest article on Harry Potter's latest movie

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011):

The final film in the franchise topped all other Harry Potter movies’ midnight grosses with a huge $43.5 million in the first night of showings at 3,800 locations. It shattered the midnight box office record previously held by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which earned just over $30 million from midnight shows in 2010. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 earned $24 million in its first night last year (midnight showings).

The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again. (Written by Jordan)  

FULL ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-tidbits-and-trivia

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Planet of the Apes; Grammar Stuff; LA Ink; Poll for Shows

Tonight may involve watching Beneath the Planet of the Apes (2nd movie of series). Bought the Legacy Collection from Amazon.

Reading opinions concerning the use of "toward" or "towards". Interesting. I tend to use the "s". Some people get quite violent about which is considered correct. I've also read BOTH are fine and dandy to use.

Just read LA Ink premieres Th. July 28 on TLC. Go Kat Von D!!

I posted on Facebook using their "Questions" feature (first time I used this) a fun poll:
Which summer shows are you enjoying?
>Falling Skies?
>Teen Wolf?
>Torchwood?
>Alphas?
>True Blood?
>Outcasts?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Place to Ask Me Questions

Here's something new I'm trying out...yep-another place on the net I can be found...but where you can more easily ask me questions. I know, I know. I had recently posted about trying to back off on so many networking sites I try to maintain...eek - slap me!

It's called Formspring and this is the official website description of it:

"Formspring encourages people to find out more about each other in a simple and fun way. It starts by directly asking people original questions in anticipation of their entertaining or revealing responses. Responses can range from straightforward to surprising and can lead to understanding something more about the people you know or find interesting. Whether you are curious to know more about a college you are applying to, the movies your friend likes, or the stories of someone you respect, on Formspring, you can have fun, share insights, and relate to one another in a new way."

http://www.formspring.me/GinaMarieLong

Monday, July 11, 2011

Latest article on Insidious

Insidious (2010) on DVD -

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

The Story (description from the Official Website):
From the creators of Saw and Paranormal Activity, Insidious is the terrifying story of a family who shortly after moving discover that dark spirits have possessed their home and that their son has inexplicably fallen into a coma. Trying to escape the haunting and save their son, they move again only to realize that it was not their house that was haunted.

To read entire article, go here:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/insidious-2010-on-dvd

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Muse and Amanda Hocking Quote

My sister-in-law asked me today if my muse returned yet. It's been flitting off to points unknown...and that does not refer to the next novel in my Unknown Touch-Werewolf Series either or even the new Bigfoot Series I had started. But I like that word "muse"...and decided to post the definition so everyone can absorb the meaning.

Muse
n.
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
3. muse A poet.

On another note: I subscribe to author Amanda Hocking's blog, who I greatly admire and am intrigued by her huge success, and at the tail end of her latest post, she had this to say:

"...But now that I'm older, I realize I can be whatever writer I want to be. That's an important truth. Or at least is to me. You live your life on your terms. Don't let anybody else's definitions rule you. Define yourself."  ~~ Amanda Hocking

I honestly teared up reading that. It's inspirational and powerful. Yay Amanda!

Now if my creative muse will just kick the evil distraction fairy out of my head, I'll be just fine.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My latest article on "The Ward" by John Carpenter

My latest article on The Ward. Starring Amber Heard.

A thriller centered on an institutionalized young woman who becomes terrorized by a ghost.

Rated "R", 88 min - Horror | Thriller | Supernatural - Released in limited theaters on July 8, 2011 (USA). This title will be released on DVD - August 16, 2011, according to Amazon.com. There's been buzz that some people have already purchased a legit copy, which is odd if it's just hitting U.S. theaters. It appears that it premiered in Canada September 13, 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Taglines:  Only Sanity Can Keep You Alive.

Read complete article:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/john-carpenter-s-the-ward

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stretched

Stretched. That's how I feel lately. I can't get any writing done. Distractions, excuses. So many sites I check on every day. Researching alternate writing income possibilities, joining this and that, whew. Oh - and of course this morning I just had to clean out my recipe cabinet -  organizing, tossing out some stuff. And then it was essential that I restructure my workout routines - change the time and timing, group my exercises (ripped from magazines) into a pile for pilates and a pile for weights. [sigh...]

I think I may have to prioritize and eliminate non-essential tasks and some activities that are not moving me forward in my writing career. But which ones to scratch off the list?! Obviously I keep my website, this blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, okay...okay...I need to stop there. I spend an incredible amount of time writing articles on movies twice a week for my Examiner.com page...but I feel it is important to showcase article writing as another ability besides my novels that I've written. Looks good on a resume. Let's see - I also have my other blog on enterparanormal.blogspot.com - I DO get traffic everyday to it...almost hate to light a match to it. But I could. My bulletin board - which also gets hits everyday - but NO ONE ever posts anything besides myself - could be deleted. After all, everything I put here goes there. Rarely does anyone speak of MySpace anymore. Facebook is the hotspot. Still - very hard to delete the account...suppose I could let it "sit" & just check it once a month...

I'm hoping by typing this out (concerning my disappearing time to write dilemma), it will force me to take action. I know everyone has the same 24 hours in day, 7 days a week. But I feel like a time warp fairy shows up daily and zaps me away for about 5 hours. Then, suddenly, I'll look at the clock and wonder - OMG - where did the day go?!?!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My latest article on Beastly

My latest article on Beastly (2011) Profile:

A modern-day take on the "Beauty and the Beast" tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love.

PG-13,   86 min  -  Drama | Fantasy | Romance  - Now out on DVD - Release Date: June 28, 2011

Read full article:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/beastly-2011-profile

Friday, July 1, 2011

My latest article on Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) Info & Trivia

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.

PG-13,   157 min  -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi   -  In theaters: June 29, 2011 (USA)

TRIVIA:
>Transformers movies are based on the toy series that gained popularity in the 1980s.
>Transformers are (fictional) sentient alien robots coming from the planet Cybertron. They are divided into two factions: the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons, almost always led by Megatron.

Read full article here:
http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-st-louis/transformers-dark-of-the-moon-2011-info-trivia