Monday, February 22, 2021

A Classic Bore

 We all have those books we've been meaning to read, some of which are considered classics. As an English major, I've had to read a lot of them. Some I enjoy, like Shakespeare's plays, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Then, there are those that are painful to read, like anything by D.H. Lawrence, most of the works by Hemingway, and what I'm currently reading, Emma by Jane Austen. 



Honestly, I don't see the appeal of this drawn out, verbose, repetitive novel. It took a whole chapter to describe a character's 'character.' Jane, you could have done it in a paragraph. WHY is this a 'classic?' Because it was written a long time ago? Because other novels by Jane have been a success? All I know is that it's pedantic, tedious, and a real torture to read. And it's an obvious example why high school students hate reading these books. I'm in the middle of chapter 5 and the last page- 391- is looking like it's a universe away and I may never get there. Clearly it was a favorite among the British but not so much among Americans. No one I know seems to have read it. 

Will I finish it? Doubtful. But I'll keep it on my nightstand and delve into it when insomnia hits. Clearly I should be out cold after a chapter or two.


Char

Monday, February 15, 2021

"A New Trend" Debut!

 Here it is! The lovely cover for Sirenz 3: A New Trend! 


Isn't it gorgeous??? The illustrator is Erin Dameron Hill. Check out her work here: She's done such beautiful work and I cannot say enough good things. I gave her some basic ideas and she created this. Super squee!

So what's new in the Sirez universe? Like the title says, it's a new trend. Sharisse is excited to leave for college in a few weeks. And Hades, being Hades, is looking to start some mischief - too bad it backfires on him. Now he needs Sharisse's help. His Hell hound, Cerberus, is pining away for her and Hades demands that she 'fix' him. Unfortunately, the Fates have a nasty surprise for both of them. Hades and Sharisse will have to take on the pantheon, find out who has set them up for eternal doom, and get Hades' kingdom back. Oh, and he's mortal. 

That's all I'm going to spill. Look for both ebook and print in March, 2021. 

And if you could, spread the Hades love! 

Char 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Super Let Down

 Let's just say at least the game made me happy.



My fave player won. (7th SB win, 5th SB MVP) History.

As for creativity in the Super Bowl commercials- most were like the Kansas City Chiefs- a surprising big WTH? If the commercials weren't boring or pedantic, they were maudlin. Have we lost our humor? Yes, thank healthcare workers but we've been doing that since March of last year. After everything we've been through, we NEED humor and levity (especially if you were a Chiefs fan). Out of all the commercials, these were my top 5, but even they were okay, really not worth remembering past today.

#1 - The Tracy Morgan spot with Rocket Mortgage and the 'I'm pretty sure...' scenarios, like 'these are parachutes' and a family jumps out of plane with kiddie backpacks. He tells the family not to worry, and of course the worst happens. I found my first smile here.

#2 - The 'Stand In' aspect of State Farms Insurance where Paul Rudd is supposed to be Patrick Mahomes' double or stand in for a commercial. And the chunky cheesehead guy to stand in for Aaron Rodgers? Even funnier.

#3 - The Tide commercial with Jason Alexander's face on a sweatshirt that changes with the situation: a scrunched up face when the shirt is sat on, or stares back in horror when stuffed in a sweaty gym bag, or scowls when food is splattered on it had it's funny moments. 

#4 - The Samuel Adams beer commercial where a guy "From Boston" let's a familiar looking team of Clydesdales rampage through the city. 

#5 - and it didn't air during the SB (pre- SB) but I thought was The Funniest was the Tom Brady and Gronkowski T Mobile ad which features Gronk telling Brady to retire and enjoy retirement but it gets lost in translation because of dropped coverage, and Brady only hears bits about coming down to Florida and winning another SB championship. It's even funnier because he won another SB. 

We all know we're in this reality together, and there are lots of heroes, and we need social justice, but the ad agencies smothered us with 'message' commercials. I felt like we were constantly being lectured. We wait all year to see these commercials and it was such a big let down. I could have been in the kitchen, heaping my plate with food. Next year I hope that the pandemic has been shut down and we can get back to so many things that we enjoy, and that our humor, love of fun, and happiness return.

Back to revising, writing, subbing, and agent searching.... 


Char

Monday, January 18, 2021

Thoughts on the Day

 



It's Martin Luther King Day. Let's all take a moment to consider why this day is important, and to acknowledge that while we have come far, we have much farther to go. 


Char

Monday, January 11, 2021

One Helluva Week

 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


Been a rough week, right? I'm not getting political because no one cares what my views are, I don't want to hear criticisms for my views, and I don't care what anyone else thinks; how I vote is private. All I'm going to say is that I'm exhausted from the turmoil and tuning into the news through the day to see what tragedy has now happened or is expected to happen. 

With all that, it's hard to think of what to blog about, so let's take current events in contemporary books. I wonder how many authors are writing, or will write, about the Covid-19 pandemic. Not me. Nor will I read any books about it because I'm living it and really, going on a year of lockdown and/or limited movement in public spaces, dealing with selfish people hoarding, the foot dragging of officials, and the devastating economic results, I want to forget this as soon as possible. It's like writing off a losing season when I was on my high school track team. Or my beloved Patriots missing the playoffs- I just want to put it in the rearview mirror. Now I did write a book (FYI looking for an editor or agent...) called the Frankenstein Vendetta which has a scene where the monster comes across a town dying from the plague- but it's set in the 1700's when those things happened more frequently, and I wrote this before the Covid pandemic.

I'm not going to read or write about coups either because I don't write politically based novels anyway, and I'm still scared/angry/disgusted/shocked etc. over the treasonous events in our Capitol. I can't imagine any story line in this whole nightmare of death, destruction, treason, and upheaval that would make me want to write or read about it. No doubt someone can, but this is too close to home for me. It's different when it's Tom Cruise taking on shadowy government figures because that's fake.

Honestly, I rarely write novels based on current events. A lot of my friends do, whether fiction or non-fiction. By the time the books come out in droves, I've already noted and moved on. If vampires are the hottest thing, I write anti-vampire or avoid it all completely. I like going against the grain, the expected.

In general I don't write about a lot of 'hot button' contemporary issues because either I don't feel I'm in a position to, i.e. diversity, gender, or social justice, and being white, straight, and middle class, I feel that there would be outrage. And if you know me, you know I don't do hand-wringing or angsty novels, I'm more of a humourous or snarky writer, although I do have non-humorous novels. I don't even write about issues that my family has faced- death by cancer, mental illness, alcoholism, bullying, etc., preferring to choose historical, mythical, fantastical, or romantic subjects which are far removed from my life.

So I hope you're safe, taking care of yourself, and taking a break from the stress and strain of these days.


Char

Monday, January 4, 2021

No Resolutions, Just Goals

 The holidays are over. Back to business. Serious author business. I didn't make any resolutions, but like many, I've set goals. Here are my top 5 goals:


Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

1. Get an agent. I'm scouring Query Tracker and my friend Kathy Temean's blog,  https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/. These two sources have the freshest info on the literary agent front.

2. A publisher is interested in a romance I wrote, so I'll be doing a serious R&R- revise and resubmit. This is probably my top priority. Even if I can get an agent, most likely I'll have finished any dealings, good or bad, with this publishing house.

3. Submit manuscripts out. While agents don't like to take on manuscripts that have been subbed around, no author can afford to sit around and wait for an agent. My first novel, Sirenz, was pubbed without an agent, and there was already an understanding for a sequel (or two) before an agent got involved. I have several novels so an agent can rep them if they don't want to touch the ones I've sent out. Time waits for no one.

4. Publish Sirenz 3: A New Trend. I need to review the manuscript one more time, then commission a cover. It WILL be pubbed this year. I've ignored this manuscript too long. I love Hades too much to let him languish.

5. Read more. While I'll still be writing MG and YA, I'm branching out into the friendlier world of romance. And while it's always been one of my favorite genres, I need to read more to see what's out there. I have been lax reading MG and YA too, but I think I should go full force into the romance genre because of the interest from the editor I've gotten for one book (which already has a sequel written and I have ideas for a series) and because I think there is more opportunity in this genre. 

So, goals, not resolutions. The difference? Goals are stepping stones to career and lifetime achievements. Yeah, everyone wants to get in better shape and lose weight, but I'm hiking and biking. When the YMCA fully opens, I can get back to swimming, so I'm taking care of that business. 

Today, I'll be reading The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White, and reviewing/revising my Frankenstein-ish novel The Frankenstein Vendetta. But after I make my bed and eat, I'll be hiking. 

What are your goals?

Char 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Skip the Year End Review

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels
 

It's that time when we review the past year. For most of us, the few bright spots were dim in 2020. I don't know anyone who wants a repeat of this year. Everyone is hoping for health, financial recovery/success and a return to the life most of us took for granted. 

I'm not reviewing the year- I just want to forget it and move on. Like Patriot's coach Bill Belichick says after a loss: "We're onto (next game)." That means no dwelling on the loss- learn the lessons and move on. The only reviewing I'm doing is to the several manuscripts I've written and/or subbed. One of my few happy moments is a publisher expressing interest in one manuscript, pending some revisions and a resubmit. 

So I leave you with wishes, hopes, prayers, and pleas for the universe and each other to treat us better.

Peace-

Char