Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interviewing Rebecca Lee

In my WIP, Chihuahua Momma, Rebecca Lee is my main character. She is a widow who just turned forty. She has two teenaged kids, and since she lost her husband three years ago, she has lived in a cocoon of loneliness. She is being interviewed by the MC blog fest today:

1. What is your greatest fear?
If I had to dig down to the depths of my soul, I must admit that I am terrified I might get hurt again. When I am alone or up late, the horror of that fateful night comes over me. The rain pelted down when the police officer came to the door with the news. My life stopped that night. How can I open up again? I could never face that kind of pain again.

2. What is your greatest accomplishment?
That's a hard one. My children Ryan and Amanda are definitely my greatest personal accomplishment. Other than family? I would have to say winning Best in Show at Westminster. The overwhelming joy was surreal, and my business surged overnight.

3. What is your biggest regret?
Honestly, I'd like to say I don't have any regrets. I hate looking back and feeling bad. But, sometimes that night haunts me. I knew the driving conditions were treacherous...you know...the night Brian died. I thought about calling him and telling him to get a hotel. When I think about it I can't breathe, and now I can't do it over. I only had one chance to save him, and I didn't make the call.

To be a part of the blog fest go to Francine Howarth's Blog: http://tgunwriter.blogspot.com/2011/06/romantic-friday-writers-7th-challenge.html

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This is a collage of photos I took at Parowan Gap for the summer solstice celebration yesterday. I must admit that the sunset behind the summer solstice carin was taken last year, since clouds blocked the sunset this year. At the bottom right is a photograph of archaeologist, V. Garth Norman, author of The Parowan Gap, a non fiction book that interprets the many petroglyph panels at the Gap. I was able to speak to Mr. Norman for a brief period before the presentation began. He shared the story of the excavation of the cave beneath the rock of Tobats where his crew dug down, finding artifacts dating back to 3000 A.D.  He also shared disturbing information of vandals attacking the Gap, and the government of Utah's inability to understand the importance of his work and how it defines the history of North America and our world. He continues his work without their support.

These are but small traces to help us to understand the brilliance of the ancients. Mr. Norman has discovered a direct correlation between the Fremont and the Mayans of Mesoamerica in their petroglyphs, and pointed out to me the horned serpent that counts the days to the summer solstice, also a Mayan icon.

My novel, Koicto, is an historical adventure that brings in my interpretation of the culture of these amazing people. I was so moved when I saw these petroglyphs, I felt this story must be told. My hope is to raise the awareness of the North American ancients while telling a riveting story of love and war. Koicto will be released by Sunstone Press in December, 2011.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Solstice - Celebration Tomorrow

Tomorrow, June 18th, is the summer solstice celebration at Parowan Gap. I will be posting photographs for those of you interested in ancient Native American culture and petroglyphs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chihuahua Momma Work In Process

To update my friends who've asked how I'm progressing with Chihuahua Momma - 55K words - over half way through the first draft. I got a lot of great feedback from the Professional Writers Workshop on strenghtening my characters. I'm Psyched!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Professional Writers Workshop

Last week I attended a six-day workshop taught by David Farland, and I thought I'd share some of the highlights over my next few posts. Dave enamored me with his direct and to-the-point discussion, starting the workshop by telling the class that the first thing a writer must do is audience analysis. A writer must connect with an audience so that s/he can connect with a lot of people and make money. As authors we can kill our own careers by narrowing audience appeal.

He then went on to talk about tools to learn this, and recommended How To Build Believable Characters by Mark McHutchon, Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card and Writing to the Point by Algis Budrys. He stressed that setting comes first, and the story must contain at least three try-fail cycles for the novel to be a success.

We talked about the "denoument" where all of the conflict is tied up. The denoument must convince us intellectually and emotionally that the story's over. He also said that for a story to be really satisfying, there must be a turning point early on where the main character realizes what her problem really is.

So - Why do you think people read? Sure, entertainment is a good answer, but it goes deeper than that. A story that really works makes you feel as if you're in jeopardy. It raises your heart rate and transports you to an amazing world.  A good story is a stress induction-reduction bio-feedback loop. You put your readers through hell and pull them back out safely.

What could be better than that?

Sign up for Dave Farland's daily kick - http://www.davidfarland.net/

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Storytelling in Any Platform: Creating Fiction That Works in All Media » SFWritersU Where Writers Meet and You Learn

Philippa Burgess, Partner in Creative Convergence, (www.creativecvg.com) advises that as a story teller you have to think across platforms. Be it a book, movie, magazine article, comic strip, etc., you have much more power when you step into multimedia. What matters to editors, producers and/or agents is if you connect with your fans. Do you have an audience? Philippa can help you learn how to use different forms of media to build your fan base and your brand.

This is a premium online class offered by the San Francisco Writers University - http://www.sfwritersu.com/