Raine's Secret Garden

First Round

I did want to post today, because I might be a little scarce for the next week or so. Work is, again, bordering on high-stress levels, and I received first round edits for the upcoming release far sooner than I expected. But I’m so glad to see them, I have no complaints, lol.

First round edits are different than all the others. Usually, the manuscript has been waiting for approval, and it’s been a while since you read it through, so there’s that unvarnished set of eyes to run over it.
If you’re anything like me, this round has you alternating between dismay at some of the silly mistakes that should’ve seemed so OBVIOUS when you were finalizing—and an occasional bit of awe when you encounter something really good, something you may not even REMEMBER writing, that makes you think “wow…”

When first round edits hit, you’re excited. The dream you had for bringing that book to publishing life is really coming true! You don’t mind reading it over until your vision blurs. It’s okay if you need to delete half a million commas, one by one, to be sure you get it right. Yes, you CAN come up with a description for those blue eyes that isn’t so cliche. And no, it’s no problem at all for you to go searching eight or nine chapters back to see why your protagonist described something in a very distinctive way, and to try to remember what the hell it was you had in mind eighteen months earlier when you wrote it just as you were falling asleep. O_o

It’s all good. It’s one huge step toward that dream you dreamed becoming real.
Of course, by the second round of edits, the bloom on that rose usually fades substantially. But maybe I’ll touch on that next time. :)

Category: Publication News,Writing — Raine @ 12:35 am ·   Comments (2)
Book of Days

I know a lot of people are generally down on the idea of “how-to” books and, depending on the type, I can relate to that. It’s the “one size fits all” philosophy that puts me off. No, you can’t promise someone they’ll lose 15 pounds in 10 days. They may have a problem with their glands. No, you can’t promise I’ll get that promotion if I do as you say. My boss may be a bigger asswipe than yours.

But I have learned a lot from books over the years. I taught myself to draw (or, more accurately, to “see” differently) using a book. And to knit and crochet. To refinish furniture, stenciling, woodburning, etc.
But I’ve always been leery of books on writing, and books that take the “this is THE way approach”.
This book does not. And I’m really, really enjoying it.

I’d seen PBW mention “A Writer’s Book of Days” on her site, and I was curious. So, with the help of Christmas gift cards, it became a special gift to myself.

Love it. Love the suggestions for changing up and improving what you write, where, and how. Love the cover–such a simple, lovely design.
But most of all, I like the daily exercises. Nothing difficult, nothing ethereal. Just a few words that form prompts, and allow you to take it from there, in any direction you choose.
And I’m really loving this part. It occurs to me that, when I sit down to write, I’m full of intention and purpose, usually with an idea and a wip on the table. It now occurs to me that this can stifle the creativity. I’m finding that the idea of impromptu writing stimulates my mind, which can only be good for the planned work as well.

“A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves. If you’re ever browsing a bookstore, check it out. You may like it, too.
Highly recommended. :)

Category: General Blah Blah,Writing — Raine @ 1:10 am ·   Comments (4)
Santa Baby

Christmas has come and gone already??
Where did it go? I barely had time to get used to the idea!

Seriously, though—here’s hoping everyone enjoyed their holiday, and it was full of lots of love, sharing, and enough good food to make it special. :)

Santa was pretty good to me, bless his heart. I don’t have a lot of relatives, and don’t always get along with the ones I do have, but they are precious to me. And I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are very special. Scratch that…they’re downright AWESOME. And having that can go a long way toward making some of the rough times better.

One of my favorite gifts from Santa? They were all favorites.
One that I’m going to talk about here?
Well, Santa opened that great big satin-lined red grab bag of his for me, and lo and behold…

I sold another manuscript to Samhain.
The jolly old gent must’ve known I sorely needed it, lol. Amazingly, this was the revise and resubmit story from earlier this year, which I was pretty sure was dead in the water. Sort of a rebirth for Christmas. Imagine that!

So far, it’s being given a release date of June 2012. But I’ll discuss details later. I just really liked the story, and I’m glad I’ll be able to share it.

Happy Holidays, everyone. And may I just say…

Category: Publication News,Writing — Raine @ 2:30 am ·   Comments (6)
Yes, Virginia…

…I am a lousy blogger, lol.

It is a busy time of year for pretty much everyone, and I simply haven’t had a lot to report. And while I do post on the Chica site weekly, I like to save the more personal stuff for here.
I am waiting for something special, but have no idea when that may come.
I haven’t managed to get into the holiday spirit yet, but I’m expecting it any minute.
And I have been writing–and that is my gift to myself this year! This week, I actually found myself stumbling out of a nice, warm bed, half-asleep, to grope for the pen and paper I’d relegated to my dresser instead of the nightstand–because a snippet of great dialogue had come to me just as I was drowsing off! Isn’t that great?!

Hope you’re finding time to enjoy this gracious season. :)

Category: Writing — Raine @ 2:15 am ·   Comments (2)
And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’

I love having good news to deliver. :D

In addition the previously-mentioned “Hunter Of The Heart” below (which, btw, hit three of Samhain’s bestseller lists, woot!), I’ve got two more blog buddies with kick-ass new releases to savor.

Bernard Lee DeLeo’s latest, “Cold Blooded”, will be available from Wild Child Publishing on November 22. That is, barring famine, pestilence, or the apocalypse, it should definitely be released, lol. I read much of the original version of this story, and it was non-stop excitement, with a very non-traditional hero and romance (my favorite kinds).

And Paperback Writer has released another of her fabulous Kyndred novels, this one called “Nightshine”. I’ve already ordered mine, and will be saving it for a long, cold weekend. :)
You can’t go wrong reading Lynn Viehl, one of the best in the business, and I’m sure this one will be no exception.

Happy reading!

Category: Publication News,Shameless Promotion — Raine @ 12:32 am ·   Comments (3)
Hunter Of The Heart

His darkest secret could be her only hope…

Disclaimer: Ms. Vanessa Jaye is an e-buddy from several years back.
That does not, however, mean I can’t be objective about the lady’s writing ability.

HUNTER OF THE HEART releases Tuesday, November 1, from Samhain Publishing and the usual e-book vendors. It is Ms. Jaye’s second book and first paranormal. And may I just say…wow.

Having had the privilege of reading a small part of the manuscript-in-progress, I wouldn’t hesitate to say you want to get this book. Romance, great worldbuilding, revenge, hot sex, and plenty of suspense has been tossed into this exciting mix.

Ms. Jaye has a unique voice and writing style that involves you with the characters immediately and draws you right into the story.
This isn’t your typical shapeshifter novel.
Here’s a small excerpt to get you started. I’ll be ordering my copy for reading this weekend. :)
***** ***** ***** *****

“You’ll have to do better than hide in stairwells, Tessa.”

She gasped, his voice was clear as a whisper in her ear and his anger brushed up against her skin, raising goose bumps like a hot rash.

The sound of the door opening above her was enough—Tessa raced down the stairs in a panic. Oh God, she could almost feel his sharp teeth at her neck. There were no erotic images this time, just the cold knowledge of death. She’d actually been lonely and feeling a bit sorry for herself? She’d give anything right now to be safe and bored, watching some stupid sitcom in her living room with a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream for company.

“Tessa, no! Come back to me, now!”

She looked up and saw two points of lights shining down at her from Nate’s face. He looked murderous. Terror clawed into her gut. “Leave me alone!”

Tessa paused long enough to see, really see, the beginnings of the change in him, the lower half of his face became elongated, the tanned skin disappearing behind a spread of black hair. She screamed, and stumbled down the stairs blindly. Her sides stitched with pain, each gasp of breath not nearly enough. Had she actually kissed him? It? Her prayers for deliverance muffled his voice that continued to stab into her brain, demanding that she return to him.

He was insane.

No, she was.

But it wasn’t her imagination. It was true. He was a monster and he was going to kill her.

She came to the bottom of the stairs. Should she turn left or—

Feet raced down towards her, echoing in the narrow space till they sounded like an army. But they weren’t human feet. The rhythm was all wrong, overshot with a constant scrabble of nails hitting metal.

Hide. Anywhere. She ran, frantically trying doors left and right. One of them opened.

It was the wrong one.

Category: Publication News — Raine @ 9:54 am ·   Comments (4)
Death By Recycling

I worry a lot about repeating myself in my work.
And I don’t just mean certain favorite words that are easily taken care of by searching and deleting.
I mean repeating themes, plots, descriptive phrases, even characters.

Apparently, the movie business doesn’t share that particular concern.

The list below is incomplete, but the gist of the message comes across. Here are just a few of the movies scheduled to be remade in the next year or two:

“Bride of Frankenstein”
“Total Recall”
“Damn Yankees”
“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”
“The Boys From Brazil”
“The Fury”
“The Man With The X-Ray Eyes”
“The Thing”
“Escape From New York”
“The Crow”
“Death Wish”
“Mad Max”
“The Birds”
“Romancing the Stone”

My gut reaction to all this is WTF??
I think I was good for maybe 1-3 remakes a year—and even that was only if the new films had a new slant to offer, or could possibly do a better job. I have not seen that to be true (and btw, anybody who’d even ATTEMPT to remake Hitchcok is insane).
But the market is being flooded with these recycled films, and one has to wonder why. It’s certainly not because people are clamoring for them, or that new stories/screenplays aren’t being written.
The only reason I can think of is…fear.
Fear of exploring new directions. Fear of going against the grain. Fear of failure. If you can resuscitate a formula that’s worked in the past, you’re less likely to lose money on something unknown.

But I don’t think I like what it says for the future of struggling writers and artists, or for this society’s creative spirit.
And I have an awful feeling it may, in some form or another, be reflected in the publishing field as well.
Scary thoughts.

Category: General Blah Blah,Writing — Raine @ 11:09 pm ·   Comments (6)
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