Monday, May 31, 2010

Time Flies...

Did you realise yet that tomorrow is June 1st? I know it blew my mind. Halfway through the year. What the heck happened?
It's been eventful one for me so far but not in the ways I thought it would. In January I resolved to write more, get my next book published, lose weight and try to let work stress me out less. I promised myself I would crawl out of my reclusive writers cave and socialise a bit more and was looking forward to a dream trip to New Orleans and the Romantic Times Convention in Ohio.

Who new that six months later I would have had the rejection that sent me into writer meltdown and put some serious holes in my creativity? Who could have guessed that we would all have learned how to pronounce the name of a volcano called Eyjafjallajökul? Which to me sounds strangely like thatfrickinvolcano after it caused my trip to New Orleans to be cancelled. Luck was still with my trip to Ohio for the Romantic Times Convention however it deserted me afterwards and thatfrickinvolcano caused me to be delayed in Ohio and endure a 24 hour nightmare trip home. Of course the resulting exhaustion made me sick and I have lost a good bit of weight so I have achieved that part of my resolution. As to the last parts of my plan, well, work is still stressing me out but I have made a half hearted attempt to crawl out of that cave...unless...does eHarmony count?
So, this week I am taking stock and resolving to take another run at those resolutions. How has your year been so far? Has it worked the way you hoped it would or has fate stirred things up in that bitchy way she has?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scribd and me

A couple of years ago, Heath Vercher asked me to do a joint concert with him in Second Life for Valentine's Day. He would play a few of his romantic compositions (Seduction is absolutely my favorite piece) and I would read some short, romantic stories. We called it our Love Stories collection and I wrote five pieces for this two-hour concert.

The concert was a success and we had a lot of fun with it. The five short stories I wrote existed as "in the air" pieces as they were too short for most publishers. Because of the nature of Heath's audience, they were sweet romances rather than erotica and I would use them as introductions when I did my readings in SL. I recorded three of them with the intent to upload them through Itunes and sell them as audio stories, but since I lack the knowledge of just how to go about accomplishing that, those files still languish on my computer.

And then I found Scribd.

Scribd is a great place to find both free and for-sale stories. Anyone can upload their stories and make them available to the reading public. A perfect home for these short works, I thought, and I created my Scribd account. I uploaded the first of the stories I'd written from the Ramayana (why I love that epic is another post in and of itself. If you want to know that story, tell me in the comments and next time its my turn, I'll tell you about the spell India and this magificent epic has put on me). Because the Ramayana belongs to everyone, and because I simply retold a story already well-known, I decided to offer it free of charge.

Next up was Love at Third Sight, an original story. This one I charge for because it is original. Scribd takes 20% of the price as thier share plus a $.25 download fee out of the price I charge. So I set $1.25 as the price, which means I'd make $.50 for each copy someone bought. I did the same with One Last Dance, one of my favorites of these short works. Gorilla Love, also original, I didn't charge for since it's barely 700 words long.

Unfortunately, the two works for sale aren't selling. I need some feedback. Is the price too high? Should I lower it to $.99, the same as a song off Itunes? What about the audio files I have sitting here on my computer? Anyone have the knowledge of how to post them to my website and sell them that way? Or should I just offer those for free, too? Where should I post them?

Check out the freebies (there are several episodes of the Tales from the Ramayana now...I wrote two new ones just this past month and uploaded them as well. You can find them on my profle page at the top. Scroll through the list to read them all!) and please, leave feedback in the comments! I promise, you won't hurt my feelings. This entire endeavor is an experiment. Let me know what you think?

Play safe,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OMG...a different kind of review.

Oversized Male Genitalia. What did YOU think that stood for? Hehe.
I just thought it was time to sing the praises of this awesome book. Actually...the book isn't anything to write home about. Well...unless your mother is a smut-writing Sex Diva like moi! And if so...aren't you lucky! But otherwise, you may not want to mail this home to Grandma. Or give it to your priest. Or even nominate it for a Pullitzer. It's a goofy, tongue-in-cheek poke at the ultimate male fantasy. And it's a riot.

What really struck me about it, however...what makes it worth mentioning for me... is the story of how I came across it. It wasn't like I found it while perving Amazon for some cheap thrills. (Not that I do that. Ahem.) I didn't even find it hidden in the dusty back corner of the local sex shop and porn store. I came across this little gem as I stepped into the local Chapters store (For those of you unfamiliar with Chapters, that's the Canadian version of Barnes and Noble. An enormous bookstore and Starbucks chain for the literary and latte lovin' league.) I walked down the main aisle and there...there...THERE in the middle of one of the largest, most in-your-face, most blatantly publicity-seeking table displays of books sat this brilliant red and gold tomb, shamelessly declaring the word "PENIS" for all to see. I was...astounded. Flabbergasted. And amazed. I just thought this was the best thing ever. Even better than when Ottawa University students managed to run Anne Coulter out of town! Oops...this blog isn't supposed to be about politics. But then again Anne Coulter is kind of like the sexual Anti-Christ. Hang on...where was I?

Oh yes...the table display at Chapters (the Canadian version of B&N)! I was just so impressed at this blatant display of such a naughty word that I had to stop and pick it up. And after reading a few bits and pieces here and there, decided it would make the perfect birthday gift for my husband! No...he's not excessively endowed, and despite all the spam in his in-box, has no wish to be. However, I thought it would provide us with a good chuckle over chocolate birthday cake and ice cream. Ironically, our oldest son was much more enthusiastic about covering the book fromn cover to cover. And, no...we don't have that book sitting out when grandma and grandpa come over to visit. Shame, really.

So, anyway...if you know anyone who has issues with OMG...or who wishes they did, or who would just get a kick out of having the word PENIS emblazoned in gold letters across a book on his/her coffee table, I highly recommend this book! I mean...if you can't have fun with an enormous penis...what CAN you have fun with?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Taking a Break

Recently I spent nine days in Hawaii, taking a firm break from my day job and writing. It’s been years since I’ve gone on a trip and haven’t taken my computer with the intention to write or edit. But this time, I decided no writing, no editing, no working. I was going to relax.

My plans for the trip were to dive, golf and lay by the pool.

So, some quick highlights…

On my fourth dive of the trip, my dive buddy and I ran into a pod of Spinner Dolphins. We were about 80 ft. down and suddenly in the presence of about 30 dolphins. It was amazing but as a relatively new diver who’d never been to 80 feet, I had to keep dragging my attention back to the dolphins. My thoughts went something like this…

Oh my gosh, dolphins. Wait, 80 feet? How did we get here? Don’t worry about it, look at the dolphins. But I don’t want to go any deeper. Look at the dolphins. Wait, sharks eat dolphins right? Scans the water for sharks. Just look at the dolphins…

Thankfully, my dive buddy is an avid videographer and got some great shots so I can re-live the experience without constant monitoring of my dive computer.

Golf highlight…the golf course had peacocks! All over the place. Beautiful birds but when they cry out, they sound like a human screaming. Takes a bit of getting used to. Keep thinking I could use that in a book some day.

And laying by the pool…lovely, read three books while in Hawaii…James Rollins’ Excavation, Lucy Monroe’s Moon Craving, and Sabrina Jeffries’ The Truth about Lord Stoneville. All excellent reads. I highly recommend them all. Good reading at any time but particularly lovely while sipping a drink with an umbrella in it.

In the end, got my mental break, came back ready to write and with two new stories in my head. Ahhh, now that’s vacation.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pet Peeves

We all have them, those little things other people do that make us want to scream and tear out our hair.

I'm a very easy going person. I don't anger easily, and I get over my anger at something or someone quickly. But there are some things that push my hot buttons the wrong way. Since I always feel better when I vent, here are some of my nasty little pet peeves.

Leaving the shopping cart in the middle of the aisle. I don't like to move someone else's cart, especially a woman's when there's a purse in it. I'm always afraid she'll think I'm stealing her wallet. But sometimes I don't have a choice. While she's standing there, trying to decide which one of forty different detergents to buy, I have things to do. Get out of my way!

Not giving a turn signal. I'm coming out of a parking lot, patiently waiting for the approaching car to pass so I can be on my way. Does the car pass? No, it turns into the lot right next to me without giving a signal. And 95% of the time, it's a man driving. What is it with guys and no turn signals? Do they belong to the same club as guys who don't ask directions or read instructions? (No offense, guys, but I call' em as I see 'em.)

Whooshing by me on the highway only to pull in front of me and slow down to the same speed I'm driving. What is the point of that? I drive a Kia Optima. It isn't a big car. If I was in a big honkin' SUV or a diesel pickup, I could understand wanting to get around me to be able to see better. My little car isn't much of a hindrance to seeing what's coming.

You probably see my pattern. It's the lack of courtesy and simple manners that gets to me. It all boils down to one thing--treat me the way you want to be treated.

Now that I've vented and feel better, tell me what pushes your hot buttons.