Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On a Clear Day

Last Saturday, I wanted to take a break from revising, judging a writing contest, more revising, and preparing to file our tax return, so I suggested to my husband that we head down to the ecological reserve about a mile or so away and go for a walk, shoot some photos, and just breathe.

Now, we've actually had some weather here in Southern California! This winter, it's not just 65 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. It's stormy and cold. It's I-have-to-wear-socks-in-the-house-COLD. Socks, people! That's cold for here. Happy Sigh. Just the way I love it. And the breathtaking part? The day after the systems blow away, the air is smog or haze.

This only happens a couple times a year, unfortunately. But when it does, many of us on the coast look north, as we're on a south facing beach, and think, Oh yeah, I forgot those were there. And hey, we do get snow!

Seriously, during most of the year, these mountains are barely visible.

We had another storm system arrive only a few hours later, a "Pineapple Express," that washed away much of the snow, so I'm thrilled we managed to snap this shot in time.

How are you all doing? Like I mentioned I'm revising, revising, revising, and playing catch-up after being "down for the count" while being ill.

Hope everyone's doing well!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Harlequin Presents" Contest

Info for this writing contest appeared in my inbox recently and so I thought I'd share it here. If I knew anyone who was writing category and gearing their story toward this particular line, then I'd forward the info directly to them. But then again, if you're aiming for this line, then you probably already know about this contest, and you'd be like, "Uh, old hat, Michele."

So, I'm just better off posting it here after all. That way, if you come across this and it never occurred to you to try this publishing house and this particular line, then you've learned something new by reading this blog! Ta-da! :-)

AND if you enter and win the awesome first prize of an editor for a year, then remember who sent you, kid. ::wink::

Info for the "Harlequin Presents: Instant Seduction Writing Competition" can be found on the editors blog. I didn't see anywhere on that particular blog entry that it was all right to forward the post, so I'm just sending you there to read the details in their own words, rather than copying and pasting it here.

Good luck!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On Research and a "Duh" Moment

So, I've been fighting this godawful sinus/bronchial/achy monster that attacked our entire family on Christmas, and I'm just now starting to feel better--as in yesterday, I started to feel better. But for the past several weeks, I have pretty much been confined to my house. And not just my house, but my sofa. Thank goodness it's comfy.

Thus, anytime between my Severe Cold Sudafed-induced hazes (when I was actually lucid), I'd drag what I could over to the couch (e.g. laptop, research books, fiction) and answer e-mails, do some blog hopping, or do some research.

Anyway, while researching, I had a "Duh" moment...Now, you guys have probably already figure this out, so you're free to add your "Duh, Michele" in the comment section. :-)

I happen to be writing a trilogy set in Maine, which is across the country for me. Orange County is completely different than the historical Town/Village/Beach of...say York, ME. Different lifestyles, ordinances, laws, crime rates, businesses, sports, lobster, weather...the list goes on. What concerns the people in The Yorks might be different than what concerns the people in Orange County.

Now, my village is fictional, but to lend it authenticity it would still have to ring true. It would still have to have those small, New England town details that pull the reader in, right? Right.

Which brings me to this: If you're setting a story in a location that is not near you, have you looked online for an e-version of their paper (weekly, newsletter, daily)? See, I've been reading books about the area and some online articles, but it never occurred to me to check for a online newspaper! Feel free to say "Well, Duh!" now.

I found this one and will be checking it regularly. And the best part: It's free! Although now, it really feels like I'm stalking the people of York. LOL

Take Care and Stay Healthy!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Writer's Pursuit...Of Blogging

Hi everyone,

Just letting you know that I'm also blogging over at A Slice of Orange today. It's my first post in my monthly column, "A Writer's Pursuit," and I hope you have a moment to hop on over there. Sure love to see some friendly faces! :-)

Take Care,


Friday, January 11, 2008

And All Was Right With The World...

At least on Sunday nights, starting January 13th, which is when PBS will begin airing The Complete Jane Austen. All six, count them, all six of her stories will be shown, including the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

There is much rejoicing in my house!

Okay, only by me. My husband, not so much. A little shaking of the head, a little feigned joy when he realized the television would be commandeered on Sunday nights. But this is me when he mentions "Lost," which is totally dead to me now anyway because they killed off my favorite character, Charlie. Anyway, we've been married almost 15 years now (uh, my husband and I, not Charlie and I) and we tease because we love. True.

Anyone else an Austen fan?

Anyone P.O.'d they killed off Charlie?! (I know, I need to let it go...sigh...but the new season is starting in a couple of weeks...and Charlie!...But, I'm not going to watch. Nope. Maybe.)


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Polish Those Manuscripts and Send Them On Their Way

Thought some of you might be interested in knowing more about a contest for unpublished writers, so I've posted the information below...

This will be the 25th annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers and it's one of the more prestigious in the genre. So why don't you take a chance and enter? The final judges are acquiring editors! Could be your lucky break.



Orange County Chapter of RWA announces that rules and entry forms for the 2008 Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers are available at their Web site: . Click on Contests and scroll down to download the forms.

DEADLINE: April 12, 2008
FEE: $25.00 for OCC/RWA members; $30.00 for other RWA members.
Must not have published or been contracted in book-length fiction in the last five years.

ENTRIES: Maximum 55 pages total including synopsis.

CATEGORIES: Contemporary Category Romance, Historical, Inspirational, Mainstream w/Romantic Elements, Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, Single Title Romance (over 70,000 words).

JUDGING: First round is judged by published authors. Final round is judged by TWO acquiring EDITORS.

FINALISTS announced July 12, 2008 at regular chapter meeting.

For information contact Charlotte Lobb, Contest Coordinator,

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Allure of Paranormal Romance

The paranormal romance boom opened a venue for authors to write the epic stories they've always wanted to tell. New authors emerged. And familiar ones found a new home in the sub-genre.

What’s the enticement of paranormal romance? In my feature story, “The Allure of Paranormal Romance: How writers keep the market strong” (Orange Blossom, Dec. 07), I uncover some answers with the help of a few editors and authors.

Want to know what keeps editors and readers clamoring for more? Executive Editors, Cindy Hwang (Berkley) and Kara Cesare (NAL), as well as Senior Editor at Pocket, Abby Zidle, took time out of their hectic schedules to chime in with their excellent--and most welcome--opinions and advice.

Also, bestselling paranormal romance authors, Maureen Child and Christina Dodd, as well as Urban Fantasy author, Chris Marie Green, offer their insight on creating a mythology, choosing their heroes, building a contemporary world with paranormal and historical elements…and more.

There’s a reason these authors are writing goddesses (besides the fact that they all write in multiple sub-genres)! And I certainly can’t thank them enough for all their help with this feature story. Maureen, Christina, and Chris, you guys rock. :-)

To read a PDF of the article, please visit my website and click the link. The PDF should download.

Hope you find it useful!


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