Arianna's Blog

Come listen to the ramblings and assorted babblings of a crazed mother and newbie author. It might not always be helpful, but it should be amusing.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day Two

Okay, I went back to my story and read a little of what I've written. I found a bunch of mistakes, but overall, I really like it.

It's almost weird for me to just sit and write something that has no home. Usually I write stories for a particular publishing house in mind. I go into it with a mindset. This time I have no pre-conceived ideas or agendas. I'm just writing because it's fun.

It's been a long time since that's happened.
Not that I don't LOVE writing, I do. I love creating worlds and stories and getting to know my characters, but I always have a little voice in the back of my head sort of reigning me in. For example, for one of the houses I write for, I have to use specific words and have a greater number of sex scenes in my books. For another house I have to watch particular comma issues. For a potential third one, I really have to balance the romance and the suspense and be careful about swearing.

For this book I can do whatever the hell I want!!!! It's very freeing. I'm not worried about what I'll have to edit out because I don't have a home for it. As it stands, I've written 10,000 words and am actually getting drawn deeper into the story. Things I'd never planned on happening are happening and it might be a lot longer than I'd originally expected.

I kind of figure it'll end up going on my website as a free read at some point, but we'll see where it leads. Who knows what will happen to it as it takes on a life of its own?

All I know is, writing is fun again. If that's all I get from this story, it's enough.

I'll keep you posted on my word count as time goes on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Release Day!

Blogger was down yesterday so I couldn't blog about my story. Which probably isn't a bad thing, because yesterday was a release day and I did diddly squat on my story.

I did manage to do some promoting of my book, and I did a lot of laundry, but no writing. Which means I'm kind of cranky because I can only write on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I won't be able to work on my story until tomorrow.

On the plus side, I've got this awesome cover for my book TAKE YOUR MEDICINE. I have to tell you, Scott Carpenter is a freaking genius. He got exactly the right type of guy for this picture and even put a bandage on him. Yum, gotta love those pecs!

This is the sequel to SURPRISE and was kind of a surprise book in itself. The hero Jared, and heroine Macayla were secondary characters in SURPRISE. I had no intention of writing another book with them as the main characters. They had other ideas.

Of course, SURPRISE was the first book I ever wrote, and I kind of just did it because I was trapped at home with two children under 4 and pregnant. I needed something to do. The baby whom I was pregnant with at the time will be 5 next week. I'm amazed at how much my life has changed in the past 4 years.

Sorry, going off on a tangent there. Tomorrow I'll try to talk more about the story. Hopefully I'll have a chance to write and actually have a story.


Monday, January 08, 2007

The start of a story

One of the questions I get asked a lot in interviews is "Where do your ideas for your stories come from?" My usual answer is, "Everywhere!"

I'm not trying to be cute or funny, but it's true. I get ideas for stories in the strangest of places. So, in the interest of actually conveying knowlege instead of just complaining about my kids, I'm going to trace a story for you as I'm writing it.

Starting with the birth of the idea. If I'm feeling really energetic, I might even keep track of word count for you too, although this is going to be a short story.

Are you ready? Here we go. . .

Yesterday afternoon, I was walking the dog and listening to my brand new ipod. (I love my husband!) One of the songs on my favorites play list is The Highwayman, sung by Loreena McKennitt. It's really a very sad song when you listen to the words, but it's very poignant. (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong. Whatever.)

For the rest of the walk, all I could think about was that song and how I could make it have a happy ending--because I'm all about the happy endings. This crap where the hero and/or heroine die at the end of the story? Bulls*it. I don't care if critics love that stuff, I hate it. And if an author kills off the hero, I almost NEVER read another book by them.

So anyway, as I was walking home, the idea of how the landlord's daughter could have gotten away from the Red Coats kept spinning around in my head. What if she had a knife? What if one of the knots was loose?

I knew I had to write the story MY way so it would have a happy ending. I raced home, planning to dive onto the computer and write it up just for fun. This wouldn't be a story for a specific publisher. I have no market for this story, I just have to write it.

Well, the walk continued and my mind kept playing with the story line and I realized I didn't want it to be set in old England. I wanted to make it MY story all the way around. So I decided to set it in another world all together.

So now I'm on a different planet in a different galaxy, but I still want the hero to be a noble bad guy. He can't really be a highwayman though. Crap. I didn't want to think that far ahead, so I pushed that idea away to worry about later.

As soon as I got home, I threw a load of laundry in the washer, hopped into the shower, and plotted how my story would start. I wanted to keep it true to the concept of the song, but I really needed to make it my own.

My fingers itched to hit the computer, but I had to get the fixings for the pot roast started and the house needed to be picked up, and the dishes done. I got crankier with every delay. Didn't my family realize I had this great idea bubbling around in the back of my head????

Finally, finally I got started. Every five minutes someone interrupted me. Ready to rip someone's throat out, I finally put the kitchen timer on and told the children that they weren't to interrupt me until the timer went off unless they were vomiting, spurting blood or the house was on fire.

I went back to work, turning my music up louder so I couldn't hear them fight.
Ten minutes later, my in laws rang the doorbell. My husband had forgotten to tell me what time they were coming over.

I love my in laws, they're wonderful people and so very generous in both time and attention to my children. My mother in law takes care of my kids as often as she can. But right then, I didn't want to see them.

I tried to smile and be polite as they visited, but inside my newly born characters were screaming their heads off at me. As soon as they left, I jumped back on my computer and let the characters talk to me.

I found out my hero has amber eyes. I don't think I've ever had an amber eyed hero before. He also smells of synth leather and spice. He's the captain of his own space ship and loves my heroine more than life itself.

All in all, I managed to get 5000 words written in between interruptions, dinner, laundry, and the chaos that is my house. With any luck at all, I'll be able to get a few more pages in this afternoon after I get home and before I go to work tonight.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

Okay, I realize it's been almost a month since I blogged, but I've been busy! You've been busy too, don't lie.

I was given this poem recently, and I think you can all appreciate it. . .I know it rings far to truly with me. . .

Happy New Year!

T'was the month after Christmas. . .and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I did taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk then a lumber),
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared:
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared.

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
All the way I never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt--
I said to myself, as I only can,
"You can't spend all winter dressed like a man!"
So away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie-not even a lick;
I'll have to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome! And life is a bore--
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot,
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

So tell me, how many of you are on the straight and narrow now?