Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pouring salt on the wound

I'm usually that person who walks into a room smiling. If I have a personal issue, I'm not one to cry about it to my co-workers or friends. Perhaps it's that quality that makes me a determined writer. Perhaps I'm out to prove to the world that I am a capable of transporting a reader to another time and place. It is my love for the genre that gets me up at 3:00 am to spend time with my characters.

Furthermore, when I get emails from readers telling me how much they loved my books, I get that little tingle of accomplishment. In fact, just yesterday I received this comment from a reader "I am a big fan of character development, and this book has some of the most well developed characters that I have even seen"

But there will always be "those" people who just didn't care for my characters and ideas.

OK...I admit it, I could get a 100 emails telling me how great my work is, but it's that one horrid reader who uses a handful of "ugly" words that kicks you so hard, she steals a little of that determination. She makes you think, hmmm...maybe I do suck.

Unfortunately, this reader didn't send me the email. She posted her opinion on Amazon. Dang!

I'll give you the play by play of what a review like this does to a writer, or at least what it did to me...

"This book was awful." ...Oh my. Gasp. Swallow. Blink

"The heroine was annoying, changing her mind at the drop of a hat - I thought I would scream if I read "Mercy Mary!" one more time." ...hmmm...i suppose I could have made the heroine say mother-fucker, but that really wouldn't fit into the time period. [snort] As for changing her mind, isn't that what we are supposed to do to build the conflict? She likes the hero, but knows she can't have him so she slips up from time to time. I guess I could have made the heroine a girl who goes after what she wants but then she would be shallow and viewed as a whore. hmmm...still thinking about this one

"The plot thin and unbelievable,"...Really? Thin? Shaking head. I could go into the many layers of twists and in this book, but it would make this post rather long. And, yes, I'm defending myself on this one. Maybe it's because I spent months of my life researching and writing this book, pouring my soul into developing it, only to have this dagger thrust into the very heart of me and then twisted. (OK... that last bit was overly dramatic, but I'm reading Shakespeare right now. LOL)

"I kept trying to finish it, but it was just too dumb." ...Wow! Dumb? Really? Dumb? Tell me what you really think. And there was the salt on the wound.

The last thing I recall thinking after I read this review was...well, I guess it wasn't too dumb since it was nominated for a RITA. At which point I clicked "NO" the review was not helpful (because really that's all I can do) then I stuck my tongue out at the computer screen and went in search of chocolate. :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Top 100

Look who's sitting nice and snug between Diana Gabaldon and Laurell K. Hamilton! Yikes! I don't know how that happened, but it's pretty sa-weet. Don't believe me? (I don't blame you. I didn't believe it either.) Check it out HERE!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy Hogmanay!

You read it right...Happy Hogmanay!
Only one nation in the world celebrates the New Year or Hogmanay with such revelry and passion – the Scots!

It is believed that many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were originally brought to Scotland by the invading Vikings in the early 8th and 9th centuries. These Norsemen, or men from an even more northerly latitude than Scotland, paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice or the shortest day, and fully intended to celebrate its passing with some serious partying.

When the clock strike midnight on 31st December, fireworks explode in Scotland. Crowds gather and the party begins to the tune of Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne.

Traditions and superstitions related to Hogmanay:

One should clean the house on December 31st (this includes taking out the ashes from the fire).

One should clear all your debts before "the bells" ring at midnight.

One should welcome friends and strangers with warm hospitality and a kiss and to wish everyone a Guid New Year. It is verra important to clear out the vestiges of the old year before you welcome in a young, New Year.

"First footing" is still common in Scotland. To ensure good luck, the first person to enter your home should be male, dark (believed to be a throwback to the Viking days when blond strangers arriving on your doorstep meant trouble) This male should bring coal, shortbread, salt, black buns and whisky.

"Handselling" is the custom of gift giving on the first Monday of the New Year. So be sure to present your loved ones with a Hogmanay gift this year.