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Posts Tagged ‘romance writers’

choosing a bookAbout a month ago I blogged about the importance of a good title, in relation to articles and books. A lot of that post was poking fun at embarrassing headlines from newspapers, but the point got made – how something is titled is important. Because I’m on the brink of publishing my first novel, I’m at the point where I need to start making some very important decisions about not only titles, but the items that will make or break someone’s decision to buy my book. The items that create a good first impression. The things that will make my book stand out from the rest on an already crowded shelf. (more…)

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I know, I know, being your own cheerleader is hard. That’s why we have friends and support groups and such. But, sometimes, only YOU can talk yourself off the ledge.

swear-wordsLast week I ventured down a path I rarely travel and there’s a reason for that; it’s the road of disappointment and discouragement. Usually I keep the gate shut on that life exit, but sometimes the wind blows it open and that little bastard demon living inside me wants to go exploring. Damn that little demon! (more…)

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Valentines Day

So the BIG long weekend is nearing completion. Time to go back to work. Well, for most of you. I’ve been working all weekend and it’s been great! Full house for Valentine’s eve with delicious breakfast treats on Valentine’s morning.

red velvet wafflesThe red velvet waffles were a hit even though they were sort of a brown-gray-pink color. I used a lot of food coloring too, but they still weren’t all that red after cooking. The batter was a killer hot pink color though. They looked like they were going to be red. Oh well, I just slathered on a little extra cream cheese icing and it was all good. Add some Baer House eggs (a house speciality) and some bacon and a fruit parfait and you’ve got yourself a sweet feast.

Anyway, we had two couples celebrating their anniversary; one just completed their first year of wedded bliss (aw), the other 13 years. That was fun. Another guest surprised me with a small box of chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries. That was unexpected and very sweet!

And my own sweetie stopped to get be a bouquet of candy hearts on his way home from the store that morning. All in all, a good weekend.

candy hearts

How about you readers? Anything worth sharing? We romance writers like to know these things. Fodder for our books you know.

Have a great week!

Word of the Day: Zymotic

Fun fact about me: I’d rather have flowers than chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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So it’s another year. A new beginning. Out with the old, in with the new. Sometimes letting go of the old stuff is hard. Sometimes not. As some of you know, in December I wrapped up my second year as President of my local writer’s group. It was a challenging yet rewarding period in my life. I learned a lot. But now, it’s time to turn over the reins to a new leader. I’m going to be honest here, I’m ready to hand over the tiara and the scepter.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Some of you are probably all too aware of the challenges associated with leading a group of volunteers all of whom are already over-worked in other areas of their lives. It is, after all, usually the busiest people who volunteer to take on yet more responsibility. If not for these willing souls, however, many things would simply not happen. Until you’ve volunteered or filled in for someone in a volunteer capacity, it is hard to understand what that person experiences. Volunteering is not for everyone, but it certainly enriches our lives when we do it.

Image courtesy Google Images.

Image courtesy Google Images.

So as we move forward with 2015, I wish the best of luck to our new leadership team at the Sacramento Valley chapter of RWA and look forward to learning and growing by your example. I offer my continued support and bow humbly at your feet for stepping up to the plate.

Have you ever volunteered? Did you learn from that experience? Did you regret your decision to help out?

Word of the Day:  Xiphoid

Fun fact about me: I don’t volunteer because I have the time; I volunteer because I have the heart.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

 

 

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American Author, Ernest Hemingway (1989-1961) once said: “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.”

Photo courtesy Google images

Photo courtesy Google images

While I’ve never pondered my book reading in such a way before, I can surely see how that statement is true. Oft times I have finished a book and felt anxious, tired, surprised, happy, or whatever the main characters were feeling. How many times I have finished a book and wanted immediately to get my hands on the sequel because I needed to know if certain characters were going to get together, or solve some deep-rooted problem?

I’ve given this quote a lot of thought lately with regard to my own writing. I wonder if I’ve managed to capture and keep interest in my story. So, I’m conducting a test. Immediately below is an excerpt from my latest WIP. It’s the conclusion of chapter two of my manuscript entitled “The Ties That Bind.”

Photo courtesy Google images

Photo courtesy Google images

Shiloh blew out a breath. The air puffed out into a white vapor that wafted upward. She pulled the hood of her jacket over her head to keep her ears warm. She’d freeze to death down here if she didn’t work fast.

Shining the flashlight’s beam in a slow circle, she located the breaker box behind the wooden stairs. She stepped around a few boxes of tools, discarded machinery parts and cans of paint. With icy fingers, she fumbled with the latch on the box’s metal cover. It wouldn’t budge.

Flooded with disappointment and a growing sense of urgency, she lowered the light to her feet and squatted down to examine the contents of the boxes. She rummaged through greasy tools and jars of nails and screws until she located something that might help her win the battle with the latch. With a somewhat oily screwdriver in hand, she attempted to unlatch the cover again. She grunted with each effort until the latch scraped upward with a screech.

“Finally.”

When the metal box cover swung outward she shined the flashlight onto the breaker switches and squinted. They all looked the same. Was it possible that every breaker could have tripped at the same time? The floor creaked overhead. She held her breath and shot her eyes upward. Nothing but darkness was visible beyond the radius of the flashlight’s beam. Damned old houses!

She focused again on the breaker box and randomly flipped switches from side to side. Nothing happened. The floor creaked again and she stilled. A flash of white zipped across the opening in the ceiling. Shiloh held her breath then blinked a few times. Maybe she’d been staring at the flashlight too long and her eyes were playing tricks on her. Or maybe the storm had intensified and lightning had flashed.

With a grunt she flipped more switches, cursing softly when nothing changed. Panic was starting to set in. By now it would be too late to drive to Twisted Fork.

Photo courtesy Google images

Photo courtesy Google images

Abandoning her efforts at the breaker box, she instead picked her way across boxes and plastic tubs of ancient holiday decorations toward the furnace against the adjacent wall. She could light candles for light, but without heat she’d have little chance of surviving through the night if the temperature kept dropping.

She lifted off the bottom grill portion of the furnace. After setting the flashlight on the floor she aimed the beam on to the pilot light and groped around on the floor for the metal box with matches her father always kept nearby. The faint smell of kerosene struck a chord of familiarity. She remembered her father smelling of kerosene on the drafty nights he’d come down here to re-light the pilot light of this old ornery furnace. This new wave of nostalgia brought fresh tears to her eyes.

Now is not the time to reminisce. Find the damn matches and get upstairs!

As she lifted the lid of the matchbox, a bright ray of light switched on behind her, followed immediately by the commanding words of a man who obviously meant business.

“Don’t. Move. A Muscle.”

So tell me dear readers – does this leave you with any feelings? Do you feel as if this has truly happened to you? Do you want to know what’s going to happen next? Have I managed to capture Hemingway’s sentiment about good books? I look forward to your comments. Go ahead, be honest. I expect nothing less from my friends.

Word of the day:  Bezique

Fun fact about me:  I love sour candy.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt (June 2013)  Photos courtesy of Google Images

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