Friday, January 27, 2006

If I Could Read Your Mind

Remember that song by Gordon Lightfoot? I’m listening to a musician’s interview, a musician I found on myspace named Barry McLoughlin.  On his blog there is a link to a radio show that he's done recently. One of the songs he sings toward the beginning is that old Gordon Lightfoot song, “If You Could Read My Mind”. I’ve always loved that song.

If I could read your mind, love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind that drugstores sell

   When you reach the part where the heartaches come
   The hero would be me
   But heroes often fail
   And you won't read that book again
   Because the ending's just too hard to take

Someone asked me the other day if I’d someday write about them/her, and they’d/she would be honored. She even wrote out a few paragraphs to inspire me, and when I tried to explain I can’t do that she was disappointed. It really bothered her a lot.

That quote from Lightfoot’s song reminds me of why this woman would want someone to write her story. Of course we all have a story that would inspire a novel like the kind a drug store sells. But, well, I don’t want to get sued. Look at the mess this guy who wrote A Million Little Pieces in, even Oprah is pissed. Fiction and non-fiction don’t mix well. That is hard to explain to that someone who doesn’t really know what the creative process is like for writers of fiction. I write stories that contain “a million little pieces” of my life, of the lives of people I have met. But, the whole is all fiction. And do I mean ALL fiction. I tried to tell her that, but even when I explained that my characters tend to be vampires and aliens from other planets she was still disappointed.

Back to the interview I'm listening to as I type...

I spent about 10  years doing quite the same thing that this musician describes for a “day job”, only in rural Alaskan communities rather than Canada. Kind of interesting that you can find people you have something in common with.

Half way through he also sings "Cats in the Cradle". Wow. He’s great. Another one of my favorite songs so this radio show is bringing back a lot of memories. Little boy blue and the man in the moon. Then his own song “Dance With Me” is beautiful.

Anyway, if you have a half-hour some time consider listening to the show.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

1901 De Dion - Bouton

Ever wonder what cars looked like in the late 1890's and at the turn of the century? This old car is a 1901 De Dion - Bouton. It is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV. It is so fascinating to walk through and see the progression from the past to the modern.

A Day for Looking Back

I spent the day at the National Automotive Museum (which I blogged about on NCP Authors), and scanning images such as this. After my grandfather passed this photograph became one of those items every body wanted but there was only one of. It was taken nearly 60 years ago so there were no negatives available. When my grandfather passed away, there also wasn't the technology we have these days. Finally, my uncle talked other relatives into finding a way to share. He brought the original with him on his visit and my folks purchased a quality scanner. Now I can print good copies for all the relatives. By the way, the fur coat was borrowed. My grandfather was a fisherman, but he never did hunt wild game.

That excerpt I talked about on the NCP Author blog took place 40 years before this image was taken, also in Alaska. Chapter One of that story starts on the water in the Inside Passage when Lillian runs away from her "duties". Alaskan Cruises were a subject in a blog conversation I was having recently, so having nothing much else to say, I'll post a few paragraphs of that heroine's Alaskan Cruise.

A cluster of tiny pine-shrouded islands, each one a different shape, but more or less a replica of the one before, passed slowly to starboard as the steamer chugged northward. Distant, snow-crowned mountains glowed under the sun’s intense visage.

Lillian had been pleased when the sun had finally peeked through the misty clouds and robin-egg blue sky broke the monotony. However, with the brighter weather came a strong breeze that pushed rolling swells into their path, keeping a fair portion of the passengers visiting the steamer’s rails.

Nevertheless, Lillian was delighted to see something other than rain. It had rained every day since their departure from the Port of Seattle. No wonder, she considered, the westernmost lands in Canada were referred to as British Columbia. The climate was as dreary as London on a cold winter day.

Below, flashing in the light, a school of dolphins raced through the waves, as curious about the steamer as Lillian was about them. Drops of water hit her in the face as the ship went up and over a large rolling wave. With a briny taste on her lips, she opened her mouth and breathed deeply of the fresh air. She could feel the cool moisture in her mouth.

She didn’t miss England in the slightest.

Alaska made her feel alive with wonder, heady from the latent danger. Alaska was wild. Untamed.

Every new experience compelled her onward: a nomadic grizzly lumbered along a rocky beach, dismissing their passing with a vigorous nod; a family of colossal humpbacked whales had taken turns surfacing nearby, blowing spouts of mist into the breeze, their forlorn echoes sounding through the water as they swam northward to bays teeming with life; she’d even seen a pod of black and white killer whales -- Orca -- partaking in a gruesome feast, and an immense flocks of gulls clamoring for remnants in the blood-frothed water.

Not even in the books she’d devoured as a child had Lillian imagined the world could contain such wonders. Reading the accounts of other adventurers wasn’t quite the same as watching massive tidewater glaciers that “calved” house-sized chunks of ice at the blasting of the steamer’s horn, the glacier not appearing the slightest bit smaller afterward.

Had her countryman, Captain George Vancouver, experienced the same feelings of awe and frailty? She decided she’d been born during the wrong century, born, perhaps, of the wrong sex. Why did it have to be improper for her to want to see the world?

She continued her stroll on deck, watching as the steamer ventured ever so close to a pile of treacherous rocks. It seemed as if only the breaking of waves alerted the crew of impending disaster. The ship turned to port with ample time, but to Lillian it seemed their course had been plotted with little but luck on their side.

Note: This comes from a WIP, not a contracted work. The very next line is when the hero shows up in her life for the first time. He saw her in the prologue, but this starts their first metting. I thought I'd double check guidelines for the First Meeting Contest over at the Romance Divas forum. Not tonight, it's getting late.

Wedding Dress - 1881 - America

This is a wedding dress worn in 1881. It is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Two Author Conversations

NCP Authors: More on rejections

More on the conversation about rejections that started a few days ago at NCP Blog.

Writer Pseudonym and Character Name Results

Authors talking about names. The links that started this conversation are posted as well.

Paranormal Romance in the News

There was an article last fall at MSNBC called Books: Boy Meets Wereworlf about paranormal romance.

Someone posted it on one of PNR's lists today. It is time to nominate 2005 PEARL awards too. One has to be a member of at least one of their groups to do that (I think).

Take me to your Leda

Take me to your Leda
confessions of a mild-mannered mythologist

The author posts small articles and links to other websites with more information. It looks like it would be a very handy tool for romance authors, or any authors for that matter.

There is a link to Legends & Lore eZine.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

OD People - A review site for self-published books and e-books.

POD People: "Technologies like Print-on-Demand have provided almost everyone with the opportunity to release a book. This has proved to be something of a mixed blessing. We, the POD People, will try to shine a light into the murky darkness. Stay tuned for news, reviews and our own unique view of what is happening in the world of self-publishing."

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Gary Allan Rocks!

I'm having fun with myspace. Today I found my favorite song on there! It's playing on that page right now, and you can probably guess who sings it by the title of this post.

One of my new myspace contacts Daisy (but talk to her on Blogger a lot) has dubbed me Venita Van Jaques after I participated in a pseudonym discussion.

Hey, and I even written some the past day even though I was goofing around on myspace. I was having fun with writing about Urania for the muse anthology until the wee hours.

Earlier this month many authors were posting their writing space. Check out The Cave on author Paige Cuccaro's website.

Last night dinner was great with the family over at the nice restaurant in the Peppermill that my comp card can't quite cover. LOL. I met my brother's new girlfriend and my uncle's new girlfriend. I had fun, stayed too late because I lost $40 before. I want to drive over to Sacramento this weekend so that was the gas money. Ah gee, only have company once in a while. They're touring Tahoe right now and I'm touring myspace still.

In other news, there is a new review for Lord of the Night, my novella in Relic. The review is by Chere, at ParanormalRomance Reviews -- but it isn't up on their website yet. I found it in their discussion group (may have to be member).
LORD OF THE NIGHT provides us with an intriguing look into the civilization of an alien planet. Annalee Blysse has done a wonderful job with this story. The action keeps us turning the pages right up until the very last one. And I love the part where Camille teaches Merrick how to surf. The characters are all very realistic and remain true to themselves. This is one story you don't want to miss!
Closing... Gary Allan rocks. He's a surfing cowboy! Here is Gary's myspace.


On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens: Maps

This question came up among some romance authors looking to create maps for their fantasy and futuristic worlds. I just wanted to save this post.

Robin Owens has more on her blog this week about craft.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Romance Writer Research Links

Brenda William's list of Romance Writer Research Links isn't a new page for me, but don't recall having brought it up here before. I like to revisit pages from time to time. This time this one caught my eye:

Aleutian's Home Page

The Aleutian Chain isn't an area of Alaska that I've spent much time. I lived at the start of the chain in Bristol Bay for years, but I never even got down to the Chigniks. Today on my blog I mentioned a biography that I've got in my TBR pile. It is called Glacier Pilot, and is the story of Bob Reeve, the founder of Reeve Aleutian Airways. You'll never find in the history books that he gave my mother her little dog Bootsin -- you'll have to find that here.