Monday, December 28, 2009
New Year's resolutions will be all about the writer me. First quarter is agents and completed manuscripts and my new class on feature article writing. Why? It's a two-fer. It gives me a leg up on the job paying the bills and insight into a style of writing that I can use to help further 'brand' Denny S. Bryce and those best sellers I'm revising (lol!).
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Well, I've been a good girl today. I've almost finished my synopsis for the manuscript and have re-organized the first 30 chapters, and made a major decision about where and when my hero and heroine connect, and how long they stay connected. I believe all are good choices.
Not much more to say yet, but I certainly wanted to drop a line about the steps being taken to get this puppy submitted to agents and to a contest with a mid-January deadline.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
But to really get it - I've also included a snow free shot from the balcony.
Writing tidbits will resume after the apocalypse:)...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The search is on. As we move into 2010, I'm on the look out for my first literary agent (and if I'm lucky, my first, last and always). With this quest, there are a lot of things that are confusing right off the bat. And I'm not a novice to the world of pitching or business or query letters. But let me say, the Internet, blogs and authors, published and unpublished, equate the dreaded query letter to bouts of shingles, killer bee attacks and a really bad blind date. So what can I do to make this process less painful for me?
Stop reading those blogs and author 'fear' columns. Okay, I know that's not being fair. The fact is there are tips, insights, and good counsel to be found in a lot of places. But what I need to do - like I need to do so often - is narrow the playing field.
So here goes. First, I'm using the masterful website (IMHO) of The Knight Agency as a resource. They have some great links, easy-to-follow tips, and just lots of information on the website about submitting manuscripts, queries, synopsis, you name it. So check it out, and visit, spend an hour or so the "Writing a Solid Query Letter".
I was going to also write about the two agents I've found so far that I want to submit to, but I should leave something for my next post. Also, I've got to decide which of my two manuscripts I'll pitch...vampire tale one, or vampire tale two...
In the meantime, found a great blog post by this agent - and don't go sending her a bunch of queries - she may end up on my list:)!
Yeah - that's right. I'm just claiming agents as I go. Mine, mine, mine...
Friday, December 11, 2009
Getting through another week of work was quite the feat, but now it's late on a Friday night and I'm listening to music and forcing my brain to relax. It's necessary if I'm going to spend most of my day tomorrow working on adding my NaNoWriMo work to the manuscript.
I'm finding there are two or three topics that I'm beating to death lately - the manuscript, work, and food. I've become obsessed with it. Not so much eating, but cooking and watching TV shows about cooking. I find it so oddly soothing - especially watching the TV shows.
I'm also worried about the holidays. I know that sounds odd to admit. I'm worried about the holidays? Well, after the Thanksgiving I had, being worried about the holidays isn't a bad idea.
Some tips on two great movies - Brothers (I really loved it) and Sandra Bullock's new movie The Blind Side were fabulous.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Well, I had quite the harrowing pre-Thanksgiving experience - which may not be over yet. I ended up in the hospital after a very scary incident, which left me in pretty bad straights. But I'm home now, and hopefully, won't be back in the hospital anytime soon, but we're playing it by ear.
Enough of the scary though.
Except as it relates to my finishing NaNoWriMo. Not happening at all! I will get 30,000 words completed, and that's really good since it is all about the middle of my current manuscript. So I've got to be happy about it, right? I wish I'd stayed focused earlier in the month, but as I've learned in the past few days, the best laid plans...
So to keep it simple and short today, happy day after Thanksgiving, and enjoy the shopping frenzy. I'm going to miss it:). Staying curled up on the sofa with my laptop in my lap, chilling, baby.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have six different topics in my head I wanted to blog about, but now that I'm finally at the computer and ready to blog, I'm struggling to remember what had my brain in a such a tizzy.
The other day, I had to find a new place to write. Of course, I'm comfortable curled up on the living room sofa with the laptop, or grabbing a cup of black coffee and sitting in the home office in front of the desktop. But since those are two spots where I also do my other job (yes, da job) I tend to need a break from those writing locations. So, I have a few places I like to escape to...
There's a cool little restaurant called 'Busboys and Poets" on K Street, and then there's a very spacious Starbucks in Georgetown that's cozy and another place called "Tryst", a fancy coffeehouse and bar in Adam's Morgan. But the other day, I discovered the Library of Congress (and don't laugh out loud or screech, duh!).
I live about six blocks from the Library of Congress and have been there a number of times for tours, meetings, events, but not to sit, read, or write. So the other day, I decided, I'm going to go work on NaNoWriMo at a nice, quiet library. And hell's bells there's a seriously (I'm watching way too much Grey's Anatomy, I think:) nice library right up the street.
And you may know this, but you can't go into the Library of Congress to hang out and work unless you have a researcher's ID. It's easy enough to get with the proper government issued ID, but still, it's more time consuming to get then, let's say, a library card. So I did some searching in the LOC online catalog, and set out for a couple hours of writing, reading and research - and yes, you can research vampire stories. I ended up amazed by the space and the books and all the information, and didn't get any writing done. That was two days ago.
Today, I'm giving it another shot. I've got NaNoWriMo to catch up on, and I've also got to get new chapters to my critique group today - so it's writing Friday, and I'm psyched!
In other news, I missed Shemar Moore Wednesday because I had a 10-hour meeting, followed by a dinner meeting, and not even Shemar could get me to look at my computer Wednesday night.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Still waiting to hear from the agent and the publisher...by the end of this month, it will be three months since I submitted...
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
There is nothing more fun then relaxing on a Wednesday by writing my semi-monthly Shemar Moore Post! Ah. Glorious. After a long two days of travel (went to Baltimore for 'da job') and numerous meetings all about 'da job' related stuff, I am now reclining in the home, getting ready for three days of NaNoWriMo writing and further polishing of 'The Manuscript'(this should be uttered in reverence and with creepy deep voice for effect).
But tomorrow, I will also get in some spa time. I'll start by working out - but then I intend to indulge in at least two hours of sauna, whirlpool and steam - and not in that order. Writing is lovely, but there are times when you have to kick back and relax. For me, that time will be tomorrow.
As for my helpful tip for today - there's just so much information out there I don't know where to begin for us pre-published guys and gals (and yeah, there was a recent uproar about the word 'pre-published'. I don't really care - bottom line is no one has written me a check yet saying - your writing/storytelling/whatever - on the fiction front - just put a few dollars in your pocket. Hoo-rah!
Frankly, I've added a few new blogs I'll be following that I suggest you check out. I'm gravitating lately toward those writers who are in my boat - writing away but not getting paid...okay, they haven't been published yet, but are on course to getting it done!
The point? Today's rec is Patricia Woodside's blog. She's unpublished and has a great blog - so check her out.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I'm in a writing frenzy people. I got out 1800 words for NaNoWriMo, and am about to finish up the stories I'm judging for a contest. Then I'm going to go back and write a new scene for my current manuscript. My critique group was unanimous in their recommendation that I need a new scene. It's actually something I've been thinking about - but hadn't really formulated in my mind - or should I say came to the decision to just do it.
All in all writing is getting better and better - or I should say my approach to writing is improving. I literally wrote without editing today. Stayed within a certain area of story and just let it flow. We'll see how I feel after a day or so, when no matter how much flow I've got I can't get a word out:)...lol!
Great article I must recommend about books and publishing. It's called, Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard. It's an article in the Wall Street Journal.
I'm also reading Nora Roberts, or J.D. Robb's Naked in the Death. The first of the Eve Dallas books. I really like the economy of her storytelling. It clips along, smart, while providing the right bangs for your buck so to speak when they should arrive. I like that style.
Lastly, learned something I didn't know (okay, lots I don't know, but I enjoyed learning this tidbit from my critique partner about MICE. It's from a book by Orson Scott Card.
And finally, I took some medicine for my aching hip, and viola! It feels better. I guess I should just take the pill when I supposed to take the pill:). My only problem here is now is time. I didn't remember how much I dislike time changes. If I'm traveling someplace it's one thing, but just because? It's going to take me a week to feel like I'm over what time is it anyway? Okay, being a complainer for no reason...
Friday, October 23, 2009
My seventy-five year old mother wants to visit my blog, but she's afraid. She claims that I am a wild woman (people, I'm not wild, I just like pretty men and I write paranormal, near-future, urban fantasies that can border on the erotic and features pretty men). I don't think she's opposed to the pretty men part - I certainly doubt it since she's on marriage number four and snagged her latest cutie eight years ago and swears she left the best for last:) But her real fear - or two fears - is that in some way shape or form I'm blaspheming (okay, maybe I am, can't really tell, don't totally know what it means) or I'm writing about her. Why or why would she think I'm writing about her? Could it be fear? Guilt? Lack of trust? Or simply that she realizes she'd make a damn good scary character? lol! No, I know why. But I'm not going to go into here - I'll leave it as a big reveal for one of my character's in my next book...
Also, if she does drop by: I had to post this in order to move my last post, featuring Shemar, down a spot - his bare torso scares some people, you know?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This week he's about to venture into a new dimension, or maybe just a parallel plane where he is not the only one of his breed. There, he meets a woman from Earth who must navigate the perils of this new time zone, while controlling her desire for this freak of nature...
Okay, I found this photo and just said 'WHY?' I mean come on, yeah, you know you got it, but seriously, let's not take flaunting it to such a obvious level (except you know I love it!).
Anyway, seriously. Yes. I did write seriously. Shemar is still in the lead as the main contender for my bad boy anti-hero who will be the bone of contention in my next urban fantasy.
The heroine has yet to be fleshed out, but I've got time before National Novel Writing Month kicks off November 1. Yes, I'm doing it again. Hopefully, I won't fail again (this is year three), but with my polishing of the current manuscript about to swing into even higher gear - I'm anxious to start a new story (desperate in fact). I've been working on this current book almost daily since the end of June. But keep in mind that means I've been polishing and fixing and fixing and polishing since then. I'm up to 53,000 total words, knowing it will be 80,000 at least. So maybe the game plan should be ti finish it in November? Okay, that could be the goal...
Okay it's almost time for So You Think You Can Dance - which thankfully airs an hour before Criminal Minds - where you can find said ShapeShifter (photo shown above) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern...:)...
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
This man's beauty is mesmerizing. I mean, seriously? How does this happen? Yes, I know the deal in terms of procreation, but this man's looks are just - well, I'm convinced, he's a shapeshifter.
I've posted a little on this theory in an earlier post, but it keeps coming back to haunt me. I also recently visited another author's website and she had an entire page devoted to the men, all actors, who inspire her male heroes. I loved it. So I decided to start one of my own, but currently I'm stuck on Shemar - the Shapeshifter.
In other news! I'm excited beyond belief. This weekend I'm attending Phauxcon and the special guest for the weekend is the marvelous, best-selling author, L.A. Banks.
The Vampire Huntress series.
I haven't read all of the books, I'm actually starting with the first one - but did read a lot of The Hunted - book three - but since I write in this genre I haven't read that many vampire stories - do you think that's odd?
Okay, I'm off to dinner, but first to the bookstore so I can get her to sign copies of her books!!!!!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Working with mortals can be painfully frustrating. That's the way I feel some days - and yes, I'm putting myself up on that superhero pedestal. It's rough going from on high - but damn - I think I'm explaining myself clearly and all of a sudden, it turns out I'm not. So it's time to step down, right? Okay, that didn't make much sense, but it was essentially a rant about my workday, not about my writing, and this blog is about the 'other' me. The one that is writer girl, and yes, I should have a cape!
I think I may have lost a few brain cells. I volunteered to judge a writing contest - don't ask me why. Like I have time to do this sort of thing, but already I'm hooked! It's really a serious responsibility. No just plowing through. These writers have sweated blood and tears over these manuscripts - whether they are brilliant stories is not even the point. It's about the seriousness of effort. I know I'd want whoever reads my contest submission to take a deep breath, and just do the best job they can do in judging my baby. Right? So that's what I'm going to do. Just hope the rest of the entries in my inbox are as interesting as the first one I pulled out.
Separate topic. I was re-reading my synopsis for the un-named publishing house that requested it, and I HATE it. Talk about convoluted! It reads the way I think - okay, that's quite the statement:) lol!
Minutes later...I decided to go back and read it again. I was like it couldn't have been that bad. And I was right, it's decent. It was damn decent. I'm not mad at all. But I've got to remember to be more careful when I choose to re-read stuff I've sent to editors and/or agents. A lot can happen from one day to the next. I think it's the way the mind punishes writers for daring to indulge in a lifestyle where you attempt to be a writer. In other words, the inner id is telling you, you should be doing something more meaningful with your life than writing about vampires falling love? Well, let's make this clear - my manuscript is not about vampires falling in love. It happens, but it's also about a woman falling apart, in fact crumbling into a million pieces and finding her way back to sanity. Just so happens she's a vampire. But even vampires have bad days, you know?
But for writers who might happen upon this blog - tips for today? When you re-read something you've sent to an editor or an agent - make certain you are wide awake and sober.
Note: All photos were taken by Denny S. Bryce, and are her property.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I've realized that when it comes to my writing, I can be a coward. And by the way, that is so not like me in other aspects of my life. But when it comes to my manuscripts, it's true. I hesitate, over-think, pause, procrastinate, you name it, I do it. Not so much with the writing of the story (okay, maybe that, too), but when it comes to following up with editors and agents? I'm like a frozen lake of nerves. It's been six weeks since I sent the near-future story synopsis and the first 40 pages to the editor who requested it at RWA this past summer, and only a month since the agent checked in with me, saying she'd read it after the holidays (Labor Day). Neither one of them has written and said send me the rest of the manuscript, and happily (so far) no one has said, darling, please don't write us again. So I sit and I dream, and I wonder...
Okay, enough of that hooey - it just makes me nervous putting my thoughts about this aspect of the writing world to paper (or computer). To add to my insanity though, I've decided I will participate in the 2010 Marlene Awards. Deadline is December 15 (or submissions open that day and close January 15). I'm shooting for the 15th of December - because, it will be better if I don't give myself too much wiggle room. I don't want to mess around and submit too late to be considered. I'm a deadline fanatic, and might as well go with the first deadline to make sure, right?
For the Marlene Awards, I will be polishing up one of my other WIPs (not the near-future vampire story set in DC and Las Vegas I sent to the editor and agent. No, this one is an urban fantasy (okay, I've just got to have the urban fantasy thing going) set in Chicago during modern times. It's sexy (I think), it's dark, the main character is broken, but hopelessly brilliant and heroic. The heroine is stubborn, sexy, and has no clue about the world of magic, wizards, or demons. And it's set in the world of police work (actually, the FBI). There's a serial killer, portal jumper, witches, vampires, you name it, and it's all set in the snow-covered, frozen tundra of my x-hometown - Chicago!
Challenge though. I'm thinking I have to change the occupation of my heroine (it's already 40,000 words long, and should end up around 80,000). Her being a reporter is just striking me as trite. She could be a bartender - very easy for me to recall from my early days in Chicago. Or, she could be a restaurant owner. I like the idea of her being a business owner (like moi in my real life). I can bring in all of the joys and stresses of running a business, too busy to have a healthy relationship, stressed out over staff, customers, deadlines, taxes, etc.
But even more fun, it will be a single title and feature a twisted romance, sex, violence, (did I say that already?). Bottom line there will be nothing within the realm of routine. And why do I feel I can do this? Well, there are just so many damn books out there that do whatever they want. My latest find is Chelsea Cain:)...She's on my friend's list on Facebook - way too excited about that. You've just got to check out her books. I'm reading her first one in the 'beautiful killer' series now, Heart Sick. Visit her website, and buy. Her first book was a memoir written in 1994 or so. I'm so jealous. I wish I'd started getting serious about writing earlier in life, or at least when I started five years ago, I wish I'd learned enough to actually be more aggressive about getting published. That bug just hit me, and it's because of Rebecca Walker. She's my writing coach. I participated in her writing workshop in Maui this past June, and can I just say I fell in love with Maui, her wisdom (yes, I have a girl crush), and generally, the energy she shares so easily with others. Go to her website, and just hang out, and if you're in San Francisco in March 2010 (or Maui in December 2009) - sign up for her workshop, okay? Just do it!
Alright, it's like 3 AM on the east coast, and I need to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow work-wise, and writing wise. I will finish polishing Chapter Six (can you believe it's taken me three weeks to write it?). But it's okay. Not mad about it. The next ten chapters are actually written, but need a decent amount of re-working. But I know what needs to happen, and the two new chapters I've been working on for the past several weeks will make those chapters so much easier to clean up.
I have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to finish those chapters in three weeks. I realize it might be dicey for me to finish polishing before November 1, but I've got to give it a real try. Who knows? The editor may email me tomorrow and ask for the entire manuscript, right? (hopeful is not always bad).
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I haven't heard from the publisher I submitted to the last day of July. This week I will write and just see what's taking them so long to let me know whatever it is they want me to know (my guess is no thanks, but I'd like to get some feedback).
As for contests, just so you know in case you're interested in submitting ... in the RWA DC chapter we have the Marlene Contest and you can also check out Poets and Writers. These contests are a way (at least in my mind) of getting another beat on your writing without spending a fortune. I'm still working with my writing coach (although I'm almost afraid to check in with her because I don't feel I have enough new material to share) - but I've got to get over that hesitation/fear. I paid and I've got to be less fearful about this entire writing process (so unlike how I am in the business world! It's somewhat annoying frankly).
Anyway, it's Saturday night. I'm watching Fringe (got he DVD and am checking it out - first season). I'm also about to settle in and read some more of The Lost Symbol - the new book by Dan Brown (loving it so far). Set in DC, what's not to love.
I'll be taking more photos of my town soon. Just because there's a lot to see and know in the D of C:)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Visit Ms. Cain's website. It's excellent. Her book is in the running for my personal two thumbs up! (hehehe, this best selling author will certainly hold my recognition of her first paragraph sacred, I'm sure:)!
Yesterday was the second day in row I woke up, got out of bed and took an hour-long walk. The weather was great, seasonably DC-like for September, maybe 82 degrees at 8 a.m. So it wasn't as brisk of a walk as I'd planned - but it did help me do a couple of things I plan on turning into a ritual.
It gave me time to give my imagination free reign and what did I get? Plot bunnies! Tons of them, but one in particular that I will be working up for November's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It's a killer.
So I'd better have my POS (piece of shit, aka, borrowed phrase from Nora Roberts' presentation during RWA national conference), or WIP for the rest of us-DONE! The plan is to finish polishing the manuscript before the end of October. Then I'll be free to get started on a new project. Can hardly wait! And it's not because I'm seriously hating the book I'm working on now - no, that's not it. But since June, I believe I've learned more about who I am as a writer than in all of the five years I've been dabbling with writing. So I'm definitely ready to start a project armed with this new knowledge.
But okay, since we aren't quite ready for all of that hoopla, I wanted to begin a little thing I'll be doing for the next few weeks or months, or as long as it interests me...since I'm obsessed with books (not always reading all of them, but just the idea of how people approach their craft, and what ends up between the published page), I've been searching through books and have found quite a few that are deserving of special recognition - right here in my blog! This week's nominees for best first paragraph are established best selling authors - sure - but even they can't just get over on a weak first paragraph - you know? So above I like Ms. Cain's opening graph - quite a bit, so gets to go head-to -head against (drum roll, please!), Mr. Dan Brown! (and OMG have you visited this man's website? I have corporate clients who haven't invested as much...)...
I totally enjoyed the first chapter. So this one will get read:)!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I love taking pictures.
The photo stage left was taken earlier this summer during a trip to San Francisco. Iconic in many ways of that part of town, I just loved the contrast (although I did cut off her shoes).
One of the joys of taking pictures to me is framing the shot. I'm not advanced enough to control lighting, shading, etc. I'm basic. How to get the most information into a photo without making it a jumbled mess. These aren't cropped by the way.
Now it's time to get some rest.
Monday, August 24, 2009
(Photo taken by me at the US Botanical Garden in Washington, DC)
The Dancing Socrates
I roast in the sun, old wretch…
I lie, and yawn, I stretch.
Old am I, but full of pep:
When I take a slug from the cup
My ancient bones bask in the sun's glow,
And my curly, wise, grey head.
In that wise head, like woods in spring
Hums and hums a wiser wine.
Eternal thoughts flow and flow,
Kind of ideal when you're writing a vampire story, don't you think?
And by the way, the character's first name is Izabella.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This post is about the thing(s) that torture writers. You'd think it was a walk in the park - if you didn't write, you'd swear it wasn't a big deal. Got an idea for a great book? Write it down. Pull out the old sheet of paper and pen or laptop and keyboard and go at it! But for those of us who write, we know the truth about writing. It's all about heaven and hell, and sometimes (oftentimes) more about living in the nine rings of hell then anything else. Okay, I'm in revisions, thus my angst.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Whew! It's just been a while since I've posted in this blog. My energy has been divided into any number of directions. But today, I'm writing about letting go. It’s a writer’s prerogative to take that leap from making main characters sweet, predictable or safe. They need to go where danger and fear and risk are commonplace.
I had a dream last night (yes, I did). And it was the most outrageously dangerous dream I’ve ever had. And I’ve had my share. It involved two men, gunplay, loads of interaction of the most dominating kind, and there was no remorse.
Think about that for a moment. Ponder the implications, and then think about vampires, and shape shifters and werewolves and creatures that must exist on the edge of what makes sense. Have you written a character who has no remorse? Not across the board, but perhaps just for one action, and it's beyond no regrets...
As a writer, can you cross that line? I'm struggling with my main character during revisions because she needs a sharper edge. At a conference recently the presenter asked a question about how to approach your story through character or plot. I said through plot, or at least situation. Now, I'm writing an outline, and I want to take my plot to task while nailing character. Am I going about it wrong?
Monday, July 20, 2009
After four days of a different level of being absorbed into my craft (attending the Romance Writers of America -RWA- national conference in DC), I am a bit exhausted, fearful, and just plain excited. So much to think about, but sorting through it all is an amazing process of self-awareness.
Monday, July 13, 2009
What's the difference between ambition and a goal? Do you remember your goals? Is there a point in life when you forget about goals and start thinking about 'what if'?