I love libraries with a passion that some say borders on the abnormal. When I visit a new city, there are two things I must do:
- Visit whatever water exhibit available (fountains, lakes, etc).
- Visit the local library.
The first is something my father instilled in me. He grew up in a water area and feels at home where water is prominent. The second again is something my father began, back when wifi wasn’t prevalent and he needed email access.
Enter the local library. The amazing thing about local libraries is that they say more about a town than you would imagine. Is the library in an historic house? Then books are seen as something to be treasured, but perhaps only to be seen, not used. Is the library in a modern building, with a lot of light and computers? The city perhaps feels that knowledge is power.
These are, of course, my biased opinions based on what little I know about budgets, architecture, and book culture. But the fact remains that you can learn a lot about a city by going to the local library. Better yet, chat with the librarian and get some interesting facts about the town.
Columbus, Ohio, where I am located, has over 30 libraries. Many belong to the Columbus Metropolitan system, and others are specific to the suburbs in the area. When preparing for my book launch party back in 2010, I hit six of the libraries and was stunned by how different they were. It was fascinating to see how the interior layout of the building changed the mood; how the configuration of the books brought certain people together and kept others apart.
Take a library tour of your city, if you’re blessed to be in a city that has more than one library. It was a blast for me to spend a day driving around town, popping into a library to leave some fliers and wander around the building. It lifted my spirits and made me feel good about where I’m living, as a reader and an author.
Try it sometime. You just might like it. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
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Thanks to Edwardian Promenade for notifying her audience (including me) about this!
In other news, I just finished reading a fantastic teen historical fiction book over the weekend. What have you been reading?
I have succumbed, finally, to the beast that is Pinterest. I avoided it for so long because I didn’t need yet ANOTHER social media outlet to take up my time… but this one might be beneficial to my writing, for once! You see, Twitter and Facebook… it’s so easy for me to get lost in commenting, retweeting, liking, etc. That isn’t about writing. These actions don’t support my imagination for what my characters are wearing, where they are located, etc.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is quickly becoming a visual scrapbook of the images I used to inspire Haunting Miss Trentwood. I’ve been going back over my old links, posting images about the house Mary lives in (which actually exists). It’s a lot of fun to revisit the book.
I’m going to start another board soon for The Rebel’s Touch to help jump start my writing for the story. My friend Caitlin gave me some great feedback that I need to put into practice, but in the meantime, I’m working on the Atlanta & the Lion and Other Tales anthology. Since this anthology is more like a literary magazine collection, I’m working on each story and poem in doses so I don’t freak myself out and stop writing again.
Anyway, I’m excited to use Pinterest to help me write again! If I don’t already follow you, post your profile in the comments. And tell me other ways I can use Pinterest, I’m all ears.
I haven’t written a word for The Rebel’s Touch, something which continues to bother me. However, over the weekend I hosted two swing dancers from Louisville and their interest in my woefully neglected manuscript has begun a spark of something which I hope will ignite into full-blown chapter writing.
These two ladies, being from Kentucky, were most interested in the location of The Rebel’s Touch. I told them the majority of the book is in Ripley, OH, and I had intended to visit the area last summer but never made it down.
They encouraged me to visit them this summer, not only for a bluegrass jazz festival which sounds amazing, but also because they can show me a Civil War hospital, and we could take a bike ride to the waterfront where Tempest would have been carried across to Ripley.
Have to admit, it sounds like a pretty fun weekend vacation. In other news, my entire body aches, and I’m not sure if it’s from allergies or the fact that I kicked my own butt on Monday by running for 20 min on the elliptical machine at resistance level 8. Maybe a mixture of both. Combine that with the fact that I think I ate something bad yesterday, and I feel like I have the flu. Ugh.
So yes. In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for some fun historical romance books to read. Lately I’ve been in such a slump! Everything I read seems to depress me. What is on your radar?
A short and random post today as I’m getting over an awful cold. Just wanted to let you know I love the internet because I get to share my fangirl obsessive love of nerdy things like Doctor Who with complete strangers. For example, a short conversation I had with @The_BookishType via Twitter last night…
To which I replied…
@worderella: The Twitterverse replies in a tone so solemn, “You are very welcome.”
Her response was a simple “LOL.” Wanna know why? Because it’s a fact that Doctor Who is a brilliant show that delights anyone who loves quick dialogue and snarky humor. Whedon fans should be all over this stuff.
Seriously though, if you aren’t watching Doctor Who, we have a problem. The writing improves every episode, the characterization is absolutely nuts (the writers have even gotten me to like Matt Smith, the new incarnation of the Doctor!), and can I just say Nerdy David Tennant with black nerd glasses and Converse shoes?
Yes. All of that. Wrap it up in a bow and leave it on my front doorstep please.
And now, back to your regular schedules. I’m off to sneeze and whine about sinus pressure to my co-workers. Best,
P.S. Image found via Tumblr.
It is so easy to wish you lived the life of a heroine from a romance novel. I know I do, sometimes, when I’m lost in a particularly good historical romance. I began to wonder, what are the pros and cons involved?
Pro: Even if you’re ugly (let’s face it, you’re probably pretty and just have bad self-esteem), you’re gonna end up with a beautiful man. No, not physically. I mean, he might be physically beautiful. I certainly hope you, as the heroine, think he’s attractive. No, I mean he’s got a beautiful soul, the type that makes you feel beautiful because of the way he looks at you.
Con: You probably had to suffer something in order to deserve such a beautiful man, like losing all your money, parents, or home, or all of those combined. Maybe you lost the affection of the duke and are having to settle for that viscount who always admired you from afar. Or let’s face it, you were never on the duke’s radar.
Pro: All the men wear suits. All the time. And they look good doing it. And when they aren’t wearing suits, they roll their sleeves up to their elbows to show off those delicious forearms of theirs. They also lose their cravats, giving you a peek at their impressive pecs.
Con: You have to wear a corset. Good luck breathing or eating or, you know, moving comfortably.
Pro: If you’re the typical historical romance heroine, you have at least one servant to help you get dressed. She knows how to do your hair so you always look good, she knows the colors that show off your eyes, and she knows when to tighten that corset to really get your man’s attention.
Con: You can’t dress or undress yourself because there are so many freaking layers to have to tie into place.
Pro: You need help getting undressed. Ask your hero. He will be glad to help, and you will be glad you asked him to.
Con: It might take him half an hour to undress you because of all those layers, so unless he’s awesome at teasing, you can lose the mood quickly.
Pro: You probably have two guys interested in you, and at the same time. However will you choose??
Con: One of those guys may very well try to shoot you or the guy you chose out of jealousy. That, or challenge your beau to a duel. Or kidnap you. Or threaten your family, if you’re one of those lucky heroines who has a family.
Pro: You often get to stand at the top of a staircase, hand on the rail, looking down at a man who is absolutely blown away by how the candles make your hair shine.
Con: It is freaking hot under those candles and the smoke is getting in your eyes and for heaven’s sake, and you have to walk down the stairs in heels without wiping out. And you’re still wearing a corset.
Share in the comments what other pro/con combinations about living in a historical romance novel! And don’t forget, I’m posting inspirational quotes, imagery, and videos at my Tumblr. You can ask me questions there and submit content for me to share with everyone. See you over there!
Two weeks ago I needed to make a change about my home office. I felt as though something about my home office/guest bedroom was stifling my creativity, but I couldn’t figure out what or why.
A friend came over and wanted to show me something online, so I watched him sit at my desk. Eureka! Suddenly everything was clear. My desk had my back facing the door, something that has always made me feel uncomfortable. Watching my friend sit there highlighted how awkwardly I had arranged my home office. Here are some tips to make your home office inspire your muse by rearranging your furniture.
Position your desk so you face the door/entrance to your office space.
The farther your desk is from the door, the better. According to feng shui practices, this is called a “commanding” position. Think of every executive’s office you’ve seen a in a movie. When you place your desk facing the entrance to your space, you are able to watch every move someone makes as they approach you. It’s a power play, and it works. If you can’t do that, or if your desk must face a wall, put art on the wall to make it “disappear,” like a pastoral scene.
Encourage natural light.
I’m a heliophile. If I don’t get sun, I become the definition of emo, and all my creative and happy thoughts leave me in a miserable pile of woe is me. You might not have the same problem, but natural light is a great way to make a space just feel better.
Face your desk toward your book shelves.
I’m assuming that if you’re a writer, you have a number of books. You read them for information and inspiration. Why wouldn’t you want to stare at them while you let your mind wander? Just looking at books inspires me to keep writing, sometimes, and when I turned my desk around to see my bookshelves and whiteboards, suddenly I was able to write a thousand words in half an hour. Try it, see what happens.
Get rid of clutter!
I still need to do this. Currently my laptop is balancing on a pile of papers precariously. When I have a clean desk, I’m much faster at writing because I have nothing to distract me. Take a day to file away papers that aren’t necessary to your current work, take a deep breath, and move on.
Keep the creative energy in your space flowing by trying to rearrange something in the room every six months. Maybe you have a plant that could move from one shelf to another. Maybe the shelf sitting behind you can go across the room. Maybe you can shift the angle of your desk from perpendicular to the wall to a 45 degree angle. Whatever it is, change something so when you enter the room next time, your senses notice the change, which could spark curiosity and excitement.
Doing these things helped me, hopefully they will help you, too. All the best,
We break this blogging hiatus to bring the most pressing of news…
John Stamos has kindly agreed to provide a guide to cuddling. I’m sure more than one historical romance hero (especially those pesky alpha males who are sooo above cuddling or anything remotely romantic) could use a pointer or two.
Enjoy. I know I did. Perhaps a little too much.
But then, John Stamos is one of the most handsome men I can think of off the top of my head.
So you’ll just have to forgive me.
Not entirely safe for work, make sure you wear headphones. And maybe turn your monitor from your manager. This video definitely gave me my morning almost-spew-my-tea-on-my-keyboard laugh.
I’ve been re-organizing my life a little… trying to figure out priorities and such. I’ve been making dance a larger part of my life because it’s healthy for me (I don’t stay sitting alone in front of a computer), and because being around people inspires new subplots, etc.
Did you not know that I social dance? I do. I can swing dance, lindy hop, charleston, and balboa. Actually, I can do two types of swing dancing: west and east coast. I can do a little hustle, some salsa, and nightclub two step with a good lead.
I digress. I don’t want to commit to a posting schedule because even though I want to maintain my goal of writing at least 750 words a week, I want to dedicate those words to The Rebel’s Hero. The amount of time it takes to write a post, since I try to craft them and not ramble (whether I succeed at this is questionable), is taking resources away from plotting, crafting, character-ing the new book.
If I’m good, I’ll have The Rebel’s Hero written and ready for editing by late August/early September, pushing for an October or November release. If I’m bad, I won’t make that tentative timeline.
Wish me luck! I’ll still be fairly active on Twitter, and probably not very active on Facebook. I’m really trying to focus my attention for the next book. I’ll make sure to drop by now and then, though!
Wish me luck,
We’ve been busy here behind the scenes, researching and writing and preparing for contests and such.
- Haunting Miss Trentwood was spotlighted by The Frugal eReader on their website, Facebook, and Twitter. Yay!
- I updated the Bright Bird Press website, something long overdue.
- We have a Cafe Press store full of awesome product tie-ins for Catching the Rose and Haunting Miss Trentwood. The ones for Haunting Miss Trentwood are especially cool.
- Have a Wowio account? Awesome! Because now you can get your copies of Haunting Miss Trentwood and Catching the Rose there.
- Remember Sean McCartney? He wants to give his most recent book to one lucky reader of this blog. We’re pulling together a giveaway that will be ready to go in early June.
- I answered some fun questions at the Indie Bee Covers website for their author spotlight.
I’m also continuing to do research for The Rebel’s Hero. As I learn, I’ve been going back through chapters to better describe the situation of the Civil War at the timeline of the book. This gives me a much more solid understanding of who the characters are, and why, which will help me write the best of the book. It stinks to backtrack, but it’s worth the effort.
And that’s everything that’s happening in my part of the world! Tell me, how are things going for you?