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Mom & Son Inc.

June 9, 2019 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , , ,

 

Hermosa Promenade

When our children are small, I think most of us fantasize about who they’ll be when they grow up. What they’ll look like, will they look like you? Or be entirely their own person? What kind of personality will they have? Will they be funny? Smart? Laid back or driven?

It’s the same with writing. When I start a story I wonder what it will look like when it’s done? What will the reader see? Will my intention come across? After all, our stories are our babies too!

Well, I’ve had the incredible, and unexpected experience of combining those two things. I’ve been working on books with my oldest son, Gerrod. I’m writing them, and he’s doing the artwork for the covers.

 

Hermosa Beach Clock

As you know, my first book, #PleaseSayYes, released last year in a boxed set. And I loved the cover. I thought it was adorable. But, when I got my rights back, and released it this February by itself, I wanted a new cover. I wanted something that said, not just romantic comedy, but Hermosa Beach romcom. I wanted something custom. But I couldn’t justify the expense.

And then Gerrod, my oldest son, approached me. He’s gone back to school, for digital graphic design, and asked if he could have a shot at my book covers. I was surprised, because I know my books aren’t the kind of thing he reads, and it’s not the kind of artwork he would normally choose to do, but I was also thrilled at the opportunity to work on a creative project with my son.

I also knew that being creative means not just doing what you want to do, what you know best, but stretching yourself into other areas. I wrote advertising and press releases for car products, television commercials for water purification companies, and so many other writing projects that had nothing to do with me, but that required creativity and artistic skill.

We are however both new to this, and learning together could be a good thing or a bad thing. I didn’t want my writing project to cause friction between us.

So, of course, we dove into this project head first.

I gave Gerrod some photos of Hermosa Beach, and sent samples of other romcom covers that I liked, in order to give him an idea of where I wanted to go. He used what I’d given him to digitally hand draw sample scenes for me. It was rough at first, and more than a couple of times when the stress of the project, a death in the family, and other things got in the way I wanted to walk away. I’m sure he considered it as well, although regardless of what happened, he stayed on track, worked with me, and tried to give me what I wanted.

We argued about a few details here and there, but generally he agreed it was my book, and he did whatever it took. EXCEPT for when it came to my name. He felt that my handwriting was unique in itself and should go on the book. I, disagreed, and on this issue he dug in. Eventually, I relented, and the more I saw it on the cover, the more I liked it. (You can tell me what you think.)

But ultimately, I had the last say, I wanted him to sign his work. I was thrilled with the final product. On the post in the bottom right hand corner, you’ll see GGG. Those are Gerrod’s initials. They’re also on the back, bottom right hand corner by the helicopter!

Once book one was done, book 2, which will be released in just a few weeks, and book 3 coming in October, were a breeze to complete! I’m not supposed to share yet, but I just can’t help myself! I hope you like the cover for #FireworksintheFog as much as I do! But, you’ll have to wait to see book 3, Haunted Hermosa.

Bottom line, proud mama moment, and so thrilled to be sharing this experience with my son. We’re learning about the process together, and learning to work together as two artists, not mother and son.

So, they grow up, and become their own people, and sometimes, if you’re very lucky, who they are as an individual, and who you are as an individual are able to find a common ground, a special place that the two of you can share.

 

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I wouldn’t want to do the wrong thing…

April 10, 2019 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , ,

I’m kind of awkward, sometimes talk too much, sometimes don’t talk at all, often wish I hadn’t spoken when I do, and also talk and write in run on sentences!

I’m a writer.

I’m also kind of emotional, ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you, I’m not afraid to scream with excitement, cry when I’m hurt, or even with joy. I’m not afraid to feel, orshare my feelings, sometimes I’m too open with how I feel…however, when it’s something big…something I haven’t experienced before…something for which there’s no training, I freeze. I don’t react. I hold back, waiting for instructions, waiting for someone to tell me what the right thing is to do. Because, I wouldn’t want to do the wrong thing.

So, when my editor told me I needed more emotional description, I was surprised, everyone knows how I feel, and surely everyone could see how my characters felt. Right?

But I worked on it, I fixed it…I thought. Then, this weekend, at the California Writer’s Conference, during a critique with author, Barbara Ankrum, I had to do some self-reflection after I was told that she could see how my other characters felt, but not how the main character was feeling…and as we all know, our characters, especially main characters, while fictional, have elements of the author in them. So why am I not getting her feelings across?

Why, when Violet, who always does the right thing, is confronted with the unimaginable, am I unable to show how she’s feeling? Why can’t I get her emotions on the page. And then I realized what it was. Violet behaved exactly as I did, she froze, she didn’t know how she was allowed to react, she didn’t know how she was supposed to feel. And confrontation is ugly, dirty, and might mess up her hair.

Now some of that might surprise those who know me because, well, I’m not an ‘every hair in place’ kind of girl. I’d like to be, but even in the 80’s with my hair shellacked with Final Net, I didn’t have every hair in place, but inside I feel like I’m supposed to. Inside I know that every hair should be in place, the bed should be made, and no dishes should be left in the sink.

And then I realized something that I hadn’t realized before. I’d actually been in some of the situations that Violet was in…not exactly, of course, again this is fiction, but similar, and in writing Violet, as in real life, I shut down. I froze, I couldn’t share exactly what she felt, I held back, she held back waiting for instructions.

Again, Violet isn’t me. She’s an oil heiress and former Rose Queen in 1928, a fictional character, real only on the pages of my manuscript. But it’s my job, to bring her to life, to help readers to feel what Violet feels, and see things through her eyes.

So I’m back to work. I don’t have to change Violet, her reactions are real, I have to help the reader to understand how she feels. Now, thanks to Barbara, I have instructions, I believe I know what to do, but ultimately, you’ll have to decide.

Which authors make you experience the characters feelings? Who brings their heroines/heroes to life for you? I’d love to know!

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So, how does a romance writer celebrate Valentine’s?

February 10, 2019 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , , , ,

With the release of a romance novel, an anthology and of course by having her thirty-year romance make the local news.

My first novella, #PleaseSayYes, a romantic comedy released in a limited edition boxed set last year, just in time for Valentine’s, and I’m re-releasing it this week, as a single edition eBook, and it will be available on Amazon later this week or through my website. I had so much fun writing this story, and it’s the first in the #HermosaForTheHolidays series. All of the stories are set in Hermosa Beach, each with a sweet holiday romance as the theme. As Hunky Hubby says, “These are stories you can share with your mother and your daughter” (Yes, he actually does read every word I write.)

Next, of course one release isn’t enough, so our Charmed Writers group is releasing Charmed Writers Presents, Flash Fiction 2019. A collection of 41 stories, by 41 authors, all members of Charmed Writers. There are stories in all genres, fantasy, historical, paranormal, romance, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy, and all of the stories take about five minutes to read. And, the authors in this group range from bestselling authors you already know and love, to brand new authors for you to discover! It’s been a labor of love, and A Slice of Orange’s own Marianne H. Donley has been the very heart of this project, making it a true Valentine’s offering. You can get your free copy by joining The Charmed Connection facebook group and asking for it!

And finally, on a more personal level, of course my real-life romance makes the news! In August, Hunky Hubby and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I posted a photo of our first kiss as man and wife and a kiss on our 30th anniversary, both taken at Shoreline Village, between the tables where we met and one year later were married. Shoreline Village saw my post, and invited us to be the first couple to post our Love Lock on their new Love Lock fence! We were thrilled by the honor, and when we arrived, Melissa from Long Beach Local News (LBLN) and News Director, Ryan McGinnis, were on the scene to interview us and film the event for Channel. We felt like celebrities, and look forward to another reason to spend time at our very favorite place, Shoreline Village.

Thank you to Elaine, Sergio, Debra and everyone at Shoreline Village who made both our wedding in 1988 and our 2019 Valentine’s Celebration so special! I can’t imagine anything more romantic than locking our love right there at the place we met and were married, overlooking the marina.

So, that’s how a romance writer celebrates the most romantic holiday of the year…two book releases, a Love Lock at Shoreline Village, and Valentine’s day hasn’t even happened yet, but I’m looking forward to a romantic evening with Hunky Hubby celebrating more than 31 years of love.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s day? Have you ever put a Love Lock on a fence? In Paris? Italy? New York? If you visit Shoreline Village, you’ll find the lock with our names on it below the plaque on the Love Lock Fence. If you put a lock there, please share a photo in our Facebook group, The Charmed Connection, and tag me!

See the story at Channel LBLN.

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Carols, Cookies & Books

December 10, 2018 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as ,

I’m currently in holiday mode, which means All Christmas, All the Time. Everything else has become an ‘in-between’. Bill paying is in-between decorating the house. Chores are in-between gift-wrapping and last minute sewing, and writing is in-between baking thumb prints, cut-out cookies, and cranberry orange bread.

And all the while I have either Christmas music or holiday movies playing in the background. So, if you’re sick of hearing Andy Williams singing, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, or Bing Crosby’s version of Silver Bells, you might not want to hang out here , and if you don’t know who Andy Williams and BingCrosby are, come over for cookies, hot cocoa and some classic holiday sounds.

Our boys are grown and on their own, so we’re no longer cuddling up with warm cookies and a stack of Christmas books and reading them together. No Christmas story from my favorite Bible Storybook. No The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. No Christmas in The Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder. It made me a little sad that I wouldn’t be sharing all of those special stories with my children.

As I fingered a tattered copy of Dr. Seuss’s, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I realized that just because I might not have a child on my lap (or three) that it didn’t mean that I couldn’t share these stories with other kids. So, I decided that this year when I donate toys to our local Sheriff’s Department, I’m also going to donate brand new copies of some of our favorite books. I hope that reading them will become a holiday tradition for someone else. Something that they can do together in-between all of the bill paying, chores and other things that have to be done.

What are your favorite holiday books, classic or new? Children’s books or adult? We all need something that brings back the wonder and the magic of this special season. So put on some Christmas music (here’s a link to Billboards Holiday 100 to get you started), put some cookies on a plate and curl up with a good holiday book. And don’t forget to tell us what you’re reading!

Oh, and the photo is Hunky Hubby in his holiday finery!

Happy Holidays everyone, see you next year!

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Charmed Connection Halloween Event

October 27, 2018 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , , ,

Halloween Event | Charmed Writers | A Slice of Orange

 

The Charmed Connection Halloween Event

 

 

Starts Saturday October 27 and continues through October 31

Features

  • Halloween Flash Fiction Stories
  • Recipes
  • Games
  • And yes THERE WILL BE PRIZES!
  • It’s free!

Takes place in The Charmed Connection on Facebook

Hope to see you there.

Invite your friends to join us too.

 

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