A Slice of Orange


President’s Message

March 1, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By OCC Co-President Sandy Novy-Chvostal

Critiquing: Sometimes a Paneful Necessity

I am a writer; words are my bred and butter. So I take great pride in insuring that I always select the right word to express my exact meaning.

Yet, despite the fact that i have a photogenic memory, even I have been known to make mistakes. I once told an editor that she was an abnormality in the business, only to have a friend quickly correct that to anomality. And although I realize that a condiment is something you put on your hot dog, and a condom on something else entirely, I’ve unfortunately traversed those two words as well.

But as bad as it is to make mistakes like these in pubic, its even worse when you make them in you’re writing. Because then the reader (and editor) is detracted from what you are trying to say.

Which is why I am so thankful to have critique partners. Along with helping me develop plot and characterization, they also help me catch those small mistakes in my books that some time slip through spell check.

But if you are a knew writer, you may not have found critique partners yet. And you may be wondering how ou can get you’re work critiqued. Well, here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

*Enter OCC’s Orange Rose Contest. The oldest, RWA chapter contest, the Orange Rose, was created to help our members get published. Every entrant receives detailed feedback from three published writers, and finalists are judged by acquiring editors. (Please see page 15.)

*First-Chapter Critique drawings. Offered monthly by our generous published authors, OCC members can enter this drawing for free at every general meeting.

*Critique Group Raffles. Still in the works, our creative Ways & Means directors are devising ways to give members the chance to “check out” how established critiqued groups function. Watch for more info in upcoming Orange Blossom issues and The Morning Juice loop.

*Stay for lunch at the meetings. There’s no better time to get get to know your fellow OCC members, and hopefully, find someone you’d like to work with–such as an all most error proof writer like me!

Happy Writing!


Sandy Novy-Chvostal (aka Sandra Paul) has a degree in journalism, but prefers to write from the heart. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have three children, three cats, and one overgrown “puppy.” Romantic Times has labeled Sandra Paul’s work as “outrageously funny and surprisingly perceptive” while Rendezvous stated “Sandra Paul is imagination with wings.”

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WINNERS – The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever

February 28, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Vicki Lewis Thompson and OCC are thrilled to announce the winners of The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever contest.

But first we’d like to thank Vicki Lewis Thompson for teaming up with us and for helping make this The Best Valentine’s Contest Ever.

For even more Valentine fun, be sure to look for Vicki’s latest, My Nerdy Valentine.

Vicki Lewis Thompson is uniquely qualified to document the nerd experience and has the National Honor Society pin to prove it. Long before brains were cool, she made passes at guys who wore glasses. She eventually married one.

Being a smart man, he recommended she write romances. Being a smart woman, she wrote about romantic nerds. When Nerd in Shining Armor hit the NYT bestseller list, it validated her secret passion and confirmed what she’s always known – nerds are hot and getting hotter! The runaway success of Vicki’s nerd books indicates that we have officially entered an era of nerd love, which suits her perfectly.

And now for the winners!

But first I’d like to thank all who entered and followed along. It was great fun and we hope you come back next year.


Next year’s too long to wait?

Well okay!

Come back tomorrow when we kick off A Slice of Orange, the e-zine!

That’s right!

Come back every day for lots of fun, friendship, tips and tricks for newbies and inspiration for newbies and veterans alike.

Okay…now for the winners!

First Place:

The Valentine’s Day Scale: Great, Good, Not So Good, Ugly and Get Off Me by Jen Crooks

Second Place:

Smokin’ Valentine by Rebecca Forster

Third Place:

Slip Slidin’ Away by Andrea Baker

Congratulations, girls!

Warmest regards,

Dana Diamond

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Author Talk in The OC

February 28, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Jina Bacarr

Are you on the go 24/7 with your family, your writing, your emails? Did you miss the last monthly OCC/RWA meeting? Or you attended the meeting and you want to know more about our guests? OCC doesn’t have instant replay, but we have the next best thing: Video podcasts with our guests as well as OCC authors.

Check out the OCC podcast page for my series, “Author Talk in the O.C.,” video and audio podcasts that are fun and informative. In my monthly audio podcast, you’ll get all the info about our next meeting on March 10th and a sneak peak at what’s inside the Orange Blossom Newsletter. Check out all my OCC podcasts at http://www.jinabacarr.com/OCCpodcast.html

And I’ll see you at the meeting!


Jina Bacarr picked up her first microphone at the age of ten and worked in radio (deejay and commercial voiceovers) before podcasting. She’s the author of The Blonde Geisha and coming in July, Naughty Paris.

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Valentine Haiku by Michelle Thorne

February 25, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

valentine’s day dearth
no candy or any flowers
no one to spoon…sucks

Michelle Thorne
Bearly Used Books…123
Home of A Great Read
OCC Media Director
123 So. First Street
Historic Old Puente, CA 91744
(626) 968-3700

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Smokin’ Valentine By Rebecca Forster

February 24, 2007 by in category Worst Valentine’s Day Ever Contest tagged as

I’d been dating Marty for three months when Valentine’s Day rolled around.

He wasn’t the most demonstrative guy, but he knew what he was doing in the sack and that counts for a lot. He laughed at my jokes when he was around to hear them, didn’t have a string of exes or kids to compete for his time. He looked great in a suit, not so great in jeans. His buddies meant the world to him. If I was a piece of real estate I figured I was right up there with the State of Maine – small but solidly on the radar. I could live with all of this as long as Marty hit the high notes. So, the day of hearts and flowers was kind of a milestone and I prepared appropriately.

The steaks were ready, the table set. I was bathed and perfumed. The music selection was lined up. I would start with sweet and move to seductive. I set aside the fake wax log in favor of real wood for the fireplace. Seven o’clock passed by forty-five minutes when there was an insistent knock on the door.

Better late than never, I figured. I also gave him points for being eager.

I adjusted my cleavage, licked my lips and loved the way the fire threw off just enough golden light to make me look warm and inviting. I opened that door real slow, narrowed my eyes, let a smile play upon my ultra-glossed lips. All wasted. I was looking at the old lady from across the street.

“Your house is on fire, dear.”

She stepped back, raised a hand, rolled her eyes. I thought she looked quite nice in the firelight, too. This fire, though, was shooting straight out of the chimney.

“Damn.” I muttered.

“I should say,” she answered. “I called nine-one-one.”

“Great.” Just what I needed. Company on Valentine’s Day.

On the bright side, Marty would hear the sirens, rush to my side, gather me up, turn my head into his shoulder, whisper he was grateful that I was alright. We would fall in love, marry, have children. Our children’s children would re-tell this tale of love at our funerals.

While I waited for Marty’s entrance, I pushed the neighbor onto the lawn and ran for the hose. This was no easy feat. My WonderBra was too tight, my dress too long, my heels too high. I made for it with a sort of whump of a gallop that left me stuck in the thick grass every third step. Breathless when I finally got to it, I grabbed the darn thing and headed back to the middle of the lawn. I hollered at the little old lady as I passed.

“Spot me!”

She hightailed it over to the faucet, her eyes never leaving the flames that now shot five feet in the air. A breeze kicked up. Cinders flew. Every damn house on the street had shake roofs including mine. The sirens were louder but they weren’t close enough.

“Turn it on!” I screamed, holding tight to the nozzle.

“Turning it on,” the old lady screamed back.

I planted myself and waited for the rush of water. My hair was coming loose from its chignon. My arms were tight to my sides. I was Woman – hear me roar. Marty would be so impressed when he arrived.

“You’re not straight dear!” The old lady again, pulling me out of my daydream.

She unkinked the hose before I was ready. The water shot out, soaking my dress before I got it on the roof. Then came the red lights. Noise. Men in yellow suits and helmets coming to save me.

It went pretty quick after that. Hunky guys put out the flames while the old lady and I watched. Marty never showed but a damn good looking fireman grinned down at me from his perch on the roof. I smiled back. The evening wasn’t a total loss.

Long story short. The guy wasn’t smiling, he was grimacing. He’d slipped on the roof I watered down. His ankle was broken. They took him away on a gurney. My dinner burned. Marty never showed. The old lady and I finished off a bottle of wine, toasting our brave hearts. By the time we were done, I didn’t care that mine was just a little bit broken, too.

Rebecca Forster
Hostile Witness
Silent Witness
Privileged Witness

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