A Slice of Orange


Dear Barbara

December 29, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Dear Barbara,
I just can’t seem to get motivated to write this time of year. All the distractions of holiday shopping, decorating, cooking, eating have my mind in a whirl. How do I stay focused long enough on my story to get some writing done?
Signed: Preoccupied in Placentia

Dear Preoccupied,
Get it together, girl! Sit down right now for one minute and close your eyes. Put everything out of your mind except your story. Here, I’ll do it with you. I’m sitting, thinking, getting excited . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. I just worked out a whole scene. See how easy that was? Now, do that twice a day. You gotta have at least two minutes in a day! You go, girl!
– Barb


Dear Barbara,
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m not really a writer. I hear other writers say their characters visit them at night, sit on the ends of their bed and talk. The characters come to life and reveal their deepest darkest secrets and innermost feelings. I lay awake at night but have had no such visitations. Maybe I lack the imagination to be a writer.
Signed: Baffled in Brea

Dear Baffled,
Frankly, I’d be terrified if one of my characters showed up and started talking to me. Except for the hero of my latest story, of course. He could visit me in my bedroom anytime! Seriously though, writers are – um – a different breed. And every one has their own method of constructing a story. You find what works best for you. And hey, get some sleep!


Dear Barbara,
I’ve hit a saggy middle in my Romantic Suspense. Any suggestions on how to spice it up?
Signed: Dull in Diamond Bar

Dear Dull,
Kill someone!


Visit this column next month for more sage advice from Dear Barbara!

Barb DeLong

0 0 Read more

A Fantasy Life – 4

December 27, 2007 by in category A Fantasy Life by Janet Cornelow tagged as ,

by Janet Quinn Cornelow

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. My family bought me a laptop, which was exciting. My oldest bought me a cool case with wheels and a handle to carry it around. He pretty much figured I wouldn’t be able to lift a regular case and get it across the room. So far I can play games on it. I was practicing using the touch pad. My oldest has promised to set up the internet connection and Word tonight, but he’s in his office making up characters for his new role playing game. The major reason I wanted the laptop is because I am going to become a online facilitator for Axia, a division of the University of Phoenix and my middle son and I are always fighting over the computer. He plays World of Warcraft and gets cranky when I want to use the internet. The whole family is into fantasy worlds. The youngest also does role playing games.

It’s almost the new year and time to look back at what was accomplished in 2007 and what I want to accomplish in 2008. I have a tendency make more goals than anyone person could accomplish. I’ve made a few less for 2008, but will add to the list. I always do. A new project comes up and I finish it, so I have to add it to the list so I can cross it off and say, “Look what I did.” I pretty much ignore those that didn’t get done. Some of them I really didn’t want to do anyway. Others get moved to the next year. I keep all of my goals in a journal so I can look back and see what I did and didn’t do in past years. When the same goal has been running for three years, it is time to rethink that project. I actually got one of those goals done this year.

I still have a few days left and am on vacation from my day job, so I have a list of what I have to do this week. Write two fantasy short stories for The Enchanted Hawk which comes out in February. I need give aways for a contest. Finish the rewrites I’ve been working on for two months that should have taken half that time. And venture into the world of trailers. I want to do one for my Augeas fantasy short stories before the next two come out in February. I also have to order new character pictures since the city scape is nearly done. I hope you enjoy the black and white version. I don’t have color yet.

Everyone take time and visit the fantasy world of your choice. Where would we be without a good book to read.

1 0 Read more

Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Today is my first regular day to blog, and it may seem like an odd time to start, right before the end of the year. Or perhaps not.

Friday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day, and longest night, of the year. It signals the beginning of winter, so we string up lights on our houses and city streets to keep the darkness at bay, for a little while, at least.

This celestial event has long been a cause for celebration. The Romans called it Saturnalia; the Celts called it Yule. Today we call it Christmas. Chanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, also occurs in December, though not always in conjunction with the solstice.

The one common element in all of these festivities is the notion of bringing light into the darkness, whether it’s lighting the candles on a Menorah, a yule log burning in the fireplace, electric lights on the tree, or a star shining brightly, leading the way to Bethlehem.

My wish for you this holiday season is that the light of inspiration will fill your mind with wonderful story ideas, irresistible characters, and sterling prose in the upcoming year.

Happy Holidays!

Linda McLaughlin / Lyndi Lamont

2 0 Read more

The Lone Writer: How I’m Spending My Winter Vacation

December 21, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

I’m feeling quite proud of myself at the moment. My family is supposed to leave for the ski slopes any second now and I’m sitting here typing away. That’s commitment people!

As a Southern Californian living in the land of eternal drought there is something so magical about snow. I guess snow is kind of like Las Vegas at night, with all those fun noises and the lights shining bright you don’t sit there and think about how sad everything looks during the day. Snow is an amazing white blanket that hides the dirty stuff. It’s fantastic.

I know what you’d all like to ask…do I ski? Yes, and I love it! Last year I spent several days on skis zooming down the slopes (Dana zooming, not this-should-be-on-tv zooming). This year I hope to at least manage a snowboard lesson.

I always see pictures like this and it looks fun. How about you, dear reader. Do you ski or snowboard? do you have any advice?

4 0 Read more

WRITING TIPS from a Member at Large

December 19, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

At the recent LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) Christmas party, we exchanged gifts and writing tips. Some of the tips were old stand bys, some were new, and some came at just the right time. The one impressing me the most was: “Set a timer clock for fifteen minutes, and write until the timer goes off. It doesn’t matter what you write, even “I hate writing, I hate my computer, I hate books, this is stupid, why do I put myself through this torture.” Well before the end of the fifteen minutes you’ll be writing in someone else’s mind, and you’ll be back to a story instead of a blank screen.

Or so the theory goes. It can’t be much more difficult than answering e-mails and heaven knows we’re nearly all good at that. You just don’t take your hands off the keys for anything until the fifteen minutes are up.

I’m writing this while my husband takes a shower, which is usually about fifteen minutes. No timer yet but it’s probably not as important as just plain writing. Another tip was to read Lawrence Block’s “Telling Lies for Fun and Profit.” Okay, that was my tip, because that one book has done more to help me over this non-writing hump than anything else. Going to seminars didn’t help, hearing about contests I could enter didn’t help. Reading that book did help. The hint that meant the most to me was what I wrote down for my goal next month. Take your writing seriously, and take yourself seriously as a writer. Have respect for yourself as a writer, and treat writing like the job you want it to be.

This really hit home. How much respect was I giving myself as a writer? And not just a placer of words on a page, but a writer of readable fiction. Was I just skating on the fact I’d written five books, who cares how good they were? Or on the fact I’d actually published for money, albeit it articles for dog magazines? And isn’t that a thrill and a half, to hold that first check? Not quite enough of a thrill to frame it in lieu of cashing but still pretty darned cool.

So I’m taking that advice, writing fifteen minutes every day and turning out something, good or bad. Exercise builds muscle, and you burn calories even when you can’t exercise like the pros. I’m exercising those imagination muscles – they were getting pretty flabby!

Shower’s off, and looky here I wrote my blog for the month! Here’s wishing creative thoughts and flying fingers this holiday season

Miss you all!

Monica Stoner

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM