A Slice of Orange


It’s Worth It

December 9, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as


By Kitty Bucholtz

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! I won!

Remember I told you last month that I would participate in NaNoWriMo? The goal was 50,000 words in 30 days. At the beginning of the month, I felt it was a doable goal – 1667 words per day. By Thanksgiving, I wasn’t so sure. I was barely over the 17,000 mark and thousands of words behind.

But I had two things going for me. One, I desperately needed to create some new and improved writing habits, so I had it in my heart and mind to do whatever it would take to “win” this competition. (Everyone who hits the mark, wins. Essentially, you’re competing against yourself.)

Second, my two critique partners also participated and were equally motivated. We had a conference call twice a week for encouragement, accountability, and brainstorming. We sent emails saying we hit 10,000 words, 20,000 words, or had a breakthrough idea.

In the last five days I wrote 30,711 words. That’s about 123 pages. In my wildest dreams I never would have believed I could do that! I simply decided not to stop typing. I woke up in the morning, kissed my husband goodbye, asked God to help me focus, and started typing. I would look at my word count and think – another thousand words and I’ll be at the next 10,000 word mark. Or – another hundred words and I’ll beat Stephanie for the day. (grin) I heard the voice of Dorie, the blue fish in Finding Nemo, singing, “Just keep typing, just keep typing.”

I won a lot more than a competition. (I stopped at about 6pm on the last day with 52,415 words.) I developed some key new habits. I found better ways to get work done, things I never would’ve tried if I hadn’t been willing to try anything to win the competition. And perhaps most importantly, I learned what I can do.

That first weekend after NaNo ended, my brain was a jumble. I tried to remember whether I had paid the rent. My friends at church asked why I wasn’t my usual talkative self. I told them, “I used up all my words in my book!” They laughed and congratulated me.

By the next Tuesday, I was eagerly working on my book again, making notes, moving scenes around. By Thursday, I could see that if I deliberately chose to not let my new habits slip, I could keep up a far higher degree of productivity. On Friday, during our conference call, my critique partners and I started brainstorming a new idea for our budding web site. We decided that we needed to encourage other writers with ideas on how to keep writing. We are beyond excited about our plans!

Participating in NaNo was hard work. Friends and family were kindly told to wait until December. I snuck into another room on Thanksgiving Day to write for a while. Chores and errands were put off. My to do list on December 1 was terrifyingly long. But I have new habits that are pushing me to the next level in my writing. So I say – it’s worth it!

Kitty Bucholtz writes romantic comedies because, well, she lives one! She wrote her first book in the NBC cafeteria, the second snowed in at a Reno hotel, and the third from a tiny apartment in Sydney. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, she’s pretty sure she knows at least three people who aren’t writers.

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Pets, Romance and Lots of Suspense

December 6, 2007 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

by Linda O. Johnston

I’m really excited to be joining the wonderful writers who blog on A Slice of Orange. I write romance and mystery, sometimes suspenseful romance, and sometimes romantic mystery. I’ve also become an experienced blogger. I blog weekly on KillerHobbies.Blogspot.com and, since I write the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the “hobby” I blog about is pets.

Of course, I consider pets family, not just hobbies. But the topic is fun and versatile.

So what do I hope to talk about here? I think one focus will be the fun of switching between genres. I started out writing mystery short stories, moved to time-travel romance, then romantic suspense, then back to mystery–novel-length, but also, still, occasional short stories. And I continue to write romance, too. In addition to my Kendra series, I’ve sold a paranormal romance to Silhouette Nocturne, although its publication date hasn’t yet been established. Why do I switch? How do I switch?

Well, come back and visit me on the sixth of every month, and I’ll tell you all about it! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

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Checking in

December 5, 2007 by in category Archives

Hi all:

I’ll be blogging on the fifth of the month, beginning in January, 2008. I’m excited; it’s my first experience with blogging (yes, I know, welcome to the 20th Century and all that ), so I hope I don’t push any strange buttons on my computer and blow it up. As I age, it’s harder and harder to learn new technology, but I’m game, and we’ll see what happens. Anyhow, looking forward to getting to riff on things that interest me in a public forum. How amazing is that, right? Next month I’ll be speaking at OCC and signing my latest book, so the new year will be starting out on a high note. See you in January!

Love to all,
Diane Pershing

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What Would You Ask Your Favorite Author?

December 3, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Our book club got to talking about favorite authors and one thing led to another and we started sharing: What would you ask your favorite author?

1. Where do you get your ideas?

2. Why this book? Why these characters? Why this place?

3. Did the story mean anything to you personally?

4. How did it feel to write that story while you were writing it? Did it jar memories or make you wish for something?

5. When I read your story it made me think of new things and stuff. Does that happen when you write it?

6. Who was her favorite hero, heroine?

7. When can I buy your next one? What is going to be about?

8. Will you come and give my husband a few pointers?We started talking about husbands then.

The Anonymous Reader

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President’s Message

December 2, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Sandy Novy Chvostal

A newspaper reporter contacted me awhile back to get some information on OCC. “What makes your Chapter so successful?” she asked me. “Everyone I’ve talked to says OCC is one of the leading RWA chapters in the nation.”

The answer (like so many answers unfortunately) is complicated. Obviously, our success involves a variety of factors including our location in such a highly populated area, the bylaws that we operate under, the advantages provided by having a large membership and the variety and quality of the programs we support. But in my opinion, OCC’s greatest strength is our ability to evolve–to take advantage of the generosity and expertise of our volunteers to stay ahead.

In the upcoming months, OCC will be evolving once again as we focus on improving our website, and we want to thank all the members who are lending their expertise to this project. Goals and plans for a total redesign include a Members Only section that will include an email roster and allow members to update their own information; published members’ bookcovers featured on the home page in a revolving fashion that changes every time the page is pulled up; a booksellers’ page to feature covers and also facilitate communication between authors and booksellers; and a page for trailers. A MySpace page is also being created for OCC, which will be linked to occrwa.com; and our yahoo groups are being updated for better ease of use.

In conjunction with these changes—and because our fabulous editors are stepping down—our printed newsletter will be phased out. Published authors are requested to notify co-president Sue Phillips at suephillips503@yahoo.com about any book releases to be put on the Bookseller/bookshelf page and items for “Look at Our Members” should be sent to Sue as well.

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Copy me with those at Snovy617@aol.com.

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