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e-maginings: Still Lovin’ My Kindle

November 16, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Since Oprah declared the Amazon Kindle one of her favorite things, people wanting to buy the device are having to sait 2-3 weeks to get one just like I did last year.

I’ve had mine for almost a year now and I still love it. My acupuncturist lusts after mine, esp. since I showed him how to search the Kindle store from the exam room and we discovered that the Shanghai Daily is now available to Kindle users, along with 27 other newspapers, 18 magazines and 2 dozen or so blogs. And that’s in addition to the almost 200,000 books available for the Kindle.

I don’t know yet if the Kindle will be the “killer device” e-book readers have been waiting for, but it’s the best one I’ve ever found.


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E-maginings: The Power of Affirmations

July 23, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

When I joined OCC 20 years ago (yikes!), on of the first special events I attended was a workshop on affirmations given by author Rita Rainville. Since then I’ve used affirmations off and on with some success. If you’re not familiar with the concept, an affirmation is a positive statement of something you want to be true in the here and now. It’s different from a goal which is a specific outcome to be achieved at some point in the future. Affirmations are statements like “I am a talented and prolific writer”. Not “I will be”, “I’m learning to be”, “I want to be”, but “I am”. Right now.

As I was learning the craft and business of writing, I heard many things. One was, find a place to write. A room, a desk, a laptop, whatever. For a long while I didn’t have that special place to write. I used the desktop, the laptop, a yellow pad, whatever was available. In the last few years, I’ve been dividing my time between my home in Anaheim and my MIL’s house in San Clemente, and I finally found that special place to write. In San Clemente. It’s a mixed blessing. But I’m not there all week, and I wasn’t getting as much writing done as I wanted to. So I revised my affirmation, adding a statement about being able to write anywhere, any time. That came in handy last week when I had to finish Ilona’s Wolf, my next story, in a big hurry. I found I was able to write anywhere, any time, even if that meant midnight. I wonder if I’d have been able to pull it off if I hadn’t been doing my affirmations.

For a couple of years I’d noticed that my short stories weren’t being reviewed in a timely fashion. Sometimes the first review wouldn’t come out until five-six months after the release. I didn’t know what to do about it. The review process is out of my control. But I tried adding an affirmation that says “I get fantastic, timely reviews” any way. I had no idea if it would make a difference, but my most recent story. Alliance: Cosmic Scandal, was published on June 29 and I’ve already received two reviews for it! 😮

I’m not entirely sure how this affirmation process really works. Oh, I get the part about me talking to my subconscious mind about things that are under my control. When I say I can write anywhere, any time, I’m basically telling my subconscious not to throw up roadblocks when the routine changes. That makes sense. But when I affirm that I’ll get “fantastic, timely reviews”, I’m talking about something I have no control over. I’m just putting that thought out into the universe in hopes that someone is listening, and apparently they are. It’s a little spooky when you think about it, but nice.

It’s not too late to make some affirmations before conference. If you’re shy, affirm that “I’m a friendly person who enjoys meeting new friends”. You never know who you’ll run into at conference. Like Debra Holland said at the last meeting, we all need to become extraverted for a few days.

Have you tried using affirmations and did they help?

Linda Mac / Lyndi Lamont

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e-maginings Book Review: The War of Art

June 23, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

Title: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Author: Steven Pressfield, author of The Legend of Bagger Vance
Author’s Website: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2002
ISBN: 0-446-69143-7
Available from Amazon.com.

I heard about this book in a blog post and decided it might be just what I needed. Lately I’ve been struggling to get the butt in the chair and actually write. I hate to use the dreaded words writer’s block, but getting through my previous WIP was like pulling teeth, one millimeter at a time. (Well, it wasn’t that painful, but you get the point.)

When I started to read, I was surprised to see that the Foreword was written by screen writing guru, Robert McKee, one of the last people I’d have expected to struggle with writer’s block. Somehow that alone was comforting to me.

The War of Art is divided into three sections. In the first he explores what keeps us from writing which he calls Resistance. Some of us think of it as the “little editor in our head”, that little voice that says, “Why bother? You’re not any good.” Or “You have better things to do.” Or it’s the impulse that compels us to clean out our closets before sitting down to write. Resistance is, according to Pressfield, both persistent and omnipresent. The only way to beat it is to become a Pro.

In part two, he talks about how to behave like a Pro. As our recent speaker, Bob Mayer, said , “apply the butt glue”. I know, easier said than done, but necessary nevertheless. Pressfield believes that the act of sitting down to work triggers progress:

“…one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance…”

In part three, he talks about inspiration and meditation and other tricks to help trigger your muse. I chuckled when he talked about all of the lucky charms he keeps in his work area. I don’t have any lucky objects, but I did copy the prayer to the muse he always recites before starting to work. It comes from the opening of T. E. Lawrence’s translation of Homer’s The Odyssey. I re-worded it a bit to:

“Divine Muse, goddess, daughter of Zeus, sustain for me this song of love.* Make this tale live for us in all its many dimensions, O Muse.”

* In this area you can add more specific information about your book, or if you’re not writing romance, change it to song of mystery or whatever genre you write in.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block or just looking for a little inspiration, I recommend this book to you. It helped me finish my story.

Linda Mac

Linda McLaughlin writes erotic romance for Amber Quill Press as Lyndi Lamont. Her next release will be Alliance: Cosmic Scandal, coming on June 29.

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e-maginings: Romantic Realism

May 24, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

by Linda McLaughlin

I really enjoyed listening to Bob Mayer, last month’s speaker. He had a fantastic workshop, chock full of writing tips and techniques. I appreciate the great handouts, too, since he talked faster than I can write.

One of the many things he said that struck me as interesting was that romance, barring any paranormal or suspense element, is the most realistic genre. He said it’s because romance is about real life and it has to be really well written to be believable.

Now a statement like that will have the literary types reaching for the smelling salts. Or the bottle of whiskey. Romance realistic? When 50% of marriages end in divorce? To that I’d like to point out that the other 50% of marriages are successful, at least in terms of longevity. In any human endeaver, 50-50 odds are pretty good. What are the chances of winning the lottery? According to one internet site, buying one lottery ticket means your chances of winning Mega Millions are one in 135,145,920.

What are the odds of selling a book to a major NY publishing house for a six-figure deal? I’m not sure, but they’ve got to in one in who-knows-how-many thousands territory. A lot better than winning the lottery but still not good. Compared to that, finding a compatible marriage partner seems like a slam dunk! I’ll put my money on romance any day. How about you?


PS After the meeting, I went home and bought a copy of Agnes and the Hitman, romantic suspense by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer for my Kindle. I finished it last night and recommend it. The characters are great, the story is exciting and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. It may not be not realistic, but it’s a great read.


Linda McLaughlin
writes historical and Regency romance for Amber Quill Press. As Lyndi Lamont she pens erotic romance for Amber Heat and Amber Allure, the erotic imprints of AQP. Her personal blog can be found at http://flightsafancy.blogspot.com/.

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e-maginings: Celebrating the Bard of Avon

April 24, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Today is the 392nd anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on April 23, 1616. April 23 may also be his birthday, but no one knows for sure. We do know he was christened on April 26, 1564.

In any case, the bard seemed like a good topic for today’s blog. After all, he was one of the most influential writers of all time, though not much is known about his personal life. He was very prolific and is credited with having written 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and a few other poems.

About 150 years after his death, some people began to doubt that his works were really written by a more learned man. Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, were all suggested, but as they were all dead… Scholars dismiss these doubts, though speculation continues. I guess we’ll never know.

Shakespeare has probably given us more famous quotes and common sayings than any other writer. Here are a few that should seem familiar.

“This above all: to thine own self be true”. – Hamlet (Act I, Scene III).

“All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts” – As You Like It (Act II, Scene VII).

“Can one desire too much of a good thing?”. – As You Like It (Act IV, Scene I)

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose”. – The Merchant of Venice (Act I, Scene III).

“He hath eaten me out of house and home”. – King Henry IV, Part II (Act II, Scene I).

“The better part of valour is discretion”. – King Henry IV, Part I (Act V, Scene IV).

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”. – King Henry the Sixth, Part II (Act IV, Scene II).

“But, for my own part, it was Greek to me”. – Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene II).

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” – Julius Caesar (Act II, Scene II).

“I bear a charmed life”. – Macbeth (Act V, Scene VIII).

“All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” – Macbeth (Act V, Scene I).

“I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at”. – Othello (Act I, Scene I).

“I have not slept one wink.”. – Cymbeline (Act III, Scene III).

“My salad days, when I was green in judgment.” – Antony and Cleopatra (Act I, Scene V).

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep”. – The Tempest

“The course of true love never did run smooth”. – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act I, Scene I).

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind”. – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act I, Scene I).

For more on Shakespeare’s life and words, here are some links:






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