Victoria Distracts Writer

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This is my friend Darlene Jones. We are both writers. When I visited her in Victoria, we had a lovely time, but she tells me she has a problem. She can’t knuckle down to work. Here’s why, and she tells it in her own words:

Victoria, BC is a very dangerous city. We moved here a year ago and it’s a wonder I get any writing done. The view of The Gorge from our living room and the mild weather lure me outside. The beautiful historic buildings in a downtown that’s always bustling with tourists and entertainment and food trucks—impossible to resist and we can get there by water taxi. Is there a better way to travel for a leisurely Saturday lunch and afternoon of fun?

Then there’s the list of attractions demanding to be explored: Craigdarroch Castle, Point Ellice House, Fort Rodd, Ross Bay Villa, Fisherman’s Wharf (with the lovely houseboats and an assortment of restaurants and seals to feed), Chinatown (the second largest in North America)  …

point ellice house.

And the list of natural sights to be enjoyed: Beacon Hill Park, Ogden Point (where the cruise ships dock), Mount Tolmie offering a panoramic view of the city, Dallas Road following the ocean shore, the Butchart Gardens ….

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And the list of restaurants enticing us with their varied menus: Glo, Milestones, Green Leaf Vietnamese Bistro, La Taquisa ….

How to fit all of that in and still find time to write and market my books? Somehow I manage, and a new book will soon be ready for publication.

Meanwhile, the first novel of my Em and Yves Series, EMBATTLED, is available free. And, the second can be yours free too when you subscribe to my newsletter. For more information go to:

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www.emandyves.com

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Work in Progress

Renee

Renee Rivers

Renee Rivers has tagged me to participate in a “Work in Progress” blog tour. Renee is almost finished writing a book that I can’t wait to read. Find out about it by clicking her link here: unpacked writer.com

The “Work in Progress” blog tour rules:

Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.

Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress. Some writers give more than the first sentences, and I like that idea, too.

Nominate some other writers to do the same.

My nominations are:

Patricia Sands at http://patriciasandsauthor.com/

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Patricia Sands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else.  An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France, for her annual visit.

As of January, 2015, along with being a proud indie author, Patricia is also delighted to be under contract with Lake Union Publishing for her Love In Provence series. This is the women’s fiction arm of Amazon Publishing.

With a focus on travel, women’s issues and ageing, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship. Encouraging women of all ages to stare down the fear factor and embrace change, Patricia has heard from readers (men too!) ages 20 to 83.

Her award-winning debut novel The Bridge Club was published in 2010 and the audiobook, read by Patricia, will be ready by December 2014.

*****

Darlene Jones at https://emandyves.wordpress.com

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Darlene Jones

Darlene says:

A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.
I’ve always believed we can’t be the only beings existing in the vastness of the universe. There must be others “out there somewhere” and I brought some of them along for the ride.The setting stays, for the most part, within the realities of our world, but I’ve found that I love the magic the sci-fi element of other beings can bring to the story.

*****

I was thrilled that these accomplished writers have agreed to take part in this work-in-progress blog tour. Please stop by their sites and get to know them and their work.

*****

Anneli[7]

Anneli Purchase

And then there’s me. I live on Vancouver Island, where I write and work as a freelance copy-editor. I have always loved animals and the outdoors, so much of my writing reflects that. I have three novels published and am working on my fourth.

My “work in progress” is just that — in progress. I have finished the first draft but still have a lot of work to do before it’s ready for publishing. In a way, it feels wrong even to “publish” anything about it on my blog, but as long as you understand that there are still big changes underway, I don’t mind sharing some of my first efforts.

The story is a sequel to The Wind Weeps. It is meant to continue that novel and resolve some issues that were purposely left unfinished.

My main character, Andrea, is no longer as naive as she was, and is making better decisions in the sequel. She is still trying to avoid being found by the husband she ran away from. It is difficult to tell much about the sequel without spoiling the first book, so suffice it to say that the sequel continues where the first book stopped, and resolves the situations that developed in both novels.

Here are short samples of “not polished” beginnings of the first three chapters of my WIP.

Chapter 1

Setting – St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver.

“Nurse!” I screamed. “Nurse, come back!”

Robert’s smile vanished. He advanced and tossed the three orchids onto the foot of my bed.

I twisted around grasping for the call button. “Get away from me!” I hit the button frantically.

Robert lunged for the cord. “No, Andrea. Don’t!” He ripped the cord away from me. I pulled my fist back to punch him, but he was quick and caught my wrist in an iron grip. His eyes narrowed into slits.

Chapter 2

Setting – St. Paul’s Hospital

The next day I woke up feeling groggy, struggling to make my brain work, struggling to remember where I was and why I was in bed with sunlight streaming in through the window. Why wasn’t I up and … doing what? Where was I anyway? Flashes of memory formed in my scrambled mind—hospital. Why was I here anyway? I was running away…. Robert—Robert! I lifted my head off the pillow with a cry.

My eyes quickly took inventory of the room. Oh my God! There he was! Behind the curtain, I could see his legs sprawling out from a chair in the corner near the foot of my bed. He must have heard me. He was getting up. I opened my mouth to call for the nurse again when I heard him say, “Sh-sh-sh, Andrea. It’s okay. You’re safe.”

Chapter 3

Setting – In the parking lot outside the hospital

I must have dozed off for a few minutes. Stupid to fall asleep. I might have missed them. I’d give it five more minutes and if they didn’t show I’d go back in and look around.

Hah! There they were, him all huddled over her in case she fell. What a namby-pamby. He looked stupider than usual without his glasses. I took care of those all right. Bloody four-eyed freak. Can’t figure what she sees in him. Ah, piss on it. What did I care? Let him look after her until her leg got better. She wasn’t much use to me until she had two working legs anyway. I could always grab her in a few weeks when she was stronger and could do a good day’s work around the place. Building a cabin was going to be a bit of a grunt and she could damn well help me. After all, it was her fault the cabin burned down. She shouldn’t have made me so mad. And anyway, she was my wife.

*****

While I’m working on the sequel, you may want to read the first book. Click on the link to order The Wind Weeps.

The Wind Weeps

To find out more about The Wind Weeps, click on:  amazon.com

Hooked? – 5

Here are three more books and their opening lines.

Assuming the book is in a genre that might interest you, do you want to continue reading after the first lines? The authors hope so. What do you think? Are you interested enough to turn the page? These books probably target women more than men, but we appreciate all opinions.

1. Wedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg

I used to think the term “temporary insanity” was just a dubious courtroom plea. I found out the hard way that I was wrong.

Wedlocked_Book_Cover

Amazon

2. Orion’s Gift by Anneli Purchase

They say ignorance is bliss. I can vouch for that. My life was humming along just fine until I received that letter. Afterwards, nothing was the same.

Orion's Gift

 amazon.com

 3. Embraced by Darlene Jones

Abby propped the microphone above the bowl of Rice Krispies, turned the recorder on, and poured milk over the cereal.

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Amazon

Hooked? – 3

Here are three more books and their opening lines.

Assuming the book is in a genre that might interest you, do you want to continue reading after the first lines? The authors hope so. What do you think? Are you interested enough to turn the page?

1. Embattled by Darlene Jones

She turned her hands over and over. No sign of a wound. No pain. So, where had the blood come from?

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Website: www.emandyves.com 

Amazon: http://ow.ly/HZ6am

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2. The Mount Hope Explorers Club in Madagascar by Pooben Narayanen (Youth Fiction)

Madagascar!” Omkara, better known as Om, said as the Air Mauritius A319 touched down on the runway. He bumped fists with Ételle, his cousin, and Aditya, his best friend.

“The Mount Hope Explorers Club is in Madagascar,” Dr. Gail said. “Excited?”

“Yes!” Ételle said.

“I can’t believe we’re here!” Aditya stared outside.

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amazon.com

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3. A Shadow in the Past by Melanie Robertson-King

Sarah lay on her bed, a pillow bunched up under her chest. In her hands, she gripped a photo of Blair and herself taken in front of the Mercat Cross in Aberdeen the previous summer. A mascara-stained tear dripped off her cheek and splattered on the picture.

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Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk 

 

Writing Groups

My guest today is Darlene Jones, author of five “must read” books. Darlene is an excellent critic and editor for those who need advice in the structure of their novels. Please feel free to contact her through her web page which is listed at the bottom of the page.

For the writers out there who don’t belong to a writing group, Darlene has offered to share her thoughts to help you decide whether you should join one. Each group is slightly different with its own strengths and weaknesses, but after reading this, you may have a better idea of what to look for in a writing group.

Here is Darlene.Darlene - beach [1][2]

Why join a writing group?

Chances are, if you’re a newcomer to writing, you won’t be admitted to a group of experienced writers. They are looking for colleagues who are equally experienced and talented to help them hone their writing skills.

Your only option then, is to join a group of fellow beginners. They may know a little more than you. Then again they may not. So what’s the benefit?

I joined one such group early in my writing career. We were all eager to write that blockbuster novel. With initial guidance from the leader of another group that had been operating for some time, we set the parameters of our monthly meetings.

  • Each member would read two to three pages of their work in progress. The others would take notes and then, one at a time, make their comments. Once they had spoken, they were to remain silent.
  • The one who read was also held to a vow of silence. They were not expected to comment or try to defend what they had written. They were to take note of the comments and accept or reject as they chose. The final decision on their writing was theirs alone.

How could a bunch of amateurs be of any help in the above described scenario? Amazingly we all learned a tremendous amount. After all, we were avid lifelong readers. We knew what we liked, what flowed smoothly, what jarred. A couple of members were conversant with proper grammar and punctuation and willingly helped with that aspect of our writing. A bonus with this particular group was that every member genuinely wanted to help the others and that desire shone through as honest comments were made with no malice.

With the second group I joined, each member emailed their piece of writing ahead of time so that we could print it out, read it, and make notes. At the meeting the author read his or her piece before we critiqued. Listening often afforded a new perspective on the piece and we added more notes. Then we each commented verbally and passed our copies to the author.

The method worked well, but this group wasn’t quite so pleasant. Some members asked pertinent and insightful questions and offered constructive criticism. A couple of members were spiteful, making harsh comments. One, who was far from being a professional writer, told me I wasn’t learning. That was my last evening with that group.

I’ve moved on to work with a writing partner, but would happily join another critiquing group. Why? A group forces you to write to have something ready for the meeting, and to polish what you have written to present your best possible work. A group offers insights that you don’t see yourself as you are too close to the work.

And, most importantly, a group offers encouragement and camaraderie in this quest for the blockbuster that will hopefully come one day.

*****

 If you want a treat, check out these books by Darlene Jones:

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Find out more about Darlene at http://www.emandyves.com

Why not tell us about your experiences with a writing group. Was it a good thing? Tell us how? Does your group do anything special you’d like to share? Please leave a comment and tell us.

 

Inspiration

Guest post by Darlene Jones.Goils 201

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas A. Edison

Edison may very well have been right, but what good is the ninety-nine percent perspiration without the inspiration?

Where do our stories come from? Daydreams, life experiences, the people we meet, nightmares, what we hear, see, read, and imagine? The answer, for me, is all of the above. Every author will have a response unique to their life experience and their interests.

We listen to the news, read the paper, and build in current events. We laugh with friends and build in camaraderie for our characters. We yearn for love and romance and give it to our hero and heroine. The adventures we longed for belong now to our players. The lives we’ve led, or wish we’d led are, in part, imbued in our characters and plot lines.

But there is another aspect to inspiration that is often unforeseen. As we write, our stories take on a life of their own. Characters develop and lead us in directions we hadn’t anticipated or planned. A minor character creeps in and takes over. We try to contain him, but he has a mind of his own and insists on playing his part.

The hero’s friend becomes our friend. The heroine’s fight becomes our fight. As we edit and polish and rework our novel, we worry about our characters, love them, perhaps hate them, and can’t leave them behind. They become as much a part of our lives as the people around us. They are our inspiration.

Books by Darlene Jones:

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My apologies for the intrusion on my blog by advertising that is out of my control. Do not click on the underlined words (books, friends, and edit), as they have been given hyperlinks AFTER I posted this. However, the amazon links are ones that I have put on and will lead you to Darlene Jones’s books.

 

Mali

 

Find them on amazon.com and smashwords.com

Humour in Writing – Darlene Jones

Humour can be different things to different people. It can be anything from a belly laugh and the giggles to a chuckle or a smile. As long as it makes us happy to some degree, humour is doing its job. Author Darlene Jones will share an excerpt from her novel “Empowered” to give us an example of humour in a book that is not meant to be a comedy.

Darlene Jones

Excerpt from “EMPOWERED”

Victor grabbed Jasmine’s arm and dragged her to his office. “Don’t you guys all have something to do?” he said over his shoulder, but none of the men moved. He saw Jasmine look back at them and wink.

“You tell her, Vic,” one of the guys hollered just as he slammed the door.

“Woman, what were you thinking when you came here? It’s not safe and you stand out like a sore thumb.” Victor glared at her. “Please, tell me you’re not that dumb.”

“Belize, I think.”

“What?”

“Belize for our honeymoon.”

“Honeymoon!” He heard the guys hooting on the other side of the door and imagined a whole lot of high-fives taking place out there.

“Yes, good snorkeling. We’ll have to have a society wedding of course. But we can keep it small and limit the photographers.”

“You’re totally nuts.” Victor shook his head in disbelief.

“We’ll make beautiful babies,” she cooed smiling up at him.

“Babies?  Babies!” Victor screeched. “Get this straight. We. Are. Not. Getting. Married. We. Are. Not. Making. Babies.” What did it take to make her understand?

“We are,” she said in a matter of fact way that enraged him even more. “We have to.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Victor, I love you. I can feel you in every atom of my body. My bones feel like jelly when I’m with you. Can’t you—?”

“You don’t even know me,” he yelled as he yanked the door open. The guys scrambled out of the way. With one hand on Jasmine’s arm and the other on the small of her back, he propelled her out the door to the waiting men. Jasmine stopped abruptly and Victor’s forward momentum caused him to press against her. He jerked back as if scalded. Jasmine turned to the audience in the doorway and mouthed, “I’ll be back.” Five thumbs turned up.

“No, you won’t!” Vic deposited her with her bodyguards and stomped back to his office. “Jesus H. Christ! Miss Jasmine Wade Berdin you are one hundred percent certifiably insane,” he said to no one in particular as he sagged heavily into his chair. His bones felt like jelly.

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www.emandyves.com