Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Sufferin’ Succotash! Writing about pets with the Crazy Cat Lady

Waaaaaay back when, when I first decided to become a *cough* writer, I KNEW my stories would have pets in them. Cats, dogs, frogs – an iguana. Didn’t matter, there would HAVE to be some kind of pet in the story.

Possibly it’s because I’ve lived my entire life with pets. Either my own, my parents or someone in my family has always had a pet even if I didn’t have one at the time. I can’t possibly imagine someone in one of my stories not having one as well.

There’s a variety of challenging problems that come with writing a romance while the hero and/or heroine has a pet.

1. They can’t go on exotic vacations – without finding a pet sitter.
2. They must have quality time with their pet – without the pet taking over the story.
3. They must share their innermost feelings with their pet – without looking psycho.
4. They have to show their concern and care for their pet – without actually having to change the kitty litter box or clean up vomit. (NOT good to write into a romance!)
5. They have to show they can understand their pet – the lifted brow, the sharp bark, the paw on the leg. A bit like when Lassie gave a bark and everyone knew immediately Timmy had fallen in the well. Again.

On the other hand, pets can be used to ratchet up tension, especially if the pet hates the hero/heroine. Or if they become ill. Or pet-napped. In one of my little short stories, the dog leaps in front of a car to save the little girl, and ends up with a broken leg. It honestly makes me tear up right here just typing this! But of course, the dog is fine, a lady veterinarian just happens to be RIGHT THERE, and she’s beautiful, and he’s handsome and…well, you can just see the HEA can’t you?

My first stories featured cats. Of course. =) Each of my cats will feature in a story at some point. However, my latest also features a bulldog. With a lisp. =) I haven’t actually written one with an iguana as of yet, but when I come up with an appropriate plot, nothing will stop me I guarantee you! I have a YA that features a yak. There will also be horses, possibly an enormous goldfish, possums and . . . well, the list goes on.

Do YOU use pets in your stories? If so, what are some of the challenges you’ve run across writing them in?

Maybe a story with a ring-tailed lemur . . .

*plotting*

…..=)

CCL

Stolen Kisses – A Chapter for the New Voices Contest

Some of you, and I admit you have good reason, think I’m possibly a little crazy. Cuckoo. Looney Tunes.

This would be true.

Some of you remember last year, I entered the Mills and Boon New Voices contest. And actually ended up in the top four.

Few of you, however, know about the stress of checking the roses every day to see if your score is getting better. Or checking the comments to see if someone has left something good – or potentially damaging.

Just as well, cuz it wasn’t pretty.

I took days off from work to write. I harassed people into voting for me. I walked around in a daze, trying to make my characters/plot/pivotal moment as strong as they could be, then tried to transfer that to paper.

I stressed. I gained 10 pounds.

But, in the end, I finished in the final four, talked to a couple editors and currently have 3 chapters and a synopsis in to an editor at Mills and Boon.

And I got my picture in the paper. =)

But the crazy part is? I did it again.

Entered the same contest, with the same roses. Different story, but ….yeah, someone call for the guys in white coats with strait jackets!

So if you’re bored, go to http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/Entries/344-Stolen-Kisses/Chapter-One to read a chapter of Stolen Kisses. If you’re super bored, register and click those roses.

This year, I’m taking it all in stride. Calm, cool and collected. That’s me.

Um…excuse me? Didn’t I just tell you to go click roses? Why are you still sitting here? Go on. Scram!

Sheesh.

=)

carrie

Best Ever Hunky Dory Peachy Keen Links

Some of the coolest stuff/best advice/neat-o-rama stuff I’ve seen lately.

7 tips for writing better sex scenes

Amazing Steampunk Jewelry

9 ways for writers to use Twitter

Animated Knot Tying for your iPhone =)

The Hero’s Jouney into Kung Fu Panda

A 90″ long stuffed bear

8 Steps to More Concise Writing

Power Nap Chair

LOL Cats – Hey Don, where’s the darts?

The Leaning Tower of Craft Books

I am a writing craft book ho.

I have absolutely NO control when I go to Amazon and they point me to “recommendations JUST FOR YOU”….and I think hey, they’re pretty good at this! Look, a new Nora Roberts! (purchase) And a new SEP! (purchase) and HOLY SMOKES SOMEONE CAME OUT WITH A NEW CRAFT BOOK!

PURCHASE!!!

ka-ching.

I have craft books I’ve never read. Craft books I’ve read the first chapter. Craft books I own because someone (even someone other than Amazon) told me I should.

I own Kindle craft books even when I don’t own a Kindle. I subscribe to magazines to teach me the latest in writing craft. I own Steven King, Donald Maass, James Scott Bell. I own scenes, structures, story telling, script writing and time management. I own tarot cards, plotting cards and calendars. My house is covered in stacks of books, Rubbermaid containers of books and even–believe it or not–bookshelves full of books.

I’m driving my husband crazy.

=)

Have I learned things? Sure. Could I learn more if I actually read the book rather than just coveted the ownership of it? You bet.

For me, I have to learn hands on, from classes and from reading. Even reading other authors teaches me great things. SEP and her dialogue. Nora and her characterizations. I learn from every source available to me.

I’ve heard over and over again that the key to being a better writer is to write. And by golly, I write. But I also know if I hadn’t taken Lori Wilde’s class on Romance Writing, I never would have known about how to show (and in which order) action/reaction. If I hadn’t taken Laurie Schnebly’s class on plotting, I never would have had that aha moment of NOW I GET IT!

And that’s why I read the books. Or at least pet them occasionally. Because in each one of these gems is something that I’m going to take away that I didn’t know before. And each little one builds me to being a better writer.

A broker writer, but a better one.

Oh look! Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay! I don’t own that one yet!!!

ka-ching.

=)

carrie

Multifaceted

Many of you know how talented I am. Mostly because I keep telling you so. I figure repetition will make the heart grow fonder yes?

Yes. Say it with me now. Yesssss….

Excellent.

Now you’re probably already rolling your eyes, but bear with me a bit. As most of you know who’ve read this blog occasionally know, I write. I may not do it as often as I’d like, or as well, but I’m learning. You might have also stumbled across my bartending hints with some of the lovely drinks I mix up now and again. And some of you have further had experience with my ability to conquer all things HTML and WordPress.

BUT

Did you also know I make jewelry? Yup, that’s what makes me multi-faceted.

When I was a kid, I was the one mom sent to every craft class. I made every girl scout project from petrified cattails to sand candles. I learned to tole paint and macrame. I worked in a craft store once and macramed a dozen door banners that spelled out NOEL. Yikes.

Then one day, I decided to make jewelry. Why? Because my friend made me a bracelet. And I said as soon as I put it on – “I can do that.” She gave me a startled look and I said “Oh, I meant thank you.”

I’m multi-faceted, but I’m lacking in social graces.

My first necklace exploded in a million pieces. As did my second, third and fourth. Five held together however. And I was hooked. I have since made over 500 pieces of jewelry, held three or four craft shows and gave tons away for gifts. I sell online (okay, not much because I don’t get a chance to promote it the way I should) and in a few stores locally. People buy my jewelry off my body while I’m at work. I get custom orders while standing in line at Wal-Mart.

Am I bragging? A little. =) But mostly, I’m sharing my relaxation with you. For me creating of any sort, whether it’s writing or jewelry or even, for the love of God, macrame relaxes me. It lets the brain go, the imagination flow. Sometimes I even surprise myself with what comes out in both my writing and in my jewelry.

So occasionally, if you’ll bear with me, you’ll see bits about me, my cats, my writing, my happy bar drinks and my jewelry.

Now let’s hope I don’t take up raising alpacas.

=)

below were my experiments with glitter (which the cats are still wearing) and resin (which I’m still wearing) as well as my octopus necklace. Every girl needs an octopus necklace right? right.

carrie

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