Six Sentence Sunday

Once again it’s Six Sentence Sunday. Here it’s cool and overcast, the perfect day for sampling a variety of tasty fictional snippets.

In this snippet Chase, my hero, is enjoying a quiet moment of introspection.

He hated tranquil and quiet. He preferred noise and movement. Life after nine in the evening. Anonymity.

And more than one degree of separation between him and his high school sweetheart, for fuck sake.

Then again,maybe not so much enjoying as twisting the proverbial knife in the wound.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out my contribution. As always, I love hearing from all of you. Have a great Six Sentence Sunday!

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If Life Were Like That…

If life were like that…I’d have a green thumb. Like my Mom or my Dad for that matter. Or my Brother. My father-in-Law, or countless other relatives. But I don’t. That doesn’t stop me from loving flowers and other green things. With spring here, hopefully to stay, my mind wanders to what I’ll plant in pots and flowerbeds. My lack of a colored thumb necessitates keeping things simple. I have my favorites: petunias, pansies, and impatients. Hardy little souls, they provide lots of color.

I love visiting the greenhouses and wandering colorful aisle after colorful aisle. The colors! Begonias and tons of others I don’t know the names of. Geraniums, that always make me think of Anne of Green Gables and her little plant she named Bonny.

“What is the name of that geranium on the window-sill, please?”

“That’s the apple-scented geranium.”

“Oh, I don’t mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it yourself. Didn’t you give it a name? May I give it one then? May I call it–let me see–Bonny would do–may I call it Bonny while I’m here? Oh, do let me!”

“Goodness, I don’t care. But where on earth is the sense of naming a geranium?”

“Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people. How do you know but that it hurts a geranium’s feelings just to be called a geranium and nothing else? You wouldn’t like to be called nothing but a woman all the time. Yes, I shall call it Bonny. I named that cherry-tree outside my bedroom window this morning. I called it Snow Queen because it was so white. Of course, it won’t always be in blossom, but one can imagine that it is, can’t one?”  from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

As spring blooms around us, does your thumb turn green while your mind starts planning various groups of plantings? What are you favorite sort of flowers?

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Social Media: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

How did it get to be Thursday already? I don’t know, either. I do know it’s time to take our Travelling Blog Show on the road to Janet Corcoran‘s blog. This week’s topic? Social Media: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. There’s a lot of different ‘conversations’ going on out there in cyberspace and a lot of places to have them. This one is happening on Janet’s blog. So come join Janet Corcoran, Hayley Lavik, Jana RichardsJoanne Brothwell and myself as we discuss the pros and cons of social media. We love to hear your opinions so drop by and leave your two cents.

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Imagine That

Imagery takes a person, place, or thing and puts them in context for the reader. It aids us in getting to know an unfamiliar character by giving us, the reader, the sense of walking around in someone else’s shoes.  Not only through sight and sound, but what she tastes, touches, and smells. By using the senses you can create a clear and specific image, a certain tone or mood. It’s in the use of strong verbs and specific nouns and enhancing the right, not every, detail.

When I think of imagery, I think of this passage. I can picture that mass herd of caribou as a living entity as it swarms and moves over the land. I can feel the tiredness of the couple as they try to keep up day after day. It speaks to me and it paints that picture we writers strive to create for our readers.

 “And they came in waves. Streams of animals pouring like some liquid over the hilltops, expanding, contracting, spreading across ridge crests and passes. We followed for as long as we could each day, were overtaken when we camped for the night, and dragged our leaden limbs out of frosted sleeping bags in the mornings, to start a day of trying to keep up, all over again.” -Karsten Heuer from first weeks “Being Caribou”

So, I’m reminded that as I revise it’s not simply a tree but a specific kind of tree. Perhaps it’s a ripped Grateful Dead t-shirt instead of a shirt. It’s the corner of East Hastings Street and Gore Avenue not down the street. It may be a gun, but it’s also a specific make and model. That guy is not simply homeless. He’s called Chain Man for the ropes of chains looped around his neck. It’s his job to carry those chains, day in and day out, on the streets of Eastside Vancouver. Rain or shine, like a mail carrier with his bag of mail.

Be the image ugly or beautiful, the trick is to have it appear natural and in character. Not simply a niffy sounding descriptor, but true to my voice and style as a writer. There is no need to bedazzle the reader with my genius and clever hand with literary devices. They are useful only in their ability to help enhance the reality of the situation. Kind of like how we use salt and pepper to season a plate of food. We don’t need to pour them over every morsel. We taste first and see where it can be used to improve the favor using a delicate shake or one twist of the grinder.

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding–

Riding–riding–

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door

 Do you have a favorite author with a talent for imagery? A movie you’re willing to watch over and over again for the scenery? (Mine’s Pride and Prejudice) What’s your best loves literary device?

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Six Sentence Sunday

It’s Six Sentence Sunday. Where writers share a mere six sentences from their works. It’s like passing around a book of chocolates. Only you don’t have to stop at just one. Tour around and read as many six sentence offerings as you want without feeling guilty.

I’m sharing snippets from my debut romantic suspense novel, Backlash, which will be available as of June 1st.

My Heroine, Lily, and my hero, Chase, are having a…discussion.

For once, she didn’t want to do the right thing. The sensible thing. The good girl thing.

“As for Tessier…I’m going to feast on every second of payback that bastard has coming for putting his hands on you.”

Rebel thoughts whispered through her mind, like a breeze swirling up the fallen autumn leaves.

Want it.

Go here to see the list of other links with snippets for you to enjoy!

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If Life Were Like That…

If life were like that…I’d be reading instead of cleaning. A cleaning service would come in every week to shovel out Camp Good and help keep it sparkly clean. Not in twenty-two years of marriage, eighteen of those being a mother, have I figured out how it can get so damn disorganized around here  in a space of hours. Suffice it to say we like the ‘lived-in’ look.

Now I’ve heard it said that some people enjoy cleaning, I’ve even met a few who’ve confessed to such disturbing traits. Nightmarish stories of getting up before the sun rises to vacuum, excitement over certain brands of cleaning products. I’m not sure I believe them. But if it’s true, I want to know what they put in their morning tea that causes this strange desires. Or maybe I’m missing a gene.

Interesting fact: One writer Ava Gardner did know quite well was Ernest Hemingway, with whom she was good friends. She starred in three movies based on his writing – The Sun Also RisesThe Snows of Kilimanjaro andThe Killers.

If life were like that what would you be doing right now?

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Carnivalesque: Creepy Occurances

It’s Thursday and we’re taking our Travelling Blog Show on the road to Joanne Brothwell‘s blog. This week’s topic? What is the creepiest thing that ever happened to you that you couldn’t explain? I kid you not, that’s what we’re dishing on this week. Come join Janet Corcoran, Hayley Lavik, Jana Richards, Joanne Brothwell and myself as we confess to the creepy. We love to hear your about your experiences and hear your opinions!

 

 

 

Appearances

This Saturday, April 21st, at 1:30 pm I’m at Chapters (in my home city of Regina, SK) reading from my writing group’s anthology: Love, Loss and Other Oddities: Tales from Saskatchewan. I’ll be sharing my time with four other lovely Saskatchewan authors: Annette Bower, Jana Richards, Anita Mae Draper, and Jessica Eissfeldt. Join us for an afternoon of reading.

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, April 26th, at 7:00 pm I’ll be at the Regina Beach Library reading from my upcoming release, Backlash. I’ll be joining Annette Bower as she reads from her new release: Moving On: A Prairie Romance. 

What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves…

 

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Why They Can’t Be Together

 

Internal conflict and Character Growth

We all know falling in love involves drama. I don’t think there’s been a romance in all of history that did not involve some kind of conflict. There is no romance without it. In the romance genre it’s about how the characters overcome conflict to end up together. The real life relationship of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson come to mind. Though their relationship was mired in controversy they certainly encountered some pretty large obstacles. The fictional couples of Jamie and Claire and Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Abdication, time travel, and social standing make great conflict. Dealing with these issues makes for lots of internal angst.

All but the most minor of characters need goals, motivation and conflict. Goal is the future. Motivation is the past. Conflict is the present. It’s what characters want, why they want it and why they can’t have it. It’s the backbone of the romance novel. Creating it takes skill, planning and careful thought.

Conflict (Why They Can’t Have It)

Conflict, of course, should exist on two levels: external and internal. I’m going to stick to internal conflict because as always I’m working through revisions and trying to amp up the emotional stakes. The tricky part is creating an emotional (internal) conflict strong enough to carry an entire book. For readers of the romance genre, emotional conflict is the point. It’s why we pick up a book. It needs to be strong and not easily overcome. We want to see them suffer first.

Conflict is the clash between wants and needs. Ask yourself: What stops a character from doing what he/she must versus what he/she wants? Another important question to ask is this: Why is loving this person the worst thing this character can do at this moment? Your hero and heroine want to be together but there are obstacles in their way. These obstacles need to be HUGE. They need to evoke fear and dread. They must expose vulnerability and escalate emotional risk. They must repudiate strongly held beliefs. Conflict is the reason the hero cannot have what he wants. Conflict or obstacles force an emotional confrontation and lead to achieving goals.

Things to think about when upping the emotional conflict:

Choosing both positive and negative beliefs and values. A strict code of honor. You know, something along the lines of “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Deciding which of these beliefs or values will undergo a change in order for the character to grow and commit to a long standing relationship.

An honest-to-God inner torment that is so close to second nature it’s next to impossible to expunge.

Having to act against those long standing values. Forced to run instead of staying to fight.

Picking a weakness. Deciding what makes the character vulnerable and rubbing their faces in it.

We shy away from huge drama in our own lives, at least I do, but we do want to see in books, in the movies, and on TV. What fictional struggles appeal to you? Reunion stories, revenge stories, fairy tales, myths and legends? What famous romance in history is your favorite?

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Backlash Interview Today

My very first interview! I’m at Joanne Brothwell’s blog today answering questions and sharing an excerpt from Backlash, my romantic suspense novel that release on June 1st. Please stop by and say hi. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Six Sentence Sunday

It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for Six Sentence Sunday. Different authors offering up little snapshots of their work. It’s a lot of fun, I hope you check out as many as you can.

These six sentences come from Backlash, my romantic suspense releasing on June 1st. In this scene my hero, Constable Chase Porter, has received a visitor, his mentor from childhood, Stan Knight.

Stan tipped his head, and Chase got that bug under glass feeling. “You’d probably find you had a lot in common.”

“So everyone keeps saying.” But he wasn’t looking to trade war stories with a thirteen-year-old. He didn’t want to acknowledge a connection of any kind. He didn’t want to feel anything.

That’s it. Six little sentences to tempt and tease. Remember to check out the other offering here.

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