A blog about writing, being a writer, getting inspired to write, etc. For writers, authors, would-be writers and authors. I only have 2 rules. 1, please keep everything PG rated at most, there are some younger folks who read my blog; and 2, please do not criticize what others have written. I would like this to be a safe haven for folks to explore their writing style and to gain some confidence in their story telling abilities. Nasty comments will be deleted.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
May 8th Challenge
Hi it’s Christina –
Good Morning! Chin up, it’s
only two days until the weekend.
Since Dani was up, I didn’t
even attempt to start this blog first thing this morning. Instead I poked
around on the internet. One of my friends posted this photo, with the story
behind it. Like most things posted on the internet, I was skeptical, so I
looked into it further.
It turns out, this is a
true story, but what people might not know, is the photo is almost twenty years
old. Kyrie and Brielle Jackson were born on October 17th, 1995 in
Massachusetts, which means they are most likely either seniors in high school
or freshmen in college now. It’s amazing, a photo and the story behind it,
which took place almost two decades ago, is still circulating on the internet.
Lilacs (in my front yard)
Lily of the Valley (lining my walkway)
Well, I think the wait is
finally over, Spring just may be here to stay. Yippy!!! Although my allergies
are in overdrive, I am not going to complain one bit. I was happy to see, two
of my favorite flowers, were blooming. In my mind, the combination of these two,
is what Heaven smells like. I just LOVE both of them. I only wish they didn’t
bloom at the same time of the year, that way I could thoroughly enjoy one, and
then when it was finished, be able to enjoy the other.
I have a confession to
make. I kept checking my email yesterday to see if another message came in from
the folks at Indie, but sadly, it didn’t. Now I’m wracking my brain (or is it
racking my brain – another word where you get vehement opposing views and I’m
never sure which is right) as to what Taking Chances was missing.
It’s very frustrating. How
am I supposed to learn and improve, if I can’t figure out what made A Second
Chance a winner, and Taking Chances not even get an honorable mention in the romance
category? Was there too much intrigue, action, and suspense for it to be
labeled a true “romance” in their eyes? Is there something I should or shouldn’t
do in Simply by Chance – the third in the series?
Although I am not claiming
to be at the same level as Johanna Lindsey or as Stephanie Laurens, their
Mallory and Cynster Series, respectively, are pretty much on the same lines as
my Bradford Series; historical romance novels, with a high degree of action,
adventure and mystery, with an interwoven cast of characters. Plus, like both
of their novels, there are some steamy scenes, and, of course, the predictable yet
required, happy ending.
I know, Taking Chances was
better written than A Second Chance. The characters were deeper, the conflicts
more intricate. I learned a lot from writing and then from the editing of A
Second Chance, so I was able to implement the knowledge while writing Taking
Chances. I learned even more from Taking Chances, and I tried to bring that
knowledge into the books I’ve written or am currently writing.
However, this is making me
wonder if I’m getting steered off course somehow; if my interpretation of the “knowledge”
or my implementation of the “knowledge” has gone awry. I’m NOT saying I should
have won, and if Taking Chances had become a finalist in the ROMANCE category,
I would not even be questioning any of this right now.
Obviously the book has
appeal, since it was a finalist in a category which encompasses multi genres,
and I am THRILLED about that, but I’m still left scratching my head, and second
Many of you out there have
read both A Second Chance and Taking Chances. Can you give me some feedback or
insight? I DO NOT WANT A PAT ON THE BACK HERE. I want some honest, constructive,
warts and all, feedback. My goal is to give readers what they want, and if I’m
not doing that, I need to fix it, and fix it fast, or I might as well hang up
my pen (keyboard).
Oh well, enough wallowing.
I’m working again today, so I have to start getting ready. I hope you have a great
day, and happy writing!
Your Last Challenge was:
Share a brief
microhistory on any subject you know about, because you could hardly do
research in the ten minute allotted time. Make it as interesting as possible so
it does not read like an instruction manual.
writing historical romance novels, you have to do a lot of research. In the
course of that research, you come across many interesting facts, facts which
never make it into your novels, but are interesting non-the-less. When I was writing
Taking Chances, I had to do research on the Napoleonic War, French and Spanish
ships, the Battle of Trafalgar, and Lord Nelson. Let me tell you, I could
probably write a doctoral thesis on the subject at this point.
of the interesting facts which never made it into my book was what had happened
to Lord Nelson, after he was killed, during the Battle of Trafalgar. Remember,
this battle occurred in the early 1800s. The voyage from Cadiz back to England
took quite a bit of time, and the crew couldn’t give Lord Nelson a burial at
sea as they would have any other fallen sailor, so they needed to figure out a
way to preserve his body until it could be returned to England. Their solution,
they placed his body in a barrel and used the salt they used to preserve meat
during a voyage, to keep him “fresh”. In essence, they pickled him.
for sure, but that’s not even the worst part. Supposedly, when his body was
returned, it laid in state for three days, as was customary for dignitaries at
that time. Okay, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure if I would want to
view a body which has been dead for three weeks and pickled. EEEEwwwww!
Your Next Challenge is:
FIRST person experience from the viewpoint of a dollar bill.
You have ten minutes (be
honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t
count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.