Prizes! Prizes! Prizes! RT Convention Update

Greetings!!

Well, my desktop computer crapped out on me before I left on the trip, so I didn't get to post the images of the prizes I gave away at the Romantic Times (RT) Book Lover's Convention. Fear not, however, I took some pictures while I was in Florida and I'm posting them on my web site, so be sure to go there and check it out. (They're too big to post in the blog)

In my last post prior to the convention, I said there was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize. Well, it didn't turn out that way. I gave one item away each day over three days. By the way, congratulations to our winners!! Following the items I gave away will be the names of the winners: Continue reading

Sex, Scandal and Mayhem at the RT Book Convention!!

Aye, my third day at the Romantic Times Book Lover's Convention, the sex, scandal and mayhem began! I met a very famous and well-loved author (she-who-shall-not-be-named) during my initial RT Virgin orientation and volunteered to help her with moving some of her promotional materials. As we walked down the halls of the convention center, she insisted on stopping by and hugging another well-known author (another she-who-shall-not-be-named), who…with MUCH excitement and enthusiasm…hugged my new-friend-famous author…and promptly began humping her leg with an expression of ecstasy on her face. Continue reading

Blogging Guest Speakers at LARA RWA Meeting

Blog! Blog! Blog!! That's the craze today and I'm, obviously, guilty of jumping on that bandwagon. I'd heard over and over again about how it could do wonders for my writing career, but wasn't exactly sure about how to generate the traffic and hype I wanted. “Ask and ye shall receive!”
 
On Sunday, I went to the Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) RWA chapter meeting and had the privelege of meeting three wonderful ladies who shared their experiences and insight on blogging. What an inspiration! They gave a lot of encouraging tips, suggestions and examples of blogs. I will share a few here, but I would encourage you to visit their blogs for more examples. I will also share some resources for those of you who haven't yet begun blogging and would like to know where to go.
 
The Speakers (listed alphabetically)
Jina Bacarr – Unfortunately, Jina wasn't able to attend the meeting and we were sad not to see her there, but I heard she was working on a deadline, so that means she's doing what her fans love…writing! Jina is also known as the Spicy Contessa and she writes erotica. You can visit her blog at http://spicycontessa.wordpress.com
 
HelenKay Dimon – An ex-divorce lawyer, she is now writing stories with happy endings! She was there to share her experiences with blogging, how she got into it and gave wonderful suggestions on how to market yourself as a writer. She blogs on her own site at www.helenkaydimon.com AND on a group blog, www.accessromance.com/blog. Some helpful tips HelenKay provided were…
  • Make comments on other blogs, lending your opinion and insight and don't forget to link back to your blog in your comments. That will help drive traffic back to you.
  • Blog about other blogs and provide links to their blogs – cross promotion for bullet #1 & #2 is very effective for driving traffic back and forth.
  • Write your own book reviews about your favorite books and link to those author's web sites and/or blogs. Don't forget to tell the author you wrote a review. You have a chance they may link back to your blog – VERY good if it's a popular author!
  • If you have published books, provide small pictures of your books on your blog or web site…people are drawn to pictures!

Fronnie Lewis (also writing as F. Leegh Lewis) – Fronnie has a background in news and is the creator/coordinator/moderator of Cheers for Writers, a series of author interview and book signing events. You can visit her blog at www.fleeghlewis.com and www.awritersgroove.com. Some of her helpful tips were…

  • Blog on current events! People love to comment about what's going on in the world today. Write your opinion on a topic and then ask your readers what they think.
  • Read blogs for agents, editors and publishers! Not only do you find out tips and tricks on writing, they will frequently tell you exactly what they're looking for, what they love and what they hate about getting submissions. This is a great place to do your homework on those agents and publishers you're submitting your work to.

Charlene Sands – This is our Country & Western gal! She not only shared her personal experiences with blogging and how she got into it, but was also the person to speak on group blogging. You can read her blogs at her web site www.charlenesands.com and on the group blog www.petticoatsandpistols.com. Some of her helpful tips were…

  • Link Link Link! Most blogs will allow you to link to other of your favorite blogs. This is more of that cross promotion mentioned by all speakers. AND link to your own web site (if you have one) or where your readers can buy your book(s) if they're available.
  • You don't have to blog about your books or make it all about your writing. But, you can blog about topics that tie into what you're writing. So it's an indirect way of referring to your stories.
  • Write topics that provoke your readers to respond. Ask questions. Ask their opinions. Speak on hot topics.

There is so much more information these ladies shared with us, it's just too much to list here. If you're going to be at the upcoming Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference, be sure to attend their workshop! You'll get all these tips and even so much more than we experienced at the LARA meeting on Sunday. Also, visit their blogs. Charlene has the Top 10 Comblogments with more amazing suggestions and tips!

Blog Resources

Where can you do your own blog? How much does it cost? How do I write a blog? If these are questions you have, I won't be able to provide an extensive answer to all these questions, but I can give you a little shove in the right direction. I'm still pretty new to this myself.

Blog Sites – Some of the blog sites I saw mentioned were www.blogger.comwww.typepad.com, and www.wordpress.com. However, there are literally THOUSANDS of blog sites out there. Here's a couple of sites that list blogging sites: http://topsites.blogflux.com/ and http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/popular-blogs. If you Google “blog sites” you'll get ALL KINDS of results. Have fun!

Cross Blog – One other way of finding blog sites is by the surfing you do back and forth between bloggers. I've just referred you to the blogs for these four ladies, so that will most likely refer you to other blogs from the people who comment or searching you can do in those blog communities. And it goes on and on! Just beware of becoming addicted! 😉

How To Write A Blog – Truthfully, you can write whatever you want! BUT to be effective, you should be engaging your readers and write for your target audience that you select. Seriously, there are soooo many resources for this and everyone has a lot of good tips to offer. Go to Google and search for “How to write a blog” and you'll get a lot of great articles.

Hope this posting was helpful! Do you have other suggestions or favorite blog sites? Please let me know by posting in the comments. What has been your experience with some of the blog sites – as a reader and blogger? Thanks in advance for your input!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

Ever Try To Interview Your Characters?

As a writer, I’ve come across those times when I just can’t seem to get past a certain issue with a character or my story seems to have stopped. I’ve tried my usual solo-brainstorming where I type away on the computer talking myself through an issue; I’ve put the writing aside and tried to let things take seed and revisited it later; tried to fill in any blanks in the Character Profile Sheet* that I may have missed or didn’t elaborate on…but to no avail. It’s at times like these that I interview my own characters.

The first rule about this is LET YOUR IMAGINATION GO! Don’t censor anything. Don’t rewrite anything. Don’t direct your characters to go in a certain direction. Just let it flow. Here’s how it works…at least this is how I conduct an interview with my characters.

  1. Sit down at the computer and in your mind, picture yourself in a setting…whatever setting comes to mind. You could find yourself in a park, on a subway train, at your old desk you wrote your first book/article/poem at, your bedroom you had when you were five years old…whatever. Let your mind take you to the first place that enters your mind. Write this down. Start typing what you’re seeing, how you feel, your thoughts on why you think you’re mind went here or what you’re thoughts are about the place. Don’t go into a major analysis here. Just make a light comment and then move on.
  2. Imagine your character, now, coming onto the scene. You don’t have to picture them in any great detail, but if it helps to do that, knock yourself out! The important thing is to bring your character onto the scene as if you were going to interact with him/her. Write all of this down.
  3. Let the exchange happen. This is the part where you kinda sit back and watch how you and your character interact. Who is the first one to speak? What do they say? What do you say? Are you both sitting there in uncomfortable silence? Are you at a loss for words? Then tell your character you’re not sure what you two should talk about. They may surprise you. Write all of this down.

This is a free-flowing form of brainstorming that allows you to see your characters the way you’ve buy xanax overnight created them in your subconscious. I’ve had characters come into a room or setting and they won’t sit down. I’ve asked them to relax and they either tell me why they’re agitated; or they say they didn’t realize it; or they tell me to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine and that they’re going to continue to pace.

The fun part about this is your characters will sometimes do things you didn’t expect them to do. I have a vampire character that has lit up a cigarette while we were interviewing. I asked, “Excuse me, but why do you smoke? You’re immortal…drugs have no affect on you, no addiction, no real satisfaction as far as I can see.” He told me, “I do it because I can. I get satisfaction out of the fact that I AM immortal and it won’t hurt me. It reminds me of my invincibility.” Well, there you have it! And his answer was as unexpected as the habit of smoking! Let your characters come alive here and you might end up developing traits about your character that you never dreamed of on your own.

Where you have your setting, what your characters say and how you interact with them has its own hidden meanings. Re-read your interview when you’re done and examine what those might be. What do these pieces of the setting and interview say to you about your character or what you think about your character? If you DID have the setting in your bedroom when you were five and you’re meeting with a male character in his 40s, this might say something about how you see him. Is he childish? Would he be comfortable in a room like this? If he is UNcomfortable, what does that say about you putting your character in an uncomfortable setting? Did you WANT him to be uncomfortable? Did you think he would be at home only to find out he wasn’t? Things like this reveal hidden meanings about your characters and/or story.

Finishing the conversation isn’t necessary, either. The point of this exercise is to move forward on your story and/or your character development. If you wish to conclude the meeting politely, then by all means, do so. Once you get those juices flowing, you’ve accomplished your goal! Hope this helps!!

New to the Blog Scene!

Well, I'm not ENTIRELY new to blogging…I've done it on MySpace.com…but this is a new environment for me here. 

Why did I do this?

As a writer, I'm looking forward to reaching out to my soon-to-be readers and fellow authors. Though I write romance novels and also have an interest in writing for the juvenile audience, I plan on using this venue to also buy xanax with mastercard reflect on the world around us and on life in general. I will attempt to remain positive. I'll use my MySpace.com blogging to vent. 😉 

As an artist, I plan to use this space to explore and inspire myself and others about the magick that is all around us! Eh, it sounded good! 

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉
www.EnchantedWoodz.com
www.EnchantedWoodz.com/arialburnz