A Conundrum Rises

Standard

stockvault-the-thinker153903Rejoice! Sanity has returned to this blog.

(No. That does not mean we’re having a guest blogger, but your humor is very much appreciated. Thank you.)

I am simply on much steadier keel this morning, a fact you and my dog are free to celebrate gaily.

With this return to relative stability, however, came an opportunity for me to look objectively at Book Three of “The Lion and the Steed” series’ storyline arc. You know the line graph that should show a peak (climax) about ¾ to 4/5 toward the end?

Yeah, well.

What does Book Three have?

Think a perfect upside down V.

Climax sitting high and proud right smack dab in the middle of the story.

Uh oh.

What does a writing lass do about this?

Not quite sure.

I’ll get back to you on that when I figure it out myself.

Wish me luck.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Stuck in Gear

Standard

stockvault-time-stands-still103039This is how my mind works.

Feel free to look away.

In an unusual move on my part, I’ve got an appointment at 9am today. (Car needs some dealership love.)

Why is this unusual, the enquiring mind may ask?

Whenever humanly possible, I do not do early morning appointments.

Why?

I don’t sleep the night before. I obsess and worry and obsess some more over it all freaking night, not allowing a wink of restful sleep to be had.

Yeah, I know. I’m a pitiful human being who needs a little dealership love herself. *smirks*

Anyhow, last night I actually slept well. Didn’t think about the appointment at all. Even managed to have a nice dream tucked in between the “I’m a horrible person and this is why” nightmares.

Bravo me, right?

Well, all that success proceeded to go straight down the drain when I woke up and began obsessing, obsessing, OBSESSING about this blog. It went something like this…

“What am I going to write about?”

“Can I get it written before I leave?”

“I need to get it written before I leave.”

“But can I get it posted before I leave?”

“I really, really need to get it posted before I leave.”

“But I can’t think of anything to write about.”

“What am I going to write about?!”

“Since I don’t know what I’m going to write about, there’s no way I can get it written before I leave.”

“I need to get it written before I leave!”

“What the freaking f**k am I going to write about??????!!!!”

Etc.

Etc.

We’ll end this little exercise right here. I believe I’ve embarrassed myself enough for this morning.

Good day.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Be It Daisy or Cackle?

Standard

stockvault-single-daisy121086Ambivalence is a bitch.

*steps away from the blog microphone, completely satisfied with this day’s posting effort*

Or…

*looks down in surprise at finding herself back at the mike*

Maybe…

*sighs and embraces the waffling*

Ambivalence is simply empathy.

Of course, ambivalence could also be telltale sign of complicated trust issues my psychiatrist would probably be happy to speak to you about.

At this point in the blog, ambivalence is just a really long word I’m not awake enough to be spelling ad infinitum this early on a Monday morning.

However the heck you want to define it, ambivalence for a certain crucial supporting character in my much ballyhooed Book Three has been whopping me upside the head for a while now. (Somebody want to check me for concussion symptoms, please?)

Anyhow, I can’t decide whether I should deck “Character X” all out in “I’m an evil antagonist!”-wear (i.e. the proverbial black hat, black coat, mad scientist cackle) or whether I should stick a nice, pretty daisy somewhere on the guy just for contrast and WTF-ness.

I always try to write my “bad guys” with as much ambivalence as possible. I like giving them a reason for the crap they’re doing, a reason we can all somehow identify with.

But…

Sometimes a bad guy is just simply bad. End of story.

I can’t quite grasp which way I should go with Character X in this story.

Should I go daisy?

Or go cackle?

*shakes head and gives up*

Ambivalence is a pain.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Mice Will Play

Standard

dapper-ratWhile the cat’s away, the mice will play…

Or so I’ve always been told. I’ve been lucky enough not to have to deal personally with too many of the beady-eyed vermin in my life, so I’ve just assumed the old saying was true.

Well…

*coughs into hand, cheeks pinken slightly at the foolishness about to be said…*

Apparently, my half-written Book Three is suffering from a nasty case of rat infestation.

Really.

After a week of not touching, not even peeking at the darn thing, I innocently opened up the 23K+ words yesterday and screamed… (Well, not literally. Even I have a crazy limit.)

Anyhow, all 23K+ words of little ol’ Book Three had apparently taken my week away in the mountains to run amuck amongst themselves.

Really.

There is no way I left that novel in that condition!

Scenes all helter-skelter…

Order a foreign concept…

Bits here…

Bits there…

Bits every-freaking-where!

And since I am a very orderly (sane), very disciplined (sane), very experienced (Hello! 16 novels and counting!) writer this mess is clearly, inarguably NOT MY FAULT!

Really.

I blame the mice.

So there.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Return

Standard

SONY DSCWith twigs still knotted in my hair and the cloying scent of bear dung to my shoes, I return from the mountains sane and marvelously fresh!

If you ignore the “bear dung” thing…

And if you allow a loose interpretation of the “sane” thing.

*smirks*

*then whips out the binoculars and checks the blog auditorium for any speck of attendance*

*curses the house lights for blinding the seat view*

This is the point where I sincerely hope I’m not up here yapping at an empty room.

I’m perfectly aware that there are better blog-shows out there. Competition is fierce, and I know I’m at a distinct disadvantage.

While other blogs might have sequined and fancily feathered show barkers touting their blogger’s wares, I only have a certifiable nut of a writer and 15 pounds of four-legged fur and fury to lure you kind folks in to my show.

So, what I’m saying is this… I appreciate all of you who have hung with me and the pushy canine through our week away. Thank you.

Now, on to the show!

*pushy canine rolls eyes*

I am very proud and very shocked to report that I did not write a single word during the entirety of my vacation!

I did not check my email once!

I did not even muse about future or current storylines in my normally work-obsessed brain!

And, this is the really “WTF? You’re kidding me!” part, I came out of the mountains as sane as I went into them!

As a side note, I also managed not to alienate any of my family members with my admittedly weird/crazy/nutty/”You really need help” antics…

*pauses, reconsiders, then nods*

Yeah, you’re right. That deserves a “WTF? You’re kidding me!” too.

So added.

Anyhow, back to work today with a little over a month left until Book Three’s deadline. I need to average around 700 words a day to get it done which is definitely doable if not a little groanable.

I just hope I didn’t drop my ability to write into that huge pile of bear dung outside our cabin’s door.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Coming Silence: The No-Blog Week Begins Tomorrow

Standard

stockvault-landscape114098*places a bullhorn firmly to lips, wipes nervous sweat from brow and announces…*

I’m going on vacation!

*waits for lightning to strike her dead*

*after a few moments of continued survival, risks a small smile and furthers…*

Not only am I going away to an actual tourist spot with the entirety of my family, I am staying at a cabin way up on a mountain where WI-FI does not reach.

*gulps*

That’s right.

Cut off.

Completely.

Which means…

*nervously checks both flanks for the Four Horseman and their apocalyptic crew*

No blog.

For a week.

*downs an unhealthy shot of Pepto-Bismol*

For the first time since January, a new Chloe Stowe blog will not grace the world every day.

This will in fact be the last blog until my return to wireless humanity next Saturday.

I think I’m going to be sick.

To say that I’ve come to rely on the regularity of writing this blog every darn day like a crutch would be entirely correct and very insightful on your part. Well done.

So, a little bit of nausea is expected, right?

Yeah, well, we’re just going to pretend it is and move on.

I will be back.

And you will be back to read my nonsense… right?

Yeah, well, we’re just going to trust that you will be and move on.

*straightens spine, holds head high, and departs with minimal nervous twitching*

Until next Saturday…

Chloe

Sex.

Standard

stockvault-plastic-letters---sex107912Sex.

It’s a three letter word that takes about 3.2 million words to talk about properly.

Try to describe it properly and you’re adding another 1.7 million to the word fray.

Describing sex in all glowing, romantic terms piles another 7.3 million to the “Are you freaking kidding me?” total.

Sex.

It’s a boon to the romance author.

But it’s a godsend to the erotica writer.

If you need to fill out a chapter with another 2-5k, pop in a sex scene.

If you’re writing erotica, an extra sex scene is always welcome, and probably bumps your readership up a tick or two to boot.

If you’re writing more mainstream romance, you’ll have to work a bit harder to get that sex scene to fit in properly, but we all know it can be done.  Closeness between the two main characters is always eaten up by the audience, and to an experienced romance partisan it is a breeze to write.

Sex.

For every novel, I write my sex scenes in blocks.

Generally, I set aside 15k of a 50K novel for pure x-rated action.  So, I usually end up writing the scenes out of context and dumping them in the Sex Scene Depository for that particular book.

Then, when I’ve gotten all of the non-sex action of the story down, I’ll scoop up a sex scene from the depository and plop it down in place. Of course, then I’ve got to personalize it with context, and shade it to the mood of the storyline moment. But at that point of the novel, those kinds of details are pretty enjoyable and easy to do.

Sex.

I suppose every writer deals with it differently. My handling of it is probably a bit absurd, but I share it with you just the same. Hope it helps those newbie writers out there.

Sex.

It’s a darn marvelous thing.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Trade-Off

Standard

stockvault-skyamp039s-the-limit101363After doing little more than hen-pecking at Book Three yesterday, I am feeling appropriately guilty and glum this morning.

In a disturbing schizophrenic-like twitch, I feel the need to defend myself to, well, myself.

(SIDE NOTE: a line of question marks in bold print would certainly be appropriate here, but seeing as it would mar the sleek, sporty lines of this blog, I leave them to your own imagination.)

A long day on the road, followed by rough-housing with the best 4 year old little boy in the entire universe (i.e. my nephew) and my creative juices were little more than spotty in their flow.

A hundred words here, another fifty there and I was done… “Put a fork in me, call in the kids, it’s time to eat!” kind of done.

So, I’m doing the Guilt thing this morning.

Mix in some incredibly ugly skies and we’ve got some Glum flowing too.

Not fun.

But…

Yesterday was fun.

My nephew is definitely, absolutely, inarguably worth a speck of guilt and glum hangover on my crazy part.

It is a trade-off I’d make every freaking, fun day.

*grins past the guilt and the glum*

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Summer Fallen

Standard

sunflower-yongeSeptember is great and all, but…

*shakes head, not going there*

I mean, the month definitely has its perks.

The return of football.

The final weeks of the playoff push in baseball.

The arrival of the new seasons of primetime lineups.

Halloween being only a month away.

Christmas being only 3 months away.

Summer being only 6 or 7 or 8 loooong months away…

*slaps hand across mouth, before finally giving up*

Ok. I admit it. September can be kind of a bummer when you’re a summer/garden/9pm sunset kind of a gal like me.

I mean, I had to pull up my tomatoes and tomatillos just the other day. How utterly cruel is that?

The milkweed pods have burst into their fuzzies.

The cucumber vines are toast.

The pentas and snapdragons are having their last hoorahs.

The zinnias and marigolds are drooping and fading away.

Daylight no longer lingers, softening the blow of the falling night.

*sighs pitifully at the bags of dirt that won’t be needed until next spring*

Sure, September is great and all, but…

Yeah, but.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

To Sip the Bittersweet

Standard

stockvault-bottles-love110526Wading my way through the spent confetti and weaving around the empty champagne bottles in my head, I come to you this Monday morning with a huge, unwieldy smile upon my face.

No, don’t be alarmed.

I haven’t finally gone over the deep end.

My nut (brain, mind, messed up grey matter between the ears) is still holding its shape despite the cracks.

I’m still the friendly side of sane.

But I am happy and a bit proud of myself, I must admit.

Yesterday, I heard from my literary agent and she LOVED my outline for the “Six Brothers” project!!

If you’ll remember, the Six Brothers is my mainstream Revolutionary War-era romance I’ve been working on for most of the year. A month or so ago I finally got the huge chapter outline done and sent off to my agent for her thoughts.

Well, it turns out her thoughts are all good, if not a tad on the tremendous side!

She wants me to get to work on it ASAP. So as soon as I get Book Three in the books, so to speak, I’m turning my attention to prison ships, to Red Coats and Colonials, to war and peace, love and hate…

*giggles nervously as a tide of nausea rolls in*

Ok. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Not to mention the urge to toss my cookies everywhere.

Ah, sweet success.  Ain’t it vomit-inducing?

*lol*

Until tomorrow…

Chloe