The Screen-Leapers

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queen-01As nothing coherent is coming to mind this late Tuesday morning, let’s embrace the incoherency together.

The following is a gathering of words I seem particularly fond of today.

Just as a fisherman asks himself, “Hmm, I wonder what’s biting today?,” so this writer asks and answers “Hmm, I wonder what words leap upon the screen today?”

In no particular order, today’s screen-leapers are…

-twig

-phalanx

-moratorium

-princely

-confrontational

-plebian

-tactile

-pearlescent

Well, that was a silly endeavor with frankly troubling results.

Let’s not tell my psychiatrist about this little exercise, agreed?

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Marginal Squeeze

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stockvault-toothbrush-and-toothpaste144987Feeling a bit like a nearly spent toothpaste tube at the moment. Yesterday, after a tremendous amount of unwieldy wrestling, I was able to squeeze out 250 words from the old head.

While it was a sputtering affair, with stops and starts and messes on the mirror, work was done and I was able to actually sleep. (See yesterday’s blog for the nasty particulars.)

In fact, I got some work done on the one character of The Hushing Days with whom I’m still struggling to connect. However, if I have to put in a week of zero writing to come up with a 250 smidgeon of prose the novel is doomed. (I ain’t got that many centuries left in me.)

Oh well. I’m hoping to finagle out a few more hundred words out of the tube before tossing this week’s efforts in the bin. Waste not, want not I always say…

Ok, this post/analogy/daily crack-up is getting a little too strange even for me. Let’s end it while we’re both marginally sane.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Nominally Normal

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women-23As might have been guessed by particularly wily followers, I am in the middle of a family visit.

Good times. Great times, in fact. But writing time has been cut down to nil.

So, the devious monster that is my brain has been put to bed every night bright eyed and terribly bushy-tailed.

This is bad.

The only way I am granted a nominally normal sleep is if I exhaust my mind down to limpness during the day and take advantage of its exhaustion to grab a few winks.

Pretty twisted, huh?

Surrounded by the nominally normal of my family, I get incredibly tired of my mental peculiarities, quirks and thorny personal irregularities.

Just saying.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

The Wizened Coward

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stockvault-warning-sign96452Gremlins are running amuck this morning.

One nasty little critter refused to allow me to open up Word. Then, once he finally allowed me in, he tripled every window. Again and again.

Another creepster latched onto my mother’s computer and demanded unspecified tribute for access to the Target Coupon Printer. Promising my first born seemed to work.

The rest of the troublemaking lot are stirring things up in the heavens to the point that twisters are forecast to screw down from the skies this afternoon. Lovely.

While I am momentarily ahead of the fiends and their mischief, I will wrap this post up early.

Sometimes scampering away in fear is preferred to standing and fighting. Remember that, young ones.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe the Wizened Coward

Of Mice and Cake: An Author’s Debate

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stockvault-slice-of-fresh-berry-cake160153Can a successful (i.e. sellable) romance novel handle a male lead?

*Duh. M/M genre, hello. Not to mention dozens of mainstream affairs that follow the man instead of the woman. Next question.*

Is a successful (i.e. sellable) romance novel with a male lead a reasonable goal for an author’s second mainstream work?

*In theory, doable. A good book is a good book no matter how many mainstreamers an author has got under their belt.*

But I asked if it was reasonable? You know, smart? Savvy? Or would it be just plain foolhardy? Why bake a four layer cake with raspberry filling when a vanilla sheet cake will do?

*You’re you. Why start taking the easy way out now? Why go for the neon-colored door with “Success Inside” emblazoned upon it? Try to squeeze your crazy self through that mouse-hole behind the 500 lb. wardrobe. Go ahead. I dare you.*

Dare excepted.

I’d like to announce that my next mainstream historical romance will have a male lead.

Good day.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Post Note: This is how my brain works. This is why I’m on medication. Any other questions?

Peek Performance

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rabbits-04Call off the hounds. I am alive, well and now gloriously 43!

Yep, yesterday was my birthday. In a last minute, terribly selfish decision, a blind eye was turned to everything work related and my daily blog went the way of the poor Dodo.

Sorry about that.

Life separate from the written word is very important. I forget that sometimes. Writers often get so caught up in their literary fogs that they forget to peek outside and see what the world’s been up to while they’ve been away.

Yesterday, I peeked.

Oh, and what wonders did I see! (A Han Solo made of LEGOS; fluffy hills of buttercream frosting; Halloween goodies awaiting their first October! Yeah, wow.)

So, today, I return to the words wearing a buttercream smile upon my face and a fresh year under my belt.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

This is How You Do It

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drawing-painting-09The Cad, the Hero and the Ingenue. The veritable trifecta of Romance Novel success.

In other words, the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful of every winning love story.

Yep, fit these three stock characters into an interesting yarn full of flowery descriptions and lurid sex and you’ve got yourself a best seller, baby!

Or so 9 out of every 10 how-to-write-a-publishable-romance claims.

Well, I claim that’s terribly boring.

Archetypes are fine and dandy to use, but I prefer to employ them in supporting roles rather than as the headliners. Of course, this is the exact opposite of how most writers seem to do it.

The off-color sidekick, the quirky neighbor, the acerbic mother-in-law, the pain-in-the-ass coworker. They’ve become so ingrained in our entertainment culture that they are almost expected in some form or other in every good story.

I try to turn that on its head.

The off-color leading man.

The quirky leading lady.

The charming-to-a-fault antagonist.

The acerbic narrator.

Now, these are some characters into which I can sink my writing teeth.

So, don’t be afraid to look at the publishing world and all its norms a little sideways. There is wriggle room out there. Believe it, and embrace it, baby!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Bottling Eureka

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chemistry-02Had a “Eureka!” moment yesterday in my research for my next novel. In fact, I’m still riding the buzz this morning.

Ahh, those are such gloriously rare moments!

I truly wish they could be bottled and saved for those terribly gloomy days in which creativity is a no-show and literary hope is nothing more than a lit candle in a gale.

*pauses, re-reads what’s just been written, shakes head sadly*

Apparently my little orgasmic moment has shorted out the metaphor station on my motherboard. I do try to keep the analogies, etc. on a single track for each post.

I do.

Really.

But today I’m just spitting out metaphors like poorly chewed tobaccy (sorry, my Southern is showing.)

Anyhow, just know I did real good and I’m annoyingly giddy about it. Forgive me.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Talking Turkey

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turkeys-08A bit of explaining needs to be done… After all, this blog is about 12 hours late.

A bit of writing needs to be done… After all, I haven’t thrown a single word on the sacrificial altar of The Hushing Days in the last 36 hours.

A bit of grooming needs to be done… After all, the furry muse is reaching critical fuzz stage. A whole gang of baby turkeys might have taken up residence in her strawberry-blonde curls. Feel free to have a gander. I’m not looking.

Finally, a bit of nipping-this-thing-in-the-bud needs to be done… After all, couldn’t we all agree that this blog has gone on for about 115 words too long?

Unfortunately, none of these things is going to get done. I’m visiting my 4 year old nephew this Sunday and everything else pales in comparison.

Normalcy (no chuckles from the audience, please) should return Monday.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Stranger in a Strange Land

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clothing-image-05Thought I’d share an authorial trick with you this morning. Feel free to try it on, strut its stuff in front of the mirror, perhaps twirl it prettily around while on your tiptoes. Or, of course, you could simply dismiss it altogether as useless fluff, you know like the lint in your front jeans pocket. Your choice, my friend.

When one of your stories has hit a rut and no longer surprises you, reach for the phone book. (I assume most of us still have one or two of those around these I-phone happy days.)

Flip to the white pages, pick a random page, close your eyes and point. Whatever name your finger has landed on is now a new character in your book.

Really.

No ifs, ands or buts.

Be it Freddie Finkelhauser or Maisy Dirt, they are in. Now, your job is to find a place for them.

Trust me, it can be terribly fun if you let it.

Whether you add this trick to your repertoire or not, thanks as always for stopping by.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe