Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Snarkology presents BLOCKED!

In August, The Snarkology presents a blog series on the maddening, frustrating condition known as writer's block. Please drop by and read as guest authors discuss how being BLOCKED! has affected their writing process and lives!

The schedule of guest authors is as follows:

Aug. 5   Kristy Tate
Aug. 6   Derek Odom
Aug. 7   Chris Eboch

Aug. 13  Caroline Clemmons
Aug. 14  Kayden Claremont
Aug. 15  Tricia Schneider
Aug. 18  Melissa Snark
Aug. 20  Sydney St. Claire
Aug. 21  Mia Downing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BLOCKED!: Powering Through Writer's Block by Sydney St. Claire #TWRP #erotic fairy tales


As a writer, I’ve dealt with that horrible thing called Writer’s Block. For me, though, if I can’t move forward in a book, it’s usually because something is not right with what I have written. This is especially true when I first start a book. In the past, I’ve been stalled while my subconscious mind works out what is wrong, where it’s wrong, and how to fix things.

Or maybe I don’t know where I’m going. Sure, I have outlines and a synopsis but perhaps I’m not sure how to get from point A to point B. Again, my mind needs to percolate on the story. Eventually it hits like a bolt of lightning and I’m off and writing again.

The trouble with the two above scenarios for me is a lack of production and efficiency in my writing. Writing is a business and I hate that the “creative juices” overtake the “business manager.” I’ve been known to be stalled for weeks while waiting for my mind to figure out what the heck it needs to move forward.

A year ago, I came upon the solution. It’s called Power Writing and it has powered my writing through what I think of as my diva writer’s tantrums. I no longer accept or put up with my mind’s desire to “percolate” or “let the solutions just come to me” habit.

I have a group of writer friends who were doing what they called Power Hour writing and I was invited to join. They write for one hour. A conference call is made, everyone states their current word count or if they are in edit mode, state their page count (no chatter). Then we hang up and write for one hour. No interruptions, no social media, no research. This hour is to write and rack up those word or page counts.


Here’s what Power Writing is involves:

The rules are simple: write for one hour.

Write down your current word count (scene/chapter/document).

No interruptions allowed.

No stopping to research allowed.

No going on the internet to check facts allowed.

No distractions period.

No checking email, Facebook, twitter, or other social media allowed.

No phone calls allowed.

Write. Write. Write. THIS IS SO SIMPLE.

Warn your family that you are taking an hour—JUST ONE HOUR—to write.

If you write with other writers, at the start of the hour, conference in everyone and state your current word count for your chapter or document. Those in edit mode state page goals.

NO CHATTER ALLOWED IF YOU DO THIS WITH OTHERS. SHARE CURRENT WORD COUNT OR PAGE COUNT GOALS ONLY.

The idea is to empower your mind and just write.

My first session I was just starting a new book and thought I’d have to outline my book or at least plan it out a bit. Didn’t even have a synopsis. I only knew the heroine’s name. She’d been a traumatized child in an earlier book and I knew she had a grandfather who might look for her. But I reminded myself that the purpose was to write so I took the plunge. Pulled the hero’s name from thin air and wrote a scene between him and the heroine’s grandfather. To my shock, I got six hundred words in that hour and I never had to change what I wrote. It was a solid start to the book!

I’ve been doing this for a year now and cannot believe the results. I have not had a single bit of downtime. The tantrums are gone; the Diva has been put in her place. Of course, there are times when I don’t feel like writing or times when I’m too tired physically or mentally, but no writer’s block or that equally scary “what the hell am I doing. I don’t need days or weeks to figure out what comes next. I am able to power my way though. That book I started, a 90k word book, was finished in in eight weeks!

It’s almost as though my mind already knows what it needs to know and when you demand that it sit and produce for that hour, it does so. As I take breaks between these power hours, my mind is subconsciously already working out the next scene and the next chapter so when I sit to write, we are off and running.

The other great benefit is my production is way up! This is ultimately a business and career and there is no downtime to pander to the creative me. The CEO is in charge! Here is what I’ve accomplished in a year:

July/August wrote White Christmas approx. 90k words. Starting last December, I began writing erotica novellas (30k words each). Dec. to present end of July) I’ve written 8 novellas. That’s like 2 2/3’s full-length books in seven months! I don’t know about you, but that is a huge jump in my writing output. If my schedule goes as planned, by the end of December I will have written an additional 7-8 novellas, my contracted books, and the work for hire I’ve been doing to earn money now! Yes, that’s almost two a month for the remainder of the year (5 months)

I could never have done this without the discovery of Power Writing.

(Note: To read my original post on Power Writing, go to my Sydney St. Claire blog.)

Title: Cinderella & Prince Dom

Publisher:  Wild Rose Press: Wilder Roses

Date Published: September 12 2014

Genre: Erotica

Word Count: 28,000
 
Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role-playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved? 

CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is naïve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true.

Cinderella & Prince Dom will be available worldwide at sites including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Wild Rose Press-Erotica line (Wilderroses.com)

Excerpt:


Bryce spotted Cinderella entering the parlor below. The ruffles of her skirt swirled playfully around slender thighs, and the low cut of her simple top revealed a nice swell of breasts. Deep inside, anticipation hummed. Annie had been gone five years now, and while he hadn’t been celibate during those long years, he hadn’t participated in the games he hosted either. This would be his first.
And only because he needed to know the truth.
Jaimie had uncovered an embezzling ring in one of his accounting firms. Her boss implicated her, but as he’d found out, the man himself had proved to be a liar, and the leader in the group of employees caught.
Lucy, his personal assistant, swore Jaimie was innocent. The fact Jaimie had blown the whistle lent her story credence, as did the files she gave Lucy to give to him. He’d hired auditors. Everyone believed she was innocent. But he wouldn’t know until he spoke to her. A study of her employment files indicated the woman was smart. She could easily have done what she did to make herself look innocent and then gotten out before being caught.
 “Does it matter if she is as guilty as the others?”
Bryce nodded. “Yes. No one steals from me.” Determining Jaimie’s level of involvement was unfinished business. Was his Cinderella truly innocent, or had she been framed? He needed to know for sure.
Glorie laughed low in her throat. “My, your little playmate looks ready to bolt, and it’s not even midnight.”
Bryce narrowed his eyes. Glorie was right. Jaimie was staring at some of the costumes with mouth agape. He couldn’t see her eyes but imagined they were wide with shock. Even from where he stood, he could see her face was flushed with embarrassment. She took a big gulp of her champagne then grabbed Lucy by the arm. Though he couldn’t hear the conversation, it was clear his sub was having serious doubts.
Rocking back on his heels, he grinned. From the questionnaire, he knew Jaimie was new to this world, and he was looking looked forward to introducing her to some light BDSM.


Author Bio:
Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.

Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success. Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.

Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…

When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch, and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…

While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.

Website              
Twitter               
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Blog                      


Cinderella & Prince Dom is book one in my new Once Upon a Dom series. Book two, Red & The Big Bad Dom will be out in November followed by Snow & Her Huntsman early 2015. Beauty, Rapunzel and Wendy will make their appearances in 2015. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blocked!: Sharing the Misery || THE MATING GAME #amreading #eroticromance



Throughout my career, I've experienced periodic writer's block, the same as many of my fellow authors. What interests me most about the phenomenon is the commonalities–symptoms and cures. I actually experienced a pretty severe block while I was working on my first draft of The Mating Game. Only then the book was titled "Heart of the Wolf".

Somehow, my own frustration became a source of inspiration as the hero, Zachary Hunter, a crime thriller author, copes with a severe case of writer's block.  As the story begins, the heroine finds him on her front porch wearing nothing but an hideous orange dress...

“Oh, yes.” A smile blossomed on her lips and she giggled at long last. “Are you going to tell me how you wound up on my front porch in a dress?”
Zach cocked his head and sighed. “I went running in the woods last night to clear my head.”
Theresa stared with an arched brow. “Writer’s block again?”
“I haven’t written a word in days.”

As the story progresses, Zach experiences Blank Page Syndrome.

The pristine white page of Zach’s word processor formed a literary desert across the computer screen. He started a sentence, reworded it, and reworked it again. He composed a second sentence, left it incomplete, and began the third. In the end, he deleted the entire paragraph and returned to staring at the blank page.

He discusses his plot with his editor...

“I said,” she gritted out, “that I don’t buy Wesley’s actions in chapter twelve. Frankly, I feel it’s out of character for him to shoot McTavish, especially considering how long they’ve been friends…

And the heroine...

“Theresa, the woman had the nerve to tell me that Wesley can’t shoot McTavish because it’s not in character.” He sprang to his feet, his outrage fueling a violent gesticulation of his arms.
Theresa gasped. “Wesley shot McTavish?”
“Yes.” His brow knit and confusion replaced some of his outrage. Absently, Zach removed his cuff links and set them on the dresser. Then he unbuttoned the remaining buttons on his shirt and shed the garment.
Theresa sputtered. “Oh, Zach, no. Wesley can’t shoot McTavish! They’re partners. They’re like brothers. It wouldn’t be right.”

And the heroine's six-year-old daughter...

Isabel pouted but pursued it no further. Eventually, she asked, “Have you figured out who
hosted on Morguefile
killed the taxi driver yet?”
He grunted. “I think so.” Then, “No, I’ve no bloody idea.”
“I think it was his wife.”
Zach stared at the girl’s dark mane of hair as it lifted from her shoulders. He waited until she swung back and asked, “How do you figure?”
“Because, it’s always the wife or husband. You told me so yourself. It was the wife in your last book—Abandon All Hope.”

And eventually he does break the block!  Yeah!

Theresa stepped out of his way, coming to a stop beside Zach. She glanced at his fingers, which hung suspended above the keyboard. She could almost see the river of words rushing through his head. He chased the wording of a sentence, tossing various phrasings through his thoughts, and then made his choice. His fingers flew again.
Robert waited and watched, expecting a response.
Theresa’s finger poked his bicep. “Zach!”
He stopped typing and glanced up. “Sorry, I finally broke through my writer’s block.”
“That much is obvious,” Theresa said with an arched brow.

So there you go. Writer's block doesn't have to be endured alone. You can share your misery with your characters. :-)


RED, WHITE & SCREWED by Holly Bush



Political strategist Glenda Nelson is having a meltdown. Her handpicked, very married Congressional candidate was just caught climbing out of the window of the Sleepytown Motel, and her philandering ex-husband seems to have the most to gain from the colossal scandal that follows. As Glenda attempts to salvage the campaign in a hotly contested race, conservative and liberal pundits pounce on the story to further their own agendas.

Glenda’s love life is nonexistent to say the least, that is, until she meets handsome artist Chris Goodrich. Chris’s easy-going, carefree outlook on life couldn’t be more different than the 90-mph crazy train that is Glenda’s, but the more time she spends with him, the more she craves his calming presence, his sexy smile, and his steamy embraces. Is Chris the one to take a chance on?

Between the pressure of full-blown spin control mode, rapidly declining job security, refereeing two teenagers, caring for aging parents, and spending hours on her therapist’s couch trying to get past her ex’s crushing betrayal, Glenda finds love and makes the long trek back to happy. 

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

Glenda gets her first look at the new man in her life.

“And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Our artist, Christopher Goodwich, was commissioned nearly a year ago and has come here from his home state of Ohio for tonight’s unveiling. He has won multiple accolades for his work, and the Goodwich Family Foundation is well-known among philanthropists. Mr. Goodwich, would you do the honors?”

Christopher Goodwich moved from his place in line, yanked a gold pull rope, and the black curtain fell away. I looked up at the thirty-foot mural of a Lancaster County Revolutionary War battle as did everyone else. To my amazement this typically chattering crowd fell silent other than a smattering of appreciative oohs and aahs.

The painting was stunningly beautiful. I could see the hope and fear on the faces of the soldiers and practically hear the roar of the cannons and smell the smoke. Our host grabbed the microphone again and began discussing the mural as if he had the foggiest understanding of artwork. But it made me curious about the artist, and I took a second look at Christopher Goodwich.

He was a handsome man. Casually masculine with green eyes and a smile that made me think about George Clooney in a tuxedo. Get those hormones under control, I thought. At forty-six with a rather ugly divorce under my belt and two teenage children, I needed a man like the President needed another Cabinet nominee in tax trouble.

Holly will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance set on the American Prairie and in Victorian England, and more recently, Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.



Twitter: @hollybushbooks