Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers #4

Hosted by Elizabeth over at Some Sharp Words
(for rules, click on the link)

This week's question is:

Shakespeare asked What's in a name? But we all know better. So let's talk about names, specifically our blog's name. How did you come up with yours?

Hmmm, good question *grins* I actually have one main blog with a bunch of separate pages. So maybe I should explain the main blog's name and then how I came up with this page's name... I'll try to keep it short LOL

Main blog: My main blog is called The Bookish Snob and it's predominantly a book reviewing site - a place where I connect with other readers by sharing my passion for my genre of choice (romance/paranormal/urban fantasy) I have book reviews, giveaways, blogging activities, features and lots and lots of gushing! I've been blogging for almost a year now and I was completely PUSHED into it *giggles* Yep, I needed to be firmly prodded and led by the nose. My BFF was the one who set it all up and she was the one that chose my name.

She thought it was funny that I  basically only read romance. People would ask me "Belinda, have you read this *insert title*" and my guaranteed response was "Is it romance? Is it paranormal?" If the answer was no, then my reading the book wasn't going to happen. I just wasn't interested. My BFF laughed whenever I'd say it and she told me "You're the book snob" When she created the account for my blog, the nickname was already taken so she used The Bookish Snob instead. She then helped create the icon and the rest is history....

Writing Page: This one is simple. I wanted to share some of my work and thought to add it to my blog. Each page has a name according to what it's for. I chose "Writings Of A Dreamer" because that's how I get my story ideas. I wake up with a feeling or a few images and a story forms. I sit at my computer and free write and ten minutes later I have a complete outline. The story I'm writing now, Broken Promises, I wrote a three book outline from 2 dream images - eyes that change and blood being the key. With that kind of influence, it seemed a fitting tribute.

I can't wait to see what you all shared!

Happy Follow Friday!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Am A Writer - A Much Needed Declaration!

Add a laptop and I swear, this could be a picture of me having a "what the heck am I thinking!" moment. You know how those go - you're in the middle of creating something wonderful and just for spite, Mr. Doubt strides in and sneers at you. You take a look at what you have and you begin to shake - "Is it good enough? Do I sound stupid? Will my beloved book be ripped to shreds if it's not perfect?" All the while, Mr Doubt paces about you and when he notices you're fighting his influence, he throws in the deal breaker - that one thought that stings the most. For me, that thought is "I am not a writer... who am I fooling?"  Gets me EVERY time and Mr. Doubt can be pretty ruthless with it, especially now that I've reaffirmed my goals to finish Broken Promises.

I was talking with someone today and it's such a common thought amongst us all. It helps so much knowing I'm not alone and it gives me the strength to look Mr Doubt back in the eye and blow him a huge, old RASPBERRY.  I love the saying "As a man thinketh, so he is" I think that's the key to conquering fear and doubt - if I affirm myself, if I remind myself of what I am and the potential I have, then that's who I'll be. Mr Doubt only has the power I give him. So in the spirit of that thought...

Hello, my name is Belinda and

Here is what else I think:

I have a voice and a strong imagination.
I know how to access my heart.
I have a beautiful muse.
I deserve to have my creativity published.
I'm not embarrassed to share my talent.
I have something valuable to offer.

So take that Mr. Doubt - be gone and bother me no more!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sample Sunday #3

Okay, here's a whole CHAPTER from Broken Promises - it's one of the scenes I thought of when I saw the graphic of the book's cover.

He’d been banking on my clumsiness to give him an extra advantage  so the shock that I was still standing, cross bow pointed at his head, was obvious as he searched my face for the answer.
“You weren’t always so light on your feet Bree. There was once a time when all I had to do was look at you the right way and you would fall all over yourself. Can’t say I like the change.” His eyes roamed up and down my body as if to discern what other changes had occurred since the last time we’d met.
“There’s a lot of things that have changed Quinn, one of them being that you no longer have the same affect on me. You lost that ability the last time you tried to rip my throat out, remember?” I tightened my grip on the cross bow, hoping that the blatant lie I just said wouldn’t reveal itself in the slight tremor coursing through me.
Quinn began to move, starting with the slow pacing circle of a predator, a small smirk covering his face. Obviously something I’d said amused him and if I wasn’t careful, the small ground I’d claimed in this never ending battle between us would be lost.
“Oh I remember perfectly, Bree. It’s something I’m still looking forward to but I have to admit this new you has me intrigued. I couldn’t possibly kill you before I’ve had another chance to enjoy you.” He flicked his hand out to my face, using his fingers to twirl a strand of my hair.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Perfect Graphic For A Self Proclaimed Cover Whore

Ok, wait for it... SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! I just found the PERFECT, most seductively swoonworthy, sexy as heck graphic and guess what? This image will be the cover graphic for the first book in my urban fantasy series, Broken Promises! Can you say GUSH?? A HUGE thanks to my friend, and author, Scott Gordon for recommending I go see Claudia over at Phatpuppy Creations. Have you seen this woman's work? PHENOMONAL! I could spend forever over there, in complete cover heaven because she definitely has a gift. So this image is mine so... I guess I better finish the book LOL Oh I'm so giddy - I feel like a little kid the night before going to Disneyland!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers #3

Hosted by Elizabeth over at Some Sharp Words
(Click on the link for rules and linky list!)

This week's question -

Inspired by the spectacular melt down of Jacqueline Howett on Big Al’s Book Blog, how do you deal with a bad review?


First off, can I just say - how incredibly bad I feel over what happened to both reviewer and author. As a reviewer, Big Al gave a pretty fair review and did a great job highlighting what he liked and didn't like about the book (which is what he was asked to do) My stomach hurt for him having to deal with such a malicious attack out in the open for everyone to see. He's a book reviewer, someone who helps support authors, and should NEVER be exposed to such viciousness. My hope is that he let it slide off his back and that he doesn't view all self-pubs and indies the same. I thought he handled it with grace *two thumbs up*

My heart also aches for the author - what a spectacular fall from grace. I don't know what else was happening that day but her rant and meltdown was heartbreaking. She did so much damage to her career because she couldn't seperate  what was happening. I know our books are our babies (I get a little weepy over critiques) but when out amongst the community, there had to be some level of professionalism. She won't be known as "Jacquelline "wow that first book was a little shaky but see how she kept working her craft and OMGSH have you read her latest book?" Howett. No, she's the author that went psycho. She let her emotions dictate her actions and the rest was history. Did you know prior to the "incident" she had a 5 star rating on Amazon with 4 great reviews? The next day? Over 40+ reviews - most of them one star! Her ratings took a nose dive and were saved from complete destruction because other readers jumped in and gave her 5 stars. It was a complete mess and one that could've EASILY been avoided *sigh*

Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, the question LOL I'm not published so I have nothing to "review" BUT I do post my writing here on my page and offer it privately to some for critique. Call it mini training *winks* Sometimes you get the glowing gush and it feels really good. Sometimes though, you get your work back full of red edits or something you added was a turn off. What do you do? My first reaction is to start crying, next vomit and then start defending. My writing is a part of me and it's natural to take it personal. BUT (and it's a pretty big one) you need to use your writers filter. That thought needs to go through the "Ok, take a deep breath and let's look at this rationally" process. Does what the person say have any validity? What are the intentions of the person? Is there something that needs improving? If so, be grateful that you have someone supportive enough to be honest with you. The creative process is always changing - each decision you make helps you become better at your craft. Critiques can help (yes even if it feels like your heart's been ripped out of your chest) If you honestly think though, that the critique and review are unfounded? Say thanks for your opinion and MOVE ON! It isn't code for swapping insults or making demands, no matter how much your feelings are hurt.

I've seen quite alot of these meltdowns lately which has saddened me both as an aspiring writer AND a book reviewer. While I may not jump in and be vocal about it, I do watch and take notes. I look at my actions as a reviewer and I decide my actions ahead of time what I'll do as an author. I just hope the drama doesn't overshadow the fact that there are amazing authors out there who are eager to share their work and there are many fine stories to read. One writer's meltdown is another's sincere thank you. Not every author will react that way, at least not the ones who want to thrive.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Writing Exercise #1 - A Touch Of Magic

I've decided I wanted to have some fun on this page and asked around about some writing exercises I could do. Lots of great ideas and I really liked the sound of this one - take a photo, any photo and write about it. What do you see? What do you feel? What does it make you think about? Here's my first offering ...

Titled - A Touch Of Magic

When I look at this photo, I think of magic. Not the kind that comes from faeries and witches, but the deep down in your soul kind that comes from forging love connections. Being an incurable romantic, it's these relationships that I long for, the emotions that bind you strong to another and for me, this is magic in it's most beautiful and simplest of forms.

In his hands, this man holds a miracle. He holds the tiny body of a spirit just beginning on their life journey. So many possibilities in such a small handful and it boggles my mind wondering just how magnificent this child can be. With love and gentle guidance, the sky's the limits where a life filled with joy and purpose awaits. What choices will this baby one day make? Whose life will he touch and most of all, how deeply will he enrich mine.

Funny that. This was just a photo when I first downloaded it to my laptop the other day and now I've made that personal attachment. This is my baby or the image of the future I'm eager to create. This is the magic I desperately reach out to take hold of. The magic I yearn for with all the tenderness my heart can muster. In a world where you can find almost anything you desire - this ... this small piece of perfection .... this is what I would give anything for. No piece of technology, paper of accomplishment or money bought item can compare with knowing that a little part of you is running around in the world - learning, loving, influencing, living.

To have magic, you need to create it and I can't think of anyone I adore and cherish more than my husband. This photo brings tears to my eyes because not only do I picture those little feet to be those of my son, but those tender hands... the ones cradling life belong to my husband, Mark. My son will be destined for greatness by the very fact that he will hold part of Mark within him. Just like his father, he will be loving, patient, understanding and incredibly supportive. He will have that goofy sense of humor that I love, hold a romantic heart and grow to be a faithful husband any woman would be proud of. He will be a hero to his wife, just like Mark is to me. When I close the romance books I read, I love knowing that it continues in real life. With a marriage that has survived the refiners fire, it holds the magical spark needed to see this photo become a reality.

I know it will happen. I feel it from the top of my head to the very tips of my toes and as I sit here, I'm making a mental note that when the time is right, I will take my own photo. Everyone deserves to find their bliss, to find the thing that will bring them the most joy and then make it their own. This is mine. I believe that this image is in my future and I can't wait hold that magic in my arms. To look down into those baby eyes and know that I am blessed. I get goosebumps just thinking it.

I belive in magic. I'm a product of it. I'm surrounded by it. I thrive in it. And God willing, I'll be creating it. This photo has really touched my heart and strengthened my resolve. That's the beauty of life. Sometimes it may feel like Hell has come to visit, but there are moments that come that remind you what it's all about. That reminds you of all the positive things to look forward to. It's time to stop staring at the ground and look up. Times too short to be caught up in worry and self doubt and just like the baby being nestled, there's a world of opportunities just waiting for us to claim. We just need to courage to do it.

Well, this was quite a post, not at all what I was thinking when I first started. But it's okay because I wrote from my heart and isn't that at the very core of being a writer? To thine own self be true. I think I'll print this out later today and pin it to my wall so I can remember the many possibilities that await me - all from a touch of magic.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Heart To Heart With My Muse

Isn't my Muse beautiful? I sat down with her today and had a good long talk with her. Well I chatted and she twirled around, swaying her hips and fluttering around the room in what used to be her prettiest dress. I asked her what was going on.. why she seemed so quiet lately.. so hesitant to come play with me and I hate to admit it but it's all my fault. Just one look at the lack luster of her gown's material showed me I'd allowed my stress to affect her. Judging by the way she can't seem to keep still, my fear and self doubt has caused her to feel a little stifled. This just can't continue. I'm not happy and the tears gathering in her eyes, tell me she isn't either. So we came to a compromise - I'll try to lighten up and just write. Whether it's any good or not, I'm going to remember how amazing it feels to be able to create something from my imagination and those giddy feelings that come when I tap into "life" On her part, my Muse promised that she'll remind me of how amazing I am, and point out all the positive things that are happening around me. She'll whisper in my ear during the day, filling my mind with ideas and at night, she'll bless my dreams with wonderful characters brimming with emotion. It was such a good conversation, one that was sorely needed and with a quick hug, I couldn't help but smile as I watched her transform back into the sparkly, vivacious creature that she is. Her parting gift before she danced away? This.... *grins*

Without Mercy

The click of the gun’s safety being released stopped me dead in my tracks. I didn’t need to turn around to see that death had finally caught us. I closed my eyes for a brief moment and grimaced.
We had missed out on freedom by mere moments and as my heart raced, adrenaline coursing through my body, I couldn’t help the feeling of defeat that crashed over me.
To come so close and be stopped was devastating.
The hand holding tight onto mine squeezed and I dug deep for courage. Jasmine would be terrified enough without seeing the fear in my eyes and if I was ever going to get us out of this, I needed to keep her calm. Or at least calmer than me.
Giving her a look I hoped conveyed confidence, I motioned for her to keep quiet as I positioned her behind my body and turned to face our attacker. All night I had felt the person breathing down our necks, always in pursuit and it felt good to finally put a face to the shadow.
The first thing I saw was the gun, aimed straight at me with the finger poised over the trigger ready to shoot. The hand holding it was steady and trained to adjust to every movement and without thinking, I shied to left and back again. Without hesitation, the gun’s motion mimicked mine. 
Damn. The movement was precise; telling me whoever was holding the gun knew what they were doing. Chances were if they took a shot, they wouldn’t miss and out running a bullet was too risky. It looked like I’d have to try and outsmart the attacker.
Taking a quick sniff of the air and drawing on my other senses,  I knew I was dealing with a human male and I couldn’t help but grin at the heavy hint of fear I could smell mixed in with his excitement.
I may be a female but as a werewolf female, I still held incredible strength and my body began to relax. As long as I paid attention to the gun still pointed at me, and made no crazy moves, our chances of escape had just increased.
I looked beyond the gun and recognized the hate filled face that stared back at me. Aggression and defiance rolled off his body in waves, causing my wolf to raise her head and howl. This was no dominant wolf to show my belly to and I could feel my hackles rise, growling to answer the blatant challenge being offered.
 I sent a silent command to the wolf inside me to stand down. I explained there would be no need for her to come forward, that I had the situation under control and she whined impatiently at being refused.
Something wasn’t right about the situation. The man standing before me was Gary and  he was friend to the pack, he knew who we were and who we belonged to.  There could be no doubt in his mind that any act of aggression towards the Alpha’s intended mate was a death sentence – regardless of who or what you were.
My wolf sensing my confusion stepped forward again, this time nudging me harder. She could feel the disturbance in the air. Something was different and she wanted permission to take control to protect us.  It made sense to change and deal with the situation as a wolf but I was serious when I’d told Mason I wanted to try reasoning first before violence.
 He’d laughed at me when I’d said that but nodded his approval. He was more the punch first, ask questions later kind of guy. Not me. I’d seen too much violence in my life and I vowed there’d be no more.
Obviously, no one else got the memo and even though only seconds had passed, staring at the gun… it felt like a lifetime.
“You don’t want to do this, Gary” I crooned, putting as much compulsion in my voice without triggering him. It would do me no good to annoy him any further and the sooner I could get him to lower the gun, the better.
My mind raced. Where had I told Mason I would meet him? I cringed slightly as I remembered my last words to him. “You don’t need to come with us every time we leave the house. There is no threat and we’ll be back before you know it.”
My intentions had been to quickly grab something from the local convenient store and head back home but sensing someone following, I’d made the rather stupid decision of trying to draw them out.
Sometimes being a werewolf was an amazing experience but moments like this, my cockiness astounded even me. I should have rushed back to Mason and let him and the pack deal with this. It’s what’s been drilled into me since birth but like always, I just didn’t listen. 
I mentally crossed my fingers as I continue to assess the situation. Hopefully, this would be another case of me escaping by the skin of my teeth and no harm will come from it.
Jasmine’s soft whimper drives home the seriousness of the moment. Who cares about my safety, it’s hers that’s important and my mind kicks in hyper drive, thinking strategy.
I look beyond the gun at Gary, taking in his expressions and the trickle of sweat that rolls down the side of his cheek. The man may have nerves of steel when it came to handling weapons, but he wasn’t as unaffected as he let on. He was scared and I could use it to my advantage.
My brain scrambled for what little I knew of him. Mason had asked Gary last summer to come help with the home renovations he had planned. Even though they had little in common, something about the human had endeared him to the Alpha and Mason developed a soft spot for him.
How he’d over looked this major character flaw was anybody’s guess.  Werewolves live and breathe violence and noones radar had gone off with Gary. I guess its true what they say – it’s always the quiet ones.
There had to be something that triggered him, something that could push him over the edge and make him lose control. It was a gamble causing Gary to freak out, he might fire the gun but he could do that any time. Right now he called all the shots and left little wiggle room for me to act.
There’s two sure fire ways to get a response out of a man – turn him on or piss him off and judging from the little action I’d overheard the guys talking about, I figured turning him on would be the easiest way to resolve this.
The idea was I’d just batter my eyelids, give him a pouty smile and I’d flirt the gun right out of his hand. The very thought that I’d have to touch him made my skin crawl and my stomach began to toss about and I prayed that it didn’t have to go that far.
Again my wolf pushed to the surface. Men respond to a third thing, she growled as she paced within my skin.
They feed of violence and I could feel the energy it took to restrain the beast within me. She craved to be let loose so she could pounce on Gary and rip his throat out. She was blood thirsty, without mercy and she was very, very angry. There was no chance in hell he’d survive the attack.
I took in a deep breath, desperate to release some of the tension in my body.  I needed to move with fluid grace if I was to play the role of the seductress.
The curve of my lips and the way my hand reached out to caress him paved the way as I whispered, “Come now Gary, there must be something we can do to move pass this. You don’t want to hurt me do you?” I let my other hand roll down the length of my body, hoping to draw away his attention.
His focus remained solely on me and a brief moment of panic flickered in his eyes before he hid it, but I’d caught it. He didn’t like what I was doing. I was making him nervous and that I could work with....

Alas my eyes can barely keep open... time to sleep.
Give thanks for your Muses!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sample Sunday #2

Something I wrote to go along with a giveaway I hosted:

Ravish Me

The feel of the wall at my back warned me that there would be no more retreating. The dance Daniel and I had been doing over the last few months had finally come to an end and judging from the look of hungry triumph in Daniel’s eyes, he knew that he had me right where he wanted me.
Unable to look away, I licked my lips in anticipation as I watched his curve into that sexy smirk I loved so much and a fiery streak of heat shot through my body.
Taking that final step, he pressed himself against me, pinning me to the wall with the hard length of his body and with both of his hands on either side of my head, he leaned in close to nuzzle into my hair. 
“Just say the words, Beth” he whispered  as he laid a trail of hot kisses up and down my neck, pausing slightly to lick and taste my skin.
With a groan, Daniel moved his hands, fisting one in my hair and the other one around my waist, pulling me tightly into him, pulling me closer. He didn’t need to say anything because I knew what he was waiting for, what words he was wanting to hear.
“Daniel.” I spoke, my voice barely louder than a whisper.
He stopped and with both my hands, I gently guided his face so I could look into his eyes. Knowing what I said next would change everything between us, I leaned forward and lightly brushed my lips against his, pausing for just one more moment before softly adding, “Ravish me”

Blessings on you and your Muse this coming week!