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Names that make you go, Huh?

Saturday, April 30, 2005
Come on, we've all got 'em. The names of either heroes or heroines that trip you up all the way through a book. Or, when you read it on the back cover blurb, the monikers alone will make you put it back on the shelf.

I'm guilty of committing the Lame Name Sin myself. I talked about Bane a while back. I mean, What Was I Thinking? Bane? Did his mother really, really hate him? Who would honestly saddle kid with a name like that? I think he was a Viking in his original incarnation, which excuses me somewhat, but not much.

Other names I can live without:
Damien, Damian, Daemon, or anyother take on the word Demon. Yeah. We get it. He's a Bad Boy.
Stone, Rock, Boulder, Pebble. So what are you trying to tell me, oh so subtly?
Lucian,Lucien. I'm just over them. Why not have a Regency hero who answers to George?
Jake and Nick. I've seen a surfeit of them, too.

What are the Hero names you're done with?

Which ones made you squirm -- and not in a good way?

What names would you like to see?

Personally, I'd like to see a Fred who wasn't a dog. Literally a dog, a la Cruisie. Or a Bob. There aren't enough Bobs in romance land. George, as I noted, is a perfectly legit name for a hero, historical or otherwise. Edmund and Edward get used, but they're usually either family members or the villain. I think I could do with more Phin/Phinneas. Some Philips wouldn't come amiss, either.

On a personal note, I had to counter the squick effect of Bane with a nice, normal Emily.

Tomorrow, heroines!
4/30/2005 11:10:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Back again

Friday, April 29, 2005
Sorry for the hiatus, folks. I was feeling less than chipper and didn't see the need to indulge in public angstiness. But I'm on the upswing now!

The writing fell out this week, too, but I feel ok about that. A friend from Romance Divas said it well. Writing is "like having a TV on in my head all the time and honestly, I get tired of the constant noise sometimes." I took the week and turned off the TV. I feel much more centered now. Not to mention that I plowed through my TBR pile so there's only one book left.

Computer wise, I've also stepped back on my surfing and blog-hopping. I'm doing a lot more lurking and skimming right now, which feels pretty good from my end.

The kids have a school holiday today, but it's gloomy out. I think we'll have to leave the house and do something fun. I don't want to be stuck inside with them all day!

So that's the update here. I'll come up with something pithy, snarky and possibly writing related another day. Enjoy!
4/29/2005 09:27:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments

So I Lied

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
I wrote instead of surfing. Much more effective use of my time! Although I didn't write much, I got in an hour this morning before pretending to 4th graders that I knew what I was doing. I helped them edit and polish some of their assignments. Kind of fun, getting back to the basics.

Anyway, the caffeine I've consumed over the last three days finally kicked in last night at midnight, so I cleaned the living room. For my trouble, I injured my toe when I stepped on something that ought not to have been where it was.

Back to the writing, I'm rather impressed that I'm getting in not just emotional tension (my personal bug-a-bear) but also sexual tension. Wheee!

I haven't blog-hopped much lately, and I hope you'll excuse me for another few days while I continue to rein in the home life. Wish me luck!
4/20/2005 01:51:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 3 Comments

Writing Hiatus

Monday, April 18, 2005
I'll still be in blog-land and cyberspace, but I'm taking the week off from writing on the wip. Well, as much as I can. If an idea hits me I'll be right on it, but other than that I need the break. I've let things slide way too much lately and it shows. Badly. Chores have piled up to the point that if I don't do something about it soon, a catastrophe will occur. So I'm using this week to get back on top of things.

I know we all say that Real Life interferes with our writing. And it sometimes does because that's how life is. Unfortunately, I've let writing interfere with Real Life. I need to regain control of my home.

So the wip will wait for me. BTW, it's got a new working title: The Misplaced Marriage. Regency titles are way too much fun!
4/18/2005 09:40:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Busy blogger

Friday, April 15, 2005
No words of wit and wisdom from me today, blog-buddies. At least not at this hour of the morning. I finally realized last night about 11pm that I have a yard sale (boot sale) tomorrow -- and I'm totally unprepared. Must fly!
4/15/2005 07:04:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

You sure write funny

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
And that means exactly...what?

As I attempt to plot out the new ms, I was struck by a thought. (Dang. Those things hurt!) How is this funny? It's not a situational comedy, where I'm putting people in a setting that's bound to bring a few laughs. None of my characters are zany, wacky, out there people.

It's more the way that normal people approach normal, or even bigger than normal, stuff in life. Their issues are big to them and, at least for Bane (what the hell kind of name is Bane? What was I thinking? And now I'm stuck with it because I can't think of a better one. I must have been channeling one of those cheesy romance authors for that one. But that's a blog for another day.)

So where was I? Oh yeah.

Bane's situation is painful, not just emotionally, but physically. I do love a wounded hero. And Emily's issue is more of a heart hurt that she has kept quiet for a long time. She's likely to be the funny one of this pairing and it comes entirely from the way she looks at life. Her humour isn't used just to be funny, but to deflect pain. It's the oldest use of humour in the book. She's got a choice and she'd rather laugh than cry.

Please God let me pull this off.

In plotting news, I've got my list of events about 2/3 done, including the line, "They boink." Thanks Jaye.

And I couldn't help myself. I've got a bit of intrigue in there, but no guns or car (er, carriage) chases.
4/12/2005 09:30:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

Romance Diva Update

Monday, April 11, 2005
EDIT: WE'RE BACK!!! Check out Romance Divas! You'll have to re-register, but who cares? WE'RE BACK!!!
Kristen has finally given in to the dark side and started her own blog!

Copied from an e-mail she sent:

Hi Divas,

I have good news and bad news.

The good news first: The Romance Divas forum should be up and running in a day or two, provided Jax has time to tweak the bugs out of it.

The bad news: We have to start from scratch. That means you'll have to rejoin and all of our old posts have been lost. We believe our previous host deleted the forum once we decided to move to a new host and there is no way for us to recover it. If they do still have the file, they are basically refusing to turn it over. I can't tell you how sick Jax and I are over this. All of our hard work in building up our membership is gone.

Jax is in the labor-intensive process of crafting a new forum for us but we'll need your suggestions once we're up and running to really get everything the way it should be. Jax and I are a little shell-shocked and our brains aren't really recalling every category we had.

Please spread the word to any other divas you may know so that we can begin to rebuild and get back to normal. Right now, more than ever, we need your support.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Kristen and Jax

PS. You can read more about this here: http://kristenpainter.blogspot.com/
4/11/2005 12:21:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

Where's That Handbasket?

Sunday, April 10, 2005
Cuz I'm probably gonna need it for my trip to hell.

I was SO BORED in church today that I ended up writing more of my "synopsis" (read: long rambling ideas for plot and backstory) on the back of the sermon outline. Yes, my church hands out a sheet of paper with blanks so that we can fill in the main points. It's actually very handy when he's good. Today, not so much. What's worse is that one of the scenes I scribbled was about making luuuuv.

Not so much the sex but the joyful, sensuous afterglow. I've got a whole music as metaphor thing going on right now as well -- TADA!! -- an actual theme. Gee. I've never had a theme before. Julie will be so proud.

I don't even want a detailed outline of what's going to happen in every scene. Tried that once -- totally ruined the story. Just some ideas of where the story can go once I get past the meet.
4/10/2005 07:34:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Attention Romance Divas!

Saturday, April 09, 2005
As you know, the Romance Divas site is down. Again. We kept overloading our old server. According to an e-mail from Kristen, "We had over 300,000 hits in the first 7 days of April and approximately 12 million for the month of March, so that gives you an idea of our traffic."

She and Jax are working on transferring the site to a much larger server and they believe that we'll be back up and running in a day or two. Yesterday's scheduled chat with Melissa Murray, an editor with Warner Forever, has been rescheduled for a later date.

So spread the word, Divas!
4/09/2005 11:04:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments

Thalia, O Thalia -- Wherefore art thou?

Friday, April 08, 2005
The bitch muse has deserted me. She probably won't find that funny in the least. Or, if she's being acrid, is laughing her sorry ass off somewhere at my floundering. FYI, Thalia is the Muse of Comedy. Huh. Some help she is. I am but a shell of brittle laughter, an ossified embodiment of snark, that mythical creature of Carroll, who also, no doubt, cursed Thalia from time to time.

Wherefore am I so downtrodden, you ask? Or, if you actually know me -- Why the hell are you whining again?

I've got the Not Gonna Pants No More, Gonna Plot Til My Head Falls Off Blooooooooos.

I've printed out Kate Hardy's 10 Step Plan To Writing A Book, a 2 page character worksheet, and the first 5 steps of Randy Ingermanson's infamous Snowflake. The first few steps aren't too bad. Beyond that it gets really scary.

Kate says Step 1 is Write your synopsis. Maximum one page, main events only, with no adverbs, adjectives, dialogue or description. (Action, action, action. Keep it really spare.) Ok. So I also looked up Deb Hale's Synopsis Suitcase article. I've actually used this before and that was how I discovered one of my stories had no actual plot. Kind of a useful thing to know before I spend a lot of time writing it.

So here I am. At Step 1. Again. Knowing that I write because...well...I just do. But why does writing comedy have to be so damn painful?

Working title -- Sweet Revenge
Subtitle -- Your Ass is TOAST!
4/08/2005 02:33:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Get It Right!

Monday, April 04, 2005
I'm good at suspending disbelief. I'm good at losing myself in an author's world. Minor issues don't usually bother me and when a writer has done a good job, I can lose myself in a book and not think "craft" thoughts all the way through.

But damn.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I picked up an anthology I bought at the UBS on my last trip. I'd ODd on Regencies a while back, but I'm slowly getting back into them, mostly by way of anthologies. This was a recent collection, only a couple of years old, put out by a Big Name Publisher.

You know it's going to be bad when you can't get through the first page. And you know the first page is only half a page long due to formatting. shudder

Like I said, I'm pretty easy to get along with. I can forgive a lot of things, but even before I knew anything I knew a few things. Such as -- a peer of the realm is never, ever, EVER referred to as Earl Wilmington* in conversation. I mean, WTF?? How lazy-ass an author can you be not to check the BASICS of the era in which you're writing? This is Regency 101 stuff. Earl Wilmington sounds like he carries a spit cup with him when he goes with his cousin Billy Bob to the NASCAR races. (No offense to those who chew, have cousins named Billy Bob, and/or attend NASCAR.)

According to my favorite Regency appellation page, Earl Wilmington ought to have been referred to as "the Earl of Wilmington." Since our intrepid heroine was a member of the family (not immediate), he should have been "LORD Wilmington" or in more familiar terms, "Wilmington."

Not to mention the fact that his daughter ought not to have been "Miss Wilmington" since Wilmington is the title, not the family name. She should have been "Lady Beatrice Hartwell" or to friends "Lady Beatrice."

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

And you know how difficult it was to find all this out? Not very. Probably took me less than 10 minutes all those eons ago to find this page and bookmark it for future reference. But LAA (Lazy-Ass Author) couldn't be bothered to do the most basic sort of research. Dipwad. FWIW, she has quite a backlist of titles. Yikes.

Equally scary is the fact that this story was deemed acceptable for publication. Makes you wonder if the editors at Big Name Publisher are paying attention to these things. Perhaps this editor usually reads contemporaries or paranormals. Still not much of an excuse when the other two stories in the book used titles more accurately. These errors really jumped off the page.

Just wrong, wrong, wrong. Do the research. It's not that hard and it can be a lot of fun. We have this nifty new thing called The Internet now that can make finding things out much easier. If you're not willing to build the foundation, then your story is going to fall flat. And I'll make it a point never to pick up your backlist!
4/04/2005 09:58:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments

I Have Returned

Sunday, April 03, 2005
But honestly, I'm feeling less than MacArthur-ish about the whole thing. I've returned to a pile of edits and a determination to go on an actual diet. My wedding ring doesn't fit anymore.

As to the edits, I entered a just for fun We All Win 1st chapter contest at Romance Divas and got some feedback on Dude. It was alright -- only two people judged my entry -- but I still got that punched in the heart feeling over some of the comments. I'm going to use one of the character suggestions to shore up my h, who had been feeling a little uneven to me. Now I think I know why. Thankfully, I hardly got tagged at all on mechanics and grammar! I know my grammar skills are adequate, but still I worry sometimes.

Regardless of the hard work in front of me, I feel refreshed by my visit with good friends and willing to tackle my tasks with a renewed spirit. I'm setting aside today to do some goal planning. Now, I usually stink at this. I love setting goals. Really high, pie in the sky goals. Goals like:
Within a week, my mother will be so stunned by my stellar housekeeping that she will weep for joy.
I will write the Great American Romance Novella. First draft in two weeks.
I will lose 15 lbs in three weeks.

Yeah. Right.

How about:
I will plow a path through the living room today and set up a schedule for cleaning. Within a month, I should be able to have guests over as long as they don't go into the Room Of Death.
I will continue to edit until Dude is ready to submit.
I will exercise more often than I have and stick to my menu this week. And I'd like to lose 15 lbs by July.

Doable? What do you think?
4/03/2005 07:21:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments


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