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August at Romance Divas

Monday, July 31, 2006
Romance Divas
Author of the Month : Gemma Halliday – Contests workshop from the Golden Heart winner
Aug 5-7: Paranormal Event with Carrie Vaughn, LA Banks, CT Adams/Cathy Clamp, Gena Showalter, and Kelley Armstrong.
Aug 11 Jessica Faust: Bookends-inc agent in the Chatroom. 9 Eastern
August 8-18 :: Getting To Know The Voices in Your Head Workshop with Jo Ann Ferguson/Jocelyn Kelley
Aug 18 :: Theresa Meyers: PR/Promo in the Chatroom.
August 25 :: Ann Christopher, Patricia Sargeant, Maureen Smith and Sophia Shaw Multi-cultural Authors Chat
7/31/2006 05:23:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments

Je suis de retour

Home again! I love my bed. I just thought I'd say that. I really, really love my bed.

The hotel was lovely -- so posh! It lent a whole different feel to the conference, actually. Reno was active and manic and loud, no matter if it was day or night. Atlanta was quiet and elegant. Except in the bar. I deny all knowledge and/or culpability based on whatever may or may not have happened in the bar.

It was a fun conference, but I feel like I didn't get much ... accomplished. I didn't pitch, I didn't meet editors or agents. I enjoyed the workshops I went to, but I think I missed some that I might have found useful.

I think I'll need to re-envision my strategy for next year. Have a stronger focus and some goals to reach.

Anyway, it's just nice to be home. I've got what are hopefully my last round of actual edits before the line editor gets to it and I got my preliminary cover art. It needs a little bit of tweaking before it goes "live," then I'll plaster it EVERYWHERE!

Thanks for taking care of the blog and for refilling the coffee pot! I need a fresh cup now before I start working. See y'all!
7/31/2006 10:40:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

Je serais de retour

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I'll be back.

Leaving in about an hour. Take care of the blog while I'm gone, bloglets. Don't let the coffee run out. House rule -- If you drink the last cup, you make the next pot.

I'll be back, probably with photos (ugh!), on Sunday afternoon!
7/26/2006 07:09:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

One More Sleep!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Because that's how Monkey Boy counts days. Today, tomorrow, yesterday have no meaning for him, but counting sleeps until an event seems to work.

One more sleep until I leave for Atlanta!!! It's pouring down rain here and even though it's playing merry hell with my hair, I'm grateful. If South Carolina had a drier climate, the whole state would have exploded into flames a month ago, it's been that dry.

Spent yesterday marathon shopping with my mom -- five hours of the mall, plus a couple of other small errands and I bought a new bra, two mascaras, three pairs of earrings and a silver chain. A couple of sundries for the children, a new shirt for my mom and that's it. Five frickin' hours. I hate to shop.

At least I finally found a bra. Victoria's Secret was stunningly unhelpful. I don't expect much in the way of customer service. I really don't. But they went below and beyond. First, we had to hunt someone down to help me find the right bra in my size. She wasn't even helpful other than telling me they didn't have it in that style. She unlocked a dressing room door, then completely abandoned us. I've never had that happen at VS before, so I was surprised.

The ladies at Dillard's, however, were everything one could wish from a retail salesperson. Friendly but not creepily so, helpful and charming.

Soooo not the point of this post. But anyway.

Today is given over to laundry, ironing, packing, hair appointment, electrician coming by and possibly more showings. We've had at least five and one was a repeat. I learned long ago not to get my hopes up about such things.

New topic: Still haven't recieved notice about which classes my children will enter. School starts two weeks from today.

New topic: Received e-mail this morning from another lady who also has a blog titled "What Was I Thinking." She asked me to change my title because hers is copyrighted.

Titles cannot be copyrighted. I checked and double checked my sources, including the U.S. Copyright Office and the Creative Commons License. An intellectual properties attorney supports my position.

I did offer to link to her blog in case someone looking for her accidentally ends up here. Naturally, I'd be more than happy for anyone who wanders across my blog by any means to grab a cup of coffee (or beverage of choice -- I number tea drinkers among my readers) and settle in for a while to browse.

That's it for now, then. I'll try to drop in once more before I leave but if not


And if I don't, I'll be thinking of you. Granted, it'll be through an adrenaline and alcohol induced haze, but I'll still think of you!
7/25/2006 09:31:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments

I Feel Better

Monday, July 24, 2006
Not 100%, but better. And it's a good thing, too, because I've got bucket load of things to do today.

Still need to do a little bit of last minute shopping, cash a check (be sure to bring lots of small bills for tipping), make sure mom and the kids have plenty of groceries in the house...

Oh. And learn how to pitch. I don't why I feel the need for this. I don't have anything to pitch. The closest thing is Daughter of Privilege and that's already headed for Kate Duffy as soon as it's done -- I'm taking that Query Contest 1st place as a request.

But I'd like to not sound like an idiot if someone asks me what I'm writing. I just need to clear out the mental space to organize my thoughts.

I just had to write a note to myself about bringing my business cards. I forgot them last year. Went through all that drama trying to figure out a good tagline and agonized over adding a phone number and then I left them at home.


But they're on the list now. And if they're on the list, then they can't be forgotten. Right?

Hey, it's my little fantasy. Don't destroy it for me.

But it's time to get up and going now. I've got a lot of calls to make to see if we can get out for dinner tonight with my mom, sans Monkey Children.

Though I make fun, they're generally well-behaved. They've been in restaurants from the backwoods to Bavaria and I've always been proud of them. *sigh* I'm trying to teach them to eat like Americans, though. I eat in a slightly modified European manner that they've picked up, but "When in America..." All that fork and knife switching gets on my nerves something fierce. What idiot thought this up? The whole process is unnecessarily complex. Eating -- the act of eating -- should be simple. I think it's why so many people rebel against learning even the most basic rules -- eating American style is too damn difficult.

But that's a rant for another day. When I have time to waste looking up graphics and videos to link back to.
7/24/2006 07:45:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments


Saturday, July 22, 2006
I haf a code. I feel like road kill. I need to go shopping, but I think I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

I also finished my edits. I'd done 85% of them almost as soon as I got them, but then stuff started happening (trip to Atlanta, 18-hour marathons of house cleaning, etc.) and time got away from me. I'm embarrassed to admit that my editor had to send me a "get your butt in gear" note, but it worked. Got them done and sent back yesterday.

Mom's here. She'd gotten stuck in Chicago, but my SIL took her home overnight and she caught the first flight out in the morning. Whew! Major drama.

Have already had two showings of the house and one more scheduled for tomorrow.

Need more coffee. Word to the wise: Cold-Eez (cherry flavor) makes everything you eat taste like something growing at the bottom of the veg bin.
7/22/2006 09:52:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

Working on a Cover

Friday, July 21, 2006
Just got an e-mail this morning from Vanessa, who will be doing my cover art. Nothing yet, just a preliminary "hi, how are you" note. But I'm so excited!! Her art tends to the slightly darker side, so we'll see what she comes up with.

In other news, my mama isn't here yet. Apparently, Chicago was a disaster yesterday so it took hours just to get out of Boise, then she couldn't get a flight out. As Providence would have it, dh's sister lives in Chicago and -- get this -- was AT THE AIRPORT when we called! She was picking up her husband and we got them all together so mom had a place to sleep instead of camping out at O'Hare. She just called and said she should be able to catch the morning flight into Columbia. Whew!

House went on the market this morning. There's a sign out front. Kinda weird.

Off to do the grocery shopping.
7/21/2006 09:42:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments

My mama's coming!

Thursday, July 20, 2006
My mama's coming to visit me!!! Woohoo!!! She'll arrive later this afternoon from Idaho. I'm pretty excited. She gets out here or we go visit her about once a year or so, so this is a big deal. Bless her, we actually organized it so she'd be here to watch the Monkey Children while I'm in Atlanta.

She's over the moon. From Friday to Sunday, she'll have them all to herself. She'll feed them popcorn and ice cream for dinner and no one will care. Even I won't care. Hey, if you can't have popcorn and ice cream for dinner while your Lita's here (Lita is short for Abuelita -- we're invisibly Hispanic, white as a lily I am) then you just haven't lived right.

Now, I may have mentioned that my mother is a compulsive neat-nik -- a trait that seems to have skipped me, but works in my Monkey Boy. The 5 yr old actually cleans his room when you ask him to. Shocking, I know. The Monkey Princess takes more after me in this area, I'm afraid.

But now that my house is spick and span, she doesn't have to go around cleaning it. I don't ask her to, but she starts driving me bonkers after a while saying, "Why don't we clean this?" Or worse yet, "Why don't we go to the garden center and find some live plants?" What? So I can kill them? Sounds like a pretty sick thrill to me.

She's also a gardener. *shudder*

This time, I am determined that she will relax. See, my step-dad is an invalid. Not total, but bad enough. She has to take care of him and rarely gets to leave the house. But while she's on holiday, Hospice Home Care is going to check in with him daily and mom's got a schedule of neighbors and friends coming by to visit with him. So this is the first break she's had in I don't know how long. And she really, really needs a break.

So if I'm not on as much in the next few days, you'll know why.
7/20/2006 07:38:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 1 Comments

Monday's End: Voice Part II

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The thing is, it's not just practice, practice and listen, listen. It's a very active process.

In writing, this may mean spending some time with Strunk and White. A well-trained voice is never sloppy in its heart. After all these years, my first drafts are very clean. Very few technical errors and I'm able to concentrate on the story that way.

As you write, you concentrate on writing well -- by the way, this works best for me in the 2nd draft stage. I can't often just throw words on a page and call it writing. Other writers may be technically messy, but they still get the story out. With practice, the technical part will clean up a lot and you can still focus on story.

Another word about practice. I learned from a pianist friend that it's not just "Practice makes perfect. It's "Perfect practice makes perfect."

If you spot a flaw in your writing, you can't just keep repeating the same flaw over and over. You don't learn from that. You spot the flaw, you fix it, you keep an eye open for it. Eventually, that flaw is conquered. On to the next flaw.

Once you've got the basics down and you've learned to spot the flaws, then you learn to manipulate your voice.

Jason Alexander -- yes, George Costanza from Seinfeld -- actually has an amazing voice. Not only does he do the full-up, slightly nasal, Ethel Merman Broadway voice for laughs, but he's able to sing a ballad that can make you cry. It's all in how he uses his voice. Smooth over the rough edges and make it pure, billow up that flat nasality and make it full, pull back to a whisper, then cry out to the heavens. Short. Choppy. Phrases. Or long, lyrical, vibrato passages.

As writers, we do the exact same thing. Learn to vary your voice. Make it fit the story, make it fit the character, make it hit the note you want.

And how do you learn to do that, short of having an actual teacher stand over your shoulder? You listen.

Listening for writers is reading. And learning what's crap and what isn't. We don't all have the same tastes and one person's wall-banger is another person's keeper. I don't think Kelly Clarkson can carry a tune in a bucket, but I'm a sucker for Carly Simon.

I know that when I started writing, it kind of sucked some of the fun out of reading for a while. I analyzed every single thing I read. Did I like how she made this character redeemable? Did I think this character did something really out of character? You know how it goes.

After a while, I got most of the enjoyment back, but I've become a lot more discerning about the things I take the time to read. Things that are on my keeper shelf start looking ragged really quickly. I read them over and over and start to memorize passages.

More than passages, really. I start to memorize the emotions those passages evoke. It's not about the words, it's about how they impact me.

See? At this point, we've moved past technicalities. We know how to breathe, how to stand, how to write technically clean copy. Now we have to learn -- without copying directly -- how to get to the heart of our reader. Two people can sing the same song. Both can be technically proficient. But only one will really speak to me. Why? It's how they use their instrument. Their voice.

Sing to me, sweetheart.

By the way, I'm going to try to be a little less self-indulgent in future Monday Meanderings. These first tries have felt a bit pretentious.
7/18/2006 07:48:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments

Rant about Reviews

Monday, July 17, 2006
No, not my reviews. I don't have any yet. But I think I've identified something that is guaranteed to make me tear out my hair. It's not the first time I've seen it and I doubt it'll be the last.

"Gosh, if only this novella was a full-length novel."

GGAAAAHHHHH!!!!! Well, it isn't!!!! And you knew that when you picked up the book!!! Twit!!!!

Now, if the novella feels incomplete, that's one thing. But what the HELL is up with "if only the author had tacked on a completely unnecessary subplot or two and introduced a cast of thousands, I could have taken this more seriously."


It is what it is, people. If you don't like novellas, don't fricking READ THEM!!! Read longer books! There are plenty of them out there. Hell, I can recommend a few if you're that hard up.

What's tough is finding a good novella. I should know. I read enough of them. Lord knows I've ranted on this before, but writing a good, tight novella is a dying art -- one that should be appreciated as something separate from writing a novel.

Unfortunately, that seems to be what people expect. All the qualities of a novel, in less than 100 pages. Uh-uh. Ain't gonna happen.

A novella is a unique being. Part novel, part short story, but with a different sensibility.

Very focused, the plot is magnified, intensified to provide the characters with constant contact. The characters MUST be fully faceted and complex, but their backstories -- except for what's necessary to move the plot forward -- remain just that. Backstory. Behind them.

As a novella writer, I can't afford to spend a chapter reminiscing about how the heroine's daddy used to take her fishing on sunny Sundays and how much she learned about the value of silence from those trips. No. It's enough for the reader to know that SHE knows how to shut the hell up when she needs to.

Just...just...take things as they are. Review what's in front of you, not what you wish it would be. That way lies madness.

Also, I will be very pissed off at you.
7/17/2006 08:45:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 25 Comments

Monday Meander: Voice


I gots voice, you gots voice. All God's chilluns gots voice.

Sweet, snarky, wistful, despairing. Soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone. All good voices. They all have their uses. But to come to their full potential, they have to be trained.

A decent singer with an untrained voice can carry a tune pretty well. Not much range, not much depth, but they're still on key. Not horrible to listen to, but probably fairly forgettable.

A singer with a trained voice, however, is captivating. Mesmerizing. From the glorious highs to the very depths of sound, a singer with a highly trained voice is an instrument of beauty.

When I took voice lessons, it was amazing to notice how -- within weeks -- my voice went from merely pleasant to capable of holding an audience. Not by sheer volume, which I have in spades, but by a newly learned ability to control it. Make it do what I wanted. I'm a straight contralto with a low break. That means that my voice breaks into a different tone, almost like a falsetto, at around middle C -- quite low for a woman. In fact, I can sing lower than a few male tenors I know. But that's not the point. The point is that, with training, my break was breached. I hit a solid E before breaking. And when I did, I was able to sail over the break without it being obvious. I learned to control my breathing, I learned techniques that gave my voice, well, a voice. Character, quirks, a unique tone to fit whatever I was singing.

I used that same training when I acted or competed in speech tournaments. The tournaments are some of the most useful acting I've ever done, as far as training goes. See, there are no costumes, no props, and no movement. It's all done with the voice. I played an Ophelia so creepy, I watched judges shudder. I think I turned a few of them on. *nudge wink* Even got a comment once that I had a voice suited to the silver screen. That's one of my favorite compliments ever.

Now let's take this metaphor and make it useful on paper.

An untrained writer with any smattering of skill can tell a story. First this happened, then this, then this. It may even be an exciting story with a clever conclusion.

But train that voice? And you've got Susan Elisabeth Phillips. Jenny Cruisie. Laura Kinsale. You've got people who can move readers to tears, to laughter, to rage and to grief.

It seems, however, that training a writing voice may be more difficult than training a physical one. For one thing, we're far more stubborn on paper. While we may admit that our physical voice could do with some smoothing over, when it comes to writing we say, "No, no. We like our voice the way it is."

It takes a tough teacher to say, "But you're weak here." There aren't many tough teachers in romance, I think. We're frequently over concerned with how the student will react. And the sad fact is, most students aren't ready for the tough teachers. But that's a post for a different day.

Once we get past that initial, "But what's wrong with the way I sound?" we can be molded. We're willing to go up the scale and finally hear that ear-shattering screech for what it really is.

Then, how do you fix it? By going back to the basics. And I mean basics. Learning how to stand, how to breathe, how to shape your mouth to get the right sounds.

Once you've crossed that hurdle, it's a combination of practice, practice, practice and listen, listen, listen.

This post got really long, so we'll talk Practicing and Listening tomorrow.
7/17/2006 02:18:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments


Sunday, July 16, 2006
My very first author chat!

I'll be at the Samhain Cafe from 6-7pm EST tonight. I'm sorry it's short notice. I forgot to post it before I left, then only had internet for a day at the hotel and didn't have time to post it then.

Anyway, excerpts and contests! Come talk to me! I have a deep-seated fear that I'll arrive and no one will talk to me. *eek!*
7/16/2006 05:16:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments


Wednesday, July 12, 2006
To go along with Giggle and Choke.

My blurb is up.

It's silly to get so excited over these things, but I'm only a first-time author once, you know? By the time my next book gets published *gigglechokesnort*, I'll be totally blasé about it. I promise.

Shyah right.

Here it is:

Not Quite Dead by Sela Carsen
ISBN: 1-59998-184-X
Length: Novella
Price: $3.50
Genre: Romance/Paranormal/Comedy
Publication Date: August 15th, 2006

He’s gorgeous, he’s got great manners, he’s got a mission to accomplish. The only drawback? He’s been dead for a hundred years.

Sabine Harper’s night started out badly—a dead man jumped out of his grave, she was chased by a vampire and now she has an uninvited guest. The worst part? A guy who may or may not be entirely dead is looking ten times better than any living man she’s ever dated.

Willem Breaux has only three days to avenge his murder, but upon awakening more than a century into the future, he discovers that he needs Sabine’s help more than he could have imagined. And in the end, he’ll need her love more than anything else.

Can Willem and Sabine find love—and a little laughter—in spite of time, death and an evil that’s waited a century to make its move?

C'mon. It's totally worth $3.50. Dontcha think?
7/12/2006 12:20:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments


Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Glargh. Yesterday, I choked. Not physically -- mentally. I hit the ground running and didn't quit for 10 hours. By the time I sat down to finish my edits, I just couldn't do it. I think I made myself sick with all that caffeine because I felt wretched. It's the black moment that needs fixing up and I'm being cowardly.

But I really wanted to get them done before we go on holiday tomorrow. We're taking the laptop with us, so I suppose that if worse comes to worse, I can do them while I'm gone.

On the other hand, I finally had all my neighborhood friends over for coffee and had all the kids (8 extra plus my 2) playing upstairs. We had a great time and I actually baked Cranberry Pumpkin Mini Muffins. Yum.

Then I got Monkey Boy registered for Kindergarten and took all of us for our yearly eye exam. The Monkey Princess has inhereted the Carsen curse in full measure. Blind as a bat. Perhaps I'll start calling her the Bat Princess. She's had glasses for a couple of years, but from last summer to now, her vision has taken a real tumble. So now it's time to go price glasses for her.

In the last two or three years, my vision has held steady. That's the first stretch in the last twenty something years that I haven't needed a new prescription. It used to bother my husband horribly that my Rx changed every year. He was convinced I'd be blind by 40. So was I. In fact, I've registered a slight change for the better. Yep, I'll be in bifocals before I know it.

Then we hit a couple of sales and picked up Monkey Boy's first official School Backpack. He's thrilled. It's red.

In closing, I want to let you know that posts will be infrequent for the next few days while we're in Atlanta, but I'll still be posting excerpts at Samhain's READER APPRECIATION Week tomorrow and Friday, as well as chatting on Sunday. I'll post a snippet here on the blog next week so you don't feel left out. *gg*
7/11/2006 09:00:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 1 Comments

Rule of Three

Monday, July 10, 2006
First off, don’t forget that today is the first day of Samhain’s READER APPRECIATION Week! Check out the Café for excerpts and contests from our Mystery/Suspense/Thriller authors.

In addition, Diana Peterfreund is hosting a workshop on Pitching at Conferences over in the Romance Divas Author of the Month section.

Now, on to our Monday Meandering.

Rule of Three

I’ve been doing a lot of fairy tale reading lately. Particularly my childhood favorite, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which are Scandinavian fairy tales. They’re generally familiar, since they’ve made the rounds in one way or another through lots of European traditions. Cinderella (even a Cinder-fella version!), the Twelve Dancing Princesses (except in these stories there were always three princesses and three brothers/companions), The Glass Hill, etc.

So. Three. Is a magic number, yes it is. It’s a magic number. Er, sorry. Sela steps out of her groove thang and back onto topic.

Three is a HUGE deal in fairy tales and I finally decided to ask the question. Why? Why three? Why not eight? Or two? Or four?

Because three is just right.

The first time the beggar boy charges up the glass hill in bronze armor, it proves he can do it. At least a bit. This is the charge addresses the challenge.

The second time the beggar boy charges up the hill, he’s in silver armor. This is the charge that sets the pattern.

But the third time? The third time something happens. The entry to the cave where he keeps his golden armor is blocked. The horse throws a golden shoe. The king pours oil on the glass hill. But he triumphs through adversity. His golden armor is so bright that he gleams like a second sun, especially in the eyes of his two older brothers (see? There’s that three again) who mocked him. The third charge is the one that completes the pattern.

They never fail on the third charge.

That’s just fine for fairy tales, but does it translate into other genres?

In comedy – or maybe especially in comedy, threes are important.

I found an article about how threes are the perfect set up for a punch line.

“The first two items in the triplet set the pattern (the "straight" line) and the third item breaks the pattern (the twist). Breaking the pattern heightens the tension and creates the surprise, usually resulting in laughter.” For example:
“Same Category/Same Category/Different Category (T-shirt which lists world-class cities: Paris/Tokyo/Fargo).”

Ok, that was lame. It doesn’t always result in laughter. Anyway.

We like stories that come in threes. Think of Nora and her trilogies. Blond, brunette, redhead. Demure, sex kitten, tomboy. Gotta have room for all three of them, right?

But for our purposes, it’s a lot simpler than any of that.

Thank Aristotle for it, but our basic storytelling paradigm runs in three acts. The problem is set up in Act I, the plans of our characters lays in ruins at the end of Act II and Act III is all about resolution.

And they all lived Happily Ever After.
7/10/2006 12:32:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

Whaddaya think?

Sunday, July 09, 2006
It's a little dark, but I think I can get used to it.

I'm editing this weekend. I'm up to Chapter Four now, so I'd best get back to it. I want to finish by tomorrow, which I think I can do if I push for the rest of today.

Tomorrow: A new Monday Meandering
7/09/2006 03:38:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

I appreciate readers I don't even have yet

Friday, July 07, 2006
Just want to give my blog-lets a special heads-up that Samhain is going to be hosting a READER APPRECIATION WEEK next week.

Over at the Samhain Cafe, readers and writers hang out and socialize, but we want to do something special to let our readers know how much we love them.

So, July 10-16, we'd like for you to log in to the Samhain Cafe and check out all the excerpts, contests and free prizes we'll be giving away. It's important that our readers always feel connected, so here's our chance to express our gratitude to them.

Over 30 authors have signed up to participate in this event. Each day is given over to a specific sub-genre, so if there's one that appeals to you, come by and read some excerpts. Maybe you'll find a new favorite author or a new must-buy book!

Monday: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Tuesday: SciFi/Fantasy/Futuristic
Thursday: Historical/Western

Saturday and Sunday are our Reader Blitz days with scheduled chats and lots of giveaways! I'll be chatting on Sunday from 6-7pm EST and giving away yet more stuff.

By the way, that's 5pm Central, 4pm Mountain, 3pm Pacific, 11pm GMT and God knows what time it'll be in Australia. I can never remember that conversion.

All events will take place at the Samhain Cafe. It's a busy group, so you might want to go digest.

See you there!
7/07/2006 09:32:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments


Thursday, July 06, 2006
I have a bio up at Samhain. Ain't that a kick?

But I'm tired and I can't decide if it makes sense. It made sense when I wrote it. Does that count?
7/06/2006 09:09:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Editing Cave

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I got my edits! Good comments -- helpful hints -- places that need to be shored up and smoothed out.

My tendency to write tightly has apparently overcome common sense once or twice and suddenly people are appearing fully dressed or completely nekkid where in the paragraph previous they were otherwise attired.

Also, my black moment is lame. But I can fix that! Thank God she called me on it, though. It's like in school when you'd turn in an essay that had a weak spot and you'd pray the teacher would just skim over it -- and when she didn't, you'd think, "Oh crap. Better fix it." But you knew it would be better after you did?

Yeah. That.

So this weekend I'll be editing and taking breaks to toss food down the Monkey Children's gullets.
7/05/2006 10:39:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 3 Comments

I forgot!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Did I tell y'all that I write the occasional review for Romance Divas?

Well, I do.

A long, long time ago, I got to review Julie Cohen's first two releases, FEATURED ATTRACTION and BEING A BAD GIRL.

And I loved them. I mean, loved them. As in, they'd be on my keeper shelf even if she wasn't my friend. They're that good. I've already re-read them. Jack and Oz are the most delicious heroes. They genuinely struggle to be good people, which alone shows how wonderful they already are. And the heroines? Delightful and each with their own struggles, their own needs.

Anyway, after some downtime at RD, where our web goddess had to take time off and wasn't able to post reviews, they're up.

5 kisses for each -- and I'm not the kind of reviewer who just hands out 5 kisses all over the place. So check out the reviews and, if you haven't already, go order them. I think you can find them at Amazon.com. Ask Julie.
7/04/2006 10:56:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

Monday Meander: No roots to show

Monday, July 03, 2006
Bernita's recent couple of posts about attic finds got me thinking again, along with the upcoming move.

Seems to me like a lot of folks put quite a bit of stock in attics and the things contained therein. It sounds very poetic, but always a bit unreal to me. As if it's the sort of things people in books do, but not real people. Or maybe just people who are completely unlike me.

For a romance writer, I'm really not very romantic. Even if I encountered these items -- and I have, through the years -- it doesn't make me smile fondly or yearn for a bygone innocence. It's just more stuff to get rid of.

I sometimes fear I'm one of those dreadful modernist minimalists at heart.

My mother is the opposite. I think she still has everything I ever touched. I'm an only child and she is the sixth of seven. That may have something to do with it. That, and she's a packrat -- always hanging on to something because it may come in useful in the future.

Not me, baby. Slash and burn and let the wind carry the ashes away. The past is the past. It can't be changed and I wouldn't if I could. I suprise myself by being a proponent of chaos theory. If one moment of my past was changed, I wouldn't be where and what and who I am right now. At this moment.

A relentless charge forward.

There are so few "things" that mean anything real to me. Bernita's button box holds more than buttons for her. Maybe it's simply that I have so few family ties. I never knew any of my father's family and he's gone now. I know many of my mother's family, but have no real connection to them other than blood. Is that enough?

It occurs to me that maybe it's me. Perhaps it's some quirk of my personality that provides me with so little anchorage.

I do have some ballast to keep me even. My family. My friends. And yet, I am still, in my soul, unencumbered by ... attic finds. Things that tie me to history, to continuity.

So does that set me free, or merely adrift?
7/03/2006 08:30:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Creeped out

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It was only a matter of time. After a while, I start to get creeped out by all the pictures of my cleavage every time I leave a comment somewhere. Therefore, I've changed to something more representative of my true state of mind.
7/02/2006 08:28:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments


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