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Friday, April 27, 2007
I'm over at Beyond the Veil today and beginning a series about the pantheon of gods in various cultures. Today, Greek and Roman gods, plus links to more info on them.
4/27/2007 10:19:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

Official Blog Holiday

Saturday, April 21, 2007
Folks, I've been lax here for the last month or so and it's just rude of me. I apologize.

However, I don't see that changing much in the next couple of months, either, so I'm declaring an Official Blog Holiday.

I'll still pop in every once in a while. I'll be blogging over at Beyond the Veil every couple of weeks and I'll be at the Samhain Weblog on May 4, so I'll post notices here as well.

And if some particularly pithy bit of commentary hits me, I'm sure I won't be able to resist the temptation to share.

But you might want to check in here on more of a weekly basis than anything more frequent for the next while. If and when I pick up again, I'll do a big blog hopping roundup to let you know.

I'll see y'all later. You take care now, you hear?
4/21/2007 11:46:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments


Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Still not sure what to call this story. This is part of the novella that's going to be in the Samhain Celtic Love & Lore antho this fall. Originally, I called it Heart of the Sea. Unfortunately, Nora Roberts beat me to that one. I know, titles get re-used all the time, but I just can't. Anyway, now I'm leaning towards Seduced by the Sea. Angie's laughing at me because I can't make up my mind.

In any case, this is unedited, so forgive the roughness. Chapter 1, Scene 1

It was cold! Meriel hated being cold and it was always fricking freezing in the North Atlantic. She longed for home down in Tennessee and tried to remember what a summer’s night felt like. It was no use. Even under layers of blubber and fur, she was still human and still cold.

Three years had passed since she fell into the waters of Block Island Sound in Rhode Island. She should have died, but something else happened instead. When she hit the water, she transformed into a Selkie, a seal-person of Celtic legend. She’d learned a lot about Selkies since that night. Learned a lot about magic and surviving in the open sea. Things a woman should never have to learn.

Back then, she’d thought impressing her boss was important. Now? Now, finding fish was important. Staying away from Selkie-eating killer whales was important.

Fending off the damn real seals who wanted to mate with her was important!

“Back off, fur face!” she barked at an importunate male. “I am not your girlfriend du jour.” Jeez. “A) We’re in open water, not the rookery, and B)it’s not even mating season. If I’d known how attractive I am in blubber, I’d have turned Selkie years ago.”

She grumbled to herself as she dove away from him. A lone halibut, separated from its school, swam past her. Lunch time. In a burst of speed, she chomped down on it and swallowed.

If she ever regained her human form, Meriel swore she would never, ever eat sushi again.
4/18/2007 11:42:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

Blogging Elsewhere

Monday, April 16, 2007
Sorry I was out all weekend, y'all. My MIL came to visit, so it was fun. The kids just love her.

Anyway, today is my day to blog over at Beyond the Veil and I'm talking about Setting as Character. It's a short post -- just meant to spark an idea.

4/16/2007 10:15:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments


Friday, April 13, 2007
See, there IS a difference between "When did you start writing" and "When did you become a Writer."

Several folks dabbled for a while, some took long breaks, other were writers the whole time. Some of us are pig farmers!

Thanks so much to everyone who answered!
4/13/2007 12:48:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments

When did you really become a writer?

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Not “When did you begin writing,” which is a totally different question and frequently brings up the old “I scribbled my first oeuvre on the kitchen wall in blue crayon at the age of 2.”

I’m of a sufficiently literal mind that that answer makes me roll my eyes til they hurt. Nobody wants to be a writer when they’re 2. Or 3. Or 4. They want to be a princess/fireman/teacher/doctor/cowboy/astronaut. Not a romance novelist or a journalist or a horror writer.

What I’m asking instead is when did you sit down and start pounding out words with the practical and realistic expectation of becoming published?

I wrote before I became a writer. I was a reporter for a small-town daily in Idaho. Had a few stories on the front page, even. Features from the alumni magazine I wrote for went all over the state. But I wasn’t a writer. Or at least I didn’t think of myself that way.

I didn’t begin writing until Feb of 2002 on the morning I dripped my way from the shower to the computer, burning to get the scene in my head onto the screen.

Maybe there wasn’t a “moment” for you. Maybe you morphed from writing teen angst in high school to writing for publication without a conscious step.

So how did you get to be a writer?
4/12/2007 02:30:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 26 Comments

Finding yourself

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Been thinking. I know, a dangerous occupation. I may have strained something.

A fellow Diva, Jennifer Bianco, just had a revelation that she had been writing something that wasn't really her. She was writing romantic suspense, when it turns out that the thing that blends perfectly with her voice is 1st person mystery. She found herself.

I've been really dreading getting back into Daughter of Flame. Really dreading it. In that, why is this story not working, why am I getting nothing, kind of way. Because that's how I write. The words have to come from somewhere and wherever that place is, nothing is coming down the pike.

Daughter of Flame is a departure for me. It's a character-driven story, for one thing. It's got plenty of plot, but it's more heavily character focused than what I usually write, I think.

Also, it's a departure in tone. This is not a funny story. Really. Not even close. Oh sure, there are a few zingers in there, but this is no comedy.

I don't think I can write this right now. It's like River Bear. I already know that story is going to be difficult to write. It's lyrical, stylized, emotional and dramatic. Not my usual voice.

Doesn't mean I don't want to write it, but those two stories, Daughter of Flame and River Bear, are probably going to be stories that take years of on-again, off-again effort. Times when the right words come and when they don't, then I can do something else.

When I finally finish them, these two stories are going to be amazing. I can tell. These will be stories that move people, stories that linger. But not if I push them. These stories are deep magic and you can't force that.

Other stories are magic, too. Quick, bright magic -- the kind that makes life fun. I'm in the mood for bright magic right now and I've got just the story for it.
4/10/2007 08:33:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 9 Comments


Saturday, April 07, 2007
It's been a while since I posted recipes and last night I tried two new ones. Delicious!

These both came out of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. You know, the little short one. And they're from the April issue, so if you don't subscribe, you can still pick it up on the magazine rack.

* * *


1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 cup orzo (little rice shaped pasta -- you can find it either near the pasta or the rice, depends on your grocery store)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Peel half the lemon. I have a nifty gadget that peels it off in long, thin strips. (I love Pampered Chef) If you don't have one, use your vegetable peeler, peel off only the top layer. Don't get the white stuff because it's bitter. Then slice the peel into skinny little strips. If all else fails, or this sounds like a colossal PITA, just grate the peel off.

Squeeze the lemon for 2 Tbs of juice. Try this tip. For unpeeled lemons, poke a few holes in the skin first. Nuke for 7-10 seconds, roll it on your counter or cutting board, squashing down fairly hard. Then cut and juice. You actually get more juice out of your lemon this way.

Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil. Add orzo and lemon peel. Cook until orzo is al dente -- about 8-10 minutes, but follow the directions on the package. Drain and return to pot.

Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and scallions.

Voila! Takes about 15 minutes start to finish.

* * *


You can grill this chicken on your bbq, use a grill pan on your stove, use a regular pan, or if you have a George Foreman type thing, you can use that, too.

1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (Or you can use regular tomatoes. Just cut them into small wedges and seed them.)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives (Most Kalamatas come whole, so just mash them with a knife and pull out the pits. And go for the Kalamatas here. Don't cheap out with regular black or green olives.)
4 oz crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb chicken cutlets or boneless, skinless breasts. If you're using breasts (less expensive!), put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten them with a meat pounder first. They'll cook much more quickly and evenly.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, mint and 1 Tbs olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat your grill pan (or whatever) to high, brush lightly with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, working in batches, until chicken is cooked through. About 2 minutes per side. No kidding. Pay attention. Keep chicken warm on a heated plate and cover with aluminum foil. Or just turn your oven on to the lowest heat and stash them there until you're done.

Top chicken with tomato mixture and serve.

With such minimal prep, this only takes about 20 min from fridge to table.

* * *

Oh, both of these recipes serve 4 and that's about right. If you've got a bigger family, big eaters, or you just want leftovers, adjust the ingredients as needed.
4/07/2007 10:53:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments

I just love blogging

Friday, April 06, 2007
I really do.

I mean, where else in the world are you going to get so many people to just pop up and say, "I'll help you!"

Or just as wonderful, "Here. Have a hug."

Because sometimes you're the football at the bottom of the pile, y'know?

I made bookmarks today. It was kind of fun. Some good card stock and a paper trimmer and I'll be good to go. On my way to an office supply store this afternoon. In my ongoing attempt to tidy up my office, I need more organizational tools.

And I'm chatting in a casual way over at the CoffeeTime Romance yahoo group. Just mingling. Meeting new folks, seeing new faces. A couple of the excerpts that have been posted today have been absolutely hilarious. I'm definitely buying "Vampire Vintage" by Ashlyn Chase.

Sometimes it's easy to forget in the rush to claw your way to the top that mostly, it's just about people. I was thinking about Linnea Sinclair today. I met her in the bar (where else?) last year at RWA and I'd never heard of her before. Now I own her entire backlist and I love them all. I probably never would have picked them up if we hadn't just talked for a while. Well, and the fact that she writes like a dream. That, too. Cuz all the chatting in the world won't help if you can't write.

I can make bookmarks until my printer explodes, but it's really about the personal connection. And the writing.

BTW, Danielle may or may not post the review on her blog, but she enjoyed the story though she found it a little lacking in depth. I'm ok with that. She's honest and I appreciate that.
4/06/2007 02:08:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Sure enough. It's Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I've never liked reading blog posts where the writer says, "But I have nothing to blog about!"

I have nothing to blog about. Seriously. I'm in a mood and it's not a good one.

Not that there's anything wrong, specifically, it's more a collection of picky nagging things that seem to be ganging up on me all at once.

One of my books isn't selling as well as I'd hoped and I can't get any buzz going on it at all. I've done chats. It's usually nothing but the other authors you're with and the same 3 or 4 people hoping to score a free book.

Reviewers seem to be avoiding it like the plague, so I can't even get any discussion going on it.

Oh wait. I take that back. Of the 4 people who have reviewed it, 3 have given it mediocre reviews. Two of them went so far as to pat me on the head and say, in essence, "Bless her heart, she can't help being a moron." That made even the nice things they said about it turn to acid.

Then I screwed up my wrist. This is going to put a serious crimp in my workouts since now I'll have to stick to cardio and leg strengthening, but can't do anything about upper-body work since it all involves pulling and lifting and I can't afford to damage my wrist any more than it already is. Not to mention that I probably shouldn't even be writing this blog post right now.

Speaking of writing, I haven't.

On a bright note, my e-mail has been seriously screwed up for the last couple of days and I've had to deal with the most annoying pop-up. But I just got it fixed! It took some effort, but I even got to talk to a real human being, too!

So there you go. I told you I didn't have anything to blog about.
4/04/2007 09:52:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 15 Comments

Monday Meander: General Thoughts

Monday, April 02, 2007
First, Angela James, an editor for Samhain, is blogging about the Perfect Pitch today at the Samhain weblog. Editors blog there on Mondays, so it's one to watch.

Second, Ciar Cullen has a post today at Beyond the Veil about writing paranormals as a skeptic.

Third, this woman in my head won't shut up. She popped up on Saturday as I was trying on some shoes I bought for RWA. Gotta start the breaking in process now, you know.

She's a biochemist who specializes in scent. So I need a hero for her. There are sooooo many ideas floating through my head for him, I can't quite narrow it down. But I will. Because any woman this unique really needs to have her story told.

Fourth, I want to finish Daughter of Flame by May 1. 20,000 words or until the story is done.
4/02/2007 03:20:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 1 Comments


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