Happy birthday to me and <a target="_blank" href="http://lillianstewartcarl.com/">Lillian Stewart Carl</a>! We credit being born on the cusp of magic for our fantastic imaginings. I think she's more fantastic than I am, though. In addition to all her other honors, she gets to read Lois McMaster Bujold's books before anybody else does and she gets cover quotes from Anne McCaffrey.
Cheers to us and another year! We'll be celebrating by posting our birthday mathoms over on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theonering.net/index.shtml">That Tolkien Board</a>, each of us providing a Tolkien inspired moment from our fiction. (Actually the Ring Cycle predates Tolkien, but let's not be picky.) I'll post mine here, too, and if you'd like to win a copy of The Gripping Beast, comment and I'll put your name in the drawing.
THE GRIPPING BEAST
Copyright 2005 Charlene Teglia
Samhain Publishing all rights reserved
There was a campfire in a forest clearing. Lorelei could see a man sitting by the fire with two large dogs, one on each side of him. She walked towards the trio and when she got closer, she realized the animals weren’t dogs at all. They were wolves. The man turned his head towards her. Firelight showed a patch covering one eye.
A man with one eye and two wolves could only be…“Odin.”
He smiled. “That name will do.”
Lorelei waved her hands in the air, too exasperated to be still. Even her damn dreams were full of riddles. Was it too much to hope for an escape when she closed her eyes?
“What next? Armbands that come alive when you don’t expect them to and don’t when you do expect it, Vikings, a Norse god and guardian wolves. Could this get any weirder?”
“That’s possible. You should be careful what you wish for.”
She stared at him. “What I wish for? What do you mean?”
He didn’t answer her. Instead, he asked another question. “What do you know of the Rhinegold?”
“Like in the story? Well, for starters, the ring made nine more of itself every…” Lorelei trailed off as an idea came to her that was completely outrageous. But then, not any more outrageous than having a fire lit conversation with an embodied myth. “You’re not telling me that some of the replicas got loose and you lost track of them?”
“I keep my eye on them.”
He was serious. Lorelei stared at him in disbelief, but there was no hint of humor in his face. “The designs in Erik’s armbands were made from a piece of the Rhinegold?”
Well, that made as much sense as anything else in this crazy dream. As much sense as anything else in her current waking life, actually. “And if they are, why aren’t weird things happening to him?” Why hadn’t anything happened to her when she’d taken one and put it on earlier, for that matter?
“By themselves they are inert. The wearer must have the key.”
“I don’t have any key!” Lorelei burst out. As she’d proven in her failed attempt to get back home.
“Don’t you?” Odin stood up and turned to face her fully. He rested one hand on each of the wolves’ heads as he spoke. “Be careful what you wish for.”
Then the trio and the fire all vanished, leaving her alone in the dark forest clearing under a starless sky.
Happy summer! The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.equinox-and-solstice.com/html/summer_solstice.html">solstice is here</a>. According to some sources, solstice dreams come true. Have any good dreams?
Yesterday, the toddler got all upset trying to explain something to me. She wanted to be a tiger. OK, be a tiger. You can pounce and growl! Nooooooo. Tearful toddler wails as she attempts to explain that tigers have big, fluffy tails. How can she be a tiger without a tail?
Aha. My big terry robe has a matching tie. I remove the tie from the robe, tie it around the toddler's waist in back, and voila, one long, fluffy tiger tail. Toddler is delighted and spends the rest of the day being a tiger.
If only it was always that easy to entertain with a tale...
Lots of interesting market posts out there. <a target="_blank" href="http://mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_balls_hype/2006/06/to_market_to_ma.htm">MJ Rose discusses writing to market</a> and whether you can do it without selling out. (To which I say a resounding YES.) <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lydiajoyce.com/blog/?p=346">Lydia Joyce has numbers</a> on making a living at writing, interesting reading although it does make me think of that quote "lies, damn lies, and statistics". Because while it can help give you a picture of publishing, the individual factor is much harder to pin down.
Anyway. Writing to market. Here's an example from my own experience. I pitched three projects to St. Martin's. I wrote synopsis on the first two. One was paranormal, one contemporary. All three projects were books I want to write and feel enthusiastic about. (I will write the other two, have written 1/3 of one and will sell them elsewhere if SMP doesn't want them.)
The one that sold was the contemporary. If you look at my booklist, I have about a 50/50 split on contemporary and FF&P. Well, the numbers are skewed now I think in favor of FF&P. But the point is, I like to write both. It's not selling out to write the contemporary, because I love that book, too.
I think the key to writing to market without being a sell out is very simple: don't pitch or undertake anything you don't really want to do. When I see somebody holding their nose and saying "erotic sells so I'll do that, it'll be easy, those books are so badly written the publishers will buy anything" I know that writer is going to have one of two outcomes. Complete failure, or a complete change of heart with the discovery that by God this erotic stuff is fun and I'm pretty good at it!
You can't succeed doing something you hate. Period. If you hate the genre, the readers and the publishers and the other authors, give it up and move on. Find another market segment that resonates with you. Publishing is huge, there's something somewhere to get fired up about that will sell.
When I blogged last night about Father's day, it made me start thinking about Smoke Signals. An absolutely amazing movie, and why haven't I gotten around to buying the book yet? I like the reality and the humanity if this movie, and one of the most moving moments is the poem Thomas Builds-the-Fire recites at the end. I found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.miracosta.cc.ca.us/home/gfloren/alexie.htm">a link to it here</a>. Good Father's day reading. And if you haven't seen the movie or read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven, it's a good day to go to Borders.
Happy Father's Day to the dads out there. Including mine. *waves*
Here's my opportunity to publicly praise my husband, <a target="_blank" href="http://designingdad.com/">the designing dad</a>. He's spent more hours than I can count walking a fussy baby on his shoulder, drawing pictures, reading stories, watching kid movies, hiking around wearing a child in a backpack and generally being a terrific dad. He's a pro and he's only been at it 3 years. :lol:
So the website is getting a bit behind. I will get some updates together for dates and titles if nothing else on upcoming stories. Need to get the fall releases onto the site along with the 07 titles. I have two scheduled for 07 so far, one for EC, one for St. Martin's Press. I don't think I'll worry about anything beyond title and date on those until we get closer to the end of 06, but I should at least have 'em listed.
Schedule looks like this:
TBA Sept. 06, Wolf In Shining Armor, Ellora's Cave
Nov. 1, Night Music in Beginnings: A Samhain Anthology, Samhain Publishing
Dec. 7, Yule Be Mine, Cerridwen Press
TBA 07: Only Human (Torrid Tarot: The Star) Ellora's Cave
July 07: Wild Wild West, St. Martin's Press
Miss Lonely Hearts is in there but the new date will get set after I turn in the ms.