Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turn Your Dreams Into Ideas

(Photo is of my two babies, Tike and Prissy. Wonder what they are dreaming about? Mice?)

Turn your dreams into ideas.

While you sleep, your mind travels into the past, the future, and unknown territories. Why not harness this wonderful ability into your writing.

Some great stories can be found in your dreams, and even more can be found in the interpretation of those dreams.

Keep a dream dictionary and discover new ideas.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Free Writing

An Orb-weaver spider, Family: Araneidae

Fear comes in many shapes and forms. Some are scared of spiders, snakes, or dogs. But, some fears go much deeper than the physical. The person has been told numerous times over their past that they weren’t good at something, that they could never make it, that life is just a road we travel down and die. We take all these words and form a hard knot of fear which keeps us from following our dreams. We glide through life, just waiting for the end.

Writers are known for their fears. Fear of the blank page, fear of failure, and even fear of success. To write, these fears must be pushed away and destroyed. Dreams are for everyone and anyone willing to put in the hard work can make any dream come true.

As you sit down at your desk, does the white page frighten you? Are you afraid that no words will come? A 5-15 minute free writing session can help overcome this fear. Set a timer, there are many online versions, place your fingers on the keyboard, and start typing. It doesn’t matter what you write, just write. The results may be use later in your writing, but they don’t have to be. The purpose is to free your mind flow and allow random thoughts to make it onto the page.

These sessions can also be used for brainstorming. Say your novel has come to a stop and you don’t have a clue what to do next. At the top of your free writing page, type a short line of what’s going on that caused the road block. Such as: Sue needs to marry Charles but I’m not sure how to get them together. Set your timer, and start typing. Chances are a solution will come through. If not, try again later. With your brain relaxed and not caring about punctuation and grammar, you’ll be amazed at what can happen on the blank page.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Escape to Love - Novella Accepted

My novella, Escape to Love, has been accepted by eTreasures Publishing and is due to be released at the end of June.

Escape to Love by Cher Green

Constance Spenser, an aspiring witch, is no ordinary woman, and neither are her problems. Unhappy in her life, she seeks knowledge of the spiritual side of life, but what she finds is another world, a world where she has no place. She must gain the council’s trust and discover a way home, but in her attempt she finds herself falling for the enemy. Can she survive long enough to discover her destiny?

Lawrence Wilder, a member of an evil council, wants to break free, but one doesn’t walk away from the council alive. When a witch falls from the sky, hope returns to his life, and to his surprise love. In his world, together they cannot survive. Can he save them both, or will one have to be sacrifice for the other to live?

Classified as a Sweet Historical Romance, Escape to Love steps outside my normal genre area, but of course paranormal aspects found their way into the text. I can honestly say that I had more fun writing this novella than I've had with any other story yet.

Be sure to keep your eyes open for the posting of the release, and hope you all enjoy the read.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming Home by Joy Brooks

Coming Home by Joy Brooks

While Europe faces the ensuing Battle of Waterloo, Gabrielle Anderson travels to her brother's best friend's estate. Lord Marshall Hampton opens his home to her but Gabriel also wants his love. Gabrielle is determined to show him how she feels, but her time is shortened when Marshall is summoned to the war front. Will Gabrielle win the heart of the only man she has ever loved?

eTreasures Publishing is putting together a new four part Anthology set: Spring Historicals.

Joy Brooks leads the installments with this wonderful tale of a girl seeking love against the odds of war. Coming Home will touch your heart.

Grab your copy at eTreasures Publishing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And the finalist are ...

The finalists of Blogfest 2011 have been chosen. Jump over to Surrounded by Books and vote for your favorite.

Good luck to all finalists!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Desperate Measures by Cindy Cromer (released!)

Desperate Measures
by Cindy Cromer

The secret is out AGAIN…! This time lives are in jeopardy.

What should have been the perfect vacation soon became a nightmare. Caitlin Martel made a stop before meeting her family at Miami International Airport. A cryptic message waited for her. She dismissed the threat and assumed it was directed toward the brilliant scientist that she recently hired. Caitlin has no idea that a forgotten secret was about to explode and put her life in jeopardy.

When Caitlin and her family arrive on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, they find their dream home vandalized. In the kitchen, another message has been left. In blood, leaving no doubt that Caitlin personally is the target.

In a flashback Caitlin recalls the secret that her father, Jack Spencer, revealed to her sixteen years ago. He didn’t tell her everything. Will Jack be able to confront the truth and reconstruct the past in time to save his daughter?

Caitlin’s husband Scott, FBI Assistant Director, also believes the threats are related to Caitlin’s professional life. Once Caitlin points out the significance of what was left in their home, Scott unofficially brings his top FBI agent, Tomas Medina, to St. Kitts.

When Tomas arrives, his status is quickly upgraded and the investigation becomes official. The third threat creates a direct link to multi-billionaire Lukas Bucklin.

The suspense escalates through twists, turns, and family secrets yet to be revealed. A powerful climax unveils an unlikely alliance between two deadly and dangerous enemies.

Cindy Cromer debuts with a real page turner. Just when you think you've figured it all out, a new twist appears and sends you in another direction. Keep guessing, but you'll never guess who the villain is.

Grab your copy from eTreasures Publishing.

Read more about Cindy in my interview: Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flash Fiction Blogfest 2011 Entry

The day has arrived! Flash Fiction Blogfest 2011! Hope everyone is geared up and ready to go. Below you will find my entry. Enjoy the read. Good luck to all!

The Beast

A single security light cast a glow over the dark, deserted parking lot. Amy darted glances around her as she hurried toward her Camaro, the only disruption to the flat space. Footsteps echoed the click of her heels, and she froze, listening to the quiet night. Casting blame on her imagination, she scurried toward her destination. Her hands shook as she slipped the keys into the door and turned the lock.

Cold, soft hands covered her mouth, and an arm slinked around her waist. Warm breath touched her ear. “I’ve been waiting.”

Recognizing the voice, Amy twisted free and turned on her boyfriend, Brad. “That wasn’t funny!” She punched him on the arm, jumped into the car, and slammed the door behind her.

Brad opened it, leaned toward her, and placed a kiss on her forehead. “Sorry.” He sighed. “Could you give me a ride?”

She rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Get in.” She couldn’t resist his boyish ways, no matter how many pranks he played. She popped on the inside light, did a quick makeup check, and dimmed the light.

Outside, a strong wind stirred and rocked the car. Terror wrapped its arms around her. Amy jumped from the car and circled it. Brad was gone. A drop of liquid hit her check, and she looked up in dread.

Brad’s limp body hung from the claws of a creature. Dark wings flapped, holding it in place, and it stared at her. The voice scratched and hissed, but she was able to make out its words. “I came for you, but he’ll do for now. I’ll have you next time.”

She lowered her head and wandered back to the driver’s seat. Dread and regret filled her. She should have warned Brad of the beast who stalked her, craving her blood. It may have saved his life, but it may have ended hers. She wiped the wetness from her cheek. Her hand came away bloody. “Next time,” she whispered and pulled out of the parking lot.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Rules - Active vs Passive

Writing in an active voice produces clear, smooth, easy reading. Knowing the difference between the two voices provides the knowledge needed to create active writing.

What is Active Voice? The Active Voice emphasizes WHO is doing what.

What is Passive Voice? The Passive Voice highlights what is being done.

Active Voice Sentence Format: {who} {action} {subject acted upon}
Passive Voice Sentence Format: {subject acted upon} {action} {who}

Active Example: Charles threw the ball.
Passive Example: The ball was thrown by Charles.

Notice the tightness of the active voice compared to the passive. Fewer words are needed, equaling a quicker read. The most obvious indicators of the passive voice are the “to be” verbs: is, are, was, and were. But the appearance of these words doesn’t always mean the sentence is passive.

Active: The tiger is charging toward him. (Although this is an active sentence, the ‘is’ gives an indicator for improvement.
Better: The tiger charged him. (Fewer words, quicker read)

Passive: She was beautiful, but wasn’t aware of it. She was walking at a slow pace.
Active: Unaware of her beauty, she walked at a slow pace.
Better: Unaware of her beauty, she shuffled along the cracked sidewalk. (By using a stronger verb, you supply a quicker read and a better image for the reader.)

Passive: The ball was thrown to John. Tyler was able to intercept it.
Active: Tyler jumped in front of John and intercepted the ball.

This is not to say ‘to be’ words should be completely exterminated. They have their purpose in creative writing. While they shouldn’t be overused, they can provide variety to your text. Overtime, you will know when it’s time to follow the rules, and when to break it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Writing Rules

Writing Rules, pun intended. On one hand, writing is a magnificent journey one can take without ever leaving one spot. On the other, there are rules to follow along the way. By self-teaching/discovering these rules, the road has been long and bumpy, but very enjoyable.

First, you may wonder how one teaches herself to write. There are basic rules, such as grammar and spelling, but there’s much more to learn about writing when you begin looking toward publication. These rules can be discovered within how-to books, reading others work, online browsing, critique partners, and of course classes.

Now, you may be wondering what sort of rules I’m referring to. Repetition of words and phrases, show, don’t tell, avoiding adverbs, to name a few. Most writers know these rules and most have learned to adapt them to their writing, right? As I step into the editing field, I’m discovering this may not be the case. Writing is more than creating a great story. It’s building easy, enjoyable reading.

Well, that’s the editor’s job, some may be saying. This may be true, but as a new writer, presenting your novel at top quality will allow those doors to open a little more easily. Do yourself a favor and learn the rules and adapt to them. Edit your work before sending it to a publisher and make the percentage of acceptance go up a notch.

I plan to go deeper into these rules and share with you what I’ve learned over the years in later posts. For now, I’ll leave you with a couple of consistent rules I’ve learned.

Rule 1: Learn the rules.

Rule 2: Learn when to break the rules.

Rule 3: Forget the rules.

Okay, I know Rule 3 may seem confusing, but when you write, forget all the pesky rules. Write from the heart and soul. Save the rules for editing and revisions.
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