Tues. Nov. 27, 2012: Two Nina Bell stories out: “Too Much Mistletoe” and “Tumble”!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We’re going to get snow today!

Okay, there are TWO Nina Bell short pieces available now! The holiday-themed novella Too Much Mistletoe, where Nina’s complicated love life both helps and hinders her search for a missing college friend. Excerpt and buy link here.


there’s the shorter piece, “Tumble”, taking place around New Year’s, when Nina discovers the body of a co-worker in the theatre’s dryer and realizes the murderer has to be someone in their theatre. As usual, she gets herself into all kinds of trouble and has a complicated love life. Excerpt and buy links here, below the excerpt for Too Much Mistletoe.

If you like Stephanie Plum, you’ll love Nina Bell! A little humor, a little mystery, a little romance. These two pieces are a lot of fun. I love Nina, and people keep asking when she’s coming back. So, she’ll be around a lot more! I never thought I’d be old enough to write a “period piece”.

I’ve added a page to the blog with blurbs and information on the stories, too.

For the most part, I’m happy with the covers, although when I uploaded them into the Payloadz site, they got warped on the store page. It was a lot of fun to set up the shoot for “Tumble” and stage the bloody hand print on the dryer. Fortunately, my basement looks an awful lot like the theatre basement in the story. 😉 I wish I could have filled the background with a color, but I love the font. I would have liked to do a photo shoot for Mistletoe, staging a spring of mistletoe into the Scotch, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on a reasonable piece of mistletoe. If I can, I’ll redo the cover. I really need to get a good cover design program. The lack of manipulation my programs give me with images is appalling. What is so fucking hard about just letting me re-size? I downloaded the Gimp software, that’s supposed to allow image manipulation and layering, but haven’t figured it out yet. In iWeb, I could fill background — why can’t I do that on a regular page? Very frustrating. And none of the Canon programs that are supposed to let me do whatever I want with a JPG actually DO anything worthwhile.

What was even worse was that 1and1.com’s servers were down, and I couldn’t access my email most of the day, nor could I update the websites. Cyber Monday, busiest online shopping day of the year, and they couldn’t be bothered. Unacceptable. And when I complain, they do the usual — shrug and say THEY have no problem.

So, cover kerflamma took longer than it should have. I’m almost done editing “Just Jump in and Fly”, a re-working of a lot of familiar holiday myths, and I hope to have that ready later today.

Worked in the garden — got the terraced border raked out and cut back, and got a section of the meadow raked. I’m going out to do some more in a few minutes — trying to get as much done as possible before the snow starts later. And I’ve GOT to get cat food in. It won’t be a bad snow, just . . . snow, which means the leaves left will be wet and icky, but there’s no way I can get the whole meadow done today, not with everything else going on.

Meeting tonight, and have to do the minutes for it. The Astronomy class starts today — looking forward to that. Greek & Roman Mythology wraps up this week, and World History next week. Then, I’ll have about two or three weeks where I’m only taking ONE class! 😉

Managed to get a few more decorations up yesterday, and found the lights. The lights have to go on the tree before we can go any further.



Don’t forget the Flash 7 Workshop from Dec. 7-16. Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Information and registration here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, rainy, cooler

Is is really Friday the 13th? Awesome! That means it will be a very, very good day. Those who have bad Friday the 13ths are generally those who have good reason to feel guilty and their Karma Dogs come to get a big bite out of their butts for good reasons!

Yesterday, I did a lot and felt as though I accomplished nothing.

Great writing session on the first Willowspring Grove novel. Yeah, one of these days, it will actually have a name.

Run-in with someone who was once a student, whining because her “historical fiction” piece kept getting rejected. I read a few pages and told her that yes, I could see why it was rejected, her characters spoke in modern speech rhythms and slang, the clothing and food details were from some bad movies, not accurate to the time period (I even accurately named the movies), and she set it in a real place while obviously knowing NOTHING about it. This was in addition to grammar and spelling errors that would have made any submissions editor hit the “delete” button and a lack of paragraph structure that meant you never knew who was talking and who was taking an action. Her response was that she’d spent, like, two hours looking at books in the library, and if the movies could get away with this, she should be able to, and why did it matter if she’d never visited the place or learned anything about the clothing or the food? She was writing fiction.

See, this is where the lazy writers get weeded out. The good, successful writers of historical fiction take time to do the research. Sometimes months, sometimes years. And I’m talking about eight to ten hour days, six days a week, for as long as it takes to know your historical time period inside out. Not just on weekends or when you’re not tired. There’s a reason they thank their families in the acknowledgements — their families don’t see them during that time. And love them anyway. There’s a reason they usually take several YEARS before the first book and then only do one book a year — about four months of those subsequent years are spent during RESEARCH. Not hours. MONTHS.

And if you can’t afford to visit the site, you damn well better have a contact who can walk the streets for you and give you a footstep-by-footstep description.

Dealt with paperwork and other crap. Dealt with upset neighbors. Hello, the head of the Tenants’ Organization is supposed to be dealing with this, not me. Not my problem he never answers phone calls or emails. Heaven forbid he do anything but posture to reporters.

The cats were upset about whatever happened while I was gone yesterday. First of all, that night, they were all piled on top of me. And yesterday, they all stuck close by. Elsa and Iris are having a dispute. Elsa’s stones keep vanishing, and she blames Iris. Iris won’t admit it. I had to separate them several times yesterday.

Started reading Jennifer Reif’s MYSTERIES OF DEMETER, which I found in storage. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the Eleusian Mysteries (if you don’t know what they are, look ‘em up). There have been some interesting speculations over the years, and some books that claim to have discovered them — without an ounce of historical fact, of course. This book has some very interesting, reliable sources, as well as growth and conjecture and imagination. It’s well researched and thoughtfully presented.

The comfrey is speeding the foot’s healing. I came up with a nice blend of eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender to cut the worst of the awful crap floating around in the air. Put it in the oil burner, and everything clears up. I tried using a cedar smudge I bought in Philadelphia, but it won’t stay lit. I may burn some sage on a charcoal block (no, not the kind you use on the grill) to get rid of any bacteria or germs floating around. I drank an icky concoction to flush out the rest of the toxins I inhaled yesterday — it tasted disgusting, but it certainly did the trick after about twenty or thirty minutes. The anvil was gone from my chest, and I wasn’t coughing up black goo any more. Really, resembling something out of a D-level horror flick isn’t my idea of a good time.

Finished up the marketing and cover art sheets for my publisher and sent them back. Will update the Annabel Aidan page with one of the excerpts soon. I have a lot of notes for revision to discuss with my editor, and notes for the next book. I’ll let that percolate over the weekend, and start it on Monday.

Did some research last night.

Had a good writing session this morning — I’m averaging about 1500 words a morning, hand-written, on this. Next week, I’ll have to up it to 1500 on this book and 1500 on the new Annabel Aidan, so that will be a busy day’s work, but necessary to stay on contract tract — and remember to keep pitching for quick-turnaround/payment projects as well, so the bills stay paid. I’ve got another stack of queries I hope to get out today, and a backlog of short stories has built up again that needs to get out the door over the weekend.

I’ve booked a couple of quick jobs out of town for September that overlap with the teaching, but I have good internet connection, so I can do both.

I’m going to write and deal with paperwork this morning, then work for a few hours at the storage unit, and maybe hang out with friends tonight. I think I’ve rigged the screen so that, if someone who does not wish us well attempts access from the fire escape, they will have, shall we say an unpleasant experience. But if we need to get out and down the fire escape due to an emergency, we are unimpeded.

Happy Friday the 13th and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

I got the article done and hit “send” about five minutes before I had to leave for the theatre. Not my best work.

Cover art discussions back and forth all day. My original vision is very different, but we’ve come to an agreement and will run with it. And Billy is not included in the cover, which is a disappointment – I feel all three of the main characters are important, but they want the focus on Jain and Wyatt.

Show was fine. Everyone’s dealing with the transition in their own way, and you just have to give them a lot of room. The actors coming in are trailing to learn the backstage as well as onstage maneuvering, so it’s pretty crowded. But it’s fine. It will be a long week, but it will all be good.

I’m going to try to get a little bit of writing done before I have to leave for the show – another two show, 14-hour day for me. Tomorrow, I have a bit of a break during the day, but Friday, we put in the new cast, so it’s another 14 hour day, and Saturday, I have to be at the theatre at 8 AM for a photo call and then do two shows, so, for me, including the commute, Saturday is an 18 hour day (6 AM – midnight). But it will be fine. The hours are long, but the people are pleasant, which makes up for a lot. Saturday will be intense, because it’s the last day for five cast members, but it is what it is. This is a transitional business – everything changes.

This week, my life is about the show, not about my own work, although I’m trying to keep somewhat of a balance. I have a lot of opportunities opening up for me, and I want to make decisions that are smart both on a creative level and a business level.


Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 8:30 am  Comments (5)  
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