Monday, August 20, 2007

To-Do Tuesday: Finding the Spark

Welcome to this week's To-Do Tuesday. I've got good news to share, an introduction to tonight's speakers, and opportunities to take advantage of! And of course, I've got a question of the day too.

I'm excited to hear this month's goals at our meeting tonight. Remember that breaking a big goal into manageable pieces can be a key to success. Think about breaking your monthly goal into weekly pieces, then share your progress with To-Do Tuesday! Can't make the meeting? Set a goal anyway!

MWVRWA Meeting TONIGHT: Put the Spark Back in Your Writing

Reminder: Our meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. at Salem Public Library.

We're blessed to be joined by two talented authors, Susan Lute and Darla Lukenbaugh. Last week, I shared information about their topic, "Putting the Spark Back in Your Writing." This week, I'd like to share a little background on these authors.

Though she started writing very dramatic “wounded” heroine stories in high school, Susan Lute didn't pen her first completed manuscript until she was...well much older. Four years later she sold to Silhouette Books. A Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Nominee and Holt Medallion Finalist, she’s currently writing mainstream woman’s fiction and long contemporary romance.

Susan lives in the Pacific Northwest, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, with her husband of thirty-four years and two cats, Larry and Curly. A women’s health Nurse by day, she is particularly fascinated by the ridiculous and unusual, and is happiest when there’s an unending supply of dark chocolate, and vanilla lattes!
Susan's website is packed with useful and inspiring information--from gathering ideas to maximizing your conference experience to using a critique group. Her "Dear Diary" section provides a realistic look at what it takes to move from category to long contemporary fiction.

Darla Lukenbaugh writes Romance Suspense stories about Bad-Ass, Kick-butt Women and the men who would die for them. She has seven completed manuscripts and is working on number eight, the second in a trilogy. Her last completed manuscript, HUNTER'S REVENGE finaled in PASIC’s Book of Your Heart contest this year, Mainstream category. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking and riding her a motorcycle with her husband of over twenty years. After growing up in the concrete jungle of Southern California, she's living her dream life on the family farm in the beautiful mid-Willamette Valley, with approximately thirty sheep, two head of cattle, four chickens, two cats who are more like children then pets, and one aging border collie.”

Darla's website is coming soon. We're lucky to have both these ladies sharing their wealth of experience with us. Hope you're able to make the meeting!
Terry McLaughlin Finals in Aspen Gold Contest & Welcomes New Release

RITA finalist Terry McLaughlin continues to rack up the contest wins. Teach Me is a finalist in the 2007 Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Contest. Congrats Terry! Thanks for continuing to inspire all of us!

Terry also has a new release out this month, Maybe, Baby, which is already racking up great reviews. You can read an excerpt here. Terry's in New Zealand right now, following a stint in Syndey, Australia. You can read about her experiences at both conferences on her new blog. Best of luck, Terry!
Great Interview with Harlequin's Leslie Wainger

Hoping to follow Terry to category success? Check out this interview with Harlequin's Leslie Wainger. She also dishes about her new business as a book doctor. I've seen hundreds of ads for book doctors and independent book consultants (most of which are roundly dismissed at Preditors and Editors and other sites), but this is the first time I've been tempted by such a service.

Bust Your Writer's Block!

Suffering from writer's block and don't know why? Passionate Ink has a great workshop for you! Their online workshop from September 17-23 examines the causes, benefits, and cures for writers' block. Click here for more information.

Established Small Press Seeks Submissions

Looking for an established, proven small publisher? Check out James A. Rock & Company. They've been in business since 1977, and they accept submissions in a variety of genres including romance, fantasy, and YA.

Question of the Day: Losing the Spark

Paty's post yesterday gave me a new spin on a pet peeve I keep encountering: character arcs that end too soon. I've read three books recently where character arcs are essentially completed with a third of the book still to go. This bugs me to no end. If she knows that he's the man for her, and he knows that he wants to commit, there's no tension to carry the book beyond that point. It also bugs me when a secondary character's arc resolves way before the main arc--I like to see everything coming to head in the final chapters. If the subplot is that minor that it only spans the first half of the book, perhaps we could live without it. I've got a bunch of other character arc pet peeves, but I'd like to know yours. Beyond the missing arc that we discussed yesterday, what character arc no-no's top your list?

Remember to keep sending me your news & announcements!


Anonymous said...

Would one of you lovely ladies say hi to Darla for me? If I remember my chronology, it should be "Hi from grandma."

We met several years ago at a conference in Eugene, and had a helluva evening, fueled by caffeine and chocolate. Maybe sometime when we are both around, we can explain what happens when seven romance writers start brainstorming at an event billed as "Death by Chocolate." It was quite an experience!!

Chris York

Karen Duvall said...

Have fun at the meeting tonight, everyone! Wish I could be there, but alas, it's a "school night."

Congrats to Terry!

As for arc pet peeves, I don't have any. I think I subconsciously program myself to find an arc in a book I'm reading even if there isn't one, lol! Like I'll make one up, as in "what if?" Heh. If the characters read flat, I won't finish the book anyway, so I guess it's a moot point for me. 8^)

Lisa Pulliam said...

I will SO be doing that writer's block workshop! And big congrats Terry :) That's great news!!!

I hate to say it but I won't be seeing you ladies tonight. A coworker has use of her husband's truck today and has offered to help me move a bunch of stuff to my new place. Being that I have a small sedan, I couldn't say no :(

I'll definitely see you all at the next meeting (yes, I remember I'm speaking ;) ).

And I switched e-mail hosting companies, I just had to bite the bullet and do it. The transfer should be complete in the next 48 hours so I'll then have e-mail. Yay! If I've missed anything you've sent, feel free to resend in a couple days. Miss you guys!

wavybrains said...

We'll miss you Lisa! I'm so glad the new place worked out though :)

And funny story, Chris :)