The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Friday, January 29, 2010

~Photo Friday~ Baby Cute

Awww, baby cute.
(This was taken outside the Queen City Creamery in Cumberland, Maryland on May 12, 2007.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

~Regency Wednesday~ The Season

What Regency romance would be complete without a heroine enjoying a London Season? And yet, there may be some confusion surrounding exactly what a "Season" was and why it was so important.

It occurred the same time that Parliament was in session. Some families returned just after Christmas so the gentleman could get ready for Parliament. But the Season was actually from May to July. It was during these three months that the head-spinning round of balls, dinners, and other social events took place, as well as sporting events, art exhibits, and court presentation. The annual exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art was in May. Two huge sporting events, for which Parliament adjourned, was the Derby and Ascot in May or June. The Henley Regatta and various cricket matches were in July. The Season ended August 12 in anticipation of the grouse hunting season. Parliament adjourned and families returned to their country estates or hunting boxes, or visited the homes or hunting boxes of friends or family.

The London Season was essential for a young woman of good family if she desired to make a suitable match. A young lady was not officially "out" until she'd been presented to the queen, usually around the age of 17 or 18. After that, she was allowed to attend balls and breakfasts, dinners and routs, the opera and the theater, as well as any number of dances and other social gatherings. It was her job to attract the eye of a suitable spouse, preferably in her first Season. If she did not, she had one or two more Seasons in which to do so. After that, she was considered a failure and once she reached her late 20s, a spinster.

*Picture is a satirical representation of the London Season, printed in Harper's Bazaar in 1870. It is in the public domain. Click the graphic for more info.
**Further reading: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool.

Friday, January 15, 2010

~Photo Friday~ Mystery Flower

I am tired of winter so here's a pretty flower to brighten the day...or night. :o)
I'm not sure what this flower is...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fantasy Writing and Reviews

Fantasy Progress:
I have mentioned before that my NaNoWriMo project for 2009 was a fantasy novel that had been brewing in my head for years. I am still writing that book, even two months later, despite having ended November with over 55k words written on it.

When I was doing NaNo, I had written a synopsis for the story. Now, at 77k words, that synopsis bears no similarity to the story.

The story now, as it stands...

Dragons once ruled the planet of Aiblameer. Now, they are extinct...

...until an ancient experiment reaches fruition with the rising of the second sun. A new dragon is "born," a member of the royal family of Coraji the unfortunate possessor of dragon blood.

The only one who can stop the end of the world is Raena, a foundling with no knowledge of her heritage, no idea that she carries the blood of the dragon hunters, a defunct race that lived to kill.

With the help of a secretive mercenary who knows more about her than she does, Raena must make the dangerous journey to the dragon's castle. While battling monsters, assassins and her own internal struggle to remember her past, Raena discovers who and what she is and why she is the most wanted creature on the planet.

Sound interesting? Huh. I'm working on it. Apparently, I have trouble writing synopses, picking the "wrong" words to describe things and whatnot. Did I ever mention that I've had two negative reviews that specifically attacked my synopses? Yeah. Go figure.

I've harped on about reviews more than once on my blog. (Ex: Reviews and the Reader; My $0.02: When to Mark a Review Helpful; Do Publisher Reviews Matter?) I love reviews. I love reading them, writing them and receiving them. I admit, I mostly love receiving them. :o)

Betrayal got a new review recently. 4 stars and a very in-depth explanation for those 4 stars. I loved the review and the fact that the reviewer even included what she didn't like about the book. I was immensely pleased that she found it difficult to like the heroine. Is that strange? Well, the heroine of Betrayal, Bri, is not very likable. She's not supposed to be. I did a brief character sketch of her on another of my blogs: Character Intro: Bri.

Would you like to read Paige Ray's review? Click here.

I am super excited to hear what Paige thinks of the aforementioned fantasy novel...when I get it done, that is. :o)

Until next time, happy reading, writing and blogging!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

~Photo Friday~ Stripped

Stripped. Yeah, that's right. Just for fun, here's a stripped corvette. (Hubby's project several months ago.)

Looks fine, right?
Not so much.
And this is how it ended up.
*Third pic borrowed from the fan page. (My brother's page.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

~Regency Wednesday~ Regency

This post is more for those who are quite unfamiliar with the Regency era of British history. It was known as the Regency simply because the king, George III, was mentally unstable, making him unfit to rule. His son, the Prince of Wales, was named as a proxy ruler (Regent) to make the decisions the king was unable to. The Regency took effect in 1811 and, technically, lasted until George III's death in 1820.

The era is more aptly described by the characteristic trends in fashion, architecture, literature, politics, and culture. It is commonly held that these trends began some years before 1800 and continued on until Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. Before that is referred to as Georgian and after as Victorian.

Detailed posts I've done for my other Regency blogs:
  1. A Regency Betrayal : What is the Regency?
  2. All the Gossip of Spellbound : The Genre: Regency Romance
*Recommended nonfiction reading for this time period: The Regency Underworld by Donald A Low, Prisons and Punishments of London by Richard Byrne, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool, British Regency at Wikipedia and the ever informative blog, Jane Austen's World

**Pictures are in the public domain. Click them for more info. First pic: George IV as Prince Regent by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Second pic: "On the Threshold (of a Proposal)" by Edmund Blair Leighton. Third pic: Lord Byron.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing Goals for 2010

As a writer, I think it is important to look further down the path than a few hours. This is true of stories and life. Looking back at 2009, I realize I accomplished very little. I allowed too many useless distractions to get in the way. This year, I will not.

What did I do in 2009 that's worth mentioning?

I did win NaNoWriMo and it was my first attempt. I wrote 55,000 words in 30 days. Still, I wanted to finish that novel in '09 and I didn't. It sits at just over 72,000 words with nary an end in sight.

I also blogged. A lot. I started this blog in March and wrote a total of 91 posts. I started my book reviews blog (Romance, Old School) in April and wrote 47 posts. I started a few other blogs but was not as faithful a writer to them.

I participated in blog tours, author interviews, and online giveaways and contests. I made many friends and met many fellow authors. I learned a lot about review ethics and how some people have none. I've been hurt, I've been praised, I've been constructively criticized and through it all, I've learned that to trust is not always a stupid thing and that the injuries others inflict will only affect me if I let them.

In 2010, I plan to
  1. have the first draft of my fantasy novel completed and in the hands of various critique partners by January 31st.
  2. finish the edits on my Regency romances Angel, Deception and Intrigue and submit them for publication.
  3. write no less than 200 words per day. This number will be garnered from new manuscripts, edits/revisions on older manuscripts and first drafts, and short stories/flash fiction.
  4. write one flash fiction piece every month. This may seem like an easy goal, considering flash fiction is 1000 words or less, but believe me, cramming an entire story into so few words is a true challenge for me.
  5. critique at least one novel every 6-8 weeks for a fellow author. I have been terribly lax in this area.
  6. read two nonfiction research books. I know two is a small number but I tend to use nonfiction texts as reference rather than reading them from cover to cover. This year, I will read two from cover to cover.
  7. keep up with writing book reviews. Those to whom I have promised reviews, fear not. They will be written and posted. I apologize for the delay and hope you will forgive me.
I have also decided that the e-book versions of my current novels will stay at $2.95 each, both in the Kindle Store and at I like that someone can read one of my books for less than $3. They are also available at Barnes & Noble for the same price. :o)

So those are my goals for 2010. What are yours?

*Pic is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click the pic for more details.


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