Friday, May 31, 2013

Life with Lucy #14

Greetings, everyone. This has been a big week for Lucy. She had more than one adventure, so I’ll let her tell you about it.

 Hi, it’s me, Lucy. This has been a week, folks. Mom said she put up the pictures of my new toy. I found it in the high grass by the woods. It was easy. I could smell it. I just ducked my head into the grass, sniffed around and what do you know? I brought it to Mom right away so she could see it. I was so proud. Until I saw the look on Mom’s face. She didn’t look happy at all. So I figured I’d better drop the toy.

I wish all of you could have seen it. She was so thrilled. She popped her head up out of the grass and came running to me, wagging her tail, with the turtle tucked into her mouth. Obviously she can’t play with a turtle for a variety of reasons, mostly because it’s a turtle! To be fair though, she has a number of stuffed toys about the same size that she carries around constantly. I’m sure she could smell the difference, but it fit just fine in her mouth. The poor girl. Her confusion was obvious. We spent some time learning that turtles are not toys.

Mom says I’m all grown up now, that means I can stay home by myself and babysit the cats. I did it twice this week. The first time Mom and Dad went out to dinner and they were only gone an hour. I napped on the bed with the cats. It was nice. Before I knew it, Mom and Dad were home.

The second time, Mom said something about a cookout. I don’t know what a cookout is, but it took almost two and a half hours! That seemed like forever. I got bored so I did some exploring. Mom made sure I had food and water before she left, but that’s the same old stuff. It didn’t smell nearly as good as the loaf of bread I got off the counter.

I took it to my favorite place under the dining room table. And ate the whole thing. Yum! I did leave the plastic wrapping though. Who eats plastic? Dad told me later, when I had a tummy ache that he only had one sandwich out of that bread. I wanted to tell him that wasn’t my problem, but I’m a smart girl. He was petting me, so I kept my mouth shut.

Wasn’t Lucy just a busy girl this week? It's now way too hot to even think of leaving her in the car, so she gets to stay at home in the air conditioning. Thank goodness there were only minor ill effects from the bread. She had to have gotten up on the counter to reach it. Just between you and me, I wish I could have seen her. Other than the fact that it was the kitchen counter, it probably would have been pretty funny.

For a dog that had severe separation anxiety issues when we got her, she did amazingly well. She didn’t tear up anything, didn’t get into the trash we forgot to take out, and she didn’t harass the cats. We could tell because they weren’t hiding when we got home. Next time we’ll just make sure there is no food out anywhere, and see how she does.

Enjoy the weekend!
*No turtles were harmed during the creation of this post. The only sacrifice was a brand new loaf of bread.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

About the Cat

This week Lucy has graciously donated space in her column so you can see the latest happenings in the Fox household. Check out the cat. And the bird. Who knew?

My apologies for the dark photos, clearly I don't do this for a living. These photos were taken in the laundry room. As it happens we’ve watched a few episodes of My Cat from Hell. I’ve noticed cat people cry a lot.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to score some free shelves from a client’s remodel recently and we put a few around the house so the felines could watch cat TV. For those of you who are going, ‘huh?’ Cat TV is the cat staring out the window at the goings on outside. Yeah, I had a few, ‘huh?’ moments myself. But the cats seem to love them, if constantly going up and down them and playing with each other on them is any indication.

A week or so ago we saw a bird land on the window while the cat was watching. We just laughed and forgot about it because the bird flew away immediately. Then a couple days later, we were in the living room, and heard a tapping sound on the window. The closest window is the one in the laundry room. And it’s fifteen feet up, so it’s not like the neighbor came over to knock on the window. Unless he brought a ladder. Tap-tap-tap. Silence. Tap-tap-tap. Tap. Tap. Silence.

The next thing we know, both cats and the dog are running for the laundry room. I get up and peek around the corner, and there’s the bird, tapping on the window. Of course as soon as he saw me, (I’m guessing, but the timing seemed perfect) he flew away.

The bird has done this several days in a row now. He waits for Keegan, they have their moment, and then he flies away. I’ve actually been able to set up my tripod and photograph it. I couldn’t get Fiona because she jumps right on to the window sill and smacks the glass with her paw. For obvious reasons the bird is outta there. Keegan, however, seems content to just stare at the bird from a little distance.

Over our front door, we have one of those half round windows. This morning, as I was getting ready to take Lucy outside, I hear tapping. I look up and there’s the same bird! At the front of the house, perched on the half-round looking inside.

At first it was kinda cool. Now it’s getting just the tiniest bit creepy. Anyone remember Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The First Line

It's Sunday! Woo-hoo, I love me some weekend. I'm over at Throught Heart-Shaped Glasses talking about first lines in books.

Why don't you come join me, and tell me, what's your favorite first line?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Life with Lucy #13

Greetings! Hope this Friday finds you well. And tick free. Let me tell you, it’s been tickapalooza at the Fox household these past few weeks. The city girl in me rails against the creepy crawlies. Especially when it’s me they’re likin’.

What happened to walking my dog on the nice clean sidewalk in a spiffy sub-division where everyone’s lawn is mowed regularly? Ohhhh, yeahh. I gave it up to move to the country. Did you know there are no sidewalks in the country? Somehow I overlooked that tiny detail. Sure, I could stay on the lawn, but then Lucy doesn’t get nearly the exercise she needs. And honestly, neither do I.

So I walk her on a path in the woods. It’s beautiful, it’s quiet, and right now it’s working its way up to the lush and green it’ll be later in the summer. I made it myself. A few days work with the pruning tools and the mower, and pronto, perfect dog walking place.

However, it’s got ewwy live things! Can you hear the city girl screaming from where you are? This week I stepped on a snake. The walking your dog head up, looking forward scanning the horizon for dangers thing totally failed me. I should have been looking down. The only thing about it that scared Lucy was me yelling like a banshee. I suppose at this point I should say it was a small snake. Maybe about two feet long and not much bigger around than a Sharpie marker. But I swear, at first glance it had anaconda proportions. 

Although, when I got home and investigated the snake, it’s a rough green, which spends most of its time in trees. Screwed, I tell ya. I can't walk looking up and down at the same time. And Lucy totally disagreed witht the threat level. She just stepped over it, and kept on walking. Don’t suppose I could get lucky and the snake would eat the ticks? No? It figures.

Well, Lucy is giving me googly-eyes, and pacing the room. Oh, now she’s barking too. Must mean it’s time to go see if we can give some more ticks a first class dog ride. Right into the house. 

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Nuance of Emotion

Lately, I’ve been studying ways to make my books richer, deeper, and hopefully connect better with readers. One of the things I’ve been working at is showing varied emotion.

When you write a story, especially in a romance, everything leads you to the drama of the black moment. The point about three-quarters of the way through when all seems lost for the heroine. It’s as if she’ll never reach her goal now. We know more often than not, she’ll find a way to get through this moment and ultimately to the HEA. If it sounds formulaic, it is. We romance readers not only know this, we expect it.

But what helps your heroine or hero move through all of those chapters leading up to the black moment? And why does the reader care? It sounds simple. It’s just emotion. The reader empathizes with the characters. Yes, I hear you about the plot, but bear with me. We’re talking delicate tree leaves here, not a redwood trunk.

It’s easy to hit the high notes of emotion. Anger, passion, jealousy, love. But using too many of these too often, can actually make a reader really not like your story. Okay, for what it’s worth, it’ll make me not like your story. If you’ve read for any length of time, you’ve probably come across a book where every time something doesn’t go the heroine’s way, she gets mad. Or jealous. She’s not usually a teenager, so as a reader, I’m not buying into it. Nor am I wasting my precious time to finish it.

I don’t know about you, but in real life, I don’t always have the energy to get mad. Or the situation doesn’t really warrant all that emotion. I get irritated, embarrassed, disappointed, or frustrated. Those feelings are way different than when someone’s got a good mad on. And how they appear to the reader is very different as well. There are both verbal and non-verbal ways to show (notice, I didn’t say tell) these emotions. Dialogue usually comes to mind first, then character action or reaction. But don’t forget things like body language. As humans we give subtle hints or make unconscious movements, and possibly go through physical changes when we feel certain emotions. Think about them. Feel them. Live them.

Put them on the page. Share them with your reader. You’ll both be glad you did.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Motivation

Ah, it’s frickin’ Monday, again. Yep, that’s pretty much how I feel about it. Some days the words don’t come easy. Or in my case, they don’t come at all. 

I came across something that helped to motivate me though. It can be used in lots of situations, but in this case, I think it works well for writers.

Isn’t it awesome? It helped me get over the Monday blues, and get my butt in gear. Reminding me that my success, or failure, depends on me. Have a great week!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Life with Lucy #12

Happy weekend eve. Not too many pictures today. Lucy’s busy at school. She’s got sit, down, stay, heel, and come pretty much figured out. Which we think is awesome for a dog. Especially a spoiled one who lives with moi, the treat lady.

However, we had company recently, and the paramount things they wanted were for her to shake hands, and roll over. Who would have thought? Not us, apparently. Now she’s learning how to roll over. Have you ever tried to teach a dog to roll over? It’s not as easy as it sounds. For kicks, try to photograph it while you’re doing it. Fuhgeddaboutit. Not happenin’.

When she gets a little better at it, and I have another set of hands to take photos, I’m sure she’ll be happy to get me to post some pics. In the meantime, Lucy and I wish you a fun weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Through Heart-Shaped Glasses, Our Group Blog Opens Today!

I'm excited to announce the debut of a group blog that's been in the works for some time. Eleven spectacular authors, and you-know-who, have come together to share our writer's world with you.

Today is the first post of our brand new blog:

Through Heart-Shaped Glasses

From suspense to sweet or sinfully erotic, or in the past, present or future...we write to entertain our readers. From aspiring to multi-published, we are romance authors, seeing life through our own heart-shaped glasses. Enjoy the view!

Everything from romance, novels, life and family and writing will be shared through our eyes...yes, we're romance writers...we look at life through our very own pairs of heart-shaped glasses.

I'll still be blogging regularly here so don't worry. My day at THSG will always be on the 19th. And we'll be taking guest bloggers on the 1st and the 15th of every month.

The theme for May is "Firsts" and with 12 never know what you're going to get...from first dates to first contracts to that first time at a conference, you're bound to find someone to connect with, laugh with or cry with.

Let's not forget, there's Blog Swag to be had. Every month one of our authors will be sponsoring our blog swag gift. Any comments during the entire month are entered to win a $10 amazon e-card - chosen at random on June 1st.

Come on over and welcome us to the blog world!