Archive for the ‘Carolyn’s Writing’ Category

General Updates

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

A few updates for everyone.

I am in the final, final stages of editing Bound In Smoke. I expect to post the new chapter 1 shortly and send this version to my editor. It seems like forever that I’ve been working on this, and I know that the initial versions went slowly for a lot of reasons, including my mother’s illness and then her passing.

The current version is, in fact, a ground up rewrite and that has been going very quickly, all things considered.

Here’s the cover, just so you can see again and get as excited for the series as I am!

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound In Smoke

It’s fitting that on the weekend the US celebrates Labor Day, I am laboring on writing this awesome story.

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Positive Thinking?

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Hello! The RWA National Conference is over, and I’m recovered from the jet lag since the conference took place in New York and I am in California. Next’s year’s conference is in San Francisco, so that will be a no jet-lag conference for me. I’ve been really busy, but believe it or not, I am getting a lot of work done on Bound in Smoke.

You said Positive Thinking!

Yes, I did. I will get that that.

My editor had a suggestion for Bound In Smoke that was spot on and the strangest thing happened when I started working on that issue. Which was that I switched from third person to first person, and the entire story just broke open for me in a way it just hadn’t while it was in third person. I’ve done this before with a story and have found it a useful exercise for a chapter or two, but this is the first time I’m going to leave an entire novel in first person.

Every book is different with a different set of challenges and approaches to the writing of the story, and I am definitely going with the approach that made this story open up to me in a way it hadn’t. It’s the same plot, the same story line and character arcs, but now it doesn’t feel like a slog.

Where is the Positive Thinking Bit?

Right here! About a month ago or so, I decided I needed to personally celebrate my successes, small or large. Nothing huge, just a mental note to myself that hey, you did three things on your to-do list! Mental star for passing up a dessert when I felt like stress eating. The times I did not aren’t the point. What I found was that those small personal celebrations reinforced that behavior and improved my mood in general.

I recommend it unhesitatingly. Give yourself credit for your successes the moment they happen. Reflect back on the things that went well for you.

Carry on.

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Revision Updates

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Yes, I am still revising Bound In Smoke. Although the story retains mostly the same plot events this is a do-over of the first half of the book. But it’s also a do-over of the entire book with respect to some authorial choices about the writing.

It’s been a rough few years with writing because of the demands of taking care of my mother while she was increasingly ill, getting my son through college, etc. That said, I did produce a complete first draft of Bound In Smoke, a story and world I really love.

Every book presents its own writing challenges, and Bound In Smoke is no exception. But this book served me up a major surprise in terms of what broke open the story for me, and that was changing the story from third person to first. The minute I made that change, the story world opened up for me in a way the 3rd person version did not.

Years ago, I rewrote an early draft of a novel as first person, had some great story insights as a result, then rewrote into 3rd person again (because that story was strongest in 3rd person anyway) , which is the version that was published. I have also written several first person stories, so this isn’t entirely out of the blue.

That said, I am excited about Bound In Smoke. I suspect this story will stay in first person, but I guess you never know.

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Revisions!

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

I have Bound In Smoke back from my editor and I am doing revisions. After thinking about it for a few days, I am redoing the beginning. But things are going pretty well.

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Good Weekend to You

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

It’s the weekend, and Bound In Smoke is with my editor. While I wait, I’ve started a historical novella with the long promised title of Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion.

That’s what I’m up to. What about you?

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The Fork is Out

Sunday, April 21st, 2019
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds
The Fork

You guys. I have sent Bound In Smoke to my editor. The fork is out. Photo by yours truly. It’s one of my best on-accident photos.

Repeat! THE BOOK HAS BEEN SENT TO MY EDITOR!

Here is the cover of Bound in Smoke, by the way.

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound in Smoke

Bound In Smoke is book one in a new paranormal romance series. It’s got witches and demons and there’s enforcement zones, and it’s pretty awesome. I do not have a final blurb yet, but you can read a little bit about the series here.

Ember Azuria is a street witch who accepts a job from a trained witch and ends up blamed for the disappearance of a valuable talisman and with a demon warlord sent after her. The problem is, you just don’t want Ember pissed at you.


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Hello March! February, Where Did You Go?

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Should I even mention January? What the hey with time passing so fast? March is almost half over and where the heck did February go?

Today, I returned from the RWA Board meeting, which was busy busy busy and very productive. The meeting involved a time zone change for me and there was the time change omg and I had a very early flight back. I can’t decide if I’m so badly time-shifted that I’ll be fine tomorrow or whether I’ll be a zombie. Any bets on that?

The tulips are coming up and as soon as a few more are blooming, I’ll post some pictures.

I am, as I keep saying in truth, almost done with Bound in Smoke. I have done two major revisions — which is what I like to see in my drafts that I really really like. I have approved the final cover and hope to show everyone shortly.

And now, I will get some writing done, or fall asleep at the keyboard. I’m not sure which.

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Hello there 2019!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019


Happy New Year to everyone who observes the Gregorian Calendar. As I write this, Maybelle, our one-eyed rescue chihuahua is scavenging vegetables dropped by the macaw. This is how food environments work, and I’m pleased to see it in effect before my very eyes.

The parrot drops bits of vegetables when he has breakfast and animals lower in the canopy clean up the mess. Maybelle is on a strict diet because she has deep seated food issues from having been in a hoarding situation where food was scarce. The vet says she can have all the vegetables she wants so this works out well.

Mouse, the new cat, is improving. I brought her home from the shelter the Friday before Christmas. According to my vet, she is closer to 10 or 11 rather than 8, and she has diabetes and a urinary tract infection. Both those last two were undiagnosed at the shelter, so it’s good she’s getting treatment now.

She’d been at the shelter for a very very long time, and had been returned once by someone who wanted a more affectionate cat. I just can’t take her back. She’s a sweetie and it turns out giving insulin injections is easier than I thought. So . . . we will find a way to manage. Plus, she’s already doing much better.

Freddie the Macaw has added to his verbal repertoire and now calls for Bella, the other dog, in my Dad’s voice. He also barks like Maybelle which causes people to run around trying to figure out why Maybelle is barking. Freddie and I are good friends now.

For anyone who stuck it out this long, I hope to have Bound in Smoke to my editor shortly. I’m in the final stagings of my revisions. I have seen the first draft of the cover and it’s pretty awesome so stay tuned!

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Updates and Pretty Pictures

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

I’ve been busy revising Bound in Smoke and I’m really happy with it, just saying. My cover artist has started work on the cover, and that’s really exciting.

Last weekend I was at a writing intensive near San Diego. We rented a house right on the beach and spent the weekend talking business. I hadn’t realized how isolated I’d become from being around other writers and it was lovely and invigorating. Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend:

Waves in the foregound, brillilant sunset at the horizon. The Sun is almost down. Mood is peaceful
Sunset over the Pacific
Lots of foamy sea water. Ocean is greenish gray.
Sun on morning waves
Morning sun on waves. The sky is clear but it had been storming so the ocean is rough.
Pacific Ocean, Oceanside California. Morning sun on waves

I took these photos standing on the various patios of the house so you can see I am not kidding about the house being right on the beach.

One of the many takeaways from the weekend was a reminder of how important it is to be around other writers talking about writing and books and the business.

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Report from Jewel HQ

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Greetings from Northern California where the air quality is currently the worst in the world. :::We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1!:::

Here’s a picture of what it’s been like here, 200 miles south of the Butte County fire. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the fires in northern and southern California.

Smoke filled air. Every is dirty smoky gray.
Smoke Filled Air

Writing Tools (Insert Frowny face)

Nuance, the create of Dragon Naturally dictation software is abandoning the Mac OS version. Dictation is a frustrating experience in MacOS and that is true of the native dictation or Dragon. I use both and sadly, the Mac dictation is actually worse than previous versions. Dragon, while incredibly frustrating, is functional. Mac dictation, in it’s current iteration, is completely useless.

I have watched Mac dictation perfectly render the words I said and then “update” those words to nonsense. So, there is a point in the dictation tool that works beautifully and accurately, and for some reason, Apple decided to add another layer of fixing. Apple. Please stop that. Then there’s the straight quotes business. OMG.

So, very soon, Mac users will be without a minimally functional dictation tool. This is terrible for too many reasons to enumerate.


RWA Board

The RWA (Romance Writers of America) national board meeting was last weekend in New York. I am just about over the jet lag. We got some great work done.

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