Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sony eReaderImage by juhansonin via Flickr

I had one of those "down the rabbit hole" moments this evening. I went online to buy the ebook edition of Jocelynn Drake's Dawnbreaker (I'm enjoying her Dark Days urban fantasy series, check it out). Anyway, I saw the mass market paperback in the store today, retailing for $7.99. I went to buy the ebook edition, and it was retailing for $14.99.

I absolutely, positively do not understand why a publisher thinks I'm going to pay twice as much for a digital edition that costs less to produce, and lacks color cover art, as well as having limited portability--I can only read it on my ereader, not save it for 20 years on my bookshelf or loan it to a friend. For me, the whole idea of ebooks is that they should cost less to encourage the use of ereaders and save wear and tear on the environment.

This isn't the first time I've seen this happen. There's a discussion going on right now at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books about this issue involving another mass market paperbook that costs twice as much in ebook.

If someone has an explanation, I'd like to hear it.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BERLIN - SEPTEMBER 03:  The Sony Reader for di...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I bought a dedicated ereader last week, the Sony Pocket 300 (the one in the illustration isn't mine, but I do have the passionate purple model). So far it's working as promised--a bare bones, small, lightweight device that reads ebooks and related files. I'm liking it. It won't replace print books altogether in my house, but I do feel better about buying books I know I'm not going to keep. No trees are killed to produce ebooks, and with as many books as I buy each month that's a green move I can support.

It doesn't read every single format but it reads enough of them that I've only found two works on my computer--one is a novella--in non-Pocket formats.

Some of the reasons I went with the ebook reader now: 1. the price was right, under $200. 2. I'm reading more ebooks 3. some authors are producing only e-works, such as novellas or short stories you can't find in print. 4. With luggage restrictions I'd rather fill my ereader than my suitcase with books.

We haven't quite hit the Holy Grail of ereaders, one that can be dropped from six feet onto the concrete or into your bathtub without harm, one that work in all light conditions, and one that costs under $100, but we're getting closer.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Apples and HoneyImage by ForestForTrees via Flickr

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It's also Rosh Hashanna. This could make the tropes of the holy day much more interesting: "Repent, ye scurvy dog, or it's walkin' the plank for ye!"
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I hate it when that happens!

I spent all morning working on a scene--one of those scenes if you must know--and when I just looked at it again I thought, "It's too soon. They need to wait."

But it wasn't wasted. I clipped the scene and put it in a file to be used later. It's like those Viagra commercials: You want to be ready when the time's right. But you also don't want to rush into something when the time's not yet right. And for these two fictional characters, the time's not yet right (no matter that the heroine keeps insisting she's more than ready for some hanky-panky).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One of two surviving copies of the 1812 broads...Image via Wikipedia



Bombing of Ft. McHenry, Sept. 13, 1814


“But take heart, men, just as your countrymen did! America cannot be frightened into submission! I have here the account of the battle of Baltimore and the glorious defense of Fort McHenry! The nation still stands strong, boys, and will never bow to tyrants! A cheer for the United States of America, and an extra ration of rum tonight for its gallant sailors!”--Sea Change, c. 2009 (unpublished manuscript)


Today's the anniversary of another attack on American soil. This one led to an amateur poet putting pen to paper and writing verses about the "rockets' red glare" that live on, 195 years later.

One could wish it had been set to an easier to sing melody, but so it goes.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

I've given in. Allowed myself to be assimilated by the Borg. I realize now resistance was futile.

I installed Word on my computer.

I am a WordPerfect user, have been since I plinked away at my first word processor. Ah, the days of WP 5.1! How I loved thee! But I've had too many problems in the past years with people who demand Word files. When I'd save my files as RTF, there were always some format glitches (and before you all rush in and tell me how I could have avoided that if only I'd been a little less ignorant, save it. It's too late). I tried that Open source thing that's an alternative to Word, and I couldn't stand it. It too never did what I wanted it to, and it was slowing down my edits on The Bride and the Buccaneer.

So yesterday after hashing it over with my editor again, I decided it wasn't worth it, and I embraced the Evil Empire. Not completely though. I'll still write my first drafts in WordPerfect,
where my comfort level is high, and then save that completed draft as a Word document for editing. That should keep everyone happy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's a plot. The words "farther" and "further" are waiting to entrap me in a morass of misuse. When they find my body, Strunk and White clutched in my hand, they'll know I went down fighting the good fight.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The flag of 18th century pirate Calico Jack.Image via Wikipedia

I've been waiting until I had the edits in hand to make this announcement:

The Bride and the Buccaneer, a new Darlene Marshall historical romance, is set for December 2009 publication in ebook and print from Amber Quill Press.

Some of you may recall snippets from way back, when its working title was "A Pirate's Treasure". Here's the short blurb:

A beautiful thief. . .
A bold privateer. . .
Two enemies united by a love for gold may find an even greater treasure in
THE BRIDE AND THE BUCCANEER


I'm excited to have a new book coming out, and will post a notice when I have an exact release date.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

windy labor dayImage by Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr



Happy Labor Day to all you hard working folks! I realized today that not only do I love my new career as an author, but I haven't had to wear a suit, stockings and pumps to work in ages! Yay for flamingo shirts and running shorts!
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Friday, September 04, 2009

I tweeted earlier that I was going to shower to figure out what I'd be blogging today. Yes, Twitter can be that lame. But it worked. While I was showering I realized I could blog about...showering.

I'll spare you the damp details of my shower. It's not about my fabulous remodeled bathroom with its two shower heads, it's about why showering boosts your creativity. Yes, being clean and smelling sweet is wonderful, even when you're the only one in your house staring at your screen and keyboard, but it's not about that either. It's about how boring, repetitive tasks can free up your mind.

I hear this all the time from other writers--"I get my best ideas in the shower." Think about it: You're in a box without anything exciting catching your eye. You probably wash yourself using the same pattern of movements almost every day. This repetitive mindless activity may be just what your muse needs to wake up and give you that plot breakthrough you've needed. It's happened to me more times than I can count. I used to think I needed a waterproof board and crayon with me to write things down, but fortunately that hasn't been necessary. I do, however, keep a notepad and pen in my bathroom drawer, just in case.

The other place where my muse comes awake is on my daily dog walk. I very purposefully do not take a phone or music player with me. Sure, it's more boring that way, but that's the point--the very boring nature of the task opens up parts of my mind that aren't coming into play when I'm focusing on my driving or listening to a phone conversation.

However, there are times when music can do the trick. Ask any writer what she listens to while writing and you'll get a range of responses about the playlist. For me, it's epic movie soundtracks: Braveheart, Rob Roy, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and of course, all of the Pirates of the Caribbean scores. When that music kicks in, it's a signal to my brain that it's time to write and I'm much more focused without being distracted.

So, if you're doing something different but it works for you, what is it? I'm always looking for new ways to wake up my muse, and one of you may have just the thing that's needed!