Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bella Bites Back

Okay, I'm pissed. One of the first lessons my mom gave me when I was moving into writing was this one. It should be noted that at that time, I was writing with her. Well, more like she was writing, and I was doing all the conceiving except for on a few stories.

The lesson she taught me was this—

Impact moment + back story +GMC= characterization.

I was on her computer the other day and strolled across this blog site.


You'll have to scroll down to her Wednesday 8-18 blog post to see what she writes.

Here's the skinny. This chit was once my mom's prodigy. She was also her senior editor when she opened her own publishing company. She learned how to be a better writer and an editor through my mom.

Six months ago, the twit started blogging about how she didn't have enough time for all her important mundane things. So, what does Mom try to do? She relieves some of her work load. Woman's response -- A temper tantrum that would have a two year old shaking their head and boom – she quits. Why? Because Mom was trying to give her a little breathing room.

That's only the beginning. This twit went out of her way to destroy my mom's reputation (can you tell, I've got a lot of anger built up over this woman?). I'm saying destroy not only my mom's reputation but her company's too. Why, because people didn't all jump on board and cry for her. She's got an entourage of cheerleaders, but not everybody took her side. So sad—too bad.

Now she's pandering Mom's lessons as if they are her own. I'm completely pissed and ready to go through the computer screen for a good, old-fashioned b*tch slap.

Am I wrong to feel like this? Should I just forgive and forget or should I actually say something to the twit?

*big sigh*


Friday, August 20, 2010

Just gotta say...

A pet peeve of mine has made an unwelcome visit this past week. That of aspiring authors telling aspiring authors how they should write. This is the stupidest thing I've heard of. Why don't you ask a blind man to teach you how to drive? It's about the same thing. It's just when you actually crash, it can be a lot more painful for the writer because they don't know why they hit a tree. At least in a car, you can see the deer that cut you off.

And it's not as if we can deny this is happening either. Look at all the crit groups for romance writers. Look at all the aspiring writer blogs who put up a snippet and then try to edit the work. It's so sad in so many ways. These authors are getting very little real education but when things go wrong (ie the rejection letters start banging at their front door) they have their cheerleaders in place. It's cruel, in my opinion, to have the people who helped drive them into a tree giving the standard, "the agent didn't know what the hell they were talking about" or "It's such a good story".

Why is it so sad? Because the cheerleaders don't know better themselves.

I'm not a know-it-all by any shade of the word, but I know someone who is. When you talk to my Mom, you might as well be talking to a walking, talking dictionary on writing. Yep, I got lucky. She had my back when I waded into the adult pool. Though, at times it was very painful for me to hear what I was doing wrong, I recognized the one thing she was doing – she was telling me exactly what I had to fix and how to do it.

What can an aspiring writer do about it? Not much at this time. There are things you can recognize (and this comes directly from my Mom's playbook on making an aspiring author an author) –

1. Know your specific problems when it comes to writing.

2. Don't take it personally when someone actually does point out what is wrong with your story.

3. Find someone who will help you fix the problem. Look specifically for consistent comments – these are normally what hurts the story.

4. Sit down, shut up and listen instead of going "she doesn't like my story" or "she doesn't see my vision".

Mom told me from the get-go that I was gonna get beat up. Whether it was from her or an editor, I should always look at what someone was pointing out and understand I need to learn how to fix it.

So, what's your take on this? Has it become a real problem for aspiring authors to crit/edit other aspiring authors work or do they really help?





Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Constitutional Russian Roulette

Welcome to the politics corner where I weigh in on this or that or the other thing that deals with the goofballs running our country and the loud mouths that are after our votes. Let it be known that I am registered a Democrat, but I have voted Republican. Anybody remember Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's run to become Maryland's governor – yeah, voted against her.

Our politicians are losing their minds—some collectively, others individually. Heck, we have politicians all over the place right now. We have progressives wanting everybody to be as progressive as they are. We have the tea talkers out there drumming up lots of hoopla about how we must return to conservatism. We have congressmen and senators picking and choosing which amendment to embrace and which ones are not exactly what our Founding Fathers meant. It's a bloody mess.

And when I said bloody, I mean the potential for terrible things to happen. Shoot, there's that Tea Party candidate out in Nevada (I will paraphrase this) – who understands how some citizens resort to second amendment solutions with the government.

WTF! Doesn't she hear what she's saying? She is talking about guns and bombs and ugliness. Yep, that's the second amendment – the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Maybe she got confused. Maybe she thought it was the Right to Keep and Arm Bears.

I don't mind a person who owns guns. It's allowed under the constitution. I've never understood the need to collect anti-aircraft weaponry, but if you got the cash, who am I? Still, do we want our politicians going – okay, I understand the people who might go shoot the members of Congress they don't like. *Shaking my Head*

Let's take a look at the Fourteenth Amendment next. Recently, so many people have been screaming to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment. Other than it would take forever to actually repeal a constitutional amendment, this is one of the most important amendments to the country as a whole. This amendment includes not only the hot button 'birth right' clause which states children born here are automatically US citizens, but it also includes the equal rights under the law clause. Yep, we're talking civil rights here. So, if the people who want to repeal this amendment actually get their way, civil rights also dies. That doesn't sound very smart to me.

Last but not least is the First Amendment. Holy Macaroni, Batman – that's the First Amendment. The one that defines the most basic of rights – Speech, Religion, Assembly – that would be that amendment.

I get it. I so get it, that the Ground Zero Civic Center is a big deal, but seriously folks, there has been a Muslim Prayer Center in Lower Manhattan for forty years. It's still there. Our congressmen and women who speak out against it aren't doing it because it's only two blocks from WTC (considering the established prayer center is almost the same distance). They're doing it to stoke a fire and divide the country more. Come on. It's a Community Center. It's not about sensitivity to the victims. This is really hate-mongering. When you start saying a building a tenth of a mile off the northern corner of a property is an insult, you aren't doing it for any other reason than to rile people. Hell, you'd have to go out of your way to just fine the building they are tearing down. Yep, you'd actually have to leave the street on which the WTC will be rebuilt to get there.

We can lay the Ground Zero Civic and Prayer Center in the realm of, if you really want to be insulted then walk the tenth of a mile and be insulted but you can't see it from the site and it cannot see the site due to the buildings in its way. What are these people who want to stop this do for an encore? Tell the Muslim families who visit Ground Zero to pray for their son or daughter, husband or wife who worked in the WTC that they have to cease and desist because it's offensive to all the other victims' families and friends? Really? Is that what the next act will be?

I'm not insensitive to any one of the victims who lost their life in 9-11, but I can't see the point in the outrage or the proposed solution – Put the Mosque (which it isn't) somewhere else. The First Amendment allows them to build wherever they want to as long as the building meets ordinance.

This comes down to a simple truth – you can't pick and choose what amendment works for you. Our government shouldn't either.


Am I off base? You tell me.



Friday, August 13, 2010

Just gotta say it

Major rant warning!

Have you ever gotten so sick of someone whining and complaining? Of aspiring author bloggers going, "well, why doesn't the industry change, cause we all know I'm the next big star. The industry should come to me".

Really? Are you serious? The agents should just flock to you? Publishers should beat a fast path to your door since you wrote a story? Reality check time, friends. This industry isn't going to flock to anybody. You gotta put in the leg work. Gotta do the grunt stuff. You have to show you work and play well with others. Ranting about how much you think the industry should come to you proves the last. Really, why don't you shoot yourself in the foot and then the head, because you are pretty much wearing a sign that says, 'unprofessional'? SHUT UP!

The other side of this is rant is an author I follow who blogs everyday about how much work they are NOT getting done. This author is not the first and won't be the last, but it doesn't take long to start sighing. After the hundreds of excuses thrown out there, you just want to say – shut up and work on your WIP instead of putting nonsense on your blog. Do I really have to read your silly blog post on this is a fun link I found or how your kid is just driving you crazy or the hubby doesn't understand me? Seriously. Are you trying to say, 'my life sucks, so feel sorry for me'? Stop making excuses and knuckle down. That's what the rest of us have to do. WORK. Yeah, that's spelled W-O-R-K! As in do your job. As in get your story done. WORK!

Don't get me wrong, there are a few bloggers I get into. They make their blogs entertaining. Romance in the Back Seat is one of them. Sandra Sookoo's is another. I used to follow Jessica Rabbit's blog until I lost all my bookmarks :(

Maybe, I'm just tired of all the whining and complaining. Perhaps, I got fed up with the pity party mentality. I guess I should have given the bloggers who do bitch and complain thanks for at least making the attempt.

But, is it worthwhile? You tell me.

Until next time...



Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sci-fi Saturday

Meet the Navorains.

The Navorains are an ancient culture and one of the founding members of the League of Sentient Beings (think Intergalactic council here). Their planet of origin, Lazarus 7, was abandoned 4000 years ago when their eco-system collapsed. The Navorains are adventurous and curious by nature. They were also brutally territorial until the planet they relocated to after the collapse of Lazarus 7, Navora, was destroyed by a weapon of mass destruction, the T-9 Planet Killer.

The League of Sentient Beings interceded before the remaining Navorains went on a blood feud against the Andromedains for destroying Navora. The Navorains were promised planets, riches, anything and everything to keep the mighty warriors with their immense and technologically advanced galactic class starships, the War Galleys, from warring against Andromeda. In the end, the Navorains remained neutral, but war was inevitable. The Last Great War broke out and lasted almost ten years. The death toll was too high to calculate, but the League of Sentient Beings understood that had the Navorains entered the battles, the final tally would have been far worse.

Without a planet, the Navorains now journey through space which they refer to as 'their kingdom'. Their mission is two-fold. They were charged with protecting the Outer Rim from intruders originating in unknown space. They are also in need of women to re-populate their dwindling numbers. Currently there are only 20,000 Navorains in existence—mostly men.

Intimate Space is the first installment in the 'Kingdom of Stars' series.

You can buy it here : http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/intimatespace.htm

I hope to have Sacred Space completed sometime this fall.

Next Saturday, stop by and meet Coleverus Fis Tulden.

Happy reading,


Thursday, August 5, 2010

A quick reference to Primal Appetite and Hell Rider


From the Archives of the Great Goddess and the Library of the Borderlands

Cu Sith – 'When man first walked the Highlands of Scotland a creature followed him on his many travels. Neither live nor dead, to see the massive wolfhound called the Cu Sith is to know you will die a painful death sooner rather than later.'

*Created by the Great Goddess of the Tuatha de Danan, the Cu Sith cannot be killed.
*They are the immortal enemy of all the were-kinds.
*The Cu Sith is the leader of all paranormals who predict death. They are called the Harbingers.

The Royal Strains – 'I proclaim a council should be convened of the strongest paranormals known to this world and the Borderlands. They shall be called The Royal Strains and through them, they will steer the future of all the paranormal kinds.

*All are immortal and can only be killed or trapped by one specific method.
*They gather together in the Council of the Seven Seals thrice each year to discuss the politics of the paranormal world.

The Fay – 'I say to thee, Morgan LeFay, go to a land far from this and save my precious Tuatha de Danan. There you will be forever young and guard the secrets of white magicke.'

*The fay or fairfolk are the descendants of the Tuatha de Danan.
*All male offspring from Queen Morgan LeFay's family carry a vile spirit known as the Dark Fey. They are dangerous, mindless killers.
*The Fay are the immortal enemy of the Strigoi.

The Strigoi – 'Beware your mortal roots, for they will lead you to ruin.'

*Considered the strongest of the Royal Strains, the Strigoi are wielders of magicke and shifters too.

*They began the Second Angelic War by invading the Fay Realm in 1750.

The Hell Riders – 'From the fires of Hell will come four riders who serve The Unholy Prince and his son.'

*The Hell Riders are Satan's bounty hunters who collect the damned souls of those who have signed a blood pact with the Prince of Lies. They are charged with protecting Roshan, the son of Satan.
*They cannot be killed because they are either dead or a deposed god.

The Hellfire and Damnation Club – 'I give you a reprieve from your daunting duty. I give you the handmaidens of the Hellfire Club.'

*Collected by the Hell Riders, the handmaidens sole purpose is to assist the Royals during the Black Mass Banquet which always follows a stressful day of politicking and negotiations.
*The women chosen to act as handmaidens are the property of the Hellfire and Damnation Club. They are housed at Falstaff Manor and treated more like royalty than concubines.

Knights of Eternity – 'When the Royals Strains gather they will be called by one title – the Knights of Eternity. Through their wisdom will the course be set. May they take great care with this burden and nurture the title they now hold.'

*The Royal Strains were brought together by an edict delivered in a prophecy from the Great Goddess of the Tuatha de Danan. It forewarned of the next great paranormal war better known as the Second Angelic War.

*The Council of the Seven Seals is another name for the Knights of Eternity.

Royal Djinn – 'For the light there is darkness. From the evil all detests save a few there is a Royal you must covet and trust.'

*Roshan, the son of Satan leads the Royal Djinn. He was guilty at birth because he was born from the Original 'Get'.
*He is both good and evil. He is also the keeper of the Hell Locker and protected by the Hell Riders.

The Hell Locker – 'Gather all the vestiges of vile magicke, that power which rises from the depths of hell, and store the snippets of spells and the ingredients of potions in a box. Give the locker to the son of Satan for safe keeping. Pray, my Knights of Eternity. Pray, he never speaks of its location for if he does, not even I can save the mortal world.'

*The location of the Hell Locker is a secret. Prince Roshan refuses to speak for fear he might inadvertently disclose its whereabouts.

*It contains all the secrets of Black Magicke and is considered the most dangerous artifact known to both the mortal and paranormal world.

The Royal Dragul – 'Ye that are born from the union between Adam and his second wife will know great pain, but will understand the power of being the most prolific shifter. For within this gift lies salvation.'

*Called the Blackbloods, the Royal Draguls can take the shape of any living thing including demon sects.
*The common Dragul rarely leave their realm in the Borderland or the Carpathian mountain village they inhabit on Earth.

For more information and to enter the Borderlands, visit my website.


Got a question about the Borderlands -- Don't hesitate to post it here!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

About Cooking with Fire

Please refer to Time Magazine - Portraits of the Women of Afghanistan.

Note - this is not for the weak of heart.

You can access it here: www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,308943282001_2007270,00.html

Yeah, this is a hot button issue. It's hard to understand on so many levels. Why are these women the way they are?

Cooking with Fire was a story for me that epitomized my friends who were first, second, third generation Anglo-Indian. What I found is that the chances are the stigmas still hang over their heads. I couldn't get away from one truth, though. I believed that because women of this origination were immune to it in this country simply because they were born in this country. You'd think that wouldn't you?

The fact is that it is as prevalent in this country as any other. Women of this origination are put to the same test. I'm sure that for as many women who will say they aren't there are just as many who get what I'm talking about.

Cooking with Fire is a snapshot of this. It's what I see, and the dynamic that is happening. It isn't to say that all Muslims are this way. It's my way of saying that there are those who are that way.

Recently, I had a friend who was born Islamic who had to have surgery. She was so upset. Not because the surgery was going to occur, but because her mother was freaked out because she'd have a scar. To me, it was a stupid argument. To her family, it was the end of the world, or in the very least, the end of her chances to ever being in a fitful marriage.

This is what this story is about. This is what we, as American Women need to know. I'm guilty of this and it totally disgusts me that I am.

We can't sit in judgment of these women, because we can't expect miracles. There isn't anything written in the Constitution that says – this is how you should act. Is it better in America for women of this origination? I think it is. Does it boil down to brass tacks? I'm not so sure.

We are a culture of judging and then thinking about it. We don't understand something so whatever we're looking at is immediately screwed up and wrong. We need to stop that.

My two cents—


Why I don’t blog.

I think this is the one of the toughest questions for me to address. It's not that I don't like talking. Shoot, I can almost out talk most people. I've got words to spare. I've got lots to say.

Here's my problem—I'm notorious for speaking my mind.

Ask me about politics – yep, I have an opinion.

Ask me about world issues – sure as shooting, Tex, I've got an opinion.

Do I have opinions, refer to the above.

The fact remains. I learned a hard lesson on Facebook regarding actually speaking my mind. I put out my feelings. I got trashed. I got a whole bunch of cheerleaders going – you're nothing. Actually, I am something. I'm a person who should be able and allowed to say what I feel and when I feel it.

So, the question then became—what the hell am I suppose to say? Or should I say anything?

I can say my most recent release was a part of that. When I wrote Intimate Space I knew exactly what I was doing. It's a shot at so many issues that face us now. It's the things that we don't notice, but we should. And now, I'm working on the sequel. I like the story, but I've already been warned 'don't go hard sci-fi' and 'your readers won't get it'. What am I suppose to say to that. I'm supposed to dumb down my story simply because there is a attitude that readers are idiots? I don't believe that.

I don't get it. I can't speak my mind. I can't write the story how it should be. I can't be the writer I want to be. I can't take on the issues I want to take on and put them into a context that is both entertaining as well as informative.

From now on, I'm going to speak my mind. I'm launching a new chapter in my life. If you don't like what I have to say, please feel free to debate this with me. If you detest me because I am willing to go there, then that's your problem.


The fact is, I'm Belladonna. I have opinions and I'm gonna talk about them.

Until the next time – and no, I'm not gonna get sappy and thank you for hanging around, but I appreciate those who have followed me.