Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I spent two hours today researching butterflies and dragonflies. It's only going to amount to three sentences in the manuscript but trust me, it was necessary.

I know you're all tired of hearing me whine about my daily time crunch but two hours for three sentences is hard for me to justify. This is going to continue(the whining and the research). I stuck a lot of asterisks in the body of my wip. In order for me to continue editing and rewriting, I have to figure out what those asterisks represent. They are more than just research points. They're clues to further behavior and plot points.

The word count may suffer while I clear through this process but the story will sharpen as a result.

How do you handle research?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I write in layers. Not onions like an ogre but more like Donkey's parfait. Dialogue comes first, the nuts and protein of the parfait. Then I drizzle on some tag lines with a dash of stage direction. One scoop of plot action. Another scoop of emotional reaction. A sprinkle of more dialogue followed by a smattering of description. A dollop of the five senses and then it's topped off with a kiss.

Alex wants more emotion, Nea wants more plot and I can see that the whole thing needs a heck of a lot more description. Not to mention the need for stage direction that helps the plot move along. And the lips line up.

I always knew I wrote this way but trying to keep track of my word count for the 70 Days of Sweat challenge has made it interesting. I was trying to change the way I work to accommodate Sven. In the end I decided to stick with my parfait. It's effective, and tastes good.

Oh yeah, I wrote a plot outline yesterday for Bracken and Kellie. There's one element about which I am uncertain but I'll deal with that when I start writing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Progress so far

One of those good news/bad news posts. The good news is that I'm writing. Every day. I'm thinking about writing even when I'm no where near pen and paper/computer(that may classify as bad news for my bosses). I'm only on page sixteen of rewrites for Alex but that's because I've had to do some research for some of his scenes. That's page sixteen, single spaced, eleven point font.

Bracken and Kelly are being a bit more difficult so I've decided to let them drift to the back of my mind while they figure out what's keeping them apart. Besides the external conflict and her need to fit in and be normal. I need something bigger, something over-the-top, something on par with saving the world or a soul. How do you follow up those kind of story lines?

While I figure that out, I'm going to continue to focus on Alex and Nea and the pretty little soul turning black in the corner of the room. And increasing my word count every day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I've had a multitude of nicknames over the years. All of them have great stories behind them. Only one of them was to protect my identity. I wasn't doing anything to be ashamed of or embarrassed by, but not everyone shared my views so it was wise to have a separate identity. I've relaxed those restrictions considerably over the years, torn between the ideas of safety and that if I believe it, I should stand behind it.

My friend Elen Grey and I spent a delightful afternoon sitting on the patio of Zooma Zooma discussing this very topic. Certain genres demand pen names. Erotica is the obvious choice but it's not the only one. I wonder if it's not just good business practice as well. There are some people who have trouble differentiating between fiction and real life. The Internet has made anonymity much more difficult.

The conversation with Elen about writing pseudonym led to a google search on my birth name. I already knew from an incident with border guards that there was another woman in my town with the same name as me. The identity mix-ups have caused a few hiccups over the years. According to google, there are plenty of us throughout the United States and Canada, serving life in many different capacities.

When I google Keziah Fenton, the only reference is my own. From 70 Days of Sweat. When I sent the email asking to have my blog linked to Sven's, I used the email account with that name. It's fitting. I'm about as serious and dedicated about a writing career as I have ever been. It's time to start as I mean to go.

Keziah was a ghost who led me to many adventures in other realms. I write paranormal. Fenton was the surname of my great-grandfather. I sat at his knee, enthralled by his gentle burr relating tales of his Scottish homeland. He was a grand storyteller, was Alec Fenton. I hope I do him justice.

On another note, I've edited/revised/rewritten 12 pages of Alex and Nea's story and plotted three pages of Bracken's since I started sweating with Sven on Wednesday. I haven't done anything yet today. But I have a Write off the Deep End meeting this afternoon. I'll likely surpass my daily word count after that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

70 Days of Sweat

I signed up to do 70 days of sweat. Louisa and Mary were doing it and my good friend helenb suggested I look into the seventy day challenge some time ago.

Yep, my life is still busy. Yep, that's a lot of writing. Yep, 750 words a day isn't a lot. Yep, the math adds up. If I use enough yeps, I won't have to think of many real words.

I'm finishing Alex's story and starting Bracken's. So my goal is actually dual. When I'm near the computer, I'm going to work on Alex and Nea. We're in the homestretch. The story is told. Now I need to pretty it up a bit.

When I'm relying on a notebook or sheets of scrap paper, I'm going to sketch out Bracken's story. I've got his conflict,and his heroine. What I don't have is her internal stuff. But then, I'm not worried too much about that story right now. It's just in the pre-writing stage.

I signed up yesterday. I went through Alex's story and pulled out all those symbols that needed more research. The two hours online resulted in less than a dozen words, but led to another layer in several scenes. I made the 750 word goal through that exercise alone.

Today was a busy work day, both jobs for a total of 13 hours out of the house. The good news is I named Bracken's heroine, got a sense of her personality and one of her quirks. A paragraph during one break, half a page on another one. I'm not sure of the actual word count today because I wrote a page of dialogue with Alex and Pzuzu. That bar scene sure is fun.

I'm not going to be near a computer again until Sunday. A minimum of 750 words a day for 70 days. It's going to be a challenge. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I learned in New Jersey

Romance writers are very creative people, but can take a lesson from bartenders(Kiss on the lips).
High fantasy is the next big wave in romance.
Some agents like gimmicks and many don't.
Blogs aren't that big a marketing tool, unless you count your readership in the thousands instead of hundreds.
Alcohol is not required in order to have a good time, but the hotel bar makes the best margaritas I've ever had.
No matter how many times you pitch your book, it's always unnerving.
Great love scenes get their heat from deep emotional connections. Lots of touching doesn't hurt.
Persistence is essential. You can't get published if you're not sending anything out.

I likely learned a lot more than that but I'm still digesting. I have two packages to get out; one to an editor, another to an agent. I'm pretty psyched about both. I attended the agent panel in order to get a feel for the different personalities. This is a crucial business partnership. It's essential we're of like mind about managing my career. She was very warm, professional and knowledgeable. I have hope.

In other news, I'm in the homestretch with Alex and Nea. Once I input the notes and scenes scrawled across all over the place, I should have only have one more edit. Then it will be time to send it to my readers.

Bracken awaits.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm off to a writer's conference in three days. Yeah, I'm not ready. Clothes aren't washed, bags not packed, book not written. But I have a plan. There's another draft after this one. It will be written when I input the current draft into the computer. I'm not as far behind as I feared. I'd be further along if I didn't have this Mike Rowe obsession. If only he would kayak down the Sibun River and I'd be able to call it research. :sigh:

Back to planning for NJRW. I've got two books done, one two-thirds of the way and another one in planning stages. I had a friend here on the weekend who suggested I use the blog as a marketing tool. Yeah, when I stopped laughing, I listened to her. She made a good point about established readership, hooked me up with sitemeter so I could compile statistics. She's a smart woman, this friend of mine and knows what she's doing when it comes to business and technology. I have no idea who's reading this in Calgary or South Africa but hi (enthusiastic wave). You look great in the reader report. I have an international readership (more waves to Theresa and Christina) as well as a core group of loyal people from writer's groups and other blogs.

Who knew blogs were such a great tool for writers? Actually, I did. They have led me to a number of fantastic authors I may have taken a lot longer to find, if ever. Many well-known authors use their blogs to build, encourage and entertain their audience. It's an effective way to communicate with readers.

Armed with blog statistics, three manuscripts and some experience at selling myself(the writing people, the writing), my plan for the writer's conference is to pitch a career rather than an individual project.

Wish me luck. And thanks for reading.