Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's all about the happy endings

No, not THAT. Mind out of the gutter, people. I don't mean the massage sort of wink*wink*nudge*nudge, I mean the HEA you get with romance. Isn't that what we read the romance for? And mysteries. Don't we read them to see the villian get his/her and for the justice of it all?

It's just like geese. No, really. Geese. I raise African and Pilgrim Geese. While I had two geese sitting on their eggs, tragedy struck. Okay, maybe tragedy is a bit melodramatic, but bear with me here.

We had a snake.

The first inkling of doom was missing eggs from Panini's nest. She started with six. Then there were four. Then there were none. I thought we had a possum or skunk--both notorious egg theives--sneaking into the barn at night.

It didn't matter that her eggs were gone. Panini was devoted. She sat on that empty nest day and night. To make things feel right, she even dragged brushes and small items from the barn into her nest so that she had something to sit on. This girl wanted to be a mommy.

One night, as my eldest son (who shall hereafter be referred to as the Howler Monkey) and I were out feeding. I was dumping grain for the horses when Howler Monkey came running up. "Mom! Mom! Something's wrong with Panini! She's hissing and freaking out in the barn."

Howler Monkey was right. It was too dark to see well, but I sent him for a flashlight. In the dim barn I could just make out my little goose standing in her nest, raising up her body and looking for all the world like a woman holding up her skirts. Her eyes remained trained on something between her legs as she madly hissed, but held her ground. When Howler Monkey returned with the flashlight, I was able to see the problem: a huge black ratsnake.

When I say huge I mean like OMGWTFBBQ snake that ate Manhattan big. Six footer. Gack!

Fortunately I'm a hardy farm girl and not some fainting city miss. Nosirree! I did what any farm girl would do.

I screamed until my husband came outside to rescue me.

Then, I did my Queen of Hearts impersonation (Off with it's head!!!!!!!) but the harm was done. Poor Panini. Nothing could break that girl from sitting on her nest. Day and night. She sat through the snow until the sun broke through, but still she would not be budged. The time came and went from when the eggs would have hatched, but still Panini was faithful.

Sad, huh? And if the story stayed here, it would be a tragedy. Well, at least from the goosey perspective and that's really what we're talking about. Our heroine is sad, sad, sad and in denial.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: I'm a fool with an incubator. Have eggs, will hatch. I had acquired some Pilgrim goose eggs from a breeder and plopped them in the incubator. Three goslings later, we're set for our happy ending, if only things will work out.

Geese are fabulous parents. They mate for life and are devoted to the care and raising of their young. Even the ganders are tender and loving parents. But would Panini accept substitutes, or would she climb back on her nest of brushes and feed scoops?

She was most unhappy when I pulled her off her nest, but the moment she spotted three peeping goslings in a pen, she lost her mind, running and honking. Those were HER babies and she wanted in there with them RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!

Panini is an awesome mommy and couldn't be prouder of Schnitzel, Sushi, and Truffles if she'd hatched them herself. I'm not sure if she comprehends that she didn't. But the end result is HEA.

Doesn't that change the story? Suppose all you knew was that "Hey, my female goose has some babies." That would make you smile and say "Aw, how cute." Then you'd promptly forget. But when you have the struggle, the conflict, the tragedy, and ultimately the triumph?

Happily Ever After.

So satisfying.

And isn't that what great stories are all about?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Awesome Linkage

Some things are just plain wrong. But cool.

Like these awesome links for stuff you might want to read.

Agent Jennifer Laughran on her blog "Jennifer Represents..." about the "Old Girls Club" perception.

Hyperbole and Half blogs about optional punctuation and spelling: Alot is better Than You at Everything I like this post alot. heh!

Lifted this one from Mrs. Giggles blog regarding how books are resold on Amazon. Irene Watson explains it all to you (and me cause I didn't know half that stuff).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding your niche

This photo was taken at the Cedar Hill Marina at Joe Pool Lake. I was fascinated with all the lines and angles of the boats. I had to wonder, how the bleep do you find your boat in all that? (Like how I'm keeping this blog all family friendly?) I felt lost just looking around.

Bookstores are like that. It's easy to get lost in there and I'd never find anything if they didn't put up helpful signs that said "mystery" or "romance" or "fantasy." Unfortunately, I can't always choose where a book will be. I'll spend ages looking in "fantasy" only to find that the books has been shelved under "romance." Umkay. It was a paranormal and there was a romance, but seriously, sometimes it's hard to tell.

As a writer, we can't control where we get shelved. We can steer toward a certain genre, but that's no guarantee of how others will perceive your work. The First Ghost was that sort of book. It's got paranormal elements: Portia Mahaffey sees dead people. It's got a mystery to solve: Who killed her roommate? There's some romance: Will she choose the hot doctor or the handsome detective?

So where does my book fit? I tried pulling out the elements and seeing if the whole structure fell apart. Take out the love? Still a dandy story. Take out the paranormal. More boring and I would be sad, sad, sad to see this story without Hephzibah, but...still a story. Take out the mystery? No more story. So my primary genre is mystery and my subgenre is paranormal. Paranormal mystery. I can live with that.

How about you? a/s/l? Now I'm showing my age! Genre, it's funny stuff. How funny? I'll let the kittehs explain it to you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Its a house warming

Er...a blog warming. Welcome to my new blog. Aren't you thrilled? Why of course you are.

Have a seat over here. No, wait! That's where the cats sits. It's a little hairy. How about over here?

Wait! Not there! That's too close to the bird and he'll pull your hair.

Here. Sit here. Don't mind the dog staring. His name is Bear and he just wants your food. Careful not to set down that plate or it'll vanish.

Being the first post of a shiny new blog is a lot to live up to and begs the question: Now what? What to blog about? See, I've never been very good about journaling and even less so in public forums. I have a bad case of the doubts. Why would I have anything interesting to say and even if I do happen to think of a scintillating topic, how would anyone notice amid the noise of a thousand hands blogging simultaneously? Yet here I am. I read my friends blogs and I'm trusting them to read mine, or at least to leave friendly comments and pretend that they read every word of breathless prose.

Now what?

How about I tell you a little bit about myself? It will explain a lot and that way, when you're are reading my blog (please come back and read it again) and you're thinking I'm one crayon short of a full box, you can simply refer back to post one and refresh your memory.

Here is the awful truth that not everyone knows about me and I will reveal it to one and all on the great internet. I really am a soccer mom. With an SUV. And a seat on the PTO. And a Labrador Retriever. And a husband and two boys and a full time job as a lawyer. Wait for it, it gets better. I live in a cute, two-story house with green shutters and an honest-to-God white picket fence. Seriously. And that is where my resemblance to the apple-pie-baking, sweater-wearing, competitive mom of your nightmares ends.

Don't get me wrong, because I can bake a mean apple pie, but I'm a redneck soccer mom. I live in a tiny little town that you've never heard of with only 1250 people officially listed in the population. I suspect they count some of the cows.

We like to play farmer and live with a menagerie mostly comprised of rescues and throw away animals that no one wanted. Currently, we share living space with two large horses, a Shetland pony, two dairy goats, five miniature donkeys, two dogs, two cats, a geriatric goldfish, and an attack rabbit. And I haven't even listed the birds. I raise chickens, ducks, geese, and guineas.

If you question how anyone can own an attack rabbit, you have clearly never livid in close proximity to a bunny. They are impossibly bossy and vigilant. I have ceded the dining room to the bunny. It is his territory. He allows us in. But he does have to share it with my son's telescope and a giant snake kite that my husband bought at an auction. (Hubby is just waiting for the right day to try it out.) This doesn't leave room for a dining room table, but so what? I'd rather have a bunny and a telescope and a snake kite than a fancy room. Sounds like chaos? It is. I'm that sort of mom and our life in Nameless Tiny Town is odd but satisfying.

So other than lawyering, farming, chauffeuring children and indulging in whatever interests take our fancy, what do I do with all my spare time? Unless you stumbled in here by accident and are diligently searching for a polite way to exit, you already know that I am a writer. That's mostly what I'll blog about. All things writer. What do I write? I write mystery and romance in all lengths, from 100 word drabbles (which I suck at) to 100,000 word novels (which I suck less at) and all things in between. There will be announcements regarding my two upcoming novel publications. I'll post some of my flash fiction and links to stories I've sold to online markets and kittehs.

Oh yes, there will be kittehs.

I'm addicted to LOLCATZ. I've tried twelve step programs, but they don't work for me because I don't really have a problem. I could quit the kittehs anytime I wanted to. I just don't want to.

So that is pretty much it. Now you know all about me. Well, not all about me, but enough that you could bluff your way through a test.

Please stop a moment to say howdy. I'll bring cookies. You bring the tea.