Thursday, December 27, 2007

Those itty bitty facts

The post on Novel Journey today is about the importance of research. Lisa cited a book in which the author referred to Lake Charles, LA as Port Charles, LA. As she pointed out, Port Charles is the fictional city in General Hospital. Lake Charles is very real. I have family that lives there.

Topics like that always make me think of my two pet peeve "this author failed to do any research" books.

The first one was written by Fern Michaels. It had an interesting premise, quirky characters and was set on a horse farm. I love Thoroughbred racing, and that's why I tried to read the book. It was the first book that I've never finished. It was BAD!! I'm by no means an expert on racing and breeding, but I know more than the average horse nut. It seemed that Ms. Michaels was making it all up as she went. There was no basis for reality in any of the book. Every single scene that involved a horse or a race or training broke the fictive dream for me. Because of that book I will never ever read anything by her again and I do not recommend her books to my friends.

The second pet peeve is in a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Supermystery. The title is High Stakes, it was written in 1998 and the setting is Saratoga Springs. Nancy's on vacation and the boys are guarding a very valuable mare named Golden Folly. Anybody who's read a Hardy Boys book knows that Frank is smarter than your average teenage boy and has a head full of the strangest facts. Much like mine, lol. Whoever the ghost is that wrote High Stakes did no research whatsoever into the business of horse racing. The setting was great, I think the ghost has really been to Saratoga. But not to the race track, obviously.

What is it that bugs me so much about this book? It's when Frank says "Golden Folly won the Triple Crown several times." Come on, Frank! Ya know I luv ya, but you know better than that! The Triple Crown can only be won once. Only three-year-olds are eligible to race in the TC. He also would know that no filly has ever won the TC and probably never will. This book was written pre-Internet everywhere, but something like that is easily verifiable in '98 by just calling the Jockey Club or the Daily Racing Form offices. Or, heaven forbid, going to the library.

So what little fact has pulled you out of the fictive dream?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Congratulations to..

Kaye Dacus!!!! Kaye has just landed her first book contract with Barbour. The tentative release date for Happy Endings, Inc is January 2009.


Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve...

And I've been a very bad blogger the past couple of weeks! It won't be improving until after New Year's. I just have so much fun at Christmas that being on my computer is the last thing I think about. There's too many Christmas movies to watch and so much family to see.

Did the quiz from Georgiana's blog and I'm not a Grinch! Of course I already knew this. And I do love the Grinch. Still need to watch that one. Surely we can mix him in somewhere with Cap'n Jack...

You Are the Furthest Thing From Grinch

You love and live for the holidays. You even love the Grinch!

You're in the holiday spirit year round... because you're all about celebrating and giving.

I did finally see The Nativity Story movie today. It blew me away. It takes a very special, moving movie to get me to cry. And I was crying when He was born. God was completely right when He said we can't comprehend His love for us. What He did for us is just amazing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Brain freeze

So, you have all these scene ideas swimming around in your head. You're desperate to write them down. Big problem though. You haven't got the faintest idea where to start!

If might help if the scene was something that actually belonged in a novel. But it's not. It's backstory for a character and it will never in a million years make it through edits. It's not crucial to telling the actual story, but that doesn't solve my problem. I want to write it. I need to write it. The backstory that goes with the scene is crucial to part of Nick's hidden fears, his Deepest Desires and why he's a commitment-phobe.

What I can't figure out is how to get it out of my brain and onto paper. I'm the only person who will ever know the gory details of what's happening. Doesn't stop the desire though. I'm tired, and when I'm tired the words just don't flow like I want them to.

Maybe Nick will tell me something tonight that will unlock the words...

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Friday Fact

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...

The song White Christmas was written in 1941 by Irving Berlin, for the movie Holiday Inn. It starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The movie was released in spring of 1942, and the song was an overnight sensation. It quickly became a sort of anthem for all the homesick soldiers.

The record single went on to become the highest selling record of all time. Even beating Elvis and the Beatles.

In 1954, the movie was made. Originally it was supposed to star Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, reprising their success from Holiday Inn. Fred was "retired" though, and the part went to Donald O'Connor. That didn't last long either and it was redone for Danny Kaye.

The set of Columbia Inn is the same set from Holiday Inn, with some minor remodeling. Sadly, Pine Tree, Vermont doesn't really exist.

"When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting whatever it is you've got left."- Danny Kaye as Phil Davis in White Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Spotlight on Europe

The Midwife of St. Petersburg by Linda Lee Chaikin

From Amazon:
It is Czarist Russia, 1914. Karena Peshkev dreams of escaping her family’s country estate and attending medical school. But each year, as she watches her hopes of being accepted to the Imperial College of Medicine slip further away, she must content herself with working alongside her mother, the village’s Jewish midwife.

On a visit to her cousin’s sumptuous mansion, Karena gets a taste of Russian high society–and meets Colonel Alexsandr Kronstadt. Their attraction is immediate, but they can never act on it. Alex is meant for Karena’s cousin, the general’s daughter, a superior match politically and socially.

But when the accusations of Bolshevik conspiracy tear her family apart, Karena and her mother flee to St. Petersburg. The Okhrana–the Russian secret police–are convinced Karena is a Bolshevik traitor, in league with the rebel party’s leader. Certain she is guilty of murder and assassination, they’re determined to hunt her down. Alex risks his career and his life to protect her from afar, but will it be enough? Will he find her in time to save her from false accusations–and declare his love?

Vibrant with historical detail and richly woven themes of danger, romance, and God’s faithfulness, The Midwife of St. Petersburg is an eloquent tale portraying the beauty and madness of a country that is about to change forever.

This book is at the very top of my Must Have list. In fact, it's getting ordered tomorrow. Once I've read it I will most likely post an in-depth review.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas quiz

1. WRAPPING PAPER OR GIFT BAGS? Both. Depends on what we have.

2. REAL OR FAKE TREE? There are trees that aren't real? Google Noble Fir and that's my favorite.

3. WHEN DO YOU PUT UP THE TREE? Sometimes between the 5th and 12th. With a real tree, if you put it up the day after Thanksgiving it's long dead by the time Christmas gets here.

4. WHEN DO YOU TAKE THE TREE DOWN? January 2nd or 3rd.

5. DO YOU LIKE EGG NOG? Nope! I even just tried some really high end eggnog and didn't like it. Tasted like cough syrup.

6. FAVORITE GIFT RECEIVED AS A CHILD? Hmm.... There were so many! Mama's very good at getting the perfect gifts. I guess my Molly doll would rank at the top of the list, and my fleece Tweety Bird blanket that I got a few years ago. Definitely wasn't a child when I got that one, but I love it so much.

7. DO YOU HAVE A NATIVITY SCENE? Yup, it's not Christmas without one.


9. EASIEST PERSON TO BUY FOR? Papa, it's a place called Think Geek.

10. WORST CHRISTMAS GIFT YOU EVER RECEIVED? I can't really think of one.

11. MAIL OR EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS? I've done both. Not doing any this year though.

12. FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE? White Christmas! BEST MOVIE EVER!!!! Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen with an Irving Berlin score. Heaven.

13. WHEN DO YOU START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS? In the fall sometime, though I actually bought the first gift in June when I was in Pasadena.

14. HAVE YOU EVER RECYCLED A CHRISTMAS PRESENT? Nope. But then we've never been given a fruitcake either, lol.


16. CLEAR LIGHTS OR COLORED LIGHTS ON THE TREE? Colored please. Twinkle lights and C-7's.

17. FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG? O, Holy Night, White Christmas and Carol of the Bells.

18. TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS OR STAY HOME? We do a little of both. Extended family lives off in other places, but Christmas morning is ALWAYS spent at home. We never hit the road until after lunch.

19. CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA'S REINDEER? Only if I sing them.

20. ANGEL OR STAR ON THE TREE TOP? Angel! A beautiful Victorian angel with a Gibson girl face.

21. OPEN THE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS EVE OR MORNING? Christmas morning. Except for one year when we did them on Christmas Eve because of Papa's work schedule.

22. MOST ANNOYING THING THIS TIME OF YEAR? The traffic and the attempts to ban public displays of nativity scenes.

23. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CHRISTMAS? Everything! Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

I'm finally home and getting back into my groove. I've been dealing with a lost suitcase all week. The airline ripped the top handle off, where all the tags were, and somehow or other my suitcase ended up in Maine. Talk about going in the wrong direction! I'm filing a claim for the damages. The suitcase is practically new, only been used 3 times.

Got my first round of edits back from my crit partners. I'm having a blast working through them! The story is so much stronger now, and I'm not even done yet. Look out Genesis, here I come!

My regular blog features will resume next week.