Thursday, February 26, 2009

Critique in Public? A Website With Issues, or Not?

I've been having a lot of trouble lately coming up with topics to post. Not sure why, as there's always something bizarro going on in my life. Not much of it has pertained to writing though, so maybe that's it.

Well, what do you know, today I DO have a topic. It's about the nature of a critique. How far is too far? And when someone asks for an opinion, do you give them an honest one, or what they want to hear?

Recently, on an author loop I frequent, an author asked for opinions about her website. This happens regularly, so it's not that big a deal. I checked her site out, as I'm always checking out everyone's website. I love getting new and better ideas for my own. The website in question had a few issues, but it wasn't that bad. The author had a lot of different ideas for each page, so the big problem/issue, as I saw it, was consistency. Not a big deal to change. Most of the websites I admire have a great theme, a terrific, eye-catching banner that announces the author's name in bold lines, specific to that author, that's continued throughout the website.

Well, the comments the author got back were a little surprising. Most agreed that she needed to make the pages look more similar, for consistency, but then a few of her critiquers went nutzo. Heck, she had people telling her her name was wrong. Hello? It's her name. So she spells it differently. So what? It wasn't as if she was promoting herself as Boobalicious McHotPants. (Hmm, that one sounds kind of catchy...)

So my point in all this is how much critique is too much? I've always been taught that you praise in public and critique in private. Now, considering this is the Internet, there's not much that's private unless you consider email. And the author did ask for comments. But I think it's much more appropriate to comment with positives AND negatives. Most of the people who commented pointed out everything they didn't like and nothing they did like.

Just a thought. But I know I like to see comments about things that work and don't work when it comes to my own projects. Not just the glass is half empty, you suck.

For what it's worth, here's my take on a good website:
  1. Easy to read
  2. Easy to navigate (clear cut labels)
  3. No glaring colors or fonts
  4. NO MUSIC!!! (unless it's a musician's website)
  5. No glittering or moving parts around text I'm supposed to read
  6. Timely updates
  7. Interesting content ( I love reading bio's)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coffee + Monday Morning = Happiness

It's Monday morning and I have a cup of hot, steaming coffee by my side. It's perfect. The coffee, that is.

Nothing to do but write this week. My goal: to finish Circe's Recruits: Hale. I'm done 17K so far. We'll see how this week goes...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hitting the Hot Spot with Language

Today I'm over at Total E-Bound's blog site talking about words. There's a hilarious clip at the end that makes me laugh every time I hear it. It's vulgar, so make sure all the kids are gone when you watch it. But boy, is it funny. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chore Day

Ah, Saturday. Chore day. What fun. Laundry, dishes, floors and bathrooms. No, I don't do windows. But the rest of the house gets a much-needed scrubbing. Same with my writing. Today, the husband is going to work on the kids' treehouse outside, taking the kids with him. So here's hoping I can get some real work done on CR: Hale.

I've been stuck on this story the way I was on Derrick's story. It's odd, because I love where this story is going. But twice now I've had to cut pages away and start over. And both times the story is better for having done so. One of my characters is a real pain, and though I love him, I can already tell he's going to give me hell throughout the manuscript.

But at least I'm writing. Sometimes it feels like a chore in and of itself, but one I love more than any other. I'm shooting to finish the story within the next week or two. Cross your fingers for me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Newsletter Contest Winners

Congrats to Lindsey E. and Shirley. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Cover-- CR: DERRICK

Check out my new cover for Circe's Recruits: Derrick. As always, Anne Cain is a freakin' genius. And the Loose Id team just rocks. I can't wait until mid-March when the book comes out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Free Read and Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

To celebrate, I'm offering a free read from my website. A short, steamy paranormal for your pleasure. To check it out, click on the cover for Incubus Inspiration.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

News and a Sneak Peek at CR: Hale

Well, early release day at school took away most of my writing time. But at least I got a few dental appointments taken care of. And hey! My new washer and dryer are here. The old ones are 20 years old. Still working, but on their last legs. Now maybe I can concentrate without worrying about the washer shaking through the laundry room. Takes two doors to shut the noise away. Very disturbing.

I've run through Circe's Recruits: Derrick once. My poor editor had her computer turn rabid, so my second round of edits might be delayed. But I was bummed out today because I'd planned on writing a good bit of CR: Hale and couldn't. Ah well. I have two more weeks until my self-imposed due date. I'll get it done by hook or by crook.... I hope.

Here's an unedited sneak peek of Circe's Recruits: Hale

Robbie scowled. “Rogers is different. He’s faster than the others. And I think he might have some mental mojo.” Robbie tapped his forehead. “It took a lot of energy it shouldn’t have to put him down before.”

“Really?” Paige found any talk about Hale fascinating. He’d been a part of her for so long that she felt as if they were already friends. When she’d struck him with that tranquilizer in the house, she’d felt as if she were betraying him. But her timely intervention had saved him from being ripped apart by the rogue dragging him into her kitchen.

“I don’t like the look on your face,” Robbie growled. “Rogers is no good. You keep away from him. We don’t need his kind of trouble.”

Surprised, she considered her friend. She nodded to make him happy, but inside she wondered why Robbie felt so threatened by Hale Rogers. She could see the tension in his frame, the worry in his eyes. Robbie never showed his emotions unless dealing with her. Was he perhaps jealous? He’d never shown signs of it before, not even when necessity demanded she find men for sex, to ease the desires that consumed her every month. He hadn’t reacted to those meaningless occasions at all. Yet Hale Rogers had done the impossible. He’d made Robbie nervous.

Paige wanted more than ever to meet Hale in the flesh. But not right now. “Oh my God. He’s here.”

He appeared, much like Robbie had, from the shadows of the nearest building.

“Paige Masters.” His low voice sent shivers down her spine, but it was the danger he projected when he glanced at Robbie that quickened her womb and shot her libido into overdrive. “And McKinley. I fucking knew it.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Number One!!

Well, this hasn't happened in a while, so I consider it blogworthy.

Circe's Recruits: Roane, is currently the #1 erotic bestseller at Fictionwise. Bestsellers change daily so I'm not holding my breath to see it there forever. But it's nice to see it there at all.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Big Grins

  • Circe's Recruits: Roane is a bestseller over at Fictionwise. It's number 8 in the erotica category.
  • I cleaned my kitchen.
  • I have a new haircut.
  • I treated myself to an expensive purse and wallet. Finally spending my writing money as tax time approaches. Stupid, but it felt really good.
  • CR: Hale is coming along very nicely.
  • It's Saturday and the kids are taking naps.
  • We're going to see Coraline in 3D later.
And that's why I'm grinning this weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Absentee Poster

Sorry I've been slacking. I posted today at Samhain. Come on over and join in the chatter about shapeshifters.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Wazzup

A few notes...Circe's Recruits: Roane is now available on Fictionwise. Creation's Control is up for another award: Best GLBT book of 2008 from RORR. To add your vote, click here.

I'm working on Circe's Recruits: Hale. This is an interesting book from the perspective that its that last of the series. Conspiracies and plot twists need to be tied, and Hale needs his happily ever after. Returning characters and characters who aren't quite what they once seemed keep rearing their heads, and they're giving both Hale and myself a headache.

Oh, and Elliot Pearl has a huge secret you'll learn about at the end of Circe's Recruits: Derrick (coming out in March from Loose Id,) which plays an integral part in this book. It's a real doozy. Then there are the intersecting storylines and scary mutant Circs ... a lot of action. So I'm going to grab another cup of coffee and get busy.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Reviewer's Choice Award

I forgot to post this. Creation's Control won a 2008 Reviewers Choice Award from eCataromance. I'm pleased that my first m/m romance garnered such a positive response from not only readers, but reviewers as well. If you missed Creation's Control, check it out at Total E-Bound. It's a futuristic romance between two stubborn men with secrets aplenty. Enjoy!

It's all about control...

Creation's Control
by Marie Harte

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Supernatural "Fanning"

This is a picture of (characters) Sam and Dean Winchester from my favorite television show, Supernatural. Supernatural is on the WB every Thursday night at 9pm EST. I'm not a "fangirl." I'm not into hunky guys. Okay, these two are rather attractive. But it's the storyline of the show that just grabs me and won't let me go.

So I wondered what it is about this show that keeps me coming back for more? And how to incorporate some of those quality items into my own writing?

What I like:
1. Two ornery brothers who truly love each other but have a hard time expressing it.
*Who doesn't love tough guys who want to say "I love you" but don't necessarily know how?
2. The Supernatural
*These guys fight the things that go bump in the night on every episode. They're currently involved in a fight between demons and angels and the end of the world. Love it!
3. Family angst
*I'm addicted to other people's problems
4. Okay, the guys are hot.
*I'm married, not dead.
5. There's plenty of humor mixed with sobriety in every episode.
*The writers know how to intersperse humor in this otherwise dark show.
6. You never know who might just die.
*Keeps you on the edge.
7. The story arc keeps getting better.
*Season 1--find the dad. Season 2--stop the Yellow Eyed Demon Season 3--find a way to keep Dean out of hell. Season 4--so far, to stop Lilith (a demon) from opening 66 seals and springing Lucifer free for a virtual hell on earth.
8. What will they come up with next?

So to summarize, I need to write another book that has humor, angst, family struggle, devotion, souls going to hell and coming back out again, angelic wars, sirens, shapeshifters, and .... Oh hell. I'll just keep watching the show every Thursday, and try to create characters that have as much chemistry as the Winchester brothers.

If you'd like to see more about the show, click here. Seriously, it's a terrific show.