Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I have been rewriting my first half a dozen chapters or so, because they SUCKED. I am almost ready to tie back into what I originally wrote, which will hopefully make revisions go faster.
I decided that I would share an excerpt from this last chapter, so here it is...feel free to be honest if you see something that you think sucks or doesn't sound right.
Copyright 2008 Terri Rainer
Excerpt from The Crichton Heir (first kiss from our hero/heroine):
Stepping forward, Patrick kneeled next to Margaret. As he reached his hand out to feel for any sign of life, he watched her eyes fly open.
Margaret thought she must be dreaming. She knew she had drifted to sleep by the loch. She often dozed in the afternoon sun in her secluded retreat. What a sweet dream she was having. There above her he hovered, his eyes staring intently down at her from his tanned face. His hair was no longer restrained in his queue, but fell around his shoulders in dark waves.
Margaret reached out to stroke his face. She wrapped her hand into his hair and gently pulled him toward her, determined to kiss Sir Patrick Graham.
Patrick was powerless to resist. The feel of Margaret’s soft hand brushing his face and then tangling in his hair completely undid him. His body responded involuntarily. All he could think of was how sweet this angel would taste. Feeling like a man lost in the desert, coming upon an oasis, Patrick leaned down to drink greedily.
The moment their lips touched, Margaret felt her body respond in ways she could never have imagined. His lips were soft. She could feel his ragged breathing. A shock ran down her spine as she felt the warm firmness of his tongue. It slid across her lips, parting them. Tentatively, Margaret relaxed her lips, and moaned into Patrick’s mouth as her tongue twined with his. Patrick pressed his weight onto Margaret and she felt as though her whole body was on fire.
Margaret felt Patrick’s hand burn a path up her side and stop on her breast, slowly kneading it. Her senses had never been this alive before, so alive, that she froze. Her eyes flew open again and she pushed hard against Patrick’s chest, appalled that she had in fact not been dreaming.
When he fell backwards, she sat up and glared at him.
“How dare ye take advantage of me in such a way!” Margaret said, trying to catch her breath.
Patrick stared at her dumbfounded. He felt the heat rise into his face. Trying hard to keep his anger in check, he managed to growl, “I wasna the one who dragged you down on top of me, for the second time today, if ye will recall.”
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The good news here is that it is chocked full of some pretty colorful insults. The bad news is out of 178 pages, I'll probably only use a small handful.
That being said, I thought I would share some pretty cool (in my opinion of course) words from the glossary of insulting terms found on page 45 (for those following along).
**Hope I'm not infringing on any copyright laws, if so, it is unintentional!
clag-tail:un-wiped arse (my 12 year old son and his friend like this one the most)
tumshie:idiot (literally, turnip)
Those are just a few listed, and I am sure I will be referring back to this book for quite some time as I work on revisions, and start on the next few books in the series.
That being said, I have been an absolute slug for three days. I have read 4 books, the afore mentioned insult book being the last.
The first three were a trilogy by Julia London. They, of course, were set in Scotland, although a few decades following my time period. The first two were nominated for a RITA in the historical romance category. As I read them, I found myself wondering just what the RWA looks for while making these nominations.
There was great character development, well defined plot, and sex. Plenty of it! In fact, my husband couldn't believe that I actually COMPLAINED about the amount. I think he thinks that I am some literature-based nympho. If that were the case, I would be reading/writing erotica INSTEAD of what I like to call "serious historical romance" (don't laugh).
I love a book with a good plot, and even some well thought out sub-plots. What I hate is the gratuitous sex that so many writers throw in. I actually start skimming when there are 5-6 page sex scenes, and that speaks volumes when you are as OCD about finishing a book (all of it) as I am. Alright already, I get it, they had hot, sweaty single sex (you remember? the sex we all had BEFORE we got married). It has NOTHING to do with developing the plot, at least after the first time.
So in order to be nominated for a RITA, I wondered, as I read, MUST you have LOTS of explicit sex scenes?
I can't WAIT to see some of the responses to this post!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I went to the grocery store this afternoon, which is my least favorite thing to do. I had my seven year old daughter with me, so when I witnessed an altercation, right in front of us, I didn't stick around to see if it came to blows. Here's how the scene played out.
Picture a well-dressed couple, early 50's. They are waiting patiently behind a very cute girl, I would say in the 15-17 age range. She has an empty cart, and has her pink razor glued permanently to her pretty little ear. She has stopped, and suddenly decides for whatever reason, that she no longer wants to go up that isle, so she backs up.
I am also waiting patiently for this poor confused girl to figure out if she is coming or going. I watch as she backs right into previously mentioned couples cart. She must have Novocained her backside, because she didn't even flinch. She simply turned her cart, and headed the other direction without so much as a glance to see what her teeny-bopper-butt came into contact with.
The woman looked at her husband and said:
"Just like in cars, people on cell phones don't pay attention to what's going on around them."
I took it as an observation, smiled at the couple and nodded my agreement as they proceeded up the isle vacated by Miss Cellphone, and I started past them.
Miss Cellphone may have had a numb butt, but her hearing must have been just fine. She stopped abruptly, turned, walked the three feet back over to the nice couple, and started practically yelling at them:
"Do you have a problem? Do you have a problem with me?"
This was a really cute kid, till she opened her fat, smart-ass mouth. Having my 7 year old, Tessa, with me, I opted not to hang around and rubber neck, although you could hear her voice about 5 isles over, because the husband, like any good man, defended his wife and her comment, laying blame where it belonged, on the petite shoulder of Miss Cellphone Rude Smart-Ass Witch.
Manager's were called over, and I finished up my shopping in relative peace. That is, until said couple parked their basket at the check-out lane next to mine. I couldn't keep my mouth shut (big shocker for those that know me).
"If I were that girl's parent, I would be MORTIFIED by her behavior back there. If any of my kids ever disrespected an adult like that girl did to you guys, I would not only take that cell phone away, I'd wash her mouth out with soap!" I, of course, had raised my voice to be heard over the beeping of the scanners and sacks being filled with groceries.
The couple nodded, people looked at us curiously, and suddenly, there appears Miss Cellphone Rude Smart-Ass Witch with her Momma! She was about 5 feet away, and had now turned her "you pickin on my baby" stare to me. I glanced back to the couple, who had heard the girl pointing them out to Momma (who I could take BTW...she was all of about 5 foot tall, and didn't look none too tough), and I asked them, "So is that her mom?"
The man shrugged and said "It appears to be".
I then turned my glare on the mother of this spawn, looked her in the eye, and said, "If she were my daughter, I'd be embarrassed by her behavior."
I turned back to the cashier, who had the amazing ability to never miss a second of the drama while scanning my groceries with the efficiency of a robot, and she said, "What happened?"
This piqued the interest of the woman on the isle behind my cashier, as well as the woman in front of the accosted couple. Momma was also still drilling a hole in my back, so I loudly relived the moment that had caused my tirade about how awful teenagers are. Then I went on to voice my opinion of parents who raise smart-ass cell-phone talking little witches who have NO manners or respect.
Wouldn't you know it....Momma AND Miss Cellphone Rude Smart-Ass Witch left their empty cart where it was and headed out the door.
Out of shame; fear of the restless natives that all agreed it was time to bring lynching back; or just because they were obviously out-numbered and didn't want to try and have a verbal altercation with a dozen of us, who knows why they bolted.
In a perfect world, that woman would have made her daughter apologize to that couple, in front of God and everyone. Considering it's not perfect, she should at the very least have a house fall on her when she grows up.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It just so happens that I really needed a small war/conflict that fell into that very time period. I kinda write first, research later. I find something retarded that I need to explain, like why my hero was knighted, hence the "Sir" that comes before his name. Unbeknownst to me, he had actually fought in the Dutch/English war (1780-84) and was knighted following the acquisition of a certain Caribbean island from the Dutch. Funny how these things work out!
I had actually determined my time period in book 1, so that by the time I got to the third in the series, I could have a bit about the French Revolution play a part in it. Scotland is GREAT, but I think by book three, we may need a change of scenery, at least for a bit. Call it going on "holiday", although I'm not sure I would have picked France personally.
As for revisions, or I should just call them re-writes, they are coming along nicely. I had to completely re-write chapter 1-6 or 7. I am starting 5 now, and may have 1 or two after it before I can tie it in and actually revise instead of re-write, but WOW! I think the new chapters ROCK, especially if you compare them to the original ones.
BTW......I STILL NEED SCOTTISH EXPLETIVES!
I found "crivens", but come to find out, it's not quite profane, just an exclamation showing surprise, but I used it anyway.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Most people that have even a tad of knowledge about the Scottish culture, know that they have a colorful slang all their own. My problem is, I DON'T KNOW ANY OF IT.
Any suggestions on sites or even words would be most appreciated and helpful. I did find an interesting site, Urban Dictionary, but it seems to be definitions posted by readers, and although there were definitely some VERY interesting ones (i.e. ***Scottish curse:unusually small penis.
"Oh man! I went out with George last night, and I swear he had the Scottish curse! It looked like an acorn resting on his balls!"),entertaining, yes, helpful....not so much.
***I will NOT be using that in my book BTW.
I did find and purchase a book on Scottish insults, "Awa' An' Bile Yer Heid ", hoping to glean some good stuff from it when it gets here, I'll let you know about that after reading it.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions you'd like to throw my way!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The original chapter 1 was a pile of donkey doo....which gave me the perfect start for the revised version of chapter 1...my heroine elbow deep in the stuff!
Sounds romantic, huh? Romantic, uh, NO....funny, I sure hope so.... action, yup, AND there is already a sexual tension building scene w/ our hero and muck covered heroine!
Ahhh, the joys of creating, fun and not nearly as painful as childbirth was.
***Upon closer examination of the previous sentence, I must correct the last statement.....creating=fun either way (g)....delivering the finished product=hard work!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Eyes of Garnet
This is Mary Duncan's first novel. It's one of those gems that often gets buried in the slush pile, simply because she made the conscious decision NOT to let her creativity be stifled by conforming to what is "commercially viable" in the literary world.
That is such a shame. This is a book that I didn't put down until I had finished it. It is certainly hard to put into a genre. Historical, YES; paranormal, somewhat; romance, NO. It has been shelved by book stores in the literary section.
This is the story of Catriona Robertson, a young girl growing up in a very turbulent 18th century Scotland. She has the gift of second sight (can see into the future) and learns the art of healing. It becomes a gift (trying to help her ill mother) and a curse (seeing the death of those she loves).
I must tell you first off, that this is only the first in many more to come (fingers crossed here) in a series of books following Cat's life. Mary Duncan is a wonderful story teller, and her use of the Scottish vernacular is not only colorful, but it truly makes you able to "hear" her characters loud and clear as you read this often tragic tale of events leading up to the battle at Culloden and the subsequent Scottish clearings.
Mary also uses quite a bit of Gaidhlig (Gaelic), and has a glossary in the back, instead of working in the translation after the character says it, like so many writers do.
This is an extremely well researched, well written novel that I hope one day to see picked up by a large publisher. This book can be purchased at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, or from her web site EyesofGarnet.com.