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Showing posts from May, 2012

Richard Linklater's WAKING LIFE (salsa dancing with my confusion)

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Super excited to be attending VIP reception and screening of Richard Linklater's BERNIE tonight! Makes me want to revisit WAKING LIFE, one of my all-time favorite movies.

Doc Watson storytelling and "Sittin' On Top of the World"

Indie Authors: What We Really Are

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People wonder why, after a dozen books in the corporate publishing industry, I decided to go indie with my own digital press, Stella Link Books. One factor in the decision was the transition from driving a big fat family truckster SUV to my smart car convertible. I suddenly wanted everything about my life to be fun, austere, economical, fun, a conversation starter, fun, fun, wide open up top, flipping the finger to the very concept of status symbols, and (lest we forget) FUN. On my to-do list: a post entitled "Everything I Need To Know About Publishing I Learned From My smart Car," but right now, I need to blow on some sunscreen and head for Galveston.

It's a (Mad) Man's World

Isaac's Live Dub Proposal

This dude just ruined the life of any man who even thinks of proposing with a ring in a Jell-O mold.

When the Facts Don't Conform to the Theory & a New Kindle Free Read!

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On Saturday through Monday, my historical romance alter ego, Gwyneth Atlee, is giving away copies of Dangerous Attractions for Kindle. Originally published by Kensington (under my short-lived Colleen Easton pseudonym) Dangerous Attractions is set in the gorgeous Key West of the 1850's, a city made rich on the salvage of the many shipwrecks along the reefs of Florida. When I first proposed the story to my editor, my preliminary research had cast the early wreckers as near-pirates, "moon cussers" who cursed the bright nights of a full moon and even lured ships onto the rocks in order to steal their cargos after the passengers and crew had drowned. When I visited Key West and dug into archival diaries, journals, and newspapers from the day, I found instead that the wreckers were absolutely serious about saving 1. lives and 2. property. They were legally rewarded for the latter in salvage courts, which allotted them a percentages of the proceeds from auctioned goods and i…
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I'd so love it if you would stop by and visit me today at the blog of historical romance author Mia Marlowe (*love* her books!) at where I dish a bit about my wonderful recent vacation to the Florida Keys and share details on this weekend's free Kindle giveaway (Sat. through Monday) of my Key West-set historical romance Dangerous Attractions. While I can't take all of you with me on a tropical vacation, I can at least share a taste of the tropics to start your summer off right! Enjoy!

Great Words: Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator"

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Dinah Washington "Dream"

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Neil Gaiman's U of Arts commencement address

"Gotta Get a Message to You" (Go with God, Robin Gibb.)

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I can't take this recent celebrity death parade. Eras ending all around. :(

The Hurricane Lover book trailer

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During the record-smashing hurricane season of 2005, a deadly game of cat and mouse unfolds amidst polarized politics, high-strung Southern families and the worst disaster management goat screw in US history.

The Hurricane Lover is a fast-paced, emotionally charged tale of two cities, two families, and two desperate people seeking shelter from the storm.

Read The Hurricane Lover FREE with Amazon Prime!





Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man" (live in 1969)

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"Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution."

Honeysuckle, Fireflies, and Time Travel: It's the Little Things that Count

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Great fiction can transport us, not always through its clever plotting or dynamic characters, but often through the perfect, well-placed sensory detail--some unexpected image, sound, or scent that lights up our synapses. I've been reminded of this lately, by the sweetly-subtle scent of mimosa blossoms and honeysuckle on a recent neighborhood walk, by a friend and author's offhand Facebook mention of her children chasing fireflies. Those little sensory details combined to pluck a hidden string in my mind, transporting me back to the shade of my grandparents' huge pines and maples, to the sweet, wet dew on my bare feet on a summer's night, to my sister's and brother's laughter and my parents' and grandparents' smiles from the front porch rockers as they watched us race about the grassy creekside lawn competing to capture lightning in a bottle. This is why the best writing feels like a homecoming. Though the characters and situation may be novel (no pun …

Still crazy after all these years (Heart "Crazy On You" then and now)

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Yes we get older...and bigger. But as much as I loved the ramped kid version of this song (and yes, I could play that awesome guitar riff at the beginning), I'm definitely into the big broad version. Way to evolve, Wilson sisters!

Sign Up for an Online Class from Colleen Thompson:The Marathoner's Guide to Writing

Beginning June 18th, I will be teaching a week-long online class for RWA University: "The Marathoner's Guide to Writing: How to Stay in It for the Long Haul without Losing Your Patience, Your Persistence, or Your Mind." Here's the class description: Class: The Marathoner's Guide to Writing: Staying in It for the Long Haul without Losing Your Patience, Your Perspective, or Your Mind Class Dates: Monday, June 18 - Friday, June 22 Instructor: Colleen Thompson Class Description: How do some authors manage to stay fresh, relevant, and published, while so many others burn out and fade away after only one or two books? With 20 books and more than a dozen years of experience behind her, RITA-nominated, best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Thompson shares wisdom she's collected from numerous veteran authors on the qualities that will help prepare you to survive and thrive for the long haul. Topics for discussion will include: • Balancing the needs …

"Rejected" (7 min of bizzarro, 2 min of wow)

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THE HURRICANE LOVER is fiction. Climate change is real.

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Set on the Gulf Coast during the devastating hurricane season of 2005, Joni Rodgers' novel The Hurricane Lover weaves real weather feeds from the National Hurricane Center and actual emails to and from FEMA officials into the story of an obsessed weatherman, an ambitious journalist and a con artist using chaos as cover for identity theft and murder.

"It's about 40% fiction," says Rodgers, who volunteered with relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and witnessed Hurricane Ike up close and personal. "The rest comes from what I heard and saw that summer and from five years of mind-blowing research."

Rodgers, a New York Times bestselling author repped by William Morris Endeavor, says she chose to indie publish the novel because she wasn't willing to "sacrifice relationships for car chases" or water down the politics to accomodate a corporate publisher.

"Two weeks before Katrina, a prominent scientist at MIT - a guy with no political dog…

Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows" (Yay for MAD MEN music director!)

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Maurice Sendak on life, death and best friends

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Thanks for the rumpus, Maurice Sendak

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Trying to find words to express how I feel about the death of Maurice Sendak. Huge gift to my life. Huge gift to my kids' lives.

Where the Wild Thing Are was the very first book I bought with my own money. It was 1968. I earned $5 singing at the Bike-o-Rama and spent $2 on a paperback of this book I'd stared at for hours in the public library. I was thrilled to have my own copy and drew my own illustrations in most of the white spaces. I think Mr. Sendak would have approved of this.

Over the years, I staged several versions of WTWTA with various children's theatre troupes and after school arts programs. Always a big hit, as it required each child to make his/her own wild thing costume from trash bags, construction paper, yarn, egg cartons, etc. Also required: wild rumpasing. The kids had a lot of fun, and the parents had rich home movie fodder.

When I was working on Sugarland, I took a trompe l'oeil class, and painted my pantry door for practice, recreating scenes from In…

Feel free to create your own caption

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Gare Bear stops for coffee with a friend at Sam's in the Brouxelles Midi train station.

Willie Nelson "The Scientist"

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Tim Curry "I'm Going Home" from Rocky Horror

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League of Extraordinary Authors: Writerkind: Win a Kindle Fire in our Flash Fiction...

Check out this amazing flash fiction contest! Do you have what it takes to write a 500 word story?

BtO founder and NYT bestseller Joni Rodgers is one of the judges, and the prizes are primo.

League of Extraordinary Authors: Writerkind: Win a Kindle Fire in our Flash Fiction...: May is National Short Story Month! We're celebrating with daily short story features and (ta-rin-ta-RAH!) the 1st Annual Stella Link Flash F...

A Note about Copy

What makes you pick up a book in a store? The cover? But you immediately flip it over to read a description of the book, don't you? All writers should be interested in cover copy for their books, especially self-publishers. Take a peek around the stores you frequent, virtual and online, and see what kinds of copy makes for good sales. What copy makes you want to actually purchase the book?