Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing the journey you take in the year of 2012 will be awe-inspiring and that you will navigate victoriously through obstacles in your path to fulfill your hopes and dreams for the year.

Be happy!

From all of us at the salon,
R. J., Marsha, Melanie, Ella, Marilyn, And Elizabeth

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you love, laughter and a heavy dose of golden fairy dust this Christmas.

From the Scouts at the Speculative Salon,
R.J., Marsha, Ella, Melanie, Marilyn and Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Something to wrap the last presents to....

On the longest night of the year, it's a good time to pull the hidden things down from the top shelves, and--since the others have sugar plums dancing for a slightly longer time tonight in their heads--get out the good egg nog and enjoy the delight of wrapping the gifts.

I worked Bloomingdale's--in the mailroom, in the booth, and on the floor. I discovered my facility with wrapping and my delight in making other people happy with that skill of manipulating paper and tape and ribbon. I am still known for my inability to wrap a package badly. I keep trying, but my artistic nature insists on emerging. To my chagrin and delight, I must say.

What is it that insists on amazing you? Do you, like me, have a natural talent that insists on emerging no matter what you do to step on it?

Have a happy holiday and enjoy yourself, no matter what tries to interfere. And for those of you traveling.... be safe. Come back and tell us of your adventures.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Strategies For a Productive Holiday

Very happy holiday blessings to everyone! I can hardly believe that 2011 is almost over, but at least it’s been a most wonderful year to look back on. One of the greatest joys was definitely teaming up with the Scouts to start this blog, and meeting so many wonderful guests, bloggers, writers, and readers along with it. It’s been a whirlwind social media journey, and I’m happy to say that I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

So, Hubs and I are hitting the road on Thursday for a six day tour along the east coast to visit relatives. We love road trips, and I’m really excited to see everyone since we don’t get out there very often these days. I also can’t stand the thought of breaking my writing routine, so I’ve come up with a few ideas for getting in as much typing/scribbling as I can while still enjoying the company. Here’s the plan:

- Write in the car – Not when it’s my turn to drive, LOL, but I can bust out the laptop while Hubs is at the wheel.

- Write late at night – I stay up later than my rellies, so it should be an easy one.

- Write while everyone is napping – As long as I don’t stuff myself into a coma as well.

- When everyone is watching TV

- Write while Hubs is unpacking or repacking our stuff – He’ll love that one.

Well, I’ll squeeze in whatever I can between all the feasting and games. Have a super-duper, fun, safe, and inspiring holiday everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Secret Santas Paying It Forward

The Gift of the Magi by Lisbeth Zwerger
Finally good news on the news!  Secret Santas have invaded Kmart with their Christmas spirit showing it’s all about the giving.  Anonymous donors have been closing out layaway accounts of families with small children.  These secret Santas have singled out families who use Kmart’s layaway plans to pay for toys for Christmas.  Toys they might not be able to get without the layaway plan.  This makes my heart sing out "Merry Christmas."
The news story reminded me of a fictional Christmas story, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry.  (use the link for a free download for Kindle or PC)  Without giving away too much of the story, it’s about a young couple who don’t have any money for presents so they each sell a treasured possession to buy their love one a gift .  It’s a beautiful and heartwarming story. 
Next to this story at Christmas, I also love “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Scrooge,” [the old b&w] and “White Christmas.” What are your favorites?
Till next time,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finessing the Festivities

Finally making an appearance. This is one of my favorite songs, when the pairing is right. Hope it makes your holiday preparations festive more than frantic.

See you next week... unless I am buried under the baking :-)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Paranormal Indie Book List

It’s year’s end and time to look back on some of the favorite book releases of 2011. Considering all the fantastic small press and digital titles in the market right now, it's high time to give proper dues. I’ve made a list of some indie paranormal/urban fantasies that I thoroughly enjoyed this year, hopefully you all will too.

These are in no particular order, and this certainly does not cover nearly all of the wonderful new indie titles out there (we’ve had a few authors here in the Salon too, so check out our Guest page for more).

Ghouls Night Out (Larue Donavan Series) by Rose Pressey

Death’s Hand by S.M. Reine

Dragon Blues by Edie Ramer

Touch by Jus Accardo

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

A Modern Witch by Debora Geary

Trinity: A Brethren Novel by Deena Remiel

Airborne by Constance Sharper

Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder

Coexist: Keegan’s Chronicles by Julia Crane

Piper’s Fury by Rachel Firasek

Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

If you have a small press title out this year (of any genre), or if you have more recommendations, please give a shout in the comments. Happy Holidays Indies!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Magic of the Big-Top Circus

My latest release, Le Cirque De Magie, is an historical fantasy short story set in Sarasota, Florida during the spring of 1925. The circus has its winter home in the seaside resort community, much like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. That company made the city its winter quarters until 1960, when it moved twenty-five miles south to Venice.

I live south of Tampa and often visit Sarasota, an easy forty-five minute drive. When we first moved to the area three years ago, we toured the Ringling Museum—a fascinating trip back into the magic of the circus. The spirit of the circus pervades the community, adding to the local cultural heritage. I was enthralled by the local history, which inspired me to write this story.

At Ringling, magic is everywhere. On the grounds, exotic epiphytic roots of banyon trees, imported from India, swing down from branches in search of the ground.

If those weren’t wondrous enough, statues of gnomes, dwarfs, and fairytale beings play among the wild aerial roots. Easy to imagine them coming to life when the museum closes.

Several buildings house various circus or Ringling-related collections. Some contained train cars used by Ringling himself as well as ornate circus wagons, designed to parade wild animals through the big-top.

My favorite building housed a miniature replica of the famed circus in its heyday. The attention to detail initially left me awestruck, but then the circus came to life…unloading the animals, people, tents, and supplies from the train. Teams of horses powered the set-up, working fast to be ready for showtime.

I hope you enjoyed this pictorial visit to the Ringling Museum which filled me with child-like wonder and inspired my story, Le Cirque De Magie.

My ebook story, Le Cirque De Magie, is available FREE at Smashwords.

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available March, 2012. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, Le Cirque De Magie.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Little Holiday Cheer

Thinking of you...

However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you love and laughter during and after the season.  Plus, a golden sprinkling of luck for the new year.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Christmas Lights

On my weekly random search of YouTube, I found this great video of Wizards in Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra synced to Christmas lights at a in Frisco, Texas from 2005. I'm amazed anyone would take the time to set up lights and time it to music by the use of a machine. But apparently, it isn't new.

Enjoy the display and may it help you think outside the box for your own writing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Special Gifts For Speculative Fans

Transitioning from NaNoWriMo into the Christmas season is a little overwhelming. I seriously think there should be a required spa day somewhere in between the two events, or at least a nice long, relaxing bubble bath. Aromatherapy anyone?

One thing that helps me get through the holidays in one piece is my obsession with extensive planning. The same deeply ingrained impulses that make me a staunch plotter also manifest in my need for lists, time management, and general organization. Over the weekend I made my game plan, including what to get everyone, when to mail things, and our travel itinerary. Yeah, I’ve been called a bit of a control freak, but it helps me keep the stress in check.

I found myself nodding knowingly while reading RJ’s post yesterday, because I, too, never know what to ask Santa for besides books. So I decided to list a few gift options for those who might want to go beyond another Barnes & Noble gift certificate and want something special for the speculative fan in their life.

Art prints – There are a lot of great fantasy artists out there, and a framed print makes a beautiful present.

Doctor Who TARDIS USB hub

LOTR Pez gift set - Hubs and I stumbled upon this gem in Ye Olde Target last week and I just had to mention it here.

Vampire and Werewolf Mask Earrings - These are a little pricey, but they are really cool and unique.

Vampire Art Now - OK, it's a book, but it's guaranteed to be a pleasant surprise for any vampire fan.

Calendars - From witches to astrology to the new speculative movies, you can find a calendar for pretty much anyone these days.

Electric Lunar Explorer Lamp - Great for steampunk and sci-fi fans, this is just one of the many amazing offerings to be found on Explore the website and you will certainly find something incredible and one-of-a-kind.

Make something! I've done collages, wreaths, even personalized photo albums. It doesn't have to be complicated, just thoughtful. One of the best gifts we ever received was a handmade "fairy house" from our young nieces. It's basically a few bits of nature glued together, but it looks cute hanging on the wall and even smells good.

I'd love to hear about some of the best gifts you've ever gotten and why you loved them. Any other suggestions for speculative goodies? 

Happy shopping!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Dreaded Christmas List...

Now that NaNo is officially over (thank goodness) and I've managed to win three years in a row, I can start to focus on other aspects of my life - like Christmas.  I know a lot of writers put themselves through a "Revision Hell" for the month of December, but for me, I can't even think about doing revisions.  Last year, I attempted to revise my NaNo novel, but I was in the process of moving and it just made more stressed.  I also found that I skipped past the fun parts of Christmas, like the shopping, the baking and the giving because I was so determined to complete my goal.

This year, I've shelved my NaNo novel and will start fresh with it January 1st.  I worked hard all November and managed to not only win, but put up over 60,000 words.  That is a huge accomplishment for me and I am proud of it.  I think that it earned me a month off. :)

Now that Christmas is 20 days away (19 shopping days), I am feeling more pressure.  My mother, my sister-in-law and even my husband constantly bombarding me with the dreaded question - "what do you want for Christmas"?   My answer (as it with every special occasion) - books.  I have two huge bookshelves full of books and a Kobo half-filled.  I hear the dreaded sigh, "What do you need more books for?  Don't you have enough?"  And with a smile, I reply "Never".  While a lot of women love getting jewellery, I'd much rather get books or a book certificate.  I find books useful, another ring or necklace not so much.

Last year, I received (in my opinion), the ultimate gift for the writer - a Mac computer, which I treat like a family member and downloaded Scrivener which has helped to keep me sane.

So what's everyone asking Santa for Christmas?

RJ :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time to Replenish your Creative Juices!

After a month long drive to complete NaNo it’s time to replenish those creative juices.  It’s time to set your mind to relax, read and watch movies. Or whatever way that let’s your mind run free without any constrictions.  Spend some time in the great outdoors and push yourself away from the computer.  Yup!  It’s time to regenerate.  Give yourself some space to regroup and let your mind wander wherever it wants to go.  No, you’re not wasting time!  You’ll actually be increasing your productive time if you let yourself relax.  Even if it’s just for a few days you will reap the rewards of a surge of creative flow. 

Here’s 29 ways to stay creative:

I’m spending the next few weeks to catch up on my reading list and movies I missed.  What’s your way of rejuvenating?
Till next time,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lessons Learned By Winning NaNoWriMo

Reposted from my blog due to overloaded brain from NaNo.

November was a long month. I didn’t make my original goal of 100k or my revised goal of 75k. After winning last year, I didn’t think there was anything else to learn but I did.

1st Lesson Learned: Life during NaNo cannot be on hold. While I was able to put off most things last year, this year I couldn’t. Thus, the drop in my word count but I somehow made it work out to reach 50k.

2nd Lesson Learned: Only the desire to move forward and finish the novel will keep you writing when you are not feeling well. For a few days, I suffered pain in my wrists. I wrote lightly for those days in hopes the pain will go away. That did not happen. Since I couldn’t continue writing with my wrists like they were, I went to the store purchased two braces to help me. Now I cannot write without them and my wrists don’t hurt any more.

3rd Lesson Learned: Without focus, you will only get so far. In order to be focus enough to write, you need to sleep enough, eat right, maybe take vitamins, and anything that helps you keep your mind on the prize. Once I did all those things together, I sat down and wrote my butt off during the last three days of NaNo.

4th Lesson Learned: When you need to bump up your word count, insert sex scenes into your novel. While that statement was true last year for me, this year’s insert was internal monologue. Writing sex scenes didn’t help me to understand my characters anymore than before. The internal monologue helped me pin down my characters’ past and how it affects them in their current situation. Most of it will be cut during editing but it is a great piece to keep for my character sheets.

Final Lesson Learned: Enjoy everything that happens to you during NaNo. The experience is one of kind for most of us and changes every time.

Next NaNoWriMo, I hope to be writing on the second book of my fantasy series. I will take what I learned from the past two NaNo to write again with pressure looming over my head and learn new things about myself as a writer.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...