Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It was a close one here at Casa Jaye.

Because of the recent ice storm that sweep through southern ontario last Saturday, we were without heat and electricity since Sunday evening right up to this morning. *phew*

But here I am in the count down to get dinner on the table and I just realized I haven't posted a Christmas greeting on my blog yet!

*clears throat* :

Wishing you and yours all the best over this holiday season. Enjoy the food and company and may health, love and laughter be yours in the upcoming year, with just enough sorrow that you never take the rest for granted but find continued joy, peace, and gratitude in every moment you've been gifted with. :)

Merry Christmas!

Vanessa Jaye

Consider, It Might Be Better Not To Know

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I just skimmed a review of a book where someone noted in the comments that overall they loved the series, even though they felt a little lost at times.  The comment struck me because the reviewer noted that there were some things they loved in this latest addition to the series, some things they  though were meh and others they didn’t get, yet the rating they gave was still pretty high (4 out 5).

I contrasted this with other reviews (or feedback/critiques) I’ve seen for other works online.  There’s a lot of ‘why this, why that, make this clear’ and it's posited as if any questions raised that don't make sense to the reader right away, are a very negative thing, when technically, the opposite may not be.
As a reader, you don’t really need to know everything on the first read through.  I’d even go as far to say as you really don’t want to.  You should know/understand enough that the flow of the story and suspension of disbelief is uninterrupted. You should be able to fill in some gaps with a few theories and guesses that make sense to the characters, world-building and plot.  But you really don’t have to know everything, right now.

Why would you want that? Where’s the fun and the intrigue? Often books resonate with you well after the story on the page is done because there are a few little niggles in your mind.  Sometimes those niggles are enough for you to write the author; sometimes they are the very thing that pulls you into the next book.
You know what one of my greatest joys is as a reader?: re-reading a story later and discovering something new—some nuance I missed the first time, or having a new interpretation of something because I might be reading it in a different mindset now, or with new knowledge gleaned from elsewhere. That delight in discovery would have been lost if the author had pedantically laid every mystery in the text wide open.  Not only that, but when the author fills in every nook and cranny of explanation it robs you the reader the experience of making that book uniquely yours based on your life experiences or what you may need from that story emotionally at that time.

Granted, if what’s missing from the text is causing frustration and confusion, then, yes, perhaps the author should have provided more clarity.  The take away is: enjoy not knowing for awhile, and accept maybe never knowing except for what your own imagination might supply.

On another note, yup, been absent again.  So the progress report is: the job hunt continues, it's no fun and prettymuch is a drain on any creative energy.

I went from Zig to Zag

Monday, September 09, 2013

I could've swore I posted my change of plans here or on my author Facebook page (btw, have you liked my author page over there?  It's not superbusy, so you won't be swamped with posts, but I'm trying to get that ramped up in terms of writing news/progress, excerpts, etc., )

Anywhoo, I decided to put the contemporary books aside for a moment. Just couldn't get my mind set into them. Instead, I decided to play with a sci-fi story idea I had hanging around for awhile.  It's essentially a marriage of convenience story-- or maybe in this case an inconvenient, forced contracted sexual alliance.  The hero is a retired cyborg soldier with the unfortunate but duly earned nickname of The Beast of Beltrane-3. I've got some vaguish ideas for connected stories featuring his fellow brother-in-arms cyborgs, but that's for late.r.

These are the models for my H: Griffen Heller and h: Neri Senator. I know the actor's name is Ty Olsson (and he's Canadian to boot!). Not sure who the female model is. I'd love some more pics of her as inspiration, though.

Dang they look good together! --but he needs a tan :-P  I've had pics of him on my hard drive for about a week now, but just found her pic this morning.

Last thing, I'm doing a Fast Draft with Catrina Brown for the next couple of weeks, so I'll post my progress in the comments to keep me honest. *g* I'm only aiming for 10 pages/day though. I know enough about how I write to know that I can only turn off my internal editor so much.

Writing Progress

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How did 10 days go by already since my last post?

Got a lot of balls in the air obviously, but the writing is moving along.

The outline for the Dragon book is done,done,done! I think I wrote 9 pages double-spaced on it. Can't wait (even though I have to) to start on it. The dragon book will most likely be subbed to my publisher.

Right now, I'm working on a 3 book idea. Contemporary Romances. All stand-alones, but same setting and  the heroines for each book are all friends. Aiming for approximately 200 pages for these babies. These 3 books will be self-pubbed. Really hoping I can have 2 up for sale by December.  Hero in book 1 is a red head.  And, he's hawt! Oh, yes, he is; don't you give me that look.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I mentioned a dragon shifter idea I'd been working on lately. It was an idea I came up with last year, but in the last month or so I've been playing with the concept, developing the world-building, plot points and my characters GMC (goals/motives/conflicts). Most of my playing has been on notepad ap on my phone since it seemed like the only way I could squeeze in any writing time was on the fly.

On the weekend I finally nailed down some stuff for the ending, but because I knew this was writing project #3, I didn't immediately email the notes to myself to add to the word document I had started/saved previously (and thank god for having that doc already started/saved!)

You can guess where this is going, right?

Decided to do the transfer from the notepad ap yesterday aaaand .... *poof* be gone! It's. Not. There.

I turn the phone off and on. Nope. Still not there. In fact there are no notes saved since June 1, so who knows what other random story ideas/concepts I lost but can't remember off the top of my head.  :-(

The one saving grace in all of this is that those scribblings in the notepad ap, where just that, notes. Not actual story text, written out scenes, etc. Also because I was making notes as I wrangled with plot points and GMC, etc., those items are still in my head, so it'll be fairly easy to write them out again, probably in a cleaner copy this time. Chances are I won't remember every little thing, but I remember the major most important ideas.

I posted my waaaah on Facebook almost immediately and writing buddy Amie Stuart suggested I get the Evernote ap, which I have done. Also downloaded it on the pc.  So, all's well that ends well.  Sorta.

Moving On

Sunday, August 11, 2013

If you’ve been  sorta/kinda checking in on this blog over the last couple of years, you’ve run across more than one sheepish blog post apologizing for an extended, yaddahyaddahyaddah, blahblahblah.. 

Anywho, moving on….

My job hunt is underway. Plans are being firmed up regarding taking some professional courses/training and I’ve got a great network of friends who are actively helping out with leads by working their own contacts/networks.  But a job hunt can only take up so much of your time. Suddenly I find myself hitting the gym regularly—lost 5lbs so far! The house is spotless. lol.

And Another very positive change that has happened is:  I find myself with the time and, more importantly, the mind-space to write, plot and make plans re my writing career and marketing , etc.
Right now there are 3 stories I’ve prioritized; a dragon shifter idea that I’m 99% done with the outline. As much as I want to dive write into this story, once the outline is done, I’ll back-burner it while I work on a couple of more pressing ideas:  
First - a sequel to The Wolf who Stole Christmas, using the ‘villain’ Jack Frost as the hero.  This one is priority 1 because it’ll be a short novella and I want it up for December. 
Next will be Rob’s story (Rob is the best-friend and business partner of Daniel, the hero from Felicity Stripped Bare). I’ve always wanted to write Rob’s story and came up with several ideas over the years that just weren’t right. Yesterday, the concept of his story just hit me out of the blue. I honestly can’t remember what triggered the idea, but it’s perfect. I just need to wrangle with the outline, GMCs, plot points, etc., but I *know* this is his story.   Now to re-read Felicity. *gulp* I haven't read it since it I finished the last copy edits, but I want to make sure I get the details right for this connected story. Will probably do a post on how I feel about that reading. *cringe*

Stay tuned for updates.

Reading Withdrawals

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I've been going through a prolonged period of the *mehs* when it comes to reading.

It’s my fault.

I O.D’d on a bunch of books that were in certain subgenres and featured a favourite hero type.  Also, I wasn’t all that discriminating when it came to erm… the quality of the writing.  So had some hit and misses there while looking for, primarily, a quick read.  Now I’m finding it hard to even choose a romance/romance-subgenre book to download, much less decide to read one.

Some of the blurb words/phrases that have me backing away from possible downloads/buys:

- Billionaire hero/brothers/best-friends (especially when it’s paired with something incongruous like Billionaire Lumberjack(s), or Billionaire pastry chef, or if he’s only in his 20s.)

- “Book 1” or any indication this is part of a novella/short story serial. (Read/started a couple of excellent series/serials but I’ve hit my limit on them at this point. I will only start a series/serial now if all the books/parts have been released.)

- BDSM (which I actually like, but you can usually tell from the blurb when the element of bdsm is not intrinsic to the story/characterization but more of a hook.

- Anyone (usually the heroine) who is finding/exploring their sexuality, etc., - if this is the *main thrust* of the story, I’m giving it a pass. There are a handful of authors who write this trope very, very well, with layered/fleshed-out emotion and characterization. But there’s a lot of crackalicious boink-fests out there too, with a sprinkling of the heroine’s angst/backstory masquerading as story-depth.

- Sassy, Snarky, Smart-ass/mouth as a description of the heroine.

- Anything that sounds like it was inspired by Twilight/50 Shades.

There’s more, but those are the ones that come to me at the moment. :P

While I still prefer a romantic subplot in my stories, I’m shying away from full-blown romances or romance/subgenres and more drawn to stories that are primarily about other things (journey of self-discovery, mystery/thriller, etc).  But even there, I’m not making much progress. I’m partway through a couple of excellent reads (Anna Dressed in Blood and The Mystery of Mercy Close). In both cases, I enjoy the books while I’m reading, but find it soooo easy to put them down and it takes forever to pick them back up again.  

On the other hand, I’ve been reading the newspaper daily, going through a variety of magazines, and enjoying some really great writing on a handful of tv shows. 
I’ve gone through this phase before, it’ll pass. But it sucks to be stuck in the *mehs*.
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