When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images
become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.–
Ansel Adams

gorgeous views - Port IsaacWhat i like about photographs is that they capture a moment
that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce. ― Karl Lagerfeld

PadstowI find it hard to delete the bad ones…
There’s still a memory there for me. — Charlene Newcomb

a view of the harborTaking pictures is savoring life intensely, every
hundredth of a second. ― Marc Riboud

the Large Restaurant!To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond,
There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.
― Ansel Adams

looking down from the gate to the Large RestaurantYou can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can
also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan Miró

Martin Clunes filming Doc MartinI took these pictures in Port Isaac & Padstow in Cornwall, UK, during my July vacation. Port Isaac is the filming location for mythical Portwenn, from the tv series, Doc Martin. Martin Clunes and the film crew were at Doc’s surgery the day we were there.

Vacation planning & blog highlights

It’s a great time to be thinking about summer. July, vacation, beaches. Doesn’t that sound grand? Forget about the 3 feet of snow in the northeast. Ignore the winds blowing on this cool winter day in Kansas.

I’m returning to one of my favorite places: St. Ives, Cornwall. And I get to explore it with two friends this time around so it will be triple the fun.
st. ives cornwall

While I go surfing the web for things to do & see while we’re there – not that I don’t already have a laundry list for my friends – let me leave you with links to some of the cool blog posts I’ve been reading.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: How To Sell Ebooks

Writability: How to Use What Ifs While Revising

Crossing Deep River: Finishing a Novel | Pen In Hand

Writing and selling | bottledworder

from Ryan Casey: Rewriting a Novel: Five Ways to Make It Less Painful

Let me close with a note I tweeted after receiving an email from a reader about Keeping the Family Peace: I was told that my next book needs fewer scenes that make you cry. Apparently, 3 bouts of crying is too much. 🙂

Thursday’s Walk on the blog side…

And we’re back in Cornwall this week for another incredible view. I know we’re supposed to be walking, but I could sit here and stare at this magnificent view forever. *sigh*

Minack Theatre
Minack Theatre

Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about the incredibly unbelievable world of traditional publishing and royalty statements. Writers who are “lucky” enough to go traditional better have a lawyer to help decipher the meaning of their contracts. My head aches thinking about the things that Kristine points out in 2 of her own contracts with separate publishers. Incredible.

LGBT Characters in Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Marc Davies takes a look at the under-use of LGBT in sci-fi and fantasy. Are they more prevalent in other genres? Why? Some writers steer away from it because they’re afraid of portraying the characters; others claim there may be no romantic element in the story, therefore no LGBT. Many of the commenters do point out numerous novels with gay protagonists if you’re looking for recommendations. My backburner sci-fi novel does have a budding romance, but I’ll admit it never crossed my mind that it might be m/m rather than m/f. I’m more familiar with m/m in historical fiction. In fact, I’ll be dealing with these issues in Battle Scars.

Angus Donald who spins wonderful tales of Alan Dale and Robin Hood tells us Why I Love the 12th Century. I’m right with you there, Angus! My WIP novella Battle Scars is from the viewpoint of 2 knights fighting alongside Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart. (Robin & the king are minor characters in my story.) I admit I fell in love with this time period after watching the recent BBC Robin Hood series and started researching the Third Crusade, King Richard and Eleanor of Aquitaine, a truly remarkable woman. I am fascinated by the people, the culture, the hardships faced by the Crusaders, and the cruelty of war.

I couldn’t possibly ignore Kristen Lamb’s post on What Star Wars “A New Hope” Can Teach us about In Medias Res. I agree that opening with 10K-15K of backstory is heartless. Starting too close to the action is a problem, too, especially in a novel. (What about in a short story?) Kristen explains her way through this one with her analogy to riding the Shock Wave at Six Flags, and then points out why we care about Luke. Spot on, Kristen.

Have a good weekend! Happy reading.

Thursday’s walk on the blog side…

down the other side of St. Nicholas Chapel in St. Ives
walking along the coast in St. Ives, Cornwall

You may have noticed I’ve started a regular weekly write-up featuring entertaining, intriguing, thought-provoking, or educational posts from other bloggers. Do you like the title of my entry? It has a bit of a ring to it, no? And since I’m “walking on the blog side”, it seems fitting to add a picture of scenery I enjoyed on my travels. (You may see lots of Cornwall in the future.)

Still here? All right! Enjoy the picture, or read on.

RSGuthrie at Rob on Writing: Show Me A Totally Clean Manuscript (Sans Deals With The Devil)
No matter how many eyes you have on a draft, avoiding typos is not easy. I’ve read my manuscript cover to cover at least 4 times, had 3 betas read it, and I still find typos, missing words, missing spaces (between words), and too many spaces (between words or after punctuation).

@damyantig  Write, Re-write, Rinse, Repeat
“…all writing is re-writing…just let go and write. And then Re-write, Rinse, Repeat.”
I’ve increased my word output by following this advice. The original words I get down on paper are far from perfect. But I’m adding words. Adding new content. I can always go back and make it pretty after I get to end. If the page is blank, there are no words; no new content; nothing to edit. Write. Keep writing. Fix it later.

Here’s the Thing: The Trouble with Published Fanfiction – An Open Letter to the Publishing Industry | peculiar light
The discourse continues. Bottom line: greed drives the market. Will this ever change?

Avoid Opening With Dialogue | Jane Friedman
The second draft of Family Peace opened with dialogue. I’d already decided that wasn’t working and re-worked the first few lines before I read Jane’s post. I don’t think I was able to put a finger on what the problem was – I just knew I didn’t like it. Jane provided the answer for me in this excellent post.

What’s Inside DOES Matter. | J W Manus
Jaye talks about aesthetics and e-books and her adventures with HTML. If you are thinking of self-publishing, check out the great links on her blog.

Unlocking Your Great Future-5 Keys to Writing Success by Kristen Lamb
Kristen’s “motto in regards to writing comes from Hannibal: Aut viam inveniam aut facial. I will either find a way or I will make one.”  Passion. Self-Discipline. Humility. Embrace failure.

What are you reading?

feelin’ small

“I’ve been through the cities and the towns
but there’s nothing like feelin’ small
when I’m looking down…” —Arbitrary Sky

When you see sights like this, it’s easy to feel small…

Minack Theatre - Cornwall, UK
Minack Theatre – Cornwall, UK – May 2010

In other news… I’m re-watching season 4 of Lost before I head into season 5. (Netflix streaming – I love you.) I missed the ending of the show after I cancelled my cable. I got tired of paying for 100 channels I rarely watched. My tv diet back then consisted mostly of HGTV and Food Network with a bit of TLC, and a few network shows such as Lost. I don’t miss cable. I do miss being able to chat with friends about shows they are currently watching – Sherlock (BBC), Downton Abbey, Dr. Who. (Hm…do you see a trend here? Brit shows – okay, I’m always behind anyway!) What I love about streaming old shows: I can do a marathon and watch an entire season within a few days (or hours). No waiting for the next episode. Unfortunately, that means I’m not getting my writing done!