Writer Wednesday – Find your tribe

Writing-GroupOn my writing journey, I know I would not be where I am today without the tribe of writers around me.

Having a supportive partner and family is important too, and I’m fortunate to have that as well.

But when I write myself into a corner, cuz I’m a pantser and we do that, DH is of no help.   But I can call my friend Arden Richards, whose not yet published but is the best plotter I know.

I belong to a number of tribes –

The F-M Word Weavers – This is my local critique group.  Arden is a member as well.  Also in my group are published Authors Maddy Barone and Mary Jean Adams.  The wealth of knowledge in this group is wonderful, and my writing has greatly improved over the years thanks to these ladies.   I found this group on Meet-up and It helps that most of the group is made up of Romance Authors.

Romance Writers of America – I highly recommend this group if you are looking to establish a career in the Romance Writing Industry.   I’ve been a member since 2004 and belong to an online chapter.   I met my first critique partner Holli Winters through RWA.    If you want to learn more about this particular tribe I recommend, if you have Netflix, that you watch “Love Between the Covers”.  First time DH watched it with me he said, “Sounds like your writer friends.”  Yes, yes it does.

Of course there is also Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers or America.  As I do not write in these genres, I’m unfamiliar with their membership. 

Romance Divas – I’ve recently joined Divas, but I have friends who have been members for years and rave about the mentorship and learning there.   It seems too that Divas is on the leading edge of trends within the Romance Industry.    Also they are FREE, so that is helpful for those watching their budget.

Marketing for Romance Writers – Despite the name, more than Romance Writers belong to this community.   If you follow my AuThursday interviews, many of the writers are from this group.  This group is also FREE. 

Writer Zen Garden – I’ve been with Writer Zen Garden for about five years, brought in by my friend and founding member, A. Catherine Noon.   Writer Zen Garden has authors of different genres.   They are wonderful for writers just starting out and maybe not so Romance focused.   To me the focus is very creative and  wonderful  cheerleading group. And Guess what – also FREE.

I continue to join groups as I see what they have to offer and if it is a good fit for me.   I highly recommend that if you aren’t a member of a tribe that you join one.   There is something about the writing journey that shouldn’t be done in a bubble.   I mean you can, but there are so many options to connect with people and learn, why wouldn’t you. 

The groups above have helped me through Writer’s Block, Rejection, Plotting, Marketing, Networking, and supporting me through my writing journey.   I can’t imagine writing without my tribes. 

~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday Excerpt – Promising by Rebel Miller

Cover_Promising_FinalYou can read the entire first chapter from “Promising” on (Rebel Miller’s) website, but I’ve included a clip from the first scene below. Enjoy!

“Why are you blaming yourself for your aunt’s death?”

I whirled around, surprised by the question. “What?”

Tai’s shoulders lost some of their tension as he approached me, his head hanging low to meet me eye to eye. “You’ve been sitting in that chair in the sitting room looking more repentant with each passing second,” he said.

I had opened my mouth, ready to dismiss his observation, when I realized he was right.

“I just wonder if there’s something we could have done,” I said finally, wrapping my arms about my waist.

Tai frowned. “We did, Kira,” he said, searching my face. “We were monitoring her and her family, protecting them as best we could. Your aunt was killed while we were under attack on Septima. If you’re to blame, then you had better blame me as well.”

I knew that what he was saying was rational and the truth, but a sense of responsibility stubbornly gnawed at my mind.

“Why didn’t you tell me about Khelan?” he asked, running a palm up my arm. “I could have helped.”

I shook my head, considering him. “You could lose your rank and be imprisoned if your superiors found out that you were aware of a citizen helping the factions and chose not to report it,” I said.

He rested his palm just below my jaw, hesitating a fraction of a second before placing it there. “Helping you is my choice to make,” he said simply. I stared at him, indulging in the feel of his hand against my skin and wondering at the depths of his selflessness.

“Rhoan’s not leaving for now,” he said.  “Let me take you home. You can come back tomorrow.”

I sighed, fatigue setting in. Grief and worry were taking their toll, but I had committed to staying at the farewell with my family, and I wasn’t about to change my mind.

Ping.

I startled at the sound of the incoming message on my comm, and my heart skipped a beat. Grimacing an apology to Tai, I turned away to check my device.

Call me when you get home.

Gannon.

I smiled, and quickly replied.

As always.

His response was immediate:

I love you.

My smile grew, and I ran a finger over the three words as they faded to black.

Since Septima, Gannon had become increasingly verbal about his feelings for me. In addition to leaving me breathless, however, his declarations of love left me frustrated, initiating an internal battle. The truth was, when he said or wrote things like that, I felt like I ought to respond in kind but always resisted.

I turned slowly to Tai, still lost in thought. The intensity of his expression jolted me to the present, and I dropped my wrist.

“Gannon’s been worried about me,” I said, acting on an irrational urge to explain myself. “If I don’t respond, he’ll just call.”

Tai nodded, his guarded look slipping back into place, the change in his eyes revealing more than if he had explained the shift in his demeanor with words. As a protector, Tai was trained to be in control of all things — actions, emotions and thoughts. But since he had revealed his true feelings for me, and as our lives became more intertwined due to my family’s secrets, I found it much easier to see through his protective exterior.

He pivoted and headed toward the door, his gait so stiff I knew something was off.

“Tai,” I said, stopping him. He turned to me, his face perfectly blank. “What’s wrong? Why are you acting this way?”

His eyes narrowed, but the mask he had donned stayed put. “What way?”

I searched his face, trying to put into words what I had picked up in his expression. “Angry.”

“What do you expect?”

I cocked my head and gave him a questioning look.

“He doesn’t deserve you,” he said flatly.

I balked. That was why he was in a foul mood all of a sudden! “You have no right to be angry about that,” I said, disbelief nearly choking me. “You said you don’t want to be with me.”

He stepped toward me, fists clenched. “I choose not to be with you. I would never say I don’t want to be with you.”

I stood firm against the rising tide of anger that was overcoming his face. “It’s the same thing in the end,” I declared.

“Oh, there’s a difference, Kira,” he said, glowering now. “I know my limitations, while Gannon is choosing to flout his. He’s stringing you along!”

I shook my head. “He cares for me. You’ve said so yourself.”

“Yes,” he conceded, his shoulders set. “He does care for you, and more than I want to admit, so it drives me fucking insane that he’d continue with you like this. Hallowed Halls, how do you think this is going to end?”

I turned away, but he came to stand before me. I stared at the wide expanse of his chest, unwilling to look into his eyes as the walls of the room suddenly pressed in on me.

“Let’s play this out,” he said. “You and Gannon continue your affair in secrecy, managing to dodge family, friends, peers, officials and the rabid media. Then, five years from now, at the end of his father’s last term, he’s appointed high chancellor by Realm Council. Are you prepared to be his mistress? Because that’s all you’ll be.”

Every part of me begged to reject what he was saying, but my head couldn’t summon a solid argument.

“I’m not his mistress,” I whispered, studying the folds of his dark gray shirt.

“You certainly aren’t his girlfriend, and you’ll never be his partner or wife.”

I looked up at him, tears springing into my eyes, speechless at the ferocity behind his words. “I never said I wanted anything as permanent as that.” Actually, I had never allowed myself to even think so far ahead.

Tai shook his head, clearly unconvinced. “And what about when he finds out that Khelan, your father ¾ the one who’s a senator in hiding ¾ is supporting the factions?” he challenged. “What then?”

I stepped back and held a palm over my mouth, the truth of it all spreading a deep ache through my chest. I blinked back my tears, but a few still managed to fall past my lids and onto my cheeks.

“Fuck.” Tai reached for me, enfolding me in his arms. He ran a hand up my back and lowered his head so his mouth was close to my ear. “I hate that I’m hurting you, Kira, but I need to show you the truth,” he said, his lips brushing my cheek.

I didn’t want the truth, so I buried my face in his chest and inhaled the light scent of coffee and soap that lingered there. For a few moments, I let my tears flow and dampen the soft fabric of his shirt.

I had almost pulled myself together when the door slid open. I jumped and took a hasty step back, the abrupt movement causing Tai to release his hold on me. We both spun to face the door.

Ma stood, wide-eyed, at the threshold, holding a large box at her hip. “Forgive me,” she said, looking between Tai and me. “I didn’t know anyone was in here.”

After another quick glance at Tai, she entered the study and placed the box on the desk. Inside it was a collection of colorful objects. Avoiding my mother’s odd expression, I stepped closer, reached in and pulled out a small notebook that looked like a journal. It was leather-bound and had a fanciful floral pattern embroidered on the material. The box was filled with a number of other books just like it.

“They were your aunt’s,” Ma explained.

I looked up from the journal. “They’re beautiful.”

Her brown eyes, so much like my own, continued to assess me for an uncomfortable length of time. I shifted my feet and stole a quick look at Tai, who stood silent and observant just behind her.

“I’m planning to have them protected with a seal,” she said, drawing my focus. “I think Addy would like to have them one day.”

I nodded and smiled tightly as she turned to leave. Just before she did, she shot another look at Tai and disengaged the door, allowing it to slide shut behind her.

Tai sighed and came to me, running a hand over his short-cropped hair. “Kira,” he said, “please just think about everything I’ve said.”

I stiffened and glanced at him from the corner of my eye. “This is my choice, Tai,” I said, throwing his words back in his face. “You made yours. Let me make mine.”

***

Join me next Thursday when we meet M/M Romance Author and my friend A. Catherine Noon. ~Tina

 

 

 

Sunday Submissions

Hello Readers, here’s another feature I’m adding for the new year called Sunday Submissions – here I’ll focus on Call for Submissions and Contests. 

Below is a Call for Submissions from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

 

NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing is delighted to announce that the Professor Challenger Anthology, is now open for submissions.

Submissions close May 31, 2012.

EDITORS

J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec.

WHAT WE’RE AFTER

A broad range of new and original stories built around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s LOST WORLD character Professor George Edward Challenger. Stories derived from the aftermath of events in the Lost World are welcome however simply revisiting or rehashing the Lost World without good cause is not. Challenger is a man of science first and foremost, not an explorer. Mash-ups or crossovers with public domain literary characters are welcome.

For inspiration think X-files, Quartermass, DR. Who, cryptozoology, aliens among us, supernatural occurrences, science gone awry in a Dr. Moreau, Invisible Man, Dr Jekyll vein, nature run amuck, monsters large and small, world threatening cataclysm, Lovecraft mythos, think H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, E.R. Burroghs, John Wyndham, Nigel Kneale, alternate history, new lost places, steampunk, whatever — Be creative.

Mine the potential for all it’s worth! Push it out there, get weird, play, have fun!

SUBMISSION DETAILS:

 

  • The anthology is part invitation and part open submission. Priority will be given to invited authors but an invitation to submit is not a guarantee of acceptance. A minimum of two slots will be held for open submissions. Acceptance is based entirely on suitability of story and quality of writing.
  • The maximum length for stories is 10,000 words, with shorter works preferred.
  • Deadline: May 31, 2012 – midnight).
  • Do not query before submitting.
  • Email submissions to: Charles@bakerstreetdozen.com
  • Emails MUSTcontain the word “submission” in the subject line, or they will be deleted automatically by the server. Please also include the story title in the subject line.
  • Submissions MUSTcome in an attachment: Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word (.doc) are the only acceptable formats.
  • Emails MUSTcontain a cover letter in the body of the email; for security reasons, email attachments with no cover letter will be deleted unread and unanswered.
  • Cover letter: include your name, the title of your story, your full contact information (address, phone, email), and a brief bio. Do not describe or summarize the story.
  • Reprints (stories having previously appeared in English in any format, print or electronic, including but not limited to any form of web publication) will NOT be considered.
  • Submission format: no strange formatting, colour fonts, changing fonts, borders, backgrounds, etc. Leave italics in italics, NOT underlined. Put your full contact information on the first page (name, address, email address, phone). No headers, no footers, no page numbering. DO NOT leave a blank line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. ALWAYS put a # to indicate scene breaks (a blank line is NOT enough).
  • ALWAYSinclude your full contact information (name/address/email/phone number) on the first page of the attached submission.
  • This is a professional market paying up to 5 cents per word plus a single copy of the book. Full rate to 7,500 words, half rate for balance to 10,000 words.
  • Rights: for original fiction, first World English publication, with a two-month exclusive from publication date; for all, non-exclusive anthology rights; all other rights remain with the author.
  • Spelling: the editors will consider stories using British, Canadian and American spellings.
  • Response time: initial responses (no / rewrite request / hold for further consideration) will be prompt, usually within fifteen days. Please query if you’ve not heard back within 30 days.
  • We do not advise that you submit more than one story.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not encouraged but are acceptable. Should you receive a “rewrite request” or “hold for further consideration” response, please indicate immediately whether your story is under consideration anywhere else.
  • Publication date: TBA (trade paperback & e-Book).
  • Email submissions to: Charles@bakerstreetdozen.com