Monday, March 24, 2014

The Time Weaver

Hey boys and girls, do I have a treat for you!

One of the author's I've been fortunate enough to come in contact with is doing a special promotion on his book, y'all. For the next four days, you can purchase the TIME WEAVER, the first book in the Time Weaver Chronicles, for only $0.99! You guys, that's like the change you find in your sofa cushions. Or in your car glove box. So go rummage around and buy yourself a little treat. Plus it doesn't hurt that you will be helping out a fantastic author as well.

What's that you say? You're super excited and would like to know more? Well, why did you say so, silly? Here's a little teaser:

A reluctant hero comes to terms with a new world, new powers, and a family history buried deep in the folds of time.


Seth Alkirk is a 30-year-old programmer who doesn't know he can control time. Problem is, others do. When he's kidnapped from his quiet Iowa life and taken to the parallel world of Galadir, Seth thinks he's in a dream from which he can't wake.

His kidnapper, the warrior Malia, needs his help. Her kingdom is in danger from an evil wizard who will stop at nothing to exact revenge on those who exiled him. Seth needs her protection. The same wizard is after Seth's powers, knowing they will grant the advantage he needs to conquer Malia's kingdom. Seth and Malia must work together as they travel hundreds of miles to reach the safety of her castle.

Learning to accept and control his powers is the hardest thing Seth has ever had to do, but the longer he spends in Galadir, the more he grows to love this new world and the female warrior accompanying him. When a much more ancient and dangerous wizard awakens and threatens to destroy Galadir, Seth is the key to defeating him. Now he must save a world he never knew existed with magic he never knew he could wield, if only he could learn to control it in time.

Now how exciting does that sound? I'll make it so super easy for you. Just clicky the linky, and I'll love you forever! Buy The Time Weaver and start the adventure now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dance like You're Angry (or Editing)

Hey y'all,

Sometimes, do you ever just want to dance? Maybe it's because the town mayor outlawed dancing since it promotes unruly behavior in high school students. Or maybe it's because you're just so angry, you have to MOVE! Kevin Bacon knows what I'm talking about. Also, Jimmy Fallon, you're doing it right. It's so fun to watch a host who is clearly having the time of his life. Hashtag awesome, hashtag neat, hashtag I wish I was as cool as Jimmy Fallon.

Since I'm busy in my editing cave, I thought I would share some laughs. When you're busy cutting out adverbs, repetitive words, and wooden dialogue, sometimes you need something to make you smile.

The first is Kevin Bacon's reprisal of his famous 'Footloose' role (the role Bret's angry dance is based on). Because sometimes, after chasing Poe inspired serial killers, you just have to dance.



The next is from one of my all time favorite shows. If you haven't ever hear of 'Flight of the Conchords,' son, do I feel bad for you. Check them out, because if you don't enjoy Jemaine and Bret's antics, well... This probably isn't the blog you meant to read. Sorry bout that.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Editing is No. 1 on my Blacklist

Short blog today, loves. Having a deadline makes me work harder, so I'm pushing for that April release date.If you need something to entertain you though, check out 'The Blacklist." James Spader is a god.

Seriously.



I just did, Red. Honestly. You're shameless."

I can't get enough of this show, and it wouldn't be what it is without the amazing performance of James Spader. But I'm gushing now, aren't I? And procrastinating from the editing.

So. I'll leave you with a pretty kick ass song from this week's episode.Don't have a dreadful morning. I think you're fantastic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Be Like Batman

So, sometimes editing is like being Batman.  I know I’ve already talked to y’all about editing, but since I’m in the middle of a massive edit, it’s what has been on my mind. 

So. Editing. Batman. It starts out something like this…



Picture Batman, standing above the city of Gotham. His Batsuit is clean, the Batmobile has a new coat of wax, and his utility belt is a bright gleaming yellow. Yup, Batman is feeling pretty awesome. He looks down on the city of Gotham and thinks- Damn right this is my city! I’m going clean this baby up!

That's what the beginning of the editing process feels like. With your trusty red pen and your freshly printed manuscript, you think this editing process will be a breeze. And maybe, for the first few pages it is. But then… disaster strikes.

Maybe you’ve started writing in a strange, convoluted style. It’s terse, it’s too wordy, it doesn’t flow. Something happened where you stopped writing, and started TRYING to be a writer, and the results are horrible. (Kind of like Batman’s voice- “I’m Batman!” What was with the voice Bale? Didn’t it hurt to talk like that?) Whatever it is, something makes you feel less like a writer, and more like a kid playing pretend.

I’ll call this- the Bane stage.


It’s painful, it’s horrible. Pretty soon you just want to light the whole blasted book on fire (Some men just want to watch the world burn, you get me?). This book, the one you put so much time and effort in, is becoming some horrible monster. One you just can’t defeat. It's the creature born to darkness, and you're just some novice with no clue.

Not very long after this point, you start to relate more and more to Batman.



Everything hurts, you don’t understand why you are doing this anymore, you just want your Mommy. No one will read this, you think, why am I doing all this hard work? Gotham doesn’t care!! They don’t appreciate me!!

And that's the moment you hit the wall (or, Bane's knee). You think there isn't any way you will ever finish editing. There is too much boring narrative going on. You have sentences like “The ache in her aching head…” Your characters are wooden, your plot has holes  you could drive 18 semis through. Whatever it is, you just want to give up.

Listen. Don’t give up. However many months ago, when you first opened the word.doc and started typing, remember that moment. How great it felt. You were creating something, you were living your dream. Sure, Bane may have kicked your butt. And characters that seemed sweet and innocent at first, have turned into giant a-holes. (Really Batman, did you HAVE to save Joffrey?)



But you still have something great. You still are the superhero. Writing is hard. And honestly, sometimes it isn’t very fun.  So, focus on the moment ahead. The moment when you get to hold that finished product in your hand. Maybe it’s days away, maybe it’s months. But isn’t it worth it? Doesn’t your story deserve it’s time to shine? I think it does, and I think you can do it.

And so does Batman.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a character definitely won’t. I’m the kind of reader that loves a good name. Just the name alone can bring up an image of the character.

Jack- a tough solid man with brown hair that glints red in the sun. Always good in a fight, but with a wicked sense of humor.

Deidre- willowy and blonde, wears her hair in a braid and has a penchant for flowery dresses. If you’re upset, she’ll likely offer you a cup of herbal tea.

Tucker- buzz cut and a nasty scar on his chin. When you ask him about it, he’ll make up a lie. But something about those silver blue eyes makes you doubt his story.

Jolene- auburn hair and cowboy boots, she’s from country as big and wide as her smile. Her laugh is as loud as it is contagious. And it works perfectly to cover the shadows of her past.

So yes, to me: a name can make or break a story. There are some names that are so horrible, I have to read the jarring, discordant syllables out loud and wonder if the author ever did the same.

Ultimately this just means I obsess for hours, days, and sometimes even weeks over a character’s name. If you write, you know that at times, a character is less a creation, and more a fully developed idea that just (like magic) pops into your mind. But what positively slays me is when the blasted character refuses to tell you their name. My new novel is currently sitting at a painful 850 words all because my male MC refuses to fess up. Fantastic.

So instead, I write a blog and hope my MC will soon tell me his secrets. Until then, I’ll leave you with this. Some of my favorite names come from the great JK Rowling. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Sevvvvverrusss Ssssnape. I’ll admit- I have a weakness for the anti-hero and the sibilant name. But can you imagine if Harry wasn’t Harry? Things might not have been so magical…

Now do my taxes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Experiment


Hello lovelies, ladies and laddies.

Welcome to my experiment, a la Doctor Frankenstein, if you will. Cue lightening, thunder, and maniacal laughter (ah-ha-ha). If your maniacal laughter sounds more like the Count from Sesame Street, than you are in the right place.

http://cynthiahawkins.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Young-Frankenstein.jpg

But, alas, back to the point. An experiment is in the works. One that involves less stitching and bolts, and more words, words, words. The writer here (that would be me) is doing her best to find out how to turn a law school graduate, mostly just waitress, into an AUTHOR. As in “a real, honest to goodness, go to Amazon.com and buy my pretty books” author.

Will this experiment crash and burn (hopefully with less burning than the actual Frankenstein)? Perhaps. But when you’ve wanted to do something since you were a wee little girl telling stories of Princess Jennellybean and her friends, Samson (the giant gorilla) and Ulysses (the magician unicorn)… Well, there’s no harm in trying, right?

Because according to my old friend, Marcus Aurelius: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Not the worst advice to live by, is it?