Sunday, April 14, 2019

Getting lost in the Fantasy

Writing is a cathartic, crazy, chaotic, dead in the water with nothing to write process.

At least it has been for me. When I think back on the past ten years, I start to measure what I’ve produced which then cripples me and I most decidedly don’t write.

What I’ve been trying teach myself these days is to get lost in the Fantasy.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re a writer and this is what you’re supposed to do, but believe it or not it’s harder than you think. When I was younger I could slip into fantasy easily, making up stories that supplied endless scope for the imagination (as Ann with an e Shirley proclaimed in ‘Anne of Green Gables’)*.

But as an adult, fantasy must be purchased much harder because of the everyday noise populated in our heads by the outside world. Fears, Joys, money problems, job woes, births, marriages, graduations and death are all intermingled into a melange of pollution to distract you from doing what you need to do to create.

Art is not on demand. It starts with a thought, something that sparks the imagination and then flows into a river of ideas. Sometimes the ideas spread beautifully across the paper as if nothing could impede it’s flow. Other times you are going merrily along only to find there is a bottle neck or bump in the road that can take you down a rabbit hole from which you don’t return.

Here is where fantasy comes in. The real world says you can’t live in fantasy because there is a world out there to discover, but I say you can live in fantasy because it’s the real world that sparks it.

You see two people on the train during your daily commute. One of them looks at the other, just a quick glance and suddenly a story begins. You’re walking in the woods by yourself and the quietness of the forest floor sparks the idea of being chased into a world that didn’t exist before. A song by your favorite band creates into a picture that turns into the best thing you’ve ever written and when you look back you wonder how did this come about.

Fantasy. And getting lost in it. Allowing it to take over and consume you. Living inside the creation process, moving inside you imagination that hold no boundaries.

So the next time you sit down to write, whether pen in hand or some electronic device, allow the fantasy to carry you away.

Get lost in it and let it fly.

Happy writing!

*Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Looking for a Contest? Enter Passionate Ink's First Annual Sexy Scribbles Contest

If you have the saucy chops to turn up the heat and sexual tension in three thousand words or less, then enter today! 

Passionate Ink’s 1st Annual


Give us their first meeting: their first kiss, or even their first time… We want to see your prowess at developing sexual tension in a scene of 3000 words or less. This contest is for published and unpublished authors. Published works must have a copyright year of 2015. Any works previously published must be significantly altered and published with a new copyright year of 2015. The excerpt submitted must be from a completed work of any length, (i.e., a short story, novella, or novel).

DATES:
  • Contest Opens: October 15th 2015
  • Entry Deadline: December 15th 2015
  • Category Semi-Finalists announced: February 14, 2016
  • Category Finalists announced: March 17, 2016
  • Saucy Scribbler announced: April 17, 2016

FIVE SIZZLING FINALISTS IN FIVE CATEGORIES

  • Contemporary – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a contemporary setting. Includes series and single-title length romances. Can also include elements of romantic suspense/intrigue.
  • Historical – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a historical setting.
  • Futuristic/Sci-fi – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting in the future, an alternate world/reality, or another planet. Includes elements such as elves/faerie, sword & sorcery, aliens, etc.
  • Paranormal/Fantasy – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of time travel, angels, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal themes.
  • Suspense / Thriller / Mystery – Excerpts with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of suspense, mystery, or thriller elements.

Judging and Prizes

  • First round judging: Will be judged by readers, writers, reviewers, booksellers and librarians. The top three excerpts, or semi-finalists, in each category as determined by judging scores will move on to the final round of judging. The semi-finalists will receive a semi-finalist certificate and digital badge.
  • Final round judging: The three semi-finalists in each category will be judged by multi-published authors, agents, and editors. A finalist will be chosen based on the score sheets. The decisions of the judges are final. All finalists will receive a critique from the judge as well as a finalist certificate and digital badge. Each category finalist will also receive a $25.00 cash prize.
  • Special Guest Judge: The five winning entries will be passed on to our Special Guest Judge and one will be chosen as their personal favorite and receive the title of “Saucy Scribbler” along with a digital graphic.

Winners Announcements: All Sexy Scribbles Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Saucy Scribblers will be listed on the Passionate Ink blog and newsletter. The Finalists and Saucy Scribbler will be listed in the Romance Writers Report. See the rubric judges will use to score submissions.

We are pleased to announce the following agents and publishing houses have agreed to participate as Finalist Judges: 
Bookends Literary Agency
Boroughs Publishing
Extasy Books
LooseId
Totally Entwined Group
and more…

RULES FOR ENTRY

Eligibility

  • Contest is open to all works published or unpublished in the erotic romance sub-genre.
  • Entries may be published with a copyright date in 2015 or an unpublished work.

General Rules

  • It is the author’s responsibility to enter in the correct category. All clarifications as to category should be made prior to submission. Entries submitted in the wrong category, as determined by two or more judges, will be disqualified without refund. The judges’ decision is final.
  • One entry cannot be entered in multiple categories, but multiple works (up to three per category) are welcome if accompanied by the proper completed entry form and full entry fee.
  • There must be a minimum of ten entries or the category will be canceled. If the minimum number of entries is not attained, entrants will be notified. The entrant will be asked to provide a second choice of categories. If the entrant does not wish to place the entry in another category, the entry and associated fees will be returned.
  • The entry must come from a work that is completed and is in the erotic romance genre. The RWA definition for erotic romance is stories “in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline.” The story must also contain a Happily-Ever-After to be considered a romance. 
  • Failure to comply with the rules will result in disqualification.
  • Decisions of the Contest Coordinator are final.

Contest Entry Fees

  • Passionate Ink members: $15
  • RWA Members: $20
  • Others: $25

See the contest page for more information and entry guidelines: http://www.passionateink.org/sexy-scribbles-contest-details/
Want to join Passionate Ink? Benefits of membership and more information here: http://www.passionateink.org/join/

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Never fake emotion

When I was 16, I wrote what I thought was an the ultimate love story of my very short and uninspiring writing career. It was fraught with passion, love lost then regained all the while throwing in a few action scenes here and there. I just knew I had the next big thing in soap operadom.

It was complete crap. My then college aged sister who was 20 and wise beyond her years (she still is) said to me. "This is good. A great effort." But the look on her face and the timber of her voice told me otherwise. Something was wrong and I said to her, "But?..."

She said, "You should write what you know." Write what I know and know what I am writing. What the hell does a 16 year old know? I railed, bemoaned and basically fell into a bundle of heaving emotion as all teenagers - except my sister of course - are apt to do.

The main issue at hand is that I had no life experiences other than what existed in my small universe. I lived in a box and therefore the box gave me a limited view of the world. As for love, well we all have our first love and what teenager has not experienced angst when it comes to amour? I had that pretty much covered right?

Wrong. I attempted to write the emotions of an adult through a teenager's eyes. I used the world of soap operas to create my story thinking this is how love is supposed to be.

Over the past few years I have learned that you can fake a place but you can never fake emotion.

Readers need to connect with your characters on that deep emotional level that makes them feel as if they are one with the hero/heroine. Shared experiences brings the emotion to life creating a fully fleshed being.

It reminds me of a scene from 'Going My Way'. Bing Crosby plays  beloved father Mike O'Malley and in this bit he is supposed to be counseling a young runaway (Jean Heather). They end up singing at the piano of course and while the young girl who is eager and doesn't seem to be afraid of the world sings her song, Bing frowns the entire time. Now there is nothing wrong with her singing but it's the faked emotions behind it. She added facial expressions and hand cues to emphasize the words of the song to give them meaning.

Jean Heather and Bing Crosby - Going My Way
Bing turns to the young girl and simply says, "Do you know what the words of this song mean?" He plays the tune slowly and deliberately and sings with passion and reverence. The light goes on and the girl understands that her interpreted emotion was nothing but a fake. I've noticed that quite a few singers tend to do this as if giving emotion to the song by using signals.

It can be oft putting. And for me, I personally lose a connection to the song and subsequently the singer. Whether you're a writer of song, poetry, fiction or non fiction, put passion into everything you do and remember to keep it real. 

Your readers will thank you for it! 

Happy writing and reading!





Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 GOLDEN CLADDAGH CONTEST IS OPEN AND ACCEPTING ENTRIES!


Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest – The Golden Claddagh!



We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary (New Adult themes allowed)
* Young Adult
Our contest due date is November 1st. Finalists will be notified by December 11th and winners notified by January 15th 2016
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-CHRWA members.


Eligibility
Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note: 
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category.
Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:

Member Entry $10.00


Non-Member Entry $15.00

If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org

All entries will be read and scored for the first round by three trained judges, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.

Categories:
Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the main focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, New Adult, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting primarily after 1945. The main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entries
Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
  1. An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
  1. The beginning of your manuscript, including prologuecannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font (Times or Courier) and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
  1.    Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:
Contemporary – contempcat@celtichearts.org
Young Adult – yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges:
FF&P
TBA

Historical
TBA

Contemporary
TBA

Young Adult/New Adult
TBA

Awards
The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin. 
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
Questions
For questions, please contact the contest chair, Lizzie Walker at: contest@celtichearts.org

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 Golden Claddagh is OPEN!



Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh!

We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished manuscripts. ALL HEAT LEVELS ACCEPTED!

* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary
* Young Adult/New Adult

Our contest due date is May 10th. Finalists will be notified by June 15th and winners notified by August 1st–Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 2014.

Eligibility

The competition is open to RWA members ONLY.

Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.

The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.

Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.

If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.

Please Note:
Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winningmanuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.

You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.

You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.

CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.

All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:

If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org

Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.


All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.

Categories:

Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).

Contemporary: Includes, single title, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.

Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.

Young Adult/New Adult: Romance novels in which young adult or new adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*


Entries

Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:

1. An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.

2. The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
                         1 inch margins
                         Double spaced in a standard font and size 12-PT.

The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.

We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.

3. Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.

NOTE: Your entry must not exceed thirty (30) pages total.


SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:

Contemporary Category - contempcat@celtichearts.org

FFP Category - ffpcat@celtichearts.org

Historical Category - historicalcat@celtichearts.org

Young Adult/New Adult Category - yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges

FF&P

Angela James – Carina Press
Kerry Buckley – Carina Press
TBA

Historical

Laurie McLean – Forward Literary, Inc
Beth Miller – Writers House
Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing

Contemporary

Julie Mianecki – Penguin Books
Alissa Davis – Carina Press
Elizabeth Bistrow – Penguin Books

Young Adult/New Adult

Nicole Fischer – Avon Press
TBA


Awards

The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin.

The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Questions

For questions please contact the contest chair, Alisa Walker at: contests@celtichearts.org

Friday, April 5, 2013

2013 Golden Claddagh Contest - NOVELS AND NOVELLAS NEEDED!




2013 Golden Claddagh Contest


CONTEST OPENS APRIL 1, 2013



Contest Entry Form here










Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh! Don't let our chapter name dissuade you; your entry does not have to be Celtic based to enter.We have four categories for unpublished manuscripts: Historical, FF&P, Contemporary, and Young Adult.


Our contest opens on April 1st with a final due date of May 1st, 2013. Finalists will be notified by June 15th, 2013 and winners announced at the Celtic Hearts AGM at RWA Nationals in Atlanta. All finalists will be invited to the AGM, if they are able to attend.


ELIGIBILITY


The competition is open to RWA members and non-members. The Golden Claddagh Contest is open to published and non-published authors but the submitted work must never have been published in any format. The entry must be either a full-length novel (greater than 40,000 words) or a novella (no less than 20,000 words and no more than 40,000 words). Short stories and novelettes are not accepted.


Entry fee is $15 for CHRW members and $25 for non-members.


CATEGORIES


CONTEMPORARY: Long & Short Contemporary / Romantic Suspense / Strong Romantic Elements: Includes single title, romantic suspense, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.


FF&P: Future, Fantasy & Paranormal / Steampunk / Alternative History: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).


HISTORICAL / Celtic: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location.


YA: Young Adult / Middle Grade / New Adult: Romance novels or novellas in which young adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. Main focus is still on the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.


FINAL ROUND JUDGES


Contemporary – Julie Mianecki of Penguin Books, Chelsey Emmelhainz of Harper Collins Publishing

FF&P – Alissa Davis of Carina Press and Laurie McLean of Foreward Literary Agency

Historical – Meredith Giordan of Carina Press and Susie Townsend of New Leaf Literary Agency

Young Adult – Aubrey Poole of Sourcebooks and Becky Vinter of Fine Print Literary Agency


Find the Contest Entry Form and Rules at Celtic Hearts Romance Writers website.


Sign up today! You know you want to. So what are you waiting for?


Cate Parke, Rebecca Lynn
2013 Golden Claddagh Contest Coordinators

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BLOG PROMO: Release Day! Heaven Sent - Sarah Hoss

It's not everyday you get to present a debut author, much less have that author be your best friend. I met Sarah about four years ago through a forum on another author's website and we've been friends ever since. 

A shared love for all things Celtic, good music, food, and most of all writing timeless stories that leave you breathless. I remember the day Sarah told me about her idea for Heaven Sent. The story touched me deeply and I know, you will be moved by this short story just like I was . 


Heaven Sent
By Sarah Hoss

Page count: 65
Genre /rating: RomanceSweet
Digital: 978-1-61217-597-3









BLURB

When forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart.

Flight nurse Tenlee Hawkins is used to making quick decisions, but one decision she made the Christmas day her mother died haunts her. Wrestling with the past, she spirals into depression—until the day she finds a man unconscious in her woods and saves his life.

When Sam awakens in the hospital with a concussion and no memory, Tenlee rescues him again. She takes him into her home and her life. But as Sam recovers and remembers who he is, he's torn. A guardian angel isn't supposed to fall in love.

As the promise of true love grows, Tenlee realizes that Sam has helped her much more than she ever helped him. But Sam is filled with guilt knowing he must soon leave. Will it take a Christmas miracle to find the life with Tenlee he’s always wanted?




AUTHOR BIO:
Sarah Hoss grew up believing she could try anything and if she set her mind to it, she would succeed. Sixteen years of dance lessons, Cheerleading, and school plays proved to her that her parent’s words rang true. Writing was no exception. 

Reading the Outlander series made her fall in love with time travels and the historical places books could take her. Always a child with a vivid imagination, she realized as an adult, she could put her imagination to good use and began writing. 

Marrying her very own hero, they live in Indiana in the town where she grew up. They have three beautiful children and one hyper dog. When Sarah isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, camping, and watching her kids’ play sports.


Where to find Sarah-
Twitter- @SarahHoss1

Facebook- Author Sarah Hoss



You can also find Sarah on LinkedIN, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Getting lost in the Fantasy