Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand. . .
In spite of all the excess imagination in my household, names don’t come easy to us.
There are a few exceptions. One of our sheep is named “Vehicle”, and our late Shepherd mix was named “Pye”. When my then 5 year old son named him, I wasn’t sure if he meant “Pie” as in Apple Pie, or “Pi” as in the mathematical number, of “Py” as in Pyrex. I went for Pye, and like to think he was a little bit of all three. Our one cat, 42, was named after a Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy reference. Rio was named after the Duran Duran song (those last two were my doing), but other naming endeavors have produced such duds as “Fluffy” and “Baby Kitty”. Continue reading
My critique group and I a few weeks back were discussing technology and references that date novels, such as public pay phones versus common cell phone usage, or gas station attendants who pump customers’ gas. Should a writer leave the novel alone, as a snapshot in time, or should they issue a revised edition that brings the work into the here and now? There were pros and cons to each, and our discussion led to the question of pop culture references. These can not only date a novel, but their intended reference can be lost as time marches on. It’s one thing to have a reader puzzle over a Rocky reference, but what if a novel is wall-to-wall pop culture? How long before no one has any idea what that Hot Pocket reference in chapter five is about? Continue reading
It seems a little weird to say a book about the end of the world as we know it is a “light read, perfect for your summer list”. Sundered, Bound, and Dauntless by Shannon Mayer are indeed that though. Each book in this series is rather short, around a hundred and twenty pages or so. I’ve noticed that serial fiction novellas seem to be more prevalent and I think it probably has to do with buying trends in e-books. Readers are more likely to spend .99 cents on a book, and two dollars on the following ones, then they are to spend $5.99 on a full length novel. That’s a shame because it means that some books are a little chopped in terms of plot to fit the serial fiction model. These particular books do a good job of creating three stand-alone novels, but I’d urge you to go ahead and buy all three. It’s the price of a couple coffees and you’ll definitely want to read on! Continue reading
Love has many dimensions, all of them intense and powerful. A parent’s love for a child. That bond between soldiers in the trenches. Siblings. Close friends. But there is a particular punch that happens with romantic love. What biological and psychological factors play into romance, and how can writers create believable characters in a romantic situation? In psychology, there are typically three concepts that come to play in romantic love: Attachment, Sex, and Caregiving. An individual can still have very strong feelings of love without all three of these, but in what is typically defined as romantic love, all must be present. How do these factors relate to each other, and what truly makes up what we call romantic love? Continue reading
Last month I was asked about my criteria when reviewing erotica. I do look at many of the same things I would look at in a full sized novel, but not quite in the same way. Erotic literature is short and to the point, like a snapshot, a snippet of a novel boiled down to emotion and sharp imagery. I don’t expect complex character development, but I do expect to identify with the individuals. Often there is no plot, but there should be a theme and a contained event. I still expect a beginning, a middle, and an end, although those can look very different then they would in a larger story. Most importantly I expect to be transported right into the action, to feel as if it were happening to me. When the story is done, I want to feel breathless, alive. Added points if I feel the urge to go find Sweetie and attack him mercilessly. Super added points if I can’t even finish the story before I have that urge! Continue reading