Visiting Susan Whitfield today

September 16, 2010 at 5:47 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , )

My next stop on the tour is on Susan Whitfield’s blog – hop on over and have a read.

Tomorrow I’ll have a post up here in the realm and then on the 18th, I’m over on Jemi’s blog looking at making fantasy unique.

Thanks all for the continued support on the tour.

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Versatile Blog Award

September 6, 2010 at 5:51 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , )

Tessa Quin has kindly passed on the versatile blogger award to me. Thanks so much Tessa.

The Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers that you think deserve it.
  4. Lastly, contact all of the bloggers that you’ve picked for the award.

So thanks again Tessa and I have included your link.

Seven things about me:

1. I own at least seven different dictionaries (names, mythological characters, etc).

2. I don’t borrow books from the library because I have a hard time returning great stories.

3. I recently started playing netball again, for the first time in five years.

4. I don’t mind spiders unless they are crawling on me.

5. I am trying to learn to speak Japanese – in all that free time that I don’t have.

6. I still own a hula-hoop from when I was seven.

7. I don’t like eating toast.

Passing this on to:

Everyone who is hosting me in the blog tour: Eric, Geoffrey, Lua, Sonya, Alex Willging, Laura, Alex J Cavanaugh, Mason, Carol, Susan, Jemi, Nancy, Lee, Stephen, Barb, Steven, Rosemary, Little Scribbler, and Hart Johnson.

This is a great list of blogs from some of the most supportive bloggers I’ve met. Thanks all of you and congratulations on the award.

Just a reminder, tomorrow I am going to over on Sonya’s blog for my first interview of the tour.

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Two Visits Done

September 3, 2010 at 5:04 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The blog tour started well with my visit to Eric’s blog. I want to thank Eric once again for his brilliant post and for kicking off the tour. I then dropped in to Geoffrey’s blog for day two. Thanks so much Geoffrey for your excellent post here in the realm.

But there are many days to come in September.

Tomorrow I am visiting Lua Fowles blog where I discuss excuses for not writing, while Lua brings her own brand of wisdom here to the realm.

After that there is a bit of a break before I visit Sonya Clark on the 7th for an interview.

Thanks to everyone who has already started following the tour and I hope to see you on my ‘travels’.

Between now and the 7th, I have received an award that I am going to share.

Before I’m done though, here are the 5 things I’ve learned from planning this blog tour:

1. There are many, many helpful people out there, so when you ask if anyone would mind hosting you, be prepared for an inundation of offers.

2. It helps if you do a blog swap rather than just a visit and that way you don’t have to worry about writing two posts on a given day and it lets the people hosting you have a chance to visit another blog.

3. Make sure you have a bucket load of free time because you will spend twenty times longer writing the posts for the tour than any of your other blogs.

4. The time difference between Australia and America becomes really noticeable when trying to coordinate with people on the other side of the world.

5. Despite the work, this has been really fun and I can’t wait to plan another one next year.

Thanks all and see you around.

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Guest Post with Eric

September 1, 2010 at 5:34 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Note from Cassandra: I’m visiting Eric’s blog today but he has generously agreed to guest post here in the realm. Thanks Eric, it is great to have you here. After you’ve checked out Eric’s post, pop on over to Working My Muse and check out the first post of my blog tour.

First off I’d like to say a huge thank you to Cassandra for having me at Casa ‘del Jade.  Guest blogging here (being the first person, no less) is awesome beyond words.  But since you’re all expecting at least a few words, I guess I better become temporarily brilliant.

When I began to search my brain for a topic, I’ll be honest;  I became a little stressed.  While I do have my own flair, this is a new type of fun and puts blogging on a whole new level.  And fronting for Cassandra is pretty dang cool.  This thought took me down an interesting path however, and I began thinking about my characters.

When we write our stories, it’s expected that our characters deal with change, with difficult situations.  This is part of what helps propel our stories forward and keep the reader interested.  But isn’t it reasonable to have our characters get a little stressed from time to time?  And how do we show that in our writing?  One way we can describe this is through physical effects.  For example, I tend to get cold sores on the inside of my lip when I get too stressed.  If I really get stressed out, upset stomach is an indicator.  I can imagine something similar for my characters.

What about situational descriptions?  If my characters come upon a body, torn apart from some unknown violence, do they just abstract about the nature of death or do they lose a bit of their usual cool demeanor?  Consider the following conversation:

“Oh damn Billy, that guy’s dead.  Lookit how his arm is hangin’ kinda wrong.  And his head is split open like one of those punkins you toss out at Halloweenie.”

“Yep, he ain’t with us no more.  Can’t tell who he was, but them tears along his belly look almost like Freddy Kruger claws.  Weird, huh?  So you wanna go get some pizza?”

Now unless you’re looking for a comedic moment, the reader might be expecting a little more from these two characters stumbling across an obviously mangled body.  Dead bodies usually cause sane people to freak out a little.  Perhaps one of them just crumbles on the floor, wailing in agony while the other one is more interested in investigating what happened to the poor chap.  However you choose to deal with this situation, moments like these are a great opportunity to show characterization.  The only caveat I would add is to avoid clichés or stereotypical responses to stress.  If it fits your character honestly, then cool.  But if it sounds like the same ol’ phrasing everyone uses, you probably want to avoid it.

To sum up, stress doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially when we’re writing a story.  Stress is one of the best moments we can use to bring our characters alive, make them truly real.  Just keep the writing honest, not cliché.  Thank you Cassandra for allowing me to grace your page.  This has been a fun exercise for me.

As for the rest of you, have you stressed your characters out lately?  If not, what are you waiting for?  A stressed-out character is a real character – even if they’d rather be in Cancun sipping a margarita on the beach.

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Blooming Idea

August 14, 2010 at 5:50 am (Feature) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I want to thank Elisa from Where’s My Pencil for passing on The Blooming of an Idea Award to me.

I’m not really sure what the rules are with this one so I thought I would just mention in passing the idea behind this blog and then pass the award on to some very interesting bloggers.

The idea of Cassandra Jade in the Realm is to share ideas about writing. Not just me sharing my ideas but to have the chance to hear from other writers and readers what they think about writing and to learn from that and to help pass those ideas on to others. I love being part of such a helpful online community and the blogs I visit regularly and the people who visit here regularly are always full of helpful and sometimes surprising information.

Thanks to everyone who contributes the excellent comments to this blog.

Okay, to pass the award along:

Alex Willging over on The Rhapsodist for his continuing look into sci-fi television and books. I always love hearing his thoughts on a range of interesting texts.

Lynn Rush for her positive and upbeat view on the world – and her great taste in movies and movie quotes.

And to Lua Fowles who always has something very interesting to say about words and writing.

And that’s all for today. Thanks again for the award.

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Back on Twitter

August 9, 2010 at 5:18 am (Weekly Review) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Midway through last week my internet was back and so I resumed posting some of my favourite blog reads on Twitter. Here are some of the posts I found this week:

My recommendation for this week:

Elspeth Antonelli – 10 tips for characters: http://elspeth-itsamystery.blogspot.com/2010/08/10-tips-for-non-perfection.html

Other great reads:

And a reminder that the blog tour schedule is up for september. I have to add acouple of late entries to the schedule but otherwise the tour is set.

Have a great week and I look forward to reading your blog posts this week.

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An Award

August 8, 2010 at 5:37 am (Feature) (, , , , , )

Jemi Fraser has passed on the Sweet Blog Award to me.  Thanks so much Jemi.

I have to agree with her that the teddy bear is adorable.

Passing this on to:

Talli Roland

Deb Salisbury

Lua Fowles

Cheryl Angst

Thanks Jemi again for the award and I will catch up with everyone tomorrow.

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Following the leader:

August 7, 2010 at 5:44 am (drafting) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is mostly in response to Carol Kilgore’s post earlier in the week on the blinking cursor.  Afterward I was having trouble typing without staring at the cursor on the screen and that was seriously derailing my ability to type. It really does just sit and blink at you when your fingers hesitate on the keys. It is almost as if it is angry and impatient, dying to get moving and hating you because you need to stop and think.

I probably shouldn’t personify computer blips but there we have it.

As I mentioned in the comments, I don’t sit in front of my screen when I’m thinking. I either move or turn the screen off. The glare and the blinking and just the hum of the computer is all very impersonal and it all feels very demanding. As if you have to get things done right now and that kind of pressure is never good for my creative process. I move away and find more pleasant surrounds, or at least different surrounds.

That said, I like the cursor when I’m on a roll. I see it gliding effortlessly across the screen, a straight and powerful line driving before the flock of words that follow in its wake – and there is probably a mangled metaphor if ever there was one. I see it as a guide and as encouragement. I see the words play out behind it and feel that something is being accomplished. When the story is flowing, the cursor can be your very best of friends and one of your greatest supporters.

Is it that the cursor is in fact two faced or is it that when things go well we see the positive in things but when they go poorly…

Maybe its just the fact that it blinks. Blinking lights always seem impatient and angry. Or alarmed. Concerned. None of these things are what you emotionally want when trying to write so why won’t the cursor stop blinking.

As I hesitated before writing this line I watched the cursor sit and blink at me. Maybe it is just reminding us it is there and trying to keep us from falling asleep at the screen.

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Photo Story – Blog Fest

August 6, 2010 at 6:08 am (fiction) (, , , , , , , , )

Today Melissa from the Undeveloped Story is hosting a blogfest. The idea:

I can remember being told this many times in my life: “Every photo has a great  story behind it.” And they’re right. So, for this fest, I want you to find a photo, any photo, and make up a short story (or poem for all the poets out there) about it. It doesn’t have to be very long. Make it as long as you want, just as long as you tell your story. I know that many of you have other writing projects to do, so I don’t want this to take up too much of your time. Just write however much you want to. The length is up to you this time!

I decided given I have just recently taken a million photos, surely one of them could inspire me to write a short story. So here we go – the photo I chose is one I took in the British Museum – I think I was in the section on Enlightenment at the time but I went through so many exhibits it is hard to remember. Anyway, this photo just continues my thing of taking photos of feet and shoes.

However after staring at said photo for a long time and having a lot on my mind I’ve come up with many ideas and rejected them so I think maybe my part of this blog fest will be every photo inspires a thousand rejections.

Rejected – any notion of weaving greek and or roman gods into a modern setting (mostly because it’s been done and because I wasn’t really in the mood to get historical).

Rejected  – statues coming to life either as discovery or as horror (mostly because its been done. In point of fact, I’ve done it before in a short story).

Rejected – a fallen civilisation being rediscovered with far reaching impact (mostly because this isn’t the start of a short story, but an entire work).

Rejected – a story told from the perspective of an abused platform (mostly because I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to figure out what an abused platform’s voice would sound like).

And on it went.

There is my photo. What would you have done with it?

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Blog Tour

August 3, 2010 at 5:30 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This schedule might move a bit yet but here is the tour schedule for September. I’m asking the owners of the blogs I am visiting to check the links (I’ll have checked them but mistakes happen) before the tour and let me know if there is anything wrong (date, topic, link).

September 1: Guest post on Eric’s blog (Working my Muse) about character.

September 2: Guest post on Geoffrey’s blog (Misanthropology101) about the writing life.

September 4: Guest post on Lua Fowles blog (Like a Bowl of Oranges) about the need for quiet confidence.

September 7: interview on Sonia  Clark’s blog (Sonya Clark).

September 9: Guest post on Alex Willging’s blog (The Rhapsodist) about writing fantasy.

September 12: Guest post on Laura Diamond’s blog (Diamond – Yup, Like the Stone) about females in fantasy.

September 13: Guest post on Alex J Cavanugh’s blog (Alex J Cavanaugh) about visuals that help the writing process.

September 14: Guest post on Mason Canyon’s blog (Thoughts in Progress) about the origin of an idea.

September 15: Interview on Carol Kilgore’s blog (Under the Tiki Hut).

September 16: Interview on Susan Whitfield’s blog (Susan Whitfield’s blog).

September 18: Guest post on Jemi Faser’s blog (Jemi Fraser) about making fantasy unique.

September 20: Guest post on Nancy Allen’s blog (Nancy Kelly Allen – Writing Workshop) about reading.

September 22: Interview on Lee Robertson’s blog (Only Time Will Tell).

September 25: Guest post on Barb’s blog (The Creative Barbwire) about Death’s Daughter.

September 30: Guest post on Rosemary’s blog (Miss Rosemary’s Novel Ideas) about what happens after the manuscript is accepted.

And this one is not strictly in September but is definitely part of the tour:

October 3: Interview on Little Scribbler’s blog (Little Scribbler).

As you can see it is a busy month but there are still dates free if you would like to take part in the tour and host me for a day. Otherwise, I hope you come along on the tour.

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