Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bacon Number? 1...Maybe 2

Trailers of the upcoming movie Stoker keep landing in my inbox. Could be my Google alert for all things a-certain-British-hottie. I really should remove that particular alert; it's so when-I-wrote-the-book-that-released-this-week. I just can't seem to leave him behind. This movie feels like it's a number one on my personal Bacon number: psychological suspense, Nicole Kidman (half a bacon strip away from the tastiest Aussie on the planet), and one more fresh excuse to revisit the inspiration for a past hero. So he plays a creepy homicidal maniac uncle. We can forgive a few things, can't we? The movie is rated R because the Brit's hotness might burn your retinas. Beware.

You may have guessed I would have gone to see Looper by now. To that, I would say, "Nay, my ghostwriting has kept me busy." I'm hoping to sneak out by myself for a nooner this week. I hear rumors of an awesome Bruce Willis line (while speaking to his younger self over a diner table): "I don't want to talk about time travel. If we do, we'll be here all day making diagrams with straws." Amen, David Addison.

And here I go again, breaking my newly-minted photo rule. For a booksigning? Best. Treats. Ever. This video seemed like a good place to start.

As it turns out, my ghostwritten novel is not as exclusive as previously thought. If you have a Kindle or Nook, you can join the fun. How will you know the path to titilation unless you follow me on Twitter or sign up for my newsletter? Psst! In addition to the icing aroma in the Vortex today, there is the distinct air of a contest. Just saying.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bazinga! It's Laundry Day

Today's post feels like a laundry list, but who better to provide colorful, soapy little pods of information than The Vortex, right? First, the bleach-y whites...

I could very well be violating my new policy of attaching photos not mine, but this is a perfect Monday chuckle. Remember when we talked about the awesomeness that was Looper? I give you the perfect example of what happens when a movie poster is strategically placed in a public restroom:

courtesy of HappyPlace

Forgot your coins for the wash? No problem. Check out this handy chart from Editorial Freelancers Association to find out what your services might be worth to the non-writing types. Need an hourly rate calculator? I used freelanceswitch to calculate my optimum ghostwriting rates-SO helpful, no matter which industry you're trying to pick up a little extra ka-ching.

And for the dark load...bioluminescence on a beach in the Maldives. If you look at only one photograph on the internet today, make it this one. Seriously, how many times can our retinas withstand a Kardashian-burn? This is nature's inspiration at its finest.

Also in the dark load, a rare opportunity to submit sans-agent to HarperCollins. Vortex author peeps wanting to go the traditional publishing house route have an open invitation to send in their epic fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia or supernatural submissions between October 1 and 14. Last Thursday's Guardian article has the 4-1-1. Good luck!

Certainly not least, please hand-wash this tee with care. It's my fave.
More BBT shirts here. Best. Crazy. Catalog. Ever.

I'm super-excited to celebrate the release of my contemporary romantic comedy (with the hot Brit--remember him?) to the ibookstore this week! It's an interactive experience like nothing you've ever read before. If you don't have an Apple device on which to enjoy it, find someone who does, or-heck-buy one. This week. I'll wait. Make sure you're following me on Twitter or subscribed to my newsletter. This week. I'll wait. Since the project is ghostwritten, tweets and email are the only way you'll find links to buy and be eligible for contests and giveaways by yours truly. I won't pay for a stellar review like John Locke, but I will sing you "Soft Kitty" when you're sick. Flu season is just around the corner, people.

Have a squeaky clean Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chimps Found in My Unnatural Bubble

First, a bit of Vortex housekeeping. I moved my email newsletter to Mailchimp because yahoogroups is so turn-of-this-century, and because I love primates. If you subscribed previously in yahoogroups, there's no need to take action. If you haven't, for the love of Dean Butler, what are you waiting for?  Seriously, I don't bomb your inbox but once every, say, millenia, but I do have some amazing announcements, freebees and giveaways coming up that you'll want to know about. Subscribe now or later via the box on the blog's right column.

I just finished an online violence and weaponry class for writers taught by Rory Miller, who is so bad ass in his creditials that I'd have to kill you if I elaborated. I've written scenes here and there that required high-octane, moment by moment violence, but my latest ghostwriting project required more. Like war. Ongoing. The deep psychological place soldiers must go. For a suburban girl whose only exposure to violence is what comes in a red Netflix envelope, it was a must-take class.

The most memorable lesson he gave was one on the unnatural state of our existence. For the first time in human history, violence is essentially foreign to us. We don't raise weapons to meet our basic needs. Mass casualties are things that largely happen somewhere else. We live in a bubble of treaties and modern philosophies and shared ethics. As writers, one of the hardest things to do is get inside the head of our characters. But for a writer raised in this bubble, getting inside the head of historical characters is the greatest challenge of all. As Miller put it: "The most evil things in history made sense to someone. As an author, if you can't see that, your antagonists will be flat. As a human, if you can't see it, you can't effectively fight it."

Miller's book, Violence: A Writer's Guide, covers many of the same topics as we touched on in class and is a fantastic reference if your project requires a deep understanding about the complexities of violence.