November 23, 2009


I read Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever on my Sony Reader (I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about books I've read on my new-pretty-shiny). At first I was perplexed because the book's metadata said it was a historical romance (it's neither historical nor romance), but the heroine's voice felt strongly YA (it's not).

I stuck it out, though, because once the pastel-wearing, blonde-ponytailed, tan-legged heroine (did I mention she thinks of her appearance? a lot?) gets to Ireland, various creatures start trying to kill her and don't stop till the end. Um, I don't mean that I kept reading in hopes that the heroine would be killed, but rather because the creepy bad guys added an enjoyable amount of danger to the story.

The setting was richly detailed and vibrant. Loved the setting.

As for the ending, it didn't end. It just stopped. I might read the next one in the series, if only to find out what's in the dark, brooding alpha-male's past.

Despite this book's drawbacks, I admit I did finish it in two days. So there you go.

November 04, 2009

MS Word Trick: custom page sizes

I took part in a Conflict Grid workshop led by Lyn Cote, and I now use a conflict grid for every set of characters I write.

You can create a conflict grid without using a table or spreadsheet, but I need the neatness of lines and squares. I prefer tables to spreadsheets (spreadsheets give me hives), but it's easy to run out of room on Word's standard 8.5x11" page. Don't let that stop you. You can make the page size as large as you like by creating a custom paper size.

Click File, Page Setup, Paper Size, Manage Custom Sizes, and then choose your dimensions. I like a page that's at least 15" wide and 25" high (the height doesn't matter so much, but a larger number here will eliminate distracting page breaks). Name your custom size something that's easy to spot when you're looking for it next time—mine's called Big Tables.

Caveat: I have no idea how or whether Word will print custom-sized pages.

July 22, 2009

America's Got Talent: The first 15 minutes of the show

America's Got Talent is one of my favorite shows. Not just for the great acts, but for the groaners, too. You know the ones I mean—the ones shown in the first fifteen minutes. They're always the ones who brag about how great they are, how everyone says they're tremendously talented. And then they demonstrate they have no business being in a talent show.

As a writer, I hope that when I send out my work I'm not going to end up in the first fifteen minutes of the show.
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