Tag Archives: people

Sequins and Sandals

Second edits were completed on Naked Alliances and the manuscript has been sent to the editor for proofing. I’m excited about this book and also a bit nervous. It’s a break away from the philosophical meanderings of Red Clay and Roses. It was also a world of fun to write.

Naked Alliances is a regional fast paced crime thriller with a humorous edge.

Florida is notorious for its crazy but memorable, and sometimes lovable, fictional characters:

Here’s an A-Z list with some you may recognize:

 A

B

C

D

G

H

I

  • Ike

 

J

K

L

M

P

R

S

T

V

W

As anyone with a Facebook account knows, Florida is filled with the dregs of society, hell bent on wreaking havoc wherever they go. It’s the perfect place to find wacko, colorful criminals, along with odd protagonists whose motives might be less than conventional.

images

We have the highest rate of homeless people in the nation due, in part, to our wonderful weather, but also because it is relatively easy to live anonymously here, blending in with all the other wackos and tourists. Nobody really strikes you as unusual, because everybody, to some degree, is unusual. Yet, we also have one of the highest rates of millionaires in the nation perhaps due to the wonderful weather, but also because they, too, find it easy to live anonymously here, blending in with the wackos and tourists.

6db379445eca13b07cc645d504131920

“Sequins and Sandals” is a term the locals use when describing Central Florida. We’re a hodgepodge. From the beach bums and bikers, the rednecks and outdoorsmen, to the big time gamblers risking it all in high-end casinos, cruise ships, Jai alai courts, horsetracks and dogtracks, the land developers and profiteers, Floridians are Long Island iced tea poured over rocky road ice cream, a soothing soda that “normal” people drink through a straw for entertainment.

In Naked Alliances, you’ll be introduced to the real Central Florida that Disney World tries so hard to keep from public view.

How diverse are your locals?

What’s your favorite regional novel and why?

 

Blog Culture: Sunday Summations

Organization_Triangle

Yes, I know it is Monday. I missed my Sunday Summations post yesterday for two reasons:

1)      My weekend was really busy with birthday, company, and having family over, and

2)      I thought it was Saturday.

The first reasons might be acceptable, but the second reason is something that has been troubling me a lot lately.  My brain has been in a fog and I am not entirely sure why. I have been terribly forgetful and lost in my own thoughts when I really should be actively doing other things. I don’t speak of this often on my blog, but I have an anxiety disorder for which I take medication and I also have bipolar disorder for which I take mood stabilizers.  Because of Express Scripts mail order drug company (Don’t get me started.), my meds were late so I did without for about five days and I really think it did weird things to my otherwise fairly normal brain functioning. I know there are those who would argue that my brain is never fairly normal in functioning, but most of the time my thinking is pretty clear.

On to Organization: 

Structure:

  • I have become bored with my blog. I knew this would happen, because I tend to bore easily.  This is one reason I can’t read many books that aren’t action packed.
  • I am thinking of trying new themes, but I haven’t decided yet.  I like my header, and I like the way the menu is set up at the top. I don’t like how the writing space is so narrow and the widget space is so very broad.  The narrow writing space makes my posts appear longer than they are (and long reads can be a turn off).  The broad widget space wastes the writing space with items that make the blog appear very busy.
  • This is an “everything” blog and I am wondering if I should have a blog dedicated to my new genre writing, or just leave it here.  I would like a blog that is more “Crime Fiction” and writing/author focused, but I am wondering if changing the subtitle to my blog might accomplish that goal without getting too scattered all over the blogging map.
  • I would also like to update my about page, so that there are separate about me, and an about this blog sections…somehow.
  • Some of the categories that I don’t contribute to very often are coming out of the header to make room for what I feel are more worthy topics, like resources for writers, and other such things, so you will see some changes there.

People:

  • I met some very interesting people who live alternative lifestyles at the Parliament House and at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. They would all like to be in my books, and have given me permission to utilize their characters without their names. I am sure that I can work some of these colorful people in somehow. So these contacts should add to the fun of writing.
  • If you are an author, a poet, or a reader and you have not yet met Papi Z at The Literary Syndicate, I highly recommend that you drop by and introduce yourself.  He is a strong supporter of all things literary.
  • If you want to begin your week with laughter you should go by on Mondays and visit with John Howell at Fiction Favorites or Marie Ann Bailey at 1WriteWay and see their collaborative weekly installments of “Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do”.  In fact, you could stop by and see them today!
  • If you, like me, love to travel via your blog (the airfare is more affordable) Anne Bell takes regular trips to India, a place filled with culture and beauty.  You can visit her at Tales Along the Way.  Be sure to look through her categories for the colorful and interesting articles on India.
  • I would also like to introduce you to someone local who is very new to me, Nancy Pate.  She is one third of the Caroline Cousins (three real southern cousins) who published three books, “Fiddle Dee Death”, “Marsh Madness”, and “Way Down Dead in Dixie” under John F. Blair Publisher.  She is another Orlando resident who is a reader, writer, recovering journalist, book critic for Orlando Sentinel 1985-2005, and has a wonderful book review blog at On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever. (Especially if you like crime fiction.)

Process:

  • I am ashamed to admit that I only got 500 words actually written in my WIP which comprised one small, but important scene.  As you can tell, it has been a busy week.
  • In other ways of progress I have made tremendous strides in research for the novel both online and in real life.  I have gotten out visiting some places in Melbourne (where the murder takes place), and here in the Orlando/Kissimmee/St. Cloud area where much of the sleuthing occurs. This included an airboat ride. What fun!  My husband’s first, and he enjoyed it.
  • Wild_Florida_Airboats_(002)
  • I am also joining up with some organizations which will offer me some opportunities and exposure in my writing/book selling efforts.  More about those later.
  • “Red Clay and Roses” has not been forgotten.  If you have had opportunity to read it PLEASE, yes, I am screaming, begging, pleading; write a review somewhere…your blog, Amazon, Goodreads, a personal email to me at sknicholls1@gmail.com , the sidewalk in chalk, graffiti on a wall…somewhere.
  • I recently had a surge in sales, but I have no real idea where those came from, all I know is that I greatly appreciate them and would love to know their opinions on the book.  And, yes, the paperback really is coming soon.

Ideas, thoughts, and suggestions are greatly appreciated!  What did you get accomplished last week?

Alternate Lifestyle Culture: Sunday Summations

Organization_Triangle

Structure:

  1. I spent some time going through my emails and deciding how many I could keep and who/what had to go into my Reader. I had to do it. I was staying up late reading everything.
  2. More than reading, I always felt like, if I went through the trouble to click on the blog, I needed to comment.  So I was still spending way more time than I could afford visiting.
  3. I feel like a teenager who has been placed on restriction, but I am, at least, getting a handle on my blogging.
  4. I may not like or comment on all of your posts anymore, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read and enjoy it. I genuinely appreciate all that you do, sincerely. I continue to learn so much from you and am delightfully entertained.
  5. I have myself on blogging speed dial now, so I can give attention to things I have neglected, so that’s it for structure this week.

People:

  1. I am not going to highlight any other bloggers this week.
  2. I had to spend more time in the real world meeting real people, so I didn’t get much of a chance to look around anywhere new.
  3. This is the Parliament House Resort:

    Parliament House resort entrance by day.
    Parliament House resort entrance by day.
  4.  It is on 10 lovely acres in the midst of downtown Orlando.  A lot of people come to Orlando and only see the Lake Buena Vista resort areas of Disney World, other such family venues, and never see the real downtown of Orlando and it is quite unique as cities go. The Parliament House is a full service resort, complete with hotel, pool, lake, a theater and seven bars (yes, that’s right, seven of them, all with different themes).
    Now Showing
    Now Showing

    They are a LGBT facility that is straight friendly and have events seven nights a week. I had a meeting there with the manager and will be meeting with their event coordinator next week to get the behind the scenes story to some of their theatrical and dance performances.  I call it research, but the double Crown Royal on the rocks wasn’t free (Tax write off?).

    Hotel suites
    Hotel suites

     

  5. Orlando is a very young city.  Mainly because we had no air conditioning (refrigerated air they used to call it) until the 1950s.  52 million people visit Orlando’s Disney World annually.  That’s a lot of people, and only a small fraction of them make it into Orlando proper to see our lovely city. (Lovely City pics to follow in a subsequent post.)

    Sign on my porch. I am really curious about the Magic Fingers
    Sign on my porch. I am really curious about the Magic Fingers
  6. I have a girlfriend, Nancy, coming to visit from Austin TX on the 14th. She will be here two weeks.  She is one of the two women who really pushed me to publish Red Clay and Roses. I am eternally grateful.

Progress:

  1. Okay, admittedly not as good as I would have liked for it to be, but I did accomplish something by adding another 4000 words. I am now at 14,561 words (not counting the 30,000 words I have in reference with the old MS, which is still part of the story but is having to be revised/rewritten).
  2. Progress will be better next week because I did get a lot of other stuff accomplished that will aid my progress in the future.
  3. CreateSpace is adding my final text edits, so next we will upload the new cover. Yay! That should only take a couple of days.  Don’t know if it is quite going to get here by my birthday on the 15th, but very close.

Blog Culture: Sunday Summations

Organization_Triangle

Sunday Summations

I am trying to get a better handle on scheduling on this blog, and I would also like to highlight some blogs that I have become acquainted with so you get to know them too.  Sunday summations should be a regular feature as I examine my week and my goals.  Future Sunday Summations will probably be much shorter.

Summing up my weekly happenings:

1. Structure:  How I am attempting to stay organized.

  • I have created some drop down menus on this blog to better organize and lesson the length of the menu.  The subtitles should make things pertinent to the titles easier to find.
  •  I have completed the settings posts for Red Clay and Roses, the novel, and those can now be found under the menu title of the novel.  I may divide out the feature posts as well.  These settings and features are designed for fans to find more info on the book.
  • It is a goal to have a new posts added to each menu title or a subtitle weekly.
  • I may be adding other menu titles as new subjects develop.  I would really like to have a humor post at least once weekly…sometimes I can be funny, even if I am laughing at myself in the process.  I try not to laugh at the expense of others, but sometimes that happens too.

2. People: Cruising my Reader, and getting to know more and more WordPress family and friends, I have collected some blogs that are of significance to me for one reason or another. They are from a variety of interests and I am sure some of you will find them interesting, as well.  Check these folk out!  They are really cool!  I have categorized what I could. These categories are subject to change weekly.

  • Book reviews:

  • Queen of all things Books: Ionia Martin’s Readful Things. (Many sneak peeks with advance reader copies.)
  •  An all genre serious reviewer: Rosie Amber at Rosie Amber
  •  Master of Collectables: Julian Froment at Julian Froment’s Blog
  • Music:

  •  A lovely Soprano with a beautiful voice & 150,957 followers: Charlotte Hoather
  • Writers writing:

  • A lady with a sense of humor about her serious writing efforts: Katie Sparkes at Disregard the Prologue.
  • Wonderful poetry and short stories: Helen Midgley
  • New author with a new blog and a newly published book: Dean Kealy at Dean’z Worldz
  • Math & Science:

  • Fascinating and artistically colorful geometry for the fun of it: Robert Austin at Robert Loves Pi (Prepare to be dazzled.)
  • Scientist, deep thinker, and poet: Erik Andrulis at Anacephalaeosis
  • Useful Information for writers, authors & bloggers

  • Everything about Publishing and Marketing: Chris McMullen at Chris McMullen
  • Promotional Event for all authors, readers and gift givers.  Get signed up.  This is going to be HUGE!: Chris McMullen at Read Tuesday
  • New feature on blog “How to on WordPress” videos: Bradley Corbett at Green Embers (He takes requests BTW)
  • Guidance on writing techniques regardless of your genre: Victoria Grefer at Creative Writing with the Crimson League
  • Humor:

  • My kind of off the wall funny stuff: Rob Pop at Humans Are Weird (He always makes the time to return comments, and can often be even funnier when he does.)

Gosh!  So many creative geniuses…I could go on forever, but there will be other days!

3.   Process:  Just an update on my own personal progress this week:

  • With the help of blogger friends and readers in my reading and critique group, I decided on a prologue for my first book in this yet to be titled work and series.
  • There are now four beta readers for my new WIP (not counting my husband).
  • I got 12 bookstores lined up to buy copies of Red Clay and Roses when the paperback is live.
  • We are almost there with the paperback at CreateSpace.  It has been an interesting but sometimes frustrating journey.
  • My new bookmarks came in this week.  I think they are much more professional and not so microsofty as my last bookmarks.  My former ones were created by my publisher.  I would highly recommend having your bookmark image created by your cover image artist.  They can work wonders with graphics.  Thanks to Charles Yallowitz’s idea at Legends of Windemere, the QR codes are a great way to advertise without looking so much like an ad and they give me opportunity to make immediate sells on my smartphone without carrying around a pile of books.
  • New Bookmarks
    New Bookmarks
Old Bookmarks
Old Bookmarks

Sorry my formatting really sucked on this post.  I have yet to conquer formatting, which is why I have an independent publisher prepare my books 🙂

We Drink Because We’re Poets: prompt #2

fountain

Green bubbling fountains of life in the city so void, not of life, but of green

Rushing not unlike the water after the storm, in hurried fashion fast people rushing

Someone to see, something to do, someplace to be in order to be someone

Forgotten the trees and the breeze across park lawns, striving to be someone not forgotten

Green waters unknowingly release the pent up emotions as we pass by the fountains green