Monday, May 16, 2011

$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Plus a Short Glimpse into a Writer's Messy World

**Contest Restricted to followers of this blog**
On Friday the Thirteenth, while Blogger was having the vapors, I thought things couldn't get worse--then my house started beeping. I tried to ignore it,but the Nancy Drew inside me rose up and I turned into the Noise Police.Searched everywhere. Couldn't find it. Oh, the pain, especially since my ear is still wonky from too much air travel. I just wanted to move to a house that didn't beep.
The shrill, relentless eeeking pulled me out of my copyedits for a while. For a writer, when the work is going well, you enter a waking dream, and beepbeeps can jerk the words from your head.
My younger son, Bandwidth, came home from work and two seconds later, he'd Noise Policed the source of the horrid sound: a dying battery in the carbon monoxide detector.
However, he couldn't repair it immediately, so I listened to my iPod, which is soothing noise for me, and I returned to the dream.

Writers enter a doorway:
And then we sit around for a while and wait for our characters to do something. Lord help you if you haven't taken the time (months) to get to know these people. There are tricks of the trade to develop characters, and I use many of them; but they're short-cuts. I must inhabit the book via the dream and get to know my characters. The plot doesn't work (for me, anyway, and maybe not for you) unless it is driven by the characters, but that's a discussion for another post.

When I finish the copyedits (they're due this Friday), I will dream another dreams. Bits are starting to gather; I keep seeing Caro Clifford in the rain (Book II: A Requiem for Daylight).

What's she doing? What happened to her umbrella? Is the color green really green or is Caro trying to show me a metaphor?
(Personally? I hope not because I'd rather know what she's feeling.)
So I'm having an adventure and I'm swirling. The words are coming faster and faster and faster. Oh, I'm loving them. This is fun, fun, fun.

I get to travel to the Congo and I don't have to go through airport security or get my eardrums blown up or be a pin cusion for a slew of immunizations.
I don't even have to get dressed. I can be a slob.

Then I hear the beepbeepbeep and my husband puts his hand on my shoulder
(but I'm half-way in the dream and I think it's a tarantula)
and he says,
"Honey, I'm out of underwear."

So I'm out of the dream, but it's just as well. Because everything I wrote is worse than beeping, it's the worst, stinkiest drivel. The words must die, die, die.
But I needed to write awfulness to reach the place where I want to go. And I'll go there the minute I wash His Lordship's undies.

A new blog is like moving to a new, beepless house in a new town. It's quiet. And different from a food blog, which is unbelievably hard work--shopping for food, cooking the food, photographing the food, editing and uploading the photos, and writing copy. A vampy blog is a cakewalk in comparison.
But it's still lonely.

So here's a contest to kick off Piper's new blog.
The contest is open to exclusively to Followers of AWTN blog (Yeah, I know. But if you genuinely like vampy/action/romantic fiction, following will give back with goodies and member-only sort of stuff. So I'm thrilled if you follow and your name will go into the pot for the contest!  Anyone who follows AWTN will be "followed" by Piper.)

The new rules at certain social networks forbid anyone to hold contests or giveaways or mention their Trademark, but the links to Piper's hangouts can be found on the blog menu under "contact Piper" or you can click on the sidebar.
If you do visit me at other places, I'll enter your name extra times for a follow or "I Heart/L--- This."
If you're wondering about Acquainted With the Night, it's a thriller with vampires, a mystery, and a love story. It's not Southern (that's where Piper Maitland comes in, so my two readers --Hi, Mom and Mister--won't think this is Teeny, Vampire Slayer, and feel disappointed).
Extra chances to win if you click a button at the top of Piper's Amazon Page that shows your fondness for the book. If you visit these places, please come back here and leave a comment, so I will be sure to add your name extra times.
The Contest starts today, May 16th, and ends June 6th.
The winners' names will be announced here and on Twitter.

The Main Prize:
A $100 Amazon gift card, where you can buy Godiva chocolate, vampy, red dishes, or anything that strikes your fancy.

(And because we must have food), novelty "vampire" lollipops for two winners:

Thank you for visiting my new house--I'm so glad you're here--and yes,I have cake and coffee.

By the way, your visit makes me forget about the awful beeping, failed dreams, and wadded up papers.

Images courtesy of  and If you're in a time crunch and need photos for your blog, the latter link has free, royalty-free images.