The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Gotta get back to work, but first…

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 6:31 pm
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As I work to get the edits and additions done for PEAK EXPERIENCE… here’s another excerpt from WAVES  OF PLEASURE.  Today… Drew and Lyria finally meet :).

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The combo was in full swing when Drew noticed the gorgeous woman at the bar. Her very long red hair was hard to miss since it hung loose to the center of her back with strands curling around her face. She turned as if sensing his attention and he was riveted by her features. Her mouth was full and lush, begging to be kissed, and her eyes were almost doll-like in their size. He wished the room wasn’t so dim so he could see their color, but even from a distance he noticed an uncertainty.

He watched her sip a margarita. The pleasure on her face as she swallowed made him long to keep her pleased. It was the strangest reaction, but too strong to ignore. She wore a light blue sleeveless dress that appeared to be made from a material so thin he wondered if in the ankles. He was dying to see her legs.

He saw other men noticing her and, with a sudden feeling of possessiveness, he moved to introduce himself. He was glad for the noise because it gave him an excuse to lean close to her when he spoke.

“Welcome to The Siren. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. I’m Drew Crawford.” He held out his hand and she slid hers gently into it. No businesslike handshake from her. Instead the touch had an intimate feel as though she were caressing the most available part of his body.

“I’m Lyria, and no, you haven’t seen me here before. I only arrived in town today.”

“How did you hear about us?”

“I didn’t hear about you. I heard the music and came to hear more.”

“You like it?”

“Yes, very much. It has a beautiful flow and harmony.”

“We only started hosting jazz nights a few months ago.”

“Clearly it’s popular,” she said, gesturing to the crowd.

It was the most casual conversation he’d experienced in a while, but as long as her attention was on him, he didn’t care. “So, what brings you to the area?”

She paused before answering and he hoped her reply wouldn’t mention a man. “I needed some time away. I’d visited years ago so when I was looking for a place to disappear to, and this seemed like a good choice.”

“It’s still early in the season. Wait until schools are out. Then it gets really crazy.”

“I can handle a little crazy,” she said with a smile. The uncertain and distant look in her eyes disappeared when she smiled. It was as good a reason as any to keep her smiling. Unfortunately, business took the opportunity to intervene in the form of one of his servers.

“Hey, bossman, there’s a problem in the kitchen. A clash of wills—or won’ts—again.”

He shook his head. Drew’s two lead chefs were at each other’s throats at least once a night, more often if he was unlucky. He had come to understand the literal meaning of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

Something needed to change and soon, or it was going to be a long and painful summer. Tonight, however, was not the night to do it. For now he’d calm the waters and get back to Lyria as quickly as possible. “I need to take care of this personally. I hope you weren’t planning on leaving.”

“I’m enjoying being here, so I expect I’ll be staying.” A stray piece of salt clung to her lip and she licked it away. Drew wondered if standing up without attracting attention was going to be an option.

September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – I’m a little behind

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 4:04 pm
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It's a little behind... get it?

Yeah, after doing so well through the beginning of August, the last few weeks have been busy with things other than writing – which makes me feel very unbalanced.  I love writing, and I miss it when I don’t take the time to do it daily.

I need – and want – to get back to my 500+ words a day (closer to 1,000 words would be better) and get the edits and additions to PEAK EXPERIENCE done.  I have figured out how to get rid of the charcter/conflict that was weakening the book and upped the heroine’s conflict, both internal and external, which should help overall.  My goal is to have it complete by the end of the month.

But how did it get to be the 13th already??

How are you doing?  Are you where you want to be?  Need to catch up?

August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – The Lull and a Return to Discipline

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 10:54 am
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So WAVES OF PLEASURE is done and with a copy editor and I’m working on edits and new scene ideas for PEAK EXPERIENCE, but it’s been over two weeks since I wrote daily.

And that’s not good.

Time to jump back into the deep end!

Yes, I needed the break and to relax and recharge.  But now I need to get back to the words.  A week of 500 words a day, then up it to at least 750-1000 until I’m at 1,500 a day, which I discovered is the best amount for me to write in a day without churning out too much junk.  Getting back to a discipline is frustrating and challenging.  Makes me annoyed to have let the discipline go in the first place (I’m the same way with exercise and food).  Fortunately, I know the benefits!

A couple of good days in a row and I’ll feel back on track and the momentum should carry me.  Otherwise, I turn into a body at rest… and I tend to stay at rest.

How do you get back in the groove?

July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – 2K a day

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 2:19 pm
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just...one...word...more

It’s a lofty goal and one that seems impossible after only the first hundred of the morning, but I am pushing myself to write at least 2,000 words a day on WAVES OF PLEASURE so that not only do I finish the draft quickly, but have as much time as possible to polish it before sending it to my editor.

Other than during NANOWRIMO, I’ve never written this much this consistently.  On some days it’s a marathon, on others a sprint, but it always feels great to cross the daily finish line. 

It is also giving me hope on my ability to keep up this pace (or close to it) after this manuscript is complete so I am producing more work more consistently – and having more time to let it sit before editing.  Did you know Stephen King lets a manuscript sit for at least six months before revisiting it?  I’d like to be able to give my work that kind of space and time.  When I edit immediately after finishing, it’s not quite as good – or objective.

So, back to the page for me.  Hope you’re having a productive week.

July 5, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – The Act and Art of Writing

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 12:44 pm
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I have about four weeks to finish and submit my mermaid story and make the deadline I agreed to.  28 days.  And many thousands of words to go. But it’s not the words I am focused on as much as having the first draft done as soon as possible because the faster it’s complete, the more time I have for editing.

I know that edit is a four letter word that scares or horrifies many writers, but I’ve never minded it.  A first draft allows me to tell a story.  With edits and revision, I can tell it well. And definitely better than it comes out the first time (or two).

At the International Women’s Writer’s Guild’s annual conference, Remember the Magic, writer and  frequent workshop presenter, Eunice Scarfe, once spoke to us about the act and art of writing.  There can be no art without the act first.  And truly, there can be to act without the desire for the art. I have come to appreciate both sides of this coin.

The sooner the draft is complete, the sooner Lyria and Drew complete the journey this book is to tell, the sooner I can get to editing and polishing and bringing out the heart and wonder of their journey.

So, how is editing for you?  Do you dread it or look forward to it?  Or a little of both?

June 28, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – New Contract, Better Discipline

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 11:16 am
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I am SO excited to say that PEAK EXPERIENCE has been accepted by Ellora’s Cave.  This is my older woman/younger man story which had its rough draft completed during Nanowrimo ’09.  I am thrilled to have a new book coming from the publisher who released my first book. *And* I have been accepted to write as Rachel Kenley there, which is great since my other two books with them are as Rowan West.

So now I have two books contracted to two different publishers.  I’ve gone from writing 500 words a day a few weeks ago to over 1,000 a day.  Some days it’s slow, some easy, but it is thrilling and worth every moment of “AAHHH, what have I gotten myself into?!!”

Sometimes when your dreams come true, it takes a second to get past the overwhelmed feeling – doesn’t it?

June 21, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Be Honest With Yourself

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 1:55 pm
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I am working on one book I have under contract (yay!) and another that is part of a multi author series.  The one under contract has an August 1st delivery date and needs to be a minimum of 50,000 words.  The second, will be around 27,000 words and I had planned to turn it in by July 1st.  This was before the other book was contracted.

So there I was, trying to find a balance to get both books done. And driving myself crazy in the process.

Worse, when I was honest with myself, I knew that if I tried to keep both of these deadlines, I was not going to turn my best work for either project.  It’s been a challenge for me in the past for when Ihave a picture in my head of how things should go, and then it turns out to be improbable. It’s hard to let it go it, reorganize, and re-evaluate.  But that’s what I did.

Now, my writing time is focused on the contracted book which will get in by the deadline (which will make my publisher happy) and I’ve set a new goal of submitting the shorter work by September 1st.  Both books deserve my best efforts as do my editors and readers. 

Sometimes it’s best to be honest with yourself on what you can – or can’t – accomplish and then replan accordingly.

Ever ben in a similar situation?

June 7, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – 1K A Day

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 8:58 pm
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Writing 500 words a day was great.  The progress was happening and GUARDED HEART was nearing the end of its first draft.  And then…

My editor at Ravenous said, “Who wrote the mermaid story in your anthology SPELLBOUND?  Do you think she’d be  interested in writing a novel for us?”  Well, it turns out I wrote that story (It’s called LEGS and it’s one of my favorite shorts).  She then asked if I’d consider doing a mermaid novel.  I thought about if for a while and said, “How about one where the mermaid comes on land on the Jersey Shore.” (I grew up there). She loved it… and on that sentence I’ve been contracted for a new book. 

Very thrilling.  And doable, right?  Except being a mermaid and beach story, it really should come out in the summer.  So before my brain could kick into gear, I said “Sure I can get it to you by August 1st.”

EEP!

I have never been so grateful for already having a discipline in place.  Instead of having to go from 0 to 60, I’ve gone from 60 to 75 and that feels much more doable.  I’m writing at least 1,000 words a day on the new book (tentatively titled WAVES OF PLEASURE) while GUARDED HEART sits for a week before I go back to edit and expand it.

Am I nervous?  Oh yeah.  But I’m more excited so that’s a good thing.

After years of fighting it I surrendered to putting discipline in my life and planning my days according to my priorities (another hooray for www.simpleology.com) and, oh, how happy I am that I did.

What disciplines make your life work better?

May 10, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – A new idea…NO must finish other!

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 3:35 pm
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Okay… I’m still working on GUARDED HEART and it is progressing nicely… however, a new idea jumped into my head

work work work...

that really wants to be written.  Don’t you hate that. 

Because I know what will happen if I follow this new idea.  There’s a really good chance that neither  book/story will get done.  So for now, I continue to work on GH and make notes on the side for SWS (nope, not going to share the title yet.).  Finishing a project then following through on editing and polishing is a very important and challenging part of being a writer, but it MUST be done.

Whatever you do – finish that project!

The talent Libba Bray, author

And to keep you laughing about the process I repost a brillian blog by Libba Bray,  author of A Great and Terrible Beauty, among others, “Writing a Novel: A Love Story”:

WRITING A NOVEL – A love story

Libba Bray

 

This is always the fun part. Deadline crunch time. And by crunch, I don’t mean my hair. Cause I’ve washed it. Recently.

No, this is the part where I become convinced that I could advertise on Craig’s List for gangs of homeless gerbils to run across my keyboard in an agitated, looking-for-the-water-tube state, and they would do a better job. This is how it goes. Every. Single. Friggin’. Time.

In fact, writing a novel is very close to falling in love. How so? I’m glad you asked.

THE BEGINNING
Look at all my pretty ideas. Aren’t they pretty? That one’s a good dancer but that one has gorgeous eyes and a car. And that one, the intellect of Spock and he gets all my jokes. I like that one. So intriguing. Yes, I’ll pick that one.

THE EARLY STAGES
OMG, y’all. My book and I went out again yesterday, and you know what? My book is so, so clever! Seriously. It was only our third date and it brought me fresh metaphor. I know, right? I wasn’t expecting that at all. Plus, my book is so easy to talk to–it never feels like work. We just relate sooo well. I think this could be something special. I’m seeing my book again tomorrow. I can’t wait.

THE FIRST DRAFT
I love this book. And it loves me. I never want to be without this book. Never, ever. What? Were you saying something? I’m sorry I can’t hear you because my book just said the best thing ever. Wait–just listen to this sentence. I know! Isn’t my book so dreamy? I love you, book. Do you love me? Of course you do. OMG–we said that at the SAME TIME! WE ARE SO IN TUNE! This is going to be the best book ever written. Oh, whisper that again. I Pulitzer you too, honey. Sigh.

THE REVISION, MONTH ONE
Honey…do you still love me? Well, it’s just that you didn’t say it back a few times. And you’ve been sort of inattentive. Unresponsive. A bit. Do that funny thing you did early on. You know, that funny thing that made me laugh and laugh and think that you were the cleverest book that ever lived. You know. That thing. Well, honey, if I could remember it, I’d write it down. I was kind of hoping you’d remember. No. It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. Really.I love you. Do you still love me?

THE REVISION, MONTH TWO
My book? No, things are okay. I guess. I mean, I totally love my book and everything, but…it’s not quite as clever as I thought. Yeah, like yesterday? I came home and read page 367, and…it wasn’t very good. In fact, it was trite and it had stubble all over the page and there were dirty socks on page 45 right where my favorite part about the dog who speaks in limericks used to be and the TV was left on again. Battlestar Galactica reruns. Oh, I feel kinda bad saying this about my book, but, you know what? (whispers) I think it might be stupid. Don’t tell.

THE REVISION, MONTH THREE
OMG. Eight hours of writing for this crap? If it starts one more sentence with “I” things will get bloody. Boring. Derivative. Repetitive–I know! We totally covered that in chapter four AND in chapter twenty. You remember, right? So why doesn’t my book? Seriously, I cannot understand a word my book says anymore. Christ, how many more weeks of this hell do I have to put in before I can start up with some new idea, like that one about the succubus and the backpackers. So foxy. I’ll bet that book is perfect. Unlike a certain annoying one I’m stuck with…

THE REVISION, ON DEADLINE
F*@*#&ing book. I hate you. I wish I’d never met you. YOU MAKE MY LIFE HELL! HELL! I wish there were another word for hell but my thesaurus says there’s not. My mother was right. I should never have gotten involved with you. God, what was I thinking starting up something with this book? Jesus. Did you hear that? Do you ever even listen to what you spew all over the page? God. Like freaking nails being driven into my eardrums and right into my brain. Miserable craptard. I wish you’d die.

THE REVISION, NEAR THE END
Sometimes, when I watch you sleep, you’re so perfect.

THE REVISION, LAST DAY OF DEADLINE
(sob) It was so beautiful once. (honk, wheeze) A beautiful, beautiful word dream. (sob) Where is my pretty word dream now? Where’s my pwetty, pwetty word dream? Where? Wwwwwhhhhheeeerrrrrreeee?????

THE THIRD DRAFT
(singing) It’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…it’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…It’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…it’s a stupid novel and I don’t care…

THE FINAL DRAFT
Thanks for meeting me here. Look, I’m just gonna come out with it. This–you, me–it’s not working. I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s…actually it’s you. You’re stupid. And I sort of hate you. But, you know, thanks for the great line on p. 400. I’m gonna go ahead and keep it because, really, you did give it to me and it doesn’t fit you anymore. Oh, and while you’re here, you might as well try the pie. It’s good. Yeah. I’ve had 500 pieces of it over the past few months. So I know.

THE COPY EDITS
Wow. Fancy running into you. It’s been ages. No, you look good. You lost weight? Wow. About 10,000 words. That IS something. Ha! I’d forgotten how funny you are. I’m serious–that was really, really smart about Elvis being a metaphor for fear of jumpsuits. Oh…sure. Yeah, I’ve gotta go, too. But it was great to see you again. Keep up the good work.

THE FINISHED BOOK
That one? Yeah, we totally had a thing. But, you know, it’s over now. So, tell me what you were saying about the succubus and the backpackers? OMG, that is the best thing ever! You know, you have such beautiful eyes…

May 4, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Just write

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 12:54 am
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Like many, I think, yesterday I couldn’t focus.  I would turn on the news, surf the internet, and stay close to my kids.  It was an odd day, and nothing got written.

Today, other commitments kept me from writing (including here) until the end of the day.  In fact, I was going to skip it all together, and then a good friend said – Just write something.  It doesnt have to be on the manuscript you are working on at the moment, just write and own that this is who you are and what you do.

And that’s the best advice of all.  Just write.

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