Monday, February 28, 2011

Mission Success Inaugural Post!

Welcome to the kickoff of our Mission Success Writers Journal series.  We'll post once a week on our progress toward becoming successful authors, and share what we've learned with you.  You're invited to come along on our journey. 

Laurie's Journal

Actions we've taken as writers. Where are we? What are we doing?

We’re coming up rapidly on our blog’s 25,000th Hit Bash! We’d like to make this an epic event--translate that prizes and surprises!--so watch for upcoming announcements.

I was pretty much being left in the solar dust on my Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival (WWF) making only about half my point goal, but…the exercise helped me refocus on writing and my goals after lollygagging for a month coming off a wonderful St. Martin vacation. WWF did it’s job well. Now I need to get busy and do mine!

There's one thing I'm really looking forward to for some gourmet muse food.  Firefly is coming back to Science channel on March 6!  As if that's not great news enough, the episodes will include commentary on the technological aspects by Dr. Michio Kaku. Read more here. Love seeing his documentaries on Discovery channel (or is it History channel?)  Either way, he’s awesome and this is bound to give me all sorts of twinkle-in-my-eye ideas for my novels. There’s also some major rumblings on the web about fans buying the rights to Firefly, and the possibility of new episodes or a new movie. Dare we dream? But of course!  You can't take the sky from me. If you’re a Browncoat, be sure to check out Firefly Video Section (Shrine) on this blog's sidebar.

New authors, cool web sites, great resources, great workshops, great online sites!

New publisher! Black Opal Books opened its virtual doors in February 2011 and is currently seeking submissions. According to their web site, royalties start at 45% for both digital and print published books and “we’re accepting all romance genres, including paranormal and erotic, and also YA. In addition, we’re accepting novels and novellas that aren’t romances, but have strong romantic elements.” Their current offerings are priced at $5.99. Worth a look! [Disclaimer: We can not make recommendations concerning any publishers. As with all business pursuits, do your homework before signing a contract.]

In the Science discovery department: Our solar system may have a mysterious ninth planet! The news was all the buzz on the net since February 15th. Pluto was once considered the ninth planet, but was downgraded to a planetoid in recent years. This new ninth planet which, if it exists, is estimated to be four times the mass of Jupiter, has been named Tyche (pronounced Tie-key) and its existence could account for orbital anomalies in comets that may have caused mass extinctions in the past. If Tyche is really there, she lurks wayyy out in the Oort Cloud—which is made up of billions of comets at the very fringes of our solar system. In fact, Tyche would be so far away that the two Voyager spacecraft launched in the fall of 1977, and now traveling for almost 33 years, are not even a tenth of the distance to the Oort cloud. Our solar system is a big place! There are also other theories our Sun may have an invisible brown dwarf companion named Nemesis causing the orbital anomalies. In mythology, Nemesis and Tyche were sisters. Fitting names then, aren't they? Neither of these bodies would emit or reflect enough light to be visible on Earth, so proof of existence lies in mathematics. Scientists are awaiting more data that might prove if Tyche exists…or if it’s just a statistical fluke.

The Squeeze
Writers are sponges when it comes to soaking up writing tips and tricks. Here's where we squeeze out our sponges for the week.

The Rhubarb Replacement.  Say what?  This is a great trick I learned via word of mouth.  When you're blazing through your first draft and you stumble headfirst into something you need to research or flesh out, don't let your internal editor put the brakes on your muse stampede.  Just type Rhubarb (or some other key word that you're not likely to use in your manuscript) and continue making that keyboard smoke.  After you've kicked out a first draft in record time, use the search function to find all those "Rhubarbs" so you can take all the time you need to plump up your manuscript with additional details.  You can also give yourself cues what you need to focus on by adding a descriptor after each Rhubarb, such as: Rhubarb setting, Rhubarb weapon, Rhubarb costume, Rhubard...well, you get the idea. 

The latest buzz. Submission calls. New publishers. Industry changes. Inspirational sayings or quotes for writers. And our take on them.

I am thrilled to announce that one of my (non Spacefreighters co-blogger) critique partners, Barbara Elsborg, had a free short story pubished by Ellora’s Cave-- Saying Yes -- hit #1 on Amazon’s Kindle’s Erotica Fiction list on Valentine’s Day! (And it’s still #1 as of this writing many days later!) I truly have talented, talented IPs!

Great quote:  You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.   - Maya Angelou

Books we're reading and mini-reviews. Writers must read voraciously. Sometimes we find gems in the literary universe or sometimes certain elements of a book really speak to us (and our muses). Do we know about book giveaways? A big debut? We'll dish on those.

I’m reading ENEMY WITHIN by Marcella Burnard. A SFR, of course! It took about 50 pages before I was totally on the hook, but now I see why this book was an RT Top Pick and has garnered so many other kudos. Right now, I’m dwelling on a sightseeing opportunity in the story. So beautifully described that my head pictures are visually stunning.

Next up: Heather Massey’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE. One of the MCs is a decendant of Christopher Columbus. Earth is a scorched wasteland. What’s not to love?  Heather's SFR novel debuts this week!  Look for more about Heather--aka mission commander for The Galaxy Express--and her debut in a future post.

Events, conferences, cons as well as Facebook, Twitter and blog events.

One of my peers, mystery and paranormal mystery author Connie Shelton, is giving away Kindle e-readers in random drawings each month--11 in all!  All you need to do to be eligible is sign up for her newsletter here:  The next Great Kindle Giveaway is coming up this week!  If you have friends who love reading, please forward this information on. (I'm one of Connie's subscriber and I can tell you she doesn't swamp your inbox with repeated mailings, just once or twice a month with news and announcements.)  Connie Shelton is an bestselling author.  Some of the titles in her Charley Parker series include Vacations Can Be Murder, Honeymoons Can Be Murder, and Reunions Can Be Murder.

And this via author Gail Koger: Whispers Publishing will be celebrating their five-year anniverary--with prizes!--today, February 28th.  Click here to go to their site for the festivities.

Ping Pong
We'll comment back to our co-bloggers on things they've posted on their journals.

Since this is our first Mission Success post, there isn't yet a ping I can pong.  Looking forward to my coblogger's journal entries later this week.

--Laurie A. Green


  1. Great post, Laurie - and not just because I'm in it! LOL Lots of interesting information and done in your unique energetic style!!

  2. Thank you, Barbara. Your accomplishment was very mention-worthy. :)

  3. What a successful launch for this writer journal you started, Laurie. Great info, written with enthusiasm. I hadn’t caught the fascination news concerning another planet. And what a great idea to use a notation to mark spots to flesh out. Here’s to rhubarb. I'll have to use rhulaurie, to give credit to whom its due. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fantastic post, Laurie! So glad you and fellow co-bloggers are doing this. Such great info as usual from you.

  5. Thanks for reading my journal, Arlene and Kaye. :) It was a lot of fun putting this all together. I'm looking forward to compiling the next one.

    Rhulaurie LOL

  6. Thanks for the shout out, Laurie!

    Can't wait to exchange thoughts on Enemy Within. I've got a blog post in the pipeline on "the scene" in that book. Thought-provoking stuff.

  7. Cool, Heather. I'll watch for that to post. Haven't gotten much further in the story yet, hopefully will soon.


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.