1) Reading Books
2) Reading Blogs
3) Working on a new cartoon avatar (right, unfinished & low res. All apologies to the late Alphonse Mucha whom I totally ripped off)
6) Day Job
7) Trying to forget I ever saw this
8) Enjoying the 12 days of Kitschmas on Ship of Fools.com
9) Brainstorming Pay It Forward contest ideas
10) Auctioning one early full PDF of Ember
11) Tormenting my cat with the laser pointer (it never gets old)
12) Running errands
13) Playing Heavenly Sword
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1) Reading Books
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
No, I haven't gone all money-hungry. IT'S FOR CHARITY. For charity, people. Here's how it works:
- Starting Wednesday, November 28th, you send me an email naming an amount you'd be willing to donate to Mercy Corps charity. (bettiesharpe at gmail dot com)
- I will post the highest bid for each day on this blog--no names, just bid amounts.
- The highest bid I receive by 12:00 pm Pacific on Wednesday, December 5 2007 wins.
- You, the generous winner, go to the Mercy Corps site and donate. You choose which program your money goes to. Crisis in Sudan, Cyclone Victims in Bangladesh, Where Most Needed--pick whatever program moves you. You'll also get the tax write-off :o)
- When you donate online, choose the option to donate in honor of someone. Enter "Ember", and have it sent to my email: bettiesharpe at gmail dot com.
- Once you've completed the donation, save an electronic version of your web receipt and email it to me. The web receipt will not list your full credit card number, but it will list the amount you donated and your address (same as if you won a book in a contest, and you had to send in a mailing address). I'll treat this information as confidential and will delete the file after I've seen it.
- I send you a copy of the full PDF of Ember--weeks before anyone else will read it, and you (the generous winner) get to join the small and select club of fabulous people who have been kind enough to read Ember in its entirety: Jodie, Bam, Kate R. and My Mom.
- The smirky satisfaction of knowing what's going to happen before almost anyone else does.
- The the warm glow that comes from helping fellow human beings who are in need.
- An income tax deduction in the amount of your donation.
(Flippantly Asked Questions)
But I thought you said Ember was free?
Ember is free. I wrote it intending for it to be a free eBook, and it will stay that way through the end of its run on The Serial, and for the foreseeable future on my website.
Why Mercy Corps?
Because 90% of the money you donate to Mercy Corps goes directly to charitable work around the globe. Because they fund a wide variety of innovative programs. Because they need to feel better after losing the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore.
If I win the auction, can I taunt other readers? What about spoilers?
If you win the auction, you can taunt to your heart's content. Taunt early and taunt often, but DO NOT reveal any spoilers.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Talking with my mother on the issue of coming out of the writing closet/letting people read my stuff, I realized that my whole conflict/shyness thing is totally a control issue. (Sorry to go all therapy-talk on you)
But here's the thing: Writing is the Ultimate Control Trip. I can create a world, and have it be just the way I want. I control every aspect of what I write...right up until the point that someone reads it. Then it becomes theirs.
Unlike my characters, readers can think anything they want. They can love or hate my writing, my story, my characters. They can use my writing as a reason to love or hate me. And I can't control any of it.
How awful is it to go from complete control to no control at all? This must be why some writers hate reviews. Not only does the reviewer take over your work, they then proceed to write about it, and thereby present your writing in a way you might not want it presented.
I never understood why authors behave like fucktards ((c) 2007, Karen Scott), lambasting people who don't like their work and trying to shout down critics, bloggers and/or commenters, but surely, this must be the reason.
It's so hard to give it up. It's hard to know that your work, and you will be judged. And that you have no control over it. I guess I always expected judgment from some nameless, faceless "readership". That I could deal with--that is something I know I can't control. But what about my near and dear? People who know me, people whose opinions I value in my everyday life?
What if they read my stuff and don't like it? Or, what if they read my stuff and decide I am some crazy perv because my stories contain teh sexin'? Or that I'm secretly psycho because my stories are usually kinda violent? What if? What if? What if?
Screw it. I love to write. I'm not going to stop writing because of "What if?" And I certainly don't want to run around shouting at people who form opinions of my work that I don't like. I'll just have to learn to let go.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The cover and blurb for Like a Thief in the Night are up at Samhain. Yay! It even has an ISBN number. Oooh, don't I feel official.
“Like a Thief in the Night” by Bettie Sharpe
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Cover art by Scott Carpenter
She’s a heartless assassin; he’s an immortal thief. In another life, they would have been lovers. In this one, he’s her target and she’s his prize.
A Strangers in the Night story.
Death comes like a thief in the night. For reclusive thief Sevastien Aniketos, death comes in the form of slinky assassin Arden Black. But Aniketos has a surprise for his would-be killer—he is immortal. And he is about to turn the tables on the pragmatic femme fatale.
Arden finds more than she bargained for when she sneaks through the window of Aniketos’s glass penthouse to take his life. The immortal thief is no victim; he’s a clever strategist who has set his sights on capturing the lethal lady and making her his own.
Trapped with a man she cannot kill, Arden slowly succumbs to Aniketos’s scheme of seduction, ceding her secrets, her loyalty, and eventually her heart. But when Arden’s wicked past catches up with her, Aniketos is faced with a choice.
An endless life without Arden, or a paltry mortal lifespan with the woman he has come to suspect he cannot live without.
Friday, November 9, 2007
My mother came to visit yesterday on her way down to Oceanside. We did the usual: talk nonstop, clean my house, complain about the government, eat lunch out, buy kitchenware, paint our toenails and stay up way too late talking.
And somewhere in the middle of that packed day, I printed out a copy of Ember, handed it to her and said, "I wrote this. You can read it if you want."
She sat down and read through the pages. She smiled. She laughed. She pointed out erroneous homophones. When she was done, she said she liked it. And that she was touched that I'd dedicated it to her. And that all those other mothers who'd told her, back in the day, that the Disney versions of the fairy tales presented a less violent, less frightening message to little girls could just stick it--they didn't have books dedicated to them.
Aw. Have I mentioned that my mom rocks?
In other news, Jane at Dear Author was kind enough to give Ember a mention.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I'm not going to go all "You like me, you really like me!" on you, but I am over the moon that folks seem to like Ember, which is running as part of The Serial over on Bam's site. I really wasn't sure. I mean, I like it, but I generally tend to like what I've written for about a month after writing it. With a little distance, I start to notice the flaws--though even then, I'm not sure of my appraisal because I tend to be really hard on myself.
And it's not like I get all that many outside opinions on my stuff. I'm pretty secretive about my writing. To the best of my knowledge, exactly 3 people have read Ember in its entirety--and I've never met any of them face-to-face. You have no idea what a huge step it was for me to accept the opportunity to place a story on a high-traffic website like Bam's. Of course I jumped at it, but I was so nervous. And with the exception of the opening scene, the only people I've ever shown Like a Thief in the Night to are the editors at Samhain Publishing.
Obviously, I have issues. Issues which I really need to get over if I want to keep up with this writing thing.
I don't talk about my writing, I don't pass it around to friends and family asking them to read it. Actually, I don't even show it to friends and family when they ask to read it. The way I figure it, my loved ones will feel compelled to say something nice, even if, say, they usually don't like or read Romance, Fantasy, or Sci-Fi. End result: 100% of the people to whom I've dedicated my stories have not read those stories. Granted, one of those "people" is the supercute solar-powered Maneki Neko on my desk*, but the other 88.5% of those people are: my husband, my mother, my sister, my father and my best friends.
My mother reads all of the genres listed above. But who wants their mother to read stories they've written that have S-E-X in them? Eew. I'll hand my stuff over to my sister any time she asks, but she's a teenager, straining under the required reading of her college courses, and the last thing I want to do is give her another book she feels like she has to read. The toughest one is my husband, who thinks Romance novels are silly, and tends toward non-fiction and sci-fi stories with male protagonists. He's asked to read my stuff a couple of times, and I've put him off a couple of times. If he doesn't like books like mine, why would he like mine?
Like I said, I have issues.
So I'm thinking I need to get out, get together with some other writers, take a class, stop being so damned secretive--something! Because I don't like the phobia thing. It sucks to be so nervous about something I love so much.
*Yes, I really do have a story dedicated to my solar-powered lucky kitty. It's so cute!
Friday, November 2, 2007
And she's nice, too. So maybe one day she'll forgive me for that silly play on her name. But.Srsly: Kate.Is.Awesome. Bam is too busy, like, having a Real Life or something (loser!) to run her fabu monthly contests right now. So Kate Rothwell has taken the torch and run with it. She is doing a November Contest.
(Dunh. Dunh. DUNHHHHHH!!!!)
Prizes include a $20 GC to Amazon or Samhain (If you win, pick the Samhain one and you can stock up on books by this mahvelous writer, Summer Devon.) and a button that says, "I'm a Professional Award-Winning Author".
Go forth and enter.