Women's Fiction about real life situations

First, not all snowflakes are the same on all sides. Uneven temperatures, presence of dirt, and other factors may cause a snowflake to be lop-sided. Yet it is true that many snowflakes are symmetrical and intricate. This is because a snowflake’s shape reflects the internal order of the water molecules. Water molecules in the solid state, such as in ice and snow, form weak bonds (called hydrogen bonds) with one another. These ordered arrangements result in the symmetrical, hexagonal shape of the snowflake. During crystallization, the water molecules align themselves to maximize attractive forces and minimize repulsive forces. Consequently, water molecules arrange themselves in predetermined spaces and in a specific arrangement. Water molecules simply arrange themselves to fit the spaces and maintain symmetry.
Is it true that no two snowflakes are identical?
Yes and no. No two snowflakes are exactly identical, down to the precise number of water molecules, spin of electrons, isotope abundance of hydrogen and oxygen, etc. On the other hand, it is possible for two snowflakes to look exactly alike and any given snowflake probably has had a good match at some point in history. Since so many factors affect the structure of a snowflake and since a snowflake’s structure is constantly changing in response to environmental conditions, it is improbable that anyone would see two identical snowflakes.
If water and ice are clear, then why does snow look white?
The short answer is that snowflakes have so many light-reflecting surfaces they scatter the light into all of its colors, so snow appears white. The longer answer has to do with the way the human eye perceives color. Even though the light source might not be truly ‘white’ light (e.g., sunlight, fluorescent, and incandescent all have a particular color), the human brain compensates for a light source. Thus, even though sunlight is yellow and scattered light from snow is yellow, the brain sees snow as white because the whole picture received by the brain has a yellow tint that is automatically subtracted.
Perception
The next time you see a pile of snow, be it pure and white and pristine or not, look at it more closely—with your mind, understanding how snowflakes are made, and with your soul, appreciating this white stuff that covers half the world at a time, every year.

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I had a lot of interesting experiences at RT and attended several useful workshops, but the experiences I found most fascinating were “Conversations” with famous authors. In them, a moderator would sit with the author and ask him/her questions or field questions from the audience. The ones I attended were Charlaine Harris, who penned the Sookie Stackhouse novels which became the hugely popular True Blood television series on HBO; Lee Child who wrote the enormously popular Jack Reacher mysteries, and Lisa Kleypas, queen of saucy historicals. They were worth the price of admission by themselves.

Lisa spoke mostly on a single topic with questions and comments from the audience. Her topic was exploring the psychology of characters to create chemistry and spark. Every character comes into a story with baggage and that makes them damaged people. Perfection is boring. Here are some of the points she made:

v  What do they look like? While you don’t want to pile on paragraphs of description, you need to have a physical image of their appearance and mien in order to create the images in your head as the action proceeds.

v  What is their family and financial status? Are they a loving son or daughter of a rich aristocrat or a penniless thief of a Black Widow?

v  The person’s innocence/cynicism or vulnerability/hard-heartedness? You don’t want to give away the meat of the story in the first chapter but you need a basic framework in which to place them. The conflicts in the story then work within that framework—at the beginning anyway.

v  If there is to be a villain or protagonist in a love scene, that needs to be established ahead of time. You can’t just leap into a love scene without having thought out angles and motivations.

v  What is lovemaking doing to each character and, afterwards, what has it done to each. A lovemaking scene, even if only a kiss, affects everyone profoundly. You need to establish this going into the scene, in order to accomplish what you want to with it.

v  Worldbuilding—paranormal and sci-fi are not the only genres where you must build a world. Every world in every book is built slowly and surely.

v  Justification of characters—every character needs to be justified, even if negative, to himself and the reader, no matter how society views him.

v  Build your heroines carefully. Readers are so much harder on heroines than heroes, and we expect more from them.

        I recently had an email penpal from Maine who claimed that we need a cold icy winter to deserve the spring, when it finally comes. I took umbrage to that. We can’t enjoy the spring unless we’ve earned it, unless we’ve suffered for it? What the heck?

               Well, I can tell my friend one thing at least this year. We’d better have one doozy of a spring if we’re going to go by her theories about weather. We’re due a plethora of daffodils and tulips and the flowering crabapple and magnolia trees had better be dripping with flowers so lush the branches are bowed by the weight. Geez Louise.

              What did the residents of northern New Jersey and New York do to deserve Superstorm Sandy? Were they bad? Naughty? This is Old Testament thinking. An eye for an eye and all that. In the same manner, did people in South Carolina or Texas do anything particularly good to warrant their golden spring vistas? Hogwash.

              The only way we earn a beautiful spring is through God’s own goodness and bounty on this lovely planet. Winter is winter. It comes every year—some are cold, some are milder. We don’t need to experience any extremes to enjoy a fantastic spring, summer, fall or, yes, winter. (Although I’m not above praying for a hot early at this point.)

              By the way, on these cold, clear nights we complain about, go outside and look up at the sky. You’ll never see as brilliant a display of heavenly bodies than on a chilly winter night.

Anthologies have been around since forever. You all remember books of short stories from grade school, I’m sure. They were our first introduction to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe and the stories were assigned by teachers to introduce us to the world’s best authors and to try and light a fire under adolescent tushies to get them to read more than Nancy Drew.
In the literary marketplace, anthologies, historically, have rarely sold well. Unless there was a well-known author or two included, nobody much noticed them. Most short stories were published by way of magazines that featured them like sci-fi magazines or true crime pulp mags and such. Now, however, they are making a comeback. Why?
There are two reasons, mainly, but probably many more smaller ones. First, people have gotten busy and, while novels are still the big draw, novellas and short stories (alone or in anthologies) are becoming more and more popular because they fit into hectic lifestyles. Like the half hour sitcom you can watch while the brownies bake, one can pick up an e-reader and read an interesting story in a short time. According to a comment made by M.S. Jackson on Lindsay Buroker’s Blog, “While I will pick up a longer book, it is these short, easy reads that seem to be what I look for in this crazy modern age. I have an iPad with literally dozens of novels in my ‘to read’ cue, but the short stories are the ones that I devour at any regular rate.”
The second biggest reason is, of course, the increased popularity of the e-book. You can download a copy of an anthology and read one story in the doctor’s office, one at lunch, one in bed while you relax before sleeping. Readers also buy inexpensive copies or download free copies of individual short stories in the cheap or free sections of online bookstores. Topical anthologies seem to sell the best– Christmas stories, sports stories, fantasies, etc.
Why write a short story? Well, aside from the fact that we all probably have bunches of them on our laptops already written with no place to go, they’re a great writing exercise. You can try out a different POV, genre, or style than you usually write. But there is also a big reason that I, frankly, never thought of until researching for this blog and it blew my mind when I contemplated it further. Write a longish short story and publish it on Amazon in their little system, with info at the end to direct the reader to your full length book(s). If you sell a handful of them, or more, for $.99, or even if Amazon includes it in a bundle for free, you have a marketing tool! Who’da thunk it? Someone did, of course, because I found this on Lindsay’s blog, but geez louise, how easy is that?
And remember what I said about selling a few? One commenter on the blog said she pays the rent with the proceeds of her short stories and short novellas.

How can you go wrong if you put up your best one or two short stories with said marketing info at the end? I say, you can’t!

Windswept Review

Cynthia Racette ~ Windswept ~ Review by LolaLovesBooks

So Lola, I see you just finished Cynthia Racette’s (Contemporary Romance/Women’s Literature) debut book Windswept. The title sounds interesting… Can you tell me how it ties into the book?

Windswept is the perfect title for this book. Not only does it relate to the circumstances in which this books revolves, but it is also the name of David and Caroline’s sailboat—the one thing the couple still has passion for in their marriage.

What do you mean by the only thing they have passion for?

After many years of marriage, raising their daughter Lily and their careers, the spark in their marriage has fizzled out without either one realizing.

So what happens??

Well, Dawn, it’s sad to say but David sought attention from another woman.

An affair…Yikes! What happens?

What doesn’t happen is more like it! With the cat out of the bag and David out of the house, Caroline has to try to make it on her own. She’s parenting Lily on her own (for the most part) and is facing some serious problems at work. Thankfully she has Windswept, the one place she can go to find some peace. Her biggest hurdle isn’t David having an affair, not even the single parenting or career issues… It’s the huge, unexpected bomb Matt—a mutual college buddy—drops on her. The story really starts heating up at this point with the choices Caroline must make.
“This is a story about a couple which has drifted apart, braved the choppy sea, and came out of the storm for some smooth sailing.”

Sailing, Sailing

People often want to know why I wrote a book about a sailboat. Well, my husband and I love to sail and owned a sailboat similar to Windswept. They say write what you know and I knew sailing inside out. If you’ve never gone sailing and an opportunity arises to go, take it!

Our sailboat was named Capella because my husband and I were separated by an ocean when we were engaged and we each used to look up in the sky and find Capella. It made us feel closer to have that constellation up there we could both look at, even we couldn’t see each other directly. We loved that boat and had many adventures on it, some of which I used for my book.

What is it about sailing that has called to men for centuries? One thing is that it gives you a oneness with the sea, which also holds an allure for men. Another thing is that it is a completely different world. When you’re out in the sun with the white sail taut and white against the bright blue sky, sail edges luffing, and the control line running through your fingers, you don’t notice anything else in your life. You don’t think about your boss’s overbearing attitude, your child’s failing grade in math, and the presidential pundits cease to exist.

A sailboat has many identities. When it’s moored in the marina or on the hook at night, it becomes a cozy, warm little camper. There is room for a family of four to have a nice, if inventive, dinner and evening of relaxation. When the boat is on the water, it becomes a fast, sleek, powerful wind machine. Then there is the lazy, after-dinner sunset sail. I could go on and on. A sailboat that has been in the family for years gains a personality as part of the family.