Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When To Stop?

I've seen some discussions on when a series has gone on long enough; when do you draw the line 'enough is enough'?

My answer has always been 'when I can no longer keep the stories fresh.  I do not want to keep writing the same thing over and over.'

Why do I bring this up?

Because this past month I was fortunate enough to three books by two different authors in which, in my humble opinion, the authors did not know when to end the STORY.

One author has written a series of books, and to hear her talk about them, her fans clamored for the secondary characters to have their own stories.  Fine and dandy; I can relate to that.  Others do it all the time.  BUT....the stories overlap so much, it gets confusing.  Book #1 was wonderful; book #2 was a nice sequel; Book #3 kept going....and going.....and going......I had a hard time believing one woman could keep going back and forth between the two men, one of whom came off as a wuss.  I disliked him intensely, and wanted to yell at him that there were more women out there.  Man up and go find one.  Forget this chick who can't seem to make up her mind!

Then we come to book #4.  Which goes BACK to everyone's college years....then catches up to book #1, then book #2.....then WHAM!  Suddenly this M/M story goes back and forth M/M; M/F; then M/F/M or M/M/F.  Then a character dies, and it becomes M/F again.  Make up your mind!  Oh, then we're back to Book #3's storyline....and there's an annoying female secondary character who I also want to bitch slap and tell her 'there are more men out there....stay away from these two!'

And there are at least three more books in this series?

Yes, I want to read them.  And yes, I'm probably going to skim a great deal if I get mad again.  I'd prefer to WIN the rest of the books in contests, but this author has contests which frankly, I don't have the time to follow all the damn instructions/blogs in order to be entered.

And that's another thing:  Keep contests SIMPLE....just leave a comment and you're entered.  Not this 'follow', 'like', 'leave a comment on all 20+ blogs...'  Who the hell has TIME for all that?

Okay, that rant's over.

The next author has only one book out.  I read and enjoyed the first few chapters, and then came to an ENTIRE section which failed to hold my interest.  It literally made me sleepy.  I had to put it down, take a nap or read something else, and then return to it for another two or three chapters.

And then I came to the last three or four chapters, and enjoyed every word:)

The action in the middle dragged.  I kept wanting things to move along....but in my opinion, the author went off on a tangent and finally wandered around to his original plot point.

So authors, please reread your work?  Get a good crit partner?

This is why I limited my books to a year or two in the lives of my girls.  Why Keri's story stops at a 'HEAFN' ending.  It kept bleeding into books 4 and 5, when her ending is clearly told both times.  It didn't need to be told 3 times.  And-hint, hint-she comes back at a later date, and gets her HEA.  There; now you have an incentive to keep reading:)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Don't You Just.... it when friends offer support, but even your own PUBLISHER won't acknowledge your presence?

My latest book was sent on a review tour.  Wonderful!  I'm getting good review, posting links everywhere I possibly can, without being overly-pushy about it, and I feel somewhat invisible.  I've walked a close line of yelling 'Look at me!' and 'Please, please PLEASE someone leave me a comment/show me some love!'

There was a post on FB about how an effective marketing tool would be to promote others, not just yourself.  I do this all the time, but rarily get it in return.

And I get sick of seeing others post the same promo spot hourly.  I've been posting it twice; once in the morning and again in the evening.  I realize not everyone scrolls through their entire 'feed' to see what others have posted, but I'm nosy like that (lol!).

When I post to the loops, I check back several times a day, if I'm not on digest.  So yes, I'll respond to comments.

Sorry for the 'Debbie Downer'....just feeling a bit irritated at not being the 'favored child' by this particular publisher.  And not getting any support from other authors or even other friends whom I share their links with the world.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yes, It's A Choice!

Last week, the Supreme Court began hearings on the same sex marriage arguments, and FB began 'lighting up red' in posts, profile pics changing, etc.  I only saw maybe 3 posts to the contrary.  So on Thursday, I decided it was time to voice my own opinion.

I found a quiet post, rebuttaling the arguments and shared it.  A friend had posted it several minutes (maybe even an hour) before with a few 'likes' and no comments.  But a minute after I shared it, one of my more liberal HS friends commented:

  • Trisha Fogleman Wait- are you against marriage equality?
  • Molly Daniels I'm not against civil unions; I'm all for gay couples having the same legal rights (adoption, spousal-health-issue rights, etc), but have trouble with the biblical/moral aspect. In fact, funnily enough, I show both sides in my next book, arriving in April. I respect my friends who are for the issue; I ask for equal respect for my views. I don't want to lose friends over this issue; but on my 'feed', the 'pro' side greatly outnumbers the 'con' side. Just wanted to equal things up a little. We all have a right to our opinions w/o it turning into a 'me-vs-you' debate.
  • Trisha Fogleman What does the bible have anything to do with governmental decisions? Church and state should be separate. 

    Civil unions are not the same as marriage and separate but equal has not ever stood in this country. 

    I don't understand how you could take this position. It's not that I don't respect your position, but rather I'm completely dumbfounded by it.
  • Molly Daniels LOL....I see both sides of the issue, and am just trying to keep the peace. This is one hot-button topic I really don't care to get involved in a heated debate. I have gay friends, gay married friends, and people who are in favor of DOMA. I don't agree with the fact gay spouses aren't awarded the same rights as hetero spouses when it comes to certain legal issues. And unfortunately, I'm married to a stubborn bigot who is appalled by the whole issue. So I keep quiet.
  • Catherine Vogel Gadberry Molly, I feel exactly the same on the issue. Civil unions/domestic partnerships with equal rights to married couples.
  • Molly Daniels Exactly:) LOL....Thanks Cath....I'm now watching to see if I lose any friends....don't think YOU got any comments! Was just hoping to slip this into my feed and go about my merry, non-confrontational way.....
  • Trisha Fogleman That isn't equality. If you think there should be civil unions, then there should be civil unions for all- the government can get out of the marriage business altogether. Then marriage can be a religious ceremony in the church.
  • Catherine Vogel Gadberry Trisha, sounds good 
  • Trisha Fogleman Posting this was confrontational, IMHO. Why be passive aggressive about it?
  • Molly Daniels You're right; government SHOULD stay out of it. And that's me, miss p/a, ha ha:)
  • Molly Daniels Guess I have more 'pro' friends than Catherine, lol....
  • Trisha Fogleman Yep government should stay out of the churches, and churches should stay out of government. No more tax breaks, nada. It's a two way street.
  • Molly Daniels I already know I'm going to take some flack from the GLBT community when that book comes out....I had to cut most of the sex scenes. Unless editor wants them back in...then I'll have to have them ghost-written.
  • Molly Daniels So are we good, Trish?
  • Catherine Vogel Gadberry Molly, a lot of my friends and half my family are for marriage equality. We just don't stir each other up on Facebook.
  • Molly Daniels I noticed:)
  • Trisha Fogleman You wrote a romance book about gays?
  • Molly Daniels Yes. Did you see the cover for Searching For Love? It's more of a 'Bi-curious' story. Woman caught between another woman and her casual male lover. One of my roommate's story, fictionalized. And my cover artist created a wonderful cover which resembles the Queen in a deck of cards. Really tasteful and elegant.
  • Molly Daniels Caught a lot of flack from the parents while writing it; wanted to incorporate both sides of the argument and make sure I had the facts straight. Still learning, lol:)
  • Molly Daniels Here's the blurb, Trish. 
    Stephanie Ridgeman is sick of men. She's tired of watching her best friends go through heartache and question their goals, all in the name of love. When she meets a young woman who introduces her to another lifestyle, Steph’s curiosity overwhelms her. She discovers there are different ways of expressing love, although society shuns her new views. When she learns her parents disapprove, will it affect her choice? 
    Jodie Armstrong lost a partner to AIDS the previous year, and is intrigued by the young woman whose friends’ antics rival those of a soap opera. She patiently answers Steph’s hesitant questions concerning her lifestyle choices and encourages Stephanie to follow her heart. Will Steph ever figure out which world she belongs in, and will her friends accept her decisions?
  • Trisha Fogleman I can't even.
  • Molly Daniels Can't even...???
  • Trisha Fogleman I can't even go there. So upset right now.
  • Molly Daniels Friends can agree to disagree sweetie. I'm at a loss for why it's okay for everyone else to express their opinion but I can't. I'm not slamming anyone for their lifestyle choices. Maybe when everyone's emotions calm down. ((((((((HUGS))))))))
  • Trisha Fogleman I'm not upset about your opinion I'm upset about that blurb. Appalled doesn't begin to describe what I'm feeling right now.
  • Molly Daniels Which part? Jodie or Steph?
  • Molly Daniels Or the 'world' part?
  • Trisha Fogleman Is the blurb online anywhere?
  • Karen McClive All the points in this article seem very silly to me. My marriage is not defined by someone else. And there are other dumb statements in that article.. such as this one: o use an analogy, men and women have equal rights, but because they significantly differ they require separate restrooms. Equality means treating similar things similarly, but not things that are fundamentally different. NOOOOO Men and women DO NOT NEED separate bathrooms. Do we have separate bathrooms in our home? No.. Family Restrooms are popping up all over the place that either men or women can go into. The restroom thing is done for convenience and nothing more. Sorry but I don't buy it. Marriage should be for whoever wants it.. it's a human made institution that has changed over time and will continue to change.
  • Molly Daniels Trish: My website, my author page, and under the picture on FB. It won't be anywhere else until the book is edited and released, most likely this month or early next.

  • Trisha Fogleman So when you release your version of the LGBT story, are you going to have transparency to say that you think gays are less than straights and undeserving of all the rights enjoyed by straight people?

    I then sent T a private message:
    I didn't want to answer on the thread, since I knew a 'spoiler alert'  would be in my reply.
    To answer your question: I express both views on the issue in a fictional manner. And at the end of the book, the women are together, and each wear wedding bands. And in the epilogue, I have Stephanie bemoaning the fact her wife didn't leave a will; they had an appointment to do that the following week before Jodie falls ill and dies. Fortunately, though, Jodie's parents accept Steph into their daughter's life and give her full access as a spouse. And Steph says to her friends not to delay in drawing up their wills, in case they're not as lucky as she.
    The timeline of this book is from 1988 (when Billie Jo came out to myself and another friend) through late 1990's or even 2000; I can't remember exactly. It reflects the views back then, but is also timeless, since we're still arguing it now in the Supreme Court, and states are legalizing it. I just happened to write this in 2003, and publisher picked it up last fall. I just have a feeling I'll take flack for not having more sex scenes in it. But my best friend is bi, so she's offered to help me out if necessary.

  • Trisha Fogleman

    I guess what I have a problem with initially is the implication just that she's sick of men so that she turns to women.
    I would say to you with all certainty that this is rare- and not the norm. I personally know of not one person who this is true of.
    I have talked to literally hundreds if not thousands of gays over the past 30 years. Because I'm curious- I WANT to know their story. I wish I had kept track of their stories- now that would be a book! But 99% of the stories are the same- the feelings of not fitting in, not feeling normal and knowing at a young age. Stories of anguish and pain, stories of trying to assimilate despite their orientation. Not once did I hear they just decided to be gay because they were sick of the opposite sex. I do think it is more common for women to be bi than men, and to experiment in college. Being gay is not a choice, the struggle for acceptance is hard enough without more people adding to this myth. And for what- money? I don't like hurting anyone's feelings or questioning art- but since you brought it to email I will tell you exactly why I struggle with your book. It makes me physically ill that you, a straight woman who believes that gay people are not equal in the eyes of the law, would write an LGBT love story- no matter how well-intentioned it is, and how you think you are being. You are telling both sides- as you see it. As I see it, you are completely off base and it sickens me. How dare you?

    RE:  Okay, I see your point. Maybe what I should have said was, she's sick of seeing men mistreating her friends, all in the name of love. Steph bounces from relationship to relationship, never 'falling in love'. She's probably the one who coined the 'Friends with Benefits' before it became known, lol. Then she's curious about the gay/lesbian lifestyle, and THEN falls in love. And I wrote it because I felt her story needed to be told. I'm sorry you feel that way. I guess no PsychoKitty sticker for me then? Don't answer that; I'll wait until tempers die down.

    T:  Of course I'm happy to send you some stickers. I just feel that you're using the community that I love and fight for. That's all. I know you're a good person with good intentions but I think you are way off base. There are so many stories to tell- why feed the bigotry by making it seem like a choice. It's not.

    RE:  Okay:) I'll put some of them on my table this summer when I'm signing. And I think the 'choice vs 'born this way' argument is in there also. If not, I'll write it in. Actually, I think Jodie states she felt that way until she stopped hiding it in high school.

    Had a thought: would you be interested in reading the rough draft, and letting me know what I should change?
    T:  You know what, Molly? I think that is very open-minded and generous of you! Yes I will be glad to read it and give my thoughts! I'm sure there will be much about it I will love!

  • I was in tears after the first part of this exchange, and realized I'd forgotten to put on my 'armor'.  I'd not had a shower yet, and therefore had not had my Quiet Time.  I felt better after doing this, although I still felt a little bruised.

    And the next morning, my friend J jumped into the discussion, but I chose to ignore her comments.

  • Jacqueline Dean Roth · 11 mutual friends
    I was stunned you reposted that bigotted mess, and concerned that with that attitude you are publishing a GLBT story. I just can't imagine that the story will be an honest portrayal. You have stepped into a topic that is a mine field and if it isn't handled well could backlash hard against you as the author. The straight girl who is curious and can't decide what world she belongs in? That is a dishonest cliche at best. There are not two worlds. We all live in the same world.
    March 29 at 12:06am via mobile · Like · 1
  • Jacquwenteline Dean Roth · 11 mutual friends
    And you do realize that the risk of lesbians contracting HIV is lower than any other subgroup except the celebate? In the rare cases it's happened it's been because of involvement with a bi partner.
    March 29 at 12:18am via mobile · Like · 1
  • Trisha Fogleman I expressed much the same concerns and more with Molly. I do feel she has good intentions but it is troubling. 

    I agree about the AIDS issue too. I live in SF which was ground zero of the epidemic, and the lesbian angle with it just does not ring true. Give her cancer instead.
  • Lori Oglesby Johnson You know I had to come looking... lol..... I don't see how anyone could read those "reasons" and think they are valid. As I read, I found myself wondering if they were written tongue-in-cheek. Marriage between elderly people is so rare that it's not wo...See More
  • Molly Daniels For the record, I don't agree with #6.
  • Lori Oglesby Johnson For the record, the post I just made about Christians has nothing to do with you or this thread... it's about something that happened last night. Just wanted to you know know that...
  • Molly Daniels I haven't even seen it yet; I'll go look:)

    I  went over to L's thread and we had a very civil, non-threatening conversation.  I then closed the laptop and got ready to attend the Outdoor Way of the Cross, even carrying it twice.

    And I especially needed to be reminded at the beginning.  Fr. Dave reminded us we need to stand up for our beliefs and not waver.  I felt better after hearing that, and it strengthened me.

    So what's the big deal?  Why am I posting this?  Because contrary to what T and others believe, it is a choice!  God gave us Free Will, and the freedom to choose Him or reject Him.  If being gay isn't a choice, but rather 'the way I was born', then society would fall apart.  People would  run rampant; we would all be acting like two-year olds demanding instant gratification and giving in to our base desires.

    No, it is choice.  Even if a person believes they were born the wrong gender, or discovers they aren't attracted to the opposite sex, there is still a choice to be made:  Decision for sex change.  Decision to stop pursuing the opposite sex, or to stop trying to 'conform'.  The decision to go against everything you've been taught, if you were raised in a biblical home.

    I'm not saying if you feel this way it's wrong.  But you don't have to give in.  Live your life quietly.  Go ahead and have a long relationship with that partner who makes you happy.  But don't call it 'marriage'.  I'm all for civil unions/domestic partnerships.  I cannot throw stones at you, since I engaged in premarital sex and cohabitated before marrying my spouse.

    But if you're one of the ones who can't come out of the closet, then live a quiet life, a non-sexual life.  Two friends of mine have taken this route.  They haven't admitted it (that I know of, anyway!),  but do nearly everything together, but not The Act.  They maintain separate homes.

    And that's their choice.  At least one of them is aware it wouldn't be acceptable in her family, so she chooses not to give in.