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Archive for April, 2010

Well, it has been a few days since the last post and what has happened since seems to be not very exciting. The new book was going slow. Through last friday I was writing at about half speed and had to take Wednesday off entirely to house hunt. The recession has caused to look elsewhere to live. We found a nice place that we have an offer on, but I am not sure that it is the perfect place. It will mean boxing up our lives and asking for help from all sorts of sources to move.

In any case Saturday my writing changed. I felt motivated. I did nearly 40 pages on Saturday and Sunday and then another 44 in the last two days. The total for Beggars Can’t Be Choosier is at 142, or 42,545 words. With our targeting of 15 chapter, 300 page tales, we are nearly half way. The writing has been good and certain passages I think are quite well done.

As with my other novels, I like posting the first few paragraphs as a sample, so here we go:

A Crowded Affair

The Earl of Aftlake, stepped gingerly onto the sidewalk in front of 6 Wimpole Street. Brian Forbes Pangentier, shivered. It was not cold, since it was late May, but the mere thought of being in Wimpole Street at number six would make any man shiver.
Best to not think about it greatly and go in. Mrs. Hadding would have the place warm. She always had the place warm, and as he let half a floor of her, he could not do aught but endure the heat until he reached his floor, one below the top of the building. The second floor.
Up two flights of stairs, and then thankfully the door to his room. Mrs. Hadding though, once he opened the door would, as per usual, certainly be close enough at hand to ask him many questions of his day. A day spent looking for blunt.
Four generations before, the Aftlake’s were quite prosperous. It was an ill witted Earl who thought to loan money to King James, and not appease the daughter Mary thereafter. Queen Mary and her husband William did not think kindly of the Forbes family at that time for it. Marrying into the Pangentier family during the first George was good for a number of years. Years that ended when all their holdings in the America’s were destroyed by the little war they had there.
Just after father had finished idling at the university too, so the family went to rack and ruin. Not before he had finished his studies could they have lost all, no. When father might have had a chance to actually learn a thing, instead of how to read poetry. If he had learned to write poetry, then perhaps there would have been the ready in the Forbes Pangentier coffers. Instead he paid to publish his one book of verse and sold seven copies. The Countess would not let Brian even burn the near two hundred copies they had remaining in trade of coal.
He quickly opened the door and crossed the four paces to the stairs hurriedly. His foot hit the first tread and he was on his way.
“Ah my lord.” He heard Mrs. Harding before he saw her, but that was her skill. To move so quietly that her lodgers had no idea she was about. She was always about. Especially when it was the first of the month and rents were due.
“Mrs. Harding. So good to see you this night.”
“Night? Why there still be two good hours of daylight left, my lord.”
“Why you are quite correct Mrs. Harding. As always.”
“About such things, mayhap, but your lordship knows best, I tell all the other tenants so.” There were two others. Mr. Fitch who did something tedious in the City. Something tedious to be sure but the man had blunt and was never bothered by Mrs. Harding. He had enough of the ready to have food brought in from the Cask ‘o Ale around Harley Mews. It was not the world’s best place to get something to drink or eat. It was decent though. It was better than anything Mrs. Harding prepared. Though she had a second skill, if Brian wanted to admit it.
Mrs. Harding could do wonders with a chicken. Well one way. She could place that chicken, cut into parts in a frying pay, on the fire, and it came out near perfect each time.
To get to perfect though, one had to put up with talking to Mrs. Harding. And paying for the chicken and her time of course. She did not cook the thing for free, except as a christmas treat for her lodgers. Or for Lady Stanley. One of the many Lady Stanley’s in London. There must have been some Stanley that had been very profligate with his vital juices. This one’s father was a Viscount, but she herself was near eighty if a day. Her father, her, brother and daresay any nephew to the title long since gone. She had no callers and never left her rooms, which were the entire first floor.
Lady Stanley must have had some good portion for she had two servants that slept in two rooms on the third floor, along with the girl that Mrs. Harding employed. When Brian had some spare shillings, he was able to hire Lady Stanley’s man Crane. Crane did very little as far as Brian was able to discern. He took coal up to Lady Stanley’s room, and waste away. He was used for his strength, and his skill as a butler was not put to use. Brian knew the man’s wage was greater than the allowance that he lived on the year through.
Mrs. Harding probably did tell all the other tenants that he did know best. Just as she told him that Mr. Fitch was the man to help him about money, and Lady Stanley could open any door in the city should he ask.
“And I tell all how wonderful our house here is.” Brian said by way of kindness. It was not true. He had been eight when he had inherited the title and found that they had virtually no money left. Not that the properties were mortgaged. No. Just that in order to provide any money to pay the many other loans that Aftlake had incurred they would need be let.

In The End of the World and Regency Assembly Press

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We are at 76 sales. We have one review from our readers. 76 is pretty good. We have broken past the 50 that self-published generally does. Now onto 200 and then 1000 fans. Click on the picture to order a copy at Amazon or go here.

Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Wikipedia–This is a very useful resource. I ask myself a question and I can go to it and instantly find the answer. The trick is knowing what question one needs to ask oneself. Having had a great deal of exposure to history, or whatever subject I am interested in, I know the path to search for the answer, and indeed, may already have heard the answer several times in my life. I just may have forgotten it at that moment.
  2. CNBC–This is a great place to hear financial news and all about the stock market. Today watched live hearings of how crooked Goldman Sachs is.
  3. Chuck–This series on NBC is great. Can get all sorts of story ideas from it. Let us hope for another year.
  4. Google Maps–Another great resource. I can go there. Find a part of the country I want to see. Then when I have that dialed in, go to Wikipedia and find out even more information
  5. The Tudors–Another very interesting TV series. The Tudors of course includes not only Henry, but Edward, Mary and then Elizabeth (Jane Grey just kind of shows up for a few days in the middle.) Perhaps there will be several other seasons of this show.

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The headline or title of this Blog entry suggests that I indeed finished the first draft of The Shattered Mirror over the weekend. On Saturday, actually coming in at 98,085 words. By my calculations of 300 words to the page for manuscript, that was 327 pages, 242 pages in the last two weeks. So I really cranked up the writing this month, and now am 6 pages into the next. I did 1 page Saturday and 5, on Sunday, even though I had not only hit my 30K for the week (Which is my high goal for each week of the year, (100 Pages) but blew past 36K (write every day 20 pages with the weekend at 2 days to hit the 20 pages, or make up the difference from missed pages during the week))

I have three Works in Progress, one fantasy and 2 science fiction. Star Musketeers, Steam and Thunder and Terra’s Birthright.

I might have mentioned each before. Star Musketeers is a little tongue in cheek adventure of the three musketeers in a space empire setting. Steam and Thunder is a fantasy that deals with bringing the discovery of Steam Engines to a medieval age, and carrying forward the changes that would entail with people who fall into building a corporate society out of the guild structure. The kingdom that has these engines first is vaulted ahead of other nations, but is also beset by the mass migration of people from the farms to the factories.

The last may never see the light of day without a major rework of the first third. One man trading empire that begins to do well, is beset by enemies… Why, then what? That is something I should map out before continuing forward with the project.

In The End of the World

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We are at 72 sales. Still no reviews from our readers. But 72 is pretty good. We have broken past the 50 that self-published generally does. Now onto 200 and then 1000 fans. Click on the picture to order a copy at Amazon or go here.

Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Renaissance Pleasure Faire–Went on our decennial (every ten year) visit and had a good time.P1010375.AyFQLQcbe2cI.jpg
  2. Digital Cameras–Took near fifty pictures yesterday at the Faire and they came out very nice. Even the movie of a parade came out very adequately.
  3. Friends–A great many helped out on Friday and purchased The End of the World.

PastedGraphic.OyejndHrGok9.jpg​ which for a brief moment reached #11 and then later #10 on the Regency Romance list. Perhaps not enough to keep it there. It has fallen off since. But I hope it will return.
4)        Ice Cream–What a wonderful invention. A local chain in California at one time, Thrifty, used to sell cones. I had them when I grew up at a nickel a scoop. Now it is owned by Rite aid, but the cones are still there.
5)        Sunny Days–I like them a whole better then not sunny ones

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Thursday morning and the end of The Shattered Mirror is in sight. We are at over 81K and the last few chapters approaching climax just need to be done.

It was suggested that I join a site for Romance writers and that was probably the wrong place. In a few years time there are some ladies on the site that have thousands of posts, over thirty to fifty a day. That is a lot of work to devote to one place. It seems to be a place where mostly ladies go to talk about writing romance, a very few about regencies, and most about epublishing. Checking into epublishing the royalties are very low because the books are priced low. Lower then ereader copies.

The sites looked dated and targeted at sex. Well sex sells, but not in the regencies I am writing. Followers here know that Regencies are but one part of the writing I do. Most of the women also talked about husbands who supported them in full time jobs so they could write and earn some extra money. To some extent that seems so pre seventies. Part of the sexual revolution is the right for women to have jobs and be a two income family.

Looking deeper at the site/forum, there seemed to be a great deal of people willing to tell you what to do that was not specific to you, but to them. A lot of advice if I wanted to sell smutty sex stories that were short (a third the size of the books I write.) No advice on the publishing route I chose or posted questions about. Further once they took something out of context, all these old friends of each other, continued to support themselves in the same out of context discussion. In essence the ladies were very unwelcoming, and further were actually snobs.

I have moved in many societies and I have my prejudices, but I also learned to admit to them privately and not act on them publicly. Here it was very much act on them publicly. God forbid that one should have an idea that did not fit the world view of the other people. They had their club and since you had a different opinion, let us make you feel small and shove you out the door. I suppose that was the definition of sorority and fraternity when I was in college. Why I did not join those orders.

There is a gold club on the edge of Beverly Hills, called the Los Angeles Country Club. My mom grew up across the street from it, on Bedford. I passed by it a lot since I grew up in a very snobbish city, Bev Hills. No Jews or Blacks Allowed.

Exclusivity is a public way to display your bigotry.

These women were closed to new thoughts. One of the concerns I have fostered for twenty years is the no idea is too stupid idea. Well some ideas are it is true, but in meetings you have to hear all ideas so you try not to shut down ideas. It leads to new thoughts. Making a meeting a roundtable. That was not the case here. It obviously has gotten my ire up. In order for us to grow, to put all our experiences to work, and find something new, we have to listen to all and see if something has validity. I pointed out that the industry at which they were angry at might have joined the rest of the world in lowering its expectation of hiring standards and employed someone who was unfamiliar with the Regency Period.

Wow, who knew that I could be interpreted to believe that this was the alright. Not that I have been studying it for 20 plus years, have a bachelors in history from a top 20 university, or that I research my material. Nope, I must be the enemy. It was the LA Country Club all over…

Tomorrow is the day we want to push The End of the World.

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Check out the website at Regency Assembly Press

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We are coming up on some anniversaries. It has just been one month since we approved publication of The End of the World and we have 49 sales to date.

You can get The End of the World at the press or Here.
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If you are in time for the discount, it is here: The End of the World Amazon Discounted

We have scheduled marketing day for April 16th so if you are thinking of purchasing a copy of The End of the World, doing so that day from Amazon would be a great help.

Have been scheduled to speak at a book group on The End of the World in early July. I am asking that they generate questions so I can prepare. I have no idea if I shall get any. Put an interview up on the website at Regency Assembly Press

Another anniversary is that on the 21st it will be a year since Aspen Interiors closed. At that time it will be a moment to reflect and take stock of what we have accomplished in a year. Another 10 days.

The Shattered Mirror continues. Over 61K words and well over half way. (We are targeting under 100K words.) Last week, since writers group was very productive. Moved a chapter around and then wrote over 36K words in the week. If I do that again might finish in this week, or at least the next week in a half.

In the Shattered Mirror perhaps we are at that point where we can post the first few paragraphs:


Celebration

The war was over, really this time. Bridget had arrived in the dining room to break her morning fast and this is what greeted her when she entered the empty room except for the two servants there. That was the word throughout the house. Bridget’s father had gotten the morning papers from London. He had glanced at them, then picked them up Sam, the butler who was in the dining room tending the breakfast buffet, said. Her father did not read his papers at the dining table in regard for Bridget’s mother. The countess was not one to allow such to occur at her table. Not at all.
Bridget had lost one brother to the war, but there were two others. It did not lessen the hurt for she missed Francis. There were also various cousins about that had been in service, neighbors, friends. Francis’ death though had been the closest loss that the family had encountered over the entire war. More than twenty years it seemed they had been fighting the tyrant, in one way or another. Father had a brother who had fought in the Colonial war, but that was a long time ago.
The brother had come home and died a few years after that war ended. Long before she was born. Bridget who was at least two inches in height over most of the girls of an age with her, reflected. She had never met the uncle, whom her youngest brother was named after. Her father told her that her Uncle Michael had the same chestnut hair. The same brown with traces of red in it that caused her face to glow. That and the cream complexion and high cheekbones she had inherited from her mother.
Her oldest brother John, was in the army, but he lived in Town. He was safe as heir, and had no thought of being posted to where there was fighting. He would wear his uniform and spend his time at his clubs. He had no thought of going to where the fighting was. The Earl thought his son was a fool.
Bridget prepared a plate of food and thought much of that had to do with Francis dying while serving in Spain while John was never in jeopardy. But it was a subject that she and her sisters never mentioned. Anne and Mary were both married, which only left her and Michael at home with their parents. This however was the last year that she was to be at home, in the schoolroom. Her season was the very next one. She would go to London and all the eligible men would finally return from France, or Flanders.
The morning room that was used to dine was different then that when they entertained. Though if just the family were at home for dinner, they would use this same room. The table was a mahogany wood that had been sanded and polished and stained and lacquered until it’t dark brown richness gleamed in the morning sunlight that streamed in through the three full length windows on the east wall. The entire room was painted in cream and the latest in papers bedecked the walls, for the Countess had changed them only last October, so they were not quite a year old.
Aside from the table and chippendale chairs, the darkest things in the room were the two butlers, for they were in their dark gray livery. Sam and Henry. Henry having been in service just two years deferred to Sam and kept quiet, while Sam had been with the Halifax-Stokes almost all of Bridget’s life and they were quite good friends. At the sideboard, not a piece by Chippendale the Countess always said, but one that had been inherited from some previous Scardale several generations ago, the wood was an alder, or other very light wood, and the carpenter had never been able to darken it to match the dining table. It was thus covered in a very broad piece of cloth which also helped to keep spills and stains off the wood.

Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Hot Pastrami Sandwiches–A no no if you had one every day…
  2. Julie & Julia, the movie–The book by Powell is trash. And I reviewed it here But the movie is good. Meryl Streep should have won best actress in 2009. She makes you believe she is Julia Child. 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.rYWGhcZHIVhv.jpg
  3. Friends–Need I say more? Okay. Got together at Borders with a group and we laughed for over two hours together.
  4. Cats–My mother is allergic so we never had them when we grew up, but now we have two and they are sweet;P1010041.snZNecmnJMeU.jpg
  5. Macintosh Computers-Went and fixed my mother’s computer. She had lost her photos, but I easily found what she did and fixed it.

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Brea Borders Writers Group met again the first Saturday of April. I was able to read from the first six pages of Shattered Mirror, and had some ideas thrown my way to incorporate. Jennifer, Deedira and Melinda also read and all were given helpful insights. I distributed t-shirts to our members that can be had at the Regency Assembly Press store.

You can get nice items such as :

SweatshirtScreenshot2010-04-08at1.50.41PM.gYHB3st5JKig.jpg or a TravelMugScreenshot2010-04-08at1.50.46PM.1rse0oAGUuLI.jpg

The End of the World is selling.

We are now at 35 copies plus in the 3 weeks it has been available for sale.

You can get The End of the World at the press or Here.
PastedGraphic.hRLDy1fgdLM4.jpg (click on the picture)

If you are in time for the discount, it is here: The End of the World Amazon Discounted

We have scheduled marketing day for April 16th so if you are thinking of purchasing a copy of The End of the World, doing so that day from Amazon would be a great help.

The Shattered Mirror continues. Nearly 45K words so almost half way. (We are targeting under 100K words.) After page 100, the hero and heroine have finally met. I think enough of each character has been established that they are compelling. We shall see. Today I am still writing the scene of their first meeting.

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