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A CONSTRUCTIVE Criticism Community for Writers



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May 2nd, 2006


A peek into the creative mind of Cherie Priest. Which is not nearly as pretentious as that opening sentance sounds...nor am I, really. REALLY!
For those who are curious...

Song titles, like book titles are not subject to copyright. You can mention them in your writing til you are blue in the face...or the fingers as the case may be.

Band names...while you cannot have a made-up band called The Beatles who sing Ska...I believe you can mention actual band names as long as you are talking about the actual band. But you can't have them actually participate in your story. Example, when talking about "People Are Strange," you can clarify whether you mean The Doors version, or the one done by Echo and the Bunnymen.

Lyrics...absolutely not without WRITTEN permission TO YOU about THIS SPECIFIC WORK. So, a permission hypothetically gained for A Year and A Day would not necessarily be applicable to Seven Times a Woman, I'd have to get separate permission for that.

(x-posted to my personal LJ and blatantlyhonest)
Heya all you fellow creative people...

I am going to be doing some readings and signings this summer for A Year and A Day. My questions is...what do I read? Do I go for the beginning to set folks up for the story and get them interested?
So I read from some of the fan favorites? But that risks some spoilerage.

I have done readings of other people's work for classes and such...but never any of my own stuff and never for fun AND PROFIT.

So, generally, what should I go for when choosing passages to read? How long should it be?

And those of you familiar with the work, what would be your vote for which parts?

(x-posted to my personal LJ and blatantlyhonest

May 1st, 2006

"They call it 'Holy Light.'"
It was no small wonder, really. The fabled Aurora Borealis of Earth, bright streamers of light undulating across the northern skies like illuminated billowing silks, were nothing compared to this. This light was enveloping and consuming. almost alive. If I tilted my head, colors I had never imagined emerged in a captivating array. It was like being swallowed up inside a prism. The power of it percolated through me, body and soul. I felt small and insignificant, yet also refreshed, cleansed, and blessed. For long moments, stolen from time, I thought I was dreaming. Nothing in the universe could be so pure, so beautiful, so perfect.
As the incandescance began to fade, I thought my heart would break. I swiped my eyes with the sleeve of my tunic, ashamed to be caught weeping. Creci's hand on my shoulder came as a gentle surprise.
"Everyone cries their first time. Even me."

Just something I was drabbling on at work last week. Trying to decide if it works best in the first person, or the third. Originaly written in third, but I think it is kinda neat in first also. Might change it back...who knows. But just thought I'd share. ^_^

April 26th, 2006


Ophelia- Waterhouse
After having my manuscript since like November and having a contract signed since like JANUARY, I now have to re-write a HUGE chunk of A Year and A Day because of potential copyright infringement on using the song lyrics and song titles. Oh and I have to do it quickly and I don't have time to get the permissions I need to use them so I just have to change them.


I brought this up. They said they'd look into it and let me know. Now it is MONTHS later and we are just now getting around to dealing with it.

I want to pull my hair out!!!

Now, I was under the impression that as long as it was less than (accounts vary from 16-40) words and it was properly cited, no one could really bitch.
What about cited literary quotes?


(x-posted to my personal LJ and blatantlyhonest

April 23rd, 2006

Seven Times A Woman totals 106,258 words.

April 19th, 2006

(cross-posted to balothejester)

Okay, I suck at this agency research stuff...anyone know anything about Scribe Literary Agency, or the agents Khristopher O'Higgins and Jesse Vogel? They look like they might be right up my alley, but I want to be sure that we haven't got it on good authority they use their agency as a way to collect addresses of likely people to kidnap and sell as slave labor in the Bahamas or something. Any suggestions of where to hunt for information on agents? Publisher's Marketplace has nothing on them, but that doesn't necessarily mean much...

Also, and I realize I may have wasted paper as I write this, I can't decide whether email or paper query is the best method...their submissions guidelines seem to suggest they prefer email, but I am uncertain. And how do I address a cover letter to an agency when they don't tell me who to specifically address? Messrs. O'Higgins and Vogel? To whom it may concern? "Guys Who Decided to Be Vague"?

Any thoughts would be appreciated; I'll be emailing them as well, and I may not get the sub out to them this week if I go with paper, as that requires more black ink than I think I have in the cartridge (replacements will be procured, have no fear). Thanks guys!
Wanted to give an update...I know there are anonymous eyeballs that look to this journal once and again, so I wanted to get the scoop out there just in case anyone cared.

A Year and A Day's release has been pushed back once again. This time until July. *sigh*
I am trying to organize myself for some marketing events and this definitely puts a kink (and not the fun kind) into my plans.
Watch this space for more news.

Seven Times A Woman is nearly finished...hard to believe. I started it in late 2000...never thought I would see the day. Technically, I still haven't...but the second to last chapter is nearly complete, in fact, I may even finish it today. Which leaves the final chapter and the epilouge. Epilouge is very clearly laid out in my mind and short. The final chapter...I have to make some choices about setting.
Throughout, it has been very obviously placed in Japan, but never mentioned overtly since this is a historical fantasy (rather like the Kushiel's series by Jacqueline Carey, but she takes it a step further and actually defines her made-up kingdoms based on real countries in Europe).
Now, as the draft of the final chapter is written, it takes place in San Francisco, with named places like SF State and Golden Gate Park. While it adds a measure of realism to the whole tale...I am thinking I may want to stay stylistically (is that even a word?) uniform and have the last chapter set in a modern-day city, but without any specific mentions of actual places.

Opinions? I could really use some! Comment, comment til you're blue in the fingers!

Also have the outline mostly done for Safehouse, novel #3 about the lovers of importment men in Venice who are sent to a country estate to escape the Plague. Need to do a wee bit more 14th century research, but it looks to be a fun character study and I find myself really getting into it.

And, as if I didn't have projects enough, still plowing through the chapter on 17th century costume for Greenwood Publishing. In the reading/note-taking phase. And I really want to just photocopy a whole chunk of the text of The Art of Dress because it is just that awesome. Might have to buy the book. I DO have an Amazon.com gift cert. hanging about. Mmmmmmm clothes....
So, the glamourous life of me, struggling writer and undercover office employee...who makes costumes.

March 31st, 2006

I got a lovely email from a woman from a local writer's group here in Nashville.
She wanted an update on my contract process for Premium Press America.

So, for any inquiring minds out there, all systems are go. I sat down with George and smoothed out a couple of details that were bugging me. We reprinted the whole kit and caboodle, signed it and it is now pinned to my wall where I cans ee it every day and remember what I have acheieved. Because otherwise, I sometimes think I just made all of that up!
I got to edit the proofs a few weeks back (*squee!*) and the font is very nice (very close to what I originally wrote it in,"Book Antiqua"!). No word on cover art yet, but my beloved publisher's assistant tells me she already had to put the kaibash on one that was just plain wrong in every way imaginable. But she has a file of images and she knows what I want and (best of all) she loves the book, so I know she'll fight for me. And I trust her judgement.

All in all, all is well.

A Year and A Day is slated to hit CVS stores in the first or second week of May and online retailers should have access to it by the second or third week of May.
If that changes, I will let y'all know.

February 9th, 2006

So, I just got it--my first letter of rejection from an honest-to-Leiber literary agent. Wow. Yay me? Um, sure. Yay me. I'm honestly not as stung by it as I could be--a few rejections is expected--but I would like to minimize the blows to my ego. As such, I am shouting out to all editors, writers, and their ilk who might peruse my journal, seeking for some help touching up this cover letter. This is cross-posted to both my own journal and my online sorta-kinda-writer's-group; it's Friends-only on my own journal due purely to my constant worrying about getting my ideas stolen, and given that a query letter has to be riddled with spoilers, I find there to be due cause for concern. So, here it is. Help!

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