Friday, February 11, 2011

Writer's Horoscope #6 - It's Written in the Stars! (But Edited in New York)

Welcome back for another installment of Writer's Horoscope  When reading this feature, it's important to remember that as writers, we're all professionals at making sh*t up. But this is REAL. It must be true! You read it on the internettytweetyfacewebs!

If, however, you don't find that your entry in this horoscope seems to apply to you, it's entirely possible that your parents lied to you about your birth-date. It's also possible they lied to you about your name.  And your species.  (Please remember where you got this tip when the saucer-invasion takes over Earth and returns you, their exiled king/queen/kingqueen to power over their new colony.)  So feel free to try another sign and see if it makes more sense to you.

Also, it's come to our attention that, according to experts, there are now thirteen signs of the zodiac, and every horoscope for the last 2000 years is incorrect.  We think the new sign may be called "Snookie."  Or, according to other, no-more-crazy-looking experts, not.  Maybe you'd better check our earlier installments just to be sure.  Find them here and here and here and here, and here.

Note that we've adopted the new world universal writer's astrological symbols in place of the ones you may be more familiar with.  But we've still got twelve of them, until somebody less nutty-looking tells us otherwise.

Arial (March 21 - April 19) - Why are you spending your time and energy spreading gloom and doom, and complaining about how terrible things are in publishing, when you could could be taking positive steps to improve your situation?  Things are changing, sure, but change means opportunity.

Thesaurus (April 20 - May 20) - If, like our Arial friend, you're finding yourself mired in negativity, maybe it's those people you've been hanging out with.  Maybe it's time to put some distance between you and that old workshop or writer's circle.  It's hard to take on a new world-view when the old one is being constantly reinforced by your peeps.

Galley (May 21 - June 20) - Who's that there in  your writing office with you?  Nobody you say?  Are you sure?  Because maybe you're letting other people in by worrying what they'll think when they read your work.  Do you think about how your friends will react to your writing?  Your editor?  Your agent?  Your mom?  Self-censorship is the worst kind.  Kick them out and write your own mind.

Copyright (June 21 - July 22) - Look around you all the good people there that you've been neglecting; the people who have helped you, your mentors, the people you admire, the people who have supported you, the people whose work inspires you.  It's payback time.  Tell them how you feel.  Help them in their endeavors.  Your positive energy will multiply and return to you.

Litho (July 23 - August 22) - Find your voice, both figurative and literal.  Don't be afraid to speak your mind, in your writing, and in real life as well.  You've worked hard.  You've studied hard.  You're entitled to your opinions.  That doesn't make you right, but it's no reason to be shy.

Verso (Aug 23 - September 22) - Have you lost the spark?  Maybe you've let goals, business, marketing and high expecations creep into your writing too much.  Remember when writing was fun?  Remember when you wrote what you wanted when you wanted, with no concern who was going to buy it, or when, or for how much?  Give yourself permission to go back to that this month.  Your best work comes from your heart, not your business brain.

Library (September 23 - Oct 22) - Recess is over.  Don't lose your focus till you type "-END-."  Keep your focus, and get 'er done.

Slush (Oct 23 - November 21) - It's time to make new connections.  Explore a new market.  Look for new ways to get your words out there.  Try something new.

Sans sarif (Nov 22 - Dec 21) - "They" say that good things come to those who wait.  "They" would be wrong.  You snooze, you loose.

Caption (December 22 - January 19) - You may be thinking about doing something to draw more attention to yourself.  Yes, you can inflate sales in the short-term through energetic promotion.  You can inflate your own image, even build a little cult around yourself as the "hot, new, thing."  Of course, if you flap your arms fast enough, you can fly.  The problem is, the instant you let up, it's time to pay the gravity bill.  Best to be standing on something something just then.  It's like that in your writing life.  Sooner or later you have to let up on the puffery and promotion, and you'd better have some solid work to stand on.

Apostrophe (January 20 - February 18) - Do you know what you're agreeing to?  Did you read the contract?  Did you understand the contract?  Don't trust simply because your agent read it, or even you lawyer.  You're the one signing it.  Understand it, and try to understand what it means to you, not just for today, but for any possible future.

Pica (February 19 - March 20) - A writer's life is about feast and famine.  There are possibilities that a future dominated by electronic publishing may change that, smooth out the cash-flow for working writers.  But for most of us, that remains in the future.  It's hard to live within your means when you don't know what your means are.  Keep your expenses low, and when possible, err on the conservative side of things. Nobody ever lost sleep over having too much in reserve.

If this is your birth month: This could be the month where everything breaks loose for you!  But don't celebrate yet.  Are you ready for success?  Do you know what to do when you get that phone call or email from that editor or agent?  It's too easy to make bad choices and rushed decisions in the heat of the moment.  The time for research and planning is now.  Don't wait!

Did you find this article useful? Your donation, big or small, will encourage us to do more like it. Every little bit helps and is appreciated. Thanks in advance: Chris and Steve.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chris has a new mystery out

"Drip Dead," the third installment in Chris's (writing as "Chrisy Evans") Georgiana Neverall, plumber-mystery series is out this week from Berkley Prime Crime.  

When Georgie finds her mother's fiancĂ© dead in the crawl-space under mom's house, the police see her mom is the prime suspect.  Georgie has to put aside their differences and put on her best detective's coveralls to track down the real killer through a maze of lies, secrets, deception, and dusty bottles of vintage wine.

This isn't Chris' only recent publication.  She also has new romance ebook releases.  The first is an ebook original from Tsunami Ridge Publishing, "Loaves and Kisses."  Here's the description:

Beth Little certainly didn't need Frank Welch pointing out problems in the operation of her bakery. In fact, she didn't need Frank Welch at all - until she did. But Beth doesn't fit into Frank's master plan. When Beth's dream crashes down, it's going to take more than candlelight and a bottle of wine to resolve their differences. Can these two somehow bake beautiful bread together?

"Loaves and Kisses" is available on Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and and in all major ebook formats at  It also is (or will soon be) available on Kobo, iPad, and other major ebook outlets.

Next is a the first ebook release of Chris' first published romance, "Dream House."  "Dream House" has previously been published in hard-cover and trade paperback by 5-Star, but until now, it's been a no-show for ebook readers.  Now, thanks to Tsunami Ridge Publishing, that's changed.  Here's the description.

Successful real estate saleswoman Marty Francis vowed she would never depend on anyone after her divorce, and she hasn't. But Marty didn't count on meeting a tall, dark - and dripping wet - stranger in coveralls when she's trying to sell a house.

She can't forget the house, or the handyman. Each time she returns there are more improvements. Which would be great, except the turmoil keeps killing her sales.

Will Hart is a man with secrets, haunted by the death of his wife, and buried in his work. The remodeling is a labor of love for the developer, a way to help an old friend.

When these two meet, sparks fly. But learing to live and love again is daunting, and it will take more than a little remodeling to make a house a home.

Like "Loaves and Kisses," "Dream House" is available on Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and and in all major ebook formats at  It also is (or will soon be) available on Kobo, iPad, and other major ebook outlets.

That's a lot of books, but Chris isn't standing still.  She's currently in final negotiations to do a new mystery series for Berkley.  We expect to be able to share the details here soon.