300 the Movie

I saw 300 over the weekend. Now in case you didn’t know, I’m apparently NOT the target audience for this movie, being a black female over 25. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie.

I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

I know many reviewers like slate are putting a very modern spin on it when they pan it, drawing parallels to the current situation in Iraq. CNN did the same thing. Critics are in a completely different realm from regular movie goers. Actually critics of any medium are usually counter to what the audience wants/likes. And the audience REALLY liked 300.

I’m sorry, I thought this was a movie based on a graphic novel loosely based on an event that happened more than 2000 years ago. Apparently I’m not the only one who thought so.

I’m pretty sure no one claimed 300 was a documentary. I’m pretty sure Frank Miller didn’t call up the History Channel or Greek historians or Encyclopedia Brittanica to verify his grapic novel. (I did, in fact, see the History Channel’s program on the Battle of Thermopylae, and I enjoyed that as well, but then HC is one of my favorite channels.)

Anyway, back to the movie. Everyone in the theater enjoyed it. I mean the young fan boys, the gamers, the men who like men and the women who like men. There was something for everyone to enjoy in this movie. The visuals, the soundtrack, the fight scenes. My SO thought it was the best movie he’d ever seen. Every woman with whom I’ve discussed this movie all said the same thing:

“Gerard Butler in nothing but moonlight. WHEW!”

Go forth and see 300. Check the history, and the critical parallels to modern wartime events, at the door. Sit back and enjoy it for what it is: a freakin’ movie.

I for one, am actually going to go see it again–in IMAX.

Performance Anxiety

“…I feel more alive when I’m writing than I do at any other time—except when I’m making love. Two things when you forget time, when nothing exists except the moment—the moment of writing, the moment of love. That perfect concentration is bliss.”

May Sarton (1912–1995), U.S. author. As quoted in Women Writers Talking, ch. 1, by Janet Todd (1983).

I live for those moments. Moments when the outside world is nothing more than ambient noise, like a tabletop fountain. The moments when writing is my only focus, when the words flow and my muse laughs in glee. When nothing is more important then the words spilling across the page–not my stomach, my bladder, my need for a shower.

Sometimes those moments are few and far between. Usually when a deadline is fast approaching, like the one I face now. That’s when my mind unfortunately gets in the way of doing what needs to be done. There are times when too much thinking can ruin a scene, much the way that too much thinking can ruin other pleasurable pursuits.

What if I don’t do it right? What if I don’t please anyone? What if I look like an idiot? What if I screw up so badly I’m never able to live it down?

The answer to those questions should be, “So what?”

Will the world end? When I be sent to jail? Will I go through 18 pints of Chunky Monkey? Be forced to run around the block naked singing “Gettin’ Jiggy Wi’ It”?

If the answer to all of that is no (Thank Goodness) then I guess there’s nothing else to hold one back. Stop thinking and start doing. Find that perfect moment of bliss.

There’s nothing to it but to do it!

No Commitment Required in Mass Market!

Amazon.com: No Commitment Required (Indigo): Books: Seressia Glass

So I just found out today (by going to Amazon) that Genesis Press is going to release my first book, No Commitment Required, in mass market size. I have to say, I love the new cover. Tres sexy, no?

I think it fits the story very nicely.

According to Amazon, this edition will be out in May. If you’ve dog-eared or loaned out your old copy, you can get this one. I may have to get a copy myself!

Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award

THROUGH THE FIRE has been nominated for a Romantic Times 2006 Reviewer’s Choice Award! I’m thrilled that this book was nominated.

When I introduced Brandt in Three Wishes, he just really resonated with me. I knew that I’d have to tell hgis story, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I also knew his heroine had to be special. I’m glad that people liked the story and with so many quality African-American romances published last year, I’m honored to be among the nominees.

As a matter of fact, I know two of the other ladies. So Bridget, A.C., if one of you win, I’ll be more than happy to accept your award for you!

Romance is a Many-Splendoured Thing!

Join me on Saturday, February 17th at the Fayette County Library for “Romance is a Many-Splendoured Thing event.

romanceflyer

Dee Savoy: The Positive Side of Black Publishing

Dee says it in her own words far better than I can, and gave me permission to share them with you:

“Every time Black History Month rolls around, there is a lot of discussion about the negative aspects of being in the black end of the literary pool. While such discussion is worthwhile, I wanted to accentuate the joys of reading/writing/whatever while black. Thus, Vibrant Voices was created on my blog. Several folks are lined up to guest blog on their positive experiences being in this industry. Today’s post is by poet and aspiring novelist Pittershawn Palmer. Tomorrow’s post is by L.A. Banks. Others are due to follow.

If you’d like to check this out, go to http://deirdresavoysays.blogspot.com/”

Your Opinion Counts

Writing Distractions

So one of the things I did when I moved into my new digs was get digital cable. I got it obstensibly for the digital music. I don’t really care for paying all that extra cash for the premium channels, so never get them.

But the digital package, besides all the great music (great writing music) also has a bunch of channels I wouldn’t ordinarily watch. One of them is AZN TV also known as Asian Televison, or as their tagline states, “The Network for Asian America.”

(I feel sort of guilty watching this channel, which isn’t for me–in case you didn’t know, I’m not Asian American. But that’s a post for another day)

I am hooked on this network. I’ve been watching reruns of Record of Lodoss War, Project A-ko, and my latest addiction, Jewel in the Palace. Yes, it’s subtitled, but do I care? No, I’m all over Jang-geum and her life as a kitchen lady preparing meals for the King. Will her rival get her kicked out of the palace? Will she fall in love with the noble warrior who writes poetry? Can you really do that with whale meat?

To tie this back into writing, the reason that I’m watching the marathon diligently every weekend is because it has Universal Themes which come through no matter what the language or culture. Plucky heroine overcomes all manner of circumstances, rivals, and her own fears to achieve greatness, triumph over her enemies, and get the guy. (at least I hope so. Apparently I have like forty more episodes to go.)

Sounds like the core of most romance novels, right?

So if you’re a beginning writer or plan to start, think about the Universal Themes of your story. What shines through in your story no matter what language it’s published in? What would keep a reader (or a viewer) glue to their seat, absorbing every thought, every action? What is it about your story and your heroine that will allow me to identify with her?

Save a Writer, Buy a New Book!

Edit: I’m sure this will appear on more than one writer’s blog in the coming days, but I thought it was appropriate to post here, so here you go.

By Susan Gable

The recent demise of yet another Harlequin line, this time the kick-butt heroine line Bombshell, got me to thinking, which, as anyone who knows me will tell you is always a dangerous thing. I heard from a number of readers who were surprised by the closing, because they had friends who just “loved that line!”

I’ve also heard things like this: “I can’t believe they closed that line. I loved that line. I read those books every month at my library.”

Before I go any farther with this discussion, I have to offer up a disclaimer. I love libraries. Especially as a child with a voracious appetite for story, I borrowed armloads of books from my local library. I love bargains, too. I shop like men hunt or play sports. It’s a victory when I score a bargain. (New black cocktail dress, originally $79, marked down to only $16. SCORE!) Used books are great bargains. Swapping books, another great bargain. The new websites on-line, where you can “rent” a book, in a system similar to NetFlix, are also an interesting bargain. Good
grief, even the airports these days have a program where you can buy a book, read it, then sell it back to them. What a bargain!

But did you realize that those bargains could be putting your favorite line or your favorite author out of business?

It’s a difficult, touchy subject for authors to discuss. We don’t want to appear anti-used books (’cause we’re not — not entirely, anyway), or make readers think we’re money-grubbers, always harping on them to buy our books. We all know (believe me, we KNOW – most writers don’t make anywhere close to as much money as people think we do) how tight money can be sometimes, especially with the rising costs of gas and heating fuel, and food, and taxes, and.well, you know. Everything.

We’ve been known ourselves to sometimes borrow and trade books, or buy used. Or go to the library.

But publishing these days is a strictly-by-the numbers game-if the numbers don’t live up to the publisher’s expectations, a writer can kiss her slot/line/future contracts good-bye.

“Where’s SoAndSo’s latest book? How come she hasn’t published another story in that series that I love so much?” If you find yourself asking that question, it could be that your favorite, SoAndSo, got cut loose because the numbers of that last book in the series didn’t do as well as the one before that. How did you get your hands on that last book? Did you buy it new, contributing to the continuation of the series, or did you bargain read it? Bargain reads don’t count towards our numbers.

Writers, especially those of us at the “lower echelons” of the publishing world, need our readers more than ever. Without you, there would be no point in what we do. (Well, okay, there’s a certain satisfaction in telling yourself a story, but it’s the audience that makes it truly special. It’s a shared dream.) But now, because of the numbers, we need your support even more.

Our careers, our lines, even our publishers, live and die by the numbers.

So please, where and when you can, save a writer. Buy a new book. We’ll all thank you for it. And that way, you’ll have more choices of books in the future.

*****

Susan Gable thanks her fans for buying her books. Her latest book, The Pregnancy Test, sold well, thanks to them. It was also awarded the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best Long Contemporary. Visit her at http://www.susangable.com for excerpts, contests, and more.

Moving on up

Like most people, I hate moving. Especially since I am one of those packrats, only I collect paper. I have 25 bins of books after purging. I have another two dozen boxes (though smaller) that hold office stuff. And let’s not even talk about the clothes and shoes…

Moving should be an opportunity to declutter, to regroup and refocus. And it is. But come on, I’m a Gemini. Do you really think I have the attention span or the will power to truly declutter all the half-used notebooks of ideas I have laying around?

Still, I like the fresh start aspect of moving. A new domecile to make in my own image. A new office to feng shui. A new space to explore and enflame my creativity. It’s rocket-fueled inspiration, and it fires the imagination. At least that’s the plan. I’ll let you know how it goes once I settle in.

BY THE WAY, if you happen to have some free time on Wednesday between 5:30 and 8:30, Romance Writers of America are hosting a Literacy Signing at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta. The signing is open to the public, and proceeds are donated to Literacy. Please stop by and say hi, if you can.

For a list of the more than 500 authors scheduled to sign, click here.