Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a FAMILIAR excerpt

a short story by Meg Allison
featured in AFTER DARK anthology
By Grace Publishing

excerpt (c) 2007 Meg Allison

She could swear she had stepped backward in time. The feeling left her a bit disconcerted. Penny had expected things to be different and not so much the same, yet it seemed as though the world stood still.

Then she blinked and the landscape transformed before her eyes. The grocery store had a Piggly Wiggly sign in place of the original; Jefferson’s had four modern gas pumps in place of the two relics; the Clip n’ Curl awning had been replaced with one in a muted shade of pink champagne; and there was a travel agency where the five-and-dime had once flourished.

Smells were familiar—the scents of apple brown betty from the diner and diesel from Jefferson’s filled the air along with the fainter scent of a brush fire burning nearby.

“Penny Lane.”

Startled, she spun toward the voice and the almost forgotten nickname that had vanished along with another part of her life. Given the sudden shift in scenery, she wasn’t too surprised to have her late husband standing behind her, smiling in the afternoon sun. This had to be a dream.

“Lou, what are you doing here?”

“I came to take you to the hardware store.”

“I don’t need anything there.”

“Yes, you do, sweetie,” he insisted and held out a hand. “You have work to do on the house.”

“I don’t need anything!” She crossed her arms over her middle, reluctant to touch her husband in any way. A shiver of unease snaked over her skin. “I’m not going.”

“Stubborn as a mule,” he said with a shake of his dark head. “But everything you need is in that store.”

He disappeared. Penny blinked at the empty space.

“I’m dreaming,” she said aloud, somewhat comforted by the visible proof. “This doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

* * * *

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

a FAMILIAR blurb...

A short story by, Meg Allison
AFTER DARK anthology ~~ Sep. 28, 2007
By Grace Publishing

Sometimes things can be too FAMILIAR.

Penny Brown returns home to West Virginia hoping to get a fresh start.

But a ghost in the kitchen and prophetic dreams make her homecoming feel a bit spooky. It doesn’t help that she’s falling in love again. Could it merely be déjà vu?

***Stop by tomorrow for a short excerpt!***

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Evil quiz

You Are 26% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In love with ... love

If I had to give one answer as to why I write romance opposed to anything else, I'd have to say that it's because I've always been in love with 'love'.

I'm a romantic at heart. I enjoy the little tingles I get when I'm in the arms of the man I love. I adore the passion, the sweet cuddles, the smiles and everything in-between. ;)

I suppose it's always been a part of me and that's why I have to write romance. There are no two ways about it. The stories my muse speaks of involve a man, a woman and all those wonderful, scary and tempestuous emotions that spark every romance. I also prefer a happy ending. Yeah, call me sappy, but if the ending is sad or just plain sucks, I'm not a happy reader. So why would I write it any differently?

But you don't always know how those two will get together, because while I do insist on a HEA (happily ever after), I also like to add a bit of mystery and some danger. Maybe throw in some broken trust or a chip on one of the character's shoulders the size of Missouri. It all adds to the tension, both sexual and otherwise, and makes for a much more consuming read. It also makes it more fun to write. ;)

So, yes, I'm a sappy romantic. But don't be surprised if you have to step over a dead body or two before you get to that happy ending. Not everyone can survive.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Themes and things...

Did you notice the new header? I've changed it from Romance Ink to what will now be my 'theme'. I never realized a writer needs one of those, lol! Although I understand now that I've seen them often enough.

It's part of the writing business -- this tricky little bit called self-promotion. Writers either tend to love it or hate it. We jump in with both feet and our wallets open wide. Or we avoid it like the plague and hope that somehow our stories will sell without it.

Doesn't work like that, unfortunately. So here I go... off to promote again. Hopefully this time I'll do it a bit better. ;)

So, if you have a minute or two, drop by my WEBSITE, read an excerpt or two and "Indulge your senses... "

You'll be glad you did. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Changing seasons

Fall has long been my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the cooling temperature and the smell of woodsmoke along with the subtle hint of ice in the air. I love Halloween -- the scary stories, costumes, caramel apples, bags of candy, and mugs of hot apple cider. It also helps that my birthday is right in the middle of it all. :)

But I think the main reason I adore the season is that it puts me in mind of starting over. Sure, that might seem more appropriate for Spring, but Fall, for me, is the time to reflect on the past year; to slow down a bit from the hustle and energy of summer; to re-connect with my inner peace and my muse. Winter tends to zap my energy and motivation; the preceding season does just the opposite.

Nothing inspires me more than a fall sunset cast against the backdrop of orange, gold and red leaves. Nothing stirs my memories more than the smells in the air and the chill in the breeze... memories of a first crush; bonfires and laughter; mountain retreats and roaring fires.

All of us have seasons or things in our lives that inspire and fuel our spirits. What are some of yours?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

To use it, or not? That's the question

I haven't been writing a whole lot, lately. But I have been reading. As a matter of fact, I've been delving into some historicals that I had laying around, waiting for my time and attention span to slow down a bit. Although I'm not sure either of those things happened, I did manage to finish a book or two.

One story left me wondering: How do other writers figure out what research to use and which to discard?

I have my own somewhat haphazard method. If it fits and is necessary to add flavor, tension, enhance the romance, and/or explain something in the story, then use it. If it comes off like the characters are writing a history text, let it go.

But there is still a fine line to tread and I think the end result is highly subjective. Some might say my hero rambling about the history of Ireland should have been cut. I, however, felt it needed to be included so the reader could connect with the setting AND the hero. He loves his homeland, his people and their history. He's proud of the roots that have bound him to the rocky, harsh soil that is the western coast. It also allowed the heroine to begin that fateful journey of falling in love.

In retrospect, I could have done it differently. But most writers get that feeling now and then once the story is done. The thing is, you write the best way you can 'at the moment' and hopefully grow enough by the next story to do things *right*. Or at least differently.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The only sure things...

besides death and taxes are the changes we experience throughout our lives.

Just when I get used to a certain schedule -- or lack thereof -- everything gets turned upside down and I have to readjust. Fast.

Take the new school year, for example. My oldest son (age 12) will now be taking two classes on-line via virtual classroom technology. Great for me, because I have two less things to 'worry' about; he's not so sure it's a good idea. But not only will the dynamics of our school year change dramatically, I have a feeling our relationship will, as well. For those two classes, at least, I will no longer be the main authority on the subject at hand. I will not be his teacher, mentor and guidance counselor. He'll have some stranger for that. :\

Yes, I know in my heart this is a good thing. He needs more of that outside influence as he grows older. But part of me is still reeling from the fact that one of my 'babies' won't need me 24/7. He's growing up -- an obvious occurrence since he's now an inch taller than me. :P

However, despite my moments of angst, I know he'll always be my boy. He'll always need me on some level and our special relationship will continue to grow and thrive as long as we both learn to bend with the changes and adjust to those new dynamics.

It's a lot like writing ... we learn and grow; our use of the language and storytelling grows with us if we allow it. But we have to be willing to bend. We have to be willing to stretch those creative muscles and admit when maybe, just maybe, something else might be better.

Yep, life changes are a lot like writing ... or maybe writing is a lot like life. ;)