Fifteen Books in Fifteen Minutes

Craning for a book on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Rules:


2) List fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you

3) Post your list on your blog and drop a link into the comments here

I found this on Alice Gray's site and decided to join the fun. I chose the novels on my list in no particular order. Some, like Lying in Bed or Love Walked In, have such a strong poetic voice that I can't forget them. I would say that is true for most of the books here. But there are a few that took stories in a new direction or crossed boundaries that I hadn't seen crossed when I first read them. I included the first futuristic romance I read and the first time travel. The We Tell Stories Project is not a single book but it introduced me to the world of interactive fiction and ARG.

Lying in Bed by M. J. Rose
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
Broken by Megan Hart
Hide by Lisa Gardner
The Woods by Harlen Coben
Warrior's Woman by Johanna Lindsey
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Nine and 1/2 Weeks by Elizabeth MacNeil
Shadow Heart by Laura Kinsale
Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Deveraux
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
We Tell Stories Project by Penguin Books and Six to Start


Monday Poetry Train: Black Fruit

Flickr Photo Download: Garden of the moon

The seeds are locked away in a vault,
in an icebound cave,
and there they will stay,
until there is time,
until there is courage.

Your seeds are the germ of desires
too secret, too dark to share,
and so they are left on ice
never to blossom, go to fruit, go back to seed

It's a shame.
You could have sown those fantasies
in me.

View other poets on the train.


Be Afraid Dark Man

Blogging the Dark Art ARG Week Two

Be afraid Dark Man. We're coming after you. Saturday we started sifting through the clues to solve the murders in the Personal Effects:Dark Art Novel. This is the most fun I've ever had reading a book.


This is Violet, checking some facts. Wait, what's that over her shoulder? I didn't see that when I snapped the picture!


Our sleuth headquarters has great atmosphere.


Our notes and clues.


Tracking clues online.


Caroline and the body pic. Now this is one that Kelly liberated from the Brinkvale Site back in January I think. They locked down the login right after that, so we assumed we weren't supposed to be in there yet. Sasha confirmed that the writing on the boat is Russian, something like shore patrol.


Violet holds up the picture I liberated from the hospital files during the winter. We had figured out the message hidden in the painting.


My burger and coffee were getting cold, so this is the last pic I took. We're still following leads, so there will be more to come.


Blogging the Dark Art ARG: Reading in the next Dimension


Picture this, an outdoor cafe on a sunny Saturday in June, friends meeting for coffee, burgers, and the taste of another reality. The WiFi connection provides our portal to another world. We're deep in the story now, and it feels like going to a movie and being able to step through the screen to interact with characters and the set. We're reading the new interactive novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art,by J.C. Hutchins.

We pass props around, make notes on legal pads or the backs of envelopes or on napkins. This is like no book we've ever read. And while we read the book itself the way we've always read stories, alone, taking the journey individually, the props included with the story pave a path that brings us all to the same place: a story that we can experience together in another dimension. Some readers might stop at the last page of the book, and  some, like my friends and I, will keep going past the back cover, through our computer screens and into virtuality.

We've got a good mix of talent to serve us on our adventure: two romance writers, a couple of computer geeks, a retired detective, a lawyer, a friend fluent in Russian, a friend fluent in finance, and a Voodoo expert. Some come to our meeting of minds in person and some participate via Internet from other states and countries.

Word is that if you follow the clues yourself, you'll discover things the hero missed, arrive at a different conclusions. It's a chance to become co-protagonists. Well, we're about to find out. I'll be blogging this second phase of the story as we make our way through the clues.

Stay tuned for updates. And, feel free to join in.

Find out more about the Novel at Hutchins' site or the character blog written by the hero's girlfriend.


When winning a "Madness" Competition is a good thing

My posting here on the blog trickled to almost nothing when my Dad died a few months ago. I had no energy for anything and started to wonder if I'd ever find my words again. When words did start to trickle from my pen, they were so dark that I joked to my sister that if the family saw what I was writing they'd have me committed.

I wrote my way out of the blues, eventually, and the project that played a big part in helping me get there  won the poetry portion of eMuse's Summer Madness Contest:

We received a number of fantastic submissions. As I read through them I found it difficult to choose winners in each category. I wished on more than one occasion that I had more than three copies of the book to give away, but alas, our budget is only so wide, and three copies are all we have.The winners are as follows:
Art: Christie Lindauer·
Fiction: Drew Beatty·
Poetry: Nara Malone

The winning pieces will be published in the September edition of eMuse, so tune in next issue to see the amazing contributions we received.
eMuse Summer Madness

Congratulations to the other winners!

A friend said last night, "I bet your Dad would be proud." I think she's right.