Morgan Locklear: Wordslinger…Squeegee

I wanted to share with all of you a spectacular piece by Morgan Locklear on editing. … Thank you, Morgan. You’ve eloquently put to words exactly how I feel about editing. It’s where writing magic happens and my favorite part of the writing process.
~ Kat

Bookish Temptations

While I have offered some good advice in my Wordslinger posts, (and we’ve all had a few good yucks in the process) I think that this month’s essay has the potential to do the most good for any and all writers in any and all mediums.

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The Thrill of Discovery

Life IS the Adventure

Have you ever noticed that…

The first bite of dessert is always the sweetest?
The first touch by a crush… the most electric?
The first kiss… the most soul-searing?

It’s the thrill of discovery.

As children, we experience so many things for the very first time.  Our senses are thrown open wide to soak in the incredible world around us.  We aren’t just on the edge of our seat paying attention, we’re standing on it with excited anticipation a split second before taking a huge fearless leap into the sensory overload.

Take the time to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things you haven’t paused long enough to absorb, and you’ll be rewarded with new experiences.  Sometimes altering one element in your everyday routine incites a riot of new input simply by going off-course from the expected.  A shift to a different position at a favorite restaurant table is a basic example.  You’ve changed your viewpoint literally and your perception in a multitude of ways.  Try it.

A few months back, I sat on the ground examining a new transplant in our yard out of concern for its welfare (I’m a horrific plant parent) and found more than the plant alive before my eyes.  Caterpillar Surprise

What a treasure it is to stumble across something beautiful happening right under our busy noses.

Writers, Readers and Discovery

As a writer, we express our three-dimensional adventure onto the page, tempting the reader to get lost in the vivid world we’ve created.  Our goal is to take them along for a ride they’ve never experienced. 

If because of our efforts they…

Feel the abrasive surface of the jagged stone wall…
Squint at the brilliant sunset before it fades below the horizon…
Savor the taste of a tart cherry pie…
Inhale the sweet earthy aroma of a pine forest…
Hear the pop and crackle of a roaring fire?

Mission accomplished.

There is actually a phase in the writing process called discovery.  Some define it as the exploratory period in which we seek new topics and do research.  I recall an article I read over a year ago that described it ideally.  It appeared in a past issue of the RWR (the Romance Writers Report, a trade publication through Romance Writers of America) and described the discovery process as a time of rest and recharge between writing projects.  

The holiday from “work” should be a time to immerse ourselves in the outside world, separate from the isolated writing caves we’ve sequestered ourselves within most of the year.  Music, art, outdoor adventures, and civic events all become opportunities for us to turn our thinking brains off and amplify our learning.  Surrounding ourselves in melting pots of activity allows us to observe human behavior from a relaxed vantage point.  Wandering into a different solitary activity, like painting or reading a new book, maybe even in a genre outside our norm, helps expand our horizons. 

When the time is right, maybe after a few days, perhaps after a few weeks, our rested and recharged brains are stocked full of creative new ideas from a variety of sources.

Self-Discovery

Interestingly, layers of discovery happened while writing my latest manuscript.  The stories in my series are about self-discovery.

At the exact moments my heroine flew high with happiness and achievement, circumstances ripped away her newfound joy.  When she stood again from the pile of surrounding rubble, she learned something about herself.  She found strength because she’d tasted heavenly bliss and then plummeted to crushing heartache.  From a new perspective, she discovered what she truly wanted in life…and it was not what she’d originally thought.  Once she realized the ultimate prize within her reach was threatened, she discovered the one thing worth fighting for above all else… those she loved.  The ones in her world who relied on her suddenly had all her focused attention.

As my heroine’s discovery unfolded on the pages in true pantster-style writing, her realization provoked my own.  Everything is about the journey.  Life happens along the way from here to there, and if you aren’t paying attention you’ll miss it. 

How funny that my own character in a story taught me how to shift my focus from self-centered to selfless.  But then, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me at all.  When we write, pieces of ourselves shine through onto the page and are expressed to some degree in many of our beloved characters.

Life IS the Journey

Treat your life as a rare adventure.  Look at each mundane activity as an opportunity to seize a new experience with a subtle shift of perception.  Channel the child within you, living every precious day you’re given as a sparkling gift.  Unwrap your treasure with unbridled excitement and embrace… the thrill of discovery.

Enjoy your world, my friends.  I wish us all the most spectacular time as we step from our ordinary lives into the world of the extraordinary.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

The Lure of The Great Alpha Male Re-Blogged

Since I’m writing about Great Alpha Males in the Highlands, and everyone seems to be drawn to this page, I decided to share with you again what seems to be on all of our minds… I hope you enjoy. 😉

Talk To The Shoe

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We all want him.  Not just any alpha male.  
We all want the Great Alpha Male.

The Alpha Male…

An alpha doesn’t walk into a room.  He commands it.  Without effort, he could defeat every male there.  The intangible vibe pouring off those broad shoulders announces the danger louder than a bull horn.  Every other wise man in the room heeds the warning.

Every single woman responds to the dominant presence.  Instinctually.

Something primal takes over.

Our hair gets fluffed without thought.

Perfectly glossed lips get licked.

Shirts are pulled down lower, chests stuck out further, hips swayed another degree right and left in an unconscious effort to gain the spectacular male’s notice.

The mating dance has begun. 
He surveys the group of potential females. 

Each woman hopes for a chance to be the one…
The female above all…

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Beloved Beta Readers

Hello, everyone.

As you all know, or will now be finding out, I’m a paranormal romance writer that stumbled into poetry accidentally with Utterly Loved.

I’m back in the saddle (my office chair), my fingers flying on the keyboard with a new paranormal romance story.  My new work-in-progress (WIP in writer lingo) is a holiday novella woven into the story lines of the series.  After that, it will be on to writing the second in the series.  I can’t wait to write the amazing stories unfolding in my head.

You’re probably all wondering:  What happened to the first story?

It’s currently a polished manuscript.  I’ve scheduled a freelance editor to edit the piece in the beginning of February.  If all goes well, the book will be published early to mid-summer.

In the meantime?  It’s with four beta readers.

Who are these beta readers?

They are dear trusted friends who love to read.

Collectively, they…
Held my hair in college when I hurled at the bar
Were the first to tell me, “That’s the story you need to write”
Consoled me when I was frustrated
Wiped away the tears
Cheered the successes
Sometimes know me better than I know myself

These are my people.  The ones I rely on.  My closest confidants.

I only decided last week to take each of them up on their offer to read my story.  This  project has been a part of my life for two years.  They are the ones who’ve shared my ups and downs along the way.  

I finally got the courage to let go and give my heart and soul to them.

Why now?

I had an enlightening hour-long conversation with a best-selling author who shared with me the value of her beta readers and why they’re so important to her.  She said they’re the only ones who truly know her.  Her most important goal was for them to be honest with her and, where warranted, tell her, “This sucks.”

We both laughed.  But the impact of what she said sank in.  She further explained how they will see things we can’t.  We writers are too close to our work to see certain things we need to know.  If we want to publish a page-turning story, one the reader can’t put down and thinks about long after they have, we have to know if there are slow sections, missing parts, or extraneous, excellently written fluff.

I decided she was right.  My friends wanted to be a part of the process.  Each of them had voiced that sentiment to me.  I also realized no one else would do.

They will all laugh when they read this blog post.  I impressed upon each of them to please relax, read, and enjoy the story.  But they had better tell me if they hit a slow part.  I demanded they tell me if any part of it sucked.  I have every confidence they will.  If it’s ever really bad, I hope they please break it to me gently over a drink. {laughs}

The really amazing thing for me?  They’re all from different backgrounds.  I’ve got swamp and city.  All are highly educated and intelligent, but some are analytical and some are creative.  Only one of them reads books in my paranormal romance genre.  One tells me they will give me their opinion when they are finished reading.  (I’m dying of suspense.)  Another is telling me chapter-by-chapter her thoughts.

So far? My chapter-by-chapter (non-paranormal-romance) girl is giving me such incredibly exciting feedback, I’m having to repeatedly ask her, “Are there any slow parts? Anything missing or extra?”  She’s replied with a resounding “NO!”

Her texts have said…
“I am speechless…”
“Never saw that coming!”
“You have this supernatural ability to take the reader to the edge of a heightened emotion and then drop them immediately into another.”
“I’m having to force myself to stop reading.  The flow…epic! Just when one scene is finishing up, another one, just as vital, comes into play.”
“It’s the perfect flow of detail and plot movement.”

She’s even dubbed the hero, a Highlander, “Scotty McHotty” … I just… {dies laughing}

I’m very interested to hear my other beta reader opinions.  I value them all. 

Thank you, my beloved beta readers.  I’m so very grateful for your friendship and support.  Don’t go easy on me.  Find me something that sucks…please!

It’s important to mention, that I have a fifth beta reader, my husband.  He read my manuscript months ago.  As my best friend, he told me where it sucked.  He also pulled me up out of my office chair the moment he finished, grabbed me by the shoulders, and stared at me hard as he said, “Anyone who ever tells you that you don’t have what it takes has no idea what they’re talking about.” 

Damn, I love that man, for both telling me where it sucked and convincing me I have talent.  That is why I love my friends.  They excel by having my back in every way needed… The love and the tough love.

My goal is to give you, the reader, the very best story possible.  I hope to transport you into an amazing story filled with medieval Highlanders, ancient Picts, magick, and a few other surprises I’m not yet ready to spoil for you.

Stay tuned for more updates on the upcoming release and my adventures in writing, editing, and publishing along the way.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Giveaway Winners ~ Embracing Sensuality

Congratulations, ladies!

Enjoy the Amazon gift cards and pamper yourselves. Might I suggest a little Embracing Sensuality…

And thank you again, Bookish Temptations and Tamie for inviting me to guest post. What a fabulous One Year Blogiversary celebration!

~ Kat Bastion

Bookish Temptations

We have 4 lucky winners today…

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Embracing Sensuality

Tamie, thank you my friend for inviting me to guest post celebrating your One Year Blogiversary. Congratulations!

Bookish Temptations

Today’s blogiversary guest post comes from Kat Bastion…and it’s a good one peeps.

Read and enjoy…O…and there’s a giveaway at the end 🙂

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Morgan Locklear Wordslinger…Shutting Up Now…

Excellent post, Morgan. As always, I love your writing advice. Thank you for sharing it with us.
~ Kat Bastion

Bookish Temptations

October has long been my favorite month of the year.  I like how quickly the world around us changes in just a few weeks.  Mother nature knows when to say when, and she makes a good show of sending our summers into the history books.

This Wordslinger will take a cue from the Fall leaves and focus on endings.  I shall call it…

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A Love Affair With Words…

A Love Affair With Words …

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Do you have a love affair with words?

Have you vibrated when you’ve found the perfect morsel, a rush of satisfaction firing through your veins when you know only that single descriptor will do above any other?

Do you obsess about your own?

Have you moaned in need, knowing exactly what you want to say… but it’s just out of reach, on the tip of your tongue, tormenting you with a taste… but not quite gaining substance?

Do you crave them from others?

Have you searched for that secret place of solitude, away from the world, where you can escape for an hour, or two… or many… into a dreamland spun by another?

Do you find yourself addicted?

Have you strived to find that sweet spot of balance and rhythm, a natural ebb and flow, teasing a heart-felt work of art from a cold slab of marble?

Do you long to turn the most mundane into something spectacular?

     … {smiles slowly} ….

To walk into a British car auction, testosterone pinging in the air.

In an arena dominated by wealth, your pulse accelerates as the journey unfolds.

The sensuality… palpable.

Your gaze travels the room until… your breath catches.

She lies there in beautiful repose, the object of your desire.

Exquisite curves beg for your touch.

You lick your lips.

Unbidden, your body leans closer.

The eyes of a voyeur stare deep into her soul.

Bared for you to devour.

You imagine sliding in…

The fit tight… but perfect.

She hugs your body as if the two of you were created together.

Your fingers slide over her soft, supple skin.

A firm grip… takes control.

You swallow hard, slamming zero to sixty in record time.

And still… you push her harder.

She takes everything you have to give her and screams for more.

You shift gears…

She responds… purring…

Faster…

Hotter…

Forcing…

Vibrating…

The auctioneer’s voice over the intercom interrupts the two of you and you snap back to the room. You stare back longingly at her. The moment was shared. The erotic experience happened. The memory, a snapshot forever kept in the album of your mind.

… {inhales deeply} …

Do you have secret liasons with your thesaurus?

Have you squealed in delight when a “word of the day” account followed you on Twitter, following back the decadent account with breathless anticipation of a beautiful relationship?

… {whispers} … I –so- have…

Do you have a love affair with words?

I do…

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Morgan Locklear…Wordslinger (September)

This is an excellent post on dialog in writing from Morgan Locklear. Sharp dialog is so very crucial to pull the reader into the moment.
Thank you, Morgan!
Kat

Bookish Temptations

It’s the first day of September peeps, and you know what that means right?!?

Yup…Morgan is in the house with his monthly Wordslinger. Now that’s the way to begin a new month…

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The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

The Lure of the Great Alpha Male

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

We all want him.  Not just any alpha male.  
We all want the Great Alpha Male.

The Alpha Male…

An alpha doesn’t walk into a room.  He commands it.  Without effort, he could defeat every male there.  The intangible vibe pouring off those broad shoulders announces the danger louder than a bull horn.  Every other wise man in the room heeds the warning.

Every single woman responds to the dominant presence.  Instinctually.

Something primal takes over.

Our hair gets fluffed without thought.

Perfectly glossed lips get licked.

Shirts are pulled down lower, chests stuck out further, hips swayed another degree right and left in an unconscious effort to gain the spectacular male’s notice.

The mating dance has begun. 
He surveys the group of potential females. 

Each woman hopes for a chance to be the one…
The female above all others that he has chosen.

We’ve already chosen him, even if our stubborn mind puts up a valiant fight.  Our body overrides reason.  We are biologically programmed to choose virility.  We seek protection from the one most able to provide. 

Sound animalistic? {smiles slowly}
Oh, yes.  Most definitely.

A glance comes our way… devastating.

The voice… deep and soul-penetrating.

Those eyes… demanding.

Our breath quickens. 

Our pulse races.

We swallow hard, our throat suddenly Sahara dry.

Logic steps in, creating a tug-of-war with our bodies and minds.  We shake our heads, clearing lustful thoughts.  Will-power soon falters, our gaze traveling back to the object of desire.

Every action is geared toward the heart-pounding hunt.  It’s one thing to find him.  Quite another to ensnare the specimen alpha male.

The alpha male, may dally with many females, but chooses only one as his mate.  Someone worthy of everything he has to offer.  A powerful woman… is his counterpart.

When the two meet, it is in every way, a collision.
The dance continues, and, yet, has only just begun.

Fighting. 

Resisting. 

Overpowering. 

Submitting.

No matter the strength of his female…
the alpha male must overpower her to have her. 

By choosing him, she agrees to be owned by him…
whether she realizes it or not.

The Great Alpha Male…

If we’re lucky, we haven’t found just any alpha male.
The rare few capture the Great Alpha Male. 
The one that is innately alpha… and so much more.

When the larger than life man falls to his knees…

When the man who can conquer legions yields to a woman…

When he rips his chest wide open, handing her his very heart…

That incredibly lucky woman has found…

… the Great Alpha Male.

Romance is filled with larger than life Great Alpha Males. 
The Highlands are filled with them… in reality and our fictional worlds. 
Hence, my unending love for Highlanders. 

Who is my favorite Great Alpha Male?
So far, it would have to be Jericho Barrons. 
He may not be a Highlander, but damn, what a Great Alpha Male.
And… he was part Pict, after all.

Who is your favorite Great Alpha Male?

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion