Husband slash webmaster here.

Quacking Alone is having some difficulties with e-mail contact forms as of the moment, so we deeply apologize for any problems this may cause any of you out there who want to contact me or Mary Anne.

I am working on the issues. We will hopefully have everything working correctly soon. I also apologize for stomping on my wife's update.

Angry Old Fat Man

UPDATE:

E-mail forms are working as of May 23, 2017 8:50 AM. However, you will have to type in a subject line for the e-mail form instead of having it default to something meaningful. Sorry. Mea maxima culpa.

I've been AWOL here, and apologize for that. I've been given the glorious freedom to work from home for my law practice, and I find that I work a lot more hours. That's good for the office bottom line, but bad for my non-legal scribbling. Did anyone miss me? (Don't answer that.) When I've found time to write, I've been plugging away at Vlad's story, from my Forever Series that starts with "A Faerie Fated Forever." It's meant that the blog has been neglected though -- which isn't good. Can someone add a couple more hours in a day?

Because I do try to keep up with literary happenings, a recent piece in the Guardian caught my eye. It's writing tips from acclaimed novelist/creative writing instructor, Colum McCann, titled, "So You Want To Be A Writer? Essential Tips for Aspiring Novelists. Likely, it caught my attention because one of his first tips is that "there are no rules. Or, if there are any rules, they are only there to be broken. Embrace these contradictions."  I'm a rule-breaker from way back, so I settled in for a read.

McCann says "to hell" with grammar, formality, plot and structure - but only after you've learned them so well that you can walk through your work "with your eyes closed."  He points out that the great ones will make their own rules, only to break them  and unmake them.

He says that a writer's first line should "reach in and twist your heart backward," and it should be active, "plunging your reader into something urgent."  And what should that first line be about?  What kind of book should you write?   ...continue reading "Writing Rules Are Made To Be Broken"

Mad Daddy here.

I do Facebook, mostly for extended family contact. But sometimes I see things that get me riled, because of how truly ignorant they are.

Now in this case, I'm not talking "ignorant" as in a euphemism for some sort of bigotry or other name-calling from a "progressive". I'm talking truly, utterly ignorant, as in the person in question doesn't really know what they're saying or asking for.

...continue reading "Know What You’re Asking For, Before You Get It"

CBS News posted a piece discussing why romance generates derision along with sales. Romance is 30% of the overall literary market and is a Billion - with a "B"- dollar a year industry, largely created by women for women. And the women in this piece do a great job of explaining why. CBS talked with all these folks: Professor by day/ Romance writer by night Mary Bly (Eloisa James), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches) and Romance best-seller Beverly Jenkins. Their comments are experienced and astute.

My favorite is Mary Bly's note at the end - I've long maintained that the whole portrayal of "ripped bodices" and romance novels as demeaning women is wrong. They're all about female empowerment. In every romance, by the time the HEA arrives, the woman is in charge.

Check out this video as it's well worth your time.

Romance - the "Rodney Dangerfield" of Genres

goat-in-duck-costume

Lauricella runs a goat rescue group called Goats of Anarchy in New Jersey. She thought the duck costume would look cute on her baby goats, especially the newest rescue goat named Polly. So she bought the costume and took it home, not thinking too much of it. Little did Lauricella know just how much Polly would love that duck costume.