Tory’s Ramblings (1/27/15) – #juryduty #amwriting

Hey there guys! Fun times, right? Sorry about missing Friday, but I’ve been brooding on oh-so-many issues lately.

On Children

My girls are finally healthy again, for the most part. Blondie has a nasty cough that just won’t go away, but at least she’s running around again. Pixie, well, Pixie’s Pixie and my beloved little demon. Shrimp – he’s a piece of work. He melts down if I, oh so very politely, point out his spelling is wrong. Swears it’s how the teacher put the words up on the board. I’m sorry, but he’s full of it and must think I’m an idiot. An English teacher is NOT going to spell “difference” as “difrence”. Or “beginning” as “begining”.

On Writing

Not much to report. I’m still stumbling around the beginning of Sealed, though I’ve got a few pages started. I think I’m finding my way in. Release date on Locked is looming closer and closer. Nervous about that, but hey, it’s all good. However, if you go over to my “Locked in Stone” page, you might just find a pretty picture. Not saying do it or anything but hehehe. I’ll be promo-ing my little heart out here in a few weeks, but not yet. It’s exciting, even though it’s nerve wracking. 🙂

Jury Duty

As you may have guessed from the hashtag on my title, I got summoned for jury duty this week. On top of further annoying my boss with my missing work (oh, darn, civil responsibility and all…), I got to sit around in a room with a bunch of strangers for most of yesterday. However, unlike my prior experience long ago in Lee County, Florida, not only was the guy who did the “welcome to jury duty” speech funny to listen to thus making the experience not so bad, but I got picked! Woohoo! I get to attend a trial later this week. Only trial I’ve ever seen outside of television and movies was a theft trial my boss at the time was defending. Not really exciting stuff. So, yay me, I’ll get to actually be involved in our justice system! America is sooooo cool.

Funny part is, I expected to get kicked. It’s a pretty common assumption that lawyers never want legal professionals (lawyers, legal assistants, legal secretaries) involved in the jury. Yet, somehow, not only was I (a paralegal/legal assistant) picked, but so was a lawyer! He was stunned by the choice. Granted, he’s a real estate attorney, so not involved with the courts much, and I’m a corporate legal person, so again…not involved with trial stuff, so I guess it makes sense. Bet if I were still in personal injury, I wouldn’t have gotten picked.

The whole selection process was fascinating – there were 49 of us brought in and we were going to populate two juries. So, 14 people out of 49 – not great odds anyway. There were a lot of questions about whether or not we could be fair and make our decision based only on the law, not on our pre-conceived biases. Quite a few people weren’t sure that they could, or were biased against the justice system in some way and of course they weren’t selected. My thought to them is – if you aren’t willing to set aside those biases and be fair, how do you expect to get better representation on juries? Yes, there was a very specific subset of Americans involved in this process that weren’t selected because almost every single one of them had issues with the justice system. Yet this subset of Americans are among the loudest in protesting the unfairness of juries who do not include that subset who may sit in judgment of a member of said subset. I’m pretty sure you can guess which one I’m talking about. I’m not prejudiced or biased, but c’mon. You have to believe the system will work to give it a CHANCE to work. If you just throw up your hands and think the deck is going to be stacked against you, you’re going to jump on ANYTHING that comes across as biased, whether it is or not in reality.

Sigh. Frustrating.

Here’s a picture I took while waiting during the first part of the morning, just ’cause.

2015-01-26 09.05.04

Conclusion

That’s pretty much it for now. My post on/around Friday will tell you all about my exciting jury duty! Okay, not ALL of it, I’m sure, but at least it’ll be full of my thoughts on the whole experience. Have a great week!

2015-01-25 16.52.17

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Tory’s Friday Ramblings – 1/16/2015 (#lockedinstone, #pnr, #gargoyles)

Happy Friday all! Hope you’re having a great week/month/year so far.

On Writing

It’s amazing how much work is going on into Locked in Stone. Yeah, I may be done with the creative/writing part of it, but as for the clean-up/make-it-pretty-for-the-reader part? Not so much. It’s certainly a far cry from my prior experience with a publisher. And, on a authorly squealy note, I saw/read through a galley proof of the book and it made it so much more concrete that this book with Entangled really is happening! My dedication is in there, along with my acknowledgements. It’s so cool.

I’ve fumblingly started working the next book, which as I think I mentioned, has been changed to Rory’s story (Sealed in Stone) rather than Reny’s (Carved in Stone). To do that, I read through the 44k or so words I’d written on it last year and I remember why I loved the Rory/Gabe pairing. I can’t use all of it, since events have changed a little bit, but I think I can keep a good chunk simply because that story had always been (to me at the time) weird, in that it was character driven and not plot driven. Which is what Entangled would want.

On that note, I’ll share what I want as the opening paragraph, just a little tease for you:

If one more gargoyle moves into my back yard, I’m importing a flock of pigeons! Gabe Lennox made the decision a micro-second after his visiting client’s gaze wandered out the window at his back.

Blog Name

Hubby happened to see my website’s dashboard, which meant he saw the site’s name, last night. Apparently, despite his claims to the contrary, he hasn’t visited/read my blog in a while, or he would have noticed before now. Anyway, he doesn’t feel like the name Tory Michaels’ Time Out is suitable. He came up with an alternative which I kind of like, but I also like my current name. So – I put it to you to vote on whether you like the name or not!

[poll id=”2″]

On Children

I think the demon twins are getting sick once again. Blondie was coughing like she was about to hack up a lung and Pixie turned cuddly this morning (along with going to bed WITHOUT PROTEST last night). The bed thing’s particularly significant because for the past week, she’s battled bedtime like a child possessed. As in, screaming bloody murder and driving us nuts for at least an hour and a half (bedtime is 7:30, it’s almost 9 before she goes to sleep). Sigh. So I’m anticipating a not-so-great weekend with sick children. Ugh.

Just being a goofball, Mommy

Just being a goofball, Mommy

I'm being good, Mommy - really. Not planning world conquest or anything.

I’m being good, Mommy – really. Not planning world conquest or anything.

Friday Rambling: Gargoyle vs. Grotesque (#gargoyles, #pnr #romance #paranormalromance)

So – exciting news, those of you looking forward to my first gargoyle book, it’s been sent to copyeditors. Pretty much, my part of the process (at least of the creative process) is done. WAHOO! And thankfully, after a final frantic 2-day last-minute edits, editorial people are good with it. Whew. I swear, I have never worked so hard on a book as I did on Locked…AFTER I had a contract on it. This is definitely a learning experience, peeps.

I wanted to clarify for people what a gargoyle is (or isn’t). An argument could be made that technically my gargoyles are actually grotesques, not gargoyles. Below are the definitions:SO –

  • According to Dictionary.Reference.Com (one of my favorite websites), a gargoyle is “a grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal” or “a spout, terminating in a grotesque representation of a human or animal figure with open mouth, projecting from the gutter of a building for throwing rain water clear of a building.” Here’s an example:
Gargoyles of Notre-Dame de Paris

Gargoyles of Notre-Dame de Paris

  • Also according to Dictionary, a grotesque is something which is odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character” and/or “fantastic in the shaping and combination of forms, as in decorative work combining incongruous human and animal figures with scrolls, foliage, etc.”
Grotesque at the University of Chicago

Grotesque at the University of Chicago

So you can see, there’s a bit of a difference. However, being a child of the 90’s, I grew up with the image of this as a gargoyle:

Goliath_and_Demona

Goliath and Demona – Gargoyles: The Series

I’ve wanted to write about them ever since that series on TV. It’s silly, I was a bit old to be watching the Disney Afternoon at that point, but I loved the show. At least the first two seasons. The Goliath Chronicles (third season) didn’t float my boat. And those images have stuck with me ever since.

I’m about to start working on the next book in the series, which to my surprise, isn’t going to be the book I thought it was. Instead of my Reny/Tom book (Carved in Stone), it’s going to be Rory and Gabe (Sealed in Stone). I’m going to take the lessons learned from the editing process on Locked and apply them to the initial writing of this book. As you may notice, I no longer show having any progress on Sealed. I have to start it over because of a complete change in how the book is going to go, though many scenes should be able to be brought into this version. The basic story (Rory discovering what the heck she is and Gabe learning to accept himself as a Sentinel) won’t change, but the trappings will.

I’m excited to get started!

Just as a quick way to get you salivating – here’s my inspiration for Gabe’s appearance. Have a great day!

Gabe Lennox/Paul Walker

Gabe Lennox/Paul Walker