roh morgon

~interview… and a * snowfest * blogfest!

#1 – I’m being interviewed today! Let me tell you a bit about my host…

J.C. Martin is a fellow writer whose blog I’ve followed since its inception. Its title tells you a bit about her:

J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer
Reading, writing, and fighting–the three joys of life!

J.C. is a black belt and teaches martial arts and self-defense to both children and adults. She also writes dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant.

Needless to say, she writes awesome action scenes and great suspense! I’ve really enjoyed reading her blogfest entries and other writings on her blog.

Her debut novel, Oracle, is scheduled to be released by J. Taylor Publishing August 1, 2012.

J.C. was kind enough to interview me for her weekly feature, Writer Wednesday. You can check it out here.

Thank you, J.C.!

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#2 –  * Snowfest * Blogfest

Hopefully everyone’s recovered from NaNoWriMo and the holidaze…so I think it’s time for a blogfest!

I love blogfests! They’re a fun writing exercise and give me a chance to check out other writers’ works. In fact, my two published short stories, The Monster’s Growl and The Seduction, are both former blogfest entries!

I haven’t hosted a blogfest in quite awhile, so I thought in honor of the New Year I’d do so.

I’m calling it * Snowfest *, because it’s that time of year for some folks (I say this as I look outside at sunny skies and the non-snow covered rolling hills of California). I love the snow, so the theme of this blogfest is… to write a scene in the snow!

Here’s the details:

1) What: Write a scene that takes place in the snow. It can be snowing or not, just as long as snow is part of the setting. And for those of you who like an extra challenge, write a scene in which snow is the main focus of the characters, whether they’re building a snowman or fighting for their lives in a snowstorm.

2) Word count: 1,200 words or so (I can never keep my own entries in any blogfest under 1,000!)

3) Blogfest date: February 2, 2012

BONUS: Watcher Giveaway!

One entry will be selected at random to win a free copy of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen.

So bring out your shovels, I mean pens, and join me in a snowdance to celebrate one of the most beautiful forms of the water that gives life to our planet. And don’t forget the carrot for that snowman.

You can find the list of participants here. And if you want to spread the word, just copy the blogfest banner!

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 4 January 2012 6:47 am
Comments (10)

~OMG! WATCHER TIED FOR 3RD PLACE!!

Yeah! You read that right!

But you might be asking, “Uh, third place in what?”

Miss Snark’s First Victim August Secret Agent Contest, that’s what!

The ‘secret agent’ was revealed earlier this morning: Cameron McClure, of the Donald Maass Literary Agency!

I’m stunned – she is at the top of my intended submission list! I had actually planned to start querying by the end of the month.

Entrants for the contest were to submit the first 250 words of a completed novel. Submission windows were limited in both time and number of entries. A total of forty-four entries were submitted.

There were a number of great ones. I’m hoping the other winners will announce soon who they were – I’d love to visit their sites to see more of their writing!

In the meantime, I’m off to do my happy dance!

roh morgon @ Monday, 23 August 2010 12:17 pm
Comments (10)

~contests and welcome to a new blogger!

First of all, I want to mention a couple of contests that are going on right now.

Today is the last day for the 100 Followers Contest over at  Critique This WIP. Prizes are chapter critiques by the gang over there – click on the link now to enter!

Roni, of Fiction Groupie, and Julie, of  Diary of an Unpublished Wanna-Be Writer, are hosting Roni and Julie’s Totally Epic Summer Contest.  They’ve been interviewing authors and agents all week, and are offering a variety of fabulous prizes, including books, critiques, and query opportunities. Hurry on over there to enter – contest deadline is Sunday, August 8.

And now, to introduce you to a new blogger!

Melanie Smith is a member of the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers and a dear friend of mine. She’s also an editor and a word-crafter par excellence!

Mellie’ new blog is called Thursday-ish. Why? In her words:

“Why Thursday, you ask? Monday and Tuesday are very busy for me.  Wednesday is too finely balanced in the middle of the week, and Friday is busy again, with my mind on other things. Thursday, though, is like an eddy of time in my busy life.  It’s the day I’m most likely to spend with a friend, or painting a watercolor, or writing.  I’m not all that good at deadlines, however, so I’m only promising Thursday-ISH.  It might be later, or I may feel perfectly balanced and write something brilliant on Wednesday.  One never knows…”

So join me in welcoming her, and hop on over to see what she says about her love affair…with words.

roh morgon @ Friday, 6 August 2010 8:11 pm
Comments (4)

~winner! no, wait – TWO winners!

Well, my first contest is officially over!

Roh’s Character Contest #1 has not one, but two winners!

The Random Drawing – all this required is that the entrant comment on the Character Contest post. That’s it. Pretty simple. A few of the entrants also participated in the writing contest and received a bonus entry in the random drawing if their writing piece met a special word count criteria (their word count was a multiple of nine). Prize: an e-copy of the Nebula Award-winning novella The Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas.

The name of each commenter was dutifully written on a ticket and placed into The Official Random Drawing Contest Bin (aka as the red tupperware bowl).

To the tune of Queen’s We Are the Champions, my Very Patient Husband (VPH) drew the winning name, which I will reveal in a few moments.

The Writing Contest – the requirements were simple. The goal was to write about your favorite character and convince readers to buy the book. Inclusion of the character name, title, and author, along with a limit of 198 words or less, were the only guidelines. Prize: a new softcover copy of Suzy McKee Charnas’ The Vampire Tapestry, along with a $10 gift card to either Borders or Barnes & Noble.

Our official judge was a fellow writer from the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers group. Melanie Smith, affectionately known as Mellie, is a free-lance editor and a friend of mine. When I asked for her help in judging the entries, she was thrilled to do so.

The entries were numbered and sent to her, so she had no idea who the various authors were.  I felt this was important to remove any possibility of bias. Submissions were judged on grammar, punctuation, word craft, and strength of argument. (many thanks, Mellie!)

So, without further ado, here are the contest winners:

(drum roll, please!)

Winner of the Random Drawing

Ryan, aka R. Garrett Wilson

Ryan is a member of the Fresno Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers group. His short story, Meeting the Bakrra, will be appearing in our group anthology, I Dreamed a Crooked Dream, to be published this fall. Ryan’s blog is full of introspection and information that pertains to writing (and babies – he’s a new daddy). I’m sure he’d welcome a visit.

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Winner of the Writing Contest

Tessa of Tessa’s Blurb

Tessa recently hosted The Blogfest of Death, in which participants portrayed a death scene from either a WIP or something entirely new. Her blog is fun – and she has cool Haiku riddles, too. Be sure to check it out!

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In addition to the prizes mentioned, I’ve created a nifty little award to add to the winners’ blogs.

Of course, it’s obvious by this that I should confine my creative interests to writing and leave artwork to those who can actually do it…

Anyhow, congratulations to our winners!

Character Contest #2 will be taking place this fall – stay tuned to this blog.

I leave you with a final note…today is a nine-day! (7/26/2010: 7+2+6+2+0+1+0=18; 1+8=9)

roh morgon @ Monday, 26 July 2010 6:18 am
Comments (7)

~contests and blogfests!

I just found out about a contest being hosted by a new follower of my blog, Bekah at Bekah’s Stories.  It’s called the Worst. Query. Ever. Write IT! The entries are hilarious – you should check them out. I had a lot of fun writing mine, which was totally off the top of my head. If you’re feeling a little blocked or frustrated, participating in this exercise may unlock your muse and help bring a little humor into your day. Contest deadline: August 1, 2010

Another interesting blog event, hosted by Tessa at Tessa’s Blurb, is called The Blogfest of Death:

The title alone got my attention. Here’s what it’s about (as quoted from her blog):

Kill someone.

(a fictional someone, pretty please)

To learn more (and have an excuse to off someone as a writing exercise), visit Tessa’s blog. Blogfest date: Sunday, July 18, 2010.

And don’t forget, the deadline for my Character Contest #1 is fast approaching

roh morgon @ Monday, 12 July 2010 10:22 am
Comments (4)

~Character Contest #1 (again)

Blogging contests.

I recently held one, and it didn’t do so well.

Truthfully? It was an epic FAIL. And that blame lies entirely with me.

Being new at this whole blogging thing, I’m still learning the ropes (like many of you).  In my recent post on successful blogging, I examined a few elements that I’ve observed in popular blogs, limiting my analysis to those by writers (we know why agent blogs are popular). This helped me to discover areas to focus on in order to improve my blogging.

Back to the contest. I contacted Roni over at *Fiction Groupie* (her blog is one I consider successful, with over 500 followers gained in less than a year), and asked her a few questions about holding contests and how to promote them. She gave me great advice and encouraged me to try again.  Janet Sumner Johnson also offered suggestions on how to spread news of the contest.

So, after consulting with the previous entrants (whose entries still count), I’ve decided to extend the Character Contest #1 deadline by two weeks.

Below is a re-post of the contest guidelines. So without further ado, read on:

~~~~~~~~~

Don’t you love it when a special character in a story refuses to leave your thoughts, even after the story is done?

I recently met one named Weyland in a short story titled “Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas.

We get to know Weyland through his therapist, Floria as she begins treatment on who she assumes is a delusional patient. A staid, aging college-professor, he maintains his distance from Floria with a cold formality. But as this spare and intense man reveals the chilling details of his life, Floria begins to question her initial diagnosis. She becomes more and more unsettled by her mysterious patient as he nimbly lays waste to her attempts to unravel his delusions. Their dance with words eventually leads to a dance with death in a spine-tingling conclusion. The end is not quite what we anticipate and leaves the reader (at least this one) thinking about it long after it’s over.

Weyland and his ‘outsider’ existence haunted me enough that I read the story twice. I visited the website of author Suzy McKee Charnas, then wrote to her to tell her of Weyland’s impact on me, and how I have a similar character (Nicolas from Watcher) who haunts me as well. She was kind enough to answer and discuss Weyland, and encouraged me with my writing.

Characters are what keep us reading. There are millions of readers out there who fell in love with Edward and Bella and went on to devour the rest of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. There are millions of others who couldn’t wait to for the next J.K. Rowling to learn what was going to happen to Harry Potter and his friends.

Well-developed characters are what I love, and what I strive for in my writing. Character development is an ongoing topic among writers and lately has been a subject of discussion on several blogs by friends in the Fresno SciFi and Fantasy Writers (FSFW) group.

Something else my friends have been doing in the blogosphere is holding contests in which the winner receives a copy of a recommended book.

I’ve been thinking about this.

And here’s what I’ve decided to do:

I’m going to hold a series of contests based on characters. Each contest will be slightly different, but they’ll all revolve around characters. I’ll be holding them periodically, so stay tuned to this blog.

Here’s the guidelines for Roh’s Character Contest #1:

Most readers have a list of favorite characters from stories they love. I know who mine are — I want to hear about yours.

So first of all, become a follower of my blog – after all, the more people participating, the more fun it is for everyone. And if you post a link on your blog to the contest, you’ll earn an extra entry!

Then comment about one or more of your favorite characters and what books they are from. Each person commenting will receive one entry. The winner will be determined by a random drawing. That’s it – that’s all you have to do.

But, there’s a SECOND chance to win as well! It’s also an opportunity to stretch your literary muscles.

Describe your favorite character in your own words and what impact this character has had on your writing, or even on your life. You must include the title of the story, book, or series, along with the author’s name.

Word limit: 198 words or less (1+9+8=18, 1+8=9. I’m a nine freak, remember?).

Check out my three paragraphs above on Weyland for an example (and yes, they total exactly 198 words).

Your entry will be judged on both word craft and strength of argument. In other words, CONVINCE us. Tell us what it is about this character and its effect on you in a way that will compel me (and others) to go buy the book and read it.

Bonus points: If your word count total is a ‘nine’ (the digits add up to nine or a multiple of nine), you will receive a second entry into the random drawing.

PRIZES:

For the random drawing, the prize will be a gift certificate from Fictionwise for an e-book of the Nebula award-winning Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas.

For the character description, the prize is a brand-new softcover copy of Suzy McKee Charnas’ book, The Vampire Tapestries AND a $10 gift card for Borders or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice). The prizes for this portion of the contest are restricted to residents of the continental U.S. only.

CONTEST ENDS:

The last day to enter is Saturday July 17, 2010 (a nine-day, of course). The random winner will be drawn the following day and notified via email. The character descriptions will be judged during the remainder of the week. The winner will be selected and notified via email by Monday July 26, 2010.

roh morgon @ Friday, 2 July 2010 7:53 am
Comments (6)

~reminder: 2 days left of Roh’s Character Contest #1

Just a quick announcement:

The deadline for my Character Contest #1 is June 27 – two days from now!

Hurry and get your entries in. You can find the guidelines here.

roh morgon @ Friday, 25 June 2010 11:09 am
Comments (0)

~blogging events & successful blogging

I recently discovered blogging contests, blogfests, blogchains – all sorts of fun ways to express oneself and discover new blogs to become addicted to.  And, of course, opportunities to expand one’s own readership.

I’ve participated in a few now. My favorites were the AW Musical Blog Chain – because I both love and write to music – and the Bad Boy Blogfest, because, well, you know…

But early on in my discovery of this new facet of blogging I decided to hold my own contest (Roh’s Character Contest #1). I dilligently constructed the rules, purchased the prizes, and notified the few bloggers I know that I was doing such a thing.

But what I failed to do was get the word out adequately, and my entry numbers were less than I’d hoped for.

I’m still learning this blogging thing, and have finally figured some of what the successful bloggers have in common:

1)  They post every day

2)  They all have a great sense of humor (or at least a wry wit)

3)  Their posts are almost always educational or devoted to information sharing in some way

4)  They frequently pose questions to their readers that encourage further information sharing

5)  They link to other blogs that they reference – and they almost always reference other blogs, especially if they’re doing #3 above

6)  They participate in blogging events (contests, blogfests, etc) to a degree – some more than others

7)  They acknowledge their commenters in some way – via individual or group thanks, blog references, etc.

So, in analyzing these commonalities, I can see where I need to focus my efforts. Item #1 is pretty critical and has been a failure of epic proportions on my part. I’m going to skip the rest, because it’s pretty obvious I need to work on these (although I’ve been doing #7 as much as possible).

As for today’s post, I’m going to Item #4 and pose a question:

What other elements have you seen consistently in successful blogs? Which ones do you have trouble implementing and which ones do you currently use?

(And yes, I realize my posts need to be shorter.  *snort*)

roh morgon @ Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:54 pm
Comments (1)

~characters who impact and Roh’s Character Contest #1

Don’t you love it when a special character in a story refuses to leave your thoughts, even after the story is done?

I recently met one named Weyland in a short story titled “Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas.

We get to know Weyland through his therapist, Floria as she begins treatment on who she assumes is a delusional patient. A staid, aging college-professor, he maintains his distance from Floria with a cold formality. But as this spare and intense man reveals the chilling details of his life, Floria begins to question her initial diagnosis. She becomes more and more unsettled by her mysterious patient as he nimbly lays waste to her attempts to unravel his delusions. Their dance with words eventually leads to a dance with death in a spine-tingling conclusion. The end is not quite what we anticipate and leaves the reader (at least this one) thinking about it long after it’s over.

Weyland and his ‘outsider’ existence haunted me enough that I read the story twice. I visited the website of author Suzy McKee Charnas, then wrote to her to tell her of Weyland’s impact on me, and how I have a similar character (Nicolas from Watcher) who haunts me as well. She was kind enough to answer and discuss Weyland, and encouraged me with my writing.

Characters are what keep us reading. There are millions of readers out there who fell in love with Edward and Bella and went on to devour the rest of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. There are millions of others who couldn’t wait to for the next J.K.Rowling to learn what was going to happen to Harry Potter and his friends.

Well-developed characters are what I love, and what I strive for in my writing. Character development is an ongoing topic among writers and lately has been a subject of discussion on several blogs by friends in the Fresno SciFi and Fantasy Writers (FSFW) group.

Something else my friends have been doing in the blogosphere is holding contests in which the winner receives a copy of a recommended book.

I’ve been thinking about this.

And here’s what I’ve decided to do:

I’m going to hold a series of contests based on characters. Each contest will be slightly different, but they’ll all revolve around characters. I’ll be holding them every 3-4 weeks, so stay tuned to this blog.

Here’s the guidelines for Roh’s Character Contest #1:

Most readers have a list of favorite characters from stories they love. I know who mine are — I want to hear about yours.

Comment about one or more of your favorite characters and what books they are from. Each person commenting will receive one entry. The winner will be determined by a random drawing.

There’s a SECOND chance to win as well! It’s also an opportunity to stretch your literary muscles.

Describe your favorite character in your own words and what impact this character has had on your writing, or even on your life. You must include the title of the story, book, or series, along with the author’s name.

Word limit: 198 words or less (1+9+8=18, 1+8=9. I’m a nine freak, remember?).

Check out my three paragraphs above on Weyland for an example (and yes, they total exactly 198 words).

Your entry will be judged on both word craft and strength of argument. In other words, CONVINCE me. Tell me what it is about this character and its effect on you in a way that will compel me (and others) to go buy the book and read it.

Bonus points: If your word count total is a ‘nine’ (the digits add up to nine or a mulitple of nine), you will receive a second entry into the random drawing.

PRIZES:

For the random drawing, the prize will be a gift certificate from Fictionwise for an e-book of the Nebula award-winning Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas.

For the character description, the prize is a brand-new softcover copy of Suzy McKee Charnas’ book, The Vampire Tapestries AND a $10 gift card for Borders or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice). The prizes for this portion of the contest are restricted to residents of the continental U.S. only.

CONTEST ENDS:

This contest has been extended. The last day to enter is June 27, 2010 Saturday, July 17 (a nine-day, of course). The random winner will be drawn the following day and notified via email. The character descriptions will be judged during the remainder of the week. The winner will be selected and notified via email by July 6, July 26, 2010.

roh morgon @ Monday, 31 May 2010 3:12 pm
Comments (14)