Hello everyone. As many of you know, I have been running this blog for four years now and while when I started my writing journey, I felt it was necessary to keep both my pen names separate, today, in the interest of time and my own sanity, I have decided to combine Rebecca Hart and R. Brennan’s blogs into one. It just seemed I was spending all my time trying to keep two separate blogs active, when the simple fact is, I dont have the time to do that, or to pretend to be two completely different people.
I had created the second pen name to try to keep fans who enjoyed my fantasy and pirate stories separate from my erotic romance stories, but I have decided you are all capable of determining what sort of stories I have written you are interested in reading, so why not put both sites together?
So, to this end I have done it, and moved the content of this blog over to the Bex Book Nook blog, simply because the name Bex Book Nook applied better to both sides of my personality, where this blog, The Machenwood Chronicles and Other Tales, is pretty specific to my mainstream work.
All this being said, I am here to Beg you all who follow me here to come over to the new blog and sign up for that one instead. http://BexBookNook.wordpress.com
I would love to have you all make the transfer, but I do realize I will lose some of you in the transition. If I do, I just want to say I appreciate you following along with me all of these years though I sincerely hope you come on over to the new digs. I promise to pull up a bean bag chair for you when you arrive.
So I learned yesterday that I was nominated for this “Inspiring Blogger Award” by a follower of the blog here. I was flattered and a bit confused at first. I mean, what did I do to inspire someone else? Nothing I had been aware of.
I guess, or at least based on the reasoning listed for the nomination, I “really help your fellow writer and that’s inspiring.” (works for me :P)
The rules for this one are pretty simple, so I am hoping I don’t manage to mess them up.
First off, my thanks to Pixiebubbles for the nod. You can find her blog here: http://lifewithchocolateandcoffee.wordpress.com You should stop in and say hello. It’s a lovely place to visit. 🙂
Now, for the hard part of this — Listing 7 little facts about yourself and nominating 15 other bloggers for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Oh, boy…
1. Growing up I actually thought I would be an Olympic Beach Volleyball player.
2. I babble when I am nervous.
3. I actually like spiders. They eat flies, and flies are my nemesis. *shivers*
4. I am a dog person. Cats are nice and all but I prefer canines. Also, the bigger and hairier they are, the more I seem to like them.
5. I HATE HATE HATE grocery shopping.
6. I was a terrible older sister to my siblings when it came to watching them when my parents went out. I am quite surprised some of them lived through it, actually.
7. My favorite color is green.
Hmm, that wasn’t near as complicated as I thought it would be.
Now, for the nominating…
I’ve selected these bloggers as ones who inspire me.
Tag, ladies. You’re it!
Thanks to each and every one of you for being an inspiration to me.
What a ZANY month April has been. Between the unusual weather throughout the country to this amazing adventure called the A to Z Blogging Challenge. When I agreed to participate, I really had no illusions about ever completing the challenge. While I do like to talk, having something new to say every day for a month? That is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.
Yet, here were are on the lat day of the challenge and I actually managed to complete it successfully. HOORAY FOR ME!
I want to take a quick minute to thank and welcome all the new blog followers my participation has earned me, and I hope I continue to entertain and interest you with my blogging going forward. I have also started following a whole new set of great blogs and look forward to growing and learning alongside all of you as the year moves forward.
Thanks again to everyone who visited during April and I hope to still see and hear from you all come May.
Like the rest of the participants on the A to Z Blogging Challenge, it was tough to come up with an X word that would not be used by every other participating blog. Good thing I write fiction with historical elements or this would have been a really boring Xylophone post 😛
You may be wondering at this point, “What ‘s a Xebec?” and “Did she make that word up?”
The short answers are a ship, and no, I didn’t.
Let me elaborate a bit 🙂
From Wikipedia: A xebec ( /ˈziːbɛk/ or /zɨˈbɛk/), also spelled zebec, was a Mediterranean sailing ship that was used mostly for trading. It would have a long overhanging bowsprit and protruding mizzen mast. It also can refer to a small, fast vessel of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, used almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea.
Xebecs were similar to galleys used by Algerian Berber corsairs and Barbary pirates having both lateen sails and oars for propulsion. Early xebecs had two masts; later ones three. Xebecs featured a distinctive hull with pronounced overhanging bow and stern, and rarely displaced more than 200 tons, making them slightly smaller and with slightly fewer guns than frigates of the period.
The protagonist in Call of the Sea, Jashir, the notorious pirate, captains a Xebec.
From CALL OF THE SEA:
“Sails to the stern, Captain!”
The call from the crow’s nest jerked Daniel’s attention toward the topmast and the crewman pointing behind them.
Captain Winters lifted the spyglass, peered through it. “Lateen sails, no colors. Looks like a xebec.” Lowering the glass, his gaze swept to Daniel. “All hands at the ready.”
“All hands at the ready!” Daniel shouted across the deck of the brigantine. “Step handsomely, men!”
The Captain rested a hand on Daniel’s sleeve. “Take the helm, Daniel. I want you at the wheel if there’s to be a fight.”
Daniel nodded, looking to the man he’d grown to admire. “Aye, Captain.”
I bet you feel supremely educated now, don’t you? Okay, maybe not, but at least I managed to come up with a somewhat informative X day posting. Only two more letters to go (is that the finish line I see ahead?)
See you tomorrow 🙂
While my debut novel, Call of the Sea has not yet been released to the general public, there are a few ARC copies floating around and a few reviews have come in (all good so far – YAY). That being said, one of the comments that has come up a few times from readers are: What is a selkie? and I didn’t know what a selkie was when I started reading.
I tend to forget not everyone is as obsessed with myths and legends as I am, especially the Celtic ones. So, in an effort to clarify for those who may be interested, I decided to take the opportunity of S day to explain what a selkie is.
Let’s start with a definition:
From Wikipedia: Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish folklore. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, (from Old English seolh meaning seal). Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
Doesn’t help a lot, does it? I mean sure, it gives you a basic idea, but not much else. This is what I ran into when researching as well. While they are an oceanic mythical creature, much like a mermaid or siren, little has been written about the selkie myth.
The section regarding the legend does help some (also from Wiki):
Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. In other stories the human will hide the selkie’s skin, thus preventing it from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea. They are not able to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human is to steal their selkie’s skin and hide it or burn it.
In the Faroe Islands there are two versions of the story of the Selkie or Seal Wife. A young farmer from the town of Mikladalur on Kalsoy island goes to the beach to watch the selkies dance. He hides the skin of a beautiful selkie maid, so she can’t go back to sea, and forces her to marry him. He keeps her skin in a chest, and keeps the key with him both day and night. One day when out fishing, he discovers that he has forgotten to bring his key. When he returns home, the selkie wife has escaped back to sea, leaving their children behind. Later, when the farmer is out on a hunt, he kills both her selkie husband and two selkie sons, she promises to take revenge upon the men of Mikladalur. Some shall be drowned, some shall fall from cliffs and slopes, and this shall continue, until so many men have been lost that they will be able to link arms around the whole island of Kallsoy.
Male selkies are very handsome in their human form, and have great seductive powers over human women. They typically seek those who are dissatisfied with their life, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. If a woman wishes to make contact with a selkie male, she has to go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.
If a man steals a female selkie’s skin she is in his power and is forced to become his wife. Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. If she finds her skin she will immediately return to her true home, and sometimes to her selkie husband, in the sea.
Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin (often unwitting of its significance) and she soon returns to the sea. The selkie woman usually avoids seeing her human husband again but is sometimes shown visiting her children and playing with them in the waves.
Selkies are not always faithless lovers. One tale tells of the fisherman Cagan who married a seal-woman. Against his wife’s wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home. His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home.
Some stories from Shetland have selkies luring islanders into the sea at midsummer, the lovelorn humans never returning to dry land.
As you can see, there is tons of room for play within the confines of this sparse information. In Call of the Sea, I took some liberties with respect to the rules. For instance, in my novel, selkies have to change form at least once a year for a full lunar cycle (full moon to full moon) to satisfy the requirements of their curse. Of course, the shedding of the skins part plays nicely into my plot, so I left that little factoid alone.
In addition, while researching references and mentions of selkies in literature, I learned that the large majority of such tales feature a female selkie, not a male one. With my gender twist on the pirate in my story being a female, it worked out perfectly to make the mythical selkie creature a male. Gender twists all around — love it.
Do you feel mythically educated now? Me either, really, but I managed to find an S topic, so I can live with that 😛
Happy Saturday, folks!
One of the first things I was told when I started looking for places to submit (by just about everyone) was you will be rejected… A LOT. They aren’t kidding, folks. The more you sub the more you open yourself up for the potential for rejection. It is just the way the jungle works.
I have found, in order to survive this inevitability in the publishing business, I needed to develop a thick skin, as well as carry around a barrel full of self confidence. The second part — that was a tricky one. I have never been the self assured type –more the hyper critical, make everyone happy all the time type–so this was something that took me a while. A few acceptances peppered in with the rejections certainly helped. 🙂
Some rejections are amazingly helpful, while others are the dreaded, standard form response –“thank you but this is not for us”– leaving a writer to try to scrape something positive out of the months (and months) of waiting, while putting bandages on their damaged ego and trying to figure out exactly WHAT wasn’t for them. (Melodramatic much, Bec?)
So how do we deal with this as writers, if it is an inevitable part of the process?
Here are five tips to help in dealing with rejection:
1. Don’t take it personally – Just because one agent or editor doesn’t like it, or think they can sell it, doesn’t mean they all will. They are rejecting a piece of writing, not YOU.
2. Expect rejection – If you are prepared for the worst, it hurts less. Plus, if you go into the submission process understanding that you will be rejected somewhere along the line, you give yourself the opportunity to figure out what steps you will take once the rejection comes in. Again, preparing yourself…
3. Maintain your focus – There is nothing good that can come from stressing over things outside your sphere of influence. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” Concentrate on the things you can change and the things you can do with the rejection.
4. Learn from the rejection – What could you do differently? Did you pitch an agent that doesn’t rep your genre? Maybe your pitch or query was too confusing? There are always lessons to be learned from our live experiences, no matter how unpleasant they may be.
5. Understand rejection is progress – If you are learning from your rejections, each one teaches you a new lesson, making each subsequent submission (hopefully) that much stronger or well written. You are moving forward by submitting and opening yourself up to the potential for rejection. Celebrate that forward progress.
How do you handle rejection? Do you have any tips or stories to share?
Will I recognize my opportunities when they come? Or will they be more subtle, and if I’m not vigilant I could walk right past them.
The more I think about it though, the more I realize everything I do is an opportunity for something. If I get up an hour early, there is an opportunity to spend more time with my girls as they get ready for school. If I sleep late, I have the opportunity to miss the traffic jam that clogs I-787 on most mornings at precisely 8:45 AM.
Maybe. But, I for one plan to take my optimistic butt to the top of the nearest bluff so I can keep an eye out for the opportunities that are sure to come.
Happy Tuesday, Everyone 🙂