Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Daddy's Stealing My Childhood... ~ Donna

These are the words my older daughter flung at me Sunday while her father was busy cutting down her swingset. Here, let me start from the beginning...

Last fall, a stray cat wandered onto our property (I'm sure you know where this story is headed). We fed the emaciated thing, then I made a bed for it on our back porch with an old sleeping bag. I explained that eventually the furball would move on, so every morning, the girls would race to the back door to check and see if it was still there--and yep, of course it was. My daughter checked and told me it was girl, and such a pretty little thing she was. This cat wasn't your average stray, by the way. Solid gray, super fluffy (hard to tell in this picture, I know), big green eyes...this friendly feline was quite the looker.

After a week, my older daughter asked if we could keep it. I said no, but she begged, and begged, and BEGGED. What can I say? She's just like her mother. LOL And just like my mother had done many, many times, I caved. So we took her to the vet to get checked out and...ooh, funny aside. They asked the sex of the cat, I told them it was a girl, and the nurse lifted her tail. Her brow creased, and she said, "Um, she has testicles." LOL Anyway, I knew that if we were going to keep him, we needed to have him neutered, declawed, and vaccinated. Plus, the poor thing had a bad sinus infection, which took several trips back to the vet, and numerous prescriptions to shake.

Unfortunately, the stray, now known as Moonshine, hated our other cat, a female named Sunshine. He viciously attacked her, hurting her pretty badly, so I told my daughter she would have to keep him downstairs in her room for the time being. We figured the cats would eventually learn to co-exist, we just needed to be patient. Only it didn't seem to be happening. Everytime we brought him upstairs, he raced straight for Sunshine, and it became clear that he had no intention of sharing space with another cat. Oddly enough, he seemed to get along just fine with our 90 lb. mutt.

Last Monday was the final straw. He got loose upstairs and attacked Sunshine again. Only this time, when my husband tried to break them up, Moonshine bit him up pretty badly. His whole arm went numb; he said it felt as if his arm was broken (admittedly, he's a bit of a baby, but it really did look painful). That was it, we both decided. As much as we hated to do it, Moonshine had to go. All I could think about was what if it had been one of my girls he'd attacked, or one of their friends, or anyone, for that matter. I gently explained to my daughter that we simply couldn't take a chance that he'd hurt someone else. And though heartbroken, she understood.

So Friday morning, after the girls had left for school, daddy drove Moonshine to the Humane Society. As if he knew his fate, he walked right into the carrier and lied down. My husband said they oohed and aahed over him (the little stinker could be a real charmer when he wanted to be), and swore they'd find him a good home, no worries. My daughter cried her heart out that night, and suddenly I understood exactly how my own mother had felt...many, many times over the course of my childhood.

So then Sunday, my husband decided it was time to cut down the swingset and trampoline. We gotten the swingset when my older daughter was four, and the trampoline when she was three, so on top of losing her cat, this seemed to push her over the edge. While he was outside sawzalling like a madman, my daughter storms in, grabs her iPod and says, "Daddy's stealing my childhood...and I'm getting it on tape!" She's a true redhead with the temper to match. LOL Thankfully, the job was a lot harder than he'd anticipated, and by the time he was done, he couldn't lift his arms. So the trampoline stays. For now.

If you've made it to the end of my rambling, thanks for reading & see you next month! :-)

~ Donna

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Displaced and Busy ~ Stacey

(Apologies in advance for the ramble...)

The other day, a friend commented on Facebook, "Soooooo many things to do, soooooooooooooo little time."

I replied, "Been there, pretty much live there."

Except there's no 'pretty much' about it. I hate being busy, but am never NOT busy, even after I finish something and think now I'll have more time. Donna had mentioned to me about wanting go do something together, but she didn't want to bother me because she knows I'm busy. I said, "I'm always going to be busy, so ask anyway."

The past couple weeks, I've been working on my laptop to finish a book because my desktop kept freezing up on me. It's 7 years old (maybe older?), and I was going to take it in for a check-up, but hubby said to just get a new one. Color me shocked! But for the first time, I'm not so excited to go get myself a new electronic gadget...I've been putting it off because that means I have to make time to go shop for a new computer, then spend time setting it up, and getting all my info transferred to it. Yuck to all 3!

On top of that, my laptop (which is just supposed to be for writing on when we go up north) doesn't have everything that I need for doing all the business things I need to do, so I've been procrastinating on a bunch of things. Which makes me more busy. Busier. Whatever.

Ha--instead of Joy, my middle name should be Busy.

Well, after all that whining, on the plus side, I get to cross one thing off my "list"--I finished my sequel to Lost in Italy this past weekend!! Book 2 of the Italy Intrigue Series, RUN TO ROME, will be sent to my editor later today and I can maybe focus on a few of the other things I've been neglecting.


Ha Ha Ha. LOL. She's such a comedian. 

And oh, yeah...first item on the list...write the darn LIST so I know what I'm doing!

Have a great day everyone. I'll be busy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Yikes! A Reading Slump (Jamie)

I can't believe this has happened to me, but it seems I have fallen into a reading slump. I haven't been absolutely in love with any of the books I've read in the last several weeks. This is very unusual for me. I tend to fall in love with the characters and settings in books rather easily. The really odd part of this is that I've been trying to read the latest book by one of my must buy authors and I just can't get engaged in this story. I've really been trying, but I haven't been able to finish this book. I have some friends on Goodreads that have very similar reading tastes to mine, and they have all loved this book. It makes me wonder if it's possible I have finally overdosed on reading romance. As I've been struggling my way through this book, I've even tried something I rarely do - reading another book at the same time, but reading at least one chapter of the first book before I can continue reading on the second. This has worked successfully for me in the past, but even that hasn't done the trick this time around. I got through my second book without making much progress on the original read, and have even started reading another "back-up". That book is going slow for me, too. 

 So, what do you think? Is this just a temporary anomaly? Has this ever happened to you? Any advice on how I can fall in love with romance again? I really miss my reading escape, especially since life has been rather hectic lately. I'll be ever so grateful for any tips to get me back on track!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What person do you prefer by Delia

I love reading and writing in first person point of view.  In case you get POV's mixed up, first person uses a narrators point of view and the words "I" and "me" are used, making a story sound autobiographical. It tends to look something like this:

"Wait, just a gol durned minute," I hollered.  I ran after Cletus, catching him in a flying tackle and getting a mouthful of dirt in the process.  I blinked the red Georgia dirt out of my eyes and got a grip on his forearm, twisting it behind his back.  A warm glow built in my heart when I heard his grunt of pain.

I like to pretend I'm the character I'm reading about and when something's written in first person, it's much easier to do this, even more so when I'm writing.  My book, Not Looking For Trouble is written in first person, and when I was writing it, I WAS Susan Kent.  It was much easier for me to feel what she was feeling when I referred to her as "I" and "me".  Susan and I are Siamese twins.

Second person point of view isn't very commonly used. In second person POV, you hear words like "you", "your" and "yours".  I've never written anything in it and I'm willing to bet most other writers haven't either.  Offhand, the only thing I can think of that uses second person POV are choose your own adventure books.  Second person sounds like this:

The doorknob is hot in your hand, telling you instantly that the fire has indeed spread to the second floor.  Your heart is pounding in your chest, you have to make a quick decision.  Do you open the door and risk burning to death?  Or, do you follow the advice of Sparky the fire dog and look for an alternate route?  The problem was, Sparky never told you what to do when you were stuck in a closet.

Last, but the complete opposite of least, is third person.  Most fiction books you read are in third person point of view.  You hear the words "he", "she" and "it" a lot in third person.  An uninvolved, unspecified narator is telling a story to the reader, either subjectively or omnisciently.  A subjective narrative means that the narrator only can see and describe things from one characters point of view, they can only tell you of one persons experiences, pain and happiness.  Omniscient means that the narrator can jump into many different characters heads, they can tell you how multiple characters are feeling and reacting at different points in the story.

Both of my books, It Takes Moxie and Eye of the Beholder are told in subjective third person.  Once again, I find it easier to stay in one characters head, preferring the mystery of other people's feelings to knowing everything.  Third person sounds like this:

"Wouldn't  you know it," Iggie complained, "as soon as I find a decent-looking outfit for the wedding, I get attacked by a werewolf and it gets all bloody."

How about you?  What point of view do you prefer to read?