February 2008

Getting Cozy with Karen.
                          February Musings

10 Ways to Seduce My Muse

    1. Shut down all four of my email addresses. Even though three of them are business, ninety percent of what lies in my Inbox is SPAM.

    2. Go NO MAIL on all four yahoo groups to which I belong. Who needs friends and a connection to humanity?

    3. Get eight hours sleep instead of five hours. I'm of an age to be reversing things so I should be getting 12 hours of sleep a day like I did when I was 10.

    4. Rip the phone off the wall. Most of the calls I get are the phone company's version of SPAM, and the auto-caller on the other end of the line hangs up before I get across the house anyway.

    5. Ignore the gasp for food, water and/or attention from the 30 various humans and animals in my immediate vicinity. They can scrounge just as easily as I can.

    6. Revel in the dust bunny ranch brushing softly against my ankles. They aren't hurting anyone and I don't have to wear slippers.

    7. Resist the urge to complete surveys on MySpace. I can become one of those recluses locked in a darkened house with all the curtains drawn.

    8. Locate the nearest palm tree on an empty beach where I can sit with my laptop. My laptop is ancient so I can't get Internet service or games, and there's something about sand between my toes that makes my muse want to come out to play.

    9. Hire a cabana boy to bring me iced cappuccinos and mouthwatering tidbits whenever I lift a finger. Wait! Make that a man with an intense gaze and a body that inspires the minx in me.

    10. Oh, darn. Can't think of anything better than a cabana boy/man at my beck and call. See? It doesn't pay to distract my finicky muse!

Of course, you know I'm joking. Maybe I'm joking. Oh, except for number 8 and maybe number 9, and..ahem, all of these items sound inspirational or they wouldn't have hit my list! They don't dig much below the surface though, do they?

What truly, deep down in my belly, seduces my muse into coming out to play? It's those moments when my hero and heroine connect. I may drip [shovel] as many suspense elements into my stories as I can, but the bottom line for me is building the chemistry between two people. I'm a sucker for that spark of romantic magic. Creating unbalanced psychos to keep my heroes and heroines on their toes are simply a bonus.

Since this is February, the month of romantic magic, I thought it might be fun to have a contest wrapped around Valentine's Day. A romance is usually sparked the very first time a couple meets, so let's call this the FIRST SPARK CONTEST. [I know.truly inspired!]

Rules. We don't need no stinkin' rules! Maybe one or two. We also need a prize or two. How about gift certificates from amazon.com? That works. We're writers. We're probably readers, too. [This is not a last minute contest! I'm just thinking out loud.]

I'm ready if you are.here's the shtick to enter my FIRST SPARK CONTEST.

    1. Click on my guest book at the bottom of my Home page. Sign in. Briefly describe the first time you met someone special, where the spark of romance blossomed. This is the magical moment when you knew this person was going to be special to you. What made this one "meet" stand out among all of the others?
    2. The story doesn't have to be about a current boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife or partner. To protect us both from getting into trouble , don't feel obligated to use any real names.
    3. Except for your name! When you sign in I'll need to know who's sending the story and how to contact you online [email] should you win the drawing. Amazon.com will want your real name, too, when I purchase your gift certificate.
    4. If you're lucky enough to have experienced this moment more than once, you may enter more than once. But the stories must be different, entered separately, and you can only win one of the certificates. It is, after all, the month of sharing!
    5. I won't judge whether any story is romantic or inspiring or anything that will get me into hot water because all of the stories will likely be romantic and/or inspiring and then what will I do?! This will be an equal opportunity drawing. [Be sure to check in every day to read the stories. That's half the fun!]
    6. I'll accept entries until noon on Valentine's Day, February 14th, when I will draw two names at random from those who've submitted stories. I'll put all of the names into my granddaughter's fairy purse and swish them around with her magic wand [hey, these are her contest rules!] and then let the little fairy pull two names out.
    7. Two lucky winners will win a $15 gift certificate from amazon.com. I win the magical fairy giggles.
    8. Winners will be announced on Myspace page, as well as noted on my website Home page as soon as they're available.
    9. You agree by signing into the guest book at the bottom of www.karendocter.com to absolve this establishment or any of its officers from any and all liability regarding the FIRST SPARK CONTEST.

Can't wait to hear your stories! Have fun.and good luck!


What else is happening in my writing world?

The deadline of CRW's Award of Excellence Contest for published writers is past and all of the books to be judged are in the hands of readers, so my job as coordinator has eased tremendously. I've been able to turn my attention to other things and have actually found some time to do some writing on KILLING SECRETS.

My special session of The "W" Plot.or The Other White Meat for Plotters workshop in January is also finished. I enjoyed working with the handful of students I had in this class although, poor things, I was ill through part of it and not as chipper as I could have been at times. I don't have another workshop scheduled until April so I've got a couple of months off to mend my health and write. I plan to use my time wisely through February and March and figure out a better writing and personal schedule.

It's official. I'm no longer planning to go to San Francisco for the national conference at the end of July. Have to say I'm disappointed. Was looking forward to meeting some of my new online friends. I'll just have to meet all of you online or through other venues this year!

As always, if you'd like to comment on this newsletter or anything else, please feel free to sign into my guest book at the bottom of this HOME page. Looking forward to hearing from you! If you have your own listing on MySpace, I'd love to be friends. You can find me at http://www.myspace.com/authorkarendocter.

See you in March if you'd like to Get Cozy with Karen again. In the meantime, feel free to check out the rest of my website at your leisure.

I wish you a month overflowing with creativity and confidence. May you realize all of your dreams, whatever they may be.HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!



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