Rosemary Clement-Moore's Blog
June 10, 2015
Due to Internet Shenanigans, I have a new email address. Any and all comments will get to me regardless, but if you want to email me directly don’t use the readrosemary.com address, because it will go into the black void of space.
You can reach me at email@example.com
No hyphen, and the period doesn’t really matter except to make it easier to read.
And yeah. If you’re waiting on an email answer from me, this may be why. You might want to resend. *chagrin*
My colleague A. Lee Martinez has edited STRANGE AFTERLIVES, an anthology of stories about undead things. Not on purpose, but the authors are all part of the DFW Writer’s Workshop. Despite the fact that A. Lee Martinez is my arch-nemesis, I agreed to contribute a story to the anthology, and you can get the ebook here on Amazon for 99 cents. Just a note, the stories range from gruesome to hilarious to poignant, and there’s adult content in some (but not all) of the stories. But 99 cents! That’s less than a cup of coffee.
May 15, 2015
Do you like to read? Do you like to write? Have you ever missed your ride/bus/subway stop because you’ve been reading or writing? Then this is for you.
Here is MY Read or Write Anywhere Picture, along with my clues for where I am.
Where was Rosemary when the lights went out?
1) The answer is not “The dark.”
2) This is the largest equine sculpture in the world. (This is just part of it.) (Are you disappointed those aren’t real horses?
3) Did you go to the North Texas Teen Book Festival? This is in the same city, right across the highway from that.
4) Those are horses. Wild horses. And they have a name. It’s also the name of a car.
5) You will might may or may not have to use Google. Input the answer to number three and number two.
I’m reading TRACKED by Jenny Martin. Taken in the dark in honor of all the times at camp when I got in trouble for reading under the covers with a flashlight. (Just because you CAN read anywhere doesn’t mean people won’t call you out if you’re supposed to be doing something else.)
May 5, 2015
Reading TRACKED by Jenny Martin may have been my favorite part of 2015 so far.��
Really? Yes, really. ��Here are the reasons why:
1) I’ve had a pretty tame year so far.
2) It was an incredible relief to read Jenny’s book and, you know, like it. Not only like it, but think it’s amazing. Jenny and I are friends, and it would have been extremely awkward for me if her book sucked. Wednesday nights at IHOP would be excruciating. So thank you, Jenny, for writing such a fantastic book that I can recommend without reservation. I know you did it just to make my life easier.
3) TRACKED is simply a great read. It hits all the marks as far as Things I Like In Books: feisty heroine (Phee) who gets to do badass things (race cars really really fast); solidly crafted fictional world (the corporately controlled planet Castra); swoon-worthy cohorts with personalities beyond��the Designated Love Interest��(loyal Bear and roguish Cash); rollicking, rebellious plot worthy of the very best space opera.
Imagine Fast and the Furious��but more like��Star Wars…if Princess Leia was a scrappy��orphan street racer. There’s something for everyone in this book.
4) The pace is great, it’s action packed,��and Phee’s voice is infinitely readable and relatable. It hits the sweet spot between tough and vulnerable and wry. It’s neither ponderous nor flippant. (Voice is one of the hardest things to explain, because it’s how the story is told. Have you ever read a book and gone, “Oh my God, lighten up,” or “I would love to read about this supernatural team of stenographers, but it’s like a completely shallow airhead is telling this story…”? That’s voice.)
Jenny has an amazing grasp of tone, which goes along with voice.��She’s just so good at choosing exactly��the right word for the scene or the sentence. It sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly difficult to get the nuances right.
5) I’ve known Jenny for awhile, and like most writers, her first finished manuscript was not her first published book. (I don’t think she’ll mind me telling you that. If she does… well, I guess Wednesday nights at IHOP will be awkward anyway.) Jenny’s��baseline is “smart and talented,” but she’s upgraded by writing and writing and reading��and studying her craft and trying different things.��She’s also really worked hard and been persistent through situations that would make a lot of people throw their hands up and say forget it.
Talent doesn’t always guarantee publication (or the other way around), so it’s thrilling when you see someone you respect and admire (and love)��finally hold her published book in her hands.
Go buy this book, everyone else.��
On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee���s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn���t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra���s future than she could ever have imagined. It���s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?
March 24, 2015
Corpus Christi Marina on a beautiful clear day
Every time I go to a book event, I take (too few) pictures and plan to post them on the blog.��But if��I don’t do it right when I get home, and then I try to think of something clever to say about it, and a week goes by and I think, this isn’t really current. Now I have to think of a new subject to blog about.
This pretty much applies to all current events���the Rosemary Centered ones and, you know, actual current events, like snow in March and stuff. Oh, hey, I can take pictures of the snow! ��Oh, hey, it’s now 80 degrees. I guess that ship has sailed.
But what the heck.
The Teen Bookfest by the Bay in Corpus Christi was loads of fun. Get this–it was even held��in the high school where I had my first job. I was filled with nostalgia, especially when I had the pleasure of introducing Jackson Pearce to Whataburger.
There are a few Whataburgers scattered through the south, but really it’s a Texas thing.��Whataburger achieves a sort of mythical level of nostalgia once you cross the Red River. As a South Texan, I would even say that it’s just not the same outside a certain radius from their home base in Corpus Christi.
First, there’s the possibility that this could happen:
But that could theoretically happen at any drive though. (Maybe not Starbucks. Though��if this happened at the shop I frequent, I would buy the rider all the White Chocolate Mochas. All of them.)
At Whataburger, you can get things like a patty melt��or a chophouse burger��or a chicken strip monterey melt. Plus there’s the��roulette wheel suspense in the fact that these may leave the menu at any time, without warning.
You can buy Whatafries and Spicy Ketchup at HEB supermarkets (also based in Corpus). There’s also the mystique of something you can pretty much only get��in Texas. (Like California’s��In-and-Out burger. When they first came to Fort Worth, they had to have police officers to direct traffic. When I finally tried one, I was like, this is good, but it’s no Green Chili Double.)
But the real reason that anyone who grew up in Texas has a special place in their heart for Whataburger is because that’s where you went to get food in the middle of the night when you were done partying.
ANYway. That’s my report on the Teen Bookfest by the Bay. Thank you to the librarians and teachers in the many, many school districts that participated for putting on a fantastic event! ��Here’s to many more.
Other recent events: The North Texas Teen Book Fest, which was freaking amazing. There were about 3000 readers there. THREE THOUSAND. And 50 authors, so many that I didn’t even get to talk to them all. I just had to wave from across the room. The hard working organizers have made it very easy to share the event with you, because the NTTBF Facebook Page is full of FANTASTIC photos of the event.*
(Yes, I know this is cheating as far as event recapping goes, but otherwise I’ll never catch up and never go on to talking about whatever is new. Besides… photos!)
This past Sunday I spoke at the North Texas chapter of Sisters in Crime, which was terrific fun. I taught the “cram as much information in as possible” version of my “How to make your book sound exciting,” aka “Pitching” class. I’m going to teach a new online version of this soon���a week long, email based, work at your own pace���and if you’re interested, drop me a line at rosemary (at) readrosemary (dot) com.
(And when you hit “update” instead of “preview” you look like an idiot with a placeholder title and un-fact-checked spellings of author’s names.)
February 13, 2015
I haven’t blogged about my do in a while. Granted, some of that is because I’ve been blogging not very much. But tomorrow is the Westminster Dog Show (I think it’s some other holiday, too) so if I want to have a post all about my dog, like the Eccentric Cat��Dog Lady that I am, more power to, um, me.
If you’re just joining us, Penny is my dog. I never thought I would have a Pomeranian. I was looking for a Papillion rescue, and she looked like a Pap in her petfinder.com photo, but she’s a Pom. But she’s not like one of those prissy-poms. She’s like… the Pom basketball team. All of it.
Here she is filling in for me at the office:
This story needs a few more dogs in it.
This is how P-dawg looks most of the time. This is her normal amount of fluff–somewhere between Tribble and Muppet. And can we please talk about these little paws?
Did somebody call for two feet of cute?
This is my first long haired dog, by the way. Trini was a husky/shepherd mix, and though she had a little bit of undercoat, it pretty much slipped out with a good brushing. Or it would just waft off and gather under the couch to become dust Tyrannosaurs.
But Penny takes a little more work. I try to brush her a little bit every day or two (or three), because otherwise at the end of a week or so,��I get enough fur to knit another dog.
Look, Mom! I made you a Tribble!
Only lately I’ve let her get a little shaggy. Okay, maybe more than a little shaggy. Okay, maybe more like miniature four-legged Yeti.
A rare sighting of the endangered PennYeti.
It’s not just that her fur had gotten where it was touching the floor. I mean, who wouldn’t want a self-propelled dust mop? It’s the tangles! I mean, you could hide a snack in that ruff.
So, Penny went to the salon today. She looks like a dog again. Well, she looks a little like a prissy-pom, because she’s all fluffy from the shampoo and blow dry (and it’s a little on the short side). ��But give it a day. Most importantly, she looks like someone takes care of her.
The power of cute compels you… to give me a treat.
Anyway. Tomorrow I’ll be curled up on the couch watching the Dog Show with my sweetie. We love it when a working dog wins, but we’ll root for the Papillions in the home category.
All right, dog people. Do you like poofy lap dogs? Giant dogs that can pull a sled? Hyperintelligent (and hyper, intelligent) Border Collies? Favorite type of dog, go!
(It doesn’t have to be a pure breed. Mutts and mixes rock, especially when they are rescues.)
February 5, 2015
Did you ever go to summer camp? At mine, there was this annoying song we sang before announcements at mealtime. I sing it in my head every time I do a newsy post.
ITEM THE FIRST: ��Readrosemary.NET ��now points to my website/blog. It is mine. Twitter and Facebook links should be updated. (I get by with a little help from my friends.)
ITEM THE SECOND: ��I’m going places! ��Like, in person, for real. Besides the coffee shop.
TEEN BOOKFEST BY THE BAY ��� Corpus Christi, TX ��� February 28th
This is that region’s first ever book festival. It’s exciting for a couple of reasons. One, I’m going to be there. Two, the school districts from all around are participating. Three, that’s my old stomping ground. The festivities start at 9am and conclude with a book signing at 3:15 to 4:30. Click the heading above for a link to the details.
NORTH TEXAS TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL ��� Irving, TX ��� March 7th
You want to know who’s going to be at this book fest? Go to your local bookstore/library. Go to the teen/YA section. Throw a dart and hit a book (not really). ��That author will be at the Irving Convention Center��(maybe). ��Seriously, there are forty-nine��(49) authors going to be at this festival. And me. I know that’s who you’re really coming to see. Details, author list, etc. at the heading��above.
January 28, 2015
January 21, 2015
I sat down at the desk today with one goal:��get caught up on all the Internet stuff I’ve let slide while dealing with stuff IRL, as it were. So this was supposed to be a long post telling you all about…
1) The giant inflatable Santa that forced me to reroute my commute to the coffee shop.
(Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate that this monster is bigger than that house? And y’all wonder why Santa Claus gives me nightmares.)
2) Going Xmas shopping with the lovely Sally Hamilton.
(I totally bought that stuffed Pascal, btw. He’s my new totem animal.)
3) How my heater (and half my electricity)��went out on the coldest freaking day of the year, forcing me to build my first (on purpose) fire since Girl Scouts.
It’s nice to know I have at least one useful skill that will keep me from being booted out of the compound��after the zombie apocalypse.
4) Or how I spent New Years Eve huddled under five quilts and two dogs, eating all the food in the fridge before it went bad.
5) My new and slightly embarrassing addiction to Rainbow Honey nail polish. Because my addiction to lip gloss��isn’t��girly enough.
Instead I have to tell you about how I have managed to lose my freaking domain names, at least for the moment. Neither readrosemary.com or rosemaryclementmoore.com go to my webpage (aka this blog) right now. (The gist is, I let them lapse (oops) because heater repairs are expensive (ouch) and someone grabbed them both up on the day they became available (grr). What anyone is going to do with rosemaryclementmoore.com, I don’t know. But I suspect the answer is “sell them back to me at a profit.” Little do they know I’m a poor writer with a poor invalid Mother, who spends my holidays huddled by a log fire for warmth (and s’mores).
ANYWAY. ��My email address (rosemary at readrosemary dot com) will still get to me. And if you follow or bookmark this page, the address will remain the same as well. I’ll get it sorted.
That will teach me to stay off the Internet for too long!
November 17, 2014
You know that feeling you get when your teacher is posting grades for papers or tests? How you brace yourself, take a deep breath and hold it like you’re doing the Ice Bucket Challenge?
It’s the same thing with books. Imagine getting your corrected test or term paper back, only it’s 400 pages long.
My edits still come on paper. The UPS man (or woman) knocks on my door and hands me a big, fat package. There’s no mistaking it for anything else. It’s manuscript shaped.
I bring it in and set it on the kitchen counter with a mixture of reverence and terror. What is my editor going to say? How much am I going to have to rewrite? How many stupid mistakes did I make? The only way to know is to open it and find out.
That’s a lot of paper. On top is a letter that summarizes all the things that are wrong with the book. Sometimes this is a long letter.
I usually read it standing right there by the counter. Then I hyperventilate. And then I go for a walk, or a coffee, or a something, and I don’t come back until I stop feeling like a loser for not writing a Perfect First Draft. (No one writes a perfect first draft, no matter what they tell you. There are always things that can be better. I have been tempted to go through Barnes and Noble with a pen and tweak the phrasing here and there in my books on the shelf.)
That big pile of paper sits on the kitchen counter—maybe a few hours, maybe a day, maybe a weekend—while I cogitate on how I’m going to fix what I need to fix. (Sometimes it’s something big like “This entire part in the museum here doesn’t make sense.” Sometimes it’s small but pervasive, like adding more explanation of how magic works or description of settings.)
Finally, the manuscript gets to move to the workspace. (In this case, the sofa.)
I’m not quite ready to open the document on the computer and start haphazardly making changes. First I go through my editors’ (and agent’s) notes, page by page, wincing at the things I think I should have caught myself, or the things I thought I could get away with but didn’t, scribbling my own ideas, getting up every now and then to freak out. Like, “How I’m going to cut 25 pages out of the middle without losing any of my brilliant scenes?!” Or, my favorite: “OMG I have to come up with a logical reason for that to happen?” Or it’s close cousin,”It doesn’t seem like they know what’s going on there because I don’t know what’s going on.”
From there on… I won’t say it’s easy, but the analytical part of your brain kicks in and you flinch less. Two things safe my sanity right now: (1) I know I’m my own worst critic while working on a book, but (2) I can still fix things. I try and enjoy that while it lasts.
PS It’s not a Goodnight book.
PPS It doesn’t come out for more than a year. But it’s going to be EPIC when it does.
November 10, 2014
“Outside of a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx
So, I hurt my finger. Not badly, just badly enough that typing became difficult for maybe a week, which meant I had an excuse to sit around and read all the things. Now I’m finally getting around to writing my book report(s). Have you read any of these? Tell me what you think about them in the comments.
Stuff I read:
Carrie, by Stephen King. I had never read this book because I knew the basic story and it sounded unpleasant. When I read King as a kid, it was strictly “horror” to me–slightly forbidden, definitely scary, but mentally in the realm of “popular novel.” Reading as an adult (and an author) I’m fascinated by how twisted and textured the novels are as well. If this were a different post, I could point out the elements of classic Tragedy (with a capital T) in Carrie, and a lot of King’s books. There’s a kind of Greek Chorus of observers, and Carrie is, like Lear and Hamlet and Antigone even, someone who evokes more pathos than empathy. (I’m trying to think what her fatal flaw would be. Tell me in the comments if you have an idea.)
I love when a book tells a great story AND I think about it months later and go “Ah ha. I see what you did there.” Which is not to say I don’t love a Dan Brown novel on an airplane, but that’s sort of like Fruit Loops. It tastes good as you gobble it up, but it’s not something you chew on and savor.
The Day She Died, by Catroina McPherson. This is an English author, and a random pick from the library’s new books shelf. A lucky pick, as it turns out. I was expecting more of a mystery triller, and it works on that level. But it’s also a sort of psychological piece as well. I’m continually on the lookout for mystery/thrillers like Gillian Flynn’s books, and this is kind of along those lines, though not as hard-edged. For me there was the mystery and suspense (Who should she trust? Who is lying? Is she even reliable as a narrator?) but it was also interesting how step with good intent can lead to another, and another, until you’re totally embroiled. I think I read this in one sitting.
I Want it That Way, by Ann Aguirre. This is the kick off title in Harlequin’s New Adult line, and here’s what’s cool about it. I have ambivalent feelings about the whole “New Adult” genre, because I loved books about college aged protagonists when I was in high school. But they used to simply be shelved on the fantasy/mystery/romance shelves. So what makes book “New Adult,” age or content? I don’t know.
However, I know a good book when I read it. And I Want it that Way is a good read. You should know the characters have lots of sex without guilt or moralizing. The heroine is 20; she and the hero develop a good rapport/friendship before doing the deed. Nadia is in college and sees her hot neighbor and is all “What’s up with the brooding hot guy?” Turns out that what’s up is brooding hot guy is not a secret BDSM master, or a vampire CEO. He’s a single father at an age when he should be in college going to keg parties. But Nadia really really likes him. And he’s totally charmed by her, though he has to think about the effect a relationship would have on his son. So this is primarily a romance (I mentioned lots of sex, right?) but it also is about taking on adult responsibilities and knowing when you’re ready for that.
This is what I imagined when I hear the term “New Adult.” It’s basically a book for people who love YA, but also love racy romance. Which is a lot of people, because that’s how 50 shades happened. If New Adult is going to be a thing, then I hope there’s more of it that’s like this.
Have you read any of these? Share your opinion in the comments. And I would love a recommendation for what to read next. (Or add to my TBR shelf. Whichever.)