Monday, June 27, 2011

The lovely Morgen Bailey interviews Jodine

Morgen: Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.

Jodine:  I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school and encouraged to do so by my teachers. Throughout my life I’ve trained in a number of areas in the health care field (Ph.D. nurse, therapist, health educator), but writing has always been my passion. When I became ill in the mid-1990s I took the opportunity to begin writing my novels. I moved to Glastonbury, England, for a year. It’s one of my favorite spots on the planet, a place I became fascinated with after reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. I wanted to immerse myself in the energy there, and do research, because many of my novels are set in Glastonbury. My very first novel was published by Glastonbury Press.

The rest of the interview can be viewed here:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Authors bleed

I was recently asked if I'd had rejections for my novels...and how did I handle them. This quote by Sports writer "Red Smith" says it - “There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” 
My gosh yes, I’ve had my fair share of rejections (I shamelessly admit!). It’s part of the process. Sometimes they hurt, sometimes I feel misunderstood…but I always know I am being given feedback that is important to look at to help my writing craft. I’ve developed a thick skin. It’s necessary in this business. That doesn’t mean rejections don’t affect me. But this is such a highly subjective industry, and knowing that helps. When I found my niche, my readers, my publishers – those people who love and appreciate my work – well, then that just fills my heart with happiness and makes all the tears and upset worthwhile.
So, let it be known that authors do indeed bleed!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Evolution through women

"Because women carry the baton of evolution, through the children they bear, into the next generation, Nature has designed their biology to reflect the critical importance of this role to the survival and evolution of the human race." Annie Meredith

I love this quote. It is about the phenomena of evolution, but it is an embodied perspective, not merely an abstract concept.

In my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea trilogy, the Goddess is the divine feminine force of evolution. She inspires humanity during the turbulent times that precede radical change.The evolution She assists with is that of embodied love. This is the evolution we are called to participate in today, for the sake of our present day as well as our future. It is about love changing how we (both men and women) respond to our world; love emanating from inside us out into our world, into our behaviours, into our interactions with others. Love that is deeply received and generously given. Love that can actually change the very cells of our body. 

Embodied love is an evolution of both men and women, an evolution of the whole of humankind. Yet it is women who represent the physical embodiment of this  force. As Annie says, nature  has designed our biology to reflect this crucial evolutionary role.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Romance excerpt contest

Sunday - contest entry day! Here is my romance scene snippet for the 'Love All Year Long' contest. The scene is excerpted from my Young Adult/Adult fantasy, magical realism novel, Carry on the Flame: Part One, Destiny's Call.

Guethyn is sitting in a café in a small coastal village in Wales, U.K.

Okay, he reasoned with himself. First things first. He’d promised himself years ago to never again get involved in grandfather’s magic.
He could still taste Sharay’s lips. Moist, soft.
He shook his head. Refocused. He firmly recalled his vow to never again trust the Goddess he had been taught to revere when he was a small child. 
He could still feel the eagerness of Sharay’s mouth when it met his.
He drank a mouthful of tea, sat up straighter. He’d felt betrayed by the Goddess, by the magic he’d learned as a child. He’d resolutely put that life behind him. It had never given his mother any peace, and his father had still died a tragic death.
He remembered the feel of Sharay’s silken, silver blond hair sliding through his fingers.
He held tightly onto his tea mug and took a steadying breath. Concentrate he told himself. As he’d grown older, he’d found another calling to take the place of the magical one he inherited from his mother and grandfather. He had studied hard at the university, plunged headfirst into the precise science of marine biology.
The memory of Sharay’s kiss flooded his body with heat. Roused him.
He slammed his tea mug down on the table, threw his napkin onto his lap, took a huge bite of his currant cake. It was stale, but he didn’t care.
No time for this nonsense, he murmured defiantly. He forced himself to continue to sort through things. He was close to getting his doctoral degree. It would be his in a few months. His life had made much more sense without the quest of the ancient Celtic Imram, without magic, without the Goddess’s rituals.
His imagination flicked back to an image of Sharay.
Her eyes gazed into his. Searching. Tender. Filled with the same desire he felt.
Guethyn swallowed the rest of the dry cake in one gulp, washed it down with more tea. He’d allowed himself a few relationships over the years, testing the boundaries of his heart. No one had come close to pushing its limits or holding him in captive fascination.
 Until Sharay.
She pressed him up against his resolve to reject magic. She opened his heart in a way he had dreaded and, at the same time, always hoped for. Realization came quickly and it came as a shock. He couldn’t help, and couldn’t stop, his feelings for her. He didn’t want to. He was bound to her. There was a part of him that mysteriously knew he always had been. He rubbed his eyes with his palms, and exhaled sharply.
If Sharay came along with magic, along with the Goddess, well then so be it. Damn it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Meet Sharay's love interest, Guethyn

The Romance scene contest is coming this Sunday. In preparation, yesterday you met Sharay, the main character from my upcoming novel, Carry on the Flame. Now, let me introduce you to Guethyn, her romantic interest (that's putting it mildly!).

Guethyn Sulwyn is the grandson of the elder, eccentric wizard, Dillon. It's through Dillon that Guethyn meets Sharay. Guethyn is a university student in marine biology. He is passionate about his chosen career, and there's a lot at stake for him to finish his degree. He's tall, with shoulder length tawny colored hair, and clear blue eyes the color of the ocean he studies. Guethyn has a past he's running from. Meeting Sharay won't let him forget.

Guethyn is Welsh, born in the mystical mountains of Wales, the western coastal country of the United Kingdom. His name in Welsh means: Guethyn - dark skinned; Sulwyn - fair sun.

Meet Sharay and Guethyn together tomorrow!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet my main character - Sharay

The romance excerpt contest I mentioned in my last post asks for novel snippets about love in its many forms. Romantic, yes, but inclusive of love that may be cozy, complicated, new, old, platonic, mysterious, tension filled, warm. I will post my scene this Sunday. First I 'd like you to meet Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call main character, Sharay.

Sharay has been chosen. But nobody told her.

Modern day Glastonbury, England holds the key to an ancient prophecy. It had been foretold that a young priestess would be born to help humankind through the dark turbulence before the birth of a golden era. Such are the times of today's world.

Sharay loses her parents in a car crash before she can be trained in the magical Celtic, Goddess tradition that will prepare her for her destiny. For the next seven years she lives under the guardianship of her weak-willed Uncle Larry and her undermining Aunt Phoebe. A powerful priestess in her own right, Phoebe is obsessed with desire for the wealth and power Sharay inherited. Embittered, she turns to Black Magic and uses it against Sharay.

Phoebe ruthlessly belittles Sharay’s spontaneous visions of the Goddess as crazy and misguided, causing Sharay to distrust and reject the Goddess. The only thing Sharay cherishes is the one memento of her parents she has been allowed to keep – a photograph of the three of them by the ocean.

When Sharay turns seventeen, Phoebe takes her to a psychiatrist who misinterprets Sharay’s visions of the Goddess as psychotic hallucinations and has her institutionalized. Alone and afraid, Sharay doubts herself and her magical abilities. Until she meets the eccentric elder wizard, Dillon...and his grandson, the mysterious and attractive Guethyn.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Romance scene

Gabriela at An Aspiring Writer's World blog has enlisted the help of agent Weronika Janczuk (of the Lynne C. Franklin Agency) to read love scene samples from completed manuscripts, decide on winners, and give great prizes! One of my love-scene excerpts will post to my blog on June 12. Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

They like me, they really like me!

Yes, I did my happy dance when I got the phone call from Pacific Northwest Writers Association, telling me that my manuscript submission for my newest novel, Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call (to be released August 1st) is a finalist in their annual contest for 2011. I danced a little jig around the living room with my husband, followed of course by our cats, who jumped and meowed beside us. The first words that popped into my head were Sally Field’s 1985 Oscar acceptance speech for Best Actress in “Places in the Heart.” She said, You like me, you really like me!  (true quote – “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”) I felt a kinship with Sally Field’s words, even more so given the title of the movie that won the Oscar for her - "Places in the Heart." The theme of my novel is about the heart, about how love is the ultimate magic.

Being a finalist in a writers contest is by no means the equivalent of an Oscar…but wait a minute…an author is an artist, as an actor is an artist. And achievements are the honey dew in life, meant to be savored, are they not? So, I savor this.

As a matter of fact, there are some other Oscar acceptance speeches that I resonate with.

There is the one by Robin Williams, who was voted best supporting actor for Good Will Hunting in 1998. Robin said "Most of all I want to thank my father, up there, the man who, when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, "Wonderful, just have a back up profession like welding.'" Okay, what author hasn't thought that or been told that? Well, maybe not quite a back up career as a welder, but you can fill in the blank.

I was touched by Shirley MacLaine's speech when she won Best Actress for the 1983 film "Terms of Endearment. "Films and life are like clay, waiting for us to mold it," she said. "And when you trust your own insides and that becomes achievement, it's a kind of principle that seems to me is at work with everyone. God bless that principle. God bless that potential that we all have for making anything possible if we think we deserve it." And then she added: "I deserve this."

So, taking my cue from Shirley - I deserve this. And this is my acceptance speech.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Characters talk to me

Most authors know this phenomena. Most readers have heard authors speak of it. Our characters are alive, ever developing, always distinct in our minds. They talk to us. Tell us what they want to say, what they want to happen to them in our stories.

Often, as I lay in bed just about to fall asleep, I hear them. They’re insistent. I used to call it my inspiration, my muse, my creative juices. I learned it was really these lively characters talking to me.

I keep a pen and paper by my bed. No microphone or recording for me. Writing what I hear grounds it down, makes it real. I laugh because what often happens is the minute I put pen and paper aside and turn off the light, another wonderful tid-bit emerges. It happens again and again. Once the proverbial door is open, they all want their say. This can go on for an a half hour or more. After the first few minutes, I have learned to simply get up and go to my office to properly write things down, so I’m not swamped by small pieces of paper filled with clumsy scribbled notes.

In my newest novel, Carry on the Flame: Part one Destiny’s Call (to be released August 1, 2011), the main character is a young priestess in Glastonbury, England named Sharay. She’s haunted my near sleep state for a long time. After I finished my manuscript she was quiet, yet still there. With the novel's imminent release, her voice has become louder.  She wants an interview with herself, a book trailer, maybe even a sequel. She doesn’t let me sleep.