Welcome to Our World-Building blog

Welcome! We weave dreams, some dark, some not, but all fantastic.

We are authors of Fantasy, Romance, and much more. Enter our infinite worlds....

On this blog, our visitors will find advice and opinion from published authors on much more than just world-building. We'll tell you in Craft and Opinion posts what we do, how we do it, and what we think works for us.

Authors with A-names post on the 1st of each month, B-names post on the 2nd, C-names on the 3rd etc.
The 29th, 30th, and 31st are free-for-all days.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Authors Show

The Authors Show

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who Moved My Buy Button


An Authors' Guild project to keep authors informed when Amazon with deadly silent stealth removes buy buttons to bully publishers into paying Amazon more, and authors less.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Addicted to reading?

I am addicted to reading, can never find enough SF/F books, and I have nightmares about waking up in a world where no books are available. My other problem is a limited amount of time free to browse bookstores.

With limited time to browse, an eBook reader has been the answer for me. Here’s why. I go on the various on-line sites and lo and behold, in their eBook listings they allow customers to download samples free. So I find my favorite genre (fantasy, duh) and then go through the lists of authors I haven’t read before and download samples. These are usually the first few pages of a book, enough to get an idea of content and style.

At my leisure I can read through the samples. What happens to me then is exactly what happens when I browse a bookstore’s shelves. Out of every dozen samples, I find a couple books that grab me. So then I buy the eBook on-line.

Sure, I buy 3 or 4 print books every month. Those are books from favorite authors and usually I have been waiting anxiously for their next book. My only complaint about the easy ebook availability is that I am now adding more favorite authors to my list and I am going to have to cut back on other addictions, like eating and paying taxes.

Phoebe Matthews
, Mudflat series

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stubborn Muse? No Problem

Is your Muse snoozing?

I used to teach an online class on this subject but haven't for some time. What I did discover is that many writers suffer from a stubborn Muse. My personal opinion is writers have tender spirits that need extra nurturing. We pour ourselves into the characters we create which is why I made the former statement.

Through the years I've discovered what make my Muses unhappy. Yep, that's right I have two. One female and the other male. Chocolate works, but balancing my life and removing stress are the major bugaboos I have to watch.

When I sense problems looming ahead, that's time to take corrective measures. If I ignore the signs it only makes things worse and can add to the length of time for me to get back to where I need to be.

One of the biggest hurdles I have to overcome is overextending myself. I'm taking the last three classes for finish my degree. They are kicking my ass and I haven't had a chance to escape homework long enough to write or edit.
May can't get here soon enough.
In the meantime, I'm dealing with pain from my spine so bad I'm nauseous. I'm no quitter, I'll take the laptop to bed with me. Writing isn't a chore, it's a joy most of the time. A good attitude and flexibility help.

I can't be the only one going through everyday normal crap like this, so here are some thoughts and positive things of action we can do to get our arses in gear.


With the stresses of day-to-day life taking its toll on a person physically, mentally and emotionally there’s no doubt the muse runs off to hide until the mess is clear.

When you’re exhausted in all areas of your life, how can you write? You can’t. If you push yourself and your muse, you’re either not going to like what you’ve put down on paper, or the frustration of not getting anything down at all will make things worse.

Once you’ve contracted a story with a publisher, you must deliver. You have no time for writer’s block. But what happens if it does come and takes up residence?

Knowing the source of what is causing your muse to take a hike can be the first step to getting everything under control. Or at least manageable.

Physical: If there’s a physical problem hindering you, go to the doctor. Nagging pains, blurry vision etc., can signal something bigger. Having physical aggravations reduces your capacity to concentrate and zaps precious energy.
I speak from experience. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue so I must adjust my schedule and writing activities accordingly. This is a neuro-muscular disorder, in the same class as MS, so I never know what condition my muse will be in from one day to the next. It makes every day a surprise.

Consider your writing area. Is it comfortable? Do you need adjustments to your chair, a footrest to ease back stress or a change of table height so your arms are less stressed? Is the lighting too bright or not bright enough?

Many office supply stores can assist with these areas. If you have a spouse or significant other, they might be able to help, too.

If the area you’re writing in doesn’t make you happy it will affect your attitude before you sit down and put words on the page. For example, in my writing room, I write paranormal romance so I have three Twilight posters hanging on the wall, a stuffed bat (cause I love my vampires), a stuffed wolf (cause I love my wolf shifters.) LOL It makes me happy when I walk in my office. And candles. I usually have a candle lit and the fragrance is soothing.

You don't have to spend a lot of money, just surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. I know this is sounds trivial but it does have an impact.

The goal here is to remove as much stress as possible to open yourself up to the creative flow and energy needed to create. For those with children, maybe you could take them to a Mother's Day out program at a local church or day care. Find another writer and watch each others kids. My kids are grown so I'm limited on my suggestions.

Emotional: This area is the most difficult. Family, jobs and friends all vie for a piece of you and your time. When can you find the time or energy to write? By doing for others, but not ourselves, our creativity is blocked by the guilt people rain upon us. Taking the time you need to recharge yourself, will make you happier and in turn productive.

Learning to say no is tricky. Those who really care about you will make an effort to understand that you must limit your activities to achieve your goals as a writer. You must choose what is important and how you need to manage your time.

As writers, we tap into ourselves to bring forth a wide array of emotions in creating our characters and plot. If your emotional tank is dry, how can you dip into something that isn’t there?

Don’t heap criticism upon an already tender, bruised creative self because you didn’t do this or that. It’s okay to take a day or two to replenish and nurture yourself. I think women are especially bad about sacrificing so much for others, that by the time they do stop, there isn't much much left over.


If you haven’t tried one of these, then that is your assignment if you chose to accept.

* When writing in a genre, I read in one that is different than what I’m currently writing in. This will keep you from accidentally taking something from another author and will give your mind something fresh to ingest.

* Try or do something creative that isn’t writing. Paint, knit, crochet, garden etc.

* Walk a nature trail. Take a notebook to jot down anything that appeals to your senses. You can use the notes later in your work.

* Try a new recipe. I write Scottish/Celtic themed stories. I make a wonderful batch of shortbread and shepherd’s pie.

I hope you find something helpful in this post.

May your creativity and your Muse(s) flourish!

Wicked Pleasures now in Print
from Red Rose Publishing

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can You Sell Your Back-Up Copy Of An EBook?

No, sorry, you cannot. Not Legally, anyway.

In the light of the formation of a new task force to combat copyright infringement, it might be a good time to clarify the most common misconceptions about what copyright means for an author and a reader. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1224904520100212

Copyright and Digital Files

Can I backup my computer software?

Yes, under certain conditions as provided by section 117 of the Copyright Act. Although the precise term used under section 117 is “archival” copy, not “backup” copy, these terms today are used interchangeably. This privilege extends only to computer programs and not to other types of works. 

Under section 117, you or someone you authorize may make a copy of an original computer program if:
  • the new copy is being made for archival (i.e., backup) purposes only;
  • you are the legal owner of the copy; and
  • any copy made for archival purposes is either destroyed, or transferred with the original copy, once the original copy is sold, given away, or otherwise transferred.
You are not permitted under section 117 to make a backup copy of other material on a computer's hard drive, such as other copyrighted works that have been downloaded (e.g., music, films).

It is also important to check the terms of sale or license agreement of the original copy of software in case any special conditions have been put in place by the copyright owner that might affect your ability or right under section 117 to make a backup copy. There is no other provision in the Copyright Act that specifically authorizes the making of backup copies of works other than computer programs even if those works are distributed as digital copies.

Is it legal to sell backup copies of computer software (in online auctions or on website)? Is it legal to buy and use a backup copy of software I already own?
No. The Copyright Act does not permit anyone to sell backup copies to third parties separately from the original copy of the software. If you lawfully own a computer program, you may sell or transfer that lawful copy together with a lawfully made backup copy of the software, but you may not sell the backup copy alone.

We have been made aware of websites that are offering to sell “backup” copies of software via download over the Internet or in a custom-burned CD-R format, under the guise that section 117 permits this. Section 117 does NOT permit the sale of backup copies. Again, section 117 does not allow you to sell backup copies to someone else except when such backup copies are sold together with the original lawfully owned copy. It does not allow anyone to solely distribute “backup” copies to the public. In addition to being a violation of the exclusive right of distribution, such activity is also likely to be a violation of the terms of the license to the software. In many cases these sites appear to be a front for distribution of illegal copies, which is copyright infringement. You should be wary of sites that offer to sell you a backup copy.

And if you do buy an illegal backup copy, you will be engaging in copyright infringement if you load that illegal copy onto your computer, i.e., the unauthorized reproduction of the infringing computer program into memory. Lesson: if you want a backup copy of a lawfully owned computer program, back it up yourself.

Can I copyright my website?
The original authorship appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright. Procedures for registering the contents of a website may be found in Circular 66, Copyright Registration for Online Works.

Can I copyright my domain name?
Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assignation of domain names through accredited registers.

Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?

Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. 

Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.

     Whether or not a particular work is being made available under the authority of the copyright owner is a question of fact. But since any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium (including a computer file) is protected by federal copyright law upon creation, in the absence of clear information to the contrary, most works may be assumed to be protected by federal copyright law.
Since the files distributed over peer-to-peer networks are primarily copyrighted works, there is a risk of liability for downloading material from these networks. To avoid these risks, there are currently many "authorized" services on the Internet that allow consumers to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services, consumers can avoid the risks of infringement liability and can limit their exposure to other potential risks, e.g., viruses, unexpected material, or spyware.

     For more information on this issue, see the Register of Copyrights' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee


Last minute Valentines Book Bargains at EBookisle

For their Valentine's PROMO, Book Isle is highlighting 'sets' and in many cases offering special pricing.

For example, just to get you there:

For all your online book needs please visit http://www.ebookisle.net/ for personal service with real life, all-American, knowledgeable book lovers who read and review and support small press authors.

If you have questions about http://www.ebookisle.net/, please contact Cy Korte at

Book Isle Paperbacks
2212 Division Street
Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481

Bookisle / Ebookisle are regularly at the Romantic Times convention. This author can vouch for the fact that ebookisle pays royalties to authors regularly and fairly. EBookisle can work with you, as Amazon cannot.

Please support legitimate online booksellers with your business.

Rowena Cherry

Saturday, February 13, 2010

President's Day Sale on Lulu.com

Many readers may find themselves wishing for great deals to increase the TBR pile. Lulu.com is making that a little easier this President's Day weekend. This was brought to my attention because I have a short story in a fantasy magazine that's available on the site. Therefore, I'll provide a link to the magazine, Winter's Night, below. But I'll also give you the link to Lulu in general for your weekend shopping ease.

Here's the scoop! To get a 15% discount on your order, enter the code WASHINGTON when you're checking out.



From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

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