Carlene Love Flores

A Killer Beginning

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“I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors…”

Those are the very first words of the Miranda Lambert song, Mama’s Broken Heart.  Every single time I hear it, I’m like, “I can totally see that girl.  I know who that is.  I know what she’s feeling, where she’s probably going, and who she’s after.”  And it’s not because I’ve ever been there or done that.

It’s one of my favorite openings ever because less than ten words in and you have to know the rest of the story.

And then I sit there, awestruck, and try to come up with my own attention grabbing openings.  It’s really tough, y’all.  😉

I think to accomplish a great opening line, it helps to identify your strength.  What do you feel most confident about in your writing?  What gives you that thrill inside when you’re in your zone?  Are you great at Dialogue, Characters, Emotion, Action, Grief, Humor, Mystery?  Whatever it is,…
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Our Valentine Gift to you…A Collection of Heroes

 

Hero Collection

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the Mermaids have assembled a hearty and handsome collection of heroes for all our fishy friends. Here at the lagoon, we celebrate diversity in writing, living and loving, something I was so pleased to see come through in this real life and fictional collection.  We hope you enjoy.

From Alethea

Alethea Valentine

In high school, I had a poster from the movie Sidekicks on my ceiling (among many others). I used to dream that Jonathan Brandis and I were great friends. When he committed suicide in 2003, I was wracked with irrational guilt. Maybe if I had written to him, or even attempted to reach out…maybe nothing. Maybe not. I’ll never know.

But as authors, we have the power to make people live forever.

Recently, our Man Wars Mermaids started posting pictures of their schoolgirl crushes,…
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Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Ticking Clock

Good morning fishy friends!  I’m actually going to blog about “writing” today on my group writers blog and not cute boys or cute boys or cute boys.  And that is because it’s contest judging time for my local writing chapter’s annual unpublished writing contest, WRW’s Marlenes.  This is my second year judging and the entries I received this year were very impressive.  There wasn’t a single head hop which stood out to me because I can admit that was my biggest mistake when I first entered my own submission.  More positives were that the characters were all well written and likeable.  The premises were all genuinely unique and interesting.  And there were some really good synopsis’ included at the end.

If the stories I read lacked anything, it was a clear understanding of the Ticking Clock.  I pulled this definition from Mary Buckham and Dianna Love’s power plotting book, Break Into Fiction.  The Ticking Clock is “an internal or external element in the story that creates…
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I Heart Sherrilyn Kenyon & Super Fabulous Dark-Hunter Giveaway!

Happy Friday Fishy Friends!  I’m completely excited about today’s post because I’m giving away one very special Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter novels collection set.  *Giveaway info at the end of this post*Mermaid Carlene

But first I’d like to share a fun story with you.  So, I firmly believe that if you love something, you should love it well.  Just always remember that love is respectful.

So, a few years ago, I was still relatively new to the DC area, settling into my home and continuing to quietly work on writing.  I was so new to it back then that I had no idea about writers groups, contests, or conferences.  But I was VERY familiar with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books and had become a huge fan since being given “Seize the Night” at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.   During a regular check of her upcoming appearances in my area, I saw that she was going to be doing a…
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Swimming with the Mermaids: Carlene Love Flores

If you have never experienced in person the gorgeous and amazingly pure sweetness that is Carlene Love Flores, then I suggest you check your calendar and make an appointment to do so at your earliest convenience. If I could convey the effervescent loveliness with which Carlene so subtly reminded me to get my coughing, virus-ridden duff out of its funk and post the interview I did with her last month about her fabulous debut release, Sidewalk Flower, you, too, would wish you had such majestic and judicious grace.

I am as blessed and honored to have her as a Mermaid Sister as I am proud of her release…which just so happened to launch on my birthday. How’s that for awesome karma?

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Alethea Mermaid: Tennessee, California, Australia — what special meaning (if any) do each of these places have for you?

Carlene Mermaid: Let’s start at the end and work our way back (which fits since this is how I wrote Sidewalk…
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Starting at The End

Sometimes to know where to start, it helps to look at the end.  Mermaid Carlene

My first book is coming out this Friday and although the story is told in chronological order, it didn’t start out that way.

When I began writing Sidewalk Flower, the first scene that came to me was gut wrenching and dark.  It was so powerful and for a long time, I thought because of that, it had to be the book’s opening.  My thinking was that with such a powerful opening scene, it would be hard to put down.  In the business, it was the hook I was sure I needed.

Then I learned from a Savvy Authors Editpalooza workshop that sometimes it’s best to let the scenes happen organically.  That way the reader has a chance to build up to that powerful event and experience it as it was meant to happen.

Once I let go of the place…
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Birthday Party in the Pond & Special Guest Turtle from Adam Ezra Group & Giveaway!

Welcome to my birthday party, fishy friends!  Today I’m turning 36 again and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend 11:16 than sparkling up my fins and splashing around with you all.  And…we have a very special guest with us today!  His name is Turtle and he is the real, live, soul-rockin’ percussionist for the band, Adam Ezra Group!  So the way I see it, this party needs three things:  lots of fun, unending rounds of Shirley Temples, and presents! (Giveaway info at the end)  The music is pumping and the grenadine and cherries are bobbing around in the 7Up so let’s get started!  First I am honored to share this little talk I had with Turtle so pull up a lily pad and enjoy! (Pushes play on “She’s Just a Girl” by Adam Ezra Group)

Carlene: Hi Turtle!  It was so cool meeting you on your birthday back in May…
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Bring a songwriter to the pond: Welcome Julie Butler!

Ask a writer what inspires them and often the answer you’ll get is music.  Naturally, I’m curious about the artists behind these inspiring songs.  I recently poked my nose into the Nashville area and asked the gorgeous voice and richly talented songwriter, Julie Butler, to sit down and have a chat about her “songwriter” self.  Her answers blew me away.   Be sure to check out the lyrics she wrote about mermaids at the end!  Yes, she’s pretty fabulous.

 Me: Hi Julie!  Let’s jump on in the water.   Can you start things off by sharing a little about your “artist self”?

Julie: Carlene, my artist self and my “daily-grind self” struggle with each other on a regular basis. There is some very real pain connected to my creativity. There’s guilt (for not doing enough creatively). There’s a lack of confidence (because my mom is the creative one – not really, but I thought so for many, many years.) There’s…
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Ghosts in Mermaid Lagoon Free Short Story Anthology

A cold chill has invaded the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon. Is it merely the firm grip of fall or something far more sinister?

Find out for yourself as we bring you a month-long short story anthology featuring ghost stories from mermaids Carlene Love Flores, Dana Rogers, Denny S. Bryce, Kerri Carpenter, Kimberly MacCarron, Loni Lynne, Masha Levinson and Susan Andrews. On October 31 our Ghosts in Mermaid Lagoon free read ends with a massive giveaway.

So step right into the lagoon, the water is perfect for tales of ghosts and mysteries of the great beyond.

Guy Day Pictorial: The California Cowboy

Sometimes we don’t have to ask a question to get an answer.  Translation, sometimes a girl is just too darn shy to go up to a shirtless man and say, “Hey there, um, excuse me, sir, um young man…wow, you’re really cute…I, I, I, I mean, what I mean to say is what is your perspective on being a cowboy in southern California which is traditionally known for soulful surfers, not country cuties ?  Wow, you’re not wearing much, are you?”

Please enjoy the photos I took during my recent vacation home to East County San Diego and the stop I made at KSON’s Country Fest.

I give you:  A day in the life of a Southern California Cowboy

What I Would Have Asked: Dearest Will & Kate, is this your first rodeo?

 WIWHA: First the royals, now surfers?  Are…
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