Kimberly MacCarron

Time Suck of Scheduling

I just spent a good two hours trying to get my conference app up and running for RWA 2014. This was a colossal waste of my time and energy. All it managed to do was make me swear at my computer and threaten to throw it off my deck.

For the last five years I’ve made up my schedule for the conference in a regular document. Each year, I “Save As” that year’s location and start replacing. It seemed to work for me.

I try to add some humor into them as well. “Mingle at a bar” or “Find a buttertart” (that’s for you, Holly). At one conference, I put “Have Sex with Husband” right after my return flight landed. Well, said husband took advantage of my conference time to throw stuff away at home. My youngest called in tears that he had thrown away her American Girl dolls. Another was crying that he was making them get rid of half of the contents of their rooms. I’m a pack rat…
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You Complete Me? I Don’t Think So!

When Jerry Maguire popped onto the big screen in 1996, we all loved to shout out favorite movie quotes. “Show me the money!” Who wouldn’t like that? “Help me help you!” Or even “You had me at hello.” It’s what Jerry said to Dorothy right before that last one which made me want to slam my head against a brick wall. Do you remember the words?

“You complete me.” No. No, no, no. A million times NO!

If a man tells me he completed a triathlon, that’s quite an accomplishment. I’m impressed. If he completed his master’s program or an application for a job or an essay for a scholarship, wonderful! But, if a man ever said to me, “You complete me,” I would run—not walk—to the nearest exit.

First of all, I can barely complete an exercise routine. I can never complete housework chores. Sometimes I can’t seem to complete my manuscript. So why, in the name of all that’s holy, would I want to complete another human being?…
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Bumper Stickers: The Original Tweet!

What do bumper stickers and tweets have in common? Lots! If you think about it, the similarities abound. In both forums, we try to get across our political affiliations, religious views, environmental stances, professions/hobbies and personal pet peeves into a compressed form of communication. And likely, nobody really cares. The ones who don’t like your words, will have unfavorable responses in one of two ways. If it’s on Twitter, they’ll tweet back their opposing views or unfollow you. If they’re behind you at the red light, you’re lucky. They’ll just give you the finger as they fly past. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be parked and discover your car has been keyed. Either way, you get a reply or response. Congratulations!

Here are some of the ways bumper stickers and tweets are similar:

Character limit: Clearly you can’t write a whole story on the back of a bumper. Just as Twitter limits you to the communication equivalent of a quickie, so does a bumper sticker. It’s a sound bite, people. It’s…
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Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!

No green beer for me this year due to another bout of snow and a yucky cold.

But, I have to admit that I love St. Paddy’s Day! When I was in junior high, I was sent to the office for a violation of the dress code. We weren’t allowed to wear buttons with sayings, and I had about seventy Irish buttons all over my clothes. It took me a good half hour to remove them all. They didn’t say anything about the pointed leprechaun shoes or the bright green wig though.

The fascination with all things green and Irish continued throughout the years. When I was in my early twenties, I went to Ireland and decided I wanted to move there. Clearly, that didn’t happen, so I settled on getting a leprechaun tattoo instead.

What is it about St. Patrick’s Day that makes everyone happy? I’ve never been to a pub when fights break out. People share their excitement and wear green sparkles and goofy hats and pointed shoes….
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Writing through the Fog

Caution Heavy Fog pic

This past weekend I attended the SCBWI conference in NYC, and while we were waiting for the next great speaker, random quotes would appear on the mega screens to keep us patient.

One quote by E.L. Doctorow kept with me during the weekend, and I wrote it down in my handy-dandy composition notebook. It was this: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Wow. That’s it exactly! Each scene, each chapter leads you to the end of the book. That made me think about WIPs and the obstacles that get in our way while we’re writing. I started to see all these similarities between driving in the fog and writing a book.

Then I did what some writers do best. I distracted myself and started Googling. I found a bunch of warnings for…
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Why We Write Romance

Valentines-day-valentines-day-22236757-2560-1600-300x187Happy Valentine’s Day from the Waterworld Mermaids!!!

We love Valentine’s Day so much that we are celebrating all week long. Ever curious about why the Mermaids write romance novels? Today we decided to share our answers to the question: What made you start writing romance?

Come back tomorrow when we turn the tables on industry professionals with their very own question. Our celebration will wrap on Thursday with a gift card giveaway. Leave a comment today and tomorrow for extra chances to be entered in the giveaway on Thursday.

Enjoy and smoochies!

What made you start writing romance?

Alethea

This should come as no surprise to anyone: Fairy Tales are the reason I started writing romance. Fairy tales are full of fantasy, adventure, magic, mystery, blood, and death…but the tales I always found most interesting were the ones that involved true love. This love might end tragically (The Little Mermaid) or wonderfully (Rapunzel) or coincidentally (Briar Rose) or with a heaping…
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What’s the Point?

Our actions should have points to them. Characters in books generally have a point—an arc that shows where they’ve been and where they’re going. But sometimes I feel like nothing has a real point, or we’ve covered the real thing with glitter to hide the underlying problem. Here are things that I can’t quite understand. What’s the point?

Giving free t-shirts to participants in walks for the homeless. Ummm. Not sure I get this one. I have five kids who have participated for years at their school. They get free shirts and walk around the school to help the homeless. First of all let me say quite clearly that our family volunteers and gives plenty to our local community action center. I’m not being insensitive here. I’m just wondering if we couldn’t serve the homeless a little better by actually giving them plain t-shirts or the money that it costs the companies to make them. Wouldn’t that serve the homeless a little better? I get that it’s publicity, but do…
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What Happened to the Giving?

by Kimberly MacCarron

In the midst of twinkling lights, sparkly trees and holiday music streaming through every department store in America, what happened to giving?

I don’t mean giving in the sense that we’re grabbing crap off the shelves before the next person can snatch it. I don’t mean that panicky feeling of buying anything because we have no clue what someone needs. And I don’t mean buying something for a “Secret Santa” gift that the person clearly lists the three things that would be sufficient.

This year I told my husband not to bother with the Secret Santa farce at his office. You pull a name from the jar, and that person lists three things they want in a specified price range. The three things are generally gift cards to their favorite stores. Then they pick a name and their choices are generally a gift card or a specific item. How about we nix that idea completely and just go buy ourselves what we want???

I’m not trying to…
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Shrugs, Smiles and Sex

by Kimberly MacCarron

As writers, we’re supposed to write what we know. Apparently I know lots about shrugging, smiling and sex.

If I do a find and replace with the words ‘shrug’ or ‘smile’, there would be a gazillion replaces going on. Now, the sex is another story. I don’t use the word much, but, boy do I like to write about it.

This poses a significant problem for me because I write YA. Teens tend to smile and shrug a lot. I’m sure they even have sex. But shouldn’t it be a little bit harder writing sex scenes for teen readers?

Apparently not.

During this month of NaNo, I started writing a paranormal adult contemporary. I’m about 9,000 words in, which totally bites when we’re way past the halfway mark. On the other hand, I started a YA book at the beginning of October, which I had trouble writing. I’ve gone back and forth between these two books like the fickle woman I am.

Yesterday, I got to the…
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How Far is Too Far?

I have opinions!

I have strong opinions. That must come as a complete shock to those who know me, but I do.

I also feel torn sometimes between what I believe and what I used to believe. We’re human and our opinions can change based on life experience. As we grow older, sometimes those thoughts mellow and soften or they harden us to other people’s views.

As writers, do you have characters with strong beliefs and opinions or do you end up deleting them so as not to offend half of your readership? And if you do that, are you being true to your characters? Shouldn’t they have views on religion and politics? Shouldn’t they have enough depth of character to feel things strongly?

I’m torn here. I write YA (Young Adult), and I hesitate sometimes to put in a comment about race, religion or politics. I hesitate because I don’t want to put my own views out there to be criticized. I don’t want people to think that I’m…
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