How to fuel the creative fires in LIST FORM!

April 25th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll 2 Comments »

I always love the posts with list.  A post that tells you how to stay creative in list form — be still my didatic heart!  Life On Michigan Avenue lists 29 ways to stay creative, which makes me wonder, what happened to #30? 

I do make a lot of lists. I never do free writing. I am not of fan of beating myself up, because I bruise easily.  I think tomorrow I will read a page in the dicionary.

I agree with most of them, but am wondering why “EAT MORE SPINACH” is missing, because that’s my thing to do when I start to lose the edge.  Eat Spinach. :) )



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David Brooks, as a Metaphor

April 13th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Cool People Comments Off

I don’t know how I missed this on Monday, but David Brooks, the NYT Op-ed columnist, discussed “I Is An Other” by James Geary, a fascinating book on metaphors, putting them under a verbal microscope as it were.  I think I want to get this book (it’s on KINDLE!).  There’s this bit:

When talking about relationships, we often use health metaphors. A friend might be involved in a sick relationship. Another might have a healthy marriage.

Instinctively my contrary minds want to think of a relationship metaphor that involves something unhealthy.  A twinkie.  Their love was like a twinkie.  Sweet, full of chemicals, able to last decades without going stale. 

I like this one bit from Brooks:

Most of us, when asked to stop and think about it, are by now aware of the pervasiveness of metaphorical thinking. But in the normal rush of events. we often see straight through metaphors, unaware of how they refract perceptions. So it’s probably important to pause once a month or so to pierce the illusion that we see the world directly. It’s good to pause to appreciate how flexible and tenuous our grip on reality actually is.

It made me think of metaphors from a writer’s perspective.  I always knew to use metaphor as a way to shape a character, to give the reader an insight into the way my peeps view the world.  However, I guess there’s a bit of flim-flammery in metaphors, too, an authorial sleight of hand to refract perceptions whichever I choose.  Fascinating.

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March Madness 1839 style. OK vs. OW. OK wins!

March 24th, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Wordtasm Comments Off

The Web of Language talks about the OKness of ‘OK’ and how the little letters, first used in 1839, as a shortening of “oil korrect” is still around.  What was wrong with ‘O.W.’ for ‘oil wright’ was it not OK enough?  Or, as Americans, do we just like our K’s better than our W’s?  Don’t know, but the list of acronyms was a hoot.  I long to use SPQR (the senate and people of Rome) in a book, somewhere.  LL.D (licensed to lie damnably), which is the best lawyer-moniker, ever.  We laugh about BFF, but I’m thinking in 2150, will all letters begin: Dear BFF — ???  E.Q. minds want to know.

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The Hidden Billet of Love

March 22nd, 2011 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Newsflash Comments Off

Ah, l’amour.  Antique l’amour is even l’amourier.  Jezbel has a post on a 200 year old love letter that was found in a chair.  An upholstery shop was repairing the chair, and discovered the old note folded in the arm of the chair.  It’s like An Affair to Remember, but really, really old.


I can picture this strapping French dude (much like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) showing up every Tuesdays at 5:30 and every Friday at 5:30, waiting for his love, but alas, his little cabbage is nowhere to be found because the dude’s meddling aunt (much like meddling relatives found in every Barbara Cartland romance ever… written….) hid the the note in the chair in the arm of the chair.  Finally, fifty years later on her deathbed, she was about to confess her sin to her nephew, but only the following words escaped her lips before she expired. “I have done something… dreadful.  She…,”

After her mysterious pronouncement, Gaston immediately guessed the truth, and rode his trusty stead to the home of his little cabbage only to find her living happily in the castle with the Beast and lots of dancing furniture (including the chair, which had harbored the love letter all these years, never letting Belle know the truth).

Brought low with despair, Gaston threw himself off the steep walls of the castle, and the dancing furniture celebrated with a grand feast.

The End.

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Lights! Cameras! Rom-action!

June 7th, 2010 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, On Writing Miseries Comments Off

Jezebel mentioned an article in the Washington Post on romaction movies, which is a mash-up of romance and action set to a catchy disco beat (I love the nightlife, I love to boogie, I need some rom-act-shun! ahem… sorry).

Actually, most of the great movies do have romance in them for one very good reason. It’s a great way to show someone loves the hero/heroine and thus, they are cool-dudes-people. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Titanic, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind… Ah, yes, love how Hollywood can stumble over these new “fads” with people.

I was skimming through Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (RIP Blake) and one of the great pieces of writing advice in there is the addition of the Save the Cat scene. The place where the audience sees the hero rushing in to save the cat, because even though he’s an alcoholic, drug-dealing, cheating-hearted ex-con, he still loves Kitty Anon enough to risk his life and limb in order to save the little friskers. Cue the audience going “ahhhh….”

Romance is save the Cat on a larger scale. Romance makes everyone lovable. The great romances are the beauty and the beast. If beauty loves beast, he doesn’t seem quite so furry.

There’s a quote in the Washington Post article that cracks me up:

Dergarabedian calls the new genre “romaction-comedy” and likens the hybrid to a science experiment. “I imagine movie executives sitting around a conference table like guys in a laboratory, trying to build the perfect box office beast,” he says. “They’re trying to figure out, ‘How do we get the guys to go to a movie with their girlfriends and not feel like they’re being dragged to it?’ “

This cracks me up because frankly, if the movie is well-written, everybody wants to see it, male, female, furry beasts.

I hope Hollywood continues this “trend” because I like my heroes and heroines with heart and if this is the only way that Hollywood can figure out how to do it, fine by me. But Hollywood? With that romance thing? You can’t just tell it, you have to show it.
It’s probably hopeless.

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At the Blaze Blog Today

August 24th, 2009 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Reading Matters Comments Off

I’m posting at the Blazeauthors blog today. Taking an informal survey on the whys of reading romance and has the why changed and why the why has changed….

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Blogging today at Romance Bandits!

August 7th, 2009 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll Comments Off

I’ll be here today, blogging on travel hell. Lots of great travel-atrocities so far….

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Save the Contemporary, Harlequin style

August 4th, 2009 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Cool People, On Writing Miseries 2 Comments »

Lest you have not heard the girly screams coming from New York, Smart Bitches, and Dear Author have joined together to pimp out two category books: Bronwyn Jameson’s, Magnate’s Make-Believe Mistress, and Hot Under Pressure by *taking a humble bow* moi.

Lots of giveaways all week, and here’s how to win:

First: at 9pm EST, 8pm CST, today (4 August) Jane and Sarah will select 10 winners from the comments to this entry on each of their sites. Those lucky winners will receive a copy of both Hot Under Pressure by Kathleen O’Reilly and The Magnate’s Make Believe Mistress by Bronwyn Jameson.

arrow_rightSecond: every day this week at 9pm EST, two winners a day will be chosen from those who Twitter about the Save the Contemporary campaign (#stc) and from those who blog about or email the contest entry. To email, simply forward the details to a friend using the “Email This Page” link at Save the , or or email us at with a link to your blog entry. The more times you forward the details of this giveaway, the greater chance you have of winning. For the Tweet campaign, use the “Share This”  button and twitter the contest link, along with whatever you want to say about contemporary category romances — but don’t forget the #stc tag!

Lots of chances to win!!

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Blaze authors blog

April 1st, 2009 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Cool People, Reading Matters Comments Off


The authors of the Harlequin Blaze line have put together a blog, and for the big celebration, today’s entry is senior editor, sportswoman extraordinaire, and grand poobahess in chief, Brenda Chin.

Also, a Blaze trivia contest, and first prize is the Jan, Feb, and March 2009 Blazes delivered to your door.

No foolin’ :)



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Live-Blogging the DABWAHA: The part in which Kathleen forgot the ‘live’ in liveblogging…

March 27th, 2009 Kathleen O'Reilly Posted in Blogroll, Reading Matters 2 Comments »

So, uh, the problem with not being Miss Johnnie on the Spot is that uh, sometimes things happen and you have to, uh, you know, do other stuff…  So, that, dear readers is a fumbling apology wherein I missed zesty, insightful commentary on Round 3, Region 1, Part 2, whichis wherein Nora went dow-ohhhn!!!  I checked the Times today, but it did not make the news, and I thought to myself, have the cutbacks got so bad?

Anyway, uh, in Round 3, Region 1, Part 1 action, Iron Kisssed knocked out Grimspace, so Briggs advances to fight again another day.  In the magic Burns vs. The sharing Knife, Magic Burns won, in what should be considered an upset of Bujold proportions….  

And then, there was Part 2. Paranormal, SF, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction against Contemporary Romance. The ten-thousand pound gorilla that is Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas was up against Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione.  The numbers show this as tight race.  BED winning with 338 votes against PU with 313 votes.  

The second round was a true surprise to me.  Although I didn’t think Tribute would go all the way, like the United States Marine, you just don’t bet against Nora Roberts.  However, Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs pulled it off.  The vote was close, less than 20 between them, but in the end, it was Briggs that walked away.  

Next year, Nora will be back, with the gleam of death in her eyes, and she’ll be bringing the ultimate secret weapon with her.  A straight contemporary romance trilogy centered around a wedding service.  Be afraid, fellow authors, be afraid.  Nora is bringing the goods.

The next vote is not posted, but it’s scheduled for today, and it’s going to be another nail-biter.  Your Scandalous Ways, by sentimental favorite Loretta Chase against Delicious by young new-comer Sherry Thomas.  Never underestimate Thomas.  Delicious is smart, wily, and knows how to move.  Tune in folks.  Should be… uh, delicious.

The other match in the Region is Spymaster’s Lady against Price of Desire.  I had originally thought there’s only one book in this field that can ravage the Spymaster’s Lady and that’s Blue-Eyed-Devil with it’s silver-tongue and charming Southern drawl.  However, with Briggs out there, two books still in the pack, I’m going to have to rethink that think.

There’s the smell of napalm in the morning air.  Ladies and gents, I think we gut us a rip-roaring, romance battle royale.  Welcome to the jungle.


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