Thursday, May 24, 2012


                                  ---A Salute to Creative Authors who keep us going!

So, how was your week?  I won’t comment on mine except to say
if it wasn’t for family, and wonderful Writing Buddies in the AKRWA writer’s group, I would probably be stark-raving mad by now.  Major back surgery in February of 2012 put a cramp in my style.  I’m still recovering, but I’m proud to say the setbacks have given me more time to write, and read!

Count your blessings, my grandma used to say!
I’m well into writing a new manuscript (60,000 words so far) and my reading has included research for my World War I storyline, books from friends, and the works of our wonderful Alaska Romance Writers of America authors who have recently published books.
I must say, we have a talented group of writers here in the Last Frontier.  Success rates for publishing has been phenomenal and I highly recommend these books:
                               ---CHECK THEM OUT!

TOUCHED BY THE MAGIC by Maxine Mansfield
Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:
Available from Avon Books
Amazon / Kindle:

or:  Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:

THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME by Jennifer Bernard 
The Hot Firemen of San Gabriel County Series
Available from Avon Books

SHIELD OF FIRE by Boone Brux

Amazon / Kindle:

or:  Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:
COURAGE TO LIVE by Morgan Q. O’Reilly
Available from Amazon / Kindle:
COWBOYS DREAM, TOO by Morgan Q. O’Reilly
Available from Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:
 MOOSED UP by Tiffinie Helmer 
Available from Amazon / Kindle:

or:  Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:

FALLEN HEART by Pauline Trent

PROMISES TO KEEP by Char Chaffin
Amazon / Kindle:
or:  Barnes & Noble / NOOK Books:

Other AKRWA Authors pursuing manuscript publication::  
Eve Marlinspike, Tam Linsey, Lynn Lovegreen, DeNise Woods,
George Guthridge, Elizabeth Komisar
 (my apologies to anyone overlooked in this blog - next time!  :o) 
--- Jae Awkins

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quitting My Day Job

You know the old joke, “Don’t quit your day job?” Well, I juat did, quit my day job. I am excited and a little scared at the same time. 

I’ve been leading up to this moment for a long time. First, I wrote in little spurts when I didn’t have to grade papers, etc. when I was teaching English. Then I retired from that and got a 9 to 5 job, which was great because I had all my evenings and weekends to myself. I got a lot more writing done, and managed to complete three manuscripts. But I only wrote a few days a week, not entirely satisfying. I found myself loving my job, but thinking, “Darn, I have to go to work all day today.” My muse kept tugging on my sleeve until I couldn’t ignore her anymore.

I looked at all our sources of income, our expenses, all the variables I could think of and discovered that our pensions and my husband’s income could pay our bills. We had a heart-to-heart about it, and my gracious husband said, “You’ve supported all my wild ideas. If you want to quit your job, go for it.” Shortly after that I set a date, and now here we are. My last day at work was April 30, 2012.

I am so excited about this opportunity to write full-time. I already have a dream schedule for how to spend my days, ideas of what I’ll do now that I have the extra time to really focus on my writing. And it will feel so good to say “I am a writer,” instead of “I am a writer but my day job is.....” or “I write on the side and ....”

The scary parts--What if I’m not ready to publish yet? What if the furnace and the refrigerator die at the same time, or something worse happens?  Scary. Extra incentive to make money from my writing? Yes, that too. 

If the absolute worst happens, I guess I go back to work. But in the meantime I am a full-time writer. No dabbler in a hobby, no writer-hyphen-something else, but a real listen-to-the-muse-write-all-day, follow-your-dreams kind of writer. Woohoo!  

---Lynn Lovegreen
originally posted at

Friday, May 11, 2012

Social Science Fiction

This week I read I-Robot by Asimov, followed by Six Moon Dance by Sheri S. Tepper. What a relief it is for me to spend time with these writers. I want to say to these writers "Yes! Yes! You are right." I love my chosen genre, social science fiction. I love how it wraps intriguing stories around discussions regarding society and human nature. I feel a kinship to Asimov and to Tepper.
I've spent the last six years of my life working a job where I must follow and enforce the rules of society, yet I'm the sort of person who thinks about these rules, the reasons for them, and the effect they have on individuals. I've often felt alone in my perspective and inadequate in my work. So then I read Asimov and Tepper and I find that someone else thinks and cares about the same things.
I-Robot isn't really a novel but a series of charming vignettes exploring a theme, the three laws of robotics. Asimov postulated a robotic brain which couldn't violate these laws.

1.      A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2.   A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3.      A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

By the end of the book, the exploration moves on to society and ethics, and the book gets interesting on a deeper level. The robotic brain with its built in ethics becomes the government taking control of the economy and manipulating it for the greatest good. Along the way Asimov shows characters discussing the history of human conflict.  One thing I love about science fiction is that the stories let the characters talk about such philosophy without much comment by the author.
Then I moved on to Sheri S. Tepper's writing. Oh boy! She goes into similar discussions but in much greater depth than Asimov in I-Robot. Asimov's writing may be a classic, but Tepper's writing has much more depth, often on similar issues.  Asimov wrote of "decency," doing no harm to a person. Tepper wrote of "civility," freedom of expression as long as that expression doesn't impinge on anyone else's freedom. I find it interesting that they both used a form of artificial intelligence in government to achieve their ideals.
Six Moon Dance is a great story too with mystery, romance, adventure, and philosophy all rolled into one. Oh yes it's a romance. The hero is a biota with multiple parts and no gender. The heroine is a construct made of artificial intelligence and three human brains. The individuality and gender of characters keeps getting swapped around, so the biota could be seen as the heroine.

I love this stuff. It's just so weird.
 --- Eve Marlinspike 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Falling in Love with Fictional Men

Come on, admit it.  We all do this to some extent.  Whose heart hasn’t beaten faster when Daniel Craig comes on the screen, get a little obsessed with everything he’s been in, or have a life-size cut out of him in your bedroom?  Okay, that last one might be only me.  But it’s not like I went out and bought him (though I totally would have).  I won Daniel Craig at a writer’s conference.  Talk about inspiration.

Anyway, Daniel Craig isn’t what this post is about, though I think that would be a great idea. 

What do you do when you fall in love with your hero? 

In my recent book, MOOSED UP, I have one hot Alaska Wildlife Refuge Office, Lynx Maiski.  He’s a different hero for me.  Alpha male when he needs to be, but perfectly fine with the woman in his life calling the shots.  He’s sweet and caring and wants to please.  Growing up with three sisters, he is well-rounded, yet bad ass and tough as Alaska requires a man in his position to be.  I love him!  I love him so much that writing on my next book feels like I’m cheating.  I want to go back and play with Lynx.  But his story is finished.  Hell, it’s out. 

So, how does a writer move on and embrace writing a new man?

One lucky commenter will receive a digital copy of MOOSED UP so you can have a chance to fall in love with Lynx too.

MOOSED UP is available now at:
 Barnes & Noble

Stay out of the woods...the moose are loose and the men are hungry.
Nurse Practitioner Eva Stuart’s life is messed-up. She found her fiancĂ© in bed with her best friend Jeremy, which has killed her confidence as a desirable woman and brought her judgment into question when it comes to men. Needing a change of scenery, she leaves Cincinnati behind for the wilds of Alaska and opts for running a medical clinic in a remote town. Her life quickly changes from messed-up to moosed-up as nature takes a stab at her.

Wildlife Refuge Officer Lynx Maiski is big... and hot... and hungry for a mate. He’s more than willing to show Eva just how sexy she is. After all, sometimes what a street-smart woman really needs is a forest-smart mountain man. But he’s keeping a secret that seems destined to ruin his chances at love.

Soon they are dealing with small town interference, a sun that refuses to set, deadly poachers, out of control lust, and a matchmaking moose on the loose.

To learn more about Tiffinie Helmer and her books, please visit her website: