<![CDATA[Margo Moon - Blog]]>Thu, 03 Dec 2015 05:33:09 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Grand Theft Equine Audiobook Sample]]>Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:07:38 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/grand-theft-equine-audiobook-samplePicture
Please enjoy this brief sample from the audiobook version of Grand Theft Equine. Just click the cover to listen!

Stay tuned for additional samples over the coming days.

<![CDATA[Audiobooks, Here We Come]]>Sun, 04 Aug 2013 16:22:43 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/audiobooks-here-we-comePicture
     I'm so excited, I'll probably scare the horses!  Tret Fure is recording the audiobook version of Grand Theft Equine.
     If you haven't read the novel yet, I truly don't know whether to advise reading it before listening to it or staying well away and allowing your first encounter to be the sound of Tret's rich, warm tones reading it to you.
     If you've already bought the ebook or paperback version of Grand Theft, first of all let me say thanks for supporting my work. Second, think of your favorite exchange between Joan and Cailen, or just about any scene involving Brie's adorableness, or Sassy's unsoundness of mind, then imagine Tret Fure reading those to you.
     From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to make my books available in audio format.  And I never envisioned anyone but Tret as the voice talent.  After the terrific job she did recording my fiction blog a few years ago, I just couldn't settle for less than the natural way she relates descriptive passages, the way she slows the cadence to let you savor sensual moments, and the way she injects that little element into her voice that lets you know she's truly amused by the humorous parts. 
     As the recording progresses, I plan to snip little passages and post them here, so whenever you see the audiobook cover above, be sure to click and take a listen.  There will also be an audiobook giveaway or two along the way.  This is going to be so fun!


Four strong women.  Two love stories.  One obsessed heiress.

Shared love for a despondent thoroughbred filly brings trainer Joan Caulder and gallop girl Cailen Eagleton into intimate daily contact.  But Joan's usually irresistible charm is rebuffed at every turn by Cailen, who believes all horse trainers are egomaniacs who sacrifice horses' interests for the sake of money and prestige.

<![CDATA[Author Toys]]>Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:14:09 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/author-toysGetting your head shot to show on search results
by Margo Moon
As indie and small press authors, it's often up to us to machete our own way through the thickets of Web marketing. And because we're writing and marketing at a time when indies are gaining such prominence and legitimacy, I think it's important for us to share with one another as we learn the ropes.

So in that spirit, I want to share with all of you the tips I'm able to pick up, and I hope you'll spread your little tricks around, too.  Well, that didn't come out the way I meant it, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, this week I learned how to get my profile pic and author website to show up at the top of my search results. Search results that display like this definitely give your author image a professional boost. 

These search results are called "rich snippets."  The instructions I followed to achieve the results pictured above came from the article Google Authorship Markup: How to get your picture in search results, by Andy Crestodina.  He does a good job of keeping it short and sweet. 

If this is an effect you'd like to add to your author image, I hope this is helpful.  And if you're an indie who has discovered a neat tool or resource that might be of interest to the rest of us, please think about sharing.  I envision all of us working together to help elevate the entire indie movement.  Happy marketing!

<![CDATA[When Hookups Go Bad]]>Tue, 28 May 2013 18:19:18 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/when-hookups-go-bad Here's a fun little episode from my Starr Ann Chronicles days.  Hope you enjoy...
The Saloon Girls gave one of their "Monday Night Parties Just For Us Women" last night. We were all pretty pumped up about it because Nell's cousin from some big fancy city in Wyoming was in town and there've been all kinds of rumors going around about how pretty she is. And that she's a lesbian. And single. But innerested in not being single. Potentially.

Anyway, Starr Ann and I put on clean chaps and rode on over to the saloon around 8:12. Most everybody had already shown up by then, and it was real crowded inside, so it took a while to catch sight of Nell's cousin.

Starr Ann was the first one to spot her. Even before turning my head in what felt like that dreamy, slow motion speed to gaze upon the sight of her, I knew she was gonna be something else, because Starr Ann whispered, real reverent, "Holy Immaculate Mother of God."

That's when my head turned in dreamy slow motion.

Nell's cousin's name is Eema Allison Jenkins, and looking at her makes you start thinking celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, and Shania Twain are just a little bit too homely. Looking at Eema Allison makes you start thinking she should be the only celebrity in the whole world.

So, after about 27 minutes, we were able to get close enough that Nell introduced us to Eema Allison. I was pretty crafty about wiping my palms on my jeans right before shaking her hand, but it still felt like they got a little clammy just in the short time it took to reach out to her. If she noticed, though, she was gracious enough to pretend like she didn't. And she even kinda held on an extra second, which I was incredibly grateful for, because I was convinced an introduction was all we'd be getting, and that Eema Allison would be quickly swept away by better partiers than Starr Ann and me for the rest of the night.

Then, around 9:01, I felt a cool steady hand at the base of my back and heard a low smooth voice say, "May I have this dance?"

It was Eema Allison.

I repeat. It was Eema Allison.

John Cougar Mellencamp's Cherry Bomb seemed to take about a thousand years, yet only a few seconds, to play as Eema Allison expertly swirled me around the Saloon Girls' living room and basically reduced my bones to butter. Perfectly timed with the song's final note, Eema Allison slipped her hand into mine and leaned forward to say, "Would you like to see my room?"

I was this close to saying I'd seen the whole house already, when I realized what a stupid move that would be. Heh.

So, up in Eema Allison's room, we walked right on over to the bed without turning the light on or anything. Standing in a graceful blue shaft of moonlight filtered through sheer curtains, Eema Allison motioned for me to sit on the bed. And then she joined me.

Eema Allison looked into my eyes and I know it sounds trite and overused, but I really did feel like I was drowning. Then she said, "Margo, I want to be honest with you from the very start."

"Okay, Eema Allison."

She gently took my hand in hers and, looking down, she said, "I was born without toenails."

Right away, that drowning feeling stopped. "Excuse me?"

She turned her face away slightly. "It's true. I have absolutely no toenails, Margo." Then she looked right at me, almost defiantly. "It's congenital, so don't start imagining some horrible accident."

I said, "I wasn't imagining..."

She stopped me with a finger to my lips. I couldn't help it. I looked down and mentally noted that she did have fingernails.

Eema Allison yanked her hand away from my lips and said, "Yes, yes, the hands are nearly perfect! It's only the toes."

There isn't enough time or space here to describe the delicately nuanced maneuvering it took to get me out of that room without letting on to Eema Allison why I suddenly couldn't stay up there with her for "just a while longer." I even tried to go through with the whole thing. But as soon as I thought we were off the subject and getting back onto more innerestin' ground, out of the blue, she'd just have to say something like, "There's nothing they can do for me, you know. Absolutely nothing." Or, one time, right when I was getting all swimmy again, she said, "With my toes, there's no way to tell whether you're looking at the top of them or the bottom of them unless you can see the rest of my foot."

Anyway, as of now, there's this gorgeous big-city woman from Wyoming who is firmly convinced I suffer from severe, incurable female impotence. It was the best solution I could come up with on short notice.

To top things off, it took me about half of what could have been a stunningly beautiful moonlit ride home to convince my best friend Starr Ann that I'd declined Eema Allison's generous offer. Then it took me the other half of the ride home to convince Starr Ann that it wasn't the fact of Eema Allison having no toenails that bothered me, but her weird fascination with the whole thing that just made it impossible to relax and get, you know, excited.

Very late in the night, Starr Ann slipped into my room and snuggled up to me. She said, "I'm sorry I gave you such a hard time about the Eema Allison thing. No more jokes about how you've got toe issues, okay?"

It sure felt good sinking in close to the familiarity of Starr Ann's body after that surreal trip to Eema Allison's room. I said, "Thanks, Starr Ann. Let's just go to sleep now."

Then, as I nestled in a little tighter, I felt something. Socks! She'd worn socks to bed. Starr Ann never wears socks to bed. I felt just like Anthony Perkins at the end of Psycho - where he's sitting in the prison cell not swatting the fly that lands on him because he wants the guards to think how he's too gentle to even hurt a fly - but I didn't do Starr Ann the good of letting on that I'd noticed the socks.
<![CDATA[Making a Scene]]>Wed, 22 May 2013 15:18:17 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/making-a-scenePicture
Have you ever cried while reading a book?  Ever thrown a book across the room or squirted coffee out your nose while reading?  If you've experienced these or any other involuntary bodily functions (but not for longer than 4 hours) during the act of reading, congratulations.  You're my kind of reader!

If a great book can stimulate none of these reactions in you, then OMG, somebody take a pulse.

So, given the emotional potential of the written word, imagine the force of those emotions on a writer as she creates a powerful scene.  It can be exhilarating, stressful, overwhelming, exhausting.  Anytime you stagger from the computer feeling drained or bounce away on your toes, you know the scene you just wrote is a keeper.

One of my highs while writing Grand Theft Equine was the scene where Joan and Brie are playing Topsy Turvy, a lesbian sim game that lets you cruise women in a leather bar.  My partner kept coming into the room to make sure I was okay during that one, I was laughing so hard.

Then there were those two dark days when I had to write the loss of an animal.  I nearly stopped.  Almost couldn't go through with it.  During that, my partner wasn't drawn to the room where I write, because there was only silence.  But a few times during that couple of days, she'd look at me during dinner or something and say, "Are you okay?"

As wrenching as that scene was, though, it was cathartic for someone whose childhood pets were magically immortal. Purely out of love, and not realizing that children need to create their pathways to grief, my parents shielded us from the deaths of pets when my sisters and I were small.  Dogs always "ran away."  When our turtles died, my mom told us they jumped into the toilet while she was cleaning their bowl, and she was certain they swam straight to the river, where they were very happy to find their mother again.  Yes, we were extremely gullible. To keep us from being sad over roadkill, they told us those were stuffed animals on the side of the road, accidentally dropped from windows of passing cars. For the longest time, I thought country kids must be awfully careless, because they seemed to lose a lot of their stuffed animals this way.  And what was up with all the toy raccoons?

Anyway...I'd love to hear about scenes that you've had a visceral response to, either as a reader or a writer.

<![CDATA[Shower Love Scene.  No.  ]]>Tue, 07 May 2013 16:41:18 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/shower-love-scene-noPicture
I'm sure there's a reason for the ubiquitous shower scene in modern works of fiction.  And, logic tells me that must be due to the popularity of having sex in the shower.  Intellectually, I get it.

But in real life, a shower just seems the most unlikely and, frankly, the most cruel place around the house to try anything sexual.  They're confined spaces with slippery floors and metal stuff sticking out all over the place!  You have to keep trading places under the warm water to avoid freezing.  Conversation is pretty much out of the question.  Accidental scalding can't be ruled out.  And afterward, there you are, in a shower stall, not knowing for sure whether it's best to go ahead and wash your hair or just hop out and grab towels, take turns with the hair dryer, etc.  Should you brush your teeth?  In fiction, I don't think they ever do. 

I've tried to figure out the shower fascination, and all I can come up with is that maybe it echoes back to our earliest ancestors.  Maybe mating beneath a waterfall had some survival advantage, like all the noise kept predators from hearing and the rushing water kept down the scent.  I really don't know.  But when you think about it along those lines, it makes a lot of sense that Niagara Falls is synonymous with honeymooning, now doesn't it? 

Well, I can promise I'll never write a serious shower sex scene.  In my next novel, I do have a humorous shower scene involving two women who are attracted to each other, but it's not a sex scene.  Really isn't.

Now that I've dissed whole concept, if anybody wants to show me how wrong I am and point out their favorite awesome shower scene, that'd be cool. 

<![CDATA[Metaphorical Breakdown]]>Sat, 27 Apr 2013 23:46:10 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/metaphorical-breakdown
A metaphor is an uncertain gust of wind in a writer's sail, and at first, it's hard to tell how far it will carry.

(I'm sure you saw what I did there.)

I think about metaphors a lot, except when I'm actually trying to come up with a good one. Then I try not to think, because the best metaphors filter in without conscious effort, and feel less like a thought than a flavor.  You can taste the good ones in your mind.

But here's the thing.  We, or at least I, am accustomed to viewing metaphors as the subtle connections we invent or discover to help us convey or explain some piece of reality.  The key here is that we perceive that the reality was there first and has its own independent existence, with the metaphor there to serve it, to chisel it from the flat rock face of perception and display it in sharper relief. 

For years I've wondered, though, if there might not be a reverse effect at work when it comes to metaphors.  As in, does the choice of metaphor create a self-actualizing effect that sometime builds its own reality, new reality out beyond the rock face.  Once you've finished, it would be very hard to tell whether you started with a flat rock face that you carved or one that you added to.

Anyway, this post was intended to be a brief list of some of the failed metaphors I've come up with in my time.  Goofy, tenuous things that seemed good for about five seconds but made me laugh once I thought about how hokey they were. Then, purely coincidentally and I couldn't even tell you the Internet surf trail that led me to them, I discovered two articles that were so fascinating, I just have to pass them on, in case anybody else is as intrigued by the subject as I am.  Everyone else is dismissed.

So, here's the first article:

Metaphors We Think With: The Role of Metaphor in Reasoning

And a follow up study by the same group:

Natural Language Metaphors Covertly Influence Reasoning

This work already has me questioning the metaphor choices in every news article or opinion column I read.  For instance, given the conclusions of these two studies, imagine the cumulative effects of the billions of references to our "polarized society."  Then try to think in terms of an alternative metaphor that's less...polarizing.  It's difficult, but I think it's worth trying. 

<![CDATA[Undue Pressure]]>Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:46:16 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/undue-pressure Clear as anything, I can see my mom and grandmother sitting there at our kitchen table cutting potatoes, onions, celery and all the other stew stuff.  I can see them chopping cabbage and dropping it into the old pressure cooker they would later add water to and put on the burner.  That was the point where they ordered us to stay totally away from that stove until supper was finished cooking. 

I can hear that little round valve thing on the lid rattling in the soapy suds as my dad did dishes later on that night. 

Like most of us, I'm guessing, I hadn't thought of those old fashioned pressure cookers in a long, long time.

Now the new images surrounding those pots - someone perhaps sitting at a kitchen table as he or she dropped in things that would never cook up tender - are with us to stay. 

The authorities will eventually release minute details concerning the ingredients in the pressure cooker bombs.  But I believe it's up to each one of us to address what was out there to provide the extreme pressure that turned those inanimate objects into lethal projectiles.

The sources of boundless pressure are everywhere.  Republican extremism.  Democrat extremism.  Assassination by drone.  Same-sex marriage. Immigration.  Guns.  Guantanamo. Abortion.  Big banks.  Our wars.  Our prejudices.  Our medical-industrial complex.  Our economic insanity.  What have I left out?

The vast majority of us simply want to live and cook and then do the dishes in warm sudsy water.  But to ever really enjoy that in the same way again, we have to be heroic enough to reverse the march toward the ballooning polarization that only creates more pressure. 

<![CDATA[Down The "Like" Hole]]>Sun, 14 Apr 2013 19:39:55 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/down-the-like-holePicture
Whatever it takes to infiltrate Facebook and become one of its key decision makers, I'm going to do it.  Even if I have to start at the very bottom, working as a lowly clerk down in the email room, I'm willing to give my all.  Why?  Because I have some awesome ideas for making the world's perpetual online party even more wonderful than it already is. 

My first move, the one that'll show right away I'm not afraid of being the bringer of major change, will be to enable "Like" on "Like" capabilities.  That's right.  When someone likes your comment, you'll have the option of going right back in and liking that like.  And that "like of the like" will have the interactive flexibility of also being liked. 

I will insist that there be no end to the allowed number of "Likes" a single comment can launch. 

Now, some party poopers are probably already thinking that if a comment ended up being liked by two compulsively polite people who were simply incapable of not liking back when something they liked got liked, well that could lead to some kind of "Like" hole where those two people were sucked into a never ending cycle of likes. It could end up ruining their lives and much, much more.

But what are the odds of that?  I've never noticed any neurotic people on Facebook, but for the sake of argument, let's just say two pathologically insecure people somehow managed to get a Facebook account and then (miraculously!) ended up friending each other.  Under those conditions, would we be headed for trouble in the otherwise idyllic social network world?  Maybe. 

Which is exactly why I plan to encourage even more use of cute animal pictures accompanied by wording that's almost too hilariously perfect. 

If you feel inclined to "Like" this post, please know that in my heart, I "Like" you back.  I really do.

<![CDATA[Confessions Of A Bibliophile]]>Thu, 04 Apr 2013 14:01:15 GMThttp://www.margomoon.com/blog/confessions-of-a-bibliophilePicture
"My name is Margo Moon, and I am a bibliophile.  I have been clean for 2 months."

It's true that I clung to my love of paper books much longer than most people I know, but then my mom always said I sucked my thumb to an embarrassing age, so at least I'm consistent.  I even got into a rather snippy Facebook back-and-forth with a former co-worker (sorry, Mike Johnson, but I doubt you'll be reading this anyway)  from my bookseller days over the 'Kindle vs paper book' question.  But that was a couple of years ago, and it has gradually become clear to me that paper books now occupy a different and diminished position in the world of publishing. 

Which is not to say paper is gone.  But still.

I love the Kindle my wonderful partner gave me for a recent birthday.  Really love it.  As in, I can barely look my paper books in the eye these days.  It feels like I'm cheating on the hundreds or thousands of hours of my life spent cradling a book, communing with the words inside it, growing together and never suspecting I'd trade that for some young, shiny thing with a sleek physique and awesome connectivity.

The worst part is how wonderful it is to lie in bed at night without the need for a book light. That part is so new, comfortable and exciting, it racks me with guilt. 

And page turning!  Of course, that term "page turning" will soon go the way of the automobile equivalent "rolling down the window," as well as the phone equivalents "hanging up" and "dialing."  Anyway, there was almost a little tear in my eye the first time I was reading on my Kindle and instead of tapping the screen to advance to the next page, I reflexively reached for the upper right corner to turn the page. So many memories.  And I had to stop and wonder how many times in our lives most of us have performed that tiny, reflexive, endangered movement of turning a page.  A hundred books of 250 pages results in 25,000 page turns.  To reach a million page turns would only require the reading of 4,000 books of that length.  So, yeah, a million page turns in a lifetime is doable. 

I started this out by joking about being a bibliophile. I wonder if that term will carry over to ebooks?  I imagine it will. 

What are your thoughts on the changes in how books are published and read?  Have you made the transition to digital? 

* No trees were harmed in the making of this blog post.