Sunday, December 31, 2006

Back to Civilization!

Well, my hands are still a little shaky, but my eye twitching is only slightly perceptible now... I think the symptoms of withdrawal are finally slowing down. *g*

Although it was wonderful to see my brother and meet his new fiancee (who is an absolutely lovely person inside and out) and also fun to see my critique gang after all these months, it's so good to be home and so good to be online again! :)

Thanks to Tempest and Edie for the welcome back. :o)

Here's wishing all of my online & offline friends a wonderful, safe & happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays

Since I'll be leaving town soon and will be without Internet access for a week (gasp--oh the pain, the pain!), I want to wish all my web friends a safe, happy holiday season full of love and magic.

As a small gift, I'm also leaving you with a free holiday short story (age 18 and over only, please.) I hope you enjoy it. :)

A Christmas Tail

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Thanks to the lovely Michelle Diener, I've been tagged to fill out the following...

Four jobs I've had:
Homemaker :)
Credit Analyst
Office Manager
Tech writer/editor/web content manager (all part of the same job)

Four favorite foods:
Chicken mole
Quonset pizza (restaurant 20 miles away - I drive there just for the pizza)
Pad Thai

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Love Actually
Truly Madly Deeply
Harry Potter (all of them)
Pride and Prejudice

TV Shows I enjoy:
Mystery (PBS - pretty much all of their mystery series)


Four places I've traveled:
After reading about all the great places other people have been, I'm embarrassed to say I've never been out of the states!

Nevertheless, I've seen quite a bit of my own country, so to pick just four favorites: Tennessee, Arizona, Virginia, Minnesota

Four websites I visit daily:
I visit Magical Musings and MySpace every day, but there are many websites and blogs that I visit several times a week to see if there's anything new, such as (in no particular order):

Edie Ramer
Michelle Diener
Liz Kreger
Lynne Simpson
The Gab Wagon
Karin Tabke
Amy Knupp
Delightful Chaos
Writ 72
(Whom I would have tagged, but I'll excuse her because she's been ill lately) :)
HH Self
Sabrina Luna
Kayleigh Jamison
Candice Gilmore
HS Kinn
The Midnight Hour

And many more . . .

Four people I'm tagging to do this (and I do hope they'll forgive me!) :)
Chaos Delight
Sabrina Luna
Vincent (HH Self)

Hmm... I'm starting to see why I never get anything done - too much darned time on the Internet! :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I'm a Real Boy!

Well, maybe not. :)

But I'm finally starting to feel like a "real" writer. The editor/webmistress of Aphrodite's Apples sent out a request to their newest authors (Yolanda Sfetsos, Tyree Kimber and yours truly) to send in their bios and photos for their website. It's finally starting to sink in.

Now, when I actually see it in "print" - I'll really crow. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guerilla Marketing

I thought I'd share some techniques that people are using to market their books in cheap, easy and unexpected ways. One website I found ( had some interesting posts Market Chat: Guerilla Marketing for Writers. I recommend reading it - I found some ideas other than the usual "get a website" and "join readers groups" (both of which are still good ideas!)

I liked the idea of having flyers about your book if you're doing a signing (ok, I'm so not there yet, but I still thought it was a good idea. :)) There are also people who slip their bookmarks and business cards in with the checks when they pay their bills - an idea I plan to use. In the website above, there are a couple of interesting posts on getting in good with your local librarian. I've also heard to ask the library if you can leave a stack of your bookmarks on their counter and that most of them are amenable to this idea. They are also usually excited if you offer to teach a workshop about writing. I'm probably too introverted to pull something like that off, but the more gregarious among you may be able to. :)

Taking the library idea a little further, I plan on leaving bookmarks in books that are similar to mine in the library, as if they were accidentally left behind. :) I think I'll slip in a few business cards or markers on key shelves at bookstores, too, if I can get away with it. :)

I also saw a business card for a photographer stuck in the control panel of an elevator once - it got my attention. I took it down in case I needed it for my jacket cover photo. (Always wishful thinking ahead!) :) I decided to leave my cards on elevators also, as well as on bulletin boards at the grocery store where anyone can advertise anything (a good place for flyers too); and in the "lunch drawing" bowls that some restaurants have where businessmen can leave their cards behind to enter into a drawing for a free lunch. (Hey, free advertisement and a free lunch - what's not to love?)

I remember reading about a writer who left a little stack of bookmarks beside her on the table whenever she went out to eat and would offer them to the wait staff. She said they usually loved them and were grateful. Whenever she didn't do that, she'd leave her card or a bookmark with the tip.

Pretty much anywhere people gather is a marketing opportunity - whether on the internet, at a restaurant, library, bookstore or even the doctor's office as Liz Kreger recently discovered. You can read about her experience here.

So let's put on our thinking helmets and night vision goggles and get out there. :) What methods are using or planning on trying to market your books?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

An Attitude of Gratitude

I took another suggestion from the book "Write it Down, Make it Happen" and wrote "Thanks!" on the memo line of bills I paid today. Surprisingly, it did make parting with that money a little easier. :)

For example, when writing a rather large check to pay my electric heating bill, I thought about how hard the people work to make sure my place is warm - the electric company men & women who come out in all weather & all hours doing the best they can when the electricity goes out due to storms; the people entering the data from my check so that my bill gets paid on time and my electricity stays on - for you, I'm grateful. :) I'm also grateful I for the fact that I had the money to pay it with in the first place, and for the people working at the bank who process the checks too. So when I wrote "thanks" on the memo line next to my account number, I meant it. I still had to pay the bill, but at least it wasn't quite as painful. :)

I hope I can remember to be grateful more often.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sick of Snark

After my long ramble earlier, I thought I would click on one of the scrolling links of random blogs that shows up when I login. I thought it might be fun to read some new blogs, see what other people were writing about.

Boy, was I sorry.

I've noticed over the past several years that "nastiness" seems to equal "cleverness" for a lot of people. Since when did criticizing everyone and everything in the most negative manner possible become a sign of intelligence? Yet is seems that is what a lot of people think. I was so discouraged after reading just a random sampling of blogs. It appears Snarkiness is In. Stronger than ever.

Which isn't to say I haven't been sarcastic from time to time. In fact, I'm sarcastic more often than even *I* would like. But it's just so prevalent now... so... so mean.

I hate that it's so common for television, movies, books and yes, blogs, to portray those who are rude and inconsiderate as "cool and clever." Downgrading others to make ourselves look better doesn't really work; the truth is that the opposite happens. We only look bitter and foolish - even if the media might try to make us believe otherwise.

So why not take the high road? Practice compassion, kindness and discretion. I saw this anonymous quote and printed it to hang over my desk at work. I look at it whenever I feel like strangling somebody. :) And since I've just sat here and put down several snarky people, I hope they'll think of it whenever they think of me. :)

"Resolve to be gentle with the weak, kind to the young, patient with the old, compassionate towards the poor, understanding of the wrong--at some point in your life, you will have been all these things."

I'm having a bit of trouble lately... I can't seem to work on anything with any real dedication since I've not yet been able to get the contract with Aphrodite's Apples squared away. It's weird. This has been going on since I first found out my story was accepted, which was a few months ago. I thought it would finally be over when I got the new contract yesterday, only to find I still had one more question. Ack!

I know this is not good -- I can't put my writing life on hold waiting for each little thing to be worked out. The very nature of this business means there will be long periods of waiting between projects while things are settled: submit, wait; rejected, try again; accepted, contract negotiations, revisions, etc. All of this takes time - weeks, months, even years! If I stop writing while I'm waiting, I may never have another thing published!

I've been reading "Write it Down, Make it Happen" by Henriette Anne Klauser (a book Edie Ramer recommended) and Klauser brought up how resistance always means something. We just need to get to the bottom of why we're resisting. (In my case, the resistance is manifesting in writer's block.) Even as I type now, a few thoughts came to mind.

One, I'm afraid that somehow something will go wrong with the contract and I won't be published and I'll feel like I've wasted all this time and effort and will feel very foolish.

Two, I'm afraid that I'm really a poor writer and everyone will know it once they read my stuff - there are so many good writers out there, some of whom are much better writers than I am and have yet to be published, who will all be wondering why did *she* get a lucky break?

Three, I'm a neurotic perfectionist who knows her work isn't perfection and gets a little queasy at the thought of other people knowing it too. Actually, three is part of two.

Hmm... You know, that book is onto something. She said just start writing about your resistance without thinking it through too much, and I just did that in the previous paragraphs/sentences. (Thank you for sitting through my stream of consciousness prattle if you've read this far.) I think I see a theme: I'm terrified of looking like a fool. Which brings to mind an interesting coincidence (or would it be a "Go! Incident"?) - the blog at Magical Musings today was about learning from our mistakes.

I'd better go read it again, and remind myself that "failure" is only "feedback." Even if I still don't like it. :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sales and Promotions

I've been a little under the weather lately (figuratively and literally - sick and snowed in), so I haven't been online much. However, I read a couple of interesting blogs - two at The Gab Wagon (11/30 and 12/4) on e- vs. print publishing, which was enlightening, encouraging and depressing all at the same time! Cheyenne McCray's blog at The Midnight Hour on self-promotion was also very good. (She's one who went from being e-pubbed to a USA Today Bestselling author, so I trust her judgment.) :)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trains and Trances

J.K. Rowling said she got the idea for Harry Potter while riding a train. Well, today I had to take the train into Chicago (I never drive into the city!) for a seminar, and rather jokingly thought as I boarded that maybe lightning would strike twice. Well, I don't know about that, but I did see several things that inspired me on the trip, and while she said she got the whole plot in a flash, I got more bits and pieces that might one day weave together into an interesting whole.

While I was chugging along, I also remembered that Einstein was inspired by a train ride, too. I could see why - it's easy to lose oneself in the rhythmic motion, eerie lights and passing faces. Maybe I'll take the train more often. :)

From what I've read in other places, it seems rhythmic motions and/or white noise tends to open the creative channels for some - train and automobile rides are recurring favorites, as are the drones of hair dryers and vacuum cleaners. The theory is that our minds open to the universal creative force when we're in a meditative state. Is there anything in particular that seems to put you into a creative trance?

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Since my first published story is due to come out as an e-book, I decided to make a little list of well-known and up-and-coming authors who had their start in epublishing. The list is by no means comprehensive - it consists of just a few names that came to mind right away. Some of these writers even have books out that you can find in your local supermarket - not just in bookstores.

To start (in no particular order):

Cheyenne McCray/Debbie Federici
Mary Janice Davidson
Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James
Linnea Sinclair
Angela Knight
Susan Sizemore
Lisa Renee Jones

To continue:
(The following authors have made names for themselves in the e-publishing world and have quite a following, some of them also have their books in print)

Mackenzie McKade (she also co-writes with Cheyenne McCray, so you can find her in your local Barnes & Noble)
Tina Gerow
Denise Agnew
Dakota Cassidy
Alley Blue
Ciar Cullen
CJ England
Vijaya Schartz
Lena Matthews
Maggie Casper
Rae Monet
Maya Banks/Sharon Long
Shiloh Walker
Kate Steele
Jaci Burton
Kate Hill
Lora Leigh
Jordan Summers
Lena Austin
Jaycee Clark

And let us not forget:

Jaid Black - she started Ellora's Cave to sell her own books and look at her now!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I recently read Candice Gilmore's brave blog about her experience with Weight Watchers, and was impressed how she posted her progress. Since this month's "boob wishes" for me include not so much the losing of the weight as the motivation/energy to do so, I thought I would borrow a page from her book and post my progress (or lack of) out here for the world to see in an attempt to stay motivated.
So without further ado, here is where things stand from last week:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2 / 65

Now I just need to stay motivated to finish my WIPs, too. :) A few days ago I took some time out to write a synopsis, broke through one bit of writer's block, then got hit with it again. To break through that one, I tossed all seven pages of the synopsis in the air, closed my eyes and picked up one page. I told myself that I would write whatever scenes were on that page. That worked fairly well for a couple of days, now I find myself back to watching TV, playing spider solitaire and putting up progress meters on my blog. :) What do you do to stay motivated - whether it's writing, dieting, working out - how do you stick to the goals you set for yourself when you aren't accountable to anyone else?
Just a quick note...

to wish everyone a safe, healthy & happy holiday.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Back on the chain gang...

Well, I've barely seen my daughter this weekend - she's been doing the multiple sleepovers thing with friends, so that gave me a bit of time to write. So without further ado, here's the latest pic from the Sterling NaNoWriMo Cam:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Just say no...

Well, I've fought the fine fight, just not to the finish. I've realized there is just no way I can complete Nano this month. I will persevere with the writing and finish my story, but I seriously doubt I'll reach the 50K word count by the end of the month. I'm disappointed, but not going to be too hard on myself.

There have just been so many unexpected things that came up this month on the work and home fronts that I haven't been able to dedicate the amount of time necessary to finish, so like Elisabeth Naughton and Shanna Swendson, I'm backing down until further notice. I'll be joining the "Non-Conformist Novel Writing Month in January" (See Shanna's blog) when things will (I hope!) be back to normal...ish.

(And hey, wasn't it a group of young men ((20-30 somethings)) with lots of time on their hands and no families who thought it was a good idea to do this thing November? That says a lot.)

In the meantime, I need to do some revisions on the piece awaiting publication, my "to critique" files are backed up, and I'll continue with my WIP.

The good news is that I have a cool new witch's hat to wear for inspiration while I write. :) It seems to be working, too; though I really ought to take the tags off - I look more like a deranged Minnie Pearl than a wise Minerva McGonagall. :)

Last view from the webcam before it went dark:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

No, No Nano

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this month and will be away from the blogs and newsgroups for a while. I'm a little behind right now, so will be working furiously to catch up.

You can check my progress and current conditions daily here at my live webcam:

"Webcam" courtesy of writertopia. :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

For a funny, yet creepy free tale, check out Zombie High from Delightful Chaos.
To continue the spirit, this week on Magical Musings, they are exploring what scares us - from the dreadful doubt monsters to superstitions; and Edie Ramer also has an interesting thread on "supernatural" events on her blog. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

To Thine Own Self Be True

Good advice - and apparently, some I haven't been taking. I had an epiphany last night as I geared up for NaNoWriMo. I was reading the book "No Plot, No Problem" by one of the NaNo founders, and there was an exercise in it that requires you to list some things that you think make a great novel, and some things that you hate. Once you've done that, you aren't allowed to let anything in the second list to creep into your nano book.

After I made my lists, I realized why I was having such trouble finishing a couple of my WIPs - I was not only writing outside my comfort zone, I was writing outside my "happy" zone. I'm neither a suspense nor mystery writer, so why have I been trying to write those stories? I rarely even read those types of books; occasionally, yes, but not often. This debate is nothing new; you can find it on most writers' blogs: do you write for yourself, or do you write for the market?

Mind you, I've known for a long time that we should "write what we like to read." But I still got lost along the way, since I'd noticed that most of the books that were selling were action, mystery and suspense; but the truth is, I like comedy.

I like fun, quirky characters. I like magic in books that makes you laugh, not magic that scares you to death. In fact, the story I just sold had magical characters, but they were fun. The suspense was whether the heroine would find the hero in time to make her wish come true -- no demons were chasing her, no one was murdered -- and I had fun writing it. The fact that it was accepted means there must still be some people out there who like reading those stories.

I have a WIP that I've put on hold for several months now, because I was afraid it might be a little too derivative, and that there might not be an audience for it. (You could say the high concept line for that one is "Bridget Jones goes to Hogwarts.") :) However, it's still one of my favorites - I love the characters and miss them. Another favorite is about a birthday fairy - I miss her, too. I think it's time to call them from the bench and put them into play. The vampires and werewolves can stick around, but they're going to have lighten up a bit if they want to play in my game.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Whose Space?

MySpace. My daughter is not too happy with me now that I have a "MySpace." Apparently, this is an unforgivable encroachment into her world -- a place no old woman (particularly a mother) has any business being. She bemoans the fact that when she tries to login, my name appears first and resentfully points out that it used to remember HER name first. Then of course, as if it's not bad enough that I'm on there, there's the embarrassing fact that I only have 16 friends at the moment. (Somehow her friends might find out about this and it will reflect badly on her.)

"Join a whore train!" she commands.


"That way you'll at least automatically get signed up with a lot of friends."

"But I don't want a bunch of weird strangers on my space - I'm trying to cultivate writing and reading friends."

Lots of eye rolling, head shaking, and dark muttering follow. Apparently, I'm just too lame for words.

Monday, October 23, 2006

From dustbunnies to tumbleweeds

That's what's been happening in my place lately. Who has time for housework? I figure if I can make it across my kitchen floor in ten minutes or less, without getting stuck in the middle, I'm doing ok. :)

I actually managed to get some cleaning in this past weekend, but then I got an idea for a story, wrote down a couple of pages, then looked around and thought, "I need a nap." Took said nap, and actually dreamed the next scene for the story, so all in all, I figured it was time well spent.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Counting Blessings

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." - Marianne Williamson

Whenever I'm down, if I remember to count my blessings--literally count them--I always feel better. Even when things have been at their darkest (and there have been some very dark times), if I could just remember to write down all of the good things in my life, all the things I'm grateful for - things as important as my daughter's good health, or as small as seeing daffodils - I start to realize that I have much to be thankful for. The list starts to grow and grow, and pretty soon, I'm smiling again. It almost seems ridiculous, it's so easy. It doesn't make the bad things go away, but it does make me glad for what I have and that gives me the strength to continue on, in spite of whatever darkness may surround me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Trouble concentrating

I just can't seem to focus these days. It's harder and harder to care about the day job when I'd much rather spend my time creating worlds from my imagination, and reading about others' pursuits of the same. There are so many great blogs & websites out there by authors and artists, and I get such great emails from fellow writers - who has time to work a day job?

For example, if you go to Magical Musings, one of my favorite blogs, every single person on there has her own great site, so there goes several more hours clicking and reading. Then recently, my fellow Desert Rose members Mackenzie McKade and Cheyenne McCray had great new book trailers made on their MySpaces, so naturally, I had to check those out. (I want to be them when I grow up! Of course, it's probably too late, since I think I'm older than they are. :))

In the meantime, however, I still have to provide food, clothing and shelter to my daughter (kids are so demanding!) so I guess I'll have to stick it out with the day job a little longer. At least until I become rich and famous, or until she moves out and I can be a starving artist.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One Down, Two to Go…

I’m still so excited and in shock that I can’t even write to tell the story of how it happened, though basically, my story is exactly the same as Liz’s at Magical Musings.... I’m at work, I open the email after about 2 seconds worth of hesitation, at first think it’s a rejection letter, have to read through twice to actually get the concept that I’M ABOUT TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

My story Unmasked is now slated to appear in Volume III of The Masquerade series published by Aphrodite's Apples.

Boob wishes work. :o)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I received an email today reminding me that next month is National Novel Writing Month. This will be my first time participating and I'm excited. I'm looking at it as a way to finally turn off my internal editor and just speed through that first draft.

Unless, of course, I receive a contract from a certain publisher, in which case I hope I'll be making revisions and getting ready to be published, soon thereafter to be an international success and multi-millionaire like J.K. Rowling. (Hey, a gal can dream, can't she? *grin* )

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And he wins by a nose!

Not long ago, I was at my brother's house watching a nature program on Proboscis Monkeys. The narrator commented how the female monkeys prefer big-nosed males for mating, and it became apparent to me why I've always been attracted to big-nosed men: I'm obviously just not very evolved. :)

Seriously, the bigger the beak, the weaker my knees. Don't know why, it just does it for me. Alan Rickman, Adrien Brody, Gerard Depardieu...heck, even Jimmy Durante.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Well, I've done it...

Sent my poor first child off into the cold, cruel world all alone. (No, not Emily, the manuscript.)

Now I'm back to the waiting game, hoping for a speedy answer, yet dreading that a quick reply might mean thanks, but no thanks.

Unfortunately, all my writing pals, published and unpubbed, have assured me that it never gets any easier. Is that supposed to be comforting, ladies? You're writers, for goodness sake, can't you come up with anything better than that? (grin)

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Ok, well, I just got an email response from the editor at Aphrodite's Apples asking me to send the entire manuscript (insert elated screams, goosebumps and lots of jumping up and down here) and I am now back on the roller coaster of hope - hooray! - and fear - what if it still gets turned down?

Well, I won't know until I send it! Am off to stop my hands from shaking so that I can send that puppy off!

Riddled with doubt...

Anxiety... insecurity...fear... What was I thinking?!

Yesterday's hopeful excitement quickly gave way to a sense of impending doom. I went from seeing life through rose-colored glasses to looking through Marvin the depressed robot's eyes.

I'm a talentless twit...the query letter sucked... the story is drivel only my cat could love. Was I out of my mind?

Sigh... It's hard to be cheerful with an earache and a sore toe. Yes, toe. I banged it in on the bed doing my happy dance. It's a sign. I know it is.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me

In my post below, I mentioned that I was polishing my query letter for my first-ever submission. Well, I not only polished it, I sent it off today. I don't know how other writers survive doing this over and over. My hands were shaking when I pressed that "send" button! (email query) The publishers' website says it takes about a month to get a reply, so we'll see. But come what may, it's a good feeling to have finally done it.

After I sent it, it occurred to me that it has been almost a year to the day since I joined the RWA and started taking writing seriously, so what better way to spend that anniversary than by sending off my first query to a publisher? It was so scary and exciting, and all I did was email a query! I wonder how I'll feel when that first response comes back - yea or nay. I know it's naive to expect the first one out of the gate to be published, but that still doesn't stop me from hoping. Wish me luck! *grin*
It's finished!

I did it - I finally did it! The piece that I was working on to submit for consideration to Aphrodite's Apples is finally done. It took a little longer than expected due to numerous illnesses and interruptions, but I'm happy to say that it is done. I'm polishing up my query letter now, and will begin work on a short synopsis just in case.

It's a little scary since this will be my first submission to a publisher, but even if all I receive is a rejection letter, I will hang it on my wall with pride, because at least I took it that far. And maybe one day, I can paper my office walls with rejection slips as well as copies of contracts.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sympathetic Villains

I was just thinking about some of my favorite characters from books and movies. They are often supposed to be the villain of the piece, yet I find myself hoping they'll be the heroes in the end. Severus Snape, for example. Or the Phantom of the Opera. Not nice guys, surely, but...but... Gee, I want them to WIN. And then there was Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham - he was so funny and engaging, it broke my heart when he was killed. Of course, I love any character Rickman plays even though I wish he would do more comedy, but I digress.

When I read Cheyenne McCray's "Forbidden Magic", I found myself rooting for Junga toward the end -- she's really a bad gal, but I hope she somehow gets a happily-ever-after by the end of the series.

Then there was Cyrus in Jennifer Armintrout's "The Turning". Again, not a warm and fuzzy guy, but I wanted things to turn out well for him, even though I also loved Nathan.

I guess it's a little scary to think about what this says about me... I've always loved the troublemakers. My cats have always been psychos, my daughter is a handful, and the men I'm always drawn to aren't necessarily "bad boys", but they generally aren't the ones your parents would love, either. The strange thing about that is I've always had a reputation as a "goody two shoes" - maybe I'm attracted to that spark that is either lacking or deeply hidden in me? Only my therapist knows for sure. (grin)

Does anybody else love these misfits as much as I do? Do you long for their redemption, or their triumph, and maybe even feel a little guilty about that?

Friday, September 08, 2006

What a line!

Saw this headline on the front page of Yahoo and it tickled my funnybone.

Pitt Wants Marriage for All
"The actor says he'll never tie the knot with Angelina unless the U.S. drops marriage restrictions. "

What a scam...
I can picture it now... Even the most hard-nosed conservatives wanting to appear "sensitive & socially conscious" (because let's face it, it's the clinically proven best way to get into any girl's pants) will all claim "I love you baby, but I just can't marry you until everyone has the right to get married. Damn my social conscience..."

(Okay, maybe I'm just a bit cynical, but I still thought it was pretty funny - a stroke of genius for men wanting to avoid commitment, while still appearing to be "good guys" - of course, I think Brad's good guy ship sunk with his divorce, but that's just my humble opinion.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One down, several more to go...

Well, I finally updated my website. Will probably have to change the graphic, though - it's misleading since that is SO not me. :) (It was just a clipart image that I thought would like nice there.)

As I worked on it, I was reflecing on the supportive nature of the romance writers' community. Since I joined the RWA and a local chapter in Arizona a year ago, I have been amazed and constantly encouraged by the talent, support and generosity of the people with whom I've come in contact. When I branched out into the online writing community in newsgroups and blogs, I just found more of the same.

So here's a toast to all of you fabulous writers out there - published and still aspiring - you rock! :)

Now, I'm off to bed, perchance to sleep. Tomorrow, I'll think about changing the blog template to match the new look of the website...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And still plugging away...

Well, I'm now just 2 scenes and a brief epilogue away from finishing a short story that I plan to submit to Aphrodite's Apples' Arcadia anthology.

It's the first story in many years that I've written entirely by hand. It was nice to have the portability of a notebook, but now I've got to transcribe it all into the computer. Bummer. I should have used my Alphasmart...

The main problem I'll have with moving the work from paper to computer is actually finding the time when my daughter isn't looking over my shoulder -- something that usually only takes place I'm too tired type anyway.

I wonder how other writers of erotica deal with youngsters in the house? She and I currently share a computer since hers is still in Arizona with her uncle, so I have to be careful to hide my files and ebooks where I wouldn't expect her to look. I generally password-protect my own writing, and have set up a separate log in for her, but when I'm trying to write during the times I actually have the energy, it's a bit hard to minimize the screen every time she walks in the room and maintain my writing "flow". Unfortunately, saying, "I'm working, don't bother me" just doesn't cut it. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Moving right along...

Well, I've added a new excerpt to my website - October Moon. I hope to soon re-do the whole site with two sections: one for sweet romance, and one for steamy. This version of the October Moon excerpt is one I submitted it to contest junkies, but I think they thought even this one was too much for the web. It's funny to me, because this is a very much toned down version from the original! Oh, well. You can't please everybody. :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Book Reviews and Recommendations

Just taking a break from my day job to recommend checking out Lena Matthews' works. I've read two of her books so far, (one last night) and am anxiously waiting for tomorrow's release of another: Stud Muffin. Her heroines are funny, flawed and realistic: not perfect, often a little overweight, and genuinely likeable. Like her heroines, her heroes are often not perfect either, but they are always sexy and appealing. If you haven't read her works before, hie thee to her website!

I was also recently in the grocery store and came across a regency romance in the bargain bin. It's been many years since I've read one, and so I thought, "why not?" I'm glad I did. The book is an older one (released 1992) by Laura Kinsale, called "Flowers from the Storm." Not your typical regency romance. Once again, we have flawed, yet fascinating characters in one of the most touching stories I've read in a long time. It belonged on the book shelf in a place of honor, not in the bargain bin.

I've also recently read "The Turning" by Jennifer Armintrout, and "Forbidden Magic" by Cheyenne McCray. Two exciting, fun, sexy paranormals with strong female characters and "make-you-wish-they-were-real" alpha males - can't wait for their sequels!

For more paranormal reads, if you (or your children) like the Harry Potter series, you might enjoy "So You Want to Be a Wizard" by Diane Duane. This book first came out in 1983 (a decade before Harry) and was re-released in 1996. (I'm assuming to jump onto the fast-rolling wizard bandwagon at the time.) Some of the concepts are presented in slightly more complicated language than Rowling's, but it is still a fun read.

And if you like fun, I'd also recommend just about anything by Jasper Fforde - his "Thursday Next" detective series are a hoot. But speaking of fun, this post just wouldn't be complete without a plug for Mackenzie McKade, who is just as fun and talented as any of the characters she writes. Her writing is imaginative, sexy and fresh. Check her out! :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Coming out of the broom closet... well, sort of...

Actually, I'm poking my head out for a moment before jumping back in. :)

This is my first blog entry on my first website as a paranormal/erotic romance writer. It's a little scary - worse than a blind date! But like the awkward first date, if you don't go, you'll never know.

I hope to create a safe space for other aspiring or published authors to to feel free to jump in with their questions, comments, encouragement or just vent frustrations from trying to hold down a day job, take care of a family and still find time to do the things we love to do for ourselves, such as writing, painting or catching up on reading.