Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec. 31

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! I hope that your holiday is safe and fun. I'm making ham and beans and our traditional Stromboli. Funny how traditions get started. The Stromboli was a treat that I could only fix once a year when our children were young and so I fixed it on New Year's. It is yummy and a relief when we are tired of ham and turkey from the holidays. Now the family teases that however the Stromboli turns out will determine how good of a year it will be. So, here's to perfect Stromboli. Stay safe! Cheers~

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dec. 30

Happy Birthday to my Dad! May your next year be filled with blessings and happiness. May your next play (he writes fun, boo-hiss, melodramas) be produced off, off Broadway :) and may you find success in every venture. Hugs!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dec. 29

Doesn't it feel as if December should be over all ready? I mean, we had the big work up to Christmas and now it's over. So December should be over, right? :) My Mom says not to wish your life away. She is right. My January calendar is full and I am impatient to get on with it. Still this morning when I was doing dishes I looked out the window at the snow covered ground, the bare brown branches of the woods behind the house and there-to my delight- were rays of the rising sun. They hit the branches just right so that only a few select tips shone with a golden light that you rarely see. They sparkled as if a small handful of gold winged fairies alighted on select branches. The effect didn't last long. It was the moment when the light was at the right angle. So awesome. And here's the thing, if it were January already, the sun would be at a different angle and that fairy light would have never happened. So- here's to living in the moment, no matter how impatient we are to see it gone. Cheers~

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dec. 28

Happy birthday to my sister-in-law, Sherry! I hope this year is filled with wishes come true. Sherry is set to be a first time Grandma sometime in February. So, it will be a year full of excitement.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec. 27

I had to take the Christmas tree down yesterday. The poor thing died an early death this year. It was very brown and by the time we got the ornaments and lights off most of the needles were on the carpet and tree skirt. Still is was fragrant to the end, smelling of pine and outdoors. The remaining bits of the tree will go out to be recycled for mulch for the local gardens. It was a good tree that added oxygen to the air while it grew. It nurtured birds and bugs and small mammals while it reached out it's branches to the sky. Then it was cut down, bringing the farmer income and stimulating the economy. When put up in my house, it warmed and comforted us with it's twinkling lights and decorations. It's bright smell filled my home for a full month. Now the recycled remains will go to nurturing other trees and bushes. I think all in all the tree is a perfect example of living a life rich in purpose and meaning. Cheers~

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dec. 26

Christmas is over and Saturday chores commence. There are big fat flakes of snow falling from the sky as if we were a snow globe that someone shook. There are deer trails in the snow going down to the edge of the lake for water. Tiny mouse or mole trails under the snow as well. It's clear they can't see where they are going as the tiny trail zigzags around the deer trail. All the geese are gone. The only birds are tiny finches that flit from snowy branch to snowy branch. It is after all the dead of winter.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dec. 25th

Okay- what are you all doing reading blog posts on Christmas? hmm? Go- spend time with friends and family-lol. (And if you aren't Christian-please take this wonderful day off and do something fun-like go to a movie or something. Blog posts will keep.)

Wishing you the very merriest of holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dec. 24

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Marin Thomas. May your birthday wishes all come true. And for my readers- Marin's latest novel A Cowboy Christmas (2 stores in one book) is on book shelves now. ( I found my copy at Walmart) Or click here to buy on line.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dec. 23

I'm working on critiques for the Master's program. I am always at a loss as to what to do when someone clearly has a fun writer's voice and understands grammar and point of view, but the scene has no story purpose. One has two characters meeting- only one is a main character and the secondary character while interesting may or may not be important to the story- 16 pages. (Nothing new re: the mystery is discovered.) Another story is a funny snark day in the life of the heroine-first chapter-12 pages-that has no story question and she meets no one new-the plot does not begin. Sigh.
So, I talk about scene purpose; goal, motivation and conflict; along with starting with a hook or action. But I worry that they will look at me blankly not understanding or will argue that I'm wrong. Which I could be. After all published books don't always follow "rules."
I tell myself, all I can do is tell them what I think, what my experience is and then wish them luck. I hate critiques. 5 down--3 more to go.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dec. 22

As promised-tada! Linda Kage tagged me a few days ago and so I'm going to play along. As part of the drill I'm to tag three others, but with the holidays, I'll keep the tag to myself for now. So, here are the questions and my answers.

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have? I last wrote a letter to my Grandma. My last finished manuscript was a middle grade book for boys. I still have an 8th grade notebook full of short stories. Which include an end of the world, last person alive kind of story, a time travel to Queen Elizabeth's court and a Star Trek fan fic piece. :)
2. Write poetry? 3. Angsty poetry? Nope. :)
4. Favorite genre of writing? Romance- love the happy endings.
5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created? The last sister in the Morgan Trilogy-Beth, was a spoiled beauty. I struggle with that point of view. But it was worth it in the end because "The Lovin' Kind" was named one of the top ten romances of 2006.
6. Best plot you’ve ever created? I think my current plot is the best plot I've ever created. Which means when I start my next book it will be the best plot I ever created-because I learn so much with each book. I hope to get better and better.
7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
In Dream Man, the missing woman is really... nope won't give it away. But you can preorder it now at the wild rose press. :)
8. How often do you get writer’s block? Never- too much going on in my head.
9. Write fan fiction?
in 8th grade-lol
10. Do you type or write by hand? Type- my handwriting is atrocious. I can't always read it. I'm so used to typing it's difficult to hand write.
11. Do you save everything you write? Only the finished stuff- I usually delete tons of pages while revising - think of it as sculpting and throwing away big chunks that hide the view.
12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it? Yes- all the time. My first book, Saving Samantha, was rewritten six or more times- changing settings, plot twist, etc.
13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written? My current wip. I always love the book I'm working on now the best.
14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written? I still get fan mail for "A Wanted Man" -You can find it on-line or in your local library.
15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama? *smiles* yes!
16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters? Where ever they want to be.
17. How many writing projects are you working on right now? I have seven complete projects out on submission.
18. Have you ever won an award for your writing? Yes, several- I've listed them on my website.
19. What are your five favorite words? When editors call and say: "Love it! Want to buy it." :)
20. What character have you created that is most like yourself? I think they all have bits and pieces of me in them which makes them quirky, don't you think?

There are six more questions but I am lazy and never follow rules, so you get the first twenty. Thanks to Linda for the tag! Please check out her blog and see what her answers were-and discover the six missing questions.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec. 21

Just a few short days before Christmas, and everything is right on track. The tree needles are falling off in a fast rush. The presents have all be opened- including stockings-since we celebrated when the boy came home. I have no more gifts to purchase as the girl wants a shopping trip to the "mother ship" of malls for her present. And since she is working every day this week-said trip will happen after Christmas when the sales are on. :) Even the puppies received their gifts in the form of new collars, already. My wonderful friend Debbie Z sent me a gift in the post and I opened it right away! She shook her head at me and told me I should have put it under my tree. ;)

Hope your week is filled with goodness and light! I am thankful for having you in my life. Cheers~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dec. 20

It is the last Sunday before Christmas, the day before the darkest day of the year. I'm very much a person of the light. Since moving to northern clims I've had to use a light box starting in September up until April as the darkness is hard on my body. So, I actually count down the days until the winter solstice because I know that after that day the sun will return--slowly of course, but still it does return. Hope is a powerful and happy thing. While January can be bitter and cold, it brings with it ever increasing daylight and the promise of better times ahead. Cheers!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dec. 19

I hope that in all the holiday madness you are taking time every now and then for yourself. I have declared today a personal holiday and am hanging out in pajamas. I have promised myself a nap if I need it and lots of doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the best kind of something to do. Happy Saturday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dec. 18

I enjoy the cheeriness of Christmas lights. I think they really help to dispel the gathering darkness of this time of year. I enjoy driving through neighborhoods and seeing the creative displays. There are deer and Santas and snowmen and carolers and angels. Houses drip in white or blue icicle lights or are outlines in green and read and blue. One neighbor has a huge blue spruce in his front yard that he has completely covered with tiny lights. It's like a living Christmas tree. If you get a chance take a ride and revel in the light display. It's sure to bring a smile to your face.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dec. 17

The work has arrived for my next semester of the MA program. I have residency early next month and for it there are eight critiques of 10 plus pages to read and write up papers on. I already put together my travel plans and will take the train this time.
Don't forget you can pre-order a copy of Dream Man right now. Send me proof of order and I'll gladly send you a holiday card with a signed book plate. It makes a cool gift for the readers in your life. :) Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dec. 16

Holiday time is difficult to get writing work done. Most agents and editors are dealing with vacations and end of year wrap ups. It is not a good time to send out queries. That will come toward the middle of next month. Writers are also busy with kids home from school, holiday celebrations to prepare for and attend. So unless you have a deadline-and some do-I suggest you make smaller goals for the next few weeks. Goals such as: reading one new craft article or blog. Creating a writing plan for 2010. Reading a book for enjoyment. Re-reading a favorite book with an eye toward character/plot and dialog. Or even go out with friends and listen to their stories. Use the time to fill your creative well with ideas and leave the worry about "accomplishing" something until after the holidays are over. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dec. 15

Hi- How are you doing? Yesterday was one of those frustrating days when you have a lot of little things to do but the internet is so slow it just makes you wait and wait. This is a good time to practice living in the moment. To let go of the long list of things that "must" get done that sit on your shoulders and simply breathe in and out and look around and enjoy the sunshine or a wagging tail- the flit of a finch outside your window. I take the time to stretch, get a drink of water, take care of me. This is also a good thing to do when you are stuck in traffic or a long line at the store. Smile at the people around you. It just may brighten their day. Cheers!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dec. 14

I promised my dear blogging friend, Ann Victor, that I would link my blog to hers. She is offering a wonderful contest with unique prizes from South Africa. Click on her name and read the rules on how to enter.
It's Monday and one of those days when it seems you have a million little things that have to be done right now. So, I won't keep you. Please leave a comment and let me know how you are. Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dec. 13

There is only one weekend left until Christmas. I don't have my cards addressed yet, do you? I have half my shopping done. Mostly books as they make great gifts. Hanukkah is here already. School vacations begin soon and the household will be full and busy. Before I know it-- it's a new year. I would love to be able to make time stop so I can catch my breath and savor the moments. As my grandfather used to say, "No matter how long you live, life is short." Thanks for spending your precious time with me. Cheers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dec. 12

I want to say Happy Birthday to my nieces, Alisha and Jessica, and to my nephew Patrick! May your next year be filled with happiness and dreams come true.

Today's tip for writers: don't forget to read, read, read. I think I'm making that one of my new year goals. To read more then ever before. Cheers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dec. 11

I still have Christmas shopping to do. How about you? Are you one of those people who has all the gifts purchased by October? Or are you like me, searching through stores last minute? I have found I do more and more shopping on-line. It avoids the crowds. It's not as much fun as being able to pick something up and hold it when you purchase it, but it is kind of cool to get packages delivered. Books make great gifts and I know so many wonderful writers that books tend to be my favorite gifts to give. What are your favorite gifts?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dec. 10

Happy promo news to share. Dream Man is now available for pre-order at this link: Dream Man yay!

Also I wanted to share the fabulous book trailer Linda Kage made for this book. I tried uploading it here but it just kept spinning and spinning and now the blog is late. sigh. Click here for the Youtube link.

Also- Since books make fabulous Stocking stuffers and gifts for the readers in your life. I will send a personally signed Christmas card and book plate to anyone with proof of pre-order for Dream Man or purchase of Mr. Charming. Simply contact me at nancy at nancyjparra dot com, include your proof of purchase and snail mail address and I'll include a Dream Man sleep mask in the package. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dec. 9

Yay! I just got an e-mail saying my January release Dream Man is available for preorder later this week. When it comes up, I'll supply a link.

The view from my window is snow, snow, snow. :) I woke up to see tracks around the lake and just now heard coyote calls. We have a fenced yard, but they are wily animals and so I will have to keep an eye on the little dog. No more letting her out on her own. There was a big fat rabbit in the yard yesterday. I bet the coyote was after the bunny or one of the many fat squirrels in the woods. If I see him, I'll try to get a picture. I like coyotes--just don't want them to hurt my dog.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dec. 8

Today there is snow. Small but steady flakes are falling from the sky. The lake has a thin coat of ice on the edges and that is covered with white stuff. They are talking up to ten inches. The big dog loves the snow. His black bits of coat turn white while he sits out in it and glories in the smells. The geese moved on a few days ago. They must have known the cold and snow were coming and decided to try a warmer clime. There isn't even any wind. Simply soft, silent snow. Will go out soon and push it from the walks and try to keep from having to move ten inches at once. Cheers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec. 7

I'm still working on promo-little bit by little bit. I have bookmarks. I am making more sleep masks. The wonderful and talented Linda Kage made me a book trailer that I hope to put up on my website and blog soon. I just sent out a blurb for a combined postcard to go out to libraries and booksellers.I've completed two blog posts for my blog tour. Have two more to go. I sent updates for links to the writers organizations websites. Gosh- what am I missing? I'm certain there is more. Makes my head spin.
Meanwhile I have seven books out on submission. As soon as I get a rejection, I send out more submissions. So, if I'm not writing right now, that's okay. Right? Cheers!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dec. 6

My son goes home today. Sadness. But I am happy to watch him build his own life and become more than a boy in my house.
On a happier note, I am meeting with a group of lovely writers today. Being with them for a few hours will help take the sting off the day. Friends and family are the most valuable things in life. I hope your day is filled with both!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dec. 5

Only two more Saturdays until Christmas. Well, isn't that crazy? I'm counting down more for the equinox on the 21st because after that day the days start to get longer- more sunshine. That to me is a really good thing. How are you doing on your holiday season? I hope you stay safe and enjoy family and friends. Cheers!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dec. 4

It's Friday. The geese have landed. It's snowing and the white stuff is sticking to the ground. I tried taking a pic of the geese on the lake but they came out as black dots among the tree branches. Sadness. So, I'll put up the pic but you'll have to take my word for it. My son is here on a visit. He leaves Sunday and so I won't be doing much in the way of writing. But I will try to sneak in in the early mornings and post at least a note to let you know I'm alive. I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Cheers~

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec. 3

It smells like snow, but we are lucky so far this year not to see the white stuff. I'm not big into shoveling. I'm working on writing blog posts for my January blog tour. I've been lucky to have a few wonderful bloggers agree to host me. Now, I'm not doing 49 blogs, not even close. Why? Its not because their aren't great review sites and bloggers out there, but because most of my friends will follow the tour and leave comments, and it isn't fair to them to send them to 49 different sites. I know, I know, it's all about exposure and the perception of being famous, but seriously, I'm into writing a good book more than tooting my own horn. If that means I'll be forever stuck in small press, then so be it. The stories will be passed down to my grandchildren and maybe even their children and so it's the work that matters, not the flash and dash of magazine ads, or trash and trinkets as bookmarks, postcards and pens are called. (Or maybe I'm wrong and it is all about who has the biggest fireworks display. shrug. If so, I accept and embrace my wrongness.)
I think the blogs I'm writing are fun. I hope come January you'll follow along. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dec. 2

The view from my window is a quiet sort of sunshine today. The lake ripples in pockets and is still in others. The geese are gone. No, wait, I spoke to soon. I can hear them in the distance. It makes me smile but this time of year the lake is used as a coffee break spot on their way south. What I mean by that is they fly in around 9 or 1o a.m. in huge flocks, honking and whirring and splashing down. They stay for an hour, then as if on cue they all fly off to continue the journey. More come in around 3 pm. Stay a short time then fly off to where ever they spend the night. This coffee break activity lasts about a month. Then they are gone to parts unknown. In the spring they return but not in the same way. Perhaps they are in more of a hurry then to get to their nesting places. Who knows. Funny how we are all creatures of habit. cheers!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dec. 1

What are your plans/goals for this month? I hope to set up promo for my January book and write proposals for second and third books in a series should the first book that is out on submission sell. Besides that I don't really have a direction for the end of the year. I've written three books this year-I pretty much have written three books a year since I started on this journey so many years ago. The funny part is I never run out of ideas and I never stop learning how to be a better writer/story teller. So, it really is a lifetime labor of love. Cheers!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 30

...end of another month- wow. The men are off deer hunting. My daughter is sick-going on day four and so there has been a marathon of Lifetime channel Christmas movies on the television. Last night we watched "The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart. The Christmas tree is up and sparkling in the corner and despite the coughing and hacking and sniffing from the girl, it all has a bit of a festive feeling to it. My biggest holiday joy is finding stocking stuffers. My mother sent us Christmas stockings all my adult life. My kids loved this tradition- to see what silly little things were stuffed inside-candy, a toothbrush, funny little toys. So, I am continuing the tradition with them. Which goes to show that sometimes it's the little things that bring us the most joy. Cheers!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nov. 29

I know that on Thursday, I blogged that I am thankful for you in my life. I meant it. When it comes down to it, relationships are the most important thing we have. I might not get to see you in person, but I do get to talk to you-if only a little-every day. I get to read your comments and know that you include me in your life. That is saying a lot. Your friendship is important to me. It lifts me up when I get too overly dramatic. It makes me laugh when I can share a joke. Most of all, it makes all the hard parts of writing melt away-to know that I could share a story--no matter how short-- with you. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nov. 28

Saw this on my Romvets loop and thought I would pass it on to my readers.

"Would you like your stuffing with or without sand fleas?"

Please help make the holidays sweeter for some female service members in Basra, Iraq. They have taken the lead in delivering the school supplies we've sent, and we'd like to express our gratitude.

Any of the following gifts would be greatly appreciated:

1. Moisturizers : Fragrant lotions, shampoos, soaps, loofah sponges, etc. (Small samples are great)
2. Magazines (nothing sexy, please) Issues you've read are fine too.
3. Munchies : Cookies in the can, hard candy, microwave popcorn, nuts

Also, ground coffee . (Strong. No decaf.)
Homey holiday decorations : an ornament, scented candle, stocking
LOVE : Cards, letters and children’s drawings are the best gifts of all.

No chocolate candy, please. The temperature in Basra is still in the high 70s.


Meyers, Aaron D.
34th ID, Fires Cell
APO AE 09374
Attn: HOL

SFC Meyers will make sure that our gifts are delivered directly to female service members. Please mail by Dec. 5 for delivery by Christmas.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nov. 27

It's only Friday. Crazy feels like it should at least be Saturday. The holiday rush is on. I've never been a big fan of holiday sales. It's so American to make shopping a competitive sport. Advertised specials of low low prices and then the stores only have one or two such items. Thus the first one in gets the low price while everyone else is a "sucker" or "loser." Nuts! At least this year I haven't heard of any deaths as mobs rush stores. I mean, it's nice if you can save money and have more on a budget, but I'm not about to stay up all night, stand in line and get in a fist fight over a cheaper widget. Don't get me wrong. I say bravo to those who fight and win, but I simply refuse to play the game.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nov. 26

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am thankful to have you in my life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nov. 25

The last day or so has given us true Thanksgiving weather--at least how I remember it. It has been foggy and rainy and cold and dark. The house is filled with the scents of baking pies, cookies, stuffing and turkey. American football plays loudly on the television and fans shout when their teams score. It's a cold outside, warm cozy inside, kind of feeling that really only happens this time of year. A way to make the darkest days tolerable. My son comes home tomorrow. I look forward to the sights, smells, tastes and textures of the day. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nov. 24

It was nearly one a.m. last night/this morning, when I finally printed off a really nice sheet of bookmarks. (One side-still have to design and fit the back.) I enjoy the designing-even if it makes me want to rip my hair out sometimes because the nudge button is too big or the text box won't snap to a guide. In the end the bookmarks look nice. Oh- in my searching for my craft cutter, I discovered I had a box of Avery postcards. So, for now I'm printing my own bookmarks. If nothing else, I may be remembered for my kitchy promo. After all, it's all about the buzz, right? cheers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nov. 23

I'm working on promotion. The first step is to design cheap bookmarks to hand out like business cards for my up coming release. I have years of experience in graphic design, but I have no graphic design software at home. So, the first step is to download free software. I did some research and have decided to download Gimp, Inscape and Scribus. Then it will be play time to create a nifty bookmark that doesn't look too cheap. A friend recommended Vista print-she takes the free postcards and cuts them in half for bookmarks. I'll keep you posted on this craft project. After bookmarks, I'll attempt my first book trailer. (Thanks Linda for the suggestion.) I guess if you have to do promotion you might as well have fun doing it. Cheers!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 22.

My Sunday blog this week is a commercial for my next book.I hope you consider books when shopping for Christmas presents this year. Publishing is a business and without sales there are no books. Have you ever wondered why an author never finished a series? It could be that the author did but the publisher didn't buy the remaining books due to low sales numbers. Think of your favorite TV shows that get canceled due to low ratings. Book publishing works along the same lines. So, support your favorite authors by buying a book today. (Sorry, used books don't count.) Thank you for your support. Cheers!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nov. 21

The view from my window is a study in sepeatone. The lake mirrors the white, white sky. It is framed by dark black, bare branches. Gray fog fills the spaces between the branches. Crystal droplets shine in the white light. In the center of the lake float 35 Canada geese, dark outlines on the metallic water. Honking softly, they are the only sound of life in the quiet morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nov. 20

I am running behind today. Truthfully it's been a crazy month. So far I have six books out on submission. Two fulls sent out last week and two fulls sent out this week with a partial requested that I need to do. None of these submissions have gone out without careful revisions - one book was cut from 95,000 words to 60,600 words. I'm not complaining. I am so happy for the opportunities and I really am praying/hoping/lighting candle and crossing fingers and whatever else it takes to get the universe to say yes to the work.
But, all this has left me a little bit fuzzy brained and behind in my blogging, article writing and PR. Um...can I take a day off now? After I send out the last request, of course. No, no, that doesn't mean you can't call me with a contract or ask for more revisions... I'm here, I'm here. That's the point of all this- isn't it? :) What, I have not lost can't drag me from the computer....wait! don't shut off that power switch!
Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov. 19

The romance writing world is all a buzz since Harlequin Enterprises announced it has opened a vanity press and will add a blurb to all it's rejection letters telling authors that they could still self pub under the Harlequin name. In a brave and interesting move, Romance Writer's of America has announced that Harlequin is no longer a recommended publisher. The reason for this move is that RWA is first and foremost an advocacy group whose purpose is to advocate and educate working (in their terms "career") writers. Vanity presses exploit writers and this one is even worse because they hold out the Harlequin name as a carrot. Vanity presses have a purpose-if you want to publish a work for the family- a family history or grandpa's memoirs or a cookbook of favorites. But if your goal is to be a working writer, then you should never, never pay-not an agent not a publisher. Instead you should be paid and hopefully well for the hard work that you do.
Please note that their is a vast difference between vanity press and e-press. I think Harlequin's jump into e-press is an interesting and legitimate move in this changing environment. But never, never pay someone to publish your work unless you're doing it as a Christmas present.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nov. 18

Hmmm, it is the Wild West in the publishing world these days. At least, two NY publishers have opened self-publishing branches. Authors are worried that their publisher brand will become synonymous with vanity press and poorly executed work. There is a lot of worry that the minimal paychecks writers receive now will become even smaller. That writing as a career will disappear for all but the very giant names- writers who are in essence their own corporations. The novel is dead. Books are gone. Anyone with the gumption to put words to computer screen can be published. The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
Truth is we are in a time of change- change driven by business models that aren't working in a global economic turn down. Desperate corporations are trying anything to make a buck to keep their shareholders happy. Workers of all levels lose out. What can you do?
Breathe in and out. Write the best book you know how. Keep improving your craft. Be willing to change when change happens and remember--we live in interesting times.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov. 17

I did it! I got a 95,000 word book down to 60,600. I'm printing it off and sending it today. I found this task daunting at first. But then it got interesting. You must look at each paragraph, each sentence. Ask yourself what would make this tighter? Why do I like this enough to leave it? Will the reader understand if I leave some action implied? (Such as having a character walk, run or reach before they open a door vs. just having them open the door.) After losing so many words/so many scenes will the story make sense? I had to completely rewrite the ending. Should probably have rewritten the opening, but I liked it too much thus leaving the book 600 words over the max limit. :) I'll keep you posted on what the editor thinks. Cheers and happy revising!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nov. 16

I'm sitting here, staring out the window, watching the lake ripple, listening to the one hundred or so, Canada geese that just flew in squawk. The trees are completely void of leaves. The wind blows the scraps of brown and red around. The sky is a dull blue gray and smells of the emptiness that comes after the wonderful scents of Fall are gone and before the smell of snow. The view is endlessly changing and minutely interesting and I understand why the big dog likes to sit on the deck and take it all in--sunshine or rain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nov. 15

Today, I blogged about the most important thing a writer can do on my Sunday blog,

There are less than 8 weeks left until my next book is released. I need to take some time and think about promo. My writer friends say I should have book marks. I want to do another small blog tour. So, I think I'll put the excerpt of my next book up on my Sunday blog next week. This book, "Dream Man" is my sexiest book to date with actual sex scenes- not erotica-but sex. So I will be warning all my readers to expect something besides sweet/sensual. I know this will limit my blog touring but it was part of the story and important enough to keep in.

Never fear- I am currently working on a sweet Western. So there will be books for all audiences. Cheers!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nov. 14

There are people who worry about National Novel Writing Month. They say they write slow and feel out of the loop. Don't fret! Some of the best writers write slow--Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a good example. The point of nano is not to make everyone write "up-to-speed" but to give you a goal to focus on. To help to remind you that your end goal is to finish a work in progress. The key word being finish. It's difficult with all the information out there on the internet to sort through it and find what works for you-your own process and then stick to it. But that is the only way you can create a career. Without your own process, you're simply imitating others and the work won't shine. So- fear not, oh brave writers, your process however fast or slow will work for you! Happy Saturday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nov. 13

Wow- It's Friday the 13th. The sun is out on a glorious day. I have work to do. I wrote a 95,000 word single title which made all the rounds of the big houses. So I decided to query it to my publisher Avalon- only they have a standard 55-60,000 word max. So, now I'm cutting scenes left and right. So far I'm down to 70,000 - will cut some more today- then reread and shape and make sure it all makes sense. Then cut some more. I love this book. I love the characters. I keep reading a scene going-"but I love this... I'll leave it and cut something else." lol. Riiight. Must be ruthless. I owe my characters respect- respect to see their story gets out to readers. So, must step aside with my thoughts on my work and instead do what is best for them. Ahhh, the life of a writer. Cheers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov. 12

The Romvets group was mentioned on the review sight "Smart Bitches, Trashy Books" yesterday with a link to our before and after pictures. So cool to see authors in uniform. (Yes, there is an old pic of me in uniform, too.)

As I mentioned earlier this week, Harlequin Enterprises has opened a new division called Carina Press.

This is Harlequin's entry into the electronic book world. They hope to offer e-books of all genres: romance, science fiction, mystery, thriller, etc. They will offer close to standard e-book royalities and at this time have no plans to put out print books. (That may change in future depending on demand.) According to their submission guidelines they are not looking for YA at this time. The first books will come out in the Summer of 2010.

I like the idea of writing e-books for an established "big" press. And so I submitted a book to them. It remains to be seen as to what kind of volume they will have--too many e-books released and your book will get lost in the crowd and earn very little. What actual distribution looks like--hey mention Carina's site and other distributors. And how the market for e-books grows-- with the Kindle, the Sony e-reader, books on ipods and iphones and now the new Noble reader, I think this is the new frontier of writing. As of right now I prefer print books and bookstores, but I do have many books already written and revised that don't fit the print marketing model and this would be a good outlet for them. But I won't be writing books specifically for the e-book market at this time. I'll keep you posted.

Let me know what your thoughts are about this issue. Is all the real money in e-books in the erotica market? Or will people pay for other genres...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nov. 11

Happy Veteran's day to all our soldiers, sailors and airmen. As an Air Force Vet, I know the sacrifices you make/made for our country. Thank you!! I salute you and honor you and am proud to be in your company.

There is a great group of veterans who write romance of all sorts. Please check out their books at support a Vet- buy a book. Even better- donate a book today for our men and women overseas. It's a bit of home away from home. check out Operation Paperback at

Also- they are accepting cards and letters of support for the Fort Hood Injured soldiers and their families. Here is an address:
Ft. Hood Injured Soldiers or Ft Hood Family Members
c/o OPAC
560 Peoples Plaza, #121
Newark DE 19702

Mrs. Frankie Mayo
Operation AC Inc. (a 501(c)3 non-profit troop support company)
IRS # 02-0699201
www.operationac. com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov 10

I'm out and about today. Took daughter to work so I have the car. Taking little dog to the groomer- not looking forward to her shaking and whining the whole way...she loves them-just not the clippers, but she looks like a puffball and I would love to see her eyes and feet again. So, it has to be done. Unlike me, she can't simply put her hair in a pony tail and pretend she gets it cut.
In other news- Harlequin is opening a new e-press division called Carina press. I don't think they are doing YA-yet. But I think it's a sign of the future-or could just be another HQ trend-we'll talk more about this tomorrow. Have a great day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nov. 9

It's Monday and cloudy and I'm back in the office...back at work. I am revising and querying and doing some promo. I was asked by a new facebook friend to stop by her blog and tell her readers a little bit about me. That blog is posted today if you want to hop over and leave a comment. It's - She has some very inspiring posts on her blog. I am always and ever amazed by the gorgeous writing and great information found in the blogosphere.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nov. 8

Off today to meet with fabulous writer friends. We meet once a month to kibitz about writing, help each other out and set goals. For me it's about getting out of the house and socializing with other writers. I do learn a lot from these ladies and they brighten my day. So, here's to friends who cheer each other on. May you have many such wonderful people in your life. Cheers!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nov. 7

Okay- so I'm late in posting. My excuse is that it is absolutely lovely weather today. The sun is out. The sky is blue. The air is dry enough that there is no haze. Even better than sunshine and blue skies -- you don't need a coat or sweater! I've been wearing both for nearly a month now. So we have what they call Indian Summer today. Those brilliantly blue sky, warm air days after the first frost. Perfect for walking, running and playing football. Here's wishing a long and happy Indian summer for all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nov. 6

I mentioned on Facebook that I'm between projects and asked what people do with their down time. Someone said, writer's never have downtime because we're always writing in our heads. Which is so true. The trouble I'm having is that I have six completed books and two partials right now. Which means I have eight option books (a second for each book complete) rattling around in my head. Can't write the options until I sell the first book. I'm currently working in three genres and three areas of the romance genre. It's all too much.
The problem is that I am not patient. I want to write and sell and write some more- and when I don't sell I keep writing, revising. The market doesn't work that way- especially with a ten percent unemployment rate and book stores closing left and right. I need to stop and wait and be patient. Perseverance is good-but over kill is not. Like the people who audition for American Idol-and when they are turned down-burst into a different song- and then another song and another until someone gets the hook and throws them out. :) Patience is better than desperation. Don't you think? :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nov. 5

I'm a klutz. My father used to say I was graceful as an ox. Eight years ago I took my daughter to RWA National conference in Colorado. She was born in Denver and hadn't been back since so I wanted her to see the city and state that I love. On our first stop, we toured The Buffalo Bill museum and enjoyed the vast view at the top of the mountain. I had been there before and wanted her to see the view from both sides, so I took her down a small footpath to see the mountainside view. Climbing up on what looked like a small rock, I encouraged her to come up and get a better view. She eyed the rock and shook her head. "No way!" "Come on, it's not that high," I said. "Forget it!" she said. So I rolled my eyes at her fear and walked down to the short end and hopped off the rock. It should have been a small turned into what felt like 15 minutes of falling down the side of the mountain. I swear. I had enough time to figure out how best to know, knees tucked, shoulder first... Once I hit bottom-we were both so shocked we stared at each other. Then laughed and laughed...then checked out the damage-my right thumb swelled up, my left knee was torn open, my shoulder battered and my elbow messed up. Embarrassed, I did not go into the museum and ask for help...nope. I drove down the mountain-past a first aid station-to the Walmart. My daughter went in and purchased first aid stuff-bandages, aspirin, wound cleaner and a splint...The cashier said-"this is all just in case, right? No one's hurt?" My daughter smiled. "Yeah," she said "just in case." Paid the money and came out. We patched me up in the parking lot. I joked that it was the ghost of Buffalo Bill that pushed me. It's been a family joke ever since. (I went back to the hotel and went to conference all banged up, waited until I got home to see the doctor. Yep, my thumb was broken in three places and my elbow was chipped- I should have had stitches...but seriously didn't want to admit I was so stupid as to jump off a rock. I told everyone who asked at conference that I had done it rock climbing....;)
What brings this little story to mind today is last nights' episode of Ghost Hunters. They were guessed it...The Buffalo Bill museum. Where their were reports of mists and footsteps and...a lady being pushed down the stairs... Maybe I wasn't such a klutz after all. Maybe it was a ghost that pushed me. :) Cheers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nov. 4

Happy Birthday to my good friend and soon-to-be-published author, Joelle. Many blessings and happy returns!

Today is enrollment day for semester two of the MA program. So, I went and followed all the steps but the computer would not let me add my courses... (figures, right? lol) So I logged out. Logged back in- still not allowed to add. Sigh. So I called the registrar who kindly checked and said that there were no holds, I should be able to enroll and sent me to the help desk. The help desk said I was the second person with this problem, but no one there knew how to fix it. The person in charge would be in soon and call me back. So I waited an hour and tried a different browser and voila! I am registered. Logged out. Logged in with original browser and guess what? No add boxes and no proof that I was enrolled. Don't you love computer systems? So, I logged out and went to the other browser-logged in and there I was enrolled. I printed out the page. We'll see what happens next. Patience is key and a very good sense of humor!

Hope your day is great~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nov. 3

I have found that writers are a unique combination of optimist and fatalist. You have to be an optimist to think that you could even write a book. Even more of an optimist to sit down and finish a book - think about it, you are creating something out of thin air. Then you have to be optimistic enough to let others read it- to revise- to query and to publish. Even then you have to be optimistic that readers will want to buy it and read it to do any kind of marketing and promotion-sending out to be judged in contests, etc.
But at the same time we are fatalists- the only part about being an author that is in our control is the actual writing and revising. With bad economies, publishers not buying, readers not buying, and rejection letters mounting, writer's tend to "know in their hearts" this probably won't fly but I'll keep trying. Case in point, a friend finalled in a contest for the first time. While we were all congratulating her, she looked at the other finalists and said-"They have all won other contests, I haven't. I don't really have a chance to win..." lol. Not true. She has as much a chance as any of the others, but she is already resigned to the possibility of not winning.
Fatalism is a learned reaction to protect us from the things we can't control- such as whether someone "loves" the book enough to take it on. It's not a bad thing- as long as we don't allow it to overtake out optimism and keep us from attempting our dreams.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nov 2

My calendar says today is the Day of the Dead. It is also my late Grandma Ruth's birthday so I am thinking of ancestors. All the family that lived before us, and how they live inside us now. I like to wonder on their lives, think about their hopes and dreams. It is an interesting time to wander through the cemetery and look at the inscriptions. To see the rich and the poor, the well loved and the lost. It creates stories in my heart and in my head. What binds us all is life and death- love and anger and struggle. Stories of real people fuel the stories in my head and I wonder if there isn't a part of my ancestors that live on in my characters.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nov 1

I'm going to admit how much of a geek I really am... I wanted to know what kind of trick-or-treaters we have. It always feels like a lot and we go through 10 to 13 bags of candy-of course, I give away more than one piece. So this year I conducted an experiment. I made up 80 gift bags of candy. 20 for tiny girls, 20 for tiny boys, 20 for older girls and 20 for older boys. At the end of the night I had a clear picture of how many kids came to my door. Curious? :) I'll share.
I had 14 bags left we had 66 kids stop by in three hours. The most were young boys-(19 in total), followed by older girls, (18). Then we had young girls (16) and finally older boys (13).
It was cold last night and our impression was that we didn't get as many tiny kids as usual. My daughter thought perhaps the cold mixed with the threat of flu this year kept many toddlers and preschoolers home. My favorite of the preschool costumes was a little guy dressed like a teddy bear. The older girls were dressed in 80's gear, fairies, etc. Oh, three were "cougars"- not the animal but middle-aged women who used giant purses for their treat bags. lol. The boys were action figures, skeletons and super heroes...the coolest being a giant pumpkin-headed grim reaper who scare two other boys his same age. Funny. I do enjoy trick-or-treats. Cheers!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oct. 31

Happy Halloween everyone! I have my pumpkins out, my lighted jack-o-lantern and my candy. I'm ready. Tricks or treats start here at 4 pm. Which is early, but safer for the little kids. I love to watch them show off their costumes and run from house to house in glee. It's a celebration of neighbors and the possibility of being- a super hero, a princess, or simply magic. Cheers~

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oct. 30

I updated my Sunday blog by adding a button for an RSS feed. This means readers can stream updates to their web browser or Google reader. Then my daughter said she loves to read the twitter comments on the edge of her favorite blogs. Since I tweet and re-tweet many good links for writers, I added the twitter stream to the side of that blog. There are other things I need to do with my on-line presence- but I'm getting there. :)
Here's my question to readers of my daily blog-would you like an RSS button for this blog? Twitter stream here as well? Cheers~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oct. 29

Deadline day for the MA semester end. Da da daaaaaa. :) I have everything done so I have no idea why I'm stressing... except I want it all to be perfect and wonderful and A++ material- which realistically can never happen. It is like a book deadline in the same way...Hard to let go of the baby-sending it off into the mist so to speak. Out of your hands, out of your control, off to be judged by others. Yikes!
Classic author behavior to struggle with the sending off part. I know a NYT Bestseller who writes three endings for each book- her way of letting go. Me, I have to walk and pace and force myself to send it off into the great unknown. Sort of like a parent letting go of a child. You do it in stages, but you do it. Or you would never learn, grow and sell.
So, off to send my deadline things in... Tell me, do you struggle with letting go?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oct. 28

Happy birthday to my sister, Kathi. May all your birthday wishes come true!

It is lovely eerie here today. The lake is smooth as glass. There is a fog in the air, dimming the sun. Most of the trees are bare, their jewel-colored leaves in wet heaps on the ground. A chorus of birds can be blackbird, robin, finch, starling, chickadee, woodpecker. What sounds like huge flocks have moved in to invade the woods around the lake like some sort of convention. They pop from tree to tree chatting up a storm while the now bare, damp branches offer up last minute insects and fruits. It is a sound that won't be heard again until Spring, when the flocks migrate through on their way north. The storm before the calm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oct. 27

We're moving into the darkest part of the year and I've been reading about the effects of seasons on the human brain. Studies have shown that writers and artists are effected by light and darkness, heat and cold. I smiled when I read that writers in the study were at their most creative in the Spring and Fall. The heart of winter being too dark and the heart of summer being too nice. I look at my productive times and find that I write more books in the Spring and Fall. I had never thought about the why of it. I know that I am sensitive to the seasons and the view from my window. I prefer the light to darkness and must take special care of myself during the darkest days. What about you? Are you affected by the seasons?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oct. 26

Happy Birthday to my nephew, Jared, who turns 10 today. Celebrate until the cows come home. :)

This is a busy week- I have the semester deadline, and I'm judging the Emily contest, and then there is the all important Halloween decorating and prep work. :) I have queries out on three books. I want to send out a few more this week. Then there are revisions and additions to three other books to consider before I send them out as well. I haven't decided which to work on first. One step at a time. I truly believe that things reveal themselves when it is there time. Happy writing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct. 25

My favorite quote from this week:

"Perseverance: the courage to continue despite the obvious wisdom of quitting." :)

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oct. 24

Happy 90th birthday to my Grandma Mary! I've been blessed to have long-lived grandparents. Their warmth, caring and love have brightened my life. I love their stories as well and hope to pass them on to my grandchildren.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Oct 23

There is some loop talk going on about websites and blogs and on-line marketing. I think I'm doing all right in this area. I might not be as great as some but I'm holding my own. Since I started school I have not been able to read and comment on as many blogs as I would like. There are on-line opportunities I have to pass over-but it goes back to the idea of balance in all you do. My favorite way of thinking about it is this: The grocery store is full of wonderful foods, but it's not good for you to eat them all...

Still I admire those who are able to do so much more-many of you follow my blog and comment daily. You are my inspiration and I thank you! Cheers~

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oct. 22

I am under deadline for the MA program so that is keeping me busy. I've got most of the work completed, but now I'm simply going over everything with a fine tooth comb-editing and revising and checking facts. The actual deadline is a week from today but life tends to get in the way if you don't have things under control. Enrollment starts soon for the next semester. I forgot how crazy busy school can be and also how rewarding... it's nice to hear "good job!" instead of "not right for us at this time." LOL Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oct. 21

I had an adventure this morning. I took the train into town, walked among the crowds and sky scrapers, went to the 18th floor and interviewed with a nice temporary service. Took the train back. It is so unlikely that a small town Kansas girl like me could be so cosmopolitan. But there I was with the commuters...walking the gray streets between the canyons of skyscrapers as if I belonged there. Glad to be back home among the sounds of geese and coyotes and robins and crows. With the scent of baled hay and cut corn. Where there is so much life and color and country air.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct. 20

I'm working on revisions- small brush strokes on a big book to add color and flavor to it. The hard part is knowing when you've added enough- and not to do too much and lose the joy in the story. There really is a fine line between well done and over done--like cooking a roast. For that reason, I've decided I'm done messing with this book after today. Time to move on to another book- another query- another set of revisions. Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct. 19

We have a flock of robins hanging around. Probably due to the two ornamental cherry trees in my yard that are loaded with fruit that is not suitable for humans but is lovely for birds. Big flocks of geese fly in for a mid morning break. Then fly out in the afternoon on their way south. The sun is out. The lake rippling in the wind. Only a few trees have their leaves now, some dully red. The lawn grass has been cut for the last time. People have pumpkins sitting on their door stoops. Some have ghosts and goblins and scarecrows out...bales of hay, stalks of corn. I'm hording bags of candy for trick or treaters. Its the only time we have candy in the house-usually I bake if we want sweets. I have no costume in mind this year...any ideas?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct. 18th

I'm off to have brunch with a couple of wonderful writers this morning. So my Sunday blog will be late. But as I wrote in my blog about Finding Balance, sometimes it's good to take a short time off and go live life. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday~look for the Sunday blog later this afternoon. Cheers!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oct. 17

I woke up at the crack of dawn today by the sound of gun fire. We live out in the country and I think it's hunting season...perhaps bird or bunny. Still it is unsettling to hear first thing in the morning. I'm not against hunting when done properly. I think it helps to feed hungry families and cuts down on the over population of animals. Since we have gotten rid of most of the large natural predators, deer, rabbit and game bird populations have boomed. There is nothing worse than having these lovely animals die of starvation and disease...or worse. It's a hard choice but I think a wise one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oct 16

I'm immersing myself in police procedural information. It has been pointed out that it is a weakness in my thriller. Well, I do know why. The book originally revolved around the investigation of a random murder suicide by an on-line reporter. The cop characters were added as a way to color the story and fill in detail. But, they have become an integral part of the story and now I need to really flesh them out-give their world color. I am studying details that will never go in the book- but by learning these details and building their world in my head I hope to create rounded more realistic characters for the book. cheers~ *she says over the stacks of research books on her desktop.*

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oct. 15

Wow- October is half over... (I know, I know, I blog a lot about the whooshing of time.) When searching my desk for an important document, I came across a paper with my 2009 goals written on it. Huh, I forgot I had 2009 goals...and written down one at that! lol
I looked it over with some small dread, but then found that I had indeed met all those goals and more. Whew. So, all the whooshing of time has not left me un-accomplished. That's a nice feeling. Maybe whooshing isn't a bad thing after all. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct. 14

I like to watch the television show Ghost Hunters. when I first started watching I enjoyed the two main characters who were so certain that there was an explanation for people's "hauntings" - wind, squeaky floor, bad plumbing, etc. Then there was the occasional surprise when something was caught on tape that was unexplainable. Soon, I enjoyed the side characters who scared themselves and kept saying "dude, what was that?!" over spiders and stuff.
But it's been a few years now and the show has gotten commercial. They "find" more stuff now than ever-and mostly they two main guys find it which I find creates a "staged" feel in this supposed reality show. I mean if there were actual haunts wouldn't they act up for more than the two head guys?
The spark of the show is waning-but I still watch when I can. I'm intrigued by the possibility knowing full well that camera tricks are easy to do but still enjoying the ghost story feel. It's the time of year for ghost stories and the unexplained...and isn't it fun to imagine? Cheers~

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 13

Last night I had a small book signing with a great writer's group. The ladies were fabulous and so supportive. I sold out- and still had two people who wanted books. I wish I had it in me to do more signings and to push harder-asking people to buy my books. I admire the people who spend so much time and money and really work at the marketing and selling side of this business. It's a weakness for me. I know. I work at it as much as I can. Life is a series of constant improvements. It's how we stretch and grow. Last night was a good stretch for me. Thank you to all who gathered around and bought my book and helped me feel like a real celeb. Cheers!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct 12

Tonight is the bi-monthly meeting of the local RWA chapter. (Romance Writer's of America) I'll be taking in some copies of Mr. Charming to sign between the program and the critique.

As a writer there is nothing better than meeting with other writers to talk about craft, business and creativity. If you don't belong to a writer's group, find one. They are worth the time. Check out your local library, bookstores and on-line.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct. 11

Happy Sunday, everyone. I put a picture of a cute puppy up on my Sunday I'm setting today aside to read, read, read. Sometimes it's easy to forget that reading helps to make your writing better. So, if you find yourself not reading-my advice is to take the time to read a book a month. It will help you write better. Cheers!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oct. 10

We had frost last night after a dark and rainy day. The surprising part was I listened to robins (North American Thrush) in the woods behind the house. They have been missing for about a month because they migrate early. So these must have been birds passing through from places farther north. It made it feel like spring. Today is chore day- errands, groceries, budgets, bills and planning. By creating a scheduled day for these things, I'm able to free my mind for writing. It all goes to the balance thing I spoke of last Sunday. I hope you have a good and happy Saturday! Cheers~

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oct. 9

I'm working on revisions this week. It's always a good sign when you get a third of the way into the book and you really are enjoying yourself. You know, in the end, that is what really matters. That you had fun writing it and that when you reread a book for the 1000th time, you still have fun. The work itself might not fit in the current publisher's marketing trend. It might never get read by more than a handful of people. But it was worth all the time spent because you had fun. That's why I got into writing in the first place, to have fun and to share that fun with others.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oct. 8

Last night I attended a fun talk by debut author Marilyn Brant (According to Jane). She spoke about how each of us has the spark and the talent to pursue our dreams-whatever that may be. There was coffee and tea, apple cidar and so many cookies and goodies and chocolates.
Marilyn claims she is no public speaker but her talk was warm and funny and heartfelt. There were 35 to 40 people there. And even when she was hit with a question about the ethos of Jane Austen...(someone was trying to sound smart), she answered it with dignity and honesty and a bit of humor.
I don't get out much, but I'm glad I went. It was a great time. If you get a chance, read her book.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oct 7

Had the last chat of the semester last night for my MA program. I went to the chat run by NYT bestselling author Maria Snyder on author websites...and I probably talked way too much. lol. Most of the time I can control the thoughts but last night I simply couldn't stop "adding" to the conversation. Sheesh. Can you slink off from a chat?
My daughter says it's good to talk a lot in a discussion. Still, I don't care for people who hog a conversation and yet- I am I'm extra careful-most of the time.
Any way- this semester was my first real experience with chat rooms and on-line chats/discussions as classroom/workshops. It has been interesting- a bit nerve wrecking-and yes, I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oct. 6

I am revising. To me, no book is ever perfect-until it's published and there is nothing I can do to change the words on the page. That said, I do send out queries and let people read the work before it's perfect-because I've found that everyone has an opinion on how it should go. By working the opinions of your agent and editor into the book you can make it better. Still it's a fine line between over editing and not editing enough- and that line changes with the person reading the work. All you can do is your best on any given day and then let go and learn from the rest.
Happy writing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oct. 5

Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Roger. Age is nothing but a thing. :)

As I sit here, the view from my window grows darker and darker. There is a thick wall of black clouds moving across the sky. No rain on the radar so it is odd and fits the spooky October mood. The lake is empty as the migrating Canada geese have not stopped yet on their coffee break. The red maple trees are all red on top and green on bottom as if they were dipped in red sauce. The rest are still green, but it is an old green, a faded green. They are calling for a hard frost this weekend. After that the colors will turn or the leaves will simply die. If you sit still enough and pay attention, you can see time actually passing you by.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oct. 4

I wrote my Sunday blog on balance and yet here I sit, writing a second blog, thinking about checking in on myspace, facebook, twitter and I just joined book blogs ning network. But people have friended me. There are birthdays and announcements, interviews etc. etc. etc.

HA! I am insane. Am going out today to see if I can live life a little bit. I hope you do the same. Cheers!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oct. 3

There have been messages on the loops lately about updating websites to better protect them. I guess there has been a lot of what is called "spoofing" where they have bots that crawl around and collect e-mail addresses off websites and then use them to send spam messages and porn sites and such to people. So, I went in yesterday and changed my e-mail address to written out- although I suspect that's not much of a deterrent. I think if they can create a bot to look for @ signs they can create one to look for the words at and dot. *shrug*

Well, at the very least I can imagine that I am proactive in protecting myself. It might be a good time to change all your passwords. Sort of like checking your smoke detector batteries in the spring and fall. :) Cheers!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct. 2

I am setting aside time today to troll blogs, check out websites and snag something from my TBR pile. I have several friends with books out now and everyone was so nice to follow my blog tour it's time I did the same. The thing about the writing community is that we love books and stories. So it's not a hardship to purchase books and share stories. Some stories can only be found on blogs as the publishing world is an extremely tight squeeze these days. I hate to miss out on fabulous characters and wonderful writer's voices. So am going to forget my worries and bury myself in a good book. Cheers!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oct. 1

I love October. I love hay rack rides, and pumpkin farms and cool days with warm sun. I love the smell of falling leaves and burning piles of leaves. The spiders and other funny bugs that come out of no where. I love the spooky Halloween decorations, the hay bales and scarecrows, the giant harvest moon in the dark night sky. The way the geese fly south and stop at ten every morning to rest at the lake before moving on. Oh, apples, and apple cider and cinnamon donuts to dunk them in...sigh. Yay for October.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sept 30

As this month ends and a new month begins, I am feeling way behind. It doesn't help that my internet is slow, my browsers freeze and I am unable to reply to groups. I've got four books out on query and in various stages of revisions- which means they are like an entire house being remodeled- complete with saw dust, drop cloths and such. I've reached the point where you feel as if it will never look good again. :) I feel bad that I am unable to catch up on the wonderful blog posts of friends. To read the growing pile of good books published by friends. Perhaps it was yesterday's MA deadlines that put me behind or the trip to the wedding. Perhaps it was also the internet troubles and recent colds, but I look at all the work to be done and all the apologies to give out and shake my head and sigh. There is nothing for it but to pick a spot and begin. :) Please know that I enjoy your comments and appreciate your following and hope to extend the same courtesy to you, soon. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sept 29

There was a wonderful article in the Sunday paper two weeks ago about a woman who spent thirty years as the sole cook and server in the midnight kitchen at the local children's hospital. It told her story-how she loved to cook and worked her way into the kitchen. How she saw a need to have food service in the dead of night- when parents could leave a sleeping child for a few moments, when nurses or doctors could take a breath. When people who hadn't eaten all day needed something warm and nutritious. The hospital allowed her to come in and run a grill. This grandma quietly developed her talents and spent them helping people-giving small comfort to any one who wondered in in the dead of night.
Writing can be like that. We develop our talents, write our stories, find our small publishers- only a few get the big splashy name and the big splashy money. But that doesn't stop the rest of us from developing our talents and letting our stories find there way into the hands of those few who need them. So- even if we never make a best seller list or six figure advances, like the lady in the midnight kitchen, we have served our talent well. Cheers!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sept 28

It is cool here- in the 50's F and the sun is bright. A strong wind rattles the windows. My giant desk calender has crinkles from cup rings and bent corners. It is covered in doodles and crossed off days and notes of deadlines to meet, birthdays, weddings, trips out of town, conferences that I wanted to attend but didn't make for various reasons, page count deadlines, revision deadlines... On Thursday I'll rip off the old and start fresh with a new month- more notes, more deadlines, more scribbles, more birthdays and conferences and trips. And smiley faces... I find myself always drawing smiley faces. :) Cheers!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sept 27

I am home safe. The flight was wildly bumpy and there were times we were literally flung about. But I survived and when the air smoothed out, they served cookies. Another happy metaphor don't you think?

The wedding was lovely. My niece was a pretty bride and looked so very happy. It made it all worth while. I hope you had a good weekend. Cheers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sept 24

I opened the deck door to let the dogs out this morning. It was foggy and the deck has a portico over top. The entire frame work was covered in lacy spider webs which were all sparkling with the drops of water from the fog. It was as if fairies had come in the middle of the night and decorated my deck with crystal lace. I love this time of year.

Oh- to let you know, I will be traveling tomorrow. I leave bright and early at 6 a.m. My niece is getting married on Saturday and I may or may not have time to stop by and say hi. I will be back at it on Monday. So, I hope you have a safe and fun weekend. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sept 23

I am revising/copy editing/polishing the middle grade book for boys. Still I know that things will be missed. It's the nature of the beast. Every time I look at it I find something new to fix. Then when it sells the editor will find something I've missed. Then the copy editor will find all kinds of things the editor and I missed. Then we'll read over the galleys and find a few more. Finally the book is in print and inevitably a reader will shoot me an e-mail about an error they found. :)
It's easy to get all paranoid and never send the work out...waiting for the day it's perfect. I'm afraid that day will never come. The best you can do is your best-plus have a second and third pair of eyes look it over-then your best again. But sooner or later you have to let it go- send it out- and when people find errors- thank them, fix the errors and keep going. It's all part of the process.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sept 22

It's the first day of equinox of day and night. We have thick fog covering our day light and I've been thinking about our current culture of judgement. I think it started with reality shows-American Idol- Cake Wars- America's Next top Model. The world judges, points, pokes and dismisses in harsh tones and mocking laughter. It goes against my sensibilities. The current culture of snark. Perhaps I am naive. Perhaps I still cling to the childish idea that every person has worth. Every effort has meaning and no one has the right to snark. (Think of the evil stepsisters in Disney's Cinderella- why do we champion that kind of behavior?) It's a cruel world. The truth hurts. You can't be coddled with false self esteem. Perhaps, but here's the thing...if snark and judgement make for stronger better people, why isn't the world a better place?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sept 21

I worked in my garden over the weekend. Weeding I came across a miniature rose peaking out from under a hosta. My kids gave me the rose plant two years ago for Mother's day and I had planted it in the garden where the rabbits promptly ate it down to a stub. But it grew back, surviving under the hosta. Even more lovely were the brilliant red flowers it produced- in secret-under the bigger plant. You had to get down close to see them, but they were there. Great metaphor, don't you think? About life in general...there is magic to be found in unexpected places if you look real close.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sept 20

I am stupidly competitive. What I mean by that is I struggle with the word "enough." I currently have six novels complete and in various stages of query and yet, yesterday someone asked me if I was writing... and I said no- then felt guilty. Crazy!
I follow write goal on Twitter... I start to get itchy when others celebrate their 2k or 5k words done for the day...and I don't have any words. But it's only been 6 days since I finished my last book.
Six books is enough. Right? I mean seriously- it's crazy to write anything more until I sell off some of this inventory.
Thus the trip to Hobby Lobby and the purchase of yarn and knitting needles- I am going to learn how to knit socks...I am going to walk away from #writegoal on twitter. I am going to concentrate on selling what I have. I will not write anything new until January. LOL. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sept 19

I would like to wish my Aunt Marnie a very happy, happy birthday! May your day be filled with love, family and cake! and your year be full of joy and promise.

I would also like to say congratulations and good luck to my friend Jerri on this her wedding day.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Sept 18

In conjunction with yesterday's blog about writing myths, I've been reading on the Novelist Inc loop (Novelist Inc is a group for writers of all genre's who have more than two books on shelves) so many stories from wonderful, mid-list authors about books that editors loved but marketing didn't buy. I'm reading the same stories over and over by multiple authors of series that were dropped and books that never panned out. So it is hugely naive to think that the reason a writer gets rejected is because they are not good enough at the craft- or the book wasn't well written. I learned long ago it was wrong thinking to believe that this kind of constant auditioning wasn't part of the life once you got published.
The good news about this for unpubs is that you are indeed living the author life by writing books on spec and "auditioning" them to agents and editors. Welcome to the writer's life.
(Now I know that some people never have to write on spec- but for most genre fiction in today's market, auditioning is typical. So do not despair! And most importantly do not disparage yourself or your talent. Remember it's the journey not the destination.) Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sept 17

Myth: once you are published agents want you to call them when looking for representation.
Myth: once you are published agents and editors will treat you differently.
Sigh. Yes, I believed those myths. Unfortunately I have received more rejections since I've published then prior to publishing...and my prior to publishing rejection count was in the 550 range.
Fact: Working writers like actors are forever auditioning to get a slot. (I won't talk about the very few exceptions.) Even some darn solid names need to audition. I remember listening to a long time bestselling author speak about her agent search. One agent told her she wasn't good enough for him. Another said he didn't want to work with someone with her numbers...
Agent hunting is like dating, finding the right match can take a lot of work and rejection. I started searching for an agent for the middle grade boy book last night. Sigh. Am totally intimidated by some of the agents descriptions of what they want. Translate to: wanted woman with Marilyn Monroe's curves, Betty Davis eyes, Julia Robert's legs and Meryl Streep's talent. Ideally she'll never age past 26, holds three degrees from Harvard and won a season of Top Chef. Better yet, a toss of her hair will bring me an auction from book publishers that will run into the million dollar range, movie rights to match Harry Potter and Disney will make a theme park... all others need not apply.
Um... I wrote a simple book for boys that might be fun... *shrug*...apply anyway. You never know.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sept 16

I've completed the first draft of the middle grade book for boys. I've now started into the revisions. So far so good. I still really like it and in this business that's the best you can do. I hope to send it off to my beta readers (my nephews) this weekend and see what they have to say about it. Then more revisions and querying.

Meanwhile, the book I wrote last spring for Harlequin--which was rejected last month--is up on my desk. I'm going to add a 100 page subplot to make it a single title book and send it out to a couple of publishers to see if there is any interest in it. Never say never... :) Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sept 15

We are halfway through September. Crazy. I saw my first Christmas toy ad on television last night. There is Halloween candy displayed at the front of the stores. Soon the Christmas section will be up. Still, I love Fall. All the tailgating and football, the back-to-school, the colors and scents, fruits and vegetables and the hint of winter in the air. It is my favorite season. Cheers~

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sept 14

Today is my last stop on the mini blog tour for Mr. Charming. I'm over at Morgan Mandel's Double M blog. If you get a chance, please stop by and say hi.

Thanks for following and I hope you all have a good Monday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sept 13

I waxed philosophical on my Sunday blog. I worry when I do that. Is it "value added" for my readers? Am I wasting their time? Maybe I should have written about something practical like how to write a synopsis or how to use twitter to learn...anything to advance their career. Then I just wrote what was on my mind. Because readers are big people. They can choose to read or not read and maybe, just maybe someone needed to read what I was thinking about.

Have a nice day everyone! Cheers~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sept 12

The view from my window is thick, wet fog. The lake and sky are one silver wall behind the foreground trees. Those trees include the french pussy willow which is nearly bare. The neighbors birch trees with their clumps of yellow and green leaves and peeling yellow white bark. Our own ash tree is one third bare branches in dark brown, one third clumps of yellow leaves and one third still green and waiting to turn. There are piles of yellow compound leaves scattered around it's roots. The grass is surprisingly green with the cooler wetter weather. It is making some last minute growth before the frosts to come next month. The fog leaves the air smelling of damp leaves and wet ground and muffles sounds cocooning us all in the depths of its clouds.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept 11

Today I have a guest over at my Sunday blog- It is my good friend Carolyn Brown who has written something like 36 books for Avalon. She talks about her brand new single title series for Sourcebooks. Carolyn is down home funny and a real hoot. So, if you have time, check her out. (Don't forget to leave a comment so she knows you were there.) Cheers!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sept 10

I am out and about today, having lunch with fellow author Marin Thomas. I can't stress enough the importance of getting out of the office. It helps to "fill the well" so to speak. To get out into the real world allows the creative mind to relax a bit. Sometimes you'll see something that stirs the imagination and helps you through the next scene or that tough bit you were working on or even spurs the next book idea. so, please schedule some down time at least once a month. It's good for the soul. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sept 9

Now that summer is over--almost officially--I have redesigned my website. I generally change up the design twice a year. Once for summer vacation and then back for the regular year. I think you need to keep your website active. Add bits of information. Change colors and styles. So that readers who visit your website can see that it is more than a place holder. That you update your information. If they get in the habit of checking your site once a month or so, then they won't miss a book release or a good review. Think of it as washing the windows on your store front. People are easily distracted and bright and shiny wins the day. ;) Cheers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sept 8

I know this is kind of silly, but when I'm in the middle of a first draft of a book, I'm always amazed at how long it takes. Somewhere in the unrealistic part of my mind I truly believe you should be able to write a book as fast as you read one. Of course, the rational part of me knows better. Even at the unrealistic rate of writing 20 pages a day it takes 20 days to rough out a first draft. At ten pages a day it takes 40 days, and at 5 pages a day it takes 80 days. And that's only the rough draft.

So, in a way, writing is like long distance running. You start off and try to maintain a certain pace. The rest is simply mental. At the one third mark you start to wonder if it's possible to run 5 miles, even if you've done it before. At the two thirds mark you are tired and start debating whether it's worth it. Whether what you've got isn't enough. Whether your goal was unrealistic or not for this day, this temperature, this route. None of the mental second guessing matters if you just keep going. Because you will reach the end...and you can know that you did it...

The next day, you do it all over again. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sept 7

Took the day off today to spend with family. But wanted to stop by the blog and say that I hope you had a safe and happy holiday! Cheers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sept 6

I hope you are having a lovely holiday weekend. I am spending it writing, and doing some fall cleaning. Last night people set off fireworks over the lake to celebrate the change of seasons. I've been thinking lately that as Americans we sometimes push ourselves too hard. We are raised that ambition equals success and, as the little gecko in those insurance commercials says, success equals hard work. But hard work is useless if you don't put it down sometimes and take the time to sit on the deck or patio with a cold beverage and watch the dragonflies. Or play with your kids or grand kids. While Labor day is a celebration of labor and work, in a contrary way, I think it should be a moment when you take in all the wonderful things that work brings you. So my advice to you today is to put down the writing. Step away from the computer. Let go of the guilt of not putting so many words on paper and go out- fill the well-breathe, play, live. Cheers!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sept 5

There was a heavy fog on the lake this morning. It left the trees dripping and the grass wet. The leaves are slowly turning yellow, brown, and red. Some trees have given up and are already shedding so that bare branches stick out among the green and yellow. The lake itself is still as glass. It's the time after those who built their homes and raised their babies here have left; and before the migrants stop for coffee breaks on their way south. Change is in the air, along with the acrid scent of burning leaves and crisp fall.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sept 4

It's nice to be back in my office and on the Internet. I hadn't realized how much of my life depends on connection through the magical mystical airwaves. This is the official last Friday of summer here in the United States. As this weekend coming up is Labor Day- the second in the traditional three day weekends that bookend the summer season. So, I will be changing the website back to normal work day web design this weekend. Summer reading, summer day dreaming are behind us now. Cool days and the smell of burning leaves ahead.

I've found different seasons mean different writing moods and stories for me. How about you? Does a change in seasons affect how you work? Cheers!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sept 3

Must be close to a full moon... my internet access was "accidentally" cut off- and we have been calling to get it back on for nearly 24 hours. Thank goodness for libraries with wifi access. So the view from my room is far from here as I sit in a laptop station cubical and hope that it's okay to log onto an unsecured network.

Let me take a moment to talk about how great libraries are. In these difficult economic times, the library is a great resource for internet, movies, books, music and more. Best of all it costs nothing to get a library card so access to this wonderful bonanza is free!

Of course, 7 of my books can be found in libraries. If you don't see copies at your library, please request them. All my books are still available for purchase. This library has three of the seven. So, today if you have time, stop by on the way home and check out what your library has to offer. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sept 2

I've had several new promo opportunities show up in my in box. Unfortunately I haven't been able to take advantage of all of them. (Is my perfectionism showing? lol) There are only so many hours in the day and some of those should be spent with your family and friends. Balance is the hardest thing for me and something I am constantly working on. Learning how to pick and choose- whether that is book ideas, agents, promo opportunities- is important. Unfortunately I tend to want to choose it all- like a kid in a candy store. I often spend time wondering if I could have chosen better- but, that kind of thinking is a waste of time and energy. Choose we must, my inner Yoda says. Letting go of the rest-priceless.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sept 1

The year is flying by... should get a soft helmet, goggles and a flyer's scarf to keep the bugs from getting in my eyes as time whooshes past, blowing my hair back.

Thanks for everyone who stopped by yesterday's blog tour and left a comment. You all are great!

One stop left on the mini blog tour and that is September 15th at Morgan Mandel's double M blog. I'll keep you posted. I have no idea if the blog tour was a success, but I think it introduced me to a new audience and introductions are important. So, I will do another blog tour for my next book, Dream Man, in January. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Oops forgot!

See, I should never take cold and flu meds before I blog-

I forgot The blog tour continues!!! Today I'm over at the wonderful L. Diane's Spunk on a Stick talking about perseverance and perspective- come on over and leave a comment!

August 31

I am halfway or better through my latest project. It's been a lot of fun to switch genres and play with kids stories. The research is the best part. While I write, I have been reading middle grade stories, researching the place, the weather, the science and what the grade levels learning goals are. I have immersed myself in 5th and 6th grade. Meanwhile my plucky hero is certain a mystery is afoot in his fabulous new world.

(Woke up sick today, so am on cold and flu meds... does it show? ;)) Cheers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30

I blogged on blogs having a theme and a purpose on my Sunday blog. If you follow this daily blog I hope you see that the theme and purpose of this blog is a daily note of hello and an inside glimpse into my life as a writer and the view from my window. This is the place for family, friends and readers to get to know me a little bit better. It is off the cuff, so to speak, and much less formal than my Sunday "Writer's" blog.

So- off the cuff-this morning I woke up to see the big blue heron standing at the edge of the lake just a few yards from my house. It was unusually cool this morning and I imagine the frogs were slower, so the fishing was easy. The water birds here are lovely. It is a rare treat to sip coffee and watch them fish against a backdrop of the rising sun. I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine. Cheers!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29

Lots of errands to run today, so I'm a bit behind. It's also deadline day for the Master's program. I think I'm set, but I do need to double check.

I want to share that the blog tour continues on Monday! I'll be over at L. Diane's blog - I'm so excited to give all writers a bit of a pep talk and give the back story to how Mr. Charming found a home.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28

It's the last Friday in August, another cool and rainy day. I love to listen to the sound of the rain as it hits the trees, bounces off the leaves and falls to the ground or splashes into the lake. The rush and gurgle as it accumulates in the gutters and races toward the culverts, falling to the pipes below. Rainy days are their own miracle--ask anyone who lives in drought. The plants perk up, drawing in the last bits of energy before they grow dormant for the winter. Some people view rain as sadness. But I see the joy in it. The refreshing feel of cool water on your skin. The bright colors of rubber boots and fanciful umbrellas.

So, what if it's extra work getting mud off the dogs' feet. I'm warm and dry, sipping tea and marveling at the nature just outside my window. Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27

Fun news. I received another great review for Mr. Charming. Night Owl Romance gave the book a 4.5 stars out of 5, reviewers top pick. The reviewer actually said..."wow"... It's been three years since I've had a book reviewed and I forgot the little high you get when someone likes your work. I felt a bit like Sally Field at the Oscars, "You like me. You really like me." LOL

Then I remembered that I need to be saving all of these reviews. You see, I forget to do that. Then when an editor or agent asks for reviews of my work, I have nothing... yeah. So, I need to copy and save them all in a word file. My daughter said I need to have a working archive. Ha! I don't even have a copy of all my books- I keep giving them away.

So- hint to all my writer friends, get a file folder and print out a copy of all your reviews -good and bad- and file them away. they are good for marketing and querying. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26

It's rainy here and dark. I have the office lights on and my second cup of coffee in hand. And still I had to double check today's date. LOL. I have no idea what day it is. I am certain it comes from living half my life in another world, plus working in my home office without a real need to know whether it is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Thank goodness for the time and date stamp in the lower right corner of my screen.
I do have a giant desk calendar on the top of my desk, but it is currently covered with a 5 page action scene I need to mail out for a chance at a scholarship, two pages of grade five standards of learning in science (research for my middle grade book in process), under that is a 1910 Book of Knowledge opened to page 110 with a series of riddles entitled Little Problems for Clever People, (also for wip) under that is three pages of lists of agents I've contacted, who have contacted me back along with a list of agents to check out. Then under that is the desk calendar with plenty of notes. Under today's date-mail out 30 pages to MA mentor which I did on Monday. Whew!
Now you know my organization system... what is yours? How do you tell the days apart and keep your work organized?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25

With all the craziness that is a writing career- the ups and downs- one thought makes it all worth while for me. It was a thought expressed best in the movie Julie and Julia- in the scene where Julia Child packs up her finished manuscript and pauses... she wants to drink in the moment...the possibility that the editor will love the book...that it would be a great hit...that others would read it and understand and share in her joy.
It is that moment that I live for...the moment where anything is possible. The moment where I see friends and readers reading the book- loving the characters- laughing and crying and sharing in the worlds in my head.
It's a moment you don't get in other professions...a moment that makes all the disappointments seem like dust in the wind. So, here's to those moments. May all your possibilities come true!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24

Why does the writing community "put down" small press writers? Readers don't care who publishes you. They care about a good story.
I suppose it is because some small presses don't properly edit and so the quality "seems" lower. But then again I've read some long time best sellers who needed a good editing. So is there really a quality issue or is it only perceived?
Well, books don't count unless you make big money- unless you hit a list. Wait- doesn't that hearken back to my Sunday blog about probability which showed that even when money is given at random people perceived that the person who was paid more was better somehow...
Okay, so you're better (read that as more important) if you're found in brick and mortar stores... except the biggest growing segment of today's market is online book stores. Plus, there are many self pubs in bookstores...and I know that Harlequin is perceived to be lower quality and they are in bookstores. (Notice I said perceived...they are a highly successful brand...) So, why the stigma in small press?
No offense, people tell me, but anyone can get published with your publishers...sigh. None taken, I reply. I wrote a good that found its market in small press. Oh, so you're "just" a small press writer...maybe...maybe not... markets change. If I can get my book into reader's hands, isn't that most important? Or should I hold on to my stories...stick them under the bed...don't let anyone read them unless I hit the "real publisher's" market? I've always said this and I mean it-and will continue to mean it when I hit a list- :)- If you've completed a story, polished and edited it. Congratulations! You are an author. Everything else is probability and luck and therefore does not diminish what you did.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23

I am afraid I'm slipping on this daily blog. I feel as if I've been doing flyby blogs. You know, quick, hellos but to busy to talk kind of things. That is just plain boring and hardly value added for you the reader. After all if you are taking the time to visit and read, I should take a moment and add something to your day. So, mea culpa, for the recent flybys. :)

Let me ask, how is your writing going? This is a hard time of year...what with the change of season, school starting, parent teacher conferences, Sunday school start ups, soccer, football, band, etc. Do you find that you have put your writing on hold? Kids and life and family should come first-always. I'm a big believer that living your life is more important than a self imposed writing deadline. So, don't despair. But if you are guilt wracked from not writing, take a deep breath. Keep a notebook or a small tape recorder -some mp3 players will record- and write a sentence or take a note when you are waiting in the school pickup/drop off line or during those five minutes before the game starts. Look for opportunities in long lines at the grocery store, those waits outside the classroom for your turn to go in...use them to your favor. Write a sentence, a paragraph, a page. Every little bit adds up. Cheers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22

I want to take a moment and wish my Mom, Frances Kozicki, a Happy Birthday! (And no, 73, is not old.)

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Saturday~

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21

I'm sitting in the early morning sun. The glare is such that I can't quite see my screen. And yet there are thick blue gray clouds in the sky... clouds that are different from hazy summer clouds. These clouds are telling me it's colder up there. The burning bush shrubs have all turned red. Poplars are shedding yellow leaves...hints of fall. Most of the grass, shrubs and trees are still green, but the air is cool. Our two weeks of summer are fading fast. :) Maybe I want it to fade. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The chill in the air, the smell of pumpkins and gourds and fallen leaves, the taste of fresh apple cider...all favorites.

What is your favorite season?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20

Happy news today- Mr. Charming received a 4.75 stars out of 5 star review from Heather's Books. If you want a chance to win a copy, go to and leave a comment.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19

Today I'm taking a train into town to meet my aunt for lunch. She has a four hour layover on her trip and it worked out so we would have time to meet and see each other. It's been a year since I've seen her, so it will be nice.

Hope you all have a happy Wednesday filled with joy~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18

It's warm sitting here with the sun beating down on my shoulder. I am not going to complain, even if the glare is hard on my screen. This angle of sun through the window doesn't last long and I've learned to appreciate every phase. The middle grade story for boys is moving along. I hope to hit page 80 today--rough draft pages, of course. But pages all the same.

On a sweet note, it was brought to my attention that Mr. Charming is back at number 10 on the Wild Rose Press bestseller list. I like to think of it as the little e-book that could.


Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17

Today is the third stop in my mini blog tour. I'm the spotlight author at Heather's Books. Heather and I are Facebook friends and when I mentioned putting together a blog tour, she contacted me straight away. Heather does fabulous book and movie reviews on her blog. Today I'm the spotlight author and tomorrow she will post a review of Mr. Charming.

If you get a chance, please stop in and leave a comment. Happy Monday!