Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30

I cannot believe it is the last day of April already. I have to say that outside does look like May. The trees and bushes are in bloom. The tulips, and daffodils and hyacinths are blooming as well in multiple pastel colors. Everything is greening up. We have showers here today which means the light greens are brighter against the gray sky.

There are two or three groups of geese with four of five babies roaming the neighborhood on their spindly legs and fluffy baby feather.

Would love to mow the ever growing grass but it hasn't been dry enough. Rivers are rising and flood warnings abound. All part of the season. All things we look forward to in the deepest part of winter when all is cold and silent. I love the change of season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29

Little late in blogging today. Had to go for a contrast MRI on my lower back. Fun stuff. My back has been painful for years now. So far no one can figure out the cause. I am not very trusting that this test will fix anything, but I go anyway because I want to write and it is difficult when sitting is so painful. Ah, the sacrifices we make for our art. :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28

Sun is shining today and it is cool out. I prefer cool out, really. I swear it gets over 70 degrees and I swell up like a hot air balloon. Perhaps it's a good thing I live north of the Mason/Dixon line.

News on the street is that while-yea!- the romance market is up by 30 some percent, the publishers are being stingy when it comes to buying. They are not expanding lines. They are not looking for new authors or new stories. They are holding their profits close to their chests and waiting to see what happens to the rest of the economy. From a business perspective, there are two ways to go in this market-expand or hold tight. As a writer of genre fiction, I'm always hopeful a publisher will expand when the market demand increases. This will mean more work for me. But as a business person, I can't blame the publishers if they hold tight and keep an eye on things. These are interesting times we live in... cheers!

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27

We discovered a Mallard duck was nesting in our Bermuda grass next to the house on Saturday. She had seven eggs. But unfortunately we are not the only ones to discover the nest. This morning, the mama duck is gone. There are broken and cracked eggs rolled about in the garden. At least two eggs are still whole, so I know it was not that they hatched. No ducklings in sight. The power of nature in my own back yard. I think this may be the Mallard pair that nested in the woods last year. I saw her one day with at least twelve ducklings as she tried to herd them all to the water. The next morning I saw the coyote and never saw the ducklings again. Perhaps they will be more successful at raising young next year.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25

Happy Birthday to my son, Thomas! Yippee 21 and legal now. Cheers!

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24

I'm visiting family this weekend so blogging will be spotty at best. I will have my Sunday blog up. I do hope to check in for comments and e-mails, but if I don't get back to you it's because I'm not home. :)

There is a First Communion and my son's birthday. Hope you have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23

I am watching the sunrise this morning. Sometimes it's good to stop and look around. Wonder at the colors and textures of the sky. Watch it go from black to navy to pink to red to orange to yellow white. The general quiet of morning is broken by the cardinal singing his territory song. The coffee smells rich and bitter sweet as I take a sip. It's cold enough to warrant wrapping up in a blanket, but I know it will grow warmer today. I meditate on what is right in front of me for a few brief moments before I turn back inside to the busy preparations and long to-do list waiting for me.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22

Happy Earth Day everyone! It's a good reminder to stop for a day and smell the roses-or plant a rose bush! I am a fiend about recycling. Ask my relatives who roll their eyes when I pull stuff out of the trash and state things like, "Styrofoam is forever!" So I try to live with respect to the planet. (Of course, no one's perfect, but every little attempt helps.) How about you? Do you recycle?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21

With all the talk of Earth Day this week, let me remind you that books use less energy than movies, television and computers. (I know, I know....what about the trees?) Trees are a renewable resource and they are clean. IMO- if you want to save the a book! Cheers!

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20

For the first time in a long time, I'm doing de-construction revisions. I have taken a book I wrote last year and am pulling it apart and rewriting the guts of it. It's an interesting project. One that is equal parts pulling my hair out and joy at making something good-better.

I started the project as a skill sharpening exercise. Since I have five books out looking for homes I felt that it was not effective to start another. So, I'm using the waiting time to work on my skill set.

IMO, there is always something to learn and improve. Cheers!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19

Someone said they were impressed that I was able to blog everyday. To which I replied, blogging everyday isn't hard-I'm a talker- it's trying to ensure I say something interesting that's tough!

The thing about blogging is it can be used for various purposes-1) to inform and entertain-something I try to use my Sunday blog. For example this month's Sunday Blogs are devoted to the Query letter- ( 2) blogs can be a way to keep in touch with family, friends and readers. I use my website blog this way. I get notes asking me when my next book is out. What takes so long between books, etc. So, I use this blog as my daily note-to let you know what I'm working on. How life gets in the way of work. What the view is from my window, etc. I use it as a glimpse into the working writer's life. 3) blogs are often used as advertisement-buy my book-release date now!- join my network- etc. I'm not so much into the advertising side of blogging. But I hear it works for some people.

By the by- I received another query letter rejection with a form letter from an agent. This time they said they were too busy with current clients... So, if you're keeping track- All of the snail mail queries have been replied to while the e-mail queries are running two thirds reply- one third ignore. Interesting-no?

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18

Saturday-no chores today as my house is full of company. I've snuck upstairs to do a bit of blogging while they sleep. Soon it will be breakfast cooking, people gathering around the kitchen table, voices filling the air with gentle ribbing and discussions of what is going to happen today.

But for now, the sun is shining and the lake is so still that it looks like glass reflecting the mottled blue sky. Only the occasional sparkle reminds you that it is indeed filled with life and movement just below the surface. All is quiet as I sip my coffee and gather my wits for the busy day to come.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17

I think its interesting how I procrastinate- clean house, read blogs, read friends updates on Facebook and Twitter, answer phones, walk on the treadmill. Then when I am certain I'm ready to work on the revisions- poof- the computer starts having issues. I get mad- frustrated that I can't work. Start pacing and shaking my fists. And yet, if I had simply started on the revisions first- I might have gotten something done before the computer guy has to hijack my computer for five hours.

So it is completely my own fault that the revisions I had hoped to have done by today are only a third of the way through. Yes, I've gotten phone calls and other interruptions. But I don't put the revisions first. Why? I don't know. I love the story. I don't mind polishing it to make it better. Perhaps-*she smiles a small smile and shakes head*- perhaps I simply like the drama of working up to the last moment.

What about you? When you have something you want to get done-do you simply do it? Or do you find yourself putting it off until the last moment?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16

I'm currently working on revisions for one book and sorting through plot ideas on another. In other words I spend a lot of time staring at my own reflection in the computer screen or staring out the window. Sometimes boredom is the only way to induce the creative brain. Of course, I've also shown that deadlines will do the same- so, boredom and fear are motivators. What motivates you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15

Tax day- I finished mine a couple of months ago. But I know there are people who love to procrastinate. These same people will be standing in line at two minutes to midnight to mail off their forms. Or, has most of that gone away with the advent of electronic filing? Hmmm.

I'm off today to try and have lunch with Marin Thomas again. Wish me luck! By the way-Marin has a new book out. If you love cowboys-check out her work. cheers!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14

For the last two years a robin has built a nest on the terrace post right next to my patio door. The first year we let her sit and have babies- she did this twice. Stained the vinyl siding and dead babies make good eats for dogs. Shudder. Last year we went out hourly and pulled down her nest. We even laced the post with cayenne pepper deterrent. After two months finally she quit trying.

Today, yes, you guessed it. She is back outside my door building anew. I'm thinking about buying a lawn gnome and putting him on the post...

What do you think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13

The view from my window is a study in gray and brown. The sky is completely clouded over-the clouds mottled in color from gray to ash blue. The trees are a line of bare brown around the mirror silver lake. The lake itself ripples in the strong wind. Trees rock. The grass on the banks is a funny yellow green as it tries to wake up from its winter nap. The French pussy willow has gone from white buds to yellow leaflets. It is the only sign of real spring. A fat robin sits, hunkered down in the swaying bare branches of the ash tree. All is quiet save the howl of the wind as once again cold seeps into the earth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

I am stuffing myself with colored Easter eggs and various candies. Why not- the snow pile just melted and swim suit season isn't here for another two months. :)


Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11

Happy Birthday to my brother Paul! Hope you have a fantastic day and many, many good birthdays to come. Cheers!

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10- Wait is a four letter word

I want to thank my friend author Carolyn Brown for the title quote for today. It is so true. As writers, we work our butts off and then we ...wait.

Wait is a four letter word.

We write and then we wait to see if anyone wants to read it. Then we wait to see if they will buy it. Then we wait for revisions. Then we wait for copy edits. We wait for galleys. We wait for author copies. Finally the book is on the shelf, but we wait to see if anyone buys it. Then we wait for a royalty check. Meanwhile we write again and the cycle starts over.

As the song says, "...the wai-aiting is the hard-est part..."

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9

Happy Passover. Happy Holy Thursday.

Lots of religious things going on this week. Remembrances and celebrations of ancestry. I think it's good to hear the stories of who we are and how we got here. It connects us with the bigger picture-and that bigger picture is not a chocolate bunny- although I do have some sitting on my desk begging to be eaten, but that is another blog. ;)

Our "modern" world runs at a pace far swifter than our human minds are built to take. So, it is good to stop and see the people we are buzzing around with, to celebrate our religion, our beliefs, our heritage. So-happy celebrations everyone!

(Hmmm, seem to be having a philosophical week. Perhaps it's the spring sunshine on my shoulder. Cheers!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8

It's Wednesday and this week is flying by. I am amazed by the amount of time it takes to tackle my to-do list. Between writing blogs, keeping up with reading my friends wonderful blogs, facebook, twitter, queries, revisions and a couple of other things there is as they say- major time suckich going on...

I know I have a tendency to do too much at once, but my brain is like a crow flitting from branch to branch going-"oooh, look, shiny... no wait-shinier!"

I was thinking about why I try to stuff so much stuff into my life- I think it's because I want to live as much life as possible. I don't want to miss anything. Still, perhaps I should learn from my dogs and just lie still in a patch of sunlight, breath in and out and know that this moment- this bit of life- is worth experiencing fully without thought for the next shiny bit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7

It is nearly a full moon out- today or tomorrow. Funny how we don't think about having a connection to the moon, but we do. Just like the tides of the great oceans. Ask anyone who has to work during a full moon week. People get weird. Not werewolf weird, but weird all the same.

Imagine if we ever do break free from our little world, what it would be like to feel no pull or tug of gravity or the tides. What long term effects would it have on the human psyche? Not to mention long term effects on the reproduction cycle- all influenced by the moon.

What if we manage to go through space and colonize a planet with two moons? How would that mess with our heads? Our hormones?

Sci fi writers have a field day- As for me, I'm comforted knowing we are part of a system so much larger than our little individual lives.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6

Time marches on...

For the thriller book, I re-sent the e-mail queries I had not heard back from after 4 weeks. So, far I have gotten yet another- "not right for us at this time."

My job now is to find another set of agents and get to querying. At this time I am also going to start researching editors. I've actually had better luck with editors than agents in my career. I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5

I'm a bit behind today- took the little dog, Gracie, to the groomers and met two good writer friends for breakfast.

My Sunday posts for the month of April will be dedicated to writing query letters. The first post is up at

Feel free to comment. - Oh, I need to add a disclaimer- that as Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean said, "These aren't rules, exactly, more like guidelines." Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4-what me worry?

A dear friend asked me what I was writing these days. I was truthful-nothing. Messing with revisions while I wait to hear from editors and agents on the 5 books I have out. Then she kindly nudged me... "Do you have a second book idea for when that Harlequin Intrigue you just hammered out sells?"

"What? A second book idea...?" I answered. I just finished the first book and beside they never buy my stuff...

"When they buy that book, they're going to want to see a second book. Then maybe a series," she went on to say. "Did your hero have a brother?"

Well, crap. No. The hero had no family and in the first book I killed off all his team members. He was literally the last man standing... now what? I need to do some research and figure out what I can do for a second book. Just in case...

And if I sell all five books I have out now? Well, you may not see me for a long time because there will be five option books to write... panic? me? panic? Naw- I don't believe it will happen... And if it does? After the horrified laughter and giddy joy-I'll think of something. I always do.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3

Writers are the oddest people. We have "voices" in our heads. Whole worlds exist inside us that other people can't see, or hear or touch.

Perhaps I should qualify this statement so that no one is insulted. I am an odd duck. I like to think of storytelling as the ability to touch other dimensions. Fanciful I know, but I can't understand how I could possibly be responsible for the people I know in those worlds. How could it be that I am the one who thinks their thoughts and feels their feelings...after all I have never been an 1800's rancher or encountered a demon or ran a special op in South America. Yet those stories exist-the people in them are as real to me as you are. Characters have been known to stand at the end of my bed and wait patiently for me to follow them. (Sounds crazy, right?)

So I explain it like this... I have a gift -sort of like how psychics are portrayed. I can "look" into lives that exist in other worlds. All I do after that is write down what I see. Then after the story is drafted, I go back and make it a book for this world. The weird part- and this happens more often then I admit- is when I've written a scene and then go back to verify with research- only to discover that everything I "saw" actually happened at that time and in that place.

For example, I wrote a regency set romance once and Gypsies played an important part in the story-huh, I thought, that was interesting. So I did some research...and yes, indeed there were gypsies in that part of England at that time...huh, cool.

Maybe I absorbed the information sometime in the past and had forgotten. That's one explanation... I personally like to think those people exist-those stories really happen somewhere. I'm merely lucky enough to get to "see" them. Don't you think it's a little closed minded to think this time and this dimension we live in are the only ones that exist? (In fact we can mathematically calculate unlimited number of dimensions. So, they do exist... mathematically.) If so, then why can't there be people in them-living lives, having adventures?

Okay, laugh away-I told you. I'm an odd duck. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2

Didn't make my lunch with Marin Thomas yesterday. Instead, I dealt with an unexpected pothole problem. There was a pot hole in a construction area that could not be avoided. Needless to say it bent and cracked my wheel and made the tire bulge. So, spent the morning replacing two tires and a wheel. It is the unexpected things that can really mess up a day.

I was lucky and the tire stayed inflated long enough for me to drive to a tire place. Can't imagine what would have happened should I have had a flat in the middle of a construction zone.

Do you write small conflicts like this in your stories? Such as appointments missed, car doesn't start, basement floods? Or are these things to "real?" Would you, as a reader, rather read about a serial killer on the loose or a car breaking down? (Okay, I'd rather read about the killer... I don't want to know what that says about me.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st

Happy April Fool's day. This is a good day-because now my foolishness will look purposeful. :)

I'm out of the house today to meet my friend author Marin Thomas for lunch. She had a book out the end of the month. The second in her latest cowboy series from Harlequin American. Don't forget to pick up a copy!