Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan. 30

Wow- the month is over. It seemed to fly by, didn't it? The good news there is that means we are one month closer to Spring. (49 days) It is still bitter cold here today, but the sunshine streams through my window. I'm off to make pancakes and eggs and to enjoy coffee and the Sunday paper. There is a small plaque on my desk that was given to me by a friend. It is a picture of a spring daffodil and it holds these words: "Nurture yourself with kindness."
I wish for you a warm Sunday. Cheers~

Friday, January 29, 2010

Jan 29-30

Sia McKye has reviewed DREAM MAN at her blog OVER COFFEE. Please check out her wonderful review and leave a comment. I am so excited I keep jumping up and down in my seat. :)


Jan. 29

As a reader are book awards important to you? Do you listen for the Edgar/Rita/Pulitzer lists and go and read them? do you even know what they are?
I don't usually go for award winning books just because they won an award. I go on recommendations from friends or others. Or I read my favorite authors.
As it turns out my current book-recommended by a friend-is an Edgar finalist for best first book. So, it will be interesting to see if I like it and if it wins.
I'm also curious to know if book industry awards are only meaningful to book industry people. Opinions?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jan. 28

"The best laid plans of mice and men..." I love that quote. If I remember correctly it came to the poet after he was out plowing his field and ran over a mouse nest and ruined all their hard work. I think writer's are writers because we want to organize the chaos that is life. When you write a novel you have a sense of putting the world to rights, of finally having things go your way. Except when your characters decide otherwise. lol.
I looked at my desk calendar and saw my January goals and had to laugh. Well, I thought, that's not going to happen. But it's okay because that's life and chaos is much more interesting than order. Don't you think? Cheers! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jan. 27

I'm up early today. The view from my window is a study in pale blue/white with a touch of pink on the horizon. The sky has thin white clouds stretched over pastel blue. The lake reflects the blue tone in a bright, light-filled white with darker gray patches of ice around the edges. The trees bring the only real shadow as their bare branches look so dark chocolate brown they could be black against the pale blue and white sky. The bank around the lake is a blue/gray that leans towards white--an impression of snow. There is no sign of grass. The last snow covered anything that had thought to peak out. The wind whips through the trees, creating a low howl in my window pane. It is the crunchy sort of quiet you find in snow covered winter. When the air is so cold it freezes in your nose and you are the only living creature silly enough to be out in it. Cheers~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jan. 26

Happy Birthday to my daughter Ashley! May all your birthday wishes come true. Love ya!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jan. 25

Mondays are my correspondence days. I usually write a letter to my Grandmother, send out any birthday cards and then put together packages and promo stuff. I hope to make the post office today, but will tomorrow if all else fails. Routines like this work for me because I am doing so much I get scatter-brained. Without my routines I'd be dropping a lot of balls.
So, do you have a correspondence day? Or a routine that works for you? Let me know. Cheers~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jan. 24

I'm making cookies today for care packages I plan on sending out in the mail. I'm never certain the best way to package cookies so that they don't crumble. Do you have any experience in mailing off cookies? I suppose you could mark fragile on the box but I doubt the postal workers even pay attention. I know the machines that sort the boxes won't see it.
My plan is to put the cookies in piles of two or three in individual cupcake holders, separate with sheets of wax paper or zip lock bags. Perhaps snug it all down with bubble wrap?
Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jan. 23

I'm late posting today because I was out running errands and met a wonderful writer friend for lunch. Sometimes the best thing writers can do is go have coffee or lunch or dinner or drinks with other writers. 1) It gets you out of the house. 2) You get to spend time with someone who "gets" it.
Meeting with others, either critique groups or friends or chapter members, really helps to refill the well. You brainstorm, commiserate, celebrate and encourage. Isn't that the best part of life?
I wish I could have lunch or coffee with each of you--wouldn't that just be great fun?! I'll be at the Chicago North Spring Fling conference this April, if you can come let me know and we'll have a beverage in the bar area. cheers~

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jan. 22

Someone I know- who shall remain nameless-wrote on their facebook status that they had finished their taxes last night. WHAT?!?
I still have to go through and number and record all my receipts from 2009. My excuse is that I have to wait for W2's and 1099's. Which I won't get until sometime in February. How this person got theirs already and sent off taxes is beyond me. I refuse to think that I am somehow slacking in this area. There is simply too much on my plate right now to go there.
So, my question to you is, are you done with your taxes? Or do you have to wait, like me? Go ahead, make me feel bad. :) Have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan. 21

January is shaping up to be quite busy. Staying organized is the key to keep from being overwhelmed. I tend to be an obsessive organizer--although sometimes my office doesn't show it. I've made lists since I was a child and am disappointed if I forget things; such as, a request to pick up chocolate milk from the store or that I have pants at the dry cleaners. (Both things I forgot yesterday.) But they are small things in the grand scheme of life. My family knows that if they request something and I'm not able to write it down I may forget.
When over whelmed with opportunity or work or family issues, the very first thing to do is to forgive yourself if a ball drops. Simply smile, say oops and try to do better next time. Keep notebooks nearby to write things down. Celebrate every time a task is complete and crossed off. Most importantly pay attention to your own self care. Eat right, exercise, even if you only do ten minutes a day, and sleep at least 7 hours. It will help you be the best you can be. Cheers~

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jan. 20

I'm working on my Master's thesis book. Pages are due Feb. 13th. Plus I have a request for revisions on another book and a query on a third book. It is keeping me busy. :) Yesterday's blog tour was successful with many commenters. Fabulous! I'm currently reading a wonderful debut YA that I have the privilege to preview. It's great! The small town feel is dead on-just like my home town and high school. I'll be blogging on that book next month.

I hope you are reading and writing and have a great day! Cheers~

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan. 19

My mini blog tour for DREAM MAN continues today. I'm over at Author Marilyn Brant's blog--commenters have a chance to win a prize bag that includes a hand made, DREAM MAN soft sleep mask and cocoa hand lotion.
(Click on Marilyn to link over- if that doesn't work copy and past

My small dog, Boo-boo, loves the masks. :) I took one on my train trip to PA and it worked beautifully. Cheers~

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jan. 18

Martin Luther King day- It is a time to think about civil rights and all those who stood up (or sat down as the case was with the buses) in the face of injustice. We are where we are today because they were brave enough to say, "this isn't right." And to do something about it. I know that there is still a lot of work to do in the world to weed out injustice, racism, sexism, and prejudice from all groups of peoples. But I know so many good people who make a difference in the world and each and every one of you bring hope and light in the world every day whether you march or not. Thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jan. 17

I forgot to say a happy birthday yesterday to my dear friend and wonderful author, Liz P. Happy birthday!

The view from my window today is frosted. There is a sort of icy fog outside and it clings to the branches of the trees and makes the sky as white as the snow covered ground. There are tracks and trails that lead up to the water where the creatures came during the night for a drink. All is still, except for the sound of a train in the distance rattling along the cold iron tracks. Winter.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jan. 16

What is that saying, "the hurrieder I go the behinder I get?" I feel that way. I still haven't unpacked my notes from the residency and set up my schedule of work due for the semester. But I will get there, I'm certain. I hope your week went well. I'm glad to be home and sleeping in my own bed. I've been doing laundry and taking care of my pets who have told me that they were horribly neglected while I was gone. :) (In truth my daughter spoiled them with extra treats and sleeping in her bed.) While I was gone, the city came with a dump truck and scooper and took out the six foot tall pile of snow in front of my house. Now it is a more manageable 6 inch pile. I have writing to do and reading to do. I hope you are well and happy and have a fabulous weekend. cheers~

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jan. 15

It's good to be home. There is so much work to catch up on. I wanted to let you all know that my mini blog tour for DREAM MAN starts today. I'm over at BookWenches talking about being a geek and romance. Stop by if you get a chance. There are pretty pictures involved. :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan 14

Wow- long train ride. It was three trains actually. One train from Greensburg to Pittsburgh then a train from Pittsburgh to Chicago then the last train from Chicago to home. Am gravel-eyed and brain numb. :) Got home to much doggie love and unpacking/laundry. My next book DREAM MAN is out. I start a mini blog tour tomorrow. Where I visit the bookwenches blog. I'll post a link and let you know what that is about tomorrow. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jan. 13

It's been a busy few days and I'm not sure what day of the week it is. :) today is the last day of the residency-then there is the long train ride home that includes layover times. I may not blog tomorrow as it will be well afternoon before I am home. I hope you have a happy day! Cheers~

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The days do fly by, especially when you are going here and going there. The best part about the program --besides the nice people and great professors--is that even after all the years I've been in the business, I am learning things. I hope once I get home and re-read my notes to blog a bit about what I'm learning on my Sunday blog. As for now, it's another quick cup of coffee and off to school. Cheers!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan. 11

Today I spend the morning with a group here at school critiquing the ten pages I sent in in December. Critiques are useful no matter how many years you have been writing. In fact copy editors critique you all the time. But it doesn't make it any less nerve wrecking- you wonder, will the reader like it? What impressions will they come away with? What can I learn? Will someone be mean just because they feel they can? :)
Welcome to the world of writing. Even published your work is critiqued every day- the evidence of that is in your reviews. It doesn't make it any less nerve wrecking. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jan. 10

I managed to get my tiny rental car stuck in a snow bank in the parking lot at school yesterday. After driving around for five minutes I thought I had found an empty space- but the snow was deceptive and deeper than it looked. In fact it was deeper than the bottom of my car. So, after much digging and rocking, I did manage to get myself out of that space and into a better spot. Lesson learned. Some parking spaces are empty for a reason. :) There is a metaphor for writing in there somewhere. When you're in a tough spot- you have to do the work to dig yourself out. But lessons can be learned and you'll come away with a better book. cheers!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jan. 9

Lots of snow here in PA. The MA program starts today with classes from 9 am until 9 pm. So very short blog today. Just popping in to say hi! Stay warm~

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jan. 8

Release Day!!! You can now buy DREAM MAN at the e-book store at wildrosepress. Or paperback there and at all online retailers. Mini blog tour starts on the 15th. Please check out the dates and places on my website.
Again- email me with proof of purchase and your snail mail in the month of January and I'll send you a signed bookplate, book mark and maybe even a DREAM MAN sleep mask. cheers!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jan. 7

Are you traveling today? I am. I'm going to take the train to PA for my Master's residency. Except it's snowing and supposed to keep snowing until 12 inches have fallen. I am glad I'm taking the train as I'm not all that certain I could have gotten a flight out. But before I go, I'm going outside to shovel what has already appeared. It's coming straight down and looks as if it has no reason to stop. Ah, winter, stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jan. 6

The view from my window is white snow, dark bare branches and ice on the lake. The bright blue sky has given way to a sky as white as the snow. There is another foot of snow on the way starting tonight. I am once again glad I'm taking the train and not trying to fly out in the storm tomorrow. It's quiet. All the birds have gone save for an occasional fluffed up finch. The fat black squirrel is busy collecting stored nuts in preparation for tomorrow's storm. Deer tracks and rabbit tracks invade the snow, coming down to the water's edge for a drink. Each day returns to us another minute or two of sunlight. Hope hangs heavy in the cold and snow. Hope makes snow angels and snowmen. Hope that inside will be warm and dry and hot chocolate will be on the stove. And tomorrow even more sunshine will arrive. Cheers~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jan. 5

I will be posting late for the next week or so. What with school and everything going on, I will do my best to pop in but my posting times will be erratic. I am reading, though. I finished one book and am 3/4 the way through another so far this year. It's encouraging.
As writers we all have times when life seems to swamp our routines and our goals fall a bit behind. The first thing to do is accept that these things happen to everyone. Then do the best you can without beating yourself up over it.
How are your goals coming along? I'd love to hear successes and failures. Life is created out of the attempts. Cheers~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jan. 4

It's Monday and all the vacationers are back to school and work. It is a relief to get back into my home office groove. Of course, that is disturbed starting Friday when I'll be back at Seton Hill University for my second residency in their Master's program. But for now, I can reflect on the great comments I've gotten on my Sunday blog,Resolution--Read, and power through some last minute promotion for Dream Man's release. I've got revisions on another book to do if I'm hoping for a sale in the near future. To top it all off, I had a compelling hero character show up in my head the other day. He is the strong silent type and he's been stalking the shadows of my brain. Oh, he won't push me to write his story. He'll simply hang out, leaning on door frames, arms crossed over his chest watching and waiting. He's pretty certain I'll come up with something cool for him. I just don't know what yet- mystery, thriller, romance? All three? I keep getting an end of the world vibe from him. What the heck am I supposed to do with that? :)
Cheers, everyone.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jan. 3

My goal for today is to update my website. I want to add the dates of my upcoming mini blog tour. Plus the places I'll be speaking this spring. It will all be listed under the NEWS button.
It is a busy week ahead. DREAM MAN is out on Friday. (A fair warning since my previous books were all sweet/sensual, DREAM MAN has sex in it. Nothing gratuitous but fairly descriptive. That fact has limited my blog tour and may surprise my readers who rely on me to write sweet books. So, I'm giving fair warning.)
Also, I'll be traveling to PA for the next residency week for my Master's program. This time I'm taking the train- it's an over night trip and I wanted to know how convenient it would be. I bought the tickets before all the TSA nonsense that is going on and I'm glad for it.
Happy Sunday, ya'll!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan. 2

Cold here today, 3 degrees F without windchill. But the thing I love about January is the clear bright sunshine. It streams into the windows and reflects off the snow. Yes, the Christmas twinkle lights are gone, but the days are longer and brighter in January. It's too cold for fog or haze or gray skies. Instead you get bright, bitter sunlight. As long as I'm inside, I can sit like my puppies in the patch of sun that streams into the windows and enjoy this little reprieve before the cloudy rainy days of spring. I hope you get a chance to bask in the sunlight today. Cheers~

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jan. 1

Happy New Year! I'm attaching a picture of a white tailed deer we saw in the small strip of woods behind my house. She is lovely. I hope you can make her out among the scrub and branches. According to myth and legend, deer are supposed to bring messages from God. They symbolize sensitivity to problems and quiet, caring listening. Here is a list of what is believed to be their wisdom:
  • Gentleness in word, thought and touch
  • Ability to listen
  • Grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance
  • Understanding of what's necessary for survival
  • Power of gratitude and giving
  • Ability to sacrifice for the higher good
  • Connection to the woodland goddess
  • Alternative paths to a goal
Nice thoughts for the new year. cheers~