Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Pressure

With the new year approaching quickly, I can't help but reflect upon my goals for '08 and what I've accomplished in '07.
This past year has brought many new things to my life that I hope to build on for my career. My first print books were released as well as two e short stories and one e-book. I served as president of my RWA chapter, something I never thought I would have the guts to do. I participated in 6 book signings and made 4 presentations before audiences - something else that I never envisioned for myself. All in all, I've pushed my professional envelope a bit.
On a personal note, I watched my first born start college and my sister get married. My goals for the coming year are to meet some personal challenges head on and to further develop my writing career.
What about you? Do you buy into that whole resolution stuff? What's on your goal menu?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

He's the Bomb!

Did you have a nice Christmas? I did. Check out what DH got me, after convincing me he couldn't find the bike of my dreams. He also had a friend hide it in his garage and call at 5 AM so DH could convince me there was an emergency he had to handle at work. Donning his uniform, he left and I awoke to the prettiest bike ever! And it rides like a dream. Is he the bomb, or what? And it even has my name on it, he quipped! Wise guy!

So, did Santa bring something wonderful? Tell me...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lucy Bakes - Again!

As I may have mentioned before, I am neurotic about keeping my house clean. Unfortunately, I'm a lousy baker who tends toward explosive baking disasters like the one pictured here - taken moments ago as I attempted to make the one and only type of cookie I bake successfully every time. My KitchenAid coughed furiously after I dumped powdered cocoa into a moving beater. Amazingly, this was not the first eruption from this very batch. A clump of sugar, oil and vanilla plopped onto the floor when I raised the beater, caked with goo. My bad!
Miracle of miracle, these resilient cookies came out perfect - again. Wish I could charm all my other cookie recipes that regularly give me the finger every second or third time I take a stab at them.
After I bake, I must clean the entire kitchen - the splatters on the ceiling, the batter droplets on the floor and today - even on my winter white suede shoes! The only bright spot in the kitchen was the mixer's beater, bowl and the wooden spoon I used. My son and his friend volunteered to make them easier to clean by lapping up any unused batter. So, it's back to the kitchen to undo all the damage I've done - oh yeah, and to sample a chocolate crackle cookie! Have a terrific holiday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hijacked by the Holidays

If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a bit of a compulsive organizer. And my calendar is my bible. So, when I write something on the calendar, by God, it will occur as planned. Unless I've made a mistake. Like I did this morning. I was supposed to drive carpool, but I wrote down someone else's name. Angry and harried, I phoned the lady whose name was on The Book and was greeted in an angry and harried manner.
Indignant, I jabbed my finger at her name on the date, only to realize my mistake. For a normal person, this would be a normal mistake to make. But as a compulsive organizer, I could hang for that!
I have to blame it on the holidays. My calendar is as full as a dentist's after Halloween! Busy days don't bother me, it's just keeping it all straight. In fact, I enjoy a full schedule, makes me feel productive. Unfortunatley, it must make me more prone to err on occasion.
What about you? Have you overbooked? Screwed up an obligation? Or is everything perfectly under control in your world?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sleepless in the South

Okay - it's late at night, everyone in the house is snoozing blissfully - everyone but me, that is. I don't know if I have insomnia or I just can't clear my brain long enough to shut down and play a few dreams. DH is snoring annoyingly. He can sleep standing on his head in the middle of an amusement park. Well - I exaggerate. But he never has trouble sleeping.

I, on the other hand, am often plagued by nights like tonight when I don't have a sleepy bone in my body. Sometimes I wake up hours before I need to, wide awake, raring to go.

That doesn't bother me - actually, I like it. It gives me more time to get stuff done. DH makes fun of the early rising thing. You see, I'm very productive early in the morning. Many days, I'll have done a load of laundry, written a chapter and gone grocery shopping before anyone else is up.

Actually, I've written some of my best scenes late at night or early in the morning. Everything is so quiet - it's easy to concentrate. What about you? Do you sleep until noon when you can, or are you like me - up at the dawn of crack when you don't have to be?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hopping into the Convertible!

I'm blogging Wednesday at Riding With The Top Down about the "Salon Phenomenon." Please come on over and wave at me as I ride by with some fabulous authors.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Holidays and Other Excuses

I admit it - I've been a slacker. I now have 5 WIPs, each in various states of completion, yet I have not finished one manuscript in months! I started NaNoWriMo with a bang and got just past 18k when I fizzled out. Yes - I had lots going on in my life - a huge book signing in which I was an organizer and one of 23 signers, a smaller, private sale at a Holiday Shopping Event at a law office with my friend, fellow author Catherine Kean, attending holiday parties and more. I've been shopping, cooking, cleaning, getting ready to host a Thanksgiving feast and a Hanukkah party, yet I've had time to write if only I'd had the inclination.
One of my editors emailed me yesterday to let me know she has edits for my upcoming erotic short, Blackout, ready for me. Thank goodness, since I need saving from myself. I have to start cracking the whip, yet I keep giving myself excuses to go easy on myself.
What about you? Do you have to dig extra deep to find the motivation to work during the holiday season?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday Ten on Wednesday

OK - Macy tagged me to do my Tuesday Ten on Ten TV shows I'd like to or already have on DVD. Like Macy, I'm pretty selective with the shows I watch, but here goes:
1. Sex in the City - what can I say? I'm a ChickLit lover and this is my all time fave.
2. St. Elsewhere - an oldie but a really great show from way back when.
3. Felicity - now an oldie, I guess. Love the characters and the bad situations Felicity would get herself into.
4. Damages - yes - I know it's only the first season, but I'm already in love with the intense characters and the twisting plot.
5. Dark Shadows - This one really dates me. I watched it when I was in kindergarten and then again in college and it was awful but I want it for sentimental reasons.
6. Rescue Me - I love the irreverent humor and some of the characters.
7. The Bob Newhart Show - the original - need I say more about this classic?
8. Ugly Betty - yeah, it's pretty new, but I think it's quite funny - particularly Mark.
9. Campus Ladies - Obscure single season show on Oxygen TV. Some really funny episodes.
10. Fawlty Towers - I love British humor and this is one of the best.

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blogging today over at Romance Rules about the ups and downs of life and how they affect my writing.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lord, Save Me

From my teenager, that is! Attitude, thy name is thirteen-year-old girl. I could come up with a gazillion of these today. The good news is I now know the cause of my occasional headaches. They seem to correspond with her displays of teen angst. Yesterday, she declared all our Halloween decorations (of which we have a huge collection) all sucky. Not a one was scary enough for her highness! Our response? TS (in cleaner, more parent-appropriate language, of course), but the sentiment was the same. Today she tells us she has "like no decent clothes." everything is either too small, too big or isn't her style anymore. Again - TS.
In other news, some of you know it's now NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I've signed on this year and hope to complete a novel by month's end. But I wouldn't wager on me right now. Although I fully intend to do it, I have so many commitments this month, I'm not exactly sure when I'll be doing all this writing. I have a habit of putting out huge page counts for a short while, then stopping cold turkey. So, what'll it be? Time will tell.
What about you? Are you taking the challenge?

PS - It's a couple of hours later and the evil twin has disappeared. The good twin has apologized for the wicked behavior earlier and even offered to help with laundry!!! Just when I thought she was turning green and chanting spells in her bedroom!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am such a chick. This idea is always brought home to me at times like this morning when I went outside to a dead car. Of course, DH was at work, so I was on my own. I called AAA and the guy arrived in like 20 minutes - I was in awe! After he jumped the battery, I ran it for a few minutes, but soon realized I couldn't go anywhere because I had an appointment at my house in less than 15 minutes. So - I shut the car off. Lo and behold a few hours later - dead car again. Color me a great big DUH! My blonde roots must have been showing.
After trying DH's work and personal cell phones to no avail, I called my other husband (my BFF's ex) - Got that? He explained how to jump start the car using my son's car (who had arrived home in the meanwhile and is nearly as clueless about this stuff as I am!) And yes - I am that girly that I don't know how to jump start a dead battery. If I were one of my heroines, I'd have killed her off for being Too Stupid To Live!
So my son nearly electrocutes himself trying to get my battery jumped. I drive the car to the mechanic who says, "Yup - battery's no good."
But - the auto parts store where DH bought the thing less than a year ago does not change batteries - they only sell them. So I go back home and am forced to shut the car off again since it's 2 hours before DH will be home.
Now, DH has 2 hours between Job A and Job B (He works a 12 hour shift at Job B) so he kinda likes a little nap in that time. Well, not today. He hurries off to the auto parts store, changes out the battery and comes home in the nick of time to take a shower and head out for Job B.
All this because I'm a girly girl. The guilt is killing me!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blogging today at Romance Rules. Come check it out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Goodies Galore!

Are you a gift-with-purchase whore, like me? Will you buy some makeup you don't really need to get that free gift come-on? Well I do. The better the goody bag, the stronger the pull to the makeup counter.
As I write this, my dining room is crammed full of boxes loaded with bags of 3 books each, coasters, fine chocolates, bookmarks out the wazoo, pens, refrigerator magnets, change purses, excerpt pamphlets and so much more.
You see, along with several members of my RWA chapter, we filled 75 bags for our upcoming Holiday Book Signing event to be held on Nov. 3 from 2-5 pm at the Altamonte Mall near Orlando. Publishers and authors responded to our request for goodies in an amazingly generous way. The bags are on a first come-first serve basis and they're calling to me. If I wasn't one of the signers, I'd surely be one of the first buyers. Each bag has to weigh at least 3 pounds. They make a gift-with-purchase whore salivate - trust me!
So, if you're anywhere in the vicinity of Central Florida on Nov. 3rd, you'll feel the magic aura drawing you to the Altamonte Mall. When you come, stop by my table and say hi! BTW - I'll break out my own smaller versions of the big bags after those first 75 are gone. But honestly, you'll want the big ones - they're amazing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cleaning Up

Yesterday my daughter spent two hours fishing garbage out of a local lake as part of a community service project with her class. Great, you say? It's wonderful that they do this, but the amazing thing is that thirty kids pulled 600 pounds of trash out of a tiny lake in the heart of a city. And this is only since last year's cleanup! Much of their haul was rubber bracelets bars give out to identify those who have paid the cover charge. These bands strangle birds and other animals. There were also hubcaps, teddy bears and beer bottles.
I find it unbelievable that people just toss trash into lakes, yet the proof is all around me. I often see people throw refuse out car windows and I want to make them stop their car and pick it up, only I don't have the tenacity to approach them in these days of road rage and gun violence. It's all really depressing when you stop to think about it. How are we supposed to stop pollution and prevent countries from damaging the environment when so many folks don't even care enough to find a trash can?
My husband now wants to move to the middle of nowhere so we can be away from all the evils that plague cities. Find a house on twenty acres where our nearest neighbors are not visible. I'm trying to hold out faith that people will get better. That the majority of folks are responsible and don't kill a person for his watch or the twenty bucks in his wallet. I live in a place that likes to call itself The City Beautiful in PR campaigns yet all we see is ugly lately. Can you tell we're fed up? So what do you think? Are we all going to hell in a hand basket or is responsibility going to make a comeback?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bullets in the Laundry

Just when I think my life is normal and dull, something strange happens to shake that notion. Like this morning when I was pulling clothes out of the washing machine and something gold caught my eye against the silver tub. Yes - it really was a bullet. Amazingly, this was not the first time. Bullets of varying calibres have made their way into the washer and even into the dryer many times. I have visions of one exploding as the dryer tumbles it on high heat. But DH assures me that can't happen.
Such is life when you're married to a law enforcement officer. Thankfully I was alone when I found the ammunition.
The pest control man gave me the strangest look when he saw a pair of handcuffs on my kitchen counter. His eyebrow lifted and his lips curled in a knowing grin. And what was I supposed to say? "It's not what you think."
I must admit, I am often turned on by the tools of his trade. There's something about a man in uniform that does it for me. Don't male strippers often dress in police garb? Can't be just me.
What about you? Do you go for the macho hero in a uniform or the sexy suit clad one?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Friends - A Battery Charger

I don't know about you, but spending quality time with a group of friends is such a boost for me. Several times a year, we gather with a group of four to six families, depending on who is available, and we meet at someone's house. Everyone brings part of the meal so the host family isn't too burdened. Last night, we attended one such event and it was so fun, I left feeling terrific. And no - it wasn't the wine - I only had two glasses over the course of the evening.
Catching up with friends - discussing everything from politics, to how we're dealing with elderly parents to issues with our kids to our careers - is always so uplifting that I find myself refreshed and full of new ideas for books.
I can't put my finger on exactly what sparks my creativity from these parties, but it happens every time, so there's something going on. I am a very social person and I definitely get a charge out of social events, but there's such great chemistry at these things. I guess it's just a fellowship sort of feeling, but when there's a positive group dynamic, it heightens the experience.
What about you? What is it in your life that makes you feel great and sparks your creativity?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Happily Ever After

I was talking to another school mom the other day about one of my books and she asked me the question I've heard dozens of times: "Does it have a happy ending?" All my books do, but I got to thinking about what I like in a book. Do I limit myself to books I know have a HEA ending? Not only was the answer to that yes, but I realized in recent years, I try to limit my movie experiences to those with HEAs.
I guess I feel like there's enough bad stuff going on the world that I want books and movies to be my escape from reality. If I want sad stuff, all I have to do is read the newspaper. My mother says I'm living with my head in the sand. She reads depressing books and watches gut-wrenching movies. I've let her drag me to some, like The Hours. I was depressed for a week after. Now, I just say no.
So what about you? Is a HEA a requirement for the books you read and the movies you watch?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Grandmother's Chandelier

Today we had an electrician install a new light fixture in my dining room. No, not new, actually. It's very old. My grandmother's chandelier hung in my parents' dining room since she passed away thirty years ago - until my folks sold their house a few months ago. The new owner said she was modernizing and asked if they wanted it. They posed that question to me. It didn't seem all that important at the time except the one I had in my dining room was modern and had shades - UGH! Totally not my style. So I agreed. They had it shipped a thousand miles and it arrived without even a broken bulb.
Now that it's up, I'm so glad I got it. I have tons of things from my grandmother - she and I were very close. But there's something about this chandelier that touches me where most of the other pieces don't.
The electrician complained. The wires were old and had no ground. (We'll have to get it rewired). The bulbs were so old we'd never be able to find exact replacements. The gold was dirty and showed years of neglect. I shined it up and dusted off his comments. I love it. Every time I turn it on I can almost hear my grandmother's voice, feel her arms around me. I suddenly remembered things, like the birthmark on her hand, the smell of the Channel Christalle perfume she loved, the way she'd watch the dance moves and songs I'd made up and tell me how wonderful they were.
I'm so happy to have her light shining.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Check This Out!

I'm so excited! Tomorrow, the fabulous Debra Dixon will guest blog at Romance Rules. If you're not familiar with Deb's work, she literally wrote the book on Goals, Motivation and Conflict. She keeps a movie journal where she keeps track of the structure of the movies she watches. There is much to be learned from this exercise. She'll be using the movie "The Holiday" as her example. So, if you haven't seen it, watch it tonight. It's a good movie starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Please stop over the Romance Rules and say hey to Deb. She's very sweet and a fabulous teacher.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I love my DH. I really do. Last week he threw me for a loop, though. He shaved his head - completely bald. Now I have nothing against the bald headed look - it looks great on some men, just not him. With his glasses, he sort of resembles a tall, muscular turtle.
Why did he do this? His reasons were very honorable. His boss has breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. When she started losing her hair, all the guys who work directly under her, shaved in support. A very sweet gesture, to say the least.
Here's my problem: I can hardly look at him without wincing. I know, I know, I need to get past this - grow up. It'll grow back. And I'm trying, believe me.
Here are some strange facts regarding baldness:
It used to be a commonly held notion that baldness was a given if a man's maternal grandfather was bald. Not true. It's actually much more difficult to predict than that and just because a guy's grandfather is bald, doesn't mean it's a sure thing he will be.
My SpellCheck makes bald head into one word - baldhead. How weird is that?
The technical name for hair loss is alopecia and it is considered more preventable these days than ever before. Isn't that cool?
My dad is bald - has been since he was in his twenties. I always thought my son would be too, because of this. But in my research, I've found he may actually keep his hair.
And what about those notorious comb-overs - blah!
So what about you - do you like the bald look? There certainly are some very sexy men out there with no hair. Is it better to shave it all rather than have a ring of hair around the edges?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reflections on the Summer

Monday begins the mad rush back to school here. As much as I love the sleeping late, not having to drive carpool or bug my kids to finish homework, I am about ready for the routine of the school year. It's been a fun summer, but it couldn't last forever.

Here are a few highlights from my summer:
THE BEACH - We got to stay at my friend's gulf side mansion of a condo twice - a total of about 9 days. We spent most of the time in the water, helping our blood pressure and stress level drop.
CHERRIES AND BLUEBERRIES - I think my insides are red and blue by now.
LESS TRAFFIC - With school out, I've noticed the roads aren't as clogged as usual in the morning and mid-afternoon.
LOOSE SCHEDULE - Along with the glory of sleeping in, there are fewer places to be, fewer appointments to show up for, less structure.
THE POOL - Swimming with my honey is always so much fun. It takes me forever to get in the pool (I like it warm as bathwater). But he wraps around me, keeps me warm and even hangs on after I've acclimated. How great is that?

What about you? What will you miss about the summer?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Uh Oh!

This weekend is my last hoorah in my daughter's school's PTA. I'm the Back-To-School Picnic Chairperson and the event is Sunday. We start back to school here in August. But when it's over, I'm done with my indenture to the PTA. Not just for the year - but forever! Woo hoo! This is my daughter's last year at the school. Then she's off to high school and I'm off the hook!
Next week we go back to my friend's beach condo for a few days. The good news is, they're renting the place for the year. That means we can go a bunch more times and pretend we're millionaires.
On a totally different subject - I screwed up. I told my Dad we could travel to NY the first week of November to help celebrate his 80th birthday (although his birthday is around Thanksgiving, we didn't want to deal with the holiday travel crowds). Turns out, Nov 3 is a huge book signing here that I totally forgot about. Not only am I a signer, but I've agreed to do a program the night before the signing. As if that wasn't a big enough oversight, Nov 3 is also the date of a close friend's son's Bar Mitzvah. So, here's my schedule Nov 3: 10:00 am - Noon - Bar Mitzvah service. Noon - 1:30 - Bar Mitzvah luncheon. 2-5 pm - Book signing. 6 pm - 11 - Bar Mitzvah party. And hell no - I won't miss the party!!! Should be quite a day.
Looks like we'll have to brave the holiday travelers after all. What about you? Have you ever completely zoned out about a big event and double booked?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Free Novella

Come read my post at Romance Rules today.

JUST IN: I'll be drawing a name from everyone who leaves a comment on my Romance Rules post to give away a copy of my contemporary novella, Bride from the Black Lagoon! So, comment away!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I hate to fly. No - I'm scared to death to fly. The last time I was on an airplane the thing did one of those rapid descents that frightened the living sh*% out of me. That was about 18 years ago.
Now, my family lives a thousand miles away. DH has repeatedly asked me to consider flying there next time we go. I thought and thought and thought. But I can't do it. Last time I took a train there and although the 23 hour trip wasn't horrible, it was hardly a day at the beach either. The drive takes us a day and a half each way. Years ago, this wasn't a big deal. The kids had the same vacations from school and we had plenty of time. Not the case now.
This year, my fear of flying cost me the opportunity to go to RWA Nationals. Much as I want to get over the phobia, I can't seem to bring myself to do it. And I know - statistically, I'm much safer in a plane than in my car. But in my car, I'm in control. Have I mentioned I have control issues?
I have a feeling I will fly again someday, but not yet. What about you? Any fears that keep you from doing things you want to?

Friday, July 27, 2007

A New Blog

Well - I took the plunge and started a new Blog, Romance Rules with several other authors. Check it out!
On another note, I got the cover for the story my daughter and I wrote together. She's so excited, she's been running through the house screaming like a banshee. I just bought myself a pair of earplugs! I absolutely love the cover The Wild Rose Press did for this story. It's exactly what we asked for and totally conveys what we wanted.
It's so nice to get the cover you want. A former publisher, that shall remain nameless, totally disregarded what I asked for on one of my books and gave me a cover that I always hated. People had to really stare at it to see what it was. Plus, I saw two other publishers used the same image - not good. But, that's in the past. Good things ahead.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Writing Partner

About two months ago, I decided to write a Young Adult short story targeted at The Wild Rose Press new line of YA, Climbing Rose. My daughter was so excited that she'd finally be able to read something I wrote, so she sat with me at the computer as I worked. She helped me with plot points, added dialog. Soon, she was fully involved in the process, a co-writer, as it was. When I submitted the story, I listed her as the co-author. Well, the story was accepted. Poor Me will be about 25 pages and is really a cute story with a little bit of a moral. My daughter, a new author at 13 is beside herself.
But she still wants to read my other works. "Not a chance," I told her over dinner the other night. "When then?" she asked. "When you're thirty," I responded.
"My God, Mom. What are you writing?"
I got a good laugh out of this one. But it got me thinking. Why is it that it's easy to put my work out there for countless strangers to read, but not my own kids. I have an eighteen-year-old son and I'd die if he read my stuff. It was really hard knowing my Dad would read sex scenes I'd written, but I have to believe he glosses over that stuff. Please, don't tell me otherwise!
What about you? Are you comfortable with your adult kids reading your sex scenes? What about your parents reading them?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Fourteen

Yeah, I know - I missed the boat on Thursday Thirteen, so I decided to break with tradition and do a Friday Fourteen. So here it is: 14 things I love about summer.

1. Sleeping until I wake up. No school to drive to, nowhere to be (most days) and seeing sunshine streaming through the window instead of early morning darkness.
2. Cherries. I LOVE cherries, my favorite fruit - bing, Rainier, you name it, if it's a cherry, I'm happy. Too bad they're in season for such a short time.
3. Anything made with fresh blueberries. Same thing, just not quite as much as cherries. Blueberry cobbler, blueberries and cream or Cool Whip.
4. Wearing sandals. Yeah, I know. I live in Florida. I can wear sandals almost all year, but for a good chunk of the US and the northern hemisphere, sandals are a summer thing.
5. Wearing white. I love my white purse, white sandals, white accessories that are forbidden the rest of the year.
6. The beach. Yes, in Florida, we can do the beach 6 or 8 months a year, but it's most refreshing in the summer.
7. No homework. I don't know about you, but I find my kids' homework stressful. Telling them to do it, checking it, keeping up with what assignments are due when. The kids are pretty good about this stuff, but being a totally anal person, I check up on it and stress about it.
8. VACATION!!! One of the top things about summer I love. Doesn't matter where we go, as long as we get away together.
9. Floral pattern and bright colors. Sure, I like the subdued winter colors, the earthy fall colors and the pastels of spring, but I love the brights of summer most.
10. Backyard Barbecues. Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. We always either have friends over and grill, swim and drink fun drinks or we go to a friend's home for the same. I LOVE parties. Writing is so solitary and I'm a super social person.
11. Flowers. They're blooming everywhere. One thing is always for sure when I see pretty flowers: I did not plant them, grow them, or otherwise touch them in any way. If I had, they'd be dried up and brown.
12. Summer clothing sales. Since most stores are a season ahead, they have all the fall stuff on the racks and are discounting the summer clothes that we wear all year here. There are amazing deals to be had. And as DH says, I'm the Shopping Ninja!
13. Pink toenail polish. I love pink. It's my favorite color. But I don't feel right wearing it on my toes any time but summer.
14. Rescue Me. One of my favorite TV shows starts the season over the summer. I get to see new episodes every Wednesday night on FX. Yeah!
What about you? Have a Friday 14 list?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Challenging Day

Ever have one of those days? Well, it actually started last night when I returned home from a PTA meeting. I went to start up my computer, but no loud humming greeted me, no sluggish internal cooling fans groaned to life. My lifeline had died and I wasn't even home to whisper encouraging words into its USB port.
Not only that, I hadn't backed up my work for two days! Aaakkk! I lost better than 1,500 words on my WIP. And this during the Challenge! When I tried to use DH's computer, his mouse died. Is it me? Are computers like the green growing things I habitually kill?
So after a bit of self pity (added to the pity party I'm indulging in because I'm not at RWA Nationals) I dragged to Office Depot and bought myself a new computer. A light at the end of the tunnel!
But alas - it wasn't to be. I got the thing home, set it up and couldn't connect to our wireless network. Our computer geek (DH's best friend) created the network so un-hackably well that only he can allow a new computer access.
OK - I can share with DH for a few days. So I set out to install my programs and printer. Only nothing is compatible with Windows Vista and I must go online to make them compatible. But I can't get on line. You see where this is going.
OK - I can wait. Patience isn't my strong suit, but I'm a writer - I wait months, sometimes years to hear from prospective publishers.
So I try to open MS Word. But wait! It doesn't have Word. Only a trial version I can use only 25 times.
WHAT????? When I get the trial version open, it doesn't even resemble the old Word. I hate it!
OK. That's all off my chest. Now I can go back to my WIP, which I've opened from a flash drive on DH's computer with good old fashioned Word - the old version. I'm all right now. And I made up all 1,500 words. Yeah - I'm no further ahead than I was 2 days ago, but I've caught up. Life is good. I must keep telling myself that!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Thanks to Julie, I've decided to take the challenge. I'm going to attempt to write 6 pages a day - every day for the next 75 days. I may fall flat on my face. Hopefully, I'll have a finished book and a completed novella at the end of it!
On another note, we drove the girl child to camp in Cocoa Beach today. She'll be there for 5 days in a house 20 feet from the Banana River. She went last year and had a blast. I must say, though, driving through Cocoa Beach, I thought of I dream of Jeannie and that town looks nothing like the adorable town from TV. We passed abandoned businesses, a couple of hookers and one shopping center after another. I know - it was 40 years ago, but what a disappointment. I expected to see Major Nelson look-alikes strutting around, but all I saw were working girls! None was even wearing a harem outfit or a NASA uniform!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Vacation High

Well, we're back from the beach. We had a great time at my friend's Gulf front condo. Here's a couple views from the balcony. The place was gorgeous, the weather perfect and we totally relaxed. Except one of us doesn't care for the beach. No, that's an understatement. When I commented on how much I like the smell of the beach the day we arrived, my son said, "I hate the smell of the beach, the sand, the water, the noise. I hate everything about it." Needless to say, he spent some time playing his GameBoy and surfing on his laptop while the rest of us lazed in the gentle Gulf of Mexico on floats. My DH has always maintained that he could never live in a condo. But after staying in a $2 million, 4,000 square foot beachfront place, he's changed his tune. Only problem is, we need lots of money to get the kind of place he'd accept. I'm not holding my breath.

On another note, I came home to the news that one of my former Triskelion books, Compromising Positions, has been picked up for publication by The Wild Rose Press. Yeah! It's found a home. So what about you? Any vacations plans in the works? Fourth of July barbecues?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fabulous Friends

I must say, I have the most wonderful friends. They've been really supportive of my writing career, helpful whenever I need anything and lots of fun all the time. Next week my family is off to the beach for a few days but not to the $200 bucks a night mini-suite with the fold out sofa bed and the beach view if you lean over the balcony and crane your neck. This time, one of my awesome friends offered the beachfront condo she and her husband rented for the summer that's twice as big as my house! Yes - a two million dollar condo with every amenity one could imagine. And what is she charging us? Not a penny.
"It's just sitting empty this week," she said. "It would make us feel better if someone were there."
And then there's the friend who hosted my book launch party at her house since mine wouldn't comfortably hold the number of guests I'd invited. I've decided to dedicate my next book to the fab group of women who are so important in my life.
What about you? What terrific things have your friends done for you lately?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Priority Adjustment

We had a frightening medical scare this month involving my son. After visiting a specialist this morning, we learned he's perfectly fine. Then we drew a huge relieved breath and I burst into tears. There's nothing like a threat to a member of my family to grab me by the collar, shake me and leave me with a new appreciation of what's really important.
I may still fret a bit over a rejection or because that agent I'm hoping to snag still hasn't responded, but in the big picture, it just doesn't matter that much. I've been incredibly lucky to have my work published so quickly. I've been even more fortunate to marry my soul mate and have two wonderful kids.
So the next time you hear me whining about something, you have my permission to verbally slap me. I said verbally.
I hope everyone in your life is healthy and happy. That's the most amazing feeling in the world.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Back in the Saddle

OK - I'm over my slump. Back to work. We have so much going on right now - getting our son registered and oriented for college, getting our daughter to the gazillion places she's going this summer from girl scout camps to beach weekends with friends to parties and babysitting gigs. Busy as it is, I love the summer. I love that I can sleep a little later, have a bit of variety in my schedule and just play it by ear a little more.
Also, I bought myself a new toy - voice recognition software. This enables me to speak my books rather than type them. It takes some getting used to so I'm not fully sold on it yet. I find the narrative comes out a bit stiff. I have no idea why speaking it would make a difference, but for me, it does. Still trying though. I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so if I can skip typing for several hours a day, it's got to be good.
So, what's up in your world?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blogging Blues

Has anyone else noticed how many regular bloggers are hanging up their keyboards lately? So many folks I used to check out regularly have grown bored with blogging or just decided it doesn't do for them what it used to. One lady said she needed an intervention because she was obsession over her blog. So, she said she'd cool it for a while - only post occasionally. The more I read about blogger fatigue, blogger overload and blogger boredom, the more I realized I too was becoming kind of over the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I get caught up in everyone's trials and tribulations - an engagement here, a pregnancy there, but I started adding up all the time I was spending reading and writing in blogs and all the writing time I was missing. And yes - it's one of my biggest procrastination devices after email!
So, I'm going on a short hiatus. I want to see if I raise my productivity. I have to prepare a workshop for my next RWA meeting, do a critiques of partner's work and spend time with the family - oh yeah - and work on my WIP.
What about you? Are you tiring of blogging or are you still full-throttle?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Go Ask Alice Cooper

My daughter is floating through the house singing, "School's out for summer!" She and her friends are on cloud nine as they plot and plan mischief to get into over the summer. Keep her busy, my mind keeps advising. So busy she won't have time to call the boy she's had a crush on for a solid hour the last day of school. But I know it's all innocent - for now. Being that she is my offspring, I know I must watch carefully for any signs of demonic possession.
When I think back to when I was her age, it was a different Alice Cooper song coming from my lips. At 13 or 14, I sang, "I love the dead before they rise, no hellos, no goodbyes." Yikes! What must my parents have thought?
Jefferson Airplane was big when my DH was in his early teens. "Go Ask Alice" was one of his faves. Great - a song about drug use. Since we both contributed to her gene pool, we'll be watching very carefully!
A special note for my sister Ruthie, who is in the hospital. Get well soon. I love you lots.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I See Rude People

So we're at my son's high school graduation ceremony last night and the parents acted worse than the kids! Almost 700 seniors graduating, a college arena, easily 3,000 people there and at least 10% of the guests were totally rude. The emcee and literally EVERY speaker asked people to remain quiet as each name was called so that the next name could be heard. Not only was this ignored, but people were blowing those can horns, hooting and hollering and acting like buffoons in public.
A guy behind me never shut his mouth the entire time! If he wasn't shouting something toward the stage, he was loudly conversing with the guy next to him. Now these were not 17 or 18 year olds. These were parents - most in their forties and up.
What is up with this? Are manners on the decline? Do you find rude people everywhere? I seem to be surrounded by them more and more. Could this be a trend, like rising gasoline prices? God, I hope not. What do you think?

Monday, May 14, 2007

In the Name of Love

Have you ever stepped back from a situation in your own life and been shocked at what you saw? Unfortunately, I just had this experience. You see, somehow I got into a rut with my teenage daughter. The bulk of my communication with her had become me barking orders at her - clean your room, shovel the cat litter, do your homework, etc. But then this weird thing started happening. Our connection got lost in the mostly one-way conversations. She became cool, even aloof toward me and stopped doing all the sweet things she normally does, like hold my hand when we're walking somewhere together and lean on my shoulder when we sit on the couch.
The lack of warmth was what made me stop and take notice that something had changed. And thank goodness I did notice and was able to ascertain the problem. The day I changed my behavior, she changed hers. We never discussed it, I didn't want her self-conscious about it. But it drove home the importance of maintaining the connection.
As I've mentioned here before, I'm a clean freak and I don't do well with messy kids rooms. And unfortunately both my kids seem to love living in disarray. So, I'm going to work on ignoring the mess in their part of the house. Nothing I do will turn them into neat nicks. But I can do plenty to hasten their departure. In the big picture, they're really good kids. They get good grades, don't mess with drugs and still seem to enjoy our company. I'm vowing to make a concerted effort to ignore some things so I can keep my relationship with them strong. It's like an internal compromise I know will be worth it.
What do you think? Are you any good at these types of compromises?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I've Been Tagged!!

OK - here goes. Bebe tagged me so here are 8 random things about me:
1. I wear orthotics in my shoes due to heel spurs.
2. Until about 15 years ago, I straightened my hair.
3. I wrote (bad) poetry as a kid.
4. My nephew is in a New Orleans street band that's been profiled by Time and The New Yorker magazines.
5. I'm related to 2 famous people - Franz Kafka on my mother's side (yes - a very famous writer) and Heddy Lamar on my father's side.
6. My husband is related to the notorious Hatfield clan of West Virginia.
7. My grandfather was a surgeon.
8. I HATE chocolate ice cream.

In case I tag you, here are the rules:
1) Each player starts with 8 random facts or habits about themselves.
2) People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their 8 things with a copy of these rules.
3) At the end of your blog you need to choose 8 people to get tagged and list their names.
4) Don't forget to leave them a note saying they've been tagged.

I tag: April, Tempest, Isabella, Julia, Kelley& Rowena (Sorry - you're all the bloggers I know who haven't been tagged!)

Thanks for the birthday wishes everybody!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Running the Treadmill

Lately it seems like I can't keep my head above water. May is an incredibly busy month for my entire family. Between writing responsibilities, my son's graduation from HS, Mother's Day events, social obligations and the millions of other things I have to do, I feel like I'm racing in circles on a treadmill. When a good friend called yesterday to ask if she could take me to lunch for my birthday next week, I was speechless (which is not a common condition for me). I'm not sure if my birthday slipped my mind or if I'm now blocking the messages saying "You're growing older."

In the last few weeks, my husband started a second job. He's finally past the training phase and keeps assuring me the hours will ease off to a more reasonable level now. The thing is, our time together has dwindled to next to nothing. So my fun time has also dwindled. Not that I don't have fun with friends and the kids, I do. But my time with my DH charges my batteries and when that time is short, it takes a toll on both of us. I must say though, my WIP is moving along very quickly. My creative energies are all being poured into writing. So maybe there is something to that tortured artist thing. And at least, I know it's temporary. So in the meanwhile, I'll try to keep tapping into my temporarily tortured soul.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Shopping Ninja

My DH calls me the Shopping Ninja because I can sniff out a good deal a mile away. Every week I devour the grocery store sale add, searching for great deals like buy one and get one free. Then I go through my personal collection of coupons and before you know it, I'm getting like $50 worth of free stuff in a $40 order. It's cool. I collect the linens store $5 off coupons and combine them with the 20% off coupons and buy items on sale. The process has become a sort of treasure hunt. I'm not cheap - I'm just on a mission!

I recently learned that one of my friends is the Grand Poobah of Shopping. She totally runs circles around me. She finds these drug store deals where you buy items then send in the receipts for a rebate for the full purchase price. She even showed me how you find the items that qualify. What about you? Do you have any shopping secrets to share?

By the way, you should check out the new blog from the ladies that brought us Sanctuary's Finest. Their new place is called Book Binge and they do reviews, author interviews, all kinds of fun stuff. So check it out.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Sneak Peek

OK - I never, ever do this, but what the heck. Here's a little taste of my WIP. This character is Lane Wood, aging British guitar god whose star has faded, along with his net worth.

Lane hit the disconnect button of his phone as he glanced out the window of his lover’s Encino apartment. Ventura Boulevard sprawled into one mini-mall after another. How could he convince Jolie to give him access to her bank accounts? He’d probably have to shag her royal highness. That did the trick the last time. Wincing, he shook his head.
Jonathan came up behind him and wrapped his muscular arms around Lane’s torso. “What’s wrong?” His hands dropped several inches and snuck inside the waistband of Lane’s silk boxer shorts.
Stepping out of Jonathan’s reach, he pulled the curtains closed, then spun around to face him. “’Ow many bloody times do I ‘ave to tell you, mate? Keep the damned windows covered when I’m ‘ere. You know what would ‘appen to me career if anyone found out about us?”
Jonathan rolled his eyes. “I don’t think any gossip rags are still watching you. Anyway, there have been rumors about you since your Cracked Mirror days. No one would be terribly surprised.” He moved to the bed and sat on the edge, unzipped his shorts. “It’s your wife you’re worried about, isn’t it? You’re afraid she’ll find out about you. Why would she stay with a queen?”
No one could possibly suspect guitar god Lane Wood of being a fairy. His reputation had him bedding hundreds of crumpets in his single days. He studied his lover. If he wasn’t so muscular, so tan, so young and randy, he’d have given Jonathan the boot several years ago. “Jolie would never believe such rumors about me. When Cracked Mirror went on our reunion tour three years back, she was a bloody ravin’ lunatic about all the groupies ‘angin’ ‘round me.” He snickered. “She’s the last thing I’m worried about. It’s all about the cash. 'Er Royal 'ighness pinches a penny so tight, she makes the buffalo ride the Indian.”
Jonathan laughed.
Lane sauntered toward the bed. No, it wasn’t Jolie he was so concerned about. His fear was being found out and having his manly image blown to bits. If the world learned he was a queer, they’d all stop loving him. He’d be a laughing stock. And no one would pay to see Cracked Mirror ever again. He had to think of a way to get his hands on some big money, and soon. Might as well be Jolie’s money.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday 13

Here's my top 13 picks from my MP-3:

1. "Hella Good" - No Doubt
2. "Manic Monday" - The Bangles
3. "Pride and Joy" - Stevie Ray Vaughan
4. "Truth No. 2" - The Dixie Chicks
5. "Pour Some Sugar On" - Def Leppard
6. "Electric Avenue" - Eddie Grant
7. "Suddenly I See" - KT Tunstall
8. "Holiday" - Green Day
9. "I'll Tumble for You" - Culture Club
10. "The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World
11. "Hot in Here" - Nelly
12. "Animals" - Nickelback
13. "New Shoes" - Paolo Nutini

Looking at this list, I realize how eclectic my musical tastes are:-) What about you?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Over the Hump

I'm so excited. I got over that hump part of my Work in Progress where I wasn't quite sure how all the stuff I wanted to happen was going to happen. It was a really complicated couple of scenes that all take place at this party that is the dark moment for several of the characters. So now I'm dealing with the after effects of the party. WHEW! I find certain parts of my books are really tough to work through and get right. I'll probably tweak those 15 -20 pages several times in the next few days, trying to get them just right. On another note, I've gotten several emails and phone calls from the ladies I dedicated The Kitten Club to - several women I've known for years who I met at salons I used to work at. The 3 who have seen the dedication so far were so touched that I mentioned them. I'm really glad I included that dedication. Over the years I spent countless hours with each of those ladies and heck, they're all practically like family. Most have known me since I was pregnant with my 13 year old and some since before my 18 year old was born!
On another note, my son's finally made his final decision on college. He'll start at the University of Central Florida in the fall and (YEAH!) live home at first. We're very happy about this because we don't get to see him much anymore and we kind of enjoy his company. Anyway - what's new with you?

Friday, April 20, 2007

How Do You Take Your Stress?

I've come to the conclusion that I was born with curly hair because I frazzle so easily. I probably had a stressful time in the womb! And I don't handle stress well. My stomach aches, my head pounds, me heart palpitates. I even had to get a prescription for some happy pills a few years ago that I take occasionally.

On the other hand, my DH deals with life and death situations day in, day out and stays cool as a cucumber the entire time. The only thing that gets his heart racing is the kids, but they're teenagers and no mortal being could handle their daily dilemmas without getting just a little hot under the collar. He told me over dinner yesterday that he had to do CPR on someone at his part time job that day. Paramedics were on the scene within a few minutes, but in the mean time, he kept her alive.

"You saved her life," I said. He waved away my comment with a "Nah." When I questioned him about it, he said his adrenaline didn't even get going. I'd have keeled over myself if I ever had to do something like that.

So what about you? How do you take your stress?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Falling for Characters

Do any of you writers out there fall in love with your characters? I don't just mean hunky heroes, but villains too. Do they spend more time on paper than necessary? Until now, I'd witnessed this phenomenon with one of my CPs, and in a contest entry I'm judging. But today, I fell for my villain in my WIP. He's such a juicy character - an aging former heavy metal star with a Cockney accent and really poor hygiene. I find myself writing about his daily activities - his adulterous romps, his mindless hours spent playing video games and clubbing. When I went back to proofread, I was shocked that I'd done this since I always call my CP on it. But he's so fun to write.
I must take the advice of an agent I read a while back - KILL YOUR BABIES! I know - shocking to hear, huh? But I have to separate the wheat from the chaff, painful though it might be. Such is life.
Do you fall for your characters too?
On another note - I must share an email I got today - made my day:
"Just wanted to tell you that I think you tell a great story. I'm enjoying Kitten Club when I can squeeze in a few minutes here and there to read. Congrats on getting a new reader hooked."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Patience for the Impatient

I'll be the first to admit it - I am the world's most impatient person. My husband will second this. (His nickname for me is Patience!) So what do I spend weeks, months and in some cases years doing? Waiting. Waiting for word on submissions, waiting for books to arrive, waiting for edits and release dates. I should have no hair left for all the ones I've yanked from my head! And yet - I chose this path. I wanted to be a writer, knowing how frustrating the waits can be. Are all writers gluttons for punishment? Or do we just get such a high, such a kick from the payoff, when it finally comes that we're willing to torture ourselves in the meanwhile? What do you think? What are you impatient for? Any tricks or advice to make the waiting easier?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tag - I'm It

I've been tagged to list 5 things most people don't know about me, so here goes:

1. I hate sharing drinks with anyone, including my DH and my kids. I'll happily give someone the remainder of mine as long as I don't have to drink after them. (This drives my DH crazy)

2. I am neurotic about taking care of my feet because my father has really awful feet. I exfoliate, buff, massage and pamper so mine won't EVER look like his. (Sorry, Dad)

3. I have the most allergic skin. I never try any new products for fear of a reaction. I'm using the same makeup brand I've used for 20 years.

4. I collect decorative perfume atomizers and porcelain masks.

5. I'm a planny-pants. I organize and pre-plan everything I can. I guess that's the control freak in me.

Tag - now you're it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jumping for Joy!

A copy of my first full-length print novel arrived in the mail today and I can't believe how excited I am. My stomach has been churning all day and I have no doubt I won't get a wink of sleep tonight. Hubby wants to take me out to celebrate, although he'd celebrate a hangnail:-)
All the years spent honing my craft and attending conferences and entering and judging contests and picking apart tear-stained rejection letters has finally paid off. I must give credit to my terrific editor, Kathy Cottrell, at The Wild Rose Press for nurturing this story into a book I'm so proud of.
My advice to all the struggling romance writers out there is to keep plugging away. Eventually, with a little luck, you'll hold a book in your hand with your name printed on the front.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Promotion versus Procrastination

Okay - I'm at that point in my WIP - the part where you're not exactly sure how to arrive at the place you want to be. So, I find the most convenient and almost guilt-free escape - promotion. How can I feel too guilty when I'm boosting sales for my current releases or upcoming one? Can you hear that pesky little voice saying, "You can do both." Let's squash it.
The kicker is, I love my WIP. It's been such fun to write. Maybe I'm focusing on too many things. I'm getting ready for my first book signing this weekend by making adorable little giveaway bags, filled with cool promo items. This has required trips to party stores, office supply stores and craft shops. Sound like excuses? Okay. I'll get back to work now.

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened.....

OK - my friend and crit partner, Julie challenged readers of her Blog to post their own true funny story, so here's mine.
Years ago, I owned a tanning salon in Orlando. I get a phone call one day asking me to go out to one of the fancy hotels near Disney and show a "visiting dignitary" how to use a tanning bed she'd just purchased. The caller refused to tell me who "she" was but said they'd make it worth my while. So, being young and naive, I say, sure. I arrive at the hotel the next morning and check in at the front desk. They send me to a room upstairs. When I enter the room, there's a bank of cell phones (this was long before they were in wide use and the phones were massive). Several men have earphones in their ears attached to wires that led under their shirts. A huge chalkboard had schedules for several people written on it. One of these security guys takes me to another wing and goes into a room with me. He says the dignitary is the crown princess of Saudi Arabia, who can not tan in public - she must stay too covered up. Now, the door is open and three small kids walk by in full horseback riding gear and the security guy says "Good morning, your highness" to each of them. He tells me the Princess is finishing her breakfast and will let him know when she's ready for me. Then he asks me how long my husband had been a cop. So I look at him funny and said, "I never told you guys that." He just smiles and says, "You were not chosen at random." Weird.
A few minutes later, his earphone makes noises and he says her highness (which is how I must address her) is ready. He walks me to her suite and lets me in. She's very gracious and very beautiful. I tell her she shouldn't shower after she tans for at least 2 hours to get the maximum effect. So, she says she must take a shower - now. She leaves me alone in the living room while she goes and takes a shower. Half an hour later, she comes out and I show her how to use the bed. She asks me to stay for her session. So, here's the Princess in a bathing suit on a tanning bed and me, twiddling my thumbs.
When her session is up, she gets out, thanks me and hands me three hundred-dollar bills. "Thank you, your highness," I say before leaving. As an American, the worlds feel strange on my tongue. I go back to the security room for "debriefing" and then am permitted to leave. A very strange morning. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


OK - I've lost it - totally lost it. I haven't touched my Work in Progress for better than a week. Somehow, I have to find the thread I've dropped. You see, I've done author days, editing, promotional events, prepared for my RWA chapter meeting, done preparation for a Passover Seder we hosted last night - everything but write! I had a dream last night that I'd finished it, yet the first draft is a mere 30% complete. So, I've set today as my new beginning day. The first thing I have to do is reread the entire thing, which isn't a bad thing, since I edit as I go. It's such a fun book, I honestly can't wait to return to it. But I know I'll be lucky to get through reading that first hundred pages today. Instead of kicking myself, I'm looking at this as a learning experience. From now on, I write every day - even if I only write a single sentence. I must stay with my WIP until it's ready to leave the nest. Call it a very late New Year's resolution!

Saturday, March 31, 2007


I just learned something from a new writer friend that really blew me away. She had a horrible tragedy in her life a few years ago and instead of hiding under a rock, she started writing. Not dark, painful stuff, but comedy. The human spirit is an amazing thing. So that got me thinking. (sound like Carrie Bradshaw?) Why do some people get bogged down in grief for years after such an event, while others, after a period of mourning, bounce back higher than they knew they could?
Is there some innate mechanism that determines who will be happy and who will be sad? I've always had a theory that nature plays into temperament more than nurture. I've seen it lots of times. Some folks will always be unhappy, no matter what wonderful things happen to them. Others are like Teflon, letting bad stuff bounce away. Sure, they're sad sometimes, but they know how to move past it.
Now, I don't know this woman in person. We used to write for the same publisher. I can tell from her emails that she is fun, effervescent and upbeat. But I take my hat off to her. She's one of those rare human beings who will always make lemonade out of any lemons thrown at her.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Exciting Happenings

Today I ordered print copies of The Kitten Club - my very first solo print book. I can't tell you how excited I am! I know - the anthology, Rose Petals, Volume III was really my first print release, but this one is completely mine. Actually, it was nice sharing the Pose Petals experience with the two other authors. It was the first print one for each of us.
Something else I'm excited about is my Staff Pick days at Romance Junkies Readers group, which begins tomorrow, March 29. I'll have 3 days of hanging out with the moderator, Billie Jo, who is so much fun. I'll be giving away prizes, having trivia contests and posting excerpts from my books and short stories, including my upcoming releases, Jilted and Bride from the Black Lagoon. So come by and say hi. Tell them you know me!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lassie the Cat

"Timmy's in the well," my cat, Tinker meows in the middle of the night a la Lassie. My DH swears when she bursts into our bedroom at 3 AM, meowing loudly and sometimes howling, she's really trying to tell us something urgent. Why else would she awaken us and shout at us? She must have some canine or human DNA, I'm sure of it. She has no trouble making her will known. When I've been working too long and not paying attention to her, she jumps up onto my desk and parks her furry butt right in front of my computer screen. If I have the audacity to keep working, she swipes at my fingers as they tap the keys. "Pay attention to me" comes through loud and clear.
Speaking of cats, I've noticed a strange trend among my many writer friends. The vast majority are cat owners. Maybe it's because we can relate to their nocturnal nature. I'm often found pounding away at the keyboard in the wee hours. Or perhaps it's their preference for solitude that draws us to them - writing is a solitary endeavor. Although I must admit, long before I was a writer, I was a cat lover. Maybe it's my lazy nature. I have no use for an animal I have to toss a toy to a million times. All one has to do to amuse a cat is throw a toy mouse - once. Particularly if the mouse is laced with catnip.
So what about you? Do you have an animal preference?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ups and Downs

I absolutely love when I get my new book covers. This one is for the very first manuscript I ever wrote, titled Jilted in it's final incarnation. Really validates my work, because God knows, there's little monetary validation! Yesterday was such a roller coaster day in my writing life. I got the cover - yippie! Then I got a rejection on a full requested manuscript the publisher has had for an entire year - boo hoo! Then, I received a box of books - my books. And I got to hold in my hand a printed book with my name on it. Total high. Such is the life of a struggling author. Do you have a roller coaster career?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Best of the Best

I've gotta tell you - I have the best DH in the whole world. I know, I know, I complain about little stuff like him using my deodorant, but he's really an awesome guy. Two and a half years ago, he encouraged me to leave my job and write full time. Now, this was no easy feat - we'd been a two-income household since we got married almost two decades ago. Give the writing a chance, he said. Now mind you, I'd barely completed my first manuscript by this time and had no prospects of publication anywhere. But he had faith in me. And it was his faith that boosted mine. He took on a part time job in addition to his full time law enforcement job so that we could make ends meet while I pursued my dream.

Last night, he hung my fifth book cover on the wall over my computer and gave me a little pep talk about how far I've come in two and a half years. But the truth is, I'd have never taken that very first step without him holding my hand. I'm still far from where I'd like to be in my writing career, but I have a feeling it's only the beginning. I have this amazing cheerleader standing behind me, whispering in my ear, "You can do it."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pulling the Wool Over my Eyes

OK - when will my DH learn that he's not swift enough to fool me? This week's example: Deodorant. A few days ago, he tells me he's almost out of his deodorant. Rather than write it on the shopping list , which is posted on the fridge, he never says another word about it. Now, I am funny about MY stuff. I don't share things like toothpaste and deodorant, even with the man I sleep with. Another way I'm funny about my things is I always put them in exactly the same place after I use them. So, imagine my surprise when my deodorant was on the wrong shelf in the medicine cabinet. Then it happened again the next day. So, now I do a little investigative work. I look through his mish-mash drawer where he keeps his things all willy-nilly. No deodorant! And he thinks I don't know. Will he realize I've abandoned that deodorant for the one I keep in my vanity? (Because God forbid I'll use it after he has!) He'll never get it. Not only that - he'll finish mine and leave it there empty, mark my words. It's a good thing I love him!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm in Print!

Yeah! It's finally here. (Drum roll, please) My first print book, Rose Petals, Volume III, is available to order at The Wild Rose Press. It is an erotic anthology featuring my short story, Desert of Desire. The way I got into this book was by entering a contest sponsored by the publisher. One of my critique partners, Terry Odell, talked me into entering. I did, even though I hadn't written a short story since college! Well, I won my category and Terry won hers, thankfully. (Might have been awkward if one of us won and the other didn't!) We were not in the same book originally (there are three anthologies) until Terry spoke up and asked if we could be.

On another note, my son called yesterday from New York, where he's Spring Breaking. Seems he was ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Not bad for a native Floridian! (Rumor has it that there is an ice rink somewhere in Orlando, although no one seems to know where. I think it's a myth.)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Goin' for Goal Gold

Yeah, I know it's hard to say - sorry. But I'm doing some serious word counts these days, thanks to a workshop I attended in January with Goal Goddess Roxanne St. Claire. I've done over 30,000 words in about 2 weeks. With a daily goal of 2,000, I'd say I'm surpassing the minimum. I've come to the conclusion that I'm using my writing as an escape. You see, I'm not handling my son's impending 18th birthday well or the upcoming graduation and entry into the collegiate world. I keep having dreams where my kids are very young and I realize I've gone back in time. All I want to do is keep them young and spend more time with them.
The evolution of a book is almost the opposite. When it's young and new, it's hard to like. I hate spending time with it until I figure out exactly what it will grow to be. Then, as it matures and takes on characteristics I hadn't even expected, I can't wait to write the words. As it nears a full-grown book, I'm so excited to push it out of the nest and see how well it flies. I celebrate when I'm all through raising it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Slaving Over a Hot Blog

Welcome to my new blog! I'm a writer - a published author. This blog is an outgrowth of my hotter romances - short stories and novels on the sexier side. You can catch my latest hot read, Kissing Cousins, at The Wild Rose Press - under the Scarlet Rose Imprint. My first print book will be out in a few days, also from The Wild Rose Press. Rose Petals, Volume III is an anthology with three stories - one mine - Desert of Desire. The book will burn your fingers. If you want to see one of my full-length ebooks, you'll find it at Triskelion Publishing. The very first manuscript I wrote will be published soon by Aspen Mountain Press. Details will be forthcoming. Let me know what you're interested in reading.