Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On a personal note, I've been fortunate enough to have two books released and signed two more contracts. I've watched my kids continue to mature and become better citizens of the earth. I've gained several friends, grown closer to one I made a couple years ago and sadly, lost a dear friend of more than twenty years. I finished a two-year run as president of my RWA chapter that taught me more than I'd ever have imagined.
2009 will hopefully bring some wonderful things to us all. I hope the state of the economy will improve and eventually recover. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a dear friend with a secret. I pray her tiny wish comes to fruition. I have lots more requests, way more than I care to share. But I wish you all the best year ever.
What about you? What's on your list?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
But you know what? It irritates many of us to be told we should enjoy a holiday we don't celebrate. I'm much more comfortable with the generic "Happy Holidays." Sorry if that offends anyone, but why do people assume the customers they wait on or the workers that help them are Christian? Isn't that prejudice?
Now I have no problem with someone you know wishing you the best whatever holiday you celebrate - that's appropriate. But if you don't know me, please don't make assumptions about me.
Okay - I'll step off my soap box and wish everyone the best of holidays. May your cup runneth over, may your load be light and may your journey be safe.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
What about you? Do you stick to your usual word count goals during the holidays or do you take a breather?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The dedication is one of the most important sections of the book--at least it is for me--because it is a window into the author's personal life. Writers easily hide behind their characters and plots, allowing their readers to see only a carefully orchestrated creation. I always read the dedication in books because it is that tiny crack into who the author really is and frankly, I'm a voyeur by nature. I love peeking behind the curtain to see the actors not playing roles. Of course, I love the play as well. But glimpsing something of the real person gives me a sense of behind-the-scenes knowledge.
A friend told me recently she rarely reads the dedication unless she knows the author personally. I found this unconscionable! How could she skip past such a vital piece of information? She said she doesn't want to know too much about the author. It might cloud her perception of the story. What???
So now I'm curious. Do you always read the dedication? Or are there others out there like my friend? Do tell...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Now, I've written one holiday themed story, Cinderella Tannenbaum, which deals with a woman in need of a date for family gatherings so she searches SchoolChums.com for her High School crush. However, this is a short story, not a full length novel. I put a few weeks of my time into it, rather than several months. When I looked up my sales figures recently, I noticed this story is my number one seller. It was also an ECataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award nominee the year it was released.
So what do you think? Do you buy holiday themed romances? Do you write them?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Like me, she was the youngest of three sisters. Her faith was more important to her than nearly anything and late in life, she found her soul mate at church. They married a decade ago and she'd been very happy with him. Her cats were like children to her and she brought them when she traveled. A lawyer and mediator, she never failed to offer me her expert advice free of charge. In fact, she drew up a will for me many years ago and refused to accept a dime for the work. She served on the board of a local charity recently and even worked on the staff of US Senator Lawton Chiles in her younger days.
We exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts each year and hers were always more than generous and well thought out. She gave me so much of my favorite jewelry and the packages coordinated with the gift. Her clothes and accessories (down to the color of her umbrella) were always perfectly matched. But more than anything else, I will forever cherish the time we shared, the world problems we solved between us and the warmth of her smile.
Roemy -- I'll miss you always.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I'm completely energized by the level of participation, especially by young voters. According to CNN, voter turnout was the highest since women won the right to vote! Even though ridiculously long lines prevailed, people waited to be part of the process, to have a voice.
This was my nineteen-year-old son's first opportunity to vote in a presidential election and I'm so glad he did and also saw his friends participate as well. After all, they are the future, a future they will help shape.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
He used his celebrity to set a great example for others. This handsome, talented man did what so few mega-rich Hollywood actors do - he set up charities, he dared to have a political voice and he stayed married to the same woman for half a century. As a philanthropist, he helped raise more than $200 million for various causes.
When I see celebs and company execs buying more and more for themselves, outdoing one another and living in the lap of ostentatious luxury, I cringe. They could all learn a lot from the example set by Paul Newman.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This year, I've added to my duties by taking on the task of putting together the amazing goody bags we give out to the first 75 customers at the event. These are the most amazing goody bags ever and usually have at least 3 autographed books, hundreds of bookmarks, pens and other promo items inside. Now, assembling the bags is an almost overwhelming task that requires half a dozen volunteers working for several hours. Before the bag stuffing day, though, these books and promo items arrive in my mailbox (or more often at my door since my mailman can't fit all the boxes and packages in the mailbox) for months leading up to the signing. From there, I move them into my dining room since that's where we assemble the bags. With the bag stuffing party weeks away now, my dining room had now become more boxes of stuff than furniture. The corner where I stash the items has grown into half the room and I now realize, the room's been eaten by this tremendous promo monster.
Not that I'm complaining. I'm glad to help other authors promote their work and even more thrilled for all the donated books. So, if you happen to have any extras of your books sitting around gathering dust, why not ship them over to me where they will be put to good use. While you're at it, throw in a bunch of bookmarks, magnets or pens singing your books' praises! If you have anything you'd like to send, please leave me your email addy in the comments or you can email me from my website.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
1. What is your occupation? Romance Author and House Frau
2. What color are your socks right now? Don't wear them
3. What are you listening to right now? Disturbia (Rihanna - by way of DD's computer in the next room!)
4. What was the last thing that you ate? sugar free jello with cool whip
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Nope
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Pink
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My sister, Ruth
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course
9. Favorite drink? Cosmo
10. What is your favorite sport to watch? Gymnastics
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Oy - yes. Won't do it again until I see a few grays
12. Pets? 2 cats that I love dearly
13. Favorite food? ice cream
14. Last movie you watched? Young at Heart (Documentary - highly recommend)
15. Favorite Day of the year? Have to say my birthday
16. What do you do to vent anger? Yell - yikes - I'm telling all my well-guarded secrets!
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies
18. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Spring
19. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
20. What kind of pie? Pumpkin
21. Living arrangements? A house
22. When was the last time you cried? Um - during my last (and every) period - no reason, just felt like the thing to do.
23. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, a plastic tote full of gifts for future use
24. Favorite smell? baby powder
25. What inspires you? news stories, movies
26. What are you afraid of? flying
27. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? cheese
28. Favorite car? Jag
29. Favorite cat breed? Ragdoll
30. Number of keys on your key ring? 2
31. How many years at your current job? 3 1/2 since I actually held one
32. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
33. How many states/provinces have you lived in? Two
34. How many countries have you been to? 14
35. How much do you love "Knowing Me, Knowing You" by ABBA? I like it - don't love it.
36. The name of the first person you kissed (romantically)? Jay (better known as Terror - don't ask)
37. Are you the oldest child, youngest child, middle or only? Youngest
38. What is your favorite TV series currently still on? Mad Men
39. What is your favorite book right now? Patty Jane's House of Hair by Lorna Landvik
40. How many children do you have? 2
I tag: Macy and Mimi
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I was barely chugging along on my previous WIP when I realized it wasn't going where I wanted it to. So, I abandoned it - maybe for a while, maybe for good, who knows. What it came down to was my lack of enthusiasm. And heaven knows if I have no enthusiasm for a story, neither will an editor!
Have you ever just walked away from a manuscript in progress? Or a book you were reading, for that matter? My take on it is - why should I waste my time?
On another note, a NYT bestselling author who purchased The Kitten Club several months ago at a book signing, dropped me a note last night. She said she found the book poignant, a lovely story and even gave me a quote to use on brag pages for future books. I was honored to have such high praise from an author of her caliber.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Now this whole thing was traumatic enough, but no, the day wasn't over. DH takes her to her high school orientation and sits beside a woman who farts all night as they listen to the entire staff give advice and proclaim the superiority of the football team. While they're gone, I eat a stuffed olive and feel something really hard in it. I take it out of my mouth and discover I've lost about a third of one of my molars! So unfair since I am neurotic about my dental hygiene.
Now if I haven't mentioned it before, I'm the world's biggest chicken when it comes to seeing the dentist. But he gets me in this morning and before I leave my house, I take a nerve pill (I save them for special occasions like this) When I arrive, I tell every person I encounter in the parking lot, waiting room and in the office that I want all the Novocaine they have in the place. The dentist laughs, but I tell him I'm serious. He gives me 4 shots and then drills for what seemed like hours. When the temporary crown was finally in place, I breathed a sigh of relief. Until I get the bill.
Can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my book signing at my home base mall tomorrow. I can't take any more unexpected disasters of the head!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Nearly broke and unable to find work, Hollywood has-been Jolie Farnsworth is desperate to feel loved and appreciated. Her husband, a former rock star hopes to ride Jolie's star back to the top--even if it means destroying her in the process.Producer Dante Ebersol is under the gun to create a top-rated reality show and portray Jolie as a train wreck. When he starts falling in love with her, his plans crumble, threatening to end the career he's worked for his entire life.
Get it today at The Wild Rose Press
Friday, August 1, 2008
Sunday morning we take our leave and head to Savannah, one of my favorite cities for a Ghost Tour, lots of sightseeing and some good old Southern charm. Thank God it's an actual city and that we're leaving the beebee gun here!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Well, chatting turned into "a real talk," so I abandoned the writing for the evening and we had girl time. We made earrings together, played a couple hands of cards and talked all the way through. Now, if you're familiar with the workings of a fourteen-year-old girl, you know the times they actually want to speak to a parent are few and far between. I had a hundred things on my To Do List, but none - not one single thing - will get in the way of spending quality time with my children.
DS has also hijacked my attention a few times lately and that's fine, too. Won't be too long before he's no longer living under my roof and I won't get to see him nearly as much as I'd like. I wish I'd known this years ago, when they were both little. I was so busy working or doing all the stuff that probably could have waited, to give them the time I should have. But I've realized that life is too short and there's no going back to correct mistakes. The book will eventually get written, the laundry will be done, but those moments with your loved ones will never repeat themselves.
I know - very introspective for the usual fare here.
I hope you have a great weekend and I hope you get to spend time with those you love.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
It's been a couple of weeks since our last goal meeting and I left there feeling positively energized and ready to tackle the surgery I've been putting off on the book. But after a couple days of less than stellar word counts, I stalled again. So here's the carrot I'm dangling in front of my eyes. I can start on any of my new projects when I finish the book-in-progress.
So, should I plan to do the YA first, the short, humorous story or the paranormal? So many possibilities! And all I have to do to get to that great place where I'm charting new territory is write a few thousand words... But can I do it? Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Sunday afternoon and I've done a little more than 400 words today. Only a flash in the pan compared to what I'm capable of, but it's a start!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
1. Compromising Positions, my second book, just came out in print and I have been busily promoting it and mailing out copies to friends and family.
2. Planning our vacation to Nashville and Savannah later this summer.
3. Working on the various upcoming book signings I've scheduled for my RWA chapter.
4. Working on a program I am presenting on writing short stories and novellas.
Shall I go on? I can think of a hundred excuses, but what I need to be doing is committing myself to even a minimal daily word count. I'll let you know if I get there!
What about you? Does your Muse go on holiday every now and then?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Emotionally, though, we seek a man who can be a good father, not just a sperm donor. He must show evidence of good character so we can know he'll not only father a child, but hang around to help raise it. So, is this the quintessential man we write as our romance hero? Well, I can't say I've ever read a romance novel where the hero was scrawny or a big pork chop. They never have high voices or lack the ability to grow a beard. So, all types of romance novels - from sweet historicals to sexy eroticas feature dad material. Even if your hero and heroine are too old or too young to consider such things, they are there.
So this Fathers Day, I'm honoring the romance hero - the dad in every man.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The signing is a fundraiser with Barnes and Noble donating a portion of the proceeds to the Adult Literacy League. We also do some impressive raffle baskets (the ticket money all goes to the ALL). We sold a ton of books last year. Personally, it was the only signing I've ever done where I sold out all my books. Needless to say, I can't wait to participate.
So, if you're an author and you'd like your promo items in those amazing goody bags, leave me a message with your email addy and I'll give you details. Meanwhile, if you're in the Central Florida area, save this date! November 15, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I was at a loss about what sort of gift bag and card to buy, since it's not an actual legal wedding in this state, but I went ahead and got a traditional bag with wedding themes and a regular wedding card. Frankly, I think all this couple wants to do is be like any other couple, with one obvious exception. The weird thing is, the last time I went to a party hosted by "the bride," it was a housewarming for her and her then hubby. DH tells me we'll probably be the only straight couple there (she works with DH). And I'm okay with that - I think. You see, I'm a pretty liberal person with this sort of thing, but events such as this definitely push me to the limits of my comfort zone. I know I SHOULD be comfortable attending the party, but since it's a new thing for me, I hope I don't say the wrong thing. Maybe I'll just stick with the tried and true, "Mazel Tov!" What about you? Have you taken a stroll outside your comfort zone lately?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Yesterday my RWA chapter hosted our annual Bookseller/Librarian Tea and we had nearly 20 local booksellers and librarians in attendance. It was great, and opened a dialogue that will yield speaking engagements, book signing and who knows what else. It's one of those things none of us could have done alone, but by each lending a hand, we'll all benefit.
OK - I'll step off my soap box - for now!
Friday, May 9, 2008
My friend Katie Reus, author of sexy romantic suspense from http://www.katiereus.blogspot.com/ has given me an award! The Blogging with Purpose Award! Katie is an awesome blogger herself and I can't wait to read her upcoming release - her very first - because I know it'll be wonderful! So now I get to hand off the award to 5 bloggers who have not received the award yet for their contribution to Blogdom. There are so many good blogs out there, it's hard to choose just 5!
The rules are:
1. Nominate 5 blogs which haven't had this award before
2. Each of the blogs must have a purpose
3. The nominated blogs must make a link back to this page
4. The logo from the award must be put on their blog and it must link back to this blog.
1. http://pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com/ All sorts of great info for writers - just love it!
2. http://www.jenniferonwriting.blogspot.com/ Lots of good stuff about many aspects of the industry.
3. http://www.jennabayley-burke.blogspot.com/ Jenna Bayley-Burke's blog with all sorts of tips and heads ups. Jenna is so sweet to share all things related to helping other authors learn and grow - love her!
4. http://www.barbarasamuel.com/blog/ Author Barbara Samuel's great blog all about the mental process of creating, her travels, etc.
5. http://kelleynyrae.blogspot.com/ Author Kelley Nyrae's blog features reviews, news and all sorts of interesting tidbits. Kelley's a doll, too.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
What about you? What's your favorite thing about writing fiction? As a reader, do you always immerse yourself in the world of a book, or is that something that only happens once in a while?
Monday, April 28, 2008
Now, I've always been one to make fun of such bits of fluff as Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, Big Brother, etc. Only lately, with nothing else to watch when I wanted to veg out, I was forced to take a taste of the reality show apple and Lord - the fruit poisoned me!
Yes - I've done it - I started watching three - yes, THREE different reality shows, one more asinine than the next. How did it happen? I have no idea. One day I was laughing about the premise that an aging rock star could really find his mate from a bevy of beautiful girls. The next moment, I was glued to Rock of Love!
I scoffed at a Beverly Hills matchmaker who makes her living finding the right woman for an assortment of California millionaires. Suddenly, I was searching the TV listings for Millionaire Matchmaker.
But my favorite is a bit less fluff (well - you could say a bit more). I love Discovery Health's National Body Challenge - thirty minute shows about some poor overweight person (or this season, set of twins) who lucks into having a personal trainer, two doctors and a healthy cooking expert working on their behest! How cool is that. Then you get to see the before and after and everything in between.
Okay - I know - I have the reality bug and I need a vaccine against any more of it! What about you? Did the reality bug byte you?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
One writer friend would rather have a root canal than speak in public or do a book signing. Another talks so much, you want to muzzle her or carry your own pair of ear plugs when she's around! Funny how the same profession can breed such opposite types. I'm somewhere in the middle - toward the outgoing end, but not a hundred percent comfortable speaking in public, although I've forced myself to do it more and more so I get over that.
What about you? Are you the silent type or the person everyone wants to gag, or somewhere in the middle?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
What about you? Do you play classical music while you work, or watch the TV out of the corner of your eye? Or must you crawl into the proverbial cave, surrounded by silence to entice the muse out?
Thursday, April 3, 2008
It's a wonderful thing to be surrounded by writers talking about writing. Today the buzz finally wore off when I had to get a cortisone shot in my heel - ouchie! Off my feet for the night with an ice pack.
So what about you? Do you enjoy conferences? Which are your favorites?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
On a completely different subject, I got a very nice note today from a local book group informing me that they had picked The Kitten Club as their selection of the month. They asked if I'd come to their meeting and speak to the club. This just tickled me pink!
So, if I'm absent for a few days from the Blogosphere, you'll know why. Have a great weekend.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Right now I'm working on a presentation I am doing with Terry Odell at the Southern Lights Writers' Conference in Jacksonville on March 30. Two days after I return from that conference, I head up to Clermont, FL to sit on a writers' panel at the Lake County Festival of Reading. After that, I host a Passover Seder for 24 at my house. Sometime in between, I'm trying to edit a novel and a novella, and - oh, yeah - write!!! Throw in a few events with DH, DD and DS's birthday celebration and you have my life. Don't get me wrong -- I love my life. I just wish I could space events out into perfectly proportioned bytes. A little warm up time before, a debriefing period after... ah - if only. So if I'm scarce here, please forgive me - I'm here in spirit!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Two great ones stand out. A fantastic editor will do several things for you - first, they'll polish your work and make it shine even brighter. Second, they'll be straight with you and tell you when something sucks and when it's brilliant. But the most important thing they do for you is to make you a better writer. The things I've learned and continue to learn from them have made me a stronger self-editor, thus making their job easier on the next manuscript of mine they work on. That's something I'll take with me always.
No one likes to see a ton of changes on their manuscript, but I welcome the ideas. After all, the goal is to make the work stand out. All this and they rarely get much of a pat on the back. If I ever meet them, the first thing I'm going to do is to give them a heartfelt hug.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
1. I frame each of my book covers and hang them over my desk for encouragement and inspiration.
2. I love the combination of blue and green, especially mixed patterns, like florals with a stripe or plaid.
3. I used to straighten my hair (which is naturally very curly). I even went so far as to iron it with a clothes iron when I was a teenager. Desperation - what can I say?
4. You can spell all 4 of my family's names with only 5 letters - a, d, i, n and r. We didn't realize that until our youngest was learning to read.
5. My real mother died when I was a baby. Everyone thinks my step-mother is my birth mother, but she's not, although she raised me from a toddler.
6. I have a brown thumb - I can't even keep silk plants looking good!
7. I can't stand the sight of blood and guts, although my grandfather was a surgeon.
8. I learned to snow ski before I started kindergarten. Living in the sub-tropics, I don't ski anymore.
9. I'm a coupon junkie. DH calls me the Shopping Ninja!
10. I'm a sucker for a foot massage. I can't stay mad at DH if he offers me one;-)
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
On the in-law front, my sister-in-law and nephew are preparing to move 12 hours away (this is a good thing since she got a fab job and we don't really see eye-to-eye on many things). My husband's folks will follow her after they sell their house - which in this market might take years. So, I've been busily planning parties for that event. What all this means is, the writing time has been clipped back in a big way. I find it really tough to juggle lots of things at once, yet I know, busy = my life, so I need to get used to it and work around it.
On the book signing front, I've cut back, at least for the next few months until Compromising Positions comes out in print in July. I have two events I must travel to soon, then I am event-less until the middle of the summer.
So what about you? Do you find that your writing time is cut back when life gets crazy, or do you find the time, regardless of the pandemonium in your world?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
For me, it's a complex answer. As far back as I can recall, I've been thinking up stories. My Barbie dolls had the most convoluted backstories you could imagine. I knew their history with Ken, Ken's emotional baggage, Francie's inferiority complex since she was always the sidekick, never the star. Even little Skipper had skeletons in her pink plastic wardrobe.
My stuffed animals formed a society with assorted roles - governor, mayor, police chief, resident movie star. And yes - I was a weird little kid, what with all my toys taking on lives of their own! But my point is, stories have always been floating around in my head, dying to come out. Now they come to life on paper. How great is that? These days, fodder is everywhere, from the newspaper to the PTA to the neighborhood goings-on. All I have to do to find the first thread of a story is to look around me.
What about you? How do you come up with your story ideas? Have you always had stories dancing inside your brain or do you struggle to come up with a plot?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
So here's my question to you, dear reader: How do you keep your work area from becoming a mess? Do you have a system? A secret plan of attack? Or are you like me, a frustrated clutter bug in your work space?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Here are 8 things I love about participating in book signings:
1. The customers. I love talking to readers about what they like to read and answering questions about the book I am signing.
2. Being in a book store. What's not to love?
3. Chatting with my fellow authors. We get way too little time to socialize normally.
4. People watching. It's so interesting, overhearing conversations and just watching.
5. Seeing members of my RWA chapter who come in with friends and relatives or alone to su-port us - they're amazing!
6. Free coffee drinks from the cafe;-)
7. Giving away the little goody bags I make for every signing.
8. SELLING BOOKS - yeah - the reason I'm there.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
If you are an Amazon member (or wish to join - also FREE) and you write a review, you could win some awesome prizes:
The three customers who provide the most high quality reviews will be qualified to win one of three customer prizes, including an Amazon kindle reader!!! - a $400 value, $2000 in Amazon gift card value, and an HP photo printer. Learn more atwww.amazon.com/abna.
So, I would be sooooo grateful if you would read the passage and write a review. Awesome prizes await!!
Friday, January 11, 2008
Today is the digital release date of Compromising Positions and I'm really excited. Not only is this a really funny book, but it's my first book that is also available for Kindle - wahoo! This next generation ebook reader seems to be taking the world by storm. Now I don't have a Kindle, but I hear sooooo many folks are buying them. This is great news to ebook authors since all Kindle books are available on Amazon - one of the largest book retailers in the world.
So, what will happen now? I wonder if my sales will jump through the roof. Yeah, right. What have I been smoking? But I am hoping to see higher than normal sales than for my other, pre-Kindle ebook releases.
What about you? Do you have a Kindle? Planning to get one?