Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Are you happily coupled? Or are you unhappily coupled yet you appear okay to your friends? I found out yesterday that a close friend's marriage is on the rocks. This will be the third couple we're friends with that broke up in the last few years. One was expected, the other two shocked us. It seems like my own marriage gets a quick aftershock from these events - first the total surprise and sadness, then the reaffirmation that we are fine. Each time we've gotten this news, it's affected us the same way. We've been lucky in that the friendships have remained strong, yet different.

DH read me an article years ago about a study of long, happy marriages. What the researchers found was that couples who were happy over the long haul had one commonality: The husband was "willing to be influenced by his wife's advice." I had to mull that over for a while to understand the implications. What it comes down to is that a husband must respect and honor his wife. Sounds awfully simplistic, huh? But some think tank somewhere came up with this and although it's worded rather strangely, I believe it's true.
So what do you think? Does your relationship fit this model or do you have a different predictor of success?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Family - Gotta Love 'Em!

If I've been a spotty blogger lately, fault lay with all sorts of goings on with my family and my in-laws. First, my parents came to town for their annual snowbird stay of six weeks at a nearby condo. This does several things - keeps me on the run constantly shuttling them places and spending time with them (which I really enjoy), and it precludes DH and I from spending our usual amount of alone time. I have to make a concerted effort to carve out an evening here, a morning there with him.
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

The Idea Tree

At least once a week, someone asks me where I get all my ideas for book plots. I tell them I go out to the backyard and pluck them off of an Idea Tree. They snicker or say, "Yeah, right." So where do a writer's ideas come from?
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

Buy a Book, Help a Kid

On Saturday, February 9, from noon -2 pm at Barnes & Noble, 2418 E. Colonial Drive in Orlando, romance authors Catherine Kean, Dara Edmondson, Louise M. Gouge, Linnea Sinclair, Aleka Nakis and Terry Odell will be autographing copies of their novels in a special book signing to benefit Central Florida’s A Gift For Teaching, which provides classroom supplies for underprivileged children through its Free Store for teachers. A percentage of book sales will be donated to this non-profit organization. Book buyers will receive a wonderful goody bag! For more information, call (407) 893-6372.