Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm getting a late start today as my girl and I went to a museum where we saw artifacts and art from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. We also had a girly lunch at a restaurant that was too fancy for us. She endured having a napkin placed across her lap, and then we shared bites of each other's meals. The highlights were the spinach ravioli and a salad of buffalo mozzarella, gorgeous tomatoes and 12 year old basalmic. Holy cow!

Anyway, after a wonderful day, I'm sharing the wallpaper from my desktop. I lived on this beach longer than I've ever lived anywhere else. It makes me happy. ;-)

Hope you're still having good holiday fun, too!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Do you ever think...

you have all the time in the world? I'm being a little dramatic, but my sweet girlo has to go back to school next week, and I thought I still had a couple of weeks with her.

I'm rethinking my policy of not resenting all the work I've been doing lately.

And we're packing the next few days full of good stuff.

And--I'm also wondering how loud I have to push the volume on my laptop to avoid hearing the personal conversation the couple standing about twelve inches from me (in the coffee shop) are having. Apparently, my headphones have afforded them a false sense of privacy.

Back to work. (The girlo's reading an excellent book across the table from me, where she has also just put on her headphones!)

Happy day after Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I've been swamped with work so blogging had to take a back seat for a while. But I wanted to wish you the happiest holidays. And I'm hoping the new year brings you all your dreams!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Belonging Again

Even though I graduated from another university, which I love, my heart belongs at St. Mary's College of Maryland. My English degree took the equivalent of most people's Master's in effort. I married young and my husband's job took us many places, but I was one term away from graduating when we had to leave MD. I loved my friends and the southern tip of Maryland is just a beautiful, laid back place to live, but most of all, I felt as if I were losing a lifelong connection when I had to leave the school.

I'd gone to two other colleges before we moved to MD. One taught me that a biz degree was not for me. The other was a wonderful experience, but I remember my first term at St. Mary's, I suddenly discovered a true love of learning. I spent that first term in a state of near panic. All my life, I'd been "the smart one." I never really had to work for grades. I just knew things. It came easy, I think because I've always been naturally curious--about everything.

Then I went to St. Mary's. I remember crossing underneath a winter-bare tree between the library and the building where I was almost late for class, and my thought--"These people are serious!"

This week, I was wandering around webcams and found the one at St. Mary's. Then I bumbled into the alumni link on the website and discovered I was more than qualified to join. With the most excellent help of the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, I've joined, and I feel as if I've gone home again! Isn't it funny how those young days hang on to us? Well--young days and a life-changing experience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Secret Pleasures

Of the movie type.

This must be semi-vintage-movie month on the satellite. Two that didn't make a big splash when they originally came out really appeal to me. Junior, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Doc Hollywood with Michael J. Fox.

People absolutely mock Junior, but there's something so touching and gentle about AS's character, Alex, as his pregnancy goes on. Of course, you have to suspend disbelief over the "science," but talk about a character arc. From total logic and a total lack of connection with the human race, to dancing, asking his non-friend, friend to touch his smooth skin, and then fighting for his baby, and totally taking the blame for everything wrong, but wanting his child's mother to be a part of his life as well as the baby's. Danny DeVito also does a great character arc, from salesman/angry, divorced ex to caring, loves-his-life anyway, and wants to be a father to her baby. When he asks his ex for a second chance, he's a hero in my eyes. I really do get kind of weepy through the end of this one. (And who can resist a Frank Sinatra/Bono duet over the credits?)

Doc Hollywood gets me for many of the same reasons. Michael J. Fox is an amazing actor, but he also does a who-cares salesman with ease at the beginning of this story. He professes to feel disdain for the country folk in the (gorgeous) southern town that ensnares him by use of a fence that attacks his car :-), but he finds kindness very soon. Immediately, I go from disliking a non-heroic hero who wants to doctor for the money, to admiring a guy who gets wrapped up in the letter of a patient who doesn't need medical care, but can't read mail from family without help. By the end of the movie, I'm cheering when he goes back to his new home. And the heroine remains take-no-nonsense, but she also learns to trust by the end of the movie. Her change is not as obvious (or as endearing) as the good doctor's (because they don't give her as much comedy, actually), but it takes courage. And, finally, this movie has the most romantic dance scene--worth the price of admission! :-)

Better get back to work. I forgot another celebration the beloved and I have to do today, but this is one of those days I wonder how we ever survived without laptops!

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Monday

So--five more days off. That's not good. But I had such a busy week. Saturday was my local RWA chapter's holiday party--always great fun--and I caught up with several friends I hadn't seen in a while, plus had a great time with my next-room neighbor from the retreat!

From there, I went to my husband's holiday party with his Harley Owner's Group. I hadn't met his buddies there before, and that was also a great time. Got to chat with several new and interesting people and now I can picture them when he talks about them. Plus--they collected toys for The Angel's House, and ohmyhosh, what a great job they did! They put them in the back of one of those oversized trucks (my daughter would know what kind it was, but I'm sadly clueless) and the toys were totally overflowing the bed! Very cool!

Yesterday, I cooked literally from about 10 a.m. till about 7 p.m. And we had friends and the girl for dinner last night. Well--they joined us. We didn't actually have them for dinner--after all that cooking! ;-) After three nights in a row of baking into the wee hours, I hardly knew what to do with myself with nothing to bake last evening. (So I nodded off in a chair.)

I regret the pages not written, but not enough to regret the lovely, lovely time well-spent!

However, today is a brand new Monday and I'm heads-down now for the book. No time to waste being all friendly! :-) I must be hermit-like and catch up.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Holidays and Time

Doesn't it fly? Time, that is. We're almost as dry as a desert here, but today it was finally cold. Cold enough for sweats anyway. I love the winter and it goes too fast. I find myself dreading its passing already.

So I want to live in each day and remember them all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The time flew by. Just a few moments ago, it was Wednesday!

I've been buried in family and Thanksgiving and Harry Potter. Yet, here the world is, expecting to be taken seriously.

I've barely been making my word count after a few days off. (I'm up to 7 days off now. Better check how many Sven allows.)

I've found a new coffee shop on the square here. The only fly in the ointment--you have to move your car every two hours. However, it's worth it for the excellent atmosphere, and the music selection which so matches my taste. Great coffee, and the best gift--the courthouse clock that chimes the hours. I love living in this little town (except for the lousy Internet service and the lack of a garbage disposal). It's the little things!

Today, while I was working, I looked up at the counter and noticed a basket that asked for volunteers to knit/crochet baby caps for the local hospital. I can do that! I emailed--I have the pattern--tomorrow, I'm buying some yarn.

Tonight--maybe a few more words on the wip.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's my favorite holiday. I have a huge family, and we all used to meet at Grandma's for Thanksgiving. We'd eat in stages--men and boys first, although I wonder if that was just what happened--or was it some strange Southern ritual? Either way, I always loved my spot at the dishwasher-cum-table because we couldn't all fit at the table, even in stages. Ohmygosh, the food. Though it hasn't come down to me, I spring from a line of amazing cooks. I wish I'd learned--but then what would the firemen do with their spare time? ;-)

Anyway, after dinner (that would be the noonish meal), we'd climb the ridge behind Grandma's house and look down at what we could see of the town, then back down for another sustaining meal and then outside again for more running off of the calories. Mostly, I remember love as rich and unceasing as the wind and the life on that Autumn ridge--and laughter. My husband calls it the family cackle, but I think it rings with family love, too. I'm going to be missing it tomorrow, but those memories aren't going anywhere.

Here's hoping you'll all be making memories that wonderful!

(Thanks to my friend for the pic above! More lovely memories!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday, Tuesday

The daughter's coming home. I'm working away. I'm missing the ocean, and day after tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the year.

Life is good.

Life is exceptional. Last week I wandered around, a smile on my face at all times. Because I was happy. Oceans make me happy. I've had a kind of a scary normal life in the past two years, and I tend to feel a little anxious that something bad could happen again. I'm meditating to remember the feeling those lovely days of last week gave me, because I don't remember feeling anxious for a second.

Don't tell me that's because last week wasn't real life, and real life makes demands. I've got my hands over my ears and my eyes, and I'm saying real life can be as relaxed as a week at the beach. You just have to work harder at making it so! ;-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blogging in Two Places

I'm home from the retreat, glad to see the family, but sad to leave the ocean and my new writing buddies. It was a great week. I've blogged about saying goodbye to the retreat on the HEA Cafe, over at RWA's online chapter boards.

Come on by!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Friends, Refurbished Spirit

I knew only one other person who was coming this week. Well. I'd actually met three of the writers headed down here, but I only knew one I could blather to. However, I met another writer who also headed for a walk on the beach upon arrival, and I hope she'll be a good friend from now on. Come to think of it, I feel the same way about all the writers I'm sharing this week with. (I wrote this with correct grammar the first time, and it just felt stiff. I don't feel stiff about this.)

It's only Wednesday, and I've only been here since Sunday, but it has been potent. All day long, despite 12 women living in this house this week, the place is in utter silence, except for the ocean throwing itself ashore. (Siren song.) A sudden burst of conversation or a door slamming feels like swearing in church. I love this silence. At home silence distracts me--possibly because of the lack of an ocean chorus--but I'm delighting in it here.

Right now, I'm looking out at doggies jumping in the surf and boys/men chasing them. My walking buddy is climbing the dock steps to this house. My next-room neighbor is pulling up her favorite lawn chair on the deck. And there is peace.

The rest of the world is still out there somewhere. Good and bad news shows up on my news feed. My daughter is slaving through classes so rigorous they shake her a little, and I ache to make her feel more confident--because she's brilliant. My son hasn't called in a few weeks, and he and his beloved are on my mind. My husband had a long drive yesterday, and I found myself wondering, "Where is he now?"

But those were my subplots. Right now, in my story, I'm writing at the beach and finding my soul.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Retreating to Write

Sounds like a funny thing, huh? But that's what I'm doing this week. I meant to post last night, but the Internet went down. However, right now, I'm writing from my room in a lovely house on a beach!

A beach--that's water and sand and sound. Mother's love and father's laughter for me. I grew up on a beach and I never feel more at peace than when I hear the sound that is coming through my open balcony window right now. The ebb and flow--mostly flow because high tide is coming in. The wind and the whisper of cycles of life. I cannot believe I once took this for granted, but I never thought I'd ever leave it.

So, today I woke to the sound of this morning's high tide, crept down in a house of 12 silent women and grabbed a cup of coffee, hurried back to snatch some writing time, and then when I couldn't stand not being in the water another second, I moseyed on out, in capris and flipflops. The water was ice-spike cold, but worth it! I probably looked funny in capris (that I use for painting) and flipflops and a sweatshirt, and that sweatshirt was pretty toasty by the time I strolled back an hour later.

Then, I ran out to pick up all the stuff I forgot to bring with me, grabbed a sando (our family name for sandwich) for lunch, came back, opened the doors and fell so asleep to the sound of the waves. I think I could be a normal sleeper with an ocean outside my window. So, since that stolen hour, I've been perched on my bed, in a sweater and a blanket, working to the sound of the waves and the occasional tang of salty water.

In the words of William P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe, "Is this heaven?"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Another Day Off

Yesterday. I bought an amazing flash drive, though. That should count as work because I needed a newer, bigger one. :-)

But that's four days off now, Sven-wise. And I haven't been keeping exact word count because I started over with the wip after I finished the revision. Have you ever noticed that when you start over, things end up moving out? I mean, the scene on page 3 becomes a scene on page 293? Not that I'm near pg. 293 yet, but that kind of move often happens when I revise. Something that seemed vital to share at the beginning becomes part of a character's resolution at the end of the book.

I'm taking a class with Alicia Rasley, and it's making me think. She's an amazing teacher. Sometimes, I'm relieved to find I'm going in the right direction, and then sometimes I'm so excited to find a new idea that's just beet waiting out there.

So, no more days off for now. Gotta get back to work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Funny Review (ers)

What's up with reviewing a book you haven't read? I just found a review for Temporary Father. It's a good review, nicely written, and I appreciated the kind words, but it ends with something about readers being forced to suspend disbelief to accept that the hero, a business mogul also has time to be a model. It must come from a throwaway line early (first few pages) in the book that says something about the hero being on the covers of the biz mags so often his colleagues or the papers (can't remember which) mock about his being a cover model.

I never make my characters drop-dead gorgeous, but I gave this excellent and heroic guy a minor heart attack at 42 and wanted to make it up to him. Of course, the book's cover doesn't give away his gorgeousness either--but that actually is in the story! ;-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Another "Best" Blog I've Ever Read!

No, really! And just when I was trying to trim my daily blog cruise! My buddy, Kath doesn't seem to realize she's a great writer, but she's just started a blog I'm already checking every day. I don't get Kath's uncertainty, but maybe she doesn't read herself?

Don't cheat yourselves of a great read. Each entry is a perfect short story, and her husband is some kind of super hero. Oh the many things Barry hath done! Stop by McBlog, quick! ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Good Eats--good fun--great book talk!

I never like to speak names aloud out here, but thanks so much--so much I cannot say--to the five fun, ever so interesting women who joined me at my table yesterday. Three were readers--and I loved hearing about your favorite kinds of books. Two were reader/writers--apparently both pretty close to selling as well. So I'll get to buy their books, soon! And all five feel like fine new friends. Thanks again! You all made it a great day!

And, of course there were books. I scurried around to get some signed for myself as well. Gotta get going on Sven-time before I can decide what to read first. ;-) And--wonderful chat with Debby going and coming. We got home before I even noticed we were close!

So--I'm going out to breakfast with good friends and then off to the coffee shop where my girl will be studious and I'll be checking in with Sven!

And by the way, I love falling-back day! Who can't use an extra hour?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Going to the Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon!

Y'all come on down!

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I'm abandoning hearth and home again--this time for the Southern Magic chapter of RWA's reader's luncheon. As always, I'm not listed. I don't know why I never make it onto the list, but I am going to be there. ;-) I'm driving over with a good friend, Inspirational writer, Debby Giusti. (Four or five hours of excellent writing talk--the best road trip!)

So, come on over. And also, take a look at the amazing authors, including funny, down-to-earth Sherrilyn Kenyon, who always gives a speech you won't forget.

I'm staring at bags of stuff for the basket and the goodie bags I'm putting together for my table, but right now I'm getting back to Sven. Gotta double up today. I hope doubling still counts. ;-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Another Day, Another 750

Hard fought, of course! I'm dying to read and to play for some reason.

Writing is such a fun job, I tend to forget it's also work. A job like any other. There are days when I can't wait and days when I'd rather not.

Here's hoping these hard days pass, and some fun sneaks back in. That's the way it usually works. The fun sneaks back in before I realize it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Getting back into a book

Do you ever have a hard time reading a book you've set down for a few days? Imagine trying to write it. I forget character names and things like hair color, eye color, etc. But worse than that, I forget what brilliant plot points may have come upon me unawares.

As I've been re-reading/acquainting myself with Forbidden (w.t.), I find I was also lucky enough to forget some lousy and terrifyingly pointless writing, but this is a chance to tighten that up! So, I'm back on track with Sven and getting back on track with Forbidden.

Trying to decide whether I want to work at home or go see what's going on at the Starbucks at B&N. The question is, will I work at the Starbucks or will I cruise the books all day? I fear I know the answer so I'm trying to settle in here.

Oh, I need to check in with Sven today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday without Family

My brother-in-law went home yesterday. Now, you may not have known he was with us, but we're missing him. He was supposed to be downstairs when I woke up. He's supposed to be whistling constantly and working crossword puzzles and making crazy jokes. And he probably is, at his place. I miss him whistling his way around ours!

So, I've taken three days off writing at a whack. We ended up visiting stuff with the bil after I sent in my revision. Yesterday, I started reading the WIP (Forbidden, w.t.) again, but really didn't get a full 750 new words, so can't claim I did. Ding dang it.

However, I'm also re-reading Harry Potter because I've still not read the 7th and I'm trying with mixed success not to find out anything I don't want to know! That kind of cut into work time, cause I'm at a good spot!

So--gotta get those 750 words today!

Oh, and about the Red Sox? I'm glad they won, but I wish the Rockies had put up a better fight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Uh-oh, it's Friday!

Not sure how that happened. Today is my first non-writing day since I started sweating with Sven. That revision got tough at the end so I've been slaving away, trying to get it right. It's with my editor now. I'm suffering post-turn-in-panic. Not a pretty picture.

Too tired to write more tonight. I'm going to read instead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Have I thanked Rick Astley?

Cause he's singing me through this revision with "Cry for Help." I've always loved his voice and this song, but I'm finding the passion in the combo of Rick, headphones, and heads-down working--except when family stuff gets in the way. Today, family is going out. I try not to be overly grateful for a day of quiet because I love having the family around, but I need the work time!

12 pages Sunday and yesterday. Let's see how many for today!

Is it bad when you wake up with "Cry for Help" already playing in your head? I'm kind of seduced in by "Sleeping" as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sven's Check-In Day

I don't really have time for blogging. I'm finishing my revision, massaging--and still adding. What's up with that? 5 more pages yesterday, which means I'm going to have to find some to cut. I'm close to the word count, but these last days are all about getting it right, not making it more wordy. ;-) Sometimes I like to wield an anvil in getting my point across. ;-)

Anyway, I'd have skipped blogging today, except it's check-in day over at Sven's. Now, I have to get my head down and finish this because my experience is that the world starts to bubble and strange things happen during the last couple of days before I have to turn something in!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Rains Finally Came

And they were soft. Not enough rain to make us feel watered, but you know, enough to make lying on the grass, getting wet a reasonable recreation. ;-)

I added 5 pages yesterday. I keep thinking I'm just tidying up here at the end, but I want this book to be emotional, and it still needs some help. I'm layering and knitting--with words.

Off to the coffee shop today. My girl has the usual insurmountable stack of homework, and I'm always happy to share a workday with her!

Happy Saturday to those who get to play today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Working Weekend Begins

Last weekend was my family's reunion. One of my brothers even made it up there, but I didn't, so I've been thinking about the folks all week, kind of leafing through the old pics.

So--up there is one of my cousin and me. She's eleven months older, but already I was outgrowing her. (I never thought that was fair, as I longed to be a delicate flower!) In one version of this picture I'm clutching a "pocket-purse" the size of a small car. Wish I could find that one! ;-)

I'm closing in on my Monday deadline. Yesterday, I managed to add only 5 pages, but I had plenty to cut. Normally, it would be hard to see all those pages disappear, but they needed to go. They make room for the new stuff I've been adding, and the new stuff is more passionate--more fun for me to write, a whole lot more to the point in a romance!

This is like kneading bread.

I love to make bread, but I'm never sure it's going to work. There comes a time in each batch where I know I've got pure gluten stinking to my fingers, or I'm stunned to find I've actually managed something delicious. (The recipe's amazing and only fails due to operator error.)

I hope I'm finding bread in my laptop mixing bowl. ;-)

And--wonder of wonders in a place where the drought is truly horrific, it's raining!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm reporting progress for Wednesday, for my commitment to Sven. (He's becoming real for me. Can that be good?) I added 8 pages yesterday, but I have many more to perfect. All right, perhaps "perfect" is the wrong word. And come to think of it, I'm not looking to make my characters perfect. I want them flawed, but so empathetic a reader has to know what happens next. I want readers to do what I most want to do when I pick up a book. Keep on reading.

My blog on RWAonline yesterday was picked up by another blog that apparently just scoops up anything to do with mental health and publishes on its own blog. At least they added a link back to RWAonline. Still, I'd heard of such blogs, but never seen one. Strange. Surely trawling for that many articles takes as much time as writing new ones?

Anyway, gotta get back to work!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday? Already?

That means Monday (due date for revision) will show up as well, in the way the days do roll around. This week is flying! And yesterday, the pages did as well. I got 12 new ones. 12--count 'em! So far, I've been more culling than counting today, but it's all progress. Is this book shaping up?

I'm also blogging at Romance Writers of America's online chapter blog today. It's called the HEA Cafe (Happily Ever After, for those of you who don't know romance author lingo.) Come try it out!

Back to work!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I've Begun to Sweat

With Sven, that is! Yesterday was the first day. I committed to 750 words, and I actually did a bunch more than that. I'm enjoying the accountability. I actually have a deadline on 10/22, which makes me most accountable, but I'm going to glory in reporting to Sven after that. ;-) That seductive holiday time sometimes cuts into my work hours. And sometimes my natural inclination to laze about cuts into my work hours, too!

And on a different note, I updated my browser yesterday and suddenly, I have all the lovely tools other users have. I can add quotes and a link, make something bold, or italicize. And this dotted red line appears beneath "italicize" when I try to spell it with an s. I once had a professor in American Lit. who told me I should get out of all the British Lit. classes because they had tainted my spelling. ;-)

Gotta get back to work!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Facebook--It's an Addiction!

I used to watch my daughter, roaming around Facebook for hours at a time. She and her friends would commiserate on not being able to climb out of its seductive pages, and I thought--"Huh, good thing that's not for grown ups!" But it is now--and I am addicted. I admit it.

This is me. Come visit and be my friend! ;-)

Just in case you do, I'm gonna go work on revisions so I'll have time to Facebook later!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Writing Challenge--Sven Says

I discovered this challenge on Alison Kent's blog, and I'm going to be doing it to finish revisions for this book, now called Her Reason to Stay, and then to complete the book due in January.

Check it out, fellow writers, and readers might like to follow along with what their favorite writers are doing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hey, you! Shut up in my head! (Clutter)

I'm not a big fan of clutter. Having sold a lot of houses, I'm used to pretending no one lives in them, and I guess I like them to look lived in, but relatively free of stackage. You know? Does anyone else's beloved come home and dump everything on the kitchen table? Mine does.

Well, I'm working away on revisions, but my mind is like the kitchen table. I'm thinking of a movie that's on right now. Now, Voyager, with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. Because I'm fascinated with the 30s/40s, I read a lot of books about that time and the films they made--and also any books I can find written during that time. I'm astounded that some fiction barely survives. Anyway, a lot of people say that Paul Henreid was not lovable, but in both this film and Casablanca, I love him. In this one, where adultery is accepted (without anyone being killed), both characters vow never to give in to their feelings in order that they can share his child. His wife is painted as a self-centered harridan. This movie really makes me think. It could so easily have gone wrong. Even with the harridan--but at one point, PH says that he's "even kinder to Isabella" because of his love for Bette. And they try to stop loving each other. Anyway... the deft characterization just gets me.

Also, I'm reading a couple of books right now. One, Innocent Blood, by P.D. James, has me thinking about the 18 yr. old protagonist, who freely admits she doesn't love her adoptive parents, and they don't love her, but she doesn't mind because she's not particularly lovable. That's some self-awareness for a woman who's really still an adolescent. And yet, she's searching for her "real" parents, and she's made up this huge fantasy for herself, concerning maids and aristocratic visitors to "the family." She clearly needs to be loved and valued and she's measuring herself by some surface goods that are clearly about to slide away from her. I'm already feeling for this girl who isn't lovable.

Thinking is good. But really--I need think about my revisions. I need to clear the clutter--enjoyable, challenging clutter--from my mind and get to my own work. So--if the thinking could just seek low tones (a tip of the cluttered mind to the coneheads--and oh, yeah to the Rolling Stones for the title of this post--as if I didn't have enough going on in my brain pan)--so I can focus on my own stuff...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Percolating History and a Story!

I have a huge family. Part of it came over land through Richmond into the Tennessee Valley. Oddly, those older fellas weren't so different from many of our rowdier ranks today. I found church minutes that began in the late 1700s and I have a feeling I could have chosen my great-great-almost ad infinitum-grandfather right off that page. But their rowdiness endears them to me and makes me think about who we are now.

They also made my cousin, Bill, think. He's suggested a story to me, and while I love the idea, there were reasons I felt I couldn't do it justice. However, it's been lolling about the back of my mind and it began to percolate. It's fairly leaping about now, but I think I've found a way I can work with it. Now, if only I can do justice to the contracted work first! ;-) Thanks, Bill!

Never ignore your sub-conscious, or your cousin Bill. That's my lesson for today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Great Conference--New Blog to Read

I used to go to more conferences. Not sure why I've become more of a homebody over time, and I'm always sorry I don't get out more after I've had such a good time. :-)

Anyway, I learned stuff. The editors at SuperRomance already caution us not to lean on cliche, but Kathleen Scheibling said something during the cold reads (editors and agents read short submissions and give their impressions as well as saying whether or not they'd ask for more) that I'm posting over my desk. Either cut and paste this, my writerly friends, or write it down. "The story is beyond the cliche."

Every writer--every reader--knows cliche is a nice thing, a collective memory, a shortcut into an emotion or a visual, but it can also be a crutch. Why not twist it or avoid it--go for the distinctive, specific visual or emotion that makes this story special?

In a coincidence, the X-Files episode "Bad Blood" is on right now, working vampire cliches to perfection. It's my favorite episode--because it twists cliche like a strand of melted licorice and improves on them all! And yet, you feel like you're in on a private joke. (Plus, this episode moves the Mulder/Scully relationship along without ever shouting Mulder can be jealous, and they've reached the stage where their conflicts endear them to each other even while annoying--important to note for us romance writers!) And who doesn't love Luke Wilson in those big teeth?

Gotta name drop for a second. At the conference, I met several other SuperRomance authors--Kathleen O'Brien, Ann Evans, Cythia Thomason, and Elaine Grant! They were brilliant and funny and full of good stories. Wish you could have been at our lunch/dinner tables! ;-)

Now, about that blog... I hate to send anyone away from here, but this one's amazing. Barbara Vey was at the conference and she's published all the scoop--with pictures! I'm adding her to my faves!

Gotta get back to those revisions. Don't you love coming back from a conference, dying to write?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Beautiful Words Like...

September and October. They evoke woodsmoke and mist, bright skies and blowing leaves. The comfy cozy hug of a sweater. I love Fall best of all. The weather gets cooler and the warmer clothes come out. It's time for hot chocolate and apples sauteed in cinnamon and butter (okay--some sort of butter substitute).

So, despite my reluctance to leave those boys I mentioned below, I'm packing the sweaters and getting a head start on Fall, staving off the cold in a hotel during the conference that starts today. Maybe by the time I get back, the temps will also be feeling Fall-ish!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just a Boy and His Cat

Handsome, aren't they? I have to leave them this weekend for a conference. I love to go and talk writing and think writing--and breathe writing--but I always turn into a home body just before I'm supposed to go. My beloved mocked me for it when I blah-blah-blahed about how I'd miss him. Hmmm.

Oh, yeah--more interesting than my sudden reversion to being a bona fide hermit--there's a signing at the Atlanta Hilton Northeast on Saturday afternoon. Linda Howard and many of the writers who'll be at this conference are signing. I don't seem to be on the list, but I'll be there, too, signing The Man from Her Past.

Here's lots more info! Drop by and visit with your favorite authors!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Been Playing!

I've been with my family in a place where we didn't have Internet access. Since we so rarely have it here, it wasn't that hard to go without! ;-) (A little bitter about access problems--as usual!)

I wish everyone could visit the Smoky Mountains. What a beautiful visit. Not only is any time with my family too much fun, but wow--what a beautiful place. I always ask if my aunts and cousin manage to take the beauty of those blue-topped mountains and the many-shades-of-green trees for granted. My aunt very wisely said that even when she does, she reminds herself she shouldn't.

I remember running through those trees, splashing through a stream that has totally dried up this droughty summer. Reading (of course) in my 4-room treehouse. I come from a long line of builders! ;-) My treehouse had a ballroom, but I mostly used it for reading--a PB and J at my side, to the accompaniement of that stream.

I also took revisions for my next book with me on vacation. Probably a good thing I didn't have the distraction of the Internet. Gotta get back to those before the house comes to life!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Day at the Beach

I'm longing for one of those, so I thought I'd post a photo of my mom and my grandpa and three of my brothers and me when I was a child. Of course everything was easy and simpler back then. My brothers and I often speak of how we took the beach and the water and the comfort of that life for granted. None of us ever expected to leave--but you know how living works!

However, I'm going back to that place I love so much in my mind today, and I thought I'd take the blog along!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday, this week... suddenly a busy, busy day. I'm writing like mad, hoping I'll get a few minutes for a swim. I think when I swim, which is a good thing. ;-) But once the swimming calms my mind, it's like meditation. One with the water and the world. Peace, nothing but movement through the water. And afterwards...I know I'm easier to get along with. I wouldn't admit that just anywhere! ;-)

Next week, I'm off to visit my aunts and my cousin-who's-more-a-sister. I cannot wait for the chat and the cackling, as my beloved calls it. He's coming with me, so he'd better prepare himself for plenty of the cackling.

Okay, better not dwell on the fun of next week. Gotta get through this one first!

Before I'm back to work, hugs across the miles to my friend, Kate and her family, who've lost their dear friend, Bob. I'm wishing you ease of pain. Kitties aren't just pets; they're family.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Had Something to Say--Yesterday

After I post, I always think of a more interesting topic. Today, I can't even think of yesterday's! Now, sometimes, I fear my synapses have stopped firing. In fact, when I was in college, early 20s, baby whom I played with and saved homework for after his bedtime (do you know how much homework an English major endures?), I had the same problem. I went to the doctor, suggested that I was his laugh for the day, but nevertheless, I kept forgetting things, and I wondered if I had Alzheimer's at a surprisingly tender age.

He contented himself with a smirk, vice a cackle, and as soon as he said stress made a person forget words, I felt much better. So, as long as I know what my pen is for, I don't mind if I don't remember what to call it.

On a personal note, I don't like to mention my family's names on the blog, but Yay!--to my cousin and his wife, who've just had their first, absolutely gorgeous son! I can't wait to see him in person!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Need for New Toys

Does anyone else get hungry to buy a new computer? I mean, this one is almost three years old. It was born in the age of the dinosaurs. You know?

And yet, it's lovely. It works perfectly well--reliable--never the least problem (except for the infamous Apple power cord troubles). Still, I see people with new ones, or I let myself look in the Apple store. Sigh. The newer models sing like the sirens they are!

Would they allow me to write (or you, who use them for work--would they let you accomplish your tasks) better? No. Is a new one necessary? No. In fact, I invariably forget to transfer stuff when I change machines, so probably I'd lose something I need.

But I'm suffering new toy envy when I should be producing new pages! I want to be reckless and wild! I want to say "I want; therefore, I'll buy." Instead, what I should say is "Pages? Oh, yeah. I'll quit procrastinating (shopping/lusting) right now."

I hope my distraction doesn't mean there's something wrong with the conflict again!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Storms and Satellites

Don't mix.

Each afternoon/evening for the past week we've had storms, and the second a cloud shows up, the satellite apparently cowers in fear. Oh, for an alpha satellite! One that is not swayed by cloud nor thunder, one that communicates at no thought of the personal cost.

But we just have the regular kind.

This morning, my friend, Susan Floyd (who also writes for SuperRomance), called. I hadn't really noticed how much nourishment the rain has brought, but the beloved was doing some work so I went outside to cackle to my heart's content without disturbing him. Suddenly, I noticed, the fall haze has begun. I love mornings with fall haze, but I digress! The grass has turned green and filled back in, and the dew had coated some longer spots with a kind of teal sheen. Beautiful! I just hope the beloved won't notice and mow it all down. He prefers tidy to oh-that's-gorgeous!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Decatur Book Festival

Are you busy this weekend? Do you love books? Come over to the Decatur Book Festival. You can read about it here. Several Georgia Romance Writer authors will be speaking and signing, and you'll also be able to see/hear authors from many other genres.

Who doesn't want to spend a few hours talking books and writing?

Speaking of books, I gotta go to the library!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rain and Assorted Musings

It's a lovely day here, all gray and kind of cooler than we've been used to. Sometimes, when the heat goes on the way it has, I start to think the weather will never be cool again.

However, my rather brown and dry world is turning green and red and gold and orange. The leaves are starting to change and blow into the pool--with the frogs. So many frogs. I'm not sure why they all come to us. ;-)

The rain has made me believe we'll have cool weather again some day, and going outside won't be a chore. The summer will change into autumn. That's the way of things. I'm a person who tends to worry. About everything. But this time of year reminds me worrying is sort of pointless. Life happens as it's supposed to.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

School Days

The girl's going back. I never enjoy saying goodbye to my children.

However, I've lined up a little Thin Man marathon to tide me over after we get back from moving her in, and she's coming back for breakfast in the a.m. ;-) Afterward, I'm off to B&N to buy my first Laura Kinsale. In some strange romance writer's bend-in-time deficiency, I've never read anything by her, but a writer friend swears she's the best at emotion. I need some of that!

Now to see if this posts. Our satellite went belly up so I haven't been able to get online very easily. It's like starting over again!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watching for Cooler Temps

The current book is set in winter, but it's 93 degrees (Heat Index 104) here right now. I have on movies with snow in them, because I wnat to remember what the sky looks like. I want to remember how people move when they're cold.

My heroine is a fish out of water because she's taken care of herself before now. The hero is in the same boat because he started all the heroine's trouble. Normally, he tries to avoid ruining women's lives so he's finding his actions unacceptable--thought he could not possibly have made any other choice.

Snow is working to isolate my characters.

It might be time for a pool break, though. Maybe the reptiles will stay away as the ground's too hot to slither or hop upon! I don't want the environment to cool down and become hospitable for them!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swimming with the Snakes

Literally. Well, one snake and four frogs. Tonight, I am not fond of nature. We've had really hot weather. I guess nature wanted to cool off. So I finally gave up on the pool.

Have finished my deadline! Yay! And now I'm working on the next Welcome to Honesty book. This one is about Maria, who was Eli's doctor in Temporary Father. I loved her. She loved being on the page, and she got all feisty so we made a deal. If she stayed in character for Beth and Aidan's book, she got a book of her own.

I'm enjoying it so far. Maria's the black sheep of her family because she has a job and a home and she pays her bills and stays in one place and doesn't need rescuing.

Until now.

But she's not a woman who takes kindly to being rescued. The interesting difficulty about writing strong women is remembering that readers don't always come to them, knowing what I do, that they often have a soft center they're protecting with their outer shell of strength. Hinting at the softness, without letting them fold is walking a tightrope, but ya gotta have empathy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Best Romantic Ending

I post regularly on the SuperRomance message board on, but today I can't seem to get in, and I don't have time to figure out why, so I thought I'd move part of that post here since I don't have blog time either.

First, since I've been whining about my girl, an update. She's up and about--and she's visiting a friend. Her eyes look normal, instead of as if she's sick. (moms understand that, huh?) So, even though she's still exhausted (anesthesia, I'm guessing), everything else is working out mighty fine.

One of the writers on the Super board asked for our favorite romantic movie ending. Immediately, Pride and Prejudice popped into my mind. And a welcome pop it was. I even pulled out the DVD. I didn't much care for the Keira Knightley/Mathew Macfadyan Pride and Prejudice whilst I was expecting it to be P&P. But the moment MM came striding across that field, my attitude underwent a miraculous change! And once I remembered how to breathe, I thought there were hidden charms to this "loosely based" version! So--my fave--starts with MM crossing that field and continues through his efforts to tell Lizzy he loves her. Sigh....

Back to work!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A No-Blog Blog

I'm dizzy with a deadline and the girl. No time to think about anything more.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

All I'm gonna say is I don't like when the children don't feel well, but my tooth-troubled offspring is in bed and I'm back at work, hoping she'll wake up feeling astoundingly better.

Cutting and culling today and finally adding some new stuff. I like adding better than culling.

Too tired to even ramble.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


William Powell and Myrna Loy day on TCM, including the Thin Man movies.

A friend telling me how much she loves Laura Kinsale's books. (I must be the only romance writer who's never read them, but they're on order now).

A filthy house that looks as if its normal cleaner is on deadline.

Fast food, which I'm not eating as I'm dieting, but ohmygosh, anything with grease in it smells so stinking good!

My girl's having some toothwork tomorrow. My brother-in-law, a wise man, invited me to "get over it." So, I'm going to try to do that.

Maybe those characters who are impatient to have a tidied happily ever after will help distract me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Man Makes a Good Showing

Please excuse the boasting, but I’m so excited. At least for this morning, The Man from Her Past is the #1 Superromance at Barnes and Noble online! Yay! Thanks so much to the folks who’ve bought it! I hope you’re enjoying.

And now, back to the next Honesty, VA book, working title The Bad Twin. The thing is, she doesn’t mean to be so bad. ;-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Singing. Out Loud. In Public.

I'm drowning in deadline and distracted at home, so I got up, swam, did errands, and now I'm at a sandwich shop working because people won't like it if I buttonhole them to chat about whatever's in my head. (Not that people are enjoying that at home lately!)

However, today must be Mommy and Me at the sandwich shop because there are at least fifteen under-one-year-olds here. I love little 'uns, but gosh, they're noisy when you're hiding from distraction. So naturally, I put on headphones and iTunes--and Keith Urban. He and Rascall Flatts appear to be the only country music I like, but I really like them.

Imagine the dismay of those poor little babies, trying to eat their lunch and shout and cry and--whatever, when I suddenly forgot I wasn't home and burst into song. I'm not even sure Keith needed my assistance, either. He was doing fine on his own.

I probably ought to leave, but honestly, when you come to a sandwich shop, don't you sort of expect some wild-eyed writer on deadline to belt out a little Keith Urban at you?

Monday, August 6, 2007


It's silly, but my girl is having her wisdom teeth pulled this week, and I feel it hanging over my head like an anvil. Maybe if I do the worrying she won't.

I find writing romance difficult when something like this is going on, even though I'm being a little ridiculous. But I hate seeing her in pain. (Yeah, we've been lucky and our offspring have been healthy--no broken bones, etc.)

Anyway, this is one of those weeks where a muse would be helpful, but since I don't have one, I'd better just bang away at the story and throw my angst into the pages.

I hope you're looking forward to something fun and fine this week!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Man from Her Past, Showing Up Any Day

Welcome back to Honesty! I'm starting to receive lovely letters about The Man from Her Past. A new book on the shelves is always exciting. I love this series, set in the small town of Honesty, VA. I hope that readers will enjoy it, too.

I've written a couple of series before, The Talbot Twins, set on a fictional island near Savannah, Georgia, and The Calvert Cousins, set in Bardill, Tennessee, another fictional town in the foothills of the Smokies. The thing I didn't consider was that I was going to run out of cousins and twins before I ran out of stories for these two settings. Hence, Honesty came to life.

When my son was little, we read a set of books about a community of foxes in a medieval English town. I loved the maps and the recurring characters and the life in those stories. That's what Honesty means to me--life going on in a town with real buildings and roads and people who know too much and care too much and love just enough! I hope you'll join me there.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Logic of Writing

I love when a story is working. When one scene leads naturally to the next. Folks always consider writers "creative types." As if we're all airy and light, tossing back bonbons with one hand, dreaming up stories in a pink, frothy cloud of distraction.

I don't see it that way at all. In fact, I mentioned in a post not long ago that I'm IT for my family. I have a facility for technology and I think it's the same kind of thing that works for me with writing. Logic. Being able to decipher a problem because of what should come next.

I couldn't care less about muses. My goodness, if I waited for one to show up, I'd never have finished the first book. (Two small children, little league, guitar lessons, violin lessons, school choir practice, a husband constantly on travel--and oh, yeah, a full-time day job.) So, muses--I don't think so--not unless he or she had shown up with a driver's license and the undying devotion to my children that schedule required! (Have you ever noticed how few people are as willing to slave for your children as you?)

However, I believe in story logic, in the logic of the English language, in using both to write a story that appeals to me, because I am kind of my first reader, and those pages where I'm going "let's get to the good stuff" need to suffer the plunge of the delete key.

The book I'm tidying now has been one of the most difficult I've ever written. Do all writers get one that writes itself? Cause, hello, I'm tapping my foot with impatience for my shot at that! This one has been start and stop, running gleefully into a brick wall, realizing my hero and heroine had no real problems so I dared not let them be in the same room or they'd declare themselves in love. And why couldn't they? Why, because I was writing a romance. (Kiss of death for romance writer who wants to offer an involving story.)

So, my friends, Jennifer LaBrecque (Harlequin Blaze and NASCAR) and Susan Floyd (SuperRomance) helped me to an answer and suddenly those pages and scenes began falling in place. Scenes I'd already written had purpose (hiding, just out of my view until the conflict was right). Usually, when I'm this pushed and--let's be frank--late--I start to hate writing, but not this time. I'm loving the logic of a story with all its pieces intact!

I wish I knew it was perfect. I wish I had faith that it will grab a reader with the emotions I'm feeling as I write it, but I never feel that kind of confidence, and I'm just grateful for a lovely editor who's willing to point me in the right revision direction. But work is going well. I'm gleeful, and I'm not too afraid of that wall sliding out of nowhere again.

If you're working today, I hope you're enjoying, too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Small Towns/Hot Weather/Christmas in July/History Lessons

I live in a small town. So small my girlo and I visit the bookstore taking shape to admire the new changes which mean we won't have to rely on online stores and a 45-minute trip to feed our addiction. That's right--I live in a town so small, watching a bookstore rise is a pastime.

We have one road that falls prey to traffic, but if you get on this 2-lane parking lot, you're on for the duration. Yesterday, I forgot to look at the time before I made that deceptively clear-looking right turn. Over the hill and into a string of red lights, wavering in a heat shimmer--a traffic jam that lasted for the length of 2 programs on XM's Radio Classics.

I love the glimpse of history on Radio Classics, and this is Christmas in July week, where they play radio shows from way back, all set at the Christmas season. While I whiled away an hour on a stretch of road that takes five minutes w/o traffic, I listened to Bob Hope and Bing Cosby performing for wounded veterans in a California VA hospital in 1946.

Bing's Christmas wish was that next year the hospital would be empty because all of these wounded soldiers would be at home. Bob's was that the holiday spirit had so filled the hearts and homes of soldiers and sailors who would not be coming back that their places were not empty.

So little changes. I usually ramble on this blog--whatever's on my mind--and I actually care about not offending folks because I hate a rant, but I have to say, just this once--even in my lifetime, history has provided lessons we ignore.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Family Pictures

My cousin and I have been talking about a vacation that she and her mother and our aunt and my beloved and I (four women, one guy, and his golf clubs) are taking. In the process, we've swapped a couple of photos. When she and I were this age, people thought we were twins. We know my brother and both of hers, and she and I are both almost positive we know which of us is which--but I distinctly remember wearing the coat that she's wearing. Weird, although we may have swapped.

And how does this pertain to writing? Look at those boys. They're adolescents, fully personality-ridden, one leaning into the air, another an older brother, covering his younger, taking over at the handlebars, and the last, a cousin, clinging, white-knuckled, but all on the verge of racing into the parent taking the pic. We two girls are so young we're just kind of grinning. We're not so comfortable in our personalities yet--passively sitting, not willing to state who we are with a pose. Someone just set us on the horsies, and we're staying put.

We're characters without characterization yet. (Sorry to my sister/cousin if you see this. I could be wrong! And since you were so quiet and "ladylike"--and I was so not--I'm sure everyone who knew us, knew us apart, even then!)

Gotta go fill up a character with some characterization.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's Tuesday

No time to read; no time to swim; gotta write.

Always time to sort out my family's IT problems! :-)

Here's a silent plea that next book I get the conflict right the first time! ;-) However, even though I'm doing a rewrite because of that slightly sideways conflict, I love these characters, and I'm thinking I want to move to Honesty, Virginia!

Just before I hit the Publish Post button, I saw that I still can't spell "right." It always comes out "write." Or perhaps I'm flaunting my Freudian slip!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lovely Photo!

A picture of our favorite child! (Sorry girl and boyo!)

But look at that charm! And we just pretend not to notice his addiction to chewing anything made of hard plastic.

Mondays Look Different to Me Now

I've been lucky in that I've always made my living by writing or editing or both, but some of those writing/editing jobs weren't as much fun as writing romance. I can remember Sundays when I spent all day dreading Monday.

Not so, now. Monday is a new day, a new week, a new chance to get ever so much accomplished! I hope everyone finally comes to a job where Mondays look so good.

As for me, I'd better take advantage of all this newness!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Remember when writing was purely fun? I sort of do. Right now, I'm 'rasslin'.

The old conflict--wasn't. So, my friends Susan Floyd and Jennifer LaBrecque sorted me out. Sometimes you just can't see that stinking forest, and I apparently had a redwood in my eye (to mix metaphors or analogies?).

I'm back at it, but panicked so everything else is moving slowly. I took a break to plant some stuff by the wall this morning. Now I'm back at those pages. Imagine the shock of running straight into a five-page scene that totally deflates any conflict ever. You'd think, after 14? 15? books, I'd know better.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A New Blog Day!

That's what it is for me because we've finally given in to satellite Internet access. I hope to be a bit more faithful in showing up!

We're having a lovely day in the South, not too hot, crickets/frogs singing up a beautiful, raucous storm (you can't imagine how much that sounds like home until you haven't heard it in 5 1/2 years!), and my girl's sitting a few feet away, catching up on her Harry Potter re-read. She reads the whole "oeuvre" again each time a new one comes out. How sad to think this is the last new one! I love those stories, love the characters, love the battle, hate to see it all end. (And who else is worried about stumbling on the answer to the "big" question?)

Can't hang around long. There's this WIP deadline... And my friend, Kate Walker, is still having her international blog party, and she's invited me to join in--so I have to finish getting some stuff together now that I can finally send it in something less than two days. Thanks, Kate for your extreme patience!

Back soon!

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Long time, no blog. I've been buried in a deadline and house stuff and the false promise of high speed. ;-)

However, lovely news draws me out again. Romantic Times gave The Man from Her Past a 4. Yay! I haven't actually seen the review, but I saw the number. Exciting! I never actually remember to send the ms. out for reviews elsewhere so this is a moment I wait for each book.

I wish you all a lovely summer, and I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Congrats on 50, Kate Walker

Kate Walker's having an international blog party to celebrate 50 books! Join in the fun and get in touch with favorite authors from all over the world!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Finally, Da Vinci

I may be the last person on earth who hasn't read The Da Vinci Code, and I'm finally catching up with the rest of the world. My girlo recommended it a couple of years ago, but for some reason, I've just put it off. Recently, another friend suggested it with the same enthusiasm so I'm finally wading in. I'm trying to resist losing myself in it because I have this deadline, but I definitely have to put it out of reach during work time.

I love amazing ideas like this. In fact, under ideas I have envied, I'd have to add Terminator and Medium, ideas that challenge the "facts" we accept.

But, speaking of work... Tonight, I'm a night owl!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Must-Read Book

Last week I read a most distracting book. I bought it simply because I loved the cover. I'm fascinated with the first half of the 20th century and love stories (and movies) set in those years. If you have some time to read a book you will not be able to put down, rush to find The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. What a beautiful story--and I was hooked from page 2. In fact, I'm ready to read it again!

We chose lights for the pool deck today. I'm intimidated by any form of decorating. I love to do it, but I'm never sure we don't have the worst taste in the world. You know? When you're looking for a house and you visit, and you ask yourself--after the shock begins to dull--"What are these people thinking?" That may be my house.

Gotta get some work done. I'm feeling a little like I'm decorating this book, come to think of it. I always hit the no-confidence wall head on!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The slogging blogster

I'm almost embarrassed to show up again it's been so long. Still dieting. The folks behind me are having sandwiches. I'm longing for a sandwich but I'll try not to lean my chair back and snag a bite! I'm longing for a pimento cheese sandwich, and I don't even like the stuff.

Pool's almost done. My girl and I are so excited. Yay--I can't wait to swim in our own back yard!

Book's fighting back, but I've started the do-over, and this time I at least knew the characters well enough that I didn't have to do the do-over didn't five times before I could get past page 100.

So--not much else to say, cause summer days just fold into each other, don't they? I don't remember that as a child. My summers then were punctuated by Tuesdays. My grandmother never learned to drive, so on Tuesdays in the summer, my mom and Grandma and I would all go to the library, check out as many books as they'd let us haul out the door and then mosey home past my elders' favorite shopping places. My fave was the store that had both Teaberry gum and my favorite brand of sunflower seeds. Oh, those were lovely Tuesdays!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scenes and Sun

I'm writing a scene right now where the only sensible way I can get my hero and heroine together for a talk they need to have is on the phone. I do a lot of telephone scenes and I'd love to find a better way into this scene so I'm going to finish it but dig my way off that phone later.

What does that have to do with sun, you may ask? Well, it's sunny. Again. Most normal people welcome the sun. I realize that. We need sun. Yesterday, "they" were talking about hurricane predictions and I felt immediate alarm for those folks on the coasts who've surely suffered enough hurricane damage for one lifetime. (That said, I grew up in a 100-year-old house on the beach that never even lost a window to high winds in all those hurricane seasons. "They" really don't build houses like that any more, do they?)

But along with too many telephone scenes, I've suffered a surfeit of sun. I crave rain and clouds and thunder. Oh for some lightning. Wouldn't it all be too lovely to bear?

Monday, May 21, 2007

A good day

Today is a great day, according to my daughter. My offspring, who's been addicted to phones from the first time she could hoist one to her ear, bought a new cell today. It's lovely, all shiny and jangly, with amazing functionality. I'm a little envious, to be honest, cause mine's low-tech in comparison.

She owns enough phones that she'll never have to buy one for her own home. But she's probably never going to use a land line, except to hook up the DSL!

But she's right. It is a great day. She's an adult and I've had the joy of her for many many years, but there's hardly anything I like better than seeing her and her siblings enjoying themselves the way she is today.

Oh. I hate adding a post and pushing that lovely cover down the page.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Cover--The Man from Her Past

Here it is. I'm excited about it. The hero, in particular, looks the way I pictured him. A friend suggested the heroine looks like Kelly Clarkson. I hope so--if people can see her as the heroine in a romance. I actually don't have strong images of the characters in my books--of their faces I mean. Hence, this hero with his face turned away looks as I imagined him.

Roll on, August! :-) I really loved writing this book, and I hope readers will enjoy it, too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cover for THE MAN FROM HER PAST--to Come

Have I mentioned I hate dial-up? I've been dying to post the cover for my August Superromance, but I can't seem to do that from here. Suffice to say, it's beautiful, the couple (Van, from Temporary Father and his heroine, Cassie, in her father's boathouse, but I won't be able to post it until there's something other than squirrels running my Internet connection.

I'm not bitter. ;-)

(Click here for a link to B&N where you can see the cover.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's Almost Mother's Day

So, happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be. This is a funny day when you're someone's mother and someone's daughter. I kind of wallow in the link to past and future, and I can't imagine the time when my girls are also mothers. But the day's a little sad, no matter how much I don't want it to be.

Hmmm. It's also funny how we avoid sadness, as if we aren't supposed to be sad. Sometimes, it's just part of the day. Not good or bad, just part of living.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ooops--Now It's Friday

How'd that happen? My stinking dial-up connection, for one. Remember when that seemed like the height of technology? Now, it's the bane of my existence. Turns out my family is truly Internet-addicted.

We're talking to a pool guy about--a pool. I can't wait. Water makes me think like a writer. Water makes me creative and swimming makes me a nicer person! :-) How lovely will it be to stroll from my knotted-up thoughts in my office to the pool out back to swim out the answer? We've been planning this for twenty years. What'll we plan now? ;-)

Monday, May 7, 2007

It's Monday Again!

I'm dying for a good cup of coffee. (With actual sugar and no-fat half and half, rather than black with sweetener.) In fact, I'm dying for a lot of things cause I'm trying to lose a little weight. Clearly, I'm not good at denying myself stuff. There's a pan of brownies in my kitchen that I have to picture as having disappeared. I don't even like chocolate!

So, I'm going to go give the heroine of my latest something she's been longing for all her life, something sumptuous and gratifying and too lovely to resist!

Do that for yourself, today!

Friday, May 4, 2007


I've been listening to a movie on my headphones, and I've discovered something interesting. Either I'm going deaf or there are a lot more sounds than my television can pick up. I love the sound of a clock ticking. And this one is in a writer's study. She has a beautiful study, red sofas, built-in bookshelves, a collection of vintage typewriters around the room, a huge desk, a wall safe and a need for one :-), and that ticking clock.

It adds to the texture for me. How do you know when you've written too much texture (detail) into a scene, or hit just the right note?

Monday, April 30, 2007


Here, there, and everywhere!

My school is holding a reunion and I'm listed as MIA. I took care of that and thought I might show up here as well.

Two things have distracted me. First, our house needed some serious attention. And after three coats of blue in the dining room, four coats of red in the dining room, and the distribution of geegaws and drapery, it's looking sort of cozy. I have one question. How do you stop a husband from hanging drapes too high? He likes them better four inches off the ground. ==:-o Terribly attractive!

Second, a friend suggested a book, Element of Lavishness, the letters between Sylvia Townsend Warner and and William Maxwell. Lavishness doesn't begin to describe this book. I was hoping to save a letter for after writing, for just before bedtime, for waiting in the car. Nope. They beg to be devoured. It's like a look in on a private conversation between two people who see the world in terms of abundance. Every page is a pleasure, and I have no self-control.

So--I left the book at home and I've come to the coffee shop again. No painting, no hanging anything, no moving this table over here and that lamp over there. No Warner and Maxwell.

Just work. I'd better hop to it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Distracting the Girls

My beloved daughter invited me to join her and her friend at the coffee shop. Ostensibly, it was for me to work while they studied, but we'd have hanging out time. Instead, I've just distracted the daylights out of them.

So I've put on my headphones and I'm blogging. Poor girls. Try to do the responsible thing and the elderly mother shows up and ruins their best-laid plans.

I'm being quiet now, though.

Guess I'd better get to work. I like this hanging out thing--I'm just finding their discipline a bit overwhelming! :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


That's how I feel. I logged in to post yesterday, but the events at Virginia Tech made me think other things were more important than rattling away on a blog.

I still feel that way but I'd just like to send best wishes for peace and comfort into cyberspace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bad Weather Coming

We're under a tornado watch, and you'd think the sky would be getting darker. Instead, I think there's more light coming through the windows. It's not green, which I've heard happens before a tornado, or orange, which I've seen before a tornado. I can see the radar and the storm is coming nearer, but you wouldn't really know it on a day as cloudy as this.

This does have to do with writing, you know. The best stories are the ones where the storm shows up just when you least expect it. Inevitably, your characters must deal with flying houses and angry witches :-), and guys rowing through the air. Just when our hero and heroine most want to live their own lives in their own home with a sweet little doggy, the light changes and the world looks different and the winds begin to blow.

I like a storm that drives my characters to the extremes of facing the worst that can happen--and then choosing the hardest road to the best. Isn't that what love should be--a gift that endures, facing the best and the worst life throws us?

That said, I don't like tornados. Hope they stay away.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Coming to the End of Another Book Release Month

Thanks to Amazon and B&N, it's not as painful as it used to be, but we're coming to the end of another book release month. Okay, I still kinda hate it. This story starts the Welcome to Honesty series that I'm loving. It's set in Honesty, a small town in Virginia, where folks are living and loving and giving me stories, bless their hearts! Anyway, Aidan and Beth and Eli are near and dear and beloved to me. I hope readers are enjoying them, too.

Better get back to work on the latest Honesty story, but I thought I'd come out and post the cover for Temporary Father as a goodbye to seeing my book on the shelves.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Monday Already?

What a great weekend--starting on Thursday! Met my uncle and aunts and cousins for lunch in a yummy restaurant and then we went to a museum--that startlingly--had something from one of my other aunts on display. Talk about a shock, seeing her name.

Then--off to the conference. Smoky Mountain Romance Writers put on a wonderful conference. They're clearly hard-working and such a welcoming group!

I had a blast with Brenda Mott and my editor. They're both funny and friendly women, riddled with interesting stories they're willing to tell! I don't remember when I've laughed so much. Saturday night we walked out into the freezing cold (which felt surprisingly refreshing with the threat of southern summer heat showing up eventually) and had dinner at an amazing Mexican/fusion restaurant. Pecan crusted salmon with a cream poblano sauce--that's how you spell heaven! :-)

Back to work now, but I'm refreshed and enthusiastic, can't wait to see those pages spinning by on the screen.

Oh--did I mention the books? I have several new ones to read. Shhh! Don't tell the beloved I may have done a little damage at the book store!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

All Over the Place

They're back again. I wonder what happens on Wednesdays that draws all the UPS drivers.

I'm off tomorrow for a writing conference. Looking forward to writerly talk, visiting with my editor, and Brenda Mott, another Superromance Author. I haven't been to a conference in a while and I think I get nourishment hearing others talk about their experiences.

Hey--there go the UPS drivers. All in their brown uniforms of course. Kind of startled me when I looked up! There must have been ten of them.

So now--because I don't want to get behind on deadline, I'm back to my evil twin story. Besides, I'm having a great time writing it!

So this is a potpourri kind of post--a little bit of everything--but I'm in the process of checking email as I type this and an ad just popped up for the new Die Hard movie. The Mac/Galaxy Quest guy and--I think--an F-22 are both in the movie. Can't wait!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend to all who are celebrating both Pesach and Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I love writing

It's one of those days--the ideas are coming so fast I have to jot them in a notebook beside me. The pages are flowing by on the screen. I love all my characters. I love the setting and the Spring that's happening very much like Spring here.

There's never been a better job!

Except maybe making cotton candy. That would be fun. :-) Or maybe being a professional roller coaster rider. No--that would be a lot like writing!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Peacock Crossing

A funny thing happened today on the way to the coffee shop. A truck and I were swerving and sliding around the country road that leads between dogwoods and forsythia from my house--when a peacock busted out of the woods, apparently in a hurry for an appointment on the other side of the road.

I've seen peacocks before, but generally, they're majestic, slow-moving, preening, elegant. This one was tiny little head down, hell-for-leather bent on crossing that road.

Thank goodness it made it! If I were faster with my camera phone, I'd be posting a pic! It was a nice treat for a Saturday, and I'm pleased to say no predators popped out behind it. (I was a little concerned that might be the reason for its haste!)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Good News and Guilty Pleasures

First, I'm so excited!

Today, my lovely editor called to buy two more books in my Welcome to Honesty Series that starts with this month's Temporary Father. I can't wait to write the books.

One is about a good twin and a not so "good" twin who finds she's not so bad when she discovers her sister--family for the first time in her life--and falls in love with the one man who has too many reasons not to risk loving a bad twin.

The other is about Dr. Maria Keaton, who appears in Temp. Father. The black sheep in her family because she's responsible, has a steady job, and can support herself, she's suspended in a court scene as the story opens. Soon, she finds she can't even get a job as Santa's elf, and then she has to accept help from her sister, a children's party clown. Did I mention that Maria, a respected psychologist, is deeply afraid of clowns? :)

And now--the guilty pleasure. Someone asked me recently if I wasn't ashamed of reading romances in public. Uh--no, I'm not. I'm proud of my work and of my colleagues'.

But I am sort of shy about admitting I DVR a 16-year-old soap opera every day. I started watching Another World with my mother when I was a child. I can remember playing in the floor in front of her while Rachel (later Rachel Cory) was getting in some trouble behind me on TV. Well, when my daughter was born, I was so busy I lost track of AW and eventually, it was cancelled. A few years ago, SoapNet brought it back--just where I stopped watching it. For a lot of reasons, it's been comfort viewing and I've enjoyed the stories and the actors. But this week SoapNet announced they're canceling it, too. It's harder to give up my guilty pleasure the second time around.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Again

The week seems to be flying. I'm painting the kitchen, and I love watching the color spread across the walls. It becomes more our home. It shows me where I've been, how much farther I have to go. It's like pages piling up beside the printer (which has sadly been amok lately).

When I'm in the early stages of a book as I am now, progress is so much harder to see. As I've said, this ideas is different than anything I've done so I'm hard-pressed to tell if things are working--or if I'm just having fun. Maybe it doesn't matter this early, but I find that I'm not just a ruled-by-the-muse writer. I don't seem to have a muse or the confidence to know when something's good or working. The longer I write, the less I know, the more I have to learn, and the less I'm sure I'm learning. And yet, I'm not content with just going, that's okay. I'm writing it for me.

I wish writing could be a little more like painting!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hot Too Soon

I work better in winter. In the heat I just want to sprawl out of the way somewhere and breathe, cause the heat seems to suck my soul dry.

So, today, I just have one question. What season are you? What season gives birth to energy and great ideas?

I gotta go lie down. Is it going to drop below 80 again before November?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Stuff

Back to work on the new proposal. Actually, I'm working two right now--one with an angry spirit and one with a nutty family. Hmm, they both kinda have nutty families. I'm not sure which one I'm enjoying more.

And on a personal note, I had a lovely chat with my aunt today. Life is good!

Congrats to all the finalists in RWA's Golden Heart and Rita contests! I can't wait to cheer you on!

I found a great collection of film noir over the weekend. Something like 50 movies, some of which I've wanted for a long time, but was too cheap to buy. Right now, I'm listening to THE STRANGER with Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson while I catch up on Monday business. Next up--THE KENNEL MURDER CASE. Anything William Powell did is well worth watching! And film noir--the stories are so tight, not an ounce of literary/artistic fat anywhere. (So this does have something to do with writing!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Come and visit...

... on Magical Musings. Leave a comment, and you might win a book!

(Speaking of which, I'm late mailing the books from last week, but they're finally in the mail!)

I hope you'll stop by!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Making It Pretty--on Someone Else's Blog

On Saturday--that would be tomorrow--I'm guest blogging on one of my favorite blogs, Magical Musings. I'm so happy Edie Ramer invited me, and I'll be yammering on about something I'm doing all over my life. Making it pretty.

You see, we recently moved, and our neighbors down the way--whom I might add--moved in after us, are not very neighborly in the mess they are diligently setting up in their yard. It's a sad thing to wish they'd moved in first so we could have run screaming from the chaos, but there you go. So, I'm doing what I did the last time we moved, when the climate outside was inhospitable, but I wanted my family to be happy--rather than looking forward to the day we could move again. I'm making the inside of our abode pretty and cozy and pleasant to come home to.

Making it pretty is an occupation for writers as well. Come over tomorrow and see what I mean! I'll add a link again in the morning. Hope to see you there.

Right now, I'm off to visit my favorite mixer in the paint department! :-) Anyone know how to tile a backsplash?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Winners Notified!

I've emailed the readers who won the books. Thanks to everyone who participated, and to the winners, I hope you love the book. I always enjoy novellas for the quick stories with just enough time to get involved and invested in the characters! :-)

Working, finally, on something brand new and totally different. I'm nervous, but having a great time writing it so for now, I'm just going to keep moving forward. It has that unfolding feeling. I keep getting new ideas to take the story deeper. This may be one I end up writing entirely for myself, but so far, I'm loving it! And any writing is also learning.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fridays are for Reading


And about two pages of writing. I've just started a totally new idea, cause the others weren't working for/with me. I told a friend about the story, and she asked me how I'd market it. I don't know, but she rightly pointed out I have to know. The biz part of this job often bewilders me. However, if I keep moving on the idea, maybe marketing will become more obvious.

I've also had a great reading day. END IN TEARS by Ruth Rendell. I love her Inspector Wexford books, although I'm coming to the end of this one knowing I'm not going to discover all about a family issue going on with him. (Seems to me the Inspector Wexford books take too long to come out!) However, I love the characterization she paints with a few spare strokes, and I love that she faces the gritty side of life, but still gives this series enough "cozy" flavor that reading each book is returning to old friends in a familiar, beloved spot of the world.

Gotta go finish! I'd love to be able to mete out such a treat, but I won't even pretend I'm going to sleep before I get to THE END.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

How does your cat show?

The beloved and I are watching poker. This may be the one thing we have in common--we both like to watch poker. During the most recent commercial I was hopping it to the steeping teapot when some very cute kitties caught my eye. Has anyone ever heard of a cat show? Apparently, there's one called Cat Minster. This is not to say I watch too much TV, but I can't miss that! (I thought I'd post a cute Kitty photo, too.)

Absolutely no way to connect this to writing, except that I've had several entries for the book contest through email and I'll be drawing over the weekend for the winners.

Best of luck to everyone who's entered!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Late Night Blogging

As I'm a night owl with only dial-up access, it's easier to get online at night. But I was thinking--this is late-night to me, even if I'm the worst insomniac. It's not late night to my children. The world has changed since I was a twenty-something. We did stuff at all hours, but it was unusual to suddenly go "Let's get a pizza at midnight." My offspring are often just beginning to start their socializing, even if it's just a movie and eats at home, at ten or so.

That's the kind of small thing that makes a story authentic when you're writing about twenty-somethings, and it's not something I always remember. Until one of my offspring lets me know he or she is off to have fun about the time I'm starting the flosss/brush ritual. Sure, they're adults, but I can't wait until they have adult children! I never believe in the old turnabout is fair play adage. It seems like asking for bad Karma, except I hope my kiddos remember the panic on my face and realize it's not easy being a mom of twenty-somethings! Think they'll apologize? That might be a scene for fiction! :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Stuff You Don't Know You Need

I'm late to the blog tonight because I had a great time having lunch with other writers today. We talked for about 4 hours, so I also didn't get much work done, sort of. Talking about writing and thinking about goals--that's time well spent for any writer! So, thanks to the four friends who invited me! :-)

Now, for the stuff you don't know about--I'm watching a home improvement show again--one must feed one's addiction! This is one where a designer with excellent software tells a family how to fix up a place that's well within their budget, so they're essentially getting more with a little sweat equity. I have a feeling I need this software to make up character's houses! :-) Or would that lead to more procrastination?

Time for sleeping!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Want a book?

This week, TEMPORARY FATHER should be hitting bookshelves. To mark the week, I'd like to give away three copies of ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS.

This is an anthology I wrote with Brenda Novak and Melinda Curtis. To win a copy, just add a comment with the names of the hero and heroine in each of our novellas in ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS. I'll draw three names at the end of the week. Best of luck!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quiet Day


My girl went back to school, and frankly, I'm just happier on the days she's home. Guess I'll cuddle with the kitty and read a good book. It's not always this hard to say goodbye to her, but I just need some comfort food for the soul. :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday, Saturday!

So--the neighbors are still alive. That's a relief! ;-)

And today has already been wonderful. Is there a writer alive who doesn't have an addiction to interesting (or even not so) pens, pencils, papers? The girl needed some stuff for school. I needed a pen or--okay two pens and a new pencil because someone (offspring) appropriated my fave mechanical one. So, we're office-supplied to the gills, and I'm trying everything out on my brainstorming notebook!

As for brainstorming, so far, lackluster progress. I'll get an idea, thud away at it, and then comes the moment--Why don't they just talk about it? Which means what I have is an argument--not a conflict.

Also, I'd like to write a more Alpha type hero in this next one, but I find Alphas very attractive (I have a difficult time using the word "very" since a high school writing teacher described it rightly as a nothing word--the eye skips over and it evokes no emotion--back to the Alphas), and yet, the best Alpha hero is so on the border of being so male he isn't a real man. You know? To the edge of too arrogant and stereotypically masculine. For a much better discussion, zip over to my friend, Kate Walker's blog, and read her March 7 and March 9 posts.

And have a glorious weekend! I hope you find a task almost as pleasant as replenishing your office supplies! :-)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Let's All Meet At the Coffee Shop!

I'm there because I tend to get distracted in the quiet at home these days. Plus, my girl is on her way, and we love to spend time swilling caffeine, doing our respective works. [Oh, for anyone following this blog, she had a class-topping germ harvest! :-) ]

Anywhooo, someone else got the word about the coffee shop. There are 6 global-type delivery service trucks in the parking lot. Their drivers aren't in here, but ya gotta wonder how they all ended up in one place at the same time. I'm making up stories.

Making stuff up seems to run in the family lately. We have neighbors moving in up the hill from us. So far up the hill that they drove their truck from their garage, down the hill to the moving van and moved their belongings from van to house in the back of the truck. We're talking neo-Everest, here. Anyway, they worked till almost ten last night, when finally, the moving van began to rumble as if the hill were actually a volcano, attempting to erupt. Then the van pulled out, all lights went out and pitch darkness was restored. My beloved, came out of the laundry room and said, "Wonder if the moving guys killed the people in that house?"

Hmm. I don't know.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Proposals Away!

They're gone! I'm exhausted but excited about a night of watching movies. Yay!

And I've suddenly noticed it's Spring. I'm not a big fan of Spring because it means Summer is coming, but gosh, those blooms blooming are lovely!

Now to work on backup proposals! :-) And-as a further treat, that idea that keeps teasing me. I'm going to get the tone right on that yet!

Free time and forstythia in bloom. Nice!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


I like to look as if writing flows as naturally as--hmm--can't think of anything that isn't a cliche--and therein lies my problem. Not that I'm writing cliches, cause I love a cliche best when you can turn it on its ear.

Ahhh, that whole paragraph is my problem. Not that it's a real paragraph, which has structure--a thesis and a continuation that explains the thesis and an end that wraps up its idea.

I'm working on proposals. I've had some interruptions, but I'm steadily working on proposals. In the last couple of years life has been a bit screwy and writing has been difficult, but finally, I can "feel" my voice again. I'm not fighting to find it. I am fighting to find structure in this final synopsis. It's just all over the place, and I'd love to fling it at my editor and say, "Trust me. I'll get the story right despite this being about twenty pages of stuff in no particular arrangement." But we've always had a good working relationship and I respect her, so I'd kind of like to give her something that wouldn't be such hard work for her.

Note--Even I can see I've clearly abandoned all attempt at structure, so I'm printing the synopsis today and letting it sit for 24 hours without touching it. If this blog had sound, you'd be hearing a brittle, broken laugh. Aargh! Look at the cliches going on here! :-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Off Topic

Working hard, so finding posting difficult, and my daughter's down in school, on her own, with a bad cold. But, lucky her--she has a biology course which required them to grow a germ culture. She was able to just swab her own mouth! :-)

All right--I thought that was off-topic, but there must be a way to work it into a book. Busy, sick student, quailing at the idea of searching out a nice germ harvest...

Friday, March 2, 2007

Pesky Proprosal Procrastination

I just need to polish those babies and send them to my editor, but the Rita deadlines suddenly popped out of nowhere. (Didn't that used to come later in March?) Anyway, no proposal writing today, but lots of reading. I wish I could talk about the books. Some years bring amazing surprises. Last year, one of the books I read was in a genre I never would have chosen on my own, and it's made that author an autobuy for me, including her backlist. I love when that happens! :-)

So--back to Ritas tonight, and tomorrow I can do a little of both. I'd love to hear how other people manage their time because I don't seem to. Time just happens around here and I'm along for the ride. (Picture knees scraping on sand as hapless time-wave rider gets to shore despite herself!)

Thursday, March 1, 2007


I don't want to write. I want to listen to the thunder that's shaking the house. I should be searching for a surge protector to protect my laptop, but I just want to lie outside on the grass in the pounding rain. Talk about a massage! Unfortunately, that might provide an efficient ground for the lightning.

But isn't nature a force?

Saturday, February 24, 2007


But the week has flown by. More Internet troubles and then some time on a line edit. Now, back to proposals.

But right now, I'm listening to a guilty pleasure. Justin Timberlake's Future Sex/Love Sounds. I don't know how this has happened, but I love this CD!

Off to work with a pot of Earl Grey and my current fave music. :-)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lifelines and other dial-up things

I'm addicted to email. It's not a shock to me. I knew. Believe me, I knew, cause I leave it on, and I grin when I see a note come up from say, Karen, or Kath or Jen, or Carmen, and many others.

But for the past few days, I've been suffering Internet problems and I think I've been stranded on the non-Information-Highway tundra. Miserable. I'd think, "I need to look that up." Couldn't.

"I need to ask Amy ???" Couldn't.

"I need to see if this movie's available for watching during Insomnia Moments." Couldn't.

Our connection has risen like the Phoenix, but I have a ton of work to do so I can't swim in the lovely coursing (okay, on dial-up, meandering) byte stream!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I love a good library!

Don't get me wrong. Any library is a great library, but the one in my town is so small I've had a hard time finding something to read. (Partly, my own fault. I have a hard time just pulling a book off the shelf and reading it--as I did in my youth thereby finding many wonderful reads!)

Anywhooo, I discovered I'm also allowed to use the library in the next town and I stopped by there yesterday. I found some lovely mysteries written during the 30s/40s. I love that for the same reason I love old movies. It's like time travel. Of course we put things in movies in our time that don't have anything to do with reality, and I guess folks did the same then, but right now, because I couldn't put the Leslie Ford mysteries down after just one--I'm reading Honolulu Story and learning how much the city changed before I lived in it. I can see so many bare spaces in her narrative where buildings and people live now. And yet I see the places that her characters visit where I've been, too. Also, I'm learning something as a writer. These characters never spend time in a kitchen! :-)

And oh, yeah, the story's good, too!

I've stumbled, brain first, into a treasure chest! How will I climb out to do my own work?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Writing is a Business?

Today is kind of a work vs. fun-work day. I've had to distill TEMPORARY FATHER into twenty-five words. Okay--I cheated and got it down to twenty-six words. It's really hard to describe a story in that many words. A lot of writers start out with a blurb of around that size, and every time I have to do this, I think I should make myself begin the next story that way.

As usual, though, I'm looking into a bowl of 75,000 words, and I have to choose 25 that describe the story in a meaningful, "buy me" kind of way. That cackling you hear is me. Laughing hysterically. This is why I have a creative job. Because I can't create a story in twenty-five words.

Here are the ones I chose: Aidan Nikolas and Beth Tully have only her deeply troubled son in common. Aidan’s the man this family needs, but can he make Beth believe he’ll stay?

Oh, no--that's twenty-seven!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I've had a migraine and haven't been in the mood for either--but that's over! Had some chat last night with writer friends and came home, tearing to get at my proposals. I'm hoping to have them both ready to go by next Monday--and then, on to something completely new and different.

I've enjoyed the talk in comments about paintings being a creative spark. I find historical places the same. A friend and I are going to visit Biltmore House in Asheville, NC soon and I cannot wait. I have never left there without an Edwardian-set story begging to get out of my head and onto paper. At last, new timeframes are opening with houses, so maybe now's the time to let that story come.

What sparks a new idea for you? I mean, what's your surefire spark?