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?