Friday, June 30, 2006

In Search of the Fiction Fairy: More Than Words

In Search of the Fiction Fairy: More Than Words

Do you know a real-life heroine? Nominate her for the Harlequin More Than Words award (The nomination deadline for the 2007 book is fast approaching on August 4)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's Official

My golf book might not have much hope with cousin-in-law (from England) confirmed golf is for the over 40 set there. My cousin described it as..."remember when Foghorn Leghorn would dress up for golf? That's the golfers, except they aren't chickens."

I knew EXACTLY what she meant. I have something of a secret Foghorn Leghorn obsession. Do you think she remembers that? I mean, she ran away to England to get married after college (not exactly, but that sounds so romantic, that's how I tell it)...she can't possible remember...right?

Or maybe she's seen my keychain. Anyway, I can't find the picture, but it seems golf is not sexy in the UK. Really, they should give it a shot. There are some super-cute new fashion lines devoted to golfing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Foggy Brain

Well...I got 1 review done. That's something.

I have the foggiest brain right now. More than my usual distractedness. It makes it hard to do much of anything...

Did take the boys to a juggler show today...had me can I make a juggler sexy and hero-worthy? Can I? It's not inherently macho. Maybe the heroine?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'm a list maker. If it is on the list, the odds of something getting accomplished - or picked up at he grocery store - multiplies. Just look at the good the list of docs to call did me? So, let's see if this list gets some more work done.
  1. book reviews (2 due)
  2. edit The Girl for MX
  3. finish Drive for MX
  4. revisit If You Say So...

And about the personal stuff...

  1. Schedule follow up for naturopath
  2. goodie bags for boys birthday party
  3. order pizzas for the party
  4. clean the house for the folks visit

Monday, June 26, 2006

I can't write a synopsis

This is getting to be a major issue for me. Heck, it is THE major issue in my writing career at the moment. My editor is a synopsis lover, and I am synopsis deficient. Truly, I am missing the syno gene.

Today I got the rejection for If You Say So. The comments were fantastic - in showing me what was missing from the synopsis. Too bad the issues aren't in the book as well.

When I write a syno, I fall on the plot crutch. What happens, and then what happens next. But that seems to leave large holes in the parts that matter - the conflict, backstory, motivations. I've tried so many methods to syno - GMC, point summary, chapter outlines - but it is not sinking in. I need a worksheet to fill out. What is your black moment? Your hero's motivation? Major conflicts? My synos tend to be all external motivation, making my stories seem surface in syno.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Best of Intentions

I haven't written squat. Took the boys to the coast yesterday and planned to use my Alphie during the drive...not on those winding roads! Did tour a lighthouse, creamery, tidepools, beach, octopus tree, hike, have a lovely pizza dinner (Teriyaki Chicken, yum!) and of course ice cream to round out the day (German Chocolate Cake, yum!)

Great time and a sun burn had by all. Came home to find the package that was supposed to be delivered two days ago was not my advance check (darn), but my line edits! OK. I am so new, I love line edits. Which I need to get to right now :) It is fun to see how your story was and was not changed in the editing process.

Do far, there is a change from left coast to West coast. Too bad. I meant the left coast (left wing politics more prevalent in Oregon and Washington) but I guess that would be confusing in the UK. Heck, it's probably confusing outside the PNW!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Back in the saddle!

Did anyone know golf is not sexy in the UK? I is HUGE here. If I had $$ to bet, I'd wager on HQ using golf as a follow up to its NASCAR trend - no jokin'. But, I have my work cut out for me to make MX love my golf story...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

No Water For Me?!?

I drink water like the planet is going dry. For one of the tests I have to limit my water intake to 24 ounces a day...I drink that before breakfast. I usually look at most things as having book potential, but as much as I like to torture my characters, I won't be doing THIS!

Another rant...I hate to drive, especially in traffic, and in downtown one-way streets. I have no sense of direction and trouble paying attention. Not a good combo when driving. I had to go downtown for bloodwork, and tomorrow to don't want to know.

On the plus side, I bet when this is over I could write a Medical.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Doctors and the like...

One doctor lab test tomorrow...and three doctors on Monday. I should know something in a few weeks. I do have adrenal fatigue, but it's my naturopath's impression that is a result of being in pain for two years. I am so ready for some answers.

And for this headache to go away so I can get back to writing... and editing. I think The Girl She Used to Be is ready to go...but I always find that no matter how polished I get a manuscript, if I step away from it I can make it better when I pick it up again. But not with this attitude. No way.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reining it in

I think I am a human idea generator, an honest-to-goodness plot genie. I get TONS of ideas for stories, all the time. Well, mainly standing in front of the chapter 4 hurdle. I race through the first the chapters than hit a dead stop on chapter 4. For years, I never finished a chapter 4. Why? Not writers BLOCK really, more like writers SPINS.

Writing opens my creative floodgates and stories hurdle themselves at me, knocking me off my well intentioned path. The headaches don't help either. While trying to write chapter 4 of Drive Me Crazy (FYI - do NOT use that as a working title) I've edited and submitted another novel, thought up a series and wrote out blurbs for a dozen of them, flung 2 more partials at my editor, and written two short stories. I am the postergirl for making your ADD work for you.

Luckily the editor got dizzy and decided to call and chat me up about working one project at a time, or at most two. I think she offered that as a compromise. Good thing to, because with headaches I can edit, but writing is near impossible.

I need to call and make some doctor appointments. This is getting ridiculous.
  • Naturopath - headaches
  • Dentist - cleaning
  • Optomitrist - new contacts
  • Physician - referral to headache specialist

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Name Game

Which names in stories resonate with you? I remember so few. Dash from Dash of Temptation, Ryan from Her Sexiest Mistake, Lennon from One Night Man...and that's about it. I put so much effort and worry into naming characters, but I think that my be my issue.

Sitting at my sister-in-law's graduation yesterday I heard some GREAT names, and wanted to make a list, right there and then. Alas, no pen. I was unprepared. (Pen was in the toy bag DH took with him when this god of a man took the kids to play during the ceremony. They played in a graveyard, but I digress.

What is a name to you? Does it matter, or will most anything do as long as it rolls off the tongue and is easy to read? Well, and creates positive images. I doubt Feety McStinkin works for anyone.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mid-year rejection totals

News from the glutton -- what militant submissions gets you:

Short stories
Submissions -- 31
Rejections -- 15
Acceptances -- 2 (eHarlequin & Coffee Time Romance)

Submissions -- 34 (contests, agents, & publishers)
Rejections -- 16
Requests/ Finals -- 6 (3 agents, 2 contests, 1 publisher)
Acceptances -- 2 (Greyhaus Literary Agency, M&B)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

June Workshops and Q&A's

I just found these today...I thought this was going to be a dry month!

6/13-18 :: Character Profiling with Ronda Thompson :: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS AND SHOULD ASK!
6/18 - 24 :: BUZZ YOUR BOOK WORKSHOP with Marianne Mancusi

• SPICE Q&A: "Weaving Strengths: Plot and Sexuality" with MJ Rose -- June 19-23
• June 12-16: "Why Do Women Want Marriage?" with Ann Roth. Come discuss marriage, romance and today's woman with a very interestedHarlequin American author!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Do I KNOW You??

I think I've realized why I've been putting off Drive Me Crazy. Yes, there is the headaches and the pain-killer induced fuzzy brain. But it's more than that. I think all that studying up on the writing process sunk in a bit.

I start all my stories with a concept. Great. But I spend a lot of time fine-tuning my characters motivations in revisions. My writing is fine, story is fine, but my editors have to help me focus the motivations. I have a GMC set-up for Drive Me Crazy, and necesary backstory...but now I'm thinking about changing all of that. (Drive, for those just jumping on this blog, is my Fun girl teaches Bad Boy new tricks book)

I've been pondering Tisa especially. What is her deal...should she have sisters or brothers? This was an entire stationary bike session for me, weighing the pros and cons of her family life. I thought she'd been married before in her late teens, then divorced before college. Something to do with an unexpected pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. But that is the easy road. Yes, it would work for her motivation not to want to get serious with anyone without serious potential...if she had sisters. But, if she has brothers, good catch, hard-working, stomped on by women brothers (I have one of these, hence my pondering) and since she sees how they get their hopes up, and dashed, she vows not to do the same.

OK. Not as strong a motivation in the traditional sense...but I feel it more. Weaker GMC, but I like it better because it is not overdone.

Now Joel. Joel, Joel, Joel. He's got a double GMC...but I don't want to reveal it too early. He wears one on his sleeve, and is terrified of the other. I've already given the man one heart attack, and now it's looking like I'll have to give him two to bring that to the foreground.

I feel like I know them better, though I've left them racing towards the elephants for nearly a week. Today is not the day to get back at it either. Late naps (BigBoy graduated preschool today!! Yeah!!), and tomorrow I camp out to get BabyBoy in preschool. Gotta love first come first serve. And Friday is s-i-l to be's this weekend?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I'm a glutton. No question. Not with food right now, well, except strawberries. But my friend Gemma Halliday has assured me strawberries never made anyone fat.

I'm glutton for rejection. I'd love a string of acceptances...and that is why I submit like mad! This week I've been revising a novel and submitting short stories. I have 13 shorts and 6 poems out there for the rejecting. Plus two novels at 3 different publishers...and I am about to send off a third, to another publisher. So...that is at least 23 possible rejections.

BUT...I could also sell 23 times. Every time I submit, I think it will stick. Odd. Hasn't been my experience, but the gambler in me keeps me at it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mind Over Muffins

I'm dieting...again. I'm thinking of making a short story anthology about the same woman, as she tries every diet ever. This time I'm a combo dieter. A little Dr. Phil (which worked like a charm before I was on drugs.),a little 3-Hour Diet, a little Pocket Diet, a little Apples & Pears. We'll see. I'm giving this 30 days...and if my boobs still don't fit into my bridesmaid dress, I'm getting a trainer and hitting the Hoodia.

Thank goodness Drive Me Crazy is an outdoors book...I could never diet if I was writing another food book like Cooking Up A Storm.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sometimes I think I am a little too aware of my own psychopathology. I only got 200 or so words farther on DRIVE ME CRAZY yesterday, and I have some great excuses:
  1. There was a submissions snafu with a short story publisher I've been trying to break into. Followed by two more rejections. That's enough to send anyone clamoring for the Goo Goo Cluster ice cream.
  2. I had a terrible headache. Not enough to send me to the hospital, but enough to make me a space cadet from the pain medication.
  3. I hate to set writing aside for another project. Huh? I'm not sure which story my editor wants first... one of the finished ones or this idea. I did hear from her though...Come For Dinner will be titled COOKING UP A STORM. Me likee!

I wonder if I can convince Hubba Bubba to let me lock myself in a room this weekend and get over myself!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I didn't write at all yesterday. I was darned tired and thought I'd try the Edison trick. Fall asleep with a pencil in your hand & when it drops you'll wake up. I was more tired than that I guess. I slept the whole hour my babes napped.

But there is still my evening write, right? Nope. Hubba-Bubba got home at a reasonable hour and we had a fantastic dinner (my lasagna was superb, if I do say so myself) with his dad and my brother. Hubba-Bubba went to run his folks to the station so they could catch the train to the airport...and then had to go to another town to find his dad's wallet, and then since they missed the train, drive them to the airport. Considering, he made record time getting there and back. Still, it left no writing time. None.

I need to screw my head on straight.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

And I'm OFF

Offline that is :) I'm stepping away from my internet procrastination device. A while back we were chatting on eHQ about how much time we spend on the internet -- researching, email, forums, and the like. I didn't see any problem then...but now...egad. I waste too much time! So, I'm going to limit myself to an hour a day until Drive Me Crazy is drafted. If that's not incentive, I don't know what else to try...chocolate maybe?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How's the writing coming?

Do I ever hate that question. Well, actually I don't usually. I take it as an opportunity to discuss something non-child related and run with that ball! But...DRIVE ME CRAZY is driving me crazy!! And so, tomorrow I am taking a day to drive - yep, in a car - to see my folks and see if time AWAY from the keyboard makes my heart grow fonder.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Cruise Control by Sarah Mayberry

Cruise Control Facing your own mortality can do crazy things to a girl. Anna Jackson wants to grab life with both hands and take it for a ride, she's tired of treading water and wants to ride the waves. Anna turns her life on its ear - quitting her job as a lawyer in favor of starting her own limousine service, cropping her hair and bleaching it platinum blonde, and oh yeah, deciding to have an illicit fling.

The first time Marc Lewis rides in her car, she writes him off as arrogant and cold. He might look like dream fling material, but she had no time for jerks, even if they did spike her temperature and jumpstart her lethargic libido. The next time she's hired to drive the sexy entrepreneur to a meeting, she realizes her assumptions about him were all wrong. When they give in to their mutual attraction in the parking garage - both are stunned at the intensity of their joining.

A chance encounter at an art gallery finds them sneaking into an empty office and endulging their desires, again walking away without a word. Forcing herself to live by her new rules, Anna goes to Marc and proposings a no-strings-attached fling. They seal the deal on his hardwood floor. Thinking they'll burn the attraction out quickly, they're both surprise to find their need for one another increasing, and spending a holiday in Bali.

The intimacy of vacationing leads Anna to realize she's not having a fling, she's fallen in love with Marc, and she suspects he feels the same. Instead of relishing the idea, Anna panics. Her cancer has only been in remission for a year, she can't be tied down yet with so much she still wants to do, and more than that, if the cancer returns she doesn't want to put Marc through the loss.

Parasailing, scuba diving, bungee jumping and a new motorcycle help her keep her distance , until and accident brings everything crashing down. Sarah Mayberry has a warm and natural voice thar spins a fast past, athletically erotic tale full of beautiful views and witty humor. The Australian and Asian setting provide an elegant backdrop and the phrasing adds flavor to the story. (FYI...abbatoir is a slaughterhouse). I loved the way the characters opened up slowly to the reader and each other.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Finding Home by Marie Ferrarella

Finding Home What if you had a quarter million dollars to spend on anything you wanted? Not what your husband or children wanted, but you. After an unexpected inheritence from her uncle, Stacey Sommers is forced to do something she hasn't done in 26 years -- put her own wants first.

What she wants isn't new or different, it's to take what she has and make it better. If only her husband looked at remodeling their home that way. Set in his ways and frugal, he can't bear the thought of spending that much money to fix what isn't broken. But Stacey is tired of fixing with a band-aid things that need major surgery. Though the renovations walls come down, both in the house, and in a marriage taken for granted. When they let the light in, both realize what they have is worth holding on to.

This book has the most sensual love scene I've ever read. Not sex or erotic titilation, but making love in words. Absolutely brilliant. The scene was so filled with yearning and depth I had tears in my eyes. Most of the book the couple is straining to be needed, appreciated, heard so when the two finally come together it is conveyed so much pent up need and promise you'll re-read the scene. At least twice. If you've ever wondered how to write a love scene, this is how it should be done.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I love the my cyber friends!

My Romance Diva's writing pal Amanda Brice blogged about Just One Spark. "Ms. Bayley-Burke's print debut is touching and emotional and you root for the couple the entire time." Isn't she great!

Ceri listed the info on all the Diva's summer releases on her blog.

And Tisa, one of my 100 Book Challenge buddies, blogged me there.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Follow Me Home

CoffeTime Romance published one of my short stories on their site. Read Follow Me Home. Determined to find out just what her husband has been up to in the days since he left, Brenna follows him from work to a bar. Inside she realizes their problems have to do with them, not someone else. Can Brenna convince him to work through their issues and follow her home?

(You have to click an 'over 18' link, but my story is as sweet as they come.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Who likes a bad boy

I'm starting Drive Me Crazy today...and I have a confession. While my writing buds extol t he virtues of Nathan Fillion and Heath Ledger...I'm in love with Johhny Knoxville. I know. I know! But I promise, I'll keep Joel a bit cleaner. But that DO I put that into words?

And then there was Tisa

I think.

Spreading the review love around

I subbed two book reviews to All Romance Writers and my review for Flying Lessons got posted!I I loved that book, so it makes me happy. Plus...I'm not online today. Unless I get 2K in first.