Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Month in Review

Ah, January. You know, I wish I could say I'd do it all over again, but really, I am ready to move on.

Highlight reel ::
  • Freakish snowstorm shut down the city for a week. Great that the kids could build a snowfort and sled in their own yard, not great that they were home from school and stole me from my writing groove.
  • Took the kids to the pizza place with the indoor playground three times. Yeah, let's skip that in February, shall we?
  • Evil eye was back, so spent lots of time visiting with my eye doctor and wearing the glasses I loathe.
  • We had a nasty stomach flu that was shared by the entire family. This really puts a damper on the writing mood. I mean, who can think fun, flirty, sexy while smelling....just forgeddaboudit!
  • Double rejection from the lovvely editor. Truly, if that ever happens again it will be too soon.
  • On the plus side, I had two short stories come out from Wild Rose Press, Just One Spark was on the shelves in Australia, BabyBoy started a tumbling class that is beyond adorable, and my baby brother babysat twice and cleaned my microwave both times!
Next month looks good as long as the groundhog sees his shadow. Dreams & Desires comes out, I have my first book signing, I'm doing a workshop at a writing retreat, and I have two more shorts coming from WRP. Here's hoping I hammer out a book idea with the editor and make some progress on it!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Portion Control

Ever feel like you're aiming too high and expecting too much of yourself? I mean, there are only so many hours in a day and dollars in my husband's

I still want it all. But, I'm releasing myself from the timeline. I seriously freaked out at this last rejection. It likely means I won't have a book out with M&B in 2007. A crimp in my career, but not the end. It's all about perspective. That hunk of watermelon would seem small for a family...but too much for a wee one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Not again!

Let's start on something fresh. That's the word from my lovely editor. On one hand I am grateful that she won't let me put out anything less than her idea of perfection, but in the other hand is a bunch of you know what.

So, I've been trading water, waiting on the word, and now that I have it I know I need to move on, but I think I'll allow a day of mourning. So long, Cinderella.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You know what my problem is?

The very thing that draws me to romance novels, is what makes it so difficult for me to write them. I am all about the happy ending. Kissy-kissy, smoochy-smoochy, hearts-and-flowers kind of marshmallowy goodness. And then I have to pull it all apart.

I have 3 novels going at once for this very reason. One is nicely plotted and seems great on paper - but I can't find a way back from the black moment I planned. Oh, I have one, but my heroine would not forgive him, she's just to stubborn and prideful, so I worry....and then another has half that conflict and angst and I wonder if the black moment there will just be a passing cloud? The third has no plot, no arc, just a single scene between two sisters.

Starting seems to be the hardest part of writing for me. I know the whole Butt In Chair principle, yet my mind wanders. I love these people. I don't want to put them through the bickering and nastiness, even if they are better for it in the end. And yet, I must.

Tomorrow I will pick one and stick with it all the way to chapter 3. Maybe by getting into the story I will layer in a way so that reaching the dark place isn't so tragic for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated..and other lies

Everywhere you look, it's award season. Film, music, theater...and romance novels. And I'm not just talking about the contests authors pay for the chance to have their book read. All About Romance, eHarlequin & CataRomance are all organizing their nominations as I type.

I've been lucky enough to see my books pop up in a few places (eHQ's Fave Steamy, Cata's fave New), but I do people go about winning these things? Being brought up with a house full of sports minded brothers, I am a bit to win-win-win focused. There are hundreds of books not even mentioned. Still...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Would you look at that!

My book made it onto the shelves on the other side of the world! Thanks Laura, for snapping the pic and emailing it to me!
And thanks all for the printer condolences. The blasted thing is kinda working now, as long as you don't mind the top half of your document on one sheet and the bottom half on another!
As part of the Pink Heart Diet Club I must weight in and report another pound lost. Just one. Not bad, but since I've actually worked out the last three days in a row, I wanted more. Probably shouldn't have had the apple crostada and vanilla ice cream at my in-laws last night, but hey, the woman can bake!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

How do I set a laser printer to stun?

You know...I just can't afford this. Truly. My writing obesession hasn't broke even yet...but will as soon as I sell the next book to M&B. I am this close to moving from hobby writer using her grocery money to actual writer paying for her own stamps. And what happens? The danged printer decides it no longer wants to feed paper a page at a time. Joy. The printer that I bought because printing the full of Just One Spark melted the old one. THAT printer. I only just paid Hubba Bubba back for it.

Now...Sweat It Out has a very optimistic heroine (she has to be, I burned down her house and drained her bank account before the book even started) and she would say that the printer going wonky is a sign that things will go right with M&B for the Cinderella book. I emailed that in, so my printing capabilities have no bearing on my work there. Here's hoping Pepper knows what she's talking about! The heroine in Drive Me Crazy would shake her head, say "Your screwed" and offer an old printer hanging out in her garage. These are the people with whom I'm hanging out. Here's hoping getting to know one of them results in some cash flow! I need to support my book buying habit!

Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm writing another romance novel and hoping for the best!

Pardon me, but I'm having an out of money moment, wondering if I should step off the gas on my romance writing and crank out some recipes and articles or pick up some merchandising work so we can buy a new TV (ours has the lovely habit of turning itself off. Constantly.)

It's hard to be a SAHM. You know your providing a valuable service to your family, but when you're paid in dirty diapers and laundry, it's hard to keep that in mind. Especially when paying those student loan bills each month. I'd read enough on the subject to know that by choosing to stay home I was turning my back on about a million dollars of earning potential. (Really!) So when I found these nifty calculators, I knew I had to share.

If you're thinking of taking on a second job, check the numbers with this calcualtor to see how much you'll actually bring home. Then, try this calculator (click on the Should my Spouse Work Too) to see if it's worth it. Mothers & More talks about some sacrifices (retirement savings, Social Security benefits, training) Mom's make without realizing it when then step out of the workforce.

It's kind of depressing, isn't it? Especially in light of all the advice we got in college to find your passion, do what you love and the money will follow. If you love raising your kids (dirty diapers on a 3 year old non-withstanding), how can you afford a new TV? I don't have the answer, but I do know I love reading and writing almost as much as I love watching my kids swim in a pillow ocean I'll have to clean up later. So, I'm writing another romance novel and hoping for the best!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


That Trish Wylie is a slave driver. I know she has a riding crop, and I'm betting she knows how to use it if those of us who promised to Finish the Damn Book with the Pink Heart Society don't actually write a book this year!

I'm in serious need of a kick in the pants...since I've been on writing vacation for a month now! So, FinDaBoo it is!

I'll even follow the FinDaBoo steps:

What :: A fun & flirty MX
Where :: In my bedroom/office
When :: Naptimes & after the babes are in bed
Who :: I have a CP who is up to her curly hair in a romantic suspense, so she'll read this as I had better make it good. She's gone sci-fi so she deserves a light, sexy read as a break.
Why :: I write what I want to read. I've been down on myself because of my latest string of rejections, but I need to keep in mind that I write for me. Hopefully that old adage (and book) do what you love and the money will follow comes true this year. Otherwise...I won't be able to afford my book addiction!

Want to join in? Ally Blake is posting her tips on Saturday. Who else is on board? Bronwen, Sue, and many more who don't waste time on blogs. Smart chicks. Need help? Ally is doing a Between the Sheets workshop on her blog. Me? Yeah, I have a synopsis that squeaked by the long as I include pole dancing in chapter one.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Falling Off...

I forgot to post that I was being chatted up! geesh. The things that happen when I get a stomach bug.

Amanda did an interview, and Idea Boutique asked about Just One Spark.

That's business. The REAL cheese is that it snowed today! 4 inches! That NEVER happens here. The kids built a snow fort. OK. So Hubba Bubba and Neighbor Guy built it, but it's great! BigBoy wanted to have dinner in there...and Neighbor Gal was trying to get rid of leftover birthday I am up for mother of the year. My kid ate chocolate cake for dinner, outside, with his hands, surrounded by walls of snow. Hey, he thinks I'm great!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekly Weigh In

I'm not sure if this counts...I spent the night throwing up. Still...I am glad to have lost another 3 pounds no matter how I did it.

Last week I did the exercise bike twice and went roller skating once. Intended to do more, but then the kids got the pukes...then gave it to Hubba Bubba...then gave it to me. We love to share.

This week I want to work in some yoga. It's hard to relax when the kids are hanging on my downward dog, even worse when they climb me in exalted warrior...but I will press on!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And still...

I haven't started the new book.

Phew, it feels good to get that out there. I have lots of good excuses - the boys have been sick, the house is a wreck, HubbaBubba worked late every good reasons though. Especially since my brother came and watched my boys tonight AND managed to clean my house. Yeah, I need to make him move in! He's a wonder!

The book hasn't gelled yet. There is still something not working. I have it plotted out in my mind...but it's not there yet. Usually this doesn't stop me, but I want 2007 to have half the number of rejections of 2006. The only way to do that is to either not submit or write stories I think my editor will snag. Given my submission addiction, I'm betting on the lovely editor.

Harumph. Isn't this supposed to be easy? Every non-writer thinks so...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Readers Choice!

What was your favorite Harelquin/Silhouette/Mills & Boon title of 2006? Make your nominations now!

I love having a part in the process. I still think of myself more as a reader than a writer (not sure when the transition will finally take hold), so I like seeing which books touched people. That's why I do the eHQ 100 Book Challenge - I like to see what people are reading!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Writers' Diet Club

Last week at The Pink Heart Society we started up a Writers' Diet Club to banish writers butt. Now, because of this...I must publically weigh in! Really, this is as bad as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. I thought I was so good, losing FIVE pounds and all, since I only exercised once and had a pizza day. But NO! Natasha had to go and shrink SEVEN pounds without logging any miles on her exercise bike the way I did. Trish shed FOUR, all of them hard earned. She's researching weight loss like she does her books!

I chose a hula dancer for my ticker as inspiration...but since I have so much to lose it makes the BMI tracker look wonky.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Take Some Time And Get To Know Your Characters

This was my takeway from my last chat with the lovely editor. She knew I would be starting a book before she had a chance to read my latest attempt, so we were talking in generalizations about what bit of advice she wished all authors would take to heart, and that was it. Get to know your characters.

Fiona Lowe called to dish today and she hammered the point home, reminding me to make sure the characters get to know each other. Don't rely on secondary characters too much or your story looses oomph. My word, not hers.

I feel prepared to start the new story tomorrow, but since talking with Fiona I did some more getting to know your character stuff...took myself on a tour of Henry's house. I can even peak in his medicine cabinet!!! I did the worksheets from First Draft in 30, as well as my own method...Point and Click character development. Just think...tomorrow I have to put up 2 tickers. One to start out Redesigning Henry, and another for PHS's Writers Weight Loss Group. (groan).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Double Debut!

I love the challenge of a short story. I am so thankful The Wild Rose Press celebrates the medium, giving those of us pressed for time a smile and a bounce to our step.

The love after loss story, How About Tomorrow, is the first Rosette I contracted with WRP. My writing friends at Romance Divas helped me tweak it until it was just right...and then Leeane fixed that to perfection.

Jack hasn’t been out on a date since his wife’s death five years ago. Even his teenage daughter thinks it’s time he finally go on a blind date brokered by his sister-in-law. Jack’s unsure, until he meets Maria. She’s as timid as he is at first, but the more they talk the more they realize they should see each other again, and again.

My English Tea Rose, In Silhouette, was so exciting to write. I work mainly in contemporary romance, so stretching into Regency was difficult, but rewarding! I dedicated this story to American Title II finalist Suzan Hyssen. She writes intelligent, comedic Regency romances, when she is not busy with law school.

James Darby is bored by the ennui of country life, fervidly anticipating his return to London. When he spies Miss Hughes entertaining herself by cutting silhouettes at a party he’s captivated by her talent, and charm. How can someone so fascinating survive in a place so tedious?

In February, another of my stories will appear in the Dreams & Desires charity anthology. Keep a look out for my Last Rose of Summer Rosettes...they are coming soon!

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Draft in 30

Any minute now, Pink Heart Society is going to launch FinDaBoo...or Finish the Damn Book. It's making me look back on my writing process, or lack there of, and see where I can improve.

Cooking Up A Storm was written with the First Draft in 30 plan, which by the end of the draft got painful. My poor CP was on cheerleader patrol for the last week. But, the book was very tight, something that I admire in others work. So, I am trying it again, but modifying it. For health reasons I am not up to writing, but plotting and research can be done in spurts, so it is the perfect timing for taking another crack at the method.

So far, I've found a lot more conflict than I originally presented to the lovely editor, so she'll be ecstatic about that. AND I am ahead of schedule! I did the first week in 5 days!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Another hope bites the dust

Another rejection...but at least it is not Mills & Boon. I had high hopes for the single title, but the publisher decided to go another way.

Rejection is par for the course with writing, so I'm learning to take it in stride. Kind of. I still had some chocolate.

And the diet? Did right well until dinner. My brother is in town and I made a casserole we used to have as kids, and ate way too much of it. Better luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I blew the diet

Already? Yes, sadly. It's been raining and the boys have cabin fever and taking them somewhere with an indoor playground became a necesity and they had pizza and I crumbled.

To say nothing of the cheesy enchiladas and coconut cream pie my brother served up last night at the dinner to celebrate their buying their first house! So, live a little I guess. And eat celery tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Energy? My kids stole it!

Too tired to do much today. Not sure why. Could be the junk food detox. Could be the back pain. Could be the headache. All three of which will be cured by eating better and losing the extra person worth of chub I'm currently rocking.

On the book front...Pepper has ADD...Henry has a freakish memory...and I am dreading doing yoga.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Day 1

Well...the new year started and so did my diet and my new book. Well...the diet went great until my mother-in-law made balck and white cheesecake. Oh my, so good. My father-in-law greeted me with a brandy alexander. These are definately the kind of in-laws to have. Unless you are trying to lose weight!

And the book...I decided what I want to write next (the smoker book) and worked up a character chart for the heroine.

Before you think I was slacking the day away...I went to 3 grocery stores, had a serious chat with HubbaBubba about our lack of funds, exercised (really), brother bought a house! I can't wait to see it. 4 bedrooms. Someday....