Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fear is a learned response

You're not born with it. You're born with the capacity to feel it.

If I were dropped in a vat of poisonous snakes when I was a toddler, and none of them harmed me, I wouldn't be scared of snakes.
But having gone to a lake at a very young age and having a snake swim toward me with my grandmother yelling and my mother freaking out and leaving me...THAT would cause the fear trigger. I'm not phobic by any means. I can look at them. I can pet them at the zoo. But I LOATHE them outside a cage.

Fear is a good thing.
Fear can keep us from experiencing something potentially harmful. I don't plan on jumping off a twenty story building. I don't plan on swimming with the sharks. And if you ever see me in the Amazon, just shoot me. Because I've obviously lost my mental faculties.

But fear is also debilitating.
It can be harmful to the point of permanently making us handicapped. If I'm afraid to check my mail, because God forbid, it's full of rejection letters, then I have issues. And fear can choke out hope with a snarl and a bite.

Fear, like any emotion, deserves its only special place in our lives. If you can use it to grow as a person, then do. But if it consistently sucks the life out of you or weakens your motivation, then get rid of it!

But I'm serious about the Amazon thing.

Friday, April 28, 2006


I've just gotten the BEST NEWS!

My Time Travel Romance, Perfect Timing, is the #1 bestseller for Whiskey Creek Press for the month of May!!! Okay, you know, the month of April. But it will be listed on the homepage ALL month long as #1!

It's received rave reviews, is a Recommended Read, and was nominated for a CAPA award.

And now it's #1! WOO!
Please check it out in May at Whiskey Creek Press.
Thanks for letting me share!


addendum: I'm leaving this post up for Sunday, also. For two reasons. One--I like it so damn much. And two--I NEED to finish my latest manuscript.
Back on Monday. You know, the day when Perfect Timing will officially be on the Whiskey Creek Press homepage as #1. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A day in the life

Busy today. Busy again tomorrow. May not have time to blog. So here I am.
Have to FEED the NEED, folks. *grins*

Had my interview today. I'm not saying where. Heaven forbid. But I will say it's part-time and deals with books. Ahhhhhhhh bliss. It would utterly make my day to get this job.
Then I picked up chickens. Made dinner. Then I called Mom. Because my grandma is flying in tonight. She's needing someone with her all the time, so Mom volunteered to take care of her. Mom is a tad bit stressed.
Then we went to the skating rink because the kids had a PTO event going on. And they LOVED it. It was closed to everyone but them. Let the good times roll!

And tomorrow will be busier than nine kinds of hell. And my naughty alter ego, C'ann, is supposed to be chatting tomorrow about our Spring Flings book. *sigh* Don't you wish you could be two places at once?
So I'll be hustling and bustling. Inhaling the Diet Pepsi.
Hope everyone has a great Friday--and an excellent weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Up in arms

I don't get out enough. Obviously.

I receive my news from blogs and online loops. And here are the top two stories of the week:

1. Miss Snark "outs" a query letter that actually NAMES the submitter and then proceeds to rip her apart. Oh, and invite others to do the same. While the letter may have been unprofessional, Miss Snark's behavior is obviously the same. Maybe she could have changed a few names or loosened the straps on her stilettos.

2. A new term emerges--"internalizing". This has somehow become the buzzword for PLAGIARIZING. Let's just call the damn thing what it is.
If you have taken another person's work and changed two adjectives and one noun in the passage, you are a CRIMINAL! Go to jail. Do not pass GO. Hie thee ass away, and don't you DARE do it again. It's a shooting offense, in my opinion.

Professionalism, people. Look it up. Practice it. And for God's sake! Be an adult. It shouldn't take a village.

Butt in chair *cracking whip*

Here I sit. Blogging.

While my heroine has her hands on her hips wondering what in the hell I'm waiting for. Good question.
I'm about 55,000 words. I plan on making my May 4th deadline. Even though I have a job interview tomorrow for a part-time job. More on that if I get the job. *fingers crossed* It would be PERFECT. Therefore, I'm not getting too excited. Ya know.
I want the book to be around 70,000 words. And I have the ending. ALL of it. And I really feel like just plowing ahead and writing it. And then filling in that time between now and then. But I NEVER write out of order. Sure, I'll jot down ideas and such. But I don't type out of order.
Then again, I've never written a 70,000 word book in a month, either. I guess there are firsts for everything.
I'm afraid it'll be uneven. That's my worst fear. Smooth. Smooth. Smooth. Bump. Smooth. Smooth. I do NOT want to take the reader out of the story. So I'm seriously wrestling with this.
Yeah. Yeah. I hear ya.
Gotta go. The heroine is becoming impatient. Heifer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's that time again

I like spring showers. And heaven knows we need the rain here. But I am not particularly fond of turning on the television and watching a tornado form right before my eyes. But that's how I spent a couple of hours last night.

I watch the local NBC news here. They have great coverage. They have a chopper pilot in the air, and some lunatic (the lovable David Payne, for you Okies) on the ground. And the pilot (Jim) swings around on one side of the tornado. And then you have David on the ground, excited as all hell, because a tornado has just hit the ground. And you can see it!!!
I kid you not. The thing formed right before the viewers' eyes. And David is about 150 yards away from it. They are in the van, on the road, and have to stop so the tornado can cross!
Jim actually has them on tape in the background of the tornado. Oh. My. God.
I have been educated to say the least. Let me throw around some cyclonic terms.
We had an anti-cyclonic tornado last night. Rare they are. One in every hundred, I believe. There's updraft. Feeding. Inflow. All kinds of things. But I have to admit, watching it form was incredible.
This one didn't harm anybody, though it tore the hell out of an airport hanger. And I think it reached F2 standards. Winds of 150 and whatnot.
North of the city was hit hard. Baseball size hail. Ninety mile per hour winds. We got rain. But nothing above and beyond. So we'll see what this storm season brings.

A little sidenote on David Payne. I absolutely adore him. He is funny as all hell. If you catch the morning news here, you will laugh your ass off. Witty. Self-deprecating. Adorable.
What more could you want in a crazy weather watcher?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Plans for the day

Hi everyone!

I'm at a little over 50,000 on OEE. WOO! I believe I'll make the deadline for myself. That's all good. That way I can self-edit and send the puppy off at the beginning of May.

And I need to add a lot more links to my sidebar. I mean, really! There are so many good blogs out there. So I'll have to take some time, um, when I HAVE time, and hook that up. No word on when that will be.

So that's it. I'll be writing. Huh. Maybe I should have titled this post, "Same ol', Same ol'." hehehe


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Short and sweet

I'm, alas, not speaking of myself. *snort*

Pick up a TV Guide. I know they're two dollars. (Does anyone remember them being around .79 cents?) But it's a good tool to study. Why, you ask? Because the trusty guide narrows down any movie or show to the meat of the matter. The bare facts, so to speak.

Blast from the Past--A naive man raised in a bomb shelter ventures into the world for the first time and finds love.
9 to 5--Female employees get even with their chauvinistic boss.
Ocean's Twelve--Thieves go on a crime spree to repay a casino owner.
Four Weddings and a Funeral--Tale of the romance between a shy Brit and an uninhibited Yank.

Do you see what I'm saying? Here's the hook! Here is the basic plot of the entire movie. In one or two sentences!
It's not a blurb. It's not a synopsis. It is the heart of the piece. And this is what we need as writers at the very beginning. Before the layers. Before the characters quirks. Before anything. And readers need to be able to pick this out, as well. If the story is a major mass of tangling threads, then there's a problem. Because the essence of the story is lost.

So boil it down. Examine your basic idea. And then build on it. But always make sure your base is steady before you begin to stack on top of it. Or it'll all come tumbling down.

Anywhere but here

Horoscope of the day:
You aren't particularly interested in taking orders today; you want to be treated as an equal and anyone's slightest display of dominance may be met with a strong response. It's healthy to stand up for yourself, but don't push back so hard that needless conflict erupts. Temper your responses for the sake of peace.

Let me translate this. I am in rare form today. VERY cranky. VERY irritable. And so I have warned those in the house not to communicate with me whatsoever. At the risk of getting their heads bit off.
Why? It could have to do with the fact that the chickens are lazy beyond belief this weekend. They'd rather park their collective asses in front of the television and DO NOTHING. Not their chores. Not their dishes. NOTHING. And there are simply days that I get tired of riding their butts about doing what they're supposed to be doing.
Could be hormonal. Can you hear my ovaries screaming over there? CAN YOU??? Okay. Maybe TMI there. And all I can say at this point in time is too damn bad.

I am going to immerse myself in my story today because damn it! I can. And I need to.
Because even though they, too, are going through hell right now, I can fix that.
I'm just going to have to ride my own issues out. With lots of chocolate.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

So you say you want to be a writer...

Hi everyone!
I'll be immersed in my latest manuscript today. I'm about 43,000 words in. 27,000 or so more to go. And I want to finish this NO LATER than May 4th. Give or take four days. That's my internal deadline.
So...I've decided to put a couple of sentences of the start of a book on here. (This one has been lazing about for awhile.) It's a paranormal. Then I would like those of you who want to participate to write four or more sentences in the comment section. How would YOU continue the story? Each comment should be a take-off of the two sentences. NOT the comment before theirs. I don't want a continuing story. I want YOUR story.
I can tell pieces of your personality through your blogs or comments. But I'd like to see the personality in your writing. Voyeuristic? Why, yes. I am. *laughing*

Here it is:
Her silver wings beat frantically against the bars of the cage.
He calmly paused from reading and looked up. “You will not escape.”

Have at! Can't wait to read what y'all have written.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Second chances

You can never get a first impression back. It's an indelible item. But you do get a second chance at a lot of other things.
And second chances are valuable. It's that moment to right a wrong or try and fix a problem. To adjust in some way to make it better. Because odds blew the first chance.

Our books are filled with second chances. First loves being reunited. Another chance meeting when the characters think Fate has played a part. There's always unfinished business and the chance to make it better.
And if the characters don't know each other to begin with, one of several things may happen. 1. Instant attraction. 2. Instant loathing. 3. A wait-and-see attitude.
But then down the line, something upsets the apple cart. And that's when their second
chance(s) come(s) into play.
If the only tension or conflict you have in your book is at the beginning, then you've got a wee bit of a problem. Because conflict makes for a great story.
And I'm not talking about "You left the cap off the toothpaste" type stuff. That personally drives me bugsh*t. But I refer to something so problematic the reader is left wondering what will happen next.
You can't fix a problem in one page. And how you let your characters tackle this says a lot about them. And you.
Too much problem solving early leaves characters twiddling their thumbs. Too little means they'll cram pack the end with so much action, a reader's head will spin.
I personally don't care for the "fall into bed" solution. Well, okay. It's a pleasant one and all that. But an orgasm or two doesn't solve anything. Though it does tend to make one more pleasant.
Readers already know the ending to the book, to an extent. That's why they buy romance. But how the characters solve the problem can be as delicious as any other part of the book. It's like unrolling a ball of yarn with a hershey kiss inside. (I'll use chocolate as a prize because we can all relate to that.)
Sure, it gets knotted. And there are times you have a cluster. But when your characters are given second chances, unwind the yarn slowly. Don't be in a hurry. Don't give it a tug and let it fall apart in your hands. Slow and steady.
Because the characters' second chance can make the book a worthwhile read. If they handle it correctly. And who doesn't want the hershey kiss?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rites of Passage

Children are like books. This strikes me at the oddest times.

My oldest chicken will be thirteen this year. THIRTEEN. An official teenager.
Let me just say that I almost had a breakdown when she couldn't fit into 3T clothes anymore. I didn't understand it! How could this be? I had to buy a *gasp* 4T? WTF?
I managed this with my usual aplomb. Or something of the sort. No gory details provided.
But then it was easier for me when the other two chickens did the same. Then OC moved out of the Sesame Street clothes at K-Mart. (They only go up to 5.) I had a quick grieving period (ended last week) and have now moved on. Okay. Week before last.
OC is the pioneer of the girls. She experiences it first. Then we have the trickle-down effect. The latest Rite is shaving legs. Baby chicken will have a razor in her hot, little hands next Friday. She will be shaving her legs for the VERY first time. She's excited. I'm buying band-aids in bulk. The other two have been shaving theirs for awhile.
But this is the end of an era. There will be FOUR razors in my shower. *choke* I have to keep track of deoderant and shaving cream in multiples. Individuality, once again, reigns supreme. And Mama needs some ibuprofen.

My books are similar. The first one, I was so damn nervous that I cried when I got the contract. Everything was so new. I didn't know about editing. I didn't know about some dialogue tags. But I muddled through. I'm very proud of it, by the way. And then I finished another. And another. And somehow they weren't just MY BOOKS, they were individual products. I have characters who I sometimes can't remember their names. I remember trying to tell my Mom about The Portrait a month ago and couldn't remember the hero's name! I could remember the DOG'S name, oh sure, but not the hero's.
And the writing has grown. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own. And as much as I'm the Creator of my work, it's as individual as my children.
I wrote about a paragraph of dialogue between two characters yesterday that I had NO idea where it came from or WHO the characters where. And right before I went to bed last night, I KNEW who they were. Spooky, that.

The children and the books grow with a speed that sometimes scares the bejeezus out of me. They move through their Rites of Passage seemingly without a care or concern. But I know better. They both still need me. No matter how much the children or books THINK they know, they'll always need me to step-up as the semi-voice of reasoning and do a little guiding.
And I'm well with that. I NEED that.
Now where can I get a razor rack?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Portrait

I couldn't wait!
This is the description I sent Jinger:
Sophie stepped closer and touched the frame. It was mesmerizing. A beautiful woman emanated from a marble fountain. Her arms were outstretched, and she wore a translucent gown that flowed about her body. Her dark hair fanned out from her face and accented enormous blue eyes. Water from the fountain fell in droplets all around her. The woman’s mouth smiled benevolently, and her eyes danced. Everything else in the picture paled considerably next to the woman’s beauty.
The woman held a large, cobalt blue ball in her right hand, and a glowing white orb in her left. Her arms were decorated with various silver bracelets and charms. She had silver rings on her toes with tiny bells.
And this is the cover she created------>
Too exciting!
This will be available July 2006. More details later.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ethics, loyalty, and paranoia OH MY!

Writers are neurotic. That's all well and good. I accept it. Hell, I embrace it.

Ethics, loyalty, and paranoia are all part of this occupation.

Professional standards of conduct SHOULD be held near and dear to every author's heart. Because when these standards are pushed aside, writers lose what footing they have. And their literary aspirations will fall into a million, little pieces.

I'm a big fan of loyalty. Because I believe in giving what I've been getting. I'll stick with my e-publisher even after traditional pubs pick me up. One, because WCP believed in me. The owners are wonderful. The editing staff is amazing. And I LOVE my cover artist. She called me the other day on the phone, and I laughed my ass off. She was putting together my cover for The Portrait. We talked about it, and I told her I had another idea. I would shoot it off as soon as I got home. Needless to say, today I have a magnificent cover that fits my story perfectly. Can't wait to show it off!

Paranoia is another ball of wax. I keep my writing very close to my vest. I don't have CP's. I don't have people in my life waving flags and cheering me on. I have a few, mind you. But they like to read the finished product. Everything in-between is up to me. So I don't put my titles out anywhere until they've been contracted. I don't talk about ideas for my writing because I know damn good and well there are writers without the Ethics I mentioned above. And I won't let someone else take my idea and run with it.

I've heard people say that all the stories are told. The only difference now is in the telling. But I don't think so. I believe that there are uncharted territories and bold stories waiting to be exposed to the world. Handled ethically. With love. Breaking boundaries.
Now hand me my keyboard.

Female Archetypes

Archetype--1 : the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies : PROTOTYPE ; also : a perfect example

We are bombarded everyday with archetypes. I have a friend who tells me she can pretty much sum up anyone she meets after about five minutes with an adjective and a noun. And she's usually right.

As a writer, I'm sure I hit upon at least a few of the most dominant archetypes: The Boss
The Spunky Kid, The Crusader, The Waif, The Librarian, The Nurturer, The Seductress, The Free Spirit. And I know I have my favorites. I'm not much for The Waif, myself. Unless she's kickass in a pint-size. I've never used The Boss. Though this one has potential. It's hard for me to use The Seductress as a heroine because I usually use her as The Villain. *laughing* That damn tart!
I find myself using pieces of women I see. Or pieces of myself. I think of the Trisha Yearwood song, "Real, Live Woman." The video shows a "peepshow" of real women. Men file into this building and wait for the curtain to rise so they can look at what "REAL" women look like. Waiting tables. Doing dishes. It's a video that really has a positive message.

It's easy to take a character and make them one-dimensional. Make the heroine a Bitch. A Boss. An introvert. Or a Woman on a Mission. But give her more than that. Because we, as women, are the sum of our parts. And just because we can't give a heroine's life story, it doesn't mean she doesn't have one. She had to have walked some road to get to where she is now. So don't be afraid to use something in the story that makes her unique. Or tells something about her. Or generally makes her stand out.
Because that's what makes us Real Live Women.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The popular crowd

It's not cool to read ebooks.

When I go bloghopping (not to my usual haunts), I often find sidebars with bookcovers of books being read. And none of them are ever ebooks.
It's as if ebooks are the pariahs of the literary world.

When I go to Fictionwise and check out how my books are doing, and *God Help ME!* checking out the numbers, I find a lot of interesting information.
First, my ebooks are being read by readers who read TRADITIONAL pubbed books. My books have been purchased by people who read Debbie Macomber. Kinley MacGregor.
And I have to think WHOA! How the hell are these readers pulling this off? I don't mind electronically rubbing elbows with mainstream publishers. That doesn't matter to me.
I simply want a little respect.
When I went to the list of publishers and clicked on the names I knew published "traditionally" (paperback), I was extremely surprised to find that I had more readers rate my books than some of theirs.
I'm talking about Sil. HQN. Zebra. Mira. Red Dress Ink. Pocket. Dell. Bantam. So on and so forth.
Of course, Dan Brown rocked the house. *laughing* His numbers were off the charts, folks.
But I digress.
I'm simply saying this: A lot of people don't want to admit that epublishing is publishing. BUT IT IS.
Writeminded...God bless their collective hearts...mentioned the fact that there ARE good ebooks out there.
And I simply think that word of mouth will do wonders for this publishing venue. If you read a good ebook, PLEASE let someone know. If it inhales, do the same.
Because no matter the wrapping, a gift is a gift.

Frustration Level Exceeded

I don't deal well with frustration. I don't like rocking along and then WHAM! All of a sudden I have this roadblock going on. I become frustrated.
My ATM card chose not to work today. Irritation number one. I can fix this. A simple reset at the bank tomorrow. But it's highly inconvenient.
Children bickering. Think I'm going to make it. Tomorrow is Monday.
Then we take off for the city to go to an Easter drama. Keep in mind I'm on I-40. The busiest highway running East/West through Oklahoma. Traffic is a bitch. And my van dies.
No warning. No light. NOTHING.
So I semi-calmly pull over and put it in park. Then I restart it. Have to wait about ten minutes to even merge back in. So I decide to play it safe and pull off at the nearest gas station.
It then dies two more times. I phone Mom and tell her we're not coming.
Kids are disappointed. So I snap at them. HUSH! So we decide to take the backroads home. And the son of a bitch keeps dying.
I am seriously about to lose my mind. In fact, I'm pretty sure I verbalized the fact I was headed for a nervous breakdown.
I call AAA. Worthless bastards. We are fifty miles from home. They are NO help whatsoever.
So my best friend, in the passenger seat, offers to drive. Because I'm so f*cking stressed out, I'm getting a stress headache.
There is no damn shoulder to pull over on. When the car dies, and it did repeatedly, I had to pull over on the SOB grass. The kids are freaking at this point in time. Probably because if a strong wind came by, we would have rolled over.
So I let my best friend drive. And she did just fine. Sure, it died about five times. But we got home.

I do NOT do well with frustration. I don't mind knowing that something is frustrating ahead of time. Then I have the mindset for it. But being bombarded with shit drives me stupid. I absolutely hate it.
Frustration Level Exceeded.

I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow. We think it's just the fuel filter. Let's all hope so.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Taking the day off

From writing. I did some editing, but I didn't work on my OEE.

However, I did torture my children and make them CLEAN the house. This included: Their rooms, living room, hallway, bathroom, and kitchen. We're also washing all the sheets and blankets.
Wore my butt out.
It's amazing what can *ahem* slide when you're otherwise preoccupied. I really didn't know lemonade could mutate like that.

I bought everyone flip-flops yesterday. THAT was a big hit. So I decided to even things out and buy myself a new CD. This, to me, is second only to a new book.
I purchased NOW 21. And I absolutely love it. However, the love is lessened somewhat by the children who ALSO love it and must sing the songs at full volume at the top of their lungs. Not to mention the concerts I've now been to.
Let's see. Last night I watched two of the chickens sing "Run It" by Chris Brown and dance accordingly. Then today I listened to baby chicken sing "Because of You."
And instead of seeing Trace Adkins' tall, hunky, OMG-self while listening to "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," I now see children. This is so wrong. I'll have to deprogram myself when the kids go back to school.
You see, Mama needs her rich fantasy life. *big grin*

The chickens colored eggs. There was only a hint of bloodshed once. Too much "together time," I suppose. And now they're watching television.
Ahhhh, bliss.
And as my baby chicken told me this morning, "Happy Easter Eve."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Be afraid my friends. Be very, very afraid.

My horoscope for the day. No. Really.

You are likely becoming more serious now, yet this could bring feelings of isolation as well. Loneliness can arise when you think you can't share what's bothering you with others. If you keep it to yourself, you may not be able to solve it, and yet it might not be appropriate to bring out into the open. For now, writing in your journal or blog could be the best answer.

Hmmmm. Not appropriate to bring out in the open. But I can blog it and share with pretty much everyone.
The mind boggles.

Now I simply have to sort through my inappropriateness and narrow this down.
Don't hold your breath.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Pause

Hi everyone!
Double posting today! Woo!

I'm working on my current WIP. We'll call it OEE. And I'm finding that I have quite a few suspenseful moments about. A Pause, if you will.

You know what I'm talking about. If you watch soaps, it's that moment when it shows a character quietly contemplating what was just said. Or the secret that they must keep. Or some other groundbreaking, lifeshaking event.
The Pause is important. It can turn a story into a completely different one. It can take a gentle turn or a wild one. It's the moment when characters are confronted with new info and must make decisions accordingly.
I like The Pause. It's the crescendo of the piece. Working higher and higher toward a peak before a precipice. And then more climbing ensues.

Do you use The Pause a lot? Do you like reading it? Do you find yourself turning another page because The Pause was SO good you can't imagine reading more? That's a powerful tool.
So I'll continue to work on OEE. I'm about 2500 words today. I'd like to double that. And it's funny because I like to end the day on a Pause. Because the possibilities are endless.

Empty head, insert sleep

I was up til almost two o'clock this morning. My head ripe with possiblities and characters who wouldn't shut up!!!
I finally got up at 12:43, made a bowl of cheerios, and jotted down dialogue and the last three sentences of my story. Having done that, my head no longer teemed with words and images. And finally, after much ado, I settled down to sleep.
I like the voices in my head. They keep me company. But we seriously need to have some type of policy about letting me sleep. You know... a little rest for the wicked, so to speak.
After all, how can I tell their story with a bitchin' headache and the personality of a bear woke from hibernation?
Any of you ever see the Sponge Bob episode where Sandy the Squirrel tries to go into hibernation and Patrick and Sponge Bob become stuck in her little bubble? You know that scene where they wake her up and she looks like the most homicidal squirrel ever created?
That would be me. *grinning*
I HATE having to go back to sleep and try to catch up on the slumber I missed. Just wasted hours. ACK!

But during my many channel surfing travels, I saw this, on CNN I believe. I'm not advocating anything. But it's a rather neat way to keep that blog forever.

MUST write and silence the voices.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Chair dancing

Quite the visual, eh? *laughing*

A small update on the professional side of life. I'm eight days in on my current WIP. And around 30,000 words. I am pleased.
My lovely erotic co-authors and I actually were able to put the Summer Sizzlers cover on our sites. So you can bip over there and take a gander. Also...let me know what you think the um, cover chick is laying on. Our cover artist SWEARS it's a bicep. *snicker* Um, yeah. LMAO
Good news is that Perfect Timing is still doing well at Fictionwise. AND...people who bought it are now buying Virtually Yours. Utterly fantastic.

Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy say "Enough!"

Make-Believe AP--April 12, 2006
The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy released a statement today concerning their financial outlook.
"Look," the Easter Bunny said, "how can I expect to buy all the chocolate, jelly beans, and stuffed animals when I have to somehow get around town? Most of my money goes into the tank of The Hopper." E.B. referred to his automobile.
The Tooth Fairy was equally upset. "I don't want to have to cut the children's tooth money in half, but I don't know what to do!" Her wings quivered, and the crowd could clearly see how upset she was. "Usually I fly, but there are times I feel under the weather and have to use the fairymobile. I'm thinking about switching to a Hybrid."
There has been a grumbling among the two for the last year or so, but this is the first time they've publicly talked about high gas prices and how it affects them.
"I've kept my mouth shut until now. But there's no end in sight!" E.B.'s whiskers twitched in anger. "Well over $3 a gallon? Well, I never!!!"
The crowd nodded their heads in commiseration.
Just as the Easter Bunny opened his mouth again, a S.W.A.T. team decended on the press conference and cuffed the two.
The crowd watched in disbelief as they were carted away.
The president released a statement citing the two were "disturbing the peace." And since both characters don't have proof of U.S. citizenship, they'll likely be shipped elsewhere.
Santa Claus, Cupid, and Jack O'Lantern are taking donations to pay for counsel.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Close community

The world of Romance Writers is a vast universe.
We are scattered about the globe. Here. There. On different continents. Across oceans.
This internet we all surf on is a great tool for keeping us connected. For sharing. For helping. And for spreading all types of news.
We write different genres. Subgenres. Our methodology varies greatly. Some of us plot. Some of us don't. (hehehe)
But I appreciate it when other writers take time out of their day and offer a congratulations. Or a bit of advice. Or hell, just a "HI!" every once in awhile.

When I shared my good news, I received many congratulations from writers across the spectrum. Some e-pubbed. Some traditional pubbed. Some close to my home state. Some clear across the world.
And that means something to me.
Not only do I love to share good news, but I have to say that a fellow writer's support ranks right up there with my beloved Diet Pepsi and chocolate.

We don't always agree. Sometimes we're siblings fighting for a parent's (publisher's) attention. Sometimes we bicker amongst ourselves about the best way to approach something. And every once in awhile a bully comes along that tears us down a bit.
But we stick together for the most part. Lending a hand. A shoulder. And making each other feel part of a bigger entity.

So while I shared my news about my newest sale, I received as much from your congratulations as I did just sending out the information.
Just wanted you to know.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Do I need a moment? Possibly!

I just received the contract from Whiskey Creek Press for Fire Goddess! Cue the music, people! 'Cause I'm dancing!

Here's a sneak preview. (Even though this won't be out until probably 2007)

Kelly Marshall is a soap opera actress. But she's not just a soap star, she's the Queen of soap stars. And her producer has a brilliant idea for upcoming sweeps. A storyline to beat all others. A fairy tale come true.
Sloan Davenport agrees to build sets for a soap opera against his better judgement. His brother-in-law ropes him into the job. But it's a lot more than he expects or wants. It's a world that he loathes on sight.
Wilda is Kelly's Guardian. She must succeed in her task for herself and her sisters. But mostly for the two mortals who don't realize their importance to each other until it's almost too late.

What do you think?
There's a little more to this than meets the eye. But a girl has to keep some secrets. *wink*

White trash with money

I love Toby Keith.
He's irreverent and intelligent. Two of my favorite things. And the more I see him, the more fascinating I find him.
He's launched his own record label now. And that's a long way for a roughneck redneck.

I've watched his biography on A & E. I've seen many of his interviews on CMT and other news programs. And it's easy to see he hasn't compromised who he is to make a buck.

I'm fairly new to this wonderful world of romance fiction. There's a lot I don't know. And believe me, I have no problem admitting it. But I do know this: If you stay true to yourself and your work, you won't ever go wrong.
So there's no market for your subgenre. So damn what? Make one.
So there's no place in your subgenre for the kind of hero you want to write. So damn what? Write him anyway.
So everyone tells you that conforming to other people's guidelines will get you farther, faster. So damn what? At what cost will you write? Your professional integrity? I don't think so.

It's so easy to take your number and stand in line. But why?
Unhappy and published vs. Happy and searching? How hard a choice is that?

My personal choice is to truck along and write the stories that live inside me. Odd though they may be. Peculiar though some may find them.
And maybe someday, when all is said and done, I can be white trash with money, too. *wink*

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Something Wiki this way comes

I know. I couldn't resist. *grins*
I got this from Tori's blog. Can't help but click folks.

So here it is. Three interesting things. Two birthdays and one death. On the day of my birth.

1861 - In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America. (Wow! To the tune of "I'm a little bit country..." by the Osmonds..."I'm a little bit Dixie..I'm a little bit Yankee.)
1885 - Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time. (THIS is literary history.)
1930 - Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in an airplane and also the first cow to be milked in an airplane. (Only an Okie girl could love the visual this inspires. PETA...don't get your udders in a knot.)

1950 - Cybill Shepherd, American actress (I'd wear a black evening gown with orange day-glo high tops. What's wrong with that?)
1954 - John Travolta, American actor (Can you say "longevity"? Sure you can.)

2001 - Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver (b. 1951) (God bless him.)


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Good things

1. My first novel, Virtually Yours, is now available on Ink Tip as a script.
2. I'm about 18,000 words in on my WIP. And that's still zipping right along.
3. My kids haven't killed each other yet.
4. Editing on The Portrait is going swimmingly. Here's the blurb: What would it be like to enter a cursed portrait and find an appealing man who's been a hermit for years? Dylan's waiting for the one person to break the curse he's been under. Sophie promises to help the gorgeous loner any way she can. But will she end up giving more than she bargained for?
5. On Fictionwise...Perfect Timing is #18 out of all the romance listed. It's #3 on WCP Bestsellers and #4 on WCP Highest Rated.
6. Have I mentioned my kids haven't killed each other yet?
7. There is chocolate AND Diet Pepsi in the house.

What more could a girl want?

Friday, April 07, 2006

How hot is this?

Jinger did it again! I love her!!! This is my June release from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. What do you think about the cover?


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

One hot mama

Hi everyone!

I am smokin'!!!
Over 11,000 words in two days on my latest. I'm absorbed right now. Time is flying. I'm typing. And it's going so well, I can hardly take it!

So. I feel pretty damn good right now. And the premise is different. Funny. And I'm hoping for an agent with this one. I'll keep everyone posted on progress and whatnot.
And more good news...Perfect Timing has moved up to #17 on the Romance section on Fictionwise. Yay!!!
I think I'm going to need some celebratory ice cream sometime soon.
Update: I'm approaching 13,000 words. Note to self: Purchase buttered pecan ice cream tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Double dipping

I'm not talking about food. Because ewwwww, I mean really.
I'm talking book titles.

As an do you feel about using a book title that someone else has used? Or do you become peeved when another author does it to you?
Let's face it. There are only so many titles out there. Many authors will use characters names in the titles to differentiate them. Some will use some obscure reasoning or method to do the same.
But what do you do when the perfect title for your book is already taken?
And how do you, as readers, feel about it?

I don't like dipping into the title pool and using another author's title. But I seriously have the best idea for a book. And the damn title is already taken. It's not an odd title. But the author is fairly popular. And now I'm trying to figure out what I've got going on here. I wrote over 6000 words on it today. And the story is simply flowing. Gotta love it.

So let me know what you think. I believe I'll use the title I have right now. Because, to me, it clicks.

I was about to be hateful

When I log on to AOL, the Welcome Screen pops up. And when I see something particularly interesting (a rare occasion), I click it.
And when my eyes lit upon a story about people attacking Sesame Street...I was there.

You see, I love Sesame Street. It was created when I was a child. The whole monster/animal/person interaction totally fascinated me. All the songs and music. I was in Heaven.
And it still rocks. I watched it with my children when they were younger. And it just kept getting better and better. Sesame Street has a knack for knowing what works, and what is NOW. I wouldn't be surprised to see Zoe with an ipod and Elmo asking when his play time is. And, of course, that will segue into a discussion about friends and all that good stuff.
Where else can you see Aaron Neville and Ernie singing a duet? Tony Bennet? So many movie/television/music stars sharing a street with puppets? And the neat thing being, the stars' kids are more excited about who their collective parent is spending time with and less on the parent being on television. I love that.
So I decided to read the article with reservations. I was prepared to be peeved. Perhaps fire off an email. I'm an email activist, by the way. *laughing* If you write it--I don't like it--you'll know it.

A group of people is irritated that Sesame Street has produced videos for the young crowd. The VERY young crowd. Viewers can be as young as six months.
The naysayers contend that it is ENTIRELY too young for children to be watching television. And they further contend it could do more harm than good. Coupled with the fact that these children will form a "commercial" (my word) attachment to these characters at such a young age.
I will say this:
Parents should be interacting with their children at this young age. Period.
Touching. Talking. Laughing. But I saw no harm in a parent popping in a rocking Sesame Street video and enjoying it with his/her baby. UNTIL...I saw the sentence about the child being attached to the characters.
This hit home.
My middle child already has her birthday (October) list at-the-ready. It consists of four baby Bratz and three sets of Twinz Bratz she doesn't have. She's attached.
My baby child loves Care Bears. She likes the soft, fluffy, happy bears a LOT. Those always top the birthday list.

What will these young Sesame Street viewers want? Elmo. Zoe. Big Bird. Cookie Monster. Ernie. You get my drift.
So while I don't necessarily mind the videos for youngsters, I mind the hell out of the marketing technique. Purposeful or not.

And as parents...don't you just want to scream at the television screen...For the love of God, QUIT! Cease and desist with the commercials that give kids the idea that the latest toy will make them cool/invincible/popular. Just damn quit.
So now I guess I'm grateful that I won't have to make this type of decision. Mine have long outgrown Sesame Street. No comment on my viewing tendencies.
But did you know...Bratz have their own cartoon?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Revenge of the OCD

I'm a slave to the number, folks. And this time it's Fictionwise. My publisher, Whiskey Creek Press, filters new releases down through them as a distributor.
My Time Travel Romance, Perfect Timing, is now available. And guess what?
It's #21 out of 2480 romance books!!! *dancing*
And I love Fictionwise because they have reader ratings and let you know what other books were purchased along with yours. I find it fascinating.
Ahhhhhh. Numerical bliss.
I've been checking on and off for a week so I could see the ranking and what readers thought. But it's all good. *wink*
I have lovely feedback. And now I'll have to restrain myself so as to not do the clicky thing everyday.
Oh. Heaven help me.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Secondary characters or "Don't send me down with Captain Kirk if I'm not Spock or Bones!"

I would hate to listen to a conversation between secondary characters. And if they ever become organized...we're all in trouble.
Secondary characters are most often easily dismissed. Sacrificed. Taken advantage of. And treated as stupid...even when they're anything but.
These characters are sounding boards, the voices of reason, and dynamic shifters. They often are catalysts and fall guys. Rough job, huh?

Or we, as the employers, can make them smart. But not TOO smart. We can make them attractive. But not TOO attractive. And God forbid we make them wittier than the main characters!!!
It's a fine line when we create the world of our literary dreams. We must blend characters together and find the right balance to showcase our stories. Who wants the Steve Urkel of characters to take over?
For example...I read Nora Robert's flower trilogy. And there is a character named David in them. He cooks and runs the household at the main house. And I loved him! Right this very minute...I can't remember any of the other characters' names. And I would love to read David's story. But I don't see it happening. I would have been happy if Nora had given him a relationship throughout the book. You know, start in book one and meander towards book three with a HEA going on for him. On the other hand...David is gay. And I wonder if that's why. I guess I'll never know.

Secondary characters can make or break a book. (I don't share that with mine. They might get the big head.) But I do try to treat them right. And sometimes...there will even be a spin-off book for them. *wink*
Sometimes it's incredibly easy to dumb them down and only give them parts that complement the main characters. But what fun is that? They may be secondary...but they ARE characters. Spice 'em up. Show 'em a good time. And more than likely you'll get a good return for your investment.
I'm reminded of Jack and Karen from "Will and Grace." What would the show be without them? A little less gay. A little less snarky. And not nearly as fun.