Friday, January 12, 2007


The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love.
~ Pearl Bailey

OK, go vote in the Preditors & Editors 2006 Reader’s Poll…

and make sure to cast one for Marianne’s short story (romance), “Now That We’ve Found You” and either Virtual Tales or Samhain Publishing in the E-book Publisher Category (I have to promote both my publishers here, so take your pick. Samhain is currently running 1st in the results, which makes me feel good…)

I finished Paradise! Really and truly, it’s finished. OK, well, it’s not entirely finished. But all 30 chapters are done, and only the last 15 have to be left to simmer for a few days until I go back over them one more time. I’m not entirely happy with the last line(s), so that needs a little work. But it’s about 55K words, which is longer than I anticipated.

So…here’s hoping that it will be available on Virtual Tales sometime soon…

Have a great weekend! Now go and vote!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


“Men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency, and no matter what they‘re doing, they can be ready in two minutes. Women, on the other hand, are like fire. They’re very exciting, but the conditions have to be exactly right for it to occur.”
(from “Seinfeld”)

What do you do when your characters bore you?

I’m serious. I dug out an old story with thoughts of revamping and submitting to Samhain, another “One Night” story that’s about 55K words.

And I don’t really like it. I mean, the writing’s OK, but the characters sort of make me yawn and I don’t even feel like I care if they get together at the end.

Has that ever happened to you? And did you just trash the whole thing, or did you try to save something? I mean , I do have some ideas about improving the plot and the conflict, but still, the characters…

Any advice?

On other fronts, I am waiting. Waiting for my Virtual Tales cover art and waiting for my editor to finish the first half of Paradise. I know they have other work to do. I know my story isn’t the only one waiting to be put up for sale. But I want to be done with it! I want it to be up and published and ready for people to read it! Is that too much to ask?

I’m also waiting for the publisher from Samhain to get back to me about the contract questions I emailed last week. Now of course I’m worrying that by not just signing and returning the contract, I’ve somehow jinxed myself into losing the publication offer altogether. That doesn’t happen, does it?

I’m also waiting to hear back from WOW-Women on Writing, as I submitted a query for a writing craft article to their ezine. They liked the concept and wanted to see sample paragraphs, so that’s a plus. But now more waiting.

I’m not a good waiter, by the way.

Actually, I was an excellent waiter (or rather, waitress) back in graduate school, when I was supporting myself in the restaurant biz, but that’s a story for another time…

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What Have They Done For You Lately?

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.
~ Lao Tzu

Try this map game from Judy...

I got 84% right, 40 miles average error, 483 seconds. I drove cross-country one summer, which is probably the only reason I sort of remembered where all those Midwestern states are. But come on! They’re all square! Give me a break! (Sorry, Marianne…I know Colorado must have its own unique qualities, square or not)

So last night I was working on the final chapters of Paradise, USA (why are endings so hard for me? Are they hard for you?). My hero is in the hospital, on death’s door, and he’s supposed to be (according to my outline) thinking about how the heroine is giving him a reason to live.

Guess what he ended up doing?

No, not dying.

He ended up talking to his dead younger brother. I didn’t even know the brother was going to make an appearance in the novel! How weird. And yet it does make sense, because my hero has to move on from his brother’s death before he can really commit to falling in love again.

Why did my characters know that better than I did? Gosh, I hate when they do that. (OK, not really.)

What have your characters done for you lately?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hard Work

"I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox."
~ Woody Allen

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:

Skye, huh? Actually, I kind of like this name. And I'm looking for a new name for one of my heroines. Hmm. I'll have to think it over.

There’s a great article in this month’s Romance Writers Report about setting goals. Shelia Rabe writes,

“We don’t reach a goal simply by wiggling our noses or clicking our heels together and chanting ‘There’s no place like the top.’ We reach that goal by mapping out a strategy for achieving it. Here’s where many of us writers fall down, because it’s often so much easier to talk about what we want to achieve than to go about the business and rolling up our sleeves, digging in, and working through the stages required to get there.”

Hard work. Wow. Who knew?

That reminds me of the people who, after the New Year arrives, start taking pills or going on crash diets to lose the extra 30 pounds that holiday cookies and eggnog chunked on. Newsflash: the only thing that works is exercise and cutting calories. Hard work. Discipline. Believe me, I know. But why are we so loath to commit ourselves to it? Is it because our society has turned into a place where you can have just about anything--microwavable food, $$ from the ATM, a downloaded song, answers to your kid’s research on koala bears, the weather report in China--in just a few minutes?

Anyone else think that we (and especially our children, raised in this amazing and sometimes frightening era of technology) are losing the ability to sustain effort over a long period of time? Have we forgotten how hard “work” really is--and how good it can feel when it pays off? Has the term become relative? Or does it not even matter, when everything is so easy to get?

Except a story. A well-developed, complex story with characters who are so real they make you cry and a plot that weaves together in just the right ways. I guess that’s why writers--published or not--deserve praise for committing themselves to a goal that at times seems unreachable. It’s work. Hard work.

What about you? Do you have a tough time committing to goals? Have you found a way to break down the big ones into smaller ones that you can manage? And what’s the last thing you accomplished that required really hard work? Better yet, how did you feel (and how did you reward yourself) when you came to the end and saw what you had done?

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Never Had to Do This Before...

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”~ Mother Teresa

How’s this for karma: four days after I received my offer from Samhain to publish One Night in Boston, the Wild Rose Press asked for the full ms. (I’d sent them a partial a few weeks back). This is on a story that, when sent to agents in the fall, had a handful of requests for a partial and no follow-up requests for a full.

I read somewhere, recently, that it’s tougher to find an agent than sell a manuscript. That may well be the case. I’m just hopeful that, after some e-publishing credits of my own, I might snag either an agent or a print publishing deal. You do have to consider that an agent automatically takes 15% of your profit, though, so you’d better hope they do a really good job of selling your work to the top publishing house out there.

Anyway, it was the first time I actually had to email anyone back to say the story they wanted had been contracted by another publisher. Weird. And sort of nice.

Coupled with temps in the 60s this weekend, it was a pleasant Saturday and Sunday!