Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Day of Vacation!

"In summer, the song sings itself." ~William Carlos Williams

OK, New York is always notably the LAST state in the country to finish exams and graduations. But here we are, finally, at the beginning of summer vacation. Hooray!!

Here's a picture from our graduation, this past Wednesday. Isn't it lovely?

And I'm off to a book signing this afternoon (2-5 pm at the Barnes and Noble in the Palisades Mall in Nyack NY, for anyone close by). Haven't done very much at all in terms of promo efforts these last few months. That's on my agenda to work on this summer (along with, oh, I don't know, a few hundred projects around the house...)

Friday, June 26, 2009


"The idea is to die young as late as possible." ~Ashley Montagu

Wow, what a sad week for the entertainment industry and the world in general. Today, a moment of silence and memory for Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson hit it big when I was in middle school/high school. I will never forget what a huge icon he was -- the glove, the jacket, the crazzzy music videos (Thriller, of course -- what a terrific song/performance). And even though he got a little, well, eccentric as time went on, he's still credited with changing the world of music and dance forever.

A woman I work with was talking about Farrah, and how she represented an entire era of movie/TV starlets. She remembers how all the guys in college had THAT POSTER of Farrah hanging on their walls. It was so sad to see how she suffered near the end of her life, and for that reason, I'm glad at least her pain is over.

And Ed about the voice that changed television, right? Such a vibrant, larger-than-life kind of guy. I'm sure the Johnny Carson fans are missing him more than ever this week.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Edits on my Plate...

"Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you -- as if you haven't been told a million times already -- that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching."--Harlan Ellison

Thank goodness this Friday marks the end of the school year (for a variety of reasons)...because yesterday my Samhain editor emailed me the edits for Summer's Song.

The book has an ebook release date in mid-November, which is exciting, but it always amazes me to realize, even after you sign a publishing contract, that so much work remains. I really like my current editor, but she's a stickler. Really. I skimmed the email of all the things she wants me to address (I didn't even look at the manuscript itself yet) and was so overwhelmed I had to close it again before I started hyperventilating. Little things, like removing some dialogue tags or changing references from pronouns to proper names. Big, messy things, like putting an original scene back in and changing other scenes that if affects.

I know it will be a better story because of the edits. But oh, how they intimidate me the first time I get them!


I'm blogging over at Samhain's blog today -- want to come and visit me?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Lynn Reynolds

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today's featured author is Lynn Reynolds. Enjoy!

Lynn, when did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

I've been writing stories ever since I could pick up a pen, I think. My first big success was a series of stories I wrote in high school that parodied most of the teachers there - that was a huge underground hit with my classmates, which just encouraged me to keep writing!

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

My new book is called THIRTYNINE AGAIN. It's the story of Sabrina, a fortyish breast cancer survivor who's trying to get back to her normal, quiet life. She discovers her fiance is leading a double life and the next thing she knows, she's on the run from him, the Mexican Mafia and a very sexy undercover agent investigating the case. Because the heroine's a breast cancer survivor, as are a couple of my friends, I'm donating a portion of my royalties to breast cancer awareness charities for this book.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Patience! Really. I was in a big hurry to get my first book published, but I am not a really fast writer. Now everyone keeps asking me what I have coming out next, and I don't have anything else lined up for publication at this time. In retrospect, I wish I'd piled up a few manuscripts so that I'd have had something else immediately ready to submit to a publisher as soon as THIRTY-NINE AGAIN came out!

I'd also tell them to read a lot. I think that's the best way to learn to write - by reading what you enjoy, and not worrying too much about rules and theories about what you SHOULD write.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I read a little of everything. I love Jane Austen because she did such a fantastic job of depicting the details of every day life and making them fun and interesting. And of course, she created Mr. Darcy, the sexiest man in literature as far as I am concerned. I also love a lot of contemporary romance writers like Tori Carrington and Lani Diane Rich. And I really like a well-written mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming is a favorite of mine. I also enjoy a lot of science fiction and fantasy - you name it, I've probably read it!

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

Haha. I don't! Really, this is a skill I'm still working on developing. I tend to get lost in my own little world when I'm writing, and I've realized in the last year that I need to find a way to balance it a little better with spending time with family and pursuing other interests. I could definitely use a course in time management!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to garden and cook. I also enjoy traveling, mostly on short day and weekend trips right now because we have a son whose interested in local historical sites. I also enjoy running, although not as often as I'd like to (or should)!

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?

I always do my first drafts by hand. I just use an old-fashioned copybook and a pencil. Never
have to worry about whether I have a wi-fi connection or whether my batteries will run down!

What is your favorite movie? Did it inspire your writing in any way?

It's not necessarily my favorite movie, but one movie I really enjoyed was Bridget Jones Diary. The movie and earlier book definitely helped inspire the tone of voice I used in THIRTY-NINE AGAIN. I think Bridget is someone that many women, single or married, can relate to. She never feels like she's quite good enough at anything she does. She's a bit klutzy, not the best at her job, not tremendously sexy - but she's honest and good-natured and devoted to her friends. And in the end, that's all she really needs to help her find her own Mr. Darcy!

Lynn, thanks so much for being here today. Readers, make sure to visit Lynn's website to find out more about her current and upcoming books. Take a moment to check out her book trailer too!

Thanks for having me as your guest blogger today, Allie!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's Your Inspiration?

A friend recently introduced me to the poetry of Pablo Neruda, and I'm loving it. Quite passionate, and I'll tell you, it's going to have a permanent place next to my computer in times when I'm searching for inspiration. Here are some lines from "And because love battles..."

...I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.

You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.

Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.

What inspires you to write? What breaks up writer's block, or gets you through the spots when the words seem wrong? Music can do it for me too, though most of the time I prefer silence for actual writing. But I know authors who have specific playlists for different kinds of writing.

I'm interested: what about you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

Well, I haven't done a blog meme in a REALLY long while, so I was happy to play along when Diane Craver tagged me yesterday. It's a "Four Things" you go!

Four Movies I can see over and over

Slumdog Millionaire, The Lake House, Gone with the Wind, Dirty Dancing

Four Places I have lived

Rochester, NY; Cleveland, OH; Providence, RI; Orange County, NY

Four TV shows that I love to watch

Survivor; Life; Fringe; Rescue Me

Four places where I have gone on vacation

Hawaii; Outer Banks, NC; Germany; Canada

Four favorite foods

Dark chocolate; apples; yogurt; edamame

Four websites I visit

Facebook; my school's home page; my author website; AbsoluteWrite

Four places I would rather be

On a Maui beach; in Zumba class; in a bookstore; hiking in the Alps

Four things that I would like to do before I die

Visit London and Paris; sign a contract with a NY publisher; swim with dolphins; reconnect with a certain person from my past (how's that for 4 TOTALLY different things??)

Four novels I wish that I was reading for the first time

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; It; The Count of Monte Cristo; Entwined (this last one of course is written by me and published by a NY publisher!)

Four people to tag

I'm cheating on this one and not tagging anyone in particular. If you'd like to play along, just let me know!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

My father passed away in January, so this first Father's Day without him is particularly tough. Today, in his honor, I'm posting this poem that I found on Billy Collins' 180 Days of Poetry site (by the way, the site itself is pretty should check it out). It's the kind of poem I think my father would have written for me:

For My Daughter by David Ignatow

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence