Sunday, December 31, 2006
Tonight we're settling on the couch with a bunch of munchie snacks and a bunch of our favorite movies:
A Bug's Life
Toy Story 2
And we're going to ring in the New Year in animation style.
I just wanted to wish everyone a safe, happy, heathy New Year with much joy and success and lots of great books! Have a good one!
Friday, December 29, 2006
The above was from a post I made in December 2005 about New Year’s un-resolutions, and I have to say I think I did pretty well sticking to mine.
Here it is the end of 2006 and I have published eight more titles, taken on the challenging job of freelance editor, and I have a business plan for 2007 to hopefully continue my fledgling writing career on the upswing.
I have slowly made some improvements in the way the house is organized. The storage closet hasn’t been out of control in almost a year. My filing is usually up-to-date and we’ve managed to haul about twenty bags of garbage out of the basement. I made the commitment to actually start throwing those things away that I’ve been saving for a decade just because I’m afraid I might need them one day.
I’ve made a concentrated effort to save money, and I’m socking bucks away in a holiday/vacation fund which is steadily growing. I’m proud of myself. We’ve managed a year on 1.25 salaries and I think we can continue to do so.
I’ve managed to create a workable writing schedule that has helped me create a bunch of manuscripts, and I think I write a little faster now that I’ve cleared some of the clutter out of my brain.
Just as I predicted, I haven’t found the time to read more, but I guess if you count the novels that I’ve edited, and those of my crit partners, I suppose I’ve actually done quiet a lot of reading this year. I did take on a new hobby – and got addicted to crocheting, just what I needed, another excuse to spend money at the craft store. Oh well.
So, all in all I’d say I did pretty well with my un-resolutions. I think I’ll recycle them for 2007 because they seem to be working well for me. And it’s always good to recycle.
What are your resolutions/unresolutions for the New Year?
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
My next project is to clean off my bulletin board a little bit, but that will have to wait until after I spiff up my websites for the new year.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
This is the center panel from the Christmas quilt I made a few years ago. I didn't put it up this year because I had just finished by fan quilt, but I hope I remember to put it up next year. I figured it would go well with today's blog topic.
For those of you whe celebrate Christmas, what are you hoping to find on Christmas morning?
I'm looking forward to more books and some new DVDs of the shows I like to watch. I look forward to getting a pretty new calendar every year and I always like to get things that help me stay organized in the office or in the kitchen.
DH is hoping for Heroclix - his obsession. Little superhero figures that take up an awful lot of space in the basement, but he loves them. Go figure.
DD wants books ad money to buy books. I should be thrilled, but I wish I could convince her to buy some regular YA novels instead of all manga books. She's running out of space in her room to store all the books that take her about thirty minutes each to read.
DS wants Pokemon cards and video games. Not much will change his mind about that. At least his Santa list was short and to the point, this year.
Saber wants cookies, rawhide and a basket of assorted meats and cheeses. He already got his new bed, which he desperately needed since he ate all the other ones.
Here's hoping Santa is good to you and you find everything you want under the tree! Have a happy.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I don't know why, but when I think of traditional Christmas, I think of the 1940s.
I have no doubt one of my previous lives was lived in that decade and I'm never more sure of that than at Christmas time.
I think if I could travel back in time to any era and visit for a little while, I'd want to back to the1940's. It's not the music or the clothing that attracts me, there's just something about that time that seems more homey. It's funny, because I'm a modern girl through and through, a science fiction fan and I can spout techno babble with the rest of them. History never interested me as much as speculating on the future, BUT...there's still a part of me that longs to go home to the 1940s.
Is there any era that calls to you? Any time or place you'd love to visit, just because you have an inkling you'd feel at home there?
Friday, December 22, 2006
The other night my son had to write a few sentences on holiday traditions for homework. He considers writing anything at all to be a form of torture [probably because his mother is a novelist by trade, mind you] so this was a difficult process. My first instinct was to go with the obvious.
We put up a Christmas tree.
We open presents...
We...uh...what other traditions do we have?
I never much thought about the art of creating holiday traditions, but when I really sat down and thought about it, I realized that we do have a few we created without even really trying.
I realized, we've been celebrating Yule for about four years now. It's become a tradition that the kids embrace, since they get each get a present on December 21st.
My daughter noted that I made chocolate fudge every year-and I only make it at Christmas because if I made it whenever I wanted it I'd weigh 300 pounds.
My husband, wise guy that he is, said he knows it's Christmas when I get out the green tinted Saran wrap. [The jokes on him, I've been trying to use that stuff up for four years now. It's finally all gone!]
I know I'm not the Martha Stewart of holiday traditions, but at least my kids will remember fudge, Yule gifts and oh, yeah...green Saran wrap when they get older.
What holiday traditions do you have?
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Have a day!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Thank you to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for more contests and more releases in 2007!
In Other News:
I did it. I managed to see all 38 episodes of The Office in the last four days. Technology rocks.
Tomorrow is the Romance Divas Holiday Party - all day long. So if you're not already a Romance Diva, sign up today, check into the Forum and drop by Diva Chit Chat tomorrow to Rock Around the Clock!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Happy Birthday Cosmo and Wanda!
My goldfish are a year old. This is a picture of their first apartment, which was way too small for them. They have a condo now, with a couple of plants and a big sea shell. They seem happy.
These are things I write about when I can't think of a blog topic.
Actually, what got me onto this was realizing another year has gone by. I've been pursuing my writing career full time since last October and...I guess I'm doing okay.
I have fourteen titles available, eight of them released in 2006. I have four novellas and two print anthologies contracted for 2007 and a number of ideas in the works. I can't complain.
So here's to another year of healthy goldfish and a growing writing career. I wonder what 2007 will bring?
Monday, December 18, 2006
I spent my weekend - yes, pretty much my entire weekend, except for my Novelspotters chat and cooking dinner on Sunday - watching The Office.
I have a new favorite show.
Yes. I still love "How I Met Your Mother," but OMG, I've never seen a funnier show than this one. Funny and strangely addicting.
I've literally been on the couch for 13 hours watching Season 1 and 2 on DVD, even the deleted scenes, which are just as funny as the stuff that actually got into the episodes. This show totally rocks.
It's so rare these days that comedy is actually funny. I was skeptical at first. Having seen the British version, which though it's hilarious and addicting as well, does take some time to get used to, I figured this would not compare. British and US ideas of what's funny vary a LOT, but oh boy, NBC has nailed it.
AND, super bonus! Not only is the show a scream, it's shippy too! I'm totally hooked on Pam and Jim's sweet, sentimental office romance...hence I can consider this weekend research, can't I?
Here's Jim Halpert. He's adorable. He's the kind of office buddy everybody wants because he's soooo good at goofing on Dwight, the office...weirdo.
I suppose now that it's Monday and I have a ton of things to do, I should get off the couch and start moving, but I really don't want to. I could watrch this stuff 24/7.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
We'll be discussing new and upcoming releases with Amber Quill Press and giving away a free download of The Adventures of Molten Man! Drop by and say hello!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
In the meantime, I finally did write out those Christmas cards. AND I made a new Christmas mailing list too, since WORD always seems to eat my labels every year. Let's see if I can still find the file in 2007.
I dusted off a half-finished story that I think will be perfect for a future Amber Pax.
I finally finished all the old meetings in Edgewater, and I'm DONE with the hour-long commute!! Yeeha!!
Now I can devote next week to preparing for the holidays and getting a little writing done!
Oh- BTW - I'll be chatting at Novelspotters on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM so be sure to drop by! There will be contests and lots of excerpts!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Have you ever had a conversation with a non-writer that left you wanting to tear your hair out? It never ceases to amaze me that even people who support my writing and cheer me on for all my endeavors, just don’t get the process at all.
This morning I had a conversation with my best friend. We talk every morning and she asked me what I was doing today. I told her I was going crazy trying to fix the ending of a story. In edits I need one more scene to wrap up the plot and give the whole thing a more satisfying ending. Her response was:
“What do you mean?”
I thought I was pretty clear. The edits are driving me crazy. I don’t know quite how to fashion the last scene without it sounding lame.
“I don’t understand.”
What’s not to understand? She couldn’t seem to figure out why this was giving me trouble. Why didn’t I just WRITE it and be done with it? Since that’s what I do, it must come easy to me, and therefore there’s no need to ‘get crazy’ about it, or be frustrated. Just do it and be done with it and move on to something else.
It sounds great in theory. Writers write. Therefore writing should be the easiest thing in the world. Fix a scene? No problem. Presto, it’s fixed. Write a new ending for a story I originally finished last summer? Cake. Just do it.
Arrgh! Is it me, or do other writers suffer from this as well? Do your non-writer friends and family just assume that you sit down at your computer and write and that’s that? Do they think there’s no process, no rewriting, no editing, no tearing your hair out over dialogue that makes you cringe and narrative that gives you a rash when you read it? Do they think it’s never hard for you to do this and they can’t understand that some days it’s no easier than dragging your butt to an office and dealing with a boss who wants miracles on a daily basis? Sometimes finishing a story, or doing proper edits or writing a decent blurb or cover letter is like performing a miracle. You start with absolutely nothing – or scattered threads of something that don’t amount to very much material, and you pull it together and create something that works, and hopefully something that not only works, but SELLS. Why is it hard for people to understand that this is not EASY?
Yes, the gist of the conversation was, just stop complaining and get the work done. Butt in chair and all that. Which is good advice, but nevertheless I feel more frustrated now than I did before. What I wanted was a little bit of sympathy, someone to commiserate with me about how tough it is to write – and what I got was essentially, “Suck it up and do the work.”
I guess that’s what I’ll do.
Monday, December 11, 2006
My daughter showed me a picture in a magazine of a scarf someone had made to look like a salad and of course, I rose to the challenge. With a few pointers from my friend, Jessie, the crochet expert, I whipped this up.
My daughter loves it. She wore it to school today [either they'll laugh her off the bus or she'll come home with orders from her friends.] I think I'm going to try for a matching hat.
Why did I do this when I should have been:
Editing three manuscripts
Adding 3000 words to an anthology submission
Filling out copious forms involved with my upcoming stories and print anthologies
Working on my novel in progress
Writing out Christmas Cards
I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with recharging. I used to write to recharge myself. Now I 'don't write' to recharge myself. It's not that I haven't done anything this week but crochet, but I've slacked a bit and let the brain rest. Today, after food shopping of course, it's back to work with a vengeance.
Hopefully this down time will have helped the creative juices circulate better and let me get focused again. If not, then I'm pretty much going to be useless until the New Year - and Christmas cards just aren't going to get written...
Friday, December 08, 2006
Here's the blurb from Samhain's Coming Soon Page! I'm so psyched. This is my first contemporary.
“The Rebound Guy” by Jennifer Colgan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Red Hots!
Length: NovellaPrice: $3.50
Publication Date: January 9th, 2007
Cover art by Scott Carpenter
When two friends share a night of unbridled passion, can their relationship withstand the consequences?
Catching her boyfriend in the act with another woman should have made Lauren James angry, indignant or even depressed. Instead, it made her horny. The only man in the world she trusts enough to help her through the sting of betrayal is her best friend, Eric Reynolds.
When Lauren shows up at Eric’s apartment, it doesn’t take much for her to seduce him. She finds solace for her trampled heart and bruised ego in Eric’s capable hands. After an unforgettable night of passion, Lauren wakes to the cold reality that she used Eric to get revenge. Will Eric forgive her, even if she can’t forgive herself?
* * *
Isn't Eric a hottie?
Monday, December 04, 2006
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving [No, but snorkeling]
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie [Not a Hollywood production, mind you]
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Been to the Great Barrier Reef [I added this one because there wasn't a #98]
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Touched a cockroach [a hissing one, no less!]
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes [that I made myself!]
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
I wonder if anyone can highlight them all? If you're reading this, you've been tagged!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
It used to be you hung some lights around the windows of your house, slapped a wreath on your front door and voila, you were ready for Christmas. Then some genius invented icicle lights and soon EVERYBODY had them. I always got a kick out of the houses that still had their icicle lights dangling from the roof in June.
The era of the icicle lights isn’t exactly over, but it’s taken a back seat to the inflatables. Another idea that’s making somebody filthy, filthy rich. I wonder how it came about, the idea to pump hot air into some cleverly constructed nylon – it was probably somebody watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and thinking, “Wow, I wish I had a fifty foot tall inflatable Santa...hey, wait a minute...”
Now, for instant Christmas, you can just jam an uplight into Santa’s tush and tether him to the front lawn.
Yes, I admit, I jumped on this bandwagon. Come on, it’s so easy, after all. We’ve got a chubby penguin that I named Marzipan Frangipani. He holds up a sign that says “Santa’s the Coolest!” and when we shut him off at night, he falls backward in slow motion like he’s dodging a bullet in The Matrix.
I love Marzipan, but I would like to get him a companion. There’s a very cute inflatable of two snowmen and a little Christmas tree that’s just adorable. My husband likes this one – Santa on a Harley, and the one with Snoopy on top of an igloo is also pretty cute.
I think you can take the relative ease of inflatable decorating a little too far, though. There are two houses around the block from us that have been engaged in a ‘hot air’ war for the past several years. At last count each house sported about two dozen [yes, about 24!] inflatables, including giant archways, perpetual snow globes and rotating carousels. I drove by the other night and the owners of one house were engaged in putting up even more stuff. Fortunately they have a large front lawn, but there’s not even a square foot of empty space left. I forgot my window was open a crack and I think the lady heard me utter a shocked, “This is just getting ridiculous!” as I passed by.
I feel a little bad about that. I didn’t really mean to offend her, because honestly, I don’t think you can have TOO much Christmas spirit, but I do think your electric bill can be way too high.
What do you think? Do you decorate with inflatables or are they just another passing fad like plastic flamingoes and pet rocks?
Don’t forget my new contest! It’s easy to sign up. Winner of a signed copy of one of my print titles [your choice!] or a gift certificate will be announced on December 20th!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
For a chance to win your choice of a signed copy of one of my print titles here’s what you need to do:
Between now and December 20th if you sign up to the Electric Romance Yahoo Group, your name will be entered in the drawing. Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell you signed up and I’ll put your name in the hat!
Already a member? Congratulations! You can enter too! Just drop me a line at email@example.com and tell me you’re already a member and you’ll be entered also!
Be sure to put MEMBERSHIP DRIVE in the subject line and let me know if you’re a new or existing member.
What can you win?
A signed copy of one of my print titles:
CONJURED IN FLAMES
Or if you already have all those [big HUG if you do!] You can choose a $10.00 publisher gift certificate so you can buy some new print or electronic titles! This is a good choice if you’re outside the continental United States because you’ll be able to get your books instantly as downloads!
Want two chances to win? If you sign up to Electric Romance or you’re already a member and let me know it, but you’d like you’re name entered twice in the drawing visit one of my RomanceWiki pages...there’s not much to see...but tell me how many times the page has been accessed [scroll down to the bottom of the page] and I’ll put your name in the hat TWICE.
and e-mail me the number of times the page has been accessed. Put ROMANCE WIKI 2ND CHANCE in your subject line.
Send all e-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner will be announced December 2oth!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Things went down hill from there.
The whole computer system had to be rebooted twice. One set of tapes I was supposed to work on had been recorded on a mono-recorder and only played BACKWARDS on the stereo transcriber. I suppose I could have listened for Satanic messages, but my 'plip sluip grp schlop' is a bit rusty. The mono-transcriber weighs something like 30 pounds and I had to set it on the garbage can next to the desk I was working on. The sound only played in one side of my headphones and that sort of makes me dizzy, having noise in one ear and not the other.
I finished one whole meeting and decided to call it a day, drove home and found my new business cards had arrived! Yay! I opened the box and found out I screwed up the back side copy and have a review quote for the WRONG book! I can't even yell at Vista Print because it's my own fault.
The kids whined about the chicken I made for dinner. And I just rammed my shoulder into the sharp edge of the curio cabinet on my way through the living room.
On the bright side, my Mom made me some knitted slippers which are very comfy even though they make me look pigeon-toed. And DH, who cannot keep a secret, gave me two of my Christmas presents today. He doesn't understand the concept of hiding things until December 25th. He goes shopping and comes home and gives me the stuff he bought.
I've got Season One of How I Met Your Mother and Season One of BONES to watch. Yay! That takes some of the sting out of the fact that he's making me sit through Clerks 2 after the kids go to bed.
Writing? What's that? Oh, yeah. My job.
I'll get back to that tomorrow when hopefully it won't be one of THOSE days.
Monday, November 27, 2006
This is the fourth book since coming home from NJRW that I've been unable to finish and I want to know: Is it me?
Have I lost my ability to enjoy reading, or is there really something lacking in the books I've been choosing lately? I know my internal editor is a bitch, but she's promised to shut up and just read for enjoyment now and then.
With the exception of Jennifer Elbaum's Nowhere to Hide, I haven't finished a book in two months.
This is what I've read:
Book One: Well known author. I've enjoyed a number of her other books but this one left me cold. The characters had few redeeming qualities and halfway through the book I was rooting for heroine to kick the hero in the balls. Unfortunately, I didn't like the heroine enough to keep reading and see if she did it or not.
Book Two: An erotic anthology. Not one of the three stories made my heart race or my palms sweat. The one story I actually read all the way through had a disappointing ending that seemed chopped off in the middle. I'm a staunch defender of the novella, but this one really seemed like someone had taken a full length novel and left off the last two thirds.
Book Three: I loved the catchy title and the cute cover art. This one had been on my TBB pile for a while so I was thrilled to get my hands on it. The hero and heroine were undeniably attracted to each other, but they seemed to have no purpose other than to flirt. There was no external conflict whatsoever and the only thing keeping them apart was their mutual desire not to get into a relationship.
Book Four: Another well-known author of sizzling romance. I made it to page 70 at which point I still wasn't sure who or what the hero was supposed to be. I only knew who the heroine was because her name is mentioned in the back cover blurb. By chapter three, they still hadn't even met.
What am I missing here?
Each of these books breaks the rules that over the course of the last two years I've been told over and over again should not be broken. Granted, we all know you can break any rule you want to as long as you do it with unique skill and finesse, and some of the best books out there are the ones that break the rules, but these books all seemed to be examples of why the rules exist in the first place.
I hate to complain, but this isn't how I wanted to put a significant dent in my towering TBR pile. I was really hoping to be able to finish some of the books that have been weighing down my closet floor for weeks, months or - gasp! - even years.
I really need a book that will knock my socks off. I'm even willing to tie my internal editor up and lock her in a closet if I have to. Help!
Friday, November 24, 2006
Once the Christmas Tree is up, it's officially The Season. This is what I did today. With some help from DH and the kids [he worked very hard getting all the pre-lit lights to light] we cleaned the living room, rearranged furniture, set up the tree and put up indoor and outdoor decorations.
I'm shot now.
I also put up my new quilt:
This are the things I do when I should be writing. I'm also working on a new contest...I promise, I'm just having a hard time with all the logistics. There will be something up soon!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Do you ever feel like you have a sign stamped on your forehead that announces something you prefer most of the world didn't know?
I only ask because even though I've never actually seen them, I know there are big red letters on my forehead saying, "Ask me for directions and/or instructions because I know everything."
It wouldn't bother me so much if I actually DID know everything, but for the most part, I'm clueless. The parameters of my functional world are actually quite small and I really don't have time to venture far beyond those borders. Nevertheless, strangers everywhere see me and think, "That lady looks like she knows how to get to wherever I'm going." Or "She must know how to do whatever it is I want to do, I'll ask her."
It never fails. I'm stopped in the mall, sidelined in stores and eateries, people even signal me while driving and ask directions at red lights. And most of the time, I have no idea how to help them.
I'm one of those people who needs a map to find my own bedroom. I don't know north from south and I get from place to place by landmarks, not street signs. Yet, at least once a week someone stops me and asks me for directions that I don't know how to give.
Last week, someone beeped at me at a stoplight. I rolled down the window and the man asked how to get to Wal*Mart. Now there's a first. A man asking a woman for directions. I should have alerted the media.
This weekend, in RagShop a woman started asking me how to pick the proper size crochet needle. I was a little more in my ballpark since I do crochet, but apparently I looked like the leading authority on the subject simply because I was wandering around the yarn aisle.
When I was in Brisbane, Australia, an elderly woman asked how to get to the nearest train station. I had to tell her I was lucky I knew what continent I was on and it was a major coup for my girlfriend and I to get back to the tour bus on time.
It's not that I don't want to be helpful, in fact I despise being un-helpful and therein lies the problem. I'm terrified of giving people bad advice - which is why I don't do it for a living or anything. Nevertheless I seem to emit these strange invisible rays that draw people to me when they have questions that I most likely can't answer.
Why is that?
Do you have a sign on your forehead? If so, any suggestions on how to get rid of it?
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Five hearts! Molten Man does more than melt metal, he’s sure to melt the reader’s heart too and cause a fever deep within. – Valerie, Love Romances.
Aside from that, nothing much is going on. I'm working in the office all week. Ugh. And I'm proctoring the ASE tests this week, which, while it's not hard work, means my work day doesn't end until about 11:00 PM. I still managed to work on my WIP, though...now the question is, is this story going in the direction I want it to go? I won't know until it's done, but as usual, I'm second guessing myself.
I just ordered some new business cards. I went for broke and decided to have the full color covers for Ken'Ja and Soul Jar printed on the backs along with review quotes. This way I won't have to make stickers...I don't know if the extra money was worth the time I'll save printing, peeling and sticking on homemade stickers, but I think the cards will look pretty snappy.
I also had a quick meeting my my accountant today [I'm my accountant, btw] and she said that this time last year I was about $270.00 in the red as far as income to expense ratio for my writing. This year I'm well in the black, so apparently I've improved my earning capacity. Hopefully next year at this time I'll be in the green!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I give Ms. Alley a lot of credit for being able to drop 75 pounds on Jenny Craig. I’m over her abandonment of her role as Saavik in Star Trek, and I actually did enjoy the few existing episodes of her latest sitcom ‘Fat Actress,’ so I was pleased when she ‘came out of the closet’ so to speak and went on television somewhat unapologetic about that fact that like most American women who are raising kids and dealing with day to day issues of life, she gained weight, so sue her.
I always thought she looked pretty good anyway. Many might not agree, but I think Kirstie has style. She’s funny, in a weird sort of way, and I personally think she’s quite courageous to actually be herself in Hollywood. It’s a tough thing to pull off.
Of course, in Hollywood, the fat doesn’t last. So Kirstie has been on a diet. I give her credit for sticking it out [of course it’s a lot easier when you’re a celebrity and you get all the food and counseling for free and don’t tell me she doesn’t]. It’s probably also easy when you can make it your full time job to be on a diet and get paid for it. Those harsh realities aside, she succeeded and she looks great at 145 pounds.
The thing that boggles my mind, though is this: The article in LIFE has an inset that shows Kirstie’s typical pre-Jenny diet which includes:
½ loaf of French bread
12 grape sodas
3 slices of bacon
6 cups of pasta
6 TBS butter
20 sugar free ice pops
Total estimated calories: 7885!
So, almost 8000 calories a day combined to tip her weight up to 220 pounds.
All I have to say is, how did she manage to stay so thin?
I swear the gravity must be different in California. Or they must turn their scales back a little bit – or maybe a lot because hell, if I ate 8000 calories a day, I’d weigh about 4000 lbs. Probably a lot more. Of course if you cut back from 8000 to less than 2000 you’re going to lose weight. But how far do you have to cut back from 2000? I’ve counted calories, and to be honest, I can do the 2000-calorie thing without much trouble. I can even cut back to 1500 and it never seems to do me much good.
My daily intake looks more like this:
1 English muffin toasted
1 TBS jam
1 TBS margarine
1 glass of orange juice (8 oz)
Two slices of turkey on fat free bread with mustard [mustard has no calories, btw]
1 cup of pasta
1 cup of vegetables
2 pieces of garlic bread
2 mini candy bars or two or three cookies
Now I don’t have the exact calorie count of all this but it’s nowhere near 8000, so what’s the deal? Why didn’t Kirstie weigh 1000 pounds eating like that?
I think I’m going to move to California. If my gravity theory is correct, I probably weigh about 90 pounds soaking wet out there and I can eat to my heart’s content.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Part of me is pouting guiltily at the thought that the review site that picked MY book as a favorite read of the year isn't going to be there anymore. Huge bummer. Another part of me understands their reasoning. After all they've stepped on a lot of toes and if I had been one of the authors they trashed [and yes, they did trash quite a few] I would probably be dancing in the streets.
I suppose this illustrates a valuable lesson, that the anonimity of the Internet isn't all that anonymous. When outspoken bloggers begin to realize that what they say behind the mask of a snappy pseudonym and flashy blogskin may hurt their writing careers, a change is obviously necessary.
Is it wrong to be honest? No...though some people can't handle honesty and a little bit of demure subterfuge is usually necessary to get through life in one piece. Is venting and ranting bad? No...but the best way to do it is with utmost tact. We've all been guitly of shooting off our mouths about things that bother us...in fact, I've often toyed with the idea of starting a second blog under a psuedonym just so I could vent about things that piss me off, and most of those topics wouldn't even have to do with the publishing industry. Let's face it, the world is full of things that piss us off and venting about it does sometimes help...and sometimes it just gets us labeled with names we don't want to be saddled with.
I'm sorry to see the Sassy Chicks close up shop. I was looking forward to more reviews and I've actually bought some of the books they've given their tumbs up to...and I never really pay attention to good reviews when it comes to my own personal reading choices.
Hopefully the Chicks will find other venues and be able to continue their honest if sometimes acerbic reviews. Bottoms up, ladies.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Elizabeth Vargas did a short, and in my opinion anemic, piece on the plight of working moms and I foolishly thought she might actually have some insight on the problem facing American women today. We’re programmed to believe we have to work full time, keep a spotless Better Homes and Gardens House, look like supermodels and raise happy, well-adjusted children all at once. And if we don’t, we’re some kind failure because there are always those women on TV, much like Vargas, who have huge salaries, great hair and angelic cherubs waiting for them when they waltz through the door in pumps and pearls.
Sorry for the sarcasm, really, but I can’t help myself. For once, I’d like to see some balance on this subject. Let’s see the women who have decided that no, we cannot have it all. It’s not possible to be a fabulous full time employee raking in an impressive salary, a super mom who builds cardboard castles for Junior’s birthday party, and a Martha Stewart style hostess and housekeeper who always has everything totally under control on all fronts. People who seem to have all that either have lots of behind the scenes help, or are lying through their teeth. And they’re not happy.
What bothered me about this segment most was that it turned into a debate on whether or not companies should provide paid maternity leave or not. The 20/20 message boards are all lit up with the arguments for and against and everyone is having their say, but in my opinion, the real issue is not about should single workers pick up the slack for working parents who need time off to deal with their kids [I’ve known plenty of childless workers who slack off and bring their personal problems to the office], or should companies give better paid parental leave [of course they should. Parenting isn’t just a strange lifestyle choice some of us have made, it’s what keeps the human race going, duh.] or should the government step in and help working parents [maybe by lowering taxes for everyone, and stop wasting so much money...oh that’s another rant for another day]. The real issue that I thought Ms. Vargas’s segment was going to be about is, why do we let society dictate what we should be and then blame society when we can’t be it?
We can’t have it all. We’re expected to do too much and thus everything we do suffers. Children are left unsupervised way too much, or they spend too much time in daycare, women feel guilty if they work and guilty if they don’t, families can’t survive on one income so that child rearing can be a priority for those of us who choose to have them and those of us who don’t resent what they perceive as special treatment in the work place. Something needs to give, but namby-pamby, let’s re-invent-the-wheel reporting on the subject isn’t doing anyone any good. We need someone who’s got the cajones to stand up give us permission [that’s women I mean] to be mothers without apology and fix the economy so that we can afford to do that and still keep our heads above water.
How that’s going to happen? I don’t know. Too bad Elizabeth Vargas didn’t have the answer.
Friday, November 10, 2006
A picture paints a thousand words, so they say. I chose this one from this weeks episode of LOST because I thought it said a lot.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Those hands belong to Kate and Sawyer, who are, in my humble opinion, LOST's hottest couple. They have a chemistry together that any romance author would love to write about. They sizzle because they're not all hearts and flowers.
Sawyer is the bad boy of the piece. He's a con artist, he's cynical, an engima wrapped in a tough outer shell. And Kate is by turns angelic and enigmatic as well. She's just as big a con artist as Sawyer. They compliment each other because they're two damaged souls who have learned to do anything necessary to survive.
So it stands to reason that when pushed to the brink of human endurance, they would end up together in a scene that would have been sexy as all get out, if it hadn't been for a few obvious questions like - how did they do the nasty on the damp jungle floor outside of Sawyer's cage without getting completely covered in mud? [Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic, but these things bother me.] How did Sawyer's shirt get big enough to cover Kate like a blanket and when did they manage to put all their sweaty, dirty clothes back on before the evil Others came back with murder on their minds?
When was the last time either of them brushed their teeth?
I'm sorry, but that's where my mind was during the scene. I know, I'm bad. I mean, come on. I'm a romance novelist. I've had characters get busy on the banks of a stream, in a cave [a couple times in a cave - I happen to like cave sex] on a stone altar, on a beach...I do tend to gloss over the 'I need a shower' factor in my steamier scenes sometimes, but reading it and watching it are two different things.
Anyway, the point of this post is, I love the Kate and Sawyer ship. These two are totally hot and I love the idea of the bad boy being won over by the love of a woman, but for heaven's sake, please let them find a new hatch with a working shower and a bottle of mouthwash sometime SOON or I'm just going to get skeeved.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I just finished her book, Nowhere to Hide, and I have to say it’s the first book I’ve read in literally months that kept me turning pages right to the end. This book had something that I must confess I don’t see often enough in romantic fiction – actual sexual tension! The relationship between Dan Greywolf and Alex Maguire is both steamy and sweet and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat.
Here’s the blurb I swiped from Jennifer’s website:
Alex Maguire is on the run, a woman who trusts no one has been entrusted with the care of a helpless little girl. Can she keep her safe from The Trust, the evil men who stole her own childhood?
Detective Dan Greywolf has promised to keep Alex and the little girl safe. No matter where they go though, they are unable to hide from The Trust. And they can’t hide from the attraction growing between them.
Alex must trust Wolf with her life, but will she risk trusting him with her heart?
The story leaves room for more to happen in this world, and I can’t wait for the next installment.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Not that I have a cat, but it just seems appropriate, considering that, like Joan Wilder, the heroine in one of my favorite movies, Romancing the Stone, I've been sitting here this evening doing a final check of my novel The Matchmakers, and crying like a baby.
In the beginning of Romancing the Stone [as I'm sure all my fellow romance writers out there know, because hey, you've all seen it!] Joan is finishing her latest novel and she's bawling like crazy. Her apartment is covered with sticky notes that say, "Buy tissues!" "Buy toilet paper!", "Buy cat food!" She uses one of the notes to blow her nose when she finishes her final, heart wrenching scene, and celebrates her achievement by opening a can of tuna for her cat.
You've got to love Joan Wilder. She feels her writing. She's so in the moment that she can barely see the page as she types her final lines.
I know just how she feels. I wrote The Matchmakers quite a few months ago, and it's been making the rounds and today I got a request for a full from an agent! So I'm going over it one more time, scanning for those last minute typos, fixing a comma here and there and finding that I still consider this one of my most emotional stories! As the words blurred on the screen, I had to laugh through my tears at the climactic scene - what a nut I am.
My husband things I need medication. After all, I wrote the darn thing. How on earth could it make me cry to read it? But it does.
It's a strange thing to say, but I hope it makes other people cry, too. If I can invoke this kind of emotion in someone else [I'm a sap and I know it] then maybe this is a really good book. Don't get me wrong, this is a happy story, it's a feel-good book, because heaven knows we need more feel-good books in this world, but I hope I've crafted something that has those moments when a reader tears up, even just a little, and feels what my characters are feeling.
It goes out in the mail tomorrow. Wish me luck and send me some cyber-tissues. I'm all out.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I just stopped over at Literary Sass Reviews to see their Tequila Worm Awards and I was stunned to find out that not only is The Soul Jar one of their staff picks, it also recieved the Award for Favorite Read of 2006!
I'm so psyched!
Here are all the staff picks:
BB's pick: Souljar by Jennifer Colgan
BW's pick: Waking the Shadows by Elisabeth Drake
LS's Pick: Once in a Blue Moon by Celia Stuart
LW's Pick: Cost of Loyalty: C. Fox
WW's Pick: Dragon Undone: Sara Dennis
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
In addition to working on my new paranormal WIP, today I'll be going Trick-or-Treating with the kids, carving a Jack-O-Lantern like these I made a few years ago, and making some Halloween brownies. [And of course Blogger is not responding, so the picture may not be there. I'll try again later to add it.]
The kids have parties and parades at school and then their friends are coming over so they can trick-or-treat in a hoard. We usually end up with the biggest gang on the block. The weather is pretty warm today, so that means we won't need to be dragging heavy coats around like some years.
Today's update: The Demon of Pelican Bluff was submitted to Amber Quill yesterday for the Beastmaster Pax and I've been given a February 2007 release date! So that's two releases lined up for the new year with The Rebound Guy scheduled from Samhain in early 2007 also.
Here's the rough blurb for Demon:
Something is on the prowl in Pelican Bluff, Minnesota. When the mayor of the small town calls in cryptozooloist Laurel Jensen to investigate strange sightings of a winged, demon-like beast roaming the forest, she can’t resist. It’s not her passion for the unknown that draws her, though, it’s her need to come face to face with the creature that’s been haunting her dreams.
Laurel has seen the beast, too. He calls to her, eager to lure her into his clutches and claim her for his own. Certainly not a run-of-the-mill cryptid, more than a clever hoax, the beast is real, and it’s searching for the perfect mate.
National Forest Service Ranger Cade Morrison draws the thankless task of escorting Laurel on her search for evidence of the beast’s existence. Cade knows the mayor is looking for publicity to attract tourists to the Bluff and he doesn’t want any part of it. But he does want part of Laurel Jensen. Or maybe all of her. Too bad he’s not willing to share her with the The Demon of Pelican Bluff.
And here's the blurb for The Rebound Guy:
Catching her boyfriend in the act with another woman, should have made Lauren James angry, indignant or even depressed. Instead, it made her horny. The only man in the world she trusts enough to help her through the sting of betrayal is her best friend, Eric Reynolds.
When Lauren shows up at Eric’s apartment, it doesn’t take much for her to seduce him. She finds solace for her trampled heart and bruised ego in Eric’s capable hands. After an unforgettable night of passion, Lauren wakes to the cold reality that she used Eric to get revenge on Matt. Will Eric forgive her, even if she can’t forgive herself?
It just occurred to me, Laurel Jensen, Lauren James...Do you think that's confusing? Considering they're coming from two different publishers, hopefully not. I really need to make that character name table I've been meaning to design.
Monday, October 30, 2006
And, be sure to stop by the Amber Heat Authors blog and read the installments of our Halloween Round Robin, The Gathering! [Be sure to scroll down and read from the bottom up!]
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Five Angels! A Recommended Read... , Jennifer Colgan’s, Ravenstar’s Bride is a treat... I could not put it down. Ms. Colgan’s skill keeps readers engaged and delighted throughout the entire story. I am hoping this is not the last story we will see with the Istrians. Truly well done. – Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
Tori and Kree [Ravenstar's Chief Engineer and Second-in-Command] will be on my case now. They've been clamoring to have their story told for years now...
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
I finally updated my website. For some reason I could not upload the new pages that include The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. [It's available now, btw! As you can probably tell by the fact that the cover art appears in the side bar. If you click on it, it's a buy link, too!]
I just love this cover! Even though my husband says real super heroes don't wear their spandex that tight.
I think if they had a butt like Molten Man's they would.
Anyway, I'm closing in on the end of my Beastmaster Pax submission. I think I've settled on a title, though I wonder if it sounds sort of like a Nancy Drew mystery.
What do you think of The Demon of Pelican Bluff? It really is the title that fits best. I've toyed with calling it The Avatar, but the reference is just too obscure.
I'll probably just be hitting 30,000 words and all I really need is a great last couple of lines to really bring it home. Of course this is the hardest part. I should probably let it sit for a day or two and something will come to me, but I love that feeling I get when I write THE END and I really want to get there. I love having finished things that I can submit and even though I know where this one is going, it's the idea that I've accomplished something, another story to put out there.
Ah well, back to the drawing board.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I just finished watching The Lake House starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and all I can say is:
This was undeniably the best love story I've seen in a long time and that includes movies, TV and books. I was blown away. It left me sobbing on the couch. Good thing DH is at Uber Con this weekend because he hates when I cry at movies. He doesn't know what to do with me.
This movie has a paranormal twist to it that makes it absolutely fabulous. I wish I'd written it. I wish I'd seen it sooner. I wish it wasn't over.
Rent it. Buy it. This is romance.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Today started out rainy and terribly humid. Up-side - we closed on our refinance today! So hopefully we will be on a more stable financial road in the coming months.
The rain turned into a driving wind storm that soaked the house [I left windows open this morning!] and was followed by sunshine and a bitter cold wind.
I have a stiff neck for some reason - damn those pillows. I have yet to find the perfect combination of pillows to sleep on. I'm PMSing and half asleep.
TGIF I suppose. Tonight I'm curling up with Dr. Who and Battlestar Galactica, but until then, I've got to get some work done if it kills me. And it just might.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It's been a week already and I'm really not looking forward to going to my offices this week. I'm supposed to be in Edgewater tomorrow and Saddle Brook on Friday and guess what - all I really want to do is write.
My WIP is shaping up for the Beastmaster Pax and I can't wait to see how it ends. Plus I'm still rolling that TOR-targeted single title paranormal around in my head. I just don't have the time any more to actually 'go to work.'
I shouldn't complain. So instead I'll dwell on my reviews at Literary Sass and I'll leave you with this shot my son took during our Liberty tour.
Cool, huh? What's interesting is that at NJRW I attended a very cool panel called Metaphysics 110 in which we discussed spirit photography. The author running the panel [and shamefully I cannot remember the correct spelling of her name so I won't even try to screw it up here] showed a similar picture and said this was actually a dimensional portal and that portals follow people. If you know where they are, you can step through. Fascinating concept for a story...though I certainly hope my eight year old doesn't go stepping through any portals into other dimensions. He's not even allowed to cross the street by himself.
Here's another one he took too:
Now it looks as if the portal is closing. Yes. I'm definitely getting an idea for a story. And I still have to go to work...bigger sigh.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I have to admit I was a bit scared to sub to them, they don't blow sunshine, that's for sure. I almost fell off my chair when I read their posts today.
I'm soooo psyched!!
Off to tell everyone I know.
For more about The Soul Jar, my latest release from New Concepts, click here!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
After the success of my Goodie Room blog entry, I almost hate to move on, but I got some great pictures during our trip to Ellis Island and Liberty Island this weekend and I had to share.
My son has been wanting to see the Statue of Liberty so we decided to go on Saturday. We took the Circle Line and bought tickets that would allow us to go inside the base of the statue. I'd seen it from a Circle Line cruise years ago, but I'd never been on the island before. It's quite amazing.
Here are some facts I didn't know:
The statue is made from copper sheets that are no thicker than two pennies pressed together.
The original torch was also made of copper sheets, but holes were cut into it and glass put in so that the statue could serve as a lighthouse.
The original torch now stands inside the base of the statue. A new torch, covered with gold leaf, has no lights inside it. It reflects sunlight during the day and is lit with floodlights at night.
The staircase up the arm into the torch has been closed to the public for 90 years. Water leakage caused by the conversion of the torch contributed to decay and instability of the arm.
The spiral staircase leading up to the crown has been closed since 9/11. Even Liberty State Park employees are not permitted inside.
The New Colossus is the title of the poem donated by Emma Lazarus to a fund raiser for the statue and later engraved on its pedastal.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
One of the things I was most interested in was what promo items make the biggest splash. In fact I’m so interested in this, I plan to make it part of the theme of my upcoming contest [stay tuned for more details!]. For now, though, I decided to use the NJRW Goodie Room as a laboratory.
I made several trips to the Goodie Room and I took notes on what was available there. Three tables chock full o’stuff made for quite a shopping spree for anyone interested in picking up some fun and informative do-dads.
I made a list of the most prominent items and I’ve rated them with stars (1 to 5, 5 being best) as to what items disappeared the fastest. Of course, having someone pick up your promo item is no guarantee that they will buy your book, but at least it gets your name into someone’s hands and maybe, just maybe, they will be curious enough about you to visit your website or type your name in at Amazon. I’ve come to realize we don’t do promo to make sales, we do promo to get name recognition.
Here, in my humble opinion, are the best ways to get your name recognized.
Wedding type favors (Bubbles, champagne flutes) * * * * *
Rings (plastic holiday themed or book themed) * * * * *
Candy (chocolate, lollipops, Life Savers, etc) * * *
(I noticed people took the candy and left the promo attachment behind)
Free paperbacks * * * * *
(If you can afford to do this it’s a great idea. What reader can resist a free book?)
Paper book marks *
Business cards *
Key rings * * *
Book flats (signed or unsigned) *
Post cards *
Note pads (plain or post-it) * * ½
(I’m always attracted by paper, so I went for these, but you know how many note pads I have already?)
Pens (and pencils) * * * *
(Writers can’t resist pens. I imagine readers can’t either. I came home with at least a dozen of these)
Condoms (alone or with other items) * * ½
(I think some people might have hesitated to take these, though they got a lot of comments)
Beaded book marks * * * * *
(The ones I made disappeared like hot cakes)
Perfume * * * ½
Nail polish * * * * ¼
(This happened to go well with the book title that was being promo’d)
Charms and necklaces (inexpensive plastic beads) * * ½
Magnets * * *
Calendars * * ½
Matchbooks * * ½
Buttons * * *
This is, in no way casts aspersions on anyone’s promo items. The various things that were available were all very classy and obviously represented a lot of work and in some cases a lot of expense on the part of the authors. These are just my observations as to what seemed to attract people and entice them to pick up an item and keep it rather than just look at it and set it back down.
I hope everyone going to a convention or considering making promotional items finds this helpful.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
In the mean time give a look into the new sci-fi novel by my fellow Diva
WEREPLANETS: IN ICE
Available October 13, 2006 from Cobblestone Press (http://cobblestone-press.com)
Jain Roberts' spaceship was supposed to dock at the new colony on the water world of Aquitilis. Instead, she crash lands after 500 years in cryongenic freeze on an icy mountainous planet. A planet populated by monstrous predators and shape-shifting bears. Kesuk, the Arctic Bear leader, rescues her from the snow, but the laws of his people say she is now his slave until she repays him for the favor. He intends to give her over to the first trading vessel bound for Aquitilis, if he can convince himself to keep his hands off of her.
To find out more about Crystal and her books visit her gorgeous website: http://www.crystaljordan.com/
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I'm still wired from it. I had a blast, as I expected. After lunch at Bennigan's with DH on Friday, he dropped me off at the Sheraton and I checked in. I love the rooms at the Sheraton - they're very plush for a reasonable amount of $$. I registered and perused my conference packet and took a little time just to relax.
Then I attended two workshops: Secondary Characters and the Magic of a Series, and Writing a Partial that Sells. By then I'd gotten in touch with Kat Mancos from Star Crossed Romance and we were able to meet up with Jennifer Elbaum, Rene Lyons, Bianca D'Arc and Angela James of Samhain Publishing. I was so thrilled to meet everyone! We all took a quick ride to the Macaroni Grill where we met up with Stella Price for a wonderful dinner. Then back to the hotel for the Golden Leaf Awards ceremony and the fabulously chocolaty dessert reception.
Once the reception was over I was exhausted and totally jazzed, so naturally I didn't sleep well, but since I had to be up at 6:15 to make the breakfast presentation, it really didn't matter.
Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer were the keynote speakers for breakfast, and they were a hoot! We all received copies of their book, Don't Look Down, which I can't wait to read.
After breakfast I fit in the aptly titled, You Don't Have to be Crazy to be a Writer, but it Helps panel given by Victoria Alexander and then it was time for my agent appointment! I won't go into details at the moment, but it was a rousing success and I got a request for a full of my paranormal novella and a partial of Matchmakers!
After that I took a little break, then attended Zen and the Art of Publicity and Promotion with Jade Lee. After lunch, two more panels and then the Literacy Book signing. I was lucky enough to run into Liddy Midnight before the signing. In addition to the eight books I got for free, I picked up three more at the signing. [Cause my TBR pile isn't quite big enough to warrant its own zip code yet, but I'm working on it.]
After I said my goodbyes it was time to head back to reality. DH and the kids picked me up and transported me back to the castle where I returned to my role as Cinderella [before the ball]. LOL.
I have a ton of notes to turn into blog entries and much to do, but I'm completely energized by the whole affair. It was fabulous to meet so many Divas and Divas-To-Be [Kat, this means you!] and the ladies of NJRW are wonderful. [I'll be looking into joining up - it's on my To Do List, I swear!].
Well. Whew. Time to relax and regroup. Catch you later!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Last year I had a blast. I had dinner with Liddy Midnight and Jenna Peterson on Friday night, met Linda Sawicki from Dorchester on Saturday and met a handful of wonderful authors at the Literacy Book signing at the end of the conference.
I also attended a number of wonderful workshops and enjoyed fantastic presentations from the conference's keynote speakers.
Oh, yeah, and I had two wonderful days to myself surrounded by romance authors. You can't beat that with a stick.
I'm hoping in the coming years I'll have the budget to attend more than one conference a year, but for now, this is the one so I try to make the most of it.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there and I'll be back with a full report on Sunday or Monday [depending on how tired I am.]
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I was Googling myself [blush] and I came across the page for Immortal Lovers at Amazon Japan!
在庫状況（詳しくはこちら）: 通常1~2週間以内に発送します。 この商品は、Amazon.co.jp が販売、発送します。
I don’t know if the Japanese characters will translate to blogger but they’re very cool. Apparently the book costs 1590 yen. I don’t think these means it’s been translated into Japanese – OMG – how cool would THAT be? I’d have to buy a copy just to look at it.
Nevertheless it’s awesome.
In addition, while searching Google, I found a Five-Heart review for Flight of the Valkyrie that I didn’t know about!
Here’s a snippet:
Five Hearts! Flight Of The Valkyrie by Jennifer Colgan is a dynamic love story, taut with suspense, intrigue, betrayal and true love marked by the hottest love making imaginable. Ms. Colgran has truly outdone herself with this one. I wasn’t able to put it down. The sexual tension as well as the suspenseful tension kept me awake and reading to the end. [This is] one you’ll want to read again and again. – Karen H., The Romance Studio
Gotta love that – the hottest love making imaginable! And it isn’t even one of my e-Rom titles.
It’s the little things that make my day.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
FOX regularly broadcasts a Viewer Discretion warning, which would normally turn me off of a show because I don’t like gore, excessive violence or depressing crap. This week’s episode should have included a much stronger warning. NOT because the corpse our crack investigative team had to identify was found liquefying in a bathtub full of corrosive household chemicals, but because the sexual antics of Agent Seely Booth were just nauseating.
Why do TV shows do this? Do they know NOTHING about romance? It’s more than obvious that Booth and his brainy heroine, Temperance Brennan, have the hots for each other. In fact viewers have been conked over the head with it a bit in the first season. But what did FOX choose to do now that the angst has been well established? They toss Booth in bed with his ex. [Eye roll] All right, I can put up with that if I must. Though I’ve always thought one of the cardinal rules of romance is you don’t want to see the hero in bed with a woman who is not the heroine. It just isn’t done. Okay, it has been done now and then, but it’s not the preferred way to do it. It can sour your readers [or in this case viewers] on your hero right off the bat.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, after one of their classic riffs, Tempe and Seely part company at the end of the episode and he goes off in search of the caustic new administrator Cam [added to the show this season for what purpose? Oh, yeah – there is no purpose.] Like Seely and his ex, he and Cam have a past. Now, we’ve established that Booth was a busy guy. He’s parked his SUV in a lot of different garages over the years apparently. And to drive that point home, last scene – SPOILER ALERT – and yes, it spoiled the episode for me – he’s in bed with Cam.
Pul-ease. This would just never fly in a romance novel. Establish your hero as a man-ho and you lose that connection. Your audience [female audience anyway] has torn his name out of the heroine’s little black book. [The male audience loves him and wants to be him at this point, but they don’t count.]
Why do television shows do this? I can say with almost complete certainty that if they added a romance writer to their team, things like this would not fly. I can’t guarantee their ratings would improve, but I could guarantee that the producers wouldn’t have to go around whining their usual whine: “We will never see the lead characters get together because it would ruin the show.” No, it wouldn’t ruin the show, if it was done right. Let a romance writer do it and you would be able to see a steady progression of a relationship, not this namby pamby back and forth, he loves her, he doesn’t love her, he loves her, he’s sleeping with someone else to keep the tension high crap. Viewers would be happier. The shows would be more satisfying.
I’m not saying the plot should be all hearts and flowers but for heaven’s sake, can’t they learn how to craft a good romance and let the viewers enjoy it?
That’s my rant for the day. Off to craft some romance.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Click here for the cover art: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2786/1631/1600/IsleofDesire-tiny.jpg
Isle of Desireby Eden Bradley
Is it really possible to fulfill the fantasy of a promise made in the passion of youth? On a beach on the small Venezuelan island of Isla de Margarita, Isabel Asher meets once more the love of her life, Rafael Cruz, the man she left behind twelve years earlier. Desire ignites, but can the sultry tropical nights spent in his bed lead them back to love? She’s about to find out, and maybe to have her heart broken in the process. Available September 29th from http://www.cobblestone-press.com/
Monday, September 25, 2006
“I get tired of them throwing their panties at me.” Brad Compton’s confession drew a trio of shocked stares from the other men in the locker room.
Will Bennet, aka The Reaper, paused with one foot halfway into his tall, black boot. “You’re puttin’ me on, man.”
“No, really.” Brad folded the bright orange spandex suit he wore while on duty as Molten Man and stashed his own matching boots in his locker. “I’ve rescued seven women this week and I don’t think any one of them really needed saving. Well, except the one who drove her car off the Jefferson Avenue Bridge, but I think she did it deliberately. The Super Groupies are really getting out of hand.”
Will exchanged a glance with Retro Boy, aka Bernard Maltese, who looked up from polishing his quiver of silver tipped arrows long enough to snicker. “It’s part of the job, Brad. Enjoy it while you can.”
“Yeah, someday we’ll all be too old to glow or melt or stir up a stiff breeze and the ladies will drop us like hot lead. You’ve got to have fun while your butt still looks good in tights,” Bennet added.
“Did you get any phone numbers?” asked DemiGog as he removed his gargoyle mask to reveal Earnest Wright’s rather nondescript features.
Brad pulled on his favorite pair of worn denims and a white muscle T-shirt before answering his colleague. “One.” He hated to admit it. As one of the Daring Dozen—Dedicated to Fighting Crime in the Northern Hemisphere—finding female companionship had never been a problem for Molten Man. Brad, however, was batting zero. After a six-month dry spell he’d begun to consider a meaningless fling with a panty-throwing groupie even though that wasn’t his usual style. He wanted to go out with a woman who didn’t expect him to wear his mask and boots to bed or try to wrangle him into a threesome with Speed Demon and Invisa-Man.
“One out of seven.” Will tsked while shrugging into his black leather vest and chains. “You’re losing your mojo, Big M.”
“And what happened?” Earnest asked, closing his own locker on the frightening visage of DemiGog.
“She ditched me when I refused to melt her ex-boyfriend’s Porsche.”
The other men shook their heads in sympathy. Finding a woman who wanted to date a landscape architect instead of a famous crime fighter was harder than battling four-armed aliens from another dimension.
Brad donned his denim jacket and closed his locker. “I’ll see you guys next shift. Signal me if anything exciting happens.”
The others said good-bye and Brad left the locker room. He headed out of the hidden exit of the Daring Dozen’s headquarters and emerged in the flower shop that served as a cover for the clandestine arrivals and departures of the world’s most famous band of super heroes.
Tonight he bypassed the subway, opting instead for a long walk to his apartment. The fresh autumn air would do him good, clear his head, and help him figure out just how he’d gone so wrong in the serious relationship department.
Stay tuned for some more sizzling excerpts from Molten Man coming up...
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Needless to say I'm paranoid about missing an important e-mail. Such is life. Everything has to be a struggle of some sort.
It's probably time to find a new e-mail client/server - whatever the term is. In the mean time, if perchance anyone has tried to contact me via e-mail and gotten bounced or gotten no response, please either leave a message on my blog, or keep trying to reach me.
In the mean time, I'm going to post my yahoo address in case anyone needs to get in touch with me:
Friday, September 22, 2006
Four Half Moons at Rites of Romance Reviews!
Here's a quote:
Jennifer Colgan has written a fast-paced, long novella that starts with a bang and just keeps going...a delightful read. – Michelle Puffer, Rites of Romance Reviews
I was honestly beginning to think no one would read this book. I know for some reason it missed the usual round of review sites and I've had to send it out to places myself. A huge thank you to the gang at Rites of Romance!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I finally finished my tattoo story! It wasn't easy - the last few pages of any story are usually so hard to write.
The worst part is coming up with that final line that gives the sotry closure and doesn't sounds like I dropped off in the middle of a thought.
Now to let it cool for a bit and then do a final edit, work on a pitch and see what my CPs think.
Tomorrow, I'll begin work on my Beastmaster story.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Here's the blanket cover for the Lusty League Amber Pax coming in October from Amber Quill.
Lusty League includes my first [published] super hero story, The Aventures of Molten Man, No. 1. I gave it the No. 1 not because I plan to make a Molten Man series, though it might be funny to try, but because I wanted it to have that comic book feel to it. The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1 is a tongue-in-cheek [and in other places!] type of story. It's meant to be funny, irreverant and sexy - a nod to all the super hero fans I know and love. Just to prove it, I dedicated the story to DH's first City of Heroes character.
For anyone who doesn't know what City of Heroes is - you have my undying envy. Here's a link to the playground of the super heroes.
Star tuned for an excerpt from The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1 later this week.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Check out Xandra Gregory's article over at Star Crossed Romance, or I'll make ye'walk the plank, I will! Arrgh!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
The consensus seems to be that it’s all in the execution. One person can write about a green-eyed red head virgin widow with a fiery temper in love with the tough but tender local sheriff – and it will be a bestseller. Someone else can do the same thing and be laughed out of the editor’s office.
Why? It’s in the execution. It’s just like other art forms, like painting, for instance. I tend to go for more traditional talent in painting – the old masters who captured a landscape or a face in striking detail. Someone who can paint every detail of a lace collar on a Victorian lady’s dress has talent. But there are plenty of artists who seem to literally throw paint at a canvas and are making money selling spatters and swirls that look like something a four-year-old could do in preschool. [No offense to modern artists of course. Some of those spatters and swirls are remarkably nice to look at and they evoke images and emotions just as well as the old masters can.]
Along the same lines, I’ve seen sculptures so lifelike you’d think the could come alive and I’ve seen formless blobs on display in museums and galleries as well. What makes the difference? Why can one person jam a rusty pipe in a lump of clay and call it art, and someone else must spend a decade chiseling away at a ton of marble to produce a masterpiece?
It’s the same with writing. It comes easy to some. They can throw words on a page, draw characters from a vast repository of those that have gone before them and somehow manage to make them new and interesting and infinitely entertaining, and others will get knocked off the horse for having their heroine be a blue-eyed blond. It’s all in the execution.
How does one become one of those people who can spatter paint on a canvas so to speak and create a novel that sells? How do you become the ‘executioner?’ Is it an innate talent that some people will just never have? Does it come with time and lots of practice? Is it trial and error?
Anyone want to share their artistic secrets?