Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Pixar New Years Eve

I was going to post a picture of some Pixar films up top here, but I didn't feel going back to reload it so I chose this fabulous shot of deep space instead.

Tonight we're settling on the couch with a bunch of munchie snacks and a bunch of our favorite movies:

Toy Story
A Bug's Life
Toy Story 2
Monster's In.
Finding Nemo

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

Un-Resolutions Redux

"In 2006, my un-resolution, is to continue with the goal in mind of creating the career I’ve always wanted. In addition, I plan to continue my efforts to become more organized and to save more money and reduce that out-of-control feeling I often have when it comes to my financial status and the housework. I un-resolve to work steadily and not let my new open schedule become an excuse to goof off. I’d like to un-resolve to read more, but I doubt I’ll find the time, and I probably won’t develop any new hobbies either. I’ve got quite enough for now.My best un-resolution is to take everything as it comes and go with the flow. The calmer I am, the better I deal with problems, so if I don’t set myself up to fail by making resolutions I can’t keep, the less likely I will be to feel stressed. "

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

The view from my desk

Here's my new flat panel monitor! My favorite Christmas present. While this meant I had to dust everything and re-arrange my desk a bit, hopefully it will improve my productivity and the ergonomics of my work space. Now I won't be looking up at my screen anymore and I won't be sitting at an angle to see my work.

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

What Do You Want to Find Under Your Tree?

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

Christmas Past

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

Traditional ramblings

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, Saran wrap when they get older.

What holiday traditions do you have?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Yule!

I'll be partying all evening at Romance Divas and then settling in for a long winter's nap. Tomorrow I've got to start picking up food for Christmas Eve - I'm cooking - yikes! And I still have to wrap a few presents, make up a gift basket for my aunt, make chocolate fudge and babysit my parents' cat on Saturday. I'll see if I can get a picture of him to post here. He's a cutie, even though he's very high maintenance.

Have a day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Contest Winner

Congratulations to
Barbara Huff
who won my Holiday Contest.
Barbara chose a copy of Immortal Lovers as her prize.

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

Something Fishy

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 am an Office bum

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

Chatting Today!

Today we'll both be chatting at Novelspotters from 1:00 to 1:30 PM.

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

Double Arrgh!

Romance Divas message board has been down since yesterday and I'm going into withdrawal. I need a dose of RD quick!!

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

I Made Salad

Because my spare time runneth over, last week I devoted much of my evenings to this project. The Salad Scarf.

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

Coming Soon from Samhain

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: ,

ISBN: 1-59998-308-7
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

Things I've Done/Haven't Done

I stole this from Rene Lyons

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
131. Parasailed
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

Inflatable Christmas

They’re cute. They’re often cuddly and sometimes strangely innovative. They dance, they glow, they wave as you drive inflatables have taken over the venue of Christmas decorating. [Once again it would have been nice to have a photo to go along with this, but Blogger is acting up again.]

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!