Thursday, April 30, 2009

477,131 words

I did some math today.

Surprising, huh?

I decided to calculate the number of words I have written and NOT PUBLISHED. Yep. The number above represents the total words contained in a collection of 26 novellas and short stories that I wrote all before I decided to embark on the journey to be published.

This isn't the sum total of everything I've ever written before the 33 titles that I have sold. This is just the adventure series I embarked on partly to entertain DH and myself back when I didn't think I had the chops to be published.

Now, everyone who is reading this is saying - well, go ahead and get those 477,131 words published! And I wish I could, but this stuff just needs so much work to make it submittable. It's a daunting task and one that I would love to be able to blink my eyes and have magically done, but one I'm still not sure I really want to put the time and effort into.

Sometimes it's easier to start new.

But these 477,131 words will always be there, in a universe I used to love to play in. And there are so many stories still not told...the question is, do I want to go back and rehash what's already been done, or move forward?

Do you have old stories gathering dust that you'd love to pull out of moth balls and submit? If so what keeps you from doing it? The amount of work involved or the desire to forge new territory and leave the past in the past?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the Bureau of Useless Statistics

I’m all for the “greening” of America. Really. I recycle. I use cloth bags when I go food shopping [love them btw!]. I don’t leave my car running for 45 minutes to warm it up on cold winter mornings – and I’m all for any idea that will save energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

However, I must protest the latest trend from the television networks and advertisers who are using useless statistics to sell products or convince people to go green[er].

It’s great to give people facts, but they have to actually make some sense. For instance, recently while watching one of my favorite shows I saw a PSA featuring well-known actress [I don’t recall the exact wording of the commercial which is why I’m being vague]. The actress explained how something simple [like turning off lights etc] could essentially save millions of dollars ‘enough to wipe out the credit card debt of’ a huge number of people.

I thought, how absurd a statistic is that? If I shut my lights off I might lower my electric bill by a few cents. And if everyone shuts their lights off, they might lower power usage by a considerable amount, but I don’t see the power companies sending checks out to thousands of people to help pay off their credit card bills with that saved money. In fact, I have heard of power companies INCREASING rates in order to make up for falling energy usage. So technically if I use less power, my power company will make less profit, thus forcing them to raise my bill anyway. No money to pay off credit cards then.

Another commercial for a national retail store encourages people to buy larger boxes of cereal, with the hook that if everyone bought a double box of cereal, thousands of pounds of cardboard [and hence trees] could be saved each year. It sounds like it makes sense, but think about it. The cereal company is still going to make the smaller boxes of cereal because it makes them more profit to sell two small boxes of cereal than to sell one large economy size box of cereal. While they might produce fewer small boxes of cereal if people actually bought fewer small boxes of cereal, the money they saved on cardboard for that brand would not translate into less cardboard being used overall, it would translate into the company coming up with another product for which they could use that cardboard.

Useless statistics.

If you want people to shut off their lights [or buy a bigger box of cereal] tell them: if you shut off your lights, you will save money on your electric bill. If you buy a bigger box of cereal you will spend less in the grocery store. People will respond to that, but they won’t respond to the idea that shutting off their lights will help thousands of people get out of credit card debt. It won’t. Buying a bigger box of cereal won’t save trees, it will just free up some cardboard for the cereal company to use in some other way.

Have you heard of any useless statistics? Have you heard a “go green” PSA that made you change your habits significantly?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hot ticket!

Okay, I have to confess a couple of things.

One, over the years, as I've gotten older, I've found a lot less enjoyment in going to the movies. I have no patience for the nitwit in the row in front of me who is talking on the cell phone. I can't deal with the lunkhead behind me who brought his 2-year-old to a PG-13 movie and the kid is kicking my chair for two hours. I don't like to walk on sticky floors. I hate sitting through 30 minutes of previews. Butter-flavored topping is NOT the same as real butter.

HOWEVER...[two] I have to admit, I'm a bit psyched about this year's crop of summer movies. I'm especially jazzed about the Star Trek movie. [Yes, I'm a Trekkie. I was born a Trekkie.] As much as many die hard members of Trekdom have much to say about how this story BLOWS THE CRAP out of Federation continuity, I will readily agree that the trailers look absolutely awesome. You can bet I will be there some time on opening weekend, letting my geek hang out.

Here's a list of some other movies being released this summer which, in my humble opinion, range from being mildly noteworthy to being MUST SEEs. Which ones will you plunk down your hard earned cash for and which ones will you wait for the DVD?

Battle for Terra [animated coolness]

X-Men Origins [I live with a super-hero fanatic. This is a must see]

Star Trek [I met DH at a Star Trek convention. We can't miss this.]

Angels and Demons [loved the book. loved the controversey]

Terminator: Salvation [it's got to be better than The Sarah Conner Chronicles]

Up [Disney's next toy commercial]

Land of the Lost [who else misses the Sleestak as much as I do?]

Transformers 2 [the first one ROCKED, seriously, it did]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs [shouldn't it be Twilight of the dinosaurs?]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ['nuff said.]

So what's your hot ticket for the summer?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sneak Peek Day!

Okay, I promised you an excerpt from my upcoming Samhain release, The Matchmakers...and here it is!


Nick didn’t remember going to bed. He barely remembered inspecting his truck by flashlight and finding his cell phone on the floor under the passenger seat, then running his hands along the paint job as he looked for the scratches and dents that couldn’t have disappeared without a trace. He vaguely recalled his third beer and the four times he’d picked up the phone to report his wingless, green-eyed faerie to the police. Now, it all seemed like a dream that could be easily forgotten.

During those first few minutes of partial amnesia after he’d pried his leaden eyelids open, he thought again about leaving town. He’d been in Bayerville for eight months. That was longer than he’d stayed anywhere since he’d left home about twenty minutes after he turned eighteen. Twelve years of roaming the country, seeing the world, had taken him as far south as Acapulco and as far north as Nova Scotia. There were dozens of places he’d promised to return to and hundreds he’d vowed to stay away from.

Bayerville, Pennsylvania was a pretty little place that presented itself at a time when he needed a break. He’d found a furnished apartment with a month-to-month lease and started taking carpentry jobs to pay the rent. He’d gotten comfortable.

He’d begun to think “comfortable” might be a good place to be for a while, and that made him nervous.

Settling down meant it wouldn’t be so easy to pack up and leave when things got sticky—and they always got sticky eventually. When the wanderlust hit him, he might be torn up about leaving certain things, or certain people, behind, and that was something he definitely didn’t want.

That thought chased away the pleasant blur of sleep, and the events of the previous night settled in his conscious mind like a lead blanket.

He had a stalker. Or maybe a real faerie. Come on. She had to be a magician of some sort. There must be a reasonable explanation for everything he’d seen last night.

“Matchmaker. Right.” He laughed as he rolled out of bed and drew up the window shade on a cool, breezy Friday morning. All that crap about true love. There was no such thing. Love came and went. He’d been in love once or twice. At seventeen he’d been desperately in love with a girl in his twelfth grade homeroom. Sandy something. She’d had the bluest eyes he’d ever seen, and kissing her made him feel like Superman. At the prom, he’d suggested they sneak out to the parking lot and spend a little time in the back seat of his dad’s car. He’d brought a blanket and a fresh box of rubbers just in case.

She’d slapped him and called him a worthless, horny dick. Not surprisingly, that desperate feeling of love had faded before final exams were over. The next girl, to whom he’d made a similar suggestion, thought it was a great idea, and he’d never given Sandy what’s-her-name a second thought.

At twenty-five, he’d met Clair Bainbridge in Tallahassee, Florida and spent four months high on endorphins. The aspiring dolphin trainer had the body of a sea goddess and she could swim like a mermaid. Hell, maybe she was a mermaid for all he knew. She sang like a siren and made love like it mattered. She was the girl of his dreams, and he’d walked away forever after she asked him to move in with her.

That desperate feeling went away again in the months that followed, and Nick never questioned why. Love faded. That was a fact. The newness wore off after a while. None of it was real or “true”. He’d made damn sure all the women who had come after Claire knew that.

Tinkerbell was crazy. Nick had nothing to lose. Life without having to worry about falling in love didn’t seem like a punishment at all.

When the doorbell rang, he shot a nervous glance at the bedside clock. He hadn’t planned on sleeping until ten-thirty, but since he had nowhere in particular to go this morning…what if she’d come back early?

Damn. He’d planned to be long gone by noon. Now he’d have to make up some new excuse to get rid of her. He grabbed a t-shirt from the bureau and slid into yesterday’s jeans. Raking his fingers through his hair, he headed for the living room but stopped to snag a piece of cinnamon gum from the nightstand before he left.

At least this time she’d rung the bell.

He opened the door a cautious crack, and Miranda threw herself into his arms. “Nicky!”
He backed up, clamping one arm around her waist to steady her, then swung her around and deposited her on her feet in the middle of the living room. He kicked the door shut as he let go of her.

“Hey…there, Miranda. How are you?”

She thrust one curvaceous hip forward and gave him the look he knew so well. That dark, mysterious, brown-eyed come-on that said, “What, me married?”

It had been his undoing three weeks ago when she’d hired him to build her new pool house. Now it just made him miss the open road.

“Skip and I are separated.” The announcement came with a triumphant smile, which faded a bit when Nick didn’t immediately respond in kind. “Aren’t you happy? He moved out last night. He’s on his way back to Boston right now. He’s got some little bimbo there, I just know it. But I don’t care. What’s wrong, Nick? You look like you have something caught in your throat.”

“I just—I’m surprised he left. From the way things sounded last night, I figured you’d be the one moving out.”

She shrugged, did a pirouette and plopped on the couch. “I just reminded him that our pre-nup requires proof of infidelity, and he’s got nothing on me. I’ve got copies of his cell phone bills and his credit card receipts from all his business trips this year. He wasn’t on the phone with the Boston office fifteen times a day, and the firm isn’t sending him to Pompano to get three-hour massages and shop at Victoria’s Secret. If the slut in Boston finds out about the slut in Pompano, I might just end up a wealthy widow.”

Nick had that tight feeling in his chest again that came whenever he felt a female net starting to close around him. Miranda jumped up and sidled into his embrace. She ran her fingers over his chest and up to the stubble on his lower jaw. Her dark hair tickled his chin.

“I’m writing the checks now, and I’ve got a lot of projects for you, Nick. Come finish the pool house, and then we can pick up where we left off last night.” Her lips, painted a sugary shade of pink, drew into her trademark pout.

Sex on a pile of two-by-fours suddenly didn’t appeal to Nick. He put his hands on Miranda’s shoulders and pushed her back just an inch or so. Her sweet pout flattened into a frown.

“What’sa matter, Nick? I promise Skip won’t be back.” Her fingers moved over the skin around his eye, which he just realized didn’t hurt a bit. “He must’ve pulled his punch. You don’t even have a bruise.”

“Miranda, it’s not…I don’t? Oh…uh, if you want me to finish the pool house, I will, but…”
But what? Yesterday, she’d told him she loved him. Why was that knowledge such a turn off? It wasn’t that he didn’t find her attractive anymore, he just—

“Nick, baby, aren’t you coming back to bed?”

The familiar voice had a sexy, sleepy purr to it that sent Nick’s blood rushing to his extremities. All of them. He backed up a full four steps away from Miranda.

He turned and saw Calliope sauntering out of his bedroom, and his heart thumped once, hovering on the precipice of the next beat. She wore one of his work shirts, open to the third button. The tails of the plaid flannel swayed around her bare thighs as she yawned and blinked languorously at him.

Jesus! His bedroom windows were locked. Where the hell had she come from?

Miranda’s gaze turned to ice cold daggers, and she came at him, fists balled. “Who the hell is she?”

He caught Miranda’s wrists and held her while she showered him with a mix of Italian and English expletives.

“I…just met her.” That didn’t come out right, but he couldn’t take it back.

“You picked her up on the way home from my place?” Miranda struggled against his grip. She kicked his right shin, but he held her off despite the pain.


“Well, actually, yes.” Calliope winked at Miranda, then leaned on the doorframe and stretched. The movement raised the hem of her borrowed shirt barely an inch, but the distraction cost him. Miranda broke loose and cracked him across the jaw with her open palm. It stung, but not as much as Skip’s punch had.

“Miranda, she’s a stranger—some girl who followed me home. She’s crazy!”

“Mmm, that’s right, lover. Tell her how crrrazy I am! Meow!” Calliope did a sexy shimmy and clawed the air.

Miranda growled. “I can’t believe you! You said we—I thought you—” Miranda sputtered at him, obviously at a loss to pin any promises on him.

Nick gaped as Calliope turned and glided back into the bedroom. “When you’re finished out here, cowboy, I’ll be waiting for another ride.”


Monday, April 20, 2009

And from the 'You've got to be kidding me' file...

Apparently, there are a lot more people with too much time on their hands than I first suspected.
I came across THIS article today about a growing movement to ban the use of the Comic Sans font from everyday use.
The font, which I can't recreate here without a lot of switching back and forth to check styles, was created to mimic the typeface used in comic books. It's a casual font, which it seems, many people acutally find offensive when it's used for things that are not casual in nature.
As someone who believes the world would be a better place if we all just walked around in our jammies, I have to express my dismay. While I might look askance at a college acceptance letter written in word bubbles [or the font most commonly used in word bubbles] it would still be an acceptance. The crippling pain of a rejection letter might be softened a bit by a big, flowing, unpretentious font, and you can bet I wouldn't bat an eye if the million dollar check for my lottery winnings was written in any kind of type at all. [I'd even accept crayon as long as the check was good!].
So tell me, how do you feel about Comic Sans? Do you find it breezy, fun and happy or just plain ridiculous?
Being a contrary person by nature, I think I might like to spearhead the movement to keep Comic Sans alive and well, maybe have it declared the national font, or the official font of the Olympics. More so, I think I'd like to spearhead the movement to encourage people to get over themselves and not worry so much about fonts.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The art of balance. [Awesome picture huh? I found it on Photobucket under 'balance']. The reason I looked up balance was because I was just over at Romance Divas in a thread about the difficulties of balancing all the things we have to do in our lives.
The general consensus was that something has to give. When you feel overwhelmed, it's not because you are a failure and aren't managing to do everything in the right way, it's because you've taken on more than is humanly and sanely possible to do.
As I said on the thread, women especially have this problem because we tend to believe we have to be all things to all people. We must be good mothers and wives to start with, and beyond that we have to be great students, excellent employees, dedicated writers, expert promotional gurus, advocates for our own careers, partners in our health care, matriarchs of our extended families, BFFs to fistfuls of people, active PTA members and class moms, charter members of professional organizations, chapter presidents, contest judges, critique partners, captains of the neighborhood watch, concerned citizens, conscientious voters and healthy eaters.
It's nice work if you can get it, but it's also totally unrealistic and [imho] the fault of our do more, be more society.
The bottom line is we need to learn to say when enough is enough and we need to learn to be content not only with having less, but with doing less because less IS actually MORE.
Think about it. Would you rather be really good at one or two things that you love, or adequate at ten things that you hate?
Practice saying no. Practice slowing down. Balance will follow.
So says me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Have you ever...

Written to a writer?

I’m just curious. I get fan mail on occasion and I love it. I haven’t written very much fan mail myself – not because there aren’t writers I love and whom I believe deserve lots of praise for their wonderful books, but because I always had the vision of writers as being far too busy to read my letters.

Silly me. I’m a writer and I'll make time to read fan mail. Really, I will. [That’s not a hint, by the way.] I don’t consider fan mail an imposition at all and I don’t even have an assistant whose job it is to mail or e-mail back boilerplate replies.

Nevertheless, knowing this about myself, I still don’t send out a lot of fan mail. If I happen to read a book by someone I know, let’s say having met them at a conference or through an on-line writer’s group, I will usually drop a quick note. And early on in my writing career when I was reading books by potential publishers I did take time to e-mail authors and tell them how much I enjoyed their books. I always got lovely replies and I like to think [having now been on the other side of the addy] that I brightened their days a little bit.

So my question today is, do you write a lot of fan mail? Now in the time when writers are easily accessible – most have their e-mail addy up on their website, which is easy to find with a Google search, and many have blogs where you can leave a quick comment, do you? If you do, do you tend more toward commenting to small press authors than best-selling NY authors? Do you think they’re more accessible and more likely to respond?

If you’ve ever written to a mega-best-selling author, what kind of response did you get?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just 'cause it's my birthday....

I thought I would post the cover for my upcoming Samhain release - The Matchmakers!

I know I may have said this about other stories I've written, but this book is really, honestly, truly my all time favorite. This is my sweet, cute, funny romance full of characters I love to spend time with.

Here's the blurb:

The Matchmakers by Jennifer Colgan

Coming June 2009

Nick Garret is flypaper for females, and he likes it that way. Women stick for a while, and when it’s over they fly away. So does he. Then one rain-slick night a young woman steps in front of his pickup truck, and his jaded, cynical life takes a sharp swerve toward trouble.

Calliope did the only thing she could think to get Nick to steer his truck—and his life—in a new direction. Banished from the Fae realm for granting a wish gone bad, her punishment is an impossible task; redeem the unredeemable Nick Garret. If she fails to help him pair three couples in everlasting bliss, he’s doomed to never experience real love. And she will share his fate—as a mortal.

Nick can’t decide if this charming, exasperating woman is a dream come true, or a saucy, sexy nightmare sent to drive him insane. Yet something about her makes him want to rise to her challenge. He’ll do anything to make her stick around a while.

Besides, how much trouble can one half-naked, seemingly wingless faerie be?

Stay tuned for an excerpt!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The best-laid plans of mice and men

So the saying goes. The universe cares little for the things we wish to accomplish, as I learned the hard way this weekend.

First my plan to actually get ahead financially and pay off as many bills as possible went screaming down the crapper when my car decided it no longer wanted to go in reverse.

Transmission rebuild = big bucks
Transmission replacement = sell your first born

Having no car until Tuesday the earliest meant a flurry of phone calls to work out Monday's bake sale plans. Not my biggest worry, mind you, but still.

I breathed a sigh of relief late Friday night, figuring I had everything now marginally under control. Saturday was all about editing and catching up on laundry. I had just realized that there might be an end to the laundry monster if I worked non-stop until dinner [one load an hour in between editing]. It was looking good until DS tripped in the basement and landed on his arm.

We arrived home from the ER four hours later with his arm [two broken bones] in a fiber glass cast.

I would like to state for the record that I have spent entirely too much time in hospitals over the past ten months. [Hence why I did not watch the final episode of, nor do I mourn for the demise of ER.]

Huge sigh. So, today is all about revisions - and if I finish those, back to editing, and then figuring out how to keep the boy's arm dry while he takes a shower.

Let's see how well these plans hold up.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Romancing A Cause

Help my friends from Romance Divas support a romance writer who is struggling. She and her husband have lost their home, both lost their jobs, and we don’t want them to lose hope.

Be a Diva and have a ball with these awesome books. A new auction every day! From April 1 through April 7, you can bid on print books, ebooks, writing critiques, banner creation, jewelry, baskets of soap, and other goodies galore! All of the authors are part of the writing forum Romance Divas, and include Robin L. Rotham, Gemma Halliday, Jennifer Lewis, Kate Pearce, Jennifer Colgan*, Nell Dixon, Sage Burnett, Delia DeLeest, KB Alan, Debbie Mumford, Dara England, Cassandra Curtis, Ciar Cullen, Stephanie Adkins, and many more! If you can't afford to bid on these items, even $2 will help. Paypal address for direct contributions is

* My book has already been auctioned off, but please check out all the other cool items available!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

PG Post - I swear!

So DH and I are in the supermarket the other day, and he turns the corner into the soup aisle. I was following behind and when I caught up to him, he's hanging over the cart laughing.

I give him the curious eyebrow and he says look at this - even the supermarket isn't PG any more:

He of course snapped a picture with his cell phone. Another man in the aisle is also laughing and he says to DH, "I took a picture of it last week." Men.

Yesterday DH is telling a co-worker about it and the guy starts laughing. He'd seen it and taken a picture too.

Now I wonder if any of them had the...meatballs to buy it and taste it.