Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Livin' La Vida...

A few weeks ago I thought I was pretty much done for the year - as in no more releases scheduled. I didn't have anything new coming out until 2010 - BUT as luck would have it, not only did I happen to sell one of the novellas I wrote over the summer, it also managed to fill a slot in Amber Quill's 2009 release schedule!

Coming in November from Amber Heat- La Vida Muerta

Here's the blurb:

Elena Talbot betrayed her sister for a chance at immortality. Now, ensconced in the dark world of Chicago’s undead, she clings to the person who helped her find herself and her sanity after the gut wrenching, soul-stealing transformation from human to vampire.

Vampire investigator Lucas Vitale has gotten used to having Elena in his home and in his bed. She’s always ready for his lusty games, but she’s still afloat in a sea of self-doubt and confusion about her new existence. She wants the one thing he can’t give her, a purpose. When her quest for fulfillment brings her too close to his long-hidden secret, he casts her out. Only after she’s gone does he realize there’s no point in living ‘the dead life’ without her.

If you want a little background on the characters in La Vida Muerta, check out my FREE READ, Fresh Blood. The Talbot sisters, Lucas Vitale and Max Hart were all introduced in that story.

And that's not all - stay tuned for more info about my December re-release of The Soul Jar!

Friday, September 25, 2009

How cool is this?

A fellow Romance Diva just posted this link and I had to come over here and blog about it.

From the How Cool Is This file:

Star Trek Cologne.

It's too bad most perfume gives me a headache, or I might be tempted to put one of these on my Christmas list. At $29.95 a pop they're a bit pricey as far as I'm concerned, but the novelty factor is high.

I'm not sure I'd opt for the Red Shirt fragrance. Seriously - do you want to smell like you're expendable? I would definitely have to go with Pon Farr. You have to figure it must be a sexy scent, and you can't beat the IDIC insignia on the bottle. I used to have an IDIC pendant, not sure what happened to it, but it was mega cool. [For those of you who aren't familiar - IDIC stands for the Vulcan concept of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. Pon Farr is the Vulcan 'blood fever' which precedes the pinnacle of their 7-year mating cycle.]

The important question here, of course is, how soon will this stuff show up on The Big Bang Theory?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guest Blogging!

I'm over at "Embrace the Shadows" today talking about The Matchmakers and giving away a free copy, so drop by and leave a comment for a chance to win!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Epiphany Schmapiphany

Yeah, so, remember all that crap about clearing the decks? Forget it.

It didn't work. I even had DH pick a genre for me so I wouldn't be influenced by my own insecure desire to stick with what I know. I wrote about four pages on something and realized it was not at all what I wanted or needed to do.

Then I had an idea about a character in my current WIP and worked on that instead. The idea involves possibly rewriting the plot, changing major POVs and introducing a new [and or secondary] hero. Can you say, love triangle? I love those.

I also did actually start a new story as well, based on an idea I had a while ago and I'm working on that too. This breaks a cardinal rule I made not long ago about working on only one story at a time so I can give it my full attention. I realized I don't having something called 'my full attention' anymore. I'm too busy thinking about a million different things.

To combat my creative schizophrenia, I've also thrown myself into a new craft hobby.
Japanese Temari. I made these...they are basically embroidery on handmade balls of yarn and string. The fun part is actually wrapping the ball of yarn in thread. It takes a while but it looks cool when you're done. Then I basically ruin the ball by trying to sew designs on it with embroidery floss. [The larger ones are cheats - they're wrapped in Lion Brand ladder yarn which requires no skill but it looks awesome.]

To keep me extra busy, I also stumbled across an afghan kit at a yard sale on the weekend, so that's on deck [yeah, the deck I just cleared] for as soon as I finish the afghan I'm already working on.

Maybe somewhere in there I'll complete a story, if I can find one with all this commotion on the deck. Speaking of which, I had a dream last night I was on a cruise. The deck of the ship was pretty busy. It had a waterfall on it and a Zen garden. It was a nice place to visit, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Daily Epiphany

Sounds like a cool name for a newspaper, doesn't it?

Part sarcastic, part inspirational...

The Daily Epiphany pretty much describes my writing life. Every day, almost, I come up with some kernel of an idea that gets caught somewhere in my gray matter. Some days, it's a cool idea for a story. Other days its a bad seed - like the days I think I should give up this life of glamour and excitement and concentrate on a real job.

Either way, there's some new nugget taking shape in my brain all the time. Sometimes helpful and good, other times insidious and self-defeating.

Today, just a few minutes ago in fact, I had one of the shiny epiphanies. It was a small one, nothing earth shattering, but it's one I may decide to run with. It has to do with clearing the decks again.

I've been bogged down with a couple of stories, a couple of ideas that I just can't leave alone. I'm chipping away at them a lot like chipping away at an iceberg with a chopstick. I'm working up a sweat and not making much progress.

It just occurred to me that maybe I need a clean slate for a while. What would happen, if I put all the half-finished stories on hold for a bit and forced myself to write something totally new, totally out of my comfort zone, seat of the pants, no holds barred? What if I got out of my own way and just let myself write?

I know. Right? Radical.

I'm off to trade in my chopsticks for a blow torch.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why haven't I posted?

I've been meaning too, really.

The problem is I can't find the right picture to post. See, I've been obsessing over finding the right look for a new hero I'm working on and I know just what I think he looks like, but I can't find the right picture and it's driving me nuts.

I discovered once before that sometimes stories don't work because one or the other of the main characters is wrong. They may be good looking, smart, clever, and experts in their chosen profession, but they're just not exactly right and that's why the story doesn't seem to gel.

So I have this story all plotted and I know everything that needs to happen, but it's just been sitting around doing nothing because the scenes I wrote with the hero and heroine were just too...nice. The hero was a gentleman. Very wise as well as handsome. Powerful, sophisticated...you'd like him. Really. The heroine, in fact, had no reason not to like him.

Therein lay the problem. When there's no conflict, there's no story. When two people meet and really hit it off...that's not a romance novel. Two people need to meet like oil and water, or preferably oil and a lit match. They need to leave each other scorched and spent, not giddy and grinning [at least not a first].

So, I'm off to find the hero that my heroine doesn't find genteel and admirably heroic. She can't look at him and think, 'Wow, he's got it all together.' She needs to look at him and think, 'Oh, please. This guy?'

I'll let you know when I find him.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Running with the Turtles

Yesterday DH and I took the kids to the zoo. We love zoos, and even though at 11 and 14 ours were the oldest kids there, they still had a good time.

In the reptile house, we came across this little fellow [on the right] who, though he looks stationary in the picture, was actually booking for a turtle. He was moving pretty fast across his habitat, apparently trying to cut off his roommate. He succeeded, since the other turtle wasn't actually moving at all.

This little bit of zoo drama got me thinking about my writing journey. From the outside, it may look like I'm at a bit of a standstill at the moment. I don't have any new releases scheduled until 2010. I'm plugging away on a WIP that, if it does what I want it to do, will end up a full-length novel, so that takes some major time. I'm not racing around trying to do a bunch of promo because I want to concentrate my limited energy on writing. My progress is slow, from a relative standpoint, but like this turtle, I'm moving as fast as I can.

I like to think that from the perspective of another turtle, I'm hauling some major a$$. It's all about viewpoint. No one is eating my dust, but at least I'm moving.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

SHIFT High Gear

It always amazes me how September seems to shift instantly into high gear. This week has been full of 'new' and 'different' and it really feels a lot more like a new year has begun than when January 1st rolls around.

DD started high school this week. High School. Egads, I'm old. So far, she's loving it, and in less than 2 and a half days, I'm totally broke from running around buying school supplies. Her long and complicated list required visits not only to Staples, but JoAnn's Fabric and Michaels. Fortunately we had a lot of the needed supplies already on hand, and better yet it was a great sale weekend, but nevertheless we watched the money flow out of both our wallets.

I got through four chapters of the first draft of my new WIP. Yay! It's interesting - I have to keep telling myself not to sweat the things I already know I need to change. I've seen the development of my other full length novels over time and I realize the words I'm putting down now may be drasatically different from the finished product that ends up being submitted, but that's okay. These are the bare bones. The cosmetic surgery will come later.

I've also thrown myself into a new endeavor. I plan to rediscover the joy of cooking.

Don't laugh. I'm serious.

I like food. I love to eat - and I've sworn off dieting forever. [That's another long post] My plan is to work on making healthier meals and try to cut back on our use of packaged, processed food. The Ultra-Metabolism principle is still floating around in my head, so I need to concentrate on better eating for better health, not 'diet' eating for losing weight. I'm in the process of going through all my old cook books, weeding out easy, nutritious recipes that have potential and tossing the rest. [This is also part of my plan to eventually clean all the junk out of my house.] I found a folder with my receipes that had coupons in it that expired in 2003. I think it's time to start letting go, don't you? LOL.

Here's to new endeavors!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The opposite of hangin' on...

Is holdin' up. Ever feel like everything rests on you? Like you alone hold the world together and keep everything on an even keel?

I feel like that a lot. Sort of like a Borg queen, trying to keep all the drones from walking around in circles mumbling 'Resistance is futile, resistance is futile.'

The interesting thing about this 'weight of the world' type feeling, is that it seems to change dramatically when September arrives. It's practically an overnight thing. I go from feeling like I'm trying to hold up a giant dog, to feeling like I can float without treading water. [My ability to create interesting metaphors drops dramatically, but what the heck.]

Is there a time of year when your attitude shifts abruptly and you feel more hopeful and confident?