Merry Book-mas, and Happy December

Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 in General, Monthly Updates, Randomness, Updates |

Happy December one and all. In our house we exchange gifts on December 25th. This year, much like many past years… and many future years I imagine… Christmas had a distinctly bookish theme. Yes, my family believes in supporting the publishing industry at Christmas each year. We do, after all, have a personal stake in seeing it not fail 😉 This years the total number of books my five person family swapped – 41. Yup – 41 books changed hands among us. The most went to my eldest son, he got 10. The lions share of his new books where series starters. We are trying to help him find some new and interesting addictions…I mean reads 😉 Others were continuations of a couple series he was already hooked on. I scored at the bottom of the list this year – I got 7. Not that I’m complaining, they are all books I am excited to read. Including an anthology of Steampunk short stories I’m itching to start. Just thought it was funny I ended up getting the fewest books- usually I get the most. 🙂 How has your month been? (mine has been good) Did you see the eclipse on Winter Solstice? (to cloudy here) What are you most looking forward to in 2011? Next blog post – My New Year...

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Home again, home again, and all that jazz

Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in General, Kudos, Randomness, Updates | 2 comments

I know I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but just for that ever elusive “record” I love the Surrey International Writers Conference (SiWC). If there is a better conference put on by a more wonderful group of amazing and talented people, I’m not aware of it. SiWC is the perfect size, not so big you get lost in the crowd not so small that no one with a big name comes.  Kathy Chung the conference coordinator this year did a spectacular job.  All the presenters were amazing and in each session I learned some tidbit that will help me along as a writer, or a person. So yes, I love SiWC. In addition to all that, it was fantastic to see my writer friends and catch up with them, Rose, Elissa, Tyner, Pam, Peggy, and Angela (P.S. there is an interview with me on her site – more on that tomorrow) of the Book Broads not to mention the countless others I don’t have the space to name. Then there are all the new people I got to meet this year at Surrey. Allow me at this point to take a quick moment to say congratulations to Tyner for his story placing second in the Annual Surrey International Storytellers Award Contest. Excellent job. 🙂 Plus this year I got to meet in person two of my Tweeps who I have been conversing with all year on Twitter but never set eyes on(@natgreyangel and @LornaSuzuki) . That was way cool. Amidst all the wonderful, and there is so much wonderful, there are always a few moment or a few speakers that stand out. For me this year there are four people I would like to mention/thank in particular. kc dyer : I can’t begin to say what an awesome and inspirational person kc is. She has been so important to me as I’ve progressed as a writer.  I’m not sure I would have gone past my first year of writing if not for her belief, encouragement, and support. This year sitting in her panel on steam punk and having a blue pencil with her was fantastic. – kc – thank you so much for our words of advise on how to strengthen my manuscript and for providing them in such an optimistic and encouraging way.  I came home eager to get started and excited about the possibilities this year held. Arthur Slade: I’ve never stalked anyone before, this past weekend Arthur Slade was generous enough to allow me to stalk him around the conference. Meaning I attended each session he gave or sat on a panel in and even got behind – or in front –of him in line to eat a couple of times. Not too shocking given the size of the conference and my interest in the steam punk genre. 🙂 In all...

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Do agents really care about my Bra?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010 in General, Randomness |

Do agents really care if my bra matches my panties? Probably not. In fact, I’ll go out on a pretty safe limb here and say no. They couldn’t care less. So why was it so important I have my favorite set of matching bra and panties clean to take with me to SiWC? I know my husband was wondering that very thing when I told him they had to be washed before we could leave thereby delaying our trip at least a few hours. I could see the wheels in his head turning. “The agents won’t see your bra – just wear a different one.” Yeah, I know that… But when I was little, my mother used to tell me when I was scared or nervous that looking my best would help. So I’ll spend hours picking just the right clothes to wear on the outside and I want to know that I am wearing something pretty underneath too. So when I walk into my ten minute pitch session wearing my pink polka dots, will it make me pitch any better? No, the bra has no magic pitch mojo. However, I will feel more self confident knowing I am “dressed for the part” and that may very well affect the way I pitch. So we wait for it to dry and it’s traveling with us to Surrey to make it’s non-appearance and work it’s non-magic. But I’ll know, even if the agents never do....

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Old song, poignant new meaning

Posted by on Sep 11, 2010 in General, Randomness | 1 comment

So for a while now, I have considered the lyrics to the song “I Have a Dream” by ABBA to be an inspiration in my writing life. I heard it for the first time watching Mamma Mia. It was sung by Amanda Seyfried and I fell in love with this version of the song.  I have it on my iPod and I must admit I can never listen to it just once. Then yesterday something changed… I picked my kids up from school and we were heading home, my oldest (10) asked why September 11th was special. My daughter (7) immediately claimed to know the answer and begged to tell him. I relaxed into my seat and said “sure” thinking it should be interesting hearing her take on the events of nine years ago. I honestly didn’t expect her to know the answer. I’ve never told her, but I wanted to know what she was learning through school, or the “Friend Net”. At the same moment she started to talk this song came on. My daughter sometimes has trouble coming up with words, she doesn’t stutter exactly but she stumbles, often struggling to find the right word or phrase to complete a thought. She often repeats the word “and” or “uhm” as many as six or seven times as she attempts to express herself. I’ll admit that this often makes me crazy and I want to jump in and provide her with the word. Yesterday though, this urge didn’t hit me, because I totally understood her struggle as she began to describe how nine years ago four planes crashed. I found myself desperate to hear how her innocent mind and tender heart would describe the people who took over the planes. In her words they were “crazy people” unaffected by religion, region of the world they lived in, or political affiliations. It was so apt I felt tears well in my eyes. Then she began to talk about the firemen and rescue workers, she struggled again to find the word “hero” and once again I sympathized. Not because they weren’t but rather because that word seems to woefully inadequate. How can you call someone who runs into a collapsing building to save the life of another a mere hero? How can you relegate a person who sacrifices themselves on a plane to take it back from terrorists to the simple category of Hero? It seems like there should be a bigger word. Something with more syllables and letters. More tears gathered as I heard my unbiased child, with no notions of conspiracies or politics, simply talk about the people of September 11, 2001. She spoke about the people, including the children, who died. The hero’s, some who lived and some who didn’t. And the crazy people who made the choices that day leading to those planes crashing and all...

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Thinking about dreaming

Posted by on Aug 31, 2010 in General, Randomness |

The past few weeks I’ve been having a lot of stress dreams. Most likely because I am waiting for a lot of things to happen and they don’t happen for a while. Actually quite a few should be resolved this week so the dreams are getting more frequent and intense. Fortunately, I’m one of those lucky people who has lucid dreams. Wikipedia makes it sound ubber cool and existential really it just means my dreams are extremely vivid, I remember them very well, and at some point in the dream I realize “hey this is a dream and I’m in control I can do ANYTHING I want because it’s not real and I am in control.” So I do. I take over my dream and make everyone and everything in it what I want. My mind wraps around the dream the minute I become aware of the fact that I’m dreaming and takes over. But I have to be careful, sometimes if I realize I’m dreaming my body will throw me out of sleep and wake me up – which is a pain because it throws me right out of REM and I’m always tired the next day if that happens. Except, it ends the dream which is nice, there is one dream in particular I always wake myself up from, the driving stress dream. I hate that dream.  I am trying to drive from the wrong seat, either the passengers seat or the back seat, and one of my kids is in the car with me. I shiver just thinking about it. Here’s the thing, I like being a lucid dreamer. It’s fun. I never know where my dreams are going to take me and even when my mind takes over sometimes my brain comes up with scenarios I would never imagine in reality. That’s also where some of my  story ideas come from. Cat’s Revealing started as a lucid dream. I ended up changing a lot of details but the seed of the story started as a lucid...

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Follow Friday – The Smart Bitches

Posted by on Aug 27, 2010 in Follow Friday, Randomness | 0 comments

Yeah, I know, I’ve been MIA the past few days and I haven’t done a FF in weeks then I show up with a blog title like this. What can I say, that life sometimes. So why follow Smart Bitches, Trashy Books… oh so many reasons. First off, their funny. They tell it like it is. Ever looked at the cover of a novel and thought uhm what the… . Yup… so have they. Want to know who won, check it out here. They follow the romance market in the business world and keep their readers informed, but keep it at a level that is understandable. I personally have never picked up Bloomberg Business Week or any other business publication. But thankfully, the Smart Bitches are paying attention, and I am paying attention to them. 🙂 They are also helpful, with frequent book reviews and their HABO (Help A Bitch Out) posts that help people track down books they read a long time ago and can’t remember the title and author of. I’m amazed how quickly their Blog readers come up with the title and author based on snippets of plot from a book, some of which were published 20 years ago. I have to say reading the site has helped me learn a lot of what NOT to write in my romance novels. What people don’t want to read and what doesn’t work.  Reading some of the snippets of plots and some of the comments people make about certain phases I find myself thinking – are my plots that contrived? Do I use language that flowery and metaphors that are craptastic? I like Smart Bitches because it makes me think. Mostly I enjoy the site because at heart I am a fan of the genre. I like romance and they handle the topic with a mixture of honesty and humor. I think the people writing for this Blog are intelligent, savvy and creative individuals who know the romance market and do a great job sharing their knowledge with an edge of wit. So today my Follow Friday goes to the Smart Bitches.  Check them out at their blog, or follow them on Twitter @SmartBitches Happy Friday...

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