Friday, June 30, 2006
Tuesday was great. I've lived in SC for almost 2 yrs and that was the first time I'd been to Charleston. We were downtown at the Gibbes Art Museum and the kids had a great time learning a little bit about Japanese culture. While they did that, a friend and I walked around -- she'd gone to grad school there -- so she was a great guide. Somewhat reminiscent of New Orleans, but smaller. We were completely wiped out when we got home.
Wednesday and Thursday kind of bit. Trying to maintain a semblance of sanity, trying to tidy in the wake of a tornado. I finally got overwhelmed with all the things I can't control. Ordinarily, I just try to keep my head above water, knowing that land isn't far away. But the last couple of days, it all fell away. I was sure I was sinking.
I felt wretched when I went to bed last night, but I slept fairly well and woke up feeling a lot more positive.
So. Onward and upward. I will control what I can, and let the rest sort itself out. And now, coffee.
Out for the Day and MySpace
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Off to do mother and child things down in Charleston today. I've never been to Charleston and a big group of us are taking the kids to a museum to do some Japanese history thing. I know it doesn't sound like I'm looking forward to it, but I am. I'm just a little scattered.
Also, on the advice of Marianne Mancusi, who has had success in both romance and YA, I have a new MySpace page. It's not fancy, but if you like, you can friend me.
You should recognize the icon pretty easily. *gg*
Saturday, June 24, 2006
First things first -- my back feels MUCH better today!
Second, I've been thinking about blogging again.
I love my little blog. I truly do. I know, I neglect it sometimes but by some miracle, I haven't killed it yet.
But, in light of the "using your blog as promotion," I'm uncertain if I succeed. I know I can count on many of you, my faithful buddies, to buy my book and participate in my contests when I have them. But is it enough? Am I ambitious enough?
Probably not. I'm not a truly ambitious person. I must be one of the few writers I know who has no burning desire to top the Waldenbooks Bestseller List, much less the NYT list. I really don't. It's not that I doubt my ability -- I know I'm a good writer and feel like I can hold my own with most mid-listers. It's that I doubt my output.
I'm inconsistent and slow. I know that. You know that. It doesn't make for much of a career, frankly. I'll be very, very lucky to submit one story a year. And that, not even novel length.
So, in light of reality, is it worth it to change my blog into more of a marketing tool instead of what it is -- a place I come to talk about my day, my kids, my darn-near-perfect dh?
Nah. Probably not. But it couldn't hurt to talk a bit more craft, now could it? Maybe, like some friends, I could institute a weekly Writing Craft Day. What do you think? It probably would come less from the perspective of "This is what the books and the rules say" and more from "this works for me, I've heard that it works for others." Just my perspective on stuff. Maybe talk about my pet peeves. Maybe talk more in depth about my favorite, and not-so-favorite books.
Any ideas for my first Writing Craft Day? Maybe a catchier name for it?
In other news, it has come to my attention that my tits are more famous than I am. I think I'm just going to have to accept the situation and post the photo as my profile picture. People at RWA will learn to recognize me by my cleavage. Maybe my boobs will attract the attention of a leading publisher and they'll be asked to write the story of their ups and downs.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Sorry, y'all. I hate starting blog posts like that.
I've been meaning to blog for a couple of days but night before last I lifted with my knees and my back screamed in protest. I didn't sleep at all the first night, so I caught up on all the Justice League episodes I had on the DVR.
Yes, I watch the Justice League. Wanna make somethin' of it? Batman has that brooding Alpha thing down pat. And all the male characters have these beautiful deep voices. I read somewhere once that while men like things they can see, women are led to the bedroom by the ears. Pathetic, but probably true. Have a guy say all the right things and we'd fall, no matter what he looked like. (Well, unless he, like, smelled rank or something. But that's different.)
I also watched most of "The Village," which, I guess, is a horror movie by M. Night Shamalayan or whatever the heck his name is -- same guy who did "Signs". Sucked. The big secrets were just tricks, gimmicks. I hate that. If you're going to set up a big, scary mystery, you had better not skip over it at the end with a raspberry and a "Fooled ya!"
I had a constant stream of ibuprofen yesterday, but still hurt so much I couldn't concentrate.
I finally read the new Crusie/Mayer book DON'T LOOK DOWN. It was good. It was funny and the military stuff felt very realistic. Since Mayer is an honest-to-God Special Forces type guy, it better be. His experience showed and I enjoyed it. The main characters were very well-drawn, but there was a cast of thousands. That detracted, I thought.
I did sleep last night, but woke up practically paralyzed with pain. Half an hour on a heating pad this morning, 3 ibuprofen and a massage helped immensely.
Today we went to the local Parade of Homes. Dang. If I had an extra quarter of a mil, I might buy one of them. One of them had a full-size fridge and full-size freezer side-by-side. I swear, if I wrote culinary erotica, one of those would feature heavily. Cooks know whereof I speak.
Monkey Boy has his last swimming lesson in about half an hour, and the Monkey Princess is at her gymnastics lesson right now. My kids are busier now than they are during the school year. Might squeeze in a trip to the zoo next week or something.
At swimming lessons, I've been writing DAUGHTER OF PRIVILEGE. It's going really well right now. I love my hero. I knew very little about him when I wrote the scene the story is built on. In fact, he was a bit of a stereotype. Wouned warrior. Strong but silent. Nuh-uh.
Turns out he's got a seriously snark on for my heroine, who eventually gets to fire back. At first, he thinks she's a complete idiot, but there's a really good reason for that. Trust me, if you were in her situation, you wouldn't come off looking too great either. I'm also breaking a romance convention. You know how even though the heroine might look like a complete disaster, the hero can only ever see her beauty?
Bull. My girl is a wreck and they both know it. Don't you hate that feeling? That not only does the guy you're with think you're not too bright, but you also look bad? Or am I the only person that ever happens to?
I should have done some writing during The Monkey Princess' swim lesson this morning, but I started re-reading Angela Knight's JANE'S WARLORD. I still love that book.
People Like Me!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Well, at least one person. *gg*My Lady Insanity
has asked me to guest-blog in August, right before my release. The tentative date is August 11, but since that month might get messy, we're holding off on the indelible ink.
I grin every time I think about it. Somebody likes me! Yeah, I'm a geek.
At least something's going well
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Remember that query contest? The Romance Divas one where I sent the query of Daughter of Privilege
to Kate Duffy?
This is the scoresheet.Romance Divas WE ALL WIN 2nd Annual Query Contest Scoresheet
Please score either a YES or a NO on each question. Any comments given are greatly appreciated, even if they’re a “yes, but…” or “no, but…,” although comments aren’t required or expected.
_X_YES NO__ Does the query catch your interest with a strong hook?
_X_YES NO__ Does the blurb/story summary sound like a fresh retelling of a familiar plot or does it seem compelling enough to defy familiarity?
_X_YES NO__ Is it professionally prepared with no spelling, grammar, punctuation errors?
_X_YES NO__ Does the query contain something about the author or some marketing angle?
_X_YES NO__ If this query landed on your desk, would you request to read more? If not, is there a specific reason you could give that would help the author know what she needs to work on?
____1st____ Of the five queries you’re read, what rank placing would you give this one: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th?
No comments, but straight yeses and 1st. That feels pretty good. Kate isn't known for wasting words.
As soon as the house is ready, I'll go back to writing, finish this story and submit it.
I admit, I'm very frustrated right now. There's nothing I'd like better than to take the next couple of weeks and do nothing but write, write, write. Not gonna happen.
BUT, I can say that the house is really starting to look great. A room we had used primarily for storage is completely cleared out and nearly staged. Today -- the guest room.
They're killin' me
Monday, June 12, 2006
My monkey children, that is. And it's not even summer break that's doing me in -- they're at Vacation Bible School right now. It's the mere fact of their existence.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love the little monkeys. But the whole childbearing, childbirth, childrearing thing is like taking a rasp to my joints.Julie
, if you're reading this, stop now. Julie is still in the thrall of new pregnancy (send sticky baby vibes) and reading this will only disillusion her.
This morning, on my way upstairs to rouse the troops, I turned. And heard the ominous click of my knee.
You know how, when you start to be unwieldy in pregnancy, doctors and nurses remind you frequently to lift with your knees? Like a good little mama-to-be, I listened. After the children, I listened to the gps, taking advice from the orthopedists, to lift with my knees. All to save my back.
This has now devolved to the choice between walking with a limp or with a hump.
There is no winning here.
Sweet baby Jane
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
NOT QUITE DEAD is up on the Coming in August page at Samhain.
I'm going to need more coffee.
I'm here. I went into mini-hibernation for a few days. Serious housework, then lazing around. Did I write? No. I read. A lot.
I'm retreating from reality because my reality is quickly piling up the stress.
I'm nervous about my edits because I have a hideous feeling they're going to hit me right in the middle of the move.
I'm nervous about this query contest because I think I lied. I said I could finish the story by the end of August, but I don't know if I can. I haven't really written in weeks. No kidding. Weeks. Yeah, I did that WW thing, which I still haven't polished and sent off. Yeah, I started a new story. Yeah, I did my edits. But I'm feeling very snowed under by unfinished projects. The biggest of which is this damned move.
I could have spent my weekend writing or cleaning/packing. That's what a wise person would have done. I am not wise. I am panicked. Panicking pretty much sucks all the wise right out of you.
Anyway, since someone should get something out of my unbelievably unproductive weekend, here you go.
Mostly, I re-read books, but I also finally picked up a couple of new ones.Lynn Viehl's
newest Darkyn novel, DARK NEED
. LOVED IT! I really enjoyed the first Darkyn book, was ambivalent about the second, but this one rocked. Lucan is such a great hero and Samantha is a kick-ass heroine I can sympathize with.
I finally read Kathy Love's WANTING SOMETHING MORE
, which I actually picked up last year at RWA. I enjoyed it. I believed in the heroine, but the hero didn't move me as much as I hoped he would. But Kathy writes a great heroine. Marty is great fun. Marjorie Liu's SHADOW TOUCH
. I read it once and couldn't really decide whether it was a keeper or not. Lots of running, lots of chasing, pretty large cast of characters. Read it again and, like all her other books, it's a keeper. She's got a great series going here, with a vital and interesting paranormal element.JR Ward's LOVER ETERNAL
, the second in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, is another keeper. Infinitely sweeter than her first novel, this one also had to grow on me. If you love vampire romances and haven't picked up the Brotherhood books yet, make a point of it. They're edgy, hip and sexy. Ignore the names.