Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The Happiest of New Years to you and yours. 2009 will be a wonderful year!
Ok, I've borrowed the following from Killer Fiction's blog.
Commitment is what
transforms a promise into reality
It is the words that speak boldly
of your intentions
And the actions which speak
louder than words
It is making the time
when there is none.
Coming through time after time
Year after year after year
Commitment is the stuff
character is made of,
The power to change
the face of things.
It is the daily triumph
of integrity over skepticism.
What a great saying! I hope your New Year commitments truly define your dreams.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Here We Come A Wassailing
Christmas is mentioned in all of Jane Austen's novels and even in some of her short stories. The Christmas season in Georgian England was a time of balls, parties and visiting and celebration. The Kinghtleys visit the Woodhouses, the Gardiners visit the Bennets, Lady Russell visits the Musgroves, John Moreland visits the Thorpes (with sad results), William Price visits his sister at Mansfield Park, the Westons hold a party, and John Willoughby distinguished himself when he, "danced from eight o'clock till four without once sitting down." These incidents and more are covered in Jane Austen's Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England by Maria Hubert.
All this company, visiting and merrymaking requires a lot of food. One popular holiday drink was Wassail. Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon toast "Waes Hael" or "Be Whole". The first "Christmas Carols" were Yuletide drinking songs and singers caroled their neighbourhoods carrying their wassail bowls with them.
1 gallon apple cider
1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
3/4 cup tea (can use herb tea)
Place in a cheesecloth sack:
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
2 sticks cinnamon
This is great cooked in a crock pot. Let it simmer very slowly for 4 to 6 hours. You can add water if it evaporates too much. Your home will smell wonderful! Serve warm, garnish with orange slices.
May you have a peaceful, blessed, and romantic
Christmas Eve. May the lights on your tree sparkle, the eggnog flow, and the presents find themselves wrapped before midnight.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup real butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
* cream all these together
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chill for 2 hours or more. Form into a ball and then roll in chopped walnuts or pecans. Serve with graham crackers; I serve with cute Teddy Grahams.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Happy December to all of you!! I'll share a few of our favorite recipes this month, even though I'm not very fond of cooking, because making food as gifts is fun. And this recipe qualifies as a gift, whether it's given away or enjoyed by the maker on a cold December night. :)
1 pound cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split
1 bottle tonic
Lime slices, for garnish
Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Divide mixture in half and pour into large, clean mason jars. Pour vodka into the jars to cover the berries. Set aside and allow to sit for 1 week. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries and store cranberry vodka in a clean jar in the refrigerator.
Any favorite Christmas drinks you'd care to share?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
As though the movie isn't enough to be thankful for. . .
By Larry Carroll
- It's been talked about, it has a screenwriter, and now it's official: Stephenie Meyer's "New Moon" will be coming to a theater near you. Summit Entertainment made the official announcement on Saturday (November 22), during a brief respite from counting the massive box-office receipts that Meyer's first film, "Twilight," is taking in this weekend.
"I don't think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment," the best-selling author said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with them again on 'New Moon.' "
The news comes on the heels of the vampire flick selling out theaters nationwide, despite its mixed reviews. The madness began with some impressive advance ticket sales, then the film added to its $7 million midnight-screening take with a staggering $35.7 million on Friday, taking in money at a rate reported to be more than three times that of last week's box-office winner, "Quantum of Solace." To put it in perspective, "Twilight" is now second only to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in terms of biggest opening-day gross for a non-summer release.
"Twilight" is currently on track to become the highest-grossing film ever made by a female director, the highest-grossing vampire film of all time, and is also threatening several other records heading into Saturday. The film is currently projected to make more than $60 million this weekend, which would put it on track for the $150 million box-office haul that director Catherine Hardwicke has said would automatically green-light sequels.
Some critics are already whining about the quality or lack thereof concerning the special effects. For me, the romance was the ONLY factor worth considering.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I love Thanksgiving! Like the 4th of July, the holiday is a celebration of America and gratitude. A great heaping bunch of delicious food, and no presents to fuss over!
So here are some holiday facts; some well known, some a little more obscure:
- The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as "suggestive."
- Turkeys are known to spend the night in trees! (Maybe to escape the Thanksgiving table?)
- Turkeys can drown if they look up when it's raining!
- A turkey's field of vision is 270 degrees--one of the main reasons they're able to elude some hunters.
- The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.
- There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.
- Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats.
- The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name craneberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry.
- Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.)
- President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for our National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.
- President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national “Thanksgiving Day.” Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as 'tom' to spite Jefferson.
- Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Calories drank don't count. :)
For your blogging pleasure, I've added two new links to my Group blog listing. The Chatelaines are an eclectic mix of many of my favorite authors; Bonnie Vanak, C.L. Wilson, Cindy Holby....oh, I won't list them all. Stop by and visit when you have a chance.
I've also added Killer Fiction. You know, Gemma Halliday is the only name is their group I think I recognize. But I read one post, then another, and another...and I love their collective 'voice'. I'll recognize their names now when I'm out shopping, and their books will find their way onto my shelves.
Mmmmmm, big stretch. The cats are changing sleeping stations, from one chair to another, and I believe I'm ready for another cup, and perhaps a slice of pumpkin strudel bread. Yes, go ahead and believe it's homemade, if you are so inclined. What a lovely, lazy Sunday morning thought. :)
Thank you for stopping by, and pleasant reading as you meander through the blogs I've posted here or in the post below. Enjoy this tiny reprieve before the preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas must commence...(and if I should have already started, I don't want to know :)...)
Monday, November 3, 2008
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
There are so many worthy nominees, but the following stand out:
1) Terry Stone-Western Romance. I adore Cowboy heroes and their Women of the West. Terry Jo does a magnificent job of introducing us to incredibly detailed bits of history that bring her stories alive, as well as wonderful books reviews. A not-to-be-missed site.
2) The Writer Side of Life. Lee McKenzie writes Harlequin American Romances, which are near and dear to my heart. She's a member of the Wet Noodle Possee, and her blog is a refreshing mix of yummy recipes and a peak into her beautiful Pacific Northwest home.
3) The Write Soul. Do yourself a favor; if you're a writer, run to this blog. Chiron O'Keefe's essays on what motivates and inspires a writer constantly amaze me. She is both insightful and delightfully down to earth.
4) Periodic Pearls Margaret Evans Porter's blog brings home a slice of New England heaven. She offers a look at her lakeside cabin, her beloved dogs, and her love of travel. Ah, to be in New Hampshire at Christmas...
5) Regency Ramble. Michele Ann Young writes both Regency romance and Westerns, and has been nominated for Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year award. Regency food, dress, occupation, and lifestyle are covered in her fascinating posts.
6) Being Bonnie Vanak I am obsessed with Egypt. Crazy, over the top, can't get enough of it, obsessed. I was THRILLED when I discovered Bonnie's Egyptian historicals (Dorchester), and then found myself hooked on her Nocturne line as well. In addition to writing can't-put-'em-down books, Bonnie works for an internation charity and spends a great deal of time trying to help those living a reality you and I cannot imagine. She's an all-around super gal. :)
7) Jennifer on Writing Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James/Ashley Gardner--whoever you know her as, you must have read her books. The woman is a writing dynamo, and she still finds the time to share the inner workings of the publishing world with us. Her motto on her blog is "I write, therefore I am." Words to live by.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
"Desire is the Key to Motivation." - Mario Andretti
That's the quotation on my desk calendar for this weekend. I get one quote a day for Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday must share a quote...so it had better be good, yes? I happen to find Mary Engelbreit very inspiring. I love the color, shapes, and subjects of her work, so having her calendar close at hand makes me happy. Autumn is my favorite season, so it is inspiring as well.
"Be a Lamp, a Lifeboat, or a Ladder."-Rumi
Go forth and help others. It fits with the well known "What goes around, comes around" and so theoretically if we're there for others, we are helping ourselves as well. This could quickly get bogged down into the whole "Why exactly are you helping others".... No, thanks. Just go help. The reasons will work themselves out. When someone is collecting canned goods for our local food bank, I don't care if you give because your heart is full of good cheer, you're hoping for a bit of good karma, or you've found the perfect reason to get rid of the canned beets. Someone in need will still have dinner this month.
"If you can't Excel with Talent, Triumph with Effort."- Dave Weinbaum
Now, there you go. I love this one. I have worked with hundreds of children over the years, and can say with absolute certainty (which for a Libra, is saying something!) that attitude and perseverance trump aptitude any ole' day. I have seen so, so, soooooo many children--and adults--who have every bit of cognitive brilliance a person could need to make dreams come true. . . and yet they flounder. They wait for the Dream to come to them.
I tell my girls if they want their Dreams to come true, they need to go out, hunt them down, and drag them home. Anything is attainable with belief and effort. :)
I'll leave you with something to mull over:
"It is only with the Heart that one can see Rightly; what is Essential is invisible to the eye."- Antoine de Saint Exupery
Inspiration and Motivation are both very personal things; what inspires you and your work? And check out my new link The Write Soul for some truly inspirational writing posts.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Whine...and you're whining alone. Ha--not really. If you feel the need to vent, I'm all ears. It's been a crazy, hectic, whirlwind of a Fall so far. In fact, I've only found the time to post this today because I'm waiting on a phone call from our physician about daughter #2--she fell at school yesterday and we think she sprained her ankle. But she's had foot issues before, so we're waiting for the "final word." (Update: A simple sprain, thank goodness!)
A month ago, after working all day, running the girls to two after school programs and then hanging out with doctors, and getting ready for another's field trip today, I wouldn't have thought about trying to squeeze in writing.
But last night, I sat down and pushed out four and a half more pages before crawling off to bed.
It's weird, but it's working for me. Candy Havens says 'Just do it. No excuses, no worries, NO EDITING. Just get it down as fast as humanly possible.'
And I thought, what the heck. I really believe that no one system works for everyone, and we each must find our own best way to get those words on the page--but I'm liking this. It kind of freeing.
Any special techniques or methods that work for you?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Bless Robynn B today, as she undergoes a bone marrow transplant.
All our best wishes and prayers go out to her and her family, including her dear Aunt Terry Jo.
You can read more about Robynn here.
Thank heavens for the friendship of fellow romance writers as yet another support during difficult times.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Oh, how I love, love, LOVE this time of year! Lots of birthdays, my wedding anniversary (20 years! Yes, I married when I was six. *G*) Cool weather, beautiful foliage, yummy comfort food, football games, gathering and shelling walnuts until your fingers are a beautiful brown.
Apples! Apple Cider!
Long walks through the fields and forests of my parent's farm.
Homecoming parades. Tailgate parties!
Visiting the pumpkin patch in search of that perfect jack-o-lantern.
That first fire in the fireplace. . . the first frost on the leaves.
Why do you love Fall? If autumn hasn't captured your heart, what Season brings out the best in you?
Friday, August 29, 2008
I left my heart in San Fransisco. . . Nope, I'm not talking about the National Convention. I'm talking about the Fog City Divas, who have decided to disband their blog (Nooooooooo!) in order to better spend their time---writing!
Shoot! Can't they pop out fabulous, entertaining posts and interviews every day and still crank out wonderful books?? Must they insist upon a personal life as well?
These ladies offered up the perfect variety of historical, YA, contemporary, humor, category, erotic, romantic suspense--you name it, they write it, and write it WELL.
I am sooooo going to miss their take on the profession, and life in general, when they leave tomorrow. Be sure and stop by their site and say thanks and good luck!
Divas, I wish you Happy Days and Happy Writing! Thanks for sharing your lives and expertise with us these last three years. :)
Friday, August 15, 2008
As I've said in previous posts, August is our "new year". I work in the schools, and our three daughters attend school, so August is filled with saying goodbye to the routine, or lack thereof, of a lazy, self-centered summer and hello to the demands of work! school! teachers! extracurricular activities!
Each summer, I feel as though I separate from one career and fully embrace another. The writing might have been filed under "extracurricular" activities at one point in my life, but now I treat it with a great deal more respect and commitment. My children and my husband still come first, but then they take precedence over the "paying" job as well.
The transition back is always bumpy the first week, but I do try a few tricks to ease myself back into the fray. Keeping my writing desk clear of school papers, household bills and other paraphernalia helps. So does a stash of dark chocolate M&M's. *g*
So how do you balance your writing with your other responsibilities? Do you use any special routines to switch gears from caretaker, employee, chauffeur, jack-of-all-trades, to focused writer? Do you need a few minutes to let the story come back to you, or can you flick it "on" in an instant? Do Tell! :)
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Party's over, people!
There is nothing like a conference, RWA Nationals or something more local, to get those inspirational juices flowing. And all those workshop CD's just waiting to be listened to.....all that juicy research, just waiting to be explored....
But hey! That book isn't going to write itself! Take all that newfound wisdom and glorious insight and refreshed enthusiasm and put that pen to paper (hands to keyboard, etc.) !
Get back to work! Let that page count reach new heights! Celebrate every single new word that makes it to the page, and let us know when you've finished another brilliant WIP! :)
Monday, July 21, 2008
I think we're all pretty familiar with why the RWA national conference is so wonderful. The people you meet, the variety of workshops, the connection with others who totally get you and your writing . . . it's an experience not to be missed.
But sometimes life gets in the way. If you're staying home this year, there are some pretty great things happening on-line to keep your muse satisfied and eager to help you stay excited about that WIP.
Paperback Writer is hosting a week-long Left Behind and Loving It , a series of virtual workshops for those of us keeping the home fires burning. (Or the AC blasting. . .) And the Romance Divas are hosting a Not Going to Conference Conference from July 30th to August 2nd. Such a wealth of information at your fingertips, and all available after a simple registration! It's also great fun to visit familiar personal blogs and read everyone's updates on what's happening during the conference, and the posts that follow for weeks after.
August always feels so much more like the beginning of a New Year than January for us, with three children in school and my own day job in the school system. Let's embrace the energy of Nationals and make August the beginning of a new enthusiasm for our writing as well.
Already packed and ready to take on San Francisco? Staying home and celebrating the joys of a profession that can be carried out in pajamas? How are you recharging your writing right now?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Hey, it's RWA National Conference month over at the Wet Noodle Posse. Follow my link directly to your left for some first hand, first rate, been-there, done-that advice from some really wonderful and generous writers.
I thought Dallas was amazing. I learned so much by just listening to everyone around me, fellow unpublished to fan-girl worthy pros. One of my favorite moments was sharing an elevator ride with Teresa Medeiros. She is the sweetest person ever!
I'm not going this year--ah, the economy has struck again!--but I know a bunch of you are! Very excited? Pitches polished? Comfy shoes shined? Seat at the bar already reserved? :)
Seasoned veterans, what's your favorite thing about Nationals? Newbies, what are you looking forward to the most? Any good stories of your own to pass along?
Good grief. I cannot believe it's the last day of June. Of course, I've been having all sorts of bizarre conversations with people for the last two weeks in which I cannot remember which day of the week it is, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We're on summer time now, and it's hit hard. Up very late (for us), up late in the mornings (for the girls, the dog waits for no one :) ), and doing all sorts of normal summery things.
The fireworks are going off like crazy around here already! So let me sneak in an early Happy Fourth of July, since on the fourth I'll be running around like a crazy person, or dozing in a lawn chair. No in between for us around here!
What do you do for the 4th?
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I've been Tagged by Alice to sum up my life in six words or less.
Yikes! The switch from non-stop school activities to summer sloth has melted our brains around here, but I'll try . . .
Embrace the Chaos, Treasure the Now.
That's nice and Zen. :)
Now to tag others that I love to read--
Terry Jo, brilliant researcher of all things western, and Marnee Jo, slaving away over a wonderful WIP with the rest of us.
What about the rest of you? Could you sum up your life in six words or less? Or if not your entire life, what about your life right now?
Friday, May 16, 2008
Well, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian released last night at midnight, and my two oldest were there to watch and pass judgment. They liked it well enough, but the oldest confessed to being a tad confused . And they were surprised by the low turnout at the theater.
I'm not. It's graduation time and finals week around here. Next week, the movie theater will be full.
I'm looking forward to the second Hellboy. What are you going to see this summer? Will any of us be able to afford to drive to the movies? (We are at 3.79 a gallon as of this morning...)
Saturday, May 10, 2008
The next, most of what you know and love is gone.
This isn't our town. The tornadoes missed us--again, by only ten miles this time. But several of our neighbors to the south and east suffered heavy loss of life and property. It's Kansas, and that's how it goes, and someday we might not be so lucky.
These were our friends and neighbors, and we don't have to know them to grieve for their losses, while trying to find a way to help them rebuild and move on.
On this Mother's Day, I honor their loss and wish you all a peaceful holiday with those you hold dear.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
. . . a thousand words? Maybe. Perhaps a hundred or so is a bit more on the mark. Really, how often have you seen a picture of a person or location and then experienced the real thing, only to think "Oh! Not quite what I had imagined."
A picture can give you the visual within a limited framework. But you're missing out on the sounds, the smells, the feel of a place. I do believe certain places (and heaven knows, people) give off a feel that is unlike anyplace else. Certain holy places have it. Jo Beverley talks about it at the end of To Rescue a Rogue as the "chi " or pure energy of Brideswell. (You haven't read the book? Go read the book! You will love it.)
So those of us who choose to write about places we've yet to experience face an interesting challenge. We need to get across the essence of a place (and time) that helps the reader immerse themselves in the story--and we need to avoid sounding like a travel log. It helps to key in on the sense that's most affecting the character at the time and focus on that. And there is nothing like reading first hand accounts of natives and visitors. Natives can let you know what it is about their home they value and dislike the most. Visitors can express what most struck them when they first arrived, and what was the most last impression when they left.
I like this bit from Luck Be A Lady by Betina Krahn:
"Now, the damp earth chill of the thick stone walls and worn oaken pews carried the forlorn mustiness of age and disuse. Forgotten, she realized; it smelled forgotten."
Betina's descriptions are lush. We have the visual, and we have the smell, and we know how these combine to create the feeling of this place for this specific character.
This bit from Ten Big Ones is a great example of Janet Evanovich's voice:
"He's an oily little guy with slicked back hair, pointy-toed shoes, and a bunch of gold chains hanging around his scrawny tanning salon-tanned neck."
Janet's descriptions are stark, vivid, and simple. We know enough to fill in the gaps. We're ready for the story.
This is a bit from my work. The hero is concentrating on the food, and the fact that he's never been in this particular room before:
"Low, angry voices drifted from the far side of the room, beyond a rough-hewn table strewn with an assortment of copper pots, a large plucked chicken, and several root vegetables. The tangy scent of rosemary and onion suggested all hope of food had not yet been abandoned. "
So how do you approach description? Is it something to draw out and revisit, or do you stick with just enough to ground the dialogue? What strikes you about the forest picture (above): the light, the shadow, the stillness, the early morning foragers skittering through the fallen leaves, the damp smell of last night's rain? Could it be Oregon, New Hampshire, Scotland, Columbia? Go ahead and try to describe it based on your frame of reference.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Writers love to read.
Writers need to read.
Writers hate to read. . . .
Writers love to read because the reading came first. No chicken or egg confusion; most likely their adoring parent/sibling/caretaker was reading to them before their own little fingers could grasp the page. Then a magical bit of prose was read that captured their attention, along with an especially brilliant illustration or photograph (Long Live Picture Books!) and they were hooked.
Writers need to read because it's not a self-sustaining craft. You only get better at writing if you consistently write. . . but you must read, read, read in order to grow, as well. You can read books in your most beloved genre. You can read craft books, research books, peer blogs, magazine articles, critiques of work you both love and hate. But you have to read.
Writers hate to read because writers can appreciate, perhaps more than anyone else, how a well written book captures and holds your attention, usually to the detriment of everything else. Captivating. . . we all want our work to be captivating.
The problem is, I've yet to meet a writer who's satisfied with the number of hours in her day. We need to think about our story, research our story, write our story, talk about our story, tear apart our story and write it again. The last thing we need is some new ( to us) , simply amazing author coming along with her expansive, wickedly compelling backlist which seduces us into abandoning our own manuscript in order to lose ourselves in her amazing characters.
So thanks a bunch, Suzanne Brockmann. Is it not enough that you were friendly, genuinely charming, the consummate professional while you signed a mountain of books for wildly adoring fans? Must your writing not only live up to, but wildly surpass my expectations as well? I held off reading Hot Target as long as possible, but a thunderstorm and no computer did me in. Now I hold Breaking Point in my hands, and there's really no hope of working on my own projects today.
What about you? What author has everyone read but you? Have you discovered an auto-buy in an unexpected place, or a genre you didn't even expect to like? Who else do I need to read NOW?
Friday, April 4, 2008
Terry Jo Stone , one of my oh-so-creative critique partners, has a absolutely excellent blog. The colors are beautiful, and although her reading tastes vary widely, she's a font of information and delicious research on all things Western.
Her most recent post asks the question all writers and readers love to answer: What are you reading now and why do you love it? (I'm assuming we all know life is too short to bother with uninspiring books....)
Go post your favorite(s) , and pick up great recommendations for your ever-growing TBR pile.
And thank you, Terry Jo, for keeping historical diversification alive and kickin' !
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Finally, Blogger is cooperating!
I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the Golden Heart finalists, with a Special Shout-out to Passion's Slaves own
Pamela Bolton-Holifield/LOUISA CORNELL for LOST IN LOVE
It's a brilliant story, Pam, and we wish you every success!
Monday, March 24, 2008
This is spring in our neck of the woods. We'll move straight from ice storm warnings to "cleaning parties", as in "Hurry up and clean the downstairs--we're under a tornado watch and we'll have all the neighbors over later."
The kids straighten. . . . I make nachos. It's good to have crunchy foods during a storm.
Has anyone spied their first flower of spring yet? Our hyacinths are blooming, and the yard smells lovely.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
This is my favorite Easter book; I don't think you need children in the house to fall in love with the story or the illustrations (although children are a lovely excuse to read it over and over).
In this season of hope, I love the simple, powerful theme: Never give up on your dreams.
I hope everyone has a peaceful Easter weekend.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I know it's time to post something new, something timely, something clever....
But I'm in revisions.
Now I've been in revisions for a while. But as I consistently keep learning things I never knew I needed to learn in order to write this book, it is taking a while. That's life, I suppose. I keep my thin thread of patience from snapping by reminding myself that the second book shouldn't---couldn't----damn well won't take as long as the first.
So I'm here. . . I'm just so busy pondering and dreaming and polishing To Seduce the Scholar (yet another twist on a title, something I will SO gladly leave to the editors when the time comes) that it's difficult for me to think of anything else.
I haven't forgotten a child yet. . . I suppose that's something.
Does anyone else wander through grocery isles while visualizing new--amazingly clever!-- chapter hooks in their head, only to leave the store (again) without the one thing they came for?
Do all writers eat the same four meals? Has your family plotted a revolt yet? Inquiring minds want to know.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Does he look happy or what?
I want to look like him (actually the round tummy and spreading hips are not too far off the mark....). I can smell the briny water and feel that powdery sand between my toes.
And I'd much rather look at him than look out my window at yet another gray, wet, snow's-almost-melted-away day. We are SO ready for spring around here!
Anyhoo, here's a quick little recipe to go with your beer and the cold snowy days left this winter. Put on some Jimmy Buffett and turn up the heat!
Taco Soup (very easy-- very, very, very easy....)
pound or so of hamburger
2 1/2 cups beef broth
one package taco seasonings
one can chili beans
1/2 cup corn, frozen or canned
a shake of Cajun or jerk seasoning
1/2 cup chunky salsa
Brown the hamburger, when done throw on the taco seasoning and Cajun or jerk spice. Mix, then pour the broth over the meat and stir. Mix in the can of beans, corn, salsa. Simmer five minutes. Serve with corn muffins, or over crushed taco chips, with cheese or sour cream on top.
Yummy! And the spice makes it easier to shed those winter pounds. I read it somewhere, so it must be true . . . :)
So what gets you through these last days of winter, with spring clothes filling the stores and messy, melting snow everywhere?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I would have loved the 1940's for their radio shows. I love those faceless voices, and if there is the occasional special effect in the background, so much the better.
I have listened to romances passed on to me that I would not have bought, and enjoyed them so much. I drive from school to school in my day job; Harry has been my traveling companion for years. It took me forever to branch out, but when I did Jude Deveraux was a wonderful distraction. And it's so much fun to listen to Janet Evanovich; just make sure you're in light traffic. Laughing to the point of tears and six lanes don't mix. :)
Finally, I began to understand pacing in a way I never had. I also finally realized the importance of reading my own manuscript aloud (a brilliant piece of advice passed on by a cp).
Are you a music-only person, or do you enjoy books on CD? Do you pick new authors or like to listen to familiar favorites?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I've been tagged. And considering my small town, Midwest lifestyle, Alice can't even begin to touch the word "uninteresting". However, if she can take liberties with the process then so will I.
See me smiling and happy next to the incomparable Jo Beverley?
It's not (just) because of her book. It's because she made a positive impact on the health of my middle daughter. I owe her, big time, and it was a joy to be able to say "Thank you" in person.
This is the link that will take you to her 2003 New York RWA luncheon speech. It's one of the best speeches I've ever read.
It begins with an admonition to go get your Ferritin levels checked. Not blood iron levels--Ferritin. It's the iron reserves your body stores. If you're low, life is NOT GOOD. And doctors may pass this by. Do not let them!
My darling daughter, a young teenager in fact, was in the NEGATIVE numbers when I requested the doctors check her. Negative! And I would never have known precisely what to ask for if I hadn't read this speech.
Now this health alert was simply a segway into an amazingly motivational speech that all writers should read. I appreciate her passion for the profession, and her generosity of spirit towards all those just starting out.
But the ferritin info impacted me immediately, personally, and that's what I'll always remember.
Ok, this hardly fits the "tagged" guidelines, but it works in nicely with the "up with romance" theme I have going this month :) If you're reading and you're willing, consider yourself tagged!
And hey--what's the best piece of info you've found in a most unlikely place?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Maybe this is what January is all about--enthusiasm and fresh beginnings!
Anyway, I found another site that is definitely worth your time. If I had a smidgen of computer talent, I'd know how to post one of those button things that link you--but I don't.
You all know Romantic Inks. Of course you do. What, you don't? Never fear, just click on the link under my "Favorite Group Blogs" and hie thee over there. (My favorites are my favorites for a reason! :) )
Then read at your leisure, revel in all the awesome advice and interviews, and bid on some amazing prizes! The prize money is sending some lucky deserving writer to Nationals this year. (And it's San Fransisco, folks. They'll need all the moola they can get.) It's a win-win!
Let me know what treasures you claim as your own....