Friday, April 28, 2006

Chat day!

Today--this evening, anyway--Cobblestone Press is having a meet the publishers, hear about submissions, etc, sort of chat. If you're interested in publishing with the company (and you should be because it's a fantastic company!) then stop by and talk with us tonight. It's from 7-9pm Central. I'll be there. Come on in!

I wrote about 2200 words yesterday. That means that I more or less melted my brain, but it felt good. I need to kickstart myself today, but it's still relatively early, so I'm not stressed too much yet.

I'll have my Bites written for Freya's Bower finished soon, and ready for editing, and then it's on to other projects. I've got them lined up and I'm itching to get to them. It feels good to be busy, and my brain hasn't let me down. As long as I continue this way, I'll be happy, I think.

Otherwise, it's Friday. The rain has stopped. And I'm in a cheerful mood. I like these kinds of days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


There's lots of talk around about getting in the zone. Time of day, type of music, whatever it takes to get you started and ready to write. I didn't think I had any sort of ritual.

Ha! I was wrong.

I must have a scented wax tart in my burner beside me. I rotate through companies and aromas, as I've got a pretty good collection, but it must be on.

I also collect perfume samples from a few companies. I must have at least one on. I tend to have two or three throughout the day, as they wear off.

Preferably, at least at the start of my writing day, I need quiet. This is easy for me because The Engineer works out of the house. On the weekends, it just means I need to get up before him. Also easy. :)

Once I have all of that, I'm ready to go. I push for 1K words a day, at least. Yes, I used to do 3K. I'm working up to that again. Anything over 1K is gravy. And I do occasionally give myself days off.

So, there you have it. I do have habits and rituals and it took this long to figure them out. So, share yours. Don't make me feel like the only weirdo out here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The news can't always be good.

I submitted a werewolf series proposal to Silhouette's new Nocturne line. The package came back today with a 'not right for us'. Which, werewolves are so common that it only sort of stings. I like my weres, I really do, and perhaps I'll take them elsewhere.

I have another idea I can try at Nocturne. I will pick myself up, dust myself and move on. But it is still disappointing, no lies about that.

In other news, there's a lot going on. We're ramping up toward opening day, over at Cobblestone Press. There will be chats and interviews and spotlights. I intend to run a contest, my first, from May 2nd to June 2nd. Stick around and see what I've got to give away!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Social time.

Today, I go out to be social again. It does happen every so often, but not as often as it should, probably. I need to work on fixing that. So today, a chapter meeting.

That might not count as *truly* social, as it's not just going out to have fun, but, well. There are authors coming today that I haven't seen for a while, my friends will be there and I get patted on the back for Cobblestone Press sales. What more could I ask for?

And then, The Engineer (I think I'll start calling him that, since people like to give their husbands nicknames and I think it's cute) made a *very* rare request, and asked me to go out and do social things with *him* today. So we're going to an Earth Day/Community Day event in a town nearby, where we will eat and listen to music and play with puppies and hopefully not get rained on.

Still chugging away at the writing. Still figuring out everything I need to do to get my name out there. Man, this business stuff is hard!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Free business cards!

My business cards have finally arrived!

Which means I'm more than willing to send some out. It's all in the spirit of getting more people interested in what I have to say, you know?

To refresh the memory, they look like this:

If you would like one, drop me a line at: sara AT with your address, and I'll cheerfully send one out.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Busy, busy me.

Hi there!

Things are swinging into fast-forward gear over at Cobblestone Press as we get closer and closer to release day. There's more stuff for me to do, at least. Contacting people, trying to get some promotion done, writing articles and the like. I'm trying not to stalk the 'net for reviews because I know they're not out there yet, but it's hard to stop Googling myself sometimes.

I've been hard at work on other projects as well, and frankly, surprising myself with my out put. I may put up word count meters when I sit down and get to work on the real meat and bones of things, but a lot of what I'm doing right now is the icky set up stuff. Writing synopses so I know where I'm going, for instance. Yes, it's true, the days of being purely a pantser are behind me. I need a barebones framework to get through a story, or I flounder somewhere in the middle of what I'm writing. It's not fun to have to untangle things once you get that far in.

So a quick note and then I'm back at it. Zoom!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Posting elsewhere!

I'm posting over at Love, Lust and Other Oddities today. Swing on by and check out the beauties. Who are your favorite actresses? Let us know!

Monday, April 17, 2006


Happy day-after-Easter to everyone! I hope yours was satisfyingly chocolate filled and comfortable. There was none in our house, but that's because DH is on a new health-kick (that I should really join him on). But it was a nice long weekend and I got some writing done.

Which is important because of deadlines. Deadlines which mean I cannot just decide I don't feel like writing anymore. That's so helpful for me, particularly since I'm picking myself back up.

So! More projects in the work, both fiction and non. I am hoping to get my business cards today so I can start spreading the word! And, maybe most importantly around here, get reminders out to my chapter mates. I'm still working on a contest that will build up to release day, and thinking about possibly doing some promotional mini-discs. We discussed these over the weekend, and my mind's been whirring since.

It's all still in the works, but time is running out! I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm hoping for the best.

And debating whether putting project status bars on the side of the blog here is a good or bad idea. Hmmm.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I've been tagged!

Ha, my pal and chaptermate Delilah Dawson tagged me for this meme thing. I feel like such a part of The Gang now.

Without further ado:


4 movies you would watch over and over

Constantine (this one would probably rotate out, but for now, yes)
The Three Musketeers (Disney version. Mmn, Oliver.)

4 Places you've lived:

(and I'm cheating because this is five, but I must mention my three months in Tokyo)

4 TV shows you love to watch
(Urr, I don't watch that much TV really)

House (not so much anymore)

4 places you have been on vacation:
Jackson Hole, WY

4 Websites you visit daily:

Romancing the Blog
Romance Divas
BPAL (beware the perfume addiction)
Pub Rants

4 of your favorite foods

Jicama and vegetable dip. (Yes, it's weird.)
Macaroni and cheese.
New England clam chowder.

4 places you would rather be right now:

In bed! (This is what I get for staying up way too late...)
In a cabin in the mountains.
On a ranch somewhere in the "real" West. (Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota...)
On a European cruise.

Tag 4 Friends you think will respond

(Ooh, tricky. Hrm.)

Loribelle Hunt
Shelli Stevens
Kate Rothwell
Lia Sebastian

Whether they participate or not, I can't say, but hey, I did my part!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Deadlines make you write! Who woulda thunk?

I went out with a couple of friends of mine last night, all of us celebrating in our way. I was celebrating my new sales, A was celebrating having finally sent off submissions to agents and editors and J was celebrating her impending college graduation.

I love these two. They've seen me at my very worst. They've seen me immediately after I wake up, before coffee or anything. It's not pretty and yet they still talk to me. And now they get to see me when I'm pretty high. We've all made journeys and it's nice to have friends to share them with.

In the course of conversation, they asked how I'd been spending my spring break (this past week!) and I cheerfully replied, "Writing!"

Which made A pause for a moment then grin quite a lot. I've spent the last eighteen months or so not writing much. So for me to be writing and excited about writing is a big change. Which she commented on.

And I replied, "I have deadlines to meet! I don't have a choice!"

Which is true, though my deadlines aren't precise. They're still there, though. People are expecting writing from me. This means I can't afford to have days where I just don't feel like writing. And that, for me, is a very good thing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

One Hit Wonder

There are lots and lots of bands out there that are one-hit wonders. Songs earn great popularity and then, for some reason, the band never produces anything noteworthy (ha, mind the pun) again. It's disappointing and sometimes saddening, but they get their fifteen minutes of fame, at least.

Translating that to writing, people talk about how important it is to have something new to offer. To keep your name in people's minds with new quality releases. And yet there are authors, I'm sure, who write one fantastic book and never hit that high again.

As I look at my mounting list of things to write, polish and turn in, I begin to wonder where the line between not enough material and too much is. I will, perhaps, one day relate my greatest faux pas yet. It has to do with submitting too much too soon.

But what I'm curious about is, where's the line? Do you haunt the websites or mailing lists of authors who write one fantastic book, hoping for another? How long do you stay if it doesn't come? Are there authors who have so many books coming out one after another that you get overwhelmed and turned off of following their careers?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another sale!

I'm so thrilled!

Cobblestone Press just let me know that they're buying my dragon series, starting with The Dragon Undone!

It's a romance fantasy with a shapeshifting dragon heroine and a human dragon-slaying hero who are thrown together in a prophecy to unite the two worlds.

More news forthcoming, of course!

Getting political

I promise, I will not turn my blog into a place for heavy political or cultural debate. There are plenty of other places where you can read this sort of thing. But every now and then, a topic comes up and I just can't keep my mouth shut.

Over on Romancing the Blog, Wayne Jordan made an interesting post about the fact that there were no books by African-American authors nominated as finalists for this year's Rita awards. (The RITAs, if you don't know, are sort of the Academy awards for romance writing in the published category.)

And, as expected, any time the race card comes out, discussion happens. At the moment, it's the issue of the fact that the RWA has made no statement about the practice of "segregating" or shelving African-American romances in different location than all those romances with white people on the covers.

Speaking personally, I've never seen these segregated book sections. This doesn't mean that I don't believe they exist. I'd rather see the books all shelved together so that when you went into the romance section in a bookstore, you got African-American, Latino and ...what do we call them? Generic? No. Traditional, I suppose, romances all in the same place.

But when groups of the population want books that represent them, as well there should be, and want to be able to find them easily, without having to rummage through everything else, it makes sense to give them a different shelf, a different section, something that makes them easy to find.

Unfortunately, they can't be with the mass and separate from the mass. Shelve them in both places? Well, okay. But then do we stick Latino and traditional books in the section set aside for African-American books as well? No? Then we have to have separate sections for A-A, Latino and Traditional books, *and* have them all shelved together? Isn't that redundant? Does that make good financial sense to any bookseller? Does it make sense for the reader?

I freely admit that I'm a member of the RWA. I've not served on the National board, but I am on a National sub-committee, and I've been on the board of my local chapter a few times. I do not support all of the policies that come out of the RWA. I was a president last year during the one man/one woman and cover art debates. The less said about those the better.

But the RWA is pretty much our voice, out there in the "real world". They have the power and influence, ear of publishers and marketing people and booksellers that I'm pretty sure none of us as individuals have. If there is something that needs to be addressed in a portion of the industry, the RWA is the body to do it. But they can't do it if they don't know about it. They can't do it if people don't ask.

I've seen this issue compared with the Civil Rights issues of the 60s (which strikes me as overstating the case just a little, but that's a different topic). If that is true, then we should consider that *nothing changed* when people grumbled quietly on the sidelines and complained behind their hands that it wasn't fair. If Rosa had simply stood at the back of the bus and shouted about how unfair it was that she couldn't sit up front, the world would be a very different place.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Freya's Bower

Good news, good news!

I've gotten word that I've been picked to be one of the authors that writes "Bites" for Freya's Bower!

Bites are paired short stories, based on a theme, a character, a plot point, etc. Together, they total 6-8K words. These particular projects will be based on a prompt that the publisher or editors come up with, so it'll be taking the idea given and running with it.

It should be a challenge, let me stretch my wings a little bit, and most important, let me have some fun.

Since the rain is back, the weekend was a little stressful, and I'm plodding rather than racing through my writing, I can use all the fun I can get.

I'll be sure to post more information as I get it!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ah, connections!

I had the opportunity last night to go and hear three of my published chaptermates speak at a local library.

Now, when I say 'chaptermates', most people think oh, Jane, Sally and Sue Doe who nobody really recognizes and what did they write anyway?

That's not who I mean.

These three fantastic ladies were Celeste Bradley, Brenda Novak and Allison Brennan. What a lineup, eh? No slackers these ladies, they are all multi-published, they're all wildly successful and they're all wonderful and full of information and inspiration.

This is one of the many reasons why I love my RWA chapter. Sure, there are people I don't get along with. Yes, we can get catty occasionally. It's an organization comprised primarily of women. I challenge anyone to put large numbers of us together for any length of time and not see fur fly. Most of the time, though, we exchange information, support one another and lend tissues and shoulders when the going gets tough.

Which is important. When you work in a vacuum, as writers often do, it's nice to be able to take a break and spend some time around people who get it, and get you. Cats and all.

Oh! Nearly forgot to mention. Our newsletter group has a group blog, too. No telling exactly what you'll find there, yet, but swing by once in a while and see what we have to say.

Friday, April 07, 2006


For a day with no power, it was a surprisingly productive day.

In no particular order, I:

a) figured out how to make my bad guy in book #1 bad-er, which is good because it's been driving me slightly batty. The down side of this is that I have to go back and rewrite some of his sections, but I can do this.

b) plotted out the remainder of short #1, my light-hearted pseudo-super hero quickie.

c) plotted out the dark, boundary-pushing book.

Three bouts of plotting, some reading and lunch with the husband make for a not all-together terrible day.

And the power's back on before dark. Hooray!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Newsletter group!

Hear ye, hear ye!

Loribelle Hunt, Shelli Stevens, Vivienne King, Lyric James and I are doing a group newsletter. Want to get news about our new releases, get a peek at our reviews, see our covers and get in on our contests? Want to have all that information in one easy-to-digest format? Sign up today! Now and then we might even write something entertaining, or instructional, or both.

Seven authors. One newsletter.

Subscribe to Love, Lust, and Other Oddities.

In other news, it's sunny here today, though the forecast calls for, you guessed it, more rain tomorrow. Of course tomorrow's when the electricians are supposed to come. It figures. I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway. Maybe my toes. Crossed fingers interfere with typing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It never rains but it pours ...

And it's been raining a lot. No, really. We're having the rainiest spring ever in Northern California. The rain should be *gone* by now, and yet the forecast is for rain at least through the end of the week.

Which is bad because we recently had an issue with our stove at Chez Dennis. As in it stopped working. It was ancient and we bought a new one to replace it. Instant fix, right? Wrong. Turns out that the new stove doesn't work either. Further investigation reveals that our outlet is dead. Even *further* investigation reveals that we need to have our breaker box replaced in The Worst Way.

At least the taxes were already turned in. Ouch.

I'm still taking on again off again college classes to get my Sign Language interpreting degree, so I had a paper to write today. Not the fun sort of writing. I much prefer fiction and romance to cold, hard, boring facts. But, we do what we must. I did, however, send off a tiny short story submission this morning as well, so we'll see how it goes.

And now it's back to wrestling with my bad guy. I will make him do what I want. I will. It's become my new mantra.

I submit for you a taste of what I decided on for promotion, by the way. Sable (who is incredibly talented, I can't say that enough) sent out business card designs to the Cobblestone Press authors yesterday. I had just completed doing my own, but I love what I was given. Thank you, Sable!

The one I turned in for printing however, was this one:

I'll have magnets! I'll have cards! If you want one, raise your hand and I will gladly send you one.

That's all for me today. Back to editing.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Those bad, bad boys.

No, not the heroes on Harleys (though, of course, we love them too).

I mean villains. The bad guys of the book. The evil doers, the ones who get in the way and mess everything up. The men (and women) we love to hate.

I'm currently in the process of trying to make my bad guy badder, less of a pushover and harder to figure out. I have ideas that go above and beyond where he started out, but in second guessing myself I've created an endless loop. If I think he's nasty, as I did in the first place, will he be nasty enough for a reader? If he's nasty enough for a reader, will I think it's too much? If he's not bad enough, will I kick myself eternally, thinking 'I could have gone a step farther'?

Probably. That's the way these things go.

But I do wonder: Do you, as a reader, want to hate the villain? Do you like to like the "bad boy"? Would you prefer to know a lot about him, or be a shadowy figure in ther corner of the page? Other options?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Update update update.

I've changed my website to be less boring formal and to have some fun with it. Yellow is a good color, and it makes me happier, so there you go.

Still waiting to hear back about a couple of projects out there in the ether. That's one of the hardest parts about this business, I think. Waiting. As I've mentioned, time moves differently on either side of the editorial desk. So. I do my best, as we all must, to distract myself with other things.

And it's not like I don't have projects to work on. I'm editing a book I think I'll send on to Cobblestone Press. And I have an "assignment" (well, a reserved Rune) for a series they're doing. I've got plot notes written up on that. And there's a lighter short piece I'm thinking about giving them, too.

So I could be busy! And instead I'm dwelling on what's already out the door. Ah, writers. We're wacky.