Sunday, December 23, 2007
Hello anybody who is still occasionally swinging by. *waves enthusiastically*
I know I've been terrible with this blog. Rectifying that is one of my early New Years' resolutions. As is...well, a lot of things.
Suffice it to say that I'm still here. I have done nerve damage to my left hand, so I'm typing very slowly, but I am nothing if not determined (read: stubborn) so here I am.
I wish you and yours the very best of whatever holiday you celebrate and a very Happy New Year.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I'm chatting in the forum over at the Fanlit Forever group today. Can you believe FF has been around for a year? Neither can I. I'm thrilled to be a part of the celebration.
So check out the blog, come say hi in the forum, stick around for a while and see what's going on.
If you've come here from there, say hi! Let me know.
Monday, October 15, 2007
sporn: spam email that promises a greater volume, size, or satisfaction of or with anything sexual.
I have not felt much like being productive lately, despite the fact that I turned in a manuscript at the 13th (or possibly 14th) hour for one of my publishers. I have another novella to tidy up and a book to finish and I'd really just ...enjoy the fact that it's going to start raining regularly soon, you know?
But, to keep myself going and honest and other working sorts of things, I've just signed up for the second round of 70 Days of Sweat. I can manage this.
Anyone want to join me? If anyone's still reading my poor deserted blog. :)
Friday, September 21, 2007
For the curious, Life After Agent is not yet any different than Life Before. I have not yet been offered fame and fortune. Note the operative word, yet. :)
I also have no takers on my lunch deal, which disappoints me a bit, but ah well, that's the way it goes.
The romance blogosphere continues to be rife with Authors Behaving Badly and publishers closing and honestky, there's just no time to post everything. The minute I turn around, something else has happened. I'm hoping that this settles by the end of the year, or at the end of the year so we can all start over with a clean slate in 2008.
Ooh, I'm a poet.
Have a great weekend. :)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Now on to another topic:
I know that there are some of you out there who are fans of Ms. Julia Quinn. I've emailed people privately. I talked to some people at National.
And now, my chapter's Annual Readers' Luncheon is nearly here.
Long story short, if you don't want to click the link: On September 29th, the Sacramento Valley Rose is hosting Julia Quinn for a readers' luncheon. What this means is that we feed you and seat you at a table with a local author. The authors bring small gifts for their table mates and lunch is open to questions, conversation, etc.
(Yes, I'm hosting a table. Come have lunch with me! If you don't want to have lunch with me, though, how about Allison Brennan? Brenda Novak? Eileen Rendahl, Patti Berg, Melinda Curtis, Susan Grant... Or, you know, Julia Quinn herself. ;) )
After lunch, Julia will give a talk, then we host a book signing right there at the hotel. It's open for the first hour only to lunch attendees, then we open it to the public.
The books are supplied by Barnes and Noble and you can get them signed then and there, on the spot.
Tickets are $40 dollars. Ten percent of that cost will be donated to ProLiteracy Worldwide, and what's more: the first person who confirms that they'll be attending gets their attendance fee paid for, by me. This means that you print out the invitation and mail it in (or email me so I can get a paper invitation out to you). I will hand you the money back when I see you on that Saturday.
Good deal, isn't it? So, who's coming? :)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I missed reporting on another bloffle, but I'm sure you've all heard about it by now. No, wait. There were at least two bloffles that I've missed reporting on. Boy, I really am falling down on the job.
Dear Blog, I solemnly swear to be better about showing up. Sincerely, Sara.
But I'm here and I'm posting. That means I've got news!
I have an agent!
After mumblety-seven years of trying, I have an agent! I cannot *tell* you what a relief this is, what a weight off my shoulders, and how happy it makes me. No more staring at contract legalese for me!
Y'all share your good news now, too!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Don't let that scare you. It's been heavily revised since then. ;)
Chase Tremaine wanted to be a cop when he grew up, but he never expected the work to be this personal. As the body count mounts, he must figure out who would want to kill Amanda St. Claire, an accountant with no dirty secrets that anyone can find. Not an easy job when the victim is a complete stranger.
But Amanda St. Claire is the clumsy, knobby-kneed girl who was always hoping Chase might ask her to the winter dance. She's had a crush on him since she moved to Sacramento when she was ten years old. Her best friend is Chase's little sister, but Chase himself hardly knows she exists. That is, until she ends up in his lap at his sister's wedding.
Falling for her threatens Chase's focus on the case. Amanda's determined not to give in to a high-school crush, not with a hitman getting closer by the day. But life has a few curves to throw their way and as Amanda can attest, there's No Accounting For Chase.
And it's got a pretty catchy cover. ;)
Monday, August 20, 2007
Of course, I bring news.
First and foremost, the Fox project is officially on hold. I have received my payment and the proposal I turned in has been tabled. We made it through many changes of creative focus, but ultimately, what they asked for is no long what they want. It happens. My contact says that he'll hold on to the idea and invited me to submit other things, which I probably will, but this show will not happen this fall, at least.
For those of you who participated in or remember FanLit, the Romance Vagabonds are taking a trip down memory lane. Want to try your hand at writing chapters on the fly? Feel free to go over and give it a shot.
For those of you in California: My chapter of the RWA, the Sacramento Valley Rose, is hosting it's second annual Readers Luncheon on September 29th of this year. Our guest will be none other than the fabulous Julia Quinn (who was one of our judges in FanLit last year, so it ties in nicely, don't you think?) There will also be a booksigning after the lunch, open to the public. The luncheon includes not only the speaker but lunch with a local author (including me!) who brings gifts for their tablemates. Hope to see some of you there.
And, last but certainly not least, my next book, No Accounting for Chase, releases at Cerridwen Press this week. This Wednesday, to be precise! This is the first book I ever completed, heavily (really heavily) revised. It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. And it has a fantastic cover.
Whew. I think that's enough, don't you?
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Those who've been by before may recall that I mentioned trying to put together National Novel Reading Month. Well, August 1st is tomorrow, and we're going ahead with the idea.
We're hosting the discussion community on Livejournal, so if you've got an account and want to, feel free to join in. I think I left it so you can also post anonymously if you like, so if you don't have an account ... feel free to join in. :)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
But I do occasionally still have serious things to ponder and discuss. Like:
I have a book to turn in for a publisher. It's the fourth of a quadrology. (Is that what those are called?) Fourth in a series, anyway. The other three books are by authors who write erotic romance. As in, that's what readers know them for.
I, those who swing by know, am not known for writing erotic romance. I don't, so much. Not under this name, anyway. So I have a dilemma.
The last time I did a series with erotic romance authors, I stuck by my guns and did not write a book that matched the tone. Certainly I upped the heat, I think, but I didn't go erotic. And the book didn't quite reach the reading audience for the series.
So now, here I stand at the deciding point again, pondering what to do. Should I continue to stick to the tone I've set with this name, and once more keep myself beneath the erotic romance line, and trust that the people who want to read it will find and enjoy the book (assuming it's picked up, of course). Or should I hop on the erotic romance trend, toss away caution and write something hotter, and hopefully tap into a new portion of the readers out there?
It really is a thorny (I was going to say sticky, but I'll spare you) question. What would you do in my shoes?
Monday, July 23, 2007
As for the oh-so-scientific survey about what word we should use to replace buzz? *drumroll* Nooz is the popular winner!
So, whenever you're announcing books, sales, agents, etc on the net, let it henceforth be decreed that you are not creating buzz, but nooz!
I spent a fantastic weekend playing with the horses. Saturday, the Engineer and I went for our usual lesson. Which was not fabulous, but no one died. Yesterday, we went out to a lake with our trainer and her family. We took the horses, we took a boat, and we divided the day between an awesome trail ride and being dragged around behind the boat on inner tubes. Great fun was had by all.
And now it's back to the business of the workaday week, but that's all good. Sometimes you have to recover from fun in excess. :)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
We have opinionating, which, yes, probably needs more definition.
Now the lovely and talented Kate Rothwell has called for a new word to replace the old "buzz". You know, the chatter and word of mouth hype for an author, book, event, whathaveyou.
I suggested N'type. Something like N'Sync, N'type would be pronounced Neh-type, to catch the concept of the net, typing, and hype, all in one word. It's cute, I think, but perhaps too odd or not quite catchy enough.
So I've come up with other options:
1. Nuzz: Let's just change the first letter. It's a buzz on the net! It's a nuzz! Easier to say and probably remember than N'type, but also close to a nuzzle. Do we want to be nuzzling authors and books?
2. Nooz: A play on news. Still using the letter n to incorporate the net. This is even cuter than nuzz, and as writers, can we stand deliberately mispelling a word?
3. Hotflash: This is currently my favorite. Television and the radio use breaking newsflashes, right? Romancelandia is a community comprised primarily (had to get that word in there) women, right? So we all know what a hotflash is, and it might be amusing to co-opt the word for ourselves. Got a new book coming out? Send out a hot newsflash: hotflash!
Since I'm having fun, other people should have fun too. I'm going to turn this into a contest.
Post your vote for your favorite between now and noon PST, Monday July 23rd, and I'll enter you into a drawing for a $25 (electronic) gift certificate from Barnes and Noble.
Your choices are:
Or, you know, suggest a word of your own. And have fun!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
First things first, though. I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting the people I met. This year was so very much different than my first conference in Reno that I'm really sort of blown away. I didn't realize how many people I knew and how many connections I'd made until I started running out of time to talk to everyone I wanted to talk with.
If I missed you or walked by you (Hi Jacqueline!) I am so sorry. It wasn't my intent. After about Friday morning, I suffered tunnel vision and started missing my own roommates and was telling people to grab my hair to get my attention. I am making a list for next year and sticking to it.
On to the opinionating.
I am a chapter president. I did my duty at National, attended the AGM, and was impressed. Not by the decisions handed down by our current Board -- far from -- but by the eloquence with which my fellow members made their points and the spirit with which they argued. Seriously, ladies, there are some of you who blew my socks off, and I'm grateful for everything you said.
On the subject of publisher eligibility: I honestly don't think the Board and its legal advisor(s) seriously thought through the wording of what they intended to say. I'm not much in to conspiracy theory, so I don't believe that this was a move specifically geared at getting rid of e-publishers, particularly not when the RWA has essentially opened the door to any publisher that can meet their criteria. I think it was a move against publishers in general.
Because, let's face it, while most of the large houses may not have issues meeting the advance clause or the sales and distribution requirements, there are small print publishers that can not. There may be some "big boys" that can't. And I don't think that the RWA Board really thought through a sweeping change of eligibility requirements like this that cuts the legs out from under so many.
It's an unfortunate mistake. I've heard several e-publishers say that it's not going to change the way they publish their books, distribute them or do business, which is fantastic. I don't believe that it should. I would bet, however, that when RWA next puts out a call for sponsors for National or any other endeavor, that they're going to hear a significant silence on the part of the people they just eliminated.
One more thing: The dictionary defines primary as: 1. first or highest in rank or importance; chief; principal. Note how that does not mean 'sole' or 'exclusive'. If we're changing dictionary definitions of words not exclusively pertaining to the romance industry, I think it takes more than the decision of the board to do so. Just a hunch.
More opinionating on other issues another day.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
There's also more bloffle. Holy cow, is there bloffle.
I am too tired and brainless to comment on it now, but maybe in the morning I'll be coherent.
Until then, hello and goodnight!
Monday, July 09, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Since I last posted, I have given my first ever all by myself workshop, on synopses. It was for my local chapter, and went a lot better than I thought it would. I didn't even need to resort to imagining people in their underwear. Go me! I'm considering posting the handout I did to my website. I promise that I haven't cracked any amazing synopsis-writing secrets, but people seemed to think the information was good.
And I've discovered today that The Dragon Undone, my fantasy romance at Cobblestone Press, is now available at Fictionwise. It's a new book for them, so there's a discount, if you're interested and haven't picked it up already.
I'm in a grown-up phase (wearing nicer clothes, painting the fingernails, etc). It's a girly grown-up phase. Any time I'm going to National, I do this, and then eventually I'm back to my t-shirts and normal nails again. This time, I've gotten my ears repierced too. It's all part of my "officially official" image, I suppose. :)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The bloffle continues around the net, and probably will for a while. Settle in, it's going to be a long summer.
So I think I'll mention some good things.
Samhain Publishing is looking for submissions to its On The Prowl anthology. I know Maggie's written a story for it. Who's going to join her? Anyone? Anyone?
Skyla Dawn Cameron has a great project in the works, called Nothing But Red that you should all check out.
And last but not least, my ice skates have arrived and now I can finally get out of cheapo rental skates for my lessons. Woohoo!
Monday, June 18, 2007
And, unfortunately, we romance writers seem to excel at stirring them up. Whether it's an author lashing out at a reviewer, her fans or her publishers, it seems like there's always something going on.
Publishers don't escape the rumor mill or the social commentary. If an author is fortunate enough to avoid being targeted, sometimes her book isn't so lucky.
If you speak your mind, your appearance in an argument will always be suspect. If you want to stay anonymous, your comments will be discounted. Around and around we go.
What I really want to know is, does this affect you personally? If an author/publisher/blogger you like takes a stance in an argument that you don't support, does that change your mind about them? Will it keep you from buying the next book? Entering the next contest?
Or do you let it roll off your back?
Friday, June 15, 2007
Synesthesia, as Wikipedia defines it, is two bodily senses combining, like sound and sight to make music have color. Or sight and taste, so that words and letters have flavors. Or even better, the personification of letters. If you read the Wiki, you'll see quotes about not being able to trust the number 3, or how Ts are "crabbed and ungenerous".
Supposedly this is more common than people think. Meaning, it's not something that one in a million people have. Wiki (which is not always right, I know) says it's more like one in 23.
And of course I'm going to oversimplify it by saying how fascinating I think it is. To see color when hearing music? How much more interesting (and distracting, yes) would that make the world?
What if the world were reversed and people who *didn't* do such things were the one in 23? Imagine a person who lacked the ability to smell sounds or color by music in a world where that was the norm.
...and they wonder where writers get their ideas.
Monday, June 11, 2007
I have tried, in the past, to set deadlines for myself. I've had other people attempt to set deadlines for me, but they tend to get squishy and I'm not held in the strictest fashion to them, and so they wander and I procrastinate and ...it's all a mess.
When I have a concrete, external, you *must* meet this deadline imposed, I'm golden, but if I'm doing it on my own, I can tell myself that I don't *really* have to do it, because the only person I'm putting off is me.
Argh. I despise it. I don't suppose anyone has suggestions for how to get around that, do they? All suggestions cheerfully accepted.
Friday, June 08, 2007
I have a new website!
This new look more accurately reflects what I write, and gets me away from peppy, cheery blue and yellow. Don't get me wrong. I like peppy blue and yellow, but my writing's not quite that upbeat and cheerful and curlicued.
So, a new look.
The look of the blog is new, but temporary. I'm hoping against all hope to get Wordpress installed on the site sometime soon. When that's done, we'll just move over there.
But the first stage is complete. What do you think?
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Oh, and it's June. That means my Cerridwen book is only two months away. (It feels like it's been forever since I sold it. *pant pant*) And so, I offer a peek at the cover:
Pretty cool, no?
Went riding this past weekend, again, and had a ton of fun actually getting the horses to canter. Lots of trotting to work up to it though, and lots of bouncing around, means that Sara is pretty sore. Oddly, it's all in the torso. Well, not so oddly, as you have to hold yourself up, but man. Places I didn't remember I had are sore. It's all good!
Still in holding on the career scene, but that's par for the course. I'm finishing cleanup on a book to turn in and I so don't want to. I keep thinking 'but I just read this book, do I have to do it again?' Woe, woe is me.
Speaking of reading, I've been doing quite a bit of it lately. Clearing out Ye Olde TBR Mountain Range. It's funny to me how, reading back through old series romances from 2002 (yes, you read that right), I've really seen the truth in the concept of having to read what a line's releasing now to know how to write for them. The tone's completely different, the story styles have changed. This is actually a pretty good exercise for me, I think, but wow, what an on-the-page eyeopener.
Anyone else had one of those lately?
Friday, June 01, 2007
And discovered Wednesday morning that I'd left my wallet behind. How did I discover this? Someone had used a credit card to try to buy gas. Thankfully the company called and let us know, but still. I felt like a fool. I've gone through all the steps to start getting things back, but not fun.
Today, we'd been invited to go out and be part of a local film being shot at the stables where Dia is. We were supposed to be part of a mounted search and rescue team, which I thought sounded like *loads* of fun. But the shoot got canceled, so, no film time for us! Boo.
But today is a good day anyway, because it marks the release of my latest book, Finding Home. I was one of Cobblestone Press's launch authors, and so I get to participate in the Anniversary Celebration today. Swing by Cobblestone Press today and take a look at all the books available.
And happy reading!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Right. On to the things that really count: I have finished assignment #2 for Fox. Next season promises to be a big supernatural (as opposed to Supernatural, though hooray for season 3) season for all the networks. I am hopeful that Fox will like something they see in what I've done and we'll move on to assignment #3. Keep your fingers crossed.
I also have a new release coming on June 1st, to celebrate Cobblestone Press's One Year Anniversary.
The book is called Finding Home and it's part of the In the Runes series.
Nora Whiteside has a restless soul. Despite the job, the comfortable apartment, and weekly Girls Night Out, no place she's been has felt like home.
So when she gets a battered letter from a man claiming to be the father she thought was dead, she's curious. Intrigued. She packs up her cat and heads to Wyoming, to the house on reservation land he claims she's inheriting.
And meets Tucker Greene, the son her father never had. Will they be rivals for his affection or can they learn to work together? Can people from two different worlds find middle ground?
Monday, May 21, 2007
I cannot tell you how relieved I am. Or how thrilled I am. Or how much I never want to look at that book again. *laughs*
Of course I have to, that's the way these things work, but the most important part here is: I AM FINISHED!
I think I need a drink.
The Engineer and I have been having fantastic conversations lately. Normally, we're pretty goofy and don't get into deep philosophical debates. This is largely because we were raised in entirely different fashion and so, in the past, we've butted heads quite a bit. His classic saying is 'your logic isn't', for example. :)
But he's an Aquarius and I'm a Pisces and we're pretty classic examples of both. We're destined to clash.
And yet, over the years, we've reached a middle of the road. We may not still be doing hearts and flowers and holding hands all the time, but if someone were to ask me about a HEA, I'd have to say, I think I've got one.
Which gives me hope for all those times when my hero and heroine are telling me how much they hate each other and could never possibly fall in love. :)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The main, number one decision is that I need an agent. I don't believe that I've burned any publisher bridges doing it on my own, but I do know that I'm tired of doing it on my own. I've been at this since 1999 and while that's not forever, it feels like it sometimes. So if there are any agents cruising by...
And I reached a decision about a submission of my alter-ego's that I've been sitting on for, well. Months. Trying to get my head straightened out. I think I've got it straight now. Yes, that's still cryptic, but that's what I've got. :)
There are Dia pictures, as Catie asked. There are a ton of Dia pictures. I just need to get the camera and post them up. I will endeavor to do so later today.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I actually wrote over the weekend, and got past at least a part of what was holding me back. I have felt pretty much 'meh' about writing anything for the last month or so. Usually that means I've done something wrong, which I had, a bit. But it also meant that I had to do some re-evaluating of where I wanted to go with my career. Evaluating accomplished, at least somewhat, I removed the plug and wrote.
Phew. I was beginning to think I'd lost it entirely.
The weekend was very relaxed and lovely. We were out with Dia again, and did some very impressive riding. The baby is gorgeous and everyone comments on it. It's great for stroking Ye Olde Ego, considering that the suggestion was once made that she'd grey out and be a pretty unexciting horse. Not so! She is golden and beautiful and a giant bundle of love and eagerness.
I have no news to report, except that I am alive, the weather is pleasant and I really need to clean my house.
Here's hoping that everyone else's weekend was good too.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The insane people who started NaNoWriMo are doing the same sort of thing for play/screenwriters in June.
It's called ScriptFrenzy. You can find it here.
I should probably participate. I am deep in contemplation.
Happy Mother's Day weekend. :)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I'm still surfacing. I despise feeling overwhelmed and like I'm drowning, even when I do it to myself. Getting better, little by little. Someone pass the squeegee, would you?
I'm also sort of flailing on the Fox project. I'm reworking it a little, which is fine and dandy. And watching Fox shows drop off like flies. I actually *liked* Drive, and it was canceled after two episodes. So am I writing the right sort of thing for this network? (No, my show is nothing like Drive, but still, if that sort of thing appeals to me, you can understand why I worry, right?)
I will get it done. I'll turn it in and it'll be fab, but it's still nervous making.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Apologies for the sudden silence. I hit one of those periods where everything became overwhelming at once and so everything shut down. I've had a couple weeks off, I'm raring to go, and I'm back.
So what's news?
I have a release date for my next book with Cobblestone Press. Finding Home will be out as part of the one year anniversary celebration on June 1st. As I was a launch author, I get to be an anniversary author too. How cool is that?
Still working on the Fox thing, though I hope to have another phone call some time this week.
We had our semi/biannual retreat last weekend. A good time was had by all. A cold was shared by some and I've been a bit under the weather, but that too is resolving, so as stated and proven by this post, I'm back.
I'll be popping around to say hi to folk, but don't hesitate to give me a wave here.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
So welcome to Tuesday and April. The year just keeps trucking on. What's new?
I will indeed be having my website redesigned. I like what I did with it, but it really doesn't match my tone so you will be seeing something a little darker and more appropriate sometime soon.
We had a horse training lessons and it was fantastic. My girl Dia is already looking like a star, only two weeks in. The trainer loves her, the woman who boarded her previously loves her, visitors to that ranch loved her. We considered selling her. I think we've probably changed our minds now. I hope.
Wouldn't you know that I let my EMT certification lapse just before I needed it. So I'm headed back to CPR class this week, joy of joys. I like being helpful, but I'm not so enamored of the training sessions.
And I've seen the cover for my next book with Cobblestone Press. It's called Finding Home and it's part of the Rune series. I have no idea when it'll be released yet, but as soon as I do, I'll share.
That's it from this side of the screen. Anyone have any news of their own to share?
Friday, March 30, 2007
Tooting my own horn again, briefly. Diana Castilleja, who is an author in her own right (go check her out!), and who is one of the founders of Sweeter Romantic Notions gave me a fantastic review on Stacking the Deck. Squee!
I fell for the first time during my ice skating lesson this week. As falls go, it was really very graceful (even my instructor said so!) and didn't hurt much. At the time. Now I'm sore and trying to remember if falling hurt when I was learning the first time around. :) But falling is like getting a rejection letter. Proof that you're progressing, that you've taken a chance and not quite made it, but you're on your way.
There will be a horse training lesson this weekend and probably more skating. Maybe a movie, if we're -really- having fun. And I hope to do some reading. These books are crying out for attention.
Hope your weekend goes well!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Which inspired me to go looking for the covers for the series four of us (Novelty Girls, that is) are doing for Cobblestone Press.
The series is called Seasons of Change, and it's centered around the Still Waters resort and the Lassiter family. They're all wereleopards and the resort is a shapeshifter's haven. There'll be one book a season out with this series, and if you haven't picked them up yet, well, what are you waiting for?
Shelli kicked the series off with the spring book, Dating Season. Jada is the only girl of the family and has to deal with three somewhat overprotective brothers. And I'm just going to show off covers, because I think they're cool.
Lori will be next, on June 1st, with the summer book, Hurricane Season. Quinn is the eldest son and sort of the black sheep, as he's left the resort and headed for Florida for a while.
Crystal Jordan has the fall book, Open Season, and no cover yet, but I'm sure it'll be awesome. Aidan's the second Lassiter son
And I have winter, Out of Season, also no cover yet. My hero's Cole, the head of security for the resort and the baby of the family.
They should be a lot of fun, though. If you liked the Vegas Magic series, you'll really like these books, I think. They don't take place on the same night, but you'll get to know the Lassiters.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I had a call with Fox today. Now, mind you, I've talked to Fox before. After the initial stunned phone call in October, I've probably spoken to them four times. Not so bad. No nerves.
Until today, when I jittered around like crazy until the phone rang.
It wasn't a bad phone call. It didn't last long, but my New Contact is a busy lady. A nice lady, but busy. We discussed shifting the focus a bit. We talked about the need to demonstrate what the weekly format would be and how the story would play out if we were looking at a 22-episode season (22! She really said 22. It's not anything even near a promise that I'd actually ever *get* a 22 episode season, but the very thought makes me dizzy!) and what to think about.
And then she said we'd talk again, which is the most important part.
Now I can breathe again. I'll try.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Been writing (finally!) and being social with my chapter (always a good thing), so I haven't been thinking about the blog much lately.
Today, we're taking one of the horses to a new facility to get her trained, so that will be exciting. I also have a chapter meeting to head up, with a visiting agent from New York.
We got to talking about the agent-author relationship yesterday, by the way. And it was mentioned that this agent does not take her clients to lunch or dinner when they meet. They take her, because she is an employee of the author's not the other way around. Disappointing, perhaps, for those of us who want an agent to pick up the tab, but an interesting perspective from the other side on the business relationship, don't you think?
Monday, March 19, 2007
And there's another round of conversation going around the 'net about racism in publishing (which inevitably turns into racism in general).
As much as it fascinates and thrills me to see people talking about it, it frustrates and saddens me too, because I like to convince myself that people are more open-minded than they prove themselves to be. However, it's important stuff and that's why I keep bringing it up.
So, for those interested or wishing to peek at what's being said this time:
Karen Scott is posting the results of her Racism in publishing surveys. There are interesting things being said in the comments over there. There are clashes and conflicts too, but as stated above, that seems to go with the territory.
Kate Rothwell also broached the topic on her blog this weekend and got an interesting dialogue going. Not the same old argument that goes around and around.
Dear Author touched on the topic again with some angry results but also some decent conversation as well.
And Monica Jackson has commentary on her blog as well.
If I've missed someone that you know about, feel free to share a link and I'll add it here.
As for me, I'm curious about those of you who pass by my piece of internet real estate, as I don't think I've seen any of my "regulars" participating, at least.
Do you read African-American romance novels? Are you aware that they exist? If you don't, do you have a conscious reason for it? If you don't read them, but you're willing or uncertain, what would it take for you to pick an AA romance novel up?
Do your local bookstores have African-American sections? Do you know or notice whether AA romance novels are shelved with other romances or whether they're relegated to the AA section?
What about Latina romance or Latina lit? Do you see it, know what it is, have any idea where it might be shelved in your store? Would you read it?
Friday, March 16, 2007
On the off-chance that there's someone who hasn't seen this half a dozen times: Samhain Publishing is now an RWA-recognized epublisher. They follow hard on the heels of Loose Id. That makes four epublishers now. Go little guys!
You can now find Fortune's Fool on Fictionwise and Mobipocket, if you're curious or haven't gotten copies yet. It's on sale for 15% off at Fictionwise right now. Yay!
And that's about all the exciting news I have for the day. If you've got news to share, feel free. I like cheering folks on. :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
This is probably one of my favorite ones, though. It comes from an epic gladiator fantasy I work on occasionally. Because it's epic. No, really.
A summary of the first chapter of Strike a Telling Blow, in ten sentences:
The sooner the better, if you ask the men.
No woman is condemned if she can't produce sons. happy, to a loving family.
Though both of us favored Papa, with dark hair and complexions, Matteus got hazel eyes that reminded Mama of her father, in turn.
Papa was well-known throughout the city. The Lirari threw grand parties. Everyone needed masks.
Papa called him the little Emperor.
Or how about the first chapter of my urban fantasy, Immortal Lies:
I've got testing anxiety. I'm not a thin-lipped, pasty-skinned pretty boy type. Violet. If you've never seen a faery have a bad hair day, count your lucky stars. I stared until my good eye started stinging. Powerful magic. "Promise. I smiled a little for her sake. Vi shook her head hard. One silver coil bobbled into her eyes.
I love this so much that I stole it and blogged about it over on The Novelty Girls. The feature is on the Tools menu under "word count". Give it a shot.
Got another great review from Mrs. Giggles today. Fortune's Fool got an 87!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Welcome to Monday! May it be anything but a "typical" Monday for you. Unless you like Mondays, in which case, I hope it's just a good day.
Let's get down to business: 300. We did in fact go see the movie on Saturday. Given that I've been bouncing in my chair about it for weeks, the Engineer handled my enthusiasm surprisingly well. They were showing it every hour at our local theatre, which reveals the sort of attendance they expected.
Now, the movie itself. Let me first say that I actually liked Sin City, which is another movie based on a Frank Miller graphic novel. I found the violence in Sin City over the top at times and unnecessary. So going in to 300, I expected violence. Lots of it.
And there was violence. It's a movie about a war. There were limbs flying and beheadings. But the violence was for the most part stylistic and so light on the fluid gore and for all the hacking and sword swinging, 300 was *much* less violent than Sin City. The Engineer agrees.
The main reason to see the movie is for the visuals. A huge amount of the film was shot against a blue screen and filled in with digital work and it shows, but it also works. The creatures of the movie are interesting to watch, the action scenes are entertaining and I thought that the touches of humor in the middle of the battles were, you know, funny. :)
And of course, there were a lot of half-naked, very buff men. I'm sure no one thinks that the Spartans *really* went to war wearing nothing but their boots, helmets, leather Speedos and flowing red cloaks, but they certainly looked impressive, which was the aim.
The plot isn't stellar. It won't go at the top of my list for best movie ever filmed, but as far as entertainment goes, I feel it was well-worth the money.
We went and practiced skating yesterday, which was fun. Exercise *should* be fun, says I. I have a brand new computer monitor to install.
And I'm one of the featured authors over at The Romance Studio this month. There's an interview, if you're interested.
That's enough for a Monday. :)
Friday, March 09, 2007
Never let it be said that I can't be as hungry for eye candy as the next girl. ;)
My new contact at Fox is apparently launching a new show on Monday, so there's been nothing from that front thus far. She's busy, it happens. I will continue to get my name in front of her and hope for a response soon.
I have not been writing lately. I finished a couple of editing rounds, but I haven't written anything new. The urge to create is building up again, so I forsee a burst in the very near future. I tell myself I'm going to write every day, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes, you just need to let things percolate. I get bottled up especially when there are issues elsewhere and I have to let things settle before the writing will flow again. Here's hoping I'm ready to go.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I'd like something flashier, but I've also reached the point where I just don't feel like doing my own page anymore. It takes so long to get a look I like, and that's time that could and should be spent doing other things. Writing. Reading. Cleaning the house. (Ah, yes, anything to avoid doing what we should.)
In other news, I keep buying books and adding them to my TBR. This thing, if it fell over, would crush manlier men than I. By which I mean, it's huge and imposing and buying books is really a sickness.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Happy Monday, everyone. Hope your weekend was restful and fun. One or the other, at least. Or possibly productive. Okay, I just hope the weekend was good to you.
I don't particularly have anything exciting to relate. Still attempting to pick myself up. Still in Hollywood limbo. The usual, in other words. :)
But I felt a certain obligation to say hello, so here I am. It's both odd and comforting to think that people stop by hoping for new words to read. (Yes, yes, I know most readers will study the back of a cereal box rather than stare blankly into space. Hush.)
So here are some words. Take a few if you like. Leave some behind if you will.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Much as I love Jack and Kate and Sawyer, I'm tired of their story. I want to know what happened to the other characters. How is Hurley? Where are Jin and Sun? Is Desmond tormenting Locke? What about Charlie and Claire? It's possible that they're talking about the other characters again, but I've missed the last two weeks now, though I've been home to see it, and I don't really care.
I never watched Studio 60. I did, however, watch The Black Donnellys and I -really- enjoyed it. That's a show for a viewer like me, who has seen The Boondock Saints more than is possibly healthy. It'll be interesting to see if the "big" shows disappear. It's fascinating to me, seeing as I'm just getting started.
Got another -fantastic- review on Stacking the Deck, over at Bam's site. That's an up. Have to go to the dentist today. That's a down.
The teeter totter continues.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Let's take today, for instance.
Today, I discovered that Mrs. Giggles reviewed Stacking the Deck. Mrs. G is notoriously blunt when it comes to what she does and does not like. Offering a book is a risky affair. And she liked it enough to give me an 88 out of 100. Believe me when I say it's high praise.
I finally got a new contact for my project at Fox. There's been a shuffle down there and I've been in a kind of limbo, but I have a new person to work with, and can hopefully move forward.
And I got the sort of response from an editor that makes you want to hang it all up and stop writing. It wasn't even, technically speaking, a rejection and yet, I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to wrangle myself out of the serious blues.
Writing is not for wimps.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Missed a day yesterday. I shall now attempt to catch up. (Don't worry, there's not that much to fill you in on.)
I'm running an impromptu contest over on The Novelty Girls blog. Participate in the guessing game and be entered for a chance to win Shelli Stevens' Silk Hauntings.
There is a new review site called Cocktail Reviews in the blogosphere. They've reviewed my short, Eye of the Beholder, and liked it quite a lot. I'm very pleased.
Hollywood is just as slow as New York can be when it comes to responses. Still positive feedback, still waiting. :)
And I continue to plug along on my manuscript. I have so many things I want to be writing and all the impetus to finish this book off, but some days, it's like molasses.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
We did get out and do a couple of things as I hoped. We went to a belated Valentine's/Anniversary dinner and out to see a movie, for starters. We watched Ghost Rider, which I can only recommend for the old rider's horse. Really, that's it.
And then we looked at new houses, because ours is old and quirky and well, hey, why not. Oddly, I used to think looking at houses was a pain in the rear. Now I sort of like it. More signs of growing up, I suppose.
Plugging away on a submission. I'm writing lots of action for this book, which as C.E. Murphy says is fun to read, but I find it difficult to write. All those bodies and fists flying and whatnot. I've written it before, and I'm usually pleased with how it turns out, but in the middle of a scene, it feels like a struggle. We all have our weak points, right?
Right. Mine is plotting and, as mentioned, action. What about you?
Friday, February 16, 2007
Wow. That sentence confused me and I wrote it. It's been one of Those Mornings already. :)
I've been reading the RWA Pro workshop this week (shh, I haven't turned in my PAN paperwork, yet, I'm still allowed to be there) and Jennifer Greene made a comment about how silly (my words, not hers) this writer-based need for validation is. I have to agree, but I'm not sure that there's much we can do about it. Writing is, as dozens of people have said, a very solitary business. We don't go out and interact with other people and as much fun as a mailing list can be, they're not usually full of people stroking our egos.
So we want and reach for praise from wherever we can get it. We hope people like our writing and I, at least, try to assume that people do even if they don't tell me so right out, but there's nothing quite like hearing a real, honest to goodness statement of, "It was good!"
I'm hoping to get out and do things this long weekend. Here's hoping you and yours find something fun to do as well.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
It's also the grand unveiling of the Romance Divas E-Book Challenge. For more exciting FREE READS go to http://romancedivas.com/ebookchallenge.html for a complete listing.
I'm participating and you can find mine here.
It's a contemporary short story, sort of chick-lit, sort of superhero-themed. Not particularly Valentine's Day themed, but I think it's fun and fun is the key. Let me know if you enjoy it!
And have a great day. :)
Monday, February 12, 2007
My mother, just this weekend, told me that it was "just as good as a real published book". Thanks, Mom. Gotta love her. Hee.
In other news, I'm going to start writing Shakespeare articles for Suite 101 again. I mentioned that I wanted a place and I got an invite to come back to pick up my old gig, so back I go. Can't use the old articles anymore, but I can come up with something new, I'm sure.
No exciting developments in tv land yet, but I continue to plug away. How's everyone else doing this Monday?
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Yep, me and Monica, trading virtual blows again. Only this time, all I can do is laugh.
My most recent comment on the Dear Author debacle expresses my thoughts on Monica's constant commentary that blacks are extremely discriminated against in the publishing industry. Yes, I know better than to get involved in this argument because, as I said in the comment, there is no viewpoint other than hers. Arguing is futile. And yet, I persist. It's a button.
Her response makes it pretty clear that she didn't read what I wrote. And when called on it, she proves yet again that she didn't read, but now she thinks she knows something about me.
Like I said, I have to laugh.
Sorry. I'm a romance author, plain and simple. Okay, no, I'm an author because I don't only write romance. I'm still not going to slap a race label on myself as an author. It doesn't change what, or how, I write. Besides, the only label that would fit is way too long to put in a cover letter or an author bio and people probably don't really care.
Friday, February 09, 2007
A lot of us do/have done NaNoWriMo. A lot of us like to read but I've also heard a lot of grumbling about TBR (to be read) piles building, not having the time to read, etc.What about something like a NaNoReaMo? One month out of the year where we do nothing but read. Fantasy, romance, non-fiction, wouldn't matter, but the point would be to put down the pencils, step away from the keyboard, and clear out some of the book backlog.
One of the things said often about writing is that you can't stay on top of trends and learn and grow if you're not reading. In the genre, out of the genre, whatever. So. Why don't we have something like this in place?Of course, it wouldn't be limited to writers. Anyone who wants and likes to read could join in. And in fantasy land, Borders and/or Barnes and Noble or publishers would sign on to donate, oh. Gift cards. Discount club subscriptions. Book bundles, etc. For the top finishers or people who made a specific goal within the month or ... something.
I did a poll about this on my livejournal and realized that I should really open the poll up, as I don't have *that* many readers. So, a few questions:
1. If you are interested in NaNoReaMo, what month of the year would be best for you? (The current poll has July and August as favorites, but choose the month that works best for you.)
2. What sort of rewards would you want for signing on?
- Gift cards/certificates?
- Discount memberships or subscriptions?
3. How would you suggest reading totals are tallied?
- By number of words read?
- By number of pages read?
- By number of books read?
4. Who would you like to get prizes from?
If you have other suggestions or comments, feel free to post them here.
Please also feel free to spread this around and have people chime in. The more information I can gather, the more I can take to publishing houses, etc.
Thanks for your help and opinions!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Since we (yes, the Engineer is taking lessons with me) had our second ice skating lesson last night, I think I can safely say that learning how to skate is like writing, too.
First and foremost, you fall down a lot. And you have to learn how to get up without falling down again in the process. And without showing off any underwear or anything while you're getting back up (or burning bridges or insulting the wrong people, etc).
You have to overcome wobbly ankles and let go of the wall. You will never learn to skate if you don't try. (And never figure out that you *can* write if you don't put your butt in the chair, your hands on the keyboard and give it a shot. Or strengthen your writing if you don't keep practicing.)
You've got to have at least a little confidence in yourself or you will watch others skate rings around you (literally) and never dare to make rings of your own.
When you're watching someone else leap and twirl and dance gracefully across the ice, remember that they were once where you are, and that with enough time and dedication, you may get where they are now. It won't be the same dance, but that's what makes you fun to watch. (Do I need to translate that one?)
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Thanks for the answers about RTB. I guess they just don't love me anymore. :)
I've been working for the last couple days. Not on my own stuff, which makes me twitchy in whole new ways, but reading other people's work. It was fun but exhausting.
There's a discussion on reading outside your usual comfort zone, specifically as regards African-American romance and authors, over on Dear Author today. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I can't keep out of a discussion like that. I'm being well-behaved today.
Also, my local chapter launched the new website today. It's gorgeous, I think. Stop by and check it out.
Not a very personal update, I know, but I am a busy, busy bee.
Friday, February 02, 2007
I, like most writers, I think, have a tendency to write myself into the occasional corner. I'm always well-intentioned about it, but I don't always remember where I've been or where I'm going (I do only the vaguest of plotting) and that occasionally leads to trouble. Believe me, it was even worse when I was a pure pantser.
But I've noticed that I get very antsy when there's something wrong that I haven't yet put my finger on. I don't want to go back to those pages. I distract myself with anything and everything possible. I start new projects, I think about what I should do with the books I haven't sold yet, etc. So, it's probably time to take a look back at what I've got written already and figure out how I got off track so it can be fixed.
One of these days, I'll get to the point where I can write straight through a draft and not even think about edits until after the fact.
Also: Is anyone else unable to get the Romancing the Blog page to load? I don't know exactly when it started, but suddenly I can't read it. This makes me sad.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
That First Sale column always cracks me up. It usually reads, "This is Author's seventh completed manuscript," or something like that. Which-- *does quick math* counting novellas, I've got nine and a half completed. Right on schedule. ;)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
It's also come up in a few other places, so I'm curious about group consensus, or at the very least, a few responses from the ether.
If you were going to get reader feedback from someone about your book(s), would you mind if the feedback said nothing other than 'I loved it!' Would you rather have something more than that, like a reason why the reader loved it? Or is enthusiasm enough? Would you mind a critique if it came along with a compliment?
Would someone making weird comments that appeared not to have anything to do with the book you wrote bother you? Offend you?
And if anybody who swings by here *gets* lots of reader comments, how much are you paying your fans? ;) No, no, I'm kidding about that one. I know that readers don't always send notes to say they enjoy what they're reading. Someone in Ciar's comments said that they'd been inspired to start emailing authors more. I think I will too. I know I'd like to hear from readers that they enjoyed my work. It's only fair that I do the same.
So there's my challenge for those who happen by. Have you read a book you liked recently? Why not send a note to the author and let them know?
Monday, January 29, 2007
First things first: Yes, I'm going to National. I've been running around leaving 'yay!' messages on other people's blogs. I am looking forward to meeting lots of people and having little parties and being incredibly, insanely busy. Someone over the weekend mentioned that prior to a first sale, National is all about the workshops and having "fun" at conference. Post first-sale, it's all about "holy crud, I have to be in how many places at the same time?" But I'll be there. Flag me down.
This weekend was my first meeting in my second term as chapter president, and of course, it was a big one. We had Sherrilyn Kenyon visiting. What an amazing, warm, fantastic woman. If you're not a fan, go buy her books and read, read read. We had a great turnout, people were wonderful, and the entire weekend was good.
Well. Except for the part where my car has decided that it doesn't want to start all the time. In awkward places. Like at the mall. Or the post office. But other than that, it was good!
Oh, and I did sign up for ice skating class. That starts next week. Wish me luck! The Engineer is interested enough that he might take classes too. The family that gets laughed at together, stays together, right? Right.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I'm healthy again! That's a good thing. I'm also insanely busy, but I'm healthy. :)
I really will try to get back onto the blogging schedule this coming week. I've been quiet long enough, don't you think?
Still writing, still aiming high. I've decided that I can say a couple things about the Fox project, but I'm sure the lack of details will still frustrate a bit. That said, the project is paranormal themed and centers around a high school senior. I was asked to target the female teen market so that's what I tried to do. Hopefully I'll know whether my proposal is good enough to get anywhere soon.
I'm pondering taking ice skating lessons again. I used to compete, I'm much older and more out of shape than I was then, and I'm weighing this against my lack of a desire to be humiliated in front of ten-year-olds. :) Still, I had fun then. I may give it a shot, wounded pride or no.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
I'm over at Romance By The Blog today talking about FanLit, like Eve did on Monday. Swing by and say hello, if you've got a sec!
I should say more than that, shouldn't I?
Hi! If you're here from Romance By The Blog, welcome to my little spot on the internet and thanks for stopping by! Say hi, kick a tire or two. Gently.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
And I'm thinking about this because a) I actually cleaned some of my house, gasp and horror and b) because I have edits to do.
But mostly because I really do think they're sort of similiar. You have an established, already-constructed, somewhat-less-than-tidy house to clean. Cleaning it puts things back in order, eliminates or at least controls the mess, and makes you feel better for having it done, right? It does for me. It's the actual doing it that's a pain in the rear.
But it must be done, and edit I must, so I'm off.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
And back in December he had a self-doubt day like all those of us who write and he posted a string of negative reviews of his books. It's here if you want to see the way a best-selling fantasy author gets slammed.
And all I can think is, hell, if someone like Jim, who has an unarguably successful career, can rack up nasty, negative reviews, what makes anyone else think they won't? And if he can keep going, then so can we.
(No, I didn't get a negative review. Just musing.)
Monday, January 08, 2007
We had our transition meeting this weekend. We being my local RWA chapter. This means that I'm now officially a chapter president again. Yes, with all my copious free time. Trust me, I asked to be at the bottom of the list. But I love my chapter so I'm happy to help out if I can. Must try to be a better president than I was two years ago. (Don't get me started about rotating presidents. The past president and I have taken the job the last four years in a row.)
I sold Finding Home to Cobblestone Press. Yay! That's the last of the completed books from last year, so I've got to write new stuff now. *gasp* I do have projects in the works though, so I'm still charging forward. And swinging into full gear on the Fox TV project. I hope to have something turned into them at the end of this week. Phew.
If you get a chance, stop by Romance By The Blog today. My fellow Fan Lit Grand Prize winner, Eve, is blogging over there today. And I'll be there Friday, so come back and see me too!
Friday, January 05, 2007
What did I do instead of happily writing? I debated Shakespeare. I am a Shakespeare geek. Seriously, sit me in a room full of people debating anything about the Bard's works, and you may never get me to leave. I'm very tempted to set up a blog just to talk about Shakespeare. Everyone has a passion, and he's mine.
Besides, it's good brain exercise, and who couldn't use more of that? :)
I have another run of chats and whatnot coming up with the Sweeter Romantic Notions gals in the next couple of months. We're determined to prove that non-erotic books will sell in the e-market too!
I do have proof now that sex sells. Not that I didn't know, but boy do I have it now. It's interesting and kind of painful all at once. But hey, when that's what the audience wants, that's what they get.
Oh! And. Diana Peterfreund's made a very interesting proposition over on Romancing the Blog. She's suggesting a modified Godwin's law to counteract all the romance-bashing out there. Go check it out. :)
Edited to add: Obviously I think it's a good idea. I'm not going to hit that point anymore because I don't want to be (more) obnoxious. Apologies.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Finally managed to get words down on the page, though at the current rate of writing I will not finish in time for my self-imposed deadline, so that needs to be stepped up.
Must write a lot of things. :) I'm still getting back into the swing of things, so I expect that'll be a running concern of mine for a while. I'll try not to post about it every day.
I thought about going back to the Monday Motivation thing, but it didn't seem to be very popular, so I suppose I'll have to think up some other sort of schedule. Eeew, schedules. But, better that than random rambling, right?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Trying to get back into the swing of things. This is the danger of giving myself permission to relax. The momentum just all fizzles away. But, I'll get it back. Don't have much of a choice now, do I?
Here's hoping your year's started off well, and that you have much success, luck and happiness throughout the coming months.