Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back

Well, this was my first year not being on Southern Magic's board of directors and it has been so productive. During the previous five years, I finished only two books, but started probably around ten. But as I said, I'm now talking about 2008. So here's my list of accomplishments.

1) Completed three books.
2) Was a finalist in two contests: Maggies & Golden Gateway
3) Have a partial request from an editor in one of the contests. (Going into the mail Saturday.)
4) Attended three conferences: Written in the Stars, Shreveport, LA; Silken Sands, Pensacola, FL; and Moonlight and Magnolias, Norcross, GA.
5) Met with editor who placed my entry at first place in a contest last year and who had requested a full. (Though later rejected.)
6) Two editors recognize me on sight. (I hope this is a good thing. They always smile real big when they see me, so I hope so.)
7) Received rejections from two agents. One was a query and another was a partial. Believe it or not this is an accomplishment. It means I'm working it. Next year I plan to ratchet up.
8) Entered the Golden Heart.

I believe I'm on the right track now and believe 2009 will be the year for me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I've Got A Problem, Sorta

Today, I went to the book store and bought three books. When I got home, I realized 1) I didn't buy not one book I had planned to pick up -- they weren't out yet. 2) I have about ten books scattered in my bedroom and living room waiting to be read or to be finished.

I've admitted before and will do so again. Yep. I'm a book-a-holic.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Friendly Skies

I love to fly. Wish I didn't have to do it in a plane, but heck, that's still not bad. LOL!

There's a scene in one of my books that I used my one time experience of traveling in first class. It was in 1999, so things could've changed but I bet not by much. I have to say it was wonderful. The seats were wider. The utensils were stainless steel, not plastic. And the food was delicious. Considering I've flown on the same airline, going to the same destination several times since then, I know they no longer serve even the measley little meal they had before to business class. They still close the curtain between business class and first. How much you want to bet first class still gets food with real plates and stainless steel?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day Off

I took a day off from writing, but I was still on my computer. Updated some websites I'm webmistress over and then upgraded my software for those same websites. Such a peaceful day after all the craziness last week.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thankful Saturday


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Forgot again. When I had decided to do thankful Friday, I thought it would be so easy to remember. We're all thankful for Fridays, right? The start of the weekend and all. But for some reason it slips my mind. Well, anyway...

I'm thankful for soft pillows. Those that are like the down-type but aren't feathers. When I was a kid, the doctor decided I was allergic to them and I haven't slept on one since. But then hotels started putting in those extra soft pillows (not feathers - too many people like me) and then I found them in Wal-Mart. Oh, my. I have two just for me. It's wonderful.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Pastime


I love watching old movies when I'm on vacation and hanging out at the house. One of my favorite actors is Audie Murphy. In real life, he was the most decorated combat soldier in American history. When I was a kid, my dad would take me to his movies. What I especially like about this magazine cover is it was published on my birth date, July 16. But not the same year by the way.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas From All of Me

Subtitled: The Many Voices in My Head Wishes You A Merry Christmas!

All authors have Dissociative Identity Disorder. In other words, they hear voices in their heads and not just one or two, but many. Thankfully authors have learned to deal with the problem by letting the voices tell their stories to the outside world.

Well, some of my voices would like to wish you a Merry Christmas...

“Hi, I’m Mary from THE PREACHER’S SON. While Dusty and Mom are arguing over who gets the last piece of the apple pie I baked, I thought I would wish you a Merry Christmas. Christmas in Alabama is so much more about the true meaning than it was in Las Vegas. Sin City was more about lights and sequins. Anyway, that was then. Now...I couldn’t be happier. So Merry Christmas, everyone.”

“Hey, J.T. here. My story’s in A SHERIFF TO CALL HER OWN. While I’m sitting in my patrol car outside the Sandbox, waiting for Molly to grab her brother and toss him out on his skinny, drunken ass, I figured...” Frowning in disgust, he watched Devlin stumble out of the bar’s double doors and fall to his hands and knees. Molly walked up and shoved her brother to the ground and stood over him, shaking her finger and fussing. Times like these, J.T. was glad he was a teetotaler. “There’s my girl now. I better go and help, so have a safe Merry Christmas and a sober Happy New Year.”

“My name’s Larisa. I spilled my guts in DEADLY TEMPTATIONS or whatever Carla or an editor decides to name it one day. I’ve been taught about many religions and I guess I relate to Christianity the most. Even though there’s a lot of crap about how crosses and holy water can burn vampires. They’re just like you and me, only stronger, sexier and drink blood, and...anyway, Merry Christmas! Gotta go. Triton’s waiting to take me snow sledding tonight. I do have to say, I love making him wait, then he’ll get mad enough to flash some fang! He’s absolutely yummie when he does that.”

“I guess I’m the last one and the oldest of this bunch. I’m Tori. My tale is called THE CHAMPION. Ah, I don’t have much to say. It’s getting late and time to hunt for the perverts out there and make them pay in blood.” A little bit of fang glowed in the dark as she looked over her shoulder. “Sorry. Ah, I mean Merry Christmas! Be sure to hug those you love every day as you never know if you'll get another day with them.” Then she was gone.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

**Let your characters wish everyone a Merry Christmas too.**

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Good Christmas Eve

The girls came over with kids, husband/boyfriend in toll. We ate a lot (though my biscuits are awful) and opened lots of presents. We're all blessed. All are in good health and have jobs. My youngest is still in college and may one day graduate. Yep. I'm blessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crazy Golfers

I know I have an obsession with writing and reading romance as many of my friends do. And I understand there are many people who are obsessed with sports: football, baseball, basketball, soccer (called football everywhere else in the world) and golf. Yes. That little white ball that's hit from yards away to a little cup in a smooth, very green area.

Across the street from my house is the second hole for one of the local golf courses. None of my immediate family were golfers. So I was rather shocked to learn how crazy these people were for their sport. My first Saturday morning in this house, I kept hearing the buzzing sound of the golf carts running along side the road. Nothing really wrong with the slight buzz except it started at six a.m. I peeked out the window that morning thinking, "Are they nuts?"

Then the first rainy Saturday. Ahhh! Peace and quiet. I can sleep late. NO! There was the buzzing again. At 6 a.m.! They held umbrellas over each other and most rode in the carts to keep the rain off.

Later the temperature dropped into the thirties, below freezing. Ahh! This is going to be nice. NO! There they were in the carts with plastic hanging down the sides, towels wrapped around their heads and over their noses. Are they freaking kidding me?

It took only one year for me to realize only high winds (like hurricane five type) and temperature in the single digits will keep them away in the mornings and evenings. That's right. Come the afternoon, no matter the weather, they're there. LOL!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wasteful Day

I should be ashamed of myself. All day long, I just puttered around. Read a little. Wrote even less. Maybe I'll do better tomorrow even though I need to go to the grocery store for 3rd time in two weeks - eeek!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thankful Sunday

Once again, I forgot to say what I'm thankful for yesterday. So here it is. Better late than never.

I'm thankful for indoor plumbing. LOL! You ask, what brought that up? The other day, a couple of my friends were talking about their experiences in going to their grandparents. I mentioned my grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing. When I was little and would stay a week, I would have to take baths outside. I hated it. I was terrified someone would see me...naked!

Considering how cold it is outside now and how much of a hassle it would be to fill a tub with warm water, I'm so thankful for my indoor plumbing.

***added Monday 12/22/08 **** Too Funny! I'd just realized I called this post "Thankful Saturday" and it should be "Thankful Sunday". That's what happens when you're on vacation. LOL! Now corrected.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Obsess...Uh...Show

When the show was first promoted last year, I had wanted to see it, but of course, I try to limit the time I watch TV. Writing is so much more fun and productive. But now that I've found so many shows on http://www.youtube.com/ and http://www.hulu.com/, I find myself watching one after another whenever I get stuck in my writing or just want to relax.

The new show I've been watching? GOSSIP GIRL. Love it! And my goodness, Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) is a young, modern Mr. Darcy. Dark and brooding plus the added heat of an anti-hero. He has so many issues and takes them out on those standing in his way, but every so often you see a glimpse of his vulnerability. And of course, he's gorgeous. In the actor's interviews, you find out he's English.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Damaged By Life


I've been reading J.R. Ward's THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD: AN INSIDER'S GUIDE. Enjoyed the novella in it and found the writer comments interesting. But as I was reading a portion of it today, I was thinking how we all love a damaged hero and/or heroine. Just makes them real.

Of course, if you look at your friends and the strangers on the street, you will find more people damaged by life. Guess that's why editors and other writers say to write true to life. It makes your characters breathe.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Be Nice

I really wish people would remember to clip their emails when they answer someone on a loop. As a member of ten plus (use to be over twenty when I was president of my writing group) loops, it gets so tiring to keep scrolling down (while on digest) and sometimes confusing, when people leave whole emails or even their digests on the reply. Just plain lazy and rude.

Sorry. Had to vent.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Don't Get It

Have you ever told another person about a book or film you like and they say, "I didn't get it. There's no way they can do [fill in blank]"?

I have. And no it wasn't about one of my books.

But I just figure 1) the person doesn't have an imagination, 2) the book/film isn't their thing, or 3) I wanted to like the book/film so much (usually because the actor/hero is HOT), I overlooked inconsistencies or/and black holes of the suck-in-worlds design.

What made me think about the above recently? I watched the second episode of LEVERAGE last night on Hulu. Maybe it was me or they had several things happen that didn't connect very well. I also kept thinking, didn't anyone notice them walking out together? How did they get off the container with guards all around? And a few other questions. Now, none of the questions or missing plot links stopped me from enjoying the show, but I had to keep reminding myself, this isn't my story and I over explain too often anyway.

I do enjoy the show. Reminds me of the old Mission Impossible TV series.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Love Dogs

I love dogs. For years, we always had an outdoor dog. We've had a German Shepherd mix, a Dachshund mix, St. Bernard mix, pure St. Bernard, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever mix, and a Beagle. But for now, no dogs. We travel too much and don't want to bother with boarding or taking one with us.

Though I do plan to get an indoor one when I get older and rarely travel. I probably won't make up my mind of what type to get until then. Click here for a good website to check out the different types. For now, I'm thinking of this one.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Word Lover

I'm always excited when I learn a new word. It's the height of geekiness, isn't it? I'm also fascinated when I realize I didn't know the correct meaning for a certain word.

Today's word I mistakenly thought meant new was noir. For those like me, didn't have it right or don't know it, it means "Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak settings."

Ahhhh!

Maybe I was thinking of the word neo. No. Not of the Matrix. It means "recent or new."

Now after that lesson, why do I believe it's time for little muppets to come dancing out of the shadows?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Been Workin'

I've been editing and adding words (came up short 6,000 words and now I'm needing just 4,000 more) on one of my finished manuscripts. Got to have it near perfect in case the editor asks for a full.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Christmas Party

Last Saturday was Southern Magic's Christmas party and we met at the Cheesecake Factory instead of someone's house. Some years, it's the best way to get people to show up.

Today, I went to the Heart of Dixie's Christmas party. I'm so lucky to live near two great RWA chapters. We played dirty Santa. I was the only one brave enough to "steal" Linda Howard's present she'd opened. She has a mean stare. LOL!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thankful Friday

Considering how many times this week I called different customers to talk about orders and product questions they had, it was so sad to find out several of them were laid off. So with that said, I'm not only thankful for having my job, I'm thankful my company's not laying off anyone before Christmas. Of course, I have to add, that I know of.

I understand why companies have to lay off people before a new fiscal year -- been there, had it done to me in 1997 (I was told in December but my job continued until May. I was the last inside sales person to walk out of the building.) -- but it really stinks when it happens before Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fighting

You know how men love watching women fight? I never understood it. I imagine it has nothing to do with the hope women will tear each other clothes off or apologize by kissing each other. ::smirk:: Yuck. ::gag:: I just think it's stupid.

On the police shows my husband loves to watch, nearly every episode has a couple of drunk men swinging at each other. I can promise you, they do nothing for me. Besides, they usually look like crap. But even the well-muscled men of boxing and wrestling do zilch.

Now give me a couple of well-muscled men dressed in some skintight pants and no shirts with swords or rapiers and my heart's all a fluttered. Just call me an old-fashioned girl.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Early Christmas Card


Merry Christmas!
May all your dreams come true! I know mine will.
Carla

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It Totally Like...You Know...Blew My Mind, Dude

I’ve blogged about songs that inspire me to write a book. Music has always been a part of my life. And there’s one song I can’t get enough of it. In particular, this one lyric just blows me away. The visual is intense. Any romance writer can understand it.

If Dreams Were Thunder
Lightning Was Desire
This Old House Would’ve Burnt
Down A Long Time Ago
By John Prine

Is your house still standing? Mine’s all ashes flying in the wind.

How about you? What lyric just blows you away every time you hear it?

In the meanwhile, listen to this version sung by Susan Tedeschi. You need to check out her CDs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Season

I like how television has three seasons now. Fall, Winter and Summer. The new show Leverage was great. I've always liked t.v. shows with a lot of twists, especially if I can't guess them all. The only show I couldn't guess any of their twists (until the last season or two) was Le Femme Nikita.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes


Why is it so hard for a woman to find PRETTY shoes during the winter? First, who in their right mind wants to wear stilts when there's a possiblity of ice on the ground. It's hard enough to walk in those torture devices, no less, worry about what's beneath them. E.g., forementioned ice and not counting heavily waxed floors! Second, most do not have toes. Why would I want my toes to freeze? Nuts! It's men who want to punish us for making them pay for the meals and beg...well, anyway.

As you can tell, I've been looking for some good winter shoes. The ones I wear most of the time are beginning to look sad. So I adventure on line for new shoes. I hate shopping and shoe stores are the worst. They have tons of the most ridicious shoes (spike heels, straps going everywhere and NO TOES) and some of the most freakingly ugly low heel shoes (ballet? -- not every woman wanted to be ballerina when they grew up!).

So I go on line to this website that only has shoes -- loads and loads of them -- and type in my info of what I'm looking for. The first two pages are freaking boots!! Hello, people! I live in the South, it can get cold, but not THAT COLD! Plus I'm short and not skinny. I would be all boots and torso.

Why can't a low heel shoe be pretty, functional, and comfortable? Is that asking for too much? Can you tell I hate shopping...even on line?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yes, I Love to Read Bumper Stickers











Though I don't place them on my car's bumper, I do love reading other people's. Like "Paddle Faster, I Hear A Banjo," or "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands." Even a character in one of my paranormals loves to wear hearse humor tee-shirts as he owns and drives a 1960 Cadillac hearse, such as "Friends Help You Move, Real Friends Help You Move Bodies."

Have you see any good ones lately?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh, Yeah, Hot Chemistry

I've talked about alpha heroes before. Somewhere in my blog or Romance Magicians'. In one of my favorite series (Jenna Black's Devil books) the heroine has a secondary character who's very alpha. He's a demon possessed male who likes BD/s and has a gay lover and we've just found out in the latest book, he swings the other way too. Okay. I know for some you out there this is TMI (too much info). The point I'm getting to is he shouldn't be a character I normally would be interested in, but I find the "relationship" between him and the heroine to be interesting. He's for sure an alpha. And she is too. He's a cop who helps her even through they dislike each other. But there's a hot chemistry between them the author has worked in that I want to examine and bring out in my books. Oh, yeah, I want to examine it long and hard. LOL! I couldn't resist saying that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Peer Jealousy

Now something to get you in the mood for the holidays...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Rare Review

I just finished this book and enjoyed it so much. I love bodyguard books. Though I didn't care for how they left a couple strings dangling (tied in with a multi-author storyline), the characters and the rest of the plot was wonderful. The hero was macho and sexy in that quiet and hunky sort of way. (LOVED the part where he's waiting for her and is caught reading a romance - hey there wasn't nothing else for him to read. LOL!) The heroine was delightful and passionate. In other words, real.

Normally I don't review books here, but I was so happy with the book, I couldn't help it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Audio Books

Over the years, I've bought a few audio books. Only one was a romance, most were self-help. I prefer holding a book and reading it with different voices in my head. Admit it. You do the same thing.

Well, a few months ago, Karen Marie Moning's newsletter provided an opportunity for fans to download free on iTunes the first FEVER book via PodCast in installments. LOVED IT! I've listened to it twice. The series is wonderful and listening to it on my iPod was so much fun. I even exercised to it. Hard to believe considering how much I hate exercising, but the installments were in roughly 20 minute segments and matched the length of time I'm on the treadmill. Each day I couldn't wait to hear the next installment. It was like having a carrot on the treadmill.

Since I finished the PodCast twice, I've slacked off the treadmill. It's not the same without a book. I've used music of all types. Still not the same. So I bought an audio book off iTunes yesterday. Lisa Kleypas's A WALLFLOWER CHRISTMAS. I can't wait to exercise tonight. LOL!

Sides notes: The woman narrating Karen's book was okay but when she did the male parts, her deep voice was irritating and all the men sounded alike. Of course, I'm sure she did better than I ever could. I would've bought the next two audio books in Karen's series, but they were over twenty dollars each. Too pricey for books I've already read (in hardback no less) and still had on my bookself.