Friday, July 31, 2009

Thankful Friday

It's been a while since I remembered to do a Thankful Friday. Shame on me.

I'm thankful for chocolate. What else is there to say?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Closer

Well, my second beta reader has finished my newest book. She liked it a lot. She pinpointed some areas I already had a feeling needed improvement. Once I get these changed, I hope to have them to my critique partners before long. This is taking longer than I like, but I've been extra tired at night as my day job has picked up. Oh, well, everything will work out.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looking Up

The other day, the weather was so pretty. It was one of those days where the sky is an even tone in the center with thick, white billowing clouds. I couldn't help but see bunny rabbits, poodles, dragons, and alligators. One of my favorite pastimes as a child. Rather relaxing in fact.

What a shame I was driving at the time. LOL!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rushing Through It

I know part of the reason I'm having such a hard time editing my newest book is because I rush through some parts to get to the end. I want to finish writing a book in three months, even while working full time. There are so many stories I want to write and I hate how long it takes me to finish each one.

Yet when I rush through the book, I have to edit twice as much. So it comes back and slaps me. But if I want to be published, I've got to get with the program and write faster and more importantly better. Feeling like a tennis ball here. Geez.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Spinning Wheel

Too funny. I didn't realize I had forgotten to blog yesterday until this morning. Totally slipped my mind. Nothing exciting about yesterday. We had our monthly writers' group meeting. It was a pot luck with a lots of talking. Each week we have more and more signing up. New members are always welcomed and appreciated. The old guard gets tired of volunteering and it's nice to have new ones in with new ideas.

I'm still editing my latest book but getting so tired of it. I'm ready to start a new one and fighting the idea. Chances are I'll work on an old one I never finished, though I'll have to go through what's written (half of the book) and update it to my newest voice. When I say that, it sounds like editing and I might as well finish editing the completed one.

Oh, my, I'm ready for the next step in my writing career. Being published. Then when I edit a book, it will be a tad easier as I know it will be on the shelves soon. For now, it just feels like I'm spinning my wheels.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Watch What You Say Around a Romance Writer

This evening I picked up a few groceries at the local Publix. One of the nice policies of the store is the bag boy will take your groceries out to the car and load them into trunk for you. Free. Usually, my husband goes with me and he does it. So I often turn it down.

Well, tonight, the good-looking man asked the usual question and out of habit I said no. He smiled and said, "How can you turn down something that's free?"

What could I say to that? There were lots of answers running through my mind that would've gotten me into trouble. But I said, "Sure. How can I turn down such a nice offer?" LOL! If he only knew how close he came to being embarrassed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brain Dead

Last week wore me out. This week, work is doing the same. So I have nothing really I want to talk about on the blog and feel it best to try again tomorrow. Night-night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Writers

While in DC I did what every writer loves to do. Watch people. I was amazed (though I shouldn't be) of the number of different looking writers. From the skinny, dry-skinned literary types to the full-figured, vivacious flashy types. There wasn't one type that was more talented than the other. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quotes

I don't normally do this as it's cheating on my blog, but I came across two great quotes recently.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life...we can never help another without helping ourselves. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perseverance is not a long race:It is many short races, one after another. Walter Elliot

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well...

When I arrived home yesterday, after leaving the airport and driving straight to my mom's house for a birthday celebration with her, I stretched out on the couch and didn't know anything until about seven minutes to eight. Of course, I would wake up for True Blood. LOL! Anyway, I feel better today, but won't have a chance to talk more about the conference until tomorrow. Time to get ready for work (booooo!) and back to the real world.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pictures from the awards! Anne Stuart!






















































And Even More Pictures

Okay, I finally downloaded several onto Flickr for everyone to look at. Click here. Hopefully sometime soon I'll remember to add in the descriptions.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Info From RWA Nationals

No pictures today, but instead I thought I would share a little of what I heard in the Spotlights. It appears historicals are making a comeback. Even in the workshop I went to yesterday with an agent and editor said the same thing. But mostly they want anything. The words "Romantic Suspense" didn't come up much. They mentioned mixing genres. For example, Grand Central bought (and already published last year I think) a vampire, funny cozy mystery.

I went to three spotlights (Harlequin Single Title, Kensington, and Grand Central) and of the three, I liked Kensington the most. Of course, I'm a little bias as they have a full of mine.

Why did I like Kensington best? Because they talked about how they work with authors to promote their book. They encourage their authors to blog and have websites. They're really into the technology people in their 30's and younger take for granted. Since I love doing all of that, what they said was right up my alley. Plus I've already started my own emailing list.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And More Pictures

Workshops I attended. I'll label these later at Flickr and give a link.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Pictures of DC











































Meade's memorial below. I wonder what he would've thought about the nude figures?











































Someone waiting to bury a loved one.













Hotel room view.













Pictures from DC and Arlington Park
























































Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dinner Tonight

A nice group of us had dinner tonight at Clyde's in Georgetown. It was Christy Reece, my roommate, Betty Bolte, Lucy Abarcia (Ever After book store), Kris Hohl and Tina (LoveLetter magazine). We talked and talked about books, movies, tv shows and Australia. What an interesting bunch of ladies.

Thanks, Christy!

By the way, the picture I was going to download didn't work. I'll try again tomorrow. For now it's night-night time.

Update

I'm in Charlotte and waiting for my flight. Boy, the plane was small. I felt sorry for the over six foot gentlemen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Off I Go

Well, tomorrow I'm off to DC. And considering what the news has been saying about people blogging or Twittering and crooks using this information to ransack your house, I'll warn them now. I have a security alarm, nosey neighbors on both sides, and lastly and most important...my hubby will be here waiting with a shotgun. :-)

Hey! It's the South. We're armed and dangerous.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

That One Certain Book

The first romance book I read was Roberta Gellis's BOND OF BLOOD. That was at age 12. I picked up the book at the library because it had a horse and a knight on the cover. I loved horses, knights and cowboys. Chances were I had already read everything they offered with cowboys on it. There was one scene I didn't understand until years later (THE SEX SCENE) when I bought a paperback copy of it. That copy now has Ms. Gellis's autograph and she wrote "For Carla. Kind enough to be a faithful reader." ::sigh:: I almost cried when I talked with her. What a nice lady.

I do have another book that profoundly changed how I looked at books and the stories they tell. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder. Until then I never imagined a book could make you think about why things happen. The author admitted he left the story open for interpretation on purpose. So the big question remains, did the people on the bridge die because they were predestined or as punishment or was it an unlucky accident?

In my books, I like to place layers where hints are left to be solved further in the story. I just have to be careful and not leave loose threads unsolved or make the book too heavy and cumbersome.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thankful Friday on Saturday

I'm thankful I live in a society that doesn't frown on women wearing makeup. As a history buff, I'm aware that wasn't always true. Though I know some women wear too much in the most inappropriate times (work), but what the hey. A lot or a little, I'm glad I have the choice.

Friday, July 10, 2009

NCIS

My newest craze. Watching NCIS. I may be able to figure out the killer most of the time, but the show has heart. Love it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Come On Over

Yep, posted over at the Romance Magicians' blog today. Come over and talk about misconceptions.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shopping

I hate to shop. I hate spending money. Probably the reason I feel this way has a lot to do with being broke for most of my life. Well, this weekend I plan to crack open up my wallet and buy a couple new outfits. And some shoes.

Yeah, yeah, it's a hardship but someone has to do it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Full Circle

Lately, I've noticed more homeless people. With the way everything is, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But so sad. The last time I saw so many was in the 1980's.

On the way home, I passed this one tall, lanky fellow who was walking along a bridge on the interstate. The section was so dangerous. The traffic was going sixty to eighty miles an hour within inches of him. Alongside him was a dog on a leash and the man made sure the dog walked opposite from the traffic. It proved he loved that dog, protecting it like he did. The dog was a brindled color and matched the man's dirty skin and clothes perfectly. On the man's back was a cardboard sign that read ATL. It's a three hour drive to Atlanta. So he probably won't reach there until, heavens, I have no idea. Tomorrow morning? That is, unless he gets a ride.

Well, I hope he makes it safe there with his dog.

Monday, July 6, 2009

No Need to Nag

LOL! This past weekend I brought my laptop out of the "study" into the living room where my hubby watches TV. I did it mainly so I could continue working on my manuscript while my grandson was visiting. Plus I had gotten a little lonely being upstairs all the time.

Well, it worked to my advantage. I even got to see a few shows I rarely watch as the TV in the study wasn't connected to cable.

Then out of the blue on Saturday he hooked up the TV in the study. I had asked him to do it last year and even mentioned it a couple times (unusual for me to ask more than once - really) and he never would. Obviously he got tired of me controlling the TV (LOL!) in the living room and sitting in "his" chair (my usual one until I got my laptop and moved out of the room).

I can watch almost anything now. Too funny. I'm like a kid who finally got a TV in her room.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Say Hello

Thought I would share a photo of two talented go-getters who don't sit around on their butts, waiting for someone to do something. Kelley St. John and Laura Hayden are two of the hardest working people I know. Kelley is a self-promotion queen and damn fine writer. Laura is a wizard at putting together the award ceremonies for the National RWA's conference and damn fine writer. And I'm proud to say they're members of my writing group, Southern Magic.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

You know it's so easy to think up excuses not to write. The weather was too hot, too cold. My husband, friend, sister, brother looked at me wrong and I can't concentrate. I had to clean my house. I had to cook a large meal, company's coming. I had to blog, Twitter, answer emails. I stumped my toe. I had to wash the dogs, feed the cat. I'm sad.

You get the idea. Life can get in the way.

So you have to decide for yourself what is important in your life. Of course, your soul should be number one. Then family. And third should be writing. Yes, it could be your day job, but that one can always be worked around. Considering during normal times, I work a lot of overtime and still get my writing done. Until October, last year was a normal schedule and I finished three books. Two were small books for Harlequin (both rejected) and one was a single title for anyone (waiting for a publisher to decide). Not everyone has a supportive family when it comes to writing. My husband and mom aren't, but I don't worry about them. They just have to come to terms with my decision. It's not like I'm breaking the law or ruining my life. Deal with it.

So instead of excuses, look at what you can change (maybe the house doesn't need cleaning from top to bottom every week -- yep, I use to do that) and decide, do I want to be published? And how bad? Then no more excuses and get to work on your manuscript and finish the sucker. Then send out those query letters. It might take the first one or fifty or hundred. But you will never know until you finish it and start putting yourself out there.

No more excuses.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thankful Friday

I'm thankful to the inventor of air-conditioning. With highs in the 90's and humidity above 50%, it gets miserable outside.

Oh, that reminds me. Years, years ago, as a teenager, I worked in a drug store and I had a boss from Afghanistan. He was a mess. He had a beautiful French-American wife and also a bleach blonde mistress. Whenever an angry customer would fuss at him, he would pretend not to understand English. One time I walked into the back office and he was writing a letter to his mom. Well, I had to take his word for it as I don't understand or read Dari. He was having a problem with translating the English words of air-conditioning to his language. In fact, he showed me the letter (in Arabic lettering) and the words "air-conditioning" stood out. Too funny. He asked me if there was another word for it. I couldn't think of anything. So he finally described to his mom that the English words meant a big box that blows cold air. Simple but true. LOL!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Stores

Like libraries, I love book stores. Big or small. Just having all those books surrounding me is a wonderful feeling.

Today, my boss let us off early and what did I do? You guessed it. I walked into Books-a-Million (such a great name) and took my time looking at every cover in the romance section. I sure wish the set up was similiar to years ago. The romance section was broken up between contemporary and historical. I was in the mood for a good medieval, but it got crazy trying to figure out the historicals. They pack them all in one aisle and almost all are spine out.

Anyway, I found one contemporary (Victoria Dahl's newest), two paranormals, and one historical. No. The historical wasn't a medieval. Drats. But one set in 1762.

Oh, speaking of book stores. Every time I go in one and someone walks into the romance aisle with me, I can't stop myself. I do one of two things: Tell them about our readers luncheon in November or tell them about our meetings. Well, today, I did both. In the aisle I told a lady who loves Julia Quinn about our Readers Luncheon and at the checkout counter told the cashier about our monthly meetings. LOL!

As I've said before, I'm not shy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Speaking of Conferences

I'm counting down to the big National conference I'm going to in a little over a week. This time I have a lot planned and I'm being more reasonable about the whole thing. Not expecting to find editors or agents standing around wanting to talk with me. Go figure. LOL!

Normally on trips (big or small) besides making sure all my clothes are washed or cleaned, I wait until the evening before and, more often than not, the morning I leave to pack. Yes. Sounds crazy. But I hate to pack up everything and realize I need something to get ready for bed or something to get ready that morning. Plus once I pack my mind is set on leaving and it makes it hard for me to go to sleep.

I would like to make a list. I love lists. But I need to think about the outfits I would like to wear. Especially the formal I'll wear for Saturday. Besides my wedding, I wore a formal only one other time (and still have it), when I was ten (yes, that long ago), I was in a piano recital and wore it. Sad to say, but I no longer know how to play.

Now, I have three formals. Well, really two long skirts and three blouses. The blouses have beads, sequins or glittery stuff on them. I do love to shine. For the first time ever, I bought an evening bag to use. Target had them on sale after all the proms. The best time to buy one.

Oh, yeah, I can't wait.