Saturday, June 26, 2010

Such A Fan

I came acros this new series I really like a lot. It's different in one way from most of what I watch. It's a Japanese anime. Check out VAMPIRE KNIGHT on Hulu.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Up To Forty

I received my 40th rejection today. It's sad but really no big deal. Not that I've gotten use to them, but I understand my book isn't everyone's cup of tea and not every agent (yes, it was an agent) is looking for one like mine. Of course, that's 40 rejections over 18 years and involving 10 books. That doesn't include the eight (editors/agents) I never heard from again. Technically, it isn't a lot.

Some people would feel funny about telling the public this information but 1) I went ten years (between 1993 and 2003) and didn't send one submission. Why? Because I came to realize my first two books stunk! Then my third and fourth was only a little better. 2) When I become published (See! I'm thinking positive), I'll have a great testimony to relate as a keynote speaker. See! I'm thinking REAL positive. 3) Sherrilyn Kenyon and Stephen King receive many rejections before becoming published and some after they were published. Funny. They have the same initials. Hmm. Maybe I should go by the name of Karla Swafford. Same initials, just switched. Nah! There's a principal in Georgia who probably wouldn't appreciate it.

Two fulls are still sitting out there waiting for a response. One has been on the editor's desk (or floor) for six months and I probably should check on it, but since I'll be pitching another book to the same editor next month, I figured it's best to wait until after the conference.

Anyway, I've learned so much in the last eight years and each day I do believe I learn something new about the writing industry. I have to say a lot of it has to do with being involved with RWA and my local chapter.

Well, I've got to get in bed. Tomorrow, after work, I'm having dinner with some of my buddies and Angela James with Carina. Cool, isn't it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Only Three Chapters

I've decided to redo another paranormal manuscript to pitch at the National conference. An editor told me it was too slow in the beginning. The same thing my beta readers told me and I'd ignored their advice. See I should've listened to them.

Anyway, I took out the first three chapters and now in the midst of rewriting chapter four's beginning. The readers need to know who's who.

I knew it would change how the book starts. (Duh!) But I hadn't realized how it would change the dynamics of the relationship in the story. Yeah. I'm liking it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day!

I spent the night with Dad. He's doing great and we had some wonderful conversations.

Thanks, Dad, for being my number one fan! Hugs and lots of love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Green Thumb

I do believe my oldest daughter has gotten her grandmother's green thumb. Check out her flowers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Humor Everywhere

The other day, I opened a bag of Skittles (rainbow candy) that said "Look under the wrapper? Over a Million Other Instant Win Prizes!" It didn't take a big guess what I would find, but what the hey! it was worth a shot.

The first words I see are, "Please Try Again." No surprise.

Then I read, "This is the hardest thing the rainbow has to do - telling you you didn't win. And if you need some time to yourself right now, the rainbow understands. We'll be on Facebook® if you want to talk."

So funny!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Same Song, Different Verse

Well, I received another rejection yesterday. Don't have much to say about it. Just time to get back to work and hopefully make the next book the one everyone (or someone) wants. I hope. Wow! It's been a long time since I got to write the words "Good News" on this blog. Who knows the next time might be around the corner.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good Luck, Bad Luck

Growing up the South, you learn a lot of superstitions. From the usual bad luck from a black cat crossing your path to making a wish after a third sneeze to wearing red on Friday the 13th.

Personally, I know it's a bunch of hogwash, but I'm a firm believer in playing it safe. No walking under ladders for me. Something may fall on my head or I might trip.

Anyway, I have an out on the black cat superstition. When I was a teenager, I owned a black cat and took pretty darn good care of Smokey (I thought). My mom never liked cats (she couldn't stand touching one while it purred...something about the vibration bothered her) and we weren't savvy when it came to shots especially for feline leukemia. Hey, this was a long time ago. Sadly, he died and I always felt whenever a black cat crossed my path, he was looking over me and I wouldn't have bad luck.

What made me think of all of this was what happened this morning. I broke a small mirror I use on occasion. I can't ell you how many times I had dropped it in the past, but for some reason it hit the floor the right way and cracked into about four pieces. They didn't fall out of the frame, but it makes it hard to use. Of course, one of my first thoughts was "Now I'll have seven years bad luck!" Then I fussed at myself for thinking something like that.

I know bad luck has a lot to do with how you look at everyday occurrences. If something bad happens, it's bad luck. But if you think of it in the right light, you can see it could be worse. So in a warped way, good luck. Suppose I wrecked my car. I would then remind myself I have good insurance and the car is repairable and "luckily" no one was hurt. Yeah, a little Pollyanna, but it will keep you from taking a nose dive into depression when things go wrong. :-)

So with the mirror, I'm happy the mirror didn't fall out the frame. Plus I had wanted to buy a larger one but since there wasn't anything wrong with the smaller one, I felt it would be a waste of money. Well, now I can buy a larger one and not feel bad about it. Silly, I know. But whatever works, I'll go along with it.

Besides, this attitude helped me today. I had a good day at work AND I received a request from an agent. It was for only 20 pages, but that's a start. It made my day.

Yep. A good day despite breaking my mirror.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Animals!

Many people have been asked, are you a cat or dog person. I've always said dog. I like cats okay. They get on my nerves with their meowing.

When my daughter returned home from college, she brought a dog and a cat with her. The dog is a mix and is so cute. He doesn't jump on you and I've never heard him bark though my daughter said he does on occasion.

The cat is a pure white with yellow green slanted eyes. She's very pretty. She's friendly and that's so unusual to what I've been around. My sister had several cats over the years and they mostly all ran and hid when I showed up. But my daughter's cat from day one came up and rubbed against my leg wanting me to pet it.

Considering my husband I both agree animals are for outdoors, we gave in and allowed the cat in the house for its safety. But litter boxes...gross. I tell my daughter to clean the box out every day and does she? Heck, no. Grrr.

No matter how clean you are and well you keep house, animals wear out furniture and make a mess. I've had people say their cat/dog doesn't, but then I go to their house and I can tell you, without even smelling them, I can tell.

Anyway, until she finishes up college this last year, we'll have a dog and cat. They're good animals but we've already spent a good bit of money helping her care for them. If it was just her, I would say she could stay forever but with the animals...let's check out those townhouses for rent.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name

The other day I was walking by a table of books in Books-a-Million and Russell Brand's memoir called MY BOOKY WOOK caught my eye. I'm not crazy about all of his humor, but he has his moments and to me the title of his book told me he didn't take himself too seriously. I also saw him interviewed tonight and I thought how sweet it was when he said of his fiancée, "I love her you know" and not in an inane tone.

Anyway, titles tell a lot about a book and, like most authors, I struggle with mine. The book I'm working on now was originally called THE ONES, and then DEADLY TEMPTATION, and lately THE ONES: BLOOD WARS. The reason I changed it the first time as a judge and a CP told me the title wasn't romantic enough. So I changed it to the second title and funny enough I had a judge note in a contest the book wasn't a romance. Funny. The first page is about how much the heroine has a crush on the hero. I figured the judge said it wasn't a romance because the book is in first person. Then as I threw out the ending and added tons of words and now working on the new ending, I decided it is closer to urban fantasy with romance in it. So I gave it back the old title with a modifier.

Some titles come easy to me. Like my two books I wrote for Silhouette Romantic Suspense: A SHERIFF TO CALL HER OWN and PREACHER'S SON. Since I finaled in the Maggies with both of them, they ended up on Wanda Ottewell's (Harlequin SuperRomance) desk. She then rejected them. So after some major revisions, I retitled them and sent them to RS as WATCH MOLLY RUN and PROTECTING MARY. Rejected again.

I've found I have a thing for the word shadow. My first romantic suspense (and the second book I wrote) was called CRYSTAL SHADOWS. Presently, I have three more books with that word in it: SHADOW HEALER, OUT OF THE SHADOWS and IN THE SHADOWS. The first is a paranorml romance and the other two are romantic suspense.

One title that was rather controversial was my romance (not paranormal or suspense) THE FEMALE CHAUVINIST. The heroine wasn't a bitch. She loved men but being a successful business woman, she didn't have time for romance or love. She treated men like men treat women all the time. They were sex objects to her. To help her scratch an itch and then to go on her way, taking care of business. Love that book. I'll probably rewrite it one day. My voice has changed so much since it was written, but I'll keep the plot the same.

I like twists for titles. One of my favorites (I didn't write) is THE TAMING by Jude Deveraux. Back in 1989 (whoa!), I thought the title was referring to the hero taming the heroine, but suprise! it was about the opposite. So I was thinking of that title when I named another paranormal of mine called THE CHAMPION. It wasn't named for the hero, though he was a champion in his own right, it was the heroine who wanted to be a champion for helpless children.

I have so many more titles for books I've finished or started, such as THE AIR SHE BREATHES, THE BILLIONAIRE'S REVENGE, TREASURE, WEEKEND LOVER, FOR AN ETERNITY (short story - ironic, isn't it?), GOOD BAD LUCK, FULL MOON, DARK DESIRE (doesn't everyone have a book named this? Or the next one here...), DARK BETRAYAL, CONVICT, BLOOD PROTECTOR (this will probably be the second book in the BLOOD WAR series), THE CAGED HEART, THE RICH MAN'S SON and last but not least, THE PRINCE, THE WARRIOR & THE QUEEN (this one is pure erotica, let your imagination run free). I think I have a few more I need to move over from the floppy disc. Yep, they're that old. LOL!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

***Permission to Forward***

RWA Southern Magic Presents…


Who: Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press

What: E-FACTS ABOUT E-PUBLISHING

When: June 26, 2010, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Where: Round Auditorium at the Homewood Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama

• Southern Magic will provide a dessert table and coffee.
• Registration is mandatory by contacting Callie James at calliejamesbooks@bham.rr.com. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee you a seat.
• Attendance is free for Southern Magic members, $5 for other RWA chapter members, and $10 for the public. Pay at the door.

PROGRAM: Angela James discusses the ins and outs of e-publishing, including what to expect from an epublisher, how to distinguish between unfunded or under-funded epubs, the real sales figures, what constitutes good distribution, covers, promotion, and more. We will have Q&A time available throughout the program.

More about Angela James:
Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's digital-first press, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied publishing career that has included ownership of an independent editorial services business, work as a copy editor for electronic book and small press publisher, Ellora’s Cave, and executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

Carina Press is a new digital-first publisher that combines editorial and marketing expertise with the freedom of digital publishing. With a long history of digital marketing and editorial experience, the Carina Press team is committed to bringing readers fresh voices and new, unique editorial.

Our philosophy is: no great story should go untold!

Carina Press will publish a broad range of fiction with an emphasis on romance and its subgenres. We will also acquire voices in mystery, suspense and thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, gay/lesbian, and more!

Southern Magic is the Birmingham, Alabama, chapter of the Romance Writers of America.
Meetings held at Homewood Public Library
1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Come and Join In The Fun


If you're a writer, you know how hard it can be to stay motivated. The wonderful and talented Jennifer Echols has been running a writing challenge each month for the last two months and I've written well over 19,000 words because of it. We were reporting in everyday through the week, but for June it will be once a week. Giving you more time to write instead of having to think up excuses. It's amazing how shame can come alive when you don't meet your weekly goal. LOL!