Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Of course, I cleverly purchased on Sunday evening, before the sale started. Sheesh.
But sometimes I luck out. Saturday after Maddie James did her presentation at the workshop, I was one of the people who won a paperback! My choice: Murder on the Mountain, a Ladies of Legend novel.
I had meant to buy it online, and then my plan was to get it at the signing on Friday, but it wasn't there. Imagine my delighted surprise at holding this pretty Legend book in my hands. Of course, I already own the ebook...
Timing is everything. But luck helps, too.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sound long? Nope. She was wonderful! I'm not sure how many hours she could have spoken and still had me completely riveted. From what I've heard, others feel the same way.
Here is one of her books. If you're a writer, you'll want to check out her books, her website, which has lots of info and tips--and you'll want to find out her speaking schedule. If she's in your area, make sure you get to hear her. Wow.
Okay, enough preaching...
Friday, March 27, 2009
Here are Jan Scarbrough and Anya Bast. I sat on the other side of Jan. Not sure if there is a picture of me at all, and if there is, I have an idea I don't want to see it. Having a bad hair week. Oh well.
I was excited to sell out of The Blank Book. Excited and surprised! I hope the purchasers will be happy with it.
Debbie at Barnes & Noble was so nice to work with! This is a lovely store, and we were set up near the coffee shop. Tia Fanning stood near the front door and handed out post cards, bookmarks, etc., from all the authors, to entice customers over our way. Thanks, Tia! (Don't have a picture of her yet. Maybe tomorrow?)
Here is Renee DeMarcus. This was her first booksigning. Yay, Renee! Sorry this picture is so dark. But at least I sorta managed to get a photo of her and her book cover.
Here are Sophia Danu and Sheryl Brennan. This was my first time to meet Sophia in person. We sat together at dinner afterward, which was nice.
I've met Sheryl before, and we've conversed some on email, plus we read each others' blogs. This is one of the great things about booksignings, conferences, and workshops. You get to spend some in-person time with your online friends.
Jennifer Madden, a frequent visitor to Magdalenaville, was also present for the evening's festivities. I just had to give her a hug, because we visit so much online.
I missed getting pictures of a lot of the authors who were there. I hope someone got good pictures, and will put them online too. I saw Maddie James wielding her trusty camera with her usual aplomb.
Okay, now I'm heading to bed. Saturday is the big day of workshops!
Oh--I'll try to post something here tomorrow (Saturday) but it might not happen. There's supposed to be free WiFi in the hotel, so a blog should be a possibility. But one never knows. If I don't show up here Saturday, please know it isn't because I've forgotten about you. It's probably because of my techno-limitations, or exhaustion. Booksignings, much as I love them, wear me out. I think it's all that smiling.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Why is that? Because I've lost my list! Of all the crazy things, when I was ready to start throwing clothes, toothbrush, bookmarks, etc. into a bag, I glibly opened Word to print my packing checklist. I always print my packing checklist, and check things off, so I know exactly where I am. When all the lines are checked, I zip the bag.
I've looked everywhere I can think of, and even did a search. I'm just posting this as a warning to anyone I may see this weekend. If you notice my shoes don't go with my outfit, or if I fail to hand you a business card, it's likely because the correct shoes and the newly minted cards didn't get packed. Sheesh.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Maddie is a national examiner, with a focus on the romance writing industry. This is a relatively new "gig" for her, but she's great at it. She has been doing non-fiction writing for the day job for years, and is also a prolific romance novelist. I really don't know how she does it all, but somehow she does--and does it well!
So, hey, I'm so thrilled that the interview is up there today. It's not terribly long, so if you have the time, go here and read it. And check out the other articles, interviews, and the extras on Maddie's page. Thank you for taking the time!
And thank you, Maddie!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Part of my busyness yesterday was making hotel reservations. This Friday I'm staying in Lexington, KY, because there's a booksigning that night, and the workshops are all day Saturday. So I called the Hyatt and made my reservation.
While I was on a roll, I called the Greenbo Lake State Resort Park and reserved a room for the Dogwood Writing Conference weekend, April 24 and 25. I'll post more info about that soon. I've heard it is a great little conference.
So, yeah, I've been thinking about hotel stuff, and decided to go ahead and give you an amazing link. While watching the DVD The Body in the Library (an Agatha Christie "Miss Marple" story), we stumbled upon the fact that there is a hotel in England called The Grand Hotel Eastbourne. It was used (under another name) as scenery in the movie. If you go to this page and watch the video, you'll see why the hotel caught my eye.
Will someone out there in Blogland please schedule a writer's conference at The Grand Hotel Eastbourne? And invite me? And, like, pay my way? Pretty please.
I'm sure I'd fit right in (see my picture above).
Monday, March 23, 2009
Click on the image to enlarge. (Thanks to Taryn Raye who gave me the idea.) You can also learn more at the Kentucky Romance Writers meeting info page.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I hope we're done with ice storms and blizzards--and that we won't need another load of firewood.
With the arrival of Spring, I'm really feeling the need for a change. Maybe this afternoon I'll dig out the summer clothes, even though it's not really warm enough to wear most of them. Perhaps the summer things can cheer up the rest of the [mostly black] clothes in my closet.
There is a fun Springish shopping outing today... I'm looking for a bell for a certain almost-six-year-old's birthday bike.I suppose, while I'm out, I could buy myself a pair of awesome stiletto sandals. That would make good spring decor (no way could I walk in them, however).
Or--hey--maybe I should change my hair. Probably not going to do anything drastic with color, but...hm...a different style? Here's a clip art gal whose style I like. In fact, I wore this style for several years, and loved it.
Of course there's always yard work. There's a delightful harbinger of Spring. (Remember the sun block!)
What are you doing to welcome Spring?
Friday, March 20, 2009
So, um, please visit me there by clicking here.
If you wonder, this picture was taken at the 2008 Lori Foster Readers and Authors Get Together. SisterWriters Jan Scarbrough, me, Janet Eaves, Maddie James.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Last week on my library visit, I picked up a novel in a wildly popular current series. I gave the novel my traditional twenty pages to catch my interest, but never made it to page twenty-one.
Instead, I went to my Rosamunde Pilcher Shelf, which I haven't done in quite some time, and chose at random. My copy (with a different cover than the one shown here) was printed in 1989, though the book was originally copyrighted in 1967!
I was immediately pulled into the life of a young British woman named Selina Bruce, who is soon to marry a very suitable young man. Selina yearns for information about the father she never knew. She goes searching for him, but finds something else entirely. *sigh*
It's not as if I don't have a towering TBR pile (both physical and electronic). It will still be there when I'm ready for it, I suppose. For now, though, I'm revisiting a delightful small town and beautifully-drawn characters. Who knows? Besides being entertained, maybe I'll learn something.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Spot had his first haircut of the season yesterday. He looks even more handsome than usual! And I think he feels younger than his ten years. He is too excited about it to even let me take his picture, though. Sorry about that!
Therefore, I offer you daffodils. The ones in our yard are blooming, the day is as sunny as this picture, and we are just plain jazzed. Aren't we, Spot? Well, he's napping, but let me tell you, he's jazzed.
A couple of other things if you have time:
We have a guest at SisterWriters today. Go here to read about Toni V. Sweeney. Also, this is the Wednesday book blurb day, so if you'd like some reading suggestions, go to Barbara Vey's Publishers Weekly blog here.
Have a lovely day!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I love green, and wish I lived close enough to an Irish pub to just hang out there today. But I'll make do with wearing a green sweater, and remembering the Danny Party.
I threw the Danny Party on March 17, 2002, when my cousin Dan was visiting from Texas, where he has lived for about thirty years. He was in the area for some training, and I thought it would be neat if the whole family had an opportunity to see him, which doesn't happen often.
So I did some serious cleaning, and invited the aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'd love to show you pictures, but don't want to embarrass anyone. So I'll tell you: I have a picture of my son and the cousin nearest his age, using a block and tackle to hoist a golf bag into the old tree house, just to see if they could. (Golf has become a family reunion tradition. Hoisting the bag into the tree house was a new twist.)
I have a picture of each set of aunt/uncle who were able to attend, and one of my dad and his girlfriend.
Have I ever mentioned that there are fifteen cousins in my generation? Ten boys, five girls. The big group photo is of me and the cousins who got here. None of the girl cousins made it (!), so I'm in the front row, dwarfed by the boy cousins. Some of them had made a two-hour drive to see Dan.
We had a wonderful time at the Danny Party. Coincidentally, March 17 is our grandfather's birthdate. I think he would have been 112 that day. How he would have loved seeing us all together. How Grandma would have fussed to make sure everyone was in a picture. I took care of it, Grandma.
I imagine St. Patrick's Day will always make me think of the Danny Party...with a smile.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I can't decide which project to work on next.
A sequel to Where Her Heart Is with minor characters Greg Andrews and Chloe McClain as the hero and heroine?
A sequel to The Blank Book? I've had several suggestions: Kate's story; Barb's story; how Robert found Alice when he didn't know her real name, or where she lived; the story of Robert and Alice's child who, as an adult, discovers the Blank Book and uses it?
The story of Wendy and David, which I've been writing off and on for several years?
The story of Robert McClain and Shelley, which I've been mulling inside my heart-swirled brain for...hm...maybe two years?
The story of Darilyn which I wrote as a NaNoWriMo novel a while ago. Not sure...three years?
The story of Elizabeth and Joe, an inspirational set in frontier days? Yikes. We're talking twenty years on this one.
The story of Charles and Dorothy...
I'm not like some writers. I can't work on more than one project at a time.
My brain hurts. But at least it's pretty in there.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Omigosh! I forgot to tell you about the Spring into Writing booksigning (Friday) and workshops (Saturday) sponsored by Kentucky Romance Writers. This exciting event will be held in Lexington, Kentucky on March 27 and 28. Here's a link to the beautiful flyer that tells all about it!
Reservations are required for the workshop. E-mail KYRW President Kathy Logan with questions: Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's also information on the KYRW website. I hope you can attend. I plan to be there both days--really looking forward to it--and not only because the Wheel of Pain is staying home!
Friday, March 13, 2009
I had a few edits for Where Her Heart Is. Very few--but I also needed to add a couple of paragraphs to my ending. This meant I got to read the entire story (yay! love it!) to be certain my ending did it justice. So I was in Legend, Tennessee, yesterday, which may have been a bit frustrating to anyone who was trying to have a conversation with me here.
I finished in a big satisfying whoosh and emailed to my editor! Now I can barely wait for the e-book release date in June. I guess since I emerged from the Legend, Tennessee area, in a way I'd come down off the mountain, but in a way I was still up there. Still there this morning, in fact. What a great feeling!
If you're also in a festive mood--or would like to be--check out Barbara Vey's blog. She's been having a week-long second anniversary party, and today's partiers are the Contemporary, Historical, Erotica, E-book, and Audio communities. You can imagine what that mix looks like when partying... Well, maybe you can't. I'll give you a link so you can find out. Authors and publishers have donated piles and piles of prizes, which are given away each day. (I donated an electronic copy of The Blank Book for today. Big surprise, huh?)
To be eligible for a prize, all you have to do is post a comment there. Be sure to go back and comment again Saturday to have a chance at the grand prize--a $150 Amazon gift certificate! Here is Friday's party.
As you may recall, this is my day to blog at SisterWriters. Happy Friday, all!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I don't really push a cart of books around with me all the time. I also don't sell books out of the back of the Jeep, though it's tempting. I tell myself I'm a real writer who has books in bookstores (not true) and that anyone who can't get to those bookstores will beat a path to my pages on Resplendence Publishing, Amazon, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, etc., etc. (Also not true.)
But even though I'm trying to convince myself of those things, I still do shameless promotion on pretty much a daily basis. Evidently I enjoy it.
So it isn't a surprise that when I went to pick up my tax returns, and realized I had met the receptionist in another setting a few years ago, and that she had been interested in the fact that I yearned to be a published romance novelist, I gave her post cards for the books, and a business card. She was duly encouraging--bless her heart--and said most of the women in the office read, and that they would buy the books and share them. Yay!
And it probably isn't a surprise that I went to the local library the other day to view the results of my shameless promotion there. I had an extra copy of Ladies of Legend: Finding Home and A Legendary Christmas, which I donated, and the library bought a copy of The Blank Book. I wandered around looking for them, and finally said to the head librarian, "I just wanted to see them on a shelf." She seemed to think that was reasonable enough (instead of weird, which is how it sounded to me). But, she said, "I think they're checked out." She pulled them up on the computer, and sure enough--all three were checked out! Well, yee haw is all I can say to that! And did say something similar, I think.
Last night someone was asking about them and I said they were checked out when I was there. She said she'd call and get on the list. Hey, I wanna know if there is a list! How cool would that be?
My son thinks on a larger scale. He said that, since the Legend series is set in one town but written by four authors--since it seems so unique--why don't Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves and I go on TV? Why don't we go on The View and talk about it? Well, I have to admit, that would get the word out a bit more efficiently than I've managed so far.
So...anybody have a contact at The View that they'd like to share? Is it shameless of me to ask that question?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It's going to be springtime for real one of these days. Yesterday it was summer, today back to winter... but eventually we will have spring. Right?
In preparation for nice outdoor writing weather, I've rolled out Mobile Unit One--my Dana. I've had her for several years. She and I wrote a novel together one November during National Novel Writing Month, and have worked on various other WIPs.
Dana is great for writers for several reasons--and mine is especially great because I opted not to get the wireless connectivity. Funny, huh? Even then I realized the internet might be a distraction.
Not sure when "then" was. I've had the laptop since late 2006, so it's been a while. And when I bought the laptop, Dana fell into disuse. I've packed her back into her box a couple of times and stuck her into storage, poor thing.
For something that does not do everything a laptop does, the price for a new Dana is steep. I bought my laptop (used, of course) for slightly more than this costs. But Dana's battery life is awesome, she's small and lightweight, and has a comfortable full-sized keyboard. I do love Dana, though I haven't told her many times lately.
My plan is for Dana to be Mobile Unit One. I can transfer the work in progress to her with a card reader, write my little heart out, then transfer back to the laptop to work at home if I want. Not sure exactly how much sunshine Dana and I will be enjoying together, but we're probably going to have an outing this week or next, and see how it goes.
If you're interested in Dana or her brother Neo, check out the official website here.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I was interested to hear on NPR the other day that a college in Missouri is going to all e-textbooks for their students. Wow--that's big, isn't it? Read it--or listen, if you prefer, here.
Many thanks to everyone who visited Sia McKye's blog yesterday. I had such fun with it, and Sia is a wonderful hostess. Blogger short-circuited in the late afternoon, but the blog is back, so if you missed reading and/or commenting, this is the link.
I stayed up late last night to finish reading Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. What a journey she had, geographically, spiritually, emotionally... No wonder this book was a best seller for such a long time. Over five million copies in print!?! I borrowed this hardcover from my local library--a resource many of us are rediscovering. Thank you, library! But--yay--to go along with our theme, the book is also available in electronic format. Here's the Fictionwise page.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
My dad made it for my birthday a few years ago. You may be amazed--I know I am--that he did this at my request. He'd had one and used it a lot, and I knew I needed to use one, so...
But then, my dad was always a pretty fit guy. As in, he had the same waist size his entire adult life. He worked hard to eat and exercise and stay in good shape.
And then there's me, his only child. Um...
So anyway, The Wheel of pain is basically a lawnmower wheel with an axle. Mine is fancier than the one he used, because it has padded handles. (The "girly" version?)
You get on your knees, and roll forward until you feel your stomach muscles (I seem to still have some). Then roll back to the original position. Do it slowly. Yesterday I did ten repetitions ("reps"), but today I may do a few more. This is also good exercise for my back and arms. But don't worry--I won't give you daily updates on my Wheel of Pain reps. That would be boring (and possibly embarrassing).
Some people think I've given this exercise machine a funny name. And then they try it once, and nearly fall on their chin. It isn't nice to laugh when people do that, and I almost never do laugh. But I think anyone who's used the Wheel of Pain does recognize that its name is appropriate.
Happy Saturday, everyone! Today I'm going to go walking, roll a few with the Wheel of Pain, and work on edits. It just doesn't get much better than that, huh?
Friday, March 6, 2009
I bought a new pair of jeans the other day. They fit well, and the price was right. Why am I mentioning such a boring purchase, and why does it sound like I'm building up to a whine? Because these jeans are not my size—or at least, not the size I want to be. They're a size bigger. Arrgh!
I am so frustrated with myself! I know this happened because I’m way too sedentary. I don’t eat more—or at least not much more—but it sure hangs around. Around my middle, mostly.
The other day I figured out a better way to look at my writing time. I'm also improving the exercise routine. The last couple of days I’ve picked up my walking pace, added a long staircase, and am eating a little better. It's a work in progress. Everything with me is a work in progress, huh? Well, as long as there is progress...
I refuse to buy more pairs of jeans this size. And I want to be able to wear all my dress pants, instead of just one pair! I can't afford a new wardrobe, but the main point is I can't afford to let my health slide.
In addition to the walk (and climb), today I'll start using The Wheel of Pain. If I survive, I'll post a picture tomorrow. A picture of the wheel, that is.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Just FYI, I also didn't print personal stuff onto office paper. If I wanted to use the paper cutter for something personal like bookmarks, I asked first. And I did it after office hours.
Know why? Because, to me, doing those things would be like stealing from the boss!
I just realized after brunch yesterday that I’ve been stealing from myself. If I’m supposed to be “at work” eight hours a day, I need to be working. (That part was pointed out rather vigorously by my Conscience.)
I don’t have current issues with my I.E.—Internal Editor (something Devon Matthews and Taryn Raye have been blogging about). My problem has been with my E.F. –External Fritterer. Most of my frittering is about writing—as opposed to, say, housework—but if I'm not actually working on a manuscript, or preparing a story collage, or making notes about GMC, then I’m stealing from myself.
So as I drove home from the brunch yesterday, I picked what I consider a reasonable annual income I want to make from writing in a year, and divided by 52 for the weeks, and divided by 40 for the hours in each work week. That's how much money I'm stealing with each frittered hour.
This stops, now. Or, actually, it stopped yesterday. I got quite a bit of writing done when I got home from the outing. And after my work day, I checked my email accounts, commented on blogs, read industry news. It makes for a longer, but more productive day.
Thanks, Conscience. And thanks Susan, Taryn, Devon, Nora, Shiloh, Jennifer, Cheryl—and others who keep to a schedule. Finally, I think I GET IT.
The concept of stealing has made it more real to me.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
She’s not my Conscience for everything, of course. Her specialty is being my Writing Conscience. And to make it even more fun and exciting, she’s my cousin.
She is one of my biggest encouragers, and likes to keep up with what I’m doing. I usually email her part of a story when it’s still in draft form. Her reply is generally along the lines of More! Now!
If she doesn’t get More! Now! she tends to get on my case.
Of course The Blank Book is dedicated to her.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Here's the deal. The woman is inept. Pleasant enough most of the time, but she's definitely got issues.
See this tennis ball? I love chasing the tennis ball! But with her throwing it, nobody (especially Magdalena) knows where it will go. I guess it's good exercise, having to backtrack and dive over stuff, but sheesh. Scary in the house, too, because the woman has stuff sitting around that will break if you knock it onto the floor with a tennis ball. No idea why she'd want stuff like that sitting around in the first place. One day I was so bored, I ran to the top of the stairs and dropped the tennis ball so I could chase it. And guess what--I knew where it would go that time! Wow, that was fun!
You may have read the woman's post about the Two O'clock Feeding and thought I was being unreasonable. But answer me this: Am I the only one who would suffer if the wood fire went out? Of course not! For Pete's sake, I've got fur! I was thinking of the people when I did that. Always trying to help them out.
And the deal with the rabbit the other night. Not my fault. I don't know if you've seen her lately, but Magdalena has been putting on weight. She needs more exercise. She even talks about exercising more. But as far as I can tell, talking about it isn't helping her shed that stubborn belly fat.
So, once again, I was trying to help out. I saw the rabbit and immediately thought, "Here's an opportunity for an enjoyable calorie-burning romp for all three of us!" The rabbit was up for it, and I sure was, but Magdalena... Um... Have I mentioned she's a bit awkward? She not only dropped the leash, but I guess she tripped over something, because she fell. Evidently she doesn't really want to exercise more, because she just lay there for a while. The rest of the evening she shuffled around the house and groaned. Imagine how few calories that burned.
Well, I've got squirrels and birds to watch, so I need to sign off. Just a reminder, though--there are always two sides to every story.
P.S.--Remember I said she's inept? My eyes are dark-chocolate brown, not this bizarre bluish greenish color. What's up with that?
Monday, March 2, 2009
I haven't ridden inside one, either. But I have an idea what it might feel like if I had.
Saturday night the dog and I went out into the yard so he could take care of business. I thought business was finished, and was ready to head back to the house. But he saw a rabbit, and took off. Although he only weighs about forty pounds, when he moves like that, suddenly extending the retractable leash to its full length, it's all I can do to stop him. And this time I hadn't seen the rabbit in time, so I wasn't ready. Off he (and the leash) dashed for the rabbit, and down I went into the iris bed. One knee definitely collided with a geode. (These are knobby round rocks.) The rest of me was splayed all over a four-inch PVC pipe, other geodes, and the limestone cistern cover.
I was so afraid my knee was broken. But much to my amazement, I'm fine. No broken bones, twice in one week! Something to celebrate!
I am thankful to be in one piece, and that the rabbit escaped quickly so the dog didn't run very far. When someone with a deeper voice called him, he ran into the house, dragging the retractable leash behind him. I'll admit I hobbled a little more than necessary so he'd fully comprehend what happened. He truly looked sorry for the episode.
All is forgiven, and it'll be forgotten, too--as soon as I stop aching all over.