Thursday, April 14, 2005

Making Lemonade

What do you do with the title "Golden Heart Finalist"?

You submit like mad, trying to make lemonade while the lemons are still fresh. You know, strike while the iron is hot, make hay while the sun shines, do unto others, that one is for something else.

Within days of finding out I had finaled, I sent an email to the editor who I had submitted my manuscript to well before the announcement, hoping to increase her interest.

But I couldn't stop there.

Borrowing the idea of a fellow GH Finalist, I whipped up some address labels with my new title boldly imprinted beneath my name in romantic red. That ought to get some attention, I figured. I did some research and settled on a list of my top six agents and promptly submitted to them. Five by snail mail, one by email.

A day later and the email submission was responded to. Send us a partial. Woohoo! Wow - that was fast but then that's the beauty of email.

A week later and the first of the snail mail responses came. This agent was kind enough to reject me by telling me there was nothing wrong with what I had submitted, it just wasn't her cup of tea. Cool. I can deal with that. I know fantasy romance isn't for everyone and I'd already been rejected by an agent who liked the work but didn't feel the market was strong enough. I just shrug that stuff off and move on. Someone will fall madly in love with Heart of Fire and find it a home. I feel that in my bones.

(By the way, you can read an excerpt of Heart of Fire on my website - just click on books and check it out.)

I tally up what's still out there and now I am waiting on four agent submissions, one agent request, and one editor submission. It's enough to make you crazy, if you think about it too much.

My philosophy is not to think about it. Well, not to obsess about it. Sure, I dream the editor will call and want all four books in the series. I imagine all five editors will love me like a fat kid loves cake. This is my world, after all. I'm not going to sit around, staring out the window, dreaming of being rejected.

Anyway, I'm off to Spain with my hubby and parents to appease our collective wanderlust for a few weeks. While I'm gone, I'll be dreaming about what the mail will hold when I return.

And for some reason, I think there may be a matador hero in my future...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Seduced By Red Satin

Shimmering like the light from a fine ruby, the silky fabric beckoned. Touch me. I parted the racks, eager to see what this slip of red really was even though I was looking for full length and just from looking at the hemlines on the rack I could tell it wasn't. Or so I thought.

The hem was held up by another hanger. Some exceptionally smart salesperson (undoubtedly a woman) had saved this gown from certain soiling by keeping the hem off the floor. Beautiful. She deserved a raise.

I held up the hanger and unclipped the hem. The fabric fell through my fingers, liquid and supple as all good satin is. The love affair deepened. It wasn't just floor-length. A small curvy sweep of a train graced the back edge, making it just a little longer and oh so old Hollywood.

I took a deep breath. It wasn't good to get this excited about a dress I hadn't even tried on yet. Or checked out the price tag on. I took another deep breath and flipped over the tag. I blinked and looked again. $29.99? That couldn't be right, could it? For this dress?

I held the dress up again and examined it, trying to find something to justify the price. No pulls or stains or tears anywhere that I could see. Perhaps it was cut poorly or cheaply made. But it was lined and the seams looked good. I needed to try it on.

Glancing around to be sure everything was on the up and up, I eased the dress into my shopping cart and headed for the fitting room. I saved the dress for last, figuring the disappointment would be easier to take if I didn't have to stare at the gown while trying on the rest of my items.

Finally, I unzipped the dress and slipped into it. So far so good. I flipped my hair over one shoulder and tied the halter snuggly. The zipper went up with no problem. I turned to face the mirror but there wasn't really enough room in the cramped cubicle to get a good look.

I ventured out to the all-knowing, all-seeing, truth-telling three-way mirror and peered into it, studying my reflection. The lighting was bad. I'd had better hair days. Had my mascara worn completely off?

And yet the dress was undeniably gorgeous. The sweep of crimson satin flowed over my figure, hugging my curves and transforming me. From the neck down I was Jean Harlow, slinky and seductive. I twisted around and checked the price tag again. Still $29.99.

Another deep breath and I hurried back into the fitting room. I slipped the dress off, and the fabric whispered sweet nothings as it slid down my body. Take me home.

You better believe it, baby. We've got a date in Reno.

The Power of Litigation

My husband, sweet wonderful man that he is, called Canaca this morning and told them very politely (in his best Air Force Colonel voice) that if they didn't make the original Romance Divas forum available for download on our ftp site, we would have no other recourse but to seek legal action against them.

I received an email telling me the files were available for transfer from our ftp site within five minutes. Amazing.

So, it appears, we may get the original forum back after all! Cross your fingers - there is still work to be done but we are definitely moving in the right direction.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

I'm heartsick.

Five months of promotion, hard work, blood, sweat and tears just disappeared. The Romance Divas forum has been lost (by our former webhost,, who we are pretty sure deleted it once we told them we would NOT pay the $70 a month they wanted to keep us up and running) and along with it all the posts, all the registered members, all the wonderful topics that made us laugh and sigh and think and learn. It's all gone.

Jax has begun building a new forum from scratch and that's exactly where we will have to start. From scratch. We had approximately 630 members when Canaca decided, without warning, to suspend our site because they couldn't handle the traffic. They even offered to transfer our files for us...but a problem arose and they weren't able to do that, so Jax started the transfer herself, only to find our forum and calendar databases were missing from the FTP site.

And so, we begin again. It was a labor of love the first time and it's still a labor of love, although I feel like I've lost a child...Romance Divas was our baby. Our dream. Our online home where we could laugh and cry and share and learn and make the most wonderful friends with other romance writers just like us. Wonderful women from all over the world who shared our vision and offered their support. Women who donated their hard-earned dollars so we could keep the site going when Canaca shut us down. Women who I am proud to call friends.

Now, I just hope they all find their way back to us as we begin this journey anew.

I can't believe I'm doing this...

Sigh. Yes, I now have a blog. Let's just say I fell under the oppression of peer pressure from my fellow divas and now, I too am a blogger. (Okay it's not so much that they pressured me into doing it but I wanted to jump off the bridge too.)

I guess that means I have to be witty and interesting? We'll see how that goes. If that doesn't happen, I'll post kitty pictures. Actually, I'll probably be posting kitty pictures anyway.

If you don't know who I am, that's okay. If you do know who I am, how did that happen? Did you visit the
Romance Divas site I co-manage with Jax Crane? Or did you see my name on the list of 2005 Golden Heart Finalists at the RWA site? Or perhaps you're a member of CRW? At any rate, if you do know who I am, I promise that very little that's said about me is true. Unless what you've heard was good and then I owe that person a dollar.

If you don't know who I am, I'm a stay at home romance writer with dreams of getting published that are so real I can smell the ink. Stop by on occasion and see how I'm doing!

  • Did you know it's National Library Week? Time to get those late books back, pay your fee and start acruing fines on a whole new set.

Having said all that, here's what I've been up to since I found out I was a Golden Heart Finalist.

  • Sent out six packets to agents with address labels proclaiming myself "2005 Golden Heart Finalist". Heard back from one already, who requested a partial.
  • Still working on completing my contemporary paranormal so that I'll have two manuscripts to pitch at this year's RWA conference in Reno.
  • Wrote a synopsis for that ms. Ick. Needs work.
  • Still waiting for publication dates on the two short stories I sold to the Sun.