Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down

Rejections suck. That's the black and white truth. But I say bake a cheesecake, get over it, move on, strive to do better, work harder, get more stuff out there. Onward and upward and so forth and so on.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have revisions to finish and cheesecake to eat. I'll be clever tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2006

And The Hits Keep Coming

Two rejections today. One on a full, one on a partial.

In the letter from the editor about the full, she said my book reminded her too much of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover. While I am a fan of Kenyon's, I have yet to read that one. Anyone care to synopsise it for me?

Here Kitty, Kitty!

You must go visit this site: Stuff On My Cat

It's the best place I know to procrastinate when you have revisions to do. Not that I would procrastinate. Ever. I'm purely and utterly a non-procrastinator.

Yeah, that's me.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Joy of Cake

I am addicted to cake. I think in many ways, it's nature's perfect food. All that soft, crumby goodness combined with the sweet, creamy icing...divine!

Issac Mizrahi has a talk show on which he offers his guests "a delicious coffee". If I had a talk show, I would offer them a selection of cake. Would you like a delicious slice of cake?



Lemon Cream?

Take your pick!

What's your favorite kind of cake?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

We Interrupt These Revisions...

To bring you a hot pair of thighs. Aye caramba!

These yummy quads belong to Michael Owens.
Google him.
You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tell Me A Joke

I'm serious. Tell me your best joke. Make me laugh. (You'll understand the need for this if you're also doing revisions.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Revisions: Day Two

Yesterday was good. I finished rewriting one scene from her POV to his. Interesting switch and, I think, totally necessary.

I'll reread that scene today and see what needs fleshing out, more details, less details, whatever. Then on to threading the new subplot into the exisiting work while also looking for inconsistancies created by some of the other plot changes.

I'll be happy when it's done and polished, but I do enjoy the process. I'm making the book stronger - what's not to love? Sure it's work but it's work with fabulous rewards.

What are you working on?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

And So It Begins...

Tomorrow I begin the serious undertaking of agent-requested revisions to my third book. In a way, I feel like this is an interview - or rather an audition. If the revisions accomplish what was requested, that should mean good things, right?

How do you go about revisions like this? Do you have a method you use? For me, it means printing the work out and doing edits on the hardcopy then transferring the changes to the computer copy, then one final print out for a proof read.

I will be changing the POV in one scene and adding a new subplot to provide additional motivation (and some increased conflict) for my heroine. I really think it's going to make the book shine. And oddly enough, I'm looking forward to getting into the revisions. I'm excited about what I think they're going to do for this book!

How do you feel about revisions?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Unmasking Miss Snark

I think I have a pretty good idea of who Miss Snark might be. I won't tell you here but you can read more about it in the Forum at Romance Divas.

If you're not a member, it's free to join. And the best stinkin' site around for romance writers. (If you're not a member, seriously, what are you waiting for?)

Friday, February 17, 2006

What's your blog worth?

My blog is worth $17,500.74.
How much is your blog worth?

Five Guilty Pleasures

Sela tagged me.

Five Guilty Pleasures

1. Cooking. Is that weird? I love to cook. It relaxes me, makes me happy. And I really enjoy feeding other people. Guess that's part of my Italian side. The only problem with cooking is it leads to eating.

2. Catalogs. I adore catalogs - clothing, jewelry, household goods, food products, seed and plant -- you name the product and I probably get a catalog for it. I love the pictures, the descriptions, the possibilities...and the ability to walk away without actually buying anything.

3. Odd Research Books. Books can't be considered a guilty pleasure since they're part of writing. But I do enjoy picking up odd research books, even if they're on a subject I may never write about. Expecially books on weird things in history or unexplained events or civilizations that no longer exist. The mind rejoices!

4. Shoes. Do I really have to explain this one? Shoes are man's most amazing invention. I mean, think about it - how did people get to places before the wheel? In their SHOES! And although I don't need any more shoes, I keep buying them. Some of them are too beautiful to pass up. I have shoes in my closet right now that I haven't even worn but I like looking at them -- the lines, the colors, the curve of the heel, the slope of the instep. Marvelous things.

5. Sleep. Sleeping is one of my most favorite things to do. And I love a good nap. Too bad sleeping isn't a profession. I'd probably be the most highly paid individual in my field I'm so good at it. You know what's best of all? A nap outside on a balmy day. I've done some of my best sleeping on vacation in Maui and out by my pool. Hmm. I feel a nap coming on right now...

But first, let me tag Jax, Bonnie and Diana.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Two Year Anniversary

I started writing with the goal of publication two years ago this month. I've had a request for the first book I wrote, so I'm doing my best to shine it up. Man, I had some issues back then. Seems like all my sentences had the same structure and I was overly fond of the prepositional phrase. Still, the story is interesting, the hero hot and the heroine sympathetic. Perhaps that's what helped it final in the Golden Heart? Or maybe I just got some really understanding judges.

My growth as a writer amazes me. I'm proud of myself for learning so much about this craft, for using contests & critiques as tools and not personal attacks, for not being afraid to ask questions and for surrounding myself with people willing to help.

Have you ever looked back at something you first wrote to see how far you've come? Was it good? Bad? Ugly? How have you changed as a writer from when you started? What do you credit that with?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

My office smells like roses. Three dozen roses, to be exact. Two dozen pale pink, one dozen apricot. And if three-foot, heart-shaped mylar balloons had a smell, I'd add that in too. All in all, it's not a bad way to wake up.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Perils of Birthday Cake

My husband's birthday is Feb. 14th. Before you get all ooo-y and ahh-y about him being born on Valentine's Day let me bring one thing to your attention. Because of this, V Day tends toward a less traditional focus in the Painter household. I'm not really complaining, mind you - I'm a well-romanced girl. The day just takes on a different flavor when the eldest member of the house spends it moaning about his advancing age. Ahem.

We did a little early celebration today with family. They brought cake and of course, I ate some. Butter yellow cake with devilishly dark chocolate frosting, my hubby's cake of choice.

It was too much - too sweet, too sugary, too heavy, too filling. I feel icky. And I know I will pay for this during aerobics tomorrow. Will that stop me from indulging in another bite before the night is over? Not likely.

Ugh. I am so easily wooed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Contest Judging

I'm judging more contests in the next few months than I can count, but let me try: Golden Heart, Great Expectations, The Merritt, The Winter Rose, The Daphne...I know there are more but I haven't had my coffee yet.

Have you ever judged a contest? Have you ever entered a contest? If you answered yes to that last one, you should have also answered yes to that first one. Entering your work into a contest without judging is like trying to learn to ski without taking a lesson. Sure, you might do okay, but you'd go farther with the lesson.

Judging teaches you what to look for, what judges look for, what things work in a story and what don't. After you read the fifth block of passive phrasing in an entry, I guarantee you'll look twice for passive verbs in your own stuff.

Adverbs, POV switches, tense changes, comma errors, wordiness, lack of description, unrealistic dialogue, overuse of dialogue tags (he bandied, she cajolled, etc), no internals or not enough, dialogue without attribution, slow pacing - these are all recurring items that indicate a manuscript needs several more edits. And for some reason, they are so much easier to see in someone else's work than in your own. Until you've judged a few entries. Then they stand out like you wouldn't believe.

Judge. You won't regret it. If you're judging or decide to judge, post here and let me know. Not sure how to start? Try this yahoo group (I don't own it, I'm just a member but it's the best way to find out what contests need judges):

Click here to join ContestsJudges
Click to join ContestsJudges

Now go! Judge! Learn! Contribute! Eat chocolate! (Hey, you don't need me to tell you that but it doesn't hurt.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Harlequin Line

As you may or may not have heard, Harlequin is launching a new dark paranormal line. Book lengths are to be about 75k to 85k words. And the biggest question? The name of the new line. It is...Nocturne!

Monday, February 06, 2006

STAR Conference Gossip

The STAR conference has come and gone but not without some memorable moments. Check out Diana Peterfreund's blog to get a hint of some of what went on: Diana's Blog.

Feel free to ask me for answers. I know most of them. Hah!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Weird But Oddly Satisfying


Blocks are about as fundamental as toys go. We all had them. Now we can all play with them again.

The record is 409. I think we can beat that, don't you? After all, I've stacked almost 200 by myself. (Yes, I do have better things to do but as a time waster goes this is phenomenal.)