Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Have OBS

Yes, that's right. I suffer from OBS. Overactive Brain Syndrome. This ailment is common in many writers.

Symptoms include the inability to sleep due to random story ideas, character interactions, and the sudden onset of lines that need to be written/revised/deleted. Loss of social skills may develop as the brain focuses on the story at hand and ignores conversations going on around it. Housework suffers, as does laundry and the care and feeding of family members. In severe cases, personal hygiene and fashion sense begin to fail.
Short term cures involve massive amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages, take-out and solitude. Some may find speaking with other OBS sufferers brings some relief, although in some, this only exacerbates the symptoms. Exercise caution when approaching a group of highly animated writers until you can assess the situation.
Long term cures require extensive time spent at the keyboard (or with pen and legal pad) emptying the brain's contents onto blank pages. The long term cure may takes days, weeks or even years. Sadly, no cure exists for some. On occasion, trips to warm, sunny spots have proven effective in easing symptoms.
OBS is a recurring illness, rising out of a seemingly cured individual with no warning. Studies show triggers include a current work-in-progress that's progressing well, in addition to writing the words "the end," but as the writer's brain is a fragile structure to begin with, these studies were concluded early due to insufficient stockpiles of chocolate and wine and the inability of the writers involved to go on without those supplies.
Please support the search for a cure by donating chocolate and wine to any writer you know. You may further support the afflicted writers you know by purchasing any of their work that makes it into publication.
Together, we can make a difference.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Special

Why is there always so much to do on Monday?

1. Finish judging the Golden Heart entries I have. (Lara Santiago and I are working on this together today in the belief that misery loves company.)

2. Unbelievably, more laundry.

3. Finish reading book for romance reader's meeting on Tues. night.

4. Drink massive amounts of coffee to compensate for lack of sleep last night. (This really ought to be #1.)

A Woohoo!

Just got word that the new publication I submitted a short story to is offering me a contract. I'll be in the launch edition - very cool! I'll give you more info when I have contract in hand.

What's on your plate today?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Proof (that I am not a 400 pound trucker)

He who is being referred to knows who he is. For you, the full color profile pic:

NOW you may put on your natty tie.

Just Because

This makes me smile. What other reason do I need?

Rock out, little cat, rock out.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Movies I want to see:

Blood and Chocolate
Ghost Rider
Music and Lyrics
300 (maybe - might be a bit too graphic for me)

Have you seen any of these? Can you give me a yea or nay? Don't spoil anything, though, or I'll hunt you down and make you pay. :o)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In The Mood For Sexy Suspense?

Commitment-phobic bomb technician, Sabrina Morgan, flies unexpectedly into the arms of firefighter, Jake Donovan, seconds before a bomb explodes. This was her first failure, and in Jake's sizzling embrace, Sabrina is grateful for his comfort in helping her hide her secret fear of explosions.

Jake falls in love with the passionate but emotionally wounded Sabrina. He thinks she is perfect for him. Also, who better than a bomb technician will understand and support his dangerous career as a firefighter? Looking to settle down and start a big family like the one he grew up in, Jake pursues Sabrina, who can't tell him her other big secret: she can't have children.

Sabrina negotiates a tenuous affair with Jake as she tries to stop a serial bomber from detonating any more bombs in their small city outside of Boston. Her enemy's ultimate goal is to kill her for surviving a tragedy in her past.

This is a hot read...and I'm not just saying that because I made the book trailer.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Free Writing Workshop at Romance Divas!

Today begins RITA winner Linnea Sinclair's workshop at Romance Divas. To participate, you just need to register in the Forum section of the website. Registration cost the same as the workshop - nothing! Here are the details on the workshop this fabulous author will be presenting:

Feb 19th - 23rd


Writing Guru Dwight Swain said that it's the author's job to manipulate the emotions of the reader. There's no better way to do this than for the author to put his characters through one roller coaster episode after another, taking the reader along for the ride. But how much conflict, how much character angst is too much? How can an author keep the action from becoming cartoonish? Bantam Spectra author Linnea Sinclair answers those questions and more in this fun and fast-paced (because torturing students is good, too!) workshop that explores the importance of conflict in today's commercial fiction novels.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Much and Nothing

I got a lot done today. Ran errands with my folks, went out to lunch with them, then came home and with their help, made up three pots of geraniums and ivy for the entryway (2) and lanai (1) and one pot of pathos for the shower ledge, did the touch-up painting through out the house, cleaned the baseboards, vacuumed (including the four-story cat condo that was furry enough to be scary), swept the tile, Turtle Waxed the glass shower and bathroom mirrors (have you ever tried that? Keeps them cleaner longer), bought and hung a big bronze sun face out on the lanai (we actually had masonry bits on hand for the drill - who knew?), cleaned the rest of the master bath and staked my amaryllis.

Sounds good, right? Except writing-wise, I've written about three sentences. Somedays, it's all or nothing. Let's hope this isn't one of those days. I'd love five pages. Be happy with three.

What did you do today?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yeah, Yeah, I know what today is.

It's Valentine's Day. Big deal. It's also Hotrod's birthday. Guess which takes precedence? And actually, I'm okay with that. I'd rather celebrate Hotrod being around another year than some murky saint. (What? Is that sacrilege for a romance writer to say? Who cares, I love Hotrod more than a velveteen heart filled with truffles or a bundle of roses.)

But I encourage you to celebrate - the world needs more love. In fact, I challenge you to hug a stranger today. Seriously. Anyone who gets punched will receive two additional points. :o)

In other news, I don't know what your weather is like but we had a lovely evening swim last night. Is there a better way to see the stars than floating on your back beneath them? I think not. AND wonder of all wonders, I managed five pages yesterday despite my house guests.

Live is good. I love all of you. ;o)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thank YOU

Thanks for coming to my pity party yesterday. Sorry I didn't have cake. I find cake to be exceptionally helpful in that regard. So...I think it's time for some cake pictures. It's been a while - and you know how I adore cake!

Chocolate Cognac Cake

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Monday, February 12, 2007

Life Goes On

It's raining here today and the weather suits my mood. I really shouldn't be in a crappy mood. I have a great life. A wonderful family. An adoring husband. My health. No real financial worries to speak of. Three kitty cats who make me laugh. A three year old nephew who thinks it's amusing to jump on me when I'm sleeping.

But I'm having one of those moments as a writer where I'm ready for my ship to come in. I'm tired of waiting. I want a sale and I want it now. I want two or three sales, really. Multi-book contracts with several houses. My name in print. Etc. Etc.

Obviously, that isn't about to happen today. So I push on, keep writing the best story I can and produce work that is at the top of my game. I can't site one particular incident that brought me to this point - it's been a combination of things. As writers, I imagine we all feel this way once in a while, right?

Tell me I'm not alone.

PS. My family, upon seeing the horrid weather forecast for their return home, has extended their stay by a week. Tough love begins today when I shut myself in my office to write and ignore them until I'm ready to rejoin the general population.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fun Things Three-Year-Olds Say

Upon viewing a drawing I did for him (he made me draw construction vehicles most of last night), he replied, "That's a mess."

Gee, thanks.

When I went to help with a few things for dinner, then came back, he looked up at me with these big sad eyes and said, "Why you no play with me?"

Because obviously I don't have enough guilt in my life.

During dinner, he started climbing on me, hanging on me and finally, crawled into my lap. I asked him what he was doing. His response? "I'm trying to love you."

All together now...Awwwww.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Interesting and Odd Facts

1. The shriek of a three-year-old can take the skin off a cat.

2. Infants can stay awake as long as they want when they put their mind to it.

3. Sand does not taste like sugar, no matter how white or how fine.

4. The male gender has stinky feet, regardless of their age. However, the younger the male, the funnier they believe it to be.

5. Forget gasoline, sleep is the most valuable commodity we have. If someone could sell naps on the stock market, they'd make a killing.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled day.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Today's Activities

Today's list of activities include:

The Dentist.
The Zoo.
A Trip To The Playground.
The Pool (perhaps).

Which one of these things is not like the other?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tonight's Dinner

Just to keep you in the loop, tonight's dinner is Thai. We're making red curry shrimp with coconut ginger rice and a lovely assortment of stir-fried veggies (baby corn, snow peas and carrots).

For dessert, blue Jello. That's what happens when you let a three-year-old help with the menu.

And surprise of all surprises, I've actually managed to get some writing done today! Naps are a wonderful thing for children, don't you think?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Completely Forgot To Blog

I thought I blogged this morning. Apparently not. Oops.

My parents are here and thanks to my Sicilian father, my house smells delish. There are two trays of fat meatballs baking in the oven. Soon, they'll be transferred into the vat of bubbling red sauce on the stovetop. Sunday gravy we call that.

Tonight's dinner? Rigatoni with meatballs, caprese salad (with my own homegrown basil), green beans and crusty garlic bread. Mmmm...

Now that's what I call earning your keep. Who cares if I have to diet after they leave? Homemade meatballs are a gift. You never turn them down.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Stuff To Do

Saturday should be the kind of day that lets you lay around. This isn't one of those Saturdays. Being under the weather put me behind on my week's page count, so I need to write. At least five pages. That would be great!

I've also got to clean the house - not massively, just some general stuff. My parents arrive tomorrow night, my sister-in-law, the 5 month old niece and the 3 year old nephew the following day.

Then watch how little writing I get done. Hah! At least I don't have to cook today. I've got a huge pot of chili just waiting to be devoured. And it's a bit overcast today - perfect chili weather, especially for Florida!

What are you doing today?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wallpaper as Inspiration

What image is on your desktop wallpaper? What do you see everyday when you fire up the old laptop or pc? Do you change it out regularly? Do you use it to hold a picture of something that inspires you to write your current WIP? A picture of your hero, perhaps, or a place that serves as the setting?
The orchid is my current wallpaper. I favor simple, colorful graphics for the most part. My traveling laptop has a picture of two of my cats sleeping together - moments before they woke up, realized how close they were and started wrestling. I've used "inspirational" pictures before but they never seem to ring true with me. The hero pics are never quite "him", the setting not exactly as my mind pictures it.
So, what's on your desktop?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No POV today

I think I've said what I needed to say about POV. If you have questions, feel free to post them.

Instead, I want to say Happy February! And talk about some mini-goals. Debbie Macomber recently spoke to our chapter about goals - she is SO focused. I don't think I'm made up that way, but I want to get better at it.

So. Goals. February. Here they are:

1. Finish first draft of Date With The Devil

2. Begin article for RWR

3. Brainstorm/plot new YA book, Deep Blue

4. Come up with pitch blurb for Deep Blue

Doesn't look like much but considering I'll have five family members in my house for eight days and my husband's birthday falls on Valentine's Day, there will be some minor complications. Additionally, I'm doing the workshop for my chapter's February meeting, there are crits to be done for my CPs, YA research books to be read (I'm on my third one right now as I try to get a handle on this new genre venture), and all the general stuff living entails: dentist, groceries, house cleaning (hah!), laundry, etc. Oh yes, forgot to mention I'll be taking on the role of mentor in February as well as part of the Romance Divas mentor program.

So. What are you doing in February?