Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Devil Is Dead

I finally heard back from the data recovery center about my computer yesterday. Not good. All the data they pulled off was corrupted. Nothing is recoverable. Nothing.

I'm going to wallow in self-pity for a few days since the best book I've ever written is now forever lost to the ether. Sure, I've got the first 179 pages of an early draft, but I can't even think about rebuilding it right now. Date With The Devil is officially dead.

I'm going to work on a novella I've been asked to do, after that, there's a YA I'd like to tackle. I'll reassess Date at that point and see what I feel up to.
Back up your work externally, people. Trust me on this one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Child-free and Loving It!

Our 5-year-old niece just left after a 2 1/2 day visit.

I'm officially exhausted. We went to the beach yesterday instead of Monday as planned, and it was really nice. Very few other people out there and just a beautiful day. Unfortunately, I was so busy putting sunblock on Hotrod and the Child that I forgot myself. I'm a bit toasted. Hopefully it will turn into a nice tan.
Fortunately for my sanity, Hotrod is gone for a few days on a business trip as well. That means I'll get to clean the house and have some alone time. And by alone time, I mean time to write!
Two more things:
1. My article on attending conference is in June's RWR - read it!
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lara Santiago! 29 again!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Take a moment to thank a veteran today, would you? This is a great country, made so much more so by the great men and women who've given of their time and their lives in the service of it.

As most of you know, Hotrod retired a few years ago after nearly 22 years in the Air Force. Today we're headed to the beach outside of Patrick Air Force base with our 5-year-old niece for some splashing, shell collecting, sun bathing and picnicking. Which reminds me...I need to make sandwiches and cut up the watermelon!

Have a great day, y'all!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Great Balls of Fire!

I've been forcibly constrained onto a bowling league. Granted, I'm just a fill-in member, but still. I've never bowled on a league and now, thanks to Lara Santiago and her evil husband, tonight will be my first night.

I'm a decent bowler. My grandfather was an exceptional bowler and actually built bowling lanes for a living. He went on to manage a large bowling alley in PA when I was growing up. My brother and I spent a lot of time there, bowling granny-style before we could actually heft the balls properly. Some of my fondest memories are bowling with my grandparents.

Part of me wants to do them proud tonight. The other part of me hopes no one recognizes me. Of course, there's the third part of me who will spend a better part of the day trying to figure out what to wear...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lights, Camera, Action

Did any of you watch Fox's new show, On The Lot, the other night? It's basically a chance for unknown film makers to get discovered and end up with a job at Dreamworks.

What I liked about it was the first challenge. They had to pitch a random logline they'd been given a few hours previously to a panel of three judges (Brett Ratner, Garry Marshall and Carrie Fisher). Then the judges decided who stayed and who got cut based on how well they pitched. Sound familiar?

As RWA National Conference approaches, many writers will be pitching agents and editors hoping to get requests for material. Nerves abound during this event, but pitching doesn't need to result in a session with your therapist.

Recently, my fab agent, Elaine Spencer, spoke to my chapter about pitching. She advises you put down the notecards, make eye contact, relax and treat the agent/editor like the person they are. Don't talk at them, talk to them. Start out by asking them how they are. Let small talk be your ice breaker! Be prepared to answer questions about your story - you don't need to spend the entire alloted time pitching! Use a few minutes to give your pitch, but leave the rest of the time for questions and comments. But most important, remember the agent/editor you're talking to is a person, too!

So who's pitching? Are you practicing yet? Are you nervous? Need help with your pitch? If you put your pitch in the comments, I'll let you know what I think.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Less Sex, More Filling

I must admit, I'm a bit burned out on romance right now. It's not that I know how the book's going to end - I'm cool with the Happily Ever After (love that, in fact). It's just that because of the popularity of erotica, graphic sex seems to have invaded every romance novel I've picked up lately, and that's not what I read romance for. I know this probably isn't the popular opinion, but I'm tired of super sexy books. In my opinion, there is a market for romances that have great characters, strong plots and show the characters' growth through the love story instead of what happens in the bedroom.

Because I've had a hard time finding books that fit this category, I've switched to YA. The stories I've discovered have been amazing! Inventive, imaginative and beautifully written. I'm excited to start writing my own YA. The genre seems wide open.

If you've got recommendations for romances light on sex but big on story, let me know. I'd also like to know how you feel about books like this. Would you buy/read a book knowing sex wasn't featured prominately?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Betting On Books?

Simon and Schuster is betting the public's opinion will help them find profitable projects. Read the NYT article here.

If you're interesting in playing along, you can sign up or check out the site here: Media Predict

What do you think about this? Sounds interesting to me, but I'm not sure if it's got any real merit in relation to what makes a book "breakout" or die on the shelf. I've starting playing and have so far made about $1900. If only that were real money!

And yes, it's still my birthday. All day.

Favorite Words

What are your favorite and least favorite words? Some of mine are:

1. Curmudgeon
2. Kerfluffle
3. Caddywampus
4. Discombobulated

(I've heard some people also like the word puppy.)

Least Favorites
1. Puss (the stuff that oozes out of a scab, not a nickname for a kitten)
2. Moist

Oh yeah, and today is my birthday.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Cleaning Woman Cometh

The Brazilian cleaning woman was here yesterday. She brought a helper, another woman who I believe might have been Guatamalan and who spoke almost no English.

It was an interesting experience. Bete, the Brazilian, is very no-nonsense. She quickly became dissatisfied with the work the helper was doing. Not fast enough, not enough attention to detail. Towards the end of the day, Bete began verbally prodding the woman. Granted this was all done a mix of languages I have .o5% grasp of. I understood about every 10th word, but tone comes through in any language.

At any rate, my house is remarkably clean. Bete couldn't believe I'd been cleaning this space on my own. "How?" she asked. "Not by yourself? Girl, you'll wear yourself out." I couldn't agree more.

Also, I believe I learned the Spanish word for paper towels.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just Cuz It's Funny

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blog Round Up

Funny cat picture.

An agent's take on self-published books.

The sexy library.

Some writerly smilies.

And now I'm off to write, do laundry and clean before the cleaning woman gets here. Yes, my life is a veritable smorgasbord of fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm It!

Beck tagged me to share 8 random things about me, so here goes:

1. I love to bake and decorate elaborate, complicated cakes. (Multiple layers, numerous fillings, interesting flavors)

2. I could read 1000 words a minute with 100% comprehension when I was in eighth grade.

3. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.

4. If I had to chose between shoes or chocolate, I'd pick shoes.

5. I was once on the Geraldo Rivera show. He touched my face. Take that for what you will.

6. My closest friends in grade school, high school and college were all adopted.

7. If I end up alone in a house full of cats, I'll be okay with that. As long as I have books.

8. I once had the opportunity to try my hand at glass blowing. I turned it down because the equipment didn't look sanitary and I was not about to put my mouth on that icky ole blow tube.

I tag Babe, Sela, Tempest & Lara.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad Blogger

I've been a busy, travelin' girl, hence the lack of blog postage. This week will be even busier, if that's possible. Sigh. Plus I've got some health stuff going on that I really don't want to deal with.

I wish I could take a vacation from my life and my responsibilities, but they'd just be waiting for me when I got back..

Anyone have a joke to share or a funny link? I could really use a laugh.

Off to write..

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Where There's Smoke...

There's a stuffed up head, apparently. The horrible, ongoing wildfires in Georgia and Florida have filled the lower half of FL with sooty, smoke-laden air, which in turn has stuffed up my head. My nose is running like a faucet. Ugh.

You can almost taste the smoke in the air. The bitter, woody tang clings to everything and there's a haze covering everything. It's awful. And a little scary. Yes, we get wildfires frequently this time of year, but that doesn't mean I'm used to them.

Anyway, I only wrote two pages yesterday, but they were two good pages. I've transitioned to the last scene so the wrap-up should come quickly now. I'm happy with the way things are going. In fact, "The End" could come this afternoon!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Keepin' It Real

I wrote seven pages yesterday, thanks to Lara Santiago yelling at me. She threatened to come to my house and cause me bodily harm if I didn't sit down and write.

I think I shall now call her the Mistress of the Whip. Or should that be WIP?

Either way, I'm happy with that word count for the day. Especially since I was feeling kind of icky yesterday and took some allergy meds that knocked me out for a bit.

In other news, I'm hiring a cleaning woman. Not sure if it's going to be a regular thing or just an occasional thing, yet - that will depend on the job she does. She used to be a translator for Disney and speaks six languages! Anyone need a translation for the book they're writing?

Monday, May 07, 2007

This Is The Week

I'm putting my foot down. (On myself. Can you do that?) This is the week I finish Date With The Devil. I finally heard about my hard drive and okayed the retrieval (it's going to cost me around $1500), so I should have my files back in two weeks or less. Might as well write since I need to stop shopping for a few months. lol

So, I have got to write those few last pages, I've got to tie up all the loose ends, bring everything to a nice, tight conclusion. Which means stop adding new threads, stop letting the story ramble on (I really don't think it's rambling, but this is one of the more complex stories I've written.)

Anyway, I want you all to keep on me this week. Make me accountable for my pages! Help me get to the end? Thanks. You're the best.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Few Last Pics...

Some pics from the RT fairy ball... Yes, my hair is blue.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More RT Pics

Eden Bradley and I - more evidence of my spray tan in action. It was still looking good at this point.
Me, Jax, one of the past Mr. Romances - Andre Claude, and Lara Santiago at the Moulin Rouge party.
Lara and I pretending to bite Morgan (another Siren author) at the Vampires of the West ball. Look closely and you should be able to see my fangs.
The fabulous Deidre Knight and me at the huge booksigning on Saturday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

RT Roomies

Me and my homies. Lara Santiago, Carrie Hensley and yours truly. These are the chicks I roomed with. The dish? Carrie's a bit of a snorer and Laura has frisky toes. Carrie was also the unofficial photographer, so once she sends me her pics, I'll have more to share.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Maybe We Should Start A Girl Group

Don't we look fab in our black, white & red combos? From left to right, this is Lara Santiago, Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, PC Cast and moi. Lara and I were off to dinner with Grace Draven, while Jill was supposedly going to take a nap. I say supposedly because she said that everytime I saw her. I think PC and Gena ended up dragging her off to dance or drink.

This pic was taken by the lovely Jenna Black!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Everything's Bigger In Texas

Even the soup.
Is that not the biggest bowl of soup you've ever seen as a single serving? Oddly enough, the waitress felt compelled to tell us it was heavy when she handed it over. Ya think?
According to Lara Santiago, the orderer and eater of this soup, it was tasty and delicous. But not by any means the small bowl she anticipated. She ordered it because she wasn't that hungry! And it came with that huge pile of rice!
I had tamales that night - one of my favorite things - and thanks to Deidre Knight, another chica at dinner with us that night, my foot somehow ended up on the table. I know you're going to ask so let me just say I was demonstrating my big toe's mouse-clicking technique.