Sunday, September 30, 2007
I was flat out exhausted last night -- I think not getting enough sleep lately finally caught up with me. I was in bed before my DD, head hit the pillow at 7:30 pm, woke up once when DH came to bed (it's always the kitty scramble...the cat usually sleeps on DH's side until he comes to bed, then runs across me and snuggles against my chest), crashed and didn't wake up until just before 4 a.m.! That was good.
I'm a new woman.
I'm still hard at work on edits. I need to have Liv's story done by mid-Oct, and I want to have "A Change of Heart" done by the end so I can, yes, do NaNo!
And now... finally... pictures of Pillar Place!
This is the first set of Monarchs we raised. I learned my lesson, though, and now they all get their own container so I don't have to worry about jostling new chrysalis's if someone needs food or is ready to hatch (like the black one in the back).
Here's one of the first batch, hanging out with the DD. She was a great encouragement for them to fly!
Here's a little of the scene from two days ago -- a flock of butterflies!
And ... amazingly, I managed to catch one just emerging from it's chrysalis AND the pictures came out pretty well:
I'm amazed at how crumpled and small their wings are when they first emerge -- but check out the big, fat behind on that critter! Apparently it's full of the fluid it needs to pump up its wings. After only a few moments, the rump is normal sized and the wings, although still soggy, are full-sized.
Although we still have two butterbabies to hatch... I'll probably not mention it. Consider this the season finale of Pillar Place. Tune in next May for the season premiere -- when the three over-wintering Swallowtail babies Jill, Rose and Martin, will hatch!
Also, if you're into winning stuff, check out the new Author Contest page we added to the reviews site! Make sure you check back regularly, as I'm adding more contests nearly every day. And, good luck!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I was thinking, the other day (I KNOW... danger, Will Robinson, DANGER) about the fact I haven't received fan mail on my simply stupendous writing (LOL, and I'm humble, too) and wondered what would happen when I finally have A NOVEL out and, of course, imagined piles of emails and letters coming in, praising me on my masterpiece.
Then I popped over to Jenny Crusie's blog, where she posted a bit of mail that had been written to a fellow author, and then defended herself against the angry responses to that. And I recall reading a post at Tess Gerritsen's blog (which has since been removed because Tess didn't want to give any publicity to an angry reader) that was all nasty spewing.
And I decided if that was the kind of mail I'd get, I'd rather have none, thank you. I'd forgo the thousands of positive messages to miss just one nasty one, because -- those are the ones that seem to matter. Why is that? Why can we be called beautiful or wonderful or smart or amazing millions of times, and disregard all of that when one person says we're ugly or stupid or worthless?
We were at the grocery store the other day, and the lady bagging the groceries told my DD she was beautiful. DD stammered a thank you and we finished and headed out to the car. And, along the way, she told me she didn't think she was in the least bit pretty.
Though I am surely biased, I think she's lovely. And smart. And funny. And upbeat. And I try to tell her this on a regular basis. But there are things that work against me.
My SIL makes DD take her glasses off for every picture. She has told DD that her eyes are beautiful, and that the glasses make her look unattractive -- oh, maybe not in so many words, but the implication is there.
Comments have also been made, phrases like, "He who indulges, bulges" whenever the DD wants to eat junk food. My in-laws are absolutely freaky about fat. Obsessive. Worried. It is the topic of conversation on a regular basis.
So, DD told me the other day that she thinks she's fat. I can tell her constantly how wonderful and beautiful and amazing she is, but that's not what she's heard. She hears the negative: you're ugly and fat.
And, I think that's true of any of us. It's the reason why, as a (hopefully!) good crit partner, I couch any negatives between positives. To be an effective crit partner, you have to point out the weaknesses, but must also make certain that the author understands that you still love her baby.
Even so, it will be the negative that stands out.
And, isn't that a shame.
I hope to download some pictures I took yesterday and post them later today or tomorrow. When DD checked on Pillar Place: Monarch P2 upon rising, it was incredible. All but two of the butterbabies had hatched and were clinging to their chrysalis's, drying their wings. I tried to get pictures of them all just hanging there.
AND... it ended up only raining part of the day, so by the time they were ready to fly, we were able to take them out and release them! Yay! So... ten more butterbabies are in the world. And they are truly beautiful. We have two more that should hatch this week and then we're done (thank heavens!) for the season.
Thanks to Tori for finding me another quiz!
The Disney Heroine Quiz
You are Jasmine. Princess Jasmine is a girl who only a few special people can get close to. She has a pet tiger named Raja who will obey only her. Jasmine is smart, and fun, and beautiful, according to Aladdin. You have Jasmine's fiery spirit, and you probably have a few close friends as opposed to many acquaintances. You are admirable, for you stand up not only for yourself, but for your beliefs, friends, and whosoever is being picked on. You have a very strong character and you know exactly what you want.
Take this quiz!
| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code
Friday, September 28, 2007
I own a Dyson already -- but would love, Love, LOVE a PINK one. Being a Dyson owner, I can vouch for them... they are WONDERFUL.
So... check out 5 Minutes for Mom and see how you can enter (though, it's futile, since I'm sure to win *G*).
The fair absolutely wiped me out yesterday. My DD said it was too bad that old people got tired so fast.
Yeah. Uh, thanks.
The weather held, though strangely, just a mile or two up the road, the thunderstorms were so bad that thousands of people lost power. Wasn't it nice that God put an umbrella over the fairgrounds :-)
We watched the horse shows, we patted some of the draft horse and cows. We talked at GREAT LENGTH to a teenager with two calves she was raising to pull things. One of them, Hank, thought I was yummy. I was rubbing his head and he was leaning heavily into me, but if I got close to his nose -- **SLURP** -- out came the tongue. Their tongues are STRONG. It's amazing my hand didn't end up as his lunch.
DD rode a few rides. We prefer to go on "bracelet day" when you pay $20 for unlimited rides, but that's today and it's supposed to rain all day (unless that old umbrella theory holds). So, I paid $20 for a sheet of tickets instead and it ended up only being seven rides. Unbelievable. Still, she had fun despite agonizing over which rides to ride.
We had french fries and cotton candy for lunch. Of course.
And we spent a lot of time looking at the art -- both drawings and paintings. The DD is sure she wants to be an artist. All-in-all we spent about six hours there and my dogs were barking. I was never so glad to get home.
It's too bad old people get tired so fast.
Pillar Place: Monarch P2 is having an event today. All but two chrysalis' will become butterflies. Of course. Because, you see, it's RAINING ALL DAY TODAY. Do you think they can read the weather forecast? I mean, it hasn't rained in a week, and it's not going to rain the whole next week. Today is literally the only day during their butterbaby period where any precipitation is expected. So, of course, today is the day.
I arranged all their little lids around the lip of a box so they can hang to dry their wings, and locked them up in our spare bedroom. In a few hours, we'll have our own "Butterfly Place". I should charge entry, LOL.
Tomorrow, when it's sunny and warm, I figure I'll just open the windows wide and take out the screens... and they'll fly right out. Right?
I'll let you know.
Did you happen to swing by and read the free short story by Ceri Hebert up at LASR yesterday? You should... it's a winner!
And it's the last day to win an autographed copy of your choice of Janet Mullany's backlist AND a free eBook by Elaine Cantrell.
AND... we'll be sending out our first LASR newsletter on Monday (or so). There's a special "subscribers only" contest that we'll be offering AND you'll be entered to win an Amazon gift certificate. Have you signed up yet?
|You Are a Carnation|
You are down to earth and grounded.
You tend to be more traditional than trendy.
Your confidence gets you through anything.
People trust you and are very loyal to you.
Trust me... Muh-ha-ha....
Actually, though, this is pretty right on. And, the thrify person inside me loves carnations beause they last forever!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The DD and I are going to the Deerfield Fair today. This is the largest fair in New Hampshire, but for someone who grew up in California and regularly attended the California State Fair (NH doesn't have a "state" fair... how weird is that?), I still laugh when I see how worked up folks are about this little gathering.
Regardless, my DD loves it and waits ALL YEAR to go. I was originally afraid it would be a wash-out because rain is expected, but now they've changed it to "afternoon thunderstorms". I hope that's true and it holds off. Cross your fingers for us, please.
So, except for what I get done this morning, I won't be working on the LASR website or my own site or edits.
I am probably going to have the shakes by noon. Withdrawal is an ugly thing.
I almost forgot to Book It! Yikes! How is that possible?
Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.
What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?
And, if you’re feeling generous enough–head on over to Amazon and actually send one on its way!
I can't believe it's almost that time again! I try to participate in BAFABW every year... and will do so again (If I remember -- it is, after all, an ENTIRE week away!).
Many of my friends have Amazon wish lists, so that's easy. In the past, I've bought two people books during BAFABW AND have given away gift certificates here. It's fun, and a reason to shop... what more could you ask for?
As far as WHICH book? That really depends on who I'm giving to, doesn't it? I'm not going to by a sweet romance for my friend who prefers Stephen King -- I might buy her a romantic suspense (ala Holly Lisle or Linda Howard), but certainly not a Jenny Crusie book. We all like different stuff -- so I'd have to take that into account.
And, yes, come back on Oct 1st to see what I'll be giving away then. I'll have to give it some thought.
|You Are A Fir Tree|
You love anything beautiful, and you have extraordinary taste.
And while it's hard for you to trust, you care deeply for those close to you.
You are a social butterfly, and you have many friends.
You handle stress well - and you are a master at relaxing after a hard day.
Overall, you are modest, talented, unselfish, and very reliable.
Master at relaxing??...... HAHAHAHAHAHA*snort*HAHA
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I'm brain dead... truth is, I just spent fifteen minutes trying to find a meme to do. I suppose I would have been better served spending those fifteen minutes writing this blog instead.
It's Judy's fault. She made me stay up late last night.
And then my DD (that's Darling Dog) woke up "oofing" this morning before 4 a.m. -- I hate when she does that because it's a "I'm not really scared, but still there IS something out there" bark. And I wonder what it is. And my mind wanders. And... one of the drawbacks to being a writer is a very active imagination.
So did I go back to sleep? Ha. Not with a slobbering, green-slime oozing, serial killing, radioactive, mutant brown werebear outside my window.
Are you an author? Do you have a contest at your blog? Then, LASR wants to help promote it. Here's the deal:
We at The Long and the Short Of It want to help promote authors as much as possible, so we keep trying to think of ways to do so. We're going to start running a page listing other folks contests, and I thought you might like a heads-up. If you're running a contest, or are going to be running one, let us know so we can help get the word out.=========================
For us to list your contest, all we as is that you provide us a reciprocal link on your website and/or blog (if you'd prefer a banner, we have several to choose from here)! If you'll email us the information about your contest: title, prize(s), requirements for entry and the expiration date as well as the location of the reciprocal link, we'll get you on the page right away. The "other contests" page will be up and running at the end of the week.
Speaking of contests, have you swung by to enter to win the autographed book from Janet Mullany? Or the free eBook from Elaine Cantrell? You have three more days to enter!
You're Davidson College!
You love your mama, Jesus, and America too. But rather than
finding yourself in free-fall, you've been on the rise lately, as people
have flocked to see you. Of all the wars that have been fought, you felt
the Revolutionary War was most justified. Cherish is a word you use to
describe all the feelings you have deep inside. If you were a book, it
would be Charlotte's Web.
Take the University Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I've been told by certain people that I can, in some instances, be amusing.
I think I may have even been amusing once or twice, here on this blog. Perhaps it would help if I start writing these entries at night or in the afternoon, and not first thing in the morning when my brain isn't firing on all synapses. Typically, I write my blog immediately following releasing the latest review at the LASR Reviews Blog, and then uploading the correct daily pages at the LASR Reviews website.
This all happens prior to getting even halfway through my first cup of coffee. I'm still sleep fuzzy, especially when my cat wakes me up, like she did yesterday by sharpening her paws (yes PAWS -- she's declawed -- and DON'T any of y'all who are freaky about declawing being torture leave a comment about it. I'm well aware of all the reasons you shouldn't declaw a cat. My reason for doing so was simple -- either she lost the claws, or she would lose her life. I think she's happy with the decision) on a box sitting in the hallway.
I sat up straight in bed at the noise, already hissing through my teeth for her to stop it. My DH doesn't like the cat much, so I try to keep her as quiet and obedient (yes, you may laugh here... she is, after all A CAT) as possible. Clearly, I've conditioned myself to the point that my own behavior is instinctive.
Anyway, it was only 3:50 a.m., but my heart was pounding (as was my head), so I arose, turned on the coffee pot and began my task. Fact is, yesterday's blog was written without so much as a sip of coffee, so I suppose I should be proud it was coherant.
Still, if you consider I am the type of writer to include characters spitting dead crickets for distance, or owning pet rats and letting them run loose in their house, you'd thing I could at least occasionally amuse you.
I apologize profusely. Apparently, (and Michele will attest to this, considering my nickname is "lame joke") I am only amusing in my writing. Perhaps I need the ability to edit. I'll come back tomorrow and make this post funnier.
So, I apologize. If you want amusing, you'll have to go to Jenny Crusie's blog. Or Rebecca James. Or Eileen Cook's.
Here? You'll get discussions of butterbabies WHO STILL DO NOT HATCH. They'll wait until Thursday or Friday because it will be RAINING. Or silly quizzes.
Is it possible I have bored folks to death, to the point they have moved on? I wonder... feel free to comment and reassure me that you are still there. Say hi. My writer's ego is fragile. I admit -- I am needy.
In the meantime, here is the aforementioned quiz (
|Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Electricity|
You're highly reactive, energetic, and super charged.
If the occasion calls for it, you can go from 0 to 60 in a split second.
But you don't harness your energy unless you truly need to.
And because of this, people are often surprised by what you are capable of.
Why you would be a good superhero: You have the stamina to fight enemies for days
Your biggest problem as a superhero: As with your normal life, people would continue to underestimate you
Monday, September 24, 2007
Even now it makes me chuckle...
C'mon, at least one of you can think of something clever to say. Right?
There's a lot going on in the lives of my publishers (and who-da thunk I'd have more than one? That's really pretty cool... anyway...). There's a newsletter put together by Samhain authors called "The Samhellion". It's pretty amazing and really well done. Take a look.
At The Wild Rose Press, they have an area called "The Greenhouse" where they help grow writers -- there's all kinds of really valuable information on the writing craft, and another area called "In The Garden" which has interviews with editors and authors. This weekend, though, they added a column called "Ask Ima" and it's a lot of fun. You should go see what Ima has to say today.
Today is a new week of book giveaways at LASR. We have a full length eBook AND your choice of an autographed book from Janet Mullay, the author in our spotlight this week.
Free books and fun. What more could you ask for?
Incidentally, we're still looking for article and short story submissions -- feel free to send something on over!
The apartment over our garage where my mom used to live (*sniff* ... I still don't like that "used to" part), is slowly being renovated into an office, schoolroom, library, art area. Yesterday, DH patched the walls and installed a new fixture in the bathroom -- the old one conked out shortly before Mom left and only gave HOT water. There's still a huge gaping hole in the wall where DH had to carve out the area for the stuff, but that'll get patched this week sometime. It's been nearly three weeks since Mom left. Slow progress... but still forward movement, so that's good.
My publicist, Judy (I think she's found yet another hat to wear -- she's good at this!), and I are thinking up all kinds of cool ideas to promote Liv's story (whatever it may end up being called...where's the Title Fairy when I need her?) so be prepared for some rollicking good times shortly after the beginning of the year (the book is tentatively scheduled for release in February-ish. You'll know the moment I have a firm release date). I'm excited.
|You Are Lemon Meringue Pie|
You're the perfect combo of sassy and sweet
Those who like you have well refined tastes
Sunday, September 23, 2007
That quote's from me to you, Judy! LOL...
So, because I didn't have enough to do and was beginning to get a little bit bored (HA!), I have decided to redo my personal website (no, it's not done yet). Look for an unveiling within the next week or so. I spent a good part of the day on it yesterday. So did Judy. Maybe it's a good thing we don't live closer together. The world would simply not be safe.
In other news, my good friend and writing compadre, Allie, won Ciar Cullen's Best E-Book of the Summer contest. Phew! It was a close race. Go forth and congratulate her!
You may have already seen this, but Judy reminded me about it yesterday, and I had to share because it always makes me chuckle. I give you:
The Impotence of Proofreading --
Daylight Magnate's Manor
Find YOUR Dream Home!
I don't know about the rest, but I'm totally digging that romance library!!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Judy emailed me an in-depth article about optimizing placement on Google, and I got so caught up in it (yes, really!) that I almost forgot to blog. Yikes! Deep down, I must be at least a little bit of geek. Actually, I think it's mostly about the challenge.
Got some editing done yesterday on "A Change of Heart". Only about two pages, though. Nearly every line has something that the editor has commented on, and it's a challenge to meet her requests. The big thing for me, and I thought I had managed to make myself conscious of it (but apparently hadn't), is "it-itis". She's gone through and highlighted every "it" I've used, and asked me to change most of them.
I've been told this before, and make an effort to not use "it" much, but apparently that all flew out the window this story, cuz there are a TON of them in there.
So, I'm slowly and painstakingly making my way through edits. This story may not see the light of day until I'm fifty, but by golly it's going to be CLEAN! LOL...
We're still looking for reviewers at LASR. If you love reading romance, love sharing your opinions, PLEASE come help. We're up to seventeen reviewers, and could probably use twice that many! Don't be shy. I'm not a meany (no matter what Michele might tell you!).
I'm so excited! Next week, we'll have two prizes at LASR again! We'll be giving away one full length eBook and an autographed print novel. Check back over there on Monday to find out what they are and how to win.
The weather has been gorgeous. DD and DH went out boating and swimming yesterday. The anchored somewhere that had freshwater clams, and DD had a blast digging them up. She got home and told me about them and their trails, so of course I had to find a video showing me how a clam walks. Yes... I found one. You really can find anything online.
What? You want to see it, too? Well, okay, if you insist:
Clam Takes A Walk - The funniest home videos are here
|You Should Play the Guitar|
You're very independent - both in spirit and in the way you learn. You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.
You're not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson - or do things by the book. It's more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.
Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play. You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter... or a manic rock star.
Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious
Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity
Friday, September 21, 2007
Yesterday... I had time to work on my writing.
I know, that doesn't sound earth shattering. After all, I'm a writer. Right? Lately, though, I've had a couple dozen other things demanding my time. But, yesterday afternoon, while the DD sat down to do her seatwork (and, OH, you should hear her complain about school this year...) I sat down at my computer and realized that I didn't have a million other things clamoring for attention.
I felt a little lost. What should I do? Should I work on my edits for "A Change of Heart"? (Yes. And I did.)
Should I work on my short story, "Kitchen Matches"? (Yes. And I did!)
Should I work on my mystery, "Return To Stiller Creek?" (Well, yes, I probably should -- but this one showed my why leaving something for too long is NOT a good thing. I'd forgotten so much, I'll need to read through all 46,000 words before I start working on it again.)
I didn't get a lot done. But it was some. And, to be honest, it was the first real writing I've done since Judy and I launched our wonderful reviews site, LASR. And I love working on the site, I really do! It's a challenge, and I've gotten to talk to some amazing authors (like Jill Monroe this week -- what a nice person!! -- and, hey, have you entered to win an autographed book from her yet? Today is the last day to enter.)
I'm sure Judy and Michele will concur: It's rather taken over our lives.
So, yesterday felt great.
But, hey -- we're still in DIRE AND DESPERATE NEED of reviewers. Only two reviews a month, folks, that's all we ask ... come on, anyone can do that! Our requests are getting backlogged something fierce. Serve your community and keep my from the loony bin. Be a reviewer.
LOL... I'm sitting here, typing this post and watching my cat freak out over my fluffy bunny slippers. It was warm this morning, so I tossed 'em into the corner beside me. She's stretching forward, flinching back, stretching, flinching... and, AH!, she couldn't stand the stress. Off she ran.
Cat - 0
Bunny slippers - 1
So... I'm taking this class through Samhain about Tightwad Promotion, and they're talking about author branding right now. You know: a catch phrase to put on your site, blog, business cards or whatever, so that people think of you.
I can't think of a thing. See... I don't write one kind of anything. I write contemp and vintage. I write serious and funny. I write sweet and sexy. The only thing certain about my stories is a nice, sappy Happy Ever After.
Anyone got any branding ideas for me? Feel free to throw some out. They can't be any worse than the few I've thought of!
I'm really beginning to struggle to find decent quizzes. I went to My Yearbook and started taking one, until the "What Age Are You" question stopped at 25 - 30! LOL...
|What Your Hands Say About You|
You are logical, analytical, and rational. You have good verbal skills.
Idealistic and dreamy, you tend toward the impractical. You have a knack for getting yourself in sticky situations.
Consistent and reliable, you like to count on structure and routine in your life.
Your emotions tend to be nervous and potent. Your energy - both positive and negative - deeply impacts your life.
Hey! This is all pretty darn close! Cool....
I just saw that it's Stephen King's birthday today. Happy birthday to you! And many more....
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Booking It Through Thursday - Sunshine and Roses
Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .
What is it?
See... I don't know if my answer would be all that different from last week (which is what this is supposed to highlight -- the difference in reading material from when you're down and when you're not).
I seldom veer off my regular path. Though, lately, finding good NEW books to read has been tough. Yesterday, Judy asked me about a book we both read. I told her the simple fact that I actually made it through from beginning to end meant it wasn't all bad. Lately, I have so little time to read (my writing and keeping our romance reviews website up and running consumes my time), that I have almost no patience for books that don't grab me immediately. And I find myself continually returning to old favorites.
I'm currently reading "Dragondrums" by Anne McCaffrey -- and am working my way through the Dragonriders series (though, I may skip "Moreta" because it's so sad).
I'm also re-reading Catherine Coulter's FBI series, and just finished "The Eleventh Hour".
I can't wait for the next "Born In..." book by J.D. Robb and "Blood Brothers", the first book in Nora's next trilogy.
Does that answer the question? If not, I'll sum up: I'd probably reach for an old favorite, so a crummy book wouldn't ruin the good mood.
Have you entered to win a free autographed book from Jill Monroe, yet?
Or... a free eBook from the wonderful author, M.G. Braden?
What about joining our new Yahoo group, set up to talk about romance and romance novels?
In Pillar Place: Monarch P2, all the pillars are now chrysalis' -- and our first butterflies should hatch sometime between tomorrow and Monday. It's going to be a lovely weekend, so Friday would be good (did you hear that, butterbabies??). I'm still concerned that the last two may be too late (gah!), but I hope not.
Judy, can I send you some monarch chrysalis to hatch?
|You Are a Blueberry Margarita|
Honestly, there's no one quite like you. And believe it or not, most people think that's a bad thing!
You're open, wild, friendly, wacky, and tons of fun. You have a big personality... and a big heart.
Huh... personally, I prefer a top shelf margarita on the rocks, extra salt please. But it sure did say lots of nice stuff about me...
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Yup... and I'm one of them :-)
Yesterday, I was blocked out of the LASR website. I couldn't see it, I couldn't modify it... nada. I could go anywhere else in the world I wanted to go, except the one place I needed to be. Thankfully, I walked Judy through uploading the days pages, but I was frustrated and angry. After much research, DH said it was our ISP blocking me. So I called them. And spent A LOT of time with them, only to have them say it wasn't there fault and they would connect me with Microsoft, because it was obviously my computer.
And then they cut me off.
I stared at the phone for a moment, then Googled Verizon, and dialed their sales office. When they asked me what I needed, I arranged to switch over our phone and internet to them. Last year, we switched from our previous cable carrier (who still did our phone and internet) to DirectTV because our previous cable carrier wasn't going to offer NHL Center Ice.
As a result, we ended up with not only Center Ice, but more channels, a FREE DVR and TiVo service for less than we'd been paying before. Yesterday, the same thing happened. I got phone service AND internet service for far less (almost HALF AS MUCH) than I was paying before. Nearly everyone else on my street uses Verizon and all have been very happy with their service.
I'm just glad to chuck my soon-to-be-previous phone and internet provider.
And... strangely enough... after an hour or two, a miracle occurred. I could get into the site. So, it was my computer, huh?
I heard from my Samhain editor yesterday. She wants me to change the title of "Isn't She Liv Leigh". *sigh*
Not only do I adore the title, choosing titles is a pain. Still, I understand her reasoning. Darn it. So I'm going to do it.
Judy and I messed around with a few ideas yesterday, and started getting downright silly. My personal fave? "Marry a Mechanic... And Ruin My Manicure?"
Anyone who knows anything about Liv is more than welcome to email me with suggestions.
Just to let you know ... this is Judy's baby. But, it appears we at LASR are hosting a Yahoo group called: We Love Romance. If YOU love romance, go check it out!
Speaking of romance (books, that is!), we're still giving away an autographed copy of Jill Monroe's book, "Hitting the Mark". And, last night, I gave you ANOTHER chance to enter. Go check out her spotlight today, and find out how!
We are also giving away a free eBook! So... this week there are TWO prizes and TWO winners! Have you entered yet?
|Which Positive Quality Are You? |
Your Result: Friendship
|Which Positive Quality Are You?|
I'm good with that answer.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I spent most of the last evening working on my cover art form and blurb stuff for my upcoming Samhain novel, "Isn't She Liv Leigh" (don't worry, eventually I'll get tired of saying that!). My wonderful editor, Eve (waves!) assures me they have a blurb wizard who will take what I give them and make it even better. And if Allie's cover is anything to judge by, they have a fabulous art department as well. So, I shouldn't be worried.
Still, I was stymied by the cover stuff (well, and the blurb, too -- as a few of writing friends know, since I sent out a call for help last night), but I'm a writer, not an artist and I think in words, not pictures. Long ago, when I was young and foolish (instead of old and foolish, as I am now), I dreamed of drawing and painting. My indulgent father bought me a ton of art supplies. And, truthfully, I ended up being pretty decent. I could draw nearly anything you put in front of me -- though my favorite thing to do was horses (I got grasshoppers down really well, too. Don't ask).
Still, something was missing. I didn't have that "spark" that made my art special. If people wanted an exact replica of a grasshopper (who wouldn't?), they could take a picture. When people buy art, they want something more.
So, now I write. I *think* I manage to give that something more to my readers.
So why (why, why, why) do I have to try to think of art now?
I do know what I don't like (though, I may be in the minority on this): clinch covers. I hate 'em. They absolutely turn me off. I don't mind the H/H on the front, and I don't mind them being all sexy in some way (Take the LASR spotlight author, Jill Monroe's book cover for "Hitting the Mark" ... HOT, HOT, HOT but not a cheesy clinch cover).
I know I want something fun for the front of "Liv", but not animated like the old Flipsides and many other romantic comedy books. "Liv" isn't yuck-yuck funny, but it is light-hearted and that needs to reflect on the cover.
So, I'm still working on it.
In my job at LASR, a truly wonderful reviews site, (yes, shameless promotion, LOL), I see A LOT of covers. Some are truly incredible, but some have been so bad I would be ashamed to promote my own book. No, I'm not naming names... but, those awful covers would influence my decision to purchase a book. I've been fortunate -- The Wild Rose Press and Samhain both seem to have truly amazing art departments, so I should love my cover for "Liv".
How do you feel about covers? Do they seriously impact your decision to purchase (or NOT purchase) a book? What kind of covers do you like to see? Do you prefer people on the front, or would you rather imagine what the H/H look like all on your own?
|Your Driving Is is: 43% Male, 57% Female|
According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.
This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.
Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.
Of course, this doesn't explain why my DD now yells, "IDIOT!" when someone cuts me off in traffic. Ha.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I used that quote, just because I thought it was funny...
As I typed my title, I got to thinking about those calendars they've started making -- yanno, the ones that start with Monday as the first box? Do you hate those? I do... Despite the fact that we all pretty much consider Monday as the beginning of the week, Sunday has always been the first day. I get thoroughly confused with those stupid things. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the armpits of their makers.
Everyone sounded so... doubtful... about my participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Well, except for Allie, who will be watching me like I'm a car wreck! LOL... I have a lot to clear off my plate by then, and if the old plate isn't at least partly cleared, it won't happen. And that makes me so sad. But... that's the goal I'm working toward! Fingers crossed.
I got my first round of edits on my story "A Change of Heart" -- my mid-length secret-baby-cowboy story. They're TOUGH. I only got through a couple pages yesterday. I'm going to be sweating up a storm by the end of this. The editor is working me hard! These edits are one of the things I need to get cleared off, though, so I'll be doing my best to get through them soon.
If it's a new week, then that means there are new contests at The Long and the Short of It. This week there are two prizes: a FREE eBook AND a FREE autographed book -- there's even a sneaky alternate way to enter to win that -- but you have to go here to find out how. Go forth and enter!
Well? What are you waiting for? And, hey, feel free to spread the word. You must all know a few people interested in winning books, right?
|You Are a Pegasus|
You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.
Well... okay.... Most of this is pretty darn close. And, even better, I lurve Pegasus.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I reviewed the galley for "The Christmas Curse" and it's off to production. Ironically, it was completed first, and will be the one released last! I'm excited -- I love the story. It's another silly story. My favorite kind to write.
I haven't written anything new for a really, really long time. I need to schedule time for writing again. Actually, what I need to do is work on scene ideas for my NaNoWriMo novel, tentatively entitled "The Cartoonist and the Cat Lady". I have my H/H, I have a VERY general story idea, I have two secondary characters (though I'm sure more will show up), I have a loose idea for the conflict... but nothing else. So, I need to do a little brainstorming, hit the NaNo "Dares" board for more (I love that place), and gear up for it.
I still can't believe I'm going to do it. I'm so busy, it's insane. But I truly LURVE NaNoWriMo. It's like a drug. Every year when I finish, I'm ready to do it all again. Now it's only a bit over a month away.
Anyone else going to jump in?
In Pillar Place: Monarch P2, we have nine chrysalis'!! Woo! Two more pillars are nearly big enough and will probably "J" in a day or two.
DD is so addicted to doing this, I expect to have pillar condos next year -- she's determined to go to that field of milkweed that they mowed (hence murdering an unknown number of pillars -- if you figure we got almost thirty from my ten or so plants, then you figure out what a field full would harbor) and find every "bug" we can.
Just say "NO".
Yeah, right. I'm weak.
Stolen from Allie (I actually did it yesterday, but thought it was totally cool):
Heavens to Betsy, most of this is spot on... though I can't in my wildest dreams, ever EVER believe I'd make a good school teacher. I've been a manager, and enjoyed it a lot.
WHAT COLOR ARE YOU?
You are Gold!
You're a reliable organizer who can be counted on to implement other people’s ideas and get the job done. You are extremely organized, detail oriented, and self-disciplined. You are the maintainers of society who are best at following through and implementing what others create. You make sure that every 'T' is crossed and every 'I' is dotted. You are self-motivated and usually prefer to be behind the scenes keeping things running smoothly.
You love to serve others by helping them take responsibility and be accountable for their actions. For this reason you are attracted to roles such as manager, elementary school teacher, and police officer, but the list is far greater in the book.
What about you?
And, lastly, I introduced the DD to the fun that is Gilbert & Sullivan. I LOVE G&S and Pirates of Penzance is my fave, though I also seriously enjoy HMS Pinafore and The Mikado. Those guys are the kings of irony and sarcasm and sneaky wit.
So... I give you "A Paradox" (unfortunately, this one has subtitles, but it's the only copy I could find from the movie -- yes, it's in English. I guess they thought you couldn't understand the words):
Saturday, September 15, 2007
No reason for that quote, except I thought it was funny. :-)
I moved furniture yesterday. I'm tired. Still.
You see, when my mom decided to move back to California, I told her to leave what she didn't want and I'd take care of it. Turns out she didn't want A LOT. We're redoing her apartment above the garage as a scrapbooking area/library/office/schoolroom, so I kept her bookshelves and a little pantry/cupboard thingy. But I had no use for her twin bed, dresser, nightstand, dining table/chairs or refrigerator.
I found homes for it, but yesterday I promised the folks who wanted the bed & table/chairs, that I'd have it downstairs for them. And DD is keeping the dresser and nightstand, but getting rid of her old toybox (that was a hard decision for her).
So... with the help of my 8 y.o. DD, I moved stuff. This was AFTER we took a long, long walk at a local park. There's this very nice walk around the pond -- about a mile long. We did it twice. Fast. And, I was reminded how old my dog is when she pooped out in the middle of the second lap. I thought I was going to have to carry her home.
She's 75 pounds.
In any case, between moving furniture and cleaning up where the furniture used to be, I got nothing done, writingwise. Last night, Michele and I uploaded all pending reviews to our LASR blog -- so they're ready for release, one at a time. That was nice, mindless work and exactly what I needed.
Oh... and we talked about a site my mom accidentally found. She was in Salt Lake City area and saw this big pink bus with Pure Romance and a website URL painted on the outside. She thought it sounded like something I'd be interested in.
Ha. I went to the site. It's a commercial site and the first thing I saw was five different flavors of Great Head. Yeah. Let your mind wander for a moment. I laughed and told Mom it wasn't another reviews site or romance publisher...LOLOL...
In any case, furniture is moved, Mom made it out to California safely and is already loving it, and I'm still pooped. Today... we move the fridge. But, at least I'll have adult help this time.
Pillar Place: Monarch P2 is moving rapidly. We have four real chrysalis, and five new "J" bugs. The two smallest pillars better eat fast and grow quick. I still see monarchs flying around out here, so it must still be safe for release. The countdown to butterfly begins. They're cutting it really, really close. Fingers crossed.
And, hey, if I have to drive south to release them, I can go visit Judy and Tori. So it's not all bad :-)
No spelling errors on this one! LOL...
And here's a little frightening tidbit for you: I graduated in the top ten of my class -- with a class size of 300+!
Okay, spill -- how did you do?
Friday, September 14, 2007
I had the audacity to tell someone the other day that I was caught up enough to do something for them that needed doing quickly... I'm an idiot. Words like that invite disaster.
Yesterday I not only received the first round of edits on my cowboy story -- and they're TOUGH because there is a particular issue that needs to be changed, and all the incidences of it fixed throughout, along with regular editing stuff -- I also received the galleys to proofread for my Christmas story at TWRP called "The Christmas Curse". I also received the cover. What do you think?
The Christmas Curse --=========================
For Molly Scott, everything bad in her life has happened during the Christmas season, from training bras in her stocking to being jilted by her fiancé. This year is no exception.
Ten days before Christmas, she arrives at work to find her department closed down and everyone laid off. Desperate, she takes a job for a singing telegram service and, dressed as Mrs. Claus, meets the man of her dreams--who turns out to be a nightmare--in a broken down elevator. The Christmas Curse is right on track.
Last night, a friend of DH's was here to have his computer repaired (this poor guy -- I don't know what he does, but I see him about every six months for this!). He saw me typing away on the computer and asked if I was working. I said yes. He asked "where" I worked, assuming that I telecommuted to a "real" job. Ha. I said, "I work right here. I run a website and a write. I have a novel that will be available soon." I was proud and excited to say those words.
He was thrilled. It seems his wife is publishing a book -- she's a life coach (something I found moderately amusing, considering my quiz results from a few days ago) and is publishing a non-fiction books, self-help type. He wanted to talk publishing.
Then he did it: he asked what I wrote. And suddenly, I was flustered. His wife was important, doing important stuff, writing words that would change a person's life for the better.
I moderated and said, "I write fiction."
He didn't let me get away with that. "Oh? For what age group?" He knows I homeschool, so he must have assumed I was writing for children.
I gulped, feeling unaccountably uncomfortable. I didn't want to say the words and see him close up. I didn't want to have him judge me because I wrote "those" books. Finally though, I did it. "I write romance," I said. "So, I'm writing for adults."
"Oh." He nodded. "I wonder why your husband didn't tell me you wrote a book?" And he headed to the basement.
Actually, I'm surprised my DH didn't tell him. He tells everyone. I frequently find myself blindsided by folks I barely know saying, "So, I hear you wrote a book."
Still... after this conversation, I was so angry with myself. I'm proud of writing AND reading romance. I take on people every day who look down their noses at my choice of reading material. The woman who runs my library doesn't appreciate genre fiction as a whole, and refuses to buy trade paperbacks -- says they mess up the shelves and don't last as long, but that simple decree eliminates many romances I prefer to read. So, I request them. And because I am one of their best "customers", they are somewhat obligated to buy them. I proudly purchase my romances at various stores, I love that the UBS is more than half romance novels. Usually, I hold my head up high.
So, why was I so embarrassed to say what I wrote?
It kept me awake for some time, and even now I'm frustrated. I promise to make a concerted effort to maintain pride in my chosen genre and shame on me for last night's debacle.
In Pillar Place: Monarch P2 we have three "J" pillars, and about four more who are hanging out on their roofs. Most of them who were up there yesterday came down and ate some more. A last meal? But last night when I checked, three of them were all webbed into the box (yes, they spin webs -- the strongest stuff... it's amazing) and this a.m. they are hanging from their tails.
Hurry, little pillars, hurry. I saw geese flying south overhead last night. Summer is over. You need to follow those geese soon!
|You Are Scissors|
Sharp and brilliant, you can solve almost any problem with that big brain of yours.
People fear your cutting comments - and your wit is famous for being both funny and cruel.
Deep down, you tend to be in the middle of an emotional storm. Your own complexity disturbs you.
You are too smart for your own good. Slow down a little - or you're likely to hurt yourself.
You can cut a paper person down to pieces.
The only person who can ruin you is a rock person.
When you fight: You find your enemy's weak point and exploit it.
If someone makes you mad: You'll do everything you can to destroy their life
Ooh... I sound MEAN! Y'all scared yet?
BTW, have you entered Diane's contest for your choice of an autographed book? If not, why? If yes, remember -- there's another chance (your LAST chance) to enter today.
And, have you entered the LASR contest for a free autographed book? Hurry up... today's the last day. While you're at it, take our poll.
And, Judy is giving away a $20 Amazon GC for the best caption on a picture she took. Go visit and caption the photo.
Edited to add: From Allie -
I Need Your Votes!
Hey everyone, a little shameless promotion here: Ciar Cullen, a fellow Samhain author, is running a contest on her blog to select The Best Ebook of the Summer...and One Night in Boston is one of the choices.
Would you hop on over there and vote for me? Please? Ciar will buy and review the winning book...and a little more promo for ONIB wouldn't hurt any. Hey, if you feel like pimping the contest on your own blog, I'd love it even more :) Thanks a million.
Consider it done :-)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
BOOKING IT THROUGH THURSDAY
Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read?
Is it bad to say, "That depends"? See... sometimes when things are bleak, I need to have a really good cry before I can get my head back on straight and figure out a way to dig up from the bottom. In those cases, I'd actually sit down in front of a movie -- not a book. I know, gasps abound. But nothing makes you cry like a good tearjerker. I'd probably go for "Beaches" or the final episode of M*A*S*H. Yes, really.
BUT... when it's time to kick myself in the butt and get up, dust off and move forward only comedy will do. So... yup, you guessed it: I'm all about Jennifer Crusie. And, of her books, I'd probably choose "Getting Rid of Bradley". Oh man, "Dead dog" makes me laugh every freakin' time. In fact, as soon as I'm done rereading "The Dragonriders of Pern", I may have to pick Bradley up again.
Hey... all you readers out there -- do you love romance? Don't mind reading an eBook now and then? Always want to share your opinion? The Long and the Short of It is looking for YOU. We are in DESPERATE need of more reviewers -- so get free books, just for giving us a review. C'mon... it doesn't get better than that.
Speaking of free books, did you know that LASR has not one, not six, but SEVEN ways to enter this week to win an autographed book? We are terribly sneaky... this week, we offered a new and easy-peasy way to add your name to the pot one more time: go to the review of this book and comment. Yes, really... it's that easy.
OH! And... every week, we offer a free short story to read. This weeks went up today. Go check it out... it's adorable.
In Pillar Place: Monarch P2 -- things they are a-changing... about half of the occupants were up on their roofs last night! Fingers crossed, this should mean they'll be making their chrysalis' today. The weather is getting COLD here, and if they don't make the move from butterbabies to butterflies by the end of the month, they're not going to make it unless I drive them south for the winter. I have seriously given it some thought... lol...
|Your Inner Child Is Happy|
You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.
You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.
And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.
You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.
Um... No. Not even close... I'm pretty sure not even ONE THING in that quiz is right. Maybe the last part... maybe.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Go to the advanced book search on Amazon, type your first name into the Title field, and post the most interesting/amusing cover that shows up.
Ain't this the truth -- unless it's about a truck, a boat or the sprinkler system, my DH is notorious about forgetting the past.
I love this one the most. Awww...
I know -- not amusing, but -- Yum! How could I pass this one up??
Some days, I feel like I need a sticky note right between the eyes. Lately, I lose thoughts between rooms. Usually, if I backtrack, I can find where I dropped it, but it's a little frustrating.
DD (who is eight) was reading a book (fantasy) the other day. She stopped suddenly and looked at me, a question in her eyes, but oddly uncomfortable asking it. So I said, "What?"
She jabbed a finger at the book. "The girl in here had BLOOD on her LEG, but she wasn't hurt. The lady with her said that she shouldn't be afraid and that it was going to happen all the time. IS THAT TRUE?"
So, now my 8 y.o. knows a little about periods. We talked about why it happens and that it's not scary and that, yes, sometimes it hurts a little.
Honestly, after I got over the surprise of being asked about it (the danger of having a child who reads ahead of her age group, I suppose), I decided it was a wonderful way to introduce the subject. I hope more books can do this as she grows, instead of sitting her down and having some odd, clinical discussion.
I've agonized over how to tackle the tough, uncomfortable issues since I homeschool, and can't rely on someone else to do it. This, IMHO, is a good way. And DD and I have a wonderful relationship. I've always encouraged her to ask me anything, and I don't get uncomfortable (on the outside!) and I always answer the question as truthfully as possible. I have learned to answer ONLY what she asks, and not expound upon it. She'll ask the questions when she's ready.
Oh, the joys of being a homeschooling mom.
I got all my bazillion pages of paperwork from Samhain yesterday! I'm official. Now I just have to fill out a ton of stuff, including a BLURB (I HATE BLURBS) and cover ideas (something I simply haven't thought about, but it's really important -- oh, the pressure).
I already love my editor, and she hasn't even edited. She's fun and upbeat and not uber professional -- like ME! So, Eve, if you're reading... I (heart) you!
Did you happen to see the LASR blog yesterday? Hmmm? Free autographed book -- just leave a comment to be entered to win it. Go check it out!
|What sport are you? |
Your Result: Tennis
|What sport are you?|
Make Your Own Quiz
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Diane Craver is giving away one of her books -- autographed personally -- and it's easy peasy to enter. Just go read an exerpt and send her an email. New chances EVERY DAY. What are you waiting for? Trust me, she's an amazing author and you won't be sorry. Tell your friends... spread the word.
Melissa McClone is giving away a book every week! All you have to do is read her blog (daily!) and comment. C'mon, it doesn't get any easier than that.
Speaking of easy, Harlequin American Authors are giving away four books this month. Again, just go to their blog, comment, and you're entered! There should be a gazillion comments every day -- FREE BOOKS people. Spread the word.
Of course, LASR is giving away an autographed book this week. There are seven different ways to enter. What are you waiting for?
Allie mentioned the Romance Studio's Book-a-day Giveaway. They're giving away a book EVERY SINGLE DAY. How can you go wrong?
I found a book giveaway at Readers Read. Just fill out a form.
Book Browse is giving away a book.
Samhain Publishing offers regular eBook giveaways AND print book giveaways.
There... I've done the work for you. Go enter. Good luck.
PS... if you'd like to post all this stuff on your own blog, I'll happily supply the HTML so you don't need to do all the links. Just comment here or email me and I'll send it to you.
Spread the word. Support the authors. Help in any way you can!
|What Your Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Means|
Your eating style is gluttonous. If you like something, you're going back for seconds... no matter how full you are!
You don't really have a sweet tooth. If you go for dessert, you tend to go for something light.
Your taste in food tends to be quite eclectic and wide. You are an adventurous eater, and you like many types of cuisines.
You are probably a fairly normal, upper middle class person. You don't rock the boat too often.
You are a tough person who isn't afraid to live life fully. There isn't a lot that scares you.
You are laid back and extremely easygoing. You never make a fuss, and you try to enjoy every moment.
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner
We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. ~Felix Frankfurter
Monday, September 10, 2007
Go over to The Long and the Short of It and enter to win an autographed copy of "The Twin Surprise" by multi-published author, Jacqueline Diamond. And then come back and finish reading this post.
My friend, Pam, just made up a trailer for her latest novel, "Lies Too Long". Give it a look:
I have yet to mess around with making a trailer... Pam told me it took her "more like 80 hours than 8" to make it. She was referring to Allie when she mentioned here that it took her about 10-12 hours to make her trailer for "One Night In Boston":
If you're interested in what goes in to making a trailer, Brenda Coulter has a seriously great blog post about it. Here's the trailer she made for her most recent novel, "A Season of Forgiveness":
And that's everything I have to say about trailers. Until I make one for MY UPCOMING NOVEL, "Isn't She Liv Leigh". And, yes, it's still cool that I can say that...
EDITED TO ADD:
I lied... I just found out that Allie made ANOTHER trailer, for the lady who is the featured author at LASR. Here's that trailer, for "A Fiery Secret" by Diane Craver:
I'm going to strangle my DD -- she found THREE more monarch babies out back in our milkweed. GAH. I'm officially out of containers, and one of them is in a box. So, Pillar Place: Monarch P2 now has eleven occupants. Dear heavens.
I'm fighting some serious guilt. Outside my house is a fledging blue jay who can't fly. He's hopping around my feeders and all around the yard. I feel like I should go scoop him up and take care of him -- or, at the very least, take him to the bird rehabiliator I got to know so well last year (last summer was the summer of the baby bird). But I'm tired. I've raised a gazillion butterflies. I've done a thousand various bug rescues. I have to bring my feeders in every night at dusk, and then put them out every morning at dawn so the birdies can eat, but not the bear. I did chase off the murder of crows who swooped down -- so they didn't get him. And, if he's smart, he'll huddle up in my garden for safety.
But I can't do it. I can't care for a wild bird, and I can't find the energy to chase it down and then drive an hour, one way, to the bird rehabber. And I feel awful about it.
|Your Aura is Violet|
Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.
And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don't always use it!
The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say
Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony
Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach
I dare any one of you to hire me as a life coach.