Sunday, May 31, 2009

Write a short! - I did!

One of my critique partners challenged me to write a short - and I mean short - story for Whipped Cream. Erotic with a storyline and romance.

Sounds simple, eh?

Yes and no.

Oh, the ideas came quick (pardon the pun), and the sex was saucy... And writing short means it shouldn't take long to craft. True. I got going on the story and had it pretty must done within a short time.

Problem? Making the blasted thing fit the length requirements (why does it always amount to length... he he he he). Short stories are trying. You want to say all the things the characters are telling you, but in difficult parameters - 1000 words.

Next problem? Back story without making the story boring or dumping. Eek! Why are these people together? Why are they engaging in intercourse? What's the underlying problem? What's the conflict?

Oh, and the story can't be just a sex scene.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. Far from it. I welcomed the challenge and took it on with earnest. I'll probably write another (with a racing theme... can't knock what interests me)

Actually, I'm issuing the challenge to more writers. There is a certain skill to writing short. Give it a shot and see what you come up with.

(Wow, I'm bad with the puns today.. or my mind is in the gutter. Oh well.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where to Go From Here?

Okay, so I got the contract. Now I have to figure out where to go from here.

No, I don't mean, do I keep writing or rest on my laurels. Heck, I've got too many characters in my head waiting in line to get out (some stick around even though their story's on paper).

What I mean is I still have to figure out the editing process once the MS is in the hands of the editor. Yeah, it can be a bit overwhelming because you want to make sure you do it right without having to do a thousand fixes, but then you also know that fixes are inevitable because no one is perfect.

Next I have to figure out which story to work on in the meantime. I have more than a few too many irons in the fire. Between the reviews, edits on WIP's, reading because I want to, and simply being me, there aren't enough hours in the day.

Oh well, at least I got to the point of contract. I won't rest, but I might give myself an hour to cheer.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Red Hot Reads Part Four

Here are my picks for the Red Hot Reads. I know, I know... this is a little early. i usually post these a the end of the month, but, I am attending the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together this year and I probably won't remember to post these or my eye candy. That's what happens when time is of the essence. Enjoy and vist the publishers, a bookstore or your local library to get more information.

Caught! - Lori Foster - Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
What if you found out that the company you poured your life into wasn’t all yours and your life was in danger? What if you found your lover with another lover in your own bed? What would you do? Read Caught! to see what Virginia and Dillon and Sara and Gavin do to correct the situations.
You want a sexy read that’s fun? Then pick up a novel by Lori Foster. In this two for one novel, Ms. Foster writes with her heart and conscience. Her characters are amusing and their issues are real and relatable. You can’t go wrong with this novel.
Defender - Catherine Mann - Berkley Sensation
What do you do when you see a beautiful woman trapped in shark-infested water? Rescue her, but under no circumstances should you fall for her, unless you happen to be test pilot Jimmy Gage and she happens to be USO performer Chloe Nelson. If that’s the case, then you’d better expect trouble – delicious, sexy trouble. Such is the case for Chloe’s Defender.

Healing Luke - Beth Cornelison - Sourcebooks - Casablanca
Things happen for a reason, whether it’s a chance meeting, a dropped grocery item, or an explosion. It’s what we do with those chances that makes or breaks our lives. That’s the story of Healing Luke.

Maverick - Lora Leigh - St. Martin’s Paperbacks
He’s in for vengeance for the family he lost. She’s recovering from the worst deception and personal injury imaginable. When they come together, it’s magic, it’s scary, but it’s totally worth the thrill-ride. But when lies and words left unsaid bring them together, what will break them apart? Find out in Lora Leigh’s Maverick.

Sports Beats: Rock Hard Seduction - Tonya Ramagos - Siren Publishing
He’s a drummer for a popular metal band and he’s a hockey fan. She’s a photographer who gave up her life to care for her father suffering from Alzheimer’s. What’s she supposed to do when the sexy drummer berates her professional hockey player brother? Give him hell, of course! Want to know more? Then read Sports Beats: Rock Hard Seduction.
Out of Control - Julie Miller - Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Want a romance that intertwines the best of drag racing and heart pounding love? Then grab a copy of Out of Control, by Julie Miller. Your heart and adrenaline will race!
Scandalous - Lori Foster - Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
What happens when two headstrong people decide to get together? Sparks fly, although the attraction isn't instantaneous. What happens when the same people realize they’re meant to be? Well, that’s Scandalous.
Lori Foster writes characters that everyone can relate to because the characters are real. They have the same problems you and I might have and end up with sexy love interests to tangle with. Her work is always upbeat and refreshing. She takes tried and true real-life issues and makes them unique. These two stories in one are no exception.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How I Got From There to Here

My friend Marianne blogged about that moment that everything seems to work out and the fabled contract offer is extended. Here's my story.

About 2, maybe 3 years ago, I had this idea for a NASCAR novel. It didn't pan out (As of yet), but it got me writing. While working on that novel, I got an idea for a pompous actor to hook up with a writer who's totally not Hollywood's standard for hot, but her personality makes her outshine the best looking superficials.

Well, I worked and worked on this MS and finally thought it was ready to send to my BF. Not the best idea (and not because she wasn't harsh, she was) but she's one of my close friends. I've known her since high school. Let me tell you, a crit partner is invaluable, but if it's your BF, she or he may tell you it's great when it's not. If you get lucky enough to find one who is honest and blunt - great, but don't count on it.

Then I received a rejection on another work that really needed help, but at the time I had no idea it was that bad off (Again here's where the crit partner helped immensely - she pointed out my lack of crisis in the story). Anyway, I signed up to work with another crit partner. Kathleen worked and worked with me (And made me schedule time to get Right right). It made me focus more and made me believe in the work.

We set a submission date for the first of March, but I got mine done a bit before Kathleen, so I sent mine in a week early. The coolest thing is that I titled the MS Right Where I Need to Be because Logan realizes that Hollywood isn't where he belongs (plus I love Gary Allan), now I got to see Gary Allan in concert the week after I submitted. He sings the song Right Where I Need to Be. HE DID IT IN CONCERT THAT NIGHT! I was so excited! Then he did some of the other songs that I used as inspiration for the novel. I loved it. Plus, that week I got to see my favorite NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer at the Auto Show in Cleveland. How cool!

After a bit of chasing and pestering, I found out that Right went to a real live editor. Even cooler!

Well, I didn't hear anything from anyone for over a month and got worried. I had some bad experiences, so I decided to check into things. On the Friday before Mother's Day, I got the blessed email with the CONTRACT! How awesome.

Since then, I've busted my behind getting ready with edits that were suggested before she really digs into it. I hope these edits help it for later. Don't know because at this point, this is all new to me, but a lot of fun (even when it is difficult).

When did that stroke of luck happen for you? Let me know!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chocolate, Mt. Dew, and Editing

I love chocolate. Those who know me well, know there are three things I can't live without: books, chocolate, and research... well, if you don't know what i mean... don't ask.

I am knee-deep in edits for my novel Right Where I Need to Be. I finally figured out the ring tones on my phone and got Right as my ring tone! That was my little reward for getting the contract. Anyway... I found myself getting to that point where I knew I needed to go on, but really didn't want to.

What do you do in that situation? I reach for the chocolate and the blasted Mt. Dew. Neither really makes me think any better or see anything clearer, but it does make the day a little more enjoyable.

I know it won't make writer's block any easier, but, save for muse intervention, very little will.

So embrace the day, the chocolate, and the extremely-bad-for-you soda and smile.

I am.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Editing and Reviewing - It's a Great Life

I got at least one of the things on my list accomplished. I got a contract for my novel. Very cool. Now I'm in the midst of edits and it's not horrible. It could be a lot worse and I figure what's being changed is for the better.

My crit partner, Kathleen, is an absolute champ. She keeps my confidence up when it really wants to dip. I love my other crit partners, Kealie, Tonya, and Ashley (aka Elaine), just as much.

I remembered earlier today that I still had three major reviews out for LASR. Yikes! Thank God for laptops and pdf's. Whew! Got them done and ready to move on to more.

Seems like I get really pumped working on one thing and then forget the rest of the stuff I need to do. But hey, a lot on the plate means I'm busy, so I'm not complaining.

But then again - to complain... Yes, i do have a complaint or two, but nothing I can honestly do much about. I know, I know... sounds silly. But my shows are coming to the end, via end of the season. Yes, I am addicted to CSI:Miami, CSI: NY, and Law and Order (the original one). If you saw my eye candy through the year, you'd know that by now.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Jon Togo, Rory Cochrane (I cried when he was killed off), Eddie Cahill, AJ Buckley, and Jeremy Sisto. I even suffered through a made-for-tv version of Julius Caesar because Jeremy played Caesar. He was hot, but the rest of the production stunk.

Oh well...

Enough of my complaining. I'm off to edit land


Monday, May 11, 2009

Ahh the Edits

I don't have much to say today because I worked on edits all day. I must say that my crit partners are the best and always willing to help when I need it. Sometime I think I need help too much.

So back to my batcave and my edits. Take it easy and I'll be back. I promise.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Can you tell I'm jumping in my seat? I haven't calmed down since I opened the email.

Yes, folks. I got a contract with The Wild Rose Press to publish my novel Right Where I Need to Be. Those who know me best know that this was my baby. The novel I sweated over for the last two years. Fruition! So cool.

Kinda cool coincidence: I went to see Gary Allan in March right after I sent the MS in for consideration. At that concert, he played Right Where I Need to Be and the two songs I used as inspiration in the novel: Man of Me and The One. How cool is that!

Another kinda cool thing: I told hubby that when/if I got this novel published, I wanted the song Right to be my ring tone because it not only reminds me of my first triumph, but also because it reminds me of him (he's a pilot and the plane references remind me of him). Cool, huh?

Well, now I admit that this is the first for me and I have no idea what comes next, but I know that I finally conquered that mountain and know that I have what it takes to become published. Now, how to get that second work published too...

Gotta go and stop pinching myself before I get a bruise!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My turn... I've got a cold.

Seems like when you have little ones, especially those in school, you get whatever garbage they bring home. In my case, it's a cold.

Now I have this theory... Mom's don't get sick. They imagine it. You see, when my hubby gets sick, he acts all defenseless and moody. Oh, poor me, I have a cold... Sure, whatever. My son is the same way, but he's 6 so I sort of expect it. When a mom gets sick, she's still expected to do laundry, cook meals, chaperon kids to and from school/practice/etc., and still be chipper for other things (hubby and I call it research). Mom's can't act sick. They have to act normal.

That being said, I finally gave in and acted sick. Needless to say, I didn't get a lick of writing accomplished and all my ebooks for review are on the computer (which i had no intention of sitting in front of), so I got a whole whopper of nothing accomplished.

Do I feel bad?



Because everyone deserves a couple days a year to be just plain old sick.

Now, i have to get back into the swing of things and get stuff accomplished. No worries. I'll get the reviews done while the laundry spins in the washer and the cats chase the dogs and the child tells me stories of the ferocious T-Rex and Spinosaurus.

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lists, Lists... My Turn to Have a List

We're all making goals and lists to see what we can accomplish. well, here's mine.

I want to get my TBR pile down to a small mountain and finish my Lori Fosters, Erin McCarthys, Sarah McCarty. Catherine Manns, and Lora Leighs before the Get Together.

I want to have my current under consideration submission to become a Contracted work, but I can't do much right now. It's in someone else's hands.

I want to get my gift basket for the GT in Cincy done without too much hassle.

I want to get my LASR reviews done by the end of the month so I don't have another back log.

I want to go back to my NASCAR novel and get cracking on my Vampire novella. The NASCAR one is actually done, but needs critiqued bad! The Vampire one is just stuck in neutral.

I want to get my oil painting done on time. I got a reprieve until June 15Th, so that helps, but oil still takes forever to dry.

I'd love to get another couple of commissions to create animal (pet) portraits by the end of the summer.

I'd love to get an iPod and an laptop (but not holding my breath).

I want to finish the Vampire novella, finish my AF story, and get Overdrive (NASCAR) critiqued and ready for submission by the end of the summer.

I want to start the follow up to my under consideration novel, Every Time I Hear Your Name started and on track for a January submission date.

Ahh... that's a lot to get done in a short period of time, but I think I can do it. I have faith in me and my critique buddies (bless them all!) and that's all that matters.

Until next time...


Monday, May 4, 2009

Argh! More Waiting!

I got a ray of good news, but I can't share it. I got a great story working, but I can't seem to get time to work on it. I have at least 6 ebooks waiting for my review, and there isn't enough hours in the day.

I guess it comes down to patience - which I am sorely lacking - and the desire to succeed. I want to make things happen so bad and it drives me nuts when I can't control things (or at least give gentle nudges to get the ball rolling). I'm by no means a control freak. I actually am rather laid back, but when I have things I really need to get done and can't get to because of others... well, it drives me crazy.

And no, this isn't a blast on anyone other than me. I feel bad for my crit partner. No matter how hard she tries, her computers aggravate her and break. Another one is simply not writing at all. She lost the drive [along with her job - poor baby : ( ] and can't seem to get the magic back.

So it would appear I need to stop blogging for today and get back to the reviews and the WIP.

Here's some eye candy to tide everyone (mostly me) over until later.
He's Chris Cagle and one of my favorite country music singers. When he sang "The chicks dig it" he had to be talking about himself! Yummy!

Chris Cagle

Although, I think Laredo is my favorite song of his. Check him out while I slink back into my bat cave.