Showing posts from November, 2007

Post Deadline Ramble -- Part Two

*I can't believe it. I took the test, but I can't talk about it. My job at the library is a government job. All sorts or rules and regulations. One of them being I can't talk about the contents of the test I took tonight (in hopes of gaining a promotion). Well, shoot. Because the experience was actually interesting. Oh, well.

*I got my hair colored and cut today. It looks nothing like this...
This was one of my blonde phases two years ago. It's much longer and darker now, but I digress. I found this picture last night updating my website. This was a very cool moment for me. Steve and I were in London (yes, ENGLAND) and we walked into a bookstore on Charing Cross road. I wigged out when I saw they had a couple of copies of LASSO THE MOON on the shelf. I introduced myself and asked if they allowed stock signings. The bookseller said, "Your Beth Ciotta?" Like I was somebody famous, which I'm not, but boy, did she make me feel special! She said, "Hold on.&…

A Post-Deadline Ramble

* So the book that gave me fits, that consumed my nights and every day off (from the day job) for several months running is done and turned in. Done but not finished. Revisions from my editor forthcoming. Actually looking forward to that moment as I thought of at least four things I neglected to address as I frantically raced to the end. I'm anal. All threads must be tied off! So I noted those four things and posted the note on my inspiration board for very near future reference.

* I'm crunched--super crunched, mega crunched--on the next contracted deadline book. Logically I needed to plunge in, er, yesterday. Creatively, I need a period of transition. I'm going from historical western third person to contemporary first person. This next book differs greatly in voice from the one I just finished, plus it's the third in a series. Continuity, ya know? Instead of pressuring myself to write today, I read, or at least began reading, the first book in the series--ALL ABOUT EV…


I have very few words left in me at this point and even less energy. So I'll just say, done. The deadline book that has been the subject of way too many posts, as of this morning... done and turned in.


Turkeys and Frogs

Thanksgiving is a day for giving, well, thanks. I'm grateful for so much. For my family and friends. For my health. I'm grateful for my wonderful, loving husband and for our crazy, adorable family of pets. I'm grateful for all of the life and work experiences that influence my writing, for my creative spirit, for my publishing career, and for the readers who lose themselves in my adventures.

Best wishes and to you and yours and hoping you are equally blessed.

Should you have a moment, enjoy one of my favorite songs by my all time favorite frog. Something for the dreamer in all of us.

On Writing--An Inspiring Thrill

Okay. So yesterday I said I'm no longer obsessive about checking my Amazon ranking. I'm really not. And I know the 'ranking' isn't a good and true indication of how my books are selling overall. It isn't. Still, today when I checked in, I got a unique thrill.

Apparently there are bestseller lists on Amazon. An overall list and genre lists. The list gets updated every hour, so my thrill may only last an hour. Still! I'll take my thrills when and where I can get them, big and small.

As of this day and hour, I hit the Amazon 'romance western' Top 100 bestseller list. Not once, but twice! ROMANCING THE WESTis #37 and its prequel, LASSO THE MOONis #53!! The books ranked higher are by some of my favorite authors, bestselling authors like Linda Lael Miller and Julie Garwood.

Am I floating? Yes, sir! And not because I'm in the zombie-zone. This is especially inspiring as the deadline book I'm crunching on is the last western in the trilogy--THE …

On the Fly: One Zombie's Ramble

Still alive. Well, not really. Still in the zombie-zone which is just beyond the deadline zone. Day by day moving closer to yet another plain. A plain where body and mind feel totally disconnected, but still, somehow the brain continues to send words to the fingers. Not sure what that plain is called. Hoping the words make sense. Feel like the end will never come but I know it's near. All I can say is that I have learned a lot of lessons while writing this particular book.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. And Christmas is next month. And New Year's Eve soon after. I'll turn this book in, start on the next and, blink, it will be 2008. I have declared 2008, by the way, as my 'year of change'. More on that later. Back to the book that won't seem to end.
LATER.... So I wrote two more pages then broke to make a late lunch. Soup was a no-brainer (good thing since mine's mush) although I did mull over whether to go with Chicken and Noodle or Italian W…

On Writing: Typos

Um, yes, so. In a last minute, last time read through the overdue deadline book (at least up to the point that's left to write) I found this...

He smoothed his hands over her body, wanting her naked and writing beneath him. Restraint was hard won, his heart pounding with the almighty effort.

*head bonk* So do you see the typo??

On Writing: The Zombie Phase

Me, (third one back on the left) along with various fellow writers currently in 'deadline hell'. Actually, the deadline passed, and still we toil. The brain is beyond mush and still we create. I can't feel my fingers and toes anymore. Is that bad? I think Scott Oden'son board, too. The guy in the back with the specs? Here we are being bussed to.... well, you tell me. Make my day. Caption this picture.

On the Fly: A Special Thank You

A heartfelt thank you to all of the war veterans throughout the years who so generously and bravely sacrificed.

A personal nod to my father-in-law, Angelo Ciotta, a proud marine and survior of Iwo Jima. Excerpt from an article in the New York Post...

" To say Angelo had a terrifying job on Iwo Jima is like dismissing Babe Ruth as just another guy who played baseball.

The mission was almost suicidal. Angelo's comrades would lay down heavy fire on those fortified pillboxes so the enemy would keep their heads down while he would sprint up a hill armed with a satchel full of explosives.

"Our guys were very careful in their fire, but you could feel their bullets over your head," Angelo said.

He'd slip the satchel through a 4-foot-long, 8-inch-wide slit in the pillbox or leave it at the front door - then run like hell back down the hill.

"It was about eight to 10 seconds before the charge went off. With a little help from Jesus and good legs, you would be surprised how…

On the Fly: Saturdays of My Youth

I woke up this morning, made coffee, conducted some business via email then plunged right into my deadline book. Two hours later I broke for a shower and, while suddsing my hair, reflected on, for whatever reason, how I spent the Saturdays of my youth.

Glued to the television watching cartoons aaaaaaall day. Among some of my must-sees: The Jetsons, Johnny Quest, Mighty Mouse and anything Looney Tunes. Enjoy an episode of my all time favorite cartoon character--The man, or rather bunny--himself BUGS!

When you were a kid, what was your favorite cartoon?

On Writing: Current Location--Deadline Hell

And still I toil.

I lifted that from Scott Oden who, like me, is wrestling with a manuscript that's overdue. Unlike me, Scott reserves at least one night a week to refill his creative well. Smart. I have not been doing that and I'm feeling it. However, I am closing in on the end and when I get there you will hear my joyous shout even if you live half way around the world.

Speaking of other places and people.... Ken Levineblogs about the Writers Guild strike from a front line/picket line perspective. It's so easy to get swept away by an actor's magnificent performance, often forgetting (or in some viewers' instances, I'm sure, never considering) that a writer or team of writers put those hysterical or gut-wrenching or thought-provoking words in thy gifted actor's mouth. Please keep these hard working and mega-talented TV/screen writers in your thoughts and hope that they get terms they deserve. For more on the Writers Guild strike check out The Huffington Post

Beth Goes Manga

Not really. But that's how I felt when I tripped upon the foriegn covers for three of my books. I knew the Friends and Lovers trilogy--JINXED, CHARMED, and SEDUCED had sold to Thailand awhile back, but I never saw the end results. Ah, the wonders of googling. Below is the Amercian version and Thai version of the covers for JINXED and CHARMED. Unfortunately the file/jpg I found of SEDUCED is too small to post.
In the Thai version of JINXED, the hair colors for Afia and Jake are all wrong, but the overall concept is interesesting.

Is it me? Or did the Thai artist lop twenty years off of Murphy and Lulu? And where's her poodle purse? Gak! Still, it was a kick to see another artist's take on my work. Okay. Back to work....