Thursday, August 30, 2007
You guessed it. I'm attending a conference this weekend. A very special conference as it is hosted by my good friend, NYT bestselling author Heather Graham. This is her second annual conference and for the second year it will take place in New Orleans. A very specific choice for Heather as she wishes to encourage tourism in a city that suffered and continues to suffer because of Hurricane Katrina.
There's been a lot written about New Orleans over the past couple of days due to the anniversary of the disaster. Most of what I read was troubling. I know my visit and tourism dollars spent won't amount to much, but it's something. I'm really glad I'm going. Lots of other writers and industry professionals are attending as well. I believe the latest count was 175. So thanks to Heather and her hard-working coordinator, Connie Perry, the city will be blessed with 175 additional tourists this holiday weekend.
Crammed into this weekend? Parties, chats, workshops, editor appointments, dinner (with a show!) and a book fair. Check out the official conference site for details. Maybe we can tempt you to join the fun and good cause next year!
I'll try to blog while in New Orleans. If I can't, I'll fill you in when I get back. (Note to self: Pack the camera!) In the meantime, have a fantastic and safe holiday weekend. Any special plans?
Monday, August 27, 2007
I cringed thinking about the sexual content and graphic language, although both of the young ladies commented only on the humor. A co-worker at the library wasn't surprised to learn I had a young audience. "Fourteen," she said, "is the new seventeen. Trust me. I know." She's the mother of a young teenage girl. According to her, at this point, in today's world, a 14-year-old has pretty much seen and heard it all.
I don't even think I read my first Harlequin until I was 16 and they were categories. No graphic language to my recollection, certainly not the 'F' work. And the sex took place 'off page'. I definitely remember being disappointed when I read... They slipped into the bedroom.... Then turning the page to a new chapter... The next morning... Ack!
I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned. And not having children myself, I admit to being out of touch with what kids are indulging in at what age. All I can say is, I'm glad my two young fans commented on the humor in ALL ABOUT EVIE and not the sex otherwise I'd be mortified. I'm also taking solace in the knowledge that all of my tales include positive messages on many aspects of life, including say-no-to-drugs and say-yes-to-social tolerance. In which case, hooking them early is a good thing.
By the way, if either of those young ladies read this post, I was so flattered by your kind words. You made my weekend. Peace and joy!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
At 8:25 I gave up, shut off the computer, went downstairs and told my husband, "I'm going to bed. Maybe I'm coming down with something," I said. "I don't feel sick, but I'm exhausted." I could barely keep my eyes open. That morning I'd also failed to wake at my appointed 5:30am to write before work. Too tired.
Steve pointed out that I've been burning the candle from both ends, meeting one or another deadline, one after the other for a year. Actually, I've been doing that for four years. The difference is, this year, in addition, I started a full time day-job. I thought I could make it all work. Somehow find my groove. But so far, not so good. I know it. I feel it. I look it.
I have, in fact, been reevaluating my life over the past week and a half. It's all well and good to have ambition and dreams, but it's hard to achieve your goals if you can't function. It's also unhealthy and unproductive if things that make you happy (aside from professional accomplishments), like spending quality time with your spouse, family, and friends, and losing yourself in a well written book, movie, or television program have mostly disappeared.
So. How do I get to where I want to be without killing myself? Without forfeiting personal happiness and health?
In my case, it boils down to making some hard business decisions. To assess time spent working on a project versus income/sales lift. This applies to many, many aspects of my publishing career such as specific manuscripts, promotion, book signings, and conferences attended. For someone who likes to do it all, someone who wants to reach her goals sooner than later, streamlining is difficult. Mostly because it means slowing down and at the same time, taking chances.
So, here I am at another transitional period of my life. Once again, I must remind myself that my passion is stronger than my fear. Oh, and I'm thinking of having "Slow and steady wins the race" tattooed on my butt. Just kidding. Sort of.
By the way, last night was the first night in weeks that I slept more than six hours. I woke up at 5:30am this morning, no problem, and as soon as my lids popped open, the solution to my heroine's motivation popped into my brain. I sat down and wrote. I solved the problem. I moved forward. Major progress in my manuscript, all before 7:30 am. This morning I'm not only inspired but rested. I still have too much on my plate, but at least I'm working to amend that. Meanwhile, anyone know of a good tattoo artist? Just kidding. Sort of.
If you got a tattoo just now, what would your motto be?
Monday, August 20, 2007
Jax and Barb on the Flying Fish
Logan with Elmo
Jax, Logan and me
Funny how when you hang with young kids, you become a kid again yourself. At least I did. I even braved two roller coasters with Logan and the Merry-go-Round with Jax. No, I'm not scared of the Merry-go-round, but anything that goes in a circle makes me green. My favorite distraction at Sesame Place was a little water park thingee with fountains that shot out every where. We didn't have bathing suits on, but Logan, Jax and I waded through and got wet anyway. It was sweltering that day and I don't do well in the heat. I welcomed the chance to cool off. The biggest joy? Seeing and hearing Logan and Jax squeal an giggle with glee as they raced though the fountains getting soaked.
They left for home on Saturday morning. I miss them already. I really miss my sister. (waving to Barb) Luckily, I am too busy to dwell on the quiet. Line edits for EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE arived on Friday. I spent the weekend attacking. The plan is to wrap them up today so that I can plunge back into my latest western ASAP. In addition to my manuscripts, I have two weeks to prepare for Heather Graham's Writers For New Orleans Workshop weekend. I'm speaking on a panel and also performing in a show. I have a script and songs to memorize and a workshop to prepare. From one crazy week to another. Not that I'm complaining.
"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure." -- William Feather
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have family visiting. Yesterday, we took my young niece and nephew to a local amusement park known as Storybook Land. Once you walk through the doors flanked by toy soldiers, you're in a beautiful wooded area. The theme? Mother Goose rhymes. The fun? Kiddie rides, animated characters, and a few fun critters.
My five-year old niece conquered every ride, some of them twice. My two-year old nephew was fond of the merry-go-round and monster trucks. My sister and brother-in-law traded off riding with them and even I (who gets motion sick) braved a few spins. The most fun for me was watching them have fun. I'll try to share some pictures later. Just now I'm squeezing in writing before work.
Tonight: I wanted my sister and brother-in-law to have a night to explore the casinos. That means I'll be watching the kids. My plan? An at-home movie and popcorn. Wish me luck!
What have you done lately to entertain young ones?
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Now I have to go back and write a scene I skipped. Didn't know I'd skipped a scene until I emailed Cyndi the previous chapter for her thoughts and she commented on what she thought might follow. Which was something that had crossed my mind but I ignored because I was inspired to write the 'fun' chapter. I'm glad I skipped ahead, again, something I rarely do, because I'm revved by what I accomplished today. It's a keeper. And now I can attack the more emotional, deeper scene, the one that I skipped, knowing even if I only find my way through a paragraph or two, I completed ten other pages!
So off I go to attempt that skipped scene. Cyndi and I brainstormed and I feel very good about the result. Now if I can translate it into story form....
Question for the writers out there. Do you ever write out of sequence?
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Born on Friday the 13th, hapless socialite Afia St. John is convinced she is jinxed. She’s lost two husbands, an inheritance, and can’t even keep a job serving pancakes. Hard-boiled private investigator Jake Leeds needs money, bad enough that he accepts a secret payment to hire Afia as his assistant. Believing her only skill is shopping, both are shocked by her natural talent for investigating—not to mention their sizzling attraction to each other.
Will Jake be the good luck charm that puts Afia on a winning streak or, like everything else in her life, will he wind up jinxed?
"Fast-paced, sizzling, sexy fun!" -- Karyn Monk, USA Today bestselling author
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