Showing posts from July, 2008

Dear Diary,

Is there a word for someone who constantly changes their hair color? Fickle? Restless? Adventurous? Crazy?

Over the past fifteen years, I have tinkered with every shade of black, brown, blond, and multitudes of those combinations via highlights. Seven months ago I went auburn. Then Cherry. Than Hot Cherry. The next month I tried Cinnamon. And the month after that Mahogany. That one lasted the longest--three months. Yesterday, I had one of those--I need a big change--moments. So now I am cinnamon red with gold highlights. It's certainly... different. My husband likes it, so that's a plus. I'm undecided. I'm thinking the highlights are a bit too brassy. I want them to be more gold, but since I don't want my hair to fall out from over processing, that will have to wait until next month. Although that would be a look I've never had before--bald.

This time instead of trying a new look blindly, I tripped upon a makeover program hosted by In Style Magazine. It's fre…

Dear Diary,

There's nothing more inspiring than someone who's suffered tremendous disappointment, stiffening their spine and using their noggin to make the best out of a crappy situation. I'm speaking of my good friend, author Mary Stella. I'm hoping multitudes of people visit her blog, read her (and numerous other members of RWA) saga, and join in her personal benefit for Literacy. Gooooo, Mary!

In other news, I'm still being featured over Jennifer's Random Musings and loving the responses her readers are posting to some of my questions. Great stuff!! Tomorrow Jennifer's running an interview she conducted with Rome Garrett--the hero of my latest western, THE FALL OF ROME. I can't wait to see what readers have to say to him!

Friends passed on a link to me that I just have to pass on to... well, anyone who peeks at my Diary. Author Libba Brayhas written what is quite possibly the funniest and most dead on piece regarding a writer's love affair with her/his manuscr…

Dear Diary,

For the next three days, I'm being featured over at Jennifer's Random Musings. Each day she's highlighting a different aspect of THE FALL OF ROME, including a 'Finish the Sentence' game with me, an interview with Rome, and a book giveaway. I'm hoping lots of people hop overto join the fun!

WRITING: I'm still in synopsis hell. It's going to be a fun story. I can feel it. I just can't seem to envision how the last portion will play out. Writing in circles. Ack!
RECREATION: Had breakfast and a 3-hour chat with 3 girlfriends I haven't seen in forever.
EXERCISE: Missed my walk yesterday, but nailed it Friday and Saturday. I'll be back at it today. The power walk I hated so much is beginning to turn into my recreation. :)
DIET: Even though I ate out, I ate smart. Veggie omelet and dry wheat toast. Good thing black coffee is zero points. I think I drank a pot!
MOOD: Cranky. Must finish that synop!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A story isn't about a mo…

Dear Diary,

It can't possibly be mid-July. Wasn't it just yesterday I wondered, will summer ever get here? Now it's here and half over. Various writing obligations are mounting. Deadlines are approaching. Instead of only worrying about what's yet to be done, I'm trying to recognize and celebrate things accomplished.

In the first couple of weeks alone, my latest western, THE FALL OF ROME, came out and the reviews--thank goodness--have been awesome. I sold two more books to HQN (Harlequin)! Yay! I lost more weight. Woo-hoo! I increased my 30-minute daily power walk to 40. Ouch! I completed a two-part interview that will be featured at Jennifer's Random Musings and wrote two blog posts for Babes in Bookland. I completed 3/4 of a research intensive synopsis. I updated my website, created a presence at Facebook, and posted semi-regularly here, and at my blogs on MySpace and eHarlequin. Lastly, I created a really cool book widget through Adaptive Bluein hopes of advancing Interne…

Dear Diary,

I've been holding in this news for what seems like months, but it's finally safe to announce... (drum roll please).... I sold two more stories to HQN!

Out of the Ordinary (think Gilmore Girls meets The Sopranos) and a subsequent book--working title--Into the Wild (think Romancing the Stone meets The Discovery Channel.) I'm thrilled. I'm... dancing on air. Woo-hoo!

(Special thanks to my super-hip agent Amy Moore-Benson and my-too-cool-for-her-stilettos editor Keyren Gerlach)

Did I say... woo-hoo!??

WRITING: Worked on the WIP synopsis. Am I done yet??
RECREATION: Watched a movie with Steve. Where Eagles Dare. An old war fick starring Richard Burton and a young Clint Eastwood. Ambitious. Maybeoverly so? I was so confused.
EXERCISE: Added two pound wrist weights to my, now, forty minute power walk. During the first five minutes I was certain my arms would fall off, the burn in my biceps was so bad. But ignored the pain and persevered. I WILL have toned biceps, darnit.

Dear Diary,

I'm over at Babes In Booklandtoday offering my bit on this week' topic: Tips on Attending Conferences. My fellow Babes covered most of the territory, but I managed to offer something useful. I hope.
********** WRITING: Devoted last night to 'book' promotion. Spent many hours creating useful widgets for my blog and website, plus joined and created a page at Facebook. RECREATION: None. EXERCISE: Upped my power walk to forty minutes. Walked at 6pm, but man it was still hot... and humid. I made it though! DIET: I'm being super good this week. Lots of veggies! MOOD: Energized. QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Promote yourself but do not demote another." --Israel Salanter

Dear Diary,

Photographic evidence of my fabulous day at the library....

My co-workers and friends (a truly fun and supportive group)

The cake! (it was worth the WW points *g)

The book discussion! (I have no idea why I look so intense. Jeesh.)

WRITING: Making major headway on the synopsis. Yes!
EXERCISE: Zip. Came straight home from work and started typing. My fingers and brain got exercised plenty.
DIET: Weigh-in was this morning. I didn't lose any pounds this week. *Sigh* It must have been the cake. Oh, and I didn't watch my portions as well as I should have this past week. At least I didn't gain any weight. I'm still 10 pounds lighter than I was. This week I'll do better. I'm determined!
MOOD: Good. Determined.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life aro…

Dear Diary,

I had the most fabulous day. This past month, I was the featured author for my local library's book discussion club. All of my books were on special display. To my delight and relief, all of those books went out... again and again. How exciting that so many people are reading my stories!

Today, I was a featured speaker for the book club. In addition, my boss, the branch manager, Sue, had designated today as party day in celebration of my newest historical western romance, The Fall of Rome. All of my co-workers wore country attire complete with cowboy hats and bandanna's. The library gave away cool wild west notepads and there was an awesome, delicious cake displaying the cover of The Fall of Rome.

I know I have several books published. I know I'm growing in craft and popularity with each published work. But I'm still delighted and astonished when readers celebrate my tales. I was humbled by the attendance. I was enthused by the feedback. I was....


Usually, I f…

Dear Diary,

Today I wrote about my 'hidden talent' over at Babes in Bookland. Although it's not talent so much as a quirk. Heh. ********************
WRITING: Chipping away at that synopsis. The process is about as pleasurable as getting a tooth pulled.
RECREATION: I watched five movies in two days. My way of celebrating the holdiay weekend. Woo-hoo! More on that later. EXERCISE: Thirty-minute power walk, two days in a row! I'm going try for 45 min. today.
DIET: There's nothing more motivating than 'seeing' the results of my efforts. The more inches I lose in my hips and thighs, the easier it is to resist temptation. MOOD: Quiet QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good." --- William Faulkner

Dear Diary,

Talk about a rude awakening. Billie, who doesn't see as well as she used to, decided to join me in bed this morning. Hampered by arthritis, she's a little shaky now when she leaps onto the mattress. Her paw and nails plowed down on my left eye. "Ouch!"
I now have a red scratch under my eye. I'm just hoping it doesn't turn black and blue. I can hear it now.
"What happened to your eye?"
"My dog punched me."
In other news, since uploading my radio interview on my website and blog, I've been contemplating doing some sort of series of podcasts. I googled and found two sites of interest to me. NPR features podcasts on an array of subjects. American Writersshowcase podcasts on different aspects of creative writng. I may actually get hooked there. Podiobooks offers free books via podcast. But does anybody listen? I guess readers who are attracted to audio books (and judging from their popularity at our library, there are a lot…

Dear Diary,

It's here! It's here! The official release day of THE FALL OF ROME! Available now on-line and in bookstores nationwide. Woo-hoo!
I have to admit, this day sort of snuck up on me. Life is a big honkin' blur. I'm waiting for revisions on one story, writing a new story, and brainstorming the proposal of a second new story. The day job at the library has been insane. Summer beach-reading madness. Not that I'm complaining. Gotta love the fact that people are reading! But... what day is it? Oh, yes. RELEASE DAY!
I madly googled... or googled madly (take your pick) and came across these reviews...
"Ciotta strikes gold with this fast-paced, intricately plotted story!" -- 4 stars, Romantic Times BookReviews
"Bookshelves hold few new Western historical romances, which makes Beth Ciotta's Fall of Rome a welcome find. The large cast of characters, including Rome's family and their love interests, make for a rollicking read. --Book Page

"Ms. Ciotta bring…