Monday, May 31, 2010

How Do I Love Thee; Let Me Count The Ways...

My beloved,
By now it should be painfully obvious how much I adore you. I give you every desirable attribute a woman looking for love would want; you patiently overcome any objections I toss your way, and you're very easy on the eyes.

Your flaws are minor; every man has them. Yet you don't mind the occasional yelling match; the week of silence; the little things to attract your attention. And may I remind you make up sex is always fantastic?

Sometimes you misbehave and take a U-turn in the relationship. That's okay. As long as everything works out in the end, we'll work well together.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Over At Brynn's...

I'm her Wednesday Wonder Writer. Come over and visit me? Please?

Plus, heard from my publisher last night: She requested the full manuscript of Class Reunion, the unexpected sequel to All She Ever Wanted:)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Advice to New Writers....

If writing is your passion, and you feel you must write or burst, then write, write, write.

And then get online; learn as much as you can about publishers, genres, critique groups, and start talking to other authors. Read their work and learn from osmosis.

Join author/publishing chat loops; you'll need the support of authors who have struggled, yet made it to Published Author status.

But most importantly, toss your work out there. Submit, submit, submit. Ask others to read and critique it. A manuscript on the the hard drive or under the bed will never fly if you don't give it the chance.

Update on Lucky:
Mourning has been postponed until tomorrow. Don't know what I'm talking about? See Molly's blog.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mixed Bag of News...

First, the good news. I pitched a story yesterday over at The Publishing Trove loop and within an hour, had a publisher asking for the full manuscript:) Made me positively giddy the rest of the day! You know how it is; something rocks your world and no matter what LIFE throws at you, you refuse to be brought down? I decided to make my favorite meal, knowing it would be a lot of work, and my oldest would pout, since he had to work and would only get leftovers.

Here's the way the rest of the afternoon went:
4pm-K overturns the freshly changed rat cage, trying to put it back together. Cedar chips all over the floor and the dog bed.

4:15pm: Discover dog bedding is soaked (dog is having bladder issues). Have discussion about doing the humane thing and putting my baby out of her misery. I prepared myself for this moment three weeks ago, but the SU wimped out and requested more medication.

5pm: I discover a neighbor has a newly-purchases Kindle:) I took my Sony Pocket e-reader and we played 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours', hee hee....Discovered I'm not on Kindle's library. I may be making a deal with him as far as book purchases go....

6pm: Started dinner.

7pm: Ate dinner. Yuuuuummmmyyyy!

7:30: For whatever reason, I decided to check my Facebook status...and look up an old friend to see if she's on it yet. She isn't, but her kid is...and surprise, surprise...the father is no longer listed as a parent, but the 'rebound-man' which caused me to lose my temper with her last summer is listed as 'step-dad'! Turns out my friend either is lying to me to (ahem) spare my feelings, or the kid wants a dad so badly he's fantasizing. This caused my eyebrow to raise, but you know what? It's my friend's life. If she chooses to confide in me the next time I see her, great. I'm not going to confront her; I'll simply ask her 'So when were you going to tell me you and J got married?' And hopefully we can have a normal, civilized conversation about why she felt the need to lie to me.

8pm: Discovered that it is K's week to do the dishes. Since our agreement is he doesn't have to do them on the nights he works, I clean up the table so the SU can do them.

9pm: Discover he has no intention of doing the dishes tonight. Fine; I'll do them in the morning.

10pm: Take the daughter to the ER, because the sores on her hips are back. Good news there was no, she's not diabetic:)

11pm: Leave ER and she discovers I have $22 I didn't know I had in my wallet! We head off to Walmart and the pharmacy to get bandaids and her prescription filled.

Midnight: Too keyed up to sleep, so I read a bit. Finally turned off the light around 1am.

3am: Am awakened by K; the youngling has had an accident for the first time in two months. I get the poor child dry undies and tuck him into my bed. K takes the couch.

6:30am: Cocker Spaniel wakes me out of a bizarre dream involving my friend's son and his new relationship with Rebound Guy. Time to pry my eyes open and start my day.

I may need a nap later on today....

But yes, I'm still in a fairly good mood:) Just got another busy day ahead of me, washing bedding and slowly working on getting the 2nd room in my house thoroughly clean...curtains, shelves, floor, baseboards, and trim. On the other hand, maybe I'll just go back to bed.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You Can't JJudge A Book By Its Cover...Or Can You? Pt 2

This is one of my all-time favorite books:)

Molly did a much better job on her second cover; she picked out the photo, designed the AU logo, and while it's received some criticism, I like it and more importantly, she likes it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

You Can't JJudge A Book By Its Cover...Or Can You?

I have a confession to make. The only time I look at covers of books I'm going to buy is a) when I'm browsing in a bookstore and b) when my friends post their covers.

That being said, I've posted a few of my favorite books and the reasons why I love the cover/book.

Here is a perfect example of a LOUSY cover. It was Molly's first attempt; she filled out the form of what she wanted; this is what iUniverse cover gods sent. Being the first time, she looked at it and thought, "Okay; not exactly what I wanted, but what the hell..."

Not only is the Title lousy (it should and WILL be renamed Love On The Rocks at a later time!), but during the first promo 'tour', everyone thought it was an autobiographical account of her life as an alcoholic. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

This was my first cover. While I'm not cracked up about all the green, and I would have liked the kitchen scene depicted better, I'm happy with it. It portrays Marc and Amber in a happy, reunited moment, and could be the moment when he formally asks her to marry him, not described in the book.

This is my good friend Anny Cook's first cover. At first, I assumed this is what she looked like (GRIN!), and I've read this story many, many times. In fact, I own three copies of it. One electronic; one signed print copy; another personalized print copy.

This is the first Cindy Spencer Pape book I ever read, and again, the cover is one my favorites. I'm looking forward to having a print copy, as I've read this one at least three times.

And finally, my best cover yet! I've had people tell me they'd buy this book strictly for the cover art. Valerie, kudos to you! Our minds were definitely in synch with this one!

This portrays Kevin and Tammy's second seduction scene in his classroom. She's fighting her feelings; he has been looking all over for his mystery lady. And when he finally finds her again, the sparks fly.

I had also uploaded Jae Roth's Access Denied cover and Molly's Love Finds A Way. But during the formatting process, both pictures disappeared. I'll repost them tomorrow.

But honestly? When I set out to buy a book, it goes on my TBB list because of the blurb and excerpt. Take Anny's Chrysanthemum, for instance. I wasn't thrilled with the cover. But two or three excerpts later, I went ahead and added it to my list. And LOVED it! In fact, last week I won a print copy of Carnal Camelot:) I'd have preferred the next installment of Mystic Valley, but I'll get it this summer. I love the print copies, as I display them on tour with me. I'm going to have to pick and choose whom I take with me, as I've become a portable bookstore display case! Maybe once we get the laptop up and running, I'll take it with me so people can order from amazon right then and there?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Me? Organized? You've GOT To Be Kidding...

Once upon a time, Kenzie had a houseful of people. She used to refer to herself as a Single Mom with Seven Children.

These children were:
-51 yr old 'child'
-26-yr old stepdaughter
-13-yr old son
-11-yr old daughter
-4-yr old 'granddaughter'
-3-yr old 'grandson'
-2-yr old son

In order to keep a tight rein on everyone's various schedules, she had each day running like a tight ship. There was little or no deviation from the schedule, otherwise people wouldn't be picked up at the appropriate times; meals would run long; everyone would be cranky. Therefore, priorities had to be made.

But five years later, three of the 'children' are no longer in the household (with the exception of holidays, lol!), and the schedule is a bit looser. Except the oldest 'child' is recovering from eye surgery and continues to adopt a crabby, 'poor me' attitude, driving everyone else insane with his refusal to own his issues. Everything is blamed on the eye surgery, or circumstances, or the town we're living in.

Kenzie is happiest when the three original kids are off to school and the oldest 'child' is napping. She can write, blog, watch TV, run errands...all without hassle. But when the 'child', who is now 56, wakes up and demands attention, sometimes her plans for the day go out the window or get reshuffled to the next day (See Molly's Daily Cleaning Goals, lol!).

So right now, she is the LAST person to ask for organizational advice! Unless you want the example of 2005...then check the May 19th, 2008 post.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some Good News and Better News:)

Stated to friends last month:
"I'm taking the month of May off in order to get the house ready for K's graduation. Watch my edits land in my mailbox May 1st..."

Guess what I received Monday the 3rd? No, not quite...just an introductory letter from my new editor Angel:) I emailed her the cover of Teacher's Pet and am now waiting for the soon-to-be-arriving edits. And this will make my weekly writer meetings more productive for me!

Also on Saturday the 1st, I received my quarterly report on All She Ever Wanted. Apparently I did something right; I sold four more copies! So woo hoo! Now if I can just remember what I did the first three months of the year, in order to keep up the sales......

In the meantime, I've got Mr. Clean Erasers, Spic-n-Span in a bucket, and washing machine full of curtains! Anyone want to come wipe down the woodwork? Retro Rock channel is blaring..."I'm going off the raaaails on a crazy traaaain...."

"Runaway train never comin' way on a one-way track..."

"The angel opens her eyes..."

"Ohhh oh, we're halfway there...ohhh oh, livin' on a prayer..."

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Clue...

Here's a pop quiz:

What do you call a person who constantly hears a story in her head; the sight of blank journals excites her; loves stationary stores; collects pens; reads nearly everything she can get her hands on; comes away from movies or beloved stories and promptly either carries on the story with her Barbie dolls or inserts herself into the storyline and acts it out?

Nope, not schizophrenic.

Nope, not insanity.

Chances are, this person is a future writer!

How many guessed the third? Good for you...but then again, you know me. Try explaining to a non-writer how one can carry on a conversation in one's head and put it on paper. Or why the thought of an empty house is cause for excitement, not depression.

Remember the sitcom Facts of Life? One of my favorite episodes is when Natalie is stranded at a cafe, and instead of whining about being bored, she whips out pen and paper and concocts a mystery involving the other customers and cast mates.

I received my first diary at age ten, and found it hard to confine the days' events to just one tiny page. Two years later, my 7th grade teacher passed out notebooks half the size of regular ones, and told us to write a journal entry every day. Soon I was filling the pages with thoughts, observations, and general teenage drama. I soon made a habit of carrying it everywhere, and the first drafts of some of my early fairy tales were in them. They were ripped out soon after and turned into the teacher.

The first book I ever wrote stemmed from a quiet day in Florida. I was sitting on a picnic table by the bay, when all of a sudden, I wondered what would happen if.....and soon I was writing away. I wrote nearly every spare hour during that vacation, and when I returned to school in the fall, I continued it, to see where it was going.

If I don't write, the words will nearly stuff my brain until I get a chance to sit down. In 2002, I was a bus monitor for seven weeks straight, with little time to write. A story was brewing, and the night after my last shift, I literally locked myself in the bedroom and proceeded to write for three days straight, barely taking the time to eat, sleep, and deal with the kids. At the end of those three days, I had sixty pages in longhand. I took a break; started typing it up....and the imagination took off again. I had the story written in about a month. And as I typed 'The End', I cried; my SU thought I'd lost my mind. To console me, he took me out to dinner.

So if you spot me in a bar somewhere scribbling away furiously into a notebook, don't worry. I don't work for the CIA and I'm not crazy. Just buy me a drink and leave me alone, unless you want to say hi and see what I'm working on. Chances are you'll get a sneak peek at my next wip.