Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mid Year Check Up

Did I make any resolutions this year? None are documented; I had limited internet access six months ago. But if I did make any resolutions in my professional life, they would have been the following:

-Submit, submit, submit my work. Check. Class Reunion has been accepted, and Off The Clock sent off for approval. I also sent off Appetite For Desire and it was accepted:) Now, I have nothing left but partial wips. My alter-ego is currently waiting for approval on her 3rd book. I also finally finished an appropriate submission for the 1000 Words anthology. Hopefully Travis found this one acceptable!

-Write, write, write. So-so. I've had a few writing days the last few months, but I need to do more. I don't think I've written anything new in the last month. Of course, it helps when the characters are screaming for attention! Mine are not; I think they all went looking for a less stressed out author.

-Make some money. Check....sort of. I have received two royalty checks this year....and just enough money for about a week's worth of chocolate. I have a love affair going with Hershey's Bliss milk chocolate squares. Shhhh....don't tell my dentist.....

-Be a better mom. I kind of dropped the ball on this one; I have a youngling who isn't reading yet, and a rebellious teenage daughter. Of course, if the spouse hadn't gone off the deep end on Super Bowl Sunday and thrown a fit over her choice of boyfriend....but that's private family issues so I won't bore you with that drama.

-Balance family and writing life. Again, I've sort of dropped the ball. Since I got my laptop, I've discovered I'm addicted to Face Book. And there are several days I did nothing but chat on a couple of loops....again, I refer you to item #2.

So yes, Kenzie has a lot of work to do the remainder of the year! Maybe once edits arrive for both Teacher's Pet and Appetite For Desire?? And maybe Mark and Becca will talk to me again???

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tagging Along....

Most of you are familiar with my alter ego Molly Daniels. Yes, she's the one who set up at local festivals with her print copies, and the awesome display with certain other authors' print books. Lately, I've been tagging along, with my CD's and poster of my latest cover (Teacher's Pet has been out there an awfully long time, and I really hope it's out soon! People are asking for it, so send me edits, damn it! Okay; rant over).

I also have my Sony Pocket e-reader handy, to show people how handy it is to use. Sometimes a friend will let me borrow his Kindle for the same purpose.

But I'll admit, I will not be using my latest official cover in public. Why? It's too damn HAWT! If I show it in a venue with anyone under the age of eighteen, I'm sure I'll be politely asked to take it down, or have customers shooting me evil glances. So I'll advertise it with the PG sample cover provided, but once the book is out, the R rated cover will be on the CD and only shown to the adults.

I've already stated that my status as a 'smut' writer (I prefer Adult Contemporay) has gotten me a few perks: Former classmates talk to me more; I've been given free wine; and the very fact I'm published with an honest-to-god publisher has earned me respect from aspiring writers and new authors.

I've made a few mistakes; I've disclosed too much information too soon to prospective friends, only to find out their ultra-conservativeness; I've accidentally let a tame curse word fly in mixed company (who knew a 'hell no' would bring an admonition? It happened!); and when I posted my wonderful Jimmy Thomas cover on Face Book, a few childhood friends (and my mother) expressed their disapproval. Mom's wasn't so bad; she just shook her head. But one friend went on a rant about eating habits of models. Huh?????

So now I'm more cautious about the content of my books. I've only got one scene which even sort of squicks me out, and I'm very careful when someone I know VERY WELL wants to read that book. I wouldn't want people to be turned off by a particular scene.

And when I'm promoting, I offer both a tame and spicy excerpt. Many times women want the spicy one, and I hope it generates sales, rather than an 'OMG...porn alert' moment.

Just as long as I don't get asked to leave or run out of town by the 'holier-than-thou' types, I'll continue to promote myself in public:)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BICHOK....But no Words??

I've thought about the topic of No-Fail Writing Tactics, and coming up blank. Of course, there are different forms of writing, and if you're not familiar with the acronym BICHOK, it stands for Butt In Chair Hands (or Fingers) On Keyboard. During my first NaNoWriMo, this worked. Sure, I wrote a bunch of idiotic words and endless descriptions, but I accomplished my word count. And sometimes the brain got tired of the the stupidity and inspiration would strike.

Lately, the only thing I've managed to accomplish are journal entries. I sit down to write my latest wip, but instead, I end up pouring my thoughts onto a blank document.

For a while, the word wars on Twitter jump-started the creativity, but lately I just can't seem to be even motivated to sign into the site. I'm not sure if it's depression, or laziness, but I open the document and the finger-brain connection just isn't there.

And another urge is getting stronger. Other characters who've been on the back burner for several years are beginning to demand attention. I've set the wheels in motion; I'll know in a week if it will work.

So at the moment I'm not the person to offer advice on how to write when the words aren't flowing, or the characters go on vacation without you. What works for me won't necessarily work for someone else.

And sometimes, all it takes is an email from an editor, reader, or simply time off to recharge. Whatever it takes, I'll be ready for the day when the flood of words return and I'll have to be dragged from the computer kicking and screaming.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strange; I Hadn't Noticed....

When I first thought about the recurring themes in my books, I thought it would be easy. Romance, right?

And then I spent last week thinking about all the books I've written.

Drinking. Infidelity. Various social issues. Jumping to (wrong) conclusions. Trust issues, which ultimately lead to some sort of verbal or emotional abuse, be it past or present.

And then there's the current one.

I had a crit partner read the first three chapters, and he pointed out several things I hadn't noticed.
- I've got a lot of rivalry going on. Sibling rivalry; romantic entanglements; past teenage conflicts; competition.
- I also have an older brother portrayed as being stuck in small town, old fashioned values.
- And, yes, the heroine's past lover dumped her for someone 'more connected'.

Where do these come from?
I know the small town, prudish attitudes are due to living in one, plus the fact I'm currently watching past episodes of a favorite TV show, and the narrow-mindedness of my spouse's family.

I dated an alcoholic, plus witnessed a lot of drinking in college. I also have it in my family, so I'm careful not to overdo it when I drink socially. I know my limits, and stick to them.

I've been on both sides of the infidelity issue, so I'm well aware of the pain it brings, as well as the trust issues.

And I admit, I endured a lot of teasing while growing up, and dreamed of 'proving everyone wrong'. I'm sort of over that now, having proved that point the last several years.

So is my subconscious trying to tell me something? Or is this just an outlet for all the stress I've felt lately?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hindsight, Pt 2....

Ahhhh....the one(s) which got away.....where do I start?

1) Friend D: He was my 'Sunday Night Date' all through my junior year of high school...but I was too stupid to notice him until it was too late. Of course, do a rewind, and at the tender age of 12, I was all set to settle into holy matrimony with his identical twin brother! Two years later, hormones and a bit of anti-social behavior kicked in, and I pushed him away for greener pastures. (Have you been paying attention to Molly's Flashback Fridays? LOL!)

2) My soul mate: I met him while dating his best friend. And being the stubborn cuss that I am, I didn't understand the jerk I was dating was also hitting on other girls in front of me. If I could do it all over again, I'd have grabbed T that night and never looked back. Or, fast-forward one year and never given up on him. Took us three more years and six years of separation to see we'd both made major mistakes in our lives. And I'm still being a stubborn cuss...and now he's the one who got tired of waiting. Now we joke we'll finally make things right again when we're in our 80's....

3) JF: The first guy to 'educate' me on the finer points of living with the opposite sex. Of course, in hindsight, we'd probably be divorced by now, but at the same time, it was my jealousy which did us in. I had a two month period in which we lived apart, and in the 2nd month, my over-possessiveness made him feel smothered. He married six months later, and she divorced him as soon as she got her degree. He's on wife #6 or 7 right now....I would have been #4. So maybe that was a good thing after all?

And since if I could really have a do-over and make major changes to my life in 1987, everyone I dated from then until 1990 would have been different.

On the other hand, my soul mate has been the hero in the majority of my books, so he's been the driving influence behind my books:)

And on a good note, I received a fan letter over the weekend:) Pam, who won Wild At Heart through the TRS Stay at Home party, emailed me and said, "Just a note to let you know I really enjoyed the story! thanks so much again!"

Made my day! Thanks Pam:)