• Promo Op For EPPIE Finalists

    I just received a very fine … and generous…opportunity for promo from EPIC–The org will send out press releases to local media announcing the achievement of all EPPIE finalists.

    I dunno, I’m thinking maybe The New Yorker might be interested.

    Never hurts to dream.


  • Electron Dependency

    During a windswept rainstorm, we lost power. Again. Three times in two weeks. A morning’s worth of revisions went bye-bye. For the third time.

    I was not amused.

    My PC is now set to automatically save every two minutes. I’m a slow typist so this should do me.

    Playing catch-up.


  • Tis the season

    In an affluent town, just north of here, where a conspicuous preponderance of mini-mansions abound, someone has come up with a unique way of avoiding the whole nuisance of Christmas shopping. According to the local news, this person follows the usual delivery trucks and swipes packages left unattended on doorsteps. In broad daylight.

    Yesterday, I had to actually sign for a package that UPS tried to deliver the day before. Normally, the driver just leaves the box on my doorstep.

    Fa-la-lalala. . . .


  • The Hit List

    DH calls me every day from work. “What’s new?” he asks.

    Here’s the dilemena: I write full time now. Before heading out the door, he gave me a goodbye smooch. At the PC. When he calls, yep, there I sit in the exact same spot. A muscle or two may have twitched, but basically, you get the picture, not a whole heck of a lot happened.

    For lack of anything better to say, I tell him, “I’m doing the ITs.”

    Shorthand for polishing.

    Finished polishing SCREWING WITH PERFECT and BITTERSWEET, I’m working on CAPTIVE now. Before combing through the manuscript line-by-line, I do a “find” for certain over-used words that signal the dreaded PCSF–passive clunky sentence formation. Here’s my basic PCSF Hit List: WAS, IS, WERE, ARE, THERE, BE, BY, THAT, IT.

    By far, that last PCSF is the most helpful one on the list. Surprising the amount of shIT I find this way.

    It never is good to be passive–

    Er–Stay active!


  • TEMPEST

    On this cold New England morning, this email warmed me from head to foot:

    Tempest, is a finalist in the Erotic Romance/Erotica with Paranormal Elements category of the 2006 EPPIE Contest

    I’m deeply honored.


  • Double Standards

    The youngest son plays in a couple of rock bands. Bass, drums, sings. He’s not the first in the family to do this. All three sons inherited their Dad’s musical genes, all three play various musical instruments. Sax, drums, keyboard, trumpet, guitar, bass, French Horn, theremin ( Don’t bother looking up that last one. A Russian physicist invented the instrument in 1919 and it’s in there only to impress you. Personally, I think its one eerie instrument.)

    Anyway, here’s where the double standard enters the picture: Through the years, I’ve been front row center at all the classical concerts, but not the rock concerts. Don’t get me wrong I like the sound, I sing along with NIN when alone in the car, and I do go to rock concerts–just not when one of my sons is up performing on the stage.

    They write and sing hardcore lyrics, with raw themes.

    Fine. No objections. Hey, I write erotic romance and, philosophically speaking, don’t happen to believe in censorship. Besides which, my sons are all young adults now, and fine creative human beings, even if I do say so myself.

    But, but when it’s one’s very own baby boy up there on the stage performing, funny how quick philosophy gets chucked out the window. When four-letter words start flying out of the cherub’s mouth, letting go of the MOMMY within to applaud from the audience gets a little dicey. You know . . . like where’s the bar of soap? And, I taught that kid a more expressive vocabulary than that!

    The youngest rocked out Saturday night, at a really awesome venue too, and I wasn’t there.

    Sigh.

    Long live Rock.


  • Foot Dragging

    Outside my office window is a garden ( Okay, okay, outside every window is a garden). This particular one contains a stone-gray birdbath/fountain depicting a little girl pouring water from a crockery jug; dainty-leafed boxwoods encircle the base. Because boxwoods are evergreen, the garden design pleases the eye through all four seasons. Even harsh New England winters. Even when, like today, the little girl wears a cloak of snow. Even when ice, rather than water, spills from her crockery jug. Even when winterkill dulls the foliage on the surrounding miniature bushes.fountain-775512

    A stone-gray sculpture. Green vegetation. A frozen cloak of snow. Pretty.

    I gaze out the window a lot when I write, and the little girl with her crockery jug cheers me up on these gloomy Fall days. Yeah, the flowers are gone, but she’s still there. I like the permanence of that.

    Here’s the thing: The little girl will remain forever young, but the fountain itself is getting old and porous. If I don’t start storing the statuary indoors during the winter, or at least wrap it in a godawful ugly black plastic tarp, frost heaves will eventually crack the fountain’s sculpted basin, where the birds drink and bathe, and it will be bye-bye evocative motif and hullo dumpster.

    The tarp is out of the question. I don’t do plastic anything in the gardens and shrouding the little girl in black seems maudlin to me somehow. Or, maybe it’s me that’s maudlin–dunno. Anyway, I promised myself last winter the statue was going indoors this winter.

    Today’s December 11. I’ve got 10 more days.

     

    Stay warm.


  • Catharsis

    Well, COURTESAN is certainly eliciting some strong emotions! Lots of anger and tears. And folks seem to enjoy the carnal scenes too.

    I’m thrilled. IMHO, if a story doesn’t make the reader feel something the writer has failed.

    Thanks to Rachelle at Enchanted In Romance for the latest review.

    My thanks also go out to: Annabelle Andrews for Joyfully Reviewed.com; Wateena for Coffee Time Romance; Chrissy Dionne at Romance Junkies; Naomi at Fallen Angels Reviews.

    Particular thanks to Francesca Hayne at JERR for the Gold Star Award!!! Whoppeee.

    Snippets are already posted.

    Keep those tears coming.


  • Music

    Went to two college concerts this past week, band and jazz. Middle son plays in both. In band, he featured in a sax ensemble on the bari; in jazz, he played a solo on the alto-HOLD BACK TOMORROW, a really fine melodic piece, but the quick changes making the notes difficult to finger. I’m not a die-hard jazz enthusiast, but this was nice, and the accompanying singer had a wide vocal range that augmented the mellow sound. The Jazz Director is the grandson of a North Carolina Baptist minister and it shows. He gets up before the audience and preaches his gospel of Brotherly Love as his head nods and his hips swing to the beat. His jazz stories span more than forty years, and listening to his tales of fast women and slow money and real talent is a treat. His is one story I’d love to write . . .

    Today, after shoveling out, CAPTIVE gets my attention. I’m polishing all my books except the last two. No major changes, just adding some sparkle.

    Keep it real.


  • Baby it’s cold outside

    Saw Tristan & Isolde today, and really enjoyed the broody Dark Ages ambiance. How can you not like scenic shots of an over-grown forest, a beautiful stone bridge, a cranked drawbridge spanning a moat, and a post-Roman occupancy, moss-covered trapdoor in the earth, where a cobweb festooned secret tunnel leads to a stone castle? Also featured prominently: woven Celtic garb and studded leather armor, flowing tresses, on both the lords and ladies. Feuding clan names were bandied about both before and after sword fights. Lots and lots of sword fights. The love story was just so-so, no real fiery intensity, so I came away feeling no real sense of tragedy at the conclusion. And honestly, with Brokeback Mountain still lingering in my thoughts, that was fine.

    Bitterly cold here, with accompanying blustery winds, but still snuck in a brisk, well-bundled-up, 2 mile-walk. What a trooper, huh?

    Nope.

    I made a HUGE quantity of tomato sauce and meatballs before leaving for the cinema and, on the way home, stopped in at a local bakery and bought crusty Italian bread and a Chocolate Mousse cake–something I rarely do, as I bake like a fiend–to go with it. I also bought wine. A large quantity of wine. The Golden Globes are on tonight, and I celebrate everything with food, which explains the brisk walk despite a wind chill factor in the single digits.