• Category Archives Writing
  • Seriously silly

    About three months or so ago, I promised myself I would dosomething to improve my writing and advance my writing career. As you can see by the time-line, this was most definitely NOT a New Years resolution. Those are silly, and I pride myself on NOT doing silly things. This was more like an end of the year stocktaking, a soul-searching, if you will. (There! That sounds eminently serious, and that’s what I am–eminently serious.)

    To that end, as I’ve already explained, I’ve been revising and polishing my back-list, doing some major grammar nitpicking, ridding the work of some clunky phraseology, axing questionable logic, firming up and clarifying underlying character motivation. This all falls under the broad heading of “Improving My Writing”.

    What about “Advancing My Writing Career”?

    Well, I joined EPIC for the first time ever and, at the same time, entered the annual EPPIE contest. This was a BIG move for me, as I’m basically a sloth, but I did it, the process was completely painless and, as it turned out, TEMPEST finaled. Though not the first time one of my books ever finaled in a contest, this was by far the most pleasant.

    Buoyed from that positive experience, I decided to send off a couple of partial manuscripts to NYC. Also not the first time. But, after coming disappointingly close numerous times, I went into submission hibernation.

    Well, it’s snowing today in N.E., but this sloth is out of hibernation (I know, I know, sloths don’t hibernate; I was going for the metaphor).

    I just returned from the post office, where I mailed off a submission packet to a NYC publisher.

    Though this qualifies as doing something to advance my writing career, I can’t help but feel this disqualifies my previous “I pride myself on NOT doing silly things” assertion.

    As my partials wing their way to NYC, I feel silly indeed.

  • Comfort of the ordinary

    During an interview, author J.K. Rowling mentioned intentionally describing food in her Harry Potter series. She did so, she said, because as a child, descriptions of food comforted her when reading.

    That revelation struck a cord within me. Regardless of how exciting a plot, rarely do I recall action passages in a book; it’s the quiet moments of reflection, of introspection, of human connection . . . of ordinary behavior . . . that I remember, that comfort me. I’m not talking universality in themes or sponsoring reader identification through the creation of sympathetic characters. I’m talking about the deliberate inclusion of the mundane in the reading experience.

    A book by Linda Howard comes to mind. The title escapes me, yet I’ve never forgotten a particular passage wherein the heroine muses about people’s showering habits, about how some folks prefer showering in the morning and how others prefer showering at night, their reasons why and the character’s own personal hygiene slant. This was no life or death struggle here, and only a single paragraph of prose was devoted to the AM and PM showering pros and cons, and yet, including this small ordinary detail of everyday life comforted me.

    Sometimes, it’s the little things.

  • 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.

  • 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!


    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.


    Long live Rock.

  • 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.