Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis the Season to be Jolly

I love the idea behind Christmas but I think it's become way too commercialized. Shopping is no longer fun but a chore. Bah humbug.

On a brighter note, I almost have all my shopping done so I won't need to fight the last minute rush to buy things.

I can't believe this year has gone by so quickly. Two more days of teaching and then I have two and half weeks - to write!!! I'm really looking forward to starting something new. Not sure what, but yeah, my muse has been yammering at me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creative Blogger

I'm such a bad blogger. I can't believe it's been so long. Whaaa. If someone could "can" time and sell it, they'd be a millionaire. LOL.

About two weeks ago, Bethany, a wonderfully engaging blogger, sent me a creative blogger award. I promised I'd post it and here I am two weeks later. Ugh. Thanks bunches Bethany!. So, with this gift, I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself that you might not know.

1. I used to teach Geometry before I taught art. Yep, I tested right down the middle for left/right brain thinking. I hold a BFA with a major in art and minor in math.

2. I hate to grocery shop. I think I'd rather go to the dentist. No one knows shopping etiquette so I get frustrated when folks park their baskets in the middle of the aisle. Oh well.

3. I sang two solos at Girl Scout Camp when I was sixteen. At the time I could hit a high C. Those days are long gone.

4. I worked as a dental assistant for two years before going back to school. I thought about being a dentist until Chemistry ate my lunch.

5. I used to collect demitasse spoons and even made one while I was in jewelry class so I could add it to the collection as well.

6. When I was in high school, I sewed all of my clothes and my brother's shirts.

7. I hate mustard greens and turnips.

Now I need to pass this on to seven others who blog. So ....

Monday, November 2, 2009

My First Writer's Bar Camp

I heartily apologize for not staying current with this blog. When there's a dry spell from me, you can tell I'm in the writing "zone" or I'm busy with one of my three jobs.

A week ago, I attended my first writer's bar camp. What fun. I wish I could have stayed all day but I was under deadline to get a magazine ready for print. I went first thing in the morning not knowing what to expect. I'd hoped for a schedule of events as I'm sorta anal that way, but when I arrived it was a free-for-all. Big signs were posted on the walls with room numbers and time slots. If you wanted to present, you wrote in your name and claimed a room for the hour. If you wanted to just attend, you waited to see who all was presenting and show up for the lecture.

As I had things to do, I chose the first slot available. I spoke to a group of about 8 - 10 who seemed very interested in what I had to say about getting published and e-publishing in general. They asked great questions and no one yawned. That's always a good sign. I stayed to hear a talk on editing and afterwards left for the day.

In hind sight, I wish I'd stayed and given my talk again. I think more folks would have attended as many didn't arrive until much later anyway.

Bar camps were devised for and by computer geeks who wanted to host a gathering where they could exchange knowledge. The first few were so successful, that they decided to apply it to writers. Writing organizations pay lots of money for guest speakers, but the idea behind a bar camp is writer's teaching writers. It's just a very large share fest of information.

Next year, I plan to stay all day and give more than one talk. Networking is fun as well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The End

The End - those are magical words to an author, especially when they've slaved over a book, don't several rewrites and stalled more times than they'd care to admit. Well, I"m excited to report that I just wrote those words on my last wip. Whoop! 93,000+ words and I'm done. I finished the synopsis and I submitted to my publisher. Now, I have to wait to see if I'm offered a contract. Ugh. Waiting is soooo hard.

So, while I wait, I'm going to be playing this month. First, visit the blog, "Dishing it Out," for some suspenseful excerpts and spooky shorts. Ginger is a dear friend and always does such fun things on her blog. And yours truly gets to be one of her first guests so for an excerpt from my Viking Time Travel, check out her blog tomorrow.

Another author buddy of mine, Becka Goings is having her fifth annual birthday bash with all sorts of prizes handed out this week. Check out her loop, The Magic of Romance, and come play. She'll also be posting one of my excerpts but I'm not sure when, but I'll let you know when I know.

Off to go write some more, or maybe not. I'm about due a rest but then the Muse isn't always on my time clock.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding the magic

I'm so excited, I had to share. I reached the black moment in my newest sci-fi futuristic fantasy wip. Not only that, but I'm at 89,000 words with one more chapter to write until I type those golden words "the end."

Why did I title this entry, finding the magic? Because that's what happens during the black moment. The hero finds the magic at the risk of losing his loved one. Sigh. It was a difficult plot to write and I'm just so excited.

Okay, bath and bed. Maybe I'll sleep tonight since I didn't for thinking about the book and the characters.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Life is good

Sometimes things happen and you just have to think - wow.

Our computer tech guy at school is the most interesting character and knows a lot about things you rarely think about. I'm not sure what comment I made that got him started on Tai Chi but he looked at my room and told me he needed to practice and my room was perfect. It was after school and he invited me to learn basic Tai Chi moves. I laughed and said, sure. I'd be crazy to pass up the opportunity to learn, so we took our poses and went through a series of contortions that actually felt good after all was said and done.

He made a comment that most students of Tai Chi are women because men don't have the emotional stamina to withstand failing at the complicated moves and practicing until they master them. It's a very graceful set of exercizes, but not easy to learn. Even now I only remember one of the thirty some odd moves we did today. Too fun. He said he'd come once or twice a week from now on and teach me. We'll see. I hope he does. It was a great stretching activity.

Okay, so just more info. I'll be at a book signing tomorrow in Austin. I hope the rain doesn't keep folks away.

Book signing @ Borders South Park Meadows


Saturday September 12, 2009

3:00 pm -6:00 pm

Borders South Park Meadows
9500 S. IH 35 Service Rd.,
Austin, TX

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Twitter challenged

I thought I was going to be highly twitter challenged but I think after a panic attack and 3 aspirin, I finally have it figured out. Oh yeah, I was being sarcastic about the panic attack and aspirin but twitter just isn't like other communities. So now that I understand about the micro blogging, I think I'm okay.

I even surprised myself by getting twitter to show up here. Whoop!

Of course, when things get busy, I foresee a blogging and twitter absence from myself but .... until then, I'm going to force myself to Tweet.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Things tend to move backwards for me

I must admit that my publishing experience seems a bit backwards to me. I started out in the traditional manner. A friend got me hooked on writing by joining a critique group and together, she and I joined a local RWA chapter. I have a drawer full of contest wins and rejection letters to indicate my desire to get my stories published but ....

Another friend hooked me up with Champagne Books and while I did query in the traditional manner, I think it was her good word and endorsement that helped land me my first contract. As a relatively new publisher at the time, Celestial Dragon floored them with the amount of sales generated that first month. Floored me too. So much so, that they put it into traditional paperback form a year later. And now, almost three years later, I find out it's coming out in hardback. Wow.

So, yeah, backwards. Most big name authors start with hardback, then paperback, and then e-book. For me, it was e-book, paperback and now hardback. Why? The genre. Since my book fits in with sci-fi, and my other sci-fi author buds, Kerry Tolan and Todd Hunter have been attending sci-fi cons, the publisher is more than happy to put our books in hardback because they tend to sell even better at cons in this format.

I'm so excited. I can hardly wait to see it. You'll be hearing me jump for joy whenever I hold that sucker in my hands. Whoop!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The other job

I've been remiss in posting here lately, but there's a good reason. This past week I've started back to school. Yep, I have inservice type meetings all week then the students return and my writing time will be reduced to a snagged hour here and there.

It's all good. This year I've promised myself that the students will do all the real work. We'll see how far that goes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Linda for bestowing this award on my blog.

Here are the rules:

1) Accept the award, and don’t forget to post a link back to the awarding person.
2) Pass the award on.
3) Notify the award winners.

Here are my recipients for The One Lovely Blog Award.

1.) Green Beez which is hosted by one of my critique partners, Gin and whom I dearly love. Check out her blog for her interesting views on life.
2.) Dishing it Out with Ginger Simpson. Ginger writes romances packed with great emotion and strong visuals. Her Eppie nominated, Embezzled Love is a story that touched me in so many ways.
3.) Kimber Chin's Business Romance is fun because she's always giving away an e-book to one luck winner. And, I love her business romances. She has a wonderfully unique way of weaving a story together.
4.) Ramble with Rayka which is hosted by Rayka Mennen, a delightful writer with an arsenal of great books.
5.) Candace Morehouse writes historical westerns and contemporary romances for Champagne Books. I thoroughly enjoyed Golden Enchantment.
6. Nancy Henderson's Blog. Nancy writes historical romance and paranormal romance for Champagne and is another author who makes the reader feel as if they are there in her stories.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gotta luv technology

So Sunday was just one of THOSE days. You know, we all have them.

I bought a mini-mac not too long ago to support some fairly heavy graphic programs. Oh yeah, macs rock when it comes to graphic output. But I love my PC. I have everything on her and yes, I know she's 8 years old but she works like a charm. Until, she realized I bought that mac. I think she was jealous. She started acting up and doing odd things. I think it's the motherboard, but in an effort to use both, my son hooked up both to my monitor with a way to switch back and forth. Pretty cool really.

But, realizing my PCs days were numbered, I saved all files to the external and didn't give them another thought. I also recognized the need to switch my printer over to my mac. Oh, now there in lay the problem. My mini doesn't support my 4 -yr-old Magicolor 2400W. So I go to look for drivers. None to be had but I did find a forum that gave me a way to get it working. I followed the instructions and - it still didn't work. No worries, I still have my PC. She hasn't died yet. Wrong. She died on Saturday. I think I'll have her funeral on Friday.

Enter Sunday's drama: I am working nonstop on the magazine (a local magazine I moonlight for as their editor and now layout person) when my husband says, "By the way, the renters are coming at 8:30 to sign a lease." What? That's in two hours and it's Sunday. "I have no printer!"

Ack, so - I'm smart. I can fix this in two hours. I decide to hook the printer to my son's computer. He originally had my computer acting as the hub for all the computers in the house. I see where the printer is in his control panel and try to print. Nope. Won't print. I reinstall the printer and YAY, it prints. But where did I put that lease. Oh, yeah, on the external. I unhook the external from my PC and rehook to my mac. I find the lease but it's in word perfect. ACK. No worries, I'll e-mail it to myself and print from my son's computer. I open up the file and - yep my son doesn't have word perfect on his PC. I find the disk and prepare to install. I get the error message. Not enough memory to install. Grrrrrrr.

Back to square one. I look at the clock. I have an hour left. Think. Okay, I"ll open up the file on my laptop and convert to rtf. Problem solved. I do this and e-mail it to myself again. But when I open up my beautifully written 10 page double columned contract, I discover a foreign language. The columns are all over the page and instead of 10, I now have 79 pages of rambling rhetoric. Arggggggg.

Thirty minutes left. All I need is the front page and the signature page, the one with the increase in rent. I can copy the other pages and staple is all together. No one will ever know. I did manage to rearrange, reformat and rebuild one page before they rang the doorbell. Needless to say, either my son needs to figure out how to make my printer work on the mac or I have to go shopping for a printer I can't really afford. What a trip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't kick my dog

I'm trying to be objective and at the same time, get past being madder than h@$#$^&. I do understand that some folks have a healthy fear of dogs or other animals but still.

Monday, the direct TV guy came out to install new equipment to handle changes in their service. He was supposed to show between noon and 4:00 PM. He rang the doorbell at 4:15 , so I was already a little out of sorts being stuck at the house all afternoon waiting on him. But - I did answer with a smile on my face. He didn't return the smile and that should have been my first clue.

First thing he wants is to go to the backyard. I hadn't counted on that. I figured he could get on the roof via the front. It was the same distance. That flustered me because I didn't know what I was going to do with Louie. "Oh goodness, let me settle the dog down for you so he won't bother you."

"You have to tie the dog up, ma'am," he says without a please, more of an order, snippy voice.

"I have no way to tie him up. He's harmless."

So, I go to the backyard and try to just hold him which is fine. The guy comes back there, sees the dog and freaks. "I told you to tie him up."

Of course, Louis is wagging his tail and wanting to make friends. He barks a little then quits. "Just let him smell you then he'll go sit in his corner and leave you alone."

I let him go, and Louie goes to sniff the guy and the jerk kicks him. "I done told you to put that dog up."

At this point I wanted to cuss the guy from one end to the other. I refrain and put Louie in the closed garage that's probably 100 degrees in hopes that this jerk will get the job done quickly so Louie won't be in there long. If the guy had told me he was afraid of dogs and would I please figure out something, I would have done this to start with. But most folks that come to the backyard, know he's harmless. Even the meter readers. But this guy ordered me and I don't take orders well without a good reason.

"How do I get to the dish?" He scratches his head and looks at the dish mounted on the end peak.

"We have two dishes, one closer to the middle and the one you see. You'll have to get on the roof and not the shed (the shed's butted up to the house and kinda blocking his way). Direct TV said they were replacing both with just the one dish."

"I know how to do my job, ma'am. I don't need you telling me what to do."

Then why the heck did he ask? Okay, he was a jerk before, now he's climbing even higher on the jerk scale. Then the guy has the nerve to ask to use my ladder because he's too lazy to get his out of the truck. "Sure. Knock yourself out. Take whatever you need." Wanna kick my dog again?

I called my husband and told him to get home fast before I really lost it. My man comes to the rescue and I go inside to fume. Kick my dog, will he? I ask my husband later how it went and he said the guy was having a hard day. My husband did most of "his" work for him because my husband is kinda a perfectionist and wants it done right. The serviceman's drill quit working so he had to borrow my husband's. My husband was pretty cool, all things considered, but then he wanted the job done and getting mad and frustrated would not have seen the end result.

Did I mention I'm still mad - a little. And yes, I probably should have put the dog in the garage to begin with but it happened so fast and I've never had to "put the dog away" before. Oh well.

Oh, and a side note, the guy is not employed by Direct TV. They subcontracted out the work since they have so many dishes to replace. Just thought I'd mention that so it wouldn't reflect badly on Direct TV.

Yeah, I think this dude will be the villain in my next novel.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Proposal

I had to spend the night with mom night before last because she's recovering from knee surgery and doesn't yet want to be alone. Friends and family have been taking turns sleeping over. The next morning though, I check my phone and I have a text.

Text from son: "Badly!" OMG, what happened, so I called him and get no answer. Then I realize this message actually came after another text he sent.

Text from son: "Dad misses you!"

I laughed at that point. The message came at 1:44 AM so I know exactly what the two were up to. They were kicking back a few beers and listening to music. What I didn't know is that my husband played Shania Twain's song, You're Still the One, over and over and over again. He gets sentimental that way.

So last night, he popped the question. "Will you marry me again?" The question was so unexpected, I know my jaw dropped. I recovered quickly. Of course, I said yes. He wants to go to his hometown and get married by his family preacher this time. Too bad I can't fit my wedding dress, but it doesn't matter. I'm very lucky to have a man that thinks I'm special enough to renew vows with.

The romance is still alive at 50.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Website and Blog

In an effort to minimize time spent updating things, I've decided to change my website some. I had this bright idea that I'd revamp only I didn't know in doing so how much time it would take. Whaaaa. I had to learn a new program. I ended up with a newer version of Dreamweaver and it was so unlike my old version, I got lost. Everything I read said, build it first in Fireworks. Okay. I can do that.

Oh yeah, right. I've always said, I know just enough to get myself into trouble. I had the most trying time getting fireworks into Dreamweaver and then for it to look the way I intended. Okay, so on my browser, Safari, it finally looks right - somewhat. I have no idea how it will look in other browsers. I'm not website savvy enough to do all the tweaking necessary. It's trial and error for me.

Part of my plan includes this blog. Instead of updating my website with news, I plan to put all my newsworthy info here. I want to keep the website cleaner, less cluttered and easier for readers to browse through.

So bear with me while I complete this process. There will be a few pages missing until I get it all done.