Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Still excited

I have to tell you that the high of receiving a contract hasn't worn off yet. A colleague told me I was glowing last week and asked if I could possibly be pregnant because I had a special aura about me. (Hehehe) In a way, I could have said yes. Not with a baby, but with the success that something that I wrote was good enough to be accepted for publication. I worked hard on that manuscript and am still so excited that it paid off.

Does looking forward to my edits from an editor make me weird? I am anxiously waiting to see what I need to do. You have to understand that this process is new to me. Someone might need to remind me of this later when my edits do come through from an editor. But right now, I want to see how a professional will advise me to make my manuscript better. I took a look at it over the weekend and I know what I would tell myself. Isn't it funny, when I sent it off, I thought it was as perfect as I could make it. Looking back, I see so many mistakes. Do you think that Hannah Howell thinks this way? Nah! She is just perfect in my eyes.

On another note, I hope that everyone had a very relaxing three day weekend. For all of us who have dreaded day jobs, our work week is cut down by one day. Hooray! For those who get to stay home and write all day... I'm green with jealousy and don't like you too much right now. ;) (You know that I really love you and plan to be part of your ranks this summer for a few weeks!) The hubby and I went to go see Thor. I thought that it was a good movie. Living with a comic book head, this summer's movie releases has him positively orgasmic!

Oh well. Off to shower now to get ready for the day job. Have a great day.

Peace out,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Now that the celebrating is over

I have celebrated the contract of Fated Mates for two days now. The hubby and I went to out to dinner by the water. We toasted with some champagne. Last night we drank the second bottle of champagne. To tell the truth, I drank most of it with the husband having one glass of the bubbly stuff. I still feel elation and disbelieve. I mean, I believed in the story but only hoped that someone would want to publish it. When I read the e-mail, I literally read it through one squinted eye. Don't know why I did this, maybe a rejection would look better through an eye slit. Who really knows how my mind works sometimes. I don't think that I know either.

So now that the celebration is over, it's time to get to work. The contract has been signed and sent in. My book will now be placed with an editor and revisions will start once I get some feedback. I also have to start thinking of blurbs for the website. So today, I will be trolling sites reading people's blurbs trying to figure out how to write one.

Another thing that I have to do this weekend is update my website. I put something up but it needs some sprucing. I want the site and the blog to be linked. I tried to do it last night but in my celebratory state couldn't figure out what to do. I also have to figure out how to turn my Facebook page into one that accepts friends. Right now all people can do is "like" the page.

Here is the big question, what is Twitter? I have a rudimentary knowledge of it is but as writers how many have an account? What do you twitter about? How do you get followers?

The head is spinning right now with what I have to do. Then, somewhere in between all of this, I have to  finish manuscript number two!

Peace Out,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WOW! Just WOW!

I am very proud and excited to announce that my first manuscript has been contracted with Secret Cravings Publishing. Yes that's right! MY STORY IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!!! I am going to apologize in advance for the outrageous use of the explanation point within this post but MY STORY IS BEING PUBLISHED!!!!!

Not to sound like I am winning the Academy award and giving my speech but there are two people especially that I would like to thank for helping me along the way to publication.

The first person is the amazing writer Amber Skyze. I first contacted a few years ago after reading one of her books from Ellora's Cave. I had read somewhere that she lived in Rhode Island, so I took the chance and contacted her. I think originally I was asking of information about the local chapter of romance writers.   She encouraged me to join, although it took a year before I had the guts to go to a meeting. Can you imagine me sitting in the same room as Amber Skyze and Hannah Howell and all of the other wonderful writers in the group? To say that I am intimidated at first would be an understatement. It turned out wonderful. They are a great group of people. I really enjoy going to the meetings and get "ticky" when something comes up and I can't make it. Back to Amber, thankfully she didn't view me as a stalker and responded to the millions of e-mails that I peppered her with. I never imagined that a friendship would evolve with a person that I so much in common with, she has helped me in every step of the way on this journey. I know that I will have her support no matter what journey I undertake and for that, I lift a glass of champagne to you for being the wonderful author, mentor, friend, and sounding board that every first time writer needs. Thank you so much my friend.

The second person that I would like to thank is Linda Kage for all of the work that she has done for me in the technical arena. This wonderful busy woman who between writing wonderful books and following a toddler around the house took time to have pity on a woman who really doesn't to create banners and a website design for me. It took many hours and back and forth e-mails but with her help, I finally got my site up and running. It is a testament to the type of wonderful woman that she is that she would go out of her way to help a stranger. Another friendship has developed from this. Linda, I couldn't have my website without you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ladies, you have been my inspirations and champions throughout it all.

Peace Out,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Willy Wonka had it right

"There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure Imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly wish to be"

Over the course of the weekend, this song has been playing over and over again in my mind. I suppose the muse wanted me to write about it this morning. So here I go...

Willy Wonka had it right. In his case, he was talking about his candy creations but still he had it right. Imagination is one of the best things in the world. Everyone is born with one. Just watch very small children to prove this fact. A pot and a pan can become a drum set. A bowl of water becomes a witches cauldron. A scrap of paper becomes a waitress notepad. Children turn everything into anything.

Some might say that the digital age is the killing imaginations of our children. I would have to agree with this statement to some extent. As a child, it was expected that we went outside to play when the sun was up and out. We weren't allowed to sit and watch tv for hours on end. Let the truth be known, when I was little there wasn't a lot on tv for kids, outside of Saturday morning cartoons. I think about the vast quantity of cable stations that devote their programming solely for kids. It's mind boggling. Why should children "pretend" any more? They can now see things on a 46-inch flat screen twenty-four hours a day. My mother didn't expect us home before the street lights came on. We didn't have X-box360, PS3, and the Wii. We had bikes, roller skates, and the sun.

At night, my dolls played out the stories that I created in my mind. I remember playing with dolls well into sixth grade and being very sad when my friends thought it was too babyish and we all stopped. It wasn't the act of playing with the dolls  that I mourned but the outlet for my imagination. This was when I started writing stories down in notebooks. One of my favorite places to write was at the water. Living in Rhode Island, we are surrounded by water. I just happen to grow up in a part where I am surrounded by it on three sides of my town. At the end of my mother's street is a boat dock and when the water is at low tide, there are interesting rock formations that are uncovered. I used to sit there for hours on those rocks (remember couldn't play inside) and write my stories.  Waves lapping all around me, there were many times, I came home wet having to wade though water because I was caught up and had not paid attention to the tide coming in. It's funny because I still find water inspiring to me. I come up with some of my best material when I'm in the bathtub.

Do you have a special place that inspires your imagination?

Peace out,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reality Shows

Work has been crazy, so the disclaimer here is that this post is not that good today. Of course, that is making the assumption that the normal posts are any good also! ;)

I don't watch a lot of reality tv. The only one I watch and have ever watched is Dancing with the Stars. I realized on Monday why I don't like to watch these type of shows. They really should be called popularity shows. My husband calls it the "Donny Osmond effect". A few seasons ago, Donnie won the whole contest, not because he was the best dancer but because he had the biggest fan base. It seems to be going this way again this season. On Tuesday night, it came down to the two lowest scoring couples. It came down to Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley. I'm not saying that Ralph didn't have his problems but there is no way that Kirstie is a better dancer than him. So Ralph headed home while Kirstie is in the finals. The person with the biggest fan base won out again. It really just blows my mind that a dancing show is really not about dancing but about popularity.

I hear around work that other reality shows are exactly like this. I don't know. So the question is why do we watch them if the winner has nothing to do with talent? What is the message that these shows are sending, popularity trumps talent?

Getting a little deeper, is the publishing world like that? Can popular authors publish "crap" and people buy it just because of "who that author is"? What about a talented author who finds their work so hard to be published? I wonder if it was strictly anonymous, if some of the stuff published out there would even be considered?


Peace out,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plot, plot, plot

Over the weekend, a few things happened that had me thinking about the importance of a good plot within a story. It is crucial.

The first was that last week, I bought two e-books and finally finished both of them over the weekend.  The weather was rainy for the most part and after spending two week writing curriculum, the old brain needed a rest. So I vegged, read, and watched a lot of tv. The first book that I absolutely devoured was Sex on the Beach by Amber Skyze. It was wonderful. It had humor, believable characters, hot sex, and a fast moving plot. If you haven't gotten your copy, I highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed. The second book that shall not be named wasn't as good. It was an impulse buy. I bought it because the premise of the book was similar to the MS that is currently being subbed out right now. With this book, I have to say that the problem was with the plot. It was too big for the type of book that it was, it felt like the author threw every sci-fi element they could think of, instead of just focusing on the two main characters journey. Sometimes there doesn't have to be aliens attacking in a great alien war in sci-fi, sometimes it's just about two people falling in love where one of them just happens to be from another planet. ;)

The second time that I thought about plot this weekend was when I was watching tv on my new mattress yesterday. Yes, I finally broke down and shelled out the money for a new mattress, when the husband was plastered against me trying to sleep on my side of the bed, avoiding the great cater that was on his side. It was bad. So bad that when you rolled into it, it was hard to get out of it. I digress, back to the idea of plot. Yesterday, when we found ourselves in Best Buy to buy new Ipod earphones, the husband picked up a new release movie, Skyline. Again, it was an impulse buy. (I have now learned a lesson about impulse buying!) He was so excited to watch it. By the time that the movie was only a quarter finished, I was checking e-mail and planning this blog. It had no plot. Aliens coming to Earth to kill us, crash, bang, boom! Why? What did they want? Where did they come from? And to top it all off, the aliens win!!!! I was screaming- get Will Smith on the phone STAT! Ripley? ET talk to your peeps! No happy ending! If anyone who is reading this is upset that I told a spoiler ending of the movie, don't be. I just saved you from wasting two hours of your time that would be better suited to cleaning the toilet with your toothbrush. It was soooo bad that when I went out to get sandwiches and wine (Yes, I had to drink!) the husband called me up to apologize for spending the money on such a horrible movie. After we had recovered, we watched the final episode of Smallville that we dvr'd. We had started watching the first season years ago but hadn't continued not because we didn't like it but other things came on that we were really interested in and never went back to it. The show was one of the fasted moving two hours, and why do you ask? It was because it had a wonderful fast moving plot with believable characters. Characters that we cared about what happened to them.

So I am going to use my weekend experiences to reflect upon my own writing and them importance of having a good plot in my stories, whether it is set on the Earth, a space ship, or in Ireland (WIP).

Peace out,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Never judge a book by its cover

Four writers got together for dinner- two mystery writers, one romantic suspense writer, and one who writes erotic romance. (Sound like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?)

"Now look at her." Pointing to me. "It's always the sweet looking ones who write erotic."

This is not the first time that I have heard this. What exactly does this mean? Can you really look at someone and say, "You look like you write biographies!" "You write suspense."

By no means did this person mean to insult me and I wasn't insulted. I just smiled and drank another sip of my wine. But it got me thinking, do we judge books "by their cover". So I started examining the books that are in my e-library, especially the covers. And I have to say that yes, we initially pick books by their covers. If I don't know the author, what I look at first is the cover. If it grabs my attention, then I check out the blurb and then the excerpt. As a reader, it is our first introduction to the book. It really has to grab us right away or we pass it by. No fair, it might be the best book but...

I wonder how many books out there I have passed up because I didn't like the cover. Now let's face it, the cover is not usually created by the author. So it is no reflection of the quality of writing. It must be so difficult picking out the exact cover for you book. Do they give your options? Are you allowed input? What if you absolutely hate it?

I don't have a contract yet but the comment the other night really got me thinking about this.  What are your thoughts?

Peace Out,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What turns you on

It's a loaded question, I know. The answers could be as numerous as the stars in the sky. The reason is that what turns me on could totally turn other people off and the same goes opposite. What I love about this is that there is no wrong answer. It is totally subjective. This is another reason why the romance industry is great. You can find a genre that fits what turns you on.

If you love YA romance, the market is endless. Who doesn't like young love when everything is brand new and you are experiencing things for the first time? You don't forget your first love for this exact reason. Everything is multiplied the first time. I don't care how old you are, you remember your first kiss, where you were, what you were doing,  how you felt.

Mainstream romance has been around since the beginning of time. These books are for the people that want their love to be sweet to hot. I saw this as my second step progression into the romance genre. It all started with the Harlequin Romances.

Then mainstream started to splinter off into different sub-genres. You have your cowboy romances, which have a special place in my heart. I have never been off of the east coast but I know that there are cowboys out there that are as hot as Tim Riggins. It's a dream of an east coast girl and that is one bubble that does not ever want to be burst.

Then you have the paranormal genre. These books cater to people who love vampires, werewolves, and a limitless list of others. This is another favorite of mine. My all time character favorite is Vane in Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have read this book so many time, the cover has fallen off. The pages are warped from reading it time and time again in the bathtub. I can't even bring myself to replace it with a new copy because in this copy I fell in love with him. It is special.

Then comes the genre that I have chosen to write in, erotica. My first erotica story was The Empress' New Clothes by Jaid Black. You have sci-fi, you have romance, you have really hot sex. After that I was hooked! It opened a whole new world for me. I knew immediately that I would like to write in this genre. It was "my home".

So I trudge along writing in a genre that I love! Hoping someday that someone will love what I write as much as I love what I read.

Peace out,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sometimes I feel like a fraud

I want to be a writer. I try to write every day but some days I feel like a fraud.

One of the ways that I feel like a writing fraud is that writers should write every day. Sometimes DAYS will go by before I touch my current WIP. I feel incredibly guilty about this. There are days when I'm at work that I dream about writing when I get home but when I do get there, I am too tired to write.

The second way, I feel like a fraud is that a writer should want to write above all else. There are times when I would rather watch the shows on my dvr.

I am in writing groups, belong to various loops, and have a blog. It is overwhelming. People are getting published all around you and here you are still waiting to here from publishers on your first manuscript. I don't know if it's even good. I think it's good but I wrote it. It's like every parent thinks their baby is beautiful and I can tell you that I hope the one I saw over the weekend grows into his looks. (Hubby thinks I'm being unfair here considering that he was only one month old. Mother's Day weekend is also never a good weekend for me.)

But there are times when the ideas are flowing and I can sit down and write 5k. I live for those days but they are few and far between. So I am going to try and write every day. Even if it's one hundred words. I do think that if I keep at it, I will eventually get published.

Fingers crossed!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday will be quite the day again!

Hi all,
I just wanted to thank people who left me words of encouragement about yesterday's funeral. Everything went fine, thank goodness. The husband was able to go up on the altar and say a few words. There was some shifting around in the middle of the church but being a teacher and my mother's daughter, I stared them down until anyone with the least sense of making eye contact with me looked away. Don't mess with my man. That's my job! Afterwards we skipped the cemetery and receptions (There were two. One for the mother's family and one for the father's family.). The hubby accompanied me to the college, so that I could turn in my evaluations and av key. Don't want to be accused of stealing out-of-date av equipment.

While we were there something totally out of one of our books happened. We got on the elevator and once the doors closed, my husband grabbed me by the back of the neck and hauled me in for the most passionate kiss that I have experienced in a long time. Before his lips met mine, he smiled and said, "Don't worry. There are no cameras. I checked." What a man! We followed that by a very romantic dinner.

Of course the day would have been perfect except for typical "Marie" fashion, I forgot the keys to our house. I switched bags to a little clutch and left the keys in the other bag. I am usually the holder of the keys, so the husband didn't think about them. Thank goodness a neighbor had the spare key and was home. My mom also has a key but was off at First Communion practice with "C".

Unfortunately the real mood breaker was when my husband was walking around in his underwear, still wearing the black dress socks from the day! I don't think that there is anything less attractive than those black socks. Really! I think Tim Riggins could walk around with them and be slightly less attractive. Hmm.....maybe!

Have a wonderful weekend. I am off to the market to make stuffed mushrooms for the first of the Communion parties today.

Peace Out,

Friday, May 6, 2011

The sun is shining

The sun is shining through the windows. It's pale golden glow making my living room "feel" warm. The walls in here are painted Moroccan red (my mother likes to "affectionately" calls it bordello red!), and with the shiny hard-wood floors in her, it just seems like it is what warm would actually look like. This is the time of morning that I actually love. If it were a normal day in the land, I would already be at work. So normally I miss this time of morning at my house. This is when I am the most productive. I feel alive at this time.

Unfortunately, I can't sit and write today. I have to get the hubby up for this funeral, even though the wake was a disaster. My poor hubby when he put himself out to the family the other day became a target. Him, being the oldest friend, must be responsible for all of the "problems" that this guy had. If anyone knew my husband, they would laugh. He's has not always been a saint but to blame him for this is ridiculous! But who are they going to blame? Baby "J", VoVo who raised him, the parents who neglected him? No, let's blame the oldest friend. Pray that I can make it through the morning without slapping anyone. Insult me fine, I can take it. Insult anyone I love, and I become like a mother bear protecting her young. It is not pretty!! Although, I will be dress to the "nines" today and looking FABULOUS! If I do say so myself.

I am hoping later after this disaster is over to take advantage of this sun and do some writing in the yard. I feel creative today!

Wishing all of the mother's out there a happy Mother's Day on Sunday!

Peace Out,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bucket List

On Monday, one of my husband's oldest friends was found dead, long years of drug addiction finally caught up with him. His obituary appeared in today's paper and it was a total of six sentences. All but two of them included the arrangements for services. Besides being sad for my husband, because this has turned into a circus, I find that his life could be summed up in six sentences chilling. What is even more sad is that the six sentences really captured his life. They couldn't have written anything else.

So I started thinking about bucket lists. Someone at work said something about being able to complete a triathlon was on her list. More power to you Jenn! I can tell you that right away, I thought that that would not be on my list. Then I started thinking about what should be on my bucket list.

My Bucket List

1. Work less- I know this sounds a little lame but I am somewhat of a workaholic. I am going to have to cut back  on work. I am getting too stressed out and stress kills.

2. Take at least one vacation a year- I haven't been on a vacation in seven years. The last time was the Christmas after my MIL passed away. I took my husband to Disney World. I figured for the first Christmas without her, I would take him away from everything and visit the happiest place on earth. Who could be miserable in Disney, right? WRONG!!!!

3. Stop just donating to the gym. It's time to shit or get off the pot as my mother would say. My fat ass is destined to be smaller.

4. Be surrounded by the covers of my published books. It is time to commit myself to my writing. This also refers back to working less.

5. Make my house into something that I would be proud of. I am not going to put off any home improvements anymore!

6. My most important one is to have children. Either by myself or by other means, I will be a mother someday. The battle is not done. I am not willing to concede defeat yet. It is not a place that I will ever concede defeat. By hook or by crook...

Have a long day of work ahead of me and the drama will surely escalate until everything is over but I will breathe and get through everything. 

Peace out,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Couldn't think of anything

I couldn't think of anything to write about this morning. I'm in a bit of a rush. I have an appointment before work, have to go the atm, have to get gas... you get the picture. So I decided to post an excerpt. Might be a good idea or not but going to do it anyway. I hope you enjoy it at least a little. I would be open to critiques if you hate it also. Might be a learning experience.

The throbbing pain in his head became piercing, causing Dragon’s body to bow under the pressure.  He threw his head back and groaned in agony.  The pain drove him to his knees, his breathing coming in short gasps trying to control the pain.  The pain that he suffered at the hands of the torture masons paled in comparison to what he was going through presently.  Then, as quickly as it had overtaken him, it was gone.  Dragon, still on his hands and knees, tried to take deep controlling breaths to calm his body.  His teeth clenched, his body hummed and felt like he was being drained by some unknown force.  Sweat poured off of his brow and dripped onto the deck, time itself seem to slow down.  He saw every drop perfectly formed slowly, slowly falling and splattering on the floor.  As soon as he could talk, he would order his men to scan for hostile forces.
Mace tried to help him to his feet, only to be waved away.  Dragon carefully dragged himself to his feet unsteadily.  He went to push his hair out of his face when he stopped dead in his tracks and stared unwaveringly at his hand.
“Dragon…your hand,” Mace whispered in awe.
Dragon was staring at his hand not being able to comprehend what he was seeing.  It took his brain a minute to realize what he was looking at and longer for him to comprehend what was going on. Sacred, scarlet scrollwork in an intricate and unique pattern was appearing on his left palm and reaching up his arm to his elbow.
“This is not possible,” Dragon whispered hoarsely.
“Congratulations! The Goddess has blessed you with a Mate. If it happened to you, there is hope for the rest of us.”  Mace couldn’t believe it. He, along with Dragon and many others, had believed that they would never be lucky enough to be blessed with Mates.
Members of the crew one by one came forward to congratulate Dragon. He went through the motions as if he were in a dream. He was still staring down at his hand, disbelieving the intricate pattern that was now fully developed on his skin.
The Goddess was truly female in Dragon’s eyes. While the females in the initial joining ritual experienced mind blowing orgasms, the males went through excruciating pain to remind them of the pain that their soul would feel if they never found their Mates.
“Good Goddess,” Dragon exclaimed still staring at his hand. “I hope you know what you are doing.”

Peace Out,