Friday, October 29, 2010

Last Day in Seattle...

...and we're resting, reading and writing...
Well, Morgan's doing the writing. But right now he's napping since he's come to a lull in his story and he's doing what I do when that happens to me: nap. But I nap with a purpose. I tell myself, "Think about the story...character...plot...whatever..." And usually by the time I wake up, I've worked it out.
Unfortunately, that's not working for my werewolf-sex scene, but I'll keep trying.
Maybe I should nap with a
I'll just keep trying.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thoughts on NJRW

I have a request from Alex Logan of Grand Central Publishing. I have to reread the manuscript and get it ready to send off.

I saw so many people I haven't seen for a couple of years (missed NJRW last year) but couldn't chat - laryngitis.

It was wonderful to see Dianne Gerber/Autumn Jordan win the Golden Leaf for Evil's Witness. I was sitting next to her and the vibes were so positive. Dianne has worked diligently at her writing and deserved to win this award - besides, it was a great book.

If you EVER, EVER, EVER have a chance to hear Bob Mayer speak on the Warrior Writer and/or the change in publishing that's happening fast and furious, run to the conference. He was great!
Heather: He may be developing his own conference in Seattle. If he does, WE ARE GOING!!!

Some new favorites (because I learned from their workshops/keynote) that you will read about on
Robyn Carr
Hannah Howell
Virginia Kantra

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Judi Fennel of Valley Forge Romance Writers also won a Golden Leaf.

If you can't get to National (which on 2011 is in NYC and I am going!), then you MUST go to NJRW. And you don't have to be writing romance to enjoy this conference and learn from the great writers who present.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Jersey Romance Writers Conference

Here I am - again.
At 63 (well, by Monday anyway), I'm still pitching and hoping for a book deal.
Yeah, I know. My alter-ego, Macie Carter's published. But I'm old fashioned enough to want a New York publisher to snap me up.
Yes, yes, yes. Publishing's changing - going to Bob Mayer's workshop on just that later today.
But at 63 (see above), do I have the energy or drive to everything necessary to change with, too.
Maybe I have to encourage Heather to develop that publishing company she once planned. I could at least edit for her.
Sigh. I still want that book in hand - my book.
And, so, here I am - again.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is It Me?

Next weekend is New Jersey Romance Writers Conference - one of the leading regional romance writers conferences in the country. I go every year. Well, every year but last year. Last year I was in the hospital getting a stent put into my right renal artery. My blood pressure was higher than God before that and now it's better.
But I digress...
Last year: no conference.
This year I'm going, but...
I'm not as excited as I've been in years past.
I know I'll see many writer-friends. I know I'll hear some good information. I know I'll pitch to at least two agents/editors.
And, I know, they will probably ask for a partial. I'll send it and maybe I'll never hear from them again. My partial will be lost in the milieu of submitted/requested/agented/slush pile manuscripts.
Maybe my stuff is just not that good - not good enough to get published.
But I don't know how to stop writing.
I don't know how to stop wanting to get one of my books published.
I'll keep trying.
The fire in the belly's still there...
But the thrill is gone.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Writing Process

"Where do you get your ideas?"
Non-writers often ask that. Real writers know where they come from: from John Lennon's "man on a flaming pie". In other words: we have no friggin' idea.
At least I don't.
Sometimes I can trace an idea back to the source - or several sources. But the entire process of development - the character, the plot, the theme, the frame of the story... Got me - have no clue.
But for the sake of anyone still reading this blog, I shall try.
My latest short story in the writing process: "Phantoms of War" - a Gothic erotic short story set during Sherman's march to the sea in 1864.
I "friended" (or she friended me) another Mitzi on Facebook - an erotica writer from England.
She also has a site that publishes erotica and she sent out a call for submissions - Gothic erotica.
As "Macie Carter" I had some very mild success with an erotic romance.
I love Gothic stories and was in the middle of reading a book about Mary Shelley.  I blogged about that book and my reaction to it.
I read the Shelley book during a week I had to stay at home because of asthmatic bronchitis. I felt like crap but I loved the book. Once again I was seeped in the wonderful world of the Romantics and the beginning of classical Gothic writing.
Maybe I should try a story for the English Mitzi's call for submissions.
I had an idea - vague idea.
And then Friday, after trying to stay an entire day at work, I went home and sipped on some Wild Turkey with honey. Nectar from the Goddess. I hardly had a shot. But with the bronchitis and feeling so tired, it did me in. So I did what I usually do at the beginning of writing a story. I laid down, thinking: work out the plot of the story...
Maybe Hemingway and Fitzgerald had it right - maybe it's the booze.
Or maybe I'd fermented myself in the time period (Victorian) and the theme (the phantoms of war are not always visible) and the characters (lovely Southern women and war-weary Yankee soldiers) and it came to me - or rather, the man on the flaming pie came to me.
It may not ever be published, but it will be written.
Where do I get my ideas?
Maybe they are always there in my subconscious and something brings them forward - like Michelangelo carving away the marble surrounding the statue of David.
How do I write?
I let ideas ferment - with or without the Wild Turkey.
Mostly without.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


November Is National Novel Writing Month...
So why am I mentioning it on the last day of September?
Because I'm challenging myself again this year. I'm "doing NaNo" as we say. Last year I hit the 50K mark and I am in the process of revising and adding to that novel: The Last Prophecy.
My goal for October 2010 is to get that done before NaNo starts on November 1.
But I'm also sketching out my characters and doing a timeline for the NaNo book.
No that's not cheating.
That's preparing.
The NaNo 2010 book will be "Love Found" - about love among the ruins...well, actually about a couple in their sixties who lost each other and then found each other years later.
Love is not just for the young.
But for the young at heart.

Here I Go Again

I seem to need challenges and goals to get anywhere, so I decided to get ready for NaNo again. I made it to 50K in one month last year, so why not again?  I've sketched out my characters and began a timeline so I can hit the ground running...writing...on November 1.

In the meantime I'm revising and adding to last year's NaNo novel, getting ready to pitch it a New Jersey Romance Writers.

And I've also challenged myself to read/listen to 100 books this year and blog about the journey. 
Should be an interesting few months.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Last Prophecy

I spent several hours today reading and editing my werewolf-themed book, The Last Prophecy.  I'm not sure if this book will get published but I've certainly enjoyed writing it. I've also enjoyed reading it - I guess that's a good thing.

I was so involved in the process that I forgot to eat breakfast and lunch - reminding myself of the first scene of the romance writer Joan Wilder in "Romancing the Stone".

I could disappear into my reading and my writing...
Oh, crap - that just gave me an idea for another story.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daffodil Season

I have everything for this book transferred from a floppy disk (that's how long ago I worked on it) to a thumb drive.

I reviewed it, thinking, "Damn. That's not too bad."
Did I really capture the voice of a widower who's just lost his wife of many years? I hope so. In many ways, I can relate losing a love - just not a love of so long a time.
I have a pitch and a basic synopsis.
I think I've got a project.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When a Wizard Tells You Something....

....maybe you should listen.

I just saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice and it validated my belief in magic. Not necessarily the abracadabra kind, but the magic that's all around us if we only take the time to acknowledge it. We are also full of magic and need to tap into that.

Recently talking to a friend, a wonderful man who many consider a magician, a very powerful one at that. I was telling him about one of my unfinished books; unfinished because, when I pitched the idea to an agent, she visibly paled and told me that the hero and heroine were "too old".

"That's the book you should work on," my friend said. "Go back to that book."

Years ago another man, this one with psychic powers, had stopped my reading and said suddenly, "What about the book with the little girl? That's the book you should finish." I was surprised at the remark because I'd never mentioned I was a writer.

I don't think I need the third reminder. I might get one, but I won't need it. I've already "restarted" that book.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Writing Retreat

I got back this morning from PLRW's yearly writing retreat. We actually critique, write and/or work out plotting issues - around talking, eating, and drinking (wine and this year, Tuscan lemonade).

There is no internet (there's barely cell phone connection) and TVs stayed off except for a late viewing of "The Hangover" - well, even writers need some down time.

Any one who wants stuff critiqued sends the pages to everyone and we spend Friday evening and Saturday morning critiquing and plotting. Saturday morning we set our goals for the weekend and then we either continue plotting or start working toward our goals.

I had a goal of 10 pages on my next erotic romance novella. After some great critiques and plotting brainstorming. I met my goal and then some. I also did some of my own brainstorming on the plot of my time travel and The Last Prophecy.

PLRW's 2010 Writers Retreat was a success - for me, at least.

Our next writers' retreat may be a cruise to Canada. I may take my favorite cowboy-writer.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a writer who had been writing a long time and who was lucky to get some things published - even an erotic e-book.

Now this writer was older, really over 60, and her daughter was grown and living in another kingdom many miles away. And this writer, though fair of face with a very good hairdresser and plump (but in the places where a lady should be plump), did not have a gentleman in her life. She did, however, have two cats and a full time job but when she wasn't working or petting cats...or reading...she wrote.

And then one day, a man came into her life. A man who was tall and strong and who loved to read and who loved to write and who had a son and daughter who lived away - but not that far. He no longer had a full time job so much of his time was spent writing or talking to our heroine every evening...for a very long time. Our heroine-writer began spending at least one day every weekend with this new gentleman. And although he made her very happy, she did neglect her writing...not her cats, for she still petted them.

And then one day, our heroine-writer had to decide what was really the most important thing in her life. Was it her gentleman or was it her writing? She loved them both and both made her very happy.

She thought and thought and thought and then she thought some more and in a dream, without the help of a fairy godmother (because she was busy getting the hormones for her trans-gender surgery), the answer came to her...

Would she give up the gentleman or her writing?

She gave up television...or some of it anyway.
And she was the better for it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Other Personna

Macie Carter's Teasing the Muse, an erotic novella from The Wild Rose Press, will be released on March 26, 2010.

Macie and I are very excited!

This is my first erotic romance, under my pen name. I wrote it just to see if I could. I pitched it to a Wild Rose Press editor at New Jersey Romance Writers conference and they bought it. Now it's being released and the work really begins - promotion, promotion, promotion.