Saturday, September 3, 2011


...why do they come in rabid dogs...or a rabid bats?

They always bum me out, especially  when I get a couple at once. Prozac, anyone? No - not on that...yet.
So I'm rethinking one novel that is completed and have to finish editing another one. Oh, yeah - I'm also editing My Guy's novel - well, the latest one. He has seven or eight completed manuscripts. I've lost count. He's retired.
And that's what I'll be soon...retired except for writing full time.
And getting more rejections...unless...
Unless I go Indie (the boutique name for self-publishing).
In fact, one of my manuscripts has to be self-pubbed. It would be useless otherwise - it has a 2012-prophecy theme. That one was rejected. A short story also got the thumbs down.
But I have several other projects I'm working on.
And I did get an acceptance from Mill Park Publishing for an essay on my two wedding dresses.
So maybe I don't really suck at writing.
Maybe some editors just suck at reading....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Environment of a Writer

Anyone coming into my apartment for the first time will notice one thing - well, maybe two. First - books, books, books. My shrink once said I use them as a wall to keep people out. So? I love books. Some people...not so much.
The second thing would be the cats - not a herd -only three and one great big fluffy yellow one usually lounging on the little dining room table behind my desk - so he can be near me. Another one lies on the back of the sofa against my desk, his foreleg and paw next to the mouse (not a real one - computer adjunct mouse). The third lies at my feet. They're my muses - well, at least they think they are.

My "dining room table" is stacked with papers and a notebook with my latest book, along with the big fluffy cat because I don't "dine". You see, it's just me and I eat while I read emails or blogs or research, so I'm eating at my desk. Yeah, I know - not that healthy. But the cats eat well.

My young friend, Olivia, was so happy when I got a small desk to use in my small dining room and got my laptop off the "dining room table". I guess in her mind, I was moving toward being "normal". Hey, Liv - I'm a writer, I'm not normal. I couldn't write in the second bedroom where I'd set up my desktop computer. I felt like I was locked away in a back room. I wanted to be in a more open space - hence the move to the dining/living room area where I can see the action outside my patio door.

This is a writer's environment - not a big mess but definitely not OCD material either. If I'm researching, I want those books and notes at my finger tips. I'm usually reading several books at once, so they're also nearby. Thank Goddess for the Kindle or I would have even more books.

I'm thinking about this, because, you see, I will be marrying another writer next year - another lover of books, another person who goes from one thing to another, someone else who has a lot of interests. Our biggest task will be to combine all of that.

It should be fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please, may I have some more?

It's almost like getting a small taste of a great dessert and then not being allowed to eat the rest. Or it's like being told you can never have anymore - at least not for a while.

That's what it felt like being with 2000+ Writers last week at the romance Writers of American National Conference in New York.

Being at a conference like that can be invigorating and it can be discouraging - both at the same time.
Invigorating because you're around so many dynamic writers.
Discouraging're around so many dynamic writers.
And you...rather...I felt less than dynamic.

You see, I've been doing this for more than fifty years. Oh, I've been published in almost every venue except novel-length. By now I should BE there...wherever "there" is.

That's my Holy Grail - getting a book...not written - I've done that already - in fact several times...getting a book published.
Published by one of the "legacy" houses.
I loved being at National, around so many wonderful writers. My head was swimming with ideas and then I came home and wanted to keep on writing.
I wanted to revise one book, work on another and then do research for a third.
But soon reality set in and I went back to my day job...
For a while longer.
So one day I'll be eating that dessert everyday, all day.
One day I'll have that book with my name on the spine.
One day...

Monday, July 4, 2011

More Pics from NYC

 My Roomie Wiped Out

Kathy Kulig's reading in The Village began with a limo ride

RWA 11 Wrap Up

I can't say enough about RWA 2011. Everything about my four days there was wonderful - from the workshops to the people.

The high points of the conference for me were Sherrilyn Kenyon's keynote address and Candace Haven's Fast First Draft workshop. Both were inspiring. Both women have a new fan- me!

And that's what I needed. I needed time away from everything else to BE a Writer - to be with Other Writers. To be with people who understand what it's like to wake up in the morning with your head so full of ideas you have to write them down - you have to get them out.

Writers need to be around other writers. We need the validation that we're not nuts (well, maybe not totally). I've been missing my RWA Chapter meetings lately and RWA National was the perfect way for me to regain that connection.

The other high points were finally seeing Phantom of the Opera on stage and traveling to The Village/Chinatown with Kathy Kulig and meeting other erotic romance writers. Yes (big sigh) I have written one of those things - the truth is out. Lori Perkins of Ravenous Romance was a gracious hostess, taking the writers who read from their works and hangers-on (like me) out for a wonderful Chinese dinner afterward.

Would I go to RWA 12 in Anaheim?
I'm definitely thinking about that.
I'm thinking of inviting my daughter now from Seattle for that.
I'm thinking about a workshop.
And, best of all, I'm thinking about writing - and actually writing.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pictures from RWA NYC - Wednesday and Thursday

 Bubba Gump's Shrimp - great food before a great show: Phantom

Agent/Editor Appointments - nervous, noisy writers

St. Martin's book signing - FREE BOOKS!!!

Shannon Delaney signing for a fan.


How could one go to New York and not see a show? We got tickets to Phantom of the Opera for last night. I'd never seen Phantom in the theater - only the movie. It was one of the greatest experiences. We left the theater humming the songs - cliche but true.

RWA 11 Day 3

There were two stand-outs today: Sherrilyn Kenyon and Candace Havens.

I had the great idea to run to the bathroom right before the lunch program. Who was coming out but Kenyon - beautifully petite with dark auburn hair. The New York Times best selling author said to those of us standing in the proverbial ladies room line that she was nervous about speaking in front of the 2000+ crowd but she needn't have been. She was so wonderful - she brought many of the attendees to tears, including me. After hearing how she grew up and how she finally convinced herself to live her life-long dream of being a writer, I have no excuse not to do the same thing. And her father also told her the same thing mine told me: "You'll never support yourself writing."

Candace Havens is another one who won't let writers rest. She feels we shouldn't go a day without writing at least 20 pages. Her Fast Draft workshop was one of the best I've ever attended. Havens is an author who continually gives back to other authors. She's bright, witty and dedicated to her craft. If you can catch one of her sessions, go. If not, go to

I ended the day at the St. Martin's Publishing Party at the Flat Iron building. Way cool. I mean WAY cool - the building, the people. I met a lovely editor who liked my name and I immediately asked if she wanted to buy my book. I spoke to an agent who thinks I'll be able to sell The Change. I sipped wine, ate shrimp and rubbed elbows (and bottoms - it was crowded) with editors, agents and authors. I even shared a crowded elevator with vampire-author, agent Lucienne Diver. And the building itself - wow, what an architectural wonder.

I love this city. This evening was lovely, breezy and cool - New York at its best.

Remarks from Day 2 RWA 11

Some of the most encouraging comments from Day 2.

From yesterday's Opening Session:
Steve Berry: "History matters..."
Tess Gerritsen: "Stephen King is an inspiration..."
Diana Gabaldon on giving away portions of your writing: "Taste the wares...the first one's free."
Steve: "We are at the moment when things (publishing) are getting bigger...books aren't going away..."
Tess: "I knew I was a writer at the age of 7..."

From The PRO Retreat:
Cherry Adair (PRO Mentor of the year): "Eighty percent of the population wants to write a book. Five percent of that eighty percent actually start. Two percent of that five percent finish. You are part of that 2% of the 5% of the 80%."

And Gabaldon also mentioned something about doing a reading of a passage in an historical novel - the passage was about the Earl of Rochester teaching Nell Gwynn how to give a blow job....I'm searching for the video for that one...the..uh...reading. A video of the reading...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Opening Session - RWA Day 2

Shannon and I started the day with Starbucks, muffins and chatting.

The Opening Session with Steve Berry (I JUST finished The Jefferson Key, a Cotton Malone mystery), Tess Gerristen, and Diana Gabaldon (I've read most of each lady's books). All three were interesting and funny. More on their comments later - when I feel like opening my notebook/

Soon we'll have the keynote luncheon with Madeline Hunter.
After that I'll be going to the PRO Retreat.

And, yes, there are free books - many free books. I've been thrown into "that briar patch!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scenes from Times Square and Environs

Harlequin Fail

One of Harlequin's gifts in the registration bag

Harlequin does a lot for RWA's conference. And I'm sure there's not too many nurses in their marketing department. I could only think of one thing when I saw this unusual water container:

Leg bag used with urinary catheters.

Day One of RWA National in NYC

Thoughts while sitting in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis on Tuesday of the RWA National 2011.

When I’m alone I don’t necessarily want to hear other people’s conversations, whether on the phone or not.

I cannot help but imagine what this lobby with its soaring interior, rooms ringing around where I sit – with a tower of glass elevators behind the bar – I wonder what this would be like if an earthquake suddenly hit. I look around to find the safest place for me – an archway by the Starbucks look the best. However, if the Zombie Apocalypse begins in the next four days, I’m dead, or rather Undead.

My computer is a mess – cat hair in the keyboards – needs to go back to Staples for an oil change.

Why am I sitting in the lobby? So glad you asked. I got up at 2:30 AM so I could meet Dianne and Kathy at 4:45 AM (Dianne driving and she wanted to leave before rush hour which we caught anyway). I was going to get up at 3:30 but I was afraid I would oversleep so when I woke up at 2:30 I decided to stay up. Kathy and Di have their room. I don’t have mine – maybe by 4 – so I’m sitting in the lobby at 9:45 AM wondering if the hotel would be very upset if I pushed two chairs together and curled up for a nappy-poo.

At least not all romance writers are beautiful, young and thin. I’m certainly none of those. Maybe I’m not even a romance writer. I write odd bits of things – mystery/gothic/thriller/paranormal/erotica – not all at once all the time – but I could. I think I could write anything if I put my mind to it. That’s the issue – I need to put my mind to it.

And that last thought has lead me to this one – I do not want to be one of those women (women in romance writers groups – men in scifi groups) who are more fans than writers. But I guess I’m not since I hardly read romance, straight or gay or bi romance. I read mostly mystery/gothic/thriller/paranormal…well, you get what I mean.

My daughter will be going to the Emerald City Romance Writers conference in October. I’m not going. I really would love to spend time with Heather but I’ll be conferenced out after National (going on as I write) and possibly NJRW.

I definitely need to clean this keyboard – I’ve brought at least half a cat with me.

I don't think I've seen anyone famous. Lots of people look familiar – but gee, by the time one’s 64, almost everyone looks familiar. You’ve seen every face at least twice.

I just called the front desk – and the girl that answered didn’t understand what I meant about “getting online” – I had to repeat internet several times. No – not an immigrant…

Glass elevators in the lobby behind the bar area - skirts could be a problem....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poor Blog....

I've ignored you for far too long. I'm back.

I'm back with a list of writing projects:
1. Writing another mystery story to submit to Deadly Ink
2. Updating a short story to submit to Glimmer Train this weekend.
3. Reviewing a manuscript before I submit to an agent who requested it
4. Working on another manuscript for the Writing Your Novel in 9 Months class
5. Starting a nonfiction book: "Accidental Angels: The Civilian Nurses of Gettysburg"

And you wonder why I haven't got my cable or TV (not sure which is the problem) fixed?
Oh, and don't look at the dust or cat hair....I'll clean when I'm dead...or not.