Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

My blogs have been reduced to holiday greetings. I'll get better when things slow down and I stop drinking so much. (It's those pomegranate martinis...yum!)

In January I'm going to add a bunch of things to the site, Victorianisms, history, that kind of thing. I also plan on finishing that pesky Austria story that's been driving me up a wall for the past 2 1/2 months.

Wishing you a great start to the new year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Eh, so I'm 2 days late. I still hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, and will have an equally great New Year.

I plan on taking the rest of the year off from writing (not that there's that much more left to the year) and relaxing. Come January 1 (possibly 2) I'll take it up again and finish my Austria story and definitely finish plotting out at least 2 more stories. That's only in January...we'll see how well that plan goes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Samhain Publishing

I'd forgotten I'd even submitted to them, but it's been a crazy few weeks, and when there aren't constant emails, my mind wanders. (I'm easily dazzled by shiny objects, sad but true.) Not that I expected them to email me every day, I mean what's the point? Still, when I saw the email last night, it was to sadly read that they didn't want Birthrite. :(

She was very nice about it, but for her, it didn't work. I'm okay with that, everything is subjective. I have high hopes someone else will.

Tis the season for optimism, right? Or is that delusion? Either way, it's all good.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Taking a break

I'm absolutely stuck. Nothing sounds right - it's not funny, it's cheesy, it's way too melodramatic. It's all crap. So I'm taking a break and enjoying the holidays. I'm going to finish decorating, mail out Christmas cards, listen to Christmas music, and not so much as glare at my computer.

Middle of next week sounds soon enough to get back into the swing of it all, and immerse myself in 1817 Austria.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I have searched and searched for more information on Napoleon, specifically his war with Austria. It's near impossible to find anything that doesn't mention Russia or Britain. I don't want either of those, but what happened in Austria, specifically Vienna. One of those helpful books 'Daily Life in Vienna' would be great, but don't seem to exist. I have several - England, Pilgrims, Colonial life in America. Nothing on Vienna.

This goes back to my frustration on doing a story set in Vienna with only the bare information available on it. If I spoke German, I might (might) be in luck. Alas, no such luck. What I need is troop movements, what the everyday people went through, and even a little more on The Congress of Vienna.

There's got to be something out there, I know it. I just wish I knew what it was, or even where to search that I haven't already.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

characteristics part 2

The heroine and fashion. I'm a big believer in making the character work for the character herself, and if she's unfashionable, then she is. You can get away with it better in a contemporary, or even in much of the 20th Century than you can previously.

In the upper class there were 2 kinds of women. Fashionable and those too poor to afford fashion. If her family could afford it, she wore the best. Maybe not if she were gardening, but every other time, yes. Whether or not she had any idea what was and wasn't 'in', the dressmaker did, and that was enough. And if she couldn't afford it, then she still wanted to look her best, just as women do today.

Forgetting for a moment those poor relations populating romance, the woman had to look her best. Society was extremely catty, and fashion was what counted among the rich. It affected a woman's place, her marriageable chances, and her social circle. Now, if she wanted to wear last year's style, she could - not at any balls but around the house, assuming she wasn't entertaining there.

She wasn't going to leave without everything in place, and she certainly wasn't going to embarrass herself or her family by making a fashion faux pas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fashion vs need - part 1

This is my new soapbox - real characterization. Real personalities, problems, and issues. It has nothing to do with conflict, that's separate from what I'm talking about though sometimes these things are the conflict in a character-driven story.

I try to give my characters real problems, everyday human issues. Allergies, migraines, poor eyesight, bad tempers, snobbishness, etc., etc., etc.

Personally, I don't know anyone who is nothing but altruistic, doesn't ever talk badly about anyone, never needs a tissue, some Tylenol, or eyeglasses for something (ok, I do know some people like that but apparently my circle of friends and family are mostly blind), and has no problems other than they're too nice.

In reading, I've noticed that very few heroines have these issues, and it bothers me. Or if they do, they wear eyeglasses but have no fashion sense. They have allergies or headaches, but never complain. I have both and let me tell you, there are times you can't help but complain. It's human nature.

Those characters don't seem real.

Why is it that the woman needs to be the nice, kind, attentive one, but the man can be arrogant, snobby, and dismissive? Why can't she be the one who knows, the one with the friends, the fashion sense, the attitude?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Austria 1800s

I've let the story sit for a few days, but this morning I woke up with energy (highly unusual for a morning) and loads of ideas. Ideas on a few things, but mostly about this story that's given me so much trouble. Title aside, I always suck at those.

This is an erotic paranormal. It's not necessarily dark but can still be erotic and paranormal. There's no rule saying otherwise.

As such, it needs to start out that way. Sexy dream, sexy ghost, sprinkle in a little plot, sex, bam! Okay, maybe not that simple. But I can work with that, definitely now that I know where the story's going and where it's been. I'm off to write the outline now (also highly unusual) and later, a scene by scene breakdown. With that done, I'm pretty positive I can whip this out in a few weeks.

Now for a title...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


My Austria-set 1800s story has undergone a dramatic change this weekend. Could be the 2 inches of snow, but the entire concept is revised. No longer is it a story of a lost man trying to find his past life through the ghost of his lost love. It's not the story of a man trying to avenge his past - no reincarnation required.

This change had nothing to do with the story itself. I loved that story, but it wasn't working. It didn't work not because of the plot or the heroine/hero, but because of the secondary characters. They were too funny and fluffy for the dark angst I'd originally planned for this story. The sidekick alone had the best lines (all said in very period-appropriate Austrian slang). And he delivered them much the as the sidekick from National Treasure, Riley.

No wonder I had such trouble moving this story along, dark and fluff don't mix well, and despite my love for dark angst, this wasn't the story for it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Others

As in other blogs. It seems everyone has a blog these days, personal, professional, both, one to vent on, one to lurk on, it's all out there. I have several I read daily, but it's hard to keep up! Especially when most are much better at daily updates than I ever will be. Too exhausting.

But they're all informative, even if it's their own personal publishing crisis. It serves to keep me reminded that only about .001% of those published are done on their first draft (and you can certainly tell many of them!) with their first publishing house choice, on their first try. I'll never be one of them, too much bad Karma in my aura I think. Either that, or I'm like the thousands out there that have to plug away at it until I get it all right.

Still doesn't make me feel that bad, knowing there are others like me out there. Somehow it makes for a nice group quality.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Black Friday, the day stores make their money and are 'in the black'. You've got to be joking me. I refuse, refuse to deal with those people, all rude and pushy, tearing things out of your hands, stampeding in the aisles.

I've discovered the Buy Nothing Day. It's a 24-hour event billed as a “festival of restraint.” In North America: 23rd November, 2007; International: 24th November, 2007.

I don't advocate never buying a gift, but this is an interesting concept, and one worth thinking on a little more.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Whatever you're thankful for this year, I wish you the best.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More on music

They've started playing Christmas music! I adore Christmas music (except everything by the Carpenters because Karen can depress even a Christmas song).

Yes, I can write to Christmas music, though strangely enough I find myself cleaning to Christmas music. For some odd reason it makes me look at my (admittedly messy) house and think - clean! But for writing, I prefer upbeat songs, or the classics - Bing, Frank, The Ronettes, The Muppets. What? They're classic...

However, I'm writing a particularly angsty scene, and need a new favorite - Amy Winehouse. Man, her second album is full of angst; the beats are wonderful and the rhythm fantastic. Just what I need to get the heartbreak down.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Music to Write to

There are days I love the peace and quiet. the sound of a neighbor will interrupt my concentration. These days are few and far between and usually end up with me puttering - cleaning. And I hate to clean!

Most days when I write I listen to music. I love all kinds (ok, not hip hop, I admit) but my favorite writing music are soundtracks. Currently, my favorites are from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. That music is some of the best I've heard in a while. For angst try the organ from Davy Jones. For hopeful romantic scenes, try Parlay or One Day. Big fight scenes? What Shall We Die For?

There are other music I write to, but for right now, Pirates is it. Of course, it could be Orlando Bloom, decked out as a pirate, with all that curly hair at the end of At World's End...yum.

Monday, November 5, 2007

NaNo - what?

Commonly known as the National Novel Writing Month, what I refer to as November. I didn't join - too much pressure and November is ALWAYS busy for me. The goal "is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30."

I can manage maybe 1/4 of that, and then only because I now take a lunch where I can sit in front of my laptop, in a home, with no distractions.

It's a great idea, and I highly recommend it for others, but can't it be, say, February? Much less busy for me. Or maybe May? June? September? I'm good those months, too.

Despite my goal (which is more of a wish) to write something every day, I wrote nothing yesterday. But I did get some Christmas and birthday shopping done! Surely it counts as something.

Friday, November 2, 2007

New attitude

Resolved: to ignore pesky historical problems and write the story.

This does not mean I plan on ignoring history, or even those problems I've just resolved to ignore. It means I'm not going to waste time finding the answers when I can easily gloss over them. The sticking points aren't that important, and adding in another character isn't that hard and won't change the story significantly.

I'll go with what I know inheritance laws were for most of the world at that time, and be done with it. If I need something specific, I plan on looking it up afterwards. This might not work, those things have a habit of coming back at you, but c'est la vie. If I don't stress now, some of this story might actually be written.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I always knew this but have recently had it reaffirmed for me. I'm a perfectionist. It's annoying to those around me I'm sure, but it's also annoying to me as well. Why oh why can't I leave well enough alone? Why can't I just gloss over something? Why do I have to spend hours researching something so unbelievably insignificant?

Case in point: Austria. There isn't a lot to go on. I'm talking specifics here - inheritance law, marriage and family, merchant class lives. If I want to know about nobility and royalty we're all good. If I want to know basics of history, again bully for me. If I want to know things in today's world, I have the best of luck.

I want the Napoleon War's affect on Austria and 1870s. I want merchant class rich. I want the wife to inherit everything so she can give it to her second husband. (The plot's a wee convoluted, but I swear it works!) I want to know why I can't find these things online. Am I using the wrong search words? Am I totally off and should be using something else?

Google Books is all well and good, but most of the images are copyrighted and not all of the book is available. Usually it's the page I need.

Found marriage customs, which does help, but not enough. I've asked my historical writing groups and discovered the one other person writing in this time and place has the same issues. I need...well, I need movies like The Illusionist (which I hold out no hope for as being remotely accurate) and historical fiction. Maybe that'll be my next search. Austrian fiction translated into English.

Off to do this next search. Any other suggestions?

Friday, October 26, 2007


I need to come up with better titles for my blogs. Seriously, Friday? Like you can't tell it's a Friday post from the date stamp?

Maybe I should rename it Titles, because that's really the crux of the problem today. Actually, naming anything. The story, the characters, it's all bad. Any writer out there knows what I'm talking about. How many times can you name your hero James or Michael or Mark or ah...whatever? Or your heroine. Sure, you've got names you love and adore, but naming every single woman after your own name is confusing and obvious. :)

I tend to look through baby names sites. My favorite is, and I have several books on Celtic and Gaelic names, plus all those books with random names in them. For historical ones, it's tough. Where, when, how far back, etc. for my Austrian story, I found this limited site. It's good, but I'm positive there have to be more names out there.

Sites, books; they're all good. More importantly, they have names. My problem is I tend to gravitate to the names that I've already used, or ones that begin with the same letter.

I won't even go into titles. Once in a while one will fit to perfection. Once in a great while. Otherwise, I can only hope that someone else will think of a better one. For months, I referred to a story solely by 'title'. That was its name. I read all these story titles and think how perfectly they fit. Then I look at mine, and cringe.

It's got to get better...right?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Morning Blah

I seem to have caught a cold. It's near 80 outside in October! and I'm sick - life is so unfair. In the midst of my pouting-about-my-cold and feverish delusions, I realized a plot problem. Well, several, which is why I haven't written a darn thing in over a week. In 2 different stories, I have 2 separate problems. Neither of which I like or need, and only 1 of which is workable.

In the Austrian story it's a simple matter to comply with their antiquated (even for the 1870s) inheritance laws. I don't want to, and feel like flailing my arms in vain protest. But I will, because even though the story's got a touch of paranormal, some things you can't change. (Unless you go totally AU, and that's more work than the story requires or I need!)

In Cold Winter's Night, the problem is larger, harder to manage, and requires more research than my stuffy head feels up to. Anyone know anything about cold cases - specifically the cops who investigate them?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Writing Randomness

I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, a morning person. I saw a poll this morning as I struggled through waking and showering that contrary to what most people say, 55% are at their best from 4:59 -11:59 am. I am nowhere near that statistic. I'm more in the 6% of the 5-10:59 pm standing.

Which doesn't explain why I have random scenes in my head that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I'm writing! Early this morning (the sun was barely up) as I made breakfast, I had this one-scene story dancing the Sugar Plum dance through my brain. Can I make a story about it? Who knows. It needs more work, and probably a plot. But let me tell you - the scene was good.

I often have random scenes in my head, and usually write them down. Didn't this morning because writing before 9am? Please. Assuming it doesn't disappear by lunch, I'll see how much I can type out. I have a file full of no-titled scenes that are maybe 3 pages in length. This one will be added to the randomness file.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I'm still going to post excerpts of my conference workshops, but haven't had that much time yet, so thought I'd post a little something in the meantime.

Ever read a story that sparks another? Or a TV show, or even a song? Something where your brain says "Yeah, but..." and there's that cool tangent and another plot is added to the mix. In this tangent thinking, I realized something. I really like paranormal. I don't know what it is, either about it or me, but I really like it. Maybe because it doesn't really exist in this world and you can do so many things with it? The rules are what you make them, and as long as you stick to it, all's well.

But no, I'm working (or trying to work on) Cold Winter's Night. Then Sordid Games. I won't even mention the 1870s Vienna story...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


The NJRW Conference was great! I didn't get to do everything, there were just too many workshops to attend and of course they all conflicted. Hopefully some fellow conference friends will eventually share their notes, as I eventually intend to share with them. I left Saturday afternoon before the bookseller's bit and the after party. I was exhausted and had other plans for the weekend.

Karen Robards was the Saturday breakfast speaker, and she's just hilarious. Funny, down to earth, and very personable. It's no wonder her stories are bestsellers! Sherrilyn Kenyon was our lunch speaker. I enjoyed her talk, but it wasn't as off the cuff or hysterical as Karen's. Different styles and all. Still, listening to her trials to get published was inspirational. not in the spiritual sense (and if you've ever read her books, you know what I mean!) but in the keep at it sense. Which I plan on doing.

What else. Workshops! Learned lots, and tomorrow I'll post more about them, once I have the chance to look over everything again and remember them in something other than a jumble of people and talks.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I admit to being really excited about tomorrow. And I'm going to socialize and talk to people. Specifically talk to people outside my little group. By 'little', I mean little; I really know about 4 people that I talk to instead of politely nod at. Not the point!

I'm socializing and talking up both myself and my writing. Yup. I am. And I will not hyperventilate, blank, or stutter. :breathe:

Here I go...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

NJRW Conference

The New Jersey Romance Writer's annual conference is this weekend. This is not the first time I'm going, but it is the first time I'll already have something at a publisher (who hopefully hasn't trashed it and never wants to see my name again) and am not pitching anything to anyone.

I can't tell you the relief in that!

I can enjoy all the workshops, lunches, people, and stuff I couldn't last year because I was so worried about what I was going to say, how to remember to breathe, please stop trembling, and oh, what was my story about?

Lots of great authors with cool ideas are going to be there, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I don't really like autumn. I hate walking through piles of leaves because my allergies are so bad. These falling temperatures? I love the warmth. Give me 90 degrees any day. I get awful sinus headaches, and my nose is constantly stuffy.

Plus the days are shorter. Well, not shorter, though I really think they are getting that way. 24 hours? I either need another day off (a 4 day work week) or an 8th day attached to the weekend for everything I never seem to finish. Who's got the time?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Misc. Monday

Personally I don't think it was wasted (hugely busy with personal stuff), but it lacked writing. I got absolutely no writing done, no plotting, editing, thinking on, or looking at. In a sense, any day that doesn't have me writing something feels wasted.

This writing thing is an addiction! I get the shakes when I go too long without!

On another note, got the business cards back. They look really good, very simple and elegant. If I can figure out how to post from Publisher (where I originally did the layout) I'll add it here.

*EDIT: Alas, I can't upload it without recreating it entirely, and it's just not working.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blogs to laugh at

I've been expanding my writer-blog reading. Not that I have much time to do more than a quick skim, but some are definitely worth reading - in full, with comments, twice. In addition to Something Victorian and Unusual Historicals, both of which I love, I've discovered Jennifer Linforth's Tip of the Quill and today, Manuscript Mavens.

Which brings me to the point of this blog.

This is possibly one of the funniest blogs I've read in ages. What Do You Mean, You Don't Like It? It's FABULOUS! I've been on the receiving end of 1 or 2 (ahem) rejections of my own, all of which are the DEAR AUTHOR: type that say little except they're too damn busy to really care what they say, how they say it, or that the form they're using has been photocopied so many times it's impossible to read. I like reading about other's rejections - it makes me feel less alone.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Landmarks, history, rail lines, oh my!

Trying to figure out the mass transit of Chicago is like trying to untangle a fishing line. Damn near impossible. I went to this wonderful site - Places OnLine Chicago - and while very helpful, still not as great as I'd like. Maybe because I don't really use mass transit (I find it confusing). Still, it has some great stuff on subways and their rail lines. Plus a boatload of facts, mostly courtesy of the Chicago Public Library.

Gotta love those libraries.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things to do on Tuesday

Not quite the same ring as Miscellaneous Monday, but eh. I've read a lot about this 13 Thursday thing where you take 13 interconnected items and write a small blurb about them. Thirteen is a lot, and I don't want to feel obligated to the number, so I'm making my own number - and day. Both of which might change weekly, you just never know.

6 ways (I might not do yet) to get out of your shell and promote yourself:
  • Blog (check!)
  • Website (Yes!)
  • Talk about your stuff to people outside friends, family, and fellow writers (er...)
  • Talk about your stuff to editors, agents, publishers, anyone who can get you published (won't even go there)
  • Enter contests (nope) especially ones with the final entries judged by agents/editors (but I really should...and will look into that this week)
  • Business cards (at the printers now, actually)
What else is there for an unpublished writer? Anyone else have an idea?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miscellaneous Monday

A fellow writer sent me this, and it was just too funny not to post. Really, we writers don't drink to make a statement, but because of statements like this...:)

I've been thinking more on promotions, and yes, Jennifer's comment is incredibly helpful and right on. I'll look more into those, and get something moving. On the other hand, I'm not really into contests. Her bit about an editor requesting a full off a contest makes me incredibly jealous, lol, but I'm not sure they're for me. Then again, I haven't really looked into contests with erotica entries. Maybe I should do that first.

I'll add it to the list.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mystery Romance

I now know why there's no mystery-romance sub-genre. Romantic suspense is as far as it gets because it's damn hard to have a real mystery with a romance. I think it's time to tweak the plot here. Romance is still the name of the story (A Cold Winter's Night), and there's definitely a mystery, but I'm thinking suspense rather than bringing them together at the end.

Or maybe tweaking the romance? Hmm, there might be an idea. Change that up a little, make it work in the mystery setting. That might be the way to go here.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I've never plotted a mystery before. It's harder than it sounds, and much more difficult than a suspense. With a mystery you can't reveal too much too soon or too many clues. With a suspense it doesn't matter what you reveal to who and when.

I'm trying to catch up on my Agatha Christie and old B&W who-done-its. Some of them it's hard to guess who before the big reveal; some not so much, mostly because they drop too many clues or jump to conclusions rather than follow the leads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting the word out

I always thought (and part of me still does) that until you have physical (or downloadable) proof in your hands that you're really, truly a published author, you can only do so much promoting. What are you going to tell everyone?

Hey! I wrote a book!

That's great, and a significant accomplish, but look at those bookstore shelves, or around your library. Tons of people have and they're actually published. You have the proof right there in front of you to read or skip as you would.

So what can I do to get my name out pre-published?
Talk about it, of course, and I do several times a week on this blog. Got the site up and running, and every so often I add to that, too. What else? Hmm, I'm a member of RWA. Don't have that PRO pin (the one that says they recognize the fact I finished a story) mostly because I never bothered to get it. OK, that's my fault.

What else? I'll have to think about it so I can do it. But it's hard when you don't have the proof in your hands to wave around and scream about.

Monday, September 17, 2007


On a few blogs now I've seen things on how to promote yourself - that you should, need to, and how to go about it. But how does an unpublished writer do that? Other than the blog I do and the site I have. No one really cares about the books I have finished that they can't buy yet.

Jennifer Linforth posted a wonderful post about just this. (I found her from the Unusual Historicals blog.) I read hers and thought, hmm, I belong to RWA. I have a critique group. I tell people about it, but not too many. After all, erotica isn't everyone's cuppa.

The big question is how to get out there. Not just this wonderful little circle, but that great big one of readers. Part of me wants to hold off on anything major until I'm actually published. The other part thinks Man, I need people to know about me!

That post has given me a lot to think about, and more yet to consider as I wait for word on my queries.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm officially enthralled with the city. Not just its history (always interesting) but its present. There's a lot going on over there. And while I'm sure it probably retains the feel of a big city, it's so different from what I know and expect on the New York-Philadelphia-DC Corridor. The more I read, the more people I talk to, the more I find out about it, the more I like it.

Might have to take a trip over there sooner rather than later.

Except for their airports...but that's a blog for another time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to writing

Feeling better after my vegging and sleep-filled weekend. Yesterday I managed to write 6 pages of that new mystery set in Chicago. All of it chapter 1, and all of it erotic (well, most, there was the initial setup - no sex there). Oh, and title it. A Cold Winter's Night. I also managed to do some research on the city itself, and discover all sorts of fascinating tidbits about it and its history.

For those interested, 2 sites that give a brief bit about the city:
City of Chicago
Chicago Timeline (provided by the Chicago Public Library)

Maybe one of these days I'll make it over there, it sounds like a great place to visit!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

End of summer sickness

I hate being sick, let alone in the summer. Despite the hype about Labor Day end of summer-ness. Stuffy nose, fuzzy head, ugh.

And yet I managed to write another chapter to Sordid Games (making it 2 - whoo-hoo!) and flesh out the still untitled new mystery. Have 2 pages of that finished. And no, those 2 pages have nothing to do with the actual plot. It is an erotica, after all. *G*

Sleep is in my future, sleep and medication. Gotta love science.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I know absolutely nothing about the city. OK, it's the windy city and there was that wicked blizzard in the 60s, but other than that...nada.

Why did I set my newest untitled story there? A plot point. I won't give it away, it'll give the entire story away, but it's important and I didn't want a city on the coast. East of course. I'm such a snob when it comes to that, lol.

I've never even been to O'Hare! Time for the travel books. Luckily, the local library is a font of helpful books and has that nifty interlibrary loan system where I can find what I need elsewhere. Off to discover what I can discover about Chicago. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September Goals

I find that whenever I write/tell/invent goals, chances are I'll ignore them. Not on purpose. It's just that I don't believe in doing anything small. I want to get a lot done in a short period of time, and I want it done right, right now, and that's that.

Life never works out like I want it to. Otherwise I'd have won the lottery years ago, living on some exotic island with nothing but me, pelicans, sand, sea, and internet access. A private jet is always a plus, as is satellite communication.

Back to reality...

My September goals are as follows:
  1. Finish Sordid Games
  2. Get past this mental block I have for Morganna's Story
  3. Start a new mystery story (possibly mystery, not too sure yet) set in Chicago.

It's only the 4th...I have an entire month to do all this! I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Where'd the summer go?

Anyone else blink and it's gone? I hope everyone had a great one, even if it always is too short. And that you really do get a 3-day weekend this Labor Day.

I plan on going to the beach, even if it is mobbed. Generally, I don't like crowds. All those people jostling for the same place, wandering without looking where they're going...not for me. But it's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, and it is the so-called last weekend of summer. But that might be a consumer gimmick. Eh, maybe I'll go next weekend, too. Just because I can.

As for writing, yes, I'll write. Sordid Games, maybe get back to poor Morganna's story. Something.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Sure, Sordid Games is set there, but I decided to visit it a couple months before the plot happened. And actually, the setting for it came out of the fact that my 3 days down there was already planned. Don't you love how things happen like that?

The end of September I'll be in Savannah, soaking in all the sights and history. And sun - unless there's a hurricane. Which might happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'll be taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere and relaxing. Is it possible to relax on a 3 day jaunt that includes sight seeing, writing, and research? Probably not, but I'll be in Savannah, and not home, so that's got to count for something. And who knows, I might be able to finish that story while down there! Keeping my fingers crossed on that, too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Accidential scenes

Here I was, driving down the road the other day and a scene popped into my head for Sordid Games. Luckily, it was a back road, and I was nearly to a red light. Unluckily, I could only find a pen -- no paper! One frantic scrounge later, and I had the bar scene scribbled in mostly legible notes on the back of a business card.

Of course there was a car behind me, and the light was one of those sensor ones that actually works like it's supposed to. Typical. Still, I got it written down.

The plot to Sordid Games is a mix of Cruel Intentions, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and good ole fashioned family secrets. Oh...and sex. You doubted that? This scene has Catherine spying on her lover at a trendy restaurant while he's out with another woman. However, it's the bartender that really makes the scene. Dennis has some interesting tidbits for Catherine about her father, and his dining companions.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I've started reworking Who Needs Mistletoe? and have noticed a trend within the first page already. Snarkiness. I'm perfectly fine with that, I adore it myself, but I usually try to tone it done in a character. Not sure why, just do. It isn't working in this case. Nope, the snark is flying, the scarcasm is thick, and the cops are on their way.

Poor Regina, she's snarky to the hilt. Of course when she wakes up on Christmas morning to find a naked man underneath her Christmas tree, what's a girl to do?

Friday, August 24, 2007


No that's not a 'yes!' someone wants to publish me, it's a YES I managed to trim Warrior Heiress to the necessary length for Ellora's Cave's anthology. Phew. For a while, I added more than deleted, but it's amazing how a sentence can be retooled to eliminate 3 or so words. Do that with enough, and all those words add up until I'm doing the dance of joy and giggling to myself. Luckily, no one saw me.

Tomorrow, it's back to writing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Warrior Heiress

Seems I've decided. Might change, you never know. I'm finicky like that.

I also need to cut 40 more words from the story. I'm submitting it to Ellora's Cave for their anthology series, and since it's a short story it has to be between 10K and 13K words...I had 14, 237. I've cut and cut and cut and still need to cut 40 more words. It's rough, let me tell you.

I've read through the story twice already, and need to leave it be for a day or so before going through it again. I really love it, and would hate to be rejected solely on the basis that I didn't follow their rules.

Today is the more mundane aspects of daily life, chores. Tomorrow, word cutting. *Sigh*

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Research Blogs

I spend a lot of time online researching. Books are great, but when I want something specific I find the internet much more helpful. Not always, not everything's online, but the majority of the time. I also find people knowledgeable about certain topics I need to know about and have no compunction in mining them for what I want.

Two such places I've found are Slip Into Something Victorian and Unusual Historicals. In the Victorians case, I love their site because I do a lot of writing in that era (Birthrite). They always have something interesting to read. (And wonderful pictures!)

In the Unusual case, it covers such a broad time, and so many aspects of history you usually don't hear or read about, I can't help but love it.

If you get the chance, check out their blogs, I'm sure you'll find something over there.

Monday, August 20, 2007


With the help of a wonderful critiquer, Jenn, I have 2 titles! It's a toss between The Warrior Heiress and Daring Dynasty. Not sure which one goes better.

Shinii (the last 2 is are pronounced long - Shiniiiiiii) is a warrior and heiress to her family's lands and holdings. She's been kidnapped as a bride for the rival country, but it turns out it's her old lover, Gavin, who didn't know the marriage ritual he was forced into involved her. Neither have a choice in the matter, and they mate, completing the ritual.

Hot monkey sex ensues.

They escape the temple and head back to Shinii's lands; he promising to join his lands with hers, and she promising to protect them as she would the rest of her territory.

Hot monkey sex ensues.

Still debating on the title...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This & That

Still no word on Birthrite - Raven. I'm not a patient person by nature, and I know it'll take 2-12 months (yes months, your computer screen is clear, your eyes aren't blurry, and your brain isn't playing tricks on you. I thought the same thing when I first read that little disclaimer). But I dutifully check my email every day just in case today's the day they decide to let me know something. Of course with fingers crossed, I'm hoping it'll be that they want the entire thing!

As for other writing news, I've polished that title-less short story about a mythical planet with medieval-like rules and settings. It's hard to explain, but it's got a lot of sex! Not that that helps. If I had to pick a genre, I'd say...paranormal? It's got magick. Futuristic? Sci-fi? Not really, but it's a different planet, so who can say? They don't have lightsabers or phasers, though. Fantasy, probably. I'll be submitting this one within the week. AS SOON AS I THINK OF A TITLE! *sigh*

Who Needs Mistletoe? was on hold this past week, but I fully intend to pick it up tomorrow for all those lovely rewrites I know I need. Just reading what I had made me cringe. It so needs work. And a synopsis.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Still no title, but the short story is finished. Ahhh. As, I say with a smug grin, is the synopsis.

Now onto Who Needs Mistletoe? I could take a couple days' break before tackling that one. Just because...or maybe a nap.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Another new one

I was going through old files, cleaning out my computer, when I stumbled across an uncompleted Christmas story. It's only about 10 pages, but as I read it over (and cringed, oh boy do I have some rewrites ahead of me!) ideas flowed and the muse was pleased.


At least this one has a title (Who Needs Mistletoe?). I'm still title-less on that other one. Nothing seems to work, and it's very frustrating.

Monday, August 6, 2007


I enjoy writing and don't mind doing so anyplace I can. If it's raining, I like the sound of it beating on the ground or my roof. If it's sunny, I like being outside to enjoy it. Given a choice, I'd chose outside every time. Given the freedom, I'd own a nice house on the beach and spend my days and nights on a deck absorbing the sights and sounds of it all. My laptop goes everywhere, it's a wonderful thing.

The East Coast is inundated with rain this week, and in between other mundane things life requires (laundry, dishes, sleep), I managed to enjoy both the rain and finish about 1500 words on my new story. I decided against Til the End, but have yet to come up with a better title. I did manage to name everyone, though. Big accomplishment there!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tentitively titled...

Til the End...No not too sure about that, either.

But in a true break from my usual writing style, I've completed the synopsis rather than the story first. Since it's a short one, I thought I needed that structure and guide. And am totally amazed that I managed to do that, first. But I really like the synopsis, and plan on taking the rest of today to finish the story.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

That there story

I've definitely decided this is a short story, 10K ish or so. I have 5,000 words now, and a nearly finished synopsis. That part is nearly unheard of for me - synopsis writing? HA! The bane of my existence, the dread of my writing. I think the world might be askew or sun spots flaring too close or something.

However I still don't have a title for it. Why are these things so difficult? I can't very well call it Untitled I...since I'm positive I'll have Untitled II shortly. And how enticing is that? Think, think, think...

Monday, July 30, 2007

New story...s

When I get blocked, I change stories. Since this happens more often than I'd like, I currently have 3 going. Morganna's story, Sordid Little Games, and this still-untitled semi-scifi one. i spent the majority of yesterday cleaning and writing that last one, which I think is more a short story than anything else. I don't envision it as a longer one, despite the world-building that I've done for it. It just has that short story feel.

Here's hoping I can finish one, at least, and soon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New story - untitled

What do I do when I can't get further than the first chapter in an already planned book? Write another one. It wasn't my fault (you know who you are...!) this new idea. And I'm not even sure it'll be enough of a plot to make any kind of length, but I wrote 10 pages. Way more than poor Morganna has.

I feel bad for her, but what can a writer do? The muse is a fickle, fickle creature.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Chapter 1 is still all I have finished. I've tweaked it. I've fiddled with it. I've looked at it again and again, waiting for inspiration on chapter 2 but nada. It's depressing.

So I've decided to put it aside for a bit and relax this weekend. I'll keep some paper and pencils with me in case I get a flash of brilliance for the ongoing plot. Which is part of the problem, I have plotted it out. The words just aren't coming. I'm hoping a break will let them flow a little more freely and I can get back in the groove.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Chapter 1 completed!

Morganna's story starts off quite a bit differently from Raven's. Both jump right into the plot, but take 2 very different approaches. It's taken me a while to get into this story, I think mostly because I like Raven's story so much and want to spend a little more time basking in the finished-ness of it all.

Still basking...

Chapter 1 is completed, and I'm quite pleased with it. I better be, it's taken me 4 days to make it work. I'll wade back into it this evening, and spend most of tomorrow on it. Hopedully it'll flow a bit better than chapter 1 did.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

950 words

Between Monday night and this morning, I've written about 950 words, give or take an edit or 2. Not as many as I'd hoped, but I figure if I end up with about 7000 by the end of the week, I'm still doing good.

Plus I'm reading The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde. Not as good as his previous 2, but still very entertaining.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Another week

It's the start of another week, and another scorcher on the East Coast, and I've decided the best way to beat the heat is to write. The best way to remind myself of my goals is to blog about them until they're done. My plan, such as it is, is slightly revised from last week. Finish Birthrite - Morganna by mid-August, and Sordid Games by the beginning of October. I have faith in my ability to do so.

Heat or not. Beach or not. Vacations included.

I better get started...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Beach days

I adore the beach. And except for the sand in my laptop, so does my muse. After work I'm off to the beach to relax and have boardwalk food to inspire the senses. I can't wait, but it's a long time before 5 pm.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


It's hard having off in the middle of the week. I'm back at work but all thrown now. Though yesterday was very relaxing. I nearly finished Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I'm still loving this AU world of his, there are just so many things that are funny and fascinating in it.

However, the weekend brings with it the chance to write, write, write. I'll post more of an outline for Morganna's story this weekend, and hope to get a good chunk of it begun.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day for all you Americans out there!

Goals for July

It's a new month (only 3 days into it, not many!), so there are new goals to think about.

  1. Finish Birthrite - Morganna
  2. Outline and start Sordid Games - contemporary set in Savannah

OK, I think that's enough. 75+ thousand words, 2 stories, 28 days to go. Yup...that's enough for this month.

Monday, July 2, 2007


This whole blogging every day thing is tough. I don't have that much to say, not every day at least. I can talk an ear off on my ms and WIPs, I can bore someone to tears with research on 1882 Philadelphia. But actually writing on what might interest a broader someone? Harder.

It's like broadening one's horizons. It's a scary leap but once done fantastic. I just have to take that leap, think outside the box, and hope for the best. In this case, that I'm not boring someone to tears. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007


I love the city, it's got everything from revolution to clubs and some really great food. It's also got a history I'm currently delving into. Lots going on there, even as recently as 120 years ago. My current WIP is set there in 1882. Busy year for the city, lots of construction - I'm not convinced it's all finished yet, either. Have you tried to drive through there lately?

Anyway, the site is a fantastic one for historical tidbits in a nice little timeline.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reading list

I've just finished The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. 5 stars all the way.

What a cool idea! Very interesting and novel way to look at the book world. In Fforde's universe, books are the popular culture. Authors the celebrities, and Shakespeare the Frank Sinatra of the modern world. People have been arrested to putting on their own interruptions of his works, and the Friday night date is a play and dinner.

You've got alternate history, a time-traveling father, cloned extinct animals, and a genius uncle who invented a machine to enter books. Literally. You can enter a book at any point in the narrative and explore. As long as you don't mess with the actual storyline.

The best thing? There are sequels! Lost in a Good Book here I come.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I consider myself a hard working woman. I like it when things are finished, and I don't mind working until they're done. In saying that, I find myself at a bit of a loss to describe why it's been a week since I've written anything. Can my non-writing life be that busy? Well, yes. It sucks up your time and energy. makes you wish for the days of less technology. OK, not really. Still, I'd love to get 10 hours of sleep a night, wake up and get what I have to done, and STILL have time for all the writing I want to do.

Laundry gets in the way, keeping the kitchen clean (and why is that always the first place that's messy? It's not like I cook.), and so on and so on and so on. It's never-ending I say. And I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Still, I find myself with a few minutes and think I should write something. I think it'll make me feel better.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I love the internet. It's a one-sided love affair but I'm OK with that. And, yes, there are a lot of interlopers trying to tempt me with their supremely awful so-called facts. Overall it's incredibly easy to find what I need and find the right info I need.

And fast. Man, it's fast. Even when I had to email someone in England about an historic railway in Leeds, I got a response in a day. If I had to write to them...I'd probably still not have my answer. Mostly because I doubt I'd have ever mailed the letter. Then the scene would've been significantly shorter. Actually, since I know (er, knew) little of trains in the 1880s, that scene would've been entirely different had I not had the internet.

Of course I'm lazy. I adore books, don't get me wrong, and some of the pictures and captions in them are great. But do I have time to read a 500 page book on anything? No. Skimming the internet is so much faster. And I can do it at home, no trips to the library.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I wanted to write a little article on traveling in the Victorian era, and trains were the main mode of transportation. I was wrong. Not about train travel and the Victorians, but about the history of rail travel. [1]

Needless to say, by the time steam technology caught up with the world, people were more than ready for it. Track crisscrossed America, Europe, and Africa.
Due in large part to Russia's large land area and harsh conditions,
transportation has always been a major problem for its people and government. In
early times, waterways provided the majority of transportation for goods and
passengers. Some roads were also built, but they were only usable at certain
times of the year due to the weather, and were not good even then. Railroads,
although experiencing a slow start, proved to be more efficient for
transportation than either waterways or roads. [2]

You can do a lot with serf labor.

This was also the era when tourists became big. Not necessarily in today's sense of the word, but people traveled more to see things they didn't necessarily need to. The World's Fair, New York, Philadelphis, Boston, Washington. London for those in the country and the country for those in London.

I got so bogged down in who, where, and when that I decided to post a few links instead of a long disertation on the subject.

Victorian Train Travel:

Railroad History:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I've lost my website. It's not there - I have it, but it's not coming up. And I'm not convinced it's my fault. It was there, all pretty and UP. I was all set to upload a new article I'd done on Victorians and sex and poof! Nothing's there. I suspect something happened with the hosting site. I can only hope something did. Of course I haven't been to my own site in a while, so now I really don't know how long it's been like this.


Off to frantically email them to fix this problem.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I had intended to do a 1-shot with my Birthrite story. It was going to be an AU historical and I was going to be happy that my world-building was going for a good cause. The story itself didn't progress like that. Of course I watch a lot of the History Channel and got a few great ideas from their shows that I just had to incorporate. Never watch history when writing a historical. You'd think the 2 would mix but no.

Back to Birthrite. It became 2 stories. Then I thought, oh, but what about Gareth? And then there were 3. Now I'm thinking, as Book 2 takes shape, but what about poor Isadore? She has no story, and I feel bad for her. Eh, now it's a 4 book series. They each have their own ending, and will probably be able to be read on their own. At least that's what I'm aiming for. It worked in book 1, Raven's story!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Finished the synopsis and after agonizing over it for some time sent the entire thing . Cover letter, synopsis, chapters, and . It was terrifying. Plus I think I messed something up in the subject line and of course it's way to late now to fix it.

Did I mention I'm obsessing over this?

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I'm not a new author, but have completed my first manuscript. It's kinda exciting, actually, and I haven't stopped telling people. "Hey, guess what? I finished my book!" Yeah, they're tired of hearing it. Pft. What do they know. They've never written a book. Or at least finished one.

Birthrite is a historical paranormal. It was very hard writing a story in the overly strict Victorian society with loads of sex while trying to keep to their rules AND try to create a magickal world. send it out. Actually, to write the synopsis.

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