Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Faceoff: Myspace VS. Facebook

I'm not here to badmouth either Facebook or Myspace but I do have a confession to make. I HATE my Facebook account. I do. I rarely go there because...and maybe it's just me but I find Facebook completely confusing and not very user friendly. I'd heard so many wonderful things about Facebook, and I admit they do have some really cool features like sending information out to all your friends (besides the Myspace bulletin feature) instead of one by one. I have friends who use the feature for their newsletter and they seem to really love it, but me, I get so damn frustrated when I go to the site that I don't take the time to even figure out how to do it.

On the other hand, I'm completely love myspace. I'm addicted. I go numerous times a day, promo there, send comments, bulletins, you name it. The sight flows well to me. It's completely user friendly, IMO. Plus, I love how you can customize your page. Mine is an individual to me, Kelley Nyrae, myspace page and I love it.

What about you? Facebook or Myspace? What are your favorite features?

Cover Confessions

Um. Hello.
My name is Regina and I'm a cover slut.
Wonder if they have a 12-step program for book cover addicts? Ya think? Heck, better sign me up quick because I'm a gonner over new covers. From the moment I started writing in 1992, I imagined what a book cover for a particular story of mine might look like. Is that completely nuts? Yep. I think so. I actually have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. They are shoved under my bed with the dust bunnies but, oddly enough, they all have fully formed COVERS in my HEAD.

At the end of last week, I got really LUCKY. Once AGAIN! I asked the Ellora's Cave cover gods for a hot man and woman, naked or nearly naked, a bit of tartan plaid and an ancient castle and this is what I got. Yes, I tend to be a bit spartan in my cover requests. I keep it simple and only add a few odd items for them to play with. It works for me and I've never been disappointed in an Ellora's Cave cover. Granted, my hero doesn't look a bit Scottish but he IS indeed, dark and luscious. Oddly, I never mentioned a rough looking table but I got one. How on earth did they know there is a very sexy scene in this book that features a table just like this one? Highland Beast comes out April 29 and I'm anxious to see if everyone else like the cover as much as I do.

Was talking with Anne and Kell yesterday about covers. Those we liked and those that could've been better. Kelley was nice enough to send me one of HER favorites. I have to agree with her that the cover for Lotus Blossom Chronicles: Book Three is gorgeous. Kelly admitted she naturally LOVES the great chest along with the soft, yummy green color and the scrollwork designs at the top and bottom of the cover. Oh yeah...I would judge this book by the cover and snap it up. It's a recent release at Parker Publishing and you can buy it HERE!

It's funny. For some writers, I'm sure the big thrill is making another sale. Maybe it's release day! I figure it depends on the person. But for me, the big thrill comes when I open my email to find a nice little note from the cover department. My heart pounds and I hold my BREATH!

Yesterday I got another wonderful surprise. Tempting Turquoise, an anthology that includes Elaine Lowe, Amy Ruttan (a very good friend of Three Wicked Writers) and Moi! My Feral Moon, a paranormal/shifter menage is sharing company with two other great stories. You can pick it up on the Jasmine-Jade or Ellora's Cave home page. And speaking of covers...um...I think this is beautiful, don't you?

What about a cover catches your eye? For me, it color. I love love love color. Of course, an uber hunka hunka burnin' love pretty much does the trick, too. Women? I don't care so much about women on the cover. For me it's all about the guy. I'll usually ask for just the man or the couple (barely clothed, of course) but seldom just a woman. As far as body parts, I'm not picky. I like em all. Legs, arms, chests, abs, backs, hands. I don't particularly care as long as they are beautiful. If I request a man for a cover, I always always stress...no baby faces please! No rounded features or fellas who look like they just graduated from high school two months ago. Give me a man. Make it hot. And make me drool. That works for me everytime.

Yes, I'm a cover slut. Sign me up for that 12-step program fast!

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's your pleasure?

So, let's talk about hunks. I'm in the mood for some eye candy! The thing is, we all have our own idea of male perfection.

Whether it's a guy with strong hands and some hair on his chest...

Or a sexy pair of shades and a bicep tattoo...

or yummy guy in a suit who knows how to go casual...

Or the athletic sort...makes me want to play some baseball! lol

Or a hot construction worker...anyone want to get nailed? ;-)

or dark, shaggy hair paired with a sexy accent (he just looks like he'd have a sexy accent, doesn't he?)...

or the flirty guy with a naughty sense of humor (and OMG I love that shoulder tattoo!)

Sooo, what's your pleasure?

And NO you can't say all of the above! LOL

Me? I want the athlete. God, he's hot!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Survival of the Fittest

Every day it seems I'm hearing more and more of newspapers going under or taking their business to a strictly on-line deal. I'm not talking about small newspapers. I'm speaking of big city papers. As someone who got a degree in print journalism and wrote in that medium for years, I find it sad. Not surprising, but sad.

They have, after all, become dinosaurs in a survival of the fittest world. Our world is fast, computer savvy, and yes, getting expensive. The coveted advertising dollars that newspapers need to survive are going the way of the do do. Personally, I'd love to see papers hang around. Forever. After all they are part of our history from the days of Guttenburg and his printing press and Benjamin Franklin. Besides all that, what is better on a lazy Sunday morning than a fresh cup of hot coffee and the crackling sound of the morning paper?

However, I fear, the demise of the newspaper is inevitable. More and more people are going for the quick news fix to be found on-line and in short sound bites on the evening news. Most of us these days are fairly computer savvy. We've learned to cruise the net, publish books in e form for reader convenience. We understand how to navigate the cyber world. Still there are vast numbers of folk out there who might easily call themselves "dinosaurs". My mom is one and freely admits it. The other day she was talking with me about getting a little laptop PC. She wants to learn to send emails, read the news and shop on line. No problem, I told her. I'd help her find something that was perfect for her and show her how to use it. There are plenty of people like Mom who know they should learn but are just a eensy bit afraid of the technology.

As we see e-books flourish in this fast paced market, bookstores will begin to decline and, in fact, lately we've seen plenty of evidence to support that. It's my belief bookstores are here to stay but I believe they will co-exist on an equal playing field with e-books as more and more people become computer literate. The world is changing at the speed of light and we must change with it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

unappreciated and invisible

At some point in everyone's life you get this feeling like you are a speck of dirt on the bottom of someone's shoe. Lately, it's been my turn to feel like the speck. I don't know what it is, but it's like I'm suddenly invisible. Don't you just hate that feeling?

It'd be different if it were just my personal life or just my work life, but when it feels like your being ignored, taken for granted, and treated like a peon from several directions you start to feel your temper. Years ago, after I got my driver's license, I joked that I was finally a somebody. Like having my license somehow gave me a sense of worth. Doesn't it suck when you realize you could fade into the abyss and no one would really miss you for a good week or so? LOL

Okay, that's being overly dramatic. After all, my kids would wonder why they don't have clean underwear well before that! Nevertheless, we authors are like song artists. Each of us is a needle in really big stack of needles. You have to be extra shiny and mega sharp to be noticed. I'm starting to realize that my needle must be a little dull. It's been one hit after another. I consider myself a pretty easygoing person. I try to treat others as I want to be treated. But when I was complaining the other day to my mom about someday being treated like I matter, she said something that stuck with me. Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. She sees it a lot in her job. The noisy, annoying customers get management's attention. And doesn't that just suck?! It's part of life, I suppose.

Unfortunately I'm not willing to be an annoying bitch to get ahead. I prefer to think that eventually hard work will push me beyond life as a speck. Until then, please step lightly. LOL

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who'd have thought?

I've always been more of a panster than a plotter. I start with a basic story idea, give the story two characters, a basic history and conflict and write. I let the story unfold from there. Even though that has basically always worked for me I have run into troubles from time to time. I've written myself into corners or realized that something doesn't fit and had to go back to change it. I've decided to try and shake things up a bit by being a bit more conventional. I have a story that I really need to finish. While my fingers danced on the keyboard yesterday waiting for my characters to tell me what they wanted to do next I realized I spend a lot of time doing that. Waiting. Starting a line and then hitting backspace.

Unfortunately, that isn't getting my story written any faster.

So I decided to try and plot out my whole book this time. I got out my trusty notebook and pen and started writing. Ideas popped into my head I hadn't thought about and I wrote them down. I organized things in the order they should happen and before I know it I had most of my story on paper. You know what? I think it's really going to help. Don't ask me why I did see it before but I think it will be much easier for me writing off an outline rather than searching my brain while I write. Don't get me wrong, I always know a few key scenes that will be in my book but I usually file them away in my head while I write and now I have them on paper, where I can see them, in some logical kind of order. Who'd have thought that would be so helpful. LOL. Sitting back now, yeah, I should have known this a while ago. Makes perfect sense but I'd always just seen myself and a pantser kind of author. Now that I'm getting busier, with deadlines I'm realizing that some times you have to step out of what you've always done. Some times you have to look for a different way to do things and in the end, it just might be a better way. I definitely think my time at the keyboard will be more productive and being a mother of two children not yet old enough for school, I need that.

Are you a plotter or a panster? Have you always been that way?

Guilty Pleasures

So? What's your guilty pleasure? I know a lot of readers like to purchase their erotica on-line so that no one local knows what they are reading. Not a thing wrong with that. Privacy is a good, good thing. At least I've always thought so! But aren't we just really lucky that no one knows what we get into at home?

What about in your choice for television shows? Now, as the mom of a teen-aged daughter I've always been certain to emphasize to her that beauty, the very best kind, is found within. It's okay to be trendy, fashionable, etc. but it shouldn't take over your life to the point you judge others by what they may or may not have. What they wear. How they look. You don't make friends on the basis of someone's outward appearance or social standing. Fortunately, they have been lessons well learned by both my son and daughter. Their friends are 'good people', deep, loving, and intelligent. So yay for that!

Still every Sunday afternoon my daughter and I have an all day date that involves...MODELS. YIKES. Yes, we are completely hooked on America's Next Top Model. They fight, they fuss, they agonize about their hair and outdoing each other. It's crazy that someone as completely non-shallow as me can actually enjoy this stuff. Truth be told, I tend to think it's kind of funny and fortunately, my daughter does too.

My other guilty pleasure (which I also share with my daughter) is a love of the paranormal shows. Ghost Hunters (sci-fi channel), Ghost Adventures (The Travel Channel) and Paranormal State (A&E Network) are three of our faves. I looove quiet, serious Ryan from Paranormal States! He's such a sweet guy! And you've just gotta love the plumbers who hunt ghosts on their days off.

So what are your guilty pleasures?

Do you adore Dancing With The Stars? Or do you get off on nasty Simon and American Idol? Were you ever a total and complete slave to Survivor? What's your pleasure?

Monday, March 23, 2009

to shifter or not to shifter

Have you ever wanted to write something so bad you could taste it? I mean, it's in your head twenty-four hours a day and you can't shake the feeling that this story needs to be written? That's how I've been with this wolf shifter story. I want to write it. I can't imagine not writing it. At the same time, I'm not going to bother unless I know for sure someone actually wants it. I've discovered--the hard way--that can be really annoying. Writers pour their hearts into their work. We want people to like it. We want people to love our characters as much as we do. We know that's not always going to happen, but we at least want our time to be well spent. Am I right, folks?

The thing is, I'm generally a contemporary writer, but from time to time I get this bug to write something a little out of my usual genre, like with A Diamond at Midnight. That was a fun story and I truly feel it came out quite well. I think for a contemporary author, I did an okay vampire. Now I'd like to try my hand at a pair of shifters, twins to be exact. The image above is how I imagine my shifters looking. Ignore the girl or add your self in there, that usually works for me, lol. What do you think? Sexy, huh? ;-)

While I'm asking you all questions, is a shifter story something you'd like to see from me? An erotic shifter, of course. LOL To shifter or not to shifter, that is the question... lol

Friday, March 20, 2009


A couple of days ago, I finished my current work-in-progress! YAY! There's nothing more satisfying, at least to me, than finally getting through something that has just been DOGGING YOU. And that's the truth! I began this book like gangbusters and the writing was smooth and my thoughts were flying onto the page but then I hit the middle and....whump. Nothing. So what began as a 'quickie' became a 'loooongie'.

Every day I'd pull this up on my screen and just stare at it. Did I think it was going to magically write itself? Maybe. Who the heck KNOWS what I was thinking? Especially ME. Now it's off to my editor and the waiting will begin. Is waiting to hear from your editor the hard part? Or is it getting past that dratted middle and inching to the end? I don't know. They both kind of suck.

Fortunately for me, I have another work-in-progress to dig into. The book I just finished was a simple, little contemporary but it's time now to finish the third book of my shifter series. Edits for the first of these is sitting on my computer as we speak.

So I'm happy I got my free day to loll around because now it's time to get back to work.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Propane companies = crooks

At one time I can remember my brother saying, "I want to live off the land. I want to move to Montana, build a cabin and live free of all these trappings that keep us chained down."

Well, as we were paying bills the other day my brother's words came back to haunt me. There's nothing quite like being cheated out of your hard-earned pay by a bunch of supposedly legit companies to make your day complete, is there? Recently, my husband and I decided to switch propane companies. Well, it was by far the smartest move we ever made. One, we're paying about half of what we used to pay. Now, take a moment, close your eyes and imagine the word half. Yes, we cut our bill in half and all we did was switch companies. That tells you the other company is as crooked as the day is long if they're charging twice as much, doesn't it? Oh and the best part is, the old company still has their tank in our yard. It seems we need to call to have them come and pick it up. The catch? We need to pay a fee to have them pick up their own damn tank. Yep, that's right. They own the tank. All we did was lease it. We paid a fee every single time they came out and filled it. Now, we have to pay another fee to have them come and get their friggin' tank. Back in school we would have been taught that cheating people was wrong. Something tells me the propane companies were out sick that day, what do you think? With the new company we bought our own tank. Period. It's ours. No fees, no bullshit.

Back to the bill paying. So, we open our cable bill, which happens to also be our internet bill. My husband's mouth drops as he sees that it's jumped by $35. We didn't DO anything to cause it to spike. So, he calls the cable company. Why is our bill suddenly higher? It turns out we're paying more because our old plan ran out, so now we're being charged more. He stays on the line for awhile and attempts to get us changed to a new plan. Thankfully, it works and we're back down, not quite to where we were, but close. So, you have to wonder, how many millions got bumped but just paid to avoid the hassles of dealing with these annoying assholes? How many millions of dollars do they make because of their sneaky business practices? New plan my ass. It's another way for them to rip us off. A few dollars here, a few there, it's easy to overlook it. Assume our introductory rate ran out, etc. You know what's so frustrating? They're the only company around our area with this type of fast connection. They have us over a barrel and they know it.

Between the cable company and the propane company I looked at my husband and said, "I'm about ready for a wood stove and oil lamps!" Sometimes I wonder if it'd be simpler to ditch modern conveniences and go back to the old ways. It wouldn't be a whole lot different from the way I grew up. There were a lot of winters we simply didn't have the money to pay the heat, so dad cranked up the wood burning stove. I personally never felt the difference. After all, I was still warm, still happy and it was still Home Sweet Home.

There's a special place for crooks like these. I'm sure of it. And it's not a sunny happy place either!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here we go again

I hate moving. Seriously, hate it. Unfortunately it's something I'm right in the middle of right now. Feels like not that long ago I was packing up everything and now I'm doing it again. This time I plan to stay put for a while. No more boxes, packing or unpacking for me for a while.

When I was a child I had to move a lot. I think that's part of the reason I despise it so much now. I lived in five different states by the time I was thirteen and I wasn't even a military child. That just counts state moves, not the amount of times I moved to different houses within those states. Finally we moved to Oregon and stayed there until we moved to California four years ago.

I do not want to do that to my kids. I hated starting a new school and leaving my friends when I was younger. My oldest will start Kindergarten this summer and so it's time to settle down to insure she doesn't have to deal with what I did as a kid. In some ways I'm lucky to have seen so many different places but I'm thinking from now on, I'd like to do that more in a vacation capacity rather than moving.

What is your favorite place that you've ever lived? Have you had to move around a lot? Would you like to move somewhere different than where you live now?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Things Kids Do

The other day I was looking at someone's post on facebook. I don't play around over there very often but this note caught my attention. This woman had just returned from a Build a Bear Workshop where she'd taken her four year old to build a bear. Apparently the child completely freaked when stuffing was removed from the toy to put in the "heart"...certain, I guess, the 'horsey' was being KILLED. Of course the mom was distressed that her kiddo lost it. Hey! Most of us know that kids can often surprise us with the things they say and do. Naturally the comments about the traumatic Build A Bear episode caused other comments to surface and I SWEAR, it was so funny the stories that were told about things their kids had done.

Both of my kids are grown now but I still remember those embarrassing moments. Like the time my very very young son reached into my shopping cart in the middle of a crowded check out line at the grocery store and held up a tube of hemorroid medicine and yelled...hey mom! Is this for Dad's butt? Yep. He did. I also remember this same kid burying his face under my jacket for most of the movie Jurassic Park, whimpering about how scared he was. On the way home with my husband and I, he's practically bouncing in the back seat....ah, MAN, That was the BEST movie I've ever SEEN.

You've gotta laugh.

I have a habit, like most of you I'm sure, of singing to the radio as I drive. Don't sing worth a flip but that's okay. Remember that song from the 80's....If you like Pina Coladas, Getting Caught in the Rain blah blah? I'm singing along when my daughter sings out from the back seat...If you like PIIIIIIINK ENCHILADAAAAAS! I think she was about 6 yrs old and deadly serious as she belted it out.

Anyway, I think it's funny what we remember sometimes, especially as our kids become NOT kids anymore. Have a funny story to tell? A special memory? Come on. Give.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I have a new space!

I'm bouncing with joy here! I've got a new space in my house that's perfect for writing EVEN with a houseful of people!

Here's some background on why this needed to be done. I was trying to get some edits done, I had edits for two different stories at two different publishers, both due NOW and a synopsis to write as well. Well, the kids were out of school, I forget why, and so there were other kids who ended up staying over too. By the end of that day I was frazzled, frustrated and realized this can and will happen again unless I take action and do something to change the situation.

First, I don't like the idea that my kids can't have friends over just because I have work to do. So, my husband and I brainstormed. We realized I needed a space of my own, where I could close a door and shut out the noise and get some writing/editing done. We have a small house though, finding 'me' space wasn't really easy. We figured the only spot was in our bedroom. I had to do some reorganizing, but we worked it out and knew where I'd put a desk. Next problem. We don't want to spend $300 or more on a new desk, one that I plan to only use on weekends, etc. So, my husband being the clever guy he is, remembered some glass shelves he still had up at his mom's house. He'd saved all this glass from an old dept. store he used to work at years ago. Now we had the surface of the desk, it was just a matter of pulling it all together.

Tada! My private little haven!

The chair is my old desk chair. My husband and kids bought me a new one for Christmas. Glad we saved the old one! The laptop is perfect in here, because my daughters can still unplug it and bring it out to the couch if they want. The little salt rock light is supposed to release positive ions, a gift from my mother. Although you can't tell from a picture, my husband found a nature cd and the room is filled with the sounds of the outdoors. Best of all, it's a few feet from the bed, so if I need inspiration....hehe.
On the weekends I close the door and it becomes the perfect space to create!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Mouth Blues

Lord save me from ever having a huge, big, giant mouth that is going to pop off to the wrong person and bite me on the ass. Yeah, we all say things we shouldn't occasionally especially when we're in the 'public eye' so much. Just the nature of the beast, I reckon. I tend to keep my head down and just WRITE most of the time. I do a little bit of promo and belong to more than my fair share of loops but I don't BRAG. I don't shoot off my mouth and I tend to keep things in my little world fairly quiet. I mean, who needs the drama?

I'm not naive enough to think we join loops just for fun. We're there, for the most part, to promote our work. There's not a thing wrong with quietly announcing that a recent release has gotten a good review or that you've received a new cover or contract. Perfectly acceptable. But if I ever happy dance or squeeeeeee...please shoot me and put me out of everyone's misery. Reading post after post of raving, wild bouts of celebration is like hearing someone rip a styrofoam cup to pieces. Nails on a chalk board? Same thing. It crosses the borders of good taste and dives straight into getting yourself labeled a braggart. Now, I don't know about you guys, but that was one of the things I was taught never to do.

A perfect example of a writer's bragging biting her on the ass came to my attention yesterday. She bragged to the owner of a popular writers' blog about her work, her new publisher who was going to put everyone else to shame, and how she was now an editor for said publisher. What did this bout of diarrhea of the mouth gain her? A review from the recipient of this shameless bragging. Her book, complete with excerpts, was totally trashed in a public forum. Last time I checked there were somewhere around 350 comments about how pitiful this book was and how HUGELY untalented was the author. They laughed. They jeered.

Let me saw straight out that I don't care for blogs that bash people. I really don't and we don't do that here at Three Wicked Writers but this thing was like watching a train wreck. You know you shouldn't watch but are helpless to do otherwise. I feel sorry for this woman. No one wants to be made a public laughingstock. Guess the moral of the story is...don't behave like you are a legend in your time because nine times out of ten, you are only a legend in your own mind.

Sometimes Karma is a bitch!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Alabama Shootings

I'm sure you all saw the terrible story on the news about the man who went on a shooting rampage in Alabama. I didn't know the full story until I read this news article though. If you watch the video, it describes how this man put his own mother on the couch, piled things on top of her, then set her on fire. But that would only be the beginning of his rampage. After he burned his mother to death, he then killed four dogs, drove several miles to a relatives' house where he killed three relatives and two other individuals.

Still, he's not finished.

He then proceeded to shoot another relative who lived next door. After all this, he got in his car and drove around where he ended up killing three more people, these were just folks in the wrong place at the wrong time, total strangers. One man was shot in the back. At the end of his rampage he drove to a place where he used to work, shot and wounded an officer, then finally killed himself.

What drives a person to this sort of violence? It boggles my mind that at some point he didn't stop and ask himself, 'what am I doing?!' Random acts of violence are always somehow more horrific because of the sudden savagery of it all. There always seem to be no reasoning. So many people are dead because one man simply picked up a gun.

Are gun laws too weak? Is this a sign of stress in these tough economic times, or is that just an excuse? I feel sorry for the people who lost their lives, simply because they got in this man's way. It's frightening to think this can happen anywhere and at any time. It's a reminder to me to always give a kiss and say I love you to my family as they walk out the door...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kick in the Pants

This week, I finally had enough! I haven't really written like I should since January. I've come up with excuse after excuse and some times just admitted I was being plain lazy but no more! I gave myself a "Writing Kick in the Pants". How you ask? LOL. I talked to a few friends who I knew were having the same problem. Some of them talked to a few friends as well and we started our own little kick in the pants writing group. We each have made our own deadlines and we HAVE to check in at least once a day to let the other members know if we've reached our goal or not for the day. We offer lots of congrats when need be and encouragement when it's needed as well. Let me tell ya, it helps! I sure don't want to be the only author out of our little group of ten not to hit my goal for the day. It's very motivating! The first day the group was open, I hit my writing goal which is the most I've written in one day since January! It felt SO good. I think we've hit the nail on the head. We're a small, intimate group who all have the same goals in mind and we are there to help one another achieve them. I can't wait to do it again today!

How do you give yourself a "Kick in the pants" when you need to? It can be writing related or not.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

While the Tom Cat's Away....

I don't find myself virtually alone in my house very often. This has been an unusual eight days all right. Very interesting. First, there was a seminar and then a guys' fishing trip leaving just me and my daughter HOME ALONE.

Verrrry interesting.

No, we didn't get up to anything bad but damn, was it ever relaxing. She is in her first semester in college and currently on spring break so there were no alarm clocks to set, no dealing with anything pressing at all. I'm not kidding...this stuff is great.

Not that we don't miss him. That's not it at all but I've learned over the years that some people are a creature of habit. They want things just they way they want them. Mail fetched at a certain time. Dinner served precisely at 6 p.m. The list goes on and on and on. You get the drift.

So for eight days it has been just my seventeen year old daughter and I and I must say we've had fun. Nothing special really, just chilling out. Watched what we wanted on the tube. Read books and talked about them. Discussed life and love and family history that she didn't know before. Then in the morning, we slept as late as we wanted. Sometimes we'd move aimlessly from room to room. I've written, eaten lunch and dinner and watched television in various rooms. Didn't want lunch until 2 p.m.? Not a problem. We ate when we were hungry. And messes? What messes? No one cared. We were free and light and easy.

And writing. Oh my! Got a lot of that done too. Don't you find it nice to just chill and let your mind go free? I do. I made notes on stories that as of now are only a glimmer in my imagination and worked on my current story. It occurs to me there is a huge difference between loneliness and solitude. These past few days have been solitude. There is a lot to be said for that.

Monday, March 9, 2009

stinkin' users

It's Monday and it's time to rant. LOL
We all have someone in our life that makes us crazy. That person you try to avoid at all costs. She/he wants one thing, to USE you. Well, in the writing world there are users too. Unfortunately. They don't want to do their own legwork, so they hit you up instead. After all, why go to all the trouble if you can just send an email to someone and get all the answers you need in one swoop? Here's the clincher, they're not your crit partner, they're not there when you need them. These people spring up only when they're in need. Amazing how quiet they are the rest of the time, isn't it?
Writers are always willing to share information. Please don't get me wrong, that's what writers do. We help each other. I love that aspect of this business. We're all willing to give some advice, help out if someone is stumped on a plot, a blurb, trying to come up with a title. Share research information. We share information about good publishers and bad publishers. Fantastic editors and duds. We scratch each other's backs all the time and that's a wonderful thing. But then you always have a few that don't do any damned scratching! Those are the ones you just shake your head over, isn't it? The best friend, as long as you have something she/he wants. I've come across a few and let me just say, I've learned that users are a real pain in the ass.
In real life it happens much in the same way. A smiling buddy or family member...when they need you to run an errand or fix their problem. Or drop everything to give them your entire day because they couldn't be bothered to make proper freaking plans!
I can't figure out if these individuals really understand that they're being incredibly annoying or not. Maybe they really don't see the error of their ways. Maybe they don't get the fact that they are permenantly on my list of people to avoid. However, I don't think that's the case. I think they know and just don't give a crap. After all, someone who does it time and time again, with no regards to you or your time, can't possibly be that dense. I think it's more a case of, they just don't really care if they're being a user. It's simply who they are.
Any thoughts? LOL

Friday, March 6, 2009

HUH??? Gray already???

A few days ago I found these cooler than cool sunglasses. You know the kind I mean....the EXPENSIVE ones. I tend to not do well with pricey accessories considering I lost a high dollar watch while decorating the Christmas tree a few years ago. I swore I'd never again by expensive accessories after that little episode.

So what do I do? I find these cooler than cool Ed Hardy sunglasses that featured a glittery dragon on the side-pieces. Now, I've never been one to blow money on stuff like this. After all, I'm not in the sun all that often. Most of the time, I'm buried in my little room pounding out a story.

Well, I gave in. I wanted those sunglasses. They were hot and hip and, after all, that's what I want to be, right? Ended up heading out yesterday to pick them up and I'll be damned if I didn't glance into my rearview mirror and see....GRAY HAIR. OMG! Time for an appointment with my hair goddess. I'm actually blonde and figured gray, wiry hair wouldn't be a problem for me. Boy, was I wrong about that one. That wasn't the big thing though. Suddenly I wondered...are these sunglasses too young for me? Are they too hip? You know...me and my granny hair might not be able to take the excitement of cool looking crystal dragons on the sides of my funky glasses.

Aw, well. It was a moment of insanity, that second-guessing. I am who I am, regardless of the age or the appearance of cool, way-too-expensive sunglasses. Life is short and gray hair or not, I'm going to have a little fun. The glasses are very HOT by the way!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I read too fast!

I don't know if it's just me, but when I get my hands on a Lora Leigh book, everything goes on hold. I sit and I read and I don't move until I reach the end. There's just one problem with this scenario. I have to wait too damn long for the next book to come out! LOL

I just got Maverick at the store and wow, I loved it! She just keeps getting better and better. What a great hero and heroine! I'm half in love with Micah myself now.

Here's a quick blurb of it:

Micah Sloane knows almost everything there is to know about Risa Clay, including the vicious betrayal she endured years ago and the distrust she’s harbored ever since. The only way for the Elite Ops agent to uncover an assassin—and banish the ghosts of his own dark past—is to use Risa as bait. But nothing has prepared him for her disarming blend of innocence and sensuality, or for his overwhelming need to protect her…

Risa has spent six years rebuilding her life. And now, to save it, she must pose as Micah’s lover and draw a killer into the open. It’s a risky plan—especially with a man as powerfully seductive as Micah. But, as their charade becomes reality, Risa realizes the greatest danger may lie in losing her heart forever…
Don't walk, run to the store and get this one! It's that good!
Next up is Heat Seeker's book, otherwise known as John Vincent. And I'm wondering if he'll be paired with Micah's cousin, Bailey. That'd be a good couple, lots of fireworks for sure. But there's no release date on her website. Why is there no date?! I need to know these things! LOL
In the meantime I'll wait until Nauti Intentions comes out (April) because that one is bound to be HOT HOT HOT!
The problem is that since I've found Lora Leigh I can't seem to read most other authors. She has a style all her own. Do any of you know of an author who writes similar to her? Help, please!! I need a fix! LOL

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I love this feeling!

Hey everyone!! I've been in such a reading slump lately. Couldn't find anything new, didn't feel like rereading anything I had laying around the house. I hate feeling like that. I NEED my books for my sanity, LOL. Without them....well let's just say I'm not very fun to be around. Then something happened. I spotted a gorgeous cover from an author I'd never read.

That prompted me to do a little blurb reading. Which immediately caught my interest.

I am the vampire known as Bishop. And I have sworn to destroy evil in this world"

When the vampire Bishop returned to Romania for the first time in centuries he never imagined he would find himself the prisoner of a vampire slayer. Nor did he expect to risk his own life to save hers. Marika has spent most of her life killing monsters like the one who killed her mother, and hiding her most dangerous secret. She would use Bishop to her own advantage, but when Marika's own life is threatened she realizes Bishop is her only ally – and the one man who has ever laid claim to her heart.

I started the book that night and finished it the next night. I love the high I get when I find a new author to read. I'm the type that kind of sticks to what I know a lot of the time. I know that limits me and there are so many good authors out there but I love the comfort of my favorite authors. When I step out of the box and find a series like this one I'm always so grateful I did. There's nothing like finding a new author to devour!

I ended up on Kathryn Smith's website and discovered there was a whole series on her Brotherhood of the Blood. I'd actually read the second book first so I explained to the hubby that I just HAD to get the first one. A girl can't read the second book and not have the first. LOL.

For centuries Chapel has served as a holy warrior, hiding himself away from human contact. Now he's forced to travel to England where an ancient evil may be awakened. Prudence Ryland almost out of hope. She desperately needs a miracle and thinks she might have found it. But she's about to discover that the greatest miracle awaits her in Chapel's arms. All she has to do is make her reluctant vampire believe in the power of true love.

Now my hands are itching for the third! Had anyone else read The Brotherhood of the Blood books? What was the last new author you found?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Know what ticks me OFF?

A few days ago, I read a news story about a woman who got busted by the cops for driving while breast feeding and talking on her cell phone. All at the same time. Pretty jaw-dropping, huh? Now I have nothing against breast feeding or driving or talking on a cell phone but ALL AT ONCE? Pretty damn crazy.

Over the past few days when I've left the house to run an errand or two I've spotted drivers weaving around, cutting people off, and running red lights in record numbers. Each and every time, they are folks who seem determined to chat on their phones while driving. A man once commented to me that women do this all the time. Uh uh. I beg to differ. Men are equally opportunity offenders when it comes to this behavior. A few years ago there was a terrible traffic accident in our smallish town. The driver of a Chevy Suburban ran a red light, killing a young man on a motorcycle. The reason she ran the red light? She was chatting on her cell phone.

I've never been one of those people who has a cell phone glued to her ear. I keep one in my car but if it rings while I'm driving, I let voicemail pick up or have a passenger answer for me. I can always return the call when I get safely where I'm going.

Do you have a little THING that just bugs you to death? Oh, I promise, I have a few more and most of them have to do with common courtesy. There's nothing wrong with letting someone with only a few items move ahead of you in line at the grocery store. It's the right thing to do when you help someone who is elderly find some little this or that or fetch something from a too-tall shelf. These are little things that don't take long and are the kinds of things I've always tried to teach my kids. I'm sure you've done the same with yours.

So what's your beef? What ticks you off?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Indulge thyself?

Okay, be honest now, when was the last time you indulged in some YOU time? I've realized that all my time is filled with stuff. Good stuff, but stuff all the same.

I don't know if it's my age or if it's just the latest stress in my life that has me feeling as if I need to indulge in some me time more often. Like anything else though, I need to pencil it in around all the other things that tug at my attention. I think it's one of those strange things that men don't understand. Sorry guys, but that's how I feel.

Let me be clear here though. I have a good life. I'm happy. Me time isn't about needing something that I'm not getting. It's about finding a little quiet break. Space to be...to just be. I don't need to go to a spa or buy expensive jewelery. I just need some time where there's nothing pressing against my personal bubble. Sometimes it's just a hot bubble bath and a good book. Half an hour alone. Someone else answering the phone. Not breaking up an argument between the girls. No finding a particular spatula for my husband. Just a quiet, relaxing moment to unwind.

But who does that anymore?! When do we ever find the time to really put our foot down and say, "I need some ME time!" And that's really what it takes. We have to be an enforcer or it'll never happen.

Tell me, do you take time to destress or are you like me where you want to take th time, but you never quite get around to it. To no fault of anyone else's you simply aren't a very good enforcer when it comes to YOU. We'll fight tooth and nail for our kids, our spouse, our parents, but when it comes to fighting for a mere half hour of me time we shrug our shoulders and figure it's not worth the battle.

Well, I'm going to start changing that. I admit, there will be times I'll fail. I probably won't be vigilant about it. But at 42 yrs. old, I need and deserve me time. You know?