Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just a Joke


Last night my friend and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."So she got up, unplugged the computer, and tossed my wine in the garbage.She's such a bitch.

Thanks to my friend Claudia (who is not a bitch) for the joke. I am unplugging for a bit and will not be blogging until after July 4. Have a wonderful Independence Day (and every other day, too)!

Red wine or white? What's your favorite cocktail? Should I take the laptop with me on vacation?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fresh Out


School's out for summer. Aren't you hearing Alice Cooper right now?

Well we got no class
And we got no principles (principals)
And we got no innocence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes

There seems to be an issue with the word principle in the lyrics. I guess it can go either way. I hope in general I have class and principles (I know I have my very own principal.*g*). My innocence is definitely gone, and while I don't want to be a poet, there are plenty of times when I search for the right word. I keep Thesaurus.com minimized for handy reference when I write. I find I blank sometimes when I'm talking, too---that name or word just eludes me. I prefer to think my brain is simply too busy, not that I've got senile dementia. :)

Keeping things young and fresh is important in writing. I make an effort not to repeat certain things from chapter to chapter and book to book. I discovered when editing Waking Beauty, the heroine Penny blushed so much she must have owned Covergirl stock. I'm now conscious of the whole blushing scenario and try to flush it out every time I'm tempted. For some reason I'm stuck on the phrase 'velvet agony' and must embed it in at least one bedroom scene. Stop your snickering now.

Do you have a habit of repeating yourself? Do you have deja vu when you read your favorite authors? Do you marvel that Nora Roberts can write a million books and come up with a million ideas? What are you doing this summer?

Note the illustration provides both blush and velvet. Agony not included.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pitch Black


My friend Terrio has tagged me to "sum it up in six words." That's six words to describe myself, my life, my hopes, dreams, etc. When I found out, I used six words immediately: Damn you, Terri, you evil bitch. Getting tagged or being asked to forward something or else the universe will implode brings out the rebel in me. As Captain Hellion might say, "I don't wanna." While I pride myself for quick-thinking on my feet in real world situations, my tootsies feel mired in molasses now. How can I find the six perfect words?
But really, Terri has done me a favor. She's making me think about streamlining something bulky into something short and sweet, or sour as the case may be. I suck at pitching (well, actually, I've never tried to pitch but I would suck if I did). Describe Mistress by Midnight in a simple sentence? Uhh....young lovers reunite? Borrring. Fellow Vixen Ely's good at this high-concept stuff. My Fair Lady meets reality TV works perfectly for her contest-finalling book Take a Chance on Me. Then she does something like Roman Holiday in Africa for Lay All Your Love on Me. I'm going to have to hire her.

I've still got nothing for MBM. Romeo and Juliet after a dozen years but no one dies and there's a secret baby? OMG, I just realized after over 55,000 words I have written a secret baby plot book. Double-damn you, Terri, you evil bitch. Okay, how about Regency Brady Bunch but much darker with lots of sex?

Now that I've got MBM pigeon-holed, it's time for me. Writer believes in love, sometimes self. That will have to do.

Pitch your current project right here. It can't be any worse than mine. :) And Terri, you know I love you. I even put it in writing!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Supper


There’s nothing I like better than reading and eating when I’m alone. I’ve even been known to read while my husband sits across the table from me. I am, as Alec Baldwin might say, “a rude little pig.”

I’d like to get my hands on the recently published book, My Last Supper, detailing the final favorites of 50 world renowned chefs. There are some surprisingly humble choices: hot dogs, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, cheeseburgers. There have been studies on what prisoners choose for their last meals before they step involuntarily off into the great unknown. Comfort food seems to be key: steak, fried chicken, and that ubiquitous cheeseburger with a side order of fries.

If you were writing the menu for your last meal, what would be on it? Whose book would you be reading?

I think I’d be having Thanksgiving dinner reading anything by Georgette Heyer. Pass the cranberry sauce, please.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Series-ously


I'm a little slow on the uptake lately. Blame it on the end of school and the associated craziness. I don't get paid over the summer either so I get all angsty about fun and finances. I always plan on writing during vacation, and want to finish Mistress by Midnight before the corn is as high as an elephant's eye. Of course, I haven't planted any corn, just tomatoes and Hungarian sweet peppers. I have no elephants handy either.

But last week, I realized I had inadvertently set myself up for a series. My heroine Laurette is very bored waiting for the hero Con to come and cavort with her. Here's what I wrote, without any forethought whatsoever (like most of my writing, LOL):
The afternoon now stretched before her. There would be no afternoon callers or jaunts to the shops. There was no basket of mending she could muck up with her crooked stitches or vegetable plot to weed. But the day was fine, so she walked about in the garden, watching the bright yellow birds flit from branch to bush. The fountain burbled, the flowers exuded their fragrance, the sun braved the haze of the city to shine on her bench. Laurette sat in the square of warmth and gazed up at the windows next door, all discreetly laced and swagged in curtains. She wondered if the other mistresses were as bored as she. Perhaps she could form a kind of Mistresses’ Union, where they might take tea together---or something stronger---and complain about their ennui. She let out a laugh.

So, there you have it. It seems I'm writing a mistress series. I've already begun Mistress by Mistake, and Mistress by Marriage is waiting in the wings, or at least in a cobwebby corner of my brain. All future characters must be embroidered lightly into Laurette's life, a challenge I'm eager to undertake. This pantser will actually have to plot.

But first...32,000 words to go on Midnight.

Anybody out there writing a series? Have a favorite series to recommend? Are mistresses and courtesans passe already? I guess there's hope if Showtime is airing The Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Gasp.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Almost Famous


When my oldest daughter was little, she wanted to be “famous.” I think she saw herself on Days of Our Lives and dating all the New Kids on the Block (Not simultaneously, though. That would be wrong. And can I tell you she plans to see the resurrected New Kids in concert this fall with her sisters? They have their tickets already. Some things never change.). The other day we were commiserating about several celebrities who are in dire need of no more unflattering crotch and cleavage shots. I reminded her of her earlier wish, and she’s pretty happy just as unfamous as she is. And for the record, she wears underwear.

Writers do not have the glamor that movie stars do, but they still have to get out and meet and greet. The Internet has provided a wonderful venue to do so electronically. If you’re a blog-hopper like I am, you keep tripping over authors who are promoting their books. No red carpet or limos required. You can post in your pajamas. Or your underwear. Or not.

Would you like to be rich and famous, your every action recorded by the paparazzi? Are you comfortable meeting strangers? When you’re published, do you dread getting “out there?”

The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. ~Lady Bird Johnson