Friday, August 31, 2007

Maybe I'm an Every Other Day Blogger

I forgot to blog yesterday. Although in my defense, I did think about it but mistakenly thought I'd blogged first thing yesterday morning and therefore told myself I didn't have to worry about it last night.

Plus, I was writing! Finished the first chapter of my proposal and got over a writing hump in the story. I'm going to try to finish chapter two over the weekend. And maybe even chapter three! Then I'll be ready to work on the synopsis and get the proposal out to my editor soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well, Phooey...

Forgot to blog yesterday. It was a busy day.

Over on Romance Magicians, Carla's blogging about Big Bad Boys. I'm of two minds about alpha male heroes. I like a man's man, but I don't like a man who's controlling and hard like some alpha male heroes in some romances.

So, what's your favorite flavor of hero?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doggone It!

I skipped yesterday blogging. Two days. ::sigh:: I'm such a slacker.

Okay, how about a pretty picture for today's blog? I mentioned I'm working on a cowboy book. I went looking for inspirations for my hero, mostly in western clothing catalogs online. Came across this fellow:

Ain't he purty?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What Color Crayon Are You?

You Are a Blue Crayon
Your world is colored in calm, understated, deep colors. You are a loyal person, and the truest friend anyone could hope to find. On the inside, you tend to be emotional and even a bit moody. However, you know that people depend on you. So you put on a strong front.

Your color wheel opposite is orange. Orange people may be opinionated, but you feel they lack the depth to truly understand what they're saying.

What color crayon are you?

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's Too Hot to Blog

Is that a good excuse? It's hot and it's been storming, too, which means its muggy on top of hot. I hate August.

On top of that, my power window on the driver's side door of my car decided to die on the first rainy day in about a month. In the down position. What is up with that?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I skipped blogging yesterday. I'm a failure!

Okay, not really. And I made it twenty days into August without screwing it up, so I guess that's not too bad. I'll try to post twice today to make up for it.

Jayne Ann Krentz is just a lovely, lovely person. Because I helped out with the movie trailer for her August book, she picked up a copy of Forbidden Temptation and read it. She liked it a lot and wrote to let me know. And she sweet enough to give me a nice quote to put on my website.

So go buy her book! It's under her Jayne Castle pen name---Silver Master. Looks to be great!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Mary at The Bandwagon tagged me, which is great, because now I don't have to think up a blog on my own for today.

Here's the rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

First, I have to say this is SO unfair, because I have a longish middle name and I'm not sure I know enough bloggers to tag for all the letters of my name. Anyway, here goes:


I tag: Tripp, Tracy, Emily, Jennifer, Stacy, Tawny and Jill.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Snake Bit

I'm feeling kind of snake bit with my edits. First, my editor leaves out 50 pages from her line edits, which forces me to wait for the copy edits to finish up. Then my copier at home is acting all wiggy, so I thought, I'll take paper to work and copy there. Minimal ink usage. My boss won't care. But the copier here is going bad and won't feed sheets without jamming, and I don't have the time to stand at the copier for however long it takes to feed the sheets one at a time.

So I thought, well, I can scan and print to my printer. Slower, but I can work it in between work I'm doing. But the scanner will scan maybe a page or two at a time before it stops and I have to shut it down and let it rest until it's stopped freaking out. Still doable, though, right?

Wrong. My printer, which we just had fixed because of paper feeding issues, stopped feeding paper. So I think, okay, well it'll be slower, but I can scan two or three at a time and print to the color printer. Except that the scanner apparently sees the color printer interface and swoons, because it lies down and dies every time I try.

So I think I'll give my home copier a try again. Cross your fingers for me.


Got the home copier to work, and the edits are packaged up for UPS to go out tomorrow, two-day. It should get to my editor on schedule. Yay!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whew! And Hee!

The "whew!" is because I think my edits are done! Just have to print out the pages that required extensive revising and make copies of all of it, and then it's off to my editor by Fed Ex.

The "hee!" is for the fun little flash movie I made this weekend, in between edits, for Jayne Castle's next book in the Ghost Hunters series, SILVER MASTER. Take a peek.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tick Tock

Copyedits just got here. I have to have them back to my editor by next Thursday. See ya!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Redemption Story

I'm a sucker for a redemption story. I like to read them and I like to write them. I like to hear about them in real life.

And it doesn't always have to be about life or death. Sometimes, as in this Charles Krauthammer column, it's just about finding a way to get back to something you love, even if it's not exactly what you hoped for or expected.

What Do You Blog About When You Don't Know What to Blog?

You blog about not knowing what to blog, I guess.

I know it's counterintuitive, but I'm not a journal-keeper. I know a lot of writers are. And I tried. I really did, especially as a young teenager in love for the first time. Only problem is, I'd forget to, y'know, actually write in my diary. So I'd remember the diary every two weeks or so, and I'd industriously try to piece together all the enormously important things Phillip and I had done together (which, believe me, wasn't anything to write about even at 15) and put them down on paper. But because I was a tad anal retentive, even then, I couldn't bear the concept of a day without an entry. So in between the one or two significant events that might happen in a week, there were five or six days when all I wrote was the date and "Nothing Happened." In fact, I got to where I just abbreviated it. There'd be page after page of "NH" in my poor diary. Then, Phillip graduated, we never really got together, and the diary got dumped in a box somewhere and finally disappeared altogether.

I tried journaling later, in my late twenties. That didn't even get as far as the poor diary.

So, I guess this blog is sort of all the journal I have in me. Of course, I'm not going to write the kind of stuff on a public venue that I might have written in a private journal. But who am I kidding? I never wrote it in a private journal, either.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What I Look for in a Hero

A touch of tenderness.

A touch of heroism.

A touch of danger.

What do you look for in a hero?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crazy Day at Work

And I'm pooped, so I'm out of snappy, interesting ideas for the blog tonight. But since I promised myself I'd blog something every day, how about a link or two?

As always, check out my peeps at Romance Magicians.

The Writing Playground has a cool interview with Carly Phillips.

Mary at The Bandwagon is lamenting the fast-approaching end of her summer vacation, and she also finished a manuscript, so congratulate her.

And now, I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The last two nights, I had two different odd, vivid dreams.

In the first dream, I was at a high school. I have no idea why I was there--in the dream, I wasn't a student or teacher. And I don't really know anyone in high school I could be visiting. Anyway, while I was there, two teenage boys pulled out guns and started threatening people. They never shot anyone, but they were forcefully confiscating cell phones. I realized that someone had to find a way to call for help, so I managed to slip out of the big communal room where everyone was--I think it was some sort of school wide assembly, and everyone was there in one room.

Anyway, I managed to slip out, but I was unfamiliar with the school, and it was like a maze. And I realized one of the boys had spotted me and was following. I started zigzagging, trying to lose him, trying to find my way out, but no matter where I went, he always stayed a few steps behind.

I made it out to the parking lot but couldn't find my car, where my cell phone was. He finally caught up with me. Then I woke.

I don't even want to know what psychological issue brought out that dream.

My second dream came last night. I found a black and white female cat with three kittens---a black and white kitten, a silver tabby and a calico. She was very skinny, which was making the kittens skinny, and we couldn't figure out why she wouldn't eat what we were trying to feed her. My mother and I decided to try to feed her wet food through a syringe. But when we opened her mouth, we found another syringe already inside, wedged in her teeth. It was why she wasn't eating. We just reached in and pulled it out. Then I woke up.

Sometimes I wish I did dream analysis. And sometimes, I think it's probably better that I don't explore my psyche too closely.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't Forget the Intrigue Blog

Intrigue Authors have set up our blog on the Intrigue Authors page, so be sure to check it out for all thats going on with Intrigue and your favorite authors.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

What Did We Do Without the Internet?

Watching TV earlier tonight, I saw a trailer for the new Mr. Bean movie, which reminded me of my favorite Mr. Bean skit. I was trying to tell my mother about it, and I could see she wasn't quite getting what I was talking about.

And then I realized it was probably on YouTube. So I did a search, and voila!

I love the Internet.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Editorial Funk

Got my edits on Forbidden Touch. Much cutting commenced on the part of my editor, and now I have to figure out how to patch the leftover pieces together without losing important stuff.

Plus, my editor inadvertantly left 50 pages out of the edits, which I won't get until the copy edits come in. And will have to be turned around in less than a week, no doubt.

Oh, joy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Old Fogy

I joined the Internet revolution in 1995. That's quite a few years of being online, being involved in online communities, learning the ropes. I have a website I designed myself. All by myself. Well, okay, I used FrontPage, but I actually taught myself how to use simple HTML before I discovered Front Page. I have my own blog, obviously. I know how to upload and download from FTP sites. I'm probably a little more computer savvy than the average person my age.

So why can't I figure out how to use My Space?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Today's Heat Report

Brought to you by Ban Solid.

Currently 98 degrees F outside, with a projected high of 104 and a heat index of 110. Still slaving away on the third floor of the old house converted to a business. I do have the A/C, ceiling fan and box fan going full blast, and today I thought to bring a washcloth for the occasional impromptu spongebath of all exposed body parts (and perhaps a few hidden beneath clothing as well).

It's starting to feel stuffy warm in here. Time to re-wet the washcloth.

Kuzdu in Your Tank

This is an interesting theory: Kudzu as biofuel.

Kudzu, for those of you who aren't familiar with the pesky plant, is an invasive Japanese vine that has taken over large swaths of the south. It literally swallows things whole, including trees, telephone poles, etc. in areas where it's allowed to grow unthwarted.

If it really was viable as a biofuel, and we could control it and expand our options for fuel consumption at the same time, it could be an interesting project.

And who knows--get rid of some of the kudzu smothering the landscape these days and you just might find Jimmy Hoffa under there somewhere.

And here's a interesting example of why it's such a pesky plant:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Reporting in from Sauna Central

Yes, the temperatures for Thursday and Friday are 104 degrees.


Update: 12:52 pm

It's still hot outside. Only now, it's also hot inside. The A/C is running full tilt, the ceiling fan overhead is on high, and I'm daintily dabbing myself with a damp paper towel. But I'm wilting fast. Come on 5 o'clock!
Update 2: 3:15 pm
It's now 101 degrees outside. My boss, God bless her (and I mean that literally), went downstairs and found some box fans in the basement of the office. It's the only reason I'm still conscious.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot Enough Fer Ya?

100 degrees outside. I'm toiling away in the top floor of a 1940s era three-story house. Central air, ceiling fan on high, and it's still flippin' hot in my office. In conditions like these, I'm supposed to give a dang about signs, banners and program ads?

I don't think so.

Tuesday This and That

Wrote three pages on my cowboy book yesterday. Whoo! Hey, it's a start.

Mary tackles the age-old plotters vs. pantsers question over on Romance Magicians.

Great advice from Stef Feagan.

More later, I hope!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Consider This a Public Service

If you own a Sony RDR-GX330 DVD recorder, and plan to attach it to your cable box and your TV for recording and viewing pleasure, please do not follow the directions in the manual. Also, do not follow the directions shown on the Sony support site, either. Because neither actually, y'know, works.

Here's what you need:

2 coaxial cables
1 audio/visual cable (the one with the yellow, red and white prongs)

Hook the coaxial cable from the wall into the cable box. Then, take one of your two loose coaxial cables and run it from the "out" area of the cable box to the "in" area of the DVD recorder. Take the second coaxial cable and run it from the "out" part of the DVD recorder to the only coaxial cable port on the TV.

Second, take your audio visual cable and hook it from the "out" area of the DVD recorder (do not hook it to the "in" area, even though the way that it's set up would make that seem the more likely place to put the cords). Hook the other ends in the "in" part of the Television's audio/visual ports. Match the colors, of course.

Your DVD recorder should now work.

You'll thank me for this if you ever buy one.

Oughta Be in Pictures

I'm not sure why more romance novels don't get made into films, especially for women-focused networks like Lifetime and WE. There have been a few movies I've seen and enjoyed that were based on romance novels, such as Another Woman (based on a Margot Dalton Superromance) and Straight From the Heart (based on a Harper Monogram romance by Pamela Wallace). And others I've seen that played out exactly like a category romance might--The Hired Heart, for instance, could easily have been a Harlequin American or maybe even a Superromance.

What I'm wondering is why television and movies haven't realized that Intrigues are tailor-made for the movies? A nice mix of action/mystery and romance, bigger than life heroes, heroines and situations, lots of suspense, romantic tension and great pacing--sounds like just what the viewing audience is asking for more of to me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

In Honor of Langley, Byers and Frohike...

This little gem from DefCon 2007.

Frohike totally would have hit on her as he was chasing her out.

What You May Not Know About Me...

Or "I was desperate for a blog topic."

With the help of YouTube, here's a little about me you may not know.

I like fishing. My favorite fish to catch are bream (bluegill and other sunfish) and crappie.

My favorite sport is baseball. My favorite team is the Atlanta Braves.

I love Alabama football, and this was one of the most exciting moments in memory for me. As was this.

I attended Samford University. I wasn't, alas, in the way cool A Capella Choir. Nor did I run for student office.

I was in the marching band in high school. I played flute and baritone. I was not, however, in the band in the video. Our band had about 39 members, including the dance team and the color guard.

I know, I know, more than you wanted to know.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

How Bad Can You Go?

Mary at The Bandwagon has a post about bad boys. This is actually a topic I've been thinking about a bit, thanks to my current interest in Days of Our Lives, which features two current bad guys with layers. And when I say bad, I'm not just talking about some guy on a motorcycle who gets the occasional slap on the wrist from The Man. One of the bad boys in question has raped a woman, shot a man, tormented another man and generally screwed with the minds of the entire town. The other bad boy is running a smuggling ring that may or may not include white slavery and is currently verbally and physically abusive to his young, naive girlfriend, whom he's working diligently to alienate from her family. Both of them are intriguing creatures, one more than the other, and there's much message board debate about whether one or the both of them are redeemable.

Soaps notoriously reform their bad guys (rapists Todd from One Life to Live and Jack from Days of Our Lives, former drug runner and paid thug Steve from Days of Our Lives) and they often manage to make it work because they have months and years to build and establish the path to redemption.

But what about novels? Mary asks the question, on her blog, about what books people have read in which a real bad guy was believably redeemed. My question is even harder, I think. Within the confines of a category-length book, have you ever read a true bad guy who gets redeemed by the end of the book?

I have my doubts. First, category books are short, and it's hard to build a believable redemption story within 260 manuscript pages. Also, category readers are pretty picky. They like their heroes heroic from the get go, from what I hear.

There's a story idea I'm playing featuring a hero who was once a con man. He's semi-reformed already before the story starts, but he's not a true hero at the beginning because he still tends to avoid putting himself in a position to have to help other people until someone calls in an old debt he has yet to pay. I'm a little worried about how to try to sell my editor on it. I mean, I know that my hero will find within himself what it takes to finish his road to redemption, but I'm not sure it's going to be immediately evident to my editor or the reader. There'll be signs, but they'll be weak signs, at first, until he finds his inner hero when he's put in the position to protect the heroine and himself from unexpected danger.

What do you think? Will the picky readers who read category books have the patience to let me tell my bad boy's story and help him find his inner hero?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest

The 2008 Linda Howard Award of Excellence


Seven reasons to enter the Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest for unpublished writers.

7. One of the few contests that only charge $25 for a 25 page printed entry. That’s 50 cents a page for at least two critiques.

6. A discretionary judge is used if the two experienced PRO or published judges’ scores are so far apart you can run a 1956 Chevy between them.

5. You don’t have to send in a synopsis, unless you’re a finalist. Well worth writing that *&#% synopsis then.

4. NEW for 2008 - You can send your entry via snail mail or electronically to the contest coordinators.

3. NEW for 2008 - The finalists will receive their critiques/scores back to revise and return to coordinators before sending to final round editors.

2. Your precious partials will be sent to GREAT editors for final rankings. Hopefully they will request your fulls. Last year, we had SIX fulls requested.

1. My goodness! It’s Linda Howard, folks! She’s awesome and the contest named in her honor is awesome! How wonderful would it be to have an engraved bookmark that reads"2008 Winner of the Linda Howard of Excellence" to show all your friends?

Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of Romance Writers of America®, is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest for unpublished writers.

Enter: Up to first twenty-five pages
Fee: $20-$25 (a $2 fee will apply to electronic entries paid by PayPal)
Deadline: Postmarked on or before October 27, 2007

Eligibility: RWA Published (see rules) & Unpublished Authors

Judges: Published, PRO, all trained or experienced in judging

Top Prize: Engraved Bookmark and winners will be announced in the RWR.

Categories/final judges:
Series Short/Long Contemporary: Susan Litman, Editor, Silhouette
Single Title: Selina McLemore, Editor, Grand Central Publishers (formerly Warner)
Suspense: Lauren McKenna, Senior Editor, Pocket
Historical: Alicia Condon, VP, Editorial Director, Dorchester
Unique Genres: Selena James, Executive Editor, Kensington

For entry form, score sheet, and rules, visit our website at, or send email to

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Harlequin Profits Up

Always glad to read stuff like this.

A lot of friends—and my mother and brother—ask me why I'm not pushing harder to write for single title. My answer is, when I get a single title idea, I'll write it. But meanwhile, I can make more money writing for category. Especially for Intrigue, which is a strong-selling line for Harlequin.

Eventually, I might make more per book for a single title, but at this point in my career? Category is more bang for the buck.

Does that sound cynical and mercenery? Oh well...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Blog Days of Summer Begin!

Well, it's August first, and I promised myself I'd try to blog every day this month, just to see if I could do it. I can't promise scintillating ponderings on the meaning of life or anything, but maybe I can rustle up some cool links or something.

So we'll start with this. That's my book as it's being marketed in Australia by Mills & Boon. It's a two-in-one thing, coupled with my friend Deb Webb's book Colby vs. Colby, which I'm glad about, because Deb's a good seller.

And finally, congratulations to my friend and Southern Magic chaptermate Christy Reece for selling her first three books in a three-book deal to Ballantine!