Friday, January 29, 2010

I still don't know what to say ...

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any wiser since the last time I mentioned this. What the hell do you say when someone asks you any of the following:
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What are you doing these days?
  • Where do you work?
This writing romance (and hot/erotic type romance specifically) is so far removed from what I used to do that I still can't get past the thought of telling anyone from that past life. I was in the corporate world, a very conservative corporate world, and very high up the management chain. Most that I worked with were men and I would like to maintain those professional relationships. You never know, right? Coupled with the fact that I have no real validation that I'm any good (I'm not published yet, but working feverishly towards it) it's kinda hard for me to proclaim 'I'm a writer'. And what happens when I've tried that out? Well, then the next two questions are pretty predictable ' 'What do you write?' & 'Where can I find your books?' NOW, what to say? I have to say when a guy asks me I've used the response 'I write woman's fiction'. That pretty much ensures their eyes glaze over and they change the subject, but I can't do that forever and women seem to want to know all the specifics. It sounds so lame to say 'I'm not published yet but working towards it'. I just get the nods as if 'oh, she'd got a cute little hobby going on.' Is it just me? Am I paranoid, overly cautious, completely neurotic or just a coward?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How important is 'position' in love scenes?

OK, so I suppose I mean sex scenes. Or love/sex scenes. I tend to put a lot of thought (A LOT) into how and where they 'do it', particularly the 'position'. I mean, is it frenzied and out of control and up against the wall or something tender and sweet and 'I got all night' lovin in a big soft bed? Perhaps it's spur of the moment. Maybe it's a seduction. Possibly they've just met or alternateively they've known each other awhile. Maybe this is the first time they've been together or they could be long term lovers or even friends with benefits. There are endless possibilities and their personalities and prior experience that also comes into play. Should the sex be vanilla, kinky, sweet or playful and how does that translate to 'position'? Or is this not really that important? Is it the emotion and conflict and furtherance of the story for these scenes that is important and the mechanics really secondary? What do you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I need a tag line!

I've been thinking about this for some time. I need something that encapsulates what I write, will immediately communicate the type of stories I create, and will give a sense of the characters I form. Jayne Ann Krentz (at a workshop I attended at the RWA conference in DC) called it a writer's 'core story'. That so resonated with me, I think about it all the time. I've looked at so many websites and blogs lately that have fabulous tag lines. I wish I'd thought of many of them first! It makes me wonder how those writers came up with their tag lines - how they boiled down what they do to so few, but very powerful, words? I've already given myself enough objectives for January, so I'll be adding this goal to my February list - 'Create a tag line'. It has to be short. It needs to be original. It must be brilliant! Easier said than done, right?  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Silly Sunday - What's your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Well, I'm not sure this is the case worldwide, but they're out in full force here this weekend! They seemed to be everywhere I went - the grocery store, the pool store, Starbucks, Blockbuster, the hardware store. Yes, it's Girl Scout cookie season! My eldest daughter is actually a Brownie so we were also out for a short stint today selling cookies. People seemed to be very particular about the varieties they liked. Me, I have a new favorite. I like the new 'Thank U Berry Much' that just came out this year, but it got me thinking. What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writing Full Time V Part Time

Just over a year into this journey of mine and I'm still none the wiser about this one. Long before I decided to do this seriously, I wondered about it, researched it and yeah, kind of angonized about it. Why do some established authors still have 'day jobs'? I get authors just starting out and perhaps they're e-publishing, not getting advances and their sales are low because they're in the process of building readership. Perhaps they've started in single title and it takes awhile to establish themselves. I get that. I'm talking about authors who publish print novels with established, well known publishers and who have done so for many years. I'm talking about authors who seem to crank out 3 - 5 novels a year consistently and seem to be very popular. I understand the delay in royalty payments, but for these folks they should be reaping those rewards by now. Shouldn't they? Is there a reluctance to commit to something fully that's perhaps not as reliable or predictable? Is there a fear it's just transitory? Do some women look on this as a hobby only, not a career? Are they really not making much money at writing once established or do they simply see it as a second job and are maximizing earnings for as long as they can? Are they worried it would be more widely known what they're doing behind closed doors if they're not open about it? Yes, I suppose I'm talking primarily about category romance, so do authors who stay in this field really have an income stream that's 'inadequate' (which I know is very subjective of course)? I've seen all the figures that everyone else probably has around earnings, but I guess I still don't get it. Not fully. Am I missing something? Anyone have any insights into this?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1 down, 3 to go

Goals that is. For January. I've revised my Linda Howard Award of Excellence finalist entry, polished an accompanying synopsis and sent it off. One day early (for a procrastinator like me, that's a big deal)! I'm so glad it's done with. I found it really difficult to work the synopsis on this one for a number of reasons. Firstly, I just hate to do them. I know a lot of people say that but I really, truly HATE to do them. Secondly, I wrote this manuscript in at the end of 2008 into early 2009 so it's kind of a long time ago. I found it hard to connect back with the characters, their motivations and their conflict to easily pluck those themes out so that they came through clearly in the synopsis. Thirdly, I felt my voice had changed since I wrote the manuscript. A lot!! Sometimes as I was reading it, it felt as if someone else had written it. That added to the challenge. It was an interesting process. Now I can forget about it until March!

My other goals? I may have been a bit ambitious considering it's already the 13th, but I like to work under pressure, so we'll see. I'm ready to sink my teeth into something brand spanking (no pun intended) new :).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm an International Sensation ;)

Firstly, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek, let me assure you! I found this gadget/widget thingy a few days ago so I put it on my blog (the small map with the red dots). I love to mess around with these things. It's meant to show you the locations of folks visiting your blog. It's just the generic geographical location only, and provides nothing else, but WOW!  It took a few days to kick in, but since then people from 11 different countries (11!) have visited my blog. Understandably, the US has the most hits, but there have been visitors from Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Sweeden, Netherlands, Spain, Philippines and the Ukraine! Not everyone has left comments of course, but I was so flattered, tickled and humbled. WELCOME to those who've found me. I hope you'll come back often! I'm new to this blogging business, but it is way cool to think people have managed to find me amid the chaos of the social networking scene out there. I'm still not certain exactly how that happens. I think it's a product of our information age that georgraphic borders and boundaries really mean nothing, but I think it also speaks to the broad and mass appeal of the romance genre overall. You have all made my week!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I got a Kreativ Blogger Award!

Yay! OK, I have to admit, I'd never seen this before and had no idea what it was, so I had to look it up.  It's been doing the rounds for awhile. I get to thank the person who bestowed it on me, reveal 7 interesting things about myself (that might be a stretch) and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers. So, here goes:

Thanks Cari Quinn! Cari is a fellow Sagittarian who seems to be writing the same type of material as me. Well, not exactly the same - she's published, after all! We stumbled across each other on the boards. Cari published her first novel last year and if you want hot and steamy (and I mean HOT and STEAMY), you can check it out here.

7 things about myself? I decided to list things that people would likely not know about me (even if they kinda 'knew' me):
1. I grew up in the Australian outback, or close enough to it for it not to really matter. Yeah, that makes me Australian!
2. Everyone complains all year about the weather in Miami, Florida but I LOVE it. There's something about the humid weather and palm trees that tricks the mind into thinking you're perpetually on vacation. Well, almost.
3. I'm the mother of identical twins. They're 4. It's fascinating, aggravating, joyous, aggravating, special and rewarding, and you guessed it, aggravating! I'd like to think I'll have enough material one day to come up with a unique twist on the twin story line.
4. I have a thing about frames. Picture frames. Just the frames. I really think it's an addiction. I just seem to collect them but never get around to actually putting anything in them or hanging them up, but I can never have too many!
5. I've never cooked a meal in my life. When we were renovating our kitchen, someone once asked me - 'Are you getting a gas or electric stove?' - and I'm like - 'I'll have to get back to you on that.' I've never been interested in cooking and don't see that changing anytime soon.
6. My first job out of university? I was a computer programmer. My, how far I've come :).
7. Last year I did something scandalous and daring. I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of me. What's daring about that you ask? The pictures were...well, naked!! I had them made into a coffee table book for my husband for his birthday. I look back at them and still wonder, where the hell did I get the nerve to do THAT? BTW, the book is nowhere near the coffee table!

Now, for my nominations. They're blogs that I look to for inspiration, for a laugh, for their educational value or just because they seem to be on the same path that I am and I can relate (plus they don't appear to be already nominated) LOL:
Jackie Ashenden
Wendi Zwaduk
Hetal Pinal
Waiting for the Call
Romy Sommer
Dee Tenorio
Donna Alward


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now that I've settled..

... back into some semblance of normal, I would like to offer congratulations to the other finalists in the Linda Howard Aware of Excellence! Yeah, seems along with stammering through my notification call and not being able to recall any details of what the lovely woman said, I also completely forgot my manners :)!! It was all ME, ME, ME. But hey, I've never finaled in a contest before, so cut me some slack this one time, OK? I'm at work on my revisions and plan to get it back in their hands by Monday at the lastest (a few days early!!!). Kudos to everyone who entered. I know it takes guts to just get out there. I hope the feedback was constructive and helpful. Best of luck to everyone in the next round!

I also learned yesterday I was given a Kreativ Blogger award. Thank you Cari!! I'd never been given an award for ANYTHING. I was excited, elated, flattered, till I thought 'What the heck is a Kreativ Blogger award?' When I figure it out, I'll let you know LOL. It appears to come with some requirements, so stay tuned for that tomorrow while I mull it over!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 is off to a REALLY good start!

I finaled! In a contest! An actual writing contest! I'm not sure it's really, truly sunk in, but the nerves feel like they are about to burst forth because I have to revise and resubmit the entry by the middle of January. Gulp. I finaled in the 2010 Linda Howard Award of Excellence in the Series Short/Long Contemporary category. December 31st came and went and I gave up hope of hearing anything. After all, they'd said finalists would be notified by January 1st. Perhaps I was being too literal (because I can be like that)? When the phone rang on New Years Days from an area code I didn't recognize, it didn't even register. The nice woman told me I'd finaled and I felt ... like such a dork. I think I thanked her (at least I hope I did), but I couldn't really think past anything except 'I finaled' and inside I was jumping up and down and screaming it over and over like such a girl! I've often wondered how I would handle 'the call'. Now I know. I'll be tongue-tied, speechless and forget completely about asking any basic or pertinent questions. Oh, and I won't recall any details about the call afterwards!

I finaled! I finaled! I finaled!