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Archive for October, 2012

Or reflection. How about early Thanksgiving?

It’s pretty damn hard to miss all the news coverage following Sandy’s damage.  The devastation is highlighted everywhere you turn and it’s heart-wrenching.

Watching and reading the various accounts made me think hard today.

About a week ago I came down with a serious case of the ‘I wants’.  I thought about trading in my perfectly good car for another. I daydreamed and set a long-term goal for buying my first house. I need new glasses and a haircut. I want a new purse. Books? Don’t even ask. Then it hit’s me. “Holy crap!  I only have 4 paychecks until Christmas. How did this happen? The kids need this and want that.”

The list is scary, I tell you and I’m sure I’m not the only one with a list. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Want can give us a little drive to push and work harder.

But this morning I went out to warm up the car to take my kids to school and discovered a not-so Jolly Green Giant named Sandy dumped a ginormous vanilla slushie all over my car.  I was not happy. Yet, as I brushed off the slushy snow and scooped it out of my car’s floor because I’m a morning zombie and made a mess I reminded myself things can always be worse. It was just a couple of inches of slush and rain. I’m a mother, I’ve truly seen bigger messes.

And I have so much to be thankful for when millions of people are living through the darkest time of their lives. Maybe if winter came early, Thanksgiving should too.

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My friends and I have had many discussions about the value of an eye-catching cover. I freely admit that I’m a sucker for a pretty book and my friends and I all admit to making impulse purchases simply because a book was pretty to look at. There’s just something there that invites a reader to come in and take a closer look. I can’t tell you how many blurbs I have read only because a gorgeous cover told me to.They’re much like a pretty house that invites you to come in and get comfortable and stay for a while.

On Friday I received the email that contained the title mock 1. On closer inspection the first line said “here is a mock up of your cover…” I was afraid to open the email. What if I hated it? What if it was just a blah cover? I put a lot of thought and time into filling out my cover questionnaire but what if the artist didn’t listen or couldn’t find anything that fit? I worked myself into another dizzying loop of what-if-itis.  Finally, I took a deep breath and opened the email and the attached file.

And wow, was I happy when I did. I adore my cover and am so proud to show it off. And sometime in early December I plan on sharing Stacy and Dillon’s story with you. As soon as I get release information I promise you’ll be the first to know.

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Okay, so a little over a week ago I was gifted with my first round of edits. Ever. Where was I? I was at Lora Leigh’s Reader Appreciation Weekend for a couple of days of fun, book signings, making new reader and author friends and partying.  Though I’ve been to Lora’s RAW every year, this year’s brought a couple of firsts for me.

My edits, a new batch of reader friends and a couple of new to me authors. And gel tipped nails. I have yet to figure out what possessed me to try fake nails. I have nice natural nails and the fake ones are a no-no in my day job. But somehow I ended up with a set. They were so pretty. Yay me. So I thought.

It really shouldn’t have surprised me to see the edits appear in my email that Friday evening. After all my editor (I still love saying that-my editor) told me she would probably have them to me on that Friday.

I was equally excited and terrified to open the attachment and find what waited for me. And really, I was at a conference full of authors. Not only authors but talented and friendly authors who loved to get out and interact with their fans. Some of them I have known for years. Surely, I could find someone to help if I desperately needed it?

I waited until about 10pm and headed for my hotel room. With my stash of Diet Coke and Little Debbie Cakes on hand, I could do anything. After all my publisher wanted my novella. It had been read by the greatest beta readers on the planet. I kinda know what I’m doing.  I got this.

Did I mention that even though I was on the “fifteenth floor” of the hotel there was some sort of construction-crew-drunken-gambling going on right outside my window in a tent? Yep and I still haven’t figured that one out.

After I scratched my head over the construction-crew-drunken-dice-game, I sat down and opened my edits.  And oh my God. It looked like a rainbow vomited all over chapter one. And chapter one was recommended for revision. I didn’t know where to begin. Should I start with the repeating words or the revision? The repeating words sounded easier but wouldn’t that be a waste of my time if I revised it?

And then the loop in my head starts. Repeating words then revise? Revise then repeating words? Once my little brain gets stuck on a loop like this I often have trouble stopping it.

It was time for a break. I opened a Diet Coke and then went for the big guns, my Little Debbie Cakes.  Only one problem. I couldn’t get the stupid freaking box open. My thumbs hurt so bad from the fake nails. They ached when I was doing nothing at all but when I tried to use them to get to my medicine, I mean my Little Debbie Cakes, it was a near panic attack all over again.

I mean this was serious. I was digging into my edits and I needed those Fudge Rounds STAT. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I pretty much stabbed the box open with an ink pen. But I got that blasted box open. Then I took a deep breath and remembered what one of my new author friends told me.

C.H. Admirand told me at the party shortly before my breakdown to start with the little things and go back if I needed to. So I did. I skipped Chapter One all together and moved on. And ate my Little Debbie Cake.

And it took me some time, but I got there. I finished. And I figured out how to get those damn nails off. Because a girl needs full use of her thumbs. That’s what separates us from the animals, right?

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