Sunday, October 28, 2007

Brain color

What I’m reading: Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey.

A note on this book: It is one I've been very excited to dive into. It's the only fantasy Horn nominee. Here's what author Kathleen Duey had to say about it and the two follow up books in the trilogy: "Skin Hunger--and the rest of the trilogy, in progress now--contains a lot of my heart and my intellect. It is so close to the bone for me that it has been hard to write at times..."

It's good to know Horn nominees can feel this way, too.

And then onto brain color......
While I may be a blue crayon, my brain is apparently purple. I think I like being purple-brained.
Check it out:

Your Brain is Purple
Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic. You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.


What I’m reading: The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

Although I've been in a red mood lately and the muses have been pointing out all the great things we can do with red in the Nano WIP -- blood, fire, sunsets, candles, eyes, hot warrior clothing -- I'm not surprised I came out blue in the crayon test.

What color 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.
Take the quiz here!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The romantic suspense MIP

What I’m reading: The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Song of the day: Monster Mash

In a break from the dismal mess known as my MIP, I decided to throw up another blog.

I got an email from my little bro today. He lives in Rome…. Italy. He works for the government. He just got back from a horrific job, in a horrific country, doing horrific things in horrific heat. He had to eat dog because that’s all there was.

And I wonder where I get my love of espionage and military suspense…..

Anyway, I’ve been pretty down on my romantic suspense MIP that’s in rewrites – again. However, reading his email gave me new perspective. I reread a portion of my story that a reader once called unbelievable because it could never really happen. I’d been thinking of taking it out. I changed my mind.

The incident I wrote was based on something my very brave little brother experienced as part of his job. It not only could happen. It did.

My ideal romantic suspense readers will never doubt the validity of such scenarios. Everyone else, well, they have no idea what people really do to keep us safe.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I've decided I'm fickle.

Actually, I've known this for awhile now -- like since I was 18. However, such non-flattering self-evaluation sometimes takes 20 or so years to really sink in.

Sunk. I'm sunk. I'm the most fickle person I know.

What were my first clues? Let's go back to high school and look there.
How about the fact that the moment I got a boyfriend -- really got one interested in me -- I lost interest and the next athletic hottie caught my interest. As soon as he got interested in me, I lost interested because the next athletic hottie caught my eye. And so forth and so on.

Pathetic? Yes.

Let's move forward.
I wanted to be a teacher, researcher, teacher, researcher, teacher, researcher, and ended up ....... well, you get the picture.

Nothing has changed. (Well, I've been with my husband for over 10 years, so I'm no longer fickle in the boy arena.) However, I am feeling very fickle about what I should write.

With Nanowrimo just around the corner, this fickleness is frustrating me. Can't I just decide what to write already?

Let's see, when I began to think I wanted to do this writing thing, I started in childrens' and YA. That was what I was going to write. I was eventually (when I was good enough) going to move into YA fantasy, and then maybe adult fantasy. Then it was literary. Then romance. Then romantic suspense. Then straight romance. Then for about 3 seconds, it was erotica. Then romanctic suspense. Then paranormal romance. Then fantasy with strong romantic elements. Then women's fiction with magic or fantasy elements. Now, I'm buying all YA fantasy again and thinking maybe............

What the hell?

However, I've decided to write a story I've been tinkering with -- one where a demon hunter must escape one demon only to discover the man she's falling in love with is demon himself. It's romance and fantasy and dark and maybe more strong romantic elements than romance. But, at least I know what I'm writing next.

...... at least for today.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

My good friend Alyson posted about Blog Action Day, a day for all bloggers to raise environmental awareness in some way that pertains to their blog topic.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I'm in.

As a participant in Blog action day, I decided to list a top 5 environmentally interesting works of fiction (well, four works of fiction and one really important ecological masterpiece). Originally, I’d said 10, but I was really stretching for that. I can guarantee all of the following are good, thought-provoking reads.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn. I used this book the first year I taught AP Environmental Science. From the synopsis posted at B& "The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save."

Hoot by Carl Hiassen. From B&N: “Carl Hiaasen, bestselling author of Basket Case and other hilarious Floridian capers, serves up a high-spirited fight for the environment in his first work aimed at younger audiences.” Several of my students chose burrowing owls as their research project after reading this.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Simple. Poignant.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. This should be required reading for everyone. From B&N: “Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the government to ban DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.”

The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Limbo: An Ecological Mystery by Jean Craighead George. This book started some great conversations back in the day with my step-daughter. For years, it was one of her all-time favorite books. From B&N: “Liza Poole lives with her mother in one of the last balanced ecosystems in North America -- the Gumbo Limbo Hammock deep within the lush kingdom of the Florida Everglades. Some may think it strange to live outdoors, but Liza feels lucky to live in her small yellow tent amidst tropical birds and exotic plants. And at the center of this natural paradise lies Dajun, the majestic alligator who protects Gumbo Limbo's environment. Then, one day, a state official arrives with frightening orders. Dajun is scaring people nearby -- he must be killed! Liza takes action to save the invaluable 'gator, but suddenly, he is nowhere to be found. Now, she must find Dajun before it's too late, and her search will lead her into the heart of an exciting eco mystery!”

Happy Eco Reading.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm blogging at affairs today....

I blogged about Autumn and Allegory over at Affairs of the Pen today. Check it out.

Monday, October 8, 2007

If only I could write in the shower......

If only I could write in the shower. If only my plot board was waterproof. If only my computer could sit on a little stand and not short out if the hot water splashed it.

If only.

Well, one thing is for sure: I'd be pretty darn prolific.

After an hour and a half of torture at my computer, I managed to write a measly 1k.

Twenty minutes in the shower and another 15 minutes at the computer afterward, and I manage to write nearly 1k of IDEAS that really help fill out my plot board.

Go figure.

If only I could stay in the shower all day.

Where to you get your best ideas?


Sunday, October 7, 2007

3000 words per day

I need to write or revise 3k per day to meet my goal of having a submission worthy 50k to give to my writing group on October 22. This is one small step in getting my manuscript off to Harlequin and getting it off to Golden Heart.

Needless to say, I'm doing some serious rewriting.

Is it doable? Yes. Will I lose alot of sleep? Probably. Am I now past the stage where I alternately hate then love then really hate my MIP? Hell no.

However, for the first time since I started this story I feel like I now have a plan that works -- sort of. I have a plot -- sort of. I truly understand what motivates my characters -- most of the time.

So, expect daily check-ins here.

Today, I've completely rewritten the first chapter. That's 15 pages when you count the prologue. Almost 4k.

Wish me luck.


Thursday, October 4, 2007


Yep, I did it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2007. I'm a NaNo virgin, and I'm very excited. I've been adding friends at the NaNo site.

Are you doing NaNo?

If so, let me know so I can add you to my friends' list.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Writing group, book club

My girls and I at Affairs of the Pen (our writing/crit group) have recently begun a book club. It isn't the traditional, read-a-literary-novel, book club that meets for coffee and sits in comfy chairs. Since we are all over the country (literally), we meet via chat. Since we all write romance, we select books to read that relate to what we write. We have a complex yet haphazard process for selecting books, but it seems to work well for us.

Our first book was Barbara Samuel's A Piece of Heaven. The second was Kresley Cole's Rita winner -- A Hunger Like No Other. We'll discuss Cole's book later this month. However, currently we are nominating two or three choices each for next month. After nominations we'll use a unique process to whittle it down to a few selections, and then we'll vote.

My nominations for next month are:

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman:
In lyrical words that "unfold like white flowers, petal by petal, each in its own time and season," Hoffman introduces us to Green, a gentle teen whose name reveals her connection to the earth and a peaceful beauty that contrasts with her sunny sister, Aurora. Yet when Aurora and her parents perish in tragic, fiery events in town, a solitary Green transforms herself into Ash: hard and closed, cropped hair, thorns on her sweater, with ink roses and ravens drawn on her skin. Facing an apocalyptic future of looters visiting her garden and suspicious looks from townsfolk, Green has only the family dog to keep her company. But when a ghostly greyhound and a hooded boy suddenly appear for companionship, she slowly realizes that "Ash" is only temporary, while "Green" is her soul, her life, healing all this time inside, waiting to be reborn.
Weaving magical words into images that caress the spirit, Hoffman's Green Angel is no less remarkable and awe-inspiring than nature itself. The author has not only told a life-affirming story about a girl who must survive on her own, she's captured emotion itself by using language to enchant and teach. Readers will be absorbed by the book's transcendent power, and as Green begins a new future that takes shape at end of the book, readers will come away feeling rejuvenated and uplifted themselves.

the Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff:
An achingly beautiful account of a young woman forced to bend loyalties, deny truths and betray her own beliefs . . .
With luminous simplicity, Jenoff's breathtaking debut chronicles the life of a young Jewish bride during the Nazi occupation of Krakow, Poland, in WWII. Emma Bau, a shy librarian, escapes the city's Jewish ghetto with the aid of the underground resistance movement that Jacob, her activist husband, has already joined. Emma assumes a new gentile identity as Anna Lipowski and goes to live with Jacob's elderly aunt, a wealthy Catholic widow who has also taken in Lukasz Izakowicz, the only surviving child of a famous rabbi and his murdered wife. As Anna, Emma catches the eye of Kommandant Georg Richwalder, second in charge of the General Government, at a dinner party. The handsome Nazi is so impressed by her German language skills (and her beauty) that he asks her to become his personal assistant. Emma accepts, hoping to secure valuable information for the resistance, but the chemistry between them presents challenges that test her loyalties to Jacob and her heart. This is historical romance at its finest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Look

Like Alyson, I decided I needed a new look to go with my new voice revelations. I've played with this layout for a couple of days now. It isn't perfect. Someday, I'll pay someone to design exactly what I want, but in the meantime, I like this.

I love the red.

I used to like red less, but lately red is a color for which I have great affinity. Perhaps it has to do with my new boldness as a writer. I took a silly little color test online. Of course I picked red first as the color I was currently most attracted to. This is what the test said about me: You are likely an emotional person who experiences strong feelings. The fact that you chose Red first also indicates that others probably see you as a passionate and vibrant person.

I like that. I have decided that I have an emotional voice. And color is important to me. And I really hope people experience strong feelings when they read my work (about which I'm very passionate).

(Of course, I didn't post the other color test results that said I was over-stressed, trying to do too many things, and was experiencing some serious procrastination as a result. I mean... that's not me. I would NEVER procrastinate with silly little online tests or anything like that.....)