Thursday, April 28, 2005

There is a new addition to our family -- A Hewlett Packard Deskjet3745, known to friends and family as Fantasia, because she prints as well as her namesake sings, and when she does her job, it's music to my ears. The old one, which shall go nameless (but does have "We Be Jammin'" as a theme song) has finally gone to the big modem in the sky.

Funny how things change when equipment is working right, huh? Hey, I needed something to pick me up from last night's American Idol results. Constantine is out? Constantine? I shed a few tears, dh requested a recount, and yes, we do plan to visit and buy the band's CD. While I'm here, a nod to our other ousted favorite, Anwar Robinson, though the dh requests that I state I like Anwar a little more than dh does. Bo's still in it, so we're still watching.

Herein ends the American Idol geek portion of the blog. For this week. Though I do admit to a certain amount of glee that I get to play The Sims2 while dh works tonight. I have plans to see if twinning is more likely if mother and father are both twins (though not with each other!)

Ohhhkay. Writing. Right. I do that, you know. Really. I'm happy with the way TWR is unfolding, and I have to admit that the new-printer smell in the office does make work a bit easier. Closing in on the end of chapter two, and a chance to send it off to CPs. Elise, get ready. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I've been following the brouhaha on AAR's At the Back Fence board, over various issues concering virgin widows, widows who are not virgins, virgins who are not widows, and sundry other things, including politics, feminism and at some point, Herman Melville. Granted, some of my perception of this may be influenced by Sudafed, and I have not read Adele Ashworth's Duke of Sin, to which some comments are addressed. What mental acuity I have these days is devoted to working on one of my WIPs and making sure that one of my elder Sims from Sims2 gets to platinum aspiration level in time for his date with the grim reaper. (That and the fact that I must make a light-haired, light-eyed family for my custom neighborhood to toss some variety into the genetics pool. Yes I spend way too much time on my Sims when I feel poopy, but call me on it and I will sneeze on you.)

But back to the discussions. There's also the one on the Connie Brockway interview. I am saddened at another writer leaving the historical fold for the contemporary venue (contemp readers, you have a good one coming your way; treat her right) and riled at the factors she cited for doing so. Not at her, at the factors. I do think that the historical romance genre has undergone some shrinkage, and as the dh is fond of saying "for the love of creamed corn" it doesn't have to be that way.

I'm going to give myself a little more time to get my thoughts together before I publicly opine on such things, but one effect this has had on me is to see if I can write a virgin widow book. Hey, people would talk about it, and any publicity is good publicity. :) There would have to be a good reason for it, not just because. Though I've got enough stuff on my plate (but hmm, haven't chosen anything for the anthology yet...something to think about) If I did, it would have to make sense, and not just for the virgin angle. It would have to affect more of the story than that.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I need to shut myself away somewhere with a bunch of good historical romances and an equally big pile of good inspirationals. It's been another meh day, helped along by warmer temps. Also have had the husband on the poopy side of tired, since he's had two killer days in a row at the restaurant. Highlander season one DVD set (yay) but DVD player not yet hooked up (wah)-- and I'm out of scented votives.

Okay, enough whining. I did get some good outlining done on TWR today, so that gets productive points, and I am ahead of the game for the artist trading card swap. I'm getting a much more specific picture of what my TWR heroine's father and fiance do for a living, and why that has an effect on the hero. Things are swinging into motion, and this book seems to be coming a lot easier than others, which is nice.

We've hit two too-warm-to-sleep nights in a row for me (the dh could sleep through global warming or a new ice age) so I've taken to taking my pillow and Jo Beverley's Something Wicked onto the landing where I can catch a breeze and read until sleep is possible. It's that vacation feeling, reminding me of exactly what it is I love about reading and writing historical romance, and why I'm choosing to play in the Georgian period for a while. A bottle of chilled store brand cherry flavored water doesn't hurt, either.

Nor does the fact that my new black capri pants are loose, huzzah! To celebrate, my toenails are now OPI's "You Ottaware Purple." I don't normally polish my fingernails, since I'm very hard on my hands. If I'm not banging on the puter keyboard, I'm writing longhand or working with all my art stuff; inks, paints, mediums, solvents, and above it all, hot water. My toes, though, are real troopers and allow me to indulge my love of nail polish. Which really doesn't mean anything about anything, but that's what came out of my partly meh partly poopy have to do laundry and send dh to the market brain.

Since I still have two-thirds of Something Wicked to read, and I do have the next two Malloren books after that, and Edith Layton's Georgian era A True Lady by the tub, I'm now on the lookout for some great inspirationals. I'm way behind on Angela Hunt and Robin Lee Hatcher, and nearly foaming at the mouth for the new releases by Liz Curtis Higgs and Kathleen Morgan. Big, sweeping, gritty, and flat out wonderful...but still in the bookstore rather than my house.

Ahh...just remembered I have a Carol Umberger I haven't read. Day better now. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pretty good writing day today. Nothing to ::ahem:: write home about, but I put butt in chair and fingers to keyboard, and that's a good day. Turned out usable stuff, too, so yay.

In the exploring roots portion of our session, I decided to reread Joyce Carol Oates's story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (adapted into the film Smooth Talk with Laura Dern and Treat Williams...though with a vastly different ending.) I don't remember when I first read the story (I know I read the story before I saw the movie, since I recall happening on the movie while channel-surfing, and thinking, hey, this is like that story") but certain things about it stuck with me. Notably, the dynamic between the main characters, Connie, and Arnold Friend. The air that tingled with seduction and creepiness. Connie behind the screen door, and Arnold Friend with his mysterious companion, Ellie (male) and his painted car (cryptic words and numbers all over it.)

Knock me over with a feather, but I had either totally missed or totally forgotten that it was about a







serial killer. More than that, shown from the victim's point of view. I had retained that creepy-seductive feeling and that Arnold Friend was a symbol for loss of innocence and possibly death. I did know that if Connie got in that car with him, she would never be the same...s is stated in the story. But the serial killer thing? Totally spaced on or missed it, though it totally fits.

Read a few articles on the real killer Ms Oates based the story on, and creeeeeepy doesn't begin to explain the guy; man in his 30s who impersonated a teenager to coerce his victims. Why couldn't I have been reading this when I was in the forensic psychology class? May have to pick the instructor's mind on this anyway.

Also kind of scary is that I recognized a microscopic element of TWR in that story. No, my hero is not a serial killer, and has only good in mind for the heroine, but the family that doesn't "get" her, the part about being on the cusp between one existence and another, yeah, there may be an influence there. Did I mention my hero is NOT a psychopathic serial killer? He's a good guy, really he is.

Why did this come to mind all of a sudden? Maybe the discussion I had with a friend about V.C. Andrews last week? The fact that my heroine in TWR is going to leave with a stranger for parts unknown? Dunno. But that's where my brain went, so I thought I'd drag you all along.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Computer mouse died yesterday, after four pages of notes. Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but my first reaction was "okay, shut down and the documents will be rescued tomorrow, when the new mouse is in." Which they were, and are now in their proper files.

Work is progressing quite well on TWR, and I think I'm connecting with this h/h better than I have with those of the previous two (did I just say previous two? Yoikes. I must be a real writer.) books. Which is only natural. I'm a book and change better (still have a bit to go on OitS) than when I sat down to write My Outcast Heart. If I weren't, then something would be very very wrong. I hope the book after this one, whatever it may be, will be even better yet.

Evangeline has a pertinent point in her most recent blog entry. There is writing, and then there is writing the stuff we LOVE. I think every time I sit down at the puter, or open a notebook, I'm getting one step closer to that.

It takes some confidence to grab a decades-long love (of historical romance; we'll save the dh for another entry, and we've only had each other for one decade and change anyway, so we have a bit more to go before we hit decades, plural) mush it about so that it's living and breathing today.

There's been some time since I volunteered to clean the upstairs bathroom for the sole purpose of locking the door so I could read Shirlee Busbee's The Spanish Rose while my dad was doing yardwork. (Yes, Kate, still in the teen years there; I was precocious.) Still, the same sort of books are what draw me again and again -- big, thick historicals with high emotional stakes. Heroes and heroines who have a few sharp edges. Now I'm putting myself in the mood for a reread. :)

In the completely trivial news, I have been playing with the scroll button on the new mouse more than is probably prudent.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My printer is once again throwing hissy fits. It's cranky and old and wants to retire. Even between my soothing whispers of "soon, baby," it digs in its heels, flashes its orange light and tells me there's no paper in the tray when it darned well knows there is. I think it doesn't like in when I put in new paper.

Which I did today. One sheet. I can't say one lousy sheet, since it wasn't lousy at all. One sheet of photographic paper, as Tim the artist sent me his first concept sketch for my heroine, Tabetha. Which printed fine, and then whammo, orange light, grinding of gears, and after much pushing of buttons, printer spat out half of the email text. ::shrug:: After this weekend, I'll take what I can get. Half an email is better than none, and I have the sketch printout. I still win. In the words of Nelson Muntz (from The Simpsons,) "Hah-hah."

It's a little trickier to make notes on this sketch, because MOH is written in first person, from Tabetha's point of view, so I was inside her head for the whole book, rather than looking at it. I may have to rely on critique partners more than my own recollections. Kind of odd, that, but I want other input. My initial reaction is to say yes, but I want to make the rounds anyway. Either way, it's a gorgeous portrait and I am more sure than ever that I made the right choice in illustrator.

Time to do the same as I did with the Dalby sketches; stick it on the office wall and live with her for a few days. Also her with Dalby.

Wrote on both TWR and OitS today, though the computer got the munchies and the printer is as obstinate as a three year old in the deli section of the A&P. The kind where kiddo flops down on the ground and Is Not Going Any Farther. Not that I ever did anything of the sort to my own sainted mother. ::looks away, whistles innocently::

Thankfully, I do still have stuff already printd to bring to nag group tonight, and I have art, which is always a plus. Though I think they would probably like it if I actually brushed my hair and did something with it rather than the stick-in-a-claw-in-random-glob-while-writing style.

Doing the happy artwork dance, in search of hairsticks.

Monday, April 04, 2005

A whole week without an entry, eh? Since my brain refuses to cooperate at the moment, I will borrow an idea from some other blogs I've seen, and list X Things You May Not Know About Me:

1) I like to have AOL Radio tuned to the "Love Stinks" station when I write.

2) My toenails are currently painted OPI "Glacier Bay Blue"

3) I am adopted, and have reunited with my birth sister. We are eerily alike.

4) I once got sunstroke at an amusement park in CA

5) I really hate using the telephone unless it's absoultely vital.

6) I broke my right arm in second grade.

7) Correct ranking of popsicle flavors according to me, from best to shove-in-the-back-of-the-freezer: cherry, lime, grape, everything else, orange.

8) Flavor of ice cream I wish would get more play: coconut

9) My first romance novel I ever read was The Kadin by Bertrice Small. I was eleven.

10) I love storms so much that my parents once had to physically pull a tweenage me off the deck of the Long Island ferry during a thunderstorm at night. I wanted to stay and watch "a storm at sea" so I'd know how to describe it in the novels I would write one day.