Saturday, August 28, 2010

funny pictures-Monorail Cat Has Derailed
see more Lolcats and funny pictures Saturday at the Movies #15 - Feeling Good

The interwebs has it in for me this weekend. Better late to the movies than no movies, right?

Down With Love: I missed this one in theatres, and must kick myself for not getting the chance to see this on the big screen. More than a spoof, it's an homage to the 60s career girl romantic comedies, plus it has Ewan MacGregor and David Hyde Pierce, and I drool over the midcentury sets and fashions.

Nothing says pure first half of the 20th century eccentrically happy as Mame with Lucille Ball and Bea Arthur (right there in the same movie, worth the price of admission alone.) The story of a young boy sent to live with his unusual aunt in NYC during the 1920s and beyond delights us with spectacle, jabs us with unexpected heartbreak, dazzles us with sets and costumes and leaves us with a big, loving hug at the end.

Sister Act: Whoopi Goldberg's Deloris VanCartier, a flashy lounge singer, finds herself in the wrong place (witnessing a mob hit) at the wrong time (while it's in progress) and finds herself stashed in a place that's even worse - a convent. Neither Deloris or the sisters are sure this is going to work, but when Deloris is put in charge of the admittedly horrific choir, she finds that a touch of divine intervention might be exactly what she does need after all. The music is both inspired and delightful, with doo wop classics reimagined as worship songs, and by the time the end credits roll, Deloris and the sisters all agree that this is one habit worth keeping.

Grease: Do I have to say anything about Grease? John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Rydell High, Teen Angel, Pink Ladies, Greased Lightning, Eve Arden, Didi Conn, Hopelessly Devoted...Oh, here, watch.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Dance Friday #17 - Another dance of randomness

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see more Lolcats and funny pictures No interwebs this morning at Panera, so today gets a late start.

I seriously have no idea why Bert's pigeon dance was stuck in my head today, but it was, so I'm dropping it on all of your heads as well. Hey, it's a classic. Except for those of you freaked out by Muppet feet.

I haven't seen Pulp Fiction, but any time we get to see John Travolta in motion counts as a happy dance in my book:

Which of course means I can't let it go at one clip, so you get Tony Manero taking a shot at the male lead choreography in Staying Alive. In my version of life, Tony had a long and acclaimed career and now shows up as guest judge on televised dancing competitions.

As did Carmine "the Big Ragoo" Ragusa. Emceeing the Beat Fillmore Victory Dance was only the beginning.

I've always had a soft spot for Whoopi Goldberg's Sister Act movies, and seriously, I've been in meetings where this breaking out would be business as usual. Definitely counts as happy dancing for me:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Hero-to-be,

Thank you for waiting until office hours to announce yourself and for understanding that you will have to take a seat and wait until I move at least one current project off the active burners. Which means finishing and submitting. I do appreciate your promptness in responding to the item on my goals list for ideas for upcoming projects. I need a certain number of balls in the air for my juggling act to work right. From the way I want to grab at the clock hands and push them back so I don't have to change gears and can keep working, I do believe we are going to work well together.

I must channel Skye kitty's skeptical look and cast it your way, as your arrival in my head now requires me to research not only the Dutch East India Company (not the first time I've looked into that) but Dutch and Afrikaner history. This is going to be a lot of work. this is not a complaint. Merely stating this is uncharted territory for me, so I hope your spirit of adventure is up to dealing with that. I like my historicals unusual, and this will certainly fit the bill.

What I'm going to need from you before we can go any farther (further?) is the following: your name; the era in which you live (narrowing it down to sometime between 1707 and the Second Boer War is not quite enough for my purposes, but it's a start); where you came from (again, narrowing it down to The Netherlands is a start but I need more) and how you got to Africa (I do appreciate your informing me that you sought out the end of the world because you felt like you'd reached the end of your world; this is more than some heroes have given me in the past.) Also I need to know what your problem is. Can't fix things if I don't know how they're broken. If this is difficult, how about the last time you felt whole. I can work from there.

Needless to say, we'll need to wait for your heroine to announce herself. She's going to have to come to me. I can't force these things, and as I've already told you, I have a few other pots on the stove as we speak, so take your time working on that intake paperwork. I'm sure some of the current guys (Angus, John and Slate, I'm looking at you) can help you fill out the tricky parts.

I'll be looking through over lunch, so if you can meet me there to point out some useful tools, that would be very helpful. That's about it for now, so time for me to close up shop for the morning and transition to the next part of the day. I look forward to working with you, whoever you are, and while I can't promise not to put you through some really tough times during the course of the story, I can promise you a happily ever after.

Sincerely yours,

your author

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday at the Movies #14 - Movies I have slept through.

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Movies in this entry can only get a partial recommendation, because I have only seen parts of them. In order, yes, but ask me the actual plot and I can recall bits and snatches but nothing more. Why? I fell asleep. :hangs head: This is not to say that the movies were ones I found boring, only that I went when I was whimpering, curl-into-a-ball and cry tired. I should probably see most of these again, with a large dose of caffiene and give them another chance.

The year was 1986. I was a transfer student to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. The Mission won awards at Cannes and I found myself swept along in a crowd of fellow students/church camp instructors/what the heck was that group I went with to a local theatre. It had DeNiro. It had Jeremy Irons. It had issues of faith and a historical setting and gorgeous scenery...and I remember assuming the fetal position in my seat and occasionally waking to loud sound effects.

Diner: I remember the football bet. I remember the rich girl on the horse (though I might be confusing that with Hair)I remember the popcorn box. I remember fries with gravy, and I think Mickey Rourke was in this. That's about it. The production date lists as 1982, so I would have been a junior in high school and I couldn't have seen this on my own, so my best guess is probably the second run theater in Montpelier, VT. Otherwise, I guess Santa Barbara again. Definitely need to see this one while awake; midcentury, slice of life, coming of age story and as a midatlantic girl at heart, I love these diners.

The Manitou: Yes, my parents took me to see this one. My father insisted. Yeah, Dad, take your twelve year old to an schlocky horror film about...oh, heck, watch the trailer. I think I slept through parts of this one out of sheer self preservation. btw, Dad loved it.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace: Okay, okay, please no pelting with rotten produce. The sole qualifier for this theme is the chase scene. I count the chase scene as two naps. I saw this with my DH and a friend and the friend regrets to this day that she did not use the chase scene as a bathroom break. Other than a much too long chase scene, this movie had a lot - the story of how a child takes the first steps to being one of the greatest movie villains ever, the whole epic feel, Liam Neeson, Ewan MacGregor. Everything execpt the chase scene deserves all the acclaim. If I ever rewatch this, I am skipping the chase scene.

Either Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink: Because I cannot differentiate between the two. Seriously. I have seen both all the way through since, and can't remember which one I fell asleep while originally watching. Possibly both, as I do remember one college roommate dragging me to a double feature at about the right time. So I'll include them both.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Dance Friday #16, I mean daaaaaaaaaaaannnnnce....

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It's been a crazy week and I'm exhausted, but as Michael Jackson's Thriller proved, even zombies gotta dance:

Wade Robson's "Homage to the Rabbits" actually makes sense if one is sleep deprived:

As genius as Mia Michaels is, the costumes the dancers are wearing in "The Moment I Said It" might be what's left after the dancers escaped a zombie attack.

While nothing can touch the original for sheer genius, and I freely confess I have not seen the movie from which this clip comes, admit it; you kinda secretly want to do this :

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Close But No Cigar - the good rejection

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Today's email brought a good rejection from the publisher that was looking at Draperwood, my postapocalyptic medieval romance novella. Non-writers may now be scratching their heads and asking why I said "good rejection." Doesn't that mean they're not buying it?

If we're talking strictly binary, yes. This was not a sale, but neither was it my own first page returned with "no" scrawled on top in pencil. (True story, and current title holder for my weirdest rejection ever.) It was, however, a good rejection because it was personal. The editor started with what they liked about this story (the whole postapocalyptic medieval aspect, the way I described the post-plague devastation, the independent heroine and that she and the hero did get a HEA after each having lost absolutely everything, as well as my voice and writing style.) Then a concrete list of what didn't work for them and why. In this case, the editor would have liked more of a connection with the characters, and deeper use of emotion.

I can do all those thing. So, this means that I get to blast Ben Folds music through my headphones and whine to my critique partners via email until lunchtime, then start sending the ms out their way for input and to get ready for the next round of edits.

The neat thing about a good rejection is that it gives specific advice from exactly the sort of person we want to please about how to make the story even better. Which I can do. I love writing emotion. Anytime I can dig deep into the character's guts and share that with the readers, I'm in my element. Looking back, I think I may have held back due to the shorter length of this piece. I am looking forward to the chance to go deeper and spend more time with John and Aline and their journey from devastation to HEA. Not that there won't be times I want to smash my head against the desk or that I'm not disappointed that this submission wasn't "the one" for this story, but that only means I get to make the story better and the right publisher is still out there. Hey, I'm going to get to see a few of them at CORW's September workshop, so time to pound keys.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday at the Movies #13 - 50s and 60s
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Today would have been my father's eighty-eighth birthday, so we'll take a look at films he might have seen in the 50s and 60s, and I saw, alone or with parental supervision, on the small screen.

Irma La Douce: I have no idea why my dad thought this was an appropriate movie to watch with a twelve-year old, but I distinctly remember being called into the living room to watch this with him and my mom. Maybe because my mom's name was Erma? Happy little tale of a playground supervisor turned policeman turned pimp turned man in love, turned...well, that's another story. I wouldn't put it on the kiddy matinee, but a good couple hours in the underbelly of Paris for the grownups.

Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte: No idea if Dad saw this one, but odds are good. Horror seriously can't get much better than Bette Davis playing an aging southern woman, already teetering on the brink of losing it from being blamed for the murder of her married lover all those years back, and taunted over it, even by little kids, ever since. Then, when she's faced with possibly having her house torn down to make way for progress, events transpire to bring the past back to life, and Charlotte will either finally get her answers or lose what little she has left, both mentally and otherwise. Modern slasher flicks have nothing on this.

Psycho: I cannot mention horror without mentioning Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock directs a story by Robert Bloch, and Anthony Perkins provides a tour de force as Norman Bates, one of the most memorable bad guys on the big screen. Janet Leigh provides both misdirection and the iconic shower scene that flings open the door for the real horror to ensue. Classic doesn't begin to describe. The last scene still gives me chills.

To Sir With Love
- This is the first movie I stayed up until insane hours of the morning to watch (long before the invention of the VCR)and still count it totally worth it to see Sidney Poitier as a young teacher in London's East end. More than a Cockney Welcome Back Kotter, this film provides us with Lulu's iconic titular song and pure brilliance by Sidney Poitier as his character faces professional and personal challenges. 60s aficionados will love the costumes and scenery, and the strong story at the heart of it all holds everything together.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Dance Friday #15 -SYTYCD season finale
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Once again, we've come to the end of a SYTCYD season. I missed Mary Murphy on the panel, missed Mia Michaels' choreography, and can we talk about the season seven curse? Eyikes, all those injuries. It might indeed have been a different game if Alex Wong had been able to continue, or Billy Bell, but the final three of Lauren, Robert and Kent more than satisfied. Ellen DeGeneres standing in for Alex in the "Get Outta Your Mind" routine? Brilliant. I don't know that I would agree with all the choice for favorite routines, but Mad World and How It Ends were included, as was Fix You, so I will not complain. Or Kent and Robert's Bollywood; loved that one too. I do wish the seasons were released on DVD, because this season has a lot I'd love to watch over and over.

A personal favorite that I would have chosen to see again but didn't see on the finale was Robert and Kathryn's Heaven is a Place on Earth. I think it's equally effective when you do know which partner is the soldier, but discovering that was a punch in the gut the first time.

Lauren's audition; raise your hand if you suspected even then:

Embedding disabled on this lovely solo by Robert, but one look at what he actually does to make that movement look effortless, and I have even more respect for the man:

Kent, Kent, Kent. I had forgotten he originally got sent to choreography. Normally, I like to go straight to the dancing, but in Kent's case, the whole package is worth a rewatch. Admit it, you want him going to dance school in NYC to be a reality show.

How long do we have to wait for the next season? Must find way to watch SYTYCD Canada.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh the drama -How Original #1
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I was originally going to make this a Thursday Thirteen post, but it’s been a dicey week and some change, and to be frank, I’m pooped. Currently debating the merits of figuring out who among us is going to go grocery shopping, since DH and I are both in zombie stage but would prefer not to attempt a breatharian diet.

Without going into specifics, our landlord has been making repairs, so we have much stuff in boxes and out of place, DH has had a couple of medical things, we’re both exhausted and somewhat crabby. On the Enneagram system, DH is a five and I am a four, so imagine all the hijinx that brings when stress is high. Still love the guy, though, and he gets huge, huge hero points for something very thoughtful he did recently.

Without going into a lecture (which a five would love, actually – hee, Love Actually. Did not intend that, but good idea. I’m about due for a viewing.) when stressed, a five needs more alone, quiet time and little to no drama. For a four, stress (and everything) is all about the drama. In the interest of domestic harmony, I try to give the man some space to distress and if the nonfiction tv crosses my extremely low threshold (as in turning it on in the first place) I stick on my headphones and dive into a book. I tell myself this would be a perfect time to watch a couple of movies on DVD but by the end of the day, I'm too pooped to deal with that...because the daily stuff in an unsettled week can drain ye olde creativity.

Sometimes we do need to refill the well. For a five, like DH, a nap and the Food Network are perfect. For a four like me, connecting with stuff that is original and/or dramatic. A few clips that made me sit up and take notice first time I saw them:

Meat Loaf: The singer, not the delicious comfort food. I did get to meet him once at a public signing, and he is a big sweetie, and, I'm guessing, another big flaming four. Hard to pick a favorite piece of his, but I do remember flipping channels, seeing the first frames of this flicker on the screen, and was glued to it until the end. Even borrowed element for a Trekfic I was writing at the time, and yeah, I did tell Meat when I met him, and yeah, his smile at hearing his music broke someone's writer's block needed its own zip code:

Cowboy Troy: Actual first thought the first time I heard "I Play Chicken With the Train" was "I have never heard anything like that before." Which for me, is usually a very good thing. Something that original is bound to catch my attention. I hadn't thought it would be possible to combine rap and hip hop, but apparently it is. Video embedding disabled by request, so clicky on the Hick Hop.

Over and Over: A collaboration between Tim McGraw and Nelly? With a shot by shot split screen of the two extremely different men going through the same situation? That has eyeball glue alllllll over it:

Firefly: I'm not big on westerns. I'm not big on science fiction. In theory, putting the two together should be the Anna equivalent of Kryptonite, but instead, more eyeball glue. Cannot. Look. Away. Only one season, but what a season.

What's made you sit up and take notice? Suggestions welcomed.

Monday, August 09, 2010

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When Life Pelts You With Lemons….

…put them in iced tea. This is not a complaining entry. It is, however, writing, which is a much better thing than endlessly hitting “refresh” on Facebook and Twitter. Writing can be a difficult thing in the best of times, but when dealing with DH’s health issues for the past week, working on very little sleep all of that time, and hassles with work being done in our apartment, this week, it’s been insane.

There are times when real life is going to have to take precedence. “Sorry, honey, can’t go to the ER with you; I have to finish this chapter” isn’t going to cut it. Getting back to the writing life when things have eased out of emergency stage can be a struggle all in themselves. Like today.

I spend my weekend mornings at the Panera on our street. Normally, that’s enough for my brain to understand we are at the office now and kick into gear. I have my story notebook for “Nothing Short of Heaven” with me now, and I have…oh, whoops, I don’t have my playlist cued on Rhapsody. Fixing that now. Whoops. Server not responding. No matter, I have my plan B, If that doesn’t work, there’s always YouTube and I can minimize the window. I could store music on the laptop, but I don’t like to clutter my hard drive.

Getting back to work after dealing with other stuff, emotionally and physically draining other stuff at that, is tricky. There’s the feeling out the whole story part of the brain? Still there? Yes. Crabby at me for having wandered off? Heck yes. Welcoming me back? Kindasorta. Actual new writing has not happened as of yet today but see what I’m doing here? Blog entry is writing. Writing begets writing, so I’m on the right track.

Also nudging brain storyward by looking at another chapter for a critique partner. Emailing writing buddies about trickiness of getting back to work also gets partial credit. I know I’ll get a mixture of “be good to yourself” and “b*tt in chair, fingers on keyboard or else.” Knowing my friends, I do not want to explore their or elses.

Even when life pelts me with lemons (and really, ‘pelt’ is more accurate than ‘give’ in this situation) writing is the happy place. Though, considering what I do to my characters, what does that say about me? No matter what’s going on in ‘real’ life, my story people are still there and they need me to. It’s only natural to feel a little fuzzy shifting focuses (foci?) but it’s one of those things we each have to figure out how to do on our own. How do you get yourself back in gear once the real life tides recede?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saturday at the Movies #12 - musicalsfunny pictures of cats with captions
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I remember when I first heard of The Wiz, and being a wee little princess who would beg and plead to stay up late to see The Wizard of Oz on its then-annual showing, I was skeptical about messing with a classic. I came around. The visuals are beyond amazing, the "Brand New Day" sequence is one of my favorites, ever, and I love the sheer creativity involved in this adaptation. Dorothy might not be in Kansas anymore, but she is in NYC, and well, I'd like to remember Michael Jackson like this. No embedding on this one, so click here.

Dreamgirls - at the same time I was seeing advertisments for the movie The Wiz, I saw ads also for the stage version of Dreamgirls, but again, being too young, I had to wait for the movie. Boy, was that worth the wait. Jennifer Hudson was always a favorite of mine when she was on American Idol, and Simon Cowell was right on the money (heh, pun)when he told Ms. Hudson that songs for the movies were her forte after she sang "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. I know Beyonce got top billing, but for my money, this is Jennifer Hudson's movie, no doubt about it. The period feel, the delightfully dizzying ride through the 60s and 70s as seen through the eyes of three female singers has an amazing cast including Eddie Murphy in his finest hour, and Jamie Foxx whose performance let me see him in a whole new light.

Where to start with Little Shop of Horrors? The musical for the truly twisted, there is much perfection here, from Rick Moranis as Seymour, a very unusual lead, to the whole Skid Row aesthetic, Steve Martin's truly classic dentist song and the flawless use of a 60s girl group as Greek chorus. Only Frank Oz could direct a musical whose star is a bloodthirsty plant.

What sort of historical romance writer would I be if I didn't include Camelot? I think this cemented my love of the medieval era and tortured love triangles.

I don't think I ever apologized to my parents for the countless number of times I played the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie in my room, but I probably should have. As a kid who grew up on Sesame Street (in English and Spanish, thankyouverymuch) twice a day, this was a true delight. Plus it has Kermit and Miss Piggy, a true couple for the ages.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Happy Dance Friday #14 - the dance of randomness funny pictures of cats with captions
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Since it's been one of those weeks, I am themeless, but happy dancing takes many forms.

Though I still have yet to watch this week's SYTYCD, I have had a peek around teh interwebs and had to share the sheer perfection of Travis Wall's choreography, performed by Kent and Neil. Embedding disabled by request, so clicky here. I bleed for these characters. Well done, gentlemen!

Pasha and Lauren's Argentine Tango - there are no words.

Off to that other dance show; remember Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough's paso doble? There's good times:

Remember the Mama Mia flashmob? Ever wonder what all those crazy kids did next? Apparently, they headed over to a nearby mall and did the same thing again.

Since the theme this week is randomness, and it doesn't get any more random than this:

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Rainy Day

Once again ensconced at Panera, the DH recuperating at home. In case he reads this (he's pretty smart and can probably figure out this is me by the URL)I won't go into details, but things look to be on the mend.

Could have smacked myself yesterday when I arrived for the morning's writing session without my Nothing Short of Heaven notebook, so I made double sure that I have it with me today. I will be a good and productive writer today, I will, I will, I will. I will also, thanks to the issue of Romance Writer's Report I got in yesterday's mail, work on my web presence (more on that later) because apparently there are peak times for this sort of thing? See, learn something new every day.

Especially the rainy ones. For some reason, my brain kicks into gear when things get rainy. Maybe the rainfall makes the ideas grow? I've heard stranger theories. At any rate, good issue of RWR this month, with good tips on the whole interwebs thing, which I very much needed. Debating adding book reviews and/or author interviews to my bag of tricks, and I probably will.

For now, I have a comfy chair and free iced tea refills and a good gander at the rainy parking well as the other patron who is probably looking at something behind me, not at me, at least I certainly hope that's what it is.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Photobucket If I Wrote a Vampire....

...which, in the interests of full disclosure, I have no intention of doing at the moment. Also in the interests of full disclosure, I have neither read the Twilight books nor seen the movies and have no intention of changing either fact. I have not read J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I'm okay with that. I do have a nice stack of Hannah Howell's historical vampire novellas in conjunction with Lyndsay Sands that need sorting out, as I lost track of what goes where and am anal about reading linked stories in order. As observant readers may have noticed by the icon above, I did see, and absolutely loved the short-lived (pun unintended) CBS drama, Moonlight, about do-gooder vampire detective Mick and his beloved Beth. In fact, their relationship is one of my favorite TV romances ever. I went through a monster phase when I was about nine or ten, and with the proliferation of vampire romances these days, it does get a girl to thinking.

I might be a party pooper from the start, as I tend toward the classic view and Bram Stoker's original mythos works fine for me. (I know, I know, he didn't invent vampires, but he does have the seminal -no jokes please- work so I stand by the term.) I like the vampire as monster, so I'd want my vampire or at least the majority of vampires in that world, to be the bad guys. Of course I could make an exception for the reluctant vampire, like my (and Beth's) beloved Mick, above. Or reluctant vampire heroine, that's fine too. Equal opportunities here. Or both fighting against the bad guy vampire.

Historical, definitely, as that's how my brain skews. Party pooper points as well for my preference toward single stories as opposed to linked ones, so nobody gets a brotherhood or school for anything. Likely more as well because I would lean toward my vampire getting his HEA in becoming human again and living to a ripe old age and eventual natural death with the heroine. Or vampiress with her hero, you get the picture.

Reproduction? Not in vampire form, as if the only bodily fluid is ichor, well, that doesn't have the baby making stuff, and I'm not sure if a Stoker type vampire could ah, rise to the occasion anyway.

I'm reminded of a discussion I had with a delightful gent in our home church about why we each didn't want to see Twilight, both citing the deviations from traditional mythos, and both agreed that the need for an invitiation for the vampire to enter one's residence is crucial. (Note, I have not seen Let The Right One In because I am not good with bloody movies, but the mythos sounds in line)

Dark in tone, for sure, because, well, I'm me. I do like a dose of the gothic now and again, misty midnight graveyards can be lovely places, and a tingle of danger does up the ante. I do often think that it's more the idea than the myth that gets me, and what's most likely to cross over (pun intended) to my work from the whole vampire idea is in fact the idea or essence. There may or not be fangs and death can be metaphorical as well as literal, but the tone is what carries. So, dear readers, what do you think the whole vampire "thing" is for you? Or are they not your cuppa at all?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ah, real life, how you do drop in at the most random of times.

My plan: Go walking with neighbor/writing buddy and then settle in for a writing morning at Panera. During which I would work on the opening scene for "Nothing Short of Heaven." After which I would nab a bagel to go, hie myself to Bible study with aforementioned neighbor/writing buddy, then connect with another friend, then have nice relaxing tub time, then quiet evening while DH is at work.

What actually happened: Went walking with neighbor/writing buddy. Came home to DH needing to go to ambulatory care center. Reconnected with neighbor/writing buddy to provide ride to aforementioned center. Wait in waiting area. DH needs a test run. Test gets run. Reconnect with neighbor/writing buddy to make rounds of pharmacy and other needed errands. Get deposited home to get DH settled. Reconnect with other friend to explain all of above.

I can has nap nao?

Monday, August 02, 2010

What I am doing today –

First, not unpacking from Nationals, because I didn’t go. I have never gone, always wanted to go, and next year, if all goes according to plan, I should be able to go. I am already in talks with friends who will also be attending, so that we can get potential rooming arrangements worked out, and since some of us are married, the husbands or no husbands question arises. If so, the happy couples will want to be together and the single gal likes alone time, so that should work out as well.

Being an extrovert, getting plunked down in the middle of a teeming mass of romance writers, editors and agents, especially in my favorite city in the world, sounds like nothing short of heaven. Which could also be a great title. :makes note to self: Pitching sessions? Let me at them! Come on, getting to talk about my books to a captive audience who not only might be interested in eventually giving me money for making stuff up, but is contractually obligated to listen to me blather for eight minutes? Again, sheer bliss.

Thanks to a very wise aunt, I know to count on bringing home one more bag than I arrived with, luggage-wise. This is achievable by packing two bags each half-full, and the collapsible bag is a lifesaver. For most conferences I’ve been to (never a Nationals yet, but I have not missed NEC since I first started going) there’s a welcome bag, but that can hold only so much. I imagine the freebie room to be something akin to the Christmas windows of the big department stores from my childhood, only grabbing everything in sight would be allowed. I know how to find comfy and fabulous shoes, and though I have so far been unsuccessful in convincing my husband to leave a free book on my plate at each meal, I do like to think I keep the conference spirit all year long.

So, one could count it that I’m already preparing for next year. Already successful in finding a nail polish that will withstand being on my fingers for a twenty four hour period, and in the color I want, so I’m good there. As I’ve said often to other writer buddies, the best thing one can have to succeed in writing is a great manuscript. Since I have four titles in electronic release now, another under consideration, and am getting things in order to send in a requested novel and a novella that has had some interest, I can safely say I’m on the way there.

Other than that, I have writing-related stuff. There’s the chapter sister’s ms I have the pleasure of critiquing, giving support via cell phone to another with computer problems (mostly consisting of barking an order to call the Geek Squad and tell them it’s an emergency, but seriously, those guys rock.) and moderating our chapter’s online course of the month. With occasional moments to emit small “eeps” at the fact that I am teaching a course next month at Savvy Authors (From Fanfiction to Fantastic Fiction.) I love teaching this course, and one of my dear critique partners and I are putting together another course on the ups and downs of partnership. Plus a fun indie project, so I’m not at a loss for things to fill my time and earn myself a good evening’s session of Sims3.

Also waiting for a yea or nay on a potential novella title from aforementioned dear critique partner on a potential novella title, because I trust her gut on this sort of thing. Fingers crossed, writing on.