Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is not a kiss the very autograph of love? ~Henry Finck

So I found out I placed 4th in the New England RWA First Kiss Contest. Here is what the editor said...

The writer does a good job of creating a sexy chemistry between the hero and heroine. The premise is unique—always a good thing.

She also said to be careful that my heroine does not come off as shrill. None of the other judges or my critique partners have mentioned this but I will take a second look.

I have finally completed the scene after the first kiss - Hooray!!!

And finally broke through the 20,000 word mark. In the month of January I'm starting my own take on NANO with my friend Yolanda. A thousand words a day. Which will send me over 50,000 word mark - 5,000 words short of THE END.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." Carl Reiner

Home from work today as the roads are covered in ice and snow.

Still working on Love By Design but the good news is that I've finaled in the New Englands RWA First Kiss Contest. I was able to revise it before it goes to an editor at HQ for final judging.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"The lips know only shallow tunes. The heart is where great symphonies are born." - Calvin Miller

At the Thrall Library Bookstore I came across an old friend - The Song by Calvin Miller which is part of The Singer Trilogy. The trilogy is a poetic narrative - The Singer (Gospels) The Song (the Acts) and The Finale (Revelation). I remember reading them in high school. Since it was only a dollar I thought I'd revisit and share a small part with you...

Let men embrace the rain.
Come, Wind, blow free
And stir the warm sweet breeze!
Dream, dreamless men!
Our empty youth come filled
with prophecy.
Our grunts now Spirit-washed
are words again.

The Great Invader breathes upon you
as a man
Of Holy Fire, from that far land
where all
Horizons meet. He knocks
with wounded hands
Upon the soul. And penetrates
the wall

Powerful stuff.

Monday, November 30, 2009

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu

I've ignored my blog since the 8th. Lucky for me this blog isn't a plant or a pet. I've been busy with all things - except for writing. Sigh.... But today I revised my first kiss scene - up-ing the emotion. I pretty happy with it. Next comes the fall-out/reaction scene then onto the sex scene. Yes, sex scene - not a love scene - not yet - (hey, they only met a day ago).

I've also set up the files for 24 poems I plan to write for a chapbook.

I've read a couple of non-exciting books but today I picked up lao tzu: tao te ching: An English Version by Ursula K. Le Guin (prostrating myself at her feet). She includes commentary and notes along the way. Here is one of the translations from the book...

Not Wanting

The five colors
blind our eyes.
The five notes
deafen our ears.
The five flavors
dull our taste.

Racing, chasing, hunting,
drives people crazy.
Trying to get rich
ties people in knots.

So the wise soul
watches with the inner
not the outward eye,
letting that go,
keeping this.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake. Marie B Ray

Spent the weekend with some friends from the high school days. We went to Atlantic City to see Chris Daughtry and got in some eating, drinking, and gambling as well. I'm blessed that we are all still friends and even though I only see them maybe 4 or 5 times a year, I can keep up with them via Facebook.

We had fun and giggled like we were still those teenagers like:
When we told the cab drive on the way to the concert that we were celebrating Linda's 21st birhtday.
Then on the way back somehow the subject of hot dogs came up...
Marla: I like Hebrew National
Liz: I prefer sausage
Linda: I like mine skinless.

Today, I'll be flying to Ohio and returning Friday - and yes, I just realized I'll be flying home on Friday the 13 (probably why the tickets were so cheap) - to visit my parents and my brother.

Before I go I'll leave you with one more Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum

I need to slow down.
it's hard, when eating fingers,
to tell whose hands whose

Monday, November 2, 2009

Zombie Haiku? Yes!

Darn that Amazon recommended list! All I wanted was the new Transformers DVD but I made the mistake of checking out the list of recommendations. And there it was Zombie Haiku by a Ryan Mecum.

Love all things zombie - I have the Zombie Survival Guide and according to Facebook I would survive a Zombie Plague. But for the most part, my zombie habit is under control, but how could I resist Zombie Haiku - all in the 5-7-5 syllable structure. Couldn't do it.

The book is set up as a journal that recounts the events of a poet turned zombie.

Here is one for your enjoyment

You are so lucky
that I cannot remember
how to use doorknobs.

okay, can't help myself - one more!

Blood is really warm.
it's like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.

LOL! This book is riot!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The frosty night was like a fairy tale...from The Poems of Doctor Zhivago

I scored the above book at the Literacy Book Store for 1.oo!

The poems were pulled from Russia's Paternak's book Doctor Zhivago. The translation in 1957 ended 25 years of literary exhile for Paternak.

I'll admit I never read the book but I LOVED the movie and the soundtrack.

here is the ending of one of his peoms...

Like luminous phantoms the trees

Come thronging out on the highway

To wave their farewell to Night

That knows what is fated to be

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"The word aerobics came about when gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 a hour we can't call it Jumping Up and Down."

The quote is from the very funny Rita Rudner.

The reason I'm using it here is to let you all know I joined a gym.

And like Rita I also found that

They call it Pilates because they can't call it 'The Stretching Rack' class.


They call it Zumba because they can't call it 'Jumping around to Latin Music' class

and I also asked myself

Why do I drive 20 minutes to the gym so I can walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes?

Actually I'm having fun and though I've only been going a little more than week and a half - I can now walk up a flight of steps without keeling over in a desperate attempt for air.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story - Donald Maass

Since I’ve stalled a bit in producing word count for Love By Design, I’m going back to finish Donald Maass’ The Fire In Fiction. I was a couple of chapters in when my writing took off so I put it aside and now I’m hoping to re-light the fire. I decided to start at the back of the book instead of re-reading from the beginning.

I recommend this book highly - but I'll share just SOME of the ‘ahhhhs’ I’ve had from...

Chapter 9 Fire In Fiction

“Meaning lies not in the experience that you select to portray - but rather in what that experience means to your characters: and, before that, what it means to you”

“What is the truth that you most wish the rest of us would see? That is the purpose of your novel.”

Chapter 8 Tension All the Time

The secret of making backstory work is to use the past to create present conflict.

Tension in exposition - dig deeper into your character at this moment and find inside of him contradictions, dilemmas, opposing impulses, and clashing ideas. Put your character’s hearts and minds in peril. Use emotions in conflict and ideas at war.

More next time... 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm a poet and I didn't even know it...


Sheriff of Storage Town
by Liz Matis

The golf cart
The motor
Under his mighty

An example of mankind’s
Like the stuff he

Unit after unit
Row after row
the cart putts along
spewing smoke
Into the atmosphere

Making his rounds
He puffs on a cigar
night after night
lonely and
cast off
Like the stuff he protects

An unlikely fellow
Sporting a gun
for who would want
what other people
Have abandoned

An unlikely fellow
who wonders
what’s behind
Each steel door

An unlikely fellow
who believes
he is not a human watch dog
but a guardian of memories

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes. - Benjamin Franklin

The new issue of Writer's Digest arrived in the mail, but nothing really gave me an 'ahhhh' moment. This is probably tied to my general mood at the moment, which is 'the blahs'.
I didn't even make my Tuesday night critique group. (It's an hour away and I don't get home until after 11:00)

The writing is slow. I was riding high 2 weeks ago but then came to a halt, writing only a couple of sentences a day before becoming frustrated and turning off the computer.

So today I decided to go back and start revising the first 18,000 words - so at least I'm working. Also, I really, really must finish that sci-fi short story if it's the last thing I do. Maybe, this is the perfect time to do it.

So even though I've come up against a roadblock, I've turned around and took a detour. Who knows maybe it's just the scenic route. Either way I'll get to The End.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"I have what I need," he said surveying his messy shelves, "Why bother chasing more?" Albert Lewis (Reb) from Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith

Mitch Albom has done it again. Made me cry.
In his new book Have a Little Faith - a True Story, Albom is asked by his Rabbi to give his eulogy and so begins 8 years of meetings with the Rabbi to learn more about him and about faith. At the same time Albom is meeting with a Detroit pastor who has a sorid past.

It's a book about faith and about connection. And it made me cry.
Buy it, Read it, Love it.

So it got me thinking What books have made you a little teary eyed?
If you can't think of one - how about a movie?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

I read banned books. I know I'm such a rebel...

It's - Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 26−October 3, 2009

So I challenge you to read a book from the top 100 banned or challenged books found here...

My choice is Kim by Rudyard is the description from

In Kim, Kipling creates an exotic atmosphere, full of vivid characters and incidents, and immediately draws the reader into his strange world. The novel concerns a religious quest and a quest for identity, and includes both enlightenment and espionage, tranquillity and violence. It combines social, cultural, and political history with the hardships and goal of a travel book. Like Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha (1922), Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge (l944), and Iris Murdoch's The Sea, the Sea (1978), it is one of the rare European novels with a Buddhist theme. Kim and the lama, Dharma Bums on the Road, foreshadow the sprawling works of Jack Kerouac.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

“Words are... the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling

Time again to save a word from the website


adj: brittle; withered

Van Gogh was fond of painting kexy bouquets of sunflowers in his old age.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"When there is nothing inside to express, all the techniques in the world make no difference." Bentje

I found the above quote in September 2009, The Artist's Magazine. I dabble in color pencil botanicals and pick up the occassional issue. I think the quote applies in a big way to writers so I thought I'd share it.

The above quote could also apply to kisses - speaking of which my first kiss scene is done and off to my critque partners for review. I'm think of entering it in a contest. I'll see if I can get my act together for the October 1 deadline. (still have to write a set-up scene to let the judges know what happen prior to kiss and incorporate any changes suggested by my circle of 3 or 4 if you include me)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. Ingrid Berman

Almost done with the first kiss scene of Love By Design. Even though I won the New England RWA First Kiss Contest for Playing For Keeps in 06/07 the fact remains that I haven't had a first kiss in 25 years.

But once I started writing it all came together.

as Mae West said "A man's kiss is his signature."
And I think my character Russ lived up to this. (and so does my husband)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sundays are for....


Had fun at the meeting yesterday...lots of good people and good food

Some tib-bits from the October 2009 Writers Digest:

The Passion of Prose…and what it really means - Donald Mass
In his words….. - One technique is to include not what a particular plot turn means in the grand scheme of things, but instead what it means to your point-of-view characters. In other words, illuminate for that person not what has changed, but how she has changed -
- Ask yourself at every writing session why you care about what is happening in the scene at hand.

Join the Crowd - complied by Jessica Stawser
Some interesting sites but I don’t think I’ll pursue - at this point I must write, write, write…
….but did you know Sue Gruen wrote Water For Elephants during NaNoWriMo?

Telling Stories - interview w/ Mitch Albom - by Melissa Hill
Mitch says: A memoir should have some uplifting quality, inspiring or illuminating, and that’s what separates a life story that can influence other people.
(His new release, Have a Little Faith, is out on September 29!!!!)

Best Writers’ Websites 2009 - lots to check out - but not until I’m ready to create my own….

There are also 3 articles on Plot & Structure which I will savor at a later date.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Today I'll be attending a celebration for the Hudson Valley RWA 25th anniversery. Kathy Attalla, our Treasurer, planned a networking lunch. She requested a list for Nationals of all members living in a 50 mile radius to attend. We have about 35 attending (including current local chapter members) and hopefully some will love us so much they will decide to join!

Kathy did a lot of hard work on this. All I had to do was bake some red velvet cupcakes, but they are totally awesome cupcakes. Martha Stewart bow before me!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 11th

"In time, perhaps, we will mark the memory of September 11 in stone and metal, something we can show children as yet unborn to help them understand what happened on this minute and on this day. But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we’ll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day."
George W. BushPresident of the United StatesDecember 11, 2001

Ain't that the truth?

Even today, September 10th, I can feel the tears welling in my eyes. I have to fight not to wallow in it all. Have to turn my head away from footage on the T.V. Of course, this isn't about me but those who died that terrible day and the heroes called into action.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A collection of good sentences resembles a string of pearls. Chinese Proverb

Been busy since my last post. A good busy...although I didn't get much writing done.

I did read the new RWR. Here are some items I found interesting

Writers On Writing - featuring Cindi Myers by Eillen Putman
"Those years of rejection were hard, but I told myself this was my apprenticeship - a ballet dancer doesn't start out with a starring role, and a violinist doesn't begin as first chair. The only way I knew to get better as a writer was to keep writing. I learned a lot from every manuscript I completed.

Work Smarter, Not Harder by Jane McBride Choate
Elaine Levine - "I try to make one product handle mulitple things. I have a serialized prequel to my book on my web site." She records clips to have a audio/visual on her web site, republish it on YouTube and on various podcast directories.
Rosane Kean found the Natural Reader program that will read anything written in Word and PDF formats. There is a free version that will read several paragraphs at a time.

How to Run a Web Site Contest (Without Going to Jail) by Courtney Milan
- okay after reading this I may never run a contest - but if I do I should state... "The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants."

One more thing...
My writing frind Gina Rosavin took first place in the sexy category of Summer Sizzle Contest. The editor at Samhain requested to see her manuscript titled In the Devil's Arm. Congrats Gina!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be your own hero, it's cheaper than a movie ticket. Doug Horton

My hero for Love By Design is a cross between Matthew McConaughey and Sawyer from the TV series LOST. (yum yum). - I'm about 75 pages in and the Sawyer in my character is taking over. I just wrote this scene and it's so him.

This is a rough draft as you will see but I had to share...

What one?”
Yellow cake in a fancy paper cup with fluffy pink icing plopped on top tempted him. He wondered how many calories the treat contained and how many grams of fat. Russ didn’t get six pack abs from drinking beer and eating junk food. Which reminded him at some point he’d have get his workouts in. Otherwise his shirt would be staying on and he’d get fired from his moonlighting job.
“No, thanks.” He patted his stomach. “ ?????????”
Some more dialogue here….
“It looks like a cupcake made for girls.”
“Sugar and spice and everything nice." Victoria waved one under his nose.
The scent of vanilla hit him hard. “Are you talking about you or the cupcake?”

Seeeeeeee....can you just picture Sawyer saying this (but with an Aussie accent). Be still my heart . I'm falling in love with my hero! Shhhhh....don't tell my husband. LOL

Monday, August 31, 2009

A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success. - Bo Bennett

I received the nicest agent rejection e-mail/letter ever.
I can't even be depressed about it. (I tried-you know because I'm a writer)
In fact, when ever I start ranting how much I suck at writing, I'll pop up the e-mail to remind myself that I'm not wasting my time.

Here is a portion of the agent's email:

'You have a great imagination - I love the premise - and you're a good writer, but I'm sad to say that I just wasn't passionate enough about this to ask to see more. I wish I could offer constructive suggestions, but I thought the dialogue was fine, the characters well-crafted, and the plot well-conceived. I think it's the kind of thing that really is subjective - why some people adore the book on the top of the NYTimes bestseller list, and others don't.Just to reiterate, another agent and publisher will probably feel differently. I certainly encourage you to continue to seek representation elsewhere.'

See what I mean? No reason to wallow. Almost a reason to celebrate. Almost. But it is a reason to keep writing and keep submitting.

And I'm still waiting to hear from HQ on Playing For Keeps.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I only use my sick days for hang-overs and soap opera weddings. - Kate O'Brien

O dear me, I'm hooked on a Korean soap opera called The Road Home. It's fasinating!

This is the synopsis from

Family is the ultimate hope and the fortress that keeps us up.
"The Road Home" talks about families of nowadays; the disbanded family relationships of the current time. People often say "I am happy for my family", but we no longer find much meaning from these words, as we did in the past. Even though many families are now separated into nuclear families, "family" has its root in the large family structure. This drama is about a journey; the journey of a nuclear family changing back to a large family. While talking about families of these days, "The Road Home" also questions about the true meaning of happiness.

My favorite story line is the young twenty something Korean female dating a Japanese male model. The parent do not approve because he is a foreigner and model who kisses girls in videos. Oh the DRAMA! I LOVE IT!!!!
My guilty pleasure of the summer. But then again it's a good study of facial expressions and emotions shown through acting since even though there are English subtitles, the actors actions are helping you interpret. Very helpful for a writer. So, I'm studying for my craft.
Oh yeah, I can make an arguement for anything.
How about you? Any guilty pleasures?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"What is a friend? I will tell is someone with whom you dare to be yourself." Frank Crane

This is a shout out to one of my writing friends, Kimberly Frost. We met at the New England Romance Writers Conference about 3 years ago. We sat at the same table and became fast friends. She has since been published and now with her second book coming out, I'm so happy for her and.....

To celebrate the upcoming release of her second novel in the Southern Witch series, Kimberly Frost is hosting a book giveaway called PARAPALOOZA. For seven days, Kimberly will giving away books from her series as well as those by other wonderful paranormal authors (including Rita-nominated and Rita-winning books). To join the fun, visit:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: Inglourious Basterds

"If you ever wanna eat a Sauerkraut sandwich again take your Wiener Schnitzel lickin' finger and point out on this map what I wanna know." from Brad Pitt's character, Aldo Raine.

If Brad Pitt and his motely crew showed up in the movie more and if it was shorter by a half-hour, I would've given the movie 4.5 stars . And it's not because I'm in love with Brad Pitt (I'm more of a Keanu Reeves type of girl) but because he and his outfit stole the movie. Okay, so I looked away during the scalping scenes (ewwww...gross).

There were parts of the movie where I laughed and the audience didn't. I either have a strange sense of humor or the audience just didn't get it. Like the above quote said in Pitt's Tennesse Twang and the following "You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, Business is a-boomin'.

No reaction from the audience. Me? I'm cracking up. So is my husband. (probably why we've be married 24 years)

Verdict: If you are Tarantino fan (which I am) or you think you'd like a spagettii western set in WW2 (the music is such a throwback) or you want to see Brad Pitt and Eli Roth incredible performances then go see it.

I give it 4 stars.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check out my short story - Mother of the Year
Click on the link and it will take you to my short story Mother of the Year

I got the idea from the many times over the years of saying "There goes my Mom of the Year Award" but at least I never lost my son in a crowd like my heroine does!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

Got my copy of the new Writer's Digest in mail and devoured it in one sitting.

The Art of Entitlement - 7 Tips to Nail the Perfect Title by Jacob M Appel
Tip#4 - Include precise nouns and active verb - for example Appel uses Eugene O'Neils - Desire Under the Elms is more compelling than Love Under the Trees.

While the rest of the article was just as helpful, I've heard publishers usually end up changing your title - so don't get married to it.

How do I come up with my titles?
Well, In Playing For Keeps (still waiting to hear from HQ Blaze) the hero is a pro athlete who has always played for keeps on the field and now he's taking that mentality off the field to win the love of the heroine.

In my latest WIP, Love By Design, which is about a design show on HGTV and the co-hosts fall in love hence Love By Design.

Some other titles for my other works (some completed/some not - novel/short stories)
Annie Get Your Pitchfork
Eight Ball Lover
Stars and Stripes
The Biggest Loser
Mother Of the Year (a short story - which will be published on-line by LASR on Thursday)

I'll make sure to post the link.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams

One of the best parts of summer is the music playing on the radio. Here is a youtube video of my favorite for this summer.

Do you have a favorite song for the Summer of 2009?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

So let's save another word today (from the website - my humantarian efforts know no bounds....

misqueme - to displease

I'm misquemed over the current state of politics in the country.

On a personal note - Tonight I'll be attending the American Idol concert in New Jersey with a bunch of friends from high school. Our 30 year reunion is in 2 years so the fact that we still hang out occassionally is cool.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The essential question is not, "How busy are you?" but "What are you busy at?" "Are you doing what fulfills you?"-Oprah Winfrey

Been so busy, but in the past week I've written ten pages of my current work in progress and read 5 chapters of research for my next project! Plus put in a 40 hour work week, volunteered at the Bethel-Wood Musuem (Woodstock) for 5 hours, and went to my Tuesday night critique group - whew!!!

Actually I put in a 39 hour work week. I left early on Thursday so I could catch some sunshine at the pool. I was getting cranky.

This week promises to be just as busy, but a good busy. After work tomorrow I'm meeting some writing friends (shout out to Yo, Allison, and Marianne) at Borders to chat and yes, as always ice coffee!!!! Off on Wednesday to spend some time with my friend Marla. Crossing fingers for the beach. Thursday off again, this time with my sister, crossing fingers for the beach. Friday work. Sat - volunteer and Sunday the American Idol Concert (don't judge me).

Thank goodness starting next Monday I'm on vacation!

Friday, July 31, 2009

What so wild as words are? - Robert Browning

As I was reading a free copy of Romantic Times from the conference I came across an article about a website called Hundreds of words are dropped from the English language every year from lack of use. Visitors to the site are asked to adopt an endangered word and pledge to use it in conversation and correspondence. You can also buy a T-shirt with the adopted word on it.

Cool. (I know. I know. Total Geek!)

Anyway, while I did not officially adopt a word (you have to sign up and I don't need to remember yet another username/password), I selected one for my blog today. Here it is...

odynometer - instrument for measuring pain
The new financial system at work caused the odynometer hooked to my body to explode.

My good deed for the day is done - I saved a word. Now if I could just figure out a way to destroy that financial system...

Friday, July 24, 2009

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which IS reality - from the 1956 Godzilla movie

The Donald Maas workshop was my favorite by far at the RWA Conference. He really makes you think about your work by asking the right questions. At some point I'll be picking up his new book The Fire In Fiction (too bad it's not available in a audio verision)

During his workshop I had a total and complete geek moment...thankfully to myself...well not to myself anymore because I'm sharing it with you now...

Donald goes into a series of questions to bring your villian alive. One of them is "What is the first moment that the antagonist/villian wants the opposite of what he thought? What triggers it? How does he respond? Later in the book what triggers them to go back to what they originally wanted?"

What do I think of? Inside my head I'm thinking..."Oh yeah, like when Godiziila joins the other monsters to fight Giddra the three-headed monster."

I AM NOT KIDDING. This is what I thinking of in the middle of Mass' workshop. I am such a geek!

You need further proof? Did I ever tell you that my sister and I planned to dress up as the Klingnon Sisters (they were modeled after the witches in MacBeth) and go to one of those Sci-fi conventions?

Do you have an inner geek?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If,because of anxiety and self-doubt,you procrastinate and only think about working,you'll feel more exhausted than if you'd created for hours-Maisel

more DC Adventures...

Friday - 7/17
According to Yolanda's DC friends I'm official DC-er as I was trapped in the Metro doors and the guard had to call in to get the door to re-open. Yikes! I've could've lived w/o that.
Go to the hotel and was estatic to find out they sell ice coffee as the Starbucks by our hotel had a line that I've never seen before.
Went to:
Buy This Book - an interactive workshop simulating an editorial board meeting - various editors
this was a great in exercise in how the process works - a definite must
each played an assign role: Publisher / Director of Marketing / Director of Special Sales / Director of Publicity / Chain Rep / Director of Subright / Editorial Director or Editor -in-Chief/ Editor. Each asks questions of the editor who is pitching a book.
Awards Lunch w/ Eloise James - an emotional speech - the lesson she got across was - when she learned to put gut-wrenching emotion into her book is when she started to sell
Fire In Fiction - Donald Maas - (my agent appointment got switched to Saturday so I was able to stay for the whole workshop)
OMG - I LOVED THIS WORKSHOP! Will write a seperate post on it.
12 Stages of the Writer's Adventure: Write from the Inside Out - Beth Barney - a nice workshop that compared the writer's journey to the hero's journey
During the day was able to hit various book signings for various books - can' wait to read them!
Headed out to meet Yolanda's friend at the Capital City Brewing Company and then we went on the moonlight tour of the monuments then back to the hotel for much needed sleep.
Saturday - 7/18 (also my birthday)
Last ride to the hotel on the Metro - ( Thank God - like I said I'm a country girl)
Agent Pitch at 9:20 - went great, the agent was super nice and not just because she requested all 3 of my projects!
Ice Coffee....
Chilled out for awhile - so exhausted not even ice coffee could fix
until Boot Camp for Writers w/ the Hudson Valley's own Jenna Kernan which was a great beginner overview. Though the examples of passive vs. active voice is always a good refresher.
At the Sourcebook's signing I met Marie Force whose teenage daughter was celebrating her birthday so Marie took a picture of us together - very cute
headed for home at 4:03

Monday, July 20, 2009

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary... (Edgar Allan Poe)

DC Adventures
Wednesday - 7/15
We arrived in DC around 4 - checked into the beautiful Mandarin Oriental then took the Metro to the Marriot and registered for the conference where we got a cool retro bag with conference materials and 4 free books. Then off to the book signing for literacy.
I purchased The Demon King and I by Candy Havens who runs an awesome free workshop for writers and who is also totally awesome in person.
The book signing was crazy but raised $62,000 in 3 hours.
Went back to the hotel room and collasped into bed.
Thursday - 7/16
Got to the conference hotel for the lunch w/Linda Howard as speaker. She told a funny story about the nuts in her family and the basic message was that if she can write with all the nuttyiness around her then so can you.
Then came the pro workshop - here are the things that stuck with me.....
Candy Havens (who also got the pro mentor of the year award) - her talk was on perseverance - her advice is 'you have to show up for work' - just like in the business world.
Madeline Hunter - How to Survive the Almost There - her advice is to have a published writer's schedule / make sure your conflict is strong enough to substain a book / if you are going to write a man's POV you should learned to think like a man
Ethan Allenberg/Agent - Contracts - talked about the importance of knowing what is in your contract and the important clauses to concentrate on are:
Royalty and Accounting Clause - % of cover price better than % of discount price
reporting periods
Territory Rights - US & Canada / United Kingdom / Translations
Subsidary Rights - Audio / Movie / E / Book Club / Reprint
Audit Clause
Legal Responsiblities
Copyright is in your name
Career Option Clause
Non-Compete Clause
(there was one more but I can't make out what I scribbled - lol)
Deb Werksman - Editorial Manager at Sourcebooks, Inc - wants relatable heroines, a hero to fall in love with, and put it in 3 sentences to sell it. She went on to describe the aquistions process, copy edits, marketing, sales, print runs, and distribution.
Agents Panel:
Holly Root/Waxman Literary Agency - wants to see paranormal and contemporary romances
Ethan Ellenberg, Agent - contemporary and historical romances - Don't follow the market - include 3 chapters
Melissa Jeglinski/Knight Agency - wants light womens fiction/category romances - submit electronically
Becca Stumpf/Prospect Agency - wants edgy romantic fiction and steam punk romances.
Barbara Poelle/IreneGoodman - wants a romance with the heroine fighting off zombies

in regards to pitching they all agreed that you shouldn't worry, to ask questions, and NOT to start your pitch with a rhetorical question (which meant I had to re-write the opening of my pitch)
After all this...Yolanda and I went to Front Page where we met some of her DC friends and had a couple of beers. Back to the hotel for sleep.
Next time - Friday and Saturday adventures....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm knocked out, I've never felt so physically and mentally exhausted, I'm quite stupid with it and long only for bed; but I am happy... (Claude Monet

I'm back and wow, I'm tired! Sorry for no blog posts but there was no way to get free internet - the hotel barons wanted 12 bucks a day! Truthfully, I don't think I've could've blogged. By the time we got back to the hotel room each night we collasped into bed to be up in time to start all over again.

I'm pretty much a country/mountain girl so between all the walking and the humidity of DC...

Trying to catch up today on all the chores. I'll post in the coming days all that I've learned but the good news is that the agent pitch went really well.

I pitched Madonna of the Highway and she wants to see 3 chapters and a synopsis when it's near completion. But she also wants to see Playing For Keeps now (the one that is with an editor at HQ as we speak) and Love By Design when it's complete. So, I've got ALOT of work to do and plenty of encouragement/inspiration from the conference to help me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That's where the fun is. - Donald Trump

The Attack Plan for the RWA Conference in DC

Wednesday - 7/15
Arrive in DC / Register / Book Signing / See memorials around town

Thursday - 7/16
A.M. Hit one of the Smithsonian museums and if I can tear myself away then at
2:00-5:00 Pro workshop (for pro members - those who've finished a book but are not published)
Madeline Hunter- getting your manuscript from rejection to sold
Ethan Ellenberg, Agent - Contracts
Deb Werksman, editor Sourcebooks - Birth of a Book
Agents Panel - what's hot and what's not

Dinner and drinks at the Front Page and back to the hotel for the Moonlight Madness Bazaar

Friday - 7/17
20 Questions to a Killer PR plan - Louise Ahearn
Buy This Book - an interactive workshop simulating an editorial board meeting - various editors
Awards Lunch w/ Eloise James
Fire In Fiction - Donald Maas
(at some point will sneak out of this for my agent pitch at 2:50 then covertly sneak back in)
12 Stages of the Writer's Adventure: Write from the Inside Out - Beth Barney

Saturday - 7/18 (also my birthday)
torn between The Art of Layering w/Renne Ryan and The Good, Bad & Ugly In New Media Promotions w/Berland&Devlin
Why, Why, Why? Writing Believable Motivation - Sherry Lewis
Turning Points - Jennifer Cruise
Making the Most of On-line Marketing - various authors
Boot Camp for Writers w/ the Hudson Valley's own Jenna Kernan
At this point it will be 3:00 and we are thinking of leaving at this point so we get home at a reasonable hour.

If I'm not a zombie by nightfall, I'll give quick updates each day and then when I get back I'll go into more detail.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

One week from today I'll have already given my pitch to the agent. And this time my pitch is actually done unlike other times when I write it the night before. I actually leave on Wednesday

I'm using for son's bedroom as a staging area. ( I don't say old bedroom since he will becoming home in February)

The RWA National is a professional event so one must dress accordingly. My outfits are all laid out and I went to Walmart yesterday and purchased all those trial sized items. I'm hoping to keep it to one medium sized suitcase and a small bag. My partner in crime Yolanda has purchased a case of water and I plan to go to Sam's Club and by a box of the 100 calorie snack packs so we don't hit the snack machines.

I've gone thru the schedule and highlighted the workshops I plan to attend. And as much as I complained about my netbook, I'll be glad to have it so I can blog about the conference while I'm there. Of course this is DC and I want to hit up the memorials and the Smithsonian. As much as I want to see the Library of Congress I won't go because I may not ever come out.

So I'm rambling again. Do you think I'm a little excited?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. " - W. Somerset Maugham

Received the new RWR (magazine from Romance Writers of America) in the mail yesterday.

There are always some great articles and I'll share what struck me from two of my favorites:

Who's On Top? Intimacy, Control, and Conflict by Virginia Kantra explains the difference between the
character arc: Protangonist wants to do, accomplish, or change...something and must struggle, learn and grow to acheive it
romantic arc: the development of romance from development through exploration to emotional intimacy and sex
So we must develop all 3 arcs - the hero, the heroine, and the relationship.

Taking Your Writing to the Next Level by Liz Lounsbury
Lounsbury provides several ways to shake up your writing such as:
-Determine what life lesson your character must learn, and then plot backward from this resolution, picking events that will lead them to this end.
-Brainstorm what can happen at each stage of your book as you write.
-Are you using convention rather than feeling your way through the emotions and actions as they are felt by my specific hero and heroine with all their back story and baggage?

On a side note my pitch for the upcoming RWA conference in D.C. is complete.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The sound of my voice sank into the bowels of the house like a coin falling into a bottomless well. - from The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

After reading Shadow of the Wind, I've been waiting, and waiting for The Angel's Game to be released. It was worth the wait. Zafon is a master of imagery. 1920's Barcelona is not a mere setting - no, it's more of an atmosphere of shadows and light. The author weaves a tale that will make you want to rush thru until the end but you don't so you can savor each word.

From Publishers WeeklyStarred Review. Fans of Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind and new readers alike will be delighted with this gothic semiprequel. In 1920s Barcelona, David Martin is born into poverty, but, aided by patron and friend Pedro Vidal, he rises to become a crime reporter and then a beloved pulp novelist. David's creative pace is frenetic; holed up in his dream house—a decrepit mansion with a sinister history—he produces two great novels, one for Vidal to claim as his own, and one for himself. But Vidal's book is celebrated while David's is buried, and when Vidal marries David's great love, David accepts a commission to write a story that leads him into danger. As he explores the past and his mysterious publisher, David becomes a suspect in a string of murders, and his race to uncover the truth is a delicious puzzle: is he beset by demons or a demon himself? Zafón's novel is detailed and vivid, and David's narration is charming and funny, but suspect. Villain or victim, he is the hero of and the guide to this dark labyrinth that, by masterful design, remains thrilling and bewildering. (June) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I'll leave you with passage from the book...
...The streets were deserted beneath a mercury moon. I looked up and thought I saw the ghost of a huge black storm spreading its wings over the city. A gust of white light split the skies and a mantle woven with raindrops cascaded down like a shower of glass daggers. A moment before the first drop touched the ground, time came to a standstill and hundreds of thousands of tears of light were suspended in the air like specks of dust. I knew that someone or something was walking behind me and could feels its breath on the nape of my neck.....
Zafon is a master.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that

among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Here is something funny....(okay, my funny bone can be juvenile at times)

As we celebrate the 4th remember (and whatever you feeling about Dick Cheney you can't deny him saying)

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.

Happy Fourth everyone and God Bless Us, everyone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Writing without voice is wooden or dead because it lacks sound, rhythm, energy, and individuality...

Writing with voice is writing into which someone has breathed. It has fluency, rhythm, and liveliness that exist naturally in the speech of most people when they are enjoying a conversation. --Peter Elbow, Writing with Power

So getting back to latest edition of Poet’s & Writers -
Jonathan Galassi, president and publisher of Farrar, Staus, and Giroux was asked What are you looking for when you’re evaluating a piece of fiction? Are you looking for any kind of sensibility or anything like that?
His answer: I think that would fall under voice……voice is one way of looking at it but aliveness is another.
So what is voice? I went to and Susan J. Letham says….
Voice is a reflection of your experience and how your characters experience the world of you story.
Voice is the way you’re your words “sound” on the page. The way you write - the tone (friendly, formal, chatty, distant, etc.), the words you choose, pattern of your sentences and the way these things fit with your character’s personalities.
What do I think about voice?
I know that voice develops over time as you develop over time as a person. My voice is different than what it was in my 20’s, even 30’s. I feel it more confident, more worldly. (At least I think so)
If I had to define my voice I liked to think of it as edgy and hip (of course, this could be just the voices in my head telling me what I what to hear).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried. - Thomas Jefferson

The love affair with my netbook is over. Yes, it's cute, but...but....urrrgggg...It's too small! I got a migrane from being hunched over the thing. And I have to keep scrolling to see the whole image - so annoying even for the simplest tasks as checking my e-mail.
I was hoping to use it for word processing - when I go to Borders or at work during lunch - but it only came with wordpad and the keypad is tiny. So frustrating.

So, I'll be on the market from a new laptop - but I'm waiting until new Windows 7 comes out. I always hated Vista. I've heard they are offering free upgrades with new computers but I've been thru that before....and don't want to go there again....never again. So I wait and keep using the netbook and my bulkly laptop.

But I'm not complaining...

Friday, June 26, 2009


First let me say rest in peace to Ed, Farrah, and Michael.

Feeling a little sad for Farrah as Michael frenzy has taken hold.
I know he was an icon and his death is somewhat unexpected but the guy was unstable and I mostly feel sad for the life he led.

I feeling bad for Farrah because here was a classy lady who fought her cancer hard and with grace.

Onto the the weird least for me anyway. After the Gulf War I wrote a story called War For View set in the not-so-distant-future. I wrote it after the 24/7 coverage on CNN of the Gulf War which was unpredecented for it's time. Fascinating, but left me severely depressed (I was also out of work at the time so I watched non-stop).

Anyway, the idea of War For View was that you paid a fee to watch the war live, including enemy interrogations, funerals, helmet and bomb cam. Morbid, I know but I was depressed - okay?

Here is the weird part...this is how I started the story...(written in 1993)

....From the people who brought you Sex For View, Neighbor for View, and the Michael Jackson at 50 Concert, here's the newest innovation in Pay For View land. It's war! That's right folks the war is on Pay For View. Pull up a seat...

So M.Jackson was going to have a concert at 50 (cue the twilght zone music here). Probably would have been his big comeback.

The story was rejected by several places but did receive one personal rejection. The editor liked what I was saying in the piece even bringing up CNN (my original intent) but felt the format didn't work. She encouraged me to send more in the future - of course I never did - what the hell is wrong with me?

I did the same thing with Woman's World and then a few years later I finally did send something else - that rejected too but I did received a very positive letter from the editor.

I'm rambling again...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of

purpose and particular skill - Edumund Morrison

I finished reading Poets & Writers, and yes I did get some writing done - a page a day - which is better than nothing - anyway Daniel Halpern, publisher/president of Ecco wrote an article on his publishing journey.

He quotes Jorge Luis Borges (who also said one of my favorite quotes...i've always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library) Borges said...
"When I printed my first book, I didn't send it to the bookstores or other writers-I just gave copies to my friends....In those days, nobody thought in terms of failure or success in selling books. We thought of writing as a kind of destiny."

I like that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

100 blog posts came and went....

and I didn't even noticed.

Anyway, since there is no cake involved I'll get back to the post...

When Writer's Digest asked Anne Tyler why she felt why she needed to be protective of her process she answered...
I've noticed that whenever I become conscious of the process, the process grinds to a halt. So I try not to talk about it, think about it, write about it-I just do it.

She has point. One can get too wrapped up in the process. Like this blog post. Like reading too many books on writing or too many magazines. JUST DO IT.

Now I have to go read my Poet&Writers magazine that came in the mail today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Better late than never...

Finally got my copy of Writer's Digest - only 2 weeks after one of my friends received hers and we only live 2 zip codes away.

I was shocked to learn that according to Les Edgerton's article in the magazine on openings, that one should not start a book/short story with dialogue. (I disagree) The reasoning is that the reader knows nothing about the characters who are speaking.

But then one of the literary agents interviewed used an example that she liked and guess what??? It opened with dialogue. So I'm not going to stress. The rest of the article I agreed with like not starting with a dream. Agree completely.

So I thought I'd shared some of my own opening lines...

"Miss, we need to see your credentials."
from Playing For Keeps

"Why him?" Victoria tossed the head shot of Russ Rowland onto the conference room table.
from work in progress Love By Design

Can a twenty-five dollar wager change your life?
from the Biggest Loser (short story)published on the Long and Short Of It website.

The heat was bearable, the pain was bearable, but the bugs, Christ, the bugs.
from Scent - unfinished but 6th place finish in the HVRWA Hook, Line, and Sinker contest

Jimmy shut his watering eyes against the reek of tobacco and split gin.
from Eight Ball Lover - unfinished and under the bed

Spence peered through his rain-spotted glasses, nearly missing the sign carved in the wooden post. from Annie Get Your Pitchfork - unfinished and under the bed

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Happiness depends upon ourselves." Aristotle

"Happiness depends upon ourselves"...or hearing from an editor that she liked your voice very much - your writing style makes for a smooth read - and also enjoyed the story! The editor is sending Playing For Keeps to the senior editor of the Blaze line. Whoo Hoo. Going to enjoy it and then get back to work on Love By Design.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"...on such an evening you can even sense the fragrance of the moon" -Songs from the Kanginshu

Simmering Away-Songs from the Kanginshu Translated by Moriguchi and Jenkins. Been reading poetry lately and I picked up this collection of Japanesse poetry from the 16th century. Here are my favorites (the form will probably not carry over but I'll try it...

We are apart
we are apart

love ends in an empty dream
just your memory shares my bed
only loneliness surrounds me

my tears flow
in soundless waves
streaming on my sleeves

will our rivers
ever meet again?

will our rivers
ever meet again?

what good is it
(I ask)
to be so sane?
our life time
is just a dream

why not
just get crazy?

My hair
that I had just tied up
has loosened
gently tumbling,
as my heart
has fallen for you

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Counsels of Cormac - translated by Thomas Cleary

In a management class in college we pledged to read at least one business book a year. Last year I read Gail Evans, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman - great book which I blogged about last year. This year I wanted to try something different so I choose The Counsels of Cormac, The Ancient Irish Guide to Leadership. King Cormac ruled in third century C.E. and is sort of a manual of instructions for future generations of kings. So here is some of his sage advice...

Composure rather than wrath,
Patience rather than contention,
Geniality rather than arrogance.

Military action for just cause,
Justice w/o bloodshed,
Leniency within the integrity of the law

Glorifying the sacred,
Respecting poets,
Adoration of God.

If you are too smart, expectations will be imposed upon you;
If you are too stupid , you will be duped.

If you are too talktive, you will be inconsequential;
If you are too silent, you will be disregarded.

If you are too hard, you will be broken;
If you are too soft, you will be squashed.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A library is a hospital for the mind - anonymous

Here's what I've read from 3/1/09 - 6/3/09 (this explains why I haven't written). My Top 5 picks are listed then the other were good but didn't rate into the top 5.

1.Leonardo’s Swans - Karen Essex
2.Seducing Mr. Darcy - Gwyn Cready
3.Return to Summerhouse - Jude Deveraux
4.She’s Got It Bad - Sarah Mayberry
5.Zoe’s Tale - John Scalzi
Madame Bovary’s Ovaries
Life’s A Golden Ticket - Brendan Burchard
Sepulcher - Kate Mosse
Moonlight Warrior - Janet Chapman
Body Check - Elle Kennedy
Rogue Angel - Alex Archer
The Treasure - Iris Johansen
Tempt Me with Darkness - Shayla Black
The Pirate Bride - Shannon Drake
Tiger Eye - Majorie M Lin
Casting Spells - Barbara Bretton
Night Keepers - Jessica Anderson
Once A Rebel - Debbie Rawlins
Called Out of the Darkness - Anne Rice
The Final Warning - James Patterson
Heart - Gail Goodwin

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. - Frank Lloyd Wright

Deer Updated: When I got home from the museum the baby deer was still right outside my door giving me a sad face. I called the SPCA, who gave me the DEC #. The trooper on duty said is normal for the mother to leave their babies 24 to 48 hours and I should just check on the deer every so ofter, which of course goes without saying...I was a nervous nellie about it all. Well at around 8:00 last night the mom came back and I found her nursing on my side lawn. Hooray, for nature!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A little girl, when asked where home is, replied 'Where my mommy is.' (submitted by Tracy Thornton)

I come out my door to this little surprise. But where is the mother??? I took some pictures and made some soothing noises. Then, I went shopping hoping the mother would return, but when I got back this cutie pie was still there. I called the SPCA but they don't open until 12:00 and I leave at 11:30 for my volunteer gig up at the Bethel-Woods Musuem. Sigh. I hope the mother returns - otherwise there will be some serious crying going on here.
So the only thing left to do is leave you with a scene from Bambi....
Bambi: Mother? Mother? [searches frantically for his mother. All the sudden he stops, because he is startled by what he sees. It is The Great Prince of the Forest]
Great Prince of the Forest: Your mother can't be with you anymore.
Bambi: [closes his eyes and bow's his head as a single tear comes out of his eye]
Great Prince of the Forest: Come, my son.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams - the Dilbert Principle

So I'm trying to resurrect Love By Design and start my proposal for my super secret project that I want to pitch at the RWA Conference in July. It's very different than what I've written - it's sort of like Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Right now I'm doing research and have an idea for the first third of the book, but what comes after??? - though the end is starting to come together.

And I'm still waiting to hear about Playing For Keeps. I don't know if this is what is holding me back as I haven't written a thing in over two months. What a really need is a kick in the virtual pants. Have at me!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering...Honoring - Memorial Day

The story of America's quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots. ~Randy Vader

Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. ~John A. Logan

Today, in between the bar-q's and the shopping take a moment to remember those who gave their lives for America.

I'll be volunteering up at the Bethel-Woods Musuem between 9:30 to 12 today. I'm wondering what the day will bring as the first section of the musuem is dedicated to the sixties as a whole, which includes, of course, the Vietnam War. Hope I don't get emotional. Hope, others don't either because then I'm a goner.

I leave you with one more quote...

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Being a red-blooded human obviously has its disadvantages." Spock to McCoy

I've been a life-long Trekkie. The new movie has me pulling out my Klingon Dictionary, which I got from all places QVC, my Tribble, and my Quotable Star Trek and Vulcan teddy bear, which I got from the Las Vegas Hiltons Star Trek Experience. Star Trek isn't just science fiction, it was and is a moral compass. I think that everything I needed to know about life, I learned from Star Trek.

But even if you are not a Star Trek fan (perish the thought!) I will leave you a VERY important phrase you should know in case you end up on a Klingnon ship.

nuqDaq yuch Dapol ( pronunciation NOOK-dak yooch da-POL )

Where do you keep the chocolate? - see I told you it was important

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Humor is just another defense against the universe - Mel Brooks

I love Facebook. And no, I'm not one of those annoying people who update constantly or tell you when I'm going to bed. I do like the applications though, but again I don't particpate in all of them - just the ones that amuse me. Here are few I've done since March.

My Presidential Call Sign: EVERGREEN.

What kind of liquor are you?: JACK DANIELS

What race would you be in Middle Earth?: ELVES

Which movie action hero are you? BATMAN

What Star Trek character are you? SPOCK

Which Lost character are you? KATE

Which kind of writer are you? WILLIAM BLAKE

My Sawyer nickname? SUNSHINE

What color is my aura? ORANGE

Which Peanuts character are you? WOODSTOCK

Who was I in a past like? Pablo Picasso.

I also like doing pick your favorite 5's. Such as you favorite 5 cars, cereals, books, ect. I'll share some in an upcoming post. Are you on Facebook? If so, invite me to be your friend. If not - then why not?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To truly love another you must follow the lover's path wherever it may take you...

from the jacket...The Lover's Path, a moving tale of forbidden love, is a feminist epic told in multiple layers. Through a novel combination of Filamena's narrative, famous allegorical love stories from history and mythology, sumptuously ornate illustrations, and "actual" letters to and from Filamena that must be opened to be read, Filomena's path is beautifully described and, finally, stunningly revealed.

Believe I paid full price for this one, but remember having a gift card so I didn't mind - it's like free money. It's a beautifully packaged book but the story itself was just so-so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So let's live-really live!-for love and loving - Catullus, Roman, ca 84-54 B.C.

This is a recent $1.00 find from the book store at the Thrall Library in Middletown. Art & Love, An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry. So many great poems and works of art. The above title for my blog today came from the first line of one of the poems in the book. I used this one because it surprised me. It seemed too modern to be from a Roman poet.
Here is a poem from the book by Petrarch, Italian 1304-1374
I saw the tracks of angels in the earth,
The beauty of heaven walking by itself on the world.
Joke or sorrow now, it seems a dream
Shadow, or smoke.
I saw a kind of rain that made the sun ashamed,
And heard her, speaking sad words, make mountains
Shift, the rivers stop.
Love, wisdom, valor, pity, pain,
Made better harmony with weeping
Than any other likely to be heard in the world
And the air and the wind were so filled with this deep music
No single leaf moved on its still branch
Do you think either of these poets thought a woman hundreds of years in the future would be reading their words?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Ahhh, sex."

I knew I’d catch your attention with that line, but I didn’t write it. Terese Svoboda, the keynote speaker at the William Paterson University Spring Writer’s Conference, did. From the website she “is the author of ten books of prose and poetry, most recently the memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, winner of the 2007 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize…’ She’s one numerous award and taught at various universities. You can check out the details here… Terese Svoboda on the web
Here is what I like most…
Plenary Reading with Terese Svoboda…
Terese talked about the importance of first lines and then read her first lines from a few of her books. One of them being the “Ahhhh, sex.”
She is a wonderful speaker and has led an interesting life.

Editing and Publishing, with George Witte.
I liked the part when Mr. Witte read from the minutes of a St. Martin editorial meeting. He also discussed the importance of first sentence/paragraphs and brought up Terese Svoboda’s talk. He also said transitions, whether scene to scene or chapter to chapter, must hook the reader to keep on reading. He also mention the importance of endings. Don’t leave the reader hanging. Wrap up story arc’s and story questions. The class was filled with newbies, which is fine, but that meant the Q&A was a bit boring.

Writing About God in a Secular World, with Christopher Weaver.
This was not what I expected. Our instructor while jovial admitted upfront that he is an atheist. I found that strange. This is what we did…list the ways we can write about religion, talked a little about religion vs. spirituality, using a writing prompt wrote for 15 min. then got into groups and read our work.

Overall, I did have a nice time. The staff was great and it’s always fun to get together with other writers. I plan on going next year, but will sign up early so I get the classes I want.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"To My Mother Of Whose Authentic Gray Hairs Not a Few Were Caused By Myself" Isaac Asimov Foundation Dedication page

I always find it interesting to read the author's dedication page. Asimov's is so sweet. Anyway, I found these again, as I find many of my cool discoveries, from a library book sale. I've been a sci-fi fan as long as I can remember. Blame this one on my father as we watch the first Star Trek faithfully and had various philosophical discussions that revolved around the episodes. I really believe that 'every I needed to know I learned by watching Star Trek'. Back to Asimov...

One a my favorite dialogue quotes from Pebbles In The Sky is "Does Earth look as if it's boss of anything?"
From Foundation here is a great, but quick characterization of a minor character - It was a tall man that eventually entered, a man whose face seemed all vertical lines and so thin that one could wonder whether there was room for a smile -
So, who did Asimov dedicate Pebbles In The Sky? To My Father, Who First Introduced Me To Science Fiction.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"With thee, Phoebus, will I begin and record the famous deeds of those men of old time...

who, at the bidding of King Pelias, rowed the good ship Argo past the mouth of the Euxine and through the rocks Cyanean to fetch the golden fleece." So begins Argonautica (better know as Jason and the Golden Fleece) by Apollonius Rhodius. As a little girl, fell in love the movie made in 1963. Picked up this copy for $15.00 at a used book fair. Not that I can read ancient Greek but the left side of the book has the Greek version and on the opposite page is the translation. It's a beautifully made book and it's one of my 'prized' possessions.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

American Idol Favorite

I've watched American Idol since season one and it's one of my favorite shows.

This season, Adam Lambert is by far by my favorite singer. Then - Danny, Alison, and Lil Rounds.

Besides his killer voice, Adam is never boring and like Kara said I can't wait to see what he does each week. This week's theme is songs from your birth year. Love this theme because we usually get to see their baby pictures. So I looked up the top songs from Adam's birth year, which I believe is 1982 (I was in college - sighhhhhhh). Based on the list I predict (hope) he will sing one of these songs....

1) Crimson and Clover - Joan Jett (remake of the tommy james classic)

2) Hurts So Good - John Cougar (might be to risque for AI)

3) Hot In the City - Billy Idol (though I doubt they would be able to get the rights)

4) Tainted Love - Soft Cell

So who is your favorite this year? Oh - and by the way 80's music rocks!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet 15 - then I read....

Shanna by Kathleen Woodwiss. I read my first romance novel at 15. Before that I was read sci-fi and fantasy. Jules Verne, Issac Asimov, Ayn Rand, Ursula Le Guin, and Arthur C. Clarke, ect. But that one rainy summer afternoon I was left with nothing and a bike ride to the library was out of the question. So I swiped this book off my Mom's night-stand. Thinking the book taboo I read in my room and since I was RIVETED I did not come out of my room for 2 days - it was over 600 pages (except for meals). At some point my Mom swung the door open and I hid the book under the covers. My Mom said, "Elizabeth, what are you doing?" I sheepishly showed her the book and she said....wait for it....."Oh, Thank God! I thought you were in here doing drugs."

So despite the torn cover I'm keeping this on the shelf. Great book and a great memory to remember.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“Older women are best, because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.” Ian Fleming

This is my Ian Fleming Collection. I would love to add on to it but alas I haven't been able to find any at the bargain price of $1:00, which is what I paid for these (SCORE!).

Note the golden gun - love it. Also on the front cover of Octopussy there is a rifle with the tentacle of a octopus coming out of the barrel.

I'm a big fan of Ian Fleming - in fact if I was told to take a pen name I'd take Liza Fleming.

Did you know he also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? I don't have the book but I do have the movie.

Here is another great quote from the great Ian Fleming...
"Surround yourself with human beings. They are easier to fight for than principles"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monday Funny - 3/23/09

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there. - Thomas Berger

Being a former student of philosophy I love this quote from Berger who must have been familar with Descartes "I think, therefore I am."

I am now a member of RWA-PRO. How do you become a member? Well, first you have to be a member of Romance Writers of America then you have completed and submitted a manuscript. It probably was designed to make us un-published (oh I'm sorry the politcally correct say 'pre-published) writers feel all warm and fuzzy.

I could have joined long ago but despite the quarterly newsletter and career series booklets I saw no need. However with my upcoming attentance to the RWA National Conference in D.C. I will be able to go to the PRO Retreat, which is 4 hours of business-of-writing information and more importantly after RITA and Golden Heart finalists, PRO members are able to sign up for editor and agent appointments.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend. ~Author Unknown

I've got Mondays covered with Monday Funny. Wednesday's will now be Reading Wednesdays where I pull a book off my shelf, photograph it, and share either the story of how I aquired it or why it's on my shelf and not donated to the Literacy Library in town.

My first selection is Snoopy and the Red Baron by Charles M. Schulz. I grew up reading Peanuts and hearing the songs about Snoopy and the Red Baron so when I came across this in a library sale for the cost of only $1, I had to have it. The copyright is from 1966. It would probably be worth something if it weren't for the previous owner (someone named Gordon who received it as a birthday gift from Mommy and Daddy) scribbling in a few places but I don't care. The worth is in the childhood memories it brings back.
And who knew Snoopy was quite the romatic hero? "She does not understand ze English...Ah, but she will understand that I am a handsome young pilot...And she? She is a beautiful French girl..."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Funny - 3/16/09

I'm sure you've heard and at some point in time read the Sunday Funnies. Well, I decided to start a Monday Funny because it's like Monday and we all really, really need a laugh.

I'll share a joke that either I heard, someone e-mailed to me, or that I pulled off a joke internet sites. This one came from an internet site after looking up jokes about writers....

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes."Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A woman's health is her capital - Harriet Beecher Stowe

If this is true then I'm about as healthy as our stock market. My 'woman' issues have not abated and in fact have gotten worse. The goal is to prevent a hysterectomy so my doctor and I are going thru a check list of options.

I've tried an endomentrial abalation which did not work and now I'm on the drug Provera, which is also not working. So I will be off to the doctor next week to discuss the next step. (long suffering sigh)

I have managed to lose 6 pounds which I hope will help alleviate my symptoms. I don't want to turn this blog into a my medical journey but it's the reason I haven't been posting on a regular basis.

So I'll leave you with this quote...

Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause - you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles.- Rita Rudner

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not every story has explosions and car chases. That's why they have nudity and espionage. - Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, Unshelved, 09-14-08

Robert Vivian occasionally distributes postcards from small towns, and asks each student to write a note on that card to a fictional recipient. Look at the postcard and imagine you’re traveling across the country and you’ve landed in this small town. Use the postcard as a trigger and write to someone. It could be someone who’s wronged you in the past or it could be a beloved person. You might be writing this postcard due to a situation that you’re fleeing. “Dear Randy. Hello from the middle of nowhere. I’m in a diner. Icicles are hanging down from the roof. I’m driving to Santa Fe. I have 20 dollars in my pocket. I can’t stop thinking about the last time we spoke…” Etc.

I love this writing prompt found on the following site

I might even try writing it from one of my character's POV, the possibilites are endless.

Monday, March 2, 2009

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. (1873) Alcott

Here is what I've read between 1/01/09-2/28/09. I've listed them in the order from best to not so much...

1) The Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly
2) No Peeking by Stephanie Bond
3) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
4) Halfway to Heaven by Susan Wiggs
5) The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewsk
6) So Brave Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
7) Write Away by Elizabeth George

Trying to expand by horizons by reading some 'literary' fiction but I've been disappointed. I'm so bored I tend to skip pages. I know this is cheating but if I didn't it would take me a month to get through it and there are so many books to read.

Despite my deep pile of TBR, I'm highly anticipating the arrival of a package of 8 books from Rhapsody Romance Book Club. Right now I'm in the middle of Anne Rice's non-fiction book, Called Out of Darkness - a spirtual confession.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Dinosaurs....

No, not me. (even though my son accused me of being old when I complained about the new software at work)
I'm using my dinosaur of a laptop - 4 years old (yeah, I know but that is a dinosaur in computers years). I haven't used it in a while because at a certain point it wouldn't let me connect to the internet - most likely a virus. So when my other laptop got a deadly virus and the brand spankin' new on that I just brought back (it wasn't me - it had a bad driver) left me computerless - I sucked it up and tried using the recovery disk. It worked!!!
I ordered a Dell netbook from Sam's Club since this old clunky laptop is not mobile - unless your Hercules that is.

Wrote a brilliant funny scene for Love By Design - okay so it was more like a paragraph - but still.....

Hope the brilliance continues so I can be like Pete Townshend who said "It`s not the fact that I WAS brilliant, I AM brilliant."

Hey, I did get this dinosaur up and running.

Monday, February 23, 2009


So, I think I'm all set to go. I'm writing along not responding....several times for three days until I've had enough. Oh, and the dvd/cd player skips. And the internet gets stuck too.

I know I only paid $399 plus tax, but is it TOO much to ask for a simple word processor to work? The flipping thing is going back and then I need to re-think what I'm going to do.

I won't be posting until I get back up and running, but I will be checking my blog thru my blackberry so let me know what has been your best and worse computer experience? Help a girl out, will ya?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Locked and Loaded

Spent the day moving over files from my zip drive to my new computer. Then I had to fix fonts/ headers and footers/ margins, ect as they did not convert over correctly. Go figure. Then I reloaded itunes and used my backup itunes library dvd to restore my files. THEN I had to authorize my new computer to receive new purchases, re-sync, and well...I hoped it all worked. Frankly, I'm exhausted. But there is one more thing I must get done today. Onto the revisions that did not get updated to my zip drive bc. (no - not 'Before Christ' in todays world its 'Before Crash')

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology - John Tudor

I contributed to the economy by purchasing a new laptop as my current one went on the fritz. Lucky for me I just backed up my current work in process the night before on a zip drive. The only thing I lost are the edits I did based on suggestions from my Tuesday night critique group.
As for Love By Design the process is slow, but what I've have written I'm really pleased with.

How often do you have computer problems? Can you solve them? Or am I the only techno-challenged gal out there?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The existence of forgetting has never been proved: We only know that some things don't come to mind when we want them. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

My college philosophy teacher would be amused by me quoting Nietzsche. For I had huge problem with Nietzsche, which my teacher said came from my mis-understanding of where Nietzsche was coming from. I never did embrace his philosophy, but apparently we have one thing in common.

A bad memory. It happened sometime in my thirites. "Hey, Liz, do you remember so and so?"
"Hey, Liz remember when we ___?"

Pictures help - help alot. In fact, if I didn't have pictures from moments in my life I would feel like I had no past life. Sometimes though even that doesn't help. My friend recently posted this picture on Facebook.
I totally don't remember this. NADA. It's from my college days - Linda tells me we were going to Dean's Halloween party and I'm like "Who is Dean?"
And so I'll leave you with another quote from Nietzsche.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shout Out....

I met Kimberly Frost at a writer’s conference back in 2007. We were both unpublished but now here she is with her first release. We've stayed in touch and I couldn't be more proud of her. Congrats, Kimberly!

Here is the cover...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"The only place I get hurt is out there. The world don't give a shit about me." The Ram

Mickey Rourke plays Randy 'The Ram' Robinson in the film The Wrestler. He lives up to the hype you've been hearing. The story is touching and heartwretching. Again a film I wouldn't normally see (I like happy, action packed films), but I made a promise to myself that I would try to see as many Oscar nominated performances as I could.

At first it was so I could enjoy the Oscars and know what was what, but I've realized today that these performance are inspiring me to write - to dig down emotionally the way these fine actors and actresses are doing - except on paper.

There is one stories will always have a happy ever after.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail." Rhett Butler to Scarlett

Can't help but think that the executives from AIG, Citibank, Leheman Brothers, ect, have a streak of Scarlett O'Hara in them. A streak a mile wide.

I have nothing against people making a load of cash - no problem at all - but when your company is failing while you were at the helm, when people are getting laid off, and taxpayers are footing the bill through bailouts, unemployment, and the market downturn then a $50,000,000 jet seems well excessive. Hell, flying 1st class is excessive.

While these executives are not technically 'criminals' and are not going to jail, they are morally bankrupt. Capitalism does work and the gov't should get out of the way and let these companies fail if that's what they drove it to and are continuing to do even after they get MY money. Then maybe, just maybe, it won't happen again.

Scarlett is one of the most memorable characters in fiction, but has no place in the real world.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key." Edward Abbey

I beg to differ with the quote above. At least when it comes to my writing that is. Some of my best ideas come when I'm driving alone. I keep a mini-recorder with me with for these golden nuggets of insight (lol). Of course, despite my Blackberry, blog, and facebook page I'm quite a techno dumbo so I inadvertently lose some of these recordings. I mean do I really need 2 different file folders then more files under each of them. I think not. I'm going to try out my Blackberry's recorder and hopefully I'll have better luck.

As I was driving home from my Saturday ritual trip to Walmart I came up with the next 2 lines to what I posted the other day. Here it is...

Of course, he would never claim to understand their minds. A Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded to the man whoever did.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love By Design

I've been slowly working on Chapter 1 and I thought I'd share a sentence or two. Russ Rowland is the hero. He's from Australia and a bit of a alpha-male...okay he's a big hunk of alpha male.

And she did want him. The way that sea blue gaze swept his body, the blush that tinged her luminous cheeks, and the curve of her mouth were all tell tale signs. Russ considered himself an expert on female body language. His favorite subject since puberty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You never would have believed it if it were in a book.

Miracle on the Hudson. Such happy endings usually appear in books or movie and rarely in the real world.

If I had seen it in a movie or read it in a book I would've been "Yeah, right."
Here is an erie photo of what could've been a watery grave.
Miracles do happen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants." Elvis

I would have loved to be Elvis's accountant!!!!

I've been busy at my day job with year-end closing and beginning of the year set-up. Add in setting up rates for a new accounting system going live in a couple of months means more bean counting than word counting.

I should really write a story about a forensic accountant working for the FBI who is investigating the mob or a terroist group. Mmmmmm.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Google Thyself - PART 2

I was quite giddy when I did a recent google search on my name and found that my article Unleash the Power of Your I-Pod that was originally published by my HVRWA chapter newsletter was picked up by The Galleon, the newsletter for the Ancient City Romance Authors.

My article is on page 9. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Character is like a root of the tree. Stronger the root, stronger the tree." Author Unknown.

The is true in a person but also true in fiction, in the sense that your characters must be memorable to make your story unforgettable.
Instead of thinking about the big ‘idea’ or high ‘concept - it’s your characters readers will remember.
Remember Scout Finch, Heathcliff, Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Mr. Darcy, or Scarlett O’Hara? I do -even though I forget where my keys are.

How do you make them memorable? Make them likable but give them flaws, give them doubts. Put obstacles in their way to help them grow. Like the statement says below my blog name, Offer a Life, not a text. Invite the reader into the lives of your characters.
I plan a little one on one time with Victoria, then with Russ. Only then can I throw them together. I tried to just start Love By Design but I don’t know Victoria Turner and Russ Rowland near as well as I know Samantha James and Ryan Terell from Playing For Keeps (I wonder if they have kids yet - yes this is how real they are to me - still living outside my story).
So I say...

The more memorable the character, the more memorable the story.

You can quote me on that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Each kiss a heart-quake... ~Lord Byron, Don Juan

Anyone who knows me knows I love to read kissing scenes. I like to write them too - especially the first kiss - even won a contest for one of those scenes!

I also like movie kisses - especially when they involve Keanu Reeves. When I went to see the Lake House I swear I almost yelled out 'just kiss her already!'

I stumbled across this on youtube. It's kissing scenes for various Keanu Reeves movie set to the 70's song 'Wanna Kiss You All Over' The only thing that's missing is me as his leading lady (sigh) - you know because I would get a pass on being married. Anyway - here is the link - Enjoy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

" I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path." Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama says that one should keep expections on a even keel. Too high expectations and you are bound to experience disappointment. Too low expectations will lead to a feeling of despair. I do try to live this way and it seems to work for me. That is what I looking forward to in 2009:

Book: The English release of The Angel's Game by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's a prequel to one of my favorite books The Shadow of the Wind. (May 2009)

Music: Bruce Springsteen new CD - Working on a Dream - (1/27/09)

Movies: Revolutionary Road & Inkheart (1/23/09) Star Trek (5/8/09) Terminator Salvation (5/22/09) Land of the Lost (6/5/09) - yes - based on the 70's series and Will Ferell is in it.

Destination: A couple of days in Pt. Pleasant, NJ & Cooperstown

Other: Enjoying my husband. To my son coming home on vacations. Enjoy the new union contract and the inflow of some extra cash - which means new carpet, tv, and maybe some living room furniture. Many ice coffee's with writing friends at Borders, and the news that I will be published (using Law of Attraction here).

Peace on Earth would be nice too but as the Dalai Lama says one shouldn't have high expectations.

What are you looking forward to in 2009?