Friday, July 27, 2007

Work Day

Thought I'd take a quick break while fighting with my characters. I had to completely rewrite a couple of chapters and now they want to go in a different direction...noooooooooo. Starting with chapter 6...noooooooooooo.

So here's a quickie.


A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter. She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife? He answers, "You see, it's like this, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo- ooo much cheaper. So, I figure if I have to roll my own .......... so does she. (I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)

Have a great weekend!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Giggle Time! brain hurts from trying to rewrite a chapter and catching up on my groups crits that I am soooo behind on. I got a cute joke today in an email from a friend. She's one of the one's pushing for my chapter to get done...stop sending me emails! LOL...jk. I needed a good giggle.

The Cardiologist's Funeral

A cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral. A huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service. Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever. At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When all eyes stared at him, he said, "I'm sorry. I was just thinking of my own funeral---I'm a gynecologist."

That's when the proctologist fainted.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


When I divorced my first husband, my oldest son was only two. It was a really scary time for me as a single mother. I was working at a law firm as a receptionist/do-it-all girl. I was bored to death just sitting there socializing with everyone who called and/or came in to the office. It was an incredibly interesting job for attorneys that handled patent/trademark and copyright law. The secretaries loved me because I couldn't stand being bored and would constantly ask for something to do. My previous job as a legal secretary was pretty demanding and I did the same as the paralegals. Of course with the new job they began to notice and took advantage of it. But one of my jobs had been to proofread attorney documents. Talk about intimidating. As my crit partners know...I'm not the grammar guru in our group. LOL. The first time I read through a document the female attorney got really pissy about my finds. She asked me to do it and I only noted what I as a reader could see...The remaining attorneys asked me to start doing the same for them.

As a work could be read by alot of people, not just in the publishing office hopefully. I've often talked about my crit partners because they are wonderful, talented and creative women. On one of the blogs I visit there was a past post about the feelings we go through when throwing our hard work out for someone else to crit that made me think about reactions. I was a newbie when I started in my current crit group and was scared to death to critique anyone elses work. Sure I've had experience. But not necessarily with novels which are a much different content, maybe structure and format are the same. My first group though, I came across a woman who thought she was being constructive but she was demoralizing. And if someone dare tell her something in her work...she was very defensive and had an excuse for everything found wrong. But to me if it wasn't corrected before she submitted to the group, it's left to be critiqued for several people to find. I know I make more than my fair share of mistakes. But she was quick to point out my lack of experience and I quit soon after. From what I've's pretty much her and one other now. do we react when someone does a crit on our work? I try to always immediately thank someone if I'm not totally overwhelmed with crap to do. When I open a document and see lots of blue...I may get frustrated, at myself. I also go through and read all comments and nine out of ten corrections will make an improvement. If I like the way I've done something I may leave it until I hear from several, then I know it's just not going to work. When I'm doing a crit...grammar and technical issues are not my strength. I'm an avid reader though and would like to think my money and buying power speaks as a consumer. I know what I like and if I come across a book I don't care for...I won't buy from that author again. I also know I have eclectic tastes, so I try to focus on each crit I'm doing as seeing what someone else might see. It definitely doesn't hurt my feelings if someone doesn't take my advice. I'm not an editor or agent. But it doesn't hurt my feelings so much either to get crits because I try to be as objective as possible without losing my voice knowing that the crit could actually be a reader in the future looking at it. That's my goal, ya know, to have other people read it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dream or Reality?

Harlequin has another contest open for the Superromance line that I was really excited about. It's the "Conflict of Interest" on But a writer on one of the chat boards has posted this interesting conflict of her own...

Regarding the "Conflict of Interest" contest: Should be a dream come true opportunity, no? But the rules say, "In consideration for winning the award of a prize in this Contest, winners agree that his/her entry and the copyrights and any other rights therein become the sole property of Sponsor which may edit, modify, publish, promote, display, broadcast and otherwise use entry submitted for any purpose without further permission..." The entry is one scene, first chapter, and NTE 10 page outline. 3 winners will receive a detailed editorial evaluation and MAYBE (but not necessarily) a request for a full. (And, of course, no guarantee of a contract if they do request the full.) Oh, and a year's subscription to the Superromance series. So, ok, nothing like jumping to the "what if I win" mode, but what IF I was one of the 3 winners and they did NOT request a full. Now they have all rights to my 1st chapter, a scene, etc, which would mean I couldn't shop it around to any other publisher, right? (Even if I revise it?) Would this make anyone else a little nervous? Am I nuts? (ok, maybe don't answer that one...)

After I went back to the contest page and reread the left me a little sceptical. Surely that is a conflict with copyright laws...but if you enter the contest knowing this is inserted...? Could they? Would they? It's only the first chapter/scene...but it's also your entire storyline in the outline including goals, motivation, conflict and resolution. It is a great opportunity to get published...right?

Harlequin is pretty well known for taking open submissions without having to have an agent. They are also good with their pubbed authors from what I've heard. Well hell. It is being debated on a couple threads now. Hopefully an editor will throw in her two cents and ease some of the concerns this may cause. It might be a good thing though for writers to think twice and read the contest entry rules before entering.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Query Letters ~ Oh My! crit partner has come through once again...thank you very much Jennifer Shirk. There are so many great articles giving advice about how to construct a query letter. Jennifer gave me a lightbulb the other day (Ha! See blondes can get them too) with advice from the Rose City Romance Writers.

For some reason this lecture stuck with me and gave me a better understanding of the structure. Not that I was able to pick up my submission materials and jot down the perfect letter....but I'm still picking and twisting without giving up all hope.

Check out the site because the info helped me and ya never know...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Dreaded Synopsis

Aaarrgghhhh! As some of you know, I'm in the process of preparing my submission materials for Harlequin. Being a newbie at this whole complicated process, from format and structure to submitting the completed ms, I have searched high and low for the perfect articles and advice on the craft of writing.

There are a lot of awesome, talented authors in this business. Surprisingly, there is also one incredible denominator binding these creative people together: they offer advice. And biographies...huh?!


How many occupations can you think of that can possibly be more competitive, and offer more opportunities for new talent, than the field of publishing? What about...going to your competitor and asking what their secret to success is? How 'bout...asking how they got started and what the process was that propelled them to complete their goals?

I can't think of many...unless it is a successful writer selling books telling you how they became successful at writing. Go to any author's website online nowadays and look for links dedicated to writers or resources. Find any? A bunch you say....hmmmm.

I love my job!

Any hew...sorry, procrastinating a little. I like playing online and blogging with yous guys...when I really need to be working on my ms. Back to bidness...

Synopsis is an ugly word around where I travel. Even to some of the lifers. Not only are they difficult, but they make my brain hurt. I've talked with quite a few fellow writers about tips and resources for samples. You kinda have to go with the flow. For example ~ I'm targeting Harlequin at this time so I need to research samples/advice geared toward the specific line I am aiming for. Maybe you write for Avon, etc. you get my drift though, right?

So all yous guys that are aiming along beside me to Harlequin...I have included a link where Leslie Wainger, a senior editor with HQ, is giving her personal advice for Writing the Dreaded Synopsis.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another good one...

For all you chick-lits on the novella side of writing styles...

2007 Brava Novella Contest

Hope ya'll have a safe and lazy weekend!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

RWA Conf~While Kitty's away...the mice will play!

As some of you know...I write geared toward the Harlequin line. Whether or not my voice fits...we'll soon see. While everyone is away having a grand ol'time in the big town of Dallas, I am actually working. But for me, it is my time to let my imagination roam and play.

We had recently talked about the pros and cons of contests and I had decided to try my hand at it. My first experience went rather well and it gave me a great kick in the motivation side. Well..........Romance Junkies is having a great first chapter contest...and it's free!!!! If you don't have time to submit, they are also in need of readers/judges. I had a friend recently suggest the site and was pleasantly surprised at the concept. It is a great place to hear about fellow authors seeking the same goal and advertise new releases. They have articles on writing and even a link to help find critique partners.

Also I need to plug my favorite Harlequin SuperRomance line, they have several things cooking in an all out search for new mss. If interested in their line you can try the community site and see what the line consists of. They have an Editor Pitch Contest and a Conflict of Interest Contest.

Good luck and happy writing!

Monday, July 09, 2007

To Title or Not

How many times have you had a great storyline idea but was stumped when it came to a title for it? How many times have you read a book and the title didn't match the content? I've seen/heard several instances where the title and/or cover art didn't make sense and the authors were upset. Did it do any good to complain? Not that I've heard in those instances. Once it's out of your hands, it's not your baby anymore.

I'm a newby. There, I admit it. I love talking and hitting up more experienced people (aka authors) for info. I have problems when it comes to deciding on my WIP titles, but wouldn't the author know content better? Maybe. Some authors that I've had the pleasure to chat with admit it's hard for them. They've even been thrilled with new titles.

But what got my goat this weekend is a book I read by a popular author. I won't name names and/or books and do myself a disservice by pissing anyone off. But when you write a book with a cowboy title...and there aren't any cowboys in your book...sorry. I was a bit miffed cause I bought the book with expectations. I miss my cowboy. I want to read about the lifestyle. I liked the book okay. Probably would've paid to read this particular author anyways...but the title was very misleading.

I'm not perfect, or even claimed to be in the category, but...who should have the right to name your hard work? Even if your title sucks? Who has the right to be the judge? What do you think?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The View

Okay. *Warning* (are you surprised?) My view is straight ahead so all of you younger viewers...time for bed. Sweet Dreams ~ Sleep Sweet. Momma loves her babies. Momma's got to vent or she's gonna explode. I love to blog! I can say what I need to say and without someone interrupting me or giving me the stink eye.

We have an interesting segment on our local tv news stations, several different stations as a matter of fact and when they first began, I would quickly grab the changer and see what was on Food Network. But they kind of grew on me...go figure. It's not like I'm the type of person to be so strongly opinionated. Okay, someone help Stacey up off of the floor. I think she's choking.

Anyhew. It's basically letting residents call or email and rant about current events or just about anything as long as it's decent and clean.
So I thought I'd try it here. Come on...I won't bite back...maybe. LOL. jk. many of you are sick of rich people and/or celebrities that can't control themselves and are surprised or pissed off when the public reacts accordingly.

Paris Hilton ~ come on honey. You can't honestly expect a judge to actually believe that you didn't understand when the law says you can't drive with a suspended meant a car, or say - it meant you, not your chauffeur. Or that you might actually be held accountable? What's funny is the Sheriff felt sorry for her cause she 'had a condition'.'s called 'I don't want to go to jail' boohoos. Her family physician doped her up on medicine so high that she couldn't focus or function so they was worried about her mental status. Excuse me...duh. BUT~ yes, she broke the law. Yes, she deserves punishment and should be held accountable...but not to a higher standard. Mr. Prosecutor...your own wife was convicted of the same crime and never saw a day...?

Nicole Richey ~ Eat honey. Veggies...anything except your daily non-fat Starbucks.

Lindsay Lohan ~ ANOTHER child star...but no different than you or I except for a few million. Daddy's in jail and Momma wants to your best-friend aka shopping buddy. What you need is a Momma that taps your behind a couple of times and tells you that your gonna stay home tonight because your too young to drink alcohol...legally...or you can't stay up partying until it's time to report for work and be surprised when you pass out from exhaustion. What did you have for dinner last night? A case of red bull, carton of cigarettes and a stick of gum?

Britney Spears ~ Boo Hoo. Little girl, you need to grow up and open your pretty brown eyes. Your beautiful, talented, rich and you had a supportive family. Little sister is handling the spotlight just fine honey-child. You took a man away from his pregnant baby's momma and your surprised your marriage didn't work. You wear your little sister's clothes commando and your pissed off at the media for taking crotch shots?

K-Fed's baby's momma ~ Come on now...he can't be that good sweetie to have made you take his slithering butt back? And for someone wanting to stay out of the be involved in a tv show called The Ex-Wives Club. Girl ~ you didn't have a ring on that finger. You still don't.

Rosie O'Donnell ~ I really enjoyed your talk show and watched at every opportunity until you chose one particular guest. My man Tom Selleck. It was when you tricked him onto the show by agreeing to avoid the discussion about gun control, then blasted him and refused to apologize because you believed about something so passionately. I started noticing you in a different light. I'm one to show passion, I'd like to also believe that I have an open mind. We can agree to disagree. But when you so blatantly interrupt and refuse to rationally discuss something with someone who values your opinion..refuse to take responsibility for a televised statement...what was it? said our military were the true terrorists. Honey, you can't be on a show called ahem - The View which is a show designed to allow everyone to discuss their view, and not allow anyone to have their own opinion. As soon as someone spoke in any other slant than your own, you said they were "naive", "young" or blamed it on Bush or anti-gays. It reminds me of a spoiled little rich girl I went to school with. What amazes me was the ratings she got. Was it because of the controversy she brought and you were curious as to the crap spilling out of her mouth? Waaas it...people genuinely are so selfishly opinionated that it's now okay to say and express ourselves at will without regards to anyone or anything else and no matter how others think...their wrong/naive/young and 'don't know no better' or wrong because they don't believe the same as you?

And on, and on...deep cleansing breath.

Who was the attorney stalking...I mean living with Anna Nicole Smith? Howard Stern? It was kinda spooky to look back on past reality-tv footage and see how mean she was to you...and have sleep-overs with multiple men while you were living together. And it's scary to know your momma didn't teach you about the birds and bees. You silly boy, you don't get pregnant by kissing. I'm sure when you kept shoving pills down her throat with the bottomless bottle of vodka that she probably did sleep with you...was she even awake? You're a lawyer...did ya really forget about DNA testing?

Baby's Daddy ~ Silly boy #2...Larry, did ya think you were too pretty to have to pay your attorney?

Okay. I'm out of breath. Until next time! I feel so much better...thanks.