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Showing posts from March, 2007

Things to Do While Driving to Texas

This summer I will be making two (count them, 2!!) trips to Texas. One for my brother-in-law's wedding (yea Curt!) and one for the upcoming RWA Conference.

My brother-in-law, I get. I mean, he fell in love with a beautiful girl from Texas so he really has no choice but to call us forth to the blistering heat of Texas in the middle of summer. I love him. I'll go.

RWA has a choice, of course. There are many, MANY other places in the US of A that do not fill the air with so much humity you have to chew it to swallow it. I can think of several nice places. San Francisco. Seattle. Witchita. However, I love writing. I'll go.

It's a 10 hour drive. I'm making a list of things to do (or NOT to do) along the way (garnered from past experience of driving to Louisiana and Texas). Feel free to add your own items to the list:

1. DO wear a rain coat while driving your car. This is to protect you from the smothering humidity that causes your formerly cooperative vehicle to s…

Be Prepared!!

Thanks to Shelley S. for sending this hilarious email to me!


Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and best of all, you can do these simple exercises right in and around your home.

EXERCISE ONE: Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.

EXERCISE TWO: Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat with the other breast.

EXERCISE THREE: Freeze two metal bookends …

Revision - The Real Craft of Writing

The more I get to know Alexa Tate, the more I revise what has already been written. Though I don't plan on posting more than the first three chapters here, I want to give you the most current version.

Hence the reason I posted the revised chapters 1-2 before chapter 3.

The change is huge. I think it works well with Alexa's character arc and the direction of the story itself.

Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

Chapter One - SHADOWING FATE

Chapter One

I hunt people in my spare time.

Some women crochet. Others garden. I deliver my own brand of vigilante justice.

I only track down those who deserve it. Those who are about to commit a crime against another person. I know this sounds like I’m one slippery step away from a padded cell and a lifetime supply of anti-psychotic drugs, but I can hear when someone is going to give in to their inner demons.

Evil has a voice all its own. It sounds like insatiable greed, impotent rage, and terrible grief blended into one throbbing hunger for power. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only one who hears it. It haunts me, compelling me to make it silent.

I have no control over the fact that I can hear the worst people have to offer. I do, however, have complete control over my wardrobe. Few things are as thrilling as hunting down evil in a kicking pair of four-inch stilettos. I never know when the need to hunt will strike and the fact that I can wipe the pavement with a man twice my siz…

Chapter Three - Alexa Tate

On the advice of a published author, I've removed chapter 3. I don't want future publsihers to think I've given too much away when they are trying to sell my book. I've left the comments.

Don't worry, the first installment of Alexa's story will be complete by the end of June and I'll let you know as soon as some savvy publisher snaps it up. (say that five times fast)

Imagination

Imagination is what sparks the fire of greatness in us. It's how we got the Model T, the Eiffel Tower, and Lemon Cream Cheese Pie. It's where Captain Jack Sparrow, Harry Potter, and Frodo were born.

Do you remember flexing your imagination in strange and beautiful ways when you were little? Whole worlds attached to your bedroom that only you could see. The distinct possibility that your old lady neighbor was a Queen in hiding. The absolute certainty that fairy tales were true in a place not so far away.

We lose that as we get older, unless we fight hard against the encroaching wall of reason, responsibility, and math teachers who slap down our "what ifs" and remind us of "what is".

I have a vivid imagination but I find myself constantly second guessing an idea. I say, "What if..." and quickly follow it with "oh, but, how could I explain that?"

Now, I've decided, the most interesting part of the journey through my imagination is "h…

Show, Don't Tell

I'm reading a book by an author I haven't tried before. I do this a few times a month to keep current on what's out there and to discover new voices I admire and want to study.

This author, however, irritates the ever-living daylights out of me. She tells instead of shows.

She tells me that the hero finds the heroine funny and takes several sentences to do so instead of showing light banter back and forth and having the hero reluctantly crack a smile.

She tells me the heroine is dizzy and unsteady on her feet due to lack of sleep and lack of food because of the untimely demise of her husband two years ago. This takes three paragraphs. She could show the heroine stumble and respond to the hero's concern with a brief "Didn't get enough sleep" while her thoughts continue "and haven't since Doug died."

She insists on pouring backstory with a heavy hand (even repeating facts I know already) instead of pouring on plot and sprinkling in backstory…

Art for Art's Sake?

I used to think "art for art's sake" was a pretentious little phrase invented to cover the corny work of those with more ambition than talent.

Now, I wonder if it isn't a way of saying, "My personal creative muse invaded my body, sank into my brain, and refused to leave until I did her bidding. This is the result."

Art is subjective, we all know that. Just as we all know that even in a sea of talent, there are those authors, poets, painters, and performers whose talent is so breathtaking, it trancends subjectivity and becomes something - more.

Every artist strives to be "more".

Behind that "more" are unseen hours of perseverance, rough drafts, rejections, and well meaning people giving opinions and advice that erode the confidence and creativity of the artist.

Art is a peculiar thing. It is a dual-natured creature, both intensely personal and shamelessly promiscuous.

It is hard, as an artist, to create, shape, and craft my work and then go t…

Dead Man Walking

This guy I work with (henceforth and forevermore referred to as FOOL - Foolishly Over-Optimistic Loser) started a war with me.

This just proves how little the FOOL knows me.

It started as a small squirmish (FOOL put ice down my back, I retaliated in kind),

grew to a serious battle (FOOL put ice down my back while I was in the dining room TAKING AN ORDER thereby eliciting a scream from me that may have adversely affected my income given that most people won't part with their hard-earned singles to a crazy woman. I responded with a well-placed handful of whipped cream)

and has now escalated to an all-out WAR.

Why? Because Friday night FOOL mashed an entire piece of chocolate cake into my face, my hair, my ears...you get the picture.

Not only did that seal his impending doom, it was a hideous waste of perfectly good chocolate.

FOOL got so much chocolate on me that I smelled like a Hershey factory all night. So much chocolate that as I undressed later that evening, I could have had a satisfy…

Blogging 101

For those of you unfamiliar with how blogging works (and no, Mom, I'm not just talking to you), to leave a comment, you click on "comments" at the end of a post. Part of what makes blogging fun is to hear reactions, opinions, and additional stories from the readers of a blog.

So comment freely!!! (I can say this because I hold the power to moderate. But not, sadly, the power to correct your spelling.)

Thank God For Bathrobes

So, this morning, as I was getting out of my shower, my dog, Bear, went nuts.

This happens quite frequently (he has a jogger fetish) so I ignored it.

Five minutes later, he's still at it. Barking feverishly. Whining. Racing up and down the stairs trying to communicate with his DENSE owner that he really wanted to go out. Now.

It occured to me that joggers generally don't take five minutes to pass my house. On the heels of that revelation was the memory of a nasty bout of doggy diarrhea six months ago. (I still shudder to think of the smell.)

I decided to let Bear out. Immediately.

I raced out of my bathroom sans clothing. Why not? I'm home alone. My neighbors work. It's a quick little jaunt to the back door. No problem.

My old green bathrobe was lying by my bedroom door and I grabbed it as an afterthought. Don't ask me why. Maybe my latent anti-humiliation gene, completely dormant until now, suddenly kicked into gear.

I went downstairs, ran to the backdoor, unlocked it an…

Help! Runaway Tongue! Muzzle Wanted!

Ever had one of those days when the things you say just come out wrong? Or worse, the things you think actually come flying out of your mouth?

I do.

Take last night, for example. I was working my night job waiting tables at Cracker Barrel. One of my co-workers is a bit of a flirt. I was politely turning his interest elsewhere by saying "I'm married. Don't bother me." (Okay, I wasn't that polite. He ought to know better.)

When he persisted by telling me he didn't care if his women were married or single, I loudly announced to one and all that "I am a one woman man."

That raised some eyebrows.

Or take the time I was facing a table of two - a huge, bearded man, and a petite person in a cardigan sweater, long hair, and delicate cap. The bearded man looked at me as he ordered but his companion stayed buried in the menu where I couldn't see a face. I turned away from the bearded giant and said these famous last words, "Would you like sweet tea…