Thursday, November 22, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
We're leaving Tenneseee right now. Wow, I love love love it up here. I want to move. The people are sooooo sweet and friendly, and the scenery is gorgeous. We drove into North Carolina. I like N.C. but TN, that's where I want to go.
Maybe. Some Day.
Two glasses of Pinot Noir before a flight really help to destress. I dread returning. Rainey has cancer and I know we'll have to put her down soon. Work is crazy. Being in the mountains, and nothing but peace, quiet and relaxation.... I'm shocked at how productive I was. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and go with my gut. I started a new story, one I haven't sold yet and may never, and I wrote 14,000 words. It's gripping, emotional and I love it. I wrote for ME, not my editor(s), agent, or readers. Just for moi. It was wonderful. And I really really love these characters. There's such depth to this story.
When I get home, I'll get back on deadline, back to the day job, back to reality and a dog that is dying. But this week, we relaxed. We needed this. I researched areas that are going into this book, long hikes up to see waterfalls, quiet inns, colorful fall leaves. And I have the guts of a story that I can't let go of. Maybe I'll have to... because I can't sell it, but for this week, it was just what I needed.
In the meantime, DH and I went to a gorge in NC yesterday. We walked along the train tracks and this was our conversation:
Me: "Wow, this is so pretty, so quiet, I wonder if they ever use these tracks anymore?"
DH: "Yeah, they do. Look at the wear on them. They use them a lot."
Me: "Sure, right."
Me: "Oh &*#&@#"
DH: "I told you the train uses these tracks. Maybe you should get off them now before you get run over..."
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
I wrote about this today and it’s pretty damn depressing, but at least I can try to make a difference. I have a photo of this kid on my desk to remind me what’s really important in life to me. When a child perishes every 5 seconds in the world from hunger, it puts everything into perspective for me.
In other news, I’m turning to the dark side; my writing. I have serious deadlines to meet and I’m a serious deadline person. So I’m not blogging for a while, except for my monthly post on Unusual Historicals. I will be posting an excerpt of my December Nocturne on my website as soon as I get through these deadlines.
On a lighter note, a reader emailed me yesterday that she found The Falcon & the Dove for $3 at half.com. Yay! So if you’re searching for that book, don’t give up. The book is due to go back to print, but I haven’t a date yet. I love used bookstores. And I don’t care if that’s politically incorrect for an author, I just love ‘em. When a reader who wants to read a book can finally find it and not have to pay a ridiculous price, I say here’s to the UBS!
What’s important to me:
The work I do in the Third World.
And rum runners.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I am emotionally drained from working, working, working, and all the travel this month to Haiti and Honduras.
But one of the best things about the travel is learning about different cultures. While in Honduras, I wandered into a gift shop on some down time and heard this fascinating, driving music. And I became introduced to Paranda music. I bought a CD by Aurelio Martinez.
Paranda music is a wonderful blend of African and Latin music, acoustical, with lots of guitar, drums and a beat that makes you want to shake your booty. It originated with the Garifuna people; those people who settled along the Caribbean coastline of Central America; Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and on the island of Roatan (where there are very very nice beaches, not that I will ever have the chance to go there, lol)
The people are descended from African and Amerindian roots. They're best known for the punta dance in which they dance on their toes and move their hips and lower body.
The music is lively, driving, and emotional, even if you don't understand the lyrics, the language of the music speaks to you. One of my favorites on "Garifuna Soul" is "LUMALALI LIMANIGA." Here are the lyrics in English from Stonetree Records, they correspond well with what we saw in the field this week; the sad sad orphans, the hungry, the homeless:
"Why is it that organizations are more powerful than the people? Why is it that the leaders are more powerful than the people?Look at the children in the streets Look at the children freezing in the cold
With hunger, freezing in the cold
I am the sound of silence
We are the sounds of silence
Voice of the children The elderly The unheard The Garinagu Pech Misquitos Sumos Mayas
Andy, how sad But it's true, Aurelio Their bed and sheets are made of cardboard. Where are the authorities at midnight?"
Check out Aurelio's album at this link:
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Carlos, who is the project coordinator here for the organization we're working with, told me that his job isn't a job. It's so much more. He loves getting up in the morning and going to work. "I love my job. I make people happy. I give them things that make their lives better. I'm like Santa Claus. How can I not love my job?"
It was very gratifying to hear, and a good reminder. Kinda like a pep talk without asking for one. Because I basically do the same,only by raising the money instead of working with individual projects. My job is seeing mostly the bad stuff... and so far today, everything has been a good reminder of how very good the good stuff can be.
I don't want to drive 45 minutes south to Miami, sit in an airport, get on an American Airlines flight for 2.5 hours with elbows in my side, people oozing over their seats and the drink cart banging my elbows. Then arrive and drive 2.5 hours to our destination, a town north of San Pedro Sula.
I don't want to see any more poverty.
I don't want to see hungry children, orphaned children, women who need help, who just want a little dignity and a little hope for their kids.
I'm burned out. Nearly 14 years of this type of work, seeing suffering, destitution, need, haunted, pain-filled faces... has worn me down.
And then I start to think, what if? What if I didn't go? What if I were wealthy enough from my romance books (insert big laugh here) that I could simply stay home and write and could give up the day job forever?
Wow. It would be really really tough. Because as much as I don't want to go to Honduras, I must. I'm compelled.
So much pain and suffering in the world. And I have a chance to make a difference.
Yeah, it sounds corny and sentimental, but it's true. I come home, write appeals, raise $$$ and feed children, build decent homes for families, give women self-help training and help them try to achieve economic independence.
I keep thinking of the restavek girl I met in Haiti two weeks ago. The call made to authorities to find her a new home, take her away from slavery.
What if I weren't there that day?
If I have a chance to make the world a better place, I must take it. I have to keep slogging.
I'm not trying to sound noble or wave a banner calling people to action, I'm just stating the facts in my particular case. I work at a day job that can and does make a small difference in the world. So I have to keep trying.
Because trying is better than not trying.
Reasons I want to go: See friends, cheer on Jennifer and Pamela for the RITA awards, drink heavily at the bar, see my editors, agent, etc. Drink heavily at teh bar. Take in a couple of workshops, find out what's going on in the industry.
Reasons I don't want to go: The Deadline. DH. Time home just to chill.
I figure registering will give me a kick in the arse to really go full speed ahead on this book, a reward of sorts. If I'm very good, I get to play in Dallas.
So this is why I'm packing my laptop when I leave for Honduras this morning. I'm hoping to get a little work done this week ... not sure what the schedule holds, but I'm going to try like hell to write. I fell short 19 pages of this week's writing goal. Need to make up for it.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
We went to Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve this afternoon to watch the waves crash against the rocks. Brine in the air, cool breeze, and the ocean. Very relaxing. Just what I needed to download before leaving tomorrow.
Not sure if I'll have internet, if I do, I may post photos from the road...
And the first donkey asks, "Duh, what load?"Just call me an ass, lol
Haiti last week, running around, touring, all the while escorted by four armed security officers, first time I've ever toured in 13 years in Haiti escorted by armed guards. We were in a large group for part of the trip, that's why...
I interviewed kids who lost their parents in the violence that is Cite Soleil, one said, "My father's head was chopped off by gangsters." I hugged a little boy who stood as cold and silent as a stone statue because he's so numbed by the violence he can't respond to affection. And I saw a voodoo ceremony, which was kinda cool and made me want to ask the houngan if I could swipe a bit of his very powerful clarin( rum).
Came home Friday, FIL was in the hospital, we went Saturday to take him home with us for the weekend. That was my weekend last week. Not a heck of a lot of time to write. I had a sick FIL to care for, laundry from Haiti, unpacking, etc. etc. No time to write. But I still have a book due in September.
So I took Monday off, wrote 15 pages. Yay. But then self-doubts kicked in. These pages suck, blah blah blah. Worked Tuesday through Friday. Wrote yesterday, 11 more pages. I have a better grip, I think, on this story. I always panic when writing, thinking the story isn't this or that. How can I make it stronger, the hero sexier, yada yada.
I keep forgetting the mantra, JUST WRITE IT.You can always change it later.
Last night I had a dream about Nora Roberts. Not that I WAS Nora Roberts, that would have been quite funny. This dream was funny in itself. In the dream, Nora and I were sitting on a bed in someone's room, like a girls' sleepover, like at RWA National. And I looked at Nora and I gushed, "Wow Nora, how do you do it? You're soooo amazing! Look at all those books you put out! You must love to write!"
And Nora replied, "Hell no. I'd rather be shopping."
That made me feel better, even though it was only a dream.
In the meantime, today I need to spend quality time with Dh since I'm leaving him again for the second time in two weeks, clean the house because we're picking up FIL and bringing him over for dinner tonight, finish laundry, and pack for my trip to Honduras tomorow in which I'll see more poverty and more destitution and more starving kids. The dog threw up on the carpet and judging by the smell, there is something dead in our attic. DH is busy with yardwork and arguing with me that there isn't something dead in the attic, it's probably his dirty socks.
I have a hero who wants to have hot sex with the heroine and I'm leaving him in a state of sexual frustration because I have laundry to finish and stuff to mail and I have NO time to attend to his arousal.
I'm leaving the country tomorrow and leaving him with a permanent erection, kinda like a literary Viagra state.
Nora, if you're out there, ever reading this, I'd rather be shopping, too.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
That's what Horace Fletcher advocated.
Watching Animal Planet about camels chewing their food and they mentioned Mr. Fletcher. Not that he's a camel. He's a guy known as The Great Masticator.
Known for his health beliefs, he believed in the doctrine of "Fletcherism," from 1895 to 1919, in which all food must be chewed and not swallowed until it turned to liquid.
He thought all this extreme mastication helped reduce overeating, and was good for your health. Any food you didn't chew enough should be spit out.
So remember. Always masticate a lot every day, then don't spit, but swallow.
This has been a public ridiculous announcement brought to you by a writer who is overtired and needs more sleep, not more mastication.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
The name is staying the same as well. EMPATH.
Here's a brief description: A veterinarian is a gentle-natured creature until she is seduced by an embittered warrior werewolf who has to mate with her and turn her into a killer to destroy the shapeshifters stalking his pack.
The coolest thing about this book, besides the paranormal elements and the romance, are the Morphs. Morphs are former werewolves who turn bad by killing relatives and sucking out their energy. Then they can shapeshift into ANY animal form. Any. Alligators, birds, bees, ants.
It's very dark and wicked... I love it. Except one scene I wrote did make me squirm for a while.. and keep checking where I walked in the backyard for anthills... yikes.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
I'm going to Haiti next week, country of real public lynchings, place where people are shot, stabbed, kidnapped, violence, etc. Where they put gasoline on tires, set them on fire and put them around their enemies' necks. Where people I know were kidnapped. During Mass. During a freaking MASS. At gunpoint.
I hope I get to see him next week. Then again, that means he has to come out of his house to see me. Maybe he's better off staying home... maybe I am as well...
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Here's a synopsis of THE CALLING, the first book. Authors Joy Nash and Robin Popp are doing the other books and Jen is wrapping up the series.
Created at the dawn of time to protect humanity, the ancient warriors have been nearly forgotten, though magic lives on--in vampires, werewolves, the Celtic Sidhe, and other beings. But now one of their own has turned rogue, and the world is again in desperate need of the IMMORTALS.
He burst into the battle, his leather jacket billowing and his huge silver sword flashing. Amber had no idea why this windswept warrior would rescue her, but there he was--fighting the same demon who'd killed her sister. Though he was a stranger, she immediately sensed he'd come to protect her. And with the first touch of his lips on hers, she knew he was bound to her, his body meant for her. Yet the shadow of evil is spreading quickly, and more death will follow unless they can discover the secrets of...THE CALLING.
Cool, huh? You can buy THE CALLING HERE.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
P.S. Dennis, our driver last night on the ghost tour, told us that Nicolas Cage now owns the most haunted house in New Orleans. The old Metarie house, where M. Metlaurie tortured her slaves. According to Dennis, he hangs out here more than CA, same as Brangelina, who also hang out here at their house, I guess when they're not out making movies or visiting developing countries (you go girl! One thing I like about Angelina... wish she would visit Haiti. )
Our bathroom window actually shows a decent view of those dormer windows. So when I shower and step out, I look up to see if the dormer windows are open and there's a nosey vampire peering down at me. Not yet. Could happen.
This hotel is haunted. Not our building, but the 500 building in the back where there was an old Civil War hospital. GUests have reported seeing surgeons sawing off limbs, and bloody sheets in the bathtub or when they turn down the covers for the night. Ewwwww. If I were to encounter a ghost, I'd want a pretty, debonair one.
Took the street car today down Canal all the way to City Park. Saw some sobering reminders of Katrina. The St. Charles streetcar still isn't running yet. I wish more people would come here... the french quarter is back to business as usual, but the crowds... aren't here. We ate lunch at the Coffee Pot and met a couple from Pensacola whose condo was severely damaged during Ivan. they're just getting their place back together. Our waitress, Pearl, is fighting with her homeowner's insurance company... her home got swamped by Katrina. We told her to hire a private insurance adjustor, which is what we did after Wilma dumped the tree on our house and wrecked our backyard and front yard. Pearl thanked us and went off to wait on the drunken birthday party that was ordering more $300 bottles of champagne. At least SOMEONE was spending nice, big bucks.
I hope they gave Pearl a big, fat tip. It was an odd, bonding moment, lunching there with the couple from Pensacola and Pearl waiting on us. All of us having experienced some big wreckage from Hurricanes named Ivan, Katrina and Wilma. I sure hope we never see another one again, except in bars on Bourbon Street. The kind you drink, not the kind that causes you headaches over damage to your home.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Reality is, readers have a perfect right to post their opinions. I'm all for it. But reality is, writers shouldn't read it. Not when they can't afford to let the doubt demons kick in.
Publishing is a business. I have two more books due this year. I have contracts, legally binding contracts. The historical, which is at 20,000 words, is due in four months. Usually it takes me 6 months to write an historical. Then the day job has its own stress... I'll be in Haiti in three weeks. Then Honduras. May will be a crappy writing month and one I can't afford to take off.
So reality is, I can't afford to get stalled by those nasty doubt demons. If you're a writer, you've probably experienced them at one time. Those doubts that scream out that your writing sucks, your books suck, you're the worst writer in the history of publishing, all the way back to the Gutenburg Press. (1490) It's just your own self-doubt kicking in. But wow, those self-doubts can weigh in. Usually I can shrug them off, like a cloak, and go on my merry way. But this time, pressured by time and a deadline, I'm stuck like a motorist on I-95 at the Golden Glades during rush hour.
I keep thinking of that campy movie, Village of the Damned or Children of the Damned or whatever Damned title it is...where Christopher Reeve is thinking of a brick wall and the alien children with the flax hair and the glowing orange eyes are trying to kick it down mentally, get into his head and he's straining and straining and gasping to keep up the wall...
That's me (Reeve) and the doubt demons (the alien kids). Sooner or later, they storm in, kick my imagination around and wreck the place. It takes a day or two to corral them, herd them back to their pen and kick their collective butts.
I can't afford that time. Not this year.
I recently was curious about Lisa Valdez' next book and went searching to see if it were coming out next month. Then I read her website. Wow. I truly feel for Ms. Valdez. The doubt demons didn't just kick down the brick wall, they stampeded over it, assisted by the flood of negative email/etc. she received.
On her website, she says she's retreating to her tower and not receiving email. Good for her. Should an author shut herself off from cyber space and readers like that? Yes, when she has a book due and she knows those doubt demons may storm the brick wall.
Does this mean readers shouldn't post negative reviews or say stuff on message boards and only be nice? Of course not. The great thing about the internet is more readers have a forum to express their opinions, trade information, and talk about the genre they love. But as writers, when we know we are suspectible to those doubt demons, we should avoid them. Email is different... unless you can have a friend or associate screen your email.
Many writers have thin skin. We're sensitive, which can go along with the territory of being creative. One author I did a booksigning with recently advised the audience to grow a thick skin, this was after she received a barrage of angry emails about a blog post she wrote in jest that they took seriously.
Growing a thick skin isn't easy. I've tried. Now my skin isn't as thin as an onion peel. Maybe it has the density of a kumquat. But it's still thin and I'm still sensitive. Fact is, the negative and the positive things people say about your work go with the territory. You have to learn to deal with it. I thought I did... I had, until this week.
I hope Ms. Valdez is able to recharge and produce more books out of her tower. And I hope I can once reinforce that brick wall and keep out the doubt demons. Kick their collective booties back to the recesses of my mind, and move on past this roadblock.
Maybe I need a mantra, a writer's chant like the soothing one Buddhists recite to prepare them for meditation. Hmmm.
I will not let the doubt demons rule.
I will move on and continue to write.
I am an energized, vibrant, creative writer who has a wonderful story to tell that deserves to be told.
I am in control of my creative process.
The Gators will once more kick butt in sports next year. (too much to ask for, let's just stick with the priorities)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
DH and I went to her booksigning tonight at Murder on the Beach in Delray Beach. OMG, if you EVER have the chance to attend a talk by Heather, go. She has the best stories. Riveting, fascinating history about all the places she's traveled, including New York City, where this book was set and it's history.
Now if I only had more time to read... sigh...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
An iconoclast who was a POW during WWII, (you know, the big one?), he was against censorship, was for saving the planet (he once suggested writing on the wall of the Grand Canyon, "we probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard... and too damn cheap," as a message to aliens who might landed there) and soul-growing society through diffuse art to block the increasing numbing of America through TV.
We need more folk heroes like Vonnegut. Folk heroes who stand for intelligent debate, shock us with their brilliant wit and crude humor and make us think for a change. Instead, we have shock jocks whose main goal is to increase their ratings and in the process, say cruel and racist things. I seriously doubt Vonnegut would have called the Rutgers female basketball players, “nappy-headed hos.”
The whole Imus debacle makes me wonder about the so-called dumbing down of America. A few months ago, Dh and I rented Idiocracy. The flick (Ethan Cohen co-wrote it with Mike Judge) was hilarious, and disturbing. It’s about the true dumbing down of America. In the movie, (spoiler alert!!) people in present-day America are intelligent and evolved. In the future, they’re dumber than shit. Honestly. That’s the only way to describe it. The mega corporation Brawndo manufactures a sports drink that people use for everything, from flushing their toilets to irrigating their crops, which is causing a food shortage and they don’t know WHY the crops won’t grow. The Brawndo advertising slogan is recited like we used to mumble Sunday School cathechism.
The movie left me disturbed because although it’s satire, you can see flecks of it here and there in today’s society. When American Idol is the number one show, and newspapers are struggling to breathe (look at the Tribune take-over, I have friends who work for Tribune papers) and people are more concerned with what happens to Anna Nicole’s rotting corpse than anything else, will Idocracy become our future? Are we becoming more passive as a nation, nodding like those head bobble dolls at everything thrown at us?
I sometimes wonder if it’s because we’re trying to do too much, cram too much, work too much, play too much and at the end of the day, we’re so freaking tired that shows like American Idol are all we can stand. I work at an emotionally draining day job. I also write romance novels at night. There's bills to pay, family health problems, birthdays, dogs to care for, you name it and I have two more books due this year. And sometimes I’m so exhausted all I want is mindless entertainment.
I too, am in danger of becoming a bobble doll. It’s times like that when I need a good kick in the brain and remind myself make the effort to reach for something better. It’s times like that when I find myself weeping for the demise of brilliance like Vonnegut. We need more folk heroes like him.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So today I rush to work, get the call that the plumbers are on their way, then rush home. They've been here about 2 hours. I'm stuck in the house while the plumbers are replacing both toilets. Both. Rainey is locked up with Tiger and keeps barking, and barking. I go in there, pet her, leave and she's barking again.
And I'm sweating bullets here on the couch... because I have to use...
You guessed it. Can't leave until the plumbers leave. Can't use THAT room. Yet. I am having fond recall of trips where I was trapped in a car in Haiti, only open fields in sight, and not a gas station for miles while I'm screaming in broken Creole at the driver to GO GO GO!! Because I have to GO GO GO!!
Yup, my life is so glamorous. I bet Paris Hilton never has this problem.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
First, why I'm happy. I'm thrilled and very very excited b/c two very good author friends got THE CALL that they finaled in the RITA's!!!!!!!!! OMG, I'm sooooooo excited for both of them. I was thrilled to hear about one, but two of my friends? This is terrific news! They're both splendid, damn good authors and it's about time they got this nod. I know how hard they've worked, and how talented they are. They're both in separate categories so I can cheer them on in both!!!
Why I'm cranky and depressed... I'm home all day doing taxes. It's a nightmare. A living nightmare. And I'm just very tired, and have to work tomorrow at the day job and it's my boss' last week. I keep telling myself it will be okay and will work out. Sure, right. I did get the proposal in the mail that I needed to send out and I think it's time to take a break from writing and the internet. Just a few days, maybe. Concentrate on getting these *@&#* taxes done and family stuff. And maybe ME for a change.
Plus it's coming up to the anniversary of when we discovered Tia was dying of liver cancer. Yeah, I guess some would think it's silly of me to get sad over that... but Tia was more than my dog. I still miss her.
Back to the real world, taxes. Sigh...
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Two unmarked cop cars, 8 cops in black surrounding a guy flat on his stomach on the ground, hands tied behind him. Two cops are all over his car like dogs on a bone, tearing the side panels apart.
When I was a reporter, I did some ride alongs with cops and I know what they were doing. Classic drug bust.
I find an open parking spot, return my DVD and go inside to select another movie. As I'm checking out, I ask the clerk,
"So, the guy on the ground, is that what happens when you don't return a movie on time? Your new late fees policy?"
He gives me this blank look. "Huh?"
I tell him about the cops. He shrugs as if it's everyday the cops chase down someone and arrest them in the parking lot.
I love S. Florida. I really do. I do. Where the action outside the video store parking lot is more dramatic than the movie I just rented...
Pardon my mood, I'm cranky this week. The boss who's been great for our department is leaving next week, and who knows what kind of trained monkey will replace him. Maybe I should stock up on bananas now. About six years I've worked with this guy, and it's been great, we have such a good team together now, all dynamic, creative, great at our individual jobs, we'd make a great team at an ad agency. Raise all kinds of money for the poor and now my boss is leaving...sigh...
Then my FIL has to have surgery. He's 90 years old this week and any surgery is risky. When did he schedule the surgery for? My birthday. Happy birthday Bonnie. Last year your birthday was mourning the news your beloved Tia, your dog, was dying. THis year you get to spend your birthday in a hospital waiting room.
Some days...some days... some days.... sigh...
Sunday, March 18, 2007
A friend asked him, "What's under it?"
Nice day, no breeze, though, so we couldn't see what lies beneath. Darn.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Plus, I had to cancel RT. I'm soooo sorry I won't be there to sit on Cindy's panel and watch her and MJD stab each other with shrimp forks and trade zesty barbs (sob!) and see friends like Jennifer Ashley and everyone, and meet readers and booksellers. But life's shifted a bit with work, and I had to cancel due to priorities.
But on a brighter note, DH and I are headed to New Orleans next month! Yay! I need to do book research for the Nocturne book and I'm really looking forward to it. I love the Big Easy, and though the city is still struggling to recover, the Quarter, where we're staying, has been cool. I went there last year for Heather Graham's workshop and it was wonderful!
Ok, back to work, I think I have the solution to a problem in chapter two. Answer? Cut, cut, cut.
In other news, very very very sad news, Ellen Fisher's dear husband passed away... if you wnat to wish her condolences, please pop over to her blog listed here. What a wonderful, special relationship they had...
Cancer sucks. It really, really sucks. :-(
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!! I'm done! I'm done, done, done, done!!! MAILED THE BOOK OUT TODAY!!! yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My first Nocturne book! It's done and IN the mail! Now I'm starting in on the 2nd book. I'm very excited about writing it.
Also, got home tonight to a big surprise in the mail. My friend, Jennifer, sent me an ARC of her first Immortals book. OMG! I'm so excited! I can't wait to read it! I'm going to read it and then give it to one very lucky person.
The Immortals debuts in May. Can't wait!!!!
Off to celebrate by cooking dinner? Huh??? Oh well. I have a bottle of wine and DH rented a movie. Yeah, we be living the high life. LOL!
Friday, March 2, 2007
In other news I'm feeling much better, yay! Working on the Nocturne book and cutting it. Sob! Actually editing a book is easier for me than creating. I'm used to cutting copy. Here goes...
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
The FRW conference this weekend was awesome, terrific, great. Fun. Until yesterday, when I woke up with food poisoning that had begun Saturday, but didn't kick in full force until late Saturday night.
So I'm home sick today, having spent 3 hours at the doctor's office, and on antibiotics and a strict liquid diet for today. I've already lost 8 pounds in 2 days, the diet my doctor bugged to start, but not THIS way. If this keeps up I'll be looking thinner than Nicole Ritchie in no time.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
This weekend it's been Heather Graham (always funny and classy) Eloisa James (intelligent and down to earth, the kind of professor I'd love to have in college), chatting with Lori Wilde at the booksigning, who is really super nice and I'm just amazed at her productivity!! and many more.
But I have to admit the person who I really needed to hear, who inspired me the most this weekend was Sheriilyn Kenyon. Not just because she's sweet and friendly (having met her, I already knew that) but because her speech was a good reminder never to give up, that when the hour seems at its darkest, and you have to take a stamp from your husband's wallet to mail that last proposal, after that multiude of rejections, that can be the proposal that gets you the contract that launches you into fame. She's very humble, and sweet and the struggles she went through...
I'm so happy she's attained that level of success... it just tickles me to think that someone came through such tough times is doing so well now. Every time I think of her speech, at how she triumphed over the darkest points of her careeer, it makes me smile, even now when I'm wiped out and have conference fatigue
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Whatever makes your motor run...
Monday, February 19, 2007
"While mating, female Physocylus globosus spiders emit high-frequency squeaks to let males know what they should be doing, a new study finds.
Called stridulations, the shrill cries sound like squeaky leather and are made in response to the rhythmic squeezing actions of the male's genitalia from inside the female during sex....
A male spider's genitalia are located at the end of its pedipalp. During sex, he inserts this tip into the female. Muscles near the base of the pedipalp flex during sex, creating the rhythmic squeezing motions that cause a female to cry out... The researchers mated 68 virgin P. globosus females with two males. They found that the number of squeezes the males made were associated with the number of times the females cried out during sex. " From "Spider Cries Out While Mating by Ker Than, LIveScience Staff Writer."
68 virgins with two males??? Sounds like a Regency era romance novel. The rakish spiders of London. Hmmm. I could write a love scene based on spider sex... maybe Regency spiders...
Herman: "Oh my dear Constance your eight legs are so slender and hairy, you make me go wild. I will make you mine. You are one of the mothers of my children."
Constance: "Be gentle with me, Herman, you rake, I have heard of your prowess among the females, for was it not last night in London when you mated with over 2,000 females in the dusty corner of Lord Maplethorpe's ballroom?"
Herman: "They matter not to me, only you, Constance, you with your glistening fangs and your rounded abdomen. I will plant my seed into you now. I am hot for you, you little arachnoid. I am squeezing my huge manly pedipalp, cry out for me, my virgin lover, do it do it!"
Constance: "Oh, OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"
Herman: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" Collapses atop his crawly lady love.
Constance: "Get off me before I eat you."
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Also doing Myspace and a book trailer for The Sword & the Sheath. Also trying to polish the Nocturne book which is ALMOST DONE, yay! I really like it, hope my editor does as well. I'm trying to get ahead on this book so I can jump start the next two projects, the Dorchester book and a proposal due in May.
I saw the draft of the book trailer yesterday and it's really cool! I'll share here when it's done.
In other news, DH and I had a loverly V-day on the beach with strawberries and champagne. Mmmmmm. He's working this morning and I'm spending the time on projects I've pushed aside. Like cleaning the house. I think the dust bunnies have formed their own rabbit farm.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Another senior steps on the gas instead of the brake and crashes into a building... common in S. Florida, but this time, the driver drove into...
The Driver's License Bureau building.
Yup, the Department of Motor Vehicles building. The 80-year-old woman arrived to renew her license and crashed through the building. 11 were injured. She was charged with careless driving. Ya think?!!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
This is the salon you enter as you go through the entrance to the club. Mar-a-Lago was built in 1924 and was home to Marjorie Merriweather Post. To find a location in Palm Beach for what eventually became her 110,000 foot palace, she crawled on her hands and knees through underbrush. The mansion is built on a solid limestone rockbed, one reason she chose the location.
The Grand Ballroom, where Trump married Melania Knauss in 2005. The old ballroom was too small, so The Donald built a new 18,000-square-foot one, complete with marbled columns. The mansion has 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, and 12 fireplaces.
Look at the gold leaf on the walls.
I saw some Palm Beachers I recognized from my Palm Beach days as a reporter...socialites, mainly. Conrad Hilton, Paris' cousin, was there as well.
The evening was a fascinating study in people watching. Got some interesting story ideas as well! But when all was done, I'd rather remain in the field, interviewing the poor we help.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
This is how the poor people live. An example of a poor family we help. No latrines, plastic stretched over poles.
This is how the rich people live. One of the bathrooms at Mar-a-Lago. Gold sinks. Italian marble counters. Gilded mirrors. Two chandeliers in the bathroom.
It was a fascinating night. I'm wiped. Will post later. I hope we raised enough money to build lots of homes for people like those in the first photo...
Yes, I actually took my camera out and took a photo of the bathroom. :-)
Friday, February 9, 2007
You can check it out here.
Will you be doing a booksigning? Attending a fab. fete? Showing off a new Dolce and Gabbana purchase, you may be asking.
No, moi will be there in my JC Penney little black dress... volunteering. Tonight is my charity's event to raise money in Palm Beach and I'll be monitoring silent auction items.
I prepared for this fab. event tonight by...
Plunging the toilet this a.m. An interesting metaphor, if you think about it. I didn't do it dripping jewels or in my Choos, but in my Eyeore PJ's.
The reason I wanted to volunteer is twofold:
1) I always wanted to see the inside of Mar-a-Lago, The Donald's club and the famous Post estate that's been a part of Palm Beach's landscape for decades.
2) Having been to Jamaica last week and seen tin shacks I could send toppling with a well-placed kick, I thought it would be interesting to see the other side of life. The people I met last week live in fear of being gunned down by stray bullets. Their children are malnourished.
I used to work as a reporter in Palm Beach, but have never been inside the dishy interior of The Donald's private club. I used to attend society pah-ties and write glowing reports of who was with whom or who was draped all over whom. Tonight will be different. At least when my tired, sensible shoes leave The Donald's, I'll feel a glow of satisfaction knowing that amid the glam and riches and jewels, we raised money to help some of those people I met last week.
In the meantime, I'm home today and have a book to write. I must return to the Nocturne book. Hmmmm, I wonder.... would a very Alpha male, fierce warrior werewolf fit in tonight at a very glam Palm Beach fundraiser?
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
The RT review is out. Yay!
"Known for stirring romances set in exotic locales that sweep readers into another time and place, Vanak has a gift for creating exciting stories, memorable characters and a passion hotter than the Middle Eastern sunshines.
From childhood, Fatima dreams of being a Guardian, a warrior sent
to protect Tarik, their tribe's heir. Not her gift of the Sight, her
education in England or the fact that her twin brother is to be a Guardian will stop her from fulfilling her destiny to safeguard Tarik.
Trained by her father in the art of war, Fatima is a formidable fighter, but she's still a woman: beautiful, sensual and already in love with Tarik. Though she saves his life several times, he's intent upon making her his wife and not his protector. The battle of wills that ensues between them makes the real battles they fight with their enemy pale in comparison. Though others try to tear them apart, it's the heart of a warrior that keeps them together. (Leisure, Mar., 416 pp., $6.99)" Romantic Times Book Reviews
The biggest surprise about this review? 416 pages. Originally this book was estimated at 352 pages. I knew the manuscript was long, but my editor told me not to worry and he didn’t cut anything, which is really cool. So this is my biggest book yet. Had to fit in all the love scenes, lol, since there are eight of them, the most I’ve had in a book. I think this is my hottest historical yet because the passion between Tarik and Fatima is so intense.
So far, the reviews for Sword have been good. Now if I were writing a review of my life… it would probably read like this:
2 Stars for Bonnie Vanak
Known for arriving to work late and muttering curses beneath her breath at elderly drivers, Vanak has a gift for forgetting to pay her bills, thinks dust bunnies are cute and likes to collect them, borrows her husband’s tools and loses them, has a nodding acquaintance with the treadmill at the YMCA, is a bleeding heart sucker for charity causes such as cat juggling (see reference to The Jerk with Steve Martin) and has no tact as evidenced when in Port Royal, Jamaica, the once infamous pirate hangout, she asked, “Hey, when flagging down a prostitute around here, does one shout, ‘Yo ho ho?’”