Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lorie O’Clare

I’d like to introduce everyone to Lorie O’Clare. An incredibly talented and prolific writer. She has written ten, yes ten, books this year. Some have already been released through Ellora’s Cave. (Click here to see her page there.) And more will be published next year in print with St. Martin’s and Kensington. One of which is Tall, Dark, and Deadly.

Click to go to Amazon and read the reviews!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Congratulations to my wonderfully talented friend Leah. Her first book coming out in January! There will no doubt be many, many more.

Look at her Gorgeous cover:

Go here to check it out. I’ve read the pre editor version and let me tell you it is HOT!!! I fell in love with the secondary character and my heart was overjoyed when she devoted her next book to him, complicating his love life in the most delicious ways.

I’ve been back about three weeks now from our vacation and life hasn’t slowed a bit. Utter exhaustion took over the first week. Why is it when you go on vacation with kids you come home with less energy than when you decided you needed said vacation? Once we started feeling like ourselves the pollen count hit over 2,000 here. The whole family got sick. So we are just now getting over all of that too and now it’s time for Miss M’s Birthday. We don’t have any family coming into town this year and while that makes me a little sad to not be able to hang out with my sisters, I’m glad to not have to run around like a crazy woman cleaning my house. Then Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do have family coming in for Christmas, so I’ll be doing the mad scramble then.

On the writing front, I just haven’t done anything. I’ve thought about it, just not any actual writing. I know I’m getting really bad. This time of year for the real job is usually slow for me and leaves me time to write, but I have three MAJOR projects going on that seems to be sucking all my time. However, I came across this blog last month:

I signed up for the announcements and decided to take a couple of online courses to kick start that side of my brain again. So while I was on vacation I checked my emails and decided to take a few courses this month. When all was said and done how many did I actually sign up for? 1, 2? Nah, that would be too easy for me. Apparently I signed up for 5. Maybe I need a lecture on moderation?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not TSTL, more like TSfP

What is TSfP you ask? Well, in much haggling over the issues I thought were my heroine developing a bad case of TSTL that I didn’t see coming. I discovered that it wasn’t my heroine, I was getting really disappointed in her you know. It was ME. That’s right folks, the blame was mine. I’m sure DH is staggering in shock somewhere now that I’ve admitted fault. ;) I made blunders in the plot outline. Part of the whole ‘pantser’ problem that can arise. Too Stupid for Plotting, that’s me. Or at least my problem. So I plan to spend the next free hour I can reworking the timing of events in the first half of my story. I’m not going to dig in right now and rewrite all of it. Most of what I have is fine for the first draft, just needs to be placed in a different order to make the major conflicts make better sense. Sometimes in getting from A to Z you skip several letters in the excitement of the story. Turns out that I just had a few out of order as well.

Have you gotten through a third to a half of your story and realize you royally screwed something up?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

I’m back! My sister got married this past weekend in Vegas. Don't get excited, it’s not like it sounds. She lives there. And I’m from there too. So it’s not like going to Vegas to party for the weekend. Some of my friends back home seemed disappointed in me. What did I do? Mainly hung out with my sis, new BIL and the kids. His, hers, and mine. Four total, two 13 year olds and two 5 year olds. And I had the best weekend. The wedding went smooth, shocking but true, one of those things where you go in expecting the worst and just happy when it doesn’t get that bad.

This was one of the few times I’ve been back to Vegas (I moved to Texas just over 16 years ago) that I felt truly relaxed. The childhood baggage seemed to be gone, or at least didn’t rear its ugly head this time. I got to take my daughter just outside of town and show her the mountains. She wants me to take her camping out there and I’m really considering it for the next time I come out. The Valley of Fire is one of the most beautiful and serene places I’ve been too. I try to get there as often as I can, but it seems I’ve managed it only one about every five years. I didn't make it this trip, but if I relent and take her camping I'll have to take her there to do it.

So back to work for me and preparing for the next trip. We are so busy in the summer time that we don’t really get to go anywhere. In a month we are taking our very first cruise. I’m so anxious and excited but DH is a bit of a paranoid freak. (That’s going lightly.) But mostly it’s used to give me a hard time. He bugs me all day with things like: Do you know we’re going during hurricane season? They have computers to monitor that. I just watched Titanic; do you think we might hit an iceberg? Not in the Caribbean. What about this? What about that? It’ll be fine dear. Now quit bugging me! I’ll let you know some of the other questions he bugs me with, if I listen to him. :)

Writing front: Not much writing, plotting the next scene in my head. I did go over what I’ve already written and discovered I haven’t skipped as many scenes as I thought. I have one transition that needs to be written, one scene I started but wasn’t quite sure how much info to give so truthfully that scene is about a third written and then this last scene that I skipped entirely. I don’t think it’s that bad considering I thought I skipped over more than twice that.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to make your smart heroine do something stupid?

Well, Leah will be proud of me. I’ve been writing forward. My word count hasn’t really changed. (Took away notes as I wrote. :) ) But it is going forward, now I’m at another integral part where I need my heroine do something completely stupid and get herself in trouble. She quick tempered, stubborn and will do stupid things when someone tries to ‘tell’ her what to do. Got that figured out, hero is going to order her to stay put. And in a huff she goes anyway.

Dilemma – I know where I want to end up, but I haven’t decided out how they are going to get there. I haven't quite figured out how to get him to be so pushy with her that he will start ordering her around. While I do know men get that way all the time, but doing it on paper where the female audience will get it is another thing. Any suggestions?

And I know Leah, just skip it and write forward, but I’ve just skipped over several other key scenes that now I’m starting to hate doing it. So far I have passed over at least four key scenes and I’m only a third into the draft. Some of it is necessary. I want to make sure my ending will fit the beginning. I like seeing where my characters take me, so while I have a plan, I leave a lot for inspiration from the voices in my head.

How many major scenes do you skip in a first draft?

And while I’m asking, how many drafts do you go through before you let others critique?

Oh, go check out The Goddess Blogs. This is a great, fun blog. Plus they are always doing contests for free books. I commented on the appeal of Pirates the other day and won a signed book by Sabrina Jeffries. Work has been sucking the life out of me so I didn’t even know I won. She graciously emailed me this morning to see if I wanted her book. Uh, YES! Anyone want my unsigned copy? I’ll send it to you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Finally a Post

I know, I know, two months since my last post. What can I say? Summer is crazy busy around here for me. Work is always intense during the hot season and we seem to discover new ways customers try to abuse us. I’m telling you, I could write a whole column on some of the ‘interesting’ things that I’ve experienced with customers. 95% of our customers are great, but unfortunately it’s the 5% that stand out the most. Sad, but true.

Little Miss M is officially a Kindergartener. Everyone asked how I took it. One word, Great. She’s been at this school for their Preschool program and the Pre K, so by the time the Big K rolled in, it was old stuff for us. Now come talk to me in May and we’ll see. She is in a separate building right now and in May they have a graduation ceremony where the students (first grade through twelfth) from the other building line up the road and the Kindergarteners walk the way to the big school. I don’t think there will be many dry eyes that day.

You want to hear irony? I took Little Miss M up north for a quick weekend to spend with her Grandma before we started the Big K. Before I went up north the weather here was HOT, even my nephew that lives in the southwestern desert that came and stayed for two weeks this summer complained about our heat. The quick weekend I was away? It rained the WHOLE time. Twenty degrees cooler. Can you believe that? Now that I’m home again, HOT. One of life’s little jokes I’m sure.

Writing front – Not much happening. I’m stuck a bit on a scene and finally decided to just ignore it for now and start writing after that scene. I think that will help me figure out what to put into that one and what I shouldn’t. I finally decided who’s POV to put it in, it’s an integral scene where the hero realizes the heroine is truly a force to be reckoned with, where before he saw her as someone that needed him to rescue and shelter her. Not seeing that she has been doing for herself already for the last decade plus without him. I really like strong women and want to portray the special dynamic that entails those two headstrong personalities.

Reading – Well, that is something I’ve been doing a lot of. I have just discovered Anita Blake. I know I came to it late. But my, what a series. I’m on the eighth book now and I just love her. She’s smart and ruthless while still vulnerable enough that you want to see her have that happily ever after. But she’s smart enough to know that the HEA is just for stories, not her, she causes too much trouble along with being a smart ass from hell. I like cynical people. And her mouth gets her in trouble ALL the time. I can so relate.

What are you reading? Writing? Any trips lately?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


No news means I’m busy. At least in the real job anyways. Not much to report there, just trying to keep my head above water. What can I say, some days are better than others.

I’m still working on my reads for another writer. She has a crazy writing schedule this year. My heartfelt respect goes out to her. She is insanely prolific right now. I haven’t known her for a long time, but her hard work is obvious and a huge part of her getting six books on contract. A lot of people say they want to write full time and everything, but this is one woman that has actually done it.

On my own writing front, I haven’t gotten too much done. I wrote two scenes that I’ve been stuck on. I’m happy with the first writing of it, though it needs a ton of work, adding in the layers of emotion and tension I’m trying to keep up. My marker only shows I wrote about 2,000 words but it was more like 3,500. I have all kinds of notes throughout telling me where to put certain bits of info. Once I write the scene I delete the notes. It works for me, but it’s somewhat self defeating when my numbers don’t show better than that.

I have a scene that needs to go in between these that I was waiting on some info for. Now I have the info and I’m tettering on whose POV to put it in. Which one will give me more bang for the buck? So now I need to look at the other two scenes that I wrote and then rethink all three. I’m not going to lose sleep over it, but I’d like to get the POV right the first time. Leah, I promise I won’t spend too much time on this. : ) She is always reminding me to just keep writing, that’s what the edits are for. So as soon as I have some extra time one evening this week I’m going to look over it and write it.

Are there any tricks you use to help you figure out POV?

Monday, June 23, 2008


Saturday night I took some dear friends out for a special dinner. They are venturing into self proprietorship with a few weeks. I am thrilled to see them so excited about operating their own business. My husband and I have owned ours for nearly 17 years now. And while it’s more work than most people can believe, it is also extremely rewarding. Seeing something that you’ve put so much of yourself into and finally seeing it work the way you planned. (I imagine all the mothers out there will give me some stories too.) There are lots of pros and cons to self employment, one is of course flexibility, but that isn’t always the case. I’ve said before that the business I’m in is dependant on the summer’s heat. So while in the winter time I’m able to leave early, take a couple of days of here and there, in the summer I have to work much longer hours and often bring much of it home at night. I’m not complaining. Far from it, but every time people think I’ve got it made, they’ve got no idea at the cost of that freedom they think they see.

Sorry I rambled a bit, it happens often. So at dinner one of them asked me, “How long were you in business before you thought you were successful?” My immediate response, “I still don’t. I’m hoping maybe next year.” And we laughed, but then he got serious again. “No, really. How long?”

I couldn’t answer that. And it’s bugged me all weekend. Everyone's definition of success is different. And my husband and I are very driven people, so as soon as we met one threshold (being able to pay bills), we set another for ourselves (being able to pay employees), then another (let’s open a branch office 4 hours away), and then so on and so on. Even now, 17 years into our business, we keep pushing ourselves to do more. I’m sure everyone that looks at us thinks we’re successful, but I don’t think him and I see it that way. We both believe that once you become complacent, that's when the problems start to happen.

I asked him the question and he said we’re not successful yet. :-) Knew he’d say that. Now there are reasons why we push ourselves so hard, but I’m SO not getting into that here. But it is true, everyone’s definition of success is different. It’s all based on what your goals were, how you met them, and even your background. I believe I’m successful in my life, but not because of my business. I have a wonderful husband, my little girl is about the coolest thing on the planet, great friends and family that I love and adore. My child isn’t sick and I’m healthy so I know I should be here to raise her and I don’t have to worry too much about paying my bills. Although with gas prices, you never know. :-) Plus I get to pursue my dream of writing professionally. For me all of that is successful and I am grateful everyday for that. What is your idea of success?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Long time, No Post

Yes, I know I haven’t been around in a while. I haven’t even been lurking. Just started going back on looking at Leah’s blog. Real job has been keeping me busy with a vengeance.

Not much new in the writing front. Working on my third read through for the author I mentioned before. I haven’t asked her permission to mention her name yet, so I’ll refrain until I ask. I hope that I’m giving her good feedback on her work. I’ve really enjoyed this and her stories are great. I’m amazed at how quickly she is able to produce such varied works.

I was checking my emails this morning and came across an interesting article on man vs. woman language. Here’s the link. Interesting perspective on what men say and what it really means. Working with mostly men, I can say the article is pretty accurate. My only complaint is that my husband NEVER cleaned during the early part of our relationship. He does now, but that’s after years of being together. And as he tells it, he’s finally out of the mid life crisis that started when he was 16. At least that’s what he tells the guys.

What is the biggest difference in what a man says and what he really means?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tag, I'm it.

Leah tagged me, so here it is:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago I was planning my wedding to my husband. We had been living in sin, according to a large portion of my family, for the last seven and a half years. But we wanted to have a great big party with our wedding and had finally gotten ourselves in the position to pay for it. It was a blast.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?

For work today: Get my VPN set up correctly for my other office. Go to the bank, try to clean desk some, pay bills. Deposit my credit card transactions, get square footages done on files for commissions for payroll this week.

Pick up Miss M, return library books, pick up and drop off dry cleaning, and if I can swing it, get her and my hair cut this afternoon. Oh, and I’m in the middle of rearranging her bedroom and organizing her toys, so hopefully get her books sorted and one box of toys sorted into: keeping, trash, and donate.

Oh yeah, plus fold three loads of laundry waiting to be folded and hopefully get two more loads washed tonight.

3. Snacks I enjoy.

I’m in a wedding later this year, so trying to shed the pounds the steroids gave me. (allergy problems) So lately my snacks have been rice cakes, which there is a lot of flavors now. Plus I have found some dark chocolate pudding cups that are only 100 calories. Yum.

4. Places I’ve lived, in no particular order.
Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. Military brat.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

Oh, that’s a hard one. Too many things I’d like to do. Most certainly help my sisters out with some of their needs. Set up trust funds for my child and my nieces and nephews. Hire someone else in my office to help cover me so I can take an extended vacation in Europe. Probably take my family on a really cool vacation to Disney World (lots of young children) or a Disney Cruise.

Once reality set in then I would donate some time and money to my two favorite charities. Make a Wish and St. Jude’s.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Advanced Reader

Okay, okay. My wonderful friend Leah has sent me a few reminders to post. So hear it is.

I’ve been quite busy lately. I haven’t even been able to read up on my regular posts. For Shame!

I’m in a seasonal business and the hotter it gets the busier I get. Plus I’m working with a couple of IT guys developing some new software for my office, plus trying to be able to work from the new server remotely for my other office, which in three weeks has to be ready to go. I have to go to the other office (4 hours away or 5 for other people's driving speed) and install the new system. And I’m only half qualified to do it. So I’m crash course learning VPNs and a bit of networking. WAY over my head. But I think I may be able to pull it off. I’ll let you know.

Writing front – not much is happening on the actual writing. Got some things worked out in my head of how I’m going to point A to B to C and then to D for my story. I think I have something solved in my head , but I need to send Leah an email and ask her opinion. :)

However, I have some exciting news. In one of the classes I signed up for, during the intro’s I came across a published author that I had read quite a bit of. I shouted out to her to say “Hi, I like you work” and etc. without sounding too geeky. Not sure if I accomplished that but she did write back so I think I did okay. Anyways, we got to chatting and I offered up to be a sounding board for some stories she’s working on and she said she was looking for an advance reader. She has SIX books due to various publishers this year. I jumped at the chance and read the first three chapters of one these books and she liked my notes. Are they called note? Edits? Crits? What do you guys call them for advance readers?

So I’m an advanced reader now. YEAH!!!! I think this is a huge learning opportunity for me. It’s taken a lot of my writing time, but I think it will be so worth it. Maybe if I can do a good job on someone else’s stuff, once I get to a finished manuscript I’ll be able to look at my own work with that critical of an eye. Hopefully.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Warped Sense of Humor

I work under a ton of stress. Fast paced office, phones ringing on end, dealing with the dramas that are inevitable in an office environment, salesmen always trying sell me on the newest and greatest things that my company cannot live without (We usually can.) are just another thing that keeps me from doing ‘my real job’. And that's just the day job, not the mother and wife stuff or the writing stuff which is truly a second and third job. So what do I do to relieve stress?

I find things to laugh about. I have a completely twisted and warped sense of humor, including an odd way of looking at things that just adds to my cynicism. Everyone around me knows it. And most of my email/ blog/ internet friends get glimpses of it. At least I hope they do!

So my BD was a week and a half ago and my sister mailed my present. There were some problems with the shipping and it arrived here yesterday. I opened the box and it said knife set. I was SO upset. Hubby got me a really nice one for Christmas and I felt horrible trying to find a way to tell my sister I already had one. She knows how I like my cool kitchen gadgets. But I hated the thought she spent money on something I didn’t need. So I go through and opened the box that it’s in and find a delightful surprise.

Isn’t that too funny? It's called The Ex Knife Holder. Completely in line with my sense of humor. I love it so much that I don’t think I’m going to take it home. I want to keep it in my office. Maybe a warning to the salesmen and the guys that like to come annoy me?

What’s one of the funniest gifts you ever received?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The work front has been interesting this past week. It seems that anything that I actually have plugged in went on the fritz. It’s been a hassle and after today I’m finally seeing the light at the end. I have office staff issues, and then we have some litigation issues that are ‘no brainers’ for anyone with common sense, but that is the beauty of bureaucracy, you don’t have to have common sense. Plus I'm still trying to work out the bugs in my new database system. So I guess I'm juggling a lot right now. :)

The writing front was good. I’m a bit behind though. My BD was this past weekend and my husband threw a party for me. It was a blast, I hadn’t laughed so hard in quite a while. But it did cut into my writing. I had two really productive days and then nothing. But that leads me into my next thought.

I’m about ready to hit 25K words and I want to treat myself, very big into Positive Reinforcement. (I have a child; let me tell you Bribery works!) Now I don’t want anything fancy or big, just a little something to push myself, something that I can use to drive me to hit the next 25K.

A couple of years ago my friend Candace Havens talked about how she decided to treat herself to songs on her iPod. I have to say I like that idea. I haven’t taken my iPod out of my truck in months. So I really could use some new songs.

What do you do to reward yourself?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My new website is up and running. It is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Thank you Leah for doing yours and inspiring me to get off my duff and do mine. Rae Monet has created a truly inspiring piece of work. I’m telling you, it has totally kicked me into gear about my writing. I put up my word count on the blog and I can’t wait to write more and account for how much I’ve written.

So this week so far I’ve only written about 500 words. Last night I was really stuck on the scene structures. And I’d already skipped over this bit once so now I really have to do it. Not pretty writing, but nuts and bolts placement type of thing. I knew where I wanted it to go, just not quite sure how the characters where going to get there. They really do have minds of their own. And the story elapses in just a week to ten day period, so a lot has to happen in a very short amount of time. I was having problems getting the tidbits of information out in the best order.

As I sat there and pondered the scenes I got frustrated. Deciding I needed sleep, I went to soak in the tub. I typed up about five or six questions I needed worked out really big and propped it up next to the tub faucets. As I sat in the tub I just looked at my page and magic happened after that. The scenes just flowed in my head. Maybe it was the water. Maybe it was the list of questions. Who knows, I just hope it happens again the next time I get stuck.

What do you do when you need the muse to help you along?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Progress Report

It’s Sunday here and Little Miss M is watching “Alvin and the Chipminks” while I’m in my office trying to catch up on my writing. Real job got in the way a lot last week. Margie Lawson’s class is over and I’m frustrated with myself for missing most of the last half. No matter how much I tell myself that my WIP still isn’t ready for that deep of scrutiny yet.

I found a couple more courses that I’m going to take in the next month. Both are given by very good writers. The first is April 14 , 2008- May 11, 2008, "Getting it Right. Real-Life Detail for your FBI Law Enforcement Hero/Heroine" with Rae Monet. Here is the link if you are interested:

Rae is an extremely talented woman and versatile. She designed my soon to be website! If you are in the need of a new site, you should look at her work. Beautiful doesn’t come close to describing her work.

Oh, the other class I signed up for is Writing Erotica with Angela Knight and now I can’t find the link, but here is their website: They offer online courses all year long. If you get time check out her blog: Truly inspiring.

Now for something completely different. (Can you tell I like Monty Python?)

My real job has me hip deep in business all day. And it happens I know quite a bit about accounting, business legal, taxes, banking and general day to day operations. Now I’m not a certified accountant or anything but if you need someone with general information for a story you are working on feel free to send me your questions. It turns out I know quite a bit. I just never thought of it like that until I was helping one of my crit partners. So ask away!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Writing Front

Well, it’s been a week since I last blogged and a nice little reminder came from my dear friend Leah telling me it’s time. :-)

On the ‘real job’ front we got to write a radio ad for the first time. It was wild to see how much of my ‘writing life’ influenced the cutting necessary for the time slot. Now if I can only do that to all my writing rambling.

I’ve written about 2,500 words this last week. Not what I’d like to put out, but it’s a start. My life was chaos over spring break and I’m slowly starting to catch up. I’m about 18,000 words into it so I’ve got a long way to go and some major editing. I’ve taken two courses this spring and I have to tell you it was the best $60 I’ve ever spent.

Understanding and Crafting Sexual Tension by Mary Buckham and Empowering Characters' Emotions with an Introduction to her EDITS system by Margie Lawson. Both course are wonderful and have taught me SO much. Margie is doing a full Deep EDITS course in May and I truly want to take it, but I don’t know how much the ‘real job’ will let me.

So for now I need to keep writing and get the story fleshed out. Hopefully, I’ll be able to apply the wealth of knowledge presented to me in these two courses. I completely rewrote the first chapter and I have to say it is much better, still needs editing, but I can start seeing a light at the end of that tunnel. I think my CPs will be happier with me too!

Any writers out there that took a course that completely changed how they wrote? Or how they looked at writing and were able to move forward by leaps and bounds?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First Real Blog

Well, here I am crawling into the new technology. Nearly all of my friends have Blogs and I have been resistant to move forward. Probably because I'm always afraid of typing something that sounds funny in my head but offensive to someone reading it. Especially if that person doesn't know me and my warped sense of humor. : ) So anyone out there that reads this I don't set out to offend. Be nice when you disagree.

So, why I am here? Because I'm a writer. It's in the blood I think. I've always created stories in my head. Form of escapism it said in my Pysch Book in college. But I love stories, and the things the characters do. My favorite books are always the ones that just suck you into the world and make you lose yourself and picture yourself in that world or even in that person. I've been reading everything I could get my hands on since I can remember.

Fantasy has always been my steadfast favorite, but I have to admit that some of my friends have totally got me hooked on the newer breed of romance. And I say 'I have to admit' because I was raised in a house where the significant female read those books where the weak female was rescued by the big burly man and everything went happily ever after. So I refused to read them. Now don't get me wrong, I like the HEA and you know I like the big burly man (you should see my SO), but the weak female? No way! Sorry. I can't do that. Most of the women I know are far stronger than that and That is what I want to read about. S0 now I can.

And now I'm hooked. Love reading the romances. Apparently my muse does too, a few months ago a romantic suspense story came into my head and it just won't leave until I write it all. And better yet, I can see more stories stemming from this one. Oh, the wicked things I have planned for those characters!

I'm not published yet, my craft hadn't been quite there yet. There is a difference in telling a story and writing a novel as I quickly learned when I attempted my first novel. But I have excellent critique partners who have helped me immensely and I have taken some courses and I already can see the difference in how I write and how I structure the story. My goal is to have my current WIP finished, edited, polished and presentable by the end of the year.

So have fun and keep an eye on me. Pretty soon I will have a new website too. Look at me, gaining on the technology highway.