Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Conference Crud

I never get sick.  Or at least, it's a rare thing for me to get sick.  I can't even remember the last time I was ill.  I guess because we had a small business and went to a small gym, I wasn't exposed all that much?  Shrug.  Even when I went to writer's conferences, I'd hear about other people getting sick, but I never did.

Never say never.

I was feeling a bit crappy on Sunday, but put it down to exhaustion from the non-stop workshops and the horror (to me) that is air travel these days.  By Monday, I realized I had a cold.  No big deal, right.  Yesterday, I was a bit worse, but still doing ok.  Then last night I was up all night coughing and hacking and wheezing and using tissue.  This morning I'm bleary and congested and aching and... sick.  Duh.

The conference crud has struck.

I have to avoid both my elderly parents - don't want to get them sick.  And tonight is Halloween, and I can't even hand out candy - don't want a bunch of sick little kids.  I had planned to sit outside with Libby my Boxer puppy and Lonnie my husband, but that's not gonna happen.  I'll be luck to get some writing done today.  Sigh.

Keeping my fingers crossed this doesn't turn into anything worse.  One lady who was at the conference had it move into her chest and turn into bronchitus.  Yikes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Avoided - Home Again!

I am back in Texas.  I got out of White Plains, NY yesterday (Sunday).  The flight was packed, as was the next one I took out of Phillie.  It wasn't raining yet, but Hurricane Sandy was on her way.

I enjoyed my time there.  Here is the view from my hotel window. 

Oh, and here's another (how I wanted to go walking in that neighborhood, but couldn't as I didn't want to miss the workshops.)

The conference was fun and amazing.  By Saturday, people were changing flights to get out of there before the hurricane.  My flights were full and I made it home around 3 pm yesterday.

I was so exhausted I went to bed at 8pm and slept until 6 this morning. 

But now I'm getting caught up, praying for those in Sandy's path, and then I plan to go through my notes.  I have TONS of notes.  I have some work to do on social media, plus theres a work in progress just waiting for me to get back to it.

So I shall.  But wanted to stop in here and let you know I made it back.  Yay!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back East!

I am currently in White Plains, NY at the Novelists, Inc. conference.  Yesterday - just about all day - was a travel day for me.  I had a layover in Phillie, then a prop plane ride her to White Plains.  On the shuttle ride to the hotel, I got to see a lot of fall foliage - OMG how I've missed that.  And I can see some from my hotel room.  Makes me long to get out and about - if my husband was here with me, we'd probably have rented a car and stayed longer so we could drive around and explore the area.  So beautiful!

And this conference.  One day under my belt, and what a day!  I've learned so much and heard from so many people in the industry!  I've got two more days - I fly home Sunday morning - and am sure I'll be chock full of info!   Loving it.  Best.  Conference.  Ever.  Well worth every penny.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Yesterday I worked all day on Line Edits for my next Nocturne The Wolf Prince (out in April 2013). 

Yesterday my Mom was told that her cancer still has not spread out of her pancreas - the Chemo is working at keeping it at bay!

Today my husband left before eight to drive to Conroe, TX to attend the funeral of his Aunt Ethel, one of the sweetest people I've ever met.  I couldn't go because I not only have to watch the dogs, but I have to pack for my trip tomorrow.  My flight leaves at 8:30 am. 

Today I am packing.

It's been funny thinking about what to wear.  At first, I agonized over dress slack and blouses, and then on the conference email loop, everyone started talking about what they were wearing.  Jeans and colored jeans and Chico Travelers pants.  Sneakers and flats.  Sweaters and comfy clothes.  Since I'm a Taurus, comfort is VERY important to me.  While I don't have any Chico's and can't really run to the mall right now, I do have jeans.  And colored jeans.  So packing is going to me MUCH easier.

I can't wait to get started!

And the weather.  Yesterday here in Texas it was nearly 90.  Hot and humid and I was not amused.  In New York, the high's will be in the low 60's - much, much, much better for me.  I do love me some Autumn. 

Though it's going to be a long travel day (one hour layover in Phillie), I'm looking forward to having the room all to myself - a treat, even though I'm going to miss seeing my friend Stephanie Doyle.  She had to cancel for personal reasons.  I'll also miss my husband and my three dogs.  Sniff. Sniff.

Other than that, I'm ready to go!  Lot's of stuff to learn, other writers to see and mingle with, so I can come home educated and inspired and ready to get back to work writing! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, Monday. Can't Trust That Day

Here we are.  Monday again.  I had a lovely start to the weekend - we went to the lake on Friday and that night had our very first camp fire of 2012.

The temperature was lovely - high sixties, so comfortable for sitting outside and relaxing. 

Even as it got darker, it never got really cold. 

While at the lake, I realized there is a feral dog living in the cove.  The lake is down and most of the cover is completely dry.  I saw the dog footprints in the muck and then I saw the dog.

I even got out binoculars.  It appears to be a purebred German Shepherd female who has had puppies at some point, though not recently as her teats didn't appear full of milk.  She's living in some tall (over six foot) rushes at one end of the cove.  One of the other residents around the cove is feeding her, though I can still see her ribs.  She is terrified of people.  It looked like the person who is feeding her also has a huge live trap set and I'm thinking he's going to start moving her food bucket closer and closer to the trap until it's inside it.  I watched her walk through the water (up to her belly!) and across the cove to eat. 

For a dog lover like me, this is torture.  I hope she will be okay.  I wish I could get a rescue group out there to use a tranquiler gun or something and trap her.  Otherwise, I fear she will not make it over the winter.  And since I won't be down there next weekend, I won't know how it goes.

And more - my husband's aunt Ethel passed away on Saturday from a massive heart attack.  I won't be able to attend the funeral as I've already purchased plane tickets to fly to White Plains, NY for the Novelist's Inc conference.  I did order flowers this morning.  Aunt Ethel was a kind hearted lady and will be sorely missed. 

I also got edits for The Wolf Prince which will be out in April 2013.  I got them now, right before I go to the conference, but they appear to be line edits, which are easier than regular edits/revisions.  I'm glad, since I did all those back in May. 

Today is also the day my mom finds out the results of her latest CT Scan and learns if the cancer has spread.  Praying for good news on that front.  Her platelets got really low from the Chemo and she had to have a blood transfusion on Friday.   Your prayers would be appreciated!

So I've got to pack and do edits and try not to worry or stress.  Wish me luck, please.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time Flies

Wow, it's nearly been a week since I posted here.  I've had to do some revisions to the 40,000 words I had written on the new Pack book  and until I did them, I couldn't move forward with new material.  I finally completed those (took a week) and now I can go back to just writing.  Whew.

The weather here has been odd.  Hot (up to 87 one day) and cooler (down to 50 one morning), which I love.  Overcast a lot, but very little rain. 

I'm getting ready to go to the Novelists, Inc. (NINC) Conference next week in White Plains, NY.  I did a little shopping with my daughter last Saturday - we had so much fun!  We met for lunch at Pei Wei, then went to a wine tasting at World Market (yes, I bought far too many bottles of wine), and then we headed to Southlake Town Center.  She bought a new Coach purse at the Coach store. I'm so envious - it's beautiful, soft butterly leather in an Oxblood color.  We went to Loft and I got a shirt for the conference (on the clearance rack - 40% off the sale price, even!).  And finally, I made a trip to Victoria's Secret, where I used several coupons and rewards.  Great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday!

So now I'm recharged and rejuvinated and ready to write. 

Speaking of writing - a shout out to my best friend Anna Adams, who recently made an amazing writing goal by sheer force of will (and sleepless nights!)  I'm so proud of her!

Oh, and the sequel to The Passage by Justin Cronin - The Twelve - came out today and hit my Kindle (I had preordered it!)  Since I just finished re-reading The Passage, I'm ready to dive right into that book.  I can't wait!  I know what I'll be reading on the plane!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Blogging

Today, I'm a guest blogger over at

You should check it out - they're a fun bunch of writers over there, as evidenced by the title!

On another note, Thursday is the 25th anniversary of the day my wonderful husband proposed to me!  We always celebrate this day, and often go to the hotel bar/restaurant where he got down on one knee.

Such fun!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finally Autumn

This morning when I got up, it was 40 degrees outside!  Yesterday, it never got above 54.  Saturday's high was 57.  To me, that's autumn.

We went to the Legacy Boxer Rescue's fund raiser on Saturday.  Mums and Roses, it's called.  I brought my little girl Boxer Libby.  This was her first outing among other dogs and people (I waited way too long), and she did well.  She does a bit of submissive urinating at first, but she was wiggly and happy to see other people - especially kids.  She greeted several other dogs, though there was one other female that growled at her and she growled back.

I got some beautiful mums.

I can't wait until they open.

This kind of weather makes me happy.  Yesterday I made a chicken, sweet potato, and collard green soup.  It's one of our favoritesand it always turns out yummy.

It's a lot of chopping (it also has onions and celery), but it's worth it.  I made such a huge pot, we'll be having it for dinner again tonight.

Usually, I make a loaf of homemade bread, but this time I splurged and bought garlic pull-apart bread at Super Target.  It too was delicious.

And now, completely revitalized and rejuvinated, I can start back to work on my book.  Fantastic weekends have a way of making everything better.  As does cooler weather.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Writing Musings

My friend Stephanie Doyle talks about her current book, Harlequin Superromance One Final Step over on the blog   She makes the point that this time, her hero Michael translated to the page exactly the way she envisioned him in her head.  (BTW, One Final Step got a Top Pick and 4.5 stars from Romantic Times!  Buy this book!

I am envious.  Because that's exactly what I'm fighting with now on my current WIP, Broken Wolf.  The hero of this book Lucas Kenyon, is the Broken Wolf.  For various reasons, he's damaged.  He trusts no one, not even the heroine Blythe Daphne, even though he feels compelled to rescue her.  And then help her save her daughter. 

Pretty cool setup, right?  Yet even though I'm 32,000 words and 153 pages in, he's not translating from MY head to the page the way he needs to.  I want dark, dangerous, damaged, and sexy as hell.  I don't think I'm writing him that way.  So what does this mean?  Revisions.  Yes, I'll have to go back and fix this and make him appear on paper the way he appears in my head.  I'll need to do this before I send the book to my editor on December 1.

This is not an easy task, non-writer people.  (Writers already know this).  Writers like me and like Stephanie have am inner vision of how these people look, how they act, what they have buried deep inside them.  When we write the book, we try our best to make sure we get that on paper so the reader can see this person the same way we see them. 

When I write  a first draft, I try to get the story on paper as quickly as I can.  I try to be mindful of word choices and character growth and scene and structure and all that other B.S., but I want the reader to fall in love with my hero.  To want to be my heroine.  Sometimes I'm lucky enough to pull that off.  Other times, not so much. 

My main problem right now seems to be I keep thinking about the hero from the book I just turned in, The Millionaire Cowboy's Secret, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense that will be out in May 2013.  I keep mixing up the names even - which is NOT good.  The hero from that book Matt Landeta, really resonated with me.  So did the heroine.  And I'm having trouble letting them go. 

So back to the current book I'll go.  I need to up the tension between the two characters, but mainly I need to make sure they translate from my head to the page. 

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Next month is our 25th wedding anniversary (we just had our 30th dating anniversary!)  Because it is such a special one, we are going to one of our favorite places on earth - Las Vegas.  We have a budget and I looked into several All Inclusive type beach thingees, but we're not much for sand and surf and heat.  Europe is just out of our budget range.  And the places we love up north are too cold in November.  We just did a cruise last year, and haven't been to Vegas in two years (last went in 2010), so it's Vegas, baby!

I'm really excited.  I've made reservations at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on our anniversary night.  I've purchased the airfair tickets.  Made reservations to board the dogs.  

I've even booked time off in my writing schedule.  So we're good to go.  I'm looking forward to my annual huge Margarita at El Diablo.  And dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.  

 Oh, and gambling.  I enjoy that occasionally too! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday and October

It's finally October and this morning it actually felt like Autumn.  When I walked, it was only 61 degrees outside and sunny.  Lovely!

We went to the lake this weekend.  It started raining Friday night and was still raining Sunday when we left.  That area got nearly 4 inches of rain - and they needed it!  Even our small cove had a noticable rise in water.

I enjoyed it tremendously.  On Saturday morning, it was a steady, soft type of rain.  We have a covered patio, so we sat outside and drank our coffee.   Lovely and cool and so relaxing.

By Saturday afternoon, it started to pour.  And the wind began to blow.  So we had to move into the camper.  The dogs weren't too thrilled, but I was.  I wrote and I read.  All day.

It was very refreshing.  And I loved it.  I'm re-reading The Passage to get ready for the release of the sequel The Twelve later this month.  I have it on pre-order for my Kindle. 

Of course, now I'm home.  I had laundry to do and groceries to buy - I got that all done yesterday.  Today is catching up on emailes, I have a blog I need to do for EHarlequin, and I made a huge crockpot full of beef stew.  I can smell it simmering all the way upstairs in my office.   I'm going to make homemade bread too.  Perfect fall fair.