Archive for the 'Life' Category



Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
Quick Update

I’ve been in my cave editing Witch Heart and finishing up Witch Fury this week. I have tons of work right now. It’s hard because it’s summer and a mild one at that. I want to be outside. So I’m getting up early and staying up late to work. That way the bulk of the day is mine to do with as I wish.

Today it’s beeeeeautiful, so I’ll probably spend a large of chunk of it outside with my daughter, who just got a new slide. She’s crazy about it. She calls it her Wheeeee! 😉 Tomorrow it’s going to be very hot, so I might take her to the pool. We have a pool in our backyard, but the public pool is graduated in depth, like a beach would be. So much easier for the little ones.

Soon I’ll be starting a novella that will introduce a new series I’ll be starting after the Elemental Witches series is finished. This novella will be included in an anthology to be released in October 2009. The other authors will be Angela Knight, Lora Leigh and Allyson James. Think I’m happy to be included in an anthology with such an absolutely fantastic group of writers? Er….trust me, I made the squee heard ’round the world when my agent called asking me if I wanted to be included. I don’t know the title yet or many of the details, but I’m sure more info will be coming soon.

A couple announcement/housekeeping type things:

I’m planning to draw a winner for my contest (see below) this evening, so if you’re going to enter, get your patoochie down there and do it. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Also, did you know I’m on Facebook? I love Facebook, guys. I’m not so much an ardent fan of Myspace (but, BOY, I get a lot of personal notes from readers through MySpace). I’m not a monster promoter in general, and especially not on Facebook. I just hang and play with some of the applications. I won’t be trying to fling my books at you on there or anything. So, if you want to friend me, go ahead!

Okay, now for a monster promotion. Heh. Way to make a liar out of myself. Look for a really big month-long contest on this blog starting in early September. I’m still working out the details, but it’s going to work something like this — a chance to win free books every single day from some of the authors I love, (you should see my shopping cart on Amazon.com right now as I prepare). There will also be some rocking, HUGE, prizes at the end of the month (think awesome gift certificates) to coincide with the release of The Chosen Sin on October 7th. More details coming soon.

Lastly, check out DaneHart.com! Megan Hart and Lauren Dane have teamed up to blog together. I’m sure the results will be hilarious and entertaining.

Now I’m off to play in the sunshine!

Friday, July 11th, 2008
The Typical Writer’s Cycle of Anxiety

Well, this is my personal cycle of anxiety, anyway. The creation of a novel brings with it a roller coaster of emotion.

I start research on a new novel. There is excitement! Geeky joy! The glomming of lots of new books to read in order to help me build my world! Yay! Yayayayayayayay!

During the plotting stage — more happy, happy, joy, joy! The creation of new characters? Bliss! Discovering their pasts and all the deep, dark secrets that drive them throughout the book? Wheee!

I start the novel and look forward to writing every day. I luuuuurve it with a passion that gets me up from my fluffy bed at six every morning to write before my tornado, er, daughter wakes up. There are occasional bouts of dark ohmygodthisSUCKSandeveryonewillhateit.

I finish the first draft and go into the editing stage, which is intensive for me. Happy, happy, yet far more frequent incidences of ohmygodthisSUCKSandeveryonewillhateit.

I complete all revisions (which take me almost as long as writing the first draft) and send it off to my editor. I’m satisfied with my story and the way I told it. It could be no other way, after all. *shrug* I feel I have done justice to my characters. Yayayayayayayayay!!! *drinks champagne with husband*

First round of edits from editor arrives. I realize that while I can change sentence structure and move paragraphs around, ect, I can’t make any major changes to the book. Eeek! Anxiety sets in. Lots of ohmygodthisSUCKSandeveryonewillhateit. Lots and lots of second guessing myself.

Final proofreading stage. Same dealio as edits, except I have talked myself into my zen place now, so I’m feeling better about the whole thing.

Book release. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Lots of joy! My book is out there and people are reading it. Ohmygod…my book is out there and people are reading it? Eeeeeeeeeeek! What if everyone hates it? What if it totally sucks? Ack! Blarg! Blargity blarg blarg blarg! *vomits in trashcan* And yet…my anxiety is also mixed with this euphoria born of having my story out there in print.

Gradually the anxiety fades back into peacefulness as I see that not everyone hates my books *wipes sweat from brow* Whew! I mean, I can’t expect to please everyone but most people seem to be enjoying it. And all is well. S’okay. Zen place is found once more.

And the cycle starts again.

Welcome to a peek inside my head. Scary, huh? 😉

This post brought to you by the first round of edits on Witch Heart.

Friday, June 27th, 2008
*sigh*

Cupcakes are my kyptonite. I fall to my knees and am powerless against a chocolate with buttercream frosting.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008
Thursday Morning Blather

The heating and air conditioning guys are here bright and early for the second day of the installation of our new central air/heat pump. Yesterday they spent about eight hours ripping out what seems like the guts of our house and installing vent/duct work (new veins?) in the two rooms created by the renovation we did to the house over Christmas. Today apparently they’re finally actually installing all the new guts and finishing off the vent/duct work.

The latter will make me very happy because since yesterday afternoon we’ve had two more or less open holes leading into the crawl space and that made me wake up in the middle of night on the sudden thought, Oh, my god, there are brown recluse crawling up from the bowels of house! Heh. This is brown recluse country, but I have ample reason to believe we are brown recluse free. That was just middle of the night paranoia.

The sad part is that we probably won’t even use the air conditioning all that much for a while. I told my husband last night, “Yeah, but I looked at the weather and it’s only going to be 90 tomorrow!” His face looked like this: :- / I’m more of an environmentalist than he is. We got through all of last summer with no air conditioning. I only turn on the air if it’s really, really HOT and 90 is not really, really HOT to me because I have sure fire strategies of keeping the house much cooler than that during the day (it helps that we have lots of trees shading our house). If the heat index gets up into the mid to high 90s, then I relent.

See, every time I turn on the air conditioning I think of all the polar bears who don’t have any ice to stand on and that’s pretty much enough of an image for me to suffer a little bit of heat. I tend to drive as little as possible too. It’s not the gas prices deterring me, (though they definitely help). I’ve always kept my driving to a minimum by avoiding unnecessary trips and planning out my errand running in the most effective way possible.

This weekend, Renaissance Festival! Yay! I love me some Ren Fest.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
Oh, Cinderella…

We watched Cinderella a few days ago and now my daughter is ALL ABOUT that movie. Shes always fishing it out of the DVDs and bringing to me. When I try to put a different DVD in, she says No! Sssss MORE, PEAS! (That means “More Cinderella, please.”)

Cinderella is not my personal fave of all the Disney princesses, although she’s much less wishy washy than I thought she was. Cinderella is not all content with her lot in life, even if she doesn’t do much to change it. She’s even a bit sarcastic upon occasion. And at the end she’s really doing all she possibly can to get downstairs and try on that damn slipper. My favorite part as a child was always the bibbity, bobbity, boo and this part (along with the mice, I suspect) is also my daughter’s favorite part.

Anyway, we’re on the second showing of Cinderella today alone. Oy.

I hope as she gets older she’ll like Mulan. She’s by far my favorite Disney “princess”.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Sichuan Province and Myanmar Again

They’re sort of falling out of the news at this point, (especially Myanmar, thanks to the government). Everyone’s on to the next thing, but there are still many people in dire circumstances in both places. I read yesterday that 5 million people in China are now homeless.

Half the Sky has reported that in Sichuan Province, Mianyang (close to the earthquake’s epicenter) has become a major place for refugees. According to what they’ve been told, the whole center area of their stadium has been reserved for just toddlers and infants.

Half the Sky says that of the 24 surviving children who were brought to the Mianyang Zitong SWI social welfare institute (an orphanage) from the collapse of Xiao Ba Primary School, only 13 were reunited with their parents. Apparently this is a good thing, though, because they were all thought to be orphaned when they took them there. (ack)

There are some pictures here. And here’s the HTS daily journal. Again, you can give to their Earthquake Fund here.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Eh.

My daughter is getting her two year molars and is not happy. When she’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy (ain’t nobody getting sleep, either). *falls face first onto keyboard* Zzzzzz.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
One Star Reviews

Why am I displaying my bad reviews from Amazon.com in this blog? Well, it started over here where John Scalzi posts snippets of his one star reviews from Amazon, then issues a challenge to other authors to do the same. Rachel Caine took it up. See? So, I thought, HEY!, all the cool kids are doing it and it’s not like I don’t have some one star reviews to choose from. Heh.

Bad reviews are part of the writing life. It’s not like I expect everyone who picks up my books to like them. People come to their reading with different perspectives, different life experiences. All that stuff colors their reading of the book. Reviews are opinions, nothing more and nothing less. Everyone is entitled to theirs.

I’m very self-critical, (I’m MUCH harder on myself than anyone else is), so if a negative review is well thought out I almost always find a place to agree with the reviewer. I try to learn from those particular negative reviews and make my next book free of the errors the reviewer has said I’ve made. (However, being human, I probably just make different errors.) A good review will make me smile broadly for two hours. A bad review will make me depressed for two days, but I try to use them as a learning tool.

In the end, bad reviews make the good ones all the sweeter. And luckily I have far more good reviews than bad.

So, with no further ado, here are some of my all time greatest hits from Amazon.com. I didn’t have a whole lot of one star reviews, so I took the two stars too.

Witch Fire

One star — “Not romance, not erotica, basically porn – what little plot there is exists to connect the sex scenes, note I didn’t say love making scenes. Altogether distasteful and I won’t waste money on this author again.”

Two star — “The writing was rather…Blah. Not awful, but sort of boring.”

Two star — “I was disappointed in this novel. I found it difficult to get into and kept putting it down.”

And Lady Makes Three

One star: “I was gullible enough to follow an Amazon recommendation on this one; it turned out to be on of my biggest mistakes. I wish I could give less than a star.”

Blood of the Raven

Two stars — “I would have given this book a 1 except it did have a plot. I like my books a little “steamy” but this is a little hard core for me.”

Seasons of Pleasure: Summer and Autumn

Two stars — “I am a big fan of fantasy and romance. My favorite thing about both these genres is the nice escape from everyday life they usually provide. This book did more to annoy me than relax me. The prose style is belabored and switches between “fantasy” and modern style intermittently. Characters are hollow despite the repetition of supposedly meaningful backstory. The author uses the same expressions over and over again, especially during sex scenes. Dialogue feels inauthentic and is ultimately unconvincing. A very unsatisfying read.”

Seasons of Pleasure: Winter & Spring

One Star — Style hasn’t improved from the first in the series. “I am a big fan of fantasy and romance. My favorite thing about both these genres is the nice escape from everyday life they usually provide. This book did more to annoy me than relax me. The prose style is belabored and switches between “fantasy” and modern style intermittently. Characters are hollow despite the repetition of supposedly meaningful backstory. The author uses the same expressions over and over again, especially during sex scenes. Dialogue feels inauthentic and is ultimately unconvincing. A very unsatisfying read.”

Anya says — same reviewer as the one above it, obviously. She read the books in the wrong order.

I own these bad reviews. I revel in them. If I could I would turn them into sudsy soap bubbles and take a bath in them. (Er? Did I just say that out loud?) Point is they are part of the glorious trip of being a writer. If you can’t suck it up and accept your bad reviews as part of your journey, then you should get out of this business.

Okay, I’m challenging authors too. Bring out the baddies! Let your Bad Flag fly! I want to see all your one/two star reviews. Own them, babies. Embrace the failure and make it yours.