Friday, March 30, 2007

GCC Tour - I Take This Man by Valerie Frankel

It's Friday!!!!! Even better, I'm taking a day off work - well, the training job anyway. I've already critiqued a proposal this morning for a cp and have a synopsis to read for another cp and my own proposal to do plus one more pass on UNLUCKY. No rest for the weary. But hey, at least I will review the cp synopsis while getting a pedicure with the cp!!!! Can't discount the value of a great pedicure. Me and the cp's are attending a writing workshop tomorrow so today/tonight is writer's girl's night - fun, fun, fun!!!! I get to spend all day today and tomorrow talking about writing. Whoohoo!!!!!

For Friday, I'm going to leave you with a GCC tour:

I Take This Man by Valerie Frankel.

This book sounds really funny and I plan to pick it up myself. So enjoy! And I'll see you on Monday.

I TAKE THIS MAN by Valerie Frankel is a hilarious story of suspense, revenge and revelation, involving a bride, a groom, her mother and his father.

In I TAKE THIS MAN (Avon Trade Paperbacks, on sale: 3/27/07, ISBN:0060785551, $13.95) we are introduced to Penny Bracket, who has waited two years to marry her dream man, Bram Shiraz. Just as Penny’s putting on the final touches on her wedding day, she receives a note from her beloved that simply says, “Penny, I can’t go through with it. Sorry, Bram” Mortified, Penny is determined to figure out what went wrong, even if it kills her, or, preferably Bram.

Ester Bracket, Penny’s divorced mother wants Bram’s head on a platter. And she gets it: In a fit of maternal rage, Ester finds Bram as he’s packing to flee, knocks him out with a bottle of champagne, and kidnaps him to a secret room in her mansion in affluent Short Hares, New Jersey. Will Penny get the answers and revenge she’s after from Bram, who (as she may or may not discover) is locked in her attic? Will Bram’s widowed father, handsome tough guy Keith Shiraz locate his son and/or seduce Ester Bracket? Will Bram, athletic and regretful, escape both his wedding and his imprisonment in one piece? Find out in I TAKE THIS MAN.

Check out some reviews:

“Always wickedly entertaining!—People magazine

"Quite simply, Frankel makes reading a blast. No premise is too outlandish and no character is without a set a flaws. The plot [of ‘I Take This Man’ is cleverly kooky and not one many authors could realistically pull off. Frankel has an endless bag of tricks that seems to get deeper—and more hilarious—with every novel."—Romantic Times

About Valerie:

Valerie Frankel is a freelance writer who resides in Brooklyn, NY with her two daughters and husband. She contributes to many national magazines, including O, [Glamour], Allure, Self, and Parenting. She’s also been a featured writer for the New York Times Style section. [Val has written thirteen novels thus far, including The Accidental Virgin which has been optioned to become a movie starring Heather Graham, Smart Vs. Pretty, optioned to be made into TV show, and The Girlfriend Curse, nominated for a Quills award.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why Conferences?

Helen asked yesterday about conferences, so today, you're going to get my personal take on them - why go, what do you do and how do they help your writing career.

Why go? - Well, in the beginning, when you're doing the bulk of learning about technique, conferences are a fantastic place to essentially cram a year of learning into four days. RWA National Conference offer 5+ workshops every hour on different topics. The newer you are, the more there is to learn. Attend everything you possibly can before collapsing from exhaustion. Most of the workshops are given by published writers (or very highly skilled not-yet-published writers), so the knowledge base is definitely high.

Once you're more advanced, or have sold a book or more, you need less of the technique workshops that are offered, but you might gravitate more to the marketing workshops and learn a bit about how to increase book sales.

Publishers host workshops where the editors talk specifically about what they are looking for and the future plans for their company and its lines. This is a goldmine of information concerning market research and what is hot, what is not and what might be pretty soon.

There's also genre specific workshops - want to know how to write hot erotica? do you need to know everything about vampires? do you wonder what women's dress was in 1840 in England? If so, there's probably a class for you.

Next reason to go - networking. A lot of writers met their future agents/editors at conference and broke into the industry that way. Now, that's not to say that either of those professionals would take you on as a client if your work wasn't stellar, but if you've met someone face to face and they remember you, it might get you a faster read. In addition to agents/editors, conference is a goldmine of booksellers, librarians, publicists, web designers - just about any professional you might need in the field.

And then there's other writers. So many people meet their critique partners at conference. Why? Well, because you're attending a workshop on _______ and start talking to the woman next to you. You find you both write similar things and you hit it off personally, so you agree to exchange work - bingo, a cp is born. In my case, I picked up a fabulous new friend in the hot tub at the Dallas conference several years ago. We were both writing chick lit mystery at the time, both blonde, both accountants. We hit it off well and have remained friends ever since. In fact, that's the friend I mentioned dining with in Denver last week.

Then there's my out-of-town (and country) cp's and writing buds. Conference gives you a chance to hook up with people you love and may only see once a year. We spend TONS of time talking, catching up and in general having an absolutely awesome time. If you don't believe me - ask me about the gay karoake bar in Atlanta last year. :)

And as great as the things I've mentioned are (and there are literally tons of things I didn't mention that is great about conference) the most important thing I take away from conference is a renewed spirit and energy about my writing. Being around 2000+ writers (mostly high energy, dramatic women) is so uplifting it literally makes you itch to sit down and start writing your next book. I know some writers work in a vaccuum, but I don't know how or why you would want to. The company of other writers is what keeps me sane, focused and writing.

And if you can't afford the money/time/vacation days to attend conference, at least check out the conference cd available afterwards. Most of the workshops are taped and you can buy them on a single cd of mp3 files. So listen on your computer, translate them to seperate cd's and burn them or put them on your ipod and listen and learn.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday Movie Review

It's Horror week on Jana's blog and today's movie review is Dead Silence.
While this is certainly no big budget, stupendous horror movie, I liked it. It had decent creep factor - but then I've always thought dolls were sort of creepy anyway - much less if they start talking and walking about. I DO think they should have done more scenes with the dolls and that could have increased the creep factor significantly.
The plot was okay, no great masterpiece but not too stupid. I knew who the bad guy was from the moment they came on screen, but there was still a twist at the end that I didn't pick up on during the movie, so kudos to the writer/director for that one. Not a Sixth Sense kind of twist moment, but fairly interesting.

Altogether, if you are a horror movie fan (and not a picky one), you'll probably like this movie. God knows, I've seen a lot worse.

My final rating: Probably worth the matinee price - definitely worth a rental.

Monday, March 26, 2007

You Gotta Love Traveling

Sorry I skipped out on yall the end of last week. Got busy in Denver then United Airlines managed to send my blood pressure through the roof. Now, normally I don't fly United, I am an AA sort of gal, but United has a hub in Denver and you damned near can't get other flights in and out. So I was in on AA but out on United.

So I finished class early and thought I'd head to the airport and see if I could get on an earlier flight. So I go to the electronic checkin (I never check a bag for a two-day trip!) and it won't check me in. So I pick up the phone as instructed and the attendant tells me they need to ID me. Okay, I say, then send someone over. OH NOOOOOOOOOO, I've got to stand in line. Huh??????? YOU have the problem and want to ID me so I have to stand in line - something I never, EVER do when I'm flying AA??????? So a live attendent sends me to a line where I wait an hour before reaching the counter for the person there to tell me I'm in the wrong line.

I am now waaaaayyyyyy more than annoyed, but hey, you can't complain in an airport (God forbid) or no one will let you fly. It's like the Travel Mafia. So I stand in yet ANOTHER line for 30 minutes to find out that the entire mess is because they are looking for a terrorist with the same birthdate as mine - a middle-eastern MALE. Oh, I can see where the confusion might be. After all, middle-eastern males and blonde-haired, blue-eyed German women with D cups are confused for each other every day.

So of course, by the time I had to wait in all the lines, the seats on the earlier flight were all gone and I got to hang out in the airport for three more hours. To add insult to injury, there wasn't even an internet connection in United's cheap-ass terminall and no T-Mobile either. Have I mentioned that I hate United Airlines??????

Now, mind you, I don't have a problem with them looking for terrorists - by all means, please do. However, if one has the misfortune to be born on the same day as a terrorist, shouldn't an attendent come out and ID them? Why should customers have to wait through ridiculous lines over something they can't control. Not to mention that there's a HUGE problem with their tactic. Do you really think the terrorist would have waited in line??????????

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hangin' at the Airport

Guess who's on the road again? That's right - me. But hey, I'm not about to complain. I dodged a major bullet earlier this week. I originally had a client trying to get me to a last minute training in New Jersey that I ended up doing by webex from Dallas and you'll never guess what happened at the client's location............hell yeah, it snowed. :) I told my cp, Cindy, that this morning as I was driving to the airport and she said "well, of course it snowed. You were supposed to be there." I guess my concern is what I'm going to bring during the summer months???????

So I'm back to Denver for a couple of days, and hopefully there will be NO snow. I've seen enough snow in Denver to last a lifetime. The great part about this trip is that I'm having dinner tonight with a writing buddy that I haven't seen since Reno conference in 2005! She just signed with a fabulous agent for her YA novel and is fast approaching a sale. Hopefully, I'll good news to announce on her behalf here shortly. AND we're going to eat Italian - yum, yum, yum!

So are any of my faithful bloggers going to either of the two big conferences this year? RT Convention is in Houston and RWA Conference is in Dallas. I know some of you are up in Alaska, but I was hoping I'd get to meet some bloggers face to face. I will be at both conferences, so if anyone is attending, please let me know so I can arrange a time to meet and greet in person!

Oh well, must run - many things to do before boarding. Have a great Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday Movie Review - 300

I've seen several movies in the past months that I haven't blogged about but for the life of me, I can't think of them right now. So I'll blog about the one I saw this past weekend - 300.

This movie is killing at the box office. The numbers are off the charts and everyone is raving. When that happens, I usually cringe when I'm going to see the movie. They ever seem to quite live up to the hype for me. I have to say, though, that 300 probably lives up to the hype. Why do I say "probably?" Because, personally, I don't like war movies - no matter the century - and that colors my opinion of all of them. So I'm figuring for regular folk who don't mind a good war movie, they'll think this one was great.

The acting was great, the script was superb and the footage was done very well, if not allowing for a couple too many slow-mo beheadings. My only problem with these type of movies is that everyone dies. I spend 2+ hours forming a bond with someone that they kill off at the end - hence, my dislike of war movies.

My final rating: Better than Gladiator, but definitely not an HEA

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Morning

A strange thing happened to me on Friday night. My husband got home from work and asked me "what do you have going on this weekend?" So I thought for a minute, then a minute more, and finally realized I didn't have a single thing that I HAD to do. Needed to do, sure - ought to do, of course, but not a single HAD on the list. It's a miracle! And one that I'm pretty sure hasn't happened since sometime before October of last year.

So I had a fabulous weekend. Of course, I still got some things done - saw 300 (which I will probably talk about tomorrow), bought new cushions for my patio furniture - and why didn't anyone tell me how expensive patio furniture cushions were - egads! Formula 1 season opened Saturday night and Ferrari won - WHOOHOO! Went and visited my parents on Sunday - had Mexican food, drove around a bit and sat outside and chatted - very relaxing.

On Friday, Helen asked some questions about my writing process and I'm going to try and answer them here. Here's the first set:

How do you begin your novels? Do you write pages of character descriptions? Do up type "Chapter One", start with the story and see where the narriative will lead you? Do you list or outline any at all?

My answer: It's different every time and for every book. Remember, I'm going to hell in my own way and you have to find the way that works for you. :) Writing method is a completely personal thing and one writer's method has nothing to do with what another should do. You need to start somewhere if you want to write and through trying different methods, you will find the perfect fit for you. That being said, I begin my novels with a concept - HIGH concept - nothing else will sell. If you don't know what high concept is - start your research there. I never write character descriptions - my characters develop out of my plot. I never wrote outlines until I had to sell on proposal. And believe me, even a proposal outline is subject to change when you start writing the book.

No one should worry about writing method when they're starting. They should worry only about getting a high concept idea and learning writing technique. How you apply the technique will evolve over time and it will rarely remain stagnant. Good books to start with on writing technique are Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maas; Scene and Structure, Jack Bickham. And remember, it took me years of studying (and I mean 40+ hours a week) technique, before I produced a saleable novel. Ultimately, the only way to ensure you've learned from what you've read is to write and write and write and write - until you're good enough to sell.

Do you ever reach a roadblock about 1/3 of the way into a book? If so, what do you do then?

All writers reach this roadblock. It's called the "sagging middle" and there are simply reams of information on it out in cyberspace and in technique books. Essentially, the answer to the sagging middle is simply - you write through it. Nora Roberts said two things that make a lot of sense to me: "Give yourself permission to write crap" and "You can't edit a blank page." Keep going. It's works itself out eventually.

Do you wait until a book is complete before you show it to your cp?

Again, this is one of those things that is different for every writer and every book. My process has evolved over time. I prefer to give my cp's the entire book. I am writing with mystery elements and want to ensure continuity in the story. It is much easier for cp's to catch a problem with continuity if they can read the entire story in a small window of time. That being said, when you're on deadline, that's not always feasible. I sent UNLUCKY out in two parts - first half, second half.

So enough of me for today. I'm off to reconcile accounts this morning and order some training manuals, and schedule a Webex training and all other manor of fun stuff I do at the day job.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 16, 2007

On Being a Writer

I'm going to leave you this week with one of Swain thoughts on being a writer. It is:

"To become a writer, you first must be capable of emotional involvement. That is, you must feel, and feel intensely. Though you work with language, the words you use are only symbols...means to the end of communication of emotion. You can't communicate that which you yourself lack. No feeling, no story."

These words summarize to me the definition of "write what you know." Some aspiring writers confuse the "write what you know" statement to mean that if they are a lawyer, they should write stories about law. Well, maybe they can, but that's not the point. The point is that you write what you know from an emotional place inside you. This is also what Stephen King is talking about when he insists on writing "the truth."

How many times have you heard people who write genres other than romance say "I think I'll just take my story, throw some sex in, and market it as romance. Those are selling hot." I have three words for those people - Good luck, buddy.

Romance is not about sex. In fact, IMHO, romance is not about sex at all. Some great romances don't even have sex scenes. Doesn't make them not a romance. Stephen King puts sex in some of his books, but I've never mistaken one of them for a romance.

Romance, above all other genres, needs to get down to the nitty gritty of emotion. Pull at the heartstrings - make them laugh, make them cry - make them FEEL and feel hard. If you hate men or think love is a farce created by jewelry companies to make money, maybe writing romance is not the job for you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More of the Three P's

So now that Swain has essentially told you he's not going to tell you specifically how to write a book, he goes on to give some advice about writing, what it takes to be a writer and gives a list of broad sweeping steps that must be followed in order to succeed. The first thing he talks about is what it takes to be a writer. Here is what he has to say:

"The greatest talent in writing is nerve: You bet your ego that your unconscious has something in it besides dinner.

Ignorance must be defeated in the process, and inertia also. The true recipe for writing success is that laid down by dramatist Jerome Lawrence: You've gotta get up very early some morning five years ago."

So the greatest talent is nerve - I totally agree with this statement, if you're writing the truth. Stephen King talks a lot about writing the truth and I think it's a concept only those doing it will understand. It's hard to explain but it's about writing your story from the depths of your soul, never holding back on an action or emotion because of fear of what others will think. You write the story the way it HAS to be written. Not for the market, not for the readers, but for the sake of the story itself. And hopefully, when you're done, it's still something that the market will buy. But baring one's soul this way certainly requires nerve.

Swain then goes on to give his list of how to become a writer:

1. You learn what it means to be a writer.
2. You learn how to recognize good story material.
3. You learn how to prepare to write a story.
4. You learn your own best way to plan it.
5. You learn how to get out copy.

You see what he's done here - this list encompasses everything from the mental state you need to arrive at BEFORE attempting a writing career, all the way down to learning to write on a deadline. It seems so simple, but each step is loaded with learning, changing, growing and sometimes sheer agony along the way. But everything starts with Step 1.

Tomorrow I'll give you some in depth information from Swain on Step 1. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Preparation, Planning, Production

The title of the blog today is actually a chapter in a book by Dwight Swain called Techniques of the Selling Writer. It is a fab book and if you can locate a copy, you should definitely pick it up - assuming of course, that you're a writer. If you're a reader, then not so much. :)

So I was reading a bit of this book last night while soaking in a hot bath with mineral salts that are supposed to clear up my nose (not sure if it worked, but the bath was really nice), and the first sentence in this chapter made me laugh out loud both because of its directness and how truthful it is. See what you think:

"The best observation anyone can make on preparation, planning and production is that everyone has a God-given right to go to hell in his own way - and don't let anyone kid you out of yours."

This is priceless! And can apply to anything in life, really. But for writers it's specifically important because we spend so much time in books, workshops, with critique partners and mentors hearing how we OUGHT to do things. The reality is, writing method is as varied by author as is hair color and just as personal. I don't know of any two writers who write exactly alike. And quite frankly, most authors I know have had to adjust their method of writing after their first sale.

I had to go from seat-of-the-pants to writing a proposal, and I REALLY mean seat-of-the-pants. RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU started with a single scene idea I had - what if an alligator bit into a backpack of drugs, got high and ran into someone's swimming pool. Literally, that was all I had - one scene that I thought would make a hilarious opening to a book. Then I had to build everything around it. And since I changed who the bad guy was three different times before I wrote THE END, I definitely wasn't writing from an outline. I subscribed to the Stephen King theory which is "if I don't know how it ends, how can my reader?" Then enter the sale - and the sale on proposal concept and life begain to suck and I had to plan ahead. It's still a work in process (the planning ahead part) but I'm getting better at it.

I'm going to cover a bit more of what Swain has to say on the three P's tomorrow, but for today, I would like to know how you "settled" on your writing method, has anyone tried to change it, and what did you do about it when they did.

Have a great Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Okay, so yesterday I was officially back, but today I'm officially back in the saddle. Mind you, I'm still not 100% health wise, but as long as there's something blooming, I'm not going to be 100% health wise. So here's my list of ultra cool things that I am happy about today:

UNLUCKY went out to my agent last night!

Last night I actually slept lying down - in my bed!

Tonight is American Idol!

Not only do I know what my next book is already, I wrote 5 pages of proposal this morning!

I bought two new cute tote bags yesterday!

In April I'm schedule to do a training in Las Vegas - VEGAS, I tell you! (and they pay me to do this job - ha)

I am currently reading to do a cover quote for my fabulous friend, Wendy Roberts!

and finally

RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU finaled in the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Contest!

How 'bout you????? Anything fabulous going on in your life this week?

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm BaaaaaACK

And a bright beautiful Monday morning to all of you. Well, not exactly here since it's raining, but hey, maybe it's not raining where you are. I want to apologize again for my hiatus. I try not to take them very often but sometimes these things are necessary. Anyway, I figured I'd give you a rundown of things done while I was off, so here goes:

Number of doctor visits - 2
Number of prescriptions - 5
Number of days running a fever - Every day for the last two weeks, finally ending on Saturday
Number of nights sleeing upright on couch so I could breathe - still doing that one
Number of pages written while temperature was over 100 - 56
Number of pages edited while temperature was over 100 - 310 Twice!
Number of times I've asked if anyone was cold/hot - too numerous to count
Amount spent on cough drops and coffee - somewhere just short of the national debt
Getting UNLUCKY out to my agent sometime today - PRICELESS!

Yes, you read correctly - UNLUCKY will go out to my fabulous agent, Kristin Nelson, today! So far, my cp's have agreed that the book is fab even though written during a fever-induced haze. Thank God for small miracles!

Movie reviews will come this week - I've fallen behind on them.

And is anyone else po'd that Sundance Head is off of American Idol and that silly kid that can't sing a lick is still there? Obviously America is deaf. I hope they don't go blind, too, or it might be a problem for the publishing industry.

Until tomorrow - have a great Monday!

Friday, March 09, 2007

GCC Tour - Super Mom Saves the World

Today's GCC tour is brought to us by Melanie Lynne Hauser. For those of you who enjoyed CONFESSIONS OF A SUPER MOM, this is the much-anticipated sequel -


It's six months after the Horrible Swiffer Accident that left her a superhero, and Birdie Lee is still adjusting. For starters, she's hearing voices and having lustful thoughts about Mr. Clean. Then there's the fact that her daughter is suddenly sporting a bright pink streak in her hair, courtesy of her new friend Vienna (and if recent history has taught us anything, we all know that a girl named after a foreign city is going to be trouble). Birdie's son is experiencing his first case of puppy love, her nerdy scientist love interest has just proposed marriage, and her annoying ex-husband is suddenly less annoying. Which can only mean he's up to no good.

But things get even more sinister when her hometown of Astro Park gets Little League fever in a big way. Rabid parents, performance-enhancing Gatorade and a domed stadium on shaky - potentially explosive - ground are just the beginning of Super Mom's problems; throw in a ticked off school janitor and a corrupt mayor, and Super Mom has her hands full. Can one superhero — one mother — struggle to keep her teenagers in tow with one hand while saving her hometown from disaster with the other — while trying to find time for herself as she plans her marriage to her very own Super Man? Only if she’s Super Mom!

What People are Saying —

“(Super Mom Saves the World) provides a welcome break from the proliferation of urban mommy books. For those who rely on Fresh Direct and nannies to run a household, this will read like a foreign text. The women in Hauser's world clean their own toilets, volunteer for the PTA and bake a mean tuna casserole.” Kirkus Reviews

“Hauser's sequel to Confessions of Super Mom (2005) is an amusing and sharp critique of the thankless job mothers perform as they juggle home and work. Every mom will want to be Super Mom.” Booklist

Smart, zany, and touching... (Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles) Never has there been a more appealingly down-to-earth heroine or a superhero with more enviable powers. (Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Suburbanistas) Hauser's quirky characters sparkle brightly as a newly Swiffered floor, and her writing shines like freshly polished glass. (Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Queen of Babble)

About Melanie Lynne Hauser —

Former member of the PTA, Melanie Lynne Hauser is a prototypical Super Mom. In addition CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM and SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD, she is a contributor to the anthology It's a Boy. Melanie is an active member of both the writing and "blogging mommies" blogger communities. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two teenaged sons, truly does love Swiffer products, and would like to thank Procter and Gamble for its marvelous sense of humor about all this.

Visit Melanie at her website, blog and MySpace page! Buy the book at Amazon!

Short Update

I am coming out of lurk for a debriefing and to post a GCC tour. The update:

I am still sick - yuck!
UNLUCKY is out with cp's.
I am working all weekend again.
UNLUCKY will be with agent on Monday or I will be in morgue - however things work out.

I promise to be back to my regular schedule on Monday and have lots to talk about.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Still Here

I'm still here, I promise. I haven't abandoned you - well, not completely, but I'm going to have to temporarily. I am still sick and desperately need to wrap up UNLUCKY, so I'm taking a couple days hiatus until I have something more intelligent to say than:

I'm so tired of being sick (or the ever popular) Is anyone else cold?

Will return soon!

Friday, March 02, 2007


So you all know I’ve been sick lately and can’t seem to shake it off. I’m not sure why since I spend all my time crammed into airplanes carrying a bunch of other sick people and blowing recycled air on top of my head, but that’s another issue. While I was off in Kentucky, my husband tried to get me an appointment with my doctor, but he’s not available until next Monday. Well, finally, yesterday enough was enough and I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed antibiotics and if I had to hold up a pharmacy, I was getting some. The whole cold moved into my chest and when that happens, it’s all over but the penicillin.

So I make an appointment at the “doc-in-a-box.’ (read – urgent care facility) and head out of work a little early, hoping to beat the sick work crowd that would descend on them after 5:00. With my appointment, I got to wait another 2 hours in the lobby with a bunch of other sick people all breathing and recycling the same air. (sigh) That was when several things came to mind that bothered me (it was probably the fever) and I wanted to mention a few here.

First off – you sit in the lobby forever before they ask you to do paperwork. When they give you the paperwork, they take your license and insurance card and then of course, the paperwork asks for all that information. Like I run around with my company’s health insurance policy number memorized. Hell, I don’t even know my license number. So I walk back to the counter and say – “I need my cards to finish filling this out. Why exactly do you take them then ask me to put that information on your forms?” Everyone in the waiting room laughed – then coughed. Apparently, they all wondered the same thing but I was the only person sick enough to finally ask.

Second off – It took them two hours to see five people but the doctor only spent about five minutes total with me. So – five people, five minutes each – that’s twenty-five minutes. What the hell was he doing the rest of that time? And besides, if they really wanted to make things efficient, I could have sped up the whole process with a military style inspection. Simply line us up in the lobby and have everyone cough. We all left with the same damned prescription, anyway. And I know this because two of the people who were in the doc’s office lobby got to stand in line with me at the pharmacy while THEY missed all their promised deadlines.

The official verdict: I have bronchitis.

The second official verdict: I don’t have time to be sick.

The third official verdict: The worst of this is supposed to be gone by tomorrow and I will spend the rest of the weekend trying to finish UNLUCKY and get it out the door.

You just gotta love spring allergies.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Anchoring Yourself

First of all, a bit of good news - Rumble on the Bayou is a finalist in the Single Title category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest. Winners will be announced at their conference March 31st, so we have a bit of a wait until we know, but hey, two contest finals in two months! Yea!

Anchoring is a term that is sometimes used to create a writing habit. For instance, I wrote so much in cafes in the beginning that now I can't be in a breakfast joint without wanting to write. As soon as I enter one, my mind switches over to the creative side. The problem with that is I'm not always in a cafe when I need to write. And sometimes I need to write at night and sometimes the places need to close. :)

So I've been thinking about anchoring and I think I'm going to try something new. I'm going to try anchoring myself to an object and not a place. Maybe I'll wear the same shirt when I write (not sure on that one since it would require regular laundry doings) or maybe buy one special coffee mug that I only use when I write. Or maybe I have my muse in form of a stuffed animal that I place next to me when I want to write - that one ought to really amuse people in public places.

Anyway, you get the idea. I'm going to think on it and come up with something that easily portable and works at any time of day or night in any place, home or public. I'll let you know how it goes.

So do you have a writing anchor? If so, what is it?
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