Sunday, January 23, 2011


Though Moonlight Bleu came out in September of 2010, reviews are still rolling in. This morning I received a fantastic writeup by Kate aka YzhaBella's Bookshelf. I cannot explain in words how much the phrase, "I LOVED your book!" means to me...but I'll try.

I think the closest description I can give is that of a rock star, performing on stage, and seeing the crowd that's gathered for the performance. What frickin' high!!!

To read the review, please click the link below:


Monday, January 10, 2011


My grandson visits us every other weekend. I look forward to spending my days playing with his trucks, doing puzzles, or chasing him around the back yard. When he goes home with his mom and dad, I lock myself in my office and work like crazy to make up for the time away from my keyboard.

With so many things to get done Saturday, I didn't get any writing done at all. Then the kids got sick, and I had my grandson overnight. He woke up Sunday morning feverish and clingy. I sat in my chair, the little guy on my lap, all day. We watched movies because that's all he felt like doing.

Of course, I had planned to write while he took a nap. Never happened. Those peepers stayed open no matter what I tried. Another day with no work accomplished.

While the idea of not meeting the goal of blogging and writing 365 days this year upset me greatly, feeling the little guy's arms curled around mine made me rethink my stance. Structured deadlines are meant to help achieve set goals. That's all well and good when life isn't factored into the equation.

But life outside my office exists, and my family will always be my first priority. That means finding a balance. Accepting there will be days I can't write. And on the days my keyboard is out of reach, I'll just play in my head. Ideas can be shelved until it's my time to get creative.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Just when I thought I had my sleep pattern under control,*WHAM* I'm back to four hours a night.

Trust me when I say that is not enough sleep to function on for a sustained period of time. Don't get me wrong, the occasional sleepless night is great for writing an out-of-the-box scene. Being tired helps silence my inner critic. That voice in the back of my head that tells me I'm writing garbage, the characters aren't three dimensional, or the plot line just stinks.

Lack of sleep also shuts down my filter. It usually stays hinged to the front of my brain, saving me from saying inappropriate things at the most inopportune moments. Not having a working filter can certainly help me develop a character's personality...unfortunately, it can push also a character too far into the obnoxious zone. That means rewrites.

A week of insomnia is just brutal. Nothing kills writing mojo faster than being overtired. For now, it seems I've planted my flag in the "I got some sleep" camp. Glad the weekend's here, though. If I don't break this cycle soon, I'll be locked up in the "no sleep = insanity" ward.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reading For?

Now I've gone and done it.

Let me explain. I belong to several reading groups: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and sci-fi. Each have offered 2011 reading challenges. I've entered ALL of them. That's ten different reading challenges. "Why?" you ask.

I love to read. Go figure, right?

But there's more to it than that. Reading is a huge part of writing. Immersing myself in other worlds allows my imagination to stretch. Each author's voice has its own flavor, and how they put a story together helps me learn more about the craft of storytelling.

So, reading is learning. (We've all heard that from a teacher somewhere!)

Reading is also escapism. When things are tough at work, there's a little too much drama happening at home, (or I'm in an insomniac phase) I reach for a book. Finding solitude and peace between the covers of a book is my kind of therapy. Losing myself in a story makes everything else disappear.

Therein lies my particular weakness. If I don't police myself, I'll read to the exclusion of everything else. I'll go without sleep. I'll let work slide. My writing time gets interrupted. Everyday responsibilities get neglected while I devour the latest book in my hands.

 You see where this is headed?

By entering all of these challenges I've set the stage for a spectacular reading frenzy. But this year, I'm going to manage my participation. I'm a big girl. Reading time comes AFTER work and writing time. I may not finish every challenge I've entered, but I'll make a good dent in my TBR pile...and hey, lucky me, getting through the TBR pile happens to be one of my New Year's resolutions.

Oh, and the upside of policing myself...I make the rules. Lunch hour is free time. Think I'll start my next  book at noon!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


E-Readers. The new (okay, not so new) electronic book medium.

For years, I've adamantly voiced my "I want to hold a real book in my hands" opinion. I still don't have an actual e-reader, but I recently received a .pdf arc to read and review that caused me to reconsider my position.

Here goes. I admit there are benefits to having books in their electronic format.  *Gasp*  I said it out loud. And I mean it.

Let's start with the electronic reading advantage with regard to exercise:

Holding a book while walking on the treadmill could be life threatening.
      Example: I tried to turn a page, dropped the book, tried to catch it, tripped over my own feet, and got launched off the back of the treadmill into the wall behind me. Only my pride got injured, but you see the potential for death here.

Reading a book while riding a bike could result in broken/bruised bones.
       Example:  Again, I tried to turn a page, dropped the book, tried to catch it, fell off my recumbent bike, and my shoe lace tangled in the pedal. Try explaining to your co-workers how you sprained your ankle on a stationary bike.

Electronic reading advantage while traveling:
      Example:  I was on vacation on the east coast and discovered a bookstore having a HUGE clearance sale. Being the book addict that I am, I bought over 40 books. Can you see where this is going? At the airport for my flight home I discovered I was WAY over the weight limit. I had three suitcases open on the floor, trying to shuffle their contents to keep from paying the extra fee. So didn't happen. Stacks of books are really freakin' heavy!

So, I'm thinking for Valentine's Day, I'll drop some "I'd love to have an e-reader" hints to my sweetheart. If he needs a selling point, I'll just mention, "I could read without the overhead light on at night." That should do it. He's learned to sleep with a mask on, but even he knows how silly it looks!

What advantages for using electronic readers have you discovered?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Do-Overs

Things are a bit dramatic around our house right now.

With four girls, you can imagine the issues that arise as my daughters navigate through matters of the heart. One of my girls is currently experiencing the aftermath of a demolished relationship. I ache for her, but this is her journey and I can only be there to listen and offer advice when she asks. I have reassured her the right man will eventually come into her life. For now, she needs to get on with her own and achieve the goals she's set for herself.

I've discovered I can communicate without lecturing to my children!

Another daughter has decided she's ready to tell her best friend of three years how she really feels about him. Talk about a case of the nerves. Again, I offered my less than perfect wisdom. Her admission would forever change the friendship. If she wanted a different kind of relationship with this young man, more than she wanted the current buddy state they existed in, then I admired her courage for taking this step.

I'm still waiting to hear how her declaration was received.

As my stomach knots with anxiety for her, I'm reminded of my own painful experiences and asked myself, "Would I go back in time for a love do-over if I could?" Honestly, no way. Drama is for the young. It takes way too much emotional energy to sustain that level of "intensity" developing hormones create.

On a serious note, each of the different connections I made earlier in my life led me to my husband. And though I learned things from those previous relationships, none of those lessons compare to what I've learned and experienced with my spouse. He's not perfect, but he is perfect for me...and I would never make any choice that would change that.

If given the chance, would you choose a love do-over?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Exercise--For Love or Necessity

This morning I rededicated myself to a Pilates routine.

Yeah. Go me. Now keep in mind it's only a twenty-minute workout, and I wondered if that short amount of time would really give me any beneficial results. (Spoken like a true couch potato, right?) I only questioned the shorter routine because I was doing an hour-long workout four to five times a week through most of 2010.  Around September I started having medical issues that resulted in the doctor telling me to refrain from exercise for a few months.

In December he gave me the go ahead. The holidays were hectic, the food was fantabulous, and I didn't jump on the exercise band wagon. Then I discovered my blouses were pulling at the buttons, my jeans were a little (a lot) snug, and I'd grown my own honest-to-goodness muffin top. While creating this splendiferous figure came as the result of induging in sugary, tasty food, the idea of purchasing a larger wardrobe killed my hunger for sweets...mostly.

So I popped the cd into the dvd player this morning at 5:30 a.m. and stretched and sweated and worked my core. I can attest to the beneficial results a 20-minute workout will give, yes even after one day. "How?"you ask. Because I am so out of shape I had a difficult time performing basic pilates moves. Since I'm a pretty competitive person, my own lack of will power and self control (not to mention the extra  roll of "me" I'm packing around) will serve as excellent motivation.

My husband loves me the way I am ...larger cup size included! ;-) ... but I need to get back on a regular exercise routine for better health. My job is easier to perform when I'm in better physical shape. Chasing my 2 1/2 year-old grandson around is a lot more fun when I'm in better physical shape. Spending time with my husband is even more enjoyable when I'm in better physical shape.

My grandmother used to say, "Take care of yourself when you're young. Everything you do to your body now, you pay for when you get old."

I'd like to think I'm putting some "healthy" golden years in the bank ahead of time. I intend to live for a very long time. I hope it's up to me how healthy I am for the journey!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

365 Writing Resolutions in 2011

I read a blog by another author I admire immensely, and discovered she has a fantastic idea for creating her own success in 2011. An idea that so inspired me, I've decided to use the same technique.

I've purchased a wall calendar with large numbered spaces. This calendar will help me visually keep track of my goals. "How?" you ask. I'll tell you. I plan to blog and write every day of 2011...a huge commitment, but one I've structured with a reasonable goal.

Blog: Not every day will be a long post. Some blogs may only be one sentence...a common phrase I'll use. "No idea today." This will count as a post. Typing "no idea today" will hopefully push my muse toward recognizing usable blog material for future postings.

Writing: I WILL write 250 words in my current WIP or a rewrite project. Regular editing will not count for this goal. This will enable me to complete projects on deadline and push for completed new material.

Now's where the wall calendar comes into play.

Every day I meet my goal means a ginormous red X on that day's calendar block. Each red X links to the next, forming chains. Since chains are only as strong as their weakest link, an empty box means a weak link. I will not have any weak links, and seeing an empty space will emphasize my determination to fill that box and succeed.

Today's first box:  X

Anyone care to join me in this challenge?