Saturday, December 31, 2005

Romance – Not The Same Ol’ Bodice-Rippers

I’ve been reading romances for a very long time now. Started out with the sweet, traditional Harlequin/Silhouette books (Betty Neels, Diana Palmer) where the hero was older, experienced and, especially with Diana Palmer’s books, sometimes downright mean to the heroine, who was young and na├»ve and inexperienced. (I still haven’t figured out how those heroines ended up falling in love with those heroes when they were so mean, but they did. I still have a few of those on my keeper shelves.) I moved on to Linda Howard, Iris Johannson, Dara Joy, Catherine Coulter, JD Robb, and many others.

Now I’m reading (and writing) erotic romance—stories where the love scenes are explicit and hot. I read lots of paranormal and most of what I write ends up with a paranormal element to it, even if I haven’t exactly planned it. (But, as I’ve said before, I tend to be a pantster, and not a plotter.) I’m reading Jaid Black, Angela Knight, Mary Janice Davidson, Jan Springer, and Lora Leigh, to name a few.

Whether it’s sweet and traditional, or spicy and not-so-traditional, romance is about fantasy. A way to escape from the every day drudge that our lives can turn into. According to HealthPlace.com, the top female sexual fantasy is the “rape fantasy”. Or as romance writers call it, the forced seduction.

The article does state "The reason fantasies are so cherished is because the majority of them will never be realized." This means that while women might fantasize a forced seduction, they don’t WANT a forced seduction. I might fantasize that a tall, dark and handsome vampire sweeps me off my feet to be his eternal love, but if it ever really happened I’d probably pee my pants. Or do something else in my pants. (It’s like Bill Cosby says. If you’re in an accident, it doesn’t matter if you have on clean underwear, ’cause there’s gonna be an accident.)

This idea of a fantasy, the “never be realized”… is this why paranormal stories sell so well? Because while supernatural powers can seem sexy, I'd say that most of us don't really want to meet up with a sexy, immortal bloodsucker. We might fantasize about a wild man who will call us HIS and want to 'mate for life', but what would you really do if some guy got all snarly and growly when another man looked at you? (My heroines might be kickass. I am not. Like I said, there’s gonna be an accident.)

It’s pretty much the same with the old historical romances with pirates and outlaw cowboys. And maybe why so many of the newer erotic stories feature dominant/submissive role-playing. A strong, handsome man will take control and we don’t have to worry about anything anymore. No more bills, no more work, no more anything.

What is it about romances that brings readers back for more? For me, it's two-fold. When I read a romance, I fully expect the happily ever after or at least the promise of one. But it's also the fantasy aspect of it all. The whole escape into someone else’s life or world while I read.

What about you? Why do you read romances?

Have a great New Year’s! Be safe. Be happy. And go ahead and wear clean underwear. Just in case.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Appeal of Paranormal

My soon-to-be-published writing buddy, Sloane Taylor, was never really into paranormal romance. She's admitted it a couple of times.

She's also admitted that I have helped to change her mind.

I've always loved reading paranormal romances--those stories where (usually) the hero is vampire, werewolf, fae, or other type of supernatural being. So when I began writing romances, it was a natural thing for me to write a character (usually the hero) that has paranormal proclivities. Sometimes without prior planning, it still filters in. Of the six stories that I have contracted for publication in 2006, five of them have paranormal elements: in Pisces: Redemption (due out in February with Liquid Silver Books), the hero is a 400-year old supernatural Protector. A secondary character, also a Protector, pulls double-duty as a vampire. He'll definitely get his own story! In Careful Wishes (due out in March with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid), the heroine has psychic abilities, an empathy for animals (kinda like Dr. Doolittle); in Chocolate-Covered Werewolves (due out in April with WCP Torrid), the hero is a werewolf; in Dragon's Bane (due out in July with WCP Torrid), the hero is a shape-shifting dragon; and in Pumpkin Moon (due out in October with WCP Torrid), the heroine, who was introduced in Chocolate-Covered Werewolves, is a vampire. (See a trend here? Six books, and two of them have vampires in them.)


But what is it about the paranormal, especially vampires, that's such a turn-on? According to Maggie Shayne in the latest issue of Romance Writers Report, the vampires "is the ultimate tortured hero. He's damned, doomed to a life of darkness and outliving everyone he loves. When he finds love, he finds light again in that dark world. He is redeemed by it. He is healed, given hope. And perhaps a companion in the night. Eternal love is irrestible, and immortal love is, by definition, eternal." There's also the aspect of the ultimate predator--a vampire is a man who can kill as easily as love. Not only is a woman putting her heart on the line, she's risking her very life.

But there's more. We've always been fascinated--and frightened--by our own mortality and have questioned the idea of life after death since the beginning of time. Maggie said, "The vampire legend feeds the need we have to explore those issues."

I suppose that's why Christopher Lee's Dracula, or Frank Langella's Dracula, or Michael Nouri's Dracula, or Gerard Butler's Dracula is so appealing. Tall, dark and handsome... and deadly. So much so that it sends shivers up your spine.

And other unmentionable places.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sci-Fi Geek

My name is Sherrill Quinn, and I'm a science fiction geek.

There. I said it loud, I said it proud.

I grew up watching Star Trek (the original, although already in syndication--I'm not quite that old), then of course moved on to Voyager, DS9, and even the latest, Enterprise. Star Wars... I'm so there. Han Solo. Grrroowwf. The Twilight Zone. The Sci Fi Channel is running Seaquest episodes all week, and I've been caught back up in that. After watching the first season episodes, I remember why I liked the show so much when it was originally on. After watching a few of the second season episodes, I figured out why the show was cancelled. It just went too far out there. Even though I like fantasy, it just didn't work with this show.


Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis are two of my all-time favorites. I've become hooked on the new Battlestar Galactica. And I liked Farscape and Firefly, too.

Then there's the sci-fi/horror shows: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (the original with Darren McGavin. I didn't much care for the remake that was on this season); Buffy and Angel; Dark Shadows (I remember as a kid watching this -- I'm amazed that my mom let me. It was pretty scary for a kid. Plus the remake with Ben Cross. Yum.)

What about you? Any lurking sci-fi geekiness inside you?


P.S. My pal Sloane Taylor received a contract yesterday from Triskelion Publishing for her story Teddi Turns On. Woo-hoo, Sloane!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Office

I watched The Office for the first time last night. It struck such a familiar chord with me, it's not funny. (Well, the show was funny, but the familiarity wasn't. It was rather sad, actually.)

The two bosses are out looking at a condo. While they're away, most of the employees are playing. Office Olympics. There are a few holdouts--the man who's got kids to put through college, so his head is down and he's working. Hard. The woman who's self-righteous, to the point where she's counting the number of times that one of the employees goes up to the front to talk to the receptionist.

I am a firm believer that 8 hours of pay dictate 8 hours of work. But work should also be fun--not to the point of Office Olympics on the clock, but people should enjoy being at work. They should have a chance to slow down every once in a while and take a breath.

I also believe that comedies show real life much more clearly than dramas. I mean, people are funny creatures, aren't they? Take, for instance, the boss's final piece of wisdom shared about buying a condo: "You shouldn't be the best looking person in the complex. If you are, you can only go down from there."

See what I mean? There's some truth to the "rumor" that women buy cars because they look pretty, caring less about performance. (I will admit. I bought my car because it was gold (hides dirt better) and had a sunroof. And it's an Acura, so I can be pretty sure of dependability.) Do single guys determine where they'll rent or buy based on how many pretty girls live nearby?

People can be pretty funny sometimes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Show--or Tell?

Many of my critique buds often comment, "Too much showing, not enough telling." I get caught up in trying to explain the motivation or conflict that I'm narrating... telling the story instead of showing it. It's something I have to be conscious of as I'm writing -- and I think I'm getting better.

Let's face it. The gentle stroke of the hero's fingers down the heroine's cheek speaks more about his ability to be tender than him trying to directly explain his feelings for her. Or him braving the big, scary monster that he's pretty sure is gonna eat him, but he has no choice because the monster is threatening his woman. The flash of fire in the heroine's eyes show more of her temperament than a few paragraphs of direct speech.

Human beings are capable of carrying on a conversation by saying one thing with their mouths, and something entirely different with their body language. As a writer, I try to pay more attention to how someone is saying something than what they're actually saying. When someone can't look me in the eye when she's talking to me, I'm a little concerned. I get a little irritated when someone looks down his nose at me, and really irritated when he rolls his eyes at me.

Of course, some things are better left unsaid, especially in a successful relationship. "Do these pants make me look fat?" should be met with a resounding "No." (It's your butt that makes you look fat. Think it. Don't say it. Not unless you want to die.) Complete honesty is not always the best policy. (Remember the Twix commercial? If you can't answer the question without hurting the other person's feelings, stuff a candy bar in your mouth.) LOL

In fiction, you can "show" a lot of what I'm talking about. When someone asks the hero if he loves the heroine and it's not something he's ready to talk about... well, you fill in the blanks. How would he react? What expression would show on his face? What about his body language?

Show me.

P.S. Jenna's blogging over at SEx today. Go on over and say hi.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Week Of Reflection And Resolution

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is a week of mixed emotions for me. On one hand, it's a chance to look back over the last year and reflect on accomplishments... or the lack thereof. On the other hand, it's a time to look forward with determination to do better than I have in the last 12 months.

Reflections:

Deciding that I wanted to get serious about my writing, I renewed my membership in Romance Writers of America (RWA). In February, I took an online class taught by author Jan Springer on how to write an erotic romance. Once the class was over, the participants of that class formed a support group called The Brazen Vixens. We routinely email each other with questions, comments, share interesting industry news, and other various and sundry things. These women have been enormously supportive of me and my efforts.

In April I took a week of vacation in order to participate (in a big way) in my first Book In A Week (BIAW). I set 40,000 words as my goal and on Monday morning settled in, prepared to write a book in a week. My first phone call from the office came on Monday morning at 8:05 a.m. Some vacation! By Tuesday morning I had received several emails from my boss and by the end of the week was on his sh** list because I didn't take care of something when he wanted me to (although he hadn't been clear in his instructions that it was something to be done 'right now'). By the end of May I sold my house so I wouldn't be locked into the job by a mortgage; by the end of June I was pissing and moaning about whether I should quit my job. The turnover at my company was horrible--at the management level (which should have told the Board of Directors something, but apparently they've got their heads up their collective you-know-whats). Since the first of the year we'd lost a Sr. VP, a CFO, an Assistant VP, a Branch Manager, and a first-line supervisor. When a VP announced she'd be retiring after the first of the year, I decided that it was time to go. If I kept hanging on, I'd be there long after I should have.

On September 1st I handed in my resignation. Did my boss (the CEO), never one to let a little thing like people skills get in his way, tell me how much he appreciated my efforts for the last five years or wish me luck? No. He asked, "Do you want to get your personal things now or come back after five?" Nice.

On September 9th, I signed my first contract with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid for my Torrid Twisted Tales novella Dragon's Bane. I have since signed five more contracts: four with WCP Torrid and one with Liquid Silver Books, for a total of six in just over three months. I started on a low-carb diet and haven't been very successful in staying on it. Today, I'm back in the saddle again, so to speak.

So 2005 started with a determination to write, had a lot of angst-ridden months while I tried to make the right decision, and is ending on a very high note.

Resolutions:

I have decided that I'm going to concentrate on my writing for at least another eight months. Then I'll most likely have to go out and get a day-job. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I am treating the writing as a job, putting in at least seven hours a day, five days a week. If I have a particular day that isn't very productive, then I write six days a week versus five.

My friend Suz (a local Brazen Vixen) and I have a short writer's retreat (just the two of us) planned in Sedona in January, and we'll be attending the Desert Dreams conference in Scottsdale in April.

And I will lose weight. This is not an option. So today I'm back on the low-carb and I'm looking forward to having a big salad for lunch. No. Really. I am. Yummy salad. Yum.

So, how was 2005 for you, and what are your plans for 2006?

Friday, December 23, 2005

You've Been Elfed

Life is all about asses
you're either covering it,
laughing it off,
kicking it,
kissing it,
busting it,
trying to get a piece of it,
or behaving like one ...



You’ve been elfed!


I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas (or Hanakah or Kwanza or however you celebrate this season) and a terrific New Year! I'm off to do some celebrating of my own and so won't be posting anything here until at least Monday.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Brothers... Can't Live With 'Em, Can' Kill 'Em

This time of year it's very natural to think of family. (I think of my family all the time, but this time of year I'm more likely to wax poetic.)

I am the youngest of four. My sister is almost 10 years older than me, my brother G eight years, and my brother R six years. With that kind of age range, I was almost my own little family. Well, I would have been, if R had let me.

You see, he was jealous of me. (Not that he's ever admitted it. Ever.) He'd been the baby of the family for almost six years, and then I came along. Jealous-City.

Now, as set-up to this story, you need to keep in mind that my middle name is Sue. My fondest memories of R are him singing songs to me. Before you get all mushy and teary-eyed, let me tell you the names of the songs.

A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash, and a song that I have no idea what the title is, but it starts out like this: "Mama's li'l baby loves shortenin', shortenin', Mama's li'l baby loves shortenin' bread." (Sung in a deep, raspy voice like Louie Armstrong.) Of course, both songs would make me see red, he'd laugh and run, I'd growl and run after him.

He's six years older than me, which means he's taller than me (i.e., he has longer legs). Even now, as a full-grown adult, I'm only 5'4". R's 6"1'. You see where this is going? Of course I could never catch him. Ever.

Now you see why this post has the title it does?

I love my brother. We are the best of friends now, and he swears he doesn't remember doing any of that to me.

But I remember. What goes around comes around.

He's got four boys.

Need I say more?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm At Torrid Today

Come on over and play with me and Santa at Torrid Temptations! I have eye candy and a chance to win a prize...

So why are you still here? You should be here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Confusion Of Contests And Score Sheets

I just received the score sheets from my contest entry in the FF&P contest. To say they're a bit confusing is an understatement.

Judge #1 gave me 143 out of 150 possible points. I received the highest possible ratings for formatting, grammer/punctuation (even though I'm a comma-whore), the use of the five senses, pacing, setting/worldbuilding, dialogue, voice ("very distinct"), and overall impression. Under characterization and motivation, she indicated that I have too much tell, not enough show. Plot and conflict needs some work, too. (Well, tell me something I don't know. I completely realize that I struggle--and sometimes struggle greatly--with GMC.) She felt my opening scene was weak and suggested I chop the first three pages. But all in all, a good score and very helpful comments on the manuscript.

Judge #2 gave me 141 points. Top ratings for formatting, grammar/punctuation, the use of the five senses, pacing, and dialogue. Got nearly perfect scores for opening scene, characterization and motivation, plot and conflict, setting/worldbuilding, voice ("you have a good, strong voice"), and overall impression. She indicated I had great use of the five senses and good, strong active writing. Liked my dialogue, felt there was a nice mix of dialogue and narrative throughout the story. She liked my opening scene. Characterization, motivation, plot and conflict had weaknesses. Unfortunately, she didn't return the manuscript with additional comments, but it was a good score with suggestions on the score sheet.

Judge #3 gave me 79 points. Ouch. She gave me top ratings for formatting and grammar/punctuation. That's it. Here's where she found fault: She, too, indicated I should chop the opening scene. It does nothing for the story. She found my writing to be very passive (lots of "was" and helping verbs, extraneous words like "that". Well, I'm a that-whore, too. What can I say?). GMC wasn't clear. (Okay, all right already. I know I totally suck at GMC. But I'm working on it!) She felt my pacing needed work, wrote that the scenes alternately dragged and sped. Thought I did a lousy job in setting/worldbuilding, dialogue needs work (his accent--Cajun--was too distracting), my voice was generic and the story was basically just a backdrop in order to string sex scenes together.

Do you see where the confusion comes in? Two judges said I had a distinctive, strong voice. The third said it was generic. Two judges liked the dialogue, the third felt it was distracting and/or didn't move the story forward. Two judges felt my pacing was strong, the third didn't. At least they all agreed on something that I know I struggle with: GMC. LOL

One judge didn't comment on passive/active voice, but the other two did. One commented I have strong, active writing. The other one indicated my writing was very passive.

Only two of the judges indicated if they were published. Judge #2 is published in books other than romance, Judge #3 is published in paranormal romance. Which should mean she knows of what she speaks. However... I refuse to believe that my writing is as bad as she said it is.

I know my writing isn't as bad as she said it is. It was good enough to win me the first place slot in the contest and a request for the manuscript from Kate Duffy. (I still haven't heard anything, by the way. When I let myself think about it, it drives me nuts. So I try not to think about it much. I don't need any more reasons for being crazy!) And my writing is good enough to have six books coming out (so far) next year.

Once the emotions are less fresh, I'll go back and reread her comments. I'll keep what I can use and apply it to my writing moving forward. And I'll toss the rest.


P.S. I'm blogging at Torrid Temptations tomorrow. Stop by and play with a hot, hunky Santa. One lucky winner will receive a home spa basket.

Prescription For Writer Creativity

The January issue of The Writer Mag has an article by Bethanne Kelly Patrick that speaks about maintaining and/or reconnecting with your creativity. She offers the following prescriptions (Rx):

Rx #1: Take action. Nothing will happen until you pick up your pen or type on your keyboard. Find a way to keep writing a certain amount of time a day--if it's the same time each day, so much the better. Don't panic if ideas don't come immediately. Keep doing the first two parts of this Rx until they do.

Rx #2: Start reading, keep reading, don't stop reading. Savor the strange; even if your own writing is more about addressing an envelope rather than pushing it, you'll be rewarded with a creative spark.

Rx #3: If you always do X or Y, try Z. A few hours spent writing in longhand might be just the thing to jumpstart your creative engine.

Rx #4: If you connect with an object, whether or not it relates to your story, try keeping it nearby for a while--looking at, touching, smelling or hearing something unique can stimulate your creative center. You might need a walk or do some other physical activity: Allow your body to take over the creative process for a while.

Rx #5: Don't forget why you started doing what you love. Learn how to "sit in the mess." The creativity you save may be your own!

Writing is a solitary endeavor in many ways, but it doesn't always have to be. Make sure you connect with other writers, whether in person or on-line. They'll help keep you grounded.


P.S. I'm blogging over at Torrid Temptations tomorrow. Mark your calendars to come over and play with Santa and maybe win a prize.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Look!

Yee-haaawww! Take a look at my new blog--isn't it gorgeous and sexy and... gorgeous?

My friend Jenna created the original picture, and Caz put together a custom template for me. They both totally rock!

The couple is reflected side-by-side, as well as in the window behind them. It goes with the title of my blog.

Reflections.

I've spent the last hour customizing it. Once I figure out why the visitor counter isn't showing up, I'll be finished with it.

But I had to get it up so everyone could see what a great job Jenna and Caz did for me.

Thanks, gals! I appreciate it very, VERY much!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Spirit Of Christmas


I received this in an email from one of my sisters-in-law yesterday. I don’t know if it’s a true story or not; however, it’s the sentiment behind the story that spoke to me. Read this and tell me if you don’t agree that this reminds us of what the spirit of Christmas is all about:


I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so.

It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" She snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.

That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car. "Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wreck-Free!

Today marks the 2-year mark of being car accident free.

Let me explain why this is such a big deal:

In May 2003, I was driving to work and a young woman, rather than abide by traffic laws, decided to follow the flow of traffic and turned left in an intersection where I clearly had the right of way (i.e., the green light). I swerved to avoid hitting her, and she T-boned me. Crashed right between the driver and passender doors of my 10-year old Chevy Lumina.

I wasn't hurt. Elevated blood pressure, as you can imagine, but no injuries. She was taken away in an ambulance, but I've no idea of her injuries. My insurance company gave me $3,000 (less my $250 deductible) to fix my 10-year old car. I was actually very surprised that they didn't total it; I mean, it was 10 years old.

Rather than fix the car, I used the money as a down-payment on a new car. New for me, anyway--a two-year old Acura 3.2 CL. Got $200 trade-in on my Lumina.

So, about two to three months later I'm driving this beautiful gold-colored Acura (got one that wouldn't show dirt as much. Seeing as I live in a desert, cars get really dirty really fast around here!) to work one morning. A guy in a Ford F-150 (big, honkin' pick-up truck) changed lanes in front of me so he wouldn't get stuck behind a bus, then promptly slammed on his brakes because some little rat-dog was in the street. (It was a Pekinese or a Pomeranian or some stupid little P-dog.)

Can you guess what happened? I bet you can. My brand new car, on which I'd made a total of two or three car payments... I rear-ended the guy. $2,000 damage to the front-end of my car, $0 to his frickin' truck. The only hint that he'd been in an accident was the gold paint on his trailer hitch.

I get my car back. I'm driving more carefully, but still probably more offensive than defensive. My sister came out to spend Christmas with me. We were on our way to Costco, I'm in the right turn lane. Traffic in the other two lanes was at a standstill because of an accident that had happened in the intersection.

Can you guess what happened? I bet you can. Some guy in a small SUV pulled through the two lanes of traffic and right across my path. Didn't inch his way out to make sure it was clear. No.

He.

Just.

Pulled.

Out.

I'm doing 30 miles per hour. Slammed on the brakes, but it was way too late. $7,000 worth of damages and a severely sprained ankle later...

Oy. Three accidents in seven months. Two of them in my NEW CAR.

If the experts are right and most people are in a car accident every 10 years of their lives, I'm good to go until I'm 70.

Of course, I am about due to sprain an ankle. I do it generally every two years. Not on purpose--it just happens. But it's an equal opportunity thing, though. Two years ago in the car accident it was my right ankle. That means this time it'll be my left ankle.

What can I say? It's a talent.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Short Post

This is gonna be a short one. I've done something to my neck (hurts in the shoulder area at the base of my neck) and my allergies are kicking my butt, which means my vision is really blurry today. It's kinda hard to see if I'm typing on the right jwta. I mean, keys.

Got moist heat on my neck, not sure if that's the right thing to do, but it's keeping me warm this morning. :)

Think i'll just sit here for a while with my eyes closed and "see" what happens...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Old Life Is Behind Me...

...Thank you, God!

I met two of my former colleagues for lunch today at a Pacific Rim restaurant. Had pan-crusted salmon with double order of veggies (instead of rice--gotta watch the carbs!). Yum-my!

Anyway, I got them caught up on what's been going on with me for the last 3 1/2 months; they were both thrilled with my success to date. And a little surprised--they're seeing a side of me they never knew existed. And, why should they? When we worked together, I made it a point to not discuss personal stuff because (a) as the VP HR it was important to me to maintain a professional relationship so I wouldn't be accused of playing favorites, and (b) I didn't want my role as VP HR to be hindered by personal stuff. If that makes sense. Wait until my books actually come out. They've both told me to let them know and they're going to buy the first one.

We'll see. I warned them that it's a side to me they've absolutely never seen!

So, as we're eating lunch, some of what's going on at my former place of employment came up. Now, keep in mind that the ladies I had lunch with have been there for 30 years. One will be retiring as of January 31st; the other had planned to stay another 5 years, but isn't sure she can take it that much longer. The woman who's retiring had a recent conversation with the CEO. He wondered if he should be spending more time out in the branch offices, and she gave him her opinion (which he solicited), saying she thought what he was doing was fine, but perhaps he was out there too much. Employees were seeing him as someone to complain to versus the CEO.

He didn't act upset with her at all. Half-an hour later, her boss (a Sr VP) came and told her that the CEO was demanding an apology from her. When she finally calmed down, she and the Sr VP went to talk to the CEO. She explained what she'd meant, he interrupted her, repeated what she'd said (wrongly, which is one of the problems I got tired of dealing with--having a conversation with him and have him completely remember it wrong). She repeatedly explained what she was saying, he repeatedly interrupted her with what he thought she was saying. The Sr VP finally butted in to say, "No, B. She's saying this." (Which is what she'd been saying.)

Can you see me shaking my head? Once the CEO gets something in his mind, whether it's how he remembers a conversation going, or his interpretation of an email he read, whatever, that's the way it is. You're wrong, he's right.

He had her in tears over this. And no balls to talk to her directly, to say, "Maybe I misunderstood what you said, but this is what I think you said."

Oh, and when she said to him, "B, I think you took this personally," he cut her off and rather agitatedly said, "I never take anything personally."

Oh. Right. That's why you demanded that she apologize. (Like he demanded that I apologize for doing my damned job--via email, not face-to-face (like I said, no balls)--then completely ignored my return email where I very professionally and in a non-attack manner stated why I believed it was the wrong action to take. I got tired of that, too. Sending him emails that he completely ignored. I mean, come on. You get an email from one of your VPs, you need to read and respond to it.)

I am so glad I'm out of that hell.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Just A Reminder--Here's My Muse

Since Jenna, Kate and I have been blogging about the trouble our Muses are getting into, I thought I'd repost a pic of my Urian:


Grrrowff!

He just confessed to me that the "thing" with Calliope was instigated by Jack, Jenna's Muse.

Of course, Urian and Derrick aren't exactly blameless. But they're not supposed to go traipsing off and leaving their writers alone. They each got hit with a demerit. (Not sure exactly what happens when they accumulate demerits. Hope it doesn't mean that they get recalled. I got good Muse.)

To follow along with their most recent shenanigans, visit here and here.

Once More Into The Breach

Urian just left, and he's up to no good, I just know it. All I got was a flash of naked buttock as my Muse stalked out of the house. (Yes, even when he's "poofing away" somewhere, he stalks. One of those loose-hipped, rolling kind of predator-stalking-prey walks. Grrrowf!) I know where he's gone off to: the Inner Sanctum, where Jenna's Muse Jack has been hanging out. Where Kate's Muse Derrick sauntered off to late last night. (To get caught up on the shenanigans these guys are trying to pull, check out Jenna's post yesterday at Afterthoughts, and Kate's post at The Confessional.)

The last I knew, Jenna had just walked in and seen Derrick there, and had promised to send him on home, because of the Universal Code of the Guild of Muses (usually just called the "Code"). Muses are more organized than you might think. Anyway, Item Four of sub-paragraph B (commonly referred to as "Rule #4") of the Code states uneqivocably that "Thou cannot covet another's Muse and cannot keep that which does not belong to you." So Jenna was going to send Derrick back...


Jenna: Derrick, you can't stay here. You have to go back to Kate.

Derrick: Aw, come on, babe. I came over to negotiate.

Jenna: Negotiate what?

Derrick: (glancing at a clock on the wall) Well, if I know Urian, and I do, he's on his way over here. So I figured I'd try to nip things early, negotiate a truce between him and Jack. (He cocks an eyebrow at the Dagger boys, who are in various poses around the room.) If I can keep these effin morons out of it.

Chaz: (growls) Back off, pretty boy. You're a fine one to talk, showing up naked.

Derrick: You're just jealous, cuz you ain't got--

Jenna: Boys, boys. Pluu-eeze. (She glares at Derrick.) Go. Home. NOW.

There's a knock on the door. Chaz stomps over and yanks it open, then scowls to see Urian standing there wearing nothing but a shit-eating grin and holding a bottle of booze.

Chaz: Oh, for cryin' out loud. What is it with you nancy-pants prancing around naked? Somebody get another towel.

Derrick smirks while Jack turns and heads to the bathroom once more. Jack tosses a towel to Urian, who shrugs and wraps it around his hips, securing it at his waist. He starts to head over to the sofa, but is stopped by a low growl from Chaz.

Chaz: Don't even think about parking your ass on my leather couch (pointing to another straight-backed chair by Derrick). Sit with the other nancy-pants there.

Jenna: (hands on her hips) Guys, please don't do this to me. Kate and Sherrill are gonna get pissed if they don't have their Muses handy. (Points to Derrick, then Urian.) You two: go home.

Urian: But I brought ouzo.

(to be continued...)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

YAY! YAY! YAY!

I just received an email from the Executive Editor at Whiskey Creek Press, offering me two contracts for stories to be submitted in the Summer Sizzlers and Fall Fires anthologies.

Ay carumba!

Since September 9th, when I signed my first contract for Dragon's Bane, I've now received six contracts.

Six.

Five (so far) with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, which comprise one novella and four short stories, and one (so far) novella with Liquid Silver Books.

Five plus one equals six.

Six.

What a lovely number six is. Almost as good as seven...

What Makes A Hero?

I just saw an ad on TV for the show "Wanted." The actor Gary Coleman stood there, looking tough and somber, interspersed with scenes of action while he did a voice-over that went something like this:

"I hunt criminals for a living. Some people call me a hero. But it's the people I love who pay the price."

If a man is so wrapped up in his job, whatever it may be, that he loses his family--can he really be a hero? Or does that just make him a tormented hero? A man who does what he does because it's who he is... and he has to be true to himself?

I'm asking because I'm torn on this one. Does putting other people's welfare ahead of your own family's tarnish the shining armor and make the hero more real, more vulnerable, or just a jerk who needs to prioritize?

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Good Read

Unzipped, published by Harlequin Books. Three sensual stories by Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, and Crystal Green.


In Tantalizing, Lori Foster tells the story of Josie Jackson and Nick Harris. Josie's sister has set her up on a blind date, and they're to meet at a bar. Nick, the blind date's friend, is at the bar to tell her that his friend isn't going to show up. When he sees Josie, though, he pretends to be the date. It's a very sensual story with conflict galore when Josie--and her sister, who can't stand Nick--finds out he lied.

Janelle Denison picks up with His Every Fantasy. Leah Burton is engaged to a staid, boring man who barely kisses her, let alone anything more. She desperately wants to learn how to really satisfy a man and her lackluster fiance isn't offering his services. So she turns to Jace Rutledge, her confirmed bachelor friend. Jace has always wanted Leah, but out of respect for her parents, he's kept his distance. Now all bets are off and he's teaching Leah some very pleasurable lessons.

The last story is by new author Crystal Green. In Playmates, Sean McIntyre and Fiona Cruz are new co-workers. They each have a fierce competitive streak and when Fiona ups the ante by putting a new spin on the rules of play... well, when you put two strong-willed people in the same room and close the door, fireworks ensue!

All three stories are sensual and full of emotion. Money well spent.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Being A Writer

One thing that I've realized on this journey is that while writing is in many aspects a quite lonely job, it is in reality a collaborative process.

First, I write a story, and edit it to the best of my ability. Then I send it off to my critique partners, soliciting their feedback. Then I rewrite. Then, it's off to a publisher. And, if I'm lucky, the publisher loves it, sends me a contract and assigns an editor.

I firmly understand and believe that an editor's input is vital to the success of the finished product. S/he can see problems I've overlooked (plot holes, for example) or things that just don't work or stand in the way of the characters accomplishing their goals. While strong sales are important to both of us, each story must be written with integrity. It can't be a bunch of 'story of the hours' hooked together. Readers will know the difference.

The reader is the last piece of the collaboration. By writing genre fiction, I recognize that I am writing for a specific audience and not just to please myself. I have to balance my own interests in the story telling with what the reader expects.

My purpose in writing a story is to engage the reader. I want to write the best damned story I can, even if that means rewriting it several times until it's as near to perfect as I can get it.

I anticipate that my editors will ask me to make revisions that challenge me emotionally, and professionally. But that very process will make me get back into my stories and understand better what I'm trying to accomplish. I must not take anything I'm asked to do personally or as an attack on me as a storyteller. It's about making my story stronger.

As a writer, that's what it's all about. Having the strongest story possible.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why I Write

This may not sound very "artistic", but I write to make money.

There. I said it.

I want to make money. I don't necessarily want to get rich, I just want to be able to earn my living as a writer. Make enough money to pay the bills (including paying for my own insurance), have enough to buy steak instead of hamburger, and enough to pay for a couple of conferences and some travel throughout the year.

It's not going to happen overnight. This, I know. Which is why I'm writing as much as I can, as fast as I can. (I think I've finished my novella. I don't know... it ended rather abruptly, so I am going to have to add a scene (or two) to smooth it out.) I'm back on my rewrite of the werewolf story (the one for submission to Ellora's Cave). And in another week or so, I'm going to write a story (5-12k) for submission to Amber Quill's contest. This is the only way to break into Amber Quill, as they don't take submissions through a normal route. Wow. That means they only accept one new author a year. Talk about tough.

At one of my local RWA chapter meetings, Inspirational author Pamela Osback talked about the writing life. She said, several times, that she writes to make money. So she does what her editor asks her to do. If the editor wants something changed, she changes it. Delete this? Done. Add that? Okay.

Only the very successful (read here: Nora Roberts, Stephen King) or the truly self-published can keep their books as is. But the very successful at one time early in their careers weren't well-known and very successful, and they did what their editors asked. And I would guess that most self-published aren't in it for the money. They have something to say, and by publishing their book themselves, they can say it the way they want to.

Me... I want to make money. That's why I write. And that's why I'll do what my editors ask me to.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Does unagented mean unsellable?

Not according to Chris Keesler of Dorchester. Mr. Keesler is a senior editor at the independent publisher (meaning this publisher hasn't been swallowed by a larger company) and has been with them for 10 years. An interview with him was published in the most recent edition of RWR (Romance Writers Report), and he had this to say about the slush pile:

"I pick up a lot of books from the slush pile, actually. It always surprises me how many jewels you can find in the unagented. Of course, you can find a lot of ddreck, too, but I always find it's worth wading through the garbage. I've probably picked up six to 10 new authors this year."

Of course, he goes on to say that the majority of their books are agented, despite all the "great stuff we at Dorchester take out of the slush pile." One of the biggest pros to having an agent is that, according to Mr. Keesler, an agent will get his/her (authors') submissions read faster than simply off a slush pile, because he trusts their opinion. An agent provides something that's impossible for an unagented writer to accomplish: the relationship, the knowledge of his tastes and abilities.

At some point I will be looking to acquire an editor. In my opinion, that's the best way to break into the NY print market. I don't have the expertise to navigate the twists and turns of publishing, and I certainly don't have the contacts that an agent does.

But, for now, as I concentrate on building my career in the electronic arena, I forge ahead alone and unagented. Well, not alone, exactly. I have all my fellow vixen authors right here beside me, one in person, the rest in spirit as they're spread out all the North American continent. They celebrate my successes and put up with my whining. While an agent might do that, too, that's not why I want an agent. I want an agent who will sell me. I got others to provide me with strokes to my ego and kicks to my behind.

Now, let me direct your attention HERE. My buds Jenna and Kate are blogging at Torrid Temptations. Go over and say hi, visit a while. Right here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What It Means To Be A Pantster

There are two basic types of writers: Plotters and Pantsters.

Plotters... plot. They know exactly what happens and where. Not a lot surprises them as they're writing, because they've plotted the book to go in a certain direction.

Then there are Pantsters. I am in this group. We have an idea of what happens in the story line, some of us have more plotting done than others. Usually we have, at the very least, an idea of the beginning, middle and end.

The novella I am currently working on, and trying very hard to finish, started out as a short story. I was going to submit it as an 8,000 word story to fit in with an anthology for Whiskey Creek Press. Then I decided it wasn't turning out right for that anthology, plus it really needed to be longer than 8,000 words. I figured it would end up being around 15,000.

Boy, was I wrong. I keep writing and writing, and the end just won't come. It's like some freakin' kind of literary Energizer bunny. (Okay, 'literary' might not be the right term, but you know what I mean.)

I had the perfect ending line, too, in the hero's point of view: He would spend the rest of his life trying to be the man he saw in her gaze when she looked at him.

Is that a cool line, or what? But it wasn't the end of the story. I'm at 21,300 and still going. I think it's going to end up to be around 23,000-24,000 words. But who am I to know these things? I'm apparently just the typist taking dictation from my Muse. Good thing I can type 80 words per minute, huh?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Something Just For Your Entertainment


Is this yet another example of the way men and women think differently? LOL

Here's a couple of questions I have: How long do you think they've been together? Is he that bad of a lover, or did he do something to really piss her off?

Hey, you, my writer friends, let's do a mini round robin for a five-minute scene. I'll start.


Gladys was on page thirteen of 102 Escape Moves, reading a rather convoluted maneuver that resembled something you'd see on WWW Raw. She glanced at Henry out of the corner of her eye. When she saw his expression and the way his hands held a slight tremble of excitement, she rolled her eyes and sighed. Men, she thought. Always with only one thought in their tiny little brains.

"You might as well forget about it, Henry," she said, moving her attention back to her book. "I'm still mad about what you said about Mother."



So, who's next? Jenna? Kate? Sloane? Hello? Just a few lines. It's only a five-minute scene.

Come on. I dare you. I double-dare you.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What A Woman Will Do...

... to look pretty. For the last few years, I've had my hair professionally colored and highlighted. Now that I'm unemployed, I decided to cut that expense by doing it myself. And, I must say, I did a pretty good job.

I didn't always.

The summer after my eighteenth birthday, I wanted to have lighter hair. (I'm a brunette.) So I used a product called Sun-In.

First thing you need to understand is... Sun-In is supposed to be used by people with blonde hair. Not brunettes. So by the end of summer I had lighter hair that was not quite strawberry blonde. It was more orange than that. But not orange-orange, so I didn't look like a freak.

But I couldn't stop there. Of course not. At the time, I worked for a large distributor of beauty and barber supplies. One of my co-workers was a former beautician. When I decided that I needed a perm, she felt my hair and looked at it and said that it seemed fine. I should be able to get a perm with no problem. So I did. And ended up with what felt like curly straw for hair.

It looked okay. Just very dry. Dry as in it felt like it would break-off-when-you-touched-it dry.

But wait. There's more. Two days before I'm getting ready to leave for college, one day before my best friend's wedding, I decided that my hair needed to be just a little darker. Not as orange looking. So, back to my beautician co-worker. Use a henna rinse, she said. It'll darken your hair a little but you'll still have nice highlights.

Did you know that there are blue-based hennas and green-based hennas? The reason I ask is, I didn't know that. And apparently I picked up a green-based henna. Because when I washed my hair after using it, it was darker, for sure.

It was a beautiful forest green. I kid you not. I had gone from a strawberry-blonde-orange look to forest green. My hair was so porous (read "damaged") that it just sucked up all the base color. So now instead of light curly straw, I had dark green curly straw.

Oy. So I'm all in a panic, calling my hair salon, begging them to get me in. I can't go to my friend's wedding with green curly straw for hair. The only solution: chop it all off. And for the next three or four months, every morning after I washed my hair, I put one of those temporary rinses in to cover the green. As soon as my hair was long enough to cut again (it was only about an inch and a half long at this point), I got it trimmed and had all the green gone.

The moral to this story: if you've done anything to your hair, stay away from henna. Just. Back. Away. Also, if someone you know is a beautician but isn't working as one... there's probably a good reason.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Male Brains Versus Female Brains

Ya'll, I'm still dancing on the ceiling from my news with LSB. Got my contract in an email yesterday, and I'll be sending it off today. Happy, happy dance.

Part of what makes writing fictional characters so challenging is the difference in the way men and women think. As a woman, I have to write my male characters in a believable way. If he and the heroine are in danger, he's not going to be paying attention to the way her hair curls around her face or be thinking about how he should've put curtains up in the kitchen while he had the chance. A woman might think how dashing the hero looks with his hair falling over his face, or have the fleeting, silly thought that she should've finished the redecorating. The hero may think about the first time they made love, or appreciate the twitch of her derriere as he follows her up the stairs. (My friend Sloane's dear Studly had a conversation with her once, and it pretty much summed up that when a man sees a woman, he sees T&A. Doesn't notice her 'flirty skirt', or the color of her eyes, or the shape of her mouth. He sees her breasts and her bottom.)

To prove my point, I have diagrams:

The Male Brain:


There you have it. (Although, the Male Brain pic is supposed to be a gif. It, um, moves. If you know what I mean. But Blogger insists on uploading it as a jpeg, even though I saved it as a gif. Oh, well. Hopefully you can still get the idea.)

P.S. On a personal note, completing Week 2 of my low-carb lifestyle, I am now 8 pounds lighter. Yay!

P.P.S. My buddy Kate has a new Muse. Oo-la-la! Towel-Boy just didn't cut the mustard, and the new guy is showing an awful lot of skin. Plus he's got a tat. Grrrrr.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Won!!

Back in September, I submitted an entry for the Zodiac writing contest sponsored by Liquid Silver Books. My entry, Redemption, was for the last book--Pisces. My friend Jenna won her first writing contract with LSB with the Scorpio book.

And, as I found out yesterday, now it's my turn with LSB! I don't know when the book will be out -- some time early next year (January or February). But... woo-hoo!!

Redemption is the story of Abigail O'Neil, a feisty woman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and is still in danger. She is assigned a supernatural Protector, Damon Stratham, who, in the course of guarding her, falls in love with her and commits all sorts of no-nos, not the least of which is letting his 'assignment' not only see him, but touch him. Add in a cranky archangel boss and a vampire Protector (both of whom are good guys, believe it or not), and all sorts of mayhem ensues.

I'll keep you posted as to when this book is available. Be sure to pick up a copy!

This is my fourth contract in three months. Yet another affirmation that my decision to quit my job on September 1st (the job that was making me crazy and driving my blood pressure out of whack, the job that was slowly working me into an early grave) and concentrate on writing for a while was the absolute right decision at the right time.

A big thank you to my brazen vixen buds who critiqued this for me. Your help was and continues to be invaluable!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

What Your Guy's Face Tells You

According to Cosmo, mention the words sharing and feeling--especially in the same sentence--and even a guy who's extremely comfortable with you will run for the nearest sports bar where he can mingle with his buds and get away from the crazy lady. Men are taught to stifle their emotions, so they often have trouble communicating what they're thinking and feeling. It's not "manly."

But, don't despair. His face can give him away. That's because the muscles in the face are directly linked to the emotion center of the brain. The slightest shift in mood registers as a specific facial gesture. Learn to decode these clues, and you've got a view into your guy's soul:

  1. When he turns his head to the right or left in the middle of a conversation, he's not in the mood to chat. He's using the head turn to put some distance between you, even if he's not physically taking a step back. It may not have anything to do with you or even the conversation; he may have had a difficult day at work. Something has clearly upset him, and getting in his face will only push him away further. So, give him what he's asking for: space. Whether that's 20 minutes or 2 hours. Realize that it may take the average man 20 minutes to an hour to relax and fully process a situation and it's crucial that you give him that time.
  2. You and your guy are at a party, and you lock gazes with him from across the room. You notice that his eyes look sleepy and droopy. He's ready for bed. And I'm not talking about going to sleep. When people feel a strong sexual urge they lapse into a more dreamy state. There's a reason why they're called "bedroom eyes." What do you do? Whisper in his ear all the naughty things you're going to do to him when you get him home; ramp up his arousal. Then wander back to your friends and mingle some more. The teasing will make him crazy. Just be sure you follow-through on your promises when you get home!
  3. If you're talking with your man and he purses his lips several times, pay attention. He has something to tell you. According to David B. Givens, PhD, when a person has something to say, "the brain sends a message to the tongue and lips to start shaping the sentiment. You're seeing his thought expressed before he even has a chance to come out with the words." What can you do? Don't force him. In case you hadn't noticed, men aren't usually very forthcoming, and trying to coax the words out of him may have the opposite effect and cause him to clam up. Give him time to collect his thoughts and formulate the words. If he continues to struggle, change the subject to put him at ease. You can return to the original subject later.
  4. If your guy pauses midsentence and the tip of his tongue protrudes slightly from his lips, it means he's self-censoring. Givens says that "this reflex signals the speaker is anxious, which is often how people will feel when they're afraid they're going to leak information. Before you try to beat the information out of him," Givens goes on, "realize that what he's trying to hide might be something good (something fun for you) or not even about you." It's okay to keep some secrets from your partner. But if curiosity is getting the better of you, read between the lines. What were you talking about when he paused? Gently steer the conversation back that way and, if you're lucky, he might let something slip.
  5. There's a way you can tell when your guy is totally into you. While looking at you, he'll slightly tilt his head and shrug his shoulder at the same time. "In a long-term relationship," Givens says, "this happens when the man feels a surge of love. It's an unconscious way of getting you closer to him because he's craving romance and affection." So what do you do? What do you do? This is your chance to cash in on some easy lovin'. Do something special for him. "Guys love it when you do something with them that they love even though it's not your thing, because it shows you're willing to put their needs first," Givens says. The pay-off? He'll be anxious to return the favor.
Gentle reader, pay attention to your man's face when you're talking or being close. It will give you clues about what he's thinking and feeling. Fellow writer, use this with your heroes. Even the most taciturn of men will have a flicker of his eye, a tightening of his lips, and we all know about that heavy-lidded look he gets when he's "in the mood."

Friday, December 02, 2005

You're In The Wrong Place Today

Stop. What are you doing here?!? You need to be HERE.

Today I’m blogging at Torrid Temptations, the new blog for Whiskey Creek Press Torrid authors. Come on over. Say hi. Give me your opinion on the question asked. Enjoy the Eye Candy.

Go here. Now.

I’ll see you back here at Reflections tomorrow.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's A New Month

December.

The start of winter.

Christmas, and whatever that means to you. Celebration of Christ's birth. Fun with friends and family. Presents.

The end of the old year. Anticipation of the new. Making all those resolutions with all the intention of keeping them this time.

But first, December. This month I have bold ambitions. To finish the novella I'm currently working on and the rewrite of the wolf story for submission to EC. To flesh out the vampire story that's rattling around in my brain and begin it no later than January 1st.

Today, December 1st, Jenna is blogging over at SEx. Go over, blog with her. Tomorrow, December 2nd, I'll be blogging at Torrid Temptations. Stop in and chat. At this point in time, I have absolutely no idea what to blog about, so any help would be greatly appreciated.