Ten Year Class Reunion

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
As I was getting ready for my ten year high school class reunion Saturday afternoon, I kept thinking about Sandra Brown's book, In a Class by Itself, where the main characters hooked up at their ten year class reunion. Well, there were no long lost lovers reuniting at mine. It was pretty anticlimactic that way. But I did see people I hadn't talked to in ten years. Some looked totally different and others were exactly the same. I'm glad I went.

And before I forget, I'd like to call out a thanks to Josh and Ashley for the pointers on that surfing scene I want to write. Yes, I was sober enough to remember the details. Thanks again.


Friday, May 23, 2008
I have a feeling I'm heaping too much on myself at once. Not only am I trying to get a house built but I've been pushing the writing thing hard lately. In the past eight months, I've joined Romance Writers of America, become a member of a local chapter, entered six contests, submitted five queries to publishers, and started a critique group. I've received piles of comments from my helpful writer friends and stayed busy reading their work. I've gotten a MySpace page, began to blog, written authors and gone to meetings and festivals.

It's taken a lot from my usual reading/writing time, which was why I started all these new activities in the first place. Not to mention I have a regular 40-hour a week job. I have no idea what I'd do if I actually had children.

This morning I received an email with one of my stories in the title line and I almost started bawling because I thought I'd gotten a rejection letter... before I even opened the silly thing. Once I got my hands to stop shaking, and read the email, I realized it was only a contest coordinator, letting me know they'd received my entry. Whew.

I'm so glad this is a three-day weekend. Need a break bad. I'm going to do nothing but sit at home (mostly because gas is too high to actually go out), eat chocolate, and read and write. Okay, that's a small fib. I'll probably help work on the house a little, and then there's my ten-year class reunion on Saturday. Oh, and I also have to finish reading some critique group material so I can return my comments by Tuesday.

Man, there went my weekend. Hope you all have a great holiday anyway.

KC Lit Fest Pictures

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I have a correction to make from my last post. It was Gretchen I went to lunch with during the Literary Festival, not Greta. Gretchen Jones. And she took a bundle of pictures at the Lit Fest, then posted them on Flicker. Go HERE to check them out. I've also copied a few she took to show you here.

This was our booth

Marianne and Candy (from my charter group)

Carla Cassidy autographing her book

Kansas City Literary Festival

Monday, May 19, 2008
Congratulations to my neice, Jamie Dawn, who graduated from high school yesterday. I'm so proud of you. And I can't wait till next year when you can come visit me at work every day when you're on campus.

On a completely different subject, I went to the KC Lit Festival this Saturday from 11:30am to 2:00pm and camped out in the MARA/MRW tent (those are two Kansas City chapters groups from Romance Writers of America). But I must say the best part of the day was going to lunch at O'Dowds with Carla Cassidy, Greta (Never caught her last name--and I'm not too sure her first was really Greta), and two of my critique group members, Erin and Valerie. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I'm glad I went. It's also nice to be around people that like to write the same kind of material I do.

And then on Monday when I checked my emails, I was even more delighted to find an email from someone who'd found my website all on her own. It's progress, I say and I love it!!

Beds and Tornadoes

Monday, May 12, 2008
What a weekend. We received our government subsidy Friday and spent it on Saturday. Uncle Sam should be so proud of us. We totally blew it... on a king sized bed!! Very exciting stuff here. But as we were walking back to our car to go buy sheets for.... yes, our new king sized bed!!, my husband looked up at the sky and said, "This isn't right." After a cool rain that morning, he felt it was too hot and muggy. The atmosphere was messed up, he claimed... meaning a bad storm was about to hit. And hubby was right.

His pager went off a few hours later. So, he dropped me off at his mother's house while he left for storm watch patrol. Our county didn't receive any damage, but the one south of us saw action. Since the wind and rain swept through our area quickly enough, Hubby came back to get me within an hour of leaving. But on our way home, we could hear another county bleeding through his police scanner. It was absolute chaos down there. Every first responder was talking at once, and they were all asking for help, claiming they had a critical patient or a car flipped over in the middle of a field or a gas line leaking. They needed to close down highways so they could land multiple helicopters. My husband and I looked at each other, grateful the storm hadn't come a little more north.

From the national news, I've heard twenty-two people are dead from this tragedy. The woman whose spot I now work at the library lost her home. It's the only thing on our local news. An infant was lost and a set of parents saw their seventeen year old daughter die when two trees fell on their trailer home. One man was holding onto his wife, covering her and she was killed. I listened to all these accounts and I felt awful for these people, wishing I could do something to help. Thank God my local news website (KOAM) has provided information for me to do that.

MRW Meeting

Friday, May 9, 2008
I'm glad I'm a member of Romance Writers of America. My chapter group, MRW (Midwest Romance Writers) is so wonderfully helpful. Last night, Alfie Thompson gave a spectacular program about point of view. I'd learned about it in college, sure, since my major was writing. But that was very generalized and broad based. Alfie narrowed it down to writing for the romance genre and explained why you use different points of view for different types of stories.

I just want to blab all and share everything she said, but she worded it more eloquently than I ever could. You should just buy her writing help book, Lights! Camera! Fiction! It gives all sorts of great writing advice. Her presentation really jazzed me up. I wanted to call in sick to work today and stay home fixing all my POV mistakes.

I also wanted to call in sick because I'm dead tired. After getting off at work at 4pm yesterday, I drove two hours straight to make the meeting. Then, after we adjourned at nine, I had to drive the two hours back home. And this morning, I got up to return to work at 7:30 sharp. Yuck.

But it was totally worth it. Can't wait to do it next month again.

I'm excited I made the trip though. I'm a country girl, raised on a dairy farm, so I've never done any big city driving before. Biggest town I ever navigated was 15,000. But this meeting was in Kansas City. Granted, it wasn't in downtown KC, but I drove during rush hour and it got a little crowded there. I'm just so proud of myself for making it without wrecking or having a nervous breakdown. Let's me know I can accomplish something anyway.

Feet Secrets

Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I've heard through the gossip bin, that a friend of a friend of mine has never seen her husband's feet. I know this has to be true because, well... who would make that up? And it has me wondering... why? If he has some odd defect or he just isn't into showing off his toes then, okay, he doesn't expose them to outsiders. But this is his wife we're talking about, his partner, his soul mate, the mother of his child.

I wouldn't be able to handle the secrecy myself. There isn't a mole on my husband's body I don't know about. And personally, I'd feel hurt if he tried to block a thing like that from me. It'd make me question what else he was hiding.

Keeping something so private seems like it'd take a lot of fun out of your life too. I mean, what about showering with your loved one? Or swimming? It'd have to get pretty hot in the summer. And what about sleeping? I put on those warm, fuzzy socks in the winter when my feet are cold, but I usually have them kicked off by morning. I cannot sleep with something on my feet.

The whole thing has me thinking about writing too. This is something that would make a great detail. It could be packed with a load of symbolism too. A heroine could really learn her man the moment the socks come off!!

Well, this has been my Andy Rooney moment. Check back later for more crazy blogs.

New Blog Page

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Hey, I thought I'd set up a blog on blogger.com where people could actually make comments. So, I'm putting all my old blogs in this new one. We'll see how it works out.

May Nightstand Reviews

Monday, May 5, 2008
Guilty by Karen Robards
Robards always has the most exciting beginnings. I love starting her books and getting sucked into a sexy, adventurous story. Thank God the woman didn't disappoint this time either.

Don’t Let Go by Marliss Melton
Don't Let Go is the fifth in Melton's Navy SEAL series. I became addicted to these military romances after reading Suzanne Brockmann's SEAL Team Ten, published by Silhouette Intimate Moments, and then her more popular series, Troubleshooters, Inc.

Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart
I was so upset to read on Stuart’s web page that Fire and Ice might be her final Ice book. The only way I can forgive her for that is if she keeps writing those dark, dangerous romances because I can't get enough of them.

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward
Kicking off the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, Dark Lover is hot and juicy. In the past, I always turned my nose up at vampire romances, but after deciding to give Ward a little taste test, I'm hooked and I'm not going to stop reading them until I've gotten through all the brothers in her series.

Hot by Julia Harper
If you like Elizabeth Hoyt, then listen up. Here's her first contemporary romance under then name Julia Harper. Starting a new FBI series, she shows us just how fulfilling a phone romance can be.

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
Well, she's done it again. Beginning a The Legend of the Four Soldiers Series, Hoyt rocks the historical romance world with a steamy yet blunt portrayal of 1760's England

First You Run by Roxanne St. Claire Fourth full novel in the Bullet Catchers Series (there are a few short stories published in anthologies), this story is the beginning of a trilogy about finding three women lost in a black-market adoption operation called Sapphire Trail. And it was just the kind of romantic suspense I love.


Thursday, May 1, 2008
May is finally here, but it's still too cold to put away winter clothes. My husband was mowing in jeans and a sweatshirt this week. The lawn sure looks nice, though, honey. I've still got a few stories out to editors and some excerpts and chapters sent to writing contests. And I'm still playing the waiting game. But I've been keeping myself busy this time around, fixing some of my completed works, adding to unfinished stories, and going over one manuscript with my critique partner. It's been very helpful, and not just in polishing my skills, but also in keeping the impatience down so I don't turn annoying and try contacting any publishers to make sure they really did receive my submission.