Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Homesick


Just spoke to my mom, dad and grandad on the phone. Made me sad because grandad is busy telling me about this old lady who keeps forgetting things...and then he tells me again...and then he tells me again. Very sad.

I'm hoping to get home to visit next summer, but it really depends on having some dosh so not holding my breath. I miss them though :(

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Aspirin??

I can't believe I haven't blogged today--where has the time gone?? Anybody else want to blog for me? as my feet ache and there is a pain strung across the back of my eyeballs. I haven't done anything to warrant aches and pains. Had people to lunch but DH did that as they were work people. I took the kids to the library, which is always hellish because my son dashes around the place if I let him--screams with laughter (if I chase him) or rage (if I curtail his fun and shove him in his pushchair).

I've been tearing my hair out over DH's website, not surprising--so not surprising as to be totally teeth-grindingly predictable. It was ALMOST ready to go. I would swear blue murder, but that is too obvious a response to the frustration I'm feeling right now :/ Grrrhhhhh

I've been trailing through the eHarlequin information threads on writing a book for Harlequin Presents, trying to get a feel for the line, and whether or not the story that won't leave my head might fit. I think it would--I really think it would, which is a massive surprise as nobody dies in this story, nobody gets targeted by the mob, sees ghosts, gets attacked by bears, in bar fights, set adrift on a burning fishing boat. My usual story ideas are full of blood and guts (my poor CPs, expecting romance and getting blood curdling violence--oops), not emotional anx, which this idea has in spades...so, maybe this will be my next project :)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Nugget

In my few weeks off from writing a full length book I have been trying to read craft books. I finally got hold of Dwight Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer in Reno and have been slowly making my way through it.

Last night I read something that gave me hope :D I hate doing writing exercises. I'd rather do my yoga, naked in the middle of a crowded football stadium.

He writes 'The man who cottons to exercises generally isn't cut out to be a fiction writer. He's certainty-oriented; reaching out for a sure thing.
Most potentially successful writers have little patience with such. They're too eager to get on with their own stories; too intoxicated with their own euphoria; too excited over their ideas.'


Yeah--there is hope for me yet :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Books


ohhh--this week I finished Blue Flame by Jill Shalvis. I bought it from Jill in Reno after reading her highly entertaining blog (makes me realize how boring I am:)). High emotion, flammable sexual tension and wonderful characters--I'm looking forward to tracking down all her other books and getting stuck in. Fabulous :)))



I'm currently reading this Jo Beverley book. Isn't it a wonderful cover for an historical romance? None of that ridiculous cliched clinch between a pair of lovers, the heroine with long tumbling hair and a heaving bosom. Just a guy and a horse--my kind of picture :). This book is also excellent and I can't wait to read more of her books (as I admit I never have before :))

Before and after


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Too tired

Too tired to blog and every bone and muscle aches. I foolishly decided to help DH with house DIY. He was filling a large crack in the basement so I decided to paint the front steps that were badly in need of a fresh coat. It took 6 hours and a lot of energy. Needless to say it spotted with rain on and off the whole time, but never enough for me to actually quit. And the leaves were falling from the elm, so that was tricky, them sticking to the wet paint, and too many spiders (and eggs) to mention got new stripes. But I got it done--a tiny help with winter making its slumberous approach :)

I'll take a picture tomorrow--at the moment I am in my jammies after taking a long soak :)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Life

Yesterday I was struck by fever, the same fever my daughter had the day before. Only lasted 12 hours or so and left me with a sore throat, but now I'm fine.

One of our friends isn't though--well he is, but he told us yesterday he suffered a heart-attack about a year ago. He lives in Spain and doesn't have email so we speak sporadically--usually when he's pissed. The poor guy didn't even realize he'd had a heart-attack for a few weeks (he experienced chest pains when learning the paraglide or something similar) until he finally got checked out by a doc. So a 37 year old having a heart attack? Not good.

This guy is typically Irish. Too much drinking, too much smoking, too much of everything...not my Irish relatives you understand--just people I know. This guy philosophizes everything with that defeatist poet attitude. And I have to say it pisses me off.

I sound like a bitch, but we all know drinking and smoking and doing no exercise is bad for us, so to shrug and say Ah well and do it anyway pisses me off. There so now you know. I'm horrid.

I wish my friend nothing but good health, long life and happiness, but sometimes we have to clear our head, focus and get on with it. Fairy Godmothers are fantasy, you control your destiny, with just a wee bit of good luck thrown in.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Vets


We trundled off to the vets this morning to get the dogs rabies and distemper jabs. It started the way all our trips start. Dh said he'd take the dogs, I'd stay home and watch the kids. Then he asks if one of the kids wants to go with him. Then they both want to go with him. So he's taking 2 dogs, 2 kids to the vet clinic that is right on a major road. He thinks I should be OK with this. Anyway, so we all go to the vets, which is quite nice as they have fish in the waiting room etc, and our dogs weren't looking as scruffy as normal because I'd brushed them last weekend (and the elder one got caught in a rain shower yesterday and looked quite fluffy and fetching).

So... I'm chasing the kids, DH is trying to look in control as he tells our dogs to sit & stay (as if they are reliable or well trained or something), then we get in the exam room and have a half hour exam with the assistant (I'm mentally cringing and counting the money), then we have a similar procedure with the vet herself.

Despite the fact our youngest dog has put on 12 kg since he arrived in Canada last year (and I didn't even notice), both our dogs are sparkling examples of doghood :D We were told so, by the VET!!! Couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe they didn't charge more than they said it would be for the shots.

So... Yipppeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Frustrated...

Roses are Red
Violets are blue
I'm playing with Adobe Photoshop
How about you????

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

World Trip


I wonder where my brother is on his world tour? I figure he might just be about to leave NZ and head to Sydney. I'm not sure what the weather is like there just now...which is funny because for about a year the weather on the East Coast of Australia was one of my top priorities! Funny how times change.

It is Winter in Oz--and definitely the time to go visit!!! Sydney is a wonderful vibrant city--but a big city full of traffic and concrete just the same. Its real charm is getting around by water--just like Brisbane which has a super fast ferry up and down the river. Did I tell you my DH studied Bull Sharks who swim up the river to give birth? Not many people know that and it shocked the hell out of all the people who swam in the rivers as kids...

I'd be happy to live in Australia, except for the intense summer heat and the 100 top deadly critters in the world :) The second deadliest lives in the gardens in the sub-tropical East Coast--i.e. Brisbane :) I think it is the Eastern Brown snake (although my ID book seems to have disappeared to Pre-K). A single drop of venom can kill a horse.

Why?

One of the mysteries of the natural world is why do these creatures have such deadly venom when most of them only eat things the size of rats???

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Beautiful South--bad language warning

I don't know if this band is famous in North America or not. They are fabulous song writers and both of the lead singers they've had have very distinctive voices. So OK.

DH chose the album 'Blue is the colour' last night. Put it on loud while the kids sat down for tea. I think we realized at the same moment that it might not be suitable for the under 6's. We leapt for the controls at the same time and fast-forwarded to track number two--which doesn't have the chorus line 'Don't marry her fuck me' on it.

Memories

My kids are going nuts upstairs and I'm letting them play. When I got up this morning I noticed it was much cooler and some of the leaves had started to turn. It is only August!!!

When I was young, August was hot, so was September. I remember sitting in class in September with the sun burning through the big glass windows straight onto my poor tortured body. Actually I loved school. Really loved it. I wonder how I would have got on if somebody--just one person during my whole education--had actually noticed I was as blind as a bat and couldn't read the blackboard from where I sat near the back of the class. There was no way I was volunteering that info and ending up with National Health style specs. No way I could have coped with that emotionally aged 11. So instead I would copy the notes of whoever sat beside me. I also have this problem where I can't see a word when somebody spells it out. People are always spelling words out, but unless I mentally write them down inside my head it is nothing but gibberish.

So imagine what I could have achieved if things had been different and someone had noticed I struggled with the odd thing...but maybe I wouldn't have had so much fun :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Things I like about Canada


1) Canadians--generally
2) The wild birds and other assorted wildlife...including Big Foot sightings...
3) Hot summer
4) Walmart
5) Cheap shoes (Bought four pairs of kids trainers for $50)
6) Its political and environmental awareness
7) Book shops & libraries (both stock my favorite romance authors without me feeling like a dimwit for ordering them)


Things I don't like:
1) Bugs
2) Extreme cold
3) No Walkers Crisps (cheese and onion flavor)

Have you ever lived abroad????

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Recluse

I have always been slightly reclusive. I love my own company and that of a good book. I was thinking about characters and character motivation so I got to wondering why I needed so much me time.

It didn't take long to figure out. I come from a large family. When I was little I had my two sisters, one brother, parents, all four grandparents, three great-grandparents, eight uncles and aunts, assorted great aunts and uncles, 10-20 first and second cousins, and we all lived in the sort of town where everybody knew everything about everything.

I kept a journal as a young child, only to abandon it when someone (either my sister or mother, or probably both) read it and told everyone my inner most secrets. So OK... it only took about 20 years to get over that and start another journal :)

I used to go for long solitary walks (aged 7) taking the dog off through woods and tracks and God knows where. I know there is no way I'd let my daughter do that now.

It's funny, but DH comes from an equally large family. And it had the opposite effect on him. He loves company, needs people-time and lots of drinking opportunities, and competition and running about and basically playing. So two similar environments raised two completely opposite souls--which begs the eternal question--nature or nurture??

Personally I'm hoping for nature at the mo, as my nurturing skills have been pretty crap recently :D



I'm having the sort of self-indulgent time I remember having for years without ever realizing it (if you see what I mean...pre-kids, pre-writing :)). My evenings have been filled with TV and books. I finished 3 novels this week. Ghost Horse, Julia Quinn's It's in his Kiss and something else that eludes me right now. I'm reading Jill Shalvis' Blue Flame now and really enjoying it.

DH's website is constructed and linked together but not published yet as I need some graphical software to make a funky banner. I tried to download it off the web, but it wouldn't have it. Oh well...a small thing considering!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bad Mommy

I'm a bad mommy.

My daughter came into me this morning and said "I can't find any knickers."
"Of course you can," I told her and went off to look through her draws with a resigned huff.

But I couldn't find any anywhere--because they were ALL in the wash!!!
Bad mommy, bad mommy.

That's what you get for trying to be environmentally friendly :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Too Easy

OK--I have finished DH's website, except for making a banner and funky artwork (which I can't do until I have adobe). But I know from experience it is the fiddly details that take all the time.

Anyway--feeling pretty damn proud of myself considering I haven't a clue what I'm doing :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Website for DH

DH is away in New Brunswick and what am I doing?

Eating chocolate in front of the telly?
Watching reruns of Sex in the City?
Blog-hopping?
Chatting with my email buddies or family?


No, I am creating his website!!! So far it is going OK. I'm using Frontpage so I'm used to the Microsoft commands and I have a Dorling Kindersley mini-book on how to build a website. I ordered 6/7 how-to books from the library and the only one I even flipped through was this tiny, 70-page guide for morons. Sometimes less is more :)

Anyway, two pages is enough for me--webpages that is--and I'm off to dive into a Julia Quinn novel that I got free from my conference.

Pity there's no chocolate around here...

Ghost Horse


I just finished this book and have to say it is one of my favorite Intrigues ever. Written partly in the heroine's first person point of view it was a first for me. I love Gothic novels and like the slower pace and quiet spooky tones of the Eclipses.

OK--and I admit it, I'm a sucker for any book with a picture of a horse on the cover.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Moan


OK--I'm about to have a moan so anybody not wanting to listen to some wimpy Brit moaning better get out now--while you still can.

I awoke at 6 a.m., unheard of. I am one of those people who has trouble getting to sleep and as a consequence could sleep till 9 a.m. without stirring (if it were up to me--which it isn't). I was worrying about everything and broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about a rust patch on the car. So, OK, I figure I am not my usual positive upbeat self and possibly the fact that these feeling are coinciding with me sending off two manuscripts in the last couple of weeks wasn't a just a fluke. So I guess I am suffering from big doubts about my own abilities.

Anyway, we are applying for Landed Immigrancy Status in Canada, as we are planning on staying for some time. Last night while I critted an erotic romance from one of my critique partners, DH was going through the forms for a final check. So imagine me trying to get into a sexy scene only to hear...'do we have a pencil' 'have you seen Appendix A?' 'what day was our son born?'

Needless to say I gave up after 30 pages, but will try again tonight.

So the missing things for our application were fingerprints and passport photos. We had some passport photos but they are supposed to be within six months, and the kids' photos were at least 18 months old and mine was a year ago last spring when I'd had a fit and got my hair cropped down to butch (That's what happens when your husband leaves you to work in Oz for 3 months).

So we got our fingerprints taken by 8.45 a.m. (which was surprisingly painless except for the fact DH has half of his prints missing from a childhood accident). Then we went to get the photos and they cost $100. I mean $100??? I would have done them myself had I realized, but DH was on a mission by then and it had to be done NOW!!!

But finally it is done--the huge gigantic fee sent along with the huge gigantic information files--which is kind of funny considering we are the most boring law-abiding people in the free-world, there is nothing to know about us LOL!!!

So, another huge thing achieved this week.

Anything huge happened to you this week???

Monday, August 15, 2005

Gone

It has gone--puff--vanished!!! My manuscript that is :) Glad to have sent it off, terrified about the result, wondering how bad I'll feel if it gets rejected and how elated I'll be if it is accepted. With money troubles shadowing my thoughts and not to mention being thoroughly disgusted with the world's environmental policy I haven't been feeling the huge weight of relief I expected.

I am a worry-wort.

DH and I watched Miss Congeniality 2 last night and it made me laugh. Sandra Bullock is so gorgeous and although nothing spectacular happens plot-wise it is easy to watch and have a giggle at.

I am learning all about Frontpage--and going to attempt DH's website this week. I expect it'll take me a while to get to grips with the software. I have been cleaning paint-work and cooking, even sorting out the huge piles of washed laundry that had accumulated in my bedroom. Weeding the garden, taking kids to dentist, shopping--all those things normal moms do.

Weird not to be writing...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Achievements


OK--finally I am done with my story Storm Warning for Harlequin Intrigue. It is printed out and I just have to get an envelope big enough and I can mail it away to the editors there. It made me laugh when I printed it out to realize this story was bigger than my Ph.D. thesis. OK--I didn't need to catch, rear or dissect fish to do this manuscript, I didn't tear my hair out half as much, but it did give me a nice solid comparison :) We really did used to compare size when we were writing up!!!

Another achievement that I neglected to cheer was DH's path alongside our house. He replaced the concrete because it was cracked and dug down and patched holes in the foundations. Unfortunately we still have a minor leak and need to patch everything from the inside too :(


A third achievement is our daughter's sunflower--can you see it? It is about 7 and a half feet tall and about to flower. Please admire the green trim around the French-doors that I painted this week :)


I am still coughing madly and looking forward to collapsing in a heap just as soon as possible. Here's hoping you all feel better than I do :)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Beverly Barton


I finished this book last night--third in a trilogy set in Cherokee Pointe, Tennessee. I really love Beverly Barton's stories. She writes fast paced novels mixed with intriguing heroes and heroines.

On a personal note, yesterday I felt like I'd been chewed up and spat out. Rotten cough that won't go away, exhausted and stressed from the thought of going back into the real working world :) and drained from months of not taking a break. I have 3 more nights of hard work before my HI should be ready to submit. Then I'm going to collapse and read craft books and make websites for the rest of August.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

KOD Tour


So enough whining already!!!

Kiss of Death organized a tour on the Tuesday before the RWA National conference. It was baking hot, but most of the tour was inside at the Washoe County Sheriff's office. We spent much of the day having lectures from various people--the Sheriff, Dennis Balaam a wonderful man who looked an awful lot like Jean Luc Picard. A couple of detectives in vice and computer crimes. The woman detective pretends to be a 14 year old girl in chat rooms and the number of guys who come on to her with sexual advances is horrifying. Reno now prosecutes guys who offend in this manner in Federal courts (yeahh!!!) which have a mandatory prison sentence. So if they fight the charges they end up doing time, when all the Sheriff's Office really wants to do is have them listed as a registered sex offender and monitored (I don't think I'm allowed to state what I think should happen to them, but you can take a wild guess).

We had a guy (Greg Lubbe) from RAVEN which is the choppers and aircraft part of the Sheriff's department, run completely from charitable donations (I think I got that right). A quick note...during this lecture the best looking deputy I have ever seen came and sat on our little row--next to the gorgeous Loreth. George Clooney lookalike (fans face furiously).

SAR--search and rescue, had a nice morbid slide show full of grisly detailed pictures that we writers all lapped up. They are a fantastic group of people. Had a really great insight into tracking too--as in a man tracking a suspect, not a person tracking a radio-tagged animal (my other life LOL).


After a slap-up lunch it was time for their rivals the Fire department to have a go. We had a couple of gory videos where news-crews got overtaken by wild fires, and some scary stats at how the county is in an almost constant state of alert nowadays, compared to once or twice a year twenty years ago (does anybody out there still doubt global warming--anybody??)

Please note me, trying desperately to find shade and obviously not listening to a word of what is going on!!!


And then a whole group of our ladies trooped up this 100 foot ladder (probably because they got to have a good-looking fireman follow them all the way there)!! Aren't they brave!! I queued long and hard, but alas... (lying, lying, pants on fire).



Now the building we did this in also holds prisoners, complete with black and white licorice stripes, so it was somewhat surreal for everyone. The police/firemen where wondering what the hell a bunch of romance writers were gonna do, we were watching the prisons do their stuff and it took a little while for everyone to relax--but when we did it was a hoot :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Big decision

After talking about focus I now have a major dilemma. There is a job coming up at DH's work that I could apply for. I don't know what to do. If I got the job obviously we'd have a bit of cash for a change, I could hopefully still write in the evenings (though the pace would be even slower than I am now), and the kids would have to go into full-time child-care/kindergarten.

But what if I was too tired to write? What if the kids hated full-time care!!! I would be happy working 2-3 days a week. Grrhhhh. Why is life never simple???

Meretta & Loreth


This is my friend and Reno roomie Meretta. She has a great blog and also lives this side of the USA/Canadian border. This is my other roomie Loreth's website, which I really love.

I have gone back to feeding kids on the dot of my routine (I love that expression) as they ate no more than normal yesterday, but did trash the house completely--if I were rich I'd have someone come in and clean once a week. Can you imagine...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Reno

What did I learn from my conference???

Note it took me a while to get to this post. The artist in me likes to absorb things, information, images, emotions and the scientist in me likes to analyze them.

I learned that if I want to succeed as a writer I need to focus. Just because I fancy writing an historical romance, doesn't mean I should just do it.
I am focusing on writing a book that Harlequin Intrigue or Silhouette Intimate Moments might buy. After that I want to write another, and another until I can do it with speed and style. I do want to write a mystery/romance. Wouldn't that be fun, some old fashioned whodunit with some modern day sexiness? But I have a publisher in mind for that...see I am focusing :)

I learned that I don't necessarily like everybody in the business. That was a shocker because I have found very few people in my life who I don't like. I figure you need to surround yourself with likeable souls you can work/play with and let the rest get on with their own lives.

I learned you could probably screw your career with some misplaced comment or badly thought out rant. Though I am quiet I tend to speak my mind. I don't want to sell my soul for a contract, but I think storing away details rather than just bitching could be worth a lot in the long run.

I learned that like everywhere else politics is alive and well in the Romance Writers of America. LOL. Shame.

Food

I'm trying a new technique. Rather than feeding my kids on the dot of my routine, and them not eating anything, this morning I'm waiting for them to get hungry before we have breakfast LOL. Not sure it is working though, as my stomach is growling and they're still playing at 9.30 a.m.!!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Jason R Conway???



What do you think??? I think Deb may have a winner :)

And this is for Kendra....

Hero hunt


OK--I can't actually choose my next hero until I've sent off this HI I'm working on because I don't want Eric to get jealous on me. But--who will be my next hero?? I have an idea about who he is... he's tall, dark, lean almost slim looking, Tom Cruise sort of smile--but I don't want Tom if you know what I mean. Late twenties, cocky, cop, ex military. Any ideas?

Sean Bean is in my head because he's already picked for the hero in the mystery I want to write after I finish this story.


But who is Jason Conway????? I need a face!!!!


On another note, my brother and his girls just left...I can breathe again and get on with my work. We had a great time and the weather has been scorching hot. They have 4 more weeks around the world and I am so glad they came to see us :) We almost had a bit of romance kindling last night as two fourteen year olds eyed each other up--young love :D

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Lower Fort Garry


Ok--today we hit Lower Fort Garry. It was in the low 30's (Celsius) and baking hot. It is a great tourist attraction first developed by the Hudson Bay Company back in the mid 1800s.


I am constantly amazed by how people survived back then, no roads, no supermarkets, thick dresses and all that etiquette :)

I was admiring the embroidery on this old buckskin jacket--can you see it? And it was so clean looking, even though the leather was a bit stained. Does anyone know if the native people had glass beads before the Europeans arrived??? Gorgeous work.


And here is the fur room--completely politically incorrect in the UK, but the basis of survival and the economy in those early days of North America. Kind of creepy though, all those beautiful dead hides hanging around.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Grand Beach


Phew--gorgeous day here and we spent it on a fabulous hot beach on Lake Winnipeg. Weird that the water doesn't taste salty...

DH and my brother have gone to a Folkarama thing across the river. My brother is like me, a scientist by training, but good at right brain things too!! He is an award winning musician who plays Irish music. He also writes songs and is very supportive of my writing efforts and the fact I'm pursuing my dreams. Music runs in my family. My dad has taught himself to play fiddle, banjo, mandolin, flute, penny whistle, accordian etc etc all without being able to read a note of music--he is also an award winning musician--and a welder by trade :) My late grandfather was a noted banjo player and the talent goes on and on, spreading across the generations.

I have to say I have NO musical talent whatsoever, can't even sing. I write, I paint, I do playdough--that is it :)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Knackered

I am SO tired!!!

What a wuss. I think I'm getting a cold :(

My brother finally arrived late last night with his two teenage daughters. Today I took them to Fort Whyte, a marshland, wildfowl reserve with Bison etc. It was nice and windy so no bugs and the temperature in the mid twenties so gorgeous :)

I'm working on my requests from the conference. At least I am mulling them over in my head. I have prepared the first chapter request for HQN, and now need to work on the full for Harlequin Intrigue. I need a good week where my brain has returned to Earth before I can really work on it. It is finished--three drafts, but I want to go through it and incorporate some of the hints I got from the workshop I attended on HI.

My kids are having a field-day with the videos my brother brought with him, all the Disney Classics his girls have grown out of. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Rescuers. My daughter is in seventh heaven and quite honestly thinks she is the most deprived child in the world not to own these already!!! How to explain poverty to a small child??? How to explain I didn't see a color TV until I was about 14???

LOL--Progress???

Glad they're happy though :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nora Roberts


OK--I guess Nora is the megastar of romance writers. I was surprised to find her sharing the tables of the newbies and sneaking ciggies outside during breaks and working out in the gym early in the morning (OK--I didn't find her in the gym, but my roomie did LOL). She has so many books out I find it hard to say I love them all--but I love most of them and that's saying something. My favorite books of hers are Birthright and The Rising Tides trilogy. She is very good at writing male point of view!!

The big conference furor was all about the fact that Nora boycotted the awards ceremony that she was supposed to emcee. The RWA committee, a bunch of very hardworking volunteers, had decided on a video montage and descriptive script of what had happened over the last 25 years. Unfortunately they chose a very biased political world view and had to be persuaded to remove scenes of the Oklahoma bombing and the World Trade Centre disaster. It contained a very pro-republican theme and a very tasteless shots of Challenger. Did they have Bill Clinton signing the Kyoto Treaty? Brokering the peace process in Northern Ireland or Middle East? No, it had his sex scandals.

It is depressing enough to look at the world news night after night, so I didn't really enjoy seeing one disaster after another up on the screen. It should have been about the romance writers up for various awards, or perhaps about how romance itself has changed in the last 25 years--and seriously I don't think Charles and Di count as romance!!!

And I was uncomfortable about expressing my thoughts--in the land of the free and home of the brave--in the land that coined the expression 'Freedom of Speech'

I didn't feel comfortable AT ALL, expressing my political views which is a shame, because that ladies and gentlemen is what democracy is really all about.

But do I feel the RWA committee should be publicly knitpicked to death? Lord, no, they did their best, the rest of the conference was a huge success. I enjoyed the awards apart from the news clips and the fact it went on way too long. I do think they should try to remember they have members from ALL political spectrums and from all over the world.

HI & SIM


Me and Delores Fossen. She's a lovely lady who writes for Harlequin Intrigue and was giving me big tips and masses of encouragement :)

I didn't get a picture of Suzanne McMinn or Jill Shalvis at the signings, which is ironic as they are the only authors whose books I bought :D I was so concerned about buying a couple of books, beating the queues and not spending too much money that I totally forgot to photograph them LOL!!

I'm a idiot, what can I say :/


However--Loreth Ann White, who writes for Intimate Moments sent me this photo of her with Jessica Alvarez (SIM editor) on the left and Suzanne McMinn on the right.

Clippers

A non-Reno post. I said to my husband the other day. The dogs are hot they need clipping again. He didn't think so. Yesterday he came in with our son, looking as pleased as punch saying Go show mommy.

In his head he'd decided our son needed the haircut. Now said son looks like a Marine :( It was just growing out :( It was about to be beautiful again :( Now it is back to baldylocks :(

The Stars


Suz again, at the literacy signing. She was SO nice. Seriously, she must get a lot of people wanting to move in with her, she's so nice LOL.
I just finished Breaking Point and really loved the story--Max and Gina finally get it together. She makes her character suffer!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Stars


Catherine Mann--came with her husband who's in the US Air Force and where she gets all her inspiration from. She is lovely and I'm really disappointed I didn't get her Code of Honor book (I came home with about 35 freebie books--rubs hands together gleefully).

Another wonderful lady.

The Stars


Linda Howard--she was inducted into the Hall of Fame and was very funny. Deep Southern drawl that I wasn't expecting. Nice lady.

The Stars


Debbie Macomber made me cry during her keynote speech. She told us how difficult it was to struggle and publish her books. One editor told her to 'throw it away' at a time when she and her family were desperately short of money.

The cruelty in that statement and the wonderful sense of up-yours Debbie must feel now :) LOL!!!

The Stars


Meretta and a never-keeps-still-even-for-photos Jenny Crusie

Jenny gave wonderfully informative workshops (speaking at ten-thousand-words-a-second) and an hilarious description of her new collaboration with Bob kill-off-all-secondary-characters Mayer. I really can't wait to read the book :)

The Stars


First Star--she gave a brilliant workshop called 'Best sellers guidebook'

I loved her direct, funny, sharp wit and her hilarious stories about her real life--I can so relate to the husband in the trunk story. She's done everything they say you can't do and done it brilliantly.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Jiggidy Jig


OK--cyberspace lost my post!!! Rats!!!

I'm so glad to be home :D

I had an interesting time in Reno. Met some lovely people, met some people I wasn't very keen on. Saw the ins and outs of a very complex and dynamic industry and witnessed an awful lot of ego. I have to say this wasn't from the top--not the top authors, the superstars like the wonderful Suzanne Brockmann, zany Susan Elisabeth Phillips, energetically enthusiastic Jennifer Crusie, fabulous Linda Howard, lovely Debbie Macomber, the incomparable Nora Roberts--these women were all wonderfully open and encouraging and awe-inspiringly inspiring :)

That surprised me.

I also had the two best roommates in the whole place--we'd been friends on the net, but had never met. I was very lucky to have Loreth (who writes for Silhouette Intimate Moments) and Meretta (who is aspiring, like me) and then there's me--short and dark like a pixie witch.

I'll post more about my experiences through this week, with pictures of my groupie adventures...and maybe confess my reservations about the whole thing too.

What have you been up to????

Suzanne Brockmann


My heroine :D