Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Guess what I just ordered on Amazon?
I was searching for photos of a good, tender and yet consuming kiss to put on my author collage for the book I'm writing and remembered her posting this from North and South. And after reading about it, well...
Yeah, I got bitten. I ordered the DVD. LOL!
I figure it will be my treat to watch it when I get to 30,000 words. Right now I'm only at 18,000, didn't make my weekend quota, so I guess I had better write while I'm gone next week!
Happy Easter, all. Hope your holiday is wonderful. I'm leaving at 4:45am tomorrow for the Dominican Republic and I'll be offline all week. Hope your week is great.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Recently I took on a new project at work, one dear to my heart, but one that requires extra work. If it succeeds, it means I'll have accomplished a dream, something I've wanted for a very long time for the women I've met over 15 years of working with the poor. Not bad for extra work.
But it's a bad time for me to do this. My next historical is due in four months. I have tons of research to do because part of the book will be set in a new area of Egypt.
And today, the day off, I spent... not doing what my coworkers did... partying and hanging at the beach, but running amok. I am leaving Monday at 4:45 a.m. for the airport and a week away for the day job. This means more than just packing. It means meeting with the pet sitter to ensure the dogs will be walked at lunch when I'm gone, getting stuff for the trip, etc.
So today I did laundry. Paid bills DH forgot to pay b/c he's been working so hard this week (It was ok because he made dinner AND cleaned up last night). Today was cleaning up a bit b/c today is FIL's birthday and we're taking him to dinner, going to the grocery, bringing flowers to a friend whose birthday is tomorrow, calling to change a hair appointment (was on hold for 15 minutes, really!) and other stuff.
I did spend one lovely hour at the beach. Going to the beach in the middle of the season down here in S. Florida is like Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's crowded and fast. But I needed a beach day. So I took the Alpha Smart, my chair and drove and yay! Found a parking spot that wasn't 10 miles away.
I sat and looked at the sand and the rugged surf, and I wrote notes on the WIP. I did not make my needed goal of writing 4,000 words. Just made notes on where the later scenes will happen.
An hour later, I realized I had stuff to do. I picked up the chair and started to leave and got into a conversation with an absolutely lovely couple from England. We talked for about 10 minutes. They were wonderful. They said they figured I was an author when they saw me writing.
I told them I hadn't been to the beach in 5 months. Eventually I told them I also work FT for the day job.
They looked at me in pure amazement. "You work in addition to being an author?"
Me: "Yup. That's what I haven't been to the beach in 5 months!"
This year I am struggling. Really struggling. After writing 3 books last year and working FT, I am burnt out. Totally.
RT is next month, and my birthday. RT for me is not a vacation. It's my special time with readers and booksellers and my publisher(s). When I attend a convention, I want to make sure that any reader who wanted to meet with me, can. It's THEIR time.
Same reason why I stayed and stayed until the end at RWA...even though I hadn't any books to sign, due to a glitch. If one single reader wanted to meet me, I wanted to be there for them.
But RT, though it's fun and frantic and crazy and I'll enjoy seeing everyone, is not a vacation. It's busy and crazy. And DH won't be there.
I have a book out in May I have no time to promote. I'm leaving Monday for another work trip to an area I've never been to before and have no idea if the place where we will stay will be like last time, where I wondered if I'd be electrocuted while taking a hot shower.
And I realized this week that I'm really tired. And I will never be able to support myself by writing romance. Fact.
I'm a midlist author. It's just not going to happen.
Like most couples in the US, DH and I work hard. We don't spend a ton of money, but we're fortunate, because we still have our house, and our dogs, and despite the recession, we are doing OK. I'm very very grateful for that.
Like someone I know said, the money I do earn writing romance is for the privilege of being able to exercise the love of my craft. IE: getting published. I write romance, get books published and to get more books published, I have to promote so my sales are okay enough for publishers to buy more books.
But wow, some weeks, like this one, I really, seriously consider quitting.
There are readers like Ana and Aimee from RBL romantica who keep me going. And Gillian, who regularly comments here. And Mary, who wrote me last night. And many others.
Still, I keep thinking maybe I should quit... and then I could spend my free time not worrying about deadlines and book sales, but going to the beach to hang out with friends or actually having a spare moment and not be a hermit.
I think of Sherrilyn Kenyon, whom I personally admire and cheer on, and Christine Feehan, who is a superstar and a real, very nice person, and I realize there are good writers out there for others to read.
If I quit... would it be such a loss?
I know I'm never going to be the writer who makes the big lists, who gets the big contracts, the attention, the awards. I'm never going to be that great. I have friends whom I keep cheering on and hoping they will make the "big times."
Me? I'm thankful to get published, but I know it can never be a FT occupation for me.
And when I think about traveling next week, and returning to the hotel too weary to write, it makes me, again, think about quitting romance writing.
And then today I get a letter. Like someone is telling me something different.
I drove to the post office to drop off the (late) bills, and checked the PO Box. And I sat in my car reading this letter. It's from a woman who does stuff that is dear to my heart. She works with special needs adults, her home is open to teens who really need just a place to hang out and a good adult to talk to, and she tries to help when she can, to make the world a better place.
Yeah, I know that sounds corny, but hell, people who TRY mean a lot to me. You do what you can when you can, and you'd be surprised at how that effort adds up. Whatever you can when you can.
She just read The Cobra and the Concubine and loved it. Loved. It. She wrote only to tell me "thank you." She stayed up late reading it.
a thank you letter from a reader. Wow. She wrote, "Thank you, Bonnie. For a few days, you've given me another world."
So again, here I go. I've thought about quitting. Really considered it. But that letter, it was sincere, from the heart. And I realized... I don't want to let people like this down.
So thanks, Victoria from NC. You just handed a very weary author who wondered if the struggle is worth it, a reason to keep going. I will never reach superstar status, make enough money to support myself, but as long as there are readers like you who take time from their hectic lives to write a note and let me know what I'm doing with romance writing does matter to you, I'll keep going.
I may not be the Energizer Bunny, but I'll do my damn best. It's all I can do.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Also doing a guest post for RT's blog about the upcoming convention, but I'll be gone next week when that post runs.
Finally, finally! got over a hurdle regarding the new historical. I wrote a prologue regarding the heroine's background and it all ties in well. The hero is turning out to be even more unruly than originally intended. He disregards rules, propriety, morals and is a man with voracious sexual appetites.
So I'm changing the title of The Pirate & the Princess, which is kinda meh anyway, to The Lady & the Libertine. More evocative, especially of the hero.
Up to 16,000 words, goal is 20,000 words by this weekend so I can leave for the DR on Monday (have to leave for the airport at 4:30 a.m, UGH) and not worrying about fulfilling my word count if the trip proves to have little down time.
We received more bad news regarding malnutrition in Guatemala. A child our team met died from starvation and more kids are dying from hunger in that region. God, some days I hate doing this kind of work, because it makes me feel so helpless... I'm just glad we'll be in the DR for bad housing and not starvation next week.
Monday, March 17, 2008
This is for the pre-writing stages of your book when you are ruminating over ideas on how the story will take shape. You collect pictures and objects related to your story, or to evoke certain emotions in the book, and put them on a sturdy piece of cardboard or foamboard and keep the collage before you as inspiration.
I usually collect photos of antique gowns (the story I'm writing is Edwardian) or photos on settings (New Orleans and Jackson Square, where ENEMY LOVER, my Nov. Nocturne, is set) but never pulled them all together in one piece as an easily referenced visual aid.
Jenny Crusie has a terrific blog post about making a collage and how collecting one piece can lead to inspiration.
She writes, "When I began looking for images, I knew there would be chocolate-covered cherries in the book, but I found myself much more interested in roses, in rooms with windows, in water images, in clocks. It took me awhile to understand why. As a former art teacher, I wanted to make a work of art that illustrated my book, but as the collective muse for my book, the Girls in the Basement wanted a collage that evoked the story. Fortunately, the Girls won. Take those clocks, for example. I had no intentions of doing anything with time since the book was going to be about greed. But as I was gluing my fourteenth clock on the collage, it dawned on me: greed is ever-present; it's time pressure that makes the greedy take action. So I looked at my characters again with the idea that they were running out of time to achieve the things they were greedy for, and the book suddenly had push where before there had just been ideas."
I'm going to try this for the new historical. I've run into roadblocks in the writing, and pulling it together. I know where I want to go, but it seems like there are too many detours in this story already. Usually I don't do much "pre-writing" because my deadlines jump from one to another, and the day job demands make it tough to juggle my writing time.
However, the idea of a book collage is something I'm taking time to do for this book. And next week when I'm in the DR for the day job and have down time (four hour bus trip to the north) I'll jot ideas of what to put in my collage.
Click here to read Jenny's blog post on how to make an author collage.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Update, March 17: Just checked Barnes and Noble and... tada! THE FALCON & THE DOVE IS FINALLY BACK IN PRINT AND AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!
Here's the link: I'm going to order copies for myself. And then celebrate. It's St. Patrick's day and my first book is FINALLY back in print!
This is the Japanese cover for The Falcon & the Dove. Isn't it gorgeous?
Dorchester was to go back to print on this book, my first, in February, but now it's been pushed back to this month. I will have Falcon available for signing at RT next month.
Here is the original cover, featuring model John DeSalvo. Talk about a contrast between the original and the Japanese!
He barks when we leave, and is happy when we come home. I brought him to Pet Supermarket last weekend and bought him a bed and some toys. He's really bonded
with DH. Must be a male thing.
It's been a hectic week with lots going on. I am finally making some progress on the new historical. Was sitting in the Florida room yesterday writing when Dolce jumped up on the sofa to investigate and sat by me. Wow, if only I could teach him to type...
Home this week and then off to the Dominican Republic next week for the day job and will be offline.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
All we have now is Tiger. Rainey died in October from cancer (our rescue Shih Tzu we adopted last January) and we had lost Tia to cancer in Dec. 2006. After losing Rainey to cancer, I swore that was it. NO more dogs. Tiger was it. I couldn't bear the thought of more heartache.
But what about this poor dog and his family? They're heartbroken to have to leave their pet behind and they just want a good home.
I keep thinking about the mortgage crisis in this country, too, families losing their houses and everything they've worked for, and losing their furbabies as well.
I think that's what happened to the cat that's been hanging around our house. It appeared this week; healthy, a little skittish, but very pretty. Kept meowing and meowing. I put out some food and the cat gobbled it down. So I went and bought cat food. I'm allergic to cats, but if it keeps hanging out, I'll feed it. Definitely an outdoor cat.
Florida has the third-highest foreclosure rate in the country. Imagine all those pets forced to be left behind when families must leave their houses to go live with relatives or rent apartments. It's so freaking sad.
I'll have to talk to the Dh and see if he agrees. Maybe it's meant for us to get another dog now. I would hate to see a dog end up in a shelter, bewildered and alone, wondering what happened to his family.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Here's the blurb:
An embittered and ruthless English earl abducts a scarred and lonely Egyptian woman who holds the key to finding a treasure-laden tomb.
I think I may have fun writing this one. I really like Karida, the heroine. She's Khamsin, and Ramses (The Tiger & the Tomb) is her uncle. She's considered unmarriagable because she was badly burned across her lower body in a fire when younger.
It's hard switching from Cajun werewolves to Egyptian Bedouin, but I've got my music and I'm motivated. Deadlines are great motivators for me. :-)
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Rafe is a hot Cajun and loves those spices. I'm listening to hot Cajun music now. Professor Longhair, Beau Soleil (they rock!) and thinking of New Orleans, magick, music and good times. Rafe rides a Harley, wears black leather and oozes charm. He adores a pinch of Cajun spice with his dinner.
Me? I had horrid stomach problems this week that flatlined me, forcing me to take a day off work as I drove all over, trying to find a pharmacy that had the prescription meds my MD wanted me to take. If it got worse, she advised me to go to the ER because it could have been very serious.
Wanting to avoid the ER, I tried to find the meds. Found them, took them and promptly proceeded to hurl again, as I had for the past 24 hours, which is what happens when I have a bad case of acid reflux or I watch too much American Idol.
I'm better now. Sticking to the Cajun music, and letting only my characters in books taste those hot Cajun spices. Werewolves don't get heartburn. Only their authors do.