Thursday, May 28, 2009

I needed this today

Note: A friend sent this to me today, and I had to share it with anyone reading this blog.


To hoom it mae cunsern, I waunt to apply for the job what I saw in the paper. I can Type realee quik wit one finggar and do sum a counting..

I think I am good on the phone and I no I am a pepole person, Pepole really seam to respond to me well. Certain men and all the ladies.

I no my spelling is not to good but fi nd that I Offen can get a job thru my persinalety.

My salerery is open so we can discus wat you want to pay me and wat you think that I am werth, I can start emeditely. Thank you in advanse fore yore anser. hopifuly Yore best aplicant so farr.

Sinseerly, BRYAN

PS : Because my resimay is a bit short - below is a pickture of me.

Employer's response:

Dear Bryan,

It's OK honey, we've got spell check. See you Monday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Writing, RWA, etc.

Here's a trip down memory lane. RWA National in Dallas, 2004. Pamela Clare finaled in the Daphne awards for her first RS, Extreme Exposure.

That was a great conference. Below is a photo of some of the RBL Romantica gals who went to Dallas. It was my first time meeting them, and it was great.

My last RWA conference was Atlanta, 2006. I got to see Jennifer Ashley win her RITA (yay) and meet my HQ editor for the first time, before my first Nocturne was even published.

This year, I'll be in DC. And I think RWA will be different for me. Lots different.

I'm seriously thinking of not doing the booksigning.

I'm waiting another week or two to see how it goes with the family health issues, which take priority right now. But I'm feeling kinda strong about this. DC for me will be more of a "me" conference.

I want to see old friends I seldom ever see, and I want to play tourist. A friend is coming down and we're going to sightsee. I've never been to DC before and I figure this is my only time to do everything.

So for me, this will be more of a "behind the scenes" RWA. I might attend a workshop or two that gets my interest, but there'll be no "networking" or career pumping for me. RWA is the place to network, and this year I have little interest in promoting my career.


Because this year, I've decided to focus on something much more important to me than promoting my career or aiming to get new contracts or climbing the romance author ladder.

I'm focusing on my writing.

Writing is one of the few things you can control in publishing. You can't control distribution (ask me about this, lol, I can tell you) or if readers will buy your books or maintaining momentum or creating buzz or sales or even control release dates and scheduling. Or if your books will be pirated and available as free downloads, stripping you as the author of funds needed to promote your books or even to pay the grocery bill. (Pamela has a great post on this subject, click here to read it.)

But you can control your writing.

I came to a tough decision earlier this year when I realized something had to give. It wasn't going to be me, either. One of the genres I was writing had to go, at least temporarily. And trust me, seeing my books out on the internet as free downloads helped me come to this decision. I asked myself, "Why am I working so hard just so people can rip me off?"

So I dropped the Egyptian historicals. It wasn't easy for me to do, but in retrospect, I'm glad I did. The pressure and the strain to produce one 90,000 historical a year, along with the Nocturnes, and working a demanding day job AND traveling to Haiti, Nicaragua, etc, and having a life! was too much.

The Nocturnes are fun and different for me. And now I'm writing another Bite, a 15,000 word or less short story that's released in ebook format only (though my first Bite, Broken Souls, was released in trade paperback in April in the Midnight Cravings anthology).

When I wrote Broken Souls, I knew I could do better. I'm not very good at writing short stories; they're a huge challenge.

So when I set out to write the next Bite, Darkness of the Wolf, I resolved to do better. I took my time, revised, revised, revised.

I just turned in edits for that Bite, which is out in August. And I was delighted to see the edits my editor requested were few. I had a real good feeling when I turned in Darkness that it was a stronger story than Broken Souls. I think I was right.

It was a better story because I took the time to write it, putting in as much effort as I would to a full length Nocturne, and I read some articles about writing a short story, and asked friends for advice on how they write short stories.

I learned more. This is a fluid business. I firmly believe writers should always be learning, otherwise, your writing grows stale. There's always new ways/methods out there to explore.

So this year, I'm exploring.

I also made the tough decision to push my next deadline way back. It wasn't easy, but the family health issues came first. I knew it would be near impossible with a very tight deadline to produce the kind of book I want to write, the kind of book that makes me go "ah!" with what's happening now.

Right now, I'm writing another Bite, due in August. It's called Courage of the Wolf. I started it last week and so far I really like it. I brainstormed an idea to give it a new twist and now I'm experiencing a feeling that makes everything worthwhile.

I'm getting excited about writing romance again.

It's a wonderful feeling. I want to write this story, not because it's a contracted work or I'll make oodles of money (I won't, lol) but because it's galvanizing me as a writer. I'm writing as I once did, as I should. There'll be a learning process along the way, and mistakes will be made that will require revisions or edits, but that's okay.

I'm loving this again. And to me, that's more important than anything else in the business right now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Graham and Jillian by Cesiah Asturias

Isn't this wonderful? Cesiah Asturias drew this. She's also done art of my other Khamsin warriors, which I plan to post in the future.

I'm so much in admiration of artists. And this rendition of one of my favorite couples from THE PANTHER AND THE PYRAMID is right on target. Thanks so much, Cesiah!

Family issues still keeping me on tetherhooks, but things have settled a little. We passed by a huge hurdle with the family member's surgery, so that is a big blessing. Now it's wait and see. Still stressful, but it's teaching me to take one day at a time.

Sometimes that's all you can do.

Today I mailed out a proposal to my HQ editor, the proposal for The Shadow Wolf. I'm proud of myself for finishing this in the midst of all the drama in my life, and even prouder in how I revised this story. I read it over last night and said, "Oh wow!" I really like it and I'm crossing my fingers my editor does as well. There's a touch more horror/suspense in it than the last Nocturne, and I think it will be fun to write the full.

I also asked for a major deadline extension on that book. I realized how badly I needed one after last week. My editor is great, and fully understands, which is wonderful. I have two short projects due by August, and that's going to keep me busy all summer.

In the meantime, I'm on Facebook, finally. I capitulated, when a friend told me others I know are organizing a reunion. So I joined. It's funny, this whole social networking thing. I joined with the intention of keeping up with my "real" friends and now I have "social networking" friends. The viral marketing/technology arena makes me wonder, sometimes. I'm fascinated by the internet and all the wonderful possibilities that open up for people. I love connecting with people across the world with just an email or a page on a social networking site.

At the same time, I'm very much aware of the hazards of the internet; flame wars, the cattiness and cruelty that can arise when people aren't accountable for what they say. I'm thinking of that poor teenager who killed herself after her ex-boyfriend sent her nude photos to others. She'd "sexted" him the photos of herself, and after they broke up, he sent them to other girls, who called her a whore and a slut.

I read some stuff where people were actually blaming the victim. Come on, people. She was in a relationship with a guy. She trusted this guy. The guy broke her trust and it had devastating consequences.

There should be some accountability and responsibility for such behavior.

I'm not in favor of the "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" school because that's restricting free thought and freedom of expression. But where do you draw the line?

Let's use the example I run into as an author of romance novels. Reviews, such as those on Amazon, can make me wince, but I shrug them off. Unless they're vindictive or personally attacking me, I think even negative reviews are good. Freedom of expression. Readers should be able to say what they think about a book (I just wish they wouldn't post spoilers. ouch).

The internet has opened up a wonderful medium of expression for readers. They can discuss books, find new authors they like, talk about their likes and dislikes, etc. Connect with other readers, and the authors they like as well.

At the same time, if you post something on the internet, either on a blog or Twitter or Facebook or Myspace or Amazon or anywhere that is a personal, vicious attack, then wth??? What's your purpose? The problem with communication over the internet is that it's too easy. You can couch yourself in safe anonymity if you wish, and remain free from accountability even if you use your real name. You don't have to take responsibility for your actions because there are no consequences, other than being lambasted online or shunned.

It's not like face to face communication or being in that person's presence.

In face to face communication, you can see expressions, hand gestures, and hear tones that can be key in helping to discern what someone else is expressing. You can't do that in email or on the internet, which can be a dangerous thing.

I wish more people, before they posted, would really ask themselves, "What's the purpose of this comment/observation? Am I doing this to make a valid point that would serve a real purpose, or am I just blowing smoke up someone's butt or dancing around to get attention?"

Maybe if people thought before they spoke/wrote, there would be less nastiness and horrible consequences like that poor girl's suicide.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gone for a while

Sorry all, major family health crisis has arisen and my online presence will be sporadic from now on.

In the meantime, I have a post on Friday, May 15 over at the new Nocturne authors' blog on eharlequin.

Here's the link

Please pop over there and leave a comment, if you want. Thanks.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Birthday cruise!

Thought I'd post pix from my birthday cruise down the Intracoastal. DH and I took a yacht cruise the day of my birthday in April.

Perfect day, sunshine, mild temps. This is me on the top deck, ready to catch some rays.

This is an osprey nest at the undeveloped land bordering the most private, and expensive and guarded development in Boca. The Sanctuary. Homes on the water run around, say, $20 million. Guards in boats patrol the water to keep out intruders.

The fees they pay for this privilege... whoa.

But the birds get to stay for free!

This is the marina entrance to The Sanctuary, the only real glimpse you get of it from the Intracoastal. Hey, even if they did leave a couple of miles of undeveloped land just to guard their privacy, I'm glad they did. The east coast is way overdeveloped as is.

One of the many waterfront homes we saw.

This is our yacht. For two hours, anyway, it was ours! :-)

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Shadow Wolf

This is how I pictured Gabriel, the hero of The Shadow Wolf, the Nocturne I'm writing.

Home for lunch. Took Dolce to the vet; worried about his lethargy yesterday and seemingly upset stomach. He's fine, frisky as ever. Just a precaution, but I'm glad I took him. It was really, really tough. Last week we took Tiger to the vet to put him down. I'm proud that I made it through the vet visit without crying. Instead, I just joked with the vet. Humor is a great defense mechanism.

It was sad, though, coming home to an empty house without Tiger. :-(

Work on the revised proposal for The Shadow Wolf is coming along. I think I can ace it this week and send out. Was struggling with Gabriel's inner conflict and I hit on something in his character that was like, "Whoa, that's it."

It makes for a slightly different ending, but I like it. The heroine is the one who comes to the rescue, not him.

Part of me is sad I'm no longer writing historicals, but part of me is relieved as well. With the craziness of this year, I needed to cut back. We're meeting on travel later today and I think I'll be in Nicaragua next month. I have three deadlines by August. I honestly can't see me with another tight deadline this year. I think I'd go wiggy.

Instead, my goal is to work on what I can control; the writing, and really dedicate myself to doing the best job I can with The Shadow Wolf. I've finally drummed up a little enthusiasm for writing again, which was really needed.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Winner of the Falcon and the Dove

From last week's contest is Housemouse.

Housemouse,please email me at bonnievanak @ aol. com with your snail mail. (No spaces)

Thank you everyone, for entering!