Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You go Diana P. and Secret Society Girl!!

Go buy it. Seriously, do it.

You may ask why I'm pushing Diana's book on my blog. Well, there are lots of reasons, many of which echo those of Marley Gibson (she was a guest blogger on TKA blog and wrote a very touching piece - the comments are worth checking out too).

Before I get into all of that, though, first let's chat about the book:

The exploits of Ivy League secret societies have provided healthy fodder for writers. Peterfreund is the latest to go inside the exclusive clubs, albeit with a romantic twist to her plot. Amy Haskel is a junior at prestigious Eli University, the unassuming editor of the literary magazine, and a self-described commitment-phone. When she's "tapped" by the most elite and mysterious society on campus, Rose & Grave, life takes a turn for the bizarre. Soon she's swilling champagne with the sons of senators and CEOs, and keeping secrets from her roommate and her not-quite boyfriend. This is the first in a planned Secrety Society Girl series, and Peterfreund leaves some loose ends to entice readers to pick up her next installment. The story is frivolous but fun to read--full of quirky characters and situations. It's bound to appeal to readers looking for entertaining escape and college humor. (from Booklist).

It's getting great reviews about what a fun book it is to read which is the best thing I think anyone can say about a book!

Now a bit more about the author and why I care about a book I haven't even read. It's a long story so get comfy. Back in the year 2000 I was totally tapped into the romance writing world. I was a member of tons of groups and had gabs of time to write to my heart's content. I even started a little website design company for authors (and helped start a little group that later became Cata-Romance.com). Then I took a few years off, went to law school, etc.

At the beginning of this year I re-committed myself to my goal of becoming a romance writer (it's a 10 year goal) and my first step was to get tapped back into the romance writing community. I'd never been one for blogs, but after reading a few helpful emails by Diana on some loops, I stumpled on her blog. I quickly devoured the archives, finding someone else who approached so many things about "the writing gig" the way I did. Her rants were all things I've bitched about in the past. Her dedication to learning craft, to learning the market, to truly understanding the industry was right on par with my approach. Finally, her dedication was inspiring and kept me writing.

I loved reading the archives, knowing that in the end she wrote a kick ass book and got a mongo fab deal. It was neat to see when she got the idea for Secret Society Girl, ran with it, and to know how it turned out. It was fascinating to follow the ups and downs as they happened, and it totally encouraged me. Here was someone who worked really hard at writing, who learned from her mistakes, who bucked tradition and made it.

I know I sound like a scary stalker but I'm not (I'm not!!). It's just been so much fun to watch someone who worked so hard make it - fun to watch the excitement as the book launches and the reviews come out. And I'm constantly impressed that even with deadlines looming and parties and promotions to plan and execute she's still out there on the loops and boards helping newbies out, answering our questions, giving advice (and ranting - those are always fun).

Alls I'm saying is, I feel like I owe a lot to "meeting" Diana (I won't go into all of that here - even I recognize too much sap) and so I thank her heartily for it!!

Now, go buy the book :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

So much sh*t... so little time...

Okay, I just moved a year ago. And at that time I gave away like 10+ boxes to goodwill not to mention the dozens of bags of trash I threw away. So how is it that I have so much crap to pack? Everywhere I look - crap. Stuff that all needs to make it from Point A to Point B before Friday.

The salt and pepper shaker, the RWA magazines, the VCR and xBox 360 controllers. Eye drops, cotton balls, sheets, christmas lights, books, books, and more books. I even came across my old rejection letters from my first book (3 of the 6 requested partials and then fulls - go me!).

And in all of this madness I have to remember what I need for Nationals and not pack it. I've already lost my old RWA Conference badge (with original PRO pin). I remember putting it in a safe place during the last move but where that save place is now is a mystery. I found an ID badge from high school but my PRO pin? Forgetaboutit.

As for the big move, we're still wondering what the cats will think. Right now they're a little freaked out. My cat - Sam - is loving the boxes but won't let us out of his sight. The Boy's cat... well, she's as neurotic as ever (and smelly).

Wish us luck on the Big Move. Right now I'm looking at having to pack the nail clippers, guitar pick, and collection of pens sitting on my coffee table. What an odd collection of items!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Archival pats on the back...

I'm a big fan of reading other blog archives. In fact, this is something that has really kept me excited about my current WIP. There is nothing more fun than knowing that someone has sold / has an agent/ is succesful/ has finished a new WIP/ whatever than going back and reading through their struggles.

Seriously, it's like reading a fairy tale. You know there's a happily-ever-after and you get to go back and read their thoughts real time. You read about the fears, the ups and downs, the struggle and success.

In fact, that's one of the reasons I keep this blog even though I'm not widely read :) I hope that someday someone out there will be starting out, will wonder what it's like to be at the beginning and will read my story and be inspired. I know that's how I've felt reading other people's history.

In that vein, today I was reading Shannon McKelden's archives and something stood out: she asked how many pats on the back a writer needed to believe in their own work. Great question!

All I know is that I've received a lot today. My other sister wrote to say she LOVED my partial and wants more as soon as I write it. Another internet writer friend told me that she liked it - this is someone who is not obligated to be nice to me! Then someone else whose opinion I admire tons told me it was cool and funny! My writing - cool and funny! Who knew?!

Like I said before, I know that the passion should come from within, the knowledge* that you can write, can succeed* has to come from yourself.

But that doesn't mean it's not awesome to hear someone else say what you like you tell yourself. Thanks everyone!

* As I've said before... I can't spell worth a shirt. Live with it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

She likes it!

You ever have those days when the writing bug is wriggling around in your tummy and all you want to do is work on something, anything? That burning need to write, to be writing, to have written?

It's been a while since I felt that excitement, that tingling. In fact, while I was polishing my partial I was starting to wonder if I wanted it enough. I kept reading about people who've taken 3 foster kids into their already hectic house, but who still write. People who write 20 pages on a daily basis. People who are writing or editing like mad mad mad. People who wouldn't let pesky things like having to move, repair a house, critique others, sleep and work get in the way.

But today I got that feeling, that wonderful life-is-great-I-can-do-this feeling. I think what brought it back was a phone call from my sister at 11pm last night. She'd just finished reading my partial and she loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. She's who I think of as my reader - she's my target. And she knows what she's talking about and would tell it to me straight if it sucked. I'm sure my whole family was afraid to read my partial (I know I would have been if the roles were reversed). What would happen if it sucked? If they had to tell me so?

Questions that will hopefully go unanswered :) I know you're supposed to find that spark within, that you shouldn't rely on what other people say or think or whatever. But sometimes a little validation can go a loooong way.

Now to finish writing the book :)

And thanks to all those blogs out there that share that same feeling of the writing bug. When I'm trapped at work in the morning and can't write it's nice to live vicariously!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The maiden voyage

Yes, folks, today was the first (of many) pilgramage to the Depot - the Home Depot. I have to credit The Boy for keeping our costs down. This morning we drove by the house and he went room by room (and outside) to make a list of everything we needed. Once in the mecca, I mean store, he wouldn't let me detour from said list. Little things that I thought we NEEDED he said could wait until our next trip. Other things that I thought would work to fix problems he answered with a firm, "let's check it out at home first before buying it."

I think he saved us over $100 in impulse buys (we had a bet on how much the bill would be, I lowballed and won). We walked out of there with paint, painting supplies, caulk (some chick tried to pick up The Boy in the caulk aisle while I was waiting for the paint to mix), broom, Round-up, smoke detector (could you believe there were none in the house?!), other assorted odds and ends, and each of us got a book. His is of the general How to Fix Everything variety and mine was Gardening 1-2-3.

As you can see, we're new at this and need all the help we can get.

So we leave the store, hungry, stop by a new (and now fave) restaurant that had excellent BBQ and beer and went home and slept for 4 hours.

So much for using all the tools we just got... I guess that's what Sunday is for, eh?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So much so much...

Oh I have great blog thoughts, so many good blog thoughts. I should save them up, let them out day by day. But they're all timely. So here's my plan: I'll do the list thing. Then I'll elaborate later. Savvy?
  1. We bought a house! Remember back when? It's ours now... all ours. The wobbly sink, the shallow tub. And I love love love it all! We drank champagne on the porch the first night and walked around the park. Can't wait for the maiden voyage to Home Depot this weekend...
  2. Who else didn't want to come home from vacation? I miss the sun and ocean and boozie treats...sigh.
  3. One good thing about coming home... our apartment overlooks our downtown and we had THE PERFECT view of the fireworks. I mean, people lined up for hours to get a view like ours. We kicked it on the porch, drinking wine, holding hands. It was a nice way to say good-bye to our apartment (ok, technically we have a month left...).
  4. Today I sent my partial to a few wonderfully generous beta readers. As I told them, I have no problem at all sending my work to agents and editors (I've done it before) but I'm terrified of sending it out to fellow readers. I know, they can only make my work better but -eep!- still scary! I'm sure I'll be jittery until I hear back from them. But I'm so so lucky I had great people agree to read for me (Bren - I can't find your email on your blog to send it to you!).
  5. The best part about #4 above is that I finally finished up that pesky partial. Well, the polished draft to send out to others. I have a new respect for everyone out there polishing their little hearts out. Not only did my day job take over my nights but it seemed that there was something ALWAYS something getting in the way. I tried to find the blog post I read today about how you gotta find time to write. The End.
  6. Speaking of tripping over things out there in the ether... anyone else noticing all the conspiracies that have been popping up recently?
  7. Somehow, somewhere, I have become a Star Trek, Next Generation junkie. Damn you TiVo!!