Sunday, December 30, 2007

New year, new beginnings, right? January’s named for Janus, the god of two faces…of looking forward and backward at the same time. Appropriate enough…we make our resolutions based on what we’ve learned in the past.

So, based on my knowledge of the past, here are my resolutions and what I suspect will become of them:

I hereby resolve to walk thirty minutes every day. EVERY day. Which means I’ll probably actually get off my duff and take that walk three times a week. In January. By March I’ll be happy with once a week and by May, once a month.

I hereby resolve to stop eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which leaves brunches, tea time and midnight snack times wide open for my favorite food group.

I hereby resolve to write two thousand words a day. As an average. And I’ll live up to this…on the weekends. Most weekends. Okay…SOME weekends. Damn. I’ll never get a book finished!

I hereby resolve to spend less time in Second Life and more time on Real Life. Yeah…fat chance. SL RULES!

I hereby resolve to behave myself at the Romantic Times conference in April. No, really! I promise! I won’t slip a single dollar bill in any of the model’s pants. Honest! Of course, I might slip a twenty…

All right…based on how I’ve kept New Year’s resolutions in the past, I think I’m pretty safe with those. Your turn. C’mon…’fess up. What resolutions are you making you KNOW you won’t keep?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

How Big Do You Want It?

Long? Medium? Just enough to satisfy? How big do you want it?

Of course, I'm talking about book length. You couldn't possibly have thought I was referring to anything else.

Sometimes a short story is enough. You want to sit down for an hour or two and polish off that fast-paced, sexy romance that makes you want to attack your significant other as soon as you're through reading. Sometimes you want something category or novel length that takes a bit longer to read and contains more twists and turns as the plot unfolds, or the hero and heroine slowly fall in love.

Then there are the times you want to completely immerse yourself in a long book. It could be women's fiction, romance suspense, mystery...any of those usually provide several hours of reading pleasure with more plot, more characters, and more sex.

Personally, I like variety. I like short books that I can finish in one sitting, and I like those 100K+ books that I can savor over several days.

A cup of hot tea and a warm afghan thrown over my legs, and I'm all set to trade places with the heroine when the hero takes her in his arms.

I love a happy ending.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Writing Life

I’d planned (and, in fact, wrote) a rather bitchy blog entry about heroines who are too slutty to like but you know, I find myself not in a bitchy mood right now. Maybe it’s the holidays (I know that seems counterintuitive to some but I’m 95% done with my Christmas shopping) or my impending vacation to Fiji and Australia, but I’m feeling pretty mellow and content with being a writer.

Being a writer is great job. It’s not a perfect job because, well, it’s a job. There are edits you don’t agree with, covers you can’t control, and the daily possibility of rejection. But on the whole, it’s a good job to have (i.e., nice work if you can get it).

The thing I like best is I get to fantasize and call it work. If I want to spend a few hours in bed on a Saturday morning, I can easily justify it as working out my next story (because truly, I do my best thinking flat on my back). I work and rework scenes until clever dialogue sounds natural and my non-gay hero can find a reasonable excuse to lock in a passionate with another man.

As a writer, I get to spend time with interesting people…other writers and those voices in my head who’ve kept me entertained since I was sixteen and trying to make it through geometry without falling asleep.

On top of all this, I have fans. Real fans. People actually send me emails to say how much they like my stories. Surprised the hell out of me the first time it happened and still, with each message, I’m comforted and soothed by the reality that someone out there (hopefully many someones) understood the story I was trying to tell and they liked it. It’s a thrill for authors to get these messages. And a global thanks to those who’ve written.

So, I’m going to save the bitchy blog for a later date (but be prepared because it is a bit of a rant) and just say, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Don’t let stress spoil it. Enjoy it!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tis the season?

I had all sorts of ideas for the blog this week.

Oh boy! I thought I could talk about how crazed I get this time of year with parties and shopping and dealing with children flooded with Christmas insanity. I thought about maybe discussing how I gave myself a ten minute spa treatment to help counteract the urge to wrap garland around someone's neck until they turned as red as Rudolph's nose. I even thought about discussing how jaded I am by this point because I've been seeing Christmas stuff out since Halloween.

Then I went to church last night.

No, this isn't going to be a religious post. I promise!!! I have my faith, but that doesn't mean I'm going to shove it down your throat. I have friends who are Jewish, Buddist, Pagen, Wiccan, Hindu, Mormon, and Muslum. I'm Catholic and that works for me, but it doesn't work for everyone, so be it.
Anyway, as I was sitting in church kind of tuning out the priest instead of really focusing, a part of his sermon caught my attention and actually shocked me out of my musings.

In front of our church, we have a stable set up for the holidays with statues of Joseph, Mary, lambs and donkeys and the three Magi. Baby Jesus gets put in after Midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Two years ago, the statue of Baby Jesus was stolen. The church put up a video camera with a sign "God is watching you. So are we, video surveilence in effect." I thought it was sad, but clever.

This week, two teenage boys stole the statue of Mary and one of the lambs. They were caught on tape and their picture will be plastered all over our local paper. Hopefully they'll return the statues before that happens.

Okay, now come on! I can see being young and stupid and stealing a street sign or park bench or something else, but Mary? I mean do you think they're thining,
"I don't want to wait in line when I go to Hell, I want the express lane!"

Besides stealing something in front of a church when it states quite clearly you're on tape, I just don't understand WHY? What internal battles are being waged inside a 17 year old that would tempt him to desicrate a display that's so important to a faith?

These are the same demons that possess kids to paint swastikas on Jewish meeting places, and burn crosses infront of African American churches and homes.

Maybe they just did it on a lark, or a dare. (Although I doubt that as they were caught on film doing a trial run.) Or maybe they're just good kids who thought they were being funny. (Again, not so sure about that since they were out at 1:30 am on a week night.) But in any case, this did more to make me think about the real reasons behind celebrating Christmas than any sermon or TV special ever could.

So, if you celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas to you. If you celebrate any of the other holy days that occur during this time of year, I wish blessings upon you.

And if you're the one who stole the statue of Mary, I hope for your sake you like it hot.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

Wow. December. How did that happen? Christmas this year seems to have arrived with a whimper rather than a bang, it's just kinda snuck up on me. It could just be that I've been really good at putting it out of my mind since I'm also having a significant birthday ...but we won't go there... Yes, I've been having a little bit of a problem opening my Christmas Spirits. So, last night I put the Christmas tree up and tonight the decorations in the rest of the house. I've started Christmas shopping, finally, and I'm looking for a dress for my work Christmas Party. And still... something is missing...

To help get me in the mood I've been checking out the festive themed books on offer. There are some fabulous ones coming out this month but I'm pulling out some old favorites. I find I'm often drawn back to the old Silhouette romances with their old fashioned feel good stories.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What makes a good Christmas book? What is your favorite Christmas book and which one are you most looking forward to reading this year?