Sunday, November 29, 2009

What are you thankful for?

Okay so Thanksgiving (the American version, anyway ;-) is over, and the Canadian version is even MORE over...and perhaps this is a rather cliche topic, but it seemed rather...timely. As my children grow older...and, unfortunately, I do, too....I look at my life and am more and more thankful every day for all the amazing people and blessings in my life. And I thought this was a good opportunity to acknowledge some of them...

I'm thankful for:
-a husband who loves and supports me. Whom I laugh with and have fun with. Who spoils me regularly and whom I respect and adore beyond all reason. Who is a good father and hard worker. And who is one of the best handymen I know!

-for 3 sons who have gone above and beyond all my expectations for my children. Who are fun to be with and who, in turn--even though they're well into their teen years--enjoy being with their parents. Who are affectionate and respectful and seem to know themselves and have a handle on their place in the world in a way I can only take partial credit for.

-for a job that is challenging and rewarding and that has allowed me to provide for my family, while at the same time allowing me the time and flexibility to be both a mother and author.

-for the sense of self and a confidence in who I am that I lacked in my youth. I am no longer the person my parents wanted me to be. I am who I am, and no longer make any apologies for it.

-to live in a country where my health care needs, as well as those of my loved ones, are provided for without worry or compromise. (I had very good reason to be grateful for this over the past couple weeks)

-for the opportunity to explore and experience a diverse and exciting world full of people from all walks of life, and a husband and good friends to do it with. Case in point in a couple of weeks I'm going along with some girlfriends to see the play "My Mother's Jewish Lesbian Wiccan Wedding." And I'm going with a Lesbian Wiccan friend. Ain't life grand? lol

And finally...I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to explore my dream and passion of writing. And to have had the incredible opportunity of actually having my stories published and have strangers read...and ENJOY them!

So, how about you? What are YOU grateful for? (make the list as long as you like. God knows I didn't edit MINE! lol)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Favorite Season

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. Why do I love autumn so much, you ask? There are a lot of reasons, and I'll share a few with you.

The colors. All the reds and golds and oranges of the leaves turning colors are simply breathtaking. I live in North Texas where only a few variety of trees actually change color in autumn. I'm surrounded by mountain cedars which stay green all year long. But those trees that do turn color...there is nothing more beautiful.

The cooler weather. Our summers are hot and humid. Most of us breathe in relief when the weather starts to turn cooler. Finally, we can walk outside without feeling as if we're hit in the face with a wet washcloth!

Football. Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter know how much I love football. I wait all spring and summer to be able to watch football again in the fall. And no, those tight pants the players wear have nothing to do with why I love the sport. Okay, maybe a little. :-)

The holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I know Christmas is technically a winter holiday, but don't burst my bubble.) Those holidays mean fun for the kids and togetherness for family, lots of good food and laughter. Who doesn't love watching a child open a present on Christmas morning and seeing his or her eyes light up with happiness?

Christmas is the holiday where all of us are children again. And that's the most special reason of all to love autumn.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Blogging on...Blogging

I love the idea of writing a blog—mostly because I’m vain enough to believe, to think, that you and the rest of world not only needs to hear what I have to say but wants to hear it, that what I’m going to write is so clever or interesting that a light bulb will illuminate above your head, you’ll see the world in a different way and recognize my brilliance.

Then I start to write the blog and discover I’m not nearly as clever or interesting on paper (or the screen) as I sound in my own head.

As I fiction writer, I’m a good judge of my own writing, what’s working and what’s not. I might not always correct the problem but that’s usually from laziness or deadlines. Or the overwhelming realization that if I fix that one problem, I have to re-write the whole book so I make a decision to live with it.

When writing a blog, it's more real, more personal. And the words don’t sound like me. They don’t have the inflection or the pauses. I can’t jump into a character’s voice or describe actions. And sometimes, I just sound mean. Words that I speak out loud sound much more harsh when written. And in the end, I scrap the whole thing and write something less interesting, less controversial, less clever.

There are a lot of blogs out there but none that I return to time and again. The last blog I read consistently was of porn star and that was years ago before the term “blog” even came into being. She posted a weekly update on what she was doing and how many movies she’d done that week. The insights into her life were intriguing and it gave me a sense of “knowing” her. (And yes, out of curiosity, I watched one of her movies and realized, it’s still just porn).

I wanted my blog to be like that…to share with people my daily adventures, but you know, I don’t have that many adventures. I enjoy my life and have fun but can’t really imagine that most readers care that I’m knitting an Entrelac shawl. I certainly can’t compete with the adventures of a porn star (and wouldn’t really want to).

So, here’s the point where I normally start deleting. It’s not clever enough, or it feels like it’s a bit depressing. But I’m not going to. I'm going to post it as it. Well, I'll have to do some editing because that's just who I am. Now to wonder if I took out all the really good stuff...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Match Made In Heaven

“Oh…oh, yes…yes... ”

Heat rippled through her veins and settled in the pit of her stomach. This is what she had waited for. The intense moment sent shivers up her spine. Nothing at that very moment would ever surpass the thrill she felt. This is where she wanted to be…this is what she had needed for so long.

Hmmm….what do you think is going on? Maybe someone is about to have the big “O”? NOT! Well, if you love talking books, maybe so. Because that’s what I’m talking about—the thrill of discussing erotic books and knowing that your listener understands exactly what you’re talking about. No questions from either readers or other authors that don’t quite understand the concept of ‘Romantica’, Ellora’s Cave’s coined term for erotic romance.

Relationships…reader to author, reader to reader, author to author, and I was fortunate enough to experience this thrill last month and on all accounts. Hence the ‘match made in heaven’ theory. I’m talking about the Ellora’s Cave Romanticon in Ohio and the entire experience was close to the big “O”. No shit! If you don’t believe me then I would start saving right now and plan to attend the 2010 conference. I know I’ll never miss one.

All in all, the Romanticon was THE best conference I’ve ever attended. I’ve been to other writing conferences and yes, they’ve always been fun and informative, but I came away from Ohio with a renewed enthusiasm for the reading world that I’m so attached to. I think most attendees, readers and authors included, came to “feel out” the atmosphere, this being EC’s first stab at something like this. The company did a phenomenal job.

The venue was tight since the conference was only a three day event, yet if magically flowed from morning to night. I personally have never spent so much time just talking books and meeting fellow authors and readers who were specifically in Ohio for the same reason as me. They love EC, TLC, and CP books. Period. For the first time I felt that all the authors and wonderful readers were on the same level. It didn’t matter if you were standing in the hallway, out front having a cigarette, attending a seminar, eating breakfast or sitting in the bar. We were all there for one reason and an air of intimacy prevailed, something I’ve never experienced outside this conference. I’m not quite sure what fostered this familiarity between everyone—whether is was some unobtrusive thing the employees of Ellora’s Cave did or if the stars were aligned perfectly, but new relationships abounded and I’m sure everyone left with a sense of complete contentment.

So, kudos to everyone who was on Ohio. Thank you to the publishing company and thank you to the readers and authors who cradled my books and lovingly spoke about them. Whether you’re the author who wrote a book or the reader who relives moments within them, we all know those pages, those storylines, those characters are like family. Isn’t it great?

See you in Ohio!