Time travel

Today is Tuesday in Debland. Bet you thought it was Wednesday. Ha! Either you’re wrong or I lost a day.

My bet is on the latter. Does this ever happen to you?

I’m a planner (not a plotter). I make elaborate lists to keep track of the myriad demands on my time. One small, spontaineous change–like going to town on a rainy Monday afternoon to catch a movie with my son–and suddenly the whole week is cock-eyed. Where’d Tuesday go?

I’m going to lay the blame right where it belongs–at the feet of Robert Downey, Jr.

My son and I are huge fans. We’ve liked him forever–even during the bad times–and are overjoyed that he’s making movies again, even if we’re not always completely enamored with the movie itself. I’m talking Sherlock Holmes here, not Iron Man. We liked Iron Man 2. A lot. The fast-paced dialogue, the wit, the romance–even the over-abundance of characters. Can Scarlett Johansson kick butt or what?  I am not a movie critic. I don’t explore the subtext, the complexeties or lack thereof of plot, the shortcomings of scripts or directors. I really don’t care that much. What can you do? The darn thing is made. You can’t change it, right?

I feel the same way about books. Some books take you away, lift your spirit, provide complete and utter escape from your world for a few short hours–in effect, they let you time travel. But they don’t ALL do that. Some miss the mark.  Those books I rarely finish reading. Yes, I admit it, I’m a quitter. And I turn off the VCR/DVD player when a movie bores me, too. But the good part of walking away from a book or movie that doesn’t work for you is you then don’t feel obligated to write a scathing review of said book or movie.

Maybe my new slogan will be: Just Say No to Negativity. 🙂

Have a great Tuesday…um, er…Wednesday.


Today we smile

May 11th is a very good day in DebLand. My oldest brother, Bob (or Bobby Bill, as Mom called him), was born on this day in 1935. Here’s a photo of him on my 4th Christmas. A silly shot, but I picked it because my middle granddaughter was born four years ago today.  🙂

Topper, Bob, Don, dolly, Deb

And, odd as it may seem, Bob’s eldest granddaughter was also born on this day. So, Happy Birthday, Bob-O, Elizabeth and Rya!

What does that have to do with writing? Nothing, but I’m working on my AAs (I think this alliterative abbreviation stands for Author Alterations) for my October book. When my first book reached this stage in the game, my editor called this “the printout.” I still call it that. Anyway, this is my last look at the manuscript before it goes into production, and reading the AAs is a slow, careful, some might say “tedious” process. I have to put the creative side of my brain on mute because there’s no room for big changes, only corrections. Others will read it and hopefully catch any typos I miss, but, as any reader knows, that isn’t always the case.

Because there’s a typo that bothered me a great deal in UNTIL HE MET RACHEL, I’d like to know: do typos bug you as a reader? Would it be guache to admit that I feel a bit smug when I see them in other people’s books but horrified when I see them in my own? Guess that makes me human. (Which also accounts for typos and mistakes, I think.)

May your Tuesday be filled with joy and many smiles…and, if you’re lucky, birthday cake!!!


Come you-know-what or high water

Yesterday, I got an email from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville (where RWA was scheduled to hold its annual conference this July) telling me my deposit would be returned to me in full.

Say what?

A quick Internet search explained why. http://www.tennessean.com/section/videonetwork?bctid=82690954001

That’s the first I heard about the devastation that had been delivered upon poor Tennessee. Yes, I’d heard about the storm, but I’d apparently missed the specifics. And I’m sad to say it wasn’t until the news impacted me personally, that I really took note.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nashville and other Tennessee communities as they begin the recovery efforts.

This wasn’t the actual topic I had in mind to write today, but every once in awhile something happens to remind me that it isn’t all about me–even in Debland. 😉 Like when I called to check on the status of a credit card application I’d filled out a few weeks ago on the phone with a most helpful young man named Sean from AMEX. Turns out Sean never bothered to hit “enter” when he had all my private, intensely personal information: SS#, DOB, CSDL#, etc.. Either that or he’s opened a dozen new cards in my name and is living comfortably in a small foreign country that doesn’t have extradition laws.

Can you tell I’m not handling this well? I’m headed off to call the Fraud Alert Hotline in a minute. Wish me luck.

But I can’t end this blog with two negatives. So, here’s the nice, happy thing I’m thrilled to share with you: I have a new contest going this month and I’m really excited about the prizes.

“Four weeks/Four winners”  – Each prize includes an autographed copy of one of my books–even the new one, UNTIL HE MET RACHEL,  and one of the handmade “iris” cards created by my friend and neighbor, Denise Dupertuis, who is the bravest, strongest, most determined cancer warrior I’ve ever met. Since, Rufus, the hero of this book is a cancer survivor, too, I was pleased by the syncronicity of the two gifts. Although my photo doesn’t do them justice, here’s a shot of the cards.

Two winners will come from blog replies and two from my mailing list, so either way, please let me add your name to the list.

Let’s the hope the merry month of May brings some joy, levity and relief to us all in the weeks to come.


New Beginnings and Bloopers

Not every beginning begins auspiciously. Take this hilarious blooper making the YouTube rounds. http://www.flixxy.com/wedding-ceremony.htm

Personally, I love it that neither the bride nor groom takes themselves too seriously. Even the judge is able to adlib. To me, that speaks well for the couple’s chances in the long run because being able to think on your feet and laugh at yourself are two qualities that come in handy in marriage…and in life.

That’s especially true in a writer’s life. Take my current WIP (work-in-progress) tentitively titled RIGHT COWBOY, WRONG TWIN. I was a hundred pages into it when I got my revisions for the preceding book. As you may remember if you’ve been following this blog, that book required some very intense remodeling. The process brought to light some problems—landminds, if you will–waiting to blow up in my current book. Instead of getting too freaked out, like the bride in the video I laughed.  With not quite as much hilarity, though. This, after all, is work, not matrimony. 😉

Hope any new beginnings you undertake today are filled with creative thoughts and a waffle or two.


Love springs eternal

I’ve heard that expression forever but really never thought about it until I caught this post on a popular online site that I accidentally joined. (That happens a lot since I’m still wandering around the Net blind, most of the time.) http://huff.to/c4aLX2

Here’s the headline that caught my eye: Elizabeth Taylor, 78, Engaged for the Ninth Time.

Ms. Taylor has since recinded that announcement via Twitter–good heavens, Liz Tweets? Another amazing thing!–but, for a moment, I was heartened by the thought that no matter your age or infirmity, as long as the heart is beating, that need for love, companionship and hope, well…springs eternal.

Sure, the cynics among you might have a problem with this given her marital record alone–who can forget Larry Whatshisname, right?–but I say, “If not now, when?”

Of course, that could be the romantic in me talking. I am a romance novelist, after all. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be as suspect of a 49-year-old man’s intentions as we would be of a young female gold-digger tying the knot with a man thirty years her senior. My point is simply that a heart that beats still craves love,  and while fame and wealth might bring you more offers–realistic or not–who can blame someone for wanting love–at any age?

The world is full of critics who snub romance novels as being too unreal. But as Mark Twain pointed out, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.” – Following the Equator, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

I don’t have a former screen goddess in a wheelchair poised–or not–to marry for the nineth time in one of my books, but I love the possibility. The heart, like Truth, makes its own possibilities.

Tell me a “real life,” unlikely love story and your name will be entered into a drawing for the first copy of my new release, UNTIL HE MET RACHEL (got the title right this time, I think), as soon as my review copies arrive.

Happy Tuesday to all my fellow Glee fans!


Social networking vs time

I didn’t have access to my computer for a couple of hours yesterday and I felt as though I was going through withdrawals. I was on edge and distracted. An underlying question running through my head was: What am I missing?

This is not good for a writer who spends most of her waking hours in other people’s worlds. My characters are the ones I should be worrying about not connecting with, not keeping up with the lives of friends, strangers and the world at large.  After my last revisions, I would hope that lesson was deeply ingrained in my psyche.

But there’s so much interesting stuff out there. Take my friend and fellow Superromance author Kathleen O’Brien’s recent blog about magical thinking and the writing process. http://kobrienromance.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/147/, which was conveniently posted on our Superromance FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/HarlequinSuperromance, which also provided a link to the April releases at eHarlequin.com http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=229 .

See what I mean?

But Kathleen’s blog proved invaluable because it reminded me of the joy and “magic” that is central to writing fiction. If you don’t love these imaginary people whose story you’re attempting to tell, who will? I went back to my book with a new appreciation for Cade and Jessie and a true warmness in my heart that was missing when I first sat down that morning to write.

But there’s the rub. If I hadn’t delved into the social networking world, I wouldn’t have brought a renewed zest to my writing. So, I guess this all comes down to balance.  If you find yourself spending too, too much time online, I suggest you find the nearest patch of green grass to hunt for fairies or a four-leaf clover.

That’s what I plan to do today–between my stops at FaceBook, eHarlequin and Twitter. Oh, and work on my new book, of course.

Have a lovely Tuesday.


Signposts of Spring


Look upon this sumptuous feast for the eyes and help me give a nod of gratitude to Kori Smith–friend, Wine, Women and Words book club member, and mother of Allex. Last fall at Jan’s memorial, she told me she’d just finished planting seventy-two tulips in honor of Jan. All red–Jan’s favorite color.

When I heard the flowers were up and blooming, I thought, “Gulp. This will be hard.” It wasn’t. It was glorious, joyous and breathtaking. It made me happy because I know it would have made Jan very, very happy.

I have one–count it–one–tulip bravely struggling to unfurl its tiny blossom in my flower bed. Apparently, I’m not a great planter. But I choose to picture UNTIL HE MET RACHEL as my tulip. It went into production about the same time Kori was planting her bulbs and it is poised to blossom onto book shelves in just a few weeks.

LOL. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s the best I can do–this spring. Maybe next year…maybe.

If anyone would like to boast about their own green thumb, I’d happily reward that effort with a package of California wild flower seeds. May the greenest thumb win.