Monthly Archives: June 2007

Good Grief

Dear Mother Nature or anyone with a direct connection to the great weather maker in the sky,
PLEASE, please, please let the rain stop. We have all the rain we need for the entire year now.  All the rain is making me sad, and dh is home all day instead of mowing so I don’t get much writing done. So rain, rain go away.
Thanks!
MBL

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RRRW Contest

So far we have ONE contemporary series entry, TWO hot and Steamy. The final judges are great. It’s quite an opportunity if you’re eligible.

RRRW announces the Ticket to Write Contest. Snail Mail and E-Entry available. FMI: http://www.redriverromancewriters.com

Deadline: July 7

Published authors/PRO members/ experienced contest judges will critique the first round of judging. Final round judges are:

  • Historical: Hilary Sares, Kensington
  • Contemporary: Susan Litman, Harlequin
  • Hot & Steamy: Kate Duffy, Kensington
  • Inspirational: Patience Smith, Steeple Hill
  • Time Travel, Futuristic, and Paranormal: Chris Keeslar, Dorchester Publishing
Eligibility:

Authors unpublished and uncontracted at time of entry, and those previously published authors who have not sold for the past five years either in print or electronic formats. For the purpose of the Ticket to Write Contest, Red River Romance Writers uses the Golden Heart definition of unpublished.

Categories:
  • Historical- novels settings are prior to WWI with a strong romantic element.
  • Contemporary Series- novels settings are from WWI to present. Romance is the basis for the story and sensuality may or may not be present. Word count to 80,000.
  • Hot & Steamy- contemporary or historical setting, romance is the basis, and sensuality is strong.
  • Inspirational- romance novels in which an inspirational message of personal religious faith is conveyed as a major element of the plot. This includes contemporary and historical.
  • Time Travel, Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal- Romantic novels with any time setting and containing elements such as fantasy, time-travel, angels or other mystical/paranormal themes.
Entry Deadline:
  • Postmarked date: July 7, 2007
  • Finalists notified: September 1, 2007
  • Winners announced: by October 15, 2007
Entry fees
Fees are $25.00 for the first entry and $20.00 for each additional entry.

Book Moment

I read a book cover to cover yesterday (very good thing) but when I was done I decided I really didn’t like the book at all.
The writing was great, the characters were real. Even though the heroine was shallow, her arc was huge and by the end she’d become a much deeper person. It ended in HEA. And yet, when all was said and done, the HEA didn’t ring true. You know how some books get to the  2/3 point and the characters suddenly say I love you but ten seconds before they practically hated each other so there’s no possible way they love each other but the writer felt the words were needed before the h and H actually have sex? That’s the way the HEA in yesterday’s book was. Undeserved and unbelievable. 😦

WEATHER

It’s raining again. It’s rained every day in June. It rained 20 days in May. I live in Texas. I love summer. Summer is hiding this year. I’m sad. I’m sure it’s because of the STUPID RAIN.
We’re under a flash flood warning, which is usually no big deal because I live on high ground. I think it’s going to mean something this year. I wonder if too much rain will hurt my cable internet?
On the bright side, I’m starting my new book. And the rain can’t stop that. I don’t think.

Submission

I’m back in the game. A new 50 pg. proposal is winging its way to NYC and SRS  today. It wasn’t easy.
It’s not a new, new story. It’s a completely revised rejected story. By completely revised I mean, HELLO MBL, what the heck were you thinking back when you originally sent that baby in? When I finished it, I actually did wait a week, go back through, edit and then send in. A week’s not long enough for me because the plot holes in that sucker were killer and the romance was pretty hum drum. But when Allison Lyons rejected it she gave me some great comments. She said the heroine would aggravate readers because she so quickly forgave the hero and that the plot outweighed the romance. She didn’t ask me to revise and resubmit and she didn’t ask for more of my work, so I put the book aside for six months. When I looked at it again, everything she pointed out glared at me PLUS I found all the plot holes. So I started working on it. Now it’s a sexy romance with tons of sexual tension and it reads more like an SRS than an Intrigue. The wait begins. 🙂
A lot of my friends say don’t work backwards. To write something new and then new and then new. And I’ve done that for ten years. Thing is I’ve developed a strong writing voice, but I’m still making mistakes. I hope that this revision process will help me there. NOW I’m moving to something new and taking what I’ve learned with me.

WOO HOO!

I LOVE retreat

My local writing group had their writing retreat this weekend and it was AWESOME! We ate, we drank, we ate some more and we wrote and wrote and wrote some more. The retreat was at Quartz Mountain in OK. It’s only 90 minutes away and I’d never been there. WOW!!!!! Beautiful scenery and the lake was full. But we didn’t go anywhere near the lake because we were busy plotting and writing and eating and drinking. 🙂
Karen Kelley told us about the business side of things and we laughed when she told us about her upcoming hilarious Double Dating with the Dead:

and the current LOL Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind:

I told her her writing reminds me of Jill Shalvis‘s funny books. And we talked about what a published author’s blog should be. We both agreed Shalvis’s blog is perfect. It’s real and it’s funny and it’s full of voice, but it doesn’t cross the line into TMI.
Then we talked about Alison Kent’s blah blog. Great market information, honest writing advice.
And Suzanne McMinn’s blog with the great photos of West Virginia and updates on Suzanne and 16’s driving life. 🙂
I shared about plot monkeys and Julie Leto’s Agent Advice column that’s been running the last few weekends.
And of course, I had to share my rabid fan girl opinion of Karen Templeton. (I am a (self) certified KT rfg!)
We decided the BEST TWO PEOPLE ever to have come visit the group were Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter. (If you haven’t seen them together you are MISSING OUT!!!!
Everyone said they were signing up for Shelley Bradley‘s plotting story board class the minute they got home.
In the end everyone agreed my addiction to blogs isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Julia shared lots of info on plotting and Karen taught about high concept. I read my partial out loud, which was freaky,  but fun. It’s going to SRS this week (ACK!!!!).
And we talked about how important positive energy is and how negativity breeds negativity. And how you gotta submit to sell and you gotta write to submit and how sexual tension is the BEST part about reading romance novels. We took Julia’s sexual tension quiz (dirty, dirty girl!!!!) and learned we all have dirty minds but it’s all Karen’s fault. And Karen talked about ghost farts (gross!) and then made me laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants, but I decided her Garmin might be the best new techy gadget created (Of course, I haven’t actually held an iPhone yet, so it doesn’t count).
We survived big winds outside without being sure if the weather was bad because we had no TV or radio, but we had our wine and our chocolate, so life was good.
I love retreat. Love, love, love it.
And I can’t wait until the next one.
Woo Hoo.

Rain, Rain Go Away

It’s rained the entire month of June.
This week, they said we were finally going to dry out. Instead, it rained more than ever PLUS we had a storm with 94 mph winds that caused massive damage around town. We lost a tree, but compared to some of what I’ve seen around town, we were lucky,

I’m sick of rain.

I’m also sick of insurance companies…like the one who “insured” the girl who hit us last week, said she’d take care of it so please don’t call the cops, but looked a little like a skanky ho, so we called anyway, who gave her insurance info then left before the police got there because she’d obviously been drinking AND come to find out WASN’T insured, so not only was she probably tipsy  but definitely driving illegally as an uninsured motorist AND come to find out NOTHING happens to her because it costs too much to pursue legal action and the police don’t have time to deal with skanky ho’s who drive without insurance but we get to pay $250 to get the car fixed. Grrrr.
For a skanky ho, she sure was smart. The police said she was fine leaving once she gave us her “fake” insurance. If she had stayed she would have gone to jail for DUI and earned a big fat ticket for hitting us and driving without insurance.
WHY do I hate the insurance and the skanky ho? Because they called at the beginning of the week to let us know Julie said it was a 3-car accident (NO! Liar, liar pants on fire) and then said they had to investigate when they found out she lied then said their computers were down the next day then had us call their 800 number THEN lo and behold all the sudden Julie wasn’t insured by Farmer’s at all, her policy was out of date which I find very interesting since they’d started investigating what happened two days earlier, so maybe Julie the skanky ho wasn’t actually driving without insurance before the accident and maybe she and her (former) insurance company deserve each other. Grrrrrr.
I love my State Farm insurance agent, Tim Short. When DD started driving, he sat down with her and talked to her like a mature young adult, gave her his business card and said if there’s a problem, call. If it’s after hours, call the house. Why can’t all insurance agents be like him?
And why do skanky ho’s like Julie get away with driving?!?

Oh Wow

I have no idea how many years it’s been since I read The Bride, but MAN am I happy I re-read it today. Amazing, amazing book. Fabulous characters, great plot, a sexy romance. The book is almost 20 years old, but it’s definitely stood the test of time. This new cover sucks, but the old cover didn’t really fit it either. 🙂
Now I have to get to the library to find the rest of the books for sure. If they’re still as good as this one, I’ll have them all on my Keeper shelf. The one I remember most opened with two young girl friends at a fair laughing, but that’s all I can remember about it. I’m sure I can find it again.

New Stephanie Plum, Old Favorites

Lean Mean Thirteen is okay, but it’s also more of the same. In other words absolutely no character growth. I think I’m tired of Stephanie. At least Stephanie as is. The whole Joe/Ranger thing is old too. Especially since it hasn’t changed at all either. The sexual tension in this one is completely missing. In fact, on a scale of 1-10 I’d give the romance in LMT a -2. It’s really time for this series to end. I won’t buy the next hardback.

My TBR pile is empty right now because I’m out of book budget, so I scoured my keeper shelf and decided to read Julie Garwood’s The Bride. I’ve just started it, but so far it’s as good as I remember. I used to have all of Garwood’s historicals on my keeper shelf, but The Bride’s the only one left. I need to make a library run and restock the ones I still want after I reread them.

The last old favorite I read disappointed me. I LOVED the book the first couple times I read it. The author is an autobuy. Now that I’m familiar with the characters and the plot in this older book, I found myself asking WHY would this happen several times thoughout the story. I won’t read it again for a long time if ever. I wonder if those outlandish plot books lend themselves to this reaction over time OR is it that I’m older and more cynical and less willing to accept actions without motivation.

Next week I’m reading the new Anita Blake. Rumor has it the book has a great plot and focuses less on the sex. The early books in this series intrigued me. I loved the religious battle Anita faced in herself, I loved the way she was drawn to the forbidden and the stories were captivating. After a while, the focus changed from good vs. evil to sex, sex, sex. And I quit reading. It seemed like Anita became one of the monsters. While I haven’t been reading, I can say a whole bunch of people are. I’ve seen lines outside Hasting’s the day a new Anita Blake is released. Two of my best friends stand in those lines. 🙂

Driving Lessons

I teach high school and year after year I see kid after kid wreck their brand new cars. SO I made dd wait to actually get her license. She’s been driving with a permit for awhile, but she had to wait until 17 to get the full fledged license. I’ve had lots of time to prepare. I should be ready.
But no. When she left the house in the car on her own today, I nearly had a heart attack.
She made it home from applying for jobs safe and sound. So far so good.

The story I loved was feeling a little off yesterday. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve worked on it for two weeks and it’s  old or if it really has problems. UGH.
If I still feel odd about it tomorrow, I’ll be sending out HELP e-mails. 🙂