Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tough times

Looks like the government is finally figuring out what we've known for a while. We are not in an economic upswing. They haven't quite come out and admitted we're in a recession, but I figure they'll let us get used to the bad news first before they hit us with the really bad news. But how can anyone think we're in good shape when gas is well over $2 a gallon, groceries have gone up over 50 % in the last couple of months, and working people are on the verge of disaster?

My husband is in the concrete business which is very closely tied to the economy. If business is anything to go by, we've been in a recession since Sept. 11, 2001. My youngest two are feeling it the most. The second youngest is in college, having to take on increasingly heavy loans just to stay in school because his father and I are barely making ends meet. The youngest is the one it's really affecting, though. It's her senior year in high school, a time when she should be walking on air. Instead, she's having to make her own graduation invitations because we couldn't afford the $3 a piece ones from Josten's. She won't get to have a graduation tea like her friends, a graduation dinner, and I'm in serious doubt about the graduation party. If it weren't for scholarships, she wouldn't be going to college at all, but getting her to and from the out of state school she's chosen is going to be interesting.

The publishing business is feeling the pinch, too. Fewer books are being sold, editors are being choosier about what they buy and fewer new authors are being bought. Instead, publishers are recycling old books from popular authors. Personally, it really pisses me off when I buy what I think is a new book, only to find out it's a recycled old one. I've started making note of the publisher's name when that happens, not just the author. I used to be a huge Nora Roberts fan, still am I guess, but I haven't bought one of her books in two years because I can't tell which are the new ones and which are the old. I don't have time to stand in the store and read a few pages to see if I've read it before, so I pass them by. Which just reinforces the book-buying slump. Think the publishers will eventually get the message?

One of my best friends lost her brother to suicide yesterday. Why do people do that? Don't they realize that, while it might be the easy way out for them, it causes such tremendous devastation in those they leave behind that they might never recover? Many hugs and prayers for everyone touched by tragedy today.


Friday, April 08, 2005

First Book on the Shelves!!!!

No, unfortunately it's not mine. But a good friend of mine, Stephanie Feagan, finally realized a life-long dream with the release of Show Her the Money, an April Silhouette Bombshell release. It's about a kick-ass CPA (yes, Virginia, CPA's can kick ass) who blows the whistle on a mega-bucks energy corporation who's been cooking their books. Did you know mega-bucks crooks don't like people who blow the whistle on them? Whitney "Pink" Pearl finds out just how dangerous, and lonely, being a whistle-blower can be.

Show Her the Money is different from most of the other Bombshells in that it's laugh-out-loud funny. I started reading about 10pm, thinking I'd just read a chapter or two since I had to get up early the next morning. Um, right. Finished it at 3 am. It's a can't-put-it-down treasure.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

My, how time flies

I'd originally planned to make this blog a daily thing, then I decided weekly might be better. Then life happened. In the course of a month, I nearly lost my father-in-law, ended up taking over his place in the family business, moved from a sedentary life to one of hard physical labor, and lost almost all my writing time. I also took a bad fall but managed not to break anything.

Went to a local writer's conference this weekend and got some much needed validation about my writing. An agent read the first two pages of one of my mss in a workshop, along with a number of others. Mine was one of only two that she asked to read more. So now I have to polish, print, and get it in the mail tomorrow.

Two sad things this week. The deaths of Terry Schiavo and the Pope. Both received a lot of press, one because it shouldn't have happened, was morally wrong and amounted to murder; the other because it was a loss of a much loved man whose time was up. He got to die with dignity, something Terry was denied. But I'm a great believer in what goes around comes around, and I'm thinking Michael Schiavo will find himself under a microscope, his past, present, and future under intense scrutiny. His children will forever be known as the children of the man who starved his wife to death. His live in will always live with the stigma. Michael will find it difficult to live under this spotlight and to live with the constant censure of the people of America and the world. He may get a lot more than he ever bargained for. Now we wait for the autopsy results. And even if the rulers of this world never find out for sure what part he played in Terry's condition, there is still the final judgment by the One from whom no sins are hidden--and His justice is without end.

Oh, and one other sad thing that hits closer to home for me. Much beloved author, Jamie Denton, has recently been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors have given her a 50/50 chance of survival. Being a writer, Jamie is like most of us--uninsured. Very few writers can afford the exhorbitant cost of insurance coverage and so end up not receiving timely care, trying to push nagging aches and pains aside because they know if it's nothing they'll have wasted money their family needs and if it's something bad, they can't afford to get it fixed anyway.

Jamie writes for Temptation, Blaze, Duets, and several other Harlequin/Silhouette lines, as well as Kensington Brava. If you'd like to help in some way as her friends try to raise money for medical care, pop over to http://www.duetsauthors.com and click on a link to donate, buy raffle tickets, or just stop for a moment and offer up a prayer for a lovely woman who has brought much joy to her corner of the world.