Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Prayers For a Fellow Writer

Please pray for Cec Murphey, who ghost wrote Ninety Minutes in Heaven for Don Piper, and his family. His home burned to the ground this morning and his son-in-law was killed in the fire. His agent, Deidre Knight is trying to put together a gift certificate to Target for immediate / short term essentials. They want
to do one for Cec and Shirley, and also his daughter.

If you would like to participate, please send a check to:

Deidre Knight
The Knight Agency
577 South Main St
Madison, Georgia 30650

Make sure the memo line of the check reads "for Cec Murphey."

He has no email access at this time and doesn't need to deal with phone calls, so please just pray for them and send a donation if you can.

A Time For Romance

Fellow Wet Noodle Posse member Teresa Ragan scored the cover of the Granite Bay View. Check out the article, which I thought was really good. Just click the title of this post and it will take you there.

Don't forget to check out the newest edition of the WNP ezine, premiering tomorrow. I wrote the SuperHeroine article this month. http://www.wetnoodleposse.com

In other news...I've finished the web writing, almost finished my taxes, have yet to do the kids' financial aid applications, and I'm itching to get back to the novella. I also woke up with an idea for a new book, which I'm letting simmer on the back burner for a while.

This is my year. I can feel it. I will sell, and hopefully not just one book, but two or three. I am so ready to put the concrete business behind me, and so is my husband. He wants to find a way to make a living with his photography, and I want to make a living with my writing. This time when my ship comes in, I'll be waiting at the dock instead of at the train station. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yes, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

This new job has taught me several new things. Textile Markup, product research, and how to use Excel, for starters. I've even been teaching the dh how to input product features and use Excel. (He's an older dog than I am).

But you know what I've learned that's been the most valuable? That I can make myself do it even when I don't want to. Well, not every time. There are days when 4 hours straight is all I can manage before I have to take a break. But I've been putting in 10-12 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, doing work that can be tedious at times.

So, if I can do that, I know I can make myself write on my books even when I'm tired. Even when there are other tasks calling my name, even when I...don't wanna.

Now all I need to do is convince this old dog that this new trick is fun.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another bunch of Nitwits

Goingtoday.com. I thought it was a great place at first. Bought the dh some guitar strings for a great price. Then I made the mistake of ordering some stuff for him for Christmas. Most of it was cheaply made, not worth the price, and the software I paid $30 for didn't work right. I emailed them, several times, about returning the item and they ignored me. Are still ignoring me. Dumb of them, because had they bothered to stand behind their sale, I would have continued to buy from them. I would have been a bit more selective, but I would have spent, over the course of the year, much more than a refund would have cost them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Rancher Needs A Wife by Terry McLaughlin


About the book:

How can two people so wrong for each other seem so right?

After his divorce, Wayne Hammond hesitated to make anyone the second Mrs. Hammond. Topping the list of the women he shouldn't pick is Maggie Harrison Sinclair.

Maggie has already left Tucker, Montana, once. She's back only to lick her wounds and figure out her next step. Not exactly the ranch-loving, stay-at-home wife and mother that Wayne has always wanted.

But once Wayne and Maggie cross paths, the impossible-to-resist rancher and the bright-lights-loving woman succumb to their hotter-than-heck attraction, resulting in an even bigger complication.

Bright Lights, Big Sky
When Malibu meets Montana, it's magic.

What people are saying about The Rancher Needs a Wife:

"...full of smart dialogue and great characters."
4 stars, Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"...an enchanting novel that provides everything we look for in a great romance...plenty of humor, burning passion, a plot that entertains with every page..."
Nadine St. Dennis, Romance Junkies

"Heartwarming and poignant...have the tissues handy just to be safe."
Lettetia, Contemporary Romance Writers

"Look for more from this author as each book of hers gets better than the last."
Connie Payne, Once Upon a Romance

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Almost-Valentine's Day

Are you one of those people who love Valentine's Day, or do you just absolutely hate it?

I can take it or leave it. I call it a "Hallmark" holiday, one of those days you're supposed to go out and break the bank buying over-priced cards and expensive gifts. My husband and I don't do that, at least not any more. There was a time when I wanted so badly to get a pretty card and some flowers, but I learned my husband was a practical kind of guy and not a romantic. Oh, he's done that a few times, but it's not something he enjoys. For our first Valentine's Day he brought me a dozen roses, and they were beautiful. I've never forgotten them. The next year he bought two rose bushes and planted them in the front yard. Seems he hated buying flowers that died in just a few days.

Year three I got a gardenia bush, which he planted outside our bedroom window because I love the scent. A few years later, when we were starving Bible school students living on hot dogs and bologna sandwiches, he came home with two small steaks. We were in heaven for at least one day.

The last few years, he's gotten lazy. A bag of Hershey's kisses sometimes, even though I'm on a perpetual diet. But that's okay, because he shows he cares in other ways. If my computer needs parts added, he's quick to do the job. He washes dishes when I'm busy writing or working, takes care of the animals when I don't have time or if I'm off at conference, doesn't say a word when I fix chocolate chip cookies (while still on that perpetual diet.)

But I've gotten lazy, too. I used to try to find just the right card, just the right gift. Now I skip the cards, and his gift is usually....Hershey's kisses.

Hmmm. Maybe it's true what they say about couples who've been together for years. They start to think alike.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Love/Hate relationships

When I got my first PC back in 1996, I fell in love. We'd had computers before, since around 1987 or 88, but they were monsters with big floppy drives and the only thing you could do with one was play simple games or get on Prodigy. The PC opened up a whole new world. There were people out there! Through the Internet, I discovered RWA, eHarlequin, other writers! I found out I could write stories without having to painstakingly type them out, then retype the whole thing if I decided to change something or found an error. I discovered Free Cell. I found Pogo.com. Email!

Then I learned to hate computers as well. They freeze. They crash. They die. They eat important stuff. They enslave you, making you sit in front of them 16-18 hours a day. (I work my day job from home at the computer, as well as write and hang out with friends online). When you try to upload your work, you get error messages and lose what you'd worked so hard on if you forgot to save it first.

Then they send you ugly emails, saying "I'm sorry. I loved your writing, your characters are wonderful, and it's a great story, but..."

And sometimes they send you great emails, like "I want to buy this, once it's finished." Uh-huh. Like the computer is ever going to turn me loose from the day (and now late into the night) job long enough to write something besides website copy.

So my computer and I have a love/hate relationship.

And I'm beginning to feel the same about the whole publishing business. I watch friends get slammed by rude and inconsiderate editors and agents. Some agents will swear up and down to your face that they work for you. But then they get their hands on my friends' work and sit on it. One friend's agent submitted one manuscript to 8 editors--in the course of 3 years! Another one never got around to sending even one thing out in the year before my friend fired her.

Then there are agents like Miss Snark and Kristin Nelson and Jessica Faust who not only work hard for their clients, they blog about the business to help us get a better grasp on how things are supposed to work.

An editor requested a full from a friend, all excited after reading the partial. My friend got the manuscript back in the mail with the form rejection slapped on top, her cover letter still in the pile. Did the editor even read it? She'll never know, because the editor didn't say one single solitary word.

Where would the publishing industry be without writers? Are we so unimportant that we don't deserve respect? We don't deserve a word of explanation, of encouragement?
Yes, I know editors and agents are busy. But you know what? So are we. We have full-time jobs and families and houses to take care of, meals to cook, errands to run, groceries to buy. We steal time from sleep to put our hearts on paper. We take time away from our families. We miss out on parties and vacations and fun.

How do they know that author isn't the next Stephen King or Nora Roberts? Who knows where that author will be ten years from now when that agent is dying to get them on their client list, not realizing this was an author they brushed off with a form rejection? And I'm not talking about baby-faced writers who haven't even finished a book. These friends are award-winning writers. They know how to write. I've read some of their work and it's better than a lot of what I've bought off the shelf. A lot of books I buy I end up throwing at the wall. But my friends' work keeps me rooted to my computer chair way past my bedtime or way past time I should be earning my living.

So, I have a love/hate relationship with publishing, too. I love the Woman's World editor who loved my story enough to buy it. I love the editor who loved my books enough to try to talk her boss into buying it. I don't love her boss, who turned it down. I love the editor who is waiting for me to finish this book that I don't have time to touch right now.

I'm not real happy with the editor who's had my partial for 18 months without so much as an email. I'm not too thrilled with the agent who had a partial for 14 months and never got around to reading it, despite several promises to get to it. But I do learn my lessons. I won't submit to them again. My time is worth as much as theirs, and so is my pride. I hope my friends have learned their lessons as well.
And like agents and editors, writers also talk amongst themselves about who did what, and to whom.