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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving this year was like taking a step back in time. Family from all over town came and visited - it was loud, wonderful and sad. It reminded me of my childhood when aunts, uncles, cousins and long distance family gathered at my parent's house. The only problem was that one of my heart's favorites was missing, we were at a different house and ... I'm older.

So, right now I'm still in the middle generation between kids and parents. It's fascinating. What is? How people don't change. I always thought that as you grew older, you'd learn - or maybe that unimportant stuff would matter less ... it doesn't. Same petty crap that you struggle with as an 11-year-old is still there when you're 75. Personality is a very curious thing, strong and dominant.

I'm trying to become aware and I am going to break the cycle for me and for my girls. I'm afraid my mom is a lost cause, not that she's petty or my family is ... it's just that the same undertone of conversation repeats for 50 years. I miss the big family gatherings.

Reminder: Book Discussion at Mostly Books on Dec. 17th at 1pm! Had a dream about it last night - big auditorium and an uncomfortable spotlight.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and that you learned a little more about who you are and where you come from.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Get Thee To The Shrink And Clear My Mind

I've been plugging along on the third book of the Melanie Ward series and this time has been rough. I had the basic plot all sorted out but for some reason it's been difficult. I can't put my finger on the problem. So yesterday I decided I must be going the wrong way. I'm not going to scrap everything I've done ... actually, mostly I am but I don't want to think about that. I'm going to have to rebuild from square one. Stinks, but the pain of forcing out words is worse.

I thought by the fourth book it would be easier. It hasn't been. I have to wonder why. Why can't I get grooving? Maybe it's the use of words like grooving that are causing the problems. Maybe it's working on Moon Over Monsters at the same time. Maybe it's that I'm trying to work from home. Maybe it's none of those things or maybe it's all of them.

This book I want Melanie to be happy. I really am tired of those books where the protagonists are always in the dumps. It's a good time for her, really. She's free. Free of Finn, free of men and back doing the job she loves. But even writing this I have this gut-twisting feeling. What is that about? Maybe I should send Melanie to a psychologist and find out why she's being so uncooperative.

Okay, I know I was only kidding but ... I like it!!! Hello Book 3!

Anyway, spent the morning getting the neighborhood Christmas lights in order. Thursday is Thanksgiving and my oldest twin is off at school rehearsing for her monologue this evening. Nice.

Enjoy the weekend,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Backbone Is Essential When Writing A Memoir

Here is a paragraph (or two) of grievances I have with famous (or semi-famous) people who write tell-all books.

Alone with the shadow writer or with their computer they are brave. They write truths as they see it and then – And Then! – when they're out promoting this tell-all memoir and the reporter asks a question - suddenly they back pedal. "Oh, it wasn't so bad ...  I meant it like this ... here's what happened ... no! we never do retakes on my reality show ... I really do love my mother, it was supposed to be funny ... I never actually saw him take the drugs."

On and on the excuses fly.

My opinion, for what it's worth, write it and then put your backbone to use. Or forget the whole thing. But don't sit in a chair on a national morning show and fidget as a quote is being read. If you're writing to make a buck - go for it - but then don't discredit what you've written by semantics. Annoying!

Uh, oh. Is this how my day is going to continue? Time to pull out the yoga mat.

Be safe,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bond. James Bond – Roger Moore Style

Big Thanks to James and his staff at Warwick's! Had such a great time meeting La Jolla neighbors, vacationers and a couple of other writers! It took me the full 6 hour drive home for my throat to recover. Happy Birthday to Gina.
Being back in that beautiful city reminds me of why I picked that spot for Melanie.

Can't forget to thank my mom who practically moved into my house to watch my disobedient dogs. Truthfully they're pretty good dogs unless you're walking around the house with slices of bologna in your hand. Why? Don't know. Don't want to know. One of those things that you're told and ... it sounds like too much work to figure out. I'm just happy all fingers stayed intact.

Spent the entire afternoon today researching vintage cars from the James Bond movies. Now I personally am not a big fan of the early ones but ... I'm not writing about me. I've browsed tens of tens (?) websites and am thinking I'm going to have to actually watch the movie. Mind you this isn't in a major plot line in the book but I want to get it right because readers are 007 fans and I'd stress if I found out later I was wrong on a fact. Over dramatic? Or just a waste of time? Either way ... Roger Moore here I come.

Be safe,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Warwick's in La Jolla

Looking forward to an author event in San Diego this weekend!

7812 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, CA

Sunday – Noon-2

Melanie Ward's home town! Even as I type I've left her and Trish to battle it out over Adam. Summer at the beach ... sunsets. Truthfully anytime of year in La Jolla is a perfect time.
I'm so excited about Warwick's
It is an amazing place - I was at a high school reunion a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned it to a classmate that lives in San Diego. Of course she knew of it.

So, I'd ask for luck, however, I'm of the opinion (today) that the future has already been fixed and no matter what I do ... I will only be walking directly in the chosen path.

I really should start keeping track of all my beliefs. And no I don't believe fickle is an accurate description. Or maybe it is ... or will be on Monday. Who knows? What does it matter? I sort of think time and space are non-existent.

Moon Over Monsters is going incredibly well - still not finished editing ... it's a lot of work getting everything right and I'm never totally right – making it doubly-difficult.

Choose not to take things too seriously,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Relentless Search For Marketing

Truly this could be titled Relentless Search For Sales but to me – marketing is more fun.

Next weekend I have a book signing in La Jolla - Melanie's home town. I really am excited about this trip and have been sending out emailers to get attention. I know we have to spend more money on marketing to get the books noticed but the problem is that there are just too many open hands out there wanting my money. I am a skeptic. And I don't have enough cold cash that I'm willing to part with – there are no guarantees in sales, I don't expect them but ... I also don't want to hand over a check for zero return. I'm caught in a cycle - spend money to make money but who do I spend the money with? How much? What direction do I want to go?

Millions of books are out there - what is it that I want? It's a good question.

Do you think you can have it all? Is it possible to be successful in your personal life and also have an amazing, successful career with money and love? See I don't know. I'm a really fair person and I think that I sort of screw myself up - should someone get to have a completely satisfying life?

Let me know what you think,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Writing Is A Job


I'm in my office, my computer is open and the cursor is flashing ... "give me words!" Jill's pile of 150 pages of editing is at my elbow ... waiting.

But here is what I want to talk about ... Halloween. I live in a neighborhood that gets a lot of treaters. We sit at the edge of the driveway and hand out candy to hoards of people. It's fun. 75% were dressed up and that includes the dogs. It gets expensive. Candy isn't cheap. I bought 1,000 pieces and it lasted almost an hour and a half. We were out by 7:10 and people were still flowing into the neighborhood. This year the kids and parents were mostly polite but this is my problem ... I get it that people want to dress up their 3 month old and take them for a walk ... but why hold out a plastic bag requesting a piece of candy? Really can a 12 week old baby suck on a Skittle? It's obnoxious. And it takes away from kids that can actually enjoy trick or treating. So, next year all you adults with babies that can't have sweets - please – dress up your kids, have a great time and buy yourself your favorite bag of candy. But let the princesses, transformers, spidermen and bat girls have their night of treats.

I love Halloween. The weather, the fact that in 3+ weeks is Thanksgiving - everything except adults holding two pillowcases and asking for seconds. Whatever happened to shame? Maybe I'll start a petition to bring back SHAME. I'll get the old lady with a long white ponytail to sign ... the one who zipped into my parking space at Target. The one who blatantly stole and had the audacity to paste JESUS bumper stickers on her car windows. Well, I had to ask her, "Is that what Jesus would've done?"
She was the one who was promoting the King Of Kings and stealing in that very vehicle. SHAME on you old lady. Shame on YOU! People are funny.

Remember never be boring or a hypocrite or a boring hypocrite.