Thursday, April 21, 2011

Look, Ma! A real website!

I'm so excited! I have a new website and, of course, it came complete with blogging capabilities. Which means I'll be closing this blog within the next few weeks.

I have moved all the links I had here over to the new site. Please stop by and take a look. I admit, it's a little sparse right now, but I love it. It's just so different from anything else I've seen, and so very ME (which is what comes of having a critique partner who knows you so well she can almost read your mind!)

My CP and I spent most of yesterday putting it together so, while there's been little time to accumulate content, I'm sure that won't be a problem for long.

I hope you'll stop by, take a look, and leave a comment at (I tried to put in a link, but for some reason, Blogger ignores my attempts although they show in the draft.)

To make copy and paste easier, here it is with the http:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

I hate being caught between choices. Sometimes you're going to stumble no matter which direction you choose.

Nasty truth, but true nonetheless.

I long to attend RWA's National Conference. I've attended before, and there is nothing quite like the energy one absorbs when surrounded by like-minded individuals. Also, GH finalists are often sought out by editors and agents. A nice change of affairs, I assure you.

Circumstances, however, may preclude making use of that pastel pink finalist's ribbon.

(Which leads me to ask, don't you think a finalist's ribbon should be a less insipid color? I mean, really. Baby-girl pink? We aren't writing nursery rhymes. Wouldn't a vivid, vibrant color that speaks of dashing heroes and intrepid heroines, shouts the joy of accomplishment be more appropriate?

Random survey concluded. Back to the blog.)

Those circumstances include the anticipated birth of our first grandson less than a week before conference. If our daughter didn't live 1200 miles away, that would be a no-brainer. But she does.

I could fly down, but I would go alone. My beloved would never weather the trip. Twenty minutes in the car has him huffing "cleansing breaths" to control the pain. Two or more hours stuffed into an airplane seat would be tanamount to torture.

Even so, he'd suffer through it (with the help of pain meds)for her, but our dear daughter has made it clear she would prefer to bring the child to us; she confessed she'd rather we didn't see the home they're currently renting. (If that's not enough to set a mother's inner alarms buzzing, I don't know what is!) Of course, that homecoming could happen anywhere between six weeks and six months after the birth--if we're lucky.

She is so adamant, however, she encouraged me to go to conference. Now, that might not seem like much to you, but this is the child who has resented my writing and the time it commands from the moment I decided, once she,the youngest, entered Middle School, the children were sufficiently independent to permit pursuing my own deferred goals.

The 180 only makes the Mom reflex jerk harder.

Then there is the cost. NYC is extremely expensive. The good news is I needn't fly to get there. The bad news is, well, NYC is extremely expensive. I know I'm not alone debating the wisdom of incurring additional debt in this economic climate with the future uncertain and no guarantee of professional advancement.

The choice seems clear enough, doesn't it?

It is---until you consider the networking, the contacts, the personal recommendations and face-to-face interactions that could be the catalyst that sells the books languishing on your hard-drive and improve your financial outlook.

So here I am, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, a brick wall and a hard place, the irresistible force and the immoveable object. (Did I miss any?)

I've been a finalist twice before and didn't capitalize on the distinction because of my sweetheart's health problems. After five years, I've been forced to accept their impact on our lives. What I will never accept, however, is giving up on the future.

That insipid ribbon could make a world of difference to that future. Then, again, it could just be another accolade hung on the wall.

Either choice, whether professional or financial, is a risk.

Thank heaven I can pray---and swim.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Taken at a Glance

It's amazing how deep, and often erroneous, an impression is made by a swift glance, and we all know first impressions are lasting impressions. This holds true whether you're meeting people or ideas.



Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Madame Currie, Albert Einstein all had what were considered outlandish ideas in their day, ideas that garnered ridicule and mockery from those who didn't, or couldn't, grasp the new-fangled concepts or see past their own limitations. Yet history applauds these visionaries, and their contributions effect us even today.

These people didn't allow the opinions of others to derail them despite repeated failures. They had a goal, a vision, and they did whatever it took to see that goal or vision reach fruition.

Lately, I have seen much discussion on indie publishing. I'm not talking vanity press, I'm talking publishing via ebooks or print-on-demand without benefit of a publishing house of any kind.

I'm an old-fashioned girl, and at first glance, I thought the idea outlandish, just like those folks who though Bell, Edison, Currie, and Einstein mad. But numbers don't lie.

Yes, there are people publishing Musings on My Left Big Toe; those people have always been with us and have always found a way to get their foot fetish into print somewhere. I have also, however, read some excellent books that would have found a home in the major publishing houses in the time before bean-counters ran the show.

The sad truth is there are a lot of good books being dismissed in deference to a hill of beans.

I understand the need to make a profit. I understand marketing's need for neat little niches to make selling easier in a fluctuating marketplace. It makes me sad, however, to see excellent books given the go-by because they don't slide neatly into a nice round hole. So, indie publishing it is for many books with unique and unusual concepts.

Personally, being an old-fashioned girl, I hope the day never comes when publishing as we know it ceases to exist. That would be tragic. Yet I fear the day may, indeed, come because the old-fashioned way of doing things is losing ground to advancing technology.

While I can hope eyes will be opened and changes made before it's too late, it might just be time consider an altered perception and take a second glance.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yes, I Did It Again.

Well, I'm back. I've been busily writing the prequel to my previous GH finalist, and am quite happy with the result. So, apparently, are others since my prequel is a Golden Heart® finalist this year!

Please God, let three be a charm!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Writing is often a lonely profession, and working at home has pitfalls by the dozen. The dustbunnies yodel from under the bed, daring you to ignore them, the family thinks you are available for whatever their needs are whenever they arise, and that one friend---and yes, there is ALWAYS at least one---who thinks you have nothing better to do than chat on the phone are just a few of the things that have us looking at the clock aghast, realizing we've wasted yet another day.

One way to circumvent these things is accountability. We resolve to be accountable to others striving for similar goals.

For the next few months (or longer, depending upon the need), Romancing History will encouraging accountability. There will be no bullwhip, no punishments, no lectures, but there will be support, encouragement, and help if you need it.

Interested? Then tell us a bit about yourself and what you hope to achieve. You will be asked to post your progress, status, and goals at least once a week (you can do it more often, but once a week is the minimum) and offer encouragement and support for others as the need arises.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!!!!

It's 2010. How did that happen? Must have blinked.

As promised, Romancing History will, for the time being, be open for those wishing to have some accountablility. Christine? Kate? Are you out there?

As before with getting our GH entries ready, we'll work on a system of reporting our progress, status, and goals. No pressure, but beginning on 4 January 2010, it's time to do our ABC's (Apply Butt to Chair).

That said, anyone interested in joining us is welcome whether you are polishing or working on a draft. All that is required is a desire to be held accountable for the goals you publish at least weekly. This way, those of us polishing will be able to take our heads out of our work for a bit and, hopefully, divert ourselves enough for a fresh perspective without halting the writing process. Those who are in draft mode will have an opportunity to taste the editing phase (in the event this is their first attempt) or be diverted with benefits as well.

So, a new year, a new goal, a new challenge.

Everybody ready?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2 December GOALS

Well, it either arrives today or I threw over $100 in the toilet. *sigh*

What an exciting ride. Exhausting, but exciting. Back at the end of October when this thing started, I thought it would be easy. Words have never been a problem for me, and my word counts can be quite impressive when I set my mind to it. Piece of cake, I told myself.

I really shouldn't lie to me like that.

Last time I had to spew, I didn't have my beloved totally incapacitated, he could drive, we didn't have doctor appt's over 100 miles away, and the demands on my time, while annoying, were much less demanding. I was also younger---and yes, that is a factor.

This time, my tenacity got a workout.

On 5 November, I did the Nobody Writes It Better blog with a piece entitled "Can't Never Did Anything---And Other Mom-isms where I told everyone in the 2007 group---and anyone who stopped in to read the blog---about the challenge. Very public forum. No way out but failure. I don't do failure.

Kate's blog at the Ruby-Slippered Sisters mentions fear of success. Ah, I know that one. What if I can't maintain? What if it's a fluke? And all the other what ifs that plague the newly accepted/published/contracted writer. Or the one who, like me, would rather not take a chance on any of those what ifs coming true. I know I can write well. But to make it only to screw it up? Nah. Not for me.

This challenge changed that. I CAN do this. I won't fail. I can meet deadlines and pull dialogue out of a sinus stuffed brain. (Not necessarily good dialogue, mind you!)

So to both Kate and Christine I say thank you. Had you not taken me up on my challenge, I would not have learned several much needed lessons. I offered the challenge to push you to achieve your goals, but got so much more out of it than ever anticipated. And I owe it to you.

Now, this will be the last daily post for now. Once the holiday's are over, if you are interested, we can do this again for revisions. Goals are good things, and having someone to whom you are answerable---even in the loosest sense---has proven useful. So let me know what you think. Until then, I wish you the joy and peace and love that are the foundation of the Christmas season.