Saturday, December 31, 2005

Seven Things

Michele tagged with with this one. I told her it would give me something to do if the rains stopped the fireworks tonight and sure enough the Truckee River flooded in downtown Reno and the fireworks are being held off until tomorrow! There is a huge mudslide on I-80 too that will take a few days to clean up.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:

#1 Ride in a hot air balloon is something I’d like to do as well.

#2 I want to visit all of the continents.

#3 Buy one of my own books at Wal-Mart (keep going with writing).

#4 Win a mega jackpot and/or the lottery. Either would suit my retirement goals. Problem is I never play those big machines or buy lottery tickets.

#5 Own a clipper ship (#4 would help), or at least go sailing on an old-fashioned sailing vessel.

#6 Have a meaningful relationship with a studly Viking.

#7 Paint. Another way to express creativity.


Seven Things I Cannot Do:

#1 Cut my own hair effectively.

#2 Read fast enough to keep up with what I want to read.

#3 Find the CD for my Paint Shop Pro. I did find a Toby Keith CD in the wrong case though.

#4 Keep up with all the idiotic programs on my computer. If a Viking is unavailable a computer geek will do.

#5 Rock climbing.

#6 Scuba diving.

#7 I have to face that I will be unable to travel everywhere I want to, unless I win that lottery.


Seven Things that (Will) Attract Me to My (Future) Spouse (or significant other, best friend, etc.) Note: this one I adapted.

#1 If a Viking is unavailable, a cowboy will do.

#2 Has a job so he can support my writing habit. There would be benefits after all. What guy wouldn’t want to help research romance novels?

#3 Can speak my language. The last guy who flirted with me used “sign” to do it. He took out his cell phone and “signed” that he wanted my phone number. The International Language of Love is hard to express over the phone.

#4 Has a 4x4 truck, sail boat, skiff, snow machine, hot air balloon, hiking boots or other toys that involve outdoor activities.

#5 He should have cable so he can get DSL, and only watch sports when I’m otherwise entertained.

#6 Wants the same basic goals so he compliments me nicely, yet I’d want him to have a few goals I never thought of so life would remain interesting.

#7 No felonies. Actually, this is #1 I think!


Seven Things I Say (or write!) Most Often

#1 Anyway

#2 …

#3 www.google.com

#4 I’ve got a different password for tons of the websites I frequent and I have them memorized because I type them so often.

#5 A little. Little is one of those meaningless adjectives I use a little too often and have to erase when I’m editing manuscripts. Well, I did that on purpose.

#6 Well

#7 Just


Seven Books (or series) I Love

#1 Dara Joy’s Knight of a Trillion Stars and more in that series.

#2 Jude Deveraux’s Legend

#3 Nora Robert’s The Reef

#4 Shiloh Walker’s Hunter series

#5 Leigh Greenwood's Cowboy and Seven Brides series (they're related)

#6 Bernadette Gardner’s Hunter’s Moon

#7 The old Nancy Drew mysteries


Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again

#1 French Kiss

#2 The Christmas Story

#3 Armageddon

#4 Proof of Life

#5 Hope Floats

#6 Thunderheart (Val Kilmer is unavailable, I'll have to stick to Viking hunting.)

#7 Star Wars series


Seven People I Want to Join In (Be Tagged) - I picked the last 7 comments give or take, and skimmed to see if you'd already done this. Have fun.

#1 Karen
#2 Laura
#3 Tanya - Shesawriter
#4 Lauren
#5 Leann
#6 Laine
#7 Bernadette

Resolutions?

I chatted at the NCP Readers & Authors group and Behind the Muses for a few hours and at both places people brought up resolutions. I make resolutions all the time, and I either do or don't follow through, so making a few on December 31 for the following year isn't really out of the ordinary.

I answered back that I want to read more. I am making this resolution not to improve something about myself though, but because I enjoy reading and I haven't been doing near enough of it of late. After I was published my time spent reading dropped quite dramatically.

But a book a day? Resolve to read 365 books? I found this blog interviewing Lauren Baratz-Logsted who resolved to read 365 books in 2005. I would need to be speed reader for that! [Along these lines, I have been wondering if that computer program called eyeQ works.]

When asked about why she did, she brought forth a good point. Lauren Baratz-Logsted said, "I thought it would help me define my future as a writer by concentratedly studying what I love, admire, hate in other peoples' work." I've read many authors suggest to aspiring authors that some of the best advice is to read, read and read some more. I just don't want to slow down as much as I have. So I won't have another 250 novel year (I did once when I kept track), but I can certainly read more than 1 book a month (my slowest month).

I'm not assigning myself a resolution quantity, but I will assign:
  • The two James Lee Burke novels that have been sitting in my cupboard for about a year! If you've never read JLB, you're missing out. Thing is, he writes dark. You have to like mysteries with really shady characters.

  • Richard Nelson's The Island Within. It is a collection of nature/natural history essays that I've had sitting close at hand for a year. It somehow managed to get a golden delicious apple sticker on the front cover. That must have been one of those days I resolved to eat fruit for a midnight snack and followed through.

  • I'd like to read more poetry. I did read some poetry in 2005, but not nearly enough.

  • While I'm at it. I should read a few classics that I've always been meaning to but never have. I have already downloaded many of the books at Project Gutenberg that I'm interested in reading like Dracula by Bram Stoker and some of Jane Austen's.

  • One for the money, two for the dough, three to get deadly now go cat go, and don't you, step on my blue suade shoes. I have been picking up the Stephanie Plum novels over the last year or so at the library mostly (even got one of them twice) and haven't read a single one of them. This year I will.

  • Actually, I resolve to put a huge dent in my stack of unread romance paperbacks that I keep buying but never reading. A few of them I received as part of the RWA National Conference (publishers give away books), and those too are mostly sitting in a bag in the corner of my office.


  • Last, but not least, I want to get a good grip on my TBR list of eBooks... which are mostly romance and erotic romance.
On an unrelated topic...

Yesterday I signed up for the Best of 2005 at photofriday. Not in the running or anything because this is my first time. I just found the website this month. Anyway, I found two really cool pics... Spinning Tree & Globe at Imago Articulus, and Fireworks at rushmi.com -- an image of fireworks at Epcot Center last summer.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

So You Want To Write Erotic Romance?

Shelley Munro started some posts today over at Between the Sheets with Writer Babes.

[The old blog I copies this post from] got identified as a possible spam blog. Since it doesn't have a lot of repetitive links, it makes me wonder if someone flagged it? I don't know. Well, I do know that now I have to wait for manual verification from Blogger, and until that happens I have to type Word Verification just to post, and that no one will find this blog when they hit "next blog".

If I really were a link spammer, I would link to myself rather than other authors. Hey! Wait a second. I can do that? I can link to myself too? Come to think of it, I wrote about How To Become A Best Selling Romance Author on my blog today. I didn't even think of linking to myself until I saw the word verification reminder on the editor below the post window! LOL.

Warning Label: Swimming with sharks has been determined dangerous for romance writers health. Do not try that without proper training... research won't do.

How To Become A Best-Selling Romance Author

I have had weird dreams two nights in a row. This isn't a tip post. This is me talking about a dream I had.

I’m waiting for a book called The Best of Kimberly Zant from Amazon.com and it isn’t here yet, though items shipped after it arrived several days ago. So, the night before last I dreamed I got a CD from Amazon.com in the mail, and the jewel case was all crunched up. I worked as a temporary employee out there and in my dream I was talking to one of my old coworkers (cute guy) and told him, “oh, that’s all right, don’t need a new one”. Then I left and suddenly recalled… I ordered a book! What am I doing telling some cute guy he doesn’t need to send me a new CD?

So the strangeness goes on.

There is a Romantic Times Convention that I’d sure like to go to in Florida. So in my dream I’m there. In my dream I have also acquired a studly fiancé (not the same cute guy in the CD dream), and we are swimming in the ocean. This would be a main reason I’d want to go to this conference really! I live in the desert and though one of the lakes near here is salty, I just never get the chance to go to the ocean and swim. But deep inside I have a fear of swimming in the ocean. Sure enough... A shark came up and swam right underneath me – which had my heart rate pounding in real life and I think I tossed and turned. This is the stuff of nightmares of my youth. If that weren't bad enough, the shark attacked too! But! It wasn't really a nightmare. When it came up to get me I wasn’t in pain and the dream became silly at this point! Mr. Stud grabs the shark to distract it, and tells me to swim to shore. Me? Being a writer of kick-ass heroines, do I just swim to shore screaming? No. I punch the shark on the nose. When it won’t let go of my boyfriend I poked it in the eyes. The shark let go and we swam to shore.

Miraculously, the USCG was already there waiting to check out the puncture wounds on my boyfriend, and the media wasn’t far behind. My first worry is to get to the hospital and have the boyfriend checked over by a doctor and get stitches. So I tell this reporter, I didn’t really see what happened, go talk to Kara, Christy, Cece or Beth and I point to the muses (pretty much decked out in togas and eating grapes on the beach) and left them with reporters while I snuck off in the ambulance. I recall reading that some of the muses are renting rooms in a haunted beach house when they go to RT, but being a dream I don't have the facts straight I'm sure.

Later in the dream, the boyfriend was fine, and my muse pals sent all the reporters back. I was repeatedly interviewed later by lots of channels and newspapers and became very famous for the shark attack at least. I guess that would be news if a writer at the Romantic Times convention saves the life of her hero by poking a shark in the eyes. I got invited to be on David Letterman. The dream included most of the interview. I didn’t get up on his desk and reveal myself like Drew Barrymore did a handful of years ago. Did I continue living a life of luxury, finding shark-filled waters in tropical lands? No, I started working even harder on writing because I was famous enough not to have to get another temporary job.

Warning Label: Swimming with sharks has been determined dangerous for romance writers' health. Do not attempt without proper training and equipment... researching scuba-diving beforehand just won't do.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Erased Pics

When I pull up my blog, Blogger's header is in the corner as a box rather than a bar across the screen. It happened after I used Picasa2 yesterday. I deleted the pictures because that was driving me crazy.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I Love Poser

Poser taking a hit or two at the Merry Cover Snark, from the Smart Bitches: Have yourself a Poser little Christmas post. I like Poser. I love Poser! Okay, so I prefer more natural looking covers. But there really are some very talented Poser artists out there, and some of them are making eBook covers. I wouldn't necessarily count myself in this group! I'm learning still. I am a toddler with the program. It can do so much though.

Unless you are a Poser user, you would not believe how much time and effort it took to work on this image of a horse and woman. I'm still at the practice stage, and everything took so much detail work.

Admittedly, the horse looks like the plastic horse I burned playing with matches when I was a kid. I was testing to see if it melted, and it did. But I managed to get the leg back to about a 35 degree angle and look kind of natural. I was very scientific when I was 10. Nonetheless, when I grew up my mother decided when I was about 18 that it was going to the land of mis-fit toys. She sold it at a garage sale for a quarter. A year later I saw it for sale for $40 in an antique shop, twisty-leg and all so I knew it was mine. With regards to Poser, there is a better horse available but that model costs money. All the good stuff costs money.


Doesn't she look a little like Uma Thurman? This inspired some mermaid images. I found the freebie stuff to make mermaids, but they need work and didn't have clothing at that point so I'll skip posting the nude mermaid images for now.

 
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This is one of a series of crystal ball images I spent time working on. If it fit a story, I think this would make a nice cover. I have found a new hairdo since then that is lovely even thought it is free. The Poser 5 hair that comes with the program looks a little ragged.

Oh, and writing news! I got a present from editor at New Concepts Publishing on Christmas Eve. The edits for the novella Lord of the Night. They aren't expecting them back for a month, release date after that.