Showing posts with label Favorite Things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Favorite Things. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Giveaway: Show your 'Sweet and Heartwarming' spirit!

Happy July, everyone! This month is all about celebrating. My friends up North kicked it off with Canada Day and here in the U.S. we're getting ready for an 'Independence Day' Friday full of fun and fireworks. July is also an extra special month for the romance writing community because, on July 23rd, the Romance Writers of America annual National Convention kicks off. So many opportunities this month for friends and family to gather together...and what's more heartwarming than that? ;)

The Harlequin Heartwarming authors want to help spread the 'sweet and heartwarming' spirit, so we're doing a month long giveaway of 50 spirit bracelets like the one shown in the photo above. Details, rules, regulations and all that jazz can be found at the Heartwarming Authors blog HERE. But to give you an idea of how this giveaway will work, here's a copy of the main part of that post:

  1. Tell us via social media how much you love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! Post a comment here. Post a comment on our Facebook page under our Sweet and Heartwarming Posts (and like us!). Share our post on Facebook with the#GoHeartwarming hashtag. Tweet about our giveaway: I love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! #GoHeartwarming. Spread the word on Goodreads. Every comment/post/share/like/tweet/hashtag is an entry. We'll track entries each week!  We're giving away 50 bracelets to our social media supporters during the month of July!  
  2. To our sweet romance fans and our writing sisters who'll be attending either the RWA Literacy Booksigning July 23rd in San Antonio at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter OR attending the RWA conference July 23-26, if you come across a Harlequin Heartwarming Author wearing a pin like the one shown below (green beads and the distinctive "H"), all you have to do is say: I love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! And you're an instant winner!

Sharing the love on blogs and forums counts too! All you have to do is leave a comment on the 'Sweet and Heartwarming' post on the Heartwarming Authors blog and/or here...and be sure to include a link back to where you mentioned your love of sweet and heartwarming romance. We just need to be able to keep track for the weekly drawings (again, check the link for details).

And for those of you who read the fine print and are bummed that winners have to live in the U.S., I'm going to add a separate (international) giveaway that includes anyone who leaves a comment and 'link back' here on this blog. If you spread the spirit through social media, as stated above, but aren't a U.S. resident, then leave your 'I love sweet and heartwarming' comment here on this blog with a link back to where you spread the, state your country (no specifics, just country)...that way we'll know which giveaway it's for (note: if you're a U.S. res. then you'll be entered for the bracelet too). On July 28th, I'll randomly draw one winner. The prize: An autographed copy of my Harlequin Heartwarming, The Promise of Rain, along with a matching bookmark. Be sure to check back here on July 31st so that I can get contact info from the winner!

Now, go spread the spirit of all things sweet and heartwarming! :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

USA Today HEA Interview with Kimberly Van Meter...and baby chicks!

Happy Friday! Here's a little something to brighten the winter we've been having...

And they're mine! I have six total and I'm in love. Yesterday, I did an entire post with more pictures and why I want chickens. Check it out at the Heartwarming Authors blog here: THE BACKYARD CHICKEN BUG

To top that news, I have an interview with Harlequin Superromance and Romantic Suspense author Kimberly Van Meter up today at USA Today's Happy Ever After blog! Here's the link: HEA INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY VAN METER.

On that note, I'm off to figure out what chicken coop design I should build (or try to ;). I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Snowball Cookies

It has been awhile since I posted a recipe, but it's hard (especially for my kids) to walk by whimsical and, no doubt, yummy Christmas cookies in the grocery store and not be able to have any. Sure, I  know all the gluten free brands and it's not like we're cookie deprived, but I can't resist baking during the holidays and my boys wanted 'Christmas' here's what I just finished baking. No snowball fights broke out. They were too good to throw ;).

Rula's GF/DF Snowball Cookies

Mix together:

1 1/2 c softened Earth Balance Buttery Spread (my choice in lieu of butter, but you can substitute)
1 c sugar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt (in other words, just a dash)
2 1/2 c Bob's Red Mill white rice flour
1 c Bob's Red Mill tapioca starch
1/4 tsp Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum (helps texture so they don't fall apart...might work without)


1 tsp vanilla extract (Variation - you can substitute 1/2 of the vanilla with almond extract)
2 eggs

Mix well then...

Preheat oven to 350 F (of course you can do this earlier)
Line cookie pans with sheets of parchment paper
Roll dough between your palms to shape 1 inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart
Bake for 15-20 minutes...until they just begin to turn brown
Let cool slightly, but make sure they're still very warm

Powdered sugar coating:

Put about 1 c of powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl and roll 2-3 snowballs at a time to coat. Set on paper towels to cool completely (I use paper towels because they absorb any condensation from the warm cookies against my cool don't want soggy snow balls...and they keep the sugar from making a mess).

That's it! It's that easy. This recipe makes approximately 50 snowballs. Sounds like a lot...but trust me they won't last.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New kittens!

Last week we adopted kittens from our local SPCA. They're brothers who lost their mother to a car accident. My kids named them Storm and Nimbus (as in the cumulonimbus thunderstorm clouds). We got them at 8-9 weeks of age and they're growing very quickly! Nimbus is the black one (I think he's actually turning out to be what's called a smoke can see his tabby pattern in the right light) and Storm is the brown Mackerel tabby...both gorgeous and sweet.

And they have purr motors like nothing I've ever heard LOL!

So today, I can be found cuddling kittens while working on my book 2 proposal...the second story in the series that starts with my January release, The Promise of Rain...and I can also be found talking about family, love, elephants and being thankful for kind hearted souls over at the Heartwarming Authors blog today. See you around!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Cover Reveal and more!

It's here! The cover reveal for my debut Harlequin Heartwarming, The Promise of Rain (January 2014) is finally here!

 And every time I look at it I get all bubbly inside. I love everything about it. The brilliant team who put it together captured so many elements that are significant in the story, including the tree, the elephants in the background and the overall sense of family. Families torn apart by trauma and the struggle to rebuild those relationships is a prominent theme in The Promise of Rain, so it's perfect that the cover 'promises' and captures the sense of serenity, family and happily ever after that the characters almost miss out on. And those characters include 'heartwarming' little ones, like the baby elephant and the little girl, Pippa.

And what better way to celebrate a cover reveal than to ring in the fall with some romantic fun? Turns out, I'm a bit of a scarecrow matchmaker. Check out the scarecrow couple I conjured up as part of a Harlequin event. I promise you'll get a kick out of it ;). Check out my craftiness HERE (I'm the last one)!

See you around!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Projects and Posts

It is one blustery day in my area...a sure sign that November is around the bend. The Farmer's Almanac said we'd be in for a cold Halloween in the mid-Atlantic, and now I believe it. But I'm going to bundle up and brave the wind because I need to finish a Fall project that will be part of a fun week at starting October 28. Be on the lookout for a link to what I'm conjuring up!

Also, I'm now on Goodreads! I've added links in the right sidebar and on my website.

And today you can find me at The Heartwarming Authors Blog. I warn you, it's a sad post. Earlier this week, Millie, a little kitten abandoned at Harlequin's door and taken in by my editor, passed away. She was the cutest little thing, as you'll see in the pics.

She'll be missed by all.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back-to-school and the official back-cover blurb for The Promise Of Rain

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! Today is the first day of school here, and boy am I relieved. I love my kids (I simply don't like it when they make me want to pull my hair out ;), but I'm in desperate need of quiet, structured writing time. I have a lot of catching up to do in preparation for my debut Harlequin Heartwarming this January!

I have a milestone to share with you! The back-cover copy/blurb for my book, The Promise of Rain, is officially out! I was so excited when I read it for the first time. My Harlequin 'team' did an awesome job capturing the story. Here it is! 

THE PROMISE OF RAIN - (Harlequin Heartwarming - Coming January 2014) 


The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place in the world she thought she'd run into her childhood friend Dr. Jackson Harper. He's been sent to review her request for funding. But with Jack around, Anna has more to lose than just her facility. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave Kenya…without his daughter. 

Furious doesn't even begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? Not to mention put his child in danger by raising her on the savannah. His first priority is getting Pippa back to the United States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, their connection hasn't faded. But can this bond endure, despite the ocean—and the little girl—between them?

(Available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

I can't wait to see the cover! :)

So on to my first day in months with no kids home...

I have a lot of writing and writing related things to do, but I also need to cook something special. It's a first-day-of-school tradition of mine. I think coming home to a favorite meal and dessert, after a long day at school, is a good way to celebrate and to take the sting out of homework. Plus, they always come home starving. It takes time to adjust to a new schedule.

Now to think of something to cook. Any ideas?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Marketing Must Read and More

Huge apologies for missing my Tuesday post (unforeseeable circumstances), but I have a couple of links that will make up for it :).

T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY: Check out fellow Heartwarming author Jennifer Snow's blog and excerpt for the first book in her Brookhollow series releasing this November. She's doing a custom t-shirt giveaway and all you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment HERE.

MARKETING BOOK RECOMMENDATION: When I was in Atlanta for Nationals, I attended a workshop where author Valerie Bowman was one of five authors on a panel. I could tell from the tips she was giving that she knew her marketing. I just downloaded her book, Painless Marketing for Busy Authors, off Amazon. It's only 99 cents but it's worth a million in marketing advice, links and resources. It's not long, so it's a quick read for busy authors, but it's packed with ideas and I can't recommend it enough. Plus, her style of writing makes it a fun and lively read as well. Buy it HERE. (Note: I don't get anything out of recommending her book. I simply think it's worth it.)

HEARTWARMING POST: It's my day to post over at The Heartwarming Author's blog, so pop by and see what beauty I found on my doorstep...courtesy of organic gardening :).

Happy August!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Awesome July!

Happy July to all and an early Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! This month is already looking as awesome as a firework display :).

First, yesterday marked the launch of Harlequin Heartwarming's all new stories line up! In the past, the line was in a test phase, where previously published Harlequins (various home and hearth lines) were revised to fit the line's requirements. Last month, out of the 4 monthly releases, two were prev. pubbed books, and two were brand new. This month, they're all brand new stories and many are/will be by debut authors! Very exciting!

Secondly, it's RWA Nationals month and, as if that isn't awesome in and of itself, this time I'll be going as a PAN member, Harlequin author...and I get to wear a first sale ribbon! Yay! I'm so excited.

Thirdly, FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS!!!! I seriously love July 4th and all it's about. Plus, I'm absolutely crazy about fireworks.  I'm not talking about sparklers. I know they're fun but I've also seen a lot of eye injuries, so do be careful. I'm talking about the big sky display. I live in the country so they look extra brilliant against the dark sky. There's a park near us with a massive field and every year there's a live band, festivities and then an extraordinary fireworks show. Love it!

So I'm wishing you all a terrific July. What are you're plans?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Movie: Star Trek Into Darkness

Happy Memorial Day!

Huge apologies to all for being gone longer than expected. Apart from revisions, the month started out with two weeks straight of having a kid home sick (you know how bugs do their rounds). Resistance is futile when you're stressed out. Tragedies in the news really get me down. From the Boston Marathon to more recent tornado's too much. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families.

Also, we got two female guinea pigs in April and I'm now positive they came to us pregnant (totally unexpected and due any day). I've been off the net due to daily overload, but I'm all caught up now and to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, last night I took my kids to see Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Tremendous movie. Extremely well done in so many ways. I think it's perfect for Memorial Day and if you sit through the credits, you'll read an appropriate dedication.

Confession #1: I'm a Trekkie.

You'll love the movie whether you're a Trek fan or Trek virgin, but if you've seen the original movies, especially The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek 2009, you'll have a deeper appreciation for the significance of certain lines and scenes. I have two boys who are Trek addicts. After seeing this movie, my oldest son is now a Trek convert...and he's a super tough critic.

And to all you lovers of romance, it may not be the focus, but all the Trek series explore relationships of all kinds, including romantic ones. After all, Star Trek the original series is famous for television's first interracial kiss. It was the romance between Riker and Troi in Star Trek The Next Generation that initially drew me in, but after an all night original Trek movie marathon (rented them all and watched them back-to-back), I was hooked for life. An official Trekkie.

I'm sentimental about all the romances in Star Trek, but what really makes the series so incredible is its depth of characters and stories that boldly explore moral, ethical, relationships and political issues. For the writer, there's an incredible amount to be learned from Star Trek (as a whole) about story telling. I think that could be analyzed to no end.

 Confession #2: How Trekkie am I?

1. Okay, so I haven't actually dressed in costume for a convention (though I was a Deanna Troi wannabe), BUT I did make a Halloween Trek costume for my middle kid when he was in fourth grade.

2. I've been to two conventions, which by some fan standards is pathetic, but hey. I did get a  comic drawing of me as captain done at one of the conventions (see photo above). I had very short hair back then (college days). You can also see the wrinkled water damage since this, and some other collectibles, were in our basement when it flooded a few months ago.

3. I have posters, t-shirts, original fan photos, Federation drinking glasses, Christmas tree ornaments of Captains Kirk and Picard (he made bald sexy), an antique original series lunch box, gold plated communicator pin, books on the metaphysics of Star Trek, a three-dimensional chess set and so much more...

PLUS, since all self-respecting writers need their reference books, I have....(drum roll)...

4. a Klingon dictionary

I kid you not. They actually 'made' an entire language, grammar, vocab and all. No. I'm not fluent in Klingon, but it's cool to have ;). Sigh. Worf and Dax...another awesome romance.

I love all the movies, but I have to say that Star Trek: Into Darkness is epic.

So...are you a Trekkie? To what degree? Which Star Trek romantic couple is your favorite?

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Hero's Handshake

Shake my hand like a man!


I did say please. After all, a handshake is meant to be polite and I am a lady. But for crying out loud, whether you choose to call me a lady, lady-like, female, woman or whatever, we're in the 21st century dudes. Don't insult me...or yourself.

Sorry if I'm coming off a bit strong. Let me backtrack here, and apologize to all you women out there who prefer a feeble handshake from a man., and I'm all for a guy (or anyone) being gentle if they know someone's hands are fragile for whatever reason. I'm talking about the average modern woman though. I do understand that in certain cotillion circles, guys are taught to shake a woman's hand by barely holding the tips of her fingers. They're taught that this is respectful, and I can see where that comes from, but...

I hate that with a passion. Call it a pet peeve. I like me a firm handshake. Not bone crushing or overpowering, but one that indicates equality. To me, a solid handshake in this day and age tells me that the man respects me. Sees me as an equal. Will do business with me on equal footing. I don't care if I'm about to contract someone for work at the house, meeting a business person, a friend of a friend, nothing emasculates a man in my eyes more than when he gives me the limp, finger tip shake. The shake that says:

"I don't really want to touch your hand, but I'm supposed to, so I'll do it half-assed."

"You might have cooties. Gotta run and soon as you're not looking."

"I'm a king and you're my subject. Poo on you."

"May I have this dance?" (Followed by a bow of course. Where's the ballroom?)

Seriously, I do understand that a woman is supposed to extend her hand first. That's empowering. A man doesn't get to shake her hand unless she grants him the opportunity. But beyond that, I think a man's handshake says a lot about him. Of course, you can't really tell what's under all that muscle (or lack of) based on mere hand contact, but you know how first impressions go. I want the handshake of a hero. A man's man. I even pay attention to handshake descriptions in novels. The fingertip shake is perfect in a historical novel, but in a contemporary it turns me off like a sloppy kiss.

Women of the world unite. Spread word and teach our men and sons how to execute the 'hero's handshake'.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Autumn or Fall?

This Saturday, September 22nd, marks the first day of autumn. At least that's what my calendar says. I tend to call it the first day of fall. I realize the two terms are interchangeable, although they do have different etymologies. According to Wikipedia, 'autumn' has Old French origins and its use dates back to the 12th century, whereas 'fall' has Germanic language origins (English or Norse) and its use to describe the season dates back to the 16th century. I won't get into more detail on that front. Suffice it to say that different people (sometimes depending on where they grew up) are used to using one term over the other.

I say 'fall' 95% of the time, and it's my absolute favorite season. If I had to pick my top three favorite things about the season they would be:

1) fall colors on trees and shrubs
2) scarecrows (I've loved them ever since I saw The Wizard of Oz as a kid)
3) the sight of bales of hay rolled and left out on farmland

Of course, I love pumpkins (my kids already coaxed me into making a pumpkin pie this past weekend...they couldn't wait), the sound and sight of Canadian geese migrating, squirrels harvesting, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, apple cider, brisk mornings, trick-or-treaters and knowing Thanksgiving is around the corner, but the top three faves stand apart.

So, do you say 'autumn' or 'fall', and what are your top three favorite things about the season?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tree Addict

I'm a little late posting today because my fingers, wrists, and arms are aching like crazy. Before you think that I was being a good little writer all weekend...and I broke some word count barrier...I must confess. Words aren't to blame, although everything constitutes working on our writing. Right? Even gardening can be considered a source of inspiration, time to think of story twists, or untwist a story problem, or just time to address a writer's health by getting their butt moving ;).
Peach tree in bloom

I gardened with my husband all weekend. We (husband is shaking his head and pointing his finger at me) bought more trees. I have a serious thing for trees. They're gorgeous, calming, and good for everyone and everything. I love looking through tree guides, and I've used them plenty in plotting out my landscape. I plant for spring flowers, fall color, winter interest (ie. cool branching and bark), strategic shading etc... It really is a science and an art (and I'm no expert by any means). Hey, some girls like diamonds or shopping for shoes. I like trees (any plant, actually) and shopping at garden centers.
Yoshino Cherry tree in bloom. These don't fruit, but they're amongst those famous cherry trees in DC. 

Young Yoshino Cherry tree
My hubby has a hard time appreciating that fact while he's digging tree holes. I do my share of digging and transplanting sod, but he works hard babying 'my' trees. We deal with a lot of rocky soil (enough that we invested in a pick axe). Enough said.

Plum tree in bloom. This one gives us a great plum harvest every year.

The pictures shown are of trees we planted about five years ago. I have a lot of fruit trees (apricot, apple, plum, peach, persimmon, fig, sour cherry, and a hairless kiwi vine), as well as ornamental trees (japanese maples, Yoshino cherries, tulip tree, weeping willow, sugar maple, blue spruce, and many more). This year we're adding chinese chestnuts (I love chestnuts), another cherry, and I'm planning to get mulberry and paw-paw trees. I told you. I'm an addict. The good news is that I'm limited by planting space...I'm just not there yet ;).

Purple plum tree in bloom (non-fruiting)

Any fellow tree/shrub/flower lovers out there? Are you more likely to plant it yourself, or pay someone to do the gardening for you?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Office supply junkie

Is there a writer out there who doesn't love office supplies? I mean looooove office supplies. Please, tell me that I'm not alone! I'm not talking about anything electronic. No plug ins (well, except a really rockin' pencil sharpener) or battery powered gadgets. I'm talking about the basics.

Remember the good ol' four color Bic pen? The one that has red, blue, black and green all in one...just click down on the color of your choice? I had one of those back in my school days and thought it was the coolest pen ever. Still do! I came across it the other day and couldn't resist buying one for each of my kids, plus one for my office.

Back in the 1980's when The Container Store was a huge fad (everyone at school bought plastic containers and used paint pens to label them with bubble letters and flowers...ignore the age implications), I was in heaven. I still have a thing for drawer organizers except that I now love anything in metal mesh. I have a mesh drawer organizer, mesh pencil holder, mesh trash can. You get the idea.

Other office supplies I love include:

Clear rulers
Staplers that actually work well
Good titanium sissors
Paper clips or clips of any kind
Sharpies...fine, medium or fat...Sharpies rock! I can't live without them!
Post It notes in cool colors
Dry erase magnet board
Calendars...the old-fashioned, write-on-it calendars (not Blackberry style). I like to be able to see my whole month at once. It's an OCD thing.
Note books, notepads...same idea as calendars.
4X6 note cards...I use these for manuscript notes, outlines, GMC 'em!
Pentel's Hi-polymer white erasers. They're the best.
Hanging files
My good ol' egg timer ('s typically a kitchen supply but we writers have imagination ;)

I can spend a very long time browsing the aisles in an office supply store or even the office supply section somewhere like Target. While some women browse shoes, I browse pens.

What about you? Any favorite office supplies? Any must-have suggestions? All I need is one good excuse to go shopping ;).

Monday, December 13, 2010

AquaNotes and more...

Remember my recent post, Carpe articulum, where I mention the dilemma of getting ideas in the shower? Guess what? I was reading my latest Writer's Digest (you really should subscribe to it if you haven't already), and their review of 'literary goodies' mentioned the perfect solution. AquaNotes. Check it out at It's a waterproof notepad and pen that suction to your shower wall. The pages can actually be torn off like a regular notepad so that your writing ideas can be taken back to your computer. Talk about a great writer gift idea! Check out the youtube video of how it works.

Also, I came across a must read blog post called The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents. It includes direct quotes from a multitude of agents polled on common query mistakes.

And finally, let me leave you with a Youtube video that's going viral in the writing world. You have to be a serious writer to see the humor in So You Want To Write A Novel...

Happy Writing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I got the best treat ever

Let me start off November with a couple of important announcements.

1. Today is day one of Harlequin's Editorial Week. Don't forget to pop on over to So You Think You Can Write.

2. Only two weeks left until the forms and fees registration deadline for the Golden Heart contest.

Ready to find out what my favorite trick-or-treat was?

Now, this is no ordinary pen. My son made this in a woodshop class at school and gave it to me this weekend. He said that he wanted me to have it since I'm a writer. Need I point out that I'm very sentimental? I think I'll sign all my query letters with it for good luck. Hey, maybe one of these days I'll get to sign a contract with it.

Isn't it amazing how one minute your child can have you tugging at your hair, and the next minute they're tugging at your heart? Here's to the next generation of heroes and heroines.

What's the best writer gift that you ever received?

Monday, October 25, 2010

'Tis the season for paranormal romance

Halloween is in the air! I spent Saturday evening at a haunted house with one of my boys. I'm talking a real haunted house. Sure, decorations were added to ramp up the spooky mood, but this house is truly haunted...if you believe. It's an old, stone farm house built in 1800 and nestled in the middle of nowhere. It served as a hide-out for those headed north to escape slavery. This place was amazing and filled with presence no one could deny. Being the writer and reader that I am, it got me thinking about paranormal romance. Hey, can you blame me?

One of my favorite paranormal romances involved a haunted house much like the one I was in on Saturday. It's one of Nora Roberts' McKade series, The Return of Rafe McKade. Speaking of paranormal and Nora, I absolutely love all of her Donovan clan books, Charmed, Enchanted, Captivated, and Entranced. Those are a must read for anyone who likes witches and magic. She makes it all so skillfully woven into everyday life that you have to believe her characters could be your neighbors. Love it!

I have also enjoyed reading Terry Spear's Heart of the Wolf and Destiny of the Wolf for the same reason. Terry not only incorporates real wolf and wolf pack behavior into her stories, her werewolves are also so well blended into human society (in their human form) that you're left thinking that they really could exist. There are many more books in this series that I have yet to read, but I definitely will.

I like paranormal romances that have a strong plausibility factor. I think it gives them a longer lasting impact. They leave you wondering...looking over your shoulder. What are some of your favorite paranormal romances? Do you like to curl up with them during the haunting season?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heroes be warned...

I was sitting in my office contemplating heroes and heroines, when a praying mantis landed on my window screen. Having an imagination that goes off on wild tangents (no pun intended), I started thinking about how the female praying mantis embodies most of the attributes of a sexy heroine. She has that long, slender body, limber legs, and big, round, come-hither eyes. Oh, and she eats kicks ass.
Wait a minute! She does what?
Actually, she typically starts with his head. I did say she embodied most characteristics...not all. Uh, alpha? Yes. Ideal heroine? Guess not. Cannabalism after sex doesn't equate with a happily ever after. Not exactly romantic. So to all you heroes out there, looks aren't everything. Don't say I didn't warn you.

By the way, the above praying mantis lingered on my window all day before taking off to find a mate. I haven't seen him since. Some guys never learn (and, in all fairness, the reverse holds true for women).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Writer Wisdom

To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.
                                                                                   Anne Rice

The way I see it, perseverance is the heartbeat of writing. If you quit, it's over. Sounds a lot simpler than it is in reality, but writers are lucky in that they are part of a society of kindred spirits. There are many types of motivational fuel. I love reading wise quotes from veteran authors.

Author Bethany Roberts has a wonderful collection of writer quotes at her website. What I love most is that she has them listed in categories such as, instructional, on revision, on perseverance, on rejection letters, to amuse, on characters etc... I recommend taking the time to pop over to her site, but here are a few of my favorites.

Tom Clancy - The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

Ursula K. LeGuin - Sure, it's simple, writing for kids...Just as simple as bringing them up.

Ernest Hemingway - I rewrote the ending of 'Farewell to Arms' 39 times before I was satisfied.

Will Shetterly - The great thing about revision is that it's your opportunity to fake being brilliant.

Robert Southy - It is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

Katherine Paterson - As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.

Lloyd Alexander - Fantasy's hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.

Burton Rascoe - What no wife (husband) of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working even when he's (she's) staring out the window.

Richard Bach - A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.

E. L. Doctorow - Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Elmore Leonard - My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.

Do any of you have famous writer words of wisdom to share?

Monday, August 16, 2010

What childhood series had you hooked on reading?

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."
                                         Stephen King, On Writing

Have you noticed that, in their bios, most writers mention being avid readers as children? I recall going through an autobiography/biography phase in the second grade. Strange, I know, but it was soon replaced with an addiction to series. I still love reading series. I love getting to know the community, the family members, and friends. In fact, I just finished a book in one series and I'm about to start another.

Being a mother, I started comparing the series my kids are hooked on to the ones that kept me up at night. At the risk of dating myself, a few of the ones I loved were:

The Little House On The Prairie
Nancy Drew Mysteries
Ramona the Great

What book series had you hooked as a child? I know that we all have single title favorites, but I'm sticking to series for now. The Magic School Bus anyone? Harry Potter? (Umm...throat clearing...I was a little older when that came out...side glance).