Showing posts from April, 2010

In Case You're Wondering...

No, I haven't forgotten you. And, in case you're saying, "HEY! Where's Warding the Covenants???" I'll confess that the convention has been so hectic and busy that the release has been delayed for a few days. Just a few. :)

I'll update you with more information ASAP--look for catch up posts tomorrow!

Take a Gander at our Banner!


As you know, fellow AMP author LB Gregg and I went in on a banner for the RT Convention. Well, got out of the morning session and our banner is hanging in the bar!  Check it out:

More than a little stoked. The banner looks awesome and any time you have a banner in the bar at a writers/readers' convention it's got to be a good thing!
The morning session was awesome.  Jade Lee was back for more character development, while Linnea Sinclair and Stacey Kade taught a fantastic  workshop on staying inspired that was a lot of fun and very beneficial.  Bobbi and Judi gave a great lecture (and test) on self-editing that gave me a really good glimpse into what I should be looking for as both a writer and an editor in the manuscripts I'm working on.
The majority of the AMP writers are on their way, and I'll be meeting them this afternoon and still trying to figure out this darn promotional lane stuff. *sigh* But, this afternoon are the editor/agent panels in this workshop a…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010--Second Day of RT

Got a FANTASTIC new review yesterday for Mythos 1: Bride of Death from Siren Book Reviews.  The reviewer must have REALLY liked it. Check this out:

Forget everything you ever thought you knew about Hades, and dive into the Underworld, with the refreshed eyes of a virginal maiden goddess. Loose yourself in Celina Summers captivating tale of the Bride of Death.

Celina's vivid descriptions of the gods, their duties and the realms they rule, will give you a crash course in Greek Mythology, leaving you begging for more.Wow.

She gave BOD four and a half out of five siren stones (stars, hearts, whatever) and finished up by saying this:

Hades' courtship of Persephone is romantic, even as the connection they share is overflowing with passion. The purity of his feelings for her, and her devotion to him remain profound even until the very end of the book.

Kudos to Aspen Mountain Press for the beautiful cover and near perfect editing, as it further enables the reader's enjoyment of Myt…

Monday, April 26, 2010--First Day of RT

First off, I'm an idiot. I took my camera and didn't take a single damn picture. Mea culpa.

I opted to take Bobbi Smith's two-day pre-convention workshop for Advanced Writers. First off, let me say that Bobbi is a lovely, lovely lady. She is personable and genuinely interested in the writers in her class. The entire day was enjoyable and stimulating and well worth the money.

Throughout the day, there are mini-workshops that deal with specific facets of romance writing. And while they have all been helpful, for me the high point of the day was Jade Lee's workshop on characterization. Jade is an expressive firecracker of a lady and has a sense of humor I really respond to--sarcastic and knee-slapping hysterical. Her description of how they staged a clinch cover was hysterical. Barbells and a crate become a drawing room and an exercise bench turned into a chaise lounge for a pair of models posing for the photographer. Absolutely. Hysterical. She also made a comment about …

A Month In The Life--The Weekend Before RT

Yep. One blog entry should cover this--more promo work, playing with the baby, and sinus infection. Naturally. Stay tuned--the first RT post is coming up.

A Month in the Life--Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can I just mention the absolute drudgery of burning CDs?

It is a long, drawn out, hellish procedure and it takes even longer to burn an image onto the CD itself than it does the text files.  Amazing.  At any rate, I need CDs of my own work (The Reckoning of Asphodel, Metamorphosis and Mythos 1: Bride of Death), excerpts from the Cougar Club stories and excerpts from the Aurora Regency books. 

I started this morning at 7:30 and worked until midnight and all I did was burn images onto CDs. No text; no books; no excerpts--just the name of each CD and what was on it. Sixteen plus hours of mind-numbing work and still more to do tomorrow.  Ah...such is life.

A Month In The Life--Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess what I've got???!?!?!?

Holy hell!  Yes I do!  I have cover art for Mythos 2: Daughter of the Sea!
I totally love this cover.
Audrey and I worked for about eight hours straight today--not counting baby play breaks, of course--and the TO DO list is shrinking steadily.  We walked to the fabric store and picked up more supplies, and then spent a fun afternoon watching the baby in her bouncer and working on my display. 
A great day. Productive too.

A Month in the Life--April 20, 2010

My day started at seven--a little late for me, but I'd been up until five am the night before.  To start off with, I spent a lot of time this morning involved with e-mails and editing. Despite my resolve not to edit until after the convention, I neglected to realize that I needed to edit the excerpts for the Aurora promotional CDs.  So that took a couple of hours, then I had to lay the documents for the CD out again. Once that was done, though, I went to work on the house. Audrey would be here at about five.

Funny, isn't it? I called Audrey for help because my back was fucked up and then proceeded to fuck it up more getting the house clean for her stay here with the baby--who promptly messed the house right back up.  I started in the guest bedroom.

I've been getting ready for Cynthia Vespia to come stay with me during the convention. So, I went ahead and decked out the guest room with new linens and things and hadn't planned on putting them out until right before she g…

A Month in the Life--Monday, April 19, 2010

My daughter Audrey's twenty-second birthday!

Today was also the day I came to a momentous decision. I will not write or edit anything else until after the Romantic Times convention.

Why, you may ask?

Because I can't.

There's no way I can get all this done. I have to be able to walk (or at least sit up) for the convention next week. I also have to have all my materials done and looking professional before I go, otherwise this has all been a waste of time and energy.  Now, I'm not one to perpetuate exercises in futility, but it still makes me feel kind of inadequate that I can't get all this done on my own.

It was hard, admitting that I don't have a big *S* on my spandex superhero suit. I am unaccustomed to confessing my humanity.  But, after an hour of staring helplessly at the pile of material and glitter and feathers and sequins and jewels and masks and copies of my book covers on photo paper waiting to be cut and blank CDs and jewel cases and four packing b…

A Month In The Life--April 18, 2010

It finally happened.  I hit the crisis point today. I took one look at my trashed house, at my uncompleted projects and then at my email and just shut down.

So, I took the day off.

Be back tomorrow, hopefully with my head on straight. Off now to attempt to get some sleep--if we're all lucky, maybe I'll manage it.

A Month in the Life--April 17, 2010

First things first--have a new cover:

When Marcellin Dautin is named the Elder of Venice, fledgling vampire Marguerite and her husband Gunther agree to accompany him in hopes of learning more about the Russian revolt against the Conclave of Elders. After an ancient renegade vampire murders the Doge, they are drawn into a dangerous hunt for the assassin.

But as Marguerite's powers grow, so too does the danger. Some vampires oppose Marcellin's rule over Venice, the renegade has begun to stalk Marguerite and her old Russian enemies are determined to capture her and the Elder's sword she bears. While Venice dances through the Carnivale season, Gunther must lay aside all restraint to protect his young wife. Can they remain true to the Covenants they've pledged to preserve or will their love shatter under the strain of Warding the Covenants?I totally love that cover and I'm completely excited about the release of this new book.  I think you'll all enjoy it a lot; I…

A Month In The Life--April 16, 2010

And just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier, that the halfway point of the month would make certain that I was over the hump of the hill of horrors, I got to go to my doctor's appointment this morning.  Considering the pain level yesterday and the results of my latest diagnostic tests, it's back to the operating table for me.  It's probably a good thing you're getting a month in the life now because next month I won't be posting much at all.  I have a reprieve until the end of RT, and then I'm going to have to take enough time off to recover from another foray under the surgeon's knife.


At any rate, I worked on more RT things this afternoon, and got about 11k written between the fourth Mythos book (this one's about Hercules!) and the third Covenants book (and oh the surprises coming there!) and spent another couple of hours doing research for a new project that's churning away at the back of my head--an alternate history set i…

A Month In The Life--April 15, 2010

This post is going to be very short. I don't have a heck of a lot to tell.

I spent four hours at the vet's this morning with a very sick cat.  By the time I got home, my pain level was so high that it was all I could do to get to the couch.  Once there, I had a couple of conferences and did some editing.  I ended up taking my breakthrough pain medication about five o'clock, which knocked me out until midnight.  Then, of course, I was up for the rest of the night.  I worked on RT promotional things until 5:30 a.m.

Now it's time to switch to the April 16 post, which is really funny.  To me, it feels all like the same day.

A Month In The Life--Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesdays really are hump days in this house.  First off, it's my TV night.  Between Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, Top Chef Masters & America's Next Top Model the DVR is kept occupied.  I love the new AT&T Uverse service we have. I can record FOUR shows at the same time AND still watch something else on television.


At any rate, every Wednesday I tell myself that I'll keep working and watch those shows on breaks later in the week.  And every Wednesday, I take four hours off and watch them all, back-to-back, skipping the commercials. So Wednesday night after nine is usually a total wash.  I try to make up for it by getting lots done on Wednesday day.

After going a few more rounds on the cover art for Butterfly Kisses, I finally intervened and sent both parties an email.  I usually try to stay out of cover art wars for my writers' books--they have to like it, not me.  But right now the art department is overwhelmed with things to do for RT and Butt…

A Month In The Life--Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today has been an incredibly confusing day--of course which ones aren't?  Today's been dedicated mostly to editing and the Aurora imprint.

I got Lizzie's first edits back to her for the next Cougar Club story, Butterfly Kisses. She's also been going rounds with cover art--there's some kind of communication breakdown going on there.  By the end of the day, however, we were well on the way to getting the editing on track and I think she's going to end up with a fabulous story out of it.

I also finished off LB Gregg's next Men of Smithfield novel In and Out. Lately with Aspen Mountain I've been editing a lot of m/m erotic romance.  The market is hot and LB is one of the best m/m authors I've worked with, if not the best.  This story, in my opinion, is her best one yet--so good, as a matter of fact, that we resorted to nitpicking over usually unimportant things.  For example, should goddamnit be lowercase or should it be Goddamnit?  LB likes uppercase;…

A Break In The Month and a Breakthrough in the Creative Process

*So since I killed off my technology for the weekend, I did write this blog post as a kind of makeup entry--you when your husband brings home flowers because he accidentally washed all your white permanent press with his brand new red boxers and wonders why you're crying at the sight of pink doll clothes?  Yeah, like that--here we go.*

A word of advice--if you're a writer in search of an agent and a big publishing contract, do not watch Julie and Julia. Seriously. Don't.

Don't get me wrong--I love the movie. I think it's hysterical and I can no more turn it off than I can say, "No, I don't think I want another Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Really."  What gets me about the movie is the way it portrays the writer's journey.  It begins with a girl who has a basic idea--she's going to write a blog about her attempt to work her way through Julia Child's landmark cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The concept of that blo…

A Month in The Life--April 10-11, 2010

These two days do not exist--mostly because I, in my wisdom, managed to eradicate both my internet and my cable simply by moving the modem and cable box from one table to another.

Accomplishments on Sunday: Word count--15,823. Other notable acheivements: Uno game wins 6-0. LOTR Trival Pursuit 1-1.  Monopoly 2-0. Cat insulin shots--2. Caloric intake--less than 1,000. Cigarettes smoked. A pack and a half.

Yeah. That's what happens to me when my internet goes away--big word counts, but I can't eat and I go from a pack a week smoker to a pack a day.  Good lord.

A Month In The Life--April 9, 2010 two of the rest of my life.

Surprisingly, Impy dealt with his shots very well. As long as I give it to him while he's eating canned food he's as happy as a fly on dung.  Already, he's started to improve.  I'm very happy.

We got back to the house from the vet's at around nine, and the DH went to school while Impy and I settled in for a long morning of editing.  After getting six chapters done, I sat down with the Defying The Covenants mauscript and spent a couple of hours doing a quick edit--I call them cleaning edits. That's where I find the ewes on the dressers (instead of ewers) and the majority of the adverbs--gosh dang them all anyway.  Then I cranked out a good 12k of new words.  Not a bad chunk of change when you get down to it.

And then--lo and behold!--the furniture men showed up.  They discovered that the legs were right where I said they'be be--underneath the bottom of the hutch, strapped in along with all the hardware.  So, they spent a…

A Month In The Life--April 8, 2010

Ever have one of those days where you know that everything is about to change?

Welcome to April 8th.

First, I woke up at 4:00 am this morning and got three chapters edited for an Aurora manuscript before I could go back to sleep.  That's always a good thing--getting unaccounted work done in the wee hours of the dawn. By the time I got the chapters edited, my meds kicked in (because--yeah, pain woke me up) and I got a few more hours of sleep. Fortunately, that extra work came at an appropriate time.  Impy, my first cat and the patriarch of our feline clan had a vet appointment this morning and my new hutch was being delivered this afternoon. 

So we get Impy ready for his appointment.  Impy is nine years old and a Maine Coon.  A few years ago, he weighed over twenty pounds and everyone called him "Pimpy" because he was the most awesomely friendly cat in the world.  A true gentle giant, he endured years of kitten attacks and several moves--even surviving the indignity of …

A Month in the Life--April 6,2010

Ah, my life is never dull.

(Yes I know. I missed a day. Keep reading and you'll figure out why.  It's not hard--Monday, I couldn't type.)

At any rate, after an early morning trip to my doctor, an awful, harrowing, long needle-filled hour, I received the news I least wanted to hear.

Bedrest. Ten days. Again.


And, since my shoulder hurts so badly it's hard to type, that means no extensive writing. (I'm cheating with this post, but I'm typing one-handed.  It takes forever) So my initial hopes of having Terella in presentable shape by the RT convention are now endangered.  I did get a huge cortisone shot today, so maybe it'll start working quickly and I can get back to it.  It better, anyway--anytime a needle that damn big goes into my shoulder which is already hurting, I'd better see quick results.

At any rate--between the doctor and the subsequent trip to the Walmart pharmacy and the obligatory waiting forever for new prescriptions to be filled, I…

A Month in The Life--April 4, 2010 Easter

I slept in.

I figured it was only fair.  I slept all the way until 10:30 and I loved every minute of it.

Waking up was not as pleasant.  Still very stiff and sore, and the flare up of bursitis made it almost impossible to type.  Realizing the writing was pretty much out of the question, I kind of wrote off the rest of the day.

I decided I wasn't going to work at all.

So, I had a meeting with Lori--who's helping me put together the workshop about taglines and blurbs for AMP.  We had a productive conversation and determined that I would cover the part of the workshop about why a great blurb and tagline was so important and she would cover the important question of how to write great ones.  We're getting back together in a week to put it all together.

Then I spent some time fielding questions about review requests.  After another couple of hours, I finally put the computer aside and settled down on the couch.  My shoulder was killing me.  I took out my journal and planned o…

Sample "A Day In The Life"

I thought I'd post this for reference, just so you have an idea of my daily schedule.  Keep in mind this is subject to change, depending upon circumstances or deadlines.  Saturday is my "light" day, where I try to keep my hours to eight.  My busiest days tend to be Mondays and Thursdays.  On a holiday, like today, I don't schedule blocks of time as I usually do; it'd be a waste of time considering the obligations we usually have on holidays.  Okay, you ready?

5:00 am--Rise and shine. It takes an hour for me to physically get out of bed between medications and exercise.  So this is the hour I eat breakfast, watch the news on television, do my stretching exercises and spend a little time with the husband before he leaves for the day.  This is also the cats' favorite hour--they get their canned cat food at this time--mostly to keep them out of my hair for the morning, when I do my best work.

6:00-7:30--Basic maintenance. This is when I straighten up the house,…

A Month in the Life--April 3, 2010

Saturdays are usually my 'light' days.  Usually, I focus on house cleaning, managing whatever latest family tragedy is underway, take some time for some light reading, play with the cats--that sort of thing.  With Shannon going to school at lightspeed (he's finishing up his Microsoft certifications) my Saturdays are my alone day, to be divided up between taking care of the house and taking a much needed intellectual break.  I do get some writing in, but only if I want to or a story is driving me.

So yeah, obviously that didn't happen this week.

I woke up hurting worse.  One of the problems of any back injury is that you hurt at increasing levels for a few days after you've had some kind of impact or new injury.  It took a looooooooooong time to loosen up enough to get out of bed.  Regardless, I was still up and ready to start the day at seven-thirty--half an hour before I'm supposed to wake up.  A good omen, I'm thinking.  So, after hobbling to the kitchen …

A Month in the Life--April 2, 2010 Good Friday

When I woke up this morning, I really kind of wished I hadn't. Everything that hurt yesterday hurt twice as bad after a night on the couch. (The cats were rampaging through the house last night and keeping me awake.  I ended up closing the doors to every room but the living room and kitchen and moving the butcher block in front of the cabinets so I could remove the noisiest feline toys from their access.  The cats punished me by drinking all the water out of the fountain and discovering a new way to use dry cat food as cat toys all over the house.) At any rate, when I woke up I was already two hours behind schedule.  My husband had stayed home to take me to the doctor if I thought I should go.

I did think I should go.  For one thing, going to the emergency room would not only cost a fortune, but since I'm a chronic pain patient they (a) wouldn't give me anything for the pain, which kind of negates the idea of going to the ER in the first place and (b) would tell me to cal…

A Month in the Life: April 1, 2010 -- April Fools Day

I've always though it was bizarre that April would being with April Fools Day. It's kind of like April is giving you the finger while sticking out its tongue at you.

And, as is usual, I got the biggest bird.

Let me explain.

Two years ago, on April Fools Day, I took a header down the stairs of our house.  I think there might even be a blog entry about it.  My ankle rolled on me--which is a side effect of the serious back injury I had resulting in weaker ankle muscles and neurololgical response. It wasn't a pleasant experience; I lay on the floor for eight hours waiting for someone to get home and help me.  Ended up in the ER for a long night of xrays, tests and dehydration IVs.  Needless to say, that header accelerated the degenerative disc disease that's had its way with me since the car wreck eight years ago.

So today, I walked across the street to the convenience store.  And while I was coming home and talking to my older daughter on the phone, my ankle rolled on me…


Because of the unmitigated disasters of the last few days, I'm posting my journal entries a bit later than I'd anticipated.  But because I promised you a month in the life, you will by gosh get a month in the life.


Unfortunately, you're going to hear all the loathsome details, it seems. Oh well.  Here we go. Try not to laugh TOO hard, okay?

Advice For Life

It's been a wild week and it's only half over.

Ever have one of those nights where you're really, really tired so you go to bed at ten or ten thirty and then can't get to sleep?  Tonight's one of those nights for me.  So, after forty five minutes of flopping around like a fish on the beach, I had a bright idea.

*Words of warning number one: Ideas that happen after you've already gone to bed are rarely 'good' ideas*

I'll just go trim my hair and go ahead and color it. It'll only take an hour or so and then I'll be tired enough to go to sleep.

So I change into my painting/lawnmowing/gardening/oil changing/hair dyeing sweats and get everything ready to do my hair.  Now, my hair grows REALLY fast. It's fine hair, but there's a lot of it. I haven't cut it in a while, so it was down to the curve of my back. I knew it would take two boxes of dye. My hair is pretty easy to cut--it's long hair with a long bang.  I had a lot of dead en…