Friday, April 30, 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!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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 and I'm really looking forward to that.

Time for one more smoke (hopefully without rolling my ankle and falling on my ass like I did earlier) and then back to the workshop! Yippee!

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.

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 Mythos: Bride of Death. I highly recommend this book and will come back to it again and again as a favourite read.
Wow, thanks!  You can read the entire review here.
More from RT later! I'm back in class and Jade Lee is here again. I need to listen. :)

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 cougars in turtlenecks.

I am a cougar; I was wearing a turtleneck.

No rest for the weary.

I could watch her for hours, but it didn't take long for me to get sucked into her presentation. She asked us all to assign our hero/heroine three adjectives and then assign them an elemental theme based on those adjectives.  She loved my heroine; hated my hero.

Totally fair, by the way. I was getting a series of dramatic text messages from my daughter who was throwing a tantrum over something stupid, so I copped out and picked adjectives for him like 'engimatic.' Duh. Seriously, Celina? You paid a hundred and twenty-five bucks to describe your hero as 'enigmatic?'
I am so glad I took this workshop. THIS is exactly what I needed to hear, not ‘oh Celina that’s so great!’ And I won a prize for being brave enough to go first and not crying like a little bitch which was what I first wanted to do when she critiqued my hero adjectives. Again, keep it simple, stupid. If the story and the characters are so damn complicated that you have trouble explaining them in a workshop setting, how in the hell are you going to explain them in a pitch?
I think I’ve just connected the dots on Terella. Damn! The problem with Jade's workshop is that the concept is so simple it's brilliant, and it always pisses me off to learn a concept from someone else that I should have thought of myself.  Bottom line--lovely lady, fantastic workshop, great experience.

And I won a book!  Always a great thing.

At any rate, between Jade and Bobbi, I learned a lot of new approaches to my work. A lot of the information I gleaned from the first day of workshops will be better employed by me as an editor than as a writer.

After we were done for the day, several of us went to the big bar on the second floor (I should have capitalized it; the name of the big bar is the Big Bar--no lie!  Ohio creativity at work...) for a few glasses of wine. I spent a pleasant hour talking with a fantastic lady and writer from Florida named Linda--and yes, I'm a big enough idiot I forgot to get her last name. I'll rectify that today and provide pictures too. We hashed over the workshop, e-publishing, and the twists and turns of the erotica genre before I went home.  I laid down on the couch at seven...

...and woke up this morning at seven. Everything I needed to get done, I didn't. So now you're caught up. The rest of the week is all RT--and look for several posts a day.

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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

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.

Friday, April 23, 2010

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 got here.  Well, naturally, that didn't work out quite as I planned.  So I put on the new bed linens (gorgeous) and dusted and scrubbed and cleaned.  When, at last, the guest bedroom was *perfect* I went into the living room, fully intending to get some promotional work done.

That lasted five minutes.  Two hours later, the living room was immaculate and I went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

An hour and a half later, including a lovely half-hour span on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, I had to go to the restroom.

Well, I'd bought a new shower curtain too.  I couldn't very well hang it unless I cleaned the rest of the bathroom, right?

It was now four-thirty.  I took a broom to the hallway and was just sweeping the last of the debris into the dustpan when the door opened and here came Audrey and the baby! 

Guess what I did the rest of the day?

Yep. Exactly. Save for the one-time pristine condition of my now-wrecked house, I accomplished absolutely nothing.  I'd call it a wasted day, but hell--now my baby is here with her baby.  Overall, then, it was a great day.

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 boxes of water bottles and one of magnets and one of document stands--all the time hoping desperately that my pain pill would kick in so I could get up off the couch, common sense won out over ego.

I called my daughter--on her birthday--and asked her to come up and bail me out.  She's an artist.

Yeah, I'm not entirely stupid.

She gets here tomorrow, so I spent the rest of the day putting together text documents for the promotional CDs and cleaning the house. We're going to give Audrey a surprise birthday party when she gets here with cake and candles and presents because she didn't have much a a birthday at her house.  Then, when she does get here, we can work on these things together.

There's another fringe benefit, of course. Audrey will be bringing her baby who turns six months old tomorrow.  So on breaks, I'll get to play with Aurora!  Yay!

No word count. Three Aurora Regency CD files, four Cougar Club CD files, the preliminary layout for the Aurora Regency brochure--all are done.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

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 hope you will.

In other news, I got Lizzie T. Leaf's second round of edits to her and spent the majority of the afternoon working on a project that I can't tell you about until sometime next week.  Funny how that works.  Then I got another 7k written on Terella and spent the rest of the day working on things for the convention.

I am almost to the point where I'll be glad when the convention is here.  I'm really looking forward to it--mostly because all the work will be done at that point.

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 in Tudor England.

It was nice to spend some time as I used to spend it--working on my writing, doing some research and dwelling in that secret place in my head where all these ideas percolate into new and usually long stories. I'm looking forward to the day--not too far off--where I can live there exclusively for a couple of weeks.

Until then, I'll keep you up to date. 

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.

Friday, April 16, 2010

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 Butterfly Kisses comes out way too soon for my liking or comfort.  At any rate, they settled on a cover by late afternoon and much joy was the result.

I also saw the first mockup for the cover of Warding the Covenants, which comes out on April 30--and I am excited.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  They are making a few modifications, just minor little tweaks, and we should finalize it in the next couple of days.  As soon as I have the final mockup, I'll give you a peek.  This cover may just be my absolute favorite cover to date.  Simply stunning.

A lot of time was spent today working on the promotional things for RT.  LB Gregg and I ordered a banner--a huge eight by four foot banner that will be displayed in the lobby of the Hyatt throughout RT--with one of her covers and one of mine.  Kind of the two sides of AMP sort of thing.  That is lovely.  What is not so lovely are the boxes of promtional items I ordered that somehow need to translate to a 15" by 15" space.

Have you ever tried to figure out how to get 200 sports water bottles (raspberry with black--name, website and the Mythos title) in a space that's less than a foot and a half square? Yeah...not happening.  I played around with several containers in my house, trying to find one that not only fit but that I'd be willing to decorate (and possibly ruin with spray adhesives and whatnot).  I may have come up with a solution.  In my laundry, there's an 11" by 11" shelving unit.  I would happily paint and glue things all over that AND, with creative stacking, I can fit 50 water bottles and 100 document stands into the space using that and a couple of really awesome wooden containers in my house.  I can not only get my name out ther and VERY visible, but I won't have to worry about someone knocking the whole darn thing over and having a raspberry and black bottle with my name on it catastrophe.  At that point, I started to layout and print off the panels I'm using on the shelving units--

--and it's all contingent upon that shelf being okayed by the RT people.  We shall see. Cross your fingers.

I uploaded the final of In and Out, did some editing work on the flagship novel of the Aurora Regency Historicals line--The Pursuit by Kimberly Nee. The novel is set in post-Revolutionary War America and it's a dandy!  I am going to try to get all the AR books through their first edits before RT, but I'm running out of time and have some other considerations that are starting to get urgent.

Once again, this was a no word count day.  But, considering that I worked fifteen hours between editing and promotional things, this was a very productive day.  Hopefully, I can keep this pace up.  If I can get all my promotional work done by the end of the weekend, next week I should be able to really hit the groove in writing again--if I can hold out that long.  The muse is yelling at me, but I'm ignoring her mightily.

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; I prefer lowercase. (Yes, I have reasoning behind it--if you use the word goddamnit you're not only breaking a commandment but you're disrespecting the Christian deity.)  In my mind, that means you don't capitalize the word.  LB disagreed. 

She won.

*shrug* What? It's her book. She can capitalize it in hers and I'll keep it lowercase in mine.  It all works.  As long as an author is consistent within her own work it's really just a semantic question anyway.

So those two projects took up most of the day.  Then, I devoted the rest of the day and well into the night getting the first Aurora Regency story's first edits completed and to the author.  Marguerite Butler's Compromising Prudence was the first book signed by Aurora Regency and one of the flagship regencies of the line.  It's light, fun, frothy and madcap--in other words, the perfect Regency romance.  It'll be released on July 21, 2010--the anniversary of AMP and the launch date of Aurora Regency and its sister line Aurora Regency Historicals.  I'm getting very excited.  I spent a few hours creating the Aurora promotional items for RT--all that's left to do is to burn some CDs and get some cover art for the jewel cases.

So, things are cruising right along.  Taking a few days off from writing to recharge the creative juices and get some of these huge projects done for RT.  Between brochures and flyers and promotional CDs and my promo stuff and what-the-goddamn (see?)-else-ever I need to get done.  So no word count for today, unless you count about 120,000 words edited in full over an 18 hours period.

Monday, April 12, 2010

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 blog was so fiendishly simple, and yet smart too. What could be easier than documenting one woman's attempt to follow in her heroine's footsteps by dedicating herself to perfecting those recipes?  But it's clever too.  Julia Child is an icon, one that's dear to American audiences.  See how clever that is?  Even people whose only experience with Julia Child was the SNL skits about her would recognize her.

I love it.

Then there's the parallel story--the story of the long and tortuous path Julia Child followed from simple government wife to the Cordon Bleu Institute (where she flunked her first graduation test) through the heartbreak and years of work it took to craft that darn cookbook.  But here's where the real parallel--the Gotcha! moment of the story hits me in the gut.

Julia Child has to work for years to find a publisher--and keep in mind those were the days of just mail. *shudders*  But Julie?  Julie gets a two column article in the New York TImes food section and the very next day starts getting phone calls from editors. Publishers. Agents. Television producers. Movie studios. On and on and on until I am ready to hurl my laptop across the room.  Damnit! Where are my phone calls?

It just makes me want to scream. My stories are creative, damnit. They're well-crafted. People enjoy reading them. Why, then, is it so damned hard to get an agent?  Granted, my stories are more complicated than Julie and Julia--

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech.  Hold it right there.

Could it be that easy to see? Really? Could the difference be that simple and clever is easier to sell than complicated and brilliant?

Think about it: look at some of the more recent great stories.  A boy wizard is the destined foe of ultimate evil. An expert on symbology is called in to decipher religious mysteries. A blogger goes through the recipes of Julia Child.

Simple premises all.  Clever too.  Those simple premises turn into great stories by virtue of two things: they entertain the reader and they allow the reader to imagine themselves easily in that situation.  Even Dan Brown's Robert Langdon explains his rather pedantic subject matter with a verve and a fire that brings the reader along with him in his enthusiasm.  JK Rowling's Harry Potter is the epitome of adolescent angst, and brings all that uncertainty along with him--something completely natural and familiar to the teen reader (and quite a few adults) renders an extraordinary situation into something they can accept.  Simple. Clever. Layered with the express purpose (whether intentional or accidental) of permitting the reader to put themselves in the shoes of the main characters.


So although the day of 65 phone calls is probably never going to happen, that doesn't mean the day of 1 phone call--the phone call--won't as long as I remember on cardinal rule of writing.

I'm not writing for me. I'm writing for you.

My job is to make you feel that the extraordinary is possible, that the ordinary is special, that you are on the same ride the characters are on. 



Intimate--and that intimacy is the final factor, the one thing that makes some writers beloved while others languish in the cold sterility of critical acclaim. Regardless of how much writers bitch about the perceived flaws of those who've hit the heights of success, there's something about Harry Potter and Robert Langdon and--yes, both Julie and Julia--that strikes a responsive chord within us.

A chord that has not one damn thing to do with a split infinitive or a dangling participle.

Something to think about.

And, of course, if any agent (legitimate agents only, thank you!) or editor or huge NYC publishing house sees this blog post and wants to call me--well, you know my number.  I've figured out the secret!  I'm ready to roll!

I don't need 65 phone calls, though. I need one. And eventually, I"ll get it too.


One. Just one.  See? I'm not greedy.  I think I'll make beef bourbignon for dinner tonight, too.

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.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

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 an hour putting that together and at last, I have my hutch. Mirabile visu. Finally, I was able to unpack the last of the totes with my Haviland, crystal and silver in it and we look very fine indeed now. That was another couple of hours.

And then I remembered what the term "bed rest" means.  It means bed--or the couch. That still counts.  I also realized why it's probably a damn good idea to listen when you're told not to do anything.


Another three chapters edited before midnight, a few spirited games of Scrabble Upwords, Uno and Monopoly and then to bed. I still managed to hit my word count, got more edited than I thought I would and actually accomplished quite a bit.  All said and done, it was a productive day.

But ooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww.  I should know better.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

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 being neutered twice.  (Long story) At any rate, over the past few months he started to lose weight. At first it wasn't that noticable, because he's a long haired Maine Coon.  But in the past few weeks not only was he lethargic and constantly ravenous, but the weight loss became apparent.  So we made him an appointment and took him in today.  Impy was so good; he dealt with the blood work and the urinalysis without making a sound.  When they cleaned his ears, however, he howled so loudly it set every critter in the animal hospital howling along in pity.  The vet told us she'd call when she got the blood work back, so we took him home.

I got about a chapter edited before the furnitire guys showed up. Here they come with my new hutch--a beautiful polished oak mission style hutch with a wine rack, two glassed in display cabinets, drawers and two side cabinets and the perfect display place for the family silver.  When the furniture delivery guys unpacked it, I was just trying to stay out of the way.  But then they announced they were done and I walked into the room and nearly died.

It didn't look ANYTHING like the hutch I ordered. 

So I was trying to explain to them that it wasn't right, but my husband (the omniscient one about furniture apparently) was agreeing with them and not listening to me. "No, it's supposed to be that short." "No, the top's not supposed to be finished." "No, they didn't forget the door handles and knobs--hey, where are teh handles and knobs."

So, ignoring me all the way,  the furniture guys pocketed their pay and headed out the door.  That was when I found the OTHER piece of wood in the hallway.  I literally chased them down the street and made them get their asses back inside at which point I said (after telling the husband to keep quiet) that not only did my hutch NOT have knobs and handles, but that the extra piece of wood was the shelf that went in between the legs--SO WHERE IN THE HELL ARE THE DAMN LEGS, GENTLEMEN?

After a panicked phone call to their boss, I was informed that the man who'd "inspected" the furniture at the store wasn't in and he would call me in the morning.

While I was fuming, I walked by my oh-so-not-completed hutch and caught sight of my reflection and THAT spurred a new desire in me.  I may be on bedrest. I may be restricted from lifting weights or standing on my feet for long periods of time. No one has ever said a damn thing about pilates, though.  I pulled out my schedule and added two blocks (one hour gone from my morning routine and a half-hour session during my family time) for my exercise/physical therapy routine.  I will be fat at this RT; I will not be at the next one. 

After this rush of determination and the subsequent disposal of everything I like to eat in the kitchen, the phone rang. It was the vet, calling to tell us that Impy--my beloved, darling Impy--is a diabetic with a glucose level four times the normal range for a cat.  I was horrified.  Tomorrow we have to take him in to get his first insulin shot, poor baby, and learn how to give him those shots ourselves. So I decided to do a little research  on feline diabetes and discovered that I have been killing my cats. No lie--cats are carnivores, right? They don't have the same omnivorous abiliry to process carbohydrates.  But dry cat food is almost entirely vegetable producst with meat by products, baked at a high heat that removes all moisture from the food and then they spray it with a meat-flavored spray to basically addict the cats to it.  The high carb, low protein diet leads to heart disease, urinary tract problems, diabetes and various other ailments in cats.  So we looked up what best to feed our cats (Special Kitty and Nine Lives canned cat food, fround not sliced--the highest proteins and lowest carbs)--5-6 oz per ten pounds of cat 2-3 times a day. Evidently, just by switching cats to this type of diet can immediately put some cases of feline diabetes into remission.

So we rounded up all the dry food and put it away, went to the store and loaded up on high-protein cat foods and now have a bunch of happy kitties and two who are staring at me mournfully because they never ate canned food anyway. They don't like it. And for the first time in a week, Impy looks brighter and happier and is sleeping quite contentedly beside me, purring.

So finally, I found some time to spend writing.  Only three hours, but a productive 10k. I watched Survivor (doing my pilates), fed the cats their nighttime snacks (smuggling vitamins into their bowls), edited three more chapters and now I'm done early enough to watch Project Runway.

So yeah--a day that has changed everything.  Tomorrow will be a busy day. I have to make up the momentum I lost the past few days.  I'm cracking my knuckles; better watch out.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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 lost my entire morning.  I set up camp on the couch in the living room, and with two new books I'd bought for pleasure reading (which I have sorely missed), a couple of cats (they switched out every hour or so) and a big glass of ice water (craving it like a mother) I settled down for an afternoon of absolute brain and body rest while brainless shows on television made a soothing and yet uninteresting noise in the house.

This lasted for an hour.

Then I cracked and opened the laptop.

I spent a couple of hours answering emails, working on proposals, talking to one of my writers (Lizzie T. Leaf--she's a dear lady and we had a lovely and productive conversation), and making one of my infamous lists--something I could type a little at a time.

By four, the roast I'd put in the crockpot was starting to smell fabulous.  I went back to one of the new books and finished it. By the by, it takes me a little over two hours to read your standard romance novel of 350 pages. I picked up a couple of historical romances by popular writers to see what the market was looking like. And then at six, I gave up just a little bit more and started to edit. I figured it wasn't really cheating; after all, most of what I do as an editor is backspace over offending sections and leave little comments, right?

At eleven, when the pain in my shoulder was bad enough that I was ready to cry, I realized I'd been editing for five hours straight.  I took my meds, turned on an old movie (Dragonwyck with Gene Tierney and Vincent Price and Walter Huston) and finally went to sleep a little after twelve thirty.

But what a depressing day--no word count total, only about forty pages edited and nothing really to get excited about as far as productivity.

But what the hey--I got two new books, my friend Gini Koch's new novel was released by DAW (Touched by an Alien--go get a copy now!) and I had roast beef for dinner.  No great loss without some small gains, I guess.

Congratulations, Gini!

Monday, April 05, 2010

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 out my work for the week--which is usually how I spend Sunday afternoons. By the time that was done, I was bored.  So, the decision not to work was reversed and I started to writer around six o'clock. By nine, I had a respectable 7,923 words and put my work away.  The DH and I watch Undercover Boss together on Sunday nights, so the rest of the night was family time.

Happy Easter? Ours was fabulous. We turned off our phones and stayed out of everyone's way.  Not so great of a work day, perhaps, but it was a holiday. I'll make up for it in the morning.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

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, usually picking up every room and concentrating on one room to clean in depth. If I don't do this, my house turns into a wreck very quickly. This includes the cat boxes (all eight of them), the morning shower, checking email and setting the schedule for the rest of the day.

7:30--11:00 The first writing block of the day.  This is the block I reserve for whichever story is driving me hardest at the time--the story that just has to be told NOW or the story on deadline. I never, never, never give up this block. I don't answer the phone, I don't text message, I don't turn on the television. This writing block is sacred, and I usually manage to maintain a 2k-plus wph rate.

11-1:00 This is usually split between editing and online work. I edit quickly, faster than I write. I can edit about 40 pages in an hour if the corrections are minimal, 30 pages per hour if they're a bit more extreme. I have been able to edit a complete novella in this block if I'm concentrating and not backsliding into message boards too often.

1-2:00 The break hour. Allegedly.  Usually this falls by the wayside. It'd be nice to have a break, but eight of ten times I forget all about it.

2--5:00 The second writing block of the day. If I'm working through a revision on a project, this is usually when I do it.  Sometimes, if an editing project is nearing the deadline, I don't write during this period but edit.

5-8:00 Business work. This is when I either do projects for the publishing house, work on submissions and correspondence, read the submissions in the Aurora mailbox. I tend to write a lot of rejections in this period.

8-10:00 pm. Family time. The DH usually comes home around this time. We have our supper, call the kids or the parents, play with the cats and watch television. Again, supposedly.  Sometimes he comes home, we grunt at each other and both go back to work.

10:00 - @2:00 a.m.--Yeah, you're seeing that correctly.  This is the final work block of the day. If I'm tired or not feeling well, it's the one that gets chucked.  More often than not, though, I'm back at work at this point. He goes to bed; I go to work. The house is quiet and I'm not distracted.  Some very high word counts come from this block. This is usually also when I do my personal edits for my publisher.When I finally do go to bed, I don't forget to set the alarm. I get up at the same time every day without fail.

At the moment, I have five works in progress I am actively writing.  I have another three in rewrites. I have two manuscripts in edits with the publisher. I write anywhere from 10k to 25k per day on various projects. A day doesn't go by when I don't write at least 4k--otherwise known as sixteen-eighteen pages.  This is my routine, and what I'll be tracking during A Month In The Life.

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 to get my new ice pack, I set myself up on the couch and prepared to get busy.  I wasn't quite in the mood to write, so I decided to send out the previous day's two releases on to reviewers--thus freeing up my late afternoon on Sunday, which is when I usually do review subs. In addition to the usual round of sites, I added a few more for The God's Wife, sending it to about eight more reviewers than usual.  I then rearranged the release schedule for AMP, pushing back a manuscript that wasn't going to be ready and bumping up a release that was already in early.  One of my writers, Eden Elagbri,  wanted me to take a look at her book trailer--which led into an email exchange about promotional ideas.  Two new reviews came out yesterday including the first one for Mythos 1: Bride of Death, from Love Romances and More.  The reviewer gave me four hearts and said:

Everyone knows either one or another of the many interpretations of Hades & Persephone’s story and Ms. Summers delivers a fresh take on it. The intensity of her storyline completely took me away and you could almost feel the wind of the Underworld on your face as Persephone did the first time or the way Hades showed her what she looks like to him-beautiful and desirable. I could actually see it playing out in my mind like a movie, one I would gladly fork over money to see in the future. Ms. Summers is a masterful storyteller who completely captivates her readers from the first page to the last. With a broad stroke of her pen, she creates multi-dimensional characters, a fast paced storyline and sprinkles in a romance so tender it brings tears to your eyes. The sex scene didn’t take away from the story at all, but enhanced it as Hades shows Persephone the delights of passion. After reading BRIDE OF DEATH, I had to race to see when the next Mythos book will be out as there is a hint of who is next to fall to love’s (or Eros’s) arrow. If you enjoy a new romantic take on an ancient myth, then grab BRIDE OF DEATH. I highly recommend it and hope the author doesn’t leave us waiting too long for the next one.

I think she liked it.  Naturally, when an AMP book gets a great review, it's part of my job to post that information on the loops.  So that turned into an hour of playing around on the internet--which I'm entitled to, damnit.

During the process of which, I fell asleep.  It's only to be expected; I haven't been getting much sleep. I also hardly ever take naps--usually only if I'm sick or hurt.  While I was asleep, the dang ice pack turned into a puddle. (sigh)  It was then that I noticed the bottom of my foot (the one where the ankle rolled on me to cause the problem in the first place) was a nice lovely shade of black. Not blue. Not green. Not purple. Black.


While I was napping, I got a couple of completed manuscripts from two of my authors, so I decided to sit down and write out the Aurora editing schedule and added that into my daily schedules for the rest of the month.  Then I got the final edits for Mythos 2: Daughter of the Sea. I spent a few hours going through the manuscript, looking for any errors, and finally sent it back to my editor (Lori) with the feeling of a job well done.

By this time, it was after eight and Shannon was home.  I kicked his ass in a quick game of Monopoly (quick lasting two hours) and then got into bed and watched the Ten Commandments. I love this movie, and it's one of my Easter traditions. (My other traditional movie is Ben Hur, but I save it for tomorrow) Thank God for the DVR, though--I sped through all those damned annoying commercials and went through the movie in a mere four hours instead of five.  And then, I decided to go see what Shannon was doing in the living room.  I slid out of bed, catching myself with my left hand so I wouldn't land too hard, and a second later screamed in pain.

The other nasty side effect of an impact is bursitis, which is a painful inflammation of the shoulder. The first time I got bursitis was a few weeks after my father-in-law was acting like an idiot and pretending to drive through the garage door.  He slammed on the brakes at the last second and I slammed into the back of his seat, ending up in the ER two weeks later unable to lift my arm.  So now it's my right ankle, my left knee, the whole of my lower back and my left shoulder hurting--and I'll be honest enough to tell you that not even my formidable pain medication is working on it. Make no mistake--first thing Monday morning, my physician is getting a call.

Word count--light. Only 4k in and amongst everything else, mostly on the Terella WIP.  Total time spent working: also light. I only worked about nine hours between review submissions, editing, writing and business emails.

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 call my doctor.  I figured I'd be saving a step by going straight to him.

Totally forgot it was Good Freaking Friday.  You guessed it--no doctor, and no chance of a doctor until Monday.  So I had to reevaluate the situation--could I make it through the whole weekend?  In the end, we determined that--since the ER would only do x-rays and tell me to go to my doctor who (as is his right on a holiday weekend) wasn't there, we might as well stay home and wait until Monday.

So Shannon, after making sure I had everything in reach I could possibly need and giving me brand spanking new ice packs, went on to Columbus to salvage what was left of his day and I turned my mind to the scheduled activity of the day--mailing out review submissions.

I'm the Review Coordinator for Aspen Mountain Press, and every week I set aside time to send copies of our new releases out for review. Depending on the genre of each book, I submit AMP books to a core of about fifteen sites--adding a few different ones for genre novels (sci fi, fantasy, historical and so forth).  The majority of our releases are either romance or erotica.  The two books I submitted on Friday weren't our latest releases: they were the releases from the past two Fridays. (I like to send out in bulk) So knowing I would have two more books to submit later that day, I went ahead and sent these two out.  Both books were gay (m/m) erotic romances, so they would go to the same sites, and both books were ones I'd edited so I wanted to make sure they hit all the review sites possible.

I always block out about four hours for review submissions.  Not does AMP submit to a lot of sites, but each site has its own submissions requirements.  At some sites, I have to fill out a review request form and THEY let ME know when they want a book to review.  Others want the books emailed in advance--and then want different information: some want the ISBN, some want the length of the book, some want you to describe exactly what might be offensive to a reader.  At any rate, it's a long process.  Not a single review site lets you attach the book and send an email that says, "Yo--here's the books this week. Peace out."

But while working on that for my allotted four hours, I got a brainchild. And, as is normal, that brainchild involves more work for me.  I decided to volunteer myself (and my editor Lori because I'm nice like that) to create a blurb/tagline writing workshop for the AMP authors.  The tagline and blurb are the only chances writers have to hook a reviewer--and by extension a reader. It's the writer's chance to sell his or her book. But some writers (like me) suck at writing blurbs.  I'm good with other people's blurbs, but for some reason the ones I write for my own work blow.  A blurb is basically the back cover copy of a book.  Online, that blurb is used as the mini-synopsis of the book. It's what readers use to decide whether they're going to purchase the book or not--or, in the case of a reviewer, review the book.  Those reviews are the best promotional tool a new writer has.  Great reviews will not only give your book publicity, but will also convince readers to give you a shot for the first time.  So you can't undervalue their importance. 

A few emails later, and I added another block of work/time to my schedule. Lori and I are going to get together this weekend and work on putting together an online workshop as well as worksheets to go to AMP editors and writers.  More on that as it progresses.

Then I wrote a guest blog post for Raine Delight's website.  Raine and I have been friends for many years--she's an up and coming erotica writer out of Buffalo, NY.  I'd promised her this blog entry a couple of weeks ago, but had scheduled to write it today.  So, with a fresh ice pack (I don't think my ankle is supposed to be as big as my blown out knee. Just sayin'...) applied to my technicolored appendages, I wrote out a long blog post about the resurrection of Regency romance.  You can check it out on her website. Not too shabby if I say so myself.  So having gotten that in, I crossed it off my list.

I then sent Lena Austin, a wonderful author and all-around classy lady congratulations on the release of her book The God's Wife.  (If you love ancient Egypt and a story of female empowerment, you need to check this book out.  Here's the buy link: .) I'd edited the story for her.  The God's Wife  is the story of Hatchesput and how she rose from just one of Tutmoses II's wives to Pharaoh in her own right.  Lena had released a version of this story earlier with another publishing company, but wanted to explore the story in greater depth. (One of the great things about AMP is that there aren't any requirements a writer has to meet with their work. I had one company tell me they wouldn't publish my work unless I cut the majority of the plot and added three more sex scenes so I know whereof I speak.) So we'd worked together on it.  I let her explore the story to her heart's desire, only reining her in if she was headed out on a tangent. I can recognize those from how many tangents I write into my own work. Tangents are fun to write and easy to move off on, but they inevitably fall to the editor's pencil.  At any rate, I sent her a note letting her know how pleased and proud I was of her and the incredible story she'd written.  Always good to spread a little love toward your authors, and spreading love to Lena is not only easy, but a pleasure. She's such a doll!

Then it was time to work. *By this time, it was already past three* I'm getting the Aurora Regencies ready for first edits and waiting for one manuscript from AMP to finish up before then.  so on Friday, it was all about writing.  I got another 18k written on Defying the Covenants, working around review requests and email exchanges. I set up a couple of conferences for Monday--one with an author and another with the head of the art department at AMP to discuss the overall theme and look of the Aurora Regency line. 

Shannon came home at six and spent much of his evening being an absolute doll, helping me out by doing all my running back and forth for me and worrying more than he probably should.  When at eleven I finally settled down in bed to try and get some sleep, he finally relaxed enough to go to sleep himself.  But I stayed awake--not sure why.  I watched a movie on tv (W.--Oliver Stone's ridiculous film about George W. Bush) thinking it would put me to sleep. It didn't. It just made me mad.  So I pulled the laptop back out and worked for a couple of hours, outlining the fourth and fifth Mythos books and getting about 6k down on the Terella WIP.  Total word count for the day--24,809 over the course of 8 hours. World building/outlining time spent: One and a half hours. Time spent on business--about six hours all said and done.

All in all, a fairly satisfying day, if pain ridden and somewhat slower than usual, I still met all my goals.

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. Sunny day, dry, level concrete, in new tennis shoes--and my ankle rolled. I hit the concrete hard, cell phone flying.  For a minute, all I could do was cuss and rock back and forth.  But when the jackass in the seventies' Nova almost ran me over, I figured it would probably be a good idea to get up and hobble home. I picked up my cell phone (the daughter was still talking non-stop, unaware that I'd almost lost my life) and realized almost instantly that not only could I not put weight on my ankle, but that when I'd hit I'd blown out the knee on the opposite leg. 

And somehow I had to cross four lanes...six with the turning lanes--of busy traffic without using my legs or my feet.  Great.

I managed to make it across (barely), got up the steps and into the house, where I promptly collapsed on the couch and reached for my emergency pain meds.  Within an hour, both ankle and knee were swollen and turning ugly--but what was even worse was that I could now no longer manage to either stand or sit up straight.  I was pretty much done, immobilized on the couch without any way of getting anything I needed.  Shannon (the husband) came home early to help me out.  After arguing for a couple of hours whether we should go to the ER or the doctor, we finally agreed on the doctor in the morning if I was worse or, at the very least, not improved.

Since I was going nowhere, the schedule went out the window for the day.  I stayed on the couch, switching out ice packs and working off and on on Defying the Covenants, the solo conclusion to the Vampire Covenants trilogy.  Between 4:29 and 8:00, I got 6k written on it, answered emails and headed off problems online, edited some blurbs and excerpts and sent them back to the writers and started my organizational list for the RT convention later this month. After watching Survivor & Project Runway, my normal Thursday night TV routine, I worked for a couple of hours on Terella, reading through what I've written so far and doing a sketchy mini-edit for typos, misspelled words and almost every instance of 'that,' 'suddenly,' and dialogue tags in the WIP.  Not a very productive day--albeit a lot of fun.  I helped the moderators with their annual AW April Fool's joke and was somewhat more credible than normal owing to the screaming pain and the effect of extra narcotic assistance.

Not quite a total loss.


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?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

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 ends that just needed to go if the color was going to stick. So I pick up my scissors and whack off the ends of my hair.

*Words of warning number two: never combine 'scissors' and 'hair' after you've already taken your nightime meds.*

Oh crap.


You saw that, right? SIX INCHES! My hair is now above my shoulder blades.  I could have cried. I was looking at myself in the mirror and saw my long hair on the left and didn't see my long hair on the right. Well, there wasn't much of a choice after that. I had to cut it all that length.  Then I separated it into sections and started coloring my hair.

I've colored my hair for about fifteen years.  I didn't want to color my hair--but I landed the lead of Evita and instead of wigging me, the costumer thought it would be better to bleach my hair out. 

*Words of warning number three--if you're a redhead NEVER EVER EVER bleach your hair to platinum blonde.  Why, you ask? Listen to this story coming up next.*

It took a professional stylist seven hours to bleach all the red out of my hair.  After two hours, my hair was University of Tennessee orange. Not pretty.  He kept working at it though and evenutally I had platinum blonde hair--and blood blisters all over my scalp. I cried--the chemicals burned so badly.  But we didn't have a choice. My hair turned such an awful color from the bleach that we had to keep going.

And my hair was never the same color of red again.  *sigh*  I've yet to find a hair color that's even close.  But there are a couple of different shades of red I use that I really like and I usually wobble back and forth between them. So the hair was trimmed and the color was on and I went out to see what the husband was doing in the living room.  We started watching a show on television and then got into a debate that involved looking information up on line.

And I forgot I had coloring on my hair.

*words of warning number four--always keep track of time when you're coloring your hair!*

Let's just say that my hair is RED!
Go ahead. Laugh. I know it's funny. Guess who's going to the salon tomorrow? Life sucks.