mermaids

Beyond Talks with Imaginary People: Ten Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks Writers Are Crazy*

Pintip Mermaid1. At the table of a crowded restaurant, we debate the pros and cons of killing by poisonous gas or a slit to the throat.

2. Most of our texts to our friends read something like: “1236 words! You?”

3. We return to our manuscripts and add an adjective (only to take it out later in revisions) just so we can say we hit out daily word count.

4. We call our friends to share life events – “Brynn just got into college!” or “Brynn has a baby!” – and accept the ensuing congratulations like a proud mama, even though Brynn is not our daughter. Or niece. Or even a person, really.

5. One year later, we completely blank on Brynn’s name.

6. We convince our husbands to help us out with a sticky detail by contorting our bodies into complicated sexual positions. And when we figure out just the right angle,…
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Best Lines Ever… Go!

Sometimes an author writes a line that sticks with you.  Here are a few of my favorites, including one of my own (yes, I know, presumptuous).   What are your favorite lines from other authors, but especially yourself?

For Sale:  Baby Shoes.  Never Worn.  Earnest Hemingway (a six line story competition)

“Sometimes a woman needs a man for company, no matter how useless he is.”  Lisa Kleypas, Sugar Daddy

“I have sex,” Grace shrugged. “I meant with a man,” Claudia said dryly. “Now why would I ruin something so good by inviting a man along?”  Sarah Mayberry,  All Over You

“You signed me up for an orgy?  My own mother signed me up for an orgy?”  Masha Levinson, Cruising for Love

 

September: The Other New Year

Denny (PortRoyale)Okay, this blog post is going to break the rules. I’ve got three topics here and am giving each one it’s own spotlight. So let’s go!

I know a lot of folks, most of us, look at January 1 as the beginning of the new year and the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start. We have resolutions, new diets, we throw things out of the closet we don’t need or no longer want to indulge in, all of which makes sense. The beginning of a brand new year and getting started on the right foot is soothing and invigorating–and critical to the human condition. We aspire to change even if we don’t always succeed. But as much as I love the first day of a new year, I am a huge fan of September.

It is my favorite month (but the other 11 are  high up there on my list of good, too:), but September is the beginning of my ‘new year’. Of course, it stems…
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I will remember you…

Mermaid CarleneLast month, I forgot to post here in the pond. I didn’t think about it a couple days beforehand and then forgot. I didn’t have something I was working on but then became overwhelmed with real-life things and ran out of time. I completely blanked. My monthly slot was nowhere on my radar and that’s saying something because Kerri Mermaid sends us weekly reminders when it’s our turn. That’s a weird feeling to not have a conscious thought about something you normally do as routine and put a lot of thought into. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about my fishy sisters and this pond and you, our friends. Maybe I’ve got a serious case of absence making the heart grow fonder now that I’m over here on the opposite coast, but I thought I’d share this today.

“It’s funny how we feel so much but cannot say a word.”~Sarah McLachlan

But I can, so here…
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Iron Underpants and Sagging Middles

SusanMermaidOn Tuesday, our little family celebrated my beloved’s birthday. And, while it was a happy celebration, for me, it was bittersweet, too. You see, his birthday is two weeks before the start of school – and, for me, the signal that summer is nearly over. I need to get ready for school: my job, my real job, is in a school.

And that means my writing life, at least the life I’ve been living for the last three months, is almost over. No more planning my day around the hours of writing, no sketching out a scene on paper before hitting Scrivener. No more gleeful Facebook word count posts. No more staying up late.

I started the summer telling myself I would pump out 60,000 words before school started again. At this writing, I’ve gotten 36,000 done. I haven’t finished my story, I’ve made it to the middle. That’s it.

It’s SO tempting to throw up my hands and say, “Well,…
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Lessons in Rejection

My heart has been breaking all summer. Over problems no parent can solve. About my inability to protect my children — from hurt feelings, from being excluded, frompintip the agony of rejection.

“I’d rather get a hundred rejections than have my child go through this,” I thought.

The sacrifice of a mother? Sure. But being a seasoned veteran of rejection, I also felt I was better equipped to deal with the pain.

After all, I’ve had LOTS of experience with rejection as a writer. And I’ve learned a ton. For example:

1. I learned to temper my expectations. Seven-figure deals, international book tours, movie adaptations — I’ve dreamed them all. But they didn’t happen, and they didn’t happen quickly. And so, my dreams are different now. Simpler. And they motivate me just as much. A career as a writer. My book on a shelf. Spending my days doing what I love most.

2….
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Guilty Pleasures

Ever feel guilty about something that gave you great pleasure?

There are so many days in which we give to others that when we take time to do something we want to do, we feel guilty–or at least I do. A perfect example was last week:

My mom recently moved back into the home she was raised in up in Northern Michigan and I went up to see her for a week along with my youngest daughter. We drove twelve hours from Western Maryland to Northern Michigan and had a great time, just the two of us. It was our first ‘mother/daughter’ trip.

Now originally we were going up to help my mother paint and unpack but it ended up becoming a vacation of sorts. My sister who lives up there, near my mom, came over for the week. We spent days traveling to the towns I’d lived in when I was younger, out to my grandparents property, and up to see the sights at Mackinaw Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes…
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Mermaids & Friends: Piper Huguley

PreacherI met Piper Huguley in Atlanta at the 2013 Romance Writers of America National Conference. I can’t remember our first meeting, but I do remember running into her several times and doing what you do at conferences — talking about books, the conference, the workshops, the speakers, the authors. Everything you can chat about in five-minute encounters that take place waiting for elevators or chilling at the bar or a restaurant.

Oh, and I also knew she was a 2013 Golden Heart® finalist (now also a two-time finalist with her 2014 Golden Heart® finalist nod), so some stalking on my part might have been involved:)…

But she was always gracious and chatty, and funny, and we’ve been buds ever since. I may not be a regular inspirational romance reader, but I enjoy a good book, first and foremost, and I love her books, but also her marketing savvy, and her commitment to her Sunday blog…
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Love=No Apology Necessary?

As some of you may recall, I went on a bit of a rampage a couple months back about Jerry Maguire’s “You complete me.” This led me to another annoying quote from a 1970 movie, LOVE STORY. In it, Ali MacGraw’s character tells Ryan O’Neal’s character, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

LoveStory.

Ugh. Double ugh.

How awful to never expect an apology from someone who has hurt you. And even more infuriating is the message it sends to us as well. If we behave badly, but we really do love the person, we shouldn’t have to utter the words. They aren’t necessary. What a cop-out. So apologies are completely unnecessary in a loving relationship? Why is it okay to lash out at someone you love because they should just KNOW you don’t mean it? That’s ridiculous.

I’ve noticed that children view apologizing as one of the worst forms of punishment, and this makes me wonder why. As a…
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Life on the Wild Side: My 2014 Summer PicSpam!

I take pictures, and during the past six months I’ve been on the road! From the WRW-DC Retreat in April, to RT Booklovers Convention in May, to RWA National Conference in July and then onto Las Vegas and then LA (GladiatorsUnite!). So for my post today, it’s a PicSpam!

Thanks to all of the folks I met for the first time, and for all of the friends I met again. And please feel free to “tag” yourself or others in comments. Or if you see a photo you must have, let me know, and I’ll email it!

I know most of the people in these photos, but see how many you can recognize! (And yes, there are a few repeats, I got lost in the maze of iPhotos:).

IMG_0196IMG_1299IMG_1252IMG_1253DSC_0110
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