How Fast Do You Write?

I’ve been hearing stories in the last year about people who “write a book” in lightning fast times. Three months. Two months. Two weeks. Ten days. Seven days. To which my reaction is always: ?!!??!!

From idea to drafting to revision(s) to completion, the time it takes me to write a book is more easily measured by a unit of years. And before I heard all these stories, I thought this was completely normal. After comparing my process to other writers’, however, I would feel badly. Like something was lacking in my ability as a writer.

My husband assures me that I’ll write faster with practice. Conventional wisdom advises me to write at my own pace. But then, I realized recently, maybe it’s not one or another. Maybe, like most things in writing, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Over Labor Day weekend, my husband took the kids to his parents’,…
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Why Do I Love Dark?

Why Do I love Dark? I don’t know…

I have never killed. Murdered or slayed. There are a few swatted flies that have felt the sting of my murderous wrath. But as far as I can recall, I haven’t actually killed. Nor have I had dark, murderous thoughts (about real people), or wanted to meet a real vampire, or run around naked at night with a were-creature. Nope. For the most part I gravitate toward the normal, routine everyday activities most sensible human beings partake in – well, except for my need to obsess about certain television characters (Spike, Joe Dubois, John Crichton, Alec Hardison—and BTW, the first to name the TV shows these characters appear in – will win a prize!).

But let’s get back to my premise. What attracts me to those dark characters, plots, stories? What makes my brain fall in love with a character and then what to drag him or her through the deepest, darkest…
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I’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling

We write romance, right?  Hearwarming, mushy, (maybe) trashy, bittersweet, emotional, but above all, romance.  In my quest to staple my butt to the chair and write, I’ve noticed my productivity resembles one of those shaky rollercoaster rides that was put together by someone of dubuious skill, dexterity and mental capacity.   I sit, I start to write, sometimes it flows and sometimes, someone must have forgotten to turn on the spout.  The next day, I go back over what I wrote and most of the time, I can’t help but think “eewww”.. did I really write that?   The whole process reminded me of beer goggling.  You know what I’m talking about.  That amazingly hot guy from last night’s party who could beat Fabio in his early days?  Well in the harsh light of the morning, he looks more like a recent attendee of a Star Trek convention.

Just like beer goggling, I find myself writing goggling.   With a fresh set of the same eyes, I look over my writing and like many of…
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F.I.G.J.A.M.

Hillary Clinton Retired!!!!

Are you surprised to read that?  I was too a few weeks ago when the words splashed across my TV screen as I sat watching a Spanish language news channel with my mother-in-law.  Mi suegra (my mother-in-law) is much more comfortable with her native language so out of respect to her, when she comes to visit, we become a Spanish-speaking household. 

Back to Mrs. Clinton—I couldn’t believe it when I saw the short bit of her giving a speech which had been mostly muted by the news station and the word retiro below her.  When I later found my husband to tell him about the shocking retirement, he—a politico junky—obviously didn’t believe me.  I insisted I’d just seen it plain as day on the news.  I told him in Spanish, “Hillary Clinton retiro!”

He said, “Gueras (blondie—my hubby’s nickname for me), that means she went on vacation.  As in a relaxing retreat.”

“Oh.”  Ooops.  And…
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You Write What?!?!?!

You know the drill. You’re having a nice conversation over dinner and your companion seems really interested that you’re a writer. He/she is even more impressed that you have finished a novel and are actively trying to publish. And then comes “the” question:

What do you write?

Romance.

The most recent time I told someone this, he literally laughed in my face. Seriously, sound came out of his mouth as he mocked me.

“Romance? Pssst.” (More laughing)

It was as if I said I take a razor blade to newborn puppies. Even though I’m really proud of what I write, I felt so embarrassed. Let’s face it, having someone laugh in your face is never a feel-good kind of moment, no matter how many glasses of wine you’ve consumed.

Leading up to this joyous encounter I had been doing pretty well with the haters. I’ve joined writing groups lately, which seems to have made a big difference in both…
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John Cusack, a pen and a phonebooth

You’ll have to bear with me today. I’m a little silly and punch-drunk due to the grueling time at the PITADJ (pain-in-the-a**-day-job).  it is the busiest time of the year for me and I’m down two out of the four folks on team due to maternity leave – so yeah, I’m a little stressed and a lot tired.

Which leads to the fact that I had no idea what to write about today. Not. A. Clue.  So, I do the one thing I always do when I’m stuck (ignore the Main Man shouting “spend money” in the background) – I watch movies.  And I usually go back to favorites, the tried and true – no, new shockingly disappointing flicks for me – I want one that I know will deliver every time.

So, I had a little movie marathon and lost even more sleep but felt a little more human.  And, I felt a little inspired creatively – which was very good for the writing.

The first flick was ‘Romancing…
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Coming Out

First, a little character description.

My mom is five-feet, two-inches tall and mostly round. She smiles – a lot. Her nickname is bubbles. She is a stamping fanatic. And she scares me to the bone. Well, not her exactly, but disappointing her.

So when I started writing, I didn’t tell her. I was too scared that if I never finished it or it never was published, that she’d see me as a failure. When Up a Dry Creek developed into a hot, sexy romantic suspense. Well … I decided to never tell her. After all, our birds and the bees conversation consisted of her telling me, “That’s what sex ed is for at school.”

When I got the acceptance call from Evernight Publishing, I did a happy dance. I told my husband, my friends and my arthritic dogs, but not my mom. She called on the…
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The Princess and the Dragon*Con

I am on the plane about to fly to Dragon*Con, so the post I planned for today is now officially defunct. So I will leave you with this image that pretty much sums up my relationship with both writing and the Fairy GodBoyfriend.

I hope all you waterbabies have a fabulous holiday weekend! Xox

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Hurricane Irene–Foe or Friend

Many of us are on the alert today about the incoming Hurricane Irene along the east coast of the United States.  She looks like she can be a doozie so please, heed all warnings posted by the authorities in your area, keep track of the weather stations and The Weather Channel and stay safe.  I need all my friends out there for inspiration, motivation and just to be there–always!

Here are a few things you will want to be aware of if you aren’t already prepared:

Water, non-perishable foods, batteries for flashlights/radio, candles, matches/lighters too. A full tank of gas in your vehicle (no electricity–no gas pumps) same with ATM’s–get cash out now. Pets–make sure you have 3 days supply of food/water, any meds–baggies for dogs/litter and litter box for cat, carriers and leashes, tags and papers for shots/etc. Have a copy of your homeowners/renters insurance for possible damage after storm. Also, have your safe/family documents in a safe place. Don’t forget to stow/tie down items in your yard that…
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“To Be Or Not To Be?”

“To be or not to be?” Okay, maybe that’s not exactly the question. The real question is whether to write under your own name or under a pen name?  Well, there seem to be a lot of differing opinions to that ever-important question.

First, let’s start with why someone might write under a different name. Well, why would a super hero have an alias? For privacy of course. A lot of people choose to write under a pen name for the same reason. I mean think about what would happen if everyone knew you were a super hero? Fans hassling you all the time to sign autographs, take pictures with them, begging you to make public appearances so you can rescue their cat out of a tree. I’ll be honest, I suck at getting cats out of trees but it might be nice if someone, someday thought I was fabulous enough…
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