Monthly Archives: May 2010

Bachelorette Party Rundown

Saturday was my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy myself because I’m only briefly acquainted with some of her friends, but as it turns out, it was a blast. Maybe that had to do with my need to celebrate landing an agent, but I suspect it was just a good mix of people with nothing but fun on the mind.

We went to New Orleans. First, let me just say that it was raining cats and dogs. I opted not to stay the night since I’m trying to pinch pennies for Nationals this year. So my nephew’s girlfriend and I parked the car in the Quarter and headed to Margaritaville. I’ve only been to this place once and when I went, I was extremely hung over so I couldn’t remember where it was. If I had remembered, I’d have parked a lot closer. Walking 8 blocks in the rain with no umbrella is not the best way to start off a party. The party was golf themed, so we set out with our plaid shorts, visors, polo shirts/argyle sweaters, and score cards.

Luckily for us, the rain slacked off not long after dinner. The first bar stop on our “9 Hole Game” was Pat O’Brien’s. The last time I was at Pat O’s…well, let’s just say I was worried I wouldn’t be allowed back in the bar. That wasn’t the case. Two Rum Runners at Margaritaville, one and a half Hurricanes at Pat O’s, and we slipped over to the Cat’s Meow. We sang along with the people performing, did a shot, then headed out to the Krazy Korner. There was a band playing there and we sang a bit, then disappeared into the Tropical Isle. Hand grenades (beer for me), lots of singing, laughing, and cutting up, we headed back up Bourbon.

It was as we were heading to the next stop that I saw something I’ve never seen on Bourbon Street before: a group of random people line dancing. I pointed it out to my girls and one broke off from the group to join them. Then the bachelorette joined and I thought, “What the hell…” Yes, we joined the line dancing. I think by the time the song was over, there must’ve been thirty or forty people dancing in the street. It was so much fun!

After that, we went to Fat Catz, then down the street towards Bourbon Cowboy. However, before we got there, we spied a novelty shop. What caught our eye about it was the New Orleans Saints corset in the window. Being rabid Saints fans, we hustled inside to see what other goodies they had. I walked out with a riding crop and handcuffs. Not for me, unfortunately. No, they’re a wedding present to my brother (on his bride’s suggestions). I don’t want to know, but I was more than happy to buy it for them. *laugh*

We started losing people after that. Three in our group headed out to go to bed and after two more bars, we did as well. I didn’t get home until 3:30 yesterday morning, but I can honestly say it’s been a while since I had that much fun.

This weekend is the bachelor party which I helped organize. As I’ve said before there are 2 females in the groom’s party, so I figured we should do the bachelor party as well. After speaking with my cousin yesterday though, I’m starting to wonder if I would interfere with the guys’ fun.

What do you think? I don’t want to be the only female, but I’d also like to help my brother celebrate his end of bachelorhood. He doesn’t care, in fact, I think he’d like me to go, but I don’t want to make any of the other guys uncomfortable. What a quandary!

I hope everyone had a great weekend because I know I did!

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Fantasy Man Friday

*deep breath* Well peeps…it’s been a very interesting week. It started off crappy…you know, because of Monday, but it improved day-by-day until we finally reach Friday, which is the best day of the week.

My mom had a procedure on Wednesday and I had to take a vacation day to take care of her. It wasn’t the greatest until I got a load of her doctor. OMG. Blue eyes, firm handshake, and a cute mouth. Oh and he had the best eye contact. Le sigh. Mom is fine, by the way. She was just loopier than anything I’ve ever seen in my life. I laughed at her so much I was crying and had to tell her to stop making me laugh so I could see to drive. (My eyes squint a LOT when I laugh.)

Then yesterday…I got the C-A-L-L. Yes, THE CALL (it’s always capitalized because yes, it’s that big of a deal). This is how it went down: Last Friday I sent out queries on my manuscript Succubus-in-Waiting. That afternoon, the agent I was frothing at the mouth to work with e-mailed me back wanting the full. I shipped the MS back to my CP for her to do one more look through and e-mailed it to the agent on Monday morning. (That’s partly why Monday sucked…I was in distress.) Yesterday afternoon, the agent contacted me. She loved the manuscript. I think I sat blinking at the wall with a “huh?” look on my face. She loved it? Seriously?

To be honest, I’m not sure what I told her. I babbled. I might’ve giggled…you know “tee-hee-hee” and all that. I’m not really sure because my mind went blank. No thoughts other than ‘ZOMG!’ (thanks to Liz Pelletier and Allison Pang for granting me that useful phrase). We’re not official yet, so I won’t mention names, but as soon as the paperwork goes through I’ll be sure to let you all know.

I didn’t sleep last night. I was having internal conversations with myself. It went kind of like this:

“You have an agent.”
“You might be published, and you know what
that means, right? People are going to read your stuff! You’d better explain to mom that you didn’t base the mother in the story on her.”
“ZOMG!”
“Did I sound stupid? Yes, of course I sounded stupid. I was gaping like a fish!”
“Does this mean I don’t have to make an agent appointment at Nationals?”
“Did she think I had a Cajun accent?”
Yeah, so I didn’t get much sleep, but that’s okay. I’m still kind of freaked. I don’t imagine it will be real until I sign the dotted line. ZOMG.

Oh, and I also couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking “I have to post a really good Fantasy Man tomorrow…I have to share my giddiness with everyone and hot men do make me giddy…must find hot men.” So I was perusing the nets looking for the perfect man. I hope you all enjoy this one…cause he sort of reminds me of the hero in Succubus.

Ooooh yes. Come to Butthead…or…Mama. Either one. I don’t care. Mm, mm…see, that distracted me from the e-mail I have to send the editor to ask questions I forgot to ask yesterday. Damn! I just got anxious again. *goes back to look at all that delicious man candy* I have two letters for him…G and R…GRRRRRRR!

Phew. So peeps, what do you think of him?

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Creative Writer Blogger Award

So Stacey Espino got me back for the Lovely Blog Award I nominated her for a few weeks ago. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this award, I tell ya and I hope those I choose to return the favor to do as well.
Here’s how it works:
I have to list either six outrageous lies and one truth or vice versa and nominate 7 friends for the award.
Here are my lies…or truths:
1.) I try to coordinate my hair color with the color of my car.
2.) I once stuck a bead up my nose because a friend told me she’d done it.
3.) I plan to be a dirty old lady.
4.) I once dressed as a Catholic School Girl and hooked up with Hard Hat Man for Halloween.
5.) I lied about having children in college to get out of going to a night class.
6.) I have dance moves that would make Beyonce look pathetic.
7.) I have a butt that makes JLo’s butt look small.
So can you tell me which are lies and which are truth?
 
My Nominees for Best Creative Writer are:
 

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Filed under humor

This Is Me Plotting

I have a love hate relationship with plotting. On one hand, I hate having to sit down and think the story through when all I really want to do is write. On the other hand though, I know it’s good to have an idea of where the story will go and how it will progress so I don’t find myself going off on tangents. Tangents are my favorite, but they’re costly.

So last year I took a plotting workshop with Jessa Slade. She gave us this lovely spreadsheet type thing to plot with, but I never downloaded it or used it. No, instead I use the sticky note and folder method (picture posted).

This is how I plot. I try using different colored stickies for the two main characters, a different color for the plot line, and then yet another color for conflicts.

Now, you might ask me, “Danica, do you use your plotting folder?” and I would have to respond with a resounding, “No.” I rarely ever open this sucker up. It’s like once I have it written down, it’s stuck in my head. Oh sure, I meander a bit from the original plot idea, but I stick pretty close to what I intended. I just don’t look back.

Is it a waste to spend time plotting this way? I don’t think so. It helps me get my thoughts organized. The best part about this method of plotting though, is that it helps me connect with my characters better. They have a motto, they each have their own conflicts and it’s all written down…if I wanted to go back to refresh my memory.

How do you plot? Are you super organized, or do you have things written all over the place? Do you actually follow your plot, or deviate from it?

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Book Review: Ræliksen

I won a copy of Ræliksen by Renee Vincent from The Naked Hero and finally had a chance to sit down and read it this weekend.

Here’s the blurb:

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens – murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen’s raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place – the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway’s frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water’s edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil – when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara’s father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?

Okay, I enjoyed this book. No spoilers, promise!

Vincent painted a beautiful, colorful world with historically accurate information as her backdrop for this love story. Vivid imagery and cleverly written stories-within-the-story keep you hooked as the Irish Mara tries to come to grips with her feelings for Dægan who sort of accidentally kidnaps her to protect her. I love how Dægan isn’t just your average Viking. He’s smart, he’s tired of fighting and looking for peace and he wants Mara.

Mara isn’t just another noble Irish lass, no, no. She’s a princess! Her father is an Irish warlord who is on the fence about joining a group of warlords to push the Vikings out of Ireland. Oy vey. So, our lovely, sexy Dægan has to protect her from marauding Vikings and somehow get her back to her father so he can try to marry her. I was hooked.

Ms. Vincent keeps you enthralled as Dægan and Mara are beset by danger on all sides as well as their own religious differences. The conversion of Pagans to Christianity has always been of great interest to me and I have to commend her on making it seem as difficult and emotionally charged as it had to have been. She also has great secondary characters that you care about, which is always the markings of a wonderful book in my opinion.

It was great. Except…and I’m going to do a bit of foreshadowing here…the end just about killed me. Oh yes, Ms. Vincent, you shocked me to the marrow of my bones. I seem to remember walking into a room and saying “It’s not fair! I’m e-mailing her today!” so if you’re reading this, please look for my e-mail, lol.

All in all, I’m giving Ræliksen two shields up. If you’re looking for a different type of historical romance, give it a read. I also have on good authority, from Ms. Vincent herself, that the sequel is even better. Now, if that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is!

Note: Renee Vincent has just been signed by Turquoise Morning Press http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com/ and the re-release of Ræliksen will be August 2010. Check out this hot new cover! Be sure to look for it this summer!

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The Mentor – What I Learned from PR

I went shopping with my sister this weekend. We hit 8 stores before lunch. It was crazy, hectic, and I loved it. We’re very different when it comes to clothing, but at one store we both saw this top that was…simply stunning. It was designer, and not something we country-type girls had ever really seen in our hometown. Or at least in a store in our town.

This got me to thinking about Project Runway. I’ve mentioned before how much I love this show. I’m not fashionable in any sense, but I’m addicted to the show and have been since the first season. The main reason is that I love to see talented people using their skills to create something concrete. I suppose that’s what I like about Project Runway over American Idol. The singing is cool, I suppose, but you can’t see it. Clothing, on the other hand, is something that comes to life under the hands of designers.

The other part I love about the show is Tim Gunn. I love Tim. I love how calm and concerned he is for the designers under his care. He’s the best part of the show and since I started writing seriously a year ago, I took the advice he handed those designers and used them for my own.

You see, we all need some positive reinforcement, but sometimes having a friend or family member say “It’s good” isn’t enough. Hell, sometimes not even your CP’s constructive criticism and positive reinforcement is enough. For me, that’s where Tim comes into the equation. When I’m looking over what I’ve written and think, “God, this is utter crap.” I imagine him saying, “This is your vision, you know where you want it to go, so make it work!”. Make it work. That’s my mantra thanks to Tim.

And that’s what I do. When I see my story unraveling, I sit back and picture where the problem is. I suppose it’s a bit like designing clothing. I have to find the flaw in the design and fix it. In my case, my story is nothing but a few vague ideas, maybe a few scribbled sentences or phrases on a sticky note and somehow I have to bring it all together. Take those vague musings and compile them into a piece of art. Because that’s what it is. It’s art.

I’ll probably never meet Tim Gunn (although I do hope if I get to attend Nationals next year in NYC, I’ll run into him), but he’s done a lot for me without even knowing. Unless he reads this post. Tim, if you’re reading this, you’ve helped me with my creative process so many times I can’t even count. It’s writing, not fashion design, but hearing the words, “Make it work” in my head gives me energy to keep going, to find the flaw and iron it out.

How about you? Do you have a mentor who doesn’t know you exist? Is there some celebrity whose words you keep locked in your mind when you feel like your work is falling apart?

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Filed under Inspiration, Writing

Fantasy Man Friday

Drumroll please! Yes, it is FRIIIIDAY! *dances badly*

I’m so glad to see this week end. I think I say that every week though, so that should be nothing new. I shouldn’t be glad about it, really. This is my last “free” week until after my brother’s wedding in a month. Oh but I won’t have a free weekend, not really. My sister somehow talked me into joining her in a shoe shopping excursion, having Chinese for lunch, and pretty much spending money I shouldn’t. She’s a bad influence on my checkbook.

It’s also Mother’s Day weekend. I don’t have children unless you count the Three Amigos: Ty, Mia, and Cookie. Sometimes I feel like a parent. Last night I found myself demanding an answer to a question I’d asked my dog (Mia). Of course she just gave me a clueless look and walked away.

My mom is a good sport. I know I mentioned earlier this week…yesterday in fact, that I love to pick. Well, this extends to my brother, sister, and my nephews. My oldest nephew has this thing about playing with her hair, especially after she’s just fixed it. She fusses, but she lets him do it because she loves the attention. My siblings and I have a nickname for Mom…she is “The Mother Lode”. Which really is a compliment if you think about it. She’s priceless. Oh sure, she drives us nuts, but we adore her. We spoil her horribly. She in turn, thinks we’re all weird, but she enjoys our attentions.

Now, for you moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day. You’ve worked hard since day one of your child’s birth and you deserve a little appreciation. I don’t know you personally, but I don’t think any of y’all could turn down this small token of appreciation:

Um…I wonder if he’s looking for a sugar mama. I don’t have the money, but I could sure pretend I do. Hubba, hubba! Glistening muscles, very small bathing…thingy, mmm, nice! It would be nicer if he was, you know, naked. But I’ll take what I can get. Gladly!

So, there you are. My Mother’s Day gift to you all. I hope you enjoy it and enjoy your special day.

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Bad Me, No Cookie!

I don’t think I’ve ever kept it a secret, but sometimes I wonder if people really understand just how mean horrible bitchy sarcastic I can be. I do try to limit it to people who will laugh it off, or shoot back with their own comments, but sometimes things just slip out.

I’m not going to talk about exactly what happened, but needless to say right now I’m having a pissing contest of words with a friend. Well, he’s a friend, but not a close friend. We used to hang out a lot and it’s cool to see him, but we kind of go together like fire and gasoline. Not in a sexual way either. It’s all personality clashes.

See I sent out a message to my uncles, my cousin’s husband, and two of my friends telling them the plans for the bachelor party. Mind you, this…debate is happening in front of my male relatives. They know me, they know how I am, so I’m not worried about them. Much. But I do wonder what they’ll think of this guy’s picking. Which is what it is. He and I pick and bicker at each other like my cats do. He’ll say something, I snap back and vice versa. The last thing I want is for my uncles to think this guy and I are…a couple? Interested in each other? Because I’m not.

It’s bad enough that when we all got together for dinner a couple of months ago and my future sister-in-law’s friend saw me bickering with this guy, she thought we were really “clicking” and were an item. Oy vey. I know it sounds like a case of the lady doth protest too much, but it isn’t. First of all, he’s one of my friends’ exes, secondly, I feel no physical attraction towards him. I’m sure it’s the same on his end.

He and his brothers torment (yes, TORMENT) each other…which is pretty much what I do with my siblings. In this, we’re alike. I torment my brother and my sister and they torment me back. It’s great. But sometimes, I forget that some of the people I’m dealing with aren’t family, so might not see what I say as just for fun.

I’m rambling, aren’t I? I guess I’m trying to validate the last message I sent him (and my uncles). I don’t think it was too harsh. I mean, he did tell me not to be mad at him because he was too much man for me to handle. I could’ve been all over that like white on rice, but I tempered my instinct to go for the throat. I think. I mean, I could’ve implied that he wasn’t a man, or something like that but I didn’t. I’m actually proud of my restraint.

*sigh* So that was a senseless ramble that’ll leave you all thinking I’m a witch. I’m not…much, I think. I just can’t let anyone have the last word. It kills me and if someone does get the best of me, I run through things I should’ve said. Meh. Okay, I’m better.

Um, do you suffer from this as well? You know, snarky, sarcastic, and…okay, I’m a picker! That’s how I show affection, I swear. Do you as well?

Updated: And it just happened again, but this time I refrained from asking him how that sex change operation was coming along. I deserve that cookie after all!

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Tag, You’re It

I’ve been TAGGED! Tammy Gallant was oh so gracious as to tag me and since I was puzzling over what to blog about anyway, I’m glad to play along.

So here is how the game is played. There are 5 questions and you must answer each question 5 times and then TAG 5 people to play. Here are my…er 5 deepest secrets (as if I had any left anyway):

Question 1: Where were you 5 years ago?

  • I, like Tammy, was having a nervous breakdown.
  • I was working for a court-house in the juvenile department which meant I got to see a lot of horrible things.
  • Trying to make sense of who I wanted to be, dreaming about writing and all that “nonsense” that I now take so seriously.
  • Partying more than I should have (drinking, concerts, etc.)
  • Spending way too much money at Hot Topic.

Question 2: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

  • Yup, here too Tammy and I concur. I would love to be a NYT Best Selling Author
  • Traveling to Europe…for researching Alpha heroes with schexy accents.
  • Owning a home with a natural gas generator (this is a very big deal for me)
  • Watching over the nieces and nephews my brother had better give me.
  • Getting a new tattoo to celebrate my latest hot book release

Question 3: What is (was) your to-do list today?

  • Working on the WIP
  • Blogging about something entertaining…probably didn’t manage that one yet again
  • Having Subway sometime during the day
  • Relaxing with my dog and a good book
  • E-mailing, or texting, everyone in the bachelor party with party info

Question 4: What 5 snacks do you enjoy?

  • Chips and salsa…I’m a chips and salsa fiend!
  • Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with ranch dressing
  • Doritos (original flavor)
  • World’s Best Chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins
  • Almonds, walnuts, pecans…well, mixed nuts really

Question 5: What 5 things would you do if you were a billionaire?

  • Pay off all of my family’s debt and set them up for life
  • Buy a huge plot of land and let the family build houses on it if they wanted to
  • Travel all over the world
  • Get a delicious boy toy…I mean, er…
  • Probably go broke buying cars…have I mentioned I’m a car whore?

Now for those poor, poor souls who I’m tagging:

Tagged Romancemama
Tagged KAK
Tagged Alison Pang
Tagged Stacey Espino
Tagged Angela Addams

You ladies can thank me later 😉

How’s everyone else’s Wednesday morning?

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Filed under humor

Blank Slate

I’ve sat here for over an hour trying to think of something to blog about. Oh, I have ideas, but none of them are interesting enough to persue. Thankfully, I don’t get like this very often. I believe a combination of writer’s block, fatigue, and upcoming events has me feeling pulled in too many directions.

So, instead of forcing myself to write about something you’re not going to want to read about, I think I’ll just post a picture.

This…beautiful man’s name is Daniel Conn. I posted another picture of him last year wearing…a lot less. You can see it here. He’s quite beautiful, isn’t he? Who needs to run off at the mouth about nothing when they can spend hours drooling over him? *sigh*

I’ll think of something…well, not better, but at least something to actually blog about tomorrow I’m sure. In the meantime, enjoy his…drool-worthiness. I know I will while I try to break down the writer’s block in my head.

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