Monthly Archives: February 2012

Weird Dreams

As if y’all didn’t know today was Valentine’s Day. To be honest, I don’t really hold with the whole thing. I figure if you’re in a relationship, you should show your appreciation for your loved one all year long, not on any particular day.

This post isn’t even really about Valentine’s Day or romance. It’s about the weirdest dream I had last night. A lot of you are writers and you’ve attended conferences, so I’m sure y’all have your own nightmares to share and feel free to if you like.

Last night I dreamed I was going to a conference. I don’t remember which one it was, but I think it might have been in Philadelphia. I arrived late, a few minute after five and the registration was closed. The ladies were just picking up and I begged them to let me register, but they were adamant that registration was closed for the entire weekend.

For some reason, I’d given my license, credit cards, and something else to the hotel staff. Maybe to hold my room? But you don’t really do that. Anyway, the only way I could get my personal things back was to have that registration badge and I’d missed the window by a few minutes. I remember being frantic. I was stuck in a strange city with no identification, no money, and no room for the night.

At some point in my dream, I ended up at the Philadelphia Public Transportation Department (if there is one) and begged one of the employees to help me. That’s where the dream ended.

Now, I like to analyze dreams and why we dream them. The conference frenzy is understandable. I have two conferences booked in March. Yesterday I found out that I have to attend a two-day training seminar right before the Silken Sands Conference. That means I’ll be going from Lafayette on Wednesday and Thursday to Pensacola on Friday. It’s going to be a very busy week for me.

The other thing I think that helped me have this dream is a show called Parking Wars. I watched it on Saturday night with my family. For some reason, that show haunted me in my dreams because no one would believe me when I tried to explain that the hotel had my identification and registration was closed when I got there. Yup, it’s the show’s fault.

So what about y’all? Do you have any nightmare stories to share?

 

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Announcement Time

It seems like so long ago that I had fantastic news to share. Sure, things have been good, but fantastic? Not quite.

First off, not everything is good. Last week my agent and I came to an agreement to stop working together. Now, now, it isn’t that horrible. We had a wonderful conversation similar to the one we had when we agreed to work together. We laughed a bit, bemoaned our inability to sell my book, and ended things on great terms. She’s a great lady and though I’m sad to no longer be working with her, it’s best for both of us.

Once we decided to part, it came time for me to sell my manuscript. The bigger publishers just didn’t want it. I don’t know why. Last year…no, it would’ve been 2010, I wrote a manuscript in 28 days. It didn’t turn into a zombie and threaten to destroy the publishing world. No, it was just a very quickly written story because the characters led the way. I was just along for the ride. That book, formerly titled Tie Him Up, Tie Him Down, is now called Immortal Love (Olympus, Inc.) and it’s been accepted for publication by Evernight Publishing.

I’m thrilled to join the Evernight family. There are a lot of talented authors in that group and their covers are to die for. Excitement abounds! Immortal Love (Olympus, Inc.) will come out sometime in April 2012 and I’m so happy Roxy and Mason finally found a home. Out of all the books I’ve written, this is the one that really got to me. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced, and there are some gut-wrenching moments that I’ll leave for my readers to discover.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll have edits and revisions and more edits to do while still writing on my other projects. Things will be hectic, but that’s what writers adore, right?

Here’s a little Immortal Love teaser for y’all:

Enforcer Roxana Love works for Olympus, Inc., the corporate face of the Greek pantheon, and knows better than to trust anyone in administration. Assigned to find and protect the newest member of Olympus, Inc., she figures it’ll be a grab and go job, until she discovers her assignment is the same man she slept with the night before. Keeping things profession will be near impossible when she can’t decide if she wants to kill or kiss him.

One night with Roxana isn’t enough for Mason Landry, despite how crazy she seems. However, he isn’t given much choice when he’s thrown through his window, attacked by mythical beings, and told he’s part-immortal. Roxana’s explanation is too fantastical to believe, but it if it keeps him by her side, he’ll go along for the ride. Meeting gods and dodging monsters from lore is nothing compared to the fight he’ll have winning Roxana’s heart.

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Fantasy Man Friday

The end of another week. Where does the time go? Seriously. Tonight is the first parade of the Mardi Gras season in my hometown. Already! Seems like we just had Christmas and New Year’s.

Oh, no, I’m not going to any parades this season. I fall into the “can’t be bothered” category of those who either love parades or hate parades. I’m actually kind of glad not to go because now I don’t have to panic about fighting traffic, finding the perfect parade viewing spot, and getting bowled over by kids and adults in the fight for beads. Yup, I’ll be in my house with my nose in a book while everyone else is praying it doesn’t rain.

But it’s Friday, a time of manly sexiness. Rar. Before I get to that though, I’ll be making an announcement on Monday, so I hope y’all stop by to share my good news with me!

And today’s man is…scrumptious. Of course, when aren’t they? So many men, so little time. Ready? Okay, here you go:

Um, I think he’s another rugby player. They make such wonderful models, don’t you think? Especially when they’re all scruffy and dirty and look like they need a very thorough bath. Rar. *cough* In fact, I’ll just stare at him some more and pretend he’s about to strip those shorts off. Then he’ll step into a steaming hot shower with me as his personal bathroom attendant. *sigh*

Happy Friday y’all!

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Cajun French: Bon Mange

A couple of years ago I posted something about a little town called Gheens. Well, it isn’t really a town. It’s a one-road, dead-end community. There used to be a grocery store, but I think that’s closed now. There was a bar and I don’t think that closed. There’s also a community center.

I had no idea this area existed until I went to college and met one of my good friends who was from Gheens. Talk about opening a whole new world. They have their own parade which is far more fun than any of the parades I used to go to in a bigger town. There are small neighborhoods carved into the area, but for the most part, it’s wide open land. My friend, who’s my age, didn’t have cable until he was nearly fifteen years old. That should tell you how out-of-the-way this community is.

But they don’t let that stop them from doing their own things. Throughout the year nearly every town and community in south Louisiana has a festival. In Breaux Bridge, which is near Lafayette, they have the Crawfish Festival. Chackbay has the Gumbo Festival. There’s a festival for nearly everything and the people of Gheens aren’t about to be left out. No, they have their own festival called the Bon Mange Festival.

Bon (pronounced bawn – soft n) Mange (mahnge) means “good eats”. The festival is held every year to raise money for the upkeep of the community center. I haven’t been to the festival. The one time I was supposed to go, I had a little too much alcohol and fell asleep instead. *cough*

The festivals held throughout the year in south Louisiana are filled with lots and lots of good food from gumbos and jambalayas to fairground burgers to pralines and funnel cakes to more interesting things like alligator on a stick. There are carnival games and rides and lots of music, mostly of the Cajun French, Zydeco, or Country variety. They’re a lot of fun.

Then of course, there’s a court. Kings and Queens are announced. My friend used to find it hilarious that the queen of the Gheens festival was called the Bon Mange Queen…in other words, she’s the “good eats” queen. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about what he meant *snickers*

So if you ever make plans to come to south Louisiana, look for local fairs. Sure, there’s Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest in New Orleans, but you’ll find a lot more Cajun flavor away from the big cities.

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Feeling All College Radio

It’s time for another “love” song for What’s Playing Wednesday.

I can’t say for certain when I first heard today’s song. I’d heard of R.E.M. when I was 6th or 7th grade, but I can’t say I actually listened to them then. It was only when I got to junior high that I started to like them more. Of course that was about the time of “Losing My Religion” came out, but I distinctly remember enjoying their music before then.

Today’s song is “The One I Love” from 1987’s Document. I’m sure you’ve heard it, but if not, give it a listen!

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Expectations

I look back at my very first attempt at getting published and laugh. It was at least twelve years ago. I’d started writing a story I just knew was great. I wrote maybe eighty pages and started querying publishers and agents. Yup, I did it before the story was finished. I had no idea how to write a synopsis, no idea how to write a query, or even really knew what either of those things were. It’s no surprise no one was interested.

I figured writing wasn’t for me. I put my story on the side and never looked at it again. Fast forward about six years and I got the bug again. I had a story I needed to write. The vampire craze was just starting up and I had the most wonderful idea. I collaborated with my best friend and fellow reading pal for the plot and started writing. I still have that story, though I never finished it. Sometimes I read it just for $hits and giggles. It isn’t horrible, but it isn’t anything to get excited over either.

Fast forward another two years and I had yet another story I had to write. This one was Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose. Unlike my previous attempts (of which there were many more), I went at writing that story like I was killing snakes. I wrote every chance I got. I joined RWA, FF&P, and SOLA. I read articles about writing. I joined online communities. I took workshops. In August of that year, I had 20k written on Ruby’s story when I gave it a break because it was no longer talking to me. By July of the following year, it was finished.

What is this post all about? It’s about what we expect of ourselves. I’m not talking goals, but what we believe we’re capable of and what we’re really capable of. Writing is a crapshoot. Sometimes you’ll have the best story, but it comes out at the wrong time. The publishing industry is fickle and tends to turn on a dime. The important thing to remember is that it’s fickle and tends to turn on a dime. What’s not popular right now might be all the rage in five years. What’s hot now might peter out next year. It’s constantly changing, but you shouldn’t change what you write to fit it.

No. We always hear “write the book of your heart”, right? Well, every book should be the book of your heart. It should come from within. You should love it and hate it and resent it and baby it. It might not be right for the big houses, but it’s right for someone. Lowering your sights gives you more options. Now with self-publishing and what seems like hundreds of small publishers, writers have so many places to go, we can still fulfill our dream of being published, of getting our books to the readers, without compromising the books of our hearts.

Does that make sense? Just because a big house says your story isn’t for them, doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone else. There’s a reader out there waiting for your book. It might change their life. It might make them laugh or cry, but they’re waiting for it. You just have to change your expectations a little to see that they get it.

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Like Wet Noodles

I try not to talk constantly about the newest addition to our family, but sometimes there’s a story so hilarious, you have to tell it.

My older sister and brother-in-law came over for a short visit on Saturday. Once we got all our news out of the way, we headed to my brother’s house for her to bestow gifts on baby Bennett. She bought the most darling Oshkosh B’Gosh coveralls for him. When I saw them, all I could think was, “I’ve been workin’ on the railroads…” Bennett appreciated the song.

He’s such a happy baby. He’s also very damp. Every time I visit, he spits up on me no less than twice in the time I spend with him. I’d get disgusted, but every time he does it, he smiles. And really, how am I supposed to be upset about him smiling at me?

Well, my big sister got a taste of Bennett’s blessing. Not literally, of course. He cooed, he laughed, he played, and he spit up on her. I warned her to be careful he didn’t aim down her cleavage. How gross would that be?

With formula spewing all over the place, we decided we should clean him up. No biggie, right? Ha! Do you know how long it’s been since I changed baby clothes? Nearly 10 years. For my sister, it’s been even longer. Her youngest son is going to be 21 this year, so yeah…

Ever notice how babies have no bones? It took two full-grown women to change one baby out of his clothes and into a clean set. First we couldn’t get the old outfit over his head. I thought we were going to rip his nose off. Putting the new outfit on was even harder. Every time my sister would get close to him with the top to put over his head, he’d gasp and blink like she was about to suffocate him. Finally, we had to put it directly over his head and pull down. Yay! Success.

Nope.

Again, babies have no bones. Trying to find his little hands to pull his arms through the sleeves of the top was like trying to dress a wet noodle. He kept slipping away from us. It didn’t help that baby Bennett likes to move his arms and legs. A lot. This little man has places to go and he can’t be bothered with clothes. By the time we got the child dressed, my sister and I were hysterical.

Tsk. It’s such a shame, really. I mean…he’s a baby for crying out loud. We should be able to dress him in no time, but that so didn’t happen. I don’t even want to hazard a guess how long it took us, but by the time we were finished, he thought we were crazy because we were both snorting and wheezing for air.

It’s a good thing he’s a good-natured baby, otherwise we would have played hell for not being more competent at dressing him.

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Fantasy Man Friday

It’s rather nasty out today. I don’t like it when Fridays are gloomy because it feels more like a Monday than anything. Fridays should always be bright and sunny as a hint to the fabulous weekend ahead.

The Super Bowl is Sunday. I’m pouting because it means there’ll be no more football until August when pre-season games start. I mourn my Sunday games, Monday night games, and the occasional Thursday night game. I’ll watch the Super Bowl, of course, but at the same time I’ll be very unhappy. If I could get into another sport to hold me over until football season starts, I might not be so depressed. As it is, I can only really tolerate football. But wait, the Olympics are this summer, right? That’ll keep me occupied a little while. Want to know one of my favorite summer games? Swimming. All those muscled men in their tiny suits. *sigh*

So I guess today’s man should be wearing one of those suits, don’t you think? I do believe I have a good one for us to enjoy. What do you think?

Really, there’s nothing like a man with drops of water gliding over his skin. I mentioned something about this over at Four Foxes One Hound this week. Water is so…primal and now I’m thinking of Zoolander with his “water is the essence of wetness, wetness is the essence of beauty” thing. *cackles* But this man…yeah. *sigh*

Happy Friday, y’all!

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Conference Time

We’re only four weeks away from the start of a crazy conference bound month for me. I do enjoy conferences because it’s always great to see my writing friends in person, but it’s also a great time to learn and make new friends.

The first conference is Fantasy on the Bayou, the FF&P chapter’s very first conference. It looks like it’ll be fantastic. Karen Marie Moning will be there as well as Bob Mayer, Leanna Renee Hieber, Kristin Painter, and a host of other fabulous writers. The workshops look excellent and the book signing should be amazing. If you happen to be in the area on Sunday, March 4, be sure to stop by to meet some fabulous authors and pick up some books. *grin*

I’ll be giving a workshop on Music and the Muse on Saturday afternoon. I still don’t know what kind of media I’ll have to play songs to help stir participants’ muses, but I’ll figure something out. I might have to take a nerve pill before the workshop so I don’t blaze through my whole presentation in five minutes flat (think of an old cassette tape on fast forward). It should be interesting.

Then, two weeks later, I’ll be heading to Pensacola, Florida for the Silken Sands Conference. I’m really excited about this one because I get to reconnect with my Southern Sizzlers and meet the ones I haven’t yet. Besides, it’s on the beach! I’m not a very big beach fan, but I do love to listen to waves crashing on the shore. To me, that’s the perfect brainstorming time. I have a feeling I might skip out of some workshops just so I can watch the Gulf waters and commune with my muse. *cough* Again, there’s a fabulous list of authors who’ll be doing a book signing on Saturday afternoon, so if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by.

The only time I’ve been to Florida was for the RWA Conference in Orlando and I flew out there. I’ll be driving to Pensacola and I’m actually looking forward to the trip. I do like driving along the coast. I wonder if the Gulf looks different over there. Hm. And they probably have proper beaches. Our beaches at Grand Isle, Fourchon, and Holly Beach are rather small because of coastal erosion and…yeah, the water isn’t very pretty sometimes. I don’t think that’ll be the case in Pensacola and I can’t wait to find out!

Unfortunately, I won’t be going to RT or RWA Nationals this year. My pocketbook just can’t take it. Like I told my nephew last night (baby Bennett), I’m not Nora Roberts. He laughed at that. In fact, he laughed at me a lot last night so I can say with some confidence that if this writing gig doesn’t turn out well, I can always become a comedian for babies.

I’ll pout all summer long when I read Tweets and Facebook updates from the conference attendees, but you can bet I’ll be going to at least one of the big conferences next year. I think this year will be a small conference year. Which isn’t a bad thing, really. The small conferences are fun and not nearly as overwhelming as bigger ones.

What conferences are you going to this year?

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But I Won’t Do That

February is the month for love…Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I always like to go to the store on February 14th because it amuses me to see bewildered men staring at flowers, teddy bears, and boxes of candy. They have this lost sheep look to them that makes me laugh.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve chosen love as the theme for What’s Playing Wednesdays. Um, most of the songs I’ll be playing this month aren’t ones I listen to on a regular basis. For some reason the metal bands I listen to don’t title their songs with the word “love” in them. Weird.

So I’m going out on a limb and picking songs I listened to when I wasn’t into heavy metal and I hope you’ll enjoy a trip down memory lane since that was close to twenty years ago. *cough*

Today’s song is by none other than Meatloaf. See? You already know what I’m going to play, don’t you? Yes, today’s song is “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. It’s epic, it’s dramatic, it’s totally Meatloaf. I know KAK is going to appreciate this one.

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