Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy me!

Well, today is my birthday. It has been a bittersweet day. One, because my husband was not here to help celebrate as he is deployed and two because I was able to speak with him briefly. I confess that I have not been dealing well with his being gone. I miss him a great deal and although I know that I am not alone in having to experience....this aspect of military life, it doesn't change the fact that it's not easy.

However, I am far from alone. I've had tons of calls and e-mails wishing me well. It is so wonderful to know that I have such wonderful friends. It does help believe it or not.

I have decided the best approach to this separation is to take it one day at a time and if that seems too much, then one hour at a time. That is knowing that this too shall pass. I am staying busy, working on my various manuscripts and taking care of the house, kids, and pets.

As to that I have started a new romance. A Regency...which is a scary prospect for me as I have only written one other Regency...a novella that will be released in the anthology "A Dance of Manners." I will keep you updated on the release date once I have one. You're probably asking yourself why this intimidates me...well, Regency fans have a certain idea how stories should go when set in this time period. One false step and they call you on it. LOL!!! This is a good thing though...makes the writer aware.

This is also different as I actually plotted the story out. Now, I know you're going 'well yeah...' but the truth is I don't generally plot a story out. I give the term "pantser" new meaning. I'll blog about this later, check back!

Until next time...happy reading!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Ultimate Hero

I think that in order for a reader to fall in love with a hero of a romance book, the writer must love him as well.

As a writer I rely on various things to spark my muse. The one thing that I never ever digress from is my vision of my hero's. Now, I try to give my hero's a sense of "individual" through various characters traits...but in the end regardless of the eye color, length of hair, or hero's all end up resembling Cherif Fortin. Why is he my muse? Couldn't tell you. Haven't met him (although I've been told he is one of the nicest men in the world) perhaps it is his look, the feel I get from the paintings. There is something undeniably romantic about the above picture, one of my favorites by the way. And yes, one of many that use when I try to get a feel for my next hero. Regardless of the time period I pen, I always come back to this picture, this man.

Years ago he was a cover model that graced many different covers, a few authors that were lucky enough to have the Fortin & Sander artwork grace their books were Virginia Henley and Teresa Medrios. He no longer appears on covers, instead he paints along with his partner Lynn Sanders.

These two extremely talented artist have also written an illustrated medieval romance titled "Passion's Blood." If you are interested in purchasing one of these one of a kind books, visit my website Click on the Passion's Blood link. This is a beautiful book, one that all romance readers should have.

Flapper Dictionary

I have always held a love for the Roaring 20's! I thought I would share a "Flapper Dictionary" that I came across on the web.

As in The Flapper, July 1922

Absent Treatment- Dancing with bashful partner.

Airedale- A homely man.

Alarm Clock- Chaperon.

Anchor- Box of flowers.

Apple knocker- A hick, a hay-shaker.

Apple Sauce- Flattery; bunk.

Barlow- A girl, a flapper, a chicken

.Bank's Closed- No petting allowed; no kisses.

Barneymugging- Lovemaking.

Bee's Knees- See Cat's Particulars.

Bell Polisher- A young man addicted to lingering in the vestibule at 1 a.m.

Bean Picker- One who patches up trouble and picks up spilled beans.

Berry Patch- A man's particular interest in a girl.

Berries- Great.

Biscuit- A pettable flapper.

Big Timer (n. masc.)- A charmer able to convince his sweetie that a jollier thing would be to get a snack in an arm-chair lunchroom; a romantic.

Billboard- Flashy man or woman.

Blushing Violet- A publicity hound.Blouse- To go.

Blow- Wild party.

Blaah- No good.

Boob Tickler- Girl who entertains father's out-of-town customers.

Brush Ape- Anyone from the sticks, a country jake.

Brooksy- Classy dresser.

Bust- A man who makes his living in the prize ring, a pugilist.

Bun Duster- See Cake EaterBush Hounds- Rustics and others outside of the Flapper pale.

Cancelled Stamp- A wall flower.

Cake Basket- A limousine.

Cake Eater- See Crumb Gobbler.

Cat's Particulars- The acme of perfection; anything that's good.

Cat's Pajamas- Anything that's good.

Cellar Smeller- A young man who always turns up where liquor is to be had without cost.

Clothesline- One who tells neighborhood secrets.Corn Shredder- Young man who dances on a girl's feet.

Crepe Hanger- Reformer.

Crumb Gobbler- Slightly sissy tea hound.

Crasher- Anyone who comes to parties uninvited.

Crashing Party- Party where several young men in a group go uninvited.

Cuddle Cootie- Young man who takes a girl for a ride on a bus, gas wagon, or automobile.

Cuddler- One who likes petting.

Dapper- A flapper's father.

Dewdropper- Young man who does not work, and sleeps all day.

Dincher- A half-smoked cigaret.Dingle Dangler- One who insists on telephoning.

Dipe Ducat- A subway ticket.

Dimbox- A taxicab.

Di Mi- Goodness.

Dogs- Feet.

Dog Kennels- Pair of shoes.

Dropping the Pilot- Getting a divorce.

Duck's Quack- The best thing ever.

Ducky- General term for approbation.

Dud- Wall flower.

Dudding Up- Dressing.

Dumbdora- Stupid girl.

Dumbell- Wall flower with little brains.

Dumkuff- General term for being "nutty" or "batty."

Edisoned- Being asked a lot of questions.

Egg Harbor- Free dance.

Embalmer- A bootlegger.

Eye Opener- A marriage.

Father Time- Any man over 30 years of age.

Face stretcher- Old maid who tries to look young.

Feathers- Light conversation.

Fire Extinguisher- A chaperone.

Finale Hopper- Young man who arrives after everything is paid for.

Fire Alarm- Divorced woman.

Fire Bell- Married woman.

Flap- Girl.

Flat Shoes- Fight between a Flapper and her Goof.

Fluky- Funny, odd, peculiar, different.

Flatwheeler- Flat shy of money; takes girls to free affairs.

Floorflusher- Inveterate dance hound.

Flour Lover- Girl who powders to freely.

Forty-Niner- Man who is prospecting for a rich wife.

Frog's Eyebrows- Nice, fine.Gander- process of dudding up.

Green Glorious- Money and checks.

Gimlet- A chronic bore.

Given the Air- When a girl or fellow is thrown down on a date.

Give Your Knee- Cheek-to-cheek and toe-to-toe dancing.

Goofy- To be in love or attracted to. Example: I'm goofy about Jack.

Goat's Whisker's- See Cat's ParticluarsGoof- SweetieGrummy- In the dumps, shades, or blues.

Grubber- One who always borrows cigarettes.

Handcuffs- Engagement ring.

Hen Coop- A beauty parlor.

His Blue Serge- His sweetheart.

Highjohn- Young man friend; sweetie, cutey, highboy.

Hopper- Dancer.Houdini- To be on time for a date.

Horse Prancer- See Corn Shredder.

Hush Money- Allowance from father.

Jane- a girl who meets you on the stoop.

Johnnie Walker- Guy who never hires a cab.

Kitten's Ankles- See Cat's Particulars.

Kluck- Dumb, but happy.

Lap- Drink.

Lallygagger- A young man addicted to attempts at hallway spooning.

Lens Louise- A person given to monopolizing conversation.

Lemon squeezer- An elevator.

Low Lid- The opposite from high brow.

Mad Money- Carfare home if she has a fight with her escort.

Meringue- Personality.Monkey's Eyebrows- See Cat's Particulars.

Monog- A young person of either sex who is "goofy" about only one person at a time.

Monologist- Young man who hates to talk about himself.

Mustard Plaster- Unwelcome guy who sticks around.

Munitions- Face powder and rouge.

Mug- To osculate or kiss.

Necker- A petter who puts her arms around a boy's neck.

Noodle Juice- Tea.

Nosebaggery- Restaurant.

Nut Cracker- Policeman's Nightstick.

Obituary Notice- Dunning letters.Oilcan- An imposter.

Orchid- Anything that is expensive.

Out on Parole- A person who has been divorced.

Petting Pantry- A movie.

Petting Party- A party devoted to hugging.

Petter- A loveable person; one who enjoys to caress.

Pillow Case- Young man who is full of feathers.

Police Dog- Young man to whom one is engaged.

Potato- A young man shy of brains.

Ritzy Burg- Not classy.

Ritz- Stuck-up.

Rock of Ages- Any woman over 30 years of age.

Rug Hopper- Young man who never takes a girl out.

Sap- A Flapper term for floorflusher.

Scandal- A short term for Scandal Walk.

Scandaler- A dance floor fullback. The interior of dreadnaught hat, Piccadilly suitings and shoes with open plumbing, size 13.

Seetie- Anybody a flapper hates.

Sharpshooter- One who spends well and dances much.

Shifter- Another species of a Flapper.

Show Case- Rich man's wife with her jewels.

Sip- Flapper term for female Hopper.

Slat- See Highjohn; Goof.

Slimp- Cheapskate or "one way guy."Smith Brothers- Guys who never cough up.

Smoke Eater- A girl cigarette user.

Smooth- Guy who does not keep his word.

Snake- To call a victim with vampire arms.

Snugglepup- A man fond of petting and petting parties.

Sod Buster- An undertaker.

Stilts- Legs.

Stander- Victim of a female grafter.

Static- Conversation that means nothing.

Strike Breaker- A young woman who goes with her friend's "Steady" while there is a coolness.

Swan- Glide gracefully.

Tomato- A young woman shy of brains.

Trotzky- Old lady with mustache and chin whiskers.

Umbrella- Young man any girl can borrow for the evening.

Urban Set- Her new gown.

Walk In- Young man who goes to parties without being invited.

Weasel- Girl stealer.

Weed- Flapper who takes risks.

Weeping Willow- Same as Crape Hanger.

Whangdoodle- Jazz-band music.

Whiskbroom- Any man who wears whiskers.

Wind Sucker- Any person given to boasting.

Wurp- Killjoy or drawback.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back in the Saddle....

Well, after the closing of Tiger Publications, a wonderful house that had to close due to health reasons of the owner, I sat back and contemplated...what on earth am I going to do next?! I have already weathered quite a bit in my short writing career, a major dust up at Dear Author, and Amazon, and closing publishers. But, the question of "did I have it in me to continue" weighed heavily on me.

Let's face it, no one likes to get on the submission merry-go-round. The sending in the query letter, synopsis, first three chapters and there is the waiting. And in the end, if you're lucky, maybe just maybe you'll get a partial request. If you're really lucky, you'll get a full request. However more often than not, you get lost in the slush pile, which to my way of thinking is the black hole of the industry.

I must confess for a time I considered giving up. Tired of the drama that you can find in the industry, the let downs, and what seems like an up hill climb. The disillusionment when it came to seeing other authors, authors I thought were friends, acting foolish, even cruel. Then there is the problem of coming up with something new, fresh, with an equally fresh and new setting. And yet, knowing that the odds are against me, I sat back down, my laptop in tow and began to type, just one scene, which led to a chapter, which led to two chapters and so on.

Why do we do it? Why do we commit ourselves to these blank pages, writing furiously, knowing that you're not guaranteed a sale, the coveted spot in NYC? I mean, lets face it...trying to get published by the big guys is like playing a manic game of musical chairs. And yet, even knowing my chances are like 1 in a 1000, I still charge ahead, my husband telling me he believes in me, my CP telling me that it's good...Shoot, I've managed to get my self contracted with a few small press I can't be all that bad. Right??? I do know that if I don't write, I can't submit, and if I don't submit...I'll never get published!

I have come to the conclusion that if I want the NYC brass ring, OMG, I'm going to have to start taking chances with them. Yes, I know the majority of the houses require agent representation, I also know that getting an agent is almost more difficult then getting a contract! Since I'm not able to attend Nationals this year in San Francisco, I'm shut out there with face time with editors. I don't care. I have come to the conclusion that I have good stories, stories that I'm sure readers will enjoy. I'm going to leave the safety of the small press puddle pool and dive into the icy cold depths of the NYC pool. Will I add to my already extensive rejection folder---YOU BET! Will I get frustrated and talk of quiting again---no doubt...however, I am not giving up and that is the important thing.

I have joined another blog and encourage you to come on over and read what a few of us have to say and share. It's all about getting your name out there, mingle, make friends, and of course write the finest story you possibly can.

I think the best thing that writers can do is focus, stay the course and not let insecurities derail you from your dream. I'm back in the saddle now and plan on riding to the finish line.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Insights on Military Life

Don't you just hate it when something is out of your control and there is nothing, and I mean nothing you can do to change the

Today I drove my husband to the airport. He left today for his deployment to Iraq. Saying goodbye to him was the hardest damn thing I've ever done. I mean, I know he's going to come back, it's not a forever kind of thing but still...

Of course being me, I cried copious tears and of course there were a lot of people at the airport. I was sitting in the mini van, waiting for my husband to load up his gear onto a cart. When he was done he came up to me and hugged me close, real tight you know, then he kissed me. All I could think was I'm not going to be able to feel his lips against mine for a long time. I won't be able to see him, touch him. He kept brushing the tears away, telling me how much he loved me and how he knew I was strong enough to do this...At one point this big biker guy came up and wanted to shake Brian's hand, thanking him for his service to his country. Then he looked at me and smile, this real sweet smile and then apologized to me. I was confused. I didn't know this guy, he didn't owe me an apology...than he said he never really stopped to think how hard it was on the family, having to say goodbye. This big guy had tears in his eyes, he said watching us say goodbye made him see things in a whole new light.

Was I upset that someone saw our goodbye? No, it was it was...two people having to part for a time. I know my husband will come back to me safe and whole but this was an experience I could have lived my whole life not...well, experiencing. I don't know why people love to romanticize war. Trust me, there is nothing romantic about what I've been dealing with since we "got the call" or rather the "orders." There is a whole slew of emotions one has to deal with, anger, fear, frustration, sadness, loneliness, even panic. Yes, panic. You'd be amazed what you think, feel and respond to under this situation. But, romance, yeah, that didn't enter into to it. I mean we both realize how much we love each other, how much we need the other, the roles we play in each other's life. There is no doubt my husband is my best friend. We've been married 18 years, together for 20. That is a lot of history a lot of shared tears and laughter and of course love. That's what's going to get us through this deployment...