Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Redux

This has been a crazy month. CRAZY. So what have I accomplished in the last 31 days?

Family wise:

2 birthdays
1 week of spring break
1 kid with the flu
ME with the flu
organized my tax info to get to the accountant - much more difficult when you're self-employed.


Work wise:

Have written 30k + on deadline book due tomorrow
One very large set of revisions on previous book - 2 sets of revisions and copy edits took the time to write this book from 8 weeks down to 6
Facilitated a week long online workshop on Character Development
Updated my website, newsletter, and mailed out contest winners at the first of the month

Not much wonder I'm tired, and ready for a bit of a break...I'll be taking a few days to update the site again, etc. and do some reading, and we've planned a weekend away really soon that I'm quite looking forward to.


In the meantime, we are being pummelled by winter one more time. Forget Lions and Lambs. March came in with a roar and is going out exactly the same way, dammit. That also means no school, so one day before deadline the kids are home again. Their dad threatened them with loss of allowance if they don't tow the line today. Bless him.


Finally, tomorrow there's a bit of a surprise sale on at eharlequin. This came in my eharlequin newsletter which also lists The Rancher's Runaway Princess in the Top 10 Matches (it's on sale in the Make a Match sale). Anyway, if you do some shopping tomorrow I do believe you'll receive a coupon in your e-mail, though for what remains a mystery....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Book Blog - Number 20

I finished my 20th book last night - Once Upon A Christmas by Holly Jacobs.

This was one of the freebie offers over the holidays that I managed to snag, and I just spent a wonderful Saturday night with a glass of Cabernet/Shiraz, some popcorn and the e-book.

This is the second time this month I've read a book that made me want to whine that I wish I could write LIKE THAT. What a gorgeous, heartwarming story. LOVE Daniel. LOVE Michelle (as I too am a consistent list maker and a bit of a worrier). I loved the friends, and the school...it made me so homesick for our old school in Calgary, as for five years I was a big part of it and it felt like a home away from home.

Plus, it kept making me hungry and I'll probably end up cooking something in my crock pot. Or making tacos. I did buy shells in the groceries....

Holly is one of my favourite Eharlequin peeps and we've been having fun on one of her blog posts lately. I'm thrilled to pass on readers what a great book this is. Truly sighworthy and lots of awwww factor. :-)

And boy, I bet Carly's story's a zinger....

This morning I put in the last load of weekend laundry, folded towels, did dishes, swept the floors, went through my eldest's winter/spring clothes (a shopping trip is in order, and her little sister has hit the mother lode of hand me downs!), and took the dog for a lovely long walk. It is a gorgeous day. We came back and played fetch with the dog, then changed our yard flag from snowmen to something more springy. Had lunch, checked e-mail, and now the task of going through the youngest's wardrobe. I also slept a LOT yesterday (and I might sneak a nap in again soon as well). Clearly my body is fighting this bug and so I'll take the little naps as they come. I just can't forget about the hot cross buns I have rising.

Tomorrow the house will be empty and I will be working feverishly, but hopefully WITHOUT a fever.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tired

Am working away but feeling rather tired. Which is par for the course after finishing a rough draft. I got the last chapter back from my CP and tidied it up, and I am going to start the next pass later. But first I need to get some groceries in the house. We do not even have a drop of milk. And I'm out of cold meds. Scratchy throats and stuffy noses must be remedied! And I would like to clean the house - at least one floor, so it's not all left to do tomorrow. We quite liked having the weekend housecleaning free last week. But it will all depend on how much I get accomplished. The kids are off school today so it is a good day to do those things up.

I am hoping to have a very quiet weekend, I don't think we have anything going on and to be honest I could do with some time curled up with a book or two. And tea. Lots of tea. Maybe a movie with the girls.

What's going on this weekend for you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update

The first draft is DONE.

In what amounts to 5 weeks.

Holy cannoli.

The good news is, I'm sitting at just under 49k, which means I have room to layer - and that's good because the hero needs some layering throughout. I will not need the six thousand words I'm allowed (supposed to keep it below 55k), so this means I'll likely come in somewhere right in the middle of that 5k spread.

SWEEET.

Now I really should do SOMETHING to this house.

News

The news this morning is that The Soldier's Homecoming has been nominated for Best Category Romance at Love Romances and More 2008 Golden Rose Awards. Polls are open for voting. It was a lovely surprise to log on and get that news!

Yesterday the RITA finalists were announced and it was the first year I followed the progress of phone calls and announcements. No, my phone didn't ring, but I'm obscenely happy for the finalists that did get the call and especially for the two Romance line authors who are up for the Series Contemporary award. Yay to Jessica Hart, whose 50th book Last Minute Proposal got the nod, and to Barbara Hannay, who made the cut with Adopted: Outback Baby!

And oh yeah - I am over at The Pink Heart Society today talking about how and when I use soundtracks for my books - and my youtube addiction...

I have work to do on my second to last chapter, and then need to start writing the ending as I must finish the first draft tomorrow if I have a hope of getting this in on time. So this is me blasting off!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ugh

Sick. Again. And seriously wondering why it is when I take cough syrup I end up laying awake most of the night instead of becoming drowsy and nodding off within minutes like I should...

Tonight there will be no cough syrup.

But I guess this is just my year for bugs.

Anyhoo. I finished reading Snowbound by Janice Kay Johnson last night and really liked it. I had been told I would, and I reviewed it over at eharlequin for the challenge. It was last year's short contemporary RITA winner. (By the way, RITA and GH calls go out today. I am SO not expecting my phone to ring.)


And after the kids went to bed I felt like doing nothing beyond curling up in a blanket so I watched the end of Tess of the D'Urbervilles that was on Masterpiece Theatre in January.

I was really looking forward to it by the way. I love Masterpiece and also am a fan of Hardy. But this production did absolutely NOTHING for me. The production itself was a bit rough around the edges, which I imagine was a creative decision for good reasons, but it didn't work for me. And neither did the casting. Everyone was just sort of...odd looking. I didn't think anyone matched their character at all. Especially Tess and Angel. Eddie Redmayne played Angel. And the funny thing is I LOVED him in The Other Boleyn Girl. But as Angel Clare? No way. He looks like a skinny boy!

I had also taped Wuthering Heights. WH is not my favourite book to start with. I would much rather take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week. So I was already ambivalent about watching. Then I saw the casting for Cathy and Heathcliff and just thought, what the heck were they thinking? So you know what? I deleted it without even watching.

That is really really not like me. But Tom Hardy simply does not match up with my vision of Heathcliff. Heathcliff is hard and brooding. This looks like a boy with big lips who needs a haircut. In another role? Certainly. As Heathcliff? Hmmm. Doesn't work for me.



Clearly, I wanted the leads to be more "manly" men. And it's unusual for me to be so harsh when in general I at least LIKE the adaptations I see. So perhaps these just didn't work for me, or I'm getting more grumpy, or something.



Now I have a chapter to finish and I'd better get to it, so I can have a nap later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kill the Groundhog

We woke up this morning to this:

And yesterday was our doglet's birthday, and the kids took this picture (the ribbon on her collar says "Birthday Girl"):



And now I'm off to work, even though I have somehow managed to pick up yet another bug and could quite happily go back to bed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reel Reviews

Had a great weekend - cleaned the house Friday night, so Saturday was laundry and going to the park with family and dogs and then working in the afternoon. I was (and am) still grieving the loss of BSG, so by Saturday night, I was ready for some R&R and I went to the movie store.

You know I ALWAYS had a policy of reading the book before watching the movie, and I break that rule all the time now. Sometimes I just CAN'T wait. This weekend was one of those times.


However on Saturday night I watched a movie I had picked up just for me (and yes, based on a book but not one on my must have list). I watched The Duchess with Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Dominic Cooper.


Dominic Cooper isn't really one of my favourites but I cannot deny he does chemistry very well. I remember a scene from Sense and Sensibility that just wowed me, and there is a scene in The Duchess that wowed me too. Keira Knightley was good...the movie itself was good but not great. I will say that Ralph Fiennes was very good at playing an...well, a word I won't type here.


Then I was very naughty and spent yesterday afternoon with my girls, watching Twilight.

Now, I've been told by many sources that the books are wayyy better than the movie so I went into it with that mindset. And if it's the case, I wish the book would get here already!!!!!!!! Because I did like the movie a lot. Heck, even the husband watched it with us the second time around.

We both agreed it had a sort of "Twin Peaks" vibe about it. The way it was filmed, some of the music, that type of thing. I liked that part a lot.

And I've heard that the sexual tension in the books is very high even though Edward and Bella don't have much of a physical relationship. The movie did this really well, because I had that tight feeling in my chest throughout most of it, sort of holding my breath and waiting. The little touches. The intensity of Edward's looks. Bella's determination. I loved how she was not the prettiest girl or the most athletic but she was smart and she was capable. Kristen Stewart reminded me a bit of Jorja Fox only younger and even prettier while being gloriously unglam. :-)

And I totally fell for Edward. It really is true - girls love a bad boy. I was reminded of the line in the Anne of Green Gables movie where Anne tells Marilla how she wouldn't want a truly wicked man, but one that COULD be wicked, and wouldn't. Edward has done some not so nice things. But Bella is different for him. So while we trust him completely, we also know that he's DANGEROUS. And that danger is EXCITING. He has an edginess I love. One of my favourite parts was when he tells Bella to distract him so he doesn't turn the car around. (Dangerous. Oh yes, but because he is defending her! Sigh!) She tells him he should put on his seatbelt. He laughs, and the expression on his face was to die for.


So I totally get the Edward heart throb thing.


Anyway if the books are WAYYY better than the movie, I'm in for a definite treat.


Now off to work, I have a first draft to finish this week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Beautiful Goodbye



Poetic. Poignant. Very nearly perfect.

(Beware- spoilers in this post, so if you care, stop now.)

I'll admit it - I was a bit concerned over the last few weeks when I was watching Battlestar and wondering how on earth Ron Moore was going to wind it up. There seemed to be SO MUCH ground to cover. So many questions unanswered. And really really afraid that after investing so much admiration in the writing and the cast and the production and just all of it for nearly 6 years, that I would be let down.

I should have known I would not be let down.

The evening started with a SPACE special called "The Last Frakkin' Special" which focused on the writers, production, and the cast, all sharing special moments or thoughts. I will admit - when the last shot is of Tahmoh Penikett leaving the set, I sniffled. I hate that it's over. And yet glad that in the end they went out on their own terms, with a real ending.

Then the epi itself. And in 2 hours they had it all. They had action, special affects, character arcs...all of it. Perhaps one of the BEST resolutions was the role of Gaius Baltar (James Callis) who wept in the end and showed that he did actually have good qualities and he made the choice to use them. I cried at the resolution for Adama and Roslin; I was afraid Helo wasn't going to make it and loved that ending, and I was sad for Tyrol and for Sam, whose last words as a hybrid were to Kara, saying "See you on the other side."

The one thread that didn't satisfy me was Lee's arc. Because I felt he'd earned it. I have always been a Lee/Kara shipper so even though I understand the WHY behind that ending, it made me sad. (May I also add a superficial HOORAY for Jamie Bamber's longer, lighter hair in this epi, because he was just Scrummy and thank god for Law and Order UK.)

I would imagine there are those that feel that explaining some of the things as taken on faith and angels is a cop out. While I can see how they would feel that way, I don't. This show has always had a religious element and taking a lot on faith and I thought employing that was brave and really interesting and even elevating the whole idea to another level.

And it truly resonated. At the very beginning, as far back as the miniseries, we know that "This has all happened before; it will all happen again." We also are told that "Life here began out there." This vibrated through the whole show, like a tuning fork. And it led us right into the last five minutes.

The best part are those few minutes: 150,000 years later. I cannot stop thinking about it. We know suddenly what is so important about Hera, we see Earth - today - and how utterly flawed we are. We see science blended with spiritual and I cannot escape the idea that we haven't really learned anything at all. Some of the very best moments of BSG have been when the show has put a mirror up to our society...and this did that in SPADES. It has had everything - high stakes, love stories, character arcs, good and evil, a whole lot of grey area, a mythical structure, and a social relevance as well as damn good entertainment.

I am sad it is over, but so very happy I was along for the ride. Ron Moore, you are one courageous, brilliant dude. Thank you for the gift that was Battlestar Galactica.

Friday, March 20, 2009

In Memoriam: BSG

Working on: Starting Chapter 10
Listening to: Il Divo's first album
Reading: Home Again - Jules Bennett


Hey, it's Friday! How did that happen? I totally forgot it was Friday because the week screamed by at a stupid pace. I even forgot to put out the recycling this morning. Thankfully another two weeks only means more blue bags in the garage, because plastic, cardboard and glass do not smell like garbage does.

Yesterday the girls were arguing about the appropriateness of The Princess Diaries for the youngest. Eldest says she's not old enough (she's nearly 9). Youngest insists she is. I settled the argument by reading it myself last night. A couple of ideas in it made me think it might be a little old for her, but more than that some of the vocabulary is over her head. But I'm not going to stop her if she wants to read it. She may do so and then want to re-read in a couple of years.

Most of all, I really really really liked it. I laughed out loud a LOT. Some of the conversations sound so much like ones I have with my girls when I'm being silly. Like when she says that Titanic is "So 1998". That made me laugh. Sometimes I think I really have suffered some arrested development. :-) Anyway I'm looking forward to reading other books in the series. It is VERY cool by the way that as the girls get older, we start really enjoying the same books.

Also - if you look on the sidebar, I'm on twitter. I finally caved and signed up. Not sure if I'll tweet every day, but there you go.

And I've finished chapter nine and realized that what I had anticipated as being a black moment kind of thing actually isn't. A development, yes. But not a black moment.

This is actually a good thing. Because I will soon blow things up.

However there is a fair amount of ground to cover, so I'm thinking I'll end up with thirteen chapters again. Thirteen is not an unlucky number for me. Even though I find odd numbers somewhat disconcerting I do seem to have 13 chapters in most of my books. Possibly because I rarely come in at the 50,000 word mark and more at the 55,000. Which is the difference of approximately one chapter. LOL. But it will be as long as it needs to be to wrap it up satisfactorily.

I have a house to clean this weekend, and I'm probably going to end up working a bit as well.

And tonight, well, tonight is a sad night. Tonight is the final episode EVER of Battlestar Galactica. I have been devoted to this show since 2003. I have every single season, the mini series AND the RAZOR movie on DVD. And it is perhaps a good thing that I've been so busy the last few months, because I could get seriously caught up in mourning its ending.


It is a two hour series finale. I have NO idea how it is going to play out. I've stayed spoiler free and only pray the ends get tied up in such a way that make sense and leave the watchers satisfied.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Positives

Today I am going to get a late writing start as I have a meeting with the accountant at 9:15 and a few errands to run afterwards - with the hope that I'll be home at lunch and can work the afternoon.

Yesterday was a day of positives. First of all, chapter eight that I wrote pre-second revisions turned out to be not as bad as I thought, and came back from my CP with minor tweaks. Which I tidied up, layering in about 500 words. Then I wrote about 900 words on the new chapter, which isn't stellar progress, but it's definitely okay.

Better than that, my editor e-mailed with comments on the first three chapters as we agreed last week this would be a good idea. Both to head off trouble at the pass, and for me personally it was knowing I would have some direction that I could apply to the rest of the book before finishing and handing it in. I have loved writing it so I was anxious. That's what happens when you start doubting your own judgment.

The comments were fab, in that there is a lot she likes and her suggestions were of the subtle shift/minor tweak sort. This means nothing truly changes with the foundation of the story as far as conflict etc. and I can carry on with the first draft. It also means that when I hit THE END for the first time, I can go back with a clear idea of how she wants the first chapters to shape up, and then let those tweaks trickle into following chapters. Hopefully the end result will be a strong, emotional, satisfying read that won't require an overhaul or me buying stock in Lindt.

So I'm feeling very positive about it and looking forward to writing the ending.

I also realized that I have three foreign releases this month - Falling for Mr. Dark and Dangerous (Attracion Irresistible) is available in Spanish on eharlequin and amazon. In Italy, Marriage at Circle M is out and The Soldier's Homecoming also makes an appearance in Greece.

Today comes very close to making up for the days when it doesn't go so well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tick another one off the list...

Working on: Chapter nine of CBTC
Listening to: will put classical on after breakfast
Reading: Home Again by Jules Bennett

The revisions are gone. With a wing and a prayer, crossed fingers and all. I hope beyond hope that this one sticks. It does mean I get to go back to work today on Captured By The Cowboy. I have 17,400 words to write and then edit the whole thing before April 1. No time to dilly dally, just focus. The good news is, and I hope to heaven I'm not jinxing myself on this, but the last 1/3 of a book does seem to go faster as I get towards the end. There is still a significant amount of ground to cover - 2 separate black moments and then of course the happy ending.

But the revisions going back means I have ticked another item off the to-do list.

Hazel mentioned in the comments of yesterday's brief post that she hoped I got them in and kicked back with chocolate and wine last night. Well, I was out of chocolate, but once the kids were in bed I did pour a glass of tempranillo cabernet and finished reading Around The Clock Protector by Jan Hambright - and then started Home Again from my TBR. And then the dh and I watched an episode of LIFE that I had taped and enjoyed it immensely.

But today it is back to work with a vengeance.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Deep Breath

After seeing India Grey's blog I keep hearing a line from Love Actually - "We need Kate, and we need Leo, and we need them now."

Today is one of those days where I could mix that up to say, "I need wine, and I need chocolate, and I need them now." Which would be vastly inappropriate since it is only 6:15 a.m. I would settle for a few more hours of sleep.

The revisions will go in today if it kills me. But I can't promise the house will still be standing or anyone will have been fed at the end of it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Moments of Magic

Working on: RBTR revisions
Listening to: kids on march break...pass the headphones
Reading: Around the Clock Protector, Jan Hambright

My mother in law sent me e-mail this morning. Now this particular e-mail I've seen before, but I thought what the heck, it's cute and I'll read it again.

It's the one where young children say what they think love is. Here are a few of my favourites:

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.'

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'.

What I loved about these quotes (and there are more funny and cute ones) is that they are magical. Each of these gave me an instant image. Each of them is a magical moment. And I got thinking...isn't that what we love about romance novels? I've been struggling so much with conflict that maybe I've forgotten the little touches, the magical moments. If these characters are going to change and grow, I need to give them something to fight FOR. Isn't it funny how a little chain e-mail letter can make me smile and also put me in a great frame of mind for going back to my revisions today!

Speaking of magical moments, I heard from my friend Jim this morning as well, and it's been such a long time since I posted any of his pics. He got a couple of stunners lately. Enjoy.




Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conflict and Complication

Working on: baking a cake for friends tonight
Listening to - birdies
Reading: Around the Clock Protector - Jan Hambright

I remember not long ago when my CP was doing revisions and she sent up the cry - why do I do this to myself? Or in her exact words not long ago: A simple enough concept. You would think I had learnt that by now.

I spent part of my week facilitating an online course on Characters and the cool thing about courses is that in imparting wisdom you actually learn something as you remind yourself of things you have unfortunately forgotten. Since conversation on character development naturally lends itself to talking about GMC and arcs and what not, I had a surpreme AHA! moment and the following "DUH, God Donna your mind is a sieve" reaction.

What's been giving me troubles lately is shared past backstories. So my big brain wave this week is that the shared past is allowed to be a COMPLICATION but it shouldn't be the CONFLICT. Otherwise you spend the entire story in the past. BORING. DULL. DRAGGY. The actual CONFLICT must come from the PRESENT SITUATION. Where they are now - not where they've been.

How can I possibly claim to be forward thinking? Grrrr on me!

I, in my infinite wisdom, sent a hallelujah/I'm so stupid e-mail to my CP saying that I didn't have this problem with Marriage at Circle M. It really is so unfair she has such a good memory as she pointed out that she told me to get rid of the EX in that story.

Even if you look at The Soldier's Homecoming, the heroine's leery because the hero burned her once before. BUT, her issue with him now, while the past relationship is a complication, is of the threat he poses to the NOW - being the life she's built for herself and her daughter.

Anyway, hopefully this means I will find potential to move things forward better as I continue through my revisions.

My eldest had her birthday yesterday and we had a fun evening. It is amazing to see babies grow up and have friends and sleepovers and giggles over boys. The fun is just beginning...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cave Dwelling

That's all.

Revisions ongoing. I kinda feel like this:



Which, if you follow the link and have a tiny read, gives me this takeaway:

Never underestimate the importance of a cow.

Yes. It really IS one of those kinds of days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The longest part

I don't know about any of you other writers out there but for me the longest part of a book is between 25,000 and 40,000 words. Even at a steady 2000 a day - the word count I've set for myself and so far am keeping on pace with - the numbers seem to take so long to add up.

And the writing is slow. I feel like my subtext has flown out the window and I KNOW I'm missing layers. This is the hardest part for me. Perhaps because it's a balancing act. This is technically the middle to the end of the middle, if that makes sense. The reason why so many people say the middle sags is because sometimes it is hard to develop the relationship AND balance it with conflict AND keep interesting stuff happening. And yet, I can't just jump from chapter four to chapter nine or ten. Even if I wish I could.

This is the part of the book where the crows of doubt make their social calls. This is also the part where you fervently hope you've sent a chapter off to your CP and she will love it but inevitably it comes back with "this chapter is flat". And she'd be right.

However flat can be fixed. I just don't wanna.

The truth is, when I get to where I have been the last few days, which is hovering around the 30k mark, I just want to get moving. Enough of this stuff, let's get to revealing secrets and black moments and all the good stuff. And the truth is, you can't save all the good stuff for the end. Because you need the reader to fall in love right along with your heroine (or your hero) and so all that "stuff" in the middle has to be damn good.

The good news is, I AM starting chapter nine, and this IS a turning point where those things I mentioned will start happening. In fact, I realized that this book will have two separate black moments, one for the hero and one for the heroine. Sometimes they happen separately and sometimes together. But the hero's biggest fear as far as the heroine is concerned is coming up pretty quick and I'm damned excited about it.

Which means hopefully the next week and a half will mean finishing the book - I have four chapters left to write (or approximately 16k). Which will also leave me 7 working days to edit and write the synopsis.

Fingers crossed nothing goes sideways as I race to the end.

Last night I gobbled up Liz Fielding's The Bride's Baby as my next read. TOTALLY gorgeous story and several "Why Can't I write Like That" moments.

Speaking of...it's the last reading I'll be doing for a while. A second round of revisions has hit again. And a deadline in 2 1/2 weeks. Into the cave I go.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Being Well Read

I have posted today over at Tote Bags N Blogs on being well read and the 1% Book Challenge (which I am new to but apparently is old news). The idea is to take the list of over 1000 books and read ten each year to become more well read.

I have some thoughts - both positive and negative on the whole principle, so venture on over and have a look at which books off the list I've read and what I have to say about reading in general.

One of the books on the list of "must reads" is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. And I just happened to finish that book last night as my 15th read of the year.

This is one of the books that I saw the mini series before reading (usually I try to do it the other way around, but it doesn't always work that way). And I LOVED the mini series so I wasn't sure how I'd like the book. To be honest...the first half dragged a little. Maybe because I knew what was coming. I KNEW - rather I HOPED - that those heart stopping little sexual tension moments were coming between Margaret and Thornton. And let me say - for an adaptation I think the mini did a fabulous job of hitting the high points of the book. Things that happened; little bits of dialogue were pretty much straight from text in many instances.

And when we got close to the strike - well, that last half of the book flew by and I read the last 250 pages of very fine print in 2 evenings.

The ending was slightly different than the mini series ending, but I'll admit I love the ending of the mini. For one, I thought it tied up the relationship of Margaret and Mrs. Thornton very well, and for another the kiss scene is perfection in itself even if it didn't happen in quite that way in the book. Have a look for yourself if you dare:



Finally, the casting for the mini was fabulous. As I was reading bits of dialogue - especially Margaret and Thornton and Mrs. Thornton - I could see the characters and hear their voices. Richard Armitage IS John Thornton, and Sinead Cusack IS Mrs. Thornton.

Lovely lovely book - right up with favourites such as Persuasion and Daniel Deronda (both of which had great adaptations done as well).

Monday, March 09, 2009

Male on Monday



The Crunch is on.

But today I'm over at the Pink Heart Society with the Male on Monday slot - and a very gorgeous addition if I do say so myself.

Pop over for a look...I'm back to the WIP today.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Little Things

Yesterday was a day of little things...some little that got accomplished (including my 2k a day word count) and others that landed on my desk but that I was waiting for and happy to see.


First of all, hooray for Canada and PLR. PLR is Public Lending Right and it is a way for authors to get a tiny bit of money for their books being in the library sytem here. The UK has done this for years as well, and I feel really fortunate we have it in this country. I got my first PLR cheque yesterday. Small, certainly, but any little bit is great. Now I get to add the new titles from the last year to my bibliography.


One title I will add is the hardcover library edition of The Soldier's Homecoming. It was released last year by Thorndike Press and I hadn't thought of listing it except a neighbour popped by last night because he'd received a parcel in error. It was 3 copies of this edition. So that came and I have a giveaway going on over at the eharlequin community...the post is called Friday Freebie...

And my tax form came from the Calgary school board for the small amount of fill-in work I did last year before we moved. This means that over the next week I'll be putting everything together (this takes a while when you're self-employed and can write off bits of household expenses) and we are letting an accountant work her magic this year rather than me stressing.


So good news although a few new tasks to be done in addition to FINISHING THIS BOOK.


Which means - I'm signing off, and hoping to finish chapter seven today.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lemons

Julie Cohen nominated me for this the other day and I hadn't had a chance to post and then Kate Walker did the same thing so I'd say it's about time.

It's the Lemonade Award...me naming people who brighten - and sweeten - my days with their blogs and otherwise cheeriness. And believe me - there are times when I need it.

It's not a hard task to come up with a few, even though I'm doing less blog reading these days.

Michelle Styles
Kate Hardy
Anna Louise Lucia
Kate Walker
Kris Starr
India Grey (who never fails to make me laugh)
Liz Fielding
Julie Cohen

And many group blogs that make me think and smile and laugh - like the wonderful bloggers at The Pink Heart Society and Tote Bags 'n' Blogs and Romancing the Blog. I thank God every day for the great community of writers I'm blessed to be friends with.

Now it's back to the WIP for me. I got stuck again yesterday and realized the scene I'd inserted earlier wasn't quite long enough, and by expanding it I will set the stage for better conflict and subtext later on. So it is full steam ahead.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

July 17

July 17 I will be in Washington DC but the big news of the day will be that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will FINALLY be released in theatres.

The offspring and I have been anxiously awaiting its release. However I am not sure if going to the theatre to see it will be the thing. It will be crowded and noisy. Can you tell I am not a movie theatre person? Nuh uh. I'd much rather watch at home on the big tv with the subwoofer rattling the windows (we watched The Order of the Phoenix last weekend and the scenes in the Department of Mysteries rumbled so badly the dog went into her kennel).

But it is great news as then Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows will be out in November at the same time as the new Twilight Movie.

We avoided the snow, had a bunch of freezing rain that kept kids home from school and people off the roads yesterday, and then it poured for nearly 12 hours. I can actually see small patches of grass in places. My inlaws and mum are not so lucky - they got the freezing stuff AND snow and still look very wintry.

And I had a good writing day yesterday. I need to make word count again today and I have to go whip up a birthday cake - it is the husband's birthday today.

Monday, March 02, 2009

AskAnAuthorAll

A heads up to all you RWA members: this month I'm doing a workshop at AskAnAuthorAll on Characters. It's open to all members, not just pro. This is a great way to pick the brains of RWA's PAN members - each workshop guest belongs to PAN.

You can sign up for the loop at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AskAnAuthorAll/, and send your questions in this week. Next week, I'll be answering all the questions and hopefully having a heck of a good time talking craft and character development.

Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sale and a winner

The Rancher's Runaway Princess is on special at Harlequin's site in a Make a Match sale. For every 2 books you order, you save $2 off the already 20% discounted price.

You can see the selections available HERE.

And it's March first, which means I've drawn the winner of my February contest! The winner is Jackie Presnell! Jackie receives three of the Diamond Brides Romance releases - Shirley Jump's The Bridesmaid and the Billionaire, Trish Wylie's Manhattan Boss, Diamond Proposal, and Rebecca Winters' The Royal Marriage Arrangement.

I'll be sending out my March newsletter really soon with details for the next contest.