Monday, January 29, 2007


For This I Suffered Through Hurricanes? I'm sitting in front of a blazing fire, drinking hot tea, next to a small dog huddled under the covers. It's 50F right now, at 5:30, but it's supposed to get down to 27F tonight.

I think my plants will do OK. I might lose some of the impatiens in bloom, but I can always cut them back and count on them springing up within a couple weeks. I more concerned about my friends who grow blueberries. Last week the bushes were blooming--too early because of our mild winter--and if we get a hard freeze it could hurt the crop. But we'll see. In the meantime, I can look out the window and see my trailing flower pots (see photo) and hope for the best.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why I'm not writing more, or excuse #285: Office painting

So last week I had the room formerly known as "Guest Room", now known as "Darlene's very own private space that you'd better not enter without knocking first and don't even do that if I have the 'do not disturb' sign up" painted. I still love the whiff of oil paint that drifts down the hall every so often.

But I'm not moved in yet, and all my books are scattered about the house. There's new hardwood flooring going in next week, and I got the bookcases painted. So, since we have the freshly painted bookcases in the middle of the room and the floor consists of torn up carpet with a lot of dangerous nails poking about, I can't get in there. I find myself unconsciously reaching to my left for the reference books that used to be literally at hand, on the shelf on the bookcase next to my desk. Alas! They are now somewhere under my dear husband's summer suits which also vacated the former guest room.

But it's going to be fab when it's done. I have one accent wall in a deep, rich, creative red, and the remaining four walls are a soft gold. And the bookcases are now a warm pale taupe. I'll post pictures when I get moved in.

*Sigh* A space of my own. I can hardly wait.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Boskone 44

Once again I'm off to Boston in February (brrrrr!) for Boskone 44. The (M) means I'm moderating that program item. I feel especially prepared for that last item because earlier in the week I'm doing a talk to the University Women's Club on women pirates titled "Good Girls Go To Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Sea".

Here's my schedule:

Fri 9:00pm
Boskone in Death: J. D. Robb 2007

(M) Janice Gelb
Darlene Marshall
Priscilla Olson


Sat 12:00 noon
The Business Side of Writing
Our experienced panel is all business as they discuss topics such as
how to get, grok, and get along with agents and publishers; why
keeping good records prevents bad karma; whether you can deduct
Boskone from your taxes; and what to do after submitting your latest
story. (Hint: start your next one.)

Jeffrey A. Carver
Gay Haldeman
(M) Sharon Lee
Darlene Marshall


Sat 2:00pm
Keeping Your Day Job: How to Sustain Creativity When Writing Is Your Second
Profession
If you write for work, does it stifle your writing for art? Can
characters and conflicts on the job give you any ideas? What other
tricks keep your battery charged? Is a regular schedule helpful or
hopeless? Is killing off your boss (on paper) kosher?

(M) Darlene Marshall
Karl Schroeder
Susan Shwartz


Sat 4:00pm
A Sea of Words: Naval Fiction both Historical and Fantasitc
Sea stories are very popular amongst SF fans -- both historical
fiction by writers like Forester and O'Brian and SF and fantasy works
by writers like Weber and Novik. Why do sea and space voyaging tales
get into our blood? Are we not so much SF fans as exploration/close-
knit-hierarchy/cool-complicated-tech-and-talk fans? How is a frigate
different from a generation ship? Who are our Foresters? Our
O'Brians?
Naomi Novick has added dragons to the age of fighting sail; what
exciting trope can we send to sea next: Furries? Robots? Vampires?
('Ware Captain Blood!)

Michael F. Flynn
Jim Mann
(M) Darlene Marshall
Susan Shwartz


Sat 5:00pm 0.5 hours
Reading
Darlene Marshall



Sun 10:00am
Pirates in Petticoats: Women Pirates in Fact and Fiction

Darlene Marshall
Jane Yolen

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Fun with Translations

Amazon.de now has the German edition of Captain Sinister's Lady available for pre-order. It has a September, 2007 release date! And it has a lovely cover!! And it has cover quotes by NYT Bestselling author Diana Gabaldon!!!

I hopped over to Babelfish to see if I could get a translation of the page and read all about it. What I've got is a title that translates as "Including and Swords", which I'm fairly sure isn't correct, and indeed, my translator just told me that Samt und Säbel translates as "Velvet and Sabers", which I like. And she's right, in German it's quite euphonious.

Babelfish also says this is the translation from the Amazon.de site:

"Darlene Mars-resound kidnaps the reader to an exciting adventure on high lake: Before the background of a romantic pirate window blind in the Karibik are the most different shapes: a Pirat against will, a young widow at the threshold to a new life, bandit and a robber. A episches adventure of full love and passion. "

OK, that all sounds good to me. I'm all for kidnapping the reader, romance, pirates and robbers with lots of love and passion. And Diana's quotes are good too. This one translated the best:

"Sexy, charmingly and full ESPRIT!"
Diana Gabaldon

But in the meantime I'm basking in the delight of having my pirate romance winging its way to Germany this autumn.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Supper in Alachua

I met last night with the book club sponsored by The Pink Porch in lovely Alachua, Florida. Alachua is a town a few miles north of Gainesville, and the club met at Conestoga's Restaurant for discussion of Captain Sinister's Lady and supper. We had a grand time discussing Florida history, writing romance, the steamy bits and books in general. I was thrilled that Rosanne, the owner of Pink Porch, picked my book to discuss.

For some of the ladies this was the first romance novel they'd read, and I was pleased by their response to my book. I hope they'll go on to discover other romance writers who can give them that "getaway" experience romance readers enjoy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Go Gators! It's Great To Be a Florida Gator!

Dang, that felt good! Signed, a proud alumna of the Gator Nation.

Friday, January 05, 2007

We writers sometimes ask each other, "Are you a plotter or a pantser?", meaning, "Do you carefully plot out each scene and outline your books, or do you just sit down and churn out chunks of prose, writing by the seat of your pants?"

I've always described myself as a pantser, but not anymore. Over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels, Nora Roberts referred to herself as an "organic" writer, and that's what I'm calling myself from now on. So much more elegant than "pantser".

I tried to outline a novel. Turned out a month later I was still working on the outline instead of writing the book. It's not a method that works for me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Writing Marathon, Day 3

Today's the final day of our writing marathon. I knew I wouldn't get as much done today because of prior commitments, a library foundation board meeting and the dog's bi-monthly acupuncture treatment (really), but I found myself going back and inserting a new scene in an earlier chapter, so I guess that counts as fresh writing. Six pages total, but more importantly, I feel like I've had a fresh start on the book. I've got momentum now, and I'm not going to lose it. Next week I'm hitting the ground running.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Writing Marathon, Day 2

Six pages of new material. Would have been more, but I got sidetracked by an idea that in hindsight wasn't as good as it sounded. But no effort is wasted effort.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Writing Marathon, Day 1:

I signed up for a 3 day writing marathon at Books and Writers Community over at Compuserve. I needed this to jumpstart my WIP, and I've reached my goal for today of ten pages. For me, that's a lot. I know I'll have some conflicts tomorrow and Thursday, but I'm hoping this will kick me in the butt enough to keep moving forward at a faster pace.