Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Greetings from Central Florida!

I'm down here in Orlando, accompanying my husband at the Florida Bar Convention and drinking way too much good wine. Other than that, I churned out 10 pages of new material today! I said to my husband, "Honey, clearly I need to be in a luxury hotel to be productive!" He's not buying it, but I haven't given up hope. It's been a good opportunity to catch up on the WIP and take a couple days to spend with friends and family.

More on this tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I just walked out to get a glass of water and hearing a crackling noise looked over at the snake's terrarium. Frisky is shedding his skin, which is kind of cool to watch. He drags himself over the rough bark of the tree branch in his environment, and it helps pull the old skin off.

What's less cool is I have to clean his cage tonight. Did I mention this isn't even my snake? No, it belongs to my absent son, who has managed to fly on every trip home, primarily, I believe, so I can't stick his snake in the back of the car and wave a fond 'bon voyage!'

*Sigh* I hope when I die and go to stand in judgment before the Heavenly Court someone will say "Well, she may have been a real b*tch at times, but she took care of the snake."

Tales of Remodeling
Yesterday I was making a run to Home Depot to look at bathroom fixtures, grab bars, and doors. I need three doors, two pocket doors and one door for the toilet stall. I told the guy at Home Depot, "I was at a friend's beach house and she had the most beautiful pocket doors. They had glass insets and added a lot to the look of the room."

"Oh, you want to see these doors!"

He then took me to a display of beautiful doors, far from utilitarian, and I pulled out the brochure.

"I like this one with the 'bamboo' glass."

He looked over my shoulder and said, "Congratulations! You just picked the 2nd most expensive door in this line."

"My husband says it's one of my talents, being able to spot the most expensive item in the store," I said glumly.

However, there were some lovely doors with frosted glass privacy panels that were substantially less. I need to check with my contractor on allowances to see where they fall in our proposal. He already told me if I wanted cream colored instead of white toilet and tub I'd pay substantially more, so I nixed that! The tub's going to be mostly surrounded by tile--you won't see the interior unless you're standing right next to it looking down, and the toilet's in its own room, so standard white is fine. But I may be able to nudge the figures if I want a particular door.

But then last night I thought about it while I was getting ready for bed. My husband turned on the light in the bathroom and pulled the door closed and I thought, "Duh! If you put in a pocket door with a glass panel, then every time someone's up at night the light shining through the door will wake you up!"

So I feel better now. We're still well within budget, which isn't saying much since work hasn't started yet, but at least I'm not getting too carried away.

Yet.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I was writing a rather wrenching chapter today that included a slave auction. My WIP is set in 1817 Florida. It led me to re-read most of Kenneth Stamp's The Peculiar Institution, one of the textbooks I wisely held onto from undergraduate school 30 years ago. I also worked through my notes on Florida history, and Georgia history.

In the scene today, the hero, who's from Georgia, explains to the heroine why he can't free his family's slaves. It was illegal to do so. I cannot stand reading historical romance where the heroine inherits her grandfather's antebellum plantation in Georgia or South Carolina, hops on a boat from England, and the first thing she does when she gets here is free all those slaves and offer a good pension plan.

Slavery was this country's great evil (we'll talk about the Indians another time) and its effects are still being felt through our society today. To ignore the reality of it so we can pretty up our characters and make them more palatable to modern readers does the reader a disservice, in my opinion, and means we're writing fantasy, not historical fiction.

That's all. My writing makes me angry, so I'm venting here. One of the reasons I like having a blog.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

You're not going to see these condom commercials on US television. Mostly worksafe, but you'll laugh like a loon and have to go change pants.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Why I love my friends


I saw Bob, a professor at UF, at lunch today. He said he'd been sitting with a colleague at the student union building last week and they thought they saw my son walk by.

"Isn't that __________?" the colleague said, "I hear his mom writes porn."

"Thank goodness word is finally getting out!" I said.

"Don't worry, I stood up for you," Bob said. "I told him, 'Why yes, as a matter of fact, she does write porn!'"

Monday, June 11, 2007

This morning, in addition to writing, so far, five pages, I have been listening to owl sounds courtesy of the Florida Museum of Natural History website. There's a particular species that lives out back of our house and its call can be raucous and loud, exactly the noise I wanted to freak my heroine out when she's forced to sleep outdoors.

It's the barred owl. The one they have on the tape is much lower volume than the one that sometimes perches in our yard, but its call is distinctive.

And today's writing is going well, thanks for asking.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Today's Library Talk

I thought it went well. The crowd was small, but the High Springs Branch library was friendly and welcoming. And it was, I swear, 100F outside according to my car's thermometer, so it was a good day to be inside talking about pirates.

I did my spiel on Florida pirates and the West Indies Anti-Piracy campaign of the 1820's, sold some books, discussed Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and debated whether Orlando Bloom pushed out Johnny Depp for biggest heartthrob in this one (did I mention the audience was all women?).

One of the neat things about today's talk, for me, was when I was reviewing my notes and my texts I ran across something I can use in the scene I'm writing tomorrow. So it's all good.

And if any of you are reading this within 100 miles of Gainesville, I am willing to take my show on the road to a library or bookstore in your community. I'll even bring my pirate flag and my chest of chocolate "booty".

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sunday, June 10, looks to be another hot, steamy Florida summer day with temps hovering around 93F. And bugs. Why not spend the afternoon in the comfort of the High Springs Library?

I'll be there at 2:30 p.m. speaking on Florida Piracy—Pirates Prefer Prowling the Peninsula.

I'll also have books available and will be signing. Come join us for a good time with pirates! And air conditioning!



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I wrote 10 pages of new material on Monday. I know for some writers that's not a lot, but for me it was more than I can usually churn out. I only have to do that 40 times to get a 400 page manuscript. I'm hoping to go beyond that number today because I can finally see the light at the end of this WIP, and it's a good feeling. Over 70% done makes me feel like it's coming together.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'll be speaking at the High Springs Public Library this Sunday, June 10, at 2:30 p.m. on Florida Piracy—Pirates Prefer Prowling the Peninsula.


Join us for a look at the men--and women--who roamed the waters around the state.

I'll also have my books available there, and it should be a lively afternoon.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I re-read Neil Gaiman's Stardust today. Seeing a new review and the trailer for the upcoming movie made me wonder if it was as good as I remembered.

*Sigh* It's even better.

And today was the perfect day for a re-read, since Tropical Storm Barry was dumping wonderful rain all over drought-stricken North Florida. At one point I was sitting in a recliner, a small dog in my lap, tea steaming on the table next to me, rain falling outside, and a great fantasy novel to enjoy again. One of those perfect lazy afternoons we don't enjoy often enough.