Friday, December 31, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  The annual N...Goodbye to all that

2010 saw steady sales of The Bride and the Buccaneer, and winning the Beacon Award was the cherry on top.  More people have been checking out my backlist as they load up their Kindles and Nooks.  I finished Castaway Dreams and started writing (working title) The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby [alternate working title: The Naughty Pirate and the Very Strict Governess].  I went to Aussiecon4, toured Australia, saw friends and enjoyed myself immensely.

I expect to sell at least one book in 2011 and hope for more.  I'm looking forward to attending Boskone, and Renovation (Wordcon 2011) and maybe Epicon.  I'm doing a talk next week and my son will be in town, and I may be able to drag him along if I promise him dinner and drinks after.

Life is good.  I hope your New Year's celebrations are safe, enjoyable, and that you begin a new year with all that you need even if it's not all that you want.

Now it's time to stir the black-eyed peas and greens and fire up the grill as I prepare for our Florida-style end of year supper.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Went to see The King's Speech last night.  What an amazing movie.  Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were both astoundingly good in their roles, Firth in particular.

I'm often asked if I have Hollywood actors or actresses in mind when I'm envisioning my characters.  The answer is generally "no", until I've finished the novel.  For example, Firefly started airing after I'd written Smuggler's Bride, but as soon as I saw Nathan Fillion as Captain Tightpants Mal I knew who I'd cast as Rand Washburn, the hero of Smuggler's Bride.  I'm still waiting for Hollywood to call.

Anyway, the exception to this is my recently finished manuscript, Castaway Dreams.  As I was writing the character of my grizzled, world-weary British naval surgeon, Alexander Murray, I kept seeing Colin Firth in my mind's eye. 

So now my job in 2011 (in addition to writing my next novel) is to get Castaway Dreams published, and wait for that call from Hollywood.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day!  No, I'm not celebrating it, but this is the day I would be giving my live-in servants their new uniforms, if I had such minions.  I'm still hoping for Raul the Cabana Boy after I hit the bestseller list.  I'd even get a cabana.  And his uniform wouldn't have much fabric at all...Mmmmm...

Where was I? Oh yeah, it's the day after Christmas.  If you were fortunate enough to receive a new Nook, Kindle, iPad or other device suitable for reading ebooks, now's the time to stock up on digital editions.  Don't you need some relaxing reading now that the holidays are over? What could be better than a tale of naughty guys and gals in a nautical setting?  All my editions are available in a variety of electronic formats to suit your needs.  You can purchase them from the publisher (links at my website) or from your favorite bookseller, and kick-back with a good romantic tale!

Enjoy your Boxing Day, and have a happy and healthy New Year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Outline or Organic?  Kind of a "Paper or plastic?" question since different writers have different methods that work for them. I'm organic, or a "seat of the pants" writer.  I spent yesterday morning trying to outline my new novel, and realized at lunchtime that I'd pretty much wasted a morning when I could have been writing. 

I do find sometimes that if I pause midway through my first draft and then try to outline, that can work.  I need to get some structure down on paper and look at it to determine where the plot holes are and how I'm going to reach that all important Happily Ever After (or at least, reasonably happy and optimistic about the future) ending.

We'll see.  As usual, I've got a vague idea in my head of where I want to go with my naughty pirate hero and my stern and disapproving heroine, the plot moppet the hero isn't aware he fathered, the missing heir, the murder plot and so on and so on.  I know though that eventually, if I just slog along, I'll get to the point where I can write "The End".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I was at the monthly GAWN (Gainesville Area Women's Network) luncheon today where we heard more about our signature project, support of the Displaced Homemakers Program.  DHP is funded through Florida's fees for marriage licenses and divorce filings--most appropriate for this group, because DHP helps women enter or get back into the workforce when they're middle-aged or older.

Interestingly, monies for DHP are down because the economy is down.  People both marry and divorce less in tough economic times.  Our group supports our local DHP with donations, job referrals, acting as employers in fake interviews to prepare the women for real job interviews and more.  I'm glad to be a small part of the effort, and it was wonderful today to hear from two of the program's graduates talk about how having employment has made a difference in their lives.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sometimes the bread lands jelly side up.  This morning I opened up the box to change the battery for our home alarm, an every 3-4 year procedure, and the box had some animal droppings inside.  I was horrified, thinking it was mouse poop.  Fortunately, our pest control tech (a Florida necessity) was scheduled to come by today, so I left it as is for him to pronounce judgment.

Turned out they were lizard droppings, not mouse droppings.  He showed me how to tell the difference, but I don't want to burden you with TMI.  Now, you may ask yourselves, "Why is she pleased about lizard sh*t in her house?"  The answer is, lizards don't carry the same diseases or breed like mice, and most importantly, they eat insects in the house.  In Florida, having lizards running around is a good thing because they're a natural form of pest control.

Life in Florida--it's just one damn thing after another, but sometimes it's not as bad as it could be.

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's winter in North Florida and the only one who seems thrilled by this turn of events is the dog.  For an animal who loves to spend the entire day sleeping under the covers, she's enjoying these temps in the 40s and her brisk morning walk.  

As for me, I'm taking advantage of these days indoors to upgrade to a new computer system.  It's a bit of a hassle, as always, but I know I'll be glad when everything is transferred over and I'm able to find what I'm looking for.  I do have a jumpstart on getting it all together because my brother, the family's computer whiz and resident tech dude, helped me migrate my most important files--my writing and my online presence.

I expect to have this done within a day or so and be left with just minor tweaks, and I'll have more time to work on the new novel.

Later, gators!