Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow: Can't stop it now...

It has been snowing since midnight or so last night. May have stopped an hour or two ago--it's hard to see outside in the dark. I don't object to the snow too much. I mean, it's moisture. I sure don't want the place to burn like it did last spring. But it sure is cold out there with the high wind and the snow and everything.

The cold makes me want to bundle up in the fella's recliner with my crocheted blankets (even though I haven't actually finished one of them--it's still big enough to cover you up) and read. I sure don't get out to walk to the post office and pick up the mail. So I guess I ought to go back and use the treadmill thing in the back bedroom. Need the exercise. But I'd really rather walk outside. But it's so cold!

Speaking of's really sad when even the fortune cookies begin to nag you! Yes, I got a fortune cookie fortune at one of the restaurants where we ate while we were visiting over the holiday that said something to the effect of "Work on upgrading your exercise routine." I mean, come on! I know I need more exercise. But from my Fortune Cookie??!!?! Hmph.

Mostly I read today. Yesterday I read Od Magic by Patricia McKillip, and Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter. Today, I've read an old novel--not really fantasy because there's no magic, but it's not set in any world we know--called Swordpoint by Ellen Kushner. And I'm reading the sequel now. Interesting books all of them.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Good News after Thanksgiving

I didn't think I ate that much while I was eating it, but I feel like I'm waddling now that I'm home again. I had turkey and dressing and ham and yams and greenbeans and fruit salad and Brasilian cheese rolls and buttermilk pie and apple-pecan pie and... hmm. No wonder I'm waddling...

So, okay, now the news can be shared, I believe, since I have the contract in my hands.

The Eternal Rose has been picked up by Juno Books and should be published next July in trade paperback format.

Juno Books is the brand new fantasy/paranormal romance imprint of Wildside Press. I tried several times to find the editor at the World Fantasy Con in Austin when we were there earlier this month, but never did connect. However, my good friend and Luna Author C.E. Murphy (an even better friend than ever I knew) pitched the book for me when she connected with the editor. And did several other favors like forwarding e-mails, etc., with the result that the editor tracked me down by cell phone a week ago Saturday to make an offer to buy the book sight unseen.

Harlequin is willing to give me back the rights and that is in process now, so all you wonderful people who read the first two Rose books and loved them (and you are truly wonderful people) should be able to read the third book only a month later than it was originally scheduled by Luna.

Life is good.

Especially when you can add pie to the equation. :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Done with Tweaking (for now)

Dang, I'm not quite making my "goal" of posting to the blog at least once a week, am I? But I'm trying!

I've been working on re-doing the synopsis to The Eternal Rose to make it fit how the story actually came out, which required re-reading the story again, which had me finding all kinds of new places that needed tweaking. Finished the new synopsis last Friday. Finished the tweaking this a.m. This leaves me time to bake pies and flourless gluten-free cornbread tomorrow before I go paint.

I have to drive back to Amarillo today. Saturday, the fella and I went to town early. I had a Panhandle Professional Writers meeting and he had an auction he wanted to attend. (He's become addicted.) And when we went to load up the stuff he bought into the back of the SUV, the bookcase wouldn't fit along with all the boxes of stuff. (He did get the two tea sets I wanted. One German and one from China--and one of the odd lot boxes had a platter that matched the German set. More teapots (rubbing hands in glee)!) So, anyway, I have to go back to town this afternoon and pick up the bookcase. They won't hold it any longer than today. I'll get the buttermilk for the pies too. After the auction, we ran a few errands, had dinner at our favorite Japanese place and went to the late show of Casino Royale. I like the new Bond. I like the movie--they have James running a lot...

Tomorrow, the pies. And painting class. I'll bring my Boys at the Beach painting back home. And Wednesday, we'll drive 5 hours to pick up the older son and the grandboys, then two more hours to pick up the younger son at his college apartment, then two or three more hours (depending on traffic) to the parents house.

Have a nibble on a publisher for the last Rose book. Cross your fingers that we can get things worked out in time.

And thanks for all your comments. I'm not good about commenting on the comments about the blog, but I do read every one of them.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Been a Long Time

Yeah, I know. It's been a long time. I'm in roller-coaster mode again. One day on top of the world, the next day, convinced I don't have a clue what I'm doing trying to write a book. Typical writer.

So, I went to my very first World Fantasy Conference, which was a bit of a culture shock. It's much more laid back than the romance writer's meetings--largely because it's as much for fans as for writers. Instead of workshops about "How to do it better", there are panels to discuss "Why it is the way it is, and should it be that way?" There aren't near as many people, and they have readings, where authors read from their work.

I got to read. Surprised the heck out of me. Especially since the final decisions weren't made till the last week before it started, while I was out of town in Austin. I had forgotten to bring any of my books (or my bookmarks to hand out, sigh), so I had to borrow the books from my Mom to have anything to show people. And I loaned my copy of Eyes of Crow to Jeri Smith-Ready so she could read it, because she'd forgotten all of her books too. There were four of us reading in a "paranormal romance" session--even though none of us actually write paranormal romance... I suppose I could have broken out an exerpt from Devil in a Red Dress, to give an idea of a "real" paranormal romance, but it's not exceptionally romantic yet, so... Plus, I haven't sold it.

Anyway, Jeri read, I read, Robin Owens read her Luna book, and Shanna Swendsen read her non-Luna Enchanted, Inc. Which is a really cute chick-lit-y fun fantasy. It was good. I had a couple of guys come up to me on Saturday and Sunday and tell me they enjoyed it (probably because I read from the blood, guts and gore part of Compass during the battle where Kallista gets her magic) and would check the books out. So, new readers. Yay!

And I talked to several editors, one of whom might be willing to take on the last Rose book. I hope. No harm in trying, anyway. But I need to do a new synopsis for Eternal Rose so it matches the actual book--which means I need to read the book over again, which means I'm going through and revising again. I put some stuff back in--but I think I'm going to take it out again. I need to finish reading, do my turning points and make sure the story stays on point. I really liked all the sword-fighting, but... it doesn't necessarily move things along. I can always put it on the website.

Most of them probably don't want to do a 3rd book in a series started by another publisher, but all of them seemed interested in other material, and, well--there you have it.

I found several new books and new authors. I finally picked up a Carol Berg, as my daughter has been nagging me to do, since Ms. Berg was at the conference. She told me her favorites of those she has out now, and I picked up Transformation which was a very different sort of story and very good, so now I'm going to read the rest of them.

And I picked up some YAs. The one I liked best was The Queen of Attolia, because it made me want to read the other books in the series. It was very gritty--the main character got his hand chopped off early in the book, so obviously one can write pretty much what one wants to write, especially for older kids. I might like to write YA fantasy (which wouldn't be too far a stretch from the other stuff I'm doing). I was thinking about YA, and realized that I doubt I could write the YA "girl" books, because my girl didn't really like them, I never did, and besides, my boys were the last ones at home in the YA years. So I'd want to write YA "boy" books. And at the YA/juvenile fantasy panel, someone said that YA books for boys were very much in demand. So.

But I have many many places to go with the writing already. Beginning with the revising of Eternal Rose and the writing of a synopsis for it. Then I want to finish the synopsis for Thunder so I can get that sent off--I've got it mostly written, but I'm not sure about the ending. I may not have the details together till I actually write it, but one can't write "So, in the end--somehow he makes her remember everything and they all live happily ever after." But that may be what I end up with. And then after that, I'll get the partial together for Red Dress and send That off, and then, I'll get back to finishing New Blood. Sounds like a plan. Now if I can just get it all done. Especially since it's the holiday season... More traveling, but at least the nest is empty.

OH! And I pulled out a book from my TBR stack that had fallen down amongst the others and read it and loved it, and can't wait till the next one: THE LOST FLEET: Dauntless by Jack Campbell. It's the very first--if you like the Captain Jack Aubrey books, you'll like this. If you like Naomi Novik's Temeraire the dragon books, you'll like this one. It's naval battle in space--the hero has been frozen in an escape pod for about 100 years, and placed in command of a fleet just before all the admirals are assassinated at truce negotiations. It's up to him to get the fleet home. Great story. So, there you have my latest recommendation.

I'll try not to be so long before posting here again. Just couldn't get up the energy. (sigh)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dreaming in Austin

I've been in Austin since Sunday. Came down from the Dallas/Fort Worth area after moving furniture for the son (who'd better move it out of his grandparents' garage right quick) to a conference downtown for the fella...ate way too good while he was conferencing. Then Tuesday, I drove all the college board members who came to the meeting (and the fella) to the airport to fly back to the panhandle. And I drove across town in the bus to the parents' house.

My Mama is starting to have trouble remembering things. I wouldn't worry if she just forgot names (I've never been able to remember people's names either), but she forgot that Daddy called while he was out yesterday afternoon, and was worrying about where he was even though he'd called to tell her. She's not bad yet, but now I'm worrying. Anyway, we have had a good time. She took me down to "her" shoe store--a "real" shoe store, where they measure your feet and find shoes to fit your peculiarities. Which in my case are a wide square-across-the-toes foot with a very high arch, and a big toe knuckle with arthritis in it. And after only four tries, we found a nice pair of black dress shoes that didn't kill me when I put them on. Paid more for them than I have ever in my life paid for a pair of shoes, but for shoes that don't commit murder, that's important. We did have to hunt for the shoe store for a while because Mama couldn't remember exactly how far down Burnet Road it was, but we did eventually find it. ;)

I'm using Daddy's computer to post this blog. He was in on the very birth of computers, worked on them when they took up the size of a big room and required punch cards to run a program--and the punch cards were an improvement from earlier data input. So he doesn't have a problem working on aged equipment. Actually, Daddy's stuff is newer than my father-in-law's computer. He's still working off Windows 3.1, I think...we keep threatening to get him a new computer, but he resists mightily. If I were at the in-laws, I would not be blogging. And I have a chance to get to the computer, because my brother just gave him a new hand-me-down laptop. It's probably five years old or more, but it's newer than the one he had before, so it's a new toy, and I get to play with the desktop. :)

Anyway, the World Fantasy Con starts this afternoon, and I'm all excited. I've never been to a fantasy conference before, ever, so this will be a really new experience for me. I will be the gray-haired granma wandering around goggle-eyed. And I'll get to read from one of my books in a group reading, so that will be fun.

I doubt I'll have time to blog during the conference, but if I do, I'll be here. Otherwise, I'll report when I get back home on Tuesday. The conference goes through Sunday afternoon some time, and it takes all day (between 9 and 10 hours) to drive home from here (even tho we are on the north side of Austin), so I'm not leaving till Monday a.m., so I can get home before dark. And maybe stop off in Waco to visit the boy. Yeah, I'm staying free at the parents' house--they're only about 10 or 15 minutes from the conference hotel, so I can do this one cheap. :)