Saturday, March 31, 2007

Paul Turns 30!

    My new brother-in-law Paul turns thirty this weekend, which is very fitting for family week (thanks, Paul!). To celebrate his old age, we went to the Drambuie Den on 14th Street, where we drank tons and then lit the drinks on fire.
    Paul makes Lucy laugh a lot. Sometimes she laughs until she cries!
    Ryan lights up the Drambuie, just the way Paul taught him.
    Every time I hang out with Paul and Lucy a drink is somehow spilled on my foot.
    Robin and Paul heart each other.
    Last September, Paul also married my sister.

    I love you, Paul! I am so happy you are in our family!Source URL:
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Best wishes, Lena Corwin

Friday, March 30, 2007


Shh......they're sleeping

    A reader in Germany gave me a tip about the painter Gerd Brunzema, who paints his children while they're sleeping. My reader says: "Very strange. It isn't cute at all. But I like it, cause it looks authentic." I find the series really sweet, though. (What do you think, readers: Creepy or cute?) Either way, they're wonderful.
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saturday Evening Post

Childhood Photographs

Hug Me Sweater

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lina!

    Little Lina turns 28 today!

    Twenty (of the many) reasons I love Lina:
    1. She looks like a pixie.
    2. She makes me laugh all day long.
    3. She wears cool
    4. She brings us sandwiches for lunch.
    5. She reads tons of books and can recommend books based on people's personalities.
    6. She detects gas leaks in the office (even when there aren't any).
    7. She leaves half eaten food everywhere. Wait.....that's not a reason.
    7. She calls me "Special," which makes me feel happy.
    8. She says wise things, like that people are more transparent than they think and that all sandwiches taste better on toast. She's also great at Taboo.
    9. She is tiny but strong, independent but loyal, sarcastic but sweet.
    10. She comes up with funny slang, like Goldfish and Non-Starter.
    11. She goes with you to the doctor if you're scared.
    12. She knows all the juicy celebrity gossip.
    13. She's brilliant at her job; she can diffuse any tricky situation beautifully and keeps everything in perspective.
    14. She loves her family and has 20,000 cool cousins.
    15. She listens to us all talk endlessly about our neuroses and never makes us feel weird.
    16. She's always game for a party; she'll come at the beginning, mingle famously, break hearts and be one of the last to leave.
    17. She takes strolls through Central Park in three-inch heels.
    18. She makes a killer lasagna.
    19. She knits clothes for babies.
    20. She's my favorite partner in crime. She makes every day more fun. I hope we grow old together.

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Family Ski Trips

    I love Patrick Smith's atmospheric photography. This photograph was taken at Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in France, where my family was lucky enough to ski when we were growing up. Our ski-school teacher Dominique was sometimes mean and sometimes nice, and my sister won an Asterix comic in a race. My mom said that on especially cold days, you could hear the little ski-school children weeping as they skiied past. So sad!Source URL:
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Introvert or Extrovert?

    I am currently surrounded by family. Right now, my husband's brother and wife and their five kids (five! can you believe it! I am barely surviving two!), sister and her daugher, and mother and father are all visiting from South Dakota. We live in Oregon, and don't see them very often, so it's wonderful to have them here. Still, I'll be honest--eleven is a lot of people to add to our little house. Surrounded doesn't begin to describe it.
    Now for some of you, this may not seem like a lot. You may be like my husband--he's what I think of as a true extrovert. Meaning, when he's tired or bummed out, there's nothing he likes better than to surround himself with people. It gives him energy, all that interaction. Puts him in a better mood. When he's alone for too long he feels aimless, out of sorts. Depressed.
    Now me, on the other hand, I'm the introvert of the family. (What? A writer AND an introvert? Surely you jest!) People drain me. I mean, I love 'em, but they make me tired. An entire evening of interaction with my own family can make me long for solitude and a little down time with my computer, let alone with this extended group. My favorite type of party is one I can host, so I can spend the night occupying myself with little tasks like serving food or cleaning the kitchen. Subtle ways to avoid sitting down and just plain TALKING to people all night long.
    My assumption is that many of you writers are like me. But I wonder if that's true--is there something about writing that appeals to the introverts among us? Does it give us a way to interact without all to have to interact with? Or am I wrong? Are there extroverts out there (Auntie Cindy perhaps?) who like nothing better than chatting the night away with a big crowd, and waking up in the morning ready for some more quality time?
    What say you, elfreda ica? Intro or extro?
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Dottie Dress

Monday, March 26, 2007

Caren's LATE Wild Weekend Meme

    Because I feel slightly sorry for myself, I am chiming in even though the weekend is well over. So there!

    What was the last wild thing you did?

    Wild, huh? Okay, it wasn't too wild, but I did a bit of Bono stalking when I was in NYC two weeks ago. My best friend has been in the U2 fan club since she was 13 (she's 38 now) and is wicked obsessed. So, here is one of the pictures I took of Bono's apartment on Central Park West. Bono and Alli live in the right-hand tower on the top two floors. How do I know this? Um, I mentioned the obsessed friend, right?

    What is the next wild thing you're going to do?

    Gah! We have to plan this stuff? What ever happened to spontaneity? Well, I suppose you could count the trip my husband, daughters and I are taking to Switzerland this June. We will be in the back of beyond in the Swiss Alps at the WAGGS World Heritage Site Our Chalet. No doubt it will be great fun, but those Swiss are pretty serious about the mountain climbing and hiking and whatnot. I am fully expected to rappel and do high ropes courses. I will, but I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for all that. Plus, my husband seriously needs to bench press something more than a box of Girl Scout cookies before this trip. I am, however, First Aid and CPR certified just in case. 'Nuff said.

    Name the last three books you read.

    The easy question! Susan Elizabeth Phillips' "It Had To Be You"; J.D. Robb's "Innocent In Death"; and, Susan Elizabeth Phillips' "Natural Born Charmer". I've gotten on an SEP tear since NBC. I may have to read her entire backlist!

    Favorite first line of a novel.

    Garp's mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater. "The World According to Garp" by John Irving

    Famous last words/Most satisfying ending to a novel?

    Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

    Bronte or Kinsale?

    I am such a Bronte girl!

    SEP or JAK?

    I have to choose? Well, since I'm on a major SEP kick, you know she wins!

    Most boring read?

    Anything issued by the federal government.

    Most times you've read one novel?

    I have no idea how many times I've read "Dragon Song", "Dragon Singer" and "Dragon Drums" by Anne McCaffrey, but it has to be at least ten each. I read them first when I was about 12. I don't think I've duplicated that level of devotion to any books since. A close second would be "The Forgotten Beasts of Eld" by Patricia McKillip. Read that one when I was 12, too.

    The writer you'd most like to be and why.

    Never thought of it. But, probably I would like to be any of the Bronte sisters. They were all so brilliant and intensely emotional. Exactly what I would love to bring to my books.

    Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance?

    Definitely historical. There are some wonderful paranormals and Heaven knows I cut my teeth on sf/fantasy! But I get so completely lost in a rich historical. Which is, of course, why I write contemporaries.

    Linda Howard's Son of the Morning or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code?

    Linda Howard, of course. The Da Vinci Code was like a serial novel, only all slapped in one cover. You could practically hear the cliffhanger music at the end of each scene. Clever of him to trot that trick out, but the slapdash treatment of Christianity left me cold at the end of it. I give him lots of credit for achieving such acclaim, but I think it was more timing and razzle-dazzle than great writing. Feel free to throw things at me.

    Sorry to be the lone tardy poster and break all packer rules. That and the Bono stalking will probably get me tossed off the blog. Be kind! No Bonos were harmed in the research for this blog post...

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Family Week

Opening Ceremony: Sweden

Swimming Pools

    I have a thing for pool photographs. I'm really drawn to them for some reason. Even when they are sketchy and dirty. Almost especially when they're sketchy and dirty. I can't figure out why they're so appealing, but there's something almost erotically exhibitionist about the whole thing. (Is that weird?:)
    These shots are from J. Bennett Fitt's No Lifeguard On Duty series. In a New York Times review of the exhibition, Ken Johnson writes: "Swimming pools are signs of spiritual optimism, economic prosperity and the hedonistic good life, so the image of a pool dried up and cracked or half full of dirty water becomes a symbol of disappointed hopes and dreams."
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Golden Day again

    A huge whohoooooooooooo happy dancing yell for all the Packers who finaled AGAIN in the Golden Heart!!! I'm so impressed with the talent of this group - and with the talent that shines in the Golden Heart and Rita contests.

    And I'm even more impressed by the incredible support and happiness that everyone has for each other. I don't think there is another group out there that shows more caring and positive energy toward others than romance writers.

    I'm proud -- so proud!Source URL:
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Wild Weekend Meme A La Aunty C

    What was the last wild thing you did?
    Would you believe, sitting in the ER letting the DH squeeze my hands while the doctor put four stitches in his face? This was Valentine's Day and he had been mugged. NO, not by me! Happily, he recovered nicely. But that is not something I want to repeat any time soon.

    What is the next wild thing you're going to do?
    Like Jeanne, I don't usually PLAN to do wild things. However, I have a feeling that the next wild thing will happen next month during my local RWA chapter's retreat... Stay tuned for updates!

    Name the last three books you read
    Last three would be: Sin by Sharon Page, a hot, Hot, HOT Regency;
    Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth George; and
    Sweaters to Crochet in a Weekend and I don't have the author in front of me, but obviously she crochets a LOT faster than I do, because that was three weekends ago, and my sweater is still not finished!

    Favourite first line of a novel?
    "In a hole in the ground lived a Hobbit."

    Famous last words/Most satisfying ending to a novel?
    ...and they lived Happily Ever After! (What can I say? I'm a sucker for an HEA!)

    Bronte or Kinsale?

    SEP or JAK?
    JAK, but only when she's writing as Amanda Quick. If it's a contemporary, then SEP.

    Most boring read?
    State or federal Medicaid regulations! UGH! Had to read WAAAY too many of those in my previous life.

    Most times you've read one novel?
    Well, I've lost count of how many times I've read LOTR. Of course, I read it for the first time when I was 15 and that was... quite a number of years ago!

    Also, I WORE OUT (literally, the hard cover was falling off) my copy of Black Beauty when I was a child.

    The writer you'd most like to be and why.
    As I've mentioned before, I'd like to be Phylis A. Whitney when I grow up. Ah, to be THAT prolific and continue to be popular decade after decade!

    Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance?
    Depends on the book! Okay, I know that's cheating. Overall historical, I've read way more of them, and I LOVE many many of them. Mind you, I've read some GREAT paranormals too (and can't wait to get my hands on our own Packer Pal Pam Palmer's The Dark Gate!), but I'm pretty much vampired out right now.

    Linda Howard's Son of the Morning or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code?
    GASP! Would you believe I haven't read EITHER OF THEM?!?!

    Okay, in all honesty, I REFUSE to read Da Vinci Code unless some one FORCES a copy into my hands. I figure Dan Brown does NOT need any more money, and especially not MY hard earned dollars! I did, however, read Angels and Demons and was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY! (And yes, somebody loaned cheap-skate me a copy) I was working on my GH finalist Jewels of the Madonna at the time, which is set in Venice, and I told the DH, "If I ever write a book set in Rome, I want it to be HALF this good!"

    And one final note: Since I have Irish ancestors on both sides of my family tree, then I probably AM related to an Irish Prince... or two!

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The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind...

    Wild Weekend Meme

    What was the last wild thing you did?

    Oh, isn't it sad? I can't remember.

    What is the next wild thing you're going to do?

    Um, clean the pool? Prune the roses? Note to self - GET A LIFE!!!

    Name the last three books you read

    Now this I can answer! Priceless by Kelly Hunter, a wonderful Sexy Sensation by this new Aussie author. Honestly, one of the best categories I've read for ages. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers, revisiting a classic. Hmm, and this MARVELLOUS new historical that I got an advance copy of and I picked up to see whether it really did feature a psycho hero and then somehow I ended up reading the whole thing. Modesty forbids me to name this book! Snork!

    Favourite first line of a novel?

    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

    Famous last words/Most satisfying ending to a novel?

    The ending of the Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett. These are the most amazing books if you can get them - hang in there, they're worth persisting with.

    Bronte or Kinsale?

    Can't I have both, please? PLEASE??!!!

    SEP or JAK?

    Definitely SEP.

    Most boring read?

    I've got a half-finished biography of the Duke of Wellington on the bookcase that is mind-numbingly dull. How could you make a man with such an interesting life dull? You talk about how he was obsessed with detail and then start to lay out the detail. I mean, I know it's important how many pairs of boots he ordered when he was looking after supplies for an army unit in India but I don't really care!

    Most times you've read one novel?

    Ooh, no idea. I'm slightly obsessive compulsive. So if I love something, I'll read it again and again. Lord of Scoundrels is probably the romance I've read most often. LOVE that book and still manage to pick up something every time.

    The writer you'd most like to be and why.

    I'd like to be Loretta Chase just because she's so fantastic at what she does.

    Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance?

    Definitely historical, although I've been on a paranormal kick lately.

    Linda Howard's Son of the Morning or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code?

    Definitely Son of the Morning. What a fantastic book that is!
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So Many Questions....

    The most pressing of which it 1:00 EST yet? No? Jeeeeeeeez.
    Since I can't do anything about the passage of time, slow though it is I thought I'd blog with ya'll. Et Voila, Aunty C and Mme. C have given me the perfect thing to do instead of nail-biting. Answer questions and pontificate thereon. Ha.
    Meanwhile, what about YOU? Life in general inspires me. Blue skies, great coffee. I get ideas at stoplights, like Aunty C said. Too many ideas, tooo little writing time....grins. Someone else's great story. Reading the HEA classics. Laughing w/ ya'll.
    What inspires you (besides half-dressed hunky cabana boys)? The half-dressed hunky cabana boys only inspire me if they are indeed hunky, and not tooooo young. :> Music does, a lot of times. Fairy tales, both well-known and obscure. Ancient artifacts - I love museum trips, because I find myself wondering "who wore that? what were they like?" My children inspire me to be myself, and to push it to the limit so I set an example of being all you can be and Playing Full OUT.
    Where do you find your story ideas? The same things that inspire me spark story ideas, most of the time. Sometimes though, its just a passing comment from a stranger or an overheard conversation, or watching an interaction between people who don't know they're being watched. An overheard arguement is usually good for a chapter or two. Heehee.
    And are you sure you're not related to an Irish prince? Pretty damn sure. My dh may be, but if any royalty is in my blood, its Scots. :> But the Ferguson we've traced back to came off of the boat with 12 other John Fergusons, and 6 of them had wives named Nancy or Polly (which was a common nickname for Nancy back then, for some reason.) So our research on that line stops at the boat. Oh, that's another inspiration, BTW. Genealogy research is a hobby. Learning about how they lived and died, loved and lost often sparks a story.
    What was the last wild thing you did?
    The last push-the-envelope wild thing I did was a firewalk on 40 feet of fire, and a spirit-jump off a 30 foot telephone pole. (in a harness) Mildly wild? Hehe. Let's just say it involved a few cocktails, the fire in the outdoor fire pit, and a lot of giggling.
    What is the next wild thing you're going to do? Crank up the firepit and make cocktails. Heehee. Hell, I don't know. I usually don't know I'm going to do something wild and crazy until I do it.
    Name the last three books you read Mercedes Lackey's Fortune's Fool, JD Robb's latest, Amy Knupp's The Boy Next Door, and I just started a book by Leanne Banks.
    Favourite first line of a novel? There are so of my favorites is "The seller of lighting rods arrived just ahead of the storm..."from Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Famous last words/Most satisfying ending to a novel? Jane Eyre
    Bronte or Kinsale? Bronte
    SEP or JAK? SEP
    Most boring read? A book I got in the Daphne Pubbed judging. It was self-pubbed and horribly in need of an editor. Even an musical idiot savant editor or a blind moronic copyeditor would have helped.
    Most times you've read one novel? I've read Tarzan the Ape Man and Conan the Barbarian about 32 times each. I've read LOTR (Lord of the Rings for those of you who aren't fans) somewhere around 15 or 20 times. I've read Swiss Family Robinson around 25 or 30...should I go on? Heehee
    The writer you'd most like to be and why. I want to be a better than Michael Crichton, HEA, sexy version of Michael Crichton, not because I want to switch genders anytime soon, but because he is a superb writer, incredibly prolific in multiple genres, writes for TV and movies, and some of his movies/movies from books have action figures. I want action figures. :> And multiple NYT listings. And to go to the premiere of a movie made from at least one of my books...don't think small, do I? Snork
    Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance? Both, but Paranormal first.
    Linda Howard's Son of the Morning or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code? Oooh, tough call. Can I do a switcheroo and say Dan Brown's Angels and Demons? :>
    Can't wait to read everyone else's lists! Okay, it's one...the waiting begins...
    JeanneSource URL:
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Typography Week Grand Finale: Nick Feltron!

House Numbers

    When my roommate and I have parties, our guests often accidentally knock on the apartment door below ours. That's because we are technically "Apartment #2" but we are on the 3rd floor. Our downstairs neighbors' raving lunacy just adds to the confusion.

    Needless to say, we need a house number. I was shopping around and everything I saw seemed either boring or dated. But then I stumbled upon these numbers at Design Within Reach. (Thanks, Mom!) They will do the trick....and now we can have parties again.Source URL:
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Keep Calm

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wild Weekend Meme

    What was the last wild thing you did?

    What is the next wild thing you're going to do?

    Name the last three books you read

    Favourite first line of a novel?

    Famous last words/Most satisfying ending to a novel?

    Bronte or Kinsale?

    SEP or JAK?

    Most boring read?

    Most times you've read one novel?

    The writer you'd most like to be and why.

    Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance?

    Linda Howard's Son of the Morning or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code?Source URL:
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Ideas, Inspirations and Irish Royalty

    There’s an old joke about two Irishmen engaged in a game of one-upmanship. Finally, one of them says, “Well, don’t ya know that I’m descended from an Irish prince?”

    To which the other replies, “So who isn’t?”

    Many times when I tell people that I write novels, I get one of two reactions. The person will ask where I get my ideas, or the person will gush, “Oh, I have the BEST idea for a story!”

    When this happens, I’m tempted to answer like the second Irishman, “So who doesn’t?”
    To the first person, I usually say, “Ideas are everywhere.” And no, I’m not kidding. Virtually anything and everything can inspire a story idea. I know, because I’ve had vast experience with strange and wonderful inspirations.

    The idea for my 2006 Golden Heart final was inspired by a piece of music. I’d been out running errands and listening to my favorite classical station on the radio. Now, I listen to classical music a lot and have for a long time, so when an evocative piece of music came on that I didn’t recognize, I took notice. Then it ended and the announcer said, “That was incidental music to Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s opera ‘Jewels of the Madonna'.” I remember thinking, “Wow! Nice music and what a great title!” When I got home I went online and googled the composer and the opera. After reading a summary of the libretto, I started thinking, “What if…”

    And VOILA! An idea for a GH finalist manuscript was conceived!

    Would that it always worked that way.

    Believe me, it doesn’t.

    In fact, I haven’t been struck by exactly that kind of inspiration again. At least not yet.

    The idea for my current WIP was a bit more ‘forced’, if you will. I knew I wanted to write something set in Ireland and I somehow wanted to incorporate something about the ancient Celts. Now Google is great but it only takes me so far, so I trotted down to the local library and checked out as many books on the Celts and Celtic Ireland as I could find on the shelves (one was a book on Celtic Art and Jewelry with wonderful pictures).

    After three weeks of immersing myself in the history, stories and pictures, my characters and story line coalesced enough for me to jump in and start writing. I working on Chapter 13 as I type this. I’ll let you know how it all works out.

    Meanwhile, what about YOU?

    What inspires you (besides half-dressed hunky cabana boys)?

    Where do you find your story ideas?

    And are you sure you're not related to an Irish prince?

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A Wild Weekend! What good snorking fun!

    SNORK! (It was there, I had to do it) Just got back from a party and had a liiiiiiitle too much wine. Not enough to make me jump in the pool naked - it happend and there is just NOT enough wine for that, for me - but enough to make me totally soppy and sentimental when reading Jo's post. Sigh.
    As I've no doubt mentioned ad nauseum, I was in a plotting workshop with four pubbed authors from Washington Romance Writers this time last year. I got the GH Call and couldn't plot for S**T for the rest of the two-day get together. One of said authors reminded me of that today at said party. She commented, "Boy, you sure were out of it." All I remember is that I kept thinking, gosh, I'm usually so good at plotting, where has my brain gone? (This is your brain on Golden Heart - naaaaaah-naaaaaaaah, OMG-OMG, Naaaaaa-naaaaaah, OMG, OMG) They took loving pity on me, being former GHers and Rita nominees themselves.
    Just think, there are a whole crop of unsuspecting people out there - 65 or more - who have no idea how much their lives are going to change with one little phone call. I hope they DO know to make the MOST of their GH year, and I hope they get blessed with as wonderful a group as the Packers. Of course, I want to get a call tomorrow too, so that I can float and giggle and grin again for about four weeks. BTW, as you all know, this grin is totally unexplainable to anyone who isn't an aspiring writer and member of RWA. Even if I don't get the call, I'm going to be happy-dancing for my fellow Packers who DO. I can't wait for the news, so POST IMMEDIATELY to the loop if you get called. I'm also SO looking forward to who will be the next to post that they got THE Call - the REAL Call that says "I want to buy your book." I wish that call for all of us, even more than I wish for the 2007 GH call. :> So tonight, we can all take our walk down the runway before passing the crown to next year's crew.
    Better yet, let's lurch drunkenly from side to side, stumbling down the virtual street, our crowns askew, arm in virtual arm, laughing like loons at how much punning, giggling, male-anatomy-discussing, snorking fun we've had (and will most assuredly CONTINUE to have) for this year and all the years to come! Long Live the 2006Packers.
    Jeanne, AKA The DuchesseSource URL:
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Aghhhh....the angst!

    Ok, Aunt Cindy said to come on over and get wild.

    I'm going crazy, crazy I tell ya, at the idea that I have to go work 12 hours at the hospital on the day the calls get made! It's not fair, I tell ya. I want to be at home...staring at the phone, having a heart attack whenever it rings. IF I get a call I want to run to my crit partners house and jump up and down with her and her dog Buckarudi and just sit and grin all day and drink Sangria all day in celebration.

    If I DON'T get a call I want to go over and let her talk me out of the notion that last year was just a fluke. and drink whatever she has :-)

    I've developed a sudden fear that I'll forget to forward my phone to my cell. That I won't feel it vibrate (:-0) in my pocket. That cell reception will suck in the hosptial or that I'll get a sudden rash of telemarketers calling.

    Ok. Deep breath.

    Thanks for listening


    PS My local chapter had a field trip to a museum here in Louisville called the Frazier Arms Museum. Weapons on loan from Britian's Royal Armory from 1000's to America's Wild West. Instead of The Louisville Romance Writers coming, our docent thought he would be guiding The Louisville Roman Fighters (a sign? LOL). Then he made the mistake of saying someone had corrected him that we were a group of "older ladies". We bared our teeth at him and he saw fighters allright.Source URL:
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The Last Writes

    The last day of summer. The last day of school. The last child you'll ever have.

    The last day of being the most recent Golden Heart finalists and winners.

    When my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, we had six children, the oldest nine and the youngest a two-year old toddler. Exhaustion was our watchcry and irritation a byword. We didn't buy gifts, we didn't go to dinner, and we didn't celebrate that May 21. We were too tired to contemplate the enormity of getting a sitter, getting dressed up, getting out the door.

    I flopped into bed around 7:30, right after the baby hit the sack.

    I tossed, turned, and twisted. Shards of guilt hacked away at my peace. A decade, that ought to be good for something. I jumped up, penned a quick poem -- very hackneyed and highly reminiscent of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I taped it to the shower wall where I knew my husband would find it in the morning.

    "I could not love you more if it were ten times ten that we two as one had been ... " You get the idea. What can I say? I was young and got high on internal rhyme in those days.

    The point is that it was not the last day of our marriage, our love, or our passion; rather, it was a benchmark on the road to a mutually satisfying union. I didn't need to create an immutable artifact for that day.

    Today is the last day of our reign as Golden Heart finalists and I feel that same sense of urgent commemoration. Where are the drums? The cymbals? The apocalyptic heralding of . . . something.

    I want a farewell party. A de-initiation. A disembarkation from the mother ship. An assurance and a guide to the perilous and often treacherous sojourn into the world of published writing.

    To celebrate, I sit here in my writing space sending bangles and bubbles and baubles your way, fellow Six Packers. I'm thrilled to be part of such an elite group. One that never will -- and never can -- pass this way again. But one that, like a strong relationship forged in fire, can be stronger than ever. Love you, guys.

    jo, the sentimental fool
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Moonwalk Necklace

Friday, March 23, 2007

Talking about Education

    First off, GREAT cover Donna! Isn't it so cool to see your name on a book!

    I haven't experienced that....yet but fully anticipate doing so in the future.

    Christine posed the question "What was the best thing about being a GH finalist". I would echo her sentiment of discovering a new group of friends. Friends who KNOW what it is like to receive the honor of having their manuscripts recognized on a national level.

    From the moment I received the call 1 year ago today, I began learning. Learning how this credential can open a doors a bit more. Can get your work considered maybe a wee bit faster. Can stroke your ego when someone congratulates you at National. (I never will forget Caren, sitting across from you at the President's Retreat lunch and you reading my name and saying "Joan Kayse! I read THE PATRICIAN'S DESIRE and loved it." At that moment I loved you too :-)

    My education continued (not nearly as exciting as Ms Brimly's....DRAT) when I had to learn to endure professional jealousy from very close friends. (et tu Bruti).

    But through it all were you ladies of the '06 Packers. I've looked, I've listened and I've learned. Thank you

    Joan who now is going back to revising!Source URL:
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Place in the Sun

    I'm Australian, so while Aunty Cindy's spring has sprung, I'm holding on to the last dregs of summer, season of beach holidays and falling asleep watching the cricket, even though officially, summer ended almost a month ago. I guess it's a bit like our current Golden Heart finalist status--soon to slip away through our grasping fingers like the pure white sand on that pristine beach.
    But we've taken away something more important than split ends and tan lines from this experience. A few of us have sold our books and others are nervously swigging their pink cocktails, awaiting this year's 'call', but we've also made lasting friendships among our fellow finalists, something you need on this crazy journey to publication. Plus, we have so much fun together! That's why we decided to take it to a blog.
    Soon, we'll be popping the pink champagne to congratulate the new crop of GH finalists. So I'd like to ask the others of the '06 Pack, what was the best thing about your GH experience?
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