Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Endings and Beginnings

I did it--finished "Nobody's Darling." Gave it to my first reader: my niece, Missy, who liked it a lot. Now it makes the rounds with a few other personal readers (most notably, my mother-in-law who happens to be my other biggest fan, naturally!) and then we'll see if we can pique a certain editor's interest.

Normally, I like to take a few weeks off between manuscripts to rejuvenate the old brain cells, but Gertrude (my Muse for those who haven't checked the other blog entries on this site) is really antsy to start the next story, Book II of the Raine Sisters Trilogy. Originally, I had assumed Book II would be "Nobody's Angel," but Gertrude kept me up last night debating the idea that, really, this story is much more suited to be "Nobody's Fool." She's got the heroine's GMC all mapped out already, so who am I to argue? Especially if I plan to get any sleep over the next few months. Score one point for Gertrude.

So...with "Nobody's Darling" ready for review, we'll begin crafting Book II: "Nobody's Fool." Stay tuned. Something tells me the ride isn't always going to run as smoothly as it is right now.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Nicholas B!

My son, Nick, turns 9 today. Almost a decade. Yikes! When I think back on all the milestones--first steps, first word (cat!), first tooth, first day of school, first bike, first team sport, etc., etc., etc.---I can see where the time flew. And there are still so many firsts to look forward to.

Yet part of me wants to go back to the times when he was an infant--particularly, the late-night feedings. Call me crazy, but I never minded getting up in the middle of the night with either of my kids. It was our "special time." The house was quiet, the neighborhood was dark, and I would snuggle on the couch with my little one. In those private moments, I could pour out my dreams for his future, sing softly, or even run a plot for my next book by my hungry baby. Not that I ever received any replies (except for a burp or two) but still...I knew he heard me and at the time, that was enough for me.

We still snuggle on the couch, still sing (not-so-softly though) and I still run plots for another book by the kids every once in a while. So maybe, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Nick's nine. Wow. Happy birthday, Nicholas B. Just remember: no matter how old or how big you get, you'll always be my baby boy!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Talk about inspiration!

This afternoon I was fortunate enough to attend a book signing for Harlequin NEXT author, Stevi Mittman. Stevi was a long time member of the LIRW until moving away, but she never forgot her Long Island roots or her LIRW pals. Her latest novel, "Who Makes Up These Rules, Anyway?" involves something she calls The Secret Handbook of Long Island Rules.
But that's not the inspiration. No, what inspired me was listening to Stevi talk about the many incarnations of this particular book. She wrote it, her agent shopped it around, and Stevi revised based on editor's requests and comments for six long years. Then lo and behold, she not only sold this manuscript but four more in one fell swoop with several more books based on the main character already in the works! How's that for amazing? It took her six years to become an overnight sensation!
Makes you think that anything is possible with time, patience and hard work, doesn't it?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some writing to do...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Do "smart glasses" make you smarter?

Anyone who's read the RWU blog knows, after years of 20/20 vision, I recently discovered my eyesight ain't what it used to be. So off to the optometrist I went, where I picked out a pair of pretty purple reading glasses--smart glasses some call 'em. (My son says they make me look like a "real writer." I don't have the nerve to ask him what I looked like before...)
Well, I've only been wearing my new glasses for three days, but all of a sudden, I'm down to my last 30 pages on Nobody's Darling and...I know how it ends! Yowza!

Could there be a link? Doubtful, but it makes me think of an idea for a new story...

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Georgia On My Mind

Not the Ray Charles song, or the theme from Designing Women either! I'm talking about the 26th annual RWA National Conference (July 26-29) in Atlanta this year. After some scary moments when I panicked because my new computer wasn't yet hooked up and a friend emailed me that the hotel rooms were almost sold out, I managed to hook up my old computer on the living room floor and get registered for the big event. And yes, I'm extremely excited about it.

I went to my first National Conference a few years ago when it was in NYC. Unfortunately, my son got sick and I had to leave early, having only attended one workshop. Last year in Reno was my first full experience and I admit to being hooked. Now, unless someone's bleeding out their eyeballs, I intend to be there every year-- from the President's Retreat on Wednesday afternoon to the cleanup on Sunday morning.

What do I love most about National? Is it the ability to share elevators with some of my favorite authors? Is it the chance to break away from Gina The Wife and Mother, to be Gina The Writer for a few days? Is it the opportunity to spend time with online friends I wouldn't otherwise see in person? Yes, yes, and yes! And this year, there are a coupla more perks: (1) I get to display my very own "First Sale" ribbon while there! Hoo-ha! and (2) I'll be attending a dinner party at the home of a very dear writer friend who lives in the area. (Keep the wine chilled, Chris!)

Want to be in Atlanta with me? Go to the RWA site and sign up! You won't be able to miss me in the crowd. I'll be the redhead with a First Sale ribbon and an infectious excitement brewing around me.