Friday, September 28, 2007
The music and bands of my teenage years, years filled with anti-establishment attitude, is now mainstream.
If you'll excuse me, I think I need to lie down before my head explodes...
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Congratulations, Paisley! I knew you could do it!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Daylight Magnate's Hideout
Build YOUR Dream House!
OOH! I have a Chocolatessen! Come on over! We'll make s'mores...
Saturday, September 22, 2007
It's going to be a looooooong wait until next July when the winners are announced!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Love a challenge? Prove me wrong! Write your next story, using one of these names for your heroine. Or...add to the list.
Monday, September 17, 2007
This past Friday, before their toughest competition, Nick outlined their history against the Giants. "They've kicked our butts every time we've played them. Except last time. Last time, we tied. This week, we've got the momentum to WIN!"
And guess what? They did!
For every little guy who's ever been knocked down by the competition, for every writer who's received another rejection from their dream editor or agent, I say, "Dare to dream. Dream big. Only if we continue to try can we achieve success."
Thursday, September 13, 2007
13 Hairstyles I've Worn Thru the Years (With Photos and Everything!)
Okay, I'm ready. Let the laughter begin!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Most of us, though, fall into a middle category. We know our editor is on our side, and we work together. An author must choose her battles wisely: sometimes giving in, sometimes standing her ground. Often, we mourn those scenes we're forced to delete, those scintillating bits of prose that for whatever reason don't work as well as we'd hoped. For me, nowhere does this scenario bear more truth than when a joke or humorous scene fails to gain the right reaction. Stand up comedians often talk about how they hone their craft, night after night. They'll gauge reactions from an early evening show and make improvements or adjustments in a later show that same night. For them, it's about rhythm, about word choice, and about gaining the biggest laugh with the quickest punch.
Writers, however, don't have the luxury of a truly live audience so that if the joke doesn't work in the eight o'clock show, we can't tweak it before the ten o'clock show. We have one chance to get it right. And most of the time, our preview audience consists of a few close friends (who are often too close to the joke) and an editor. So what happens when your editor doesn't get the joke? Should you stand your ground and insist it stays as is because a wider audience might pick up on the humor? Well, you could--if you're like those authors I mention who believe their own press. But sometimes it's better to take a different tack.
Basically, you have two options. The first is to make the joke stronger. Sometimes a new word choice, a quicker journey to the punch, or a new way to tell the same old cliche works. When it does, zing! Pure magic occurs. Sometimes...it doesn't. And when that happens, you're left with Option #2: ditch the joke or scene.
It's a painful decision. But ultimately, they're just words. And if they're not making magic on every page, your reader will walk away unimpressed.
Monday, September 10, 2007
"I recently blogged about a dream that inspired me. What inspires you when writing?"
In a nutshell, LIFE. Anyone I like or anything I enjoy can provide inspiration.
Take, for example, my soon-to-be-released story, A Little Slice of Heaven, which takes place in a pizzeria on Long Island. Why a pizzeria? Because the guys at one of our family's frequent haunts, Via Pizza in East Setauket, asked. Nick, in particular, wondered why no one has ever written a romance that took place in a pizzeria. I promised him I would. But then I had to find the right story out of the catalog in my head.
Enter a book of short stories by a famous British author. One story told of a wealthy woman who wanted to test whether her family's love would survive a financial downturn. Hmm... Here was something I could work with.
Now, to put the characters into place. I chose two dear friends (who don't know each other) as inspiration for the hero and heroine. Their personalities came over to the written page intact; their looks were borrowed from Hollywood. And then I set them onstage and let them direct their story to a satisfying ending. I hope you'll like the results as much as I do.
Another example would be my current WIP, Nobody's Perfect. Once again, I thank an acquaintance for placing the germ of an idea in my head. While on the practice field for my son's football team one evening, one of the moms said, "You should write about what goes on here. Think of the fun you could have!" Hmm...
The cycle begins again. My characters are in place, the stage is set. The rest is up to them. I'll let you know how it all turns out.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Hooray to my good friend, Debora, for finally moving into her new home. May you share love and prosperity within its walls for decades to come!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
As a romance writer, the event is even more joyous. Why? Because your characters have come through their turmoils with love on their sides. They will now live happily ever after. And so there is a quiet celebration in ensuring your "babies" the ending they deserve.
Today, I reached that quiet celebration moment on Two For the Money, the sequel to the soon-to-be published, A Little Slice of Heaven. Now, they'll slumber on my computer for a week or two while I reconnect with family, friends, and life. Then, I'll awaken them slowly and begin the Final Edit process before sending them off to my editor for consideration.
Ain't love grand?