Thursday, November 13, 2008

Straddling Two Worlds

Currently, I'm more than halfway through my WIP. So naturally I also received the edits for the soon-to-be-released, A Run for the Money that require immediate attention. It's a delicate balancing act. Not only because the two stories have entirely different plot lines, characters, and settings. Times like these have an incredible impact on a writer's psyche as well.

What I've discovered over the years is that editing a manuscript can often be an exercise in humility. Let's say You, as author, have written a phenomenal line. I'm talking stellar stuff. And suddenly someone else reads that glimmer of genius and remarks, "I don't get it." Or, "This has to be cut." And blam! You realize that maybe you're not Nora Roberts after all.

I know there are some authors who, after several bestsellers, may insist they won't do edits. After all, whatever they're doing obviously works, right? Maybe...

But for me, the edit process is about gleaning a reader's perspective. It's no different than receiving feedback from my critique partners. I view most of my editor's comments as a challenge. (S)he wants the same thing I want: a successful book. Do I dig in my heels or take a step back and try to see what (s)he sees?

Oh, sure. There will always be some instances where I stand my ground regarding a scene, a line, a character's motivation. But for the rest, I look at the challenge. Can I make this line better? If I change my character's belief system, what does it do for the plot? Can I strengthen the story? The idea is to put my ego on hold. Save it for the WIP, but banish it from the room when editing.

While working on a WIP, You are in control. You play God. You decide who does what to whom, when, and with what words. But in the editorial process, You are no longer in charge. Another god steps in and you work together to create a masterpiece.

At least, at the end of the day, that's everyone's wish. Right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

She Likes Me!

My latest blog award comes from the super-lovely, super-sassy Debora Dennis. And of course, I must now pass on this blog award to other well-deserving authors. And so, I hereby bestoweth this honor upon the mega-talented Judith Leger, the uber-gifted Dawn Brown, and the ultra-cool Chumplet, aka Sandra Cormier.

Congratulations, ladies! You keep me rocking and writing all year long! Mwah!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just When I Thought There Was Intelligent Life on Earth

The "Obama" jokes started. I've been really good about not preaching my political beliefs here (though if you read this blog regularly, you can pretty much guess where I stood in this year's historic election). But it's been three days since November 4th's results and I've heard or been sent far too many recycled racist jokes with Obama somehow inserted into them to make them "topical." Enough!

The man is intelligent and insightful, a gifted speaker who represents a new beginning at a time when the world is in turmoil. And now we want to bring him down with cracks about watermelon and fried chicken? Don't we have more important things to concern ourselves with? Whether you voted for the man or not, he will be the forty-fourth president of the U.S. Grow up, accept that you are now a part of history, and let's help the man move us forward. He can't do anything without support. Afraid of losing your job? Or your retirement? Worried about how you'll pay to send your kids to college? Angry at the price of gas and heating oil? Concerned about global warning? Instead of pushing "Send" on that next recycled joke, get involved. Charity's not the only thing that begins at home, so does change!

So for those of you thinking of adding me to that...ahem!...hilarious email you got, or texting me about what will be served at the Inaugural Dinner, two words: Don't Bother.

I've got better things to do with my time, like making sure my kids have the opportunity to realize their potential, and leaving the world better--not worse--than how it was handed to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why I (Sometimes) Don't Mind Le Day Job

Okay, sure, it helps pay the bills while I'm waiting for some Hollywood producer to offer me a wheelbarrow full of cash to turn my books into movies. And my bosses are super-supportive of my writing. (One boss insists that whenever I get a new cover from a publisher's art department, I print her out a copy and autograph it. She thinks they'll be worth something someday. Who am I to disillusion such sweet naivete? Another keeps me supplied with scrap paper.)

But this week, I get an extra special treat. I won the Question of the Month for the first time since I started in this place four and a half years ago. (You've heard of the Luck of the Irish? I don't have it. If my name was the only one in the fishbowl, the fish would win before I would. )

This month's prize? A $25.00 gift card to Borders! Woot-woot!

Oh, just the thought of all those books... (I shiver in anticipation and my palms are getting sweaty.)

My first choice would have been
Katherine Allred's soon to be released Close Encounters. (I was a critique partner for this masterpiece--my first real foray into futuristic romance and Kathy blew me away chapter by chapter.) But that doesn't become available for another six months! And this little gift card will never make it until April 2009--though you can bet I'm still plunking down my hard-earned cash on Close Encounters. In fact, I've already pre-ordered it.

The new
J.D. Robb book, Salvation in Death, just came out. And I do need to get my Eve Dallas fix. But the dh gets automatically notified whenever a new J.D. Robb book becomes available: this way he can't screw up my birthday, anniversary or Christmas.

I've read all the
Lisa Scottoline books. Ditto my Bertrice Small collection, which seems to take up an entire wall in the garage these days. I have every Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Sarah Strohmeyer title in print. I've devoured Shana Abe's work.

So help me spend my gift card, kids! Recommend a new author or book to me, one you've recently discovered and can't wait to dive into again and again. You can check out
My Library list on the left for samples of what I've read so far this year. If it's quirky, unique, or unputdownable, I want to know about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Rewards for Voters!

If you missed your free coffee at Barnes and Noble last week, you've got a second chance. After you've visited your local polling place, go to your local participating Starbucks, tell them you voted, and get a free cup of brewed coffee!

Want something sweet with that coffee? Krispy Kreme will be giving away free patriotic doughnuts for customers who show their "I Voted" sticker.

Ben and Jerry's is offering free ice cream from 5-8 pm. See details here.

Rock the Vote has free music downloads.

That pretty much covers life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, doncha think?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Pop Quiz: What Are You Doing Tomorrow?

I hope you plan to vote. Whatever you believe, whichever candidate you support, however long the line, regardless of the weather or your schedule: VOTE! It's a right others would die for. Haven't paid any attention over the last few months? Start reading now. Check out The League of Women Voters, VoteSmart or Vote411 for additional information on the candidates, where to vote, requirements, etc.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Help Yourself to a Slice!

Want to win a free copy of A Little Slice of Heaven? Visit the PASIC blog: 2 B Read; So Many Authors, So Little Time any time between today and November 6. Post a comment on any of the blog posts listed there. One lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of the paperback! What are you waiting for?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Look at That Scoreboard Now!"

See my progress bar for Ends...With Benefits on the left margin there? Notice anything? I've gone beyond the halfway point!

Since this is NaNoWriMo month, I'm too far along to participate. But I'm playing my own version, setting a deadline of November 30 to get the first draft done. Wish me luck. And if you're participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you the same!