Saturday, March 29, 2008

Under the Influence

Way back when, I asked my crit partners for topics to blog about and every once in a while, I pull one out to consider. Today's came from Judith Leger who had blogged about a dream that influenced her writing. "What influences your writing?" she wanted to know.

Hmm...

Well, really. What doesn't? Like Judy, I've written scenes based on dreams. I've had people ask me to write a story for them and had scenes floating in my head before I've even walked away. A Little Slice of Heaven came into being when the guys in my local pizzeria wanted to know why no one ever writes a romance about a pizzeria. (And of course, since then La Nora came out with Blue Smoke, but that's a story for another time.) Moments in history, famous quotes, songs, the couple in the car next to me at the traffic light--they're all fodder for my imagination. The only things I need are a good cup of coffee, some outside stimuli, and a keyboard. The rest is...dare I say?...magic!

What influences your writing?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday 13: What's In a Name?


So you're looking for a new pen name? Or the perfect moniker for your character? My day job provides me with a huge array of names to choose from--many unusual or downright bizarre. Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider. Bear in mind, these are all real first names. Some poor schlep is walking around telling people, "Yes, that's my real name."


1. Oxygen

2. Belly

3. Heavyn

4. Embrya

5. Greymaire

6. Karamello

7. Harlot

8. Kahlua

9. Successful (Not too much pressure there, huh?)

10. Sufferine

11. Extra (I'm guessing this poor kid came as a total surprise to his parents.)

12. Diamonique

13. Velvita


Now don't you feel better about the name your parents pinned on you?


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

August 1st!

That, according to my editor, is the release date for A Little Slice of Heaven. Not a bad birthday present, eh? Stay tuned for details as they develop.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday 13: 13 Unusual Key Words That Brought People to my Website


I love my Statcounter. It tells me all kinds of fun things about visitors to my website. One of my favorites is the Keyword Activity. For those who don't know, this is the term typed into a search engine that resulted in a hit on my site. Here are 13 Unusual Keywords That Brought People to GinaArdito.com:




1. Hamster wallpapers: Oh, yes. Didn't I tell you? I collect wall coverings of furry rodents. You never know when an interior designer will decorate a Habitrail and I'll have cornered the hamster wallpaper market! Bwa-ha-ha!


2. OMG animals: As in Odd Multi-Gilled animals? Oily Margarine Glutton animals? Orange Mango Gelato animals? Take your pick.


3. World's biggest feet: Hmmm...are these mine? How embarrassing!


4. Daffodils and daisies love romance: Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamsee divey!



5. Stalker gina psycho: Whoops! Looks like the men with butterfly nets are onto me. Time to go underground again.



6. French kiss bare boobs: Hey! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!



7. Recipe for Eleanor Roosevelt's Pink Clouds: First, drink a bottle of gin...



8. Animated animals: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote (What? This isn't the $10,000 Pyramid? Dang!)



9. Emma Thompson naked beach: Ooh! Does Kenneth Branagh spend time there? 'Cuz then I'll go!


10. Origin of ardito: You see, when a mommy and daddy love each other very much...


11. Hugh Laurie rising sign: Is there a doctor in his House? (Okay, bad pun. Forgive me.)


12. Dove wrapper sayings naughty: Bird foil maxims bawdy. (Makes about as much sense, right?)


13. Temari: Isn't that the song from Annie? "Temari, temari, I wuv ya, temari..."


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...


Kaige just awarded me this Excellent Blog Award. (She claims she visits me all the time...OMG, I have a following!) Thanks, Kaige. You might want to schedule that CT scan now. LOL.
The Rules: By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. You deserve this! Feel free to recognize blogs that have already received this award. (Thank God! 'Cuz that makes it easier for those of us who visit the same blogs all the time.)
So here's my list of Excellent Blog Award Winners:
Debora Dennis (if only to see what her page looks like each day.)
Midnight Moon Cafe (a must-read everyday, even if it's just for the men!)
Gwen Mitchell (such clever writing...)
ChumpletWrites (aka Sandra Cornier--a sassy girl with lots of Canadian 'tude!)
Dawn Brown (my classy Canadian girl!)
Zee (my T13 partner in crime)
KatieWrites (who needs to write on her blog a little more often!)
Judith Leger (my Suite Judy Bloo Eyes!)
Ali (my newest addiction...addition?...a place I recently discovered and love to hang around!)
Congratulations, ladies! You've earned it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

That's the news. You want the weather?

You know how you go on vacation, you have a wild time, but when you finally go home, you just kinda collapse and breathe a sigh of relief? Well, while I haven't been on vacation, I've been on a wild ride this last week and now have come home to decompress and put life back in order. Don't ask. I won't tell. Thanks to those of you who popped over to RWU's blog and shared my time there.

So...what's happened lately that I'm willing to talk about? Well, the final galleys for A Little Slice of Heaven were approved and sent off for production. Clearly, a release date can't be far behind.
The LIRW has announced their guest speaker for this year's Annual Agent/Editor Luncheon. Hang on to your hats, kids. This year's guest of honor is Shauna Summers of Bantam Books. The date of the event is Friday, June 13, 2008. I hope to see you there! My dear friend, Deb Dennis is this year's Luncheon Chairperson, and I know the event is in very capable hands.

Oh...and in case you missed the tickertape parade, I've been given the title of Vice President-Communications with the LIRW. What does it mean? Basically, it means the Co-Presidents figure I do the work anyway, I may as well have the title. (Fools, they. By now they should know I do the work because I love the organization and wouldn't have it any other way!)

Congratulations to another dear friend, Candace Gold on her new release, A Heated Romance, and her uber-successful booksigning/author talk on Saturday. She and I are hoping to do a signing together in the near future. I hope you'll stay tuned for details about that as they develop.
So...what have you been up to in my absence?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Guest Blogging This Week

I'll be the featured blogger this week over at Romance Writers Unlimited's blog, so come visit me there! See you back here next week!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Telephone Tag

Kat Oxley threw down the new gauntlet. So here goes. First the game:

Did you ever play the game Telephone when you were a kid? It's sometimes called Rumor or Gossip. You sit in a circle, the bigger the better. The ring leader will tell a "secret" to one person. That person turns to the person on their left and whispers it. Each person hears the "secret" on one side and tells it on the other until it goes all the way around the circle. The last person says out loud what they were told, then the ring leader says what everyone started with. Most of the time it isn't the same thing, and can be quite funny.

Using the power of the Internet, let's give it a try. I'm going to write a paragraph. Your job is to make a change. It can be as little as one word or as big as twenty words. You can change names, plot and setting, but don't change it so much that we can't tell how it relates to what (Alice) started with. Post your paragraph on your blog with a link to Alice's post. She will link back to you. Then, pick three people to whom you will "whisper" your modified version. Let them know they are up next. Link to them and to the person who passed it to you (me).

Okay, so now the rules:

1. Change something in the paragraph you received: a minimum of 1 word--a maximum of 20 words.
2. Link to the post at http://aliceaudrey.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/alice-calling/ and leave a comment so we can keep track of what happens to the paragraph. Alice will link back to you.
3. Link to the person who tagged you, preferably to whereever they posted their version of the paragraph.
4. Tag three people you think might enjoy this game. Let them know they've been tagged. Link to them.
5. Include these rules in your post.

And the paragraph:

"Jocelyn and Will went up Knob Hill to catch a cable car. Jocelyn stumbled on the rail and damaged her Holy Grail and asked Will to kiss the owie. Will was happy to oblige Jocelyn's innocent desire without further bruising, but his kisses weren't enough. If he hadn't already lost his heart to Jocelyn, he would have that night."

Now my victims: Debora, Jennifer, and Chumplet will do.

Go for it, ladies!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday 13: The Soundtrack of Your Life

Someone sent me this game and since there are 13 categories, I thought..."Great! A perfect Thursday 13 in the making!" Here are the rules for anyone else who wants to play along:



If your life were a movie, what would the soundtrack be?


Open your music library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod). Put it on shuffle. Press play. For every section, type the song that's playing. Next section : press the next button. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool. Play it as it comes up.


Okay, so here goes...

1. Opening Credits: Chuck E's in Love by Rickie Lee Jones (I can see this. A view of NYC's skyline and then that smoky voice singing, "How come he don't come and PLP with me down at the meter no more?")

2. Waking Up: You're a God by Vertical Horizon (Who told?)

3. Falling in Love: Storybook from The Scarlet Pimpernel Broadway recording (An excellent choice! "Come, let's believe love can be just as sweet as it seems. Let's live on dreams...")

4. Breaking Up: Baby Grand by Billy Joel and Ray Charles ("Late at night when it's dark and cold, I reach out for someone to hold..." Ooh, this is getting eerie, doncha think?)

5. Life's Okay: Honestly OK by Dido ("I just want to feel safe in my own skin; I just want to be happy again..." I swear, I didn't scroll for this. There must be a ghost in my MP3 player!)

6. Mental Breakdown: Got to Give It Up by Marvin Gaye (Yeah, I'm pretty sure if I started to go nuts, the drums and rhythmic humming would be on a continuous loop in my head.)

7. Flashback: Linger by The Cranberries (I like it. Sounds like perfect music for a slideshow or a camcorder commercial.)

8. Getting Back Together: Baby It's Fact by Hellogoodbye ("Baby, it's fact, our love is true; the way black is black and blue is just blue; my love for you is a matter of fact. Oh, and you love me too, it's as simple as that." Yeah, I'd say that works.)

9. Wedding: It Had to Be You by Rod Stewart (The only way it could work better is if it were Tony Bennett singing instead of Rod.)

10. Birth of Child: For You I Will by Teddy Geiger ("Oh, I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have; Cannonball into the water. I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have. For you, I will..." Yeah, that about sums up how I feel about my kids. Besides, have you seen this guy? He's A-DOR-A-BLE!)

11. Final Battle: Would I Lie to You? by the Eurythmics (Well...would I?)

12. Death Scene: Lithium Sunset by Sting (Great lyrics, a little upbeat. Good song to die to. I'll give it an 8, Dick Clark.)

13. Ending Credits: Get It Together by Seal ("We got to keep this world together, got to keep it moving straight. Love like we need forever so that people can relate..." A perfect theme song for my life!)

Damn, this was fun! Why not give it a try?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's Your Alibi?

Okay, so I'm reading a book about a woman who seemingly has it all...until the cops show up at her door one night to arrest her perfect doctor husband for murder. I've tried to ignore the brand name dropping because...after all, this is Beverly Hills, so yeah, I guess when you're following the cops to the precinct in the middle of the night, you're gonna notice right away if your shoes are Kate Spade's or Jimmy Choo's (insert sarcasm here.) When your husband's been arrested for murder, it's important that your hair's highlights look perfect (news cameras, dahling...) and you know exactly what brand of nail polish is on your daughter's fingers even if you weren't there when she did the manicure.

I'll forgive the bratty 14 year old daughter who needs a good swift kick in the whosits, and the genius son who compares the family's looming troubles to paper piled up toward the sun (huh?) as well as the 5 year old who's more window dressing than an integral part of the story. Oh, if only all 5 year olds were like this one, only popping in and out occasionally for a discussion way beyond his years, and then forgotten for the next 3 or 4 chapters...

What I can't forgive is that, throughout the story, AT NO TIME does this devoted wife/interior designer turned amateur sleuth ('cuz once again, the cops miss everything) ask her husband, "Where were you? Can you prove you weren't anywhere near this girl's apartment at the time the eyewitness places you and your car there?"

Umm...