Tuesday, February 27, 2007


News can be good and bad, both at the same time. I discovered this last week as I sobbed over my email and blog entries about a rejection that I'd just received from an agent. Rejections don't normally make me cry. I feel a bit low, think it over, fix what I can, and move on. Not this time.

I felt I'd been so close to acceptance with this submission. The rejection was so nice, so carefully worded. Wonderful compliments, and an offer to submit future work, but essentially the agent didn't like my heroine. In a romance, that is instant death. Heck, it's the heroine's journey, if she's not likeable who is going to stick around for 350 pages?

I'd taken huge risks this time. I'd started to wonder if my voice was too old. I deliberately wrote my heroine younger, made her sassier, made her what I thought would sell. Big mistake. I wrote against my normal voice. Against what I feel in my heart that it is to be a woman. When I reread the manuscript, I could see instantly why she wasn't likeable. Talk about a revelation coming too late, hindsight is indeed 20/20.

In the midst of my little session on the pity pot, a multi-pubbed author emailed me privately and said, "I make this offer infrequently but never lightly. If you would like to send me your manuscript, I'll critique it." I offered to pay her for her time. She wrote back, "Nope -- no fee. Someone did this for me early in my career, this is paying it back." She made me cry all over again. I only hope I can get published so I can do the same thing for someone else.

Then I thought of all of the people in my life who were dealing with personal tragedy, ill health, death of a loved one, chemotherapy. It put everything into perspective. I'm so grateful for what I have achieved so far. I'm grateful for my family, my friends, my health, and my humor. If this is not my time to be published, maybe the universe has something bigger in store for me. I can believe, and I can wait.

So, I went out and bought fresh flowers, new candles for the coffee table, chocolate, a nice bottle of wine, and I made myself a lovely dinner. I raised my glass and made a toast to karma. Send out a plea for help to the universe, be open to receive, arms outstretched, and you never know what will fly into them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Home from conference

The SCWC conference was nice, different, but nice. It's a change from the romance writing conferences as most writers who attend are either general fiction or thriller or sci-fi writers. Don't quite know why I keep turning up (this is the third one since 2000 that I've attended.) They aren't exactly welcoming to the poor old romance author. In fact, I fear I was the only one present. Heh. I experienced more than one or two sniffs of disdain. Oh, well. I don't apologize for what I write, a writer is a writer, and I happen to enjoy the journey of two people who embark upon the happily ever after. Call me an old romantic if you like.

There were workshops that Bob Mayer gave on point of view that helped immensely. They mirrored what I've been learning this year through the online workshop that he and Jenny Crusie are doing. In addition, the Saturday night workshop on police procedural/ forensics, etc. was quite amazing. That will help immensely in my current work, as it is a cold case. There was a veteran San Diego Homicide Detective, John Teftt, another police officer, and a Forensics expert who lectured, showed slides, and then invited us to examine the tools used in forensic examination. By 11 p.m. I was about to fall asleep, so left, but heard the session lasted well past midnight.

Now I'm home and trying to settle back into writing but feeling "itchy" can't seem to settle to anything of worth. Maybe tomorrow will be a better writing day. There's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


This has been a strange couple of weeks. Lots of "stuff" going on to keep me busy but not a whole heck of a lot to show for all of that "busy-ness."

New York City was amazing. I do so love the big apple. Good food and pleasant company. Finally got to see the Broadway show, The Producers. Had always wanted to, but for some reason kept missing it. Anyway, Tony Danza had the lead and he was really good. I mean really good. It was like the role was written with him in mind, which it wasn't. Love Mel Brooks' humor. Didn't do too much shopping this time. Prices were outrageous. Weather stayed perfect for me and only turned cold the day I left.

Oh yeah, and on the trip out of LAX they couldn't get the cargo door closed, so there was a delay. Made up the time in flight and guess what ... at JFK they couldn't get the cargo door open. Hah! We waited almost two hours, finally six pieces of luggage came down the chute and then the carousel stopped working. Forty-five minutes later, I got my luggage and a cab and arrived in Manhatten at quarter after seven, the flight arrived at three-forty p.m. Watcha' gonna' do?

When I arrived back in L.A. after an amazing flight I got my car and headed back to the desert. Friday afternoon and heading for the desert? Not good planning there. What would normally be a two hour and fifteen minute drive took four and a half. I was about to tear my hair out. If the dog hadn't been waiting to greet me I'd have checked into a hotel.

I went to a luncheon honoring Lisa Scottoline, yesterday. She's an ex-trial lawyer turned author and lives in, and writes about, Philadelphia. Her stories are wonderful. I love her character descriptions and she has incredible story lines. Loved Devils' Corner and am about to start on Dirty Blonde. Thrillers, but more legal than gore. I can read them and still get to sleep at night. Can't read all of those descriptive blood and guts things. They have me up all night peeking through the shutters. I try to convince myself nobody would try to enter my place with the huge beast I have guarding it, but after one of those stories I'm not at all convinced.

Today, I decided to be proactive instead of sitting around biting my nails and awaiting answers on my writing. I wrote a short story and had so much fun doing it. Then I packed it up to send tomorrow to a magazine. Who knows, it might get picked up. If not, it was an exercise in editing because it couldn't be longer than 1,000 words and I had to cut, and cut, and cut. Hard for a garrulous person like moi. *grin*

I've also been doing some editing on an old story that I like and putting a bit more polish on it. I'm thinking of where I'll submit it, but will wait until after the conference next week. I'm looking forward to taking classes and meeting up with fellow writers. I get stimulated by classroom learning. We have a huge CD library of workshops from RWA National conference and I never check them out. It seems my mind runs off at tangents when I'm forced to sit and listen to a taped lesson. Put me in the classroom, and I'm fully engaged. What's with that, eh?

I'll post again after conference, or if I get good news before. If not, Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Hope you get lots of smooches.