Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unexpected Positive

So, I was sitting around the house this weekend when an email arrived from a friend of mine.  It was in regard to that Twitter thing I did on Friday.  She was asking if I had any bites.  When I told her I hadn't, she expressed surprise - natch - and wondered why a particular agent hadn't snapped me up.  Then she suggested I query this particular agent directly. 

Needless to say, I was hesitant.  I've got lot going on, and... okay, I'll come right on and say it... I was afraid.  This gal seemed awesome, but her querytracker listing didn't say she wanted suspense.  (And the last thing anyone needs is another rejection.)  My friend kicked me in the ass nudged me to send a query anyway - pointing out an article where it specifically says the gal's looking for my genre. 

I hemmed and hawed, but promised to send a query.  I had planned on waiting until Monday, but Sunday night, I got a wild hair, gathered my materials together, tweaked the query letter and sent that puppy off.  I wasn't expecting anything to come of it.

I got a reply around lunch on Monday.  She wanted a full!  Coulda knocked me over with a feather. 

Anyway, after the Hubs went back to work, I sent out the full and the synopsis she asked for.  Keep your fingers crossed.

But well wishes isn't why I'm writing this post.  (Well, they're always nice, but not my main goal here.)  I wanted to let you know so you can maybe see that sometimes, when you least expect it, good things can happen.

So, send those queries out.  Even if you're crazy busy.  Even if you're pretty sure they're not the right agent for your manuscript - because the information out there says they aren't.  Even if you don't think you can take one more rejection.  Because you never know.  You could get a request for full.

And who knows?  It might turn into an offer of representation.  Stranger things have happened.

I'm not holding my breath, but I am crossing my fingers.  ;o)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Means Elsewhere

As usual, I'm elsewhere today.  Mondays mean my day to blog over at The Killer Chicks where I'm talking about my crazy-pants life and how awesome it is to be busy.

Mondays also mean a guest post at The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival (usually).  This week, I badgered the lovely and talented Karyn Good into writing a most excellent guest post.

Please stop on by and leave a comment or two. 

And if you haven't responded to this month's poll at The Guide, take a second and enter your totally anonymous answer.  (Seriously anonymous.  I have no clue who answers these things.)  Also, if you're not currently 'following' The Guide, would you do that for me, too?  It's not just for my own personal satisfaction - some industry people look at these things when they're judging whether I'm worthy of their notice.

See you out there on the interwebs!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trying and Failing... and Trying Again

As some of you may know, I joined in the Twitter pitch party thing yesterday.  I ended up sending out a bunch of tweets for Djinnocide - in various forms - and a couple tweets for Dying Embers.  And the response I got - I mean, other than from friends - was...


True, one agent did say that if she 'favorited' your tweet, she wanted you to send her pages, and after some checking I realized my Twitter settings didn't alert me when people who aren't my friends favorite my tweets.  (It does now.)  Still, unless that one agent tried to favorite me and I don't know it, I didn't get a single response.

But I tried.  I sent my loglines out into the world during a pitch contest and I didn't die.  I even tweaked my loglines, so they're crisper and catchier.  It took a lot of work, and more than a little indigestion, but I did it.  Of course, it was an epic fail.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I tried something new.  A change was presented to me and I embraced it.

And I will try again.  As many times as I need to try, I will try.  Because the only real failure is giving up.

What about you?  What haven't you given up on?

Oh, and to curb any curiosity for those who don't Twitter or didn't see my tweets, here they are (with the hashtag #pitmad removed)...

Djinnocide - paranormal suspense: Even all-powerful genies aren't safe when someone unleashes the deadliest of wishes.

When Jo began saving her fellow genies from those 3 wishes, she didn't dream they'd ever need saving from something worse. 

When something evil starts killing the genies Jo's devoted her eternity to freeing, she discovers a fate worse than slavery.

When Jo began saving her fellow genies from slavery, she didn't dream they'd ever need saving from something worse.

Emma's mission to kill all her old flames leaves Agent Jace Douglas to catch a murderous pyromaniac despite her own fear of fire. 

Not bad, eh? Or am I the worst pitch-artist ever?

Update: Thanks to the supreme Twitter goddess - you know who you are - I now know how to check if people have favorited any of my tweets.  And, no, nobody did.  :shrug:

Friday, January 25, 2013

This and That

In case you missed the announcement at The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival (or you missed it over at Alexia Chamberlynn's blog), some people having a Twitter pitch party where you use the hashtag #pitmad* and tweet your pitches.  After which, I assume, anyone who likes your pitch will get in touch with you.  Personally, the idea scares the bejeebers out of me.

In other news, I had submissions out to three publishers.  The two for Dying Embers have... well... died.  As far as I can tell, Djinnocide is still alive at Harper Voyager.  Just as well, I guess, since I'm going to be a busy beaver soon.  (And that's the story I'm sticking with - like Aesop's fox who didn't want those sour grapes anyway.)

The reality of it, though, is that no matter how busy I think I'm going to be, I'll always have time to work.  (Or, if there's a contract involved, I'll make the time to work.)  My problem, though, is right now I'm thoroughly unmotivated.  I don't have anything driving me to get writing done.  Yeah, it's there.  And yeah, I still love it.  But no, it's not motivating me on its own.  Must be the Mid-winter Malaise has me in its dastardly clutches.

If you need postage, buy 'forever stamps' TODAY.  Stamps go up by a penny over the weekend, and if you get the 'forever stamps', they still work for the higher rate.  Who knows what the freight rates will be.  :shrug:  Last year they went up like 8 cents for the lowest cost Media Mail package.  Bleh.  I know it's only 8 cents, but they're nickel-n-diming me to death.

What's going on in your world?  Any this or that to share?

*corrected after Janet pointed out I had it wrong.  D'oh.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On Commenting

Years ago, when I was a newbie at this online stuff, I started hanging out at a writing forum.  I got so excited, I just started commenting on whatever thread blew my skirt up.  And very shortly I got my paddies smacked for commenting on a post that was over a year old.  :gasp:

Oh, the shock.  Oh, the horror.  How DARE I?  And really, how could I have been so gauche as to comment on an OLD post?

Of course, I scurried away like a little mouse and never ever ever again commented on a post without first looking at the date it was posted - because commenting on a post older than, say, a week is a cardinal sin.  (Unless other people are still commenting on it, then it's okay.)

Personally, I could care less* when someone comments on one of my posts.  They're out there and if you have something to say, feel free to add to the comment section.  If it's really awesome, I might just point it out in a newer post to get the conversation going again.  I will never make you feel stupid for commenting on something old - and I won't allow anyone else to either.  (Ah, the joys of comment moderation.)

But I still don't comment on other people's old posts - even when I just found their awesome words and feel like I've got something new to add.  :shrug:  I blame that old experience at that forum.

How about you?  Are you the kind of person who won't comment if the post is old?  What say we break out of the mold and stop worrying about the age of posts together? 

And if you do comment on an old post only to encounter a troll like I found, remember - the problem is his, not yours.  ;o)

(Sorry I forgot to add the *.  Here it is...

* Yes, I know the right way to say that is 'couldn't care less' but above is the way I've always said it, so right or wrong, I'm sticking with it.  )

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Specific Gravity of Manuscripts

Yeah, I'm probably not using the term 'specific gravity' anywhere close to right, but I'm a writer, not a scientist, Jim*.

This morning as I was surfing through the blogosphere a friend mentioned that she dropped her 30K WIP to start something new and sparkly.  She also wondered whether it was the right thing to do and whether this happens to any of the rest of us.  In my comment to her, I said something about how you have to go with what's pulling at you the hardest, which of course led me to think about how, in our world, each manuscript seems to have its own gravitational pull.  And since you can't defy gravity, you have to go with whichever story is pulling at you the hardest.

Think about it.  Here we all are, swirling around in our own little universes - drifting this way and that until some story pulls at us hard enough to make us want to sit down and write it out.  If it's an awesome idea, it eclipses every other idea.  We have no choice but to stick with that manuscript until we either finish it, in which case it loses it's gravity.  Or for some reason the story's pull weakens enough to let something else's gravity pull us away.

Now I could go totally geeky and come up with some kind of formula to show how this manuscript has more gravity than that manuscript.  (X cubed time Y squared minus I is greater than Z).  But I always sucked at math.  

You can fight the pull, of course.  It takes a lot of work.  It takes more than a fair bit of belief that no matter how much another story is pulling, the one you're currently in orbit around is worth finishing.  And then also tenacity and sheer stubbornness help.  Basically, in this business, your engines have to be strong enough to hold you in place when you need them to, or to let you break free when the situation calls for it. 

Still, sometimes you're stuck screaming "I'm givin' her all she's got, Cap'n!**" and still get sucked into the black hole that is a new, but scary and unknown, idea.

And that's okay, too.  Who knows what wonders you might find in there.  ;o)

One thing I have learned, though.  The longer I do this, the easier it is for me to note the new and sparkly ideas on my star chart and promise myself to explore them later so I can finish what I'm already working on.  Even then, though, the stars call to me and sometimes they whisk me away.

How about you? 

*Gratuitous Star Trek reference since I'm going all scientific on your asses.
** Yeah, there's another one.  If you didn't know I was a geek before, you do now.  Geeks of the World UNITE!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Better Late Than Never: A Contest Winner

Back on New Year's Day, I promised y'all a contest.  Well, I forgot about it.  Then last week, some little spark of memory puttered it's way into the conscious part of my brain and poked me hard.  So, I wrote myself a note to draw a name for the 1K Post contest.  And here we are finally getting around to it.  (Good thing I looked at my note this morning, eh?)

Without further ado, or distractions, or whatnot...  The winner is:

Ava Z.

Congratulations Ava Z!  I just need you to email me with your choice of ebook (under $10), and I'll have it sent as a gift to the email address you provide.  (Just please get back to me by the end of the month - otherwise I'll forget again and you'll never get your prize.)

Thanks again to all the people who participated.  And thanks to all the lovely commenters and followers I've had over the years.  You're all awesome and if I could give every one of you a prize, I would.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Addicted to Series

Or is that serieses?  MS Word says no.

Anyway, after reading Silver James awesome recommendation for Darynda Jones 'Charley Davidson' series, I realized that perhaps I am addicted to too many other series to add another to the mix. 

Since admitting you have a problem is half the solution, here is a list of series I'm currently addicted to:

The October 'Toby' Daye series by Seanan McGuire
The Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire
JB Lynn's Hitwoman series
The Monster Hunter series by Larry Correia
The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
The Runelords by David Farland
The Darkyn, the Kydred and the Lords of Darkyn series by Lynn Viehl
The Lucy Kincaid books by Allison Brennan
The Guardian Angelinos by Roxanne St. Claire
The Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty
The Kris Longknife books by Mike Shepherd
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
The Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter
The Moonstruck series by Silver James
and Silver James Faerie novels
Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp books
The Deacon Chalk series by James R. Tuck
The OSI books by Jes Battis
Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros books and her series on the Tricksters
The Rogue Agent series by K.E. Mills
The Deadtown novels by Nancy Holzner
Whichever series Jeaniene Frost is currently on now.
Gini Koch's Alien Novels
The Wing Slayer Hunter novels by Jennifer Lyon (if she ever gets to write more of them)
The House of Comarre by Kristen Painter
The Across the Universe novels by Beth Revis
The Occult Crimes Unit books by Justin Gustainis

And that's not everything.  That's just what I could glean from last year's 'books read' post.  I still love Harry Dresden, but I haven't read the last book Jim Butcher wrote about him.  Plus, there are a few series that came to a close that I would definitely buy if there were more of them - like Allison Pang's Abby Sinclair books, or more Codex Alera novels, or any additional Newsflesh stuff Mira Grant puts out. 

I've got a problem.  Not that I mind being addicted.  No, my problem runs more along the lines of 'so many books, so little time (and so few dollars in my book budget).

What series are you addicted to?  Come on and share.  It's not like I'll get addicted to those to.  Really I won't.  I can quit reading new series anytime. 

Quit bogarting the books. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Embracing Change

Well, I spent the better part of the day embracing some of the changes in my life.

Small changes like getting used to my very first ereader.  It's a lovely little Kindle I named Zoe that a fairy godmother left on my doorstep (with the aid of a nice man in brown).  She's lovely.  (Both Zoe and the fairy godmother.)

And large changes like booking the flights to move my daughter to Michigan next month.  She recently lost her job and in this dinky place, the employment prospects are grim.  So, she's moving back to Michigan where she'll be staying with my sister and her family until she finds work and gets a place of her own.  Off to the land of corn flakes and cocoa krispies*.

Small or large, change is scary.  Since I got used to the Kid's Nook, the smaller Kindle is a little daunting.  Trying to figure everything out.  Getting used to the keys instead of the touchscreen.  But this is so much better than reading my Kindle books over here on the computer.  And since I've been with the Kid for 19 years now - minus the stint at college, where even then we talked every day - I'm a little nervy about it.  My sister said something about 'empty nest syndrome' and even though she was referring to something else, she hit the nail on the head.  Being kid-free for the first time in almost twenty years (over twenty if you count the 9 months she was in ma belly) scares the bejeezus out of me.

But I'll get over it.  This will be different, but it will be good.  She'll get out in the world, hang out with her cousin, experience the awesomeness that is my sister, and spread her wings.  I have no doubt she'll fly fine**.

What changes have you faced and embraced (whether you were willing to or not)?

*Battle Creek for those not in the know about such things.
** Okay, so there's a little doubt, but I'm a worrier.  In my heart, I know she can do this.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ugh and Links to Where You Ought to Be

So anyway... Life is definitely intruding upon my time on the web.  I haven't been commenting on other people's blogs as much.  I haven't been at this blog as much.  I sure as hell haven't been reading any news.  "News?  What news?  There's news?  Huh."

My back is almost back to normal.  (Knock on simulated woodgrain.)  I got out of bed this morning without any drama.  And my poor husband didn't have to put on my socks or anything.  I even made coffee.  I still spent most of the day on the couch, but that's mainly because I don't want to push anything too fast.  Relapse?  Oh hell no.

My Point 2 thing I talked about near the beginning of the month has actually been pushed back to March, so I have more time. 

And while I haven't been over here, I have been trying to do stuff.  I've written a few pages in my notebook WIP and ended a chapter.  I read two, almost three, books.  I watched MTV... wait, that's a setback not an accomplishment.  At least I watched MTV when they actually had music on, so I'm not a total slug.  LOL

Anyway, in case you were waiting for me to be spectacular here, you missed me being spectacular over at The Killer Chicks this morning with my Monday post (Finding Writing Friends).  Additionally, there was even more spectacularness* courtesy of my wonderful friend, the most awesome writer, Silver James when she guest posted at The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival.

Finally, if you want something else covered in awesomesauce (if I do say so myself), go visit my blog from Tabula Rasa's Lucky Seven Sunday Snippet wherein I share a bit more of Unequal or hit The Killer Chicks tomorrow for Teaser Tuesday.  I'll be sharing a bit of the WIP I've been tinkering with over there on the couch.

Plus!  I'm planning on dropping another survival tip at The Guide on Wednesday - provided my back doesn't decide to play 'let's see how fast we can make B.E. drop to the floor'.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

*if spectacularness isn't a word - which spell-check is saying it ain't - it oughta be.  Ditto for awesomesauce.

Added for flavor:  If you stop be here any given morning and don't see me, check the right sidebar for links to whether my other blogs have been updated.  I'm everywhere, baby.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 - Books Read

It's that time of year again.  The beginning of my books read for the year.  I read 90 books in 2012, but looking ahead at 2013, I'm only committing to 50**. (yeah about that...***)

Here they are, in reverse order...

111. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (12/29/13) - Literature*
110. Embraceable You by Kat Henry Doran (12/27/13) - Romance*
109. Something More by Keena Kincaid (12/27/13) - Romance*
108. Lonely Road to You by Jannine Gallant (12/25/13) - Romance*
107. Defiant (Kris Longknife #3) by Mike Shepherd (12/24/13) - SF
106. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (12/22/13) - Literature*
105. Vile by Debra Webb (12/21/13) - Romantic Suspense
104. Rubbed Out by Riley Adams (12/16/13) - Mystery
103. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun (12/9/13) - Mystery
102. Nearly Departed by JB Lynn (11/30/13) - Paranormal Mystery*
101. Christmas Moon by Silver James (11/25/13) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense*
100. Inevitable by Tamara Hart Heiner (11/24/13) - YA Paranormal Mystery*
99. Sherlock's Home: The Adventure of the Contentious Crone by Pamela Rose (11/24/13) - Mystery*
98. To Be, Or Not by Margo Hoornstra (11/22/13) - Romance*
97. Hot Water by Maggie Toussaint (11/21/13) - Romantic Suspense*
96. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire (11/16/13) - Urban Fantasy*
95. Cold Snap by Allison Brennan (11/14/13) - Romantic Suspense
94. Warbound by Larry Correia (11/8/13) - Alternate History Urban Fantasy*
93. Season of the Witch by Silver James (11/3/13) - Urban Fantasy*
92. Dark Horse by J.R. Rain (11/2/13) - Hard-boiled Detective*
91. Hellhound by Nancy Holzner (10/30/13) - Urban Fantasy*
90. Promises Promises by Silver James (10/27/13) - Romance*
89. From Mangia to Murder by Caroline Mickelson (10/27/13) - Mystery*
88. Witch World by Andre Norton (10/26/13) - SF/F
87. Keep Me Ghosted by Karen Cantwell (10/20/13) - Paranormal Romance*
86. Heroes Proved by Oliver North (10/19/13) - Political Thriller
85. Lords of the Seventh Swarm by David Farland (10/17/13) - SF*
84. Doggone Dead by Teresa Trent (10/15/13) - Mystery*
83. Zombie Patrol by J.R. Rain & Elizabeth Basque (10/13/13) - Zombie Apocalypse*
82. The Doorknob Society by M.J. Fletcher (10/13/13) - YA Steampunk/Fantasy*
81. Jilted in January by Clarice Wynter (10/10/13) - Romance*
80. Never Too Far by Thomas Christopher (10/9/13) - YA Dystopian*
79. Obsession by Jennifer Lyon (10/8/13) - Romantic Suspense*
78. Through a Crimson Veil by Patti O'Shea (10/7/13) - Paranormal Romance
77. Gray Justice by Alan McDermott (10/5/13) - Political Thriller*
76. Wedding Bell Blues by Ellie Ferguson (10/5/13) - Romantic Suspense*
75. The Billionaire's Con by Mackenzie Crowne (10/3/13) - Romance*
74. Unearthed by Jerri Drennan (10/3/13) - Paranormal Romance*
73. The Enemy We Know by Donna White Glaiser (10/2/13) - Suspense*
72. Magic of Thieves: Legends of Dimmingwood #1 by C. Greenwood (9/30/13) - Fantasy*
71. Mad About You by Stephanie Bond (9/29/13) - Romance*
70. Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn (9/28/13) - SF
69. Ruthless by Debra Webb (9/24/13) - Romance Suspense
68. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (9/21/13) - SF
67. Hotter on the Edge by Kellison, Klein and Slade (9/15/13) - SF Romance*
66. How (Not) to Kiss a Toad by Elizabeth A. Reeves (9/14/13) - Paranormal Romance*
65. Cafe Midnight by Silver James (9/14/13) - Mystery*
64. The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness by JB Lynn (9/13/13) - Mystery*
63. That Ol' Black Magic by Silver James (9/9/13) - Urban Fantasy*
62. The Last Man by Vince Flynn (9/3/13) - Political thriller
61. After a Lean Winter by David Farland (8/25/13) - SF*
60. The Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne (8/16/13) - Romantic Suspense*
59. First Frost by Liz DeJesus (8/14/13) - YA Fantasy*
58. A Prescription for Delirium by Noree Cosper (8/12/13) - Urban Fantasy*
57. Revenge by Debra Webb (8/10/13) - Romantic Suspense
56. Trouble in Mudbug by Jana Deleon (8/9/13) - Paranormal Mystery*
55. Alien in the House by Gini Koch (8/7/13) - SF
54. The Heroes of Edenville (Unusuals #1) - by A.N. Wunderlin (8/4/13) - NA UF*
53. Invisible by Cecily Paterson (8/2/13) - MG Fiction*
52. The Dare by Karin Tabke (7/31/13) - Erotic Romance*
51. A Job from Hell by Jayde Scott (7/31/13) - Paranormal Romance*
50. I'd rather not say (7/25/13) - YA Dystopian*
49. Slide by Jill Hathaway (7/23/13) - YA Paranormal Suspense*
48. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (7/21/13) - YA Fantasy*
47. Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia (7/18/13) - Urban Fantasy*
46. Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter (7/16/13) - SF/F
45. Out for Blood by Kristen Painter (7/12/13) - SF/F
44. Wicked Circle by Linda Robertson (7/9/13) - Urban Fantasy
43. Exposed by Laura Griffin (7/5/13) - Romantic Suspense
42. Possession by Jennifer Lyon (6/23/13) - Romance*
41. Rogue Moon by Silver James (6/22/13) - Supernatural Romantic Suspense*
40. The Jewel of Babylon by Jacob Hammes (6/22/13) - Paranormal Suspense*
39. Storm Surge by J.D. Rhoades (6/13/13) - Suspense*
38. What Stays in Vegas by Beth Labonte (6/11/13) - Women's Fiction?*
37. Stolen by Allison Brennan (6/9/13) - Romantic Suspense
36. Beyond the Gate (Golden Queen #2) by David Farland (6/8/13) - SF/F*
35. The Match by Quent Cordair (5/28/13) - Literary*
34. The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox (5/25/13) - Paranormal Romance*
33. Whispers by Travis Erwin (5/22/13) - Literary*
32. Rage (Faces of Evil #4) by Debra Webb (5/21/13) - Romantic Suspense
31. The Housewife Assassin's Handbook by Josie Brown (5/20/13) - Romantic Suspense*
30. Power (Faces of Evil #3) by Debra Webb (5/19/13) - Romantic Suspense
29. Ill Met by Moonlight by Sarah A. Hoyt (5/17/13) - Fantasy*
28. Impulse (Faces of Evil #2) by Debra Webb (5/10/13) - Romantic Suspense
27. Obsession (Faces of Evil #1) by Debra Webb (5/8/13) - Romantic Suspense
26. A Bullet for Cinderella by John D. MacDonald (5/4/13) - Hard-Boiled Mystery
25. The Hitwoman and the Family Jewels by JB Lynn (4/27/13) - Mystery*
24. The Golden Queen by David Farland (4/26/13) - SF/F*
23. We Blazed by David Farland (4/18/13) - SF*
22. Guns and Roses: Murder She Writes Presents (4/18/13) - Romantic Suspense*
21. The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca (3/20/13) - Romance*
20. To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean (3/19/13) - Historical Romance*
19. Reckless by Allison Brennan (3/16/13) - Romantic Suspense*
18. Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck (3/15/13) - Urban Fantasy*
17. The Hitwoman Gets Lucky by JB Lynn (3/12/13) - Mystery*
16. The Proposition by Jennifer Lyon (3/11/13) - Romance*
15. Slashback by Rob Thurman (3/10/13) - Urban Fantasy*
14. Midnight Blue Light Special by Seanan McGuire (3/8/13) - Urban Fantasy*
13. Super Zero by Rhonda Stapleton (3/4/13) - Romance*
12. The Love Dog by Elsa Watson (3/2/13) - Romance
11. Dead Suite by Wendy Roberts (2/28/13) - Paranormal Mystery*
10. Bride's Moon by Silver James (2/27/13) - Supernatural Romantic Suspense*
9. Between by Kerry Schafer (2/17/13) - Paranormal Suspense*
8. Armed and Fabulous by Camilla Chafer (2/4/13) - Mystery*
7. Dying Wish by Shannon Butcher (2/1/13) - Paranormal Romance
6. Lunch Break by Quent Cordair (1/27/13) - Literary*
5. Faerie Fool by Silver James (1/27/13) - Supernatural Romantic Suspense*
4. Faerie Fire by Silver James (1/23/13) - Supernatural Romantic Suspense*
3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (1/16/13) - Fantasy
2. The Recruit by Monica McCarty (1/12/13) - Historical Romance
1. Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch (1/11/13) - SF

* denotes ebook

**Update: Since I've been making such good headway into my reading books in 2013, I changed the amount from 50 to 75.
*** Update: Since I've been burning up the Kindle, and only had 10 books left to go on September 14th, I'm changing the goal to the same as last year.  Let's see if I can make 90 books read this year!

Yeah, I change it to 110.  That should be an attainable, but not too easy goal.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Another Anniversary of Contemplation

19 years ago today, I did this to my car...

(Okay, so I did most of that and the jaws of life did the rest.) 

I don't have a picture of what the accident did to my body.  Suffice it to say, I fared only slightly better than my little Citation.  At least I survived.  :moment of silence for my first car - which I killed:

This morning the whole mess came tumbling back at me as I sat on the couch contemplating my aching back (which went out Wednesday night) and as the memories of being an invalid all those years ago was brought into striking focus.

Years ago, I used to wear the keys to this car around my neck.  Certain people told me I was morbid to wear them.  After all that happened to me, how could I possibly want a memento of it with me daily?  :shrug:  I didn't look at it like that.  For one thing, that little car saved me.  If I'd been in something made of fiberglass - instead of steel - I'd be dead.  For another thing, those keys weren't there to remind me of what I'd lost.  They were a reminder of what I survived. 

Shit happens, people.  Sometimes very bad shit happens.  And we all have several ways we can look at each tragic event.  We can use it as an excuse to fold up shop and lay around whining about our misfortunes.  Or we can use it to become stronger. 

I am not the woman who ran a redlight on January 11th, 1994.  Maybe she did die that day after all, because the person who was pulled from that wreckage is not the same person who got into her Citation that morning.  Sure, every day since, I've had to face certain challenges I wouldn't have had to face.  Some days I wish I could take away all the injuries I still deal with even after 19 years.  But I would never take away the strength I earned.

What's something that's happened in your life that's made you a stronger person?

(The above picture was scanned from a newspaper clipping.  I don't remember which newspaper but the clipping says the photo is by Ben Balog.  Thanks for getting that shot, Mr. Balog - wherever you are.  And thanks to my parents for saving the clipping.  I never got to see my car again - it was sold for scrap and crushed before I got out of the hospital.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back Out

Threw my back out last night.  Can't sit at the computer for long.  Sorry if I miss your blogs and awesomeness today.  The Kid will be checking my emails, moderating comments, doing my housework and taking care of the cats (whether she wants to or not).

If you need anything holler and she'll let me know.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Up to My Armpits

Hi all!

Things have been pretty weird around the Sanderson household lately.  Things are popping, things are stopping, things are hopping.  (heh, I rhyme good)  All of which have unfortunately left me getting farther and farther from the things I actually want to be doing - like, ya know, writing.

Not that I'm regretting the things I've taken on.  It feels good to be busy again.  For instance, I love my extra blogging duties and so far I've been pretty good about keeping up with everything on that front.  I'm excited about this thing that I've been calling Point2.  And this new thing that life has thrown in my lap - while initially not the best news ever - is turning into a positive.

I know you're all dying of curiosity, but I'm not sure I'm ready to make it all public on the World Wide Web.

Let's just say it's not pregnancy.  It's not publication or representation.  It doesn't have anything to do with health or wealth.  My marriage is still awesome - better than ever, if you ask me.  It's not anything bad.  It's just different.  Hence my 2013 mantra:

Embrace Change!

(Sometimes said at the top of my lungs because I know if I don't embrace it, it's going to kick my ass.)

And as I told my mother this morning: "At least life isn't boring."  To which she replied, "Yeah, but a little boring every once in a while is nice."  ;o)

How are things in your world?  Anything on the horizon to make life weird for you?  What would you rather have - a little boring or not boring at all?

Monday, January 7, 2013


Good morning!

I'm not here today.  Today I'm over at The Killer Chicks doing my first regularly scheduled post.  It's a get to know you post, but I dish some things about myself the followers here might not know.  Come on over!

Also, this morning over on The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival, we have a guest post by Natalie Murphy - in which she talks about writing while getting her college degree and preparing to get married.  Go give Nat some comment love.  (And while you're there, answer the poll on the left bar, please.)

And if you missed it, I posted a snippet of one of my stories yesterday at Tabula Rasa.  Plus, we've got a couple other people playing along on their own blogs.  Some good stuff out there.  Stop on by.

Busybusybusy.  Thank goodness for the ability to schedule posts.  Seriously.  ;o)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wise Words from Mom

My mom is a wise woman.  During our chat yesterday, I was relaying some industry news and bemoaning the fact that I'm too busy to act on it.  Here's how it went down:

Me: (griping about my busyness)...and a friend just sent me information about a new agent who'd be perfect for me, but I have so much going on right now...

Mom:  Don't you have a book you could send without having to work on it?  You've been at this a while.

Me:  Well, I guess... but every time I open those older books, I see stuff I could change...  because ya know, with every book I've written I've gotten better and...

Mom:  At some point you need to stop changing them and just send them out. 

That's not verbatim, but that's the gist.  

Wise words. 

I'm still not going to do send out a submission right now - but that's because the Point 2 I talked about has begun and life's about to get a little strange.  But I do see my mom's point.  I need to get off my ass, quit frittering around with the tweaking, and just keep sending stuff out. 

Cuz Mom said so.  ;o)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cleaning and Sorting and Stuff

I caught a bug this week to get some things sorted and cleaned.  First, I decided to tackle the back closet - where I keep the Christmas decorations and those boxes marked 'Office Stuff'.  I weeded down the decorations while I was un-decorating.  But the thing I was most frightened of was the loooong box.

'Office Stuff' is pretty vague, but I knew what was in there.  Plastic grocery bags--loads of them--each packed with 'important papers' from years gone by.  It took me all yesterday afternoon to get through the bags marked '2007' through '2010', and one lost one from 2004 that wasn't marked.  Anything I didn't think I'd ever need again got shredded - if it had personal info on it - or tossed.

Today I spent the morning going through the rest.  Which basically amounted to 2001-2006.  I took 3 tall kitchen garbage bags and one big black back worth of shred out to the dumpster, plus two non-shred bags.

And that was one box.  I'm such a packrat.  Bleh.

Anyway, I did find some interesting things while I was sorting:

- one of Kira's baby pictures.  I lost the rest in the great harddrive crash of '06.  I scanned it in and posted it for you.  Wasn't she a cutie?

- a sympathy card my uncle sent after my dad passed away.

- the W2s from jobs I worked in 2001 and 2002.

- a lost Christmas ornament

- the bag of stuff my mom saved from when I was a kid - which she gave to me when I had a home of my own.  Oh, the memories.  Old report cards.  Homework assignments.  School pics.  I'll post some of that another time.

What would you find if you cleaned out those boxes you have waiting for you in the back of some closet?  Or are you more organized - a place for everything and everything in its place?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

May your 2013 be awesome!

And also, this is my 1000th post at this blog!  To celebrate, I'm granting one ebook* wish to a randomly drawn name (not to exceed 1000 pennies**).  Your name goes in once for commenting (one per comment per person).  It goes in once more for being a follower here.  And, to make it interesting, it will go in one time for each of my other blogs you follow. 

So, it goes like this.  Mary Jones comments here, follows here, follows Tabula Rasa and The Guide - she gets four entries. 

People who don't comment here but follow elsewhere, don't get an entry.  Sorry.  The party is here today.  Comment, then go forth and follow.  And if you comment and already follow elsewhere, don't worry, I'll take care of it.  ;o)

Thanks for sharing The Writing Spectacle with me through 1000 posts!

* If you don't have an ereader, might I suggest downloading a copy of Kindle for PC?  It's free and it makes it easy to win contests like these.  Plus, it lets your friends who are only published in ebook form know you care.  =o)

**  That's $10.00.  I'm appreciative, but not rich.

Sorry.  Offer only good for U.S. only (unless Amazon and Canada have come to an agreement and Kindle can send books north of the border).