Monthly Archives: August 2008

Thirteen things I loved about RWA Nationals

So yeah, I’m a bit late on talking about this, but to be honest, I’m just now coming up for air due to the day job and editing management stuff. 

 

  1. The feeling of sisterhood I get every single time I go to an RWA function…be it my local chapter meetings or the big shindig
  2. Learning something in a class I didn’t know, and realizing how it’s going to impact me immediately.  This year it was some great information on Borders and how national distribution works
  3. Free books!  Yes, my name is Terri and I’m a complete book addict
  4. Enjoying a new city…even though San Francisco is old hat for me, I loved reconnecting with one of my favorite cities on earth
  5. Meeting new people.  Believe it or not, I can actually be a bit shy in big crowds, but meeting a new person who I connect with is always exceptionally special to me
  6. Getting quality time with my critique partners…I miss them horribly throughout the year, so this is always one of the biggest pieces of Conference I look forward to
  7. Reconnecting with old friends I only see once a year
  8. Realizing the kindness of strangers (more on this in tomorrow’s post)
  9. Actually getting real, fresh sushi…kind of a hard thing to find in Oklahoma (and yet somehow I manage)
  10. The Literacy Signing.  I love participating in this, because I can’t imagine a better charity we, as writers, can support
  11. Schmoozing in the bar…and the requisite smoking area.  That’s where you always find everyone…even La Nora!
  12. Getting excited about writing again…seems like I start to poop out a bit in the creativity department about a month before Nationals…almost like I’m giving myself a smidge of summer vacation.  Brushing elbows with truly great authors never fails to inspire me!
  13. Coming home.  Two weeks on the road was a long time for me, and packing up to come home was almost a treat…because I knew I’d be greeted at the door, no matter what the hour, by my kitties!

Ode to Football Season

Okay, it’s not really an ode…maybe more of an homage.  I love football season.  Not because I particularly care for the sport, mind you…well except for the vision of all those buff guys in Spandex.  Anyway, I digress.  The reason I love football season is that it’s my prime writing time.  Not to say that the hubster infringes on it, necessarily, but I just feel a lot more freedom writing when his ass is plastered to his “man chair” and he’s totally attuned to the tube.  Then I feel free to plug in my iPod, crank the tunes and let the words flow.  On a normal week I can usually pump out at least 10K, which makes my productivity pretty damned impressive over the sixteen to twenty weeks that span the college and pro seasons.  So basically, my plan is to finish my current novella, Into the Fire, finish Live and Let Die, and maybe start playing on something else.

 

This week I only got about 4K done between Into the Fire and Live and Let Die, but I did have a plotting breakthrough on both, probably in anticipation of many moons of long days of writing.

 

So what about y’all?  What are your productive seasons?  Doesn’t have to be about writing, it can be anything you’re passionate about!

TABT…Sex, Straight Up, by Kathleen O’Reilly

 

Meeting a handsome loner on a deserted beach in the Hamptons was like being hit by lightning. One steamy weekend in bed with Daniel O’Sullivan and Catherine Montefiore was marvelously woozy from a delicious cocktail of sun, sand and superhot sex. Abruptly, though, Catherine’s forty-eight hours of fun are at an end when her family’s exclusive auction house is hit by a very public scandal. She’s ready to step in and save the day, but she’s hoping Daniel, her hot Irish hunk, will lend a hand. After all, he’s got the necessary skills and, straight up or not, Catherine wants another long drink of Daniel before another forty-eight hours are up and her legacy is lost forever!

This book was probably the most heartrending of the series for me, and because of that, it resonates long after I’ve closed the book.  Daniel was the perfect tortured hero, but not for the reason you might think.  O’Reilly tackles the loss of someone in 9/11 with ultimate finesse, making Daniel sympathetic without overly playing the tragedy card.  Catherine was also fabulously well-drawn, with her own totally understandable insecurities and hang-ups.  Watching these two come together was freakin’ beautiful, and even though, as a reader, you know there’ll be a happy ending, I found myself holding my breath for it on more than one occasion.

 

Movie/Music Monday…Drowning Pool, Soldiers

I knew this video was out there, and that Drowning Pool was giving a portion of their royalties to help returning troops in obtaining mental health counseling (and it’s much needed, trust me).  Thought you might like to see it, and if you get a chance, swing by This is For the Soldiers and sign the petition.  No moola involved, just your support.  I know folks have mixed opinions about the political nature of being in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I’d like to hope that the majority of us support the troops, if not the reason they’re there.

I think the biggest travesty is that a bill for improved veterans healthcare has been languishing in Congress since last freakin’ year.  Granted, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna pass because we’ve been seriously ramping up mental health services, but sign the damned thing already!

Okay, end of mini-rant, hope you enjoy the video!

Writing Progress…

 

I actually did pretty good this week…I worked on View a bit, and will continue to do so over the next two weeks, just to make sure I’m putting the best possible revision out there.  On my fireman novella, I actually had to scratch at least 1500 words because the direction I was taking just wasn’t working.  See, it was like this…I had my hero and heroine as complete strangers, and you know what?  It totally didn’t work.  So I scrapped the beginning and made them past lovers with a big honking secret between them.  Much better, at least I think so.

 

I’ve updated the progress meter, and my goal for the next week is to pump out 5K…I’d really like to do that, because in all likelihood I’ll also be the editor for this series (obviously not mine), and I want to get some writing done before I dive into a year-long commitment.

 

Actually, I seem to do my best writing when I’m torn in about six different directions, so editing plus running the National Reader’s Choice Awards may turn out to be a good thing!

TABT…Shaken and Stirred, by Kathleen O’Reilly

As a student and part-time bartender in Manhattan, Tessa Hart has found that a succession of roomies and cramped apartments are necessary evils in her life. Until she’s out on the street and Gabe O’Sullivan, her mentor, boss and certified babe-magnet, steps in. Any other woman would die to share his apartment–not to mention his bed–but Tessa’s determined that they should stay just friends. The fiercely independent mixologist has to prove to their skeptical coworkers at Prime–the O’Sullivans’ hot Manhattan bar–that the arrangement is strictly hands-off! But Tessa has trouble adhering to her own “no touching” rule when the actual sharing of close quarters day and night leaves her shaken and stirred…

 

This is the first book in the fabulous series by Kathleen O’Reilly.  As a reader, this seemed so much longer and more evolved than a traditional Blaze-length book, especially since so many characters were introduced and drawn so beautifully.  Tessa and Gabe are uber hot together, and when they’re out of bed, they’re truly “real” characters.  I can quite easily imagine myself bellying up to the bar at O’Sullivans and ordering a beer.  Seriously, all the characters in this series are believable, their motivations understandable, and their attraction clear.  I can’t say enough good things about this entire series, and getting to know Gabe and Tessa starts it off with a bang!

Olympics watching…

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the Olympics, but probably not with as much fanaticism as, say, my hubby *g*.  There has been a lot to enjoy, most notably for us the swimming and gymnastics.  Cycling…not so much.  Volleyball…not so much.  And speaking of volleyball, what the hell is up with the women wearing bikinis and the men being waaaay too covered in beach volleyball?  Seriously, if I’m gonna watch this sport, I wanna see some SKIN!  LOL.

 

Okay, enough of that.  So obviously the name on everyone’s short list is Michael Phelps.  And you know what, he deserves the accolades…but so does his mom.  As a single mother, I don’t even want to think about the sacrifices she had to make to get him to the point to where he was a viable contender…but she did it because she wanted to see her awkward, bullied teenager succeed.  For that she deserves a great big share of all of those gold medals.

 

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (August update)

Woohoo!  Got my RWA pile ‘o books and I’m uber jazzed…check it out!

 

  1. Devil Inside, Jenna Black
  2. Night Life, Caitlin Kittredge
  3. Then You Hide, Roxanne St. Claire
  4. Force of Nature, Suzanne Brockmann
  5. Dark Deeds at Night’s Edge, Kresley Cole
  6. The Darkest Kiss, Gena Showalter
  7. Night Rising, Chris Marie Green
  8. The Trouble With Paradise, Jill Shalvis
  9. Scream for Me, Karen Rose
  10. Wild, Wicked and Wanton, Jaci Burton
  11. Sugar Daddy, Lisa Kleypas
  12. Tall, Dark and Filthy Rich, Jill Monroe
  13. The Inheritance, Jasmine Cresswell

Back to the Keyboard…

As I said on Monday, I’m finally all caught up with my post-vacation e-mail and duties, so I’ve finally settled down at the keyboard.  I’ve been futzing around with ideas for a Keira novella I promised to do for Liquid Silver, so that’s been foremost on my plate, since I have a due date of 1 November.  But first I’ve gotta rework View a bit before sending it in to the agent and editor who requested it at Nationals.

 

With any kind of luck (and ass-in-chair, fingers-on-keyboard diligence), I’ll have View rewrites done by next week, then the first 5K of the fireman novella done by the end of the month, ideally more, but we’ll see how the words flow.

 

In the spinning ideas realm, I had a blast visiting my friend Rae Monet with Leigh and Skully, and over the course of us catching up, we actually plotted out a book based on my futuristic idea.  If we’ll actually do something with it (or me on a solo basis) remains to be seen, but it’s a fun idea, and something I might noodle with after I finish the fireman novella and Live and Let Die.

 

In a perfect world, here’s my schedule for the rest of the year:

 

View rewrites by end of August

First draft of fireman novella by end of September

60K (or 2/3 done) of Live and Let Die

 

Ambitious?  Yeah, but dammit, I really want to finish three novellas this year, and I’m 2/3 of the way there, and I’d love to finish Live and Let Die, but I’m being practical for a change *g*.

 

So what are y’all up to?

TABT…First You Run, by Roxanne St. Claire

First You Run, Roxanne St. Claire

 

Bullet Catcher Adrien Fletcher is on a mission to track down a baby given up in a black market adoption thirty years ago.  He has a list of possible names and one tantalizing clue: the infant had been marked with a tiny tattoo.  And since tattoo-hunting will mean getting up close and personal with the women on his list, he’s the perfect man for the job.  But when Fletch meets Miranda Lange, he knows she can never be just a name on his list.  If she’s not his target, he should move on and find the right woman, despite their electrifying attraction.  But Miranda is on her own mission, and every step takes her closer to a deadly trap.  Fletch may be the only man who can protect her…forcing him to choose between duty and desire.

 

Dude!  This book was absolutely fabulous.  Seriously.  Fletch was an alpha male, without being one, if that makes any sense at all.  By that I mean he respected Miranda enough to put his own needs aside to see to hers, all the while protecting her.  As a heroine, Miranda was interesting and smart without being an overly verbal brainiac, and when she and Fletch get together it’s combustible, baby!  I’m holding out for the next book in the series because I’m hoping Ms. St. Claire is at the RWA Literacy signing so I can nab an autographed copy…and even better?  If she is, we’ll be signing in the same row *g*!