Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Going Through The Change....

Not quite the usual change, of course, but still a change for me. In honor of the redesigned Website, I've changed the blogface as well. Now, there's not as soft and leafy Dee as there is slightly edgy Dee. Not that I'm super edgy or anything, but I'm definitely not Nature Girl and I was thinking that the green look was misrepresenting that. If you get a chance to pop over there--it's not all complete, but certainly navagatable--you'll see I've got a new tagline and room to show my various writing sides. I'm hoping to have new excerpts and so on, but the writing stuff won't go away, I promise. It's all there. When the book comes out, I'm hoping to have it on my own domain, but better to practice a bit off the beaten path. :)

I wanted to take another minute to thank everyone for all the congratulations. I swear, whenever I feel over my head and totally out of my league, I'll be coming back to all of those posts to get me through. You're all so so good to me.

As for today, I'm off to the dentist. :) Final deep cleaning appt and then I'm back to business. I haven't had blogs over the holidays before, so I'm not sure how much I'm going to get done here through December. Hopefully a lot. I'll keep trying if you keep reading. :)

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Brand New Week

I had a lovely Thanksgiving. Various family, various dishes...WAAAAAAY too much food. Particularly going down my throat. Oh GOD I ate sooooo much. But, I reasoned, this is the first year when I sold a book. I deserve the fruit salad. And the pumpkin pie. And the whipped cream. And...well, I won't even go into the other rewards (but the did do quite a bit to off set all the food!)

So, as I prepare to go to bed so I can wake up early and throw the kid on his bus--please,God, I miss school--I try to think of things I need to do tomorrow. Work, of course. I did a lot of prep work and tons of that just needs to be posted, but I'm also thinking of the future. I work in PR, so, I know that to make my book a success, I have to sell it. And, I have to look forward and show what I can do. The first step to that is to rework my website. Which, thankfully, I enjoy doing. The trick is to do it secondarily. It means reworking my schedule, as well.

Oy, this is going to take some thinking.

But hey, what a great reason to fire up the braincells!

Happy Monday to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Um...I sold

I always pictured I'd jump up and down, scream a lot and freak out.

Instead I stared at my computer. And stared. And stared. And stared some more.

Then I ran to my husband and uttered the two words I wondered if I'd ever get to say. "Um...I sold."

Since he was in mid-step out of the bathroom, he turned his head, blinked twice and said..."What?"

ROFL, and thus, I suppose, begins my professional career, lol.

I don't have a lot of details and my hands are shaking, so here's the run-down, folks. :)

The book is "Betting Hearts", a comedy so damn close to the inside of me I couldn't even bear to rework it for Harlequin when they felt the heroine wasn't up to snuff. So I hid it and told myself not to try to work on it again. But I took a chance and sent it to Samhain Publishing and the editor there saw the possibilities, I suppose, because she offered me a contract.

God, 8 years of hoping to sell and I have not a clue where to start my thanking, but I know I must start with these three:

Rae--I know you said I can't make you cry anymore, but just one more time, I promise. I have to thank you first, because you've listened to me whine the longest. Thank you SO much, for being there at every turn, no matter how bad it got or how wrong I could ever be. I would have given up a long time ago without you, on so many different things. You are the truest of friends and I don't get to tell you that enough.

X--You've read nearly every book, every horrible line, every paragraph of every thing I write. And you still like me. LOL! Thank you for not being afraid to punch me in the teeth. For being the best damn CP anyone could ever want. God, you're the other part of my brain most days. You're who I look to when the words won't work and the rejections make me feel petty. I cannot begin to thank you, but please know, I try. :)

Marcy--For being an eternal wellspring of kindness and hope. You are the most caring person on the planet and for some reason I've not yet figured out, you share both of those beautiful attributes with me. :) My heart thanks you, my soul thanks you and everything in me just wants to tell you how I appreciate all that you do, for so many people, every day that you are here. Love you much, doll.

Okay, I know there's so many more, but I'm so stunned I don't want to mess it up. Thank you to EVERYONE who has ever been part of this journey. There's too many people and not enough time. But I truly appreciate the support of everyone who ever said I had a shot and didn't mind me holding a gun. :)

All my love,

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Meanderings

Well, it's holiday week, gang. I seriously doubt I'll be doing more than a cursory post. Tomorrow is a dental appointment--and I get to take the kid, lol--then it's baking and cooking on Wed for a morning Turkey Day on Thursday. Then it's Family, family, family. But I'll do my best to get you a funny once or twice this week.

Happy Holidays to All!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

European Conquest At An End...

Hi everyone!

Well, with my 6 month mark on my Modern Extras (new Temptation) submission signals the end of my ms consideration in Richmond. They decided to pass on my two book series. They felt that there were problems with luring the reader to the second book--due to the story and the character who takes lead. On the flip side, they felt I'm a competent writer who's done my research on the genre, but since my humor is much more like early Temptation--a humor that apparently isn't very global and doesn't translate well outside of the US--they don't think revision for resubmission is something they want to see.

Being compared to early Temptation ain't a bad thing. Those are the books I fell in love with. Viva La Vicki! LOL!

As for my humor not doing well overseas, they would certainly know. I'll hold off on arguing it until I have some overseas sales, :)--so it could be a while, lol. But, I've decided that my humor is who I am and while I'm all right with being a titch mercenary in selling my work, I won't be changing my voice to suit a line to that extent. I can go dark, I can go moody. But it's not in me to sacrifice my voice for the sale. I've tried that once, changing it all to suit an editor, and it nearly destroyed my ability to write. It certainly cost me more than a year. So, I think it's safe to say I won't be resubmitting to MX anytime soon. But that's okay. :) There's many places open to me at this time. :)

I've sent in a submission to the new SamHain Publishing (See Shannon! I did it! I get to keep my f'n ass now, yes?) and I'm prepping a second one for December. I've subbed to EC as promised and I'll be checking on my Cerridwen submission Dec. 1st, it's 6-month mark. I think it's a lot easier to handle a rejection when you know there's other places to send it. So far, it's not the worst rejection I've ever had. I'll probably be able to calm my ego with a serving of yogurt and call it a day.

Hope you all are having a great weekend and that your upcoming holiday isn't stressing anyone out. :)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thank You Smart Bitches!

Boy, you don't get to say THAT everyday!

So, I was treating myself to some fun blog hopping. It's been a while since I've been so overwhelmed, and as I lay here trying to ignore slight cramping, I thought...what the hell. Read some blogs! You've worked hard all week. You deserve it!

And when I landed on The Smart Bitches page, lol, they had the best picker-upper of the day. I give you...my name, lol!

LOL, that's weekend making, right there!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It's the kind of announcement that requires capital letters.


I've been waiting five years to get to scream that into the phone and wow, was it sweet. It's even better in print. Lemme do it again.


I got to be lucky enough to be a CP for her over the years. I got to be even luckier to be there when she came up with the idea in New York while we walked around avoiding Meg Ryan stalkers. But the best part is that I got to be lucky enough to be her friend for every up and down on this crazy journey.

Congratulations Rae, no one deserves it more.

So, if y'all would please, head on over to Raecy's Place and congratulate her.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Lil Black Rain Cloud

My CP likes to call me this. Mainly because when it rains, it pours. And I pour regularly. I don't mean to, honest. I guess I like to do everything at once, good stuff and bad. Writing news comes in multiples and so do health things.

Apparently, I have a tooth problem now. Honestly, I've probably had it for awhile but it most likely got masked by the pain killers I've been taking for months. So, since I stopped taking them, I've discovered that a toothache can really knock the snot out of you. So, I've not got a somewhat-emergency dental appointment. They may or may not need to rip out the tooth. Wish me luck, folks.

In other news, I've fixed the focal point of my book. It turns out...it didn't have one before. In all this editing I have discovered that my characters had no conflict BETWEEN them. So, you've got two people who's biggest problem is whether or not he loves her. Uh...no. That needs fixing. My heroine is too perfect, too flawless, the cow. So, along with creating her something of a lie and a dilemma...I'm also adding saddlebags and a very saggy ass. Take that, flawless cow!

So, while I have been doing tons of work on it...we're at about 80 pages still. BUT, it's 80 pages with a point! WOOHOO!

PS--Depending on tooth-pullage, there may or may not be a TTT day tomorrow. Just a heads up!

Friday, November 11, 2005


It's a nice enough sounding word. I like it. But way easier to say than do.

On your computer, recovery is finding something you accidentally deleted or lost.

In your manuscript, it's deep diving to find some aspect of your work that's useable.

In your body it's letting yourself rest to restore it's health.

And every now and then, you have to do all three.

Let me tell ya, folks, it's not easy.

I thought I was innocently killing a gnat. I took a tumble and landed flat on my back. I will never again laugh at the old woman saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up." At the time, it was funny. Stupid even. Now, with my whole body sore, I'm feeling a little more empathetic to old people with low muscle tone and brittle bones.

I've been revising a book--when time and my non-supportive body allows me--that I thought would be fairly easy to put together...recovery in that case is rediscovery of my brain. I love this story, but it needed help. So far, I've removed almost as much as I've kept. So, while I'm on page 80, I've actually sorted through 150 pages. Hoping to achieve a lot more this weekend.

On my computer...I haven't lost or deleted anything. But oddly enough, I can never find what I'm looking for. At least, not until I don't need it anymore.

So, am I losing my mind or is this what happens when you get close to 30?


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

TTT: The Four Horsemen part 1

You'd think it'd be easy to write explanations of your own book. But it's not. It's a pain. You have to fit an entire story into a few lines or pages. But what do you put in? How do you know if you've done it right? What belongs in the little things and what do you have to take out of the big things. First off, you need to know what each one is. I like to think of them as The Four Horsemen...because submitting often feels like trying to survive the Apocalypse

Now, commonly, people think a blurb is what goes on the back of a book. It sort of is. It's both more and less. There are four things a writer must master to have a successful career: The LogLine, The Blurb, The Short Synopsis & The Long Synopsis. Each one is a nightmare unto itself, but thankfully, if done in the right order, you can do one and expand it into the next. The key three things to include in ALL of them is this: Hooks, Characters, Conflict. The more room you have, the more you can expand into motivation, plan to solve problem, etc. But if you don't have those three things at even the shortest level, your logline, blurb, SS or LS is incomplete and will likely fail. Today we will cover the first two.

The Logline is a one or two line sentence that conveys the hooks of your story, the characters and the conflict, usually into a compelling statement or question that draws the editor (readers don't see these too often) into wanting more. Loglines are used at the top of a query letter and most effectively in an editor pitch, where you have to describe your book in 25 words or less. They maximize your time and the editors interest.

ex) "Girl next door Jenna McCain's lifelong plan to marry rancher Cord Erikson would have gone off without a hitch, but how was she to expect his ex-wife to interfere...and bring a baby along?"

Hooks: Girl Next Door, Rancher, Secret Baby
Characters, Jenna and Cord (includes villain, ex-wife)
Conflict: she's loved him forever, he has a past, can she get in the way of that and live with herself?

Now that you have those elements in a sentence, you can use them to stay concise while you enlarge The Logline into The Blurb.

The Blurb causes trouble because it's much larger, roughly 30-200 words. It is the length of the back of the book and it, too, must contain the three elements listed above. If you do a one paragraph blurb--my personal favorite--you discuss both main characters in the same paragraph. You START with your hook and your character. Move next to your alternate character's problem (conflict). Then wrap it up with what needs to be done to solve the problem. If you choose the two paragraph type (the 200 word version), then you will need a paragraph for each character that states their individual hooks, character, conflict and plan to solve their issues.

To help you do this, I've created a way to build a paragraph blurb using three simple questions:

1) HOOK: Why do people want to read this book? Because "Girl Next Door Jenny McCain is finally marrying the man of her dreams."

2) CHARACTER & CONFLICT: Why is this important? She's spent her life in love with Cord Erikson, despite heartbreak and loss, and now their day is finally here. Or, it would be, if Cord's ex-wife hadn't materialized on his doorstep, holding a baby she claims is his.

3) PLAN TO SOLVE PROBLEM: What do they need to do to solve their problem?With the wedding just around the corner, Jenny knows that Cord has an impossible decision to make. Can she finally stand up for their love, even if it means raising another woman's child?

Then, when you have those sentences, combine them in a para:

"Girl Next Door Jenny McCain is finally marrying the man of her dreams.She's spent her life in love with Cord Erikson, despite heartbreak and loss, and now their day is finally here. Or, it would be, if Cord's ex-wife hadn't materialized on his doorstep, holding a baby she claims is his. With the wedding just around the corner, Jenny knows that Cord has an impossible decision to make. Can she finally stand up for their love, even if it means raising another woman's child?"

Since this is a completely made up story so far, an exercise for you might be to try to write a paragraph for Cord using this process.

Remember, editing is always a writer's best friend. Things to look for when going over your finished blurb, is where you can remove to make it more stream-lined. Connective words can be a real word-cutter: but, that, and, and whatever possessive pronouns you don't strictly need. Particularly with blurbs, you want to avoid buts, ands and especially thats. They can drag a sentence into the ground. Keep the pace quick and direct. That'll grab people every time. 

Monday, November 07, 2005

What Makes For Good Pacing?

I've been laying here wondering as I edit my submission, is this book slow? Is the infomation pertinent? Does it really have to be here?

When I'm editing, I usually look for flow, characterization, placement, dialogue and of course, is this scene necessary? It certainly feels necessary. It's transitionary, but there's no action. It's emotional...but doesn't move the story very far forward. There are few things I hate more than cutting a good scene because it doesn't move the story. On the one hand, I'm kicking myself for wasting the good writing on something so ineffective. On the other, I hate throwing it away. But writing requires ruthlessness. Sometimes the scenes just have to go.

Which brings me to my current dilemma. I'm editing for an ePub, which I'm told requires a bit faster of a pace. The chapters are shorter and the story needs to be more concise. All right, this isn't a bad idea. I just hadn't realized how long I've meandered on. I'm in chp six and so far the only ones without a well-developed relationship are the hero and the heroine. He gets along with her kid. She's friends with her mother in law. He's got a friendship with his doctor. She's playing mediator with MIL's boyfriend.... I just need to cut this crap out.

Have any of you found something in your writing that is driving you bonkers? Can you fix it?

Editing update: Edited through page 65.
Pages Left: 170

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Ahhh, if she didn't have pain killers, I'd smack ya Rae, lol! I've been tagged.

But first, a little up to dateness:

I went to the doctor to see what he could give me for dealing with the endometriosis pain. His answer...shutting down my ovaries with a temporary chemical menopause. He says narcotics will handle the pain, but they're addictive and do not treat the condition, which will advance and I'll need more and more. Or I could try Motrin instead of Aleve--which is like saying I can rub my belly and see if that fixes it. Or I can try to get pregnant.

Now, before y'all imagine I might have jumped the gun, I did research the drug he prescribed. That is some scary crap. It's a nasal spray, taken twice a day, that turns off your ovaries, meaning no hormonal output. You have to take birth control pills to provide some hormone, but anything in your body that works via hormone is going to quit. You have to take calcium supplements because the stuff causes bone loss--which you're supposed to probablyget back within a year. Or so. That says nothing about the side effect of Auto-Immune Difficiency.

It probably goes without saying that I've wanted another child for years. Many years. And though hubby and I agreed that having one would be great, the desire couldn't be justified against our financial situation. If I got preggers on accident, great. If not, that's how it had to be. But the truth is, this may well be my last chance to try to have a child as the dr assured me that even pregnancy can only push back the endometriosis. Nothing will cure it. At least this way, I'll have a chance, so we're taking it. :) The only downside is that without my b/c pills, there's no regulation of the condition at all. That can lead to heavy bleeding and as I'm trying to get pregnant, I can't take anything but Tylenol for pain. So, this path isn't without detriment. But it'll be worth it in so many ways. So...I'll keep you updated on if the quest is successful.

And now...The Meme!

Three screen names that you've had: Tien1050, Deelicious & Deelicious_92123

Three things you like about yourself: I'm a fast reader, I'm analytical and I can bake

Three things you don't like about yourself: My facial flaw, my weight and my ability to procrastinate

Three parts of your heritage: Sorry, there's only two parts: Mexican and Native American

Three things that scare you: Horror Movies, bankruptcy and car accidents

Three of your everyday essentials: Computer, Kid and Food

Three things you are wearing right now: My socks, hubby's sweat pants and a tank top.

Three of your favorite songs: Never Too Far, Crazy In Love & At Last

Three things you want in a relationship: Truth, Trust and Passion

Two truths and a lie: I'm right handed, I'm a moderate cook and I'm athletic

Three things you can't live without: My husband, my son and something to stimulate my mind.

Three places you want to go on vacation: Hawaii, Disney World and Japan

Three things you just can't do: Stop flinching at cars approaching from the side, talking and leave my son in tears

Three kids names: Becky, Jack and Jenny

Three things you want to do before you die: Publish, make a lot of money and finish all my projects

Three celeb crushes: Dean Cain, Eddie Cibrian & Gerard Butler

Three of your favorite musicians: Beyonce, Classic Mariah & Kelly Clarkson

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: Masculine hands, a nice ass and sharp eyes

Three of your favorite hobbies: Drawing, quilting and movie watching

Three things you really want to do badly right now: Eat, sleep and write

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: Writing, reviewing, interior design

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I LOVE Football, I can play all sports if needed and I do not see the value of a 500 dollar purse. Ever.

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I love to bake, I sew and I check my reflection often so I don't embarass my companions.

How's that, Rae? :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Honest, I planned to NaNo. I really, really did. Then I got a request which requires some polishing. So, will be edit-no-ing instead. Have two weeks to get the ms out. Barring annoying medical problems...holidays...kiddie attention requirements and medications...I should be able to do it.

Current editing completed: 0
Needed to Complete: 240pgs

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Le Bat! Too sweet! So chic!

Okay, bad song reference, but a VERY happy Kid!

To view all the project pics in slideshow form or one at a time to read the captions, click HERE!

But the two most important pics are these:

The complete suit--with working Batbelt (actual pockets!)--and the complete boy, with happy smile!