Thursday, December 28, 2006


OK, I'm still new at all the MySpace stuff. BUT, I have a name now. I am listed under CTAdams (no spaces, no punctuation). Cathy is going to come over in a day or so and we will try to get me to make friends. We'll see how that goes. Maybe I'll be better at it than I think.

ANYWAY, Howling Moon is now available to order. It is officially out January 2. BUY THIS BOOK. (LOL).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Please check it out!


OK, I'm here, but I'm also there. Very schizoid of me, I'm sure.

I've always liked Blogger, BUT Myspace is considered a huge marketing tool. So I'm trying it. Which means that I've uploaded pictures, got a blog there, etc. SO, I am asking y'all to stop by there. PLEASE. PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE?



Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hello Again

OK, have you ever just been really good at annoying people? Sometimes I just piss people off. Usually it is when I'm seriously stressed. I am (THANKFULLY) getting over this right now, but for a few weeks there everything I said or did got misconstrued, misquoted, or generally caused havoc and annoyance. I AM SO VERY VERY GLAD things are getting back on track!!

ANYWAY, guys, I mean well. REALLY.

I screw up. I'm human. But I really do try hard. So please cut me some slack. If there's a good way to take something, and a bad way, PICK the good way. Assume the best, give the benefit of the doubt. PLEASE.

Thank you!


Friday, December 08, 2006


Greetings and salutations.

Let's see. I know it's been a while, but I don't have a lot of time, so I'll try (Laugh) to be brief.

Life was hard in November and early December. It is getting better.

James is doing well! WHOO HOO!!!!

The puppy is being a demanding pain in the patootie.

We have finished the books for this contract except for edits which are proceeding apace. Until we have another contract there is time to work on something new. I am giving myself until the end of January to do the first draft of the first book in an entirely new world. I hadn't realized how much I missed world building. Things like creating geopolitics, religion(s), criminal justice systems (or lack thereof), geography of both the actual landscape and the cities. It's so flipping cool. The book is going to be extremely dark sci fi/fantasy with some romantic elements.

I am drafting a MySpace space for Cathy and I. Since I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing it should be interesting to say the least. Still, what the heck. I'll give it a shot.

My computer is still not behaving properly. This is a pain in the patootie as well. I'm managing, but finding it very frustrating.

I haven't been visiting websites because I've been sleeping more and worldbuilding. (Some worldbuilding is actually done best with eyes closed. Aw darn!) It has also been cold. I get sore and stiff and consequently grumpy when I am cold. I am, however, not going to whine too much. I am, after all, in SOOOOOOOO much better shape than the folks in the midwest who had the ice storm and lost power for who knows how long. Nope. Life is pretty darn good thank you very much.

I want to see Yo's blog. I want to hear from Jim. I want to get the silly book written.

Oh, and today is the first holy day of obligation this year that I've actually remembered early enough to go to mass. I mean, it's only mid-December, why rush this sort of thing. (Cie pounds head into imaginary wall).

Oh, back to world-building. Someone wanted to know how you do it. I can't speak for everyone. Cathy and I do it by thinking of things, asking questions of each other and ourselves. Things like:

Society -- is it rural or urban? Mixed? What's the level of technology? (Are we talking rocks, swords or lightsabers?) Transportation? Multiracial or monoracial? Trade? At war or at peace? With whom and why?

Religion--do they have one, more than one? State sponsored? State banned? Is it monotheistic or polytheistic? Basic tenets?

Anyway, you get the drift.

Oh, and minor annoyance of the day. I needed an aerial photo of the Pentagon because my cities in this Empire were all built to a standard form as the empire expanded. It is a pentagon with concentric "rings" that are zoned for particular uses. But since 9/11 it's difficult to get good aerial photos of the Pentagon. YES I can draw one, but it wound up being amateurish and a pain. I realize that there are security concerns. But JEESH. I'll check in the old physical encyclopedia and make some photocopies. But I was trying not to have to go to the library because it's FLIPPING COLD TODAY.

Well, I need to get ready for church. Since I DID actually remember in time, I really should go.

Hasta manana. (I hope).


Friday, December 01, 2006


Oh, a last minute reprieve was given the secondary character who was going to die during the edits. Just FYI.


Alas, as soon as I complained that Howling didn't appear, it did, making me look foolish.

I, however, and more than capable of looking foolish without technological help. My life, in case most of you haven't noticed, is frequently an "I Love Lucy" episode in some ways.

Today, the dog ate my cell phone. Actually not ate. All pieces were accounted for. They were, however, in PIECES. Well mangled and chewed pieces.

I feel like one of those little kids giving an excuse to the teacher. But no, really, It was freaking freezing outside last night (Besides which, the dog always sleeps inside anyway. What is the good of having a watch dog who isn't watching?) Apparently she got cross because she was restless and didn't get a walk. Or perhaps she was bored. Or it may be that she's just a puppy and they chew things. But sure enough, I forgot my cell phone. It was in reach, and. . . well, the rest (at least the cell phone) is history.

So I got to have everything changed over to a new phone and then have them keep the old number, transfer the minutes and do all that foo frau. UGH. But it is now done.

Also done and sent are the revisions to Timeless Moon. This is the last book for the contract so we are actually (TAH DAH!!!) caught up for the moment. Which means that I need to get cranking so we'are actually AHEAD OF THE GAME instead of rushing around in crisis mode.


I also hope that sometime this weekend I will clean and decorate the house. Oh, and get all the other stuff done that has been on the back burner. Wish me luck!

But now I am out of time. I have a society to plan. I have the religion. I have the city maps. I even have a vague idea of the politics (need to work that out more). Also need to work on more character backgrounds. This is more a fantasy with a romantic subplot than the other way around. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!


Thursday, November 30, 2006


OK, I am kung fused. I thought I changed my profile so that the cover of our next release "Howling Moon" that comes out at the end of December would be the picture in my profile. When I'm on the dashboard, it shows Howling Moon's cover. When I get to the blog, POOF, it has magically transformed back to Touch of Evil. Now, don't get me wrong, the cover for TOE is SERIOUSLY COOL, but, hmnnnn.

Cathy just got "Timeless Moon" back to me. We have a couple of changes to make and then it goes to Anna tomorrow. This morning I had another one of those "Holy CRAP it's a BOOK moments." I don't know if every author has them, but every once in a while I find myself stepping back and blinking (a lot) when I realize that a world, people, and the stories that started out as wisps of thought in my head are now transformed into something real and solid that people all over the world can pick up and experience. I mean, "Holy CRAP!" This book will be out on shelves, then it will be in libraries and homes, then used bookstores, then more homes, for years and years. That just is so amazing. I can't even explain it. But it makes the hard part of the job worthwhile, and believe me there are some VERY hard parts to this job.

But today and tonight, edits. These are the kind of things where changes were made between drafts that created plot holes that need to be filled. Little things like, a person can't be in the front seat and the back seat of the car at the same time.

Well, gotta run. The world awaits.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A New Beginning

Every day is a new chance. A complete do-over. Oh, there's consequences from previous choices, but you get another go.

Things have been hard lately. I did something foolish, and am now paying for the consequences. I've been beating myself up pretty badly about it too. But today I'm starting over. I'm forgiving myself for the screw up, getting back off the mats and going for it again.

The good news is that Howling Moon made the cover of RT, got a 4 1/2 stars top pick and a great review. It comes out at the end of the month. It was originally the first book, the one we built the world for. It's not perfect, but I'm proud of it.


Monday, November 13, 2006

On Writing

OK, I just finished the draft of the book and sent it to Cathy yesterday (see yesterday's post). But one of the things about writing that a lot of people don't "get" is that, even if it's fiction, you have to get your facts straight.

For example, in this manuscript I had to research a TON of information including (but not by any means limited to):

(1) The layout of international and municipal airports and private airstrips.
(2) Aztec and Incan religious cultures & temples
(3) Colombian geography.
(4) Arizona geography, farming, and in particular the growing of peanuts.
(5) Box cars, flat cars, and east-west track lines for the railroad.
(6) The quetzalcoatl
(7) Goth/Rock clothing for guys
(8) The 2005 Volvo, particularly the safety features.
(9) Hotel layouts in Flagstaff and Daytona Beach
(10) Sunrise/Sunset times for Arizona and Florida
(11) Travel times from various cities using various modes of transportation
(Thank you
(12) Flight times and routes from Albuquerque to Daytona Beach
(Thank you and
(13) Luxury residences on the Florida coast.
(14) Route 66
(15) A little bit on guns (although I reused some of the research I'd done for Howling Moon to speed up the process)

There's a lot more, but these are just the ones that either spring to mind or got bookmarked because I was going there so often. A lot of people think that because it's fiction you get to make it up. Well, some of it you do. But if you want your readers to invest in the characters and what's happening to them, you have to make it believable. That means that if it takes one hour to drive from the location where you put Pony, Arizona to Albuquerque according to a map, then you can't have them driving all day and not getting there and your readers are going to notice if you "lie" or "fudge." It will piss them off and pull them out of the story. Now, if you're writing from the point of view of a character who doesn't know guns, you can have them look at it and say -- "Ah a gun" and not know what kind or how many bullets, etc. On the other hand, if your POV character is a cop or a mercenary. They're going to know. So you have to know. And you have to tell the reader.

If you have your character having a power that would be useful, but they can't use it here, you have to explain why (and make it make sense) or the reader's going to go "Bullshit" and throw the book down. (OK, maybe they use better or worse language, but they will definitely be unhappy with the book. The goal is to make them happy, not frustrate them.)

OK, enough lecture. I have to get moving. Have a great day.


Sunday, November 12, 2006


OK. I'm back. A few things.

FIRST, I have (at long last) finished the draft of Shadowed Moon (working title that may or may not last) to Cathy. It is short. It is too short. UGH. I did my best, but she is going to have to beef it up. Fortunately, she's REALLY good at that (among other things).

It is, I believe, the most "romantic" of the books thus far. Don't panic. There's still plenty of action. (Oh, and a supporting character that we got to know in a previous book winds up getting killed). It has the snakes and also a new problem/situation.

This book did not fight me like Cat/Howling Moon did. It just didn't take off either. It wanted to be written at a pace of about three thousand words per day. That's really pretty slow for me. Particularly since I tend to go back and rewrite sections and not use sections. UGH. Oh, and then there have been the computer problems that slowed things down, and real life intruding. . .

Speaking of real life: James is doing well in Denver. He's happier than he's been in a while. It makes me happy to. I do miss him though. And I worry. This is part and parcel of the whole Mom thing. You worry. A lot. Over stupid stuff. Particularly stupid since he's a fully grown adult human being with enough sense to take care of himself. And still I worry. UGH.

OK, I got "Tagged" by Cathy. I'm supposed to write 5 things about myself that people don't know. Now this is tricky for me, because I'm inclined to blurt out stuff so that people know things about me, but I'll just go with "interesting" things that you may or may not know.

1) I was ambidextrous as a kid and still do things with both hands. But I am now very definitely right dominant because of the whole practice issue.

2) I was hit by lightning when I was about fourteen and it screwed with my body a bit, so that I have all kinds of weird electrical things happen (particularly when I'm stressed.)

3) I have spoken to many, many, many people and have come to the conclusion that I have the world's single most embarrassing work moment to my credit/debit. It is a long and involved story that I will tell you when plied with liquor or if I am just feeling frivolous. But I will not repeat it right now. I also have several other runner ups of the "most embarrassing" moment items, including talking to a plastic parrot.

4) I was once stung by a wasp in a spot where no woman wants to be stung by anything (while pulling on a pair of jeans fresh from the clothesline), and was bitten by a black widow spider in very nearly the same place.

5) I had to have really serious surgery when I was 25 and made a list of the 100 things I wanted to do before I die. I still have the list somewhere, and I've checked off quite a few, but a lot of them have changed. (Note to the world. Things that sound seriously cool at 25 do not necessarily sound really cool at 45).

Let's see. I'm supposed to tag 5 other people. I will try to tag Jim, Yolanda, Anna, Carrie and Jay.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

OK. . . I think.

OK, life has been a little hard. There was a power surge that fried my refrigerator and zapped my computer. I have (twice) reloaded. It's still not running exactly right, which is slowing me down and is annoying as hell. BUT, the good news is. . . I DID NOT LOSE THE MANUSCRIPT COMPLETELY. I lost all of my saved favorites (including Yolanda's blog, and all sorts of other things that I can't seem to find now [YO IF YOU COME BY, PLEASE E-MAIL ME YOUR BLOG ADDRESS AGAIN!!!]). But I wasn't going online much anyway because I'm behind the eightball on a deadline.

James is up in Denver. Keep your fingers crossed. He's got a good job, but it's hard to make the transition.

I DIDN'T get to go to Vampire Lestat. BUMMER. HUGE HONKING BUMMER. BUT I was dealing with the manuscript, and health issues, and it probably is for the best. We sent a basket with our books for auction for Habitat for Humanity, BUT, despite the fact that I was ASSURED that it would arrive on time (and I sent it with plenty of time) IT DIDN'T FLIPPING ARRIVE until after the event! UGH! BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS that Suzi's friend bought it and donated the money, so it ended up being OK. Frustrating though.

Anyway, I've been frustrated, and a little upset, so I haven't wanted to write. I figured if I did, I'd just sound whiny and who needs that? Hopefully I'll recover my sense of humor by the weekend. I'll let you know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Stuff and Nonsense

Okay, well, I'm a bit bummed about Vampire Lestat, but there you go. Nothing I can do about it.

James is doing OK in Denver, which is good news.

Let's see, we got an inquiry from Australia about the whole "mating" issue among the Sazi. So I worked up a summary, ran it by Cathy and here it goes:

Mating –

In the Sazi world mating is a magical and physical bond between Sazi. (Generally of the opposite sex, although there are some gay and lesbian Sazi.) These bonds grow stronger through sexual contact. There are two types.

Single-sided matings – this occurs when one person is mated to another, but the recipient does not return the bond. It is actually fairly common but can cause serious problems with obsessive behavior, stalking, etc. If the recipient does not wish to enter into a relationship the cure is to separate the couple. Eventually, with therapy and avoidance the bond fades (it never breaks). The more powerful alphas tend to “collect” people mating to them (this is a biological leftover as the strongest were the best breeding stock/survival of the fittest, etc.). The recipient of a single-sided mating can, in a crisis or deliberately, pull power from the person mated to them. Losing the mate to another has been known to cause madness in extreme cases. (See Jack Simpson).

Double-matings – these are relatively rare. This is when both sides of the couple mate to each other. It is a bond where awareness and powers can be shared mutually. It usually takes real effort for one person to shut the other out. However, there are situations that can interfere. (Sometimes major hormonal shifts, like pregnancy can cause real issues).

Some general notes regarding both types of mating:

1) It affects both males and females, but not equally. A female can still enjoy sexual contact with someone other than her mate. It is not “the same” but she will not be incapable.

2) A mated male who totally bonds with his female will relatively quickly become incapable of having intercourse with anyone else. His body will simply not react. While he can initiate and participate in other forms of sexual contact, it will be a less than satisfying experience.

3) There are those who desperately wish to be mated. (Like looking for a “soul mate.”) But for the most part, many males regard it with more than a touch of horror as it is irreversible and because of (2) above and (4) below.

4) If the mate dies, the surviving half of the couple generally dies too (particularly in wolves). They “pine,” and are unwilling and unable to eat or drink. It is a slow, painful death.

I had run into a snag on the newest book. Wound up going to bed to "sleep on it." I came up with what feels like the right solution. Today I'm trying to write it, and it's not going nearly as smoothly as it did in my head last night. It is, however, moving forward, toward the climax. WHOOO HOOO!!!

I swear, sometimes I just can't get over the fact that I'M WRITING BOOKS. REAL BOOKS, ON THE SHELVES AND EVERYTHING. WHOOO HOOO!!! Weird, having your dreams come true. Very good, but very weird.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Good News/Bad News

Good News -- Got back from Denver safe and sound. James got a job the first day, has been working since the second. He has a temporary place to stay, leads on roommates, a social life, bus passes and a cell phone. Things should (knock wood) be okay for him for a while.

I drove home and am exhausted. Pushed myself too hard and have caught a crud. Also book deadline is looming ominously. Between one thing and another I won't be able to go to Vampire Lestat after all, which has me seriously bummed. But I have to be realistic. If I continue to push myself too hard I will get so sick that I can't bounce back for weeks or even a couple months. I can't afford that. So, reluctantly, I'm staying home. This means I won't meet Jim for a while longer, or Suzi Q, or any number of other cool people. I'd also looked forward to the possibility of getting the chance to talk to Laurel and Jonathan again. Sigh.

Book is coming along nicely. Slower than I'd like (always), but it is coming together. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to it.

Everybody take care.


Saturday, October 14, 2006


I've overcommitted myself a bit in Denver. Who knew people would actually be glad to see me and still want to spend time together? It makes me happy. I've not had a chance to make many friends down in Texas--a few good ones, but not many. First, writing is solitary. Secondly, it's a small town. In my personal experience (note the caveat, remember the caveat) small towns the people grew up together, went to school together. It's a closed environment. So even if they like you things were fairly set (think concrete) before you ever got here. There are set "sides" and if you are friendly with one you may not be accepted by another. Sounds silly, but people frequently are silly.

Another issue is that my attitudes do not mesh well with conservative. (Are you shocked. I mean, I write about vampires and werewolves, why would that be a problem in a small town with like 32 churches (a church for every 186.5 people -- we will assume for the sake of statistics that there is one woman who is 4.5 months pregnant per church). When you consider that some people (GASP) actually don't hold with organized religion and go to church you end up with a WHOLE LOTTA churches for not that many people. I live in the buckle of the bible belt. This is not a bad thing. Most of the folks here are great. But some of them just don't cotton to my attitudes and worry about the state of my soul. I believe in church. I have one. I go. I believe in God. Most of our stories really are stories of good v. evil, and while it isn't always easy, the good guys generally win. We write about monsters, but we also write about tolerance and other issues. Of course, a lot of these folks won't ever find that out. The open minded ones will. The others--not so much.


You heard me right friends and neighbors. They don't have to. We live in a country that (for the moment at least) still embraces free speech. That means they get to say things I don't like and I get to write things that they won't ever read. There isn't always one right answer. So open discussion can get things on track. I get very upset with people who say you can have free speach as long as you don't disagree with me.

Which leads us off topic onto the subject of the Dixie Chicks. I'm going to go see "Shut up and Sing." I think it is an amazing subject. Free speach to me means that you get to get up on stage and say things (even in a foreign country) that other people don't like. I have a very good friend who disagrees vehemently about this. She tells me that it shouldn't have been said in front of a foreign audience when we're involved in a war. I disagree.


Well, that went somewhere unexpected. Surprise! I'm generally not political at all. (Drives my son crazy!) I'm a live and let live kinda gal. But I'm a big believer in the Bill of Rights and it scares me when I think my country may be moving away from that.


I think I'd better hush and get moving or I may be here all day, writing opinions with flaming passion, then deleting them. While it would be entertaining, I certainly wouldn't accomplish much. ANYWAY guys, I'd love for everybody to buy and love the books. I know it isn't going to happen, which is why I REALLY APPRECIATE the people who do. THANK YOU ALL.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nervous Nellie

Hi Guys!

I'm getting ready to take James to Denver and I'm nervous as hell. Not a lot of reason for it really. He's an adult. He's capable. But, I'm scared. It's part of being a mom. First off, I'm going to miss him. Secondly, there are never any guarantees. But the house sitters and animal sitters are lined up. The car's been worked on. Most of the stuff is packed. It's going to happen whether I'm ready for it or not. Having a major computer crash and a book deadline at the same time didn't help, either. OY.

Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I want things to go well for him so very badly. Heck, I want things to go well for ME so badly too. And the animals, never forget the animals!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


OY! A transformer blew less than a block from my house. Now my refrigerator is iffy and it fried my computer enough that something got corrupted and I had to wipe the hard drive and reinstall everything. An entire day of installing, updating and trying to get things to function that didn't want to. It was enough to make me absolutely INSANE. Fortunately I didn't lose the manuscript or I'm not sure I would've been responsible for my actions! It doesn't help that I'm stressed out of my gourd getting ready to help my son move to Denver.

Once upon a time, when I was about 14 years old or so, I got hit by lightning. It has some very interesting lingering symptoms that kick up especially hard when I'm stressed.

Vampire Lestat is coming up. I haven't finalized my plans because I've been too caught up in trying to just get through writing this book in time for the deadline, getting James moved, dealing with all the power-related foofrau. Oh, and the daily stuff.


Later kids.


Friday, September 29, 2006


OK guys, I'm back from FenCon. I've recovered (somewhat) and been writing like mad. (Deadlines--ARGH!!!!) Got to meet SOOOOOOO many cool people. Everybody I got to talk to or on a panel with wound up being cool. How great is that? I got to meet some of my favorite authors, get autographs for James from a couple of his heroes, and I only made a complete ass of myself on one panel. The people were all so incredibly cool, but I am not going to drop names in case I miss somebody.

Yes, you heard me. I made an ass of myself. It's not like I could help it. First, I was completely outclassed. I mean, right out of the box I'm at a disadvantage because YO, the panel is on books to movies and whether or not it works, and here I am supposedly moderating a panel with men who have been doing this stuff for thirty some years and are seriously famous. We're talking people who call Spielberg "Steve" and tell buddy stories about him and "George" (Lucas). Oh yeah, like I can really contribute something here. Then, on top of that, (you mean, that's not enough, really...) I'd eaten something at breakfast that made me sick, so that I had to literally run out of the room in the middle of the panel and find a bathroom. Oh, yeah, great.

Still, the guys were the consummate professionals and absolute gentlemen (Thank GOD), so it could've been SOOOOOOO much worse.

But it was a wonderful con, well organized, the people were great! I have Jim Butcher buttons that read "The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault." and "Polka will never die!" from The Dresden Files. Cathy gave me a picture -- Magnus and Loki: Tuna Roast, which now is displayed prominently in my office.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hi Guys!

Yeah, I know, been a while. SORRY!!!! I've been trying to get the current book done between trips. Just got back from Illinois a couple of weeks ago, now I'm getting ready for FenCon, then to take James back to Denver, then to New Orleans for The Vampire Lestat Ball. BUSY, busy busy. BUT it is all good stuff.

I've also been a little stressed, and didn't want it to make me sound grumpy. So I've been trying to keep a low profile.

BUT I MISS YOU ALL!!! I hope you don't give up on me during these (admittedly long) absences.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Guten Morgen

Guten morgen!

OK, I am in a really good mood today. I have been trying to find a good fenced spot to let the dog run and play. Fenced high enough that she can't jump it. (Believe me, it's an issue. The dog can jump almost as high as my head in a standing jump now. I don't even know how high she could go if she took a good running start.) I don't like having to chain her, but she jumps the fence now and I don't want to risk her getting hit by a car. So exercise is an issue. She's a big, energetic dog and needs her exercise so that she doesn't go kennel crazed and aggressive. Walking her helps, but really isn't enough.

ANYWAY, I found one good spot for ball play. It's an old set of tennis courts that nobody uses that has a fence and gate. As long as I make sure she doesn't make a mess (or I clean it up after) we should be cool for good games of chase the ball. Still shopping for a spot for plain old running, but I'll find something. Eventually, I hope to put up an 8 or 9 foot privacy fence in the back yard. But that, my friends, is time, labor, and money intensive, none of which I'm up for just yet. But I want a happy, healthy, pup, so am taking interim measures.

The cats are doing well. They're adapting nicely to the pup when she's not too aggressive. Things in the Adams animal kingdom are improving. Still, I'm on the lookout for a good training manual for the pup. I'd gone to Petco, but their person quit and they haven't replaced him yet. There is a private trainer they gave me a card for, but I hadn't called because I was going out of town.

One thing I really think is important (as much for me as the animal truthfully), is getting a set, reliable schedule. If the dog knows that she goes out at 5:30, gets breakfast at 8:00, goes to play at the park at 11:30, goes for a walk at 8:00 or 9:00, and settles down for the night at 11:30 (These are NOT the actual times, mind you, just examples) they have a sense of rhythm and calm that helps. But my life has been so upended for so long, I've had a hard time doing that. But it is the plan. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 04, 2006

There are days, and then there are DAYS

Hi all! I'm back, working hard, etc. Good things are happening. I had hit the wall a bit on Aspen's book, but during a period of enforced nothingness I'd finished all my work while in Illinois and forgot my book on the train ride back) I came up with the answer. So I have been plugging away at it. The trick, of course, is that life intervenes in the form of family, animals, and general all-purpose stuff.

Some of it, of course, is self-imposed.

I was depressed. One of the first and best ways I deal with a serious downturn is to redecorate my surroundings. It gives me an immediately visible result over something I actually have some control over. When I manage that, I feel like I'm on a roll and can usually get unstuck in the other areas of my life. I know it may not work like that for everybody, but I'm not everybody.

ANYWAY, I started with my living room. Moved the floral curtains from the office onto the main windows in the LR. Got rid of the ruined ones from the LR. Then I started painting the office sky blue. My living room back in Colorado was sky blue (with white on white curtains) and I have really missed it. Got one wall done, Saturday. Took Sunday off and was starting again today.


I knocked over the paint can onto the hardwood floor, spilling a good half-gallon.

All of the time and energy that would've gone into painting went into cleaning up the mess. But clean I did. Of course, I had to keep the animals away while I did it (very unhappy critters, they LIKE being in the office when I'm in there.) Of course halfway through it starts to storm. I can't let the dog in until the paint is completely cleaned or I swear to God she'd drink it. (OOOOOH, blue... does it taste like boooberries?) I love the puppy, but I KNOW the puppy. She would have an absolute BALL putting nice big paw imprints everywhere!

ANYWAY, I am taking a moment to laugh it off, sit in the air conditioning, and then finish up for the day. I will try again tomorrow with (I hope) better luck and results.

Hey, at least the writing went well. Although, now that I think about it, I think I'm going to back up my work. Later...

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Okay, I think maybe that made me sound like a sheep. OOOPS.

ANYWAY, I am back from visiting the familia in Illinois. It was an excellent trip. I enjoyed seeing everybody. The train ride was very relaxing. I got the editing done, and life was lovely. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when I am around groups of strangers or travelling, I caught a bit of a crud. Not a terrible "OhmiGod I'm DYING" crud, but a crud nonetheless. Still, I'm doing much better today and have hope that tomorrow I'll actually feel like a human being again.

We have turned in the next Sazi book -- Moon's Fury. Cathy was primary on it. It is set in Texas and it ROCKS! Excellent excellent. YAHOO!!!! I am now working on the as yet untitled Sazi book regarding Aspen Monier. It is cruising along nicely. This makes me VERY happy because Cat (Howling Moon) SOOOOOO didn't. That book had been the first one in the world, and it got written and re-written so many times while we were learning our craft, and the world changed so much while it approached print that it was HELL to work through. I think it turned out to be a very good book, but it WASN'T easy! Weirdly though, Touch of Madness (the Kate Reilly sequel to Touch of Evil) WAS. I mean it was like a wild horse that knew exactly where it wanted to go. I just had to hang on and let my fingers let the words out. I will never ever understand why some books just come easy and some just don't.

We've been asked to do a couple of interviews. One of them wants to interview the character of Kate Reilly. I'm really looking forward to that one. :) I've also got the pattern now to do my costume for The Vampire Lestat Ball. I have to get to work on it soon. I want it to look GOOD not cheesy. Or both. Whatever.

Gotta run. Writing to do and life to live. Later kids.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Headed Out

OK, I'm headed out to visit my folks in Illinois Monday. I'm excited because I haven't seen them in a while and miss them. James is going to take care of the animals for me. (Thank you darlin!) I'm taking the train because it stops right in my hometown, not far from my folks house. That means no renting a car and driving either down from Chicago or up from St. Louis.

Of course this also means I've got a @*#$ load to do before I can go, and I'm so drained from the heat I don't wanna. Ah well. Definitely worth it. Cathy finished the draft of the book she was working on, so I'll edit that on the trip.

I've been really stressed out. One way I can tell, my memory is going. UGH. Of course part of that is that I haven't been able to fill the new Rx. When the thyroid's low I have trouble with memory and concentration. That's always frustrating. Oh well, I'll just have to write notes for a while. (The pharmacist couldn't read the Rx, the doctor was out of the office, and I'll be out of town before they can talk on the phone.)

Anyway, if I'm not around for a while, at least pretend to miss me. :)

Oh, and I'm still debating whether or not to joint RWA. I LOVE LOVE LOVE RWA Online, but the main RWA National.... well, there's all this political stuff that keeps raging that I just am not dispositionally suited to dealing with. The group seems almost split in half between conservatives and liberals. Which means pitched battles over things like romantica/erotica (is it or is it not romance) and defining romance as one man falling in love with one woman and having a happily ever after ending. (As opposed to gays, lesbians, and/or groups.)

Totally off subject -- I didn't always watch Frasier on television, but I saw one that just cracked me up. Niles, the up-tight brother, was explaining that he NEEDED for them to go out for their usual drink because of a misprint on his ad. Instead of printing "Jung" Psychiatrist they put "Hung." Wouldn't have been so bad except for the rest of the ad: Hung Psychiatrist -- Individuals, Couples, Groups. Frasier said, "Surely the people who called knew..., I mean..." The response was. "You have no idea." I laughed so hard!

OK, off to clean house, pack, and finish all the critical stuff! TOODLES! Be good while I'm gone.


Friday, August 18, 2006


Folks, this is going to be an odd post. I've divided it into sections so that it will sort of make sense, but I'm exhausted, my mind is wandering... oh, and I have the hiccups.


OK, I'm not perfect. I'm not even close to perfect. But some days, weeks, well, I'm less perfect than others. It's been a tough week.

First, I believe in spaying and neutering pets. I especially believe in it after living in a small town where a lot of people don't and there are an incredible number of unwanted "strays" that have miserable and short lives. I won't get on my soapbox about this for long, but it breaks my heart. The animals didn't ask to be born, and they don't deserve mistreatment.

BUT it was probably not the smartest/best plan of action to neuter the cat and spay the puppy the same week. Both surgeries went well, but the recuperation keeping them both inside resting but away from each other has been... tricky. Doing this when I'm getting ready for a visit to my folks AND I've got edits due AND am in the middle of a new book is worse than tricky.


I hate feeling frustrated. It's stupid, of course, because frustration is a part of life. It is PARTICULARLY a part of life for anyone who has children and/or pets, or interacts with other human beings, or... well... it's just inevitable OK. But I'm trying to recover today from a bout of serious frustration.

First, I can't seem to get anything DONE and then have it STAY done. Housework for example, and laundry, dishes. You do all that stuff, and it is undone within minutes. The dishes are washed, dried, even put away, and then you hear someone in the kitchen cooking and see a dirty glass sitting around, and off you go again. You change the litterbox and the cats REJOICE by going in and taking a fresh dump. You're wearing clothes when you do laundry, so there's more laundry. You get the picture.

Yesterday's frustration came early and lasted all day. It was like 95 degrees already at 7:00 a.m. I was taking Lucky to the vet to be spayed. I get her outside, am trying to get her to go into the truck (which she usually LOVES and wants to climb in when she ISN'T supposed to) and she balks. She not only balks, she bolts, slips out of her collar, and starts sprinting down one of the busiest streets in town (which while not up to Denver standards by any stretch, was busy enough during the morning commute to nearly give me a heart attack.) She's a cattle dog breed. They are FAST, can turn on a dime, and well, let's just say I'm not as young and limber as I used to be. I finally caught her parading herself in front of a fence with three unaltered males going nuts behind it. Get the collar on her and tighten it. (Wishing now I had the choke collar, but hadn't thought I needed it because she's normally so good about this shit, and now I don't have time to go get it). Get her back and it happens again! (This time she found an unaltered male dachshund (sp?)whose owner came out to find out what was causing the commotion and wound up laughing fairly hysterically about it. By the time I finally got her loaded into the truck and to the vet I was a wreck, which wouldn't have been so bad, except I was going straight from the vet to my doctor out of town and was now arriving dripping sweat, dischievelled, and smelling very strongly of dog.

Got there late (of course). When they tried to draw blood they couldn't get my body to cooperate. NOPE. All blood was supposed to stay inside, thank you very much! Took them five sticks before they finally got a vein by using my wrist. They were frustrated and embarrassed, and I was running late to my lunch appointment. Tried to call my editor, Anna Genoese on business, but missed her completely. Tried to get my prescription, but the pharmacy couldn't read the writing and the doctor's office was closed, so they're having to call this morning instead. Went to the bank, and for some reason they're getting back my mail. The post office says I don't live here anymore. This confused the heck out of the bank because, well, they're the ones with my home loan.

All day I operated at a dead run, and everything I touched went reverse-Midas on me. I am SOOOOOO glad to start over this morning.


I am a Catholic Christian. (There are people who say Catholics aren't Christians, which doesn't make a bit of sense to me. Our religion is based around Christ being the savior, so what's up with saying we're not Christian. Makes no sense to me at all.) ANYWAY, I am. I believe in it. I'm not ashamed of it. I try to live my life according to my beliefs. Some days I do better than others, but I try.

BUT I HAVE A BONE TO PICK. What is with all of these "threatening" e-mails. I will get a wonderful, inspirational (in the literal sense) e-mail that will have me smiling, and then we get to the end: THE THREAT. If you don't forward this to everybody and their dog instantly you WILL GO TO HELL, you are ASHAMED OF GOD who will, in turn BE ASHAMED OF YOU (revert back to the YOU WILL GO TO HELL). This paragraph instantly erases every bit of good accomplished in all the other paragraphs. I see red. I snarl. Even if I would've sent it on (because I really think the inspirational part is cool) to people who would appreciate it I stop. The only way I will pass it on now is if I take the time to cut and paste the first part without the last part. NOT BECAUSE I'M ASHAMED but because I don't want to be an emotional bully and ram my attitudes down someone else's throat.

If you present the information to someone, and it is good information, you don't need to hold a gun to their head (figuratively or literally) to get them to believe it. In fact, if you do they're going to be a little distracted (well, more than a LITTLE) and disgruntled (to put it mildly) and miss the point of the information completely and just cut to resentment of the bullying. In my opinion this kind of crap is counterproductive to actually being a positive influence on people, which is the point, I think, of evangelism. (I'm not sure, since I'm not terribly evangelistic.)

BUT there is this vague sense of guilt, like, maybe I'm making excuses. Maybe I should be thinking the way these other people are. What's wrong with me? This is partially a result of a good Catholic upbringing. Guilt is a part of my life. But it is also more pronounced because I've moved into the "bible belt" and I SOOOOOOOO don't fit in. So, to address this issue right now and forever. I'm NOT ASHAMED OF GOD, but I don't forward e-mails with the bullying paragraphs.

Friday, August 11, 2006


OK, for those of you not in the US and/or not paying attention, we've been suffering a heat wave. We're talking the kind of major heat wave that has actually killed people. NOT GOOD STUFF!!! Well, in the middle of this, my trusty air conditioner for the office gave out. Day after day over 100 and no a/c when working on a machine that gives off heat. Needless to say, baby that I am, I haven't been writing much. I had to wait (because of various things that I won't go into in this blog but were circumstances beyond my control) to get a new A/C. Alas, I now have one. James and I installed it this morning. There is much rejoicing at Casa Adams by both human and furry.

Now understand, I have never been a fan of A/C for the most part. I have to be really careful about the filters or my allergies act up. But ever since the spider bite my internal temperature mechanism has been out of whack (I'm going to go to the doctor about it) and I'm not only hot I'm POURING sweat. UGH. At any rate, I'm grateful, REALLY GRATEFUL for the A/C.

Now I can write without worrying about the machine overheating or my passing out from the heat. YIPPEEE. (Or, in the immortal words of Tim Taylor "And the peasants rejoiced!")


Totally different subject. Online stuff. I LOVE cruising the internet. I've made some awesome friends electronically (Including, but not limited to, our very own Jim and Yo from the blog) But I've discovered something. It's a time killer. It devours HOURS of time that I'm supposed to be writing. So when I'm trying to make deadline I've been cutting myself off. BUT IT SUCKS!! Because by the time I get back to everybody too much has happened that I've missed, AND I've mightily pissed people off who think I'm only coming to sites when we have a book out to "advertise." Sadly, when a book is first released is currently almost the only time we're NOT in a major deadline crunch -- if then.

Also, some of my favorite sites have gotten too big for my comfort. I like small to mid-sized sites where you can get to know people. When it's too big and there are too many topics, I don't even know where to start, so I just "freeze" and only go to the spots where it directly relates to me. SIGH. I definitely have to work on that.

ANYWAY, dog is raising hell. I'd better go see what's up.



Thursday, August 10, 2006


Captive Moon is not only out, but it made the USA Today Bestseller's List at 128!!!!!

That's one book from each series. NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Odd Meandering/Happy Birthday

MTV turned 25, but they aren't going to celebrate because they don't want to draw attention to the fact that they are older than their audience. So VH1 did a salute instead. That says something sad about our youth-obsessed culture doesn't it?

I liked MTV when it was Music Television and they had REAL videos of BANDS. (What a concept.) BUT they discovered there was more money to be had in being cultural icons and did things like launch reality television (from which I will NEVER recover), etc. I really missed videos until my son steered me to Yahoo Music and their video section. They have some classics, and a lot of new music videos that I can watch on my screen. You can rate them if you want them to know that much about you, and they'll play the high rated ones more and screen new ones for you. Now, I'm paranoid, and I don't like people knowing too much about me, BUT I'm willing to risk it on the video front. Because I really don't want to watch Paris Hilton's video, I rated it NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN and I will not have to see it EVER EVER AGAIN. Little things like that please me more than they should. :)

ANYWAY, since my discovery of online music videos I have come across some really visually cool stuff, and just some seriously fun songs. Now, remember from previous posts, I also like BAD songs (the worse the better), we're talking "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" of music, so watch at your own risk:

OK -- Here are FUN ones.

1985 -- This is SOOOOOO me. I actually remember every video it parodies.

"Here it Goes Again" by OK Go -- I LOVE the choreography and wonder how many times they had to practice this before they stopped hurting themselves and got it right.

"Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley -- What these people can do with Rorsach blots!

"Beverly Hills" and "Hash Pipe" by Weezer. (Look at the Sumo Wrestlers walking the walk in Hash Pipe and think of me with the black widow bite)

"Secret Agent Man" by David (hey he's big in Germany) Hasselhoff -- see if you can
name all of the spy movies and television shows this spoofs.

"Jump in my car" (Hasselhoff again) -- The highlight of this is that it spoofs KITT his car in Knightrider.

NOW for AMAZING ONES -- well, there are LOTS of these, too many to list really, and I'm in more of a fun/Dropkick Murphys kind of mood, but I'll give you 1.

"Bring Me Some Water" by Melissa Etheridge.

ANYWAY, I'm becoming an "old fart" but I refuse to grow up. "I want my MTV" I'll just have to get it from somebody else, online.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Captive Moon is Out!!!

Good News! Captive Moon is out! We have another book on the shelves! This is the first of the Sazi books done in third person. It features Antoine Monier. There are wonderful things about this book, but I'm nervous. Why? Because it's third person. I LIKE first person books. It's so EASY to get into the character's head and understand their perspective. Third person is just not "natural" for me. I can do it, but while I can get a first person book out right away, third person HURTS. It's like pulling teeth. But there are people who won't read first person. Cathy does not have this problem. But I am not Cathy. SOOOOOOO not.

I haven't been writing much. This is not a good thing. But it is a third person book and, as I said, pulling teeth. UGH. It will be all right. I know it will. But UGH.

For entertainment James and I have been watching The West Wing (seasons 1-4 on DVD) and 6 Feet Under (Season 1 on VHS). Extremely good shows! I am definitely going to want the rest. Both are very smart and very clever with people who screw up occasionally, but try hard. Six Feet Under is amazing at capturing the awkwardness of not being "normal." It sometimes HURTS it's so on target. I'm hoping that I can capture just a little of that same feel for the heroine I'm working on now. I want people to relate to Aspen, not write her off as a nutjob. I LIKE her.

Was reading the LKH blog the other day. (I do this). Two of the entries hit home. Then again, a lot of them do. (1) Was about people's expectations of her behavior based on her books, (They expect her to be Morticia Addams in her everyday life and are disappointed that she's too normal.); and (2) It freaks her sometimes that her characters are so real to her that it sometimes spills into real life.

Well, I was going to rant, but I don't have the energy to do that and get the pages out. So pages first. If I feel better after (usually I do) I'll come back and finish. Otherwise, see you tomorrow.

All the best.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Live and Learn

Tried a new dog food as a treat for Lucky. Live and learn. We will NOT be using that one again. It's taken me quite a while to clean up the mess. NOT the way I want to start a brand new day. Sigh! I'm sure it was worse for her!

Okay, on a totally different subject, I just read that groups doing work on a project do best if there is a really smart person in the room and everybody has reasonably equal social skills, and that these "committees" work better than if people work on the project individually (even part of the time).

I understand that. BUT, maybe I'm in the minority, but I have seldom (if ever) done well in working in groups because (a) We're all supposed to have social skills (yeah right); (b) We're all supposed to be motivated to get the result (it happens, not often, but it happens); and (c) Willing to work, work together, share credit and have time at the same time. This has never, in my wildest dreams, been possible for me. Then again, I have never claimed to have wonderful group problem-solving skills. I'm an individual kind of gal.

Now you say "But wait, Cie, you work with a co-author. What is that but small group work?" Not the way we do it. We talk it out, sure. Then we write individually. Then we edit each other, pass it back, argue some more. (Sorry, did I say argue? I meant DISCUSS [LOL]) When we have a final product we send it in.

I hated group work in school. I detested group projects in the workplace. It never failed that one or two people wound up doing the bulk of the work. If it went well the credit was shared through the group. If it went badly, the blame went on the one or two people willing to even try because they "took it over and wouldn't accept input." Nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE. Not for me. My teachers will no doubt scold me (but vouch for my veracity) for not ever having learned how to do this and my poor attitude. (Not, may I say, for the first time.)

Ah well. My position is, that some people can do group work. They are extroverts. They are socially skilled (at least moderately). Some people are not meant for group work. That doesn't mean they're not bright, nice, hardworking people. I don't think you should force people into things they're REALLY not built for. We are, after all, individuals living IN a group. Then again, I'm not a corporate type.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm Grateful

Hi Guys! I did a list of 50 things I'm grateful for. My son saw it and said I should post it on the blog. Now some of this is personal, but what the heck, I don't appear to have attracted any stalking types to my life at this point. So here goes.

1) My parents. They’re great!
2) My son. I love him. I’m proud of him.
3) The mass. You forgave (and keep forgiving) me. This is huge. REALLY HUGE.
4) Every pet I’ve ever had, even the ones I screwed up with. They’ve made a huge positive impact on my life. If I named them individually and what they’ve done for me I’d be here for the next couple of years. Thank you so much for giving me my pets.
5) My homes. I’ve had several now. It’s a big deal owning a home. I hope that I can get to the point where I pay for it and own it outright. I know, ephemeral stuff. But here on earth, it’s a big deal.
6) Diane and Jeff, Tim and Sharon, Sarah, John, Jodi and all the rest.
7) Camilla and Bill. They’ve been like a second set of parents. I’m amazed at how supportive they are.
8) The rest of the relatives. They all have their quirks, but they are amazing people.
9) The teachers I’ve had. Some of them were jerks. But I learned things that have helped me with my life. Amazing stuff.
10) The taste of chocolate
11) Pepsi
12) The stars at night, the sun and the moon.
13) The beauty and order of the world and the universe.
14) Sex.
15) Men in general.
16) My health. Oh, it isn’t perfect, but I still get to do almost everything I love. That’s great shit. (But if you could help me to be active and get fit (and my weight down) I sure would appreciate it!)
17) My possessions.
18) My talents, particularly writing.
19) Empathy and understanding for and of others.
20) The ability to imagine.
21) The ability to forgive and actually forget.
22) Steak, hamburger, the fact that this world can grow food.
23) Books.
24) Friendship. I have and have had the best friends anybody could hope for. Amazing people. It is SO COOL.
25) Laughter.
26) Movies, television shows and the kind of entertainment that makes you happy, but gives you real insights into life.
27) Indoor plumbing.
28) The fact that I live in a free country and can choose my own path as far as religion, politics, and pretty much everything.
29) Music, politics and pretty much everything.
30) Individual snowflakes
31) Claw footed tubs.
32) The rosary.
33) Beauty.
34) The smell of baking bread.
35) The food you give me and mine.
36) That there are people out there who actually TRY to help others and understand me.
37) Habitat for Humanity
38) That I didn’t die from the spider bite or any of those bouts of pneumonia or anything.
39) Other people’s babies.
40) The computer.
41) Prayer.
42) Antibiotics, immunization and modern medicine in general.
43) Breath mints and dental care stuff.
44) Cat whiskers and purrs.
45) The wagging tail of a dog, (particularly mine) and getting licked because they love you.
46) Bird song.
47) Music in general.
48) MILK with or without brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
49) Editors (particularly ours.)
50) All of the wonderful folks (and the not-so-wonderful but heck, I got to know them and work with them and none of us are perfect) who I’ve gotten to work with over the years. I’ve learned all kinds of lessons in tolerance and kindness from them. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way, but hey… it works.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sorry it's been a while.

Hi Guys! Sorry it's been a while, but I've been in the kind of mood that is best not shared. I've pulled back from pretty much everything and everybody. You REALLY didn't want to hear anything I had to say. Let it suffice to say that I ran head first into corporate America and came away bloodied and crazed. I will be dealing with the aftershocks for months most likely.

On a different and (bound to be) happier note, I am writing. I have set aside the mysteries for a bit. (Sorry Mom) and am working on the Sazi story we are contracted for. This one is going to be about Aspen Monier (the seer afflicted with both foresight and hindsight) and a former Wolven Agent who everyone believed was dead (he staged his death with the help of Lucas because of serious burnout). It is coming along nicely. I had run into a snag (usually happens at the beginning of the book) in the plot, but I think I've found my solution. See, I had my characters down cold, I had the romance figured out, I had the points I wanted to make emotionally (what's driving the characters). But the plot wasn't working. Now I've added a couple of characters and it's actually making sense. YAHOOO! I love it when it starts coming together. The writing goes so much faster. Instead of getting maybe a thousand words out, you get these huge heaping chunks of writing done and it WORKS. I love that.

ANYWAY, I have to go, writing to do, things to accomplish. Hope you haven't all stopped coming by, but I wouldn't blame you if you did.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue. I know this. I am not, however, particularly virtuous, at least as far as that goes. The dog is barking her head off at the construction workers next door. It is driving me wooka wooka. I have a bunch of checks due to me that are "in process" but haven't arrived yet. In short. I am being taught patience by force. And like all lessons learned by force, it is being learned with more than the fair share of resentment.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I wonder sometimes if other writers worry about some of the same things I do. For example, having seen other authors get raked over the coals over things their characters have said and done, I worry. Or will, because my characters, for the most part, have really dysfunctional families, people think that mine was/is? I had a great family growing up. Blue collar/middle class, happy, with lots of love and laughter. Oh, there were arguments, problems and misunderstandings, but everybody worked hard and -- for the most part -- we got along really well.

But happy families are boring to read. They just are. No conflict=DULL reading. So I take the sibling rivalry and amp it up through the roof, or make the parent controlling as hell, or emotionally distant and cold and imagine what life would be like growing up that way. I've explained that to my sister, my brother, my son and my mother (I don't generally talk much about writing fiction with my Dad). But that doesn't mean they aren't going to cringe if people start thinking that they're like these fictional characters I've made up. I mean... EWWWWWW.

Another problem, prejudices. Everybody has some, whether they know it or not. So, how do you make sure you're not unintentionally offensive? I mean, you can have characters who are offensive -- racist, sexist, or whatever -- people like that exist in real life, and if your world is going to be believable, there should be some in it too. But I'm talking the actual meat of the book. How do you make sure that you haven't been insensitive when you don't even KNOW you are because the prejudice is so ingrained? For example (and it is JUST an example), I've been told, a little bit to my dismay, that some people have a hard time relating to some of my heroines because they're TOO strong and kick ass. They don't show enough vulnerability to suit a lot of readers. I'm advised that a lot of readers really still do want the hero to do the rescuing and be just a little bit stronger than the heroine. Now this hasn't been conscious on my part -- but I AM a single mother. I HAVE dealt with most of the issues in my life without having to consult somebody else. So I just don't "see" that I've short-changed the males in my books. Now that I know, I have to look for it. I also have to make sure that, while I keep my men strong and believable, I don't eviscerate my females and make them wimpy whiny types either. OY! This is harder than it looks folks!

I want my characters to be well rounded. I want them to be believable enough that people feel like they KNOW them -- that maybe they live right down the street. But I don't want people to think that *I* know them because they're friends, or relatives, or whatever. In a weird way, I suppose it's a compliment that people find what you've imagined so believable that they can't believe you just imagined it. But hey folks I can REALLY imagine some weird shit.

Anyway, I gotta go. The mystery awaits.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Hi Guys!

I've been depressed. Really, seriously depressed. Don't worry. It's mostly due to having worn myself out. That and having a REALLY frustrating time with beating my head against the brick walls built by corporate America. No, I don't think I'll talk about that. It would just make me cranky when I'm finally starting to cheer up.

Why, you ask? Because I'm finally catching my rhythm on the mystery. It's a very different "flavor" from what I usually write. But writing it, and writing in general, is a true joy for me. It makes me happier than just about anything. So, even if this book doesn't wind up being "right" for the publishing world, it will be right for me.

I've been reading a bit. Read a new book that was compelling, but odd. I couldn't put it down, but I swear that as much as I liked all the politics and the magic (not so fond of the sex stuff, but hey, whatever), I really didn't see that there was all that much plot. I'm a big fan of plot. I love for a book I read to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. But I liked it anyway. Go figure.

Well, my train of thought derailed. I think I need to get back to the book anyway. Thanks everybody for stopping by.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I stand corrected...

The correct term is apparently "HIMbo." Also, a spelling note. Apparently if you have a second g in giggolo (as opposed to gigolo) you have a HIMbo with the giggles. Good to know. I'd want my HIMbo to be cheerful.

Guten Morgen Fraus, Frauleins and Hommes

Okay, maybe I got that wrong, but you get the idea.

What do you want? If you could have pretty much anything you wanted, what would you want? Money? Fame? The world's greatest courtesan (or giggolo) in your bed? Now I'm talking personal here. Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men is a really great idea, and totally selfless. I admire you for bringing it up. BUT we're talking personal gratification. So leave the squishies for next time and go for the GUSTO.

I want --

To lead a mostly quiet life with plenty of money to get me out of debt and pay for everything I need and most of what I want.

I want my son, my friends and family to be healthy, happy and prosperous. (What, you say that isn't selfish? You are SOOOOOO wrong. I mean, how can I enjoy my prosperity if everybody else is resenting the hell out of it. Nope. Totally selfish. I want them content and happy so they leave me be. RIGHT. You believe that. Of COURSE you do.)

If I have any enemies (and I hope I won't but, let's get real. It's me.) I wish them all the happiness in the world -- somewhere ELSE. It can even be somewhere NICE. Not selfish? WRONG AGAIN! If they are utterly happy they'll be too preoccupied with their pina coladas and bikini clad bimbos (or thong clad bimbas, this is an equal opportunity blog) to harrass me.

To be a financially successful, multi-published, award winning, best-selling author of book-length fiction.

Oh, and just occasionally, I wouldn't mind a thong clad bimba to provide distraction -- in the name of research for those obligatory steamy scenes. (RESEARCH. I SAID IT'S FOR RESEARCH. GEEZ, you guys are SOOOOOO cynical.)

Your turn. What do you want?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Don't Get It


I just was reading another blog and found out that yet another of my writing acquaintances is having to deal with "trolls" attacking her and her work.

I don't get it.

I simply do not understand why people feel that they have a right to attack someone simply because their art/product isn't exactly to the viewer's taste. Okay, facts are facts. I am not a big Picasso fan. I get that other people are. I mean, they're willing to pay millions of dollars for his work. More power to them. I have yet to see a piece of his work that I'd want in my living room. Go figure. I also find a lot of the formal literary fiction... dull. And I'm not positive, but I think I might prefer a case of hives over having to read anything by Nathaniel Hawthorne ever again. That doesn't mean it's not brilliant. It is simply not to my taste.

I think part of the problem is that so many people believe REALLY believe that if you can read, you can write. To some degree that's true. Anyone who is literate can, and probably does write to make themselves understood. (Went to the store to buy milk. Call me on the cell if you think of anything we need.) But that is not the same thing at all as creating a believable world and peopling it with memorable characters. That, my friends, is hard work and *difficult* work. So even if I disagree with a direction an author is taking a series, I respect the amount of effort they put into it. I may choose not to buy or read the book, but I hope I would never attack the author, or confuse the beliefs and actions of the characters with those of the author.

We have (to my knowledge) only gotten one extremely unhappy letter. (Although we've gotten some really nasty comments in Amazon reviews. Some people hated the world of the Thrall. Some people loved it. But there weren't many people in the middle. That's OK. If they don't like it, they shouldn't read that particular series. I don't like beets. So I don't eat them. Easy. Nothing personal against beet growers.

Best wishes.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hi Guys!

Hi Guys!


Hope everybody had a happy 4th of July. Happy Independence Day for all the citizens of the good ol' USA. I hate that we're in the middle of a war. Then again, I have never truly understood politics. I think the reason I have such a hard time with it and get so frustrated is that frequently there are no clear-cut "right" answers. I absolutely support our servicemen (and women). I am horrified by the things I'm hearing are being done to our troops -- but I am also appalled at some of the things I'm hearing are being done by people representing my country right now. In my opinion, if you lose track of those standards of behavior and freedoms that set you apart, you become the enemy and have already LOST more than the battle. I am horrified by what our troops are facing. But I am also horrified by the thought that my own government may have authorized torture, and unjust imprisonment in Guantanimo. The point is that this government was set up on the principles of freedom: Freedom of religion, free speech, the right to bear arms, no taxation without representation. It is what makes us who we are. If we sell off the Bill of Rights in the name of safety, we are selling off the very soul of our country. War is hell, and we are at war. It frightens and saddens me.

OK -- time to move on. If you don't have answers, you don't get to bitch. I don't have the answers when it comes to politics. I'm not sure there even ARE answers. So I pray for our service people and I pray for peace.

The leg is better. The asthma is getting better. (It kicked in with the reaction to the spider bite). The writing is going slowly. No real surprise there. First, this is a different genre. My mysteries to this point have always been short stories. Secondly, I was completely burnt out and sick, so it's taking me a while to recover. But I've given myself the whole month of July to play with this, so I should be OK.

Hoping to visit my folks at the end of the month. I'll probably take the train as it goes right to their town. Flying would mean coming in to either Chicago or St. Louis, renting a car and driving. I'm not up to driving either the whole trip from Texas or possibly even the couple of hours from Chicago right now. It'll get better, but I'm not there yet. So I plan to take the train, barring disasters.

We switched my thyroid meds and it appears to be helping. WHOO HOOO!!!! This is a GOOD thing. I'm not back to normal yet, but at least I'm in the mammals.

(Note of explanation -- first medicine, I was a snail. Second medicine, a turtle. While we have not reached the rabbit/hare stage yet, I am at least in the mammal category.)

(Joke of the day -- What did the snail say on the turtle's back?

Answer: "WHEEEEEE!!!!")

Friday, June 30, 2006

Hola, que tal?

Hi guys!

Okay, I have a weird thing that is bugging me.

I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I can remember. So I'm living my dream and it is SOOOO cool. It really is. But something has happened that is bothering me. Some of my old friends and acquaintances are acting very, very weird nwo that we're starting to have some success. Some of it could be that time and distance have taken a toll, but it's like the success has triggered a breaking point for some of these folks. I don't get it. I'm still me. Still have health problems and worry about the kid, the cats and the bills. Still can't quite stay on top of everything I need to do. Still love horrible puns and the world's worst songs. (I like really good BAD songs. Think Tequila Sheila, Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial, or Brad Paisley's Alcohol.) I want to stay friends with my friends. I don't want them to weird out. But what can I say? I can't MAKE them like me. But it hurts.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All the News That's Fit to Print

Hi Guys! Going to the doctor this afternoon for a follow-up. The wound has healed, but I've still got other symptoms. Still, I'm healing and doing much better.

Got the edits on Touch of Madness and turned them around, so the book is IN. :) It wound up being a very intense book. I'm really proud of it. Now resting prior to moving on to a murder mystery. I'm doing it for fun, and because my mother desperately wants me to write something without monsters and without sex. LOL.

Anyway, puppy is healthy and happy. Cats and James are doing fine. Life is pretty damned good. We've been getting good book news. So I'm just going to keep plugging along.

Take care of yourselves.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Hi Guys! LOTS better, but not quite well yet. But today I woke up actually feeling like I might seriously GET well in a day or three.

I don't know if any of you out there have had that sensation before and know what I mean. But for me at least, when I am well and truly sick to the point of "Oh shit, this could kill me" and I've been slogging through it there is one point where all the sudden it's just... better. The meds kick in, the immune system kicks in and, while you still feel bad you know that, if you do what you're supposed to, you're actually, eventually going to feel GOOD again. Not just less crappy, really, seriously GOOD. Today has that kind of promise. The trick, of course, is not to let up my guard, to still REST and do all the things I'm supposed to do. But, ahem, WHOO HOOO.

Still thinking I'm going to go to Vampire Lestat Ball. Have to work out the logistics of that and a trip to visit the family. I'm thinking that my costume will be a long black dress and cloak(usually available from any costume shop) that I will bead and decorate. The biggest beading will be a red hourglass on the abdomen of the dress and a silver spiderweb on the back of the cloak. I may also make a silver "web" veil. Sort of a salute, as it were, to the little nemesis who brought me so low. Yeah, I know, I'm weird. Live with it. LOL

Well, back to bed. I'm pooped.


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Refrigerator Test

Got this off of a Google Personality Test site. I am quoting. Loved it.

The Refrigerator Test

You will be asked four questions and you must rely on your common sense to answer them correctly.

According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all of the questions wrong. But many pre-school children got several correct answers. Andersen Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four year old.

Q1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

Correct Answer
Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door.

This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

Q2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Wrong Answer:
Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.

Correct Answer:
Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.

This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.

Q3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend, except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer:
The elephant, since it is still in the refrigerator.

This tests your memory.

OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your abilities.

Q4. There is a river you must cross, but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer:
You swim across. All of the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting!

This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Yesterday was James' day off work. Since I'm still down with the spider bite (pretty sure now that it was a black widow according to the ER doc) which is recovering nicely, (but was not an experience I would ever care to repeat!) We had long, long conversations that covered a lot of territory both fun and theoretical. I am usually so blasted busy that conversation just as an art goes by the wayside in favor of conversations with a "point" and decisionmaking. Of course, our culture, too, values activity more than "just" chatting. Anyway, to get TO the point, the discussions brought up these huge, AHA moments that give you an insight that could seriously change how you approach things and what you do. I'm so glad I got the chance. And I wouldn't have if I wasn't injured. So out of bad comes some good.

Wrote a couple of paragraphs yesterday before I keeled over from being pooped. (The meds wear me out.) They weren't great, but I discovered what was bothering me about the basics of the story and I now have a direction.

Well, I'm getting weary. The house is a disaster. I haven't been functional and upright for a week because of the injury and stuff just doesn't do itself. I hate a filthy house, so I'm going to try to shovel it out in short bursts when I have energy today. Of course, if I push too hard I'll pay for it tomorrow, so maybe I should just rest. RIGGHHHTT.

Oh 11:30 tonight it will be one week. A whole week of my life with really no production of anything. Oh well. There really wasn't anything I could do about it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ouch Continued (with a minor spoiler)

OK, it hurts. I was not nearly sympathetic enough to Cathy. I hereby apologize for any and all lack of sympathy for what happened to her leg last year.

My son is a little superstitious. He pointed out that in Moon's Web we have a werespider and Cathy got bit the year it came out. In one of the books coming out this year we mention a werespider and I got bit. He suggested NO MORE SPIDERS! (LOL)

I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow because I'm not sure if we're treating this aggressively enough. Cathy's was treated very aggressively and she didn't wind up needing surgery. I'd like to take that path too if I can.

Anyway, gotta go.

Best wishes.


Saturday, June 17, 2006


OK guys, most of you will remember that this time last year Cathy got bit multiple times by a brown recluse. She was strong, she was good natured, she recovered nicely and all is well.

WELL... I'm a wimp. The other night I was wearing shorts, sitting on the back stoop petting the dog and talking to my son James when without my knowledge something eight-legged (not a Brown Recluse thank goodness!) decided to crawl up my shorts and take a blood sample. (OUCH!) There are several kinds of "bad" spiders in Texas. The Brown Recluse is the worst. But whatever got me was definitely bad enough. Wound up in the emergency room. The bite is about an inch-inch and a half from my crotch on the inside of my leg so that I currently walk like a sumo wrestler with hemorrhoids. Clothing irritates it. Movement irritates it. And I am SUCH a wimp. They've got me on steroids for it and I'm supposed to check back if it starts oozing or weeping. (YUCK!)

I have no idea how long this is going to be an issue, but I can't tell you how much I hate it! And it has not helped with my incipient arachniphobia.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Greetings and Salutations

Hey kids!

Let's see, where to begin? In just a minute I have to get back to the copy edits. I'm a little nervous about them. Cathy is the one who usually deals with it and I'm looking at these and wondering in some places what the copyeditor was thinking. But I will work through it and hopefully do an OK job.

Had an OOPS moment last night. A while back on one of the boards there was a long discussion about heroes and heroines that are "Too Stupid to Live." In it I made up a heroine who, KNOWING there was a serial killer on the loose who was fixated on women who looked JUST LIKE HER STILL didn't take basic precautions, had information she didn't share with the police, etc. I made it up off the top of my head at that time. I swear I did. And last night, when I grabbed a book I'd been gifted off of the shelves IT WAS THAT EXACT PLOT. No kidding. After I railed against it as an example of what not to do somebody got published doing exactly that. If I am very lucky the person who wrote it did not read my rants and get mortally insulted. I mean, my opinion hasn't changed, but I don't deliberately go out to hurt people's feelings or piss them off. (Unless, of course, they've viciously attacked me, at which point all bets are off.)

I'm seriously thinking about going to New Orleans for the Vampire Lestat Ball. So, I'm looking at costumes that aren't too much bother and might actually look OK on me. It would, of course, help if I looked a little more like Cindy Crawford or Kiera Knightly. Alas, I do not. I don't look BAD, but I do look like a short, overweight, middle-aged woman. Of course I AM one, which might be why.

Well, I've gotta go. Work awaits. Everybody have a lovely day!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hey Kids

Hi! Weird note of the day. Apparently PeeWee's Playhouse is coming back on the air. Never really watched it, but I remember the scandal in his personal life that got it pulled way back when. I guess if you live long enough infamy fades.

I'm down. Part of it is physical. Part of it isn't. But I don't want the blog to be a bummer, so I'm trying to make like Peter Pan and think happy thoughts.

Anyway, the draft is done. This is good. I start the edits on Howling on Monday. This is good too.



Friday, June 09, 2006

Puritan Guilt

Hi! This, my friends, is an opinion piece. It is my own. I claim it. You are more than welcome to disagree and argue because I'm not emotionally invested in it. But I wanted to talk about it and you guys get to be the audience.

According to American history (as I was taught it back in the dark ages) the Puritans left Europe primarily because of religious intolerance. They came here and set up shop during seriously tough times and worked their butts off. According to what I was told, they believed in God, hard work, and that was about it. Probably a pretty good attitude for the time since they had to do things like chop down trees, dig and plant crops by hand and carry water from distant sources. Having gone camping and carried water, it's hard on the lower back. I can see why a heavy duty work ethic would be necessary. Anybody who didn't pull their weight would be a serious burden on people already overburdened. The impression I got from my readings was that the Puritans as a people were pretty damned dour. I can get that too. My back started twinging just thinking about hauling water.

Anyway, a part of our culture is decadent and corrupt. No doubt about it. But another big part of it goes back to those Puritan roots. Americans take less vacation time than people in the other developed countries -- a LOT less vacation time. We also seem to enjoy it less. I have a theory about the reasons for this: (1) we don't stay on vacation long enough to truly relax; and (2) we don't really leave the work behind. We check our e-mails, we take and make "check in" calls to the office. Things like that. Our mind never completely escapes work mode. Recreation is supposed to re-create us as people. That we aren't doing it is leading to some serious consequences.

We're tired. MAJOR tired. (Oh how I relate to this one). Since we're always "on" we have trouble relaxing, have sleep disorders (Oh, I keep reading that we also sleep considerably less hours than our counterparts around the world, too). And this makes us CRANKY and more conservative.

We're less creative. There was a time, once upon a time, when the US led the developing countries in IDEAS. Our art was at least keeping up, maybe ahead. We had some great authors and playwrights, several Nobel Prize types, and on and on. We do okay now, don't get me wrong. But I've seen a serious decline in appreciation of the arts. If you're working all the time, you don't take time to go to movies, plays, read anything that isn't business related. When that happens, you begin to think that the arts are not important, and you start voting to cut the programs that support it in the education system.

The thing is, creative people are creative. They can't help it. If you cut out the only outlets for their creative energy adults will find a way around. Kids... kids get frustrated, depressed, angry and rebellious. They think you're denying WHO THEY ARE and saying that their needs aren't as important as the football players and cheerleaders of the world. With these actions we are telling some of the best and brightest minds of a generation that they have no worth. The strongest and angriest will act out. (Ever wonder why there is a massive drop-out rate among the highly gifted?) The others will wilt, fade into the background, their talents lost to them, and to our culture. I often wonder how much world-class Nobel, Pulitzer and other such caliber work has rotted to dust in the bottom of a cardboard box in somebody's basement, or was never created to begin with because of the insistence that everything be useful NOW.

It's not just the fact that it needs to be useful that's a problem. It's the NOW. Because sometimes when you create something, you don't realize its purpose until long after its come into existence. And sometimes its the act of creation that produces something incredibly useful, just as a happy accident. One of my favorite stories is about Post-it notes.(insert registered trademark here!) Apparently the scientist was trying to come up with a glue that would NEVER break its bond. He failed miserably, got this glue that would stick, unstick, stick again. OK friends, have any of you NOT used a Post-it note? I was a legal secretary. These things controlled my LIFE. Can you tell me that isn't useful?

I hated school. I was a social outcast for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was that I was weird. I didn't think like most people. Hell, I still don't. But at least I had art classes, and choir, where I could channel some of that energy. It really bothers me to think how many kids out there don't have that. I ache for them, and I am so incredibly sad for our nation.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Technical Difficulties

Hi guys. I have been experiencing minor technical difficulties. The city had power blips last night, and my computer was on for two of them. It is now unhappy with me. I'm going to defrag and do other maintenance things to see if it helps.

I got the draft of the book to Cathy. It was still a little short. I'm hoping (a) she doesn't think it's dreck and (b) she can beef it up. I am exhausted. I'm cauliflower. (When we reach the point that we're so exhausted we can't function we joke that we are approaching vegetative status -- where you sit and stare at nothing and can't form a coherent sentence. Bad is broccoli. Completely incoherent is cauliflower because it doesn't even have the energy to produce chlorophyl.)

Copy edits arrived on Howling Moon. I will need to look at them. But for 24 hours I am going to do stuff that requires absolutely no functioning brain cells. Because right now I'm down to two, and they're not on speaking terms.

I know I shouldn't push myself to this point. Bad, bad, Cie. But I did. It's done.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Midlife (Optimistically) Crisis

Later that same day...

OK folks. Sleep deprivation is BAD. It wreaks havoc with the body, the mind and the (drum roll) mood. Now that I got a little rest, I'm actually feeling more like myself. YES, I do have some decisions to make. No, things are not nearly as dark as they seemed. In fact, they're pretty damned good! Just thought I'd better pop by and say so!




Hi guys!

Progress is being made. Today I need to do a serious chunk though because it's still too short. Sigh.

I have been taking time to sit down and decide what in the heck is the matter with me. I'm tired, and that's part of it. But there is definitely more to it than that. Once again, I've been finding myself becoming unhappy because I forgot to integrate parts of myself into my life. You know, "All work and no play make Cie a dull girl." And I am. Hell, I've been boring myself! Time is flying, the books are going well, but there's this piece of me that is very unhappy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the career. But I need to figure out my personal life. I stand here at a crossroads, amazed at what I have accomplished, but see most of my life as a compromise, not a creation. It was absolutely my choice to get here, but compromise really doesn't bring uninhibited joy. I need to finish this book, get some rest, and then see what I WANT to do. This is probably all a product of exhaustion and boredom.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jim, I Have Your Answer

Jim, the 2007 RT Conference is in Houston, Texas. :)

Yolanda, have you been submitting your stuff? Any word?

Working on the polish of the draft. Oy. Goal is to send it to Cathy fully ready for her to work on by Wednesday at noon. So I have to get back to it in just a minute. But I wanted to say "HI!"


Saturday, June 03, 2006


OKAY, draft is done and I survived. I'm taking a day off, then two to polish it one more time, then it goes to Cathy for her edits. I'm pooped. Totally pooped. But it is good that it's done, and for the moment at least, I think it's a good book.

Jim -- I'll check on your question about RT. I'm not sure where it's supposed to be. Oh, and are you headed to the Vampire Lestat Ball this year? I'm thinking of going and I'd love to run into you.

Had a wonderful time at RT, but, as is sometimes (often) the case, the trip wore me out too much and the body started raising hell with me. I'm doing better now. :)

Had fun watching some videos with James. Two were from Fountains of Wayne, (Stacy's Mom and another one that has a chorus of "The sun still shines in the summertime. I'll be yours if you'll be mine. I tried to change, but I changed my mind. Think I'll have another glass of Mexican wine." I don't remember the title, but I loved it.) the third is a send up of all my favorite old 1980s videos. It's done by Bowling for Soup and the song is 1985. Oh my GOD I laughed so hard! I'm having a hard time accepting that it's been 20+ years, but there you go. Hair metal will never die. (I'm paraphrasing Jim Butcher, because I'm not big on polka.)

Have a great day everybody.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Good Morning


We ran into our editor at RT. Bless her heart, she gave us an extra two weeks. I really needed it because I was rushing too much and in a panic because I couldn't afford to take that time off to go to the conference. So now we're back and I'm pushing hard to polish it up to the point where I can give it to Cathy. Since I figured out part of what was bothering me on the trip, I am adding those sections.

I want this to be a great, fun, read. As always, I'm terrified that I'm blowing it irretrievably. I don't ever want to get too cocky, but a little confidence might be a nice thing. SIGH.

Anyway, back to work. Hope you guys missed me. :)


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Hey Guys!

No, I did not fall off of the earth, despite rumors to the contrary. We went to RT.

Good news is:

1) We won an award for Best Werewolf Romance. (WHOO HOO!!!)
2) We saw seriously cool people and met some new ones.
3) Signing went well. Books sold, people met.
4) Got many more people interested in a newsletter
5) Got lotsa pictures (Cathy will be posting some and sending some with the newsletter)
6) Relaxed and had lotsa book ideas. (Which have been duly placed on the back burner until after we get done with the stuff for this contract.)

One of the coolest things about this job (and there are many) is the people. Some of the folks we ran into who we've already known, and some we met are big front-list authors. But they're REAL people. No bullshit. No attitude of superiority. You have to love a New York Times Bestselling Author who can quote Rocky Horror Picture at you and share the war stories of the first time you ever saw it. Or the other major author who admitted that probably the biggest thing she's hoping for is to be tapped for a comic book. ("How much of a geek does that make me?" was what she asked.) Or the "Lifetime Achievement" winner who had us in stitches all through the signing, bought all our books, and announced to all and sundry that the two of us were "absolutely demented!" as she laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes.

Another seriously cool thing -- running into the author who had just had her first book published at the last conference and was nervous as hell a year later -- after the book EXPLODED onto the scene and has done amazing things for her.

The cover models are great. Some of them are such incredibly nice guys, and THIS year things were much better as far as the attendees behaving and not doing the aggressively harrassing stuff.

There was the ocean, walks on the beach, a boardwalk with SKI BALL!!! An Aussie Tim Tam party. Food. More food. And yet, more food. I'm amazed I didn't waddle home. But the good news is, as much walking as we did, I think I actually lost weight!

Our editor is THE BEST!!!! Great good people.


Speaking of, the puppy's goin' nuts. Need to check and see what's wrong.



Saturday, May 20, 2006


I would like to thank the Academy....

Seriously, we won the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Werewolf Romance for Moon's Web. :) Got to accept at an awards banquet and everything. Thanked RT, Cathy, my friends and family (especially James), our Agent, Editor, and YOU GUYS!!! The readers are the ones who make this so much fun. So stand up and raise your virtual glass. You deserve it!

Thanks all!!


Friday, May 19, 2006


Hi Guys!

Writing from Daytona Beach, Florida. We're at the convention and things are HOPPING! Today they will do the awards ceremony. We're up for an award, so keep your fingers crossed!

Last night we had a wonderful dinner with Laurell K. Hamilton, her husband, bodyguard, some fans, Angela Knight and her husband. All in all there were nine people, and we had a wonderful time. I can never complain about a night when everyone can quote Mel Brooks. :)

It's very odd. This is our second RT Convention. They are so much fun! There was an Aussie Tim Tam party yesterday that was a great time! I was too pooped to go to the Vampire Ball, but Cathy went and has some pictures.

Anna (our editor) arrived last night. We haven't had a chance to talk to her yet. But we're looking forward to it.

Best wishes to all. I've got to go.


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Hi Guys! Happy Mother's Day.

Let's see, I don't have long, but I wanted to write. I'm going to the RT Conference and will be off of the blog for about a week. (Unless I can't bear it and log onto the pay computer--always a possibility). I still have to finish packing.

I love travel.
I hate travel.

I've pretty-much finished the first draft of the book. When I get back I'll be beefing it up for a day or two, then passing it to Cathy. It took longer than it was supposed to, which sucks. While I know the trip is important, a part of me really wishes I could stay and work on the book longer. I feel like I've been rushing it too much and it's driving me crazy!

I also hate leaving the house a mess, but getting the draft done was more important than housework. James is here to take care of the animals, so everything will be fine at home, but I fret anyway.

There are two I'm buying myself out of the next check if I can (barring unexpected expenses, which always seem to come up.) (1) A dehumidifier (I mean, crap, this morning I sat up at the computer and put on my glasses AND THEY FOGGED UP IN FRONT OF MY FACE. THAT is flipping humid. UGH. The heat doesn't bother me. The humidity does. I ACHE. So, a good dehumidifier. (2) A new mattress. I have one of the adjustable air beds (the model before there were "sleep numbers." It has served me well for a number of years. But alas, all good things come to an end. It's losing air all the time, and the divider in the middle has died so that I roll downward in my sleep. Sometimes it's actually funny because side A will deflate, but side B is still full (or vice versa, they deflate at different rates, which is annoying) and I will be sleeping on an incline. Enough already!

Anyway, I'm trying to get over being grumpy while everybody is still asleep. Humor does it for me. So I'm laughing at my bed and promising myself that I'll get a new mattress when I get the next check.

Everybody be happy! If you're going to RT, say hi to me in the bar!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Here we go again!


Sorry it's been a bit. The book deadline is looming, and while the pages keep coming, they're not coming as fast as I would like. Fortunately I haven't gone down too many dead ends with this one. I think I'd lose it completely if I did. Anyway, I've been locking myself in the office for hours at a stretch to make page production. Since writing the blog and posting to sites doesn't get pages out it's mainly gone by the wayside.

The RT conference is coming up in Daytona. Have to get things done before I go. I'm looking forward to seeing people, but weirdly, I'm not looking forward to the trip. I have so many things to do, I hate to take a week and a half off. Which probably means that I NEED to take a week and a half off. The body is not happy with me right now. I pushed it right to the edge of the abyss before I left the law office. The rest of the world can do that sort of thing and be okay after a couple days of rest. I need weeks, sometimes even months. Just the difference between people. So, if I handle the trip right I may actually come back in better shape. Keep your fingers crossed!

The dog is at 40 pounds. She is due to get spayed in June or July. We've had people approach us about breeding her, but I'm not going to. There are so many stray puppies and kittens where I'm at. Hell, she was a stray that nobody claimed. No, I won't add to the puppy population. Thus far the back fence is holding, which is good. The housebreaking is pretty much a go except when she is sick or there's a huge thunderstorm. Baby just doesn't like thunder and lightning. She can do a standing jump as high as my chest, and a running jump as high as my shoulders. She is very strong, very smart, beautiful, and very, very protective of me.

The cats are doing well. I'm happy about that. I got one of the multi-picture frames for me and another for James and took pics of all the animals to put in the frames.

Well, my break is over. Back to the book. Kate just got out of the first major fight scene and the police aftermath. She's extremely vulnerable and emotional. Not the easiest scene for me to write, but essential for the love story/romantic arc.

Hope all is well with you. Oh, and I'm thinking about the Vampire Lestat Ball again. New Orleans is rebuilding, and they're having the ball. I'm thinking it would be good to support that, but we'll see how I'm doing.

Later all -- be happy.