Sunday, April 30, 2006


I can't believe its almost been a whole week since my last blog.....been busy busy busy. Today I've been trying to get the content up on my website. Most of it is still under construction, but some preliminary feedback is probably in order. Check it out at This is a website for my freelancing and ghostwriting business, not my fiction. And no I'm not giving up one for the other I'm just adding on.

As far as the my One Thing list goes, I'm up to 47 for the month. This really seems to be working for me so I'm going to keep at it. I may develop it into a One Thing series of self help books, who knows. I've finished two more paying projects this weekend and have one more still on the list besides the article assignments. All in All I'd say April has been a kick butt month!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Grill Master

Needless to say, when I got home Friday there was a shiny new grill at our house. And after reading my last post, my husband wants everyone to know FOR THE RECORD that he was not pouting......he was merely planning his next move........whateva......... This weekend we had grilled everything: steaks, hamburgers, pork chops...thank God he left the watermelon alone.

I did make some progress this weekend on Come As You Are but not as much as I would have liked. I also did some market research into some more magazines that I would like to write for. I'm amazed at how time consuming the research is, but I know it is well worth it. I spoke to the publisher that I am ghostwriting for and should receive my first advance check tomorrow. I know it sounds silly, but there is nothing more gratifying than taking a check to the bank. Its like validation that you are pursing a real money-making occupation and the fact that you love doing it is just an added perk.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Man and His Grill

And no I don't mean the kind you wear on your teeth(sorry Jenny). Every so often, my spouse provides the most comical interludes. It usually involves him and some piece of mechanical equipment(the one exception being the baby bird incident). So here's what happened:

We have a gas grill out by our deck. The old 1970s type that the gas company used to install. Last week, my spouse discovered that the interior workings of said grill had rusted beyond repair. Since he knew he was off work at the end of this week, he waited until yesterday to get the parts and proceeded to attempt repairs. To witness my husband trying to be Bob Vila is like watching Big Bird scale Mt. Everest. I arrived home at 5p. House quiet. Husband pouting. Pieces of grill all over the yard.

To his credit, he almost had it put together, when the pipe holding the whole contraption(which was also quite rusted) snapped off and the grill flipped onto the ground. $100 and a whole afternoon wasted. I felt really bad for him, but couldn't figure out why the top of the grill was over in the garden. Apparently that was the result of a temper tantrum. Okay I'm laughing now.......

My husband is a funny guy. He never even raises his voice to any human, but inanimate objects have the power to send him over the edge. I witnessed one of these little tantrums several years ago. After struggling for some time trying to get the grass bag back on his mower, I hear a cussing fit like you can't imagine and the bag goes flying across the street. Funniest thing I've ever seen.

So last night I took him for a sympathy dinner. Burgers at Chili's(it's not like we can grill our own now) and then he wanted to go to Home Depot to look at grills. You know what this is like. There's no looking. This was a pre-buying excursion. Next time you want to get your husband really excited, skip Hooters and go straight to Home Depot- New Grills For Sale.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Bummer.....the manuscript that I sent off last week was on my doorstep when I went by the house after lunch. I hate this process but at least I know now instead of waiting months and months and hoping. It was read and sent back by an assistant editor but at least I can tell it was read. In fact it looks like it was dropped in on the subway and gathered back up. But onward we go.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekly Evaluation

OH my! If my weekend is any indication I will be swamped with writing assignments for the rest of my life! Which is fabulous! I completed two editing assignments and organized my office(sort of) then I worked on 'The ABCs of Buzz'.....then I worked on my 101 Cheap(or Free) marketing ideas(I had 85 in less than 30 minutes so that will be easier than I thought). I put some time into thinking about my nonfiction book proposal and I think I came up with a good angle. Will start that next weekend. Today I'm scheduling interviews for my banking article and trying to think of a second pitch I can make to them. I might as well gather the quotes for two articles at the same time. I also came across a guy who has his own publishing company in Arizona and he asked if I was interested in editing and maybe some ghost writing. So I sent my resume and some samples. I plan to concentrate the next two weeks on getting my website up and running and send out at least ten queries for articles. I need to have things constantly in the pipeline to build a sustainable income stream. Gee I haven't been this excited about working in years......

Thursday, April 13, 2006


What happened to spring?? This time last year we had snow....Today it is 90 degrees. How wrong is it when the back of your knees sweat?? I'm busy, busy today writing and submitting. I finished two editing assignments this week and yesterday I finished and submitted another article to Black Finance. This one on questions you should ask about your 401k. Thing that gets me about people and their money is how complacent they become. They don't step back and think, Hey! This is my life here!!

The same is true about the writing life. I had lunch today with a writer friend (the fabulous Jennifer Archer) and she talked about how she's just realizing how much of a time waster she is. Aren't we all though? Yes, we are. Its easy to get used to the ebb and flow of life. You FEEL busy, but are you busy doing the things that move your writing career forward? Every so often it really helps to stand back and evaluate how you are handling your career. Think about it, even top CEOs take time to evaluate how things are going and what needs to change to get things moving again. And that's what you are. CEO of your writing career. If you don't like where it's at, or feel stuck in a grind, then you have the power to change.

Here's a suggestion: Take a week and account for every day, in 15 minutes intervals. This is similar to how they used to have you account for all your calories before you started a diet. This is a time diet. Get a little notebook, then write down what you are doing every 15 minutes of the day. After you have a full week(include the weekend), then evaluate where you spend your time and how much of it is really devoted to 'necessary' things, and how much is just 'wasted'. The biggest complaint that most writers have is lack of time to write. When you sit back and evaluate your week, I guarantee you will find many hours that are completely wasted. Resolve to use that time to your best writing advantage, then get after it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Hmmm. Yesterday when I got home, there was another request from a different publisher for a partial of my contemporary romance. Tis the season I guess. Though I should be thrilled, its almost like a bad flashback to two years ago when I sent out a few queries and 3 publishers requested my book......then none of them bought it. It was devastating and really had a detrimental effect on me for a LONG time. I realize now that I shouldn't have let it get me down, but that's easier said. When I look back, I think that all that bad made me so much stronger as a writer, and now WHEN it happens I'll be much more realistic and ready to go, realizing that the hard work is just starting. And no, I'm not getting an ice cream today. I had to walk around the park last night in horrible wind, being battered by elm tree seeds...not worth it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Reward

I decided that I deserved a treat for sending off my book today. Something little, that won't blow the budget(or the diet) too bad. So today at lunch I swung into the drive through at DQ and got a small soft serve ice cream cone. The kind we used to get all the time as kids. It was yummy. And the perfect thing to celebrate the possible advance of my fiction career. Of course that means an extra lap around the park this afternoon, but what the heck.

On the nonfiction front, I received an assignment from a banking magazine this morning for an article for their August issue. It will make a nice addition to my published credits and a nice addition to my bank account(which is always appreciated). This afternoon I am going to work on the pitches for the follow up books to the one I'm sending today. Just in case I get 'the call' I want to pitch them the whole series.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I had dinner last night with a fellow writer, Kara F. It was fun talking about the plot for her new book and my husband didn't even complain about us ignoring him the whole time. Then I get home and there is a request from a publishing house for a full copy of my contemporary romance! I'm so excited!

I didn't go to bed until 1:30 am and then my eyes pop open at 6 this morning. I was looking forward to sleeping in today(my first Saturday off in more than 2 months) but it's like that Disney commercial; I'M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP! So I'm up getting ready to print out a clean copy of Liar's Fire and ship it off to NYC. I probably won't sleep for a week..............

Thursday, April 06, 2006

When Things Come Together

There have been times(many times) when I decided to do something and everyday after that was a struggle. Nothing came easy and every path I tried seemed strewn with boulders the size of a Chevy. But this week things seem to be coming together....Really gelling....You know, like the commercial "Are you gelling?" yes indeed I am.

Its times like these they I try to remember when the rocky road of writing turns to ice. Why is it that the bad lingers so long in a person's mind, while the good is a fleeting thrill that's soon forgotten? That's one advantage of writing things down. You have a record of the good and can go back and capture that emotion when things are tough. You can also see how far you've come. While it doesn't lessen the blow when bad things happen it lessens the sting a bit. I would encourage every person out there to journal or blog the events of their writing life to remember the good. BTW I added two things to my One Thing a Day list. Yeah me!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Mile a Minute

You know how sometimes your mind races a mile a minute? That's me today. Its strange that when opportunities are presented it sets your mind into fast motion as to the possibilities. I just started the One Thing list yesterday and already have seven things on it. And it's looking like three of those things may actually come through. Very Nice. And a tribute to the One Thing Everyday concept. Me & Linda should make that into a motivational seminar and a nonfiction book and a class and.......see what I mean?

In other news, I cleaned my office this weekend(most of it) and it seems I have some 300 books to get rid of. Does anyone out there have an idea of what to do with them? At first when I thought about it, it seemed almost sad the amount of work those authors put into these books that I now want to give away. Then I realized that most of them have gone on to bigger and better things, from winning awards to the NYT bestseller list. These were the stepping stones of their careers.

And now, as I look at the pile of manuscripts that cover the top of my desk, I sincerely hope that years from now someone is piling up my old books to give away and thinking, "Gosh she's come a long way!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Time for a Change

In the spring, I like the time change. Longer days, shorter nights, deck date weather. What is a deck date? Its when you and your spouse sit out on deck each evening and watch the sunset. It may seem a bit boring to some, but it is wonderful bonding time for us. Away from the kids, away from the phone, away from everything. Definitely worth looking forward to after a long winter.

I'm breathing a big sigh of relief this morning. The last event I have on my calendar for this spring is now over and I can look forward to two months of quality writing time. Not that I didn't enjoy the classes, meetings and seminars tremendously. Saturday, we had a critique boot camp with about 65 attendees. They were wonderful and the day went very well.

I spent most of the week with the speakers and one in particular was really encouraging. Linda Rohrbough is a nonfiction writer that is making her way into the realm of fiction. She pointed out several areas of writing expertise that I have that have been languishing the last few years. I'd like to move into some nonfiction and her suggestion was that each day I need to do one thing toward that goal.

It sounds so simple, one thing. Yet how many days went by last year that I didn't do one thing toward my writing goals. How many weeks? Yes, there were entire weeks I did nothing. How do I expect to make writing my entire life if I can't do one thing each day toward my goal? So I am making a resolution(I don't care if it isn't Jan 1; it still counts): I will do one thing each day toward my goal and I will write down that one thing and keep track of it. I'll let you know how I do, and I want to know how you do too. How many things have you done this week toward your writing goals?