Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Holidays, dear friends!!!

The holiday season is whisking by. Did we already have Thanksgiving? I wish everyone a productive New Year and may ALL your dreams come true.

I am playing around with my photo editor. :D Outside has turned into a winter playground. Time for fun. :D

Hugs, Nancy

Monday, November 10, 2008

NaNoWriMo Day 10

There's still some writing time left today, but here's where I am now.

The head honcho of NaNoWriMo had challenged all writers to be at 15000 words by bedtime tonight. I'm there!! And it's not bedtime yet.

To be on target, though, I still need 202 words. I'd love to get ahead of target and stay ahead because I have an un-missable board meeting next Sunday and then Thanksgiving will be upon me before I know it. #2 son is coming home from grad school, and while he'll spend some time with all his old high school chums who are also home for the holidays, I want to spend time with him too and find out all about his studies and the classes he's teaching. I can't believe my baby is teaching college classes!

Back to the grind... er... keyboard.

Monday, October 20, 2008

2386 / 5000

I had to run an errand and took my AlphaSmart to Books-a-Million to write. Armed with my outline and a grande latte, I wrote for about two hours and added quite a bit -- 5 1/2 pages (1686 words).

I'm determined to finish this short story and send it to the Trues before November 1st.

I also joined a new club over the weekend -- the FTDB* club.

* Finish the Damn Book

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I'm starting a new WIP today, based around some blogs I've been reading lately. I want to submit at least one new story before I begin National Novel Writing Month in November.

Here's my progress so far.

What's One Extra Among Friends
0 / 5000

Write, Marilyn, write!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ah, Autumn!

Autumn is a great time for reflection and a time to set new goals. The summer whizzed by and I was caught up with my photography, leaving my ms to gather dust while awaiting edits. In a way it's good the story has had down time because I'll read it now with new eyes and see where my mistakes are with more clarity.

It's funny how you get caught up with writing fiction and a mistake could bite you on the nose and you wouldn't see it. The mind reads what it wants to see. Sometimes it takes a second and third reading to catch all the errors. I hope my menopausal condition isn't playing with me. :D

My goal is to have my edits done by December on my ms entitled SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH THOSE PEOPLE and to start the submission process by the first of the year. I'm not happy with that title but it's the theme that runs through my ms and it kept me focused on the plotting every time I thought of it.

What are you working on? How is it going?

Hugs, JJ/aka Nancy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Worthy Day

It is an incredibly beautiful Colorado day here and I am indoors writing.
I managed 10,000 words yesterday. I don't know if that was a personal record, because I don't keep track, but it was a long day. I even forgot to eat... and I like to eat!

This manuscript I am working on is flowing so well it's a bit scary. I keep wondering if when I start the next chapter I am going to come up empty.

Writers mostly call themselves planners or pantsers meaning we either plan and outline and do character cards, determine GMC and what ever.
While a pants-er... why can't I get that right/... writes by the seat of her pants... probably slky and from Fredricks.

Anyway. I have characters who have been talking to me for a couple years about their story ( shhh don't tell my shrink!) and at last I put aside the manuscript I have been plugging away at and let loose. Well, I gotta tell ya. I may not have known the details of their story, but they sure did. There was a surprise around every corner.

I love when that happens. I have trouble going to sleep at night because I want to write just one more chapter to get my heroine out of danger... if I can!

Now, back to the book!

kathi h

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hellooooooooooo Baby

One of my good friends threw a 50th birthday party for her mother last night, and the party had a 50's sock hop theme. She had the cutest cake that was decorated like 45 rpm records. We had burgers to eat, Coke in the little bottles and ice cream to make floats. She also had an assortment of 50's type candy including those little wax bottles with sweet syrup in them as well as pixie sticks and fireballs. Boy did those bring back memories.

She had loaded her iPod with 50's music and played it through a miniature jukebox. She even had bought a carhop costume, complete with roller skates.

We ate, we talked, we laughed, we danced and we had a hula hoop contest (which I won by the way and I'm not sure how because I haven't played with a hula hoop since probably the 50's). I'd show the photo from the hula hoop contest, but it was taken from the rear and well... my rear isn't as small as it used to be. LOL!

And we also had our pictures taken. So here's the DH and I dressed in our biker gear.

We roared in on the DH's Harley and all I could think of was the Fonz. Aaaaaay! You can't see, but my jeans were rolled up to mid-calf and I had on white bobby socks and white sneakers. Notice the class ring on a chain around my neck? The DH and I are going steady. ;-)

Theme parties are fun. Have you been to one lately?

A Quiet Place

Is there a quiet place in your life?I am having work done on the kitchen wall. It involved removing an old odd wall and studding and putting up dry wall, plastering and sanding. Four days and counting. Okay, so they were partial days except for the first one, but were the four days I had cleared the calendar to write and finish projects.

When I got the call that the carpenter had a cancellation and could begin work several weeks early, I was at once happy and disturbed. I have lung problems and there would be dust. Lots of dust. I would have to be the person here, because my husband would be at work.And, darn it, I wanted to write.I decided that this might be a test from the universe ( bear with me here) about my commitment to writing. Whether it is or not, I found out this;I am committed. I got a lot more done than I expected. I was so excited that the work was going on on the level below me that I focused more on my writing.I found that I felt like someone was looking over my shoulder, of course it was me, and I wanted to please myself for a change by doing what I love, writing.

I wasn't answering to anyone for these few days, because I had to be at the house; no quick trips to help friends or long chats on the phone. I was in a room that had no phone and I kept the cordless downstairs and turned off. Plus it was too noisy to talk on teh phone, but not too noisy to write!Another discovery is that I don't have to run to a cabin in the moountains to find solitude, at least not if I am willing to put up with the sounds of construction. Once I started story-telling, the writing flowed and my brain shut out all of the extraneous sounds.

I had scheduled this time to write knowing my honey would interrupt me and that life would pull me out of my zone from time to time.Instead, my honey went bowling or riding or what ever, because he couldn't help with the kitchen, and there was no room for him to sit in my little nook.I was in a comfortable chair being stored in an unused bedroom and had a window for good light and a sense of hiding out in a tree house! The room is in the upper level of our home. It is cluttered and looks like my attic would look if I had one.

The most powerful discovery was that I could pull away from family and friends without them being angry and with me feeling relief instead of guilt for not doing the important things first. I couldn't work in the kitchen so we ate take out. I might not have done that if the work wasn't being done.I didn't have to do dishes, grocery shopping, laundry or cleaning, because, well, I couldn't.WHAT AN AWESOME FEELING!

I think I have learned from this experience to give myself the gift of several days vacation at home. It is okay to have take out four days in a row. It is okay to be the guest in my own home and let others do what they think is important. It is okay to be out of reach of friends and family, and it is oaky if they don't understand. Who ever said you have to be understood all the time.I have freed my inner woman of mystery. I don't have to explain to anyone when I need time away from the ordinary. It is okay to feed my soul and let someone else feed my body.And it is not just okay but necessary to find solitude where ever you are.

hugs, kathi h

Thursday, October 2, 2008

marilyn na-noo- na-noo

or what ever. I always have trouble remembering that acronym.
I have known you ever since you first began that book and it is a great story idea.
I say just add 50 to that and don't start another.
I have had, as you know, several opportunies offered and I want to finish one before I begin another, but the newest story has haunted me for several years and now that someone is interested in it, I find I REALLY can't put the necessary excitement into the others.
So I made the decision to let the newest one flow until it wants or needs a break then work on the others.

to be frank, I want you to do it my way because i really want to read the story!!!!!!

So write it, Please???????
a toast to your future completed story!

kathi h

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

T-Minus 31 days

To NaNo or not to NaNo. That is the question.
National Novel Writing Month (hereafter referred to as NaNoWriMo) begins on November 1. By that point I should have all my "pre-writing" done and have a good idea of what I want to write about.
My problem is this: technically you're supposed to spent the month writing on a new book. So far I don't have a real clear handle on a new story, and even when I think I might be getting closer, an older book seeps into the thought process. The older book, hereafter called MAIL ORDER SPERM (or MOS for short) has been a project way too long in the making. But it won't let me forget it. I only have about 15 pages written on it, so it's not like I'd be taking a 50K book and adding an additional 50k. I'd still be basically writing a whole book.
MOS is about Maddie Prescott, a family law attorney whose husband died a year ago. They were always so busy building their careers that they never had children. Now she wants a baby and is prepared to send away for mail order sperm to achieve her goal.
Her late husband's business partner and best friend Jack Worth, made a deathbed promise to look after the widow. He figured it would mean checking in on her from time to time to make sure she wasn't scammed by some pyramid-scheme huckster or victimized by someone taking advantage of her loneliness.
When Jack learns that Maddie is arranging for a shipment of frozen sperm, he's appalled. How on earth can a woman deliberately bring a child into the world without a father in the picture? That's what his mother had done and Jack had bloodies the noses of more than one kid who called him a bastard child.
Maddie, on the other hand, had been used as a pawn in her parents' divorce, and she figured a loving one-parent family was superior to a broken two-parent one. She had no man in her life now and she certainly didn't need one in order to get pregnant, thanks to sperm-cicles and a little help from a friend who is a nurse.
In a moment of madness (or was it?), Jack volunteers to be the sperm donor. The arrangment will involve a dirty movie and a plastic specimen cup, but at least Maddie won't be buying sperm from a possible serial killer.
However when her job at the law firm may be jeopardized by her single parenthood, Jack steps in with a proposition to help. They'll enter into a marriage of convenience to provide Maddie the safety net she needs to keep her job. Instead of a turkey baster conception, Jack will make a direct deposit. Then when the time is right, they'll split, Maddie will have her baby and Jack will be a free agent once again.
Of course we all know that romance novel heroes and heroines fall in love, and Jack and Maddie are no exception.
So my dilemna is this: should I adhere strickly to the rules and try to write a story that's at be
st quite hazy? Or should I pick up the MOS story on page 16 and just add 50K words to it?
Here's a video I made for the story. Tell me the pros and cons of one story over the other.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pardon my excitement

Life Begins In Arizona is still climbing the best seller lists at The Wild Rose Press...

...currently holding the number three spot on the top ten list for all book categories, and the number two spot on the top ten list in the contemporary category!

I'm thrilled!! Just thrilled!!! :) Did I say I'm thrilled?

Lee...(who, btw, is THRILLED!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Midnight tonight deadline, making life easy...

There's still time! You can enter the contest until midnight tonight for a chance to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona. To make life easier for you, I've even posted all the information you'll need to enter the contest below. How easy is that? :)

Btw, I'm thrilled that Life Begins In Arizona is currently number six on the best seller list for all book categories, and number four in the contemporary best seller category!


Would you like to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona?Simply read the excerpt from the novel posted below, or on my website at www. leemorrison. org, and then correctly answer the question that follows the excerpt in an e-mail sent to me at lee@leemorrison.org by the contest deadline at midnight Monday September 22, 2008.

One lucky winner, chosen through a random drawing, will receive a digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona.The winner will be announced on my blog at http://lindaleemorrison. blogspot. com/ on Tuesday September 23, 2008.

Good Luck!

Contest Excerpt:

Claire’s head hurt. Bad. Her vision blurred and she closed her eyes. After a moment, she tested her sight again. She didn’t recognize the ceiling. A fluorescent light was turned off. Thank God for small miracles. It was dusk. Or was it dawn?

The gray light filtered in through a window. It was hard to discern. A long curtain hung on a track from the ceiling to her left. A dividing curtain. Was this a hospital room? She struggled to sit up, but everything started spinning.

“Claire, it’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Just lie down and rest for now.”

That voice…that deep masculine voice…it was quite sexy.Where had she heard it before?A large hand covered hers. It was warm and big. Gentle. Someone caressed her forehead, and pushed her hair back. She felt safe.Her body relaxed. Sleep beckoned.


Jake settled back into his chair. He’d been worried about her, but he knew she was going to be okay. He was more concerned about the man who’d assaulted her and what his plans were. So concerned, in fact, that since he didn’t know the situation, he’d gone out on a limb. Way out on a limb. He leaned his head forward and held it in his hands.

He’d claimed to be her husband in order to stay with her and protect her. He justified his uncharacteristic irrational decision by telling himself that he was in the business of saving lives, not throwing them to the wolves.His position as Director of the Emergency Room gave him an advantage, as well. People knew him and accepted his word. They were shocked when he’d told them, of course, but after the initial gasping, they’d accepted it.

He was taking an awfully huge risk in doing what he was doing, but somehow he felt he didn’t have any other choice.He didn’t trust the bastard who’d assaulted her. Plain and simple. He’d seen that crazed look plenty of times in the emergency room. And he’d been correct in his assumption that the asshole would make bail.

After a discreet inquiry through a friend at the police station, he’d found out he had walked. He shook his head in the quiet hospital room and looked at Claire. How could he leave her unprotected? He hated the loopholes in the legal system. The brick wall he’d hit with her identity was bothering him but he gave his trusted friend at the police station, a detective for thirty years, the honest story and Max was looking into it. Though Max had grumbled about the deception, he’d reluctantly agreed that Jake was probably protecting Claire better than they could—off the record, of course.

Jake had confidence that he’d hear information as soon as his friend uncovered it. If she had any family, they would have to be notified. He prayed he’d done the right thing.

Contest question:

Why is Jake praying he's done the right thing?
Hint: Read the blurb from the book posted below, or on my website to compliment excerpt.

...Life Begins in Arizona available digitally now at The Wild Rose Press, and next March in print at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon and other book sellers.

Life Begins In Arizona blurb:

Claire Stevens, an Emergency Department physician who escaped a violent marriage, is living proof that abuse can happen to anyone. New to Wickenburg, Arizona, she is settling into her home when her ex-husband is released from jail…and finds her. Waking up in the hospital, bruised and battered, she discovers she is married to her neighbor—who happens to be her new boss.

At least that’s the story people believe.Jake Cooper is the first man who has stirred Claire’s pulse in five years. She finds his charm hard to resist, but in hindsight realizes she has emotional scars that are getting in her way. If her fear of relationships doesn’t strangle her, her ex-husband, who is out on bail, just might.

Life Begins In Arizona still climbing the best seller lists...

Life Begins In Arizona currently holds a spot on two of the best seller lists at The Wild Rose Press. It is number 6 on the top ten best seller list for all books categories, and number 4 on the contemporary book list!

I'm so glad everyone likes Claire's story!

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy of Life Begins In Arizona, there's still time. You have until midnight tonight to enter the contest posted here on my blog.

The winner will be announced tomorrow. Good luck!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Thirty years ago...

... I gave birth to #1 son. I know, I know. How can I possibly be old enough to have a thirty-year-old child.

Well, you probably read about me on the front of the National Enquirer: Nine Year Old Gives Birth! ;-)

Here's what I'm reading right now. It's a romantic comedy by Jane Graves. She has a tremendous voice for comedy. Her 2007 book HOT WHEELS AND HIGH HEELS had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend both of these.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

97 Days til Christmas

Can you believe it?

Autumn shows signs of approaching. Our daytime temps here in Alabama are only in the low 80's and the nights are downright cool. I'm sure summer will rear it's head again before it gives up the fight and autumn takes full control.

I like autumn -- the crisp air, beautiful leaves, clear starry nights, football, Halloween. And then before we know it, winter will arrive and we'll be wishing for the heat of summer again. We don't have extremely cold winters in the Tennessee Valley, but usually once during the season, Mother Nature will slam us for a week or so with bitter temps. We're way overdue for a big snow; the last one I can remember was about twelve or thirteen years ago.

Of course, a big snow would cripple this town. Heck, a small snow cripples it. All the forecasters have to do is predict snow and the grocery shelves become devoid of milk and bread. There's a joke that if you spill a tray of ice cubes on your kitchen floor, the school superintendant will cancel school.

The problem is this: we don't have road equipment to deal with snow and ice. About the best they can do is put down salt and/or sand. It makes no sense to spend tax dollars on equipment that gets little use. Kind of a Catch-22, huh?

<----- This is an Alabama snow (and my granddaughter). Pretty anemic, isn't it? The snow, not my granddaughter.

One good thing about the end of summer is that life begins to slow down for me. The DH and I have an empty nest and we've taken full advantage of it. We have a trailer at a campground about 90 miles from here and go there almost every weekend from April through October. It's relaxing and a nice change of pace. But I seem to get less writing done because about 3 days of my week are spent either there or in transit. Then I spend the other 4 catching up and getting ready to go again. I take the laptop with me, but tend to get little done because the pool is more attractive than sitting inside at the computer.

I need to get cracking, though, if I'm going to meet my goal of selling a dozen stories this year. I've sold 8 so far. I have 3 stories in the pipeline, but one's been there for almost two years. I'm afraid to ask about it for fear they'll reject it. As long as I don't get a rejection letter, I figure a story has hope of being contracted.

So I need to dig into my idea file and submit a couple more before year's end. I have a couple good ideas: a woman who donates her eggs to pay for college, a couple who learn their unborn child has a rare genetic disease that will cause the child to die shortly after birth if it doesn't die in utero first, a woman who learns after her husband has a stroke that he's been philandering and abusing drugs and alcohol. I need to come up with some stories that are more romantic, though, because I much prefer a happy ending.

And look what my writing buddies at the Writing Playground gave me to celebrate my 25th sale. The charm is engraved with "25 Trues Sales" and was a very nice surprise. The little charm in the middle is a teeter-totter to represent the Playground. One of the Playfriends found them in a shop in San Francisco.
So what's the weather like where you live? If you're a writer, what are you working on? If you're a reader, what good books have you read lately? I just started Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves today. It looks to be a fun read.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


As promised, I'm running a contest to give one lucky winner a digital copy of my latest release Life Begins In Arizona, a contemporary novel published through The Wild Rose Press.


Would you like to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona?

Simply read the excerpt from the novel posted on my website, and then correctly answer the question that follows the excerpt in an e-mail sent to me at lee@leemorrison.org by the contest deadline at midnight Monday September 22, 2008.

One lucky winner, chosen through a random drawing, will receive a digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona. The winner will be announced on my blog Tuesday, September 23, 2008.

Good Luck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mischievous Anne Makes an Appearance

Here, pass me a bit o' that grog, me Hoodlum hearties!

When I came back from the RWA National Convention in San Francisco at the beginning of August, my mind was filled to capacity will all the new things I had learned from the three days packed with workshops. I also brought back a summer cold -- that's what happens when you're milling around with thousands of people. It took me about a week to decompress from all that energy and excitement.

(I must be an introvert/extrovert hybrid. I like interacting with people, but I do get a little nervous and do need to re-charge my batteries afterwards.)

Anyway, one of the lessons learned from the hours of flattening my spreading buttocks, either sweltering or freezing in the various workshops, was the importance of networking. There were several classes on promoting yourself as a writer. I attended a couple and my roommate went to a few different ones. I did craft workshops, too, but I wanted to conquer my fear of, get this, what if I actually get published! Yes, crazy as it seems since I'm not even done with my manuscript (but I do have a first draft done that needs lots of TLC), I'm fearing the future of me alone in the bookstore doing a booksigning and no one wanting to buy my book. Wahhhhh! So, I wanted to get a handle on what to do later so I can get back to focusing on writing now. Did that make sense?

It turns out that blogging is a powerful maketing/promotional tool, but when done alone may be too much for a person to maintain, especially when she's supposed to be writing her novel. The group blog, hence grog, emerged and can now be found all over that newfangled thing called the internet. For those who remember (I'm dating myself), it's like that old shampoo commercial, if you tell two friends and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on.

Kathi accused me of tippling too much grog and thought I had misspelled the word when we were discussing this. In this instance, I was stone-cold sober (which is not always the case, but I digress). I do love me ration o' rum!

Marilyn, diva of technology, jumped on creating our Romancing the Hood Grog and here we are!

I'm thrilled and delighted to be a part of this. My history with the Hoods is similar to all the other stories already posted. I lurked for the longest time on eHarlequin's Writing Round Robin and entered my very first contest for Rocki's hurricane story. I was POSITIVE I'd win. *sniff* Much to my chagrin, I didn't...and didn't...and didn't...dang! Where they not getting my entries? Where the editors blind to my stunning writing abilities? I went to the community bulletin board and lurked around reading everyone's posts and began to feel a really special bond with several of the members: Linda, Marilyn, Blueberri, Darc, Kathi, Dreamy, and more. I slowly braved posting comments. At this point, I felt sort of secure in realizing that these people weren't mass murders, sociopaths, or otherwise psychos ready to track me down to my home through the internet. Hey, I've been drilling the dangers of the internet to the kids so give me a break!

New Writing Round Robins came and went but the steady group of core contributors stayed with it and kept the dialog going on the bullient board. Kathi finally had enough and moved us off to a private group, where we've been happily babbling amoungst ourselves. Over the years, we've had a couple of people drop out, but really we've become a second family for each other. We tell our fears, failure, and obstacles and get encouragemets and advice. We share our triumphs and pop cyber-champagne for each other. In many instances, our little writing family know more about each other than our real families and long time friends. Everyone of the Hood probably know more about me than my brothers and dad. Sure, I talk with my family, but it's different.

The Hood's common bond is writing. But as we grumble and moan about all the internal and external conflicts that we have as a writer, we also talk about other aspects of our lives. We did this email after email throughout the day, day after day, for years. How can't we know each other better than family members whom we see once a week (if you're lucky or not depending of how you feel about them) or once a month or even once a year.

I'm so happy I found my Hood family! I hope that everyone can find or create a support group as wonderful as this one.


Your Mischievous Anne

Life Begins In Arizona is released!!!

Life Begins In Arizona is released TODAY!! My book is finally available and you can find it at The Wild Rose Press.

This also means that next March (2009) Life Begins In Arizona will also be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders etc.!

Claire and Jake begged me for a long time to get their story out. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Stop by my blog later this weekend for a chance to win a free copy...

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Can you tell? :)

Dancing on air,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I feel like a...

...slug. A garden variety slug.
I know I should be writing, but I can't get excited about it. I can't even make myself read.
All I've done for 2 days is flop on the couch and watch cable TV. I've seen two fascinating shows about Alcatraz, which were even more interesting since I was just there a month ago. I caught up on some re-runs of Law and Order: SVU, but the US Open tennis tournament is messing up the current SVU showings.
The one bright spot in life is that I'm going to visit my granddaughter on Saturday. I haven't seen her since Father's Day, and at two years old, they change so quickly. I understand she's talking much more, so she and Grammy are going to have a great time chatting. And I hit the Labor Day sales and bought her five new winter outfits. They're just everyday clothes she can wear to daycare. I sure do love shopping in the girl's department after having raised two boys.
Got plans for the weekend? Any ideas for ending my slugfest?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Marilyn, of course you have our prayers and crossed fingers for your mom... and for you.

This is a crazy season this year. I love the map you inserted. How does that work?

I didn't do any writing today. I was in a strange mood that called for doing laundry and running errands even though I had cleared the day to write. I can see where a clean house could be a sign of major procrastination from writing!

I am having a yard sale this weekend with a few neighbors. I really have bit off more than I can fit on A PLATE( how's that for a weird metaphore?)

Anyway; what do you all think of selling stuff at yard sales versus just donating it?

Also, If you went to a yard sale and they had a sailboat, a large doughboy swimming pool, and a full size ski boat and trailer, would you drive on by, or would you stop to see what other strange things they had?

kathi h ... bringing the strange to life.!

Stay Safe - East Coast Version

This time it's more personal because Hurricane Hanna is heading toward my mother, sister and brother-in-law. Two days ago, the projected path had it heading right at my mom. Today's map has it hitting further north. She's right there where the coast of Georgia and the coast of Florida meet.

I hate for anyone to get hit, but please, Hanna, leave my mama alone. She's poised and ready to evacuate should she have to, but she's 81 years old with deteriorated disks in her back and is more comfortable at home.

Hugs to those affected by Gustav. He was a bad boy but not nearly as bad as he could have been. And of course his cousins Ike and Josephine are frolicking in the Atlantic and could become threats too.

Give us a break, Mother Nature!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

memories are made of this....

memories are made of this....
da da dum dum...
there's a song that starts that way. Maybe it was Perry Como. Now I am really showing my age, although I will insert here that I was a child then and I still like his voice.

I put all of my user names and passwords...... yes I have many so if someone cracks one they won't have them all, and I change them frequently....into a password protected document on my flash drive written in word pad so I can find them when I need them.

For those who are new, I went through a bad spell for a couple years. I had a lot of close family and friend deaths and my own health wasn't good. Medication further fogged my mind and limited the time I could write COHERENTLY!

Things are better and that is why I am attempting to renew blogs and websites so I can be in touch with my cyber pals.

Today was the coldest high that Denver has ever had for this date. the previous record was in 1932. officially today it was 64. but out here in the hills where I live it never got above 50. After a relentlessly hot dry summer, it was a shock to the system to see my breath when I stepped out the door.

I am going to here state my goal for this month;
By the end of September... let's give it a date... September 30... I will have two manuscripts that have been requested on someone's desk other than my own. in order to do that, since one of those deskes is in Canada, I must actually mail them around September 20. I have 18 days.

So 18 days and counting. wrote 1000 words today. will do more tomorrow. now I have this to embarrass myself if I slack off.

A little shameless self-promotion...

After major delays and events beyond my control, a little birdy told me--okay it was the "boss lady" (as we affectionately call her) at The Wild Rose Press--that I'll have a release date for Life Begins In Arizona within ten days!

Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stay Safe

To all those in the path of Hurricane Gustav, please stay safe.

Taking control of My Life

Step by step, and sometimes they are baby steps, I am taking control of my very cluttered life.
It isn't so much physical clutter surrounding me as it is mental clutter and cyber clutter.
I have several old blogs because each time I wanted to blog, I had forgotten my previous user name and password.

I'm sure I am not the only one who is too impatient to wait for username and password retrieval.
It always seemed faster to just make a new one and let my friends know.

Now though I am setting myself up for a more professional image. People visiting one or more of my blogs may also be visiting web sites I have under construction.
I am a writer, photographer, and artist. I have heard that the artistic temperment tends toward chaos. In my case that is true, but I have spent my life learning to keep that chaos to myself and present an organized exterior.

Today is my line in the sand. I am getting organized again. I am making lists and "taking" names. My names. All my names. Usernames.

I will be accountable here on a weekly basis.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Hoods rock. Thanks to your insight and suggestions, I started the rewrites (again) yesturday in a new spot in the story, keeping the conflict external for a bit, and am amazed at how much I can keep from the original (if I want too, that is). I was able to produce a prologue and a couple of pages of the first chapter yesturday. Pretty flipping awesome!

Something else I've noticed. The 'rules' that apply to romance do NOT necessarily work for all other genres, as one example: hero and heroine meeting in first 5pages. That is what I had started with and that wasn't the best choice for this story. Once I moved it to toward the back a bit (not too far, I mean I DID keep the stuff I've already written) it felt 'right'.

Happy writing

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


For those of you who have followed the Bullet Catchers series, today marks an important day. Lucy's book is being released today. We'll get to know why she dislikes Jack Culver so much, why she has that white streak in her hair and we're also going to find out who framed Eileen Stafford.

If you haven't read the first two books in this trilogy (FIRST YOU RUN and THEN YOU HIDE), rush right out and buy them and get the full story. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but you don't get the full effect unless you read all three.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Evolution of a “Hood”, by Lee Morrison

Speaking strictly in terms of educational and emotional growth and development, when it comes to my hoodlum buddies, there’s no doubt cyber technology has left its mark on my life. My "Hood" evolution echoes that of the stories already told, but here's my spin.

Some where around five years or so ago, I started hanging out on the e-harlequin website hoping to glean some tips on how to improve my writing and become involved in the secret world of authors and editors.

Well, it all seemed secret to me at the time. I was totally unfamiliar with how to function among this group of people I’d admired for so long. Although I’d read tons of romances from a very young age on, I was also somewhat of a science geek. As someone who, for fifteen years previous to logging onto the eharlequin website, had felt the need to keep the romantic side of me fairly well hidden, I was stepping out of my comfort zone big time.

On top of that, I viewed authors and editors as largely untouchable for the most part, even though common sense told me that notion was silly. I wasn’t sure how to talk to anyone or what to say, and I also feared that my ignorance would be a source of insidious failure that would laugh me right off the forums.

Much to my delighted surprise, this was not the case at all. I lurked for a little while—okay, a long while, and after much contemplation, I took a deep breath and stuck a toe in the water. What I came to learn was that, just like everyone else in this world, the people I was getting to know who were, sure enough, authors and editors--*gasp*--were regular living and breathing human beings who had hearts of gold!

It didn’t take long after that. One by one I met each and every one of my soon-to-be Hood friends. We hung out together, watched, read, and learned about each other without even realizing it.

As the weeks of the Round Robins unfolded, it soon became apparent that not only did some of us just seem to bond very well together, but also that many of us were in the same place in our writing careers, and I, for one, was surprised to learn that I’d even begun to feel a little protective of those I’d befriended, especially when a rare snarky person surfaced.

When Roxanne St. Claire came along and jokingly asked if she could play in our sandbox, the Writing Round Robin took on a whole new dimension. Once Rocki stuck her feet in the sand with us, her wonderful personality and generous heart won us all over immediately. She was a Hood, through and through, only we didn’t quite know it yet. What we did know, was that from those days on, we all felt a need to stay connected and find a way to take our friendships to the next level.

Everything fell into place and when we started our own group, we each began to soar, finding strength from each other and learning as we went. Between all of us, and especially Rocki, who fell into place as our fearless leader and accepted her crown graciously, there was a plethora of knowledge and good will.

My successes, including a fateful eharlequin Writing Round Robin win, I credit enormously to my friends in our Hood. Also, I have one short story and a novella which are both available now at The Wild Rose Press, and a novel, also from the same publisher, which will be released sometime this year (still waiting for a release date any day now) and will be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders etc.

After writing my novel, I realized a need to grow even more. It may sound strange, but I feel like I’ve really only gotten to know myself very well in the last ten years or so. I recognized that although my work had its fulfilling qualities, it wasn’t a perfect match for me and I needed to make a change.

After working in the medical field for fifteen years as an MLT/ASCP (Medical Lab Tech certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists), I returned to college at the University of Pittsburgh. I am currently a full time student in my junior year of pursuing a double major in Psychology and Sociology. In fact, often times you'll find me on my other blog talking about the subjects I study in classes.

I love to help people, and my decision to take a different approach was based on a need to have contact with people on a more personal level than my lab work allowed. I have plans to attend graduate school and train to become a licensed therapist, but although my time may be limited presently, I also plan to keep feeding my love of writing and my need to help people through more short stories, novellas and novels.

I am happiest and feel the most productive in life when I can help people, especially an underdog type of person. If I can touch someone through my writing and make a life better in some way, even temporarily as an escape, I feel like I’ve made progress toward meeting my purpose in life. Btw, I’m a strong proponent of having a purpose in life. It’s fulfilling, to say the least, for myself and hopefully also for anyone I’m able to help through my work.

I feel right at home in the Hood. My Hood friends are like a second family to me now. They’ve been a never-ending source of support and joy. I can only hope I’ve done, at the very least, a little of the same for them.

The name of our group, Romancing the Hood is derived from a spin on a combination of the English folklore character Robin Hood, the Hollywood movie Romancing the Stone, and last but certainly not least, the e-harlequin Writing Round Robin where we all met and grew together.
And that’s how I grew into a “Hood”.

If you enjoy reading and writing, and you’d like to hang out with us, we’d love to have you join us.

I promise not to be so long winded next time. :)



Have you ever been in a place in your story where you can see where are supposed to go-- looks easy enough--, you can see where you've been-- and it doesn't look bad--, but no matter what words your write the story fights you? Well round one went to the story this time. But I have my boxing gloves on and round two will be mine. I've restarted the current young adult (ya) story from a different point and it feels so much better.

At first I thought why does this matter? I mean, I did my "research" into the story, the history of the people, the world they reside in. So why did it matter? I guess an article I read (in a writing magazine published this month, don't remember which one) brought back to mind the notion that the conflict needs to be demonstrated in the first few pages to make the reader (and writer) want to know what happens next.

But now I have a dilemma... Do I start with the internal conflict or the external?


I did it! I finally did it!

I've sold twenty-five short stories to the Trues magazines. And this sale is even sweeter because it's to True Story, the only magazine I had not yet sold to.

So to celebrate I'm bringing out the chocolate fountain and skewers and all sorts of goodies to coat with that scrumptious liquid confection. Oh, and the cabana boys will be here to serve you all. Just snap your fingers, and your wish is his command.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello. I am Kathi H Writer.
Today is my first time here, but I hope to get to know all of you.

I am taking this day to update all of my computer personalities. Yes, I have multipleinternetpersonality disorder. And I do mean Disorder!

I find that I need to update all of my little play rooms because I have been too busy actually writing to keep them up to date. Anyone else have this problem?

By the time I realize how long it has been, I have forgotten my usernames and passwords. Of course I could use the same for all of them but then what would be the fun in that? Plus I do write several kinds of books and articles; fiction and non, adult and kids; sweet; and SPICY!

Well of course not SPICY for the children. Or at least not in the same way. And I write under a variey of names.

Here in the HOOD, we have writers of all varieties.
As we introduce ourselves you will be entertained and perhaps irritated, but never bored.

So, kick back and make us your place to be while you have that first cup of coffee or tea each morning.

I am a tea drinker but I prefer it iced even in winter. I have a mug ( very large and very full right now) beside me and I am getting ready to work on one of my many projects. Have you ever noticed that when you finally make time for something you really want to do, sometimes it is hard to get started? For me, it is like I have to be under pressure to sneak in my writing time in order for the words to spurt out. Today it is like pulling teeth.

JJ Coming In for a Landing!

How exciting to have a Romancing the Hood blog. :D We have been together as a group for several years and I've loved every minute of it. It's great when writers bond, sharing their hopes and dreams, their accomplishments and sorrows, their love for writing and their digging in for the long road ahead that leads to success. How FANTASTIC to see the word AUTHOR in front of many Hood names already!

We sure had a crazy start. In fact, we were having sooooo much fun bonding on the Harlequin Writing Round Robins that I think they kicked us out of there. LOL What fun we had writing spoofs to the writing contests while waiting to hear who the winner was of a particular chapter. I FINALLY won a DESIRE contest when talented Yvonne Lindsay was the guest author. Before that contest, it was Rocki St. Claire, a MAGNETIC author, who believed in us and harnessed our wild energy to form the Hoods. Here we are, still going strong.

I have two areas in publication that interest me. The inspirational side of me has already taken hold, but here with the Hoods, I will develop my fiction writing. Couldn't IMAGINE life without it.

A wild wave to everyone! And Marilyn, this blog ROCKS!!!

Hugs, JJ

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ohhhh... our Hood inductions....

I am the newest hood member, though it has now been 3years. A course I was taking at the time required that I research different publishing houses that would fit the genre I wanted to write for: romance. Not being a Harlequin fan, but not limiting myself, I visited the Harlequin web site and explored for a bit. (Totally forgot what it was I was supposed to be doing.) And lo, what should appear out of the fog but the Round Robin. I thought what heck, why not? Why not??? Because I had only 2hours to deadline to write for a line I had no "experience" with (dangling participle...is it showing?) Ah, what the heck, what's it gonna hurt? So I subbed the 3rd Chapter and three days later got an email stating that I had won the RR for that chapter. Woo-hooo!!!! was an understatement.

I told my mom, who after it was published, went to the website and found the forums and relayed what was being said back to me. I read all the positive comments and then learned who it was who wrote them: the Hood. Though we weren't the hood just yet, that was coming.
With the support of my fellow Hoodlums, I have finished a wip which is now a manuscript, subbed it, got it rejected and lost it. (Not for good, have simply moved a gazillion times in the past two years. Well maybe 996bazillion short of gazillion.)

Anywho, have a 5book series started right now for the young adult genre. Each of first four books dedicated to each of my children, and all of the books dedicated to my kids, my dh, and the Hood.

Hoodlum Donna Michaels checking in!

Hello everyone,

My name is Donna Michaels and I'm a multi-published author because a few years ago, I stumbled upon a group of writers at e.harl all 'living' in my world. I'm thrilled to have a place on the web where others can share the ups and downs of this talented group of women as we journey through life and the writing world.

Because of my attempts at the Round Robin (of which I was lucky to win one) and the never ending support of the Hoods, I have 16 contracts between The Wild Rose Press and Forbidden Publication--3 of which are novels B&N, Borders and Amazon will carry. None of that would've been possible without the experience I garnered at the RR and support of the Hood. That's why you'll see the Hoods in the dedication page of all my stories--short or long.

Thank you, hoods!

Donna Michaels

How I Became a Hoodlum

Four years ago, I discovered something called a “Writing Round Robin” on the Harlequin/Silhouette website. Roxanne St. Claire, an author new to Harlequin/Silhouette, wrote the first chapter and every other week we wannabes competed to have our chapters selected to continue the story.

For that span of time we were all caught in a fictional hurricane, trying to get the hero and heroine together, create sexual tension, stay in proper point of view, not use adverbs but use strong verbs, write them out of the closet where they’d sought shelter from the storm and do it all in 1000-word chapters. Every two weeks, I entered my carefully crafted submission, convinced of its brilliance, and participated in the online discussion thread, which had lots of fun and games as well as writing tips from the author.

And every two weeks I didn’t win, which in my opinion was a huge mistake on H/S’s part. I mean, just how many other wannabe writers could there possibly be and how much better could their writing be than mine?

I’ve since realized just how amateurish those chapters were and that the other wannabes would fill a football stadium. But the disappointment of losing was tempered by the joy of getting to know the author and some of the other participants.

When the next Round Robin came along, a core group from before continued to participate. And the more we got to know each other, the more we realized we needed to form our own little group -- a place where we could share joys and sorrows, talk about writing or just whatever was happening in our lives. Before we knew it, the group was named Romancing the Hood and we all became writing hoodlums.

A lot has happened with our group since those early days of 2004. I'll let everyone else talk about their own accomplishments, but I'll share my own. My publishing credits include two dozen short stories in the confessions and romance magazines as well as contributions to EAT DESSERT FIRST: The Red Hat Society Cookbook and THE RED HAT SOCIETY TRAVEL GUIDE: Hitting the Road with Confidence, Class, and Style. I also had a story published online at The Chick Lit Review and just learned I'll be included in the 2009 Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar.

So what's going on in your world?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rabbit Hole

I suppose it is time to poke my head out of the hole and see how blue the sky really is, how wide the world is and explore the world of writing. So, I have been told blogging is the wave, way, path of the future. I suppose this means swimming, running or walking my way into the world of writing. Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhhhh.