Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I'm absolutely THRILLED (and relieved) to announce that after much (much!) discussion my wonderful editor has come up with a title for my book.

THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD: A Ghost Dusters mystery

I love the fact that it totally encompasses that A) the heroine's job is to mop up after the dead and B) she also sees ghosts.

What do you think?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Writing in the Cracks

Most authors are familiar with writing in the cracks. Grasping moments of time, no matter how brief, to squeeze our muse onto the page.

When I first began to take my writing seriously I had four children under six years of age. I wrote between middle of the night feedings and between temper tantrums. Now that they are ages 7, 9, 11 and 13, I write between middle of the night flu episodes and teen temper tantrums. The cracks have grown because they're all in school now but life still gets in the way of writing.

These last couple months have been a huge trial for my crack-writing abilities. We moved houses after twelve years and our area was immediately hit by a series of storms that kept us without power for a lot of those first few weeks. Next, the holiday season arrived and I was preparing for a house full of company. Since the new year our home has been plagued with a variety of flu bugs that seem to leave and return with barely a gasp between.

Last night, as I sponged the forehead of a feverish seven year old with my left hand and jotted notes in a notebook with my right, I realized that if I'd waited for more time to write I still wouldn't have finished my first book. This isn't much different from my friend who trained for a marathon in the cracks of time between caring for her disabled son and her busy career. What's so important to you that you squeeze it into the cracks?

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Inner Dolphin

I've been trying to get in touch with my inner dolphin.

Did you know that dolphins sleep with only one eye closed? Also, they shut down only half their brain and they seem to choose which half.

Well, I've been working on a particular scene in book 2 but the realities of it seem just beyond my grasp. There's something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. I know it'll come to me but I'd rather that be now than later.

Once in a while, I plant a problem in my thoughts at night and *poof* I have the answer in the morning. I've been trying to give this scene some thought right before bed so that my brain can mull it over while I sleep and *fix* it. That usually works great but not this time. This time I dreamt of swimming with dolphins. Strange. Perhaps I need more sleep. Think I can convince my kids to walk the miles and miles to school while mom goes back to bed so she can work?

Have you ever tried this method? Do answers magically pop into your head when you wake in the morning?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hoopla or No Hoopla?

Today I'm blogging about Valentine's Day over at Muse, News and a Few Loose Screws.

Come by for a visit and let me know what you think of the holiday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Matters of the Heart

Everywhere I go these last couple weeks I've seen pink heart decorations. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that the human heart is really not very pretty. It's kind of ugly actually.

Here are some interesting facts about our hearts:

* The heart is fatigue resistant

* It contracts about 70 times a minute, 100,000 times a day and that's about two and a half billion times a lifetime

* It pumps between 70 ml and 100 ml of blood each beat

* It pumps blood to the lungs, back to the heart, out to the body and back to the heart again in about 23 seconds.

* It is the very first organ to begin functioning during embryonic life

* Blood rushes through your arteries with enough pressure to lift a column of blood five feet into the air.

* The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to your body to squirt blood 30 feet.

So even though it's not exactly a pretty organ, it's still pretty damn amazing. This year, I vowed to exercise more and eat more raw vegetables. That's what I'm doing for my ugly ol' heart. What do you do for yours?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fan Mail

I love to get letters from readers. For the most part, I receive email comments through my website and the comments are brief:

"Loved the story!"
"When is your next book coming out?"
"I've written a best-seller, please introduce me to your editor and/or agent."

Occasionally, I get snail mail letters and one in particular stands out. The note said:

"I loved Dating Can Be Deadly. Please send me a spell to put on someone to make them fall in love with me."

The return address was a women's correctional facility.

Now my powers and abilities are somewhat limited. Even though some of my characters may have supernatural powers, I'm not a witch (at least not most of the time). However, if I DID have powers, I'd probably create spells that would:

* clean my house
* make me thinner
* complete my revisions

So tell me, what kind of spells or potions would you like to have? C'mon let your inner witch shine through!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Self-Doubt Demons

Today I’m battling demons.
Hideous, scary monsters I call the Demons of Self-Doubt.
The ugly side of writing.

I’ve been sitting at the computer reading the first few chapters of my work in progress. All the while, my demon torments me and turns my gut into knots with whispers of . . . this is crap . . . you’re an untalented hack . . . just delete it all and start from scratch . . . and other derogatory words not fit for a PG rated blog.

I’ve tried my usual way to soothe and comfort my inner spirit at these times:
- I’ve been reading a book by a favorite author.
- I’ve soaked in a bubble bath until I’m a prune.
- I’ve gone to Starbucks to eavesdrop on the problems of others but everyone seemed surprisingly chipper today. Damn them.

Since the last three didn’t work it’s time for the big artillery. It’s time to buckle down and just do the writing anyway. Ignore the Self-Doubt Demon and push aside his cousin (Procrastination).

How do the rest of you handle that nagging inner voice that tries to drag you down?