Friday, October 12, 2007

The Busy Life (AKA Insanity--to be read tongue in cheek)

I laughed when I read Kara's last line in her blog below. She wrote, "Really, though, I shouldn't complain. My life is a cakewalk compared to that of an author with a 9-5 job and kids who still manages to write three or more books a year. Now, if you really want something done, ask one of them, not me!"

My answer--Don't ask me. I can't handle anymore. I'm insane enough as it is. I'm a woman who does too much but doesn't know how to stop. There probably has to be a course out there I can take which will help me learn the word no. Of course, I have no time to take it.

Seriously. To deal with the stress that has been constant to my Type A personality, I 've started working out, thus reducing the amount of writing time I have. Not sure how sane that is but writing is giving me desk butt. I'm crazy enough to still believe the fantasy that I can still be as slim as I was in college.

There's that Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" that goes "I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind..."

There's something pleasant about the fact that I've learned to admit that, somewhere along the line, my life became a coke and a sandwich short of a picnic. People seem to accept my honesty. I emailed my editor these exact words: "Since I'm officially insane, change the last line of my bio to read: five extremely lazy house cats and one rambunctious kitten that rule the roost."

Her reply, "Sure." She knows me. She didn't blink an eye that I have six cats. Thankfully when you count the basement we have over 4,600 sqare feet in our house. That helps a little, but it's still eight cat boxes. Admittedly insane. However, the fact that the kids now have to clean four cat boxes each to get their weekly allowance (while I do nothing) makes me brilliant and smart. Important little known fact: losing your mind doesn't mean you get stupid.

Parties can be fun. Typical conversation starter: So what do you do? Being a writer is like being a doctor or a lawyer--people go "Wow." No one wants to be a teacher. In fact, people hear that I'm a teacher and say, "Wow, you must be crazy to teach high school." If they are a teacher themselves, they shake their head and tell me they couldn't work with anything but elementary kids. And when you find another high school teacher, then the fun really starts. Trust me.

So back to doing too much--somewhere out there someone has my nice, quiet, calm, sane life. The day I gave up trying to find that person and take it back was a pretty freeing moment. As much as I meet myself coming and going, I'm enjoying every minute. I'll see my 15th and 16th book published in December and that's worth all the mayhem that it takes.

So, I'll leave you with the chorus to the Warren Brothers' song "Change" from their album Well Deserved Obsurity. The Warren Brothers are Barely Famous and their show on CMT by that name was positively a riot.

"One of these days
my luck is gonna change
they'll think I'm brillant instead of insane
eveything will be different
but I'll be the same
one of these days my luck is gonna change..."

So if you really want something done, go find that person who's bored out of their mind living my sane life. They could probably use a shake up. As for me, the roller coaster goes on and I'm ready for the ride to continue.


Ps--on the very serious note--hopefully I haven't insulted anyone with my post. My adoptive mother has a history of mental illness, so I know exactly how hard dealing with it can be. Let me reassure you, it's something I take very seriously.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

If you want something done ...

... ask a busy person to do it.

I love that saying, because it's so true. When I overschedule myself, I have to use my time wisely or I'll miss deadlines or appointments. But during a week when nothing much is going on, I move like a snail on Dramamine. I figure there's always plenty of time, no need to hurry, and so I don't.

When my schedule is packed and my To-Do list won't fit on one sheet of paper, I'm in efficiency mode. If I can multi-task, I do it. And usually, if someone asks me to do something, I say yes because I can always squeeze in one more thing. But if my week stretches ahead of me gloriously empty, I'm reluctant to take on a task because I don't want to spoil the slothfulness of it all.

Peeking at my schedule for the next six weeks is a little bit terrifying. Seems everything I volunteered to do over the past year is coming to roost in October and November--booksignings, contest judging, critiques, family gatherings, travel, tree planting, workshops, pet vaccinations, Halloween and Thanksgiving and ... oh, yes, I have both a book and a proposal due.

So someone explain to me why I volunteered to host a neighborhood wine-tasting party in two weeks? Because I'm busy and I want to be busier? Because I'm just not stressed enough?

Really, though, I shouldn't complain. My life is a cakewalk compared to that of an author with a 9-5 job and kids who still manages to write three or more books a year. Now, if you really want something done, ask one of them, not me!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fun in a Small Town

First up, thanks to all the wonderful American Romance authors for inviting me to join them on this blog. They’re a great bunch of ladies and I’m so happy to be one of them.

My first Harlequin American Romance, Marriage On Her Mind, goes on sale this week. (You can see the cover at the right side of this blog)It’s the first of what I hope will be a series of books set in Crested Butte, Colorado. (The second book, The Right Mr. Wrong, comes out in February.)

While I’ve often written about made-up places, Crested Butte is a real, live Colorado town, one I visit often and have come to love dearly. It’s an old mining town turned ski mecca, with a penchant for quirky festivals that often involve costume parties. It seemed the perfect place to set a series of fun romances. While all the people in the book are products of my own imagination, I used many real businesses, along with many of the fun festivals from the town.

Of course, there’s a danger in setting a book in a real place. Since I don’t live there and am not a native, there’s a chance I got something wrong in sprite of all my research. Even though none of my characters are based on real people, someone might think they are. And while I meant the book to portray the town and its people in the most positive manner, someone might take offense.

Last week the county paper did a nice article about the book, and the bookstore on the town’s main street tells me they’ve ordered a bunch and will do a special display. Now I sit nervously on my hands and wait for the reaction from the town. I hope they appreciate how I’ve portrayed their home. I hope my love for the place comes through.

Over Thanksgiving I’m visiting the town and will be signing at the bookstore, so I guess I’ll find out then what they really think!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Hi all,
I’m in search of a title and I could use your help. I have to come up with a list of titles for my next American and, okay, I’ll admit I’m stuck. The working title is Down In Texas.

Are you good with titles? I hope this will be fun and it will really help me. I’ll give you a short synopsis and see what you can come up with. I’ll draw a winner from those who post. The winner will receive a Texas beaded bookmark. You can see these on my Web site If your title is chosen, I’ll give you a free copy of the book when it is released. So do you feel like playing name that book:

Here goes: The hero, Reed, is CEO of a family owned Texas chain of department stores. Cari, the heroine, is a vice president in the company. She’s worked her way up the corporate ladder from a saleslady. Somewhere along the way she’s fallen in love with the handsome CEO. But Reed has a motto: he never dates the women working for him. It’s bad for the company.

Cari is torn between her heart and her job. At the risk of losing it all, she has to tell him how she feels. Just as she screws up her courage, Reed announces his engagement. Cari is devastated and knows she can no longer work for the company.

After a scheduled trip to an El Paso store, she plans to turn in her resignation. Then the unthinkable happens; the plane crashes in desolate west Texas. They are the only two survivors.

Now their lives are not about numbers, big business or broken hearts. It’s about survival. As they wait for a rescue team, they talk, shared and learn personal things about the other. When help doesn’t arrive, they start the long trek to civilization. Along the way they lean on each other and find courage, hope and love.

But is it real? Or is it something fabricated from their dire situation? Will it stand the test of the real world…

What do you think? Anything come to mind?
Have a great Monday.