Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Was Wrong

Before I admit to how I was wrong, I want to congratulate our RITA finalists, Linda Warren and Cindi Myers. You do us proud!! The judges obviously have excellent taste.

Now, about being wrong... It happens. Quite often, to be honest. Last month I posted that Spring had sprung. I certainly thought it had. After all, the first official day of Spring was March 20. On the following Monday, we had proof when tornadoes were spotted in the area. That's always a good sign that Spring has arrived in Kansas. Nothing new.

On Friday--only five days later--we ended Winter...with two inches of sleet, covered by at least six inches of snow. That's Stay-Home weather, as far as I'm concerned. The problem was, in the midst of the sleet, that sounded more like hail, and at eight-thirty at night, I went to pick up my daughter who was at work. I wasn't half-way there when my windshield wipers froze. Not the blades, but the arms that move them. I fixed that--with lots of prayers--and went on about my not-so-merry way. The usual fifteen minute drive took almost an hour, but I made it safely to her workplace.

The trip home would have been eventful if I hadn't noticed the car I was SLOWLY and at great distance following, doing a little slip-and-slide to the side. Just as I was saying to my daughter, "Looks a little slick up ahead," an SUV came from the opposite direction, slid around the car ahead, barely missing the back of it, and came sliding toward us sideways. It's impossible to stop on two inches of frozen sleet. A whole band of angels must have been watching over us, because somehow I managed to avoid the SUV without losing control of my own car or even barely sliding, and righted myself in my own lane, the SUV left behind in a cloud of...well, sleet.

So, yes, I was wrong. We had spring and winter...within a five day period. At this late date, we don't expect snow again until, well, winter, whenever that is.

If you'll all join me in a rousing rendition of In the Good Ol' Summertime, I might make it through Spring.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Most Expensive Blog I've ever written

This month the second book in my Cartwright Siblings series has been released by Harlequin. A Cowboy's Promise *Men Made in America* is Matt Cartwright's story. I try to do a blog tour the month my book comes out as one method of promotion. Until I worked on my post for the Pink Heart Society I believed blogs were an inexpensive way to get the word out about a book. Oh, boy was I wrong!

My blog for Pink Heart is of course about cowboys! And I did a heck of a lot of painstaking research searching for photos of cowboys to use in the blog. Well, I ended up downloading a virus…I was looking for an example of a "Calendar Cowboy". Yeah, I should have known better, but man o' man there were some sweet photos of calendar cowboys on several different sites. My computer crashed. In the end I paid $129 for a service to rid my computer of the virus. I also purchased a better anti-virus product than the one I had.

This Saturday April 18th stop by If the Cowboy is one of your favorite heroes you won’t want to miss "The Most Expensive Blog I've Ever Written" where I introduce you to Cowboys from all walks of life.

On Friday April 24th at the I'll discuss what I miss about being an "Unpubbed" Writer. Embrace and rejoice in your unpubbed status while it lasts because once you enter the world of a published author--nothing is ever the same.

And this past Tuesday April 14th at Jennifer's Random Musings, Matt Cartwright, the hero in A Cowboy's Promise completed sentences like "I am… I dream…. I need… So if you want to know what Matt dreams about, what he thinks, even what he dances to click here .

Post a comment at the blogs--including this one--and you'll have a chance to win a copy of A Cowboy's Promise!

Here's hoping you don't run into any sexy, brooding Cowboys that carry viruses!

A Cowboy's Promise
*Men Made in America* (April 2009)
Samantha's Cowboy (August 2009)
A Cowboy Christmas (December 2009)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Writers' Resources

Since I’m too busy writing and teaching to come up with ideas, I’d like to list some reference books by and about writing and research that I’ve found especially helpful. Perhaps some of you will, too.

Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder. A perceptive breakdown of how to structure a script or book so the plot really works.

Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger. The title speaks for itself.

Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger. This book is helpful to novelists, too, in rewriting and refining their work.

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. An experienced agent looks at the big picture for novelists.

Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. This is an absolutely hilarious, passionate take on – believe it or not – punctuation.

True Blue: An insider’s guide to street cops for writers, by Lynda Sue Cooper. If you write about police and have never spent much time with them, you’ll find this invaluable.

Forensics for Dummies by D.P. Lyle, M.D. Here’s a richly detailed compendium to make the forensics in your murder mysteries credible.

Also, I've posted writing tips on my Web site, Enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! This holiday always allows me to remind myself of the real meaning of what I do, and to celebrate life and the glorification of God and his resurrected Son. It’s also a rare time I see my family all in one place.

It’s also going to be a busy day for me as I have to start packing and getting ready.

Wednesday I’ll be on an airplane, winging my way to Phoenix, AZ. It’ll be my first time in Phoenix, and I’m looking forward to warm weather and sunny skies.

I’ll be traveling with eight of my yearbook and newspaper students—all girls. I remember traveling to Kansas City for the Journalism Education Association convention when I was in high school. This year my daughter is going for the first time as part of the staff. She’s got more years ahead of her.

It’ll be a busy trip. There are sessions and a trade show and all sorts of things to do in Phoenix itself, not that we’ll really be there long enough to enjoy anything but the pool. But after being in the cold St. Louis weather lately, that’ll be enough.

I’m a featured speaker, and I’ll be giving a workshop called “Words Words Words” and talking about the writing and submission process. I doubt I’d be the author I am today if I hadn’t gotten my publishing start on my high school newspaper. So I’ll be conveying all sorts of tips and encouragement to budding novelists of all ages. I just finished making my powerpoint and need to go work on the notes to accompany it.

So everyone have a wonderful Easter and I’ll catch you on the 20th and let you know how it went.