Monday, December 31, 2007

Ringing In & Out!

WOW! It's the last day of 2007!

Tomorrow starts 2008!

Like so many others, this time of year I find myself reflecting on the past and anticipating the future. This time it's an incredibly positive experience for me in BOTH directions! 2007 turned out to be a momentous year for me and 2008 promises to be even better.

Though I didn't know it, the seeds of my wonderful year were sown in 2006 when I became a finalist in the RWA Golden Heart contest. I found myself on an email loop with the 50+ other finalist and eventually, 19 of those fabulous ladies and I started our group blog The Romance Bandits. I can't even begin to tell you how much the friendship and comraderie of that group has meant to me. Our successes individually and as a group have far exceeded anything I dared hope or imagine.

I know that 2008 will hold more of the same for me and the rest of the Banditas. I can't WAIT to see what happens to us and where this crazy road will lead.

Being a 2006 Golden Heart finalist also led indirectly to achieving my dream of selling a novel. I met my editor at the 2006 RWA National Conference and she asked to read my manuscript. Although she turned that book down, she ultimately bought my next one, and I probably never would have approached her if she had not asked me for that first manuscript!

So 2007 marked the beginning of my long held dream -- BEING PUBLISHED!

2008 will see the accomplishment of that dream when my book hits the shelves in nine or ten more months. I hope to make my second and almost equally as exciting sale by then, too.

At the 2006 RWA Conference, Christina Dodd gave an inspiring speech about how all writers were moving down the same sidewalk. It's been a GREAT TRIP so far and I can't wait to see where the sidewalk takes me in 2008!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! POTC Aunty Style

Seems like it's time for Aunty to recount yet another of her travel mishaps... er, um, ADVENTURES. But frankly, the holiday crush has left me so frazzled that all I can think about is how much I'd rather be on a cruise! Since I don't yet have the piccies from my latest sojourn to sunny Mexico, I'll share a few snaps from my cruise to the Carribean last October.

This scary looking scalawag wasn't real flesh and blood. But speaking of scary, those glowing white legs on Aunty are all too real.

Here is Aunty on the tiny Caribbean Isle of Grand Turk. Those colorful buildings behind me are the only motel in the island's solitary town, Cockburn. Yes, they are right on the beach.

Finally, I'll close with a beautiful piccie of Forteleza in Old San Juan. The fort was originally constructed in the 1500s to protect the city from pirates. It was rebuilt several times and reached it's current form in the 1700s with the help of some Irishmen.
And yes, the water really was that beautiful blue.

Oh, how I wish I was THERE!

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night..."

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I got an email from My Editor (yup, still a thrill when I type those words) this week. They want to change the title of my book. Seems some of the good folks in the sales/marketing department don't know what a "fen" is.

I'll admit, I've been expecting this. From what I've heard and read, very few books wind up being published with the title the author originally had. I mean, even Gone With The Wind was once titled Tomorrow Is Another Day, and for all we know Othello might have once been called Iago's Revenge. (Hey, that's a lot catchier!) Besides, I've always said I don't care what title my book has, as long as it SELLS!

But, of course the timing SUX. I'm trying to launch my website and I just sent out my first "newsletter" to friends and family talking about my soon-to-be-published book, Death In The Fens. Except that is no longer the title. And the "working title" My Editor mentioned does not have final approval yet. *heavy sigh* For the time being looks like I'll have to refer to it as The Book Formerly Known As Death In The Fens.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Year Above Ground!

That's what a former boss of mine used to say instead of Happy Birthday. Only within the last few years have I begun to appreciate the significance. And yes, it truly SUX to have your birthday the week before Christmas. First you have to wait ALL YEAR to get any presents, then they all come at once. Second, your birthday gets lost in the shuffle. Parties never come off because everyone is BUSY with the holidays. The weather is crappy (great rationalization to move to the Southern Hemisphere!). Forget anything that's not Christmas themed. My mother was the only person who NEVER wrapped my birthday present in Christmas paper. Sometimes she had to use the comic section of the newspaper, but NEVER Christmas paper.

Finally, DO NOT get me started on the people who try to pull the old "This is your birthday and Christmas present COMBINED" scam! Of course your old Aunty has the perfect cure for that one. I just smile and say, "Really? This is YOUR birthday and Christmas present COMBINED." And when the person looks shocked and says, "But my birthday is in July!" I simply reply, "Too bad."

So I just got home from my Annual Holiday Cruise. Okay, this is only the third year (in a row) that we've done it, but it sounds waaay impressive when I write it like that.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all you other December Babies! May you NEVER receive a combined birthday and Christmas present.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another Little Step...

...down that road to publication. And I gotta admit, this was a nice one.

I received my advance check today!

Now that Cynical Side of me wanted to concentrate on how very small the thing was, particularly in comparison to the LARGE amount of work that went into the writing of this book. But then my Excited Self slapped the Cynical Side back into perspective.

O.M.G. FOR REALS! They believed in it enough to pay me! And in this crazy biz that means A LOT!

Of course that means my next step is to go and see my tax preparer because I am now a self-employed business person, so naturally there are tax consequences!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Embracing My Inner Grinch

I'm blogging over at the Bandit Lair today on things that BUG ME about the holidays. In keeping with our holiday extravaganza, I've even included a cookie recipe and am giving away a couple of little prizes.

And yes, all the incidents I grumbled about REALLY HAPPENED!
  • My Mother-In-Law did send me a check the week before Christmas and asked me to do her shopping for her.
  • My son really was that rude about his gift.
  • And a good friend who obviously suffered short-term memory loss gave me the SAME GIFT (a knife block of all things) two years in a row!
Truth IS stranger than fiction!

Hop on over and "get your Grinch on!" (just click on the title of this post)