Jennifer McKenzie

Romance--Boy meets girl. Romantic Suspense--Boy meets girl with dead bodies.
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Gonna Go Camping.


Welcome to Mad River Rock, a view from Shanty Creek. This is our center, our familial get away. It's where we make major decisions, find our connection to the Universe, teach our kids to be in love with where they live.
Thank God, Joe gets to have some time off finally. He's been working so hard. Seven days a week, fourteen hours a day with no days off for over a month.
He gets to have Saturday through next Wednesday off. He needs the time off so badly.
So if you don't see new entries or blog visits, don't worry. I'll be around next week. We're just heading up for the healing waters of Shanty Creek. It will kill me not to have my time at the computer, but a little time away will probably be good. Sure. When I have withdrawals, we'll see how good it is.
So, what is everyone's plans for July 4th? This is the first year I'm not going to see fireworks. It will be weird. Nice, but weird.

posted at 1:55 PM by Jennifer :: 8 comments
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm only three and a half years old!


Whew! Yesterday, I felt like a toddler who doesn't get her way. *stamps her foot and pouts*. Darn it! I was inudated with teenagers and the whole two hours to write didn't happen. Frustration! I'm chomping at the bit to finish "Cold Vengence" rewrite. I'm feeling the pressure everytime I head out to the mailbox. I'm terrified that the agent I queried will send a rejection, or even worse *gasp* a request for a full! LOL. See? I am a toddler!
Today, I have a plan to get my two hours to write. Phone off the hook, everybody gone, kids at the park and me and my little keyboard. I need to finish soon or this darn thing is going to drive me crazy!
Sometimes I feel as if my focus is totally gone. I know I can sit down and do this, though. Wish me luck.
My plan is that if I'm rejected by this agent, I'll be putting "Cold Vengeance" in a drawer and let it collect dust. If there's hope for it, I'll keep at it. I haven't thought about what agent I'll query next if I'm rejected. I'm taking all this pretty slow.
Now, if I can just stay off the darn internet for a while.......
Question for you. How do you get your focus back on a ms when/if you lose it? Do you require silence? Inspiration? A deadline? Words of wisdom always welcome.

posted at 8:40 AM by Jennifer :: 10 comments
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oops! Missed a Day!


I don't know how, but yesterday got away from me.

We've got a lot going on here and sometimes I think the circus just makes my mind a total blank.

I picked this picture since Humboldt County has the usual summer fog, which I love. It's why I live here. It's gentle weather that keeps everything cool and fresh instead of oppressive and hot. I love where I live. I'm hoping to be able to convey the feeling of living here in my third book. Of course that's dependent on whether I can get my first one finished (again). LOL.

I've been reading a lot. I can't get at my own work, so I'm reading work I admire. I've finished "Out of the Blue" and "Out of the Storm" by Joann Ross. "Storm" was my least favorite of the trilogy, even though the sex scenes were totally hot. The story was a little convoluted for me. I've finished Jasmine Cresswell's "The Inheritance" which was complicated, yet facinating. I love discovering new authors. Cresswell was a pleasant surprise.

I'm getting more and more nervous about the response from the agent I queried. Did I piss her off by resending so quickly? Is the first 10 pages as bad as I really think they are? My cp told me there was a lot of "telling" in the first scene. Not being very talented at deep POV, I can well believe it. The first scene is a lot of "feeling" by the heroine. It's her thoughts about her father's death and her own fears. I've tinkered with it a lot. That first section is the toughest, which is why agents always want them. Talented authors can pull someone in first sentence. With practice I think I can do it.

I'm hoping to get at my ms today. Wish me luck. It needs to move forward now. I'm at the intense stage where the action will dominate the next few scenes. I don't realize it, but I guess I plot out the direction I'm going without really thinking about it. I know what I want to do.

Oh, my reviews are up at Romance Divas. For some reason, Tawny's isn't up yet. I had some issues with the format, so no surprise.

Question of the day? How do you get that first paragraph on paper? Does the blinking cursor make your stomach churn? How do you know when you've "nailed" that opening?


posted at 7:09 AM by Jennifer :: 11 comments
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'm Baaaaaaack!


Did you miss me?
We had a blast! Lots of sun. Lots of swimming. Lots of people. I really enjoyed it. It was good to get home since I was soooooo tired. I've got a wicked sunburn too.
I brought Joann Ross's "Impulse" but I never got to it. I spent most of my time in the pool (it was a very nice camping trip) with my kids. We had so much fun. I also brought along a notebook for writing that never got opened.
I'm thinking of writing a short story. Not because I think I'd be good at it, but because I think it would help me improve my novel writing. I'd love to do some erotica, but I'd have to really change my focus. We'll see if I can do it. I have to get a pen name or my mother will die of shame.
Don't tell anyone, OK? LOL.
I'm totally beat so I'm going to shuffle out to the living room and relax. Heck with the dishes.
So, my favorite question for you, what are you reading? Are you reading to review or for pleasure?

posted at 10:24 AM by Jennifer :: 8 comments
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Friday, June 23, 2006

Weekend Escape


This weekend will be fun for me. Michelle, my boys, six Alateens and me. (Alateen is a 12 step program for teenagers growing up in alcoholic homes). We're heading up to an AA/Al-Anon campout and a lot of fun. I love these things. They're fun, relaxing and I don't have to cook! We planned this last minute, so it's all been crazy (of course). I'll be home Sunday afternoon, but until then, I'll be out of touch.
Nothing like a weekend in the Redwood forests for a little relaxation. I do think it's funny that I spend all week feeding, tolerating and listening to teenage drama and now I'm taking a bunch of teenagers on a camping trip. LOL. I'm a glutton for punishment.
For those of you who don't know, I sent a query, synopsis and first 10 pages to an agent May 26th. Now, I'm waiting for the response. I heard within a month last time, so I'm getting closer to a response every day. Here's the dilemma. If the agent requests a full/partial, I'm in trouble. Rewriting "Cold Vengeance" has changed it tremendously. I'm 110 pages (and 31K) into the new version. The old version is completed but needs a ton of work. There are several parts of the old one I really like, so I'm not floundering completely. That's why I've felt under the gun to finish CV. I know I can do it. I'm just going to need some time in the next two weeks. Hopefully, I'll get it.
Crystal Jordan (my favorite blogger) has just sold "Full Swing" so go check her out. She's awesome.
Shelli Stevens has subbed one of her books ("Tourist Attraction" I think) to Literary Sass. Brave soul. Be checking out Literary Sass for the reviews.
Enjoy your weekend y'all. See you Sunday.

posted at 6:52 AM by Jennifer :: 4 comments
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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Work, Work, Work!


I got another 800 words done today. I've added so much more depth to two of the characters. I'm not sure why they're speaking to me, but they are.
My plan is this. "Cold Vengeance" is the first book that introduces the three Logan sisters (of course there's three! duh!). CV is about Jessica, the youngest. Included in CV is Jade, the middle sister. Jade has her own book about arson. She is introduced to her hero, Sheriff Tim Radley in CV. Jessica's best friend meets her love interest Caleb Conners. Of course the real romance in CV is Jessica and Travis. The others will circle around and have their own stories told.
Janine, the oldest, is an enigma. She's a quiet, hard working woman who is determined to find out what happened to an old childhood friend. This old friend vanished in the outlying areas of Humboldt County and her disappearance has been labeled a hoax since she was a Bigfoot enthusiast. Janine is trying to find out what happened to her friend and stumbles into murder and fraud. Her love interest has been surprisingly quiet, but my plan is to make it someone she's friends with but won't get involved with because she's totally focused on finding her missing friend. So, they're all connected. I love connected books.
Anyway that's what I'm working on. Do you like connected books? Do you find them believeable?

posted at 1:27 PM by Jennifer :: 2 comments
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Finally! A little time to write!



I put a picture of Carl Edwards doing a back flip because I feel like doing one. I finally got two whole hours to sit down and write in (almost) perfect silence. Yayyyyy! I got 2000 words banged out. "Cold Vengeance" has become a completely different ms. In the first one, I didn't introduce the villian until almost the last moment. I maintained his anonymity throughout. Now, I've revealed him on p. 103! I had secondary characters in the first one that sparred and hated each other. Now, I've reduced that hostility a little. I've added two secondary characters that I wasn't going to introduce until book 2! LOL. It's crazy. So, I have six characters meeting and running around. It works pretty well. My scenes are shorter and more emotional. I think it's a lot better than the last one. I'm at 29 K heading for the finish of 70K.

I corrected some of the stuff the Crabby Cows pointed out in "Rough Seas". I've gotten some great work done. I submitted more to the Crabby Cows since I'm a total glutton for punishment. I like having fresh eyes look at my stuff.

Life here isn't getting any less crazy, but I've accepted the insanity as part of my world. *Sigh*. I feel a lot better about everything today. Nothing like a couple of hours to work on that book to give me a better attitude!

Anyone else ever start "fixing" a ms and find a totally different story emerging? I'll bet this is going to make editing a total pain in the butt. BTW, thanks to everyone who comments on my blog. I don't always reply, but I read them and it lifts me up. You guys are awesome.


posted at 1:33 PM by Jennifer :: 9 comments
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This was so cool.

Majorie Jones' daughter Staci has been found!!!!! Staci has been found in San Diego and will be returning home to her parents within the next couple of days. She was safe. Read about it at the family website! http://www.marjoriejones.com/staci/missingx.html

I copied this from Brenda Porter's blog. I've seen the announcement about Marjorie Jone's daughter on a lot of people's blogs. I'm so happy for Marjorie. Apparently, she resigned her position as RWA chapter president (I forget which chapter) to find her daughter. Finally, a relatively happy ending in a Chekov world.

posted at 3:55 PM by Jennifer :: 3 comments
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A Great Book From A New Author



I met Paula Graves on the Harlequin boards in Sub Care. When Harlequin Intrigue sent me a form rejection, she sent me an email with a lot of helpful info. Since then, I've visited her blog and kept up with her. She's an awesome person. When her book was released, I snagged it, mainly because I knew her.
What a surprise. It's her first published book, but it reads like a pro. I got the book yesterday and finally sat down last night to read it.
I didn't put it down until I was finished.
It was really good. I don't gush unless I've been totally sold on a book. This one has got me hooked on Paula Graves books in the future.
Lily has a gift. It's a power that causes her more pain and fear than anything else. When a little girl goes missing from the school where Lily teaches, it's Lily's gift that is the only lead the police end up having.
McBride is an investigator that relies on facts. In his mind, Lily's gift is just a scam to prey on desperate parents in pain. He ought to know, since his own daughter disappeared six years earlier and a woman claiming to have the same gift kept his hope alive until it eventually killed his wife.
When Lily tries to help, McBride is hostile, but the attraction he feels for her pulls him to her. Lily's visions lead them down a twisted path with a surprise twist and a happy ending.
I LOVED THIS. Normally, people with "gifts" are handled badly by authors. It isn't an easy balance to walk between believability and paranormal. Paula handles this, seemingly, with ease. Her writing is compelling and she nailed the emotional turmoil boiling in McBride and Lily.
Hey Paula!!! 5 Dancing Hobbes for you! You Rock!!!!

posted at 9:04 AM by Jennifer :: 4 comments
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Monday, June 19, 2006

Psycho Synopsis and Crabby Cow Crap

I'd love to put a pretty picture up, but blogger is being difficult. *Sigh*. It's been like this all day. Don't ask.
Romance Divas has a contest going for a two page synopsis. I'm not judging. I read four of the entries and I just couldn't do it. I don't feel I know enough about the mechanics of writing a good synopsis to really look at someone else's. I really hated putting mine in the mix, but I need to improve, so in it went.
Crabby Cows also has a new contest. 500 words from the middle of a wip for slashing and burning. I couldn't resist. I subbed from my new one "Rough Seas". I know it's pretty rough, but I'd like to see what the reaction to it is. We'll see. I've probably just blown any anonymity I may have had. Oh well. I never claimed to be Jane Austen.
Life is CRAZY here. *Insert circus music here*. I think I go to the computer for a little relief from the insanity surrounding me. Which is good, since most of the insanity has little or nothing to do with me.
Picture Grumpy at the top left. Darn Blogger.
Putting one's work out there is difficult. How do you all deal with allowing others to cast a critical eye on your work? Comment O My Soul.

Update: Well, my 500 words are up on the Crabby Cows blog. I didn't do too badly considering they hate (I mean loath) romance. I did get the "Zzzzzzzz" from #1. LOL. Nothing new. They've thought most of my ideas are outworn and recycled. I'm learning to have a much thicker skin though.

posted at 12:31 PM by Jennifer :: 2 comments
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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day And Happy Birthday


There he is in all his redneck glory. So, to celebrate this wonderful day, I'll tell you a little about the man that tolerates me.
He's 40 today. And he's a work. That's right. He's working on a Sunday. Why? Because the man has a fabulous work ethic. He never calls in sick. He doesn't let pain stop him.
He has been waking up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready and leave at 4:20 am. He picks up a co-worker and drives an hour and a half to the job site where he's working. They've been working 12 and 14 hours to finish this job. Seven days a week. Saturday and Sunday too. No days off. The next day off he has is July 4th weekend. Then he has five days off.
Why would he do this? Because he wants a stay at home wife who will write a best seller so he can retire.
He's a redneck, an ex-fisherman (who's bitter about it) and 5th generation Humboldt County. Opinionated and gruff, he often says politically incorrect stuff for shock value more than because he believes it. He makes no apologies for his way of life and will give the shirt off his back for someone, even if he doesn't know them. Generous, picky, smart and a hard worker, his life is generally routine and comfortable. On Father's Day, I like to remember that he's a great Dad and loves those two boys with all his heart. On his birthday, I like to remember that I'm grateful he was born. Who else would love me for the bitchy, annoying, hormonal person I can be? Who else would build a suspension bridge for his son's train set? Who else would spend hours online (when we had dial up no less) looking for two logging trucks and then repaint them with local trucking colors for his sons?
I complain about him, yet I realize that we make a perfect fit. Sometimes, when it seems that there are too many awful things happening to innocent people, or the world has gone insane and I wonder if God is paying attention, I remember the slim chance that Joe and I would have ever met and realize God is right there looking out for me.
Happy Birthday, baby. I love you.

posted at 11:49 AM by Jennifer :: 6 comments
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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Another Great Read From Tawny Taylor

Fate Doherty comes to work one morning and finds that her primary competition just bought out her company. Gabe Ryan had been a thorn in her side. Marketing director for the largest dating service in Detroit, he and Fate went toe to toe in the world of match making.
What Fate doesn't know is that Gabe Ryan's only goal is to convince her that Gabe is the man for her.
What I love about this book is that Gabe has been in love with Fate for years. He tells he this, almost immediately and then proceeds to prove it. The book is less about the two of them finding love, than it is about finding trust and respect.
Did I mention it is HOT! I mean HOT!!! Whew! Tawny is an expert at making bondage, toys and other taboo sexual positions sound......fun and sexy. Gabe and Fate are wonderful characters and I loved this book.
I read it all last night (and stayed up late to do it). She's worth every penny.
I will say that "Stolen Goddess" shows me that Tawny Taylor has improved her writing in the last two years. She didn't rest on her laurels. She continues to improve and every book I read by her shows me that she's a writer I'll be adding to my favorite author list. If you're not sure if erotica is your thing, get some Tawny Taylor. Even if you decide it's too.....whatever, you'll find her characters carry the day.
Head to her website and check out her titles. Tawny Taylor's Website

posted at 8:13 AM by Jennifer :: 3 comments
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Shopping Good...Very Good.



Michelle and I went shopping. I don't mean shopping. I mean SHOPPING. In case you're wondering what the difference is, it's when both of us have money AND babysitting. I left at 11:30 this morning and got home at 6pm. Heaven. I won't even list the stuff I bought. A lot of it was pretty exciting. I'm finally getting out from under a contract at a certain cell phone company that shall remain nameless to protect the service challenged. I got lots of camping stuff for Joe's birthday (Sunday) and Father's day. I found The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals--all favorites of his. I went to lunch like an adult and visited a bookstore and a kitchen store. It was FABULOUS.

I'm starting to sound like Shelli!! LOL. It was another one of those days I planned on taking two hours to write. But circumstances intruded and before I knew it, not a word was written. *Sigh*. Perhaps tomorrow. I finally know what direction I'm going in my book, which feel great.

Most exciting was I finally got one of the books I ordered from Amazon. "Tempting Fate" by Tawny Taylor is here!!!! Yayyy! I'll let you know how it is. I bought it because Tawny's books need reviews on Amazon, so I'm going to read it and review it. I picked the one that had no reviews. First released as an ebook in 2004, I got it in paperback which is soooo cool. I love Tawny's writing, so I know I've got a good one to read this weekend.

I went through internet withdrawals today. I walked in the door and was itching to check my email. LOL. Maybe I need a 12 step program for it!


posted at 7:09 PM by Jennifer :: 5 comments
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Little Good News Is Always Nice


After being ripped on my 500 word entry (and I'll never tell which one it was), I was FULL of trepidation when I sent a 100 word entry to the Crabby Cows. This time, however, I clicked http://crabbycows.blogspot.com and found positive remarks about my entry. Yaaay!
There are many days that I wonder if I'm wasting my time. When the CC's ripped the last one, it wasn't just my writing structure but my IDEA that got trashed. I thought "If I don't have good ideas, what the hell am I doing?" I did the gambit of whining, self-criticism and then, finally, acceptance. It's subjective. I recognize that most of my ideas fall in the conservative category. I'm not about blood, guts, rape, venom or tragic endings. I'm a romance writer, for God's sake! That means a happy ending and some hot love scenes. It's what I like to write.
Not that I don't feel good about getting a "Woot" from the CC. I do. It means that I can craft words and convey what I mean. Doing it in 100 was sooooo tough. I started with 150 words. Then I cut, slashed, removed until I had 116. Then I had to prune more. It was weird. I think it taught me to get to the meat of the emotions I wanted to write.
It was a great exercise. I'll keep practicing.

posted at 10:19 AM by Jennifer :: 10 comments
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Forbidden Territory" out today.


Paula Graves is a terrific Harlequin Intrigue writer that has encouraged me in my quest to be published. Her own book is in stores (I know because I saw it) and is also available on Amazon. I ordered mine and expect it soon.
Meanwhile, Paula is having a contest where you can win her book. Go to her website http://paulagraves.com and check out her blog.
Paula is a regular on the Harlequin boards and helps out new writers all the time. She is willing to share any information she has.
I'll be reviewing this book as soon as I get it. Get in on her contest, though. It should be fun.

posted at 12:18 PM by Jennifer :: 4 comments
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I. Must. Write. I. Must. Write.

Grrrrrrrr. My book is stuuuuuuuuuck! Summer is coming. Daycare is over. School is over and I'm going to be overrun by rugrats next week. Plus, I have a meeting with two people on Fridays, so I'm going to be using whatever childcare I can scrounge up to do that. *Sigh*.
Meanwhile, my dishrag of a villian is still being bashful and not speaking up. I picture an older, stooped, sweating man who breaks the law for the money. He has a secret vice; gambling. He is a victim of his own disease. Fear, not greed or revenge, motivates him. However, his voice remains silent. Maybe no one but another writer can understand this. I can't "hear" him. It's difficult to give him words to speak when I can't hear him. *Pounds head on keyboard*.
The circus in my home is continuing it's big tent activities. Added to the two toddlers and two teenagers is the old dog, Rowdy and his girlfriend, Cindy (who spent the last two years under a house barking at everyone) and Justin's puppy, Aurora. *Circus music ensues*.
Cindy, my brother-in-law's dog, has become ours since he is moving away. Long story short, he bought the dog in a fit of divorce guilt and the poor dog has suffered for it. Guess who Cindy follows around and LOVES. That's right---me. (Don't tell her, but I actually think she's adorable).
Hey, I can't be interesting all the time! LOL. So, do you love your pet? Do you have a plethora of animals? Are your pets people or just pets?

posted at 8:51 AM by Jennifer :: 3 comments
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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Romance Divas Contest


I turned in a synopsis for "Cold Vengeance" and "Rough Seas". Whew! They are going to be slaughtered. The contest entries have to be in by June 14th and judging begins on the 15th. I'm trying to be positive. No, really, I am!

Which brings me to a topic I'd like to discuss. There are TONS of synopsis help, query letter help, outline help etc. There are some that only require you to "fill in the blanks". I find them all confusing and difficult. The only book that ever helped me so far is Stephen King's "On Writing". He doesn't give a form or "10 ways to nail an agent". It's from his own personal experience. My synopis's (synopsi?) are both raw and need work. They're not as bad as the one that ended up at Harlequin last November, but I know they suck. *Sigh*. Why do they ask for it? Ok, to save them the trouble of reading 75K to find out that the writer goes all over the place and has no clue. I know.

I guess I have a hard time with writers being judged by two pages. Or even one page. Rejection because of a query letter bites the big one.

Here's my question. Do you use a "process" that you learned from an article? Do you have trouble sounding like an adult rather than a four year old telling a story? (an' then this happen. An' then this happen) That's probably just me.

posted at 5:41 PM by Jennifer :: 6 comments
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Friday, June 09, 2006

What is it about Snark?

Having visited several blogs lately that lean on the snarky side, I wonder what the appeal is for those of us who visit these blogs.
There's Miss Snark who is a helpful source of information with a definite sting. There's Crabby Cows which is a collection of editors who rip and shred entries from anyone brave enough to email them one. And there's Smart Bitches which is a site of hilarious women who give great reviews. All of them have one thing in common. There is an element of sarcastic wit tinged with venom that can give me whiplash if I'm not prepared. So why is this so appealing to other authors?
Perhaps it's because they are saying things we wish we could say. It might be because we love to see someone else on the hotseat. One thing I do see. These people are doing us a service and I think we recognize it. I would rather be a nitwit on Miss Snark's list than remain in the dark realm of ignorance collecting rejections. I would rather submit 500 words that get shredded by the Crabby Cows (and Bruno) than submit 75K that will never get beyond the Query stage.
I almost forgot Snarkling Clean which gives all the venom without the bad words and sexual innuendo.
Wit is attractive. My hubby didn't marry me because I was Jessica Simpson's twin. He married me because I have a sense of humor. Michelle loves me because I'll laugh at her jokes...even if I've heard it before.
But can one be snarky without being mean? How difficult is it to be blogged about in a snarky way? Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and others are often raked over the coals. Can they read those and see the humor? Or do they suffer from the same pains of "Isuckitis" that the unpubbed do?
Rejection bites. I wonder what a bad review would be like. What do you think?
What is the appeal of Snark? Can someone be snarky and nice or is that an oxymoron. Comment O my soul.

posted at 9:54 PM by Jennifer :: 6 comments
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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Lonliness



I like this picture. Somehow it touches me. I read despair, lonliness and resignation.

Normally I don't get all philosophical on you but I was thinking today (dangerous, I know) and I think I know why this picture speaks to me.

How often have I stopped in my own life, tired of climbing, weary of fighting to keep on going on? More often than I'd like to admit. In this picture, the peak above the stairs isn't visible and neither is it's beginning. It's the middle, the center, of the journey that stops me. I can relate to the look of hidden sadness this portrays to me.

In the clutches of Isuckitis, I can give in to a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that is deadly. There is one thing that has saved me.

I have not been lonely.

I have friends, fellow authors, fellow sufferers and those on the steps above me willing to give me encouragement. Lonliness is the killer. I'm not talking about solitude (a necessary ingredient for sanity with me). I'm talking about being in a room of eighty people and not feeling connected to any of them. Being connected is the only way to live. It may only be one person who gets your drift. In my case, it's the person who fills the role of friend, sister and roommate. Michelle can connect with me when I'm drifting. Someone who gets my weird humor is rare and she gets it. My husband connects with me. He makes an effort to do it.

Who gets your drift? Is there one person who you connect with when things get crazy?


posted at 8:51 PM by Jennifer :: 5 comments
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Reviews




I just finished "You Again" by Dayna Hart. It's definitely worth the two bucks to snag this one.

Wild Cherry has a secret. Falling for a gorgeous reporter was definitely a bad idea. Can she keep her secret and get the guy too?

Drex has found his wife that has been missing for three years, but she doesn't remember who she is. Will he restore her memories or make her fall in love with him all over again?

These two stories are very well done. Even though they're short, Dayna manages to reveal her characters in a way that made me care about what happens to them.

41/2 Dancing Hobbes for "You Again"

I've already raved about Loribelle Hunt's "Bound by Love" and Shelli Stevens "Tourist Attraction".

41/2 Dancing Hobbes for "Tourist Attraction"

5 Dancing Hobbes for "Bound By Love"

I LOVED "Bound". Maybe it's because it was tremendously erotic, I don't know.

I'd rather talk about other stuff than my crazy world right now. Writing has been almost impossible. I did manage to get my Synopsis turned in for the Romance Divas contest.

I have a couple of more for Babe.

ISUCKITIS-A condition in which a writer breaks out in depression and has an overwhelming lack of self-confidence. Usually contains "I'll never get published", "My writing is awful but no one has told me!" "I'm wasting my time".

SYNOSUCKOPOLIS--The act of writing a crappy synopsis. No known cure.

What are you reading that you love?


posted at 8:04 PM by Jennifer :: 9 comments
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Babe's Wit Exposed. All Others Beware.

Aussie writer Diva Babe has blogged on a topic that is dear to my heart. Often, we speak to our friends and families with words unknown to Webster. Each "Tribe" has a language all it's own. Babe has exposed a few that I found HILARIOUS!

Check out her dictionary at Babe's Blog. I, of course, had to add one of my own.

CIDIOT--An urban dweller that moves to a rural area and then complains that there's no Starbucks.

ESTROGEN BRIGADE--A group of women found in the same area. This term is usually used by outnumbered males.

TESTOSTERONE POISONING--A condition that occurs when men have an overinflated ego, usually from alcohol or genetic conditioning. This term is usually used by outnumbered females.

Enjoy everyone.

posted at 7:57 AM by Jennifer :: 4 comments
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Monday, June 05, 2006

The Tall Trees of Home




I'm looking for inspiration today. Before you ask? Nope, still no forward movement on "Cold Vengeance."

These pictures of Redwood trees are very much like my area. Sometimes I forget to look around me for inspiration. My days are often spent playing catch up on Laundry, dishes and dust. Around me, there are numerous opportunities to experience serenity and peace, yet, I miss them in my frantic day to day life.

In "Cold Vengeance", Jessica comes home to California after being away for three years. I try to think "What would that feel like?" I take all the beauty around me for granted and so did my character. Growing up in the Napa Valley, I had no idea that I was priviledged. I took vinyards and cherry blossoms for granted. When the grapevines turned deep shades of red and yellow, I only thought "Fall is here". Tourists were a nuisance and I wanted to escape. It's hard to believe, but I didn't want to live in the Napa Valley. After two years of college, I came home with a new attitude. I explored the valley and discovered it's back roads and hidden places. It was never home for me.

Here, I knew the minute I drove into Eureka. I love Humboldt County. The mixture of new ideas and old hard working mentality creates this pattern that I've never seen anywhere else. Our politics are heated and protests are common. The University gives us youth and lumber gives us our history. Living here are fishermen, loggers, students, artists and blue collar workers. It isn't always a peaceful melting pot. In a way, it is a microcasm of the rest of our world. Different cultures and different viewpoints all living in one place.

The Redwood trees embody that for me. They're more like weeds. Once a Redwood tree grows in a spot, it will stay there. You can't burn it out, kill it or move it. Like me, it survives and flourishes in the spot where it's planted. I was always told, "Grow where you're planted." I look to the Redwoods for my inspiration.

What is your inspiration?


posted at 12:31 PM by Jennifer :: 4 comments
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Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Favorite Villian


I have a really cool picture that won't upload for me. *Sigh*. My favorite villian is Grianne Omsford. Also known as The Isle Witch. In "The Isle Witch" by Terry Brooks, she is a powerful and amoral soul seeking more power to defeat the last remaining Druid. Walker Boh, the reluctant Druid and last of his kind, must stop her. She is a fabulous villianess. Vicious, deceitful and beautiful, she despatches barriers with ease. An Omsford, heir to the Wishsong legacy, she has no idea that the real deception is within herself.
Grianne is turned evil and redeemed. Perhaps that's why I love her as a villian. She's evil, wicked, a killer, a liar and yet, in the end, she is saved. If you've never read Terry Brooks's Shannara series, I highly recommend it.
Another villian I love is The Master Criminal in Elizabeth Peters's "The Curse Of The Mummy" and several other Amelia Peabody mysteries. He has a name, but if you read the books, you won't want me to tell you. The Master Criminal is a wonderful invention and has designs on Amelia Peabody. Her hubby Professor Emerson is not amused. Adding the villian's lust for the heroine was a lot of fun, actually. Elizabeth Peters is a genius.
See the pattern here?
I like my villians to be human with human feelings. One of the reasons I HATED ( and I don't use that word lightly) the movie "Seven" (Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman) is because the bad guy essentially wins in the end. The villian minipulates everyone and gets what he wants. I like the bad guy to get what's coming to him. Making villians human, yet giving them what they've got coming to them is a tough proposition.
Without giving spoilers, I will say that Brooks doesn't give Grianne a free pass. She pays. And Peters manages to make The Master Criminal likeable without giving approval to his criminal activities. He pays too.
Like a HEA, I must have justice.
OK, who is your favorite villian? Movies, books, TV, doesn't matter.

posted at 2:11 PM by Jennifer :: 1 comments
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Saturday, June 03, 2006

It's The Bad Guy. Meet Mr. Evil Dishrag.

I'm in the same place in both my wip. "Cold Vengeance" has reached the mid section where I need to introduce the villian, either through action (he does something evil) or through his POV. Jessica and Travis have just done the wild thing. We get a glimpse into Travis's trouble with strong feelings. Now, something has to happen. *Sigh* but Mr. Evil Ex won't cooperate. I think he's sulking because I've deleted a bulk of his scenes.
So, I switched over to "Rough Seas". Maybe Ethan and Charlene will be cooperative. Nope. They reach a point that I wanted to introduce Mr. Evil Dishrag, but M.E.D. is being shy. He's not a very strong character at this point.
I wonder what it is about this particular part that creates so much trouble for me?
I've been reading instead. "Bound By Love" by Loribelle Hunt is a novella. It's very, very hot. I fell in love with the characters and they did things that I'm thinking of sharing with my husband. The idea that a man would get a woman to commit to a whole weekend of fabulous sex......is so tempting.
I also got to read "Tourist Attraction". Dr. Brian. Yummmmmmmmy! The story keeps driving right up to the end. Even the ending still left me in doubt of the HEA. Shelli Stevens did a fabulous job AND she had some positions that aren't normally covered in romances (and really need to be.) I highly recommend Shelli's books. Her voice is funny and yet, evokes sympathy for her characters. I love her stuff.
I'm back to the drawing board with my villians.
Who is your all time favorite villian? And why? Maybe I'll blog about that tomorrow.

posted at 7:54 PM by Jennifer :: 3 comments
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Friday, June 02, 2006

Today is the Day for Cobblestone Authors. Congrats.





















The wave of the future is here. Ebooks are growing in popularity. I love them because I buy the book online, and then I can read it. Print books I order online take forever (it seems) to get here. Cobblestone is one of the best epublishers I've seen. Their covers are great. Their authors are extremely talented and they are easy to deal with both for the authors I've talk with and the people who buy their ebooks.
Enough smoozing.
Today is Friday and although I'd like to be blasting Linkin Park and diving into my wip, I'm having to keep the house relatively quiet for sleeping nineteen year olds. *Sigh*. I've asked them to clear the house out, but there just doesn't seem to be a nice way to get rid of them. Would "Get. Out." in the Amityville Horror voice get it done?
Worst of all, I'm stuck. Not just with one wip, but both of them.
"Cold Vengeance" is clicking along. The H/h have just made love and the afterglow period is next. In the old version, I missed the emotional turmoil that is stirred up by sex. Somehow, I have to find that turmoil--emotional turmoil--to move on. I've got turmoil. It's just nineteen and needs to stop screwing around.
"Rough Seas" has also hit the shallows. I've gotten to the part where I need to introduce the villian and it's not coming very easily. Part of the problem is that my villian is a wet dishrag. He needs some "evil". The triangle has to be equal. Right now, some of my secondary characters are more interesting than my villian.
I was hoping to hash it out this morning. I'm thinking I may chase them out anyway. Maybe if I play some Johnny Mathis? LOL. I know! I'll put in some Abba! That'll chase them off.
Oh, I just finished "Bound By Love" by Loribelle Hunt. Whew! What a fabulous story. I'll gush more about that tomorrow.

posted at 8:38 AM by Jennifer :: 2 comments
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Thursday, June 01, 2006

















Big doings for releases of Dayna Hart's "You again", Bebe Thomas's "Aurora's Passion" and Lili Adam's "Bellisima". Dayna's having a scavenger hunt on different blogs. If you head on over to her blog (http://dayna-hart.blogspot.com) you can win some free wins. She's keeping this open an extra day since Romance Divas is having some sort of glich with their forum.
I love these contests. The reason is because I have a limited book budget. So, what do I do? I buy what I know. With these contests, I've been able to read books I might not have taken the chance to read. Book reviewing for Romance Divas gives me the same opportunity. As a result of promotional contests, I got a signed Allison Brennen book "The Hunt". I won "Bound By Love" by Loribelle Hunt and I've gotten a free critique from Eden Bradley. Sweet!!!
Before I was a writer, I was a voracious reader. The wonderful thing about hanging out with other authors is the reading I get to do.
So, go give the contest a go.

posted at 11:27 AM by Jennifer :: 3 comments
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