Monday, December 31, 2007

Time for reflection

Here I am on new year's eve--alone. Well not alone...I have my kids, but they'll be in bed long before the strike of midnight, so I'll be ringing in the new year alone. DH has to work tonight, as he has for the past 3 years, but usually I have somewhere to go. But the flu bug has invaded our house, so I'm assuming that we're not welcome at other people's houses (I don't blame's a nasty bug that I would want to spread to anyone).

So all this alone time has left me with time for reflection, time to contemplate what I've accomplished this year and want to accomplish in 2008:


  • Started the year receiving a year's worth of free books from Harlequin after winning the Ultimate Reunion contest. What an ego boost! And let me tell you, my TBR pile is ready to topple!

  • Entered Harlequin's Ultimate Secret contest and won an Honourable Mention and a free book. Nothing to sneeze at.

  • Submitted my novel Her Client's Wishes to Mills and Boon/Harlequin Romance. It was rejected in November, but I did it! I wrote a book!

  • Wrote and submitted a romantic short story to a woman's magazine. I'm still waiting to hear on that one.

  • Started a new wip (Taking Care of Business) aimed at the Mills and Boon Modern Heat imprint and specifically the Instant Seduction contest for which the prize is an editor for a year! What could be better? I feel really good about this story. I learned a lot writing my first novel and won't make the same mistakes twice.


  • Finish and polish the first chapter and synopsis of my new wip for the Instant Seduction contest (deadline of mid February)

  • Finish and submit my wip to M&B. They can't buy it if I don't submit!

  • Get published in short fiction. Writing short fiction allows me to feel as though I'm accomplishing something since sometimes the length of a novel can seem beastly and beyond reach.

There. That wasn't so bad. I can do all of those things in a year, can't I? Well with my spare time tonight I guess there's no better time to start than the present.

Have a happy new year everyone, and most importantly...happy writing!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tis the season

Tis the season to get all warm and squishy about everything that you're grateful for in your life, so here I go...

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my oldest daughter perform in her Christmas concert. So there's my baby--the little girl who was so shy she pulled her skirt up on stage last year--singing her heart out in the front row doing all the actions like a pro. I was so proud of her. I think we have have an actress on our hands. That thought makes my husband cringe since he's worked in the entertainment industry for way too long and worked with way too many spoiled actresses, but I keep telling him that our daughter would be different because, of course, she's perfect!

And then today as I watched my two girls having so much fun playing in the bath together, laughing and squealing with delight, I realized how truly blessed I am. I really can't ask for more.

OK, warm squishy stuff is over.

Needless to say I haven't gotten much writing done. Tis also the season for procrastination. I'm hoping that once my shopping is done, the baking is complete, and all the get togethers are over, I'll have some time to sit down and write.

Here's hoping its not February before that happens.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope you have a joyous holiday!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Moving On

I've started working on a new story, and you know feels good. Fresh characters, fresh story--it's exciting.

Have all of you read about the new Presents contest? It's sounds like a great opportunity to get noticed, so I think I'll aim this WIP in that direction (more of a Modern Heat vs traditional Presents). What the heck. It's time to mix things up.

Are any of you planning on entering?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


After 4 months of waiting, I got the dreaded R from M&B today. Yuck. And to make matters worse, it was a form R. So I have no idea what I did wrong. How can I be sure that I don't do the same thing again?

On the plus side, at least I can finally put this story to bed and move on to something new. I've been working on one story for far too long. Maybe that was part of the problem--maybe it had gotten stale.

So onward and upward.

Still sucks though.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Over

No, I'm not referring to my writing career, at least not yet (LOL).

My long awaited trip to Disney World is officially over, and I'm having some trouble adjusting to a reality that is not sugar coated and sprinkled with images of Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell. Disney knows how to do it right. Everything about the parks is perfect, including the service. You really can't ask for more. My daughter had the pleasure of having her hair styled like a princess in the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique and everyone in the salon played their parts to perfection. They treated her like a real princess from the moment we walked through the door (maybe a little too much since I had to remind her later in the day that she wasn't really a princess, and I wasn't really her servant, LOL). Here is a picture of my two perfect princesses with someone you might recognize.

Needless to say, I was sad to leave such a wonderful place. Although I wasn't sad to see my own bed and to sit down for more than five consecutive minutes. I think I need a vacation from my vacation!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Crazy for Disney!

Our upcoming trip to Disney has me totally obsessed with everything Disney related...hence the vampire Mickey pumpkin.
The anticipation of our trip is definitely making the waiting more tolerable. I'd almost forgotten that my response from Harlequin could be winging it's way across the Atlantic as we speak.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


And no, I don't mean the weather.

I've reached the final scene, the point where it all comes together, the H and h realize that they were meant to be together and they finally get their HEA. So you'd think I'd be chomping at the bit to get it finished...

Nope. I'm frozen. Can't seem to find any words that would be sum up what they'd be feeling at this point. So I've avoided the computer. Um, correction...I've avoided writing on the computer but have embraced blog hopping and Disney researching whole heartedly. Not very productive, I know.

On the eHarlequin boards one person posted that she hasn't yet heard back on her partial sent to M&B back in May. I sent mine in July, so I think I have a bit more time to polish this off.

Senseless rationalization, I know.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

In the home stretch

I only have one more chapter to go in my revisions! Yay! The problem is that I find the end the hardest part to write. All the loose ends have to be tied, the emotion at its strongest, and above all else it has to be fulfilling for the reader. Not an easy order to fill.

I'm pushing myself to have this done before I leave on my Disney trip. I don't want to have that hanging over my head. If there is anything left to do, I want it to be minimal, so that when I get home from my trip to find a revision request in my mail box (the power of positive thinking), I'll be ready to mail it within a week or two.

As my own form of motivation, I've added some photos of my hero and heroine, Owen and Tess (quite a hot couple, huh?).

Sunday, October 07, 2007 we come!

Now that we've spilled the beans about our upcoming trip to our kids, I can post as many pictures as I like. Yay! Although my oldest daughter wasn't quite as excited as I thought she'd be, I think that has more to do with her not truly understanding what it means to go to Disney. And my youngest doesn't understand any of it, but I know she'll love it just the same.
The only time I've been to Disney was when I was 6, and I still remember it as being a truly magical experience. I can't wait to share it with my kids! We're having breakfast with Cinderella, and she is getting her hair done up like a princess at the Bipitty Bopitty Boutique (my youngest doesn't have enough hair for that *g*). It's going to be soooo much fun! *squee*
All I have to do now is hope that I don't get a big fat R right before our trip.
Keep your fingers crossed...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Giving Thanks

In Canada we're celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. And in my family that means turkey, desserts and craft shows...yay!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year: two beautiful, healthy kids; a wonderful marriage; family I love...and in just a few hours, my husband and I will be telling our daughters that we're going to Disney World for the first time! They are going to flip!

Somebody pass the tissues...I'm getting weepy just thinking about it. *sniff*

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Time is a Tickin'

Next week it will officially be 3 months that M&B has had my ms. Yikes! Panic is starting to set in. What if they ask for the full? What if they don't? I keep plugging along with my polishing, but I've found some parts that I'm not happy with and have been working to improve them. The progress is slooowww. What if I'm not ready, and they request it? I know they won't expect it right away, but how long is too long to wait?

My husband says that I should stop messing with it, but I can't do that until I know its the best I can make it.

So onwards and upwards I go...

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Tomorrow is my 11 year wedding anniversary, but we've been together for 20 years. Yup, you guessed it...we were high school sweethearts.

Actually, my husband was my first serious boyfriend. Many people ask if I feel like I've missed out by not having experienced relationships with other men. My answer: absolutely not. I found the best early on. Why would I throw that away simply because it happened earlier than it happens for most?

And then my husband said something today that was so sweet, and it reminded exactly why I love him so much, why I've always loved him. We were talking about how our lives would have been different if we'd made different choices, and he said:

"The best thing I ever did was kiss you at that bus stop."

That was our first kiss, the kiss that started it all. And 20 years later, he's still my best friend, my soulmate...

...and I wouldn't change a thing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Free Book

I just received my free book from Harlequin for being chosen as a Honourable Mention for the Ultimate Secret Contest. It's a yummy Debbie Macomber. Can't wait to dig in to it.

I love getting things for free...especially books!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Next Best Thing.

I may not have been one of the three winners of the Ultimate Secret contest, but I did win an Honourable Mention...yay! I had no idea, so it was a nice surprise when I logged on to read the winning entries. And to top it off, I win a free book!

A great way to start the day.

To read the winning entries (which were great BTW), click here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sorry...I didn't have a chance to put together a TT list for today.

*hangs head in shame*

But I did submit a romantic short story to a woman's magazine today. They say that their wait times are between 1 and 6 months. So I can add it to my list of reasons to run to the mailbox everyday.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Darn--I didn't win the Ultimate Secret contest.

The winners received emails yesterday and my inbox is filled only with ads for Cialis and stock tips. I definitely would have noticed an email from Harlequin.

Oh well. Back to our regularly scheduled program--focusing on my WIP. I think I might also try a short story for a woman's magazine to mix things up. Gotta keep it interesting, you know.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

The winners of the Ultimate Secret contest were due to be notified yesterday, but I didn't hear anything :-( So I'm going to distract myself with TT.
Thirteen reasons that I looove writing (regardless of whether I win anything):
1. Creating characters and making them do what I want. Hmm...does that mean I'm a control freak? My husband would say 'yes'.
2. The different ways the written words can used in many different ways to express the same thing.
3. It's an escape to an exciting world where everyone is attractive, glamorous, and witty. Not that that isn't around me all the time in real life... *snicker*
4. There's something satisfying about seeing the words on paper (or computer screen). It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
5. I love seeing the look on people's faces when they realize I can write. I'm not just a pretty face, you know. LOL!
6. The endless possibilities for stories.
7. Using something I see or hear in real life in my stories.
8. Polishing something I've written until it's so good it positively shines.
9. Talking with other writers about writing. It's something only another writer can understand.
10. Watching someone I love read my work.
11. Being recognized for my writing (pleeease let me win the Ultimate Secret contest...pleeease).
12. Learning from other writers. Reading is research, you know. So I don't need to feel guilty about it.
13. Blogging about writing. I really love it!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #1

I'm jumping on the Thursday Thirteen band wagon...better late than never.

One of my Face Book friends recently posted some pictures taken of her in the 80's, and it got me thinking about all of the groan worthy 80's fashion trends. Which ones do you remember? Are you too embarrassed to admit the ones that you followed?

1. Big Hair - Lots of hairspray and teased up high! Gotta love it!

2. Banana clips - I have to admit that I wore my big hair. But the funniest thing is that I saw a woman wearing one this week! Who says the 80's are dead?

3. Colored Mascara/Eyeliner - Always extra thick! Blue, purple were the popular colors used. Guilty!

4. Torn Workout Top - Those maniac chicks, gotta love 'em! Some workout tops were also cut on the bottom to expose the stomach area. Most were worn off the shoulder. I was never brave enough.

5. Skinny Ties - Those leather ones were soooooo cool!

6. Lace crop tops - With bra underneath. If a white lace - white bra. If black lace - black bra. Again--never brave enough. Or maybe it was that my mom would never have let me out the door.

7. T-Shirt Clips - They looked like a ring with a bar through the middle and you threaded the bottom of your shirt through them.

8. Shaker Knit Sweaters - Shaker Knit refers to the type of stitch used to make these sweaters. The longer the better. Yup, I had a bunch.

9. Polo shirts - Shirts with collars (collars usually worn pulled up). Plenty of colors to choose from - pastels were a favorite preppy color.

10. Peter Pan Boots - Short, suede boots that all girls wore with their pin stripe jeans tucked into. Loved these.

11. Reebok high-tops - With no or untied laces. Mostly for the boys--or Tom boys.

12. Penny Loafers - My best friend had these.

13. Legwarmers - Flashdance made these even more popular than they already were! I admit, my mother knitted me a pair.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Love this feeling.

I had the best writing session tonight. Thanks to some advice from a very talented Harlequin Romance author (you know who you are, Trish Wylie), I was able to work through a scene that has been causing me headaches. It's a crucial scene, and it just wasn't working for me--until Trish helped my to tighten up my conflict and now...ta all makes sense.

I love it when that happens. Maybe this isn't hopeless after all.

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I sent in my entry for the Ultimate Secret contest through eHarlequin. Yay! I still have another week before it's due, but I wanted to get it out of my hands so that I could turn my attention back to my WIP.

Winners will be notified by September 5th, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The prize is great...a year's subscription to the Harlequin line of your choice. My current subscription will expire in December, so that would be nice.

But for now, I've got to put it out of my head and get back to Her Client's Wishes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Check it out!

Check out this video for my new favourite song...

Even if you don't like country music, you'll appreciate the cast. It's hilarious!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back in the Contest Circuit

I've been debating as to whether I was going to enter the Ultimate Secret contest on eHarlequin. With no story ideas banging down my door, I wasn't sure that I wanted to divert my attention from my WIP... until last night.

It hit me like a bolt of lightening. I started typing and typing and typing until I almost had the maximum 1000 words. The only problem...I hadn't yet incorporated the secret (kind of a key element, huh?). So on my lunch hour today I revised, added some more, cut a lot, and now I'm only about 80 words over the limit. I figure I'll let it simmer for a few more days before I do the final chop and polish and then submit.

But I have to say that I'm very excited about my entry. I'm not sure if I'll win, but at least I can say that I gave it my all. What more can I ask for?

Is anyone else out there entering? If so, how is your entry coming along?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to work.

Well, my vacation is now officially over. It's back to work tomorrow (groan).

I've been on vacation for two weeks, so you'd think I'd get a lot of writing done, right? Wrong. Having two kids home with me had something to do with that. But that's OK; we had a great time together, and I know it'll be hard for them to go back to daycare tomorrow--about as hard as it will be for me to face the mountain of work that will be awaiting my return (groan again).

But there is a silver lining...I'll have my uninterrupted lunch hours to write again. Yay!

Focus on the positive. Focus on the positive.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feeling Sunflowery

It's a beautiful August day, and I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy. DH and I are both on vacation this week, and I'm hoping the entire week is as beautiful as it is today.

Thought I'd share a photo of the sunflowers my kids and I grew in our garden (I had to dodge untold numbers of bees to get this photo). They're huge--the plants are about 7 feet tall. It's the first time I've attempted sunflowers and I'm looking forward to harvesting the seeds.

Hope you're having a great summer day!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The moment has passed.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you think, "What the hell am I doing? I can't write! No one is ever going to buy this." I recently had one of those moments... a moment that lasted two days. The result--I got nothing done. Nada. Zilch. No writing.

Well now, avoiding writing is bound to fix the problem--not.

So what changed? I had some awesome feedback from a HR author. She gave me that little confidence boost by saying some very nice things about my writing (*blushes*) and also by telling me that all authors feel that way sometimes. Even published authors. Yay! I'm not a loser destined never to get published.

So I'm back on the wagon polishing away at my ms.

Have you ever had a momentary (or not so momentary) lack of writing confidence? How did you get over it? Please share since I doubt I'll have another's kind words to get me through next time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Chocolate Flirtations chapter

Remember a while back I mentioned that I participated in a writing round robin? The story is called Chocolate Flirtations, and this week my chapter was introduced.

It's a quick read--less than 1,000 words--so feel free to stop by the site and check it out. It'll give you a taste for my writing style. And if you do, please pop back and let me know what you think. I never pass up an opportunity for feedback.

Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My baby has landed!

I received a letter from Harlequin M&B today telling me that my partial arrived safely and would be reviewed "in due course." So very British--I love it!

I'm beyond relieved that I don't have to wonder if it got lost in the mail somewhere. I guess the only issue now will be if it gets lost in the slush pile.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that doesn't happen.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"I'm so excited....

...and I just can't hide it."
Strange but that was the first tune that popped into my head *g*.

I am very excited. After reading my first three chapters, my editor (aka my sister) got so excited about reading the rest of my book that she gave me deadlines for getting the rest polished up and ready for someone other than myself to read.

You know what...I love it! I love having a goal to work towards, and I like being accountable to someone else (makes it harder to take a break just because). And I am so motivated that I'm actually ahead of my one chapter a week deadline. At this pace I'll definitely have my full all polished up and ready to send to Richmond just in case they ask for it (the power of positive thinking ;-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I've been tagged by Sri...

So, here are the rules:
A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

So here we go. Here's more than you ever wanted to know about me...

1. I was a band geek. Yes, I played trumpet in my high school band. I was pretty good too. But don't ask me to play it now. My lips are out of practice. LOL!

2. I'm hooked on Facebook. My husband says I need an intervention (LOL). But it's so much fun to find people I haven't seen in years. Like a high school reunion without having to get all dressed up. So if you're on Facebook, stop by and say 'Hi'.

3. I HATE cleaning. It's just one of those things that I get absolutely no satisfaction from doing. I get so little free time; why would I want to spend it polishing and scrubbing? We've had a service coming in to do it, but we're going to have to let them go and I'm dreading having to start spending my weekends cleaning the house again. I know, I know: poor me.

4. Apart from my University days, I have always lived in the Niagara Region of Ontario and have no plans to move. I love it here. We have all the amenities of a large city and yet I can drive two minutes and see horses and farms. What more could I ask for?

5. I spend almost every one of my at work lunch hours writing. It's one of the few times that I can get uninterrupted writing time when I'm not too tired to form a complete thought.

6. I'm determined to be a published author. Even if my current ms gets rejected, I know that I'll keep writing. I have to. It's in my blood.

7. I love to travel. I haven't been able to do much of it since we had our kids, but as soon as they are old enough to travel easily, I intend to take them to see the world. OK, maybe not the whole world, but at least the warm parts. We're planning our first family plane trip right Disney! I can't wait!

8. I have a degree in Psychology and an MBA in Marketing. When I talk about making a career as a romance writer, my mother often says "But what about your education?" I try to explain that education is never wasted, and that the discipline I learned will help me to be a better writer, but I don't think she gets it.

Okay, now it's your turn to reveal your inner-most secrets. If you read this, consider yourself TAGGED!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So Sad...

Two years ago at this time, I was getting ready to board a plane to go to the RWA national conference. Last year I was too busy with a 7 month old baby to be nostalgic, but this year...I'm really wishing I was going too.

I have to say that the whole experience, if a little overwhelming, was sooo motivating. One speaker in particular sticks in my mind: Debbie Macomber. She told the story of how hard it was financially for her family when she decided to stay home and write. So hard in fact that she almost gave up. But her husband encouraged her to give it a bit longer. And now look where she is. Best Seller. Internationally renown. Ahh. We can all dream.

She also said something that really hit me. Every time she felt guilty for spending time writing instead of spending all of her time with her children, she thought about what it taught them to see their mother trying so hard to do something that she loved. That, my friends, was when I broke into tears. It was like she read my mind. Whenever my husband says he'll take the kids out so I can have time to write, my heart tightens a little at the thought of the fun that they'll have without me. So what keeps me going? The dream of my daughters one day stepping up to the front of their classroom on career day and proudly introducing me as " My Mom, the Romance author."

Sniff, sniff.

Does anyone have a tissue?

Friday, July 06, 2007

I Did It!

I finally mailed my partial to Richmond! I can't believe it's in the mail winging it's way to the UK. I even paid extra to have it get there within 3-5 days. Silly, I know, but I've worked on this manuscript for so long that I can't wait to find out if they want to see more.

If they do, I'll be over the moon...whether or not they end up buying it. Remind me of that in a few months.

My stomach is in knots...already.

Can someone pass the silver bucket? I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

On Track

Thanks to everyone who's offered their support and encouragement. I'm still on track to submit this week. The plan is to put it in the mail on Friday. OMG...that's tomorrow!

Breathe, breathe.

I'm still toying with my synopsis. But at this point, I don't think the changes that I'm making are that significant. Mostly just changing a word here and there. I know that a single word isn't going to make or break the ms, so I need to just get over it and send it in.

I'll keep you posted. I'll need some serious hand holding once I put this sucker in the mail. I'm a submitting virgin (tee hee), so I'm very nervous.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I gave in.
I sent my first 3 chapters to my sister. So far she's read the first chapter, and you know what...she loved it! And I truly think she's being genuine. As an added bonus, she actually found the funny parts funny! Yay! When I'm writing something that I think is humourous, I never know if other people will think so too. Looks like I succeeded!

I'll be writing my query letter today and will be submitting early next week.
I can't wait!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Family Time?

My sister recently asked if she could read my MS.

Not a big deal, right? Then why am I so worried? Worried that she'll hate it. Worried that she'll tell me she loves it, but I'll be able to tell that she hates it. She is a voracious reader, but she usually reads historicals and they always have some...umm...sexual content. I close the bedroom door. She's been such a big supporter that I don't want to turn her down, but I also don't want her to be disappointed with the story either.

What do you guys think? Do you let family read your wip?

Monday, June 18, 2007


The funniest 18 month old DD calls both me and my DH mommy or "Mammy". Today when DH dropped her off at daycare he said she started crying and calling for him..."Mammy! Mammy!" It breaks my heart to hear that, but knowing that she stops crying as soon as we're out of sight, the day care provider must have gotten a kick out of it.

On the writing front, I am just about to make the final revisions on my partial. I printed out the pages and went through them with a fine tooth comb and was amazed at the things that I didn't notice when it was on the computer screen. So it was time well spent. And I'm still on track to submit by the end of June. Yay! Every time I think about actually submitting I get this excited flutter in my stomach. I'm actually going to do this!

Remind me of this wonderful feeling a month from now when I'm clutching the silver bucket.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday Writing Romp - Chapter 3

More Chocolate Flirtations comin' right up...

Here's chapter 3

Friday, June 08, 2007

First Page Challenge

As part of Julie Cohen's first page challenge I'm posting the first few paragraphs of my WIP, Her Client's Wishes. I'd love to hear comments:

“Wait, wait!” Tess shouted over the uneven clip-clop rhythm of her sensible heels on the black polished tiles. She hobbled towards the rapidly closing elevator doors attempting to balance the weight of an overstuffed briefcase on one shoulder while trying—unsuccessfully—to prevent the coffee in her other hand from sloshing through the hole in its plastic lid.

If she missed the elevator, she’d have to wait at least five minutes for the next one. She didn’t have the kind of time to spare. Not today.

Please, not today.

Comment: She's frantic, rushing to something very important to her that she absolutely can't be late for. Hopefully this makes you wonder what that is. Also she's the kind of woman who wears sensible shoes--no stilettos for this one.

Tess Morgan scanned the crowd of elevator passengers hoping that if she was able to make eye contact with just one of them they’d have to hold the door for her, right?

Unfortunately, making eye contact with anyone in a busy downtown Toronto elevator was down right unheard of. Avoid eye contact at all cost: the cardinal rule.

Her hobble advanced to an ungraceful scurry, but still no one made a move to hold the elevator.

The doors slid shut in her face.

After five years in this city why did she still hope for the same courtesy she’d get in her hometown? She was always disappointed.

Comment: She's not from Toronto and not used to the ways that people behave in big cities. Hopefully this gets across the idea that she's from a small town.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wednesday Writing Romp - Chapter 2

So, are you ready for more?
Want to learn more about the crazy woman who doesn't like chocolate? Are you wondering what will happen when she's forced not only to indulge herself but also to spend 24/7 with her pushy client Grant Severson?

Click the link below to read chapter 2 written by Debi Phillips.

Chocolate Flirtations - Chapter 2

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday Writing Romp

Welcome to Wednesday's Writing Romp!
Each week a new chapter written by a different author will be posted (stay tuned for Chapter nine--that's mine). The story, entitled Chocolate Flirtations, is a romance about a gal who doesn't like chocolate (crazy, I know). Check out the Introduction written by Cole Reising, and then come back every Wednesday for another taste written by one of the talented authors listed below.

Hope you enjoy!

Contributing Authors:
Kristi Ahlers
Marcy Bassett-Kennedy
Kendra Clark
Julia Clark
Bronwen Cleathero
Meagan Hatfield
Debbi Phillips
Nicole Reising
Andrea Shuman
Rita Trevalyan

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Six Word Novel...C'mon and Vote!

Take a swing by Julie Cohen's blog today and vote for your favourite six word novel. You may even want to vote for number 4 because...ahem...well, I wrote. Okay this is a blantant attempt to scrounge up some votes for my entry.

You can't blame me for trying.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Someone was on my side today

Totally unrelated to writing, but today we had my daughter's birthday party, and miracle of didn't rain. The forecast had been calling for rain all week, but it never materialized! Hallelujah! We were able to keep all ten kids (and all their mess) outside for the entire party. Everyone had a great time playing Ariel themed games and playing on the slide and swing set. All in all, very successful.

Now before I pass out from exhaustion, I've posted some pics of the Ariel cake I made (I'm quite proud of myself).

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I've hit a cross roads with my ms. Despite my voice being more suited for the Modern Extra line, I think my characters are better suited for the Romance line. What do I do???

There has been lots of great discussion on the topic of sex in the Modern X line over at Natalie Anderson's blog, and it helped me to see that I can't just add in the sexuality required for the line--my characters have to want it. And they don't. At least not as badly as characters from other Modern X books do. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that they want it but aren't forward enough to take it...not right away at least.

So that leaves me with the task of tweaking my voice so it fits better in the Romance line. Not a small feat given that I'm not quite sure how to do that. In the end I guess all I can do is try to revise it to the best of my ability while still staying true to my overall voice as a writer. I like the way I write and don't want to stray too far from it. If an editor sees promise in my writing, I gotta hope that she'll work with me to make it perfect for the line rather than saying "forget's not perfect for the line".

I can hope anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Romance Writers Rock!

I can't believe how helpful everyone in the writing community can be!

As a newbie writer I have A LOT of questions, and I am constantly amazed at the lengths to which published authors will go to help. On top of their writing schedules, their blogging/website obligations, their own personal lives, they find the time to help someone they've never met before.

Are romance writers the nicest people, or what?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Me and Modern Extra?

I recently had some very good advice from a very reliable source that my voice may be better suited for the Modern Extra line than for the Romance line. The only thing missing from my current ms? S-e-x! Well, maybe not the only thing, but the most prevalent thing. So what does this mean? Simply, I won't be submitting any time soon.

As disappointed as I am by this, I definitely don't want to waste the one chance I get to submit this ms to Harlequin by submitting to the wrong line. I want to do it right. So that means going back over my ms, tweaking the hero's conflict to better reflect the line and adding in some juicy sex scenes. I don't have a problem with the last piece. I was actually a little upset that I wasn't able to include any sex scenes when subbing to the Romance line. They're so much fun to write...

...and even more fun to research!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all of the mothers reading this post are having a wonderful mother's day. My dh just took the kids out to give me some time to myself. Yay! I got some wonderful gifts from my kids including some lovely homemade cards and such.

My most favourite gift was an interview that my daughter's JK teacher did with her asking her questions about me. The first question was how old is your mother. My daughter's response...14! Gotta love it.

My husband also made a video card of the kids wishing me happy mother's day with my youngest blowing kisses. So cute.

Wishing all of you a happy and relaxing mother's day!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Baby Steps

I just submitted a non-fiction piece to Woman's World magazine! It's an article that I wrote two years ago and have yet to find a home for, but I love it. It's the story of my wedding day and the ways in which I became convinced that my father, who had passed away two years earlier, was with me on that special day. It's a story that moves me to tears whenever I read it, and I hope Woman's World finds it as touching.

Although this isn't as big as submitting my romance novel, it's a step in the right direction.

Baby steps, I keep telling myself. Baby steps.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mommy's Toes

Totally unrelated to writing, but I had to share this funny story. I was getting ready to go to the Christening of a friend's baby and since it was unseasonably warm, I decided to wear sandals. However, as all you women know, you absolutely must have fresh painted toes when you wear sandals the first time of the season. And so while DH took the kids out to get some groceries (what a great guy!), I quickly painted my toes a nice shiny red.

When my kids came home I was all ready to go to the Christening. It wasn't until I had my sandals on that my oldest dd (almost 5 yrs old) noticed my toes and commented "I like your toes, Mommy,...." she continued, "...but who painted them?"

How sad is it that my daughter thinks the only way that Mommy's toes get painted is if she gets a pedicure? I do paint them by myself occasionally. Honest! I'm not so pampered that I can get a pedicure whenever I want my toes painted. Although I have to admit...I do prefer to have someone else do it : -)

From the mouths of babes...

What about you? Have you had your first pedicure of the season?

Next blog it's back to writing topics. Honest again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

By George, I've got an idea!

Picture this - I'm sitting alone in my very hip, non-mommy mobile (aka minivan), waiting for the world's longest, slowest train to pass. I'm listening to the radio and my mind starts to wander, as is usually the case with us writers ;). And that's when it hits me - the idea for my next story. It unfurled before my eyes as if I was watching a movie. It was quite fascinating actually. By the time I got home, I was so excited I couldn't wait to share it with my husband, who replied with the apporopriate uh huh's and hmm's but I could tell he didn't get the magnitude of what had just happened. I'd just gotten past the hurdle of my first ms and was ready to move on...finally.

As soon as I had five minutes alone I kidnapped the computer and started doing some research for my heroine's job, and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of info I was able to collect (she's an A&R scout for a recording company). So now I'm itching to get started, but can't. Not until I mail off my partial for me current wip, which will hopefully be within a few weeks.

Needless to say, I'm anxious to mail that sucker off now, and that beats panicking any day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chapter 3 is complete!

Yay! I finished revising chapter 3 today. Hooray! And I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I made some significant revisions given changes to the story line that I've made since I wrote it, but not too overwhelming. Just enough to make the story a lot tighter. I love it.

I've sent it off to my critique partner to review, and then I'm sending it into a contest that an author is holding. I want to get all the feedback I can before I mail it off. I figure that I'll only get one chance with this ms--I want it be be everything that I know it can be.

Wish me luck...

Monday, April 09, 2007

I Think Too Much

Now that I'm sufficiently filled with candy, chocolate etc, it's back to work.

It's funny, I wrote a chapter for a round robin writing compilation, and I couldn't believe how quickly I finished it. 1000 words written and polished within 3 hours. Why can't I work that fast on my ms? I think it's because it was new and exciting where as I've been working on the same ms for 4 years. It's changed a lot...but it still has the same characters, same setting, same, same, same. Part of me is excited to just get it in the mail so I can move on to something new, something fresh. But at the same time, I want to make sure that my current ms is as good as it can possibly be before sending it off.

I know, I know...I think too much. I'm working on it.

P.S. My daughter never got any spots! Thanks for your good wishes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Fever Has Broken

I'm so relieved! My daughter's fever has finally broken after 4 days. Hopefully this means she'll sleep through the night tonight : ) I guess the only thing to do now is wait and see if she gets the spots associated with Roseola. Keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't get any.

Maybe I'll try and get some much needed writing done this weekend.

Yay for the long weekend! I soooo need a break!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No time for writing...

My critique partner now has my revised chapters 1, 2 and my synopsis for review. All I have to do is revise chapter 3 and I'm ready to submit. But I haven't had much time for writing lately.

My youngest dd (16 months) has had a fever for 3 days and has been vomiting. It's so sad. All she wants is to be held. And we just found out that another child at her daycare has Roseola, which starts with a 3-5 day fever followed by a rash when the fever breaks. So, she won't be going back to day care tomorrow, which means I won't be going back to work. Oh well. Maybe I'll be able to duck in for the morning if dh can stay home.

The joys of daycare.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Getting Cold Feet

So, I'm nearing the end. I'm almost done with the revisions on my first 3 chapters, and then I'll be able to send them off to Richmond. I should be excited, relieved, on cloud nine, right? So how come I feel like I'm about to upchuck my last meal whenever I think about it? It might have something to do with the fact that I've heard about several writers on the eHarlequin boards receiving rejections (some of them very positive rejections, but rejections none the less) recently. These are talented writers. What makes me think mine will be any different?

And this is when analysis paralysis takes over. I tend to over think things (go figure--I make my living as an analyst). But I can't help wondering what I'll do if they reject my ms? I've been working on it for 4 years! Will all that work have been for nothing? As long as I hang on to it, it can't be rejected, right? I know that's a stupid attitude, but I can't help that mentality from creeping in once in a while. But don't worry--I don't give in to it. I'm going to submit...and soon.

Get ready stomach. You're in for a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Short and Sweet - Who Me?

I recently learned that Harlequin Romance line asks that synopses for submission to their line be one single spaced page. One page! How the bleep am I going to boil my whole story with all of its intricacies, down to one page? I mean, I can do it of course, but doing it well is another story. I want to make sure that I still capture the growing emotion without watering it down too much. Does anyone have any tips? Just when I thought I was getting close to having my submission ready, there's another curve ball.

On a lighter note, did any one catch Geoffrey Dean Morgan's (aka Denny Duquette) cameo on Grey's Anatomy last week? Sigh. I just love him to pieces. Every time I see him all I can think about is Owen from my wip since he's who I've cast as my hero.

Which leads me to my question to all you writer's out there...Do you cast actors for your characters? Do you think it helps to write a more believable character?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How much snow???

The forecast was calling for 50 cm. For all the Americans out there...that's about 20 inches! I'm not sure how much snow actually fell, but it was A LOT! So much that we had a snow day today. Yay! I know I'll pay for it later in the week, but it was worth it to stay home with my girls.

The best part of a snow day? Playing in the snow. Here is a photo of my oldest before she started diving into the drifts at the side of our drive way. To give it a little perspective, she's about 40 inches tall. And the other is a photo of the drifts outside our side door. I tried to shovel a little path for the dog (a Shih Tzu -- poor guy has incredibly short legs), but it just kept filling in.
Here's hoping the roads are clear tomorrow since I don't think I'll be able to squeeze another day off out of this storm. But I could try...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Flu Enigma

How is that that after getting the flu and eating nothing more than 4 slices of toast over 2 days, I didn't lose any weight. I mean not a single pound! I'm not actively attempting to lose weight, but that is usually one of the --I mean the only-- benefit of getting the stomach flu and I got nothin'. So much for the post flu binge.

On the plus side, my work recently transferred me to our office that is about a ten minute drive from our house. How great is that? Since I started my professional career I have never worked and lived in the same city--until now. And I'm loving it! Definitely makes the daycare dash at the end of the day that much easier. If I have to work, this is the way to do it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Casting Success

Many writers spend hours searching the web for the perfect photo of the perfect hero/heroine to cast for their WIP. I never really thought this was necessary. Surely my time would be better spent writing rather than looking through page after page of photos, I thought. I had a mental picture of my hero/heroine. That was enough, right? I thought so until I had my critique partner read my WIP and comment that my she pictured my hero as headless. That's a bit of a problem. Headless is not sexy.

Needless to say, I have to go back and add more description.

I came to the conclusion that I was lacking description of my hero because I couldn't see him in as much detail as I needed to. So I started looking for a photo of the man that I pictured. I've gone back and forth with who I think best represented Owen as I've pictured him and kept coming up luke warm. That was until I saw an episode of Rachel Ray that had a guest appearance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan -- aka Denny Duquette from Gray's Anatomy...yummm! The minute I saw him I thought, that's Owen! He is so sexy, so sweet, so Owen! Those dimples, that scruff on his chin. He is so hot. And the best part is that I've got an excuse to start printing off photos of him without causing my husband to raise an eyebrow. It's research, dear. Just research.

I love research.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sign Me Up!

The Pink Heart Society is starting a new club -- the FinDaBoo club, and I'm all over it. Anything that encourages me to write instead of vegging in front of the TV or surfing the internet after I get the kids to bed is a good thing.

Also, I've got myself a fantabulous critique partner who I have really clicked with (yes...that's you Kerrie). Despite the fact that she's in Australia, I really feel as though we have a connection. Our writing styles are very similar, so I hope we can keep each other motivated to submit this year. This is the year!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back to Work

Today was my second day back at my day job, and I have to say that getting up to go to work everyday sucks. I much prefer my leisurely life of rolling out of bed when the kids wake, watching cartoons as I emerge from my sleepy stupour, and then getting dressed when I'm good and ready. I've never been a quick moving morning person and definitely not a fan of the alarm clock, but unfortunately I've had to become reacquainted with both. And I've also had to get reacquainted with a dear old friend named caffeine. I've been caffeine free since my pregnancy but I've come to discover that it is impossible to get through the work day without it--that is unless I drop my head on my desk and have a cat nap (frowned upon in the workplace). So caffeine it is.

I had plans to spend my lunch hours writing, but in the past two days I've been so busy getting back up to speed that I haven't been able to and have been brain dead by the evening. Hopefully things will calm down by next week so I can finish up the last few scenes in my wip. I'm so close I can taste it. That thought is enough to keep me going. Now if only my work would understand that I have important writing to do even though they're paying me to work *snicker*.