Thursday, April 24, 2014


What? You mean after I spent the last year (or two) perfecting my manuscript, I now face rejection emails?

Whose bright idea was that?

Truth is, it’s all part of the beast we call “getting published.” If we want to go traditional, that is.  And for my first novel, I want the time-honored gig. Why? Who knows? Maybe it’s a sick need to be validated by the industry. Of course I want an agent or publisher to say, “I believe in you.” Is that an outrageous thing to desire? I don’t think so.

Who am I to speak of how to get published? I’m not anyone; the journey is different for all of us no matter how many times we find ourselves in print.

I can declare how intense fright shakes your hands as they hover over the enter key when submitting to a contest or queries. The drop in your stomach when you hit the “hope you’ve done everything right cuz you’re never going to get this chance back” button. And the extreme need to cyber stalk yourself once you’ve been accepted.

Don’t get me started on how it feels when you can see your results as a contest progresses. Come on, I’m not the only crazy fiction writer in the world. You know you do it too!

Point is, we all have to start somewhere, so don’t let rejection hold you back. It just adds another layer of skin that you and I are going to need when our big day arrives. Let’s face it; rejection does one of two things, it can make us stronger, or it can break us apart.

Don’t let fear keep you on your couch in your bathrobe eating negative pie. Let rejection be the cattle prod zapping you into action. We all need improvement on our craft. That will never change.

What does change in the industry?

Us, if we’re lucky.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Can I say nipples?

The elusive sex scene…
Some make you blush, some make you cringe . . .and some simply do their job. They pull you into an intimate moment between two people you, as the reader, care for.

Friends of mine know it doesn’t take long for me to turn a normal conversation into something dirty. It's a gift. But in my writing, I like to ease, not thrust, you into a moment between two characters.

There are times where I like the woman’s point of view: I want you to imagine the slow, rhythmic pulse of her lover’s hunger when he consumes her, feel how she teeters at the urgency of his touch trailing between her legs, experience the fulfillment of when he covers her with the perfect amount of pressure.

Other times, I love the man’s point of view: I want you to sense how angry his skin is when his lover breaks contact, hear his excitement at her shallow moans begging for his touch, blush at his smile as her wishes conform to his desires, or witness how their fevered bodies seek each other out—

But a few weeks ago, I faced that nagging question: how far do I go?

When I finally wrote my first “open door” sex scene, my hands hovered over the keys for five minutes, but then I typed it…Nipples.

Now I realize there are far more explicit words than nipples. But it was the idea that I was going to go “all the way” with my characters that had me frozen. The point is, after all was said and done, it didn’t hurt. In fact, I giggled a little at my silliness.

In previous romantic scenes, I focused on the build up, the foreplay and then I shut the door and allowed the reader to take it from there. But for my latest novel, I felt more was needed—my male hero craved it. He wanted to prove how intensely he felt for his lover. How badly he desired to touch her. Hold her. Love her.

So in the end, the book ultimately chose, not me. I didn’t answer the question of how far; it was what the novel called for. It was what was right for the characters and essentially, what would submerge the reader into that intimate moment.

Monday, February 17, 2014

At the age of forty-five, I believe I've earned the right to NOT have a zit that can be seen from space!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What I learned over Christmas break

1) I have no “real” superpowers.
2) Fake trees do not smell like real ones no matter how many “smelly pine thingy-boppers” you put on them.
3) I am a Cook in name only…To be honest, I already knew this.
4) Noel written on a window from inside the house will spell Leon on the outside.
5) If you start drinking in the morning, the afternoon is less stressful. Please see the above  number 3 and 4. Although, if I didn’t drink, maybe neither one would be an issue.
6) Wine freezes…
7) There is no actual “last nerve” in my body, because if there were, I would use number 1 to punish rude strangers.
Oh who am I kidding, you wouldn’t have to be a stranger.
8) Printed out pictures of gifts, instead of the real thing, are not as much fun for children to open.
9) Hanging up a “count down Christmas calendar” and not changing the numbers does not prolong how many shopping days you have left for Christmas.
10)  If you smash a can of jellied cranberry sauce in a nice bowl, people will think it’s homemade! Or be kind enough to not tell you they noticed. Or maybe they do, but because of number 5 you don’t remember and that’s almost as good.