Monday, October 31, 2005

Weekend Fun

Most of my weekend was spent working. I had to write 5,000 words in 2 days to meet my quota. Since a comfortable pace for me is 1,000 words a day, this was pushing it. My forearm hurts this AM. I think I'm getting carpal tunnel. :( I also had to start going through the galleys of Boys that Bite.

The good news is that I was able to accomplish it all. :) And I was able to go out on Saturday night.

As I mentioned before, Activity Director had approved my application to attend Hallo-Scream at the Bayside Expo center. It was awesome!! There were 3 Haunted Houses and a haunted museum. The actors were great - really freaky with excellent costumes. And I think they loved having 3 giggly, screaming girls clutching onto one another as we made our way through the rooms. They really got into scaring us to death!

They also had a cool pumpkin carving exhibit. Here are a couple of pics. (Click for larger image)

At one point this guy with a videocamera filmed us going through the haunted house and then interviewed us afterwards. I, for some reason, thought it would be funny when the guy asked me how the haunted house was to say, "It's Spooktacular!" In hindsight, that was a really, really stupid move. Especially from someone who works in TV and should know better than to speak in cheesy, promotional soundbites. I just know I'm going to end up on some commercial next Halloween that gets replayed every ten minutes on every network in Boston. So I now have about 11 months left before I have to leave the city forever or die of embarassment. :)

Yes, my life gives me so much fodder for my books...

After Hallo-Scream we went to this new bar called MATCH. It's on the corner of Newbury and Mass Ave for those of you who are familar with Boston. It was great! Trendy and cool with a great atmosphere and vibe. Their specialty is mini-burgers (so cute!) and martinis. I would totally go back in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone looking for a hip Boston bar. (And I am very fussy about my hip Boston bars, just FYI.)

Anyway - this week is probably going to be uneventful as I have to write and do galleys every night after work. But it'll be worth it in the end. As my agent said, "What, you don't expect to have a life, do you?"


Friday, October 28, 2005

Writers that Whine

Read this on a couple of blogs and since I've been whining myself so often lately, I figured it deserved a mention.

First - I have the Book That Will Not End (aka: WHAT, NO ROSES?) due on Thanksgiving. Which, uh, means it has to end. And soon. But hey, no problem. I've worked it out mathmatically by word count so if I work hard I can have it finished, revised, and turned in just in time for my editor to read it over his turkey dinner. (Because, you know, once he picks it up and starts reading he's going to be so enthralled he'll forget all about cranberry sauce and apple pie and pilgrims and football.)

But then, just when I think I've got everything under control and may be able to sneak in a quick trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break, I get an email from my agent who says I need to turn in the first three chapters of STAKE THAT! by December 1st. Gulp. Turns out they need them for a cover conference. Now, don't get me wrong - cover conferences are GOOD and I want them to have all the info they need so I don't get a bad cover, but at the same time, this now means going directly to my computer. Not passing Florida. Not collecting turkey.

Okay, I say. Fine. It'll be a lonely Thanksgiving, but it's for a good cause. I can do this. Then today I get sent the Page Proofs for BOYS THAT BITE. With instructions to have them back to the mothership in one week's time.


So anyway - I promise you this does have a point - I am stressed and overworked (remember I have a full time job, too) and not sure how I am going to get everything done. So I go into a reporter friend of mine's office. And I start moaning and complaining about how terrible my life is. ;-)

She was NOT sympathetic. You see, she's a writer too. And she's got her first book out to editors now and is anxiously awaiting their acceptance. She says she should be so lucky as to have my problems and if she gets a book deal she will be happy and never complain ever again.

I laughed. Because I know I said the same exact thing a year and a half ago when my book was out to publishers. I thought once I got my book sold, I'd be happy and content and all the world's problems would disapear. In fact, if I got a book deal, surely world peace couldn't be far behind.

How silly was I!?

Anyway the moral of this story is that writers (and people in general) will always find something to complain about. I used to complain I didn't have a book deal. Now I complain cause I have too many. Neither complaint is unjustified, but neither is very productive either. (And complaining about having too many books does NOT (for the record) help you win friends...)

The best thing to do is be thankful for what you have, do your best to live up to your commitments and remember that you can always eat your turkey on the Fourth of July.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spooktacular Plans & Character Naming

So I submitted my Saturday night outing idea to the Activity Director (in triplicate, as required - ha, ha!) and I'm pleased to say it's been approved! So this Saturday night, my friends and I are going to attend HalloScream Park at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. It's like four or five Haunted Houses and a huge pumpkin carving exhibit. Then, after getting our scare on, we're going to go dancing at some club. Of course, my original proposal was amended by the Friend Committee so we won't be wearing costumes, but hey - better than nothing, right? (I can always dress up at RT if I feel the urge to costume myself!)

Anyway - I'm pleased. Hopefully it'll be fun or I'll probably be barred from suggested activities in the future... :)

BTW - if anyone is looking for some revenge, make sure you enter Lisa Gardner's Lucky Stiff contest. If you win, you get to name a murder victim in her next book. (Unfortunately you can't send in a complete description of the victim to make it more realistic...) This is kind of unique twist on what I've seen a lot of authors doing lately--auctioning off or holding contests to let readers name their characters.

I've never done this, but I think it's a fun idea and I can see the appeal. My friend Liz Maverick borrowed my name for one of the heroines in her upcoming December chick lit book Card Sharks. (About girls who play poker-check it out!!!) I thought that was pretty cool, actually. To return the favor, the evil vampire in my STAKE THAT! book has been given the name Maverick. (Yes, yes, I get to be the heroine and make her the evil vampire. If you know Liz, you know she'd appreciate that, really.)

Alesia Holliday always puts her kids in her books. Lani Diane Rich used her friend Wanda's name and attributes in TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR. In Lindsay Sands vampire books SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE and LOVE BITES she has book editor characters named Kate Leaver and Chris Keys (obvious plays on Kate Seaver and Lindsay's own editor Chris Keeslar.) She also adds a cameo appearance of Lady Barrow herself at the RT conference.

I'm sure there are many more examples out there. Some more subtle than others. But it's fun if you're in on the joke. And if not, it doesn't detract from the book.

So you writers out there - do you put friends and family in your books? Have you auctioned off a character's name? And you readers - would you think it'd be fun to have a character be named after you? Would you like winning a contest where you got to do that?


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Undead and Unreturnable

So about a year and a half ago everyone started talking about this book. A vampire book that was supposed to be really funny. I thought to myself, well, I like vampire books. And I like funny books. So perhaps I should check this book out. It was a small book. Short with a cartoon cover. Funny title, too. "Undead and Unwed."

You may have heard of it. :P

Now MaryJanice Davidson is like uber famous author extraordinaire and the 4th book in her Undead series is hitting store shelves. No longer a slim, small paperback. This time she's got the hardcover treatment. In fact, she's such a star that for the last Undead book I saw in one bookstore that Berkley had even put out limited edition, signed and numbered copies.

You know you've made it when your books have numbers on them.

Yup, MaryJanice has done quite well for herself. But it doesn't surprise me in the least. The series is one of the funniest I've ever read. Betsy, as the reluctant queen of the vampires, is irreverent and hillarious. And her sidekicks are equally amusing. I'm sure this new one will be equally fun.

Here's a blurb:

Even the undead celebrate Christmas, and Betsy is in heaven shopping for gifts.

But all is not merry in the mansion. It?s become infested with ghosts?really needy ones who have no qualms asking Betsy to run errands for them to rectify their pasts. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, and, being tall and blonde, Betsy perfectly fits his type.

They say Christmas is a time for friends and family. But with a half-sister who?s the devil?s daughter, an evil stepmother, a fiend living in her basement, and assorted spirits and killers running amok, Betsy is not sure she?ll survive the holidays. Oh, right. She?s already dead?

You can go read an excerpt here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Since I have good friends in Florida who get slammed by hurricanes every year I can't really justify complaining about a bunch of rain and wind up in Boston. But at the same time it's sooo annoying. How come we never got a normal New England autumn? You know, where you go and pick apples and drink cider or peep at brilliantly colored leaves while wearing cute orange cashmere sweaters? Why did it go from 80 to 50 in one day? What happened to the sun? Does it not like us? Is it off sulking somewhere because when it was hot and sunny I was complaining about that?

Okay, fine. I'll shut up. :)

But actually...while I'm complaining ... I'm not so happy with Depeche Mode either. One of my favorite bands as a teen -and now they have a new album out and are hitting the road on a worldwide tour. Great, right? Well, I just realized they are NOT PLAYING IN BOSTON. They are playing everywhere else in the universe - including foreign countries I wasn't sure even existed! But not Boston. What's up with that Dave? Martin? You have loyal fans in Boston. We bought all your albums. We wore all black for you. Why won't you come see us? The closest venue is in NYC in December. Which is not really close at all. I am very disapointed. :(

On a more positive note, you know that charity anthology Bewitched, Bothered, and BeVampyred I mentioned the other day? Well, I've been asked to contribute a short story in Volume 2. This time proceeds will go to breast cancer research. Lots of top romance authors involved and I'm very honored to have been asked.

Back to complaining about the rain...


Monday, October 24, 2005

Mar the Teacher

This morning I got to play teacher to a bunch of middle school students in New Hampshire. I taught them about the process of writing and publishing a book, had them do a voice exercise, and bribed them with candy to get them to ask lots of questions. :) (I fielded everything from "Where do you get your ideas?" to "Do you like Legos?" (Heck, yeah, I do!! Check out this Lego Viking Castle being attacked by a dragon set!!))

It was fun, but exhausting. I don't know how teachers can be "on" for so many hours a day. I taught three classes and I was sooo tired afterwards. And I even went to bed early the night before!

On Saturday night Activity Director actually let me pick the event of the evening, so I chose movie and drinks. Not as original as say, Superdiamond, but definitely less of a cheese factor. ;-) We saw "A History of Violence" - the new Cronenberg flick. I thought it was pretty good - definitely held my interest. I liked the dark themes of nature vs. nuture and Darwinian evolution of man through violence. Cronenberg always makes you think, that's for sure. Next up I have to see Serenity. I have 3 episodes of Firefly left to watch first though...

Speaking of Joss stuff - Joshilyn Jackson has a great open letter to Joss Whedon on her blog. I'd totally sign my name to that letter. I agree with every last word. Esp the part about it needing to be Spike and Buffy as opposed to Angel and Buffy. I mean come on, Jossy! That should be a given. (But I still love and adore and worship you.)

(Oh - and so Joshilyn, when are we going to play WoW? Us gamer girl authors have to stick together!)

By the way - you know those book trailers I was telling you about on Saturday? Christin Feehan says they're the #1 way she promotes her book. That out of everything she's done, these were the most successful. And I mean, Christine Feehan, people! Obviously the woman knows what she's talking about. I worship at the feet of her marketing genius!!

And lastly - Happy Birthday Jason! This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the first Friday the 13th horror movie. I LOVE cheesy horror movies and Jason is my ultimate anti-hero. There's just something about the big oaf in the hockey mask that I find so darn cute. I have the dvd box set of all the movies and when Freddy vs. Jason came out, I saw it opening night and cheered on Jason. (My ex cheered Freddy - I should have taken that as a sign... j/k)

Yes, I'm a strange girl. Is this the first blog entry of mine you've read?!?!? ;-)


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Book Trailers are Cool

I'm off on a major dog walking excursion with my friends in a few mins, but wanted to pop on and write something so I could keep my "blogging every day" promise.

Have you seen these book trailers? Christine Feehan does them for her books and they're soo cool. A great alternative way to market a book in today's MTV society. I sooo want one! Though being a TV producer, I think I could recruit a photog/editor friend and produce them myself instead of hiring an outside company. (Not that I think I can do better, just that I am poor!) Maybe I'll do one for Boys that Bite. :)

Anyway - check them out and let me know what you think: Circle of Seven Productions.


Friday, October 21, 2005

More about me! This time alphabetically

Thought this was cool. Stole it off My Space from my ex-boyfriend Craig...

A- Age

March 2, 1974

Mal from Firefly

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Diet Sprite and Diet Coke

Nothing, uh had Cheerios for b-fast.

chocolate eclairs - mmmmmm - yum!

Mary and Hank for girl advice. My dad for everything else. :P

George W
Overly large SUVs
The dumbing down of America
I, uh, could go on...

too much for my own good.

J- JOB? :
TV News Producer by day, Author by early morning/night/everywhere in between

Don't have any, but want them someday. At least one.

L- LOVE? :
is equally the best and worst state to be in.

Love them. All types. All genres. Nothing better than curling up on a couch with someone and watching movies. Except maybe playing videogames...

I hate the phone. Please email or IM me instead.

Is this supposed to be some sex question in disguise? Sooo not answering.

Happy by Clinique. The original kind - not all the new variations.

I'm a geek guy trapped in a girl's body.

NJ writer's conference a couple weeks ago.

BU grad. Would like to go back and get treaching certificate.

Like watching old ones on DVD - Firefly and Black Adder, currently
Fave shows of all time - Buffy, 90210, Twin Peaks


7 years old. But may go soon for a weekend with friends...

NYT Bestselling author who lives in a sweet penthouse in NYC and doesn't have a dayjob.

X- how many x's do you have:
As in ex boyfriends? Huh. Um... 13? Not counting repeats.

Hoping it'll be 2006.

Pisces - and I'm totally like one. Imaginative, sensitive, compassionate, unworldly, intuitive and sympathetic.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blogging every day. Aren't you proud?

Someone told me recently that because I'd been a blogging slacker (my words not theirs) and didn't post everyday, they'd gotten out of the habit of reading my blog all together. So I've re-commmitted myself to at least post some interesting tidbit each and every day. To keep you all from getting too bored and leaving me. :)

Er, so, now I feel obliged to entertain you. Okay, fine. For starters, check out this link It's a really freaky illusion. Funny how our vision plays tricks on us. I have no idea how it works except to say that I guess we're all in the Matrix...

Next up - have you all seen the cover for Gena Showalter's latest book "Enslave Me Sweetly"? It's the sequel to her awesome "Awaken Me Darkly" Alien Huntress book. And I thought the FIRST cover was hot. Wait til you see cover #2. I bet Gena's going to have more than a few male readers when this is released.

More on my Romance Divas workshop - It's going to be held the week of November 13th in the Romance Divas forum. It'll be mostly forum based, but I think we're going to do a live chat at some point during the week as well. It's free and I promise to be entertaining as well as informative. Topic, for those of you who missed yesterday's blog, is "After the Call." Basically I'll be talking about what happens from the moment you get an offer on your book til the time when it hits store shelves. Even if you haven't sold your book yet, it's information you should know. This way you'll be prepared when everything starts happening really fast!

Have you all read Agent 007's entry about "You've Got the Look: The Author Photo"? Basically she says looks do matter with publishers and if there's no author picture in the book, that's because the author is ugly. Just FYI, Ms. 007 - it could also be cause the author was a slacker and forgot to send in her photo on time! Er, not that I know this from (cough) experience, but I just want to throw out an FYI that even though there won't be a picture of me in Boys that Bite it doesn't mean I've morphed into an ugly troll and my publisher doesn't want anyone to know it. It's like the lack of acknowledgements. It's not that I don't believe anyone helped me with the book. It's just I uh, forgot to write them.

Sad, I know. Ungrateful, faceless author girl is very ashamed. She promises to thank everyone under the sun in "What, No Roses?", even her videogame partner who actually hindered the writing process rather than helped it. In fact, she might even thank random people off the street, just to prove she's really, really grateful...

Oh, by the way, something I AM grateful for - a kick butt review of SK8ER BOY on Romance Reviews Today! w00t!

SK8ER BOY - Mari Mancusi
ISBN: 0-8439-5604-6
Young Adult
Suburban Massachusetts - Present Day

The student body at Sacred Mary's High School is composed of two kinds of people: the populars and the freaks. Dawn Miller has always been a part of the former. That is, until the day a new girl, Starr, comes to Sacred Mary's. Starr has a punk-rock personality that has never been seen by the likes of the populars. Something beyond her appearance catches Dawn's eye, and makes her want to know more about the different life this girl lives.

One day Starr takes Dawn to Boston and shows her a world she's never seen before. She shows her the underground world of Boston. It's on this trip that Dawn meets Sean, a scruffy skater from the other side of town. As time passes, Dawn finds herself falling hard for Sean, and breaking all the rules in the process. She's now become a player in a very dangerous game. The question is, how long can she play before she loses?

SK8ER BOY is the best reincarnation of the Cinderella story that I have ever read. Dawn has the wit and charm of a princess, the naivete of a child, and yet, she is an unbeatable character that we all can identify with. As you follow her on her quest to win Sean's love, you will see the world revealed through different eyes. Does good triumph over evil? Can you really find Prince Charming? SK8ER BOY gives hope to all of the skeptics out there; it's definitely a book you will want to return to again and again.

Amanda Roberts

Okay, I've sent you a cool link, praised another author, advertised my workshop, apologized for my shortcomings, and bragged about my review. I think I've fulfilled my bloggerly duties for the day! :)
Have a good Thursday...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Random stuff not as interesting as Diana's


My blog entry is not going to be as fascinating as Diana Peterfreund's. She's just gotten back from Manhattan and blogs about her oh-so-glamorous trip. There's drinking fancy cocktails, dining on pumpkin and apple soup, viewing Picasos, watching Broadway plays (Spamalot - am sooo jealous. So. Jealous.), and brunching with her editor.

I didn't brunch with my editor this weekend. Nor did I see any Broadway plays or drink any fancy cocktails. No. I went to Superdiamond. I dined at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet with my dad and stepmom. (Which was good, but they didn't serve pumpkin and apple soup!) I met my friend for ice cream. I went to an RWA meeting and ate a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries afterwards (as the diner we went to also did not have pumpkin and apple soup on the menu.)

Hm. My life seems so boring in comparison! :) But then, Diana's finished her book. I have, uh, not. Maybe I can treat myself when The Book That Will Not End finally does.

Tomorrow night my friends and I are actually doing something pretty cool though. It's called StyleFixx and is a show of local designers who have tables where you can buy their really cool clothing, jewelry, etc. When you enter, they give you a bag with lots of free samples of cool stuff and there's a bar so you can literally drink and shop! I mean, why is this event only once a year?

Oh and Activity Director Mary Schwager would like to point out that she organized this event. So yes, sometimes she comes up with some good ideas. But I still haven't completely forgiven her for Surreal Neil...

Oh, more to come on this later, but I'm going to be doing a workshop at Romance Divas. The topic's going to be: "You Got the Call: Now What?" and will basically take you on the journey of first sale to published on-the-shelf book. It's not just for first sale authors, though. This is stuff pre-pubbed writers should know NOW - cause once you make that sale, it's all a whirlwind. This class will get you prepared.

I'll give you more details in the days to come.

So, have you heard about this anthology, BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED? A bunch of very cool romance authors got together after the tsunami and created this anthology to benefit victims of the tragedy. It used to be an e-book, but now you can buy a print version as well. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

One of the stories, "A Dance Through the Garden of Good and Evil" is written by one of my favorite romance authors - Susan Grant. The premiss is this: "When Pastor Harmony Faithfull unknowingly hires a tall, dark, and sexy demon to be the new church groundskeeper, all hell breaks loose."

Then there's "Candy Cox and the Big Bad (Were) Wolf" by PC Cast What a great title!

"Godiva Tawdry casts a spell and burned-out school teacher Candy Cox finds the sexy young were-lover of her dreams. But when she finds out he?s really the pack slut, she sets out to ?teach? him a life lesson. It?s never smart to piss off a woman who makes a career of disciplining teenagers?"

I'm definitely picking up a copy of this book. I mean, paranormal stories from some of my favorite authors AND I can justify spending the $ cause it's for charity. PERFECT!

Okay, my blog entries are getting WAYYY too long.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005



Found this on Barb Ferrer's site, but I think it's been making the rounds.

1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at?

My eyes. They're huge and brown and dominate my face. :) Then I look at the usually sad messy state of my hair.

2. How much cash do you have on you?

Uh, $3? I think? And a lot of quarters that I'm saving for next time I get up the energy to do

3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?

REST. As in, what I don't get enough of.

4. Favorite plant?

Roses. I know that's not very original, but I think they're beautiful. And for some reason I have never been the kind of girl that guys get roses for. Which I feel is very sad actually. Do I come off as a girl who wouldn't like to get roses from a guy? I'm not sure. Maybe so. Or maybe I just pick lousy guys. That's also a distinct possibility. :P But yeah, I was 18 before a guy gave me a rose. (Including my dad who had a fondness for carnations for some reason.) And that guy who gave me my first rose (Eric) had another girlfriend. Which kind of sleezified the gesture, in my opinion. :(

Uh, probably more than you wanted to know, but it's one of those odd disapointments in my life.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

My dad. (Who is great, despite the carnation fetish.)

6. What is your main ring tone on your phone?

A nice normal ringing tone or vibrate. It used to be THE SAFETY DANCE, but it got embarassing when I was conducting serious interviews for my TV news day job and it'd go off.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

Black camisole top with black velvet fitted blazer

8. Do you "label" yourself?

In Dungeons and Dragons terms I'd be Chaotic Good. :)

9. Name brand of your shoes currently wearing?

Uh, not sure. They're black leather boots though.

10. Bright or Dark Room?

Dark!!! Oh so definitely dark.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

Barb Ferrer is a cool person and I can't wait to read her book!

12. Do you know what an 8-track is?

Yup. My parents had some old ones stuffed in a drawer. Andy Gibb maybe?

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Playing World of Warcraft (videogame) OBVIOUSLY. I mean, DUH. ;-)

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?

I don't text. I can't deal with typing in the letters. I'm more of an IM addict than anything else. God help me if I ever get a Blackberry.

15. Do you ever click on Pop-ups or banners?


16. What's a saying that you say a lot?

"What-EVER, dude."

17. Who told you they loved you last?

I **sniff** don't remember! Very sad.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

MOLLY - my very furry dog. She probably told me she loved me last actually. But it was in Dog, so I'm not sure. It could have been FEED ME, now that I think about it...

19. How many hours a week do you work?

40 at day job - and countless on writing job.

20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?

None. Digital, baby.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

Every age has been good and bad for different reasons, so I can't really choose. I'm pretty zen with being 31 at the moment.

22. Your worst enemy?

Myself, definitely. But hey, I'm also my best friend so I guess it evens out.

23. What is your current desk top picture?

A screenshot of my friend and my characters on World of Warcraft. (Yes, I'm a geek, deal with it.)

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"Happy Birthday!" (It's two of our reporters' birthdays today.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Superdiamond and Pick Up Lines

There's always one in every group of friends. The activity director. The one not content to spend Friday night at the usual haunts where the bartenders know you and give you free drinks. No, the Activity Director scours the paper or online, searching out odd, but possibly fun activites for the group to participate in. Some are really great ideas. Others are, uh, not.

In our group, that's Mary. Mary has dragged us to many, many "interesting" events over the years. And this Friday night was no exception. This Friday night, she decided it would be fun to go see "Superdiamond."

What's Superdiamond? Well, it's a Neil Diamond tribute band, of course. Yes, I know, Neil Diamond isn't even dead and if we had wanted to we could have easily gone to see the real thing. But Mary got it in her head that the tribute band would be a lot of fun and something different to do.

As I walk into the concert area I can feel my coolness points jumping ship like passengers on the Titanic. There is actually a huge crowd - mostly college aged and thirty somethings. At 10pm, the band comes on stage with their open necked, glittery shirts and strike up the first tune.

For some reason it seems to lack the irony that would have made it kitchy instead of horrifying. At least to me. Everyone else seems to be totally into it, so maybe I'm just too cool for my own good. I decide perhaps a stoli raz and cran would make it more enjoyable so I head over to the bar.

It does help a bit. As do the earplugs. Andy (Mary's husband) sticks the earplugs in his mouth. This is more entertaining than the band and so I take a photo. My friend Lisa ponders whether the singer gets a lot of chicks. I am undecided.

I turn back to the band. They're jumping up and down. Singing a Monkees song. I learn something new - that Neil Diamond wrote several Monkees songs. I only knew he was "Coming to America." I decide maybe at least this is a pop cultural learning experience and decide to make the most of it. As you can see, I'm actually smiling at this point, though you can see a slightly haunted look in my eyes.

Until I feel a hand on my shoulder and a voice in my ear.

Eager Pickup Guy: "You don't seem like you're having a good time."

Oh God. Kill me now. Not only do I have to contend with the crooning of a tacky seventies singer wannabe, but now I have to deal with this guy. And for some reason my one word answers do not clue him into the fact that I'm not remotely interested in conversing.

Eager Pickup Guy: (incredulously) "Don't you like Neil Diamond?"
Me: "Uh, no?"

I give him the once over. Decide he looks fairly normal. Wonder why the hell he is here. Does he have an Activity Director friend as well? IS he an Activity Director himself? (This would be no good as you can only have one per group of friends.)

Eager Pickup Guy: "You know, I was going to wear my glitter shirt, but I didn't want to outshine the band."

Me: "Uh, ha ha?" (Please be joking! Please be joking!)

Eager Pickup Guy: (thinks: Now I've got her to laugh. Well, sort of. Anyway - time to make my move!) "You know, there's another band in the other room if you want to go and check them out."

Actually, I have to give Eager Pickup Guy credit. He wasn't overly obnoxious and he did get from opening line to asking me to leave my friends and hang out with him in a few smooth sentences. Problem is, he wasn't reading my body language.

GUYS - if a girl gives you a one word answer and then turns back to watch the band she hates, that's not a sign to keep going!! She's not being coy. Believe me, if he were someone I wanted to hook up with, I would have turned to face him, giggled and smiled, blushed and stared at my feet. I would have played with my hair and swayed from side to side. I might have even answered his question in a complete sentence!

Anyway - I didn't mean to turn this into a pickup lecture, but it just bugs me. I hate being picked up by guys. It's flattering, I guess, but I'm so shy that it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable to have to make conversation with strangers who have the goal of sleeping with me. Also, I'm overly nice and sensitive so I hate rejecting people, but at the same time, I'm extremely picky and so chances are I'm not going to be interested in the person who approaches me.

Does that sound totally snobby? Probably, but I can't help it.

The best pick-up line EVER in my history of pick-up lines was done by this NYC guy named Mike.

I was at a rave at the Rosalind ballroom. The place was packed. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, this cute guy comes up to me, takes my hand, shakes it and says, "Hi, my name is Mike. Nice to meet you." Then, before I can say a word, he disapears into the crowd.

Now this approach works on so many levels. If I hadn't been interested, then he didn't have to deal with any awkward rejection and I, in turn, didn't have to do anything. But if I were interested, well, now I had to go actively search him out. Find him again so I could tell him my name in return and strike up a longer conversation. (Which is what I did)

Anyway - this is a long rambling post about nothing, but it's a Monday, so what can you do?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back from NJ

Hey all, back at work after a nice long weekend, which I spent at the NJ RWA conference. As always it was a great conference and it was nice to catch up with all my writer friends. Especially my dear Michelle Cunnah who wins long distance travel award for flying in from Rotterdam. She and Lani Diane Rich and I sidled up to the bar and had a grand old time. Only one missing was our friend Alesia Holliday. :(

Sometimes when I go to these conferences I end up just socializing and being completely unproductive, but this time I actually went to a few sessions. They had lots of good ones for published writers this year. For example, Sherrylin Kenyon (who I could listen to reading the phone book she's so interesting) did a session on promotion. I want her website! (And her fans, while I'm at it. heh)

I showed Sherrylin my cover for "Boys that Bite" and she suggested I get "BITE ME" pins made. (Like the pin the girl is wearing on the cover.) That should have been obvious, but I hadn't even thought of it!!! DUH. I think I am seriously promotionally challenged. Ah well. That's why we go to conferences, I guess.

Eloisa James did two great sesssions - one with Madeline Hunter on deceiphering royalty statements, etc. and one on being a businesswoman as well as a writer. I really learned a lot and came away inspired.

Oh - and I'm pleased to say I didn't chuck chickens at any editors the whole time. And I even dressed professionally. :) I must be (sniff) growing up!! I did, however, take a photo of the conference chicken as I was not sure if Liz brought her camera... I'm totally lazy today so I'll upload and post it later.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday Thoughts

For those of you who are writers, when you create a character, do you decide what they are like or do you find them revealing themselves to you slowly as you get to know them better? In the past, I've tried to manipulate my characters - written out style sheets (fave music, fave food, etc.) and yet I find that never really works. The best way for me to really understand a character is to throw him or her in a scene and see what he/she does. I'm often quite delighted with the results.

Anyway - one of my secondary characters in "A Time to Roar" just revealed her HUGE secret to me yesterday. I was shocked! I had no idea that's why she had been acting as she did. But now that I know, it all makes perfect sense and explains a lot. I'm really glad she "told" me, because it actually adds a great little subplot to the book. Poor thing - it's a difficult secret for her to live with, but my heroine will do her best to help her get through it, I'm sure. (Even though it will be a bit awkward.)

In other news, today is the day I decided to make my seasonal switch from flip flops to boots. I can't believe I was able to last in flips this long - it's freaking October! Crazy. Anyone who says global warming is a myth...

Actually I love the fall in New England. You get to wear the best clothes. :) And since all my clothes burned this summer in the fire, I've got all new fall clothes to wear!! And even better - all new fall boots!!! Yay! (See, I am managing to look at the bright side of things.)

Let's see, what else? Oh - did any of you read these books as a kid? They're called HeartQuest and they were Choose Your Own Adventure fantasy books for girls. You got to be a tough kick butt fighter or mage or elf - just like a Dungeons and Dragons character - except there was always a sexy love interest (or two) that came along on the adventure. It was the perfect combo for me - a tomboy who deep down wanted to still be a girl. :)

Wow - everyone's talking about Serenity, huh?! And how absolutely brilliant it is? I can't wait to see it. But I'm trying to watch all of the Firefly episodes first. I did go see "Thumbsucker" this weekend, which I thought was great. But then I like deep, thoughtful, depressing movies. There's something beautiful about them.

Okay I'll let you get on with your day! :)