Friday, November 26, 2010

Pictures of Heroes

I admit it. I rarely look for pictures of my heroes. I'd rather imagine all on my own, thank you very much. But with my upcoming novel, AS YOU WISH, I had a definite actor in mind as I wrote it. The actor? Simon Baker. Usually my heroes are dark haired (for whatever reason, I prefer dark haired men), but for Jonathan Bastion, Simon Baker wouldn't leave my mind. He and the way he plays Patrick Jane on THE MENTALIST was the perfect fit--the outwardly casual demeanor that covers a tortured interior, the confidence he exudes, and the looks don't hurt either. My heroine, Reggie, is less than confident in her own skin.

This actor thing seems to be a trend, because as I was writing the third book (title forthcoming) in the trilogy, I found the perfect picture for my hero again. This time it was Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds). He looks the part of Hunter Merrick, right down to the dimple in his chin.

So now I'm working on something new and wondering if I again will find a pic for hero. I've decided that it's not a bad thing. Gives me a great excuse for looking at lovely men, even if I totally love my husband. But I may just not tell him.


Books I'm reading now:
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving...the easy way

The number one easy way to have Thanksgiving is of course to be invited somewhere so you don't have to cook at all. But that's not happening this year for me. I'm not doing the number two way either (Number two...hmmm, I really have to stop cultivating the preschool sense of humor), which would be ordering the meal from a supermarket. This year I saw an advertising from Trader Joe's for half a turkey already roasted and cooked. Yup, that's what I'm doing. Only three of us are home for Thanksgiving this year(Last year too; I made a duck for the first time last year) and my husband informed me--after 25 years of marriage--that he's not all that crazy about turkey; could just be my turkey--so all I'm doing is preparing the sides. I feel slightly guilty about it; despite his avowed lack of enthusiasm for turkey, I love it: the smell of it roasting, the taste, and best of all the leftovers.

So I'm going simple this year, less work, more time to...WRITE. For which I am truly thankful. The earlier health scare turned out to be nothing (yet another reason for thankfulness), and I have have the opportunity to entertain readers. Not to mention that I do have a terrific husband, great children, and wonderful friends.

What's on your thankful list?

Books I'm Reading now:
Hot Rocks by Nora Roberts
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (yeah, it's going slowly)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Believe it or not, I'm shy. It works in odd ways. I have no qualms about standing up in front of people and giving a talk (or performing--but I haven't done that in many, many years-if you were at RT in Houston in 2000, you saw me perform), but throw me into a cocktail party situation, and I believe I come off aloof and cold...not because I am snooty, but because I'm shy. Add my height into the equation and I come off as doubly arrogant. I don't mean it, really (okay, I'm sure sometimes I do), but I've never been good at first impressions or making small talk. I'm so afraid of saying something stupid that I don't talk. Or if I don't know anyone, it's really hard for me to just jump in and enter a conversation.

I know most people are like that. The cocktail party situation is hard for almost everyone. I really admire those people I call magnets--the ones who can find their way anywhere. I know three of them off the top of my head. No matter where they go, they find friends, whether or not they knew those people before. They are entertaining, are never afraid to say something stupid because they are the first to laugh at themselves, and seem to attract a crowd wherever they land. I want that skill.

My own shyness extends to continuing situations. I met a big name author at RomCon this year. She was completely charming and pleasant. We had a great conversation together, even to the point of exchanging contact info so she could send me Hungarian copies of her books when they arrive for my mother. We ate dinner one night together. For me it was a BIG deal. I saw her again at the RWA National conference two weeks later. I said "Hi," but then slunk away, convinced she couldn't possibly remember me. I bet she thought I was being rude, but it was my shyness kicking in. I once saw a different BIG name author walking toward me once at National. She smiled at me in greeting; I averted my gaze in panic.

I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to practice talking to strangers and exuding warmth, but somehow it's easier in the grocery store than when I actually have to interact for a while with someone. I'm really not a snob (except in some things), or rude; I really am afraid that I'll say something stupid and make you hate me.

So if you ever meet me and you're underwhelmed, now you'll understand why. Not that I'm a comedian when you do get to know me, but I do do voices.

Books I'm reading now:
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
The True Love Quilting Club by Lori Wilde
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (trying to plug that hole in my education)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Little things mean a lot

Silly? Perhaps. Illogical? Definitely. Today I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do and how little time I have to do it in. And a ton of little things were adding to the stress--jackets hanging on the railing, dishes in the sink, no extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom--you know, stupid little things. So my husband, the smartest man on earth (at least today), stood beside me and together we took care of the those silly little things. One little thing after another. Straightened a book shelf, got rid of outgrown toys, put newspapers into the recycle bin, replaced the filter on the refrigerator, and so on ad nauseum. And it worked. I feel unburdened now, as if I can face the big tasks with energy and enthusiasm.

And then I got to thinking that even the big tasks require the little things. One little thing after another. For example, on my list of big tasks this weekend is writing the first chapter of the new series (assuming it will turn into a series because someone will buy it). The first little task--making a new folder for it on the computer. Second, opening word; third starting a new doc for chapter one. Formatting, etc., follow and pretty soon I have a paragraph, then a page finished. Still have 399 to go, but it doesn't feel quite so daunting any more.

One step at a time. One step at a time.

P.S. Finished my first pass page proofs for AS YOU WISH this month. I can't wait to see the cover and get ARC's. April will be here before I'm ready. Hope you're getting as excited as I am.

Books I'm reading now:
Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz
Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor