Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things to Do

I woke up at 6:00. (That should be illegal during the summer, btw.) Actually, it would be more accurate to say someone woke me up at 5:58 after I'd been up after midnight with his spawn who couldn't go to sleep.

But I'm up and moving: laundry in the washer, bathroom soaking under Scrubbing Bubbles, living room dusted, kitchen counters cleaned. I need to wash dishes and sweep.

Then I need to accomplish this:

1) revised synopsis for HOL
2) revised synopsis for HOTM
3) send HOL, HOTM and said revised synopses to Anne the Editor Goddess
4) make drama workshop plans
5) layout the writing instruction workshop I'm teaching this month
6) start ch. 4 of Stay With Me
7) Give in and find another stupid LMN movie to watch!

Ooh, I watched the hour-long Haunting Evidence special on Court TV last night. They were profiling the Natalee Hollaway case. I'm normally very skeptical but I tend to believe John and Carla are authentic. Watching Carla's readings on the beach there was spooky and heart-rending.

Then when I couldn't sleep after that, I got half-sucked into a LMN movie with Patty Duke. I love Patty!

Well, I guess I should go do those dishes.

Wonder what's on LMN later?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh, Give Me A Break!

No more Lifetime Movie Network for me!

I like LMN for a little break every now and then. But oh, my God, at the TSTL women in those movies.

Today's candidate? Well, she's smart enough to fake her death to get away from her abusive husband (recycled Julia Roberts, anyone?). But, she leaves behind her "How to Change Your Identity" pamphlet so hubby can find it when he packs up her office.

He's a resourceful guy. He tracks her down. Even has himself a fairly decent alibi.

So after the heroine (yeah, maybe) sees ex-hubby on the street and comes home to realize someone has broken the window by her door, she leaves the door open, picks up a knife and walks through the house (Don't know about you -- but I'd be calling the cops). When she gets upstairs, she shrugs, lays the knife aside and gets in the shower! The door is still open downstairs.

I think she deserves that vat of acid the hubby is preparing for her in the old barn.

To make matters worse, she's dating a guy who's awful cute and supportive once she reveals her true identity, but he's no Mensa candidate either. He ends up in the ex's clutches, and when he has the opportunity to warn her on the phone (because hey, a true hero wouldn't mind dying to save her!), he does what the maniacal killer hubby asks him to do. Because, you know, the crazy guy of course is going to let him go if he cooperates.

Oh, and AFTER crazy guy kills her best friend (which the local police rule an accidental death, you know, because obviously she was trying to dust the ceiling fan and fell over the stair railing . . . never mind that half-prepared food in the kitchen. Guess she got a cleaning urge. Let's go get a donut, boys.) . . . Ms. "I-Can-Fake-My-Death-But-Thank-God-Breathing-Doesn't-Require-Thinking" sprints downstairs and throws open the front door . . . without looking to see who's there!

Three guesses who it is . . . and it ain't the pretty boy new love interest.

Somehow, they put their two brain cells together to overcome the maniac and put him in the vat of acid. We get a nice little epilogue scene of the two of them together . . . with cute guy rubbing her very pregnant belly.

Oh. My. God. They reproduced!

And I wasted an hour and a half of my life watching this, unable to look away. I guess TSTL is a contagious disease?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Little Step . . .

I have print galleys for What Mattered Most! How cool is that?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Random Musings

Yes, I've been scarce -- buried in promo for TAC and edits/revisions on HOL.

Received this as part of an email from a former student yesterday:

Oh, and I have a funny story. I was sitting in my church service on sunday when i realized that the pastor was just giving a persuasive speech. not only did i out of the blue think of random usage of english in evryday life, but i realized that i wouldn't give my pastor that great of grade were i grading him. you've ruined me ms winfree.

I love it! That from one of my favorite students ever. I laughed but it makes me sad that I won't get to teach him next year (he's one of the ones I looped with for 3-4 years. Wayne gets to teach him next year, darn it.).

I'm enjoying watching Carol's new manuscript unfold as she works on it. She's probably tired of hearing me say, "Write faster." I want to read MORE, NOW!

I was over at eharlequin getting my online read fix (I love their little serials) earlier this week and realized they now offer e-books. Hmmm, being able to satisfy a Harlequin Presents glom urge without having to go to the bookstore or wait for shipping? Instant gratification?! Oh, joy! I'm really thinking I may ask the DH to buy me a handheld reader for Christmas this year. That's what's really sucked me into the whole electronic book thing -- being able to download and read instantly.

Also, I finally went to see the baby this week. She is so tiny! I had forgotten how small newborns were. Although, I think my Monsters were bigger than she is. She's a petite baby. Very beautiful, and Pam is a great mom already.

On the writing front, I have ten pages to go on editing HOL, then I'll give it another go-over. I'm so sick of my repeated words and phrases. My characters like to: smile (they're a happy bunch), slant looks, lift eyebrows, have all physical reactions in their gut/stomach/abdomen, and just get on my nerves. I also really like the word "again." I'm trying to avoid all this stuff in the new WIP. Update on Fish: he's still stuck in the middle of a bad situation. Hasn't moved in a week. To make things worse, Troy Lee is trying to horn in and get me to write his book next. I'm trying to think through that plot, and I kinda/sorta think it might need to go before Fish's book. Had a plot idea there I'm not so sure about -- trying to steer my thoughts away from that particular aspect. Will have to see what happens.

So what have you been up to this week?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Truth And Consequences: Book One of Hearts of the South

Is now available!

For undercover FBI agent Jason Harding, coming face to face with the grown-up version of his adolescent dreams is a nightmare. Kathleen Palmer sees him as a despicably corrupt small-town law officer and a murder suspect. Trapped in a web of his own making, he must see his mission through to the end and bring down the crooked cops who’ve run Haynes County for decades. To do so, he must betray the only family he’s ever known and fight his growing love for Kathleen, a relationship that could get one, or both of them, killed.

Determined to uncover the truth, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Kathleen struggles with her attraction to the one person who’s awakened her since she buried her heart and emotions in her son’s tiny grave. Listening to her heart could destroy all she has left in life – her career and reputation. When the truth about Jason’s identity surfaces, they both face unimaginable consequences: Jason may lose his life and Kathleen the man she loves.

You can find more information, including an excerpt, HERE.

Monday, June 18, 2007

One Day to Go!

Truth and Consequences releases tomorrow! Can you tell I'm excited?

Want to know what people who've already read it have to say?

Sharon thinks I have a secret need to bash people in the head (and she liked the book, basically). Go read her review at writeminded. She's got a cool contest going on there today as well.

Kate got a sneak peek, too. You can read her review here.

I'll be doing the list mom thing at the Samhain Cafe this afternoon. Come on over!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Funeral Etiquette

Elisabeth asked in the comments on the post below about Southern funeral etiquette. I will be the first one to admit southwest Georgia is still its own little corner of the world (my sister remarked on this while we were driving to my aunt's funeral Saturday), so some of these traditions and expectations might hold true only for this area.

Okay. The SOWEGA Girl's Guide to Funeral Do's and Don'ts (Connie, if you're out there reading, feel free to join in and correct me):

1) The family will "receive" at one central location. For example, when my grandmother died, the family gathered at my mother's house and received visitors from a few hours after her death until after the funeral. Except for the funeral itself, someone remains at the house to receive, as visitors will drop in throughout the days before the funeral, without notice.

2) A wave of visitors will descend on the home, bearing food. The food-bearers are usually friends and extended family members. (Immediate and close family do not provide food.) All visitors are offered food from the array.

3) Usually, a viewing (or visitation) will be held at the funeral home the night before the actual funeral service. Flowers, etc. sent by friends & family are on display.

4) The immediate family usually caravans from a central location (often the home where they have been receiving visitors) to the funeral home or church where the funeral will be held. This is done with a police escort. If a graveside service is following the church/funeral home service, all attendees will fall in line behind the family vehicles. You drive with your lights on. Again, this is done with a police escort at the front of the line, and other deputies will be dispatched to close intersections and direct traffic.

5) It is the gravest of etiquette errors to pass a funeral procession in either direction. Other drivers pull to the side of the road and stop. Although rare, you will still see men exit these vehicles and stand with hat over heart (especially if the man in question knows the family in any way.)

6) Black is no longer a necessity for funeral attendance, although the immediate family often wears black or gray.

7) During the service, all funeral attendees rise as the family enters and is seated last. They are also the first to leave after the coffin is removed by the pallbearers (everyone standing for the coffin removal and family's exit).

8) After an internment (graveside) service (often a church service AND a graveside service are held), it is bad form to leave without speaking to the family, who remain seated.

9) If the deceased was a member of a church, often the ladies of the church will provide a meal for the family following the funeral. (This is ready for them when they return home.)

10) Expect a Bible Belt sermon during the service. You will be reminded that the deceased hasbeen called home to Jesus and you should make your own preparations to do so before your time of call.

11) Expect the visitation, service and internment to be a celebration of the deceased's life and accomplishments.

Is this similar to the funeral expectations in your area? Or completely different? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Monster #2, upon calling his grandma and learning she still isn't home: "Man! Grandma's still at Uncle Buck's. Why?"

Me: "Because Uncle Buck is Grandma's brother and his wife passed away. If you were grown up and Monster #1's wife died, where would you be?"

Monster #2: "At Monster #1's house."

Me: "Why?"

Monster #2 thinks a moment. I'm expecting to hear something like "because he's my brother and I love him."

Monster #2, throwing up his hands: "I don't know. I'm not a big person yet."


Question -- What are the funeral traditions and rules of etiquette where you live? I'm genuinely curious. The "what's expected" is pretty strong here -- there are ways of doing things and ways you just don't do.

Progress Notes and Promo Worries

Well, Fish isn't out of his bad situation, but at least he's moving forward. It's slow-going though, both on the page (it's a weather-related scene) and off (I'm swamped this weekend, having to grab writing time where I can). I'd like to knock out the rest of ch. 3 this weekend.

Next week belongs to Del. Now that HOTM rewrites are done (if I'd quit fiddling with it at the sentence level), I need to finisn my edits on HOL and get both manuscripts back to Anne the Editor Goddess. Then I could have some Fish-and-Angie-only time, I think, and maybe finish the rough draft of the MS before school starts.

Carol had a great post about building characters at her blog yesterday. I'm trying to think about her points as I work with Fish in this scene, but I think his anxiety is getting in the way of his noticing much out of the ordinary.

I'm worrying about promo. I know I don't do enough, partly because I don't know what I'm doing and partly because my time is limited. I need suggestions, people! What works for you? I really need a promo plan that I can accomplish in 30-60 minutes daily. Ideas?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Okay, to prove I do watch movies sometimes . . . here are thirteen movies I've seen more than once (some are NOT by choice):

1) The Outsiders -- Let's say I was in middle school, obsessed, and leave it at that.

2) The Mummy -- It's the DH's favorite film of all time.

3) Top Gun -- I was in high school. We loved Tom Cruise. We were young and stupid.

4) Undercover Blues -- I adore this movie. I wish I could write books like this movie!

5) Open Range -- ditto. The love story in this film! Sigh...

6) To Kill a Mockingbird -- Gregory Peck. Need I say more?

7) True Lies -- I love Jamie Lee Curtis in this film. Tom Arnold is hilarious. I wish I LOOKED like Jamie Lee in this film...

8) The Wizard of Oz -- we watched it every year when I was a kid

9) Gone With the Wind -- yes, I've sat through all five hours, multiple times. I'm done, though.

10) Clamback -- Elvis! And Bill Bixby! And karate! It was great. I love it. So does Monster #2.

11) National Treasure -- Hello, Nicolas Cage. Kids love it, DH loves it, I get subjected to it.

12) The Great Gatsby -- I show the Robert Redford version every year. I love young Sam Waterston in it. It's fun to watch the kids react to it as well (they're predicatble -- the boys all go "Man!" when Jordan is on screen the first time, everyone hates Mia Farrow, they laugh uproariously at the scene where she cries over the shirts, and they gross out when the mistress cuts her hand and sucks the blood off her fingers so deliberately)

13) The Crucible -- Again, I show it when I teach the play. I love Daniel Day Lewis in this film. The kids are always outraged by the damned if you do, damned if you don't ending. And I have a girl or two cry every year over the ending.

Checking In

I've been terribly grumpy for the last week or so. I'm trying to get over it, for poor Carol's sake at least. ;-)

The next few days are going to be horribly busy. If I can just make it to Monday . . . I'll be good. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to work a little bit of writing time into the chaos of those days (I really need to get Fish out of the mess I left him in).

Picked up my materials for British Literature yesterday. Have I mentioned I've never taught Brit Lit before? At least it's a senior course, and these lovelies (whom I've taught for four years now) have all passed the graduation test and there's no EOCT, so there isn't the pressure involved like with my American Lit class. So right now, I'm getting ready to read Beowulf and figure out how to have some fun with that.

And I get to teach Hamlet and Macbeth! I think I may order Othello as well. I love that play. Iago is so . . . deliciously evil.

I'm blogging over at RWKF today, too. Go hence and check out my review of "Learning Charity" by Summer Devon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Okay, Brace Yourself...

Because this is shocking. This is way out of the ordinary.

Last night . . .

I watched an entire movie, beginning to end, in one sitting.


Actually, it was pretty good, although I thought the DH would stroke out when he realized I expected him to sit through two hours of the Lifetime Movie Network.

For the most part, the characters carried the film more than the plot. Kelly Rowan played a woman married to a religious-fanatic bigamist who intended to marry her twelve-year-old daughter to a chosen husband. She takes her children and runs.

The movie had its predictable moments -- the sixteen-year-old daughter who does something TSTL in an act of rebellion, what happens to said daughter, the heroine committing one majorly TSTL act.

But there was a hint of romance between the mother and the local cop, the developing friendship between the heroine and a new coworker was good.

There were hints of reality -- the way social services performed was realistic.


There were also some things that had to have been thrown in plot-wise that left me shaking my head -- two definite screw-ups in terms of the way law enforcement works with social services in many states. I realize they were there in order to make the plot work, but they bugged me nonetheless. Because if I can make a book plot around the foibles of how the real world of law enforcement works, the shortcuts aren't needed.

Do you sometimes find that writing makes you approach movie or tv viewing differently?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tired . . . So Tired . . .

I'm exhausted. Not sure why. It wouldn't have anything to do with rewriting a 90K book in less than two weeks or doing an all-day promo over at the Samhain Cafe today.

BF Pam came home from the hospital today. I have not seen the baby yet, so I'm dying to visit. However, I don't want to intrude -- I know how those first few days are.

I made really great progress on Stay With Me yesterday -- I'm almost finished with chapter three and I left Fish in a bad place. It won't kill him, even if he thinks it will.

I have some reading to do this week . . . also, I have some school planning to start on. You know how people make those comments about teachers having the summer off with nothing to do? (Like the people who assume I have nothing better to do than watch their kids because I'm home with mine? Yeah. Those people.) It's not true. I'm usually busier in the summer than I am during the school year -- in-depth planning, catching up on writing, working around the house.

How's your day been?

Another World

Yep, that's where I live. Here's why:

I've never seen The Sopranos.

I've never watched a James Bond movie or the Star Wars trilogies.

I've never read a Nora. (Well, I tried, once. Maybe it was the one I picked up?)

I don't really watch movies. The last movie I watched in its entirety was Ghost Rider and only because (a) DH and the Monsters made me go and (b) it had Nicolas Cage in it.

I don't own an I-Pod. Or any other sort of MP3 player.

I don't have wireless (but, oh, I wish I did).

Do you live in a different world?


BTW, I'm serving as "list mom" with Lauren Dane over at the Samhain Cafe today. Come join us.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Stuff and Nonsense

Emily Grace made her appearance today! 6 lb. 13 oz, and mother and daughter are doing fine. Congrats to parents Pam and Jaye!

I wrote the last sentence on the rewrite of HOTM. Well, okay, I have to layer the new last chapter so it's not actually the last sentence I'll write, but it's the final sentence in the book. Basically, I'm finished.

My book splurge from Harlequin came yesterday. I ordered Steph's books, intending to let them be my reward when I finished HOTM. I couldn't wait. I devoured both of them. Loved, loved, loved Coming Undone.

I also ended up ordering a handful of Harlequin Presents. I used to devour the things when I was a teenager (we had a neighbor who gave them to Daddy, who gave them to me, probably not even realizing what he was doing . . . someone I don't think it's what my strict dad wanted his sheltered teenage daughter to read . . . but, oh, I loved them!). So I get an urge to read them every once in a while. I bought Lucy Monroe's because Sharon is always raving about her.

And oh, my, Lucy Monroe is a writing goddess! I read the darn thing in a an hour then went back and read it again. Maybe I'll write a review . . . but the plotting was good, the emotions were great, the characters believable . . . and I'll definitely be buying more Lucy Monroe books!

What have you been up to while I was buried in rewrites?

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Secret is Out . . .

I've been having to keep this to myself all weekend. Everyone who knows me would assure you I have a hard time keeing good news quiet (you should have seen me trying to set up a surprise baby shower for BF Pam).

Read more here:

Samhain/Kensington Announce New Partnership

I'm very excited about the news and the possibilities.

Heading over to the Basement now.

Oh! And Samhain is hosting a Best First Line contest, a la Karin Tabke. Go hence and check out the really good lines!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What The . . .?

Fish tries the door to the Basement again. "It's locked."

"What? Are you sure?" Del reaches by him, tries the knob himself. Definitely locked. He rubs a hand down his thigh before a slow grin spreads over his face. He laughs, claps Fish on the shoulder. "Looks like we're off the hook for the weekend, Sargeant."

Fish frowns. "What are you talking about?"

"She's torturing Tick." Evil brotherly glee lights Del's dark eyes. "Wonder what's going on in there, anyway?"