Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too Good Not To Use

Front page of the local paper: our local city council meeting ended early because the mayor shouted and cursed at one of the council members before storming out (gee, second time this has happened, I think).

Like I'm not using that scenario in a book!

I already have tension between my sheriff's department and the county commission in the Hearts of the South books. Imagine a county commission meeting that deteriorates into a brawl and the sheriff and chief investigator having to break it up . . .

Monday, August 27, 2007

It Should Be Illegal

To be this wiped out on Monday! I think it's because I was sick last night -- my second vertigo attack in a week. That is not good. I don't get them that often, but two in a week? That worries me. Usually, I might have one every two-three months. Maybe my blood sugar was off or something?

Anyway, I'm reading Gatsby. Sigh. Have I ever mentioned how Fitzgerald was a huge, flippin' genius? Oh, only once or twice? Ad nauseum, maybe?

He was, though. I told the DH earlier tonight I'm really not qualified to teach Gatsby. I've read it so often that every time I come back to it, I see something I didn't see before in terms of the language, the structure, the style . . . and I'm just awed. How do I help relay that to a group of eleventh graders? Yeah, yeah, I know, most of them could care less. I get that. But . . . gosh, I wish they could see it. Or appreciate it for what it is.

I'll quit rhapsodizing and go read now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I *Heart* MC!

Look what she brought me!

How cool is that?!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I am attempting to set up an author MySpace page.

I am not a happy camper. I love Bebo, which is very user-friendly.

MySpace? Not so much.

But I am trying.

Here's what I've accomplished.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Today . . .

Is Friday, thank heavens.

And I'm posting over at Romance Worth Killing For.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too Much?

Interesting post over at Romancing the Blog on books with an overload of sex.

I can relate. Recently read a book by a favorite author that suffered from sex-scene overload. I knew going in it was a "hot" book, but because I'd read other works by this writer, I expected a story to go with all the hubba-hubba-lovin'.

I was grossly disappointed. Really.

Because although the hero and heroine had the potential to be real, interesting people, the author sacrificed that to an array of sex scenes that really didn't further the plot. So when I reached the end of the book, and there was happiness all around, I didn't believe it. The book could have been so much better.

Maybe it's because I like the relationship stuff more than the sex stuff -- I want, as Betty Womack put it to me once, paraphrased her -- the stomach-tingling emotion. I want to get wound up in the growing relationship, the ups-and-downs, the final pay-off.

Don't get me wrong. I like reading hot sometimes. And I can write hot, too. If Tick and Caitlin don't kill my reputation as a prudish English teacher, Tom and Celia will for sure. But even when Tom and Celia are spending pages and pages in his bedroom, there's a reason. It ties into conflict and plot.

Not to mention their relationship-building.

So what about you? Have you read a book with too much sex and too little relationship? Which authors strike the right balance?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Still Feels Like Summer

I'm having trouble transitioning to the idea of school this year for some reason. Oh, I love my job, y'all know that. But there's something off so far this year and I'm not sure what it is.

Mary F. is listing what she's looking forward to this year but I can't relate at this point.

I think it's the six classes, the hundred-plus students and the triple-digit heat. It still feels like summer when I had a less-than-refreshing summer break to begin with. So I'm teaching and I'm doing my best job, because, well, that's what I do, but my true enthusiasms isn't there yet.

I'm hoping it will be soon. There are positives -- my kids are great, I didn't have to change classrooms, etc. But inside I'm a tad blah. It'll pass.

I'm off to write and cook a late lunch. Talk later, y'all.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Last week, Elisabeth blogged at Romance Worth Killing For about her youngest's transition into a "real" bed and her struggles with that.

I can relate. This year, Monster #1 started middle school. You wouldn't think there'd be a huge change there -- it's a small school with all grade levels on one campus -- so basically the kids move from one set of classrooms to the next as they shift from elementary to middle school to high school.

But it's different. Boy, is it different.

There's a lot more homework. We've had some ten o'clock nights (and even one eleven o'clock night). The flip side of that is that Monster #1 seems more motivated and organized, more responsible. He's always been a good student, but I also knew he was a little lazy on a lot of levels -- school was easy. He could coast. With our middle school faculty? Not so much.

There's also been a shift in our homelife with this transition. I'll be the first to admit our scheduling tended to revolve around my schedule: school events, teaching, writing/editing, etc. But with Monster #1 involved in extracurriculars now (he does two. He wants to add a third, but I'm not so sure about that yet), we're having to adjust our routines to accommodate that.

Finally, the biggest change is probably that I'm learning to let him go, a little bit at a time. He doesn't need my help quite as much anymore, although I'm aware he still needs me. Through this transition, I'm seeing glimpses of what the shift to high school and later to college and independence will be like. It's a little scary. It's a little exciting.

But I don't think I'd change a thing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stuff and Nonsense

Today's post is at Romance Worth Killing For.

My very first author interview is over at Cat Marster's blog.

Go check them out.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Yes, yes, I know. I've been scarce the last week.

Blame it on school starting back, final edits and an absolutely overwhelming heatwave that makes you feel like doing absolutely nothing.

So anyway . . . I'm picking excerpts for promo from His Ordinary Life and I'm loving reading through it again. I love Del (Almost as much as I love Tick). Sigh . . .

So I was reading and I found this little bit of brotherly dialogue that I love, love, love, and thought I'd share it here.


“Couple years and you’re gonna need a shotgun to keep the boys away from those two.”

Startled, Del glanced at Tick, standing just inside the glass doors next to the bleachers. Damn, he moved quiet. Their father had moved the same way. His brother was in his investigator’s uniform of khakis and department polo shirt, and Del’s gaze skittered over the 10mm handgun at Tick’s waist. His stomach pitched, and he swallowed. “Yeah, I know.”

Not that he would ever have a shotgun in the house with his children, or any gun, period. Too much could happen.

Tick leaned an elbow on the top seat, his gaze on Anna, now kicking a pad held by her instructor. “Actually, Anna could probably fend them off on her own.”

Del chuckled. “Looks awful fierce, doesn’t she?”

“She is awful fierce. My understanding is that one of Beau Ingler’s boys told her karate was for sissies after church Wednesday night, and your little girl showed him different. Put his nose in the dirt and hurt his pride.” Tick glanced at the other end of the stands, where Blake sat working on his geometry homework, headphones covering his ears, head bobbing. “Have any more luck there?”

“No. His stubborn streak is showing.” He’d tried talking to the boy, once on the drive between the high school and middle school and again while the girls changed for classes. Blake’s responses had been no more than terse grunts and monosyllables.

“Gee. Wonder where he gets that from.” Wry humor lurked in Tick’s weary voice.

“Runs in the family. What are you doing here, anyway?”

“Just got off duty. Knew the girls would be here, thought I’d run across you.”

“You found me.”

Tick pulled his cigarettes from his pocket and tilted his head toward the door. “Want to step outside?”

Del pushed to his feet and followed him. “I thought you quit.”

“I did.” On the sidewalk, Tick tapped out a cigarette and lit it. “For about a week. Listen, I thought you’d want a heads-up. We had some incidents last night—a stolen mailbox, toilet paper in the youth minister’s yard, petroleum jelly on the pay phones downtown, that sort of thing. Kid stuff. No leads, but…”

“Yeah.” Del cast a dark look through the window at the back of Blake’s head. “I’ll try to talk to him again. Anyway, he’s grounded until further notice, so even if he was involved, he won’t be in the foreseeable future.”

“How are you going to ensure that? What’s to keep him from sneaking out again?”

Because I told him not to and he wants to live. He swallowed the words. Tick’s even voice echoed the doubts that had circulated in Del’s mind since he’d laid down the restriction. He was in a damned-whatever-he-did situation—come down too hard and alienate the kid further, do too little and watch the kid sink. It didn’t help that these days he felt like a visitor in his son’s life.

He pushed his hair back from his forehead and shrugged. “I guess I’ll camp out on the couch at ho—” He cleared his throat. “…at Barbara’s for a few nights until he gets the message.”

One of Tick’s eyebrows angled upward, his expression one of supreme amusement. “Does Barbara know that yet?”


“Can I be around when you tell her?”


“You’re no fun.”

“I’m glad you get so much amusement out of my problems.” The words emerged on a snarl and Del cringed. Sweet Jesus help him, he sounded like Blake.

Tick stepped back, hands lifted in a gesture of surrender. “Sheesh, Del. I was kidding. Chill out, brother.”

“Do I make fun of your problems?”

Tick’s face closed, the polite mask of his law enforcement training slipping into place. “What problems?”

The ones that have you looking like a damn ghost. “According to Tori, you’re nursing a broken heart.”

“And Tori watches too many of those flippin’ old romance movies.”

“So you’re not pining for someone, huh?”

“No.” With a savage twist of his wrist, Tick flicked his cigarette butt into a nearby ash can. “I’m not pining for anyone. Listen, I’ve got to go, but if you need any help with Blake—”

“I can handle it.”

Tick nodded, a shadow of disbelief in his eyes. “I’ll see you, then.”


He watched his brother walk back to the dusty pickup he’d driven for almost ten years. Tick’s normally fluid gate seemed jerky, the whole line of his body tight with a deep tension. Worry nagged at Del’s gut. Maybe Tick wasn’t pining, but one thing was for sure—his health wasn’t up to par.


What's not to love?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sven's Sunday Check-In

Didn’t write Thurs/Fri because going back to work after the summer off was harder than I thought it would be! But I added those words to Sat. and Sun., so still made my goal for the week.

I’m at 45,540. 8848 words for the week. Average of 1264 per day. I’m over 50% of the way to my estimated word count.

It’s HARD some days b/c I seem to bog down in the writing, but there’s something about having committed myself to those words — forces me to push through, because I’m competitive, damn it, and I refuse to give in!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,540 / 85,000

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I'm tired, but the house is CLEAN.

I have 800 words to write.

I also have to get up and go to work in the morning.

Sigh . . . I'm thinking of popping over and going on a Maya Banks glom at Samhain. Not that I need to be reading Beowulf or anything . . .

I could make that my reward for writing those 800 words . . .