Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm A Winner, Again!

Woo-hoo! Yessiree! I'm a winner! Yee-haw! Boy, I'm on a roll. This is the second time in the past month that I've won a book! I'm a happy camper! What did I win? I won a copy of THE MOTIVE by John Lescroart (HC) over at J. Kaye's Book Blog. Judy reviews books, lists them on her blog, then and holds a monthly contest. Pop on over to her site and check it out. Leave a comment on the summary review and maybe you, too will be a winner! Happy reading (and writing) everyone!

Birth Order and the First Born

I stopped at a garage sale yesterday and picked up a book (actually, I picked up 4 books. Of the four, 2 were identical, the only difference was, 1 is a hardcover and the other a paperback) that is verrrrry interesting. It's called THE BIRTH ORDER BOOK: Why You Are The Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman. This is an older book, published in 1985 but, boy, is it fascinating.
I'm only on chapter three, which is called "First Born: First Come, First Served" and already I've learned a lot. This chapter, interestingly enough, fascinates me. Why? Because, as the oldest of four siblings (all girls), this chapter refers to me. The perfectionist, the high achiever, the serious first born.
I love reading and learning about what makes people tick. I've always thought that I would have liked to have been a Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Maybe in a past life I was. All I know is this is fascinating stuff and I'm having a lot of fun comparing the theories from this book to my own family.
What did I learn so far? Well, first off, I learned (and this isn't about me) that the baby of the family never has to grow up and take responsibility (according to an article by Laurie Campbell). Dr. Leman (and Laurie Campbell) both say that the babies of the family are used to everyone doing everything for them. They expect everyone to do things for them. Now, I can't vouch for anyone elses family member, but I can certainly vouch for mine. This hits the nail right on the head. Bullesye.
However, this wasn't exactly news to me. I was already aware of the fact, and have told my siblings this very thing on many occasions. It was nice to see it confirmed by a certified Psychologist. Now, I can turn to my sisters and say, "See, I told you so!" :) (A first born character trait, by the way).
My youngest sister, the baby of the family, who happens to be staying with me at the present, just kills me. 90 % of the time I could just strangle her! My other two sister's are always telling me I'm too hard on her. I don't agree. I'm just trying to motivate her. To get her to open her eyes and get with the program. What's wrong with that?
According to Dr. Leman (who, by the way, is a family baby), that's just how the babies are. And, it's partially the families fault. They're the ones who spoil them, they're the ones who do everything for them (and still do), so, they're partially to blame. I don't want to harp on the negative points of the youngest family members. On the positive side, the youngest are outgoing and charming. They're often found in professions that require the ability to "be on stage" or perform. They're more likely to have an occupation such as announcers or anchor persons for radio or television. They're carefree, vivacious, affectionate, uncomplicated and sometimes a little absentminded (not a positive trait, but, what the heck).
As far as first borns, Dr. Leman says that they are "more highly motivated to achieve than their younger brothers and sisters." Look at some of the occupations of the first born. Of the first twenty-three astronauts sent into outer space, twenty-one were first borns or only children. All seven astronauts in the original Mercury program were first borns. He also says that first borns are more likely to write for a living (this if found interesting).
You'll also find a great number of first borns among accountants, bookkeepers, executive secretaries, engineers and in computers. First borns typically go for anything that takes precision, strong powers of concentration, and dogged mental discipline.
As far as middle children, Dr. Leman describes them as the mediator and negotiator. Middle chilren avoid conflict, they're independent (this describes my middle born sister to the T. She's very independent), they have extreme loyalty to their peer group, and they're mavericks with many friends. He goes on to say that middle borns usually leave home first or find their real companionship outside the home because they feel sort of left out.
I'm only skimming the surface here, as I'm by no means an expert and I've only just begun reading the book. I'm sure there's a lot more to the things I've mentioned in this post. If you're interested in learning more about birth order and birth order characteristics, here's the link to a really neat online Workshop presented by Laurie Campbell. It's titled THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CREATING CHARACTERS. This workshop also includes downloadable handouts, which is always nice.
Here's a fun little quiz from the book. If you'd like, leave a comment and let me know how accurate this quiz was for you.
Enjoy!
Which of the following lists of personality traits fits you the best? (You don't have to be everything on the list, but pick the list that has the most items that relate to you and your lifestyle). A.) Perfectionist, reliable, conscientious, list maker, well organized, critical, serious, scholarly B.) Mediator, fewest pictures in the family photo album, avoids conflict, independent, extreme loyalty to the peer group, many friends, a maverick C.) Manipulative, charming, blames others, shows off, people person, good salesperson, precocious, engaging If you picked list A.), it's a good bet you are the first born in the family. If you picked list B.), chances are you're a middle child (second born of three children, or possibly third born of four). If you related best to list C.), it's likely you are the baby of the family and somebody had to buy this book for you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Tarot Card Are You?

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You? Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sad News - Romance Novel Cover-Model Rob Ashton Passes Away

With great sadness I learned that Rob Ashton, well known romance novel cover-model, passed away Monday, August 26, 2007 from complications due to an extended illness.
This was very sad and unexpected news to many in the romance industry, and the news of Rob's death spread like wildfire within the romance writer and reader community. Notices were posted to online writers lists, websites and blogs and several Myspace bulletins broadcast the sad news with requests to re-post the bulletin, in an effort to spread the word and pay respects.
Not only was Rob a hunky romance novel cover model, in 1995 he was voted Romantic Times Mr. Romance. The title landed him a gig, among other things, along with model Linda Ryan, to pose for the cover of Janice Reams Hudson's 1996 novel, APACHE FLAME and his career took off. To many women's delight, the 6ft tall, black hair, hazel eyed, 197 lb hunk went on to grace many more romance novel covers. Some covers include:
You Belong to My Heart by Nan Ryan
Prince of Shadows by Susan Krinard
Captivated by Coleen Corbet
White Wind by Susan Edwards
The Pirate by Kate Hoffman
Lakota Dawn by Janelle Taylor
Apache Flame and Hawks Woman both by Janice Reams Hudson
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Rob was also a dancer with the well-known and popular Chippendale's and traveled all over the world. Then, he entered the 1996 Mr. Romance contest and the rest, as they say, is history.

Rob was more than just a handsome face, he had other interests besides posing for photo shoots and romance novels. He was a website developer and helped create his own official website. He loved communicating with his fans and added a chat forum, so he could do just that. He liked motorcycles, and enjoyed riding with his father, who, says Rob, had a huge impact on his life.

He loved helping with charities and collected teddy bears, along with his long-time friend, Kelli Salkin (Romance Model, RT Convention and other romance related Web Designer), at the 2001 Romantic Times convention in Orlando for the Hugs with a Heart charity.
Rob completed a Real Estate course and received his Realtor's license. He was a personal physical fitness trainer and created the EUROPEAN NUTRITIONIST, an online training and certified Euro Nutrition program done via Live Cam.
He was a friendly, down to earth, modest man with a big heart that overflowed with love and kindness. To prove that, read the following quote by Rob. It was taken from the 2001 Romantic Times article, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ROB ASHTON:

I believe that destiny and free will actually coexist at the same time and that everything we do is part of our destiny. We are all here for a reason, and we repeat behaviors to learn from them and grow. I believe there's a lot more to this life than just what's seen, and as I grow, I find that my priorities have changed and that there are some truths that are as real as gravity, although unseen; there are laws of the universe that apply to us all. For example, what you put out comes back to you even more, so. On my site we're giving to several worthwhile causes-not because it's the thing to do, but because it's about real people caring, sharing, giving, and helping those who need it, and it returns in much greater amounts...that's what life is really about!

Rob was a talented model and he was a kind and generous man. My prayers are with his mother and his extended family. Rob will be sorely missed.
Godspeed, Rob.

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*SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*
Kelli set up a special message board which is linked from Rob's website, where you can post your goodbye's to Rob and your condolences to his family.
Kelli will be compiling posts from the message board for a special Romantic Times memorial commemorating Rob, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.
Click to visit Rob Ashton's Website and the Message Board
Visit Kelli's Web Design Myspace page
Visit the Rob Ashton Myspace Dedication page

Copyright Companion for Writers Guide

Another great writer's reference from LiteraryLawGuide.com. If you're a writer you have to check out this site. This guide, as well as the as Contracts Companion for Writers (see previous post) is next on my book list. By attorney Tonya Evans-Walls ISBN: 096745799-8 BINDING: Paper PAGES: 176 PRICE: $19.95 (26.95 CAN) PUB DATE: Jan 2007 Distributed to the trade by Independent Publishers Group DESCRIPTION: DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A WRITER? What is fair use and how is it different from public domain? -How is a copyright created? -When and how should copyright be registered? -How is a copyrighted work protected on the Internet? -How is copyright protected internationally? -What do freelancers and songwriters need to know about copyright? These are among the many questions addressed in this thorough look at copyright law written specifically for writers who want to know their rights. Through clear and concise explanations and dozens of useful forms, this book debunks myths such as the Poor Man's Copyright (aka the mail-the-manuscript-to-yourself theory of protecting copyright) and examines the difference between fair use and public domain, the definition of infringement and how to avoid it, how writers may assert claims, and how to obtain permissions to use copyrighted works such as song lyrics, pictures, and quotations. The book also covers the most recent amendments to the Copyright Act, hot topics like orphan works and Google Print, and how those amendments and topics affect the rights of writers.

Contracts Companion for Writers Guide

Wow, what is a great reference! Contracts Companion for Writers by attorney Tonya Evans-Walls.
By attorney Tonya Evans-Walls
ISBN: (13) 978-09674579-8-7; (10) 09674579-8-X
BINDING: Paper
PAGES: 160 (w/ Forms CD-ROM)
PRICE: $22.95 (26.95 CAN)PUB
DATE: July 2007
Distributed to the trade by Independent Publishers Group
DESCRIPTION: Contracts Companion for Writers is a comprehensive collection of contracts for the publishing industry drafted with the rights of writers in mind. This book empowers writers at every level of their careers to maximize the value of their work and "get it in writing." From the seasoned author published with a major publishing company to the author thinking of signing a publishing deal with an independent publisher to the writer who aspires to publish or is thinking of signing with an agent or working on a project with a collaborator to the freelancer and even the songwriter - every writer can benefit from the forms, key clauses, deal points, explanations, and real-life examples contained in this book. Each contract is set forth in its entirety, and the key clauses are explained. The author includes suggestions about important negotiation points and key clauses to help demystify the process of signing important agreements in the publishing industry.
WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER INSIDE THIS BOOK: Key clauses in agency, publishing & collaboration agreements What every permission, release and work-made-for-hire agreement should say Whether an email, phone call or letter can constitute a valid contract When to use an interviewee or model release What to do when a good deal goes bad & how to get your rights back What every freelancer should know about their rights The difference between a single song & exclusive songwriting deal The players involved and the process of selling & licensing copyright When you need media perils insurance & how to get it
LiteraryLawGuide.com was voted a 2006 top site by Writers Digest

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Check out Contracts Companion for Writers and other's at: LiteraryLawGuide.com

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What Kind of Witch Are You?

You are a Moon Witch. Beautifull, mysterious and always changing. You love to honour the moon and see as one of the few persons her true beauty. Take this quiz!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sourcebooks is Opening A New Romance Line

First off, I just wanted to note that I absolutely CANNOT get this post to format correctly. When it's in "compose" mode, it looks great. When it's in "preview" mode, the format is just all over the place. I really don't know what to do about this. It's driving me crazy. This is not the first time I've had problems of this nature and I'm sure it won't be the last. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Now, on with the post... I always look forward to Cynthia Sterling's weekly MARKET NEWS NEWSLETTER. It's always chock full of industry and market news updates and her current issue is no exception. I've especially been looking forward to the upcoming issues, because I know it will have lots of good information straight from the RWA National conference. To my delight, I received the newsletter today, and, I was right. :) It's full of interesting news. This issue contains a resource for Sourcebooks, a publisher who normally sticks to baby naming books and college guides, but will be adding a new romance line this fall. Maybe this is old news to some of you, but for me, it's not. For those of you who, like me, have never heard of this publisher, here's the scoop. Enjoy!
*The following article is re-posted with permission per the Cynthia Sterling MARKET NEWS Newsletter.*

This week I began my look at all the publisher Spotlights from the RWA National Conference in Dallas last month. So if you have friends that are interested, let them know they can sign up for the newsletter. And as always, the archives are available at Yahoogroups.com if you miss anything. First up, Sourcebooks. The Spotlight on Sourcebooks was an energetic presentation by President and CEO Dominique Raccah and Editor Deb Werksman. Ms. Raccah spoke first, and gave some background on Sourcebooks. She founded the company in 1987 in an upstairs bedroom of her home in Napierville, Illinois. Sourcebooks currently publishes 250 titles a year and has 75 employees. It is one of the top ten independent publishers in the company and the largest woman-owned publisher in America. Sourcebooks has had ten New York Times bestselling titles. Ms. Raccah spoke at length about what she feels separates Sourcebooks from other publishers. She said they publish careers and authors, not just books, and have a long-term focus. They also put together a marketing plan for every author. She gave the example of an author Sourcebooks took on, Ted Fisk. He’s the author of the Fisk Guide to Colleges, which was published by Random House. The book was the number four college guide in the country when Fisk came to Sourcebooks. Through repackaging and a promotional push, Sourcebooks took the guide to number one. They also came up with a plan for Fisk to produce a number of complimentary materials that could be marketed with the guide to increase his market share. Ms. Raccah also spoke about a Sourcebooks fiction author, Michael Malone. He’s a southern novelist who has been previously published by Knopf and Harper. When he came to Sourcebooks they bought out his backlist and reprinted it. They developed a five-year marketing plan for his new books and sent him on a pre-launch book tour to meet book buyers before the book was even available. His first new book for Sourcebooks was a New York Times bestseller. “We’re known by our customers for innovation and marketing,” she said. Thirty percent of the company is devoted to sales and marketing. They also have an active sub-rights department. Ms. Raccah said that whenever Sourcebooks enters a new category, they go into it with the intention of being at the top of the category. She cited their experience entering the crowded calendar market and becoming one of the top sellers, as well as their successful foray into children’s book publishing. Now they are making the same commitment to being a top seller of romance fiction. In 1997, Sourcebooks bought a company called Casablanca, which had published a bestselling book, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. Today Sourcebooks Casablanca is the largest nonfiction romance publisher in the world, with books that are especially popular at Valentine’s day. In 2004, Sourcebooks published Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll. This very sexy sequel to Pride and Prejudice has been very successful. That success led Sourcebooks to target the romance fiction market. Editor Deb Werksman spoke next. Sourcebooks Casablanca is launching its romance fiction list this fall with a mixture of reprints and original fiction by both new and familiar authors. They’ll publish two Georgette Heyer reprints, a new Regency by a debut author, and a time travel romance by an established author. In the Spring they’ll release two more Georgette Heyers, a women’s fiction novel and a collection of erotica that was previously a bestseller overseas, a paranormal by a previously unpublished author and one by an established author, a historical romance reprint, and a contemporary romance with a Navy Seal hero by a debut author. Sourcebooks is looking for single title romance fiction between 85,000 and 120,000 words – contemporary, historical (any time period to 1900), romantic suspense, humor, erotic romance, paranormal and women’s fiction. Ms. Werksman said she wants to fall in love with the story’s hero, or, alternatively, fall more in love with her husband because of the story. She wants to relate to the heroine. She likes heroines who are realistic and even a bit unusual – no perfect twenty-two year olds. She wants to be taken to another world, “a wholly conceived environment for the characters.” She said authors should be able to sum up their book in a couple of sentences so that the sales people and account buyers can quickly grasp the story. Sourcebooks accepts submissions from both agented and unagented authors. She prefers email submissions and would like either a simple query or a synopsis with the full manuscript. Authors should receive confirmation of their submission within 21 days and her goal is to reply in 12-18 weeks. Detailed guidelines are available at http://www.sourcebooks.com/content/authors_romance_submission_guidelines.asp

Anyone can sign up to Cynthia Sterling's newsletter by sending a blank email to: cynthiasterling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Also, if you're interested, I've found a really good article at the Publishers Weekly Website regarding the new romance line opening this fall with Sourcebooks. It's entitled: Sourcebooks Launches Romance Fiction Line and you can access the article by clicking on the links. Happy Writing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brown Recluse Books - Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions! Brown Recluse Books is seeking submissions from `Enlightened Eves' for the upcoming anthology (Fall 2008): She Said, She Said: Selected Essays from Enlightened Eves to Clueless Adams. In 2000-3000 words, respond to the essay prompt that gets your creative juices flowing and submit it to us for a chance to be included in what promises to be a witty, engaging and highly entertaining anthology. All women are welcome to submit and a previous publishing history is not required. If you can relate to the essay prompts we've provided and you have a story to tell, we want to hear from you! Feel free to be as humorous, satirical and clever as you like! Chosen contributors will receive two (2) complimentary copies of the anthology and a full "author page" in the book (publicity/acknowledgment text of your choosing). Special arrangements can be made for chosen contributors who wish to remain anonymous.
Submissions accepted August 15, 2007 – December 15, 2007.
Visit www.brownreclusebooks.com for full submission details and to review the essay prompts (Click on the `Anthology Submissions' link).
Or see our blog in space at www.myspace.com/brownreclusebooks

Monday, August 20, 2007

Capricorn-My Horoscope Today

This is what my horoscope had to say about me today. I just thought I'd post this to show you all what I've been talking about lately (See my earlier post entitled EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON aka Synchronicity).
EARTH ELEMENT: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn Do you believe in magic? Call it what you will - synchronicity, alchemy, divine assistance - you just need to wave your magic wand today to manifest your desires. All the tools you need are on the table - and you may find a few surprises up your sleeve, too!.
SYNCHRONICITY - I do believe this is the word I was looking for in my post, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
Didn't I just recently write that this is exactly what has been happening to me? I did, and this is just exactly what I meant. Synchronicity - that's the word I was looking for to describe what's been happening to me. Everything falling into place...
Freaky, huh?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lonesome Dove and Larry McMurtry

There's good news for all of us Lonesome Dove fans. It looks like we'll be seeing a lot of Larry McMurtry stuff in the months to come.
I've just learned that Comanche Moon, a movie that takes place after the 1996 movie Dead Mans Walk , starring David Arquette and Tommy Lee Miller, and before the original Lonesome Dove starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, is in production and due to be released in November of this year as a TV mini series.
Comanche Moon stars Karl Urban as Woodrow F. Call and Steve Zahn as Gus McCrae. Val Kilmer, Wes Studi and Elizabeth Banks are among some of the others who also star in the movie. I'm sure it will be a hit.
Boone's Lick, another Larry McMurtry book, is also in pre-production. Boone's Lick stars Tom Hanks and Julianne Moore and is due to be released sometime in 2008. I'm must confess, I've never read this one and don't know much about it. Below is the plot summary from the IMDb website:

Told with McMurtry's unique blend of historical fact and sheer storytelling genius, the novel follows the Cecil family's arduous journey by riverboat and wagon from Boone's Lick, Missouri, to Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming. Fifteen-year-old Shay narrates, describing the journey that begins when his Ma, Mary Margaret, decides to hunt down her elusive husband, Dick, to tell him she's leaving him. Without knowing precisely where he is, they set out across the plains in search of him, encountering grizzly bears, stormy weather, and hostile Indians as they go. With them are Shay's siblings, G.T., Neva, and baby Marcy; Shay's uncle, Seth; his Grandpa Crackenthorpe; and Mary Margaret's beautiful half-sister, Rose. During their journey they pick up a barefooted priest named Father Villy, and a Snake Indian named Charlie Seven Days, and persuade them to join in their travels. Written by Giorgio_C Boone's Lick revolves around a headstrong woman who drags her family on a rickety wagon from Boone's Lick, Mo., to the Wyoming fort where her husband lives. Moore plays the woman and Hanks plays her husband's brother, who escorts the woman, her four children and her father on the trek and falls in love with her during the perilous journey Written by Cat Stevens

If that isn't enough Larry McMurtry westerns for you, there's a book due to be released this October entitled A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff. Below is a blurb from The University of Texas Press website:
"Lonesome Dove is a great book that had the rare fortune of being made into a great movie. And now, through Bill Wittliff's photographs, we have a third generation of Lonesome Dove artistry. The same creative power and conviction that allowed Larry McMurtry to transform a workaday scenario for an unproduced screenplay into one of the greatest novels of our time, and that transformed that novel into the greatest western movie ever made, are on display in this collection. A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove is a masterpiece begot by a masterpiece begot by a masterpiece." —Stephen Harrigan
Larry McMurtry's books and movies are my favorites. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see these movies or to get my hands on this picture book!
For those of you who are on MySpace and would like to add LD to your list of Myspace friends, here's a link to THE LONESOME DOVE Myspace site.
This isn't an official site, and the site itself isn't anything fancy, however, it might come in handy to have on your friends list. That's how I learned about the LD picture book.
Happy trails!

Incentive Programs

Hi!

I wanted to invite you to join me on Gather. It's FREE. And best of all when you join and get five friends to join, you'll get a $20 Borders Gift Card! Gather is a social network where people like us can write about and share our interests. The content is great and ranges from politics to cooking, plus you can publish your own articles or photos and comment on others' contributions. We even earn Gather Points just for using the site! You can exchange your points for great stuff like books, CDs, wine, and vacations. Check it out! Hope to see you on Gather.

I love stuff like this.
You mean all you have to do is write and you earn free stuff? You can actually do something you love and get paid for it?
Sounds good to me.
Right now, besides My Coke Rewards, I belong to MyPoints. It's not a program geared towards writing, but it is a really good incentive program to join. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes these types of things. I don't know how many gift certificates I've earned since I joined four years ago but I know it's a lot. And, there's no strings attached.
All you do is register and visit the sites from the links they send you.
That's it.
That's all there is to it.
They send you links to websites, you click on the link and visit the website and you earn points. Of course, they'll try to get you to buy stuff, but you don't have to. And that's what I like about this program. You don't have to buy anything and you still earn points.
But, if you do decide to buy something, well, that's a double bonus because you earn even more points. I purchased my cell phone through a MyPoints offer (I earned LOTS of points doing that), I've joined book clubs through MyPoints and I've participated in surveys.
If you shop through the MyPoints site, you earn points as well. EBay, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Bath and Body Works, Newport News - they're all affiliated with the program. These are places I shop and things I do anyway, so why not get something out of it?
I joined Gather last year when I heard about their FIRST CHAPTERS contest. It was a good contest and I was impressed (but I didn't enter). Now, they're holding a FIRST CHAPTERS ROMANCE contest, which is right up my alley, but I haven't entered that one either. Only because I'm not eligible. You have to have a completed manuscript to enter, which I don't.
I've been a member of Gather since last year, however, I haven't been much of a participant. This offer looks good, though, and I'm debating whether to get heavily involved or not. For some reason I'm not comfortable posting anything I've written on their site, and I don't know why.
Are any of you a Gather member, and, if so, what's your thoughts on this online community?

Am I A Blog Addict?

I think I'm turning into a blog addict. I already know I'm a MySpace addict, so, I guess I should know.
I can't believe there are so many interesting people out there and interesting things to read. My blog links are growing by leaps and bounds. Every day, it seems, I'm adding a new link to my blog and my RSS feed subscriptions are getting longer and longer.
God help me, I'm hooked.
I wonder if there's a twelve step program for blog and MySpace addicts?
What about you? Are you a blog addict?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Boomer Women Speak Writing Contest

BOOMER WOMEN SPEAK
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER WRITING CONTEST
Back to School Memories
Ah, remember the back to school days of youth? How about taking us back with you by writing your favorite back to school memory? You are welcome to write about the anticipation and excitement of beginning another year, or plunking yourself down in a classroom full of strangers wearing brand new clothes all the way down to your underwear. Maybe you loved having all new school supplies, or couldn't wait to get to the playground to catch up with friends you hadn't seen all summer. Whatever it is, take us back to the good old days. Send us your story by entering our contest and win prizes!
Deadline: September 30, 2007
Entry Fee: none
Prizes include:
$50.00 cash and New Membership or Renewal to NABBW!
Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late Blooming Women, by Prill Boyle What Happens Next? by Chloe JonPaul A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Throne, by Georgia Richardson
Share your story with us and win prizes! For guidelines visit us at BOOMER WOMEN SPEAK
********Winner of the JUNE-JULY Boomer Women Speak Writing Contest was Amy Mullis with her essay, Death by Faulkner. To read about Amy's "aha" moment click HERE!
An Honorable Mention went to Linda Oatman High for Lessons of Blessings and Joy , and can be read at HERE.

A Little Fun

I thought this was pretty cool. I found this puzzle with the link for the code on the Petticoats & Pistols blog and thought I'd share. You can upload your own photos and turn them into puzzle, too. We all need a little diversion from time to time, right? Enjoy! Click to Mix and Solve

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm A Winner!

Wooohoo! Yippee! I won! Yessireee...I won! What did I win? I won a copy of WILD WICKED and WANTON by Jaci Burton and a copy of ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY by Gena Showalter. On Friday I entered the contest at The Knight Agency Blog and totally forgot all about the winners announcement scheduled for the following Monday. When I nonchalantly mossied on over to read The Knight Agency Blog today, I saw my name listed as one of the five winners! Woohoo! Can you tell I'm excited?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I do believe this is the first contest of this kind that I've ever won. Pitiful, isn't it?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Corny Jokes - LOL

First of all, let me say that I've struggled and struggled with the formatting for this post. No matter what I do, when I'm editing, it looks great, but when I post the actual thing, it's goofed up. So, just FYI, it looks terrible, but, hey, I tried.
I subscribe to the BABY BOOMER HeadQuarters Newsletter. As a baby boomer, I really enjoy surfing through their website and I find their newsletter just a enjoyable. Both are chock full of baby boomer trivia, which brings back happy memories from days gone by.
In their newsletter, they always include a "corny joke” piece and I never fail to get a kick out of it. The funny thing is, the jokes are so corny, they’re funny. I posted today’s joke below. I thought you might get a kick out of it, as well.
Enjoy!
Oh, how we love words. These are some... strange definitions. Read them slowly... some may take a second or two to sink in. EYEDROPPER: A clumsy ophthalmologist. HEROES: What a guy in a boat does. LEFT BANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money. MISTY: How golfers create divots. PARADOX: Two physicians. PARASITES: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower. PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm. POLARIZE: What penguins see with. PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from the couch in front of the TV. RELIEF: What trees do in the spring. RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife. SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does. And our favorite: SUDAFED: Litigation brought against a government official. =====+++====== We don't write these. Whenever we have it, we credit the source.
You can visit The Baby Boomer Head Quarters and sign up for their newsletter here.

Meteor Shower Last Night!

Look up! Meteor shower tonight supposed to start around 11pm PST! The above message was posted in a Myspace bulletin. I thought, I want to see this. I'm always awake at this time, I won't miss it. What did I do? I missed it. Darnnit! I could just kick myself. The only good thing about missing it, is, the reason I missed it. I was busy getting my outline in order for the FAST DRAFT challlenge starting today. So, I guess it was a good reason to miss it, if there is a good reason to miss it at all. So, did any of you happen to catch the meteor shower?

A Challenge!

OK, I'm at it again. I found a writer's list that offers free writing classes and one of the "classes" is called Fast Draft. It's run by romance author, Candy Havens and she offers it for free.
The Fast Draft course is sort of similar to the Survivor Writer's list run by Donna Caubarreaux. The class, or challenge, runs just so long and during that time you have to just write. You decide on how many pages a day you will try to write and you make that your goal then you post to the list daily what you've accomplished. There's no looking back at what you write (something I'm famous for) you must turn off your internal editor (I know, easier said than done)...and just do it! I've accomplished a lot of my writing in the past this way. I found Donna's course about three or four years ago (maybe it was longer, I can't remember), and participated in her challenge with great success.
When I was out of the writing cyber community for a few years, one of the first things I did when I got back was look up the Survivor Writer's list. I re-joined, but found that the list was basically non-active. So, disappointed, I struggled on without it. Then, while checking out Candy Haven's website, I discovered her online Write_Workshop class and joined. What I like about Candy's challenge is, she's a no nonsense kind a girl. She tells you right off the bat in her first day post of rules that she doesn't put up with any whining or excuses. She works full time, 50-60 hours a week, has a husband and two teenage sons, and still finds time to write, so you should, too.
And that's what I like and exactly what I need. A no-nonsense coach, one who will push you, no excuses accepted.
This is the first FAST DRAFT challenge that's been offered since I signed on to the list so, we'll see how it goes. I haven't added it to my Joe's Goals chart yet, but I plan to.
Wish me luck!
You can follow the link to Candy Haven's Website above, or click here to visit Candy's blog. That's where I found the link to her Writer-Workshop list.

Friday, August 10, 2007

HarperCollins Struggling Writer MySpace Promotion

Harper, which is an Imprint of Harper Collins, just posted this to their MySpace blog:

Friday, August 10, 2007 Struggling Writers - Come on in! Current mood: Generous Are you a struggling writer? We love struggling writers. You're our favorite people. We want to hear about your novel. Here's the deal - be our friend (I'm feeling needy today) - and send us an email with a FIVE sentence max description of your novel and a THREE sentence max description of YOU. A link to a writing sample is always helpful, too (we won't count the link as one of the EIGHT sentences you're allotted) and please include your email address so we can get back to you.Who knows what could happen....

Of course I submitted my blurb and bio for Dangerous Desires. It was harder than I thought to do just a few sentences. Thankfully, I had both already completed and in a file from a writing class. All I had to do was rearrange a few words from the blurb and cut a part of my bio to make it fit their request. Here's what I sent them.
Description
To avoid an arranged marriage, Mairin O'Donnell flees her South Texas home, only to fall into the arms of the devilishly handsome Santana, a notorious Juárista Rebel fighting for The Cause in Mexico.
Bio
Since her teens, Carol Burge has read romance novels. It wasn't until 1999 that she tried her hand at writing one. The result, a single title historical western romance entitled Dangerous Desires.
I wonder what they're planning? I'll let you know if/when I find anything out.

Goals...And Other Things

Gosh, I almost hate to add another post to my blog because when I do, it will knock James down a post. As it is, when I go to my blog, his picture is the first thing I see. Ahhhh...Well, on to my goals. I've decided to try and keep a list of daily goals...and stick to it! Whenever I've tried to do this in the past, I've never succeeded for more than a day or two. I figure, if I post my daily goals to my blog...online and "live" I'd stick to it better because of the fact that just maybe somebody is reading my blog and keeping track of my posts, so I'd look like a real failure/fool if I didn't keep up with this latest bright idea. That's my take on it, anyway. So, this is it for my daily goals list. They're not in any particular order....

1. Post to my blog 2. Write at least 3 pages of Dangerous Desires 3. Start the next chapter in Karen Weisner's First Draft in 30 Days guide. 4. The treadmill. I absolutely have to stick to this one, as it's sitting in my living room and the husband keeps threatening to throw it out if I don't use it...I do, just not every single day. 5. Get the house cleaned before I start any serious writing, i.e., #'s 1,2 and 3. 6. Keep my email program closed while doing the above...it tends to divert my attention away from doing other things. 7. Listen to at least one of my Brain Sync CD's a day.

Carol's Personal Score Badge

Update: Just as I was writing this post, I received a link through one of my writer's lists to this really cool site called Joes Goals. You must register (it's free), then you can set up a daily goal or logbook chart. Put in whatever you want, arrange your goals in any order you want, have them notify you if you've missed a day posting a check mark to you log if you chose to.

What's also cool about this site is, they give you a code to add to your goal chart to your blog, MySpace page or whatever. Now, do any of you remember a previous post I wrote entitled "Everything Happens for a Reason?" This is want I meant in that post. Just as soon as I think or want something (lately it has to do with my writing), it just kind of happens. Things are just falling into place too easily for me lately. Freaky, huh?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

James Purefoy, Hunk


I spent the better part of my morning today looking up information and photos for James Purefoy.
For those of you who don' t know who he is, I'd say he's best known (at least to me) for playing the part of Mark Antony in the HBO series Rome.
The more I searched for information on James, the more interested I became. I found that he played in a lot of films and theatre. More than I knew. He even played Edward Thane/Blackbeard in the 2005 BBC movie Blackbeard: Terror at Sea. I also discovered he's a true romantic. Read the quote from him below and you'll see what I mean...
In the July 4, 2001 Newswatch, Wild West End column:
"There was one woman whom I was absolutely infatuated with, but she had no interest in me. I was very young at the time and thought the way to prove my love was to write a book for her. It ran for pages and pages and I had it bound in leather to give to her. But it still didn't have the desired effect. I can't remember what the book was called or even what it was about. It doesn't matter now."
Be still my heart.
Poor baby. You can write a book for me anytime. You don't even have to get it bound. Hell, you can even use a piece of toilet paper, the back of a candy wrapper...I'm not picky.
Seriously, though. The first time I noticed James was in HBO's Rome. I'd never seen him in anything before that (or, at least I thought I didn't) until I went to one of his websites and realized he played Sir Thomas Colville The Black Prince of Wales with Heath Ledger in A Knights Tale. At the time, I had noticed James. What woman wouldn't? But he had a small part, and I hadn't seen him in anything else before that.
The reason I got on the James Purefoy kick in the first place is because the first thing I saw when I woke up this morning and turned on the television was his handsome face playing Reese Witherspoons hunky husband, Rawdan Crowley, in the movie Vanity Fair. I couldn't help but think, "God he's hot!" And oh boy, is he.
As soon as I figure out how to post additional pictures to this blog, I will upload more. His websites have tons of them, and I got a few really good ones. In the meantime, take a look at another one of his websites that I happened upon. This one has, IMHO, much better information and photos.
There's also a MySpace page for James, so, if you're into MySpace, pop on over and add him as a friend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wild Rose Press Through the Garden Gate Historical Contest

Through the Garden Gate Historical Contest -
We are looking for time travel stories 15,000 - 20,000 words in length. There are four categories: Regency (1811-1820), Civil War(1861-1865), Western(set west of the Mississippi in the 1800's), and Vintage (1955-1965). One story from each category will be e-book published and all entries will receive a critique.
The rules :
All stories must start in 2007 with the heroine vacationing in this cottage (see picture) set in Bury, Lancashire, England. When she walks through the garden gate she is transported in time and finds romance in one of the time periods stated above.
Send your entry as a Word .doc or .rtf attachment with 'Gate Contest: title of ms'" in the subject line to: mailto:wrpcontest@thewildrosepress.comPlease be sure to use standard manuscript formatting on all entries.
Deadline is August 30, 2007. You may send your entry any time up to that date. Winners will be announced October 31, 2007, and the winning entries will be e-published in December 2007.

Awe-Struck E-Books Open for Submissions

Awe-Struck E-Books is open for for submissions for releases in 2009 in the following areas:
Regency Romance
Historical Romance
Paranormal Romance
S/F and New-Age Romance
Inspirational Romance
'Out of the Box' Romance--something new and different!
Futuristic RomanceTime-Travel Romance
Please visit our site and read the submission guidelines. (They are pretty simple.) We do ask for a clean manuscript in Word, sent as an attachment to a cover letter. We also ask for a synopsis.
Please put your email address on Everything you send us. Sometimes all the information gets divided up and placed in different folders/mailboxes and we don't want to lose you.You can use the above email address or: submissions@yahoo.com
Spread the word!
We only open once a year and then for only a couple of months.
Kathryn-- Kathryn Struck, Publisher
A new Regency for July: Calamity Claresta by Ilene Estep; and Twist of Honor by Karin Welss--a great historical romance! Check out our discounts on June releases!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Contests, Submissions and Writing - Oh My!

Wow, all these contests. It's enough to make a romance writer get her work polished and ready to submit!
With all the new (and old) contests that are showing up, the supposedly western historical romance genre comeback (oh please, please, please let this be true) and all the previously "closed for submission" publishers opening up, I'd better get Dangerous Desires finished, polished and ready to go.
The competition is fierce in the romance writing industry and you'd better be up for the game if you want to play.
A lot of authors and x-chapter members that started out writing about the same time I did are published authors now. Had I not come down ill and forced to set my writing aside, I bet I would be as well.
If my work was finished you can bet your sweet *%@ I'd be entering every contest I could. Just as soon as I heard that Samhain Publishing was open for submissions I'd of had my work in the mail pronto. My entry for Gathers First Chapters Contest would have already been posted to the site and ready for votes. That doesn't even count the contest submissions I'd have out. But Dangerous Desires is not completed, so, all I can do at the moment is get it finished and polished and do what I have to do while that's happening. In the meantime, I plan to enter RWA's Oklahoma chapter FAB contest (Finally a Bride). What's good about this contest is, in order to enter, you have to have finaled, but not won, in a previous RWA sponsored contest. Which I did. In 2003 I entered my first and only RWA contest and, to my surprise, finaled fourth in the historical category! I cannot begin to tell you the excitement I felt when I opened and read that email. I actually thought my eyes were playing tricks on me and I had to re-read the email four or five times. I can't even imagine what will happen when/if I ever get "the call." I won't have to worry about that though, if I don't get my butt in gear. Wish me luck!

Samhain Publishing Accepting Submissions

This was posted to my MySpace blog curtesy of Samhain Publishing: OPEN TO SUBMISSIONS! Samhain has now reopened to general submissions with a few stipulations. Please read the guidelines below carefully and submit accordingly. Any deviation from the guidelines will lengthen the time it takes for your work to be given the consideration it deserves. All submissions must be new material to be considered for publication, no reprints. Once you’ve had a new work accepted by Samhain, you are free to submit previously published works to your editor for consideration. Only one manuscript at a time per author please! And, if the manuscript is being offered elsewhere simultaneously, please keep us informed of its status. General Submissions We encourage you to let your muse have its way and to create tales that don’t always adhere to current trends. One never knows what the next “hot genre” will be or when it will start, so write what’s in your soul. These are the books that, whether the story is based on “formula” or is an “original”, when written from the heart will earn you a life-time readership. The preferred word count is 60,000 or longer, but we are quite happy to publish shorter works with word counts of no less than 12,000. Any book that glorifies depraved or illegal acts will not be considered. No pedophilia, bestiality, racial intolerance, rape as titillation, necrophilia – no ick factors, please! At this time Samhain is not accepting any works of poetry, prose or verse. Perhaps in the future. :) Samhain will no longer consider works that have been previously published as the first book by a potential author, please send only new material. For more information on Samhain and how to submit your book, follow the links! Royalty and Contracts How to Submit Consider joining us! Samhain Publishing, Ltd. an author-friendly publishing house whose fundamental belief is that the world is a better place when there are good books to read. Thank you! Christina M. Brashear, Publisher Samhain Publishing, Ltd. http://www.samhainpublishing.com/

Friday, August 3, 2007

MySpace is Acting Weird Again

Phewwww! I tell you, sometimes I really think MySpace has a mind of its own. I decided to add a slide show to my page. Afterwards, I wanted to add some newer photos to the slideshow plus delete some older ones, so, I uploaded the new ones to my site and deleted the ones I wanted gone. When I checked the slide show, I discovered that the new pics weren't showing up, plus the ones I'd deleted were still there! I figured I had to go back in and get the new code for the changes to show up...or at least I thought that's what I had to do. After doing all of the above, my slide show still was goofed up. I went back into the pictures and tinkered with the settings and wa-lah! I don't know what I did, but it worked. Go figure :) I thought I was the only one having problems with MySpace until a friend shot a bulletin out asking if anyone else had problems with their friend count. Her's showed hundreds more than it really was, plus, she lost three pages of friends! And I thought I had it bad...

Gather First Chapters Romance Writing Competetion

Gather is very pleased to announce the next generation of First Chapters: The Gather.com First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. On August 1, we’ll launch this new competition in conjunction with Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books imprint and Borders. This unique opportunity will enable one talented Gather member to win a guaranteed publishing contract, along with a $5000 cash advance! Here’s How It Works: From August 1 through August 22, aspiring romance writers will have the opportunity to submit a full-length romantic fiction manuscript for consideration. Over the course of the competition, authors will post chapter one of their manuscripts in the First Chapters Romance Group. These chapters will be rated by the Gather community and the Gather Editorial Team, and five finalists will be selected through two rounds of voting. (See our new voting guidelines.) One Grand Prize Winner will then be chosen for publication by a panel of judges. Visit http://romancenovel.gather.com for more details. So are you an unpublished author who’s passionate about getting your romance novel into bookstores? Well, put away your unrequited query letters and enter The Gather.com First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. For those of you who don’t have a romance novel at the ready, readers are needed, too! In the weeks to come, you can join other romance lovers and writers to help read and rate the entries. Who deserves their big break? YOU can help decide.If you’re not into romance, stay tuned for another First Chapters announcement very soon. Program Details:Submission Period: August 1 – August 22, 2007 From August 1 through August 22, romance authors can post the chapter one of their manuscripts in the First Chapters Romance Group, and email their full manuscripts to romancenovel@gatherinc.com. Round 1 Voting: August 27 – September 18, 2007 Reading and voting on entrants’ first chapters officially begins on August 27. At the end of the Round 1 voting period, 25 writers will advance to the next round of the competition – 15 based on the most “10” ratings from Gather members, and 10 selected by the Gather Editorial Team. Votes cast before August 27 or after September 18 will not be considered. The 25 semifinalists will be announced on September 24. Round 2: September 24 – October 8, 2007 The 25 remaining novelists will post their second chapters in the First Chapters Romance Group, where the Gather community and Editorial Team will narrow the pool down to five finalists. The five finalists will be announced on October 11. Round 3: October 11 – October 30, 2007 The judging panel will review the complete manuscripts of the five finalists and select the Grand Prize-winning author. Grand Prize Winner Announced: October 30, 2007 The Grand Prize Judging Panel: ~Maggie Crawford, Editorial Director, Pocket Books ~Lauren McKenna, Editor, Pocket Books ~Sue Grimshaw, Romance Buyer, Borders Group, Inc. ~Tom Gerace, Founder & CEO, Gather.com

Sixth Annual Funds For Writers Essay Contest

SIXTH ANNUAL FUNDSFORWRITERS ESSAY CONTEST - SPONSORED BY NABBW.COM
FundsforWriters and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women announce the Annual FFW Essay Contest with the theme: Make Us Want to Be You! In 750 words or less, either send us a remarkable promotional plan for your writing project or tell us what you'd do with your writing career if you had a year to devote to your passion. As always with a FFW contest, you choose whether to pay a $5 entry fee or not. The first prize for the entry fee division is $200. The first prize for the non-entry fee division is $50. Deadline October 31, 2007. Winners announced December 1, 2007. Visit our sponsor at http://www.nabbw.com/. www.fundsforwriters.com/annualcontest.htm

Brain Sync Update

Last night I googled Brain Wave Therapy just to see if anything new was going on. To my delight, I found another satisfied Brain Wave Therapy user. Although I was glad to find someone other than myself and the site's satisfied customers give a thumbs up review, I don't know why, but I was a little surprised. Did I really think that I was the only BWT user out there? lol I learned that the bloggers name is Anthony. He'd heard about Brain Wave Therapy some time ago, and like me, found that it worked. He went on to explain the technical aspects of BWT, which was interesting but completely went over my head. Well, not all of it, but most of it. Anyway, as I read on, I found that Anthony blogged about some of the same things I did. I immediately left him a comment, which he promptly replied to (all these ly verbs...I feel as though I'm making a huge writing boo-boo, which, by romance writer standards, I am). After all this, I decided to purchase another Brain Sync CD. This time, I went with the Super Learning subliminal program. I chose to download it from the site, so as to not incur the extra shipping and handling charges. It's about five dollars cheaper if you download it yourself instead of having it shipped. Hey, in this day and age every little bit helps :) You can take a look at Anthony's blog and see for yourself what his opinion on brain wave therapy is (as well as lots of other interesting posts) by clicking Feeling Great at 38. In the meantime, I'll listen to my CD and let you know just as soon as I can if this one passed the test. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What is a Blog, Anyway?

When I decided to start a blog, I really didn't know how to go about it. Just what exactly was a blog?
I knew it had something to do with writing. But just what kind of writing? What did you write about? Did you write about your personal life? Did you write about writing? Should your blog broadcast to the world (the cyber world) everything about you? Your personal thoughts and feelings and fears? Just what exactly were you supposed to write about?
To try and answer this question, I sat down in front of my trusty computer and surfed the net. I took a good, long look at other blogs so I could see for myself, first hand, what blogging was all about. This is what I found.
Blogs are very individual. Each and every blog is different (big surprise, huh?). They're a sort of therapy. They're a reflection of ourselves, our thoughts and our fears.
Some blogs are bitch sessions. Some blogs are about personal things, some are about writing, some are about world issues, some are a combination of all the above. Some advertise upcoming books, upcoming movies, upcoming music. Some critique the afore mentioned things, some are very opinionated, some diss the president....
I've read some pretty silly things as well as some pretty entertaining things. I've read happy thoughts, sad thoughts and plain old stupid thoughts (hence this blog :).
What I decided about blogging is this. Blogging is different for everybody. It's just another way of individualising ourselves in this vast, electronic world.
Oh well, as my mother used to say...to each their own.