Thursday, December 23, 2010


Just a quick update to let everyone know I've officially moved over to my main site. I'm still working a little on the layout, but this would be the reason I've been a little quiet here lately. Thanks to everyone who's been reading...the blog will remain up for now, and I hope to see you at its new address!

So...from now on you can find me at And of course also on Twitter

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

cold weather

Growing up in Texas, I was one of those people who always said I loved cold weather. I wanted to go to school in Boston, not only because it was one of the coolest cities I've ever been to, but also because it was in the north and it would be cold. 

Oh, so naive...I didn't know the meaning of the word cold.

I have since learned. Here in DC, we've had calls for snow flurries several times over the last few days, and I've also already enjoyed the transforming experience of knowing how the ice cubes in my freezer feel on my walks to and from work. To my friends and family in the south who say they enjoy cold weather, I have to remind them that Texas cold does not equal real cold. It might...for a day. But then it will warm up again.

Who can forget last winter's spectacular snow fall?

Now, for all of my complaining about winter and the bitter cold...there are exceptions. The holidays. I am all for cold weather for the holidays. It seems wrong to have warm weather at Christmas. And then "White Christmas" almost takes on a mocking tone. And I do kind of look forward to the hot chocolate and the blankets in order to stay warm, but only up through the New Year. After that...well then it's just overstayed its welcome.

I looked at the weather today and the high is supposed to be in the 30s. I haven't yet left my apartment, but I'm already looking forward to being back home tonight where it's warm, knowing I'm in for the day and I can settle in with a book and about five blankets on top of my down comforter (okay, that may be an exaggeration), and thaw out. 

Friday, December 03, 2010


I was quiet on here in the lead up to, and during, the Thanksgiving holiday. But was definitely kept busy. I cooked some, tried to finish up several books and then went to spend Thanksgiving itself with family.

I love the holidays. I love the lights, the music...and it's really the only time I'm okay with a prolonged period of cold weather (in fact, I prefer it!). But of course, come January I'm wishing for 60s and 70s. holiday person. It was great to just be home and relax. Including lots of cooking and baking. Of course there was the whole Thanksgiving feast, where I contributed my green beans with garlic and almonds (extra buttery with the green beans adding a light crispness) and then experimenting with recipes with my sister. I also realize that I love the jalapeno salt from Dean & Deluca I brought home with me.

But then I guess it is good to be back in your own bed after traveling. And feeling refreshed after about a week's vacation. I sat down tonight after work, ready to blog and get back to work on the novel, and it's a great feeling. 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! And I'm so looking forward to the Christmas season. Think I may even get a tree for my place now (I haven't yet since in years past I've traveled over Christmas, but it's looking like I'll stay put this year). Totally planning on Christmas decor shopping this weekend. Can't wait! Oh, and to buy milk for plenty of hot chocolate for these cold nights. Did you know snow had made it into the forecast? Of course...I think it's made its way out of the forecast now, but was there. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

rainy evenings

It was actually a beautiful evening today. I walked home and the drizzling had stopped while I was in a cafe, so that everything gleamed. The headlights from passing cars and the stoplights all reflected in the shallow pools on the streets and it wasn't cold, but just cool enough where my jacket was a comfort and not yet a necessity.

It's also perfect writing weather. Or reading weather. That's another nice thing about fall, other than the beautiful colors. The grey skies and cooling temps urge me to stay indoors, or perhaps at a cafe, and curl up with a good book and a coffee. Or perhaps sit down at my computer and create worlds that hopefully others will want to curl up with. 

And today I had another glimmer of inspiration. And unlike my note from the weekend, I was able to grab a piece of scratch paper and write down the story line that came to me. to just find some time to flesh it out and then get down to writing Act I (it came to me as a screenplay rather than a novel). I love it when that happens.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the importance of a notebook

There are three things I always try to carry with me no matter where I go: a book, a notebook/scratch paper and a pen. The first is because you never know when you will have to wait and it's a good way to get through a few more pages. The other two is because you never know when an idea will hit. It could be an idea for a plot problem, or maybe a few lines of dialogue or a new scene, or maybe a new story ideal all together.

Yesterday and this morning I was reminded why having paper and a pen are so important. On the metro, I had this great idea and since I didn't have any paper, I thought about it and then thought some more, thinking I'd remember enough of it now to write it down when I got home. 

Well...I got home and got distracted by other things and never wrote it down. And now this morning I'm left trying to remember what it was. Let's hope it comes back, and I'm tossing in extra paper into my bag as I type in case it does.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a reminder on personal tastes

One reason for rejections that I've seen discussed (and maybe received one or two) is a matter of personal taste. This doesn't always mean the writing was necessarily bad, but that it just didn't appeal to the reader. I thought about this the other morning after I finished up a kind of futuristic...thriller (if thriller was the right word). I had two friends who loved it and another who didn't really care for it. So where did I fall?

I didn't really care for it. But here's the thing, I don't think there was anything the author could have done to change that. The characters had real motivations, the writing was smooth and the plot was fully developed. But it just didn't appeal to me. I can't pinpoint anything wrong with it that I didn't like, just that I didn't really like it. Is it something that I can recommend to a friend? Mmm...maybe. If I really knew their tastes and knew it was in line with that. But can I go around with a blanket recommendation that I would do with a book that I absolutely loved?

When a rejection comes along and it's not suited to that agent's particular taste, or s/he couldn't get behind it passionately to sell it, just remember. It's not personal. It's personal taste. What appeals to my friend doesn't always appeal to me. And after all, isn't that what makes all of us a little more interesting?

Of course, I will say that having said all that, it's still important to try things outside the comfort zone. Who knows? I might have loved this book. There have been other books I've been skeptical about and then once I read them, wanted to go around and recommend them to everyone I knew. And then I want to read other, similar books. And then not to sound cliche (ok, maybe a little), but I've broadened my horizons. 

It was a nice little reminder to have.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

writing contest - Writer's Digest "Dear Lucky Agent"

I had another post mostly drafted late yesterday/early this morning that I planned to finish writing about tonight. But then there was a slight change of plans as I learned about the blog Guide to Literary Agent's "Dear Lucky Agent" contest. Well, I guess I shouldn't quite say learned about...since I read this blog fairly regularly, I've come across it before, but it hasn't yet been in a genre in which I write.

This time around though, it's in Young Adult. Tomorrow though is the deadline.

Ordinarily I've heard about these with slightly more time, but last week was more than a little busy for me, and I wasn't quite up to date with the twitter feeds I follow. But if you're catching up like I am and come across this contest to enter, best of luck to you!

I'm reading over my first 150-200 now, so please wish me luck as well.