Sunday, May 29, 2005

Let's Procrastinate

I have been so lazy lately. The weather has a lot to do with it - who wants to sit inside when the sun is shining and the breeze is stirring the lace curtains, making shadows dance across the tiled floor? The shadows whisper 'Come play outside! Come for a walk!' So I have to get up and go into the garden. And then, I have to check the flower beds. Are the nettles coming back? Should I get my gloves on and pull them out? Are the nastertiums growing yet? When will the climbing rose start to bloom? So I walk through the garden, down the path, into the orchard, and then back to the steps, all warm from the sun. How can you walk by stone steps and not sit on them for a while? Little lizards dart up and down, bees drone by, and then I feel like having a cup of coffee outside. One of life's pleasures is sitting on sunny steps sipping coffee. So, being a hedonist, I go make some coffee. My dog, who follows me everywhere, plops down at my feet and leans against my shins. I scratch her ears, her tail thumps. The sun shines. It's a perfect day for doing nothing, except maybe pulling a few nettles from the ground!

Saturday, May 28, 2005


I just posted a wonderful, witty post about my new rage, SuDoku. Unfortunately, the gods of the blog have decided to drive me crazy, and so I hit the wrong button thus destroying my excellent post.
In all fairness, the gods probably didn't have a lot to do with it. I just got done mowing the lawn, and my hands are kind of numb because of the vibration of the lawn mower so it's hard to type. But I had to tell everyone about SuDoku, a Japonese numbers game. It's a lot of fun, it's tricky, and it takes both logic and creative thinking. So far I've done five, goofed two, and finished three, including a 'hard' one. :-)
Above is a link to get you started on this relaxing (but time consuming & surprisingly addictive) game.
Have Fun!

Monday, May 23, 2005


Scott Oden has tagged me to take part in another blog exercise.
I've never been tagged so I'll probably mess this up - but here goes:

Total number of books I own: I can't count them all. Suffice to say I have three huge bookcases stuffed with them, in multiple layers, plus the ones vying for space in various cupboards, drawers, and shelves. Not to mention the hundred of electronic books as doc, pdf, and lit files in my computer!

Last Book I Bought: 'Guns, Germs, and Steel' by Jarod Diamond.

Last Book I Read: 'Angelica' by Sharon Shinn. I got it in St. Louis and she signed it for me. I finished it when I went to Germany this weekend, and I loved it.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

German Booklover Conference

I'm off to Germany today for the German Booklover conference -
It's a lot of fun,and this is the third time I've been there so I know most of the people there. It's also a small conference, not overwhelming like RT. I'll be sharing a room with Kris Alice, a promotions manager, so hopefully she'll give me lots of tips about promoting my books. (I'm so bad at that!)
I'll be back Sunday! Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Short stories

My first love in writing was short stories, and I still love to read them. I love poetry too, and lyrics for songs. A lot of people ask me how to write a book. I usually tell them that it's good to start by writing short stories. On my website I have a section marked short fiction where I have posted a couple of my stories, and on my website, in the links section, is a whole list of my short stories that you can read on the web.

Today re-read a book of short stories by one of my idols, Ray Bradbury. (R is for Rocket)
Are there any short stories that you particularly loved? I remember reading 'The Scarlet Ibis' when I was in school - and it's stayed with me all my life.

Friday, May 13, 2005

New Publisher

Cerridwen Press opened its doors last night. It's part of the ellora's Cave press, but not erotic - it's mainstream and genre fiction. I wonder how it will do. I'm interested because they have two of my books under contract, 'The Pirate Lover' (which I had titled 'Ranger's Woman' but it was too close to another title and got changed, and personally I think it's not that great, but I was the one to find that one too...I really suck at titles.) And Angels on Crusade, a reissue of a book that had been out for about 6 months at NBI before that publisher folded (taking all my royalties with it, I may add...) I really like Angels on Crusade, and I hope it does well there. It's a gritty book about a time traveller sent back to the 12th century to save the crown of France.
Here is the site: - they are taking submissions for all genres. Right now they are e-books, but will switch to print in a short time.
Another book of mine, Virtual Murder (science fiction - under my real name, Jennifer Macaire) will be coming out in print as soon as I get the print contract off. I have been lazy about getting to the post office, but I've been very busy lately too! It's over at Loose-Id, a very professional publishing company that puts out (IMO) some really well-written, interesting books.
Next week I'm off to a conference in Germany. I'm looking forward to that one - it's much smaller than RT, and so I won't feel so lost! My publisher, Ellora's Cave, will be there too. Conference website:

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

spring cleaning

I just spring-cleaned. And when I clean, I clean. I deserve a break. The house is spotless. I took it apart, scrubbed and polished, and now everything is like new - even the keyboard is all clean and shiny.
So, after that thrilling post (I'm sorry, but there's nothing else to report - the cleaning lasted all day and it's not over! Tomorrow: Kitchen & bathroom!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Tarot Cards

Do you or don't you believe in the tarot?
I tell myself I don't - but I have two decks of tarot cards - one I've had since I was thirteen. I read fortunes at the RT conference for a charity - to raise money for the troops. It was fun - but I was amazed at the number of people who took it seriously!
At any rate, I got a book proposal out of it, so I'm hard at work writing a chapter by chapter outline, and then the first ten pages, to send to the woman who asked me for that.
The tarot definitely opens doors - whether or not it's magic is up to debate.
Personally, I believe in coincidences.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Veni, Vidi, Party!

I went, I saw... and I partied !
One thing I hadn’t realized about the Romantic Times convention – it is one big party from beginning to end.
One thing I wished I’d done: The Early Bird Tour, which shows you the city the convention is in, and also introduces you to people outside the hectic, party atmosphere.
One thing I loved: meeting so many wonderful people.
One thing I hated: Not getting enough time with everyone on a one-to-one basis. In fact, you are almost always surrounded by a crowd. Publishers, agents, booksellers, readers, helpers, writers, and cover models all mingle and there is no barrier between the public and the show. For example, I was thrilled to be able to meet Kathryn Falk in person. Before I went to RT, I imagined that I would only be able to see her from a distance, but she mingles with the crowd – easy to talk to, and gracious.
The parties begin from the moment you sign in. There are evening cocktails, breakfast brunches, and gala dinners. At the Ellora’s Cave “What’s Your Fantasy?” party, I saw harem girls, slaves, naughty school girls, elves, fairies, dragon queens and more. Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball from Oz featured a play, with Heather and Beth Ciotta singing a duet at the end that brought tears to my eyes. (Beth and Heather both have amazing voices!) And the Mr. Romance contest was won by the sizzling, sexy Andrei Claude, nicknamed ‘The Maltese Cat’ by his friends for his feline good looks and the fact he’s from Malta. There was the Regency ball, with elaborate costumes, and the Toga Party, which had the best music…lots of dancing…and a Karaoke that lasted until the wee hours!
Ellora’s Cave had quite an impressive showing with over twenty authors present, and nearly all the staff! They arrived in their glorious bus, which was definitely worth a look. Ellora’s Cave offered a get-together breakfast for everyone at EC to get acquainted, and even their calendar cover models showed up and munched on croissants and eggs with the rest of us! Speaking of cover models – the women at the convention just loved them and the guys were all fantastic. I have rarely seen such a nice, professional bunch of models – bravo fellows, I vote for all of you!
One thing I regret not having – a picture of me surrounded by cover models. Another regret is not having the time to go to all the panels. They were overlapping, not clearly announced, and in small, noisy rooms. My panel was very small—as a matter of fact, I was the only author on my panel to show up. Luckily Mary Mancusi and Debbie Federici helped out and we ended up having a lively discussion with aspiring authors about ‘How far is too far in YA flirting and sex?’. Those same aspiring authors sought my out at the book-signing on Saturday and bought my books, so I can definitely recommend being on a panel at RT for an author. But during the panel we were often interrupted by the loud noises from the ‘Wild and Wacky’ party next door, and the fun lured many out the door, I’m afraid to say! A huge thanks to Maryanne Mancusi for helping me out - go get her book, 'A Conneticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court' - it's a blast. I know - the title it too long - but trust me, the book is fabulous!
One thing I was glad I did: sign up to be a helper. I didn’t do much – not as much as most of the ‘Busy Bees’ – but I did get the chance to meet Kevin Beard, who is the behind-the-scenes organizer of the RT convention. I don’t have enough good things to say about Kevin, he does an amazing job keeping everything running smoothly, and his staff of volunteers, including his son, are just terrific.
So, I am no longer a Romantic Times Convention Virgin! It was hectic, confusing, exhilarating, and exhausting. I’ve learned much, but most precious to me are the memories I have of the people I meet. I hope to meet them again, and to count them among my friends.