To Golden Heart or Not

the ritaI’m finding myself in a bit of a quandary this day.

Each year RWA holds it’s prestigious contests recognizing the best in published and unpublished romance writing (The RITA and the GOLDEN HEART, respectively).

Now the RITA is a given — you can’t enter what you don’t have, but the GOLDEN HEART is a different ballgame.

Last year I judged in the category I’d be entering this year and remember thinking “My story is better than this. I’ve got to enter next year” (and keep in mind that this thought came without arrogance, because we all start somewhere in this business and the learning curve doesn’t ever go flat, no matter how well you write).

And then while attending Nationals in Reno this summer, watching all the winners go up on stage in a presentation completely reminiscent of the Oscars, I thought, “Next year that’s got to be me up there.”

So yesterday I was completely ready to enter RISING SIN, had filled out all my online forms, but then on the last page the website conked out on me and it got me thinking that it was a *sign* of some sort.

But what kind of sign? I asked myself considering both sides of the situation which is, as a few of you know, the ever present affliction I suffer from.

Right there on the website it says, “Check-out may take some time to complete. Be patient,” so perhaps the sign meant “How bad do you want this? Are you willing to fight for it?” or perhaps the sign was “Don’t subject your good story to this contest. You can do well without it.”

Indecision is a terrible thing. :/

But as I’ve written this, I’ve decided that I’m fighting for it. It’s only ever been in two contests, one of which it won (The Golden Opportunity) and the other, The Daphne, where it only missed finaling by a point and damn it, it’s a good story. It should be in the Golden Heart.

If Jessica decides to buy it before the contest deadline is up, I’ll be out $50, but I think I could probably handle it. :)

If she doesn’t and it finals, I guess I’d be off to Nationals in Atlanta next summer to see how far it makes it. That’s definitely not a bad thing.

No guts, no glory, right?

Let’s Talk About Goals, Shall We?

It’s a fresh new school year and I feel like I need to make some concrete goals, especially now that I’ve got committed myself to a bazillion activities with the kids. If I don’t, I know I’ll let my writing take a second seat and I’m just not willing to let that happen this year.

So that being said, RISING SIN needs to be whipped into shape for the GH and TRAIL OF REDEMPTION needs to be finished and then edited (especially after I hacked out the middle of it — but that’s another story). So you’ll see some boxed additions to the side of my blog noting my progress for each of my goals.

And I wanted to add that my good friend, Loreth, who is not only a writing inspiration, but my running inspiration, as well, is doing her first marathon in a few days and so I’m officially declaring my marathon candidacy for 2006. I’m not sure if that’s a realistic timeframe just yet, but I’m going to give it a good go and if I need until 2007, so be it. It’s my long term running goal and I’m sticking with it.

So here they are…

1. RISING SIN in tip top shape and in the mail for the GH by mid November
2. Finish and edit TRAIL OF REDEMPTION by Christmas


3. RUN, rabbit, RUN.


So you’re probably wondering why I’m not hip dip in boxes right now, huh?

It’s because we’ve run out of boxes and it’s too late to go knocking on store doors, begging them to take pity on our poor moving souls.

Actually, I’ve got one or two left, but I’m in my office packing and who could resist the lure of the internet? Not this chick. :)

And oh yeah…there’s nothing like a move to realize that all those good cleaning intentions you might’ve had once upon a millenia ago obviously never panned out, because judging by the elephant sized dust balls hanging out in the back of the cupboards, you didn’t clean, and you really, truly are a slob.


To thine own self be true, or something similar is what I put in my high school yearbook and I guess it’s time to fess up — Molly Maid would never *ever* hire me back on if they saw the state of this house.

Not that I want to go back, but did I ever tell you about my days as a Molly Maid? Best job I ever had, besides the one I have now of being a mom and a writer (and honestly, no one’s paying me to say that…at least not yet ;)

I’ll be taking lots of pictures of the move tomorrow (our moving crew, “Ray”, is showing up at 7:30 so we’ll be getting an early jump on the day :)

Ciao Bellas!

Please Help Me I’m Faaaaaalling…

So, I’m amazed that I managed to Blog today. I’ve been pretty busy with my new laminator. Did I tell you how much I like my new laminator? :)

Honestly though, I think I’m addicted and I’m pretty sure it’s just short of a small miracle that I haven’t started going door to door with it.

knock, knock.

“Hi, I’m your neighbor from down the road, do you need anything laminated?”

Yes. I can only imagine how well that would go over in the neighborhood. :/

As DH would say…”Freak!”, but of course, he says it in the nicest way possible, because I’m his freak. :)

So, yeah. I’ve been laminating and I’ve pretty much gotten everything that isn’t nailed down and can fit through the insertion slot. I’m officially out of things to plasticize.

Do you need anything done?

Send it along. I’d be glad to help out. :)

I Was Born in a Small Town

I snagged this from an email my sister-in-law sent awhile back. Thanks, Lisa.

Those of you who grew up in small towns will laugh when they read this. Those who didn’t will be in disbelief.

You KNOW you were raised in a small town when…

1) You can name everyone you graduated with.

2) You know what 4-H means.

3) You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road. On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods when the party was busted. (See #6.)

4) You used to “drag” Main even though it was only 3 blocks long.

5) You said the “F” word and your parents knew within the hour.

6) You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers, because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn’t.

7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they’d tell your parents anyhow)

8) When you did find somebody old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out into the country and drive on back roads to smoke them.

9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.

10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.

11) The whole school went to the same party after graduation.

12) You didn’t give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn by Nelson’s house, go 2 blocks to Anderson’s, and it’s four houses left of the school.

13) The grocery store had 3 aisles.

14) You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

15) Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this reason.

16) The town next to you was considered “trashy” or “snooty,” but was actually just like your town.

17) You referred to anyone with a house newer then 1965 as the “rich” people.

18) The people in the “big city” dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.

19) Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or the town bar.

20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.

21) The gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

22) Directions were given using THE stop light or the Co-Op as a reference. If you were born in Alberta, it was the UFA.

23) When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride.

24) Your teachers called you by your older siblings’ name.

25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.

26) You could charge at any local store or write checks without any ID.

27) The closest McDonalds was 25 miles away (or more).

28) The closest mall was over an hour away.

29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower.

30) You’ve pee’d in a corn/wheat/canola/rye field or behind a pick-up truck so the occupants couldn’t see you, unless the driver pulled ahead while you were doing your business in order to mortally embarrass you.

31) Most people went by a nickname.

32) And the one that’s applicable to my hometown…the fire siren went each day at noon and every kid raced home to eat lunch from a TV tray while they watched the Flintstones.



Trail of Redemption

I bought a laminator yesterday. Yup. A laminator. Just what every writer needs.

Honestly. :)

It’s a great little gizmo and I’ve now got laminated pictures of both my hero and heroine of my current WIP in my wallet. It’s a very nice set-up you see, because the next time I see you and ask,

“Want to see a picture of my characters?”,

you’d better say,


because I’m now the writer equivalent of the picture toting grandma whose feelings you don’t want to hurt. :)

All right. All right! Enough whining.

I’ll give you an out.

I’ll post their pictures here too, so you can say “I’ve already seen them on your Blog, thanks.”

Damn, I’m thoughtful. ;)

My lovely heroine, Kelly Henricks (actually, it’s Nancy McKeon, but for all intents and purposes, this is what my character nancy mckeonKelly looks like to my mind.

And this handsome guy is Gabriel, Gabe for short (real identity is Josh Lowell — a producer of rock climbing videos).

And for those of you who really are interested in my life as a writer, you could always ask to see them before I offer. I promise, you’ll score some major Brownie points and one day when I’m famous, I’ll remember you in one of my books by naming one of my characters after you (and please God, don’t let your name be Rutabaga Brown).