This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Wow. Well, I think I'm now going to take a moment and curl up with a glass of milk (all coffeed out).

I just sent off my first contest entry, a 14,976 word historical fiction tale that picks up the story of Anne Bonny at age 19 as her marriage to her pirate-turned-informer husband, James, spirals out of control. Seeking some sense of control in her own life, Anne wanders into the Salty Dog tavern and meets the recently "reformed" Captain Jack Rackham. Passion ignites and their lives grow even more complicated.

This was the story I started my private "Word Count Journal" with. Unfortunately, I didn't finish it there, using the last few days to just do it in Word.

I wrapped it up after the historically-based auction. If you've never heard of it, some research may be in order ;-) Regardless of whether this one gets published in its first outting or not, I've learned a lot about what I can accomplish in a given timeframe (still working 30 hours a week, watching my son and fulfilling other obligations).

I was still researching bits and pieces of this up until yesterday morning, while editing and re-editing (I was over the word limit by 900 words at one point--what a nightmare!).

The contest is Samhain Publishing's "Midsummer Night's Steam." I investigated them briefly, and though the little bit I read about their possible contracting makes me wary (I'm big on creator's rights), I'd be putting "the cart before the horse" if I stopped entering because of that. Besides, I realize I'm still on the steep side of "ye ole learning curve." Maybe they'll like it, maybe they'll hate it--but hopefully I'll still learn more from it. If nothing else, I've done a bunch of research and know an actual novel (or two) could come out of the characters I've developed.

My hours have been insanely long recently. I'm exhausted. I haven't had an opportunity to keep up with my "Romance Writer's Word of the Day," but I should get back to it within a day or two.

I appreciate your patience and hope you're writing!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/25/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

knave [pronounced "nayv"] :

"Knave" is a noun meaning "a dishonest, lowborn or unworthy person, generally male."

A sentence using this word could be...

Although he dressed the part of a fine and brilliant Lord, she knew by his reputation he was nothing but the basest of knaves!

What wretched character may play the part of a knave in your writing?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Ok, that only gives the tiniest insight into the only nearly reasonable thing that seems to be produced by the firing of my sputtering synapses recently.

Overwhelmed? Ha! Not sleeping? Ha, ha!

Completing a pirate-themed contest entry--Arrr! *The "gh" in this case being the little known "silent gh." ;-) The "Ha!" being "understood" in the sentence.

Anyhow, still writing--1000 words today in the Word Count Journal--Or was that yesterday? They're starting to blend and the coffee's not keeping up with the rest of my life at the moment (darn you, Kona--you smell bold but you do nothing to enliven this would-be author anymore!).

Updated my "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" entries (thanks for RomanceWriter Sara who occasionally stops by and sends me a sentence--yay!).

Anyhow--Keep writing! Keep reading! Keep romancing... ;-)

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/24/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

embattle [pronounced "em-bat-l"] :

"Embattle" is a verb meaning "to fortify or build walls, prepare for battle."

A sentence that could be made including this word is...

She stiffened in his arms, thrilling to his closeness, yet emotionally distanced by her embattled heart.

Go ahead--Your turn!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/23/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

paladin [pronounced "pal-uh-din"]:

Paladin is a noun which means "a knightly, legendary or heroic champion or defender of a noble cause."

A sentence using this word could be...

He held her tight against him, a bold and protective paladin, bracing her against the coming night and the inevitable raid on their position.

Hmm, what might your possessive or persuasive paladin do?
Suddenly swept along by alliteration,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Writing and Retreating

Wrote another 1000+ words on my contest entry this morning. A respectable amount for this slow typist, but a frustratingly small amount when I consider when I want the first draft done, when I need the story polished by-- and what other obligations I currently have.

My writer's retreat to Cape May has been nixed, instead a writing pal will be coming to visit me in New York (not the "city," mind you) and we will huddle together in my occasionally dank basement behind a door locked against puppies, well-intentioned husbands and energetic children. We hope to achieve great things (of course), but my pal chuckled and pointed out the setting was a hell of a trade off.

Oh well, maybe we'll drag each other out to coffee once or twice... Roam one of the small towns or tiny townships nearby and investigate a different community library... Who knows? At least I'll have someone to throw my writing at. Don't get me wrong, the husband's got a good eye, but this isn't his genre. Actually, it's a far cry from my pal's, too. Hmm.

Eh, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it ;-)

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/22/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

sunder [pronounced "suhn-der"]:

"Sunder" is a verb used with an object meaning "to divide, tear or sever" or without an object meaning "to become separated."

A sentence using this word might be:
The brutal and sudden silence threatened to sunder her heart as well as their fragile relationship.

What might sunder your characters or setting?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/21/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

veranda [pronounced "vuh-ran-duh"]:

"Veranda" is a noun used to "a large roofed porch found traditionally on large homes in the American South."

*This one's used regionally, and only after 1705 (honestly, I wouldn't use it unless writing something of the 1790s or later, y'all).

Here's a sentence...
Scarlette stood in the shade of the long veranda, hands resting on the smooth top rail as she baked slowly and regally in her ruffly dress, the precious and perspiring princess of the plantation.

Hmm. You must never truly write like that--For shame, chill'ens!

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/20/07 (ahem)

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

treatise [pronounced "tree-tis"]:

"Treatise" is a noun which means "a formal document systematically detailing the principles of a given subject."

A sentence using this word could be:

Her body trembled, young and inexperienced, but in her eyes he read a dozen treatises on ruined love and broken hearts--a lifetime of sorrow lived too soon.

Give it a try!

A Not-So-Quick Update...

Ok, so I'm only breezing in here for a quick update...

Still moving forward on my contest entry via Word Count Journal--slowed a little as I was dealing with some annoying "real life" issues yesterday (work, work and more work--and bills, of course)! That can suck the romance out of a body waaay too fast.

I bought another romance yesterday--Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd. It won a Golden Heart and is part of a reprint concept HarperMonogram is doing, supposedly "to present a unique selection of "keepers."" This one first came out in 1991, then again in '99 and '00. I've only read one other Dodd book (that I recall) and although I winced at the title: The Prince Kidnaps a Bride, it was decent enough for me to look into getting another of her books.

So, although I'm still working through Karen Ranney's Autumn in Scotland (by the way, must everyone in romances have a secret identity? --sometimes I find myself thinking the text will give way to sequential art and I'll find myself knee-deep in a graphic novel where shouts of "Excelsior!" are generously sprinkled across every other page), I started the new (to me ;-) Dodd book.

It promises a lot more of a historical tapestry than the other two mentioned above, but I'm feeling guilty about jumping between 2 books... Eh, I doubt they'll care ;-)

Do you often read 2 or more books at once?--I used to juggle 3 at a time (sometimes in different genres) but find my mind's letting things blur together--Or maybe I'm seeing so many similarities in fiction today they naturally blur...

Hope you're having time to read AND write!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Blame Game--Tag, You're It, RomanceWriter! ;-)

Ok, so it's not my fault I'm running behind on my "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" entries... Thanks to RomanceWriter , I've gotten utterly hooked on this Word Count Journal site. As much as I'd like to send a scathing "For shame!" to her ;-), it's actually helped get me pushing forward with a contest entry.

Before the journal, I was merely toying with the idea of entering a certain contest. But, one thing led to another (as they often do) and I wound up getting an idea, a plot and a place to put it so I could track my progress.

Sure, I have their system set to private (sorry) but I've been pounding out the writing (4000 words yesterday--day 2). And so far, it's not too bad ;-) Not polished, but not heinous.

And, I was trained early on to compete with myself. Will I do more than 4000 words today? Probably not, but I've already written my heroine's necessary confrontation with her husband and begun her next meeting with her disheartened lover (2000 words plus).

I'm trying to work things in so it's quite spicy, but I'm making sure to stay clear of sex that doesn't help move the plot and characters forward. Eh, I'm not sure what will become of it yet... I've revamped my outline (simplified it due to time and length constraints), but it has the potential of being a much longer work.

I "pitched" it to my husband as: "It's like a Dr. Phil family on a boat with eyepatches."

He roared with laughter. "Remember that," he said. "That could make for a fun cover letter."

So, thanks, RomanceWriter (really)! Neat site, neat way to push myself along!

Hope you're all writing!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the day 1/18/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

hasten [pronounced "hey-suhn"] :

"Hasten" is a verb which means "to move with haste, to hurry."

A sentence using this word could be:
She hastened to write her "Word of the Day" entry because she was spending far more time writing entertaining smut than the definitions needed to broaden her vocabulary!

Hope you're having fun!
I am... *wink*

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/17/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

chatelaine [pronounced "shat-eh-leyn"]:

"Chatelaine" is a noun that means "the mistress of a castle or fashionable household" or "the clasp holding keys on a woman's waist."

*This is another word from around 1835, so be careful when you use it.

A sentence using this word could be:

Her plan was undeniably simple: make the lout love her, become the chatelaine of his castle, and then when everyone recognized her proper place, she would have him killed and be unemcumbered by his bumbling sense of morality.

How would you use "chatelaine" in a sentence? Give it a try!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/16/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

muss [pronounced "muhs"]:

"Muss" is a noun meaning "a state of disorder"
OR a verb meaning "to disorder or make untidy."

*Warning: This word only shows up in the early 1800s as the "lovechild" (supposedly) of mess and fuss. So, if you're writing pre-Regency, please avoid this one :-)

A simple sentence using this word could be:
His hands trailing through the great length of her auburn mane, his anxious fingers mussed up her delicately curling locks.

What might one of your characters "muss?"

A Couple Related Blogs You Simply Must See...

Okay, so it's generally not suggested that website owners or bloggers send their readers on to other sites, but in these cases I think it's entirely warranted. The places I'm sending you vary relatively dramatically from the angry through the informed to the absurd. You're certainly smart enough to decide on your own which is which.

So stop by the following spots (if you like). I'll probably be writing, or reading, or (more likely) rationalizing the importance of good behavior to my child or (more likely still) scolding my dog. Have fun!

How Did I Wind Up on the Cover of this Romance Novel

Readers of Romances Have Better Sex Lives

Smart Bitches Who Like Trashy Novels

A Review That Makes Me Consider Hiring Her as an Editor

Neat Stuff from an Aspiring Romance Writer

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Writing in Crazy Conditions...

Yesterday I did some much-needed (in my mind) research for my novel "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills." I'll share results with you shortly. It caused me to change 3 names (my spelling's weren't right for the period--close, but a vowel short here and there).

So last night I worked late and then dared to watch a show on the Travel Channel (I tell people it's my "patch" for times when I can't just take off and go somewhere). Then I went to sleep only to be awakened at 4am by my darling son who had slept on top of his bottle, soaking his entire sleeper. After a change and a book (I abridged the story dramatically) I headed back to bed.

This morning the husband let me sleep in. It was very kind of him, but it doesn't let me get any writing done. Then on top of that I got ideas for two new romance novels. I jotted them down on index cards and put them away. Maybe they'll grow into something, maybe not. I'm also jotting down the weird phrases that sometimes ramble through my brain. I treat them like possible titles for stories and then spend about 5 minutes wondering what such a phrase would be the title to. I jot that down, too.

I have my doubts that I'll get any real writing done today, the husband's schedule is wacky due to the holiday, the child's louder than normal, the tv's on, the dog's nutty because of the dreary weather and I'm just not finding an escape to write in. Ugh.

Maybe something will give and I'll get to write before I start work this afternoon... Here's hoping!

How do you write when there is so much chaos around?

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/15/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

mollify [pronounced "mol-uh-fie"]:

"Mollify" is a verb which means "to soften or reduce feelings or emotions about something."

A simple sentence using this word could be:

He had every right to be outraged with her scandalous behavior, but she mollified his anger with delicate and carefully placed kisses.

What might one of your characters mollify?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/14/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

servitude [pronounced "surv-i-tood"] :

"Servitude" is a noun meaning "slavery, bondage or compulsory service."

A simple sentence using this word could be:

Seeing the young man who seemed a god in his household, Meriam feared she might face a life of sorrowful servitude, even as his promised wife.

Your turn!

Not a Place for Princesses--Cinderella Time!

The house is getting a bit scuzzy, beween the dog, the novel and the child it's easier than ever to let certain things "slide." So, because I've never claimed to be a princess (lace makes me itch ;-) I need to Cinderella-up and get some cleaning done. So tomorrow's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" will be posted momentarily.

Tomorrow I will be mopping... But I'll imagine I'm dancing, okay?

Have a great tomorrow!

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/13/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

chide [pronounced "chahyd"]:

"Chide" is a verb which means "to scold, show disapproval , harass or antagonize."

A simple sentence using this word could be:
She often chided her younger sister for her impulsive behavior.

Your turn!

Writing Under My Own Duress...;-)

One page done, NOT before 9am, but before 10. No husband pestering me out of bed early on the weekend and no alarm means no early rising for this gal. Well, next week's a new one and hopefully I'll get acclimated to the early riser thing.

Even now the hubby's interrupting my train of thought...God knows I love the man, but he still struggles with letting me write without trying to keep up some form of polite conversation because he's nearby ;-) True, we don't see each other as often during the week as we want (schedules seem to be at odd too often) but occasionally this would-be romance writer needs quiet... :-)

How do you get your best writing done? Do you need quiet, do you crave music? Are you a morning or midnight writer?

Think about what makes you tick, then share...

Have a great weekend, wherever you are--Much Love!

Friday, January 12, 2007

With a Little Help from My (Online and Offline) Friends... ;-)

I thought I should share a few online resources I've come to appreciate. Maybe you'll find them handy, too.

I truly enjoy the site. It has a lot of wonderful features including the direct tab to . Although I generally hesitate to use either as my only source of words (I have a well-worn Roget's Thesaurus and a sturdy Websters Dictionary outside of "computer land--Not to mention my Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology-- I LOVE it!--Get one!) , it is a handy online resource. I often open it behind my manuscript and if I find repetition or something problematic, I consider new options.

I mentioned Barnhart's--It is tremendous. I would recommend it to any writer or lover of languages. I gave one as a gift to my German hostess and she thoroughly enjoys it as well. So there, get one and enjoy!

One of my favorite things is a good "visual dictionary." I use the "ultimate" DK one (it's in color). They have one out in 2007 and mine's a 1994, so chcek your options. When you're trying to describe some odd detail that you know has got to have a name--This is a great place to go.

If you do paranormal romance or fantasy writing, check out Monstropedia.

I love to get me going with character names. It's a pretty comprehensive list organized by region/country or gender. Check it out--it's very neat, but may make you compulsively visit ;-)

If you like Scotland (and who doesn't?), try the following sites:
Historic Scotland... Includes locations they are preserving, artifacts in their collections and events that you might enjoy.

There's also Scotland History... It includes summaries and suggested reading choices.

The BBC's Scottish History site is also neat. It includes a "Media Museum," games and "Historical Oddities."

I've spent a bunch of time at Rampant Scotland, too. It's a huge link list to multiple Scottish-related topics.

Electric Scotland... This one has a lot of great resources all nested in its links at the top of the page. If you can't find it elsewhere, you can probably find a link to it here ;-)

Visit Scotland... This is the Tourism Board's site, but it's fun to hop through and find summaries from their perspective.

These are obviously not the only resources a writer should explore when doing a novel like my "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills," but they are the ones that jump to mind first.

And, I would be remiss if i failed to mention this wonderful resource--
Tam Lin Balladry . It is hands-down the best site on my particular topic. It includes multiple instances of the ballad and nearly everything about it!

And, if you're looking for something tribally Scottish to get the mojo going...Try Clann an Drumma's site or the portion of the group that split away--Albannach. I'd really only suggest them (if you're writing) for horse chase scenes, fights or brawls or fierce lovemaking scenes. They are mainly percussive (and some bagpipe) with few vocals. Gets the blood pumping, though.

What resources have you, as writers, found most handy?

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/12/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

writhe [pronounced "rhyth"]:

"Writhe" is a verb which means "to twist and squirm, contort in violent effort."

*This one does have a possible connotation relating to pain, but I've seen it (and heard it) used frequently outside of that. I prefer to use it in a "wild" and "unfettered" sort of way (which is accurate according to its Old English roots, by the way)...

A sentence using this word could be:
She writhed against him, a wild thing pinioned by her passion.

That's actually from my manuscript. I'm still toying with the entire scene, frankly.

Have fun with this one!

Waking and Working

Four pages done today before 9:15 am.

I'm still waking with the husband and typing before our child gets up. At night, when work and other obligations are over (generally 11-ish), I carry my "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" manuscript (as it currently is printed and scribbled on) to a location where I can read another section and write in things I overlooked and trim things that are no longer necessary as the story tightens up. Whatever I write during the night is what I throw into the computer the next morning. So far it's working, but tomorrow is Saturday, and the husband sleeps in...

I'm not sure I'll get up without his prodding (or alarm). I haven't trained myself to the new schedule for long enough to definitely do it solo. I guess we'll see what happens...

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/11/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

chimerical [pronounced "ki-meer-i-kuhl"]:

"Chimerical" is an adjective which means "unreal, imaginary or fanciful."

A simple sentence using this word could be:

Although he put on a good act, she was certain their chemistry was purely chimerical.

What sentence would you build for fun?

What's in a Name--Naming and Placing Bad Guys

So last night after my other work was done, I took my printed baby (only once did my printer try to devour a page--yay!) and started actually reading it again. The newly inserted paragraphs seem to work to build the bridge I felt was lacking in the beginning, so now I can definitely check off number 1 on my list of questions. My hero's there, even if readers won't be certain immediately of his role.

I did some editing, too. You know, using alternate word choices so I don't sound repetitive. And then-- I had to face the dreaded blanks.

If you don't immediately know what I mean, you probably don't write like I do (to each their own). When I'm throwing stuff onto a page, my brain's generally moving so fast with text that my fingers can't keep up (no surprise since I'm still "hunt and peck"). But that also means if I stop to re-evaluate something, a word, a forgotten name or location, I risk losing the rest of the flow that follows. So I leave blanks to fill in later, or throw down a weaker word with quotes around it. Anyhow, those blanks are my nemeses.

Between last night and this morning, I faced them down. And these were the worst of their type--family names.

So, what's in a name, really?

Unfortunately a lot. The ballads of Tam Lin (on which my "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" is based) are pretty well documented. There is a basic time period when the ballads were sung and popularized before which the idea must have sprouted from something. The names (different ones in different versions) are almost all names that can still be traced to families in the Borders region of Scotland today. These are families with a rich heritage, grand history and a strong sense of pride. These are, after all, Scots.

So, although when I'm naming my hero and heroine's families most people probably won't get upset by being their fictional descendents, the real trouble comes when I had to choose my villain's name (I actually have a couple villains, but naming one was a snap because it's a relatively crazy fantasy name--pronounceable, but less definable).

I had established my male villain's title of "Lord" (nice and anonymous) a while ago. I had even found a last name that NEVER appeared in any of my research of the area, but sounded like it could. Whew! But, I needed to tell where he was from (or where he held land) because in the period I'm writing about, your location is a very important part of identifying you.

I found one name in the ballads: "Robinson," that could not be traced back to historical accounts in the area. It seemed like a viable choice (if I need to change my villain's name), but I couldn't find any location in the region to actually pin it down to. So it's probably going to sit on the "back burner" unless I absolutely need it.

I did some more looking at a great site-- "Undiscovered Scotland." I found a couple options for his origin. Not because the areas seem like places bad guys would hang out, but simply because they sound odd to American ears. Since I'm aiming at an American market, I think that makes sense. So, although I'm not 100% sold on any one of them yet (I need to see how they sound in the text before settling down with one) I feel I've made progress.

All in all, although I only hit the one page mark for writing so far today, I feel things are growing stronger and I'll have a better book to submit.

So...How do you name your "big bads?"

Just wondering...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pausing and Printing

Remember how I mentioned revisiting that dreaded plot outline?

Well, having added the pages I did earlier this morning and thinking (yep, I'm back to thinking already) I've decided I need to print this sucker out (currently 118 pages) and compare it to what I WANT the plot to be. Right now, it's printing (everso slowly), so I shall indulge myself in thinking (and typing at the same time)...

In other words, I need to reassess and ask myself the following things:
1.) Is my hero introduced early enough?
2.) Do I have two viable worlds (remember, this is based on the "Tam Lin" ballads) that feels strong enough to step into?
3.) Is the characterization true (and consistant)?
4.) Are my conflicts introduced and overcome in a powerful and logical way?
5.) Are my red-herrings believable?
6.) Do I spend enough time on the hero and heroine's relationship (for the romance genre)?
7.) Is my language correct and well-crafted?
8.) Is the story where I want it to be at this point?

After I can answer all those, I'll feel more ready for my writer's retreat in Cape May in February.

Will analyzing these aspects of the text slow my writing? Nope, hopefully it will entice me to write more and more quickly.

What questions do you ask of your own writing?

Just curious,

Writing Early, But Writing...

So as I sit here sipping by coffee and nibbling (eh, that's too dainty a word for a woman like myself)--devouring--a crumpet as my child plays with the dog, I'm thinking about what needs to be done.

This morning I woke with my husband (he's an early riser) in an attempt to crawl to the computer and type some more of my manuscript. I'm a late night writer normally (finally "coming down" from the day's insanity after everyone's off to sleep). However, the husband (whom I am quite fond of) , has requested that I actually head to bed at the same time he does. Ugh.

So, prying my eyes open this morning, I grabbed that envelope I mentioned yesterday and started inserting that text. I had to adjust to the morning noises I never notice as I sleep--the husband in the shower, the wind blasting snow around the porch, the occasional whine of the dog as he realized I was awake and hadn't let him out yet. As I was tempted to crawl back into my generally comfortable bed I remembered seeing another romance writer's blog.

Yesterday SHE wrote 11 pages. I simply thought about writing. And that, dear friends, is why I am currently unpublished in this genre and she has 50 + books under her belt. I think too much about the writing and she writes (I'm sure she thinks, too).

That's why I stayed awake. That's why I wrung 5 pages from my sleep-filled brain before 8 am this morning...Because she'll keep writing (and probably being published) and if I don't step up my game, I'll keep thinking about it and not getting my work out there.

So here's to the new year and getting this baby put to bed!

Have a LOVEly day!

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/10/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

relegate [pronounced "rel-i-gayt"]:

"Relegate" is a verb which means "to send away or consign to a lesser position, location or station; to banish or exile."

A simple sentence using this word could be:

Sent to the outer edge of the kingdom to live out her life in a convent, Maria felt she had been relegated to the dullest of existences.

*As a note: THIS word was used by 1375, so if you're writing in a specific time period, check your etymology...

Have a great day--Fill it with LOVE!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Re-examining the Dreaded Plot Outline...

I was recently reading a romance novel (no surprise there) and, completing it in what for this mom is "record time," I summarized the plot to my husband.

He chuckled. "So when are you sending your manuscript out?" he pestered.

"It's not done yet," I insisted (having recently spoken to a writer-pal who sold her first book with only a cover letter, sample chapter and outline).

My husband turned from doing the dishes (to me, THAT's romance) and gave me a stern look.

I shrugged. Not wanting to fall into the same trap as my perfectionist sibling (who does absolutely amazing work but never finishes it and certainly never submits it), I mumbled, "The plot's far closer to the fantasy genre than romance. It needs an overhaul to be acceptable to these publishing houses."

He would have rolled his eyes if he had a talent for it. Instead, he returned to sudsy dishes in the sink.

So I started gnawing through the differences between the general plots and desires of the two different genres. I even threw down a plot summary for a brand new book in the romance genre (ideas generally aren't in shortage for me, but time is). And it occurred to me that I needn't overhaul the entire plot of "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills," but tweak it out differently because the relatively new movement of "paranormal romance" is really the lovechild(or perhaps "bastard"--ah, semantics!) of the fantasy and romance genres.

With that hope in mind, I scrawled a few paragraphs on the back of a handy envelope. Those paragraphs bridge a gap towards the book's beginning. They introduce my "hero" much sooner and add a touch of necessary backstory. They hint at the strange circumstances and a lost relationship and I think (and hope) that they will "go miles" towards accomplishing the goal of getting this manuscript whipped into shape and stuffed into an appropriately labeled envelope.

So, today I'm feeling like there's more hope than there was just a few days ago...

Much LOVE!

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/9/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

impunity [pronounced "im-pyoo-ni-tee"]:

"Impunity" is a noun which means "exemption or immunity from punishment or ill effects."

A sentence using this word could be:

Although her promised husband waited in the next room, Sarah flirted outrageously-- seemingly with impunity.

Keep writing and give this one a try today!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 1/8/07

Today's "Romance Writer's Word of the Day" is...

mien [pronounced "meen"]:
"Mien" is a noun which means "demeanor, air, or character."

A simple sentence using this word could be:

With every cool glance she made down the length of her elegant nose, her mien only frustrated the wounded warrior more.

Now, with that awkward sentence as a sample, surely you'll feel adequately enabled to post your own sentence using "mien..."

Have some fun with it!

Recently Returned and Caffeinated

With my cappucino in hand, I have returned to my blog! An icy rain is falling in my part of the country this morning, and although it hasn't recently been cold enough to warrant it, this morning I'm thinking of starting a fire. I've missed having fires in the fireplace so far this winter--the crackling, popping warmth just changes my state of mind a little.

Since I last posted (Goodness, was it really in August? Apologies...) I've been to Europe and back in an exciting, whirlwind tour of Germany (If you don't think Germany and romance go together, let me correct you here soon!) and a brief stop at the Tower of London; I've read a few more romances and I've certainly written more, too.

In the interest of writing here more often, I'll be posting a "Romance Writer's Word of the Day." If you'd like to try your hand at writing (and posting) a sentence using that word (Do you remember doing "context sentences" in school?), please do. The more, the merrier! I'll also be posting every week regarding what I've written or read.

With hopes the New Year is a bright one for you all,

What is the most interesting city or setting to you?

Woo-hoo! Didn't You Know It!

Which ancient leader are you most akin to?
created with
You scored as Ghengis Khan

you scored ghengis khan! He was a Mongol political and military leader or Khan (posthumously Khagan) who united the Mongol tribes and founded the Mongol Empire (�� �онгол Ул�), (1206�1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history.

Ghengis Khan


Julius Caesar


Henry V (England)






Napoleon Bonaparte


Alexander the Great


Pride and Prejudice

Which Pride and Prejudice Girl Are You?
created with You scored as Elizabeth

I am Elizabeth. I am headstrong and intelligent. I love to be myself, and am very loyal to my family. I can sometimes be prideful and "prejudiced," but I try to remain open minded and I usually regret past mistakes.







Mrs. Bennet








Super Me!

Which Superheroine are you?
created with
You scored as Huntress

You are the Huntress... No matter how many times you try and prove yourself to be good, you always seem to be stuck in the same rut, with the reputation as a "bad girl". Guys love to hang around you because you're easy to talk too.



Black Canary