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!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 6/29/07

Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day (for 6/29/07) is:


Capricious [kuh-pree-shu s] is an adjective and means "erratic, fanciful, whimsical, changeable, swayed or swaying (in emotion and behavior) easily."

Here's a sentence:
Her capricious nature always left him wondering what she'd say and do next.

Do you have a character who has a capricious nature?


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thought for the Day 6/28/07

I haven't had much online time recently. The brief moments here and there that I did have were usually spent on lighthearted blogs and topics (if you know me, you know it was "escapism" at work).

Recently I got to return to Sara's blog (and hers is one I'll gladly suggest to anyone stopping by here). She doesn't post daily, but when she does post, it's almost always a posting "from the heart." Recently she was writing about writing--the difficulty of finishing a novel (specifically a first novel). She pointed out that writing isn't for wimps. Read her blog, she states it all better than I am doing now.

So I was thinking about it... What keeps us spinning our wheels and stops us from truly finishing something? Perhaps even thinking about such topics is one more way to avoid the projects, too... ;-) ... Here's a quote, though...

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged... I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out." ~Erica Jong

Are we trying to avoid judgement? Are all authors and wouldbe authors insecure? At what point is insecurity natural and honest and how do we avoid letting it cripple us?

When I was a competition shooter (yeah, that's a long story in itself), I procrastinated practicing. It seemed I almost had a natural ability at shooting and although I got lots of positive attention for it (especially when I won) I almost wanted to lose. I think I wanted to be free of expectations. I've always hated labels and I've always had to deal with them anyhow. Being pigeonholed due to my voluntary participation in a sport or activity just irks me. I guess if you're going to label me, be accurate and complete (I can provide you with an acceptable list ;-).

Maybe my attention splits because I don't want to be labeled an "author" as if that's the end-all. Maybe I worry that once I have my novel finished the experience won't live up to my expectations. I once heard someone say that most authors never get their first novel published. Man, I thought. It's like the saying "If I'd have known how much fun grandkids are, I would have had them first!" Maybe I just fear rejection (although one Olympic-level coach suggested in a round-about way that I fear success). Maybe.

So I guess the point is this: Regardless of what slows you or splits you away from your goal, you need to weigh your determination. Will you overcome your own issues and battle your own demons, or let them define you instead of being defined by your potential success?

Have a great day!

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 6/28/07

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 6/28/07:

Caustic [kaw-stick] (in this case we'll use it as an adjective)

Caustic means "sarcastic, severely critical; to the point of burning or corroding."

Here's a sample sentence:

His tone was caustic, but in his eyes she could read hope and a tenderness as soft as silk and fragile as gossamer.

How might you use "caustic" in a sentence?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pushing Forward

My mother passed away after several "medical oversights" that had me ready to knock heads together.

She lingered for a week and a half in a hospice situation in the family home and towards the end was as close to comatose as one dare hope before death, I guess. She died while I sat beside her. Her breathing had been labored for about a day and a half before that point and I even had to explain to my three-year old that morning that the sound he heard when waking up was "Mom-mom snoring." He took it in stride. He even suggested that maybe she needed a drink of water (she had been very thirsty when she was conscious). He was aware of some of what was going on. Her hospital bed, after all, was in the center of the Den, so my son saw and interacted with her as much as possible before we started to shield him from different aspects of things.

She was on significant amounts of morphine at the end (after we straightened out the whole mess of the Doctor sending her home on Memorial Day without any painkillers, then the trip back to the ER, and the nearly day-long fiasco to get the prescription filled--yes, it was only available at 2 pharmacies in the entire county neither one of which was a major chain, and no one had alerted us to this in advance, of course), so she didn't feel any pain. But she also wasn't "herself" at the end.

Having been a witness to a loved one's downhill journey and death, I'm not sure if I'd choose hospice for myself... But it was good she was surrounded by family and friends at the end.

My brother and I handled most of the service odds and ends (program cover, flowers) and I initiated a "celebration of life" where people who adored her came and shared stories of her life. It was really, really hard. Lots of tears and hugs, but many people thanked me, saying they needed to do something like that as closure.

The service was nice. The pastor (not one I knew before) wasn't the best I've ever seen or heard. But a family friend (a Father) spoke and things improved. Then my brother spoke. He was amazing and inspirational. My Mother is surely proud of him.

Me? I'm still struggling with denial. I've had to stop myself several times from picking up the phone and calling Mom. I got so used to giving her a daily update on the sheep and other farm and grandson-related things that I have to stop myself whenever I see something she'd "get a kick out of."

My godmother called me yesterday morning to give the good tidings that she has a new grandbaby. She said she would have usually called my mom, but she couldn't, so she called me instead. I felt so bad--my mom was her best friend for decades and I could only ever pass as just who I am, not my Mom. I know what a void I feel, losing my mother at 64, but I still can't imagine what my godmother's going through.

But I'm pushing forward. I did a story for a contest that was due a few days ago. I ran through several options of stuff that "sort of" hit their wish list and I went through a couple false starts as options didn't please me (for this contest) and got set aside for pursuit of something else. I finally submitted "A Monstrous Love," a short story based loosely on legends of the lindwyrm. I had a rough outline in mind and then, as things started going, I just went where the story led me. I think I wrapped up all my "loose ends" and essentially hit the editors' wishes. I guess we'll find out...

I also made a list of upcoming queries I need to send out, bought 5 baby Naragansett turkeys, reserved some Scottish Highland cattle (I am totally enamoured with our red heifer and our white bull), planted my nearly forgotten seedlings, transferred some chickens... There's still so much to do.

But I am writing. Will I hit my self-imposed July 4th deadline for sending out Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills? Considering my speed of typing--No. Not a chance with the "hunt and peck" method. ;-) Will I keep plugging away at it and get it done and sent out soon? Yes.

Keep going forward. Live, LOVE, and certainly--yes, certainly--LEARN.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Technology and Troubles

My computer's "on the fritz." Every once in a while I go to open a file (not that I've had much time to open much of anything recently) and it says it either can't open it, or the file may be corrupted, or it's just heinously slow opening... You know, those little, frightening things that cause me to freak out and start backing stuff up like mad.

In the process I discovered 2 different versions of Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills. One I built on to for the Novel Race and the other included the remaining story in outline form. I did more work recently on the Novel Race version, but I forgot about that when everything with my Mom's health hit again.

So the other day when I finally got out of the house for a couple hours I started typing on the other version. I made some decent progress. That night I even had a few minutes to meditate on my characters (feeling things had grown convoluted) and sorted a couple things out.

Then I realize while backing things up, that I'm not typing on the "right" version! Eek!

So, at this point, I've printed out the two different versions (only the sections I tweaked and added Sunday) and I'll be rewriting the section (old fashioned rewrites occasionally being easier to tote around than this laptop) and then inserting it in the "correct" version.

I have stuff to "wrap up" down here before heading back up to NY, but I'm getting antsy to get there so I can get back to work on my writing.

Take care!

Monday, June 11, 2007

8 Things Meme

Tagging myself... Yes, yes, escapism is my current "thing."

The Eight Things Meme

Here are the rules for the meme:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their 8 things and post these rules.

3. At the end choose 8 people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

Apologies in advance... I don't tag others. If you want to try and do it, please do. I'm doing mine based on a theme related to travel and places I've been.

1.) The first time I (and my best friend at the time) ever saw a transvestite (or male on male porn--a magazine of which was under a sofa cushion in the hotel room my friend was in--she flipped the cushion while cleaning and packing to go back to Madrid and suddenly she's on the phone with me and utterly freaking out) was in Spain. She was nearly hyperventilating--I remained calm, although I think my eyes were a bit wider after both sights ;-).
2.) The only time I was ever chased by real, honest to goodness gypsies was in Spain. They even beat on my bus' door after myself (and my pal from #1) got inside. Sorry, we were firmly told NOT to give them money. They didn't like that at all.
3.) The only time I've seen a man try to attack an icecream server with a knife was in Spain. It was also the only time I've seen a much smaller American man leap and take down a knife-weilding drunk. Good times, good times.
4.) The only time I've heard women discussing (in Spanish) the idea of attacking American teenagers in a nightclub guessed it--Spain! Ok, ok, we were much their juniors and all the men seemed to be focusing on us (frankly we had no right being at Joy Eslava at age 17...), but don't talk about beating up the Americans busy on the dance floor while you fix your makeup in the mirror (not knowing one American is in a nearby stall and has a penchant for eavesdropping).
5.) One of my favorite moments of all time was seeing Valle de los Caidos (in Spain). It truly made me weak in the knees. There are few places that still do that to me.
6.) The first time I really saw a con-person in action was also in Spain. Awesome to watch the old woman work--she knew tourist psychology quite well and filled the many folds of her skirt with American money.
7.) My favorite country to visit is currently Germany. The people are warm and generous (and distant and tight-fisted--they are just like anyone else, really--especially MY people). And humorous--seriously. I appreciate my German heritage (I'm a mutt, if you wondered) even more since visiting the region my ancestors hailed from.
8.) I have been frisked and questioned by security when traveling (last year right after the big explosive plane scare we were traveling through Philly, to Heathrow, to Stuttgart), but not as often as my brother, who has also been frisked when entering the Broadway showing of "Wicked." My brother has also been hit on by his friskers. Hmm, maybe I need to limit his Broadway contact... ;-)

Hope your lives are also blessed with pleasant and intriguing adventures!


My Mother passed away on Thursday. Her service is on this coming Saturday, so we are deep in making "arrangements." Family is coming up from the South, and we're trying to maintain some semblance of sanity.

Yes, I am writing. It's sort of a strange "self defense" for me. Don't want to deal with everything all at once? Escape into your writing or art.

Hope you all are well. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. They help.

Take care--I will be back :-)

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