Friday, September 30, 2005

Hmph!

No writing done last night. Nada. Too much to do! I told my hubby that stuff kept coming up this week that I had to deal with and it left no room for writing. Well, that's not quite true. On Wednesday, I wanted to do nothing more than lay on the couch and read. So I did.

But you have to have a little rest and relaxation some time!

I'm still in the mood to write, though. This weekend should hopefully be productive in that area!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

In the Mood

Not only is this a great big band song by the Glen Miller Orchestra, but it's also how I feel about the whole writing gig today - I'm in the mood!

For some reason, I can write steady for a few weeks, and then I just...stop. I don't have the desire to sit down and force myself past it. I don't think it' s a writing blocks, but rather a "let the well replenish" time.

When I feel the urge again, that's when I know it's time to put fingers to keyboard.

Hopefully, that will happen tonight. If not, the weekend is nearly here!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Soup Day!

Rain pelted my windshield as I drove the kids to school this morning. Cool breezes, cloudy sky...

Ahh....autumn.

It's a day to eat soup, to indulge in a good book, to snuggle on the couch under a blanket.

Instead, I'll eat my soup at work, warmed up in the microwave, sit in my computer chair, and stare at someone else's words on the screen. Ah well.

Last night's presentation went fine. I showed a clip from Bridget Jones' Diary, which people loved (who could NOT love Colin Firth?) and my friend and I discussed pacing. I wanted to go home and write, but instead, ended up doing housework.

I did manage to watch my new DVD: Wallace and Gromit (if you haven't heard of these lovable characters, check out their website: www.wallaceandgromit.com ). I first saw these films on PBS a long time ago and I own them on VHS. But it was time to upgrade to DVD, especially since my daughter loves the movies and watches them over and over again. They're coming out with a full-length feature film (October 7th!) and I can't wait to watch it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Enlightenment

A co-worker stopped me today to chat for a moment. He told me that it must be amazing to have a job like mine since I get to do what I love for a living. "It must be like heaven!" he said.

That made me stop and think.

I must say that this is probably one of the least-stressful jobs I've had. And I like it. I like being able to write and edit all day, and when the clock hits 5 p.m., I can go home and forget about work until tomorrow. Even better, I still want to write after I've taken care of supper and settled the kids down for the night.

It's rather strange how God works. He always seems to know where to put me, even when I don't think I should be there. This job is good for me right now - I'm learning and growing in my writing and in my friendships.

In Other News...

I didn't get any writing done last night. Went and bought groceries instead - by myself. This is an accomplishment in itself because a) I didn't buy any junk food like hubby is VERY fond of doing and b) because we actually have food in our house to make MEALS, not snacks.

This morning I visited my old boss at the state archives and got to dig amongst some historical photos again - always fun - and tonight I have my chapter RWA meeting. I'm presenting a program on pacing tonight with one of the other gals.

After tonight, things will settle down for a bit - but not much. Our writing workshop is coming up next month and we've got tons to do for that.

I may try to get a bit of writing done tonight after my meeting - if I'm not asleep by the time I get home!

Monday, September 26, 2005

I Already Had a Blog for Today...

But cyberspace ate it. I have no idea where it went.

In a nutshell, it's Been A Monday.

1) Emergency stop at daycare

2) Make appointment for daughter at doctor

3) Leaving daycare, realize that keys are locked in car

4) Call hubby to come rescue

5) Hubby can't find spare key

6) Finally manage to break into car with coat hangers

7) Take daughter to doctor appointment only a minute late

8) Eat lunch, take daughter to kindergarten, come back to work

9) Find out Dumb Doobie, the Dog Wonder, needs more Vitamin K pills since he ate (and subsequently vomited) a poisoned mouse yesterday - (picture hubby running around the yard chasing the Dog Wonder, yelling at him to drop the mouse, and failing miserably)

11) Post to blog, lose post.

12) Trying to break sweets habit, have a monster chocolate chip cookie at lunch.

13) No new writing done since...can't remember when.

14) Determine it's a Monday and I can't bear the thought of going to work out. Especially since I have a headache.

Here are the good things that happened:

1) Hubby unlocked car without breaking anything and without having to call a locksmith

2) Dog will not die from accidental ingestion of mouse

3) The cookie tasted REALLY good.

4) Daughter is okay.

5) Lunch with daughter was great.

6) Got to see my husband in the middle of the day instead of late at night.

7) Not working out today is okay since I worked out all weekend - walking in the mall (shopping!!!) and cleaning house yesterday.

8) Parents both complimented me on my current novel. I now have the inspiration to get back to writing!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Time To Write

The house is (fairly) clean, the laundry is done, dishes stacked in the dishdrain, and my daughter has had her lunch.

Time to write.

Now if I can only get past that blinking cursor...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Nicknames

Driving to work this morning, I started to think about all the nicknames I've had. Funny thing to think about on a Friday, but hey, it's Friday, so I'm excused.

My latest nickname from work is "MoMo." Not sure why they picked that one, but it's stuck.

My Dad and brothers call me "Lis." Always have, probably always will.

Another popular one is "Mel."

In school, I was called "Missy" and "Meli."

I won't tell you what my husband calls me. ;-)

And you? What were/are your nicknames?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The First Day of Fall

Ahhh...cool breezes. Nothing like it.

Yesterday we hit over 95 degrees and today...balmy 70's.

Maybe I can write more than two sentences tonight since that's all I did last night. Hmph.

In my defense, I spent quality time with my daughter. We colored and I helped her memorize our address. Strange. She couldn't get it until I put it to music. Then, it was as if a lightbulb went on in her head.

I think my daughter is the artistic, creative type (just like me!). Her daycare teacher told me yesterday that she is very advanced in her drawings. I, of course, grinned from ear to ear when I heard that. She really is amazing in what she creates. I love to look at all of her pictures which is why I hate to throw any of them away. In fact, I don't throw them away - I save pretty much all of them. And at an average of three pages a day, it's starting to add up!

I feel very unfocused where my writing is concerned. But, I did order some books yesterday from Amazon.com for research. I also started reading Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation last night. I love that book. Since I'm looking to write more in the World War II era, this kind of research is not only fascinating, but necessary. :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Last Day of Summer

Today is the last official day of summer. It's supposed to top 94 degrees. Grrr....that doesn't make me happy.

BUT

I'm happy to report that tomorrow's forecast looks much better. Chance of thunderstorms and 72 degrees. Ahhhh. Breathe a large sigh of relief. I can look forward to snuggling under the blankets at night, shivering when I walk outside in the morning, and throwing on a jacket for an evening walk.

And all this cool weather gets me in the mood to write!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Writing? What Writing?

Taking vacations are always a catch-22. On one hand, you get the heck out of Dodge and immerse yourself in another world for awhile. On the other, it takes awhile to get back into the groove of your normal routine.

During the drive home, I fairly bursted with creative energy. I had lots of ideas, not only for books, but for articles. And by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

I still feel that way.

I wish I could just go home now and take a very long nap. Sigh...

Hopefully I'll be able to get a bit of writing done tonight. I miss it.

But fall is coming. Summer is officially over on Thursday. YAY!!! I cannot WAIT for cool weather.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Random Thoughts

I can't think of a clever title for today's blog entry, and I attribute that to my less-than-awake brain. So here are a few random thoughts about my weekend...

1. The drive across the state of Nebraska is horrendous. It's six hours of driving a straight line. I kid you not. It's flat, it's rather boring, and the drive home after the weekend is always worse than the drive there.

2. My grandfather is better than I expected. Unfortunately, that's still not very good. He's pretty coherent and I didn't see him exhibit any confusion while I was there. But rest homes are just not fun places. I hate to see him there. But he is surrounded by pictures of his family and that makes a huge difference. But he said he gets so lonely...and it just breaks my heart. I wish I lived closer and was independently wealthy. I'm very glad I was able to visit him this weekend, though.

3. My dad has a house on the prairie, quite literally. It's peaceful, serene, and quiet, with cows munching on the grass nearby, the haunting howl of coyotes piercing the evening stillness, and the full moon casting a warm glow on the landscape. While I savor those moments, I also recognize that I could not live there for any long amount of time. Although I was born and raised on the farm, I am a city girl now and I need that energy around me. But oh, how wonderful it is to escape that energy and relax...

4. My mom and I need to open a flower store. I say this because when I walked into the shop she's working at, I immediately wanted to be creative. We spent nearly all of Saturday afternoon working to rearrange things in her store (she's the manager, more or less), and I had a blast. I also wanted to try my hand at floral arranging, but perhaps another day, another time.

5. My nephew is a powerhouse of energy on the football field. He's in the third grade and he plays tackle football. Oh my.

6. My high school band is pitiful. When I was in high school, our band rocked. We were talented, dedicated, and our band instructor pushed us to perform our best - we always won trophies and first places at music competitions. Now the band has shrunk to a quarter of the size it was when I was in school. They destroyed the national anthem at the football game Friday night. Sigh...I cringed and longed to pick up my pair of drumsticks (yes, I played the drums) and take over.

7. My house was clean when I came home. Hubby did good. He took care of the kids the entire time I was gone and I am so grateful. What a guy!!!

8. The really long drive across Nebraska is perfect for musing upon new story ideas. I came up with a three-book series and I wish I could work on that instead of this pesky day job!

All in all, I had a great time...lots of memories...lots of great conversation and hanging out with my family. Now it's back to work!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Me and Grandpa

Notes from the Prairie

There's only one problem with the six hour drive from my house to home - the radio stations become nonexistant.

I fixed the problem by stopping at a Wal-Mart and buying a CD player to hook up to my car. After that, I was just fine. *grin*

Grandpa is doing ok - yesterday he was pretty coherent. I'm taking my grandmother out for coffee this morning. I really wish I lived closer so that I could help them out. My dad is under a lot of stress since he's the oldest of the three kids and is the one my grandma turns to the most.

I'm off to browse the new stores in my hometown this afternoon and the library is having a book sale. Yay! That was my first job - librarian's assistant. I loved it. With my love of books and writing, what better place to work?

The football game is this evening and I'll meet my brother and his family for that. Tomorrow I'm off to see my mom. I'm trying to divide my time equally so that no one's feelings are hurt. A delicate balance is crucial! :-)

On the homefront, hubby got the kids to school and even remembered that my daughter had show and tell today. But he forgot to feed the fish. *grin*

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Home, Here I Come

After last night's lawn mowing debacle (suffice to say that I got grass EVERYWHERE - in my hair, my legs, my shoes, my ears, my face...and all over the sidewalk), I decided that I needed a break.

My grandfather isn't doing well, and now is the time to go see him. I know it's going to be hard, but I would never forgive myself if I didn't go visit before something happens.

Off I go, back to the plains, back to the old farmhouse where I grew up, back to a Friday night high school football game. Er, don't know if I want to go to the high school football game. It's been, um, well over ten years since I graduated. And I, erm, look different, y'know?

But still. There's nothing quite like a Friday night football game. My brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew will be going, so I think I'll go and check it out - see if I see any familiar faces.

I'm so fortunate that I'm able to take a few days paid vacation to go home. And it will be a vacation from other things, as well. The kids are staying home with their dad, I won't have to worry about laundry or dishes or picking up the house or...well, any of that stuff.

I'll be checking in as my dad has internet access, so no worries there. And after the six hour drive, I'll be ready to see what you're all up to! Too bad I didn't own a pair of ruby slippers...I could click my heels and say, "There's no place like home" three times and bam! I'd be home.

Ah well. Six hours of nothing but the radio, the road, and your own thoughts isn't so bad. It's the perfect time to think about those darn plot problems. :-)

My Love of Classic Movies


My classic movie collection is slowly growing. I just received another DVD in the mail on Saturday - State Fair.

This movie is just about as idylic as you can get. But that is precisely why I love it.

Hunky Dana Andrews and pretty Jeanne Crain fall in love during the Iowa State Fair - she's an innocent farm girl and he's a big city reporter. But watching them interact as they walk down the carnival midway is pure delight.

State Fair is one of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's musicals, but it isn't as lavish as Oklahoma or The King and I. I watched it on Sunday (yup, the icky liquid diet day) and it made me forget, for a few hours, that I couldn't eat any solid food.

My love of classic movies started as a pre-teen and it's been a steady presence in my life ever since. But it's just been lately that I've decided I want to pursue this interest more, and I've been scouring e-Bay for old movie posters and memorabilia.

I'm now a contributor at the Classically Speaking blog (http://classicallyspeaking.blogspot.com) and you can check out my top ten favorite classic movies here: http://classicallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2005/09/melissaannes-ten-favorite-classic.html (forgive the long link - I have yet to properly figure out how to do all this html stuff!)

My perfect fall evening? A cozy blanket, a hot cup of cocoa, a warm chocolate chip cookie, and a classic movie.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Liquid Diet???

Imagine this...

You can't eat anything but liquid for an entire day. Jell-O, chicken broth, apple juice, cranberry juice...all day long.

And then...THEN...

Your husband makes homemade chicken noodle soup. And you can't have ANY of it.

Sigh...

That was me on Sunday. I had a medical test yesterday, so the day before, I couldn't eat any solid food. I was SO HUNGRY that I about couldn't stand it. I tried not to think about food, but then I started watching movies and naturally, people usually eat in movies and my mouth started salivating.

I went to bed that night, my stomach growling, my taste buds craving ANYTHING but orange Jell-O. At 3 a.m., my stomach, and my pounding headache, woke me up. Needless to say, anything that I had eaten during the day came up at about 3 a.m. I went to bed again, feeling better, but woke up with the same headache.

When I arrived at the doctor's office, got prepped for the test, and waited, the nurse asked me if I was nervous.

"Nope," I said. "I just want those drugs to get rid of this headache." She laughed and told me that what they were giving me was strong stuff and if that didn't take care of my headache, nothing would.

Do I need to tell you that those "powerful drugs" didn't eradicate my headache? No, 'cuz you already knew that, right? When I came around from my drug-induced stupor, the headache was still there - just not as bad.

Anyway, the test went fine - no problems - and hubby took me home and fed me. Food never tasted so good. :-)

In Writing News...

I haven't written anything new in the past few days, but I did read over my manuscript again. I'm hoping to maybe get something written tonight, but I may be more interested in combing the cabinets for food. *grin*

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Go Big Red!!!

There's nothing like Nebraska football. It's almost a religion in this state and although I normally don't care one way or the other if they win or lose, tonight I just might 'cuz I'm going to be there.

Yup. My first Husker game at Memorial Stadium. Hubby and I are going and I can't wait. I've got my red and white shirt on and a good pair of walking shoes. The wind is blowing like crazy today, so I don't much care what my hair looks like because a few minutes outside and it won't matter.

Strange. The entire time I was a student at UNL, I never went to a football game. I walked past the stadium every single day, but never bothered to get tickets. Probably because I was tired of being on campus enough as it was!!!

I've been on a whirlwind cleaning spree today. Not just because the babysitter is coming, but because it just needed to be done. Now my kitchen is relatively spotless, the dishes are done, the living room is vacuumed and picked up, not to mention dusted, and the only thing I have to do is fold clothes. That can wait until tomorrow.

Most importantly, football season means fall is here! Although the weather is still too warm, it won't be for much longer!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Red Roses!

My husband is SO SWEET!

He just sent me a beautiful bouquet of red roses - just because. I'm grinning from ear to ear. What a great surprise for Friday!

Gotta love a man like that...

Droopy Eyelids

I had every intention of going to bed early last night. In fact, I even had my daughter to bed early and had a few hours to myself because she actually fell asleep instead of tossing and turning for an hour. I lounged on the couch, reading a great book, and I know I eyed my bed a few times, thinking, "I should go to bed early tonight."

That didn't happen.

Since hubby and my stepson were off watching the Patriots and the Raiders clobber each other, I had the house pretty much to myself. So around 9:30 p.m., I figured I'd throw in a load of laundry and print out the pages of my manuscript that I'd written a few days earlier, then slide under the welcoming blankets and drift off to dreamland.

Once I opened the file, I decided, once again, to write just a few sentences. That's all.

It turned into a few pages again. While this is WONDERFUL, it sure is cutting into my sleep time. This morning, wow. Haven't had the Diet Pepsi yet, but I'm thinking I will soon. Need something to prop open my eyelids.

No matter. I'll get through the work day and probably do the same darn thing tonight, only with the knowledge that I can sleep in tomorrow. I *love* Saturday. :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Picture Day!

My daughter is having her first school pictures today.

Wow. That is a scary thought.

But ever the prepared mom (ha!), I packed an extra shirt and a hairbrush in her backpack this morning in case she gets a bit of food on her at lunch. :-)

I can't wait to see them.

She also drew a picture for her teacher last night - in fact, she drew the entire kindergarten classroom. It was so adorable. I should have scanned it into my computer before she took it to school today.

This just reinforces the notion that she's doing just fine in kindergarten. Yes, there were a few tears that first day, but she's over it now. But I'm not quite sure that I am. I still tear up whenever I see her carrying her backpack. She just looks so darn little to be going to school! Where did the time go?

I filled out her first Scholastic Book Order last night. Do you remember those? I used to love bringing them home and scanning the pages, then begging mom to let me get "just one!" book. And the day they arrived at school, it felt like Christmas.

In Writing News...

Not much to report. I didn't work on anything last night. Well, that's not entirely true. I have an article that's going to be published in a history magazine and I needed to correct a few details in my footnotes. And while I was at it, I tried to research a particular issue in my current manuscript. Since my hubby and stepson are going to a friend's house to watch football tonight, maybe I'll get some writing done. :-)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Muse Takes Over!

I didn't crawl onto my computer last night until 10:30 p.m. I had to watch Sahara with my husband (ooh, Matthew McConaghy! - and I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong). And really, after that was finished, I only wanted to go downstairs and shut my computer off.

But my WIP sat open on the screen and I couldn't help but type a sentence. And then another. And pretty soon, I had written two pages, single spaced. I really would have kept going, but when I looked at the clock, I realized it was after 11 p.m. In fact, I didn't make it to bed until 11:30 p.m. and on top of that, I couldn't fall asleep.

Thus the can of Diet Pepsi this morning.

But you know what? It's worth it. When the muse speaks, I find it's far better to listen than to ignore.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Memories of New Orleans

It's taken me awhile to process the magnitude of destruction and misery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Disasters often strike on foreign soil, but when they hit our own countrymen and women, it affects you with a power unlike anything else.

I visited New Orleans back in college. It was my first real traveling experience (I was a naive college freshman) and we drove from Nebraska all the way to New Orleans, stopping in Arkansas, Memphis, Vicksburg, Shreveport, and numerous other places along the way. My feet have trod the very ground where Katrina struck.

In my college years, I loved the South. I loved the rich history. I'd grown up with a very avid interest in the Civil War, reading Gone With the Wind at a relatively young age. The Ante-Bellum South fascinated me with its history, both good and bad, and I eagerly jumped at the chance to visit. Packed in a van with my history professor and ten other people, only one of whom I knew even slightly, we set off. We drove from a tiny town in Northwest Nebraska to Arkansas in one day - sixteen hour trip. We made our way down through Arkansas, Tennesee, and Mississippi until we hit Louisiana and headed to New Orleans.

I became captivated with New Orleans. It is such an eclectic city, full of different cultures, all blending together to form this intriguing mix of humanity. I visited the French Quarter, tasted Blackened Voodoo beer for the first time, wandered around St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, watched a man shoot fire from his mouth and listened to a flute player dressed like a medieval minstrel. I talked with a poet standing in the lights of the French Quarter, was serenaded by a wandering band of jazz musicians, and listened to Irish music in one of the best Irish pubs in town. I saw the multi-colored shot gun houses, the above-ground cemetaries, and took a ride on a steamboat and ate shrimp Creole.

Now I wonder if that pub is still there...

We walked down Canal Street after the trolleys shut down for the night, in awe of a city that could be so quiet, almost mystical. We drove out to the site of the Battle of New Orleans, a battle that didn't need to occur because a cease fire had already been declared. Is that under water? Probably.

It's a trip I'll never forget. And I hope to someday walk those streets again, listening to jazz music drifting across the noise of vendors selling Mardi Gras masks.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Columbia Years

No, not the university or the country...Columbia Records.

Hubby and I managed to get a little "couple" time today and we headed over to CD Warehouse to check out some of their deals. Sitting behind the counter was a gem of a deal - Frank Sinatra's "The Best of the Columbia Years: 1943-1952." Four CD's, a great booklet with fab pictures of Frank, wonderful case holder, and all in pristine condition. Price: $18.99 Hubby bought it for me. :-)

Okay, okay, I admit it. I listen to Frank Sinatra. A lot. I especially love his album "In The Wee Small Hours." I'm not sure which I like better - his early years or later years where he sang songs like "Old Devil Moon," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "My Way," and "Come Fly With Me." There's a definite difference to his voice - the early years it's smoother and cleaner. In the later years, it's got a great raspy sound to it.

I also bought a Mozart CD and the soundtrack to the James Bond movie Goldeneye. Yes, I know. I'm certifiably weird. :-)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Catch Up

Would you believe I'm FINALLY feeling better? The sore throat is nearly gone. I woke up feeling exhausted, but just kept on plugging away and soon, I started to feel back to my old self again. I updated my Losing the Pounds blog (new background) and can't wait to get back to exercising on Monday. Yeah!!!

I made a list of things to do and I'm quite excited about jumping into my writing again. I also want to look at doing some articles for a new magazine about the American Homefront during World War II. One of my favorite time periods and it inspired me to buy a CD full of songs from the Glen Miller Band. LOVE big band music!

I've also been trolling Amazon.com and Ebay for old movies. I'm looking for one in particular - an old Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour movie I watched when I was a kid. I have it on tape, but the tape is going bad, as I found out yesterday. Called They Got Me Covered, it is one of the most hilarious slap-stick comedies I've ever watched. Even compared to movies today, it holds its own. Only problem is the DVD is in very short supply and I'm not yet ready to pay $35 for it. We'll see.

That brings to mind another passion of mine that I'm jumping into again. I *love* classic movies. When I was a kid, I loved to watch the old movies on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons on our PBS station. After my grandparents moved off the farm and into town, they subscribed to cable and got AMC - American Movie Classics. Grandma taped a bunch of old movies on her VCR for me and I still have them. But now it's time to upgrade to DVD. Unfortunately, we don't have cable now - just watch movies on our DVD and VCR - and so I really really miss TCM - Turner Classic Movies. Oh, how I loved that channel!

I'd also like to get some movie posters for my collection, although right now I have no place to hang them. I'd like to eventually have a "movie den" in our new house decorated with classic movie posters and with a great theater system.

Anyway, I picked up Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr's famous movie An Affair to Remember yesterday and also ordered State Fair and The Best Years of Our Lives from Amazon.com I've got a list that continues to grow of the movies I remember watching and that I want on DVD. Can't believe how many I remember! Cary Grant seems to be a favorite of mine, though. I already have three of his movies - Father Goose with Leslie Caron (hilarious!) and the Grass is Greener, another with Deborah Kerr. Frank Sinatra is another favorite. I already have Von Ryan's Express, but I plan to pick up a few others, like The Tender Trap and High Society with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelley.

Wal-Mart often has those big stashes of DVD's for $1 - and much to my surprise, I found another favorite of mine - The Scarlet Pimpernel with Merle Oberon and Leslie Howard (1930's) I remember watching that as a very young girl and absolutely loving it.

With my love of classic movies, I've got a story idea or two brewing in my brain...

Now my family has no excuse for buying bad Christmas presents! *grin* Classic movies, books, or Snoopy and you're forever in my good graces!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thick Skin

I think I've developed the requisite thick skin that writers need in this publishing game. I received another rejection yesterday.

Although I'm disappointed, I didn't stew over it. Well, maybe a little bit. I had some chocolate, vented to Rene, and then promptly forgot about it by immersing myself in a mountain of laundry.

The phrasing in this rejection letter played to the tune of several others I've received. "The historical market is tight right now and we're being extremely selective on what we take on."

Here's the thing I don't understand. Why is the historical market tight right now? Is it because (gasp!) there are only a few locales that publishers will even look at publishing? Is it because readers are getting tired of reading the same locales over and over again and want something fresh and thus are not buying historicals? Face it - that is the bottom line - money. If something is selling, publishers will print it. And taking a chance on something new is, well, taking a chance.

I could be wrong, but I really think that this is where RWA needs to use their powers for good instead of gossip. Romance writers have a wonderful ear bent to the needs of romance readers. We know what they want to read. Why can't we convey that to the publishing world through the power of RWA?

I had an idea last night for a really cool series set in the 1940's. But the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to even try writing it. Why? Because, as we all know, titles set during the World War II era don't sell. Funny, because I devour titles (what few there are) set during this time period. Surely I can't be alone.

All this griping aside, I'm still going to play the publishing game. I'm still going to write what I like to write and read. I'm not going to write to the market because I don't believe in that particular philosophy.

So where does that leave me?

The same place I started - a keyboard and a blank screen just waiting to be filled with the magic of my imagination.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Morning Grind

I pushed for my kids to go to school in a different school district. The one we're in is, well, the worst one in the city with gangs and other violence. I wasn't about to let my kids go through that. So I transferred them to schools close to where I work. In fact, my stepson's middle school is right across the street from my job. My daughter's is only about a mile away and her daycare takes her to kindergarten and picks her up.

But I tell ya...the morning grind is already getting old. We leave the house at 7:30 to get my stepson to school by 8 a.m. The traffic is horrendous and this is a newly developed section of town. Still, everyone and their SUV is there to drop off their kids and tempers start to flare. I've worked out a system where I actually pull into the parking lot at work and drop off my stepson and he then uses the cross walk to walk to get to school. Then I take my daughter to her daycare, then backtrack and come back to work.

Logically, you'd think I would go to my daughter's daycare first, then drop off my stepson. But with rush hour traffic, I don't know that I could get my stepson to school by 8 a.m. Since I have a fairly flexible schedule, if I'm a few minutes late, it's no big deal.

At any rate, I've been trying to get used to this new schedule and longing for the days when I stayed home and my stepson could just walk to school. But I recognize that I'm the type of individual that must have human interaction - adult interaction - more than once a week. I've decided that when I establish my career as a romance author, I will still get some sort of part-time job, even if it's volunteering in a museum. But that's only if I can afford to. Otherwise, I'm hoping to just be able to work part-time.

Someday...