Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Could Get Used To This...

Have you ever had one of those days... the kind you hope never ends. Well, folks, I've just had two in a row. Hopefully this post will make sense, 'cause honestly, my head's still up on cloud nine. I just got my third book contract for my first novella. That's two in two days...

I'm pretty excited about this one, because I find it hard to rein in an idea and make it just as special, but not take 100K words to get there. So for me, this is a very treasured accomplishment. It's also my first fantasy novel, and I loved writing in another time and place... more to come from this magical land you ask? Let's just say the wheels are turning, since writing a series is also another future plan of mine. Definitely a "stay tuned" answer.

I have to say, it all seems so surreal. Just a month ago I was sitting here wondering when I might finally have something concrete, and now, I'm on the best roller coaster EVER. The kind that has you on a high the entire time. And here's hoping it just keeps on rolling. I don't want to come back down.

Yup, I could get used to this...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Second Time is Still a Charm

Just a few short weeks ago I had one of the best days ever, professionally speaking. As you already guessed, yes that was the day I opened my email and for the first time got offered a contract instead of a "thanks, we loved it, but not today." I can still remember the feeling, slightly light-headed and somewhat nauseous, and I wondered if I'd ever experience that particular sense of pure joy again.

Well, babies, I have. I'm sooo sooo sooo very excited to announce my second, oh yeah I did say second, book contract, this time with Resplendence Publishing, for my full length novel THE RACE. And while the first contract will always be incredibly special, I have to say, this one is particularly sweet. I think it's because this is the only book of the few I've got finished I actually sent out to more than one publisher. I got a couple of "we love it, but it doesn't really fit our box", and one place lost it. So it just seems for this book, it's been a long time coming. And if I'm going to be truthful, it was one of the books that seemed to be holding me back from submitting other work. It's as if I felt I had to get this one out there before I could let go of any of the others. 

So now it's here, the moment of glory, or at least the start of it. No firm date on when it will be released, but it should be available by early next year. Now I can spend some time updating my website and soon, who knows, maybe it won't be quite as sparse as it is now.

Thanks to Bronwyn, Tiffany and Jessica for helping make this happy moment a reality. You ladies rock. 

So who's up for thirds...

She shoots... she scores

It seems like a strange title, and yes, for any fellow Canuck,it's an icon of Hockey Night in Canada. But my editor turned me on to a blog she writes on with fellow authors and editors. Every week they consider a new topic and write words of wisdom, or just plain folly if need be, on their perspective, based on where they are in their careers. This weeks topic was goal setting.

Hence, my title. Funny how one word can have two opposite meanings. For sports, a goal is something you've already achieved. It can't count unless it already is... but for others, a goal is where they're headed. The end of a long journey if you will. And I think this is why setting goals doesn't seem to be my thing. Sure I know where I want to end up, but it's so abstract it seems too transparent to hold real meaning for me.

One of the ladies sets rules instead. Achievements to accomplish every day. I really like this idea, there's just one teensy little problem for me. I'm really just a pirate at heart, and tend to see rules more as guidelines. And let's face it, after spending a lifetime following rules, I love nothing more than to break them.

So I use a slightly different approach. I make priorities. Yup, good old fashioned priorities. I'm sure you grew up having your parents tell you to "get your priorities straight." And while I hate to admit it, it's really just that simple. After all, we all make time in our lives for something. Whether it's a run, a game of weekly poker or a daily soap, we all put other equally important tasks aside to work on something we deem even more important.

But being the female of the species, somewhere along the way we set a "goal", if you will, to make everyone else's priorities more important than ours. We become mothers, wives, professionals, maids, chauffeurs. We PTA while we CEO, and find every reason not to do what makes us feel good about ourselves. So what do we do?

Prioritize. Make your writing or whatever you do your priority, even if it means getting up an hour early or staying up an hour late. If you have to turn off Oprah even if Dr. Oz has some new ageless secret, or tell the kids you're only available to stop immense blood flow or reconnect broken bones. Whatever it takes, you make yourself sit down, and face that blank computer page. And yeah, staring at it and only writing one paragraph counts because you've taken another step down that road towards your, you got it, "goal".

So, there's my take on it. Just remember, whether you set goals, adhere to rules or just get your priorities straight, believing in yourself and making time are the only way anything will actually ever get done.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hold On... Didn't I Pass Grade 4

When I was a kid, I used to love school. Seeing all your friends, getting praised for colouring inside the lines. I think it's every little girl's paradise. Then you move on to high school, college and even university. You get diplomas and certificates and one very fancy Bachelor of Science degree to hang on the wall. And you think to yourself, man when my kids ask me to help them with their homework, I've got it covered.

Then something remarkable happens. Your nine year old son brings home his math homework and asks if you can help him figure out long division. I smile... long division, please. I can still do calculus in my sleep. So over I go, pull out the chair and calmly start jotting down numbers on a crisp piece of paper. I talk slowly, but not so slow he thinks I'm babying him, and proudly display my finished example of long division.

That angelic little face looks up at me, eyes wide, lips turned into a tentative smile, and I hear the four little words every parent dreads... Sorry, but that's wrong.

Wrong. Sure. I smile down at him, give him a wink and explain, no honey, this is how you do long division. My son smiles back, only now it's the kind of smile that says he's questioning my mental state. And I know if my damn degree was plastered on the wall, he'd be staring at it thinking, did she really get that all by herself? Then he does the only other thing that can make grown ups cringe... he hands me the dreaded text book. "Here, mom. This will show you how it's done." He actually gets up and heads for the back yard, tossing, "call me when you've got it figured out," back across his shoulder.

Long division. Correct me if I'm wrong, but our way still works. Been working for decades, so why, now of all times, do they decide to change a fully functioning wheel, and put on a new one. One that has you staring at the page wondering if you really did pass math back then. And before you know it, I feel the same panic as when I stare at a box of mindless plastic pieces that are somehow supposed to fit together to form my daughter's dream doll house. 

So there you have it. After all these years, I'm forced to realize school just isn't the same. Yes, I did figure out how to do the 'new' version of long division. Heck, it only took two hours, seven phone calls and one night at a parent workshop. But it has left me with one fleeting thought...

If this much has changed in math, what on earth have they done to his sex ed class.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Celebrating Success

I've been doing a lot of this lately. Celebrating my first contract... creating my website... making new connections which could lead to more, you guessed it, success. Then about a week ago, my new author friend hoped it was okay she share a review she just received on her latest release. The review was sensational, and it occurred to me how we really don't stop and take the time to celebrate the success of others. 

Oh we might say something like, good job, nice work, or way to go. But do we really take the time to make our friends, family, colleagues, you name it, feel good about what they've accomplished? Are we somehow afraid it might diminish our success if we do? 

It seems society is drifting that way. Watch out for number one, and do everything you can to stay number one. Well I, for one, am going to break the standards. So Bronwyn, congrats girl. And know I'm kicking back my chair, throwing my feet up and yelling..."Hell yay!"

Never too late...

I know it's almost a week past mother's day, but I just couldn't decide whether the blog was the place to celebrate my mom. But then I realized there's no wrong place to celebrate being a mother. It's the one part of me I'd never change and the hardest challenge I'll ever face. But just looking at your kids and knowing you'll love them forever, no matter what... that my friend is truly priceless.

So, here's the little presentation I made for my mom, Lee. She's the greatest lady I know, and I'll always be her biggest fan. Thanks Mom. You'd think I'd know how to praise everything you do, but I can't always find the right words. Maybe there just aren't any good enough. And thanks to Aaron Lines for writing a song worthy of moms everywhere.

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just another day in chaos...

Okay, so I thought gathering all the needed information to start my journey down the publishing road would be easy. Heck, I know my name and making a bio isn't all that taxing. Nothing left but to make a website and a blog...

Did someone say Murphy's Law. Just my luck I pick the one web host who can't seem to get my domain name up and running on any server but their own. And when I call to see why, 72 hours later, it's still not up, I get an "oh, that happens sometimes". No sorry, no glad you caught it, just a guy who says issues like mine are "low" priority.

Anyway, twelve hours later I've finally made it all right. I booted the first host, bought a new domain name through netfirms and went with apple's mobile me. It's awesome and I knew I should have done it to begin with. But hey, some of us have to learn the hard way. Besides, being a woman I'm expected to change my mind a few times. 

I guess the moral of the story remains...sometimes we need a hard kick to remind us to trust our instincts. So here's to thwarting Murphy one more time and to finally making a decision. 

Hello Cyber Space

I'm thrilled to announce both the debut of my new blog and the signing of my first book contract with Total-E-Bound Publishing for my paranormal erotic thriller novel, Deadly Vision, due out this coming November. I'm looking forward to posting excerpts and cover art as the publishing date draws nearer, and will keep you up to date on other works I have in progress. But right now, I'm just so damn excited I can hardly sit still....

I find myself building websites and making blogs, all in the hopes my fans might want to visit... me... having fans. It feels so surreal, I'm still trying to take it all in. All I will say is...

WhooHoo! Happy Dance across the kitchen floor.

So hold on tight, the ride's about to begin.