Friday, February 29, 2008

Ten Signs of You've Been To Too Many Conferences

10. You have enough bookmarks to wallpaper your bathroom.
9. You have a suitcase just for books.
8. You use a stop watch to time your pitch.
7. Your shelves are full of program booklets.
6. You bring your own name card holder.
5. You know your targeted editor’s conference schedule better than their own assistant.
4. You’re automatically upgraded to concierge level by the hotels.
3. You know your meal choice will be chicken or chicken.
2. You rate conferences by the quality of their goodie bags.
1. You begin to lip-synch the keynote speakers' addresses.

List by Diane Richmond and Carla Swafford at the Shreveport NOLA conference. What do you want to add?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Am a Writer

For my first blog, I sat at work today and wrote out this post that would be positively brilliant! And then I erased it. And then I started it again. And, then I erased it. Too pretentious. Too cutesy. Okay...too dumb. What do I write? And, then I just started typing and this is what I came up with. I'm a writer. Yes, I admit it. There it is. That may seem really...oh, I don't know...lame, but its true. You have no clue how long its taken me to just come out and declare that without my hand swiping across my mouth so it sounds something like, "Whime uh whita". Pretty pathetic, let me tell you.



Many writers, I'm sure, face that self-defeatist attitude of, What makes me think I can crank out a book that people will actually want to read? I can't be the next Nora Roberts or Linda Howard or Sherrilyn Kenyon. And, what I've come to realize is this...that is absolutely true. I will never be them. But, I can be--and am--Naima Bryant. And, only I can pen a story where Eugene Dudley falls madly in love with me, when at ten he didn't know my name. Only I can create a passionate, torrid affair with Donnie Wahlburg from New Kids on the Block, where I have his love child, and after years apart we end up married, living in Novia Scotia. Okay...reality check, somebody actually could write a story with Donnie, but it wouldn't star my alter ego. The point is no one can write my stories, because they come from my head, my experiences and dreams. Its what makes me unique and my voice my own. So, I can declare with utter confidence say that as long as I keep putting paper to pen--or fingers to keys--I am a writer who has a story to tell. And that woman somewhere out there in Boston who lusted after New Kids on the Block, too...at least I know she would buy my book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

O, Oprah!

Today I was looking for an article I had originally seen on the CNN home page. Couldn't find it, but I remembered that it originated on oprah.com. So I hopped on over.

Holy cow! Have you ever wandered around in that site? There's some amazing stuff there! For example, these are some of the articles I want to read: Body Language Basics, The Love List (and Why It Works by Oprah's life coach. What the heck is a life coach anyway? And how do I find one!), Dating Dos and Don'ts, Five Facts on the Female Orgasm, Single and Loving It...

Now I know Oprah's not an expert, but she does a pretty good job of getting experts on her show and Web site. And even if these articles aren't factually accurate, the number of ideas for characters and plots in them makes me absolutely giddy.

So that's it for me. I'm headed back to oprah.com for some novel ideas.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Three Awesome Authors!


Congratulations to Paula Graves, Gayle Wilson and Sherrilyn Kenyon! Their current books received 4-1/2 stars in the RT Book Review! Click here to see RT's website. Our authors' books regularly make 4 stars or better!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Authors For The Price of Two


Hey, Christie Craig, author of Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious will be discussing Rejecting Rejection tomorrow at Southern Magic's meeting in the Homewood Public Library's Room 101 downstairs at 1pm.

Plus Sherrilyn Kenyon a.k.a. Kinley MacGregor will be at the Books-a-Million in Fultondale near the new Target on 2/23 from 12 noon to 2pm.

Hope to you there!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's coming and I don't want it.

"You're getting older."

This was said kindly, with a touch of humor by my well meaning Doctor.

"Well, I'm not going to go willingly nor happily down this road" I said this, not very kindly, nor with a lot of humor.

My Doctor laughed. Twerp.

Unfortunately, my body has other ideas. I'm forgetting things, my body is doing it's own thing, every day I awake--more gray has shown up (that no amount of color seems to get rid of!), I'm grumpy (what gave you the first clue) and things are sagging and getting bigger (like my butt, but my breasts are shrinking...no damn fair).

Yes, I know everyone goes through this.

I just am not going to be graceful about it.

How are you dealing with getting older? What are you doing about it? (I am trying to ignore it, but it is not working).

As for my memory loss, I am still making lists...but I forget where I put them. Lucky me.

Does it get better?

Just tell me what you think.....I am interested.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Favorite Kind of Day

I'm keeping this post short and sweet today because it's raining. That's right, it's gloriously gloomy and I'm loving it. Don't get me wrong. I love a sunny day just as much as the next person, but there's just something about a gloomy, rain filled day that puts me in a writing or reading mood.

I love to curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea, my fuzzy, four-legged kids and a good book. Or I'll take a pen and notebook and scribble out a scene. Tumultous weather outside and a safe and warm environment inside combine to create a feeling of well being and excitement. I'm exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing. What a grand feeling!

What about you? Does the weather influence your writing? What kind of day do you prefer?

Now excuse me, but the sofa's calling my name. Enjoy everyone!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Excuse me!

The past couple of years I've noticed that more and more people are forgetting one of the most simple rules of email. Clip the email they're replying to.

Hey it's the polite thing to do. People will appreciate it. Especially those on loops that receive their email by digest (all the messages for a certain stretch of time on a mail loop, e.g., YAHOO loops is sent in one email).

What should you do? You can simply cut and paste into a new email. To cut, use CTRL X. Highlight the section you're responding to by clicking on space before the first word, hold down the left mouse button and "drag" the cursor over the words until you're at the end of the word or sentence. Release the left mouse button. Then hold down the button with "CTRL" on it and press the X. Or you can copy by holding down CTRL and pressing C. Then to paste, hold down the CTRL button and press V. Simple.

What about you? Do you have an email pet peeve? And don't say people fussing about those that won't cut and paste. LOL!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I love love!

Valentine’s Day is just about my favorite holiday, not only for the chocolate and flowers that I usually don’t get, but also because it’s the one time of year that the rest of the world focuses on what we as romance writers focus on all the time: luuuuuuve.

All the bookstores have prominent displays of books about putting romance in your life, having better sex, strengthening relationships, understanding body language--you name it. If it has to do with love, there’s a book about it and it's on a display table with red hearts and cupids.

Even prominent magazines, newspapers, and Web sites give a nod to the day. Cool-and-hip NPR had a piece about a collection of “non-romantic” love stories tonight. (I listened to the whole interview and still can’t figure that one out.) Here’s a link to a Time magazine article about romance: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1704672,00.html

Don’t ya just love it? Happy Valentines’s Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

History Tidbit - The American Gunfighter

The term "gunfighter" did not come into use until 1874. Before then, common references for these "Knight Chivalric of the Plains" were "man-killer," "shootist," or civilizer.

Tales of 21-year-old Billy the Kid killing one man for every year of his life and Wild Bill Hickok killing over 100 men were only myths. Actually, it was perhaps six for the Kid and ten for Wild Bill.

Favored weapons for the man-killers were Colt and Remington revolvers. Winchester and Sharp for shoulder arms (rifles).

Double cartridge belt was often worn to readily supply rifle and pistol ammunition.

Long hair on a man was referred to as "frontier style."

Texas Rangers established 1823 but ended 1861 and reinstated 1874 to present day. The Rangers were first established to fight Indians.

The term "man-hunter" was more often used than the term "bounty-hunter."

The butt of the pistol facing forward is called a "reverse" or a "cross-draw."

Earlier revolvers were heavy and often carried in pommel holsters over the front of the saddle.

In the 1850's, the body belt and holster became popular. By the 1870's, pistols became lighter weight and shoulder holsters became available.

Shotguns with the barrels cut down to two feet were favorites of sheriffs, U.S. Marshals and other officers of the law.

As tax evasion is used to discourage present day criminals, "vagrancy" charges were used to discourage gunfighters from staying in town.

Many gunfighters carried two or more pistols. The basic purpose of the second pistol was to have a reserve, in case, the first was emptied or misfired.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

It's Baaaack!

The juggernaut American Idol started back last month. The first shows of the auditions are my favorite. I never knew so many people were so far out of reality. Some just want their fifteen minutes, but some that are awful really think they can sing. Last week there was even a moment when Simon admitted he was wrong. Wow!

Next week all those who made it through go to Hollywood. They can play an instrument this year. And no groups! From previews though, there is still drama.

American Idol is one of my guilty pleasures. It has nothing to do with life or anything important. I can't sing very well, but at least I know it. Maybe it affirms that my feet are rooted in reality.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Setting Your Muse Loose

Okay, I know muse and loose don't rhyme, but you get my drift. My muse has been playing peek-a-boo lately. She comes out for only a few minutes a day and then disappears without so much as a goodbye. No matter how loud I scream for her, she ignores me. It really scares my dogs when I do that, so I've stopped screaming. Now I just quietly seethe until she returns.

A watched pot never boils and a blank screen doesn't magically have words on it no matter how hard you stare. Believe me, I know. So the other day, after quietly seething for hours, waiting for her to return, I decided to do something else. We have company coming this weekend and since housework is on the very bottom of any list I've ever created, I thought I'd get started. Our shower alone could supply enough penicillin for the entire state for the rest of the year. Right in the middle of scrubbing the shower, lo and behold, my muse returned. A plot point I'd been stuck on became unstuck.

I've noticed that happens quite often. When I get stuck, if I get up and do something else, my muse returns with an idea. Sadly, I don't like housework enough to get up and clean every time my muse runs off. But at least I know how to get her back.

What about you? What sets your muse loose?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Love Trivial!

I came across an interesting article that was linked on YAHOO! It's EW.com's 15 Nominees For Worst Dialogue Ever. Now a few I might agree with, but I was sad to see several that I thought were romantic. Maybe I like cheesy lines. Click here to find out.

And if you want to waste some time and really immerse yourself in some great 100 best lists, check out American Film Institute's 100 years... Click here.

Can you guess what's the #1 best movie quote? "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." The man's man, Clark Gable said it in GONE WITH THE WIND. Do you notice one important aspect of the quote? No exclamation mark. He didn't have to raise his voice to make a point.

And the best list on the same site is AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions. As the webpage said, "...Greatest Love Stories of All Time." Click here. Sadly 7 of the top 10 have unhappy endings.

I have two favorite quotes. One from the 1993 Tombstone...I'm your huckleberry. And one from Jerry Maguire...You had me at "hello."
What are some of your favorite movie quotes?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What Kicks Your Pants?

A while back, I made a decision to be a writer. Not "in a few years," not "when I'm published," not "someday."

But I knew I needed a swift boot to the backside to get me moving. Last year, I entered contests, and that was great. Only problem: The first 25 pages of my manuscript are absolutely pristene. The remaining 225 pages suck.

So I'm trying something different this year and ramping it up a couple of notches. I've joined the our chapter's Pot-O-Magic Challenge (see Barb Curry for more info if you want to join us!), I'm taking online classes, and I'm considering a personal pledge of "100/100" (100 words a day for 100 days).

Do you need a kick in the pants? What would do the trick?