Sunday, December 30, 2007


In a flurry of writing and a grand total of 22 pages for the day, I have finished the first draft of my tween novel.

Lots of revising to do, of course, but it is so nice to have completed the first draft. Now for the celebration!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Holiday Season in Pictures

I've had a very busy holiday season, which is probably why I am not finished with my fiction to do list. Here are a few pix of what I've done:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Festival of Lights at the Grotto

The Nutcracker Suite at the Oregon Ballet Theater

Eggnog with Dh on Christmas Eve

Tree trimming party with friends

Hot buttered rums with family after my birthday dinner

We also went to midnight mass at a catholic church for the first time ever!

No wonder I didn't get enough writing done!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Best Christmas Present Ever!

My wonderful husband gave me a gift that made me cry... He had the cover flat to Read My Lips professionally matted and framed to put up in my office. How sweet and thoughtful is that? I can't believe I didn't notice it was missing! Here it is:

Isn't gorgeous????

Hope you are all having a lovely holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday and I won't be crying.

Well, actually tomorrow is my birthday,but will be too busy to blog. Too many Christmas and birthday festivities to attend.

Today I have to finish Christmas errands, go the the Nutcracker Ballet with my Mom (with the Oregon Ballet Theater, woot!)Go to a Christmas gig tonight, Go out to coffee with my best friend tomorrow (hint hint... come on Ann, you knkow you want to) and go out to the family birthday dinner tomorrow night.

Then all church and family holiday stuff until Christmas. Have a wonderful few days people. I know I will!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So close...

Within striking distance of Spell's finish. I think I have four more chapters according to the desperate-end-of-the-book-outline I drew up to help me make sure everything comes together.

Then revising, of course.

What else? I'll be blogging over at Teen Fiction Cafe. The topic is current events and I have a hot button issue to tackle.

My 2k8 group is on the verge of launching their website... This is one talented group of people! Our year is almost here. Will post when it comes up.

The only thing I have to do is make fudge and my holiday duties are pretty much over till the actual day. I am taking my 91-year-old dad shopping today. Don't know where he wants to go, but it should be a riot. Maybe I'll take him to Hot Topic just for ducks...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Twelve Things that Make Me Happy

Okay, I'm better. Well, those twelve things are still haunting me, but I do have the power to ignore them. So let's try the twelve things that make me happy this holiday season.

1.My husband. Sure, he's an anal retentive little perfectionist, but he does laundry, has a great job, keeps the cars running, makes lists of all the supplies we need, cooks several times a week, and absolutely adores me. I'll keep him.

2.My teens. Neither of them do drugs, smoke, have sex, or engage in any other illegal activity. They both report in on a regular basis, come home on time (for the most part) have good friends, do well in school (except for math, but that's my fault... both nature and nurture:), care about other people, and tell me they love me everyday. And even at eighteen and almost seventeen, not a day goes by that they don't hug me or seek out some kind of loving physical contact with their mama.

3. I SOLD A BOOK! To a major publisher! (A fiction book, because I have already sold two nonfiction books.)

4. I make money writing!

5. Both my Mom and Dad are alive for another Christmas. My dad is 91 and my Mom had a brain tumor and lung cancer this year, so that makes me very happy!

6. I own a home in one of the most expensive counties in the US and we have managed to hang onto it for almost ten years now! (I won't think about how it's falling down around our ears and everytime we go to do something, the water heater goes out or the furnace blows or...)

7. I am fairly healthy except for a reoccuring health problem, being a bit overweight, having high cholesterol, acid reflux, an on again, off again love affair with nicotine and a thyroid problem. Oh, piss it. I'm a mess. A veritable walking time bomb. But I am alive and much better off than many people.

8. My hubby and I are going back to the Sandlake Country Inn bed and breakfast at the end of January for three days! And they saved the very last bottle of our favorite, special vintage, pinot noir for us!

9. I have some fantastic friends and critique partners... They not only make me a better writer, they make me a better person.

10. Mrs. Annie-- my best friend doesn't even cover the relationship we have now. More like sisters without the messy family connection... which is good cause we can bitch about one another's family and have only sympathy.

11. I am a far better writer than when I first started in a critique group with Kristen Painter. She and the others in the group whipped me into shape. Now that I have gone on to other groups, I am always thankful for the advice she gave me.

12. A sense of humor. Where would I be without the ability to laugh at myself? To laugh at my mistakes and my weaknesses? If you only laugh at others and not yourself, you run the risk of becoming self important. Then you get bitter and twisted because others don't pay homage to how important you are. I've done things so catastrophically stupid, it boggles the mind. I have to laugh, because that's all that's left:)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Twelve Reasons for Stress

Reasons I am stressed even though I am not working on any nonfiction deadlines:

1. Health stuff reared it's ugly head again.
2. I haven't started the Christmas cards.
3. The outside Christmas lights haven't been put up yet.
4. I can't sleep at night. I wake up about 2AM and end up getting up because I can't fall back to sleep.
5. I'm not done with my MG book yet.
6. Someone just sold their debut MG book for a huge amount of money. We're talking $200,000-$500,000.
7. My best friend is having trouble with the girls and since she took them for me when Mom came up with lung cancer, I feel like I should take them more, but just can't. (See number 1 and 4.)
8.I haven't started on the proposal I'm doing with my son yet and I wanted to get that done over vacation.
9. My main nonfiction client is now a part of the Disney online family and isn't taking assignments for January and I don't know what I will do if that income source dries up.
10. Neither of my teens have a job yet in spite of repeated looking.
11. Our washer is leaking and we have to buy a new one.
12. I haven't been able to make any significant progress on updating our home yet. Same old ugly kitchen, same 1970's windows and same chewed up bathroom floor.

Will someone please wake me up when my next book sells?

Monday, December 10, 2007


I am making some progress on fiction December!

My galleys are done and out.

I have written 4000 more words in SPELL and have plotted out the rest of the book.

My son and I had a brainstorming session and learned more about the book and what our roles will be. (That was interesting! Talk about two stubborn people butting heads!)

I also got a large portion of my Christmas shopping done, the Christmas tree up, the house decorated, (both thanks to my daughter Megan and her best friend Raines. see pix)

So things are going along swimmingly.

It's been a while sinc ei did a Monday To Do so here is one for ya:

Write in Spell
Plot out more on Exchanged

That's it!!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Arcs Came In!


They came in last night and I couldn't believe how beautiful they are, how lovely, etc. I was elated.

Then I was struck by a sinking feeling. This is real. My writing is going to be out there for the world to see and what if it sucks?

I mean, I almost had an anxiety attack... has anyone else ever felt like that?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Vacation from Nonfiction!

I finally did it. I am all done with my nonfiction articles until the new year. I was offered five assignments already and turned them all down, because December is all about FICTION!

Things I want to do in December:

Finish and Polish SPELL

Finish and return my galleys.

Work on EXCHANGED with my son.

Write the LOOKING FOR LAGUNA proposal.

Finish all work for my 2K8 group

Notice how that is all fiction?

Today was my first official day of vacation. I attended my RWA's chapter holiday party and then went from there to a family party. Tomorrow we are going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra! Yeah baby! Vacation is good. Now off to work on Spell for a bit tonight:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Recovering from Thanksgiving

We are still recovering from Thanksgiving and it's not what you think. Yes, we had an exceptionally good time-- the food was great, my relatives were on their best behavior and I polished off a bottle of wine while cooking, but it was the aftermath that did us in.

My daughter came home from a friends house feeling queasy which soon turned into uncontrollable spewing. She was so sick Friday night that I almost took her to the docotrs. If it wasn't for the fact that she is possibly the most whiniest person on the face of the earth (she faints over hangnails) I would have. Then my dh got sick Friday night. The second whiniest person on the face of the earth. Seriously.

Then my son came home Saturday after staying the night at a friends... sick as a dog. Turns out some of my relatives brought their sick baby with them as a little Thanksgiving hostess gift. I spent Saturday cleaning up after three sick people. Sharing the bathroom was interesting.

I came down with a mild case on Sunday night. Spent Sunday and part of Monday sick. Feel much better, though my stomach is still sensitive. Daughter is back to throwing up after feeling fine on Monday and Tuesday and son is relapsing too. Sigh.

The bad thing is that none of us ever want to see another Thanksgiving turkey dinner again. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

So we may have ham next year. LOL

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winner Announced!

The Winner Announced!

Hi all,

I had some great names entered in the Name My Newsletter contest. My minions and I chose the one that best describes me and the newsletter. The winner of the newsletter contest is...

(imagine drumroll here)

Melissa Walker!

The name of my newsletter is...

(more drum roll please)

So Very Teri!

This describes me to a T as my aim in life is to be as authentically me as I can, always.

You can sign up for the newsletter by sending an email to:

Thanks to all the entrants!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Time Management

I think I pretty much suck at time management. I'm horrible for putting things off. I'll think about doing something and then won't do it. Does that make me lazy? I'm really bad about keeping my prescriptions updated, my MRI appointments current and getting in for my blood tests when I need them. I'm really bad about making sure things go on the calendar, but I don't check the calendar every morning, so what does it matter? I've been putting off exercising so long my Nike's have spiderwebs across the top.

So how on earth am I going to learn how to manage a busy career? I have an article due today that I could have done yesterday, but I was having so much fun working on Spell and playing with the new Yahoo group that I just put it off. I have to fill in the gaps in my marketing plan and... well, you all know. It never ends, which is fine and what I signed on for, but still... I would like to be somewhat organized.

I generally make a weekly to do list that I keep on the desk, as well as my articles to do list and my tracking list to track when I invoice and get paid for articles. I would love to have a fiction list to track how many pages I write in an hour, but I don't have Excel and haven't made one in Works yet.

Does anyone have any tips? Do you work on email for so long and then close the program and write? Do you devote so long to promotions before or after writing?
How do you stay sane?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Yahoo Group!

Title: Fiction Writers Discuss Publicity
Description: This group is for contracted or published novelists to discuss publicity tips on promoting their books. Included will be branding, methods, how to create successful events, cross promotion and other publicity tips. This is not for spamming the list with book advertisements, but rather a place to brainstorm and get tips on promoting your book.

Sound good? Then join us! Send an email to:

See you there!

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Website!

This is my very own website! I am using this one for my YA and MG books... I figure my romance site will be under another name and won't need to have all the flashy stuff:)

Check it out at


Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Name Game

Okay, I have a CP. My most beloved of CP's who really makes me work for it, says the reason people are having trouble differentiating the voices of my two tween main characters is because their names are too similar. I don't think they are at all, but she is INSISTING.

So in spite of the deep regard I hold this CP in, I have to get more opinions. After all, she is asking me to change the names of one of my own children, halfway through their life!!!!

Their names are Cady and Addison.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Eighteenth to my Son

Yes, you have to go to class today. Welcome to adulthood, sport.

The following video is long, but worth it.

I love you, buddy. You have been a joy to raise and to know. I love the way you make everyone laugh. I love the way you think deep thoughts. I love the way you say out of the blue, "I love you, Mama." while sitting and watching TV. I love the way you love to read and write. I am excited to see what you do with the rest of your life.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Productive Weekend

I wrote 14 pages in Spell over the weekend! Am so excited as I have passed the halfway mark and am closing in on the end. Well sorta. But still enough to get excited over! It's coming very easy right now. Not that it always will, but hey, I'll take what I can get!

I have a couple of articles to do this week and have to finish the marketing plan for LIPS, but other than that will be working mostly on Spell. I need to put this one away.

My son and I have also been working on our book. Talked to my agent about it on Friday and she's really excited about the idea. Great concept:)It's kind of fun working on a project with my son... let's see how I feel about it halfway through the actual writing part.

Not sure when we are going to get that far though... am thinking of doing the proposal for my next Pulse book first. And then I have a HQ romance to write... sigh.

BUT... I am hoping that 2008 marks the last year of having to write nonfiction articles! Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Short YAYS!

Hey, all. I'm blogging over at teen fiction cafe today... check me out:) YAY teen fiction cafe!

I have written about 14 pages so far this week, cleaned up my bedroom (which means organizing my books) finished two nonfic articles, did a lot of fall yardwork, cooked both breakfast and dinner for my family all week, and took care of a lot of errands. YAY everyone being gone during the day!

I actually got the first advance check. YAY paying off bills!

My 17-year-old son and I are thinking of writing a book together. YAY family togetherness!

Monday, November 05, 2007

For the First Time Ever...

I'm going to be alone every day on a regular basis. To work. To write.

Because the dh and I made the decision to homeschool our kids till they were ruined beyond belief (You should hear my teen daughter rail against have to ask to go to the bathroom. My son, who chose college over highschool, is much happier with the transition:) I never really had that old fashioned, stick them on the bus relief. Then in the past year that they have been going to school, My dh was home cause he worked swing. So I was ready to seriously get down to work at 9:00 and he was up about 10:30-11:00. To say that my dh is noisy and disruptive is an understatment. He would leave for work at 2:40 and I picked up my daughter from the high school at 3:00.

But today, he starts days. From about 8:30, when DS catches a bus up to the college, to 3:00, I am on my own, working, writing. Everyday.

Since they all leave at different times, the morning crunch isn't really that bad.

So I have high expectations of myself to really get some writing done.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Promotional Angst

I've never written a promotional plan before. Not coming from the world of big business, (unless you call diapers, homeschooling and sippy cups big business)I had never really given promotions much thought. Now, of course, I am. There are several schools of thought out there concerning promotions for writers.

1. Do everything you can. The publishing houses are no longer doing it for you, so you have to be out there on your own, pitching your book, if you want to make a difference in your sales, and as we all know, big sales, is what you're after.

2.You can't make that huge of a difference so just write your next book and make it the best you can. This school of thought stems from not knowing for sure if any of your efforts are making a difference at all, so you should control what you can and make the next book great.

3. Do everything you can and write the next book. I think this is the one I am subscribing to.

I had a chance to talk to Jane Porter and Serena Robar at the Emerald City Conference. Jane is a promotional dynamo. She is personable, well-spoken, and smart. She's also lovely, which I think helps. Serena asked her if she thought book tours help. Jane is in the middle of a grueling book tour and said, yes, she believes it does. But it isn't the signings that make the difference, though Jane is all about making face to face contact with her readers. It's signing stock and making contact with booksellers. She makes sure her media escort(and yes, Jane now rates a media escort)takes her to four or five book stores in every city and she always remembers to send a thank you note after she's home. She also says that signings are much more successful if you can get a media appearance beforehand.

After Jane had to leave, Serena and I talked about the differences in promoting YA as opposed to adult books. It's hard to get young adults to attend an event. (Unless you are JK or Stephanie Meyer)So how can you reach them? Serena told me about the theory of hubs. There are people who know everyone, who have their very competent finger in every pie and still write fabulous books. If you don't have the temperament to be a hub, you want to know hubs. They will help you promote your book. You pay them back by promoting and buying theirs. Who are some hubs in the book world? Jane Porter--hub. Alesia Holiday also comes to mind. Jennifer Cruisie is another one. Though not published as yet(she will be!)Kristen Painter is another one. People who make things happen, know everyone and are genuinely giving of their time and knowledge.

So do you know any writing hubs? And who are the hubs who are specifically YA?

Monday, October 29, 2007

What I Learned at the Emerald City Writer's Conference

1. It is possible to ride the elevator up and down to your room on the tenth floor a dozen times in one hour.

2.Forgetting your promotional material is a very, very, very stupid thing to do.

3.If you find yourself (by chance) sharing gab and coffee with Julia Quinn, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Stella Cameron,(all at the same time) you quietly wipe your workshop schedule clean and DO NOT MOVE.

4. If you want to liven up a workshop presentation, take your husband. Elizabeth Boyle brought hers to help on project management and it wasn't only funny, it was fabulous. Especially when he asked a crowd of writers the same questions he'd asked his wife, "How many pages do you write an hour? How many do you write a day? How long does it take you to write a book?" You should have seen the freaked out, horrified, or just plain baffled looks on the faces around me. We no know!

5. It is possible to drink four cosmos and a glass of wine and still remain completely unfazed. Right?

6. Okay, this one is a little obscure because I can't name names or the blunder...but just be warned-- If you're sitting there at breakfast and a chapter mate (you know who you are) makes what seems like a perfectly reasonable little suggestion/challenge... walk away from the table. Have some more coffee. Take a deep breath and thank your lucky stars you escaped. I'm just saying.

7. Kerry Blaisdell makes the best roommate evah!

8. The Greater Seattle Chapter Rocks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This and That

Here's the bio I actually sent:

Teri Brown turned to writing in a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds. Fortunately, she's been successful, and her book, Read My Lips (Simon Pulse), stars a deaf girl who uses her amazing lip-reading ability to infiltrate the popular crowd, take down a secret sorority and tame the school rebel. Teri lives with her husband and children in a dilapidated 1969 ranch style house in Portland, Oregon

Still me but not quite as offensive:)

Am leaving tomorrow for Emerald City! YAY! My friend Kerensa and I are heading up and sharing a room. Am too excited. I plan on staying up too late, meeting up with friends, drinking too much and maybe even pitching an editor or two.

My friend, Kerensa, is also responsible for getting me tickets to see The Portland Opera's rendition of Cinderella! WOOHOO! I am taking my best friend as she has the girly girls and needs a break.

Writing wise... am having trouble with sources and that means I am not getting my articles doen on time. Fiction is going well and am developing a new concept for another romance. I know. I already have tons of ideas I need to work on, but the ideas keep coming!

What do you do with all your ideas?

Monday, October 22, 2007

My bio

I have to write a bio for my Class of 2k8 group. The bio is to try to lure conference coordinators and teachers to ask us to come talk. I read some of the other authors short bios(85 words or less) and was intimidated by all the degrees from fancy colleges. So here is my bio. What do you think? ;-)

Teri Brown is an uneducated mother of two with no real job skills. In a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds, she turned to writing. Fortunately, she was successful, and her book, Read My Lips, starring a deaf girl, will be out in 2008 from Simon Pulse. Brown lives, writes and drinks major quantities of alcohol in Portland, Oregon.

So? Send it?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sweat with Sven

So I decided to do the 70 day challenge with several hundred other writers. 750 to 1500 words a day. I can do that, right? I will be finishing up The Sister Spell to show my optimism that it's going to sell and sell soon. I reread the first three chapters and worked on four and five a bit and it's a good story. Funny, engaging and a bit different.

Of course, I'm taking on a lot more nonfiction articles right now, too. We really want new windows and a new kitchen. We've been here for ten years and it is time to invest a little money into the house. We decided on new windows for several reasons. One, it adds value to the home. Two, it will save us a ton of money in heat and three, we get a tax credit and we can use all the tax help we can get. We need to redo the kitchen because it's awful.

Now I just have to stop spending money.

I'm going out to dinner on Thursday with Jane Porter. She is awesome. Honest, funny and a grand author. She's in the middle of her book tour for Odd Mom Out and wants to relax with some fellow writers.

Then the weekend after I am going to Seattle for the Emerald City conference with one of my best friends. I am so looking forward to the break.

I'll stop spending money after that, okay?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

1200 miles

That's what the tripometer said by the tim e I had made it back home. I did all the driving. My Mom said she'd spell me, but at this point... um no.

So I came home exhausted, but happy because I have my next series romance all plotted out. Not sure when I will get started on it, but at least it's in my head.

I also got a bug on that 1200 miles because I was so sick yesterday I wanted to die. Mind-bending headache and upset stomach. I slept and slept and slept. This morning I'm going to cautiously say that I feel better. A little sore, but after all that time in the car and then lying down yesterday, that's to be expected.

Must work on tween book.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A long weekend

I'm taking off tomorrow with my mother and daughter to Spokane. It's about a six hour drive. Will be back on Sunday. Sigh. I'm sure I'll have fun, it's just... I have so much to do.

But the copy edits are finished and are winging their way across the country right now. And the book doesn't suck after all. That's nice to know, because in about eight months people will be reading it. Actually sooner, because the arcs will go out in January.

I'm enjoying the new fall season of TV. I know, I'm showing my PWT roots here, but I don't care. As far as new shows, I am LOVING Dirty, Sexy, Money. It looked so stupid and crass when I saw the previews, but it is incredibly well done. (Still crass but fun!) The Darling family: Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh, William Baldwin, and others, are all incredibly talented actors. They're basically nutcases who rely on Nick George, their family lawyer, to bail them out of all sorts of wacky and strange situations. The guy who plays the lawer, Peter Krause, is perfect. He has this inner sense of fun that peeks through, as in, "Isn't this whole concept absurd?" that absolutely makes the show. I love it and hope enough other people do too, so it doesn't crash and burn.

Okay, am off. I have two articles I want to finish today. Am trying to stay ahead so I can enjoy Emerald City in a couple weeks without having to worry about missing deadlines.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Copy Edits!

I got my copy edits. Wow, I had heard people talk about them and was so excited to see mine arrive. That is until I realized I wasn't sure how my editor wanted me to do them... make all the changes in the file and send it to her email and ship the original manuscript back, or mark the changes on the hard copy... so I wrote my editor and asked only to find that she had left for the weekend.


I sent a panicked email out to a couple of my lists and the answers ran the gamut. But one woman, also with Pulse, told me she did it all on the manuscript and so that is what I did all weekend. COnsidering that they are due on Friday and I am leaving on Friday, I was really hoping that was right. Got an email from my editor and YES! That was the right thing to do. So, hopefully, I will have them done by tomorrow and will be able to send them back.

And has anyone gone through copy edits and realized that their book sucked?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All is well

Email is back. I don't know how I existed without email.

I really have no writing news of note. Am meeting a fellow YA writer tomorrow for lunch. She is flying across the US for a job thing so I am going to rescue her from a particularly boring meeting.

Everything else is pretty boring. What kind of writer am I if I can't even add life to a blog?

A tired one who was woke up in the middle of the night by cat fights.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mahem! Madness!

I cannot get my EMAIL!


Did everything I could think of then called Verizon. Walked me through a gazillion things, tried to computer share, but that didn't work and then finally told me that they are updating the website with some new windows updates and to try tomorrow. TOMORROW!

I feel so alone. Oddly enough, a friend of mine from three miles away can get it and I can get it at my mom's house.


Everyone knows you can't really write without checking your email every few minutes! What am I gonna do????

Monday, October 01, 2007

A bit about me

Instead of my useless to do list, I thought I would write up an equally useless list of things about me! HA!

1:What I was doing 10 years ago:
Homeschooling my kids, moving into our first house.

2: What I was doing 5 years ago:
Fighting a brain tumor, dealing with the deaths of four loved ones and writing for real money. Had my first nonfiction book published.

3: One year ago:
Waiting for a call on my teen book, Read My Lips.

4: Yesterday: What did I do yesterday? LOL Went to Octoberfest with a friend. Cleaned out the linen closet.

5: Five snacks I enjoy:
M&M's, beer and peanuts, apples and peanut butter, Kettle Chips (honey mustard. The things should be banned!)

6: 5 Things I would do if I suddenly had $100 million:

Put together the splashiest marketing plan ever seen for Read my Lips. Send both my kids to college, remodel my house, write my next book over-looking the ocean in the South of France. Write the next book over-looking the canals of Venice.

7: 5 locations I would like to run away to:
France, Venice, The Sandlake Country Inn outside of Oceanside Oregon.

8: 5 bad Habits I have:

Capitalizing random words in a sentence, procrastinating, spending money I don't have, staying up too late then having to take a nap, not letting my teens finish a sentence before I get mad.

9: 5 Things I like Doing:
Writing, Reading, hanging out with my teens, playing pool with the dh, playing with my dog

10: 5 TV shows I like:
Desperate Housewives, Gray's Anatomy, House, The Biggest Loser, House Hunters

11: 5 Things I hate doing:
Missing a deadline, Dealing with PR people, Saying goodbye, Getting my picture taken

12: 5 Biggest joys of the moment
My husband, My kids, Selling a manuscript, Writing a book, Having coffee with Ann or Kerensa

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jane Porter's Odd Mom Out

I was lucky enough to score an ARC of this book a week before it came out and it's fantastic. I read it in two days. This is great for any mom who has ever felt intimidated by PTA volunteering, SUV driving, designer wearing moms. You know, those moms. It's an empowering, romantic and very, very smart book. Go buy it. Really, you're going to love it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Am so excited... I am now a part of Teen Fiction Cafe... Check out my first post at.... Okay, can't get the link to work. They are in the links to the right!
See you there!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Weekend Crush

Hmmmm. That's not actually a bad name for a title!

Went to the Deaf Nation conference on Saturday. I can say in all honesty and all respect that was the quietest conference I have ever been to! Lots and lots of signing though. Good experience for me. There were many people I couldn't talk to without an interpreter. I made some great contacts though and found out where deaf teens hang out:)

Sunday was the contest coordinator's meeting downtown, so I took the train into the city again. Met at a Thai place and got a lot of work done. I still have more this week, but I see the end of the tunnel in sight.

Yesterday had to take mom to the doctors for a procedure. She is fine and I think I'm done for a bit. The calendar says I have a teeth cleaning today, but I think that's next month. Have to check.

So now that I'm done with the running around stuff, I need to write. That comfortable padding I gave myself before deadlines is now gone. Long gone.


Now I just need to send it back. Add it to the list!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Had so much fun at the PNBA. Will upload pix later. Stayed with Roseanne Perry's sister and wonderful family in the Montlake area of Seattle. I also wanted to meet up with Sirena Robar and Shannon McKeldon for dinner, but I was a bit late on my planning and they couldn't make it in the narrow time frame I had. (Lesson, plan a bit further ahead than three hours)

Rossanne, Jennifer, Liz and I worked that conference! Liz signed arcs (her very first) and we met tons of booksellers interested in our group ande found many very excited about LIPS. I met and spoke with a marketing woman for like 30 minutes before we realized that I had worked with her clients on various articles for iParenting media.

Made some great friends like the mother/daughters team at Book Stop books in Hood River, Oregon who offered to take me out windsurfing for research for my next novel. Met several wonderful people in Washington excited about the event and want to do events.

Met my S&S rep and then... Met up with the wonderful Jane Porter! I had met her a couple of times, both in person and via email. I didn't know she was signing until the night before. It was wonderful. We managed to steal a few minutes away to catch up before we had to return to our duties. I got an arc of her latest work, Odd Mom Out and it has been wonderful.

Okay. Have to run. Author photo day. ACK.......

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Busy this Week

Crunch time.

Tuesday: finish article, pack, leave for Seattle. The Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Conference is going to rock. Wish me luck that I learn to gladhand and hand out all of my book promo postcards.

Wednesday: PNBA con. Keynote luncheon. Mingling.

Thursday: A few things in the morning and then the trip home.

Friday: Author photo shoot. Catch up on work. Make more postcards.

Saturday: Deaf Nation conference in Portland. More mingling and passing out postcards.

Sunday: Contest coordinators luncheon.

Monday: Take Mom to hospital to get procedure done.

Tuesday: Collapse and breathe.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last one, I promise

What's left...

Write personal vacations

Finish marketing plan

Get clothes for photos

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boring Blog Continues

If its in bold, its done.

Get anecdotal sources for first car accident
Write first car accident
Get expert sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Get anecdotal sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Write pregnancy and car wrecks
Get expert sources for taking personal vacations
Get anecdotal sources for taking personal vacations
Write personal vacations
Get expert sources for playground germs
Get sources for playground germs
Send Dash out

Finish marketing plan
Make postcard for booksellers
Get hair done for photos
Get clothes for photos
Get travel plan for booksellers fair together
Write out questions for everything
Organize and enter contest scores for Golden Rose (I’m the YA coordinator)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And Shrinking

If its in bold, its done. Note the most important thing on there... DASH IS DONE AND OUT!

Get anecdotal sources for first car accident
Write first car accident
Get expert sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Get anecdotal sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Write pregnancy and car wrecks
Get expert sources for taking personal vacations
Get anecdotal sources for taking personal vacations

Write personal vacations
Get expert sources for playground germs
Get sources for playground germs
Send Dash out
Finish marketing plan
Make postcard for booksellers
Get hair done for photos
Get clothes for photos
Get travel plan for booksellers fair together
Write out questions for everything
Organize and enter contest scores for Golden Rose (I’m the YA coordinator)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The List is Shrinking...

If its in bold, its done.

Get anecdotal sources for first car accident
Write first car accident
Get expert sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Get anecdotal sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Write pregnancy and car wrecks
Get expert sources for taking personal vacations
Get anecdotal sources for taking personal vacations
Write personal vacations
Get expert sources for playground germs
Get sources for playground germs
Send Dash out
Finish marketing plan
Make postcard for booksellers
Get hair done for photos
Get clothes for photos
Get travel plan for booksellers fair together
Write out questions for everything
Organize and enter contest scores for Golden Rose (I’m the YA coordinator)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Too Busy to Blog

Since I am leaving next week for Seattle (Booksellers Fair) for three days, and have my authors photo shoot the Friday after I get back, I probably won't be posting much as I have a ton of stuff to get done before that. So I am posting my busy busy list for the week.

Get anecdotal sources for first car accident
Write first car accident
Get expert sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Get anecdotal sources for pregnancy and car wrecks.
Write pregnancy and car wrecks
Get expert sources for taking personal vacations
Get anecdotal sources for taking personal vacations
Write personal vacations
Get expert sources for playground germs
Get sources for playground germs
Send Dash out
Finish marketing plan
Make postcard for booksellers
Get hair done for photos
Get clothes for photos
Get travel plan for booksellers fair together
Write out interview questions for everything
Organize and enter contest scores for Golden Rose (I’m the YA coordinator)

Thursday, September 06, 2007



If that didn't make sense it's because you're not in my brain. Those are my thoughts. A jumbled mass of oh my gawds, What have I dones, and there's just no bloody ways.

I know, it's surprising. I think I've bit off a bit more than I can chew. My to-do list is like that computer that counts Pi... it just keeps going and going. Or maybe that's the computer counting the stars? I don't know, just picture a big ass computer that counts forever.

I thought I was done with DASH, otherwise known as the 55,000 word book that wouldn't be finished.My wonderful CP (The fab writer Kerry)sent me the last three chapter pretty marked up but I powered through the final edits. Then I decided to read the book again to make sure there weren't any loose ends or dangling plot lines. There are. I have a list of about six I have to fix. Not going out this week either.

I had to ask for more articles. Need the money to help pay for another car. Yeah!
Hubby finds out today if we can afford to have dd on the insurance again. (Please God, please let us be able to afford it, I can't go back to driving them both everywhere again!)

On the good side, my fabulous agent LOVED my tween proposal and I am waiting to hear if I should do more or if the three chapters is enough. We'll see. But still... another thing on my to do list.

I have an all day workshop this Saturday... Mary Buckham will be teaching on pacing and sexual tension. (two half day workshops)

I am heading to the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Conference the week after... To promote both my book and the Class of 2K8. Am so excited!

Oh and the website is looking fab... Can't wait to launch it. Still have to prepare the content for it. Also need to finish the Marketing Plan for LIPS and send to the Trident Marketing guy who will give me ideas and tell me if I have missed anything. I want to launch everything October first!

Must make hair appointment to get hair highlighted and shined before my author photos, which are scheduled for the day after I get back from the booksellers show.I think losing thirty pounds before then is out of the question, eh? I'm excited to see how they turn out though, we're having them shot in Portland's Pearl District for an edgy/urban feel.

Oh oh, also... I am going to be blog guesting for the amazing Sara Hantz. She is having a blog party to celebrate the launch of her debut book, "The Second Virginity of Suzy Green." I will try to figure out how to Link to the website later... right now you can check it out by clicking on the Sara Hantz link in the list:)

Is it any wonder that my thoughts look like this: fjsajfhweiorthejdbfjsayekresjkfhdskjlafhdsajklfhdsajkfdhlsajkfhdsiaruyewf???

Sunday, September 02, 2007

YA Summer

I read a lot this summer.I had no idea how much until I went to do this blog. Check them out...

And these...

The pix don't include Revenge of the Homecoming Queen,

Or The Boys Next Door,

Or How to Ruin My Teenage Life,

Those books are currently on loan to my favorite teen reader in the world, Aziza!

My List:

Now and Zen by Linda Gerber
How to Ruin My Teenage Life, by Simone Elkeles
The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
Prom Crashers, by Erin Downing
The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney by Lauren Barnholdt
It's Not About the Accent by Caridad Ferrer
Lost It by Kristen Tracy
A Girl Like Moi by Lisa Barham
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale
Sweet Sixteen by Kate Brian
Private by Kate Brian

Great summer of reading!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hunting The Demon by Jaci Burton


I was lucky enough to get an arc of the second in Jaci Burton's Demon Hunter's series, Hunting The Demon.

Again I say, DUDE!

There are very few times where I have loved the second in the series more than the first, but this is one of those times. You think Derek from Surviving Demon Island was hot... Nic smokes on him. YUM! And Shay is a fabulous heroine-- smart, tough and vulnerable.

I think the action in Hunting the Demon is even more tautly written than in Surviving Demon Island, if you can believe that.

I loved getting to know the secondary characters better and can't wait for Angelique's and Ryder's story!

Bravo Jaci, for writing such a fabulous second installment of one of the hottest romance series I've ever read:)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Call You Don't Want to Get

It's every parent's nightmare and it happened to me yesterday. The phone rang and I picked it up.


I knew. The strangled cry, the terror, the emotion. "What's wrong?"

"I got into a car wreck! "

My first thought, was "She's making the phone call herself. It's going to be okay." My baby has been driving for three months and she is a great little driver. She's just an inexperienced driver. She rearended someone on Hwy 217 at 3:00 yesterday afternoon. It had been stop and go traffic, but she hit hard enough that both airbags deployed. It took me fifteen minutes to get there because traffic was piling up. She looked so little standing there listening to the policeman tell her what was going on and trying to fill out forms.Everyone involved in the accident (three other cars) was very nice to her, but I will never forget the relief on her face when I finally got there.

She cried on and off yesterday evening. We don't know what's going on with our new car. It's painful to watch your children grow sometimes. But maybe feeling a little less safe will make her a little more cautious.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Home Away from Home: The Sandlake Country Inn

I didn't want to come back.

Now I know that's always what people say when they come home from a particularly scrumptious vacation, but I mean it.

I didn't want to come back.

And why should I? It felt like home. The kind of home you always dreamed of having, but just don't have the time to make for yourself. At my new home they provided me with matching fuzzy socks instead of mismatched socks with holes in the toes. I had a giant jacuzzi tub for two instead of a tub that you, well, you don't bathe in it. It had a dining room, but no kitchen. A gas fireplace that you flicked on instead of having to construct yourself in an old woodstove. A cookie jar full of homemade gourmet cookies instead of one that hasn't seen cookies in ten years. Instead of running to the store at 1:00 am to buy a bottle of wine that could fuel a semi, they provided you with a selection of wine the God of grapes himself would appreciate. I slept in a feather bed instead of one held together underneathe with a bungi cord. The dishes matched. There was always a silver coffee service with fresh steaming coffee at my door in the morning instead of having to stumble out to the kitchen to make it myself. I listened to classical music instead of the wall of sound that comes from my teens bedrooms.

And best of all, it had a wonderfully attentive, relaxed and happy husband instead of a harried, mean, old grouch.

I remember the guy I met on vacation. He's the one I married. Heck, he's the one I love!

So we are going back for our anniversary in December. Back home.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank you all!

This is a blanket thanks for all the cover kudos. I am going to try to thank you all personally, but don't know if I will get to everyone before I take off for our romantic getaway.

Of course, at the moment I would rather drown the dh than romance him. He found out about an unusually high cell phone bill from the son WE TOLD to get off the phone. (One of his North Dakota friends.) Son didn't and now we owe verizon several hundred dollars. I don't blame dh for getting angry... cell phones have cost us a lot of money over the years, though as my son pointed out as we took his phone away, that is usually the daughter's fault not his. However in a state of anger, he asked me if we could get the money back on the Bed and Breakfast. "No," I told him sweetly. "But if you like, I have a couple of dear friends, I could take in your place."

So much for romance.

Other than that, I have been busy taking care of my dad. My dad is 91 and tells the most awesome stories. Yesterday, he told me that when he was a kid, he had a friend who was into crystals and circuits and stuff... I guessed by the story that it wasn't crystals as we know crystals, but rather having to do with radio. Anyway, the friend told dad what to do. Dad had a pair of earphones his uncle had given him. (the uncle had found some kind of old walkie talkie communicator) He climbed as high on the roof as he could and attached the wire to it and ran it down into the house. Then he pulled it through the window. After playing with the headphones, crystal and wire he actually got a baseball game on the radio. This was the first time his family had ever recieved radio in their home. His dad said, "Oh, you did not!" Took the headphones and listened to the whole game. The next evening he asked dad if he could get that baseball game again. LOL! Several weeks later my grandfather went and charged a real radio.

Can you imagine the changes my dad has seen... he was raised in rural Washington and they had horses working the farm years after tractors were invented because the family couldnt afford one. Amazing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Isn't it simply gorgy???

Another little secret...

I got the final cover for LIPS!

Am waiting to show everyone until I get the word from up high that I can make it public.

But I love it, love it, love it!

Spell is out the door. Dash is being worked on. Articles going swimmingly. Not much else to report.

Countdown to romantic trip alone with hubby: 6

Monday, August 13, 2007

Plea for help...

I need someone to read/crit/judge three Golden Rose young adult entries. Anybody? Anybody? Anybody?


Spell isn't quite done, but almost. I started on Chapter 11 of Dash and it is going well. I have three articles due this week. I sucked on the query challenge last week. I have nine days until my romantic weekend for two. (with hubby)I have a lot to do before then. Should I take my laptop? No, probably not. Hee.

I'm outtie (more teentalk)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Way I Talk...

I have a problem...

I write for teenagers. I live with teenagers. I read YA books.

So naturally.... I talk like a teenager! Does anyone else have this problem? Their YA voice spilling into other things? I answered an email the other day with "I would so totally do that!"

I say "Not!" "Would you chill?" or even "Chillax!" (A combination of relax and chill.) I have used "As if," in a conversation. I have said, "I'm outtie" and "Okay, let's bounce," when I am taking off to go somewhere.

I refer to young love as their crush or they are crushing. Kissing or making out, I call macing (Not sure how it's spelled but it has a short a.)

Isn't there a 12 step program somewhere to help me? I am Forty(mumble mumble)two (mumble mumble) years old... It sounds ridiculous!

Or maybe I am just really immature inside! HA! Maybe when I started writing YA I was just releasing my inner teen.

Peace out!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

You Had Me At Halo!

Holly Evans has just seen her own body laid to rest. If it had been up to her, she wouldn’t have chosen that particular polyester dress for the event. Still, she could live with that (so to speak), if it guaranteed a quick jump to Level 3 of the afterlife, which she hopes will feature both reruns of Friends and reunions with long-lost loved ones.

But Holly has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Yes, she drowned in her bathtub under suspicious circumstances, but she did not kill herself. Holly had too much to live for, from her recent promotion to taking the next big step in her relationship. Okay, her life had a few loose ends, but whose doesn’t?

Holly's heavenly shrink isn’t buying it. He says she has to return to earth to straighten things out. The thing is, she’ll need to borrow someone’s body to do it—and the body in question belongs to none other than computer geek Vince Murphy. Oh, and although Vince was supposed to have vacated the premises, he apparently never got the memo.

Now, Holly has forty-eight hours to resolve her issues while sharing arms, legs, and...other things...with a guy she barely noticed while she was alive. But the real surprise is what life has to offer when you have only two days to live it...

I must so get this book!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Incorporating romance in your life

My son is away to camp and dd is staying the weekend with friends. Time for a little romance with hubby. I write romance, but have noticed there isn't much romance in my life. I need to not only fuel the muse, but fuel the romance, as well. So I decided to make a romantic dinner for two. The last time I did this, the kids were small. Back then, I surprised him after work(he works swingshift so the wee ones were in bed)with a bubble bath, wine and bread sticks dipped in welsh rarebit. It was fun. Then I guess I got busy because we really haven't done anything since.

Until last night.

He had to work six hours so I planned it for after work, which worked out better because it was dark and cool out on the terrace(it's really a patio, but this is supposed to be romantic.)

I strung Christmas lights up around the picnic table umbrella, covered the table with lace and added fresh flowers and candles. On the menu:

Thick cut pork chops baked with apples and onions
Three cheese risotto
Fresh corn
A small scoop of icecream with a shot of expresso poured over it

When he finally got home, he changed out of his workboots and into slippers. When I led him out onto the patio/terrace, he actually teared up. Said he felt like Jimmy Stewart when he comes home after the run on the savings and loan and his new wife had fixed up the old manse to resemble their honeymoon destinations.

How could you not love a guy like that?

It was a perfect night. And yes, we did talk about the kids. LOL

Unfortunately, I'm still on pain meds for my leg and after two glasses of wine, he had to put me into bed... and not in the romantic way, in the my wife is going to passout, she's so tired way:) He even went and found me a nightgown and put medicine on my poor leg. Now that ladies and gentlemen, is romance.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Don't Try This At Home

Okay, I was going to upload a pix, but thought that would just be gross. In an effort to prepare for my author photos I have been walking from two to five miles a day. Yesterday, I thought I would head to old town to check out the antique shops before heading home. I jogged across the steet and my feet, being sometimes unwilling to do what my brain tells them to, went out from underneath me and I fell forward, sliding across the pavement. I now have about a ten inch patch of roadrash across my shin and the side of my leg.

Can you spell klutz? I knew you could.

In other news, I found the photographer who will be doing my author photos. Kind of spendy, but... I will get a decent package and won't ever have to do this again.

In other, other news... I wrote over a thousand words in SPELL yesterday and am almost done with chapter three! YAY. Then I will polish the heck out of it and send to my agent. Hopefully, she will love it and I won't have to finish it before we sub it.

Crossing my fingers and popping another pain pill.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Sister Spell

My biggest accomplishment over the weekend? Over 4000 words on THE SISTER SPELL! I am almost finished with chapter two. How's that for mind-blowing? I had nothing on Friday and by Monday morning I have 4000. I also managed to help Dh clean the garage, and walk about two hours.

Oh, oh, oh... Dh and I met friends for pizza at the Flying Pie. If you are ever in Portland, Oregon, you must stop there. Best pizza evah. Then we went downtown to a comedy club. I had never been. What a blast. It was so much fun. I love to laugh. Once the kids are gone and money is a regular thing... I want to do that more often. So, so fun.

Anyway, busy week ahead of me. I decided to put DASH away for a wee bit and get the first three chapters of SPELL finished.

I also have several articles to work on and I'm still doing the query challenge. So this weeks to do:

Get expert article sources for robotics
Get anecdotal sources for robotics
Send out questions for robotics
Get experts for CPP
Find anecdotal sources for CPP
Send out questions for CPP
Get 25 points for the query challenge
finish chapter two of SPELL
Finish rough of chapter three of SPELL

Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is where I'm Going!!!!!!

As many of you know, I've had quite the spring/summer. What many of you don't know is that my dh and I haven't been away together in almost ten years. We have always spent the money on our children. Yesterday, I made reservations for the SandLake Country Inn on the beautiful Oregon coast. This is the suite we will be staying in:

I am so excited... Our suite takes up the entire second floor of the house... four rooms. And the house has a fantastic history... It is built from a load of timbers from a shipwreck in 1894. This is what it says on the website: (

"At Sandlake Country Inn , we combine personalized service and privacy with amenities that you would expect to find at a luxury hotel. Your suite is fresh and comfortable, and you will be pampered with luxurious bubble baths, soaps, lotions, robes, jacuzzi spa tubs, fireplaces and much more. Imagine relaxing in your double Jazucci tub for two, then enjoying your sumptuous four-course breakfast while sitting in front of your own fireplace. It's a little slice of heaven!"

And this!

"During their stay at the Sandlake Country Inn Bed & Breakfast, guests may enjoy hummingbirds, hot spiced cider, roses, chess, romance, Mozart, fireplaces, deer, cookies at midnight, and a canopy of stars. We now are featuring our special home roasted coffee!" Another picture:

My Dh even told me to order the togetherness basket! "Come together over our now famous romantic picnic basket for two in a returnable hamper. You choose the perfect setting and we'll supply everything else for a memorable interlude (please order at least 24 hours in advance). Basket includes choice of smoked salmon (sliced turkey or roast beef can be substituted), hot soup, potato or macaroni salad, fruit, Tillamook cheddar cheese, fresh hot French baguette, Martinelli sparkling cider and Harry & David chocolate truffles."

We are spending two days there... I am so excited. I have a month to wait and then we are there. How will I ever get any work done???

Monday, July 23, 2007

When to Quit

When do you give up on a book?

I am struggling with my revisions of DASH and seriously considering setting it aside for a while. Maybe a long while. My mentor basically says there is no shame in that. Sometimes it is better to start a new book then waste time working on a book that isn't, well, working.

On one hand, I really hate doing that because I have an editor who requested a full. A different editor requested a partial, but I haven't heard anything. Of course, it's only been about four months and I've heard that HQ can take forever. I really love the story too...but I'm frustrated with it. It sucks to be over 3/4 of the way done with it and have it start to unravel. My agent isn't that enthused about the project, but is, however, seriously excited about the MG outline I sent her. (The reason I'm working on it without agent seal of approval is that I was between YA projects and have always wanted to break into series romance. My agent is okay with that.)

So here I am. Wondering if my time would be better spent elsewhere, right now. My agent would like to go out with the new proposal in September. I would like that too. On the other hand, I can't break into series fiction unless I get something out there. Of course, if it sucks, I can't break in anyway!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Weekend Ho!

This week I:

Finished and turned in the revisions on LIPS
Edited and polished chapter nine of DASH
Gathered sources for article due Monday.
Sent out 21 pitches and Letters of Introduction to various and sundry magazines.
Got into the 2K8 group YAYAYAYA! (More on that later.)

Damn productive if you ask me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Revenge of the Homecoming Queen!

So this is me, drowning my sorrows over nationals in a fab book, Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by super writing buzz girl, Stephanie Hale. She is my agent sistah and friend, so go buy her book... will let you know how wonderful it is when I finish it!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Color Me Envious

Of all those who went to nationals. I'm talking grinding my teeth with envy here. I think I even shed a little tear on Friday night when I heard that my cyber friend Trish, won the GH and my other cyber friend Barb, won a Rita for Best Contemporary Single Title romance. (Adios to my Old Life) And that's a Young Adult book, baby! I just wish I could have been there for the drinking, I mean, business opportunities. (Insert big sigh here.)

That's all I'm saying. And if anyone wants to send free books my way to ease the pain, (because I have heard that you all get slammed with books)just email me off list for my address.

(And no, this isn't a big fat ruse to get free books, this is real pain. Snicker. I mean sob)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day in the life or Procrastination at its Finest

I get up this morning around eight. Way later than I usually get to the computer, but it's been too hot to sleep. So anyway, I have three things that need to be done this weekend. 1. The last few revisions in LIPS. 2. Chapters nine and ten in DASH and 3. An article for my main client.

I get to my computer and I have an email from a magazine that I would love to add to my client list. They liked the pitch, wanted clips. YAY! I know immediately which clips to send that would showcase the type of work I would be doing for them. Look through computer files. Can't find it. Break out the old floppies. Can't find it. One of the floppies, (the one I think it's on), freezes my computer every time I click on the file, causing me to reboot every single time. I do this three times. I've only had one cup of coffee. So I go through my hard copy clips. Can't find it. Run to the filing cabinent in the garage where my magazine clips are. Can't find it.

Breathe. Look up magazine online to see if they have archives. Nope. More coffee. I have now spent almost three hours of my work time looking for a single clip. I quickly find the other article I had in mind to send them. I call the magazine. Can they send me a copy? Yes. Thank god. Next week. Damn itttttt.....

Notice that the file with my hard copy clips in it is atrocious. Clean out file. Then notice next file has all sorts of weird stuff in it. Clean out that file. And on and on and on.

I am now surrounded by a sea of wadded up paper and have not even started one single thing on the list of things I have to get done this weekend.

Nationals, take me away.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Because of recent events (mother with cancer, book sellage)and future events (aging and author photo) I have decided that enough is enough and I need to do something about my health. My many year struggle with cigarettes is for the moment being won and it is time to fix the rest of me,namely, my butt, waist, upper arms, and cholesterol level.

I decided on the mediterranean diet because this was the closest to what I have done in the past to lose weight. Basically, lots of fruits and veggies, olive oil on everything, little meat and best of all, wine with dinner. On this wonderful diet I not only lost six pounds last week, but have found that I actually like to cook if it isn't fried meat and potatoes. the texture and flavors of cooking with fresh veggies, fresh herbs and olive oil is soooo fun! Last weekend, I made world class minestrone soup. I've experimented with pasta in creating fresh healthy non meat meals and made some that could be served in a restaurant. (yes, we still eat meat, but are trying to cut back)

I think the best thing though has been discovering how well wine goes with food. I know, it boggles the mind. Now I've had wine with food before, but I have never thought about what kinds of wine go with what foods... turns out merlot... goes great with strongly flavored mediterranean food. And cheese. I know, I know, there is a whole culture dedicated to wine and food, but somehow I missed it. Now I really know what they are talking about. Kind of makes your tastebuds salute your lips when the meal is finished.

On the docket for this week, finish revisions on LIPS and turn into editor. Finish two more chapters in DASH. Write an article and send out a slew of LOI's and queries:)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Is the Week Over Yet?

I hate when holidays fall in the middle of the week... I get all discombobulated. (Or however you spell that)

The mojitos were fantastic. Had a huge fresh vegetable platter, courtesy of my SIL and a huge fresh fruit platter, from my Mom and I cannot believe how much fruit and veggies three teen girls can eat! You'd think they have never eaten fresh food before... I'm like, "Hello!!!! I tell you all the time to have a peice of fruit!" I guess there is a difference when the pineapple/strawberries/raspberries/radishes/cauliflour, etc., is all cut and laid out for you. My mom made potato salad and even though it was good, everyone mostly just ate grilled chicken, fruits and vegetables. But the most of the veggies and fruits had been bought fresh from local farmers, so they were extra tempting.

Everyone took off and went to the local high school for the fireworks... except for me. I pretty much decided that I was too happy, full and satisfied to go someplace crowded, so I waved goodbye and watched the neighbors set off theirs.

So now I am supposed to get back to work? I don't think so! Dropped the girl off at dance camp this morning, have the wee foster girls for the afternoon and pick up my son at the airport this evening. Maybe I'll get some work done tomorrow!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Eyebrows and Trader Joes

No to do list this week. I think my friends find them as boring as I do. So I will talk about my weekend... which basically was a giant waste of time. I didn't write on Saturday. Like at all. I went to Trader Joes to get some vino, protien bars, pasta and various and sundry others. Not sure what all. I do love me some Trader Joes, though.

Yesterday, (when I was supposed to make up for Saturday with major bichok) I ran to the mall and picked up two work out shirts and got my eyebrows done.

Today is nothing but Bichok. Have to finish DASH, LIPS, send out four queries and finish one article this week. Plus our fourth of July BBQ to prepare for. Gawd, I hope there's going to be a a lot of Mojitos. Wait, it's my party. Snicker, oh yeah. Lots of Mojitos.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Snapping my fingers

Doing the happy dance around the living room. Snapping my fingers, waving my arms, wiggling my booty. (Sorry for the visual) Why? Cause I got my first ever revision letter!) And, and, and, I have the bestest editor evah! She gets the book, really gets it and her suggestions are dead on accurate.

I know I only have a few short weeks to get it in. I know I have to finish DASH. I know I have to keep up in the query challenge to drum up more nonfiction... but right now I am reveling!

This business rocks, people.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Weekly To Do

yeah, yeah, I know. To do lists are boring, but I have to blog about something besides the post coital horror my characters are undergoing... you know that point in the book where they have sex and yet you have to sustain conflict? LOL Love the term:)

As you can see from the list that working on DASH is going to take up most of my week. I think I'll have my revision letter by the end of the week, as well. Not to mention I joined a query challenge to drum up more nonfiction work than I usually get... higher paying gigs:) Like most people I want to work less for a lot more money. I'll let you know how it goes!

My list

Write What’s Next
Rewrite teen article
Get sources for two articles
Make out questions for experts
Rewrite eight
Rewrite nine
Rewrite ten
Study markets
Write and send six queries

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Beyond Busy

Yep, that's me. Been sitting here at the computer for days except for time off to water my yard and play scrabble with my teenager. DASH is... coming along. I have some great CP's. I'm also thinking of sending it to an editor I know who has a part time critiquing business... She's fabulous, published, knowledgable, and reasonably priced.

Just a thought.

Hopefully, I will be able to finish with eight and nine today. I have one more article to do, but think I'm going to put it off for another day. I don't have much time to blog but wanted to leave you with a few thoughts.

1. Amanda Ashby wonders why books don't write themselves. I looked at chapters eight and nine and decided that they must write themselves, because I certainly couldn't have written such crap!

2. Coffee and M&Ms are the breakfast of writing champions. I have heard it was true, but never believed it. Now I know just how long they'll sustain you.

3.An hour of yard work can completely remove the aches from six hours of sitting in a chair. Plus, it's productive. Who knew?!!

Monday, June 18, 2007


So like I just decided to put DASH away for a while because it was frustrating me and I get a request for a full. Merde!

I spent most of yesterday plotting a fab tween story I had an idea for and then woke up to an email from a coordinater for the Gotcha contest saying that Susan Litman wants to see the full. And this from 15 pages of manuscript. So I must put everything aside and get this sucker out the door. Trouble is, it is SO not ready. But that's what I get from entering a contest when the manuscript isn't polished yet! It's done, it's just crap.

So guess what I'm going to be doing for the next week or so? How long can I wait before sending without her losing interest? I haven't received the critique package yet, the coordinator said today or tomorrow. What do you think?

Still have two articles to get out the door this week and one for the first week of July. isn't life just amazing?


Thursday, June 14, 2007

To Market To Market

Once the book is sold a writer's mind natuarally turns to things like marketing. How can a writer help to ensure that their publisher will want to buy another book and another one? How can they ensure that the reader will buy another one and another one. Because frankly, you get the reader on board with you and you got the publisher. So number one would be write a good book. Number two would be write a good book.

Got that. Understand it. But this is a business and the business is to sell books. How do I help sell my book? I need to put together a marketing plan. Anyone have a marketing plan they'll sell for cheap?

Actually, come to think of it, I could use a template some kind. Or perhaps just a road map. Something to help me take the ideas I have floating around in my head and organize them on paper in a way that doesn't look uber stupid. Because these things just keep whirling around in my mind... website, group blog, database, launch parties...

I don't have enough room in my head for all that. I still have more writing to do.

So if any of you have any ideas on how to organize my marketing ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekends End, Road Trip, Strange Dream and Monday's To Do

What do you get when you combine a 91-year old man with I am never satisfied syndrome, a 71-year-old woman with cancer, a two year old wwf wrestler, a three-year old with whyitus, a sixteen year old girl with an I don't want a relationship right now bug up her arse, another sixteen year old lovelorn boy who is devoted for life (with the aforementioned girl), a seventeen year old with a four page final essay due in writing, one stressed out husband and one slightly tipsy wife?

A family bbq at the Browns!

And fun was had by all. Viva le vino!

Which will put me in a prime mood for a road trip tomorrow! Shirley Karr (What an Earl Wants, A Kiss from a Rogue and Confessions of a Viscount) and I will be traveling tomorrow to see our sister writers in the Emerald City! (Seattles Eastside RWA chapter) I think Shirley has a book signing or a workship at the meeting tomorrow night and wanted the company. Since some of my bestest friends and agent sistahs are from that chapter, I'm going along for the ride! Shannon McKeldon (Venus Envy) is going to pick me up at the mall (which one has yet to be determined) and we are going out to dinner with other writers! YAY! Because Shirley has an abnormal love for all things pirate (the pirate scenes in her books are fab!) we will be stopping at a ship wreck somewhere. I CAN'T WAIT!

I had a very strange dream last night. I was following a pair of shoes through the sand. No, it wasn't on a beach, it was in a large gym and the shoes were moving by themselves.(What's really strange is that the shoes weren't even a matching pair!) They disappeared into the sand which turned out to be quicksand. To get them back I had to hangout in the large concrete bunker and have a garage sale. When we tried to leave, we discovered that we couldn't fit all the stuff in the truck. To get everything into the truck, I had to lead a group of children through another maze which morphed into a haunted house.

Me thinks I should abstain from the vino!

And finally, Mondays To Do!

Send DASH sex to a writer freind who said she would look at it for me.
Revisions on chapters six and seven of DASH
Check out website designers
Write adoption after birth
Write constipated babies (don't ask)
Get sources for perineum
Join query race (for nonfiction)
Study some markets and target queries for those markets

What's on your to do list for the week??

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tag Trauma and After Sale Let Down

My editor shot down my tag line suggestion. She said it made the book sound too much like a thriller. I can see that. So I am giving you some different tag lines to see what you think. Here's the marketplace blurb.

Young Adult Teri Brown's READ MY LIPS, in which a deaf skater chick moves to a new school and uses her amazing lip reading ability to infiltrate the popular crowd, bust up an exclusive secret sorority, and tame the school rebel, to Caroline Abbey at Simon Pulse, in a nice deal, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (world).

Read my lips (just don't read my mind). (Thanks, Tina for this one.)

Reading lips has never been so much fun.

There are no secrets to a lip reader.

Even when you whisper she knows your secrets.

School gossip isn't safe anymore.

Or how about this one Cindy just sent me?

Some secrets are just too good not to share

Anything? Help me brainstorm people:)

On another note... Has anyone else sold a book and then had trouble getting back into the writing mode? maybe it's just the problems I'm having with DASH, but I haven't so much as opened the file all week. Is this some sort of post first sale trauma?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What's Wrong with this Scene?

I have three scenes in DASH that are not working out well.I get comments from my Cp's like... This is, um, better, but...

That's always frightening. Maybe I'll work on nonfiction today and let them sit. Scary that the book is already written, but I can't seem to get past chapters five and six in the revisions.

Still waiting on help for the tag line. What do you think about Watch what you say... you never know who might be reading your lips. ??? Thoughts anyone?

And congrats to Diana Peterfreund who had a blurb in Publishers Marketplace the same day mine was in. She sold a YA book called Rampant, about killer unicorns. Yeah, I can't wait either!

Waiting for my daughter to finish my My Space. Will friend you all once I am done.

Then on to getting a website. Do I really have to spend a thousand dollars to get a good one? YIKES!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

More fun to come and you must read...

Thank you everyone for the congrats and good wishes on my book sale. I could spend an hour writing about how amazing this is and how I wanted to write novels ever since I read Little Women in third grade, but that would be boring. I needed to send my agent a one liner about the book and this is what I came up with:

A deaf skater chick moves to a new school and uses her amazing lip reading ability to infiltrate the popular crowd, bust up an exclusive secret sorority, and tame the school rebel.

Pretty cool, huh? Now I'm thinking about a tag line. Something catchy that I can put on all my signatures. Something like: Watch what you say- you never know who might be reading your lips. Or something like that... Any ideas?

I met my editor yesterday. She called and introduced herself on the phone and I just lurve her. I can't wait to get the revision letter. She says it should be here in about three weeks, which only leaves me about five weeks to get the revisions done and sent back to her.

And now... for the book you must read... STRAY by Rachel Vincent. Go. Get. This. Book. Now. It is so incredible that I read it in two days and then couldn't touch my TBR pile because I kept thinking about the book. So I picked it up and started reading it AGAIN! I have never done that with any book. It's amazing and sexy and filled with tiny revelations of a world I knew nothing about. And don't try to tell me werecats don't exist because I know they do! I can't even imagine the thrill of excitement Miriam Kriss must have felt when she started reading this book. No wonder an auction ensued. It's that good, people. And it has the greatest cover ever. Check it out.

Isn't it the most fab cover ever??

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Secret Revealed... Honest!


Read My Lips has been acquired by Simon and Schuster's YA line Simon Pulse. Eight months after it had been subbed! Eight months! Michelle Nagler left and Caroline Abby, who replaced her, happened to come across the manuscript and loved it!!!

So I am officially a contracted author!!

Must go celebrate by doing more yard work! Spring waits for no woman, even a contracted author!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And the Secret Is....

I'M PREGNANT! .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

NOT-- I'm just fat (wink)

Actually, just got the word that the secret cannot be revealed until next week. Because of some damn holiday or another.

Holiday? What holiday?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I should be able to reveal the secret today or tomorrow. I thought it would be sooner, but what do I know? I hope I can reveal it because, quite frankly, my head is going to explode all over my computer screen if I don't. (Sorry for the graphic visual image, but it is!)

Have to run mom home today after her docotr's apt. Radiation is done and she needs to help dad pack up. Then another five hour trip this weekend to load up and move her here. GAH.

Those articles? The ones that have to be done by the end of the month? Maybe not so much.

On the up side... dh and I will actually get to see each other for five straight hours! On the down side, my mum will be there. Snort. Ah well, you can't have everything!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trying to work

I'm still plugging away. It's difficult to work when you are holding your BREATH! No word on secret yet. But my deadlines don't CARE that my entire professional life is on the line. No, deadlines just keep marching on, demanding ATTENTION! I have two articles due this week and two due the next. Which, considering Mom's radiation schedule, moving parents entire home 250 miles and my dh's vacation, (during which he wants to get our entire yard done,) is going to be somewhat challenging.

Then there is DASH, otherwise known as the book that would not get finished. Well, actually it's done, but it's crap. I was revising chapter six and seven when I realized that my hero and heroine CANNOT have sex yet. They wanted to and I let them, but it is far too soon. They need more electricity before they do the deed. So I may have to write a brand new chapter and stick it in there. GAH.

I thought characters were done telling their story when the book was finished, but now I'm finding that they are just as unruly as ever during the revisions. Who knew?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Have a Secret

That I cannot share...not only can I not share it, but I am sort of afraid to, in case I jinx it.

So la la la la la la la la la!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday's To Do

Got a promising email from my agent. Seems that an editor found one of my manuscripts that the former editor had left behind. She's "really enjoying the read" and wanted to know if it was still available. Of course, I don't know how much she's read, could be a couple of pages or it might be a couple of chapters. She does have the full, though, so who knows.

Long weekend. Had a nice Mother's Day, though. Have to get started on this week's work. I hate being behind.

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Rewrite chapter four and five in DASH.
revise chapter seven in Dash

I was up to seven in DASH, but a CP pointed out that chapter five lacked conflict and I should change a couple of things in chapter four to get the ball rolling there. Not sure I am going to do as much as she suggested, but I am definitely going to have to ramp things up a bit. I hate snags like this, but since I need to add wordcount, this will help.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

American Idol, apartment hunting and Oh, yeah, writing.

American Idol

We all knew this would happen. Jordan, Blake, and Shrek. I mean Melinda Doolittle. I am sorry, but my the first time my son saw her he whispered in a stunned voice, "Oh My God, It's Shrek." Now I can't look at her without thinking about that. Great voice... but... Shrek. I think Jordan will win. Incredible voice. Lurve Blake Lewis. So funky and original and I love the sounds of his voice when he is straight singing. Would love to see the both of them in the finals.

Apartment hunting

Must. Find. Apartment for Mom and Dad. Now. They have to be out of their mobile home on the first of June. The problem is they need the following:

Washer and Dryer hook up
Ground floor (mom has cancer, dad is 90! nuff said)
Takes cat
Move in ASAP
Is cheap.
Is not scary

The apartment also has to be close to me since I am the designated caretaker.

And they really need to move out. Cause evidently I don't use enough vegetables when I cook and I don't cook three meals a day. WTF? Does anyone cook three meals a day anymore?


My writing is actually going pretty well., I am caught up with critiques and am moving right a long with DASH. Am more than ready to be finished with that one and move on. I really do want to write more than two books a year. GAH!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Getting some sleep

With the girls gone, my family and I decided to participate in the first Brown family sleep-in-day ever. Is there anything more lovely in the entire world than waking up and knowing you don't have to get up so you go back to sleep? To wave stuff off for one blissful morning of snoozola? To snore instead of chore?

Then to top off the morning, my brother came and took mom to breakfast while my son and I ate german pancakes alone. Then I stayed in my pajamas till past noon. And I worked all day on fiction. Not a spec of nonfiction.

Not enough adjectives to describe the day. Today it's back to work, but I'm not overloaded this week... just busy. Need to find my mom and dad an apartment close by and get her through radiation and take her home to help dad to pack up his stuff.

I have a bunch of non fiction stuff to work on, but not going to take on a lot of new assignments this month. I want to finish DASH and start on FAT. So that is my main goal for May... finish the revisions on DASH.

And sleep in at least two more times! Good for the soul!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A burden lightened and other happy thoughts

After dropping the children off at my best friend's house yesterday I called her on the phone.

"Don't trip on the weights in the driveway," I told her.

"What weights?"

"The ones falling off my shoulders on my way to the car."

She officially has the girls now. My baby KK and my Zoe monster will no longer be living full time in my home. Those weights. Not that I didn't love and adore them. But having a very needy three year old and a 20 month old in the house with two teens, my dh, my mother and my mother's cancer was just too much for me. My friend Ann, God bless her bones, has turned out to be more like family than our real family. She ended up loving the girls as much as I did and applied to be their foster mom. Good thing, because if they hadn't given them to her, they would have been separated. Unreal. They have already been separated from their mom and their brother and now us and each other? GAH. The system sucks, you know that? This way, they will be able to stay with us often and as they are already used to staying at Ann's home, the transition won't be as traumatic.

Now I can concentrate on the other big things in my life. Namely, my family, my Mom and my career. That's enough for one person.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Back in the saddle...

Am trying to get back into the swing of things, but it's difficult. We still have the wee ones, but I think the state is going to make a decision about that this week. I am finding it challenging to keep my mind on my writing. Not fiction... I managed to finish the revisions on my YA proposal last week, so both DASH and LIPS are out. YAY! But non fiction is another story and since that's where the money comes from... You get the picture! Am having trouble with a source, but can't move ahead without them. Need to get to work on my other articles as well. My editors have been more than patient and I need to reward them back by getting this stuff done.

Which brings me to the next challenge. I've been very dissatisfied with my writing as of late. My nonfiction is boring and my fiction lacks depth. I am thinking both these things stem from the same writing weakness. My lack of patience. I write my nonfiction like newspaper stories... I get in fast and get out. There is to it. This is troubling me. I feel my fiction is the same way. It just feels like it is lacking...something. Without nuances perhaps. And my lack of grammatical knowledge is really concerning me. I have always been one to spout developing an "ear" but lately, I have wanted to understand they whys and wherefores.

I really don't have a lot of time to worry about this right now, but would like to get some ideas on how I can change it. How can I, at 42, pack a whole bunch more knowledge into my lazy little brain?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Now that we know...

Lung cancer. My mom has lung cancer. And she quit smoking over 28 years ago.

Well, crap.

That really pisses me off. All the trouble of depriving yourself for 28 years and you get lung cancer anyway? I would just like to say here-- NOT FAIR!

They can't see the tumor yet, but know it's there and is already sending out mean little cancer tumors. There may be one in her thyroid too. So two weeks of radiation then a round of chemo. It will kill her eventually. The question long. No one knows.

My biological father died two years ago of lung cancer. How much you wanna bet that no one will give me a life insurance policy? I feel like a damn time bomb.

My parents will be moving up here to be near me and OHSU. I'm happy about that. I'd hate for them to be five hours away where I can't help them.

So that's the final word. I think I'll be done blogging about it for a while. I'm depressing myself here. I just want to blog about my writing life. I still actually have one. Finished an article yesterday and my editor loved it. I sent out the DASH partial and hope that HQ editors loves it. Got two critiques on my LIPS revision and need to get that out next week. Need to catch up on my articles. That sort of thing. I like blogging about stuff like that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rocking On

Actually been getting some work done. Half an article (which I would finish but missing some information that I'm waiting) on and got some valuable feedback from my CP on my synopsis. Even posted LIPS for my other group of CP's to look over. So I just keep on rocking on.

Been trying to keep up with reading everyone's blogs even if I'm not commenting much. You all rock too:)Thanks for the support!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bummed it's not breast cancer

After my mom and I left the women's imaging center, I had to tell her. "You know things are bad when you are actually bummed that it's not breast cancer!"

We laughed so hard I thought I was going to have to pull off the road. But it's true. It would have been easier if the results had come back positive for breast cancer... at least then we would have known! Still getting the run around on the most important test, the PET scan. Hope to get that done soon so we know what we are dealing with.

Still working on the synopsis from hell. Almost finished with it and then I can fling it to my Cp's to help me fix and get that requested partial out. Then work on LIPS. I have a lot done on it, but still have a lot to do.

You know, I almost wish I had done it from someone else's POV. It might have been an easier sell. I think people are afraid to have a deaf heroine when the writer isn't deaf because, even though I know a lot because of my deaf neice, I am a hearing person... how much can I actually know? Hindsight is always 20/20.

Oh, well. Onward and upward!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Heath and writing update...

Mom is home with me and doing well. We know we have a long road ahead of us, but are sure that all will be well. That's how you have to go into a fight, knowing you will win, no matter what kind of fight it is!

Am writing the synopsis from hell so I can get my partial out to the editor who requested it. Not going well. The book is so different from the first synopsis I wrote that it needs a complete overhaul. Hope to finish it today while the kids are at daycare. I still have to finish revamping the first three chapters of LIPS for that editor who requested it.

Need to figure out where I'm at with my nonfiction, too. My to do list is so long, I'm not even going to include it!

Must rush off... live well everyone!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Big C

I arrived at the hospital yesterday and find my mom talking to another doctor. Yep. An oncologist. The tumor was not only cancerous it had come from another source. They ran a CT scan on her and her lungs and stomch were clear but she did have some swollen Lymph glands near her broncial tubes. Since the preliminary stains from the tumor suggested lung cancer they are very supicious of her bronchial tubes. If they can't find the source... which occasionally happens, they will do a broad based round of Chemo. On top of the four weeks of brain radiation she already has to have.

She can't do this in hermiston where she has no one to help her. So she is going to have to do it here. Which means... yeah. But my dad can't stay here. No room. So...

Sigh. Have tons of decisions to make in the next couple of days.

But think of the research I will have done if one of my characters is ever sick!