Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Print Runs and the State of the Business

I found out my print run and am very pleased. I'm not sure how they come up with their numbers, but, I'll take it. Of course, now I have a number to work with. I have to sell X number of books to get a second printing.

One concerning factor in the business is that some of my good friends are not getting into Barnes and Noble. I don't know if they are tightening up or what, but that can be devastating for an author, especially a debut author. Borders doesn't seem to be ordering as many new books either, which is also worrisome. Is this just a sign of the times? I emailed my editor and he said not to worry, B&N had already ordered. So, whew.

Onto some exciting news....

So I was having an email conversation with my editor who told me to give him the names of a few PULSE books I wanted to read and he would send them to me. I shot off an email with the names of the books and a few minutes later, DHL pulls out in front of my house and I have a package from my editor with what feels like books. My first thought was, "My God! My new Editor is MAGIC!" But it was my books! The real thing!

They are so beeeeeutiful!

And he promised more! YAY!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Bizarre, the Horrid and the Good

The Bizarre:

1. Did you know that yardwork burns more calories than sex? Does that mean we can tell our hubbies, "Sorry, dear, I'd rather mow the lawn?"

2. The thought process of teenagers. Nuff said.

The Good:

1. I got another great book review! You can check it out here at And Another Book Read.

The Horrid:

1. Have you seen this story? A father keeps his daughter locked up for over 20 years and fathers her seven children. He had been molesting her since she was eleven and when she was eighteen locked her up in a 645 sq foot room hidden in the celler. He took three of her children for his wife to raise, saying their daughter had joined a cult and didn't want them. The other three, ages, 19, 18 and 5, have never seen the sunlight. I am horrified. And people said Flowers in the Attic was unrealistic. This is possibly the most horrific thing I have ever heard of.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I called this splat because I am gonna like shoot you with a ton of little Teri sound bites that in no way resembles a full blog post.

Reader's Luncheon

And a good time was had by all at the Rose City Romance writer's Readers Luncheon. our main speaker was the lovely and talented Suzanne Macpherson who talked sex, vampires and barbies. Too funny! I took my mom and she had a lovely time and The Governer Hotel is lovely! And we made over two grand for Oregon Literacy. WOOT!

The Daily Plate

The most fantastic site evah. Keeps track of your calories, fat, carbs and protien input. Extremely easy to use. Just search for the foods you ate, plug them in, and voila! Input your workouts and get how many cals you burned and your net cals for the day. On top of that, you can also friend people and help one another stay on track. Really makes you think about your food choices. Very motivational.

Plotting Party

Heading out to the plot party this afternoon. There's four of us who meet and discuss our plot ills and try to brainstorm solutions. Fun stuff! Very helpful. Also drink vino and eat goodies, which I won't be able to do this time due to extreme caloric restrictions. LOL

I have a weight loss goal for Nationals. Yeah, I'm sure I'm the only one. Snicker.

Oh, oh oh! Guess who was at the luncheon? The fabulous Christina Arbini! We met at Emerald City last year after reading one another's blogs forever and then she popped down for this at the last minute. Was great to see her!

There was more to say, but I don't remember...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sleepless in Portland

This has got to stop. It's one thing to have occasional sleepless nights, but habitually waking up at 1 or 2 and not being able to go back to sleep is ridiculous. It screws up my whole day! How can I do anything when I'm having to keep my eyes propped up with toothpicks all day? Sure, I've been getting a lot of writing done, but I have other things that need to be accomplished. Like running kids around. Cooking and cleaning. Appointments. Articles.

In my effort to get healthy (and lose about 30 pounds before nationals:) I've been drinking a lot of water, so I get up more at night than I used to. But I have always been able to go back to sleep. I used to have a gift for sleep, dammit. I used to be able to fall asleep anywhere at any time. Those days are gone.

I think this might be cyclical, having to do with my hormones, because when I do have sleepless nights it's always around this time, but it has never been night after night like this.

On the upside, DECK is coming along beautifully.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brilliance at Midnight

Am feeling really, really good today in spite of a weird sort of insomnia that has been plaguing my nights. Last night I woke up at ten after being asleep for about two hours. I know, that's early to bed, but I get up between 4:30 and 5:00 am every morning so by 8, I'm wiped.


I started writing on my current project, which I'll call DECK. I finished the first three scenes of the first chapter, and was incredibly pleased with it except for the ending hook. I couldn't come up with anything that even remotely compared to the rest of the story. This story is far edgier and darker than anything I have ever written. Lots of tension and secrets. Like Mrs. Annie says, "It has bite." It's also far more complicated than anything I have ever done and might even be the first book to come in over 60,000 words! I am actually think 70,000 to 80,000 words, believe it or not.

Anyway, I was rewriting the final para of the first chapter (AGAIN) and it hit me. The hook, a major plot point and more dark juicyness. YAY! It was like this flash of brilliance that I get every once in a while. Not often, but enough to keep me going.

Another thing that has me well pleased is all the things I've struggled with in my writing for so long, POV, show instead of tell, active writing, etc, are coming much more naturally to me now. I have more confidence and when I want to break a rule, for instance, it looked like or she felt... I know exactly why I am doing it.

I love it when the writing gods smile at you and all goes well for a while:) Keeps me going through all the times I want to toss the computer out the window!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Asking the boy to prom....

In my day when you got asked to prom, the guy you were currently going out with would sidle up and say, "Hey, wanna go to Prom? Great" And sidle off.

Not any more. It's a production.....

My daughter's current boyfriend works at Zumiez at the mall. She spent all afternoon making posters, cutting silk roses into petals, buying tealights, etc. She also downloaded and burned the perfect song to have playing at the big reveal... This Magic Moment by The Drifters. It had the perfect amount of cheezyness, romance and was recognizable to anyone not living under a rock. At 8:30 we went to the mall with the intention of setting everything up, making a call to the manager (who was in on it),lighting the candles and setting up the posters.

The manager was to send the young man into the back, let Megan and her friend into the closed store so they could tape the posters onto the cage they use to keep people out. The Poster Read... You're My Boo, Walk Out to Your Subaru.

But it's Oregon. Wet, rainy Oregon.

First we scattered the rose petals onto his car. The car was wet. The dye from the red rose petals ran. Nix that idea. (He has a totally decked out, white Subaru WRX, his pride and joy. Ooops.)

The candles wouldn't stay lit. Everytime we would get the P lit and move onto the R, a puff of wind would come up and blow them all out.

Time for plan B.

We ran everything over to a more covered area, but it was still too windy. Megs had to go do the posters so her BFF and I were running the supplies to the covered smoking area when we were stopped by the mall security. Turns out that my two blond girls and I look like terrorists or something. Actually, he was really nice about it, but no open flame. Can we say KILLJOY??

Time for Plan C.

So she ended up doing the posters and waiting by the car with leaking rose petals all around her, with The Drifters making their magic. It was very cute and incredibly funny.

Oh, and he said yes.

A whole lot of this and that...

Got lots to say, but will try not to bore.

First up, my fellow 2k8 classmate, Debbie Reed Fischer, is celebrating the launch of her book, Braless in Wonderland. This is her debut book and the cover is gorgy. You can give her some love here.

Second, I downloaded and printed out the RWA conference overview. I am so, so, so excited. Been cruising the flights and am just about to book one. I am taking a shuttle to the hotel and I really, CANNOT wait!

I have decided to lose a bunch of weight before the conference. Will keep you posted on how that goes.

Found the perfect prom dress for the darling daughter who will be going to two proms this year! And yes, she will use the same dress for each one and yes, we did find it on super sale. She is scary beautiful in it.

My son is taking his driver's test this week and do you have any idea how much time that is going to save me a day??? Woot!

Okay, that's it for now! Happy Monday people!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My best friend

As many of you know, my best friend is Mrs. Annie. (Or Ann spelled without an e. LOL) We met when we were in our early 20's. We lived at the same apartment building and had wee, small children. I don't think you have any friends as close as the ones who help you survive stay at home momness with babies. Being flawed beings, there have been times when we fought and even a stretch where we didn't talk. But now that we are older and on the edge of the empty nest, we don't fight, we just support... ah, the perks of being mature!

My best friend is a talented writer. I have been telling her that for YEARS! So she finally did something about it and as a result won this writing contest!

Please go and give her some love here.

And for Mrs. Annie...


Damn, that felt good!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


You must read this story about how MP Barker got her agent. Truly funny stuff about beagle gods and bacon offerings... Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Totally Random Shite about Me

Yeah, couldn't think of anything to blog about so....

1. I was a Bluebird in first grade. I think Bluebirds are part of campfire girls instead of girlscouts. I loved being a bluebird.

2.I once got lost in the woods with six other girls. We were on our horses and decided to bunker down for the night cause we couldn't find our way out. Started a fire, etc. But some of the "new" girls were freaking out about their parents and we had to leave. We walked our horses out and ended up about 15 miles from where we were supposed to be. I thought it was a blast. I was fifteen.

3.My first crush happened in kindergarten. His name was Gerald and I crushed on him for like three or four days till I got up the nerve to get close to him and realized he smelled... bad. I'm not sure he was completely potty trained.

4. My kindergarten teacher's name was Mrs. James and she was beautiful. I loved her in the way you love your beautiful kindergarten teacher. In other words, I would have walked over coals for her. Then I read my report card several years later and she had written, "Teri is a little bit too involved with Teri." I was crushed. I was an only child for crying out loud. Here I thought she loved me. Sniffle.

5. That's okay. My first grade teacher was so lovely, she whooped all over my kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Kitchen was smart and blond and ... left handed. So though I'm right handed I make all my letters the way a lefthanded person does. My handwriting pretty much sucks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Daily Lists or Why Teri Wants to Plead Insanity

My husband does laundry. This is both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because, well, who in their right mind would want to do laundry (and with that statement, I'm saying a lot...) A curse, because when other women from work hear he does laundry, their hearts melt a little bit and they look at my sweet unassuming husband like he's God. "You do laundry?" they say. "Yes," my husband replies looking at the floor modestly.

He's not modest and he's not God. You'll just have to trust me. Annie can verify.

So I keep lists. For my husband, lists, (with everything crossed out) are the language of love. Nothing says I love you like a blister or a slipped disk from hard labor.

I don't just keep one list, I keep several. First, is my articles due list so I don't forget my deadlines. (Because even though a crossed out list means love, money covers a multitude of sins and lists undone can be overlooked in favor of a hot sweet writing check) My basic articles due list is a printed out 4x4 piece of paper with the article name and the due date on it. I also have a tracking list where I track invoices out, monies in and all that other happy hoohah.

Then I have my daily master list where I jot down almost everything I have to do that day, both work and home.
Today's list
Write Cereal Article
Straighten house (which includes vacuming,
picking up, making bed, and swabbing down
kitchen and bathroom)
Work on Laguna
Plan dinner
Write press release
Make dinner
Kids to school
Pick up kids
Make Granola
Make Banana Bread
Send articles due to editor

Usually, I don't try to make banana bread and granola in the same day, but my dh just came up and asked, because, you know, I don't have ANYTHYING ELSE TO DO!

Then I have my revolving work list. I make it out everyday to keep me focused.

Todays list of six for work: write article, write press release, work on Myspace PR Polish and send articles to editor and finish Laguna and send to agent.

What I don't get done today on the list will go on tomorrow's.

So tune in tomorrow to find out the answers to the burning questions... Can Teri's creativity thrive in such madness or will she snap? Will her list loving husband be found passed out next to the washing machine, high on the combined fumes of Borax and Tide? Or was it foul play?

These are the Lists of Our Lives

Monday, April 14, 2008

Teri's Very Bad Day

You know, sometimes you just get up and know.

Today's gonna suck. Postive thinking aside, I just know it is. (Now I know the Tolle, Ray, May followers are gonna tell me it's all in my mindset, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's the universe out to nail your ass to the wall.)

Maybe it has to do with the stars, or the fact that I was out way too late last night listening to a guy with a fringe of hair around his head play the harp guitar until the cows came home. That's neither here nor there, I knew the moment the alarm rang at 5am that I was not going to be a happy camper today. The cats were irritating, the dogs were irritating and I resisted the urge to give the animals begging for their food a wee little kick with my foot as they milled about my legs, screaming at me. But somehow that irritation was nothing compared to what I felt when I finally rousted the husband. Him, I wanted to melt to a puddle of goo at my feet just for breathing.

I can't wait to get the teens up and see how I feel about them.

Anyhoo...last night I went to see this dude. Super talented and his music made me weep at times... at other times I found it confusing. You know, when each note was lovely but didn't seem to fall into a coherently whole pattern? Esoteric and cerebral, overthought? Maybe... but some of it was spot on perfect. And it's not like I know a lot about music anyway. And it's much like writing... very subjective. But we did stay out way too late for a Sunday night.

I also have two articles I need to finish up.

Pressure, pressure.

All I really want to do is finish up Laguna, eat the rest of my Cherry Garcia and go back to bed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Adding a scene

So I got the agent's take on Looking for Laguna and I had thought it was only going to be a few sentence changes. Then after a powwow with my fab critique partners, I decided to add a new scene. In the first chapter. Fun stuff.

Only not so much. Working a scene seemlessly into a chapter I had already thought complete isn't as easy as it seems. The scene will (hopefully) strengthen the MC's goal and motivation and (again hopefully) give us more sympathy for her. That's what its supposed to do, anyway.

So I took off for St-bux this morning and finished the scene. Hopefully, once my Cp's see it they will be all "Brilliant!" but they could just as well say, "Why the hell did you do that?"

And in the back of my mind, the clock is always ticking. Each day I don't have this out to my editor is another day further from the possibility of an advance, which in today's economy, is brutal. Does anyone get that feeling that you have to get that contract now or else it's going to all disappear? That everyone else you know gets these huge contracts and yours is just never going to happen? Pretty depressing. I hear from everyone how difficult it is to sell that second book. Since it was so hard for me to sell the first one, I have no confidence in my ability to sell the second one.

Love writing. It's the business that often sucks.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I don't post pictures

I don't take good pictures. No, I know you say that and she says that and all women say that, but I really, really don't.

I don't.

It was bad enough when I was a kid. I have/had kind of a pug nose and though much better after the nose job the doctor gave me after they took out the brain tumor (kind of a parting gift, as it were), it's still nothing to write home about. Plus, I have always lacked any kind of bone structure. But when I was young I had a certain, I dunno, YOUTH, that helped me carry it off. Or at least, not break the camera, but that gift is gone.

And honestly, my face is now falling off my head. Seriously! Men used to talk to my breasts because I had lovely cleavage. In a few years they will be talking to my breast because that will be where my mouth is located. My breasts will no doubt be tucked into the waistband of my purple stretch pants. I don't have anything like that (except for a pair of fir green velour pants that my dh bought me because he's from the planet Merketroid) but I see it coming.

So while I do have a cute new haircut, it can't undo the slow migration of my face and that pix to the right on my blog is probably the only one you are ever gonna see.

Because I don't do pictures. Ask Ann, my best friend for almost seventeen years, how many pix she has of me. Snicker.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Soon the little scientists will come to take me away because my super constitution beat the plague. I still have a few stray plague-like symptoms, but I am on the upside, a beacon of hope to all those who suffer...

I can just picture myself as a beacon of hope...

Anyhoo, I live to work and write again.

A few quick notes:

Did taxes yesterday. Wasn't too bad at all:) We owe, but not nearly as much as I thought.

My agent wants a few small changes in Laguna and than we go out with it.

I got another nice review here:)

Monday, April 07, 2008

I Have the Plague

I'm sure of it.

Other people might say it's just a cold coming after the bloody nose week from hell and that is why I feel so bad...but I know better.

I do like, two things and have to sit down all out of breath like an octogenarian. As soon as I knew it was the plague, I called my husband at work.

Me: Honey, prepare yourself. I have the plague.
Him: The bubonic kind or more general?
Me: Whatever kind. The plague is the plague and I have it. It's sucking my will to live.
Him: Oh, you mean like those salt suckers from Star Trek that leave the sucker marks on your face?
Me: Yeah, just like that.
Him: I'm sorry. What bit you?
Me: What?
Him: You get the plague from fleas on rats, so I'm wondering what bit you. (Laughter)
Me: Your face!

I hang up and call my best friend.

Me: I have the plague.
Her: What bit you?

What is it with the bit you crap? I have the plague, damn it! The plague!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Nails, eyebrows and hair, oh my...

When you are feeling blue, nothing says love like a new hair cut, a mani, and getting your eyebrows waxed. It spells self love, people, and though my dh doesn't understand it (or the money involved) I certainly do.

Yesterday, in the interest of self love, I also made myself a cake. Now for me, that's a pretty risky way to indulge because my record with from scratch cakes is sketchy at best. Okay, some of them have required an exorcism to get rid of, but I was brave and went forth.

It turned out beautifully. The Writing Gods and the Cake Gods all smiled on me yesterday and I ate a magnificent peice of cake while reading my good review.

It doesn't make me forget, but it does help.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My First Review

The Writing Gods sure know how to make me feel better...

My very first review from Compusive Reader. Check it out here...

I have to start working on the pitches to my local papers... My debut is coming!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Suffer the Little Children

Some of you may recall my lovely foster girls, KK the Destroy and the Z-monster. They came to live with me for the second time last year after being removed from their mother's home yet again. They were here for three months when my mother came up with lung cancer. My dearest friend Ann couldn't stand to see them go to a stranger's home and took them in. (Like me, she had no clue. None)

That was last April? May? I can't remember. I kept in contact with the wee girls(after all, they were holding my best friend hostage) and today they go home.

Last night, dh and I went over to share ice cream with our babies and our best friends. Like Ann wrote in her blog, what are you supposed to say to them? They're excited to go home. (Kinda) You can't tell them, "there isn't supposed to be layers of filth covering the walls and floors in a home that contains lovely children." Or, "Mommies aren't supposed to smoke around children dangerously asthmatic." You can't even say, "Brother isn't supposed to be allowed to go into a rage and hurt you." That isn't what a home or a family is supposed to be like. Homes are not supposed to be filled with chaos, violence and neglect.

This past year, my dearest friend has done her level best to show them what a home is supposed to be like. Where Auntie tucks you in for naps and bed time with stories, where nutritious food is always served in as much quantity as you can eat. Where the TV is turned off in favor of play time and crafts. Where routines give structure and safety to the day. The girls are strong and healthy and, except for Z-monster's sad blue eyes, pretty darn normal.

So say a prayer for these wee girls today. They are NOT going to a better place. And say a prayer for my friend, too. It's going to be hard on everyone.

And Ann? You are forever saying how I inspire you... Let me say, you are my hero.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Move Along Folks, Nothing to See....

Not much to report.

Still waiting for news on SPELL. Agent hasn't gotten back to me on LAGUNA. Plotting out my new one, STACKING THE DECK. Actually getting ready to make a collage, which is cool.

Have to get started on my nonfiction for the month.

See, nothing new.