Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Monday, November 29, 2010

Signing off for the Holidays

Now that Thanksgiving has passed we are officially into the Christmas season. Or, at least I am. Though a lot of people will listen to Christmas music and put up decorations before Thanksgiving, I am a firm believer that none of this should take place until the day after.
So, this Friday, the music was dug out and the tree went up.

This season also means an end to my blogging days - temporarily. I will still blog on my days at LadyScribes but I am taking a break from here. December is always crazy busy with family and friends. Plus, I need to have my son at classes four nights until the end of December, Christmas shopping and frankly, enjoying the season. Instead of trying to figure out how I can accomplish the impossible, I have decided to take a break from blogging, thus take the pressure off of trying to be here (which I have failed miserably at in the last couple of weeks).

With the illnesses in my family and extended family, I've been reminded that time with family and friends is precious, especially during the holidays. So, I will be posting no blogs from here on out until after the first of the year. I will try to stop in and visit, read and comment on blogs, but for now, I am going to just enjoy family, friends and this wonderful season and celebrating Christ's birth.

Have a wonderful holiday and a Very Merry Blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Social Networking - Part 5

This is my continuation of looking at Social Networking and the various avenues available to us.

Yahoo Groups. I think they can be considered them Social Networking, depending on their purpose. I belong to about ten but in all honesty, I am a lurker. Rarely do I make a comment, but I try to read all of the messages. There I learn some industry gossip, who has a book coming out, who has finaled and/or won in a contest, what subject someone is blogging about in a particular place, online classes being offered, etc. These are almost as necessary to me as my critique group and blog following.

As far as commenting in a Yahoo Group, this is beyond my comfort level. So many of those who are posting comments seem to know each other and appear close. I sometimes feel like and intruder or stupid when I think about responding. I know, I am probably being silly, but this is another thing I need to work on. Maybe I will tackle it while I am preparing to be brave at the next conference.

How do you feel about Yahoo Groups? Do you belong to any? Do you lurk like me or a regular participant? Which ones do you recommend for an author, romance author, or someone who loves history?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shall I get a Dragon

I am blogging today at LadyScribes about Voice Recognition Software. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Social Networking - Part 4

This is my continuation of looking at Social Networking and the various avenues available to us.

Blogging. This has got to be my most favorite part of Social Networking. I am following so many blogs, and discovering more and more every day, that it is impossible to read them all. This is where I think you really make a connection with others. If you don’t think it is possible, wait until you meet up with them at a conference and see them for the first time, you will realize they are not a stranger. When I was in Orlando this past summer several times I would hear a name, or read it on a badge and think, I know her, well not really, but I read her blog. If I were braver I would have actually introduced myself but I always assume people aren’t going to remember me and how embarrassing would it be for that person to have a blank look on their face and mutter “I am sorry, who are you again?”.

I am trying to get better about this and be more forward. Maybe next year I will be bold.

If you are reading this, I assume you enjoy blogging as well. Though there may be weeks that I don’t visit it at all, there will also be weeks when I am there every day. And, even though I may feel a little guilt of not reading a blog I have been following for a few weeks, I have the comfort of knowing it will still be there (usually) when I have time to return.

Do you enjoy blogging or do you feel it is a necessary evil to keep up with promoting? Do you have a blog schedule of when you post and read, or is it a hit and miss like me?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Social Networking - Part 3

This is my continuation of looking at Social Networking and the various avenues available to us.

How many of you have two Facebook accounts? I do. One is under a different name that my friends know me by. If a non-friend happens to show up there, I don’t friend them. It is as simple as that. I like to keep my writing / promo world separate from other things happening in my life. Besides, with as many people as there are in both groups I would lose track of everything and never be caught up.

That is what has actually happened with the Facebook I set up for promotional purposes. It is so out of hand I don’t know what to do. It has gotten to the point I hardly, if ever, go there. Which means it is doing me no good at all. Why did I friend all of these people, whom I don’t know and haven’t had time to get to know because I can’t find time to spend on Facebook. Sometimes I feel like I just want to clear the decks and start all over. Which I may do.

I am not a late night TV watcher. It happens on those rare occasions (which seems like the past week) when I need to stay awake (usually waiting for a child to return home). Well, Jimmy Kimmel has been on and he has made today FAcebook Unfriend day. I laughed at some of his reasons but it did stick in the back of my mind that maybe this is what I need to do to unclutter. I am going to clean up my Facebook and start over. (Please don’t be offended if we are friends and I unfriend you). I will keep those I have actually formed some type of relationship, whether it be from my critique group to people I have met a conferences. From there I will build, but I will no longer automatically click “accept” when a friend request shows up in my inbox.

Have any of you thought about unfriending or just starting over with Facebook. And how to you feel about all the farming, mafia wars and other things that go on? I don’t have time for those either. Oh, I've treid but my crops died, my ocean became polluted, etc. I wish I had time to play, but I don’t.

Wait, I take that back. I am a Bejeweled addict. There, I admitted it. This is my favorite thing to do to unwind. Hey, we each need our little fun at times, right. But, for the most part, I would rather have social interaction which is what social networking is all about and not spend time growing crops.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Social Networking - Part 2

This is my continuation of looking at Social Networking and the various avenues available to us.

First there is Twitter. I have an account and a few people follow me. I actually figured out how to follow them too. I wonder if they’ve realized I’ve probably posted only 10 Tweets the entire time I’ve had the account. I don’t understand it. People have tried to explain and I just don’t get it. Say someone is basically carrying on a conversation another person, but if you are only following one of those people aren’t you only getting half of the conversation? Writer friends enjoy following agents and publishers to read their words of wisdom. I would too, if I could figure out how to do this. Given I juggle enough in my life I’ve decided that Twitter is going to be at the bottom of my priority list. I may regret it someday, but it is doubtful.

So, do you Tweet? What is your take on it? Can you not live with out it or do you have nothing to do with it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Social Networking - Part 1

Am I the only one who gets a headache at the mere thought of keeping up with each Facebook contact? Break out in a cold sweat at the thought of trying to figure out Twitter before I try and find the time to utilize it and the benefits? Or, feel guilty when I haven’t been able to keep up with the blogs I love to read? Don’t forget about the groups. There are a few Yahoo groups I belong to, which I found very beneficial as a writer. But, I’ve had to put them on digest because if I were to get individual messages I would never see the end of my e-mail box. And, then there is the critique group I cannot live without. Whew. No wonder I am so tired, confused, and disoriented.

Don’t you feel like it is all too much sometimes? When is a person supposed to read, write, and more importantly, actually spend time with her family? Throw in a full time job outside of the home and the head starts spinning. (I think I may have resembled Linda Blair from the Exorcist at one point).

When I started blogging and using Facebook it was all about being out there in cyber world. I would soon have a book published and this is what one was supposed to do. Sometimes I feel like it has gotten out of hand.

However, even though I am a bit overwhelmed at times, Susan R. Mills has execllent reasons of why we should participate in Social Networking. You can read her blog here.

Over the next few blogs I am going to post my thoughts about the different types of Social Networking. Some work really well for me and others, not so much. Do you think as an author it is necessary to participate in every type of Social Networking? What are your general thoughts?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogging Interruption

Sometimes there are blog posts that are just too fun to ignore. That is why I am interrupting the regularly scheduled program, er, I mean blog.

When Lydia Dare (the Jodie of Lydia Dare), my critique partner, told me she and Tammy (the other half of Lydia Dare) were going to write a paranormal historical romance I groaned - literally, but not where she could hear me. I did not like paranormal, never had and doubted I ever would. But, she is my critique partner and I love her so I vowed to critique with an open mind.

It turns out, I absolutely adore Jodie and Tammy's witches and wolves. By the way, I still haven't ventured out and read other paranormal historicals but I don't groan at the thought of one anymore.

Anyway, Lydia's five witches are blogging today at http://tinyurl.com/29uxwkg (and why can't I ever get a link to work?). I encourage you to stop by if you want a few laughs. And, if you like historical paranormal romances, these are wonderful books and you have a chance of winning one, or maybe it is the set, I don't remember. I didn't really pay attention since I already have them :).

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Contests are crazy things. Right now I know a number of writers who are polishing for the Golden Heart. I entered that a long time ago and didn't do so well. Looking back at that manuscript now, it probably should have been in the bottom as far as scores go.

Isn't it interesting to look at your writing today compared to five years ago, three, or even one. This is a constant learning process. I know I am always learning more about the craft.

Recently I decided to try my luck again with contests. I do consider it luck because what if you are matched up with a judge who really doesn't like your genre (even though that judge probably chose to judge that genre because they like it). Or, they don't appreciate your voice as well as your critique partners, or tend to be harsher judges marking off 10 points for a missplaced comma (that was an exaggeration). Or worse, you find out you really suck and your critique partners are just too kind to tell you.

I've heard wonderful stories about feedback and scores and I've heard some where I have gone "huh?" because I had read the entry.

I am sure judging is not an easy task, not to mention it is volunteer and all of these judges give up their valuable time to read your entry. For that we should be thankful. I've thought about judging, but it kind of scares me. Am I really qualified? I am all about bolstering someone's confidence, but what if I need to critique, mark things that need fixing, etc. A bad score can be crushing and send that author to the kitchen to grab a glass of wine in one hand and bag of chocolate in the other before she heads back to her computer to e-mail her writing buddies about how horrible and unfair that judge was. I don't want to be that judge. I will admit, none of my critique partners have ever reacted so strongly (at least to my knowledge) when they don't final. There is a round of sympathy chocolate and glass or two of wine, but soon they are back to polish for the next contest or to query an agent.

So, not too long ago, I took a deep breath, filled out my entry form, click the paypal button and sent the entry on its way. Well, I finaled! I think my jaw dropped and I stammered through the phonecall giving me this good news. I honestly could not believe it. I knew this was a contest with great feedback and that is what I was hoping for. I certainly didn't expect to final. In fact, I've never finalled in outher manuscripts I've entered. So, now I sit and wait to find the outcome in December. After reading my scores and notes, I had the judges that are really good at bolstering an ego, not to mention they made great suggestions for the manscript. Valuable feedback indeed.

How do you feel about contests? Have you had good experiences? If you haven't ever entered one, what is holding you back? If have entered a lot, what has been your experience? Are there some you would enter again?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Comfort Food

I am blogging a LadyScribes today. Stop by and let me know what your comfort food, book and movie is at ladyscribes.blogspot.com.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Happy Sunday

It is a beautiful day in my town. The weather is mild and can be considered warm given it is November.

The day started with Sunday School, as most of my Sundays do. The lesson was about when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Being a parent I cannot even begin to comprehend the anguish Abraham must have gone through as he put all his faith and trust in God and made preparations to kill his son. I would like to think that if God spoke to me directly and asked me to do something I would have the same trust and faith as Abraham. But, would I or would I question first?

Regardless of what we may think or be afraid our reaction would be if given a monumental task, we still have faith and trust in the Lord to see us through and answer our prayers.

My family could still use some prayers, inlcuding my mother, husband, and sister-in-laws mother. And, I give thanks that my sister has recovered from pneumonia, quicker than anticipated.

How can I pray for you this week? I welcome your requests.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Back from the Theater

I've had a crazy couple of weeks. Sweeney Todd sold out almost every night and it was so much fun to do. The makeup and hair design was even mentioned in a review as being "appropriately disturbing", which is exactly what I was going for.

In an earlier blog I mentioned that I would next be doing Fiddler on the Roof. I've had to step away from that committement (thank goodness for an understanding director). I will be stopping in at Fiddler on Tech Sunday to help with the look of the show and I will be doing makeup Friday night because the wonderful Rebecca, who took over for me, will be watching.

Now I have some unexpected free time while at home and want to keep occupied with non-television activities. What to do? Do I continue my French Revolution Research? I did come up with a great character while doing Sweeney. One of the actors has the manners and personality of someone who must be in Versailles.

Or, do I continue editing or go back to working on the sequel to To Walk in the Sun?

One thing I know, I won't be doing is cleaning. I learned a few interesting facts about dust bunnies yesterday. You can read all about it at http://www.ladyscribes.blogspot.com/.

So, what do you do when you have unexpected free time on your hands? Does it throw you for a loop and you find yourself standing in the living room wondering what to do? Or, do you not miss a beat and immediately move onto another project?

I am still looking for more French Revolution or Marie Antoinette sites for research purposes. If you know of any, please pass them on. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day in the Life of . . .

My brain has moved to research mode. Even though I am currently working on two separate WIPs, I would rather step away and research. The bug hit me this weekend and I haven't written a thing since. If I needed to, I could pick back up on either story without hestitation, but I want to delve into the past of real people, not fictional.

What is calling to me? Versailles. I've had a series rumbling around in my brain for well over a year now and it can no longer be ignored. So, I am off to France via books and the internet to find out how Marie Antoinette spent her day, or anyone else living or visiting Versailles, from the time she married to the day she died. Of course, once she leaves Versailles, so will my research and I will move onto Paris, with a side trip toward Austria before being caught.

I also need to figure out a ligitimate reason why an Englishman would be in Versailles. Any suggestions?

Which historical figure would you like to spend the Day in the Life of? And, do you have any great French Revolution research sites they want to pass on?