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Archive for April, 2013

I had a couple of topics I wanted to discuss and couldn’t decide which one to write about today. So I decided to combine them. I apologize in advance for the long post. If you want to read it, maybe you can break it up into two days or something. LOL.

First, should authors review? You do realize, I’m sure, that there’s no right or wrong answer to that. It’s your choice. However, I’m wondering if it even matters anymore since a couple of authors told me that Amazon is taking down reviews from authors. That doesn’t even make sense because authors are readers, too, but it might be because there are so many authors that give bad reviews to the “competition”. Yeah, it happens. I used to review a lot, but to be honest, I did it partly out of obligation. Yes, I loved the books, but if I knew the author, then there’s the chance people think you are just a friend trying to promote a friend’s book. And that can sometimes hurt more than help. Then there’s the situation where you want to review a friend’s book and you really don’t like it. What do you do then? I’ve pretty much stopped reviewing books by authors who are pretty well established and have lots of reviews already. And I might review a book if it has several bad reviews and I thought it was a really good book. I hate to see a book I really like get bad reviews. It’s really getting to the point, though, that trying to review is bogging me down. I read a LOT of books, and I just don’t have time to review every one of them. On Goodreads, you can at least just pop over and give a book some stars, so sometimes I’ll do that even if I don’t review on Amazon. I’m not saying I’m going to stop reviewing altogether, but I’m not going to do it much on retail sites. So I’m thinking I might start doing some reviewing on my blog. I want to write more on my blog anyway, so that might be a good way to have an extra post here and there. I could even do a post on “What I’m Reading” and just give a little comment about each book. I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. We’ll see.

Next, I want to talk about how I’m burned out on Paranormal Romance. I never thought it would happen. When I wrote and published my first novel, it was a paranormal romance called A Rocky Path. It’s a ghost story. Then I did a couple of vampire books, a couple more ghost stories, more vampire/werewolf books. And I threw in a fantasy romance, Starfane, in the mix. The funny thing is, until I started writing PNR, it wasn’t what I was used to reading. I used to read horror, mystery, thriller, detective…but no PNR. Then when I started publishing that very thing, I really got into it. I was reading it like crazy. I have friends who write PNR, and I tried to read all of their books. I was like a sponge, soaking up the vampire love stories. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series blew me away. But, suddenly, things shifted. I started getting burned out on the BDB series, which I listened to as audiobooks. After I listened to the 8th (or 9th) Brotherhood book, I had to hear something different. I listened to a historical romance by Rose Gordon, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m currently listening to Micro by Michael Crichton (RIP). Next, I’m going to listen to Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son) latest book. Then MAYBE I can get back to the BDB. This burnout may be what’s affected my writing and making me change my current WIP. It was originally supposed to be a PNR, but it’s now apparently going to be horror. I like horror, but I never thought I would be able to write it. I was almost afraid to write The Gnome, but many people have told me they really like it. So I feel a little more confident about my WIP. For those friends of mine who write PNR, don’t worry…I know I won’t feel this way for too long. I WILL be reading your books. Just give me a little time. 🙂 But I also want to find some more indie authors who write other things, like horror, mysteries, etc. I do have some author friends who write in these genres, but I want more. I like to support indies, so I would rather read those authors when I can.

So I kind of feel like my post was rambling. I almost did this in kind of a stream of consciousness way, just writing what came out of my brain. If it makes no sense, please forgive me. I’ve had a rough few months. LOL

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I thought I was ready to get back to writing, but I really wasn’t. Also, there has been a lot going on in the house. My brother is helping do some things to get my office looking more like, well, an office. 🙂 My son and his family were here yesterday, so there was lots of fun with a two-year-old that calls me “Mimi”. I love having her here, but boy am I ever tired when she leaves! When my son started dating someone with a baby, I was so afraid of getting attached to the little girl and then having to get unattached when they broke up. But after two years, they are now engaged, and it looks like I’ll have this little granddaughter around for a long time. So that makes Mimi happy.

I really hope to get back to writing this week. I just couldn’t make myself do it last week, so I guess I wasn’t over the stress enough. I know a lot of writers actually do better when they are full of angst, but not me. I like to be happy when I write, even when I’m writing dark stuff.

I lost my best friend two years ago, and I don’t feel like I’ve really grieved like I should. I’ve had a few moments, but not REAL grieving moments. While I was cleaning things out of my office yesterday, I found a box of her jewelry that I got to keep after she died. Inside was the little two page thingy (I can’t remember what they’re called) that was given out at her memorial service. I actually put the thing together and printed it out. It had some scripture and some quotes picked out by her family members. And there was a lovely poem on the back written by a good friend of hers. I started going through her jewelry, then I read the poem. The floodgates opened, and I cried like a baby. It took me two years to really cry like that. I used to cry more easily, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve hardened a little. I was just glad my husband was still in bed. That kind of grieving needs to be done alone.

As far as my husband’s health goes, we’re frustrated because his blood isn’t thinning out as fast as it should. It’s actually not as thin as it was while he was in the hospital, but he was also taking an extra blood thinner there that was an injection. His doctor has upped his Coumadin dosage twice. He still has the clot in his leg, and if his blood does’t get thin enough, that could be a potential problem. We don’t want another lung clot! Keep us in your prayers, and if you don’t pray, send us good thoughts and vibes. We need all the help we can get. The doctor thinks he might be able to go back to work a little sooner than we thought, but only if he can get his blood thinned out better. I keep wondering when the hospital and doctor bills will start coming in. Again, I can’t thank Kait enough for setting up that fundraiser for me and I thank all of you that donated to it. There’s enough there right now for a mortgage payment and a car payment. You guys are the cream of the crop!

Wish me luck for actually getting writing done this week. Hopefully, the rest of you are making progress!

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After all the eating hospital food and fast food, after all the stress eating, after the lack of exercise for over two weeks…I just knew my weight had to really be up. I wasn’t really worried about it, because taking care of hubby was first. I knew I could get back to taking care of me later. However…drum roll, please…I only gained 1/2 lb. Only ONE HALF. I am very, very pleased. I should have gained more. I even had four slices of pizza last night. But I’ll take that number, and I’ll work to get back on track and start losing again.

Stats for this week:
Beginning weight: 193
Today’s weight: 172
This week’s gain: .5 lbs.
Total loss: 21 lbs.

And now for the interview. I’m being interviewed today by the lovely Jamallah Bergman, author of several romances, including her latest one, The Admission. Jamallah is a wonderful lady with a great sense of humor, and I was so pleased that she agreed to interview me. So without further ado, here is the link to the interview.

Interview

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So, you know how sometimes when people first learn to ski and when they fall they forget to let go of the rope? Well, that’s kind of how I am with our self-propelled lawn mower. We don’t have a riding mower, but we have LOTS of yard (not level, either), so a regular push mower is just too much for us since we’re getting older. A self-propelled mower is a little easier. At least for most people. The thing just seems to get away from me. Of course, hubby can’t mow right now, so all he can do is sit and watch me and laugh. Seriously, I can’t seem to let go of the bar that propels the mower. When I’m doing little spots that need more precision, the self-propelled part of the mower needs to be turned off. All it takes is NOT pulling back on the little bar. But then there’s also the safety bar that keeps the mower running. So part of the time, I DO let go of the self-propel bar…and also the safety bar. Which stops the engine. Which means I have to pull the cord multiple times to start the thing again. Grrrr. I almost mowed down one of my rose bushes because I forgot to let go of the bar, and the mower was almost dragging me toward it. The sad thing is that I have it turned down on “1” and there are four speeds. I feel like such a wimp. I have to do this, though, because while hubby was in the hospital, our grass got really high and thick. I’ve worked on it two days, and it’s still not all done. 😦

So now my hands hurt (I’ve had trouble with them for years), my feet hurt, and let’s not even talk about my big toe. I actually hurt it while hubby was in ICU. I stubbed it on the couch in my little cubby hole in the waiting room, and I saw the nail lift up off the nail bed. There was blood and extreme pain. I didn’t mention this before because I was whining so much about all the things that have been happening to me, I didn’t want to mention one more thing. But, hey, it’s my blog and I can cry if I want to mention my toe. Right? So I’ll probably lose my toenail. 😦

Anyway, if you want a funny mental picture so you can have a great laugh, just picture me with my hands glued to the lawn mower and my feet flying out behind me. Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration, but it does make a funny picture, right?

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Now that my husband is back home, I’m going to try to get back to a semi-normal life. I haven’t written or exercised in a couple of weeks. I haven’t been eating right. Let’s face it, who can eat right when they’re stuck at the hospital? Not only is there not a lot to choose from (the hospital cafeteria hasn’t been open for dinner), there’s also the stress that makes you want to eat comfort food. You know, like burgers and pizza. So this week I want to get back to good routines. That includes getting back to the FlyLady way of getting one’s house de-cluttered and cleaned.

I also want to again thank everyone who has donated to Kait’s Fundrazr campaign for me as well as those who have stopped by my blog to send good wishes. Sometimes I don’t know how much to say about all that.

When it rains, it pours. During my husband’s hospital stay, our garage door has stopped working. I’m having to manually raise and lower it, and it’s hard because it’s not really made to be done that way. Also, this morning, the sprayer on my kitchen sink came off. It can’t be put back on because the end that goes into the pipes is broken. What this means is that the faucets don’t work either. When I turn on the faucet, the water comes out under the sink. So that’s going to have to be fixed. And…I have a shower head that you can take off and hold in your hand. The hose that connects it to the shower is leaking so that half the water is being wasted. This means getting the garage door fixed, getting a new sprayer, and getting a new shower head (it’s only a couple of months old-I should have invested in a better one). Grrrrr. But on the bright side…my husband is still improving. 🙂

I hope the rest of you are getting some writing done. Maybe this week, I can, too!

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I’ve been a fan of horror ever since my high school librarian first introduced me to Stephen King. She suggested I read “Carrie”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Stephen King is the master. The KING. No one has ever been able to touch me quite like he has. He has a way of making you feel like you’re right there in the story and that you know all the characters intimately. King’s characters are his strongest point.

But then there’s the horror. The scary stuff, the stuff that gives you the chills. What is it that makes us want to read this? Why do we want to be scared? I’ve found, the older I get, the harder it is for me to watch scary movies, especially alone. But I LOVE reading the books. The horror fascinates me. I’m not as crazy about the slasher stuff, even though that’s sometimes part of it. It’s the supernatural, eerie, ghostly stuff I love. Or sometimes the horror isn’t supernatural, but the horror of the human psyche. There are some sick people in some of the horror books.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me because I like horror. Is there something twisted in my mind? And what about the people who actually WRITE this stuff? They have to be kind of twisted, right? But, honestly, the horror writers I’ve met on the internet have been normal, well-adjusted husbands and dads or wives and mothers. Horror writers are usually just ordinary folks. So I may never know the WHY of it all. Maybe someone can give me some ideas of why we like horror.

That brings me to my writing. The first novel I ever wrote and published, A Rocky Path, was a ghost story/love story. I don’t know why I was compelled to write paranormal romance. My second novel, Starfane, was a fantasy romance with wizards, elves, etc. in a land the heroine stepped into from a mural. I then did three novellas, one ghost story and two vampire stories. But even in paranormal romance, there is an element of horror sometimes. My ghost story novella, See Me, was criticized by a fellow author because I had mixed humor and violence in the same story. See Me is kind of snarky, with some funny things that happen, but there is a pretty violent scene in it. I don’t see anything wrong with mixing humor and violence. Even in this story, I had a tiny bit of horror. Then along came The Gnome. It was my first attempt at an actual horror story. I wasn’t sure how I would do with the fight scenes, but one of my beta readers said I nailed it, so that was a relief. Two readers told me that the story creeped them out and one of them actually dreamed of a giggling gnome. Good. That means I did my job. The story stayed with them.

So, after saying all that, I’m wondering if I’m going to end up writing horror instead of paranormal romance. My last book, Soul of a Vampire, actually was paranormal romance, but there was a little element of horror, I think. And, now, my current WIP is looking like it’s going to be horror. This one, honestly, was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a ghost. Now the ghost is kind of secondary in the story, and there’s a truly horrible thing happening in the town. This story just took a different turn than I originally imagined. There is going to be a supernatural element to the horror. So I’m wondering if my whole genre is going to change. Or am I going to dabble in more than one genre? Am I really going to end up being a horror writer? Or are The Gnome and my current WIP just me veering off my normal path for awhile? And do I have to really know the answer right now? Or can I just enjoy the journey and see where everything goes? That’s part of the fun, right?

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I’ll try to be brief. I’m playing catch up at work, and sales tax reports are due. We have to do them for five different states.

Anyway, hubby got to come home yesterday. They sent a prescription for Coumadin. I don’t know why they didn’t send one for pain killers. He’s been on one of the strongest pain killers, Dilaudid. Now he has nothing, not even hydrocodone. But he’s managing pretty good. He has to have his blood tested every three days at his regular doctor’s office. I guess that means paying a co-pay every three days for who knows how long. I wonder if they would give us a frequent buyer discount??? But I need to stop complaining about any of that. He’s home, and he’s better. We are truly blessed. The doctor said he had been a VERY sick man.

One day, in the hospital, hubby said, “I miss my puppy.” When he got home, they were both glad to see each other. Just in 10 days, Duke had grown so much. My son and his fiancee fixed him a run so that he wouldn’t get tangled up so much. (He did have a stake in the ground with a really long cable that kept getting tangled.) So Duke is glad we’re home. Our other dog and both cats are REALLY glad I’m home. And, oh how nice it is to sleep in my own bed. I’m at work right now, but I’m going home for lunch to check on hubby. His phone is by his side so he can call my mom or my son if he needs them. They are about a minute’s drive away. This will be a long, long process of healing. There’s a union where my husband works, so there’s probably no chance he’ll lose his job (I think that’s illegal anyway). I hope he can return to work in a couple of months, but it might be longer.

Sorry, I did say I would be brief. Oops.

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