Archives for January 2012

What’s In A Name?

I’ve been listening to the audio books of “The Bride Quartet” by Nora Roberts over the last couple of days. It’s been a long time since La Nora has written a series of straight-up contemporary romances without mystery, suspense, or woo-woo stuff, so I was listening to learn.

I have various reactions to the books themselves, but what really blew me away were the number of named characters. Not only do we have the four female leads and the four male heroes, not only do we have important secondary characters, but we have a positive plethora of brides, grooms, wedding party members, and others who show up throughout the four books as minor characters. The number of names needed for this series dazzled me.

A Few Things About Cats



    • Do not help with the household chores.
    • Occasionally use the rug as toilet paper – especially if the rug is light in color.
    • Watch to see where you habitually walk with bare feet.  Then they cough up a hairball in that exact spot.
    • Enjoy nibbling on a houseplant now and again.  Then their stomachs rebel.  Violently.  In the path where you habitually walk with bare feet.
    • Can fly if they really want to reach a high perch, catch a bug, or are determined to pull down a stack of books and magazines.

On Reviews and Responses

Yet another broohaha in Romancelandia over reviews and the author’s response to said reviews has prompted me to examine my own responses to the reviews I’ve gotten on my book. I would prefer not to be stupid as I pick my way through the minefield which is publishing.

Sometimes it’s hard to know the right thing to do. You’ve written this thing, you’ve poured your heart into it, given it your time. Then you release it into the wild and not everyone sees it the same way you do.

Go With The Flow

The other day, two of my characters decided to um, get busy with each other.

I’m a romance author. Characters tend to get busy (*wink, wink*) in romance novels. But here’s the thing. I hadn’t planned for this to happen in the scene I was writing. I hadn’t really wanted it to happen in this particular scene. A little later on, yes. But not now. And yet I looked up from my typing and the heroine was sitting in the hero’s lap playing tonsil hockey.

Fashion Changes

I was in the cafeteria at work the other day thinking about how much workplace fashions have changed since I was a shiny new worker-bee Betsy.

For example, I was working at a bank when casual Fridays came into vogue. In fact, they had been all the rage in other industries for several years (banks are notorious late adopters of fashion trends). It was a HUGE deal when this bank decided to prove how progressive it was by adopting casual Fridays. They printed a multi-page pamphlet and distributed it to all employees giving guidelines of what was appropriate casual wear, and what was not. If we had any questions, we were supposed to contact our supervisor for guidance.

Shaking the Piggy Bank

Every year I fall into the “goals” trap. I think it’s because the shiny new year stretches before me and makes me think anything is possible. This year I have goals in two primary areas – writing and getting out of debt.

The writing goals are important and I’ve talked about them before. But the “getting out of debt” goals might be even more urgent.

If I could go back to the Betsy of 30 years ago, I would tell her not to get into debt in the first place. I would tell her to do without rather than charging stuff. I would tell her that the stuff she charges isn’t going to be worth a flea’s sigh in a couple of years anyway. I would tell her to save money for things. I would tell her that debt is like a bad marriage that never ends. I would tell her that debt is a way of selling yourself into slavery, that it’s a huge rock you have to carry around, that it just gets heavier and heavier as time goes on.