Monday, March 21, 2011

squeeing fangirl moment

first, i want to remind you that i'm an audiobook fanatic. i download and listen to a myriad of audiobooks each month. i'm an audible gold member, and i adore audiominx.com.

so when i saw the post on facebook that phil gigante was going to be doing a blogradio interview, i was all over that like cheese whiz on toast.

this man has a voice like no other, and he does such a variety of voices and accents it boggles my mind.

added to that, he narrates some of my favorite authors: Christine Feehan, Nora Roberts, and a personal addiction, Karen Marie Moning. the Highlander series was an absolute joy to listen to.. but Barrons? *swoon*

i quickly signed up to blogradio.com joined candinkelly's show just so i could chat with the other rabid fans and comment on the voice interview as it went along. i laughed my butt off at some of the things that were being tossed around - those girls are naughty! - and joined in the fun.

then "it" happened.

he spoke to me. me.

i blushed. profusely.

still am, actually.

the interview is now downloaded to iTunes and i think i'll listen to my 30 second moment with phil every day from now until forever.

if you're so inclined, you can listen to it here (51:40 is magic time)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

my big adventure

today i went out of my "me" zone.

i like my little office and my living room reading nook. i'm used to those places. i'm comfortable there.

BUT, i'm also very easily distracted. facebook is readily available. the house phone rings. the cats go berserk over something. i decide that (fake) hunger is stronger than the urge to write.

there are days that, while i'm constantly doing something, i get absolutely nothing accomplished.

so today i got prettied-up, packed up my laptop in my big ol' Tommy purse that doubles as a fashionable carrying case and drove to my local bookstore slash Starbucks with the grand intention to write.

now, i'm the first to admit that i am not an adventurous person when flying solo so this was a big deal for me. while i'm pretty self-assured, i'm also the kind of gal who likes to know what's what, and how things are going to go down before dipping my toes into the water. this may not have been the ocean, but i was still doing something new-to-me and i didn't want to end up looking silly.

when i arrived, i knew that my chances of finding a quiet table would be slim when i had to park at almost the furthest spot from the door. nevertheless, i walked in and scooted right over, totally self-conscious about the honkin' big computer poking out of my purse, to the Starbucks-designated area.

all i wanted to do was find a corner table and settle myself before ordering my second-ever Starbucks drink and what i hoped would be a fantastic chai latte. (i don't get out much, can you tell?)

no. tables.

i stood there, completely boggled for a minute, staring at all those PEOPLE, before turning around and practically running for the romance aisles.

there, i managed to focus enough to face a bunch of my Diva friends' books so that they caught the eye of anyone passing by and find a couple of books i'd been wanting. i made a deal with myself that if it were still busy in the cafe i'd just buy the books and go home. no shame in that... i'd tried at least.

finally, i crept back over to the corner that houses Starbucks and lo and behold, there was ONE TABLE.

my competitive instinct instantly kicked in. mine.

i quickly shoved the books i was carrying onto the nearest shelf and stepped up to the counter to ordered a 'whatever's the biggest' chai latte, turned to claim my prize only to find that a guy had parked himself in the seat at MY TABLE.


shit. now what, right?

resigned to the fact that my big adventure was total bust, i waited for them to foam my milk and made mental plans to cozy up in my living room for the afternoon, insane cats or not.

but then i noticed that the interloper at my table didn't have anything in hand. in fact, he appeared to be waiting for a girl who was putting sugar in her coffee at the condiment kiosk.

hope sprung wild again, and i quickly ripped the lid off of my tea to add a squirt of honey to it, all the while watching for the man to vacate his seat.

at last, SUCCESS! i managed to shove the lid back on and scurry over just in time for the couple to leave. let me tell you, it was a close call - there were vultures circling as i settled into my seat. i simply avoided eye contact and went about setting up my temporary workstation.

thankfully, there were at least 4 other laptops glowing on various tables so i didn't feel like a complete ninny pulling mine out and booting up.

i spent two lovely, relaxing hours plugging away at Forgiveness, people watching and sipping a delicious honey chai latte before packing it in and shopping around a bit more.

i think i'll do it again next week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Come to the dark side...

so, i'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

Touch, 1st draft, is done!!!

*cue trumpets of celebration*

in reality, it's not so much a 1st draft since i'm the first to admit that i SUCK at fast-drafting. my internal editor is a stubborn bitch and doesn't shut her incessant complaining that things must be done perfectly the first time through. wrangling that feisty inner-voice into the far reaches of my mind to be quiet is a challenge. but the end result is that my short story isn't in quite as much of a mess as other fast-drafts i've heard about.

i'm looking forward to getting it back from my mentor (who's totally kicked my ass into well-needed shape!) and diving into edits.

in the meantime, though, i've gone over to the dark side.

by the way, those cookies that they're always tempting us with?

lies.

there aren't even any worthwhile crumbs to lick off the plate.

there IS lots of angst and emotional discovery, though.

Forgiveness is pretty much the complete opposite from Touch... the characters get beaten down (quite literally, actually) and it's all about the struggle to pick themselves back up out of the dirt.

i'm not gonna lie - it's a hard place to keep my brain. i'm essentially a pretty cheerful person so putting myself into Liam or Tori's proverbial shoes is a stretch sometimes.

nonetheless, i've had way more moments of clarity in the 13k i've written on Forgiveness than i ever did on the seemingly endless 21k of Touch.

For example, I'm plugging away, totally engrossed, and something like the following appears on screen:

[The doctor] paused and set down her pen, clasping her hands to rest them on her ever-present pad of paper. She seemed to be contemplating what to say next, or even if there should be a next. Finally, she raised somber eyes, meeting Tori's gaze, and continued.

"I'll be honest. The ones who've been down that road are never whole again. Maybe some of the pieces in the puzzle that is 'self' are chipped, and maybe there's a piece missing here or there. But if you look closely, you can still see the whole picture of who they once were. Those missing and chipped pieces simply serve to shift that image into a new one. One that shows who they are now."

The leather of her chair creaked comfortably as she leaned back, taking off and setting her wire-rimmed glasses on the polished wood desk.

Over time, the rough edges will begin to smooth out, and you'll see who they're meant to be." Intelligence and a keen knowledge shone in her blue-gray eyes as she stared fixedly at Tori, and a lovely smile bloomed on her striking face. "That, my dear, is why I love what I do. It's my job to sort out those pieces. To find out what's missing and to help polish out the more jagged edges."


i'll sit back and think where the heck did THAT come from?

i can't say that i have personal experience in being completely broken and trying to pick up those pieces again. still, i've had my own problems and firmly believe that inner emotional development is relative. it's whatever we make of what gets thrown our way, right? with each experience, we can choose to learn and better ourselves, or sit down in the pity-puddle with a whimper and wallow.

i think that the drive to write so deep comes from books that i've read in the past.
i've always loved the darker, angst-filled characters in books the best. from the quietly falling apart Elle in Megan Hart's Dirty to the explosively violent anger of Zsadist in JR Ward's Lover Awakened. Inez Kelley's Sweet as Sin has a tortured character, John, who's fears and secret desires just grip your heart and drag you into his emotional riptide right along with him.

some characters expose you to things you've never personally experienced and leave you wondering if you ever really want to again.

the ability to create a character that comes alive and captures a reader so fully that they feel what your hero feels is a special kind of magic. something i strive for every time i drop words onto a page.

and that, my friends, is why i want to write.

now where the heck are those cookies i was promised?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

nuts about nerds


i don't know about you, but there's something about a little bit of dorkiness that just makes me melt.

i'm not talking about the hee-hawing, suspender-wearing, can't-make-a-sentence-with-words-less-than-five-syllables-each type - Steve Urkel has never done it for me. but i have a special soft-spot for an I-have-brains-but-don't-feel-the-need-to-rub-it-in-your-face kinda guy.

smarts are ├╝ber-sexy in my books, and I really enjoy having an interesting conversation with a man who's mission is to explore strange new topics. i especially love their quirkiness, off-the-beaten-path humour and veiled references to sci-fi.

even better? when they have a heart of gold, that special touch of bashful humility and are drop-dead gorgeous. besides, i can't think of anything more fun than trying to make a shy-boy blush only to have him turn the table and surprise the socks off of me instead!

in my short story Touch, Finn is a Clinical Psychologist with a maybe-more-than-slight predilection towards geekiness. think math-nerd, Star Wars fandom and just a hint of social awkwardness at times. dude has some serious brains and isn't afraid to use them with confidence, even though his self-esteem took a hit when it comes to bedroom action. still, he's willing to risk what's left of his dignity on a hot night of fantasy with a mystery woman.

he's also built like a god and has a smile that lights up a room, but of course Kass doesn't know that - she's literally in the dark about his looks. while they get to know each other, she's attracted to his humour, attention to detail, and the almost shy way he confesses his deep, dark secrets. on top of all that adorkableness, she gets her mind blown by his surprisingly assertive between-the-sheets skills.

turns out that Finn uses his smarts not only to kick-ass in his career but takes his time to learn what makes a woman happy. and boy-oh-boy, by the end of the night, Kass is one lady glad to be getting-it on with a geek!

he's just the kind of guy i'd like to get my hands on. maybe i should start searching for a local Star Trek convention...

If you're looking to unlock your inner dork, check out this awesome website:

think geek dot com

i'm especially fond of the Tribbles, magic wand tv-remote and omg, pwnies! t-shirt


(photo of Nate Dern from Season 3 of Beauty and the Geek)