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That’s a quote from Mark Twain.  I included it as the title of this post because not only is it appropriate to today’s post, it’s the world I’ve been living in lately.

I’ve spent the last couple of days with my head immersed in ancient Cherokee legends as I added some details to my book, Snow Shadows, which the publisher asked for before it goes into editing.  I’ve also been working–sporadically!–on the next book in the series and my sister and I are collaborating on a book based on the life of our great aunt and on the stories my dad tells about his childhood.  Yep, after the cancer scare, we both realized if we didn’t get some of his stories down, they’d be lost forever.  Neither of us are willing to let that happen.

So, we decided to quit talking about it and git ‘er done.  In preparation for the actual writing, we’ve been researching old Southern sayings and life in western North Carolina in the early to mid 1900’s.  And frankly, I’m amazed at all the sites we’ve come across for the sayings.  I do declare, I never knew Southern-speak was so popular, but it seems it is so, there you goAin’t that the berries?  The sayings, as you may have guessed by now, are many and varied, and a few of the sites include an explanation of what they mean–for all those who don’t speak “Southern.” 

Anyway, it’s fascinating stuff and a hoot for me as I grew up hearing quite a few of them.  It’s also turned into an enjoyable way to take a break from writing and I am chugged full and happy as a dead pig in the sunshine!

I am also grinning like a mule eating briars (I used to hear this all the time, and though I haven’t found it verbatim on any of the sites, I have found variations of it) because today, October 25, 2007, my rights for my book officially revert to me.  It’s been a long, frustrating battle with a publisher who at times could make a preacher cuss or hell, [they] could even depress the devil, but now that it’s over, I feel a huge sense of relief and a lovely sense of accomplishment–hence, my mile-wide grin.

The thing is, this publisher isn’t showing any evidence of mending fences with its authors.   I suspect the only reason I finally got a professional rights reversion letter from them is because I threatened to go public with their very unprofessional behavior to various author watchdog sites.  When I did that, I also gave them a 24 hour deadline to respond to me, and lo and behold, I received the reversion letter yesterday.  As of today I am free and clear

…but they’re still stonewalling other authors.  I can’t figure out if that’s good or bad.  Oh sure, it’s bad for the authors they’re not responding to, but could it also be a good sign?  Does it mean they’re willing to fight to keep their business going–which could be very good for the authors who get their rights back because those rights won’t be yanked away from us again by a bankruptcy court if they do go under–or does it mean they’re just being spiteful?

I don’t really know, but I do know they need to step up and address all of their issues instead of popping out of hiding every other week or so to toss another round of excuses in our faces.  I’m sick of that and I just want them to know:

Excuses are like back sides, everybody’s got one and they all stink.  Now, maybe I’m letting my mouth overload my tail but fish or cut bait!  If you don’t, I’m gonna knock you in the head and tell God you died!

You think that’ll get their attention?  Probably not, but giving them down the country sure did make me feel better!

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…He opens a window.  Sure, we’ve all heard that old saying or a variation of it at some point in our life, and most of us probably smile knowingly or roll our eyes at the banality of it.  I used to be an eye-roller, but as of today, I’ve joined the ranks of those who wear an enlightened smile.

What changed my attitude?  Well, first, I’ll offer up my horoscope for the day:

The good news is that your career is about to take a very exciting turn — the bad news is that it might also take up a lot more of your personal time, at least for a while. Your past problems at work are all water under the bridge, and you have learned some very valuable lessons. 

I usually don’t pay much attention to my horoscope, just read it and move on, but today it couldn’t be more right.  Take the first sentence, “The good news is your career is about to take a very exciting turn…”  Okay, yesterday I was offered a contract from a print publisher on my sensual paranormal romance, Snow Shadows.  I signed the contract this morning and put it in the mail.  “Exciting turn” is an understatement, and the next part about it taking up a lot more of my personal time is yet to be proven, but it’s probably spot-on…and I don’t mind a bit!  

Now, the second sentence.  It starts with, “Your past problems at work are all water under the bridge…”  Well, my ongoing battle with my other publisher is just that, ongoing, but it does seem to be coming to an end.   Then it goes on to say, “and you have learned some very valuable lessons.”  I certainly have.  And for that I’d like to take a moment here to offer my thanks to the other authors and editors who are going through this battle with me.  They’ve been incredibly supportive, unbelievably generous with their knowledge, and an unflagging source of comfort when I needed it most.

The thing is…with all that’s been happening in my life lately, my faith in God has been on a bit of a down-swing.  I hated that, but I couldn’t seem to stop it from happening.  Then yesterday, when I received the contract offer, I’ll be honest and tell you God was the furthest thing from my mind.  Perhaps I was too excited or maybe I was so high up in the clouds that the thin air was clouding my thinking.  Who knows?  But when I read my horoscope this morning and that old saying popped into my brain, I couldn’t roll my eyes…because I suddently realized I was now living proof of its validity.

“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”  Oh, indeed.  The closed door for me was having to fight to get the rights to my book back from a publisher who wasn’t honoring the terms of their contract.  The open window–and in my case I got not just one, but two–is the group of friends who have been so wonderful in a time of need, and the new contract with a print publisher.

God may have closed the door, but he most certainly opened a window…or two.

I have a lot of things going on in my mind right now, so this may get a little…um, shall we say disconnected?  Arbitrary?  Jumbled?  Disorganized?  Rambling?  Garbled?

Okay, I like to look words up in the dictionary and/or thesaurus.  So sue me, a fascination with words is a part of who I am and part of being a writer.

So, first order of the day; the Colorado Rockies.  Do you believe in miracles?–indeed.  Major kudos to the team, the coaching staff, and to their ownership for having the foresight and conviction to build a team from the ground up, so to speak, and give them a chance to show the world what they could do.  These guys know and believe that old adage about there being no “I” in team, and I don’t care what anybody says, it takes a team to win the World Series.  And I do believe they have a very good chance of doing exactly that, all you have to do is look in their eyes and you can see it.

Which brings me to the second thing on my mind today; the Cleveland Indians.  Yes, I’m a Red Sox fan, and I’m still rooting for them, but I have to say, I think the Indians are going to win the ALCS.  They seem to have the same drive and determination that has carried the Rockies so far.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the Red Sox have it too, but it doesn’t look to be as strong in them as it is in the Indians.  That being said, if the Indians do go to the Series, I’ll be pulling for the Rockies all the way.  Not just because the Indians will have beaten my team, but because it’s thrilling to see a team that most people–including myself–wrote off at the beginning of the season as no more than a bump on the radar, pulling themselves up and going all the way to the championship. 

However, it would be even more thrilling to see my boys pull out of this little slump they seem to have fallen into and win it all.

A little side note here, if Terry Francona even makes a move toward Eric Gagne for however many games we have left this year, I’m taking a road trip up to Boston, hunting Gagne down, and stuffing him down Francona’s throat.

Okay, so the third thing that’s on my mind today is, of course, all these problems I’m having with my publisher.  Some of the authors who’ve pulled their rights have gotten together and started a private group where we can voice our concerns and complaints without fear of being labeled “problem authors”–something that was implied in one of the emails I received from the publisher.

In short, we’ve started a “bitch and moan” group.  I’ve posted there several times about things that bother me with this publisher.  This morning I posted about the fact that neither of the owners has bothered to address the problem with the web site being down this weekend.  No apology, no explanation, just dead silence.  One of the authors, who also happens to be an editor, followed my post with a message that wondered if any of us who’d pulled our rights had thought about the fact that when we did, whoever edited our book would not get paid for their work.  I hadn’t realized that, and okay, I admit it, hadn’t even thought about it.  I mean, I knew editors were paid a royalty–have no idea if that’s the correct term here, maybe I should say a percentage–for each time a book they edited is sold, but I had no idea they didn’t at least get paid…something for the time they put in during the editing process.  So, the editor who worked on my book will not get paid.  That sucks.  Then again, I won’t get paid either.  Still, it isn’t fair and I’m sorry her hard work will earn her nothing because she definitely improved on my work.

The thing is…(you knew it was coming, didn’t you?) the fact that she won’t ever get paid isn’t my fault, just as it isn’t hers.  As I told her when I responded to her post, the fault rests squarely on the shoulders of the publisher.  And since the publisher has gone into hiding again and isn’t responding to their authors, there’s not a whole lot any of us can do about it.  We can only hope we’ll hear something sooner rather than later and when we do, it will satisfy all of us.  Meanwhile, I’d hate to see this whole thing turn into a finger-pointing contest, or to borrow the words of this editor, an “us” versus “them” scenario.  The authors did what they felt they had to do in light of the publishers breach of contract and we’re sorry if the editors or cover artists are not being paid.  Beyond that, there’s nothing we can do.

It’s all in the publisher’s hands now.    

This whole situation with my publisher just keeps getting messier and uglier with each passing day.  I’m outraged!  So to keep myself from going ballistic and doing something stupid like driving out of state and performing an act that might make me feel better but would also see me spending time behind bars, I’m going to rant on this blog.  

Saturday morning, shortly after I posted my Friday Folly blog (a day late), the publisher’s site was suspended by their host.  The author’s loop, which I’m still a member of though I’m blocked from posting, erupted in a low rumble which quickly turned into a roar.  My inbox was flooded with messages, ranging from questions to pleas and finally, to demands.

There were a few rumors tucked in there too, but not many.  Mostly, it was authors who felt they’d been wronged, asking for clarification and reaching out for a comforting hand.  They’d adopted a sort of “circling the wagons” mentality to hold off the threat from an outside force, which I think is a good, healthy reaction to this type of situation.  It’s a scary thing for the authors involved when an epublisher goes down–and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this one is going down.  At this point, we just don’t know.  This particular blog entry isn’t about that anyway, it’s about honesty and integrity.  

The thing is, one of the owners of this publishing company is an author herself.  On top of that, she does the same thing in her day job as I do.  And that’s what’s really making me mad.  I mean, I can’t imagine doing the things she’s doing as an author to other authors and being able to hold my head up in public, much less in private, but as a teacher…I’m sorry, but that just blows my mind.

To be fair, it was her partner who wrote the scathing email in reply to mine asking for my rights back, and from all reports, has responded in the same tone to other authors who wrote him asking for their rights to be released.  But as far as I know, other than ignoring emails and posts on the author’s loop, I’d have to say she’s been professional…but she’s skating on very thin ice. 

I certainly wouldn’t want her teaching my child.  Especially if I ever caught wind of how she’d behaved in her business–and in today’s world, nothing is ever private.  So I’m afraid I would turn into one of those ravenous, overbearing parents and demand my child be taken out of her class.

You see, her partner’s actions–and the fact that she is his partner, makes her guilty by association in my mind–has pushed one of my buttons.   Well, okay, he hasn’t just pushed that button, he’s jumping all over it.  His behavior is one of my pet peeves and goes against something  I always tried very hard to teach my students; take responsibility for your actions and never blame someone else for your wrongdoings.

So I’m telling this publisher and her partner what I would tell one of my students; admit you’re wrong, take full responsibility for what you did, and don’t try to blame it on the authors who are only trying to protect their hard work.  

As a teacher, you should have known that.  And something else for you to keep in mind; you can try to cast the blame aside, but the shame will always be yours.  I hope you can live with that.

 Update:  the web site is back up and I’ve received another rights reversion letter from the publisher.  Professional, yes, but she ignored the fact that I’d asked for my rights to be returned effective immediately and said they would be released on October 24, 2007.  She also does not state in the email what rights she’s giving back to me. 

The thing is, if they do go under and file for bankruptcy, that rights reversion is about as valuable as a used tissue–no matter what date she gives me.

I have a bad feeling about this.  I think these people are playing games and stalling while they figure out what they’re going to do.

Arrgh!  Gotta go call my lawyer.

  

Well, it’s Friday–or it was yesterday when I started writing this!–and this time I only have to go back about six months to find the topic of today’s Friday Folly.

I remember it clearly, even know the date, and could probably recount every second leading up my foolish action.  I’d been debating with myself whether or not to submit my novella to a contest.  I would’ve done it in a heartbeat, except the publisher holding the contest was new.  I’d just started having doubts about my other publisher, who was also new when I signed with them, and I kept thinking; you’ve been down that road before and what if the same thing happens again?  Finally, I decided to take a chance because the story fit the contest so perfectly.  So, I hit the ‘Send Now’ button. 

A month later, I was notified that my book had won and they wanted to offer me a contract.  I was thrilled.  I signed the contract without thinking twice about it and sent it back.  Over the course of the next month, I worked with an editor–who was wonderful–and the month after that, the cover artist–who was awesome.  Everything went downhill from there.

And now I find myself caught up in a battle with the publisher for my rights and it’s beginning to look like I’m going to have to fight for them.  Their breach of contract is clear–trust me on this, I’ve consulted a lawyer–so I wrote them yesterday and told them I was taking my rights back.  Given their history of not responding to emails from their authors, I really didn’t expect to hear back from them…

…except I did.  Their quick response was nice, and I was elated to read the opening line which went something like this: “As you requested, your rights will be returned to you.”  Oh, happy day, right?

Wrong.  By the time I finished reading their response, I was not just angry, but thoroughly pissed off to the point I was ready to go postal on these people.  The rest of their email was surly and about as far from professional as you can get.  I was, in turn, reprimanded, insulted, blamed for their problems, and threatened.  All that from a publisher who not only failed to live up to their contract, but has spent the last month making excuses and blaming their mistakes on everybody but themselves.  I don’t know why I was surprised, but I was.  

The only thing that saved me from publicly spewing venom about them on every group and blog I could find is the fact that they gave me my rights back.

That was good, right?  Well, no.

The thing is, they may have given my rights back to me, but they did it in an email that I refuse to send out to other publishers when I submit my book elsewhere.  So I promptly wrote them back and told them I expected to have a rights reversion letter in my hands on or before October 25 (the deadline I gave them in the original email), and I expected the letter to be written in a professional manner, or they would be hearing from my attorney.

Will they do it?  Who knows?  I think all bets are off with this publisher.  From everything I’ve heard, they aren’t paying their staff, much less their authors, they’re picking and choosing which parts of the contract they’ll honor, and they treat their authors–this isn’t hearsay, but fact based on my own experience–as if they’re idiots and/or children who are mentally challenged.

My problem now is how do I handle this?  I could take his email and delete out all the derogatory comments and use it as my rights reversion letter–or maybe I can’t, that’s something I’ve never needed to do, so I’ve never tried it.  Or I can continue sending them emails and certified letters until I get a professional rights reversion letter.  Or I can just turn it over to my lawyer and let him handle it.

I’m not sure what I’ll do, but one thing I am sure of, this has the potential to be the worst folly of my life, because I’m not trying to kid myself that this will turn out all right in the end.   

  

Yes, I have another song lodged in my brain.  Difference is, this song I actually like–who doesn’t like John Fogerty?  I’m one of his biggest fans, and “Deja Vu” is one of my favorite songs.  Like they used to say on “American Bandstand,” it has a good beat and you can dance to it.  That’s true, but what makes it one of my favorites are the words.  Fogerty took a Yogi-ism, something that most people would chuckle over, and built a powerful anti-war song around it…and it works.  You have to admire a man who can do that. 

So, why am I singing that particular song?  No, I’m not at war…well, maybe I am.  I just spent all day composing an email to my publisher telling them I was taking back the rights to my book.  It was a very hard thing to do and my hands are still shaking, but I know in my heart it was the right thing.  Now, if I can only convince my head and my nerves of that.  

The thing is, this publisher is in breach of contract in not just one, but several ways.  I blogged about this a few weeks ago, back when I first started thinking about asking for my rights back.  I decided at that time to give them the two weeks they asked for to straighten this whole thing out.  I was hoping for the best, but deep down I expected the worse–or maybe I was just burying my head in the sand.  Who knows?  

In the end, I got what I expected, the worse.  And now, I’ve been advised by another author who’s already filed suit against them and pulled her rights that I shouldn’t ask for my rights back, I should demand them–which is what I did–in a long email complete with an attached file which detailed all my reasons.  I’m pretty sure that’s what has my hands doing the jitterbug, I hate confrontations, even when they happen in cyber-space!

Okay, so the email’s been sent and truthfully, I’ll be very surprised if they respond.  God knows a lot of their authors have been trying to get a response out of them recently, but they seem to be ignoring all of us.  So, I’m following up the email with a certified letter and then I’m going to keep sending the email every day until I get a response.

Wish me luck.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be the writer that finally makes them sit up and take notice.  And hopefully, do what they have to do to fix this godawful mess before more authors get hurt. 

On the plus side in my life while all this has been going on, the Red Sox swept the Angels and  moved one step closer to the World Series!  Now all they have to do is win the ALCS against the Indians–whoops!  Strike that, you know how superstitious I am!  Instead, I’ll just offer my deepest gratitude to the Cleveland Indians for taking out New York.  Now I can sit back and relax while I watch Boston and Cleveland battle it out for the prize.  I won’t go so far as to say I’ll be rooting for the Indians, but if they beat us and move on to the World Series, I don’t think I’ll mind as much simply because it wasn’t the Yankees.

Also, I submitted a query to a print publisher for my paranormal romance, Snow Shadows, and they asked to see the entire manuscript–okay, strike that one too.  Arrgh!  I really need to work on ridding myself of these stupid superstitions.

Maybe that would be a good self-improvement project for taking my mind off this war I’m fighting with my publisher.   

I’m about as far as you can get from being a fan of Brittany Spears (don’t even know if I spelled that right), but ever since yesterday morning that song has been running through my mind.  I hate that!  Having a song I actually like lodged in my brain makes me want to scream, but when I get one I don’t like, it makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall until the pain chases it away.

So, where did it come from and why can’t I get rid of it?  You’ve heard of the tip of the iceberg, right?  Well, a post left on the author’s loop at one of my publishers yesterday morning was exactly that.  As the day wore on, the iceberg slowly revealed itself and I am now at the point where I feel there’s no hope of avoiding the impending collision.  It’s time to morph into a rat, head for the lifeboats, and desert this sinking ship.

Hence the song.  You see, I’ve been through this before and when I felt the first minor shockwaves hit again, that damned Brittany Spears song popped into my head and it won’t leave!

The thing is, I’m entirely innocent in this one as I was in the last, so maybe I should change the words from, “Oops, I did it again…” to “Oops, they did it again…”

Who are they?  All the epublishers out there who are making promises to authors that they can not or will not honor.  Speaking from experience, being with a publisher who made promises and was unable to keep them–through no fault of their own–was bad enough.  But when you’re with a publisher who chooses not to answer emails or certified mail, who ignores the concerns of their authors, and who responds only to the posts on the author’s loop that they choose to respond to, then the only thing you can do is conclude said publisher is one of those who will not keep their promises.

Will not is a thousand times worse than can not.

To give the publisher its due, they finally made an appearance last night, but their response to the many concerns voiced by the authors was far from satisfactory.  They played the sympathy card first, the disapproval card next, and finally, turned up what I’ll call the WTF card–you know, the one that comes out of nowhere and blind-sides you, not because you didn’t know they had it, but because you can’t believe they pulled it out of their sleeve and played it.

This particular WTF card:  they suggested we have a loop party on Friday where the authors could post excerpts, hold contests, and in their words, shake things up a bit.

See what I mean?  Where is this coming from and WTF is the thinking behind it?  Why would authors who aren’t getting paid for their work want to pitch in and bail out a sinking ship by putting more of their hard work out there?  Granted, we might delay the inevitable for a while, but there’s no way we can do it by ourselves–we have to have their help!

We were also given a bottom line statement:  “[the publisher] will pull out of this.” 

That’s good, I like bottom lines, but all I have to say in this case is:

Dear [publisher],

I’m sorry, but I disagree, the bottom line here is your company is sinking down to the ocean floor, and that briny taste in your mouth is called dishonesty.  Spit it out and rise to the surface before you choke on it.

Sincerely,

[Author]     

    

I spent a great deal of time this past weekend on MySpace, updating my seriously outdated page.  Through sheer determination and a lot of uh-ohs,  I learned a bunch of things–how to change my background, how to add a fancy cursor, how to upload–download?–images and post them on my homepage–but the thing that stuck with me the most after all my time on there is how popular surveys seem to be on MySpace.

I don’t get that.  I mean sure, I read them, but I never fill them out  Besides, if I was going to take the time to fill out a survey, I’d probably choose one of those that promises something in return.  You know, like those that pop up on the Internet at times, offering free laptops or a gift certificate to some restaurant or even money if you’ll just take a small survey–yeah, right!

So, I’m a survey voyeur.  I read them, even think about how I would answer some of the questions, but you won’t ever see me filling one out.  It’s not that I don’t have the time…well, maybe that is the reason.  You see, I know how my brain works, and one suvey might take me hours to fill out.  I’d agonize over every question and once I posted it, the chances are very good that I’d read back over what I wrote, cringe at some of the answers and think what a boring person I really am.

I don’t need a survey to point that out to me.  I know I’m boring and I’m actually okay with that.  I’m a homebody, one who’s uncomfortable being in the spotlight–unless it’s in front of a bunch of elementary students, that never bothered me at all–and one who could very easily become a hermit.  Yes, that’s right, if I had my druthers, as my grandpa used to say, I’d cut myself off from the rest of the world without blinking an eye.

The thing is…if you’re an author, you just can’t do that.  You have to put yourself out there, you have to promote yourself and your books, and you have to be a participating member of society, even if it is just in cyberspace.

And thank God for cyberspace.  I don’t mind promoting myself or my books on the Internet, but I have a feeling next year when the two print anthologies which will include a story from me are released, I’m going to be wishing I’d stuck with ebooks.  I know I’m already dreading it, but I’m going to have to suck it up and do what needs to be done…

…I’m going to have to put on something besides jeans and a sweatshirt, go out in public and talk to real, live people–and I’m going to have to be nice to them.

Oh, horror of horrors!

No post yesterday, because Unwilling Angel was released and I was busy with all the hoopla that goes with having a book released.  I tell you, it’s an aweome thing when you submit a manuscript then hear from a publisher that they would like to offer you a contract, but when it finally hits the cyber-space bookshelf–after weeks, or even months, of edits, countless hours spent working with a cover artist to find just the right cover, and days of pre-promotions, it’s a relief.  You get–or I do–a feeling of whew, at last it’s done!  Now I can move on,

The thing is, what do I do next?

I have plenty of options to choose from–five, count ’em, five works-in-progress, seven completed books which need a home, more promotions for my new release, web site to be updated, etc., etc., etc.–none of which appeal to me at the moment.  You see, after yesterday’s whirlwind, I need a break and I can feel my Procrastination Slut persona coming to the fore.

I’ve written about her before in my LJ blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her here, so I’ll give you a bit of explanation.  I have this tendency to shut down, especially when I have a lot of things I need to do.  It’s irritating, but there it is.  I’ve learned not to fight it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream of what it would be like if I banished her for good.

Hmmm…I’d have numerous books either out on the market or awaiting release, I’d finish off those WIPs and get them out to publishers in the blink of an eye, I’d compose query letters and synopses with little or no painful frustration, I’d be a computer-savvy wiz at promotions, and I’d know how to upload a picture to this blog–

 –and that’s another thing, why is it when you click on the “insert image” icon on WordPress, you don’t get a “browse” option like you do on almost every other site in the cyber-world?  Instead, you get seven fields which have to be filled out and most days, my brain is way too tired for that.  Maybe while the Procrastination Slut is ruling, I should present this to her as a puzzle to be solved.  She doesn’t like to work, but she has no objection to sitting on her butt and playing around with the computer.  So, maybe if I don’t classify it as work, but dress it up as an…enigma (she likes fancy words), I can fool her into figuring it out, because I know there’s a way to do it, I just haven’t found it yet!

Anyway, the Procrastination Slut is back–hey, do you think that’s what’s wrong with the Red Sox, they’re putting off till tomorrow what should be done today, or more correctly, what should have been done weeks ago?  I’ve been trying not to think about this, but I have to say it, Boston is through for the season, they may as well pack up their equipment and slink off the field with their tails between their legs.  And I do mean slink.  They have no reason to hold their heads up and I have no desire to give them a standing O.  Come to think of it, they’d better keep their heads down, ’cause I’m sure there are a lot of fans in closer proximity than I am, who’d love nothing more than to toss a few balls and bats at them.  A word of advice, boys; keep your batting helmets handy this winter, it may save you from a hospital visit.  Oh, and during the post-season when you’re not playing, in between watching the New York Yankees win the AL and probably go on to win the World Series, maybe you should hit the Patriots up for some shoulder pads and a lesson or two on how to band together when times are tough–you obviously don’t have a clue.  To put it in lingo you’ll understand…you suck wicked bad!

Okay, that helped a little bit.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled program…the Procrastination Slut reigns supreme in my world and there’s no telling how long she’ll hang around.  So, while she’s reclining on her chaise lounge (her version of a throne), popping bite-size Heath bars in her mouth (her version of chocolate truffles), and being entertained by her sister’s latest romantic thriller (her version of a court jester), I’m going to present her with a conundrum (I think she’ll like that word):  How many cyber-space imbeciles does it take to post an image on WordPress?

Her answer (I’d bet money on this one):  Ask me later, I’m too busy wasting time right now.

I can’t think of a single thing to write about right now.  So I’m just going to do my personal style of…um, can’t remember what it’s called…you know, that psychic thingie where you have a pencil in your hand, you clear your mind, and let your pencil write without thinking about what you’re writing, only I’m doing it with a keyboard instead of a pencil–and jeez, I hope my editor doesn’t read this ’cause she’ll probably drive all the way up here from Georgia and shoot me for that run-on sentence.

It’s a ho-hum Tuesday in my neck of the woods.  The sun is coming out, melting away the mist that’s hovering around the mountains and we’re supposed to have a high of 73 degrees today.  It was down in the forties this morning when I got up and it’s almost like being back in Maine.  Except here I have the mountains around me, which is something I really missed when I lived in Maine.  Not that there weren’t mountains there, but we lived in southern Maine, about a half hour south of Portland in a little town called Saco.  You had to drive some distance to see mountains, but I could get in my car and be at the beach in about ten minutes.  That was nice, but I’m not a beach type of person, I much prefer the mountains.  I guess that’s because I was raised in Knoxville, at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. or maybe it’s because my dad’s family is from Black Mountain, NC, and I spent a lot of time there while I was growing up.  We always went to the mountains on vacation.  I never even saw a beach until I was eighteen and went to Florida with some friends after my freshman year of college.

Stream of conciousness–is that what this is called?  Hmm, doesn’t sound right, but what do I know?

Since I got up, I’ve been researching publishers, trying to figure out who I’m going to submit my manuscript to–you know, the one I just got the rights back for?  I’ve got a list of five, one of which is located in the South and is looking for books with a strong southern presence, which Snow Shadows definitely has.  It takes place in the mountains of North Carolina and is based on an ancient Cherokee legend–hard to get more Southern than that.

Next, comes the dreaded query letter–blech!  I don’t even want to think about that right now.

Okay, I’ve got to say this and quit putting it off.  Maybe if I write about it, I can put it aside.  The Red Sox lost last night and the Yankees won, which means our lead in the AL East is down to 3 1/2 games.  There are eleven games left and I’m afraid the prediction I made back in May is about to come true–the Yankees are going to come back and take the AL East.  The Red Sox, well, the way we’re playing right now, we don’t even deserve to be in the wild card race, but we’ll probably make it.  I just don’t think we have a snowball’s chance of going any farther (further–there’s those two words again, I’m going to have to look them up on Grammar Slammer and get them straight in my mind once and for all).

And as Forrest Gump said, that’s all I have to say about that.  It’s too painful to talk about.

So, this ho-hum day is going to be spent in the worst possible way–well, okay, maybe not the worst possible, but it’s pretty bad in my book–drafting, and hopefully polishing, a query letter to be sent to the publishers I’ve chosen to submit to.  I probably should read over the synopsis again, I’m sure it could benefit from a bit of polishing too.  I should probably get busy on that right now…

The thing is, there’s this side of me I call the Procrastination Slut and I have a feeling she’s going to come to the forefront today.  Which means I probably won’t get a thing done, at least, nothing of any value.  

Oh, well, that might be the best thing considering my second book is coming out tomorrow, and I’ll be busy all day with promotions.  I hope you’ll check it out, Unwilling Angel by Caitlyn Hunter at www.twilightfantasies.com.  It’s a sweet paranormal romance along the lines of It’s a Wonderful LIfe.

 

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams

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