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That pretty much sums up how my days went last week–you know, nothing exciting enough to make your heart race and all kinds of things that make you shrug and say, “Oh, okay, so that happened.”

The top ten occurrences in my life last week:

1.  I finished the first round of edits on my paranormal romance, Snow Shadows, and sent it back to the editor.  That’s usually a yippee for me, but this time it was more like a “Whew!  Glad that’s over.”  No reflection on my editor or my publisher, it’s just my happy gene seems to be on the fritz right now.

2.  My husband and I, after looking at a million or so houses, have narrowed it down to two, which should be another “Yippee!” but I can’t seem to work up any more enthusiasm than “Okay, make the offer and we’ll see what they say.”  See what I mean about my happy gene?

3.  The Patriots lost the Super Bowl and after maybe two seconds of shocked disbelief, I couldn’t help but feel proud of Eli Manning and the Giants–mostly for Eli, ’cause after all, the Giants are a New York team and being a Red Sox fan practically from birth, well…nuff said.  But since Eli’s dad, Archie, and his brother, Peyton, are so closely connected to my alma mater, the University of Tennessee and I watched Peyton play at Neyland Stadium countless times, I almost feel like I’m a part of their very extended family, so congrats to you Eli!  And maybe now I can get that darned Three Dog Night song out of my head!  Eli’s coming…

4.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were the halftime show–a major plus for me as I’ve been a fan for…forever.  But they didn’t play any of my favorite songs, so okay, that was nice, but nothing to jump up and down about.  Tom, why the heck couldn’t you play “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”?  It’s only one of the greatest rock songs ever and I probably maybe, um, there’s a slight chance I would’ve gotten up and danced a step or two…or at least thought about it.

5.  I worked on updating my web site, but I’m having trouble getting excited about that right now.  Maybe when I actually have a book on the market again, that’ll get better, but while I wait…blah.  No help for that, as far as release dates go, writers are more or less at the mercy of their publishers.

6.  I decided to take the month of February to polish up some of the books I have finished and see if I can’t get them ready to submit to publishers.  I currently have a half dozen completed manuscripts gathering cyber-dust on my computer and I need to do something with them.  I’m not making it a goal or a resolution–you know how I am about those!–I’m merely looking at them and trying to polish them enough to submit them.  If I make it, I make it.  If I don’t, well, such is life.

7.  The thing is…I don’t even have enough for a top ten list.  Ho-hum, that’s my life right now, it’s happening, but it ain’t anything to get excited about.

Then again, maybe it’s the dreary, rainy weather we’ve been having here in the mountains of North Carolina that’s got my emotions muted. 

Uh-oh, here comes another song–rainy days and Mondays always get me down…    

That just about sums up how I feel right now…wasted and without a clue what to write about.  I think I may have done some serious damage to my muse with my latest writing binge–two novellas in two months!–and I don’t know whether to get down on my knees and beg her forgiveness or just leave her to sulk in a dark corner of my mind until she gets over it.  Probably better to leave her alone and let her cool off a bit, she’s liable to kick my ass if I don’t.

So, I’ve been writing, and like I said, I’ve completed two novellas, one a cougar story which needs some serious polishing before I do anything with it, the other a…I’m not sure what to call it.  I submitted it as a paranormal romantic suspense, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I think it’s more of an urban fantasy, with elements of romantic suspense.  It’s not paranormal–I don’t think–and I hope the publisher doesn’t throw it in the trash because I sent it under the wrong genre.  Just another thing to chew on my fingernails about while I wait to hear from them.  Nineteen days and counting…

I do have something to keep me busy while I wait; the first round of edits on Snow Shadows, my paranormal romance that’s coming out later this year with L&L Dreamspell.  But since I haven’t written anything on this blog since shortly after Christmas, I decided I needed to get in at least one or two entries for January before I sink into the mire of rewrites and revisions.

Plus, a couple of things are weighing heavy on my mind right now.

First the owner of the now defunct e-publisher, Twilight Fantasies Publications, which shall not be named, did something I find truly despicable and repugnant, she’s self published a fifty page novella she once offered as a free read on her publishing site.  When I heard this, I had a true WTF moment?  Not the first this publisher’s given me and probably not the last.  Anyway, not only was the book once offered as a free read, it’s now up for sale for over sixteen dollars (hardback) and just under seven dollars (paperback).  I mean, come on, who’s going to pay that kind of money for a book that size, much less one that’s already been released for free?  It is offered in ebook format for under four dollars, but still…

The thing is…this author, who put this book out originally under her pen name, is now offering the same book under her real name.  I guess that’s a case of changing the names to protect the innocent, huh?  Not that she’s innocent in any way or form in my mind.  She’s slapped a new cover on it, listed the publisher as Twilight Fantasies (I assume to make it look like the book was good enough to get accepted by a real publisher), put the original editor’s name on it (who I understand was never paid for her work), and is asking an unbelievable amount of money for it.  Can we all say scam?

I have no idea what this particular vanity press charges to publish something, or if they even charge, could be they take it out in royalties, or something, but if they do, my question to this scurrilous woman is; did the money you owed your authors, editors, and cover artists pay for this?  And if so, when can we expect our percentage of the royalties?  Will you pay them or will you slink off into hiding like you did before, complaining all the way about people being mean to you?

Beyond that, I feel sorry for any reader who purchases your exhorbitantly priced book, they could’ve gotten your fifty pages of nothing (totally my opinion of course) for…well, nothing!  Kind of makes me wish I was vindictive enough to prove your point about how mean people are by posting a message to any readers out there who want to buy your book and offering to send it to them for free.  But alas, woe is me, one of the first things I did when I severed ties with you was delete my copy of the free download.  Oh well.  And, knowing you and your pompous jerk of a husband, you’d probably sue me for copyright violation or something.

Which brings me to the next thing on my mind–Cassie Edwards and her “alleged” plagiarism of various authors.  This one really pisses me off, for a number of reasons, all of which I’ll comment on tomorrow–I hope!

Right now, I’ve got to see if I can coax my muse out of hiding.  I may need her when I work on  those edits!  Hmm…maybe an imaginary trail of white chocolate macadamia nut cookie crumbs will do the trick. 

Oh, and before I forget, Go Pats!  And, sorry Peyton!  You didn’t make it this year, but I’ll be rooting for your brother in the play-offs.  Eli’s coming…

No, I’m not talking about another e-publisher biting the dust–although there have been some recent rumblings about trouble at one of the more established houses, but that’s all they are right now…distant rumbles and we’ll have to wait to see how it plays out–what I’m talking about here is football.  Next to baseball, football is my sport of choice.  What’s my favorite team?  Well, hmm, that’s a problem for me.

I’m a big fan of the New England Patriots and have been ever since 2001 when Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe in a game against the New York Jets.  Brady wasn’t spectacular, but he caught my eye and I remember telling my husband he was going to take the Pats to the Super Bowl.  It was just a little feeling I had.  Well, who doesn’t like to be proved right?  I do and so, the Pats became a favorite.

But…I also like the Indianapolis Colts for the same reason–their quarterback.  You see, I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee, and anybody who grows up in Knoxville knows that the only team in town is the UT Vols.  Up until we moved to Maine, my husband and I used to have season tickets and I watched Peyton Manning play many a game at Neyland Stadium.  He was a favorite too, not just because he was a good football player, but for the fact that he turned down a chance to go pro and stayed with UT during his senior year.  That doesn’t happen very often and I really liked him for that.

So now, as I have for the last six years, I find myself not knowing who to cheer for, the Pats or the Colts.  And a lot of Pats fans don’t understand that.  In fact, I’d say most Pats fans don’t understand it.  Manning is arguably their most hated opponent and saying I like him and his team is…well…them’s fightin’ words to some people.

The thing is…for me, it’s a win-win situation.  I’m pretty sure they’re going to be playing each other in the post-season, just like they have in years past.  Peyton won last year, so maybe this year it’s Tom’s turn.  Who knows?

All I know is I can’t wait for the Super Bowl.  Not only am I pretty sure one of my favorite quarterbacks will be there, but when it’s all over and done with, it won’t be long until spring training starts.  Yay!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams