Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks

Before anyone starts, I'm aware of the late nature of this blog. But I worked six days last week, including Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the FSU/UF game, and the day after--I needed a day to remember exactly what I was thankful for besides Tylenol, vodka, and my bed.

My Family

Expected, but true. My grandmother died December 9 of last year; this is the first Thanksgiving without her. It hurts. I won't pretty it up. There have been moments through the entire year where I've seen something or done something or went by someplace that reminded me of her and I would get teary-eyed. We all know that death is real and that it eventually comes for people we love. But for some reason whenever it does come it's still a shock to everything we are. So this year I'm thankful for my mother, my sister and her husband and kids, my uncle (even though he drives me nuts) and my cousins.

My Job(s)

Firstly, because waiting tables pays my bills. I'm always thankful to get my bills paid. I actually do something of a happy dance after it happens. But I'm also thankful for my job because it's introduced me to a ton of crazy, weird, amazing people (more on some of them later). I enjoy talking to people (most of the time) and I feel like being in a job where I have to read people and interact with them has made me more stand-on-my-ownish. And I'm thankful for writing because I feel like if I didn't write I would spend entirely too much time in my head--or that I would spend entirely too much time spouting gibberish. Writing gives me the chance to tell an amazing story in my own voice and way and to hopefully leave a mark on the world.

My Friends

Now I'm naming names. Because these are awesome people, each in their own way. In no order of importance:
Sam--aka The Sam, M1. We met at Village Inn. We've been there together for what seems like forever. We finish each other's sentences, back each other up, support each other and whatever bad decisions we make, and are close in inseparable.
Katie--aka My Biat-cha (seriously--that's how she is in my phone). We met at Village Inn (pay attention, you'll start to see a pattern here). She's crazy. Seriously crazy. She's my wild friend, the one who could call me and say she ran off and got married in Vegas and all I would ask was why I wasn't invited. We can go months without talking and yet we'll pick up a convo like we just talked five minutes before. We'll dance at each other's weddings or help cover up a murder.
Michele--runs a close second to Katie in the crazy department. Our bonding came after one dinner with friends--we decided to drive to New Orleans together. We've pretty much been the party duo since then. It used to be said that if a party was organized by me and promoted by Michele, it was a must attend. Christmas party last year? One word--EPIC. We're close to inseparable, but in a crazier way.
Pamela--my writing partner across the pond. We've never physically met but once we hooked up through WeBook we've clicked and we've been rocking ever since. We read each other's works, offer constructive criticism, do some butt-kicking when it's needed, and just all around support each other. Here's to a year of writing, the first of many, and fingers crossed that someday we'll see each other's works in the bookstore and give happy squees of delight.
Tony and Cole--These two guys are nuts. Put Michele, Cole, Tony and I in the same room and shit gets real. They're the male version of Michele and I and that includes the drinking capabilities. We can go off on a riff without almost any other provocation and just go for hours. They are awesome in every way imaginable and I can't wait to meet up with them in Vegas.

And finally--R.

R. doesn't fall into the category of friend or family and definitely not job. He's a category all his own. To simplify matters, R. is the person I talked about a few posts back. He's The One. So while I'm thankful for him because he's The One, I'm also thankful for other reasons. Being with him and waiting on him has taught me a new level of patience--I have a feeling that I'm going to learn multiple levels of patience because of him. I've also learned not to settle for less than what I want--in this case, R. Most importantly, I've learned to trust my own judgment and follow my own instincts. Recently I told a friend that I wanted her to meet R.--her response was that she didn't know if she would like him. I told her I didn't really care either way--I don't need her approval, I just wanted her to meet the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Before R., I would have hemmed and hawed and questioned my gut. Not now. So I'm thankful not just for who R. is but how R. has changed me.

So, that's my thankful list. There are other things, such as great reviews and great reviewers, but what's above is the top of the list. And now I'm off to read one last book before going back to my writing schedule of craziness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Miles and Miles to Go...Through the Woods

I'm a city girl. I have no shame in saying this. I enjoy the noise, the closeness to a hundred amenities, the relative anonymity of being one of a hundred thousand. Having said that, I don't like big cities. My hometown caps out at slightly under 200,000 and during the summer we lose at least 50,000 of that--the colleges empty out and Tallahassee becomes something out of a ghost town. Traffic is easier to deal with and people are just nicer than during the school year.

Despite--or maybe because--of my love for the city, I'm both intrigued and freaked out by nature. Nature being woods. I'm not freaked out by fields. Well, as long as the grass is short. When it gets really tall I'm reminded of scenes from The Lost World and Predators. I'm not freaked out by lakes or rivers or oceans. Well, unless I've watched something like Lake Placid or Piranhas or whatnot. Come to think of it, nature is pretty brutal, so I guess being freaked out by it isn't all that weird.

But the woods are where the major freak out area. Maybe it's the limited visibility. Maybe it's all the weird random noises that you hear in the woods. Who knows, maybe it's all the flippin' green. Whatever the reason, the woods freak me out. So it's interesting that most of New Moon Rising is set in a highly wooded area, if not in the actual woods.

I'm not writing to overcome my freaked out feeling about nature. That's just the way the story needs to be written. But it's interesting writing slightly outside of my comfort zone. We'll see how long that holds up, but for now it's different and enjoyable. And now I'm going to eat lunch with my friend who will not stop yapping at me until I get up and get dressed and go listen to her whine about something, who knows what it is this week, until we both start laughing about ridiculousness.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Working on a Deadline

First off--it's a new look! If I mentioned this already, we'll pretend that I didn't because I don't remember which for me means that it probably didn't happen. And I'm aware of how strange that sounded. Anyway, new look for the blog. We'll see how long it lasts. Either I'll get bored with it and change it or I'll be constantly distracted by it and change it or I'll just get used to it. Who knows.

Second, thanks again to Blog with Bite, Quackers & Tease, and The Bookish Snob for hosting me on my first blog tour. I don't know how far reaching the results will be, but I'm counting on word of mouth to help sales and such along. The more people who buy, the more it helps my income. The more my income goes up, the less I have to work at the bill paying job. The less I work there, the more I write. The more I write, the more I can get out for readers. It's a beautiful, vicious, thrilling cycle.

In my efforts to flout tradition and forge my path, I've decided to release a book every 3.5-4 months, or roughly 4 books a year. At this point, it's looking like 2 for each series, which means by this time next year there will be 4 Jude Magdalyn books and 2 Cari Gravier books. If I go completely psycho, I'll manage to work in a fifth book, completely new series, but I'm not placing bets on that quite yet. The characters of that particular series are stubborn and secretive and very, very quiet. I actually didn't hear anything from them for quite a while, and then suddenly BAM! I wrote 9 pages. Maybe I'm back on track, maybe it was a fluke. I'll find out eventually.

I've never actually written on a deadline. Well, for school and papers, but I haven't written a book on a deadline. The closest I've come to a deadline was doing edits for Shades of Desire, something that nearly drove me nuts. The edits, not the deadline. Publishing actually came out ahead of the deadline, so I guess I live for pressure, even it makes me slightly anal and definitely cranky.

So while I'll do my best to keep the blogs to about one a week, maybe two if I'm feeling chatty, please understand that I'm trying to be professional. Trying. The self-imposed deadlines may actually snap any professionalism I may have, but here's hoping that it doesn't. So if I drop off the radar, don't worry. I'm alive. I'm writing. And I'm probably a little crazy.