Monday, February 27, 2012

No Post Today

Sorry. No post today. I'm working to finish up the last of my revisions before sending my manuscript off to the editor at the end of the week. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

I'm impatiently waiting for Spring. I'm so ready for warm sunny days with temperatures in 60's or higher. I'm so very tired of rain one day, snow the next, then one sunny day and it's back to rain and snow. I'm trying not to complain because as far as winters go, this one has been the third mildest winter we've ever had in my area.  We usually average over 100 inches of snow each winter season and so far we have about 48 inches so it's definitely not something to complain about.

  But I'm so ready for Spring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday...Or Not

I'm knee deep in revisions for a manuscript that is due in about a week and a half so I'm not doing too much pleasure reading. About the only thing I've read in the past week or so is the local newspaper each day.

Once I turn in my ms, I plan on taking a trip to the library and stocking up on some great books and doing nothing but read (after I get home from the day job of course) for a couple of weeks. I call it feeding the creative well. I'm really looking forward to it.  I never realized how much I'd miss reading a book on a daily basis.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Looking for Inspiration

I'm nearly done with revisions on my current work in progress (WIP).  Okay, I will have them done by the end of the month and a new story is already percolating away in my brain. The problem is I'm having a hard time visualizing my hero.  I have his name -- James "Jimmy" Martin -- but no clue what he looks like.

Should he have blond hair?  Should it be short?

Or long?

Should he have short dark hair?

Or long?

Blue eyes?

Or green eyes?

Well, what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

Not being able to watch TV can ruin your night.  I don't think I watch a lot of TV but I do try to watch the local and world news every evening. (Ok, I like to watch Castle, Person of Interest, and Body of Proof every week but I DVR them and watch them on Sunday afternoons with my family.) For the last two weeks, every night about 5:40 pm we lose our cable connection and end up with either a completely black screen while the cable box reboots itself endlessly or the TV picture is so pixelated you can't even see what is supposed to be on the screen. This lasts until 10:00 pm or after.

After 4 visits by technicians throughout this week to correct the problem, the last visit last night at 7:00pm, I'm hoping the problem has finally been fixed. It seemed to be working okay but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

For someone who doesn't watch a lot of TV, I was surprised how much it bothered me that I couldn't watch the news.  Thank goodness I have the newspaper delivered to the house or I'd have no idea what was going on in the world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just finished reading Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins last night.  It was the first book I'd read by Kristan and would definitely read more of her work.

I'm not currently reading anything research related. I'm working feverishly on final revisions for my current WIP that is due to my editor the first week of March.

Thursday, 2/16/12 I'll be visiting Karen Michelle Nutt's blog talking about celebrating Valentine's Day...or not.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Coffee or Tea or...

It was windy and snowy yesterday.  Not that I’m complaining, we’ve had a very mild winter so far this season and are well below the amount of snow we usually have by this time of the year. 

I hurried through my Sunday chores so I could sit by our picture window and watch the snow as it alternated between falling in slow fat flakes and tiny flakes whirling around as they were pushed by the wind.   While I was nice and cozy sitting there on the sofa, covered up with a handmade blanket I’d received as a gift, I decided I needed something warm to drink. 

But what to have?  I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I find it to be bitter unless I add a lot of cream and sugar. (My brother calls this “sissy coffee.”)  I love hot cider but cider is hard to find after the fall season.  I’m also not much of a hot tea drinker either. I’ll drink hot tea on the odd occasion but I love a glass of ice cold tea at any time of the year.  For some reason I don’t think it tastes as good when it’s made hot.  

 Deciding to have apple cinnamon flavored tea, (it tastes pretty close to hot cider) I put the tea pot on and got a mug out of the cupboard. I opened the pantry door and there sitting on the shelf was the container of hot chocolate mix.  The idea of drinking tea went out the window. 

I had a big mug of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff just like my mom would make me when I came in from playing out in the snow.  It tasted just as good as I remembered. I think I’ll be drinking a lot more hot chocolate in the future. 

How about you?  What do you like to drink when you’re cold?

Friday, February 10, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

When I'm stressing or worrying about something, sleep goes out the window.  I don't usually have a problem falling asleep, it's staying asleep. I'll suddenly wake up at 2:45 or 3:00am and lay there worrying over whatever it is that's bothering me until the alarm goes off at 5:15am and I have to get up and start the day. Most days when I haven't slept well the night before, I wish I could throw the covers over my head and stay in bed for another few hours. Unfortunately, that's rarely an option unless it's a Sunday.

I try not to stress over things I can't control but it must not be in my make up. I'm a world class worrier. I have a friend who often says, "What will be, will be." I wish I could have that attitude. I might be able to sleep at night.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Please welcome my guest, Dolores McCabe

Good morning, Dolores, thanks for being my guest today.
Hello, Katherine, it is good to be here.

Let's get started with the interview.  No sense making our readers wait any longer, don't you think?

1.)     How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?
I have been writing all my life, it seems. I have written poetry, short stories, and novels. I have always been very good with the written word, much better than with the spoken or conversational word. I like to go over my thoughts again and again to organize them and to make sure I put my ideas and visions into words that clearly convey them.

2.)     Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?  
When I am in the throes of inspiration, I write feverishly for hours. I am not hungry or sleepy. I know that any thought I don't write down will be lost forever. I will lose the continuity and the vision will be gone. I used to drink coffee and smoke, but I have broken both habits. For quite awhile, as I research my historical topic and age, I simply scribble down thoughts on bits of paper whenever they pop into my head: A character here, a scene there, a slip of conversation, an event, in any haphazard fashion. When I am ready to put my story together, I gather all my scraps and try to organize them. I lay them out on the floor and arrange them into a logical order, then write chapters around them. Sometimes a chapter is only a few sentences at first. It will grow. I like to sit at my kitchen table and write.

3.)     I know how you feel about losing the thought or vision if you don't write it down. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one? 
I love a good romance. But I want an intelligent romance, with real decisions, choices, and consequences. I have been flirting with the idea of trying a collection of war remembrances. This would be a very personal portfolio, drawn from my father's shared experiences in WWII, my husband's in Vietnam, and my son's during peacetime. I am also working on Biblical characters. I particularly enjoy the prophets.

4.)     The collection of war remembrances sounds very interesting. Who is your favorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.)  
Wow, this is tough, but right now I would have to say Jane Austin. Although the Bronte sisters were trailblazers and I love them forever, Jane Austin's works are highly intelligent and great to read. They explore social mores and poke gentle fun at people's foibles, and at the same time they have memorable characters.

5.)     Jane Austin is one of my favorite writers too. How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?
I really hate when this happens! What I do is return to my research. If I can't write, then I read. I prefer primary sources, as they also happen to be great books in their own right. AXIOS and THE HIGHEST DESTINY are set in Imperial Rome, and I read Tacitus, Suetonius, the letters of Peter and Paul as well as the Acts, and even Petronius with much enjoyment over and over again until Claudia Acte's story finally began to knit together. Similarly, with NORTHWIND, I read "King Harald's Saga," "Beowulf", and St. Bede until Moira's adventures came to life. For THE SHADOW OF THE PHOENIX, only Edward Gibbons; "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" could do the chaotic period of the Germanic invasions full justice. Very few original writings exist from that terrible period, but Mr. Gibbons found them all and compiled the most comprehensive treatise I have ever read.

6.)     Wow, your research sounds fascinating. Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc
I work alone. I have considered joining writing groups and have attended a few here and there, but I am very shy and I had a hard time opening up. It seemed to me that most of these aspiring writers were foundering around or else bragging about whom they knew or where their last essay was published. Perhaps I attended on an off day, but I didn’t feel comfortable. Fortunately, I have met several good friends online who have graciously agreed to critique my writing. They were very helpful, because the author can't always see where the story line gets a little ragged or where the reader can't make the connection between when the author sees and what the author writes.

7.)     I'm shy too which does make it hard to open up. What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?   
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. No better advice has ever been given! If you haven't experienced, researched, or observed people, you won't be able to create believable characters. You won't be able to engage your readers and make them care about what happens to your characters. Indeed, you yourself won't care about what happens to them! If you don't have a strong story line, one that gets you from "point A" to "Point B", your story will lack conviction and fire. If you haven't developed a cohesive setting, one that you have researched, then your story will have flaws. Try to avoid "formula writing." Make your story ring with sincerity.

8.)     Great advice! Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences
My latest release is THE HIGHEST DESTINY. It started out as a sub-plot in AXIOS, but it hindered the completion of the work. I finally realized that DESTINY wanted to be a story of its own. It runs concurrently with AXIOS and shares a few characters, but the major characters of AXIOS are very minor in DESTINY. Once I divided the two, both of them rushed on their separate ways. DESTINY follows the life of Daneh, the winsome daughter of a British Druid priestess. Just a dream-laden child when the Romans arrive to subdue the Silures' rebellion, she falls in love with their callow Commander, Corbulo. She comes to Rome as his mistress without fully realizing what that means. While in the care of Corbulo's domineering aunt, she meets Merullus, the leading legalist of the day. Roman society is highly complex. Corbulo's liaison with Daneh threatens to doom his promising career. His family intervenes and has Daneh removed. Corbulo is convinced of her death and continues on to become one of Rome's greatest Generals, but Daneh finds a new love and a new life of her own.

9.)     Can you tell us a little about your next project?  
I am still throwing a few ideas around. I can feel the urge to write stirring in my imagination. I am waiting for that idea, that vision, that flash of inspiration so strong that I can't wait to create it.

10.)   Anything else you’d like to share
I'd like to thank you, Katherine, for this opportunity to dialog with you and your readers. My books are offered for sale on my website, through Amazon as paperback or ebooks, and on as ebooks. I would like to offer a link to THE HIGHEST DESTINY on Smashwords and from there you can access the listing at Amazon if you prefer, or visit my website where I have some pictures and background settings for my books.

Other books by Dolores are: 

 Dolores can be contacted at her website or by email at:

Thanks, Dolores for stopping by and telling us about your books. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Big Game

First, let me say I know I’m a day late—the big game was yesterday.

 I’m not much of a football fan and don’t watch the Super Bowl. I know it’s practically sacrilegious to admit that. I’m not saying the game’s not on. After all, I usually have a bunch of people at my house and serve a bunch of food during the game. I just don’t pay attention to it unless there are commercials on. That’s what I like to watch on Super Bowl Sunday.

Last year, my favorite commercial was of the little boy dressed as Darth Vader who thought he was able to turn on the car with his mind meanwhile his father is in the house pushing the remote start button. 

I’m still trying to decide what commercial I liked best out of this year’s crop although I do have to admit the dogs barking the Imperial theme from Star Wars was amusing.

So do you watch the Super Bowl for the football game or for the commercials?  Which commercial was your favorite?

Friday, February 3, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

Those days when the words are flowing like water, I have constant interruptions -- the phone, the child wanting another snack, the doorbell ringing, a family member stopping by for a chat with no prior notice. But on those days when I'm struggling to get anything usable down on paper, there's not an interruption to be found.  I was so desperate for an interruption one day that I went in search of laundry to do and ended up washing all the throw rugs in the house.  Desperation indeed.

Do you find the same thing happening to you?

On a separate note, I'll be visiting the Wildwomanauthor blog on Sunday, 2/5/12.  Hope you'll drop by before the big game.  


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm reading two books for pleasure right now. I'm reading the hardcover of Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich and Monogamy Twist by Nancy Jardine on my Kindle.

I'm not reading anything for research purposes right now, but am amassing a list for my next book.

What are you reading?