Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pitching...and other stuff.

I pitched to an editor this weekend, only the second person I've shown/pitched The Jerk List to.  She had an interesting perspective.  In her opinion, it's straddling the line between romance and women's fiction, and isn't really either.  The way she said it immediately started the wheels in my head turning.  She was right.  More importantly, I know how to fix it!  Therefore, that is what I will be doing for the next month, which will mostly require reordering chapters and making them transition properly.  So, I still plan on pitching it at Nationals, but thanks to the pitch, I will now have a stronger story to pitch and hopefully (fingers crossed), I'll get a request.

Wish me luck!

I only wish my personal life was going as well.  I really feel like my life is about three things:  Work, Love, and Friends.  The problem is that all three can NEVER be going great at the same time.  For years, romance suffered, and now that I've got a great man, it seems that work is falling thanks to a single mistake that I did NOT make.  As it is, I will be struggling to have work to do for the rest of the year, which may result in leave without pay.  Plus side?  I'll be able to write more.  Negative side?  I'll be freaking out about paying rent.  I found this all out the day the tornado sirens started going off and we were told a tornado hit somewhere near my house.  Luckily, the tornado didn't hit my house, but as I'm sitting in the bottom level of the parking garage, wondering how I'm going to pay my bills for the next 6 months, and wondering if I have a home anymore, I suddenly remembered that I have renters insurance! 

My quirkiness kicked in and I started thinking...What are the advantages to having your house hit by a tornado?  I'm supposed to move at the end of the year and I could do this sooner since I wouldn't have to wait for my lease to finish.  It also wouldn't be as hard to move because I wouldn't have anything to move.  I could start over.  All new clothes, all new furniture...what woman wouldn't welcome a new wardrobe they didn't have to pay for?  My boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy.  Evidently, when when things look bad, my brain looks at the positive.  It must be a self-defense thing.

I've seen the devastation of tornado's all my life and they really aren't something to joke about.  If it had really happened, I would probably have been devastated.  But tornadoes are a part of life in the Midwest, so thinking of the positive is the best thing a person can do.  As long as you don't lose people, new memories can be made and stuff can be replaced.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vacation is over and I had a well desearved BLAST!

Well, I'm back home now after an amazing 8 days in Northern California.  There are a lot of things I could write about, but since I'm a romance writer and this blog is suppose to be about romance or writing, I'll focus on that...right after I say how amazing it was that I got to see my friend/critique partner Aimee again.  Even though we didn't get much time together, it was great seeing her and I have to ask, why is it that we always end up in a bar?  Especially since you don't drink?  I have never understood that!!!

Anyway, back to the romance.  For those of you that don't know me personally, I'm in my mid thirties and have been dating the same man for about 8 months, which is kind of a record lately since I tend to run them off. 

I'm sorry to say that this is the first time I've ever taken a vacation with a man for the express purpose of a vacation.  Let me tell you, it was interesting!  And I mean that as a good kind of interesting, not the bad kind.  To be honest, I really thought there was about a 30% chance of me coming back single.  However, everything worked out and there were no fights, tiffs, etc.  It was a great trip and I can't wait for the next one.  I did learn a few things I thought I'd share about vacationing with a man though, especially if it's camping:

1.  Men don't think about things us women have to do to feel feminine - like filing those nails that break or plucking the whiskers off our chins.  Even when you break down and explain it, they still don't get it.  So, you have to sneak away to find a mirror because they will not wait for you to pluck them in the parking garage.

2.  Don't bother trying to shave your legs in a shower that you have to feed quarters to get hot water.  No matter how diligent you are, you will forget to put a quarter in and scream when only cold water comes out. 

3.  Never point out the snake hiding in the leaves.  They want to make sure that you are not seeing things and are not scared of legless evil things.

4.  If you don't want to do that 5 mile hike - say so, especially if said man is in better shape than you.  I didn't have any problems with it, but I told him up front that it wouldn't be a race.  After all, I'm his girlfriend, not his adventure race partner. 

5.  Traveling with men is completely different than traveling with women.  I love my girlfriends, but after 5 days non-stop, we are usually ready to kill each other - especially if we have to share a bathroom.  Men are different.  Feed them, have lots of sex, be honest and you'll do just fine.

6.  Figure out what your man considers a "man thing" and let them do it.  Mine considered it the man's responsibility to start the fire.  Maybe it's left over from caveman days, who knows.  Just let them be the man - you'll be happier even if it requires lighter fluid.

7.  If you are not use to days of hiking, sex can be difficult, especially when your hips get sore.  Tell them the problem and they will find a way to fix it... ;D.

8.  Don't do everything for him.  If you're cooking, make him get the plates ready, tend the fire, something.  Make them feel involved.  It will be better for both of you.  Besides, we earned those equal rights.  Don't give them up!

9.  If you need a beer - get a beer.  Don't feel guilty if it's the last one.  Men know where to get more.

10.  And most important...Don't forget the smores.  Men like smores.  They like them so much that they will go out of their way to save a dieing fire and will destroy your can of Pam to do it (we hadn't gotten the lighter fluid yet).

Oh, and just FYI, here are a few things I learned about cooking over a campfire as well.

Cinnamon Apples are great.  All it takes is aluminum foil, sliced apples, cinnamon, and a fire.  And cooking eggs in citrus fruit is interesting.  It does not work in grapefruit, but it does in oranges.  It just takes 15-20 minutes and you'll get a lot of fly ash.

So take your man on a vacation.  Go camping.  Just remember to be yourself.  After all, there is a reason he's with you in the first place and don't worry, I have lots of new material for future books!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Diets suck

For those of you who don't know me, you won't know that last year was a whirlwind.  In February, my boyfriend completely disappeared, refusing to take my call with no explanation.  I threw myself into the gym to get my butt off the couch and dropped from a size 16 to an almost 8. Then in September, I met the man I'm dating now. 

The good part - I'm happier than I have been in years
The bad part - All those pounds I lost...They came back with friends.

So, I hit the gym again, this time to get rid of my 'happy pounds'.  A month of yogurt and spinach salads resulted in a loss of 6 lbs of fat and a gain of 5 lbs of muscle.  I have to ask myself, what was the point???

Everyone says I should be happy because muscle burns fat - but here is the deal, I do NOT want more muscle.  If I keep replacing my fat with muscle I'm going to look like the shortest Amazon in history.  I mean, how much muscle does a woman need?  I can leg press about 350 lbs with a bad knee.  Despite what everyone says, the only good thing about being this strong is that I don't have to pay others to carry my luggage!

What I want are sexy legs instead of tree trunks.  What I want is for a man to be able to pick me up and carry me to bed without pulling his back.  Maybe even a pair of knee high boots...Instead I get more muscle, which means constant hours at the gym to keep toned. 

More muscle means none of what I want above will come true.  I'd take love handles any day over more muscle.  At least love handles I can get rid of with a decent diet and some hours on the treadmill.  So I'm going to keep plugging away, concentrating on losing my happy pounds while avoiding more muscle at all costs.  If anyone has any pointers, please let me know.

On a happy note, vacation is only two days away.  I can't wait to run away where technology can't find me.  No cell phone.  No work.  Just fresh air...or according to the weather report, rain over most of my camping trip.  Still, escape will be worth it, mold and all. 

When I get back, it's time for me to start submitting "The Jerk List" and chain myself to the treadmill so I can fit into my red dress for RWA nationals.  Red is just so much more charismatic than black.