• It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
  • A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
  • You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
  • Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
  • Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
  • I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm sick today and sound like I've been smoking unfiltered Camels since birth. Luckily blogging doesn't require the use of my vocal chords! Before I head back to bed, I wanted to wish everyone Happy Healthy Holidays and a Happy, Prosperous, New Year! As I reflect back on 2009, there were many things that took priority over writing. (Work and settling my dad's estate the major two.) Now, on the cusp of 2010, I have freed up more time to focus on my goal of publication in 2010. Is it a realistic goal, considering getting published is not solely under my control? Maybe not. But if hard work and determination matter, you'll see my name in print.

Please share your goals for 2010 with me. It's been my experience that saying them out loud where others can hear, or writing them down where others can see, makes you more determined to achieve them. With the love and support of family and friends, we'll get there.....together. 

Best wishes!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lessons Learned

Last week, while reviewing the first twenty-five pages of my manuscript Love, Hospital Style, in preparation for entry in the Great Expectations contest, I learned two very valuable lessons.
1) You can't please everyone.
2) You need to step away from a manuscript for at least a week so you can do your final edit with a fresh pair of eyes.

Let me explain. In my attempt to write a perfect manuscript that would appeal to the masses, I obtained many critiques. Some loved my hero, others thought he wasn't a nice person. Some found the humor entertaining, others thought it was over the top. Some thought the heroine was fiesty, others thought she was whiney. Luckily, my critiquers found my voice strong and my writing entertaining.

Mistake #1: In my attempt to please everyone, I reviewed each critique and went back into my story to tweak my characters, explain motivation, and expand on backstory accordingly. As a result I slowed the pace of the all-important first chapter, where editors and agents get their initial impression of writing style and voice, and often times make the decision of whether or not they want to work with the writer.

Mistake #2: I thought 3 days was enough time to let the story sit before I went in for my final edit. It wasn't. A fact made painfully clear when I reviewed my story last week (about month after entering it into the Golden Heart Contest and submitting it to Harlequin and 3 Seas Literary Agency) and immediately identified flaws. How could I not have noticed this? I wondered. Because I was too involved in  the thought processes of writing the story to complete the final edit with any objectivity.

At first I was devastated. I'd had such high hopes for this manuscript. But after a handful of Ferrero Rochers I decided not to dwell on it. After all, there's nothing I can do now but hope the judges and publishing professionals reading what I've submitted find potential in my writing despite what I feel are a few easily correctible flaws. Even better, maybe they won't even notice! In any event, I've learned from my mistakes and my future manuscripts will be better as a result!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A writing update

Happy Holidays friends, family, and dare I hope fans!!! I know you are busy and that's why you haven't had time to comment on my posts. But I know you're out there! (And thank you to those of you working feverishly to learn how to comment and join my blog as a follower, especially my friend Nancy who may even break down and ask her daughter for help!!!) 

I've had a busy week. Not shopping, since I can't stand waiting in line and made sure to be done before Thanksgiving. I've been busy working, trying to improve my writing resume. I've written and edited two short stories which I've submitted to Woman's World Magazine. (I'm a new fan of Woman's World and highly recommend you pick up a copy.) I joined a bunch of RWA (Romance Writers of America) loops so I can intereact with other writers and get my name and blog out there. It's all about promotion. I have nothing to promote you say? I hope to soon, and I plan to have people looking forward to reading it by keeping you up to date on what goes on in the life of a new writer as she pursues her dream of publication in book length fiction.

On schedule for today is entering the first 24 pages of my completed manuscript, Love, Hospital Style in the Gerat Expectations contest sponsered by North Texas Romance Writers of America. Contests are subjective, and it can be frustrating to finish second in one and not place at all in another when you've submitted the exact same entry in each. But it's a way of having another set of eyes view your work and make suggestions and hopefully you reach the finals where your manuscript makes it in front of an editor and/or agent. In the case of the Great Expectations contest, Victoria Curran, Editor for Harlequin Super Romance is the final judge. (She's my editor of choice for this project.) Keep your fingers crossed! I also plan to work on the sequal to Love, Hospital Style. If I can get the first twenty-four pages polished to my liking I will try to submitt it to Great Expecations by the 12/30/09 deadline. If I'm going to do that I need to get back to work!  Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you to all of my blog-challenged friends who couldn't figure out how to comment or join as a follower, but sent me e-mails instead.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is writing a solitary occupation?

I've heard it said that writing is a solitary occupation and when I'm sitting at my laptop late into the night/early morning hours, I agree. But since I don't have a relative in publishing who's willing to print and market my book for me, I emerge from my make believe world, bleary-eyed and stiff-fingered, so that I can re-join the real world where I  mingle and network via phone, e-mail, and Chrysler Pacifica. I tap into my most valuable resource, my friends and family who answer my questions, tell me they value what I have to say even when agents and editors don't, and who hopefully share my name with all of their friends and relatives by marriage. Even unpublished authors have lots of help and many people to thank. And since I have this new public forum, I thought I'd take a moment to mention a few. And I'm not telling any of you ahead of time so that I can see if you're really following my blog!!!
1) To Harold G. For giving me a reason to write and a chance to learn that I like it. A special thanks for all of your help this past year.
2) To my sister, Dale B., the first person I confided in about my secret passion for writing. For believing in me and encouraging me. For knowing in her heart that some day I'll get published. For being my most radical fan and providing hours of laughter. Can you think of a word that rhymes with vagina? (Private joke!) I love you oodles of cheese doodles.
3) A special thanks to my neighbor Nancy B., a voracious reader, who has read and critiqued both of my completed manuscripts and pretty much reads everything else I send her. For enjoyable dinners at The Blue Fountain. For standing firm that I shouldn't make Ali lose her baby. You are so much more than an unappreciated wife and mother. You are a dear friend. (And a whiz at punctuation!) I appreciate you more than you know!
4) To Eileen B.M., MD. For answering my questions about the signs and symptoms of threatened miscarriage and follow up treatment. For not pointing out that the first time we communicated in  years I was shamelessly pumping you for information.
5) To my cousin, Ron W., Esq. For answering my legal questions, and when you couldn't, for offering to put me in touch with someone who could.
6) To Agent Leslie Cason at the DEA's Office of Diversion Control, who will probably never read this blog, but deserves thanks for the time she took in answering my question: What would happen if a physician's official NYS prescription pad, complete with his signature and DEA number, was found in the hands of a drug dealer?
7) To my writer friends who have critiqued snipets of my work. Carol Storm, Marie W, and Linda Rader.
8) To my family who eats lots of take out food without complaint. Come to think of it, they only complain when I cook!!!
9) To Amy Katz who has generously offered to critique my future work.
10) To my friend Grisel D. who forwarded my e-mail announcing my new blog to all of her friends. And she has a lot of friends!
11) And another thank you to my new friend and critique partner from across the continent, Linda Rader, for her blog, which gave me the guts to start my own and share my secret with the world.
I AM A WRITER. Note to everyone reading this post: When we chat, don't ask me how my book's coming. I'll either talk until you fall asleep or I'll use language that's not fit for decent company. It depends on the day. And don't ask if I've been published yet. Because trust me, when I get published I'll make sure you know!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Robert's Rules of Writing

For all you writers out there, I'm currently reading Robert's Rules of Writing written by Robert Masello. It's entertaining and informative. I highly recommend it. I'm only half way through and have already found many helpful suggestions I'd like to share:
-  At the end of your writing day jot down notes for where you think the story is headed so you can jump right in the next day.
-  Don't read books similar to what you're writing or you'll lose your voice. The better the writer you are reading the more you are at risk of assimilating his/her style into your own.
-  Write what you like to read. (That's pretty basic. But needs to be said.)
-  Make your readers worry. Readers savor the struggle, it makes them keep turning the pages.
-  Jot down your ideas whenever they happen, wherever you are. You will forget them if you don't.
-  Outline. Plan your journey. It will keep you focused.
-  Don't look back. Finish the complete first draft before you go back and edit. (I have a hard time with this one.)
-  Let it marinate. Step away from the project before doing the final read through.
-  Keep the action going. If you have trouble, close your eyes and play your scene out as if it were a movie. Then write what you see.
-  Get dramatic. Create empathy. Make the reader care
-  Flaw your hero.
-  Your villian can't be all bad. Give them backstory. Humanize them.

I'm sure I'll have a bunch more suggestions to share after I finish the book. Look for them in the next week or so. Or better yet, pick up a copy of this book. There are 101 lessons every writer needs to know. (His words not mine.) And he spends a page or two on each.
Happy writing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My blog title

I wanted a creative title for my blog, something catchy like: The Sexual Intellect. Smart Bitches Trashy Books. Romance Divas. Romance Junkies. The Passionate Pen. But they were all taken. So I went with honesty. Must Have Romance. Nurses tend to see the sadder part of life. Sickness. Injury. Death.  Debilitation. Lonliness. Helplessness. In order to maintain balance, you need to find happiness and fulfillment outside of work. My family brings me both. So does reading and writing romance. I like all kinds of romance. Contemporary. Historical. Erotic. Suspense. I'm even getting into paranormal. I love the first meeting, the journey, the conflict and resolution. (And yes...the sex!) But most of all I love the happily ever after. Is it realistic? No. But reading is my entertainment, my relaxation, and my joy. Why shouldn't I get what I want from the experience?  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Welcome to my blog! This is my inaugural post. Since it's only 3:00 p.m, join me in a virtual toast.