• 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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What are you reading right now?

Recently, I visited my local Borders with a thirty dollar gift card and a ten dollar off a purchase of twenty five dollars or more coupon in my wallet. An avid readers dream, right? I searched the new releases table and scanned the shelves of the romance section, (literally from A-Z) reading the backs of dozens of potential purchases, and could only find one book that interested me. This is shocking, BECAUSE I LOVE BOOKS. (In fact they're stacked so high at the head of my bed, any robust activity puts me at risk for a paperback induced head trauma.)

Do I read too much? Have I read all the good ones? Has my brain become saturated by so many similar plotlines?

Thank goodness for Harlequin. Earlier in the month, prior to my Borders visit, I placed a rather large order at, and received the newest releases from Robyn Carr, Victoria Dahl, and Kristin Kiggins in the mail, along with assorted other books that have been keeping me busy when I'm not writing. Even the book I traveled to Borders to buy was from Harlequin, Leslie Kelly's Play With Me. (Sounds good doesn't it? I read about it at

Anyway, back to my point: Where have all the enjoyable, single title contemporary romances gone? I have my favorite authors, but at one-to-two books a year, that's a lot of down time. So I did some investigation and found several blog posts where authors and agents were chatting about a decline in the popularity of contemporary romance, and how they are harder to sell to publishers at this time. (Please take a moment to imagine my dramatic rant at the inopportune timing of this contemporary romance is what I write, and what I love to read.)

 So I'd like to know: What are you reading right now? Or....What are you thinking about reading? (And if you aren't reading something, or thinking about reading something, you should be!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pitch Session

While perusing the Internest, an obsession of late, I came across information that Victoria Curran, an editor with Harlequin Superromance, will be hosting an online pitch session on 2/26/10. To enter you need to send a 2-paragraph blurb about your completed manuscript by 2/15/10. Five entries will be chosen and announced on or around 2/23/10. For more info. go to or search Editor Pitch: Harlequin Superromance. Unfortunately, if you've already submitted a manuscript you cannot pitch it. Which means I need to get busy on my work in progress. If I can write 10 pages a day (which doesn't sound like a lot but is) I may just make it.

And for you sports fans out there, J*E*T*S* Jets, Jets, Jets! In my high school days I would have followed that cheer with a cartwheel and a split. I'm sorry to say those days are long gone.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A short story

Well, it's official. Woman's World Magazine wasn't interested in either of the short stories I submitted. At first I was discouraged, as I always am when I receive a rejection letter. But then I decided to share one of the stories on my blog, which made me happy again. (Although the financial side of that arrangement kind of sucks!!!) So here goes....I hope you like it. And I would love to know what you think.

Double Duty

By: Wendy S. Marcus

Through the glass wall of Drew Colby’s office he had a direct view into Elaine Fox’s cubicle. It was a definite distraction. She tapped an index finger on her chin three times and wound a coffee colored curl behind her ear. As she reached up for something, her yellow blouse pulled from the waistband of her black pencil skirt. That’s when she caught him, again, her lips curving into that demure half smile that belied her cool, confident business persona.

After six months on the job she’d easily earned the respect of her colleagues, but he couldn’t name one who called her friend, or who knew anything about her private life. What was she hiding? Who was the real Elaine Fox? Until he knew for certain, he’d keep his distance. Because even though her brains, good looks and quick wit appealed to him, his daughter, Ariel, didn’t need another secretive, career-focused businesswoman in her life.

“Fox’s leaving early again,” Dan from purchasing whined as they both watched her slip a binder into her briefcase and toss a candy apple red wrap around her shoulders. “It’s not fair that chicks get to cut out early whenever they want, and dudes have to put in the full nine to five. She don’t even have kids as an excuse.”

“Elaine is in at six-thirty every morning. She works through lunch and from home for the privilege of leaving early three days a week. Are you willing to do that, Dan?”

The disgusted look on Dan’s face gave his answer, and he left without further comment.

On Saturday morning, his butt numb from the old wooden bleachers, his head pounding from the teeny bopper tunes blasting from huge speakers, Drew sat through countless costumed little girls performing endless baton twirling routines until his daughter finally took the floor for her solo. The new team coach transformed her to look older than her seven years, and it wasn’t just her tight bun that sparkled with glitter, or her blush tinted cheeks and red painted lips. It was her confident stature as she waited for her music to start, and the smile born of doing something she’d grown to love.

His heart swelled with pride as Ariel danced and leaped, and caught the baton each time she tossed it. He didn’t sit down or stop clapping until the MC calmed the excited crowd. “And now a special performance by our own Coach Lainey, a past Featured Twirler at Penn State.”

Ah, the elusive Coach Lainey, Drew thought, sitting down, as a pretty woman wearing a shiny red leotard with gold fringe, her dark hair up in a high ponytail, took the floor. Ariel loved her. And by the sound of the high-pitched screams echoing off the gym walls, the other sixty or so girls surrounding the show area did too.

He could see why Ariel idolized the woman. She kicked higher than a Rockette, was more limber than a gymnast, and could catch the baton behind her back, between her legs, and even mid-cartwheel. She twirled two batons, juggled three batons, and ultimately held the audience spellbound. When she finished, the girls swarmed the floor, cheering and clapping. Coach Lainey smiled and laughed and hugged them in bunches.

Drew waited for the throngs of people surrounding her to thin before he approached Coach Lainey to thank her for all she’d done for Ariel. The closer he got the more familiar she looked.

“Close your mouth, Drew,” Elaine Fox said when he reached her. “You look like a simpleton.”

“You’re Coach Lainey?” Revered and loved by the baton twirling masses? What happened to the reserved, starchy account executive he worked with?

“We all have lives outside of work." She spread her hands palm up. "This is mine.” 

“My daughter’s twirling team is the reason you leave work early three days a week?”

“Yes. It’s the reason I moved to town. Your wife…”

“My ex-wife.”

She smiled. “Your ex-wife was one of the women who recruited me when the old coach stepped down. She recommended I apply at your company because they offer flexible schedules.”

Thank heaven for that, Drew thought, and for leotards.

“You’re staring,” Elaine said.

“Can’t help it,” Drew replied, studying her. “You’re so different.” Softer. Warmer. Even more appealing. And she loved little girls.

“At work I’m a professional. I act and dress accordingly. It’s not the real me.”

“I’d like to know the real you. Have dinner with me.”

She thought about it, smiled and waved to Ariel who was standing with her mother. “You have a terrific daughter.”

“She’d love it if you’d have dinner with me.”

“Only dinner,” she said, giving him a stern look.

“Only dinner.” At least for now, Drew thought, hoping soon it would be much, much more.

 All rights reserved. Copyright Wendy S. Marcus 2009.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finally Better

Well it's been over two weeks and I'm finally feeling better. (Although I feel a little guilty because now my husband's sick.) I heard it said that for every one day you stop writing it takes two days to get back into it. I am finding that true. Part of the reason is while I was sick I spent a good deal of time in bed, bored by what was on TV and unable to concentrate on reading. So, I let my imagination take over and came up with an idea for a new series of books I'd like to write involving soldiers returning home from the war. Now I don't know much about what's been going on in Iraq, except what I see on the news, which truth be told, I don't watch often. So I've spent hours viewing soldiers' blogs, reading their detailed observations and innermost thoughts. What an eye opener! As I jot down notes for my new series, I am conflicted about whether to run with it or continue to plug away at the sequal to Love, Hospital Style. (Maybe if I'd get some positive agent/editor feedback about the first book of this series I would be more motivated to work on the second.)

Please help me with my decision on which project I should throw myself into. What would you rather read? A story about nurse's falling in love or soldiers returning from war, adjusting to civilian life, and finding love?

Thanks for the help! I appreciate your input!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year

I found this post written by Leo Babauta on I think it's wonderful! Please take the time to read it.

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha

We’re several days into the New Year, and many of us are still basking in the glow of a fresh start. Every year, January brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life, for a better you. And that’s a wonderful thing. It’s wonderful, because this fresh start gives us a chance to reinvent our lives and ourselves. It allows us to reinvigorate ourselves, to shed the baggage of the previous year and do anything. Anything is possible!

That is a gift, my friends, and I suggest we make the most of this gift. Not just by creating and sticking to resolutions (here’s my guide for doing that), but by reinventing the way we live.

Here’s how.

1. Let go.

Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments.

This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your plate and your palate.

Let go of attachments to what you’ve been doing for the past year, or years. Let go of failures. Let go of fears you’ve built up. Let go of reluctance. Let go of your ideas about what your life has to be like, because that’s the way it’s evolved so far. Let go of long-held beliefs and habits. You have a fresh start. Let go of last year, and start anew.

2. Decide what matters most today.

Forget about your goals for all of this year. Instead, decide: what do you want to do today? What matters most to you, to your life? What are you most passionate about, right now? What excites and invigorates you? What would give you the most fulfillment?

Often the answer is in creating something, making something new, helping other people, becoming a better person, working on a project that will be an accomplishment to be proud of. But whatever your answer, have it clear in your mind at the beginning of the day.

This might be something you work on all year, or it might just last a month, or it might last a week or a few days, or just today. It doesn’t matter. What matters is today — that you’re going to work on this with all your heart, today. Tomorrow … we’ll decide on that tomorrow.

3. Clear away distractions and focus.

Clear away email and Facebook and Twitter and your favorite blogs and news websites and social forums, clear away the iPhone or Blackberry or Android or cell phone, clear away all the little nagging work and chores and errands that pull at your attention, clear away the clutter that surrounds you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later). In fact, if you can, shut off the Internet for awhile. You can come back to it when you take a break.

Now, find focus. Even if only for 15 or 20 minutes at first, but preferably for 30-60 minutes. You can take a break and check your email or whatever after you’ve focused. Focus on the thing that matters most. Do it for as long as you can, until you’re done if possible. Feel free to take breaks, but always return to your focus.

When you’re done, focus on the next thing that matters most, and so on.

4. Find happiness now.

Don’t look at happiness as something that will come when you’re done with this goal, or when you’ve attained a certain accomplishment or certain amount of wealth or material goods. Don’t look at happiness as a destination, something that you’ll get later.

Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it back until later, it’ll never come. When you learn to be happy now, it’ll always be here. When you’re doing whatever you’re passionate about, whatever matters most, whatever you decide is worthy of your time and heart and focus … be happy! You’re doing what you love. And that is truly a gift.

5. Reinvent yourself, every day.

Every day, you are reborn. Reinvent yourself and your life, every day. Do what matters most to you, that day. It might be the same thing that mattered most yesterday, or it might not be. That isn’t important. What’s important is today — right now. Be passionate, be happy, right now.

You’ll have a fresh start every single day — not just on January 1. And that, my friends, is the best thing ever.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Well, I rang in the New Year in bed instead of with friends, with a tissue in my hand instead of a flute of sparkling champagne. And now, the morning after, I am hangover free, which leaves my mind clear (as long as I have Tylenol and cough medicine actively pulsing through my system) to work on characterization and plotting! I'm off to a productive start......hope all of you are as well.