• 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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pioneer Woman

For the past three and a half days, I've been holed up in my house with two of my children due to snow/ice/sleet. I thought that was bad enough, until we lost power for the last day and a half and I was holed up in the one warm room with a teen and a pre-teen with no access to Facebook or Xbox, and horror of horrors, cell phone batteries slowly losing their charges! What did children in pioneer families do to entertain themselves, I wonder?

At night we slept in front of the fireplace to keep warm. (Which doesn't work unless someone stays up to maintain the fire, BTW.) This morning I woke with the sun. I climbed out of my cacoon of blankets into the freezing cold and ran to the outhouse. (Not really, but except for being inside, it could have cold toilet seat and all.) I returned to the fireplace, stirred the embers of the fire, piled on some logs, and got a roaring blaze going so my family would not wake to the same chilly fate. Then I took care of the animals. (Well one animal, a dog....but still, I had to go outside to walk him in snow higher than my boots.) With the dog settled I dragged up more firewood and water, before heading back to the warmth of my pallet. (Granted, the firewood was cut and neatly stacked in the garage, and the water was bottled and in the basement, but still.)

I realize most pioneer women didn't climb back into bed after completing their morning "chores", and their lives were much harder than mine, even without electricity. But I felt like one none the less, at least a modified version. The one thing I refused to do was sponge off with freezing cold water. And since I didn't want to ruin one of my pots trying to heat water in the fireplace, I waited for Central Hudson to get the power back on, which they did this afternoon. Woo Hoo!!!

Now, back in the 21st century, I have no desire to revisit the past, unless it's in the pages of a book!

Do you have any storm stories you'd like to share? If not, when was the last time you lost power, and how did you manage?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Define Sexy

I tried to copy and paste pictures of sexy men to liven up this post, but couldn't figure out how to do it. (Terri, I need help!) defines sexy as:
- Concerned predominantly or excessively with sex
- Sexually interesting or exciting
- Radiating sexuality
- Excitingly appealing
- Arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest

Romance writers portray sexy as an alpha male, tall, muscular, good looking, financially successful and if not, they're do-gooders who ooze moral character. They're wealthy businessmen, sports figures, cowboys, lawmen, doctors, lawyers, Navy Seals and the like. I admit, I love to read about them when they're written this way. But I've gotta tell ya, in my opinion, there's something about a man who works with his hands, who builds things or fixes things, that I find extremely sexy. Mechanics. Maintenance men. Landscapers. Builders. (Hold the beer guts please!) And I don't have a particular look that I find sexy. It's more an attitude. Kindness and courtesy mixed with confidence and playfulness.

So what type of man rings your bell? What's your definition of sexy?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'll Write After.....

Home alone, with so many things to preoccupy me, some days I find it difficult to focus on the task of writing. It starts off something  like this: I'll write after.... I take a shower, put my daughter on the bus, throw in some laundry, check my e-mail, have breakfast, load the dishwasher, do my hair and makeup (because what if someone comes to the door?), check in with all my blog buddies (and there are many), pay bills, walk the dog, check the mail (because Harlequin has had my partial for three months and they should be responding soon....shouldn't they?), read and sort the mail so it doesn't pile up on the kitchen table (somehow it does anyway), change the laundry, put in another load, make lunch, eat lunch......and before I know it it's 1:00 p.m. And oh crap, my son's going to be home in an hour. What can I get done in one lousy hour? It's better not to get started than to get interrupted.....although in my son's defense, it's usually me following him around the house in need of human contact. He's content to plug into his X-box and forget I'm alive! But knowing he's home and may need me at any moment, (he's 16 tomorrow by the way, and really only needs me to drive him around!) I put off writing until later. I change and fold the laundry, check my e-mail, start to think about something for dinner, and then my youngest daughter gets home (and she loves attention, any kind), and I think: I'll write after..... I talk to my daughter(s) about their day, nag my kids to turn off the TV, do their homework, stop fighting, set the table, walk the dog, come for dinner (because somewhere in all of this I've thrown some type of food products together and called it a meal), take a shower, practice your flute, study your chemistry, turn off the TV (again), go to bed...go to bed now....go to bed now and I mean it. By then it's 10:45 p.m., and I'm tired (since I was up at 6:45). So I wind down with a little Food Network, check my e-mails followed by a little late night blogging, and go to bed thinking: I'll write after......a good night's sleep.    

Luckily all my days are not like this. And to limit the ones that are, I've joined WritingGIAM (Writing Goals in a Month), where writers and authors (prepublished/published) share weekly goals and accomplishments that are posted for all members to see. And I Do NOT want to have to post "This week Wendy Marcus has not written one blessed word, entered one contest, or done one thing to further her "career" as a writer."

When the words don't come easy, I get a rejection, or don't place in a contest, and I need something to motivate me to get to work, I visit If you've never been there, it's a wonderful site with inspirational quotes and stories of published authors' roads to publication. While there I picked up this quote that I repeat over and over whenever I'm thinking of doing something else when I should be writing: "You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job." - Nora Roberts

So what types of things keep you from writing, and how do you regain your focus? And if you're not a writer, what's your favorite procrastination activity?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thank you Linda

Thank you to my writer friend, Linda Rader, at for this lovely Picasso Award. (Which I didn't do anything to earn, unless you count writing on her blog!) From what I understand, recipients of this award need to share seven random things about themselves and then forward the award to seven people. So here goes: 

1) In my youth I was an avid skier. (Can I get a shout out for Holiday Mountain Ski Area?!) Not necessarily a great skier, but I had fun....especially night skiing!

2) As a child I spent my summers at sleep away camp, the same camp my youngest daughter now attends.

3) The summer before I turned 16 my parents sent me on a teen tour through Europe. It was the first time I'd ever been on an airplane. I've returned to France, Spain, Israel, and Belgium. Unfortunately, since then I've developed a fear of flying. I still fly, but only when I can't get out of it, and with much anxiety.   

4) When I turned 16 my summer job was long distance operator for the telephone company. I worked in a virtually windowless office and had to put up a yellow card on my computer board and wait for someone to relieve me so I could relieve myself in the restroom. I made excellent money though and acquired this funny story: When a co-worker rang back a pay phone to ask for additional money, a man asked if she'd take his dick instead. She said if it'd fit in the coin slot she'd take it.  
5) In high school I was a cheerleader. Senior year I was voted most likely to become a Dallas Cowgirl Cheerleader. (Yeah right!)

6) My favorite cookie is the classic Oreo.

7) I gave birth to all three of my children without any narcotic pain medication. (Now that they're 18, 15, and 12, I wish I'd taken a rain check!)

If you'd like me to forward you the picasso award for your blog, let me know. Even if you don't, please share something about yourself that not many people know.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hudson Valley RWA

Today I went to my  first official meeting of the Hudson Valley Chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). I joined back in September (after a wonderful luncheon), and it took me five months to get up the nerve to attend. Now, after spending time with this friendly and welcoming group, I could kick myself for waiting.

At the end of the meeting writers/authors (unpublished/published) were given a chance to read a few pages of their work in progress. I read the first five pages of my new military story. (And let me tell you, writing a  juicy love scene is much easier than reading one out loud when there are other people in the room!) Well, I'm happy to say, no one walked out or called me depraved, which I think is positive. In fact, my fellow members praised my writing, and offered suggestions on how to make the story stronger.

Now, with renewed motivation, I am ready to get back to work. In case any of you stop by, I'm looking forward to seeing you again next month! Happy writing! 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bet Me

Despite the title of this post, it has nothing to do with gambling. Last week, while blogging, I visited a site where a writer listed Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie as her all-time favorite book. Over the years I've read so many wonderful books and have so many favorites that I find it hard to choose one book that I loved more than all the others. So I decided to pick up Bet Me to see what made it so special. I read the entire 337 page hardcover book in one day. I couldn't put it down. ( I did put it down long enough to pick up my son from school and cook/eat dinner.)

I have read books by Jennifer Crusie before, but none that I loved as much as Bet Me. She is an expert at creating quirky, imperfect, lovable characters, and fast paced, snappy dialogue. If you like contemporary romance I highly recommend this book. Is it my all-time favorite? I refuse to pick just one. But it certainly ranks high up on my list of top ten best reads.

Do you have an all-time favorite book? If so, what is it and why?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Great Expectations

Today I found out that my entry from Love, Hospital Style did not final in the Great Expectations contest. This is frustrating because the first 25 pages finished second in the 2008 Gotcha! contest. I'm sure it has to do with the changes I spoke about in a previous post, when I tried to please all my critiquers and answer all their the first chapter. I'm disappointed in myself, but more determined than ever to make my work in progress a success. I've been doing lots of research on the Army and the war in Iraq and am totally motivated to get started on the first book in my new series. While I'm at it, I've been investigating some classes on characterization, plotting, and punctuation. Stick with me! I'll get there yet.

And if you haven't been to the movies to see Dear John, make it a point to go. I loved it! (For those of you who read the book and were disappointed there was no happily ever after, the ending of the movie is different from the ending of the book.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Star in your own romance novel

Recently, while listening to the radio in my car, I heard an advertisement for personalized romance novels. You pick the setting, the tone (wild or mild), and provide 26 personal details about the starring couple, and the company does the rest. How cool is that? At the time, I couldn't write down the web address because I was driving, and looking around for a pen and an unused napkin would have made me a danger to the drivers around me. So when I got home I Googled 'star in your own romance novel'. And wow! There are quite a few companies doing this. (I even found an erotic one!) For a little added spice, you can insert the name of your favorite movie star.

So what do you think? Would you like to star in your own personalized romance novel? Would you lie on your questionnaire to make yourself look different? For the record...I most certainly would! Would you pick wild or mild? For the record....I'd pick wild. And to make it really interesting, who would you pick as your hero? I'm still deciding!!!!