Friday, May 27, 2011

At The Grille

On Today's Menu -- Baby Grilled Pork Tenderloin sandwiches on Baguettes, New Red Potato Salad, Spinach Salad, and Sweet Iced Tea. Assorted Melon Slices for Dessert.

Don't I wish I could have that for lunch.

Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm for the last two little flash pieces I put up on the blog the last two weeks. Jim and Callie have been roaming around in my brain for the last couple of months, and I do have every intention of setting more of their story down, but I'm just not that into them yet. I made an outline, so I know where I'm going, and it's a pretty good plot about what happens when you find the 'right one' out of the clear blue. However, the twist is -- circumstances keep them apart. I'm not even sure if there will be a Happily Ever After with this. Women's fiction at its finest.

Question -- Has anyone else been having trouble logging onto Blogger? I can get into gmail, and I used to be able to jump from mail to blogger but now I can't. And so I sign out of mail, and go to Blogger to sign in and it says Page Not Found. So I have to jump to a post I have on my favorites bar (lucky it's there) and sign in from my post. I know a couple of you have had trouble with comments and you have to unsign in from stay signed in, but I never stay signed in. Is it just me?

The kitchen reno is complete. The painting is finished. YAY! However, my mother decided she wants to get the garden straightened out before the weather really gets nasty, and then I get to tile the buffet, and THEN, I get to paint the whole downstairs cave. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, and would do anything for her, but I am just too old for this. Besides, I can't get any writing done. UGH!

School is out in 9 more days. I'd love to have Monster Child go to camp, even day camp, but I don't think it's fair for her to have to have a regimen during the summer. Last summer she stayed up until 10, and slept until 10, and I got some writing done. Having her at camp would free up my schedule so much, but I'm starting to feel soooo guilty. I do want to spend time with her, but it's just so hard not living at the beach anymore. There was always stuff to do. Clamming, swimming, searching for shells and crabs, exploring. Now the beach is 4 hours away. I'm starting to hate vacation.

And so ends another week here. Hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. I'll be working in the garden.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Have You Done To Me Lately

Good Morning. In our stories, we're supposed to present our characters challenges. We're supposed to block their path at every turn allowing them to fight to get their end result. This provides the internal and external conflicts. And if that doesn't work, I usually light something on fire.

So far in my books I have:

shot three people
whipped a slave (remember I write historical romance)
thrown a woman, eight months pregnant, down the stairs
beat a man senseless
stabbed someone
given someone a heart attack
brought two ex-lovers back
concealed identities
given someone post traumatic stress syndrome
stolen a baby

And you thought I just wrote romance...

Tell me -- What have you done to your characters lately?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Love Triangles

Good Monday Morning. Today's post is about love triangles. I've been reading books these last weeks (because I jinxed myself when I said the kitchen reno was over -- it's not, and I just can't concentrate to write when I still have to finish painting).

Reading lots of my old historical faves, and most of them have love triangles. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy does something stupid and girl finds another boy, first boy apologizes to try and get girl back, but girl doesn't know which boy she really loves. Or something like that. You know the trope.

In my own books, I have the triangles. I love the triangles. I think the triangles are the coolest of the cool story plots because one never really knows who the girl will end up with until right at the very end. (Remember Genna and Tony and Pete? How much fun was that?)

I personally, have never been involved in a love triangle. Believe it or not. I'm a one man girl. Oh sure, I looked, but I never touched. But that's not to say that some of my smarmier boyfriends didn't. And they didn't last long after that. (Usually about 20 minutes after I found out.)

Tell me -- Do you write triangles? Do you like to use them in your stories or not? Have you ever been involved in a love triangle?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flash in the Pan at the Piedmont Grille

On Today's Menu -- Another little flash

Last week, I posted a piece of what I call 'flash fiction'. (Which I can't link to because the title is the same so if you want, you can scroll down.) I don't really know if that's what it is, I tend to make up my own rules -- this is my blog after all.

But because you liked it, and I hate to leave you all hanging, I decided to post another little blurby thing from this book. (Yes, it is a book, although not something I'm dedicating myself to really writing just yet.)

Rating PG (Although the content might be a little edgy for some)


He sat at the bar, scraping the peel off his Bud bottle. The members of his crew had gone off in search of local delights, and if none were forthcoming, they’d mentioned they’d go to the cathouse across the railroad tracks. Danny’d asked him to go out of courtesy, he was the boss, but he was not particularly keen on the idea. He had nothing against the profession, or the girls, he just didn’t like to pay for what he had always gotten free.

Love had never entered into the equation. After Maria, he’d stopped believing in it. He didn’t need it, didn’t want it, his job wouldn’t allow it. He was on the road forty-eight weeks of the year, and he liked it that way. One-night stands were his specialty.

He didn’t know why he’d asked the girl at the pizza joint for a drink. The invitation had nothing to do with sex. He knew he wouldn’t sleep with her. He just wanted to talk to her for a reason he couldn’t name. He liked the look of her. Sun-drenched, beachy, she smelled like Coppertone. They were a day and half from the Pacific coast, but he could tell her tan wasn’t store-bought.

Long legged, brunette, with a rack that held more than a mouthful, she wasn’t especially his type. He liked his women, short, petite, blonde. But the girl had that East Coast accent and even if he didn’t know her, she seemed familiar. She lived in the places he had for a time, and that made her different. He was curious to know how she’d ended up here, in this God-forsaken place.

The bartender nodded in his direction. He shook his head no. Five came early in the morning and it was near on ten. He glanced at his watch – 9:52. Yeah, he’d call it a night. He and Stash had driven the better part of four-hundred miles that day and he was exhausted. Set-up at the site tomorrow would be a bitch. Supposed to be in the high 90’s, and if they didn’t find a coil of snakes drilling, it would be a first. He edged off the stool, sucked the last of his beer, and placed the empty bottle on the coaster. Fingering his money, he left three dollars on the bar for a tip.

“Hi,” she said. “Sorry I’m so late. Last minute order right when I was closing.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Re-Visioning Part III

So here I am, trying to get as much done on the revisioning of MASQUERADE as I can before school gets out. I don't know if you remember, but I had to completely change the main characters. They still have their same names, but they've undergone a transformation -- like Clark Kent to Superman.

Penny used to be a bookish, sweet, shy young girl. Now she's intelligent, outspoken, and stubborn to a fault. William was just a happy-go-lucky guy, hanging out with his horses waiting for life to happen. Now he's a returning war hero, with wounds that go way deep.

I really didn't want to change them. It's actually taken me a long time to get a grip on the new aspects of their character. Like meeting someone you haven't seen in a really long time. You have to get to know them all over again.

Question -- If you haven't hung out with your characters for awhile, can you get right back into them, or do you flounder for a bit? How long does it take? Two pages? Two chapters? Do you like them more or less if you haven't seen them in awhile?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Les Edgerton Live

Les Edgerton, author of HOOKED: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go (which you should read if you haven't already) is going to be on the airwaves Tuesday May 17th at 9:00am ET. That's today!!!

Go to
and take a listen.

I've got my caffeine ready.

Okay, here's the deal. You have to plug the address into your browser and when you get there find "episodes". Find Les Edgerton and hit that and then wait for it to start.

Sorry I can't link, the system won't let me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Love at First Sight

Good Morning My Darlings. I hope you've all had a fine weekend.

Today's question -- Do you believe in love at first sight? My answer -- a resounding yes.

I don't care what science says, I don't care how cynical people are (and let me tell you I am number one on the cynic patrol). However, I AM a romantic. And I do believe there is something to be said about looking across the room, seeing that look in another person's eyes and BLAM! There it is.

Oh sure, it may be lust. Many times, that's all it is. But there's something else underneath it. An infitismal reach into the subconscious that whispers "Could he (or she) be the ONE?" And sometimes it's fun trying to find out.

I have fallen in love at first sight twice in my life. The first with Bonezy. (You may remember him from last week.) I was bartending at the Fo'c'sle in Sakonnet Point, my second night actually, and he came in with his buddies. I was relatively new in town so when they caught sight of me I knew what they were thinking straight away -- Ah, fresh meat.

They gave me the usual razz, where're you from, how long have you been in town, are you a summer snob or what? I laughed with them, joked around, busted their balls, you know, the usual bar-time banter. But when Bonezy looked at me and smiled that first time, I mean really looked me in the eye and smiled, I fell. Splat. Right on the floor.

I knew we were meant to be together. And we were from that very night. And for five years after. But somehow the love didn't quite make it. Well, that's not true. I still loved him very much when I broke it off. I wanted more (marriage) and he couldn't give it to me. (For many many reasons, least of all being his mother, who hated my guts. Yeah, what is it about me and prospective mothers-in-law, they all despise me.) So we broke up. The last I heard, he's been with Franny since the late 90's. I hope he's happy.

The second time I fell in love at first sight was with Mike. Mike was a fiercesome creature -- ALL MAN. He was so Alpha male he could have been made out of stone. There was no soft side to Mike. Anywhere. Sure he was gorgeous, in that neanderthal kind of way, but he was too hard. Too unforgiving. He once shot his girlfriend's dog for getting into the chicken coop. (Now, I know the reasoning behind it so I forgive him, sort of.) We were each friends of friends and would run into each other socially, but I stayed very far away from him. He scared the shit out of me.

Cut to fifteen years later. We'd both gone our separate ways in life as well as in town. In the state of Rhode Island there was only one DMV office. I happened to be there one day, so were 9000 other people. I got up from the bench and there was Mike. BLAM! (What is it with me and men and the DMV?)

I looked in his eyes, he looked in mine and then he smiled at me as if he'd been waiting for me his whole life. (Remember the scene in THE HOLIDAY with Jude Law when he smiles at Cameron Diaz -- Yeah, it was just like that.) And I fell. Splat. Right on the floor. If he had asked me to run away with him right then, I would have. The hardness was gone. He'd matured. He had laugh lines at his eyes that crinkled. Whoever he had been, he no longer was. We talked for about 15 minutes. Catch up banter I'm sure. I don't remember. But what I do remember was wanting to touch him, needing to touch him. Just on the arm, the hand. My number was called. He kissed me good-bye. Just a quick peck.

I never saw him again.

I Googled him once, not too long ago. He's on My Space. Not that I know what that is, but I followed the e-trail. I didn't get far. He still lives in town. He has a son, but never married. You have no idea how badly I want to go back to RI and find him. Just to see. You know.

Tell me -- Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Did it last? Or was it just a random encounter?

PS The adventure with the DMV guy is over. I took my mother last Monday and he didn't even look at me. Oh well.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flash in the Pan at the Piedmont Grille

On a side note before we begin, Blogger ate half of my comments from my last post. So I'm sorry. I did answer them, although they are now in the ether somewhere.

I've decided to do a little something different on Friday. I'm still at the Piedmont Grille (because as a former restauranteur you never really give up the food). However, I'm adding a little sizzle.

I'm sure you've seen a cooking show or two on cable, maybe Julia Child reruns on PBS. The chef is standing at the stove holding a fry pan over the burner and they pour liquid into the pan. All of a sudden - poof - it goes up in flames. Well, the liquid is alcohol and what they're doing is flashing the pan. They want the taste of the alcohol, but not the alcohol itself so they're burning it off. (I wish you could have seen me in my glory years -- veal marsala was my specialty.)

Anyway, I don't know much about flash fiction, but I thought it would be fun to do here. And as Friday's are sort of fumbling days for me on the blog, I figured a little flash wouldn't hurt. Not so much an excerpt, but just a little something. And maybe not every Friday, but something different once in awhile.

So here goes. This is something I've had simmering on the back burner for awhile. It's waiting for REMEMBERING YOU to come back.


“Who are you, man?" She backed away from the counter and looked at him thinking he might be the next Jeffrey Daimer. She glanced out the windows of the restaurant. Not a soul around. "You’re like some kind of upchucked LSD trip. You know where I lived. You know where I went to college. You don’t seem like the kind of Injun to ever move in those kinds of circles. How do you know so much about me?”

"I don’t," he said. His deep voice held an amused tone. "It’s your overactive imagination. I went to Brown. I majored in Native American History. Does Massasoit ring a bell? I also had friends who lived in Montpelier. I spent a couple of years doing research for a BIA language project that didn’t happen. I moved up and down the east coast a lot.”

She heard the timer go off in the kitchen. She went back, wrapped his order, and placed the bags near the cash register.

"Well, still, it’s kind of a little creepy, isn’t it?" She asked. "I mean, how many people in this town would know where Sakonnet, Rhode Island is, huh? How many would even know where Rhode Island is? I rest my case.” She rang up his order. He handed her a twenty, and when she gave him the change she dropped it into his hand not wanting to touch him.

He smiled. “You want to get a drink when you get out of here?”

Was he serious? Sure, he was good looking, probably the best looking guy she'd seen in a while, but still, a girl had to be careful. “How do I know you’re not some kind of crazy ax murderer, or something.”

He took a business card out of his wallet and handed it to her.

Allied Drilling. Laredo, TX Jim Truck, Foreman cell 1888-977-9977# 132

“I’m at the Colt," he said. "If I’m not at the bar, I’m in Room 214.” He grabbed the bags off the counter and tipped his black Stetson.

She watched him go and let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Sets You Apart

Good Morning My Lovelies. Over the weekend, Ariel had this post about what sets your novel apart from all the 900 billion in your genre that are out there. What is it? Can you define it? Is it a hook? A plot device? Your characters? The voice?

I've thought about it. I write (for the most part) single title Regency romance. This genre has its own rules -- word length, secondary characters w/ and w/out their own plot lines, a longer story with a little something else going on besides the romance. Mystery has their own rules, as well as sci-fi, YA, category romance, literary and women's fiction. Not to mention the regular "writing rules" that are drilled into our head. (Once you know them, you can break them. The problem is knowing them.)

Ariel got me thinking about what makes my stories different from what's out there. Well, first of all, I don't write sex. I write sexual tension. Second, there's always a little mystery involved that has nothing to do with the romance. Something's going to happen, but we don't know what, usually not until the last chapter (which is the way it's supposed to be). I also have returning characters, most notably Lady Olivia. My favorite character, by far.

Tell me -- What sets you apart from all the rest of your genre? Is it your plot? Your characters? Your world building? (Please don't divulge any secrets. Just let me know why you chose your area.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Morning My Darlings. Turning *ahem* older has gotten me thinking about the past. With men. As a romance writer I write about the Happily Ever After. In my real life, hasn't really happened - yet.

I have a confession to make. Don't laugh, well, okay, you can giggle if you want. I probably would too if I weren't so embarrassed.

I view the singles sites. You know, those from the mashed title of this post. Every so often I click on and just take a look to see who's out there searching for love online. Let me tell you -- there isn't much to look at.

I mean, sure, the last time I did I found 339 guys in my required age range 45-55, but there were only 2 who struck me as interesting enough for me to get to know any better. (Remember too, I'm a big believer at falling in love at first sight.) When I really plugged in and filled out all the extra requirements I got nothing. A big fat donut hole.

What does that mean I wonder? That I'm too picky, or that men really aren't interested in an *ahem* older woman with a 6 year old child. Possibly. I suppose if I was single, no kids, and met a guy with a 6 year old, that would be kind of strange. Talk about baggage. (Yeah, I know, refer me back to my other post)

I used to meet men all the time. I worked in restaurants for years, then I worked construction, then I worked in the auto industry. There were always men around. Tall men, short men, men who climbed on rocks, fat men, skinny men, even men with mis-matched socks.

But since I've moved down here, I haven't been able to meet one. Well, okay, the one man I actually did meet, is my neighbor. Chad. Nice enough guy I suppose. He's of the southern variety. Looks like one of the guys from ZZ Topp. Wears flannel, has a 4-wheeler, has a gun rack on the rear widnow of his 4x4 pick-up truck. He came over to the house the morning we moved in and talked to my father. Found out I was single.

Later that day, after my father left, he came over, drunk as a skunk and proceeded to ask me if I wanted to go for a ride with him on his 4-wheeler -- at sunset, up in the back woods. Uh, no. And he hasn't talked to me since. He did ask my daughter to his house for his son's birthday last summer (I didn't go) and he did cut my grass once when it got to be as tall as Kansas wheat. Thank you very much. (I bought him steaks for repayment. Had the Monster Child deliver them.) He knows we aren't compatible. I guess he was looking for something too.

I know what I'm looking for, but truly, I don't think he exists. My mother and I were chatting one day about my lack of a love life. "It's too bad you and Bonezy (yeah, that was his nickname) didn't work out," she said. And I thought about it. Yeah, it was too bad. But that was a long time ago. And he had a LOT of baggage. But you know what, he loved me. And I really loved him.

Do I regret not sticking with him through the long haul? No. I was 22, he was 30. We were together 5 years or so. I've changed over the years, and so has he. Would I like to meet him again? Yeah, sure. I think it would be a kick. Would I like to get back together with him. Nah. He's been with Franny for a decade now. I'm not a home-wrecker. And I never get back together with ex-boyfriends. EVER.

So just for fun, I cruise the singles sites. I don't talk to anyone, I don't IM or wink or whatever. I just look. Because I can. Although I would really like to see that guy from the DMV again. And guess what, my mother has to renew her license this week. Yay!

How much fun would it be to say ten years from now -- I met my husband at the DMV. Wishful thinking. But hey, I'm a romance writer. It's what I do.

Tell me -- How did you meet your significant other?

PS -- Sarah and Yvonne -- I posted my recipe for Spinach Pies and Calzones in my "Pages" section of the blog. Let me know if you make them and how they came out.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

On Today's Menu -- Pizza, Spinach Pies, and lots and lots of beer. (Be warned, this post is not for the faint of heart.)

Boy Howdy, if I ever needed a drink, today would be the day. There is nothing I would like better at the end of this day than to settle down with a large pizza and a couple of spinach pies from "Twins" (Mineral Spring Avenue, Pawtucket, Rhode Island) and a six-pack of Coors Lite bottles that have been sitting on ice all day. (Unfortunately, I'm 14 hours from Pawtucket and I haven't had a drink in 7 years.)

I knew the contractors would mess up again and let me tell you, if you thought my mother was pissed about the hole for the dishwasher, she's ready to scream now. They fixed all the stuff she told them about on Monday. But they really screwed up BIG this time. My father built a cabinet, with a tiled top that was supposed to be the centerpiece of the new kitchen. It's beautiful. The tiled top is removable and has a 1/4" bullnose edge that hangs over the cabinet. The contractor took the top off and fit the cabinet to the wall. He did not leave room for the 1/4" gap. Which means, when he fixes it, that whole corner will now stick out into the dining room. I thought my mother was going to cry. And that is something she does not EVER do.

In other news, (which is why I really need a drink) I found an agent who had just requested single title Regency romance on her blog. So I sent her mine. With my revamped query and first 10 pages, which she wanted. I got a rejection today. A form letter which basically stated -- I don't represent this genre. Can I just say, WTF??? Why do they post what they want and then say they don't want it. Is it because there's no sex, or no vampires? Tell me, just freakin' tell me, instead of lying to my face with a freaking form letter. (And the first ten pages have a killer first line, the inciting incident and the first of the internal and external conflicts, everything "they" say you're supposed to have.)

Can you tell I'm just a little crazy today?

I also have to cut the grass again. At both houses. Since the last time, my right knee has been giving me a lot of pain. I mean, really, a lot. Like I should probably go to the doctor because I think I really screwed something up. (I have to push mow the big hill because I can't use the lawn tractor.) Can I say again -- WTF???

Is it National Let's Kick Anne's Ass Week???

I'm sorry, I really am. I don't usually rant and rave on my blog, but I just had to get this off my chest. I haven't been writing, well I have, but it's not going as well as I like. I'm trying to fix MASQUERADE and what was supposed to be semi-easy is turning into a nightmare. I have no interest in any of my other stuff. I have no S.N.I.'s to take my mind off my old stuff. This writing thing is really starting to wear on me. Three years, three books and nothing. I know, I know, I've heard it all before, it takes time, the market sucks, agents are picky. But it's just so damn hard. It's wearing on me. It's eating at me. The rejections hurt more and more. My writing feels forced, and if I do manage to hit 1000 words I think they all suck toads. My confidence is gone, I have absolutely no desire, I just don't think I can do it anymore.

I don't know, maybe it's the pain in the knee (not sleeping that's how bad the pain is even with extra strength Tylenol), maybe it's because I put so much hope into the partial for REMEMBERING YOU, maybe it's the fact I know I'll have to fix all the holiday's the contractor left behind. I'm at a crossroads. Somewhere between a rock and a hard place.

I really don't want sympathy. I don't even want to be consoled. I don't know what I want, and that, my friends, I think is the hardest thing. I ALWAYS know what I want. (I really, really want a drink, but I can't have one.)

And you know, this is kind of lame after all that above, but really, truly, from the bottom of my heart,

Have a Happy Mother's Day.

I promise I'll be better on Monday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heather and Eels Experiment

If you didn't get a chance to get over to The Literary Lab yesterday, they're having an experiment on voice and I'm one of the participants. It is totally cool, and a LOT of fun guessing whose work is whose. Take a gander. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

At The Lab

If you are so inclined, The Literary Lab is performing an experiment today on voice and I am one of the participants. I thought I knew my friends' writing well. Shame on me. I am stumped. Take a look-see, it's a lot of fun.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Between a Rock

Well, Good Morning. It has certainly been a crazy few weeks. Why does Spring Break have to come in spring? It has totally messed with me. I have not written a word on any WiP since April 15. Let me tell you, when "they" say 'write every day', boy howdy they aren't kidding. I am out of the loop, out of whack, and out of patience.

The kitchen reno at my mother's house is coming together, however, I have been wrangled to paint as well. Not part of the deal when I signed on to help her. I spent all day Saturday on a ladder. And again on Sunday. I also found out, the contractor didn't put the drain hole in the floor for the new dishwasher, they didn't finish the wall where the bench goes, and there's a big electrical box sticking out of the wall, it's supposed to be flush. When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy and let me tell you, Tony is going to get a few words first thing Monday morning.

I must apologize for my sporadic absence of late on the blogs, posting and commenting. Unfortunately it is spring and grass doesn't stop growing. Can I tell you how much I hate weed-wacking. It takes 3 days total to do my yard and my parents. I think if I ever did make any money from my writing, instead of a house cleaner, I think the first thing I'd do is get myself a lawn guy.

In other news, Gina Leigh Maxwell has a special post going on over at her blog today. She's been at school and just getting back into the blogosphere, so go on over and say hello.

And I'll be over with the gang at The Literary Lab this week. Mr. Bailey has come up with an experiment on voice -- if we as readers can tell our favorite authors just by some random writings. So stop by and check it out. I think it will be lots of fun. *sneaky laugh* See if you can guess which one is mine.

Question -- When you can't write (forced not voluntary hiatus) do you get cranky? Or do you just go with the flow?