Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This has been one of those months. Been away from home too much. My writing suffers, even if I take my laptop and work sporadically. I love seeing other places, eating someone else's cooking, and being with friends and family. But enough is enough. I need my desk, my own bed, and my routine. Life is pretty much a-kilter at the moment because my youngest is shopping and packing to enter Architecture School at a top ten A-school in a few weeks. She's signed up for her courses, gotten her student ID card, bought extra-long sheets for the dorm beds, and is generally pretty together. I'm not sure I am. When both children (they're really adults now, but not to me!) fly the coop, leave the nest, hit the long road to self-sufficiency, etc., I'm going to wonder what hit me. How did the past twenty years get by me so quickly? I know every parent thinks this, but it's true. They're still our babies, no matter when they strike out to forge their new lives, and I'm going to miss them. And as far as I'm concerned, they were in diapers just yesterday. The cliches really do fit!

So, off to Atlanta next week for the Romance Writers of America conference. I love the energy that comes from assembled artists. It's almost as if we absorb creativity with every breath at a conference with the depth and scope of RWA's. The only down side is having to wear shoes - I really have a hard time in a hot summer slipping into anything but sandals on my feet. So if you see a lady in a suit wearing Dr. Scholl's, you'll know I gave up on the shoes. Say hi if we run into each other on an elevator!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


We're back from the races in Daytona, and I have to say, they were wonderful. There's nothing like racing under the lights - the cars glitter and the excitement level ratchets up a ton. The evening cool helped also - it was hot as blue blazes in the sun. A weekend of racing, time at the beach, lots of games played with the children and their buddies (how humiliating to lose! EEK, I have to work on my Cranium skills!), all added up to a nice break. Now it's back to work!

I'm putzing with the current WIP. Made a huge dent in my TBR pile in Florida (beach, umbrella, book - what else is there?), and came out of them with an uneasy sense that I don't like a lot of the new stuff. Judgmental characters. Too much insight, answers that come too easily. Coincidences that solve the mystery. Flawed characters who are almost perfect in their flaws. So I found some old Georgette Heyers I'd packed for the girls (I have one Jane Austen fan who will read GH because she's as close as she can get to the Real McCoy, and honestly, how many times can you read Pride and Prejudice?), and fell in love with her all over again. Witty dialogue. Characters who struggle to understand and cope with situations beyond their control. Flaws that are both unique and very human. Charm mixed with pathos, frustration, and anger. What a writer she was. I'm green with envy.

Time to quit the putzing and get in gear. As Elliot Sadler (the #38 M&M car) says, put it in fourth and stay there. (Has anyone else noticed how cute he's gotten?)