Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Aftermath of Daytona

Taking back what I said about David Ragan, he redeemed himself in the 500 with a fifth place finish. And that David Gilliland! Did anyone notice the move he made from the grass to right in front of Biffle, I think it was? Sheesh, my heart races at the memory! Of course, the real story is the old dog racing the young gun for the finish line. Love Mark Martin, would have cried if he'd won, but Harvick...the man doesn't know how to get off the gas. What a stunning race. Folks will be talking about this one as a race for the ages.

Home now, wishing the Florida sunshine had followed me here. Getting back into the work groove is harder than I thought it would be. Ten days of playing spoiled me, and I'm gluing my tush to the desk chair so I won't be tempted to hop up and clean, fold, put away, and all the stuff that goes with coming home.

However, I do have a treat coming up in a month and a few days - a long weekend in NYC! Going to the PASIC conference for the first time to meet with publishing people and fellow authors. I love the creative energy that's a natural byproduct of gatherings like this.

Before I forget, has anyone out there read any of the NASCAR HQ romances? I was wondering what the general opinion of them is. HQ had samples for three new novels stuffed in the packet with the Daytona program, and they arranged for a speed dating session and other offshoots for race fans interested in their new line. Since I'm an old married lady, I didn't attend any of the speed dating gigs, etc., but I'd love to know if any of you all did. If so, how'd it go?

I'll get pictures up as soon as I can download them.

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Daytona....

The Gatorade Duels yesterday had more drama than War and Peace. Ward Burton (my hero!) got taken out by a rookie, and Juan Pablo Montoya proved he's a fast dude when he has the right stuff under his foot. Poor Brian Vickers - a blown tire creamed his Camry. David Gilliland displayed a true flair for racing with the Big Dogs - once more he's a rookie with an inbred feel for restrictor plate racing, while David Regan had me wondering if Jack Roush has lost his everlovin' mind.

Michael Waltrip and his gadzillion lost points before the racing even began was the real drama. Good for Michael, making the race on sheer driving ability! He took a disaster and turned it into a good story. It's like the manuscript that is such a mish-mash you think there's no way it'll ever come around and fly right, but with hard work, determination, and talent, it finally takes off and becomes a book. Waltrip gets my GUTS award. Good, Unstoppable, Tries to Succeed.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The Bud Pole Shootout last night was a wild and wicked race, but nothing compared to the ARCA race just prior. The beatin' and bangin' in the ARCA race was nothing short of brutal. It's also clear as glass that women drivers aren't accepted or even tolerated in NASCAR. Erin Crocker got spun just because someone could spin her, I swear. Too bad. Drag racing has a ton of women driving, and they're just another competitor. The nice news from the Pole Shootout is how David Gilliland drove his way up to second, with help from veteran Ricky Rudd. It's interesting how the vets want to help the new guys. It's like the writers I know, who love helping newbies improve their craft.

Lovely to be warm for a change!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flipping It

No, I'm not talking about Carl Edwards and his backflip off the car when he wins. (Which he didn't do once last year in the Cup races, sigh.) I'm thinking of taking what we would expect in a story line and giving it the flip-it treatment. Stand it on its ear, end-to-end, you name it, just give your plot line a twirl and see where it lands. Cinderella is the prince, not the girl. The bad guy isn't really your bad guy, he's the hero. Miss Wouldn't-Hurt-a-Fly killed her husband. See what happens when you use the tried-and-true and shake it up. Bet it adds just that twist your story needed. As an exercise, take a fairy tale you know well, and rewrite it with a "flip." Get outrageous. I'll bet your creativity has as much fun as Carl when he wins a race.

We're off to Daytona for Speed Weeks. Can't wait, but I'm also torn about leaving my work. I'll take the laptop and work when I can, but it's not the same as hiding in my office and getting the words out. I need to be productive when the weather is as wicked as it's been recently, because spring is a-comin', and I'll want to work in the garden. My crocus are up, and I'm worried about the tulips and daffodils that were fooled by the January warmth. Here's hoping Daytona is warm and sunny. I'll pack sunscreen as a gesture of optimism.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fun Picture

Just for fun, and because I thought the NASCAR fans among you would be amused, here's a shot of Matt Kenseth at Martinsville last October. That's pit row on the other side of the low white wall. Too bad there's no sound or scent capability on a blog!


If you've tried to email me through my website for the past week or so, I owe you an apology. I didn't realize, when I shifted my site from Xuni to Lunarpages, that the webmail feature didn't go with it. Been trying to get it up and running, and I think I have a patch in place, but if you really, really need me, add a comment here. Hopefully, I'll get back to you.

Between watching Preseason Thunder on Speed (more, more, she cried!) and trying to stay warm, (what happened to our lovely weather?), I've been thinking, plotting, and generally brainstorming a new idea for a western mystery series set just after the Civil War. (Or, as we Southerners call it, The War of Northern Aggression.) It's fun to think about, fun start building characters, but I have to remind myself, LOLA needs to get through this first rough polish and rewrite. Not my favorite part, even though I know what the story needs, and it's just a matter of doing the job. That first rush of a new story keeps me up at night, sometimes, dreaming of ways it could go, people who live in it, and how they're going to find their way out of the predicaments I'll throw at them. It's rather like getting a new kitten - all you want to do is play with it. Then it grows up, and you realize it's work having a pet who has a mind of its own. (Biff, are you reading this from my lap? Naw, he's snoring, head on my arm as I try to type.)

Last weekend, we took off for a short break to Chincoteague, home of the Misty book I remember vividly from my childhood. I highly recommend the area, which is charming and, at this time of the year, uncrowded.