Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nora Roberts Rocks!

This past week, the amazingly talented and extremely successful Nora Roberts took home the prize for Book of the Year at the Quill Awards in New York City. This is so cool for the world of romance writing.

Usually, I try to keep my blog free of rants (except when it comes to traffic, of course), but one of my biggest pet peeves are the snickers, giggles, and sneers I receive when some people learn I write romance. This doesn't happen often. Most of the people I meet think it's cool, but there are the opinionated few who don't consider me a "real" writer because of the genre I've chosen to write in. Funny, the book sure as hell didn't write itself.

Additionally, I'm continually baffled that no one will admit to reading romance, yet we all know what the sales statistics say. If you don't know, look it up. Romance novels sell extremely well, depsite the lack of respect the genre receives from the rest of the writing community.

I believe Nora Robert's Quill Award win is a boost for all of us who are not ashamed to shout to the world that we read and write romance novels. I should also say that Nora Robert's win is very well deserved. In my opinion, she is the face of the romance writing world, and we romance writers are lucky to have her on our side.

Whew! It feels good to get that rant off my chest. I may have to institute Ranting Wednesday.

Now, I have a question for all of you. Be honest, do you hide your love of romance novels? If you do, why? Is it because of the covers, which most writers have no control over whatsoever, I might add? Is it the stigma that has continued to stain the genre? (Just in case you haven't read a romance since 1983, you should know that they've changed).

C'mon! Speak up! I promise not to hold it against you. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Five Writing Strengths

Last week, my good friend and critique group member, Shauna Roberts, tagged me with this cool meme about what I consider my five writing strengths. So, here you go:

1. I'm an avid reader. I don't know how anyone can be a writer if they are not first a reader. Reading remains my favorite hobby, even though I don't have as much time to devote to my beloved 'to be read' pile these days.

2. I have a sense of humor. Uh...well, sometimes I do. :P Actually, I consider my sense of humor extremely dry, but I've discovered that it tends to come out in my writing without much effort. In fact, it took readers pointing out the "funny" parts of my book for me to realize that my dramatic contemporary romance had a few laugh out loud lines. They were not by design.

3. I'm disciplined. Okay, I erased and retyped this a few times before deciding to keep it on the list. Most days, I don't think of myself as being disciplined. I am easily distracted by just about anything. However, I've found ways of getting rid of most distractions so I can concentrate on my writing. When I compare myself to others I know who make countless excuses for why their masterpiece isn't finished, I realize that I'm doing pretty okay in my effort to sit my butt in the chair and write.

4. I've learned to accept constructive criticism. My sister, along with fabulous critique group, have gone a long way in showing me that just because something is wrong, that doesn't mean it isn't good. When I first started writing back in college, I thought my work was perfect! When I wrote "The End" on my first manuscript and gave it to my sister to read, I was mad as a hornet when she started pointing out problems. These days, I include a red pencil with a pencil sharpner when I hand her my manuscript. Constructive criticism makes me better. Let me add that I've also learned to weed out what's constructive and what's destructive in regard to criticism.

5. I enjoy it! It's as simple as that. I enjoy what I do. Even on the days I don't enjoy it, there is nothing else I'd rather do.

I'm going to be a meme killer for now because I'm writing this blog while at the day job and actually have "real" work to do! Yikes! I'll tag a few writing friends soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The not-so-saintly New Orleans Saints

Last year around this time I was flying high as my beloved New Orleans Saints enjoyed a dream season . Expectations were extremely high this year, and I just knew the Saints were going to live up to them.

Umm...yeah. Not so much.

As a person who eats, sleeps, and dreams football, my pain on Sunday afternoons has become physical. There is an ache in my belly every time Olindo Mare attempts a field goal. All I can ask is "Where's John Carney?" Deuce McAllister is out for the season, leaving most of the running back duties to Reggie Bush. Drew Brees just doesn't seem to have the same fire in his eyes (or his arm) as he had last year. The entire team lacks drive. It's so depressing.

The one bright spot in all of this is that the entire NFC South has been struggling so far this season, so there is still hope for the Saints!

Actually, another bright spot has been college football. The LSU Tigers are at the top of their game and the top of the NCAA sports world, and the Ohio State Buckeyes, whose starting lineup features a star player who is near and dear to me, has been steadily climbing in the polls. Thoughts of a LSU/OSU Championship Game this January in the Louisiana Superdome is starting to dance in around in my head.

Football is still fun!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Big Brother watching what you read

Days ago, while skimming another blog, I found this article on airport scanners now keeping a record of passengers' reading material onboard flights. Scary, isn't it? I'm all for passenger safety, but this has me wondering whether or not a line has been crossed in regards to a person's right to privacy?

Sure, no one cares that I'm reading a Scottish love story set in the 1600's, but what if I want to read the latest thriller that centers around a terroist attack? Do I go on some sort of "ones to watch" list, or am I just being super paranoid here?

I've had the same concerns while conducting research for a new romantic suspense I'm hoping to write. Is someone keeping tabs as I search for info on bombing devices and FBI procedure? What's the criteria for getting flagged by the faceless people who track this stuff?

Boy, I'm just full of questions today, aren't I? :) But, seriously, doesn't it make you wonder who's watching what you do?

Thoughts anyone?

Labels: ,