Monday, May 30, 2011

An unplanned vacation from writing!

On the beach with Mr. Fear-No-Waves

I’d planned on writing during my weeklong family vacation. And not just writing – blazing through the draft of my second novel in a flurry of editing. But nope; somehow, I only wrote two of the seven nights, and on those two nights, I refined and polished only one scene.

So what happened? I encountered a few difficulties. One was the layout of the rooms we rented. Snoring children occupied two of the bedrooms as my husband and I found they could not fall asleep while in the same room. The only room left remaining was the combined den/kitchen area, and no way was my husband going to click off the cable television (we aren’t subscribers at our home). Struggling to right a difficult scene in my draft simply did not rivet me the way the turmoil encountered on the Deadliest Catch did.

Ensuring that my boys don't poke anyone's eye out.
Another hurdle to writing: several fantastic books I brought along. Chic-lit/Thriller Juliet and the romance novel How to Marry a Rake by Deb Marlowe, a local author I just met, kept me turning pages not only when I should have been writing but also when I should have been applying sunscreen. Plus, after 13 hours of watching two boys, ensuring the fearless two-year-old wasn’t sucked into the ocean and following the five-year-old up the 30-odd steps to the top of the waterslide countless times every day, I was pooped!

Taking touristy photos instead of writing is fun.
But I’m back from vacation, and with a hunger. Today alone, I’ve worked through 20 pages of the draft, and I hope to keep up the trend… perhaps not 20 pages everyday, but a return to solid, routine writing hours that yield steady results!

In the meantime, my next vacation looms. Are you looking forward to a summer vacation? Care to share your destination and activity plans?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jazzy bluesy book trailer

Peak City Publishing released the book trailer for Storm Surge (see below). I dig the music and could watch it over and over again! Of course, if I did then I wouldn’t get any writing done. But I think I might watch it a few more times before the book signing I’m participating in at Southpoint Vineyards this Saturday. Hope to see you there from noon-3 p.m.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Motherhood stories shared for charity

An essay I wrote on how motherhood doesn't always feel as wonderful as you might have expected before having children recently was selected to be published in a book, Beyond the Diaper Bag. All of the proceeds from the book go to The Mommies Network, a national non-profit charity.

Here's a description of the book from the book seller: Beyond the Diaper Bag, the second book in the Beyond Books series, "is full of humorous mishaps, inspirational stories and invaluable tips from real moms. Beyond the Diaper Bag covers all topics from pregnancy through kindergarten. We are proud to donate 100% of the authors' proceeds to The Mommies Network, a national non-profit charity."

More about The Mommies Network from the non-profit's website: They are "dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. ... We were all in different places but we all share one need. A group of people who UNDERSTANDS us. Who understands that we can love our children and still miss being a grown-up some days. Who can give us a hug when we have a bad day. Who can be on the other end of the phone when the baby is crying and we don't know what else to do. Who gets us. Who we can get. We need each other."

And... if you're interested, here's the link that will take you directly to the page you need to buy the book:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Storm Surge on NBC 17!

I've had a busy week! In addition to the library reading on Monday, I was interviewed by Sharon and Valonda on NBC 17's My Carolina Today. You can view the interview at the link below! I think my eyes are big as saucers. I was nervous but had a blast!

Book Club – Storm Surge  | My Carolina Today

Here I am with Valonda and Sharon before our interview!

In case you were wondering about the brownies

The poster advertising the event.
This week I truly had a great time talking with readers at the Holly Springs Library. I’m so grateful the library invited me to do a reading, and completely pleased at the turnout. I read from the first chapter of my novel, but the highlight for me was answering readers’ questions about writing and about my book.

And I was extremely relieved the brownies I baked for the event didn’t solidify into cement-textured blocks, as mine occasionally do. While baking, I typically lose track of time, forget my concoction is in the oven, and remember to remove it when the smell of a burning dessert permeates the house! (I do set my watch timer instead of the oven’s timer because I typically bake while my youngest son is napping, and I don’t want the timer to wake him up.) Nonetheless, my brownies were a success despite a few extra minutes in the oven, and a plateful even survived me and my family’s nibbling, making its way to the library event. (Can you hear my sigh of relief?)
A full room during the reading, great questions asked.  

How about you? Do you find your attempts at baking are thwarted by forgetting you’re cooking? What’s your favorite dessert that you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) making?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I’ll be at the library

I love my local library. There’s the books (obviously), and the friendly and helpful librarians (not the kind that ever shush you or pretend not to notice you waiting to check out with 20 books falling out of your arms). But then there’s also the children’s programs. My 2-year-old can’t say many words (though he is remarkably versed at “no” and “I don’t want it!”) but he can say “library!” And he gets excited every week when it’s storytime. As a book-lover, seeing my toddler clap and run around when he learns that it’s library day, my heart gets all mushy inside, and my eyes tear up, too.

What’s more, my local librarians have invited me to do a meet-the-author event this Monday, May 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at the Holly Springs Library. How much more supportive can your library staff be? I’m honored to be invited and can’t wait to try to bake brownies to bring to the event. (I’ve already purchased back-up, factory-made cookies in case my culinary efforts end up in a scorched black cement stuck to my pan.) We’re also doing a raffle to win a free copy of Storm Surge.

The Holly Springs Library – it’s a great place to be at any time of the day, and I’m so grateful for the library and its staff and volunteers!