Category: Love Texas Style
So the day has come when several things have happened: (1) my site is updated to reflect my freelancing and my writing, (2) my blog is co-located now, (3) the red phone booth is gone. This last item turned out to be a source of sadness for one reader who bought me this only a few months back:
Adorable, no? It’s supposed to house…well, something…but I’m not sure what. No doubt it will become a chocolate receptacle. All I know is it makes me tremendously happy to have it near me when I write. Thank you, dear reader!
So why is the red phone booth gone? Well, I needed something of my own that didn’t borrow a brand from anyone or anything else. I think you get my meaning. The time had come for a change and since freelancing is such a huge part of my writing life now, I had to find the intersection where business met with Vortex fun. I hope you find it’s still a GPS location you might want to visit from time to time.
Now that this site is crossed off my to-do list, I’m happy to usher in the fall season with a gift I haven’t given myself in quite a while – permission to work on my career. As a freelancer, it’s hard to turn away a paying client. I can make money doing what I adore, or I can live in my head for free. As with all things in life, a balance, I’m learning, is best.
The last, biggest change to happen this weekend is that I must say goodbye to my laptop. It has been languishing in computer ICU for a month now. First the screen went (and no, it wasn’t my fault – this Dell has been treated with the respect and honor of David Hasselhoff’s speedo at a nude community pool in Munich), thus the external monitor. Then the fuse for the back light blew when the new screen went in. The fuse is on the motherboard, necessitating a new motherboard. I’ll spare you the rest of the story.
My sparkly new one now sits on my kitchen table. It has no crumbs or white cat hair poking out from under its keys. It’s Windows 8 icons wink at me from across the room, beckoning me closer, but the sadness I feel over replacing my old laptop is profound. Crazy, I know. But as a writer, it is as much of an extension of myself as just about anything I can think of. On it, I wrote six novels, three novellas, countless articles and posts, the eulogy to my grandmother’s funeral, tens of synopses and a hundred queries. It made me forget the mind-to-hand connection in my creativity (not necessarily a good thing). Its keys have absorbed tears and spit-takes of laughter and the satisfying, heart-pounding rhythm of intense action scenes. And when I sat in the coffee shop and words would not come, I blurred myself into thought rubbing away fingerprints from its glossy edges.
Someday, my new laptop will sport similar wear and memories. For now, it feels like I’m pulling life support on an old friend.
I hope you’ll take some time to browse around. Readers and followers from my Vortex days at Blogger will find comfort in many of the same things in the author section of the site. Potential clients will find better access to information regarding my freelancing services. Everyone who visits will find me more accessible via social media.
To celebrate this new era, I’m offering a free download of “The Lost Highway,” a paranormal romantic short first published in the Wild Rose Press Anthology, Love, Texas Style. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you liked it.
Like my phone booth? It screamed, “Pick me! Pick me!” while seeking out the new and different. I suppose, like everyone, I’m looking more ahead than behind this time of year. We’ll see if the booth takes me where I want to go. Not sure if I’ll keep him just yet. Is it me or is there a reflection of a face on the left side?
A huge thanks to everyone who came out to the book signing yesterday. The staff at Barnes & Noble, especially Georgette, were all amazing and gracious. Not only did they donate all proceeds from the sale of Love, Texas Style to the North Texas Romance Writers of America‘s scholarship fund, but added giveaways and prizes for our readers to make the day a huge success. Thank you!
As promised, I took my camera and captured this moment in front of the impressive culinary hardback display. Shanni, a dear friend and avid reader, has the distinction of being one of my first beta readers on several projects. She provides an amazing perspective, much valued, and once uttered my name in the same breath as Dean Koontz’s. A true girl-squeal moment.
Tomorrow: Two time travel Hollywood movie deals in the past week AND one must-see student documentary.
Hey gang…I’ll be signing Love, Texas Style, along with co-authors Nancy Connally and Christine Crocker, tomorrow at the Books ‘n Authors ‘n All That Jazz festival tomorrow in Weatherford, Texas. The event runs from 9am-3pm and includes over forty local authors and free writing workshops. Find inspiration and say hello all in one event. See you there!
Friday night’s booksigning was surreal. For the dozens, maybe hundreds, of times I’d stood on the other side of the table to support authors, the view from behind the stacked books and name placard rivaled any on this journey to date. Few times have I broken free of the tangled forest that’s so isolating along the way and been able to enjoy such an intoxicating vista. A heady taste of what’s to come should I stay the course.
A huge thanks to Sherry, Melanie and Mary for allowing me the diva crown for the night, to my fellow Love, Texas Style authors: Christine, Nikki, Mary, Gina and Jen for their support and friendship, and to those readers who came out to sample a little romance, Texas style.
At left: Love, Texas Style authors (bottom l-r: Nikki Hollaway, Christine Crocker, Mary Malcolm; top l-r: me, Gina Lee Nelson)
Two sick days (and no, it wasn’t Friday’s celebratory martinis) later, I’m back on course with Sherry’s writing challenge. Daily word count. No excuses.
When I was eighteen and I sat down for dinner with my host family in Munich the first night, I remember their only frame of reference about Texas was the show Dallas. Apparently, we all rode around in cars with personalized plates and threw each other in the pool during heated cat fights (or was that Dynasty?). The horns-as-hood-ornament thing had also bled over from a Dukes of Hazzard episode. I don’t remember the Ewings being that out-there.
Tomorrow night from 7-9pm, I’ll be signing Love, Texas Style with Gina Lee Nelson, Mary Malcolm and Nikki Hollaway, alongside some pretty heady company:
- Sandy Blair
- Ken Casper
- Jax Cassidy
- Kristin Cast
- P.C. Cast
- Judy Christenberry
- Kresley Cole
- Connie Cox
- Gretchen Craig
- Jana DeLeon
- Leanna Ellis
- Lori Foster
- Tracy Garrett
- Jane Graves
- Amie Stuart
- Nancy Haddock
- Lorraine Heath
- Ashlely Kath-Bilsky
- Karen Kelley
- Celya Bowers
- Kara Lennox
- Dixie Cash & Anna Jeffrey
- Nina Romberg
- Gena Showalter
- Terry Spear
- Sara Thacker
- Colleen Thompson
- Carolyn Williamson
- Alisha Paige
The buzz with all these talented writers will be amazing. A portion of all sales will benefit the South Collin County Habitat for Humanity and Women Build charities. Admission is free, so drop by and say hello.
It’s amazing what the open road can do for the tired mind. We drove south, hugged up next to the piney woods of east Texas–so far removed from my daily landscape, I’d almost forgotten how a thick canopy of trees can trap the imagination and a scent rivaled only by the unwrapping of a cardboard air freshener. Tuesday’s rain brought with it volcanic ash and a trapped dust storm from Mexico, leaving an apocalyptic dust on everything. And, I found, quite possibly, the most delicious hole-in-the-wall diner. Ever. One of those places you’re scared to sample, but you follow the locals, en masse, and have a little faith. Within those dated, wood-paneled walls, pure Southern culinary heaven and enough character study to fill the next three novels.
Today’s Thursday and that means a third “happy”(as the regulars of the Kuntry Kitchen would say) in the Lost Month of Giveaways. A $10 Wild Rose Press gift certificate is on its way to an entrant who submitted the correct color of the ’59 Thunderbird in The Lost Highway‘s book trailer. Two awesome prizes still to come in March–a two-pack bundle of my favorite time travel movie and novel and a $25 Visa gift card. Enter here, if you haven’t already.
Lastly, Love, Texas Style reached #1 on The Wild Rose Press bestseller list this week. That means someone besides our collective moms must think it’s pretty special. Thanks again to everyone who made it such an e-book success.
Happy Lost-Month-of-Giveaways Thursday! Last week’s Texas-themed basket went to someone who’d never stepped foot in the state, a great way to celebrate new friends and the inspiration for Love, Texas Style.
For this second week of prizes, I’m needing more room in the top drawer of my desk. Amongst the white out tape rollers, singing cards of encouragement from my peeps, a fancy pen from my brother for my first booksigning I can’t figure out how to use(doh!) and enough lime and pink scribbled post-its to checkerboard one wall, sits Elvis. At this point, he must leave the building or risk drowning in a sea of clutter. I’ll draw tonight at midnight, so there’s still plenty of time to enter to get your piece of the King and the rest of the awesome prizes.
Thanks so much to everyone who’s shown interest in my writing through the contest and elsewhere. If you’ve read Love, Texas Style and would like to leave a quote for us on Amazon, we’d love to have your review. Don’t forget, we know a few Texas boys that’ll open up a can of whoop ass if you one-star us. Kidding. Really.
Oh, and today is my day to post at Sparkle This. It’s all CSI and fainting time-travelers and corsets.