Monday, August 31, 2009

What You Said?

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I was trying to come up with something to write about today and got nothing. So, my next plan was to ask ‘Drama’ what she thought.





“I need a topic. Can you help me out?”

“Sure,” Drama said. “Write about butterflies.”

I just smiled. She’s 7. Her world is cool, funky clothes and butterflies.

I moved on to ‘Comedy’.



“Hey, buddy. I need something to write about. What should Mama write about?”

Comedy shrugged. “What you said?”

I laughed and I know Bren will too. He’s 4 and for some reason instead of saying what did you say like everyone else, he says what you said? Bren and her husband LOVE when he says that.

He then told me I should write about Ben 10. I think Ben 10 is kind of a super hero of some sort. Drama started arguing that it should either be flowers or butterflies but definitely not Ben 10.

I should have never asked, the arguing continued for about (Ben) 10 minutes. But still, it got me thinking. What if we always said the first things that popped into our heads? We used to, right? Way back in the day when we were young and didn’t know better, when life was simple.

But what if we did it now? It could be fun, with the right people.

Every day, people ask, “How are you?” How about instead of “fine. And you?”, we actually tell them how we are? They don’t really want to know—mostly—and if we answer honestly maybe they won’t ask again unless they really mean it.

“How are you?”

“Really sh**ty, thanks. And you?”

Oh man, picture the look on their face.

And what if when someone asks us what we’d like to eat, where we want to go for dinner, we actually tell them instead of “Oh, it doesn’t matter. Anything’s fine.”

Because chances are you’re gonna end up somewhere you didn’t want to be eating food you’re not in the mood for.

Oh, I know. How about this one?

“Is there anything special you’d like for your birthday/Christmas/fill in any celebration?”

“Oh no. I don’t need anything.”

Are you kidding me? I may not need anything but I most definitely want some things. Next time someone asks me, I’m going for it.

“Is there anything special you’d like for your birthday?”

“Hell yeah. I’d like a dog, a Mini-Cooper, a maid, new boots, a $1,000 gift certificate to the book store and another one to a coffee shop, a house without rust in the water and one more thing…A list of interesting Blog topics!”

How about you? What question would you change your everyday answer to and tell them how you really felt?

~~SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi~~

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cafe Chaos -- Movies and TV

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Hey everyone! Let's talk sitcoms today. We'll narrow it down a little bit for you. We're going to discuss sitcoms that have had their final episode. The ones you watch reruns of over and over again. Are you ready? Let's do it!

SIS Barb says...

Oh, this is so easy for me this week. I don't watch a lot of sitcoms, especially the newer ones. I much prefer the 1 hour dramas. But sitcoms of ol'? That I can handle. I grew up watching The Cosby Show, Family Matters, Mr. Belvedere, Family Ties, The Facts of Life...The list goes on and on. I loved all of them, but I have 2 favorites. These get me every time. I've probably seen every episode made and know some of the words/jokes by heart but I keep watching anyway.

My Picks of the Week: The Golden Girls (I love Sophia Petrillo) and Sanford and Son.




SIS Beth says...
Sitcoms. I love sitcoms. Do they even exist any more? Reality shows have practially obliterarted them from the airwaves. Although, wait. There are a few. One in particular features incredibly clever writing and wonderful actors. That would be Thirty Rock. Fantastic sitcom. But today we're focused on shows that aired their final episodes. Shows still alive via reruns. Shows I never tire of watching.

A few favorites in no particular order: The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, Cheers, Wings, and Fraiser. I love them all, but there is one that touches my heart above all others... A show that featured top notch writing and a stunning ensemble cast. A show that made me laugh and cry. A show that made me think.

My Pick of the Week: M*A*S*H As a point of interest, I follow the blog of Ken Levine, one of the featured writers on M*A*S*H, Wings, Cheers, and Frasier. He's amazingly entertaining, inspiring, and informative. A must read for writers and anyone who wants a behind the scenes peek at television. Click here for The World As Seen By A TV Comedy Writer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Launching 'Animal Tales'

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It all started with me wanting to post this picture.


Meet Nia (the peppy pup) and Sadie (the crazy cat). They spend 95% of their waking hours chasing after each other and wrestling. Yes, wrestling. Nia has a few battle scars and Sadie constantly has dog slobber on her neck. It’s all in fun, but things do get rough. Yet at night, they sleep curled up next to each other and Cheyenne (the sensitive dog). I’ve always suspected that, though they fight like cats and dogs (ha!), Nia and Sadie really, truly love each other. A few nights ago, Steve emailed these pictures saying, “I knew it!” He caught them sunning together by the sliding glass doors, cuddling. I was certain he’d photo-shopped the pics. He hadn’t. So cute!

But I digress.

While thinking about his post, I thought about all the tales and pics I have of my beloved animals and how I’d love to see pics and hear tales about YOUR pets. And maybe some alerts about special articles or benefits for animals. Domestic and Wildlife. I emailed Barb and Bren, who are also avid animal lovers, and hence we created a new page here at SIS: Animal Tales! You can click to it using the link in toolbar above. We really want it to be interactive with constant new pics and tales. We encourage you to send us a photo (jpeg attachment) and/or a short tale or article about your pets or any animals at all. We will upload them to the Animal Tales page. Share the animal love, folks! Spread the word about worthy animal causes or helpful animal info!
Email photos and tales to sis.bbb@gmail.com

Meanwhile check Animal Tales often for new content and explore the links in the sidebar. We’re excited about Animal Tales and hope you’ll share in the fun and education.

SIS Beth

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Books

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Thursday we’ll offer recommendations for book lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says...

A disappearance, questionable pasts, secrets, mystery, wealth and family. This book has it all. Set in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, you'll enjoy the descriptions of the fantastic scenery and the colorful characters. Can you figure out who the killer is? I know I didn't!

My Pick of the Week: Tempting Fate

Author: Carla Neggers



SIS Bren says... I don't have a book recommendation for this week. This has been an extremely hectic week for me and it amazes me how quickly the time has gone. I guess my recommendation would be for a book about time management!

My Pick of the Week: Read something from your TBR list. We all have a list. I have probably at least eight books lying around ready to be read. So when you have a spare minute, grab one, and start reading!

SIS Beth says…
I’m in awe. I’m in shock. I recommended this book last week when I was only a little into it. I’m recommending it again because I just finished it and I can’t get it out of my brain. BUT you have to read the first three books in the series first otherwise you’ll be lost. Or at the very least won’t feel the full impact of the emotional and plot twists and turns.

My pick of the Week: DreamFever ...by Karen Marie Moning
I can’t tell you anything about it. Anything and everything would be some sort of spoiler. All I can say is… I’m in awe of the author’s world-building and storytelling skills. And... I was shocked by the CLIFFHANGER ending. I guess I shouldn’t have been. Book 3 in the 5 books series ended with a huge cliffhanger. But this one… I was breathless. And, yes, heartbroken. Say it ain’t so! The worst part is … I have to wait a year to read the finale. To learn the answers to a gazillion questions. To get my Hollywood ending… or not. Since it’s an urban fantasy—not romance—I’m not guaranteed my happily-ever-after. But I digress. I understand why I have to wait so long for the next and last installment. Writing a complex series like this is no easy feat. But that CLIFFHANGER!!

Gads.

So here’s my questions to you SIS readers. How do you feel about cliffhangers—in books or film?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dinner Guests

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When I was a young child, I used to watch my parents and their friends, or my grandmother and her sisters sit around the table and play cards. They would play and talk and laugh and just have the greatest time. When I got a little older, maybe around 11 or 12, my grandma and my mom started to teach me to play.


I learned to play Canasta and Euchre mostly. They were great games and I loved to play, not only for the challenge, but for the fun time that would accompany such games. We would clear the table after dinner, get out the cards, and sit and play for hours. Soon, I was playing with friends and the great times continued.


I've taught my children to play a few card games and it's always fun when we play, but some games require more players. Unfortunately for me, Euchre is a game that most people in the South have never even heard of. I was thrilled to find it on Yahoo! games years ago, and stop in now and then and play a game or two.


While I was in Indiana and not able to have constant access to the Internet, I began looking through my computer to see what games may be on there that I would enjoy. I'd played most of them, but decided that I would try Hearts. I'd never played, but I was sure I could learn. I started playing and was hooked. I played quite a few games before I started looking to change the appearance of the cards and background. I saw that I could change the names of the other players (they had been pre-set on the computer). Hmmm........


I wondered, "Who would I want to play cards with for an evening? Who would be fun and interesting?" My first choice was a no-brainer! My grandma. So I entered Rozella as one of the names. My second choice was also pretty easy. I chose John Lennon. He seemed like he would be a lot of fun and extremely interesting. Lastly, I chose Elvis. Elvis in black leather. I could just imagine sitting across the table from him and melting out of my chair when he would give me that look that he gets.


So now I play Hearts with Rozella, Elvis, and John Lennon. I even feel bad when I stick my grandma with the Queen of Spades. The whole thing got me thinking about that old question:

If you could invite anyone to dinner, living or dead, who would it be? My choices might be different for dinner. For instance, I might invite Gordon Ramsay so he could cook dinner for me. But probably I would pick people that I could learn a lot from. I'm still thinking on it, but for sure I would invite Rozella, no question about it.


Now, I ask you. Who would you invite to dinner? And why?
Sis Bren

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bonus....Guest Blogger!

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Beth here.

Normally here at SIS, on Tuesdays, we feature music reccomendations. But normal can be boring. So today we're featuring a guest blog by a fantastic, sensual author-- Amanda McIntyre.

Amanda writes for Harlequin Spice. She's a star on the rise and I'm not saying that because I know her and really, really like her. She's a fantastic storyteller and We're thrilled to be sharing in the excitement of her latest release: TORTURED. Take it away, Amanda!

August 25, 2009
Day twenty-two of the blog tour


TORTURED, erotic medieval, Harlequin Spice, Aug.'09-Amanda McIntyre)
See the book trailer at: tp://www.amandamcintyre.net/tortured.html#trailer

In a time of chaos, darkness, and violence, it is better to live only in the moment, lest your memories eat you alive.

A young woman blessed with sight seeks vengeance against a tyrannical lord responsible for her mother's murder. Forced to become an executioner's apprentice, she encounters a Roman prisoner who offers her a way to escape her prison and find a future. Torn between desire, duty, and the chance for revenge, her choice to live or die leaves her TORTURED. (Available now, Harlequin Spice-Books Aug. '09)

* * *

Here I am on the last leg of my Internet road trip that started on August 4th. I have seen so many new places, met some new friends, and given away many books!

I want to thank Beth for having me here at her cyber-diggs! They are very Beth and will you look at those kudos from Booklist and publishers weekly!! Hoity toity, girlfriend!! But, all kidding aside- I could not wish more for you, nor think you more deserving of all your successes! You see Beth here is a gem, a rare find of a genuinely fabulous human being. Continued success, my friend!

So after twenty-five blogs, you sort of wonder if folks really want to hear your story of how you came up with the idea for this book... or how did you do the research for the love scenes? If you want to read those answers, you have to go back to the beginning of the tour! NOT! Really, here is a quick recap…

Whilst surfing the Internet, trifling through medieval history( a pastime I’m sure is enjoyed by many) I ran across an obscure bit of information about a medieval female executioner…da doo.(If you’ve seen Little Shop of Horrors, you’ll understand the back-up singers in my story!)
Let’s see…where was I? Oh, yeah, so I thought to myself, what a strange bit of information. I wonder what type of woman it takes to be a medieval executioner?(Doot Da Doo) So I asked myself, but what if the woman didn’t have a choice? What if for some reason, she was forced to this life…maybe a total eclipse of the sun? No, it wasn’t that. It was really much worse.
First rule of writing fiction: Make it worse.

It was the “Adventus Saxonum”- “the coming of the Saxons”…and thus my heroine, Sierra, the daughter of a Celtic Seer, used as guide by the kings before her—came to be.

Reviewers have described TORTURED as “a disturbingly touching tale of hope, love and survival.”(Romance BookWyrm) and most recently likened in tone to Braveheart (which is both humbling and scary.)

But it is definitely outside of the box, of that there is no question. Why the Dark Ages? I think it was the challenge of seeing whether an erotic romance could be written in such darkness, could it survive? Though the journey is not an easy one, love finds a way. You can read a never before excerpt at my blog McIntyre’s House of Muse www.mcintyreshouseofmuse.blogspot.com

I hope you’ll check out TORTURED if you like the adventure, danger and romance of dark, uncertain medieval times!

I’d like to give away a copy of TORTURED today to those who leave a comment to the following question: If you had to choose another era you could live in, what era would that be and why?

Leave your comments here and I’ll be checking in periodically throughout the day!
Next on tour stop: Emily Bryan’s blog www.emilybryan.blogspot.com
May the wind be at your back~
Amanda
www.amandamcintyre.net

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ever Changing

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Please allow me to update you on what’s going on with Elle J Rossi. Within the last two weeks I have totally revamped the plot and genre of my WIP. What I thought would only require minor changes has turned into a major overhaul. Will it all be worth it? I think so. I like the story line better. I like how it reads and how the characters are reacting to these changes. Not only has the plot changed but so did a couple of the characters names. Oh, and let’s not forget, I changed the title too. My new title?

Cloaked

Are you intrigued? I certainly hope so. This week I made revisions to the first 5 chapters. I needed it to be darker, more mysterious. I think I accomplished that, somewhat, but it still needs more. I’ll get there. Of that, I’m certain.

I’m reading 2 how-to books. One on Heroes and Heroines (I was thrilled to find that I nailed my heroines traits. I haven’t read the Heroes section yet so that’s still in question.) The other is on plots and how to build them. Tremendously helpful!

A big decision I made a while back was to self-market. I know I’m not published yet, but I don’t think it’s ever too soon to get my name out there. If enough people hear it now, perhaps more will be apt to read and BUY the finished product.

So here are two marketing projects I’m working on right now:

I started a FaceBook page under my pen name. Feel free to look me up (Elle J Rossi), I’d be happy to add you as a friend. Not only have I met other authors this way, but I hope to have a fan base in the near future. Egotistical? Nope, just hopeful and very optimistic.

*****Big marketing item*****

I launched a website! Oh yes I did. I’m keeping it simple for now but have plans for a major overhaul once I’m published. Drop by http://ellejrossi.com/ and let me know what you think!

Any tips on self-marketing would be greatly appreciated. And…if you don’t believe in it, let us know why.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cafe Chaos -- Movies and TV

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SIS Barb says...
Recently, Beth suggested a couple movies that I should watch for research purposes. Say no more, I was happy to get the chance to finally sit down and watch a movie in its entirety and it was all in the name of research. From the opening scene to the rolling credits, I was enraptured. I fell in love with this movie, the cast and the small town in which it was filmed. Of course, it always helps to see Johnny Depp on the screen.


From Wikipedia: Chocolat tells the story of a young mother, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives at the fictional, repressed French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter and opens La Chocolaterie Maya, a small chocolaterie. Her chocolate quickly begins to change the lives of the townspeople.


My PIck of the Week: Chocolat



SIS Bren says...
I had a great time joking with Tori this week about our Procrastination Kingdom Ifandwhendia. I am the queen and she is the princess and it got me thinking about...royalty. Specifically the term "princess" stuck in my head. And then I had the delightful remembrance of a movie I have seen several times and still love.

My Pick of the Week: The Princess Bride (1987)

This movie has everything... it's a love story, a comedy, and it has adventure! Great for everyone, young and old!

From IMDb: A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather).



SIS Beth says…
Even though I don’t get to see as many movies as I’d like to, I very much enjoy discussing the ones I have seen. The good and the bad. Those who know me well know my taste in movies. My young friend and co-worker at the library, Taylor, knows my reading and viewing taste pretty well. He was stunned to learn I’d never seen a certain period film that had been nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. He made it his mission to nag, er, gently nudge me into watching it. He even loaned me his personal, treasured copy. He insisted that I would love this movie. That this was my kind of story. After several weeks, I finally carved out some time. At 7am on a stormy Sunday morning. He’s right. I loved it… even though it wasn't exactly what I'd call my kind of story.

My Pick of the Week: Atonement (2007)
Adapted from Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, Atonement is a mystery/drama/love story set in England during WW II. The performances by stars, Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan are haunting and spectacular. The cinamatography and film score are stunning. And the story . . . powerful and heart wrenching. It’s best to go in as I did… knowing nothing. Just watch, wonder, and weep.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pure Joy

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This past weekend was long and exhausting, but also too short and… wonderful.

Because of my work situation or maybe because I’m a workaholic, I rarely fly home for a visit. Home being the place I was born and mostly raised: Indiana.

My mom still lives in our home state. As do three sisters, one brother, and their significant others and offspring. The other three sisters, oddly enough those here at SIS, flew the coop. Bren, Barb, and I pursued careers as singers, which meant a lot of traveling. We ended up settling wherever the most gigs were or where our significant others were… or both. It’s not that I don’t like Indiana. It’s certainly not that I don’t miss my family. But, dang, time flies for a workaholic and suddenly a sibling says, “Do you realize I haven’t seen you in the flesh in seven years?” And I’m like, “No way!” But… Way.

This year, for very personal reasons, it was imperative for me to fly home. I’m so glad I did. I jammed an awful lot of sib-bonding into three days, although I didn’t coordinate things quite right with my sister Brandy. My time with her was incredibly brief. I’m still bummed about that. But, happily, I was able to squeeze in some quality time with the bulk of my family. I could share highlights from the state fair, the small town café, the family cookout, the Elvis movies with Mom, the Uno game at BJ's cool medieval abode, or Brandy’s ‘House Beautiful’, but instead I want to share a moment of pure joy… albeit faked.

While riding in Barb’s Hummer, at least I think it’s a Hummer. It’s big, black, and cool, and intimidating for a wiener driver like me. Where was I? Ah, yes. While riding in Barb’s massively huge vehicle, I brought up the subject of happiness—spurred, I think, by Bren’s previous post about ‘laughing’.

Beth: Have you ever seen one of those ads where the woman is laughing? Uncontrollably? Where she looks absolutely, I don’t know, carefree?”

Barb: Pure joy.

Beth: Yes!

Barb: I’ve seen them. Beth: Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me that I don’t feel like that.

Barb: Too much stress. Your work schedule. Your writing deadlines.
Beth: Right. I’m thinking I need to reevaluate my life. Reprioritize. I want to feel like the women in those ads.

Barb: We should take a picture of us faking 'Pure Joy'.

So we did.I mean, come on, who could pass that up? Certainly not us born hams.

Even though I faked Pure Joy, I felt Pure Joy after because, dang, that was silly. Then Barb sent me the pictures and I snorted and laughed--again. Pure Joy!
Poor BJ. She's so sweet and shy... and a really good sport. Barb and I roped her into this shot. "Just look amused by my moment of Pure Joy," I said. Hmm. I don't think she's acting here.

Barb and I in a moment of feigned Pure Joy. Or was feigned?? All I know is that we are officially GOOBERS!

Here are two pictures, two moments, that bring me genuine Pure Joy.
With my awesome sisters, Brandy, Barb, and BJ. (Bren couldn't be there! Wah!!) Barb will argue she's the pretty one. *g* If that's so, our brother would venture--Brandy's the smart one, BJ the cool one, and me the sweet one. Hee!


My reason for flying home pronto. My incredibly brave and inspiring brother, Bobby. Okay, these days he goes by Bob. But he's my little brother and thus in my heart--Bobby. He's battling the big 'C' with more grace and humor than I could ever imagine. We here at SIS would appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers. I believe in miracles as do my sisters and my brother. We'd love it if you'd share a moment, any moment, of Pure Joy! When's the last time you felt it?

SIS Beth

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Books

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Thursday we’ll offer recommendations for book lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!


SIS Barb...
Darn it! Beth stole my book recommendation. She posted first and I was going to think of something else but this book is so good it deserves double thumbs up this week. I too am reading DREAMFEVER by Karen Marie Moning and Holy Wow! This book is great. Am I surprised? Not one teeny bit. The other three books in the series are equally amazing and I highly recommend each and every one. But START AT THE BEGINNING! This is an ongoing tale and starting on any book but the first would be a huge mistake. Be forewarned--these books are not for anyone who enjoys a lighter read.

My Pick of the Week: DREAMFEVER
author: Karen Marie Moning


SIS Bren says...
After reading my sister's enthusiastic picks, I'm feeling that maybe I should get started on this series by Karen Marie Moning. Until then, I'll have to recommend another book from one of my favorite authors. Reading a book from this author is always a sure bet for me. I have never been disappointed.
My Pick of the Week: The Broker
Author: John Grisham
From the inside cover: In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, anew identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis.Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive--there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
SIS Beth says…
I recently posted about being in a reading slump. Nothing was really doing it for me. I’d read a chapter or two of a book and think, “Bleh” and move on. How fabulous to suddenly find myself with the opposite dilemma. Presently, I am jazzed BIG TIME about two books. Yes, I am reading them simultaneously.

My pick(s) of the Week: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris AND DreamFever by Karen Marie Moning

I don’t typically read two books at once. This was a fluke. I recently discovered Charlaine Harris’s delightful vampire series featuring down-home southern cocktail waitress, Sookie Stackhouse and the civil war gentleman vampire, Bill. Yes, Bill. Gotta love that. Who would ever name a vampire Bill? Charlaine Harris, that’s who. Anyway, Ms. Harris’s writing is fantastic and I am hooked. I devoured the first book in the series and was 2/3 through the second—Living Dead in Dallas—and loving it, when DreamFever, (the 4th book in Moning’s Fever series, a book I’d been anticipating for months) finally hit the shelves. I couldn’t resist. I had to set aside Living Dead in Dallas to glimpse at the opening of DreamFever and… dang… Oh, My God… I’m already 50 pages into DreamFever… so intense. But I was also at an intense scene in Living Dead in Dallas. Have to know how Sookie’s getting out of the pickle she’s in. Have to know how Bill….

But then there’s Mac.. and Barrons… and the fate of the world…

So, yeah. I’m reading two books, two amazing books, at once. I am in heaven. Has this ever happened to you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Procrastination

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Remember that old Carly Simon song? "Anticipation, anticipation is making me wait." If I were Weird Al Yankovic I would be singing "Procrastination, procrastination is making me late!"
I most assuredly am the Queen of Procrastination!

You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr.

I always think ahead. I know what needs to be done and exactly when it needs to happen. I "see the whole stair case"! But somehow, it takes forever for me to take that first step. Everything gets done at the very last minute. Even if I try to get it done way ahead of schedule. It just never seems to work out for me.

When I worked nights singing, I would know that I needed to leave the house by 8:45 to get to work on time. So, knowing that it took me about an hour to get ready, I would hop in the shower at 7:45. It never failed that something would happen during that time, that would without fail, cause me to leave the house later than I wanted. I decided I should start getting ready earlier so that in case anything should arise, I would have adequate time to spare. It didn't matter. I could start getting ready at 6:00 and I would still be rushing out the door!

I could give you many examples. Simply getting organized would be a huge step. Cleaning out the garage, organizing pictures, labeling old video and cassette tapes! It's a huge task, but I should just "take the first step" and before I know it, I will have conquered the "whole staircase".

"If and When were planted, and Nothing grew." Proverb

Right now I know exactly where I want to be in my life. I know my goals, my wants, my needs. I know that I am completely capable of achieving these goals/wants/and needs. I keep thinking that I just don't have enough time to make them happen as quickly as I would like. But is that really my problem? "If" and "When" should never even enter my vocabulary.

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried." Author Unknown

"You may delay, but time will not." Benjamin Franklin

I know that I want to finish my book and get it published. I know that I want to have it completed by next summer. Am I going to follow my M.O. and wait until the very last minute to complete. I hope not. I hope I can overcome this illness!

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started." Dawson Trotman

"Procrastination is the thief of time." Edward Young

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." Don Marquis

It is so true that so much time is wasted in just getting started. At least for me anyway. Once I get started, there is no stopping me. Well, okay, I have to stop for life. But if I didn't have to do anything but sit here and write...I'd be on Novel 10 by now! I'm glad for life's little interruptions because I pull so much from everyday life, but the point is... once I'm in the zone, I should keep going! Every single day should be a writing day. I should never think "I'll write tomorrow". NOW is the TIME!


"Even if you're on the right track - you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

Exactly! You have an idea! Go with it! See where it leads you. Don't be inhibited. Don't think that it's a great idea and you'll get to it sometime! ACT NOW! That quote reminds me of a post of Barb's where she had all these new ideas running through her head and didn't know if she should act on them now or save them for later. And then, more recently, a post of Beth's where she talked about new and exciting ideas that she wasn't sure whether or not she should nurture. I say, GO FOR IT! Put it in writing now and don't stop! You can work on other things too, but don't just let these thoughts be idle.

"Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the "someday I’ll" philosophy." Denis Waitley

Of all the quotes I found on procrastination, this one resonated deep within my soul. For me, I think it just may be true. But then, what does that say about me? I'm not sure, but I do know that when I read this, I had one of Barb's "AHA" moments. Am I afraid of success? I don't know about that, but maybe if the word rejection were substituted for the word success...maybe there's something there. Either way, I think it's sort of a sad excuse for not achieving my goal/ dream/ desire! I know it's not the fear of success, but the fear of failure or rejection that inhibits my writing! NO MORE!
What do I have to lose? What does anyone have to lose? Why do I care if I am rejected? At least I fulfilled my dream of writing a novel. So onward I shall plow! I...will...finish!


I hope that everyone, especially you writers out there, will really take the time to read these quotes and maybe even seek out more of your own. Even though most of them would possibly make you say "DUH" I still think that they warrant some thought. For me anyway, I am so glad that I found them!


SIS Bren

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cafe Chaos -- Music

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Tuesday we’ll offer recommendations for music lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says...
This week I won't be recommending an artist or an album. This week I will only recommend a song. From the very first time I heard this song, I loved it and treasured it. To me, there is no other like it. It doesn't matter what artist is singing it or for what occasion it is being sung. This song gets to me each and every time. Sometimes it just makes me smile but more often than not, it makes me cry. I feel this song deeply and I can't even explain to myself why.


My Pick of the Week: Amazing Grace

SIS Bren says...

I was on the internet looking up an old song from Carole King and came across a version of one of her songs from an artist that I've heard much about, but never really listened to. So I decided to check out a few of this artist's songs...and loved them!

My Pick of the Week: Amy Winehouse

Now, I know this girl seems to have her problems, but her voice is undeniably unique. She has that "old, vintage" sound mixed with a new and current vibe. I only listened to three songs, but loved them all (except for this one thing she does in the Carole King song).

Check these out: Valerie, Will You Still Love Me, and Rehab


SIS Beth says…
My drive to (and from) the Philadelphia Airport is and hour and a half each way. Plenty of time to crank up and enjoy some great music. Last night while navigating the busy interstate, I listened to a group that I had the pleasure of hearing perform live in a nightclub in London, England many moons ago.

My pick of the week: Celtus
Founded by brothers, John and Pat McManus who sing beautifully and play multiple instruments, Celtus’s music is best described as a blend of Celtic and contemporary fusion. They’re music inspires and haunts me. The melodies are haunting, the harmonies unique. I adore the instrumentation, a mix of ancient and contemporary. Unfortunately, this group never received the recognition it needed to stay in the game and too soon broke apart. Fans like me are left only with two albums of their fantastic music. Fortunately the songs are worth listening to over and over again. Click here to check out this fantastic group (and their music!) on their MySpace page.

Recommended Album: Moonchild
My Favorite Song:
Every Step of the Way

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

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As children, we all had dreams. It was simple. We knew what we were going to be when we grew up, what type of person we'd marry, number of kids, number of pets and where we'd live.

That's the beginning of our journey and the road is long with several twists and turns along the way. Some of our dreams came true while others didn't or haven't yet. But yet, we still dream.

This ties into Bren's Bucket List. Dreams are still dreams but as adults we have more control over whether or not they'll happen. In my opinion, we don't always need to dream big. Sometimes the little things are all we need.

I'd like to share a couple of my dreams with you, some big and some small, and how I hope to achieve them.

1) Move south or at least have a 2nd home in the south. how? Work very very hard and save, save, save!
2) Renovate our current home and in the process get my very own writing room! how? Work very very hard and save, save, save!
3) to be a published author. how? work very very hard and cross my fingers.
4) be a better mother. how? practice breathing techniques, lead by example and sometimes...just walk away.

So, you see, dreams are hard work! Very seldom do they just happen. We have to work very, very hard to get what we want and then hope that the cards will be in our favor.

Please share one of your dreams with us and how you will achieve it.

SIS Barb writing as Elle J Rossi

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Movies

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Saturday we’ll offer recommendations for movie lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!


SIS Bren says...

I hate being sick...but there is one good thing about it. It affords me time to catch up on some movie watching. I was lucky enough to catch not one, but two great movies this week. I'd never even heard of these movies, but was intrigued by the descriptions of both.

My Pick of the Week: The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

From IMDb: Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest", however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.

I'm never quite sure whether or not I am an Owen Wilson fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed him in this movie. Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman were equally great.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Inspiration, Imagination, and Guts

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As you’re reading this, I am on a plane, flying home for a visit. Home being where I was born and mostly raised. Home being where my mom, brother and a few of my sisters and their children live. Or… I am having lunch with my mom and brother. Or ... I’m meeting with a dear high school friend. Or… I’m eating pizza and watching a movie with my sister BJ and her girls. Depends on what time of the day you read this. At any rate, if I don’t respond to your comments as much as I normally do it’s because I’m engaged with family. Or… can’t get Internet access.

On to my topic of the day… Inspiration, Imagination, and Guts

Presently, I’m working hard on a story that will be released by HQN (Harlequin) in the fall of 2010. It’s a romantic adventure entitled: INTO THE WILD. I think of it as a cross between Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones. I adore the characters and concept and I’m having a blast spinning this tale.

Meanwhile, in the back of my brain, another story, indeed an entire new series of tales, is buzzing. That buzz grows louder by the day. I’ve started a file. I jot down every thought, every notion. Character names. Places. Character quirks. Back story. Plot points. I keep adding to this file. The story, or rather, the premise keeps changing. No. Not changing. Evolving. The more it evolves, the more clear the project becomes. The greater my excitement. I’ve even written a chapter and a half. I love it, but…

At this point, I’m not even sure of the genre. Elements include: romance, mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, and steampunk. Yesterday, I had a moment of doubt. Is my premise to outrageous? Am I dooming this project by not targeting a clear cut sub-genre?

But then I paused and considered.

I feel inspired. Incredibly, wonderfully inspired! Why not give my imagination free reign? I can always pull back. Later. After I fully understand what I’m dealing with. My gut says if I continue to let my imagination soar, if I allow the concept to evolve, at some point everything will click and I’ll have, as SIS Barb calls it, an AHA moment.

The sub-genre will become clear.

The story arc for the series will become clear.

Giving myself permission to develop this tale, no matter how outrageous, is extremely empowering. It even fuels my enthusiasm for my current WIP, Into the Wild. Inspiration and imagination are magic. But it takes guts to trust the magic. Courage to risk rejection.

I wonder how Jules Verne felt when he outlined Journey to the Center of the Earth? How J.K. Rowling felt when she created the Harry Potter series? Not that I’d ever compare myself to these amazing writers, but what if they’d harnessed their imaginations?

What about you? Is there a project you’re dying to attempt, but fear is too out there? Too unproven? Too unpopular? Do you follow trends or follow your heart? Without going into specifics (Protect the work!), I’d love it if you’d share at least one project (and it doesn’t have to be a writing project) that you hope to tackle someday.

SIS Beth

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Books

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Thursday we’ll offer recommendations for book lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says:
Well she's done it again. Another great book by an incredible author. Time after time she has proven herself and keeps me wanting more. I just finished this one and I'm thrilled that it is the first in a series. Can't wait for book 2.

My Pick of the Week: Dust To Dust ~ The Prophecy: Book 1
Is the end of the world right around the corner? Is there anyone, anything out there that can stop it? Can they find the Oracle in time? The Alliance must fight the battle between good and evil. Who will win?

Author: Heather Graham


SIS Beth says...
I don’t know why, but every now and then I hit a reading slump. I start several different books by different authors, but for some reason they fail to hook me. I know people who, once they start a book, have to finish it—even if they don’t like it. I’m not one of those people. There aren’t enough hours in the day and reading time is much too precious. I want to be entertained or inspired. I don’t want to have to work hard or force myself to get through it.
Hence… two steampunk novels that I was originally excited about, I’m setting aside. The writing is wonderful, but perhaps the sci-fi slant is too strong for me? I’m not sure. I may re-visit these books later, but just now… they’re not for me. I also started a historical mystery—also well written—that failed to suck me in and one historical romance. I honestly don’t think it’s the books. It’s me. My frame of mind. Something.
Given this fidgety state, I am rereading three books I loved. Books in a series leading up to the release of the fourth. I already blogged about them a few weeks ago, so I won’t go into detail. I’ll just say that right now, they’re spurring me through my reading slump.
My Pick of the Week: Darkfever, Bloodfever and Faefever
Urban fantasy with a wee bit of romance. Dark, decadent, and at times, humorous. The fourth in the series, Dreamfever, will be mine mid-August!
Author: Karen Marie Moning

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HUMOR

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I read somewhere that we laugh less as we get older. Isn't that sad? I love to laugh. I remember being a young girl and sitting at the dinner table with my sisters and getting the giggles over nothing at all. It used to drive my mom nuts. And once we would get the giggles, we couldn't stop.

I love the kind of laugh where you're laughing so hard you accidentally snort. Or better yet, you're laughing so hard you think you might pee your pants. On the other hand, don't you hate it when someone makes you laugh when you've just taken a drink and whatever it is you're drinking goes up your nose? Man, that burns! But still, a good time.

There is nothing like the laughter of a young child. It warms my heart every time. I still remember my son's first laugh. He was sitting in a bouncy chair and Barb was doing some sort of dance in front of him. He started to giggle so she did the dance again, only a little sillier. He laughed even harder so she just kept doing it over and over and bigger and bigger. He thought she was hysterical! It makes me smile every time I think about it.

My point to all of this is that I think laughter is a great thing and something we don't get to enjoy often enough. So, for your entertainment, I would like to share a story about my son in hopes of brightening your day and giving you a little chuckle.

My son was around a year and a half old. He was at the age that he could walk around and discover things. We'd had our breakfast and I popped in a Disney movie to occupy him so I could call my girlfriend and chat for a while. My son was watching the movie and dancing around and I was talking away and admittedly not paying close attention to him. He came over to me and held out what I thought was a small piece of cookie and was saying "hair, hair". I took it from him and looked at it and sure enough there was a piece of hair on it. I removed the hair and handed it back to him and went back to my conversation.

A couple minutes later, I glanced over and saw him standing by the book case. He was carefully lining something up in a row on one of the shelves. I couldn't quite make out what it was and wasn't sure where he was even getting these things that he was lining up. So I began to watch him closely as he made sure he was lining them all up correctly.
And then, to my horror, I saw where he was getting these objects! I let out a scream and cried "OH MY GOD" into the phone as I watched him reach into the back of his diaper and pull out another piece of poop and put it in line with the other pieces already on the shelf. My girlfriend is yelling "What? What? What's wrong" and I proceeded to tell her how my kid is playing with his poop. And then the realization hits me.

I don't remember giving him a cookie. Where did he find that cookie that he just brought to me and that I held in my hand, pulled the hair off of, and then handed back to him? "OH MY GOD! I JUST HELD POOP IN MY HAND!" My girlfriend was laughing hysterically, but I wasn't laughing at the moment. I needed to go and sanitize both my son and I and then the furniture!
We still laugh about it and wonder which was worse. The fact that he was playing with his poop or the fact that I was holding it in my hand, thinking it was a cookie, and then giving it back to him.

That's what I get for not paying attention!

I hope that this has brightened your day a little. If nothing else, I guess you can feel good knowing that you're not as big a goober as me.......or are you?


Stories anyone?



Have a giggly day!


SIS Bren

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Music

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Tuesday we’ll offer recommendations for music lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says...
The other day I heard a song from a while back. It made my cry, no surprise there, the words were powerful. It made me think about all the other great songs this artist has released. The list is virtually endless. I hopped over to iTunes to download a few and to my surprise, I couldn't find one song from this artist. Someone please clue me in as to why an artist wouldn't want their music on iTunes. My next stop...Amazon.com. Jackpot. Not only did I find the songs I was looking for, I found the ultimate.
My Pick of the Week: Garth Brooks
The Album: Garth Brooks The Ultimate Hits
This album met and exceeded all my expectations. He is truly an amazing artist. From Friends In Low Places to Workin' For A Livin' (the duet with Huey Lewis), it had me tappin' my foot, singing along and yes, crying at times.

My Favorite Songs: If Tomorrow Never Comes, Shameless, The Dance, Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)

SIS Bren says...I try to make it a point to turn on the radio every day, just to see what's out there. There are many stations that I can't listen to for more than a few songs. But there is always one that I can depend on to not only play current music that appeals to me, but also, give great life advice. This week I am not recommending an artist or even a group (although, this person does happen to be a musical artist), but instead, I am recommending a radio show.
My Pick of the Week: The John Tesh Radio Show
John Tesh gives advice from almost any topic you could imagine. Whether it be about family, pets, career, or health, he always has important and interesting information from which we all could benefit. If you can't seem to find him on your radio, check out his website. www.johntesh.com

SIS Beth says…
The sad fact is, I don’t listen to music as much as I used to. Music used to be my life. Literally. I made my living as a singer for thirty-some years. I had to be up on the latest hits. Life is different now. I can’t listen to music when I work at the library and I can’t listen to music when I write. Not typically. Typically, I need silence to create. So that leaves my random power-walks and the occasional (I’m talking once every two months) thirty-minute drive to the mall. As music was once my passion, my life, it’s astonishing to me how little I indulge. Hence my penchant to highlight established favorites. Such as…

My pick of the week: John Barry
This innovative and inspiring songwriter composed music for extraordinary films, including: Somewhere in Time, Out of Africa, Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves, Born Free, and several James Bond movies. As I said, typically when I write I need silence. But there are moments when I’m in need of musical inspiration. Something to set a mood. I always rely on John Barry for this. His lush, magical, passionate movie soundtracks move me greatly.

Recommended Album: John Barry: The Collection
My Favorite Song: Somewhere In Time

Monday, August 10, 2009

La La La La La La La

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Could it be? Is it possible? Have I found it?

You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about and I’m excited to tell you that the subject of today is…voice.

I’ve been writing a lot lately. I’ve given myself a deadline—hopefully a realistic one—and my plan, my hope is to achieve that goal.

Everything was going along splendidly until I had one of those moments. As of yet I don’t know if it was an AHA moment or just a what if moment because sometimes those are two entirely different things and other times…

If I go with the what if, I’ll have to change quite a few things about my current story in hopes of creating the AHA. Should I? Do I dare?

So yesterday I decided to give it a shot. I had so many ideas. I just had to get them on paper, or at least into a WORD document. I took a few notes and then I went for it. I wrote an opening scene and was surprised to see the words flying onto the page. I didn’t pause, I didn’t think. I envisioned the scene and wrote what I saw. When I was finished, I sat back and read it. I read it again and smiled. The feeling was unbelievable. I liked what I saw and I had a feeling others would too. I then sent it to Beth and Brenda. I had to. I needed to know if it was what I thought it was. Was it possible that everything had finally clicked and I’d found my voice?

I hope so. But regardless of whether or not this is it, I’m happy I tried the what if.

Now I've got to get back to writing. I've got deadlines!

Have you found your voice? Your niche? Ever went with a what if? What happened? Please share your stories.

SIS Barb writing as Elle J Rossi

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Movies and TV

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Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Saturday we’ll offer recommendations for movie and TV lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says...
There are those movies that no matter how many times you've seen them or how many times they come on the TV you always, always watch. They may not be the best movie you've ever seen but there's something about them that gets you every time. My pick this week is one of those.

My Pick of the Week: Gladiator (2000)
from IMDb: Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.

This movie stars Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nielsen and this movie hooks me every single time. Current count: somewhere around 20!

SIS Bren says...

Last week I mentioned that it is a rare occasion that I am able to actually watch a movie, at least one that I have not seen previously. So I decided to try and make one night a week a movie night with my husband. This week, as I searched through the "On Demand", I was able to find a movie that I thought we both would enjoy. And we did! We played not really "who-dunnit?", because you know who did it, but "how?" and then "can they still get him?". I thoroughly enjoyed this movie!

My Pick of the Week: Fracture

From IMDb: Wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous Ted Crawford, a structural engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife and entraps her lover. He signs a confession; at the arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum, a hotshot who's soon to join a fancy civil-law firm, told by everyone it's an open and shut case. Crawford sees Beachum's weakness, the hairline fracture of his character: Willy's a winner. The engineer sets in motion a clockwork crime with all the objects moving in ways he predicts.

Anthony Hopkins is great....just as creepy as ever. I wasn't sure about Ryan Gosling. I thought he seemed too young for the part, but in the end, he was excellent as well.

SIS Beth says…
Wednesday I mentioned how little time I have to read. The same goes with watching TV or movies. There are oodles of movies, old and new, that I want to watch. There are TV series that I’m itching to explore. But the clock is ever ticking on writing deadlines, so, instead of watching or reading . . . I write. That’s not to say I don’t have a TBV (to be viewed) list. Here it is. In immediate order.

My TBV Picks of the Week…

#1) ATONEMENT

I have to say that! Otherwise my co-worker at the library, Taylor, would flog me with a bookmark—or some such. As a movie buff and as someone who also knows my taste, Taylor assures me I will love this movie. I believe him. I will watch it. I swear!

#2) TIME AFTER TIME
I ordered this movie through ILL. Which stands for Interlibrary Loan. A fabulous resource. If you don’t know about it, ask your local library. Anyway… I requested this movie due to my current ‘steampunk’ fascination. Tagline: “H.G. Wells Races Through Time To Catch Jack The Ripper!" I’ve seen it before, but it’s been so long. I really don’t remember it. Looking forward to the view!

#3) THE TIME MACHINE
Another riff on H.G Wells. Also got this through ILL. Also seen this before, but mostly forgot. Tagline: Hoping to alter the events of the past, a 19th century inventor instead travels 800,000 years into the future.

#4) SHERLOCK HOLMES
Coming to a theater near me December 25!! Starring Robert Downing Jr. Directed by Guy Ritchie .
I.
Can.
Not.
Wait.

Here's why.






So… what’s on your TBV list?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Protect the Work, Nurture Your Soul

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On a personal SIS note... Today is our brother, Bob's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOBBY!!! And many, many, many more!


Now, on to my featured post.


A couple of weeks ago I posted a few phrases I’d heard in various workshops at the RWA Conference. I asked SIS readers what they thought those phrases meant. I enjoyed your thoughts and many of you echoed what I had heard from the conference speakers. Today I’m going to share what I learned as well as a few personal observations.

NYT bestselling author (and a fave writer of mine), Susan Elizabeth Phillips conducted an informal and candid discussion with published authors. I was surprised that only twenty or so people showed. Ms. Phillips was fascinating, funny, and extremely insightful. One of the many topics she covered was: PROTECT THE WORK. This actually entailed a variety of things. Essentially, it means: Do whatever you have to do to enable yourself to write, to create, to finish the dang book.

*If reading bad reviews pummel your self-confidence, if they depress you to the point of hindering your ability to write…. then don’t read your reviews.

*If reading blogs or judging contests or critiquing work or social networking (you get the picture) cuts fiercely into your ‘writing time’.... cut back or cut them out.

*If discussion boards or blogs upset or infuriate you, if they incite negativity or cynicism artistically or professionally… don’t read them. And certainly don’t participate.

I’m sure she offered more examples, but these were a few that really resonated with me.

Agent Stephen Axelrod and author, Julia Anne Long spearheaded a nitty gritty workshop entitled: Why Publishing is Making You Crazy—and What You Can Do About It: The Tao of Publishing.


As it happens, you can read the bulk of this invaluable lecture on Ms. Long’s blog. Click here and scroll up to the beginning of the 12/1/08 post of the same title. You won’t regret it!

A few phrases that impressed me were…

"Give up what brings you anxiety and you will have better control."

"The more you try to make sense of it, the further you are from the truth."

"Stay in the moment.... Go with the flow.... and when something bad happens, rise above."

Again, please visit Ms. Long’s blog for the in-depth and fabulous break down of these phrases. But in short, what I learned, or rather what was finally drilled into my head is that there's simply a boatload of issues that are OUT OF MY CONTROL. Obsessing over my Amazon or Barnes and Noble rankings or my overall sales numbers or on how much advertising support I got from my publisher won’t alter where I am in my career. Spending enormous energy and time, and what little I can afford on self promo, probably won’t boost my sales. So much of the business aspect of writing is OUT OF MY CONTROL. Why waste precious time and energy worrying about it?

Bottom line, the only thing that is absolutely within my power is writing the best story I can possibly write. And the more prolific I am, the better. Which brings us back to: PROTECT THE WORK.

Over the past couple of years, I became so caught up in what I couldn’t control, that I lost my joy of writing. The pressure to succeed, to meet and even exceed expectations—mine and those of my publishers—became crushing. Coupled with the fact that I also work a full time day job, this was beyond my mental and physical capabilities. I wanted to do it all. I thought I was Superwoman. But I’m not.

Attending these workshops, absorbing the wisdom offered... freed me. I am consciously letting go of what I cannot control. I am reexamining my goals, my artistic and monetary wants and needs. I am nurturing my soul. And little by little, I am rediscovering the joy of writing. The joy of living is a work in progress, but I’ll get there.

I do believe that these principles apply to all facets of life, not just writing. I hope this post somehow resonates with you.


Whether you're a writer, musician, sculpter, teacher, accountant, stay-at-home mom... What can you do to protect your work? To nurture your soul? I'd love to hear your take.

SIS Beth