Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hump Day Hide-n-Seek

Everybody hides from something. Work, their feelings, another person, name it, somebody is hiding from it.

Photo courtesy of my Darling Daughter.
Right now, for instance, I'm hiding from the vacuum cleaner. And the snow shovel. (Oh, and my skinny jeans. I hope like heck they won't find me before this winter eases up and lets me get back to my walking routine. On a related note, I'm also hiding from ice cream. And succeeding about as well as my camel buddy above.) 

I was thinking about this the other day while I was writing. Characters hide, too, don't they? From their emotions, from other characters, from the bad guys. Pretty much from the same things real people hide from. As with real people, some of them are better at it than others. And therein lies a good source of conflict. Fiction falls flat without conflict. Anything that provides it is a good addition to a writer's toolbox, so hooray for hiding!

Okay, 'fess up. What are you hiding from? Do tell!* 

For the writers among you, are your characters hiding from anything?

*Unless it's from me. Then just make some sh!t up instead. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WARNING: Post Contains Camel Toes (Really. Camel Toes.)

I got a picture in an email. There they were, big as day. 

Now, I've heard buzz about camel toes, but heck if I can figure out what the deal is. Why does there appear to be such a concerted effort to spot them on the internet?

Huh. Whatever. For those who seem obsessed, here ya go:

But, honestly, I don't see what all the excitement is about. ;)

Okay, okay...I'm kidding. Obviously I know what a "camel toe" is. But you really didn't think I'd be showing it here, did you? I mean, I do have some standards, you know. Not many, granted, and not high ones, but still. They exist. 

So, who would send me such a risque picture? Why, my darling daughter, of course! And she appears to be proud of it, too.

Yup, I'm afraid the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I couldn't be prouder. *beams*

She and my son-in-law visited the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Knowing my penchant for posting camel pics, they kindly added to my collection. (You'll be seeing more of them in the future.)

In the meantime, have a Happy Hump Day! And try not the think about camel toes. Go on. I dare you. 

[Photo credits for today: DD and Son-In-Law. Thanks, kiddos!] 

(You're still thinking about them, aren't you?)
(Still? Come on. You have to stop. It isn't seemly.)
 (Really. Enough is enough. Try focusing on the humps instead.)
 (No, wait. Scratch that--gah! Um, no, don't scratch that. Not in public, anyway. Just...)

Oh, hell. Have a nice day. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hump Day is for Flirting!

Hey there. *bats eyelashes* Come here often?

Photo courtesy of

What? She looks flirty to me. (How do I know it's a she? I don't. She just looks like a girl, all right?)

So. Flirting. How do you feel about it? 

Me? I like it. I'm flirting right now in another window. 

Now, before you get all "Why, that hussy!" on me, let me explain. I'm flirting with an idea. It's part of writing process when I'm working on a first draft. I get an idea. Kind of just see it in the corner of my mind. 

Some ideas bold. They march themselves right up to me and say, "Lady, you need me. I'm here. Let's do this thing!" (I do like an idea that can take charge.)

Others are a bit more bashful. They linger in the murky shadows of my imagination and dare me to notice them. Some of them are so goofy I just roll my eyes and tell them to go bother somebody else's muse. But some are...well, stickier, for lack of a better word. They hang back but don't go away. They play hard-to-get, flirting with me.

As much as I enjoy the sheer brashness of the bold ideas (let's face it--they make my job easier), I'm a real sucker for the sticky, bashful, hard-to-get ideas. They don't always work out, but when they do, the payoff is sublime. 

Do you flirt? With people? With ideas? Both? Do share! 

Oh, and Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Bright Before Sunrise Night

Wow. Another post from me this week, and it's not even Wednesday yet. If I'm not careful, y'all are going to get spoiled. ;)

But this is a special week! Another one of my fabulous critique partners, Tiffany Schmidt, has a book coming out soon (Feb. 18, to be exact). 

Pretty, huh?  

The tagline for Bright Before Sunrise is: 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.” 

To help get the rollout started, a whole bunch of Tiffany's friends and fans are recounting how one night changed our lives. Here's my effort:

So, which night changed how I see the world and myself?

Oddly, I slept right through it.

It was the night my father died. I was twelve years old, and had just started junior high. Tall and gawky and awkward, I'd always counted on my dad for a daily dose of knowing I was beautiful to someone. His eyes were my Mirror of Erised—they always showed me what I most wanted to believe about myself.

I grew up when he died (at forty-five—way too young—of a heart attack). A world that could take your father from you was no safe place to be a kid, so that part of me—the carefree, somebody-else-will-take-care-of-the-scary-stuff part—was altered. I still had my mother, of course, but my father's death had shown me how tenuous even the most permanent parts of your life can be.

The one adult who won't—who can't—check out before you do is yourself, so I became that adult. Oh, I still laughed and played with my friends, but my inner adult was always on guard. Still is.

Fortunately, my inner adult has a sense of humor, and is willing to turn a blind eye to occasional bouts of immaturity. I hope my dad--wherever he is--is, too. 

But enough about me. Here's a little more info about a really fantastic book:

Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won't give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel's energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

About Tiffany Schmidt:
TIFFANY SCHMIDT lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. And while she thinks sunrises are quite beautiful, she'd rather sleep through them. Send Me a Sign was her debut novel. Find out more about Tiffany and her books by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt or visiting

And now, how about you? Was there one night in your life that changed how you saw yourself and/or the world?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cheap Thrills, Cheap Laughs! AKA, Tawna Does a Marine! (Wait...does that sound bad?)

You know me--if there's the possibility of a cheap laugh, I'm there. If there's a cheap thrill to be had, count me in. Both together? Man, I am all over that!

Which is why I'm lucky to have a critique partner like Tawna Fenske. I get to read her special brand of panty-melting humor before almost everyone else. (Be jealous. Be very jealous.)

The good news? Her latest book is being released today:

Are you fanning yourself yet? 

Here's the back cover copy:

She thought she’d sworn off military men for good…
Sam Kercher is every inch a wickedly hot Marine. Tall. Sexy. Lethal. When his best friends call in a favor, Sam is forced to face an entirely new line of duty—playing nanny for their newly divorced sister and her squirming seven-month-old twin boys. If Sam can dissemble an M16 in his sleep, diaper duty should be a cakewalk…right?
Unfortunately, Operation Nanny isn’t quite that simple. Sheridan has sworn off overbearing military men, so Sam must protect her from her dirtbag ex without revealing just how much he has in common with her brothers. Or that he’s been ordered not to touch her. Ever. Problem is, Sheri’s one hell of a gorgeous woman, capable of making this hard-bodied Marine even harder. And Sam wants her bad.
Protect the girl. Care for the babies. Hide his identity. And keep his hands off. But even the most disciplined Marine has weaknesses...and Sheridan is one Sam might not be able to resist.

Pure fan-yourself fun! 

And the best part? Today you can get it for $0.99! (See? That's what I mean by cheap laughs and cheap thrills. Inexpensive, not tawdry. Though if by "tawdry" you mean...oh, never mind. Just read the book and prepare to laugh yourself silly while you melt.) 

Click here for your e-reader buying options at the Entangled site.* 

* I know this looks like I'm pimping my CP, but I'm doing you a favor by telling you where you can get this much fun for such a low price. So, really, it's more like a public service announcement. I'm thoughtful that way.