Friday 5: TV Shows I’ll Miss During Summer

I always claim not to be much of a TV watcher, and I’m really not, though there are a few “don’t miss” shows on my slate.  Unfortunately, I think most of them ended as of this week.  Wah!  Oh, how I’m going to suffer without them!

1)  How I Met Your Mother – Sigh…the only sitcom I watch, and totally worth it!  I seem to recall this show being criticized as trying to copy Friends, but it so doesn’t.  The gang from HIMYM more than holds their own!  Love me some Neil Patrick Harris, first of all.  But the dynamics of the characters and the writing of the show (sometimes having an entire episode in hilarious flashbacks) keep me coming back week after week. However, I have to say the Season Finale of this show was pretty disappointing.    It wasn’t as funny as I expected.  There were no shocks.  No cliffhangers.  Sigh.  I kind of expected more from them.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t have me TIVO prepared to grab the very first episode in the fall. 

2) Grey’s Anatomy – I have a love/hate relationship with Grey’s.  Some seasons (or parts of seasons) are so boring I contemplate giving it up.  I wasn’t even sure about a lot of this last season, what with all the talk of Katherine Heigl and T. R. Knight leaving/not leaving, it kind of made it hard to care about their characters much.  But, I have to say, even though it was mentioned by creator Shonda Rhimes over and over that the season finale would be a real shocker, I didn’t believe her.  And BOY WAS I WRONG.  I literally gasped out loud at what was clearly the shocking-est part of the episode!  I rarely react like that to shows.  I’m really excited to see what the next season brings.

3)  Bones – Yum.  Love me some David Boreanaz.  However that’s not the only reason I watch Bones.  I totally dig the forensic anthropology stuff…the bones, the blood, the tissue, the mystery solving.  This season really rocked, too!  I didn’t like last season as much, with an ongoing storyline that was just confusing and not touched upon often enough to remember what was going on from one epi to the next.  But they were back and brilliant this season.  I will, however, say the last episode wasn’t my favorite.  It was an “alternate reality” type of thing that may have been a hallucination or dream.  It was vaguely fun to see what things would have been like if all the characters had chosen different paths.  But I kept waiting for the “real story” to happen.  It never did.  And the cliffhanger was a little “contrived.”  I’ll be interested to see how they pick it up next fall.

4)  Private Practice – I feel much the same about this show as I do Grey’s.  Many people don’t watch Private Practice thinking it’s just a Grey’s knockoff, but it’s not.  Whereas Grey’s focuses on the medical aspects of the storylines, PP focuses on the moral aspects of the storylines.  How would you choose if you were in this position?  I cry constantly over this show, not even because I’m so hooked on the characters, but because the conflicts are so horrifying sometimes, I can’t believe people can make such hard choices.  Great writing fodder, if you want to think about it as building your conflict skill set.  Oh, but the cliffhanger at the end of this season…Scary!!  I mean, you know hope the characters will be fine and be back next season, but still. 

5) Castle – I’m actually late to the Nathan Fillion Fan Club, having never watched Firefly or seen the movie Serenity, but I’m a convert now!  LOVE Castle.  And not just because it’s about a mystery/thriller writer, so Fillion talks/thinks much like I do, but also because the dialogue is fun and snappy and makes me laugh.  Even Darling Daughter, who sooo didn’t care for the show for the first few episodes, is a total fan now.   Castle just got picked up for next season.  Yay!

Bonus:  Two Shows That Rock During the Summer!

The best thing ever invented for TV Lovers Everywhere was off-season shows.  I know there are a lot more, but I have two that I watch, both on USA Network,  and highly recommend.  For both, I would definitely rent the DVDs from past seasons (or watch all episodes online for free – see the links below) to catch up, but hurry, as both these shows start next month.

1)  Psych – Laugh out loud hysterical.  That’s my best description.  Shawn Spencer is  psychic very observant, so he opens a psychic detective agency with his lifelong friend Gus, and they solve crimes for the police department.  I can’t even begin to tell you how hilarious this show is.  Between Shawn’s dysfunctional relationship with his former-cop father, his flirting with Juliet the police detective, and his antagonistic competition with Juliet’s partner Detective Lassiter, it’s nonstop fun. 

2) Burn Notice – Spies, hot guys, and murder, oh my!  Started watching this show on recommendation of my friend, Serena Robar, and was hooked after one episode. Why do I love me some Burn Notice?  Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is HOT for starters.  So hot, if you put him and David Boreanaz in a lineup, I’d be unable to choose.  Also, this is another show with fantastic writing, characters you come to love, and a lot of action. 

What shows are you going to miss this summer?  Do you fill the gaping holes with other shows or do you do something else with your time while they’re off air? 

~ Shannon

- See more at: http://shannonmckelden.com/friday-5-tv-shows-i-miss-during-summer/#sthash.45yldSHy.dpuf

Read your reviews…or not?

Russian Federation: Court Rules Against Book Reviewers – Global Legal Monitor – Law Library of Congress (Library of Congress)

“(May. 11, 2009) On April 23, 2009, a federal district court in the southern Russian province of Dagestan issued an unprecedented ruling, ordering a journalist of a local newspaper to pay compensation in an amount equal to US$1,000 to a writer who did not like a review of his book published in the newspaper.”

This bit of news came out just this week and kinda made me laugh.  Pretty sure bad reviews fall under Free Speech here in America, so, like it or not, we’re stuck with our reviews, good or bad. 

I’ve been having fun for the past week on the new blog The Worst Review Ever.  I posted my own worst review (which wasn’t actually the worst in terms of the amount of anguish it caused, but was the worst written by far. It’s been interesting to see the reactions in the comments to the reviewer…everything from wishing they could send him their own books for review (on the principle that no publicity is bad publicity) or just questioning his sanity. 

While I don’t doubt the plaintiff in the above suffered the symptoms he claims to have suffered upon reading his poor review (“The writer stated that after reading the book review, he experienced chest pains, headache, and elevated blood pressure.”)…since I’m pretty sure I suffered those same symptoms, if not on my “worst” review, then definitely on another one…I still question the relevance of suing. Why?  Because I don’t think we should give reviews that much power over us!

There are a few different kinds of reviewers:

  1. Those who offer constructive criticism.  They state what didn’t work for them about the book.  They state what did work for them about the book.  They offer an honest opinion, like it or not, but their review is about their perception of the book.  These are the only “valuable” reviews, as far as I’m concerned, and still, they are only of value in a limited way.  If you find that dozens of readers constructively offered that they were horrified that you killed a dog in your book, which made it hard to enjoy the rest of the book, perhaps you might rethink whacking the family pet in your subsequent books.  They are also helpful in learning your strengths.  If many reviewers comment that your dialogue is fun and snappy, I think it’s safe to say that you might want to keep that up in the future. 
  2. Those whose review isn’t as much about the book as it is about the author.  Really?  I don’t care how much you loathe a book, attacking the author, the author’s family, the author’s morals/reputation/intelligence doesn’t do a thing to boost your credibility as an objective reviewer.  (As an additional note…most of the readers you are trying to discourage from buying this particular book?  See right through your lame attempt at “review” to what it really is.)
  3. Those who just want to see themselves in print.  These reviewers often present themselves as authorities on writing, talking down to the writer, pointing out “mistakes,” etc., that they are shocked only they could see, but cloaking it as a lesson to the author to avoid future mistakes.  It doesn’t matter whether these reviewers are actually published or not…they have deemed themselves better than the authors whose book they are reviewing.  An example of this is a review of mine for VENUS ENVY, which pointed out my “classic newbie mistake” of having too many scenes with only two characters in them.  Hm…methinks someone should alert the media, because I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of that being a no-no before…and neither have ANY other writers I have shared this hilarious tidbit with, including the New York Times Bestsellers.  

I wonder if readers know that a lot of writers refuse to read their reviews.  They don’t seek them out.  They don’t Google themselves or their books or frequent Amazon just to see what people are saying about them.  Mostly because it’s the bad reviews that stand out, not the good ones (to the writer, anyway).  You can have 20 great reviews, which bring warmth to your heart when you read them, but that one review that says, “This book sucks” negates all the great reviews. 

Some of us even have rules about our reviews…1) We can read them, but if they are bad we can only read them ONCE. 2) We can read them, cry, throw a fit, be angry…but only for 24 hours/5 minutes/until we close our browser. 

A really really wise friend of mine, Jane Porter, once told me that we don’t write our books for the people who don’t like them.  We write them for the people who do like them and need them and find joy in reading them.  I’ve taken to telling myself, when I read a review from someone who didn’t care for my book, “I didn’t write it for you anyway.” It helps to cut back on the inevitable stab of pain when you find out someone thinks your baby is ugly.  Instead I turn to the other reviews, the ones that point out that my book brought a few minutes of joy into their lives. 

On the flip side, as a reader, I pay so little attention to reviews, it’s not even funny.  Reviews rarely sway me to buy a book or not.  Even “big” reviews in publications like Publisher’s Weekly have little effect on me…because being paid to review still doesn’t mean the review is anything other than opinion.  And there are such a variety of reading tastes in the world, that one person’s opinion about a book isn’t necessarily going to be mine. 

What about you?  Are you are writer to reads your reviews or not? Are you a reader who buys books based on reviews…or not?  I’m really interested to hear your opinion.  

- See more at: http://shannonmckelden.com/read-your-reviewsor-not/#sthash.EKzKLxEJ.dpuf

Up-to-dating my site

Well, in case you haven’t noticed my absence in the last year…I’ve been absent.   Absent, however, is not synonymous with lazy, because I’ve been anything but.  My freelance writing for iParenting.com has continued steadily.  It’s a lot of fun interviewing people, and I find myself suggesting topics that interest me, even though I’m no longer a parent of infants or toddlers, which are my target audience. 

I’ve also been hard at work finished up writing and editing VENUS GUY TRAP!  I’m so excited about this book.  It turned out a bit more emotional that I thought it would…but don’t worry, Venus is her usual snarky self.  Publication is set for February 2010, and I’m really excited to see what the Tor art department comes up with in terms of a cover…which, of course, I’ll share here as soon as I can. 

Anyway, bear with me as I tweek and fiddle with this site.  Learning WordPress has been a challenge, but I really wanted my blog to be front and center to my website, allowing me to keep everyon up to date all in one place.  For now, if you want to follow me, look me up on Facebook (until I figure out how to link directly to my Facebook page).  

~Shannon

 

May 2008 update

Venus makes a comeback!

Happy Spring!   I just celebrated my 22nd wedding anniversary yesterday…is it any wonder I love to read and write romance? 

The new mass market version of VENUS ENVY is in stores now, and it’s beautiful!  The new cover just snaps off the shelves.  I hope you’ve all had a chance to pick up a copy. If not, you can purchase from any of the on-line booksellers, or your local book store. If they aren’t carrying it, do me a favor and ask them to.  The more sales, the more chance we all have of getting more Venus books.    

Well, VENUS ENVY is doing so well, that Tor has asked for another book!  VENUS GUY TRAP will come out in early 2009.  Watch for more details to come!  I’m so excited to be working with Venus again…as you all know she’s very vocal.  

Summer’s coming and bringing a lot to my household…we’re in the process of buying a new house, which is always fun, but also a big chore. Does anyone actually like packing up a house? Especially one that has been lived in for 12+ years?  Not me, I’ll tell you that. 

At the end of July, I’m headed for the National Conference for Romance Writers of America, and I can’t wait!  I missed last year’s fun, but couldn’t miss the week in San Francisco this year. 

Also, I apologize for not updating much lately, either here on on my blog.  Times are crazy busy with my day job, as well as my writing for iParenting.com, which incidentally was purchased by Disney Family at the beginning of the year.  How cool is it to get paychecks from Mickey Mouse? 

Well, back to writing.  Venus waits for no one.  Please join my spam-free newsletter, if you’d like to be kept more up to date to what’s going on with me.  I update that marginally more often than I update here.  Ha!  Sorry!  

 

What Would Venus Do?

Venus is visiting us today with a Q&A from our reader mail! When you’re done taking Venus’s most goddess-like advice, come visiting ME at ChickLitGurrl, where I’ve done an interview! Thanks to ChickLitGurrl for asking me to be part of your great site! – Shannon


Dear Venus,

I love shopping! But, my boyfriend says I spend more time shopping more than I do with him and it’s either him…or Saks!! What would you do??
– Have to make a choice in O.C.

Mmmm….shopping. We should get together and hit Rodeo Drive sometime!

The thing men don’t get is that shopping is important. To our self esteem. To our social status. To the economy, for Zeus’s sake! (Black Friday wouldn’t exist without the shoppers who make it possible.)

Men need to look at shopping differently…as a skill that gets far too little credit. It takes as much stamina to make it through a Macy’s Thanksgiving sale as it does to run for a 60-yard touchdown. (And we do it without the benefit of padding and safety helmets!) And any woman who’s made a dive for the last pair of designer heels on the bargain table could teach baseball players a thing or two about sliding home. (It’s all about how much you really want it.)

Before you forego Ferragamo, you could try convincing your man to take up shopping as a spectator sport. Remind him that it doubles as a workout if he carries your purchases. If that doesn’t work, offer a little incentive. For every day of shopping you get, you’ll buy a little something for him…and I don’t mean a Dooney & Bourke handbag. Sexy lingerie is a gift you both can share.

Finally, ask yourself if he’s right. As much as it pains me to say it, shopping really should be the second most important thing in your relationship. If you treat him like #1 most days, he won’t be so jealous of your time with Barneys and Marc Jacobs.

 

My Love/Hate Relationship With Christmas

A few days ago (okay, maybe a WEEK ago), Christina tagged me for a Christmas MeMe of my favorite things about Christmas. I was gonna do it. I swear. Except the more I thought about it, the more I felt like a big fat liar. And since I’m trying to slide under Santa’s Radar of naughtiness, I figured I couldn’t complete the meme without getting put down on the naughty list for lying.

So, giving it some thought, I realized that what I have is a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I WANT to love the holidays, but there’s just something (about everything) that stops me.

So, with no further ado, my own Christmas MeMe of Honesty:

1) I love….the beauty of Christmas. The decorations and twinkly lights, the smell of fresh-cut fir trees, the colorful ornaments and packages.

I hate….the beauty of Christmas. Do you know how freaking long it takes drag the boxes of all that crap out of storage?? I hate the time it takes to decorate and second-guessing myself on what looks goods. I hate the fact that those lovely-smelling fir trees are like blow torches waiting to happen…I simply don’t get a single good night’s sleep as long as that thing is in my living room. I hate turning the lights on them, sure we’re going to get a short and burn the place down. (Solved this last year with the necessity to get a fake tree, but the feeling still lingers.) Even worse, I hate taking all that pretty crap down. Do you know how freaking long it takes to stuff all that stuff back into the boxes and drag them all back out to storage??? ONLY to discover a day later that you forgot something??? Last year we forgot a 1-1/2-feet-tall ceramic Christmas tree that lights up. We left it on top of the desk in the living room until we drug out the decorations again this year. And, no. I’m not kidding.

2) I love….the food. The frosted cookies, the home-backed goodies, the egg nog, the pies.

I hate…the food. How many pounds do I have to pack on every year during the holidays before I learn my lesson? Apparently at least another ten. At our family gathering a few weeks ago, I ate all this stuff I don’t normally get to eat until I was nearly comatose. Then, my cousins brought their traditional homemade English toffee, all sugary and chocolatey and topped with crunchy slivers of almonds–one of my all-time, once-a-year favorites. It was as delish as I remembered! Then, somehow I ended up leaving the party with an entire bucket of the leftover English toffee. Did I mention that no one in my house eats it but me? And did I mention that I ate almost nothing else BUT the English toffee for the next four days until it was finally gone?? Give me one good reason this is a GOOD thing.

3) I love…Christmas carols. They are so sweet and sentimental, remind me of childhood and goodwill and the real reason for Christmas.

I hate…Christmas carols. Because, you see, I have this sickening sentimental/emotional side, and when I hear said lovely carols that remind me of my childhood and goodwill and the real reason for Christmas…I cry. And, do I want to cry for the entire month of December? Not really. Ditto Christmas movies. The deepest Christmas movie I’ve watched over the last few years is The Santa Clause, and even that was pushing it. So, I’ve listened to exactly 1 Christmas CD this year, avoid it on the radio like the plague, and have managed to avoid ANY Christmas movies this year, even though Darling Daughter taped the entire 25 Days of Christmas Movies on Lifetime Channel and they are sitting on the TiVo just waiting to be watched. Not.

4) I love…gift giving. Ah. Finding the perfect gift for your loved one. Isn’t that the best feeling ever?! I know they are going to adore it, it’s what they’ve always wanted, or something they mentioned that I actually remembered they mentioned. I can’t wait to see their face when they open it and light up at the sheer joy of receiving this gift!

I hate…gift giving. Ennnhhh. The above never happens. I NEVER remember what people want for Christmas, except when it’s NOT Christmas, and by the time it IS Christmas, they’ve already got what they wanted, so I’m back to square one. What the heck is the JOY of calling up your family members and begging them to give you a list of what they want, while they beg you back for a list of what YOU want. Then, you go on your respective searches to fulfill each other’s wish lists, often unable to find what they want (because you really aren’t sure what the heck a “mandoline” is, for instance). You search high and low, check and recheck the lists, your budget, the UPS tracking system (to see if you are actually going to GET the gift you spent days tracking down before the holiday and could only find at some obscure dotcom which is probably just stealing your credit card number and not planning on sending you anything in return), and then wrap the suckers you aren’t even sure they are going to like. Um, wouldn’t be easier and a lot more joyful, if everyone just bought their own gift, wrapped it up, and opened it on Christmas?? It would save EVERYONE a boatload of hassle. (This is a reciprocal hatred, I’m sure. I have no doubt people hate buying for me as much as I hate buying for them.)

5) I love…spending time with my family. We have a blast together, enjoy each other’s company, and all get along. 

I hate…spending time with my family. At the holidays anyway. See above, #4. It’s all about the damn gifts. I think I got my brother a great gift this year (not something from a list for once), but the PRESSURE of wondering if he’s going to think it’s as wonderful as I think it is, or if it’s not quite right, or not the right color, or is missing feature he really would want in this item…the pressure is killing me. Why do we put ourselves through this??? I have much more fun with my family when we’re just hanging out and under no obligation to buy each other anything. My gift to them is my presence. (I can hear the snorting now!) So, call me Grinch if you like, but that’s the Truth about Christmas for me. And for all you who wax poetic about the joy of the Season…more power to you.

Shannnon

Standing out

So, I thought I’d do my year-end book round-up early this year (mostly because I can’t think of another blog topic at the moment). Last year (2006), I read 74 books…this year (2007), I’ve read 73 as of today, and figure I’ll probably get at least three more read before the end of the year. I find it really interesting that I’m so close to last year’s count without even trying.

I feel like I can analyze my books now, before finishing out the year, since I know what the next few books are that I am going to read, and they don’t fit in any particular niche for me, other than finishing up a series I’ve really enjoyed. Catching up will be nice!

Last year my goal was to read more YA and more new-to-me authors. You can read that round-up here, and see that I did exactly that. This year my goal was much less defined. Thankfully. Since nothing really stood out as a goal or an accomplishment. I just read for the joy of it!

I only read 7 YA books this year, which I have to say really surprised me. Last year, I read 24. I supposed if I counted the Harry Potter books, I actually read 10 YA’s, but I really can’t put them in that category (and neither would Jo Rowling).

Last year, my new-to-me authors added up to 42 out of 74, a resounding success in meeting that goal. This year, I read only 23 new authors. Why? Not really sure. Several of the new authors I read this year, I ended up reading several other books they had written later in the year…which I guess is a good thing, right? Means that I was picking up on new-to-me authors who will be repeats for me. These include authors like Nalini SinghStephanie Rowe, and JR Ward. I just glanced over last year’s book list and I notice that, while I read a lot of new authors, not so many of them were (or will be) authors I choose to read again or add to my auto-buy list of authors. Does that mean my choices were better this year? Not sure.

There were definitely a lot of stand-outs this year, though! Looking for fun books? You can’t go wrong with Jackie KesslerStephanie RoweJanet Evanovich, Serena Robar, and Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer. Looking for more dramatic/romantic/serious books? My favorites were by Nalini SinghJane PorterJoshilyn JacksonLani Diane RichSusan Elizabeth PhillipsSarah Addison AllenKristin Hannah, and Diane Setterfield.

What about the authors that just provided a damn good book? Who do I go back to time and again…not necessarily because they deliver a book that punches me in the gut (like Kristin Hannah or Jane Porter), but because I know what I’m getting with them every single time? Suzanne BrockmannJR WardSusan Elizabeth Phillips.

I’m really happy with what I read this year. An interesting stand-out was the book I just finished. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. This one was purchased because it was really popular and sounded good. But it was very different than my norm. NOT a romance at all, it had a decidedly gothic flavor to it. Took me back to my day of reading Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney (as well as others I probably can’t remember). I read The Thirteenth Tale very quickly, but throughout the entire reading, I couldn’t have told you that I loved it, or what it was about it that kept my interest. The mystery of it? The mood? The way Setterfield sucked you into the story and you couldn’t stop reading until the entire truth was revealed? Whatever it was, it was a great change from my typical.

Another standout would be my reading of the JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series…again totally atypical for me (dark paranormal), but these truly grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let me go. I read the first 4 books in the series in just 10 days, which was phenomenally fast for me. Her world-building is fabulous!

And just because I didn’t mention every book here, doesn’t mean I didn’t love them. In fact there are only a couple on the list that I’d have called mediocre (and NO, I’m not going to say which ones). In fact, this was a big year for not finishing books for me. If I didn’t get hooked pretty quickly, I didn’t waste my time. I never used to be able to do that…and no I don’t feel guilty about it. My time is precious.

So, for 2008, my plan is to read a some new authors, more YA, and to clean out as many of the books I have purchased in the last couple of years as I can. No more lounging on my shelves waiting to be read! In fact, one day, while locked away in my daughter’s room, in her comfy chair, “working on my nonfiction articles”, I got sucked into browsing our library. I opened a document and started listing the books I really, really want to read…mixing it up with YA, new authors, contemporaries, suspense, non-romance novels, historicals, etc. I ended up with a list of 46 books! That’s a half year’s worth of reading if I read at the speed I’ve read the past two years…and that doesn’t even count any newly published books I want.

I think this next year will be full of good reading!

 

How I’d Like My Writing Days to Go

So, I had to miss the September Eastside RWA Chapter meeting, but all my friends went, and they were completely inspired by Susan Mallery’s talk on how to write more. She spoke about how to be more productive in the amount of time you have. I’m definitely going to put her methods into play. In just the last two days (not using this method but just on the sheer rush of “I don’t have to have surgery, so I’m going to write instead!), I’ve written 15 pages. Yay me!

Anyway, I think we all have an idea of what we’d like our writing lives to be like. Assuming I’m not going to win the lottery and be able to quit my job tomorrow, I decided to do a little creative dreaming about how my ideal writing day would unfold:

5:30 a.m. – Roll out of bed, dress, work (on the 2 mornings a week that I work) or check e-mail, work on nonfiction article prep/writing, do desk work.

8:30 a.m. – Take GameBoy and Nephew to school.

9:30 a.m. – Any household chores done, fresh cup of coffee on hand, settle down with laptop to work on today’s pages. Ideally, I’d like to get 10 pages done each day in a 3-1/2-hour period (giving me 50 pages per week). I’ve done this before (we’re talking first draft), it can totally be done again. I’ll have to work up to it, I’m sure. (I’ve done approximately 7-1/2 pages each of the last two days, so I think I may have to work up to 10 pages).

1:00 p.m. – Put the writing away, and do a bit of prep work, for tomorrow…what I plan to write, maybe a brief outline for the next day, so that I have something to think about for the evening.

1:30 p.m. – Start “real” job.

7:30 p.m. – Finish “real” job. Of course, in between there’s a break to debrief my sister-in-law on the day and deliver Nephew into her hands, a break to make dinner, then finishing up work. Ideally, I’d like to make my line/report goal every day within this period of time.

I’ve never been much of a TV watcher, but I have to admit, there are quite a few on my agenda this season. I want my evenings free to do so. If there’s nothing on the tube, I can do more prep work, work on my articles, etc., to free up a bit more writing time during the week. Weekends will be for editing what I wrote the week before and, again, getting work done on the freelance articles if necessary.

So that’s the dream. What’s your dream day look like…writer or not?

 

Book I Want To Write

Crazy week here with rearranged work schedule to accommodate medical appointments, GameBoy breaking off half a front (permanent) tooth, requiring emergency repair, etc. Good grief!

Fun stuff happened though…a trip to Bellevue for the booksigning of Jane Porter’s ODD MOM OUT. I wish I could have stayed for the party afterward, but I learned my lesson about wearing my very-rarely-worn contacts when I can’t take Excedrin for the headache they are sure to give me. Arghh! Oh well, the bonus to missing the party was getting home in time to watch Grey’s Anatomy, which was a sigh of relief. I missed it so much!! And now that Burn Notice is on hiatus for 8 months or so, I needed some more eye candy. 

So, I came up with this list of books I’d like to write.

1) A book just like Twilight, by Stephenie Meyers, only not that. A YA that’s a little bit dark and edgy, but also humorous. Like with vampires, only not vampires. Hehe….Couldn’t resist after that video the other day.
2) Funny women’s fiction – Chick lit, if I dare call it that. It may have “fallen from favor,” but I still love to write it and to read it. Not sure if a place for it will still be out there or in what incarnation, but I still want to write it.
3) A mystery/suspense. I love the chick lit-like mysteries out there, and I have a few ideas. I’d love to have a continuing series.
4) Romantic comedy – This is really close to the idea of women’s fiction, the only difference being, I think, the idea that the women’s fiction may have less to do with the romance than the woman herself. Not sure I could ever write one that didn’t have a romance in it, but there is a subtle difference.
5) A deeply emotional women’s fiction novel… still with the requisite happy ending, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not opposed to some angst in the middle.

What would you love to write?

Shannon

 

What’s Up, Pussycat?

Hi! I’m still alive for all of you who’ve been wondering.

If you haven’t been wondering, that’s okay, too. I can’t be the center of the universe for everyone.

So, what have I been up to in my long absence? Um, nothing exciting. When I tried to explain why I hadn’t updated my blog in two months, one of my coworkers had it just about right: What’s so exciting about, “I got out of bed this morning. I worked 8 hours. I went back to bed.”? Not a damn thing, I’m telling you.

Shocking, isn’t it, to discover the life of a writer is boring as white bread sometimes.

But, seriously…I’ve been, um, in a slump? I really hate to admit that. I always swore this wouldn’t happen to me.

I was also sure as soon as school was back in session that slump would begin to un-slump. Only that hasn’t been the case. Not only has life conspired to keep me from getting into a writing routine again (still playing Mom Taxi, some medical issues to take care of in the next few weeks), but I’ve been stuck. What do I want to write? Where do I fit in?

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about writing. I’ve actually done quite a bit of studying of the craft, which is really important. I’ve been listening to the RWA National Workshops CDs…I recommend Michael Hague especially, as well as the no-punches-pulled chat with The Nora. Then, I watched a DVD workshop by Michael Hague and Chris Vogler that I’ve had for years and never watched. It was fabulous…the same info Michael gave at National, but expanded. Highly recommended!

October’s going to be a big (and hopefully Inspiring with a capital I) month for me. I’m attending a workshop by Donald Maass, based on his Writing the Breakout Novel book, which I’m sooo looking forward to. Then, to be further inspired, I’ll be attending the Emerald City Conference, put on by the Greater Seattle Chapter of RWA, at the end of the month, which never fails to light a fire under my behind. I was finally able to finish VENUS ENVY after a weekend at that Conference in 2004. I so missed being at National this year that I need ECWC more than ever, I think. Bonding and breaking bread with 200 or 2000 romance writers is like the Red Bull of inspiration.

Anyway, I’m going to strive to blog on a more regular basis. I know there are people watching me. My coworkers (Hi, Ladies!), whom I have come to know and really enjoy through X-Chat (since we live all over the country and have never met), discovered I have a blog, so I’ve been warned to update. And, Mizz K, though she restrains herself for the most part, sometimes just breaks down and has to beg. J

I promise I’ll try harder.