Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

In about ten days, DD#1 and I will be jetting to Europe to join up with her Girl Scout troop for four weeks of tromping the English countryside, scaling Swiss hillsides (not the real mountains. I don't do mountains), and overall fun with Scouts from around the world. With the amount of going back and forth between venues, it was strongly suggested that we pack lightly. The hard part? Figuring out what I absolutely need for a four week trip.

For starters, I am not a clothes hound, so that part is easy. A few of my favorite pairs of pants (though my absolute faves may be too heavy for summer in warmer climates. Might work in Switzerland...hmmmm...), t-shirts, underfrillies, socks. A pair of hikers I love love love, a pair of casual shoes and *maybe* tennies, if I have room. A jacket and some light-weight rain gear, just in case.

I'm also not one for needing lots of product for face or hair. I don't wear makeup, though I'm sure some would say I should : ) My only concession is a bottle of Oil of Olay. I love the stuff, and it reminds me of my grandmother. She kept a bottle of it on her dresser and had lovely skin, so there you go. A tube of cleanser will probably find its way into my ditty bag as well.

As for hair, I recently got a "goo and go" cut, specifically for this trip. Yes, it's short. Very short. But all I have to do is wash it, towel it dry to a degree, goo it and brush it back. Bam. Done. Normally, at home, even when it's short I'd take a hairdryer to it. But I don't want to waste luggage space on a hairdryer.

I won't have my laptop either. Which means (a) no internet, (b) no ebooks, and (c) no access to the manuscripts I'm working on. The lack of internet may be solved by cafes or such along the way, so I might be able to shoot an email to hubby and friends, but I'm not counting on access. I don't have too many ebooks, but they are convenient when I am traveling with the laptop. No reader, either, so I'll have to choose a few paperbacks.

The inability to twiddle with my work might seem like it's much tougher to deal with, but not really. I have 4 weeks to put aside and "forget" one manuscript that is being revised. When I get back, I can see if I like what I've done. As for the WIP, 4 weeks of not going back to what I've already written to tweak or avoid tackling the newest scenes and finish the darn thing is good. I'll have my notebook and several pens. If I find myself with relative quiet time (on planes, trains, or any time 20-odd teenage girls are out of the room) I will write. By hand. The old-fashioned way. Why? Because while I can easily give up my hairdryer for a month, there is no way on this earth I can give up writing.

What are your essentials for a trip?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mii, My Shelf, and Aye-Yi-Yi: Random Thoughts

I'm supposed to be finishing up the SFR wip I've been working on, but that has been set aside for the time being. I doubt I'll make the July 11 deadline I've set, but the reason isn't laziness or loss of enthusiasm for the project or anything like that. Something else has taken priority, in a good way, so my wip characters are currently in a holding pattern. (Quite literally, actually, as I left off with them kissing and on the verge of taking it to the next level : ) But all is good, if a tad nerve-wracking.

To balance the mental exercises necessary to accomplish certain goals, and in preparation for a long trip requiring sustained walking and hiking, I've been diligent about my Wii Fit routine. Well, mostly. I've missed a few days here and there. The Mii and I are working hard, but for some reason that dang Simple Test tells me I'm not losing anything. In fact, I've gained 0.2 pounds each of the last two days!! What the--! Grrr. I'm going to chalk it up to increasing muscle mass (yeah, that's it), but at the same time watch the snacking more closely. Not as easy to do when I'm at home, but throwing myself in the aforementioned project will help.

My Shelf
Writers are supposed to read in the genres we write in as well as others so we can get the scope of what's out there, how it's done, and how it probably *shouldn't* be done. I write SF/F or paranormal, so there are many such books on my shelves and a few in my computer. But the last two books I've read are more literary. Out of Eden by Kate Lehrer is about two women in the 1880's, I believe, who head to Kansas to create a place where they can do as they please and live independently. I loved the friendship between the women, complete with protectiveness, jealousies and betrayals. As a literary novel, there is no guarantee of a happy ending, but it was an engaging read.

Margaret Atwood has been one of my favorite authors since I read The Handmaiden's Tale years ago. I'm almost done with her novel Cat's Eye now. It's another book about women's friendships, and while I don't expect a happy ending all around, I can trust Atwood to give me a satisfying one.

DD#1 and I head off for a 3-4 week romp with her Girl Scout troop in less than a month! DD#2 will be spending all that time and more at Grandpa's. DH will be home, tending house and hairy pets. It's ironic that he's been traveling so much for the last few months and the period he will be home the rest of us will be gone. He'll have to remember to pick up the veggies we order every other week. The cats and dogs will focus on him for attention, since their main petters will be gone. I just hope he remembers to feed the fish and the hamster.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

New Contest for Published Books/Authors

The Rainbow Romance Writers, the first and only LGBT chapter of
Romance Writers of America, is proud to announce the first annual
Rainbow Awards of Excellence (RAES) for published authors.

This contest, sponsored by RRW, will recognize the best in published
LGBT romance. The contest is open to all authors published in novel or
novella length romantic fiction during the 2009 publishing year as
long as the story in question has an LGBT romance as its focus and
fits within one of our seven categories.

The contest categories are:

list of 7 items
• Contemporary
• Paranormal
• Romantic Suspense
• Historical
• Sci-fi/Fantasy
• YA (full blown romance not necessary, as long as there's *some* in the story that's fine)
• short/novella (10,000-20,000 words)

All entries must be submitted electronically and will be accepted
beginning June 1 2010 through August 31, 2010. The entry fee is $15
and is payable through Paypal. Entrants need not be members of either
Rainbow Romance Writers or RWA. All heat levels are welcome from sweet
to sizzling.

Any questions regarding the contest in general or submission process
in particular may be directed to the contest coordinator, Sara Bell,
who may be reached at: wavyscribe @ aol . com (spaces removed).

For more information, or to submit an entry, please visit our web site at