Aug 31

If You’ve Been a Beta Reader, And Even If You Haven’t, You Might Like This

My buddy Robin Rotham wrote this poem in December 2012 and I’d never seen it. She tweeted about it tonight when some people were talking about losing documents or big chunks of manuscript.

The Night Before Deadline

’Twas the night before deadline, when all through the land,
Not a muscle was stirring but those in my hands.
The dishes were stacked in the sink without care,
In hopes that I’d notice them moldering there.

The children were quiet—I hoped in their beds—
While scenes from my manuscript whirled in my head.
And Papa in our bedroom, since I was still gone,
Was doomed once again to have sex all alone.

When low on my screen there arose an alert.
That gave me a massive adrenaline spurt.
I sprang to my browser and then to my emails,
Clicked open my inbox to get all the details.

And what to my dry gritty eyes should appear
But a note from a friend that confirmed my worst fear.
The draft that I’d sent her, to read and to crit,
Was what I’d suspected—a huge pile of shit.

The much-needed truth of her kindly meant words
Gave a luster of tears to my eyes as they blurred.
For a moment I saw only looming calamity—
Abysmal reviews and resultant insanity!

More helpful than ever, my crit partners came,
They parsed out my problems and called them by name—
“Not sexy! Too boring! The opening drags,
The characters cardboard, the middle, it sags!

From the opening hook, to the very last line,
Rewrite it! Just do it! You still have the time!”
As dry heaves that before the real puke starts to fly,
When I met with disaster, I started to cry;

But to the first chapter, my fingers they flew
My brain full of terror, and fortitude, too.
And in just a few hours, my book became lean,
With the slicing and dicing of each awful scene.

As I sunk in my head and was digging around,
Down the pike, my sadistic muse came with a bound
He was finally ready to share what he knew
But had kept to himself just to see me unglued.

A string of ideas began to attack,
And I wrote like a demon and never looked back.
The sex, how it sizzled! The conflict, how frazzling!
The humor so quirky, the emotions so dazzling!

When I dared to delete all the back story dumps,
The pacing began to improve in great jumps.
I carved out the details the flab had concealed,
And the heart of my story was finally revealed.

It had a fine plot, and two drool-worthy heroes
Who, after I fixed them, were no longer zeroes.
’Twas a little less kinky than most on my shelf,
But I squirmed when I read it in spite of myself.

The words of my crit partners after they’d read
Soon gave me relief from the feelings of dread.
They offered me kudos for all my hard work
So kindly, I felt a bit less like a jerk.

And after an edit that gave it a shine,
I had it formatted and put it online.
I dropped into bed to catch up on some sleep,
The dishes could wait and the promo would keep.

If there’s one thing I learned from this very close call—
Christmas books should be written long before fall!

That’s just pure genius right there.

Aug 24


If any of you take meds for ADD, I’d love to hear about it. What you take, how it makes you feel, etc. Please share.

Aug 24

Hi. I Need Help. From My Readers. If I Have Any Left.

Ok, yes, it’s been 3 years since I had a release. Yes, I had a very bad block — it’s over. But I also have ADD and that will never get better. Unless I get drugs, which I don’t want to do.

But I am writing. I’ve decided to stop kicking myself and imagining all the things that might happen before I ever finish another book because that just makes me crazier. So I might die, or the world might blow up, or something else might happen before I finish another book but that has nothing to do with whether or not I’m writing.

So, I’m writing. I have 50,000 words in one story, and 13,000 of them are in good, tight form. I think.

But I’m an anxious, insecure, nervous wreck of a writer (in other words, totally normal.)

Some writers have critique partners, I don’t. And some writers have beta readers, who read their books after the books have been written.

And that’s my problem. I need a beta reader to read what I’m writing it as I’m writing it.  Someone to say “yes, this is good” or “no, this sucks” because if I’m spinning something that sucks, I want to know about it before I finish it, right?

And it needs to be a non-writer. I have an excellent writer beta reader, but she’ll give me writer feedback — what to fix, where to tweek, etc. I need a reader, someone to just say yeah, I like this, or no, I fell asleep.

So. I’m looking for 2 beta readers. My only requirement is that I already have you in my contacts list – and you’re in my contacts list if you’ve ever emailed me or left a comment here.

If you’re interested, email me at – I just need 2 people. It’s a rock star/country music star contemporary and it doesn’t spend a lot of time on the glitzy rock and roll lifestyle – it’s mostly them, and it mostly takes place in Texas, although some of it’s in California. And this is the beginning. And it might suck. I don’t know. That’s why I need beta readers.


Vickie – this does not let you off the hook. But you can’t carry the burden yourself.

Jul 25

It’s Hard to Type When You Have Staples in Your Stomach

surgeon I thought I had a belly button hernia. (Technically, an umbilical hernia, but I like belly button hernia better.) One of my doctors  said I didn’t have to do anything about it unless it got bigger or started to really hurt.

The week we were supposed to leave for a few days’ vacation in New Braunfels, it felt bigger and became extremely painful and my stomach had red streaks. So I thought I’d see a surgeon recommended by a friend before I left town, just to make sure. He looked at it, said “That’s not good – we  need to fix that right away.” It was a Friday, he scheduled surgery for Monday, and we had to cancel New Braunfels. Diva handled it like a reasonable teenager – disappointed but fully understanding.

So I went in Monday morning the 14th for a 30 minute surgery that should have seen me leave by 3 or 4 at the latest. And I ended up leaving one week later, on Monday the 21st.

The surgeon found when he looked inside that I didn’t have a hernia at all, but adhesions and other not good things happening because the 12.5 year old sutures left over from my hysterectomy were messing up my intestines. Had it gone on much longer, I could’ve been in serious trouble. (His explanation of what happened was much more detailed than that, and when I get back to work I’m going to research it in Pub Med just for interest’s sake.)

Apparently my problem was very weird. The surgical resident who assisted is going  to write a paper about it.

So I’ve been home five days and I’m definitely feeling better than I was, but I still hurt. (I hurt even worse today after my first post-op appointment, where the doctor poked and prodded and took out some of my staples.)

I’m trying to write. I mean, I have days to sit around the house with nothing to do, so I’ve been trying to write. Problem is it hurts to sit up straight at a desk, but sitting on the couch with the laptop on my legs – my normal writing posture – hurts too, because I can’t keep my arms from hitting my stomach. This kind of blows.

It’s played sheer hell with my schedule. The rock star romance is supposed to be finished Aug. 31, and I was on track but now I’m behind. I’m supposed to get back into Seth and Evie September 1 so I can be done by November 30.

I’m going to have to double up or something.

Stronger drugs – that’s what I need. Much stronger drugs.

Jul 20

He makes very good points. Putin needs to…

Jul 16

Update: One of the Buildings is Methodist Hospital

I figured this out because….it says Methodist in big lit up letters at the top of the building and I hadn’t noticed. (Hey. I’ve been on drugs.) I think the blue lights on the building next door must have something to do with the Life Flight helicopters.

Anyway. Pretty view.

My rooms view st. luke's

Jul 16

My Pain Pump Sounds Like a Dalek

I’m in the hospital. Came in Monday for what was supposed to be a hernia repair, 30 minute surgery at the most. Doctor opened me up and it turns out I didn’t have a hernia at all. My 12.5 year old sutures (WTF??????) were irritating my intestines and making inappropriate holes and I didn’t want a graphic explanation because it all kind of freaked me out. Just glad I decided to see a doctor about the “hernia” before we went to New Braunfels for 4 days – I could’ve gotten really sick.

Hoping to go home tomorrow, but at least today I got a shower, washed my hair, put on a Tshirt and sweatpants. I keep trying to write but I can’t think clearly. I mean, I can type stuff like this, but I’m a little fuzzy from the painkillers and it’s hard to do narrative and dialogue like that.

The painkillers are in IV form, with a pump. When I press the pump, the machine makes a noise as it dispenses shots of the medicine – the noise sounds exactly like a Dalek turning/whirling around.

Also, while the daytime view from my window is blah, the nighttime view is cool. I’m in St. Luke’s but have no idea on which side of the building my room is – I’m poring over Google maps to identify the 3 buildings outside my window – at night, two of the buildings have white lights around the top, and the 3rd one has green lights – like no one took the Christmas lights down. When it’s dark and the stars are showing and the buildings have their lights on, it’s really pretty.

Having a terrible premonition that I won’t be released tomorrow. So tomorrow, I’m writing, no matter what. Maybe I’ll tackle the Jeep sex scene – could be really interesting/funny/horrifying to see how it goes while I’m on these great drugs.

TV choices are very limited. Think I’m going to watch the first episode of The Almighty Johnsons – a new SyFy show I recently saw ads for – no idea what it’s about.

Jul 12

Some Truthiness For Your Weekend

A well read woman

May 21

I Know Something Y’all Don’t Know

Some of it’s stuff that I’ve known a while, and some of it’s stuff I only just figured out. (A six hour drive back from New Orleans with PG Forte produced a lot of it.)

To wit:

1. I know what happened to El, and you would be shocked at how smart and resourceful that flighty Fae chick really is.

2. I know there’s a whole bunch of stuff TJ’s mom never told her about…stuff she should’ve told her.

3. I know why Nick is going to have more trouble than he can handle shortly.

4. I know who Michael’s dreaming about, why it bothers him, and what it means.

5. I know the rock star romance I’m working on is really good, and I’m going to have it finished before the end of the summer.

6. I know BOTH rock star romances and Seth’s book will be done by the end of the year.

7. I know I’ll start writing Nick and TJ at the beginning of 2015.

So, that’s cool. Makes me feel good.

What I still don’t know is what exactly the bad guy in Seth’s book is doing. I won’t let it keep the book from getting done, but it is annoying.


Apr 24

Good morning! Have a Little Wednesday in Your Thursday

Have a little Wednesday in your Thursday

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