Monday, December 19, 2005

According to Johnny Mathis...'s the most wonderful time of the year.

And I fully agree.

However, as the days get shorter and my "To-Do" list gets longer, I often wonder about those writing women that are loving, caring Moms of little ones, work a regular nine to five job and still manage to sit down for more than 30 seconds to write, manage to do it without reserving a room at the local booby-hatch. And not just write, but write complete sentences, thoughts and actually manage to finish what they're writing.

With the holiday season being in full swing around me, I can barely manage to put up my tree, never mind finish decorating, keep a little one clothed, fed and entertained AND write. As it stands I'm currently considering taking the first workday of the year off so I can stay at home and quietly write and contemplate what I plan to accomplish next year with my writing.

Now I just need to not be so busy that I:

1) Forget to notify my supervisor at work and take the day off.


2) Slip up and mention to anyone that I'm taking the first day of the year off and suddenly find myself with unwanted company that's expecting an entertaining hostess and a cup of coffee.

That is SO not happening.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Nothing deep this week ladies and gentlemen.

Fact is, I've been so crazy busy this week that I never got beyond writing notes in my handy dandy notebook. I have my hero literally on the brink of a life altering moment and I haven't been able to write it because I'm so busy I can barely see straight, nevermind write exceptional romance beyond the pace of a paragraph a day---if I'm lucky.

About the only relaxation I've gotten this week is from the times that I've discovered that after being on the computer for far too long, I've heard the tell-tale sound of maniacal laughter coming from my television annoucing that Invader Zim's on. At which time, I finally shut down the computer so I could watch it without being tempted to return to the computer during commerical breaks.

Now I probably wouldn't mention my addiction to Invader Zim were it not for the fact that it's one of the few bright moments...if you can call anything about a tiny alien bent upon making the human race his slaves, "bright"...of my day. The fact is, I love to watch just to see how crazy Gir will be in that particular episode. How many times will he break out into a dance and begin to sing, "Doody, doody, doody!" when Zim's back's turned. As well as just how many tacos it will take to bribe him into doing his job.

Right about now, I wish someone would attempt to bribe me with a taco while I'd dance wildly behind their backs singing, "Doody, doody, doody, doody!!!"

GIR // GIR is one of the most hilarious people on
the show. He's a robot and is SUPPOSED to be
helping Zim. His quote is "Can I be a
moongoose dog?"

Which Invader Zim character are you?
brought to you by


Saturday, November 12, 2005

It must be Saturday.

It's after 11 am, I've been typing for almost three hours and my arms feel like they were fashioned from wet pasta.


Most of the week I wait impatiently for the weekend when I can sit down at my computer and type until I'm exhausted such as I am now.

My only real problem lies in the fact that I have tons more to type from my notes and what I've typed so far, although not garbage, is in need of tons of revising. I think I hopped a few heads over the past couple of hours as much as I hate to admit it.

I do believe I need a long hot shower, a cup of tea and a massage at the hands of a dangerously sexy man willing to paint my toes.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Can just any and every author write Interracial Romance?

Should all authors write IR or Multicultural?

As much as I hate to say it....No.

Why do I think this unsettling way?

It goes back to the old phrase that most writers either wholeheartedly agree with or disagree with: Write what you know.

Sometime ago I was part of a discussion with several prominent mainstream authors where they were asked if they would attempt to write a book featuring a African American Heroine with their Alpha Male Hero, rather than their usual Blonde Temptress. Most of them said, "No." "No way, I don't think I have the ability." Some said, "No, I know I'd insult someone unintentionally." And a precious one or two said (try not to roll your eyes), "Hey! I'm part (fill in the blank) I'd love to try it!" Now, while I was kinda please with that author's response and proud of those authors that admitted their fears, some people where ticked at their response.

For some reason, only they know why, many people were annoyed with those authors that said, "No."

Personally, I'm grateful that they knew their limitations and didn't want to risk their reputation.

What limitations you ask? You're full of questions today, aren't you?

Well, I'll tell you my friend! They knew that they haven't a clue about the fact that few sisters go anywhere without lotion and not the cheap watery kind, in her purse.

I once remember reading on a board for Black Woman and White Men a comment by a widower who told the other men on the board, "If you don't know what "ash" is, find another board." This guy could write a book about loving a black woman and I'd buy it without a second thought. I'd probably buy two or three copies as a matter of fact, because I know the heroine would not find a romantic walk in the rain romantic after spending $40 or more and half the day at the salon for a wash and set prior to the date.

But unless, those authors have real friends that are women of color or members of the family, they're far more likely to insult ir readers than flatter them and in turn ruin their reputation with their readers that are women of color that they were unaware of before. Those faithful readers would immediately stop being invisible and silent the moment they read about a dark-skinned heroine not lotioning her body after getting out of a steaming hot shower. Especially if a couple of hours later, the hero commented on how smooth and clear her skin was.

Now come on....

Don't make me say it.

Okay I'm going to say it.


Two hours after I've put on lotion, I need to put more on my these chocolate legs!

So, thank you to those authors that know enough to know they don't know enough about Women of they black, asian or latin, to write our stories. the same time, let me not forget those authors that work it right!

Kei Swanson, Jeanne Sumerix and Suzanne Brockmann! Those three ladies deserve our undying devotion and gratitude. They know us and they know how to "write" us and I applaud them.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Brains? IR Readers Have Them.

When asked why they write romance, most established and aspiring authors give you one of two answers:

1. I read a book that annoyed me greatly and found myself rewriting it in my head. After a while, I realized that I liked my ending better and started writing from there.


2. I write books that reflect the life I live on a day to day basis.

Personally, I write the kinds of books that I always wanted to read but couldn't find.

However, no one ever mentions those mediocre authors that write because they think, "this is so simple, a trained monkey can do this." Or worse yet, those lackluster authors that start out making their mark in a more "mainstream" genre that switch to Interracial Romance or Erotica because the readers are beyond eager for books and stories and it's quick, easy money.

Many of these authors are unskilled and woefully unqualified to write for either of these genres.

What makes them unqualified?

Lack of research and assuming that readers of both genres simply want a hot book featuring an interracial couple and no substance.

They write what they only THINK the reader wants without doing what most readers of their genre of choice do most everything that's in print and available online and read it voraciously and repeatedly. Followed by what most best selling authors do: crack a book or twenty, search the web and/or call an authority on Interracial Relationships or Erotica and interview them.

Why don't they do this?

Well, too often they think that writing these genres are easy. After all, all you have to do for an IR is decide which of the couple you want to be black and change a few skin-tone references and voila! You have an IR. Meanwhile, they haven't a clue that women and men of color, regardless of how fair their skin is, rarely ever have rosy nipples. They assume that inserting a few vulgars words in at the right place makes a tepid love scene that would put a nun to sleep, erotica.

Unfortunately, in today's world, with the increasing number of e-publishers wanting their share of the "literary pie" it seems few are truly putting out the kind of quality books that most life-long readers want, need and desire. For them, like those authors that think it's easy to write for these audiences, they think it's quick and easy money. But as readers, too often we're getting heat, but no flavor and romantic bon-bons filled with nothing but air.

IR readers deserve more. They deserve to have authors writing books about their lives that understand them, their struggles, triumphs and culture clashes. They need writers that know that Tiffany Marie knows what to do with collard greens and proves it every Sunday. While Jason knows that his woman would sooner ruin a new pair of shoes than let her hair go "back." Kwame, insists that his love wears her sunscreen to protect her alabaster skin and Latoya won't let her man go to the hockey game alone.

But when you have e-publishers and authors more interested in the end result...more money in their pockets....the reader gets the boot to the head and the aspiring author such as myself ends up holding the bag and looking stupid when they try to defend their chosen craft and genre.

Someone really needs to clue-in the e-publishers and these unworthy authors and tell them we're not crazy enough to continually buy their garbage, support their pitiful skills and pamper their overinflated egos. Instead, we'll continue to re-read Sandra Kitt, JJ Murray, Jeanne Summerix and other well established authors until a mainstream publisher discovers what they did: That if they print it, we will buy it and gladly. Because believe it or not, IR readers have brains enough to recognize which authors love the genre as much as we do.


Monday, October 31, 2005

One of the coolest or most annoying things about being a writer, depending upon how you look at it, is the fact that all of life can be an idea about a new story.

Now my problem with getting these brilliant ideas lie in the fact that most of these ideas occur when I'm on someone else's time....In other words, at work. (Obviously I keep a notebook with me at all times so I can write down my ideas that come to me at inopportune moments.)

What moment in my life gave me a great idea?

None of your beeswax! Do I look like I'm lost my mind and I'm suddenly willing to just give away a brilliant idea? Of course not!

But, I did manage to get the basic idea sketched out. Very basic. Thing is, I think I just want to create something that entertains like a mini-soap opera or round robin. Either something utterly ridiculous or so realistic my friend will look at me and wonder what I've been holding back on them all these years.

Now the question is: Substance or Slapstick?


Sunday, October 30, 2005

I'm not going to panic.

I'm not going to panic.

I'm not going to panic.

...I figure if I say it enough, it will work.

I've been working on the critique of one of my most active critique partner's wip (work in progress). Critiquing is a great way to keep writers block at bay. But that's neither here nor there at this point, so let's end this digression. I was half way through the critique. Had enough useful comments to actually help (ie: caught some typos) and made just enough smart remarks to keep her from putting a hit out on me, when I decided to stop and attempt to finish working on my bedroom. Yeah, I know. I'm the Queen of Procrastination. After coming back, I played a few games of Collapse. Shut it down when I was done and went back to critiquing the story. Now, the computer didn't freeze per se, but I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it to do outside of typing in my comments/corrections. Of course I saved the document...I'm not a fool despite how foolish I feel right now. After using Ctrl+Alt+Del to get the task manager to assist me in shutting down the unnecessary files, I was able to get the chapter open again. But what should greet my eyes when I get it back up and functioning?

A Blank Page.

So, I'm not going to panic.

Nope. I'm not going to run around holding my head in my hands screaming like a banshee.

It would wake the neighbors.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's so easy to NOT write...even when you want to.

I swear I want to write. Last night I managed to get through about 3 pages of notes on my current story. The sense of accomplishment at getting words from my mind, to paper and then my computer screen is something that I cannot explain.

But right now, I'm forced to clean my house. It's Saturday morning and my kitchen floor is screaming at me about being neglected. My boudoir isn't happy with me either. It's currently playing hostess to a small card table that up until 30 minutes ago held my sewing machine.

Meanwhile, I have a heroine and her best sistahgirl friend chatting in my head. The question is, do I stop and deal with them now or do I go ahead and clean....I have people coming over later...and risk not being able to recall their conversation later once all the cleaning is done and the visitors are gone.

Oh who am I kidding? Those two chicks can't shut up. I'll be able to recall their conversation later. The real trick is to not zone out on anyone talking to me until I can get back to my computer.


I am many things.

I'm a Mom.

I'm an Artist.

I'm a Daughter.

A Sister.

A Sounding Board.

Editor Extraordinaire!

And an excellent Friend.

But most of all, I Am A Writer.

I've written for almost as long as I can remember.

For instance....

I remember sitting in seventh grade math class and being bored out of my mind and deciding I could probably entertain myself by writing a poem. I haven't a clue what the ramblings of my pre-teen mind could have been....probably about some imagined nappy headed knight in a beat up deuce and a quarter, or where that ill-fated poem is today. But throughout the years one thing has remained constant: I love to write.

Unfortunately, I suffer from many of the afflictions that most other writers sufffer with.

The inablity to get what's in my head on paper...or in my case, on my computer the way it plays out in my head.

The distractions of the everyday world.

More emails than you can read in a week arriving daily.

Phone calls from people that I don't feel like talking to but have to because they're my "Near and Dear".

And the very worse culprit of them all....A really GOOD book.

See...even as I type, I'm being distracted by you!

I swear, I can't win for losing.