La La Land

La La Land

I live in Los Angeles, one of the vacation capitals in the world. The eyes of the world are upon us on New Year's Day with the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl. We host the Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys, and Emmys. We have historic Spanish missions and locations you'd recognize instantly from film and television. There's much to do and see, and that's without mentioning the Mouse that dwells to the South. Disneyland is not only not in Los Angeles, but a different county, which...

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. With all due respect to the Bard, I somehow don't think my readers would feel that way if I were to name my next heroine Myrtle instead of Augusta. Both call up very different images in the mind.  As you might guess, this week for Romance Writers Weekly, I'm talking about  how I choose my character names....

Gimme

Gimme

This week's theme is Tropes. Specifically, what’s your favourite romance trope to read and/or write? Friends to Lovers? Marriage of convenience? Second chances? Tropes so often get a bad rap, dismissed by some as "formulaic" or a thing writers should avoid. And if you write to a trope, it's very easy to fall into the trap of giving the reader something they've read time and again. This can be good, but does help if that reader is looking for a fresh take. On the other hand, tropes are a good...

When You’re Weary…

When You’re Weary…

The question for this week's Romance Writers Weekly is "When you’re feeling down, what do you do to feel better?" Those of you who've been around a while will recognize the source of this week's title. No, I don't want to think about how young I was when it first hit the radio. That will definitely get me down.  It's been hard not to feel down these last few months. A lot of us are going through stress and uncertainty for a wide variety of reasons that are both personal and have a connection...

Weird Mom Stories

Weird Mom Stories

The topic this week for Romance Writers Weekly is, "Who or what inspires you?" That's an easy question for me to answer: My mom. The title of this post comes from Mom herself. We'd have some adventure or another, and she'd comment I had another "weird mom story" for my friends. Over the years, I've learned she definitely wasn't what one would expect for the time and place I grew up in, but when I think back to who inspired me to become a writer and tell the stories in my head no matter what,...

What is Yeast?

What is Yeast?

Welcome to Tuesday. The question asked this week was, "Besides the usual baking of cookies or treats, has anyone baked a really good loaf of bread. It's been years -- literally years -- since I attempted to bake bread. (Banana bread does not count, as that's really more cake in loaf form.) Growing up, there were days when I'd come home from school and as I headed up the driveway to the back door, there would come the delicious smell of fresh baked bread, with two loves cooling on the back...

Could I Just Have the Root Canal?

Could I Just Have the Root Canal?

The topic this week for Romance Writers Weekly is, "What do you find most difficult about writing what you write? It could have to do with certain scenes, plotting, dialogue, whatever trips you up." At the moment, my answer is "All of it." Let me clarify that I just finished the read-through of my first draft of To Lure a Lord, which I'm planning to publish at the end of the summer. During this process, I realized my hero and his best friend have confusingly similar names, I have the same...

In Remembrance

In Remembrance

One tradition I have for myself on Memorial Day is returning to the letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou of the Union Army, dated July 14, 1861. If you've seen Ken Burn's superb documentary sereies, The Civil War, you've heard the letter read at the end of the first episode. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who put duty above life and personal happiness, who sacrificed themselves for the sake of others. Below is the full text of Ballou's letter; it was editied for the documentary....

My Fiber Addiction

My Fiber Addiction

This week, we're talking about hobbies, and my reaction was, "That's easy. Knitting." I've knitted since I was a child and my mother taught me how to create fabric by making loops with sticks and yarns. As one might expect, those early efforts, executed in whatever scraps Mom was willing to sacrifice, were lumpy, off-kilter, and praised because I'd gotten through them, not because they were more than learning exercises. I persevered, though, and my skills increased over time. I created scarves...

A Room of My Own

A Room of My Own

Most of my adult life, I have not had the luxury of a dedicated work space at home. I'd carve out a small corner of my bedroom when I had roommates, and shared both desk and computer with the husband for quite a number of years. Even when I got a laptop, followed by an iPad, there still wasn't anywhere I could call "mine." I worked at my lunch place, in bookstore cafes when I had a Barnes & Noble and Borders near me. (Remember Borders?) My local Starbucks is a real favorite, even if it's...

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