Coffee in the Morning


I am a romance writer trying to get noticed in the market. I write inspirational and sweet historic romance. I love Regency England and most of my stories are set during that time period, 1800 to 1820.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am so excited!! I am going to England in the Fall. Yes, this fall. Yes, in 2011. Yes in about two or three months. . . . .!!!!

I can't wait to see everything that I have ever heard about in Regency books. I want to go to Grosvenor Square and Buckingham Castle. I want to visit an English county manor house. I want to see Big Ben and the Elgin Marbles. I want to go to Hyde Park and see the Serpentine. I want to shop on Bond Street and see the Crown Jewels. I want to see the Thames and the Tower of London.

OMG . . . squeel!

I am going to try to visit the manor house of Baron Grey du Ruthyn in Wolston. I want to go to Chatsworth House in Devonshire.

Oh, oh, and of course, the reason that I am going to London, I will finally meet my brother-in-law. My sister, Angie, has been married for two and half years to an Egyptian man. He has not been able to get a visa to visit or live in the US. Angie has traveled to Egypt many times and they also try to get together every few months in other countries to try to have a relationship. Hopefully, by having a member of Angie family meet her husband, the case for a spousal visa will be strong and he can finally come to the US.

So, this visit will accomplish two things. ~I~ get to visit England and meet my brother-in-law, Sadek.

If anyone has suggestions for what to see in England, please please pass on the recommendations.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Not at RWA National Convention

Sorry gang, but I'm not going to RWA National Conference this year. The convention happens to conflict with a family vacation. We could have scheduled our family vacation around the conference dates... but really not.

I have four children who are incredibly busy during the summer. Between summer gym classes, band camps, driver's ed, work, etc, we had to squeeze in a three week trip out to the western provinces and states. As it is, my oldest son is unable to come.

We leave on July 5 and will be back home July 27.

Follow our incredible journey as we post our pictures and descriptions on our vaction blog,

I have already posted an itinery and some pictures of what we are expecting to see. Read, comment, but most of all, enjoy our trip with us...!!

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

States I have visited

Here is a map of states I have visited in the US. How about you?

visited 27 states (54%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Feel the Connection

I didn’t feel a connection.

Anyone ever get those words in a rejection letter? I’ve seen them and never knew quite what the editor, agent or contest judge was trying to tell me. I finally got it today. Not the reject letter, the concept.

I love plays, musicals and any type of stage production. I especially like community theater or high school productions. The actors and crew really put their heart and soul into the productions. The audience can feel the energy.

Except today.

I saw a high school musical production of The Sound of Music. I love the story and especially love the songs. Must of us know them by heart, having sung the words by Rogers and Hammerstein from the cradle. The story is a romance story of a plain Jane Cinderella who finds her prince through the love of music.

So why didn’t I love the production?

All of the necessary ingredients were present. Good story, check. Great music, check. Local production, check. Energetic cast and crew, check.

What was missing? I did not feel a connection to the characters. I don’t know why; I can’t explain it. I was hopelessly bored before intermission. The person I went with felt the same way I did. Everyone else seemed to love the play and rave about the production. I smiled and only said the children put a lot of enthusiasm into it.

So, the next time an agent/editor/contest judge writes that he did not feel a connection to your characters, think of that movie or book that everyone raved about and you hated. The story just didn’t have that spark for you. That’s what the editor thinks about your story. No spark; no connection.

Friday, May 01, 2009

What have you given up for your writing dream

Nathan Bransford asked this question the other day on his blog. I had a discussion with a friend and admitted that I had not given up much. I knew I had commitment issues. But I also have a full time job, four children and an active social life. It difficult to give up any of that.

My friend, Shay Lacy, wrote a beautiful answer as to what she has given up. I am awed by her dedication.

Every week when I write my weekly TO DO list, I schedule a time, 2 hours minimum, each day, except Thursday, to write and 2-4-hour blocks approximately 2x/day on weekends. I rarely give up those blocks of time to do anything else. I schedule in my TV shows, my RWA meetings, etc.
But you don't have to block out that much time.
I can tell Bransford what I've given up:
Sometimes I feel like everyone is living life but me.
You don't think I feel bitter that I have to write or edit 2 hours a night?
You don't think I'm tired and wish I could lie on the couch and do nothing?
You don't think I'm harried when I get home late and know I still have to load the dishwasher, run a load of laundry and STILL get in my 2 hours if at all possible?
How do you think I feel when it's a choice between exercising or writing?
You don't think it galls me to give up this much of my life without a contract?
You don't think I'd love to have a week's vacation where I don't have to write/edit?
You don't think I want to chat on the phone with my girlfriends and my family?
You don't think I hear the tinge of bitterness in my mom's voice when she calls and I can't talk long?
You don't think I want to keep up-to-date with blogs, etc., like the rest of you keep talking about? But every hour I spend on blogs, that's an hour I'm not finishing a book.
You don't think I want to read? I love to read. But if I'm reading, I'm not writing. I lose almost 2 days each time my favorite fantasy author puts out a new book!
You don't think I'm frustrated whenever I take an online class that I can't keep up with posts during the week and can't actively participate because that hour is an hour I'm not writing? I have to read my backlog of posts at 8 a.m. on the weekends.
You don't think I'd like to get a little sun sometimes? I can't when I'm editing because I don't have (nor want) a laptop. But I can't schedule when I finish writing a book to coincide with warm months.
You don't think I go into editing with a cringe? I do. But it's gotta be done. Writing is the fun part. Editing is work.
You don't think I get frustrated while I'm stuck at work on a slow day knowing I could be home working on my books?
You don't think I'd love to be a full-time writer, but I don't make enough money yet to quit?
Writing began a job for me a few years ago. I don't get paid to do it. But I'm required to show up and put in my time. I'm like an intern now and I'll be a paid employee later.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

World of Wine

Each year, my husband and I plan a weekend get-a-way to celebrate our anniversary. This year, we took a day trip to the county of Essex in Ontario for the Wine Tour.

We had a great time driving the countryside and stopping at small local wineries tasting the wines produced with local grapes. We learned so much and still have so much to learn.

Every winery was staffed by intelligent, pleasant people. Our day was a joy, thanks to these workers.

Our first stop was D'Angelo Estate Winery were we tasted five different wines and bought a Monarch Rose, which is a light red wine, and Iched Foch, a sweet iced wine, and a Vidal Winter Harvest which is late winter sweet white wine.

At Sprucewood Shores Winery, we had a lovely chat with the clerk and tasted more wines. She gaves us a great lead for a place for lunch in Kingville, Jack's pub. We bought two bottles of Riesling.

Next stop was Erie Shore Vineyard and tasted their reds. We bought a Summer Sun Cabernet that is a red wine that has the skins removed early on in the process. The wine is lighter than a full-bodied red. I am not a fan of the really dry, almost harsh red wines. This one was very tasty. We also bought Sellar Secret which is another almost sweet red wine.

Viewpoint Estate Winery has a beautiful wine tasting room worth going to just to see. It's right on Lake Erie and as a wonderful view of the lake. Here we tasted all whites and bought an unoaked Chardonnay.

We had to go somewhat out of the way to find Mastronardi Estate Winery but so worth it. The wines were exceptional. The tasting room was decorated like a Mediterranean cellar. Very cute! The owners are Italian and Portuguese. We bought two bottles of the oaked Reserve Chardonnary.

Our last stop was the Pelee Island Winery with a huge retail store and a large tasting bar. They produce a large selection of wines and I wasn't expecting anything exceptional. The first wine poured was a red and I almost grimaced. But it was a red blend that had a wonderful taste! We bought two bottles of it called Monarch. We also bought one bottle of one of the grapes used in the blend, a Reserve Zweigelt, which is a Hungarian grape grown on Pelee Island.

Lunch was at Jack's pub and I highly recommend it. When I mentioned the pub to one of the wine staff she told me how Kingsville has become a culinary center. Many chefs are opening restaurants and people from all over Ontario are going there.

All in all, a great day spent with hubby and learning and tasting wines!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wi Fi

Wi Fi does not mean free Wi Fi, I found out.

We looked up the fact sheet for our hotel in San Francisco so we knew what to expect in the room, like iron, coffee pot, etc. The list did say internet service. And it did say there was Wi Fi in the public areas of the hotel

I discovered that Wi Fi does not mean free.

The cost for wired internet service in our room was sixteen dollars a day... and this after already paying $225 per night. That was just sick... I don't pay sixteen dollars for one month of internet service at home.

The public area Wi Fi was only accessible if you had paid for internet in your room.

Now I was really sick. I had brought my laptop and digital camera for the conference and promised to post all about the conference. But I could not afford $16 per day.

I went to the front desk to ask about the internet access. The very nice gentleman at the desk showed me a brochure and explained the high speed internet in the room. There was a cheaper option for DSL in the room for only $8 per day. He explained that I could order it for just one day at a time, then skip a day if I wanted.

He also told me a secret. If I sat in the lounge behind the bar, at the tables, I could get free Wi Fi from the provider. There was an option to choose "Free Trial Day". The secret was you could choose that. . . every day!

So that's how I got free Wi Fi to blog and check e-mail. It was not convenient to lug my laptop down to the lounge and composed posts, but I did it. I would download the pictures from my camera to the laptop in my room, then go down to the lounge to blog.

Yup. . . I am a cheapskate. After paying $130 per night just for my share of the room, I just could NOT pay them any more money for internet.

And many thanks to Bob at the main desk for that little secret!!