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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Snow 01/02/2014Happy New Year! I hope everyone is safe and warm despite the recent storms. It is so pretty in my backyard and I’m glad I haven’t had to drive anywhere.

I’m not much into New Year’s Resolutions. I get the appeal of the idea of starting fresh. The problem is that a year is an awfully long time to strive to be good. Frankly, I can rarely make it through a day without messing up in some way or other. I think it’s better to try to start fresh at any time. Even, say, halfway through a bag of potato chips I hadn’t intended to eat. Though admittedly hard to do!

So while I think it’s a good idea to take stock now and then, I prefer plans to resolutions. I want to change something, I make a plan and I try to make it fairly specific. Once things make it onto my To Do List, there’s a good chance they’ll get done eventually. At the very least they aren’t forgotten.

This year, one thing I want to do is see if I can learn to write faster. My writing time is still constrained by being a stroke caregiver and mother of teenagers (one of whom is headed for college SOON!) but maybe I can make that time more productive. I’ve heard some prolific writers imply that slow writers like me just need to work harder. In my case, I think it’s more about working smarter. I write quickly once I get my ideas together, but it takes me a while to connect (or reconnect) with the story and the characters. Part of that is having to write sporadically–which I can’t help–but I also think part of it is being so driven that I don’t refill the well often enough. After each spurt of creativity, I struggle for a while.

I did The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a while ago. I’m still good about doing the Morning Pages (daily journaling) but like many, I’m not so good at the Artist’s Dates (weekly activities intended to be fun for the muse). For me, this would be things like taking time to play the piano, do crafty stuff, get out into nature, watch more movies and read for pleasure.

So this year my plan is to put an Artist’s Date on my To Do List each week. It may seem counter-intuitive to getting more writing done, but I’m going to try it and see what happens.

LDMAudioSmallHow about you? Any resolutions or plans for the New Year? I’ll be giving away 5 free download codes from Audible for Lady Dearing’s Masquerade. Comment on this post between now and next Thursday, Jan 9th. I’ll announce the winners on Friday, Jan 10th.


Happy New Year!

I usually like to do a rundown of my favorite books and movies of the past year but this is a bit difficult. There are two books which are absolutely outstanding, neither of which are romance (although Pam Rosenthal may not agree):

Jo Bakelongbournr’s wonderful Longbourn, a novel about the parallel universe of Pride & Prejudice, the story of the servants at the Bennets’ house. Their story is not necessarily that of their employers, and ranges far wider than the upstairs characters ever do–Africa, Spain, and with harsh, beautiful experiences at home. This is the English version, which I own–it has a servants’ staircase on the back cover.

Life Aftlife-after-life_originaler Life by Kate Atkinson, an astonishing story of England in the first half of the twentieth century. It’s about what could happen if you had the chance to change history, to relive your life and make things right, a fantasy we’ve certainly all shared to one extent or another.

This holiday season I’ve been lounging around eating toast in bed and rereading Deborah Crombie and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Both great mystery series.

But I haven’t read much romance that knocked my socks off. I know I’ve bought/read quite a lot on the kindle, but it doesn’t stay in my mind. And to paraphrase the Monty Python guys, it’s all getting too silly. I don’t know whether I can write this stuff any more, feeling that I just squeaked into the genre via some odd loopholes.

So I’m not sure what I’ll be writing in 2014. I have a sequel in the works to A Certain Latitude–that reminds me, just a few days to go to enter the Goodreads giveaway. I’d hoped I might get the sequel, A Certain Proposition, out by the end of the month, but the lying around reading and eating toast got in the way of that. However, I’m self-pubbing my Jane Eyre novella, Reader, I Married Him, later this month.

But after that? I have to find something new to write. I have to master the Facebook thing. Lots of things to do.

What are you planning for 2014?

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