Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
I’m NOT going to give a progress report on Obsessed today, because I’m trying to keep positive about the fact I trashed 17 pages this AM. I’d boxed myself into a corner, couldn’t figure out a way to salvage the story, and after talking to my girlfriend, Kim Kaye Terry, I had a new direction. I’ve made up about 8 pages today and hope to get some more in tonight. Thanks, Kimmie, for the rescue!
Now, back to my adventure in Memphis. As I said before, I travelled to Memphis with an agenda:
1) Seek possible sights to stash a body
2) Find churches to desecrate
3) Get a picture of a Memphis cop and squad car
4) Find the spookiest places to put my demon horde
Sounds simple, right? And arriving in Memphis, Shayla and I got off to a rocking start that first morning!
We stopped at Riverside Park, which flanks the Mississipi River. I walked along the shoreline and found an interesting eddy where a body might wash up. Click.
As Shayla and I loaded up and started out of the parking lot, we saw a squad car pull in next to an SUV and five women who looked very upset.
Of course, being the rubbernecking authors we are, we pulled over as close as we could to wait out the officer and a) see what he was doing and how he did it, and b) take shots of his car and his person!
Of course, I can’t keep my nose out of anything. And for a true introvert, I still manage to strike up conversations with total strangers without a bit of trouble. I asked one of the ladies what was going on.
Seems the five women, all professionals (lawyer, nurse, probabiton officer, etc.) had travelled to Arkansas to be fitted for their bridesmaids dresses. They’d made it back to Memphis and decided to take a short stroll along the river. They hadn’t been away from the vehicle for more than 10 minutes, but returned to find one of the windows smashed and all the purses that were in reach snatched. They were buzzing they were so mad.
I didn’t blame them, told them I wasn’t just any rubbernecker, but a writer who was a compulsive rubbernecker, so they all told their parts of their stories. Very interesting stuff. They also had some great suggestions for places we should visit for spooky settings. I wished I’d gotten better pictures of them, but didn’t think about it until after they’d left. You can see them to the right in this picture.
Much more interesting was watching the cop. What a gentleman. He was quiet, attentive, got out his gloves to sweep off the seat and floor so they wouldn’t have to get into any glass. He told them he didn’t like seeing beautiful ladies like themselves having to do something like th
Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
Obsessed for Zane
The weekend before my New York trip, I went on a last minute jaunt to Memphis with my very old friend, Shayla Kersten (she’ll love that!). The impetus for the trip was something that happened only a few nights before that weekend. I had just lain down to sleep, was starting to drift off, when I opened my eyes and looked at the mirror over my dresser.
An idea flashed into my mind, and of course, sleep was out of the question for the next few hours as I furiously scribbled down notes for a new urban fantasy book.
As I wrote my notes, played with titles, and thought about the heroine whose voice was starting to talk to me (it was really late, okay?), I realized I needed a special city to set the stage for the story. Someplace near water, someplace reminiscent of New Orleans, but not, since I’ve already got one series going in the Crescent City.
Memphis was perfect–and close enough for a last minute trip to fill my senses with setting and maybe shake out a few more plot points.
Since Shayla lives near me, and lived in Memphis during one of her earlier incarnations, I sent her an email to invite her along. She loved the idea and was eager to tag along. Next, I contacted the Romance Writer’s of America chapter located in Memphis for their recommendations for spooky locales, and we were set.
For the next few days, I’ll share pictures and stories of our adventures. So, stay tuned. You know, my adventures never travel in a straight line and take me to some wierd places. I’m not sure if I’m attracted to wierdness or vice versa, but at least my life is never boring. 😆
Monday, April 7th, 2008
Obsessed for Zane
Well, I left New York a week ago and made it all the way to Chicago before the trouble started. “Low ceilings” the American Airlines rep said when Myla and I asked about our first cancelled flight.
We hunkered down, got ourselves put on standby for the next flight, and hoped. Chicago’s airport isn’t a fun place to hang out. There aren’t many places to sit comfortably for long periods–we could only drag our meals out a Chili’s for so long before the waitress gave us pointed stares to tell us others were waiting for our seats.
When our second flight was cancelled, we started to worry we wouldn’t make it out at all, but there was one last flight at 9:30 PM. We knew if we didn’t get on that flight that we’d have to sleep in the airport. But since we’d been up since O-dark-thirty that morning anyway, we didn’t last. Just before I nodded off, I looked across at Myla, and this is what I saw.
Well…I fell asleep. Imagine my surprise when I got home and saw this picture of myself. The question is, what the hell was I dreaming about?
Sunday, April 6th, 2008
Steady as it goes! If I keep it up, I’ll actually meet my deadline!
Current WIP: Obsessed for Zane
This proves I’m that wierd writer person. I didn’t get to any of the landmark sites, but did manage to take pictures at midnight from my hotel room window of that accident in the street below my highrise room. It happened the night before we left. We’d just gotten into bed. Myla bitched about the noise from the streets–honking, sirens. I said it was all “white noise” and wouldn’t have a problem getting some Z’s, when I heard a loud sound that wasn’t part of the normal city serenade.
When I hurried to the window and drew up the blinds, I saw a real-life drama, straight out of a TV show, happening below me. One of those kamikaze-taxi’s got nailed by a city bus and careened into a lightpole.
Of course, the first thing I did was reach for the camera and imagine myself in the thick of things as the driver was hovered over by bystanders, then EMTs, and then finally carried away by an ambulance. I really don’t think he was hurt that bad. He managed to get out of the car before anyone arrived, then sat back inside when he got woozy. (Yeah, I could tell from 12 stories up–remember, what I don’t know for sure I make up–I’m a writer).
Saturday, April 5th, 2008
Because they’re coming fast and furious, here’s the list so you can find them!
4/29/08 – ONCE UPON A LEGEND, Wild, Wild Women of the West II (Kensington)
5/06/08 – NEW ORIENTATION, Purple Panties (Zane)
5/13/08 – ARCTIC DRAGON, Royal Bondage (Pocket/EC)
5/27/08 – THE DEMON LORD’S CLOAK, Damned, Delicious and Dangerous (Kensington)
6/25/08 – SIN’S GIFT (EC)
8/11/08 – VIPER’s BITE, The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (Running Press)
8/19/08 – RIDE A COWBOY, A Hot Man is the Best Revenge (Pocket/EC)
10/28/08 – DOWN IN TEXAS (Kensington)
11/04/08 – INDECENT EXPOSURE, Alluring Tales: Hot Holiday Nights (Avon)
Saturday, April 5th, 2008
Progress! Obsessed for Zane
This was the view from one of the windows of my hotel room. The conference was held in the Affinia Manhattan on 7th Avenue. The marquee for Madison Square Gardens is on the left. The colorful lights of Times Square are at the end of the street. I loved the hotel. The rooms were spacious and included kitchenettes–great for storing cheesecake and leftovers.
Other than Times Square, I didn’t get pictures of the sights most tourists HAVE to take when they go to New York. Although this was my fourth trip, I still haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or the Empire State Building–and ESB was only four blocks away, and I could see it in the distance pretty much everywhere I walked! Next time, I’ll do the toursist thing, if only to get the pictures everyone’s supposed to take.
My pictures were of friends, an accident that occurred on the street below my hotel room window (more about that later!), and the subway. I even forgot to take pictures of my editors!!
But this first photo of the traffic jam was pretty much a theme. See that sea of yellow cabs? I think I know every driver. Not a one of them is born in New York, but every one of them is certifiably insane. They drive like kamikazes with a death wish. Myla strapped her seat belt on and bleated strangled screams as they dashed in and out of lanes and stomped their brakes to avoid bumpers and bodies. I treated our taxi adventures like amusement park rides and was thrilled with every honk, swear word, and profane gesture. I laughed wildly. Syliva Day’s taxi crashed on her way to see an editor, and I can tell you honestly I was disappointed it wasn’t me. Wierd, I know, and yes, Sylvia is fine–thank God.
But that’s just me. I find adventure in the oddest things. Take the rickshaws. In New York, when you can’t find a “real” taxi, you can take these tiny bicycle-pulled rickshaws. They’re even more fun than the taxis because they weave in and out without all the metal between you and the rest of the motorized traffic.
I convinced Myla to take one. She squealed; we both laughed hilariously, mostly because we felt super-sorry for the skinny dude who had to stand on his pedals to get our fat asses uphill. Don’t worry, he received a very generous tip.
Lastly, there’s the subway. Whoever said that New Yorkers are rude, never travelled with us. After Kate Duffy (an editor at Kensington) kindly showed us where and how to catch one, we had no problems. And when we needed help figuring out where we were and how to get to the next place, there were plenty of natives ready to help. There’s nothing like having a woman shout at the top of her lungs from the end of the next car down, “It’s your stop!!” She was very worried we’d miss our street. We even opened our purses to a man who looked homeless, but who showed us how to buy a subway card and swipe it at the turnstiles. I wish I had a picture of me looking fabulous, but after a day of schlepping it around a windy New York, I look pretty ragged–but doesn’t the subway look cool?
Friday, April 4th, 2008
Current WIP: Obsessed for Zane
Because I’ve been to so many writer’s conferences, I’ve become a little jaded about conference offerings. I tend to be very selective of the workshops I attend and end up blowing off most of them.
One thing I truly love and never tire of doing is meeting my friends. It’s a little wierd how well you get to know some folks just on the basis of email and live internet chats, but there’s nothing quite like meeting them in person for a hug and a laugh over a meal or drinks.
Here are the highlights of my recent trip to New York, and I promise they appear in no particular order of preference!
I love this picture! Don’t they all look like they’re having the best time? And aren’t they all lovely?
On the left is my BFF by birth: Myla Jackson/Elle James, my sister! Shouldn’t everyone have someone to share an extraordinary journey with? Myla/Elle and I started writing together and have shared all the frustrations and triumphs together. It’s brought us closer than we could ever have dreamed.
In the middle, is a newer BFF, the very talented Sylvia Day! I loved spending time with her in New York. We attended a play together (more about that another day!) and several meals. She’s super smart and surprisingly goofy–I love that about her!
On the right is Jordan Summers. I had met her a couple of years ago, but didn’t have time to really get to know her then. Since then, I’ve had fun visiting her daily blog to see what she’s up to and thinking about. In person, she’s very, very smart. When she talks, everyone listens. And you should hear the stories she tells about the many jobs she’s held!
Standing with me in Time Square is my friend, Sasha White. I love, love, love her. She’s funny and sweet, with a great big booming voice to match her big heart. We spent a day running through a list of things we needed to do and eat–hot dogs at Nathan’s, cheesecake from Junior’s, and then the purses we let Myla bargain for with the street vendors…LOL!