Favorite Characteristics

I would like to start off by saying that nothing in this blog is a criticism. Jennifer Crusie is one of my all time favorite authors and I love absolutely everything that she has written. Alone. On with the post.

Being an avid reader there are lots of books that I will read at least once a year. Jennifer Crusie authors a lot of those books. This being the case, I have begun to pick up on something. A lot of her female characters have similar features. Examples are:

Minerva Dobbs from Bet Me - "...her hair cut in short loose curls that glinted in the sun..."

Nina Askew from Anyone But You - "...her short dark curls were rumpled..."

Sophie Dempsey from Welcome to Temptation - "...all that dark curly hair..."

Maddie Faraday from Tell Me Lies - "...all dark curls and warm curves..."

Tess Newhart from Strange Bedpersons - "...but she ran her fingers through her short red curls..."

Tilda Goodnight from Faking It - "...Davy stared at her dark loopy curls..."

Dennie Banks from Trust Me on This - "...Dennie Banks shoved her dark curls from her face..."

Agnes Crandall from Agnes and the Hitman - "...dark curls bouncing..."

Andie Miller from Maybe This Time - "...all those crazy curls yanked back..."

Are you seeing where I'm headed with this? I would have never noticed except that I listened to Maybe This Time, Agnes and the Hitman and Welcome to Temptation all pretty recently and close together. Then I started remember all her other books (that I love) and all her heroines have curly hair. I thought they all might be dark, but there are a few redheads thrown in the mix.

Is this one of those rules that only a published author can break? Is it a rule at all? Do we really care?

Have you ever noticed anything like this about one of your favorite authors? Please share.

Happy Monday and all that jazz.


What Color Are You?

My daughter came home with these character assessments from school. Apparently she's green. So is my husband. I'm Blue, but also a very close Orange. Apparently being blue does not mean always being sad. Who knew???
Your heart-felt communication style creates peace and harmony in the workplace. You know how to bring out the best in others. As a Blue personality you are gifted with tremendous people skills.

You're a heart felt communicator who has a strong need to make a difference in the lives of other people. This strength is immediately noticeable in the way you make connections and bring out the best in those you encounter. People usually feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence.

You love to build self-esteem and make others feel good about who they are. You can easily motivate and inspire people to make changes in their lives and reach their potential. This natural talent makes you excel a counselor, teacher, social worker and journalist, but the list is far greater in the book.

Okay, so those of you who know me are laughing. I can hear you. It's okay. I don't know that "tremendous people skills" is really a quality I possess and I have yet to meet anyone who thinks I am responsible for "peace and harmony" in the workplace; *giggle* however, I do feel that I bring out the best in my friends, at least in comparison.

My other color that I scored high in is Orange:

ORANGE - Where's the Action
You are courageous. You act on a moment's notice. You see life as a roll of the dice, a game of chance. You need stimulation, freedom, and excitement. You are a natural leader, troubleshooter, and performer.

You value action, resourcefulness, and courage. You are generous, charming, and impulsive. You show affection through physical contact.

Hmmmm, this sounds more like me, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Want to know what color you are? You can click on this link and it will take you to the website where you too can know your color, then you can come back here and learn what it is about you that makes you that color.


Back on the Write Track (Get it???)

I've lost my way on the path to completing a book. I stumbled, broke my spirit and refused to get back up.

My very first attempt at writing was when I was a kid. Maybe eight years old. I started writing a story called Bingo. It was of course, about a dog. I don't remember if I finished it. Odds are not in my favor. All of my witing as a teenager was poetry. Angst driven poetry. I will admit, I'm a bit of a drama queen. I know you're all shocked and surprised. [insert sarcasm here]

About seven years ago I started to get serious about writing. I was reading Jenny Crusie and Janet Evanovich and thinking that not all writing had to be Nora Roberts and Karen Robards. I was impressed. Not that I don't love Roberts and Robards, I do, but this was just different. Published authors were writing witty dialogue, fun and funny characters with outlandish dilemmas and hitting the best seller list.

I had never given writing a serious chance because I knew I wasn't capable of writing like Sandra Brown, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts or Karen Robards. I knew that kind of writing just wasn't in me, but now. Wow, a whole new world of opportunities was opened up for me and I knew I needed to give this a try.

I immediately started searching Google for articles on writing. I found character questionnaires, blogs on "how to", web pages from publishers, blogs from agents, and a million helpful hints. I was quite overwhelmed. So I took a step back and pulled only what really interested me. How do you get started?

I'd had an idea a month before while taking a shower, all the best ideas come in the shower, about a woman whose mother had been married and divorced a dozen times. In this woman's opinion, not only did her mother have lousy taste in men, but all men were cheaters. Period. No discussion. Her past relationships had only driven this point home for her.

Then there was my hero. I'm so in love with him myself I'm finding it hard to find a reason why our heroine wouldn't want to be with him. He's strong, handsome, successful and married. Sort of. His wife is a cheater. He walked in on her riding some stranger in their bed and had enough. He packed his bags and moved out and started the divorce proceedings. Here's the catch. The wife's mother is dying of cancer. Our hero loves this woman. She was like a mother to him after his own mother passed away when he was just a boy. He would do anything to see that her last days are peaceful or as peaceful as possible. So when the wife comes to him and asks him to play along as if they're still married for the sake of the mother, he agrees.

I was jumping up and down knowing that I was bloody BRILLIANT. Who in their right mind would not want to read this story? I mean really! I sat down that same day and started filling out my character questionnaire sheets. I didn't even finish before the first scene came to me and the writing began.

During this process I joined a group of other writers who I let read my BRILLIANT idea. They told me it wouldn't work. They told me that the hero couldn't be married. A publisher would NEVER buy it. Maybe a published author could get away with it, but not me. I was crushed. I put my idea away and tried to figure out how to make it work. How could my story still work with this snag? It couldn't. I couldn't figure it out, so I put them away.

I started working on other things and then life got in the way and I stopped writing all together.

Recently I've become phone friends with Nichol. She's great. We chat about books, writing, kids. Stuff. She has inspired me to get back to writing. She told me, in not so many words, that it didn't matter what other people thought about my story line. If I liked it I needed to finish it.

Wow. No one who knows me well would ever think that what someone else thought would be so important to me. I'd let these other people's opinion influence my own decision. I'd given up on a story because of what a small group of people thought. Holy crap! Since when do I care what other people think??? It's not like I thought my very first attempt at writing was going to hit the best seller list. Hell, I didn't even think it would make it out of my house. You could actually HEAR reality crashing in around me.

So, I'm back to writing my story. I love this story and I'm going to write it the way that I see it. I don't care if a publisher will ever publish it. This is for me. I need to finish this book.

Thank you Nichol. You are the best!


Addictions are a Bitch

I think I might have an addictive personality, and by that I don't mean you can't get enough of me. ;) I'm addicted to television. . . and movies. . . and reading. . . and music. . . the list goes on, but I'm going to stop there. When I find something new that I like, for example a new author, I will read everything I can get my hands on from their book list until I am caught up.

When I discovered Lisa Kleypas historicals I started searching them out. I have read the entire Hathaway series and am working through the Wallflower series. I somehow wound up reading the series from newest to oldest, but whatever.

Janet Evanovich, found her by accident. Started at one and worked my way up to eight before I was current. They are now making a movie One For the Money due out this summer.

Jennifer Crusie, introduced to me by a friend, Fast Women was my first book and I've read every single book by her that I could get my hands on. Even the ones that weren't so good. Not that there are many.

James Patterson & Maxine Paetro, love the Women's Murder Club books. I was so excited when they announced that there was going to be a television series. Then they announced the cast. Anyone else read these books? Angie Harmon was cast as Lindsay Boxer. Rob Estes was cast as her captain/ex-husband. Who is that??? Lindsay Boxer isn't divorced. Is she? Did I miss that in the books? Claire's husband was in a wheelchair. Was that in the books? I'm seriously asking. I don't remember that. The show was so awful that it didn't survive a whole season, only 13 episodes. They took a great series of books and messed it up so they could put it on TV where it bombed. In my opinion it would have had more viewers if they'd just written it as it was.

Stephanie Bond. She is my new addiction. She writes the Body Mover series. The series starts out as follows:

Okay, so Carlotta Wren’s life hasn’t turned out as she’d planned. She didn’t plan for her parents to skip bail for a white collar crime, leaving her to raise her younger brother. She didn’t plan on having the silver spoon ripped out of her mouth and forgoing college to work retail. She didn’t plan on her blue blood fiancĂ© dumping her like last year’s designer bag. And she didn’t plan for, ten years later, to still be single (with no prospects), working at Neiman Marcus, with no idea where her fugitive parents are. But she’s coping, sort of. Until…

…her lovable brother is arrested and his loan sharks come calling.

…the hunky cop who arrested her brother reopens her parents’ case.

…her brother becomes a body mover, transporting corpses from crime scenes.

…her former fiancĂ©’s wife (a good customer) is murdered, fingering Carlotta.

…her brother’s sexy boss pulls her into the bizarre world of body moving.

Suddenly Carlotta realizes that she has to bag a murderer to keep her own well-dressed body from being next on the list!

I loved the first book and quickly moved on to the second and third installments and have the fourth lined up and the fifth and sixth on hold. Coming close to the end of the series I headed over to her website to find out when the seventh book was coming out. Imagine my surprise to find out that no other books are pending. Her publisher hasn't purchased any additional books for this series, but they are considering a television series. *groan* See the above reference to the WMC as a TV series. ACK! I hope that they do something spectacular with these books if they are going to make it into a series. These are awesome books. If you love Bobbie Faye or Stephanie Plum you're going to love Carlotta Wren.

Have you ever had a favorite book turned into a movie or television series that just sucked? If so, which one and why didn't you like it?

One of my favorite books is The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. If you've read the book and haven't seen the movie yet, DON'T. One of my other favorite books is The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. If you haven't seen the movie you are missing out. The movie rocks!