The Grandparent Connection

I’m fairly youngish in terms of life expectancy and all, but over the course of three decades, I have written a lot of words, and quite a few of those words made up books. Not all fit for human consumption, but some are, and yay for that.

Of the almost twenty books I’ve written to completion, over half of them feature a main character very positively and very directly affected by their grandparent’s influence, whether living or dead.

The first book I ever finished, the hero’s grandfather passes away and this is sort of the turning point for his choices. The next two books featured the hero’s brothers, who were also affected in some deep way by their grandfather. This is a pretty consistent theme throughout many of my books. You’ll see it in the Harrington Airfield series, the Antiques in Flight series, and likely again and again.

I don’t do this intentionally. I don’t set out to write about people influenced by grandparents. It evolves in these stories because I cannot imagine who I’d be if I did not have my grandparent’s influence. It is hard for me to imagine people who don’t have these shining beacons of amazingness in their lives.

This is not to take away from my parents. My parents are awesome too. I am very lucky when it comes to family members and the people I come from, but I think there is something about the grandparent-grandchild relationship that makes it that much more special, especially in your childhood/early adulthood…when you are constantly under your parents’ feet. When they are trying to shape you into a decent person and you are all NO LEAVE ME ALONE, GOD.

My maternal grandmother made me feel like I mattered during those adolescent years you feel like you don’t.

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(Feel free to be jealous of my Harry Potter-esque glasses).

My paternal grandmother works harder than anyone I’ve ever met.

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My paternal grandfather is the kindest person in the world.

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My maternal grandfather has pursued his passion for decades.

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My son’s both have pieces of my grandfather’s names in theirs. My maternal grandmother’s death was one of the defining moments of my adulthood.

Everything I am is because of so many people, but they are the base of me, and so it is hard for me not to write characters who have that same base.

I dedicated Flight Risk to my maternal grandparents. My grandfather’s antique airport was the inspiration for Antiques in Flight. His passion for making what he loved a career inspired me to seek publication years ago. In the book, the heroine goes through a scrapbook her grandmother made her. In my mind’s eye, it is the scrapbook my grandmother made me.

I don’t put a lot of myself into the books I write. No heroine is a direct representation of me, no hero some weird amalgamation of words to make up my husband. These stories are not my life, but in every character there is some seed of myself, some thread of understanding between us.

Oftentimes, that thread is grandparents, and it always makes me so grateful for mine.

Happy April!

It’s April! Yay! April is probably my favorite month. I love Spring, I got married in April, baseball starts!!!! (And if you are a baseball and romance fan and haven’t read SuperWendy’s Tigers/Harlequin mashups, you must!)

Admittedly, this April I’m not my usual excited self. As much as I’m excited about baseball and warmer weather and things blooming, the pure onslaught that is supposed to be this month is totally freaking me out.

One thing I’m really excited for though is that I should be getting my edits on Flight Risk. I should also be getting the official contract on Harrington Books 2 & 3 and hopefully moving forward on 2. I’m also hoping to hear back on a few submissions this month, but in this business, you never know when that’s going to happen.

In the meantime, while I wait and wait and wait on publishing stuff, I’m working on what I hope will be book 2 in the Flight series. I love this series so much. It isn’t easy to write, because I’m definitely taking on characters who challenge me, but that’s probably why I love it.

So, happy April! And GO CARDS!

The Blueprint

From here on out, you’ll find me posting here on Mondays. Catchup posts, posts about my books/WIPs, thoughts on the romance genre etc.

On Fridays you can find me talking about my experiences as a published author over at the From Fact to Fiction blog.

Once a month (approx), I’ll also have a post over at the Entangled Indulgence blog. (My January post is up today).

I think this is a reasonable posting schedule that will allow me to keep up with my writing schedule and, well, I’m just better with a schedule. 🙂

This week, I’m hoping to start in earnest my newest WIP–a book connected to the book I just sold to Samhain. I’m also hoping to get some news regarding my upcoming releases.

But scariest of all, we’re starting potty training with my oldest. (Hold me)

The 2013 Goal Machine

Happy 2013!

I always like starting a new year, making new goals, and getting back to “normal” after the craziness of the holidays.

Of course, with two little boys (three if you count the husband), things are always crazy around here.

I have two main focuses for 2013. Ideas as much as goals I want to work toward.

First, career. In 2011 I sold my first book, in 2012 I sold two more, so I’m hoping 2013 continues to yield more success. I had one release last year and I’m guessing/hoping I’ll have two releases this year.

So, writing wise, career wise, my goals are pretty specific.

1. Write 4-5 books.
2. Sell 3 books.
3. Go to the RWA conference.

Just three goals, which leads me to my second focus for 2013. Simplicity.

In December, I had a long list of writing goals, but most of my problems come from excess. Too much sugar, too many things cluttering my house, too much time on Twitter, etc. So, 2013 is all about simplicity. No long lists, no going overboard. Streamline, cut back, simplify.

So, my life goals are kind of broad.

1. Cut back on processed foods.
2. Cut back on things/clutter. Don’t be afraid to toss things we don’t need.
3. Focus on one thing at a time. (In other words don’t be making dinner, organizing papers, checking twitter, and talking on the phone all at the same time).

So, those are my goals as we enter a new year. What are some of yours?

2012 Goals Met

So, as of a few days ago I met and EXCEEDED all my 2012 writing goals. Goals are one of those things that kept me going through rejection. Knowing I wanted to accomplish specific things kept me focused. I love goals, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. There are few things as satisfying as looking back and saying…yeah, I DID that.

Below is my goals list copied from my goal post last year. In bold, the results.

1. Finish 2-3 novels. Since Baby #2 is due in just two months, I think going for 4 would be a bit much to ask. I’d love to get there, but I’m not going to hold myself to it. Kids and sleep will be coming first for a while.

I wrote 3 novels this year. 1 single title (80k) and two category (both around 55kish). I’m quite proud of this accomplishment, especially since I also completed numerous rounds of revisions on my Indulgence before and after I signed the contract.

2. Develop a marketing plan for All’s Fair in Love & Politics before its release in May.

I had a plan. Was it successful? Not really. But that’s okay. It was my first release and I learned a lot from what I did and didn’t do.

3. Sell another book.

Exceeded this goal! I sold to Indulgence this summer, and have a contract offer on another as of last week (more details to come once contract is signed, sealed, delivered). Ironically, they’re both set on small airports in the middle of nowhere. They’re quite different though, and so are the stories in them.

4. Join RWA (which I will be accomplishing in a few days with the help of some Christmas money).

Did it! Will be doing it again (and going to the conference!)

5. Continue to develop my blog to be a marketing tool for my writing.

I’m definitely not there yet. But I contemplated this and I’ve made some strides. I hope to continue to do so in 2013.

Non-Writing Goals for 2012 (this is where things get dicey)

1. Get into some level of physical fitness after Baby #2 is born. Like, enough that I could go on a backpacking trip with Hubby and not get left in his dust.

Well, I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant with #1, so that’s something. In shape and backpacking? Yeah, not so much.

2. Read 50 books. (I came close this year).

I’m at 46. Tossup if I’ll be able to add 4 more.

3. Make better use of our CSA portion this year.

Yay! Totally did this. Sad we won’t be able to afford it next year, but there is a really good farmer’s market close to our house now, so hopefully we can keep supporting local farmers.

4. Watch less TV.

Done! Not difficult. Probably because I now spend way too much time on the Internet.

5. Find a better, more organized filing system that works continuously. (This has been a perpetual resolution since I moved in with Hubby 6ish years ago. I’m still searching).

The search continues.

I’ll be posting my 2013 goals some time next week.

I Do Exist!

Hi there! Remember me?

I have some excuses for not posting since October (having something to do with two ER visits/hospital stays for my oldest, four trips to the doctor (my youngest made an appearance in that one), and wrangling antibiotics into both), but mainly I’ve been wondering what I really want to do with this space. I like to blog, but I hate to waste my time.

Conundrum.

I know it’s a little early to start talking about resolutions, but as 2012 barrels to a close, I’m starting to think what I want this space to be in 2013. I don’t have an answer yet, but it’s going onto my list of 2013 goals.

Figure out what to do on the blog.

I’ve got some posts scheduled for the rest of December (including an update on some exciting writing news to share hopefully later this week). I’ll be here. And if you’re here, drop a comment about what you like to see on author’s blogs. I’m all ears (and feeling more and more comfortable with calling myself an author).

Time Flies

It can’t possibly be the second Monday in September. Surely it’s a leisurely July Saturday.

Okay, it’s not. I know it’s not. This summer just flew by, busy, busy, busy.

I’m a much bigger fan of fall–weather and slower social calendar. But, I’m also in the middle of my current WIP. Rarely a good place to be. This is where I question. Question the story, myself, my career, etc…etc…

I’m waiting an two very important things, both which come with questions of their own. Questions that only time will answer.

Time and me? Not on speaking terms right now.

Olympic Commercials

Like many people, with the Olympics happening, we have our TV on a lot. Even when we’re not really paying attention, athletes are running, swimming, jumping, twisting, and vaulting about on our TV.

The commercials are equally sporty. People running, jumping, sweating. Muscles hard at work.

It makes me want to become a runner, or even a person who works out regularly (or semi-regularly).

And then I turn the TV off and come to my senses.

What I’m Up To: Homebody Needs Home

I’ve been on a crazy social schedule the past week, which is pretty unusual for me. I’m a hermit homebody at heart and the parade of things-to-do were fun, but now I’m glad to be home ALL day today. My iPad and I need some quality time together.

All of this go-go-go has meant I haven’t gotten as much written as I was hoping, but I should hit the halfway point on my WIP today. My  goal was to have it done by the end of July, but the middle has given me a lot of problems. My new goal is to have it finished before my first round of edits for Seven Night Stand hit (Septemberish). That should give me time to finish, break, reread/revise.

I have a new series idea brewing that I’d love to start on, but my Kansan pilots and their Hollywood heroines have to take precedence.