Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why We Live Where We Do

Have you ever thought about why you live in the town or state you do? Did you end up where you are now because of career obligations (either yourself or your spouse)? Was it to be near family? Or did you pick your town because of its lifestyle? Are you still living in the town where you grew up? Or did you just close your eyes in front of a map and point?

We each have many different reasons for ending up where we do. Personally, I’ve lived in seven different states as an adult and my reasons for hop-scotching across the country are as varied as the landscape. But the reason for my last move, boomeranging back to Ohio, the state of my birth, surprised even me.

Foolishly, I thought it was to be near family. Given my other choices—too hot North Carolina, too crowded and expensive California, or way too hot Arizona, Ohio made the most sense, despite the winter snow. I selected Oberlin for its small college-town atmosphere, its liberal nature, and its movie theatre. But actually Oberlin chose me.

Shortly after moving, I began to work on what would become The Abolitionist’s Secret, my December release from Crimson Romance, about a bashful young lady in New York and her handsome military officer, who happens to be a slave owner. She is involved in the abolitionist movement and helps a young slave escape the clutches of the slave mongers at an Underground Railroad stop. 

Ohio was an active route on the Underground Railroad, too, and Oberlin played a significant role in the movement. There are several monuments around town that herald the town’s involvement. And the city has taken on the restoration of an old Gasholder building with plans to convert it into an interpretive center about the Underground Railroad. I decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the book to this center, which is funded by private donations and grants. For more information about the center, visit their website at:

So, tell me about your own personal experience. Where do you live, and why? Do you use your town in your stories at all? 

And, don't forget to return for the Crimson Authors blog hop November 17-21! We have gifts!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crimson Christmas Wonderland Blog Hop!

I'm participating in my first-ever blog hop, from November 17-21, 2012! Readers will visit as many of the blogs as they can between these dates and leave a comment. All those who enter a comment anywhere along the way will be eligible for some pretty spectacular prizes in the form of Amazon gift cards. If you visit all the sites and leave a comment, you can enter into the drawing nearly 50 times.

If you've ever been carried away to another space and time while reading a book, you understand what the romance genre is all about. Like the Calgon bath commercial, sometimes a good book can take you away. And with the varied choices in the Crimson lineup, you can be swept away onto pirate ships, to America in the decade prior to the Civil War or back even further to the Revolutionary War. How about ancient Rome? Or maybe to a desert in the southwest where strange experiments are taking place? Or a ranch in Texas? Maybe fighting off demons is your cup of tea.The choice is yours.

Following is the list of participating authors. We jointly wish you fun on the hop, and a very merry holiday season. May your stocking be stuffed with romance books.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Mad Hatter

Lately, I’ve been feeling like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.”

Take today for example. I have been blogging every Sunday morning since July, when my blog went live. Yet this morning, it was the furthest thing from my mind. I received a much-anticipated e-mail last night from a publisher who is interested in my contemporary novel. I need to run through it one more time and make certain it’s in pitch-perfect shape. So the blog took a back seat to my edits. This morning, at least.

Then, there was work. I have a weekend shift for a greeting card company in a big box retailer that just got expanded into two big box retail outlets. There went four hours of the day. Lunch, a quick glance at the paper, picking up my neglected, whimpering dog and snuggling took more time.

So here it is. Not Sunday morning. Not even Sunday afternoon. It’s Sunday evening, and I’m only now getting around to the blog. I didn’t get my edits finished, and I haven’t opened the book I’m reading and reviewing for a fellow author. But I approach this blog like I do my writing. I have to make time to write a blog every week to stay on track. I’d like to think there are folks out there who, by now, have come to look forward to hearing from me every week. And I can’t let a single one of them down. Or myself.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I Miss The Magic

Lately, I’ve been mired in editing—first with my second novel in the Cotillion series, The Abolitionist’s Secret, which went back to the publisher late last week, and then with my third novel in the series, which is being polished up to send off. It makes me feel good when my babies walk out the door, but it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve done any creative writing. Consequently, my attendance at my various writing groups has fallen off, since I have nothing to share, and many edits to complete by a deadline date.

So what do I do with these characters who keep popping into my head? Right now, I have a young woman who is a nurse in the Civil War on the Confederate side and her husband, who is wounded in battle and comes to the hospital. Trouble is, he’s a Union soldier and if he gets better, he’ll be hauled off to a prison camp. What to do? This delightful dilemma has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks, but I haven’t had the opportunity to put anything down on paper. Maybe I can find time this week to begin.

I know we all come at writing from different angles—some do it to pass the time, some write because it makes them feel good, some like to set goals and reach them. I write because I can’t imagine life without the creative process. If I have a week where I’m at a conference or on a vacation, I find that I miss being able to sit down at my computer and have an idea that takes off. My fingers fly across the keyboard and, to me at least, it’s like magic when an actual story emerges from the corner of my brain. And, right now, I’m missing the magic. 

How about you? Do you feel like something's missing from your life if you don't write, or is writing something you do to escape from your normal routine to a more pleasant place? How do you balance the editing process with the creative one?