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Tag Archives: Debra Kristi

Friday Favorites and Turning 40

Before I get to my mash-up of awesome links for the week, I have something to show you. I recently had a birthday and I guess it was supposed to be a big one (see the title). I’ve said it before, I’m not much for celebrating for myself, but my best friend and I got together for dinner last night (which is why this post is so late). Right after I parked my car, she caught me in the parking lot and hefted a huge basket into the back of my van. My birthday present. When I got home I spent a good 15 minutes unwrapping and laughing over 40 individual gifts. She bought me 40 things I like. Here’s a bad photo, and although you can’t see everything, you get the idea:

With all the chocolate, junk food, and alcohol, you'd never guess that she's not a writer.

I think it was the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. It’s not the items themselves, of course, but it’s having someone who knows you that well. I hope you all have a friend like her 🙂

On to lots of links. I’m too lazy to separate these into categories this week, since I’m  running so late and I’ll have to head out soon to pick up the kids. Trust me when I say, they’re all worth a read.

Emma Burcart describes the best relationship she ever had – back in the third grade. What I love about this post is that when we’re that young, we know what we want and what we expect, but somewhere over the years, we tend to lose some of that. Here’s to remembering our nine-year-old selves.

Linda Adams talks about the commercialization of Star Wars. Although I see her point, and maybe it has gotten out of hand, I still wouldn’t want them to stop making the toys. Everyone in my house has spent countless hours playing with Star Wars action figures.

Debra Kristi has a great post about chocolate. I love it when someone validates that chocolate is good for us. 🙂

August McLaughlin uses her father’s retirement to explore how writers should approach their dreams.

Merry Farmer continues her series on how she writes. This week, she talks about using music to set the mood and maybe offer inspiration. I’ve mention before that I created a playlist for the first time for my WIP. I’m still revising book 2 for my contract, so I haven’t gone back to my WIP in a while, but I have to admit, I wish I had a soundtrack for book 2. I miss not having specific songs to ground me in that world with those characters.

Tonya Kappes writes about how it’s important to review your goals to see how far you’ve come.

Shelli Johnson does a post about offering words of encouragement to yourself because it’s always easier to believe the bad stuff. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve taken a few classes with Lani Diane Rich and one thing she requires from her students at the end of each class is for them to announce (in all caps and tons of exclamation points) “I am a great writer!” The post reminded me of the importance of that.

Trish Loye Elliott over on Wordbitches has a post on inspiration and optimism. The part I love most is the Wordplayer’s manifesto that she took from K.M. Weiland.

Finally, Annette Gendler has a photo essay showing some great shots of Millennium Park and Crown Fountain in Chicago. I love these pictures and I had to include this because I have a scene in my book that takes place at Millennium Park.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received?


Friday Favorites – Life Stuff and Writing

Life stuff–

Parenting is a big part of my day with 3 kids, so I am very familiar with Marianne Hansen’s day of questioning why we chose to have this life. On a particularly tough day, she chooses to blast Melissa Etheridge. Check out her post on The Zen of Melissa Etheridge. For me, it was always “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. If you have any doubts about the sing-along possibilities:

With us all still getting into the swing of a new year (how many times have you caught yourself still writing 2011?), things can get a little overwhelming. Debra Kristi writes about information overload. I think most of us can relate to this because we juggle a regular job, family, and writing, along with everything that goes with each of those things. It is all about priorities and setting realistic expectations for yourself. For me, I realistically expect that my house will never be clean for more than an hour or so (while the kids are out of the house) and I can live with that.

Ingrid Schaffenburg takes it a step further than just prioritizing. She talks about fulfilling our dreams by creating the right kind of actions. It is a beautifully written post. And in reading it, I realized that she supports my notion of not having a clean house. Will having a clean house make me a better writer or a better mother? I doubt it. Can stressing about getting the cleaning done make me do worse at both of those jobs? You betcha 🙂

Merry Farmer wrote a fabulous post on the baggage we carry. She debated with a friend about whether the past is over and done or if you carry the scars forever. I’m a little in both camps. I had a sucky childhood. Anger ruled a good portion of my teen years. As I entered adulthood, I made the choice to let go of the anger and resentment. I carry the scars. I sometimes have to check my reactions to things to see if they’re realistic or if they’re being clouded by those scars.

Emma Burcart wrote about the lengths we go to in order to fit in. Unlike Emma, I love my jeans. Jeans, t-shirt, and gym shoes all the way. I own very few pieces of jewelry and I rarely put them on. I was never very good at fitting in, so I learned at an early age not to try. I was okay being a loner. But as it turned out, even loners find people to connect with.

Writing Advice–

As a romance writer, there are some things that come up often. One is writing sex scenes and the other is writing believable guys.

Emma Burcart did a post on writing sex scenes. I’m not the kind of person who discusses sex often. I will give my kids straight informative answers to questions, but I’ve never been one to dish to friends. When writing, I have no problem writing sex scenes. I’m not totally comfortable reading them aloud though …

Jenny Hansen has a post up on “Man-Speak.” Yes, it is a real thing. As writers, we need to pay attention to how characters think and speak. Guys talk differently than women do. If you don’t pay attention to that, all of your characters will end up sounding the same.

The last advice piece I have comes from Arghink (Jenny Crusie’s blog). This week, Jenny Crusie and Lucy March posted a long discussion about romantic comedy: what works, what doesn’t, and why. It’s a little on the long side, but totally worth the time. My favorite quote from the entire post:

Lucy: You know six degrees of separation? I’m two degrees of smart.

And finally, this is not a piece of advice at all, but a call for submissions of short pieces. 6 editors from Entangled Publishing will be visiting Jami Gold’s blog to check out your pitches. Guidelines and info in the post. I don’t write that short (10 – 60K) but if I did, I would submit.

It was a crazy busy week in the blogosphere this week. There were so many great posts, I had a hard time narrowing it down to these few. What was the best thing you read this week?

Friday Favorites – Crushes, Buffy, and Book Fandom

It has been a busy week in blogs. I came across so many great things, it was hard to choose.

First up, let’s talk TV:

(banner by studio D)

Personally, I am not a Dr. Who fan, but I know quite a few people who are. They routinely try to convince everyone around them to join the ranks. Since it’s now on Netflix, I might give it a try. As some of you might have noticed over on Twitter, I’ve been RTing tweets about a Dr. Who bloghop my writerly friends have created. There are great prizes each day that you can win just for commenting. Hop over to Erica O’Rourke’s blog to get the main details.

Debra Kristi talks about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and who was better — Angel or Spike? This was a show that I didn’t watch when it was on. At the time, the concept seemed silly. Then, as I embarked on my writing career, I kept hearing from so many writers (including Jennifer Crusie) that it was a fabulous show. I haven’t watched every episode, but I have seen quite a few. I’m definitely in the Angel camp. I love David Boreanaz, as I mentioned my love for Seely Booth last month.

Finally, Tiffany White talks about criminals we love. I don’t watch all of the shows she mentions, but Dexter and Justified I watch religiously.

Here are some fun, non-TV posts to check out:

Merry Farmer had me cracking up with her post on inappropriate crushes. I think we’ve all been there before. I currently don’t have a real-life crush, but I totally have a girl-crush on Angie Harmon. It’s


inappropriate because I’m not gay and I don’t think she is either.

Jillian Dodd has a great post on whether men and women can be just friends. Watch the video; it’s really worth it. I think this is fascinating both as a woman and as a writer. I love to read friends-turned-lover stories, so maybe the guys are right here.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (one of my favorite go-to sites for romance) had a great post about book fans and how paranormal romance readers seem to be “more active, involved, and at times rabid” than fans of contemporary romance. I read both paranormal and contemporary, but I lean more toward contemporary, but maybe that’s because it’s what I write.

Speaking of contemporary romance, Angela James (executive editor for Carina Press) has put out a call for submissions for contemporary romance series. Angela James is a smart, savvy person and I have no doubt that working with her would be a truly rewarding experience (no, she is not paying me to say that. She doesn’t even know me)

Finally, in my post yesterday, I talked about canceled shows. Sometimes, a good show gets canceled because it can’t stand out or it’s not great. I mentioned that as writers, we often face the same kind of rejection. Chuck Wendig has a great post listing the 25 things writers should know about rejection. Rejection sucks, but learn from it and move on. He says it all much better than I did.

That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoy the links. And the really burning question: Who do you love — Angel or Spike? 🙂

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