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Friday Favorites – Love & Romance

Hi from the land of sick children. I’m writing this post Thursday night and my only thought is, “It’s only Thursday?” This week has been dragging because my children, as usual, couldn’t be kind and get sick simultaneously; they like to get sick consecutively. This means more trips to the doctor and pharmacist, and less time to write. And really, I’m exhausted.

On a side note, one thing I learned this week was not to use the word s*x in a blog post because your page views will skyrocket, but it will be meaningless. For example, my post earlier this week on my second day at RT, mentions writing *those* kinds of scenes. That post has had over 4,000 hits. Craziness.

Anyway, as I looked over my list of blogs to include this week, I found I have a bit of a romance theme going on, which was unintentional, but works for me.

Onto more interesting reading…

TV:

Tiffany White has a post on TV characters we’d like to slap. It’s a fun post. As a huge Justified fan, I’m totally rooting for Dickie Bennett to get slapped.

Allison Brennan just finished watching back-to-back seasons of Bones and wrote a post about feeling cheated now that Booth and Brennan are together as a couple. I agree with what she says. After 6 years of build up and sexual tension, we don’t even get the dramatic kiss or meaningful “I love you.” I think part of that might be because Brennan isn’t romantic and it would go against character for her. But Booth is a romantic. He truly believes in love and marriage and I wanted to see that happen.

Love and Romance:

Ingrid Schaffenburg has a post on lasting love. She cites 3 pillars of lasting love: Authenticity, Acceptance, and Communication. What I love most about this is that it boils the essence of love to these 3 simple concepts. And when you look at a romance novel, this is what you see when 2 people fall in love. Without these 3 things, you won’t believe in the HEA.

Kat Latham writes about her favorite quality in a romance novel. For Kat, it’s the idea of a soul mate or “The One.” I’ve said before that I don’t think I buy into that theory. For me, reading a romance is about falling in love and knowing that regardless of the crap that’s thrown at them, the hero and heroine will find happiness. I was just mentioning on Twitter today that I read The Hunger Games because I promised my son I’d read it before we saw the movie. I had put it off for months, not because I didn’t think I’d like it, but because I knew it would depress me. It is a beautifully written book and a compelling story. But even though Katniss is alive at the end, it’s not a happy ending. After that I couldn’t go straight into the next book in the trilogy. I needed to go back to the land of HEAs.

Guy over at Red Pen of Doom wrote a post explaining why every man must read a romance. He also talks about why every woman needs to read a thriller. The thing is, I think most women will read outside their preferred genre and try new things. Most men have such preconceived notions about romance novels that they’ll never pick one up. This is a good argument.

Inspiration:

Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, the Kvetch mom, is back with an interesting post about negative self-talk. I get where she’s coming from because I, too, have heard the negative talk from my own daughter. It’s a hard thing to fight, and she cites an article that says maybe we shouldn’t fight it because it doesn’t work. Food for thought.

Emma Burcart has a fabulous post about remembering to take time to celebrate. When it comes to my kids, I celebrate almost everything, from the big to the small. Personally, I forget to celebrate for me. I commented on Emma’s post that after I received the offer from Kensington for my book, all of my writer friends asked what I did to celebrate. I felt weird because I hadn’t done anything. I immediately went back into work mode to attack the next step, the next goal, the next item to be tackled. I need to remember to step back and enjoy 🙂

Pink Chocolate Break had a great post of life quotes about stepping outside your comfort zone. This is something I personally am horrible at, but it’s a message in my book that’s coming out later this year. I force my heroine to spend the summer stepping outside her comfort zone.

And finally, because I think most people that visit here are book people, a short video from Book People Unite:

Who is your favorite character from childhood reading?

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Friday Favorites – Yoda, Ferris, & Writing

After more than a week of fabulous warmer than normal weather here in Chicago, it’s a rainy, miserable day. But, I do have some great posts for you to click through:

Fun Stuff:

taken from Google images

Marcy Kennedy writes about how Yoda was wrong. Now, I’ve mentioned before how Yoda is huge at our house, so my gut wanted to scream, “Never!” but then I read the post. Marcy is referring to Yoda’s famous quote, “Do or do not. There is no try.” This is something I’ve often quoted to my children (and they have of course spit back at me). Marcy points out that trying isn’t always enough. While she has very valid points, I think I’ll stick to the spirit of what Yoda teaches because I believe perseverance can take you pretty far.

It’s March madness all over this time of year, and it’s not all about basketball. Dabwaha is run by Dear Author and Smart Bitches an is all about books. March Movie Madness (MMM) is all about pitting movies heroes against one another.

Renee Schuls-Jacobson makes a plea for Ferris Bueller. Not only do I love this movie and Ferris, but I even have it in my book that’s coming out later this year. Even if you’re not voting, check out all the reasons she loves Ferris.

Photomontage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiffany White has a great round-up of midseason replacement shows. Check them out.

The Romance Man has a ton of fun with his post Chicks with Dicks (no, not that kind). He’s talking about why girls fall for guys who treat them like shit. The post is great, but you also have to read the comments. You’ll have plenty of laughs. As a girl who fell for many assholes, I can’t explain it. It’s not that I didn’t date any nice guys; there were a few. One guy I broke up with because he was so nice. What did I know? I was 16. I still know this guy and I also know that I wasn’t ready for him at 16. If I had met him when I was 30 and looking to settle down, I totally would’ve snapped him up.

Writing Links:

I have two different posts about the rules of romance. Both are interesting, especially if you read through the comments.

Greta van der Rol normally doesn’t write romance and she’s struggling with some of the “rules.”

Merry Farmer lists some of the expected rules of the romance genre, but points out that rules can be broken.

Jenny Hansen invited Margie Lawson to write a guest post for her blog. Margie is great. If you’ve never taken a class with her, I urge you to do so. You will learn so much from both Margie and your classmates. Your writing will improve and you’ll learn skills to carry into your next MS. In this post, Margie talks about writing smiles fresh and new.

Shelli Johnson has a post about how to know if you’re stretching yourself as a writer. She suggests that when you feel like you’re in over your head, it’s a good thing.

Jody Hedlund writes about why it’s important to put our books to bed. It’s important to give ourselves breathing room after we finish writing so we can look at the book with fresh eyes. A lot of people will attempt to plow through without giving themselves a break when they go from first to final draft. The problem with that is that you’re too close to the book and you can’t see problems.

Kvetch Mom, Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, writes about the importance of having a writer’s group. I personally wouldn’t want to have to start one, but I’m lucky enough to belong to my local RWA chapter. It’s not just about finding people to critique your work, but about finding like-minded people who can understand you. My group is a critique chapter. Someone reads for critique at every single meeting. I haven’t read in over 2 years, but I still get so much out of going. It’s a group of friends who understand the process and frustrations of being a writer.

Emma Burcart had a revelation that the bathroom is her think tank. It’s a good about when and where we have time to let our stories develop. I’m like Emma, shower time is my plotting time (and I use the word plotting very loosely). It’s the one time and place where I’m least likely to get interrupted by the kids.

Finally, Jenny Hansen offers some great advice on getting organized as a blogger.

Have a great weekend and I hope your weather is better than what I’m looking at.

Friday Favorites – Fun & Beauty

This is going to be a relatively short Friday Favorites post because there is something so cool going on in the blogosphere today that I’m going to send you off to check it out.

But first, a couple of fun posts that had me grinning:

Myndi Shafer struggled with writing log lines and decided to have a little fun with it.

image from denimtherapy.com

Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, the Kvetch Mom, has a great post on shopping for jeans after giving birth to 3 kids. I can totally relate.

Tiffany White does a great job as usual talking about TV. This week she talks about the return of Breakout Kings. I watched the first season and enjoyed it enough to keep watching, but like Tiffany, I don’t have to see it the moment it’s finished recording. I use it as filler whenever I have spare time.

I only have 2 writing related posts:

Marcy Kennedy made my heart swell with her post on grammar mistakes that will cost you readers. As an English teacher, I cringe at these kinds of mistakes.

Jenny Hansen has the 4th post of a great series of posts on using Triberr. I know nothing about Triberr, other than it’s supposed to help you simplify social media and networking. I’m not sure I totally believe that claim, but Jenny is certainly convincing.

Beauty of a Woman Blogfest

That’s all I’m going to link to today because over on August McLaughlin’s blog, she is hosting a Beauty of a Woman blogfest. All of the posts are about what beauty means to different people.

I managed to see a few of the posts by people I know and they are simply amazing. The whole concept is fantastic and inspiring and I thank August for dreaming it up. Go to her blog now for the list of participating writers, but be prepared: You will get lost for a long time in excellent reading 🙂

Oh, yeah — there are prizes too.

Friday Favorites – One for the Money and Being a B**ch

photo courtesy of imdb.com

First, let me say that today is a gorgeous day. It’s 45 degrees in January. In Chicago. Excellent weather for my day off. Usually my day off consists of running errands I pushed off all week and catching up on housework (kind of). The piles of laundry tend to get out of hand. Anyway, today, after getting my tires rotated and before starting the laundry. I went to see One for the Money, the movie based on the Janet Evanovich book and series.

I really didn’t have high hopes for the movie. I love the books, no matter how contrived or ridiculous because I love the characters and I always laugh out loud while reading. Katherine Heigl actually was a decent Stephanie Plum. Jason O’Mara was cast as Joe Morelli. I really like Jason O’Mara, but in my head, Morelli has always been Eddie Cibrian. I understand why they wanted someone who looked different because Ranger is played by Daniel Sanjata.

Here’s the cast:

photo courtesy of bellasnovella.com

taken from google images

And here’s Eddie Cibrian

So, I think it made sense to go with someone obviously different than Sanjata, who I think is the PERFECT Ranger. It’s been a long time since I read the first book in the series, but I think the movie did a good job of getting right. The cast hits the mark. I think Grandma Mazur could’ve been played up a bit more; she didn’t seem quite crazy enough. Lula was great.

The one thing that I thought was missing was the sexual tension. I didn’t see it between Stephanie and Morelli or Stephanie and Ranger. With the movie being based on just the first book, I didn’t expect a whole lot of tension between Ranger and Stephanie, but she didn’t even seem all that attracted to him, which, hello? The man is hot. I think there should’ve been more sexual tension between Morelli and Stephanie, but I wasn’t feeling it.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I felt like I got my money’s worth. It did feel like I was watching a TV show, though. Again, that might be because I know there are 18 books and plots and that much more character development. I did find myself wanting to see more, like the next episode.

I am behind on my Plum reading. I have number 17 that I haven’t read yet, which means I also have 18 to read. I’ll get my Morelli and Ranger fix in paper, I guess.

On to my regular mash-up of awesome links…

I only have 4 links this week, but they are powerful. First up, for writers, it’s all about having confidence and not being afraid. If you want to write (and be published) you have to be willing to put yourself out there and that opens you up to a lot.

Tonya Kappes writes about NOT being a fearful writer.

Merry Farmer talks about how confidence is a writer’s greatest asset.

My next two posts have to do with being called a bitch and what it means. I’ve been called a bitch by men and women alike, and probably a few kids who were students. It’s never bothered me, although it probably should have. The word itself has so many different connotations that I find it hard to be bothered by it. For me, I think bitch is used most often as a way to describe an independent, opinionated woman. I’m okay with that.

Emma Burcart starts off the conversation with So You Think I’m a Bitch.

Jennifer Liberts Weinberg, the Kvetch Mom, talks about the snarkiness encountered on social media, especially when one screws up (one of my greatest fears). She questions why women choose to be bitchy towards each other. Definitely food for thought.

What are your thoughts —  on Stephanie Plum, writer confidence, or being a bitch?