2 Blondes, 1 Redhead & a Reviewer

Archive for the category “Rants”

If you could have a whack at balancing the government budget, where would you cut first?

How convenient that this is the week’s topic with the Babes, considering the House and Senate are still sitting on their asses and not working out the budget that forced the shut down.
I live in a military town. There are two Marine bases and one Navy within 3 miles of my house. My husband is retired Marine, and a government contractor. I see suffering the shut down has already caused.
The commissary is closed. That’s our grocery store. For those Marine families living on Parris Island, without a second car, that’s the only place they can shop. So now, we deny essentials to women and children. The mess halls still run, but dependents can’t dine there. See how poorly this was set up? Secondly all that food that’s on a time limit will spoil, forcing the government to purchase more, doubling the cost and offering no profit. Already health care has been cut to the bone. Even the civilian staff was forced to take a furlough before the shut down. The government privatized services to the military such as housing and contractors are known for stiffing the government with a hefty bill. Anyone else see a problem?
Family Team building offices are closed, and this is a little social but mostly offering services like counseling, help with wills, deployments, babies, anything the family’s needs. The doors are closed today. All the services offered to single troops are closed, including the game rooms and clubs. So who does this benefit when the cost to run those service are minimal? By the way, Family Team building is mostly volunteer so all they are saving is the electric bill.
I mention these point becaseu aside a lot of military families losing WIC and any other assistance, I’m certain my area is just one example. There are thousands in like situations Military or not, and I haven’t even touched on the medical treatments now being denied. People could die from a damn shut down.
I heard on the news a senator spoke on the floor about why we shut down the staff gym but not the executive gym? I know you’re shaking your head, groaning like me and likely thinking “this is why nothing is done. You waste time over stupid crap.” The House &Senate can do a quick jog around the block like us poor folk. Cut the gym from the budget. Both of them.
Now what about that money the American tax payer paid out for the last crisis? Where are the billions owed by stock and AIG and all those damn insurance and brokerage houses that screwed us in the housing market? Did no one pay their fines? Did no one go to jail? And let’s not forget the automotive companies who came begging. Too big to fail crap started us on the downward spiral. Bush approved millions before he left office and then Obama added trillions to liars and corrupt corporations yet I don’t see anyone in jail, do you?
Politicians are lying to America. Big lies. 50 trillion to save the banks yet America is still suffering with foreclosures, corrupt loans and high fuel costs? Let’s add the insult that nearly 10% of Americans are out of work.
Cutting essential programs isn’t the answer. Cutting everything else is. House and Senate spend more money entertaining (lobbyists) than you and I spend in ten years. Flights, car rentals, hotels meals all courtesy of the American taxpayer. Is this right when one year’s salary for a senator would take my household out of debt– completely. Yes. All of it.
Any extra service to the House and Senate is next. America is tired of being punished for YOUR mistakes. Let them all learn to survive on a tight budget. Start bringing a bag lunch senator. Take your own car and fill it up at the local Texaco, not the gas pumps in the senate’s lower garage.
NASA goes too. No more space shuttle. None. We have to draw the line somewhere and billions spent for space doesn’t make sense when children in our country go hungry. Exploring space is not as important as exploring new energy, agriculture, and ways to save the poor. That leads me to …
The Department of Energy. They have not accomplished their mission. It was formed when gas prices rocketed in the 70’s with Jimmy Carter and hasn’t done much to change the fuel use in the US. lowering the speed limit to fifty five didn’t save gas. It’s the private sector who has developed cleaner fuel, wind mills, solar energy. Sorry, DOE, you haven’t proven your worth, times up. Now we just added forty million and each year after.
The IRS. Flat tax and we no longer need the IRS. Roosevelt said when it was implemented we’d never stop it, and he was right. Being taxed repeatedly for what we already own is unacceptable. Why should I pay tax on a car its entire life when I paid the tax when I bought it. It’s done. You cannot milk us every year.
How about when elections come around none of us vote. At all. Revolt. Then current jack asses will be out of office and we can start over.
Clearly, it’s not working.

Your thoughts?


What’s your music memory?

When I hear what is now classified as an oldie, I get happy.  Bouncing in the seat happy.   I hear ‘Be young, be foolish’ by the Platters, I’m transported to Folly Beach Pier with my then sweetheart, a Citadel cadet, and I’m rocking with the entire senior class.  Yet I couldn’t name another song by that band.  I hear Bad Company or Steppenwolf’s Hey Lawdy Mama and I’m suddenly riding in a Marine MP’s jeep with my best girl on our way to my Marine boyfriend’s place. (Ah, that would be Bob, married 35yrs)  It has more to do with riding over the Chechessee River Bridge in an open jeep than anything.  The tires thumping on slab concrete and wood rails had a rhythm of its own.

Our music tastes coincide with moments of maturity.  They mark our lives early when we don’t really know who we are inside.  At least it did for me.

Trip back a few years and my memories are connected to The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Tommy James and the Shondells. (yes, I’m that old)  I have a clear memory of Iron Butterfly’s ‘Innagadadavidah’ playing at a school dance.  Songs like the Loco-motion, Good bye Yellow Brick Road, Oh Very Young and everything Jim Croce garner a memory.  Yes, I cried when he was killed.  He was my favorite.

Something rock and roll was playing when a broadcast was interrupted to say JFK had been assassinated.  I remember my parents reaction, the tears and every one huddled around the Hi-Fi.  I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.  I was about six  or seven and we were living in Iceland.  All I knew was they were very sad.

The Beach Boys, Mama’s and Papa’s, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross music floated on the air during teenage sleepovers and after school activities.   Woodstock and the Million Man March was the time of my youth, but I lived a sheltered life.  I might have looked like a hippie then with purple leather, love beads and my hair ironed, but that’s about as far as it went.  We all did it to be cool, but that’s when our choices weren’t always our own.  No one could tell us what music to love.  The teenager battling high school hormones, homework and curfews know what they like.  It was about the only thing that was certain in our lives.   Sure, parents didn’t understand our choices just like I don’t understand the appeal of rap and never will.

In my early twenties disco was everywhere, but it’s not a part of me.  I was married, doing hair, but honestly, I can’t dance.  No rhythm here, at all.  It’s probably why I have little connection.  But I digress.  Often it’s music that flares a memory between the maturing years in our lives when decisions are often life altering.  College?  Military?  Peace Corps?   Music is wrapped in the freedom that one year– from seventeen to eighteen– marks.  I was enjoying the heck out of life then.

I’ve lost a chunk of years with American culture.  Anything produced between 1988-1992 is Greek to me, including all television.  We were living in Okinawa then. AFRTS was the only English speaking channel and military radio sounded like Good Morning Viet Nam.  That’s another reason why I prefer my oldies to anything on the air now.  I get annoyed when I read lyrics to a new favorite and find out its senseless, vulgar trash.  Yet I like the beat.  (It’s easy to dance to, Mr. Clark.  I give it a 98)

I’m not slamming anyone’s taste.   Few songs made sense in my era too.   Remember Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Jumping Jack Flash?  Or Muskrat love?  No one cared.  We remember what was playing when an event changed something in our lives.  Small or large, it doesn’t matter.  It could be the week someone broke your heart or the day you made the cut at tryouts.  It means something to the individual.

The week my husband proposed was full of activity but a constant was Boz Scaggs and Donovan playing in the background.  When I hear either’s song, the memory of that week pops up.  Yet I can’t recall my husband proposing.  Not one moment of it.  Strange but there it is.  Might be though, that it wasn’t the first time he’d asked.

My writing career forced me to stop listening to country music with lyrics and a decent beat when my medieval knight in Ireland sounded like a cowboy bringing in a herd.  I solved this with some Rachmaninoff and a little Mozart. With so many instruments, I couldn’t single one out.  It helped with my job, yet now, I can’t listen to anything but the snap of the keys.

Music can change your mood and lift it up.  When it trips a memory, its even sweeter or in some cases, bitter sweet.  Sometime when I sing along and know all the words, I’m a little stunned that I can recall the lyrics of a thirty year old song.  At the same time I recognize it for the memory it evokes and think, “Oh yeah, that’s when I…”

So I’m curious…. what song trips a special memory for you?


Superstitions are ripe…

I’m going off topic today and want to talk about superstitions.  If you think you don’t have any in your life you are probably incorrect.  That idea came to me as I was perusing my shelves of books for a novel I knew I had purchased but could not locate it.  So as I stand here dictating this into a voice recognition, I count six books on superstitions, all research for paranormal stories.  I went a little overboard but then, I’ve been writing paranormal twenty years before publishers jumped on that wagon.

Everyone’s beliefs are their own but just keeping track of my superstitions for a couple of days made me realize that yes, I am superstitious.

If I spill salt, I toss a bit over my shoulder.  The Irish Cures, Mystic Charms and Superstitions by the Lady Wild, says never give away any salt or fire while the churning is going on for to upset the salt is exceedingly unlucky and a bad omen.  To avert evil, gather salt and fling it over the right shoulder into a fire with the left hand.  Yes, I do it just never that specific.

My mother believes in a custom that if you put your pajamas on inside out you weren’t supposed to take them off and turn them right side out, but to just keep them on.  I know that you’re not supposed to mend a dress while you’re wearing it (as in stitching up the hem) or evil and malicious reports will be spread about you. (so says Lady Wild’s book)

One of my superstitions is I have never lit a cigarette off of a candle. To do so is bad luck.  I heard that when I was in my twenties.  I also don’t blow out candles, but clap them out.  That came from my study of the craft for Irish novels and references not disrespecting the caretakers of the elements and well, it just never left me.

When I sweep the floor, I sweep towards the door and out over the threshold.  That sweeps all negativity out with the dirt.  There is even an Irish blessing framed and hanging in my hall near the door and below it is a broom with the bristles pointing upward. To keep goodness from spilling out.

I’m half Irish and half Sicilian and my Nana once told me that ‘The Jettatura can give you the molokia and you would be harmed.”  To protect against it she gave me a horn with a mustard seed inside.  I still have that horn somewhere in this house.

When we bought our house my father, an ordained Catholic deacon, blessed every doorway and window.  I truly felt that none of us could actually sleep in the house until then.  I had to clean out the negativity from the previous owners, who were divorcing.  That’s a part of my Catholic upbringing, however I also sage the entire house with a smoke sage and I salt my property.  Considering that we were robbed a few months ago I think I need to do it again.

I do remember my son when he was about fifteen years old trying to move a large mirror when he was told not to and it broke.  From that moment on my son had the worst fortune, barely made it out a high school, went to the Citadel and was hazed from 240 pounds down to 145 and looked like he was an Auschwitz victim.  His tour in the Marines left him so banged up he couldn’t stay in and he was injured in Iraq to the point that he’s disabled.  coincidence or not, I’m not one to dismiss it but am also not one to live by that either.

Yet I had a fortune cookie once that had my father’s favorite saying “Keep on keeping on.” I played those numbers on that stupid little fortune cookie and won several times until I lost the numbers.  Coincidence?   Yes.  Or perhaps it’s simply faith.

So, do you have any superstitions?


If you could talk to America ….

Oh my, get ready for a little ranting.  Our country needs a bitch slap.

Just read the headlines.  Here it goes…

Stop killing our children.  Need I say more to the creeps who hurt babies?  Children are innocent and the product of their rearing.  An adult hitting a child is the same as an adult being hit by a car. The power ratio is that far off.  And mothers killing their children–sorry, I can’t wrap my brain around that.

Ban automatic weapons to anyone except law enforcement and the military.  I have fired handguns, rifles, even an M16, and everything in between up to a 50 caliber machine gun.  Granted, for the latter, my targets were laser, but the guns were real and held the same kick or a bit less.  Without body mass power and training, firing the weapons gets out of control easily.  None but the highly trained can truly handle them or have the need.  Why does anyone need an AK47?  They sure as hell don’t need one to hunt animals and if you are, you’re not a real hunter.

Use the court system to divorce, not a hand gun.  Nothing, except defending yourself and  your family should push you to kill another human being to get them out of your life.  There is always another avenue to choose.

Stop producing reality TV shows. They are pathetic. I don’t watch them, any of them. Ninety percent is scripted.  I don’t get the fascination with seeing people show how low they can sink for money.  And really, is your life so terrible you enjoy watching people be vulgar and mean on TV?

Nastiness on the internet.  You are anonymous if you want to be.  If your ‘handle’ on the internet is something like kittygirl204 then you are not being yourself.  I’m not saying that the odd combination you’re often forced to use is bad, but when you don’t sign with your real name, you are playing the ‘I can be nasty and no one will know’ game.  People cause others to commit suicide with cyber bullying, you don’t think being mean will have repercussions?  You are wrong.  Post anything you like but don’t get defensive when someone comes after you.  Just an FYI, if they want to find you, they will.

Congress & Senate.   Get off your ass.  Do something to help America not your back pocket.  America hates you.  All of you. You live the high life, working perhaps six months a year for nearly $200,000, plus a staff budget, plus an entertainment budget… the list is long.  Sequester Cuts have taken a grand from my budget and millions of others who need that cash to survive.  What are you sacrificing?  Not even lunch in the senate dining room, I’d bet.  With that said, we need a squad of military wives (or any head of a household following a budget) to get in there and cut.  We’ve had our budgets strained and piecemealed away by YOU who know nothing about being frugal.  The House and Senate have made it clear in the last ten years (or more) that they don’t recognize unnecessary spending and fraud.  We do.  Honestly, I think the entire government should be fired and some laws rewritten.

From the daughter, wife and mother of US Marines…. don’t make me come up there.

I think we need a revolution.  Anyone with me?


My favorite things….

I’m a loyal person. If you’re my friend, I’ll go to the matt for you.  It’s just who I am.  That said. I’m loyal to certain products.  Mr. Clean for one.  I think I’ve had a fantasy about a bald guy with an earring.  A pirate, in my then, young eyes.  So this is my top five product, movie and gadget loyalties


Mr Clean.  Lysol (old school here, nothing works better on bacteria) including the blue toilet bowl cleaner. It gets out hard water stains.  End dust; Cleans and shines with less elbow grease.   OxyClean or dishwasher detergent, I can get any stain out with that stuff.

Personal grooming products.  L’Oreal color is the tops and I’ve tried all on the public market.  All.  I won’t mention the professional stuff, since you cannot buy it without a license, but know there is a difference.  It’s why you pay more to have it done in a salon.  Add to this list Bare Essentuals make up.  It feels like nothing on your face and in the deep south, ten minutes on a hot day and it’s a total waste of makeup except for BE.  Hempz body lotion. Yes, its made from cannabis, an untapped resource, imo.  It’s the bomb for moisturizing. I can feel the lotion still working when I’m in the shower!  I’ll be trying the shampoo and conditioner this week.  The last two are Nectafirm.  It’s a dermatologist product and I wish it came in gallons.  It firms and smoothes the neck better than anything I’ve tried.  City Lips. It’s a lip plumping and it works, but bet prepared for the price tag.  $35 in some places.

Gadgets: my Electronic cigarettes.  I haven’t quit completely but I have cut down to about 5 cigs a day. I had quit. Actually I’ve quit four times, but don’t let anyone tell you the E cig will help you quit smoking. It won’t.  I could go right back in a heart beat and its only will power that keeps me on the electronic and breathing easier.  My advice, try a disposable for a couple weeks to see if you like it.  Then, get some cartridges and refill with the liquid.  it won’t be economical without refills.  the market is raising the prices.

My new Hamilton Beech Scoop coffee maker.  It makes super hot coffee in ninety seconds.  Can’t beat that.  No K cups, no stagnant water in a tank and cleans up easily.   I’m a coffee snob, so it’s the best for me.  I’m not into making more trash just for a cup of Joe.

My washer.  I know I know, a stupid choice but I have a large capacity Kenmore and if you need to beat clothes clean like my husbands, this is the machine.  It has three agitators.  One tip; I bought the display model that had a dent in the side for $400 less than its sale price.

Google Nexus.  I received on for Christmas when I could not get a book I wanted to read in print.  That just angered me too much and Bob gave me the Nexus. It’s fun to play on but for anything more, not so much.  Reading a digital book is the same as reading a print one, the pages clear and turn with a swipe.

Soda Stream. Yes, that one.  It’s great. Every flavor you can imagine and it works well.  We no longer have bags of cans for recycle and that you can make any flavor is just fun. They have a diet Orange like Crush but all the SS diets sodas are made with Splenda.  A huge plus too me.  I can’t have aspartame.  It makes my joints hurt.  My son Zack just likes the fizzy so he has a blast.  They also have a pink grapefruit that tastes like Fresca.

When it comes to favorite top movies, I had to think about this.  What movie will you watched repeatedly?  For me it’s The Goonies, Dead Again, Kingdom of Heaven, Practical Magic and just about anything Supernatural.  I was a Stephen King fan in my younger years so I think his work instilled that love of the weird and strange for eternity. Thanks Stephen.

Got a top five?


The Power of Words…

When I first learned this I was about 13, in the back of the family station wagon and under a blanket reading Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.  I would have been in huge trouble for that, not for reading, but the subject matter.  It wasn’t the book a sheltered Catholic girl should be reading, however, it scared the crap out of me.  Really scared; so much that I had to stop, tuck it away and think of something else.  Quickly.  That’s when I realized that the author’s words were so powerful they terrified me.  I didn’t know if I could finish it.   I asked myself, “It’s a book. I’m scared of a book?”  As it is now, I understand that the way it’s written on the page, (i.e. printed) that had me breathing hard, sweating a little and thinking ‘ Oh please let good win over evil.”

It was my first King novel and wasn’t my last.  Some I couldn’t read they scared me so much.  I consider that a mark of excellence.  If the author can bring me to a tense state, then yes, they know the power of their words.  When I began writing, I remembered that childhood moment and it made me want to learn how to recreate that too.

My mom is a huge mystery fan and panics when there aren’t at least four unread books in the house.  I’m not that bad, but then again, I write them so there is a happy medium in there somewhere.  I have varied taste.  It depends on my mood, my current interest.   Last year I read almost all of the PJ Parrish books.  I love comedy and adore my pal Rhonda’s Finley Anderson Tanner series.  If I want a thriller, its Preston and Child, and if I want to read a historical, I immediately go for Connie Brockway, Jillian Hunter or Teresa Medeiros.  They have never failed me.  Oh, and neither has Stephen King.

So, readers… anyone give you that reading jolt?


When you need to recharge…

Recharging, gathering your wits and aligning them in a row so you are productive, is different for everyone.  I think it has to do with how you were raised, or rather, how you saw others around you.  I, for one, cannot relax in my own house for the simple reason that I’m never bored.  Therefore I never at a loss for something to do, or needs to be done.  I can always find something that needs to be done.

Like my mother, the apron is ON all the time.

Given that, I leave to really recharge.  This year, I’ll be going to a sunny Florida beach for a family reunion. It will be fun in the sun and lots of take out.  The one rule, God love my mother for this—is that there is no big cooking.  So it’s a week intended to completely relax.  The toughest thing I do is maybe wash a load of beach towels and rinse sand off chairs and shoes.

I can’t always take a week off, but up until a few years ago, I took off for Romance Writers of America to spend time behaving like a real writer at a conference but truly, I was there to see my peeps.  Oddly, that one week for me alone at RWA costs about the same as a week in Florida on the beach, food and sundries included for my family.  When I need a short term recharge, I spend a couple hours in our pool or my never fail safe guard–a good book.

Have a great Memorial weekend everyone!



The book that inspired…

Oh let’s jump on the Way Back Machine with Sherman and Peabody.   

Too dated? 

My career started pre-internet, so I don’t think I’m that off track.

I was a licensed Cosmetologist for 13 years.  Writing was out of left field for me.  I’d never written a word unless forced.  I was the mother of a 3 year-old and a newborn and Id organized myself into complete boredom when I’d picked up my first romance novel.  I read hundreds but with one novel, I was on page five or six and kept asking myself, ‘when is the description of a show boat going to end and the story going to start?’  That I even asked that question generated more and I believed I could do better.   Ha.

I still consider it arrogant of me to believe I could pick up a pen and be good enough to be published.  But then, I never considered being published at all.  That’s not why I write.  At that time in my life, my idea of a writer was scratching out on parchment by candle light in some cold dark apartment.  money was never a factor.  I just wanted to learn and studied extensively any how-to book I could find.  We were living in Okinawa Japan then and I wrote for any magazine, newspaper and TV guide who’d accept my work.  A few of those sales paid for the manuscript shipping cost to the US. 

It took me three years to write that first book.  It was rejected six times and rightly so.  It was so loaded with everything I loved about romance novels and vastly over written.  But it taught me how to write.  Believe it or not, a couple rejections were encouraging.  I was already onto the next story, and wrote My Timeswept Heart, a historical time travel about a Sgt Maj.’s daughter who travels back in time to end up with the Continental Marines of the Frigate Navy.  I should add that my fellow writers in the Okinawa Writers Guild thought I should forget a time travel and write a straight historical romance.  They insisted that a publisher would not buy a paranormal book from an unpublished writer. 

Needless to say, I didn’t listen to that piece of advice.


Owning my flaws… let me count the ways

Oddly I think I had fewer flaws that bug me when I was younger.  Does that mean I’ve just grown into them?  Or am I just more aware of them now?

My wise father has always said, “We are all a work in progress.”  We learn constantly about ourselves and the world.  You can’t disagree with that.  One has to recognize, accept and learn from those flaws but only if you want to improve yourself.

I grew up in a clean house; therefore I clean mine constantly to keep that high level.  I clean as I go.  It’s not a flaw but a habit learned from mom.

So what’s the difference?  A flaw is detrimental.

I have a temper.  I’m the ONLY one in my family with it, too.  Really.   I’ve had to bite my tongue so much over the years I shouldn’t have one anymore.  During my husband’s Marine career, I didn’t voice my opinion much because often it was contrary to USMC policy.  I am the daughter of a Marine Colonel and had ‘what you do reflects on me’ hammered into my brain, so I know the consequences.

Being aware of my temper forced me to step back often, do the ‘count to ten before you speak’ or meditate, stuff like that.  I’ve tried to meditate but my mind is like a pinball machine, shooting from one topic to another.  I have ADD and consider it a flaw.  To balance that, I need lots of notes and reminders.

I could have been an addict.  I get obsessed with a subject sometimes.  I’ll pour over books, movies, documentaries to learn all I can on one subject.  I’ve done this with jewelry and candle making, perfume, pottery… well, you get the idea.  The thing is, I learn it all, and then I’m bored with it, set it aside and rarely go back unless it generates a novel.

I feel very strongly there is a standard in having a writing career and just being a decent human being. If you cross it, I will write you off.  Ethics and professionalism have a high moral value to me.  When a colleague reported to me that she and several writers were auditing a major publishing house, I printed that fact in an Op Ed piece.  Sans the names, of course.  She was auditing my publisher and the CEO called me, wanting to know the names.  I refused and if he had pursued, I could have gone to jail.  I would have done so gladly too.  So you see, I’m loyal to my friends.  When it comes down to basic need, the people in our lives are the only thing that matters.  I raise my sons to ‘surround themselves only with people who treat you as you treat them.’ Ditch the rest.  Life is too short.

With writing, I lack confidence in my work.  That wasn’t always the case but it seems the longer I’m at it, the more I see the flaws in my writing and want desperately to correct them and be better.  I’ll go back to the basics until I recognize that I already know this stuff, proving again my lack of confidence.  It’s a waste of time and effort and lately, I’ve managed to see if before I go off the reservation.  I’d like to blame the death of my friend and editor Kate, but that’s not all of it.  Add in menopause with its accompanying depression that just pisses me off, and that makes for a hot mess.  I hate disappointing readers.  I know I have.  They are waiting for a book that will likely not be published unless I do it myself.

To counteract this, I need a challenge.  A mental challenge.  Writing a historical– something I haven’t done nor read in 10 years– is it.  It’s slow, regaining the ‘voice’ is the toughest but I had to accept that the writing will never be the same because I’m not the same person.  When I reach the point that flowery descriptions don’t make me roll my eyes, I’ll be there.


when readers chime in….

I love hearing from readers, good or bad.  I’ve been fortunate to get terrific reviews, with the exception of a couple out right attacks.

The bad comments I take with a grain of salt for the simple reason I’ve experienced many where I know for certain they didn’t read the book or they read it so fast they didn’t catch the tell tale clues.  My books are not perfect by any stretch and I’m okay with that.  I’ve been at this for 20 years and I’m still learning.

Regardless, reviews are subjective opinion and you can’t please everyone.  Once a writer gets over that, it’s easier to take the harsh ones.  No one wants to be criticized but that’s the way of a writer’s life. The writer is putting their hard work out there for you to be entertained. If they don’t do that, they fail.  I’m the writer who always wants one more look at the manuscript before it goes out.  I worked a month ahead of my deadlines for just that reason.

Also, before I was published I worked with a critique group of mostly military personnel and they were brutal.  My skin grew thick quickly. They forced me to rethink and revise.  I owe them more than they ever realized.  I love it when a reader ‘gets it’ and this happened with my last book, Damage Control.   The reviews weren’t great but a few got my theme through the story.  Ah well, can’t win them all.

I think my advantage is I learned early, with my first couple novels, that once I give it to the editor, it’s not mine anymore. It’s theirs to edit, market, slap a cover on and sell.  It’s out of my hands and this is the big part, Writers have NO control after that.  They might talk a good game, but it’s the editor and marketing who control the release of a book.  I sank a lot of money into promotion that it did little to no good.  Being burned a few times keeps me scorch free.  Besides, they don’t pay enough for me to promote much, trust me.

When a reader sends a note about loving my book, it’s a boost.  Writing is solitary and it gets lonely at the keyboard.  A note is like chatting with a friend I’ve missed, a kindred spirit.  We revisit the story since by the time the book is released, I’m deep into the next one.  Right now, that’s a historical set in 12th century Ireland during the Norman Invasion.




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