I Suck At Juggling

I could blame last week’s lack of post on technical difficulties or a ghost in the machine (now I want to watch I, Robot) but truly the fault was human error.

This human to be precise.  I spaced that it was Wednesday.  I had my 40+ hours at the Evil Day Job, writing, an out of town guest and my schedule just heaved itself out the window.  Wait. *I* threw it out the window.  There, took responsibility like a big girl (have to if I’m going to wear the BG panties).

I suck at juggling.  Not a new discovery but something I need to be reminded of periodically.  I know there are people who are writing, working an EDJ and taking care of home and they aren’t flinching.  I am not one of them.

I whine, swear, wish I had wine, and gnash my teeth trying to get it all done, and I still come up short.  I can live with the fact that I cleaned the bathroom on Monday, but the kitchen will have to wait until Thursday.  I can even operate at work on less than three hours of sleep (though by 2pm I’m a bit of a whack job laughing at my own jokes).

But I can’t be that flexible with my writing.  It all feels like suck and I can’t half or even 3/4 ass it into shape.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m incapable of accepting any less or if I’m still too new to my own process to figure it out.  But I’ve put it on my To Do List to find out.  Which I’m sure I’ll get to … some time this year.

Sasha, who could use a nap

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The Titanic Factor

I got my first official review this week, and surprised myself.  As much as I thought I’d be prepared for it, I was terrified.  I avoided opening it for almost twenty minutes before I convinced myself to read it — it wasn’t like the review might improve if I let it age……

And it was good! Someone besides a friend or my editor, someone who reads TONS of romance books, read mine and enjoyed it.  I was so relieved I cried.  Yes, you read that right. I got all wimpy and weepy and water worked over my first official review.

It’s a very odd feeling for me, not knowing where I stand.  If I knit a sweater that has no arm or neck holes, then that fails as a sweater.  If I bake a pound cake that you have to drink through a straw to enjoy, then that fails as a cake (and it’s gross).  But there’s really no way to tell how people will receive a book.  What seems amazing to me might seem pedestrian to you.  I call this the Titanic Factor.

Many people — dear friends of mine included — claim this movie is the most romantic movie of all time.  The best thing I can say about it is that Kate Winslet looked gorgeous throughout the movie. I only watch it to scoff.  I actually laugh and roll my eyes quite a bit and I won’t even tell you the things I yell at the screen.  But I digress.

I know that not all reviews will be so glowing, and I don’t expect them to be.  But for now I’m going to sit here and hum “My Heart Will Go On” for just a while longer.

Sasha, who wants you to click & read her review:

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Lowered Expectations

It probably says a lot about me that I can’t hear the phrase “lowered expectations” and not think of  an old MADtv skit about a dating company gone horribly wrong.  But this post is not about my inane sense of humor.

Rather, it’s about my writer insanity.  After the euphoria and panic of last week’s HaulAssDraft, I should have sat quietly in my corner and nursed my aching wrists.  Instead, the flag went up that Round Two would be starting and before I could stop myself, I had yelled MEMEMEMEMEME!!! on Twitter.

Sometimes I want to shake myself.

Same rules as last week, and though I’m doing better word count wise, I’m still in danger of tweeting the Tweet of Shame (this time it’s something about having a lint & ear wax fetish). My friendpetitors (I like it!) are kicking my butt. I don’t begrudge them words (after all this means more for me to read!), but I was starting to feel a bit losery (another fine Sasha-ism).

Logically, it occurs to me that all of us have different things on our plate, and therefore the expectations shouldn’t be the same.  A race between a newly legless man and a 7-time Boston Marathon winner *is* still a race, but only an idiot would expect it to be an even race.  (And yes, I did just compare myself to a newly legless man, don’t judge.)  The legless man could finish the race (yes I will beat this analogy to death!), but it’ll be harder, bloodier, and maybe, once he catches his breath more rewarding.

Legless Man Out!


#HaulAssDraft Rd2: 8,472

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The Inaugural Haul Ass Draft

Not to get all woo-woo mystical, but sometimes the Universe just gives you what you need.  Last week I was lamenting the fact that I was trying new words for the first time in FOREVER & I was struggling.

Not even twenty-four hours later, some writer buds tweeted that they were going to do a week long Fast Draft.  The rules were just balls to the wall word count harvesting for a week.  Those of us who could would try to avoid any editing.  And there was the push I needed.

I joined up and the #HaulAssDraft hashtag was born (because I never pass up a chance to swear!) and you can search that on twitter to see how the competition is doing. So far I’ve done 6,588 words since Thursday night, which is more than I’ve done all year on my own.  I will definitely be doing this again.

I’m not sure what the winner gets, but I do know that the loser has to tweet that she’s a dirty, filthy Charlie Sheen lover. *shudder*

Down with ego-maniacal celebs and up with wordcount!



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Switching Gears & Stalling

I’ve been in super Edits Mode since November, and my brain is having trouble switching over.  This is not unlike the time my aunt tried to teach me to drive her stick shift and I spent twenty minutes trying to drive up the street.

The mechanics of what she wanted me to do was clear; however, my execution sucked.  Every time I tried to shift to the next gear, I stalled the car.  Move a foot, jerk to a stop.  Move two feet, jerk to a stop.  That for twenty minutes before I gave up.  For the record I didn’t even make it past the next neighbor’s house.

Don’t worry, the car analogy stops there.  But I’ve been doing the writer equivalent of that since I turned in Light.  Start a story, write a couple hundred word, jerk to a stop.  Start a new story, same.  Return to a WIP from before EditMania, same.

I’ve heard of the sophomore slump for tv shows and albums, but never in any writer circles.  I will admit it: I’m struggling.  It’s almost as if I feel that since I’ve been published, the rough drafts should be prettier and they are to an extent, but they are still not Light worthy.

It’s discouraging, but unlike the car incident, I’m determined to push through.  There is no fuming co-pilot to point out where I’m going wrong.  No incredulous crowd watching who can’t believe I’m doing so badly.  And most importantly, as much as I hate it, there is the safety belt (!) of edits.

Sasha (who’s written 2k new words)

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I Might Be a Tad Over Dramatic But…

It’s been a week since Light has come out.  The good news is that people have read it.  The better news is that no one has gone blind.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m *extremely* proud of my book and feel that I put out the best version of that story I had in me.  But reviews are a fact of life, and they won’t all be glowing.  And when I dislike a book, I tend to go over the top and say that it was attacking me or at the very least I want to file paperwork and demand a life refund.

I’m sure there will be people who are equally as colorful about my work — I like to hold up the fact that I think the movie Titanic is about 3hrs too long and hackney, while many people I know think it’s one of the most romantic movies of all time — I know I have to be prepared.  After the train wreck of an author behaving badly this past week, it just drives the point home.

I can admit that I’m anxious about reviews.  It’s too early for the review sites to get to Light, but with things like Good Reads, I can already see how people are reacting to the book.  So far it’s been mostly positive, but I know at any moment someone could post that I should be launched into Deep Space sans suit and my laptop set on fire.  I’m not looking forward to that moment (well, maybe a tiny bit in the get-it-out-of-the-way sort of way), but I know I can roll with it.


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Release Day: In the Light of Day

Years ago, if you had asked me what I’d say on the day of my first release, I would have had a whole slew of things I would have said.  Including a whole hosts of things I would be doing to celebrate.

The reality is that I’m rather speechless.  I’m not sure what I thought this day would be about, but as much as it’s a celebration, it’s also bittersweet.  After today, Cooper and Jaren aren’t just my boys.  Their journey is not just something that I and a few trusted associates will know.  And now that it’s for sale, I can’t go back and tweak and try to take them in new directions.

It was a bumpy road, but worth it.  I can now refer to myself as a Published Author — and yes I’m considering getting it put on tank so everyone can see. Today was a moment I wasn’t sure would ever come, and I’m excited and anxious and proud….

…and already working on my encore.



In the Light of Day Available Now From Ellora’s Cave:


In The Light Of Day Image


Jaren’s birthday weekend isn’t going as planned. Instead of being in the arms of the man he fell hard for, he’s alone at his lake cabin. With a bottle of wine. When Cooper shows up on his doorstep, all appears right with the world. Until Jaren realizes the real reason Cooper is there.


Cooper didn’t mean to fall for someone he was working a case with. And certainly not a man. Cooper always thought he was straight, but posing as gay lovers to infiltrate a pornography ring had felt all too real. Now he has feelings for the sexy younger man. Strong ones. Just as he’s prepared to drive to the cabin and give Jaren a birthday in bed he’ll never forget, Cooper gets word the criminal they put away has escaped—and is coming after Jaren.


Jaren finally has the man of his dreams where he wants him, but for all the wrong reasons. He can trust Cooper to guard his body, but what about his heart?

Read an Excerpt Here or Buy Now from Ellora’s Cave!


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Forgive the Disorientation

But Daylights Savings time is still kicking my butt.  Yes, I know it’s *one* measly hour, but most people I know, myself included, are still recovering.

Half the clocks in my life show one time, the others appear to have updated themselves and my body is protesting the fact that it is still dark whenever we have to leave for work in the morning.  I know this means that Spring is coming — either this or the allergies would have clued me in — but I could really use that missing hour.  I’m definitely sleeping less than usual, but feel like I still don’t have enough time to get everything done.

I’ve always claimed that some evil villain was using his time machine against me.  Guess that villain is The Farmers of America.



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1st Quarter Check In

I’m absolutely terrified by how fast this year is going by.  It feels like yesterday it was New Year’s Eve and I was thinking shiny happy thoughts for 2011.  To say I’m behind would be a gross understatement.

On the plus side of things, I did turn in my contest winning manuscript which sold (saying this never gets old btw).  The book is in edits and will most likely be off my plate in a matter of weeks.  This is both a blessing and a curse.

What will I do next?  My quest for 310,000 words in my 31st year has stalled a bit…ok a LOT, but I’m planning to get back on that wagon.  I just have to choose one of the billion stories vying for my attention.  As I’m well under 100K at this point, I’m open for all manner of crazy things.

Stay tuned to see what I do for an encore!



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Enemy of the State

I killed Borders, and will soon murder all bookstores.  At least according to my friend I did.

A group of us do a bi-monthly online meet up since we’re spread throughout the country, and talk eventually turned to books.  One is reading ebooks on her iPhone, another had received a Nook for Christmas, and I was waiting for my Kindle to come in.  The fourth accused me of being one step below the Nazis because it was people like me who had killed Borders.  Somehow, her store was closing because I was waiting to get a Kindle.

She honestly believes that people who read ebooks won’t read anything else and though I’ve heard of this, I’d never encountered it.  It makes no sense to me.  Do people with MP3 players never listen to the radio? Do people who have Blue Ray players never go to the movies?  Having access to another format does *not* make the average person exclude other avenues.

I tried to explain to her that I still read and purchase both, that there’s a wealth of things she’s missing due to format constraints.  I tried to explain how ebooks offered convenience readers and a higher royalty rate for authors.  She responded that she didn’t “care about authors” and that I should be ashamed for what I was doing to bookstores everywhere.

I went for blood.  I’m generally a fairly jovial person, but when my temper blows, look out.  The other two later told me it was like watching a scene from Kill Bill but instead of swords I used words.  After I was done shredding her, we agreed to never discuss it again.

I can’t help but wonder how bad it would have been if I told her I’d sold an ebook.  She probably would have accused me of eating babies.


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