Off to RT…

Finally! Packed and ready to go. We’re leaving here at 6:30 tomorrow morning and should be in St. Louis around noon 🙂 I can’t wait to finally be there and see everyone. Not to mention pack in as much adult conversation as possible!

Much blogging when I get back!

Our first playdate…

Brianna and I attended our first playdate today. At Chuck E. Cheese of all places 🙂 It was fun, there were 6 moms there total, 3 babies and 3 toddlers. The other two babies were both Brianna’s age- one two weeks older and one two weeks younger. She was absolutely enchanted with the other babies although they didn’t want anything to do with her LOL. She wanted to play and would sit facing them and be just chattering away and grabbing their hands. They pretty much ignored her 🙁 She, however, is a resiliant child and amused herself by staring at the ceiling light. Actually, if you’ve ever been to a CEC, you know there is plenty of light and sound to entertain even the most unimpressed of babies.

From our new experience I discovered several things about my daughter. One, she is the cutest baby ever. The other two didn’t hold a candle to her. Two, she is pretty advanced for her age. She is sitting independently, crawling, and if I prop her up, she can stand without weeble-wobbling all over. Three, she’s a sympathetic cryer. The younger baby started wailing for his bottle and after about 30 seconds of that, Brianna decided that she too must help plead his cause. It was pretty freaking adorable *g*. And four, my child has the most biased mommy in the world. Of course I think she’s perfect. She’s mine 😉

It was nice to get out and socialize with other women who can understand my daily frustrations. And so neat to be able to compare notes with moms of babies Brianna’s age. We will definitly be attending more playdates. And I’m sure that Brianna’s extraordinary charm will melt those other baby’s icy hearts.

Maili told me to…

So I did. Maili gave instructions for book hopping on her blog. I’m such a follower (not really, but I can pretend) so I’m going to do it.

Directions:

1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 — first sentence
3. Book 2 — last sentence on page 50
4. Book 3 — second sentence on page 100
5. Book 4 — next to the last sentence on page 150
6. Book 5 — final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to “cheat” to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources
10.Post to your blog.

This morning, I wandered to my bookshelf and pulled books randomly from the EC section to do one Ellora’s Cave entry. I also had five books sitting next to my chair waiting to be read so I used those for my second entry rather than pulling from my bookshelf. I didn’t cheat, just entered them as I found them.

Ellora’s Cave:

“Trust Me!””The bedroom is fine.” He replaced his hand with his lips and kissed her stomach, working his way down. Nothing to do about it now, except enjoy the day. And they never looked back.

1. Power Exchange by Madeline Oh
2. Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty
3. Lover’s Talisman by Ashleigh Raine
4. Paradise Awakening by Jaci Burton
5. Waiting For It by Rhyannon Byrd

From my TBR pile:

She seemed to float above the ghostly evening mist like a menacing beast rising from the primeval ooze.The police spoke in quiet voices among themselves and treated Rashid with wary courtesy, as if they weren’t convinced he had no part in whatever crimes had been committed but had no wish to offend a man with wealth and influence. He groaned, which cause several female heads to swivel in their direction. He looked at the stack of newspapers for a moment and then reached for The Times. “I won’t,” he said fiercly.

1. Sahara by Clive Cussler
2. The Veiled Web by Catherine Asaro
3. Derik’s Bane by Mary Janice Davidson
4. Lie By Moonlight by Amanda Quick
5. Full Pursuit by Jasmine Cresswell

How to lose a reader in 10 days….

If you have disdain for what you do, but are getting paid to do it, should you tell the world how you feel or should you keep your feelings to yourself?

Here’s an example: Before I had Brianna, I worked as an Occupational Therapist with adults with mental illness. First in the community and then in a state hospital. I’m sure most people would agree that it is a professional job. And that I should have conducted myself as such. I wonder how my employer would have viewed it had I publicly, loudly, and repeatedly stated how what I did was a waste of time, the patients were just fucking crazy anyhow and really, are they going to change? What if I’d said I was just in it for the paycheck, yeah, it’s an entertaining job but it’s not like I’M going to make a difference. But hey! If you’re a potential employer, you should consider hiring me anyway because I’m sure it would be different at your place of business. I’d be much more professional and take things more seriously there. I’d do my hardest to convince people that our tax dollars are going to a good cause and that health insurance companies that it’s not a waste of their money to pay for someone to be hospitalized there. I promise, that’s what I’d say if I worked for you. But since I don’t work for you, I’ll tell you- it’s a waste of time and effort. Save your coin.

Now, before I go any further with this blog entry and someone sends me offended hate mail, let me just emphasize how exaggerated and made up the above example is. I loved my job and was good at it. And I’d like to believe I really did make a difference. But moving on…

My example is, to me, the equivalent of a romance author- or an erotic romance author- trashing their genre and/or their publisher across the internet and at public functions (I’ve already blogged about the appalling behavior witnessed at Celebrate Romance). Okay, maybe you don’t think you’re writing a literary classic. And chances are, it might not be shelved with William Shakespeare’s work. But does that make it any less of an artistic, creative endeavor? Does that mean that you should dismiss all works of romance, erotic or otherwise, as “fluff” or “purple prose” and suggest that they are easily forgettable? I’m sure that some of your peers out there would take offense to that.

Is a book, whether its romance, poetry, or classic literature, so easily dismissed as forgettable if it has touched the imaginations, the heart, and the emotions of its readers? And if you, as an author of that genre, are saying it’s forgettable, than you are insulting me, the reader, who thinks it’s infinitely not. I have read books in every genre that made me cry, made me think, and set my imagination to soaring. Perhaps they weren’t on par with Mark Twain but they were just as important to me. And besides, as Eloisa James said in a speech, an entire reading life of Mark Twain would be boring beyond belief (loosely paraphrased).

Writing is a form of creative expression and, as such, how people view the finished project is entirely subjective. That’s why trusting a review can be a sketchy deal. But I am appalled when an artist can lump all works into one category and suggest that they are easily disregarded. It insults not only the artist’s peers but also the patron’s who have paid money for that art. And it makes potential consumers take a step back and wonder why they should invest money in something that the artist herself doesn’t believe in.

Trashing your genre just isn’t good business. And it isn’t very professional either. I doubt any publisher would thank an author for creating that kind of negative publicity. And I have to wonder if they wouldn’t think twice about further contracts as well. I wouldn’t expect a potential employer to hire me- or a current employer to extend my stay- if I keep telling people about the “fruitcakes” I treat and what a waste of time it is. Of course, for me it falls under ethical conduct. I can’t imagine that the writing world should expect any less of a sense of professionalism from its “employees” and it wouldn’t surprise me if more publishers don’t go to a behavior/code of conduct clause in their contracts as I understand some, such as Harlequin already have. And why shouldn’t they? It seems that some authors need a little more incentive other than love of craft, desire to represent their publisher well, and belief in their and their peers’ work to limit what they say in public.

When I see behavior such as this, I’m saddened. And I know other readers of the romance genre don’t always take such opinions lightly either. We want to read the work of someone who is proud of what she- or he- writes and who takes pride in the effort, creative abilities, blood, sweat, and tears that went into crafting a finished product that they are terrified- yet excited- to send into the world. We want to read the work of an author who will defend the genre against naysayers and those who think it’s only for lazy housewives who eat bon bons in their trailers. We don’t want to read the work of someone who’s joining in with the naysayers- and sometimes being heard even more loudly. If this isnt you, well, feel free to shout about it across the internet but don’t be surprised if your books aren’t the first on my to be bought list and your name isn’t the first on my lips when it comes time to make a recommendation.

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