It's been difficult for me to tear myself away from the television the past few days. I've been worried about a fellow writer, but heard earlier via email from another friend that she made it out of the gulf coast in time to avoid Katrina. She and her family are fine, and she has her laptop & work with her, even though they have no electricity where she is. Her house back on the gulf is under 7' of water, but she's safe.
I've heard so many excuses lately as to why people don't write, and I feel for these folks. Really, I do. But writers' block, ill health, acts of God, and unforseen circumstances can't kill our creative spirits. We aren't in charge of the things that happen to us, but we're able to act instead of react when things don't go our way. I can't help but smile when I think of this lady, because I know her spirit, her determination, her vivacity and her passion for her family, her writing, and life in general. Sheri will be back with a vengeance that Katrina can't squelch or bury. I pray that each of you reading this will be infused with a new zest for your craft, that your soul will burn for new life during hard times. No matter what your situation, there will always be someone worse off that you can help, someone ahead of you who may grasp your hand and say 'here...let me
help, and you can return the favor sometime when I need it most'.
Start your week off with a free and happy spirit if you can. Tell yourself that you can do whatever needs to be done...not just something, but what needs to be done. (Thanks, Mom, for that unsolicited bit of advice all those years ago.)
...and happy writing,
Mama's Quilts ~ Seeing The Whole Picture
Diabetes runs strong in my family, and my maternal grandmother went blind a little earlier than expected. Her passions were reading, funny movies, and sewing. We could get her books on tape and take her to movie theaters (as opposed to having her watching something on television). But with the sewing--she was on her own.
One of the things that often 'needled' (for lack of a better word and not really intending a pun) those who received her handiwork was that she loved drab olive or deep forrest green as a landscape on which to place other colors. Sometimes she'd choose a denim blue. I never complained, because to me every quilt square meant something--I knew who had worn that shirt or dress before it was cut up into fabric for a blanket, but there were others in the family who flat hated her choice of colors and didn't take into consideration the time and effort spent on Mama giving them something she made. They saw only the background and not the details. They didn't see the whole picture.
Then I found out while talking with her that everything else in her quilts stood out by contrast when she worked with greens and blues. She was better able to see the vibrant yellows or reds or other colors she used when they where on a flat-colored background. In retrospect, I applaud her for even trying when she could barely see to stitch.
I catch myself wondering why my stories are often set in ordinary, even mundane, backgrounds, every-day settings in which my main protagonists jump to life when presented with other colorful characters or scenes/situations that seem out of place. The fact that John Grisham has lawyers or Tess Gerritsen uses the medical field as props against which their stories are set...just speaks volumes when I think back on Mama and her quilts.
Every good painting needs a canvas --size, background, shading, use of light all matter. Every good story needs the same, for instance, a setting that doesn't overpower the characters who must
come to life and generate interest. Stories need contrast, conflict, design, all of which capture a reader's imagination.
Each author paints a word picture with their own unique brush stroke and colors, and whatever we use has to come from within, for if we're to develop our voice as writers, we can't be copycats--we have to use what we
own and develop that talent before we can be heard.
Next time you're stuck in the details, try stepping back and taking another look, grasping what you envision as a whole. Maybe finishing the story won't be so difficult if you see that this part of it is out of focus, too large for the canvas, or too small to complete the final product.
Perhaps you have more than one story, more than one book in what you're attempting. I'm guilty of letting secondary characters take over, so trying to frame what I have written isn't always neat and tidy, and I have to whittle things a bit, save some of my material for other books.
Then again, I've been known to face the opposite problem--what to me is a brilliant kernal with which to start but major difficulty developing the story so that it is complete (no contrast/conflict, not enough emotional intensity--a bland background). Those works resemble so many unorganized specs on a vast wasteland where nothing connects until I step back and reevaluate where I want the story to go.
Mama has long since passed away, but her lessons linger, and I am forever grateful to her for helping me see the whole picture. Now it's up to me to develop the skills to work on background or details, whichever calls for the most attention.
Ann Wesley Hardin
Ya'll up for a little blog tag this weekend (and maybe into next week)? I have a friend with a new book out and a website that isn't cooperating. Been there, done that, have the ugly tee-shirt. So this weekend, I'm gonna talk her up to you. Coffee, Tea, or Lea?
has a sexy, federal air marshal hero, a spunky heroine, and the quirkiest family imaginable.
Author Ann Wesley Hardin really is
related to gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, by the way - I should know. I did her genealogy several months ago. Ann's writing has the same intensity her ancestor displayed, with an equally irreverent sense of humor and scalding sexuality.Coffee, Tea, or Lea?
is a stand-alone book that follows the adventures of this particular heroine's best friend's in Layover
, both of which deal with Ann's love of flying. You won't be missing anything story-wise by reading them out of order, you'll just miss out on a double dose of fun, sex, and romance.
Visit Ann's website when it's back up and running at http://annwesleyhardin.com/
, and until then visit her publisher Ellora’s Cave
to purchase a can't-be-missed, well-worth-your-while read.
I give it a big Sunny Lyn recommendation.
Sun in Virgo
My mother has a birthday in a couple of weeks, and I can't help but question whether or not I'm truly her child. She's everything I'm not - craftsy to my crafty, neatnik to my slob, prim & proper to my laissez-faire
. My "to do" list, were it toilet paper, would set me until January. Yet one of the lessons she's taught me is that it's much easier to accomplish what I want
to do when (and God I dread this phrase) "what needs
to be done gets done".
I pushed myself hard in August to beat deadlines, but there is still one goal I haven't reached, and there are only a few more days in which to do it. The thought of that one project has made me ill, so today I took the day off. I played with the pets, scoured the bathroom (ya gotta be desperate when you use that
as an avoidance tactic), washed dishes, did laundry, and took naps. I know that when I go back to that project that has turned me inside out that I can accomplish it. Why? Because I've done "what needs to be done" years earlier.
Grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. Reading, writing, listening. All of those are in my writers' toolbox, waiting for me to pick them up one at a time and implement them as needed.
Tomorrow, I'll tackle the back room that needs cleaning out, and I'll whip the characters from hell until they beg for mercy. For now, however, I'll rest and not feel guilty, because I know that I've paid my dues and deserve a rest.
A Day In Iraq
Considering everything our soldiers have to go through, knowing that they get sick, tired, hungry, and homesick, this little tidbit really cheered me today.http://www.big-boys.com/articles/armyrillo.html
Beats a day with a sandstorm, huh? [Photo from a friend, the kewl link from Swedish pal Angie The Hippo.]
Major Blessings to all our 'boys' and 'girls' overseas.
Obviously, it's true love. But why?
Have you ever read a book (or your own writing with a subjective, critical eye - yeah, right) and thought...what great prose, love the language, but I'm just not buyin' this?
Motivation. Seems everyone talks up GMC, or goal, motivation, conflict, but the middle child always seems to get the least attention. Goal is a given, for me. If I'm drawn to read or write something, it's generally because there's this terrific set-up, a story that must be told or read. Somebody wants something. *shrug* Goal. That's not so difficult to understand. The biggest question remaining is whether or not they'll get it.
Conflict is also a given. How do we keep our characters from getting what they want? That one's not hard to understand either.
Then there's that middle thang. Motivation is what separates a good tale from a bad, the CSI from a low-budget hack piece. Without motivation, what's to believe? Or am I naive in thinking that readers & viewers want some meat with their action gravy? To me, the why
is every bit as important as the what
, but then I was also the kid who continually asked "why, how come..." and wasn't satisfied until I understood the reasoning behind The Big Deal everyone made over a dish of food, a movie, a book, a play, an argument, a war...
What would Gone With The Wind
have been without Scarlet's desire to hang onto Tara? (I mean, that's one long-azz book anyway, and the book rambled for 1000 pages - apologies to Margaret Mitchell and her fans - so the selfish motivations of the primary character had to carry the thing.)
How about The Firm
, without the protagonist's desire to keep his life, or Atticus Finch's need to remain true to his ethics in To Kill A Mockingbird
"Why?" is the first question that pops into my brain when I'm asked to spend money, time, attention, or an emotional investment. Not because it's all about "What's in it for me?" - but because if I'm to care about a character or a situation, the question simply begs an answer.
Why are you blogging at present? Why did you have coffee instead of a soda or water instead of iced tea last time you took a drink? Because there was a pay-off. Why did you tell a white lie when the truth would have hurt someone's feelings, or why did you tell them the truth rather than spare them? Same thing--somewhere between your truth and theirs was a pay-off, be it good or bad. People stay in committed relationships in which they are miserable. Why? They get something they need out of it, whether it's affirmation that they're worthless without that other person, maybe they don't like making decisions and can't cowboy-up for a confrontation, or because they'll get something later on down the road.
Show me a pay-off, and I'm with you. Even if I don't agree with the decision, make me buy it that the pay-off was there. My redneck roots are showing with that philosophy: If you can't eat it, fight it, or f*** it, then piss on it.
(And you can click on that photo with your mouse to see a larger viewing. 'Proof' that it's true love.)
Dorothy Garlock was once asked what she did when her characters took over a story, and her reply was "I kill them. It's my book."
What I wouldn't give to be able to do that to my two main characters in a current WIP. First time ever that I've encountered the proverbial brick wall when it comes to characters misbehaving and a plot not going as planned. I wanted this damned thing to be funny, and the story just doesn't hit the mark. My fault, not the muse's. Muse has actually been pretty sweet, so I fear the author takes the blame for this one. Still doesn't change the fact that I'd like to take a few pot shots at my own characters.
I think my problem was that I didn't kill them earlier, but they insisted their story be told. So everything else, as in an editor request, a co-author's expectations (the project is for an anthology with a critique partner), and my own pride, have just crashed and burned. The good news is that the editor doesn't mind and just wants a story to fill a niche if possible, the CP is fine with whatever way my mind snaps...er...whips, and I don't put much stock in nursing old wounds anyway. Life is too short to screw with what doesn't work.
I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm writing To Kill A Mockingbird
or A Tale of Two Cities
. Would be nice, but I seriously doubt I'll land on the NY Times Bestseller list any time soon or create a literary monument. Hell, I only last month told my parents that I write erotica. Of course, their understanding of the term is a bit fuzzy, and I'm not in any hurry to clarify for them. But still...I have my aspirations. Some days it's to simply keep from poking my thumbs through my undies of a morning or to get through an intense sex scene without jumping the mailman.
Today, I'll be thankful if I can just understand why I've hung onto this story, to these characters, if I can convince myself that what they have to say may mean something to someone else later.
Better yet, I'm hoping that they mean something to me
during the process and once it's over.
A Little Naughty Night Magic
What do you
do when it's too late to order pizza, too early to go for coffee & donuts, and you're already dressed for bed?
A friend has insomnia--she works crossword puzzles to combat this, because even though she loves the puzzles, they put her to sleep. Another fights her night demons by reading, and so far it's cost her about $30 a month in e-books, which is still tons cheaper than Prozac or Xanex or Effexor. I can't offer you a puzzle here...well, maybe I can at a later date. But for now, I can offer you some books to read that you may order while in your pajamas and that you can read on your palm pilot or computer while you're up and needing something worthwhile to do.
One author is Diane Charles Linford, who has a delicious novel out entitled Handle Me With Care. If you like spooky stories, solid writing, and that touch of paranormal (including dream-sharing and a tarot reading), this one's for you!
Another pal, Amelia Elias, weaves a charming tale in Three Wishes, a boardroom to bedroom story involving a magic lamp and the things that can go on with the help of Gene, the Genie, when nobody is around late at night. How can you not love that water color cover art?
What I like about ebooks is that I can order them on a whim without driving umpteen miles in the heat, I can browse without anyone looking over my shoulder, the bookcover/art work is always fresh as the day I purchased it, and when I travel, I can take my own "library" of reading material with me that weighs mere ounces.
My friend Alexis Fleming
fires up the continent of Australia for readers with Outback Sizzle
, the story of an Aussie cowboy, his meddling mother, and the spitfire that Mum hires to check out his "wedding tackle" to make sure all is working properly.
Okay, so you may not want to go directly to bed...er, sleep...er...whatever after reading these. But you will be glad that you stayed UP!
~ Sunny Lynhttp://authorlyncash.blogspot.com/http://www.lyncash.com/
Mistress Mine ~ Debuted August 2, 2005, Loose Id
The Big O - COMING SOON from Loose Id
Whatever happened to just telling a good tale and leaving the details for imaginative minds?
I still have Reno on the brain as well as talks about the C word... characterization...make 'em real but not too real
What's next for romance writers who are now able to write about "older" heroes and heroines? Can't tell ya how often I heard that it's "okay" to age your characters past the twenties and thirties stages now. A few years ago, it was "okay" to have a heroine that wasn't a virgin. Now, it seems, we've progressed enough to make them old enough to have been around the proverbial block a time or two without dissing their character.
Real people are so much more interesting than anyone we as writers could conjure. I watched one of my "old lady" writing buddies get patted down at the airport a couple weeks ago, and she had the audacity to ask for the male rather than the female security guard do the job if it had to be done and kept them off-balance asking them questions about their job. She was
, after all, a writer. Wasn't much to strip off anyway, considering the heat, but they still made her take off her shoes for the X-ray/metal detector/whatever the hell wand, and I wondered...what next? What's it gonna take for us to have safe air travel again? At the same time, I wondered: how do I get someone like her in print as a character and make the reader feel the richness of a mind that has the wonderment and sparkle of Peter Pan and the sage and sass of Jimmy Buffett?
Then...time for a reality check. What's it gonna take for us to write those older heros and heroines without hacking up a lung cackling at the imagery we'll provide if we write 'em real but not too real?
1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedo's and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Bikinis and liver spots
11. Short shorts and varicose veins
12. Inline skates and a walker
13. Thongs and Depends
The fact that publishers are making
a big deal out of opening up submissions for "older" heroines and heroes just disturbs me on two levels. One, I kinda resemble and resent that "older" tag being assigned. Two, how the devil are we gonna write with the images of the above in our minds?
And let's not forget about gettin' our characters laid! Now it's "okay" to include more sex in our stories. In fact, most publishers are seeking this very element, which...again...makes me wonder just how many ways our characters are allowed or supposed to "do it", and I can't stress enough how weird it is to think of sexual positions and proliferation without considering that one of the bed partners may need to take out their teeth, pull off their hair, or don a prophylactic, despite the fact that they probably had a vasectomy or hysterectomy only years or months earlier. Can't afford to offend the Let's-Have-Safe-Sex-if-We're-Gonna-Screw faction of NY.
Don't even get me started on writing safe sex. If it's fiction, it's freakin' fantasy, people - why the hell if I'm writing or reading something that requires me to suspend my disbelief do I want
to take the time to put my middle-aged muse in the position of helping the hero sheath his wrinkled old cock-a-doodle-do any more than I'd want my heroine to lower the hem of her dress to keep her nips from showing? The Imagery Police would have coronaries. Realistically, there must be a balance, because meeting a 50-60-year old heroine who looks like Cher or hero like Harrison Ford or Kurt Russell doesn't cut it. The point of reading a work of fiction is about fantasy, so everyone is in perfect shape...unless
the story calls for them to be otherwise.
When will it be kosher to simply write about people without labeling them as white or persons of color, without tagging them as "older" or wet behind the ears, without mentioning age? And how about considering them normal no matter if they wear Levis or lace, put their teeth in a jar at night, or call their partner honey
, or schnookums
even at age fifty or above? ~ Depends upon the genre.
On the other hand, to quote The Kid, as you get older, you derive pleasure from different things, and when there's a distinction that must be made, something pertinent to the plot or characterization, you delve into a hedonistic calculus. Like anything in a story, attributes of a particular character are only relevant to a story if the distinction between those attributes and others would be important to another character. If nobody gives a shit how old Molly is (including Molly), then her age is ultimately not important. Things like sexual orientation or proclivities toward certain sexual activities are key features of a character, because in say the context of erotica, they determine a great deal about their potential for interaction and relationships with other characters (as in opposed to in a horror novel in which few people care if demons wear crotchless panties).
Just rambling and wondering. I miss people simply being people, but then if I didn't worry about characterization I wouldn't be writing fiction at all.
Maybe I am
The weekend is approaching, #1 child (only child) is safe at home, the weather is fine, and all I can think about is that I would adore some pampering right now. The stovetop is fried and won't be repaired or replaced until Monday. The printer crapped out, but I do have a friend who has offered to loan me hers (it's sat in the box it was sold in for months in her garage). I've had the most marvelous vacation this summer, yet I feel I already need a get-away plan. Why? Because the moment has come that every author welcomes and dreads. I have deadlines.
A friend sent me one of those "getting to know you" questionairres...you know the kind. They ask you everything from what color underwear you're wearing (what underwear?) to how many keys on your keyring. One question was: what do you do to relieve stress? My answer: bitch, bake, and write. If I'm writing, I'm gonna bitch, and if I bitch, I gotta bake, even if it's just gourmet dog treats for the furry children. [There's also a marvelous no-bake doggy treat for hot weather, in case you're interested. Freeze pup-sicles for them out of watered-down beef or chicken boullion, using rawhides as the "stick".]
Blogging is a marvelous way of avoiding all duties, but avoidance won't pay the bills or win me any favors with the publishers who expect manuscripts delivered on time. So why do we do this to ourselves, even after we've had those vacations?
Because active brains need down time, and somehow following the blogs, reacquainting ourselves with dear friends who don't mind if we're our acidic selves and meeting new ones who are intrigued and intriguing...well, it just relaxes us and helps the ideas germinating in our brains gather nourishment to bloom.
Fall and winter months are my best writing times, probably because I spend so much time weeding and watering, tending ideas in summer. Cooler months are perfect for harvesting those ideas and bundling them into thought bouquets I can take with me and craft.
Guess I'm a late bloomer in more ways than I'd thought.
Happy writing, all...
Who is Vivian Stephens?
I'm a huge Monica Jackson fan. Let's get that upfront. I rush to meet her when I see her signing books, one to see what's up and another to just say hi to a wonderful writer and first class lady. This year was no different.
One of the blogs I read is Monica's, and she recently mentioned in one of her blogs that Vivian Stephens
was overlooked at this year's Rita & Golden Heart awards in Reno, so I thought I'd make mention of it here as well.
Pioneers are always fun to meet and read about, and Stephens was one of Kathryn Falk's contributors when Falk first wrote her best-selling "How To Write A Romance and Get It Published
" that has now evolved into a bit of a longer title and has gone through several incarnations, but it's still the same great how-to book for wanna be romance authors.
There's one chapter in Falk's book that usually (I don't have the new one) deals with the process a book goes through once it is purchased, and this information is good for anyone
dealing with a NY publishing house.Monica Jackson
writes sassy, upbeat, powerful women's fiction with characters that are anything but Teflon - these stick with you. No, I'm not on her payroll or one of her buddies - just thought I'd make mention of her and Ms. Stephens, both of whom have contributed a great deal of inspiration to me over the years.
I've been asked so will post here for all and sundry what Kinky Kruising is all about. It's simply the title of a series of erotic romances I'm writing. Take "Fantasy Island", mix well with "The Love Boat", only raunch it up a few notches, and you get Kinky Kruising. Art work was done by the supurb Scott Carpenter
. You may even purchase KK memorabilia at Lyn Cash’s store
at Cafe Press dot com--the merchandise is for promotional purposes...I get no monies out of this, but if you just wanna give the neighbors who pop in to visit or the office workers who think you have no social life a buzz, sit one of those coffee mugs on the table or desk before them and watch their eyebrows lift a fraction.
If you want to read an excerpt, click over to my publisher's, Loose Id. Of course, if you're really interested in the series, you can find more at my website. Thanks for stopping by today.
Swimming With Sharks
Here's a mind-twister for ya. Bear in mind that the RWR is the Romance Writers' of America monthly trade magazine, which goes to approximately 9000 homes per month, and that Disney is the world-reknowned conglomerate that offers billions of people access to entertainment.Disney artists who are canny can place phallic symbols on their covers in plain view where kids can reach them (this particular video had more than one cover released...you'll see the raunchy ones advertised for sale on E*Bay for around five bucks used and considerably more if new), but a romance author can't have "man titties" (which many poser art covers have now that Fabio's have retired - and damn, I miss that man, sorry). Neither should they have clinch scenes in the RWR unless both (well, okay...unless ALL parties now days) are fully clothed and don't look as if they've just experienced the taste of a Godiva chocolate. I won't even extrapolate on the fact that gay couples are allowed in church but that you won't find them posed for a clinch in the RWR and that the inspirational romances deal with only one particular inspiration.
One of the breast-beating, brow-furrowing topics of conversation in RWA the past year has been whether or not to allow "certain elments" in the publishing business to belong. Well, they should have thought of that before they opened the door for subgenres that only had "romantic elements" years before the erotic romance authors united to form their own chapter. Long story made short = the undesirable elements (publishers who buy & authors who write erotic romance) slithered through the doors despite the snakes garding the gate, and they're about to take over the ocean, which scares the seaweed out of The Powers That Be within the organization.
Don't misunderstand, please--I am a staunch supporter of RWA. I simply wish that the authors who feel threatened by what's under the mermaid's scales and string bikini top would realize that if RWA isn't a democracy, it's an hypocrisy. If you're worried about protecting your children from viewing such things, stick your RWR where you keep your undies, dildos, liquor, gossip, and fears...outta sight, because if you're just wanting to display it on your cocktail table, it's hardly Good Housekeeping or Reader's Digest anyway.
The publishing world is a big ole ocean with lots of waves - to think otherwise is unrealistic, and it's not the ecosystem that's screwed up. If any of us are to survive, we need to swim where we're most comfortable and not spend our hours beating up on the other swimmers, unless we're afraid they're feeding in our waters and we're gonna starve.
Nah. That couldn't be why so many of the prim and proper have their noses out of joint. Un-freakin'-thinkable. Right?
Kinky Kruising: Mistress Mine
By Lyn Cash
Genre: BDSM, Romantic Comedy
Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter
To read an excerpt, visit: http://www.loose-id.com/LCKK1MMex.aspx
When cowboy RC Jones wakes up on a cruise ship for the kinky, he's got just two options: find a way out of his two-week contract, or win over the sexy dominatrix who doesn't believe his story that he's been shanghaied. Determined to get back to his ranch, RC bets April he can seduce her. And if he wins, she has to be his slave. For a whole week.Sometimes giving up control is the best part…http://www.lyncash.com/
TTQ: The Excuses
Considering I've recently returned from Reno, Nevada, home of the 2005 Romance Writers of America conference, and considering all the hooplah over out-going president Tara Taylor Quinn's diastrous reign of the ridiculous, yeah, I do have thoughts on the list of excuses she gave for the fucked-up final night gala where she had "Don't Worry Be Happy" tunes and videos of horrific diasters as a backdrop for the awards ceremony that included 25 years of video and music that had nothing to do with romance. Her list of reasons included needing to devote attention to a Downs Syndrome nephew who needed her attention (can we yank on any more pathetic excuse than that one, considering the child wasn't even born when she was supposed to be tending to business?), her claims that she couldn't depend upon others to do their jobs, and her saying that Nora Roberts, of all people, has lied in regards to what went on behind scenes. [I'd personally rather call the leader of our country a rat-bastard to his face than to even suggest that NR was a liar.]The Excuses:Some things worked against us.1. I had no idea that being president would be so all consuming to thepoint where I had no business being a liaison to a committee.All of my board members were liaisons, some to more than one committee.I was trying to do my share - and the award ceremony seemed easy to me as itwas something I'd been involved with on an intimate level twice before.
2. RWA was challenged this year with many questions coming to us thatwere demanding that we ask ourselves and our members hard questions. Wewere also due to create a new strategic plan which is very time consuming. The award ceremony was not as much of a priority as it should have been.
3. We have been told many times at a national level that we need to be involving those members on a national level who are working hard at a local level so that we can grow our national volunteer base. I chose to use a very dedicated and sharp woman as award ceremony chair who had never been involved on a national level and then I did not liase with her closely enough to give her the confidence and go ahead that she needed to do what Iwas expecting her to do. I did not communicate with her well enough.
4. The script writing volunteer was unable, at the last minute, to write the script.
5. I'd seen work that this production company had done outside RWA -several shows - and all were wonderful. Their contract called for script consulation. As we were down to the wire and they were involved with the theme, I asked them to do the world history parts of the script in the same vein as Same Time Next Year. I asked two former RWA presidents to do the RWA history and the production company was to work in what they sent. And I assumed that all would come together without a hitch. When the script cameto me I sent it on to one of the participants of the show and I heard fromthe chair that she'd read it. I was up to my ears to trying to get through all of the romance definition mail and only skimmed the script. Neither the participant or the chair got in touch with me with problems, but I did not tell either that I had not read the script. I think we all assumed the other thought it was okay when none of us had actually made that judgment.
6. On Friday, Nora approached me, quite upset with the script's content. That was the first I became aware that we didn't have what I thought we had. It was also the first I knew that she hadn't received a script until that time. I assured Nora that we would do everything we could to make things right for her. She wrote her concerns. And I was blessed with RWA members who came forward and volunteered to take the script and fix it. They worked long into the night, as did the production company editing video that I had not yet seen, but that others were not happy with.
7. Saturday after the script was delivered to Nora, she still found things she could not do. At that point there were too many changes and too few hours to fix them all. I could fix part, but not all. I was left with a choice, cut the ceremony except for the handing out of awards so that Nora would not walk out, or go on with the show we had. I spoke with many who were involved with the show and some who were not, and determined that the show was good - and that the purpose was to give the finalists their night. The show had to go on. I was put in a untenuous position - due to my assumptions that delegation was safe - and I have not had an easy moment since.
7. Diane Pershing and Laura Hayden and Cathy McDavid and Alicia Rasley are angels from heaven to me. They stepped in. They did their best - and it was a wonderful job. They cared. They tried. To me, they are the epitome of what RWA is about.
8. I did not read Nora's statement because as I considered the ramifications - announcing to the finalists before their show that the show was inappropriate - did not serve RWA or the purpose of the night. Makingthe statement at that time served Nora. I did not tell Nora that I would make the statement at the beginning of the show. I agreed to say what she wanted me to say when I was asked why she wasn't there. At another point I told a board member that I would make the statement at the end when she threatened to interrupt the show if I did not agree to do so. Again, upon further thought, I knew that I could not do that. It did not serve RWA and my job is to do that to the best of my ability.
9. I deeply deeply regret that the job I am doing to the best of my ability is displeasing so many. I hope that the great things that have been done this year - the strategic plan, opening up BEA to any published memberwho wants to be there, gaining clarity on who and what we are, creating a legislative committee and a writers group liaison position, putting on a wonderful conference, and many many other things, won't be lost in thedisappointment of a less than hoped for award ceremony.
Interpreting The Excuses
What TTQ is REALLY saying:
Excuse #1 – I’ve done a better job before with better people at my side. Really I have.
Excuse #2 – I was too busy to bother with it. Your concerns weren’t as important as the schedule I imposed on myself.
Excuse #3 – I chose the wrong people to work with me this time.
Excuse #4 – The person who volunteered (not me, you understand) to write the script wasn’t available at the last minute. (AT THE LAST MINUTE? – What happened to the entire YEAR?)
Excuse #5 – Again, not my fault.
Excuse #6 – Re-read this again, please. She admits right here that she “assured Nora…”.
Excuse #7 – And please re-read this one where she ADMITS that she lied to Nora and reneged on whatever she said to her.
Excuse #7 (TTQ can’t count – this was #8 in actuality) – I really have nothing to say here so I’ll brag on someone else in the hopes that this throws suspicion off of me for a bit.
Excuse #8 (which is actually #9) – Okay, so I lied to Nora.
Excuse #9 (which is actually #10) – I’m really sorry you don’t like me, that my bullshit wasn’t sufficient.
That said, there is something else to consider. Sorry, but even Hitler had his minions – one person cannot change a world, a nation, a community, a home without help. Ignoring the opportunity to step up to the plate is the same as offering support to a dictator. Yeah, she was a lousy leader, but somebody (bodies) acquiesced and let her have her way too many times.
What I’d like to see are the voting records for those “executive sessions” that were called in order to keep the members from being able to vote until something was already done that they didn’t like (as in when they fired Charis from the RWR). Make everyone involved accountable. Not that I’d like a “Tara-Gate” to rival the Republican party’s skeletons in the closet, but c’mon. Hang her out to dry if you must, but let’s not forget that she did have help. To quote one of the Republicans TTQ so admires, why didn't more of them “JUST SAY NO!” ~ ???