Vive la difference!
leucistic peacock - a rarity...
(thanks Doug for the clarification - it's not albino but LEUCISTIC)
and for a good explanation!
A fellow writer was reflecting upon her own peccadillos and idiosyncracies the other day, and she moaned that either she or her writing was just to strange for editors to buy. Not one to bite my tongue when given the chance to stick my foot in my mouth, I suggested she look at her so-called faults and oddities in a different light.
Remember when there was no chick lit
? When a Black author
couldn't sell a mainstream novel, much less a MAN
write a relationship book? How about when a nonfiction book by a journalist
couldn't make the NY Times bestsellers' list? Or when there was nothing but bodice-ripper historicals or category romance in the romance sections of bookstores? There were also few lesbian
novels that made the shelves. Arthur C. Clarke
and William Gibson
were decades ahead of scientific discoveries, and Tom Clancy
had yet to be investigated by the government for having such a vast knowledge of military practices and submarine technology.
A marriage of minds between an author and an editor is like any other relationship - a lot depends upon the timing, and it's not so much as if one or both are perfect but whether or not they're perfect for each other. Preparedness has a lot to do with whether or not a book sells, too. Know your target - you can't hit a target you don't have, according to motivational speaker Zig Ziglar
. So know your subject matter, your Ps & Qs as a writer, the editor or at least the house you're targeting, and above all know yourself. Know what you're willing to do to get what you want, and don't work too hard to gain what you don't really need or want.
Books such as Wishcraft: How To Get What You Really Want
by Barbara Sher are excellent for helping you pinpoint your true desires. Inspirational biographies of people you admire may help you keep what you've acquired once you reach your goals. As one shewd person once wrote: If you want to be rich, take a rich man to dinner and pick his brain. Same goes for writing - learn how 'the other half' lives if you are unfamiliar with how to get what you want. Study the pros. Learn from them.
View things with a new eye - embrace the different until you at least understand it well enough to say 'that's for me' or 'boy, that isn't for me'.
And accept, cherish, and nurture you own unique abilities and talents. Don't try to copy - try to set or raise the bar, to carve you own niche. Your day is coming if you but stick to your dreams.
And have FUN
on your journey. Get a little silly along with serious. Discover what motivates you and practice becoming who you want to be, writing what you want to write. Treasure those who support your vision. Nobody can be a better you...than you.
Blame It On The Move
GAWD, but I hate moving. The move itself is over, but we all feel like crap on a cracker. Worst thing is that our bathroom tiles in the new place aren't set/dried (part of the flooring had to be replaced), so we're having to traipse across the street to use the facilities in the old house. Landlord already has it leased, so he's not happy about this, but I keep thinking what the hell does he expect us to do - crap on HIS lawn and shower in his garage? When ya gotta go, it's like trekking the damned Andes or The Great Wall of China before you find relief.
Don the Handyman reads this blog and wonders why I haven't mentioned him, so I'll do so now. He's been a peach through all of this. We wouldn't even have
the new flooring if not for him, and he's a wizard when it comes to 'making do' with what Landlord supplies him with. Don ran out of tiles in both the mudroom and the bathroom so made a mosaic for both areas where the washer and dryer sit and where the toilet sits. May sound weird, but it works. Not everyone has a handyman who once studied for an English lit degree, so he keeps the place lively.
My mom emailed me this morning a bit out of sorts due to the weather. Today, I personally like cloudy, dreary, drizzling, and cool, because I'm staying home, watching things from my covered front porch in this ancient old house. I'm not unpacking anything, moving anything, or straining myself to be too creative. It's time to recharge both the emotional batteries and the physical body, so screw whoever dares intervene.
Enjoy your day. I'm gonna do some easy multi-tasking and have my java.
The joke of the day comes from Janet:A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife turning back and forth, looking at herself in the mirror.
Since her birthday was not far off, he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday.
"I'd like to be six again," she replied, still looking in the mirror.
On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early,made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the DeathSlide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster... everythingthere was.
Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down. He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's.
What a fabulous adventure!
Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, "Well Dear, what was it like being six again?"
Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. "I meant my Dress Size, you dumb ass!"
The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is going to get it wrong.
Sowwy, menfolk - you know I love you - just thought this was funny.
addendum hours later: oh, okay - I've been sloughing off all day, might as well share some of the funnies:Brokeback Mountain Happy Meal
Slade & Rebecca
My great-grandmother once told me how to name a child - holler their name out the door as if you're calling him/her to lunch, and if it doesn't sound right, try something else. That's sort of how I wind up birthing a character. I have to hear that character's voice, see their image, and discover how they handle a situation before I'm comfortable labeling them.
Today, however, I had some minor surgery done and was so taken with my doctor, whose first name is Slade, that I foresee building something around that name since I've already met the gregarious physician in person. Not that I'd know how to write a doctor, but he may find himself a cowboy, a corporate bulldog, or an engineer. His nurse, Rebecca, has to go in a book, too. She's a strawberry blonde with an equally engaging personality and is so darned nice you can't hate her for being beautiful as well.
I think what I'm getting at is that I meet so many interesting people who already have names that I don't bother with calling them anything else half the time - ha ha. Not like they're gonna mind my borrowing what their parents or whoever call them as long as the spirit is kind, right? Well, okay - one friend did, but only because her name is so unusual she wanted the first time she saw it in a book to be one of her own, as author, but she's been nice about it all. Even though I did take a very 'nice' lady and make her the heroine in a BDSM.
One of my friends sent me this joke about naming kids:A woman walks into the downtown welfare office, trailed by 15 kids ."WOW," the social worker exclaims,"are they ALL YOURS???" "Yep they are all mine," the flustered momma sighs, having heard thatquestion a thousand times before. She says, "Sit down Leroy."All the children rush to find seats."Well," says the social worker, "then you must be here to sign up. I'll need all your children's names.""This one's my oldest - he is Leroy.""OK, and who's next?""Well, this one he is Leroy, also."The social worker raises an eyebrow but continues. One by one, through the oldest four, all boys, all named Leroy. Then she is introduced to the eldest girl, named Leighroy! "All right," says the caseworker. "I'm seeing a pattern here. Are they ALL named Leroy?" Their Momma re! plied, "Well, yes-it makes it easier. When it is time to get them out of bed and ready for school, I yell, 'Leroy!' An' when it's time for dinner, I just yell 'Leroy!' an' they all comes a'runnin. An' if I need to stop the kid who's running into the street, I just yell 'Leroy' and all of them stop. It's the smartest idea I ever had, namin' them all Leroy."The social worker thinks this over for a bit, then wrinkles her forehead and says tentatively, "But what if you just want ONE kid to come, and not thewhole bunch?""I call them by their last names."So how do you wind up with your characters' names, now that I've confessed that I blatantly steal mine?I'll end this with another photo by the same warped friend. She claims this is what REALLY distracted Cheney a few weeks ago...
What can I say?
I despise moving. Always like it once I'm THERE, but...it always rains or snows when I move, even if it's in July. Doesn't help when I plug an electric heater into the same power strip the computer is on - yep, blew the breaker in the power strip. So I get 'puter going again. Then during the move-in, one of the dogs decides to make a break for freedom while the gate is open. Takes me a few hours but I finally find my underwear mixed in with the dog food and the pliers. Don't ask. Oh, and it takes the cable guy (a cutie - and this wasn't his fault) quite a while to hook up internet while I'm waiting to reply to editors. But...we're here. Sort of. Now have to move a few more pieces and clean up the old place, but for all intents and purposes, we are 'home'.
As for the 'little things' we tend to misplace or forget to buy when we move???
The GOOD NEWS is that Just Desserts debuted 1st day of spring with Ellora's Cave. You can read an excerpt here (warning, this one's X-rated, folks, or at least a really hot R) or just gawk at the cover below. Writer bud Sheri Gilmore interviewed me for her newsletter last month. My editors are chatting up the book, and one of the Vice Presidents of the company wrote to say she was reading it and loving it, which is always a great feeling.
This is the last time I'll put the cover up this month - sorry - just had to do it again. (sigh) I have the laundry going here at almost midnight, a hot cup of cinnamon coffee beside me, dogs curled and sleeping at my feet, heating pad draped over the chair and running from my butt up to my right shoulder (moving's hard on this gal), and cheese dip heating in a crock pot for later when The Kids get back from their last trip of the night with furniture.
Have a good weekend, folks. See you soon.
Just Desserts debuts next week!
First, thanks to all of you who responded on the blog or in private email your condolencences regarding my friend Kat who passed away last week. I'm doing well - dealing/coping...and I treasure the times we had together and bless her for touching my life.
The next book I have coming out is set where Kat and I used to go camping and canoeing - a marvelous retreat in northeastern Oklahoma. Of course, my place is fictional, but the ambiance is definitely 'our place'. Just Desserts
debuts middle of next week with Ellora's Cave, and I got the cover today. I'll give you a run-down on it in a few days to whet your appetites. Until then, here's the cover art.
I'm in the middle of a move, so I don't have any writing tidbits or other news for you other than that my Egyptian time travel with Loose Id has been moved to late spring/early summer. Thought it would be out at least a couple of months earlier, since I've had the cover art since Jan 4th, but...alas. These things happen.
Hope all of you have a terrific day and a great weekend coming up. Thanks for dropping by.
And while I'm at it, I'm gonna send my St. Patrick's Day wishes early...
May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two; May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Tribute to Kat Woman
Kathryn, Kathy, Mom, Sis…we all had a special name for her. I called her Kat or Kat Woman, and she was one of two people who I didn’t mind calling me Bob. During our inseparable years, which were plenty, we were the Bob Kat. But make no mistake, Kathy was an individual, and no one else was like her.
Kat often said that she wanted to make a difference. She wanted to leave her mark on the world. I told her only days ago that with or without a passport, she’d left many footprints in many hearts over the past few years. Mine included. She left them in the hearts and minds of the children she taught, including her own son, Brian. If she was anything like she was when I was in college with her, she left her stamp on all of her classmates who were fortunate enough to meet her. She always had a winning smile, a helpful hand, and an encouraging word.
She got her start loving children and working with them inside her own family. I don’t know how many times she referred to Dewayne as “my baby” and the tales she told me of growing up with Karla and Ray were numerous as well. By the time I’d met her, she’d done a lot of babysitting, and she was one of my boy’s first babysitters, certainly the one who made the greatest impression on him. She helped him learn how to swim, helped him catch a tarantula and train the tarantula how to jump rope. Actually it was a piece of string, but the idea worked.
I was able to observe Kat with the elderly as well – her job in Stillwater at the retirement home kept her busy monitoring not only temperatures and pacemakers but attitudes as well. She kept the place lively.
I got into more trouble with Kat than I ever did with everyone else I know combined. Whether it was at the river, at the lake, at home, washing off a car at the car wash, walking down a mostly deserted street – the two of us were trouble magnets, but it was usually fun, and I don’t regret a second of it. I grew up with Kathy – she knew me as well as anybody, better than most. She knew the dark secrets, the longings, the frustrations, all of it…and she put up with me anyway.
Kathy is the first person to stick a Writers’ Market in my hands when I said I wanted to be a writer – only her advice wasn’t what everyone else gave, that nobody made a living at it, that I couldn’t do it, that I’d be wasting my time. Her advice was “Quit talking about it and do it.”
She taught me about personal finances and how to keep a budget; she showed me how to forgive when I stubbornly wanted to hold onto my anger. She nagged me into learning how to test myself when I developed diabetes. She nourished my soul when sometimes I felt I had none.
As for what she liked – Kathy loved children, ice-cream, and great socks. I used to raid her sock drawer all the time when I’d visit her. She liked movies and music…Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel were our constant companions in the 80’s. She loved meeting new people and was rarely in a room with strangers. She loved her family most of all.
Some things you may not have known about Kat: She was a really good graphic designer and wanted to design record albums at one time. She was an amazing seamstress who often made her own clothes and made gifts for other people. One of the presents she made for her sister Karla was a blue jean quilt, using scraps from all the kids’ jeans, including pockets for Karla to put her hairbrush, comb, tanning lotion, and whatever inside.
Kat was a good writer who had some great ideas for both fiction and nonfiction, and only a week ago she asked me to complete a nonfiction book or two for diabetics that she and I had discussed.
Kat wasn’t an engineer, but she built the most worthwhile structures anyone ever could…she built confidence and acceptance, love, commitment, a sense of honor and well-being in everyone she met. Now she is with her baby son who only lived a few days, her sister Karla, and her father, but the lessons she gave will live on.
I may have technically been the teacher when we met, but she’ll be my teacher forever.
I love you, Kat. Thank you for being in my life.
And for those who follow my blog, I gotta post the cat friends one more time in honor of this woman who means so much to me. See you after the weekend...
A Writer's Mind
She’s a writer, alright – Tanya
has informed me that it’s time for a new blog post. Yes, ma’am, it is. So here’s what’s on my mind today.
I have a book that was supposed to be on Fictionwise about 3-4 months ago, and it’s only now up. So I feel I’m in a dilemma – do I solicit reviews on my own next time or rely on the editor/publisher to do this, as they’d said they would do (and didn’t)? I’m new enough at this game that I still don’t have all the protocol down.
Something else on my mind…just talking to myself here, really. I should have worked this out ages ago, but I never thought I’d be writing everything that I am. I’ve decided to write my male/male books under yet another pseudonym, Cash Cole, combining Lyn Cash with Bobbie Cole, but neither of them write m/m, and for some weird reason I thought I’d leave a definite trail of crumbs that led back to each author. Lyn writes erotic romance for women, Bobbie writes mainstream fiction and chick lit mystery and nonfiction. Cash will be totally m/m oriented.
It gets confusing at times, but…not yet. I suppose when the real weirdness begins is when I have books to sign next year at national RWA under all 3 names, which looks quite possible. What would the rest of you do? Or is this really a big deal at all?
I have figured out that I’m in the wrong business—I should have gone into Sex Toys instead of Sex Writing. Check out the Body Bouncer
. Part of me is thinking “Now why didn’t I think of that?” – ROFL
My foray into erotic romance started when I critiqued a friend
’s 1st erotic romance and thought…hmm. I could do this. Not like she does, probably not as well, but I could do this. Her writing is fun, and she seems to have a ball doing this, so I’m gonna give it a try.
When my own life circumstances were making me nuts, I tried chick lit mystery. I’d had a friend who wanted to kill her husband by putting peanuts or peanut oil into his meatloaf. I spent like 3 hours trying to talk her out of it (and did) after he tied her up with the toaster cord one night and kidnapped their 2 daughters for a couple of days. I was also helping a friend repo cars whose owners were delinquent on their payments. Now this was a real stretch for someone who grew up a princess as I did. One of us holding the gun, another holding the cell phone, both of us having to think fast on our feet. The first repo (I’m nearly 6’ tall to her 5’), I had to drive the repo car since it was a big Lincoln and her feet wouldn’t reach the peddles. Plus I couldn’t squeeze both boobs and both legs into her compact car because the steering wheel wouldn’t move. So there I was scared to death and wondering if I could get that Lincoln back to the car lot without being shot, knowing the trunk was full of hot stereo equipment the guy had (I did let him take it out eventually – but we had to understand that he was the one behind on his payments and that I was only doing my job). Anyway, I poured all of my frustrations into a chick lit mystery called Lethal Lasagna
, which is in New York at present being evaluated. Lethal Meatloaf just didn’t cut it as a title. [And, yes, other books for the series are partially written, such as Killer Kabob and Treacherous Tiramisu.]
I wrote about 50 confessions
during a time when I was hearing all kinds of strange stories from friends and acquaintances. You know what I mean, right? Sometimes people just gotta talk. Then I would pick up tidbits just eavesdropping, without meaning to, mind you. So when a woman was talking about her neighbors (the man had died, and the widow was grieving, of course) and mentioned that they’d been trying to conceive via invitro fertilization, pervert here thought…wonder what she did with all of that sperm in the sperm bank? Thus was born “What Do I Do With My Dead Husband’s Sperm?” Yeah, I know. Sick. But it sold.
Then there are stories that come from out of nowhere. That’s what happened with Leaving Mama
, my first mainstream coming out with Samhain Publishing
in May. (It’s listed under Coming Soon
bottom of page – by Bobbie Cole.) A middle-aged woman and her two older daughters are charged with Gran’s last will and testament. Violet wants to be buried in Minnesota, when the family lives in Oklahoma. Once they get there, they realize why—Gran had a second family there that none of them knew about. Anyway, the casket slides out of the rented hearse onto a rain-slick highway, the oldest daughter has a massive stroke at the gravesite, and family matters go south from there.
So when someone asks me where I get my ideas, I really am pretty dumbfounded for a bit. How do you explain something like a writer’s mind and how real life cuts across their fiction? How do you convince them that you feel it’s okay to destroy your enemies and praise your loved ones without actually shining a spotlight on them and saying “This is So & So”? I’ve tortured one poor bastard in so many ways it’s not even funny. I’ve given him the clap, made him ugly, turned him into a killer. All because he pissed me off pretty badly. I’ve also put one girlfriend who has been through the proverbial wars with me as heroine, nurse, caregiver, Cinderella, and “the voice of reason”…she’ll find herself in many books in one form or the other. I like her socks. I need to do something with that some day.
And that’s what’s on my mind today. If you don’t like it, blame Tanya – lol. Remember, too, "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." I try to keep that in mind as I write.
Thanks for sharing your own thoughts, and may the muse treat you well.