Sunday, November 23, 2008
Seoul, South Korea - 2 years, 1 in the north east and 1 in the south west. The first year we lived at the foot of a mountain that had foxholes on it, the second we were down the street from the best Mexican restaurant in Asia.
The Philippines - 3 separate 1 week vacations. Dirty, slightly dangerous, but quite beautiful if you looked in the right places. The people were wonderful. I bet I could go there right now, a year and a half after my last visit, and there would be people who knew my name and would greet me warmly.
Thailand - a week and a half last Christmas. Agog. Still. Especially with the foot of snow in my backyard. I'm applying for a job there. Living in Thailand would not be a hardship even though they pay peanuts.
Concepcion, Chile - 3 months. The food was amazing, the people were wonderful, the cold was crippling. They aren't big on heating buildings and, contrary to the palm trees, it does get down to freezing.
I've traveled pretty extensively within the US too, but that just gets unwieldy to list.
So where am I going?
Well, I've applied for jobs in Dubai, Chiba Prefecture Japan, and Thailand. I was just looking wistfully at a job in China even though I promised my mother I wouldn't work there after some damn fool sent her an article about and ESL teacher who died under mysterious circumstances while I was in Korea. So far I haven't been qualified for the posts in Morocco and Turkey that have popped up. I applied for a school in Costa Rica, but never heard back. I'm not even sure my email went through. I'd love to teach in Belize, but they, inconveniently, already speak English.
So where do you want to go? Are you the type that always has a bag packed or are you more of a home body? Have any suggestions for places I should look at more closely? Do you think you know a place that more closely resembles heaven than Phuket Thailand? 'Cause I'll go check.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
In the usual pinball effect of my brain, I bounced from thought to related thought until I landed in the glorious multi-ball slot. I started dwelling on the symbolism in my own books. Right now I'm working on the third book in the Arden FD series. Yeah, Arden, my nod to Shakespeare.
Dan is a paramedic and a suddenly reforming playboy. He met Rebecca because she ducked into the station to get out of a downpour. That rainstorm changes Dan. Rain is a nice symbol for new beginnings. Rebecca is an illustrator and watercolorist who has been making fine art because it pays better, but she hates doing it. Her major piece is called "Broken Home" (it's a smashed dinner plate cemented to a board.) Now, about halfway through the story, she is cutting mats and the blade slips, slicing open the inside of her wrist. Not deep enough to do real damage, but a dead ringer for a serious suicide attempt. The art is killing her.
When I chose to have the characters meet because of a rainstorm it was because I got caught in a rainstorm one night while walking home and chose not to duck into the local station. The symbolism dawned on me about a month ago when I dusted it off to finish it. When I thought up Rebecca's major work, I figured it was funny and realistic. I only realized it was symbolic of her relationship with her parents and her fear of giving her heart to anyone yesterday. The cut was something someone I knew in college did. It was a plot device to get Rebecca into the fire station so Dan could work on her just like the rain was a plot device to get her in there in the first place. Now the snow globe she's about to make, that's totally on purpose, but I want Dan to decode it.
If you write, do you intentionally put in symbolism or do you see it later? Or do you never see it?
When you read, do you assume the author created the symbols on purpose or that they were happy accidents?
And if you're interested in the conversation about modern lit being shallow, head over to Amused Authors
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I gotta get over that. Every one has been fantastic. One Ring To Rule has been called a delight and a must read.
"…my emotions swung from crying to laughing and back again." -Manic Readers
"…a strong, sassy style with plenty of sharp humour." -Cocktail Reviews
"…a refreshing story that spells thrills the minute it starts." -Coffee Time
So I'm springing off the walls with that and I decide to send the maligned Three Alarm Tenant to my editor at Lyrical. This book is near and dear to me. Katherine is afraid to give her heart to Jack because he's a fireman and she's already lost a fiance to death on the job. I worry about my husband when he's late and he's not going to a potentially life threatening job. Once I fell in love with Jack, it was only a matter of time before I fell for his buddies and wanted to see them happily settles down with spouses and mortgages too. Book 2 is finished. I'm working on book 3. But back to the story.
I email my editor with Three Alarm Tenant. She emails back the next day and says she wants it. I wonder if I made her cry again. She cried over the ending of One Ring. Then the publisher emails me my contract and tells me she loves me. She's really excited about the story.
Spoingy, spoingy, spoingy!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I haven't looked forward to a book coming out like this for a long time. That's a lie. I looked forward to my own book coming out, but for books that aren't written by me, this one is right at the top of the list. In fact, as soon as I'm done here, I'm headed to her website to preorder that baby.
Seriously, this is not to be missed. Check it out for yourself.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Big Bro and the brand new SIL were married yesterday in a lovely outdoor ceremony with freakishly good weather for Ohio. The bees were in abundance and the minister called Big Bro Paul twice. Big Bro's name is not Paul. The best man's name was Paul. Oops. The florist forgot to deliver the throw away bouquet, so we had to invent one out of a centerpiece. The caterers screwed up and cut the top layer of the cake.
Of course this just gave my sister and I a chance to stand on the side lines and compare disasters from our own weddings. My dad got caught in her dress when he walked her up the aisle, a bee buzzed her flowered head piece in the middle of the ceremony, and she had a little too much champagne on the way to the pictures so she was standing up through the limo sunroof yelling all the way to the reception. I said 'yeah' instead of 'I do," tried to put Guitarman's ring on the wrong finger and we had a cloudburst in the middle of out open air reception.
While we weren't watching, Guitarman convinced one of my nephews to peddle cookies to the golfers on the neighboring course and my brother-in-law plotted revenge for the shaving creaming of his car 18 years ago. He bought 4 packages of sticky notes and we covered Big Bro's black Mustang in hearts, flowers and leaves. I can't wait to see the pictures.
So what's the funniest thing you've seen, intentional of accidental at a wedding?
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So I've been struggling for self discipline lately. Doing pretty good on the food and exercise front, but not so good on the writing front. I got a rejection this week and sent it right back out - then I went and trolled message boards, played games on Pogo and found wonderful new things on You Tube. That's how I found the thing that is making me really happy RIGHT NOW.
4 out of 5 Cowboys Prefer Joe Boxer
This is why I don't get anything done. It's not my fault. There's just far too much fabulous stuff out there!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Before those titles came out I was sweating. Would my little novella get shoved off the list by the new kids? Would it vanish into the annals never to be seen again? Would it ever appear on the publisher's front page again? No, seriously, I worried about all this stuff. If I had a job or kids I might think about something else, but here I am.
But it didn't fall off the list! Joy!
A couple of days ago it dropped to #10. I was shaking in my boots. Not really in my boots. My boots are across the room (they're really cool too. I got them in Seoul and - Oh, off topic.) I wrote a couple of emails and posted an article on Gather and the little novella that could climbed up to #9.
Now I can say my novella was on the bestseller list for a month. A whole month.
I wonder if it can make two!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Until this season. I was doing handsprings when Samantha Carter took over Atlantis and then stunned into immobility when Jewel Staite showed up as Dr. Keller. I love Jewel Staite. She plays characters that I can identify with and Dr. Keller is no exception. She's brave enough to take on the post of Chief Medical Officer in the Pegasus Galaxy, but she draws the line at gross food. I can identify.
When Samantha Carter was ordered back to Stargate Command, I got a little nervous. Stargate is known for knocking off characters and bringing them back -- or not. I mean, geez, how many times has Daniel died? So I've been sweating when they were going to get rid of her.
This week's episode relieved my anxiety a lot. Not only was it a Dr. Keller centered episode, but it established a love triangle with her at one corner. Yay! I can't wait to watch Dr. McKay competing with Ronon Dex. Yay! And it's a love story arc. Double yay!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Daringly Delicious - Leigh Ellwood
a new Dareville short from Phaze Books
Contemporary, BBW, Romantic Comedy
Only $2 eBook download!
Also available in the BBW print collection,
More, More, More! from Phaze Books
When it comes to chocolate, Tish Richmond delivers the goods. Her home business, Tish's Riches, is booming, and a new contract with Dareville's popular grocery store allows her the opportunity to expand her reach. Happy as she should be for the exposure, Tish longs to stop her waistline from expanding further so love can reach her.
Gorgeous Vinnie comes to Dareville to work for his uncle's limousine company. One look at Tish and he's struck by the sexy, voluptuous entrepreneur. Can he convince Tish that the size of her dishes don't matter to him, and will she let him satisfy his sweet tooth?
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The story involves a comic book artist and a comic book editor who had split up years earlier. The artist shows up at a convention to get the editor back.
My husband was a comic book artist. I went to many conventions. I was writing what I knew. But it's not autobiography. None of it is really autobiography. Parts do come from my life. Other parts come from my friends lives and yet others come from movies I've seen, dreams I've had and straight out of my own fevered brain.
I emailed the friend and told him not to worry, but I have to wonder, do people really think my life is that interesting? That exciting and stressful? God, I hope not. The pain and humiliation I put Lindsey and Kent through I wouldn't wish on anyone. At least not anyone real. My characters I'll continue to torment for my own jollies.
Monday, September 8, 2008
September 12-13 at Romance Divas
Want to know how to write authentic action, suspense, law enforcement, and military romance? Ask authors who know firsthand! Romance Divas is hosting a 2-day workshop with some of the hottest names in the genre. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register by entering the site and clicking on Forum.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The nerves set in about then. I edited the thing twice instead of once. I wrote and rewrote the cover letter and the blurb. I solicited advice on the blurb. I solicited advice on pen names. I played a lot of Pogo. I can stall with the best of them.
Since I was due at my grandparent-in-laws Thursday morning and planned to stay until Sunday evening, and since I wasn't sure about internet accessibility, I sent in my submission around 10 Wednesday night.
Then I commenced fretting about what I'd done wrong. I had less remorse about buying my house than I did about what I could have or should have done in that submission. I nearly broke out the manuscript and edited it again. Instead I forced myself away from the email trusting in the fact that I couldn't start fretting about how they were trying to let me down easy until at least Sunday evening.
I woke up Thursday morning about 7, at peace with my decision. The timing was good. It would keep me from worrying. I sat down at the computer to check my email before leaving and there it was:
"Emma Porter Re: Submission-One Ring To Rule."
I had enough time to think "gee that was fast" before I had the rest of the email open to see:
"I'd intended to wait a decent interval before replying, but I opened ONE RING to peek, and you had me at "Jedi." This story absolutely cracked me up. It's a fun, fast and satisfying read, and I'd be delighted to take it on for publication."
It took about 10 seconds for this information to sink in and turn into words I understood. Somebody liked my story. Somebody who doesn't know me. Somebody who was judging the story on the story and not on my charming personality or my funny comments or my great cover letter (because trust me, that cover letter really needed more work.)
Now I can start fretting about my bio and my contract and what I can do for a follow up.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Am I hot or not? Erotic Romance VS. Erotica. Q&A with Liquid Silver Acquiring Editor, Tina Burns.
All day July 12th at Romance Divas
How do you know if you’ve crossed into the Erotica zone? Get a professional’s opinion. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register. The workshop will be in the “Steamy” section of the forum which requires permission from the admin. Details are HERE.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The short answer to that question is Chile.
The long answer is, well, really long.
A few years ago, my husband and I entered into the career of teaching English overseas. We spent 2 stressful and fulfilling years on Korea, but had felt it was time to move on. We came across an ad for a school owned by another Ohioan in Concepcion, Chile and thought it would be a perfect fit. We don't speak Spanish, but we had a working knowledge of the language and we hadn't had that much trouble in Korea without speaking the language. Besides, we were working for another Ohioan. What kind of communication problem could we have.
While working at the school, were I was the librarian, I ran across the quote "the illusion of language is that it is complete." I wish I knew who said it because it sort of summed up the experience.
Chile was until fairly recently a dictatorship. The government has changed, but the society moves a little slower. Our school was run like a dictatorship. We could never talk to the dictator/business manager because while she spoke English, she wouldn't. We were subject to random supply shortages and whisper campaigns. I spent about a month trying to get shelves. It was the library. I had 400 boxes of donated books to short and no shelf space. And yet, I couldn't get shelves. I also "heard" that the seniors through I was insulting and rude. A teacher was fired while I was there because of this. Another teacher quit in hysterics. Then our telephone was turned off by the business manager. This was one of her regular tactics to push someone out. When you're that far away you really need to get in touch with family and since we had no internet at home due to another decision of the business manager's it was out only link.
It was a horrible thing to live through, but I learned a lot from it. Living in a dictatorship is an experience unlike anything else. It's so insidious, you don't know what's happening until you're neck deep in trouble. At least if you're not used to the system. The Chilean people are wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to visit, and eat until I burst, but I wouldn't want to work there.
I also got a lot of work done. Not having many distractions gave me no excuses and nothing else to do. Now, I'm out and about again and I hope to have my life back again soon. Until then, wish me luck.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Heather Tindall is temping as a personal assistant until her dream job as an event planner comes along. Worse, her new boss has a penchant of running off new assistants before lunch. Heather’s not about to let her spotless employment record be ruined by a real estate mogul with an attitude problem, no matter how well he fills out a suit.
At first Curtis can’t believe the nerve of the woman who refuses his order to leave. Six months into their working relationship, her dedication still manages to surprise him. But her best efforts to protect his personal life can’t keep the press from seeing him as anything more than a playboy. Then it dawns on him that the perfect solution is right under his appointment book—Heather.
Swept off her kitten heels, Heather can’t help but accept the proposal of the man with whom she’s fallen in love. She hopes that in time he’ll come to feel something for her.
Curtis is determined not to feel anything, for anyone, ever. He’ll do anything Heather wants—but he’s not going to fall in love with her.
Except that will never do for a girl with a Cinderella Complex…
Read An Excerpt Online
Buy it today from My Bookstore and More
Thursday, February 21, 2008
1. I prefer decaf Lipton tea to Salada even though Salada is cheaper.
2. My passport photo was taken nearly 4 years ago and still looks nothing like me.
3. I'm madly in love with Dong-Kun Jang from the movie Tae Guk Gi, but I have yet to see the movie. (I will stare at any commercial I spot him in despite not understanding a word.)
4. I have a large collection of Chinese Winnie The Pooh gum ball machine toys.
5. I can write letters upside down, but not numbers.
Now I have to go find people to tag. I'll be back.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
My college background was in English Lit. In those classes I was taught never to assume the author was saying something based on a text. Would you say Dickens promoted misers because he created the character Scrooge (as well as several other misers) or that Swift advocated eating babies because he wrote an essay suggesting it as a solution to the Irish potato famine? Should you claim that Author Jane Doe should give up writing and get back to the kitchen because you hated her last book? Or because you hated all her books? There are lots of authors I can't stand or whose writing gives me the willies. Do I therefore, courtesy of this blog, have the right to call down curses on their heads?
Of course not. Just because I don't like it or think it's bad doesn't make me the final answer. I can't stand Korean food. I mean really, there's dishes I wouldn't feed my dog (if I had one and if there wasn't dog in it. They still eat dogs in Korea.) There's one dish here we refer to as "wet dog stewed in old mop water" based on the smell. However, my total abhorrence means nothing to the millions of Koreans who can't eat a meal without kimchi.
So those authors I don't like, chances are they can find thousands if not millions of fans who think I'm off my rocker. And what does it get me to attack someone? It raises my blood pressure and it might hurt the feelings of someone I don't know, but could have been friends with. Why bother? There's so many fish in the sea, why not focus on what you like?
Now everybody, play nicely.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
So over this Lunar New Year holiday I edited Three Alarm Tenant and sent it off to a friend who volunteered to critique it. I need to cut about 12,000 words out to fit into Harlequin's word limits, but that's do able. And since it's new year again, I can make resolutions again. This year, my focus will be submitting. Thanks to the workshop I did in January on business, I have a whole bunch of e-publishers I can submit to and a whole bunch more of groups I where I can find out information. Gosh, it's nice having another go at the New Year.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
When I took riding lessons, I was told you need to fall off seven times before you can consider yourself a real rider. I wonder how many bad reviews you have to get before you can consider yourself a real writer.
Friday, January 25, 2008
A few short hours later, and well before lunch, I had wiped out most of those tasks and felt exhilarated. And here I am posting my blog a whole day early. The real secret to the To Do list is to make sure you have actionable tasks on it. If you list things like "write a book" or "remodel the kitchen" you're never going to get anywhere. If you list things like "write 1500 words" or "stop at Lowe's to look at paint" you'll be on your way.
My entry in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest continues to do well. I posted a synopsis for it on Gather, for critique and for advertising. I didn't get as far as I would have hoped on the editing, but I never do. I'm also working on my webpage. That will take a really long time. HTML is not my favorite thing and I'm too ambitious for my modest programming skills. Well, one mor thing for the To Do list.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I have dreamed of being a published writer since I was a little girl, shortly after my father told me poets didn't make any money. I was 10. Now, I'm 38 teaching, preschool in Seoul, South Korea and still writing. I think I'm getting better though.
In this blog, I plan to post each Sunday (give or take) what's going on in my fabulous writing career. Currently, I'm in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and doing pretty well. I also do a lot of reading and writing about everything that interests me so there will be some of that here too. And probably some stuff about my kids. I don't have biological children, but I am a dedicated teacher and the kids I teach form the background noise of my life.
So let's just end this one here and move on.