What Book 3 Is About

So I’m having fun writing Book 3 now. It started out a little rocky, because I was panicking that I was so far behind, and the panic was giving me a little writer’s block. But once I got the “hmmm” of approval from my agent (which became a “This is great” after she read the first chapter), I’m ready to roll.

I’m on Chapter 6 now, and it’s getting to the fun point. This is where I scoot downstairs in my bathrobe really early to write in the quiet of the morning. I race home to work on the ms during my lunch hour. On Saturdays, I tell the family to go have fun and spend hours at my computer instead, creating new lives.

It’s the awakening, revealing first draft, where the characters still surprise me every day. Honestly, I never know what they’re going to say or do, so every day is like cracking the book open myself and reading anew.

This one’s about the youngest McCabe sister, Lia, who’s a fast-talking marketing exec who tends to like the finer things in life. But when she comes across a scruffy, bearded, long-haired ex-Coast Guard — and talks him into running a whale-watching boat for her — things get pretty interesting.

These two are a lot of fun. …

Everything I Know About Entertaining in Five Bullet Points

So the house is still pretty clean. That’s because we’ve had people over the last few weekends, including the book club for nine people.

I once had a friend tell me that the fastest way to get your house clean, top to bottom, is to invite people over. She was right.

I really like to entertain. That’s probably a weird statement coming from an introvert like me, but I do.

My house is super small and doesn’t hold a whole lot of people, so we don’t entertain big. But we like having small dinner parties, like 10-12 max. I can seat about 8 at my dining table. If the crowd’s bigger than that, we do a buffet.

But I really enjoy it.

I didn’t always. It used to make me nervous. But once I started the Book Club 13 years ago with my friend Barbara, I was kind of thrust into the realm of entertaining. In fact, the very first Book Club was at my house, for six almost-strangers. And I pretty much “practiced” on those poor women for 13 years. Before them, I’d only entertained my family, but the Book Club brought strangers, then friends, then guests of friends, in all varieties, and I had to get up to speed.  Continue reading

Watching from Afar …

Well, RWA Nationals is going on right now in Atlanta, Georgia, and all my writer friends seem to be having a ball — if the tweets and Facebook photos of parties, masquerade masks, free books, beautiful shoes, colorful drinks, erotica props, fangirl squealing, dessert trays, Margaret Mitchell’s house, free books, and more free books are any indication.

I decided not to go this year, although I had a BALL last year in Orange County, but I’ve got RWA 2014 in San Antonio already in my sights, next July. San “Antone” here I come!

The Firebirds are in Atlanta right now in full force, though, and I’m so proud of them for all the amazing accomplishments our class of 2012 has made in just one short year. We have two Firebirds who are in Atlanta as part of six RITA nominees for “Best First Book.” (RITAs are won by writers like Nora Roberts!) We also already have one USA Today Bestseller. And one contemporary writer who sat at the No. 1 spot on Amazon all this week! I can hardly believe it. I wrote about the many, many accomplishments here with links to the winning books.

I’m so proud to be part of this group — they inspire me, cheer me, build me up and offer so much encouragement and support. We all talk almost every day on a loop, and it’s really an amazing group of women.

I’m watching from afar — both in Atlanta and from the still-unpublished ranks — and feeling inspired every day.

Logo-ing and Designing

I’ve been busy working on my other blog, Things to do in Orange County, with a friend of my son’s, Carli. She was a designer on University of Montana’s newspaper, The Kaimin, where Ricky works, too, and she’s brilliant with logos, fonts and design. She’s graduated, and is now down here in Orange County for a year or two, working at the OC Register as a designer, and Ricky introduced us over lunch when he was down here briefly this summer. (Here’s her website: Carli Kreuger.)

Last semester, she designed Ricky’s new logo, which he uses as his Twitter avatar and on his blog:

And she helped him design his new blog, which is here: The Undeclared.

Then she helped me with my new “Things to do in Orange County” logo, which I’ll use for avatars and on my blog:

Isn’t it cute????

Then she helped me with a new theme and customized design for the TDOC blog, which is here: Things To Do in Orange County. What do you think? We’re still fussing with it a bit, but I’m liking how it’s coming out.

(Next I need to see if she can help me design a logo and brand for my author website!)

I love working with excited, talented people. If you need a logo for a blog, website, or author brand, I highly recommend Carli!

Summer in Seattle

I loved this picture taken by my oldest son on Instagram on the 4th of July in Seattle, where he’s enjoying a summer internship.

Here’s the caption:

A pier, Ferris wheel, football field, baseball field, and a national park all in one picture. USA, USA…
‎#4thofjuly ‎#independenceday ‎#usa ‎#merica


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