Sunday, June 21, 2009

Songs that inspire

My last post, I talked about really, REALLY bad movies. Now I want to talk about songs, great songs, love songs, angry songs. In general, I want to talk about songs that inspire.

Friends, family and people who know me know that songs inspire a lot of my writing, both the songs and their titles. Sometimes it's the music itself, like a "A Beautiful Mine", the theme song from the TV show "Mad Men." Or it could be lyrics in a song that speak to me as an author, like "The Book of Love" or "In Your Eyes" both by Peter Gabriel. Or sometimes I'll listen to songs to get a tone or a feeling. Anything by Jill Scott will do for me to get that sensual tone.

So what I want to know from you authors is what song or songs inspire you? Is it from one particular singer or a genre of music? From you readers, what songs inspire you in your life? What songs make you feel uplifted, recall your youth, feel sexy? Come on. Share.


Romance Writers of America

If you are a member of Romance Writers of America and are following the shoot-out between president Diane Pershing and Deirdre Knight regarding the 'legitimacy' of ebooks vs print editions from New York publishers, check out this link.

I have been a member of RWA since 1986 and the longer I stay the more I see that this organization is not representing me and my needs even though they constantly assert that assumption. They also have decided to sit in judgment on a number of issues mainly anything that has to do with digital content and the decision to make ebook authors second class citizens because they have chosen an alternate form of publishing. According to Ms Pershing ebook authors are not serious minded with an eye toward a career in writing and the only legitimate path is publication with a New York publisher. Any other form of publishing is considered not legitimate.

This is just my opinion, but I really want to tell RWA to grow up. Many New York publishers are jumping on the ebook bandwagon. Harper Collins recently agreed to allow Scribd to publish all their books in digital format. If the New York publishers can see the writing on the wall why is RWA holding such a stubborn path in the face of so much overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I find that I am weighing the issue of renewing because I'm being told that RWA is representing me and yet I don't see that. RWA also asserts that it's looking out for my interests. Pardon me, but that's a lot of BS. They are looking out for their interests and every time a new president is sworn in that person uses the office as a platform for their agenda.

Every year when I see the budget figures in the RWR I can't help but wonder why the RWR is still in print considering the cost of printing. Most chapters have already switched to digital newsletters. My chapter has done digital newsletters for over ten years. The local chapters seem to be a whole lot wiser than the leadership on the Board of Directors. Unfortunately, those of us who are smart tend to stay away from the national arena because of the base politics that seem to thrive at that level.

The ebook controversary has been a part of RWA politics for ten years or more, from the time all ebook authors were kicked out of PAN in the most graceless, tasteless, rude manner possible. The controversy continues.

I am saddened by an organization that has so much power chooses to use that power for only a select few, discarding others while at the same time alleging that they are looking out for our interests. If RWA was looking out for my interests than maybe they need to start thinking in a more global manner. Publishing with a New York publisher is certainly a goal many writers have, but the reality is, publishing is evolving away from the business model that has been in place for a hundred years or more. When we don't move forward we stagnate. RWA seems to be going backward, not forward.

Just my humble opinion. Miriam

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


When a girl wants Hot and Spicy she finds herself a Latin Lover.

Caliente by J.M. Jeffries, Simone Harlow, Kelley Nyrae and Monique Lamont.

When a girl wants Hot and Spicy she finds herself a Latin Lover.

In J.M. Jeffries’s Partners in Crime Vincent Mendoza is a CIA agent in charge of his first mission. He must liberate some top secret documents and he turns to jailed cat burglar Cleo Harris to help him. To gain her freedom, she must help the sexy agent. Little does Vincent know that the beautiful thief will steal his heart in the process?

In Monique Lamont’s Instructing Layla Marcelo Alcindor can’t believe after six years his old dance partner Layla Washington is back in his life needing his help. To win a dance contest, reteams with her ex lover promising herself she will not let the passion they feel for dance lead to the bedroom again. But Marcelo teaches Layla that love is the greatest dance of all.

In Kelley Nyrae’s Wanting Mia Two months ago Mia Hamilton spotted a handsome man she wanted for a weekend fling, but he turned her down. Antonio Rojas has wanted Mia from the first moment he saw her, but he was other wised engaged until recently. He finds the object of his desire determined to make her his and he not taking no for an answer.

In Simone Harlow’s Julia’s Second Act Once hot Hollywood agent, Julia Wade’s career is on a downward spiral. Not so A-list actor Matt Valdez is trying to recharge his career, but all he seems to be interested is his sexy new agent. She trying to get him noticed and he wants to get her into his bed. Who will win in this battle of the hearts?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Hey all. I'm running a contest over on my blog. Check it out HERE

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why does it always have to happen to me?

I suppose talking about rejection for writers is a subject that we can share everyday of the week and twice on Sunday and still have more to say. It seems in the past weeks a lot of writers have been reporting in with rejection. No way am I going to tell you that it feels good becasue lets face it, that would be a lie. Rejection hurts.

I think from the moment you think about making that serious move toward a career as a writer there is rejection whether it involves family, critique partners or your own internal editor.

But I want to chime in on this today because most of the time you don't hear the published writers telling of he rejections they receive. There are reasons for this besides pride. From the published authors I've talked to they state it's becasue no one wants to hear about the rejections of someone who has what they want. The thing of it is especially if you're planning to make writing a longtime career rejection is just a part of the game. A lot of writers (most if writers would admit to it) are dealing with, 'Why does it always have to happen to me.'

Well guess what? We all feel that way. Recently I interviewed a prominent AA author who has over 50 books in print. She informed me that she sold one book, the editor left, she had to wait three years before she sold another book. Three years later she sold another book. The publisher went out of business. Three years later she sold her third book. And would you believe it happened a third time? In nine years she sold three books. But she kept writing during that nine year span and when whatever happens when things are right for you, she was ready. She's now one of the writers who has to turn in a book every two months. She didn't worry about the Why does it happen to me part of the business. It happens to all of us. Sometimes it's because an editor leaves and the new one may not like your voice. Or the publisher closes the line and no longer needs what you write. With the state of the economy many publishers are closing up shop.

I've been writing short stories and with that has come an entire slew of rejections. I've received a couple of sales and a couple of handwritten notes telling me they really loved two stories but they weren't the kind they publish.

Many of my friends have received multiple rejections in the past weeks and rightfully so have been feeling down about it. So with that in mind I thought it was time to talk about this subject once again. I know my heartfelt sentiments have not made my friends feel any better about getting rejections and in truth it was not what I was trying to do. I wanted them to just keep writing becasue one day the stars will be shining on them and like the author that sold three books in nine years they will be ready. And God no, before you even go there I'm not saying that you have to wait that long. You just have to hang on and keep writing.

The occasional letter from a reader saying they enjoyed my work keeps me going.Generally I don't read reviews of my work. Today I decided to. Two reviews below is what keeps me writing in spite of rejections. Find something positive that has to do with your writing, even if the compliment comes from a friend. And when the going gets tough remember the compliment and hold on. Why does it always happen to me can also be a good thing.

May 31, 2009
By Nature "Nature Girl" (Ariziona) - See all my reviews
This is Twlight for adults. This is a first book in the series. And after reading this I can't wait to start the next one. You care for the Vampire Adam, even though it seems that he has no redeeming qualities. His love for Eve. slowly changes him for the better. But he still is working on Eve, so that she will come to teams with her love for him, and to live in eternity with him.
This book is definitely for the Adults, very steamy...

5.0 out of 5 stars I want more Adam!, December 30, 2008
By PrincessDiva63 (Trenton,NJ) - See all my reviews
I am not a very well versed person who can take her thoughts and translate them to paper or net. I will start this off by saying "I wanted something different to read". I wanted romance but not the norm and mundane. When I first started looking, I had no clue about Vampires and their Love and Desires, until Adam Omega. I have read both books and I am anxiously waiting for the next...All I can say to the author is HURRY! I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series and can't wait to read what happens next.

Thank you ladies for keeping this writer writing


Thursday, June 11, 2009

When am I going to get a real job?

I don't think there's a writer out there who hasn't been asked the above question. When this statement was first posed to me, I'll admit, it hurt. At the time I simply smiled and said, "I have a real job. After all, I've published a number of books, they didn't write themselves."

Over the years, that statement has haunted me. I try to remember the source and this person’s fixation on wealth and status. But I often think about the answers I could have given, but didn't for the sake of peace and unity.

Answer #1. Define 'real job.'

Jackie and I probably spend 10 hours a week trying to figure out who the characters are who will people our stories, what they are going to do, what problem will need solving, what theme will be played out against the structure of the story, figuring out setting, locations, time periods, dialogue, plotting, mystery, sexual tension, what goes where and when they fall in love and when they make love. Phew! That's a lot of problem to solve in the course of one book. We also try to write every day, though that doesn't always work out. And when we do write, we have a certain goal to achieve. To me, writing is a job, but a fun one. I look forward to sitting down at the computer and working through my character's problems. I wouldn't do anything else in the world.

Answer #2. Why do I need a 'real job?'

I confess, I'm obsessed with writing. I don't want to do anything else in my life because I can't do anything else in my life.

From the day I found myself at age 13 writing with a flashlight and the covers pulled over my head at midnight when the rest of the house was deeply asleep, and I had school the next day, I knew I was obsessed. I had so much emotion inside me, I had to try to figure it out. I spent hours analyzing why I felt the way I did, and then I started creating imaginary people and spending hours figuring out who they were and why they haunted me. Finally, I realized these imaginary people had stories to tell and I had to tell them

Back then I was deeply afraid to confide in anyone (except my closest friend who also wrote). My first efforts to show my mother ended in a knowing, patronizing look and a comment that I 'would eventually grow up and put this silliness behind me." Her comment hurt so much I cried even though I was nearly 18 at the time and should have had more confidence in myself.

Answer #3. What would I do if I did go out and get a 'real job?'

One of the nice things about writing is that, for the most part, I'm my own boss. I get to work at home, set my own hours, work at my own speed, still be around for family emergencies, have the flexibility of working around my family's schedules, can work at night when and generally write what I want to write. I do not have to report for work at a specified time, listen to co-workers complain about their lives while they don't do their jobs, worry about getting fired, sexual harassment, and jokes I don't understand.

I realize many people cannot afford to work solely at their writing, but must have second jobs to help make ends meet. All I can say to them is, I hope your writing starts making money. If you love writing as much as I do, keep at it so you can quit your 'other' job and concentrate on writing.

My writing depends on my commitment to it. Self-motivation is the key to being a successful writer. Without it, we'll never get published. Any person who is self-employed understands how difficult self-motivation is. The fact that I am motivated is one of the keys that keeps me going. The nice result of that motivation is seeing my name in print and maybe getting a check that will allow me to pay off a few bills.

Answer #4. This is a fill-in-the-blank answer. I don't want a 'real job.' I write because _________________.

We all know what our reasons are.

Why don't I get a 'real job?' Because I have a real job. Just because I don't bring home a regular weekly paycheck or go to an office somewhere else doesn't mean I don't work. I work hard and I'm proud of what I do.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Build a Story Around This! (A True Story)

When my bathroom was under renovation, I paid a lot of attention to fixture commercials. One in particular caught my attention, not because of what it advertised, but for what it said. In the scene, a wealthy couple sat in front of a man who was obviously a high-priced architect. They plopped a Kohler product on his desk and demanded that he “build a house around this.” A whole house around a faucet and two knobs? A whole of anything built around an object, a picture or a sound?

How about a sentence? The last sentence in this excerpt popped into my mind on a day when in one split second I understood the frustration of people caught between the law and the deep blue sea. I could have said the devil and the deep blue sea. In this case, they were the same.

Here’s my unedited Work in Progress: Let me know what you think.

Mikey met the woman’s gaze with a cooler one of her own. Barbie-que, she laughed to herself. The blonde’s skin was the color and texture of cheap cracked leather. A hooked nose jutted a mile from her face. She had been eyeing Mikey since she walked through the doors of the obscenely opulent suite. You should be circling the skies hunting road kill instead of staring down your beak at me. She probably had local law enforcement on speed dial. If Mikey raised her voice (as she was tempted to do), one press of the button with a red-tipped claw would bring the entire five-man force crashing through the double mahagony doors.

Next to her, three smug men in casual-Friday attire sat around the conference table. Mikey had heard enough of their “pursuant to” and “therefore” mumbo-jumbo. She stood. “Gentlemen, I’ve heard enough.”

One of them let out a dismissive chuckle. “That may be true, Miss Lofton, but it doesn’t change the outcome.”

Mikey was already at the door with her hand on the knob. She tossed a short laugh over her shoulder. “So be it.” But I’ll burn it to the ground before I let you have it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Hi Guys,
sorry I missed last month posting. Working a full time job and writing sometimes wear the mind down and I needed time to regroup. I was just thinking what should I blog about this month and then it dawned on me. Father's day is just around the corner so here goes my take on fatherhood.

Lets begin with the meaning of the word Father. According to the American Dictionary the meaning of the word is a man who begits or raises a child. Fathers are different colors, shapes and sizes. There are some who are good fathers and on the other hand, not so good. There are children in this world who don't know who their fathers are. And it is sad to say there are some who knows exactly who fathered them but because of physically or emotional abuse wish they didn't. There are fathers who have dropped the ball in raising their children, especially the male child. No wonder some of our male children grows up to be offenders of the law, joining gangs just to feel as if they belong to a family, which leads them to an early grave. If only there were a good father, or father fiqure in their lives.

Fathers you are needed in your children lives. No matter what the circumstances between you and your child's mother, make it your business to be there. The bottom line is a child needs to feel that their father loves them. Whether or not he is a executive of a major cooperation or a garbage collecter. Your love and support is precious to your children. So I say to all fathers out there who are doing the best they can, keep up the good work. Raise your children with love, respect, and dignity and not only will you be rewarded, but the generation of our children will be better and so will the world we live in.

Janie De Coster
Author of Broken Commandments