Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Memories Past

After reading a blog this morning, I began thinking about my own childhood memories of Christmas past. I lived in Maine as a child. The winters were frigid and the snowfall magnificent. I'm sure the adults didn't think so, but as a kid, there was always sledding, snowmobiling, skating and the best of all...snowman making. The snowbanks were high, snow castles fun and the snow angels plentiful. My parents would cut down a tree (we lived on 300 acres of wooded property) and our family would spend hours decorating it. Those were the days! Christmas morning held wonderful surprises for all four of us kids. I was the youngest, and believed in Santa for what seems ages. (Still do, I think!)
My mother was an excellent cook and a superb baker. She began making her own chocloates as gifts for friends. We, of course, got the mistakes. Yummy! Our table was full, our happiness plentiful and the season wondrous.
Today things are different. Things change with time and of course, our memories do as well. I have a grown grandson who is the light of my life. Our small family spends the holidays together every year. We reminisce over the days of old and maybe even wear rose colored glasses when we do so. But, that's okay. Happy holidays to you all and may your dreams come true.

JM

Friday, November 19, 2010


Hunting for Agents
There are ups and downs when it comes to acquiring an agent, but for me, the hunt is the most difficult. Even though agents are supposed to work for the author, the difficulty is in acquiring them. I know we all think our work is the biggest and brightest star on the horizon. I just had that conversation with a fellow writer not long ago. But, the truth is, we have to figure out how to make an agent we really desire to represent our work see how brilliant we really are. (Tongue in cheek, there).
I met an agent in October who I thought would be a perfect match for me. She readily agreed to read the first 100 pages of my manuscript, but declined taking me on saying the character in the story didn't grab her. Okay! I can take rejection, but the best thing here is that it made me consider WHAT and WHY the character didn't grab her. Was it a personal preference or something about the character that wasn't strong enough to hold the agents attention? I gave it some thought after feeling sorry for myself (for about twenty minutes) and then decided to perservere. "Onward and Upward" is my motto, so I moved forward and sought a new agent of interest. (There are lots of them out there, by the way. Sort of like fish in a barrel, swimming around, waiting to be scooped up).
I figure I have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, so I sent the partial to another agent and heard from her yesterday. She wanted to read the entire manuscript. I sent it out right away and hope to Heaven that she likes it enough to warrant a working relationship. The moral of this story is to NEVER give up. Brush your hurt feelings and/or disappointmnet aside and keep going. The brightest star on the horizon could be you, no matter what field you are in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is It Really Autumn?

The leaves are changing color here in New England. The days are cool, and the nights are chilly. The smell of fall pervades the air. This time of year is my favorite. Crunchy fresh apples, apple pie, pumpkins, corn stalks, Halloween... Need I say more?

It is hard to stay inside and write when the days are so beautiful. As with all responsibilities, the responsibility of writing hangs on my shoulders like a heavy cloak at times. Editors are clamoring for edits, galleys and such, while story characters are running around in my head, just looking for an opportunity to be heard. Yes, it is hard to stay indoors, but I have to get the work done and move on. That is the point of writing, right?

Don't get me wrong, I love the world of story telling and all that it entails. I am honored to be a published author. The work that goes into my novels is a pleasure, to say the least, even when I hit the proverbial brick wall. That's when these days come into play. I leave the house, walk the country road I live on and return refreshed and, hopefully, ready to start again. What could be better than that? Ah, well, there's always chocloate and wine, but that's another story...

In October, I will attend the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference in Iselin, NJ. Both my publishers will be there. I will be attending the book fair, so if you are in the area, stop by and chat with me. Maybe autumn in New Jersey will be as wonderful as it is here in New England.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Writing Is Hard Work!

It's been a while since I've posted, sorry about that, but the edits for the next Vinnie Esposito series novel has taken priority over all else since it is due to be released in September. SURPRISE!!! (to me, too) I have been working on the edits to get them in on time. But, I digress as to my subject today...
I have to laugh every time I hear the words, "Oh, you work at home". Does everyone think writing is easy? That working at home is a breeze? That you aren't interrupted every other minute? That you consider running away sometimes? Gosh!
I usually smile, grit my teeth and say, it is a "real" job even though many don't seem to think so. That statement usually draws attention and lets the speaker know I'm not amused at the comment.
Writers, any type, work long hours, are often paid little until they become well known, and in many instances they hold jobs that keep the money flowing in the door. (It is difficult to write well when you have to live in a box under a bridge.) I can say that I do get reprieves every now and then by heading into the studio and slapping some paint on watercolor paper. It is rewarding, renewing and fun to say the least.
I have a question for you, though. I have a novel I've been working on for about three years as a tweener (in between the others that are under contract), and for the life of me I can't seem to write The End on this piece of work. Do any of you have this problem when it comes time to finish a project? Any Project? Why?
Let me know, I'd like to gain some insight on why I can't get 'er done.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Apple, Google & Amazon ewbook readers

I just caught up on the BookHitch newsletter that I receive weekly. It is always filled with great information and today was no different. It seems the 3 biggies have decided to make downloading ebooks easier. How? They plan to implement a standard sometime late June/early July so there can be a crossover. I'm wondering why they didn't come up with that idea in the first place. Share your thoughts with me on this, I'd be interested in knowing what you have to say about these 3 monsters.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Back...

Gosh, the weekend flew by way too quickly. I look forward the to retreat again next year. If you are interested in attending, take a look at the Maine Romance Writer's Retreat at MERWA.com. These ladies know how to make you feel at home. There camaraderie is fantastic and the food, well, that is always great. The retreat was held in Portland this year and the group is planning to hold it at that same location next year. We had excellent speakers, won gift baskets filled with books, snacks and other goodies, while at the same time vying for Starbucks gift cards. Hannah Howell ended up with mine, you go Hannah!!
Everyone was friendly, including the ghost hunters who spoke on Friday evening. They had many interesting stories to share and they are very dedicated to the job of contacting the dead.
Today is a back to work day and while it isn't always fun, it is certainly challenging. After all, my characters do have a mind of their own and as pantser, I am often quite surprised by the direction the story tends to take.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Edits..Edits..Edits

The bloom of having written my latest novel has worn off. Why? Because the newest round of edits have now come and gone. Though the editor and I are both happy campers. We all need to be thankful for the little things in life, right? So, now it's time to play. Tomorrow I am off to the Maine Romance Writer's Retreat in Portland. I'm excited as a crew of us from RI are going. The Maine folks are looking forward to having us join them for a fun and zany weekend, so who could ask for more than that? I'll be thinking of you (or maybe my next plot) while I'm at play in Maine. I hope you'll have a great weekend as well.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm back from the Romantic Times Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and I can only say....WOW! What a week it was. I made many new friends, hung around with writing pals and met new authors. Workshops and panels filled every moment, except when we were partying of course. The RT staff was generous, friendly and helpful at every turn. Great week. I'd recommend it to anyone.