30 December 2006

The day before New Years Eve

It's raining here, which is wonderful. If it would only rain solidly for two or more weeks, the dams would fill up and we'd all feel happier. We might all be stir crazy at the end of two weeks but that's a small price to pay.

This is the time of year when resolutions are in the air. I've made a few and I always have heaps more buzzing in my head. I tend to see them as shaking fingers, pointing at me like nasty school marms. "You will loose weight!" "You will write 1,000 words a day!" "You will do more gardening!"

Eh, I probably won't do any of that or do them intermittently. But the one thing I will try my hardest to do, is obliterate pointing fingers from my mental landscape. I never change my behavior when I have a punitive voice in my head telling me I MUST do whatever it's telling me to do. That doesn't mean no discipline or focus, but as soon as I start berating myself for being human, I need to pull back and get some perspective. That's what I need for 2007, more perspective.

29 December 2006

Romance Diva Blogs

A list of romance writers who hang out at Romance Divas

  • Aimee Beckmann

  • AJ

  • A. J. Cove

  • Alan Morgan

  • Amanda Jean Kelly

  • Amber Cook

  • Amelia June

  • Ann Cory

  • Annalee Blysse

  • Angeleque

  • Angelle Trieste

  • Antonia Pearce

  • Anya Bast

  • Aurelia Abbott

  • Babe

  • Barb Gisondi

  • Bare Essensuals

  • Bebe Thomas

  • Bella Tyler

  • Bernadette Gardner

  • Bianca D'Arc

  • Bonnie Ferguson

  • Bookstore Deb

  • Brenda Bradshaw

  • Briana Duinn

  • Bridget Midway

  • Cassidy Kent

  • Camy Tang

  • Canice Brown-Porter

  • C. C. Ellis

  • Chrissy Olinger

  • Cia Leah

  • Ciar Cullen

  • Cinthia Hamer

  • Cora Zane

  • Crystal Jordan

  • Cynnara Tregarth

  • Cynthia Justlin

  • Deb

  • Debbie Mumford

  • Debora Dennis-Mills

  • Deborah

  • Dee Tenorio

  • Devi Sparks

  • Diana Castilleja

  • Diane

  • Dina Vigil

  • Eden Bradley

  • Elle Fredrix

  • Ember Case

  • Ember Sinclair

  • Emma Sanders

  • Emma Sinclair

  • Erin Richards

  • Eroticisms

  • Gina Ritter

  • Gina Welborn

  • Haven Rich

  • Heather

  • Heather Fowler

  • Imogen Howson

  • James Buchanan

  • Jana J. Hanson

  • Jax

  • Jen Bedient

  • Jenn on the Island

  • Jenna Bayley-Burke

  • Jennifer Bianco

  • Jennifer Leeland

  • Jennifer McKenzie

  • Jennifer Shirk

  • Jodi

  • Jorrie Spencer

  • Karen S.

  • Karen Erikson

  • Kate Willoughby

  • Katherine Warwick

  • Katherine Belle

  • Eliza Parker

  • Kelley Heckart

  • Kimberly Holt-Whitlock

  • Kissa Starling

  • Kristen Painter

  • Lady Jo

  • Laine Morgan

  • Lara Rose

  • Laura Bacchi

  • Laura Buchanan

  • Laura Middleton

  • Lauren Dane

  • Leela Layfield

  • Leesie

  • Leigh Royals

  • Lexia

  • Liddy Midnight

  • Lillian Feisty

  • Lyric James

  • Eden Bradley

  • Lori B. Grant

  • Loribelle Hunt

  • Lynn Daniels

  • Lyric James

  • L.K. Campbell

  • Maggie Jaimeson

  • Mailyn

  • Maria - Night Diva

  • Marty Kindall

  • Maureen McCarrie

  • M Barnette

  • Melissa Francis

  • Menfreya

  • MG Braden

  • Monica Jackson

  • Monique

  • Nalini Singh

  • Naomi

  • Nonny

  • Pamela K Kinney

  • Pamela Tyner

  • Paranormality Universe

  • Regina Avalos

  • Richelle Mead

  • Racy Li

  • Rhonda Stapleton

  • Robin L. Rotham

  • Rose Middleton

  • Sally Painter

  • Sandra K

  • Sapphire Phelan

  • Sara Dennis

  • Sara Thacker

  • Sasha White

  • Sela Carsen

  • Selah March

  • Seeley Deborn

  • Sensual Energies

  • Shari Straight

  • Shawn Monique

  • Shelley Munro

  • Shelli Stevens

  • Sherice Smith

  • Sienna Dawns

  • Silma

  • Stacy Dawn

  • Stacy Holmes

  • Stella & Audra

  • Stephanie Secrest

  • Strictly Sirens

  • Suzanna Owens

  • Sylvia Day

  • Tara M. Leigh

  • Tawny Taylor

  • The Novelty Girls

  • Teresa's Blog

  • T. Sue VerSteeg

  • Vanessa Jaye

  • Vivienne King

  • Wendy Wootton/Portia Da Costa

  • Zeek's Page
  • My 2006 Reading in Review

    My mother got much sicker but now she's better. I hope she's passed her genes onto me! And I hope you all had a great festive season.

    I keep a diary of what I read in the year. I usually put a one word description next to the title to remind myself what I thought of the book. This year, not surprisingly, I read a lot of romance but more surprisingly, not much erotic romance. What I did read, I didn’t like much. There is a sameness about erotic romance and not much risk taking. I mean risk in relation to story and characterization not in relation to unusual sex. When I read a book like Judith Ivory’s Black Silk or Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Fancy Pants, which are romances full of complexity and interest, with well depicted characters full of human flaws, I go looking for those stories in the erotic romance world and don’t see them. It makes me think about what I'm writing and I see I'm not taking many risks either.

    There is a belief that erotic romance is about fantasy and readers don’t want reality, but that’s been said about romance too. But in fact there is a wide range of types of romances out there from sweet category to more realistic slice of life romances. I think it’s time erotic romance started to get more diverse and interesting. Alpha males with washboard stomachs and big cocks start to all blend into each other as do feisty dames who suddenly develop the desire for anal sex and submission. Where’s the humor? Where are the interesting plots? Why can't erotic romance engage with the real world in the way that good romance does? Not that I have anything against fantasy but when I hear over and over again that only alpha males have a place in erotic romance, I know it's becoming stale and moribund.

    The following books are ones I put an excellent or very good against. I read a lot more that I thought were good, but these ones, for me, were just that bit better. You can see that 2006 was a catch up year for me. I read a lot of romances that were published in the 1990's and early 2000's. And I seem to like historicals more than I thought I did.

    Black Silk, Judith Ivory
    Beast, Judith Ivory
    Untie my Heart, Judith Ivory
    The Lions Daughter, Loretta Chase
    Lord Perfect, Loretta Chase
    Flowers from the Storm, Laura Kinsale
    Passion, Lisa Valdez
    Fancy Pants, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    The Devil’s Waltz, Anne Stuart
    The Diamond Secret, Ruth Wind

    We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver
    Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
    Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster
    Unless, Carol Shields
    Bell Canto, Anne Patchett

    The Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
    The Compass Rose, Gail Dayton
    Daughter of the Forrest, Juliet Marillier
    Shadow Touch, Marjorie M Lui
    Lynn Viehl's Darkyn Series

    Rubdown, Leigh Redhead
    Monkeewrench, PJ Tracey
    Black Ice, Anne Stuart
    Origin In Death, J D Robb

    Erotic Romance
    Almost a Gentleman, Pam Rosenthal
    Ice Queen, Joey Hill

    And a small book that probably fits into the horror genre "Come Closer" by Sara Gran.

    What did you like?

    18 December 2006

    So far the festive season leaves a lot to be desired

    I'm racing to finish a whole lot of work at my paid work, I have developed a horrible cold, I'm co-ordinating two writing comps for RWAustralia and my mother is in hospital. On the other hand, I now have to rest which means lots of reading, and I went to a party on Friday night and caught up with some friends I haven't seen in a long time. If I can just get over this cold and it doesn't develop into anything worse, I'll breeze into the holidays between Christmas and New Year and can spend some time with my Mum.

    Writing is in fits and starts and for the first time in a long time my inability to get to the computer has to do with lack of time not lack of motivation.

    I'm reading The Best of Best of Womens' Erotica edited by Marcy Sheiner and enjoying it immensely. I've also recently finished Carol Sheild's Unless which is a great novel about women and marginalisation. That sounds terribly earnest, but it's not like that at all.

    Now I'm going to do some comfort reading and laze on the couch with Linda Howard.

    17 December 2006

    Re design

    I feel the need for more light and less clutter. Something about the new year. Stay tuned while I tweak.

    04 December 2006

    Meandering around writing

    It's been a while but I've had a break from keeping this blog and a rethink about what I'm writing. But now I'm getting refocused. Having dipped my toes in the world of being published, I've retreated so I can get some perspective.

    I write first and foremost for myself. That has to come first or else I become unhappy. Basically, I've spent the last year, writing wise, being unhappy because I haven't been writing for myself. That might be a luxury and it might mean I may never be published again, but the pain of writing flat, soulless nonsense can't go on.

    So it's back to filling the well with things other than writing. Or in my case not writing but agonizing about writing. Life's short, you either do it or you don't.

    Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association is available now from Amazon and my story is the first cab off the rank. It's a considerable thrill and will be even more so when my copy arrives in my post box.

    This December/January I also have a story Strawberry Flavoured Joy, up at the ERWA site, which is the first story I've written in ages.

    So those writing muscles are flexing again.