I know this happens to everybody, but I hate it. I'm stuck. The day job, life, whatever, has gotten into my head and I haven't been writing, and I'm not happy. I'm only happy when I'm writing.
I'm not really blocked. The ideas are coming; in fact, they come when I'm driving, when I'm in the shower, and when I'm trying to sleep. The words are there, but they're not getting put down on the page.
Tonight I thought I'd take a stab at venting a bit. The weather sucks. I need some sun. Work has become a soul-sucking pit. I spend my life on the computer, and I'm just putting out fires, not really getting much done.
Okay, I don't know if that helped. Maybe chocolate. I think I'll pull out that notebook and write a few words.
Lynnwood, WA firefighters (Lynnwood Today)
The other evening, as I pounded away at my typewriter, the fire alarm in my building went off. As a romance writer, I knew what to do in such an emergency. I quickly backed up my work in progress and pocketed my USB, then I changed into a nicer blouse, fixed my hair, put on lip gloss, and went outside to wait for the fire truck to arrive.
They came, lights blazing, checked out the apartments (thrill), and turned off the alarm. It turned out the heat sensor in my apartment had a short and set off the fire alarm on my building, but they didn't find that out until they had come out five times.
I'm not complaining. I'm sorry they had to suit up for a false alarm, but I appreciated seeing them in action, and it made me think about my fascination with firefighters.
We all love heroes - from Achilles to Seal Team 6.
They thrill us, they inspire us, they represent some of the human characteristics we most admire, but they can be aloof. They're usually removed from our everyday lives.
Firefighters are our local heroes. We see them shopping at the grocery store (and believe me I know when they shop), they're out on the corner "filling the boot" for charity, and they're on our streets saving lives and property. We can call them when we need them, and they'll come - fast. They're strong, they're brave, and it doesn't hurt that they look good on calendars.
Firefighters - men and women -
Thank you for doing what you do and for feeding my fantasies in the process. I think I'm gonna have to write a firefighter novel.
--And, I promise, I didn't set off the alarm!
It's a natural pairing - cowboys and ranchers on the one side and wolves, and their paranormal brothers, werewolves, on the other. Cowboys and wolves have a long history. They share a love for the land and the wildness of the spaces that most men never see. Romantically, they have a similar nature. They're both tough. Some times they're loners, but they recognize the pack, and they look after each other. And most romantic, they mate for life. Unfortunately, that's more true of wolves than cowboys, but ideally, the cowboys out there are looking for that special one who'll be the one for life.
It's like the Tim McGraw song:
I'm gonna live where the green grass grows
Watchin' my corn pop up in rows
Every night be tucked in close to you
Raise our kids where the good Lord's blessed
Point our rocking chairs towards the west
Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
Where the green grass grows
As I've been writing Laramie Moon, I've been listening to a lot of country music. That's been no hardship because I love country music. I like lots of different music - rock, punk, metal, even the occasional Broadway musical (I'm not big on jazz, much to my husband's dismay) - but country music has a soul-baring purity that I love. As Brad Paisley says,
This is real.
This is your life
In a song.
Yeah, this is country music.
A while back I was driving in the car, listening to the radio, when a song came on, and I instantly knew, that was Jim's song. Jim Winter - a cowboy and a werewolf - is the hero of Laramie Moon. The song is "I Wouldn't Be a Man" by Josh Turner, and it speaks of the feelings Jim has for Sissy.
People often say country music is sappy and corny, but it is unabashedly romantic and heartfelt.
Here's my playlist of some of my favorite romantic country songs. I can't hear "Somewhere Other than the Night" without crying, and without fail, if my sweet husband hears me play it, he'll come give me a kiss. You can't beat that.
Keith Whitley – Don’t Close Your Eyes
Keith Whitley – When You Say Nothing at All
Garth Brooks – Somewhere Other Than the Night
George Strait –Carried Away
George Strait – You Look so Good in Love
Josh Turner – I Wouldn’t Be a Man
Steve Holy – Good Morning Beautiful
Clay Walker - Fall
Billy Currington – Must Be Doing Something Right
Lone Star – Amazed
Chris Cagle – Miss Me Baby
Mark Wills – I Do
John Michael Montgomery – I Can Love You Like That
John Michael Montgomery – I Swear
Tracy Lawrence – Stars Over Texas
Randy Travis - It's Just a Matter of Time
Clint Black - When I Said I Do
Doug Stone – Different Light
Doug Stone – Why Didn’t I Think of That
Jason Aldean – Why
Jason Aldean – Don't You Wanna Stay
Blake Shelton - Nobody but Me
Tim McGraw – I Need You
Kenny Chesney – You Had Me at Hello
My first post! Wow. I'm going to try to keep to regular postings, but I may get caught up in life. You know how that goes.
Right now, I'm busy getting submissions, synopses, and query letters ready to submit. I attended the Rose City Writer's Conference in Vancouver, WA and pitched Blue Mountain Magick to the editors and agents there. I got requests for partials from each of them, so now the job is to get everything spotless and send it off.
On that note, kudos to Kim and the members of Rose City RWA. Their conference was great. I met some nice folks and learned a lot, and the agents and editors who attended were so gracious. They were completely accessible, and they took the time to offer their expertise, critiques, and suggestions. I feel much more confident after being able to talk to them. Thanks, guys!
Meanwhile, my manuscript pages are ready, and the synopsis just needs to be cut down by a few lines, but even with a request, I find writing the query letter the most daunting challenge. I'm confident in my writing, but if the query letter doesn't catch their attention, the agents or editors won't even bother with the text. And form rejections hurt. Ouch! But no negative thinking. I'll send the submissions out with lots of positive vibes.
Only 5 Weeks until the RWA National Conference in NY. The excitement builds...
I hope you'll comment. I'd love to hear from you.
I write fantasy and paranormal romance. I love having the ability to create new worlds and new histories. My first book LARAMIE MOON will be coming out soon, so stay tuned.