Whoops! I forgot to mention that I’m blogging today at MyLifetime . It’s one of the most fun romance books site on the internet and and I’d love to have you stop by, read my comments and, if you like, join in the conversation.
I wrote about what I did yesterday when I played hooky from work and, instead, spent the late afternoon and evening going out with my husband. I love this guy a lot and his suggestion–a drive through the back roads in our piece of gorgeous New England, then dinner at a wonderful old inn–was just too good to pass up.
I think we all need time off once in a while, don’t you?
Tweaking. Such a strange word! “To make small adjustments,” say most dictionaries, but I think that misses the point.
When you tweak something, you try and make it better. Or you try and make it do a better job. This weekend, I tweaked breakfast. It should have been bacon and eggs–yes, a complex recipe –but when I opened the fridge, I realized I had eggs but no bacon. (That’s what happens when I’m deep into my writing–I forget to go shopping!) I did have a small onion and half a red pepper, plus a sad little chunk of (very) hard asiago cheese. So I cut up the onion and red pepper, sauteed them in a bit of butter, took that from the pan and set it aside, poured in well-beaten eggs mixed with a little cream. (On a low-carb diet, you tend to have stuff like this on hand.) When the eggs were still soft but almost set, I added the browned onion and red pepper, grated on a fair-sized amount of cheese, stirred it altogether and surprise! It was delicious. Notice, I didn’t try to make this into an omelette. Some people can do omelettes. Some can’t. Guess which category I’m in???
Later that same day, I tweaked my website and made it, I hope, more streamlined. And, since I was in a tweaking kind of mood, I also tweaked the address of this blog. Now, all you have to do to get here from anywhere online is to type in http://blog.sandramarton.com/ and you’ll be there. Um, you’ll be here. Heck. You know what I mean!
Is that too strong a word to use? “Survival?” Maybe not. Don’t get me wrong. Thanksgiving is just about my favorite holiday. I love the historical significance of it, the knowledge that the Pilgrims who settled this new land were courageous in the face of so many difficulties; I admire the generosity of the local Indian tribe that welcomed them. I love knowing our family is going to gather around the table to laugh and talk and eat until we can’t eat another bite. I even love all the holiday preparation. The cleaning–this year, I polished every piece of the sterling silver I inherited from my mom and my grandmother. The cooking–the sweet potato casserole that is part of family tradition, the new cranberry recipe I tried this year. I even love turkey… but why does that always end up meaning turkey day after day after…
Okay. It’s all gone now. Well, except for that one foil-wrapped package in the freezer…
We had a fox in our yard Thanksgiving Day. Seeing him (or maybe it was her) was true joy. We put out a turkey leg and it vanished quickly. We hope our fox got it. If not, it went to a raccoon or maybe a fisher or a bobcat. Whatever wild creature ate it, we’re delighted to have shared our feast.
I’ve been doing what I always do when I finish writing a ms (and while I wait to hear from my editor). I’ve been cleaning up my desk and my computer files.
You can’t imagine all the things I found hiding under the stacks of paper and books on my desk. An old shopping list. A long expired bunch of Macy’s coupons. A letter I meant to answer but never did. An entire file folder I was sure I’d somehow lost.
As for the stuff lurking in my computer… Well, there are files I haven’t looked at in a couple of years. Hit ‘Delete’ and they’re gone. There are also jpg files, you know, photos I’d forgotten were there, including a couple that I thought you’d enjoy.
They’re both pix of me taken on whale watches. One was taken on a ship out of Boston last year. The other was taken on a ship in the Caribbean. I bet I don’t have to tell you which is which!
My husband took this photo a week ago. Sorry, but I’ve only just had the chance to upload it.
This is a little piece of our woods. Aren’t the colors spectacular? Our trees are mostly hardwoods: oak, sugar maple, swamp maple and hickory, with other species mixed in. We have a variety of pines, too, but it’s the hardwoods I love best because of their autum colors.
I’ve been working hard on the final chapters of my new manuscript. It’s the first book in what will eventually be my next four book series so it’s vitally important I establish the Orsini family and their various relationships right at the beginning.
As always, I’m enjoying every minute spent writing but I have to admit, the show of colors outside my window is a big distraction!
If you haven’t yet stopped at my website and entered my contest, why not do it now? The contest ends the end of this month. While you’re there, you can read excerpts from my current trilogy.
Isn’t there some ancient ditty about reading, writing and (a)rithmetic? I’m having my own Three Rs situation this week. I’m (1) reading a terrific mystery by Daniel Silva. He’s a favorite author of mine. This book, The Moscow Rules, sets a non-stop pace… which brings me to (2), the book that I’m writing, which–luckily for me–doesn’t require the pacing of a mystery but does need special pacing because I’m confining most of the story to a very, very tight timeline, and that leads me to (3) the arithmetic necessary to figuring out timelines and details like flight times from Sicily, where my story begins, to New York, where most of it takes place.
If all this sounds strange, it isn’t. It’s just the stuff that goes on in my head when I’m reaching the end of a manuscript. Not that I’m not happy about meeting my deadline and giving my characters a Happy Ever After. I am, of course… but saying good bye to characters and their story is never easy.
Ten days from now, I should be human again.
Have I invited you to enter my contest? Just click and you’ll be taken to my website, where you can enter my current contest and also read excerpts from my big new trilogy.
We’ve just returned from two weeks spent cruising from Athens to Istanbul. It was a WONDERFUL trip! My husband and I climbed the Acropolis, walked the winding streets of the Plaka, climbed the hills in Santorini, saw the incredible artifacts in the ancient city of Rhodes, strolled the same wide Marble Street (yes, that’s its name) as Antony and Cleopatra strolled in Ephesus, haggled in the markets in old Istanbul…
Here’s a short bit of video. Asena is a famous Turkish belly dancer. She’s graceful, beautiful, charming… and she can move muscles most of us didn’t know we had!
We had an incredible time, and you can see more photos on my website. Stop by and take a look!
Guess where my husband and I are going? Yes, the title says it best. We’re flying to Greece, boarding a ship in Athens and then we’ll cruise the islands–Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and many others–until we reach Istanbul. Istanbul!!! How exciting is that???
I wonder how many rich, powerful, gorgeous Alpha Greek heroes I’m going to meet…
Thta’s if I ever finish packing. Hey, this is a ship we’re sailing. No limit on how many pairs of shoes I can take, right? Right.
What an exciting time I had at the huge Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco! I saw lots of old friends, made new ones, had tea with Sr Editor Linda Fildew and a wonderful group of Presents authors, and HMB editor Sally Williamson took me to dinner at an elegant, stunning, totally wonderful restaurant. Sally’s in the gorgeous green dress, below. With her is editor Lucy Gilmour, and to their left (your right!) is editor Suzy Clarke. Don’t they all look beautiful? But the hightlight of the conference, for me, was being honored by my publisher for having written… drum roll… 75 books! Here I am, receiving my beautiful Tiffany’s sterling silver key holder and heart from Donna Hayes, Harlequin’s CEO and Publisher, and being congratulated by Executive VPs Craig Swinwood and Loriana Sacilotto.
I’m back at home now, getting back to reality… and busy writing my 76th book!
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