The Quirky Ladies is a group of eclectic (and dare I say quirky?) ladies who are passionate about writing romantic fiction. All types of romantic fiction...paranormal, fantasy, historical, erotic and contemporary. Bring it on!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rock this Vote

It is my civic duty to vote.

That said, if I get one more bleepin' phone call in the middle of dinner, I'm going to buy one of those horns and blow the person's ears out. Which, of course, will get me nowhere since most of the calls are automated.

In the beginning, I was kind. I understood the need to interrupt my family time with their phone calls, my personal time with their TV ads, and the environment with their postcards. In the middle of the blitz, I tried to have a sense of humor. (Yes, I was messing with the live volunteer when I said in my best Stepford Wife tone that I didn't know who I was going to vote for because my husband hadn't told me yet, and excuse me, but I have to get his dinner on the table.) During the Senate race, the joking became a family affair. We brought the phone to the dinner table and ran a pool for how many calls we'd get, and would the famous retired Red Sox pitcher call that night?

It got old pretty darn fast, though. Go ahead, call me once. DO NOT call me once a day, sometimes more.

My sense of humor about this is now long gone, and that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is, I wasn't even interested in voting during the most recent round. I didn't want any of the players in office, representing me at any level, especially the guy who had his mother on an automated message. His mother? Seriously?

So here's my plea to politician's everywhere: Stop wasting donations by showing those vicious ads at every commercial break. All of the non-stop backstabbing on TV, the daily mailbox full of postcards, and the constant phone interruptions has to stop. All it is doing is pissing your constituents off, and ultimately LOSING their vote.

I can't be alone here. Am I only speaking for myself?

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog


It’s my turn to blog again – lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What to write about? You would think as a “writer” pithy words would flow from my mind to my fingers and onto the computer screen effortlessly.

Sometimes that actually does happen, sometimes not so much. So…this blog is not going to be about writing, it’s just going to be.

I’ve decided like Nina that I need to “get off the treadmill” of my own making and not stress unless absolutely necessary. What a novel concept, especially for women, right? If it’s not in my circle of influence, it’s not my problem. I don’t need to fix everything or save the world every day – I just need to find balance, and focus on the things that make me feel good deep in my soul.

I also need to turn my mind off, or at least tell it to shut up for a while, so my heart can push me forward to where I need to go. I’m a thinker – 24/7 – and my mind needs to go on vacation so my heart (or my instincts depending on what you believe) can run the show for a while. Intuition is a powerful tool and right now it’s telling me to share some of my favorite quotes with you and call it a blog, so I can get back to some much needed soul-searching. LOL!

In all seriousness, I hope you enjoy the quotes and are doing what you need to do right now to find balance in your life. Your soul will thank you.

  1. Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success - Swami Sivananda
  2. True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly - Jason Jordan
  3. Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock - Author Unknown
  4. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt
  5. Just when the caterpiller thought the world was over, it became a butterfly - Proverb
  6. When you are going through hell, keep going - Sir Winston Churchill
  7. Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand - Unknown
  8. Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth - Mark Twain
  9. It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary - Paulo Coelho
  10. May the force be with you - Star Wars

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stepping Off The Treadmill


Once upon a time, I decided to write a book.

I didn't know about agents or editors or POV changes or central conflict, I'd never heard of RWA or blog tours or royalty checks. I just had an idea in my head and I thought I would try to write something.

So, I did. I wrote three chapters of a werewolf romance story and I showed it to my college roommates who were visiting for a "girls' weekend." Well, they loved it. They asked me what my "goal" was. I was stymied. I was supposed to have a goal? My goal was to write a story, and I wanted someone to read it. You need to get this published, they told me.

And thus began my path to publication. I joined the NECRWA, I honed my writing skills with The Quirky Ladies. I entered contests. I finaled in contests. I won some contests. I bagged my werewolf story and started a new story. I finished that story. I sent queries to tons of agents and editors and publishers about that story. And finally, after months of rejections, I got an email that said....I love your story.

But I was soon to discover that getting a book contract was not the end of this path, it was just the beginning. Soon, I had edits and galleys and blog tours and reviews. I had a sequel to write. I had a deadline.

I missed the deadline. But I kept writing. And finally, months later, I finished my second novel. I submitted it to my editor and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

One week later I almost died.

Literally, I almost died.

I had a massive heart attack and had a stent put into my heart.

Suddenly, all of my old "goals" didn't seem so important anymore. Staying alive seemed pretty freaking important. Sitting in a chair for ten hours a day and writing was not conducive to me staying alive. I needed to stay active, exercise frequently, jet my sedentary lifestyle, and most importantly, decrease my stress.

My good friend Vicki, a Quirky, a writer, a mother and wife and artist and traveller and all-around well-balanced and awesome person said she wasn't interested in getting on "the treadmill." She observed that many folks are on a "treadmill of their own making"--and pretty much driving themselves nuts. (Yes, I noticed that Vicki is a very wise person).

I also noticed that Vicki works sometimes, and writes sometimes, and paints sometimes, and goes on camping trips sometimes, and enjoys martinis with her friends sometimes. She doesn't set stressful goals in her life that squash the joy out of her hobbies, and she keeps her priorities straight. This is not a simple task for many people, but it is an important task and one reason that I admire Vicki so much. She has rejected the treadmill and embraced her life, full of friends and family and multiple hobbies and moments of joy.

Which brings me back full circle to why I write. I don't need an agent or a multi-book contract or a bestseller list or a huge royalty check. I just want to write a story and have someone read it.

Simple.

So, I'm back to writing a couple of hours a day. Pantsing the hell out of a cool idea I've had for a while. Don't care if I finish it this year or in ten years. I go for a walk before I write. Then, I go for another walk after I write. Then, I putter around the garden, play with the dog, chat with my neighbors, bike around the block with my kids, and cook dinner with my husband.

And hopefully someday soon, I'll be enjoying a martini with Vicki and the Quirky Ladies. (Or maybe a glass of heart healthy red wine!)

I am making a choice.

I am stepping off the treadmill....