Let me organize!! #ADD #NotWriting

My desk is a disaster. At the moment, I can't see what color it is. (It's white) but it is buried under details and lists and calendars and I'm so overwhelmed by it all. I'm moving. More on that in future posts, but that means, I have to organize my life here so I can pack it up into small boxes and carry it across the state. Well, pay someone else to carry it across the states, but you get my drift. Anyway, I'm panicked. I'm a fourth-generation Californian and most of my kids are here. My parents are here. But reality dictates that if I want to write and do what I was created to do, I need to move. I need to get away from the left-brain thinking of Silicon Valley where everyone can afford to drive a Tesla and thinks Gucci shoes are a staple.

Back to the desk. Usually, I have orderly routines that work well for my ADD self. I organized six people for the last 27 years and I did pretty well at it considering. But now, I cannot even organize myself and I am frustrated! My friend who works at Apple is coming over tonight to help me function like an adult.


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(My son the engineer sent me this. I'm sorry I passed on this genetic defect, but there you go. May your frontal lobe function well, young padawan.)

I've decided moving must be much simpler for non-readers. I mean, packing up these books time and time again is getting OLD! I do have a Kindle, but it's gathering dust. I'd still rather read a book when my eyes are working well enough to read a book. Just finished Colleen's latest and she just gets better and better.


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So I'm open to your suggestions. Soon, I will be in a place where Fiona has a yard. I have access to laundry and I'm not living like a college student. The last few years have been rough, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If only I can shut down the panic mode long enough to get there!


"Write to Market!" They said.

That is such great advice. Write for the market and you will sell lots of books. It's such an easy equation. Why can't I just do that? The rules for fiction that sells are so basic in the romance genre.


  • Nice heroines (Ie., not snarky)

  • Handsome, manly heroes (ie., not nerds in venture capital)

  • Romantic settings (not Silicon Valley -- trust me on that one!)

  • Primary focus is on the relationship (this one really gets me, I'm too ADD for that.)

The problem for me is that my favorite romances don't have these elements, so that really screws me up."Pride and Prejudice" has the best hero in the history of heroes, and he's a total jerk. (Until we find out who he really is.) Lizzy is so proud and full of herself that she turns down a proposal that could rescue her family from entailment laws. And is the suburbs in England really that romantic?

What about "Jane Eyre?" Mr. Rochester might just be a sociopath. LOL "Far from the Madding Crowd" -- Bathsheba definitely has narcissistic personality disorder and Gabriel Oak is probably an enabler, but he loves her as Jesus loves us -- when we are not worthy of being loved. Could there be anything more romantic?

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My current heroine is a social worker in San Francisco. She dresses badly and couldn't care less. The hero is a would-be lawyer who has secrets and a broken hip. The setting is a gothic mansion in modern-day San Francisco where the heroine lives with the father who abandoned her. This is what my brain is like. It is NOT normal. It cannot do what it's supposed to. I'm feeling frustrated today that I have to finish this story with too many characters and a lot of resolution still to go.

If only I could throw a sword fight in and make my heroine swoon over her handsome rake savior. Alas, I cannot. I just need to finish the book. If you identify with any of this craziness, this post is for you. Not all of us are meant for the masses. Some of us are meant to appeal to a specific palate. Just finish the book. I have to tell myself that after 40 books published. Just finish the book. It's for someone.


The Great American Read #PBS

Has anyone watched, "The Great American Read" on PBS? They have gathered the top 100 books and they're asking America to vote on its favorite. Hearing people talk about their favorite books and what they mean to them sets my heart aflutter. Is there anything better than that connection with a character so that you don't feel so alone in the world?


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The full list is here: http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books/#/

Does it make you as excited as it does me? I had a tiny, little library by my house when growing up. I would ride my bike there and snuggle into a dark corner with a book. Ah, bliss. I was glad "Ghostbusters" didn't come out until later because that library ghost might have ruined my peaceful summers in the library.

When someone is deeply moved by a book, it makes you want to pick up that book and find out what you're missing. Last night when a reader described why she loved "Pride and Prejudice" I just wanted to hug her and say, "I know, right?"

This girl, a young Janeite at the annual convention of fans showed off her Austen tattoo. I showed my daughter that scene and said at least I didn't get dressed up in Regency clothing and head to annual conventions. She just told me, "No, you're just that geek in 'Austenland' with Mr. Darcy scribbled all over your binder.

Maybe.


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Luckily, I don't look good in an Empire waist. This particular Janeite spoke about Elizabeth Bennet being contrary and my ears perked up. "There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”

That quote is so me. Tell me I can't and I must. My other favorite heroines all have this in common. Bathsheba Everdene from Far from the Madding Crowd; Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind;
Meggie Cleary from The Thorn Birds. Their lives would be so simple if they just took the easy path.

I was talking to friends about publishing this morning and I know the path that publishing is taking. Why can't I just follow it like a normal writer? Because I'm Elizabeth, not Jane.

Yesterday at Costco I saw a stack of the classics in books and it thrills me to see. Check out that list of 100 top books. Which ones speak to you? Do you see a common denominator? The list is daunting. There are so many fantastic books that I love listed.

And because I mention "P&P" I can't leave this post incomplete. You're welcome.

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Book Reviews...

I don't tend to do reviews on books unless I think very highly of them, but I noticed yesterday when I went to update my page at "Goodreads" (a site that I don't have time for because I'm reading) that I had put some three star reviews up.

That surprised me. I was like, I did that? But as a writer, I tried to make it clear it's usually the content doesn't agree with me. It's a personal opinion. It's not Gospel. One book I gave a three star review to was a blatant rip-off of a secular, bestselling business book. That annoys me, so that's a personal thing -- no offense to the author, but I just found the whole thing a waste of time.

It annoys me that Christians think we're better than the secular world and we need things religionized for us to take away valuable information. We have the Bible for that. I read the book this Christian book was based on -- a good book with lots of great statistics and examples. The Christian version was a lot of Christianese without the statistics to back it up and very simplistic. The reviews on it were fantastic -- and mine is clearly the outcast view.

Maybe it's because I'm a discerner and Scripture comes fairly easily to me, so I can read say, a New Age book, and gain the insights without someone dumbing it down for me. I realize there is a place for this kind of Christian copycat book, and I'm glad it helps encourage people. It just doesn't encourage me.

Anyway, reading the review, I thought, I'm going back to my old ways of only posting on a book I really like/love. Like this one. (Not really, I don't review my own books.)


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