Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NaNoWriMo, Anyone?

Anyone else up to the NaNoWriMo challenge this year? Photobucket

National Novel Writing Month kicks off November 1st. It's an intense month with the goal of writing 50,000 words (yes, you read that right: Fifty Thousand words) in 30 days. It comes down to 1667 words a day, a bit less than 7 pages.

This is the tenth anniversary of NaNoWriMo. It started with 21 participants, most of whom knew each other from the onset and lived near each other. Six made it to 50,000 words. In 2007, over 100,000 people participated from countries all over the world. By midnight November 30, 2007, over 15,000 of them had turned in the magic number of 50K words.

Here's the scary part. You start with a blank page.

funny pictures

This is not a time to pick up an older novel and rewrite it. This is for a fresh idea, a new challenge. A new book by the end of November. Some people come into NaNoWriMo with an outline, character sketches, scads of research completed. Others come in with a vague idea, put hands on the keyboard, and start writing. Both systems lead to results including sales of books written in rough draft during NaNoWriMo.

The goal is to write. Don't edit. Write.


Yes, it's a raw rough draft. Yes, you'll write a lot of garbage. But this is not the time to get mired down in "the plot doesn't work" and "my character's an idiot." Don't go back and reread what you wrote the day before. Just keep writing. You can fix it later.

Yes, November is a busy month. But you know the cliche about busy people. "If you want something done..." I've set myself daily writing goals with at least four pages on the busy days and nearly triple that on the less busy days. I'm cleaning my house this week (also because our kids are coming to visit on Friday). Next week I'll make some double meals, with one going into the freezer for November. I'll also stock things that can be cooked in the crock pot and pre-made frozen entrees.

If you want to take the challenge, here's where you can find out more at NaNoWriMo. If you sign up or have signed up, I'm registered under Betty.Glasgow.Hanawa, if you want to be my buddy.

As far as what I'm going to write... well, I'm one of those heading into November 1 with a vague idea and some research done. But having written Turquoise Dreams in this way, I think I can do it again.

Will I make the 50K? I've told so many people about it, I'll be embarrassed if I don't. I just need to keep myself from getting distracted.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Book Up for an Award!

My book Less Than Perfect Family is up for an award.

Last week I came in third, but first was only three votes ahead of mine. If you voted last week, thank you and will you please vote again? If you didn’t vote last week, will you do so, please? It only takes a couple of minutes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Secondary Characters

I love secondary characters, not only for the insights and richness they give to main characters, but also because of their own personalities. Secondary characters, the friends/relations/pets of the heroine/hero, give the main characters depth and a sounding board for events during the story.

Often, though, a secondary character is intriguing enough to warrant a storyline, either within the ongoing novel or in a follow up novel. These days, I read the JD Robb “In Death” series as much for the secondary and minor characters as for the story. I know Eve Dallas, with Roarke’s help, will solve the murder and put the killer in a cage. But I also want to know what Peabody and McNab, Charles and Louise, Mavis and Leonardo are doing.Sometimes the secondary character tries to take over the whole book.

The first time it happened to me was during the writing of what eventually became Less Than Perfect Family.

In an original draft, Sam’s financial adviser, Martha, began to take over more and more of the book. Finally, I cut or copied all the scenes with Martha and put them all into a folder with Martha’s name. “Back off, Martha. You’ll get your own book.” When I started Martha’s story, I needed a hero for her and there was Sam’s best friend Phil suddenly telling me, “Martha’s my ex-wife and I still love her. I want her back. Please?” Hurmph, not Martha, Phil, or even Sam had told me during the first book Martha and Phil had been married to each other. Martha and Phil’s story became Balanced Heart.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Leslie Dicken and Lisa Paitz Spindler invited me to join their Word War, starting this past Monday. May 5. I set my goal of 500 words a day. The ticker shows how many words I plan to write for the rest of May. We're reporting to each other daily and Wednesdays we're to publicly report our progress on our blogs.

This past year has sucked and I'm determined to get some new work submitted this year. Right now I'm working on a story to submit to one of the confessional magazines. The Voices are talking to me again and I plan to have a new fiction story to submit by September, '08.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

DESTINATION PLEASURE is now available in print at!

Ever fantasize about going somewhere exotic? Want to make a memory that burns long after the trip is over? Nine women. Nine countries. Nine erotic adventures. Join them as each embarks on the trip of a lifetime. Sometimes it's the journey. This time it's the destination. Destination Pleasure Erotic moments in exotic places.

DOUBLE DEUTSCH by Shayla Kersten

Needing a fresh start after her husband divorces her for a younger woman, advertising exec, Catherine Lakeland, takes a position in Germany. Curious about sex with a man other than her husband but wary of the complications of a relationship, Cat trades places with her new friend, a sex worker at a brothel, for one night of pleasure but double the fun.

MADE IN MEXICO by Desiree Holt

Gabrielle, a former DEA agent, has safely retreated from the world, living in a tiny room in the Yucatan and making her living as a guide for tourists in the Quintana Roo jungle. Then her old boss asks her to find an agent stranded in the jungle with no way to contact anyone, and help effect his retrieval. Luis Aguilar is her former lover, a man who ignited her passion and stole her heart, yet she ran from the lifestyle he offered. What will happen when she sees him again after a year has passed?


Ever had one of those days? First a train strands hotel manager Leia Weisman in a Welsh town with a 54 letter name, her best friend won’t get off the “you need to get laid” wagon, and she practically attacks the zipper of the sexiest man she’s ever seen. Lucky for her, Maddock Cyndyn has the cure. Him.

DEEP DOWN UNDER by Myla Jackson

On vacation to Australia, Lucy is left with a bad taste in her mouth when her boyfriend dumps her because she won't go down. A twist of fate, a kamikaze kangaroo, and Lucy is on an outback adventure she'll never forget when she lands in the arms of sexy Aussie cowboy, Jack Kenner, where she learns the magic of going Deep Down Under.

SULTRY SAUDI NIGHTS by Allie Standifer

The past is supposed to stay in the past, right? Tell that to Sheik Damon E’Darvue. He showed up in Ariel Lake’s life after a one night mistake three years ago. With amazing amounts of bad luck and bad timing, Ariel finds herself married to a man she’s never been able to forget. But this time will she find the courage to stick around and find out what happens once passion is satiated?

TAKE ME AGAIN SAM by Megan Kerans

Belly dancer Dove Rickland travels to Casablanca to improve her dancing. But she never expects to receive hands-on lessons from sexy restaurant owner Samir Macias, or that they’d be so pleasurable.


A job promotion temporarily relocates Texan Dissa Booth to Oslo, Norway where she treats herself to a weekend mountain trip. The athletic moves of her blond, blue-eyed Viking of a ski instructor, Rolf Torger, set her lustful thoughts racing. Dissa cuts loose and lets him know she’s interested in any moves he might make besides on the slopes. Will one night of sexy naughtiness be enough? Or does a chance exist for more?

NAKED BLUFF by Betty Hanawa

The friendship with privileges relationship of American professional poker player Clarisse Jones and Prince Makis has bloomed into a love as beautiful as the roses his small country exports. His parents, the Prince and Princess of the island Principality of Renoun, have come to Monaco to pressure him into marrying. The American professional gambler is not what they wanted to be the new princess.

MI TORO by Brenna Zinn

In Seville, Spain for what should be an easy shoot for the final pictures of her Men of the World – Revealed photo book, Diana Walters quickly discovers her model is not the usual pushover. But if she hands over control to matador Philippe Cordova, will she leave with Spain with more than what she came for?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Turquoise Dreams out NOW

Last Friday, my novella Turquoise Dreams will be published by The Wild Rose Press, specifically The Scarlet Rose line of The Wilder Roses

Nita Ramirez Gonzalez and Calder (Call) Calverton have denied their attraction to each other for years. Now both are having erotic fantasies they can't ignore, especially when their dreams have them experiencing those fantasies through the legendary lovers who died 150 years ago.

This story came about due to the nagging… um, encouragement, Yeah, yeah, The Encouragement of WAP (Writers At Play} mates Tawny Weber and Leslie Dicken. My goal for the book was to write it strictly by the seat of my pants (pantser style) and to write ten pages a day. Leslie was curious about writing for the more erotic lines and wanted to see how I wrote for them. Tawny just likes to nag, much like WAP mate Trish Owens who's currently cracking the whip about getting edits on another book finished.

My husband and I had been to Carlsbad Caverns earlier in the year. I knew I wanted to put that experience into the book. I did more research and decided on AZ, particularly in the Four Corners region. After studying the various cultures who have left their mark on the region, I had my characters.

From beginning the concept through finishing the book, it took fourteen days. To Leslie and Tawny, it took too long. Tawny got the chapters every night and steamed up her monitor reading them. Leslie had to have me send the chapters via her personal email account because she was afraid her company's filters would censor them.

When I was finished, Tawny (Ms. Color Coordinator Plotter) had to applaud that I could write the story without an outline. Leslie became My Grasshopper Who Has Done well. Her newest Scarlet Rose story Improper Nights will be released by The Wild Rose Press on May 9.

It was a fun story to write. The edits suggested by Scarlet Rose Sr. Editor Diana Carlile have tightened it up and strengthen it.

And re: my experience at Carlsbad Caverns: I had reservations to explore one of the "wild" caves, but passed out on the way up the mountain due to heat and altitude. I recreated that the physical aspects of that incident in Turquoise Dreams

Hope you check out Turquoise Dreams and enjoy it. There's an excerpt on my website.

Monday, March 24, 2008

One at a Time

Last week, for the first time in my life, I saw daffodils in people’s yards. The area I live in is too hot for them so I’ve never seen them other than as potted plants.

When I saw them growing wild, daffodils became one of my favorite flowers.

A few days after I fell in love with daffodils, a friend sent me an essay about a hillside of daffodils blooming in a glorious pattern of colors. The plot
had been planted over the course of thirty-five years, one bulb at a time. The moral of the essay is any plan can be accomplished if it’s taken one step at a time. Like several of my friends, I’ve been in a writing slump. The fog is starting to lift. I know the pattern of the story tucked in my brain. I’m not going to let the enormity of what I want to accomplish, the pressure of other stories that need to be finished or edited stop this story. Every day, I’m writing one word at a time, one paragraph, one scene of this story that makes me smile whenever I think about it.

Some day I’ll have more than just the single thoughts, but an entire book to smile at.
But for now, I’m happy to smile at one daffodil at a time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Destination Pleasure

New year, new blogs, new stories coming out. Personally, I was extremely glad to see the end of 2007... a year in which the Screw-Up Fairy ruled my life. Now I'm happily growing "In the Garden" of the The Wild Rose Press, amongst the Summer Roses, the Fairy Roses, and those fun, sexy, naughty roses in the Scarlett Rose line.

Naked Bluff is my contribution to the fabulous Destination Pleasure line.

In a casino in Monaco, Clarisse Jones knows her "friends with benefits" relationship with Prince Mak is going to end soon. His parents are pressuring him to marry. She knows the Reigning Prince and Princess of the small island Principality of Renoun have no desire for their youngest son to marry an American, especially one who makes her living as a professional poker player. She plans on enjoying the last days she has with Mak, days that might be ending sooner than she realizes when Mak's parents arrive in Monaco.

The Destination of Pleasure is Monaco, home of glittering casinos, and the Grand Prix in "Naked Bluff."
Available now at The Wilder Rose.

Ever fantasize about going somewhere exotic?
Want to make a memory that burns long after the trip is over?
Nine women. Nine countries. Nine erotic adventures.

Join them as each embarks on the trip of a lifetime.
Sometimes it's the journey. This time it's the destination.

The first nine stories of Destination Pleasure will be offered in a single volume in digital format on March 28, 2008, May 30, 2008 in print.