Archive for April, 2010

another review

Great review from Elisa:

This is probably the strength of this book, there is everything, prejudices, love, loss, hope, but each of them is woven in the plot without being a sore eyes, the texture is fluid, like silk, and warm, like wool. Noah’s character feels real, in his hurting, in his trying to deny that hurt, and in his searching for solace in anonymous sex.

Two reviews in one day! Hey, I’m happy for my little book to get some attention. I’m so thrilled that the book has been well-received, that the reviews have been so positive. Seriously, thanks to everyone who read the book!

And, you know, if you haven’t you can buy the book. Is it gratuitous to stick a buy link in so many blog posts?

new review of In Hot Pursuit

In Hot PursuitIt’s a gross, rainy day in New York. I’ve had a bit of a headache all day, so I went out and drank a gigantic latte, which if anything perked me up a little. While I drank it, I sat in a cafe with my laptop. I’ve heard that there are a lot of freelancers and writers in this neighborhood, so any given cafe in the Park Slope/Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn is bound to be full of people typing away on their MacBooks on a Sunday afternoon. Today was not an exception. I sat next to this woman who, I think, was doing the same thing I was. Next to her requisite MacBook, she had a notebook open with what looked (to my curious eyes) like the outline of a novel. I was charmed when at one point, the woman blurted, “Yes! Aha!” I have those epiphany moments, too, when everything comes together and you figure out a plot problem that had been eluding you. It was a fun moment.

Anyway! I’ve been hard at work on a few big projects, but in the meantime, here’s a new review of In Hot Pursuit from Night Owl Reviews:

In Hot Pursuit was a great story and I enjoyed it a lot. This is one I will read again down the road. The damsel in distress or in this case the man in distress made for a good storyline. Noah having to be the strong one even with him still getting over loosing his lover in the past and now finding Harry made for a bit of conflict for Noah but it was well written into the story as a whole. Harry and Noah set the pages on fire with the heat and steaminess of their love scenes together. It was finger burning hot. This one is a keeper and I will definitely recommend it to others for a good read.

Aw, shucks.

Buy the book here!

poetry and other non-noveling pursuits

I had some technical difficulties (and a zany schedule) that kept me from doing much writing this weekend, but getting a break from the computer was kind of refreshing.

I learned this morning that April is National Poetry Month. So let’s talk about poetry.

My favorite poet is Elizabeth Bishop. Poetry is such a subjective thing that it’s hard to say why. I was introduced to her poetry by a high school English teacher—a teacher who had a significant impact on me, who really changed who I was as a writer—so there’s that. Bishop also wrote such brilliant imagery, and her poetry is real and visceral, though often not personal. One of my favorites is “In the Waiting Room,” the meaning of which is a little hard to latch on to, but it’s about childhood and identity and place, especially this stanza:

I said to myself: three days
and you’ll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
I gave a sidelong glance
–I couldn’t look any higher–
at shadowy gray knees,
trousers and skirts and boots
and different pairs of hands
lying under the lamps.
I knew that nothing stranger
had ever happened, that nothing
stranger could ever happen.

Some other poems I really like, of the sort I go back to and reread, by other poets include “For the Union Dead” by Robert Lowell (I thought of the poem the first time I was in Boston Common as an adult and saw the relief of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment marching towards battle) and “The Second Hour of the Night” by Frank Bidart, which I first read in an anthology I bought for an English class in college and was sort of mesmerized by (more on Frank Bidart). That’s what good poetry should do: surprise you, move you, make you think, make you remember.

It’s probably not a coincidence that all of these poets knew each other and probably drew from each other’s work; I think there’s something stylistically similar at work, though it’s difficult to articulate what that is.

I used to write a lot of poetry, but hardly ever do anymore. I like the medium, but am not motivated to write poetry most days. I did write one in February that I just posted here; it was kind of a dare (for some online friends, for myself) and I wrote a sestina. It’s a weird and difficult form. One wonderful example is (natch) by Elizabeth Bishop (and you can read it here). I posted the poem here, you can find it on the freebies page.

If you have favorite poets/poems, please post them in the comments!

low down on the hoedown

When I announced the publication of In Hot Pursuit, the first question anyone asked me was, “So when are you having a party?” My circle of friends needs little excuse to get together! ;-)

I finally had a little private book party last night at Madame X, which is a really great bar, should you find yourself in the New York area and in need of libations. They’re no strangers to romance writers, either; they host Lady Jane’s Salon on the first Monday of every month. (I’ve never been, because I only just discovered it exists, but now I think I might check it out!) The lounge has these big red couches and, as a friend observed, it’s got kind of a bordello vibe.

So, some friends and fellow writers group members came to celebrate. We had cocktails and snacks and I read a little bit from the novel. It’s a little strange reading a story told from a first-person male POV when you are a lady wearing a dress, but I persevered. I do contend that my North Jersey accent made it all the more authentic; Noah is from the New York area, after all. It was fun, kind of the frosting flower on top of the cake that has been this whole process.

And my little book is on the front page of All Romance eBooks today, so that’s kinda cool. I still get giddy when I see the cover sometimes. You can get the book there now, or directly from Loose Id.

a few random thoughts

white blossoms -- it is spring!Spring is for sure my favorite season. I like to take walks and I like flowers and I think the first couple of weekends of spring, when everyone is anxious to spend time outside, are like waking up from a long hibernation. This was an especially snowy, unpleasant winter, so it’s kind of nice to see lots of sunny days in the forecast. I took a long walk through the neighborhood this afternoon, admiring all the flowers blooming. I always forget how many cherry trees there are in Brooklyn until they start blooming in April.

I’m finishing up a novella that takes place during the winter, and it’s very hard to write about blizzards when it’s so sunny and warm out!

My Kindle might be developing an inferiority complex now that the iPad is out. I have some reservations about the iPad—I wish it ran OS X, I’m worried reading novels on a backlit screen will give me headaches, I’ve heard the iBooks store (or whatever they’re calling it) is still kind of clunky, though I imagine that will be improved—and have other more essential gadgets to buy first—my ancient iPod is about to kick it—but, golly, it’s pretty.

Speaking of the Kindle, I made a vow a couple of weeks ago that I would not buy any more books for it until I made a serious dent in the backlog of books on it. I did read a number of books that have been sitting on it for months, but ultimately, I’m weak, and I just bought two new books and am eying a third. It’s a disease, my need to buy books!

On the other hand, I’m finding that one of my favorite Sunday-afternoon leisure activities is to sit by the windows in my room and read as the sun sets.

I’m trying to turn my attention to a different work-in-progress right now, which is tough. I’m having trouble writing the end of the first chapter, but know pretty well how the later chapters shake out, so I can’t decide if it’s worth it to skip this and come back to it later, to write what I know will come easier, or to force myself to work out the problems with the first chapter before moving forward. Dilemma!

Well. I hope you all have a lovely spring week. I’ve still got a little bit of sunlight left tonight. I should make the most of it.

fear and loathing in midtown

Central Park

New York is so weird sometimes. I had a few errands to run in Manhattan, so I decided to take the subway to Midtown. I don’t leave Brooklyn much these days, so going to Manhattan can feel like An Event. And I sure picked a hell of a day! The weather was great. There were lots of spring-related shenanigans in Central Park. As you can see from the above photo, the park was mobbed! Not to mention that iPads went on sale today, so the 5th Avenue Apple Store… let’s not even talk about it. (Although, a friend of mine is featured in the first photo in this Times story. People camped out. Crazy!) Walking down 57th Street, I ran into a wedding procession. No, really, a bride and all of her attendants were walking down the street, surrounded by photographers. (I don’t think the bride was anyone famous, just part of an elaborate New York wedding.) There were kids running around with face paint and tourists running around with cameras, and all-in-all I had fun walking around and shopping.