Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nicholas Nightflame

Yes, I play Wizard101.com. It’s a wonderfully frustrating (“die already!”) and very addictive game. It started innocently enough: the kids wanted to play and I told them I had to check it out first. Many months later we now have a subscription and my character is on level 27.

A while ago I notice the name “Nicholas Nightflame” on a list of ten best minigame players. I have no idea who Nicholas Nightflame is or if he’s played by an adult or a child. I haven’t actually met Nicholas in the game and I’m certainly not looking for him, but his name sparked my curiosity.

Naturally, Nick now has a “story,” because that is what happens when a name catches my attention. It’s really more of a character sheet and has nothing to do with Wizard101, just something my overactive imagination came up with. My Nicholas Nightflame lives in a fantasy land far, far away. He’s not a first or second son, which means he’s not an heir to his family’s wealth and lands. He’s not tasked with finding a wife, having offspring and keeping holdings in the family. Without those responsibilities, he was free to study music as a child. He has a lovely voice and is somewhat of a piano prodigy. But life can’t be that easy, of course, (not when I make it up) and there’s a war going on. Hordes of demons and hell creatures are bend on taking over the world. All that stands between them and the innocent people of the lands are gifted mages.

Mages are like warrior monks. Think Knights Templar. They’re conscripted for life and take certain vows. They are assigned to certain geographic regions and live like nomads, traveling to wherever they’re needed, never in one place for very long, always looking for demons to fight and destroy. They start training in their teens, learning how to cast spells, shields, wards and charms. Each mage belongs to one of four elemental schools: fire, air, earth or water.

Nick is a fire mage. Fire is the most aggressive of the schools. The vast majority of their spells are offensive, as in destructive, and action oriented. This is, of course, the source of great conflict for Nick who likes to think of himself as more in touch with his intuitive and spiritual side. He would have been happy studying music for the rest of his life, instead, it turns out he’s a born demon killer and quite good at it.

Mages (and their female counterparts) are not allowed relationships with the opposite sex. The authorities fear they might create offspring that could inherit lands or wealth away from their families or their schools (incidentally the reason for the Catholic Church to institute celibacy way back when). Same-sex relationships and pair bonding aren’t exactly encouraged, but the school authorities know that interpersonal relationships and connections are good for morale and the fighting spirit.

Nick’s “nemesis” is a man named Lake. He’s an opportunistic mercenary who doesn’t give a hoot about Nick’s vow of obedience or his “celibacy.” In fact, Lake’s determined to take Nick off the straight and narrow. Lake isn’t a mage, but he has latent water talents, which, in his eyes, makes him the perfect partner/complement for Nick.

Nick hates the fact that Lake (think privateer) who lives on a ship owns a piano that he cannot play. Lake’s one and only reason to own such an expensive instrument is to lure Nick back into his presence. Scoundrel!

There you have it. Nicholas Nightflame. Inspired by Wizard101.com.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview and yet another chance to win an e-book

For those of you still desperate to win the e-book version of THE PROTECTOR, visit my friend Sarah on her blog Rain on the Roof here. She had some very good questions for me and I really like how our interview came out.

Have a look for yourself and enter to win the e-book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What my depression feels like ...




I'm a beautiful, sleek driving machine, a supercar made for the road
(not the racetrack). I'm exquisite. I'm a McLaren F1. I'm meant to fly
down the German Autobahn (which, by the way, has speed limits and I
have the tickets to prove it). I'm automotive perfection.


I'm also out of gas.


I'm slowly bumping down the shoulder, my engine in neutral, my tank
empty. I'm running on fumes. Yeah sure, I'll make my destination
eventually and I do occasionally stop to take in the view and enjoy
the scenery, but mostly I'm pushing and shoving and trying to steer at
the same time.


That is what depression feels like to me. I should be cruising down
the highway, pedal to the metal. Instead I'm crawling down the
shoulder.


I'm not despairing. I don't think the world is ending and life sure is
worth living. I really wouldn't say I'm particularly unhappy, but I
have the attention span of a gnat and it's difficult to concentrate.
I'm also fidgety and restless. I can't sit still. Standing in line
somewhere is torture. I lost interest in most things I loved doing.
Heck, before doing anything these days (years, really), my first
thought is, "how much energy will that cost me and how long will it
take me to recover from that drain."


I'm TIRED. Above all, I'm mentally, physically and emotionally EXHAUSTED.


I used to think depression is something akin to a personal flaw. I
absoultely subscribed to the "you can snap out of it" school of
thought. But the more I read about it and talked to people, the more I
realized that it's not my doing (or not-doing, as it were). It's my
body being out of synch and imbalanced.


I'm a sports car with an empty tank, and I'm sick of towing and
pushing. I need a gas station :-)


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Win THE PROTECTOR on Twitter

Kassa, who just posted a very, very nice review of THE PROTECTOR here, is giving away a copy of THE PROTECTOR on Twitter. For a chance to enter, RT on twitter the following message:

RT @kassa_11 to enter for a chance to win a free e-copy of @nlgassert great book "The Protector". Winner chosen Monday Night!

That's Monday, August 17, 2009. Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And the latest winner is ...


... Angelia Sparrow ...

Congratulations, Angelia. You've become the lastest owner of an e-copy of THE PROTECTOR.

Many thanks also to Val over at Obsidian Bookshelf for offering her blog to host this give-away.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Second chance to win THE PROTECTOR e-book

Didn't win the first time around? No worries. You'll have a 2nd chance.

My friend Val Kovalin will host the second PROTECTOR e-book give-away at her blog Obsidian Bookshelf on Monday, August 10. Same rules: all you have to do is visit her blog, leave a witty comment and, voila, you're in the running.

Good luck.

And the winner is


... Lilli ...

Congratulations, Lilli. You're my first randomly drawn winner of the e-book version of THE PROTECTOR. Herzliche Glueckwuensche und viel Spass beim Lesen.
Many thanks also to Wave for offering her blog Reviews by jessewave to host the give-away.


... this is the temporary e-book cover, which we'll exchange with the much prettier original cover as soon as certain copyright issues are taken care of, I promise.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Win THE PROTECTOR e-book

I promised you the chance to win free e-books, didn't I?

This week, visit my friend Wave's wonderfully re-designed blog
Reviews by jessewave on Thursday, August 6, leave a witty comment and, voila, you're entered in the random drawing for a free e-copy of THE PROTECTOR.

Good luck.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

More than you ever needed to know, but fun ...

1. Do you like blue cheese? NO.

2. Have you ever smoked? YES. I was a stupid pre-teen. It didn’t last long.

3. Do you own a gun? It’s illegal for me to own a gun.

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? Ugh. If I had to drink it, I’d drink the red kind. What flavor is that?

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Hot dogs make great fishing bait. And they also go over well with kids.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Let me google … the name of the movie is … A Wonderful Life.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? Yes.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Hadn’t thought about that … hmm … my wedding ring is up there, as is the necklace I’ve worn since 1988.

11. Favorite hobby? Writing. Reading.

12. Do you have A. D. D? Absolutely.

13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes.

14. Middle name? Not telling …

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: My sleeping pill is kicking in; I’m going to sound like I’m on drugs. My back hurts. When am I done with this?

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink daily: water, coffee, juice

17. Current worry? Finishing a book. Finding a job.

18. Current hate right now? No hate going on here. Who has the energy for that?

19. Favorite place to be? On a shady beach.

20. How did you bring in the new year? Beats me. I can’t remember that far back. I fairly sure we did nothing.

21. Where would you like to go? Back to Hawaii or back to Japan.

23. Do you own slippers? YES, but keep in mind that most people where I come from call flip-flops slippers. :-)

24 What color shirt are you wearing? Teal and green and white tank top.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? NO.

26. Can you whistle? ...Yes.

27. Where are you now? Fort Rileye, KS, way, way past my bedtime.

28. Would you be a pirate? Nuh. I love the ocean and a good sea voyage, but unless the pirates look AND act like Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp …

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t sing in the shower.

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Kaelan

31. Favorite boy's name? Oi, that’s tough. Riley and Nic, Finn. Nolan. Aya. Cloud.

32. What is in your pocket right now? No pockets in my boxers.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? The water sprinkler on steroids. I swear the thing was getting ready for take-off.

34. What vehicle do you drive? A Ford. But never again, people. It’s all cheap plastic and it’s falling apart.

35. Worst injury you've ever had? Several serious hairline fractures in my right ankle. Horse-back riding accident.

36. Do you love where you live? NO.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2 to watch TV and 1 to play video games on. You should have asked how many computer workstations we have in the house :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

THE PROTECTOR e-book has arrived!

I wasn’t going to say anything until after my move, because my computer is about to be boxed up, which means I won’t be available online, but I know there are quite a few people who’ve been waiting and waiting … the e-book is available for download on the Seventh Window website.

The palm tree cover is new and temporary. The wonderful cover Aman Chaudhary did for me will be back shortly. If you’d prefer not to wait until then, go ahead and download the palm trees. We’ll hook you up with a new download once the old cover is available. If you don't see the format you prefer, let us know. We're already working on the Kindle edition as well.

I’m going to think up a few give-aways while I move, so check back in about two weeks for your chance to win a few FREE downloads of THE PROTECTOR in its e-book format.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Moving made easier

I’m by no means an expert on moving, but I’ve sure done it a few times. Cross-Atlantic once. Cross-Pacific three times. Within the continental US, too. Here’s my no. 1 tip: ORGANIZE.

Look through everyone’s closet. Get rid of everything you haven’t worn within the last 12 months. Think of how you get dressed in the morning and then toss that shirt that you never pick, because it doesn’t go with anything. It won’t fit any better in the new house. Get rid of your skinny clothes; if you lose whatever weight you’re working to lose, treat yourself to a few new jeans. Look closely at all your junk (and I mean that in a loving way), pick it up and touch it. Do you really want to have to unpack that?!


Group things together. Take all the photos and art off all your walls and put them in one area together. Collect all the books in one pile. Keep your electronics in one spot, this includes all the cables and connectors and surge protectors and remotes and batteries. Instead of having everyone’s radio alarm clock in four different boxes, let them be packed in just one box. If like-things are grouped together, they also get packed together, which makes finding them so much easier later on.

LABEL THE BOXES. No, no, don’t worry about the moving people (if you have any) labeling your stuff. You need to make sure YOU know exactly what’s in every box, where it came from or where it’s going in the new house. Write it on the box yourself. We had a mover once who seemed to write down each item as it went in the box, only at the new destination did we realize when we looked at the boxes that we couldn’t decipher his handwriting. Labels are super important, because you don’t want to have to search through a dozen boxes to find the one thing you need/want right away. They also make unpacking smoother, because you can prioritize.

Think ahead. Make a checklist. Write stuff down. Keep things in a safe place, so they don’t accidentally get boxed-up. Don’t assume anything. Movers pack anything they can get their hands on. If there’s something you want left out (your toothbrush, wallet, embarrassing sex toys etc), put it in a spare bathroom marked DO NOT PACK THIS ROOM. We had our trash boxed up once. I figured the movers would know not to pack a trash can with obvious trash in it. Nope. It got boxed and shipped and unpacked at the new location. Ew.

Relax. Most things will get to the new location. Some thing always gets lost and somehow stuff from two moves ago will show up unexpectedly.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Lambda Literary Awards adventure

It’s been a week now since my adventure in New York, and that means it’s high time I tell you about it. First, just in case you haven’t heard or seen, I didn’t win the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Romance. Bummer. (Check out the winners here.)

The very first time I got excited about the Lammies was the day Ken Harrison, my publisher, called to let me know that THE PROTECTO
R had made the finalist’s list. How awesome was that?! The second time I got really excited was the day I received my ticket in the mail. But the big excitement didn’t happen until I slipped into my red gown and walked into the lobby of the W – The Tuscany, waiting for the car to take me to the Proshansky Auditorium. I was so nervous I forgot to put lipstick on!

So there I was, no lipstick, in my beautiful red dress, horribly nervous. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous. I was shaking I was so nervous. Of course, it really didn’t help that I didn’t know anybody at the reception. Walking into a room full of strangers is a nerve-wrecking thing all on its on. Walking into the Lammies …

But I met some awesome people right away. Joseph Lund and his partner. Ruth Perkinson and her family, who made sure I didn’t feel too lonely, standing all by myself. Thank you. Josie Gordon and her partner Jen. Charles Flowers.

Once Ken Harrison joined me, the two of us having a glass of wine to calm our nerves, the party started looking up. It’s so much easier dealing with a group of complete strangers when there’s someone at your side. We shouldered our way through the many groups of talking people and at one point I introduced myself to a complete stranger! Remember I’m shy and introverted :-)

We spoke shortly with Drew Ferguson, met Laura Baumbach and Victor Banis (I wish I’d had more time to chat with Victor) and circled the room hoping to catch up with Larry Duplechan.

We met Larry and his husband Gregg. I assured Larry I thought he was going to win our category. And I wasn’t just saying that. He paid me the greatest compliment. He said he’d thought I was a man. Now there’s only a certain number of times a woman in a red gown (even without lipstick) is thrilled to hear she’d been mistaken for a man, trust me. But how awesome is it that a gay man read my book and didn’t spot the fact that its writer was a heterosexual woman right off?

Neil Plakcy joined our conversation and it was awesome to finally meet him in person. Thanks again, Neil, for blurbing my book and not laughing at me when I first approached you, thinking you were completely, utterly out of my league.

Back to the Lammies, which in my limited experience felt like the Oscars. At this point I had no real expectations about winning or losing. I knew I had done a good job, but I also knew the other authors had great books. It was all up to the judges and their taste this year. I had a solid 1-out-of-3 chance of winning.

Once inside and seated, I was dying of nerves. I was terrified, let me tell you. The idea of having to get up on stage to accept an award and give a short thank-you speech was truly horrifying. I was so nervous, in fact, that I didn’t want to win. There was just no way I wanted to go up on that stage.

Next time I watch the Oscars and see the winners tremble, seemingly unable to form coherent sentences … I totally know what that feels like. I can sympathize with the overwhelming terror/joy/surprise.

I was so relieved when Felice Picano who commented on THE PROTECTER’s awesome cover announced Larry Duplechan as the winner of Gay Romance. Ohmigod was I relieved! Honest. I wasn’t disappointed or bummed; I was relieved and happy as hell to have missed out on the whole going on stage thing. Whew.

Would I have loved to have gotten the award? Yes, absolutely. But was I bummed? Nope. It’s been a week now and I’m still feeling very honored to have made the shortlist of finalists with my first book. I’m incredibly grateful to my readers and the Lammy judges and super proud, but mostly I’m still relieved that I didn’t have to go on stage :-)

I’ll be better prepared the next time. Heck, I might even wear lipstick then.

Some other nice people I met that night: Scott Heim who won for Gay Fiction and used to live in Kansas. Scott Sherman whose debut won Gay Mystery. Anthony Bidulka (ohmigod!). John who writes as Jospeh Pittman. I said a brief Hello to Nicole Kimberling before she won LGBT Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror, because we both wore a red dress in a sea of darkly-dressed people.

Other odds and ends: Working on a full-sized laptop on an itty bitty plane ... interesting. I basically had the keyboard tucked under my chin. I thought long and hard about taking the laptop, but I figured I could use the downtime, also known as waiting in the airport, to get some actual work done. It wasn’t until the guy in the seat next to me turned on his laptop and I saw a cute picture of a small kid plastered across his screen that I realized I would power up to a naked guy on my desktop. Oops. (And yep, I totally fired that machine up.)

There are young women in New York City walking around with their dogs in the crook of their arms. How they balance on those heels with a canine drapped over their arms …

There are attendants in the FAO Schwarz bathrooms. If you’re feeling nauseous and faint, possibly a left-over from all those nerves from the night before (not the drinking, because you only had one drink), you might not want to seek out an FAO Schwarz bathroom. Spending the day walking the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art might not be ideal either.

Observing a traditional Aoteraroan greeting—forehead and nose pressed together, breath exchanged—made me homesick for Hawaii, but attending Matariki New York 2009 was way cool. Matariki was a celebration of Pacific Island diversity, featuring music, dance and poetry from New Zealand (Aotearoa) and the Cook Islands. The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre performance was OUTSTANDING.






Laura Baumbach (right) and I, courtesy of the wonderful Neil Plakcy

Friday, April 24, 2009

Castle

I always forget to watch this crime show starring Nathan Fillion on Monday nights. Usually it’s not until Tuesday when I secretly sneak in to delete all the weekend kid shows that I realize, “hey, there’s an episode of Castle on here.”

I missed the premier episode, so I’m not sure why Nathan Fillion’s character is acting like a pseudo-profiler. I get that he’s a writer and hanging out. I like his character. I like his mother and daughter. But every week I wonder, “when does he write?”

When does he write?

And why is he so instrumental when it comes to solving crime? How was crime solved before he decided to get real-life experience and camp out at the police station? How did that lady cop make it to Detective if she needs Castle to interpret the clues for her?

I can’t remember her name and that says a lot about her character. I can tell you, though, that she owns the same shirt in a number of colors and wears it OFTEN. She also has a red coat I love, but I can’t remember her name. Now I’m a bit disturbed by my noticing her clothes, because I am so not into clothes at all. Apparently I can’t be bothered with what she has to say or offer, so I pay closer attention to her outfits. That definitely says something about her character on the show.

What makes me watch on Tuesdays or Wednesday, whenever I have time or feel the need to procrastinate, is simply the presence of a writer. Every week I watch, hoping for some insight. But when does he write?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirates in my future?

Did you follow the Somali piracy story and successful rescue of Capt. R. Phillips? I certainly did. This wasn’t the first time an incident of piracy made the news, but I wager most people don’t know how common and widespread the problem of piracy really is.

I’m not sure if the statistic is still correct, but some years ago the South China Sea was the most dangerous in terms of piracy. The BBC had some reports on this that I still have in my research folder.

Before I started working on THE STALKER, I looked at piracy as an issue for Mason and Soren to deal with. Some of my friends and readers said that the idea sounded really interesting, especially since it would prominently feature the Sprite. Good news, I haven’t given up on the idea. In fact, I think it sounds really interesting, too. I’m afraid, though, I’d have to do some serious damage to the Sprite—think fireball and explosion—and I’m not ready to do that yet. So don’t expect to come across pirates after reading THE STALKER.

Another subject matter I find immensely interesting is the white slave trafficking issue. I haven’t done any research beyond regular news watching, but I have a hunch that trafficking might play a role in one of the next books (quite possibly book 3).

I’d also like to send Mason and Soren to Sweden. To visit relatives and attend a family function, like a wedding or funeral. My friend Christiana who lives in Germany regularly visits Sweden. I’ll have to bug her for details about the land of Pippi Langstrumpf and Michel von Loenneberga (two of Astrid Lindgren’s characters) and Nils Holgersson (Selma Lagerloef’s creation). I imagine that book won’t feature explosions, but lots of great food and a number of visits to the sauna (though, the sauna’s originally from Finland).

Personally, I prefer the steam room over the sauna, but either is wonderfully relaxing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

THE PROTECTOR is an amazon.com victim

When I first learned of amazon.com removing the sales rankings from a large number of glbt books, I felt safe and complacent. After all, the books that lost their rankings were apparently adult-themed. In my eyes, THE PROTECTOR is anything but adult. None of my eleven tags include the words “sex” or “erotic” or “erotica” or “adult.” Boy, was I wrong: The “adult” label wasn’t more than a badly-conceived smokescreen and THE PROTECTOR had indeed been victimized.

How these books that lost their ranks are/were targeted is still a mystery. Tags don’t seem to be the problem. None of my tags indicate whether or not there is any adult (sexual?) content. Friends report that their heterosexually-erotic books are just fine, but their non-erotic gay novels are affected. One small publisher that I heard of had all their books “de-ranked.” Some authors report that only the print versions of their books lost their sales rankings, whereas their Kindle versions are still ranked. Other authors who have different editions of one book with different publishers (think backlist) noticed that only some of their editions lost their sales rankings.

I’m by no means an expert on amazon rankings, but they are important to the search feature that goes with the site. The search and browse features themselves were never all that great (I sure as heck had trouble finding what I was looking for), but they are nevertheless important. In the scheme of things sales rankings are far more important to authors and publishers than readers, because they are tools to gauge publicity efforts, for example.

But unless readers specifically search for author or title, they might not find THE PROTECTOR now.

I don’t care if amazon.com is a private enterprise and as such has the right to sell or not sell whatever they want (within legal limits, of course). All I know is, it looks like my book is actively being treated differently—negatively—than other books, according to amazon.com itself based on its content, and that’s discrimination as far as I am concerned.

If you have an opinion on this, feel free to let amazon.com and the rest of the world know. Blog. E-mail. Fax. Phone. Boycott.

Guam Premier Outlets Security Guard Fights Off Machete Attack With Steel Chair

Written by Phillip Leon Guerrero, Pacific News Center - Guam, Saipan, CNMI, Asia-Pacific

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 05:58

Guam - A security guard in the Guam Premier Outlets used a steel chair to subdue a man chasing him throughout GPO’s food court after hours. Guam Police Department spokesperson Officer Allan Guzman says G4S Security, which services the outlet, removed the man from the building when he refused to leave after he was informed it was closing.

He came back armed with a machete just as the guard was locking the food court doors. The suspect then chased the him around the court. The security officer was able to throw the metal chair at the man, and hold him until other security personnel and Police arrived.

The suspect received minor injuries. He was treated by GFD Medics at the scene. 21-year old F.H. Sbbas of Tamuning was arrested for aggravated assault and public drunkenness. He was booked and confined.


***
Wow. I love it when real life and fiction collide. The chapter I'm struggling with, or gave up on, includes a knife fight outside the mall. I think I'm going to give the guy a bigger knife now. "Machete" sounds so much more menacing. Hmm. I think my struggle with this chapter might be over. Maybe all I needed was a bigger weapon and a little inspiration in the form of this real life incident.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yay!

When my wonderful publisher Ken Harrison asked me to write about how awesome it feels to be a finalist for the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards, I immediately agreed. I’ve now had some time to get used to the idea that a number of writers, booksellers, librarians, and journalists—according to the official Lambda Literary Foundation website—thought my debut novel THE PROTECTOR deserved to compete against books written by Laura Baumbach, Josh Lanyon and Larry Duplechan, who’s the very opposite of a debut author.

Holy cow! I imagine this is what it feels like to be nominated for an Oscar. Or ace the Olympic try-outs. It feels like getting into graduate school or looking at your newborn for the very first time.

I’m so thrilled and so proud, I’m positively glowing. I’m all “it’s so awesome to just have been nominated I won’t even mind losing.”

I was pretty good about repressing any pre-announcement jitters. I didn’t once visit the Lambda site to check if maybe, just maybe Charles Flowers posted the list two weeks early. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about the Lammies until last Friday when I suddenly realized why March 15 was circled on my calendar. Then I became nervous. To make matters worse I had plans for Sunday and wouldn’t be able to check my e-mail every ten minutes (which would have been okay had the announcement come before 8 a.m. Central time).

Instead, I was at the grocery store when Ken called. My excited outcry at the good news probably scared off some patrons *g*

Receiving congratulatory e-mails from friends and fans and readers before I even had a chance to see the nominations for myself was totally exciting. I mean I’m supposed to be excited, I have a personal stake in this, but it seemed other people were just as happy and thrilled as I was. How cool.

Well, you’re probably getting the idea that sometimes even writers have trouble finding the right words. So I really want to say just one thing: THANKS to all those people who believed in me and supported me. You guys rock!

Monday, March 16, 2009

the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards

Friends, readers and fans, I have the most awesomest news to share: My gay romantic suspense novel THE PROTECTOR just became nominated for the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards.

I am beyond excited right now.

THANKS for reading and e-mailing and reminding me that I have fans who enjoy what I do and who know it's okay to e-mail in suggestions and challenges. THANKS. I wouldn't be here today without your continued support.

Mahalo

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

5-star review

I’m psyched. Rainbow Reviews had a look at THE PROTECTOR and gave it 5 stars. How totally awesome it that?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because Josh asked so nicely ... here an additional 25 random facts:

1. I cannot wait for Supernatural to start on the CW tonight. It’s one of the few shows on TV I absolutely love.
2. I wouldn’t mind being left-handed.
3. I want to learn sign-language.
4. I started learning Japanese when we lived in Japan, but didn’t continue once we came back to the U.S.
5. I’d move back to Japan in a heartbeat. I love Japan even more than Hawaii.
6. And I truly love Hawaii. I miss Hawaii (aloha, Debby; I miss the SinC chapter, too).
7. Like Josh, who tagged me, I don’t do horror movies.
8. I like researching a new novel better than actually writing the new novel.
9. I have horoscopes and personality profiles for all my major characters.
10. I’m a procrastinator.
11. I don’t have stick-to-it-ness.
12. I love being a Pisces.
13. I hate conflict (see #14). I can’t stand negative people or negative energy; it sucks the spirit/life right out of me and I don’t have any extra energy to spare.
14. I have fibromyalgia (you know, like that lady in the Lyrica commercial on TV) and suffer from chronic fatigue (which is why I don’t have energy to spare on negative things, see #13).
15. I wear a 39R shoe :-)
16. I wear my watch on the right wrist.
17. I’m so not vain; I’ve been known to leave the house without ever having looked in the mirror.
18. I don’t like vegetables. Or food in general. I dislike cooking.
19. I love books. I love reading.
20. I can’t stand American Idol.
21. It is my dream to win an Oscar (but I’m not actually doing anything to work on that).
22. I would love to just take the whole family and move somewhere for a year where we help the community (you know, like Africa or China and South America).
23. I think not having sex before marriage is a mistake.
24. I can’t hold a grudge (see #13-14 for possible explanation).
25. I think people who don’t know who to drive a car with a manual transmission don’t really know how to drive a car; all they do is steer (must be the German driver in me).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sixteen random facts about me

1. I didn’t make my daily writing goal today (does this exercise count?).
2. I’m afraid of heights.
3. I love peas.
4. I’m a night owl (I’m a true moon-ruled Pisces).
5. I was born on a Thursday.
6. I have four tattoos.
7. I believe in reincarnation and karma (I’m a fan of Buddhism).
8. I married my first and only boyfriend.
9. We met during the holidays twenty years ago, Thanksgiving & Christmas 1988.
10. I wish I had an Irish accent.
11. I was an exchange student.
12. I love redheads and freckles (I married a freckled redhead).
13. I love math.
14. I’m contemplating getting my Ph.D.
15. I’m certain I have adult-onset ADD.
16. I love horses and horseback riding, but I’m not leasing or sharing board right now.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Goals, resolutions and such

In no particular order:

  1. finish THE STALKER by March
  2. finish Riley’s and Ever’s story by April or earlier
  3. write Finn’s and Peyton’s stand-alone novel by the end of the year
  4. travel to Chicago to get passport and visit bestest friend in the world
  5. travel to Germany to visit family over the summer
  6. do silly things once a week (ask kids for help)
  7. become a Lambda Literary Awards finalist and travel to NYC to celebrate
  8. win a Lambda Literary Award
  9. sell out second edition of THE PROTECTOR
  10. sell even more e-book versions of THE PROTECTOR
  11. learn how to play the violin
  12. eat healthier
  13. read more with kids
  14. speak German with kids so they can actually communicate with their grandparents and great-grandparents
  15. write grandmother more often (at least once a month)
  16. phone or e-mail far-away friends more often (reply to e-mails in timely fashion)
  17. watch less TV
  18. play outside more often
  19. stop thinking depression is a personal flaw
  20. nourish creativity

2009


Best wishes for a wildly successful new year. May it bring you peace, happiness and the fulfillment of dreams.

Viel Gl├╝ck, Erfolg und alles erdenklich Gute im Neuen Jahr.