Monday, February 28, 2011

Timing and reading

I spent Thursday through Saturday last week at this venue: the Georgia Tech pool. Georgia Tech was hosting the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men's swimming championships and youngest son, aka swimmer boy, was competing. At Saturday's finals, the ACC recognized all the graduating seniors. I took this picture with my not-at-all-fancy camera, but if you look closely, you can see the line of sweatsuit clad folks standing along the end of the pool--those are the seniors. And if you look even more closely, maybe you'll be able to make out the timers standing behind them--the people in navy t-shirts and khaki pants/shorts.

I spent part of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday dressed in my navy ACC timer shirt and khaki shorts, armed with a stopwatch, watching...well, I think of them as boys, but I suppose most people would call them men swim up and down the pool. Timers start their watches when the starting machine flashes and then we have to get to the edge of the pool and stop our watches and the "plunger" that backs up the touch pad when the swimmer hits at the end of the race. You have to be prepared to get a little wet.

I like being down on the deck. I get to see my son, but I also get to see his college friends and even some of his high school friends who swim for other ACC colleges. And I got to time with another mom whom I've timed with for years beginning when our college seniors were little boys.

So how does reading fit into this post? While I was in the volunteer room waiting for the timer briefing session to start, I struck up a conversation with a young woman, the older sister of one of the college swimmers, who was reading a book on her Kindle. Of course I asked how she liked the device and what she was reading. And she was embarrassed to admit she was reading a "silly" romance.

Now I majored in English in college, so I understand literary snobbery. Genre fiction, and especially romance, isn't quite what an intelligent woman might want to admit liking. I think many of us have a sense of what we "should" be reading. I can even remember when I was young, maybe middle school, not allowing myself to go back and read books in the children's section, even though I wanted to, because I thought they were too babyish.

I wonder where this comes from? One genre is no better than another. If I want to read children's books or if I enjoy romance more than literary fiction, why not read what I want? We all have only a limited time on this earth, so it seems silly to force ourselves to read stories we don't care for, at least once we've graduated from class assignments.

You can be sure I admitted that I not only read romance, I write it--and I'm working on saying that proudly without letting the English major in me turn up her nose even one iota.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Naked King

Oops. I guess I was juggling too many balls this weekend and totally forgot to post anything here. So I'll go with a picture--the new cover for my June release, The Naked King.

Hmm. I figured how to put a box around it on my web site, but I think you'll just have to use your imaginations here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day and author panel

I had great fun at our author panel at a Borders in Virginia this weekend. We talked about everything from research to writing and then I got to meet some readers. Here's the crew. L to R, front row: me, Tracy Anne Warren, Grace Burrowes, Mary Blayney, Kathryn Johnson; second row: a Borders bookseller, Lavinia Kent, Josie (another Borders bookseller and the lovely woman who got us all organized), Diane Gaston (writer and moderator extraordinarie).

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Read a good romance in honor of the season!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Romance Bandits

Here's the link to the Romance Bandits. I'll be popping in over there today along with Vanessa Kelly and Kaitlin O'Riley. Stop by if you have a moment.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blogging and book signing

Well, the RT blog has been pushed off to next week. I don't have a date yet, but I'll post it when I do. Tomorrow I'll be blogging at Romance Bandits; I'll stop be here in the morning to post the link.

I'll be on an author panel and will be signing books at the Baileys Crossroads Borders on Sunday, so if you're in the Washington, D.C., area, please stop by. You can find the details here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blogging update

Hi, all. The RT blog has been moved to Friday, so I'll post the link then.

Monday, February 7, 2011

More blogging

I've been blogging like a mad woman recently...or maybe it's the blogging that's making me mad (as in crazy). I'll have something up at RT Tuesday and Romance Bandits Saturday. I'll stop by here and put the live links up on those days.

At one of the blogs we were talking about heroes, and I got a bit carried away in the comments about Larry the shoe salesman. You see, I have problem feet. Well, they aren't really a problem. They work quite well. The problem is that no company cares to makes shoes to fit me. I've walked in--and out of--more shoe stores than I care to count. Which is why you'll often see me in running shoes during the winter and flip flops in the summer. Sigh.

So last week I went to buy shoes without much hope of success. But Larry understood. Larry listened. He tried to help. He'd been a shoe salesman in the old days--he'd worked at a family shoe store that I'd gone to growing up--and he actually tried to fit my feet. I did get two pairs. I wore the one pair on our trip to Baltimore this weekend and I think they worked well. Not perfect, but I don't hope for perfection in shoes any more.

Now I'm just hoping he can find me some dress sandals.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Change of plans

Turns out I'll be at The Season tomorrow, not today. And my web site is misbehaving again, refusing to accept my updates. Sigh. But I do have the first chapter of my June book, The Naked King, up. You can find it here.

All around the 'Net

As promised, here are links to the sites where I'll be in cyberspace today.

First, I'm at my agent's blog talking about writing novellas.

Then fellow writer Theresa Romain is featuring me this month on her site.

And finally I'm at The Season with fellow antho authors Vanessa Kelly and Kaitlin O'Riley.

Hope to "see" you there...or there...or there.