The calls have gone out

Well, there will be no Rita sitting on my shelf. But then, when you are in the same category competing with the likes of Allison Brenan and Sharon Sala then the chances are pretty slim. Not that I'm saying that they don't deserve it, because frankly, I picked up Allison Brennan's last book and it was so intense I stopped reading it. Sharon Sala is another who consistantly delivers a fabulous book. I think that's a huge part of it. Consistency.

Anyway, I do think that the Romantic Suspense category is a bit like the Paranormal category. There is a huge variance in the level of RS/Paranormal with the hundreds of books that get submitted to the Rita's and all the other contests out there. What I write is closer to a Romantic Mystery, but frankly until they consider that a subgenre of there own I'm still in the RS category.

Kudos and congrats to those who finaled.

Slainte'



To all things Irish! And that includes my family. Or at least my mom's side. This is the day that I celebrate all the great Irish things in my life. We will call each other and wish each other a good day and dress in a bit of the green and even some orange. We will have a traditional dinner. Corned Beef and cabbage... and before you tell me that it's not a traditional Irish dinner I'll tell you that it is a traditional family Irish dinner, especially here in Maine. In fact, the demand for corned beef is so high that I had to go back to the meat department at work the other day and help a gentleman who didn't want to fight his way to the case through the throng of waiting people to get his package. Corned beef is a long standing tradition for those Irish who came to New England. The cut was one of the most inexpensive and could last for long periods of time and the left overs could go into various dishes. The cabbage could be found in many a garden along with the potatoes. Believe me when I say that the New England Irish are a thrifty lot. There will of course be the prerequisite showing of the Quiet Man. Again, a very New England (very Maine connected) movie. I've said this before on this blog, the director John Ford was from Portland, Maine. Very cool. And, at the end of the day, I'll sit down with a bit of whiskey and say a toast to all those that came before me... my mom who instilled in me a love of all that is Irish. My Nana... a great hardworking soul who died way too young and shared my love of Longfellow poetry. My great uncle Billy who cooked me toast for breakfast and took me for wild rides in his old mail jeep... for him I named my son after him. For my great-great uncle Frank who was a world war I flyer, very dapper and debonair, for my great grandfather William who was a conductor on the trolley cars in Boston and came over from Ireland with his own father (William, also) from Belfast. My love goes out to you all.
And to everyone out there, Irish or not.... Happy St. Patrick's Day.

It's that time of year.

Tax time. For me, every year at tax time I get this rather unrational fear of doing my taxes. I know, I know, it's not fun for anyone. But I think for me it's a type of test anxiety. I hate anything that goes with being put under a microscope and scrutinized.
But I digress...
I was talking about taxes, specifically writing fiction and taxes. I have a horrible filing system which my daughter scoffs at. It involves a small canvas tote that I put all my receipts into and then log them into a excel file that I created when they are needed. It works for me. I log them by category and I highlight the information using the comment feature to be able to signify which and when the expense was incurred. This has been a learning experience for me. One that I have forced myself to do.

The other thing that I do is keep a log of what writing activity I've done. I don't always have pages to enter, but I list the project that I'm working on, the date, and comments on what I was working on (i.e. revisions, query letters, etc.). This will help in justify my work to anyone who may inquire.

I keep a detailed accounting of my driving trips.mileage by mapping trips out through mapquest and then sending a copy of the itinerary to myself at my email address to be kept on file. I do this after the trip so that I can make any changes that need be (such as my unexpected detour through Bridgeport, CT on the way home from the last NJRWA conference.)

Anyway, the hardest part is done. And now, I can get back to my writing.

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