It’s May, winter is over, and the sun is—hopefully—shining. Time for love and laughter to fill the world, and we’re celebrating with a romantic giveaway. Enter May 2-22 for your chance to win. You could be one of 7 lucky readers to take home a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire 7, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card.

(Sponsored by the 34 authors listed below)

Allyson Lindt • Amanda Uhl • Chiquita Dennie • Christine d’Abo • Daphne James Huff • Diane Louise • Donna R. Mercer • Eva Winters • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jennifer Vester • Joanne Dannon • Karina Kantas • Karly Morgan • Kat Drennan • Leigh LaValle • Lori Sizemore • Lucy Lakestone • Marlow Kelly • Michele Barrow-Belisle • Michelle Jo Quinn • Mimi Barbour • Monique McDonell • RM Alexander • Robyn Neeley • S.L. Sterling • Shaniel Watson • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Tara Wyatt • Victoria Pinder • Weston Parker • Aileen Harkwood

Plus, shop our book fair where no matter your preferred heat level, sweet, sexy, or steamy, you’ll discover some great reads for 2.99 or less. We even have a bonus giveaway!

Because I’m over at Heart-Shaped Glasses this week. Complaining. Again.


Fashion advice. Seriously?

I’m watching Political Animals right now (because I always choose the show that is or will be cancelled–although I guess that was a miniseries and not the same thing at all) and reading Anne Rice.

And making my way back here. I’ve got some ideas about what I want to do here and and what I’ve gotten the most response from in the past. Now, if WordPress would just stop having 6 updates every time I log in, this would go a lot faster.

So, it’s anti-bullying month and today is Unity Day, according to the National Bullying Prevention Center. This is an issue I feel strongly about, so I’m blogging today to share my experiences.

I don’t specifically remember being bullied in school. I know I had low self-esteem, and I was overweight, and if people were mean to me about that, I guess I sort of believed I deserved it. So, maybe I was and people didn’t talk about it.

I remember once a friend of my cousin and a family member (of hers) visiting from out of town rode by me. I was, maybe, eight. We all rode bicycles then. Small town and you could go out all day, come home for dinner, and no one worried. As they passed me, this boy said, “Move it, Miss Piggy.” It hurt, of course. But, worse, it shamed me. I remember going home for dinner, and my dad telling me how pretty I was and all the boys would be after me soon (as dads do), and wanting to keep it from him, so I wouldn’t disappoint him. I remember swallowing around the lump in my throat, struggling to keep the tears from falling. If I cried, they’d ask why. What parent wouldn’t? And I was too ashamed that I’d made someone say that, to call me fat, to hurl an insult at me like I didn’t matter.

I remember the summer before I started high school, I was at a friend’s house with my best friend. This boy, a sophomore, had called his brother and spoke to me on the phone. And later, I picked up the phone to call my mom to come get me, and I heard the brother tell him how huge my thighs were and he didn’t want to waste time talking to me. And I was hurt. And I hated myself, for not being thin and perfect. I deserved to be minimalized, because I couldn’t magically make myself a better me.

I remember in my twenties, after years of not-good-enough and you’d-be-so-pretty-if-you-lost-that-weight that I got mad. It took me twenty-eight years to get angry. It took me twenty-years to realize that if it hadn’t been my weight, it would’ve been my nose, or my hair, or my clothes, or the books I always read. Because mean people just want to be mean.

If we could change ourselves, be more thin, or prettier, or less socially awkward, or more straight–it wouldn’t matter. And, really, why would you want to? To shut up the voices that say you’re not good enough? They don’t get to decide that. The truth is, only you get to decide that.

So, please, if you take anything from this and you are being bullied, say something. It does matter. It isn’t okay. You don’t deserve it. You are awesome. Exactly the way you are. You wake up tomorrow, and you rock that day as you. Perfectly, deeply, brilliantly you. Click To Tweet And, the next day, do the same thing. Those people will fall away. They’ll matter less. Your parents or a teacher will help you. Somebody loves you more than the air they breathe. Let that be enough, for now. And tomorrow, try to love yourself just as much.

@WhenALionSleeps and @thegoodbloggess inspired me to blog about this topic. Visit Rachel @ When a Lion Sleeps, Let it Sleep and write your own!


Happy turkey-Christmas-Solstice, whatever you celebrate during this time of year.

I’ll be back in 2012.

Except I have a surprise on the 19th. Naturally, I’ll be back to let you all in on that. Until then, merry holiday!

I <3 twitter so hard.  I spend significant amounts of time, every day, checking in with my “tweeps.”  (Yes, I know how dorky that sounds.)

  1. Sometimes it only takes 140 characters to recognize a person you share a passion with. All over the internet, I’ve looked for writing groups that didn’t end up taking up more of my time than actual writing.  Whatever you enjoy, find others with the same interest with a simple hash tag.
  2. Support can come from the most surprising places. Connecting with other people and sharing your life, in little pieces, is a moving experience when they respond and care.
  3. Twitter is the great equalizer. Lots of celebrities and famous authors and childhood stars and obscure B movie actors–they all tweet.  You can speak @AlyssaMilano or @WilWheaton (but not @MileyCyrus!).  Sometimes, they even @ you back.
  4. No matter the time or day, someone out there is listening. I can tweet at 4 a.m. that I’m listening to Elvis for inspiration and someone else will chime in with what they’re listening to or wish me luck.
  5. It’s provides a sense of community to read about other people’s lives. How is the weather in St. Louis? Are you writing this morning? Your son was a smash in his play?  Once you start seeing little bits of info from people, everyday, you begin to connect.  And maybe that sounds like boring tidbits, but when you connect, it matters.

Image by Iconshock

So, I’m netflixing TV shows.  It’s research, honest.  I watch some good TV series, I get this mojo for good writing, it makes me want to write, etc.

Anyway, I just watched the first disc of True Blood which I knew very little about, except that most people raved about how awesome it is.  And, it occurs to me while I’m watching, wasn’t Sookie Stackhouse a character in some novels?  How could they just take that name–it’s pretty unique.  And then I realize, it’s a show based on the novels.  So, now I’m torn.  Great books, great TV, or both?  Will one ruin the other?  I’ve ordered the first book.  I’ll let you know.

Update 3/4/10: So the book is here and I’ve finished the first season.  And I’m kind of not looking forward to the book, because what if it’s just the same thing?  I kind of already know who the killer is.  I won’t spoil it, but… yeah.  But I’ll read it and let you know.

Also, the book may be better, but without the show, I’d never have “heard” Bill say Sookie in that old southern accent of his.  And it sort of defines the show for me.

Update again 3/8/10: I finished the second season.  Very, very good show.  Also: I have a serious crush on Vampire Eric. Serious.

But online organization doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many tools for organizing all our stuff, of course, but one of the simplest is the wiki.

We’re all familiar with wikis, of course — Wikipedia being the most famous example, but many other useful wikis abound on the Internet. But one of the most productive forms of wikis is the personal wiki, which you can create at any number of sites.

via 15 Productive Uses for a Wiki – WebWorkerDaily (link no longer available).

I love this idea so much I wanted to share it.  I can see myself creating a Story “Bible”, a mom wiki for my family, a bill wiki.  I’m all over this.  I hope you find it useful, too.

A great snowstorm took out pretty much all venues of communication for me for the last week.  I’ll be back over the next few days with some posts (especially for the writers).