Catch-Up Day

Are you there, readers? It’s me, Lissa. I know some of you are still there because you email me, check in with me, check in on me. Some of you (though I’m not naming names, Lynda) have even threatened to join my Ellora’s Cave editor in kicking my ass if I didn’t get a move on. Y’all should know me well enough by now to know how much I love toughness, roughness, and thinly veiled threats used as motivational tools.

I love y’all. I do. You guys mean the world to me and your unwavering support is truly amazing. There are things about this business that I could have never dreamed possible for myself and the readers that have found my books and really love them are amongst those things…

I am reading a book at the moment, actually, I am reading half a dozen books at the moment, but one of them is titled Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches. It is a non-fiction craft book about the creating of bad guys and gals in fiction. This book has spoken to me and so far I’m only just beyond the preface. It’s the preface though that caught and held me.

The author pinpointed exactly how I have been feeling since early December. “…anemic and wrung dry. …began reading to replenish the words, concepts, and images I needed to write… …a sort of triage for the writer’s soul… The ragged edges of my brain started mending and were replaced by… characters, plots, scenes… And I fell back in love with this part of my life.” (Jessica Page Morrell, Bullies Bastards and Bitches, page 1)

She goes on to talk about vulnerability and how the different things that happen in our lives create this vulnerability, this hurt, this pain, this rock bottom feeling that takes time to heal, that takes time to learn from, that takes time to grow from and to find ourselves again from… And let me tell you, vulnerability sucks, especially when you have no control over how or when or why or what. Words you wish you could forget, deeds you wish could be undone… But, it’s like Spring, as cliche as that sounds. Coming out from the darkness and the cold into the light and warm sunshine, a blooming takes effect. You’ve learned something, you’ve grown, you’ve seen and overcome. You can move on and move forward, embrace the next phase of things… That’s me in a nutshell at this point.

My reader, Lynda, commented in an email the other day that not counting Ink Spots, it’s been way too long since I’ve had a new release. Now, I’m not sure why she’s not counting Ink Spots, but… It’s going to be a few months before there’s a release. You see, one has to have a book finished to turn in and I don’t have that. It was remarked upon that Forever In Blue Jeans was nearly complete according to the sidebar over there, and in some ways it is and in some ways it isn’t. I have roughly 35000 words on it. But not a lick of it makes any sense. It’s been started, restarted, and restarted again. It’s had plot changes galore. So, it’s being re-worked. Again. This time with it’s author, ME, having a clearer less stressed head on her shoulders.

I have also found the hero, Cort…

Or rather, the inspiration for him, something I didn’t have a clear idea on before.

The time away from writing allowed me to not only read more, but also to embrace once again other things I’d missed. Laughing. Playing games with my kids. Cooking. Crocheting. Organizing. Being creative in ways that had nothing to do with writing, but that helped to feed my soul so that one day I could return to writing.

I have undertaken the task of re-organizing and decluttering my house. I’ve enlisted the help of my daughter to paint and add color. I’ve created a new blog with the intention to document and find some accountability to do these projects, to keep my focus in different areas at different times so that I don’t burn out and let the negative get to me so much that I hit rock bottom again with my writing.

The biggest thing so far that I’ve done is created space in my house for me. We’ve transformed the ‘family room’ into a home office/craft space for me. In all the years that I’ve worked from home, which is 11 years, I’ve never had ‘space’ of my own. I’ve always had to make due and while this is still me making due, I’ve put my own personal touches on it, added in things I love, and it’s right here at the kitchen, too, so… I can cook and bake as well. I don’t look on these as chores 99% of the time, so it works. I’ll be documenting this transformation on my new blog as well. I’ll also be talking about it on Eileen Andrews blog this year.

The family room turned office/craft area/business center/home school paperwork place has started the decluttering and organization process as well. I love this kind of stuff. I mean, I truly love it. It gives me energy in a way that a walk around the block never has, though that has it’s place as well. I read books on decluttering and magazine articles, and it’s inspiring, mood lifting, stress relieving. These are all things that I need.

Are y’all bored yet? Grins…

I just wanted to touch base, to let you all know I’m still here, even more here than I’ve been in the last almost two months. And to those of you who have asked, and hoped that I would started writing again, thank you. I have.

Oh and for those of you that weren’t with me last year in February, I had a birthday party on my blog where I invited authors to come on and share excerpts and giveaways. I am doing something similar this year, only the ‘presents’ that I’m giving away have grown a little larger. I will be giving you details in the next couple of days as I wrap up the guest list of authors and bloggers that will be participating. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Stay tuned!

~lissa

Midnight Clarity

And man I wish I had some… Clarity, that is. Mine hasn’t completely come yet, but I’m working on it.

I’m having writer’s block. Or something like it. I don’t know what it is. It’s an inability to write what I want to write. It started a couple of months ago. I knew there was a book to write, a couple of books to write, but the words weren’t there. I don’t know where they are.

Part of the issue is that I was trying to write a safe book. I wrote a book I loved, deeply loved and put a lot of myself into, Cracklin’ Rosie. It wasn’t really well received by a lot of my regular readers and not by a lot of new readers either. It bothered them. It wasn’t just kinky fun, it was an actual spanking fetish that needed to be explored and with the way it hasn’t been received by some, it has affected how I approached this new book, this last book in the Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series.

So, I’ve tried to write a safe one. I’ve re-written this book now three times, maybe four, I’ve lost count. I don’t know where or how this is book is going to get finished. I’ve missed the deadline on it, lost the penciled in calendar date. Written myself into a corner on it and I can’t really see how to write myself out it yet.

The same could be said about the second shifter book too, though I’m taking it slower. It however does as well have a due date for a calendar spot as well and I need to get it finished.

I love writing. I’ve missed writing these last few weeks. I’ve had a book come out with Loose Id, Arrested Holiday. It was a fun book to write, light and cute and sexy and with little bits of kink.

I have a new book coming out this week, on Christmas Eve from Ellora’s Cave, Ink Spots. It’s erotic, sexy, hot, fun.

I’ve taken some time these last couple of weeks to relax my mind. I stressed myself out so much about these books that need to be written that I couldn’t think straight. I got sick and I wouldn’t doubt if that was the universe trying to tell me something. I needed to back off, to let go. I know the saying from the Queen of Romance, Nora Roberts that you can’t fix an empty page but you can fix a bad one. In most cases I believe that. I don’t in this one. I was writing myself into a hole I wasn’t sure I’d have been able to dig myself out of. No matter how much I wrote, it wasn’t right. It was nothing but empty, meaningless words that weren’t moving the book forward. Nothing could fix it except for perhaps me walking away from it for a while.

As soon as I let go of it, stopped stressing over it, I started feeling better, started being able to enjoy the holidays with my family. I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids…baking cookies and cupcakes, shopping, watching Christmas movies, watching Food Network and the holiday specials, decorating the house. I made time to send out Christmas cards, snuggling, watch football, and just play in general. My kids aren’t getting younger and I was tired of working all the time, not enjoying this time of year with them. I was staring at pages, not getting anything done, and not having any fun. The days were going by and I had nothing to show for it, not in writing and not in being with my kids, making memories.

Have I thought about my writing? Oh yes, everyday. I think on it, I make notes, I work on outlines, I jot down new ideas as they come to me. After Christmas will be time enough to work on it all as a whole though. I was a professor of You Must Write Everyday, but not at the moment. I think sometimes you have to walk away, let it sit and rest so that you know what direction you’re going to head into when it’s time to get back to it.

Besides, that’s part of the pleasure of working from home. I can take time to reflect, to find a new direction, to find inspiration, and new life in what I do love to do as work…writing erotic romance.

Of course, it does hurt the wallet and next year’s Christmas might be a little thinner than this year’s Christmas, but it’s fine, it’s good. There are things more important and my peace of mind, my clarity of where I’m going and where I want to go with my writing are a couple of those things…

Now, I need to get back to wrapping gifts, addressing cards, texting with my mom, and fixing lunch…

~lissa

Just thought you’d all like to see…

This book will be released in August from Samhain Publishing. It’s my first shifter so…

I am spending a lot and I do mean A LOT of time in the writing cave this week so, when you see me out and about, it’ll be for brief periods of time while I play catch up and hopefully do a little getting ahead.

Hope you all have a great week…

~lissa

Tongue Tied Tuesday

Looks good, huh? Yep, there will be cupcake baking this week. Margarita cupcakes, too. Seems a challenge was thrown my way on Twitter at the end of last week to make these and well, I’ll be doing so. I’ll also be posting a ooey, gooey chocolate/marshmallow brownie over on the Romance in the Backseat blog just in time for Valentine’s Day. Here’s the link to my last post at RITBS from my Loose Id release, Sugar Rush, titled Chocolate Chili Truffles and a Cowboy Surfer.

I’m not all that worried about Valentine’s myself. I am gonna be on the couch watching the Daytona 500. For those that care, I’ll be posting a special Daytona 500 blog on Sunday morning. For those that don’t care, well, your loss! Grins…

I have been writing a lot this week, rather for the last 6 weeks and I am nowhere near being at a place where I can stop and take a break. I am trying to write a few new pieces for Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, and I’ll be working on one or two new things for Loose Id. I’ll also be writing a couple short short Wicked titles for Cobblestone Press.

I made the transition and am still making the transition to full time writer/crazy person. I had been an editor but that was taking so much of my time and energy that I wasn’t writing. I was becoming a very not nice person, so I made the choice. And it’s a hard one to make. I had to sit down with myself and have a talk. I told myself I’d give it a year. If I couldn’t make any money beyond $30 here, $50 there with my writing, then I would go get myself a job. This is the first time since I turned 14 that I haven’t had a job working for someone else, even while pursuing something on my own. It’s scary. It’s hard. I’m addicted to a lot of things that I need to be able to afford…coffee shop trips, ebooks, office supplies, coffee and supplies to make at home, baking habits, love to cook, rock concerts, and Nascar races. These are things I’m not willing to live without and I’m a much happier person when I can do and have them. Therefore, I need to make money writing. Or make money somehow. I am also the one in charge of the extras of the family…kids clothing, shoes, school supplies, birthdays, Christmas, etc… Writing needs to pay for all of that, too. Sounds rather daunting when put down in words.

These are just a few, very big reasons I write full time. The other reasons are much more selfish, but not any less important. Those are the HAVE to for my own sanity reasons. Other authors will understand this.

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They will also understand:
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And…
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Oh, and…
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men Pictures, Images and Photos

I’ve seen a little talk lately on blogs and author loops about the desire to write more female/female stories. There isn’t a huge market for it and I have to wonder why. Yes, we all love the hot yummy men, but there are hot yummy women too. Why don’t the readers like it as well? It’s a curious thing to me, but then, I like women. This is a topic I’m going to pursue at a later date. I have been seeing more and more female/female erotic romance lately and that makes me smile. I have an idea for a book that centers around 2 women friends that become lovers. There’s nothing wrong with it, nothing taboo about it. It’s more widely accepted in the media than two men together, yet, we women, and most definitely myself included, will buy up the male/male books. We crave them.

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I am dying to read the book to the right, Beyond Curious by Paisley Smith. I would actually love to read a lot more female/female erotic romance, so if you know of any that you’d recommend, please do…

Now, I really must get back to writing…

Have a wonderful day!

~lissa

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