My apologies to my readers for no updates in nearly two months. Things have been crazy with the move. We arrived safely in Dallas on October 3rd and have been busy organizing our new home. It is quite different here, compared to the comfort of paradise that I found in California. I miss the mountains there. The land here is flat. There are tornado shelters in all the stores. Personally, I'd rather deal with an earthquake than a tornado any day. I have yet to find any good wineries out here, or good produce stores. There were a ton in the San Francisco area. There are a ton of restaurants here, specifically catering to Tex Mex and fried chicken. I have been lucky to find a lot of Italian restaurants here. There weren't any in San Jose besides Olive Garden, which you can't even get into unless you're willing to wait for an hour. Most of all I miss my church. It will take a while to find a home church where I feel like I belong. We went to a Baptist church this morning in our area that was very friendly. Everyone told my husband that he should join the choir. What I find sad about the churches out here is that they are segregated. Blacks, whites, and Asians all have churches of their own that they go to. That makes it even harder to find a church that my husband and I would be welcome at. We wouldn't find segregated churches in California. People are still living from the Jim Crow law days, so racial tension is still very much alive in the south.

I have been grieving the loss of my parents' cat, Sammy. They had to put him down last week. He became ill suddenly from poison and went quickly downhill. That combined with the move has been wreaking havoc on my emotions. I was hoping to see him when we go home for Christmas this year, but I'll never get to see him again. He was a good friend who will be missed.
Lately I've been suffering from something only beginning writers would know about - beginner's blues.  It's the phase in my writing career where rejection is being tossed in my face, while those above me who have been published are smelling success. They brag about their sales at the RWA meetings, unaware that other newbie authors and I are filled with doubt. I wonder if I am ever going to be traditionally published and when it will happen. So, if you are one of those hot shots that are living and breathing success, I do congratulate and admire you, but just keep in mind that there are those out there who are waiting for their chance to shine and are feeling badly until they do. Be sensitive, folks!
A good friend of mine recently discovered something very disturbing about my book, Without the Stone. It's been pirated! Whoever did this is downright sick and deserves to be punished. Piracy is the same as stealing. Whoever did this is making it available for others to steal royalties that are rightfully owed to me. I have poured my heart and soul into this work. It makes me sad that someone would actually do this. Granted, the whole book is not available for free. Chapter one appears to be missing in the pirated version, so if you want to read the whole thing, you have to purchase it. I have alerted my publish
I have gotten my fair share of rejections in the past, but none lately. I haven't been querying anything in the past couple of months because of the rewrite, but I got a hundred rejections for Without the Stone. Before I started writing fiction, I dabbled in poetry and submitted my work to magazines. Usually I get a handful of form rejections that don't offer any encouragement at all. Every so often I get a glimmer of hope from an agent that I am a good writer and my work is marketable.

I remember one specific rejection for something I submitted to Third Coast Magazine, Western Michigan University's literary journal, The rejection read something like this, "While it was a good read, we can't publish it at this time." If it was a good read, then why don't you publish it? The whole purpose of publishing is to entertain readers, and it sounded like mine did, so why not publish it?

I understand that agents are very busy people and get swamped with submissions. They don't have time to write personally to each one, hence the form rejection. Some only respond when interested. Agents need to understand that we writers don't want sugar-coated rejections. I would much rather get a form rejection than a sugar-coated one like the one above. Sugar-coated rejections don't make us feel any better. We still feel less than our best because our we weren't chosen for publication. Every agent has his or her own response method. All I'm asking is to beware of sugar-coating rejections. They add up, alluding vulnerable authors to false hopes. Give us the cold, hard, honest truth. We can handle it. What we can't handle is broken dreams.
...that I'm perfect. Because I''m not. I'm not the perfect wife (although I sure try to be), or daughter, or sister, or friend. And I'm certainly not the perfect writer (although I try to be perfect at that too because writing is my lifelong passion). I learn new things about writing every day, and when people are disappointed that I didn't come up with a certain idea for my novel sooner, it makes me mad! It's like they expect me to be perfect. How can anyone expect me to be perfect when I'm not even traditionally published yet? I wouldn't even expect someone as successful as J.K. Rowling to be perfect either, but I wouldn't expect anything less than page-turner from her.

...that I'm a strong woman. My friend and I were hanging out in San Mateo last weekend when we were accosted by some bums while we were waiting for the Caltrain. These men were the most ungodly men I had ever met - they were drunk and cussing at us and coming on to us. They asked us if we did meth. Do we look like the kind of ladies who do meth? We still have all our teeth in tact! We kept telling them we were married, but they wouldn't relent. One of them touched my knee! The other guy had his zipper undone and threatened to use his pepper spray on us. Why would a man need pepper spray?! My friend and I were scared out of our wits and I was getting ready to throw some punches because I know kickboxing. Lucky for us it was still daylight and there were people around. We went back to the Melting Pot where we were having dinner and the bartenders took care of us. I swore I felt Satan's presence when we encountered those bums. When I called home crying to my mom, she wouldn't hear of it. She wouldn't let me cry. She thinks crying is only for those who are dying. How else do you express anger or hurt or fear or frustration? Do you think you could have been brave or strong in this situation? I was the first time I had ever been accosted like that. I was afraid for my life.

It's a pet peeve of mine when someone close to me assumes something of me that I'm not. Even if you think I'm a sweetie or a nice girl, I do have my bad days, so watch out. You assuming something of me indicates to me that you don't know me as well as you think you do. I do overlook important details in my writing as I'm just starting out and my strength does wear out in times of stress and fear and hurt and anger. And if I need to come crying to you, I'd appreciate a shoulder to cry on.
Nothing bugs the crap out of me more than jaywalkers. Today I saw a kid trying to cross the street halfway between one light and the next light. A freaking kid! Dude, unless you wanna get yourself killed, walk a few extra feet to the next light and cross at the crosswalk where you're supposed to cross the street. Don't parents teach their kids these days about how to cross the street? Whatever happened to good parenting? A while ago I nearly hit some guy who was jaywalking in the middle of the road, so I honked at him and he had the audacity to flip me off when he was in the wrong! Low class! If you are jaywalking in the middle of the road right in front of me, I will honk at you. Beep! And don't get me started on the drivers who don't use their turn signals and switch lanes in the middle of a curve. Stupid! Watch where you're going, people! And get out of my f%$@! way!