Where Did I Put My Tiara

The life unglamorous . . .

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Location: Utah, United States

see biography at http://www.marjoriejones.com

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hi gang!

The image posted above is my new foreign bookcover from German publishing giant, Knaur. For more information about what the title means, you can check out the books page on my website. This is more or less a blog-by, but I wanted to let you all know about a contest I'm running.

Most of the German translations of American romance novels use recycled covers from older American books. I have a feeling based on the pose and art used for the new "Rescuer of my Heart" version of The Jewel and the Sword, that this is such a case.

But whose book did this cover originally bless? That's the contest!

The first reader to swing by my website and use my contact for to tell me the name of the book and author for whom this cover was originally crafted will win a copy of The Jewel and the Sword (American version). So hit those keeper-shelves, search those sharp-as-a-tack memories and let me know if you've seen this cover before! Enquiring minds want to know! Mine!

Permission to forward this post is granted and encouraged... the more the merrier (and the better my chances of gaining this little bit of trivia for my own peace of mind.)

Hugs and more hugs,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Getting down to basics

I've been a very bad girl. I haven't been writing like I promised myself I would for the new year. I'm supposed to be writing at least 1000 words every day. To make up for lost time, I'll need to put in about 28,000 words before *looking at watch* lunch.

I have been working hard. But I haven't been working smart. I need to learn how to work smart. How do I post to various lists, complete interviews, promote my various titles, complete my edits, blog (I blog here sporatically and have recently signed on to Unusual Historicals http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com to post every month on the 13th) and remember what my children look like?

I don't get it. Twice in the last week the topic of 'balance' has come up. Balance? What balance? You mean there's someone out there who actually does this right? They have time for their family, job and writing? Oh, I get it. We're talking about those who have so many books in print that they've quit the day job and write full time. Sure, I could do that. Set a schedule and when I'm writing, pretend I'm not home. Hmmm... tried that. I didn't have a job outside of writing for almost 2 years... or was it 3? Anyway, even when I closed the office door, I could still hear my daughter's arguing, my husband still rapped on the door to ask where his keys might be, et cetera et cetera. So unless I actually leave the house, find myself a table at the library or park my bootie under a tree at the park, working for eight hours uninterrupted at home is a pipe dream.

And just how did those successful stay-at-home-writers get to be so successful. They must've found that magic-balance-feather at some point before then.

I'm still looking for it, personally. Someday, I'll stick my Dumbo ears out and fly away. In the meantime, I shall endeavor to be more organized with my time and my responsibilities. Right now, I'm off to do laundry.

While I'm climbing Mt. Laundry, how about spilling your secrets for balance. Whether you're a writer or a waitress, working moms fess up: How do you do it all?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mountain Climbing for the Holidays

Hello again :)
The Flyer is done and I get to concentrate on the holidays.  My kitchen has been in a barely clean holding pattern for two weeks, so this morning I am going to clean it to sparkling, clean the dining room and living room etc, decorate for Christmas and put up the tree.  Then, I'm going to do Grocery Shopping... which I haven't done in six months.  It's been a trip to the store for necessities and one or two meals every week and of course, lots of fast food.  No more.  Today, I stock the pantry and the fridge like a bad boy.  Then, I'm going to do laundry... I'll need some of those funky shoes and the claspy things the mountain climbers where, of course.  Mt. Laundry has made it to biblical proportions.  Wish me luck.
I'm notorious for waiting until the last minute to shop for gifts.  I prolly won't go for at least another two weeks.  Wish me luck there, too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Movie Every Writer Will Adore

I wish I knew the title, but the new Will Farrell movie is one I will NOT miss.
This poor guy is walking through his normal, everyday existence when out of the blue he begins to hearing voices.  Well, one voice.  That of a woman who is basically narrating his life. 
He learns that she is a very popular fiction author and slowly discovers two things...
She is writing his life.
She is trying to KILL him!
I can't wait to see this flick, and I'm not a movie goer, at all.
Why?  Because it reminds me of my own writing life.  My characters feel like real people to me.  I don't take it to the same extreme that some writers do, that is: believing they are my babies and bad-editor better not screw with my artistic prose...
But they are real to me and I adore all of them like family.
For instance, when I was writing The Jewel and the Sword against a severe self-imposed deadline, I wrote all day, everyday, for five days.  I needed to write roughly 15 chapters while my husband was out of town on vacation.  So, I showered once, when I offended myself, and forgot to pick up my daughter from school.  Err... Twice.
Still, on day four of this marathon from hell, someone started screaming at me.  "Why are you writing Devlin's story?  Everyone knows he is the boring one.  I'm better looking, and I'm far more fun than that old whanker!  Create a love for me, love." 
He wouldn't shut up!  I told him he would get his own story, something I hadn't decided before that.  But in the end, I had to stop writing The Jewel and the Sword and start writing My Lady's Will right then and there.  Instead of writing 15 chapters, I wrote 18 chapters.  Once I'd completed the partial for his story, Will shut up long enough for me to finish the current project, which sold three month's later to Medallion Press.  Yay.
Do characters talk to authors?  Heck yea.  This spin on author's interfereing in their characters' lives' should be a hilarious spin on things!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Romance...run for your lives!

What is so terrible about romance novels?  What is so terrible about romance in general?
I ask because of recent attacks on romance in public forums.  Take Fred Head, for instance.  He is a dem running for Comptroller down Texas way.  His republican opponant once wrote a romance novel.  Susan Combs acheived something back in 1990 that most of us only dream about.  She published a category length novellette/novel for the now defunct Kismet line of books.  Back in 1990, the romantica/erotic romance boom hadn't hit, so her book is a mainstream sensual romance.  According to Mr. Head, that makes her book porno. 
He says she is out of touch with the Christian values of Texas.  hmm... I'm a christian.  I write romance.  I've even been known to have sex upon occasion.  Ask my children.  Don't ask my husband... he'll deny it based soley upon my writing schedule.  Still, I don't see Mr. Head's point that Susan can't be christian and write romance novels.  Keep in mind that she isn't writing anymore, anyway.
Some argue that her stand on an Abstinence Only sex-ed program while she wrote a *gasp* sex book almost twenty years ago makes her a hypocrit.  Not so... just because she wrote a book a romance novel doesn't mean she advocates high school sex parties, or banging behind the gym. 
Enough of that.  Let's move on to offending ads in the subway.
The Greater Washington Initiative has decided that Washington DC is far too advanced intellectually for romance novels.  They read Plato while only 'average' people read romance novels.  Well, la-dee-da... The controversy can be read in more detail on SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com .  Mojocastle Press even made it into an article on the issue in the New York Times when the reporter quoted COO and head-editor Stephanie Kelsey's letter to the offending organization.  Way to go, Stef.
And finally... What's up with some of the writers over at Nanowrimo?  http://www.nanowrimo.org .  See, someone over that way has decided that they want to take the easy way out of the annual writing challenge this year.  The goal;  write a 50K word novel in one month.  This person's out?  Write a romance novel, because they are so easy.  And if she ends up with something HALF WAY DECENT, she'll even publish it.  As if it were that easy.  Any half-way decent romance will be published right?  Of course, she doesn't have any idea what a romance novel is, or how to write one.   She has explained that her heroine will have three possible love interests, but the real hero won't show up until half-way through the book... huh?  What is this?  The Dating Game or a romance novel? 
In an entirely different thread, another writers says she's writing a fluff peice just to entertain a few friends, but since it's fun, she'll continue writing it for nano.  Of course, she finds it silly on the whole and is afraid she is prostituting her artistic gift.   Her words, not mine.
While I was composing a reply in which I pointed out that she must not have much of a gift if she's asking for help and support from the very writers she had just referred to as literary whores, SHE pulled the post, leaving out all of her insulting comments.  I checked her profile.  She's only 18 years old, so I pulled my scathing reply as well.  But man... that irks the hell outta me. 
What so you all?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Case of the Missing Keys... or the 17K dollar paperweight

My husband bought his dream truck a few years ago.  A new-to-us F250 4x4 extended cab long-bed pickup.  Forest Green with plush grey interior, trailer package, bed liner.  The works.
A few weeks ago, his puppy, the little mastiff who weighs in at only 100 lbs so far, ate the keychain.  It used to be one of those automatic remote door unlocker things, but now, it's just peices of one of those automatic door unlocker things.  Well, that is, until we lost the keys a few days ago.
We don't drive the truck all the time.  Not even close to every day.  Just when we need to haul a horse or a boat or a camp trailer.  You get the picture.  Our front yard looks like a redneck's wet dream.  Anyway, he asks me to leave the keys out for him the other night so he can go scout deer when he gets home from work.  This is his way of saying, "Honey, I have no idea where I put the truck keys the last time I drove my must-have-dream-machine, can you find them for me."
The answer to that unspoken question, I learned three hours later, was, "No.  I can't find them for you."
Gone. Gone. Gone.
We've finally given up.  This morning, I called my favorite locksmith.  (What?  Doesn't everyone have a favorite locksmith?)  He's out of commission for two weeks while his van, which is also his office on wheels and workshop, is in the shop.  He says my truck more than likely has a transponder key thing feature or whatever, and I should call the Ford dealership.  They could cut and program a key for less than he could have anyway. 
Ford dealership quotes me prices on the key, the programming, the labor... then tells me the truck has to BE there when they do it.  Okay... did they not hear me when I said I HAVE NO KEYS!
Oh, they heard me.  They gave me the number for a tow truck service.  Just so happened to be my FAVORITE tow truck service, too.  (Don't say it. I know.)
Another 65 bucks for a local tow, on top of the key charges, oh--and the extra key they'll make for me that will ONLY unlock the steering wheel so the truck CAN be towed to the service center.  How lovely of them.
I call my husband and break the news. 
"It's not a transponder key."
"Yes it is dear.  They said if the key has a black plastic tip on it, it's a transponder key."
"No.  It's not.  I promise."
"Fine.  I'll call them back and have them look up the damn make and model."
So... the good news is, it's not a transponder key.  (I really, really hate it when he's right, by the way)
All I have to do is call the dealership, give them my VIN (a long string of numbers and letters that looks like alphebet soup on crack) and they can give me the code my second favorite locksmith needs to cut the new non-transponderish keys.
"What year is the truck?"
"Oh, man.  I can try, but we can't always get that year.  See, our records go back to 97."
What?... you just delete the VIN numbers from the universe after 10 years?  No, I only thought that.  I'm a polite consumer.
"I see... can you check."
"Sure.......... nope we can't give you a code.  There's no record."
"What do I do now?"
"How about a new ignition.  I can set that up for you..."
Click.  I then called Ford Motor Company who thought this was rather odd.  She told me to call a different dealer, who explained to me that the coding/VIN verification record system was actually STARTED about midway through 1996.  My truck, having been manufactured in JANUARY of that year... you see where this is going, right?
So, my husband is at home waiting for the locksmith (the second favorite one) to come to our house and see if he can either rekey the ignition or do some old fashioned molding thing.  Otherwise, I am the proud owner of a 17K Dollar paperweight with little matching paperweights all the way around it.  You know the ones I mean... the paperweight shaped like a boat... the one shaped like a camp trailer... the one shaped like a horse trailer...
I'll keep you posted on where my darling husband is sleeping tonight when I figure that out.  I hear the bed in the second paperweight from the left is kinda comfy.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fingernails and Puttin' on Airs

My mother lives in a 5th Wheel.  Well, so does my father, who will celebrate marriage to my mother for hmmm... I think it'll be 40 years, next June.  But I digress... the point is, they live in a camper.  A few years ago, they sold everything (and I mean everything) and bought a King-cab, diesel, duelly, full length F350 pick up truck and a 36 (I think) foot 5th Wheel with three slide-out expander things.  It's a very nice 5th wheel, but when the sun sets on the hitch every night, it's still a camper.  They spend their days traveling the country... dad behind the wheel and mother snapping pictures with her digital camera.  It's a life choice, and personally, I always knew they were hippies.  Free spirits.  Maybe a little nutz, but that's okay because they've certainly earned it.
Point number 2.  I recently started wearing manicured nails again.  I haven't worried about my nails pretty much since I started writing full time because I can't type on my laptop with long nails.  But my laptop keyboard is kaput, so I have to use an external keyboard, and I can wear nails again.  I like to wear nails because they make me feel a little glamourous.  I don't wear the active square length.  Nope, I go for the realllly loooong glamour tips that curve over, then cut them down to the perfect length for me.  Sexy and strong... that's my motto.
It's all about the glamour.
Now to my point.  Last night I stopped by my friend Judy's birthday party for about an hour.  It was party night at her friend's house.  He is an underground miner (you know, like Loretta Lynn's daddy), and he's a bachelor.  I wasn't expecting a gorgeous home and a gormet feast.  That'll learn me to stereotype, right?  So, here I am, looking glamourous with my new nails and my hair 'just so', while Judy and I are talking with a couple of her other friends I hadn't met before when our host lays out a few platters of appetizers.  Deviled Eggs (can't do a party without them) and olives, of course.  Then a bowl of marinated shrimp wrapped with bacon slices with a Chile dipping sauce.  My daughter had about 20 of them.  But I don't do shrimp.  Then a platter with tiny little rolled Anchovies, shredded crab meat (not imitation), and steamed oysters.  In the middle, a tiny black jar. 
Heather opens the jar and immediately replaces the lid.  "Mom?" she asks, "Why is there bait on the table?"
Yep.  Caviar.  I just couldn't do it.  I'm sorry.  I'm not a seafood kinda girl anyway, but fish eggs?  So my point is, I discovered I'm not a glamour girl afterall.  I'm a Tony's Pizza Roll kinda girl.
When asked why I wasn't eating any Caviar, I simply replied, "I can't.  It's against the law.  My mother lives in a 5th Wheel."
Thanks, Mom!