So, the lovely gypsy girls over at Romance Vagabonds threw down the gauntlet and challenged one another to complete their WIPs by RWA National Conference in Dallas (starts July 11).

Since that’s my goal, too, they’ve generously allowed me to join them! In my case, it’s like an eight-week NaNoWriMo. I’m counting by pages this time, so I need to write about 40 pages a week, or 5-6 per day, to finish. I think I can! I think I can! I’ve got the little pagemeter over there to the right. Keep me honest, please!

You know, there’s a part of me that wonders if cranking out pages like this is the best way to write a book – that maybe I should be working more slowly and thoughtfully.

But then, this is what I did with GOTH, for the most part – except that was more like 4 pages/day. And it worked. I finished – where I’d tried and failed so many times before. Plus, if the ultimate goal is to become a successful romance author, ideally I’ll have to be writing a book every 6 months or so, anyway. Right? Might as well get used to working that way now.

(That’s me thinking like Lionel Shriver … see post a few screens down.)

Anyone else setting big, bold goals they want to share?Read More »

There’s a pernicious rumor in Blogdom that I’ve heard a few times now. It goes something like this: The words “I’m sorry” are an anachronism, if you’re writing a Regency.

To which I say, “I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong.”

Some quotes from Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth, from The Proposal at Hunsford:

In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot — I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any one.

From Darcy’s letter (THE Letter):

But from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance, I shall hope to be in future secured, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. — If, in the explanation of them which is due to myself, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your’s, I can only say that I am sorry. — The necessity must be obeyed — and farther apology would be absurd.

Darcy, during the Second Proposal:

I am sorry, exceedingly sorry,” replied Darcy, in a tone of surprise and emotion, “that you have ever been informed of what may, in

Read More »

Of all the jobs I’ve ever had – and this includes that miserable stint in my college cafeteria – being a mother is both the hardest and the best. I doubt my qualifications and my sanity daily, but the dozens of kisses and hugs I receive pretty much even the score.

Sometimes people wonder aloud how I get any writing done with two young kids. But oddly enough, I think being a mother gives me lots of inspiration for writing romance. When FanLit happened, my baby was just a newborn. I wrote several of my FanLit chapters by typing with one hand while I nursed/rocked/held him in the other arm. I wrote the whole time I was pregnant with him, too – I call him my muse.

Although I’ve been happily married for several years, both of my babies have served as wonderful reminders of how it feels to be in the first blush of love. I have every little detail of my kids memorized. I never get tired of looking at their cute little dimples, or kissing their fat little cheeks, or running my fingers through their curly hair. I’m completely infatuated with them. And while I still love my husband quite ardently, of course, that bloom of infatuation is a bit harder to sustain with an adult. Somehow, it’s just not cute when his nose is snotty.

How about you? How do you remember that feeling of infatuation? Are there relationships in your life that may not be … Read More »

I’m so excited to be invited back to Romance by the Blog today, to guestblog about my day at Avon. Michelle thought her bellas would be interested in hearing about the cover art, and if you read this blog regularly, you’ll have heard most of it before. But I’d be much obliged to anyone who can drop by to keep me company! Plus, Sara Lindsey photoshopped me a killer “cover” for Goddess of Beauty that you have to see!

If anyone’s clicking over to my blog today from RbtB, welcome! Below are links to all my posts about my day at Avon HQ. And it’s not too late to join in on yesterday’s “breakthrough” TMI Tuesday topic! Put your feet on the furniture. Make yourselves at home.

Cover Art (a bit more detailed than my guestblog today)
Publicity
Editorial
Marketing
Tea with Eloisa

(Linking to all those posts reminds me … those of you who won stuff that week – if you didn’t get your prizes by now, drop me a line to let me know.)… Read More »

Wow – coming off a busy weekend in the Dare house. Hope everyone else had a happy Cinco de Mayo! I’ll be around later today to catch up on everyone’s blogging, promise.

I really need to get that word count widget working again – in case anyone’s wondering, I’m at about 15K words with Goddess of Beauty, and it’s swimming right along. Really, I’m so excited about this story, and these characters – it’s a great feeling.

Somewhere partway through writing GOTH, I had this moment where I really fell in love with the idea of Jeremy and Lucy as a couple. All of a sudden, I found myself daydreaming about them in the HEA – I saw them snuggling in bed and playing with cute little babies and teasing each other and exchanging fond glances over the breakfast table. I wished I could write a whole book of epilogues for them, just happy little scenes of affection and domestic bliss.

Does anyone else daydream like this, or am I just weird? Just warming up for TMI Tuesday, I guess. 🙂… Read More »


So, like a week ago, Lacey gave me this awesome Thinking Blogger award, and I’m just now getting down to thinking about it.

I’m supposed to pass it on to 5 bloggers who make me think. I know, I know – many of these people have been awarded this already. I think that’s okay. And there are many more of you who make me think, but the rules say I only get five.

First, we have Ms. Courtney Milan. CM makes me think often. Even more often, she makes me think about giving up thinking entirely, outsourcing all of my thinking to her, and taking up crochet instead. Her recent post on entails is just one of many gems on that blog.

Back when I was writing GOTH and wringing my hands about whether a prologue is a Good Thing or the Kiss of Death, Alice Audrey kindly reassured me with this post. It’s never too late to say thanks.

Lenora Bell routinely makes me think fondly about my stint as a volunteer in Southeast Asia. This post made me think I would cry.

With this completely innocuous post at Romance Vagabonds, Elodie made me think about someone I hadn’t thought about in a while. Someone I miss. Someone I wish I’d known better. Someone the world is a little more flat without.

And lastly, to throw some karma back at her, Lacey’s post this week about taking opportunities and (gasp!) asking for good things got me thinking … Read More »

Lately, CM’s been blogging about DH Lawrence.

Today, I’m writing the chapter where my GOB heroine goes out to sea for the first time in her life. And I have this poem running through my mind. Although it’s from a different era and place entirely, the sensation it describes is universal.

By Emily Dickinson:

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses — past the headlands —
Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

Are you inspired by poetry? Care to share some?Read More »


One reason it’s taking me forever to get really rolling on Goddess of Beauty is the amount of research I’ve had to do. Egads, have I done research. I chose the plot and setting of Goddess of the Hunt (comedy of manners at a Regency house party) partly because I wanted a story I could write quickly, without getting bogged down in research.

Well, now I am bogged, mired, and drowning in research – on topics from the history of pigments, to the British anti-slavery movement, to sailing terminology, to the physiology of colorblindness, to exactly which paintings were exhibited by JMW Turner at the Royal Academy from 1815-1820. It’s tremendous fun, and GOB will be a much richer book for it, but it’s time-consuming.

But mostly I’ve been reading first-hand accounts of transatlantic voyages during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Most of these are written by men. They write about storms, and the birds and fishes they see, and the birds and fishes they see killed and eaten, and any skirmishes amongst passengers or the crew – all very useful information, but rather lacking for my purposes.

And then, I finally found an account penned by a woman: Journal of a Lady of Quality;
Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies,
North Carolina, and Portugal, in the Years 1774 to 1776
, by Janet Schaw.

What a revelation! Ms. Schaw – bless her! – writes not only beautifully, but she writes about all … Read More »

So I finally downloaded a few pictures I took during my day at Avon. Just had to share this one.

Read More »


Congratulations to Beth! Beth, you’ve won some great stuff – just email me your snail mail address.

Thanks so much to all of you who’ve hung out with me all week. It’s been so much fun, and a great way to prolong the high from my trip. I wish I had a prize for every one of you.

Aside from that great day at Avon, the best thing about my trip was just feeling like a writer in New York – sitting in the cafe of the hotel, scribbling outlines in my notebook for Goddess of Beauty, and knowing that, published or not … by vocation, I’m a writer! I couldn’t say that about myself six months ago, but now – when someone I meet asks me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer. It’s a lifelong dream for me to be able to say that and mean it. And it wouldn’t have been possible without FanLit, and without all of you. So thank you, so much.

What about you? When people ask what you do, do you tell them about your writing?

And now, it’s time for me to knuckle down and start working on my next book. Between the trip and the queries and submissions I’ve been sending out for GOTH, I’ve gotten nothing done on it, and I’m itching to start.

A while back, I asked you for celebrity inspiration for my new hero and heroine. Here’s what I’m working off of now … Read More »