Archive for June, 2011

27
Jun

Be Back Soon…

Posted under odds and ends 1 Comment

I’m at a conference in the city this week, which means I’m taking some time off from blogging. Instead, when I’m not attending workshops and publisher/agent events, I’ll be catching up with my dear friend, Lynn C., and hopefully getting a ton of writing done on the Amish series.

I’ll be back next week and hope you will, too!

~Elizabeth

24
Jun

Prom Time

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 15 Comments

So last night was “prom night” in these parts. Which got me thinking, and remembering (or at least, trying to)…

1) If you went to your prom, what did you wear?

2) Do you remember your date’s name?

3) If your prom had a theme (oftentimes based on songs), what was yours?  And Chris, if you’re reading this, I think I need your help with this answer! 🙂

4) Would you do it again? If so, what would you change?

~Elizabeth

23
Jun

Unchartered Territory

Posted under Writing Thursdays 1 Comment

Ask a writer how they remember their ideas and most of them will probably say they have “notebooks and notebooks” of ideas stashed in their office, just waiting for that moment they finish one book and can move onto the next.

I’m not like that.

My feeling has always been that if the idea was worth remembering, I would. And it’s a feeling that’s served me fairly well to date. But yesterday I kind of broke with tradition. At least a little, anyway.

I’ve been toying with a very basic idea for a women’s fiction novel for quite some time now. True to form, from the moment the idea first struck, I’ve left it alone, never writing it down. Sure enough, it’s stuck, tickling at the edges of my mind and forcing me to revisit it from time to time.

The desire to do something with this idea has been getting stronger and stronger (a good sign), yet the time to devote to it has gotten less and less, leaving me with the feeling that I’ll get to it “one day.”

Well, that one day is getting closer thanks to two factors: 1) a deal I was hoping to make, fell through, leaving me with a suprising and unexpected reaction–peace. The peace, I quickly realized, came from the stark realization that the initial deal wasn’t part of my passion. It wasn’t part of my goal. By walking away, I’d have more time for the goal.  2) I had lunch with a good friend yesterday. On the way home from that lunch (via the train), I found myself really looking at my idea, trying to get to the bottom of the premise and the nuances of some of the characters. I pulled out a very cute purse-sized notebook I’d just bought at Grand Central Station (fate, I tell you) and started jotting notes. Suddenly, this basic idea I’d tucked away in my brain a year ago began to explode.

I wish I could start writing it now. But I can’t. Not yet. I have two other contracted-projects ahead of it…but I’ll get there. Soon.

~Elizabeth

22
Jun

Words of Wisdom

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

Sometimes life feels a bit like a rollercoaster. You’ve got your ups, you’ve got your downs, and you’ve got your something-is-coming-but-I’m-not-exactly-sure-whats. At times, I want to close my eyes and hope it all goes away. Other times, you sit up a little straighter in your chair because it’s actually kind of fun. And sure, sometimes you’d like to T your hands and take a break.

But it’s all part of life, I guess.

Lately, I’ve been getting inspirational quotes in my inbox. Some from some quote-a-day list I got on somehow (still trying to figure out how), some from my friends. What’s interesting though, is the way the right one always seems to come in on the right day. Like this one, when I was feeling low about Hobbes…

**Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
~Bernice Johnson Reagon

And this one last week when I was having an awesome writing week…

**Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.
~Collected by Terri Guillemets

Can’t forget this one either (mostly because it’s just a good one)…

**Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
~Albert Einstein

Quotes. I like them. They have a way of motivating me…and making the dips and turns a bit easier to take thanks to a fresh perspective.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

~Elizabeth

20
Jun

Rest in Peace, Sweet Hobbes

Posted under odds and ends 8 Comments
Dear Hobbes, 
 
I’m sending this to mommy cuz I know you are watching me and you can read this. God has probably taught you to read. You can always tell when I’m sad so I know you are next to us now. I’m sure God has cleaned your fur all up just the way you like it. I miss you so so much. We always wanted to keep you forever. Mommy wanted you with us and I’m sorry that this was the only way that could happen. You are the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen with such a brave heart. You always gave me strength and lots of cuddles. I’m sorry you had to go this way. Your family wishes they couldve been with you. I’m so happy you are with me now but I miss you being here alive with us. I’m sure God is taking good care of you. I’ll show you the pictures mommy took when we were little later. I love you sweetie. 
 
Love forever, 
Sissy
 

**Written by my 16 year old last night upon learning of the loss of our beloved Hobbes. It made me cry all over again when I read it, yet it’s so perfectly fitting.

As for me, I picked Hobbes from a room of cats 17 1/2 years ago at a time I needed hope. She gave me that hope and so much more over the many, many years we had together.  Hobbes was, without a doubt, the most loyal and true friend I’ve ever had. She saw me through the roughest patches of my life with nothing but unconditional love.  She purred with all her heart nearly 24/7. I wish I could have been with her at the end to simply say, “Thank you, my precious angel. I will always love you.”

I know she’s in the biggest sun spot ever now. Purring with all her heart and waiting until the day she is reunited with her real family again. That said, I also know my heart is aching.

~Elizabeth 

17
Jun

To Ze Beach We Go

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 1 Comment

🙂

Today’s Bits & Pieces are brought to you by someone who’s very anxious to go to ze beach.

1) What’s the best sand sculpture you ever made?

2) Sunbather or beach comber?

3) Favorite beach you’ve ever visited?

4) What one beach have you always wanted to visit?

~Elizabeth

16
Jun

Picking Brains

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

Writing is a huge part of being a writer. But it is, by no means, the only part.

Tonight, I’ll be doing the part that involves public speaking (if you’re in the Ridgefield, CT area, I’ll be part of a multi-author panel at the library at 7 p.m.).

I’m also playing around with a major website overhaul for my Laura Bradford site. The reason this will be happening sometime in the next 12 months is to reflect the Amish mystery series I’ll be writing under that name.  This site, will stay the way it is (with little changes from time to time), but that site needs a total revamping.

As a writer, I’m also a huge proponent of the brainstorming process. Love. It.

So to that end, I’m bringing a few questions to all of you…

Here’s the set up:  An Amish COZY mystery series.

Here’s the questions:  What kind of information would you want to see on the website? About the book? About me? About whatever?

~Elizabeth

**Yesterday’s cover flap winner is Cullum (please see my last comment on “A Pinch-Me Day’s” post for instructions on what to do to claim your prize)!!! Congrats, Cullum!

15
Jun

A Pinch-Me Day

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 13 Comments

If you’ve ever clicked on the “about” page on this website or listened to me during a speaking engagement of some kind, you know that I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was ten-years-old. It’s essentially been a part of me–my hopes, my dreams, my thoughts–for over thirty years.

In 2005, that dream became a reality with the publication (small press) of my first book, Jury of One (written under Laura Bradford). A year later came, Forecast of Evil. Marked by Fate, in 2007, was the last book in that small press series by my choice.

I made that choice because I knew I wanted to reach for something bigger…

Top on the list? One of the big NY publishing houses.

In July of 2008, I realized that goal when I signed the first three books in the Southern Sewing Circle with Berkley Prime Crime (part of Penguin Publishing). 

Lots has happened in the almost three years since I signed on the dotted line with my NY house. I’ve sold a lot more books (seven so far in the sewing circle series, three romances to a different big house, and three more in my upcoming Amish mystery series–also with Berkley/Penguin). And I’ve loved it all. Every new cover, every new title, every new book written and then shelved, every new reader I’ve met, every group I’ve ever spoken to about writing, etc.

It’s a dream come true. Truly.

And the fun stuff keeps coming. Even some of the woo-woo moments, too. In fact, I had one (or two) just yesterday…

After a fabulous lunch with Editor Extraordinaire, we went to the office so I could get a picture by the sign!!

While there, I got to see a very cool case that houses some of their titles.  Mine was one of them!  See? That’s DEADLY NOTIONS in the middle. 🙂

Oh. There’s one more thing. She brought me a few cover flaps for DANGEROUS ALTERATIONS (book #5–Nov. 1, 2011). They came out so good, I’d love to give ONE away. So, if you’re a fan of the series (and happen to be reading this blog), post a comment in the comment section. Then, tomorrow morning, I’ll randomly select one cover flap winner from those who have commented. 

Not sure what a cover flap is?  It’s literally the front and back cover of the book (without the book, of course).

Have a great day!

~Elizabeth

14
Jun

Day Off

Posted under odds and ends No Comments

I’m off to the city to have lunch with my editor today, so I’ll be back tomorrow with a full report. 😉

In the meantime, scroll down to check out yesterday’s blog. I swapped out the stock car photo with one from the actual teaching experience.

~Elizabeth

13
Jun

Same Instructor, Different Generation

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

Twenty seven years ago. my brother stuck me behind the wheel of his then Honda Civic and taught me how to drive a stick shift. Being a new driver at the time, it wasn’t pretty. I stalled the engine (countless times), ground the gears, and rolled my way down more hills than I could count. But, eventually, I figured it out. I figured out how to time the release of the clutch with the press of the gas. I figured out how to start from a stop on a hill (without having to use the emergency brake). And I figured out how to actually look as if I knew what I was doing. 

I didn’t drive stick often at that time, mostly because the cars I had access to were automatic. But when it came time to buy my very first car (in 1992), I opted for a manual. Sixteen years later, when that car finally called it quits, I purchased an automatic. Sure, I would have loved to have gotten another stick, but, with the M.S. affecting my left side during rare flare-ups, I figured it was time to get rid of the clutch. I adore my new car–it has some really cool bells and whistles–but, that said, I miss driving a stick. It’s fun, it’s not something everyone can do, and it always, always, always makes me think of my brother.

Fast forward to now and my oldest daughter is learning to drive. Automatic, of course.

Only, just like he did with me, my brother took her in his car this weekend (he’s graduated to a Mustang Cobra convertible) and taught her how to drive stick. She stalled the engine, ground a few gears, and rolled a tiny hill or two. But after about fifteen minutes and the same patience he showed me so many years ago, she got it.

With me grinning from the backseat the whole time.

So tell me, what’s something you’ve learned in life that has the teacher and the teaching every bit as special as the lesson/skill you learned in the end?

~Elizabeth

P.S. In case you’re wondering, once Dear Daughter #1’s lesson was over, I took the wheel and drove it all the way home. 🙂