Friends and Family

Ah, the joys of living in the mountains of Northern Vermont.  There are many, including the physical beauty and the politics.  But we also have some of the highest utility rates in the country, combined with the least reliable.  I woke to a brownout, then no power, then the screams of the carbon monoxide detector.  Rush to get clothes on, get the cat out of the house, realize the co1 detector was probably reacting to the brownout but not wanting to take chances, opened windows, called the electric company, got the phone mailbox, phone mailbox was full, slam down the phone (it’s an old-fashioned land-line so I could slam it) put on the some sweaters and pulled up my computer.  I figured I could write and then when the power comes on I can upload it.  It’s 39 degrees outside so a few open windows won’t do any harm. 

It's a fitting day for the hassles of living in the country.  Today is Day 13 of 40 Days and Nights of Utter Magnificence and Glory (I’m intending to get more verbose as I go along) and we have a treat for the entire month.  Amazon is offering slightly-revised version of SHADOW  LOVER, an intricate and sexy romantic suspense (well, really, do I have to say sexy?  Isn’t that a foregone conclusion?) for the excellent price of $2.99 for the entire month, and it takes place during the end of the endless winter we have in VT.  The original cover had it perfectly.    It was a USA Today bestseller, and  I got to work out a lot of issues in it.  My husband had a white elephant of a house in the family, a beautiful old summer house on a pristine lake, and his mother and his sister were fixated on it and were absolutely horrid, while poor Richie had to do all sorts of work on the place and he never felt at home there.  I kept hoping lightning would strike and burn it down, but that never happened, so I took another house in my extended family, my former brother-in-law’s house on Water Street in Martha’s Vineyard, and burned that down.  (In the book of course).  They have the same issues over sharing the thing, though his family has worked it out legally.  We ended up selling our share of the VT lake house for far less than its appraised value (the good old IRS again) and at least it’s pretty much out of our lives.  So is Richie’s family to some extent, but that’s another story.  He’ll forgive them.  I won’t.


Writing is a great way to work out frustration, anger, grief.  It’s also a good way to express positive emotions that threaten to overwhelm you.  I work out lust issues (ah, the times I’ve bedded Alan Rickman or Daniel Day-Lewis  in my historials) and infertility (my heroines have a lot of babies and are very happy).  In fact, SHADOW LOVER had a double whammy.  I have a cousin from the next generation who’s a little snake.  He was a nasty child when I babysat him (that’s an odd verb – I should have sat on him and squashed him like the bug he is), and when I met him once more in his mid-twenties he was a bronzed, self-important racist.  I put him in the book and proceeded to call him nasty names – I got great pleasure from it then and when I revised it this year.


Another great pleasure in the writing life is the friends you meet along the way.  I’ve got some I’ve known for thirty years and more, met through RWA and RT.  Barbara Keiler aka Judith Arnold has put up with me for almost that long, rooming with me amidst the clutter that follows me like a cloud, dealing with my over-inflated sense of grandeur.  Her newest book, DEAD BALL, a cozy mystery, is part of the same promotion. You’ve got an entire month to get these lovelies.


Ah, the power is on again.  The carbon monoxide detector is no longer distressed, the internet is working and all is right in the world.  Well, not completely – the horrendous potholes did in one of my tires and I don’t want to buy another snow tires so late in the season.  Problems, problems.


Today I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a long time.  I’m going to write something just for me.  I’m not going to worry about markets or contracts, I’m just going to write what entertains me.  Today is all about me.  Why don't you make today all about you too?  We deserve it.