Why write?

7C6E77F7-When the words aren’t flowing and the manuscript gets rejected and your back hurts from too many hours at the computer, writing sucks. After fifteen completed novels, it doesn’t get any easier. The ideas have to be unique, the characters need arcs, the pace needs to move, and words somehow have to find their way from head to fingers.

This is the point non-writers ask why I would waste my time. They’d remind me that I’m not banking the amount of cash that Higgins, Grisham, and King are. I’m probably not even making the interest on their royalty checks.

Writers, however, understand. I have so many stories in my head I could sit and type for the rest of my life and never run out of plots and new characters. Creating conflicts, describing a scene, polishing up my first drafts. It’s all a labor of love. The worlds become so vivid I ignore my own family to stay with the interesting people populating my head.

Even with the pull of the words, I remain functional. I practice law, hang with my kids, chill with my husband, cook, sort of clean, and I even attempt gardening, but the words hum inside when I’m not writing and if I try to put it off, they shriek until they have my attention.

Today, I’m editing a book I love. The more I tinker with it, the better it gets. I can see the world moving from black and white to high definition color. I could take the day to work on the pile of files on my desk, go for a walk, clean my basement, or phone a friend, but despite the aching back and the need for far too much coffee than is good for me, I prefer writing.

 

Resolution: Keeping Sane When Everything Falls Apart.

New Orleans in 2005 and 2015

New Orleans in 2005 and 2015

So everything fell to sh*t last week. I made a stupid assumption that if I worked hard, I could control the outcomes in my legal practice, my writing career, my family life. NOT TRUE.

I’m not God. I’m pretty much on this rollercoaster called life and am unable to stop the worst of life from destroying people I truly care about, the work I give my heart to complete, the relationships I think I have a grasp on. As I struggled with one disaster, another bit me in the ass. At one point, on a plane to New Orleans where I was supposed to enjoy a carefree weekend, I scrambled to make something work out, to fix one of the tragedies that was beating me down. I couldn’t bring anyone back from the dead, but I could resurrect my story, and I could tighten the bonds with the one person who matters more to me than anything. The plane hit the tarmac as I tried to pull a brilliant idea from my exhausted and emotionally void brain. I fell asleep in a hotel and woke with no motivation, not ambition.

Instead, I roamed the streets of the city alone for two days. Drinking coffee, watching the city that had been completed devastated resonating with life. Tourists walked through the French Quarter headed for beignets and coffee as though nothing had ever interrupted life here. Yet this city had gone through a hardship of biblical proportions. Hard work and faith brought the city back from complete destruction (only 15% of the city was inhabitable at the end of the Katrina). Time had also healed many of its wounds.

Did I have time? Had I already used up too much of it chasing the wrong dreams? Had my priorities become so twisted that what really mattered in life had fallen from my radar screen? Suffice to say, I was unsure whether to head back to bed and hide under the covers or dive into a mountain of work to fix whatever was wrong in my life.

What pulled me out of my funk? Hours on the phone with my girlfriends from every corner of the country and a few hours at a coffee shop with one of the dearest of writer friends.

Now that I’ve had time to think about all that life has thrown at me, I’m ready to accept my limited role in things that happen and move on. I can’t change the past, but I can learn from it.

I’m headed back to work this work with thicker skin, a refusal to back down from challenges, and the love of an army of friends who have my back and my heart.

I care about the braided life I’ve created with law, writing, and family, and I do make a difference in the world. I just can’t guarantee all HEAs in life, although maybe I can in my stories.

2016 Booksellers’ Best Winner

2016BBAwinner

 

I attended the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference last week in San Diego. What a great opportunity to meet with my agent, editors, and my friends. The highlight of the week was learning that my novel “Untrue Colors” won the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

I also did a book signing there with over 400 other authors including many of my favorites. If you are near the Orlando area next July, come on out. It’s such fun and all sales are donated to support literacy.

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Romance Writers Weekly: Flash Fiction

This week we’re challenged to write an interesting flash fiction under 100 words using the words spring, coffee, and lizard. What insane person thought of this question? Me!

Did you come from Mikki Cober?

Go back and see what she writes! But then come back.

Here’s my attempt…

Desert_Monitor_Lizard

Sand sucked. It rubbed between Kerry’s heel and sneaker, scratched under her eyelid, and crunched between her teeth. Lizards sucked too, especially the fast ones. She should have stayed with her car. Rational thinking, however, had left her when the tire blew up and her escape came to a screeching halt.  

The morning sun beamed death and desolation all around her. One cup of iced coffee would put a spring in her step. Instead, she had half a bottle of water. In the distance, a police car approached. Damn. She turned and ran. She’d take her chances with the lizard.

Travel on to Beth Carter‘s flash fiction.

USA TODAY: Must See Trailers: “Untrue Colors”

The book trailer for “Untrue Colors” is featured on USA Today’s HEA feature. Here’s the link… http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2015/03/27/robin-covington-book-trailer-recs-forand-versteeg/70490154/?fb_ref=Default

UNTRUE COLORS 1600x2400

The video was made by Sophia Evans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8WdYbVmBn4&feature=youtu.be