Sapphire and Old San Juan

I had a little glass (okay, cup) of champagne at the pool bar after work yesterday, to celebrate the release of Sapphire. The pool area, with the ocean beyond. Lovely

Then we went into Old San Juan for dinner. Cats are protected there and lounge in every quiet stairway.

This passage was full of cats, though they’re not easy to pick out.

Requisite statue pic.

We ate at AquaViva. Love these lights.


I’m over at Word Whores today, talking about Release Day for Sapphire.

And today I’m headed to Puerto Rico for the day job, but I’ll at least try to post pictures here. Thanks to the magic of virtual scheduling, I’ll be on a number of blogs, etc., this week. The schedule is on the home page, should you feel like you want to find me.

Can’t imagine why you would.

I’d stick around here for the pretty pictures, if I were you.


Pearls, Frilly Apron and a Keyboard

I  went to a conference many moons ago, for women leaders in science. I was but a lowly grad student at the time, but there were several hundred high-powered female scientists there, many leaders in their fields. As they gave presentations on their career paths and accomplishments, a theme began to emerge. Finally, one woman stood up and pointed it out.

Every single woman was attributing her success to chance.

“I was lucky enough to get a place in X’s lab.”

“Somehow I ended up with the grant doing Y.”

“For some reason, I was handed the opportunity to do Z.”

The woman who pointed this out suggested that the speakers stop using this phrasing and instead acknowledge that they took advantage of opportunities open to them because of their hard work, talents and skills.

They tried. They were terrible at it.

Now men have no problem with this it seems. I know I’m generalizing, but if you had a series of male scientists speak about their career paths and accomplishments, you’d hear a different story. Men seem to be able to value the work they do in a way the women don’t so much.

This is on my mind lately because I know a number of women writers who are full-time writers, who also handle all the domestic duties. In some ways they fit the scathing cliche of the housewife and/or mother, who also writes. And yet, many of these women are quite successful writers. Maybe it’s not a female thing. Maybe it’s a “I’m home all day so I can handle the home stuff” thing. I’d be interested to know how many male full-time writers follow this same model.

The thing is, I work from home, doing my environmental consulting day job. And I do not handle all the domestic stuff. David does the meal-planning, grocery-shopping and cooking, which is huge, I think. I handle the cleaning, dishes, laundry – which I pretty much save for the weekends. Yes, even the dishes. Ours is not a spotless house. But, I also receive a salary for my day job and I get consistent feedback that it’s valuable work.

Neither of which happens when you’re a writer.

No steady paycheck. No co-workers expecting a certain level of production. No annual performance reviews.

So, I wonder if the full-time writers feel the need to “make up” for the time spent at home, staring off into space, by at least keeping a clean house and providing nutritious meals. But doesn’t that devalue the work of writing?

I’m trying to decide what I think.

Still Got the Radio

So, I did a radio interview last night.

And it was super fun.

Desmond Haas has a website called the Romance Radio Network and he interviews authors over the phone, then posts it on his site. I’ll also get to post it here on my own website. Yeah, you can listen to me babble on. Like you have nothing better to do.

At any rate, Desmond read Sapphire before the interview and seemed to love it! Well, he said he loved it and then he gave all sorts of specific reasons for it. That was the best part: he really “got” the book. It’s always lovely to get compliments or good reviews, but the very, very best part of being a writer is talking to someone who understands your characters. He had insightful observations about who they are that hadn’t occurred to me, but were right on target. He also described the story in a different way than I’d thought of it, which showed me new and illuminating elements. Best of all, I tend to think of myself as a pretty feminine writer, so for a guy to think I got the male side of the story right. Well, that’s just amazing.

SO fun.

You know what else is fun? When I went to grab that link, like a good hyperlinking blogger kitty, I saw this:

Can you see what that says? Here, let me show you a close-up. You know you want me to.

Ya-huh! Ya-huh! <- that’s me doing an end zone dance. Not pretty. Be glad you can’t really see it.

I’m sure this will change in the blink of an eye (which is why I screen captured it for posterity). This is all pre-orders, so thank you all for that. For pre-ordering, for saying such lovely things about the story, for sharing the love.

Cupcakes all around!

Left Brain Overload

So, as I may or may not have mentioned, the day job is CRAZY right now.

As in, more work than can be humanly accomplished.

So, it’s taking a great deal of focus for me to get the work done. I’m getting through it, meeting my deadlines (so far), but I’m not getting anything else done. That is, no writing.

At work they’ve given me minions, lots of junior staff to help me. This is a great thing, except that I have to be able to tell them what needs doing. I can’t go off to some appointment and leave Mickey alone with all those broomsticks. Yeah, we all remembered what happened then. So, the upshot is, I have to be online early, because my minions are on the east coast. I have to deal with the emails that accumulated overnight. I’m digging into the day job by 7 am.

Now, long time blog followers will immediately see the problem here.

That’s right! This is totally fucking with my rituals!


Yes, I’m taking deep, cleansing breaths.

David suggested that I just flip my usual schedule. Instead of writing in the morning, then switching to day job, I’d do the reverse. I know a lot of people do this. I tried it yesterday. I worked at the day job from 7 to 4. And then I had nothing left. I could have worked more, but my creative side had fallen asleep. Or taken off for the beach. She’s probably drinking dirty martinis somewhere and lolling in the sun.

She’ll come back, David reassured me. When you have the room for her.

And that’s just it. The day job is sucking all my brains, like a zombie shuffling relentlessly forward. (That analogy is just for you, Sullivan.)

It’s interesting to me, when I find the limits of what I can balance.

At any rate, at least I’m not involved in the National Book Awards brouhaha. What an exceptionally poor series of decisions there. And poor Lauren. Here we all are already paranoid when we get awards that it’s a mistake. Then for her, it WAS!

May the attention and sales make up for the pain.