My Treadmill Desk – One Year Later

treadmill deskA year ago, I set up my treadmill desk. And I posted the Grand Opening message here, which includes links for purchase, etc.

 I promised to give my one-year later review and findings. The upshot?

Love love love.

Seriously. Best investment I ever made.

Yes, I use it pretty much every day. Sometimes I don’t on the weekends, particularly if I’m being really active with other projects like gardening or house-cleaning. I’ve walked as much as 12 miles in one day, though it’s usually more around 8-10 miles. That translates to about 3 to 6 hours on it daily. For reference, I’m at my desk about 12 hours a day.

Can I work on it? Yes! I usually walk anywhere from 1 mph to 2.2 mph. The 2.2 seems to be my maximum for working at the same time. I walk during conference calls, while doing social media and writing blog posts (doing 1.4 mph while drafting this) and especially while writing. I do my 2.2 mph while drafting or editing the novels and it works great. As you can see from the pic above, the way I can rest my forearms on the desk allows me an anchor. I totally forget that I’m walking, too.

More – the steady cadence of walking works great to induce the trance state conducive to writing. Hopefully you all know what I mean. My best work comes out when I disengage all the “thinky” parts of brain that are making lists, wondering what’s for lunch, posting alerts that I need to remember to call such and so back, etc. Once I can sink into that state, the words flow and I’m totally focused. The walking is absolutely trance-inducing and has become part of my ritual for working.

The only things I can’t do on the treadmill is anything that requires intensive mouse work. For example, I have been working on complicated flow charts for my day job. Lots of creating shapes, dragging them, attaching connector arrows. I find it too difficult to maintain a steady line with the mouse while walking.

Otherwise, anything goes! In fact, I find I get restless now if I can’t move while I work. Sitting so much feels wrong.

Since starting to use the treadmill desk, I’ve dropped 10 pounds in body fat. My blood pressure dropped from 160 to 120. Also, my endurance has increased. Though I’ve been running and weightlifting for several years now, the daily walking has really made a difference in my overall health. My body just *feels* stronger and I can, of course, walk much farther without tiring.

Cautionary note on that: start out gradually and work up. Even if you’re in great shape already, the steady pace of the treadmill desk seems to work my body differently. I overdid at first.

I’m happy to answer questions in the comments or via personal message. I absolutely recommend it if you’re considering making the leap. I can’t imagine going back to sitting all day.

I’ll leave you with this – Jackson trying out the treadmill, too. (He still jumps on with me, from time to time. )


Too Many Tits

Too many tits, erotic romance, Falling Under, Going Under, contemporary romanceLoved this dragon sculpture on the waterfront in San Diego.

So, in the flurry of travel for a weekend-long seminar for my day job in San Diego – which was illuminating, valuable and utterly exhausting – I totally forgot to announce the THING I’d been waiting to announce officially since, um, August. You all pretty much know about it already – that I signed on with Carina for a new trilogy. These are essentially more Facets of Passion books, but full-length novels, which means 2- to 3-times as long.

All you people saying “I wish it had been longer!” – see how I give you what you wish for??

The reason we did not announce immediately is because we – meaning Agent Pam, Carina and I – all wanted to go for a retitling and rebranding of the series. It’s sad on the one hand, because I really did love my “jewel” titles. But readers would see those titles – Sapphire, Platinum, Ruby and Five Golden Rings – and not know that they were erotic romances. I’m no marketing or business guru, but apparently that’s a problem. 😛

Thus, though I snort-giggle at some of the titles out there, I have gone full Borg and have been assimilated.

(You would not believe the cool stuff this ocular implant can do!)

So, I’m delighted, excited and just really pleased to OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE

*clears throat*

*makes jazz hands*

My new erotic romance trilogy:


The books will be

GOING UNDER (July 2014)

UNDER HIS TOUCH (January 2015)

UNDER CONTRACT (mmfflbrg 2015)

When you all get your paws on them, you’ll find that the titles really *do* reflect the stories themselves, which was important to me.

You all know about GOING UNDER already, because I had been calling it Emerald here. And yes, it’s all written. In fact, I’ll be working on developmental edits on it as soon as I finish this post.

An amusing story came out of my critique partner (CP) reviews of the initial draft, which carries a useful take-home message.

See, these books will also be a departure for me, because I’m including the hero’s point of view (POV). The Facets books were all from the heroine’s POV. Going Under, at least, alternates between the hero and heroine’s POV’s. (Probably they all will, but you never know what will happen when I get to actually writing them.) I wrote from the hero’s POV once before, in the fairly obscure Hunting the Siren, but this was my first significant effort to capture a “guy voice.”

Part of his voice emerged in that, at least in the lustful throes of sex, he thinks of her breasts as “tits.” To me, this is a convincingly guy thing. Particularly this guy. It’s a strong word, as these things go. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever used it in a story before – and pretty much not in real life either. Well, one of my CPs (nothing against you, darling!) mentioned, pretty much as her very first comment, that I needed to search for “tits” in the manuscript because I’d used it way too many times.

Taking her comment to heart, I searched for it and found 19 occurrences. In 308 pages and over 82,000 words. Conversely, I used the word “breast” well over 100 times. (Hey – it’s erotic romance. What did you expect?) That’s a 0.02% incidence of tits versus over 0.12% for breasts (I got tired of counting) – an order of magnitude in difference.

But, because “tits” struck her as such a strong word, it stood out.

I guess I mention this because readers will always have their pet peeves. Especially with sexual terms. Sometimes a blog post or Twitter hashtag will prompt people to riff on the words they hate. “Moist” crops up quite often. Surprisingly often, to me, because I don’t have the issue with it that so many seem to.

The thing is – this is something a writer simply cannot control for.

It falls under the “you can’t please everyone” umbrella. It’s simply not worth worrying about. Let the readers have their fun and riff on most-hated words and phrases – heavens know, I have them, too – but don’t write accordingly.

Way too crazy making to fret over too many tits.

I need that on a t-shirt.

Master of the Opera – Act 1 is Free!

Free Read, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Phantom of the Opera Lots of exciting news to share today! First of all, Act 1 of Master of the Opera, Passionate Overture, is FREE everywhere!
Here’s a few links to download that puppy:

Books on Board
Google Play

Also, Act 3: Phantom Serenade is releasing on Thursday, February 6. You can read an excerpt here at the Contemporary Romance Cafe!

 Master of the Opera Act 3 600

Finally, Act V: A Haunting Duet, is available for review on Net Galley!! As always, if you have trouble getting approved, tag me somewhere and let me know. I have a WIDGET (one widget to rule them all!) that you can use.Master of the Opera Act 5 600